Roger Federer into Dubai final, 1 win from 100th career title

first_imgView comments Roger Federer of Switzerland returns the ball to Marton Fucsovics of Hungry during their match at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Roger Federer can win the 100th title of his career at the Dubai Championships on Saturday.The 20-time Grand Slam champion will have to beat the rising star of tennis to do so.ADVERTISEMENT Adam Silver: Changes to NBA All-Star Game ‘an earring on a pig’ Lacson backs proposal to elect president and vice president in tandem P2.5 B shabu seized in Makati sting, Chinese national nabbed PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss LATEST STORIES P2.5 B shabu seized in Makati sting, Chinese national nabbed Hong Kong tunnel reopens, campus siege nears end Federer set up a title match against 20-year-old Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas by defeating Borna Coric 6-2, 6-2 in just 67 minutes in the semifinals of the ATP event on Friday.“I think it was important to mix it up, be solid, not give him too many chances and keep showing him it’s going to be really difficult for him to win, ” Federer said. “At the end, I actually played really good. I’m very pleased.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesFederer, who is 37, is looking to become the second man in the professional era to reach 100 tour-level tournament titles, joining Jimmy Connors, who won 109. Seven of Federer’s previous 99 wins have come in Dubai.Tsitsipas had a tougher time getting to the final, rallying for a 4-6, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (4) win over Gael Monfils.center_img Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Saturday’s match will be a battle of the generations — and a repeat of their meeting in the last 16 of the Australian Open in January, which was surprisingly won by Tsitsipas in four sets on his way to the semifinals.″(Stefanos) showed me at the Australian Open, how hard he is (to play),” said Federer. “We’re still far from (reaching 100 titles), it seems. I’m just going to try to focus and play good tennis.”Tsitsipas won the Open 13 in Marseille without dropping a set last week for the second title of his career, and has continued his strong form in the United Arab Emirates. He is now assured of a place in the top 10 of the world rankings for first time, replacing Marin Cilic.“I have improved since last year,” Tsitsipas said. “Beating the big guys, big players, players that have been in the top 10, means a lot to me. I wanted to get there (top 10) at some point myself, and I made it today.”ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte MOST READ Trump campaign, GOP groups attack Google’s new ad policy 1 dead, 3 injured in Quezon road crash Private companies step in to help SEA Games hostinglast_img read more

Blood thicker than water for Rio-bound Dattu Bhokanal

first_imgIndian rower Dattu Bhokanal has battled adversity to secure Olympic qualification and his journey to Rio has been made even more remarkable following a childhood bout of aquaphobia and fears for his mother’s health during his final preparations.EARLY HARDSHIPSHailing from a drought-hit region in Maharashtra, the daily fight for the treasured commodity led him to develop a fear of water as a youth and it was not until he joined the army in 2012, that he learned to swim. (Sushil Kumar’s Olympic dreams over, Narsingh Yadav set for Rio)His phobia conquered, the 25-year-old Bhokanal booked his ticket to Rio after winning a silver medal in the men’s single sculls event at the Asian and Oceania Olympic Qualification Regatta at Chung-ju in South Korea in April.Bhokanal gave up his studies to support his family after his father died of cancer in 2011 and his qualification can also be regarded as a reward for his ability to perform through another tragedy, which almost derailed his Olympic dreams. (Judoka Avtar Singh books Rio Olympics ticket)FAMILY TRAGEDYShortly before he was due to depart for South Korea, his mother suffered brain damage in a fall resulting in almost total amnesia.”It was difficult for me to concentrate during the event,” Bhokanal told Reuters in an interview. “I was worried about what was happening back at home.”Then I told myself ‘I can’t go on worrying about whatever is happening back home and must focus on the job at hand’.”Bhokanal, the eldest of three brothers, tried to call his mother after securing qualification for the Olympics but was told she had slipped into a coma.advertisementHe rushed back to attend to her but the positive news that she had regained consciousness was soon negated by the fact she could not recognise him with doctors saying her recovery was likely to take at least six months. (Leander Paes’ ticket to Rio lies in Bopanna and Sania’s hands)”She still does not recognise me as her son,” an emotional Bhokanal said.Standing an imposing 6 foot 4 inches (1.95 metres) tall, Bhokanal was encouraged to take up rowing in the army but his transition from land to water was far from smooth.He initially kept toppling out of the boat and was fairly certain it was a task that did not suit him.Undeterred, he continued to train and a fifth-place finish in the double sculls at the 2014 Asian Games convinced him he had a future in the sport. The next year, he won a silver medal in single sculls at the Asian Championships in China.CONFIDENT OF MEDAL FINISHBhokanal is confident of bringing back a medal for his country from Rio and wants to do something for his villagers, who still have little access to drinking water.”I want to do something to solve the water crisis in my village,” he said. “I will surely do something to at least solve the problem of drinking water for my people.”last_img read more

Chris Froome denies taking excessive level of asthma medication, says truth will come out

first_imgChris Froome, four-time Tour de France winner, denied allegations of a failed drug test and said “at the end of the day the truth will be told.”Froome was found to have excessive levels of asthma medication drug Salbutamol in his urine test that he gave during Vuelta a Espana in September.Cycling’s governing body, the UCI, said on Wednesday that Froome had double the amount of the legal athma drug in his urine sample.”I understand this comes as a big shock to people,” Froome told the BBC in an interview. “I certainly haven’t broken any rules here. I haven’t taken more than the permissible amount and I am sure at the end of the day the truth will be told.”Team Sky rider Froome, 32, risks missing next year’s Tour de France and could lose his Vuelta crown unless he can provide a satisfactory explanation for the failed test during the Spanish race.”I can understand a lot of people’s reactions, especially given the history of the sport. But this is a very different case. This is not a positive test,” Froome said.”As it stands the UCI have asked me for more information regarding my use of Salbutamol, which is a very common medicine used in treating asthma.”I have been only too happy to help the UCI fill in the blanks and give all that information up to try and get to the bottom of what has happened.”Asked whether he felt his legacy had been permanently tainted, Froome said: “No.”advertisementHe added that he had shared “everything he had” regarding his use of the drug with cycling’s governing body.”I have been a professional cyclist now, treating my symptoms and racing with asthma, for 10 years,” Froome said.”I know what those rules are, I know what those limits are and I have never been over those limits.”I have got a very clear routine when I use my inhaler and how many times. I have given all that information to the UCI to help get to the bottom of it.”Froome, this year, became the first British rider to win the Vuelta a Espana and is already a Tour de France legend, having won four title there.Froome is now one title behind Belgian Eddy Merckx, Spain’s Miguel Indurain and French duo Jacques Anquetil and Bernard Hinault.He is the first to win three consecutive titles since Indurain, who prevailed from 1991-95. The disgraced Lance Armstrong’s seven titles since then have been erased from the record book.(With inputs from Reuters)last_img read more

OnePlus 6T, iPhone XR, Pixel 3, Nokia 7.1 Plus coming to India in October so wait if planning to buy phone

first_imgIf you are looking to buy a premium smartphone, October may turn out to be the right month for you. There are so many (possibly) good or even great phones that will be in the Indian market soon. There is the OnePlus 6T coming, possibly launching on October 17. The iPhone XR goes on sale on October 26. The Nokia 7.1 Plus possibly launches on October 11. The Google Pixel 3 and the Pixel 3 XL too are expected in October. Lots of choices.Google will be launching this year’s Pixel phones on October 9 in New York. Google seemingly has a lot of surprises in store for its Pixel fans, especially with the Pixel 3 XL. Then there is OnePlus that can’t help talking about its upcoming flagship — the OnePlus 6T, which is going to be the first smartphone from the company to come with an in-display fingerprint sensor. The list of phones launching this October also includes the Nokia 7.1 and the 7.1 Plus, the iPhone XR, the Redmi Note 6 Pro, and the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3. Here are the smartphones launching in India in October.Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XLThe new Pixel phones are among the most awaited smartphones of 2018. Why? Two reasons. One, the Pixel 3 and the Pixel 3 XL are going to be the official Android phones for this year. And two, the Pixel phones have always set new benchmarks for camera performance in a phone and we can’t wait to see what Google does with its new phones this year.Ahead of launch the Pixel 3 XL and the Pixel 3 have leaked fairly often. So we know a lot about these phones. The Pixel 3 may get a bigger 5.5-inch screen this year compared to the Pixel 2 from last year, but the overall design is expected to be the same. The Pixel 3 XL is getting a new design, largely because of its screen that will have a notch — a broad notch but a notch nonetheless. On the rear, both phones expect to sport a single camera, hopefully, that will be as good as the camera in the Pixel 2 that is best in any phone. On the front, both the Pixel 3 and the Pixel 3 XL are expected to come with two cameras.advertisement Image courtesy: Phone DesignerThe Pixel 3 display may have a resolution of 1080 x 2160 pixels and aspect ratio of 18:9. The reviews out on some Russian websites reveal that the Pixel 3 XL is slightly than the Galaxy Note 9. The Pixel 3 XL is said to sport a massive 6.7-inch display with 1440 x 2960 pixels resolution, 18.5:9 aspect ratio and a screen-to-body ratio of 94.4 per cent. Both the Pixel 3 and the Pixel 3 XL will be powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset and run Google’s latest Android 9 Pie. Both the Pixel 3 and the Pixel 3 XL are also said to have a glass back which may indicate that the phones will support wireless charging, possibly with the wireless charger that Google may launch on October 9.The official prices of the Pixel 3 and the Pixel 3 XL are yet to be revealed by Google. But, rumours suggest the Pixel 3 XL will be priced around $750, which roughly translates to Rs 53,000, while the Pixel 3 will cost $650, which roughly comes around Rs 45,000. In India, expect the starting price for these phones above Rs 60,000.OnePlus 6TThe OnePlus 6T will come with an in-display fingerprint sensor which the users are going to fall in love with, Pete Lau, CEO and co-found of OnePlus told in an interview with CNET. OnePlus has already revealed a lot about the OnePlus 6T. The company has confirmed that with the OnePlus 6T it is finally ditching the 3.5mm headphone jack. The OnePlus 6T will come bundled with the newly-announced Type-C Bullets earphones which may come with price of Rs 1,490. Leaked images have shown that the OnePlus 6T will come with dual cameras and not three on the rear panel. On the front it will include one camera.Compared to the OnePlus 6, the OnePlus 6T is going to come with a slightly tweaked design. It may look similar to the Oppo R7 Pro and the V11 Pro because just like these two phones, the OnePlus 6T is going to come with water-drop notch. The screen will measure 6.4 inches diagonally, will use AMOLED panel and will have an aspect ratio of 19:9.OnePlus is yet to reveal the launch date of the OnePlus 6T, but indications are that this date is October 17. The OnePlus 6T will be powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 paired with up to 10GB RAM and up to 256GB internal storage. We also expect the OnePlus 6T to ship with Android 9 Pie with the latest version of Oxygen OS on top. Rumours suggest that the phone will be powered by a 3700 mAh battery.advertisementIn India, OnePlus 6T will be available exclusively on Amazon.in with a starting price of around Rs 35,000.Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 ProXiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro has already been launched in Thailand for 6,990 baht, which roughly translates to Rs 15,600. We expect Xiaomi to bring the Redmi Note 6 Pro in India this month, even though right now there is no official word on it. The Redmi Note 6 Pro is a phone with a notch and four cameras.The Redmi Note 6 Pro comes with a bigger display than the one in the Redmi Note 5 Pro. The smartphone packs a 6.26-inch IPS LCD Full HD+ display with an aspect ratio of 19:9 and screen-to-body-ratio of 86 per cent. The smartphone is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 chipset paired with 4GB RAM and 64GB of internal storage. The Note 6 Pro comes packed with a massive 4000mAh battery which Xiaomi claims can last for two full days. For the Redmi Note 6 Pro, Xiaomi has opted for micro USB port instead of USB Type-C port. The Redmi Note 6 Pro comes with four cameras in total, two on the back and the two on the notch in front. The back camera setup uses with a primary sensor of 12-megapixel paired with an f/1.9 lens, and a secondary sensor of 5-megapixel for depth sensing. On the front, the primary camera uses a 20-megapixel sensor paired with f/2.0 lens, and a secondary sensor of 2 megapixels.iPhone XRiPhone XS and iPhone XS Max are already available in India. The third iPhone launched by Apple this year, aka the iPhone XR, will be available in India from October 26 onwards. The iPhone XR comes in three storage models — 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB. The base model with 64GB will sell for Rs 76,900, the 128GB variant will cost Rs 81,900 while the 256GB variant will cost Rs 91,900. The iPhone XR will be available in 5 colours: Black, Yellow, red, blue and white.To recall, the iPhone XR comes with a 6.1-inch screen and uses the same A12 Bionic processor that is also inside the iPhone XS and the iPhone XS Max. The phone comes with the same primary camera setup as found inside the iPhone XS, but lacks that secondary camera. It packs a primary camera with a 12-megapixel sensor with f/1.8 wide angle lens. On the front, the iPhone XR includes a 7-megapixel with f/2.2 lens. It runs the iOS 12.Nokia 7.1 and Nokia 7.1 PlusHMD Global is expected to launch the Nokia 7.1 and the Nokia 7.1 Plus in London on October 4. In India, the phones are expected to launch on October 11. Rumours suggest that the Nokia 7.1 Plus will come with a notch, while the Nokia 7.1 will sport symmetrical bezels.The Nokia 7.1 Plus will sport a 6.1-inch display with 1080 x 2246 pixels resolution and will be powered by an octa-core CPU clocked at 2.2 GHz which could be the Snapdragon 710 chipset. The phone is expected to come in two variants — the base model with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage, while the top-end variant with 6GB RAM and 128GB of internal storage. The Nokia 7.1 Plus is tipped to come with dual cameras on the rear, with a primary camera using a 12MP sensor and secondary camera utilising a 13MP image sensor. On the front, the smartphone will sport a 20MP selfie camera. Both the Nokia 7.1 Plus and the 7.1 are also going to Android One devices.advertisementThe Nokia 7.1 will be a toned down version of the Plus. Rumours suggest that the Nokia 7.1 will come with a 5.84-inch Full HD + IPS LCD display with resolutions of 2244×1080 pixels and aspect ratio of 19:9. The phone will be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 636 chipset paired with 3GB/4GB RAM and 32GB/64GB of internal storage. The newly leaked pictures reveal that the Nokia 7.1 comes with Carl Zeiss cameras on the rear panel and the same is expected in the Plus version too. Image courtesy: Roland QaundtThe price of the Nokia 7.1 is expected to start at 350 euros, which roughly translates to Rs 29,700. This is for the 3GB RAM and 32GB of internal storage model. The 4GB RAM with 64GB storage version of the smartphone is expected to cost under 400 euros, which is roughly around Rs 34,000. In India, however, the price of these two phones is expected to start under Rs 30,000.Xiaomi Mi Mix 3Xiaomi President Lin Bin teased the Mi Mix 3 by posting a picture of it in August. He has also revealed that the Mi Mix 3 will come with a front camera that slides out when needed similar to the camera in the Oppo Find X. Xiaomi is yet to announce the launch date of the Mi Mix 3, but it has confirmed that the phone is coming in October. We expect Xiaomi to bring the Mi Mix 3 to India soon after the phone global launch.Ahead of the launch, a lot has been talked about the Mi Mix 3. Rumours suggest the smartphone will come with a taller display and thinner bezels. We expect the screen of the Mi Mix 3 to be bigger than 6 inches. Unlike the Mi Mix 2, the front camera of the Mi Mix 3 is going to be hidden inside the slider, which is expected to pop out when the camera app is opened. The Mi Mix 3 is expected to come with a 16MP primary camera and 12MP secondary camera on the rear panel. On the front, the phone is said to sport a 5MP camera.The Mi Mix 3 will be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 processor paired with 6GB/8GB RAM and 256GB of internal storage. Rumours also say that the Mii Mix 3 will come with IP68 rating and hence is expected to be water and dust resistant. It is likely to run the latest Android Oreo-based MIUI 10. Rumours suggest that the starting price of the Mi Mix 3 in China could be around 3799 Yuan. In India, the Mi Mix 3 is expected to cost around Rs 40,000. This price is said to be for the 6GB RAM and 256GB storage variant of the phone.Samsung Galaxy A9 ProSamsung has announced “A Galaxy Event” for October 11. The company is yet to reveal what it is launching or what phone it is going to bring that day. But chances are that this phone is going to be the Galaxy A9 Pro. Rumours hint that this Samsung A series phone will come with four cameras. As of now, not much is known about the smartphone, but the launch invite notes that the Galaxy A phone will bring “more ways to express yourself” and will allow users to “capture the fun” which mean that it could be a camera focused smartphone.Honor 8XHuawei sub-brand Honor is launching the Honor 8X in India on October 16 at an event in New Delhi. The smartphone has already been launched in some markets including China, Dubai, UAE and Spain. In China, the Honor 8X has been launched with a starting price of CNY 1,399 for the 4GB RAM/ 64GB storage variant, which roughly translates to Rs 14,900. The price of the top-end 6GB RAM/ 128GB storage model goes up to CNY 1,899 (Rs 20,300 approx). The price of the Honor 8X in India is also expected to be on the same lines.ALSO READ: Realme 2 Pro, Nokia 6.1 Plus, iPhone XS: Best phones to buy in OctoberThe Honor 8X comes with a 6.5-inch full-HD+ display with 1080×2340 pixels resolution and aspect ratio of 19.5:9. It is powered by Huawei-made HiSilicon Kirin 710F SoC paired with 4GB/ 6GB of RAM and 64GB/ 128GB of internal storage. The Honor 8X sports two cameras on the back. The primary camera uses 20-megapixel sensor and the secondary sensor shoots 2MP images. On the front, the smartphone sports a 16MP selfie camera with f/2.0 lens. The smartphone comes with a 3,750mAh battery.last_img read more

Araujo’s injury & other concerns complicate El Tri’s plans

first_imgMexico How Araujo absence, other injuries complicate Osorio’s Mexico World Cup call-up Jon Arnold Click here to see more stories from this author in Los Angeles 05:47 5/25/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Juan Carlos Osorio Mexico Ronaldo Schemidt Mexico World Cup Mexico v Wales Wales Friendlies The manager hoped squad decisions would be behind him at this point but a rash of injuries has caused concern Juan Carlos Osorio spoke to a murder’s row of great managers.Always looking for advice from those who have experienced success in the game he loves, the Mexico manager sought out input from a number of managers who have been here before. This is, after all, the 56-year-old’s first time taking a national team to the World Cup and his previous major tournaments haven’t exactly gone as planned for El Tri.After speaking with Argentine legend and former Chile coach Marcelo Bielsa, ex-Mexico coach Javier Aguirre, World Cup wizard Guus Hiddink, former Barcelona and Netherlands boss Louis van Gaal and current Uruguay manager Oscar Tabarez, the current Mexico boss decided he wanted to give it to everyone straight. No dashed hopes, no unrealistic expectations. Here are the 23 players who are going to Russia. The rest of you, keep training hard and maybe 2022 will be in the cards. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sorry, Cristiano! Pjanic is Juventus’ most important player right now Real life intervened. Osorio said still delivered the news personally to each player, as he hoped,but he ended up naming a 28-man squad to cover for five injury concerns. One of those concerns turned into a full-blown absence with Nestor Araujo heading home to Santos Laguna on Wednesday after his knee injury suffered in March produced lingering effects that will keep him out of the World Cup.Araujo’s injury is a good example of the complications caused by the various injuries Mexico is facing. Without Araujo, it seems logical that Hugo Ayala earns a place in the squad. He does similar things to Araujo with El Tri and largely fits the same profile. It goes deeper, though. Araujo generally plays as a left center back with Santos despite being a right-footed player. Osorio tried him out on the left in January’s friendly against Bosnia and Herzegovina, with Araujo replacing left-footed Oswaldo Alanis at the half.The manager may have been planning to have Araujo as both a first-choice center back on the right side or in a three-man back line but also as back-up in case Hector Moreno goes down with an injury. If he wasn’t already planning to take Alanis in his 23-man squad, the new Getafe signing could see his value boosted thanks to Araujo’s absence.These are the kind of considerations Osorio is making. It’s not a secret, either. While there’s been a minor freak out about a player like Erick Gutierrez making the roster, Osorio explained that the Pachuca midfielder was included because of his ability to play in a similar role to the one Andres Guardado usually plays – an interior midfielder who is comfortable on the left side and can come forward into the attack.Araujo’s absence is bad news, but there also will be players who get fit in time for Mexico and alleviate some of Osorio’s worries. For one, Carlos Salcedo already is back on the field and in form after his shoulder injury in the same March friendly that saw Araujo get injured. On May 14, Osorio said his concerns were Araujo, Diego Reyes, Guardado, Jonathan dos Santos and Giovani dos Santos. Jona returned to the LA Galaxy lineup Monday and went a full 90 minutes, though Gio didn’t travel for the match in Montreal. Guardado had a procedure that was successful with Mexican officials optimistic about his recovery. Reyes’ status is up in the air. Hector Moreno took a knock that also had coaches worried for a while.It has put Mexico in a holding pattern, and made Osorio’s life complicated not only in the face of the biggest tournament of his life but also figuring out what to do during the friendly matches. He will want to all but literally bubble wrap his injured players to make sure there’s not another late complication. That could mean giving time to a player who is not going to Russia, making it difficult for them not to begin the dreaming process Osorio wanted to ward against and tasting disappointment. He also could give minutes to the injured players to make sure they’re match fit and ready to go, though it seems like a risky strategy.Injuries happen to every team, and Mexico is hardly alone in losing a key player to injury ahead of the tournament. Having company doesn’t make things any less miserable, though. The Araujo news was tough to swallow and creates a domino effect for Mexico. The players on Osorio’s list of injury concerns and Mexico’s medical staff will be working hard to make sure there aren’t more moments to suffer through and more excruciating decisions for the coach to make.last_img read more

a month agoArsenal youth chief Mertesacker: Emery has brought different kind of energy

first_imgArsenal youth chief Mertesacker: Emery has brought different kind of energyby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal academy chief Per Mertesacker says manager Unai Emery has re-energised the club.It’s just over 12 months since Arsene Wenger waved goodbye and the north Londoners have taken time to adjust.“Going away from Arsene meant there was a leadership void. It was almost the case that Arsene decided everything,” Mertesacker said.“Now it’s more spread out. We have brought in Edu, two CEOs, plus myself and a new manager.“The club has undergone a ­massive change and everyone still needs to find their feet but Unai is more focused on the first team and the football side. He’s not as involved as Arsene was in strategic issues. There’s a shift in leadership.“He brings a different kind of energy. You could see the shift from Arsene to Unai. It was new. Everyone was energised by a new start.”This isn’t being negative but you could smell that it needed a new start. There was a difference in training. You could see that after having one manager for such a long time there was a positive energy about the place.”With the arrival of Edu as sporting director it has all been very positive. We want to build on that momentum. I feel there’s some momentum building up. You can see energy about the place.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

UN bomb disposal experts to resume clearing explosives in Nepal

10 December 2008The Nepalese army has recommended a resumption of its minefield clearance operation, which it conducts with the assistance of the United Nations Mine Action Team, UN spokesperson Michele Montas told reporters today. Five minefields had been cleared in the Himalayan nation this year before the monsoon season forced a five-month break in the demining process, leaving 48 military minefields as well as a number of fields consisting of improvised explosives still to be swept. Mines in Jaalbhanjyang, laid on a steep hillside to protect a strategic telecommunications tower during the decade-long civil war, have already claimed the life of a 10-year-old boy and injured a deminer. Once the minefields have been cleared, 150 local people will be able to use the land for grazing cattle and have access to the local temple, which is next to the tower. “The Nepalese army understands the need to clear the minefields for both humanitarian reasons, and as required by the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and the Agreement on Monitoring the Management of Arms and Armies,” said UN Mine Action Team Programme Manager in Nepal, Stephen Robinson. The army is developing mine clearance skills and expertise, said Mr. Robinson, adding that it can potentially “apply these skills to benefit the international community by deploying as United Nations deminers in other mine-afflicted countries, such as Sudan.” The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is working with the Ministry of Education to include mine risk education into classroom teaching. read more

Mangala says Sri Lanka needs to repay US 1 billion in January

He said that as per Article 148 of the constitution, “Parliament shall have full control over public finance.”“In the absence of a legitimate Government, a grave situation has now arisen as there is no legal way to meet public expenditure and obligations of the state from 2019. The constitution does not provide for any alternative arrangements for public finance, even with the intervention of the executive envisaged under the limited circumstances of article 150(3) under which the President can only allocate finances for the first 3 months of a new Parliament. Thus, under the current circumstances, from January 1st 2019 until a new Parliament is convened, the spending power of the state ceases to exist,” he said. Samaraweera said that as the Finance Minister (former), he had made allocations to ensure funding until December 31st 2018, however from January 1st 2019, the country will fall into a crisis. (Colombo Gazette) The Speaker having gone through all legal procedures in Parliament has also declared that as per Article 48(2) of the constitution, the purported Prime Minister and his cabinet are illegal, Samaraweera said. Former Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera says Sri Lanka will need to repay US$ 1 billion in January, 2019.He says the money is part of debt taken by the Mahinda Rajapaksa Government in January 2014. Samaraweera said that just nine days prior to the presentation of the 2019 budget, the Sirisena-Rajapaksa “coup” ousting the legitimate and lawful Prime Minister and cabinet has thrown the country and citizens into an unprecedented crisis. read more

UN food agency airlifts emergency provisions into Liberian capital

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today announced the launch of an emergency operation to fly critical aid supplies into the Liberian capital of Monrovia, where hundreds of thousands of people are in desperate need of assistance following two weeks of fighting.The first consignment of high energy biscuits for some 4,000 people arrived in the city on Saturday from Sierra Leone, and the agency plans to fly in more than ten times that amount over the next few days.”This is the first time WFP has been able to move food into Monrovia since the latest fighting erupted and [it] will help us to save the lives of thousands of malnourished people,” said Manuel Aranda da Silva, the agency’s Regional Director for West Africa.The 12 tons of nutritious biscuits will be distributed by WFP and its partners to approximately 100,000 of the most vulnerable people, including thousands of displaced who have set up temporary camps close to the airport. Some of the food will also be sent to area hospitals that are critically short of supplies and to camps for internally displaced people in the interior. Those sites have not received any aid since June.”It is an expensive operation but we have no choice,” said Mr. Aranda da Silva. “People are crying out for food and this is the only way we can get aid into the city at the moment.”Before the fighting, WFP had pre-positioned over 10,000 tons of food in Monrovia, including bulgar wheat, maize meal, lentils and vegetable oil. But the agency hasn’t been able to access those stocks since mid-July when rebels launched their third attack on the capital.In announcing the airlift today, WFP urged the warring parties to agree to the establishment of a secure humanitarian corridor across the frontline so that relief supplies can start moving immediately.”The airlift is only a temporary measure since we cannot fly in enough aid to feed everyone,” Mr. Aranda da Silva warned. “The humanitarian corridor is a matter of life and death for tens of thousands of people in Monrovia.” read more

Nepalese police military and rebels practise torture says UN expert

After speaking with Nepalese Government and military officials, current and former detainees and after examining forensic evidence, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights expert on torture has concluded the police, armed police and the Royal Nepalese Army use torture for such purposes as extracting confessions and obtaining intelligence.At the end of a 10 to 16 September visit to Nepal, at the invitation of the Government, the Commission on Human Rights Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment, Manfred Nowak, said today he received shocking evidence that the Maoist insurgents, who recently declared a ceasefire that he welcomed, also carried out torture and mutilations to extort money, punish non-cooperation and intimidate others.Mr. Nowak expressed hope for a durable solution soon, while acknowledging the dangerous situation prevailing in the country, particularly outside of the capital, Kathmandu.Mr. Novak recognized the Government’s obligation, during the armed conflict, to ensure the security of the country’s inhabitants, but he emphasized that such measures must respect international human rights norms, in particular the absolute prohibition of torture, as contained in the Convention Against Torture that Nepal has ratified.He said the need for the Government to send a clear and unambiguous message against torture and ill-treatment was made clear when he received disturbingly frank admissions by senior police and military officials that torture was acceptable in some instances and was systematically practised.Methods of torture that he came across included beatings with bamboo poles and plastic pipes, kicking with boots, electric shock to the ears, rolling rods over the thighs, jumping on thighs and legs, maintenance of stress positions, being bound to a pole and hanged upside and beaten, especially on the soles of the feet, and prolonged periods of being blindfolded and handcuffed.Again and again, officials would cite the 1996 Torture Compensation Act as an effective deterrent against torture, but it failed to contain a definition of torture in line with the Convention, or to provide for effective remedies, he said. It did not provide for the criminalization of torture or the imposition of commensurate punishments. In addition, since the Act came into force, in only one case to date had victim compensation been paid, despite several decisions to award compensation.The Special Rapporteur said he found that despite constitutional and legal provisions to safeguard the detainee rights, basic requirements were not respected, such as timely access to a lawyer, being brought to a judge within 24 hours of arrest, or getting medical examinations. Detainee registers were poorly kept, if at all.Detention facilities were filthy, overcrowded – sometimes 12 persons in a cell approximately 12 square metres in size – and poorly ventilated, with no provision for leisure activities. “The detention of several 14-year-old boys among adults was seriously disturbing to the Special Rapporteur,” he said.Mr. Nowak, who has been Special Rapporteur since last December, said he would submit a comprehensive written report on the visit to the Commission on Human Rights at its 62nd session next year. read more

Ore commissioning commenced at Yanfolila gold mine

first_imgHummingbird Resources reports that ore commissioning has commenced at the Yanfolila gold mine in Mali. Dan Betts, CEO of Hummingbird, commented: “Ore commissioning represents the final step ahead of first gold production at Yanfolila. Everybody on site is totally focused on a smooth ramp up of the plant as we look to move into the production phase. This is a key transitional moment for Hummingbird, transforming the company from a developer to a producer.  Our first year’s production is expected to be around 130,000 oz of gold, which is projected to generate around $70 million of free cash flow at a $1,250 gold price.”Highlights:Introduction of ore to the mill and the CIL process plant from the run-of-mine (ROM) pad stockpile has commencedFirst gold production expected before the end of DecemberCommercial ramp up during Q1 2018 with a target of delivering circa130,000 oz of gold during the first full year of production.last_img read more

Vending machines Sandwich boards A licence is required for these and more

first_imgHowever, planning consultant David Mulcahy of Irish Planning News explained to TheJournal.ie that this can have wide reaching implications.Sandwich boards like these are a no-no without licensing (Image Credit: Shirokazan via Flickr/Creative Commons)Restaurants require a licence to place tables and chairs outside their stores. In Dublin, the premises must serve food which can be eaten on-site as a requirement for this licence to be approved.Even sandwich boards placed on footpaths require a licence under this legislation.However, the law will vary when it comes to placing these items on private property.Read: Parked mobile advertisements require planning permission, says planning board > THE PRACTICE OF setting up temporary advertising on the back of trailer is set to end following a ruling by An Bord Pleanála.The planning board found that even if placed on private property, it still constituted as advertising.This would change the purpose of the land and so planning permission would be required to erect it.If on public property, such as a public road, a licence would be required — and for many other common items, ranging from vending machines to landscape maps indicating directions.A section of the Planning and Development Act states that a licence is required for all of the following:A hoarding, fence or scaffold,An advertisement structure,A cable, wire or pipeline,A telephone kiosk or pedestal,Any other appliance, apparatus or structure, which may be prescribed as requiring a licence under this section.last_img read more

Juric Happy to have ended Juves 100 run

first_imgGenoa boss Ivan Juric expressed delight at his dream debut after ending the perfect Juventus start saying “We pounced at the right moment.”Juric was brought back to replace Davide Ballardini, who was dismissed from the job following a poor run of games“I am back to doing what I love,” said Juric in his Press conference via Football Italia.“I saw positive things today and we have a big margin for improvement. I also liked the first half, as the team showed patience and pounced at the right moment, although we could’ve played with more quality.Romelu Lukaku, Inter MilanLukaku backed to beat Ronaldo in Serie A scoring charts Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Former Inter Milan star Andy van der Meyde is confident Romelu Lukaku will outscore Cristiano Ronaldo in this season’s Serie A.“The lads had the right spirit and we’ve got the foundations to build on this going forward.”Genoa’s position in the table – considering they have a game in hand to play against Milan – was not that bad, so the decision to fire Ballardini was surprising.“It’s going to be very difficult against Udinese, as they are particularly dangerous away from home on the counter. I have confidence and we’ll be working more on self-belief.”last_img read more

Vancouver mulls fee waivers for large firms

first_imgSome of the same incentives that helped convince Banfield Pet Hospital to move its corporate headquarters from Portland to Vancouver may be made available to other businesses.Proposed changes to Vancouver’s city codes target large employers such as Banfield that offer salaries higher than the local median annual wage.Under the proposed city ordinances, business license surcharge fees would be waived and traffic impact fees would be reduced for companies with 200 or more employees that pay higher-than-median salaries.A public hearing will be 7 p.m. Monday at City Hall, 415 W. Sixth St. The incentives are intended to make the city “more competitive in attracting companies that have a large number of employees and high median wages,” City Manager Eric Holmes wrote in a report to the city council.Chad Eiken, the city’s director of community and economic development, told councilors in May that adding incentives to city ordinances would give his staff more tools when negotiating with prospective business owners.The council has had two workshops on the economic development incentives, and at Monday’s meeting the ordinances were approved to be set for public hearing.last_img read more

Rahul Gandhi discusses JKs political security situation with

first_imgJAMMU: Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday discussed the overall political and security situation in Jammu and Kashmir with the party’s state leadership and asked them to launch an offensive against the BJP for its “failure” on various fronts. Gandhi chaired a meeting of top leaders of J&K in Delhi and discussed the overall political and security situation of the state, a Congress spokesman said. Also Read – National Herald case: Officer bearers of Congress were cheats, Subramanian Swamy tells court Advertise With Us The meeting was attended by top Congress leaders like Gulam Nabi Azad, Ambika Soni, KC Venugopal, AICC secretary in-charge J&K, Dr Shakeel Ahmed, and JKPCC chief G A Mir. The meeting deliberated upon the latest political situation in the wake of the results of the recent Lok Sabha elections and the preparations for the forthcoming assembly elections in the state, which are otherwise due to be held any time, but the state is under President’s rule, which has been extended for another spell of six months, the spokesman said. Also Read – Dehydrated elephant being given treatment Advertise With Us Gandhi asked the party leaders from the state to activate the cadre at various levels to highlight issues of the people and expose the “failures and falsehood” of the BJP. He said the leadership should highlight the issues of people in all three regions of the state with a view to launching an offensive against the BJP for its “failure” on various fronts. Advertise With Us Gandhi also asked to highlight the “failures” of the centre government and the erstwhile coalition government in the state to come up to the expectations of the people on various vital commitments, the spokesman said. The meeting had detailed deliberations on various aspects of the security and political situation and the measures to be taken for the strengthening of the party base in all three regions of the state, he said. The spokesman said the leaders also deliberated on the chain of activities to be undertaken to increase the mass-contact programme of the party in the state.last_img read more

Pastor whose child was shot at Texas church runs for office

first_img Photos of the Week Anti-extremism program won’t stop hate, say Muslims who’ve seen its flaws August 30, 2019 News By: The Associated Press Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,About the authorView All Posts Tagschurch shooting El Paso First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs Frank Pomeroy Texas Top Story,You may also like Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email By: The Associated Press By: The Associated Press Share This! Pete Buttigieg: Religious left is ‘stirring’ August 29, 2019 Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,To view this story, you must be logged in and a current RNS subscriber.Log In or Subscribe. Buttigieg walks fine line in courting religious left August 29, 2019 Share This! The Associated Press,Interfaith group pledges to use religion’s influence to address climate change, … Share This! News Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Share This! Share This! Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email The Associated Press Newslast_img read more

Oculus Rift gives terminally ill cancer patient one last sunny vacation

first_imgThe Oculus Rift and, by all accounts, Sony’s Project Morpheus are impressive devices. Though they’re not the Matrix-style virtual reality sci-fi movies thought we would have by now, they are without-a-doubt the first step toward the development of that kind of technology. Aside from slapping phone screens over our eyes and turning our necks into the right analog stick of a console gamepad or mouse-look of a PC, these preliminary virtual reality headsets can give users a different kind of escape that video games are generally known for providing. For one terminally ill housebound cancer patient, the Oculus Rift provided one last vacation underneath the Tuscan sun.After Roberta Firstenberg was diagnosed with cancer and her treatments failed, she became too weak to even walk around her own yard. Doctors gave her just a few months to live, but she wanted to take one last vacation. Roberta’s granddaughter Priscilla, a games artist, had an idea: if her grandmother couldn’t take a physical vacation, maybe she could take a virtual one. Priscilla wrote to the guys at Oculus VR for help, and received an Oculus Rift in return to help make her grandmother’s dying vacation wish come true.Using the Tuscany Villa demo, Priscilla and the Oculus Rift team helped Roberta experience a sunny vacation. The demo, one of the Rift’s best so far, allows users to explore a two-story Tuscan villa that opens out into a sunny garden overlooking a seaside cliff — but that isn’t where the idea ended.Priscilla brought up the Oculus Rift-compatible version of Google Street View, where you can navigate the service using the Rift’s VR-like interface, essentially walking around a virtual representation of the real world. When Roberta was presented with the idea, she remembered a time when she was healthier and waved to a Google Street View car. Priscilla found the actual shot on Street View, and Roberta was able to walk by her old self. After that, Roberta compiled a list of places she wanted to visit in the same manner, Sadly, Roberta died shortly after and never got to go on her virtual world tour.So, the next time you remember Facebook purchased Oculus VR and are mad that Zuckerberg wants to expand the Rift beyond the gaming space, calm down and remember that this could be the kind of experiences Facebook wants to deliver.last_img read more

Scientists Develop New MRI Tool for Cancer Diagnosis and Therapy

first_imgNews | Oncology Diagnostics | August 24, 2018 Scientists Develop New MRI Tool for Cancer Diagnosis and Therapy European team develops magnetoferritin compound to improve the quality of MRI imaging for oncology diagnostics Related Content News | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | August 06, 2019 Canon Medical Introduces Encore Orian MR Upgrade Program Canon Medical Systems USA Inc. is helping to provide low-cost patient care solutions for its customers with the launch… read more Researchers in the laboratory ‘Biomedical Nanomaterials’ of NUST MISIS. Image courtesy of PR Newsfoto/NUST MISIS.August 24, 2018 — A European research group has developed a system that allows doctors to both improve the accuracy of diagnosing malignant cells and to provide additional opportunities for cancer treatment. The magnetoferritin compound is the main element of the new system. The research article has been published in Advanced Functional Materials.The research team consists of scientists from the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) MISIS (Moscow), the Technical University of Munich, Helmholtz Zentrum München, the University of Duisburg-Essen, and the University of Oldenburg.The lack of accuracy (contrast) in imaging is a common problem of non-invasive diagnosis. Contrast agents, compounds that are introduced into the body before a diagnostic procedure to enhance the response and make affected cells more visible on a tomograph, can be used to solve this problem in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Paramagnetic gadolinium particles and superparamagnetic iron particles are among these agents. However, even in small quantities, these substances — alien to the human body — can potentially be dangerous.”The international research team, including Dr. Ulf Wiedwald, a visiting professor at the NUST MISIS Biomedical Nanomaterials Laboratory, has developed a unique injection diagnosis system based on magnetoferritin. The developed system will significantly improve the quality of MRIs and optical diagnosis,” said Alevtina Chernikova, rector of NUST MISIS.Magnetoferritin is a compound consisting of endogenous human protein (ferritin) and a magnetic nucleus. The development and testing of the compound was conducted following the existing protocol for the synthesis of magnetoferritin, but was improved for the effective capture of tumor cells. The high concentration of magnetoferritin in tumor tissue made it possible to obtain a hypoallergenic contrast agent that is perfectly compatible with the human body.”An intravenous injection of magnetoferritin has been proposed. Then, spreading with the blood flow, [the magnetoferritin] will be captured by the targeted tumor cells. As has been shown in a large number of studies, these cells actively capture transferrin – the protein responsible for the transport of iron in the blood. The same receptors are capable of capturing the magnetoferritin as well. Once they get into the lysosomes of targeted cells, the magnetoferritin will further enhance the contrast signal,” commented Wiedwald.The system will also allow doctors to conduct therapy on tumor formations. If an MRI shows cancerous cells, they can be targeted by an electromagnetic field or light, which will lead to their heating and subsequent death.For more information: www.onlinelibrary.wiley.comReferenceMassner C., Sigmund F., Pettinger S., et al. Genetically Controlled Lysosomal Entrapment of Superparamagnetic Ferritin for Multimodal and Multiscale Imaging and Actuation with Low Tissue Attenuation. Advanced Functional Materials, March 13, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1002/adfm.201706793 FacebookTwitterLinkedInPrint分享 News | Colonoscopy Systems | August 06, 2019 Rise in Early Onset Colorectal Cancer Not Aligned With Screening Trends A new study finds that trends in colonoscopy rates did not fully align with the increase in colorectal cancer (CRC) in… read more News | Mammography | August 14, 2019 Imago Systems Announces Collaboration With Mayo Clinic for Breast Imaging Image visualization company Imago Systems announced it has signed a know-how license with Mayo Clinic. The multi-year… read more Technology | Contrast Media | August 05, 2019 Bracco Receives FDA Approval for Varibar Thin Liquid for Oral Suspension Bracco Diagnostics Inc. announced U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for Varibar Thin Liquid (barium… read more News | Artificial Intelligence | August 13, 2019 Artificial Intelligence Could Yield More Accurate Breast Cancer Diagnoses University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) researchers have developed an artificial intelligence (AI) system that… read more Technology | Interventional Radiology | August 16, 2019 Profound Medical Receives U.S. FDA 510(k) Clearance for Tulsa-Pro Profound Medical Corp. announced it has received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to… read more News | Cardiovascular Ultrasound | August 07, 2019 Contrast Use in First Transthoracic Echocardiogram for Heart Failure Reduces Repeat Testing Heart failure is the fourth most common cause for all admission to U.S. hospitals, and it is the most common reason for… read more News | Neuro Imaging | August 16, 2019 ADHD Medication May Affect Brain Development in Children A drug used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) appears to affect development of the brain’s… read more News | Breast Imaging | August 02, 2019 Volpara to Distribute Screenpoint Medical’s Transpara AI Solution Volpara Solutions and ScreenPoint Medical BV signed an agreement under which Volpara will sell ScreenPoint’s Transpara… read more Technology | Neuro Imaging | August 07, 2019 Synaptive Medical Launches Modus Plan With Automated Tractography Segmentation Synaptive Medical announced the U.S. launch and availability of Modus Plan featuring BrightMatter AutoSeg. This release… read more Images of regions of interest (colored lines) in the white matter skeleton representation. Data from left and right anterior thalamic radiation (ATR) were averaged. Image courtesy of C. Bouziane et al. Image courtesy of Imago Systemslast_img read more

New captain first officer at helm of Cruise New Zealand

first_imgThe new Cruise New Zealand committee The cruise sector is also worth $310.3 million to the economy and accounts for 5,330 jobs. Cruising in New Zealand has recently experienced three major milestones, including New Zealand’s largest cruise season yet, the opening of Auckland’s Shed 10 Cruise Terminal and Cruise New Zealand’s founding Chairperson, Captain Craig Harris stepping down on a high. Captain Harris founded Cruise New Zealand in 1994, with since then, cruise arrivals to New Zealand having grown by more than ten times and today cruise passenger arrivals to New Zealand outnumber arrivals from the UK, New Zealand’s third largest inbound market. The fourth major milestone was announced recently with taking over the helm from Captain Harris at Cruise New Zealand, a new “captain”, Port of Tauranga’s Commercial Manager, Graeme Marshall, with Mr Marshall also supported by “first officer” Kevin O’Sullivan, Environment Southland’s Maritime Manager, as Deputy Chair.last_img read more

Commentary RealWorld Experiments

first_img May 17, 2013 404 Views Commentary: Real-World Experiments Share Economists usually do it with models, so it’s rare in economics to be able to conduct a laboratory experiment. Currently, though, we’re watching two experiments in different corners of the world that support the idea that stimulus works to repair a troubled economy and austerity doesn’t.[IMAGE]Japan and the Eurozone are, through their actions, demonstrating how economies can move in opposite directions with Japan’s stimulus plan succeeding and the eurozone’s austerity program failing.To revive his nation’s dormant economy, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe argued strongly during his election campaign last year for the Bank of Japan to expand the country’s money supply and, once in office, increased government spending. The result for the first quarter was the Japanese economy grew at a 3.5 percent annualized rate, much faster than the 2.7 percent growth rate expected by analysts. If that scenario sounds familiar, we have only to look at the actions of the Federal Reserve–both in lowering the target Fed Funds rate to near zero and then adopting two further “”quantitative easing”” programs. The Fed is now pumping $85 billion a month into the economy through its purchase of agency mortgage-backed securities and its reinvestment of maturing investments into Treasury securities. While first-quarter GDP results here were positive (despite a cutback in government spending) longer-term trends show slower growth as government spending drops.While the Fed’s action did not produce the feared inflation doomsayers predicted, Abe understood that the combination of increased government spending in Japan and the expanded money supply could push up prices with the additional benefit of ending the years of deflation that paralyzed Japan’s economy.The first-quarter results in Japan, while encouraging, still have further to go. Wages in Japan are flat, and other economic indicators have yet to match overall growth, though markets have improved and corporate Japan is forecasting higher profits.Abe’s program is not done. The third leg of his economic stool–structural reforms–could be the most challenging, but over the long run perhaps the most important. Those reforms, among other things, would make Japan’s labor market more flexible and encourage immigration.[COLUMN_BREAK]Half a world away, the eurozone, after preaching and embracing austerity, reported output contracted 0.2 percent in the first quarter, showing the region remains in recession. The results were worse than expected, leaving GDP down 1.0 percent from a year ago. Output has been negative for six consecutive quarters–a recession by anyone’s definition.The only nation in the Eurozone that showed positive results in the quarter was Germany, where GDP grew 0.1 percent for the quarter but was still down 0.3 percent year-over-year.The outlook isn’t bright either. The European Commission forecast annual GDP would drop 0.4 percent for the year and that growth in 2014 would be a meager 1.2 percent. Whether the contraction would cross the Atlantic remains to be seen.While the Fed has brought interest rates down as far as possible in the United States, the European Central Bank (ECB) earlier in May brought its main policy rate to 0.5 percent from 0.75 percent. With the GDP results, the ECB is under increasing pressure to act again when it meets next month.The lessons from across the Atlantic and Pacific seem clear… if Congress and the president read and heed them.The two key housing numbers for the upcoming week will be reports Wednesday on existing-home sales for April and Thursday on new home sales for the same month. Existing-home sales are expected to show improvement, though forecasters are not as optimistic about new home sales. Of the two, the new home sales report is the more significant. (Because the existing-home sales report tracks closings, it really reflects the economy two months ago.) Indeed, forecasts notwithstanding, existing-home sales could show a decline because the pending home sales index two months ago was essentially flat to the prior month. Home sales dipped 0.6 percent in March. Sales in recent months have tracked prices, falling as prices increased. The recent price trend, combined with flat incomes and even flatter rates, suggests analysts and forecasters could be surprised.New home sales improved 1.5 percent in March, but the percentage change can be deceiving. By the numbers, sales rose just 6,000 to an annual rate of 417,000. Sales have increased in five of the last seven months, and the March increase was the weakest since last August. While homebuilders’ optimism increased in the National Association of Home Builder’s latest Housing Market Index, they may have overlooked the link between sales volume and prices, which has been demonstrating the same relationship as existing-home sales._Hear Mark Lieberman on P.O.T.U.S. (SiriusXM 124) on Friday at 6:20 a.m. Eastern._*_Want to write an opinion piece for publication on our site? Send your submission to_* “”MReportEditor@TheMReport.com.””:mailto:MReportEditor@TheMReport.comcenter_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies European Union Existing-Home Sales GDP Home Prices Home Sales Investors Lenders & Servicers Mark Lieberman National Association of Home Builders Pending-Home Sales Service Providers 2013-05-17 Mark Lieberman in Data, Governmentlast_img read more