SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Andy Murray’s agony: ‘It’s so sore I even hate walking the dogs’ TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next UAE finished top of Group A and the pair could be joined in the round of 16 by Bahrain, which beat India 1-0 thanks to a last-gasp penalty and will likely progress as one of the best four third-placed teams.It was a far cry from Thailand’s first match in the tournament, a 4-1 loss to India that led to the firing of coach Milovan Rajevac and the appointment of his assistant, Sirisak Yodyardthai, as interim coach.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine football chiefSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsUAE started strongly and took the lead less than seven minutes in. Ismail Al Hammadi’s attempted chip came back off the crossbar but Ali Mabkhout headed home the rebound.Thailand started to get into the match and leveled four minutes before the break when Thitiphan Puangjan took advantage of panic in the UAE defense to bundle the ball past goalkeeper Khalid Eisa. United Arab Emirates’ forward Ali Mabkhout al Hajeri celebrates with his teammates after scoring during the AFC Asian Cup group A soccer match between United Arab Emirates and Thailand at Al Maktoum Stadium in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates, Monday, Jan. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)AL AIN, United Arab Emirates — Thailand’s decision to change coaches continued to prove to be a masterstroke but there was last-minute heartbreak for India at the Asian Cup on Monday.Thailand drew against host side United Arab Emirates 1-1 to qualify for the next round for the first time since reaching the semifinals in 1972.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? The War Elephants finished second, a point below UAE and above Bahrain thanks to a better head-to-head record, having won the match between them 1-0.Bahrain, which hit the woodwork earlier in the match, was seconds away from going out of the tournament as India managed to fend off wave after wave of attack.However, India captain Pronay Halder brought down Hamed Alshamsan in the penalty area and Jamal Rashed converted in stoppage time to send Bahrain into unbridled joy.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño 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 View comments
New Delhi/Kota/Patna, Jun 21 (PTI) A world record was created in Rajasthan’s Kota today where over a lakh people got together to perform ‘asanas’ while similar energy and zeal was on display at events across states as big-wigs stretched and twisted along with millions of citizens on the 4th International Day of Yoga. The day also had its moments of controversy as BJP ally and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar did not participate in an event, which was inaugurated by Governor Satya Pal Malik and attended by Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi, raising many a political eyebrow. Tennis star Sania Mirza, meanwhile, earned praise from Union Women and Child Minister Maneka Gandhi for doing pre-natal yoga. Mirza, expecting her first child in October, had posted a photo of herself performing an ‘asana’ on Twitter. A major showpiece event of the day was in Kota, otherwise known as a hub of coaching academies for entrance exams. Yog guru Ramdev led the record-breaking yoga session, attended by Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and her ministers, in the presence of two officials from the Guinness World Records. “A total of 1.05 lakh people performed yoga together at RAC ground in Kota. The record was created at 1.05 lakh and the counting of participants was still going on as it was estimated that nearly 2 lakh people were present for the mass yoga camp,” an official said. The previous record was of 55, 524 people performing yoga in Mysore in 2017. Executive officers in India on behalf of the Guinness Book of World Records — Swapneel and Ribika from London — presented the certificate to Raje and Ramdev.advertisement The largest yoga lesson was achieved by Government of Rajasthan, Patanjali Yogpeeth and District Administration at Kota (all India), at Kota, Rajasthan, India on 21 June 2018, the certificate mentioned. The camp started at 5 am and 15 yoga exercises of protocol for world record were performed from 6.30 am to 7 am. A beaming Raje announced the setting up of a yoga center at district headquarters. She also asked Ramdev to set up an Accharayakulam in Kota. As many as 4, 500 inspectors were deputed to keep a close eye over the massive demonstration while drones in the air also tried to keep count of the numbers. In the eastern state of Bihar, the absence of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar from an event turned into a controversy. Both ruling JD(U) and BJP tried to downplay Kumar’s skipping an event which was inaugurated by Governor Malik and had top BJP leaders including Union Law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad present. The JD(U) said Kumar had been practising yoga daily, even before June 21 was declared as the International Day of Yoga by the United Nations, adding “it would be wrong to attach any political meaning to personal decisions”. Prasad and Deputy CM Modi insisted the presence or absence of a public figure at an event must not be politicised. Thousands of people, meanwhile, took part in the International Yoga Day celebrations at the Patliputra Sports Complex in Patna. Speculation was rife that Kumar would take part in the celebrations this year, following his return in August last year to the BJP-led NDA. In New Delhi, Union Minister Maneka Gandhi performed prenatal yoga asanas along with pregnant women and advised them to practice the ancient Indian fitness regime under trained professionals. She was speaking at an event organised at the Natural Childbirth Centre. Tennis ace Mirza came under special praise from the minister after the former posted a picture of herself doing an ‘asana’. “International Day of yoga or any other day, #PreNatalYoga is my way of keeping fit during pregnancy .. whats yours? @MinistryWCD and @ManekaGandhiBJP (sic),” the tennis star posted on Twitter, along with the photo. Gandhi lauded Mirza for following the ancient Indian fitness regime during pregnancy.”Wonderful, Sania!! #PreNatalYoga is indeed an exhilarating way to be fit during pregnancy. @MirzaSania (sic),” the Union women and child development minister tweeted. The International Yoga Day was observed across Haryana and Punjab today, with Union minister Smriti Irani and Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar participating in programmes in Chandigarh and Jhajjar respectively. In Ahmedabad, around 750 differently-abled people joined Chief Minister Vijay Rupani in doing exercises based on the ancient Indian discipline. Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu advocated inclusion of Yoga in school curriculums to “create a healthy nation”. Naidu participated in an event at Mumbai’s Bandra Reclamation Sealink Promenade where Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis was present. “The practice of Yoga is important for positive thoughts. If it is included in the school curriculum it is possible to create a healthy nation. Yoga also helps in relief from stress due to the changing lifestyles,” Naidu said.advertisement Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, in Amravati, said everyone should practice yoga for a complete and healthy life free from stress. The 4th International Yoga Day was celebrated in Sikkim with Chief Minister PawanKumar Chamling leading hundreds of people in performing asanas. In West Bengal, Union Culture minister Mahesh Sharma said Yoga had gone global with its origin rooted in Indian culture. In other states including Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Jharkhand, yoga events saw enthusiastic participation. TEAM ADS ADSADS
zoomImage Courtesy: PIL Singapore-based Pacific International Lines (PIL) returned to profitability in 2017 due to an increase in shipping revenue, container sales and initiatives which improved operational efficiency.The company reported a net profit of USD 119.5 million for the twelve-month period ended December 31, compared to a net loss of USD 251.4 million seen a year earlier.The company’s turnover for the period surged by 32 percent reaching USD 4.04 billion, compared to USD 3.07 billion reported in 2016, mainly driven by an increase in shipping volume, average freight rates and container sales.The group’s container shipping business posted increases in shipping volume and average freight rates of 12% and 9%, year-on-year, respectively. This resulted in a 21.3% growth in the shipping business’ turnover. PIL also implemented initiatives which helped to increase operational efficiencies, with shipping expenses increased by only 9.3% in FY 2017 despite the much larger growth in revenue.PIL informed that it is “encouraged by the recovery” that led to strong financial results, and expects overall market conditions to continue to improve in 2018, driving shipping volume, freight rates and container sales.
ASHCROFT, B.C. – Wildfires have forced thousands from their homes in British Columbia’s central and southern Interior. Here’s a list of some fires that the B.C. Wildfire Service says were highly visible or posed a potential threat to public safety as of Monday afternoon:Prince George Fire CentreTatelkuz Lake: A fire west of Prince George that was out of control and covered an area of 9.5 square kilometres. The fire was caused by lightning and had burned up to the edge of private land.Big Bend Creek: This fire southwest of Prince George was caused by lightning. It was about 9.6 square kilometres in size and classified as out of control.Grizzly Lake: Another fire southwest of Prince George. It was 2.5 kilometres in size and was listed as out of control. The fire was caused by lightning.Sutherland Road: A six-square-kilometre fire, 10 kilometres north of Fort Fraser. It was caused by lightning.Kamloops Fire CentrePrinceton: An evacuation order was in effect because of this 20-square-kilometre fire north of Princeton. The cause of the blaze was under investigation.Ashcroft Reserve: A more than 60-square-kilometre fire near Ashcroft. Poor visibility makes it difficult to determine how many structures have been damaged. The cause of the fire was under investigation and an evacuation order was in effect in Cache Creek and areas to the north.Thuya Lake Road: Evacuation orders and alerts were in effect as a result of this fire, which was four kilometres south of Little Fort. It was just over three square kilometres in size and the cause of the blaze was under investigation.West of Dunn Lake and North of Dunn Lake: The BC Wildfire Service says it responded to two wildfires near Dunn Lake, about three kilometres northeast of Little Fort, that were expected to run together to form one larger fire on Monday. The combined size of the fires was nine square kilometres, although the fire service says poor visibility makes it difficult to determine the perimeter of the fires. The cause of the fire was under investigation. The fire has prompted an evacuation order.Cariboo Fire CentreGustafsen wildfire: A 50-square-kilometre fire fanned with wind Sunday night was threatening the community of 100 Mile House.Dragon Mountain: About 25 kilometres southeast of Quesnel, this fire was about 15 square kilometres in size. The cause of the fire was under investigation.150 Mile House: A 25-square-kilometre fire. Crews have had some success in building containment lines on its west and east flanks. The wildfire service calls it “a dynamic situation,” with a focus on protecting Highway 97 and nearby structures.Hanceville: Numerous fires affecting about 100 square kilometres in the area located about 60 kilometres southwest of Williams Lake. It involved a large area of about 25 kilometres by 40 kilometres. The cause of the fire was under investigation.Soda Creek: One square kilometre in size, located about 25 kilometres northwest of Williams Lake. The cause of the fire was under investigation.Spokin Lake Road: A three-square-kilometre fire, about 20 kilometres east of Williams Lake, that has caused an evacuation order.Wildwood: Crews building containment lines to anchor base of this 20-square-kilometre fire, with efforts on protecting Highway 97 and the community of Wildwood.Coastal Fire CentreHarrison Lake East: Nearly two square kilometres in size, this fire is about 30 kilometres north of Harrison Hot Springs. It was 40-per-cent contained.
EDMONTON — If your holiday plans include downloading an audiobook of Margaret Atwood’s “A Handmaid’s Tale” from a public library collection, or unwinding with an electronic copy of Justin Trudeau’s “Common Ground,” you could be out of luck.Libraries across Canada are running into barriers in accessing both ebooks and digital audiobooks for their patrons.Sharon Day, who chairs an e-content working group for the Canadian Urban Library Council, says major ebook publishers are charging unfair prices and Audible — the company that owns the rights to many digital audiobooks — is declining to share them at all.“Some of the material just isn’t available at all,” Day said, noting that’s especially true for audiobooks.In the case of ebooks, there are restrictive library licensing models in place that are set by the publishers, she said.Each of Canada’s “Big 5” publishers — Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster — subscribe to the so-called one copy, one user model that mirrors a physical lending model. That means the ebook ‘copy’ can only be downloaded on one device at a time.Some of those publishers also have more restrictions. For example, each copy of a Macmillan ebook expires after 52 circulations or two years, whichever comes first, Day said.However, the problem isn’t necessarily the model but the price, she said. While a physical book might cost $22, it can cost the library $100 for a copy of the electronic version.“We face excessively high prices and restrictive models for these ebooks,” she said.The price continues to rise when libraries purchase multiple copies of an ebook — and multiple forms of the same book, including hard and soft covers and audiobooks — in an effort to shorten waitlists.“It’s not a sustainable model. We’re having trouble making sure we have all the content for our customers that they want to see,” Day said.Neither Audible nor the Big 5 publishers could immediately be reached for comment.While demand for ebooks has levelled off in the overall book market, it continues to rise at libraries.Ebooks made up 18 per cent of sales in the first half of 2018, compared with 20 per cent in 2017 and 17 per cent in 2016, figures collected from online and physical retailers by BookNet Canada show. Audiobooks made up four per cent of all reported purchases, up from two per cent in 2017 and three per cent in 2016, BookNet Canada said.Day said that at the Edmonton Public Library, where she is director of branch services and collections, ebook demand is increasing by about 20 per cent per year. And demand for audiobooks at the six biggest libraries in Canada grew by 82 per cent over the past three years, she said.Day said libraries aren’t looking for a handout — just a more fair deal that balances the importance of compensating authors with providing democratic access to the content.“It’s our core mandate to provide universal access to information for everyone in a society,” she said.— By Amy Smart in VancouverThe Canadian Press
San Francisco: Intel has decided to stop developing its line of Compute Cards but it would continue to sell its existing line for the time being and offer support for the current generation of products through 2019. Intel showcased its Compute Card platform early in 2017 as a modular component to be incorporated into a wide variety of devices, which is built to accommodate a system on chip (SoC), memory, storage and wireless connectivity together to provide computing power. Also Read – Swiggy now in 500 Indian cities, targets 100 more this year “Compute Cards were Intel’s vision of modular computing that would allow customers to continually update point of sale systems, all-in-one desktops, laptops and other devices. Pull out one card, replace it with another, and you have a new CPU, plus RAM and storage,” Tom’s Hardware website reported late on Friday. “But with no more cards in development, the dream of upgrading the small, interchangeable computers instead of entire devices, like all-in-ones or laptops, seems to have stalled,” the report added. NexDock — one of Intel’s partners — expressed frustration over the discontinuation of Compute Cards.
Looking for a World Cup favorite? All you really need to know is this: The World Cup gets underway Thursday in Sao Paulo, and it’s really hard to beat Brazil in Brazil.Today we’re launching an interactive that calculates every team’s chances of advancing past the group stage and eventually winning the tournament. The forecasts are based on the Soccer Power Index (SPI), an algorithm I developed in conjunction with ESPN in 2010. SPI has Brazil as the heavy favorite, with a 45 percent chance of winning the World Cup, well ahead of Argentina (13 percent), Germany (11 percent) and Spain (8 percent).1These numbers are as of June 9, 2014. The numbers from Betfair referenced below are as of the evening of June 8.Here’s where I’d insert the punchline about how you didn’t need a computer to tell you that Brazil is the favorite. But some of you apparently did.True, Brazil is the betting favorite to win the World Cup — but perhaps not by as wide a margin as it should be. The team’s price at the betting market Betfair as of early Sunday evening implied that it has about a 23 percent chance of winning the World Cup2The Betfair odds for the 32 teams add up to slightly greater than 100 percent. I’ve prorated each team’s odds so that they equal 100 percent exactly. — only a little better than Argentina (19 percent), Germany (13 percent) and Spain (13 percent).Argentina, Germany and Spain, like Brazil, are wonderful soccer teams. You could perhaps debate which of the four would be favored if the World Cup were played on a hastily constructed soccer pitch somewhere in the middle of the desert.But this World Cup is being played in Brazil. No country has beaten Brazil on its home turf in almost 12 years. Brazil’s last loss at home came in a friendly on Aug. 21, 2002. That game against Paraguay, incidentally, is one the Brazilians may not have been particularly interested in winning. Brazil had won the World Cup in Japan earlier that summer; the Paraguay match was the team’s homecoming. Although Brazil started most of its regulars, by midway through the game it substituted out almost all of its stars.To a find a loss at home in a match that mattered to Brazil — in a World Cup qualifier, or as part of some other tournament — you have to go back to 1975, when Brazil lost the first leg of the Copa América semifinal to Peru. None of the players on Brazil’s current World Cup roster was alive at the time.It may be that the impact of home-field advantage is gradually declining in international soccer. Travel conditions are somewhat better than they were a few decades ago — provided you’re not flying coach, which international soccer stars normally aren’t. Meanwhile, the rise of the international transfer market means that those stars may be playing far from home to begin with. Of the 23 men coach Luiz Felipe Scolari selected for the Brazilian team, all but five play for club teams in Europe. (It’s hard to know for sure, but one imagines that if Pelé were playing today, it might be for Real Madrid or Bayern Munich — not Santos.)Even so, home-field advantage is large in soccer as compared with other sports — especially in transcontinental competition, where travel distances are longer. In World Cups since 1990, a period that includes several hosted by countries that didn’t have winning soccer traditions, home teams have a record of 27 wins, six draws, and six defeats.3These totals count both Japan and South Korea as home teams in 2002. They account for games decided on penalty kicks as wins or losses; some soccer statisticians prefer to record such games as draws. SPI’s estimates of home-field advantage are based on more recent data still — games from late 2006 onward.But Brazil’s edge is not based solely on home-field advantage.The challenge of rating international soccer teamsSuppose we insist on a purist’s approach to rating the teams. First, we look only at relatively recent matches (those since the completion of the previous World Cup in South Africa). Second, we look only at important games, excluding all friendlies. Third, we pay no attention to the scoring margin — wins, losses and draws are all that matter. And fourth, we look only at games against top-flight competition — specifically against other teams that qualified for this year’s World Cup. Each team’s record in such games is as follows4These figures treat games won on penalty kicks as draws.:Our first problem comes with the small sample sizes. Brazil and Germany have played just six of these games in the almost four years since South Africa, for example. But it gets a lot worse. England has played only four. The Netherlands has played only two. Cameroon and Ghana haven’t played any at all. This isn’t a completely useless list. In fact, Brazil, Argentina, Spain and Germany emerge as a reasonably clear top four.The other big problem is that almost all of this play occurred within continents, such as for continental championships and in World Cup qualifying matches. (The Confederations Cup, held in Brazil last year and dominated by the home team, was the major exception.) The United States’ record of five wins, three losses and one draw looks relatively promising, for instance. But all those games were played against the three other North American teams who qualified: Mexico, Honduras and Costa Rica. It’s pretty well established that the U.S. usually gets the better of Costa Rica and Honduras, and can hold its own against Mexico. That doesn’t say much about whether the U.S. can beat Germany, Ghana or Portugal.There simply isn’t much information about how particular national soccer teams play against one another when they have the most on the line, especially in games involving teams from different continents. That’s why they play the World Cup, of course. But that isn’t very helpful in trying to anticipate the tournament’s outcome.A quick introduction to SPII designed SPI to address some of these problems. SPI is a little complex as compared with something like our NCAA basketball projection model. Complexity isn’t necessarily a good thing when it comes to a forecasting model. Among other problems, more complex models may require more computational power (SPI takes a long time to run) and more time to prepare and clean data (SPI requires us to link players between club and international competition, not so easy given the state of soccer data). Also, more complex models may be less transparent and harder to explain. There’s something to be said for a simple model that you know to be flawed, so long as you can point out when and where those flaws are likely to occur.With that said, we’ve been reasonably pleased with SPI’s results in 2010 and since, and it’s less complex in principle than in practice. The principles behind it are as follows:It’s predictive, rather than retrospective. It’s not trying to reward teams for good play — it’s trying to guess who would win in a match played tomorrow.It weights matches on a varying scale of importance based on the composition of lineups. Sometimes even friendly matches are taken quite seriously, such as if a team is playing against a historic rival, or if it badly needs a tune-up before an upcoming tournament. Sometimes even tournament matches are blown off if a team has already clinched its position. Where there is sufficient data to do so, SPI evaluates whether a team has its best lineup in the game by comparing it against the lineups used in the most important matches. We’d know that Brazil wasn’t taking its 2002 friendly against Paraguay all that seriously, for instance, because it pulled all the players who helped it win the World Cup just months earlier.It assigns both offensive and defensive ratings to teams (as some basketball-rating systems like Ken Pomeroy’s do). The offensive and defensive ratings are meant to reflect how many goals a team would score and allow if it played an average international team.5With more than 200 national sides, an average international team is pretty bad — think of a team like Canada that isn’t atrocious but that would rarely qualify for the World Cup. A lower defensive rating is therefore better, while a high offensive rating is good. Soccer is a fluid sport, so offense and defense aren’t easy to separate. Nevertheless, there are some useful reasons to handle things in this way. In particular, we’ve found that SPI defensive ratings have a little more predictive power than offensive ratings in games against elite competition, like most of those matches that will be played in the World Cup. This may reflect the fact that high offensive ratings can result from running up the score against inferior competition. (Among the “big four” teams this year, Germany is notable for having a prolific offense but a back line that sometimes concedes soft goals.)Finally, in addition to rating national teams, SPI uses data from major international club leagues (England, Spain, Germany, Italy and, newly this year, France) and competitions (like the Champions League and the Europa League) to rate their players. This works by assigning a plus-minus rating to each player on the pitch for a given match (see here for much more detail). The plus-minus system isn’t that advanced because the data isn’t either — we basically have to make a lot of inferences from goals, bookings and starting lineups and substitutions. Still, merely knowing that a player is in the starting lineup for FC Barcelona or Chelsea tells you a fair amount about him.Technically speaking, SPI is two rating systems rolled into one: one based solely on a national team’s play, and one that reflects a composite of player ratings for what SPI projects to be a team’s top lineup. Usually the two components are strongly correlated with one another. But there are some minor exceptions. The United States, for instance, would rank something like 15th in the world based solely on our national team’s play, but SPI has us a little lower because American players aren’t accomplishing much in Europe. The contrast would be a team like France — its national team results have been inconsistent, but it always has a lot of talent, which may or may not come together.A tiny bit more housekeeping about SPI and the interactive: First, in addition to an offensive and defensive rating, each team also has an overall SPI rating (for instance, 89.1 for Spain). This reflects what percentage of the possible points a team would accumulate6At three points for a win and one point for a draw. if it played a round-robin against every other national team.This definition is fairly obscure; the more interesting question is about a team’s chances against the others it will actually face in Brazil. These are also listed in the interactive: For instance, the United States has a 38 percent chance of beating Ghana and a 29 percent chance of drawing with it. We’ll be updating the numbers at the conclusion of each match.7These updates will immediately reflect the direct effects of a team’s performance. For instance, if the United States wins against Ghana, its chances of advancing from Group H will be considerably improved. There’s also a secondary or indirect effect — the fact that the U.S. beats Ghana will slightly increase its SPI score, which could further improve its chances in future matches. We’ll be running new simulations at the end of each match but new SPI figures only once per day (they are more computationally intensive than the simulations themselves), generally in the late evening. Thus, you may see a change in a team’s odds from the evening to the next morning even though no new games have been played.Finally, keep in mind that one team’s performance potentially affects the SPI for every other team. If Ghana beats the U.S., for example, that will slightly improve SPI’s estimates of how strong Africa is compared to other continents, and could thereby also improve the odds for teams like Nigeria and Ivory Coast.There’s a lot more detail available on SPI here and here. The main improvement in the model since 2010 is that Alok Pattani and his colleagues at ESPN Stats & Info have put a lot more work into using SPI to predict the results of individual matches, and particularly the distribution of possible final scores. These match projections are calibrated based on the historical results that most resemble the World Cup, i.e. competitive (non-friendly) matches between the top 100 SPI teams. They use something called a diagonal inflated bivariate Poisson regression to estimate the distribution of possible outcomes. The fancy math is necessary because goals scored and goals allowed are used as tiebreakers in qualifying out of World Cup groups, so knowing the chance of a 1-0 win compared to a 2-1 win or a 2-0 win is sometimes important.Travel distance and South America vs. EuropeWe also put a lot of research into evaluating whether travel distance matters (above and beyond home-field advantage). Is it important, for instance, that Uruguay is traveling much less far to Brazil than Russia or Japan is?Our findings were a bit ambiguous. We found, first of all, that east-west distance traveled matters much more than north-south distance. In other words, any geographic advantage may reflect the avoidance of jet lag rather than the mere fact of being close to home. However, we also found that while the travel effect was reasonably significant when evaluated based on all World Cup matches dating back to 1952, it’s been much less significant in competitive matches taken from the era for which SPI has highly detailed data (from late 2006 onward).This may be for the reasons I described above — international travel has probably improved, and the notion of a home country is a little different in a period when most of the best players for Brazil or Argentina now play in Europe anyway. We had a lot of debate about whether to include a “strong” adjustment for east-west distance traveled (one calibrated based on data from 1952 onward), a “weak” adjustment (one based on the much weaker signal from 2006 onward) or not to include it at all, and wound up going with the weak adjustment. The weak adjustment makes little difference — it might reduce the advancement odds for a team like Japan by a couple of percentage points, for instance, but not more than that.You’ll notice that SPI is nevertheless favorably disposed toward the South American teams. It’s not just Brazil — SPI is also slightly higher on teams like Chile, Uruguay and Colombia than other systems are. (The same was true in 2010, when Uruguay and Chile were good bets against the prevailing odds, according to the system.)The South American teams to qualify for this year’s World Cup have compiled 16 wins, 11 losses and 14 draws against European qualifiers in games played since the completion of the last World Cup. All those matches except those in the Confederations Cup were friendlies, so they may not be that informative. Nevertheless, SPI is placing a big bet on the notion that the level of competition between national teams in South America is at least the equal of and perhaps slightly superior to the level of competition between national teams in Europe. Historically at least, the odds have been somewhat in South America’s favor when games are played in this hemisphere. In World Cups in the Americas since 1950, South American teams have 39 wins, 21 losses and 15 draws in games played against teams from Europe.8This particular statistic treats games decided by penalty shootouts as wins or losses rather than draws — I know I’ve been inconsistent about this, as I’ve been drawing data from different sources. Indeed, no European team has ever won a World Cup played in the Americas.A whirlwind tour of the eight groupsOn the off chance that your eyes didn’t glaze over after “diagonal inflated bivariate Poisson regression,” here’s how SPI sees the groups — and the United States’ chance of advancing.Group A: Brazil, Cameroon, Croatia, MexicoThere’s little doubt that Brazil is the class of the group — SPI gives the team a 99.3 percent chance of advancing to the knockout stage — and that Cameroon is the weakest link. Just how weak is an open question given Cameroon’s lack of competitive matches against top-flight teams and a threatened boycott over how much its athletes will be paid. But most likely the second knockout slot will go to Mexico or Croatia.SPI is not fond of either team. It sees Croatia as having the slightly better player talent but Mexico as playing a little better as a unit — despite its struggle to qualify for the World Cup at all. It’s worth mentioning that Mexico’s international record is not so bad outside of this cycle’s World Cup qualification — it dominated the 2011 Gold Cup, for instance.Part of this is about how much to weigh a longer history of results against more recent ones. The SPI view is that a team’s form can vary a lot from competition to competition but not necessarily in a predictable way, and that you should generally err on the side of the team with the better long-term history. Either way, Brazil (and SPI) would really have to blow it to not pass through the group stage with relative ease.Group B: Australia, Chile, Netherlands, SpainThis group — not the one the United States is in — is the “Group of Death,” with three teams ranked in the SPI top 10. That’s unfortunate for Australia, which is the odd team out and has less chance than any other squad of advancing to the knockout stage, according to SPI.Instead the questions are, first, whether the Netherlands or Chile is superior, and second, whether both might be strong enough to deny Spain a place in the knockout stage.SPI’s answer to the first question is Chile — but both teams are hard to rate. Chile has been prone to playing well against weaker competition but not so well against the world’s elite; that could be a sample-size fluke or it could be something real. The Netherlands, meanwhile, played quite miserably in Euro 2012 after advancing to the World Cup final in 2010. That could also be a fluke, but the team is aging, as Robin Van Persie, Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben each recently celebrated their 30th birthdays.Put it like that, and Spain seems safe. But SPI estimates there’s a 20 percent chance that both the Netherlands and Chile play up to the higher end of the range, or they get a lucky bounce, or Australia pulls off a miracle, and Spain fails to advance despite wholly deserving to.Group C: Colombia, Greece, Ivory Coast, JapanThis is one of the weaker groups and sets up nicely for Colombia, which has plenty to recommend it despite playing in its first World Cup since 1998. In contrast to Chile, Colombia has held up reasonably well against the world’s elite: a draw against the Netherlands in the Netherlands and against Argentina in Argentina; a win against Belgium in Belgium. The team also has some questionable results, however, like draws in friendlies against Senegal and Tunisia.But who can challenge Colombia? Greece is just the sort of team that SPI usually isn’t keen on: a mid-tier European squad that lacks elite talent. However, the alternatives are Japan and Ivory Coast, and this does not look like a promising year for teams outside of Europe and South America, who collectively have just a 2.2 percent chance of winning the World Cup. Japan also has as far to travel as any team in the field and is indeed nearly antipodal to Brazil. The better bet is probably Ivory Coast, which is well ahead of both Japan and Greece in the player-ranking component of SPI, but whose captain, Didier Drogba, is now 36 years old. It’s a flawed group of opponents, although Colombia has sometimes lost or drawn against flawed opponents.Group D: Costa Rica, England, Italy, UruguayBetting markets see England, Italy and Uruguay as about equally likely to advance while Costa Rica is in a distant fourth place. SPI, by contrast, has England and Uruguay ahead of Italy and views the group as middling enough that Costa Rica could pull off a huge upset.Both England and Italy rank more highly according to the player-rating component of SPI than based on their play as national teams. This is a common state of affairs for England but less so for Italy, which rarely has among the best offenses in the world but which has normally played more consistent defense. Instead, Italy conceded 10 goals in five matches in the Confederations Cup last year.It also might not matter much in the end. England, Italy and Uruguay are the sort of teams that might be able to entertain championship dreams in a World Cup with more parity, but not in one where they would have to overcome Brazil, Argentina, Germany or Spain at some point.Group E: Ecuador, France, Honduras, SwitzerlandSPI is bearish on most European teams as compared to the consensus. France is one of the closer things to an exception: SPI has it as the seventh-best team in the world, whereas it ranks 12th in the Elo ratings and 17th according to FIFA. (As a side note, the Elo ratings are perfectly reasonable whereas the FIFA ratings are not. FIFA ranked Brazil as just the 22nd-best team in the world a year ago — it has since climbed to third — a proposition about as ridiculous as hoping to host a World Cup in Qatar.) The reason is the player-rating side of SPI. France has arguably as much player talent as any team but Brazil, Germany, Spain or Argentina — but its national team results have been inconsistent for a long while.But France is drawn into a reasonably good group. Switzerland, for some reason, ranks sixth in the world in the FIFA rankings but Elo has it 16th and we have it 21st. Ecuador, which has some credible results against European teams (a draw last month in the Netherlands; a win last year against Portugal) might be the tougher out.Group F: Argentina, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iran, NigeriaIt would be a major upset if Argentina failed to advance to the knockout stage — SPI gives the team a 93 percent chance of doing so, the second-highest total in the field after Brazil. SPI also has Argentina as the second-best team in the world, so that’s no huge surprise, but it has an easier draw than Germany or Spain.Still, Bosnia-Herzegovina, playing in its first World Cup under that flag, is the 13th-best team in the world according to SPI. It’s also one of the most offense-minded teams in the field and not one that will allow opponents to play it safe. For that reason, the first match of the group — between Argentina and Bosnia-Herzegovina on Sunday — could dictate how the rest of the group plays out. Even a loss, however, probably wouldn’t prevent Argentina and Lionel Messi from advancing.Group G: Germany, Ghana, Portugal, United States American coach Jurgen Klinsmann is the anti-Joe Namath: He made news by predicting that the United States wouldn’t win the World Cup, and suggested that the team’s goal instead was to advance to the knockout stage.Statistically speaking, Klinsmann’s assessment is prudent. The U.S., according to SPI, has a 36 percent chance of advancing through Group G, but only a 0.4 percent probability (about 1 chance in 250) of coming home with the World Cup trophy.Every now and then teams defy the odds. The Villanova Wildcats had perhaps only a 1-in-800 chance of winning the NCAA men’s basketball tournament in 1985 based on their play up to that point, and they won. Still, in such a top-heavy World Cup — one where teams like England and Italy are stretching to entertain championship dreams — this probably isn’t the tournament for Cinderella stories.And yet, there may be ever so slightly more pessimism than there ought to be about Klinsmann’s lesser goal of leading the U.S. to the knockout stage. The 36 percent chance SPI gives the United States isn’t great — and it’s fallen some since the World Cup draw was announced in December. But it’s a little higher than the prevailing betting odds, which put the Americans’ chances at about 26 percent.It’s not that SPI takes an especially optimistic view of the U.S. team. The player-rating component of the system hurts it, as I mentioned. While Klinsmann has somewhat deliberately tried to steer the roster toward players who are seeking to gain experience in Europe — and not in MLS — there’s a big difference between playing for Stoke City or Sunderland versus Arsenal or Man U.However, there may be a bit of irrational fear around Ghana. The African teams did little to distinguish themselves in the 2010 World Cup despite a wonderful opportunity in South Africa. They’re hard to peg because they don’t play competitive matches against the rest of the world all that often, but SPI does not have them on the rise this year.Portugal? SPI is more down on the Team of Five than it seems it should be. In SPI’s defense, Portugal was a little underwhelming in World Cup qualifying, drawing twice with Israel and once with Northern Ireland. And the team isn’t deep: While Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the best two or three footballers in the world, Portugal has no other player who clearly belongs in the top 100.Germany? Well, they’re really good. But as an offense-minded squad, the team might be ever so slightly more prone toward letting in a soft goal and drawing (although probably not losing) a game that it shouldn’t. Keep hope alive, America. Group H: Algeria, Belgium, Russia, South KoreaThis is the weakest group in the field by some margin just about any way you slice and dice it. According to SPI, it has both the worst best team (Belgium is dangerous but ranks 11th in the world — every other group has at least one team in the top 10) and the worst worst team (Algeria ranks 65th in the world per SPI, the worst in the 32-team field).The group does provide an opportunity for Belgium to gain a little momentum. It will be important for the Red Devils to win the group outright because the second-place entrant from Group H will face the winner of Group G in the Round of 16 — probably Germany.The biggest threat to Belgium is from Russia. Russia is hard to peg because it doesn’t play highly competitive international matches all that often as a national team, and because the entire roster is drawn from players whose club play is in Russia itself — not one of the leagues that SPI tracks. From what we can tell, however, Russia is a fairly defense-minded team — possibly a prudent approach in a weak group where a draw against Belgium and a 1-0 win against either Algeria or South Korea would do the trick. It’s also a team that, like the U.S., might take some pride in advancing. Russia will host the World Cup in 2018 but has never made it past the group stage.9The Soviet Union didn’t have much World Cup success either, but did finish in fourth place in 1966 and made the quarterfinals on other occasions.
WELL, THAT WASN’T bad viewing for a soggy Thursday night in January, was it?The fruits of four years of filmmaking labour came to our screens tonight with ‘ROG’, the documentary following Ronan O’Gara through the final years of his career.As with any great documentary, it was a revealing insight into the man and that it was almost all in his own words made it even more powerful.Here are just a handful of the moments that grabbed our attention.1. He didn’t discourage anyone stoking up his rivalry with Jonathan SextonEspecially not his kids who, via Skype, tell him “Jonny was wearing your jersey.”2. ‘I didn’t want to know Jonny at first because of what he did’©INPHO/James CrombieNow though, ROG respects him in ‘hindsight’ for yelling in his face. And Sexton has reminded him of a few instances when the boot was on the other foot “over cups of Barry’s Tea”.3. Now he’s chauffeuring the Ireland and Racing number 10 to work4. Being in Paris has made the transition from player to coach easier5. His French is coming on rightly“Donnez ou… Rocket up his hole!”6. But he’s still annoyed about that D2 he got in Leaving Cert EnglishArts it is, then.7. He was often forced to share a toilet bag with Donncha O’Callaghan8. He says Declan Kidney had very little input in tactical preparationsAnd also that Kidney probably “enjoyed picking Jonny Sexton” ahead of him.©INPHO/Dan Sheridan9. Fatigue was the only problem with this kick to win his first Heineken Cup final“I’m fully aware I cost Munster a Heineken Cup title that day.”10. He was a ‘nervous wreck’ on his international debut11. Throughout his career, he spent days ‘sh**ting himself’ and vomiting in the lead up to big gamesBut when ‘the gun was put to his head’, he more often than not came up with the goods. It was only in the last 18 months of his career that he told himself to enjoy what was left of his career.12. He felt like quitting after losing to Toulon in 2010“I want to give up now, to be honest. I don’t want to play rugby anymore”.©INPHO13. ‘I now appreciate there is a role for two guys…’O’Gara says his out-half battle with David Humphreys was much more cordial than his duel with Sexton: ’Hump was always very easy to get on with, a gentleman.’©INPHO14. He was pretty decent at setting goals for himself15. He didn’t see the end comingWhen Kidney told him he would be on the bench for the Scotland game, he was numb simply responded, ‘okay’.But he soon started to question why he had been lined up in the first XV during training that day.16. He still thinks he has 10 minutes in him for Racing this seasonLook out for this guy if Racing Metro are two points down with 10 minutes to go.©INPHO/Dan Sheridan17. ‘The luckiest, proudest young Cork boy to ever wear a green jersey.”All non-INPHO images via RTE One.What did you make of it?Ronan O’Gara on getting dropped by Deccie, that crossfield kick and his Ireland exit‘It was tough’ — Ronan O’Gara on tackling rumours about his marriage and gambling
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Two highly dangerous inmates have escaped from the Greek capital’s maximum security penitentiary overnight.The Albanian brothers who were serving time for multiple theft and robbery convictions had managed to cut the bars to their cells without being noticed and made it out on Wednesday evening (local time).Making their way to a courtyard, the criminal duo used a makeshift hook and rope to climb over the facility’s main wall, without being noticed by surveillance or any guards on shift.Meanwhile, another prisoner has been causing a stir in Greece.Following his fifth furlough in a short time, November 17 terrorist Dimitris Koufodinas made headlines again as he was spotted openly strolling around the downtown Athens area during his six day leave.
QUESTION OF THE DAYIt is important for the public to know that a law has been enacted to constitute a Constitutional Review Commission which will be charged with the responsibility of reviewing the 1997 Constitution and come up with recommendation for constitutional reform or revision.The government has to keep the public informed of developments regarding constitutional reform. Questions are being raised as to whether there will be a new constitution, whether there will be a term limit and whether there will be a second round of voting if the contestants have less than 50 percent of the votes in the first round.These issues require to be addressed to keep the reform agenda on track. Civil society should not be dormant on such issues. These are the issues the media and civil society should take up more vigorously. It is based on such constitutional reforms that electoral reform could follow. We must speed up constitutional reforms so that electoral reform could be speeded up.
Rajamahendravaram: Vijaya Dairy lost its sheen and glory om the last 15 years owing to the lethargy of the government as well as tough competition from private dairies. The dairy, which was the highest milk producer in undivided state, is now desperate for funds and support from the government. Farmers supplying milk to the dairy are expressing concern over the pathetic condition of the cooperative. Also Read – Astrologer refutes charges against him Advertise With Us The main reason for the dairy’s downfall is the less rate being paid to the farmers who are supplying milk compared with private dairies. The private dairies are paying higher amount per a litre of milk and the government is not increasing the for Vijaya Dairy. Because of this, many farmers are supplying the milk to private dairies though they are interested to supply to Vijaya Dairy. Also Read – Jasti bags 16th rank in NEET Super Specialty Entrance Advertise With Us Another reason is after the division of the state, the milk supply to Telangana state was stopped, dealing a major blow to the dairy. Speaking to The Hans India here on Monday, Vijaya Dairy deputy director P Uma Devi said that they were paying Rs 54.60 per litre to the farmers as against the private dairies which are paying Rs 60 to Rs 62 per litre, which is hampering the development of the dairy. Advertise With Us Currently, the dairy is collecting 3,000 litres milk from 900 farmers in East Godavari district and producing only 2,000 litre milk though the dairy has the capacity to produce 25,000 litre a day, along with doodpeda and butter milk. Former chief minister Y S Rajasekhar Reddy sanctioned Rs 65 lakh and started two units in 2005 which sustained the dairy to some extent. Bulk milk chilling centres are working at Kadiyam, Ravulapalem, Ainavalli, Rayavaram, Pedapudi, Karapa and Sankhavaram in the district. The dairy is supplying milk to some residential schools. A farmer M Lakshman of Kadiyam, underlined the need to develop the dairy to its full capacity and the present unit is running because of former Rajasekhar Reddy’s grant of funds. He said the district has three ministers, whom he urged to take steps to bring past glory to the prestigious dairy.
Share This! American cardinal severs ties with Bannon-linked group Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,HAVANA (AP) — Some marble grave covers are broken and tombstones lie on the ground, covered in moss. At some plots, vegetation pokes through the cement cracks.But slowly, the oldest Jewish cemetery in Cuba is beginning to be rehabilitated, along with the memory of many of the island’s early Jewish forebears.The restoration is the result of an initiative by the government-run city historian’s office to spruce up Havana ahead of the 500th anniversary of its founding in November. Across the city, streets are being paved, monuments are being polished and historic sites are being restored.There is also an effort to recover long-forgotten sites — among them the all but neglected Jewish cemetery in the Guanabacoa neighborhood on Havana’s east side.“I feel a very great peace and calmness when I visit the cemetery. … For me it’s like being with my mother, my only sister and my nephew,” said Adela Dworin, president of the Hebrew Board of Cuba, standing beside a grave adorned with small rocks that are used by Jews to pay homage to the dead.The rocks, which are believed to symbolize eternity, lie near inscriptions bearing names of the buried. Many have words of consolation written in Yiddish or Spanish and are adorned with the Star of David.“The people buried here escaped fascism during the war. They’re the founders of the community who bought these lands to make it a cemetery,” said David Prinstein, vice president of the Hebrew board. “It has historical and sentimental value.”For many years, he said, the Jewish community was unable to raise the $200,000 needed to completely overhaul the grounds. Jews in the U.S. contributed to the upkeep of some burial plots, but the cemetery as a whole was largely left to deteriorate.Pilar Vega, an engineer in the historian’s office, told local TV there are about 1,100 grave sites in the cemetery. About 50 have been repaired and 150 more are expected to be cleaned up before the end of this year, she said. She didn’t say whether the entire cemetery would be refurbished or give the total amount spent, though she added that a special room where bodies are ritually washed and dressed according to Jewish burial rites has also been fixed.The restoration effort in Havana comes as Cuba finds itself struggling with a severe economic crisis, which experts have blamed on a combination of a Trump administration trade embargo and the halt of Venezuelan shipments of subsidized fuel that Cuba used to generate electricity and earn hard currency on the open market. The country’s lack of liquidity has now made it difficult to pay creditors and suppliers, resulting in a shortage of basic products like chicken and flour.Over the years, the Jewish community has not been immune to the island’s political ups-and-downs.Many Jewish families left the country after the 1959 revolution, leaving behind their dead in accordance with Jewish custom that prohibits bodies from being exhumed unless they are taken to Israel. Others abandoned religious traditions amid deep secularism that took hold during the first few years of the Castro government, or moved to Israel amid the periodic economic crunches in ensuing decades.“Families leave and many even forget those left here,” lamented Prinstein, who said the cemetery had also been looted throughout the decades of neglect.It was not until the 1990s that Judaism on the island regained strength, partly due to the efforts of José Miller, a noted surgeon who helped Jews scattered throughout Cuba reconnect with their roots at a time when the communist government discouraged religious denominations. Miller, who died in 2006, is buried in a prominent place in the cemetery.Some 1,500 Jews live in Cuba now, most of them elderly.Land in Guanabacoa was bought in 1906 by members of the island’s first Hebrew society, and the cemeterywas inaugurated in 1910 by Jews and their descendants from Central and Eastern Europe, many of whom fled persecution in the period between World Wars I and II.The cemetery also has a 3-meter (10-foot) monument paying tribute to the 6 million Jews who died in the Holocaust. A half-dozen bars of soap that the Nazis made with human fat from the concentration camps are buried nearby.Dworin, who lost nearly her entire family during World War II, said she was a schoolgirl in Cuba when the memorial was inaugurated in 1947. Her parents had left a small town in modern-day Poland before war erupted in 1939, but her grandmother and uncles stayed behind, she said.On a recent day, a group of workers scrubbed tombstones and reconstructed various installations at the cemetery. A paved street was also visible nearby.“We are not the country’s only problem. There are many places that require the attention of the historian’s office, so we are eternally grateful for their interest and friendship to the Jewish people,” Dworin said. Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Andrea Rodriguez By: Andrea Rodriguez Instagram apostasy stirs controversy over Christian ‘influencers’ August 30, 2019 By: Andrea Rodriguez News By: Andrea Rodriguez Share This! Catholicism News • Photos of the Week Photos of the Week August 30, 2019 Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Share This! TagsCuba Havana homepage featured Jewish cemeteries Judaism,You may also like Share This! Andrea Rodriguez,Load Comments,Lebanese town bans Muslims from buying, renting property Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,About the authorView All Posts As Amazon burns, Vatican prepares for summit on region’s faith and sustainabilit … August 30, 2019 Share This!
Vivaldi 2.6 will block abusive advertisement by default by Martin Brinkmann on May 20, 2019 in Internet – 13 commentsVivaldi Technologies is working hard on getting Vivaldi 2.6 out to the browser’s stable channel. The most recent Vivaldi 2.6 snapshot introduces several new features in the browser including one that will block abusive advertisement practices by default.Vivaldi, which is based on Chromium, uses the same blocklist that Google uses for its Chrome web browser.Google started to integrate ad-blocking functionality in Chrome for Android in mid-July 2017 and introduced the functionality in desktop versions of the browser in February 2018.Most ad-blockers make no distinction between different types of advertisement or how it is served. There are some solutions that allow some ads to pass through, AdBlock Plus being the prime example with its acceptable ads initiative, and Google’s implementation follows a similar methodology. Instead of blocking all ads, Google, an advertising company first and foremost, blocks only some ads in Chrome based on certain criteria.On desktop for example, popup ads or auto-playing video ads get blocked, and so is content or advertisement that Google considers abusive.Vivaldi 2.6 and abusive experience protectionsVivaldi 2.6 will block advertisement that is considered abusive. The browser uses Google’s blocklist to make the determination. Google lists the following experiences as abusive at the time of writing:Fake Messages, e.g. warnings or system dialogs.Unexpected click areas, e.g. non-visible page elements.Misleading site behavior, e.g. ads that use play buttons or next arrows.Browser history manipulation, e.g. when sites inject content into the history.Social engineering, e.g. ads that try to steal personal information or try to trick users.Auto redirect, e.g. sites that redirect users without action from the user.Mouse pointer, e.g. content that resembles a clicking mouse pointer to get users to interact with it.Malware or unwanted software, sites that host, promote, or link to malware or unwanted software.Vivaldi’s developers could not just use Google’s implementation because the blocklist that Chrome uses was not provided to the developers in the same way that Chrome uses it. The Vivaldi developers maintain a copy of the blocklist on the Vivaldi servers, and it is that copy that the browser uses to block abusive advertisement experiences.Vivaldi Technologies has no control over the list, however. It is created and maintained by Google. Vivaldi users may disable the new feature in the following way once Vivaldi 2.6 lands:Select Vivaldi Menu > Tools > Settings, or use Alt-P to open the Preferences using the shortcut.Switch to the Privacy section.Remove the checkmark from Block ads on abusive violating sites. This turns the functionality off in the Vivaldi browser.You can download the Vivaldi 2.6 snapshot directly from the Vivaldi website for all supported versions of the web browser.Closing WordsVivaldi protecting users against abusive experiences is a welcome addition. Users who don’t want to be exposed to any ads can still use ad-blockers to block these.Now You: What is your take on the development?SummaryArticle NameVivaldi 2.6 will block abusive advertisement by defaultDescriptionThe upcoming Vivaldi 2.6 web browser will block abusive advertisement practices by default using Google’s abusive experiences blocklist.Author Martin BrinkmannPublisher Ghacks Technology NewsLogo Advertisement
Go back to the enewsletterViking has released a compelling offer on one of its most popular river cruise itineraries – Waterways of The Tsars.The 13-day journey between Moscow and St Petersburg is priced from $7,895 per person in a Deluxe Stateroom, or from $9,395 in a Veranda Stateroom. Guests receive free return flights to Russia and can now also choose between three bonus options: a two-night extension in St Petersburg, the Silver Spirits Beverage Package which covers virtually all drinks on board, or $1,000 shipboard credit per stateroom.The promotion is available on new bookings only, across select sailings from May to October 2019 and must be booked by 31 July 2018, unless sold out prior.“Russia is where Viking started 21 years ago and we firmly believe no one delivers a better experience in this region than Viking,” said General Manager Marketing and Communications, Jane Moggridge.“We’ve had very strong sales for Russia this year for the 2019 season so we expect this offer to sell out fast. If you have any guests interested in Russia now is the time to book.”All Viking river cruises are inclusive of:All onboard mealsPremium wine and beer with lunch and dinnerA free shore excursion in every portUnlimited free Wi-FiTipping and gratuitiesThe free airfare promotion is valid in Australia from Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberraº, Darwinº, Hobartº, Launcestonº, Melbourne and Sydney. In New Zealand from Aucklandº, Christchurchº and Wellingtonº.º – May require an overnight at guests’ own arrangement expense.For enquiries and bookings, call 138 747.Go back to the enewsletter
RelatedTourism heats up after Icelandic Meltdown: 400% increase in Iceland flight searchesTourism heats up after Icelandic Meltdown: 400% increase in Iceland flight searchesDemand for flights to South Africa increasesLarge numbers of football fans are booking flights to South Africa ahead of the country’s hosting of the World Cup next summer.Real Value Resorts: Perception Vs RealityReal Value Resorts: Perception Vs Reality More travellers could be booking flights to Iceland because people no longer think the country is an expensive place to visit.This is according to ABTA – The Travel Association, which believes that the country’s previous reputation as an expensive destination “has turned around”.”I think Iceland’s financial difficulties probably have helped to improve it as a tourist destination,” an ABTA spokesperson said.”Prices certainly have become cheaper in terms of drinks and living because the economy has collapsed.”The spokesperson’s comments come after a study by Icelandic company Eye for Image, which concluded that the nation’s financial difficulties had helped boost its tourist industry.Data from Skyscanner in October revealed that the number of people searching for flights to Reykjavik from the UK increased by 400 percent over a one-year period.Figures from the Office for National Statistics recently revealed that visits by UK residents to Europe decreased by six percent between January and March this year.ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map
Energy Ministers of Cyprus and Greece, Yiorgos Lakkotrypis and Yiannis Maniatis respectively, meet today the EU Commissioner on Energy Union Maros Sefcovic to promote a joint project on a pipeline to transfer natural gas from the Eastern Mediterranean offshore fields to Europe.Israeli Energy Minister Silvan Shalom will not attend the meeting, as scheduled, due to the political situation in Israel.The Ministers have sent a letter requesting a meeting with Sefcovic. The meeting will address the issue of the planned pipeline connecting Israel, Cyprus, Greece with Europe in view of the new call by the European Commission for projects of common interest in the first quarter of 2015.The Ministers are expected to request the approval of the project which emerged from the merger of two separate projects (Cyprus Trans Med pipeline and Greece’s East Med pipeline) and its implementation by the Greek Gas Corporation (DEPA) as a project of common interest (PCI) that will have access to EU funding for technical and feasibility studies.Projects considered as PCIs will be entitled to request funding from the Connecting Europe Facility with a budget of €5,85 billion.Reliable sources have told CNA that only new reserves will be channeled through the pipeline, as Cyprus is in consultation with Egypt for a possible sale of the Aphrodite reservoir (estimated at 4.5 trillion cubic feet) located in block 12 of Cyprus’ EEZ. Egyptian Minister Serif Ismail has said during a Cyprus, Greece and Egypt Energy Ministers meeting that his country could absorb Cyprus’ natural gas reserves.Italy’s ENI is carrying out an exploratory drilling in block 9 with the results expected by January the latest. ENI also has been granted concessions for exploratory drilling in blocs 2 and 3. French TOTAL which has concessions over blocks 10 and 11 will begin exploratory drilling in the second half of 2015.CNAYou May LikeLocksmith of HeartsPhil Collins’s Daughter Is Probably The Most Pretty Woman Ever Existed.Locksmith of HeartsUndoSub Compact SUVs | Search AdsThese SUVs Are The Cream Of The Crop. Research Best New Sub Compact SUVSub Compact SUVs | Search AdsUndoEditorChoice.comIf You See Square Waves In The Ocean Get Out Of The Water ImmediatelyEditorChoice.comUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCruise passenger airlifted to Paphos hospitalUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboola
The decision to acquit Turkish Cypriot daily newspaper Afrika, its publisher and one of its journalists of defaming Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan was a victory in the face of Ankara’s attempt to quash freedom of expression in the north, according to the newspaper’s lawyer Tacan Reynar.“The pressure against freedom of the press and expression is the beginning of a pressure certain people wish to exert on Turkish Cypriots,” he said in an interview with the Cyprus News Agency.The Turkish Cypriot community is in “great danger” he added.Afrika, its publisher Sener Levent and journalist Ali Osman Tabak were acquitted by the Nicosia ‘district court’ in the north on May 16. They had been facing up to five years in prison on charges of insulting and defaming Erdogan after the newspaper published a cartoon showing a Greek statue urinating on Erdogan’s head in December 2017. A few weeks later the offices of Afrika were attacked by an angry mob.Reynar explains that the suits against the newspaper were filed after the attacks of January 22, 2018 which were a result of Afrika being targeted by Erdogan himself.Reynar had presided as a senior judge over a case against six individuals who took part in those attacks and had handed over sentences of between two to six months incarceration. However, when those individuals were released early by a parole board he resigned.He then volunteered to represent Afrika together with Mine Atli.All three cases against Afrika he said were political.It was the first time, Reynar said, that a case was filed over a cartoon.“It was a case against a caricature that Sener Levent found on the internet, as he told the court, from a Greek friend of his on Facebook and he published it on the newspaper.”Reynar said the pressure from Ankara was increasing every day and were not just economic but aimed at curbing freedom of expression and the freedom of press.“This is very dangerous. There is now an intervention on our identity, on the meaning of democracy. They are intervening on who we are,” he said. “That is why I believe that the time has come to wonder who we are and that is why I decided to take part in this struggle. I considered it my duty. I could have stayed out of it, especially after I resigned. But this is a social obligation which I undertook with great zest.”He added that while the significance of the decision might not be immediately clear it was of great importance to the Turkish Cypriot community. You May LikePopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoModernizeIf Your Home Has Old Roofing, Read ThisModernizeUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCypriot tycoon launches ‘Bank of Cannabis’UndoThree arrested in connection with hotel theftsUndoby Taboolaby Taboola
"As far as comparison, Alabama. ” says Avena. Should research animals be named?Thank you.
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