Category: pzquuulj

Rail ticket scam After nabbing touts now role of insiders under scanner

first_imgNew Delhi: After launching its biggest crackdown on railway ticket agents and touts, the Special Intelligence Branch of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) is now probing the role of insiders involved in the racket which runs into several crores. The RPF has sought details from the commercial department of the railways about the real-time data of e-tickets. However, the crucial data is yet to be shared with the investigating agency. Sources said that once the data relating to the booking of e-tickets and payment channels of various ticket agents across the country are made available, a clearer picture of the nationwide ‘Tatkal’ ticket racket will emerge. When asked about the involvement of insiders, or lower staff in the racket, the Director General RPF, Arun Kumar, said: “It’s a matter of investigation. I cannot share any details at this stage.” Sources said Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has appreciated RPF’s investigation, called Operation Thunder, into the ticket fraud. The Minister has given the go-ahead to initiate action if any insider is involved in the racket. The RPF rounded up more than 405 touts from raids conducted in 205 cities and towns relating to the booking of Tatkal Seva and e-ticketing. During the course of investigation, it was discovered that most of the ticket agents and touts use specific software to fraudulently book e-tickets under Tatkal Seva. The tickets are later sold to passengers at high rates. The RPF and its intelligence branch were gathering evidence related to ticket frauds for the past few months. Sources in the RPF said a software, ‘ANMS/Red Mirchi’, has been seized from Kota, Rajasthan, which was being used to hack into the Tatkal facility offered by the IRCTC, which is now being rectified. According to an official of the RPF, 387 user IDs under which these tickets were booked frequently have been blacklisted and the tickets have been deactivated. RPF has also instructed all zonal railways to continue such raids in their areas to mount pressure on the touts.last_img read more

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SONG OF THE SUMMER 9 CANADIAN CONTENDERS FOR THE SEASONS TOP TUNE

first_img Login/Register With: Advertisement For people in northern countries such as Canada, summer is extra special, our reward for getting through the long, dark winter months.That’s why we throw ourselves into its fleeting months with abandon. We crowd patios, head out on road trips, shed layers of clothing, fill parks and beaches, and take the art of cottaging to a whole new level.And, of course, music is essential to all of it. Facebook Shawn Mendes? Carly Rae Jepson? Justin Bieber? Lights? Whose song will be crowned ‘song of the summer’ for 2019? (Jeff Spicer/Getty Images) Every year, one song emerges from the pack to claim the title of song of the summer. In 2012, Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call me Maybe” wore the crown, so it’s no surprise that two tracks from her recent album, Dedicated, made this year’s list, alongside recent hits from Shawn Mendes, Justin Bieber, Alessia Cara, Lights and others.Below, find our picks for this year’s top Canadian contenders.Which Canadian song is soundtracking your summer? Let us know at @CBCMusic.‘Julien,’ Carly Rae JepsenThe opening moments of Carly Rae Jepsen’s last album, Emotion, are seared into my memory. That bright burst of saxophone on “Run Away With Me” will forever remind me of summer 2015, when I shouted the words to that song at the top of my lungs at every given opportunity. In some ways, Jepsen has gifted us another memorable introduction on her latest release, Dedicated.The album opens with “Julien” and its squelching synth sounds are subtler than its predecessor, but it fits perfectly with the “chill disco” vision she originally had for this album. Whereas “Run Away With Me” was a euphoric declaration of love, “Julien” is about being hung up on a past fling as Jepsen confesses, “Another bad dream where you were running away/ I’m forever haunted by our time.” Sure, it sounds like a bummer, but it also has an incredible way of unearthing butterflies buried deep in the crevices of your heart. This song makes the act of pining feel blissful instead of painful. Whoever your Julien is, Jepsen’s new song spins an old thorn into a blooming fantasy that you can spend all summer getting lost in.— Melody Lau‘If I Can’t Have You,’ Shawn MendesWasting no time, this song hits you with the chorus right off the bat, as if to say, “You may as well learn it now; you know you’ll be singing it all summer.”center_img Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Twitterlast_img read more

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Notley says Kenney rail cancellation plan forgoes jobs leaves oil in ground

CALGARY, Alta. — Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley says the United Conservative Party’s budget plan will leave oil in the ground, limit job creation and cost the province $2.2 billion in royalties.Notley says UCP Leader Jason Kenney needs to account for lost revenue in his budget platform, since he would cancel the government’s plan to get more oil to market by leasing rail cars.Kenney has said the $3.7-billion lease deal doesn’t make financial sense.Notley will get a chance to put her concerns to Kenney directly in the leaders’ debate Thursday.Her campaign team has confirmed she will join three other party leaders in the televised forum.Voters go to the polls on April 16.Notley commented on Kenney’s budget plan Monday while in Calgary on Monday as the election campaign nears its midpoint.Notley told reporters the rail lease deal will move an additional 120,000 barrels a day.“Not only will this investment make a $2.2-billion profit for Albertans, it will help get people back to work,” she said.“It will help us get our production up so we can bring curtailment to an end sooner, and it will do so of course without affecting (rail) shipments of our agricultural goods.”Since the start of the year, Notley’s government has also mandated production cuts in oil for large producers to reduce a widening gap in prices that threatened layoffs or similar drastic industry countermeasures.The Canadian Press read more

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Senior UN official laments lack of progress in IsraeliPalestinian peace process

20 December 2011The realization of a two-State solution for Israelis and Palestinians has not advanced, with violent incidents erupting at a worrying rate over the past month, a senior United Nations official warned today. “As the year draws to a close, the situation on the ground is deteriorating and the path towards peace remains dangerously uncertain,” Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, told the Security Council during a monthly briefing on the situation in the Middle East.“We must not allow these negative dynamics to prevail – too much is at stake. Our challenge remains to assist the parties to overcome them,” he said, citing the need to de-escalate the situation, return to direct talks with serious proposals on borders and security, and to stop provocations.Direct talks stalled in late September last year after Israel refused to extend its freeze on settlement activity in the occupied Palestinian territory. That decision prompted Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to withdraw from direct talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which had only resumed a few weeks earlier after a two-year hiatus.“The realization of the two-State solution has not advanced, eroding hopes and underscoring the urgent need for both sides to engage without further delay into serious substantive negotiations to resolve all permanent status issues,” said Mr. Fernandez-Taranco.The past month witnessed a series of developments that are cause for “continued serious concern,” he said, noting the announcement of several new settlement constructions, the demolition of 57 Palestinian structures in the West Bank, an increase in settler violence, and over 300 Israeli military operations in the West Bank.Gaza and southern Israel again witnessed “a dangerous deterioration” in the security situation, he added. During the reporting period, 45 projectiles were fired from Gaza into Israel, while the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) conducted nine incursions and 13 air strikes.“We condemn in the strongest terms any indiscriminate firing of projectiles towards civilian areas and call on Israel to show maximum restraint,” Mr. Fernandez-Taranco stated.He added that efforts to help the parties resume direct talks continue, including recent meetings by the envoys of the diplomatic Quartet – comprising the UN, European Union, Russia and the United States – and Tony Blair with the parties. The envoys called on the parties to create a conducive environment for restarting talks, and urged both to refrain from provocative actions. “We continue to believe that de-escalation is necessary to facilitate the resumption of direct meaningful engagement between both sides,” said Mr. Fernandez-Taranco.He added that it is encouraging that, at their last meetings with the envoys, both the Israelis and the Palestinians, showed willingness to consider reciprocal actions that may help to reduce tensions. read more

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US to submit resolution backing Sri Lanka

The report by the office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights will be submitted to the UN Human Rights Council during its 30th session in Geneva next month. Biswal said that during her visit to Sri Lanka she had discussed the matter with the TNA and impressed on the need to work with the new government to address the issues.Tom Malinowski, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, said that the international community will continue to keep the spotlight on Sri Lanka, no matter what happens in Geneva.He said the US recognizes the efforts being taken by the Sri Lankan Government to address the human rights issue and will not set a deadline to see results. However, he said that at the same time there are some immediate issues which the Government can address including returning land and releasing political prisoners. Biswal who just concluded a visit to Sri Lanka said that the resolution will be consensual and will be drafted following discussions with the Sri Lankan government once the contents of the report is known. The United States today said that it will be submitting a resolution in support of Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva even as the Council looks to discuss a highly critical report on alleged war crimes committed in the country.US Assistant Secretary of State for Central and South Asia, Nisha Biswal told reporters today that the matter had already been discussed with the international community as there is a need to give the new Sri Lankan government time to address the human rights concerns. The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has been calling for an international independent investigation on alleged war crimes said to have been committed during the final stages of the war between the LTTE and the Sri Lankan military.The US had supported such calls earlier but Biswal said that the new Government has shown promise of addressing the concerns through a domestic mechanism. He also said that in the past, the failure to meet commitments on the human rights issue had undermined confidence in a domestic process.While the new Government is expected to face a challenge to secure confidence in the domestic process, Malinowski said the US will not judge based on promises but on results. (Colombo Gazette)Report by Easwaran Rutnam read more

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Low prices LNG uncertainty add to frustration levels for natural gas producers

Companies mentioned in this article: (TSX:BIR, TSX:PONY, TSX:PMT)Dan Healing, The Canadian Press CALGARY — Greg Kist admits he was burned out when he resigned as president of Pacific NorthWest LNG at the end of 2014, as the Vancouver-based venture led by Malaysian energy giant Petronas advanced its ill-fated mission to build a liquefied natural gas project in B.C.“I needed to decompress,” the 57-year-old gas industry veteran says of his decision to return to his home and family in Alberta.Once hailed as a voracious new consumer of western Canadian natural gas, the nascent LNG industry was staggered by project delays and all but halted by declining global price trends, leading to Petronas cancelling its project in 2017.Meanwhile, Kist went into retirement mode and avoided the natural gas business for the next couple of years.So it’s surprising that Kist now finds himself back in the thick of things as president and CEO of Rockies LNG Partners, a consortium of nine natural gas producers who invited him back with a promise to try again to jumpstart an LNG export project.The hope is that the former college basketball players’ experience in LNG and the natural gas business will help them to move their gas from the oversupplied and underpriced markets of North America to the promised land in Asia.“I think the next six months are critical for us,” Kist said in an interview in the downtown Calgary offices of Birchcliff Energy Ltd., one of the consortium members.The gas producers want to attract partners to build and operate what could be a 12-million-tonne-per-year LNG project to open by 2026, when forecasts suggest LNG demand will exceed supply. That means an investment decision must be made by the end of 2021.Gas industry insiders used to say the solution to low prices is low prices — when prices go down, less is produced and scarcity makes prices go up again.But that hasn’t happened. In March 2013, Canada produced about 14 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas. Six year later, the National Energy Board reports production had increased by 16 per cent to 16.2 billion cf/d, despite no rise in pricing trends.Meanwhile, Canada’s largest gas customer, the U.S., is experiencing a shale gas boom that led to domestic production reaching 109 billion cf/d in March, up 35 per cent compared with 81 billion in the same month in 2013. Near-term prices in the U.S. have recently dropped to three-year lows on a glut of gas.In mid-July, a group of nine Alberta producers — unrelated to Rockies LNG but with some common membership — released an open letter demanding the province support a plan under which royalty credits would be issued to producers who voluntarily cut production to boost low gas prices when supply overwhelms pipeline capacity.Complaints about poor gas prices and interruptions in gas sales due to pipeline outages are common as Calgary-based natural gas producers roll out second-quarter results.Painted Pony Energy Ltd. reported recently it was using some of its own natural gas to replace higher-priced diesel fuel in some well-completion operations, a move it says could save $100,000 per well.Meanwhile, Perpetual Energy Inc. reported shutting down wells producing two per cent of its total output because it was more profitable to buy cheap gas on the market to satisfy its supply contracts.In Western Canada, “dry” gas has become an unloved byproduct as producers continue to drill wells seeking the light petroleum liquids produced with the gas, especially in the Montney formation that underlies the northern Alberta-B.C. border, said Ian Archer, associate director of North American natural gas with IHS Markit.One product in particular, condensate, commands prices in line with U.S. benchmark crude oil because it is needed to dilute oilsands bitumen to allow it to flow in a pipeline. Canada produced 417,000 barrels per day of condensate in March, up from just under 150,000 bpd in March 2013. Meanwhile, it still imports condensate from the U.S.“They’re drilling for condensate and sometimes the volume of condensate is only, say, 20 or 30 per cent of the well (volume), but it’s going to be 40 or 50 per cent of the revenue,” said Archer.“Then they have that 70 per cent gas volume they have to deal with.”There have been more than 20 proposals to build LNG projects on Canada’s West Coast but construction has only begun on one, LNG Canada, and it’s not expected to open until 2023 or 2024.It would take in up to 2.1 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas but most or all of it is expected to come from northern B.C. wells owned by partners in the project.That’s not good enough for the long-suffering members of the Rockies LNG group, said Kist.“If you look back over the history of LNG projects worldwide and certainly in Canada, they’re pretty much controlled by major international entities. Those entities tend to look after their own opportunities, not necessarily the opportunities for the producer groups.” Follow @HealingSlowly on Twitter. read more

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UN mission in Kosovo signs agreement on DNA testing for missing persons

Hans Haekkerup, head of the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), said the ICMP has the technical means and money to start the process. Referring to recent demonstrations by Serbs seeking information about missing persons, the UNMIK chief also stressed that the international community is committed to finding the truth about the missing.Mr. Haekkerup emphasized that UNMIK supported the efforts of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, which is currently investigating the atrocities committed in Kosovo. At the same time, he pointed out that the Albanians and the Serbs who know about the atrocities must provide information to the Tribunal.Meanwhile, the border between Kosovo and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia remained closed, with a UN agency reporting refugee flows in both directions.According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), more than 200 people returned to Skopje from Kosovo on Tuesday and more than 130 left the FYR of Macedonia for Kosovo. The agency has urged all parties to avoid confrontation in a conflict that has already displaced tens of thousands of people. read more

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US economy grew at 31 per cent rate in JulySeptember quarter but

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email WASHINGTON – The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 3.1 per cent over the summer as exports increased, consumers spent more and state and local governments added to growth for the first time in three years. But the economy is likely slowing in the current quarter.The Commerce Department’s third and final estimate Thursday of growth for the July-September quarter was revised up from its previous estimate of a 2.7 per cent annual growth rate.Growth in the third quarter was more than twice the 1.3 per cent growth rate in the April-June quarter. But disruptions from Superstorm Sandy and uncertainty weighing on consumers and businesses from the “fiscal cliff” are likely holding back growth in the October-December quarter. Many analysts predict an annual growth rate of just 1.5 per cent for this quarter.Robert Kavcic, an economist at BMO Capital Markets, said the upward revision to third-quarter growth didn’t change his view that the U.S. economy is slowing in the current quarter to an annual growth rate below 2 per cent. Kavcic said a temporary jump in defence spending and business stockpiling in the July-September period is likely being reversed this quarter.And many economists aren’t expecting much improvement in the January-March quarter. The latest forecast from 48 economists for the National Association of Business Economics is for an annual growth rate of just 1.8 per cent in the first quarter of 2013. Growth at that level is considered too weak to significantly lower the unemployment rate, which was 7.7 per cent in November.But if Congress and the White House reach agreement to avoid the fiscal cliff, growth could accelerate next year, many economists, including Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, have said. The Fed last week said it plans to keep a key interest rate at a record low as long as unemployment remains above 6.5 per cent. And it forecast that unemployment would stay that high until late 2015.The government’s final estimate of a 3.1 per cent growth rate for gross domestic product last quarter is a sharp improvement over its initial estimate of a 2 per cent rate — a figure that it later revised up to 2.7 per cent based on a buildup in business stockpiles.GDP measures the nation’s total output of goods and services — from restaurant meals and haircuts to airplanes and appliances.The further upward revision this month reflected stronger consumer spending, which accounts for about 70 per cent of economic activity. The government said consumer spending grew at an annual rate of 1.6 per cent in the third quarter, above its previous estimate of 1.4 per cent.The Commerce Department also revised up its estimate of spending by state and local governments to show a gain of 0.3 per cent — the first quarterly increase in three years. State and local governments had previously been slashing payrolls and other spending in the aftermath of the Great Recession. Total government spending grew at 3.9 per cent annual rate last quarter, reflecting a surge in defence spending.The economy also got a boost in the third quarter from trade: Exports grew at a faster pace than previously estimated.The NABE forecasting panel has said it expects GDP to grow 2.1 per cent in 2013, little changed from expected 2.2 per cent expansion this year. That would continue the tepid growth that has persisted since the official end of the recession in mid-2009.But the NABE panel said it thinks growth will accelerate later in the year as long as Congress and the administration resolve their debate over taxes and government spending. Doing so would remove the uncertainty that, in part, is holding back spending, many economists say. by Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Press Posted Dec 20, 2012 3:01 pm MDT US economy grew at 3.1 per cent rate in July-September quarter but growth likely slower now read more

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Canadians want to sell iconic crown corporations poll

Canadians want to sell iconic crown corporations: poll. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email A new poll from Abacus Data shows more and more Canadians want to see some of the country’s largest crown corporations sold off to private companies.The survey focuses on the CBC, Via Rail and Canada Post.According to David Coletto, a CEO of Abacus Data, Canadians traditionally have enjoyed and supported these corporations but now many don’t want them being funded from the public purse.“With via rail having higher support for privatisation, around 57 per cent, compared to just under 50 per cent for Canada Post and the CBC,” said Coletto.Compared to a previous poll, the jump in support is as much as 12 per cent.Coletto said Canadians still enjoy the services but recent financial troubles and run-ins with the federal government have changed people’s opinions.Both Via Rail and Canada Post have lost hundreds of millions of dollars in recent years and it costs about a billion dollars to run the CBC.Nearly 2,000 people took part in the survey. by News Staff Posted Jan 30, 2014 10:29 am MDT read more

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Braxton Miller I was just having a little bit of fun rushing

Junior quarterback Braxton Miller (5) runs the ball during a game against Indiana Nov. 23 at Ohio Stadium. OSU won, 42-14.Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorWhether lined up as a quarterback or wide receiver, Ohio State junior quarterback Braxton Miller had no shortage of success running the ball against the Indiana defense in OSU’s 42-14 victory Saturday.“It would be hard for me to say that wasn’t the best he’s ever run that I’ve seen him play,” coach Urban Meyer said of Miller following the victory.On a day senior Carlos Hyde became the first running back to rush for 1,000 yards in a single season on a Meyer-coached team, it was Miller who stole the spotlight.Miller led the Buckeyes with 144 rushing yards on just 13 attempts, the third game in his OSU career in which he averaged more than 11 yards per carry.The quarterback ran for two touchdowns, and neither lacked theatrics.He accentuated his first scoring run, a 37-yard scamper, with a somersault flip into the end zone over the right front pylon.“I was just having a little bit of fun,” Miller said after the game.OSU offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Tom Herman did not find the end of Miller’s touchdown run as enjoyable.“He said he was just having fun out there, and I said, ‘Well, as long, you can have as much fun as you want, just don’t cost your team 15 yards,’” Herman said, who was worried about Miller picking up an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the celebration.Miller’s second touchdown run came on a play Herman named “Jazzy,” which began with Miller lined up on the left side of the field as a wide receiver and redshirt-senior Kenny Guiton in his place at quarterback.Guiton started the play moving left toward Miller, but Miller came right on a reverse and took a pitch from Guiton. From there, Miller looked to pass but continued running forward and toward the right side of the field, capping the play by leaping and extending over a hit from a defender for a five-yard touchdown.“It’s a run/pass option and (the Indiana defense) covered the routes actually really good,” Herman said. “(Miller) has a run/pass option to throw it to (junior tight end Jeff) Heuerman or run it in himself … he did a hell of a job finding the end zone.”Meyer said he was “hoping (Miller) would throw it.”“He’s a great athlete,” Meyer said of Miller. “I’d rather him not do that, but do what he’s got to do. He played really well today.”It was important for the Buckeyes to have success from multiple rushing threats Saturday, as OSU went with a run-heavy game plan on a snowy, windy day at Ohio Stadium.“I went out there in pregame warmups and (the weather) was certainly affecting a lot of the throws,” Herman said. “When Mother Nature tells you ‘Don’t throw the football,’ you better listen to her, because she’s pretty demanding when it comes to that.”Still, on a day the Buckeyes ran the ball 39 times and only had 17 passing attempts, Miller completed 11 passes for 160 yards and two touchdowns.Miller earned praise from Herman for three downfield throws that went for 25 yards or more: a 39-yard touchdown completion to junior wide receiver Devin Smith on a post route across the middle of the end zone, and two deep completions on seam routes by Heuerman for 34 and 25-yard gains.“Three unbelievable throws that stick out,” Herman said.Overall, Miller accounted for more than 64 percent of OSU’s total offense Saturday.Miller’s game was not without its mistakes, though. He had two fumbles, one of which was recovered by Indiana freshman defensive tackle Darius Latham for a takeaway. He also had a pass tipped in the backfield by Hoosiers’ redshirt-sophomore cornerback Michael Hunter and intercepted by redshirt-senior safety Greg Heban.“We got to protect the football better at our position,” Herman said. “I did a poor job of coaching him on that corner blitz that got tipped and intercepted, but the two fumbles from our position are certainly unacceptable.”Overall, however, Herman said Miller has been playing the best football of his OSU career “by far” this season.“(Miller) took a little step back against Illinois, didn’t have his greatest game, but I got asked if that was a cause for concern after that game and I said, ‘As long as it’s not a pattern,’” Herman said. “He prepared really, really well this week and played his you-know-what off, and yeah, I’m proud of him.”Miller only played one series in OSU’s second game against San Diego State and missed the next two games after suffering a sprained MCL in his left knee. In nine games, Miller has completed 67.7 percent of his passing attempts for 1,626 yards, 19 touchdowns and four interceptions, while he has also rushed for 738 yards and five touchdowns.“He’s a freak,” junior defensive tackle Michael Bennett said. “He’s really developed as a passer this year, which was great to see because everyone knows his run threat. But you see him making passes that a lot of people can’t make, and I feel like he’s really starting to develop into that role of an NFL quarterback.”Statistically, Miller’s last two games against Illinois and Indiana have been his lowest passing outputs of the season in terms of yards, with the exception of the San Diego State game, in which he only attempted two passes before leaving with injury. But in those two games, he has rushed for the same combined number of rushing yards, 328, as he had in his first five games back from injury.“Good to see Braxton back out there looking like Braxton,” Hyde said. “I love to watch Braxton running the ball. He’s a very exciting player. Any minute, he can break off that long one or make somebody look silly, and it was exciting to be able to watch him.”Miller will look to continue making big plays, and the Buckeyes (11-0, 7-0) will be looking to extend their school-record win streak to 24, when they travel to Ann Arbor, Mich., to play Michigan (7-4, 3-4) Saturday. Kickoff is set for 12 p.m. read more

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Hot Takedowns NBA MVP Smackdown

FiveThirtyEight More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed Embed Code Welcome to the latest episode of Hot Takedown, FiveThirtyEight’s sports podcast. On this week’s show (Apr. 11, 2017), we’re all about the NBA MVP race. Who should win it? We debate the merits of Stephen Curry, Kawhi Leonard, LeBron James, James Harden and Russell Westbrook.Links to what we discussed:Per an ESPN forecast, Westbrook is leading the MVP race.The Ringer’s Haley O’Shaughnessy writes about Steph Curry’s one-week MVP campaign blitz.FiveThirtyEight is running a weeklong series about all the MVP candidates.Neil Paine makes the case for Kawhi Leonard.Chris Herring makes the case for James Harden.NBA.com’s David Aldridge argues that a vote for LeBron James for MVP is never a mistake.The Ringer’s Paolo Uggetti calls Russell Westbrook an irrational MVP, but the clear choice. read more

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University funds dog walking for students to stop them becoming stressed ahead

Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. “The charity Pets as Therapy often visits us during exam periods so that students can pet the dogs, with the most recent session seeing hundreds of people queueing out the door- so we know this initiative is going to be hugely popular.“We also hope to reduce some of the stigma which still surrounds mental health and raise awareness of the benefits of physical activity for mental wellbeing.”Other welfare initiatives offered by the university include wellbeing advice sessions, resilience and wellbeing workshops, talking therapies, an exercise referral scheme and a student-designed wellbeing app. A university has funded dog walking for students in order to prevent stress during the exam season.The University of East Anglia, in Norwich, received around £12,000 of funding to help improve student well-being through physical activity. Part of this money is going towards pet therapy.Students will be able to go on walks with dogs to Cromer beach and Thetford Forest. The dogs will be lent to the university by academics and members of the public. The university is also in contact with a local dog day care to see if they can lend their animals to the cause.The initiative is funded by the taxpayer through Sport England, which receives money from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, as well as being partially-funded by the National Lottery.Research by UEA academic Professor Andy Jones from the Norwich Medical School suggests that the benefits of dog walking are significant, he said: “Our studies have shown that dog walking helps people to maintain their physical activity levels. In addition it is known that there are a wide range of social and mental health benefits.”Phil Steele, Director of Sport and Commercial Services, added: “Many students live away from their family homes and pets, so having contact with animals can be stress-relieving for them. read more

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Verizon temporarily doubles LTE data caps

first_imgIn a bold move, Verizon is offering a limited-time promo that will double the data caps for LTE users. Starting tomorrow, November 8, Big Red will let both new and existing owners of LTE phones use twice the data that they are typically allotted.The graphic below shows what you can expect during the promotional period, vs. the rest of the time:Why is Verizon doing this? It’s probably no coincidence that AT&T just launched their first LTE phones this past weekend. Perhaps VZW looked at their network capacity and decided that they could afford to be a little more congested for a month or two, in order to lure new customers and keep current ones. AT&T’s LTE plans are slightly cheaper than Verizon’s, but this promotion (temporarily) makes Verizon’s the better value.New customers will automatically be signed up for the promotion, but current customers will need to contact Verizon to take advantage of it. This can be done by either calling customer support, or by visiting My Verizon online. The company has not yet stated when the promo will end.If you’re already the owner of a Verizon 4G phone, like the Droid Bionic or the HTC Thunderbolt, then you will definitely want to get in on this. As long as you’re conscientious of your data usage after the promo ends, then it’s free data with no drawbacks.If you’re a new customer, however, you may want to take this promo with a grain of salt. We wouldn’t recommend making these new limits part of your buying decision. Sure, it’s nice to get some extra data for a month or two (don’t bank on this lasting longer than that). But then that leaves 22 months of your contract with the standard caps.More at PCMaglast_img read more

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BC Mine Developers Defend NearBorder Projects

first_imgWe’ve heard a lot about mines planned for northwest British Columbia, just across Alaska’s border.Southeast tribal, fishing and environmental groups have blasted those plans. Critics say they’ll pollute rivers that cross the border, damaging or destroying salmon and other fish runs.The KSM Prospect is inland from Southeast Alaska. (Courtesy SEACC)But we haven’t heard a lot from mine advocates. Now, we have.Much of the recent focus has been on what’s called the Kerr-Sulphurets-Mitchell or KSMProject, being developed by Seabridge Gold.The site, which also includes copper, is roughly 80 miles east of Wrangell.Critics say it could damage the Unuk River, which flows into the ocean northeast of Ketchikan.Seabridge says that’s not the case. Brent Murphy is the corporation’s vice president of environmental affairs“The concern with minimizing downstream environmental impacts has been the guiding principal behind the whole design of the mining project,” Murphy says.Critics say the KSM could be about the same size as the proposed Pebble Prospect, a controversial mine proposed for Southwest Alaska.They worry about plans for huge, dammed tailing lakes that could leak or break, sending acidic water into nearby streams and rivers.Murphy says they’ll be built in a valley that drains into Canadian, not Alaskan, waters.“The dams will be of a design which has been utilized worldwide. And these dams are extremely stable over the long term,” he says.And what is the estimated life of those dams?“They have to last for the 52 years of operations. And then we will reclaim that and they will last into perpetuity.”Seabridge Gold has been working on the project since 2008. Murphy says even if everything goes its way, operations won’t begin until the 2020.“You don’t build a mine overnight,” says Karina Brino, president of the Mining Association of British Columbia.“There are a series of authorizations and permits from different levels of government that are required. And other than the Red Chris Mine, in the northwest, all the other projects are in exploration stages,” she says.The Red Chris Mine is in the upper watershed of the Stikine River, which ends near Petersburg and Wrangell. It’s owned by Imperial Metals.Another project of concern is the long-closed Tulsequah Chief Mine, which Chieftain Metals Corp is trying to reopen. It’s on a tributary of the Taku River, which ends near Juneau.Critics, including the group Rivers Without Borders, are concerned about silt, acid discharge and dangerous metals.The Mining Association’s Brino says the same is true for her industry.“Our objective is to minimize impact. Our objective is to be stewards of the environment as much as anybody else would want us to be,” she says.So, does the industry care about concerns from this side of the border?“Absolutely,” Brino says. “My expectation would be that there is participation, hopefully meaningful participation, from your side of the border in the review of these projects.”Seabridge Gold official Murphy says his company has consulted with Alaska officials once or twice a year since the project began. They’ve also been brought to the KSM mine site.He says the project needs about 150 permits from the provincial and federal governments.“We will have to do a lot of work in order to gather the information that will be needed to satisfy the … questions from our regulatory authorities,” Murphy says.Seabridge just began a season of exploratory drilling at the site. That will help better define where the minerals are, and how much may be there.last_img read more

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