Why are grizzlies dying on Canada’s railway tracks?

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first_img In Canada’s Banff National Park, warning systems to alert bears to approaching trains might reduce deaths. Dan Rafla/Parks Canada BANFF NATIONAL PARK, IN CANADA—Grizzly bear No. 122, a 270-kilogram male aptly nicknamed The Boss, spends a lot of time traveling and eating along the railway that winds through the Canadian Rockies here. Bears have used the tracks since Canada’s first national park was created in 1885, gorging on the buffaloberries that thrive along the right-of-way and the occasional carcass of an elk hit by a train.Nearly 2 decades ago, the behavior turned risky, as trains began striking and killing grizzly bears. The Boss, father of at least five cubs and the biggest bear in the park, was himself struck in November 2010 but managed to survive. Many others weren’t so lucky, with at least17 grizzlies killed by trains since 2000—a major hit to the local population of about 60.“Why would that be?” wonders biologist Colleen Cassady St. Clair of the University of Alberta (UA) in Edmonton, Canada, as she walks along the tracks in a bright orange vest and fluorescent yellow helmet. “Why now? 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In a brace of recent or forthcoming studies, scientists identify culprits ranging from blind curves to spilled grain, and propose steps for making the tracks safer worldwide.Public outcry over the bear deaths spurred Cassady St. Clair and her colleagues to launch a study with officials in Banff National Park after the rail company provided CAD$1 million to start the project. Between 2012 and 2017, she and students and volunteers walked the railway and studied the tracks for clues. They examined the tracks’ curvature and topography; they tested scat to determine what bears were eating; they measured train noise; and they hung remote cameras from trees to record wildlife.As part of the study, a team from Parks Canada captured and fitted 26 grizzly bears with GPS collars—including The Boss, 18 months after he was struck by the train. For 4 years the collars reported locations every 2 hours, yielding about 7500 bear locations. The data showed that only six grizzlies, including The Boss, regularly used the railway, perhaps because he deterred some other bears from using the rails. John E. Marriott/Getty Images Why are grizzlies dying on Canada’s railway tracks?center_img The Boss eats a moose carcass in Banff National Park. By Colette DerworizFeb. 8, 2017 , 11:15 AM The team also evaluated the changing landscape of the past 20 years. For example, the Trans-Canada Highway expanded, bringing fencing and a system of wildlife underpasses and overpasses to allow animals to cross it. That changed the bears’ movements and cut down on the roadkill they scavenged, perhaps spurring them to scavenge more intensively on the tracks.One stretch of track through an underpass for wildlife emerged as a hot spot: an S-shaped curve passing beneath Five Mile Bridge on the highway. At least seven grizzly bears have been hit by westbound trains speeding up on a straightaway that comes out of the curves, and a train crew reported hitting and likely killing an additional two cubs near here last October. “It turned out to be … a killing field,” Cassady St. Clair says.Walk near Five Mile Bridge and you’ll get a hint why bears are dying: The curving tracks and topography tend to muffle trains’ whistles and rumbles. Steep slopes on either side might cause a bear to run straight on the tracks rather than down the hill.At a second hot spot near the Trans-Canada Highway, known as Morant’s Curve, trains killed another three grizzlies. “If we’re right,” Cassady St. Clair says, “mitigating those two sites would have reduced mortality by half in the last 20 years. I find that very hopeful.”Research by the UA team offers ways to make such spots safer. A paper being published this month in Animal Conservation considers the long-suspected culprit: spilled grain from trains carrying Canada’s wheat harvest. The study determined that trains spill 110 metric tons annually on the tracks in the national park—enough to feed 50 adult grizzlies for the year. Food spillage on tracks “is actually a very global issue,” says lead author and postdoc Aditya Gangadharan of UA. “Anthropogenic food leads to risk and can lead to mortalities for a number of species.”That suggests it’s important for the railway to quickly repair leaking train cars, clean up spills, and limit trains from stopping in national parks. Some of these measures are already in place, though critics say the rail company hasn’t gone far enough.Another study offers a way to warn bears of an oncoming train. In a paper in review at Ecological Engineering, Jonathan Backs, a Ph.D. candidate in engineering and biological sciences at UA, came up with an inexpensive device that can detect passing trains and relay a warning by radio. His device includes flashing lights and a dinging sound that alerts wildlife, giving them time to flee. Backs hopes it could be used on railways around the world.Several other papers by Cassady St. Clair’s team, still in review or in process, suggest other strategies. They include new wildlife trails to provide escape routes, clearing vegetation along the railway, and fencing around hot spots.As Cassady St. Clair says, no one step can stop all the track deaths. “There’s a lot more going on than grain,” she says. “Track considerations and topography, other aspects of human use, and a remarkable diversity of smaller factors combine—it’s a kind of perfect storm.”In the meantime, The Boss will be out of hibernation soon and is expected back on the tracks, making some observers uneasy. But Cassady St. Clair expects that he’s a wiser bear now. “He has this firsthand experience. … He’s not going to mess with [trains] again.”last_img read more

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Krueger, Gehring earn Olympic spots at US short track trials

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first_imgView comments After 30 years, Johnlu Koa still doing ‘hard-to-make’ quality breads John-Henry Krueger reacts after winning the men’s 1500-meter during the U.S.Olympic short track speedskating trials Friday, Dec. 15, 2017, in Kearns, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)KEARNS, Utah — John-Henry Krueger qualified for his first Olympic team and Lana Gehring made her second nearly eight years apart at the U.S. short track speedskating trials.Krueger won the second 1,500-meter final after two-time Olympian J.R. Celski crashed with a lap to go on the first night of competition Friday.ADVERTISEMENT Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Malditas save PH from shutout Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims The Fatted Calf and Ayutthaya: New restos worth the drive to Tagaytay Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH 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 Games MRT 7 on track for partial opening in 2021 MOST READ Jordan delivers on promise: 2 Cobra choppers now in PH “I think I hit a block is what my coach told me,” he said. “It’s unfortunate, for sure.”Krueger leads the men’s standings with 1,800 points. Celski is second with 1,328 and Adam Callister third at 1,050.On the women’s side, Gehring is headed to her second Olympics, having won a bronze in the 3,000 relay at the 2010 Vancouver Games. The 27-year-old skater switched to long track for a while before returning to her short track roots.“I can’t be more pleased with my performance,” she said. “To get a double win, that’s very hard.”She leads the women’s standings with 2,000 points. Kristen Santos is second at 1,440 and 2014 Olympian Jessica Kooreman is third at 1,210.ADVERTISEMENT In the first women’s final, Maame Biney crashed with two laps to go and got penalized for taking out 2010 Olympian Katherine Reutter-Adamek. Biney, a 17-year-old born in Ghana, remains a threat to make the Olympic team.In the second women’s final, Gehring, Santos and Reutter-Adamek went down together in the corner. Reutter-Adamek was disqualified for causing the crash and the referees decided to re-skate the race.“I was a little riled up about it because I didn’t like why we fell,” Gehring said. “But it helped me to re-settle a little bit.”Reutter-Adamek saw a hole going into the corner, but Gehring closed it up.“I hate being a skater that causes trouble,” Reutter-Adamek said. “But to watch her win with that type of composure, I mean that’s speedskating at its best. Look how she picked herself back up and won that race. That’s composure.”There was drama in the do-over, too. Kooreman was penalized for kicking her skate across the finish line as Gehring crossed first. Kooreman lost her balance and went sliding across half the rink.“I wanted to go for it at the line,” Kooreman said. “My back foot just came out from under me and they called that kicking out, I guess. It’s dependent on who decides what day they want to call it.”Kooreman said she wasn’t intentionally trying to kick out, which is illegal in the wild and wooly sport. She and Gehring were leaning on each other at the finish line.“Right now, I feel fired up because I’m kind of ticked off,” Kooreman said. Lowry has triple-double as Raptors rout Nets LATEST STORIES “It’s definitely a lot of weight off the shoulders to know that I am on the team now,” Krueger said. “There’s a lot of work to be done. I still have to qualify spots in all the other individual distances, so it’s not time to party yet.”Gehring swept the women’s 1,500 finals, both of which were marred by crashes involving some of the top skaters on the hockey-sized rink in the middle of the big Utah Olympic Oval.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingThe skaters went through the distance’s semifinal and final stages twice, earning points for their finishes in each race.Celski won the first 1,500 final, with Krueger finishing second. In the second final, Krueger won and Ryan Pivirotto finished second. Celski was in third place when he crashed out of the 13 1/2-lap race.last_img read more

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Sony Xperia C4 Dual review: Missing the mark

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first_imgIt is no secret that selfies, for good or bad, are a phenomenon in their own right. Everybody is clicking selfies and in a bid to cash in on this craze every phone maker is launching smartphones that are “selfie” phones. The Xperia C4 Dual is one such phone. It aims to be the perfect ‘selfie’ phone, improving upon the shortcomings of its predecessor, the Xperia C3 Dual, which by the way was a pretty good phone in its own right.One look at its specification sheet and you’ll know this is a huge step up from the Xperia C3 Dual, and it is — without a doubt — in actual usage too. Sadly, the one thing that it claims to be ‘better’ at than its predecessor — which is taking selfies — is something that doesn’t pan out.That said, the Xperia C3 Dual is clearly dated now in 2015 and the Xperia C4 Dual is a befitting successor to it. In fact, it might just be Sony’s best mid-range phone right now, save some glaring issues which we will discuss at length in this review. Design and build quality Sony has built quite a reputation for itself in design consistency. The fact that most of its phones look practically the same is a double-edge sword which may or may not always work for it. Interestingly, in the case of the Xperia C4 Dual it works.The Xperia C4 Dual sticks closely to the design scheme (and build material) of its predecessor — marking its mid-range territory. At the same time, it picks up subtle cues from Sony’s premier Z line-up. Stitch the two together and you get a phone that gives you premium design aesthetics (almost) in a mid-range package. More importantly, you get a phone which is a key improvement over its predecessor, something which is always nice to have.advertisementThe Xperia C4 Dual has the same old rectangular plastic slab of a design, like the Xperia C3 Dual, only now it’s lacking the silver trim around the edges, which looked somewhat cheap and glossy. The Xperia C4 Dual keeps things simple. Some may say it’s bland, but you can’t deny that there’s always an air of grace around simplicity.Sony seems to have used a refined version of plastic on the Xperia C4 Dual which feels closer to the material used on its Z tablets. The plastic back — which is non-removable — has a smooth matte finish and the same material has been used on the sides as well, that gives out the impression of a unibody, but it isn’t.The smooth matte finish and the gentle side curves enhance grip. On the downside, the back is prone to smudges.More importantly, the Xperia C4 Dual is a light phone unlike the OnePlus 2 and the Asus ZenFone 2. It weighs closer to the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S5 and LG G2 (5.1 and 5.2-inchers), but even then the Xperia C4 Dual feels lighter in hand than either of these two phones. It’s also slimmer than the ZenFone 2 and OnePlus 2.Improving its ergonomics further are its reduced bezels. Sony has managed them well, but there’s some room for some more chopping, especially at the top, but we can live with that. The Xperia C4 Dual manages its front real estate better than the flagship Xperia Z3+.Sony has conveniently pushed the microSD card slot on the right — in comparison to the Xperia C3 Dual — and placed it along with the dualSIM slots under one easily removable flap. The silvery metal power button, the volume rocker and the physical camera shutter button stay untouched. Meanwhile, the left side has been left vacant, save the microUSB slot.The Sony Xperia C4 Dual comes with a scratch-resistant glass on the front which is not Corning Gorilla Glass. It also doesn’t come with any water and dust-resistance properties like the closely priced Xperia M4 Aqua. Display The Xperia C4 Dual comes with a 5.5-inch FullHD IPS LCD display with a 1080×1920 pixels resolution and 401 ppi pixel density. Notice anything unusual? Well, this is Sony’s first mid-range phablet to sport a FullHD screen resolution.But are those extra pixels any good, you ask? They most certainly are, to an extent, that the Xperia C4 Dual is also the brightest mid-range phone that Sony has ever made. In fact, the display here is flagship standard by all means.The display is nice and sharp, with well-saturated colours and viewing angles are close to excellent. Adaptive brightness works just the way it should so that there is clear demarcation between peak and low brightness. It gets really bright when it should and vice-versa.advertisementThe Xperia C4 Dual maintains good amount of brightness and adequate viewing angles when you’re out in direct sunlight, so that reading text and watching videos won’t strain your eyes. Software The Xperia C4 Dual runs Android 5.0 Lollipop with Sony’s custom Xperia UI on top. Sony’s take on Android is light and is known to be consistent, which means if you’re coming from a different Sony phone (or even a previous Android version) it won’t take you long to get familiar with things.Although it makes it a point to repaint almost all widgets and animations Sony style, mostly the Xperia UI sticks close to stock Android. It is also one of the few UIs out there which gives you a transparent app drawer. Sony’s app switcher gives you access to a number of ‘small apps’. These are basically app shortcuts that open up as mini windows on the home screen for quick access. Of these, Active Clip is kind of fun to use. It lets you instantly take screenshots of any page or screen you’re on and then edit and share them at the same time.Think of small apps as small multi-windows that you can use simultaneously. Although there isn’t a fixed number of apps that you can open this way, your screen will obviously start getting crowded — and less useful — when you have too many apps opened. Performance The Xperia C4 Dual is powered by a 1.7GHz octa-core MediaTekMT6752 with Mali-T760MP2 GPU and 2GB RAM.On paper, it looks grossly underpowered than rivals in this price range, like the OnePlus 2, Asus ZenFone 2, Samsung Galaxy S5 and LG G2, but specifications only tell half the story. In actual usage, the Xperia C4 Dual with its mid-range MediaTekMT6752 processor fairs pretty well and holds its ground, unless you’re looking for lightning speeds. The Xperia C4 Dual shouldn’t be your first choice if you’re looking for a fast phone.Stick to the basics, and it will keep you happy, and satisfied. By basics we mean, general web browsing (on Chrome), playing/streaming multimedia content, clicking few pictures every now and then, and playing a few basic games. By basic we mean, you will be able to do all this — and probably more — but don’t expect razor sharp multi-tasking from it. The more apps you open in the background the slower it gets.The Xperia C4 Dual suffers most at GPU-dependant tasks, especially while playing graphics intensive games. This means while you will be able to play games like Asphalt 8 on it, don’t expect buttery smooth performance, and while you’re at it make sure graphics settings are set to low. On the plus side, it doesn’t get alarmingly hot unless you’re out pushing it.It gives you 16GB of internal memory of which about 11.09GB is available for use and supports expandable storage of up to 128GB via microSD.advertisementThe single speaker vent located on the lower end of the back gives out good audio output, if not the best.Phone calls made with the Xperia C4 Aqua are of acceptable quality and we did not witness any call drop instances with our review unit. That said, the earpiece output while on call is poor, even while you’re in a crowd-free zone.The device supports 4G LTE (1800/2300 MHz bands) on both SIMs. Camera The Xperia C4 sports a 13-megapixel camera on the rear with autofocus and LED flash. The headlining feature of the phone is the 5-megapixel selfie camera on the front that is assisted by an LED flash.Although Sony goes about offering its sensors to other phone companies — for money, of course — it hasn’t been able to restore a sane balance of camera tech in its own phones off late. While rivals are doing some pretty amazing things using its camera tech, the same cannot be said about Sony.Sony’s ill fortune — on camera front — continues with the Xperia C4 Dual as the rear camera produces forgettable photos and when you consider competition — OnePlus 2, Galaxy A8 et al — it makes you wonder what Sony was thinking while designing the C4 Dual.There’s a general air of inconsistency about the rear camera, even in well-lit situations, which is disappointing. The rear camera shoots rather average-looking photos in such situations, perhaps to capture more detail. In doing so, the images end up looking dull with a hint of noise. The camera suffers in direct light, as overexposure results in blown up highlights.The similar inconsistence performance is repeated in low light situations. The rear shooter gives you Sony’s proprietary Superior Auto Mode and a Manual Mode. The Manual Mode gives you better control over your photos, with a marked difference — read, improvement — as opposed to Auto.The front camera is the more talked about aspect of this phone. While it is good (better than the rear camera as it is more consistent), it’s still not the best. Images shot in good light pack in enough detail but there is some noise. Images clicked in tricky light end up being soft and grainy. The LED flash helps salvage some pride, and generally doesn’t wash out colours, which is nice.The Xperia C4 does not support 4K video and slow-motion video recording.Check the following image samples to get an idea of the Sony Xperia C4 Dual Camera performance: Sample 1 , Sample 2 , Sample 3 , Sample 4 , Sample 5 , Sample 6 , Sample 7 , Sample 8 , Sample 9 , Sample 10 .  Battery The Xperia C4 Dual uses a 2,600mAh battery. Battery life on the phone is disappointing, especially if you’re planning to watch too many movies on it. A three hour and forty five minute 1080p video set at max volume reduced the battery level from 100% to an alarming 29%. Although we had Wi-Fi and location data on — throughout — the discharge is still not justifiable.Most users with more typical workload will be able to get close to 12 hours out of the device, but that’s all that you’ll be getting out of it.  On the plus side, the phone has pretty amazing standby and looses negligible charge when you keep it untouched overnight.Should you buy it? The Sony Xperia C4 Dual is an average phone. Although, it is a step up from its predecessor, and comes with hardware that to an extent gels well with the times, it appears grossly underpowered when you look at rivals. We really liked its display, it is top notch yes; but the Galaxy A8 is better.Also Read: Samsung Galaxy A8 review It can do your basics right, but leaves you asking for more if you’re looking for raw power. The OnePlus 2, ZenFone 2, even the Motorola Moto X Play are faster options.Also Read: Motorola Moto X Play review The camera is average at best and there’s nothing out of the ordinary about the selfie cam. If you’re looking for a better rear camera, the OnePlus 2 and Moto X play are perfect. As for taking good selfies, the ZenFone Selfie has that covered for you.Even if we were to overlook the above aspects, the battery life on this one is downright disappointing, something which cannot be overlooked.Also Read: OnePlus 2 review The mid-range segment is filled to the brim with some pretty amazing phones. The Sony Xperia C4 Dual with price of Rs.22,999 is unfortunately not one of them.last_img read more

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2nd Test: Burns, Khawaja centuries power Australia on day one

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first_imgJoe Burns and Usman Khawaja brought up their centuries in the space of three deliveries after tea Saturday as Australia finished the opening day of the second Test against the West Indies on a dominant 345 for 3.Five overs into the evening session, Burns repaid the selectors’ decision to retain him as David Warner’s opening partner when he guided a short Jomel Warrican delivery through point for three runs. He raised his bat to the crowd of more than 50,000 fans at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.Two balls later, Khawaja – returning after missing the last two Tests with a left hamstring injury – made the most of a misfield at square leg to snatch a single and complete his third century from three Tests.Steven Smith was unbeaten on 32 at stumps with Adam Voges on 10. Burns had been regarded as a prime candidate to make way for the return of Khawaja from injury, but selectors stuck with him and instead demoted the unlucky Shaun Marsh.He was the quiet partner as David Warner provided a trademark rapid start for Australia, which was sent in to bat as West Indies captain Jason Holder hoped his bowlers could exploit moisture in the surface from rain that delayed the start of play by an hour.Warner stroked five boundaries in the first three overs and scored 23 off 12 balls before skying a short-pitched Jerome Taylor delivery to Marlon Samuels at extra-cover.Burns and Khawaja shared a 258-run partnership – the highest 2nd wicket stand at the MCG for 46 years. After working cautiously up to the lunch break, Burns and Khawaja batted more expansively from then on, confidently playing shots and taking advantage of some lackluster West Indies fielding to keep the runs flowing.advertisementThe West Indies missed an opportunity to remove Khawaja early in his innings, but the chance was dropped at gully off Taylor with the batsman on 23. The big second-wicket stand ended when Burns was stumped on 128 coming forward to a Kraigg Braithwaite (1 for 31) arm ball that went past the outside edge. Burns hit 16 fours and a six in his 330-ball knock.Holder decided to take the second new ball 10 overs before stumps and the decision soon paid dividends when Khawaja was caught behind down the leg side off Taylor (2 for 83) for 144. He was lucky not to have been out two overs earlier when he was dropped by Samuels at cover.Khawaja’s inclusion came at the expense of Shaun Marsh, who scored 182 runs in the opening Test at Hobart, which Australia won by an innings and 212 runs.last_img read more

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World Cup 2018: On night of penalty shootouts, goalkeepers turn superheroes

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first_imgThe goalkeepers from Croatia and Denmark had to take centre stage on Sunday even as 120 minutes of intense football failed to produce a result in the fourth round of 16 clash between Croatia and Denmark at the FIFA World Cup 2018 on Sunday night.Croatia and Denmark’s fates rested on Danijel Subasic and Kasper Schmeichel’s shoulders respectively after the match finished 1-1 in regulation time.Two chaotic goals in the opening four minutes made for a rollicking start at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium. However, it proved a false dawn as the spectacle faded with both sides choosing caution as their priority given the rare chance to reach the last eight at a World Cup.World Cup 2018: Denmark goalkeeper gutted after shootout heroics go in vainWhat transpired in the final fifteen odd minutes of the game will probably go down in history as one of the best and most dramatic penalty shootouts ever witnessed in a World Cup match.2018 FIFA WORLD CUP: FULL COVERAGESubasic tipped the first penalty of the shootout from Denmark midfielder Christian Eriksen onto the post. He then dived to his right to save an attempt from substitute Lasse Schone. Finally, he used his feet to block Nicolai Jorgensen’s attempt.Only one keeper has saved 3 penalties in a shoot-out before Danijel SubasicIt happened exactly on this day in 2006 – approximately 12 years & 3 hours ago, when Ricardo helped #POR knock out #ENGWith Schmeichel also saving 3 today, 1 July is clearly a day for keepers!#CRODEN pic.twitter.com/sAVJewO2yPadvertisementFIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) July 1, 2018″He was a hero tonight,” Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic said. “He saved three penalties in a shootout. You don’t see that every day.”Croatia in quarter-finals after second penalty shootout dramaSubasic became only the second goalkeeper to save three penalties in a shootout at the World Cup, matching the feat of Portugal keeper Ricardo against England in 2006.Kasper, son of the legendary goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel, had already saved a penalty in the 116th minute from Luka Modric to keep Denmark in the contest and take the match into the penalty shootouts.Clearly this game was destined to store all it’s drama in the first and last five minutes…For the second time tonight, a game will be decided from 12 yards #CRODEN pic.twitter.com/FMfhIiamZFFIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) July 1, 2018HIGHLIGHTSWith his father cheering from the stands, Kasper stepped up and went to his right to save Milan Badelj’s low shot with his legs. He then conceded two goals before diving to his right to save Josep Pivaric’s shot.It was only in the sudden death that Subasic managed to save the shot from Nicolai Jorgensen while Kasper conceded against Ivan Rakitic triggering massive celebrations in the Croatian camp. Ivan Rakitic scored in the sudden death to take Croatia through to the quarter-finals of the FIFA World Cup 2018 where they will face Russia (Reuters Photo)Speaking after the match, a disappointed Schmeichel said: “It is a strange feeling. There is enormous disappointment but also huge pride in our performance. We had the opportunity and I think we were the better team in the second half. It is hard to put all the emotions into words at the moment.”Subasic’s three saves and Schmeichel’s two made it the most combined saves in a World Cup shootout.In the end as one goalkeeper leapt with joy the other fell on his knees. Denmark coach Age Hareide perhaps summed up Kasper’s performance in the best possible way.”I am so sorry for Kasper and the whole team. That’s just the brutality of football,” a distraught Hareide concluded.It was also the second successive match which went into penalties as Russia knocked out 2010 champions Spain in a dramatic shootout just hours before in Moscow.The match finished 1-1 in normal and extra-time which meant David de Gea (ESP) and Igor Akinfeev (RUS) had to carry the fate of their respective teams in the shootout.Akinfeev saved two shots during the shootout, while all of his teammates scored to give Russia a 4-3 advantage after a draw that was dominated by Spain in every way but the 1-1 score.De Gea, the Manchester United star and labelled as one of the best goalkeepers in the world, failed to stop a single shot as the Russians converted four penalties before Akinfeev used his foot to get the victory. World Cup 2018: Russia’s Igor Akinfeev saves a penalty from Spain’s Iago Aspas during the shootout (Reuters Photo)Iago Aspas (ESP), who had replaced Diego Costa in the second half, sent a left-footed shot into the middle of the goal as Akinfeev dived to his right. The Russia goalkeeper stretched every part of his body out into a star shape and dived to his right to flick out his left foot and kick the ball high away from danger.advertisementAkinfeev’s foot kept Russia’s party going Sunday night, ended the international career of one of Spain’s biggest stars and sealed the biggest upset of the tournament and one of the greatest in World Cup history.(With AP inputs)last_img read more

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Kyle Edmund beaten in Rome by Alex Zverev in thrilling taste of the future

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first_img The Recap: sign up for the best of the Guardian’s sport coverage Read more Read more They traded blows of breathtaking power, Edmund saving seven match points before Zverev eked out the most dramatic of wins, 7-5, 7-6 (11). He now has every chance of still being there on Sunday, probably against Nadal, to defend the title he won a year ago.If Nadal reaches the final here, Edmund will automatically be seeded in the top 16 at the French Open, which starts on Sunday week. “I’ve not been a seed in any of the grand slams but I guess it avoids playing a top guy like Rafa or Novak [Djokovic],” he said. “And it’s good to see I’m going up the rankings.”Sunday’s final in Rome could be one to savour and Nadal, if he makes it, should have more in the tank than Zverev after dismissing Denis Shapovalov, 6-4, 6-1 in an hour and 22 minutes. But they are not the only actors in this play. Fabio Fognini, finally made the quarter-finals of his home tournament after beating the unseeded German, Peter Gojowczyk, 6-4, 6-4. His prize is … Nadal in the first match on Friday. Rafael Nadal Sign up to The Recap, our weekly email of editors’ picks. A week ago, the only question in tennis that mattered was: can anyone beat Rafael Nadal on clay this summer? He was rampant as of old, fit and fired again with ambition to crush all-comers on his favourite surface.Nadal won again in Rome on Thursday – easily – and then the communal gaze switched to Alex Zverev. On Sunday he beat Dominic Thiem, who had beaten Nadal in the Madrid quarter-finals two days earlier. Nobody could have predicted the struggle he would have in extending his run of victories to 11 as Britain’s No 1, Kyle Edmund, took him down to the wire in the third round of the Italian Open. Roger Federer turns back time at 36 but Andy Murray faces hard questions Since you’re here… Share via Email Twitter Pinterest Share on Facebook Konta broke her fingernail (on her bag) then Ostapenko’s serve in a bizarre opening to their second Tour encounter. After a brief delay to repair the digit, she was blasting the fifth seed off the court, and looked to be within sight of an early finish as her opponent complained of dizziness.Ostapenko got her first break point at the start of the second set – and Konta survived four deuces, saving a second break point with her fourth ace in the longest struggle of the match – but the world No 6 powered on to level at a set apiece.She held to love to stay in the match but Ostapenko’s shaky serve stood up and the 20-year-old forced a final wayward forehand out of Konta after two and a quarter hours. Share on Messenger With the court at his mercy on deuce, Edmund butchered a volley, but hung on to force set point as Zverev wobbled. Edmund made three astonishing gets in a row but could not reach Zverev’s clinching winner, and they were back on level terms. It was now a test of Edmund’s nerve and his serve. Both held.They went to the tie-break, where the drama intensified. Edmund saved for 11-all and a sixth match point. Zverev pushed him across the baseline for 12-11 and match point number seven. At the end of one final high-grade exchange, Edmund pushed a weary forehand just wide, and it was done.If they meet again in the French Open it would be reasonable to expect a repeat of these heroics. Both push themselves to the limit, Edmund with inscrutable calm, Zverev eyes bulging. Their rivalry is set. When Nadal, Federer, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray do leave the stage, they will have a pair of excellent understudies in place. Read more Share on Twittercenter_img … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Support The Guardian Share on LinkedIn Topics Share on WhatsApp match reports Johanna Konta lost to Jelena Ostapenko in an engrossing third-round match at the Italian Open on Thursday. Photograph: Giampiero Sposito/Action Plus via Getty Images Furious Karolina Pliskova attacks tennis umpire’s chair at Italian Open Johanna Konta Share on Pinterest The most thrills yesterday arrived when Zverev and Edmund brought their contrasting personalities together on the tournament’s glorious second court.Broken in the opening game, Edmund was back in business after several robust exchanges half an hour later, only to drop serve a second time. Zverev, whose serve frightens ballkids and dozing spectators, was banging them down at 128mph (207kph), 13mph faster than Edmund.Zverev, the world No 3, sealed the first set with a swinging ace down the T, his second, after 42 minutes.Edmund had to save three break points in the third game of the second set, but overcooked a crosscourt forehand. Zverev, getting ahead of himself, hit rashly on key points, then somehow rescued his serve for 3-1. Edmund would not lie down and, when his cause looked lost under a fusillade of booming serves, he doggedly got back to four-all.Two double-faults in the ninth game nearly scuppered his fightback but it was Zverev’s racket that was shaking more obviously and, after losing three games in a row, he found himself serving to stay in the set, Kyle Edmund Johanna Konta leaves Rome for Paris mildly encouraged but also perhaps concerned after blowing a first-set lead against a top-10 player for the fourth time in a row when tJelena Ostapenko won their engrossing third-round match.Konta, who has slipped to 22 in the world looked to have put her early-season torpor behind her as she sought to build on decent wins this week over Magdalena Rybarikova and Hsieh Su-wei. However on a mild, overcast morning and coughing from a heavy cold, she found the step up beyond her to lose 6-2, 3-6,4-6. Facebook Tennis Reuse this contentlast_img read more

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Fuel Saving Measures Can Negatively Affect Lashing Forces

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first_imgzoom Fuel saving measures aimed at boosting efficiency can have a negative effect on the lashing forces on the containers, according to recent findings from the audits conducted by BMT on more than one hundred container vessels last year.Fuel efficiency monitoring and analyses of the ship’s performance and operational parameters in real time may suggest change of speed, trim and draft during a voyage to save fuel.One study suggested that fuel consumption could be reduced by as much as 5% by using computer and communication software which monitors and analyses ship performance.“However, as an unwanted side effect, this fuel saving method may increase the calculated dynamic forces to the containers and lashings, possibly exceeding maximum permissible levels,”  explains Olivier van der Kruijs, Risk & Quality Manager and Marine Surveyor at BMT Surveys.As regards maximum permissible forces, stipulated in ISO standards, there are limitations resulting from the strength of the container itself.” It is important to appreciate that there is no safety margin on these limits. Theoretically, a container may thus distort as soon as these force limits are exceeded. This is different for the safe working loads on the lashings, which do have a safety margin,” he continued.During the voyage, the ship is sometimes instructed by the owners (or the charterers) to make adjustments to improve fuel efficiency.According to van der Kruijs, these (unplanned) adjustments of draught and trim increased the GM (metacentric height) at various occasions and, as a result, also the dynamic forces acting on the containers and lashings. This could lead to a situation whereby the ship left port with the calculated lashing forces being within design limits, but exceeding the limits at a later stage when the trim adjustments were made.For vessels enjoying a voyage with good weather, exceeding the designated maximum lashing forces is unlikely to result in any damaged cargo. However, if the ship was to encounter its “design motions criteria”, damage to the container stacks and cargo could occur, thus as an indirect result of saving fuel, van der Kruijs concludes.last_img read more

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Congress MPs protests in Parliament premises over Sonbhadra violence

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first_imgNew Delhi: Congress MPs held a protest in Parliament premises on Monday over the Sonbhadra violence and the “illegal detention” of the party’s general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadara. Priyanka Gandhi was Friday detained and stopped from going to Sonbhadra where 10 people were gunned down, triggering a standoff with the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh. Demanding that the victims of the killings be given speedy justice, the MPs accused the BJP-led Uttar Pradesh government of committing atrocities against the poor and the oppressed classes. They also demanded answers from them on why the Congress leader was stopped from meeting the victims. Twenty-eight persons were injured in the clash.last_img read more

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Prosecutors Flint airport stabber celebrated 911 attacks

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first_imgDETROIT – A Tunisian-born man who lives in Canada and stabbed a police officer at a Michigan airport subscribes to Osama Bin Laden’s ideology and celebrated the 9-11 attacks, federal prosecutors said in a court filing.In an interview after his June arrest in Flint, Amor Ftouhi (ah-MOOR’ fuh-TOO’-ee) also told federal agents that he praised Bin Laden for organizing the 2001 attacks on the United States which he “considers an enemy of Allah,” according to the documents.Ftouhi, 49, of Montreal, Quebec, has been indicted on charges of committing an act of violence at an international airport and interfering with airport security in the June 21 attack at Flint’s Bishop International Airport, about 50 miles (80.46 kilometres) northwest of Detroit.Lt. Jeff Neville was stabbed in the neck, but later recovered from his wounds.Authorities have said Ftouhi mentioned killings in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan and yelled “Allahu Akbar,” the Arabic phrase for “God is great,” at the time Neville was attacked.The FBI has said Ftouhi legally entered the U.S. at Champlain, New York, on June 16. The FBI said he bought a knife in the U.S.“Although he could not provide specifics, the defendant also told agents that there would be others coming to harm the U.S.,” prosecutors wrote in the Aug. 1 filing in U.S. District Court.Prosecutors are opposing Ftouhi’s federal defender’s request for names, addresses and telephone numbers of witnesses in the case. Defence attorneys say they need the information to adequately represent Ftouhi in the criminal case.“The government has at its disposal multiple U.S. law enforcement agencies, the assistance of Canadian law enforcement, and myriad other resources,” defence attorneys wrote in a separate filing on Tuesday. “… the government has been searching near and far for any connection between Mr. Ftouhi and an international terrorist organization. The defence does not know whom government agents have contacted in search of terrorist ties or what they have learned.”Prosecutors said turning over the personal information of people interviewed by police could impact the future co-operation of witnesses and their willingness to testify.“Any witness in a terrorism case is bound to react with fear and anger upon learning that not only their name, but where they can be found, has been provided to a defendant charged with terrorism-related offences and his agents,” according to the government’s motion.last_img read more

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Ed Asner Hosts StarStudded Charity Poker Tournament

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first_imgThe 2017 Ed Asner and Friend Poker Tournament for the Autism Society was sold out and a huge success raising in excess of $140,000 in much needed funds for The Autism Society, it was announced by Director of Corporate Development Matt Asner.Ed Asner at Celebrity Poker TournamentCredit/Copyright: Craig Mathews PREmmy-winning actor and autism advocate Ed Asner (The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Lou Grant, “Up”), who has a son and grandson on the autism spectrum, hosted the event and was joined by Emmy-winning actress Rosie O’Donnell (The View), Thomas Gibson (Criminal Minds), Lou Diamond Phillips (Longmire), Patricia Heaton (The Middle), Drake Bell (Drake & Josh) and among many others. The poker tournament took place on Saturday, September 9, 2017 at the Haworth Los Angeles Showroom in DTLA.Other celebrity friends who played a hand and supported the cause included Michael McKean, Ed Begley Jr., Elizabeth J. Carlisle, Matthew Modine, Randy Rainbow, Roger Cross, Andy Dick, Massi Furlan, Metta World Peace, Sebastian Bach, Ivy Teves, Evan Handler, Jay Flats, Daryl Hannah, Jenny Gabrielle, Gregory Harrison, Judd Lormand, Randi Oakes, Mark Thompson, Randall Batinkoff and many others. For more information, go to www.pokerwithed.com.“We thank Ed Asner for his amazing commitment to our organization,” said Joe Joyce, chairman, Autism Society of America and Executive Vice President of Keystone Insurers Group. “To all who supported this event, money raised will be used to advance the daily quality of life of individuals and families impacted by autism throughout America.”In addition to the Celebrity Poker Tournament, guests enjoyed a dinner buffet, cocktails, portraits by Scott Nathan Portraits, a Nespresso Coffee Bar, wine provided by Wine Pull, massages by Patricia Henry and an opportunity to raise money for Autism Society of America. There was both a silent and live auction held during the festivities. Bidders had the opportunity to win VIP concert tickets, vacations, jewelry, gourmet catering experiences, specialty wine tasting packages, Laker tickets, an evening of magic, among others.The top three tournament winners were awarded various prizes. Top prize was awarded to 1ST place winner Jonathan Frank, who received a champion trophy and two flights on Southwest Airlines and accommodations at PlumpJack’s Ingleside Inn in Palm Springs. Second place winner was William Parker, who received a trophy and an Apple iPad. In third place was Sam Chauhan, who received a trophy and an Amazon Echo.The funds raised at the poker tournament will support The Autism Society’s mission to maximize the quality of life in measurable terms of all impacted by autism. The Autism Society of America also acts as an advocate for appropriate services for individuals impacted by autism across the lifespan, and has a national contact center (1-800-3-Autism) where trained professionals are available to assist and answer calls for help. Funds earned will also be used to seek greater public policies that don’t cause an adult with autism to have to wait up to eight years for needed services. Autism currently affects 1 out of every 68 individuals and their families.The Autism Society of America sponsors for the 2017 Ed Asner & Friends Poker Tournament include FOUR OF A KIND SPONSORS: NYFAC Foundation, Extraordinary Ventures; DEALER SPONSORS: Jim Ball Autism Consulting, Netflix, Newmark Knight Frank, Plush Beds, Suzanne Wright Foundation, The Cary Family; COMMUNITY SPONSORS: Ability Productions, MeTV, Environetics, Samini Lawlast_img read more

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More Than Half a Million Viewers Make Discoverys FRONTIER the MostWatched Canadian

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first_img Discovery Canada on Facebook Discovery Canada on Twitter Discovery Canada on Instagram Frontier on Facebook Frontier on Twitter Final data from Numeris confirms the world premiere of Discovery’s FRONTIER is the most-watched Canadian scripted series debut on entertainment specialty this year with an audience of 571,000 viewers, it was confirmed today. In all, 1.35 million Canadians watched some part of the series premiere on November 6, and 2.5 million viewers have now watched some part of all the broadcasts of the debut.For its debut, FRONTIER made Discovery the most-watched Canadian entertainment specialty channel among total viewers and all key adult demos during Sunday’s hyper-competitive 9 p.m. ET timeslot.“It’s immensely gratifying that  Canada’s most discerning television critics and viewers clearly see what we saw in our new scripted series, which represents an exciting departure for our format and brand,” said Ken MacDonald, Vice-President and General Manager, Discovery. “We were confident in its potential when we took the chance of ordering a second season of FRONTIER before the series premiere, and I’m proud to watch it live up to our very high expectations as Season 1 continues its unique and gritty journey through Dec. 11.” About Discovery:With compelling real-life programming that inspires and entertains, Discovery reveals the world in all its wonder, diversity and amazement. Discovery ranks as the #1 Canadian entertainment specialty network for reaching total viewers and all the adult demos. Discovery offers a signature mix of adrenaline-charged stories, larger-than-life personalities and vivid imagery for viewers with curious minds. With the best non-fiction programming from Canada and around the world, Discovery captures the excitement of a passion for life – one lived fully and at its most extreme. With exceptional and immersive storytelling, the channel offers in-depth, behind-the-scenes glimpses at the extraordinary people and places that shape our world. Launched in Canada in 1995, Discovery is now available in more than eight million Canadian homes. Discovery Canada is a joint venture between Bell Media, which is owned by BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada’s largest communications company, and Discovery Communications Inc. Find more information and interactive online features at Discovery.ca. Facebook Social Media links Advertisement Advertisementcenter_img Login/Register With: Advertisement The chaotic and violent struggle to control wealth and power in the North American fur trade continues with the world premiere of Episode 3 this Sunday, Nov. 20 at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT on Discovery. Viewers can catch-up on Episodes 1 and 2 on the Discovery GO app.Discovery’s digital experience FRONTIER: DARK PROVIDENCE is now available at Discovery.ca/Frontier. Offering deeper viewing with in-depth character features, the web and mobile experience centres on six distinct, video-based character stories with interactive, real-time overlays controlled by the user for a truly immersive interaction. Each layer adds depth and texture to characters than can be experienced within the already rich story in the television program. The product is not only visually stunning, but also technologically impressive, featuring content that reflects the graphic nature of this bold, historical series.FRONTIER is co-created by Rob and Peter Blackie, and produced by Take The Shot Productions and ASAP Entertainment, in association with Discovery, the exclusive Canadian broadcaster. Netflix is the international broadcast partner. Edwina Follows is Executive Producer for Discovery, and Ken MacDonald is Vice-President and General Manager, Discovery. Tracey Pearce is President, Distribution and Pay, Bell Media. Randy Lennox is President, Broadcasting and Content, Bell Media. For Take The Shot Productions, Alex Patrick, John Vatcher, Rob Blackie, Peter Blackie, Allan Hawco, Perry Chafe, and Michael Levine are Executive Producers. For ASAP Entertainment, Brad Peyton and Jeff Fierson are Executive Producers. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitterlast_img read more

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Canadian TV networks Stand Up to Cancer for a third year

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first_imgCanadian TV stations will once again Stand Up to Cancer in conjunction with TV networks across the U.S.For the third year, the fundraising special will be broadcast on the four major English-language Canadian networks, CBC, City, CTV and Global, as well as numerous specialty channels, TV websites and apps on Friday, Sept. 7 at 8 p.m. The one-hour special will also stream live in Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square, Stand Up to Cancer Canada said in a news release.The broadcast, coming live from Santa Monica, Calif., will include oodles of celebrities — Mahershala Ali, Jennifer Garner, Ken Jeong, Trevor Noah, Reese Witherspoon and many others — with Canadian content in the form of Designated Survivor co-star Italia Ricci and Woodstock, Ont., cancer patient Caitlin Timmins. More stars will be announced ahead of the fundraising special. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitter Login/Register With: Facebook Advertisement Cancer patient Caitlin Timmins, seen with Dr. Peter Dirks, is scheduled to appear on the Stand Up to Cancer special broadcast on Canada’s major English-language networks. (DONAVON GAUDETTE / SU2C CANADA) Advertisement Advertisementlast_img read more

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Côte dIvoire Ban Kimoon calls on world to be ready to help

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12 March 2007Following the signing of a peace agreement between the rival leaders in Côte d’Ivoire, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is calling on the international community to be ready to provide key help in such fields as disarmament, security sector reform and preparations for elections in the divided West African country. “The United Nations stands ready, and continues to prepare and assist Ivorian parties in implementing rapidly and in a comprehensive manner the many key tasks related to those processes,” he adds in his latest report on the UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI).“The support of the international community for the political process should be complemented by commensurate efforts to address the humanitarian situation in the country,” he writes, urging donors to contribute generously to the 2007 UN appeal for Côte d’Ivoire. Earlier this month, Mr. Ban welcomed the agreement signed in Ouagadougou, capital of neighbouring Burkina Faso, by President Laurent Gbagbo, whose forces control the south of a country that was the world’s top cocoa producer, and Forces Nouvelles Secretary-General Guillaume Soro, who has held the north since fighting broke out in 2002.The Secretary-General noted at the time that the agreement builds upon Security Council resolution 1721 of last November, which underlined previous agreements calling for free, open, fair and transparent elections by 31 October this year at the latest.UNOCI has nearly 9,000 total uniformed personnel in the country, including 7,850 troops and nearly, 1,000 police with a mandate to monitor the cessation of hostilities and movements of armed groups, help in disarmament and dismantling of militias and contribute to the security of the operations of identification of the population and registration of voters.The mandate also includes reform of the security sector, monitoring an arms embargo, providing humanitarian assistance, facilitating the re-establishment by the Government of the authority of the State throughout Côte d’Ivoire, and support for the organization of open, free, fair and transparent elections. read more

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General Assembly backs findings of UN report into Gaza conflict

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5 November 2009The General Assembly today endorsed the report of the United Nations investigation which found that both Israeli forces and Palestinian militants were guilty of serious human rights violations during the conflict in the Gaza Strip at the start of the year. After two days of debate in the Assembly, at UN Headquarters in New York, 114 Member States voted in favour of a resolution endorsing the report’s findings and its recommendations for further action. Eighteen States voted against the resolution and another 44 countries abstained.The probe, led by Justice Richard Goldstone, a former war crimes prosecutor at the UN war crimes tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, found that both sides committed serious war crimes and breaches of humanitarian law, possibly amounting to crimes against humanity, during the conflict in December 2008 and January 2009.The four-member fact-finding team called for a number of measures, including the referral of the report to the Security Council, since neither the Israeli Government nor the responsible Palestinian authorities have so far carried out any credible investigations into alleged violations.General Assembly President Ali Treki, speaking to journalists after the resolution was adopted, said that “this vote is an important declaration against impunity. It is a call for justice and accountability.”Mr. Treki called on all concerned to devote themselves to implementing the contents of the resolution, which asks both the Israelis and Palestinians to carry out independent inquiries.“Without justice, there can be no progress towards peace. A human being should be treated as a human being, regardless of his or her religion, race or nationality.”The fact-finding mission was set up earlier this year at the request of the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council. read more

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Suncor says leak at oil sands plant likely had negligible impact on

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FORT MCMURRAY, Alta. — Oil sands giant Suncor says there was no bitumen in waste water that leaked from a burst pipe earlier this week.An email from the company also says 350,000 litres of waste water leaked into the Athabasca River for about 10 hours.“As soon as we realized there was a discharge into the river, work immediately began to stop the flow,” said the email from Suncor (TSX:SU) spokeswoman Sneh Seetal.“Our tests confirm the process affected water was a combination of water with suspended solids (clays and fine particulates) and inorganic and organic compounds. It does not contain bitumen.“This process affected water was mixed with treated water, prior to entering the river. The ratio was approximately six parts treated water to one part process affected water.”The company says it has hired a third party to determine the impact of the waste water entering the river, but adds according to its calculations, it likely had a “short term, negligible impact on the river.”Suncor also called the release of waste water into the river “unacceptable.“Water quality is an important issue for us, the community and is of paramount concern to our neighbouring stakeholders. As a precautionary measure, we are continuing to take water samples at various downstream locations along the river.”When Suncor first publicly acknowledged the spill on Tuesday, it said it didn’t know exactly what was in the waste water or how much of it spilled at its base plant north of Fort McMurray.On Wednesday, 11 groups said they were sending a letter to the Alberta government about their concerns over the leak.“This is all information that Suncor and the Alberta government should know and be immediate public knowledge, but we remain in the dark,” said the letter dated Wednesday.“We hereby demand the immediate release of this information, including pictures, so Albertans can judge for themselves the impact of this spill.”Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, the Council of Canadians, First Nations, and Forest Ethics Advocacy are among the groups that signed the letter.It is addressed to Alberta Environment Minister Diana McQueen. A department spokesman said she was in Calgary on Wednesday and hadn’t yet received the document.Suncor’s Seetal said Tuesday that the pipe, about four metres long and 10 centimetres wide, froze and burst, sending “process-affected water” into a partially frozen outfall pond containing treated water.Some of the fluid then entered an approved discharge area containing clean water, and was released into the Athabasca River.Wayne Wood said government crews were still at the site, working with Suncor and overseeing cleanup and containment.He said the government is still waiting for test results from water samples taken from the spill site and the river. read more

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Killer robots arent just science fiction anymore

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Artificial intelligence is the future of aerospace and defence, but the chief executive of French giant Thales says there is one application of the technology that his firm will never pursue: autonomous killing machines.“It has been discussed for too long, to be honest. It’s not that difficult to say no to killer robots,” Patrice Caine told a group of journalists in Montreal Thursday.AI-powered lethal weapons aren’t the sort of thing that most CEOs have to worry about, but Thales operates in the aerospace, transportation and defence sectors, and Caine told the Financial Post that he imagines AI will be embedded in just about every aspect of the company’s business in the next five years or so.Think of a world where anybody could throw off thermonuclear weapons and kill 10 million other peopleYoshua Bengio, University of Montreal Bengio said it’s likely impossible to restrict access to AI systems, because they’re so easy to build these days, but he said strong international co-operation and action from organizations such as the United Nations will be needed to set standards for international behaviour.Caine said that in addition to the categorical commitment to never building autonomous lethal weapons, Thales is working on a charter of ethics related to AI, which will focus on trust, vigilance and governance, and clear “red lines” for what kinds of technologies should remain out of bounds.“If we want to continue to inject more AI in as many solutions as possible, we need in parallel to care about moral questions when it comes to the use of this particular technology,” Caine said.Caine said Thales’ Montreal operation is critical to the company’s overall AI strategy; right now they have AI centres of excellence in Montreal and in Paris, where the company is headquartered.Caine said Bengio’s advocacy on the ethical use of AI is one of the reasons Montreal is important.“Montreal has a very special place within the global Thales, in particular regarding this technology,” he said.“It’s not only to be there because of the excellence of the researchers and the academics you can find here in Montreal. It’s also because this ecosystem cares about all the questions that go beyond technology — specifically, ethics and the moral questions about the use of AI.” “I would say you will find some kind of AI almost everywhere,” he said.“Definitely it’s one of the key technologies for the future of our customers, and for the future of Thales.”Caine said there are lots of opportunities to make technology work better using AI, such things as autonomous trains, and using deep learning to improve radar systems. Killer robots? Activists ‘freaked out’ that technology needed to build autonomous lethal machines already exists Experts assemble for UN-hosted meeting on ‘killer robots’ Geek fight! Tesla’s Musk says Facebook’s Zuckerberg is naive about killer robots But unlike the AI built into Google’s image-recognition software, or Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant, in the defence sector, an AI system could kill people by accident, or it could be designed to kill people on purpose.And it isn’t just a matter of science fiction anymore.A popular video titled Slaughterbots circulated by the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots depicts a small drone with embedded explosives and a camera with an AI facial-recognition system built-in. All these technologies exist today, and put together they could create a machine that could target a specific individual.With AI research and development progressing in leaps and bounds, the potential for sophisticated, autonomous killing machines is only likely to increase in the next few years.Those advances have led to calls for an international treaty to ban the use of autonomous lethal weapons, similar to the treaty banning landmines.University of Montreal Professor Yoshua Bengio, one of the leading lights of modern artificial intelligence, was seated alongside Caine at Thursday’s event, and he tried to impress upon people how powerful and dangerous artificial intelligence technology could be if used irresponsibly.“Think of a world where anybody could throw off thermonuclear weapons and kill 10 million other people. There are enough crazy people and desperate people on this planet that it would be catastrophic,” Bengio said. “This is an extreme example, but AI could eventually allow these things, and especially if it’s available to everyone.”“There is a wisdom race going on, between the speed of progress of technology on one hand, and the rate at which we can get wiser, collectively and individually. And it’s very, very important to understand that it’s a race, because if our wisdom doesn’t catch up fast enough with our scientific and technological progress, we’ll self-destruct.”… if our wisdom doesn’t catch up fast enough with our scientific and technological progress, we’ll self-destruct.Yoshua Bengio read more

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Little change reported in Iraqi exports under UN oilforfood programme

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Iraq exported 8 million barrels last week, up slightly from 7.7 million barrels in the week ending 21 June, netting about €190 million (euros) or $185 million, according to the Office of the Iraq Programme, which allows Baghdad to use part of its crude revenues for humanitarian relief.Despite rising exports, the programme still faces a persistent shortfall, which has more than 991 approved humanitarian supply contracts worth about $2.2 billion lacking funds. Among the affected sectors are food, electricity, housing, agriculture, health, communications, education, water and sanitation. At the same time, there are currently 2,170 contracts for various humanitarian supplies, valued at almost $5.3 billion, still on hold, according to the Office. Under new procedures adopted by the Security Council, all contracts will be processed and either rejected or released in the period ahead.Also today, the UN Compensation Commission – the panel that grants compensation for damages arising from the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait – approved compensation awards of $4.8 billion, of which $2.1 billion went to the Kuwaiti government. To date, the panel has granted a total of about $42.6 billion in compensation. read more

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Ohio State womens basketball steamrolls Wagner 10647 moves to 22

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OSU Sophomore Guard Ameryst Alston (14) during a game against UConn on Nov. 16. OSU lost 100-56. Credit: Ian Bailey | Lantern ReporterBehind a strong rebounding effort and intense, breakneck pace, the No. 7 Ohio State women’s basketball team (2-2) defeated Wagner (0-3) in dominating fashion, 106-47.For the first time this season, the Buckeyes outrebounded their opponent, commanding a 60-30 advantage on the boards. OSU has struggled to maintain a strong inside presence, even getting outrebounded by Belmont 53-34 in an 84-56 victory. Junior forward Shayla Cooper led OSU with 12 rebounds, 10 of which came in the first half.“Even though it was an inferior opponent, our intensity and effort was way better than it was in the last game,” OSU coach Kevin McGuff said. “We had a lot of people really, really competing.”OSU dictated the flow of the game, winning the turnover battle 23-15. The Buckeyes’ turnovers were due more to sloppiness and laziness by the offense rather than intense defense by Wagner, as evidenced in the 13-0 advantage in steals. On the flip side, Wagner buckled under swarming full-court press defense and half-court traps by OSU.Senior guard Ameryst Alston and sophomore guard Kelsey Mitchell, with 26 and 24 points, respectively, led the Buckeyes in scoring for the third time this season. Alston tacked on eight rebounds and four assists as the lead facilitator.The Buckeyes played without starting senior guard Cait Craft, held out due to an ankle injury, and redshirt freshman guard Kianna Holland, who missed her second game after tweaking her knee in practice. Neither injury is suspected to be serious, as each were held out for precautionary reasons and will be considered day-to-day moving forward.Sophomore guard Asia Doss started in Craft’s place scoring six points, while freshman guard Kaylan Pugh took full advantage of the opportunity for more minutes, scoring 18 points, corralling 10 rebounds and pushing the pace at every opportunity. Previously, Pugh played 18 minutes in two games, totaling just three points.“I thought Kayla did great and she played really hard. She does that, she plays with great intensity and she got a lot of points in transition,” McGuff said.Wagner, a team antsy to shoot from range, took 36 three-pointers, hitting on just nine. In the first quarter alone, the Seahawks hoisted up 13 threes compared to just two shots inside the line. At the half, Wagner had scored just one 2-point basket.Interior rotation: A work in progressWhile the starting lineup is set, the rotation of interior players remains ever-changing. Cooper and sophomore forward Alexa Hart started for the Buckeyes as the two forwards, as they have in each game.But beyond them, a myriad of post players have played, fighting to earn more minutes.Redshirt junior center Lisa Blair and redshirt freshman forward Makayla Waterman played seven and 18 minutes off the bench, respectively, with Waterman scoring the first points of her collegiate career on Saturday. Thus far this season, Blair and Waterman have played the most minutes of any backup forwards or centers.Redshirt junior forward Kalpana Beach and freshman center Theresa Ekhelar each played, totalling six and 10 minutes, respectively.Neither Beach nor Ekhelar have played meaningful minutes in a competitive game yet this season, but as the Buckeyes search for improved rebounding, they might earn important future minutes.Why Wagner?Behind Wagner’s bench sat a large contingent of fans wearing personalized Seahawks shirts with No. 12 stitched on the fronts. When the announcer introduced the starters, senior guard Jordyn Peck earned a cheer equally as loud as any OSU player.After the game, Wagner coach Lisa Cermignano said the game was scheduled so Peck, playing her final season, could play a game close to home in front of her hometown friends and family. Peck grew up and went to school in Shaker Heights, Ohio.“(OSU) really helped us out in being able to come down here and be able to do that for her,” Cermignano said. “It was a big deal for her.”What happens in VegasOSU is set to head out west for its next game, as the team will partake in the South Point Shootout, a tournament in Las Vegas over Thanksgiving weekend.On Friday, the Buckeyes are scheduled take on Liberty (2-1), before facing a third ranked team thus far, No. 13 Texas A&M, fresh off a 72-66 overtime win over No. 14 Duke a day later.OSU has played in an early-season tournament in all three seasons of McGuff’s tenure in Columbus. read more

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JK Rowlings former PA tells court she was a generous but unapproachable

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neil murray Ms Donaldson said the purchases in Molton Brown were for the office and claimed she was told not to disturb the author when she was busy so she had to make her own spending decisions.”It was my understanding I would make the decision and would tell her after what I had done. I was never told otherwise,” Ms Donaldson said.Questioned on how she responded to the fraud allegations, the 35-year-old added: “I really respected my role and would never have dreamed of doing anything like that. I’m quite offended and hurt.” “People in the office would sometimes ask if she was in a good mood, in a terrified way.“She would be writing so it was important to respect her time. I made a diary entry incorrectly once and got the telling off of my life so I knew how serious things would be.“You couldn’t run everything by her. Everything I did was made with the business in mind to uphold relationships with clients and agents.”The PA said her boss had asked her to buy cards and gift wrapping that she got from Paper Tiger and claimed thousands of pounds spent on cakes and coffees were for business meetings and staff birthdays. The case continues. rowling But she also said she was never given specific instructions for the use of the credit card, adding that Ms Rowling was often “busy writing and you had to respect that”.She added: “The job was quite tense so I wouldn’t say she was approachable because she would be writing and I was advised not to disturb her. Ms Rowling’s husband Neil Murray gave evidence against Ms DonaldsonCredit:Press Team JK Rowling was a generous but “unapproachable” boss, according to her former personal assistant who has been accused of using a business credit card for personal spending sprees.The author is suing Amanda Donaldson in a civil action, claiming she wrongly benefited to the tune of nearly £24,000.She claims Ms Donaldson, 35, spent over £3,600 on Molton Brown products, £2,100 in the card shop Paper Tiger and more than £1,800 in Starbucks and Costa coffee shops.Ms Rowling’s husband, Dr Neil Murray, told Airdrie Sheriff Court earlier this month that Ms Donaldson was a “good liar” who was employed to organise his wife’s business and professional affairs. He claimed she wrongly benefited from the company credit card and “stole” Harry Potter merchandise meant for sick children.–– ADVERTISEMENT ––Ms Donaldson told the court on Tuesday that the Harry Potter author “could be really generous” and bought her a replacement pushchair when her child’s original was damaged. 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. JK Rowling is suing her former PACredit:Getty read more

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