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Colorado’s Arapahoe Basin ski area plans to extend season

FRISCO, Colo. — A Colorado ski area has announced the extension of its skiing and riding season by at least one weekend.Summit Daily reports that Arapahoe Basin Ski Area announced Tuesday it will close its 7-day a week operations effective June 2, the date originally planned for closing.The ski area 64 miles (103 kilometres) west of Denver says it will then re-open for at least one more weekend June 7-9.An official says the resort in the White River National Forest may open for additional weekends, conditions permitting, but there is currently no timeframe to make those announcements.The official says 82% of Arapahoe Basin’s terrain was open Tuesday.Breckenridge Ski Resort, located 20 miles (32 kilometres) southwest of Arapahoe, plans to stay open through the Memorial Day holiday May 27.___Information from: Summit Daily News, http://www.summitdaily.com/The Associated Press read more

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Worlds fastest animal in race for survival to get added UNbacked protection

The cheetah, which reaches speeds of up to 120 kilometres per hour but is now racing against extinction with only about 10,000 adults surviving, is among some 30 endangered land and marine animals on the agenda of the 9th conference of parties to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS). “Species that migrate across countries and continents are facing ever greater hurdles from loss of habitat and feeding grounds to unsustainable use and the unfolding and often complex threats emerging from climate change,” said Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) which administers the CMS. “Indeed the world is currently facing a sixth wave of extinctions mainly as a result of human impacts. Urgent and accelerated action is needed to ensure that a healthy, productive and functioning planet is handed on to the next generation,” he added. More than 100 government representatives at the five-day conference, beginning Monday in Rome, will consider proposals to strengthen conservation by putting the animals on CMS appendix I, listing them as in danger of extinction, or appendix II, listing them as suffering from unfavourable conservation status and in need of international cooperation. Some of these animals are important economically, providing a significant source of tourism revenue. Proposed steps range from tackling over-hunting to removing physical obstacles on the animals’ migratory paths such as border fences to calling for regional agreements for protection. Migratory animals to be considered include: The cheetah, which has suffered a dramatic 90 per cent decline over the past century, becoming extinct in 18 countries of its original range, with less than 10,000 adults surviving in Africa and a meagre 50 in Asia, mainly around Iran’s Kavir desert, due to severe habitat loss, over-hunting and poor breeding in captivity. The Saiga antelope, which used to roam the Eurasian steppes but is now on the brink of extinction for the second time in just 100 years. After being nearly exterminated in the 1920s, numbers went up to 2 million thanks to Soviet conservation efforts, but have now shrunk to just 50,000 due to hunting and obstacles on migration routes. Today they are confined to isolated pockets in Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Mongolia. Barbary sheep, agile climbers of the Sahara and Sahel region of Africa, are now also threatened by unsustainable and illegal hunting. The species is proposed for appendix I, committing all parties to prohibit hunting and removing obstacles to their migration like fences or habitat conversion. The African Wild Dog has been eradicated from Western and most of Central Africa, with fewer than 8,000 estimated to survive due to conflict with humans and other animals, as well as infectious diseases. Fences on migration paths also endanger them. The proposed Appendix II listing would call on nations to establish regional agreements for their protection. Other animals include seven species of whales, dolphins and porpoises, such as the reclusive Irrawaddy dolphins which used to inhabit coastal areas and estuaries throughout south-east Asia. Today, habitat loss, live capture, entanglement in fishing nets, electrocution and boat collisions put the survival of the remaining small populations at risk. The Black Sea Bottlenose Dolphin, unique to one of the most degraded marine environments in the world, has also suffered from uncontrolled hunting and by-catch, despite the ban on cetacean fishery in the sea since 1983, while the West African Manatee, one of the world’s most camera-shy species, has been endangered by their only significant threat, humankind, due to poaching, habitat loss and other environmental impacts. Other animals on the agenda include three shark species, spiny dogfish, and seven birds, such as the Saker falcon, prized as hunting companions by royalty and the aristocracy in Central Asia; the Egyptian vulture, poisoned by feeding on carcasses of feral animals laced with pesticides; and the Peruvian tern, threatened by disturbance in its breeding grounds from human activity. “The Convention on Migratory Species is an important part of our international cooperative response to such challenges. It reflects the shared responsibility of nations for these species as each year they attempt their epic journeys across continents and oceans,” Mr. Steiner said. Robert Hepworth, Executive Secretary of UNEP-CMS, added: “Many migratory species are now important parts of the local and international economy, generating income and supporting livelihoods via industries such as tourism. For example, an estimated 150,000 people visit the Serengeti (in Tanzania and Kenya) annually in order to see its famous wildlife. Based on 2003 figures, the park generates income of $5.5 million from tourists.” 28 November 2008The critically endangered cheetah, the world’s fastest land animal, is set to obtain added international protection next week at a United Nations-backed conference seeking to strengthen conservation of species that often cross national borders. read more

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AI welcomes calls to probe Sri Lanka

Although OHCHR has offered assistance in a number of areas, including importantly, advice on establishment of a truth-seeking mechanism, the Sri Lankan government has not yet agreed to any technical assistance from OHCHR. And, as the report notes, the Sri Lankan government has failed to agree to requested visits by eight UN special procedures mandate holders: on minority issues; freedom of peaceful assembly and of association; freedom of opinion and expression; extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions; enforced or involuntary disappearances; human rights defenders; independence of judges and lawyers; and discrimination against women in law and practice. Amnesty International (AI) says it welcomes UN High Commissioner for Human Rights’ repeated call for an independent and credible international investigation into alleged violations of international law in Sri LankaAI says a report made public by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) makes clear that Sri Lanka has a lot of work to do when it comes to securing justice, reconciliation and resumption of livelihoods in the aftermath of Sri Lanka’s protracted armed conflict. As the OHCHR report emphasizes, continuing reports of extrajudicial killings, abductions and enforced disappearance underscore the urgent need to end impunity in Sri Lanka. But there has really been no progress in that regard at all. Sri Lanka has spent the last year deflecting international criticism and lashing out at its Sri Lankan critics instead of addressing past human rights violations or preventing new ones.Amnesty International has repeatedly expressed concern that the government’s intolerance of dissent, even from those using the country’s judicial system, combined with its unwillingness to rein in abusive members of its security force and political supporters or account for their actions, has led to violations of the right to freedom of expression, undermined rule of law and is derailing post-conflict reconciliation. It also suggests that Sri Lanka may be unwilling to do that work. Sri Lanka’s recent steps toward investigating allegations of serious violations of human rights were described as “inconclusive” and lacking “the independence and impartiality required to inspire confidence.” Meanwhile serious violations of human rights continue to be reported and Sri Lanka had not taken advantage of the UN’s proffered technical assistance aimed at improving the human rights situation in the country. The report notes that both the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers warned that Sri Lanka’s impeachment of the Chief Justice in January “could undermine the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law.” The situation has prompted the High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay to: reiterate her call for an “independent and credible international investigation” into alleged violations of international human rights and humanitarian law in Sri Lanka, which Amnesty International fully supports; and to suggest that that investigation could also serve to monitor any domestic accountability process, should one emerge.The OHCHR report was requested by the Human Rights Council in Resolution 19/2 of March 2012, which called on Sri Lanka to implement recommendations made by its Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), to take additional steps ensure justice, equity, accountability and address alleged violations of international law.The Council asked Sri Lanka for a comprehensive action plan to implement the LLRC recommendations. OHCHR and relevant special procedures mandate holders were encouraged to provide Sri Lanka with advice and technical assistance. The Council also asked OHCHR to present a report on the provision of such assistance to the Council at its 22nd session, which starts on 25 February 2013. In the report, the High Commissioner for Human Rights endorses the views expressed by many stakeholders in Sri Lanka, including prominent community leaders, about the important contribution made by the Human Rights Council in raising issues of accountability and reconciliation in Sri Lanka, and creating a space for debate within Sri Lanka.Amnesty International says it joins the High Commissioner in encouraging the Council to maintain and build on this momentum. The Human Rights Council should establish a Council mechanism devoted to monitoring and reporting to the Council on the current human rights situation in Sri Lanka and should throw its support behind growing demands for an independent international investigation into allegations of crimes under international law committed in Sri Lanka. read more

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Annan receives migration report calling for greater global cooperation

With the number of international migrants now standing at nearly 200 million – equivalent to the fifth most populous country on earth, Brazil – and set to increase in the years ahead, there is a vital need for enhanced cooperation at both the national and international levels, according to a United Nations-backed report issued today.“The international community has failed to capitalize on the opportunities and to meet the challenges associated with international migration. New approaches are required to correct this situation,” says the report of the 19-member independent Global Commission on International Migration launched by Secretary-General Kofi Annan and a number of governments two years ago.Receiving the report at UN Headquarters in New York, Mr. Annan said migration poses “one of our most important challenges” in the 21st century and stressed the need to manage it for the benefit of all – sending countries, receiving countries, transit countries, and migrants themselves.“I agree with the Commission that we are not rising to this challenge yet. But I am convinced that we must do so, in order to uphold common values and promote shared interests,” he said of the study, Migration in an interconnected world: New directions for action.The 85-page-long report sets forth six Principles for Action, ranging from ensuring that migrants enter the global labour market in a safe and authorized manner to enhancing greater cooperation among States to stem irregular migration while not jeopardizing human rights.They call for making migration an integral part of national, regional and global strategies for economic growth in the developing and developed world, protecting migrants’ human rights and labour standards, promoting regional cooperation, and spurring adaptation and integration that accommodates cultural diversity and fosters social cohesion.Without mentioning specific examples, the Commission notes that the linkage between migration and security has become an issue of even greater international concern. “Recent incidents involving violence committed by migrants and members of minority groups have led to a perception that there is a close connection between international migration and international terrorism,” it says.While acknowledging that destination countries may have “legitimate concerns” about the presence of migrants, the report also points to their stabilizing influence, such as the contribution labour migration has made in many parts of the world towards security and political stability by reducing poverty levels, curbing unemployment and expanding the opportunities available to the population.The report stressed the close linkages that exist between migration and development and other key policy issues, including trade, aid, state security, human security and human rights.When he launched the Commission in Geneva in December, 2003, Mr. Annan said the independent panel, co-chaired by Jan Karlsson, former Swedish Migration Minister, and Mamphela Ramphele of South Africa, a managing director of the World Bank, would help promote greater public understanding about migration, a debate which has “generated more heat than light” in some countries. read more

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UN trade report calls on governments to improve environment for ecommerce

The 2015 edition of the Information Economy Report (IER), published by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), analyses trends and international policy issues related to information and communications technology and its links with trade and development.“As the digital economy expands and more business activities are affected, it becomes more important for governments to consider policies that can help to harness e-commerce for sustainable development,” said UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi, specifying that governments need to improve areas including information and communications technology infrastructure, the legal and regulatory environment, and develop skills in their populations.The report includes a B2C (Business-to-Consumer) E-commerce Index, which draws on data to assess e-commerce readiness and help States to formulate their national e-commerce strategies. Through the Index, governments can identify their relative strengths and weaknesses. In Africa, for example, internet penetration levels need to rise to promote e-commerce readiness.Making information and communications technology work for development requires more than expanding the infrastructure, the report says. In order to foster productive and inclusive use of information and communications technology, governments need to create legal, institutional and policy frameworks and generate the necessary skills in government, business and civil society and the Index measures progress in those areas. Among developing countries, States at the top end of the Index are in East Asia, including the Republic of Korea and Singapore, with larger countries such as Brazil, China and Russia performing better than predicted, suggesting that large markets facilitate e-commerce.Business-to-consumer e-commerce, valued at $1.2 trillion, is currently much smaller than business-to-business (B2B), which is worth $15 trillion, but is growing at a faster rate, especially in Asia and Africa, and is expected to double in size to $2.4 trillion by 2018.To enable that, postal networks will be vital and the report measures data on home postal delivery as an indicator of countries’ readiness to engage in B2C e-commerce. In Latin America and the Caribbean and in Asia and Oceania, the extension of postal home delivery was found to be particularly important.“Posts are seeing the mail makeup changing, with more merchandises making their way through their networks,” said Bishar A. Hussein, the Director General of the Universal Postal Union (UPU). “They must prepare for this growth by adapting their products and services, processes and infrastructure.”The UNCTAD report also notes that growing concerns over cybercrime affect the willingness of both buyers and sellers to make transactions online, with research showing that the enactment of laws to facilitate security and trust in online transactions varies considerably globally, with significant gaps in many developing countries.Although the United States is by far the most targeted country, accounting for almost half of known cases of cybercrime, information security is a rising concern for governments, enterprises and consumers around the world, especially given that $3.5 billion was lost in supplier revenue due to online fraud in 2012.UNCTAD’s report calls for interoperability of legal measures between States, with 117 countries having enacted cybercrime legislation. Ensuring international compatibility of e-transaction laws remains a challenge and the report says the legal recognition of e-signatures, electronic contracts and evidence at a national level should ideally be extended to those originating in other jurisdictions. read more

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NFL Suspends Troubled Titans WR Kenny Britt For One

He’s become the poster child for what’s wrong with the league in the eyes of many, an out-of-control professional athlete whose sense of entitlement leads him to believe that rules apply to others than himself.But the NFL showed surprisingly relative leniency to Tennessee Titans wide receiver Kenny Britt on the heels of his eighth run-in with the law since entering the league in 2009. Just weeks after meeting with him for the second time in a year, Commissioner Roger Goodell announced Thursday that the troubled 23-year-old Britt has been suspended for just one game for repeated violations of the league’s personal conduct policy.The fourth-year pro out of Rutgers will sit out the Titans’ Sept. 9 season opener against New England before returning for the following week’s game at San Diego.“It’s actually a gift from God that it’s only a week,” Britt told The Tennessean following his team’s 10-6 win over the visiting New Orleans Saints in Thursday night’s preseason finale.“I’m just happy that God spoke to [Goodell] and put the right thing in his heart, and we move forward. … I just have to take it on the chin, and that is what I’m doing.”Britt said he has no plans to appeal.As part of the penalty, he will be docked more than $44,000, which is one-seventeenth of his $755,000 base salary this season. The Titans will designate Britt as Reserve/Suspended so that he will not count against the team’s 53-man roster for the first week.Britt will not be allowed to work out at the team facility in Nashville during his suspension, but plans to remain in Knoxville and prepare for his first game action since suffering a major knee injury early last season.“To tell you the truth, I didn’t know what I was expecting,” he said. “I did know I was in some trouble in the past, and now it is behind me. Now I am happy, this is in the past and I am ready to focus on two weeks from now.”On July 20, Britt was arrested on a charge of driving under the influence as he was trying to pass through a security gate at the Fort Campbell. It was his eighth incident involving police since the Titans drafted him in 2009. Goodell summoned him to New York for a meeting on Aug. 6.Britt avoided discipline after last year’s meeting with Goodell because several of the incidents occurred during the NFL lockout in which time there was no collective bargaining agreement between the players and the league. Goodell, however, warned of a suspension should further trouble arise.Britt was off to strong start last year before suffering a torn right ACL in Sept. 25 game against the Denver Broncos that required season-ending surgery. read more

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Mens basketball Ohio State goes for the season sweep at Michigan State

OSU senior forward Marc Loving drives to the basket against Michigan State forward Miles Bridges on Jan. 15 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU won 72-67. Credit: Ashley Nelson | Sports DirectorOhio State is going to East Lansing, Michigan, with the upper hand as the Buckeyes already have a win under their belt against Michigan State, defeating the Spartans 72-67 on Jan. 15 in Columbus. However, with seeding in the Big Ten tournament and dwindling hopes of reaching the NCAA Tournament on the line, the pressure is palpable approaching the final five games of the Big Ten regular season.OSU has won only two of seven road games in Big Ten play, and junior forward Jae’Sean Tate said it’s tough for opposing teams to win at the Breslin Center.“There is a tough environment out there,” Tate said. “I haven’t won out there before, so just trying to go in there and get the ‘W’ there.”One of the players who might stand in OSU’s way of victory is Michigan State freshman forward Miles Bridges. OSU coach Thad Matta said Bridges’ 24-point, nine-rebound performance against the Buckeyes in January was as impressive of a performance from a freshman he’s seen this year.“He’s tremendous and we have to do a better job of trying to slow him down,” Matta said.Bridges shot 75 percent from the floor and hit 4-of-5 3-point shots, but was the only Spartan in double figures that day. Tate hinted that his plan for defending Bridges will have to change this time around.“I can’t let him get comfortable from the 3 because once he sees a couple go in, then he’s tough to guard,” Tate said. “Just trying to make him as uncomfortable as he can from the perimeter because he has a lot of aspects to his game. Once he gets going, he’s hard to stop.”OSU has had trouble defending the perimeter shot as of late. In the loss to the Terrapins, the Buckeyes allowed 29 attempts behind the 3-point line, with Maryland converting on 41.4 percent of those shots.Offensively, OSU’s scoring leader for the first game against the Spartans, sophomore guard JaQuan Lyle, is returning after having to leave the team due to a family emergency. Lyle shot 66.7 percent from the field and led the team with 22 points in the five-point win. Matta said Lyle and the rest of the OSU offense is going to have to face a very stout defensive team.“Michigan State, I think, is as good as anyone in the Big Ten defensively,” Matta said. “They are going to make you earn everything that you get in the game tomorrow night. They are going to have a tremendous push in transition. They are trying to score as quick as they can. If it’s not there, they are going to execute one, or sometimes two sets in a possession.”In the Spartans’ last game, a 77-66 win over Iowa, Michigan State held the Hawkeyes to shoot only 32.8 percent from the field, converting only four 3-pointers on 21 attempts. Size was a big factor in the win as well, with Bridges and redshirt sophomore forward Kenny Goins combining for 21 of the Spartans’ 46 rebounds.With only five games left before the Big Ten tournament, OSU has a limited amount of time to boost its resume to be in consideration for the NCAA Tournament. Tate said this team is feeling the pressure going into the end of the season.“There is no margin for error,” he said. “We just have to go in these last five or six games like there is no margin. We have to win these ones.”Tipoff is scheduled for 9 p.m. at the Breslin Center in East Lansing, Michigan. read more

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Canada popular in latest Fraser Institute mining jurisdiction survey

first_imgThe Annual Survey of Mining Companies: 2016 presents the results of the Fraser Institute’s 2016 annual survey of mining and exploration companies. The survey is an attempt to assess how mineral endowments and public policy factors such as taxation and regulatory uncertainty affect exploration investment. The survey was circulated electronically to approximately 2,700 individuals between August 30 and November 18, 2016. Survey responses have been tallied to rank provinces, states, and countries according to the extent that public policy factors encourage or discourage mining investment.A total of 350 responses were received for the survey, providing sufficient data to evaluate 104 jurisdictions. By way of comparison, 109 jurisdictions were evaluated in 2015, 122 in 2014, 112 in 2013, and 96 in 2012. The number of jurisdictions that can be included in the study tends to wax and wane as the mining sector grows or shrinks due to commodity prices and sectoral factors.The Investment Attractiveness Index takes both mineral and policy perception into considerationAn overall Investment Attractiveness Index is constructed by combining the Best Practices Mineral Potential index, which rates regions based on their geologic attractiveness, and the Policy Perception Index, a composite index that measures the effects of government policy on attitudes toward exploration investment. While it is useful to measure the attractiveness of a jurisdiction based on policy factors such as onerous regulations, taxation levels, the quality of infrastructure, and the other policy related questions respondents answered, the Policy Perception Index alone does not recognize the fact that investment decisions are often sizably based on the pure mineral potential of a jurisdiction. Indeed, as discussed below, respondents consistently indicate that only about 40% of their investment decision is determined by policy factors.The top jurisdiction in the world for investment based on the Investment Attractiveness Index is Saskatchewan, which moved up to first from second place in 2015. Manitoba moved up to second place this year after ranking 19th the previous year. Western Australia dropped to third, after Saskatchewan displaced it as the most attractive jurisdiction in the world. Rounding out the top ten are Nevada, Finland, Quebec, Arizona, Sweden, the Republic of Ireland, and Queensland.When considering both policy and mineral potential in the Investment Attractiveness Index, the Argentinian province of Jujuy ranks as the least attractive jurisdiction in the world for investment. This year, Jujuy replaced another Argentinian province—La Rioja—as the least attractive jurisdiction in the world. Also in the bottom 10 (beginning with the worst) are Neuquen, Venezuela, Chubut, Afghanistan, La Rioja, Mendoza, India, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique.While geologic and economic considerations are important factors in mineral exploration, a region’s policy climate is also an important investment consideration. The Policy Perception Index (PPI), is a composite index that measures the overall policy attractiveness of the 104 jurisdictions in the survey. The index is composed of survey responses to policy factors that affect investment decisions. Policy factors examined include uncertainty concerning the administration of current regulations, environmental regulations, regulatory duplication, the legal system and taxation regime, uncertainty concerning protected areas and disputed land claims, infrastructure, socioeconomic and community development conditions, trade barriers, political stability, labor regulations, quality of the geological database, security, and labor and skills availability.For the fourth year in a row, the Republic of Ireland had the highest PPI score of 100. Ireland was followed by Saskatchewan in second, which moved up from fourth in the previous year. Along with Ireland and Saskatchewan, the top 10 ranked jurisdictions are Sweden, Finland, Nevada, Manitoba, Wyoming, New Brunswick, Western Australia, and Northern Ireland, which was included for the first time in the 2016 survey.The 10 least attractive jurisdictions for investment based on the PPI rankings (starting with the worst) are Venezuela, Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, Mongolia, Philippines, Indonesia, Chubut, South Sudan, Mendoza, and Ecuador. Venezuela, Zimbabwe, and Chubut were all in the bottom 10 jurisdictions last year. Two out of the 10 lowest-rated jurisdictions based on policy were Argentinian provinces.last_img read more

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EHF Challenge Cup 14 final Sporting CP to Greece – Valur in

← Previous Story Martin Stranovsky extends with HC Erlangen Next Story → SOLIDARITY ACTION: HC Leipzig need 900.000 EUR to avoid insolvency Eight teams, eight countries are still in the race for the trophy of the youngest EHF Cup – Challenge Cup. The 1/4 final draw was made in Vienna earlier today.RK Sloga Pozega (SRB) – Valur (Iceland)AHC Potaissa Turda (ROU) – HB Dudelange (LUX)A.C. Doukas (GRE) – Sporting CP (POR)JMS Hurry-Up (NED) – HKM Sala (SVK)The first matches are on schedule April 25/26. The second leg a week after. read more

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LAndroid Market aurait atteint les 200000 applications

first_imgL’Android Market aurait atteint les 200.000 applicationsLa boutique en ligne de Google, l’Android Market, vient de passer le cap des 200.000 applications et rattrape son retard, selon les chiffres d’AndroLib.com.Le site AndroLib vient de publier des chiffres (non officiels) montrant que plus de 200.000 applications mobiles auraient été mises en ligne par l’Android Market de Google. Par ailleurs, selon les statistiques affichées par le site, plus de 100 applications seraient téléchargées sur la boutique en ligne chaque seconde.Néanmoins, ces chiffres sont à prendre avec des pincettes, indique 20min.ch, puisque la plateforme avait prédit quelques semaines trop tôt le passage du seuil des 100.000 applications. Mais cela donne quand même un aperçu de la croissance de l’Android Market.Du côté du Market Place de Windows Phone 7, on comptait 3.000 applications le mois dernier. Désormais, il en compte plus de 5.000. Des chiffres bien loin de ceux affichés par Apple : l’App Store comprend à l’heure actuelle plus de 300.000 applications.Le 29 décembre 2010 à 13:43 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

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Fire crews battle two major blazes in Oregon

first_imgBROOKINGS, Ore. — Firefighters braced Friday for hot, windy weather over the weekend that could worsen a wildfire near the coast at the same time they worked to expand containment on a separate blaze near the tourist town of Sisters.Authorities issued the lowest-level evacuation warning late Thursday for residents of the 6,500-person town of Brookings in case winds pushed the flames closer to homes.The fire burning in Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest was about 5 miles from the coastal town near the California border. It has charred 159 square miles.There is no containment of the fire, although crews have made progress digging out fire lines to stop its spread.The fire started July 12 from a lightning strike and expanded rapidly last week amid hot and windy conditions similar to the ones expected Friday and today.About 1,200 firefighters are on scene, said Terry Krasko, a spokesman for the U.S. Forest Service.The fire in southwest Oregon is currently listed as the No. 1 priority in the nation and is burning in the footprint of a notorious 2002 fire that blackened 800 square miles.last_img read more

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Justice Paul Harrison presides over SIPT Pre Trial hearings

first_img Recommended for you TCI: Judge rules there is ‘a case’; all nine defendants will go to trial in September Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 22 Sept 2015 – Pre-trial hearings for the Special Investigation began in the Providenciales Supreme Court on Monday and will continue throughout the week as the courts finalize the formalities leading up to the big case.Justice Paul Harrison presided over the matter and confirmed that the SIPT hearings will commence on December 1st with specialty and legal arguments.Opening arguments are set to begin in December but could be held on January 18th depending on the length of the December 1st hearings.The long awaited SIPT trial is expected to last four months with several former government Ministers and former Premier Michael Misick set to face trials linked to charges of government corruption.Lawyers are bracing for the large volume of evidence, over 100 thousand bundles of information is to be used during the trial and more than 100 witnesses are expected to be called. Forbes murder trial pushed to Sept Related Items:justice paul harrison, michael misick, Sipt, trial Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp BOYCE FIRES HER ATTORNEY, as SIPT Trial continueslast_img read more

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Soy Growers Converge on Washington for Annual March Board Meeting

first_imgASA presents ASA Soy Champion Award to Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts of Kansas. From left to right: ASA Chairman Ray Gaesser, ASA Director Bob Henry, Sen. Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts and ASA President Wade Cowan. Fresh off a record-setting Commodity Classic at the end of February, the members of ASA’s Board of Directors joined ASA and state affiliate staff in Washington this week for the association’s annual spring board meeting.ASA met with EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy during Hill visits at the annual spring board meeting. From left to right: ASA Chairman Ray Gaesser, First Vice President Richard Wilkins, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and ASA President Wade Cowan.This year’s meeting focused on several key issues at the forefront of the soybean industry, and brought in public sector officials from multiple agencies to discuss each issue with the board.Sarah Bittleman, agricultural counsel to Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, spoke to the board on Monday, highlighting the committee’s progress on legislation that would grant trade promotion authority to the White House. TPA is at the top of ASA’s priority list in the near term, enabling the administration to craft and finalize trade agreements that help to keep soybeans atop the nation’s agricultural trade.Also on Monday, the board’s Public Affairs Committee hosted briefings from staff at the Coalition for Safe and Affordable Food, the U.S. Biotech Crops Alliance, and the National Biodiesel Board on GMO labeling, biotech trait approvals and biodiesel issues, respectively.On Tuesday, representatives from each of ASA’s 26 state and regional affiliates visited with their offices in the House and Senate, while ASA’s Executive Committee met with Alexis Taylor, deputy undersecretary of farm and foreign agricultural services at USDA, to discuss trade issues. Later Tuesday, ASA President Wade Cowan and Chairman Ray Gaesser joined Director Bob Henry and Kansas Soybean Association Executive Director Kenlon Johannes to present ASA’s Soy Champion Award to Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts of Kansas.“In a Congress that has so few lawmakers that really understand life on the farm, it’s extremely important that we recognize those allies that we do have,” said Cowan. “We’re honored to present the Soy Champion Award to Chairman Roberts and look forward to working with him long into the future.”ASAAP members hold annual meeting in Washington.The meeting drew to a close Wednesday, and was followed by a meeting of the ASA Action Partnership, or ASAAP, which featured a presentation from the agricultural attaches at the Cuban Interests Section in Washington. The normalization of trade with Cuba continues to be a key part of the expansion of agricultural trade, and an issue that ASA strongly supports. The members of the ASAAP joined agricultural dignitaries from across the country at USDA for the annual AgDay dinner and celebration of agriculture.ASA’s board will next meet in July at the annual Legislative Forum in Washington.last_img read more

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Updated Nikiski Man Arrested After Collision In Front Of KCHS

first_imgHarris was booked into Wildwood Pretrial Facility. Original Story: Troopers are responding to a vehicle collision in front of Kenai Central High School.Traffic is impacted in the area while responders remain on scene as of 10:51am.Limited details are known at this time, updates will be posted as they are made available. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Last updated on July 31st, 2018 at 12:32 pmUpdated: At 10:17 a.m., on July 30, Kenai Police were notified by AST of a hit and run vehicle enroute to Kenai from Soldotna.Officers responded and Brendan T. Harris, age 19 of Nikiski, was arrested on charges of DWI, Assault 3, Leaving the Scene of an Accident x 2, MICS 5, Operating a Vehicle After Consuming Alcohol, and Possession/Consuming Alcohol under 21.last_img read more

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Bonalu brochure released

first_imgThe founder trustee of Katta Maisamma temple at Lower Tank Bund Goutham Kumar Patel, along with the temple EO Sambashiva Rao, releasing brochure for Bonalu festival to be held at the temple on July 28 and 29, at the temple main office on Mondaylast_img

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IATA tells governments Avoid creeping reregulation of the airline industry

first_imgIATAThe call for Governments to take attention to the aviation world  came in the IATA Director General’s Report on the Air Transport Industry at the 74th IATA Annual General Meeting (AGM) and World Air Transport Summit.The International Air Transport Association (IATA) called for governments to facilitate the growth of global connectivity by avoiding creeping re-regulation, maintaining the integrity of global standards, and addressing a capacity crisis. “On aviation’s core mission to deliver safe, secure, accessible and sustainable connectivity, the state of our industry is strong and getting stronger. And with “normal” levels of profitability, we are spreading aviation’s benefits even more widely. But there are challenges. Smarter regulation needs to counter the trend of creeping re-regulation. Global standards must be maintained by the states that agreed with them. And we need to find efficient solutions to the looming capacity crisis,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.Re-RegulationThe deregulation of the air transport industry that began in 1978 in the US ignited global changes that enabled the spread of air transport’s benefits. The competition saw the price of air connectivity fall making air transport much more accessible. In 1978 the average person flew once every 6.6 years. Today the average is closer to once in two years.A creeping trend of re-regulation, however, puts the gains of deregulation at risk. Citing regulatory actions from around the world, de Juniac noted that regulatory over-reach now includes attempts to prescriptively regulate passenger compensation, seat assignments, the ticket options that can be offered to consumers and prices charged for various ancillary services.“Regulations must add value. In assessing that, regulators must recognize the power of competition and social media to safeguard consumer interests. Governments should not distort market effectiveness with regulations that second-guess what consumers really want,” said de Juniac.This is the spirit of IATA’s “smarter regulation” campaign which asks governments to align with global standards, take into account industry input and analyze the costs of regulation against the benefits. De Juniac noted that one of the most exciting current regulatory developments is the sweeping review of US commercial regulations with the aim of keeping only those where the benefits outweigh the costs to both travelers and the industry.Global StandardsDe Juniac called for a vigorous defense of global standards that have guided the safe and efficient development of aviation. “We must take governments to task. It is unacceptable that global standards are being ignored by the very governments that created them,” said de Juniac.De Juniac noted several examples: India taxes international tickets in contravention of ICAO resolutionsStates are planning new environment taxes even as the ICAO-brokered Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) is about to commence as the global market-based measure for managing emissions.Nearly two decades after the Montreal Convention 1999 was agreed it is not universally ratified. Its important modernizations apply in only 130 states.There is not 100% compliance with Chicago Convention Annex 13 requirements for complete accident investigations. Of the approximately 1,000 accidents over the last decade only about 300 accident investigations have been concluded with published reports.Annex 17 of the Chicago Convention sets baseline security requirements. Yet ICAO audits reveal that only 28% of states meet them. Moreover, 37% of states fail on resolutions of security concerns.InfrastructureIATA urged governments to find sustainable solutions to ensure the infrastructure needed to meet growing demand for connectivity.“We are in a capacity crisis. And we don’t see the required airport infrastructure investment to solve it. Governments struggle to build quickly. But with cash-strapped finances, many are looking to the private sector for solutions. We need more airport capacity. But be cautious. Expecting privatization to be the magic solution is a wrong assumption,” said de Juniac.The privatization of airport infrastructure has not lived up to airline expectations. “As customers of many airports in private hands, airlines have far too many bitter experiences. Travelers also sense the problem. According to Skytrax, five of the top six traveler-preferred airports are public. Motivated by our members’ frustration, we did our own performance benchmarking. Privatized airports are definitely more expensive. But there is little difference in efficiency or investment levels compared to airports in public hands,” said de Juniac.The results of airport privatizations run counter to the results of airline privatization which saw the cost of travel drop dramatically. Airlines do not accept that privatizing airports must lead to higher costs. And neither should consumers or voters. How can making the transport infrastructure more expensive—which means less competitive—be a legitimate public policy objective?” said de Juniac.While IATA research did not reveal a one-size-fits-all solution to ensure sufficient, fit-for-purpose and affordable airport infrastructure, it did point towards positive experiences for consumers and airlines with variations of corporatization.The 74th IATA AGM will consider a resolution on the privatization of airport infrastructure calling on governments to:Focus on the long-term economic and social benefits of an effective airport as part of the country’s critical infrastructure,Learn from positive experiences with corporatization, new financing models, and alternative ways of tapping private sector participationMake informed decisions on ownership and operating models to protect consumer interests, andLock-in the benefits of competitive airport infrastructure with firm regulation. Like this:Like Loading…Relatedyahoo Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us) Share this: Winners of IATA Diversity & Inclusion Awards announcedGay Tourism: WTTC doesn’t know what to sayWorld Tourism with IGLTA2017 turns to a Rainbow in St. Petersburg, FloridaMore articles on eTurboNews click herelast_img read more

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QF cuts expenditure adds domestic capacity

first_imgQantas has announced it will cut its capital expenditure by up to $400 million in 2012/13, in addition to the $500 million announced in February, through deferred fleet expansion plans and modernizing operational practices. Announced this morning the airline’s chief executive Alan Joyce explained the airline is aiming to spend up to $1.9 billion throughout the 2012/13 period, a drop from $2.3 billion the prior year.Cost-cutting measures include delaying the delivery of two A380s from 2013 to 2016/17 while six other A380s will be held off until 2018/19.The airline said it is also considering the future of heavy maintenance operations and expects a decision to be made by mid-May.Mr Joyce explained decreasing capital expenditure would assist the airline deliver its strategic goals.“Our priorities remain to build on a our strong domestic business, enhance Qantas Frequent Flyer, turn around Qantas International and grow Jetstar in Asia,” he explained. The airline’s head added that Qantas hopes to rebuild its business through increasing its domestic capacity throughout 2012/13.The carrier said it will add extra services during peak times on flights between Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane as well as reintroduce the Boeing 747 services between Sydney and Perth.More A330s will also be added on services on the Melbourne and Perth route while the airline’s subsidiary Jetstar will increase capacity to key leisure markets.QantasLink is also getting a one up with increased capacity across Queensland with the F100 jet service to be added between Brisbane and Emerald.“With Qantas we are targeting our key east coast and east-west business markets – providing an international-standard flying experience on Perth services operating by the Boeing 747 and Airbus A330,” Mr Joyce added.“Jetstar continues to focus on servicing important leisure markets and pursuing growth opportunities across Australia, with significant capacity increases planned on major routes.” The Australian flag carrier’s head concluded that the airline will also look to go ahead with growth of Jetstar Asia while also focusing on retaining its market share down under. Capital costs cuts a must or a major bust? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

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CBC to shift focus from restructurings to asset swaps

first_img(Updates with background in six paragraph)By Stelios OrphanidesThe Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC) is considering issuing lenders new targets to reduce delinquent loans shifting the focus from restructurings to non-performing loan ratios and encouraging banks to go hard on strategic defaulters, a bank official said on Thursday.The new target indicators are expected to be announced before the end of the year when the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) of the European Central Bank (ECB) completes its evaluation of reports filed by supervised banks on the anticipated evolution of non-performing loans over the next five-year period.The current four indicators introduced two years ago “were aiming at encouraging banks to restructure loans”, Yiangos Demetriou, head of CBC banking supervision division, said in an interview to state-radio CyBC on Thursday.“They worked somewhat but not to the desired extent. We recently witnessed that restructuring rates have slowed down, or rather came to a halt.”On August 3, the central bank said that the banks met only the indicator on sustainable restructuring solutions and failed the remaining three concerning the conclusion of restructuring agreements, the cure ratio of restructured loans and the aggregate arrears ratio.Non-performing loans in the Cypriot banking system stood at €23.2bn in April according to the latest available figures and accounted for 46 per cent of total loans. The result of excessive credit expansion in the years before the 2013 banking crisis, the mount of NPLs is still considered a major risk for financial stability.In the past weeks, Bank of Cyprus, the largest Cypriot lender announced a €500m increase in provisioning levels while Hellenic Bank, the third largest Cypriot bank, said it would increase its provisions by €51m.The implementation of an agreement between Hellenic Bank and the Prague-based non-performing loans specialist APS Holdings to set up APS Debt Recovery Ltd that will bring additional knowhow in managing the Cypriot lender’s bad loans in July may be related to the central bank’s consideration of shifting focus toward actual reduction of bad loans.A similar agreement was also reached between the Cyprus Cooperative Bank and Spain’s Altamira.Hellenic, with a non-performing loan stock of €2.5bn or 57 per cent of its portfolio, and the Co-op, with €7.2bn in bad loans or roughly 60 per cent, are trailing Bank of Cyprus which pioneered reducing delinquent loans to €9.7bn or half of its total loans by setting up a specialised recovery and restructuring division as early as 2013.Governor Chrystalla Georghadji said on Wednesday after meeting President Nicos Anastasiades that the bank supervisor was mulling changing the banks’ performance targets in order to boost their efforts.Demetriou added that while reducing non-performing loans was not a simple matter, debt-to-asset swaps were a possibility. “This could be done more often,” he continued.Other methods, including increasing provisioning levels, which does not exonerate borrowers from their obligations, and debt forgiveness as part of restructuring agreements are also ways to reduce non-performing loans, although they come at a price, he added.“All these are not easy to implement as there needs to be a balance, because writing down debt or reducing the interest rate or extending maturity has some negative impact on the equity of banks,” Demetriou said. “Therefore, these have to be applied with caution to avoid other problems”.In a subsequent response to a question submitted by the Cyprus Business Mail, the central banker said that banks should also clamp down on strategic defaulters, even as such cases are difficult to spot with certainty.“What the Central Bank of Cyprus asks from banks is when they detect borrowers who have the capacity to repay or have assets which could be used to pay back their loans, they then should proceed with all available measures against them,” Demetriou said.In May, Georghadji said that parliament had to improve the unpopular foreclosure law, modernised three years ago and enacted in 2015 as part of Cyprus’ bailout terms.Hellenic Bank’s attempt to auction a 263-square-metres foreclosed mansion in Engomi belonging to a family which repeatedly ignored the bank’s efforts to enter restructuring negotiations, attracted support from politicians of various opposition parties a week ago, including far-right Elam, and is also indicative of the support a bill to strengthen the current foreclosure law would enjoy at the parliament.You May LikeSUVs | Search AdsThese SUVs Will Take Your Breath Away. 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