A Russian government threat to disconnect 11 GPS receivers used for geophysical research and to fine-tune the satellite navigation system is drawing concern from scientists—and questions from the country’s minister for industry.The threat is just one element of the tit-for-tat diplomatic and rhetorical firefight that has broken out between Russia and the United States in the wake of Russia’s annexation of Crimea in Ukraine. Last week, senior Russian officials said they were considering an array of moves aimed at U.S. space programs, including pulling out of the International Space Station in 2020 and barring the use of Russian rocket motors by U.S. firms. Officials also threatened to turn off 11 land-based GPS receivers on Russian soil by 1 June unless the United States agreed to install similar units for Russia’s GLONASS satellite navigation system on U.S. territory.Experts say the shutdown—if carried out—would have little impact on GPS. The passive stations, which only receive GPS signals, are primarily used to ensure correct tracking of GPS satellites. “As these stations are very few, their impact on the accuracy of the positional measurements is insignificant,” says Konstantin Kuimov, head of the Moscow State University department of astrometry and time service. “The accuracy of the positioning at present is the question of decimeters. 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That’s because earth scientists use data from the receivers to track the slow, subtle movements of continents and land surfaces. “The situation with geophysical measurement is much worse” because the receivers are vital to providing “a serious set of statistical data,” Kuimov says. “The statistical data makes it even possible to measure the variations in the rotation of the Earth and the seismic activity of the planet. It is only the positioning satellites that make it possible to measure the [movements] of the surface in millimeters.” Researchers use both navigation systems—GPS and GLONASS—to make such measurements, Kuimov notes. So he and other researchers would like to see GLONASS stations on U.S. territory (a move that has been under negotiation). Ideally, he says, such stations ultimately would be evenly spaced around the world.If Russia follows through with the threat, the impact will depend on how long the base stations remain inaccessible, says Jeffrey Freymueller, a geophysicist at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. “If the Russians eventually share the data, we’ll be able to reprocess everything and eventually recover full precision results, but if they actually remove the equipment for the long term then over time it will become an increasing problem, as it will compromise the global coverage,” Freymueller says. “Before there were these stations in Russia, for example, it was difficult to do large-scale tectonic studies in China because we could not define what was the stable Eurasian plate well enough to express motions relative to stable Eurasia. Eventually, we will slip back toward that situation if there is no continuing data from Russia, although we still have the past data so it will never be as bad as it was.”The threat to turn off the receivers “is a purely political decision,” Kuimov says. “No one needs it except politicians. In fact, it just demonstrates Russia’s disloyal attitude [toward] the U.S., in response to the disloyal attitude of the U.S. [toward] Russia.”The threat also appears to have sown discord within the Russian government. On 13 May, the day after the threat surfaced, Denis Manturov, Russia’s minister of industry and trade, suggested that it didn’t make sense. “Technically, it can be done,” he said. “But what is the purpose of that?”With reporting by Vladimir Pokrovsky, Andrey Allakhverdov, and Yudhijit Bhattacharjee.
Torres on Ishige: ‘I can easily take her punches’2.2K viewsSportsVentuno Web Player 4.51 NCAA Season 93’s Best 7: Week 4 Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Torres found her golden moment early in the second round when she caught Ishige’s kick and launched a booming right hand that put “Tiny Doll” on the mat. The 21-year-old then proceeded to pummel Ishige’s picturesque face before choking her out 1:58 into the round. “I saw that she didn’t smile much when I had her and when I felt that she got scared of my striking, I knew then that I had her so I just pushed it,” said Torres. ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES Trump strips away truth with hunky topless photo tweet FEU Auditorium’s 70th year celebrated with FEU Theater Guild’s ‘The Dreamweavers’ Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo MOST READ MACAU—Filipino MMA fighter Jomary Torres looked like a nervous wreck in her first press conference, but it was a different story come fight night. In the biggest fight of her young MMA career, Torres unleashed a monster hidden within her 5-foot-1 frame.ADVERTISEMENT View comments Torres (2-0) fought for the first time in ONE Championship Saturday and the Zamboanga native put on a show the beautiful Rika Ishige had no chance of shining in.READ: PH bet Torres chokes out Ishige for debut win in ONEFEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsPhoto from ONE CHAMPIONSHIPAnd Torres, after stuttering in her first media exposure, exuded the confidence of a fighter, who just made her dominant arrival. “Rika’s strikes weren’t that strong and I can easily take her punches,” said Torres in Filipino. “Though, I was surprised when I hit her with my hook and she was still standing.” 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 NGCP on security risk: Chinese just technical advisers National Coffee Research Development and Extension Center brews the 2nd National Coffee Education Congress DILG, PNP back suspension of classes during SEA Games Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Church, environmentalists ask DENR to revoke ECC of Quezon province coal plant
Chelsea exploited Manchester City’s decision to field a weakened team by romping to a 5-1 win in the FA Cup fifth round on Sunday as they joined London rivals West Ham United and Crystal Palace in the quarter-finals.Second-half goals by Willian, Gary Cahill, Eden Hazard and Bertrand Traore, after the teams went into the break level at 1-1, underlined Chelsea’s dominance over a side keeping their powder dry for Wednesday’s Champions League tie at Dinamo Kiev.City, who play Liverpool in the League Cup final at Wembley next Sunday, have now lost three matches in a row. (Guardiola will be successful at Manchester City, says Benitez) Chelsea face a stiffer task in the next round away to Everton who they beat in the 2009 FA Cup final.Crystal Palace’s reward for a 1-0 win at Premier League title-chasers Tottenham Hotspur was a plumb away tie with second-tier Reading who shocked top flight visitors West Bromwich Albion 3-1 on Saturday.West Ham United will next visit Manchester United or third-tier Shrewsbury Town after crushing Championship side Blackburn Rovers 5-1 away — Dimitri Payet and Emmanuel Emenike scoring two goals apiece as both teams finished with 10 men.Modest Shrewsbury host Louis van Gaal’s United on Monday.If holders Arsenal beat Hull City in a replay, after being held at home by the Championship leaders on Saturday, they will welcome fellow London side Watford.Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini had threatened to sacrifice the FA Cup by making multiple changes, even saying in midweek he would not buy a ticket if he was City fan.advertisementHe was as good as his word with six teenagers starting against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.Five players — Manu Garcia, Aleix Garcia, Tosin Adarabiyo, Bersant Celina and David Faupala — made debuts as the likes of Sergio Aguero, Yaya Toure and Raheem Sterling were rested.Faupala cancelled out Diego Costa’s headed opener before halftime but the visitors could not hold out after the break.Pellegrini had criticised the Cup schedule, which gave City less recovery time for their last 16 first-leg clash in Kiev.”We were forced to select that team,” he told the BBC. “We knew it was a difficult chance to carry on in the FA Cup. We cannot do anything more.”Chelsea’s interim manager Guus Hiddink is eyeing a repeat of his feat in 2009 when they won the trophy by beating Everton in the Dutchman’s last game in charge in his first caretaker spell.With the much-maligned Hazard returning to form — crossing for Costa’s opener, assisting in Willian’s effort and curling in a free kick — Chelsea could even afford a missed Oscar penalty.”Manchester City made changes but that doesn’t make it easy because the youngsters that came in were dangerous,” Hiddink told the BBC.Tottenham crash outOne week after Tottenham won at Manchester City to move up to second in the Premier League, they suffered their first defeat in nine matches to a goal by Palace defender Martin Kelly’s on the stroke of halftime at White Hart Lane.Kelly beat Spurs keeper Michel Vorm with a powerful near-post shot to put Palace in the last eight for the first time since 1995.West Ham are sniffing a first major trophy since winning the FA Cup in 1980 after recovering from an early jolt when Ben Marshall’s low shot put Rovers ahead.Victor Moses equalised and Payet’s delightful free kick put the Hammers ahead at the interval before they raced away. Payet completed the rout with a fine solo goal after on-loan Nigerian Emenike grabbed a brace.Blackburn’s Chris Taylor was sent off after 55 minutes for a second yellow card while West Ham’s Cheikhou Kouyate was red-carded for a trip late on.
teasingChandigarh, Jun 6 (PTI) A Haryana police initiative to rope in the youth to check the menace of eve-teasing has attracted over a lakh youth including actors, singers, graphic designers, engineers and others.The police are now looking for ways to use the talent and energy of these youngsters to launch a campaign against eve- teasing across the state.Launched about a month back by Haryana DGP, B S Sandhu, as many as 1,02,980 have signed up for the Youth Against Sexual Harassment (YASH) initiative, Haryana ADGP, O P Singh said. It underlines the peoples enthusiasm to join hands with police in making streets, workplaces and homes safer for women, the officer said.In districts like Hisar, Jhajjar, Yamunanagar, Sonipat, Ambala, Bhiwani, Panchkula, Rohtak, Rewari, Faridabad and Sirsa, the number of volunteers crossed the 5,000 mark.”Interestingly 64 per cent of all those who have signed up are male, implying that a large number of men are worried about the situation and want to be agents of change. Around 32.9 per cent are over 30 years and have signed up as mentors,” Singh said.Out of those who have signed up, 124 are dramatists, 183 singers, 212 media persons, 253 artists, 533 IT professionals, 858 lawyers, 982 activists, 1,331 doctors, 1,519 engineers, 1,530 sports persons, 1,687 government officials, 1,870 businessman, 3,577 public representative, 5,956 teachers and 57,732 students. “They have ticked an astonishing range of skills as their area of interest. 1,255 are graphic designers, 1,377 are into documentary making, 1,446 are photographers, 2,537 want to help by way of social media management, 2771 by content writing.”Among others 2,919 want to be part of event management, 3,577 want to help through arts and theatre while 5,342 want to help through their knowledge in computer applications, 9,557 through public speaking and 20,239 through their sporting talent,” Singh said.advertisementHe said that police station-wise data has been supplied to the district SPs with the guideline to structure mentor and volunteers into different working groups. They have been asked to hold an open house season at police station level to figure out events that can be organised and actions that can be taken to build public opinion against sexual harassment, the ADGP said.”With an average of 100 hours of their time in a year, the effort is like pumping in over 4,29,083 man-days into preventing and disrupting sexual harassment,” he added. PTI SUN ADS
Japanese vehicle manufacturer Suzuki has geared up to showcase its range of concept cars at the ongoing Gaikindo Indonesian International Auto Show held at Jakarta, Indonesia. However, before the actual showcase, a set of images of what seems to be the upcoming Ertiga Sport has surfaced on the internet.The concept Ertiga Sport in the image gets a brown shade of paint, large wheels with low-profile tires, and a body kit with added skirts on the side, and front and rear bumpers. The radiator grille is custom mesh from Suzuki with smoked headlamps. The vehicle looks sporty and gets a lower ground clearance than the stock model, which means there could be tweaks in the suspension as well.The tweaked Ertiga is slated to be revealed at the Auto show. However, this news should be taken with a pinch of salt because Suzuki has not mentioned anything about the mass production yet. We assume the vehicle may be there only for display purposes and may not make it to mass production at all.The new-gen Ertiga has already been launched in Indonesia. The Ertiga comes powered with a 1.5-litre petrol which is mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox or a four-speed automatic. Maruti Suzuki will be bringing the updated Ertiga to the Indian shores this year.
Share on LinkedIn Members of the England football team play with inflatable unicorns in their Russian hotel, June 2018. Photograph: Eddie Keogh for FA/Rex/Shutterstock letters Pinterest Share on Messenger Share on WhatsApp Share on Twitter Twitter World Cup Jeremy Hunt Motoring Psychology Share on Facebook Although a respected sports scientist accompanied England manager Bobby Robson to Italia 90, the Football Association was not so attuned then to the psychology of winning matches at this level (Get your head in the game, G2, 11 July). When Robson’s successor, Graham Taylor, recruited a sports psychologist, the chairman of the FA international committee (who also chaired a not notably successful club then) repeatedly complained: “How much is this psychiatrist costing us?”Graham KellyFA chief executive, 1988-98 Facebook Share via Email • I took my first driving test in Boston, Massachusetts, in the late 1950s in my dad’s Morris Minor (imported, second hand, grey, red soft top, bucket seats, divided screen) (Letters, passim). The inspector was entranced by the little foreign car, couldn’t get over the little white signal flaps – and, having told me I’d passed, asked if I’d mind if he drove it around the block. Reader, I married him.Marcia HeinemannLondon• In the late 1960s my late wife commuted down Interstate 5 to her job at an advertising agency in San Diego in her green Morris Minor convertible (yes, a practical proposition in dry, sunny Southern California). It was known to family, friends, colleagues and local mechanics as the Morris Minus on the grounds that it was perennially minus a part.Adrian TuckSheringham, Norfolk• May I take this opportunity to wish the NHS a full and speedy recovery following the removal of the clot that had previously been threatening its continued wellbeing (Jeremy Hunt: Ambitious lawyer takes foreign brief, 10 July).Austen LynchGarstang, Lancashire• Puffins “making plans” (Letters page photo, 10 July)? As Eddie Izzard once asked about the best-laid plans of mice, does it involve a flip chart?Liz MeerabeauNew Malden, Surrey• Join the debate – email email@example.com• Read more Guardian letters – click here to visit gu.com/letters Topics Brief letters Share on Pinterest Reuse this content
INDIANAPOLIS, IN – FEBRUARY 29: Defensive back Jalen Ramsey of Florida State runs the 40-yard dash during the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 29, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)The NFL Combine usually features the best prospects in the country, but this year’s scouting event will be without a few talented players because the league is not allowing players with legal troubles in their past to participate. It turns out that this includes Louisiana Tech’s Jaylon Ferguson.Ferguson had his invite from the NFL rescinded due to a battery charge resulting from a fight at McDonald’s. This physical altercation occurred while he was a freshman.After finishing his senior season at Louisiana Tech with 17.5 sacks, Ferguson put himself on the map and boosted his draft stock to an undisputed first-round pick.Now that he won’t have the chance to showcase his skills at the combine, the star pass-rusher will have to impress scouts at his pro day.In the meantime, Ferguson’s agent released a fiery statement to shed light on why the NFL should welcome any and all prospects.“No person is perfect, and people are entitled to second chances and opportunities and one would hope the NFL is an open minded Industry Leader, Diverse League and Business would want to see the best in their players, educate them and help them mature, learn and be better people,” Safarrah Lawson said.The full statement can be read here:A strong statement from agent Safarrah Lawson on #LaTech prospect Jaylon Ferguson, whose invite to the Combine was rescinded yesterday. pic.twitter.com/KuETpnVhAO— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 14, 2019There is no telling if Ferguson’s absence from the event will lower his value heading into the NFL Draft.However, not having the chance to explain how he’s matured over the course of his collegiate career will allow those question marks on his resume to linger until April.
Improvements and extensions to multi-use trails in the Central Region means hikers, bikers and walkers will have more opportunities to stay fit and have fun. MLA Becky Kent, on behalf of Health and Wellness Minister David Wilson, announced seven grants totalling $113,000 for trail development today, June 20, through the Recreation Facility Development Program. The trails are among 21 projects in the Central region receiving grants totalling $582,000. “Multi-use trails throughout the province give Nova Scotians a chance to enjoy fresh air and the beauty of nature while getting active and leading healthier lives,” said Ms. Kent. “Trails are among the 59 projects receiving nearly $2 million provincewide so children, youth, and families can stay fit and have fun.” The Cole Harbour Parks and Trails Association received $10,000 to upgrade the Salt Marsh Trail, which begins on Bissett Road in Cole Harbour. “This wonderful trail shows what can be achieved when governments come together to support the hard work of volunteers and the vision of a community,” said Halifax Regional Municipality Mayor Mike Savage. “The Salt Marsh Trail is a great asset for our entire region, allowing people to become more active and engaged in our natural environment.” “Trails are a binding thread that connect communities and create opportunities for health, education, environment, arts, culture, heritage, recreation, active transportation, and economic development,” said Charlie Sharkey, vice chair of the association. “We value the ongoing government support for trails in and around our community, as well as for trails throughout Nova Scotia.” The grants help community groups, municipalities and other not-for-profit organizations develop facilities to increase public participation in sport and physical recreation. Examples include renovations to buildings, developing and maintaining walking trails, and building and upgrading fields used for sport and recreation. The grants support Thrive!, the province’s plan for a healthier Nova Scotia. The plan has 34 main actions to create supportive environments for healthy eating and physical activity. Learn more at http://thrive.novascotia.ca .
On May 8th, the Child Mind Institute and Academy Award-winning producer Brian Grazer hosted a special Speak Up for Kids panel discussion at the Paley Center for Media in Los Angeles, Taking a Leading Role: How Film and TV Can Change Kids’ Lives.Jason Katims, Harold S. Koplewicz, Willow Bay, Ted Sarandos, Brian Grazer and David O. RussellParticipants included Mr. Grazer, Child Mind Institute president Dr. Harold S. Koplewicz, Emmy Award-winning writer, producer, and playwright Jason Katims, Academy Award-nominated writer and director David O. Russell, and Chief Content Officer of Netflix Ted Sarandos. The panel was moderated by journalist Willow Bay.The lively discussion provided a behind-the-scenes look at the challenges and rewards of accurately depicting mental health in the arts. Throughout the discussion the panelists offered personal anecdotes — both as parents and as creators — about the impact of their stories on the public, and themselves. The audience of producers, directors, educators, parents and physicians was challenged to help combat the stigma of children’s mental illness.“Great stories are stories that are driven from understanding of characters and exactly what they’re feeling and thinking, and their inner psychology,” said Brian Grazer. “A lot of my movies or television shows are driven form that point of view and are often about self-worth. I am excited to partner with the Child Mind Institute to convene both the panel and ignite the discussion in our industry to use our collective platforms to find subjects and memorable characters that can really help destigmatize mental disability and change the face of mental illness in children.”“Putting yourself out of your comfort zone to help someone else is extremely powerful,” said David O. Russell. “There is a tremendous need for parents, educators and friends to Speak Up about living with mental illness. There is a lot of work to be done to help reduce the stigma and the media industry is just beginning to help with this fight.”One in five children have a psychiatric or learning disorder. Yet, our big and small screens rarely tell us these stories. And when they do they paint a picture of mental illness that is either terrifying or laughable. The panel addressed the key role movies and television play in defining mental illness for audiences, and what can be done to communicate authentic, nuanced child mental health storylines.“Presenting a true picture of the psychiatric issues facing our population, and particularly our children, would make entertainment an ally in facing down a public health crisis,” said Dr. Harold S. Koplewicz, president of Child Mind Institute. “Our panelists have, among them, created groundbreaking works that encourage acceptance of mental illness by portraying it accurately and sympathetically. We are honored to have them, and so many representatives from the media and entertainment industries with us today.”The event is part of the Child Mind Institute’s Speak Up for Kids campaign, which this year convenes 100 partners to battle the stigma and misinformation that can prevent kids and families from seeking life-changing treatment. Panel discussions throughout May in New York, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, and Chicago include thought-leaders in mental health, media and entertainment, as well as parents and children, all of whom will share their perspectives and seek to advance the dialogue concerning children’s mental health.Parents, friends, educators, kids, and advocates add their voices by sharing who or what they Speak Up for when it comes to children’s mental health by taking an ISpeakUp Selfie and sharing it on social media. The #ISpeakUp selfies appearing on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram convey powerful messages of hope, health and healing.Speak Up for Kids Los Angeles is made possible by the generous support of national founding partner Hunter, and RED Interactive Agency. For more information on David O. Russell and his work in mental health issues awareness, visit www.davidorussell.com. To see the complete list of Speak Up for Kids events and partners, and to view the #ISpeakUp Gallery, please visit www.childmind.org/speakup.Source:PR Newswire
TORONTO – The Bank of Nova Scotia and Alberta Investment Management Corp. are reducing their stake in TMX Group Ltd.Scotiabank (TSX:BNS) and AIMCo have each agreed to sell 2.75 million shares in the stock exchange operator that combined represent a 9.9 per cent stake in the company.The shares (TSX:X) are being sold at a price of $67 per share. The buyer or buyers of the shares were not immediately identified.TMX shares closed at $67.75 on Tuesday.Once the sale is complete, Scotiabank and AIMCo say they will each hold less than a five per cent stake in TMX and no longer be entitled to appoint nominees to the company’s board.AIMCo manages investments on behalf of 32 pension, endowment and government funds in Alberta, while Scotiabank is one of Canada’s largest banks.
Rabat – Fayssal Laghmam is a 21-year-old Moroccan graphic designer whose photoshopped images showing Hollywood superstars as working-class Moroccans went viral after they were posted on July 5. Laghmam says that his goal is to revive traditional Moroccan culture and challenge society’s contempt for the underprivileged through art.In an interview with Morocco World News, the promising artist described what had inspired him to represent prominent American actors in different Moroccan styles. “After I saw similar pieces made by several Arab graphic designers, I decided to place the faces of Hollywood stars on symbolic local individuals to expose our true culture and challenge society’s contemptuous view of Moroccan woman and lower-class citizens,” he said.Laghmam wished to concentrate on the human aspect of these subjects and the actors to show that exterior appearance can be misleading and that these working-class people could also be elegant if they had been in conditions enabling them to unleash their hidden beauty.The artist also sought to highlight Moroccan culture and art, which, in his opinion, should be appreciated rather than marginalized.Although he went through several technical obstacles when combining the faces of Hollywood stars with pictures of local subjects, Laghmam demonstrated the breadth of his artistic credentials by portraying Angelina Jolie wearing a special colorful scarf around her head with Amazigh-style green tattoos on her face and hands.Laghmam also portayed Leonardo Dicaprio as a handsome working-class man with blue eyes wearing a winter hat and a jacket. He placed Dwayne Johnson’s face on a guerrab, a traditional water carrier. The artist also characterized Will Smith as a native Sahrawi man from the desert, wearing a long blue shawl round his head and neck, and Vin Diesel as a man carrying a bag of cement on his shoulders.“I spent two days working on each photo, and the final product was far more appealing than I expected at the beginning of the process,” he stated. “I did not expect that the pictures would go viral on social media, because it is difficult to satisfy all people. However, I received much positive feedback that motivates me to produce something better in the future.”Laghmam hopes to hone his skills acquired from seven years of experience in graphic design to produce extensive portrayal and commentary on Morocco’s rich culture, which he believes should be presented in a modern and innovative style.
CHICAGO — Grain futures were mostly higher Friday in early trading on the Chicago Board of Trade.Wheat for May delivery was up 7.40 cents at $4.3840 a bushel; May corn rose 9.20 cents at $3.5260 a bushel; May oats was gainrd 2.60 cents at $3.0260 a bushel; while May soybeans was off 2 cents at 8.5540 a bushel.Beef and pork were lower on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.Apr. live cattle was off 1.17 cents at $1.2438 a pound; Apr. feeder cattle fell 1.73 cents at $1.4392 a pound; Apr. lean hogs was lost .17 cent at .8808 a pound.The Associated Press
There are no Islamist jihadist groups in Sri Lanka, said a study commissioned by the Colombo-based International Centre for Ethnic Studies (ICES), The Hindu newspaper reported.The study had gone into an accusation, made both from within and outside the Muslim community in recent years, that a “jihadist” movement was being formed in the Eastern province, where Muslims constitute around 37 per cent the population. Muslims account for 9.67 per cent of the country’s population, according to the 2012 census, Discussion with representatives of Thablighi Jamaat, Thawheed and Sufi groups revealed that “while there is [a] talk among discontented youth about espousing ‘jihadi’ practices, these are just idle youth responding to the global trend in Islam, but with no motivation or the means to make this a reality. Local organisations such as mosque federations are also keeping tabs on the community and nipping such ideas in the bud,” said the study. While focusing on “purifying Islamic practices,” they had faced several conflicts with traditional Sufi groups.“However, the emergence of Saudi-based movements in Sri Lanka such as the Thawheed Jamaat has transformed the conflict into Wahabism [Thawheed] versus Sufism,” the study said. Quoting Tamil writer and intellectual M.A. Nuhman, the study refers to two reformist movements — Jamaat-e-Islami and Thabligh-i-Jamaat, both of which arrived in Sri Lanka during the 1950s.
Human rights groups and the UN have raised concerns over the President’s decision to implement the death penalty. (Colombo Gazette) President Maithripala Sirisena says the date has been set to implement the death penalty.Speaking at an event today, the President said that tough action will be taken against those involved in drug trafficking. He said that the country needs to have strong laws and tough penalties and that punishment must be implemented.As a result he said that the death penalty will be implemented on repeat offenders involved in drug trafficking.
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Engaging in extensive consultations with members of the Pakistani Foreign Ministry, Mr. Brahimi met with Foreign Secretary Inam-ul Haque and had a working lunch with Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar, among other contacts. In addition, Mr. Brahimi met with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Ruud Lubbers, who is currently assessing the agency’s ability to cope with an outflow of refugees from Afghanistan. A UN spokesman in Islamabad quoted Mr. Brahimi as saying “if [a] way can be found to liberate and empower the people of Afghanistan, this is something the international community can eventually be proud of.” Interviewed later by CNN, Mr. Brahimi said he was “very encouraged” by his meetings on Afghanistan, both in the region and before travelling there. “These [regional] governments and other governments interested in Afghanistan – and capable of influencing the situation in Afghanistan – seem to understand that the time for compromise, the time for allowing the people of Afghanistan to work out some kind of arrangement for themselves is there, and we are very hopeful that they will cooperate with us to achieve that result,” he said. Tomorrow, Mr. Brahimi is scheduled to meet with a broad range of Afghans, from political actors to civil society representatives.
by Anne D’Innocenzio And Michelle Chapman, The Associated Press Posted Aug 22, 2013 6:28 am MDT NEW YORK, N.Y. – It was another bad quarter for Sears Holdings Corp.The beleaguered retailer, which operates Kmart and Sears stores, said Thursday that its second-quarter loss widened as the company continued to struggle with weak sales and deep discounts.The results were also hurt by the decline in the number of stores in operation and the lingering effects from its spinoff of the Hometown and Outlet brand.Shares fell over 8 per cent to close down $3.55 at $39.72 on Thursday. The stock’s now back near the 52-week low of $38.40 that it hit at the end of 2012.A series of retailers, including Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Macy’s Inc., have reported disappointing quarterly results this month and have issued bleaker outlooks as shoppers deal with an uncertain economy and an increase in the payroll tax.Some store executives have also noted that people are shifting spending toward bigger-ticket items like cars and home improvement and away from clothing.Sears, which caters to middle-income shoppers, faced those pressures on top of its own problems, further clouding the path toward profitability.Sears Chairman Eddie Lampert, who took on the role of CEO and controls the company, on Thursday acknowledged the importance of profits but he emphasized that the company has made progress toward a “members”-focused company whose most loyal customers receive incentives to buy.Still, the latest results bolster critics’ arguments that Sears hasn’t done enough in its own stores to give shoppers a compelling reason to visit.The company, which operates nearly 2,500 stores in the U.S. and Canada, is considered a bellwether of consumer spending for low- to middle-income shoppers. For the quarter, revenue at stores opened at least a year in its U.S. stores fell 1.5 per cent, including a 2.1 per cent drop at Kmart and a 0.8 per cent decline at Sears. The measure is a key indicator of a retailer’s health because it excludes results from stores recently opened or closed.Sales fell for a broad range of merchandise, including appliances, which should have benefited from a shift in spending toward home improvement.“There was not much change in direction from weak results over the last few quarters, but this quarter should have benefited from strong seasonal sales in home improvement and a revived appliance market,” Gary Balter, an analyst at Credit Suisse, said in a note to clients. “Sears remains on a dangerous downward spiral.”The latest results do not bode well for the winter holiday season, which is the largest selling season for retailers, said Belus Capital Advisors CEO Brian Sozzi.“Sears has zero momentum going into the most important part of the calendar for retailing,” Sozzi said.The latest performance puts more pressure on Lampert, who succeeded Louis D’Ambrosio as CEO. D’Ambrosio, who had been CEO since February 2011, left the company for family reasons. Lampert engineered the combination of Sears and Kmart in 2005, about two years after he helped bring Kmart out of bankruptcy.Last year, the Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based company announced plans to restore profitability by aggressively cutting costs, reducing inventory, selling off some assets and spinning off others. Those moves helped it reduce net debt by $400 million and generated $1.8 billion in cash from the asset sales in the latest fiscal year.In May, Sears announced that it’s considering selling its protection-agreement business in an ongoing effort to raise cash as it struggles to reverse its fortunes. The unit runs the part of the business that sells customers service contracts that guarantee to fix or replace appliances if they break. Sears said Thursday that while it believes it has potential options for the business, it has not decided which action to take.However, Sears said that it has made significant progress toward it plan to raise at least $500 million of additional liquidity in 2013.In an interview with The Associated Press Thursday, Lampert focused on how the retailer has made meaningful progress toward building its loyalty program called Shop Your Way, which accounts for 65 per cent of its sales and has tens of millions of active customers. And he promised that for the rest of the year, Sears will create more membership-only events for its Shop Your Way customers.While Lampert said that shoppers redeemed rewards points at a much higher rate than a year ago and increased its costs, he believes that members are getting more involved with the program, which will allow Sears to speed up its transformation further.“We want our members to get more. Our members need to get more. The good news is that we have lots of them,” he said.Lampert has been pushing hard to compete with online retailers like Amazon.com, and online sales were one bright spot for the company this quarter. They rose 20 per cent at sears.com and kmart.com.Lampert acknowledged that the company is constantly getting criticized for not investing in stores, but he said that while stores are important, the company is focusing on the “software” — the merchandise and the training of its associates. He says Sears is looking at new technology that it will bring to the stores in the second half of the year.Sears has been giving Apple iPads and iPod Touch devices to sales staff to research products and help customers on the sales floorStill, losses are growing.For the period ended Aug. 3, Sears Holdings Corp. lost $194 million, or $1.83 per share. That compares with a loss of $132 million, or $1.25 per share, a year earlier. Excluding one-time charges, it lost $1.46 per share.Revenue declined 6 per cent to $8.87 billion from $9.47 billion, mostly due to store closings. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Sears 2nd-quarter loss widens as sales at Kmart, namesake stores weaken
Here are complete results of EHF EURO 2014 Qualification Round 1:GROUP 1Macedonia – Switzerland 30:24Spain – Portugal 34:20GROUP 2Czech Republic – Israel 27:22Germany – Montenegro 27:31GROUP 3Norway – Turkey 41:23France – Lithuania 27:18GROUP 4Croatia – Slovakia 25:21Hungary – Latvia 32:25GROUP 5Poland – Netherlands 33:22Sweden – Ukraine 28:23GROUP 6Iceland – Belarus 36:28Slovenia – Romania 34:26GROUP 7Austria – Bosnia and Herzegovina 35:24Serbia – Russia 30:29 EHF EURO 2014 ← Previous Story EC 2014 Quals: Montenegro shocks Germany, wins 31:27 in Mannheim! Next Story → EC 2014 Quals: Macedonia travels to Portugal with three changes, Georgievski left out!?
Yesterday was Les Paul’s 96th birthday. If you took at look at Google, you would have noticed that its regular Google logo was replaced by a Google Doodle of a working six-string guitar. People went crazy over the doodle, not only because it celebrated the great man behind the original solid-body electric guitar, but because you could play songs with your keyboard or mouse and actually record them. Needless to say, everyone’s productivity level dropped drastically yesterday while people were trying to figure out how to play their favorite songs via the guitar.We admit, we’re not the most musically talented bunch, but there are plenty of people out there who recorded some really fabulous versions of songs using the Google guitar. We picked our favorite five and listed them below for you to ogle over. Some of them even have instructions on how to play them yourself. But hurry, the doodle is still up on Google’s homepage today, but it most likely will be gone by tomorrow. It’s rare for Google to keep a doodle up for more than one day, but the smash hit of the Les Paul doodle led Google to give us one more day of doodle-music recording.Here are out favorite five, in no particular order:1) PCMag’s Creative Director Chris Phillips, who’s also a musician, figured out how to play The Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun.” PCMag wrote out a step-by-step guide to playing the song. You can listen to the complete version here .2) YouTube user unboxpeter posted the above video of himself playing Pachelbel’s Canon. The song, famously used during weddings as the bride walks down the aisle, has been transformed into a geektastic version using his keyboard to play the song. The video is pretty adorable as you can hear the creator’s excitement as he discovers “the possibilities.” There’s also quite a hefty amount of comments with other “tabs” to play other songs with the Google Les Paul Guitar.3) Lady Gaga has never sounded better. YouTube users lostpicasso72 posted a screengrab video showing the strings moving as he (or she) plays Lady Gaga’s popular “Paparazzi” song. He also wrote out directions on how to play it: “right hand: 88888 9 77777 8 9 0 67 67 08 (x2); left hand: 3+1 5+2 4+1).4) For the kids growing up in the Nineties, the Rugrats was a pretty big part of our Nickelodeon-watching lives. YoutTube user bk694b694 did a quick 13-second version of the Rugrats theme song that takes us back to our childhood. If you’d like to learn how to play it, click on the video above and check out the comments.5) It seems that Beatles songs are quite popular for playing on the Google Guitar. Besides “Here Comes the Sun,” mentioned above, one musician actually did a 4-minute-long version of “Hey Jude.” The video shown above is the shorter version which allows for easier listening. YouTube user afteredmund, the lead singer of the band After Edmund, actually sings in this video and isn’t half bad. He does a full-length version which drowns out the guitar, but it’s still impressive that people are actually using the Google Guitar to make and record real music.What can we say? Happy birthday, Les, and way to go Google, you’ve outdone yourself this time.
De minuscules chameaux fossiles découverts au PanamaPubliant leurs travaux dans le Journal of Vertebrate Paloontology, des chercheurs américains ont décrit les fossiles de deux nouvelles espèces de camélidés anciens découverts au Panama, des animaux d’une taille de quelques dizaines de centimètres seulement. “Ce sont des animaux très mignons”, résume Carlos Jaramillo, de l’Institut Smithsonian de recherches tropicales à Panama. Lui et son collègue Aldo Rincon, spécialiste en paléontologie des vertébrés à l’Université de Floride à Gainesville, ont décrit scientifiquement 2 nouvelles espèces de chameaux fossiles minuscules, dont les restes ont été mis au jour entre 2008 et 2011 sur le site paléontologique de Las Cascadas, au Panama.À lire aussiMaladie de Charcot : symptômes, causes, traitement, où en est on ?Avec seulement 80 centimètres de hauteur pour l’espèce Aguascalietia panamaensis et 60 centimètres pour l’espèce Aguascalientia minuta, les deux nouveaux venus dans la famille des camélidés font figure de modèles réduits par rapport aux formes actuelles. Tous deux parcouraient les tropiques de l’Amérique centrale il y a environ 20 millions d’années, mangeant probablement des fruits et des feuilles grâce aux dents courtes et assez pointues, peu adaptées au broutage de l’herbe, qui garnissaient leur étrange museau vaguement crocodilesque.Abondants dans les Amériques il y a environ 35 à 40 millions d’années, les camélidés se sont plus tard ramifiés en deux lignées : celle d’Amérique du Sud, où ils ont évolué en lamas et formes proches, et celle d’Asie, qui a évolué vers les grands chameaux et dromadaires que nous connaissons aujourd’hui. La présence de camélidés aussi loin au sud qu’au Panama devrait permettre aux scientifiques de mieux reconstituer l’évolution de ces animaux, selon les auteurs. Le 10 mars 2012 à 15:39 • Maxime Lambert