IT Modernization—Get Ready to Run

first_imgThere’s a popular, widely-applied metaphor around marathons and sprints. People are quick to tell you that life or business or whatever topic is a marathon, not a sprint. While I appreciate the sentiment, I’ve been a CIO three times, and it’s my observation that IT—and the business that drives it—is a series of heart-pounding sprints punctuated by brief periods of confusion, contemplation, and adjustment—quickly followed by more sprints. These pauses occur as we consider disruptive changes in technology or business, and the next sprint begins when business opportunity and technology suddenly align. For a surprising number of businesses, the next starting gun is about to go off as Microsoft ends support for Windows Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008.We had a nice, regular IT modernization tempo of hardware and software refresh going in the 1990s and early 2000s that matched the incremental business evolution of the time. Then mobility and social media happened—and the cloud. The way people live and work changed. And just when businesses were trying to adapt to a new wave of customer expectations and business opportunities, IT was contemplating what to do about cloud computing. Should we upgrade our servers and storage, or should we move all our apps to SaaS? Should we use public IaaS services, or should we build our own cloud? Now, however, the contemplation is over, IT is ready to move ahead, and the business is saying “About time!”Three forces have aligned to signal the next sprint. Enterprises have settled on a cloud strategy. The votes are in, and the winner is hybrid cloud. Organizations are looking to a future that consists of on-premises private clouds linked to public clouds and sharing data and applications. DevOps pipelines will flow applications quickly and seamlessly into whichever part of the environment best suits business, technical, and economic needs. Open-source technology and commercial products from vendors like Microsoft, VMware, and Red Hat are already making it happen, and it’s enabling the agility businesses need to survive and thrive. A new wave of software is enabling new apps. Analytics, machine learning, and the Internet of Things are enabling new kinds of customer experiences, new levels of operational efficiency, new products and services, and even new business models. Cloud-native environments and containers help accelerate the deployment of new applications and services in hybrid clouds. A new generation of hardware—designed and built for the cloud—is ready to power digital transformation. Compared to the systems still in place in most data centers, modern servers based on Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors, solid state drives (SSDs), and Intel® Optane™ DC SSDs can provide three-times the compute power, support up to 16-times more memory, handle up to 2,500-times more IO operations per second, and maintain 40-times the storage capacity. New network interfaces deliver up to 10-times the throughput of earlier ones. And Intel® Trusted Execution Technology helps ensure virtual machines launch in a trusted environment that hasn’t been compromised.A new generation of software leverages this powerful new hardware. Microsoft products, such as Windows Server* 2016, Windows Server* 2019, and SQL Server* 2017, grow the scale of virtualized environments, bring new cloud-native technologies like containers, and enable hyperconverged infrastructure that’s easier and more cost effective to acquire, deploy, and operate. SQL Server support of Linux OS is a big opportunity, as is the added Linux and Docker* container support of Windows Server.In all this technology uproar, the long-anticipated end of support for SQL Server 2008 in July 2019 (and Windows Server 2008 just six months later) seems like but a whisper. But it’s the trigger that signals the next sprint for IT. More than half of enterprises are still running it, and each of them must upgrade to a later version in the next year or risk running their datacenters on unsupported software. With a solid cloud strategy now in hand, enterprises will take the opportunity to refresh dated server environments and begin to build the computing environments of the future.To make infrastructure deployment fast and easy, we’ve teamed with key partners like Microsoft to create Intel® Select Solutions—tested and verified hardware and software configurations optimized for specific workloads and delivered via Intel® OEMs. They feature the Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors, solid state drives, and network interfaces that deliver the performance I described earlier, and they simplify infrastructure acquisition and deployment, so IT can focus on delivering the new applications the business needs.Get ready to run. Find the Intel® Select Solutions you need to shed the past and begin the next phase of your digital transformation.last_img read more

Atletico Madrid eyeing to make a move for Mauro Icardi

first_imgAdvertisement AdvertisementAtletico Madrid are eyeing to make a move for the star Argentine centre forward Mauro Icardi in this summer transfer window. The new manager of Inter Milan, Antonio Conte has made it clear that he does not want Icardi in his side for the next season. According to the sources, Inter Milan are very close to sign the star Belgian centre forward of Manchester United, Romelu Lukaku in upcoming days.Mauro Icardi has some serious attitude problem. Antonio Conte does not want to destroy the peace in the dressing room. At Chelsea the same situation happened with Diego Costa. For that reason, the team spirit of the team was badly affected.The top European clubs like Juventus and Napoli are looking interested to get in the star Argentine centre forward in their squad for the next season. Even, Juventus have offered Gonzalo Higuain plus cash to bring Mauro Icardi in their side. However, Atletico Madrid are closely monitoring the situation.The club management want another centre forward to help Alvaro Morata and they feel that Diego Costa is not at his best now. If Atletico Madrid want to get Mauro Icardi in their squad, they have to offload Diego Costa in this summer transfer window.Diego Costa gets eight-game ban for abusing referee against Barcelonalast_img read more

India clubbed with Sri Lanka in Women’s World Cup Qualifiers

first_imgThe Indian women’s cricket team has been clubbed alongside Sri Lanka among others for next month’s ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifiers from where top four sides would make the cut for tournament-proper in June.The tournament will run from January 7 to 21 at four Colombo venues and the sides finishing in the top four of the Super Six stage will join defending champion Australia, host England, former winner New Zealand and reigning ICC World Twenty20 champion West Indies in the World Cup from June 26 to July 23.Asian champion and former World Cup finalist India leads Group A which also includes Sri Lanka, Ireland, Zimbabwe and Thailand, while South Africa heads Group B which comprises Pakistan, Bangladesh, Scotland and Papua New Guinea (PNG).Each side will play four matches in the first round, following which the top three sides from each group will progress to the Super Six stage, while also carrying forward points they earn against teams which have progressed to the Super Six stage from their group.The top four sides from the Super Six stage, in which each side will play three matches against teams from the other group, will complete the eight-team line-up for the World Cup 2017.Holly Colvin, ICC’s Women’s Cricket Officer and a World Cup winner with England in 2009, said: “This is an extremely important event on the women’s cricket calendar as it offers a final opportunity to the sides to qualify for the ICC Women’s World Cup, which is the ultimate event for any cricketer.”advertisementGroups:Group A: India, Sri Lanka, Ireland, Zimbabwe and ThailandGroup B: South Africa, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Scotland and Papua New GuineaWarm-up matches: 5 February India v South Africa, P.Sara Stadium; Sri Lanka v Pakistan, Mercantile Cricket Association (MCA); Ireland v Bangladesh, Nondescripts Cricket Club (NCC); Zimbabwe v Scotland, Colombo Cricket Club (CCC); Thailand v PNG, Moors Sports Club.Tournament fixtures (first round)7 February Sri Lanka v India, P.Sara Stadium; Ireland v Zimbabwe, MCA; South Africa v Pakistan, NCC; Zimbabwe v Scotland, CCC8 February Pakistan v Bangladesh, P.Sara Stadium; Scotland v South Africa, MCA; Sri Lanka v Ireland, NCC; India v Thailand, CCC10 February India v Ireland, P.Sara Stadium; Thailand v Zimbabwe, MCA11 February South Africa v Bangladesh, P.Sara Stadium; Scotland v PNG, MCA; Sri Lanka v Zimbabwe, NCC; Ireland v Thailand, CCC13 February Zimbabwe v India, P.Sara Stadium; Sri Lanka v Thailand, MCA; South Africa v PNG, NCC; Pakistan v Scotland, CCCSuper Six stage (teams to be confirmed after 13 February matches):15 February Match 21, P.Sara Stadium; Match 22, NCC; Match 23, CCC17 February Match 24, P.Sara Stadium; Match 25, NCC; Match 26, CCC19 February Match 27, P.Sara Stadium; Match 28, NCC; Match 29, CCC21 February – FINALlast_img read more

SC directs BCCI to release funds for Dharamsala Test

first_imgThe Supreme Court on Monday directed the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to release funds to the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) to host the fourth and the final Test between India and Australia in Dharamsala as per the schedule.Earlier, the BCCI’s Committee of Administrators (CoA) had sought the apex court’s immediate interference to ensure both the Dharamsala Test and the upcoming tenth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) are not disrupted by disgruntled state associations.The COA in its second status report, which was submitted in the court last week, had singled out the HPCA for intransigence. The three-member bench of administrators also had stern words for the Saurashtra Cricket Association (SCA), which is asking for more funds to host the IPL matches despite having ample cash reserves.However, a bench of the apex court headed by Justice Dipak Misra and also comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan said that the BCCI should honour the terms and conditions so that there would not be any impediment in tomorrow’s series-deciding Test.Besides this, the Supreme Court also made it clear that any official, who has completed the nine years term in either BCCI or any state cricket association, would not continue further after three completion of the term.last_img read more

Texas WR and OSU Target Nearing Commitment

first_imgWide receiver target Tren’Davian Dickson has long been on the radar for OSU, and he tells Scout he will be making his decision before the end of July.Dickson’s top six includes Alabama, OSU, Texas, Texas A&M, USC, and Baylor – where he was previously committed. Dickson is a stud prospect who set a national record last season at Navasota High School with 39 touchdown catches – including this one-handed snag in the state championship game.Tren'Davian Dickson is a stud. Tren’Davian Dickson is a stud. Dickson is visiting Alabama this week and also expects to take a visit to Texas A&M before committing around July 31. A&M is the 247sports favorite to land the four-star prospect, and the 20 minute drive from home to College Station could be one of the main reasons.Dickson has already visited Stillwater once, and he had great things to say this weekend reflecting on OSU. “When I took a visit there, it was like some of the nicest stuff there I’d ever seen. And then Coach Gundy was real cool, and Coach Dunn was real nice so I like them two coaches there.”trenTalking about his decision, it’s clear that the coaches will play a factor in his decision as well. Coach Dunn and Coach Gundy seem to have some work on their hands if they intend to pluck Dickson from the hometown favorite of Texas A&M.If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!last_img read more

Rising U.S. star McKennie tries to stay humble

first_imgUnited States ‘My mom would bust my chops’ – Rising U.S. talent McKennie not acting like a star Goal Last updated 2 years ago 05:19 10/31/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Weston McKennie Schalke United States Bundesliga Schalke 04 The teenager has made the breakthrough to Schalke’s first team this season, but his family helps ensure he doesn’t get a big head Rising American midfielder Weston McKennie relies on his mother to keep him humble, saying she would “bust my chops” if he started behaving like a star. The 19-year-old has become a regular with Schalke this season, leading many to pencil him in as a future U.S. national team fixture. But the Texas native isn’t letting his success get to his head, and McKennie says that his mom is a driving force in keeping him level headed.  Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player “I know exactly who I am and where I come from,” McKennie told Kicker. “And my mom would bust my chops if I would suddenly start behaving like a star.”He might not act like a star, but the holding midfielder is showing signs he could develop into one. McKennie started three straight Bundesliga games in September before being sidelined with a thigh injury. Now back in the squad, McKennie said that he developed his aggressive playing style from his home country’s most popular sport. “I’m a player who attacks his opponents aggressively and puts them under pressure physically,” McKennie said. “I think that’s when the American football player inside me comes out.”McKennie is hoping he gets his first call-up to the senior U.S. squad for November’s friendly against Portugal — the team’s first match after it was knocked out of contention for the 2018 World Cup. “I have the hope that I will be considered for the game against Portugal on Nov. 14. I’d very happy about this,” he said. “After failing to qualify for the World Cup, there is the chance to reset a few things. Maybe I can profit from that, even though I am very sad that my country won’t take part in the tournament in Russia.”last_img read more

Report: Villarreal 0 Barcelona 2

first_imgVillarreal 0 Barcelona 2: Suarez, Messi restore five-point LaLiga lead Joe Wright 05:47 12/11/17 luis suarez - cropped Getty Images Barcelona ended a run of back-to-back draws in LaLiga thanks to second-half goals from Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi away to Villarreal. Goals from Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi gave Barcelona a 2-0 win over 10-man Villarreal on Sunday and restored their five-point lead at the top of LaLiga.The Uruguay forward struck with 18 minutes to play at the Estadio de la Ceramica before Messi added a simple second, ending a run of back-to-back draws in the top flight for the Catalans and keeping the title race firmly in their hands.Messi’s goal saw him equal the record of 525 goals in all competitions for the same team in one of Europe’s top-five leagues, set by Bayern Munich great Gerd Muller. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Barca, held by second-place Valencia and Celta Vigo in their last two games, had not gone three games without a league win for over a year but found it difficult to break down Javier Calleja’s side.Luis Suarez and Gerard Pique each hit the woodwork but Marc-Andre ter Stegen was called upon to keep the home side at bay, before Raba’s red card in the second half left Villarreal up against it.The visitors had been short of their best but one moment of slick passing carved open the Villarreal defence and allowed Luis Suarez to break the deadlock, and Messi made the points safe with seven minutes remaining.The victory again moves Barca five points clear of Valencia, six above Atletico Madrid and eight ahead of champions Real Madrid, all three of whom won this weekend.Pique hit the bar after only three minutes with a header from Denis Suarez’s corner, though Ter Stegen had to be alert to deny Roberto Soriano from close range in an evenly contested first half-hour.WHAT A GAME to make your comeback, @SergioAsenjo1! #VillarrealBarça— LaLiga (@LaLigaEN) December 10, 2017A Messi free-kick forced a save from Sergio Asenjo – back in the team in LaLiga for the first time this season after recovering from his latest knee injury – and the Argentina star flashed another shot narrowly wide, but it was a pretty subdued display from the leaders in the opening half.Villarreal were not looking too stretched by Barca’s approach play and Valverde responded by bringing off Denis Suarez for Paco Alcacer just before the hour mark, with the Catalans shifting to more of a 4-3-1-2.Alcacer almost made an immediate impact, connecting with Jordi Alba’s low cross only to be denied by Asenjo six yards from goal, before Messi sent another Alba pass inches wide of the right-hand post.As Barca suddenly looked to be in the ascendancy, Raba handed them a huge advantage, lunging into a challenge on Sergio Busquets on the edge of the visitors’ penalty area and catching him on the foot with raised studs, prompting referee Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea to brandish a straight red card.Luis Suarez was inches from capitalising on that man advantage seven minutes later, nudging Alba’s cross onto the right-hand post with an outstretched boot, but the Uruguayan at last made the telling impact in the 72nd minute.Messi started a quick passing move that saw the former Liverpool striker play a one-two with Alcacer, round Asenjo and slot home for his seventh league goal of the season.Manu Trigueros brought a flying stop out of Ter Stegen but Villarreal killed off their own hopes of a comeback with eight minutes left. A loose pass allowed Busquets to feed Messi on the edge of the area and the Argentina star burst into space and slotted the ball past Asenjo, securing a 12th win in 15 league games this season. With that goal, Leo #Messi equals Gerd Müller as the top scorer in Europe’s major league with one club. Well done, Leo! #ForçaBarça— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) December 10, 2017 read morelast_img read more

Baylor Cupp, No. 1 TE In 2019 Class, Suffers Likely Season-Ending Injury

first_img The head coach revealed Cupp go rolled up on and needed a plate put into his ankle to stabilize the injury.“He had a plate put on his ankle, tibia, on the lower part of his leg,” Fisher said to the Dallas Morning News. “He’ll be out for a while. Just got rolled up on. That was the only major injury we had in the scrimmage. …“Baylor was playing really good football. He was actually having a really good scrimmage, doing a really nice job. We hate to see that, but he’ll get healed up and get back. He’s still going to be one heck of a player and he was having a heck of a camp.”Cupp was the No. 1 tight end recruit in the country. He was expected to play a significant role in the offense after the Aggies lost Jace Sternberger to the 2019 NFL draft. Fans at Texas A&M for a game vs. Arkansas.COLLEGE STATION, TX – SEPTEMBER 29: General view of fans cheering during the game between the Arkansas Razorbacks and the Texas A&M Aggies at Kyle Field on September 29, 2012 in College Station, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)The No. 1 tight end in the 2019 recruiting class suffered a devastating injury in camp this week.Texas A&M tight end Baylor Cupp suffered a broken leg, Aggies head coach Jimbo Fisher confirmed on Tuesday night.It’s a massive blow to the offense, where Cupp figured to be one of the biggest instant-impact players in the country.Fisher said Cupp “will be out for a while,” but when describing his injury, it looks to be season-ending.last_img read more

Government to Ask CAC to Monitor Food Prices

first_imgPrime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller says the Government will ask the Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC) to monitor the price of food items, in light of the increases to some goods and services.“We are going to speak to the Consumer Affairs Commission to see what they can do in monitoring the prices, so that the consumers will not be treated in an unreasonable way,” Mrs. Simpson Miller said in an interview with JIS News, on Thursday, April 4, at the Office of the Prime Minister.This comes in light of the decline of the Jamaican dollar against the United States dollar, and the price increases that could result.The Consumer Affairs Commission is a government agency established to inform, educate and empower consumers to protect themselves in the marketplace.The work of the Commission is three pronged: it engages in market research, provides complaint resolution services and run a vibrant consumer education programme. All the services provided by the Commission are free, as the organization is fully funded by Government. The CAC operates under the Trade Act of 1955 and the Consumer Protection Act of 2005.By Latonya Linton, JIS Reporterlast_img read more

Ontario outlines arguments in lawsuit against federal carbon tax plan

first_imgTORONTO – Days after denouncing a Toronto judge who deemed a provincial law violated charter rights, the Ontario government said it would invoke the Constitution in its legal challenge against the federal government’s carbon pricing plan.In a court document filed Friday, the province outlined its arguments to contest the planned federal charge for provinces that don’t have their own carbon pricing regime, a measure scheduled to kick in next year.Ontario argues the federal government does not have the power to put a price on greenhouse gases because provinces are able to regulate them themselves.“The regulation of greenhouse gases does not become a matter of ‘national concern’ just because different provinces take different views as to the most effective method to regulate them,” the document says. “The provinces are able to decide how best to regulate greenhouse gas emissions themselves without any need for a one-size-fits-all federal carbon price.”The province also alleges the charges imposed under the federal plan are unconstitutional taxes because the legislation does not require the funds to be used for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.Critics were quick to call the province’s arguments to the court ironic in light of Premier Doug Ford’s insistence that judges should not interfere with the actions of an elected government.The premier made the comments repeatedly earlier this week after a Toronto judge ruled against the province in a separate case. In that matter, the judge struck down provincial legislation to reduce the size of Toronto’s city council in the middle of an election campaign, saying it violated the constitutional rights of candidates and voters.The province is appealing the ruling, and also took the unprecedented step of overriding it by invoking a rare constitutional provision known as the notwithstanding clause. The move set off a wave of outrage from critics who have said the clause was not designed to deal with such an issue.Liberal legislator Nathalie Des Rosiers, a former counsel for the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, said the irony of the provincial lawsuit “is not lost on anyone.”“Certainly I think they are asking for lots of creativity on the part of the judiciary in their lawsuit against the federal government,” she said.That sentiment was echoed by Green party leader Mike Schreiner, who said the premier “talks out of both sides of his mouth.”“The irony is appalling, actually,” Schreiner said. “The premier on the one hand attacks the judiciary and now is actually trying to use the judiciary to overturn legislation that was democratically passed by the federal government.”Environment Minister Rod Phillips said the government was within its rights to use legal channels to push back against the federal plan.“We’re properly using the tools in our toolkit,” he told reporters.“We see this as a question of jurisdiction. We see this as a question of what the province is meant to do as a result of the Constitution Act and what the federal government is meant to do.”The Progressive Conservative election platform set aside $30 million for the lawsuit over the carbon tax.The federal government has said it is disappointed Ontario was spending millions of taxpayer dollars to fight climate leadership.Ford vowed during the spring election campaign to eliminate Ontario’s cap-and-trade system and fight the federal carbon-pricing system that would replace it.The Progressive Conservative government has since passed a regulation and introduced legislation to scrap cap and trade and cancel programs financed through its revenues, which include rebates for energy-efficient renovations, transit projects and a fund for school repairs.Greenpeace Canada filed a legal challenge against the province this week over the lack of consultation on those decisions, and the Progressive Conservative government posted a notice of consultation on the Cap and Trade Cancellation Act hours later.The group says it is still proceeding with the suit — one of several legal battles the province is waging.last_img read more

Canadian oil firm hit by occupation as Peru faces warning of wider

first_imgJorge Barrera APTN National NewsHundreds of Indigenous people have reportedly seized oil facilities operated by the subsidiary of a Canadian company in Peru’s Amazon region amid warnings of a wider uprising over the Peruvian government’s failure to consult with communities before allowing extraction on their traditional territories.Members of the Indigenous Los Jardines community seized facilities in the Amazon region of Loreto operated by Frontera Energy Corp, a subsidiary of Canadian firm Pacific Exploration & Production, according to local and wire service reports. The people of Los Jardines also briefly occupied the airport in Loreto earlier this month.The occupation is targeting one of the country’s largest oil fields. Frontera told Peruvian newspaper El Commercio the action has impacted the production of about 2,000 barrels per day, but the company continues to produce about 8,000 bpd from the oil field.Screen grab from video published by El Commercio of occupation.The same installation was hit with an occupation which began in April and ended in June after Frontera signed a deal with Los Jardines and Alianza Nueva Capahuari, two of 18 Indigenous communities whose territories include Lot 192, one of Peru’s richest oil fields, according to local reports. The communities had demanded US$1 million from the company for use of their territory.Wilmer Chavez, the leader of the Organizacion Regional Indigenas Achuar del Pastaza, told Reuters the occupation would end the moment the Peruvian government agreed to consult with the region’s Indigenous communities before renewing an extraction license for Lot 192, which will expire this year, according to reports.Screen grab from video published by El Commercio of occupation.Other Indigenous groups in the region are backing the occupation and warn there will be a wider uprising unless Peru begins proper consultations.“If there is no prior consultation, my brothers and communities will brandish their spears and rise,” said Aurelio Chino, president of the Federacion Indigena Quechua del Pastaza, during a press conference Tuesday in Lima, the capital of Peru.The latest occupation could reignite another round of serious conflict between Indigenous people in Peru’s Amazon and the federal government. The Peruvian government adopted a law in 2011 which enshrined a duty to consult on natural resource development read more

Human rights must be paramount in policing UN envoy says in Liberia

Eighty officers from the Liberia National Police (LNP) have completed a three-month intensive training programme to join the force’s Emergency Response Unit (ERU), joining just over 200 others who have finished their training since courses began in mid-2008. They are tasked with responding to crisis and high-risk situations.Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu, the Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative for the Rule of Law in Liberia, told a graduation ceremony in Monrovia, the capital, for the 80 officers that they have “inherited the hopes and dreams of all Liberians who seek to live” in safety and security.“The measure of your strength and power is not how frequently you remind people of them, but how well you control your use of that power,” Ms. Mensa-Bonsu said, according to a press release issued today by the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).“Even when tested under the most trying of circumstances, you must adhere to the principle of proportionality in the use of force; sound judgement, restraint and respect are characteristics of a professional police officer,” she stressed.In her remarks Ms. Mensa-Bonsu promised that UNMIL would continue to assist the Liberian Government in training, reforming and restructuring the LNP. She also welcomed the support for the United States and Irish Governments for the ERU training programme. 7 September 2009Respect for human rights must be central to police work, a senior United Nations official in Liberia has told the new members of an elite unit within the West African country’s police force as she warned them never to misuse their strength and power. read more

Refugees bearing brunt of economic hardship in West Bank – UN report

12 December 2011The unemployment rate among refugees in the West Bank has continued to grow this year, even though overall levels of joblessness there have fallen, according to a United Nations report released today. The report, released by the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), found that the number of unemployed refugees in the West Bank grew by nearly one per cent in the first half of 2011, to over 50,000 people.This means the rate of unemployment among refugees is now at 27.4 per cent, about five points higher than the wider West Bank rate, which has declined.“These figures show once more that the refugees continue to bear the brunt of economic hardship in the West Bank, making the need for our emergency services greater than ever,” UNRWA spokesperson Chris Gunness said. The report also found that refugees lost ground in the public sector, where their employment declined 2.9 per cent, and noted that total refugee employment growth, fixed at 1.5 per cent, was “well below” the overall rate of job growth for non-refugees in the West Bank. The West Bank study mirrors a similar UNRWA report released last week analyzing joblessness among refugees in the Gaza Strip. Marking a trend affecting refugees throughout the occupied Palestinian territories, the Gaza employment report also found that refugee participation in the Gaza labour market had declined despite overall growth in the construction industry and a surge in private employment. read more

Andrew Scheer pledges longer mortgage terms end of stress test on renewals

VAUGHAN, Ont. — Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer laid out a plan this morning he says would make it cheaper for Canadians to buy homes, loosening rules put in place by the former Conservative government during the global financial crisis.Scheer pledged he’d return to allowing first-time homebuyers to take out 30-year mortgages to help lower monthly payments.“For millions of Canadians their home is the largest investment they will ever make,” Scheer said.[related_link s/]Beginning in 2008, the Harper Conservatives began reducing the maximum mortgage amortization rate for insured mortgages. They started by knocking it down from 40 to 35 years, and in 2011 reduced it to 30 years.Conservative finance minister Jim Flaherty reduced the maximum amortization period to 25 years the following year. He said at the time that while monthly payments would be higher, it would result in less interest and help people pay off their mortgages faster.The move at the time was meant to address the growing debt burden on Canadians. A major factor in the panic that locked up financial markets in the late 2000s was mortgages that owners couldn’t pay, on properties that were worth less than the loans taken out against them.When asked why a new Conservative government would now reverse course, Scheer responded the longer mortgage period would allow more people to buy homes. He added that “it is important that we have strong regulations around the financial sector.”Statistics Canada reported in August that the median mortgage debt of Canadian families that have them almost doubled between 1999 and 2016, rising from $91,900 to $180,000 in 2016 dollars.Scheer also promised to ease what’s known as the stress test on mortgages and remove it altogether from mortgage renewals. The test is meant to make sure people taking out mortgages could still afford the payments if interest rates were to rise.The Liberals brought in the policy last year and it has been criticized by the construction and real-estate industries. Both the Canadian Home Builders’ Association and the Canadian Real Estate Association welcomed Scheer’s promises Monday.A Conservative government would also make surplus federal real estate available for development to increase housing supply, and launch an inquiry into money laundering in the real estate sector, Scheer said.“Justin Trudeau has put the dream of home ownership further out of reach for so many, especially young Canadians,” Scheer said. “As prime minister, I will fix his bad policies and work to get more homes on the market to lower the price of housing.”Scheer is campaigning Monday in the Toronto-area suburb of Vaughan and then moves on to St. Catharines, Ont.King-Vaughn, which was a new riding in 2015, was won by Liberal Deb Schulte by just over 1,700 votes last election.Scheer said he is not concerned with polling that shows the Conservatives and Liberals neck and neck in key ridings despite recent controversies around photos and videos of Justin Trudeau wearing black- and brownface.“We’ve got campaigns all across the country where two or three years ago people were writing us off,” Scheer said.“We are going to win those seats.” read more

For those who own homes in Greece

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Many of you who own homes in Greece may not be using them as often as you wish or maybe not at all. You also may have thought of renting out your property at times without wanting to commit to a long-term rental agreement or even selling your property but decided to hold on to it.The good news is that now, you have another option. The Greek government has recently enforced a new fast-tracking law, Law No. 4179/2013, which allows property owners to rent out their homes exceeding 40m² as a short-term holiday rental without registering as a hotel business.A specific EOT License, issued only by architects and engineers, is granted by The Greek National Tourism Organisation – EOT. Once acquired, you can rent out your beach house, your city apartment or even your patriko in the village for a period of up to 3 months within a year, to one or more individual tenants depending on the surface area of your rental.When the licence is issued, each property receives a unique EOT MHTE number which must be displayed when advertising on all printed media and online. Owners who fail to do so will be faced with hefty fines. Additionally, as in long-term rentals, all income gained short-term must be declared on yearly tax returns to be taxed accordingly.However, to take advantage of this new law, a ‘Declaration of Legal Property Status – Law No. 4178/13’ is required. All property applying must be legal, meaning that all built structures on-site must comply with what has been declared on the building permit and drawings. You may be wondering, is it worth the fuss? Some benefits to consider other than the additional income are the fact that regular maintenance will help prevent more serious problems than when the property is uncared for and, most importantly, the fact that you can still use your property at any time.last_img read more

Little Foot un ancêtre de lHomme moderne vieux de 3 millions dannées

first_imgLittle Foot, un ancêtre de l’Homme moderne vieux de 3 millions d’années ?Après 13 ans d’analyses effectuées sur le squelette fossilisé quasiment complet d’un Australopithèque baptisé Little Foot, les chercheurs ont pu estimer l’âge de ce petit Homme. Selon eux, il aurait au moins 3 millions d’années, faisant de lui l’un des spécimens fossilisés les plus vieux jamais découverts.Il est peut-être surnommé “Petit Pied”, ou Little Foot, mais il représente plutôt un grand pas dans les recherches sur l’évolution humaine. D’après les scientifiques qui l’étudient depuis une dizaine d’années, Little Foot serait le squelette, appartenant à la lignée humaine, le plus complet jamais retrouvé. Découvert dans les années 90, dans les grottes de Sterkfontein, réputées pour leur richesse en fossiles d’hominidés, ce squelette a été baptisé Little Foot, en raison d’os du pied très petits. Depuis, les scientifiques n’ont cessé de débattre sur l’âge de cet Australopithèque, estimant qu’il aurait entre 2 et plus de 3 millions d’années. Toutefois, une étude géologique récente des grottes a permis de préciser cet âge.Selon les derniers résultats, Little Foot aurait au minimum 3 millions d’années. Et, si cela s’avère correct, cela signifie qu’il est assez vieux pour être un ancêtre direct de l’Homme moderne et pourrait relier l’Afrique du Sud au premier rang de l’évolution humaine, explique le Journal of Human Evolution dans lequel est parue l’étude. Vingt ans de découvertesLes premières traces de Little Foot remontent au début des années 90. Elles ont été retrouvées par Ron Clarke, paléoanthropologue de l’Université de Witwatersrand, en Afrique du Sud, alors qu’il fouillait parmi une série de boîtes contenant des os d’animaux découverts sur le site. Un certain nombre de fossiles d’Australopithèques, similaires à la très fameuse Lucy, y avaient également été excavés. Ron Clarke a ainsi identifié quatre petits os de pied, avant d’entreprendre de déterrer le reste du squelette auxquels ils appartenaient. C’est en 1997, qu’ils sont parvenus à mettre la main dessus. Le squelette s’était profondément fondu dans un rocher après que Little Foot a fait une chute d’une vingtaine de mètres dans la grotte. Ainsi, le squelette complet a été préservé jusqu’aux plus petit os des mains et des pieds. Toutefois, il aura fallu 15 ans aux archéologues pour détacher les fragiles fossiles du rocher.  Un âge controverséPlusieurs équipes de chercheurs ont tenté de déterminer l’âge de Little Foot en datant le rocher autour de son squelette. Ron Clarke, lui, pensait que ce dernier avait environ 3,3 millions d’années, à peu près aussi vieux que Lucy. Par ailleurs, l’observation de détails anatomiques avait permis de constater que Little Foot semblait plus proche de l’Homme moderne que Lucy. En effet, bien que son crâne soit primitif, ses mains sont plus modernes et ses pieds possèdent des caractéristiques humaines et primates. Mais l’âge est toujours resté controversé, bien que les scientifiques s’accordent à dire que Little Foot ne peut pas avoir moins de 2,5 millions d’années. Ces différences d’âge se basent principalement sur la date à laquelle se sont formés les rochers autour de Little Foot après qu’il est tombé dans la grotte. Selon Clarke, une très longue période s’est écoulée alors que, selon d’autres équipes, ils se sont formés assez rapidement. Pour aller plus loin, Ron Clarke s’est associé avec Laurent Bruxelles, géomorphologue de l’Université de Toulouse, afin d’étudier précisément la formation des rochers dans la grotte.  Un ancêtre de l’Homme moderne ? Grâce à une combinaison de techniques microscopiques et géochimiques, les deux chercheurs ont déterminé qu’après la chute de Little Foot, des espaces se sont formés entre le squelette et les rochers. Au bout d’au moins un million d’années, ces espaces se sont remplis de minéraux déposés par l’eau se déplaçant dans la grotte. Ainsi, bien que les rochers se soient formés il y a 2,2 millions d’années, le squelette est, lui, bien plus vieux, précise Clarke et Bruxelles, repris par ScienceMag.  Sans pouvoir dévoiler de date précise, ils ont estimé que Little Foot était décédé il y a au moins 3 millions d’années. Laurent Bruxelles a, par ailleurs, fait remarquer que de nombreux chercheurs avaient déjà émis l’idée que Little Foot pouvait être un ancêtre possible du genre Homo et des premiers humains, Homo habilis. Jusqu’à présent, les scientifiques avaient concentré leurs recherches sur l’origine humaine en Afrique de l’Est, où Lucy a été découverte. À lire aussiMaladie de Charcot : symptômes, causes, traitement, où en est on ?Mais, “ces nouvelles découvertes remettent l’Afrique du Sud dans la course à la découverte de l’origine de la lignée Homo”, ajoute Laurent Bruxelles. “Tout l’enjeu se situe ici. L’Homo habilis apparaît il y a environ 2,5 millions d’années. Si Little Foot a 2,2 millions d’années, en aucun cas il ne peut être notre ancêtre puisqu’Homo habilis existe déjà à l’époque”, indique t-il à la presse.Andy Herries, expert en datation de l’Université La Trobe en Australie et chef d’une des équipes concluant à des dates plus récentes, précise lui que rien ne contredit ses estimations sur l’âge des roches. Selon lui, ces derniers se seraient formés il y a 2,2 à 2,6 millions. Et pour ce qui est de la datation de Little Foot, “nous nous savons pas avec précision quel âge il a”, insiste-il. Un point sur lequel Bruxelles et Clarke le rejoignent.  (Crédit photo : Laurent Bruxelles / Ron Clarke)  Le 17 mars 2014 à 18:03 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

Rumors Swirl on Potential RFS Volume Requirements for 2014

first_imgLast week, press reports emerged that the EPA may propose to significantly reduce RFS requirements for 2014. These reports were based on a supposedly leaked draft document that indicated EPA would use its waiver authority to reduce the overall RFS program by almost 3 billion gallons (from 18.1 to15.2 billion gallons) from the existing statutory requirements. The reports suggest that the proposal would hold the Biomass-based Diesel category level at the 2013 requirement of 1.28 billion gallons. With most EPA personnel furloughed due to the partial government shutdown, the ability to get a response or confirmation from EPA was limited. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy did issue a statement indicating that the EPA is still working on the numbers and has made no final decisions on the Required Volume Obligation (RVO) proposal for 2014. In the statement, McCarthy also emphasized the Obama Administration’s continued commitment to renewable fuels.”The Obama Administration remains firmly committed to furthering the development of all biofuels-including corn-based ethanol, cellulosic biofuel, and advanced biofuel-as part of the President’s commitment to developing a clean energy economy,” said McCarthy in the statement. “Biofuels are a critical part of the President’s all of the above energy strategy that is reducing America’s dependence on oil and creating jobs across the country. At this point, EPA is only developing a draft proposal. The agency has made no final decision on the proposed renewable fuel standards for 2014. And no decisions will be made on the final standards without a full opportunity for all stakeholders to comment on the EPA’s proposed 2014 renewable fuel standards and be heard on how to best foster a growing biofuels industry that takes into account infrastructure- and market-related factors.”Additionally, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack released a similar statement, saying “The biofuels industry has helped to reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil to its lowest level in almost 20 years and has created thousands of jobs throughout rural America. We remain steadfast in our support of biofuels development and its role in President Obama’s all-of-the-above energy strategy. The EPA is currently developing its draft proposal for the 2014 renewable fuel standards. The EPA has not yet reached a final decision regarding that proposal, and will not do so until all stakeholders have had the opportunity to comment and to provide input on what is required for this industry, and the rural communities that depend on it, to continue to thrive.”EPA was expected to make its 2014 proposal public this month, but the government shutdown has delayed the process, and it now is unclear when the proposal will be released. When the proposed 2014 RVO is released for public comment, ASA will be weighing-in with comments to support a biomass-based diesel volume requirement that is not less than the actual production in 2013. The biodiesel industry is currently expected to produce approximately 1.7 billion gallons this year, which would exceed the 2013 requirement of 1.28 billion gallons. ASA will be providing materials and supporting information to our members and urging that you weigh-in with EPA as well.last_img read more

Government to review international evidence on minimum wages

first_imgSpring Statement 2019: The government has appointed an economics professor to review the minimum wage policy in the UK and consider its impacts on employment and productivity.Chancellor Philip Hammond (pictured) announced in his Spring Statement address today (Wednesday 13 March 2019) that the government has issued terms of reference to Professor Arindrajit Dube, professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, to conduct a review of the latest international evidence on the impact of minimum wages.Working alongside other academics and the Low Pay Commission (LPC), Dube has been asked to consider innovative minimum wage models, the role of individual labour market characteristics in influencing minimum wage structures, implications around the UK’s specific minimum wage policy and how the UK’s approach differs to other countries and labour markets.The review will further explore the potential impacts of minimum wages on employment, in terms of volume and structure, productivity and economic growth, as well as analyse the ability of the labour market to absorb future minimum wage rises. Dube will also analyse the implications for future minimum wage policies in the UK, linking this to the government’s goals from the Autumn Budget 2018.The review has been designed to aid the work being completed by HM Treasury and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). Its conclusions will help inform the national living wage policy after 2020, as well as the future remit of the LPC.Linked to this, Hammond also confirmed the LPC’s remit for 2019; a new remit for 2020 and beyond will be decided later this year.The government has asked the LPC to monitor and evaluate the national living wage and to recommend whether current economic conditions allow for the rate effective from April 2020 to meet 60% of median earnings by October 2020.Furthermore, the LPC has been asked to look into the various national minimum wage rate levels for different age groups, and the apprenticeship rate, and to propose increases it believes should apply from April 2020; this is to ensure rates are set as high as possible without damaging employment prospects. The government will also require the LPC to recommend the accommodation offset rate that should apply from April 2020.The government has asked the LPC to take into account the state of the economy, employment and unemployment levels and relevant policy changes when making its recommendations. The LPC’s final report is due to be provided by October 2019.Steve Cameron, pensions director at Aegon, said: “The Chancellor’s commitment to focus on raising wages for the low paid is welcome. One immediate way of doing so would be to instruct HM [Revenue and Customs (HMRC)] to ensure non-taxpayers in net pay schemes receive the 20% tax relief on their pension contributions to which they are entitled.“Solving this issue would mean someone earning £11,500 and paying the automatic enrolment minimum contribution from April 2019 would be £53 a year better off. For low earners, every little helps.”Read more…Government to tackle tax after 2019’s Spring Statementlast_img read more

Super Dancer 3 finale Shilpa Shetty to perform Deepika Padukones Ghoomar dance

first_imgShilpa Shetty’s Ghoomar performance at the grand finale of Super Dancer 3PR HandoutShilpa Shetty is set to perform Bharatanatyam for the first time at the grand finale of Super Dancer 3 and will enact Deepika Padukone’s dance moves in Ghoomar from Padmaavat.SET is all set to declare the winner of its most popular kid’s dance reality show Super Dancer 3. Rupsa Batabyal, Saksham Sharma, Tejas Verna, Gourav Sarwan and Jaishree Gogoi are the top 5 finalists and all the viewers of this TV show are wondering over contestants, who will lift the trophy of and become dance ka kal.Shilpa Shetty will treat the viewers with her magical performances in the grand finale of Super Dancer 3. She will perform four different songs with four different and elegant costumes specially designed by Neeta Lulla. She will take the grand finale a notch higher with her performances on the song ‘Titli’ from Chennai Express, ‘Muqabala’ from ABCD, ‘Aithe aa’ from Bharat and ‘Ghoomar’ from Padmaavat. Shilpa Shetty’s Ghoomar performance at the grand finale of Super DancerEveryone knows that Shilpa Shetty is a trained Bharatanatyam dancer, but she has never performed the dance form in any of her movies. It will be for the first time on the TV screen and on a prestigious show like Super Dancer 3, where the actress will put her Bharatanatyam skills to use.Talking about her performance, Shilpa Shetty, who is nervous about her act said, “I am performing Bharatnatyam after 25 years in my entire dancing career. It was by choice that I didn’t perform it on a small screen. While preparing for the act I was very nervous as I rarely do any stage performance.”Shilpa Shetty added, “I get such opportunities once in a year when I am part of dance reality shows like Super Dancer. In the show, contestants like Dhairya Tandon and Anwesha Bhataiya have brought the different level of classical tadka in their dancing which somewhere encouraged me to choose Bharatnatyam as my Grand Finale performance,” Shilpa Shetty’s performance at the grand finale of Super DancerPR HandoutSuper Dancer 3 is judged by Shilpa Shett, Anurag Basu and Geeta Kapoor and her co-judges are surprised by her performance, Anurag Basu said, “I want Shilpa back on the big screen. It’s been a long time we saw Shilpa on the big screen.”Geeta Kapoor commented, “Divas like Shilpa should always be on the big screens setting benchmarks for others. I feel grateful and blessed to witness Shilpa perform live. I don’t think I will ever be able to match the benchmark Shilpa has set with her performance on Super Dancer Chapter 3.”The tale doesn’t end here. For more surprises, you need to watch the grand finale episode of Super Dancer 3 this Saturday and Sunday from 8 pm on SET.last_img read more