Recent vacationI went for a vacation to Goa with my girlfriends and kids. Although it was a rather kid-centric holiday, we did have a lot of fun. We went to a new beach every day and experimented a lot with different sports; we went surfing, paddling, and kayaking. We made sure the kids were occupied with activities and didn’t get bored either.Picture courtsey: Travel Plus A city I love I fall in love with whatever city I visit-whether it is London, New York or the Tuscany region in Italy. But London has a special place in my heart because that was my first trip outside India, after which I stayed there for three years to learn baking. I feel completely at home and comfortable there. It is a multicultural city that accepts outsiders with open arms. I just simply love visiting London again and again.Must-Haves Passport, credit cards, my mac, phone, chargers and extra batteries are absolute musts when I travel.Picture courtsey: Travel Plus Newest thing I tasted It’s got to be cured meat at Pizzicheria de Miccolo in Siena. We had to order two platters so there were different kinds of meat on a big chunk of wood with wine and bread. It was simply an amazing meal.Weird conversation on a flightIt was 20 years ago while returning from London. I had worked with a really terrible crew there and was quite upset about it. The person sitting next to me on the flight just said, “Hi! So what brought you to London?” And I just took off on a tirade! Later when I thought about it I realised what a weird conversation that was!advertisementPicture courtsey: Italy One destination I recommendItaly. Any random city or town you pick up in Italy will blow your mind away with its beauty. Whether it is Florence, Venice, Siena or Rome-every place is gorgeous in terms of architecture and the place is really welcoming too.Most extravagant holidayThough I plan otherwise, all my holidays end up being extravagant because we usually go to exotic places and I can’t help indulging myself a bit too much. That’s the joy of holidays!Latest shopping acquisition I’m not too big on buying expensive shoes, clothes or even bags. I prefer kitchen equipment or artefacts for our house. The latest thing I’ve bought was the blender Vitamix from Germany because I love cooking.Trains, planes or automobilesIt depends on where I am travelling to. But I would love taking the train at the drop of a hat anywhere in Europe. I have loved rides from Tuscany to Venice; it’s just too beautiful. I have quite enjoyed some road journeys in India as well. You can just see nature at its loveliest best.As Told To Aparna Pednekar
The Karnataka Biodiversity Board (KBB) has released an employment notification, inviting interested and eligible candidates to apply for the positions of Technical Executive and Consultants on temporary basis. The tenure of Consultant will be for a period of one year which may be extended upto three years.Vacancy detailsTotal posts: 12Name of the posts:Technical Executive: 11Consultants: 1Eligibility criteriaEducational qualification:Technical Executive: The candidates interested in applying for this post should be holding a post graduate degree or MSc in Bio-technology or MD degree in case of Dravyaguna in the above concerned subjects.Consultants: The candidates interested in applying for this post should be holding a post graduate degree (MSc) in any of the subjects,/botany/zoology/fisheries/marine biology/forestry/ horticulture (any specialisation)/agriculture.Age limit:Technical Executive: The age of the candidates applying for this post must not exceed 35 years.Consultants: The age of the candidates applying for this post must not exceed 60 years and must be minimum 45 years.Selection procedure:On the basis of merit, candidates will be shortlisted for interview.Pay scaleTechnical Executive: The selected candidates will be getting a monthly salary of Rs 20,000.Consultants: The selected candidates will be getting a monthly salary of Rs 35,000.How to applyThe candidates interested in these posts are required to send their applications along with all other relevant documents to ‘Karnataka Biodiversity Board, Ground Floor, VANAVIKAS, 18th Cross, Malleswaram, Bangalore-560003’.Important date:The last date for submission of application is June 6.Read: Want to work in AIIMS? Apply before May 31 advertisementFor information on more latest government jobs, click here.
India suffered two major injury blows on Thursday as off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and batsman Rohit Sharma were ruled out of the second Test against Australia.Ashwin suffered a left-side abdominal strain, while Rohit jarred his back in the field during the first Test.Both players weren’t named in the 13-man squad announced for the Perth Test starting Friday (December 14). India lead the four-match series 1-0 after their 31-run victory over the hosts at the Adelaide Oval on Monday.Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja has been included in the squad while all-rounder Hanuma Vihari replaces Rohit.Fast bowlers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Umesh Yadav have retained their placed in the squad.This is the second big injury blow for India ahead of a Test match on this tour after opener Prithvi Shaw was ruled out of the Adelaide Test due to an ankle injury he sustained during the warm-up match against Cricket Australia XI.Shaw continues to be out of the playing XI with Murali Vijay and KL Rahul holding on to their opening slots.Injury updates from BCCI:”Prithvi Shaw is recovering well from his left ankle injury but still undergoing treatment. He has been ruled out of the second Test.”R Ashwin has a left-sided abdominal strain. He is receiving treatment at the moment. He has been ruled out of the second Test.”Rohit Sharma jarred his lower back while fielding in the 1st Test at Adelaide. He is undergoing treatment. He too is ruled out of the second Test.”The team management is closely monitoring these players and a call on their availability for the third test will be taken at an appropriate time,” BCCI said in a statement.advertisementMeanwhile, The curator at the Optus stadium in Perth seems to have lived up to his promise of producing a fast pitch for the second Test between India and Australia starting Friday.The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) posted a picture of the pitch on Thursday and from the first glimpse it looks like fast bowlers are going to have a terrific time in the Test match.Thoughts on the Perth Pitch? #AUSvIND pic.twitter.com/FQuUwRG3YtBCCI (@BCCI) December 13, 2018The wicket is covered in a thick layer of grass, so much so that it seems difficult to distinguish between the pitch and the outfield.India reached Perth on Tuesday and were expected to prefer rest over intense training sessions over the next few days. However, quite a few from the visiting camp turned up for an optional practice session on Wednesday.Perth – We are here! #TeamIndia #AUSvIND pic.twitter.com/AHeGmgKVVQBCCI (@BCCI) December 13, 2018As it turns out, India trained at the iconic WACA Stadium, which has produced some of the fastest wickets in the past. Captain Kohli was spotted at the nets at the WACA along with vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane and opener Vijay.So were the trio of Vihari, Parthiv Patel and Umesh which was benched for the first Test in Adelaide.India 13-man squad for 2nd Test: Virat Kohli (C), M Vijay, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (VC), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (WK), Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav.Also Read | India vs Australia: Perth pitch curator unveils a green-top wicket for 2nd TestAlso Read | To hell with nets? Not really. Team India sweats it out in PerthAlso Read | Have to be switched on from ball one against India’s bowlers: Marcus HarrisAlso Read | India a formidable opposition in tough conditions. Australia beware in Perth!
The Union Budget is one that carries around it an air of intrigue. We break down the mystique behind the process:TIME TABLEIt takes about five to seven months to prepare the Union Budget. The time-honoured tradition was to present the Budget on the last working day of February until 2017, when Finance Minister Arun Jaitley changed the date to February 1.BLUE SHEETThe first cut of the Budget, with key numbers that are updated with new data constantly, is always handed over to the FM in light blue paper. A colonial hangover, as historically blue stood for unedited, preliminary documents in British Parliament. The Blue Sheet is guarded to zealously that not even the FM is allowed to keep it with himself.TICK TOCK Until 1999, the Union Budget used to be announced at 5 pm. From 2001, FM Yashwant Sinha set a new tradition: the Budget hour is now 11 am. Yashwant Sinha holds his suitcase containing his budget proposal while leaving the Finance ministry building in New Delhi on February 28, 2001. (Photo: Reuters)LONG AND SHORTThe speech usually lasts about an hour, but not always. The longest speech was delivered by Manmohan Singh in 1991 (18,650 words), followed closely by Jaitley (18,604 words) last year. The shortest? By HM Patel (800 words) in 1977.SECRET FILESTight security measures, tapping of phones and computers, high-tech surveillance, sweeps for electronic bugs, hidden cameras, jammers and scanners are all pressed into service, to ensure nothing gets leaked before presentation as it did in the 1950s. Security force personnel use a sniffer dog to check bags containing budget papers inside the parliament premises in New Delhi, India, February 1, 2018. (Photo: Reuters)SWEET CEREMONY advertisementThe printing starts roughly a week ahead at a press in the basement of the finance ministry. The occasion is flagged off by a halwa ceremony when large quantities of the desi sweet are served by the FM to around 100 officers and staff. Arun Jaitley and other officials participating in the ‘halwa ceremony’, a ritual which marks the process of printing documents for the Budget for 2017-18.THE LOCK-IN The staff is then quarantined inside the North Block until the Budget is presented. They cannot leave the premises, cannot contact their family or friends; food tasters sample their food first; doctors stay on board; and if they need to step out in critical situations, they are accompanied by intelligence officials and the police.SAY CHEESE On Budget day, the FM holds aloft his briefcase right outside the Parliament for a press photocall, before setting off to deliver his speech, an essential custom that goes back all the way to Queen Victoria’s time. In the UK, the FM uses a red leather briefcase, a hand-me-down from his predecessors. In India, the finance ministry procures it. The memorable ones? Yashwant Sinha’s buckle strap leather case and Pranab Mukherjee’s red velvet briefcase. Pranab Mukherjee poses as he leaves his office to present the 2012/13 federal budget in New Delhi March 16, 2012. (Photo: Reuters)QUOTABLE QUOTES FMs invariably quote famous people during the Budget speech: Manmohan Singh favoured Rabindranath Tagore and Victor Hugo, Jaitley and P Chidambaram quoted saints Vivekananda and Tiruvalluvar respectively. Pranab Mukherjee, by contrast, had a penchant for quoting Kautilya and ShakespeareSARTORIAL SURPRISE The Budget Day is a day for making statements. And which FM does not want to wear his signature dress code? For Shanmukham Chetty, the first FM of independent India, it was dhoti-kurta and Gandhi topi; Jaitley would team his kurta pyjama with eyeball-grabbing Nehru jackets. Mukherjee would sport his trusted bandh-gala while Chidambaram always came in his starched white shirt and mundu. Budget fashion through the ages.LIVE COVERAGE OF INTERIM BUDGET 2019 | Will PM Modi bring the josh back before 2019 polls?READ | Budget 2019: What the aam janta expects from Modi govtFYI | Interim budget 2019 glossary: A layman’s guide to understanding key termsWATCH | Was the economy healthier under Manmohan Singh or PM Modi?
Pakistan pacer Wahab Riaz is hoping to cement his spot in the World Cup team through his performance in the upcoming Pakistan Super League (PSL).The 33-year-old, who has been one of the most impressive bowlers of the PSL, said that the tournament is a good opportunity for him to be a part of the national squad.”PSL is a good opportunity before the World Cup. I have been bowling well in the leagues and I hope through my performance in the tournament I can become a part of the national squad,” Geo tv quoted Wahab, as saying.”Sure we play a lot of leagues and tournaments but there is nothing that comes close to playing for your country,” he added.Wahab’s team Peshawar Zalmi will play their opening match against Quetta Gladiators but the left-arm bowler said that he is looking forward to bowl against Lahore Qalandar batsman and South Africa star player AB de Villiers.”AB is one of the most destructive batsmen of the modern era and he is one of my favourite batsmen. I am looking forward to bowling to him. You can expect to see a healthy competition on match-day,” he said.PSL is slated to be held from February 14 to March 17. While the first leg of the tournament will be held in Dubai, the second leg will shift to Pakistan.Also Read | Franchise owners reject PCB proposal for women cheerleaders in PSLAlso Read | Australia refuse to play in Pakistan, PCB announces ODIs in UAEadvertisement
zoomImage Courtesy: Torvald Klaveness Norwegian shipping company Torvald Klaveness has, together with its existing investors, established a new company to own and operate modern combination carriers.The new company, Klaveness Combination Carriers (KCC), is envisaged to provide the most environmentally friendly transportation system with the lowest carbon emissions in the industry, according to Klaveness.The existing investors in KCC have raised USD 32 million in new equity to further grow the combination carrier business within the group over the next 18 months.Following the transactions, Klaveness Ship Holding AS will be the largest shareholder with around 70% of KCC and the minority shareholders will hold around 30%.Furthermore, Klaveness Ship Holding AS has through a subsidiary of KCC declared an option for the construction of a combination carrier at Jiangsu New Yangzi Shipbuilding (YZJ) in China. With this unit, the company’s fleet will grow to 13 vessels by 2020. The subsidiary already has three sister vessels under construction at the same yard with delivery late this year and early 2019, and also holds options for further vessels.
The 2016-17 Annual Gaming Report is now available on the Service Nova Scotia website at http://novascotia.ca/sns/access/alcohol-gaming/publications.asp. -30-
TORONTO – After nearly 25 years of entertaining audiences with jousting and a meal with the king, Toronto’s Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament will soon undergo a “sea change” with a new female-centric storyline.The new show with the queen in the lead role is already in three U.S. cities and will launch in Toronto later this year. The company says the story is cast in a matriarchal realm with the queen in charge and sole ruler of the land.“This is going to really motivate and inspire young women to show that there are strong female role models out there,” Monet Lerner, the inaugural queen of the new show, says in a promo video.Toronto is the only Canadian location for Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament, which was founded in 1977 in Spain and launched in North America in 1983, with the Toronto “castle” opening in 1993.For the past 34 years, the show has always featured a king as the protagonist and female characters in supporting roles.“Having a queen in charge probably sends a message,” Leigh Cordner, the creative director and writer of the show, says in the promo video.“It’s certainly a sea change for us. Just generally in entertainment and media and stuff, it’s a popular theme. I don’t feel like we’re jumping on a bandwagon. I think it’s certainly given us the confidence that now is the time to be able to do that.”The queen is “a firm but kind ruler respected throughout the kingdom who inherited the throne at the passing of her father, the previous king,” says a news release.Her “authority is sometimes challenged, but she quickly rises to the occasion as a strong leader, squelching opposition,” it adds.The show — which still features the usual elements of jousting and horsemanship — has already been rolled out in Dallas, Chicago and Lyndhurst, N.J.The company says it made the change after guests expressed interest in seeing women in more significant roles.Other changes include new music, new costumes and new suits of armour, shields and helmets.“I think there’s probably a benefit to young women, grown women, little girls who come to the show to see this women who’s empowered, who’s in charge,” says Cordner.
Debbie Baptiste, mother of Colten Boushie, holds a photo of her son during a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on February 14, 2018. (Justin Tang / THE CANADIAN PRESS) Facebook Login/Register With: Advertisement Twitter Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment TORONTO – A film about the killing of a young Indigenous man in Saskatchewan has won a top prize at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival.Tasha Hubbard’s “nipawistamasowin: We Will Stand Up” has won the best Canadian feature documentary award, which comes with a $10,000 cash prize.The film, which opened the festival, is about the case of Colten Boushie. Advertisement The 22-year-old member of the Red Pheasant First Nation was shot to death after the vehicle he was in drove onto a farm property near Biggar, Sask., in 2016.Last year, a jury acquitted farmer Gerald Stanley of second-degree murder after he testified his gun went off accidentally as he was trying to scare off young people on his property.The Hot Docs jury said the film “has created a lasting document that brings together past and future to illuminate oppression and resilience.”Other Hot Docs award winners announced Friday night include Matt Gallagher’s “Prey,” which won a $5,000 special jury prize for its look at a sexual abuse survivor who takes on the Catholic church in an Ontario court.The emerging Canadian filmmaker award, which comes with a $3,000 cash prize, went to Emily Gan for “Cavebirds.”Pailin Wedel’s “Hope Frozen” won the $10,000 best international feature documentary award.The $50,000 Rogers Audience Award for best Canadian documentary will be announced as the festival wraps on Sunday.
APTN National NewsA northern First Nation is accusing both the RCMP and Health Canada of negligence after one of their band members died while in custody.Witnesses say Tracy Okemow of Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak First Nation repeatedly called for help but was allegedly told to quit faking.She was later rushed to Winnipeg hospital where she later died.APTN National News reporter Ntawnis Piapot has more on this developing story.
APTN National NewsFirst Nation, Metis and Inuit women take on a lot of roles.Caregiver, teacher, role model and, sometimes, business owner.Women entrepreneurs gathered in Gatineau this week to share their successes and everything in between.APTN’s Annette Francis has the story.
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is keeping the pressure on congressional Democrats over funding for his promised border wall.Trump tweeted Monday: “We would save Billions of Dollars if the Democrats would give us the votes to build the Wall.” He did not provide any evidence for the savings, but again threatened to close the “entire Southern Border if necessary.”A Dec. 7 partial government shutdown had appeared possible, but Trump told reporters on Air Force One Saturday he would be willing to sign a two-week government funding extension to allow for ceremonies honouring former President George H.W. Bush, who died Friday.Trump had been gearing up for a showdown as he sought billions for the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.The Associated Press
The top United Nations humanitarian official today held talks with Myanmar’s Prime Minister to discuss progress made in assisting survivors of the deadly Cyclone Nargis which struck the South-East Asian nation in early May. Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes told the Prime Minister, General Thein Sein, and other officials in the capital Nay Pyi Taw that the positive steps taken regarding relief operations and recovery, as well as stepped up access for international aid workers, is largely a result of bolstered cooperation between the Government, the UN and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). “We hope that the dialogue and cooperation built up in the last couple of months over theCyclone Nargis response can be continued and improved, and in future extended to other humanitarian issues as well,” said Mr. Holmes, who wrapped up a three-day visit to Myanmar today. “We must make sure that humanitarian efforts continue to be separate from politics.” He also told the Prime Minister, who welcomed continued collaboration with the UN and other partners, that the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and others are ready and willing to provide disaster preparedness, risk reduction and early warning assistance to Myanmar. “In May donors requested access for international relief workers and a credible, objective assessment: these are both now in place,” said Mr. Holmes, who also serves as Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs. “Nevertheless, we need to continue working to improve access still further, particularly for new international NGO partners,” he added. Released earlier this week, the Post-Nargis Joint Assessment Final Report put a $1 billion price tag on recovery needs over three years, taking into account such areas as education, health, rebuilding livelihoods, infrastructure, agriculture and the environment. Mr. Holmes stressed that this assessment serves as a road map for the relief and recovery efforts, noting that greater action is needed to reach those in the most remote areas of the hardest-hit Ayeyarwady Delta. 24 July 2008The top United Nations humanitarian official today held talks with Myanmar’s Prime Minister to discuss progress made in assisting survivors of the deadly Cyclone Nargis which struck the South-East Asian nation in early May.
Postmedia file photo HO / THE CANADIAN PRESS “Now, (if) at the end of the day people don’t want us to do something beyond Quayside, that’s entirely fair. It doesn’t mean we’ll want to do Quayside, though,” Doctoroff said.“I’m not using the term deal breaker, but what I will say is that we do not believe just at the scale of Quayside that Waterfront Toronto’s priority objectives can be achieved. That’s just a reality.”The current development started in 2017 with a request for proposals from Waterfront Toronto, a federal-provincial-municipal agency tasked with revitalizing the city’s lakefront lands.I’m not using the term deal breaker, but … we do not believe just at the scale of Quayside that Waterfront Toronto’s priority objectives can be achievedSidewalk CEO Dan Doctoroff Alphabet Inc.’s Sidewalk Labs released its sprawling masterplan for Toronto’s eastern waterfront on Monday, but the scope of the company’s ambitions, which extend well beyond the five-hectare Quayside district it was initially tasked to develop, are raising concerns with the federal-provincial-municipal agency overseeing the project.In its 1,500-page, four-volume development plan, Sidewalk Labs proposed to invest $1.3-billion to kickstart the real estate portion of the plan, which would feature tall wooden buildings and various smart city features, such as sensors, flexible streetscapes and robotic freight tunnels to reduce traffic.But it also indicated that any plan was dependent on also developing a nearby parcel of land known as West Villiers, where it said Google Inc. — Sidewalk’s sister company — would move its Canadian headquarters during the second phase of the project, sometime in mid-2020.That, in addition to identifying four other parcels of land, totalling dozens more hectares, into which it might eventually scale any successful experiments from Quayside, elicited a reaction from Waterfront Toronto. Five potential sticking points in Sidewalk Labs’ masterplan for the Toronto waterfront Google critic Roger McNamee urges Toronto to abandon ‘surveillance capitalism’ project Sidewalk Labs ‘Most people don’t like change’: CEO of Sidewalk Labs says criticism of project was inevitable In a letter distributed to media, Waterfront Toronto chairman Stephen Diamond said the scope of the real estate development was broader than anticipated, and Sidewalk is asking for major commitments from government, including regulatory changes and a promise to build transit through the proposed neighbourhood.“Based on our initial review of the MIDP, there are a number of exciting ideas that respond to challenges we face, particularly related to environmental sustainability and economic development,” Diamond wrote. “There are also proposals where it is clear that Waterfront Toronto and Sidewalk Labs have very different perspectives about what is required for success.”In response to Diamond’s letter, Sidewalk CEO Dan Doctoroff told the Financial Post that Waterfront Toronto laid out a series of key objectives at the very beginning of the process, and both organizations have always acknowledged that greater scale than just Quayside might be necessary to achieve ambitious goals for housing, climate-positive urban development, clean technology and urban innovation.Sidewalk CEO Dan Doctoroff. The MIDP lays out multiple business models, with 11 potential sources of revenue.All in all, Sidewalk is proposing up to $1.3 billion in funding and financing, which they say could induce up to $38 billion in investment by 2040.The core of that is $900 million in upfront capital for the real estate component, which will include dynamic data-powered streetscapes and buildings constructed entirely out of specially manufactured wood, produced out of an $80-million factory owned by Sidewalk Labs.For the first couple of phases of the project, Sidewalk Labs proposed that it would act directly as the property developer, and would buy or lease publicly owned land at a below-market price — discounted because Sidewalk is committing to meet a series of urban development objectives.Eventually, the same building techniques and technological systems would be deployed by other developers in a broader IDEA District throughout the Toronto port lands, with Sidewalk Labs acting as an advisor and a partner to the government agency specifically mandated with developing the larger district.Toronto’s Eastern Waterfront in an undated handout photo. “We’ve learned a lot. We’ve become a lot more sensitive to the uniqueness of this city,” Sidewalk CEO Dan Doctoroff said. These are all potential problems for Waterfront Toronto, according to the letter Diamond published Monday.“Waterfront Toronto has told Sidewalk Labs that the concept of the IDEA District is premature and that Waterfront Toronto must first see its goals and objectives achieved at Quayside before deciding whether to work together in other areas,” Diamond wrote.One aspect of the development that Sidewalk does not plan to earn money from is data. When the proposed project was originally announced in the fall of 2017, it was meant to be a new neighbourhood built “from the internet up” with high-tech sensors and data-driven community management.Sidewalk Labs said in the MIDP that it would like to see an independent urban data trust established by the government to regulate all data collection in the development. The data trust would receive applications for all urban data sensor systems.The data trust would then make anonymized data equally available to anybody, so Sidewalk Labs would not have any special commercial advantage from proprietary data collected in the area.In releasing the MIDP, Sidewalk emphasized that the company has consulted with tens of thousands of Torontonians in developing the plan, and incorporated the feedback they received.“We’ve learned a lot. We’ve become a lot more sensitive to the uniqueness of this city,” Doctoroff said.“To their credit, Torontonians challenged us at every step and that made the plan better.”At least a few Torontonians were willing to give their reaction to the plan before it was even released; the grassroots #BlockSidewalk campaign issued a statement on Monday, pre-emptively objecting to the scope of the proposal.“This project was never about a small 12-acre site on Toronto’s waterfront, and the plan Sidewalk Labs has presented us with is proof of that,” the #BlockSidewalk news release said.“This is about Google trying to get access to hundreds of acres of Toronto’s prime waterfront public land. This is as much about privatization and corporate control as it is about privacy.”• Email: email@example.com | Twitter:
by Paul Wiseman, The Associated Press Posted Nov 2, 2015 8:01 am MDT Last Updated Nov 2, 2015 at 11:20 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email US construction spending rises 0.6 per cent in September to highest level in 7 1/2 years WASHINGTON – U.S. construction spending rose 0.6 per cent in September to the highest level since March 2008, pushed up by a surge in apartment building.The Commerce Department said Monday that spending on construction rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.09 trillion. Construction of apartments and condominiums jumped 4.9 per cent in September from August, while construction of single-family homes rose 1.3 per cent. Overall, private residential construction rose to the highest level since January 2008.The housing market has proven relatively resilient this year amid economic weakness overseas that has hurt American manufacturers and limited hiring. Commerce reported last week that private investment in housing grew at an annual pace of 6.1 per cent from July through September — four times the 1.5 per cent growth registered by the overall economy.Spending on nonresidential construction slipped 0.1 per cent in September, Commerce said. But spending on construction of churches and other religious buildings rose 5.6 per cent.Public construction grew 0.7 per cent from August. Spending on schools and other educational buildings rose 2.4 per cent, and spending on water supply facilities was up 4.8 per cent.Federal construction spending fell 1 per cent, the biggest decline since a 4.4 per cent drop in June.“On the surface, today’s data net out to be somewhat reassuring, if not perfect,” said Diane Swonk, chief economist at Mesirow Financial. “Friday’s employment report will be the primary focus of the Federal Reserve, where the threshold for liftoff is low.”The Fed last week held off from raising interest rates from record lows but signalled that they will be considering a move at its Dec. 15-16 meeting. For the Fed to delay a hike again, the upcoming jobs report would have to be a “disaster,” Swonk said. FILE – In this Oct. 23, 2015 file photo, construction work continues on the building known as 3 Manhattan West, in New York. When completed in 2017 it will be 62 stories and will have 844 apartments. U.S. construction spending rose 0.6 percent in September to the highest level since March 2008, the Commerce Department said Monday, Nov. 2, 2015, pushed up by a surge in apartment building. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
The Egyptian-controlled Rafah Crossing is Gaza’s main gateway to the outside world, following the long-term restrictions imposed on the crossings controlled by Israel, notes the report of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the occupied Palestinian territory.However, recent action by Egypt to counter illegal activities and insecurity in the Sinai have included imposing “severe” restrictions on the movement of people through the Rafah Crossing and closing down smuggling tunnels under the Egyptian-Gaza border. At the same time, there has been only limited easing of the ongoing restrictions imposed at legitimate crossing points from Israel. “Consequently, an already fragile humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip has worsened,” states the report.When open, the operating hours at the Rafah Crossing are four hours a day, six days per week – reduced from nine hours, seven days per week. Only authorized travellers have been permitted to cross, including foreign nationals, people holding visas, and patients officially referred for medical treatment abroad. “As a result, the vast majority of Gazans, who do not meet these criteria, are unable to cross,” the report points out. “On average, fewer than 400 people per day have crossed in both directions since July 2013, about 29 per cent of the numbers who crossed in the first half of 2013.”The report also notes that most of the illegal tunnels under the Egyptian-Gaza border – the main channel for the supply of construction materials and fuel – have been shut down. As of 21 September, only an estimated 10 tunnels were believed to be operating, down from approximately 300 prior to June. The Gaza Power Plant has been forced to reduce electricity production and may shut down completely, if adequate fuel supplies are not urgently made available.Fuel shortages and increased power outages, according to OCHA, are “significantly” impacting the provision of essential services, shortages of construction materials are impeding maintenance and rehabilitation of essential service infrastructure, and restricted access for people through Rafah Crossing is impeding access to specialized health services abroad. The restrictions on the crossings controlled by Israel are part of the blockade the Government imposed on Gaza beginning in 2007 for what it called security reasons after the Hamas group, which does not recognize Israel’s right to exist, ousted the Fatah movement from the Strip.
Plug-In Car Grant: Since the launch of the Plug-In Car Grant in January 2011, there have been 154,038 eligible cars registered.Please note: this data includes only new car registrations and not commercial vehicles. For questions about these figures, or to enquire about more detailed data sets, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)
OSU then-freshman guard Kelsey Mitchell (3) dribbles the ball during a game against Indiana on Feb. 8 at the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Lantern File PhotoIn a much-anticipated matchup of highly ranked opponents, the No. 6 Ohio State women’s basketball team is primed to open its season on Friday against No. 2 South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina, at 7 p.m.The Buckeyes, looking to build on a 24-11 record from last season which ended with a loss to North Carolina in the second round of the NCAA tournament, return all five starters, including last season’s co-Big Ten Player of the Year, sophomore guard Kelsey Mitchell.South Carolina boasts three returning starters, including senior guard Tiffany Mitchell, a two-time SEC Player of the Year. The Gamecocks also add a preseason All-American honorable mention in sophomore forward A’ja Wilson to the lineup. Last year, South Carolina’s season ended after a run to the Final Four, losing to Notre Dame 66-65.However, rather than hyping up the game, Kelsey Mitchell stressed how she has been preparing for the 2015-16 season without certain opponents in mind.“You’ve got to be prepared for everything,” she said. “I had no clue, honestly, that we were going to play (South Carolina and No. 1 Connecticut), but you’ve got to prepare before that.”Since South Carolina returns three starters, including its top three scorers and rebounders, the Buckeyes understand they will need to step up on defense and in the post. Last season, OSU’s shallow depth, decimated by injuries, forced it to rely on its offense. Coach Kevin McGuff and his players said they understand their defense must improve.“We weren’t as good as we needed to be last year,” McGuff said. “Part of it was our depth and our youth, but those can’t be excuses this year because we have enough depth and our kids are a year older.”Beyond Kelsey Mitchell and the returning starters, OSU returns four players who missed most, or all of, last season, including redshirt freshman guard Kianna Holland, who was voted team captain. Holland, a transfer from Duke, will debut in a scarlet and gray uniform in her home state of South Carolina.“It’s really exciting. I’ve got a lot of friends and family coming to watch me, so it’s going to be a really neat, supportive environment,” Holland said. Holland might feel at home in the Colonial Life Arena, but the rest of OSU might not find the venue as supportive of the Buckeyes. South Carolina packs its home arena, leading the NCAA in women’s basketball attendance for the first time in program history with an average of 12,293 fans.Preseason All-Americans collideOSU and South Carolina each are led by prolific All-American guards named Mitchell with similar styles. Both were also named their respective conference’s preseason player of the year and led their teams in scoring and assists a season ago.OSU’s Kelsey Mitchell averaged 24.9 points and 4.1 assists per game last season. The 2014-15 co-Big Ten Player of the Year set a Big Ten and OSU record, scoring 873 points while also breaking the NCAA record for most threes made with 127.South Carolina’s Tiffany Mitchell, a 5-foot-9 senior, averaged 14.4 points with impressive efficiency, as she hit 50 percent of her shots and drained 41.6 percent of three-pointers. The Mitchells have not met despite the similar position, role and name, but OSU’s Kelsey Mitchell said she respects the other’s game.“I’ve never seen her play. But if they say she’s amazing, she’s amazing,” Kelsey Mitchell said.Nonconference gauntlet beginsLast season, OSU played just two ranked teams in nonconference play, beating No. 21 West Virginia and losing to No. 24 Georgia. An easier early slate of opponents benefited the young, inexperienced team dealing with several injuries to key players.But this year, high expectations will be tested early. Friday’s game against No. 2 South Carolina begins a three-week period in which the Buckeyes are scheduled to face the top three teams in the nation.In OSU’s home opener on Monday, the Scarlet and Gray hosted the defending national champions, No. 1 Connecticut. On Nov. 28, the Buckeyes head to Las Vegas to take on No. 13 Texas A&M in the South Point Shootout before traveling to South Bend, Indiana, to battle No. 3 Notre Dame on Dec. 2.South Carolina, Connecticut and Notre Dame reached the Final Four last season, as did No. 9 Maryland, which OSU is scheduled to face twice in conference play.“As a coach, the players we were trying to recruit want to play against the best teams in the country,” McGuff said. “And secondly, I just like to figure out where we need to get better. If you’re winning every game by 20, 25, 30 points, you’re not going to know where you can get better.”
With week one of the NFL season officially in the books, let the quarterback controversy in Cleveland begin. I realize that you cannot fully judge a team, or a player, based on their performance in one game, but it’s hard not to when the statistics are so shockingly terrible. Cleveland’s starting rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden, who was 12-35 for 118 yards against the Philadelphia Eagles last Sunday, threw four interceptions (tied for most in the NFL), averaged 3.4 yards per attempt (worst in the NFL), accounted for zero touchdowns, and had a completion percentage of 34.1 (worst in the NFL). Weeden also boasted a quarterback rating of 5.1. Let me say that again, 5.1. The next worst passer rating in week one belonged to fellow rookie Ryan Tannehill of the Miami Dolphins. His rating was 39.0, or almost eight times higher than Weeden’s. Tannehill had one more attempted pass than Weeden but accounted for 101 more yards, one less interception, and eight more completions. Weeden’s numbers aren’t just bad, they’re leaps and bounds ahead of- or rather behind- his competition. Backup Browns quarterback Colt McCoy must be licking his chops. In his first start in 2010, McCoy attempted two fewer passed than Weeden, but threw for 163 more yards and actually managed to complete a touchdown pass. Including the preseason, Weeden has started four games this year but has yet to find the end zone once. I’m starting to wonder if he remembers where it is. In McCoy’s rookie season, he threw nine interceptions in eight games. Weeden has almost half that total in one game. Granted, Weeden’s first game came against last season’s top rated defense, but McCoy’s first game was against the Pittsburgh Steelers who went to the Super Bowl that year. Looking at the Browns’ quarterback situation in the long term, McCoy has two more years of NFL experience and is two years younger. While McCoy hasn’t blown anyone away with his numbers in the last two seasons, he hasn’t exactly been blessed with a plethora of offensive weapons around him. In his rookie season the team’s two leading receivers were a tight end and a running back. In half a season in 2010, McCoy had more yards on fewer attempts than the other two previous Browns quarterbacks combined. In 2011, McCoy had more passing yards than Cleveland’s 2009 team and the 2008 team which included Pro Bowl receiver Braylon Edwards and Pro Bowl tight end Kellen Winslow. McCoy’s leading receiver last year was rookie Greg Little. Ask anyone outside of Cleveland who Greg Little is, and you’re likely to get nothing but blank stares. McCoy may not have the greatest record or statistics, but he did pretty well considering he had zero offensive weapons around him. Weeden had better show progress, quickly, or he may find himself on the bench where he belongs.
Here’s What Happened Today: Easter Sunday Bomb attacks in Sri Lanka, 1916 commemorations and ATMs made headlines today. Share Tweet Email Commemorations marking the 103rd anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising took place at the GPO. Sport Ireland Chairman Kieran Mulvey claimed the “continual drip feed” of reports about the Football Association of Ireland is hindering efforts to reform the organisation.Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said no extra security detail has been added after a series of protests at his home in recent weeks. There are 10 maternity units providing abortion services out of a total of 19 units across the country, over three months after Ireland’s abortion laws have been legalised.Met Éireann has forecast that the warm weather is set to continue over the course of the next few days.Two ATMs were recovered by gardaí on the Monaghan-Meath border today following the theft of two cash machines from Kells, Co Meath on Friday morning.Tributes have been paid to Carmel Collins, the mother of innocent gangland murder victim Roy Collins, following her death today.THE WORLD Firefighters tackle a large fire which is continuing to burn on Ilkley Moor in West Yorkshire. Source: PA Wire/PA Images#SRI LANKA: A series of devastating bomb blasts have struck a number of hotels and churches holding Easter services in Sri Lanka, killing over 200 people. #LONDON: Over 800 people have been arrested as part of the Extinction Rebellion climate change protests in London. #UKRAINE: A TV comedian has won a landslide victory in the second round of voting in Ukraine’s presidential election.PARTING SHOTIt’s three years today since legendary musician Prince died aged 57.So – for the sunny day that’s in it – here’s his classic hit Raspberry Beret. Source: Prince/YouTube Sunday 21 Apr 2019, 7:45 PM Short URL By Cónal Thomas Get our daily news round up: NEED TO CATCH up? TheJournal.ie brings you a round-up of today’s news.IRELAND Cpt Paul Conlin reading out the 1916 proclamation of the Irish Republic. Source: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie 12,128 Views https://jrnl.ie/4601523 Apr 21st 2019, 7:45 PM 1 Comment Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article