The USGBC just released its online scoring tool for LEED for Homes, a much-anticipated advance in the program. After months of announcements and requests for people to sign up, the tool was finally available to the public on February 28th. I took some time to run through it, and I can report there are things to like about it, but it needs a lot more work to be truly useful.On the positive side, it is much easier to follow the scoring process and track points and the anticipated certification level compared to the Excel spreadsheet, which I find frustratingly dense and complicated. For those familiar with the program, the tool seems to strike a nice balance between too much and too little information. It gives you the option to select the prescriptive or performance path in all the sections where it applies, such as the EQ section where you can choose between Indoor Air Plus for 10 points or a prescriptive list of items to gain individual points. Similarly, the EA pathway is either through a HERS rating or a long list of prescriptive items. A project can be scored quickly, the logic is straightforward, and the results are easy to read.It seems this tool was developed in response to the National Green Building Standard (NGBS) online tool, originally the only way to score a project in that program. After multiple complaints about the slow pace of that program, the NGBS released an Excel version, which, while still very long, makes the scoring process a little faster. LEED started with, and still requires, an Excel file, but seems to be moving toward an online management system. If completed properly, it may end up being a good decision.How effective is an online scoring tool?So we now have this pretty easy online checklist, but unfortunately, it still has a long way to go to be an effective tool for project teams and certifiers. My initial critique of the tool is that while it is generally easy to use, the complexity of the program makes the tool less effective for those not very familiar with the program. The same prescriptive versus performance path scoring mentioned above could very easily confuse new users. And as you dig deeper into scoring a project, there are multiple ways to pick up additional points, taken in the ID section, for things like exceeding maximums for pest control, framing efficiencies, and many other credits. As currently designed, when you select items that exceed the maximum score for a section, the tool simply points out that you have reached this limit—while instead it could very easily give you the option or even automatically place extra points in the ID section for you.Other oddities of LEED for Homes include the fact that if you use the HERS rating for the EA, you can get what I refer to as “secret” points for installing a very high-performance clothes washer—but this doesn’t show up on either the Excel or online scoring sheets. You have to be “in the know” for these things, a sort of job security for LEED for Homes consultants and raters.Looking to the futureTo me, the biggest problem is the fact that once you are done, all you have is a screen telling you the score and certification level. I have heard that export formats are in development, but right now there is no way to transfer the information to the required certification spreadsheet. I really hope this is the first step toward development of a full-fledged online management tool for LEED for Homes, which can’t come soon enough. The spreadsheet currently used to manage certification is very cumbersome and not very intuitive. For those of us who are now enlightened Mac users, since the spreadsheet was designed in “Windoze Bloatware,” it isn’t yet fully functional in a Mac version. LEED for Homes is scheduled for a major revision in late 2012. Seems like enough time to me to tune up the process, put everything online, and (I know this is wishful thinking) make the whole thing a lot simpler and more straightforward.I mean, a guy can dream, can’t he?For more information on this story, see Richard Defendorf’s report, LEED for Homes Online Scoring Tool.
The security company G4S which failed to provide enough personnel for the Olympics has accepted that their reputation is in “humiliating shambles,” as its CEO Nick Buckles said it will pay for police and military personnel to step in.Buckles was grilled by members of the Parliament’s Home Affairs Select Committee, who tore into him for having failed the people and the country.However, Jeremy Hunt, minister for Culture and Olympics, sought to assure the public that the Games would be held “safe and secure” as they always had contingency plans in place.Buckles said that the contract signed last December with the Games organising committee for 10,400 additional security staff would remain unfulfilled as they were now hoping to supply up to 7,000 personnel. So far, the company has only been able to send 4,200 people, less than half of the contracted number. The total requirement for security has been put at between 21,000 and 24,000, with the police and army taking up the slack left by G4S.Chairman of the committee Keith Vaz made Buckles agree that their reputation was “in tatters,” and that the largest security company in the world, and third largest private sector employer with 660,000 employees, had not been able to meet its obligations. It is estimated the company is likely to lose at least 50 million because of the fiasco.Buckles told members that he came to know of the shortfall on July 3 and he was “utterly shocked” and they moved to inform the organising committee. He said the police and army personnel would be able to fill the gaps left by his company’s non-fulfillment of the obligations.advertisementMembers of Parliament questioned him on when he came to know about the problem and who he informed, and whether he should resign after the fiasco. Buckles said he had the confidence of the board of his company, which made 600 million last year. The largest investor in G4S, Invesco also signalled that they were behind Buckles who was the right person to bring the company out of its current problems.The shares of G4S slipped 15 per cent even though many other shareholders were supporting the company officials. Secretary Hunt said that the government needed to get to the bottom of the matter. “But the time for that is not now,” he told media.For now, he said, they had to deliver the Games, and that later they would be investigating in detail on how this happened. The members said that one of the reasons for G4S’s failure may have been its employment policies which paid security staff about 8.5 per hour, not much higher than minimum wages. Also, they were not paid for training, unless they turned up for actual work.Last few days, several expected security staff of G4S did not turn up for work at cycling events and some manning requirements in Manchester. Buckles said a 10 per cent shortfall was also expected, but MPs said in some place only about 20 to 30 per cent staff turned up.Buckles is paid 830,000 a year and may be eligible for several million pounds in pension funds and performance bonus. Meanwhile, the 3,500 military personnel drafted for security work have started moving into the Olympic Park and other Games venues.
AdvertisementThe 33-year-old Portuguese sensation had a gala time with MUTV where he summarized his career and his mentor Sir Alex Ferguson’s contribution.Manchester United under Sir Alex Ferguson has witnessed some extraordinary talents and a very systematic scout system which has produced the finest professionals in the football world. One of them being Cristiano Ronaldo who was scouted by Sir Alex Ferguson from Sporting Lisbon and was signed on a record-breaking contract of $15.69m for a youth player at 2003. He demanded jersey no. 28 which he used to wear at Sporting Lisbon but instead got greeted by the legendary no. 7 previously worn by legends like George Best, Bryan Robson, David Beckham and others. This gesture from the gaffer made the lad exuberant to deliver for the club. Ronaldo was also the first Portuguese player to sign for the English giants.Ronaldo on his interview mentioned how SAF played a major part in his transformation from being a forward with fancy skills to an efficient and complete player. He mentioned how Ferguson used to correct his ball holding, decision making and improved his physique. He stated Sir Alex Ferguson to be his father in football.He further spoke about his interests in different sports like UFC, Basketball, Ping Pong and Tennis, where UFC topped the list of liking as he loves to watch fighting. Cristiano further talked about the importance of always looking and smelling good as he himself gets attracted to people who look and smell alluring.He concluded by talking about the best goal scored by him in his career which was against his current club Juventus in the Champions League Semi-final this year and mentioned how overwhelmed he was to get applauded by the opposition fans at that day which made him cheerful to join the Seria-A side.Also Read :Football: Here’s How You Can Get Manchester United Branded Credit Cards In India! Advertisement
A much-awaited FIFA report on the race to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups makes no suggestion that Russia or Qatar should lose the right to stage the tournaments, despite detailing numerous attempts to influence voting officials.The 430-page report, released on Tuesday, had been under wraps since being completed by FIFA’s then-ethics investigator Michael Garcia in November 2014. FIFA chose to publish after the document was leaked to the German newspaper Bild.Russia was awarded the 2018 World Cup and Qatar the 2022 tournament in a single, secret vote in Zurich in December, 2010.After persistent allegations of illegitimate attempts to influence the 22 voting FIFA executive committee members, Garcia was asked to investigate.In November 2014, his completed report was handed to the FIFA ethics judge at the time, Hans-Joachim Eckert, whose 42-page summary that said there was not enough evidence to re-open the bidding process.Nevertheless, the lack of transparency surrounding the bidding for two major global sporting showpieces prompted closer investigation of FIFA affairs that led to the indictment of a host of senior officials and the eventual resignation and banning of FIFA president Sepp Blatter.On Russia, Garcia said that Vladimir Putin, then Russia’s Prime Minister and now President, had actively supported his country’s bid and had a significant presence, but that “there is no apparent violation of the FIFA rules of conduct in this regard”.”There is no evidence in this record to suggest that the Russia bid committee attempted to exert undue influence on any FIFA executive committee members in order to secure their votes,” Garcia added.advertisementOn Qatar, Garcia wrote: “To the extent this report identifies conduct by Qatar 2022 that may not have met the standards set out in the FIFA code of ethics or the bid rules, culpability is mitigated by the fact that these issues were uncovered largely as a result of its cooperation.”The report said Blatter, who has denied any wrongdoing, bore “some responsibility for a flawed process that engendered deep public scepticism”, though it also praised him for implementing reforms including those that made the report itself possible.In the running alongside Russia to stage the 2018 World Cup were England and joint bids from Spain/Portugal and the Netherlands/Belgium. Qatar’s rivals for the 2022 tournament were Australia, Japan, the United States and South Korea.The Swiss attorney general’s office used Garcia’s report as the basis for a criminal investigation into the award of the tournaments that is still continuing.Blatter stepped down in 2015 and was subsequently banned from soccer for six years following an internal ethics investigation.
Newport Gwent Dragons Dean Ryan will be back in a tracksuit in July when he takes charge of the Dragons in Gwent having spent the past three years working for the Rugby Football Union and there are two things about the English club system the former director of rugby at Gloucester and Worcester will not miss: relegation and meddling owners.Ryan has been the head of the RFU’s international player development since leaving the Warriors in 2016 and the reason he was tempted back into coaching was the position created for him by the Dragons: director of rugby with a seat on the board, responsible for all rugby matters on and off the pitch as the region looks to build success after two decades of mediocrity. Share on Messenger Read more features Robert Kitson Since you’re here… Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on WhatsApp Share on Facebook “I have never hidden the fact that I missed competing, something I had done all my life, but equally I had made clear my frustration when trying to strategically build a club being at loggerheads with people on boards and, especially, owners,” said Ryan. “I would not have gone back to just the tracksuit.“David Buttress [the Dragons’ chairman] looks at it differently and that got me excited. I recognise the scale of the challenge, but by being in the right environment and forums to talk, it will be down to me and that is all I can ask for. When you are building a club, if you leave rugby in isolation all you do is make a coach look for success to gain another contract. If you judge someone on two years, his decisions will be based on what happens in the next 18 months.“They are quite often not the right ones. It should be about getting the club right in four or five years, looking at areas like recruitment and the academy. If you just think about the rugby, you will fail. You have to go through pain and with the Dragons getting less funding than the other three regions in Wales, we have to be very clear where we are going.”Ryan starts work on 1 July, but he will be liaising with the region before then. He is unlikely to be able to bring in new players, because of the late timing as much as budgetary constraints, but he will be able to change the way the region is run in a number of areas and lay a foundation having signed a long-term contract.“The aim is to build something strong and sustainable and get the region [which is owned by the Welsh Rugby Union] back into private hands,” said Ryan. “It is an exciting prospect and I will learn a lot being part of a system that does not have a stakeholder like Premiership Rugby and the fact that there is no relegation is key for a side operating with a restrictive budget, allowing you more freedom to develop.” Share on Pinterest Rugby union Dean Ryan leaves the RFU to become director of rugby for the Dragons Wales will have a new head coach in Wayne Pivac after the World Cup. He replaces Warren Gatland who has enjoyed considerable success in his 12 years in charge, but after Shaun Edwards’s decision to turn down a new contract to stay on as defence coach, only Neil Jenkins will remain of the current management.“We had productive talks with Shaun but could not get it over the line,” said Pivac. “It was an individual choice and probably a financial one. The Wales team has grown excitingly in the last 18 months and we will see whether we can add value, making sure we do not rip it apart because it is not broken.” Share via Email Read more Support The Guardian Topics … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many new organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. England would like Mark McCall but would the coach leave Saracens? Reuse this content
Nearly 140,000 Nova Scotians benefit from the province’s family and senior pharmacare programs, and it is time for them to renew their enrolments. Nova Scotia Family Pharmacare program helped more than 11,000 families — or about 35,000 people — with the cost of prescription drugs last year. About 101,000 of the nearly 140,000 seniors in the province are enrolled in Seniors’ Pharmacare. “Nova Scotians who rely on prescription medications to be healthy know how expensive those drugs can be,” said Health Minister Maureen MacDonald. “Pharmacare programs help make prescription drugs more affordable.” Some Nova Scotians have drug insurance through an employer or as part of a pension benefit; others must purchase the drug insurance they need. Family Pharmacare is available to all Nova Scotians, even those who have private drug coverage. Since there is no cost to join, being in the program offers good insurance against high drug costs that can affect anyone at any time. No one is barred from joining the program because of pre-existing medical conditions. Many people think the program is only for low-income Nova Scotians. While it provides the greatest benefit to individuals and families with limited income, Family Pharmacare is also beneficial for families whose drug costs are high or not covered by private health care. Seniors’ Pharmacare is available for Nova Scotians older than 65 who have no other drug insurance. As members renew their enrolment, due by April 1, it is also a good time for other people to consider joining. More information and enrolment forms are available at www.nspharmacare.ca or by calling toll-free at 1-877-330-0323 for Family Pharmacare and 1-800-544-6191 for Seniors’ Pharmacare.
HALIFAX – Nova Scotia’s health minister says he believes there is timely access to abortion services in the province despite calls from advocates to improve access.Randy Delorey said Thursday the province has taken steps to improve access to abortion services, including funding the abortion pill in November 2017 and giving Nova Scotians the option to self-refer for an abortion earlier this year.Delorey said it’s his understanding that most women get “relatively timely access” of within a day or two because of dedicated spots available for ultrasound services at the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre in Halifax, which handles 80 per cent of abortions in the province.“The information that I’ve been provided shows that the services being made available are available when they are needed,” Delorey told reporters at the legislature.The call for better access came after The Globe and Mail’s Atlantic bureau chief published an account of her experience hitting multiple roadblocks while trying to get an abortion in Nova Scotia, before eventually flying to Toronto for the procedure.Although Delorey won’t speak to that specific case, he says abortion services are managed by clinicians who are following national guidelines and recommendations.He said clinical guidelines are not managed by the government.“My understanding is there are national clinical guidelines and best practices that set those parameters,” Delorey said. “The question about at what point and when services are provided are not government policy positions … and I will continue to defer to the clinicians to make those appropriate determinations.”In Nova Scotia, patients can have a medical abortion using pills up to the ninth week of pregnancy while surgical abortions can be obtained up to 15 weeks into a pregnancy.The Health Department says three regional hospitals offer abortion services in addition to the primary location at Halifax’s QE II facility.It says physicians and nurse practitioners are able to prescribe Mifegymiso and the department has recorded 62 different prescribers to date.
Housing Works honored the work of Actor, Producer and Activist Zachary Quinto, famed interior designer, Jamie Drake and activist Mary Fisher at their annual Groundbreaker Awards Dinner last week at Metropolitan Pavilion.Zachary Quinto attends Housing Works Groundbreaker AwardsCredit/Copyright: Getty ImagesThe annual event, hosted by HGTV host Genevieve Gorder, benefits Housing Works’ efforts to provide supportive services and housing to New Yorkers living with and affected by HIV/AIDS and homelessness.Barbara Bush kicked off the award presentations honoring Mary Fisher for her work supporting those living with HIV/AIDS. While fight back tears, Bush praised Fisher for using her voice to speak out about contracting HIV and her life living with the disease. Fisher has written several books on the subject and has used her artwork and design collaborations to raise money for fighting AIDS.“I think of Housing Works as a living testimony of truth,” Fisher said with conviction in her acceptance speech. “They are helping people living with HIV/AIDS who are not the needy and the despised. They are the courageous who have not given up or give in. They are role models for survival.”ELLE DECOR editor-in-chief Michael Boodro presented the ELLE DECOR Heart of Design Award to Jamie Drake. In his acceptance speech, Drake reflected on why he got involved with Housing Works.“I know that my initial commitment to helping those with HIV came with the loss of some of my dearest friends in the 1980s and 1990s – Kevin, Keith, Len, Larry, Robert – I could go on and on. I so very often think of you all in silently saying your names in the conversations we have together in my mind. Tonight I say them out loud. And in accepting this Award, I honor them and thank them in helping me to help others,” Drake said.Zachary Quinto addressed the room after being introduced by Genevieve Gorder to discuss his decision to come out as an openly gay man in 2011 in direct response to a large number of nationwide suicides in the LGBT community, particularly of 14-year-old Jamie Rodemeyer.“I didn’t consult any of my representatives or advisors or friends or family. I didn’t worry or care if the move would diminish career opportunities or negatively impact how I was perceived in the entertainment industry,” Quinto said. “I simply stood up. I was a witness in my truth. And while I couldn’t help Jamie, or any of his fallen comrades, I was set free in a way that could potentially benefit thousands of other LBGT youths still struggling to find a purpose and place in an often cruelly and unsupportive circumstances.”All three honorees accepted their Awards to standing ovations from the room of more than 350 guests.Support for the Groundbreaker Awards is provided by ELLE DECOR, Chateau D’Esclans, Double Cross Vodka, Whispering Angel, Playmates Toys and DRAKE/ANDERSON.Housing Works is a New York-based organization that provides supportive services and stable housing to the homeless and individuals living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. The non-profit works with advocacy offices across the country and abroad to fight for funding and legislation to ensure all people living with HIV/AIDS have access to quality housing, healthcare, prevention information and other life-sustaining services.
OTTAWA – American imports into Canada could fall by $3.3 billion under the recently rebooted Trans-Pacific Partnership, the federal government has concluded, sparking fears the new pact could hurt the ongoing NAFTA renegotiation.The text of the 11-country Pacific Rim trade deal — a pact President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of last year — was released late Tuesday, but a Global Affairs Canada analysis of the deal also delves into the impact on the North American Free Trade Agreement talks, which are to resume in Mexico City next week.The Trump administration has blasted trade deficits with Canada as an underlying reason for wanting to renegotiate or tear up NAFTA. The Canadian government rejects that position, saying the statistics don’t back the U.S. deficit assertions.But the most recent analysis of the new TPP — known by the acronym CPTPP — predicts lower U.S. imports into Canada.“Under the CPTPP, Canadian exports to the United States are not expected to change significantly as the United States is not party to the CPTPP. However, there would be a decline in imports by Canada from the United States, resulting from erosion of U.S.’s NAFTA preferences in the Canadian market,” the analysis says.“Total Canadian imports from the United States are projected to fall by $3.3 billion, led by a decline in automotive products imports.”Flavio Volpe, the president, of Canada’s Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association, says that will hurt Canada at the upcoming NAFTA round, where auto remains a major obstacle between Canada and the U.S.“The report states that U.S. imports into Canada would drop $3.3 billion, mainly in automotive. If true, that is a gap smart U.S. negotiators could then be seeking to close in NAFTA 2.0,” said Volpe.David Worts, executive director of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association of Canada, said he saw no connection between the two trade deals.Worts said the government’s analysis of the CPTPP doesn’t take into account the bilateral side letter on autos between Canada and Japan that he said recognizes U.S. safety standards in Canadian-built vehicles and has an enforceable dispute-settlement mechanism.“These are significant improvements over the original TPP,” he said.But that side letter and others with Malaysia and Australia have yet to be made public. International Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne has said a side letter with Japan guarantees greater access and enshrines a dispute resolution mechanism.The New Democrats criticized what they said was the late release of the text ahead of a planned signing of the deal on March 8.“The multiple side letters that have been completed, including ones relating to protection of our culture and automotive sector, will not be released until after the official signing of the deal,” said Tracey Ramsey, NDP trade critic.The government’s analysis also says, “production in the automotive sector is expected to rise very modestly, by $206 million.”The analysis concludes: “The impacts on the automotive sector are slight, with a small increase in output and exports.”Volpe dismissed those predicted gains as insignificant. He said the gain would amount to only $171 million by 2040.“Contextually, the Canadian auto sector ships about $85 billion in goods annually. This 22-year increase represents approximately 0.2 per cent on that number and when one accounts for inflationary dynamics, this represents a serious decline in real dollars.”The government analysis also concluded that the agreement would generate long-term economic gains for Canada totalling $4.2 billion, up from the $3.4 billion that was expected under the old TPP. The increase is due to improved access to member nations in the absence of U.S. competition.The analysis also said the gains would cover a broad range of sectors, including some agricultural products such as pork and beef, wood products, machinery and equipment, and transportation equipment.Canadian food producers are enthusiastic about the new TPP and the government’s predictions of increased pork and beef exports to Japan. The analysis predicted pork exports to rise by $639 million, or 36.2 per cent, and beef to increase by $378 million or 94.5 per cent.John Masswohl, the international relations director of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, predicted Canada would make gains in Japan at the expense of the U.S., which exports about $1 billion a year worth of beef to that country.“We feel pretty good about being able to take a chunk of that from them.”
Kolkata: The state government is laying emphasis on developing alternative hubs for the manufacture of electronic equipment, ranging from mobiles, drones, solar and other components.”We have developed three Electronic Manufacturing Clusters (EMCs) at Naihati, Falta and Sonarpur. The lands for all these EMCs are ready for allotment. Apart from mobile manufacturing, we are welcoming solar, drones, robotics and LCD TVs in these clusters as well,” a senior official of the state Information Technology & Electronics department said. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaAdditional Chief Secretary of IT&E Debashis Sen recently visited the EMC at Naihati situated on 70 acres of land and took stock of the services on offer. “The facilities in this park have been developed by WEBEL. A site office will come up soon. We are expecting a lot of electronic units here as the place has its locational advantage. It is an hour-long drive from the city and is very close to the industrial park of West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation,” the official added. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayAccording to a senior official from WEBEL, the EMC at Falta has 70 acres of land while the one at Sonarpur has 10 acres. The state government has already invited applications from investors across India for setting up electronic manufacturing units on developed land parcels in these parks. The land allotment will be processed on first-come first-serve basis. It may be mentioned that the rise of mobiles in India has been phenomenal, driven by the cheapest data in the world. In 2011, there was only one mobile manufacturing unit in the country, whereas now there are more than 400 with most of them located around Noida. The move on the part of the state government assumes significance with a top US based advocacy group recently claiming that about 200 US companies are seeking to move their manufacturing from China to India after the general elections.
Rabat – The announcement was made at a press conference held on the sidelines of the Arabian Travel Market, jointly hosted by World Travel Awards (WTA) President Graham Cooke, Moroccan Minister of Tourism, Lahcen Haddad, and Chairman of Innovate Marketing Solutions, Mohammed Arkobi.Speaking at the event, the WTA president said: “This is a momentous day for World Travel Awards and for the Moroccan tourism industry.”“Morocco is the ideal destination for World Travel Awards; growing rapidly to become the leading tourism destination in the region.” “There is so much to offer, from the beaches of Agadir, to the splendor of the Atlas Mountains and the cosmopolitan chic of downtown Rabat.”The first event will take place in the beautiful city of Marrakech later this year.“Securing hosting rights for the World Travel Awards Grand Final is just the latest coup for Morocco, which has been able to use its reputation as one of the most politically stable destinations in the region to significantly increase its tourism revenue in recent years,” said Cooke.“One of North Africa’s top tourist destinations, its dusty deserts, snow-capped Atlas Mountains, medieval medinas, and pristine beaches continue to delight and amaze visitors, said the Moroccan minister.“Hosting the World Travel Awards Grand Final will be a defining event in enhancing the awareness of the Kingdom of Morocco among the most powerful leaders of the travel and hospitality industry.”“We are true believers that Morocco will be among top 20 tourist destinations in the world shortly”, said the chairman of Innovate Marketing Solutions who added “We believe in Moroccan hospitality and Moroccan ability.”The World Travel Awards Grand Final will follow a series of regional Gala Ceremonies, with events this year scheduled for Dubai (United Arab Emirates), Athens (Greece), Quito (Ecuador), Abuja (Nigeria), New Delhi (India), and the island of Anguilla in the Caribbean.World Travel Awards was established in 1993 to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the tourism industry.Today, the WTA brand is recognized globally as the ultimate hallmark of quality, with winners setting the benchmark to which all others aspire.Celebrating its 21st anniversary in 2014, World Travel Awards, or WTA, – also called the “Oscars of the travel industry” – has grown into the most prestigious travel industry awards program in the world.Launched in 1993, the awards, features the winners from six regional ceremonies progressing to the grand final at the end of the year.
The Elections Department announced that elections to the Eastern, North Central and Sabaragamuwa provinces will be held on September 8 this year.The term of all three provinces were dissolved through an extraordinary gazette notification last month and nominations were accepted from political parties and independent groups till today.
The UN Information Services (UNIS) in Bangkok, together with the Software Industry Promotion Agency (SIPA) of the Thai Ministry of Information Communication Technology, today announced a region-wide short animation competition as the first activity of the year-long birthday celebrations.“Animation is a wonderful way to communicate the United Nations’ message of peace, security and human rights for all,” UNIS official Evelyn Domingo-Barker said of the competition, which covers UN work in six areas – reducing poverty and hunger, universal education, gender equality, improving health for all, ensuring sustainable development and promoting world peace. Entrants must be citizens of the Asia-Pacific region and can use any animation technique, including 2D cartoon animation, computer-aided 3D animation, clay animation or digital interferences on a visual product, as long as copyright rules are respected. Entries, which must be under five minutes, can be submitted by post or online no later than 1 October. There are two categories – youth (25 years old or below), and public – with three prizes in each category totalling $15,000. Winners will be flown to Bangkok to collect their prizes and participate in the UN Day celebrations on 24 October.
by The Canadian Press Posted Sep 29, 2014 3:30 pm MDT TORONTO – Some of the most active companies traded Tuesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange:Toronto Stock Exchange (14,960.51, down 16.41 points):B2Gold Corp. (TSX:BTO). Miner. Down one cent, or 0.44 per cent, to $2.28 on 11 million shares.Bombardier Inc. (TSX:BBD.B). Aerospace. Up three cents, or 0.80 per cent, to $3.77 on 8.2 million shares.Suncor Energy Inc. (TSX:SU). Oil and gas. Up 30 cents, or 0.75 per cent, to $40.53 on 5.1 million shares.Carlisle Goldfields Ltd. (TSX:CGJ). Miner. Down 0.5 cents, or 16.67 per cent, to 2.5 cents on 5 million shares.Manulife Financial Corp. (TSX:MFC). Insurance. Down nine cents, or 0.42 per cent, to $21.54 on 3.9 million shares.Yamana Gold Inc. (TSX:YRI). Miner. Down seven cents, or 1.03 per cent, to $6.72 on 3.9 million shares.Companies reporting major news:Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. (TSX:CP). Transportation. Up $3.85, or 1.68 per cent, to $232.43 on 586,165 shares. The Calgary-based company has received approval to more than double the amount of stock it can purchase under its 2014-15 share buyback program, having reached the maximum available under the initial plan. The company will now be able to repurchase and cancel up to 12.65 million common shares by mid-March 2015 — an increase of 140 per cent from the previous limit.Enbridge Inc. (TSX:ENB). Oil and gas. Down 20 cents, or 0.37 per cent, to $53.61 on 2.1 million shares. The company is looking to diversify beyond its core North American oil shipping business, eyeing opportunities to grow its presence outside of Canada and the United States and invest in more natural gas pipelines and power generation. CEO Al Monaco told shareholders Tuesday its vast North American oil network will contribute the “lion’s share” of earnings through 2018, but Enbridge will look for ways to become a bigger player in areas that only contribute about 10 per cent of its earnings today.Sherritt International Corp. (TSX:S). Miner. Down 39 cents, or 11.17 per cent, to $3.10 on 2.4 million shares. The Toronto-based company has released new reserve and resource estimates for the Ambatovy mining project in Madagascar, showing increased economically viable tonnage but lower nickel and cobalt ore grades. Ambatovy is one of the largest holdings for the company, which co-owns the mining operation with Sumitomo of Japan, Korea Resources, and Montreal-based SNC-Lavalin (TSX:SNC) Engineering. Down 15 cents, or 0.29 per cent, to $51.57 on 331,593 shares. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Most actively traded companies on the TSX
A lounge in the International Centre provides a meeting place for international students.Staff in the various units that serve international students are seeing more of each other these days. And students are having an easier time finding them.This is thanks to the new International Centre, a three-storey building that opened its doors last month.While the offices of International Services, International Market Development, ESL Services and others used to be scattered throughout the main campus – many with offices in the Decew Residence – the departments have new digs with more space and contact with the students they serve.The building includes a dozen seminar rooms, lounges for faculty and staff and a bright and spacious international students’ lounge. Offices for Brock International, International Services, ESL Services and International Market Development are located on the second floor. The third floor includes offices for the Department of Classics, an archeology workroom and a Cypriot museum.The new building allows staff members who work on behalf of international students to meet more of them face to face, said Sheila Young, director of Brock International.“It’s such a pleasure to see how well used the international lounge is,” said Young, whose office looks out on the space. “If you come here between classes or at meal times, you’ll see how busy it is.”With the new building, “international students have a place,” said Jackie Sanders, associate director of ESL Services. “They feel the university respects them. And all the international offices really benefit. We can all work much more closely together. This really does give us an international presence.”Work began last March with a ground-breaking ceremony for the Norman Road project. The International Centre is 46,000 square feet, located east of 573 Glenridge Avenue and west of Quarryview Residence. The project is part of the Campaign for a Bold New Brock. An official opening ceremony is expected in the fall.The space means Brock’s international offices can do more of what they’ve been doing for years — serving students, said John Kaethler, director of International Services.“We have more extra space than we did before, and that will help us be of service to international students as well as Canadian students,” he said. “It’s a lovely building and we look forward to being of more service.”
Last week, the basketball website Ballislife.com tweeted a fun exercise, asking NBA fans to pick their dream starting five. The catch? It assigned dollar values to each legend and set up a monetary constraint which no lineup’s total cost could exceed. Do you want Michael Jordan as your starting shooting guard? OK, but he’ll cost you $5 of the $15 you have, so now you have just $10 of cap money to spend on four other players.It’s an entertaining spin on the classic “dream team” debate (although I’ll leave the basketball arguments to others). A few days later, though, Matt Henderson created his own version for hockey, giving us $18 to spend on our post-expansion NHL all-star team:Neil Greenberg, who runs The Washington Post’s Fancy Stats blog, posted his dream team analysis Thursday, and I thought it would be fun to take another look at the pros and cons of dream team building from an advanced stats point of view.GoalieEven at $4, Dominik Hasek is a steal. (As Greenberg noted, Hasek’s save percentage was much better than that of contemporaries like Martin Brodeur, even though Hasek is worth only $1 more than Brodeur by Henderson’s values.) In fact, during his career, Hasek was the outlier of all goaltending outliers. Because of the large influence of random variation in save percentages, most goalies can’t consistently distinguish themselves very much from an average netminder. But Hasek seemed to be the exception. In his career, he allowed 79 percent as many goals per shot as the league did, and was one of the only goalies ever to consistently sustain a very high level of play over a number of consecutive seasons. Hasek’s basically a no-brainer as the goalie for this team.As an aside, if Hasek had not been available, it might have made sense to buy the $1 goalie (in this case, Ed Belfour, a fine goalie who allowed 93 percent as many goals per shot as the league over his long career) and spend more on building a strong lineup of skaters. Because it’s difficult to predict how well a goaltender will play in a given season (much less a series or a game), it doesn’t usually make much sense to sink a huge percentage of a team’s payroll into one of them — a good piece of strategy in this exercise and in life.DefensemenThe four most valuable non-goalie seasons ever according to Tom Awad’s all-in-one stat Goals Versus Threshold (GVT; think Value Over Replacement Player for hockey) belong to Bobby Orr. Orr costs the maximum “salary” here ($5), but the difference between his production at his peak (an average of 45.6 goals above replacement per year in his best five seasons, with a career-high of 49.5 in 1970-71) and that of the next-best defenseman is truly massive. Among the next-best available D-men, neither Paul Coffey, Larry Robinson nor Denis Potvin ever produced a GVT better than 31.1 in any of their seasons.Speaking of Larry Robinson, it’s worth noting that he costs only $2 in salary despite putting up some of the best seasons by a defenseman in NHL history. In 1976-77, Robinson notched 85 points (ranking 12th among all players, not just defensemen) and set the non-Orr record for highest plus/minus in a season with a +120 mark. That performance was worth 30.4 goals above replacement in GVT’s estimation; Robinson also had five other seasons of at least 19.9 GVT, giving him a higher five-year peak than Nicklas Lidstrom despite Lidstrom costing more than twice as much in Henderson’s dollar values.CenterThe second-best non-goalie ever by peak GVT is Wayne Gretzky, who owns the two best non-Orr seasons ever by a skater (each were worth more than 43 GVT). Gretzky also costs the maximum ($5), which, when combined with the salaries of Hasek, Robinson and Orr, will leave only $2 to spread across two wingers. But like Orr and Hasek, Gretzky’s production was such a radical outlier that he’ll be worth the price. (For one thing, there’s plenty of evidence backing up the notion that super-elite playmakers, such as Gretzky and Mario Lemieux, can have a dramatic positive influence on teammates’ shooting percentages.)WingsOn the wings, we’re now essentially “stuck” with $1 pickups Jari Kurri and Johnny Bucyk as Gretzky’s linemates. There are a couple of reasons why this isn’t a bad thing, though. First (and this should be self-evident): Kurri and Bucyk are both Hall of Famers! It’s not like we’re picking from the dregs of the hockey universe here. In fact, Kurri and Bucyk had better GVT numbers in their best five seasons than Brett Hull and Luc Robitaille did in theirs, despite Hull costing four times as much as Kurri and Robitaille costing five times as much as Bucyk. Secondly, statheads have found evidence that — despite the importance placed on strong depth in hockey’s conventional wisdom — building a top-heavy team with a few stars and a bunch of lesser players is not such a bad thing.So, there you have it, the best team our $18 could buy: Hasek, Orr, Robinson, Gretzky, Kurri and Bucyk. According to the average of each player’s best five seasons, our team would produce 200.3 GVT in a hypothetical full season.In a perfect universe, our team would face that of Greenberg (Hasek, Mark Messier, Bobby Hull, Mike Bossy, Lidstrom and Zdeno Chara) and everyone else in the Twittersphere, and settle the matter on the ice. Obviously, that can never happen — and maybe it’s more fun this way anyhow.
La Chine lance deux satellites de navigationLundi, l’agence Chine nouvelle a annoncé que le pays avait procédé tôt lundi au lancement de deux satellites de navigation pour le système Beidou destiné à concurrencer les systèmes américains, européens et russes.Les satellites chinois se multiplient dans l’espace. Lundi à 4H50 heure locale (dimanche à 20H50 UTC), le pays a en effet mis en orbite avec succès deux nouveaux engins destinés à évoluer en orbite moyenne et haute. Ils ont été lancés grâce à une fusée-porteuse depuis le site spatial de Xichang situé dans le sud-ouest de la Chine. À lire aussiPourquoi certains s’évanouissent-ils à la vue du sang ?C’était la première fois que le pays lançait à la fois deux satellites de ce type. En effet, les engins mis en orbite sont des satellites de navigation censés rejoindre la constellation du système chinois Beidou. Un projet dont la réalisation a débuté en 2000. Celui-ci est censé concurrencer le Global Positionning System (GPS) américain, le système européen Galileo, et le GLObal NAvigation Satellite System (GLONASS) russe.Le premier satellite de la constellation a été lancé en 2007. Mais les décollages se sont multipliés depuis. Ainsi, avec les deux engins mis en orbite lundi, le système Beidou compte désormais 13 satellites. La Chine n’entend toutefois pas en rester là puisqu’elle a d’ores et déjà prévu de lancer trois autres engins en 2012. Le pays espère ainsi que d’ici 2020, son système de positionnement comptera 30 satellites et couvrira le monde entier.Le 1 mai 2012 à 19:06 • Maxime Lambert
00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Construction service workers is bridging the gap between public works projects, employers and disadvantage workers.There is a pre-apprenticeship program that is helping create a skilled stable workforce in construction.For more information click here. Categories: Good Morning San Diego, Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter Construction service workers Pre Apprenticeship Program January 25, 2019 Updated: 8:20 AM KUSI Newsroom, KUSI Newsroom Posted: January 25, 2019
WASHINGTON (WSVN) — President Trump has canceled the White House Christmas party for members of the media, ending a decades-old tradition.Fox News reports the annual holiday event allowed attendees to bring members of their families, and featured an elaborate buffet with items such as crab claws and lamb chops.In previous administrations, the president and first lady would pose for photos with guests in attendance, a process that would take hours. But for last year’s party at the White House, the Trumps only made a brief appearance at the event.With no party for the press planned for this year, several other holiday events are still set to take place in the White House. Some media personalities considered to be favorable to the Trump administration are on those guests lists, including several Fox News hosts, according to the network.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
The digital-first tactic, says Wells CEO Mitch Dunford, follows the same pattern as Wells Media’s Claims Journal brand. The staggered launch process helps build audience for one medium to leverage into the next, and vice versa. The first issue will feature a split run—with a subscriber version and a convention version. The latter, distributed to several conferences this fall, will feature an unconventional cover treatment—no cover lines.Wells Media Group’s vice president of content Andy Simpson says this will inspire curiosity. “We want people to be curious about it, open it up, and explore the terrific content. We want them to say, ‘What is Carrier Management?’”More on this topic Wells Media Launches New Website Forbes to Launch ForbesLife.com ‘We’re Not Hearing Anybody Walking Away From Print’ Martin Reidy Direct Business Media Launches New Print Title Former RBI Editor to Head New Association MagazineJust In BabyCenter Sold to Ziff Davis Parent J2 Media | News & Notes TIME Names New Sales, Marketing Leads | People on the Move PE Firm Acquires Majority Stake in Industry Dive Editor & Publisher Magazine Sold to Digital Media Consultant This Just In: Magazines Are Not TV Networks Meredith Corp. Makes Digital-Side Promotions | People on the MovePowered by San Diego-based b-to-b publisher Wells Media, true to plan, has followed the February launch of its CarrierMangement.com site with a print magazine of the same name.The magazine is being distributed quarterly to a hand-picked subscriber list of 12,000 property/casualty insurance executives and board members. “We’ve spared no expense to create a high-impact medium for both readers and advertisers,” says Carrier Management publisher Mark Wells.