Category «ihzmmqqxvwno»

GMS NGO Shipbreaking Platform Embroiled in Legal Quarrel

first_imgzoom The dispute between cash buyer GMS and NGO Shipbreaking Platform seems to have reached a tipping point as both sides resort to legal counseling following the NGO’s claims that the company enabled beaching of ships on several occasions.The latest example saw GMS being linked to Seatrade’s four reefers being sold for demolition to yards in countries with poor working conditions and substandard environmental practices.The company vehemently opposed the accusation which was later withdrawn as incorrect with NGO Shipbreaking stating that GMS was not the end-buyer of Seatrade’s vessels.However, the Platform claims that GMS was confirmed as cash buyer in several other cases involving illegal hazardous waste exports that are being/have been investigated by authorities and the police in several countries.In the latest turn of events, GMS sent a letter to the Platform saying it would sue the NGO unless the Platform removes all mention of GMS from their website, the Platform said.“We have no intention to remove truthful information from our website and will not apologize for reporting on the business of trafficking ships for dirty and dangerous breaking. It is our organization’s mission to provide authorities, journalists, and industry stakeholders with information on the deplorable realities of current shipbreaking practices which encourage the circumvention of existing labor and environmental protection laws,” Ingvild Jenssen, Founder and Director of the NGO Shipbreaking Platform, said.Furthermore, the Platform dubbed the move “harassment by GMS” which came on the back of an earlier threat to sue the Platform made by PHP, a Bangladeshi shipbreaking yard.In a letter released by the NGO addressing GMS-DMCC Dubai’s legal representative, GMS requested removal of all defamatory articles and their recirculation, among other things.last_img read more

Emaciated moose euthanized as concern grows for NB animals displaced by floods

first_imgFREDERICTON – Two emaciated moose left stranded by floodwaters have been euthanized, in what animal welfare workers say is likely just the most visible symbol of a wider problem for New Brunswick wildlife pushed away from their food sources.Wildlife officials say they had no choice but to euthanize the moose — the sickly animals were too weak to move from the Trans-Canada Highway after they sought out higher ground until they became stranded on a closed highway bridge near Jemseg.One also had an injured leg.Animal welfare workers say it may just be the beginning of the story for animals pushed out of their natural dwellings by record floodwaters this month in New Brunswick.“It can certainly displace them and it may have an effect on the beginning of baby season, especially for the ground dwelling mammals and some of the birds,” said Pam Novak, wildlife care director for the Atlantic Wildlife Institute near Sackville, N.B.“I think the residual effects too would be the health of any wildlife, like waterfowl, that use the water surfaces because they are becoming contaminated.”Unprecedented water levels have begun a steady retreat in parts of flood-stricken New Brunswick, but provincial officials have issued repeated warnings that residents should treat the floodwaters with caution because of possible contamination.Raw sewage has fouled the Saint John River water that is likely also mixed with rotting animal carcasses, fuel and other debris. Health officials say the water could contain harmful bacteria, like salmonella or E. coli.Novak said that could create longer term issues for wildlife.“Waterfowl could show up with higher levels of botulism or E. coli,” she said. “My main concern would be seeing the residual effects from the toxicity levels in the water, so we will wait and see.”She said many animals may also have trouble accessing food that is under water. The decline of prey species, like small rodents killed when their dens became flooded, could limit the amount of food for predators, Novak said.“If there weren’t good rodent populations, then you might start seeing starvation more in the predator species, like birds of prey and other mammal species,” she said.“For some crows and ravens, their young have already hatched and there’s going to be effects there where they’re not able to forage and find food for their own young so we may see those kinds of starvation cases in the next couple of months.”She said pregnant deer and moose will soon be giving birth and a lack of adequate nutrition could affect their health, adding that “it will be interesting to see what the birth rates are going to be this year.”Dwayne Sabine, a biologist with Energy and Resource Development, said the moose shot on Tuesday were two of about eight that were spotted on an exit ramp near a bridge as they searched for dry ground.He said that because the water was so high in the low-lying Sheffield-Maugerville area, there was virtually nowhere for the animals to go for several kilometres. Other moose had also been seen seeking shelter near people’s homes in the area.Sabine said crews had shepherded others off roadways, but the two on the highway were too weak or unable to walk far enough.“Moose are only one of many, many species that have been affected by the rising waters,” he said. “No doubt there’s mortality involved … but those impacts are limited to just those local populations.”Domesticated animals have also been affected by the floodwaters.Tracy Marcotullio, manager of the Oromocto SPCA, said they have been busy rescuing and housing animals that were either left to fend for themselves when their owners couldn’t get home or evacuated but without a place to go.She went out in a boat in the White’s Cove area to retrieve a cat from a home that was completely surrounded by water after the owner couldn’t get home.“The cat was really happy to see us!” she said.The small shelter has taken in about five dogs and about 15 cats since flooding began almost two weeks ago.“I suspect there will be some unhappy endings once the water recedes,” she said. “There will definitely be wildlife that has not made it and domestic animals that couldn’t be found. I dread what will probably come afterwards.”– By Alison Auld in Halifaxlast_img read more

Ramadan in France, Rest of Europe to Begin Monday

Rabat – Like Saudi Arabia, the holy month of Ramadan will begin on Monday, May 6 in France and most European countries.The Union of Mosques of France (UMF) released a statement in which it expressed its best wishes to the muslims of France.The UMF also called on Muslims to “live in the spirit of this month of spirituality, filled with solidarity and generosity, by providing support to all those who work against poverty in the world.” The UMF also urged the Muslim community in France to “seize the opportunity of this blessed month to raise prayers for (…) peace and harmony between peoples and nations.”Read Also: To Fast and Be Furious: Moroccan Fighting Culture During RamadanRamadan will also begin on Monday in Belgium. Morocco’s Ministry of Islamic Affairs announced on Friday that Morocco is sending out 422 Moroccan imams, morchidates (female religious guides), preachers and reciters “to provide religious guidance to Moroccans living abroad.”The ministry said it would ensure that activities within mosques are in harmony with European law. Of the 422 candidates for the mission, 163 will go to France, the country with the largest Moroccan community in Europe. The number of Taraweeh (nighttime prayer) imams totals 361, 29 female preachers, and 32 male preachers, according to the minister.On other continents, the first day Ramadan will also fall on May 6. Saudi Arabia and Qatar will also begin fasting tomorrow. Ramadan will begin on Monday in Australia as well.Morocco will announce whether Ramadan will be on Monday or Tuesday on the evening of Sunday, May 5.. Astronomer and researcher Abdelaziz Kharbouch Al Ifrani told Morocco World News that the first day of Ramadan  is “most likely” on Tuesday, May 7. read more

Ban Kimoon to visit strifetorn Kenya

31 January 2008Warning that violence in Kenya could spiral out of control, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today announced plans to visit the country, where more than 800 people have already lost their lives in intensifying ethnic clashes triggered by the aftermath of recent elections. Speaking to reporters in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, Mr. Ban called on the Kenyan people to “stop the killings and end the violence now, before it is too late.”More than a quarter of a million people have been forced to flee their homes due to the violence, which began late last year after Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki was declared the winner over opposition leader Raila Odinga in December elections.Mr. Ban said he will travel to Nairobi tomorrow to give his full support to the Panel of Eminent African Persons, led by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, which is trying to resolve the current crisis. While in Nairobi, Mr. Ban intends to meet with Mr. Odinga, civil society leaders and UN staff.“If political leaders fail to act responsibly in the interests of all Kenyan people, the situation could escalate beyond control,” warned the Secretary-General, stressing that the UN is ready to provide all necessary assistance.“Kenya can remain stable and prosperous, a model to all Africa,” he added. “We must all do our utmost to ensure that it does so.”Addressing the opening session the African Union summit earlier today in Addis Ababa, Mr. Ban drew attention to the alarming developments in Kenya, calling on the gathered African leaders to urge the leaders and people of Kenya to calm the violence and resolve their differences through dialogue and respect for the democratic process.In a meeting with President Kibaki on the sidelines of the summit, Mr. Ban encouraged the Kenyan leader to move toward a quick resolution of the crisis, according to a UN spokesperson. The two men discussed the humanitarian situation in the country and the situation of internally displaced persons (IDPs), as well as the Secretary-General’s trip to Nairobi.Mr. Ban also spoke by phone with Mr. Annan, discussing the serious impact of the violence on Kenya’s economy.In a related development, Kenyan women have called for an immediate end to inter-ethnic killings, impunity and gross violations of human rights, especially the increasing cases of sexual crimes and gang rapes, in a communiqué handed over to Mr. Annan’s team.The women appealed for an urgent response to the special needs of women and children who constitute the majority of IDPs, according to a news release from the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM).They also called for constitutional reforms and measures to restore the rule of law and order, and appealed to all Kenyans to respect and embrace different democratic opinions. Consultations have been held over the past couple of weeks on getting women effectively engaged in national efforts to resolve the crisis. read more

UN human rights panel deplores executions in Uzbekistan

“The Committee deplored the recent execution of six individuals whose cases are currently pending before the Committee,” it said in a statement on its meeting in Geneva. “It reminded the State party of its position that it amounts to a grave breach of the Optional Protocol to execute an individual whose case is pending before the Committee, in particular where a request for interim protection under rule 86 of the Committee’s Rules of Procedure has been issued.”The Committee, an 18-member panel of independent experts, reiterated its request for interim protection under rule 86 in all other cases currently pending under the Optional Protocol and that Uzbekistan not execute the person before the Committee has concluded its consideration.In a letter earlier this month, Acting High Commissioner for Human Rights Bertrand Ramcharan had urged the Government to make all necessary efforts to ensure strict observance of its international human rights obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and its Optional Protocol and to cooperate fully with the Special Procedures.The Committee listed the six executed as Muzaffar Mirzaev, Shukrat Andasbaev, Ulugbek Eshov, Ilkhon Babadzhanov, Maksud Ismailov and Azamat Uteev. read more

Online alcohol sales in Ontario rose over the holidays LCBO

TORONTO – More Ontario drinkers turned to the Internet to buy wine, beer and spirits over the holidays.The Liquor Control Board of Ontario says its online alcohol sales totalled nearly $2 million between Nov. 6 and Dec. 31, up from $1.7 million over the previous three months.The LCBO says the average number of daily purchases rose to 147 from 80 in those same time periods — an increase of about 84 per cent — and the average amount spent to $227 from $207.The government-owned agency launched its online store in late July, allowing people to people buy from nearly 5,000 products and have them delivered to their home or a local liquor store.Spokeswoman Christine Bujold says the types of alcohol that people purchased online shifted over the holidays, with beer sales dropping and a boost in red wine and spirits.Bujold says other drinks typically associated with the holiday season, such as Baileys Irish Cream, also grew more popular.The agency had anticipated a spike in online sales over the holiday season, she said, adding that ordering from the website is “an opportunity for people to save time.”“People are buying beverage alcohol for their own Christmas celebrations or holiday celebrations, they’re purchasing for gift-giving,” she said.Bujold said the LCBO website will continue to evolve and grow.“We have plans to expand the number of products that are available in the coming months,” she said.In July, the LCBO said its online portal already listed more products than are carried in any of its stores. The agency said at the time that could eventually list up to 16,000 products for sale.There is a $50 minimum for any purchases through and purchases can be delivered to a neighbourhood LCBO store for free, or to a customer’s home through Canada Post for a $12 fee plus tax.Postal workers have to ask for identification or return the liquor to the postal depot for customer pickup. Online alcohol sales in Ontario rose over the holidays: LCBO by Paola Loriggio, The Canadian Press Posted Jan 11, 2017 10:27 am MDT Last Updated Jan 11, 2017 at 11:40 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

Libya cannot wait for solution UN envoy says as talks pause for

The UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) has proposed resuming the political dialogue next Thursday, 19 March, in Morocco, with the time between to allow for more consultations and further work on the draft documents that were presented in the earlier discussions.“This is a dialogue, whose purpose is to reach a solution and to reach a solution because Libya cannot wait anymore,” the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of UNSMIL, Bernardino Leon, told a news conference after the meetings ended. “The Mission hopes that the parties will come back next Thursday ready to address the final stage of the talks.”In Morocco, participants renewed their commitment to the dialogue as the sole mechanism for the resolution of political differences and noted the need to work quickly to reach agreement to draw Libya out of its crisis and bring peace and stability. “The crisis in Libya is deepening in all aspects, in political security, economic and financial aspects,” Mr. Leon said. “We have conveyed to the parties a sense of urgency. Libya has no time.”He said the Mission looked forward to active engagement from all participants during the upcoming sessions and urged them to seize the momentum generated by the dialogue held from 5 to 7 March, build on the progress made and not waste the opportunity the talks provide to bring peace to their country.“For this final phase of the talks, this decisive phase of the talks, the House of Representatives has decided to reinforce their team,” he said. “We believe from now until Thursday is time enough to get strong support, to prepare well their position on every document they have and to be ready to address something as complex, difficult and challenging as national unity government.”UNSMIL and the participants in the dialogue also emphasised the importance of other tracks in support of the main dialogue track. “Progress made on those tracks serves to boost the overall efforts towards a political solution,” the Mission said in a news release. “These tracks include meetings of representatives of political parties and political activists, representatives of municipalities as well as armed groups and tribal and societal personalities.” read more

Poll Should colleges be at risk of losing funding if sexual consent

first_img Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor commissioned the report. By Sean Murray Poll: Should colleges be at risk of losing funding if sexual consent classes aren’t provided? That is a recommendation contained in a new government-commissioned report. 24,128 Views Yes (2377) Image: Leah Farrell/ Mar 19th 2019, 8:59 AM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article 110 Comments Share149 Tweet Email A NEW GOVERNMENT-commissioned report has recommended that all third-level colleges should be obliged to provide classes on sexual consent for students or risk losing State funding, the Irish Times reported today.That’s one of the recommendations in the report that was commissioned by Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor. Overall, it outlines steps that should be mandatory for third-level institutions to help create “safer and more respectful campuses”.Under agreements that would be made, the Higher Education Authority would be able to withhold or deduct funding if a college underperforms in its duties.So, today we’re asking you: Should colleges be at risk of losing funding if sexual consent classes aren’t provided? Tuesday 19 Mar 2019, 8:59 AM No (6431) Poll Results: Not sure (501) YesNoNot sureVote Short URL Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor commissioned the report. Image: Leah Farrell/Rollingnews.ielast_img read more

Warning over visa delay

first_imgMaria Vamvakinou MP has told Neos Kosmos that the Greek government’s reluctance to sign-off the Work and Holiday Visa agreement with Australia could be due to a perception in Athens that a Coalition government might amend the terms of the deal currently negotiated. The agreement on the table will limit the number of Work and Holiday Visas (Subclass 462) on offer to Greece to 500 annually. Capping the number of such visas offered by Australia differs between countries, depending on the partner country’s economic circumstances and labour market formulas. Ms Vamvakinou believes some members of the Greek Australian community seeking a higher limit have suggested to the Greek government – by lobbying Greek diplomats in Australia – that if the Coalition were to win the next election, the threshold could be increased. But she says given the extended rounds of negotiation that have stalled the agreement over many years, any further distractions to Greece signing the agreement could have serious implications. On a recent visit to Athens Ms Vamvakinou took up the matter in person with Greece’s Deputy Minister for Greeks Abroad, Mr Kostas Tsiaras. At a meeting convened at the Australian Embassy in Ambelokipi in late April, the federal member for Calwell spoke with Mr Tsiaras in the presence of Australia’s Deputy Head of Mission in Athens Mr Michael Opie. Ms Vamvakinou told Neos Kosmos that at the meeting she had been keen to raise the matter of the visa deal. “I asked the Deputy Minister when he thought the Greek Government would be in a position to sign off and he indicated to me that a decision was imminent. “I also asked if the Greek government had any problems with the terms of the visa and he was emphatic in his response; ‘none at all’.” On pressing Tsiaras further, Vamvakinou says the deputy minister indicated Athens could be in a position to sign the agreement before September 2013. “I reaffirmed to him that the view expressed by some in the Greek Australian community – that Australia should press for a lifting of the cap of 500 and hold-off for a better deal – was misleading, and that any Australian Government is highly unlikely to make exceptions, particularly at the first stage of implementing the scheme,” said Ms Vamvakinou. The Deputy Minister reaffirmed that the Greek government had no outstanding issues with the arrangements that have been negotiated to date. Last week, Australia’s Immigration Minister Brendan O’Connor told Neos Kosmos that the ball was firmly in Greece’s court to end the protracted delay on the agreement. Australia remains a focus for young Greek nationals seeking better opportunities, many of who use tourist visas to visit. Overall, unemployment in Greece has risen to an all-time high of 27 per cent according to the latest data, while joblessness in the 15-to-24 age group jumped to over 64 per cent in February. While the intentions of those seeking a higher cap on the Work and Holiday Visa are benign – an effort to increase the number of visas available to Greek applicants – Vamvakinou says that not only is such an adjustment extremely unlikely in the short term, but any further delay to the agreement could be counterproductive. The MP says any continued delay of the agreement may be an incentive for young Greek nationals to overstay when visiting Australia on tourist visas. The effect of greater numbers of ‘overstayers’ could result in Greece being placed by Australia’s Immigration department in a higher-risk category, resulting in tourist visas being more difficult to obtain. Ms Vamvakinou’s message is to strike while the iron’s hot. “People in Greece are writing to me all the time asking about the status of the working holiday visa agreement,” she says. “Let’s go with it as it is, and look at the possibilities for expanding it later.” Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

15 million Greeks live in extreme poverty

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram A survey conducted by an Athens-based think tank has delivered shocking results about poverty in Greece. The survey found that people living in extreme poverty amount to 13.6 per cent of the population, down from 15 per cent in 2015, 15.7 per cent in 2014 and 17.1 per cent in 2013 (it should be noted that in 2009, before the country entered the bailout program, only two per cent of the population was living in extreme poverty). Despite the falling trend, the survey showed that one and a half million people in Greece live in conditions of extreme poverty.The majority of these people are the chronically unemployed and the young. As is common all the years since Greece entered the crisis, most of the ‘new’ extreme poverty phenomenon is due to the rise in unemployment. The survey found that over a million Greek citizens were unemployed in 2016, of which only 127,000 were receiving regular unemployment benefits. This accounts for 11.2 per cent of unemployed being on the dole, falling down from 35.1 per cent in 2011. Conducted by non-profit research and policy institute diaNEOsis the survey was an update of previous research published in June 2016. This time, researchers were able to record poverty in different geographic regions of Greece, finding that extreme poverty is lower in rural areas than urban places, which are densely populated. The regions least affected are Crete, Ipirus, Peloponese, and the Aegean Islands, while Central Macedonia, Thessaly, and western Greece are those mostly plagued by poverty.last_img read more

How the Overwatch League is Bringing Hardcore and Casual Fans Together

first_img ‘Overwatch’ Coming to Nintendo Switch… In Case FormLego Adds Two More ‘Overwatch’ Sets: Wrecking Ball and Junke… Stay on target Overwatch is one of this generation’s biggest gaming sensations. Players from all walks of life can’t seem to get enough of Blizzard’s “Hero Shooter.” Given its competitive nature and flashy visuals, it’s no surprise Overwatch is such a huge presence in the Esports world.The Overwatch League (OWL) follows the model of traditional professional sports. Teams are based out of specific cities and backed by owners, including celebrities like Shaquille O’Neal, Alex Rodriguez, and Jennifer Lopez. The league has regular seasons and athletes receive a minimum salary, benefits, and even get a share of winnings and revenue depending on how well they perform. This is as professional as things get, especially in the Esports world.What is it about Overwatch that makes it a cultural phenomenon? How is the OWL bringing together both hardcore video gamers and folks who have a casual interest in Overwatch? Since I don’t play the game, I can’t answer these questions myself. Thankfully, I have a few close friends who work or have worked in the gaming industry that know a great deal about Blizzard’s popular title. I asked them a series of questions to find out what it is about Overwatch and the OWL that makes it perfect for both hardcore and casual audiences. What I discovered was quite illuminating.Gary A. Swaby is an independent gaming journalist who co-founded the website, The Koalition. Though he originally didn’t know much about Overwatch, he soon became a massive fan. To him, the game stands out because of its focus on teamwork.“The biggest thing that draws me to it is that it’s different from common First Person Shooters that are frag focused,” says Gary. “In Overwatch, it’s all about which team can utilize their heroes the best. Kills matter to an extent, but it’s not the most important thing. You’re instead forced to think about team synergy, playing your role effectively and completing the objective. Unlike most shooters, no two heroes play in the same way. They each have unique movement and abilities.”While Gary is a big fan of Overwatch, he wasn’t exactly an avid Esports viewer. Being a video game journalist, he had knowledge of Esports but never truly followed any of it. Despite that, he eventually began to check out some OWL streams and broadcasts from some of its individual players. However, his perception of Esports and the OWL changed dramatically when he had the chance to cover the Overwatch League Grand Finals at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn last month.“When attending the Overwatch League Grand Finals, I got to experience first hand just how many casuals the league had converted. There were people attending to support their city, but what surprised me is how much technical knowledge of the game they had, despite only becoming fans of the game recently.”The event not only changed his opinion on Esports but also gave him a better appreciation for the passion regular sports fans have.“It made me realize just how big a phenomenon Esports can be. Just the thought that this game I fell in love with has the power to sell out the Barclays Center is crazy to me. Especially when it’s people paying to watch other people play. It also allowed me to see firsthand how teenage players can become stars, just by mastering a game. Even I’ve become a fan of some of the players, and I never thought I would be this invested in an Esport.I was never a sports fan but by being so invested in OWL, I find myself being able to understand my brother’s obsession with soccer. I now know that feeling of wanting your favorite teams to win, and being disappointed when they get wrecked. It’s something I never understood until I fell in love with this game.”At the event, Gary had the chance to meet with a great deal of Overwatch players. This includes athletes, attendees, journalists, and commentators. By talking with all of these different folks, Gary truly realized how gargantuan his beloved game is.“I was able to meet other members of the media who report on the league. I also spoke with some casual fans around the venue. There was even an occasion a few days after the event was over when I was wearing a t-shirt and hat for one of the Overwatch teams. A stranger who had attended the event recognized the branded team gear and pointed it out and we had a conversation. I found out that they had also attended the event. Overwatch League is so huge that it’s bringing people together out of mutual love for the game and the league.”Meeting and speaking with Overwatch fans has given Gary insight into what brings these disparate audiences together. No matter one’s level of proficiency or interest, it’s the sense of community and competitiveness that ultimately holds it all together.“It’s enjoyable for casual audiences because of its inviting visuals and its likable characters. The memes from the game also get pretty popular, and this attracts more people to it. Hardcore audiences love it because of the competitive aspect. For me, there’s nothing as intense as a close Competitive Mode match that’s down to the wire and could go either way. It’s a feeling that not all games give me.”Nothing in gaming is ever permanent. What’s hot one day is dull the next. Gary doesn’t believe this is the case with what Overwatch is doing for Esports. In fact, he believes it will only become bigger in the future.“I think what Blizzard is doing will grow the Esports industry and it will benefit other games. There are major investors in these Overwatch teams, all over the world and with that, I believe this will become a billion dollar industry someday.”Johnathan Gibbs is a content creator/performer, and host of the This QPOC Life podcast. Like Gary, Johnathan is an avid and passionate gamer. Though not as hardcore a fan as Gary is about Overwatch, he knew about it prior to the OWL Grand Finals.“I had a basic working knowledge of Overwatch,” said Johnathan. “I had heard about it during its development. I purchased it on the day of its release, and I figured it would become an Esport just like many of the other games that had been getting attention as Esports continue to rise. I didn’t really have any preconceived notions prior to attending the Grand Finals. I had previously attended a League of Legends Grand Final and knew how Esports events felt, and so I didn’t really expect anything more than that.”While the crowd size didn’t surprise him, Johnathan was impressed by the diversity of the audience. He enjoyed his interactions with attendees and looks forward to attending future OWL events.“I really loved the Grand Finals and I hope it’s at the Barclays Center again next year. The fans were great. I think that as Esports develops further, we will see more people, but I think the crowd is already diverse. For example, on the first night of the GF I sat next to an older man. I figured he might be the parent of some kids, but I never saw him with kids. I think he was there on his own merit.I didn’t really learn much aside from maybe the teams, but I hadn’t really followed the OWL up until that point. I wasn’t surprised to see so many people at the GF because having been to different cons since the release of Overwatch, I have seen tons of Overwatch cosplay. I have seen folks online who are hardcore Overwatch. I have seen memes and posts and have known that Overwatch is a popular game, and so I wasn’t at all surprised to see so many people.”As Gary mentioned, the strong community aspect was evident to Johnathan. The event’s seating arrangement made it easy for everyone to mingle and discuss their favorite game.“There was a really great sense of camaraderie at Barclays. Part of that, I feel, comes from the fact that it was general admission seating. There were no assigned seats. There’s really not a bad seat in the arena as there’s a huge screen with the game and stats. I was able to surround myself in crowds of people who really love this game and it inspired me. I may not get so into playing, but I’ll definitely be following the league for season two.”It didn’t take long for Johnathan to go from a casual Overwatch player to someone with a favorite OWL team.“The specific aspect of the OWL Grand Finals that hit me the most was the loyalty that people have for these teams, and I’m not so sure that it is in any part due to the city names but rather the players on the teams. It clicked for me when I became a London fan. Like… in just two days of attending and watching London Spitfire play, listening to the commentary and watching their performance, I came to discover a great level of respect for them and their players.He also has a favorite player.“I love Profit. He’s so cute.”Like Gary, Johnathan believes things are only going to get bigger for the OWL. He doesn’t seem all that surprised Overwatch attained the heights of popularity it currently enjoys.“Blizzard has always been an amazing company, and people love FPS games. That alone could explain why Overwatch has become so popular, but I really think that as Esports gains more recognition by the overall media (ESPN, etc.) and more and more games/events/semi/grand finals get aired on TV these games and events will grow even more.”Tatjana Vejnovic is a gaming journalist who covers the Overwatch League for Overwatch Wire. She has attended league events all around the world. Because of her inside knowledge, I wanted to pick her brain about why Overwatch is such an Esports giant. To her, it’s all about presentation, accessibility, and inclusion.“Overwatch is the most cinematic of all the esports,” said Tatjana. “If you look at Overwatch and compare it to League of Legends, or DOTA 2, it’s much easier to watch, and much easier for people new to the game to understand. The maps are diverse and really detailed; it’s not a boring game to watch, and things are always changing.”She continues with: “I would also say it’s family friendly, in a sense. Sure, it’s players killing each other, but it’s not filled with blood and gore. The game currently has 28 heroes, both female and male, from places all around the world (Nigeria, Egypt, Brazil, etc.). Overwatch can be played casually or competitively, and the game does a decent job of setting you up with people of your same skill level. It’s much less intimidating than other competitive games.”Though currently a massive fan of Overwatch, she’s actually a recent convert. It wasn’t until last year that she really got into the game. What drew her in was the reaction of the crowd and the color commentary from its presenters. Despite having little knowledge of Overwatch, she felt right at home.“I actually didn’t like Overwatch until I watched it at BlizzCon last year. Watching the crowd get hyped and enjoying casting from commentators (Jetset Jamerson specifically), I didn’t feel left out because I didn’t know anything about the game. I went home after BlizzCon and started playing, and have been playing ever since.”Conducting these interviews certainly gave me a better understanding of Overwatch and its importance to the Esports scene. It admittedly is not my type of game (I prefer story-driven, single-player experiences), but now, I at least get what all the fuss is about.I think Johnathan Gibb’s final thoughts says it all.“I hope that as time goes on and OWL grows, major media continue to cover the events. I don’t see why this shouldn’t happen. It’s just such an exciting time to be alive. Esports are finally here. We are living in the future! Now even I can follow a sport and talk stats/games with like-minded people.”*All images in this article courtesy of Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment.If you’re willing to spend $12 for Humble Monthly, you can start playing Overwatch today! This is a steal for this fantastic game that you can purchase right here.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img read more

New content coming to the WWE Network this week Table for 3

first_img WhatsApp Google+ Jerome Wilen RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Ronda Rousey Highlighting WWEs Problems Facebook Bully Ray Calls Out Ring Of Honor Fan On Twitter WWE Clash of Champions Results – 9/15/19 (Rollins vs. Strowman, Kingston vs. Orton) Twitter Live Podcast: Reviewing and discussing WWE Clash of Champions from Charlotte Videos Articles Now Playing Up Next Roman Reigns is in Remissioncenter_img Now Playing Up Next Seth Rollins Defends WWE On Two Separate Occasions Velvet Sky Wrestleview Live #65: Reviewing and discussing WWE Clash of Champions from Charlotte The WWE Network schedule has new content listed for this week which includes brand new episodes of Table for 3, 205 Live, NXT and more. Below is a complete schedule for this week along with program descriptions.Monday, June 10 at 11:00pm ET after RAW it will be a brand new episode of “Table For 3”. The program description is listed as follows: Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan discuss squad goals, their chemistry and the friendship that was forged from their pairing as a team!Tuesday, June 11 at 10:00pm ET after SmackDown it will be a new episode of 205 Live.Wednesday, June 12 at 3:00pm ET it will be a new brand episode of NXT UK.  The program description is listed as follows: Imperium get some assistance during a main-event battle against British Strong Style. Plus, Ilja Dragunov, Xia Brookside and more!Wednesday June 12 at 8:00pm ET it will a new episode of NXT.  The Program description is listed as follows: After the unforgettable events from Bridgeport, Conn., NXT travels down the road to Bel Air, Maryland for a special night of NXT action!Friday June 14 at 7:30pm ET will be a brand new episode of “This Week In WWE”.Recommended videosPowered by AnyClipBully Ray Calls Out Ring Of Honor Fan On TwitterVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPauseUnmuteDuration 0:30/Current Time 0:01Loaded: 100.00%0:01Remaining Time -0:29 FullscreenUp NextThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Replay the list Now Playing Up Next Now Playing Up Next Ronda Rousey On WWE: I Love This Job, But I Dont Need It Pinterest Now Playing Up Nextlast_img read more

SANDAG Criminal Justice Bulletin shows San Diego among safest regions in the

first_img KUSI Newsroom, 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 SettingsThe SANDAG Criminal Justice Bulletin has been released and San Diego remains one of the safest regions in the country.KUSI was joined by Cynthia Burke, Director of the Applied Research Division at SANDAG with more. Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter Posted: April 20, 2018 SANDAG Criminal Justice Bulletin shows San Diego among safest regions in the country April 20, 2018 KUSI Newsroom last_img read more

How to determine which group risk benefits best suit an organisation

first_imgGroup risk benefits continue to rise in popularity among employers. According to the Group watch 2016 report, published by Swiss Re in April 2016, 11.5 million people were members of group risk schemes at the end of 2015, a 3% increase in people covered from 2014. Offering group risk benefits to a workforce means employers play a key role in the protection of their employees and their families. But should employers offer their employees a more bespoke group risk provision, or is the one-size-fits-all approach best?Matthew Lawrence, head of broking and proposition for health and risk at Aon Employee Benefits, says: “I think that a lot of employers adopt the one-size-fits all approach, particularly when it comes to group risk benefits, so it’s still quite common for employers to offer all employees the same levels of cover, or maybe differentiate between pension scheme member status or seniority status, but broadly they’ll offer all employees a benefit, particularly life assurance.”However, many employers are moving more towards offering individualised benefits programmes to give employees choice through flexible or voluntary benefits schemes. Jo Elphick, head of protection marketing at Metlife, says: “Where voluntary benefits are on offer, the employer needs to communicate it really well. There’s a lot of opportunity for improvement in the way benefits are communicated.“People need a lot more information to be able to understand their benefits, appreciate them and decide whether they want to take any action on them.“So if [the employee] doesn’t understand that income protection means that if [they] are off work for more than X number of months, [their] employer has no obligation to keep paying [them], but this will make sure that [they] get an ongoing income and support in terms of rehabilitation, counselling and a lot more. Communication is absolutely key.”Employee data setsDrawing on different data sets can give an employer an overview of the health of its employee base, and it can then use this to determine which group risk benefits best suit its workforce.Claims data, absence data and occupational health data can help an employer build up a health risk profile of its employee population, and then consider what risk benefits might be best utilised to help manage those risks. “That might partly be provision related, but it also might be service related,” says Lawrence. “If [an employer] has a mental health or cancer problem, and is going to insure group risk benefits, [it] needs to select a provider that can support [it] with those particular risks, if they manifest themselves through claims experience or absence data.”Employee requirements and demographic changeA key part of determining employees’ requirements is to ascertain their awareness of the benefits and what they cover. A survey by Canada Life Group, published in June 2016, found that almost two-thirds (61%) of employees do not have any income protection if they are unable to work due to illness or injury. The survey also found that 43% of employees without income protection would apply for state benefits if they found themselves unable to work. It stands to reason that those employees without any form of protection would benefit from employer provision, or at least information about how group risk benefits could protect them.If a workforce consists of mainly young, low-paid workers, the employer should question which group risk benefits are going to appeal to them. Would a younger workforce, with no dependants or family, engage with group life assurance or group income protection, as much as  more mature employees would, for example? Martin Noone, managing director of workplace health and protection at Legal and General, says: “It’s always in the employer’s interest to bear in mind that the kind of life stage changes with individual employees as their tenure with the employer grows.“Income protection arguably is relevant to all, but inevitably if [an employee is] single and still living with parents, and in [their] 20s, the likelihood for [them] to be on the breadline within a small number of weeks is less than if [they] were the sole income earner with two or three [children].”It is essential, therefore, that employers evolve their benefits strategy as the demographics of their employee base changes. In an ideal world, an employer should not make assumptions about their employees’ individual needs and give them the ability to choose their own benefits, says Chris Morgan, distribution and partnerships manager at Ellipse. “Every employer is going to have a broad range of demographics within [its] organisation so the best way really is giving all employees the choice so they can choose whether to have life insurance and how much,” he says.CommunicationInforming employees about the benefits available and what the cover includes will help the perception among employees and, in turn, help the organisation take a proactive approach to health, wellbeing and employee absence. It comes down to what the employer’s business strategy is and how it uses its benefits to support and enable that strategy. Elphick says: “The old days of waiting for somebody to go off sick and pay them until they come back to work or reach retirement age have gone now.“[Employers] are recognising that it’s more important that [they] prevent somebody from going off sick in the first place, and one of the ways that [they] can help part of that is, for example, through a group income protection scheme with added-value benefits that help the managers. But it’s not a one size fits all, it needs to be bespoke for that organisation, and that might change over time.”Viewpoint: No employee should be without group risk protection In the quest to offer a package that appeals to different generations and sectors of the workforce, there can be a tendency to over-focus on choice and flexibility, when there are some benefits that every member of the workforce needs. Take the case of a young unmarried person who might think there is no need to take up a flex choice for life assurance but forgets that their parents or partner might have to continue to pay their share of the rent after their death. Or the worker who still thinks ‘the state will provide’. Or the 2.5 million people currently living with cancer in the UK, according to the Macmillan Cancer Support statistics fact sheet, published in January 2015.Death or disability has a life-changing impact on staff and their families irrespective of age, role or salary and everyone needs a way to safeguard their family’s financial stability. This is where employers can step in. Educating staff and facilitating affordable financial protection cover not only supports employees, but makes a huge difference to morale, staff retention and productivity – key business benefits – and enables an employer to position themselves as a caring organisation.Death, illness, accident and disability are mostly completely random and can happen to anyone at any time. So, no-one should really be without group risk protection benefits; not the young, not the old, not management, not seasoned workers nor the most recent new, inexperienced recruit.Group risk protection benefits cross all boundaries as a relevant and valued way to ensure that everyone in the company can be certain that their household finances are protected if the worst happens.Katharine Moxham is spokesperson for Group Risk Development (Grid) Need to knowMany employers take a one-size-fits-all approach to group risk benefits, but some offer employees choice through flexible or voluntary benefits schemes.Employers can use data sets such as claims data, absence data and occupational health data to form a health-risk profile, which can then determine which group risk benefits might be best suited to a workforce.Employers should evolve their group risk benefits approach as employees’ lifestyles change over time.last_img read more

Anchorage to buy ConocoPhillips gas field for 152M

first_imgDownload AudioThe city of Anchorage is buying up part of a natural gas field in Cook Inlet for $152 million. With approval from the Assembly, the Mayor’s administration and two utility companies announced their intention to purchase a parcel from oil company ConocoPhillips, which they say will benefit energy customers across the city.Though it’s uncommon for a municipal utility to own a natural gas source, it isn’t without precedent.Mark Johnston, general manager of ML&P, speaks during a press conference at City Hall Monday. Photo: Zachariah Hughes.During a quick press conference at City Hall, Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz broke the news that after months of closed door meetings, the city has worked out a deal to buy the third of the Beluga Gas Field owned by ConocoPhillips since the 80s.“We’re excited about the prospect, we think it heralds a new time in terms of Anchorage’s energy future,” Berkowitz said. “It’s about making sure we have a stable, secure price of energy. An affordability and availability of energy.”This isn’t new for Anchorage. It’s actually just another big chunk beside the parcel they acquired in 1996 at the same site. Since then, the city’s electrical utility, Municipal Light and Power, says it’s saved ratepayers $239 million by owning the gas instead of buying it from someone else.This latest purchase means the Municipality now owns two thirds of the lease, with the last portion held by Hillcorp. But unlike the deal two decades ago, this one involves Chugach Electric Association, and is designed to save money for ratepayers beyond the Anchorage bowl, spread further across Southcentral.The joint purchase gives 70 percent of the new lease area acquired to ML&P, with the remaining 30 percent going to Chugach.“It’s also about signaling that Chugach and ML&P are going to work together closely to make sure we can deliver the best for all of our ratepayers,” Berkowitz said. He added that after a back of the envelope calculation he’d done on his own electric bill the projected savings are “a couple hundred dollars a year.”The utilities believe the customer savings could be substantial. Chugach thinks it’s new stake will save the company two to three million dollars a year. ML&P general manager Mark Johnston estimates their cost reduction will be four to six million dollars a year. Johnston said after the press conference that a change in the tax credit structure for gas producers would not substantially change the utility’s projections.The lease is one of two ConocoPhillips holdings in Cook Inlet that the company is shedding as it places more emphasis on its North Slope holdings.“The Beluga River Unit is a historical asset, and been historically an important part of the ConocoPhillips portfolio,” said ConocoPhillips spokesperson Amy Burnette “But it is a mature asset and it really no longer fits into our portfolio. And the sale of the asset actually allows us to focus on higher-growth areas.”Translation: They aren’t making much money off it. Which, if you’re a private company means one thing, but a municipal utility doesn’t need as wide a profit margin.“It makes financial sense for ML&P and Chugach,” said Larry Persily, oil and gas advisor for the Kenai Peninsula Borough. While there are some financial risks in the deal, Persily sees the acquisition as basically scaling up a program that by all measures has worked well for the utility and its ratepayers the last twenty years.“I guess I trust that they’ve looked at the numbers pretty closely, and they’re not going to pay more for a larger share of Beluga (River) Gas field than they would pay if they had to buy it from producers somewhere else,” Persily said.As for whether it’s normal for a city like Anchorage to vertically integrate a gas-field, Persily said it’s “not unusual, but it’s not that common.” In 2005, for example, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power bought a $300 million share of a gas field in Sublette County, Wyoming.The financial structure of the BLU acquisition will be a mix of cash and bonds, and requires final approval from the assembly.last_img read more

3 HSC examinees commit suicide in 3 districts

first_imgProthom Alo IllustrationThree Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) examinees, who failed in this years’ examination, committed suicide in Manikganj, Khulna and Panchagarh districts on Thursday and Friday.The deceased are Mitu Akter, daughter of a certain Mosaddek Hossain of Kusta Village in Ghior upazila of Manikganj, Oisharya Roy, 18, daughter of one Babul Roy in Khulna and Shabnur Akter, 19, daughter of one Rafiqul Islam from East Jalshi in Panchagarh district town, reports UNB.In Manikganj, Mitu Akter committed suicide by taking poison on Friday morning as she failed to pass the examination, said Rabiul Islam, officer-in-charge of Ghior police station.In Khulna, Oisharya Roy committed suicide by hanging herself from a ceiling fan around 11:00pm in Maniktala of the city, said Kazi Mustaq Ahmed, officer-in-charge of Daulatpur police station.She appeared in the examination from Mohsin Mohila College.In Panchagarh, Shabnur Akter from East Jalshi in the district town, committed suicide for failing to secure pass marks in this year’s HSC examination.She appeared in the examination from Panchagarh Government College and failed for the second time, said Rabiul Hasan Sarkar, officer-in-charge of Paanchagarh police station.last_img read more

Wii U GamePads wont be sold separatly anytime soon

first_imgAs we all know, Nintendo’s new console the Wii U is launching on November 18th with a host of games available and the pre-orders for it are already selling out everywhere.It’s not all good news for Nintendo fans, though. Nintendo has announced they won’t be selling the console’s unique GamePad separately until next year at the earliest. The main reason being that there are currently no games that use two GamePads scheduled for launch.That’s fair enough, but what if you break one? It’s not as accident prone as the Wii Remote as no one will be thrusting their gamepad towards their TV at speed, we hope. But since the Wii U is a family console a child could accidentally sit on it and crack the screen, spill liquid over it, or generally get too rough with the tablet controller.Nintendo has said they will replace any broken GamePad, but it comes at a cost. They will charge an undisclosed fee for replacing one, which we can guess will be around about $172 as that’s how much Japanese gamers have been told they’ll cost. Other than a lack of game support Nintendo may not want shelves filled with $170 controllers, and possibly couldn’t supply them even if it wanted to. The GamePad has been rumored to be quite difficult to manufacture.It probably wont be long after launch that someone does break their GamePad, and hopefully at that point they’ll share the process (and cost) of having Nintendo ship them out a new one.via TechRadarlast_img read more

Celebrating cinematic excellence

first_imgA warm farewell to Delhi International Film Festival (DIFF) 2014 was given by many eminent personalities like Tigmanshu Dhulia, Meera, Taslima Nasreen, Khalid Mahmood Mithu, OP Mishra (director of NDMC), Vinod Goyal (Commissioner of Customs in Central Exercise), Sangeeta Gupta (Commissioner of Income Tax), Bouthaina Al (Deputy Chief of Mission Morocco Embassy, India), Rajeev Gupta (actor) and Bharati Taneja. A total of 28 awards in various categories that includes films, art, literature, photography and fashion were given at the grand finale that took place at NDMC Convention Centre in the Capital. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The closing ceremony began with National Award Winner Filmmaker, Tigmanshu Dhulia receiving Special Honor award for his contribution to Indian Cinema. Tigmanshu who is the brand ambassador and founder member for DIFF, addressed the media and stressed upon the fact of creating a film city in Delhi and the support the kid on the block DIFF 2014.On receiving the best actress Award Meera Ali, expressed herself, “I am glad to receive this Award at the Delhi International Film Festival, I am thankful to India for giving me this award, my first award by India. I was honoured with many awards in my country Pakistan, but here I am really grateful to Ram Kishore Parcha ji for honouring me and all credit  goes to Khalid who made a fabulous film”. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixDIFF 2014 was planned as an eight Day event and showcased 250 films from more than 45 nations. It was an initiative by ‘The Social Circle, A Society for Cause and – A step toward inclusiveness’ to showcase the best of Cinema, Art and Literature from across the globe.Started in the year 2012, the advisory board for this festival is headed by Dada Sahab Phalke awardee Adoor Gopal Krishnan. Working closely with him are some of the greats of Indian Cinema namely  National award winning director Tigmanshu Dhulia, Anurag Kashyap, Anooj Kapoor, Mohan Agashe, Manoj Bajpai,  Shriram Raghwan, N. Chandra, Sandeep Marwah, Shailesh Loadha, , Arvind Gaur  with Jamal Shah and Satish Anand from Pakistan. Awards was given in various competitive categories as the ‘Life Time Achievement Award’ was presented to Subhash Ghai, ‘Special Honour Award’ to veteran actor Biswajeet and a special award called ‘Minar-e-Dilli’ was  conferred to Olympic Medallist,   Sushil Kumar.The festival began with Ilan Yagoda’s Israeli film The Neighbourhood and a short Greek film The Sun and The Wind directed by Thansis Neophotolistos. Critically acclaimed film, Zinda Bhaag from Pakistan starring Naseeruddin Shah and directed by Meenu Gaur was the closing film for this edition of the festival. The festival also screened films on social issues, book launches, and workshops on wildlife photography and animation and special Seminar to promote Delhi as Film City.last_img read more

Meet Michael Curry the progay US bishop at the Royal Wedding

first_imgLGBTI celebrities react in awe to the Royal WeddingWe spent the royal wedding at a cruising spot celebrating sexual freedomCondom that plays God Save The Queen released to mark Royal weddingRead the full article on Gaystarnews:  : The 65-year-old became a deacon of the Episcopal Church in 1978. He became a priest and then the first black presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church.And now he’s the hilarious and insightful bishop giving the address at the Royal Wedding in St George’s Chapel in Windsor today (19 May).Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at World AIDS Day event. | Photo: Kensington Palace / TwitterIn his moving speech during the ceremony, he said: ‘Two young people fell in love and we showed up.’Some of his inspiring words of advice include: ‘Love God, love your neighbors and while you’re at it, love yourself.’‘God love you and God bless you’The US bishop also mentioned the plight of slaves in the south of North America. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… Focussing on the idea of love, he added: ‘When love is the way, we are brothers and sisters and children of God.’He finished the powerful sermon with a direct message to Harry and Meghan: ‘My brother, my sister – God love you and God bless you.’The Episcopal Church – based in New York – is one of just two Anglican churches which allows gay marriage in church.Michael Curry is also outspoken on issues of social justice and immigration.He condemned last year’s white supremacist rally in Charlottesville as fascist.Following the announcement of his reading at the ceremony, he said: ‘The love that has brought and will bind Prince Harry and Ms Meghan Markle together has its source and origin in God, and is the key to life and happiness.‘And so we celebrate and pray for them today,’ he said.Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will be the most pro-LGBTI couple in English royal history.The couple embrace LGBTI charities, particularly HIV charities – following in the footsteps of Princess Diana.Got a news tip? Want to share your story? Email us . eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us)center_img Bishop Michael Curry just gave a powerful speech at the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. GAYSTARNEWS- Bishop Michael Curry. | Photo: UrbanPromise / Flickrlast_img read more