Report Shows Afghanistan Plan is Working

first_imgBy Dialogo November 01, 2011 The Defense Department’s latest report to Congress on Afghanistan details steady progress and shows the plan there is working, a senior defense official speaking on background told reporters in Washington D.C. The Report on Progress Toward Security and Stability in Afghanistan — commonly called “the 1230 report” for its citation in the law that requires it — is the latest congressionally mandated report card on Afghanistan to Congress. The reports, which have charted the state of security in Afghanistan, began in 2008. “We have been describing the situation on the ground as it is,” the official said. In June 2008, the report said the Taliban had regrouped. In January 2009, the report said conditions had deteriorated and continued to do so in June 2009. The April 2010 report said the decline in security had stopped and the November 2010 report said there were modest gains in security. “In this report, we’re saying there are important security gains [and] reversed violence trends in the country, except the area along the Pakistani border,” the official said. The bottom line is the plan President Barack Obama rolled out in December 2009 is working, the official added. “It was about reversing that deterioration, it was about reducing violence through a combination of military and civilian surge working together on the group in Afghanistan,” he said. “Where we’ve been least successful is in [Regional Command] East, where we put the fewest [surge] troops and where the safe havens in Pakistan are.” The Afghan security forces have been crucial to the progress, the official said, noting these forces are increasing in numbers and quality. Two years ago, few people enlisted in the Afghan army or police. Now, he added, the Afghan government turns away thousands who can’t meet the new higher standards required by the security forces. “Their performance is the key to our ability to continue the withdrawal … by the end of 2014,” he said. Afghan forces are in the lead in seven areas of the country covering 25 percent of the population, the official said. Afghan President Hamid Karzai said he will announce the next areas to transition to Afghan responsibility Nov. 2 during a meeting in Istanbul. Afghanistan still has problems, the official said, noting the insurgents there are resilient. But, he added, the insurgents have been significantly weakened. The safe havens in Pakistan are a major stumbling block, the official said, but in all other areas of the country and by almost any measure, he added, conditions in Afghanistan have improved.last_img read more

Stinky Pamphlet In Upcoming PSE Bills Offers Natural Gas Safety Tips

first_imgFacebook0Tweet0Pin0 BELLEVUE, Wash.–The Puget Sound Energy bills now reaching more than 1.5 million homes and businesses through October include a scratch and sniff pamphlet to remind customers of the odorant used to help identify natural gas leaks.A scratch on the natural gas safety pamphlet releases a distinctive, sulfur-like aroma, a smell similar to rotten eggs. To help detect natural gas leaks more easily, PSE and other natural gas utilities add an odorant, called mercaptan, to natural gas, which is naturally odorless and colorless.“Every family needs to know that ‘rotten egg’ odor of natural gas so they can recognize, react and report a gas leak around their home or elsewhere,” said Andy Wappler, vice president of corporate affairs for PSE. “Safety comes first, and having your family know what to do is our top priority.”In addition to bearing the “rotten egg smell”, the pamphlet also guides people to call 811 two days before digging to prevent damage to underground utility lines and on how to recognize and safely report suspected natural gas leaks by going to a safe location and calling us at 1-888-225-5773 or 911 from a safe distance. PSE natural gas technicians will respond immediately at no charge from service centers located across Western Washington.If a natural gas odor is smelled inside a house or building, the occupants should leave the premises immediately.If anyone suspects a natural gas leak, follow these steps:Leave the area immediately.Do not use phones, turn any electric switches, appliances or lights on or off.Do not smoke, light a match, use a lighter or do anything that might create a spark.Use a phone well away from the area and call PSE, 24 hours a day, at 1-888-225-5773, or 911.“Smell isn’t the only way to detect a natural gas leak,” added Wappler. “A hissing sound or blowing dirt may also indicate a possible natural gas leak.”About Puget Sound EnergyWashington state’s oldest local energy company, Puget Sound Energy serves 1.1 million electric customers and more than 750,000 natural gas customers in 11 counties. A subsidiary of Puget Energy, PSE meets the energy needs of its customers, in part, through cost-effective energy efficiency, procurement of sustainable energy resources, and far-sighted investment in energy-delivery infrastructure. PSE employees are dedicated to providing great customer service that is safe, dependable and efficient. For more information, visit www.PSE.com.last_img read more

Coletti, Hoodikoff, Courson top Zone Men’s Qualifying tournament

first_imgJosh Coletti of Granite Pointe, Jordan Hoodikoff of Christina Lake and Don Courson, golfing out of the Castlegar course, grabbed the top prizes at the Zone One West Kootenay Men’s Qualifying Tournament Sunday in Christina Lake.Coletti and Hoodikoff each fired 8-over-par 152 to claim the top two spots on the Zone One West Kootenay Men’s Amateur team.Meanwhile, Courson edged out Ian Turner in the Senior Men’s qualifying tournament.Courson shot 163 in the 36-hole tournament that started Saturday at the Granite Pointe at Nelson course. Five players qualified for the Zone One West Kootenay Men’s team.Joining Coletti and Hoodikoff are Tanner Kopan Christina Lake, A. J. Cooper of Granite Pointe and Scott Podovelnikoff of Castlegar.Kopan and Cooper tied at 155 while Podovelnikoff was six shots off the leaders at 158.The B.C. Men’s Amateur is July 24-27 at the Swan-e-set Bay Resort in Pitt Meadows.On the Senior Men’s side of the tournament, Leif Petersen of Christina Lake, Turner of Christina Lake and Salmo’s Rick Thomas join Courson.The B.C. Senior Men’s Championship is July 16 – 18 at the Nanaimo Golf Club on Vancouver Island.last_img read more

POTENT TEAM OF PRAT & MANDELLA TEAM FOR $60,000 SANTA ANITA ALLOWANCE WIN WITH BRAZILIAN-BRED BARUTA, WHO WINS BY HALF LENGTH AND COVERS 6 ½ FURLONGS DOWN HILLSIDE TURF IN 1:14.65

first_img–30– ARCADIA, Calif. (June 11, 2015)–Under patient handling from Flavien Prat, Brazilian-bred Baruta sat a perfect trip down Santa Anita’s hillside turf course and went on to an impressive half length win in the track’s $60,000 allowance feature, covering 6 ½ furlongs on turf in 1:14.65.Conditioned by Richard Mandella, Baruta sat second early behind Mark of a Gem, angled four-wide at the dirt crossing turning for home and overtook eventual third place finisher Kool Kat a furlong out.“I had a good trip,” said Prat, who got his 21st overall win and his sixth from 25 in combination with Mandella at the current Spring Meet. “Usually she can be a little aggressive, but today the pace was good so I kept her covered and she was more relaxed. At the end, she finished very well.”Off as the 2-1 favorite in a field of seven fillies and mares three and up, Baruta paid $6.00, $3.00 and $2.20. Owned by her breeder, Rio Dois Irmaos, LLC, the 6-year-old mare notched her first win from six tries down the hill and improved her overall mark to 17-4-6-3. With the winner’s share of $36,000, she hiked her earnings to $186,508.“I needed that, I’ve got confidence now going into the weekend,” said Mandella, who will saddle two-time Eclipse Champ Beholder in Saturday’s Grade III Adoration Stakes and Bal a Bali in the Grade I Shoemaker Mile.Ridden by Tyler Baze, Rattataptap flew from off the pace to finish second, one length in front of Kool Kat. The narrow second choice at 2-1, Rattataptap paid $4.00 and $2.10.Kook Kat, who charged up the rail to wrest the lead from Mark of a Gem leaving the half mile pole, was no match for Rattataptap late and finished third, 1 ¼ lengths in front of longshot Meeting Waters. Off at 5-1, Kool Kat paid $2.80 to show.First post time on Friday is 4 p.m. Admission gates will open for simulcasting at 11 a.m.last_img read more

Picture Special: Tick-tock, tick-tock, Ballyshannon’s new clock won’t stop

first_imgLast Friday marked the start of a new era for Ballyshannon installed a new town clock in the south Donegal area following a huge community drive.The timing system on the clock is set to be activated by the end of this week with the second face of the clock being replaced on Friday afternoon.Following a lightning strike of their own in 2014, the old clock was damaged beyond repair, prompting a south Donegal regeneration group to take matters into their own hands. Several community fundraisers later and enough money was raised for the new clock, a project the Ballyshannon Regeneration Group have been involved with from the beginning.Cllr Barry Sweeney, who is a founding member of the group, told Donegal Daily: “It means an awful lot to the town of Ballyshannon.“People have come together and it one of those symbolic gestures to get the town clock up and running again.“It means more than just a clock, I think the people of Ballyshannon see it as a bit of a revival or regeneration. “Not only are you getting the clock ticking again, but you are also getting the town ticking again.“There was a real positive mood about it and there was a buzz about the town,” he added.“The community raised the money for this clock and they are not seeing the fruits of their labour and the fruits of the money that was put into the project.”The original clock face was built in 1878 when an agreement was struck between the planning authorities and Belfast Bank.The building was later owned by the Royal Bank before an amalgamation with the Provincial Bank resulted in the Allied Irish Bank forming there in 1966. Local businessman Eamonn McNulty, who now owns the building, purchased the property from the well-known Gallogley family earlier this year.Cllr Sweeney continued: “The building was bought about 10 months ago and the new owner, Eamonn McNulty, has helped greatly with the project.“He is doing a lot of the physical work as well, he is up and down the stairs and the ladders and he is a man of 80-years-old – his work has been great.” Picture Special: Tick-tock, tick-tock, Ballyshannon’s new clock won’t stop was last modified: November 15th, 2019 by Shaun KeenanShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Fly the Flag for Football!

first_imgThousands of South African flags will be handed out to travellers and holidaymakers over the Easter weekend as part of “Fly the Flag for Football“, a national campaign to build public support and excitement leading up to the 2009 Fifa Confederations Cup and 2010 World Cup.The 2010 National Communication Partnership, a partnership of organisations involved in communicating about the soccer showpieces being hosted by South Africa, aims to distribute over 47-million South African flags through various campaigns by the time the World Cup kicks off in June 2010.“Our national Flag is a powerful symbol of unity and pride, and we would like to play our part by encouraging South Africans to proudly fly the flag as the eyes of the world are upon us,” Margaret Dingalo of the International Marketing Council of South Africa said in a statement on Monday.“The 2009 Fifa Confederations Cup is starting in less than 100 days, and excitement is building,” Dingalo said. “We need to help drive enthusiasm and patriotism, garnering support among South Africans for Bafana Bafana and the event as a whole.”Dingalo said the Easter long weekend had been chosen to launch the campaign as it was traditionally one of the busiest holiday periods in South Africa, with thousands of people travelling across the country.Colourful face-painted figures wearing South African flag t-shirts and makarapas, the football fan hat that is unique to South Africa, will be handing out free flags at tollgates, garages and airports across the country.Stand to win Confederations Cup tickets for yourself and three friends: visit flythesouthafricanflag on your mobile, or SMS ‘FLAG’ to 41929 (R2 per SMS).State-of-the-art digital “shoot-outs” will take place at a number of airports and garages along busy holiday routes, where members of the public will have a chance to win prizes by taking shots at a virtual goal.Zakumi, the 2010 Fifa World Cup mascot, will also be spotted around the country interacting with people and encouraging support.For South African football great Mark Fish, the campaign’s official spokesman, the Confederations Cup and World Cup are about more than football, representing “the opportunity of a lifetime, for South Africa and Africa as a whole.“Let us raise our flags in unity, joining together to make the 2009 Fifa Confederations Cup and 2010 Fifa World Cup joyful, unforgettable events,” Fish said. “Fly your flag and show the world the warmth and spirit of South Africa.”The Fly the Flag for Football! campaign will include an interactive mobile website, where members of the public can find more information and enter competitions.Members of the 2010 National Communication Partnership include the International Marketing Council of SA, South African Tourism, the 2010 Fifa World Cup Local Organising Committee, the Department of Arts and Culture, South African Airways, Proudly South African, and several other private sector and civil society groups.Related articlePress Releases: Fly the flag for footballlast_img read more

Why People Do & Don’t Use Location Apps (Survey)

first_imgConnecting with people, finding places liked by friends and tracking personal travel habits over time were listed as the primary reasons people who use location based social networks like Facebook Places, Foursquare and Google Latitude do so in a survey published by Portland, Oregon digital marketing firm White Horse. The firm surveyed 437 smartphone owners and found that discounts and gaming were not seen as significant motivators for the use of location services. (Lost in Geolocation: Why Consumers Haven’t Bought it and How Marketers Can Fix It)56% of smartphone owners surveyed said they knew about these services and 39% of respondents said they used them. Facebook Places was the clear leader among users (42%) with Latitude (27%) and Foursquare (25%) tied somewhere behind. The biggest barriers to use among non-users? Privacy concerns and lack of clear benefit. Graphs below. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… marshall kirkpatrick The White Horse survey includes 11 other charts and graphs and a number of recommendations. All of this has to be taken with a grain of salt, of course, because it’s a firm that does web design and marketing as a service. That 39% of respondents surveyed said they knew about and used location based services seems to me a high number, reason to be optimistic, not as the survey’s title says any indication that the sector is broken. None the less (see my disclosure below), the data is quite interesting and the recommendations are thought provoking and well articulated.Included in those recommendations are the following:Companies interested in reaching potential consumers using location based services should build their own, rather than emphasize participation in existing services, because existing services add too little to the core social networking features they duplicate from Facebook, Twitter or the good old fashioned telephone.Companies should seek to fullfil new social functions with location apps, not just communication. That’s already covered. “Marketers will need to posit experiences & goals that make sense for their particular brands to endorse, build appropriate interactions, and test rewards and incentives,” the report says.Build a social media presence first. “…success will depend on engaging those customers who are most active in social media, based on an understanding of their ‘native’ social experiences in existing communities, whether physical or digital. To think that users will adopt a branded geolocation app that is unmoored from existing social experiences is not realistic.”Privacy: “Currently, geolocation apps handle data in ways that consumers can neither understand nor control.”Model after Foursquare but keep an eye on Facebook. I’m not entirely clear on what this recommendation means.Readers interested in the location based social networking use cases and avoidance should check out our coverage including Why We Check In: The Reasons People Use Location-Based Social Networks, 2011: The Year the Check-in Died, Check-ins Are Dead? Location App Life360 Adds 1 Million Users in 10 Weeks.Disclosure: I happen to be on an Advisory Board for White Horse design, but I missed the email when this report was sent out and just saw it written up tonight on the independent blog Marketing Pilgrim. I would have written about this report whether I had any connection to the company or not (I love this stuff) and probably would have written basically the same post here either way. If completely disinterested, I might not be able to tell you that the cookies they served at the last Advisory Board meeting were stale. Just kidding. Tags:#Location#privacy#web Related Posts 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Lyceum completes first round sweep with Mapua rout

first_imgDon’t miss out on the latest news and information. SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief Schooling slams critics after SEA Games golden double SEA Games: PH’s Alisson Perticheto tops ice skating short program For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netLyceum asserted its dominance in the NCAA Season 93 men’s basketball tournament with a 97-74 decimation of Mapua to complete the first round sweep Friday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.CJ Perez anchored the Pirates with 18 points, seven rebounds, three assists, and two steals in their ninth straight win to remain unbeaten after the first round.ADVERTISEMENT UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:12San Beda, Lyceum early favorites ahead of NCAA Season 9300:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Wilson Baltazar also notched 12 markers built on two triples.Coach Topex Robinson said that as gratifying as the 9-0 run was, the battle is only halfway done as it braces for the tougher duels in the second round.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“As much as it’s ok, we still have nine more games to play and we have lots of things that we should work on, especially on our turnovers because it is still a problem for us,” he said.With Perez leading the charge, the Pirates jumped to a commanding 22-8 lead after the first quarter and never looked back, extending the lead to its biggest at 32, 78-46, with 1:49 left in the third period. LIST: Class, gov’t work suspensions during 30th SEA Games WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s weddingcenter_img Read Next That early pullaway allowed Lyceum to distribute minutes among its third stringers, with Jeffrey Santos and Spencer Pretta pouring nine points each in the victory.“We’ll take this win,” said Robinson after the Pirates finally played the Cardinals in a game which has been postponed twice due to inclement weather.“It’s nice to come off a long break with a win. We made the most of the time that has been given to us. It’s a time for us to work on some things, time for the players to reflect on the first few games that we played. We know we still have a lot of room for improvement if we want to be one of the elite teams in the NCAA.”Christian Buñag topped Mapua (1-7) with 17 points and 14 rebounds, while JB Raflores had 16 markers and eight boards in the defeat.To add to the Cardinals’ woes Kim Magboo hurt his knee late in the first quarter leaving Atoy Co with only eight players at his disposal in the tiff against the top seed.ADVERTISEMENT The Scores:LYCEUM 97 – Perez 18, Baltazar 12, Santos 9, Pretta 9, Tansingco 8, Jv. Marcelino 8, Nzeusseu 6, Jc. Marcelino 6, Ayaay 5, Marata 4, Liwag 4, Ibañez 3, Caduyac 2, Sinco 2, Serrano 1.MAPUA 74 – Buñag 17, Raflores 16, Nieles 13, Gabo 10, Aguirre 8, Victoria 4, Orquina 4, Magboo 2, Jimenez 0.Quarters: 22-8, 52-34, 80-51, 97-74. LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC LATEST STORIES MOST READ View commentslast_img read more

SMC bloc, allies vow to lend players for Gilas amid PBA impasse

first_imgDon’t miss out on the latest news and information. Stephen Curry puzzled over mention in GOP tax proposal CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding READ: Narvasa remains defiant: I’m fighting for principleNational team head coach Chot Reyes can heave a sigh of relief as he begins the Smart Gilas Pilipinas’ preparations on Friday evening.Players like June Mar Fajardo, Christian Standhardinger, and Von Pessumal of San Miguel, Japeth Aguilar and Kevin Ferrer of Ginebra, Paul Lee and Jio Jalalon of Star, Terrence Romeo of GlobalPort, and LA Revilla and Russel Escoto of Kia have the greenlight to join the national team’s preparations for the Asian qualifiers.The Philippines is set to open its first round assignment against Japan in Tokyo on November 24, before playing Chinese Taipei at Smart Araneta Coliseum on November 27.ADVERTISEMENT Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netThe PBA governors may be at an impasse when it comes to the matters about the Commissioner’s office, but the teams remain united when it comes to the national team.The five teams supporting the extension of PBA commissioner Chito Narvasa said that they won’t allow the controversy to affect the league’s commitment to Smart Gilas Pilipinas.ADVERTISEMENT Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion In a joint statement released on Friday, San Miguel, Ginebra, Star, GlobalPort, and Kia said they are still allowing their players to suit for national team duties for the 2017 Fiba World Cup qualifiers as part of the PBA’s agreement with Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP).READ: Seven PBA governors stand firm, urge Narvasa to resign FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“All five teams composed of San Miguel Beer, Barangay Ginebra, Star Hotshots, GlobalPort and Kia Picanto will continue to make available its players to the Philippine team that is preparing for the Fiba Asia World Cup qualifier and other league functions. We believe this should not be adversely affected by the board members’ differences in opinion,” the statement read.“We reiterate that we are doing this to protect the league we all love, the game of basketball and the millions of fans who continue to support us.” Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMCcenter_img MOST READ QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 LATEST STORIES Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games View comments Read Nextlast_img read more

Terror-hit athletes from Afghanistan appeal to India: Help us like you helped our cricketers

first_imgBy Bharat Sharma and Amanpreet Singh Palembang/Jakarta, Aug 16 (PTI) On reaching Indonesia for the Asian Games, hearts in their mouths after a brush with American war tanks on way to Kabul airport, Afghanistan’s athletes requested India to help them the way it helped their cricket. As they headed towards the airport, a 100-odd Afghani athletes saw American war tanks approach their Asian Games-bound Contingent bus. Much to their relief, they were just asked to make way for the tanks. Three out of those athletes, who watched blasts rock Kabul yesterday, are 100m specialists Abdul Wahab Zahiri and Kamia Yousufi, who competed at Rio Olympics, and sprinter Sadia Bromand. The relief was palpable on the face of Zahiri as he spoke to PTI, reliving the scary experience at home. “You won’t understand how we felt when we saw the American tanks. We constantly live in terror. But we want to live a peaceful life. We want to achieve our dreams, make our country proud,” said Zahiri. They have seen how cricket has flourished in the Taliban-hit country with significant help from India. How Rashid Khan has gained the status of a super star after appearing in the IPL along with other cricketers from his country. The non-cricket athletes are also looking towards India for help, to live their dreams. Zahiri made an honest appeal to the Indian authorities: Help us the way you have helped Afghanistan cricket. While Zahiri developed a liking for the sport while studying in the Lahore University, Yousufi chased her dream in her birthplace Iran.advertisement “When it comes to talent, Afghanistan has that in abundance. We just need support. When we left Kabul yesterday, there was a blast. There is a blast almost every day. That sums up our story but we still continue to train and work hard,” Zahiri said. Zahiri claimed to have met star Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan in Lahore six years ago and said if athletes gets the same support from India that Afghanistan cricketers have got, they could go a long way. “I just trained for a month and showed up here. I want to train in India in the long-run so that I can improve my timings. I have written to Athletics Federation of India many times, most recently in 2015, but have not got a response yet,” said Zahiri, whose personal best in 100m is 11.56 seconds, achieved at the Rio Olympics. He revealed that each athlete got approximately Rs 28,000 for the entire duration of the Games. “My shoes only come for Rs 6,000. What do I do with this little amount? I am just continuing running because of my brother’s support. Else I would not have been able to survive,” said the 26-year-old, who himself has two kids. He hoped other sports too grow like cricket in Afghanistan. “Cricket has become so big in very little time.” There is no doubting the talent of Afghan cricketers but their skill would not be on full display if not for help from the Indian Cricket Board (BCCI), which allocated them a home ground in Greater Noida and Dehradun. Their players, headlined by Rashid, are regulars in the IPL. Like Zahiri, Olympian Kamia too competed at Rio Games and now wants to train in India. “I cannot train in Afghanistan because of safety reasons. Training in India would give me the right kind of exposure. Hope something can be worked out. It is very tough to be a sportsperson in Afghanistan,” Kamia, who wears a hijab while training, said. Another athlete Sadia, who went to Rio as Kamia’s coach has similar aspirations. “It will be a big relief if we are to train without worrying about our safety in Afghanistan,” she said. PTI AT BSAHlast_img read more

Eight new paramedics and two new ambulances coming to the Peace Region

first_imgFORT ST JOHN, B.C. – B.C. Emergency Health Services announced today that eight new paramedic positions and two new ambulances will be coming to Fort St John and Dawson Creek later this year. Currently, both communities have been staffed by a mixture of full-time and on-call paramedics. BCEHS says the addition of eight new paramedics will allow for a more stable staffing model in Northeastern BC. “This investment will help improve access to care for people living in the Peace Region,” said Health Minister Adrian Dix. “These additional ambulances and full-time positions will help strengthen health-care services the community counts on, and make sure paramedics are there when people need them.”In addition to the eight full-time positions, the two new ambulances will help make sure resources are available to respond to medical 9-1-1 emergencies and will be available to assist with scheduled hospital transfers. The new ambulances will also be able to assist the nearby communities of Chetwynd, Tumbler Ridge and Hudson’s Hope when needed.last_img read more

RCMP find boat in Northern Manitoba search for Kam McLeod and Bryer

first_imgThis is the damaged aluminum boat found by #rcmpmb officers on the shores of the Nelson River during a helicopter search on friday afternoon. pic.twitter.com/56Ez8alVTs— RCMP Manitoba (@rcmpmb) August 4, 2019The RCMP say members of the team are highly trained and have access to a range of advanced equipment to assist in their underwater searches.Earlier this week the RCMP announced they would scall back the search for Schmegelsky and McLeod in Northern Manitoba.  In the next Province, the OPP have been investigating several tips that the pair is now in that Province.  So far the OPP have not been able to confirm the tips.The Underwater Recovery Team is about to search an area of interest. Police say a damaged aluminum boat was spotted on the shore of the Nelson River on Friday. pic.twitter.com/CRCtast2F5— Joe Scarpelli (@ScarpelliGlobal) August 4, 2019Police continue to stress, that if you believe you’ve seen Kam McLeod and Bryer Schemelsky, contact your local police department immediately or 911.  Sightings have been posted to social media before being shared with the RCMP, that has caused delays in the investigation.According to MyGrandePrairieNow.com, the RCMP have confirmed the pair were seen in a Fairview Gas Station on July 20.  The sighting was not reported to the RCMP until several days later.  This is the second confirmed sighting of the pair in Alberta. The last confirmed sighting of the pair was on July 22 in Gillam Manitoba.  The pair are wanted in connection with three homicides in Northern B.C. that all occurred during the week of July 15, 2019. GILLAM, M.B. – RCMP have started to search the Nelson River near Gillam and Fox Lake Cree Nation in the hunt for Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky.On Sunday the RCMP confirmed they called in Underwater Recovery Team on Friday after finding RCMP officers searching from a helicopter, located a damaged aluminum boat on the shore of the Nelson River.Based on this new information, five members of the RCMP Underwater Recovery Team (URT) were immediately deployed. They arrived in Gillam on Saturday, August 3rd, and are expected to conduct a thorough underwater search of significant areas of interest today.last_img read more

Vedanta Ltd makes oil discovery in KG block

first_imgNew Delhi: Mining baron Anil Agarwal-led Vedanta Ltd Wednesday announced an oil discovery in its Krishna Godavari basin block in the Bay of Bengal. The block previously had a gas discovery in the very first well drilled. In a statement, Vedanta said “it has notified the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons and Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas of an oil discovery in the second exploratory well H2, located in the block KG-OSN-2009/3, Krishna-Godavari Basin, East Coast of India”. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalVedanta holds 100 per cent participating interest in the block. “Multiple reservoir zones were encountered in the well H2 within the Mesozoic sequence between the depths of 3,310 metres to 4,026 metres with hydrocarbon indications during drilling and downhole logging,” it said. The zone from 3,403 metres to 3,431 metres was tested through conventional well testing (Drill Stem Test) and flowed oil to the surface. “Further appraisal will be required to establish the size and commerciality of the oil discovery,” Vedanta said. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostThe first exploration well A3-2 drilled in the block was a gas discovery. “Evaluations are ongoing based on the results of the first well A3-2 and the second well H2 to finalise the forward programme,” it added. Cairn India, the company Vedanta bought and merged with itself, had in June 2010 won the KG-OSN-2009/3 block in the 8th round of New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP). It had committed to drill six exploratory wells on the block. These were expandable to 10. The KG basin is a proven basin where there have been many hydrocarbon discoveries. The company acquired around 1,000 square kilometres of 3D seismic data based on which it drilled two wells. KG-OSN-2009/3 offshore block in the Bay of Bengal was originally spread over in an area of about 1,988 sq km which was later reduced to 1,298 sq km due to exclusion of area within firing range. It is located in the shallow waters of the Indian Ocean along the East coast of India, approximately 1.5 km from the Indian coastline.last_img read more

Russias Group Is The Easiest In Modern World Cup History

2002CBrazilTurkeyChinaCosta Rica1750-51.8 1994DArgentinaGreeceNigeriaBulgaria1757-43.6 Powerhouse France, coming off a loss in the finals of the 2016 European Championship to Portugal, will be looking to move through and claim its second ever World Cup trophy. Peru owns a 47 percent chance to make its second-ever knockout stage appearance and first since being defeated by Pelé’s Brazil in Mexico in 1970. Group B is projected to be the strongest in the tournament, according to FiveThirtyEight’s Soccer Power Index, and will be headlined by an early game between old rivals Portugal and Spain, which will face off for just the second time at a World Cup. The Iberian Peninsula neighbors met for the first time in 2010, when the Spaniards won 1-0 on their way to the country’s first ever World Cup victory. And the duo could meet again on the grandest stage of them all: They have the highest combined chance of making the final of any two teams in the same group. 2018ASaudi ArabiaEgyptRussiaUruguay1720-97.8 2010FParaguayItalySlovakiaNew Zealand1713-66.9 Luck of the draw?The easiest groups in expanded World Cup history based on the difference between average Elo rating of group and the average of the tournament, 1986-2018 YEARGROUPTEAM 1TEAM 2TEAM 3TEAM 4AVG. ELO RATINGDIFF. FROM TOURNAMENT AVG. 2006HSaudi ArabiaTunisiaUkraineSpain1744-44.7 2014HAlgeriaBelgiumSouth KoreaRussia1734-92.0 1998BAustriaCameroonChileItaly1747-52.3 2002BParaguaySouth AfricaSpainSlovenia1749-53.0 Belgium and England will be extremely pleased with how the draw turned out for them, as they’re combined chances of making it out of the group stages are the highest of any two teams in the same group. What’s more, they don’t play each other until the final round of group-stage matches, so depending on how they fare against Tunisia and Panama, the Belgians and English could have already qualified by the time they meet. Before the World Cup draw on Friday, there was reason to suspect that Russia would get off easy. As the host country, it was slotted into Pot 1, which made it impossible for them to be grouped with a powerhouse like Brazil or Germany. But it looks like the Russians also had a little luck on their side. In fact, by one metric, Russia’s Group A is the weakest group in modern World Cup history.Based on Elo ratings — a measure of a team’s quality that takes into account factors such margin of victory, game importance and game location — Russia’s group with Uruguay, Egypt and Saudi Arabia has an average rating of 1720, which is 98 points worse than the average of all World Cup teams. That’s the largest gap between group strength and the World Cup average for any group in the World Cup since the expansion to the modern format in 1986.1With group play and a 16-team knockout tournament; 24 teams from 1986 to 1994 and then 32 from 1998 onward. 1986BBelgiumMexicoIraqParaguay1757-45.0 Using Elo averages, no group in this next World Cup cracks the top 10 most difficult since 1986, but all are obviously tougher than Group A. Here’s a look at which teams should advance from each: The Russians avoided a whammy each time a pingpong ball was selected. After Uruguay joined them as the group’s Pot 2 team — Uruguay is middle of the pack, with an 1849 Elo rating — things really started going Russia’s way. Egypt, which has the second-weakest Elo of any team in Pot 3, was drawn, and the group was rounded out with Saudi Arabia, which has the lowest Elo in the field of 32. Compared with all of the potential ways Russia’s draw could have played out, its group ended up being among the easiest 2.2 percent of all possible combinations, according to the average Elo rating of its members.(Of course, this is even better news for Uruguay, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, because they get to face Russia — the worst Pot 1 team by a wide margin — in addition to one another.)While Group A is the easiest when compared to the 2018 World Cup field, it actually doesn’t hold the claim for lowest raw score among all groups since 1986. That distinction belongs to Group F in 2010, which featured the defending champion Italy, Slovakia, Paraguay and New Zealand. No team from this group would make it past the quarterfinals.That said, Russia should stroll into the knockout stage. Indeed, FiveThirtyEight is giving Russia a 74 percent chance of advancing that far, with Uruguay followed closely behind with a 72 percent chance of reaching the knockouts. After scraping through the qualifying stages, Argentina is the clear favorite in Group D, with a 74 percent chance of advancing. But all eyes will be on Iceland, which famously beat England in the 2016 Euros on their way to the quarterfinals, to see if the country of just 330,000 people can go on another magical run. And they may be ready to shock the world again: Iceland’s chance of advancing to the knockout stage is just 33 percent, which will likely become even smaller after they face the Argentines in its first game. 2006GFranceSwitzerlandSouth KoreaTogo1732-57.2 Group F is in the mix for being this tournament’s “Group of Death” as reigning champions Germany will be joined by Mexico and Sweden. The Mexicans’ and Swedes’ qualifying chances are separated by just 3 percentage points, which is the smallest difference of any teams drawn out of Pots 2 and 3 in the same group. Rounding out the group is South Korea, which famously made it all the way to the semifinals in 2002, when they co-hosted the tournament, and currently have the third-worst SPI rating of any team traveling to Russia. The prize for second place in Group F? A possible date with Brazil in the Round of 16. Good luck. After its heartbreaking 7-1 defeat by Germany in front of its home fans in the 2014 World Cup semifinals, Brazil will be out for revenge in Russia. The way the tournament’s bracket is set up, Brazil and Germany could be on a collision course to meet in the final if they both win their respective groups. As it stands, Brazil and Germany have the highest and third-highest chances of making the final in 2018. The Polish could be the most likely team from Pot 1 to fail to qualify for the knockout stage, as they currently have the second-lowest SPI rating of any team from Pot 1. They’ll be joined by Colombia and Japan, which have a 70 percent and 49 percent chance of advancing to the knockout stage, respectively. This means that Group H is the only group that has three teams with at least a 49 percent chance of making it out of the group stage. With the Colombians ranked the ninth-best team in the tournament and the Japanese being the highest-ranked team of any from Pot 4, Poland faces one of the toughest tests of teams from Pot 1.Additional contributions from Neil Paine and Dean Strachan.CORRECTION (Dec. 4, 10:50 a.m.): A previous version of this article incorrectly said that Colombia’s and Japan’s chances of making it to the knockout stage of the 2018 World Cup were 2 percentage points apart. Poland’s and Japan’s are 2 percentage points apart. read more

Darned right Ohio States got something to play for

Ohio State football coach Everett Withers made light of the Buckeyes’ impending Big Ten Conference opener during a Monday press conference. “Big Ten week, huh?” OSU’s co-defensive coordinator and assistant head coach said with a smile. Withers’ lightheartedness aside, there’s no mistaking that the No. 14 Buckeyes (4-0) know exactly what time of year it is. There’s also no mistaking whether the Buckeyes have anything to play for either – they do. The first team to oppose OSU in pursuit of the divisional title is Michigan State. In a meeting of the conference’s top-ranked teams, OSU will journey to East Lansing, Mich., to face No. 20 MSU (3-1) at Spartan Stadium. Preparation for Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer’s first-ever Big Ten tilt began Sunday with a “state of the union meeting” to address chasing the divisional crown. The goal of winning the Leaders Division half of the conference was first established for the Buckeyes during that meeting, Meyer said. “The first time we talked about (winning the Leaders Division) was (Sunday) in our team state of the union meeting we had and this is you have an opportunity to go win your side of the Big Ten,” Meyer said. Meyer chose to address winning the division because it was not discussed as a goal for any of the Buckeyes’ first four games against Miami (Ohio), Central Florida, California or Alabama Birmingham, he said. OSU redshirt senior defensive back Orhian Johnson said the team is focused on MSU. Meyer will handle the rest if the Buckeyes take care of business on the field, Johnson said. “You know, (winning the Leaders Division is) a possibility for us, but regardless of the situation, we’ve got a game,” Johnson said. “As long as we go out there and do what we do against Michigan State.” Meyer previously claimed to be unaware of OSU eligibility for the Leaders Division title, but some of his players, like redshirt receiver Jake Stoneburner, were aware. Stoneburner said the state of the union meeting was Meyer’s first mention of winning the division. The opportunity to win a piece of hardware during the 2012 season has given players added motivation, Stoneburner said. “I think he was finally saying that we have something to play for other than just going undefeated,” Stoneburner said. “We can win our division and I think it gives guys a little bit of hope, not that we didn’t have any in the first place, but it gives guys a little extra incentive.” Saturday’s meeting will be the teams’ first in East Lansing since 2008. Only two Buckeye players who are reshirt seniors – defensive end Nathan Williams and linebacker Etienne Sabino – played in that game, a 45-7 OSU victory. A visit to a ranked in-conference opponent is nothing to fear, Johnson said. It’s exactly the reason (players) come to OSU. “It’s definitely fun to get back in the Big Ten ball. I mean, that’s what you come here for,” Johnson said. “So we just want to come out there and lock in, and playing on the road is definitely fun. Just playing in a different atmosphere.” Senior fullback Zach Boren agreed, saying the competition is heightened at this time of year because every team understands what is at stake. “The Big Ten is always a new part of the season. It’s always a new chapter because, you know, this is a tough, physical conference,” Boren said. “The games start to matter that much more because you’re playing for conference championships.” That’s exactly the position OSU is in. The games matter more because OSU does indeed have something to play for, Meyer said. “Are we playing for something? You’re darned right we are,” Meyer said. “It’s really important here. Look around. Really important.” OSU and MSU are scheduled to kickoff their Saturday game at 3:30 p.m. Grant Gannon and Andrew Holleran contributed to this article. read more

McClair Pogba needs more consistency to become worldclass

first_imgEx-Manchester United forward Brian McClair demands more from an inconsistent, yet talented, Paul PogbaThe French midfielder scored for the fifth time in last Sunday’s 2-1 win over Everton, but continues to be criticised for his rather underwhelming performances.United fans and critics alike believe Pogba is yet to deliver the kind of displays that saw the club fork out a then-world transfer fee of £89m to Juventus.But McClair, who used to be the director of United’s youth academy, knows first-hand just how talented Pogba is.And while manager Jose Mourinho reckons his happy with Pogba’s campaign, McClair knows the United academy graduate is capable of better things.The 54-year-old feels some more consistency from Pogba could help him on his way to true greatness.“Pogba is doing pretty well at Manchester United,” McClair told ESPN.Daniel Fark, Norwich City, Premier LeagueDaniel Farke, From mid-table in the Championship to the Premier League Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Norwich City manager, Daniel Farke, has taken his team from the middle of the table in the English Championship to play with the big boys in the Premier League.“There is a bit too much social media nonsense, which is nothing to do with playing football, but Pogba has scored some important goals and played well in important games.“World-class players grab the main events, the semi-finals and finals for club and country, the biggest league games. France won the World Cup this year.“But I don’t know how many people would say that one particular player grabbed the whole thing. Pele grabbed World Cups, Garrincha and [Diego] Maradona too.“[Michel] Platini grabbed European championships. Real Madrid, with players like Cristiano Ronaldo, [Luka] Modric and Sergio Ramos, grab the most important games when it really matters.“They change games when things are going against you. Lionel Messi does the same. Cristiano did it when he was at Manchester United.“A top Manchester United player needs to be at least 7/10 every game. And in the proper big games you need to make some 10/10 appearances.”Pogba has managed five goals and four assists in 13 appearances across all competitions for United this season.last_img read more

Cardinals Qualify 11 Individuals Five Relays to NCAA Championships

first_imgStory Links LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Following their third place finish at the ACC Championships, the University of Louisville women’s swimming and diving team qualified 11 individual swimmers and three relay swimmers to the 2019 NCAA Championships, which will be held on March 20-23 in Austin Texas. Mallory Comerford returns to NCAAs as the two-time 200 freestyle champion and will look to build upon a successful ACCs, where she swept her individual events (100/200/500 Free) for the second consecutive year. The senior is the top-seed in the 200 free (1:41.29), third in the 100 free (46.57) and fourth in the 50 free (21.58). Looking to build on their program-best fifth place finish at last year’s NCAA Championships, the Cardinals’ 11 individual qualifiers are entered in a combined 29 races. In addition to the individual swims, Louisville has also qualified in all five relays. Four of the Cardinals’ relays are currently ranked within the top-16, highlighted by the sixth-seeded 400 free and 400 medley relays. Louisville won gold in the 400 free relay and silver in the 400 medley relay at the ACC Championships. Psych Sheet center_img A full list of Louisville qualifiers below:Mariia Astashkina (100 Breast, 200 Breast)Sophie Cattermole (200 Free, 500 Free, 1650 Free)Mallory Comerford (50 Free, 100 Free, 200 Free)Morgan Friesen (100 Breast, 200 Breast)Alina Kendzior (100 Back, 200 Back, 200 IM)Alena Kraus (200 Free, 500 Free, 200 Fly)Grace Oglesby (100 Fly, 200 Fly, 200 IM)Arina Openysheva (100 Free, 200 Free, 500 Free)Maria Sumida (200 IM, 400 IM, 200 Fly)Lainey Visscher (50 Free, 100 Free)Kaylee Wheeler (100 Breast, 200 Breast)Relay swimmers: Avery Braunecker, Diana Dunn, Casey Fanz Alena Kraus is also seeded in scoring position with the 16th-seed in the 200 fly, where she was the ACC bronze medalist. Junior Grace Oglesby is another Cardinal to watch heading into the NCAA Championships. Oglesby won her second straight 200 butterfly title at ACCs and earned a silver medal in the 100 fly and bronze in the 200 IM. She will enter NCAAs as the fifth-seed in both the 100 (50.75) and 200 fly (1:52.64).  Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more

Lokayukta Amendment Bill passed Mamata says CM within its purview

first_imgKolkata: The West Bengal Lokayukta (Amendment) Bill 2018 was passed in the state Assembly on Thursday.Clearing misconception, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee clearly explained in the state Assembly that the Chief Minister is not at all out of the purview of Lokayukta, apart from the matters “relating to public order”. She assured that within 10 days after the Bill is signed by the Governor, a former judge will be appointed as Lokayukta.Stating that it is wrongly said that the Chief Minister is not under the purview of Lokayukta, Banerjee said: “the Prime Minister is not under its purview in connection with the matters related to defence, external affairs, internal security and space. In our case, the exemption is broadly related to executive decision and approval in exercise of maintenance of public order, which is understood to include deployment of police forces under the control of the state government, modernisation of police forces and capacity building of the same.” Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeShe maintained in the same breath: “As per the Constitution, there are Centre, State and Concurrent lists and there are 58 subjects under the state list that include matters related to agriculture, land and Panchayat. One must go through the law properly instead of wrongly explaining it.”It may be mentioned that Trinamool Congress MLA Tapas Roy has brought amendments to the provision that “Lokayukta shall investigate any complaint relating to other matters involved in, arising from, or connected with any allegation of corruption against the Chief Minister, with the approval of the state Assembly by a majority of two-third of its members present and voting…” Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedShe said: “I have been in politics for so many years and till date, no one has raised question on my credibility. Credibility is my accountability.”ISpeaking on the misconception that Chief Minister will not be under the purview of the Lokayukta, Banerjee said: “There can be discussions on different issues in a democracy, but there cannot be any misconceptions. It is also not right if any group controls the Assembly from outside. After a news is published, it is being told over phone to share the same in the Assembly.” While speaking about the Bill, she said: “We have maintained parity with the Bill that was introduced by the UPA government in 2013 and with that of the erstwhile Left Front government in the state. But it is not exactly a copy of the same.”All MLAs are under the purview of Lokayukta. With the amendment of the Bill, the Parliamentary Affairs minister will also be consulted for appointment of Lokayukta. Earlier, one had to be a Judge of the Supreme Court for appointment as Lokayukta. Now, a High Court judge can be appointed as Lokayukta as well.The Chief Minister attacked the Left Front, saying that their party would have survived if they had taken care of it instead of unnecessarily continuing to criticise her. She took a dig at the party, saying: “Your goraksha friends are buying your party and you cannot do anything.”last_img read more

Forget Road Rage This Guy Shot Up His Computer and Said It

first_img Enroll Now for Free This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. 1 min read Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Nowcenter_img Ever get so exasperated with a malfunctioning computer that you literally want to hurl it across the room? Thirty-seven-year-old Colorado Springs, Colo., resident Lucas Hinch did one better.When his Dell XPS 410 desktop, which had been plaguing him for months, lapsed into a blue screen of death last Monday evening, Hinch took the machine out to an alley near his home and shot it eight times with a handgun.Readers, do not try this at home. Or in the office. Thanks.”It was glorious,” Hinch told The Los Angeles Times. “Angels sung on high.”Related: Playing With Fire? Oklahoma City Shooting Range Granted Liquor LicenseThat is, until police arrived, responding to the sound of gunshots. As it is illegal to fire within city limits, Hinch’s 9-mm pistol was confiscated, and he now faces a possible fine, police said.Nevertheless Hinch, who runs a homeopathic herb store, told police he has no regrets. “That computer had a bad day,” he said.Hinch’s meltdown reminded us of another epic office-tech meltdown:Related: Angry at Work? Have a Snack. April 23, 2015last_img read more

The 5 Takeaways from the Coyotes introduction of

first_img The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling 0 Comments   Share   Palmer, however, got the last laugh after that second down incompletion by throwing a touchdown pass on the next play.The 7-yard strike to John Brown put the Cardinals ahead 17-0 seconds before the first half ended and capped a 7-play, 80-yard drive.Arizona would quickly score a touchdown in the second half after safety D.J. Swearinger forced a fumble by Packers running back James Starks. Jerraud Powers recovered, and the Cardinals quickly moved down the field and scored on a touchdown run by rookie running back David Johnson for a 24-0 lead.Defensive lineman Cory Redding’s fumble recovery and rumble into the end zone soon after gave Arizona a 31-0 lead midway through the third quarter. – / 36 Well, that was rude.Packers linebacker Clay Matthews laid a hit on Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer and extended his hand, as if he was offering to help the fellow USC Trojan off the turf. But as Arizona’s signal-caller reached for Matthews’ hand, the Green Bay linebacker rescinded the offer, leaving Palmer grasping for nothing.“I mean, it’s part of the game, you know?,” Palmer said of what happened with Matthews. “It is what it is.”center_img Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Top Stories Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

Imagine for a minute A company makes a vaccine th

first_imgImagine for a minute: A company makes a vaccine that protects kids from a life-threatening disease but, with little warning, decides to stop selling it in the U.S.That’s exactly what happened last year in West Africa, for a vaccine against rotavirus — a disease that kills about 200,000 young children and babies each year.As NPR reported in November, the pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. Inc. announced it was ending a long-term agreement to supply its rotavirus vaccine, RotaTeq, at a reduced price to families in four West African countries. At the same time, the company began selling the vaccine in China, for more than 12 times the price.Merck’s decision meant that more than 2 million babies were at risk of missing the vaccine, health experts told NPR.”You have a major manufacturer of a vaccine announcing that they’re going to exit from the market, and it created a bit of a panic for countries that were accustomed to having this vaccine,” says Deborah Atherly of the nonprofit PATH, which helps develop vaccines for low-income countries.Now the situation has changed — for the good.After NPR broke the news of Merck’s pullout, other vaccine manufacturers stepped up to fill in the gap. “Because of these efforts, very few to no children will miss out on rotavirus vaccination in these four countries,” Gavi wrote to NPR in an email.This is a huge success story, Atherly says. “We deal with tons of challenges in global health, and this is one, in which the global health community rallying with the countries, has really created success.”Rotavirus is a ubiquitous infection. “Almost every child, whether you live in the U.S. or you live in a developing country, is infected with this disease,” says Dr. Mathuram Santosham, a pediatrician at Johns Hopkins University who has studied the disease for more than 40 years. In rich countries, the infections are rarely lethal but can be severe. Before the U.S. introduced the rotavirus vaccine in 2006, infections caused more than 50,000 hospitalizations each year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.In poor countries, without good health care systems, rotavirus can be deadly. Children can have six to 20 bouts of diarrhea in a day and dehydrate extremely fast, Santosham says. “It is particularly important for the children in the poorest countries — and the poorest children in the poor countries — to receive this vaccine.”But the vaccine is expensive. Here in the U.S., it costs about $200 for a course of two-to-three doses administered in the first year of a baby’s life. So in 2012, the two companies that manufacture a vaccine, Merck and GlaxoSmithKline, agreed to drastically reduce the price for poor countries to about $10 a course.For six years, the pharmaceutical companies stuck to those agreements. GSK delivered nearly 220 million doses to 42 countries. And Merck delivered more than 30 million doses to four countries in West Africa — Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Mali, and São Tomé and Príncipe.But last year, Merck informed UNICEF and Gavi that it would not ship about a third of those doses for 2018 and 2019. And in 2020, the company would stop supplying the vaccine altogether to West Africa. The company told NPR that “supply constraints” were preventing it from fulfilling its agreement to the West African countries. The company also expressed “deepest regret to all of the parties involved” in an email to NPR.It looked like more than 2 million babies would go without the vaccine. At the time, GSK told NPR it wasn’t able to help the countries in West Africa because the company was experiencing its own supply problems. “We also cannot confirm the availability of the doses necessary to support new programmes in 2019,” the company wrote in an email.But then after NPR’s story aired, GSK changed course. The company is now filling in almost half of the vaccine gap left by Merck. Earlier this year, GSK begun supplying Rotarix to the Ivory Coast — where nearly a million babies are born each year. “GSK is pleased that we have sufficient capacity and hopes to fulfill the demand for Rotarix in Ivory Coast for as long as required,” a spokesperson wrote in an email to NPR.The other part of the vaccine gap will be filled largely by one of two Indian pharmaceutical companies. Last year, the World Health Organization gave its stamp of recommendation two new rotavirus vaccines, Rotavac and Rotasiil, which are manufactured by Bharat Pharmaceuticals and Serum Institute of India, respectively. Back in November, health experts said three West African countries — Mali, Burkino Faso, and São Tomé and Príncipe — would eventually switch to these vaccines. But that was expected to take at least two years.Now all three countries are speeding up the timeline and plan to roll out the new vaccine by 2020, says Heather Deehan, chief of UNICEF’s Vaccine Centre. In the meantime, the countries are relying on stocks of the Merck vaccine to continue immunizations.”As a result of a strong collaboration among UNICEF, the countries and manufacturers, there was no interruption in the countries’ vaccine programs,” Deehan says.In a follow-up interview with NPR, Merck’s chief marketing officer, Michael Nally, said that one reason the company ended its agreement with Gavi was because the competing vaccines were more desirable for low-income countries than RotaTeq. GSK’s vaccine requires one less dose, while the Indian vaccines will be less expensive.”We’ve had to come to a conversation around, we are probably not going to be the product of choice in those markets,” Nally said.In the meantime, Merck has successfully launched sales of RotaTeq in China. The vaccine is now available in at least seven Chinese provinces, and a course costs about $130, or about 12 times the cost of the vaccine in the West Africa. Merck’s Chinese distributor, Chongqing Zhifei Biological Products Co., hopes to obtain more than $450 million worth of the vaccine in the next several years. Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.last_img read more

Sprint TMobile have to sell 265B deal to antitrust cops Update

The all-stock deal values each share of Sprint at slightly more than 0.10 T-Mobile shares. Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile’s parent, would own about 42 percent of the combined company. Japan’s SoftBank, which controls Sprint, would own 27 percent, and the remainder would be held by the public.The companies said they expect the deal to close by the first half of 2019 and would result in about $6 billion in annual cost savings. Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure, left, and T-Mobile CEO John Legere are interviewed on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Monday, April 30, 2018. To gain approval for their $26.5 billion merger agreement, T-Mobile and Sprint aim to convince antitrust regulators that there is plenty of competition for wireless service beyond Verizon and AT&T. (AP Photo/Richard Drew) The deal announced Sunday would combine the nation’s third- and fourth-largest wireless companies and bulk them up to a similar size to Verizon and AT&T, the industry giants.But the companies argued that the combination would allow them to better compete not only with those two rivals but also with Comcast and others as the wireless, broadband and video industries converge.”This isn’t a case of going from 4 to 3 wireless companies—there are now at least 7 or 8 big competitors in this converging market,” T-Mobile chief executive John Legere said in a statement. He would be the CEO of the combined company.T-Mobile and Sprint have been considering a combination for years. But a 2014 attempt fell apart amid resistance from the Obama administration. And in 2017 another potential deal fell through as well.The combined company, to be called T-Mobile, would have about 127 million customers. Consumers worry a less crowded telecom field could result in higher prices, while unions are concerned about potential job losses.In a conference call with Wall Street analysts, Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure acknowledged that getting regulatory approval is “the elephant in the room.” One of the first things the companies did after sending out the deal’s news release was to call Ajit Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. Explore further The companies stressed that they plan to have more employees following the combination, particularly in rural areas, than they do as stand-alone companies now.They also emphasized that the deal would help accelerate their development of faster 5G wireless networks and ensure that the U.S. doesn’t cede leadership on the technology to China.And they said the combination would allow them to better compete with a growing number of competitors in a changing market.Verizon and AT&T have been expanding their video-content businesses, while cable companies have been moving into wireless. That allows a single company to combine home and wireless internet and use content to support the communications businesses.Comcast, the cable giant that finished buying NBCUniversal in 2013, offers customers wireless service by reselling access to Verizon’s network. So does another dominant cable company, Charter. To gain approval for their $26.5 billion merger agreement, T-Mobile and Sprint aim to convince antitrust regulators that there is plenty of competition for wireless service beyond Verizon and AT&T. T-Mobile CEO John Legere, left, and Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure pose for photos on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Monday, April 30, 2018. To gain approval for their $26.5 billion merger agreement, T-Mobile and Sprint aim to convince antitrust regulators that there is plenty of competition for wireless service beyond Verizon and AT&T. (AP Photo/Richard Drew) This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Investors have been anticipating a deal like this for some time. In addition to the thwarted attempt three years ago, the two companies were poised to combine in October, but the deal was called off after what analysts said was a disagreement over control of the combined company.The deal will have to be reviewed by the Justice Department and the FCC.National carriers had not been able to get a deal through under President Barack Obama. But the FCC in September deemed the wireless market “competitive” for the first time since 2009, which some analysts say could make it easier to present a deal.The 5G aspirations are at the heart of the agreement, and the new technology could allow companies to provide faster service to people’s homes.Sprint’s Claure likened going from 4G to 5G to switching from black-and-white television to color. The combined company plans to invest up to $40 billion in its network in the first three years, which executives said would drive more hiring and better service for customers.Sprint has a lot of debt and has posted a string of annual losses. It has cut costs and made itself more attractive to customers, BTIG Research analyst Walter Piecyk said, but it hasn’t invested enough in its network and doesn’t have enough airwave rights for quality service in rural areas.T-Mobile, meanwhile, has been on a yearslong streak of adding customers. After the government nixed AT&T’s attempt to buy the company in 2011, T-Mobile led the way in many consumer-friendly changes, such as ditching two-year contracts and bringing back unlimited data plans. © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure is interviewed on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Monday, April 30, 2018. To gain approval for their $26.5 billion merger agreement, T-Mobile and Sprint aim to convince antitrust regulators that there is plenty of competition for wireless service beyond Verizon and AT&T. (AP Photo/Richard Drew) Consumers are paying less for cellphone service thanks to T-Mobile’s influence on the industry and the resulting price wars.Advocacy organizations said the deal will likely lead to higher cellphone plans because there will be less competition. Michael Copps, a former FCC chairman and an adviser to the watchdog group Common Cause, said consumers will “lose a lot of the innovation and competitive spirit that T-Mobile had” when it was challenging not just AT&T and Verizon, but Sprint as well.But Mark Lowenstein, a mobile-industry consultant, said the move shouldn’t be seen as a consolidation in the wireless industry.”That era is over,” he said. “This is a new industry structure—where wireless is competing in the larger broadband space.”The move makes sense for developing 5G, he added.”There is no way we were going to build four national 5G networks,” he said. The combination “gives the U.S. a better chance of getting to 5G faster, innovating quicker, and competing with China in the global 5G race.”Shares of T-Mobile fell $4.80, or 7.4 percent, to $59.72 in afternoon trading Monday. Sprint shares fell 97 cents, or 15 percent, to $5.53. Sprint, T-Mobile end merger talks Citation: Sprint, T-Mobile have to sell $26.5B deal to antitrust cops (Update) (2018, April 30) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-04-sprint-t-mobile-265b-antitrust-cops.html T-Mobile CEO John Legere wears Sprint-yellow sunglasses on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Monday, April 30, 2018. To gain approval for their $26.5 billion merger agreement, T-Mobile and Sprint aim to convince antitrust regulators that there is plenty of competition for wireless service beyond Verizon and AT&T. (AP Photo/Richard Drew) read more