APTN National NewsOTTAWA –Six months after a promise in the Speech from the Throne and three years after it was adopted, First Nations leaders in Canada continue to call on the Stephen Harper government to sign the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.First Nations leaders chose Monday to again issue their pleas on the third anniversary of the international document which was adopted by the UN General Assembly on Sept. 13, 2007.Canada, along with New Zealand, Australia and the U.S., initially refused to sign the declaration on the types of rights countries should afford their indigenous populations. Australia and New Zealand have both signed the document, while the US has said it would review the position.Prime Minister Stephen Harper promised in the Speech from the Throne on March 3 that Canada would give a qualified endorsement of the declaration.The Conservatives are facing pressure from the Assembly of First Nations to endorse the declaration unconditionally.“Canada’s full endorsement of the UN Declaration will be important not as the culmination of our efforts, but as the beginning of a new era where we work together as true partners to chart a new approach, new laws, policies and practices and a new path,” said Atleo, in a statement. “This is the relationship affirmed in our original treaties, in our inherent rights and Aboriginal title and it is the relationship that will guide us to a better future.”At least one First Nations leader expressed frustration with the Harper government.“We have been repeating the same message for three years. It is a shame that Canada has lost its international reputation as a major defender of human rights by its failure to respect the rights of the First Peoples within its own territories,” said Ghislain Picard, who heads the Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador. “We are still waiting to see this commitment become reality.”The government is concerned with Section 26 of the declaration. It states that indigenous peoples have the right to the lands, territories and resources which they have traditionally owned, occupied or otherwise used or acquired.Indian Affairs Minister John Duncan’s office issued a statement saying the government would sign onto the declaration.“Canada supports the overall aspirations of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and believes endorsement will build on our commitment towards a stronger and more respectful relationship with Aboriginal peoples,” said the statement.Last April, during question period in the House of Commons,Duncan, then-parliamentary secretary for Indian Affairs, said that the declaration went against the country’s laws.“We are not prepared to sign on to this non-binding document because it is inconsistent with our Constitution, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the National Defence Act, Supreme Court rulings, policies under which we negotiate treaties, and does not account for third party interests,” said Duncan, at the time. “This declaration does not balance the rights of all Canadians. Canada is a world leader on this issue and one of the few nations which provides for constitutionally entrenched aboriginal rights.
UPDATE – This fire has now caused an area north of Prespatou to be evacuated. Click here for more details.FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Two fires burning north of Fort St. John have merged into one large wildfire, which has grown from a combined 4,000 hectares to over 11,000 hectares.According to Fire Information Officer Amanda Reynolds the Tommy Lakes fire, which is the new name of the former Tommy Lakes Road and Beatton River fire, now covers an estimated 11,405 hectares. The fire is located approximately 30 kilometres northeast of Wonowon, and is said to be burning in a northeasterly direction. A map of the Tommy Lakes Fire perimeter. Photo by BC Wildfire ServiceReynolds said that the high winds on Friday caused an increase in fire activity, with the two fires merging in the afternoon. She said that a total of 58 firefighters, 5 helicopters, and 4 pieces of heavy equipment are focused on building a fire guard along the fire’s southern perimeter in order to protect oil and gas industry sites, two of which are said to be located a short distance from the fire.Two unit crews are working on the east side of the South Nig Road connector and north of the North Nig Road to contain growth in these areas. A third unit crew is working along with heavy equipment to build guard to establish access to Beatton River off the Tommy Lakes Road. Bucketing helicopters are said to be working with crews to aid in the fire suppression efforts.Reynolds said that in order to allow fire crews to do their jobs properly, the BC Wildfire Service will be adding an Area Restriction around the fire in order to keep members of the public out. She added however that oil and gas industry workers will still be permitted access to worksites, and that the Area Restriction is being implemented to keep out “looky-loos.”
Dinhata (WB): West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Wednesday launched a blistering attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi describing him as “Expiry PM”, and strongly contested his allegations against her as being a ‘speedbreaker’ in the path of state’s development. Banerjee gave point-by-point rebuttal of charges levelled by Modi at rallies at Siliguri and later at Kolkata’s Brigade ground during the day, to nail the “lies” spoken about performance of her government. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari Puja The war of words between Modi and Banerjee heated up the battle of Bengal in the ongoing general election. Bengal sends a total of 42 members to Lok Sabha, the third largest after Uttar Pradesh’s 80 and Maharashtra 48. Modi kickstarted BJP’s campaing in the state Wednesday launching onslaught on TMC supremo. Banerjee, whose partymen see her a PM candidate, preponed start of poll campaign in the state with a rally at Dinhata in Cooch Behar district to coincide with PM’s public meeting Wednesday. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highway Describing Modi as “Expiry Babu” and “Expiry PM”, Banerjee questioned what his government at the Centre has done for the welfare of people of the country. She dared him to participate in direct debate with her in television or in a public rally. Claiming that her government in West Bengal has done a lot for the welfare of the people of the state, Banerjee told a public rally here that income of farmers in the state has increased three times under her rule. “I am not Modi,I don’t tell lies,” she said, alleging that the PM has made false claims on performance of TMC government in West Bengal. She claimed that 12,000 farmers committed suicide during Modi rule in the country. The West Bengal chief minister said that her government has implemented several welfare schemes for the people of the state, like ‘Kanyashree’ for girls, ‘Yuvashree’ for the young people. “PM should not lie. You claim to have a 56 inch chest and u are resorting to lies,” she said. Banerjee said that West Bengal has been awarded by the Government of India for being the best among all states in implementing the 100-day minimum work guarantee scheme. “Its not my claim but your government has given the award for the achievement,” the firebrand leader said. Banerjee was termed as a speedbreaker in the path of the state’s development by the PM a couple of hours back in a rally at Siliguri. Rejecting Modi’s claim of doing everything for the welfare of tea garden workers, she said “you had promised to reopen seven closed tea gardens, but you have not done anything.” She said that Modi had promised before the 2014 elections to give every poor person Rs 15 lakhs in their bank accounts, but has not given a single penny. Banerjee also said that the BJP government at the Centre has not done anything for the Rajbanghsis, an ethnic group with a sizeable population in the North Bengal despite having made “tall claims.” Regarding Modi’s accusation that Banerjee has deprived the people of West Bengal of benefits under Ayushman Bharat scheme, she said the PM was seeking all credit for it though the state government had to shell out 40 per cent of the cost of the programme. “Why should I give it to you, I will do it myself,” she said. She said that her government will introduce a scheme that will benefit 7.5 crore people in the state. Charting out achievements and welfare schemes of her government that has been in power in Bengal since 2011, Banerjee said that she has introduced insurance for farmers and waived mutation fees for farmland sales. Livid at the PM’s accusations against her on the Pulwama attacks and the Balakot airstrike in Pakistan, Banerjee said “we are nationalists and not fascists.” She said that the Centre had prior intelligence on a possible terror attack on the CRPF convoy, but despite that the Pulwama incident happened in which 40 troopers were killed. Saying that Modi should not try to teach her nationalism, she said “you had information, but without taking action you led the CPRF jawans to death.” Banerjee said that Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has insulted that the Armed forces of the country by terming them as ‘Modi Sena’. She alleged that ‘Modi Sena’ are those who indulge in rioting and assaulting people who do not conform to their ways, and terming the country’s Army the same is an insult to the bravehearts who serve the country. Regarding Modi’s claim that her boat was sinking in Bengal, Banerjee said “Agey Delhi samla, tarpor dekhish Bangla (First manage Delhi and then look at Bengal).” Claiming that the “Chowkidar is acting like a fascist,” she said “you are talking of air strike, you will see voter strike.” She claimed that in Assam NRC, 22 lakh Hindu Bengali voters have been excluded, while 23 lakh Bengali muslims have been left out of the citizenship register in the north-eastern state. The chief minister said that though Modi has assured the Gorkhas in Darjeeling and other places in the state that they have nothing to worry about the NRC, she said that there are several elements in it for the Gorkhas to fear. “Go to Assam to see how many people have died and how many families have been devastated because of NRC,” she said. Banerjee claimed that if the BJP government returned to power in the general elections,they will change the Constitution and there will be no democracy in the country. Claiming that the Modi government intimidates anyone opposing it by raids and other tactics, she dared the PM saying “Catch me if you can, touch me if you can.” “I am also from a Hindu family. ..but I don’t go by your Hinduism. My parents did not teach me this type of Hinduism where you hate people,” she said.
TORONTO — Two Canadian real-estate trusts are teaming up with a 50-50 partnership that will redevelop or intensify some of their properties in downtown areas of major cities, starting with two projects in Toronto.RioCan Real Estate and Allied Properties say they will work together to satisfy the growing demand for mixed-use properties in Canadian cities.Riocan has typically focused on intensifying retail properties, while Allied has specialized in office spaces.The companies say there is a trend toward living, working and playing in the inner-city.They’ll begin with two redevelopments in downtown Toronto, one near College Street and Manning Avenue and the other on King Street West at Portland Street.They plan to create a mixed-use office, retail and residential complex at each site.The one on College Street complex is expected to have 125,000 square feet of gross floor area.The other complex, which will have frontage on King, Portland and Adelaide Streets, will have approximately 400,000 square feet of gross floor area.The companies say these ventures are just the start of a collaboration that they plan to continue in other major Canadian cities.Once the projects are complete, RioCan will act as property manager for the retail portions, while Allied will serve as property manager for the office portions.Edward Sonshine, CEO of RioCan, said the combination of the properties “will create exceptional value creation opportunities for both RioCan and Allied’s unitholders.”
TORONTO — As banks work to fortify their cybersecurity defences amidst a growing number of data breaches, they are also exploring the promise of so-called “open banking,” a concept that could finally disrupt the staid financial services industry.Customers have increasingly moved away from physical branches towards online and mobile apps, but banking has yet to reach its “Uberization” moment, one that breaks down traditional models to usher in new innovations, as Uber has done for the taxi industry.Open banking — granting third-parties like financial technology startups access to bank data to develop innovative apps — could be such a “game changer,” according to Toronto Dominion Bank’s chief information officer, Jeff Henderson.‘Somebody could actually die’: Cybercrime’s grave threat to automated resource firmsUber hack raises disclosure concerns, calls for stronger data protectionAll but one of 100 payment executives at major banks globally said they were planning major investments in open banking by 2020, according to an online survey by consulting firm Accenture released last month.But even as Canadian financial institutions toy with the idea, they’re concerned about the looming risk to consumers’ personal information amid the growing threat of cyberattacks.The Accenture survey also showed that 50 per cent of respondents said that implementing the emerging concept increases risk.“There’s no question this is a trend,” TD’s Henderson said.“(But) I want to make sure that any time we exchange information externally, that is done so in a very controlled and understood manner.”In these early days, the exact nature of the innovation in the open banking landscape is unclear, said Bob Vokes, managing director of financial services at Accenture in Canada.“What we’re trying to do in open banking is to create new sets of services off of the banking data, or alternatively, allow you to manipulate your banking information in a different way,” he said.Open banking allows consumers to share their banking data, which proponents say will spur the creation of new apps and platforms that will make financial transactions easier or develop new use cases.For example, a consumer could log into one app and see all their financial accounts, from various banks, to get a full picture of their net worth and move funds in real time. Or, geolocation data could be layered over payment data, allowing a consumer to analyze exactly where their money is being spent, while also allowing merchants to offer them location-based rewards.The buzz around open banking is building just as concerns about cybersecurity mount.Most recently, Uber announced earlier this month that hackers compromised some 57 million user accounts and Equifax Inc. disclosed in September a cyberattack that compromised the personal information of half of Americans and some 19,000 Canadians.It also comes as the Bank of Canada once again listed cyber threats as a key vulnerability for the Canadian financial system in its semi-annual review released Tuesday.“The high degree of financial and operational interconnectedness among financial institutions means that a successful cyber attack against a single institution or a key service provider could spread more widely within the financial system.”Meanwhile, various jurisdictions are pushing ahead with legislation that would see financial institutions become even more interconnected.By January 2018, banks in Europe will be required to share proprietary data, in a regulated and secure way, under the U.K.’s Open Banking Standard and Europe’s PSD2 legislations.Canadian institutions are also jumping on board.The Competition Bureau said in a report on fintech earlier this month that it is early days “but the potential impact on competition and innovation is promising.”The Ministry of Finance said in August it is “examining the merits of open banking.”“Open banking holds the potential to make it easier for consumers to interact with financial service providers and increase competition,” the ministry said in a consultation paper as part of a review of the federal Bank Act.The Canadian Bankers Association responded to the ministry that while its members are proponents of innovation, they are also concerned about the potential impacts on safety, soundness and stability in Canada’s financial system.“Canadian banks have devoted very significant resources to creating well-established information security and data warehouses that meet the highest standards worldwide, the CBA said.“Any initiative that could undermine this trust would be very problematic for Canadian consumers, financial market participants and the broader economy.”Vokes says these concerns — as well as questions about whether the bank or the third party is liable if something goes awry — will need to be addressed in legislation.If additional layers of security protection are put in place, open banking should not raise the level of cybersecurity risk, he said, adding however, that cyberattackers are becoming more sophisticated as well.“Innovation isn’t just the purview of fintechs,” he said.“As we continue to innovate, fraud and criminal enterprises are also innovating.”
IoT.png Adding Value to a Utility Plugging Into the Power of APIs Gary Audin June 07, 2019 Evangelist Roy Kurver shares on the importance of APIs for communications today. Twilio’s value prop is based on transforming what are essentially basic utility voice/video/mobile text services into value-adding capabilities that enable a wide variety of new services. The utility services continue to be low-margin, price-sensitive headaches that people simply expect to work all the time. The value comes from the ability to outsource the vast majority of the headaches that come with providing such a utility — headaches with which our readers are all too familiar. IoT Isn’t Easy Twilio’s biggest advantage could be its positioning with the developer community. Most of its initial IoT users are existing customers. The market for non-smartphone IoT is in an early stage of development and its ultimate prospects are still speculative. However, Twilio has put a stake in the ground with a promise to take on one gnarly part of the problem. Log in or register to post comments Twilio is looking toward more far-reaching IoT applications like smart cities (e.g., smart traffic control, smart parking, and crowd/traffic monitoring), environmental monitoring, and tracking items that lack a reliable power source (e.g., trash bins and scooter rentals). Each of these applications will require unique hardware that exhibits low-cost, low-power draw, and with differing transmission requirements that call for connectivity via a variety of network services. Don’t We Need 5G for IoT? As Andrew Jordan, Twilio senior product manager for IoT, noted in his Signal presentation on the developer program, “IoT is hard.” The majority of consumer-focused IoT applications we’ve seen to date rely either on smartphones or special modules installed in cars. Probably the most successful version of the former is Waze and of the latter GM’s OnStar. Twilio aims to broaden its focus with support for IoT applications. Bolstering that initiative, Twilio made two significant announcements at its Signal conference this past October. The first was development of a new SIM card capability called Super SIM, and the second, a developer program for IoT applications in partnership with T-Mobile, allowing use of the carrier’s new Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) network service. Get more insight from Michael Finneran at Enterprise Connect 2019, taking place March 18 to 21 in Orlando, Fla. Michael will lead sessions on 5G (everything you wish you knew), mobile messaging integration, and mobile strategies for eliminating the desk phone. As a No Jitter reader, you can save $200 off your registration fee by entering the code NJPOST when you check out. Register now! Our Advance Rate closes this Friday, Jan. 11.Tags:News & ViewsTwilioSuper SIMNB-IoTAPIs & Embedded CommunicationsAnalyst InsightBCStrategiesDigital TransformationInternet of ThingsMobilityVendor Strategy Articles You Might Like What Role Will Integrations, APIs Play in the Evolution of UCC? Todd Carothers June 27, 2019 RESTful APIs are bringing a wave of change to the communications industry. BCStrategies is an industry resource for enterprises, vendors, system integrators, and anyone interested in the growing business communications arena. A supplier of objective information on business communications, BCStrategies is supported by an alliance of leading communication industry advisors, analysts, and consultants who have worked in the various segments of the dynamic business communications market. As regular readers will know, Twilio essentially invented the communications platform as a service (CPaaS) industry and pioneered a new category of communications service provider, one that enables developers to create an amazing array of services that depend on network services. The company’s initial success was powered by a couple of core capabilities, masked phone numbers and SMS integration, capitalized on by companies like Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, TaskRabbit, Handy, DoorDash, Lululemon… and the list goes on. In a recent conversation, Evan Cummack, head of Twilio’s IoT Business Unit, identified other challenges developers will face in making this vision of IoT a reality. We all know that data networks are inherently problematic, and radios only make that more so. Beyond that, the range of IoT network services will continue to grow, and as this is a worldwide market, businesses will need a network solution that reaches beyond the coverage footprint of the four major U.S. carriers. That’s where the Super SIM comes in. While network services continue to evolve, the one common element they’ll employ is a SIM card to identify and authenticate the user or device. Starting this spring, Twilio will offer a Super SIM card that will allow IoT devices to direct traffic over multiple carrier networks (i.e., Multi-IMSI capability), along with the ability for over the air (OTA) reconfiguration. That latter capability is very important for IoT devices that might be located in hard-to-reach places and are essentially untouched for years at a time. As with the current T-Mobile relationship in the U.S., Twilio is looking to partner with mobile operators worldwide and has thus far recruited Telefonica (Europe, Latin, and South America), Three Group (Europe, Asia-Pac), and Singtel (Singapore, Asia-Pac). The vision is that developers could deploy IoT devices with Super SIMs around the world and each would automatically jump onto a network from a carrier partner wherever its installation. As Twilio adds new carrier partners, it uses the OTA capability for Super SIMs updates. In recognition of that, mobile carriers have introduced any number of 3GPP-defined and third-party network technologies specifically designed for IoT (see related post, “IoT Starts with ‘Network’”). Most IoT applications today work over LTE’s basic LTE-Cat 0 data service, essentially the same network service your smartphone uses. Virtually all carriers are deploying, or at least planning, a lower-bandwidth (~200 Kbps) IoT service called LTE Cat M1. The popularity of Cat M1 is driven primarily by the fact that it’s relatively cheap and efficient to deploy. In the meantime, one drawback of NB-IoT is that it isn’t truly mobile in that it can’t yet hand off active connections. When a device that’s been moved around is reactivated, it will find the network and reauthenticate. NB-IoT is the other leading contender in the battle for IoT-specific network services. NB-IoT offers similar data rates to Cat M1 but with the promise of lower cost and far greater power efficiency. As luck would have it, those benefits come at the cost of greater technology disruption in the carrier’s network. What API platform provider Twilio has done to reinvent communications it now intends to do for the Internet of Things (IoT). BCSLogo.png Twilio’s plan is to become the one-stop shop for global wireless IoT connectivity, Cummack told me. As with its current offerings, Twilio is looking to shield the developers from the technical, operational, billing, and carrier negotiations involved in deploying a global IoT application. All the developer should have to worry about is using the API to connect to Twilio, and the connectivity “happens” regardless of where the device is in the world or how it’s connected. See All in APIs & Embedded Communications » Twilio Says, ‘Let’s Keep the Conversation Flowing’ Beth Schultz August 08, 2019 The cloud communications platform company showcases two new APIs aimed at improving conversational engagement for messaging and phone calls. The real revolution Twilio brought about was the idea of a communications service provider that doesn’t deliver SIP trunks or MPLS but rather APIs that link applications to a flexible set of communication resources. In line with BCStrategies’ consistent theme of “communications integrated to optimize business processes,” Twilio makes communications another service an application can call up via an API. My associate and fellow No Jitter blogger Marty Parker has gone to great lengths to show how basic communications services are being integrated into a wide variety of business applications. The promised arrival of 5G has confused the discussion of IoT network services. For IoT, 5G promises very-low-latency services (e.g., one millisecond), greater device densities (e.g., one million devices per square kilometer), along with massive available bandwidth (e.g., 100 M downstream x 10 Mbps upstream). However, 5G NR (New Radio) services don’t exist anywhere in the world today, and those service attributes will only be important to certain classes of IoT applications. Thousands of other IoT applications call for capacities measured in hundreds of bits per second and where latencies of several seconds can be more than adequate — as long as the thing’s battery can last for 10 years. Leading the Way to a Developer-Focused Future Beth Schultz April 29, 2019 Creating a developer mindset isn’t easy, but it’s an imperative as communications and collaboration technologies become increasingly software-centric. One-Stop Shop for Mobile Connectivity Thus far, only T-Mobile has launched nationwide NB-IoT, though the others are considering it. As NB-IoT channels require only 200 KHz of radio bandwidth, T-Mobile is deploying it in guard bands, which are slots of frequency at the boundaries of larger channels normally left vacant to limit interference. The package Twilio is offering in conjunction with T-Mobile could deliver NB-IoT connectivity for as little as $4 per device per year. Untangling Services, Microservices, Functions Tom Nolle June 27, 2019 Understanding applications in the cloud era takes deciphering the terms of modern software architecture.
The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry is urging hunters to be safe during the wild turkey hunting season that gets under way April 25..The ministry says that conservation officers will be out over the spring months contacting hunters. While in the field conducting inspections, conservation officers will ask to see licences and inspect firearms.“Make sure you keep your licences with you as you hunt,” the ministry says in a news release.The ministry issued the following tips to follow when hunting:• At no time can you shoot from or across a roadway.• Always handle firearms with care and attention.• Never drink alcohol or take impairing drugs while hunting.• With a few exceptions, it is illegal to have a loaded firearm in or on a vehicle, or to discharge a firearm from a vehicle (including an all-terrain vehicle).• Don’t wear red, white or blue beneath your camouflage, those colours show up on turkeys and you may be mistaken for one.• Set up to call in open areas where you can see 40 to 60 yards.• Sit against a tree or rock as wide as your back. This provides a shot-proof barrier covering your entire back and with a view 180 degrees to your front.• If you see another hunter approaching your calling post, don’t wave your hands. Sudden movement could be mistaken for a turkey flushing in the brush. Whistle or speak out in a normal voice.• Keep your shotgun’s safety on until you are absolutely sure of your target and beyond.• Make sure you have landowner permission when hunting on private lands.The ministry issued the following tips on how to gain access to and use of private property:• Always ask for permission before entering private land, including to retrieve game.• Plan ahead and get permission from the landowner well in advance of your trip.• Don’t assume you have permission this year just because you had permission last year.• Ask the landowner what activities are permitted on their property.• Do not use off-road vehicles, camp, damage vegetation, construct a permanent structure (tree stands, blinds or platforms) or store personal property on their land without permission.• Ask the landowner where certain activities are allowed to avoid disturbing the landowner’s neighbours, pets or other animals such as livestock.• Ask about any other special concerns – if the landowner’s family is likely to be in the woods or fields and where the property boundaries are located.• Be sure to thank the landowner.Hunters with question are urged to contact the ministry enforcement unit for the southern district at 1-800-667-1940.“Our conservation officers are here to help you and answer any questions you may have,” the ministry says.To report a natural resources violation, call the ministry TIPS line at 1-877-847-7667 toll-free any time or contact the local ministry office during regular business hours.Violations also can be reported anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).Visit Ontario.ca/mnrftips to view an interactive, searchable map of unsolved cases. “You may be able to provide information that will help solve a case,” the ministry says.
by Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Press Posted Aug 30, 2016 8:20 am MDT Last Updated Aug 30, 2016 at 9:40 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email FILE – In this Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015, file photo, a woman shops in an Aeropostale clothing store, in New York. On Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016, the Conference Board releases its August index on U.S. consumer confidence. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File) US consumer confidence in August highest in 11 months WASHINGTON – U.S. consumer confidence rose in August to its highest level in 11 months, suggesting economic growth could pick up in the second half of the year.The Conference Board said Tuesday that its consumer confidence index rose to 101.1, up from 96.7 in July. It was the highest level for confidence since the index hit 102.6 last September.The gain reflected consumers’ brighter views about current the economic situation and their expectations for the future.The percentage of those surveyed who saw business conditions as “good” increased from 27.3 per cent to 30 per cent. Those who viewed business conditions as “bad” remained virtually unchanged at 18.4 per cent.Consumers who regarded jobs as “plentiful” increased from 23 per cent to 26 per cent, although those who felt jobs were “hard to get” also rose slightly from 22.1 per cent to 23.4 per cent.Economists said that the climb in confidence reflected stronger job gains seen in recent months, as well as strength in the stock market and home prices, which boost consumers’ net worth.They expect the momentum in jobs to boost incomes and spur stronger consumer spending. That should help growth accelerate in the second half of this year, after four quarters of an anemic average growth rate of 1.2 per cent. Many analysts believe gross domestic product will top 3 per cent in the current quarter.“Growth will be supported by consumer confidence and job growth,” Jennifer Lee, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets, said in reaction to the consumer confidence report.The government will release the August jobs report on Friday. Many economists are looking for a gain of around 180,000 jobs.
The only question about Mariano Rivera’s candidacy for the Baseball Hall of Fame was whether he would be the first player voted in unanimously by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, which serves as the primary gatekeeper for entry to the Hall. On Tuesday, the great New York Yankees pitcher became the first player to appear on 100 percent of writers’ ballots, with all 425 voters finally agreeing on something: that Rivera should be enshrined in Cooperstown, New York.With his ballot sweep, the fearsome closer did something unmatched by even the greatest of his starting pitcher brethren, including Nolan Ryan, Greg Maddux, Tom Seaver and Randy Johnson — all of whom topped 97 percent. Three years ago, Ken Griffey Jr. came the closest to complete consensus when he received 99.32 percent of the vote — just three ballots short.Rivera, eligible for the first time this year, was joined by three other inductees — the late Roy Halladay (85.4 percent of ballots), longtime Seattle designated hitter Edgar Martinez (85.4 percent) and former Oriole and Yankee pitcher Mike Mussina (76.7 percent).1Voters are limited to 10 names per ballot. Based on ballots that had been made public before the announcement, we were expecting that Rivera, Halladay and Martinez would gain entry to the Hall. As of our last model run,2Conducted just a few minutes before the announcement, when 232 ballots had been revealed. we thought Mussina was just a borderline case. Mike Mussina76.774.5-2.2 Jeff Kent18.104.22.168 Mariano Rivera100.0%100.0%0.0% Manny Ramirez22.825.02.2 The Mussina miss notwithstanding, our projections were pretty accurate, with an average error of 2.1 percentage points; only the totals of Halladay and Larry Walker were off by more than 4 points.3Shoutout to Jason Sardell, whose alternative model did even better, with an average error of 0.9 points.Appearing fifth, sixth and seventh in the actual voting were Curt Schilling, Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds. Schilling jumped to 60.9 percent from 51.2 percent last year. He has three years of eligibility remaining on the BBWAA ballot. Meanwhile, Bonds and Clemens, whose careers were tainted by allegations of performance-enhancing drug use, could only inch up on a crowded field. Clemens received 59.5 percent, up from 57.3 percent last year. Bonds received 59.1 percent of the vote, up from 56.4 percent in 2018. Their glacial rate of improvement means they will be hard-pressed to hit the required 75 percent in their three remaining years on the ballot; they appear to have hit a plateau. Lance Berkman1.21.0-0.2 Roger Clemens59.563.33.8 Curt Schilling60.961.10.2 Edgar Martinez85.482.3-3.1 Billy Wagner16.717.60.9 Omar Vizquel42.841.9-0.9 Andruw Jones7.510.42.9 Sammy Sosa22.214.171.124 Barry Bonds126.96.36.199 Fred McGriff39.843.43.6 Andy Pettitte9.95.9-4.0 Todd Helton16.519.53.0 Gary Sheffield13.614.40.8 Michael Young2.11.3-0.8 The Hall of Fame has four new membersActual results of the 2019 Baseball Hall of Fame election vs. our finalpre-announcement projection Miguel Tejada1.20.8-0.4 Larry Walker54.662.27.6 Scott Rolen188.8.131.52 Roy Halladay85.491.25.8 PlayerActual ResultFinal Model Projection*Error *With 232 public ballots known.Sources: Baseball Writers’ Association of America, RYAN THIBODAUX’S BASEBALL HALL OF FAME VOTE TRACKER Roy Oswalt0.90.90.0 Walker, however, is rapidly trending toward Cooperstown: He ranked eighth in voting percentage (54.6 percent), making a substantial leap from 34.1 percent last year. Next year will be his final year of eligibility, and he’s still 20 points short of election — usually an impossible task. But this year proved that Walker is capable of such a massive gain, so his candidacy is likely to provide genuine suspense next year.But Tuesday was headlined by Rivera making history.Anyone familiar with baseball knows of Rivera’s excellence. There is a strong case to be made that he is the greatest reliever in history. The 13-time All-Star is the sport’s all-time saves leader with 652. He was a part of five World Series championship teams in New York. In addition to his regular-season dominance, he has the lowest career postseason ERA (0.70) and most playoff saves (42) in MLB history.And when using advanced measures to evaluate performance, Rivera stands out not just as a great relief pitcher — only Dennis Eckersley ranks higher among relievers in the JAWS metric that combines career and peak performance to evaluate Hall candidates — but as an all-time great pitcher regardless of role.His ERA+ — which adjusts a pitcher’s earned run average for ballpark and run environment, enabling comparison between eras — ranks No. 1 all-time among all pitchers (minimum 1,000 innings).Traditional statistics like wins and saves are increasingly viewed as poor measures to evaluate performance because they award or penalize pitchers for many factors out of their control. But even the most common new-age measure to evaluate performance, wins above replacement, is inadequate to measure reliever performance because it is in part volume-based, and relievers pitch fewer innings than starters. Better measures to evaluate the performance of relief pitchers are statistics like win probability added, which tallies the change in win expectancy between plate appearance, and a context-neutral version of win probability added (WPA/leverage index).For instance, Rivera is 77th all-time in Baseball-Reference.com pitching WAR. But he ranks fifth all-time in WPA (56.6), trailing only Clemens, Lefty Grove, Maddux and Warren Spahn. In other words, he’s among the elite of the elite.Of course, relievers face a greater proportion of high-leverage situations than starting pitchers do; protecting a one-run lead in the ninth inning is more critical than pitching with a one-run lead in, say, the second. But even when employing a context-neutral win probability (WPA/leverage index), Rivera still ranks as the 21st-most win-adding pitcher of all time and is 13 spots higher than the next reliever (Hoyt Wilhelm at No. 34).Rivera combined elite command with an almost unhittable pitch: his cut fastball. Though just a portion of his career took place during the pitch-tracking era, he ranks second to Dodgers stopper Kenley Jansen in the run value of his cutter.Rivera is just the eighth pitcher to work primarily as reliever to be enshrined. The others are Wilhelm, Rollie Fingers, Eckersley, Bruce Sutter, Goose Gossage, Trevor Hoffman and Lee Smith. Three have joined the Hall since last year — Rivera, Smith (veterans committee, 2019) and Hoffman (BBWAA vote, 2018) — and the number of relievers figures to grow over time as bullpens are used in an ever-greater share of innings. Last season, relievers accounted for a record 40.1 percent of innings.The only position group with fewer players in the Hall than relief pitchers is the designated hitter group. Despite not playing a position in the field for much of his career, Martinez’s bat was so dominant that he made it to the Hall in his final year on the ballot.Martinez’s career OPS+4OPS+ considers a hitter’s overall ability but adjusts to account for ballpark and run-scoring environment. An OPS+ of 100 is league average. of 147 is tied for the 42nd-best mark of all time. Martinez joins Frank Thomas and Harold Baines — another 2019 veterans committee selection5Baines, a controversial pick in December, had a career OPS+ of 121, tied for 340th place. — as the only players in the Hall to play more than half their games at DH. Thomas ranks 52nd all time in batting WAR (73.9), while Martinez ranks 80th (68.4).Halladay, who died in a 2017 plane crash, tied with Bob Feller for 41st in all-time pitching WAR (65.5). He tied for 37th in all-time ERA+ (131). The two-time Cy Young Award winner was the ultimate workhorse for his era, leading his league in innings pitched four times and exceeding 230 innings six times. He’s also the only player other than Don Larsen to throw a no-hitter in the postseason.Mussina pitched in hitter-favorable ballparks and during the high scoring “steroid era” of the late 1990s to early 2000s. While his traditional stats might not seem elite, his career WAR (83.0) and JAWS (63.8) totals rank ahead of the average (73.4 WAR, 61.8 JAWS) for Hall of Fame pitchers.A few years ago, it was hard to imagine pitchers like Mussina, with a 3.68 ERA before adjustments, or Halladay, with barely 200 wins, getting into the Hall of Fame. And it was probably unthinkable that anyone — let alone a relief pitcher — would be elected unanimously. But the Hall of Fame electorate is changing, and that seems to be increasing both the quality and quantity of the players being elected.
When Captain Megan Couto calls out her oh-so-familiar drill commands on Monday morning, she will make history.At 24 years old and five foot two-and-a half tall, she will become the first woman in the infrantry to command the Queen’s Guard in its 180 years at Buckingham Palace.Captain Couto, who serves with the Second Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (2PPCLI), will be the face of equality in the armed forces: taking on responsibility for the ceremonial Changing of the Guards before any British woman has even been allowed into the infantry.The 24-year-old Canadian said she was grateful and honoured to be given the “huge privilege” – and hopes not to lose her voice in the era-defining moment. Captain Megan CoutoCredit:Heathcliff O’Malley “They’re taking it very seriously,” said Captain Couto. After the company performs its duties at Buckingham Palace, she will return to Canada to take over the Reconnaissance Platoon.In common with all soldiers of her rank, she has received training in projecting her voice to be heard over the loud band.Saying captains sometimes experienced their voice breaking a little on commands, she added: “We definitely don’t want that to happen on Monday.” “I’m feeling healthy stress,” she joked. “I think it will go well. We’ve practised enough that I’m confident the soldiers all know where they’re going and I know my practices. We’ll be ready.”PPCLI is taking part in ceremonial duties as the Queen’s Guard in the UK until July 3rd, accompanied by the Royal Canadian Artillery Band. The Changing of the Guard ceremony will happen from 11am at Buckingham Palace.The Canadian troops are recognisable by the distinctive French Grey colour on the collar and cuff, known as regimental facings, of their full dress scarlet tunic.Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry was named after Princess Patricia of Connaught, daughter of the then-Governor General of Canada and granddaughter of Queen Victoria who was born in Buckingham Palace in 1886. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Captain Megan Couto is a serving officer in the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry Credit:Heathcliff O’Malley/The Telegraph “I’m treated just like any other infantry officer: if I do my job well I’m rewarded and if I mess up then I’m corrected. It’s been fairly normal.”Major Hudson said: “As a young platoon commander, her work has been stellar. “Given the circumstance – it’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing – why not give her the opportunity?“She has proven herself over and over and I have no doubt that will be portrayed again on Monday.” The company had been drilling at least once a day since arriving in the UK, to perfect the complicated moving parts of the ceremony. CORRECTION:Contrary to this report, which was based on an unambiguous statement released by the MoD, Captain Megan Couto is not the first ever female Captain of the Queen’s Guard. At least two women have occupied this position before her. We are happy to make this clear. Guards Regiments were formed in 1656 as personal bodyguards of the Sovereign. A detachment has been at Buckingham Palace since 1837, when Queen Victoria moved in. Captain Couto, who has been with the military for seven years, only learned she would be taking over as Captain of the Queen’s Guard recently, and was left surprised when Coldstream Guard drill instructors mentioned they had never seen a female captain for the ceremony before.“It’s definitely an honour, as it would be for anyone who gets the opportunity to command the Queen’s Guard,” she said.“I feel very much like I’m just doing my duty. But at the same time I know it’s unique, and a special occasion, and so I’m very grateful and definitely honoured to be given the opportunity.”Of her experience with the Canadian military, which has invited women into all roles since 1989, she said: “I really was blind to the fact I was a minority – it never really felt that way. Usually second-in-command of her company, she becomes the first female infantry Captain of the Guard at Buckingham Palace on Monday as she steps into the shoes of commander Major Jason Hudson.The Queen’s Foot Guards, part of the infantry, currently have no female soldiers in their ranks and will only be open to women for the first time at the end of 2018.The Patricia’s mount the Guard at Buckingham Palace for the first time this month on the 150th anniversary of Canada. Their colonel-in-chief was Countess Mountbatten, who died at the age of 93 earlier this month.
WHILE THE VOLUNTEERS from the Doolin Coast Guard were out helping people during yesterday’s flooding, their own station was badly damaged by waves.The damage to the station can be clearly seen in these photos from the Coast Guard’s Facebook page:The Drogheda Coast Guard building was also damaged, and the team are currently cleaning their station and continuing with repairs.Meanwhile, in Doolin the prefabs were described as being in “poor condition” with “significant” work needed to restore them.There are temporary arrangements in place for the Doolin Coast Guard volunteers.A spokesperson for the Coast Guard said that Doolin volunteers were working to help people in Lahinch and Quilty in Co Clare. Lahinch was one of the worst affected areas during the bad weather, while 20 people were assisted out of Quilty due to the floods.The Doolin office is inland, though near the coast, and it was not anticipated it would be affected by the floods, due to its location.There are in excess of 20 volunteers who work from the Coast Guard’s Doolin station.Read: Battered: Your pictures of how the storm took its toll>
7. When you go for the last sweet in the bag……and it’s already gone.Flickr/Steve Snodgrass6. When you have a really great dreamAnd then wake up to cold, unfeeling reality. Flickr/MissMessie3. When you firmly believe it’s FridayAnd it’s not.gaiaonline.com2. When you bite into a delicious chocolateAnd it’s coffee. lefunny.net5. When you’ve made a lovely cup of teaAnd then see the milk has gone off.cafepress.com4. When you come across a tin of delicious biscuitsAnd it’s your mam’s sewing kit that she’s left out. Flickr/EuroMagic, Tumblr1. And every time you look in the fridge8 problems facing people who are absolute rides>4 Irish animals having an extremely busy day>
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram A new project for the cultivation, processing, packaging and exporting of medicinal marijuana has been proposed for a site located in Veria. Located in the north of Greece where the climate is similar to that of California, if the plans get the go ahead, more than 2,000 jobs are expected to be created over the next two to three years. With 10 current investors from around the world, the first round of investment is expected to be some €400 million (AU$611,943,722) and is projected to rise to more than €1.5 billion.Eighty per cent of the jobs will be created in areas such as cultivation, trading and transport, and according to one the investors, Michael Blady, will be given to Greek locals, reports Bloomberg.“In Greece, we’re not looking at bringing people in from other areas that have cannabis experience,” Mr Blady said.“We’re going to train as many people as we need and we’re going to start our own culture here.”The Syriza government has expressed its enthusiasm over the Veria project and is set to propose legislation, which could see such projects go ahead as soon as the end of January. “There’s significant interest by the investor community to exploit the possibilities of the new legal framework for medicinal cannabis in Greece,” said Agriculture Minister Evangelos Apostolou, adding that the government is willing to assist any project aimed at boosting the economy.Another attractive aspect to cultivating marijuana is the pay taken home by employees, which ranges between US$80,000 and US$100,000 (AU$99,700 to AU$124,700) annually – a significant jump from Greece’s current average monthly salary of €586.00 (AU$896.50).It is expected the bill will be posted to the government’s website to allow the public to weigh in on the decision. Meanwhile in the instance that the government moves towards further legalising the use of marijuana beyond medicinal purposes, investors are already considering the recreational cannabis market.
Ouragan : Karl s’apprête à toucher terre au MexiqueKarl s’est encore intensifié dans la nuit de jeudi à vendredi, pour devenir un ouragan de catégorie 3. Il s’apprête à balayer les côtes atlantiques du Mexique, avec des vents soufflant à 195 km/heure.Karl est désormais un ouragan majeur a annoncé le Centre national des ouragans américain (NHC). La dépression est passée à la catégorie 3 sur l’échelle de Saffir-Simpson et il est possible qu’elle se renforce encore avant de toucher terre, encouragée par les eaux chaudes du golfe du Mexique.Ce vendredi matin, à 9h GMT, son centre se situait à 110 kilomètres au nord-est de Veracruz, un port de la côte atlantique mexicaine. C’est là qu’il devrait s’abattre dans les heures à venir, accompagné de pluies diluviennes.Le tiers de la région de Veracruz est déjà inondé depuis plusieurs jours suite à des pluies torrentielles historiques. Celles de Karl devraient encore faire monter le niveau des eaux. Le gouvernement mexicain a émis une alerte sur toute la côte du golfe du Mexique entre les villes de Sola et Cabo Rojo.À lire aussiQuand une cascade se met à couler à l’envers en EcosseSelon le NHC, l’ouragan devrait ensuite traverser le centre-sud du Mexique d’ici lundi. C’est avec une puissance amoindrie, sans doute redevenu une tempête, qu’il devrait atteindre le Pacifique.Derrière lui, les ouragans Julia et Igor poursuivent leur route dans l’Atlantique, en se tenant encore éloignés des côtes.Le 17 septembre 2010 à 14:54 • Emmanuel Perrin
Preparations for the 2013 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)-funded SARAI (Soybeans for Agricultural Renewal in Afghanistan Initiative) soybean planting season have begun. Shelter for Life (SFL) has been working on multiple components to ensure planting can start the first part of June once the wheat harvest is completed.Shelter For Life field agronomy staff in training session with Lead Agronomist David Quarles. (Shelter for Life photo)Soybeans are a new crop in Afghanistan and it is important to have trained field agronomists. Fifteen agronomists, including five females, were trained to educate the subsistence farmers on soybean growth stages, irrigating soybeans and germination rates. The agronomists will work with the farmers throughout the growing season answering questions and helping ensure a high-quality soybean crop is produced.SFL recruited 50 “Lead Farmers” for the 2013 season. The Lead Farmers help recruit new farmers to plant soybeans, help communicate information to the new farmers and oversee the demonstration plots.In 2013, over 5,000 farmers will plant soybeans in Takhar, Kunduz and Balkh provinces. The Balkh farmers are new for the 2013 season and are located near the Afghan Soy Factory, which will make it convenient for them to deliver their soybeans at harvest time. Each farmer receives an input bundle consisting of 26.4 lbs. of soybean seed, 1.3 oz. of inoculant, 35.2 lbs. of DAP and 44 lbs. of potassium for approximately one-half acre of soybean production.A Takhar farmer collects an input bundle. (Shelter For Life photo)When the farmers picked up their inputs, they also signed the production agreement with the Afghan Soy Factory. Farmers will receive $500 per metric ton (36.75 bushels), less $20 in transportation costs.SARAI is a Food for Progress program funded through a USDA grant and implemented by ASA’s World Initiative for Soy in Human Health program.
Clifford Lee, 35, is charged with 10 counts of sexual assault. Photo – APD.Anchorage police have arrested an alleged serial rapist and charged him with 10 counts of sexual assault. Thirty-five year old Clifford Lee of Anchorage was apprehended on Thursday evening.Download AudioThe five known victims were all women who were intoxicated and walking alone in the downtown or midtown areas. Lee allegedly offered them rides then took them to secluded areas in south Anchorage and assaulted them. Some times he used a stun gun.Lt. Anthony Henry with the special victims unit says the victims provided a general description of an Asian male in a dark colored SUV, but it took investigators over a month to link the cases.“What you have is a fact set that never clearly identifies itself early. So what you do is you have these crimes that are reported and there are similarities in some of the cases but they are rarely exact. So it usually takes time before that pattern is actually recognized. And in this case, there were a lot of descriptions that were vague.”This series of reported assaults began in late June. Police think there may be other victims, and Henry urges the women to come forward. He says it will both help the women find resolution and help the case against Lee.The police believe that Lee acted alone. Henry says serial rapists who target strangers are rare. Most rapists know their victims.The investigation is on-going. Lee is being held on a $750,000 bail.
Biman Bangladesh. File PhotoA domestic flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines made an emergency landing at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka on Monday morning, reports UNB.General manager (PR) of Biman Shakil Meraj told UNB that the domestic flight of Biman BG-1433 made an emergency landing at 8:00am shortly after it took off from the Dhaka airport for Cox’s Bazar via Chattogram.The Biman flight made the emergency landing after the cockpit crew saw a bird hit the aircraft, he said.It landed safely and took off again for its destination after an inspection and all through check-up.
Kolkata: A woman has been arrested from the New Alipore area of the city for allegedly trying to “kill” two salesmen of a kitchen-chimney company when they went to her home to receive payment for a product she had purchased a month back, police said today. Madhumanti Saha, in her 50s, has been arrested from her residence in New Alipore’s P-block for allegedly spiking drinks she had offered to the two salesmen Amit Chakraborty and Somnath Mondal of a chimney company when they went to her home yesterday to receive payment for the chimney, a senior officer of Kolkata Police said. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life Amit Chakraborty fell unconscious after having the “spiked” drink while Somnath seeing him in that state tried to contact his seniors but was stopped by the woman, the officer said quoting the complaint of the company. “First the woman tried to snatch Somnath’s phone and unleash her dog on him when he tried to contact his senior officials,” the officers said. Somnath, somehow, managed to escape and went to the New Alipore Police station and then rescued Amit in an unconscious-state and admitted him to a nearby hospital, he said. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed The police arrested the woman after the company lodged a complaint against her in connection with the matter. “She had purchased a chimney last month and paid the amount through a cheque which bounced. When she was informed about the matter, she said she will be paying the amount in cash and had invited officials from the company,” the Investigating officer (IO) in the case said. Asked whether, the woman tried to kill the two persons by “poisoning” them, the officer said, “We have collected evidences from the spot and sent it for forensic tests to ascertain whether poison was used in the drinks or not.”