Army Commander Lieutenant General Crishantha de Silva was today ordered by court to submit army intelligence reports related to the murder of journalist Lasantha Wickremetunga, to the CID.Lasantha Wickrematunge, the Chief Editor of the popular English weekly The Sunday Leader, was assassinated on 8 January 2009 by four assailants who stopped him on his way to his office on Attidiya-Mt. Lavinia road. In an editorial written shortly before his death, and that was published posthumously, Wickrematunge accused the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Government of intending to silence him and voiced his commitment for press freedom at the risk of his life. (Colombo Gazette)
Oakville has been named the “best place to live in Canada,” according to MoneySense magazine.The magazine lists the “top 10 best places to live in Canada in 2018” and looks at a variety of factors such as: wealth and economy, affordability, population growth, taxes, commute, crime, weather, access to health care, amenities and culture.They say the key to Oakville’s success is maintaining a small-town sense of community even as the city’s population breaks 200,000.The analysis says that Oakville is not only the best place to live overall but the best place for New Canadians, the third best place to retire and the fifth best place to raise a family.Oakville knocked Ottawa out of the top spot. Some of the runner-ups include Russell, Milton, Halton Hills and Toronto.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand — Amazon has announced it will film its upcoming television series “The Lord of the Rings” in New Zealand, marking a return of the orcs, elves and hobbits to the country they became synonymous with over the course of six movies directed by Peter Jackson.Amazon Studios on Wednesday said it had found a majestic location with world-class sets. It said production would begin in the city of Auckland over the coming months.But Amazon wouldn’t reveal the extent of its plans for the series. It declined to say how much it plans to spend, how many seasons the show will run, or when it will debut.Some have speculated Amazon could spend more than $1 billion on the series as it looks to take on other streaming services like Netflix.The Associated Press
The net rate of forest loss in Africa is the second highest in the world, behind Latin America, often due to lax enforcement of laws, and the continent leads the globe in the frequency of forest fires, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reported today. Globally, Africa lost more than 4 million hectares (ha) of forests per year between 2000 and 2005, FAO told the African Forestry and Wildlife Commission currently meeting in Maputo, Mozambique. This was mainly due to conversion of forest lands to agriculture. Forest cover went from 655.6 million ha to 635.4 million ha during this period.Forest fires are another major concern, the agency said. Africa leads the world in these, mainly due to the traditional practice of using fire for converting forest to agriculture or grassland. The frequency of fires is particularly high in northern Angola, the southern region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, southern Sudan and the Central African Republic. Despite problems, Africa has made strides in terms of improving forest policy and programmes, according to FAO. More than half of African countries have established new forestry policies and laws over the past 15 years, and two-thirds now have an active national forestry management programme in place.But implementation and enforcement of these measures remains weak, mainly due to lack of financing and weak national institutions, the agency said.People in Africa depend on forests in a number of ways, and forest resources play an important role in both basic subsistence and poverty alleviation there. The African Forestry and Wildlife Commission gathers every two years at a meeting organized by FAO.
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Business Development Bank distributes $4.3 billion to Canada companies by Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press Posted Aug 27, 2013 4:48 pm MDT MONTREAL – The Business Development Bank of Canada distributed $4.3 billion in financing this fiscal year to help more companies, particularly small and medium-sized firms, to improve their productivity by taking advantage of favourable investment conditions.The total payout was 15 per cent higher than last year and marked the largest distribution since 2010.More than 60 per cent of last year’s financial help went to company expansions, followed by mature corporations.BDC Financing distributed $4.1 billion in loans to 9,195 companies over the 12 months ended March 31. That was up from $3.6 billion and nearly 7,000 recipients a year earlier.“The overall strength of the investment climate in Canada has permitted our clients to do well financially, and ultimately this is reflected in our performance,” said chief executive Jean-Rene Halde.The agency complements access to private banks to provide companies with financing for working capital, equipment and information and communications technology.The Crown corporation, set up primarily to provide financing and business expertise to Canadian companies, said its net income fell by more than 12 per cent to $468.3 million last year despite growing demand for loans, especially from small and medium-sized Canadian companies.Its main financing arm generated $441.5 million, down from $504.7 million in fiscal 2012, largely due to higher losses on investments and loans.Another lending unit, BDC Subordinate Financing, provided $189.8 million in financing, up from $163.8 million a year earlier, but it earned $35.1 million, $1.1 million less than in fiscal 2012.More than 60 per cent of the $4.3 billion distributed by both segments went to company expansions.The bank distributed $145.3 million in venture capital, nearly 15 per cent more than the prior year and the most in more than a decade. It included 40 direct investments and seven fund investments. The segment lost $8.1 million on those activities, much less than the $42.7-million, year-earlier loss.The improvement was a result of the divestiture of two companies with strong results as well as a decrease in net unrealized depreciation on the existing investment portfolio.Its consulting services lost $11.6 million while BDC Securitization, which provides funds for small- and mid-sized equipment leasing companies, had reduced net income of $11.4 million — down from $46.2 million a year earlier.The corporation had provisions for $538.3 million of credit losses at the end of fiscal 2013, compared with $610.2 million a year earlier. There was also an improvement in impaired loans, which fell to $491.8 million from $550.8 million.The portfolio, before allowance for credit losses, increased 6.9 per cent to $16.4 billion.It will pay the federal government nearly $60 million this year, raising the total amount of dividends paid to its sole shareholder to $362.7 million since they were instituted in 1998.The payout is based on the performance for the 12 months ended March 31, 2013. BDC paid Ottawa a record $68.6 million based on its fiscal 2012 results, a 38 per cent increased dividend from the prior year.The Business Development Bank expects Canada’s economic fundamentals will remain relatively stable this year while external factors in the U.S. and Europe are creating short-term uncertainty. It said business investment is strong in Canada as companies take advantage of low interest rates and a historically strong Canadian dollar — which has been weakening of later — to proceed with projects put on hold during the recession.The bank expects its net income will reach $348 million in fiscal 2014, a 25 per cent decrease from last year. The decrease is expected to result from higher impairment losses on loans and increased pension costs.
“We must once again remind all parties that they must strictly adhere to international humanitarian law,” the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in the occupied Palestinian territory, James Rawley, said alongside the Commissioner-General of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), Pierre Krähenbühl.He noted the need to fully respect the principles of distinction between civilians and combatants, proportionality, and taking precautions to avoid civilian casualties. At least 174 people in Gaza have been killed and over 1,100 wounded, according to figures cited by Mr. Krähenbühl, who expressed particular concern about the numbers of women, children and people with disabilities among the reported victims.“Never will even the most impressive television footage properly capture the depth of fear and despair felt in the homes and hearts of Gazans who are yet again facing death, devastation and displacement,” the head of UNRWA said.The UN agency has now declared an emergency for operations in all five of its areas in Gaza, with approximately 17,000 refugees seeking refuge in its 20 schools. “Some [are] being displaced to the very same classrooms for the third time in five years,” said Mr. Krähenbühl, after a visit to one of the shelters.At least 33 children were killed in Gaza in recent days, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reported yesterday, highlighting the negative impact violence has on children both physically and psychologically. “Too often children who witness such violence, and come to view it as ‘normal’, are likely to repeat it themselves in later life.” Noting UNRWA figures which counted damage by Israeli air raids and fire to at least 47 UN-supported or run schools, clinics and warehouses, Mr. Rawley also called on the parties to avoid directing attacks on civilian infrastructure or in densely populated areas. He said the team has had “a small glimpse” of the destruction incurred so far and it includes damage to 66 schools and over 940 homes, as well as losses to the health, education, water and sanitation facilities, and the electricity infrastructure. The current fighting takes place against a backdrop of poverty, unemployment, food insecurity and a failing economy in Gaza, both UN officials stated. As a result, a true solution to the current cycle of violence must be political and development-focused, and address the underlying causes of the conflict.“While our immediate priority is to end the current round of hostilities, for the ceasefire to be sustainable it will have to address political, security and development challenges as well,” Mr. Rawley said. Both UN officials echoed the calls of the Security Council and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who, among others in recent days, have called for all parties to respect international law, and protect civilians.This includes an end to rocket fire from Gaza aimed at Israel, which the UN has described as “indiscriminate.”
– conditions to improve for over 500 prisonersMinister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan, during an engagement with local media corps, on Thursday, announced that prisoners that are currently in the open area of the Lusignan Prison will have better facilities very soon.Minister Ramjattan said that despite being prisoners, human rights and international and national standards must be adhered to. The Minister explained that constructions works are ongoing, “We have a tarmac and (will be) putting up sheds with roofs and better washroom facilities so that they can be in better conditions.”According to the Department of Public Information, the Public Infrastructure Ministry and contractors are doing the emergency works, which are expected to be completed by Friday evening.Meanwhile, the DPI quoted Minister Ramjattan as saying that once the debris is removed from the Camp Street Prison some prisoners will be transferred back to the Camp Street ‘brick prison’.The minister explained that repairs are being carried out to the brick prison’s roof, the locking system, the kitchen area and the administration centre.“The structure in the new brick prison that is standing there can accommodate another 250 prisoners, so from that 500 plus we will be shifting across to the new prison, the brick prison”, DPI quoted the Minister as saying. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Related300 Prisoners freed: It was a mistake, 463 removed, 91 released- RamjattanJuly 13, 2017In “latest news”Lusignan prisoners access generator fuel; attempt to raze facility over flooded conditionsJuly 14, 2017In “Crime”Prison fallout: Govt to request over $500M for temporary structures, cleanup – RamjattanJuly 21, 2017In “Crime”
BHP Billiton has signed a Heads of Agreement with Leighton Holdings to acquire the HWE Mining subsidiaries that provide contract mining services to its Western Australia Iron Ore operations. The Heads of Agreement relates to the mining equipment, people and related assets that service the Area C, Yandi and Orebody 23/25 operations. These operations collectively account for almost 70% of Western Australia Iron Ore’s total material movement. The purchase price is $735 million (A$705 million), subject to working capital adjustments. BHP Billiton President Iron Ore, Ian Ashby said: “While this move to an owner-operator model will remove a layer of complexity and costs from our business, the real focus of this proposed transaction is the workforce. Transitioning to owner operator in this way, rather than by replacing contractors through direct recruitment, is a lower risk strategy as it would be challenging to replace the highly skilled and long serving HWE employees in the current environment.”The proposed acquisition is consistent with BHP Billiton’s previously stated intention to move the Western Australia Iron Ore business from contract mining to owner-operator mining. Subject to due diligence,definitive agreements and relevant internal and regulatory approvals, the transaction is expected to close during the fourth quarter of calendar year 2011.
EVERY WEEK, TheJournal.ie offers a selection of statistics and numerical nuggets to help you digest the week that has just passed.511 million – The amount in dollars that Twitter lost in just three months. Shares in the company dropped by 13 per cent upon the release of the news.400,000 – The approximate number of people in Ireland who bought tickets to see Garth Brooks play in Croke Park, which works out at 8.7 per cent of the population.395,000 – The number of people who have viewed Panti’s video about homophobia in Irish society since it was uploaded last Sunday.7,600 – The number of stores of a US pharmacy chain which will stop selling cigarettes from 1 October.€3,722 – The amount of money spent investigating a strange smell at a social welfare office in the Department of Social Protection.891 – The number of Irish people who have been deported from Australia for visa breaches in the past three years.73 – The percentage of Irish adults who believe that slapping a child is an ineffective way to discipline them, according to a survey. 50 – The number of envelopes containing heroin which were found in the apartment of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman after he was found dead of a suspected overdose.30 feet – The depth of a sinkhole which opened up in the driveway of a couple’s home in England, swallowing their car.13 – The number of months that castaway Jose Salvador Alvarenga says he was adrift for in the Pacific Ocean after leaving El Salvador in December 2012.6.49 – The amount in euros that newly-qualified nurses get paid per hour, according to a new campaign.1.5 tonnes – The amount of chocolate in the life-size replica of Pope Francis which was created by 20 chocolatiers. It would be a sin not to eat it, right?17 cents – The value of Anglo Irish Shares by the end of 2008, down from a high of more than €17 in June 2007, the trial of three former executives heard this week.Want more? Check out our previous ‘In numbers’ pieces >
Tim Ockenden/PA Archive/Press Association Images5. Look how Meg the Welsh terrier frolics. Watch her go! Andrew Milligan/PA Archive/Press Association Images9. This lad is going to eat them all Shutterstock.com3. Look how much this lamb loves Daffodils DON’T LET THAT blasted weather fool you, it’s spring dammit, and with spring comes the Irish Cancer Society’s Daffodil Day.Sellers will be out and about up and down the country with a variety of daffodil related products on offer, if you feel like digging deep.If you need a nudge, here are some reasons why you need a daffodil today…1. These dogs have frolicked through them David Jones/PA Archive/Press Association Images6. What’s good enough for Tom Jones… Chris Ison/PA WireColumn: Battling cancer can be a very lonely time – we’re here to talk people through it>Where does my Daffodil Day money go?> David Cheskin/PA4. Could you say no to this little face? Sean Dempsey/PA Archive/Press Association Images7. If you don’t buy them Adam the zeedonk will eat them allJohnny Green/PA Archive/Press Association Images8. “DUDE, am I high, or are those daffodils?” Shutterstock.com2. You might get this ladybird as an added bonus Julien Behal/PA Wire11. It it looks like a daffodil and walks like a daffodil… Joe Giddens/PA Wire13. Look at all the hard work that’s gone into them Andrew Milligan/PA Wire10. Ah would you lookit? Ben Birchall/PA Wire12. Pip the wallaby wants you to
Stories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via email, podcast and RSS. Follow us on Facebook at alaskapublic.org and on Twitter @aprn.Download Audio Fed Judge Slaps Greenpeace Protesters With $2,500/Hr. FineJohn Ryan, KUCB – UnalaskaA federal judge has found Greenpeace in contempt for blocking the path of an Arctic drilling vessel trying to make its way from Portland, Ore. to Alaska.‘Shell No’ Protesters Turn Back the FennicaMonica Gokey, KSKA – Anchorage“Shell No” is the theme of a protest happening right now as Shell’s Fennica icebreaker tries to head north after undergoing repairs in Oregon.A Tale of 2 Murkowski Bills – One Partisan, One NotLiz Ruskin, APRN – Washington, D.C.Sen. Lisa Murkowski passed two major bills out of the Senate Energy Committee today, each containing priorities she’s been working on since she became chairman of that panel.Instrument Data ‘Another Piece of the Puzzle’ in Fatal Plane CrashLisa Phu, KTOO – JuneauThe National Transportation Safety Board released a preliminary report on the July 17 plane crash that occurred 18 miles west of Juneau.Under Alaska Management, the Mosquito River is Open for BusinessDan Bross, KUAC – FairbanksThe Federal Government has backed down in a long running legal dispute with the State of Alaska over ownership of an eastern interior river.Bethel Advances The Possibility of A City-Run Liquor StoreBen Matheson, KYUK – BethelThe Bethel City Council last night took one step towards a possible return to local option status. By a 4 to 3 vote, they introduced an ordinance, which, if passed by council next month would let voters decide in October whether to allow local alcohol sales solely through a city-run liquor store.Ketchikan Borough To Vote on Tobacco TaxLeila Kheiry, KRBD – KetchikanThe Ketchikan Gateway Borough has completed drafting an ordinance that would impose a $3-per-pack tobacco tax within borough boundaries. The ordinance also would tax other tobacco products – including e-cigarettes – at 75 percent of their wholesale price.BC tribal protest stops mine exploration, for nowEd Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – JuneauDevelopers of a mine on a Taku River tributary have stopped work after an on-site protest by a British Columbia tribal government. The Taku enters the ocean near Juneau.Wrangell Opens A New Cultural Center, Carving ShedKatarina Sostaric, KTSK – WrangellThe Wrangell Cooperative Association cut the ribbon on its cultural center and carving shed Saturday, completing the second phase of the tribe’s three-part Native cultural revival plan. The center will serve as a place for recreating eight sacred totem poles and for teaching Native arts.
Microsoft has just updated its terms of service. For the most part, there isn’t much that users need to concern themselves with. However, as you can see from the headline above, one new stipulation concerns Gamertags. Starting on September 15, if you have an Xbox Live account and don’t log in during the next five years, you’ll have to kiss your precious Gamertag goodbye.Before anyone gets too worried, note that this is retroactive. Meaning that every time you log into Xbox Live, the five year counter is reset. If you play on Xbox on a consistent, or semi-consistent basis, you have absolutely nothing to be concerned about. If you don’t log in for five years after September 15, however, then you’ll be in danger of losing your Gamertag. Losing your Gamertag doesn’t mean your account is deleted or that you will lose all content purchased in the Xbox store. It just means that you can’t log in with your old Gamertag.It should be noted that one doesn’t need to own an Xbox console to log into Xbox Live. Now that Microsoft has united Xbox with Windows 10, so it is possible to log into your Xbox Live account through your PC. This is helpful for lapsed Xbox owners who skipped out on the Xbox One but want to either buy the Scorpio next year or who have decided to simply buy Xbox “exclusive” games on PC.For a full rundown of all the policy changes coming after September 15, make sure to follow this link.
His loss comes just four days after the newspaper revealed that Cunningham had set up a living trust for his kids.The catch? They get the trust money if they marry straight, white Christians.Judge Cunningham has two children with his wife, Donna: Susan, a licensed attorney, and Vic Jr., a law student at South Texas School of Law. The family appear on some of the judge’s social media postings (see below).News of the trust fund came was brought to the attention of the newspaper by none other than Cunningham’s estranged brother. Younger brother Bill Cunningham is gay and has an African American husband.Asked about the existence of the trust fund for his kids, and its stipulations, the judge admitted in a statement it was true – but denied being a bigot.‘I have never, and will never discriminate against anyone’He said his views on race had evolved since the trust was set up in 2010.‘This trust was set-up during a time of concerned feelings about my brother Bill’s gay lifestyle … My views on interracial marriage have evolved since I set-up the irrevocable trust in 2010, and today I would absolutely remove those conditions if I legally could.’ Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us) A GOP candidate in a Republican Primary yesterday lost his bid to be the next Dallas county commissioner. Judge Vickers ‘Vic’ Cunningham lost by just 25 votes to Republican opponent JJ Koch, reports Dallas Morning News. GAYSTARNEWS- Got a news tip? Want to share your story? Email us . Doug Jones officially wins! Alabama rejects homophobe Roy Moore’s lawsuitRoy Moore’s sexual abuse accuser loses home in possible arson attackDisgraced homophobe Roy Moore faces lawsuit after smearing sex abuse accuserRead the full article on Gaystarnews: :https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/gop-cunningham-dallas/ In his statement, he denied allegations of using the N-word, and said: ‘I have never, and will never discriminate against anyone based upon race, religion, color, creed, or sexual orientation.’However, he doesn’t backtrack on wanting his children to marry people of the opposite sex.‘I strongly support traditional family values,’ the judge told The Morning News. ‘If you marry a person of the opposite sex that’s Caucasian, that’s Christian, they will get a distribution.’Cunningham could still demand recountIn yesterday Republican Primary for Dallas County commissioner (District 2), Cunningham was beaten by just 25 votes for local attorney JJ Koch. Given the closeness of the vote, Cunningham could demand a recount. He has yet to announce whether he intends to do so or issued any statement conceding defeat.Koch said the race had been close and suggested the controversy over Cunningham’s living trust had soured the race.‘That was totally bonkers,’ Koch told Dallas Morning News. ‘To say that this race was contentious is an understatement. To say that the last four days were bad for the Republican party is an understatement.’GSN has approached Cunningham for comment.See alsoThis Texas lesbian couple can’t foster for not looking like Mary, Jesus and Joseph Judge Vickers Cunningham (Photo: Facebook)
The idea of Virtual Reality evolved many years ago, and technology is finally catching up now. The current options and applications are thrilling. The future of Virtual Reality has certainly never looked more exciting. Its technology has evolved beyond what anyone could have predicted a few years ago, and the applications that have been found in a huge number of industries and fields, though impressive, might be just the beginning.As we’re looking towards the future of Virtual Reality, however, we might do well to take a minute and consider its past. From early imaginings to mid-1990s gimmicks, Virtual Reality has most certainly come a long way.A Long-Held IdeaWay before technology got properly involved in Virtual Reality, the notion of creating different worlds was cherished by many. Panoramic paintings might be considered a very early attempt at VR, and the references to this idea in literature and culture are countless. Stanley G. Weinbaum’s short story Pygmalion’s Spectacles, published in 1934, is just one example.Antonin Artaud wrote Le Théâtre et Son Double in 1938 and its English translation, The Theatre and Its Double, followed in 1958. Here he described how illusory the objects and characters of the theatre are, and used the phrase Virtual Reality to do it. The coined phrase stuck and has been used ever since.Virtual Reality’s Technological BeginningsView-masters, developed in 1939, are stereoscopic visual simulators that show how receptive people have always been to the idea of Virtual Reality. The person that many consider being the real father of the technology, however, would not make his mark for another 20 years or so.In the 1950s Morton Heilig became dedicated to the idea of an Experience Theatre that would engage all the senses. He realised his dream in 1962 with the Sensorama, a machine that screened short films while also exposing the user to a host of other sensations.It was just a few short years later, in 1968, when Ivan Southerland and Bob Sproull created the first Virtual Reality head-mounted display or headset. It was officially named the Sword of Damocles, owing to the fact that it was so heavy that it needed to be hung from the ceiling.In 1978 a group at MIT created the Aspen Movie Map, which gave a somewhat crude simulation of Aspen in 3 different styles. The new wave of Virtual Reality kept going and was sustained by the dedicated research lab that Atari created in 1982.The Atari Virtual Reality Lab was closed in 1984, but many of its staffers continued their research and development ideas. This group included Jason Lanier who created VPL Research in 1985, and his company went on to develop several Virtual Reality devices such as the DataGlove.A Cultural ShiftIn the 1990s Virtual Reality became a lot more mainstream and accessible. More research was being done, more arcade games with LED screens and movement sensors were being released, and Howard Reingold’s non-fictional Virtual Reality had been published.Suddenly everybody could see Virtual Reality’s potential as a tool for social change and as a whole new frontier. However, while it did well in arcade games, military training and other specific niches, Virtual Reality was also thought of as a little gimmicky over this time. This has changed in recent years, as technology has caught up with ideas.Today, more and more people are seeing the potential in Virtual Reality, and with constant development and demand, there are sure to be many more impressive evolutions.
You have a six-pack of beer and some chips and salsa. You have some friends over. And your face is painted red, white and blue (Costa Rica or the U.S., it doesn’t matter, they’re both the same colors). And then you realize: I don’t know a damn thing about what’s happening tonight.Here’s the simple guide to tonight’s all-important match-up between Costa Rica and the United States:I don’t know much about soccer. Give me the basics:The United States Men’s National Team will take on Costa Rica’s National Team, known as “La Sele,” in the National Stadium at 8 p.m. Costa Rica time. That’s 10 p.m. Eastern Time.This will be a rowdy World Cup qualifying match. Both teams are fighting for the top spot in Concacaf. And Costa Rica is also looking for revenge after losing to the U.S., 1-0, in Denver last March. The game took place during a blizzard, and La Sele and their fans were none too pleased that the game wasn’t postponed.Can I watch the match on TV?In Costa Rica, the match will be televised on channels 6 and 7. In the United States, the game will be on beIN. If you’re wondering why the game is on a station you’ve never heard of, it’s because the Al-Jazeera-affiliated sports network has the rights to all U.S. World Cup qualifying away games. beIN is covering most of the Concacaf qualifiers. Lindsay Fendt Lindsay Fendt No related posts. U.S. Soccer Coach Jürgen Klinsmann talks to the press before practice Thursday. U.S. midfielder Michael Bradley walks off the bus for practice Thursday at the National Stadium. Bradley injured his ankle in pre-game warm-ups and missed the Costa Rica match. The star midfielder also is out for Tuesday’s match against Mexico. Facebook Comments Lindsay Fendt You keep saying Concacaf. What is that? Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football. What a mouthful. Do you mind if we go back to saying Concacaf?So this sounds like an important game. What’s at stake?A lot is on the line. More so, for Costa Rica. The top three teams in the Concacaf region automatically qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Four matches remain in qualifying. Of the six teams still competing, the U.S. leads the standings with 13 points. Costa Rica remains in 2nd place with 11 points. If Costa Rica wins Friday night, they’ll be in excellent shape to clinch its first World Cup spot since 2006. A loss makes them vulnerable to Mexico and Honduras (and even fifth place Panama).The streaking U.S. team, winners of a team record 12 in a row, appear on their way to Brazil no matter what happens tonight. But a win tonight could potentially seal the deal.Leander Schaerlaeckens, of FoxSports, laid it all out in a tweet today: “If the USA wins on Friday and Mexico, Honduras and Panama don’t, they clinch.” (Mexico and Honduras play each other tonight, so they need to tie. Panama takes on lowly Jamaica.)If Costa Rica doesn’t finish in the top 3, does that mean they’re not going to Brazil?The fourth place team actually can qualify. Finishing fourth, gets you a date with New Zealand in a playoff (one home game, one away game) for one last World Cup spot. Costa Rica would prefer to avoid this fate. In 2010, the team finished fourth and faced Uruguay in the playoff. The Uruguayans easily disposed of the Ticos (and went on to finish fourth overall in the World Cup). While New Zealand is no Uruguay, traveling to Oceania for a match is an adventure nobody in would Concacaf desire. So what’s the deal with the “Snow Game”?Fans of the Costa Rican national team, known have stewed for months over the last time the U.S. and Costa Rica met in a World Cup qualifying match. In a blizzard, the U.S. defeated the Ticos in Colorado. Members of the Costa Rican squad said after the game they thought the match should’ve been postponed. They protested the result to FIFA, but the Costa Rican Football Association (Fedefut) made some protocol mistakes and the “protest” was denied. Supporters felt cheated out of crucial World Cup points.And so now Costa Rica wants vengeance?Yes, both fans and Fedefut have been involved in some gamesmanship with the U.S. team. Fedeful didn’t provide official soccer balls to the U.S. team at their first practice. The association denied press passes to The Tico Times (and according to members of their press office, international English-language media like Bloomberg and CNN too). Fans have tossed eggs at the U.S. team bus and tried to organize a traffic jam with taxi drivers so the squad wouldn’t arrive to the stadium on time (although that traffic jam might’ve been just normal San José traffic). A cow trolled the U.S. head coach.Even Costa Rica’s President Laura Chinchilla has bragged about how the government won’t provide special escort service for the U.S. team to the game. But there’s already been enough written on the topic. Andrew Keh, of the New York Times, has a good rundown on the gamesmanship we’ve seen so far from Costa Rica since the U.S. arrived in the country three days ago.Deadspin has a more profane breakdown with photos and videos of the “trolling.”Or listen to Keith Olbermann’s rant on ESPN.Do Costa Ricans have a right to be angry?To be fair, most Ticos understand vengeance will come on the pitch not by harassing the opposition while they’re in their hotel room. But back to the question at hand, both teams had to play in the same snowy conditions although the United States fought hard to keep the game from ending.U.S. Coach Jurgen Klinsmann has had to answer billions of questions on the snow game.Said Klinsmann on Wednesday: “That was not our fault. I didn’t call God to give us some snow.”Will any of this gamesmanship matter?Eh, not really and it’s all perfectly legal. We’d like to be at the game, but that’s what scalpers for. These are two fascinating teams, and rain nor snow nor tossed eggs will have a great affect on the match. Expect a tight match between the defensive-minded Ticos (led by stars Alvaro Saborío and Bryan Ruiz and goaltender Keylor Navas) versus Klinsmann’s fast-paced U.S. squad (who will be energized by the return of Landon Donovan to the national team).Wait actually, there was one piece of gamesmanship that almost mattered.Fedefut tried to move the match to Ricardo Saprissa Stadium, a place where Costa Rica has dominated the Gringos. In that stadium, the fans are right on top of the players and the noise can be deafening. The U.S. enters tonight’s game 0-7-1 in qualifying matches in Costa Rica. In the newer Estadio Nacional (built as a gift by the Chinese in 2011), a track divides the fans from the pitch.FIFA denied Fedefut’s request to move the match back to Saprissa Stadium. The U.S. team sounded pleased about the decision.Said midfielder Michael Bradley: We’re all happy not to play there. The turf there is terrible — there’s no two ways to put that.”Oh, also the turf in Saprissa is terrible. Even worse than snow.Enjoy the match. Carlos Arias Muñoz, 71, is a fanatic of “La Sele,” Costa Rica’s national football team. He has been driving a cab for 53 years, and decided to deck out his car in Costa Rican flags for Friday’s game against the U.S.
FILE – In this Wednesday, May 20, 2015 file photo, migrants sit on their boat as they wait to be rescued by Acehnese fishermen on the sea off East Aceh, Indonesia. Many of the thousands of migrants abandoned at sea in Southeast Asia this month are Rohingya Muslims who fled their home country of Myanmar. The Rohingya are a Muslim minority in predominantly Buddhist Myanmar, also known as Burma. Numbering around 1.3 million, they are concentrated in western Rakhine state, which neighbors Bangladesh. (AP Photo/S. Yulinnas, File) Comments Share The Rohingya have been in Myanmar for centuries. Some historians say they are indigenous to Rakhine state, while others say they originally migrated from the west. In 1826, when the country was under British India rule, Muslims from Bengal were encouraged to move to the then-depopulated state of Rakhine –or Arakan — fueling ethnic tensions with local Buddhists that continue to this day. The numbers of Rohingya increased dramatically over the next few decades, further polarizing the two communities.Denied citizenship by national law, the Rohingya are effectively stateless and have limited access to education, adequate health care and the right to freely practice their religion. Their movement is severely restricted. In some cases they cannot travel between villages without paying hefty bribes to police and other authorities. If they want to go to the main city of Yangon — even for emergencies — they can expect to pay up to $4,000.After the country moved from dictatorship to democracy in 2011, newfound freedoms of expression gave voice to Buddhist extremists who spewed hatred against the religious minority and warned Muslims were taking over the country. The attacks that followed left up to 280 people dead. Another 140,000 Rohingya were driven from their homes and are now living under apartheid-like conditions in crowded displacement camps. ___WHAT DO THEY WANT?The Rohingya want the same rights as others in Myanmar, starting with citizenship.Soon after President Thein Sein came to power in 2011, he stated the Rohingya do not exist and advocated for their deportation.The government says they are “Bengali,” a term that implies they are all illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. They are not eligible for citizenship under the country’s military-drafted 1982 law, because they are not on an “official” list of ethnic groups that had permanently settled in Myanmar since at least 1823.The legislation does provide an alternative, “naturalized” citizenship for Rohingya, but only for those willing to identify themselves as “Bengali.” They also have to be able to prove their families have been in the country for at least three generations. That’s difficult for members of the religious minority, who have little in the form of documentation and are frequently uprooted.Even those who gain alternative citizenship would continue to be discriminated against. The status falls short of full citizenship, and would continue to deny Rohingya the right to own land, to run for office, to form or lead political parties and to enter professional fields like law, medicine and engineering. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Many of the thousands of migrants abandoned at sea in Southeast Asia this month are Rohingya Muslims who fled their home country of Myanmar. Here are facts about the history and persecution of the ethnic and religious minority:___WHO ARE THE ROHINGYA?The Rohingya are a Muslim minority in predominantly Buddhist Myanmar, also known as Burma. Numbering around 1.3 million, they are concentrated in western Rakhine state, which neighbors Bangladesh. 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 Search-and-rescue operations have begun, with Malaysia deploying four ships and putting helicopters on standby. The Pentagon says it’s preparing to send maritime aviation patrols throughout the region.Foreign governments, right groups and activists say much more needs to be done, starting with addressing the root cause of the problem: Myanmar’s treatment of the Rohingya.__Sources: Arakan Project, Center for International and Strategic Studies, the United Nations.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Top Stories The Rohingya have little say in their future. They will not be allowed to vote in upcoming general elections. And a controversial “action plan” warns they could face eventual deportation or indefinite internment.___WHY THEY ARE FLEEING?With little left for them in Myanmar, the Rohingya have for decades set their sights abroad, most hoping to reach Muslim-majority Malaysia where they can find under-the-table jobs and security.The number of men, women and children who fled the country skyrocketed after the 2012 violence, with more than 120,000 Rohingya and Bangladeshis boarding boats in the last three years. Many sold everything they had — land, cattle, gold — to get to a third country. They give human traffickers a little money upfront, the rest coming while they are in transit. Urgent calls are made to their families demanding $2,000 or more before they can continue on their way. Until recently, the first stop along the route was neighboring Thailand, where they were held in secret jungle. Those unable to come up with ransoms risked being held for months, sometimes longer, enduring beatings and getting little food, water or medical attention. Many died; in recent weeks authorities have discovered dozens of shallow graves in abandoned camps. Sponsored Stories Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home The tactics of smugglers changed in November following a crackdown by Thai authorities on human trafficking networks. Instead of bringing their “passengers” to land, they held them on large boats that were effectively offshore camps. They shuttled them to the Thai-Malaysian border on smaller, rickety vessels once they were paid off.When the heat turned up — not only traffickers but also politicians and police were getting arrested — brokers and agents got spooked. People were no longer allowed to disembark. Still more boats kept coming until there were up to 8,000 migrants stranded at sea — both Rohingya, fleeing persecution, and Bangladeshis, who fled their country largely for economic reasons.This month, some alarmed traffickers started abandoning their ships, leaving their human cargo at sea without fuel, food and clean water. More than 3,000 people have so far washed to shores in Southeast Asia. The United Nations estimates an equal number are stranded at sea.___WHAT’S NEXT?After weeks of inaction — and in some cases exacerbating the crisis by pushing boat people back to sea — foreign governments have in recent days started to step in. Indonesia and Malaysia have offered to give temporary shelter to thousands of migrants. And the United States and the tiny, African nation of Gambia have offered to resettle some of the Rohingya.
Go back to the e-newsletter Qantas customers travelling in first are set for an even better night’s sleep with a new range of luxurious bedding products created exclusively by Australia’s premium home and lifestyle brand, Sheridan, for the airline’s A380 first class suites.The new bedding range marks the first stage of Qantas’ major A380 fleet cabin upgrade, including refurbished First class suites with new contoured cushioning and a larger, higher resolution entertainment screen.Qantas head of customer product and service, Phil Capps said the bedding ensemble by Sheridan was part of the airline’s continued investment in passenger comfort on long haul flights.“A comfortable bed combined with our focus on inflight nutrition and wellbeing are all part of our strategy to help our customers feel energised when they arrive at their destination,” said Mr Capps.“Sheridan is an expert in comfort and we’re pleased to be working together to provide our customers in First with the ultimate luxury sleep experience.”The Sheridan bedding ensemble has been crafted using natural, luxury materials in neutral and soft earthy tones to match the first class cabin interior.For the first time, customers will able to choose from a pillow menu featuring a selection of three styles to suit different comfort needs. Set on each seat prior to take off, Sheridan’s Ultimate Comfort Pillow is lightweight and soft with superior head and neck support. The Memory Foam Pillow and Feather & Down Pillow are available on request, all designed to help provide a comfortable rest.The ensemble also includes a memory foam mattress which moulds to the body’s contours for total comfort and support while providing the pressure point relief advantages of memory foam, as well as super-soft Sheridan sheeting, a duvet cover made from soft-touch tencel, a 100% combed-cotton woven throw and a soft-touch bolster cushion.Sheridan has also designed a soft baby blanket in pure cotton for infants aged under two years of age travelling on all international services in all cabins. Devoted to safety and comfort, the baby blanket adheres to the highest international safety standards and is approved by Red Nose (SIDs & Kids).Paul Gould, Sheridan’s group general manager, said of the partnership: “Sheridan is celebrating 50 years of beautiful Australian living and we’re proud to partner with Qantas in 2017 to bring our trademark quality, craftsmanship and artistry to their First customers.”“Our talented team of in-house designers have created a bespoke bedding ensemble that matches the unsurpassed luxury of Qantas’ First class offering. We have also created a beautifully soft baby blanket to ensure that even the tiniest of travelers are comfortable during their flight in all cabins. We’re proud to partner with another iconic Australian brand that shares our ongoing commitment to excellence,” Mr Gould added.The Sheridan designed baby blanket will be available in economy, premium economy, business and first on all international services and the new bedding ensemble will be available in first class on A380 services to London, Dubai, Los Angeles and Dallas/Fort Worth progressively from early October 2017.Go back to the e-newsletter
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