Joint training programmes in management and IT must

first_imgKolkata: Consul General of China in Kolkata Zha Liyou stressed the need of conducting joint training programmes in management and IT between Universities of China and West Bengal.”India aces in software production while China is one of the leading hardware technology manufacturers globally. We should work together in the field of Technology for mutual benefit and progress,” Liyou said. While addressing a Special Session on ‘A New Chapter of Sino-India Friendship: Strengthening Economic Ties Through State-Province Exchanges’ organised by Bharat Chamber of Commerce, Liyou highlighted several areas of mutual cooperation between the provinces of China and the State of West Bengal. He appreciated the rich cultural heritage of Bengal, with a special mention of Tagore’s verses and songs. He observed that every aspect of culture and society prevalent in China somehow have traces of their roots in India. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaSpeaking on the possibility of business collaboration between West Bengal and other provinces of China, Liyou spoke about the famous China-South Asia Expo and Kunming Trade Fair where he expects participation from West Bengal. He also stated that his office would facilitate Chinese investors for making investments in the land at Haldia, owned by the Kolkata Port Trust and suitable for tea, rice and sea food. Answering to a question during the programme, Liyou said that large coal mining and infrastructure companies of China are willing to venture in and around Kolkata to extend their operations in India. Sitaram Sharma, President, Bharat Chamber of Commerce emphasised that the prospects of exchanges at the micro level between West Bengal and her sister Provinces in China should be identified.last_img read more

Moroccos House of Representatives Passes Mandatory Military Service

Rabat – The House of Representatives in Parliament passed  Law 44.18 on mandatory military service at a plenary session on Wednesday.The delegate minister in charge of the National Defense Administration, Abdellatif Loudiyi, introduced the bill, which aims to “promote the spirit of sacrifice and self denial,” according to Maghreb Arab Press (MAP).The official welcomed the support of the members of the House’s Committee on Justice, Legislation, and Human Rights while it was reviewing the draft law. Loudiyi said that the amendments the commission presented enriched the law and ensured a consensus on the draft.Loudyi, however, did not give further details about the amendments. On Monday, the justice and legislation committee examined the draft bill on compulsory military service.One amendment the committee proposed would make military service obligatory before getting a job in the public service.The amendments, introduced by the coalition and opposition parliamentary groups within the committee, propose that citizens wanting to get public service jobs must have a document certifying that they completed 12 months of military service, reported Moroccan newspaper Akhbar Al Yaoum.However, the House of Representatives rejected the amendment. Conscripts have the right to apply for a public service job before completing the 12-month military service.Read Also: Parliament Considers Requiring Military Service for Public Service JobsBill was drafted ‘constitutionally’The reintroduction of mandatory military service, according to Loudiyi, comes under the King’s instructions and is in line with the provisions of Article 38 of the Constitution, which states that all citizens should contribute to the defense of the homeland and its territorial integrity.The official added that the bill was drafted in accordance with constitutional principles, in the context of a correlation between the rights and duties of citizenship.According to Loudyi, the government will launch an information and communication campaign to explain the bill’s objectives.Both men and women aged 19 to 25 would be subject to a 12-month military service if Parliament passes the bill. However, people over the age of 25 who were eligible for an exemption can still be called up until the age of 40 if the reason for their exemption is no longer relevant.The bill grants exemptions for illness and married individuals. Men who are supporting their families financially will also be exempted.Moroccans expressed concerns that the bill would not be equally applied when the government announced its intention to introduce the military service again in August. Some Moroccans said that all young people, including those of wealthy families, should be subject to the law.In November, Loudiyi reportedly said that compulsory military service would cost Morocco MAD 500 million.Loudiyi said that 10,000 young people are expected to begin service in the military each year beginning in September 2019. read more

UN appeals for funds to feed hungry Kenyans

10 February 2009The United Nations headquarters in Kenya has kicked off a drive to collect funds to help millions of people starving in the East African nation. “Hunger is not an option,” said Anna Tibaijuka, Executive Director of the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) and head of the UN Office in Nairobi (UNON), at the campaign’s launch.“But at the moment for 10 million people it is a reality,” she added. “There is food in this country but the real problem is access.”According to Abdi Noor of the Kenya Red Cross, food shortages have been exacerbated by a combination of failed rains and violence following the contested December 2007 presidential elections.

Milosevic war crimes trial to start Tuesday at UN tribunal in The

The trial will start with the Prosecutor presenting evidence relevant only to the charges relating to Kosovo, the ICTY said, while the case against the former Yugoslav President for crimes in Croatia and in Bosnia will be introduced later. Earlier this month, the Tribunal’s Appeals Chamber granted a Prosecution motion to merge all three indictments against Mr. Milosevic, who faces charges of genocide and other crimes against humanity, into a single case. The move reversed a previous ruling by the trial court, which ordered two separate proceedings to try Mr. Milosevic, one for Kosovo and another combining the Croatia and Bosnia charges.

Pakistan UN begins food distribution for 400000 quake survivors

“We are doing all we can to get this food where it is needed most as fast as possible,” UN World Food Programme (WFP) country representative German Valdivia said of the emergency supplies to tide the survivors over until the establishment of a proper supply line within two days.As the weather improves after heavy rains and mudslides, the UN relief effort is gaining more access. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has brought in relief and shelter items for up to 100,000 people, the UN World Health Organization (WHO) has already deployed 11 surgical teams and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is delivering blankets and other items.The access situation “is improving on an hourly basis,” Hansjoerg Strohmeyer, Chief of Staff to UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Jan Egeland, told a news briefing in New York. Trucks are going into the area on roads that have now been cleared. Mr. Egeland himself is due in Pakistan tomorrow.When the trucks with 39 tons of high energy biscuits arrived in Abbottabad, 50 kilometres southwest of the quake’s epicentre, WFP immediately began distribution with the help of International Rescue Committee, a non-profit, non-sectarian voluntary agency.The four-truck convoy had left the capital, Islamabad, at dawn. A second convoy, carrying a further 40 tons, was leaving later today for Muzaffarabad, the city hardest hit by the quake, which killed tens of thousands of people, injured scores of thousands more, and left 1 million others in acute need of life-saving assistance, 2.5 million homeless and 4 million affected.”The situation is increasingly desperate. Many areas have no safe water or electricity and food supplies are extremely limited, especially as most people have no means to cook. They are living out in the open in the mountains – and it is extremely cold,” Mr. Valdivia said. “We will be providing 1 million people with ready-to-eat food over the next month,” he added.The first two of 10 helicopters to assist the relief operation are due to arrive today, enabling rescue and aid workers to reach the most remote areas which have been cut off by landslides. Relief efforts are being further hampered by heavy rain, bringing the danger of more damage to roads and bridges.WFP will be setting up five UN base camps in the hardest hit locations to co-ordinate the relief operation, with inter-agency telecommunications and logistical support. The agency has also flown in emergency response teams to Pakistan from around the world to help with the operation.The high energy biscuits were flown by WFP to Pakistan yesterday from its humanitarian depot in Brindisi, Italy. A second planeload is due to leave Brindisi on Friday. In the meantime 40 tons of dates, donated by Qatar, are being transported from Quetta, in the west of Pakistan. read more

Despite lower aluminum prices Alcoa posts 24 million profit in 3Q beats

Despite lower aluminum prices, Alcoa posts $24 million profit in 3Q, beats expectations by David Koenig, The Associated Press Posted Oct 8, 2013 5:13 pm MDT DALLAS – Alcoa swung to a third-quarter profit driven by demand from auto makers and cost-cutting in the face of lower aluminum prices.The results beat expectations, and the company’s stock climbed in after-hours trading.With the world awash in aluminum, Alcoa has been idling plants to cut smelting capacity by 16 per cent. That helped it cut its production costs by 9 per cent, more than enough to offset a 7 per cent drop in the cash price of the metal on the London market.Alcoa Inc. said Tuesday that it earned $24 million, or 2 cents per share, in the July-September quarter, compared with a year-ago loss of $143 million, or 13 cents per share.The company said that excluding $96 million in restructuring and other one-time costs and gains, it would have earned 11 cents per share. Analysts forecast profit of 5 cents per share, according to FactSet.Alcoa credited higher productivity and strong results in its engineered-products and rolled-aluminum units, which now account for more than half its revenue. The company sells rolled aluminum sheets to car makers, a business that it expects will grow rapidly as manufacturers boost fuel mileage by producing lighter vehicles. Alcoa is expanding a rolling mill in Tennessee that serves the auto market.The company said that the commodity end of its business — mining and smelting — performed better in a tough market.Overall revenue fell 1 per cent to $5.77 billion, but still beat the $5.64 billion prediction of analysts.Alcoa has been reducing costs in mining and other functions, and Chairman and CEO Klaus Kleinfeld said the third-quarter results showed that the “repositioning” is “on the right path.”“The one (part of the business) that needs restructuring — and we’ve always said that — is the smelting segment, and that’s why you see 16 per cent of the smelting capacity curtailed, but it’s a smaller part of our business,” Kleinfeld said on a conference call with analysts.Alcoa used to be considered the leadoff company for earnings season because it was the first member of the Dow Jones industrial average to report results each quarter. But last month the Dow index operators dropped Alcoa, due partly to its sagging stock price.Still, investors are likely to keep watching Alcoa for hints about demand for aluminum, a key material in airplanes, automobiles and many consumer products.The company stood by its forecast of 7 per cent increase in worldwide aluminum demand this year.Alcoa predicted that operating income in the engineered-products and rolled-aluminum units would fall from the third quarter into the fourth, which Citi analyst Brian Yu called disappointing. The company blamed short-term high inventories of some products used by manufacturers such as jet makers.Last week, Deutsche Bank downgraded its rating on Alcoa’s stock to “Sell” from “Neutral” and suggested that the shares could lose nearly one-third of their value over the next year. The bank’s analyst cited a deteriorating outlook for Alcoa’s aluminum business.Alcoa shares fell 3 cents to $7.94 before the results were released, leaving them down 8.5 per cent for the year. They gained 14 cents, or 1.8 per cent, to $8.08 after the release of the earnings report. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

On World Day UNESCO chief hails universal art of poetry and those

“Through its words and its rhythm, poetry gives shape to our dreams of peace, justice and dignity, and gives us the strength and desire to mobilize to make them real,” Director-General Irina Bokova said in her message for the Day.“All peoples throughout history have developed and practiced forms of poetry, so as to pass on orally their knowledge, history and myths – the Vedas and Ramayana in India, the Hebrew Bible, the Iliad and the Odyssey in Greece and many other philosophical and religious texts – to express feelings, to talk about daily life, to withstand trials or to entertain,” she stated.“Today, contemporary forms of poetry, from graffiti to slam, enable young people to become engaged in the practice and renew it by opening the door to a new space for creation. The forms evolve, but the poetic impulse remains intact.” UNESCO proclaimed 21 March as World Poetry Day in 1999, with the aim of supporting linguistic diversity through poetic expression and offering endangered languages the opportunity to be heard within their communities.The Day is also meant to support poetry, return to the oral tradition of poetry recitals, promote its teaching, restore a dialogue with other arts such as theatre, dance, music and painting, support small publishers and create an attractive image of poetry in the media so that the art will no longer be considered an outdated form.Ms. Bokova noted that Shakespeare described poetry as the music that each man carries inside himself and, centuries later, the jazz musician Herbie Hancock, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador and 2014 Charles Eliot Norton Professor of Poetry at Harvard University, has recalled the affinities between poetry, literature and music in his lecture on “the wisdom of Miles Davis”.“As a deep expression of the human mind and as a universal art, poetry is a tool for dialogue and rapprochement,” she added. “The dissemination of poetry helps to promote dialogue among cultures and understanding between peoples because it gives access to the authentic expression of a language.” read more

Fridays Daily Brief Education key for Rohingya DR Congo violence continues Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe’s authorities should heed their people’s grievances and “stop cracking down” on protesters, the UN human rights office, OHCHR, said on Friday, as planned protests in the capital were called off at the last minute.The UN appeal follows a High Court decision to uphold a Government ban on the demonstration in Harare, spokesperson Rupert Colville told journalists in Geneva.He added that crowds which had already gathered ahead of the ruling were dispersed by police, reportedly with force.“With opposition demonstrations still likely to take place in Zimbabwe in the near future, we urge the Government to find ways to continuously engage with the population about their legitimate grievances on the economic situation, and to stop cracking down on peaceful protestors.”Mr. Colville said that there was deep concern at Zimbabwe’s continuing socio-economic crisis, which has led to soaring prices for fuel, food, transport and health services, before calling for strong social protection measures for the most vulnerable. According to the World Food Programme, (WFP) the country is experiencing its worst-ever hunger emergency.More than a third of the rural population – some 3.6 million people – will be food insecure by October, the agency said on Friday.‘Quash’ convictions and release women jailed for protesting against wearing veils in Iran, urge UN rights experts The UN environment agency and human rights office (OHCHR) signed a landmark new agreement on Friday aimed at better protecting vulnerable human and environmental rights defenders and their families, while increasing protection for people and the places where they live, across the world. The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) will strengthen cooperation with OHCHR, as threats to individuals and communities defending their environmental and land rights intensify. Reports suggest that an average of more than three rights defenders were killed every week last year. Read more here.Listen to or download our audio News in Brief for 16 August on SoundCloud: Two years after exodus, Myanmar’s ‘desperate’ Rohingya youth need education, skills: UNICEF Two months since hundreds of thousands of people fled violence in north-eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), UN humanitarians warned on Friday that armed militia continue to make their safe return impossible. Briefing journalists in Geneva, UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) Spokesperson Babar Baloch, said that staff had heard numerous testimonies from people whose family members had been killed in Ituri province. Severe underfunding for aid work and insecurity involving the Hema and Lendu groups have meant that increasing numbers are vulnerable and unable even to go home to pick up essentials, he added. Read more here.UN human rights office appeals to Zimbabwe to engage with protesters and ‘stop cracking down’ Decades-long prison sentences handed down to three women protesting the strictly enforced wearing of veils in Iran, have drawn alarm and condemnation from six United Nations independent human rights experts.“We are alarmed that the arrest and lengthy sentences handed to these women are directly related to the peaceful exercise of their rights to freedom of expression and assembly in the pursuit of gender equality in Iran,” the experts said in a joint statement on Friday.The full story is here.Environmental protection moves ‘closer to the people’ through new human rights agreement The daily struggle to survive for Myanmar’s Rohingya people in one of the world’s largest refugee settlements, has caused “overwhelming” despair and jeopardized the hopes of an entire generation, the head of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Henrietta Fore, said on Friday.In a report marking two years since the arrival of around 745,000 Rohingya civilians in Bangladesh – after fleeing State-led persecution and violence in Myanmar – Executive Director Fore appealed for urgent investment in education and skills training.Here’s our full coverage.Displaced by DRC violence, survivors’ testimonies highlight brutality of armed militia read more

Jim Irsay Colts Owner Arrested On DUI Drug Charges

Jim Irsay, the enigmatic owner of the Indianapolis Colts, followed the wayward path of many NFL players: He failed a sobriety test, was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol and possession of multiple prescription drugs.Irsay faces discipline from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell—who, in essence, works for Irsay—was released from jail Monday after being held overnight.Irsay was pulled over late Sunday after he was spotted driving slowly near his home in suburban Carmel, stopping in the roadway and failing to use a turn signal. Police say the 54-year-old Irsay failed several roadside field sobriety tests before he was arrested, though details were not released.Carmel police said the drugs found in Irsay’s vehicle weren’t associated with any of the prescription bottles found inside.Irsay faces a preliminary misdemeanor charge of driving while intoxicated and four felony counts of possession of a controlled substance, Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Bryant Orem said. A hearing is scheduled for March 26.If convicted on the felony charges, Irsay could face six months to three years in prison on each count. So-called Schedule IV drugs such as those with which Irsay was allegedly caught include Xanax, Darvocet and Ambien, with a low risk for abuse or dependency, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency.Irsay was released from the Hamilton County Jail after posting $22,500 bond.An NFL spokesman says he is subject to discipline. Myra Borshoff Cook, a spokeswoman for Irsay, declined to comment, and Colts spokesman Avis Roper said the team was still gathering details.”The team will issue additional statements when the facts are sorted and we are aware of the next steps to this process,” Roper said. ”Many fans have reached out to express their concern and we appreciate their support.”The case has some similarities to that of Detroit Lions president Tom Lewand, who was suspended for 30 days and fined $100,000 in 2010 for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy following his guilty plea to driving while impaired.Irsay is a popular and colorful figure in Indianapolis, frequently interacting with fans on Twitter about everything from the fortunes of the Colts to his favorite music of the day. He was a key supporter in the drive to bring the Super Bowl to Indianapolis two years ago, and he helped build the Colts into an AFC powerhouse over the past decade behind quarterback Peyton Manning, now with Denver.When the Colts were forced into rebuilding mode, Irsay painfully parted with Manning and other veterans, but put together another winning team behind young quarterback Andrew Luck and others. read more

Liam Payne breaks silence over romance with Cheryl to admit she was

first_imgHe famously first encountered his future girlfriend when he auditioned for the The X Factor as a fresh-faced 14-year-old.Nine years later, Liam Payne is dating former Girls Aloud singer Cheryl and they are expecting a baby together.Now the One Direction star has broken his silence over his relationship with Cheryl to confirm what many suspected: she was his teenage crush when they first met in 2008. But he had much better things to say about pop star Justin Bieber, who has often fallen foul of the media over his handling of fame. Payne added: “She is a wonderful, wonderful person and it’s amazing to have someone who can relate to so much of things – someone who’s taken greater steps than me.”Her solo career was amazing. She’s been in the industry for 14 years now. She fully supports me.”We’re super happy.  It’s a very personal, precious time for us. I’m still learning. I’m only 23.”Last month, Cheryl showed off a prominent baby bump at a Prince’s Trust event. Payne also shared that he and his bandmates once angered US President Donald Trump before he came to power because they refused to get out of bed for his daughter.He said: “Donald Trump actually kicked us out of his hotel once. You wouldn’t believe it. It was about [meeting] his daughter.”He phoned up our manager and we were asleep. He said, ‘Well, wake them up’ and I was like ‘No’ and then he wouldn’t let us use the underground garage.”Obviously in New York we can’t really go outside. New York is ruthless for us. So he was like, ‘OK, then I don’t want you in my hotel.’ So we had to leave.” “I like you, I think you’re really cute,” Cheryl told the aspiring young singer afterwards. “I think you’ve got charisma: I saw you giving us that cheeky little wink.”Payne did not make it to the live shows that year, but returned to try once more in 2010 – and the rest, for One Direction fans, is history. I like you, I think you’re really cute. I think you’ve got charismawhat Cheryl told Liam Payne in 2008 Speaking for the first time about their romance, Payne, now 23, said that Cheryl was his “dream girl” when he was younger.”In a non-cliche way, it’s weird waking up every day and literally living out your dream,” Payne told Rollacoaster magazine. “This is the thing. You wake up in the most beautiful places.”Obviously I have the most beautiful girlfriend in the world and she’s absolutely amazing. She’s been my dream girl since I was younger. She’s so ace.”He first met 33-year-old Cheryl when he auditioned in front of her for The X Factor when she was 24 and married at the time to footballer Ashley Cole.Payne serenaded her and the other judges with his rendition of Frank Sinatra’s Fly Me To The Moon – winking at his future girlfriend halfway through. Payne and Cheryl first began dating last year following her separation from her former husband Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini.The couple are now dating and expecting a baby together, although neither of them has spoken about their romance before. Cheryl  changed her birth surname Tweedy to Cole when she married Ashley Cole in 2006 and then became Cheryl Fernandez-Versini following her marriage to Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini in 2014.The pair were granted a decree nisi in October in their divorce proceedings. She now goes by the mononym Cheryl. Cheryl shows off her baby bump at Prince’s Trust eventCredit:L’Oreal Payne said: “He’s a great guy – inside there’s a really good heart. I said, ‘Look, the difference between me and you is I had four different boys going through the same thing to look to.’ He didn’t have that.”I said to him, ‘Take my number and any time you want a chat, let me know as I’m here and I understand exactly what you’re going through and I understand your world.’ He needs somebody like that and in that position.” Cheryl and Liam Payne Cheryl Cheryl and Liam Payne pictured in London last NovemberCredit:Beretta/Sims/REX/Shutterstock 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.last_img read more

More than 2400 penalties for jobseekers who refuse work or education

first_imgUpdated 22:16SO FAR THIS year, the Department of Social Protection has imposed 2,403 penalty rates on jobseekers who have failed to engage with offers of employment or education.The figure highlights a significant crackdown by local authorities on social welfare claimants.According to Minister Joan Burton, the corresponding number of sanctions for the whole of last year was just 1,455.Strengthened sanctions were introduced in July 2013 to provide for a disqualification from jobseekers’ payments for up to nine weeks if the beneficiary continues to fail to engage even after 21 days of penalty rates.Responding to a parliamentary question, Burton said a claimant may be disallowed if there is a failure to “meet the conditions of the scheme, including the requirement to be available for and genuinely seeking full-time work”.“A range of sanctions in the form of payment rate reductions can also be applied to clients who fail, without good cause, to co-operate with the Department’s activation measures, including offers of education or training,” she continued.Reduced rates, which were introduced in April 2011 allow for a penalty of up to €44 per week to be applied to an individual’s payment where they refuse to take up a suitable education, training or development opportunity, which is considered appropriate to the person’s circumstances.First published at 14:29.Read: Budget deficit for 2012 still inside Troika target despite revisionsMore: Graduates face tough recruitment process for jobs in Gilmore’s departmentRelated: “Employers have to become part of the solution”- Joan Burtonlast_img read more

Column New Years resolutions are dreams – and anyone can achieve their

first_imgTHIS TIME LAST year I had huge plans for 2013. I was going to be the fittest I had ever been. I had just returned from Uganda with Concern, where I had climbed a volcano and cycled hundreds of kilometres across rough country to kayak a white-water rapid on the Nile. I was invincible and I was going to build on my fitness and be as good as I could be.Counting down the seconds on New Year’s Eve – I watched fire-works exploding somewhere over the Liffey. I turned my head to look through the taxi window to get a better view as we sped along the road towards Connolly Hospital. The driver looked back with concern as I groaned; clutching my side and trying to breathe through the pain of the kidney stone would soon have me under the knife and on the flat of my back for the next three weeks. So much for taking on the world.The New Year did not start the way I had expected. I ended up in hospital twice with gut-related issues, which were probably related to the previous decade when I was morbidly obese and carrying 23 stone. I have no doubt that losing 13 stone in 2010 has extended my lifespan dramatically, but the doctors tell me that my body still has some adjusting to do. That’s ok, I can adjust.Remember what you have achievedSo what about 2014 and what about resolutions for the year ahead? I certainly have more weight to lose and more fitness to achieve. I also have professional challenges as I go out on my own after a quarter of a century with 98FM radio. Two years shy of 50; I’m taking the plunge and setting up my own business as a Broadcast and Media Trainer and Motivational Coach.I’m also looking forward to some brand new adventures, encouraging others to travel with me to the world’s most amazing places. I’ll be working with Travel Department as a motivational guide on their walking holidays in Spain next October. I will also have a massive adventure during the summer when I join Irish adventurer Pat Falvey on an expedition to climb Mount Elbrus in Russia. It’s one of the world’s Seven Summits – the highest mountains of each of the seven continents. We may also be joined by Pemba Gyalje Sherpa from ‘The Summit’ the film and book about K2’s deadliest day.But back to resolutions – do they motivate and encourage us? Or set us up for failure and regret? I was feeling a bit gun-shy about making resolutions after the dramatic way my plans backfired last year. Then a friend of mine sent me a message on Facebook.“Well, 2013 really was your year!! Fill the details and see how much you’ve achieved. Climbed Spinc Mountain x no of times, climbed carringthingy x no of times. Cycled tandem from LauraLynn to Leixlip with the lovely Kipper Maguire. Kayaked the Liffey Descent, raising €10,000 for LauraLynn. Walked 1k Santa Saunter and did the RNLI warm up for a thousand runners. Ran WAR in Wicklow and the Killarney Adventure Race. Swam in the sea without a wetsuit x no of times. Signed up to climb Mt Elbrus in 2014. Mountain biked x no of times. Set up new business. Gave x no of motivational talks. Presented the Get Off The Couch TV programme. Reconnected with an old lost school pal, went skiing in the Alps on a ‘blind’ date. Got John Compton to sit on your knee…”Now with friends like that, it’s no wonder a girl feels good looking forward to the future. Reading her list, I giggled with memories of achievements made and new friendships formed and the pure fun and energy of being alive. Waking up in the morning is such a priceless gift – that spark of living, of being alive, that energy that makes all things possible. How wonderfully privileged we are; how incredibly powerful we can be. Nothing is impossible when you enjoy the gift of being alive.My friend’s timely list dropped at just the right moment when I was feeling a little sad perhaps, and feeling that I’d let myself down on last year’s resolution to be the fittest I ever was. I may have failed to deliver on that, but look at all the fun I had trying.Balancing dreams and realistic expectationsI suppose it’s the balance between having a dream and having realistic expectations. The book I wrote after losing all that weight and making it to Base Camp Mount Everest is called “One Foot In Front Of The Other”. It explains how I got there in my mind, and how my body followed.Thinking of going to Everest as a lady weighing 23 stone probably wasn’t a realistic expectation, but it was a dream. Losing weight was possible, walking to the gym was possible, walking a hill in Wicklow was possible and climbing Carrauntoohil was eventually possible. After a while, the dream became less of a dream and more of a realistic expectation, and then the dream became a reality. I think it’s about dreaming big, having a plan, and taking small steps all the way to the top. I think we all have our own mountain to climb and I truly believe every one of us has what we need inside us to succeed on our journey.So what am I promising for 2014? Yes, it’s a promise I’m making to the universe and to me. Not a resolution, but a present, a promise, a gift. I will love my life, I will hug my family and my friends, and I will be the best that I can be.I wish a happy Christmas to you and yours, and a very happy and healthy New Year.Teena Gates Broadcast and Media Trainer and Motivational coach offers targeted training in journalism, broadcasting, presentation skills, public speaking and social mediaWebsite: www.teenagates.comTwitter:  @TeenaGatesFacebook: read more

EXIF data shows Nexus 4 in pics

first_imgOne of the slightly hidden features of Google+ is the ability to read EXIF data on an image that was uploaded to the service. Every photo has a “details” option, which reveals lots of information about it including the time it was shot, the camera settings, and the name of the device that took the image. Previously, it was found that photos taken with the highly anticipated LG Nexus handset have shown the codename “Mako” being used. Now two different photos from two different users were published and then removed from Google+ within hours, both containing the name “Nexus 4” instead of Mako.One photo was by a Google employee and the other was shot at an LG Learning Center, both by a the device named the Nexus 4. A likely reason for this change would be testing for the production builds of Android for these devices. The photos themselves don’t demonstrate anything special, though the pictures are both sharp and clear. The naming of the device lends some additional credence to the report that the Nexus 4 will be announced on October 29th, just after the iPad Mini and Windows 8.While it is certainly possible that the Nexus 4 name was falsified , it’s unlikely given the sources. Android does make it fairly easy to enter whatever you want as the device name and EXIF data is simple to edit, but considering how quickly the photos were pulled from both sources it seems like the smartphone truly will be called the Nexus 4. The Nexus devices haven’t followed any kind of logical numbering scheme, in fact this will be the first numbered Nexus phone since the Nexus One.Google Plus and Google Plus, via The Vergelast_img read more

More details surface for Marsbased reality show

first_imgIf you want to undergo eight years of daunting physical and psychological training, only to then be shipped off on a spaceship never to return to Earth, all while being a part of the most ambitious reality show ever conceived, you just need to be 18-years-old and have a “deep sense of purpose.” Those are the basic requirements to be considered as part of the surreal Mars One project.Announced last year, Mars One aims to send people to the Red Planet in the year 2023, for the enjoyment of us Earthlings. The project actually has real funding as well as real NASA astronaut consultants — it is not just a crazy pipe dream (at least not entirely). Now, the group behind the project is detailing the kind of people it wants to send to Mars.According to a recently issued press release, applicants need to have the aforementioned “sense of purpose” as well as a willingness to build and maintain strong relationships with others and the capacity for self-reflection. Candidates also need to be resilient, adaptable, curious, and resourceful. It literally sounds like the kind of thing you would see at a casting call for Survivor.And so the spirit of this project as a glorified reality show begins. Things are about to get real in just a few months, as the selection process will begin later this year. It will be very transparent, as users from across the globe will be able to chime in and choose who they thin should be among the lucky four people who will be trained for a space mission like no other.The rest of the timetable is still the same as it was when Mars One was first announced — by 2016, special cargo shuttles will be sent to Mars to begin laying the groundwork for when the first batch of humans arrive in the early 2020s.More information can be found on the official Mars One website, via The Vergelast_img read more

Its sad that its gone but wonderful that it existed After 80

first_img‘It’s sad that it’s gone, but wonderful that it existed’: After 80 years, greengrocer Roy Fox shuts its stalls The local shop, which brought exotic fruits and spices to Dublin, couldn’t compete in the global marketplace. Recession effect Source: Shutterstock/Syda ProductionsThen the recession hit. Joanne says that this, coupled with a clamp down on the English schools meant that a lot of their customers went back to their country of origin or moved in an attempt to find work. She said people’s shopping habits changed.“The customers we got in after the 10 o’clock mass had become non-existent. Those ladies had either passed away or become too old to come out. Their houses were sold and replaced with younger, busier people.”In 2008, Joanne’s father Des died and she took over the running of the shop. The business wasn’t in great shape – but it was steady.Global marketplace“By 2014, when we were being told we were coming out of the recession, I started noticing a steady decline in business. Mornings became quieter and quieter, and Saturdays changed completely.”One of the more difficult parts of adjusting to the global economy is dealing with cheaper produce and greater competition. This is particularly tricky for small grocers that are selling produce that often doesn’t keep for long. Sunday 22 Jan 2017, 9:32 PM Roy Fox first opened a shop in 1933. 52,175 Views Short URL 32 Comments Jan 22nd 2017, 9:32 PM By Gráinne Ní Aodha We were suddenly surrounded by supermarkets having price wars that we couldn’t compete with, and quite frankly I wouldn’t have wanted to with the knock on effect their prices have on suppliers. It was a really good time in the shop. Our new customer base and a new interest in food in general meant we could sell produce that wouldn’t have sold before. Roy Fox first opened a shop in 1933. I left school in 1987 and went to work full time in the shop with my Dad and Granny. We had a lot of cooks, housekeepers and ambassadors’ wives from the embassies and a lot of local people, especially local women.“The shop would be full of older ladies just chatting and having a joke after the 10 o’clock mass. There was absolutely no way you’d be given any time off in the mornings – it was just too busy.“Students from the country or abroad loved the family atmosphere. especially my granny who could make them feel like she was their granny for while they were there. She was in her 90s when she retired.”A different way of living Source: Google MapsThe Roy Fox shop wasn’t just a fruit and veg shop – it also stocked a small amount of dried fruit, beans and pulses, and olive oil.On Saturday mornings there were queues out the door, with families and couples shopping and more for chats at what was the village’s unofficial meeting place.In the late 1990s and early 2000s, their customer base grew to include a lot of new faces; especially from China, the Philippines, Poland and Russia – Joanne said it was striking how much fruit and veg they ate.“For example, a Chinese customer would buy some cherries, then within the half hour mopeds and cars full of young Chinese would come and buy boxes and boxes of cherries, or watermelons, or lychees (a Chinese fruit). They told us later that had phoned their friends straight away to tell them about the shop. Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Source: Shutterstock/buruhtanHabits continued to change. When they opened their shop on Sundays in the 1990s it was unusual: now it had become the norm and sudden Sunday was just another shopping day.At the same time, Joanne noticed that people had started spending more time in work. more time in traffic and were rushing to try to get more and more things done in one go: benefiting supermarkets, and putting more pressure on the business.Last day of tradingJoanne says that she sometimes felt the shop’s long legacy actually went against them. They had assumed it would always be there: instead it became more and more of an ornament.“Right up until the day it closed, the shop had a brilliant customer base.“I have been lucky enough to see some of the kids that came into the shop on Saturdays to do their weekly shopping with their parents, grow up and in turn bring their kids shopping. Without all of them I couldn’t have stayed open as long as I did.”After a year of contemplating what to do, Joanne finally made the decision to put the store up for sale. Selling the shop was not something I did lightly. In a way, I didn’t make the decision to sell the shop – instead it was made for me financially.“The last day of trading was on Saturday 10 December 2016. It was an incredibly emotional day, but also very heartwarming. It was very obvious the impact the shop had had on people’s lives over the years.“It’s sad that it’s gone, but wonderful that it existed for so long. I got to be part of so many people’s lives and that’s quite special.”Read: ‘The whole street is dying’ – Moore Street traders feel they’re being wiped outRead: They had a ‘mighty time’ in 2011 – but what’s life like now in Obama’s ancestral village? GREENGROCERS ROY FOX closed its doors in December after over 80 years of trading in Donnybrook, Co Dublin.The business, passed down from friends and through three generations of a family, had once been at the forefront of commerce – importing the most exotic fruits, herbs and spices and bringing them to Dublin tables.Now it’s had to close its doors because prices had fallen too far, and the global market place was too big for the small stalls in a red-bricked Dublin alleyway.Joanne Donnelly represents the third, and now the last generation of family members to have run the local shop. She remembers how her grandparents came together in the early 1940s, and the unique produce the shop offered.Then strangers, Joanne’s grandmother Sheila and grandfather Frank met a bread delivery man who tipped them off that a job might be going in Donnybrook. They went for the job, and the owner Roy Fox gave them both a job that day.When Roy Fox died at a young age, his girlfriend offered Sheila and Frank the chance to take over the business, which they did. They were partners in business, and after a while they started to date, eventually getting married.“Shortly after Frank died in 1948, my dad Des bought the business from my grandmother,” Joanne told “He turned it into a greengrocers and would go over to the fruit market in Covent Garden London and bring back a container because so little produce was available in Ireland.”Embassies, cooks, and families Roy Fox, Donnybrook. Share959 Tweet Email2 last_img read more

27136 for Fronditha Care

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Fronditha Care received a $27,136 donation from the Family Fun Day fundraising event on 1 March, which was organised by the Nafpaktian Philanthropic Association in collaboration with George Kyritsis and the Fronditha Care ladies auxiliaries. All participants had the chance to enjoy a family day filled with food and fun accompanied by Greek music. The adults attendees had the chance to sing and dance to live Greek tunes and the little guests enjoyed multiple pony rides, jumping castles and face-painting sessions. Last but not least, Master Chef’s George Calombaris was there to hold and judge an exciting cooking contest.last_img

Charge Your Electronics By Plugging Pikachus Butt

first_img There are a ton of licensed Pokemon items out there, and if you’re a fan you’ve probably got one or two of them lurking around your household. Have you ever seen a Pokemon portable USB phone charger, though? And if you have, have you ever seen one shaped like Pikachu where the plug goes is in its butt?That’s right, there’s a knockoff product from Chinese online retailer DH Gate called the “Pokémon Pikachu Portable USB phone charger with 1m USB charge cable.” That’s a mouthful but stay with me. It’s a plug that comes with a USB cord, but it’s shaped entirely like Pikachu! Weirdly enough, Pikachu’s ears slip off to reveal the prongs where you need to plug the item into the wall. You plug the USB adapter straight into Pikachu’s butt after that. As a result, it looks like you’ve shoved little Pikachu into a wall socket and left him to “charge” somehow as if he weren’t an electric mouse.View as: One Page Slides1/51. 2. 3. 4. 5. Obviously, it looks a little less off if you don’t have Pikachu plugged into the wall because it doesn’t seem like you’re abusing your little Pokemon by condemning him to time out at an electrical socket. How mean that would make you.If this looks like the kind of thing you want to have chilling in your wall socket or your power strip, you can pick one up from DH Gate for about $25.72. However, it looks like you might not be able to use this particular adapter in the United States, just looking at the prongs, as they probably wouldn’t match our wall sockets here. It’s still a cute little figure to have around if you want to show people how you can plug up a cord into Pikachu’s butt. That still makes for a funny visual effect. Finally, Ash Ketchum Is A Pokemon MasterMint-Condition Set of Pokemon Cards Sold For $107K Stay on targetlast_img read more

Rail safety focus of hearing in Senate

first_imgWASHINGTON — Emergency response officials told a Senate subcommittee Wednesday that big cities and small towns alike are unprepared for a disaster on the scale of an oil train derailment and fire last year in Quebec that destroyed part of a town and killed 47 people.The hearing was only the second on Capitol Hill in recent weeks that sought the perspective of local officials. The federal government has regulatory authority over rail shipments, but the burden of emergency response ultimately falls on local agencies.The specter of a large-scale crude oil fire and spill has hung over communities across the country since July’s crash in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, where firefighters were simply outmatched by the scale and ferocity of the blaze.“We can handle everyday emergencies,” said Timothy Pellerin, the fire chief of Rangeley, Maine, whose department assisted in the Quebec derailment. “We’re not prepared for a major disaster like this.”Urban fire departments may have more resources and personnel, but the scale of the threat is a challenge for them too.Barb Graff, director of the Seattle Office of Emergency Management, said three loaded crude oil trains a week pass through the city but that the frequency could increase to three per day when refineries are able to receive them.last_img read more

Lawmakers introduce bill to abolish death penalty

first_imgOLYMPIA — Lawmakers in the House have introduced a measure to abolish the death penalty, an effort that has failed in Washington state in previous years but which supporters hope will gain traction following Gov. Jay Inslee’s decision last year to impose a moratorium on capital punishment.The bipartisan bill, introduced Monday by Democratic Rep. Reuven Carlyle of Seattle, would replace the death penalty with a life sentence with no opportunity for parole. House Bill 1739 would also require those convicted to pay restitution to victims and their families.The death penalty is currently authorized by the federal government and 32 states, including Washington and Oregon. However, the governors in both Oregon and Washington have said no one would be executed during their time in office. Eighteen states have abolished the death penalty, with Maryland being the most recent last year.last_img read more

Kerry farewell tour starts in Vietnam

first_imgUS Secretary of State John Kerry (C-L) and Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc depart after their meeting at the Office of the Government, in Hanoi on 13 January, 2017. AFPUS Secretary of State John Kerry began his farewell tour in Vietnam Friday, giving a final push for Washington’s so-called Asia pivot before president-elect Donald Trump takes office next week.Vietnam has been at the centre of outgoing president Barack Obama’s Asia embrace, marked by the lifting of a wartime-era arms embargo, major growth in trade and the signing of the massive Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact.Trump, whose tirades against the costs of globalisation to American workers helped propel him to office, has vowed to scrap the TPP on his first day in charge.But analysts say ties are unlikely to crumble despite uncertainty over the incoming leader’s Asia strategy.Kerry’s visit to Vietnam, his fourth trip to the communist country as America’s top diplomat, is both political and deeply personal.The former naval officer won a Silver Star for his service during the Vietnam War after beaching his patrol boat and storming ashore to shoot dead a Viet Cong ambusher in Ca Mau province in 1969.Kerry later came to see the war as a mistake and after his return from combat campaigned for peace.“I’m delighted to be back in Vietnam where we are developing still a growing relationship,” Kerry said during a Friday meeting with acting foreign minister Bui Thanh Son and prime minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.“There have been a lot of steps forward but there are still some challenges as you know,” he said, after a reporter asked him about Vietnam’s patchy human rights record.The communist country routinely jails dissidents and government critics.After official meetings in Hanoi, Kerry flies to Ho Chi Minh City later Friday.On Saturday he heads to the Bay Hap river in Ca Mau on Saturday to revisit the site of his 1969 ambush.Trade alliance -The relationship between the two countries has transformed since the painful and bloody war era.The United States is Vietnam’s top export market and trade between the pair has tripled in recent years, along with a major boost in US investments in the manufacturing hub.Obama’s administration has made Asia—home to some of the world’s fastest growing economies—a priority as counterbalance to Chinese power.“Kerry’s visit underscores the importance of Vietnam in the US-Asia policy,” Netherlands-based Vietnam analyst Jonathan London told AFP.Trump’s tough talk on rebalancing global trade and vow to scrap the TPP has clouded the future of that policy.But “it would be premature to assume that he will totally scrap the interests of US firms that operate in East Asia”, despite Trump’s rhetoric, London added.Simmering tensions with Beijing over its military build-up on islands in the South China Sea will likely be discussed during Kerry’s visit.Vietnam is seeking diplomatic ballast in the face of increasingly aggressive actions by China in the strategically crucial waterway.Washington has remained neutral in overlapping disputes with China in the South China Sea, insisting that freedom of navigation must be respected in the oil-rich shipping route.But Trump’s nominee to replace Kerry, former oilman Rex Tillerson, this week warned of a “clear signal” to China to stop building on disputed islands after the new president takes office on 20 January.Kerry will head to Paris for a Middle East peace conference Sunday, followed by a stop in London before heading to Davos for the World Economic Forum next week.last_img read more