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first_imgTORONTO – Google is putting fake news in its crosshairs as it rolls out a news initiative aimed at stopping the spread of misinformation and helping publishers attract more subscribers.The technology company said Tuesday it will spend $392 million over the next three years on the initiative, which will involve prioritizing “quality” publishers, making it easier to subscribe to news publications and educating readers on how to spot misleading reports.The announcement comes just as Google, Facebook and Twitter are facing criticism for providing a platform for false information to spread, potentially impacting the last U.S. election that saw Donald Trump elected as president.“We always haven’t gotten it right,” the company’s chief business officer Philipp Schindler admitted to a crowd of journalists in New York and many more watching via livestream at Google offices around the world, including one in Toronto, on Tuesday.He said the company was renewing the committment it has forged to news over the last 15 years because it has seen that we are in an era where “the last thing you want to see is a search engine that is not delivering quality content and with the open internet is simply becoming a race to the bottom.”Schindler revealed the company’s initiative will adjust algorithms and use new services to make users see links from publications they pay for higher up in their search results in a special carousel.It will also let readers buy subscriptions to news publications in as few as two clicks from a publisher’s webpage using their Google account.After subscribing, if users stay logged into their Google account, they won’t run into paywalls or be asked to repeatedly enter a username and password to access news from publishers they pay for.The subscription features will be rolled out to 17 launch partners, including the New York Times, Washington Post, the Financial Times and the Telegraph. None of the launch partners are located in Canada, but Google promised more publishers are coming soon.The company also said it will give journalists access to a more secure internet by allowing them to easily set up their own virtual private network on a private server through an offering they call Outline.Google said other planned initatives includes opening a Disinfo Lab that uses computational tools to monitor misinformation during elections and breaking news periods, and will launch a digital literacy curriculum called MediaWise to help readers distinguish fact from fiction online.A similar program to MediaWise was recently piloted in Canada under the name NewsWise, where it provided a program for school-aged children to learn to find and filter accurate information online.NewsWise was funded by a $500,000 grant from Google Canada, which partnered with the Canadian Journalism Foundation and CIVIX, a Toronto-based non-profit that aims to engage young Canadians in democracy.NewsWise will roll out to Ontario classrooms this spring and will arrive nationally sometime next year ahead of the federal election.On Tuesday, Google executives also pointed out that the journalism companies it is hoping to help are “facing challenging, even more complex times” as advertisting revenues shrink and many turn to paywalls.The Canadian Media Concentration Project previously reported that Google’s share of the Canadian digital media market is almost 10 times that of the daily newspaper industry and 60 times that of commmunity newspapers.It said in 2015 Google made $2.3 billion on online advertising revenue in Canada, while newspaper publisher TorStar made $125.9 million, Postmedia made $97.7 million and Quebecor made $88.7 milion.Schindler said last year Google paid out $12.6 billion to its publishing partners and drove 10 billion clicks for free per month to publisher websites.Under the new initiative, he said, “if you do not grow, we do not grow.”last_img read more

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1 May 2008Solutions to the current food crisis spurred by soaring global food prices must include marginalized groups, the top United Nations human rights official said today, joining the call issued by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to the international community to respond to the problem. Solutions to the current food crisis spurred by soaring global food prices must include marginalized groups, the top United Nations human rights official said today, joining the call issued by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to the international community to respond to the problem.While acknowledging that addressing the crisis is fundamentally humanitarian in nature, High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour stressed in a statement issued in Geneva that it is also an obligation, thus requiring non-discriminatory food distributions and analysis of communities’ needs.“More fundamentally, and for the more medium and longer term, the underlying inequalities and inabilities to access food must be addressed by a comprehensive solution,” she noted. “When we focus on those most in need, we must include not only the poorest but also those that are particularly vulnerable to discrimination on any other grounds, including gender, ethnicity, or disability.” Ms. Arbour underscored that all voices must be heard – directly or through representative organizations – in tackling the food crisis.She also pointed out that food-related social unrest could potentially threaten other human rights, such as freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.Yesterday, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes announced that the UN is aiming to have a comprehensive plan to tackle the global food crisis in place by the beginning of June “around which the institutions and leaders around the world can coalesce.”Mr. Holmes is one of two coordinators, along with UN System Influenza Coordinator David Nabarro, of a new high-powered task force that was announced yesterday by the Secretary-General to organize responses to the global rise in food prices.Speaking at a news conference today in Geneva, Mr. Holmes, who also serves as Emergency Relief Coordinator, said that although the breadth and complexity of the issue needed to be recognized, there was no need to panic.“I think it is clear we can fix these problems,” he said. The solutions can be found; the solutions are there. They are very difficult, some of them, in the short term, but they can be done.” read more

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The organizers, which include the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, said they expect a live audience of 40,000 in the Senegalese capital of Dakar, as well as radio listeners, television viewers and eventual purchasers of recordings and DVDs, totalling up to billion worldwide.”There are many organizations that are actively working to fight malaria, but music can go further. Music can accelerate the rhythm of the movement to fight malaria,” said N’Dour, who conceived the idea with documentary film director Mick Csaky of the United Kingdom.The funds raised are to be used mainly to buy pesticide-treated bed nets.The star-studded programme also includes Salif Keita and Rokia Traoré of Mali, Manu Dibango of Cameroon and Democratic Republic of the Congo-born Awilo Longomba. read more

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“The Secretary-General has been fully briefed on the concerns and views of all parties, including the concerns of the Greek Cypriots – that led them to vote the way they did last year – as well as the concerns of the Turkish Cypriots about the situation in which they find themselves, despite the way they did vote last year,” said UN spokesman Stéphane Dujarric in response to a question at the daily press briefing. Mr. Dujarric also said that any steps the Secretary-General takes in the pursuit of his good offices in a pursuit of his mission of good offices will be based on his assessment on how best to assist the parties to find, as only they can, a mutually acceptable settlement that can approved by the people on each side. Earlier this month, UN Political Affairs chief Sir Kieran Prendergast said that after a fresh round of discussions with officials in Cyprus, he now had a “better understanding” of the positions, concerns and wishes of the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot sides. As part of his tour of the region, Mr. Prendergast met a number of times with both Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat and his Greek Cypriot counterpart Tassos Papadopoulos. He also held discussions with other political leaders on the island. read more

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by Lauren Krugel, The Canadian Press Posted Jul 18, 2013 3:57 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email CNRL ordered to restrict steam injection at oilsands site after leak CALGARY – The Alberta Energy Regulator has ordered Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. to restrict the amount of steam it pumps into two oilsands projects following four spills earlier this year.The move comes three weeks after the AER reported an emulsion of oilsands bitumen and water had been released into an unnamed water body on the Cold Lake Air Weapons Range in eastern Alberta.The watchdog says Canadian Natural (TSX:CNQ) must restrict steam injection, enhance monitoring and speed up clean up efforts at its Primrose and Wolf Lake projects, which use a method called high-pressure cyclic steam stimulation to extract the bitumen.“Although there have been no risks to public safety, until we investigate these incidents, better understand the cause of these releases, and what steps CNRL will to take to prevent them, we are taking these measures as a precaution,” said AER CEO Jim Ellis.The AER ordered the suspension of steaming operations within the eastern part of Primrose earlier this year following three bitumen emulsion releases.In late June, Canadian Natural reported a fourth release, prompting the AER to order CNRL to take further measures, including suspending steaming within one kilometre of the leak and restrict steaming throughout the northern and southern parts of Primrose.High pressure cyclic steam stimulation — sometimes described as a “huff and puff” method of extraction — involves injecting steam into a reservoir through a well, letting it soak for a while and then drawing the softened bitumen to the surface through the same well.It differs from steam-assisted gravity drainage, or SAGD, which uses two wells — one to inject the steam, and one right below it to flow the bitumen to the surface. The reservoir is also fractured using cyclic steam, whereas in SAGD it is not.Greenpeace campaigner Mike Hudema said it’s “very concerning” that it’s only now just come to light that the CNRL sites have suffered four spills this year.“Apparently it’s four strikes in this province before the Alberta Energy Regulator takes any real action to protect the environment,” he said.“This is a culturally significant area for the Beaver Lake Cree and it’s time the Alberta government gave us the transparency on this issue that Albertan’s deserve — pictures and up to date statistics are a minimum and we can’t even get that.”He said the incidents also raise questions over the safety of high pressure cyclic steam stimulation. read more

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by Linda Nguyen, The Canadian Press Posted Jul 7, 2014 7:10 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Canadian dollar rises ahead of Bank of Canada’s business outlook TORONTO – The Canadian dollar was flat Monday, as traders digested the Bank of Canada’s latest survey of businesses.The loonie dipped 0.08 of a cent to 93.76 cents US.The Bank of Canada says Canadian firms remain upbeat about future prospects and the economy, although the level of enthusiasm appears to have dropped off a bit.The central bank’s latest business outlook survey shows executives giving generally positive responses across a number of questions, from expectations on sales activity, hiring intentions and investment plans. But in most cases, confidence levels dropped from the spring survey, which suggested firms were gearing up for stronger economy.The bank analysis of the results is that businesses have not materially changed their expectations from the spring.The survey is one of the ways the central bank gauges how the economy is faring. It relies on a summary of interviews conducted with senior management at about 100 Canadian firms on topics such as demand and capacity, and how they view future economic activity.April’s survey showed that there were some signs of improvement for exporters, with businesses saying that they had a positive future outlook, based on a strengthening U.S. economy and a depreciation of the Canadian dollar.The Canadian dollar is entering the second half of the year around the 94-cent US level, close to its highest point for 2014 so far and much to the discomfort of the country’s exporters.Those elevated levels could be tested Friday when Statistics Canada releases June employment data. The agency is expected to report that about 24,000 jobs were created last month compared with 25,800 in May, with the jobless rate remaining unchanged at seven per cent.Ian Nakamoto, director of research at 3MACS, said the loonie could fall if the figures do not come in as expected.Analysts observe that the dollar’s rise from 89 cents US earlier in the year is due to a number of reasons, including rising inflation, data suggesting the outlook for exporters is improving, a better American economic climate and rising oil prices.“The net CAD (Canadian dollar) position has shifted net positive for the first time since February 2013, highlighting that finally sentiment towards CAD has turned favourable; removing a major weight against CAD,” said Sutton. “The net long position… is very small, but it is not the size but the shift to a more balanced outlook that is important.”Meanwhile, commodity prices were mixed in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange with August crude 77 cents lower at US$103.29 a barrel.August gold bullion dipped $4.90 to US$1,315.70 an ounce, while September copper was down two cents at US$3.25 a pound.Follow @LindaNguyenTO on Twitter. read more

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“The Internet offers a lot of potential and opportunities for sustainable development,” said the Director of the Division for Public Administration and Development Management of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), Haiyan Qian.Ms. Qian’s remarks, delivered on her behalf, were addressed to more than 1,600 delegates from 128 countries at the conclusion of a four-day conference of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan. The Forum included the participation of governments, intergovernmental organizations, business representatives, the technical community, civil society organizations, as well as any individual Internet users interested in Internet governance issues.The theme for this year’s Forum was ‘Internet Governance for Sustainable Human, Economic and Social Development,’ reflecting the increasing role of the Internet in the evolution of the various aspects of development, across all countries.“We need to build capacities to address challenges and implement strategies, not only in our own countries and organizations, but also to assist others, especially those in developing and the least developed countries, as well as countries with economies in transition,” Ms. Qian urged.The question of promoting sustainable development – which aims to meet human needs through resource-use that also preserves the environment – was central to the landmark UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), which took place in Brazil in June this year.One of the main Rio+20 outcomes was the agreement by member States to launch a process to develop a set of Sustainable Development Goals, which will build upon the anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – set in 2000 for achievement by 2015 or earlier – and converge with the post-2015 development agenda.In her remarks, Ms. Qian said IGF’s “inclusive, participatory and transparent governance process” plays a “critical role” in driving the growth of the Internet, which she said was “clearly” bringing new social and economic opportunities to so many people in the developing world.“This session of the IGF has again provided the valued platform for continuous consensus building and learning opportunities for all,” she said. “I am sure each one of us will bring back to our respective countries and organizations new ideas and approaches on how we can best deal with these crucial issues.”The forum emerged after 2005, when countries attending the second of two conferences of the UN-sponsored World Summit on the Information Society asked the UN Secretary-General to convene a new space for dialogue on Internet governance policy. Though not a decision-making body, it saw its initial five-year mandate renewed for a further five years by UN General Assembly.IGF noted that activist groups drawn from civil society had demonstrated an “appetite to drive (the) global Internet agenda by attending the Baku conferences annual meeting in relative force.“Civil society… was the highest represented stakeholder group at the forum,” IGF stated in a news release, citing others as Internet governance experts, government officials, international development representatives, academics, private sector representatives and other “inquiring global citizens.”IGF said participation of women also increased significantly from previous years, and cited youth representation and activity as a “notable achievement” of this year’s meeting.Several dozen experts and panellists participated in the gathering from remote hubs around the world – a development IGF said had become a “major strength” of the forum process. It also highlighted the rising use of social media platforms by delegates, noting that their use spiked “significantly” – enabling discussion to continue beyond the meeting rooms.“There were thousands of ‘Tweets’ about the forum each day, which reached millions of others on the social information-sharing network,” IGF said.The forum concluded on a day the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) also highlighted the importance of communications for advancing development. The Paris-based agency did so in remarks delivered at UN Headquarters in New York to the UN General Assembly’s Second Committee, which deals with economic and financial matters.“UNESCO approaches the issue of communication-in-the-service-of-development from the vantage point of fostering an environment in which freedom of expression, independence and pluralism of the media can exist,” UNESCO’s Senior Public Information and Liaison Officer in New York, Suzanne Bilello, told the committee, which is open to all 193 UN Member States.“Of particular interest to us therefore is the need to ensure that the communication-for-development agenda gives sufficient emphasis to promoting free, independent and pluralistic media, whether on radio sets, mobile phones or printed pages, and including access to communication channels, such as community media, and not forgetting, also, the importance of media and information literacy,” she said.Ms. Bilello added that, without progress in all those parameters, “societies cannot advance more specific practices, like health or agricultural communication, to optimum effect and participation by poor and marginalized people.” read more

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“From a splinter group of Al-Qaida, ISIL [Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant] today has grown to be a complex threat to peace and security in Iraq, the entire region and beyond,” Nickolay Mladenov told the Council via video-teleconference from Baghdad.Mr. Mladenov, who also heads the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), said the solution to Iraq’s current challenges, including efforts to contain ISIL, could not be found “in the toolbox of military operations.” Introducing the Secretary-General’s latest report on UNAMI, Mr. Mladenov said that ISIL aimed to establish a permanent foothold beyond the control of authorities through terror and violence. The Islamist forces seek to radicalize people and undermine the Government by exploiting legitimate grievances and manipulating divisions within society.On 21 July, the Security Council condemned ISIL’s persecution of Christian and other minority groups in Northern Iraq, while the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights had confirmed that ISIL had committed war crimes and crimes against humanity. Between January and June of this year 5,500 Iraqis were killed and 12,000 have been wounded. Almost 900 were killed this month alone. More than 1.2 million people have fled their homes since the latest fighting. The UN has identified over 1,600 sites of displacement, where access to necessities remains challenging, he continued. The Kurdistan region alone is now hosting over 300,000 newly displaced who have joined the more than 225,000 Syrian refugees already there.Mr. Mladenov said in Iraq, establishing lasting security and Government control must be broadly accepted across societal divides and implemented in cooperation with the Kurdistan Regional Government. Demands from Sunnis and others that are constitutionally sound must be addressed as well. All should stand together against terrorism, he said. The momentum generated by the election of the legislature’s leadership must translate into the election of a new President and Government. Iraq must continue to receive regional and international support to face ISIL and other challenges. He added: “Iraq cannot afford a protracted Government formation process.” read more

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Year-to-date registrations rise 3.9 per cent to 943,010 unitsDiesel car registrations take record 32.5 per cent of April market, at 60,692 unitsSpecialist sports, dual purpose 4×4 and MPV segments report strongest growthOverall April market dips 3.8 per cent to 187,004 unitsSMMT chief executive Christopher Macgowan commented, ‘Despite a slight dip in April, we are confident of a fourth consecutive record year for the new car market. March registrations exceeded expectations by nearly 17,000 units, so it is not surprising that this momentum has not continued in April. ‘However, in the context of the year-to-date, the market is still significantly up on last year. A strong underlying economy, raft of new model launches and intense competition should see total registrations hit 2.6 million units by the end of the year.’Notes to editors New car registrations in the UK reached a record 2,579,050 million in 2003, up from 2,563,631 units in 2002 and 2,458,769 units in 2001.April specialist sports car registrations rose by 29 per cent to 6,248 units, dual purpose 4×4 rose by 11 per cent to 12,189 units and MPV registrations were up 11 per cent to 9,345 units.DownloadClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) read more

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1Los Angeles Dodgers9794989595.9 5San Diego Padres6965656866.6 EXPECTED NUMBER OF WINS 2San Francisco Giants8888858887.1 4Arizona Diamondbacks7877777877.4 3Colorado Rockies7778748177.4 Based on projected wins or over/under win totals. Data gathered on March 14, 2017.Sources: Baseball Prospectus, Fangraphs, Clay Davenport, Las Vegas Review-Journal In honor of the 2017 Major League Baseball season, which starts April 2, FiveThirtyEight is once again assembling some of our favorite baseball writers to chat about what’s ahead. Today, we focus on the National League West with Molly Knight, author of “The Best Team Money Can Buy,” and Sarah Wexler, a writer for Dodgers Digest and The Hardball Times. The transcript below has been edited. neil (Neil Paine, FiveThirtyEight senior sportswriter): All right, so let’s talk NL West! I’m gonna start with the Dodgers, since they’re considered by most people to be the favorites in the division. (And, of course, both of you are very familiar with them!)mollyknight: It’s totally bizarre to me that they’ve won the division four years in a row. And yet somehow the Giants have won 11 World Series during that run.neil: Hah — yes, it does feel that way for the Giants. (At least until last year.)mollyknight: When I was reporting my book, Dodgers President Stan Kasten told me the goal was to make the playoffs every year because the playoffs are such a crapshoot and there’s no other way to control winning a title.But now it strikes me they may be turning into the ’90s Atlanta Braves. Which were also run by … Stan Kasten.neil: Well, that was one thing I wanted to ask about — the Dodgers seem to have an absurd amount of talent this year. FanGraphs considers L.A. to be the most talented team — not just in the NL West, but in all of baseball. It also gives them the third-best odds of winning the World Series.It seems kind of assumed that the Cubs are the NL’s best team. But is it possible that we’re all underrating the Dodgers, particularly with a healthy Clayton Kershaw, an improving Corey Seager, the Logan Forsythe trade, etc.? (Feels weird to say a $240 million team is underrated.)mollyknight: I still think the Cubs are better, but the gap is narrowing. The Cubs don’t have much starting pitching depth. If anything happens to one of their big three, I believe the Dodgers become the favorite.What do you think, Sarah?sarahwexler: That sounds about right. We saw last year the way the Dodgers were able to cobble together a rotation that worked (with the help of an excellent bullpen, of course) despite a league-leading number of injuries because of the incredible depth they have. And while that hopefully won’t be necessary this year, it’s certainly something they could do again if they had to.Also, I think it’s telling that they’ve traded away both Jose De Leon and Chase De Jong this offseason and they’re still flush with starting pitcher depth.mollyknight: It’s going to be so fun when top prospect Cody Bellinger gets called up. He’s a rock star. I think Seager/Bellinger will be the West Coast version of Bryzzo, and I’m here for it. And I think Bryzzo is here for it, too. They’re fun guys who love to compete. That rivalry should be outstanding.sarahwexler: I’m very much looking forward to Bellinger, too, though you have to wonder what that means for Adrian Gonzalez, who’s been an absolute rock at 1B for the Dodgersmollyknight: Yeah, that’s sort of the iceberg looming on the horizon for me with this team, tbh.neil: Although even that is a good problem to have!mollyknight: I don’t know how the team will respond if Gonzo’s production continues to taper off (as it does for all players on the wrong side of 32). It’s very difficult to bench a guy like that. But Bellinger plays in the outfield also, so I believe we may see him there first.neil: That’s going to be one of the questions that weighs on L.A. manager Dave Roberts. What did you think of his first season?mollyknight: He showed a willingness to embrace analytics and use relievers in unorthodox ways, both of which are vital to any team’s success going forward. This oversimplifies, but the three teams left standing at the very end (Cubs, Indians, Dodgers) all had managers willing to use their closers in the eighth inning or earlier.neil: That’s a great point — probably one of the reasons that creative bullpen management is the big new trend people are talking about leaguewide.mollyknight: Zach Britton sends his regards from hell.neil: Haha.So we’ve raved about the Dodgers’ strengths — what are the potential pitfalls for this team?sarahwexler: For as much talent and depth as there is in their rotation, there’s also a lot of uncertainty there. Will Rich Hill’s blisters be an issue again? Will Kenta Maeda wear out like he did last season? Is Julio Urias going to live up to his potential? Will we ever see Hyun-Jin Ryu again?mollyknight: They need to hit left-handed pitching. Logan Forsythe is a nice addition at second, but if he’s going to be leading off, I’m slightly concerned that his on-base percentage was .333 last season.Also, Clayton Kershaw can only pitch once every five days.sarahwexler: $240 million team, and they haven’t even figured out a way to clone Clayton Kershaw yet. Pft.mollyknight: I’m calling for a nonpartisan investigation into Rich Hill’s blister.neil: As long as nobody has to investigate his treatment method.sarahwexler: I was going to make a golden showers joke, but I restrained myself.mollyknight: I did not know about this, and now my lunch is ruined.neil: On that note, let’s move on to the Giants! They had such an up-and-down season in 2016 — at their best, they looked ready to keep that even-year championship streak going; at their worst, they nearly tailspun their way out of the playoffs down the stretch. What version do we expect to see this year?sarahwexler: I think those Giants evened out to about where they were supposed to be, and I think we’ll see similar end results with them this year. They’ve made a few key changes in signing closer Mark Melancon and bringing in Jae-gyun Hwang to play 3B, but besides that, they’re really not a radically different team.neil: How big was the Melancon pickup? The bullpen was a huge issue for them last year.sarahwexler: It was a great signing for them. It definitely fills one of their most substantial needs, and for one year fewer (and slightly less average annual value) than Aroldis Chapman and Kenley Jansen got (which makes sense, given that Melancon’s a bit older and not quite as good, though still very good).Of course, besides that, their bullpen doesn’t look especially different, so we’ll see.mollyknight: It is tough to count the Giants out though. Never forget Hunter Pence is a witch.sarahwexler: I usually go with alien myself. Maybe he’s a witch from another planet.mollyknight: He actually lives in my friend’s building in San Francisco — and it’s sinking!sarahwexler: Something something metaphor for America.neil: Or the Giants’ division odds down the stretch?mollyknight: I was there in the fall, and I ran into him in the gym. He was doing Pilates.So Giants fans reading this should know that Hunter Pence takes his offseason seriously enough to do Pilates while the building sinks.neil: Even Pence is getting a little long in the tooth, though (supernatural origin notwithstanding). If this is basically the same group as the past few years, back for another go-around, they seem a little bit short of where L.A. is talent-wise (to say nothing of the NL’s other heaviest hitters). What has to go right for San Francisco to win the division?mollyknight: Buster Posey hitting for power again. Matt Moore turning into the guy everyone once thought he could be, on a consistent basis. Hunter Pence not changing his underwear.And the Dodgers collapsing.sarahwexler: All of that, plus Hwang panning out at 3B, and maybe also figuring out a way to plug the black hole that is their left field.mollyknight: It would also help if their bullpen didn’t blow 32 games. Melancon really should help. I don’t know how it could get any worse than last year. I looked up one night last September and saw Joe Nathan pitching in a tie game at Coors Field and thought I was hallucinating.neil: According to FanGraphs, basically the Dodgers and Giants were the only teams that had any shot at the division all year. Is this a two-team race again? Colorado got some buzz over the offseason (as much buzz as the Rockies ever really get).sarahwexler: The Rockies kind of seem to do the same thing every year, which is get off to a really hot start that leads people to question if they’re legit. They then answer that question by falling off quickly.mollyknight: It’s so hard to evaluate the Rockies since I’m not even sure what game they play in Denver. It looks nothing like baseball. Can you even imagine being a pitcher drafted by the Rockies?neil: Well, that was going to be one of my questions — is it possible their rotation looks … kinda OK?sarahwexler: They do actually have some intriguing young arms.mollyknight: They’ve got a young kid they drafted last year named Riley Pint who sits 97 and can touch 100. He’s 19 years old. I WANT TO BELIEVE.They’ve also got Nolan Arenado, who, in my opinion, is the most underrated player in baseball.neil: What did you make of the Ian Desmond signing? Was it as bad as everyone said?sarahwexler: Can’t say I love giving five years/$70 million to a guy to play a position he hasn’t played a single inning at in his entire career, but I don’t think their 1B situation is going to be what makes or breaks them this year.mollyknight: Their farm system is decent. I believe Baseball America has them at No. 10. The problem is the Dodgers and the Padres are both deeper. But they do have two potential future stars, in Pint and shortstop Brendan Rodgers — though neither one is close to the big leagues right now.neil: So even if the “dark horse” talk is premature for the Rockies, maybe they’re finally taking steps in the right direction. (Now, if only anybody can figure out what the heck to do about the weird underperformance of their batters on the road …)mollyknight: Spoiling the Dodgers’ or Giants’ season might be the best they can hope for this year.neil: The other team that I think is interesting as a spoiler is Arizona. They were one of the buzzy teams of last offseason and had a complete disaster of a season. Any chance they bounce back?mollyknight: I saw Zack Greinke was sitting 89 during his last spring training start. That is not what you want.I mean, unless you are Dodgers baseball-ops president Andrew Friedman.sarahwexler: Greinke rebounding is obviously going to be essential for this Dbacks team, as is Shelby Miller looking … well, better, but that’s a low bar.mollyknight: The Diamondbacks have a bunch of sort-of-broken young pitchers with plenty of promise. If someone can fix a couple of them, then this team looks very different.sarahwexler: Yeah, Taijuan Walker’s a guy who’s yet to live up to his potential, but I still think his addition improves their rotation.mollyknight: Shelby Miller, Taijuan Walker, Patrick Corbin, Archie Bradley — all of these guys were GUYS at one point.sarahwexler: Plus, Robbie Ray was one of the top strikeout guys in baseball last year. What’s up with that?mollyknight: Dansby Swanson looks like a franchise shortstop. That Shelby Miller trade will go down as one of the worst deals in the history of baseball if he doesn’t turn it around. No pressure, Shelbs. They’ve got to hope Greinke has a good first half and then unload him for prospects and money relief. They cannot win while paying his salary. Their farm system is in ruins.They’ve finally got a smart front office in there, but they are a decade behind other teams in terms of analytics. The good news is nobody expects anything, and Paul Goldschmidt exists. The bad news is everything else, including the uniforms.neil: Yeah, they seem like a team in a weird place, with too many expensive players to fully rebuild right now but nowhere near enough talent to contend.mollyknight: I believe Dan Haren will fix the Diamondbacks with his tweets alone.neil: Finally, we have the San Diego Padres. Exactly how bad are they going to be?sarahwexler: Oof. When I got asked to do this, one of my first thoughts was, “Oh, great, I have to find things to say about the Padres.” Uh … Carter Capps might be fun to watch?neil: Yes! They have to be glad that Carter Capps a) will return from injury and b) still has a legal delivery!mollyknight: I still can’t believe GM A.J. Preller didn’t get fired for trying to hide injuries of players he traded last year. I will give this to the Padres: Even when they are bad, it’s never boring.neil: Will other GMs ever trade with Preller again?sarahwexler: I mean, what does he even have at this point that anyone would want to trade for?mollyknight: Pitcher Anderson Espinoza and center fielder Manny Margot, both of whom could either wind up being total stars or total duds. Fun times! I also like Cal Quantrill a lot, especially as a pitcher in that park. He needs to work his way back from Tommy John, but I think he’ll be a solid front-end rotation guy for them in a few years.It’s hard for me to knock the Padres, though, because their ballpark food is so great. They even have beer garden days. And the crowds are so chill. It’s the most relaxing atmosphere in sports.But, yeah, they’re going to be ril bad.neil: One cool thing they might do is to tinker with pitcher usage, having the starter only go through the lineup once. So, that’s fun. (Bad teams should do more of this cool, experimental stuff.)mollyknight: Yes, if you are going to lose, you might as well do it in style.neil: Sounds like “intriguing” is just about the best you can hope for out of this division if you’re not named the Dodgers or Giants.sarahwexler: It’ll likely be another fun chapter in the Dodgers/Giants rivalry, and there’s certainly potential for the Rockies or Dbacks to surprise us. Or for the Padres to make us look like jerks for being so mean to them.mollyknight: I’d be surprised if the Dodgers ran away with the division. The Giants always hang around. As certain as a Madison Bumgarner snotrocket in September, the Giants will be there.sarahwexler: Peeing on blisters, snotrockets … this chat has everything.CORRECTION (March 14, 10:30 p.m.): An earlier version of this chat misattributed one of Sarah Wexler’s lines to Molly Knight. The statement beginning “It’ll likely be another fun chapter in the Dodgers/Giants rivalry…” was said by Wexler, not Knight. An earlier version of this correction misidentified the statement that had been corrected. How forecasters view the NL West RANKTEAMPECOTAFANGRAPHSDAVENPORTWESTGATEAVERAGE read more

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first_imgCHILDREN FROM CHERNOBYL are due to arrive in Ireland this morning and will be hosted by Irish families for the next month.The children come from impoverished backgrounds, institutions and foster homes in the heart of the contaminated Chernobyl zone.The children travel to Ireland every year to live with Irish families as part Chernobyl Children International’s (CCI) annual airlift which allows the children to relax and recuperate during the summer months.During their stay in Ireland, the children will gain respite from the high levels of radiation to which they continue to be exposed as a result of the Chernobyl explosion.Dangerous time The summer is a particularly dangerous time in the Chernobyl regions as the intense heat contributes to the redistribution of radioactive materials.The CCI said that the newest threat the children face is a forest fire as forests around the nuclear plant are only decaying at a rate of 40 per cent due to the lack of living organisms such as bacteria, worms and insects whose job it is to feed on dead organisms.The greatest concern is that should the trees catch fire, radioactive material would spread beyond the off limits zone to the 1000 square-miles around the decommissioned facility located 68 miles north of Kiev.Adi Roche, voluntary CEO, CCI, said that despite the difficult economic circumstances many families find themselves in Ireland, the volunteers continue to “open their hearts and their homes this summer to children who so desperately need our help”.She said she had enormous gratitude to the volunteers who continue to take part every year.“While the Chernobyl accident happened almost 30 years ago the consequences last forever. My heartfelt gratitude to the volunteers who offer hope to live to the children who the world has largely forgotten.”Since the Chernobyl disaster in 1986, over 24,700 children have benefited under the scheme where the children spend a month in Ireland.The children are due to fly into Shannon Airport this morning on the 11.35am flight from Minsk.Read: Parents of newborn baby thank Ireland after Irish-funded operation saves their son>Read: 28 years on and the struggle continues for those affected by the world’s biggest nuclear disaster>last_img read more

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first_imgObjet geek du Week-end: un tampon encreur FacebookAlors que Facebook vient tout juste de déposer un dossier d’entrée en bourse, des petits malins tentent de surfer sur le phénomène du réseau social en proposant un tampon encreur, affichant le fameux “Like” (le “j’aime” en français). Tout le monde le sait, sur Facebook vous pouvez indiquer si vous aimez un commentaire, sur votre mur personnel ou sur ceux de vos amis. Pour cela, il suffit de cliquer sur “Like” (j’aime). Malheureusement, le bouton “Dislike” (je n’aime pas) n’existe pas, malgré la demande de beaucoup d’utilisateurs. Le site Nodshop.com (lien non disponible) a pris cette demande en considération avec son tampon encreur aux couleurs de Facebook.Le kit, vendu 12,99 euros, comprend deux tampons (8×6,5 cm) avec le “Like” et son pouce levé et le “Dislike” avec le pouce vers le bas, ainsi qu’une encre bleue pour l’équivalent de 5000 impressions.Donc, désormais dans vos conversations épistolaires entretenues avec votre amour secret, entre deux vers poétiques saupoudrés de LOL ou autres MDR, vous pourrez placez votre tampon “Like”. Toutefois, il y a sûrement d’autres utilisations possibles… Un gadget comme un autre, après tout, c’est une question de goût. On “j’aime” ou on “je n’aime pas”. Le 4 février 2012 à 13:30 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

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first_img CenaLife CenaLife Google+ Pinterest Ronda Rousey Highlighting WWEs Problems “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair throws out the first pitch at yesterday’s Houston Astros game Ronda Rousey On WWE: I Love This Job, But I Dont Need It Ric Flair Jared Leto Now Playing Up Next November 8, 2016 at 2:25 pm Jason Namako RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Now Playing Up Next JFJ WWE Legends event in Pennsylvania this December cancelledA WWE Legends Experience event at the Sands Center in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, featuring WWE Hall of Famers Ric Flair and Ricky Steamboat that was to be hosted by Bill Apter on December 17, was cancelled on Monday by the venue, which posted the following about it on their official website. NOTICE: WWE Legends Experience scheduled for Saturday, December 17th has been CANCELLED. Refunds available at point of purchase. If purchased on Ticketmaster, your order has been automatically refunded and will appear on your account within 7-10 business days. We apologize for the inconvenience.This was supposed to be the first in a series of Legends Experience events sponsored by WWE. Post-show videos from the 11/7 WWE RAWWWE posted the following videos from after last night’s 11/7 WWE RAW in Glasgow, Scotland. Now Playing Up Next Videos Articles Facebook Recommended videosPowered by AnyClipWWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair HospitalizedVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPauseUnmuteDuration 0:45/Current Time 0:03Loaded: 100.00%0:03Remaining Time -0:42 FullscreenUp NextThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Replay the listcenter_img Videos Articles Twitter Ric Flair threatens WWE with legal action over Becky Lynch’s “The Man” gimmick Mr. Bockwinkel is deceased. He passed away on November 14, 2015 at the age of 80. WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair Hospitalized Ric Flair signs deal with Adidas, Says “We’re fixin’ to make Nike the second brand” Get some good legends like Nick Bockwinkle and Raven so we dont have to see the same guys Now Playing Up Next Now Playing Up Next Seth Rollins Defends WWE On Two Separate Occasions WhatsApp November 8, 2016 at 3:20 pm Joan Jett Set To Perform Ronda Rouseys Entrance At WrestleMania 35 November 9, 2016 at 9:01 pm Comments are closed. 3 COMMENTS :o(last_img read more

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first_imgWhat will will the weather throw at us this week? Find out with our local weather coverage.Here are some of the stories that grabbed readers’ attention this weekend.Vancouver lights its Christmas treeLincoln Horn didn’t want to be late.The 5-year-old Vancouver boy and his family were hustling along the sidewalk Friday evening toward Esther Short Park. That’s where Santa Claus was scheduled to flip the switch at 6 p.m., turning on thousands of lights draped over Vancouver’s Christmas tree.His mom, Katy Belokonny, said that Lincoln started to worry when they were driving downtown. He noticed that a light in mid-air seemed to be over Vancouver, and it was at the end of its journey.Why did he think that it might be Santa?“Because it was coming down from the sky,” Lincoln said.No worries. A few minutes after Lincoln and 2-year-old brother Preston arrived, Santa showed up.After stepping up to the microphone, the guest of honor led the Propstra Square crowd in a countdown. Then the echoes of 5-4-3-2-1 were drowned out by exclamations of “Ooooh!” as red, green and blue bulbs popped to life on the 100-foot-tall Douglas fir.last_img read more

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first_imgThe top 10 most read stories on www.employeebenefits.co.uk between 5 and 11 October 2017 were:EY reports a 19.7% mean gender pay gapHigh Court to rule in Morrisons payroll data leak caseCarillion to withdraw discretionary increases in pension paymentsBBC reports a 10.7% mean gender pay gapBMW Group UK and Royal College of Nursing launch divorce support service for staffAviva introduces carers policy and enhances bereavement leave for UK staffSchneider Electric launches paid global family leave policy across 100 locationsHillside Brewery launches beer Pilates class as part of corporate retreatEXCLUSIVE: Facebook uses engagement surveys to highlight benefits opportunitiesEXCLUSIVE: Virgin Management hosts spin class to improve employee wellbeinglast_img read more

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first_img Facebook News Email Who are some of your biggest musical influences?Oller: For me, I don’t know I have a lot of influences, but I’ve always loved the Velvet Underground. I love ’60s bands, like garage ’60s bands. I love also Latino garage from the ’60’s and new psychedelic and Greek pop. So it’s a lot of Brian Jonestown Massacre, the Velvet Underground, and old school garage bands. Lush, stuff like that, I love it.Durán: Yeah, it’s like the history of rock and roll. There’s always certain things that are in line, and I think it’s from ’60s until like …Oller: The ’90sDurán: Yeah or even the 2000’s. There is a lot of sounds that we kind of are influenced, but not necessarily we are [limited] strictly to one of them.Are there any artists that you have your eye on to work with or tour with in the near future?Oller: Yeah, we were talking about it actually. It would be amazing to go on tour with or open for a really big band like the Black Angels or something like that. We think that when it comes to sound, it goes pretty well together and we really admire them.What else is going on in music right now in Costa Rica? Is your scene present in Costa Rica or what’s kind of the pulse?Durán: It’s strange because it’s not usually a scene defined by sound. It’s more like independent bands that are different genres or whatever. It’s a very small country. So, it’s like this is the truest band right now, this is the garage band, this is … yeah and we all play together. So it’s a lot of mixture. Lots of different people come to the shows. It’s not strictly one [style].What does being a Latin American musician mean to you? How do you feel that the sort of intersections of who you are as individuals play into your sound and you identity as a group together?Durán: Yeah, I’ve been thinking about it and I think it’s like the perfect example of being multicultural, especially when you are on the outskirts of society. Being Latino, you get a lot of influences from the U.S. or Europe and that shape you when you’re a teenager and eventually, you end up liking a lot of things that are not necessarily from your country. At the same time, a lot of the rhythms that we use and a lot of the vibe is more Costa Rican. We’re very chill. We’re positive.Oller: Yeah, sometimes people are like, “Oh you guys are like so chill.” There’s something different. I don’t know people feel it. Probably it’s a cultural thing, but a lot of people are like “pura vida” it’s like what they say and it’s like, “You guys are like the definition of “pura vida.”So you’re perfect representatives to have at Coachella Then! What’s sort of the biggest message that you want to share with your music, specifically with your most recent project Together Outrageously?Oller: It’s definitely political. Our country was going through this election process, two presidents, one extremely conservative and narrow minded, and the other on extremely liberal. One of the candidates wanted to shut down the women’s institution of the government, a lot of things, and against LGBTQ community and essentials. In my case, as a person I was really, really, really disagreeing about it, and I was really scared about that period, it was really uncertain, and those songs were made around that time. It’s like a little expressing that feeling that I was feeling when we were going through because it was an overall thing. Young people like us and a lot of people were really nervous because the other guy, the bad guy, was winning.Durán: And I think the message is against adversity, you can [find] unity and sticking together with other people and going out of the places that certain things can make you feel. Instead of having a long face, try to get over it.Oller: And to be smart, emotionally smart.I love that. I see on your Instagram you’re really into fashion. You have a fashion line, correct?Oller: Yeah, I make beaded bags by myself. So, I design them and I make them, then I sell them through Instagram. I’m participating in different fairs, fashion week back home, and I started to ship internationally. So I have customers in Spain and France.That’s so cool. Is fashion kind of always been a side passion for you?Oller: Oh yeah, definitely. I love clothes, and people always ask me to collaborate with pictures and model for them. Yeah, I love it. I think since I was a kid my favorite thing was to play dress up.What about you [To Durán]? What do you do when you’re not making music?Durán: I paint. I’m an artist. I’m currently finishing my art history degree. So, there’s a lot of creativity beyond music in our band. Since the beginning, Mercedes and me, we used to, and we still make most of the artwork of the band t-shirts, the cover of the records.Oller: Yeah, I feel pretty happy that I’m doing the things that I like, like fashion. We’re doing a lot of things, designers and stuff. And also the music, it’s something that blends, and they go together as well.Sofi Tukker On Crafting Their “Ideal” Coachella Set, Giving Hugs to Maggie Rogers & MoreRead more Las Robertas On Representing Costa Rica At Coachella, Their Love Of Tame Impala & More center_img The psychedelic rock outfit discuss their influence, creativity outside of music and how it feels to be first band from Costa Rica to play the iconic desert festAna YglesiasGRAMMYs Apr 15, 2019 – 6:15 pm On Fri. April 12, psych-rock group Las Robertas brought their dreamy sound to Coachella for the first time, making history as they first-ever act from Costa Rica to play the fest. The group, consisting of Mercedes Oller, Sonya Carmona and Fabrizio Durán, aren’t strangers to making waves globally–they were also the first Costa Rican act to play Mexico’s Nrmal Festival and Barcelona’s Primaver Sound back in 2011–and they’re not going to stop anytime soon. Their latest release, dropped earlier this month, is an EP titled Outrageously Together and, as they explain, is politically charged yet remains positive and hopeful. After Coachella, the group will return home to Costa Rica to record their as-yet-untitled fourth album. We tracked down Oller and Durán after their set to hear more about their international travels, creative inspiration and new musicCongrats on making your Coachella debut, and becoming the first group from Costa Rica to ever play at the festival. How does it feel?Oller: It feels like, amazing. Wow! We’re so, so grateful but it also feels like a huge responsibility, because we’re the first band [to do it], and also it’s like being an ambassador for our country. It’s a huge responsibility but at the same time, we feel super happy and blessed.Durán: Yeah, grateful, and we know that eyes are on us right now, and at the same time [it] involves our country, so maybe people would be more interested in things that that happened there.Have you had a chance to check out any other acts here at Coachella, or is there anyone that you’re particularly excited to see?Oller: Yesterday I really love Khruangbin so I went to their show, and then I checked out Calypso Rose, and I love her. She was so amazing. And today for me it’s White Fence & Ty Segall, I just saw them. And then Tame Impala, I really like them. Tomorrow UMO, Unknown Mortal Orchestra. They’re amazing. I’ve seen them. They’re amazing amazing amazing.Durán: I really like Charlotte Gainsbourg yesterday. It was really good. Also, I really want to see Shame, that is playing right now, but I’m gonna see them in a week. Their album was one of the albums I listened the most last year. I want to see Apex Twin today. Twitter Costa Rica’s Las Robertas Talk Coachella & More las-robertas-representing-costa-rica-coachella-their-love-tame-impala-morelast_img read more

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first_imgNew Delhi: ‘Telugu Man’ G Narayana Raju has played a key role in the preparation of the legislation for revoking of Article 370 and 35A and also the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act which was approved in the Rajya Sabha on Monday. The Act removed the statehood status to the Jammu and Kashmir state and made it a Union Territory with legislation. Under the Act, Ladakh, which was part of Jammu state had also been declared as Union territory (UT). Also Read – NRC in Assam to be released: list to finalize if a person is Indian or Foreigner Advertise With Us Raju, as a senior Indian Legal Service officer in the Union ministry of Law, was appointed as the Legislative Secretary, the top draftsman of the government in 2015. Before that, he served in the Law department in various capacities. Official sources said that Raju played a vital role in drafting the Acts regarding Jammu and Kashmir without giving any legal hurdles to the Union government. When contacted his office, the staff declined to give additional information about Raju’s profile as the Centre imposed restrictions in disclosing any information to the media or outside people during the Parliament session.last_img read more

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first_imgA representational image. Photo: CollectedA Dhaka-bound Saudi Arabian Airlines flight made an emergency landing at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah following a malfunction of hydraulic system and subsequent retraction of its nose gear on Monday (Saudi time).The plane sustained little damage when its nose sank to the ground while landing. Medical teams at the airport treated 70 passengers while four others were taken to the health centre, reports Saudi Gazette.The aircraft had circled over Jeddah for several hours and was forced to make two low passes, before it was allowed to land at around 10:00pm. local time (1900 GMT).Abdurahman Al-Tayyib, spokesman of Saudia Airlines, said that SV3818 flight, which was traveling from Madinah to Dhaka, developed some malfunction of the hydraulic system around 8 pm Monday and was therefore diverted to Jeddah airport, Al-Madinah daily reported.“The pilot made several attempts but failed to correct the malfunction with the front landing gear. Subsequently, the Air Bus 330 made an emergency landing with the nose gear retracted,” he said.Al-Tayyib said that the flight made emergency evacuation. There were 141 passengers on board in addition to 10 crew members. The concerned authorities have started a probe into the accident, he said.last_img read more

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first_imgDonald TrumpThe United States is set to increase pressure on Iran for failing to head off funds to terrorists, threatening new sanctions if Tehran fails to comply, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Friday.Amid rising tensions in recent days after Iran shot down an American drone, president Donald Trump early Friday appeared to preview the tougher stance on Twitter, saying “Sanctions are biting & more added last night.”The country has faced a growing series of US economic sanctions over the past year, as Treasury has blacklisted numerous firms and officials to choke off their access to funds following Trump’s decision to abandon the 2015 nuclear deal negotiated by his predecessor.In a speech in Florida, Mnuchin called out “Iran’s willful failure to address its systemic money laundering and terrorist financing deficiencies.”He said an international task force will set a new deadline for the country to comply or face additional sanctions.The 38-nation Financial Action Task Force (FATF) had suspended measures against Iran but in February warned that it would be subject to increased scrutiny if it failed to implement promised reforms by this month to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing.Mnuchin also said the FATF would call for suspended sanctions to be reimposed “if Iran does not make further progress,” and would require “increased supervisory examination for branches and subsidiaries of financial institutions based in Iran.A Trump administration official told AFP in an email the task force would on Friday afternoon announce the new oversight requirements and deadline as well as the “additional counter-measures” Iran could face if it fails to comply by the deadline.last_img read more

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first_imgThomas Cook (India) Ltd., India’s leading integrated travel and travel related financial services company, announced its acquisition of Luxe Asia, a Destination Management Company based in Sri Lanka, through its wholly owned subsidiary Thomas Cook Lanka (Pvt) Ltd.The Company will be operated as an independent entity.Thomas Cook India’s acquisition of Luxe Asia gives it significant presence in Sri Lanka with destination management capabilities in Sri Lanka and the Indian Ocean region; also synergies with its key business lines of Outbound, Inbound and Corporate MICE.Based in Sri Lanka, Luxe Asia is focussed primarily on inbound tourism from key global markets and services both tour operator and traveller segments across its ten destinations in the Indian Ocean Region and Asia.Commenting on the acquisition, Madhavan Menon, Managing Director, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd. said, “Our acquisition of Luxe Asia reiterates delivery of our strategic intent of establishing a global Destination Management presence.“Luxe Asia will continue to focus on its core domain of Inbound Tourism across key global source markets.”He concluded by stating, “Luxe Asia is a great fit to our portfolio and we aim to draw on the strong synergies with our Outbound, Inbound and MICE businesses at Thomas Cook India.” Thomas Cook IndiaSource = Thomas Cook (India) Limitedlast_img read more