Messi suffers calf injury on return to Barcelona training

first_imgLionel Messi is set to miss Barcelona’s upcoming trip to the USA after suffering a calf injury during his first training session back at the club.Having been given extended leave following Argentina’s run to the semi-finals at this summer’s Copa America, Messi only returned to the fold on Monday.However, he was forced to pull out of the session with what doctors have diagnosed as a grade one calf strain. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? August has not been an easy month for Messi so far. Last week, it was announced that he would face a three-month suspension from international football plus a heavy fine after his controversial comments about perceived favouritism towards Brazil at the Copa America .He joined back up with his club team-mates over the weekend and watched from the bench as they came from behind to beat Arsenal in what was the Gunners’ final game of pre-season.Initially trailing to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s superb strike, Barca levelled thanks to a comical mix-up between Bernd Leno and Ainsley Maitland-Niles before Luis Suarez won it at the death.Messi may have been hoping to feature in one of their upcoming fixtures in the USA but is now facing a nervous wait to see when he will be available with the new La Liga season less than two weeks away.Barca face Napoli twice in the USA, with fixtures in Miami and Michigan, before starting the new campaign with a trip to Athletic Club on August 16.Manager Ernesto Valverde has at least been boosted by the return to training of the other members of his squad to have played at the Copa America.Arturo Vidal and Philippe Coutinho are back in the picture and are included in the travelling squad, as well as new signing Junior Firpo.The 22-year-old left-back signed on a five-year deal from Real Betis for a fee of €18 million (£16.3m/$20m). Taking on the number 24 shirt, he will provide much-needed competition for veteran left-back Jordi Alba.Four Barcelona B players who have been in among the first-team squad during pre-season will also travel to the USA. Inaki Pena, Riqui Puig, Carles Perez and Abel Ruiz will all be hoping to impress Valverde and get some minutes under their belt against Napoli.last_img read more

Read More »

Work in Progress on National Health Information System

first_imgJamaica is on its way to having a comprehensive national health information system (NHIS), which Health Minister, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, says will improve care quality by up to 40 per cent. Stakeholders held the strategic planning presentation of the draft plan of the NHIS and final consultation in Kingston on December 11, at the Medallion Hall Hotel. In his address at the ceremony, Dr. Ferguson bemoaned the requests for additional space for paper-based health records.  “I think we have gone past this…where we are now, it is almost primitive to continue,” the Minister said. “While we recognise the value of storing our records, I think if we make a meaningful impact in relation to an efficient health delivery system, by improving our health information system, we will improve our quality care by possibly 30-40 per cent,” he added. The Minister said the current system puts the sector at risk, as critical areas such as the paper-based medical records retrieval system has reached its limit, to the point where the security, safety and best interest of patients are at risk. Dr. Ferguson noted that a modernised health information system takes into account the needs of new areas, such as health tourism, which brings a new set of challenges and opportunities for Jamaica. Indicating that implementation of the NHIS would begin in earnest in the next financial year, Dr. Ferguson said it is timely that the Ministry has embarked on this key initiative for the strengthening and modernisation of the national health information system, under the leadership of the Health Information and Technologies Steering Committee. The Minister noted that the Committee has made great strides since the planning process began in July, including:  conducting NHIS strategic planning; developed the detail strategy, work plan and costing for each phase objective; and is now at the final stage of consultation to present and validate the draft NHIS and e-health strategic plan. Meanwhile, in his presentation, Health Informatics Consultant, Daniel Doane, emphasised the distinction between the NHIS and an electronic health data system (e-health). He noted that the NHIS is a broad concept, which includes a system of policies, legislation, governance, human, financial and technology resources, health indicators, data sources, data management processes, information products and the effective dissemination and use of information. On the other hand, the WHO defines e-health as the use of information and communication technologies for improving the flow of information through electronic means, to support delivery of health services and the management of health systems. Therefore, Mr. Doane said while both the NHIS and e-health are concerned with health information, the NHIS focuses on improving access to, and the quality of information that drives evidence-based decision making to improve health outcomes. E-health, although a part of this whole, focuses specifically on the use of information technology to improve the efficiency and quality of health care delivery. The consultation was aimed at:  sensitizing stakeholders about the framework and current state of the NHIS; providing an overview of the strategic objectives and interventions of the plan; and reviewing the draft plan and validating interventions with the associated activities. Strategic objectives of the plan include: strengthening the national capacity for the planning, co-ordination and implementation of health information system and e-health initiatives; ensuring that the required legislative, regulatory, and policy frameworks are in place, to enable an effective national health information system and appropriate use of e-health solutions; strengthening the organisational capacity for health information management within the Ministry of Health and the health regions; and improving the quality of health information. Other objectives are: expanding the effective use of information technology to improve the quality, availability and continuity of healthcare and to improve the quality and timeliness of health information for decision-making; strengthening the national ICT infrastructure and support capacity to enable the effective, secure and reliable use of health information technologies; and using information to support evidence-based decision making at all levels and sectors of the health system.last_img read more

Read More »

Transatlantic Trade Buoyant on Westbound Growth

first_imgzoom For years the sleeping dog of container trades, the Transatlantic is now waking up as strong westbound traffic is attracting new services, the UK-based shipping consultant Drewry reports.The Transatlantic westbound trade continued to motor along in the first quarter with volumes rising by 8.4% against the same period last year.The latest figures build on growth of 8.4% recorded for the full-year 2014 and it looks good for similar growth this year thanks to the rapidly appreciating US dollar, says Drewry.It should be noted that growth comparisons will get tougher in the fourth quarter, which will subdue the full-year rise, Drewry says. Some of the stellar 13% year-on-year growth witnessed in the last three months of 2014 was the result of Asia to US cargoes being transhipped via the Atlantic as a means to circumvent tight space on direct Asia to USEC services, something that won’t be repeated this year barring unforeseen circumstances.The shifting currency exchange is inevitably hurting eastbound box traffic. Having lifted barely a single extra container in 2014, first-quarter 2015 volumes slumped by 5.8%. During the first three months of the year, North Europe-bound freight from the US decreased by 7.6%, Canadian exports to North Europe fell by 5.7%, while Mexico-origin traffic was up by 3.0%.Based on the same rolling monthly averages, as of the end of March there are 1.42 containers transported in the westbound for every one eastbound. That compares to a ratio of 1.28 to 1 as of the same month last year.The surge in westbound traffic has spurred carriers to introduce additional capacity, including the Ocean Three Alliance, 2M, Hapag-Lloyd and Atlantic Container Lines. ACL is replacing its aged ro-ro/containerships from this summer, doubling its weekly slots from 1,850 TEU to 3,800 TEU. ACL is long-established in the niche market and is likely to fill its additional slots by expanding into the southern US market, says Drewry.With westbound ships currently full spot rates are rising, although typically for the trade, only by a modest margin. Drewry’s Container Freight Rate Insight reported that spot rates on the route from Rotterdam to New York increased by 2% in April to USD 1,930 per 40ft container.Drewry predicts that the Transatlantic westbound trade growth has been stronger than expected and future volumes should be sufficiently strong to keep up with the additional supply, helping keep spot freight rates buoyant.last_img read more

Read More »

Condos over stores would be cash cow for Hudsons Bay Co say

TORONTO — Hudson’s Bay Company faced a fight from some of its most prominent investors Tuesday over its decision to award executives with multi-million-dollar pay packages despite two years of weak sales and sizeable losses for the retailer.The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, British Columbia Investment Management Corp. and the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) said they voted against the company’s remuneration practices that include a $54.8-million pay package for the retailer’s executive chairman Richard Baker.The “say on pay” vote — a non-binding motion that is growing in popularity at Canadian companies and aimed at collecting shareholder feedback — took place at the company’s annual general meeting in Toronto and ended in the executives’ favour.Helena Foulkes and Richard Baker at HBC’s annual meeting. In October, Jonathan Litt, who is chief investment officer and founder of activist investor Land & Buildings Investment Management, said the company is really a real estate company, not a retailer, that has failed to outline a plan to unlock the “substantial real estate value trapped in the company.”“Are you waiting for us to go into a recession before you sell some of your real estate, or do something with it?” asked Heino Ader Tuesday, an individual investor who’s held the stock for about two years. He had a suggestion: Build condominiums on top of stores, “a cash cow just waiting there for you.”He said the company should take its Toronto HBC/Saks Fifth Avenue location at Yonge and Queen Street and build condos above it “while real estate is hot.”Helena Foulkes, the company’s chief executive officer, indicated that the company might be ready to heed some of their investor’s advice.She said the company was looking at selling certain properties, but was not in a hurry to sell everything quickly.Baker said the company was looking to “better utilize” its spaces to create revenue as it has through partnerships with Topshop, health clubs or the shared office space business We Work.In Toronto, for example, he said the company had taken its Yonge and Queen Street real estate and emptied two floors, pushing merchandise to other floors “in a way where we will lose no sales.”That freed up 100,000 square feet of prime space that the company used for a lease with We Work, valued at more than $50 a square foot.He said the deal was generating foot traffic and new shoppers and is indicative of the company’s plans moving forward.“Our general focus around the world is to better utilize space, rather than selling off the particular pieces.”With file from Bloomberg Tijana Martin / The Canadian Press However, CalPERS spokesman Mike Osborn said in an email “we don’t feel the company sufficiently linked pay with performance” and Teachers’ said in its proxy vote statement that “in this case, we do not feel that the awards have been sufficiently justified.”Baker’s compensation includes more than $37 million in share-based awards and more than $16.6 million in option-based awards. The company’s other executives are due to earn totals of between $1.4 million and $9.4 million, according to HBC’s information circular.After the vote passed, one shareholder in the audience criticized Baker’s remuneration saying, “It is one thing to award a package. It is another to accept it and so I think accepting it reflects on (Baker)’s character, who not so long ago said the fair value was twice where these payouts are.”The shareholder called on Baker to address the issue, to which Baker replied “We appreciate your question. Thank you.”The majority of other stakeholders at the meeting focused on the value of the company’s real estate, which at least one activist investor has previously pushed the company to think strategically about, given the retailer’s rocky recent performance that included a $400-million loss in its first quarter compared with a loss of $221 million a year ago.What are you people waiting for? Are you waiting for us to go into a recession before you sell some of your real estate? read more

Read More »

Research negotiation are powerful tools when shopping for a first mortgage

by Jane Taguicana, The Canadian Press Posted Apr 18, 2013 2:07 pm MDT TORONTO, Cananda – First-time homebuyers shopping for a mortgage have all the technology at their fingertips to make informed decisions, and financial experts say those resources should arm them with enough knowledge to prepare themselves and even negotiate a better rate.“In today’s environment, with so many things on the Internet, social media in general, there’s no reason why people shouldn’t be doing a lot more research,” said Jim Murphy, president and CEO of the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals.One of the biggest challenges can be finding a starting point. Begin by taking a hard look at your financial goals and then match them with the many features and functions a mortgage has to offer.Murphy suggested visiting CAAMP’s website for the basics on mortgage shopping. CAAMP is the national organization representing Canada’s mortgage industry, with over 12,250 mortgage professional representing over 1,700 companies, which makes it a handy tool for future borrowers.You can also check the website of your financial institution and government agencies if you need calculators or do comparison shopping.Farhaneh Haque, mortgage advice director at TD Canada Trust, said the research process should begin months before you walk into a bank or meet a broker.“Don’t start on the day of but start six months before you shop for a mortgage,” Haque said.Research topics like how to prepare your credit and whether its realistic for you to use your RRSP for a downpayment, she said.Don Campbell, who has written seven books on investing in real estate, said preparation should include gathering enough information to give lenders confidence that you’ll make your payments on time.That can include documents like an employment letter, pay stubs and copies of income tax assessment. If you want to be especially thorough, include a cover letter, financial objectives and a short biography that runs one page at most, Campbell said.A binder of documents plunked on a lender’s desk is a great test for financial dependability.“The louder the noise means the more prep you’ve done,” he said.If you’re going to a bank for your loan, don’t accept the posted rate but ask to look at the grid instead.“Each bank and banker receives a grid daily. It says, ‘Here’s the most you can discount today for a one-year, six-month, two-year, 10-year rates,’” Campbell said.“Right now, bankers are looking and fighting among themselves to get the money into the hands of strong borrowers.”So don’t be afraid to ask and negotiate.“A half a percentage point of a mortgage, which banks are easily willing to give right now, is going to save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars a year,” Campbell added.Then there’s the question of whether you should take out a lean through a bank or a broker. Experts say the choice depends on your comfort level.CAAMP’s Murphy suggests to favour those who are recommended by a friend or a colleague who recently made a purchase, though secondary references should always be considered. Screening the brokers through email can also be a fast and effective way.“You can send an email and then give an overview of your situation and see the response,” Murphy said.Campbell pointed out choosing to use a broker will help lessen the hit on your credit score.“If you sign an application document for each bank, that allows them to have access to your credit history, suddenly your credit score is going to do go down because you have so many inquiries on your credit history that it raises a red flag,” he said.But Campbell said not to ignore the possibility of using a credit union.“Most people don’t even think about getting a mortgage from (them). They are fantastic! They’re also offering wonderful deals!” Research, negotiation are powerful tools when shopping for a first mortgage AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

Read More »

Football Ohio State quarterback JT Barretts passes through Big Ten for final

Senior quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) throws a pass on the run during the Ohio State- Oklahoma game on Sep. 9. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorJ.T. Barrett’s final run through the Big Ten wasn’t supposed to go like this. The redshirt senior Ohio State quarterback holds multiple conference and school records and is three touchdowns shy of matching former Purdue signal-caller Drew Brees’ Big Ten record for most total touchdowns. In his final season as a Buckeye, Barrett and a veteran-laden team, which began the season as the second-ranked team in the Associated Press preseason poll, were expected to be one of the nation’s top teams. But it won’t be easy for the first three-time team captain in program history.The quarterback’s team already has lost 31-16 to Oklahoma in the second week of the season. Penn State’s powerful offense stands in Ohio State’s way. Michigan’s stout defense has stymied Florida and Cincinnati in the first two weeks of the season. The Buckeyes must head to Iowa and Nebraska to take on tough opponents in hostile environments.Senior quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) prepares to catch a snap during the Ohio State- Oklahoma game on Sep. 9. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorBut perhaps most importantly, Barrett must not allow the critics who think redshirt freshman Dwayne Haskins or redshirt sophomore Joe Burrow should replace him to enter his frame of mind.Luckily for Barrett, this scrutiny isn’t new. “Back in 2014, lost to Virginia Tech and I was 9-of-28 [passing]. So, I’ve been here before,” Barrett said after Saturday’s loss. “I didn’t play that bad, but I definitely didn’t play as far as putting us in the best situation to win. With that being said, I’m going to go to work and get better and I think just try to rally guys and make sure that when it comes next week that we’re at our best.”The difference between the 2014 home-opener loss to the Hokies and the recent loss to the Sooners is that Barrett no longer has youth as a reason for his struggles. When Barrett was thrust into the starting role as a redshirt freshman after quarterback Braxton Miller reinjured his right shoulder which required season-ending surgery, expectations were low. Early career struggles were easy to explain, and chalked up to inexperience. But now, in 2017, Barrett has no such excuse. He holds 22 Ohio State records including most touchdowns in both a season and career, single-season passing efficiency, and total yards in a season.If someone with Barrett’s experience struggles, like he did against Oklahoma when he completed 19-of-35 passes for 183 yards, including an interception, he earns criticism. Barrett isn’t the only player who deserves criticism.  The six-player group of starting H-backs and wideouts — Parris Campbell, K.J. Hill, Johnnie Dixon, Binjimen Victor, Austin Mack and Terry McLaurin— has done little to help its quarterback. But as Barrett and coach Urban Meyer say, this comes with the position. “When you’re winning, I get too much credit. [That is] when I try to give that credit to the guys around me because that’s who I need — 10 other guys to play well. When we lose, I mean, I’m the one to blame too,” Barrett said. “It’s the life of a quarterback.”Regardless of how much blame Barrett deserves, he must overcome any inner doubt. Just two games — one against Army Saturday afternoon and another on Sept. 23 versus UNLV — stand between Ohio State and the remainder of its conference schedule. In Barrett’s time as a starter, Ohio State has lost just two games in the Big Ten. Michigan State defeated the Buckeyes 17-14 in 2015 to hand Barrett his first loss in more than a year. Last season, Penn State upset Ohio State, 24-21. In 2014, Barrett didn’t lose a game to a Big Ten opponent the entire season and was primarily responsible for Ohio State claiming the first-ever College Football Playoff National Championship.Ohio State redshirt senior quarterbacks J.T. Barrett heads to Ohio Stadium prior to the 2017 season opener on Sept. 9. The No.2 Buckeyes lost to No. 5 Oklahoma 31-16. Credit: Colin Hass-Hill | Sports EditorNegative comments and judgements won’t matter if Ohio State wins, even if it isn’t always pretty. Meyer still believes in Barrett despite the offense’s inability to find an optimal flow and pace. “Any decisions about any personnel is strictly who gives us the best opportunity to win, whether it be right guard, quarterback. And it’s always been the case,” Meyer said Monday. “Right now it’s not even a question.”Neither Army, UNLV nor Rutgers — Ohio State’s next three opponents — has especially potent defenses. But Barrett must retake control of an offense that has looked like anything but the potent offense Meyer’s teams normally possess. Barrett played unexpectedly in 2014 because he was one of the few healthy options at quarterback. That isn’t the case in Barrett’s final run. Haskins and Burrow present themselves as intriguing options who have been in the program for years.The mystery and unknown invoke imagination. “Just how good is Haskins’ deep ball?” some wonder. “Maybe a quarterback change is just what a sputtering Ohio State offense needs,” critics say. If Barrett has his way, no one will ever know. read more

Read More »

Can Utahs NewLook Offense Lead The Pac12 Back To The Playoff

And it’s working. Since 2005, only once has Utah had a more efficient start to the season offensively. Trailing only Mike Leach’s perennially magnificent Air Raid at Washington State, Ludwig oversees the conference’s second-best offense, which ranks in the top 25 nationally in expected points added on passes a season after it finished 96th. If maintained, the Utes’ 2.59 points per drive would be their best mark since 2008, when they went undefeated.Starting quarterback Tyler Huntley reportedly spent the offseason packing on 25 pounds. Armed with a new physique, the senior leads the country in adjusted completion percentage (90), ranks fifth in yards per pass attempt (11.2) and is 12th in QBR (85.4). He hasn’t thrown an interception or been sacked.4Utah is the only Power Five team to not have allowed a sack. He has help in the backfield from Zack Moss, who is coming off consecutive 1,000-yard campaigns. Moss has accumulated more yards after first contact this season than all but two players in college football and will likely leave as the school’s all-time leading rusher. Utah has slowed its offense way downThe Utah Utes vs. Pac-12 average in four metrics, for the 2019 season Time of possession per play34 seconds26 seconds Source: ESPN STATS & INFORMATION GROUP Under-center rate43%15% The most realistic shot for the “Conference of Champions” to break its College Football Playoff drought rests on the shoulders of one of its newest and most unproven members. It falls on a coach who traditionally oversees .500 ball once the regular season passes the midway point and on a quarterback whose last two seasons have been derailed by upper-body injuries.And with the Pac-12 Conference’s preeminent powers having already lost, Utah is perhaps the last team standing between the conference and a third consecutive season of missing the playoff.But contrary to what the school’s trophy case might indicate, Utah is now more than just a powerhouse on the slopes. The Utes’ football team has made a convincing case to be taken seriously so far this season: They have three wins, with each decided by at least three possessions.1Starting QB Tyler Huntley has only thrown two fourth-quarter passes this season. Kyle Whittingham’s 15th full season at the helm in Salt Lake City opened with unprecedented expectations: They were ranked in the preseason top 15 for the first time, picked by the media and oddsmakers to win the Pac-12 and even deemed a national title contender by the lovably eccentric Lee Corso. And the prognostications were for good reason, too: Utah returns more than half of its starters on each side of the ball and features arguably the best defensive line in the nation. As Stanford coach David Shaw candidly put it at Pac-12 Football Media Day, “I think it’s great they’re not on the schedule for us this year.”The program’s trajectory has reached an inflection point in recent years. From 1950 through 2013, Utah managed to crack the Associated Press Top 25 poll in just seven seasons. This year marks the sixth consecutive that the Utes have barreled into the top 20.Since joining the Pac-12 eight years ago, the Utes have finished each season with a defense more efficient than its offense.2According to ESPN’s measurement, which is based on the point contributions of each unit to the team’s scoring margin. The average is around 50 for each unit. The team’s average defensive efficiency over that time (73.3) grades out as tops among all defenses in the conference, while its offense (46.9) grades out as the second worst. This season, the two are within 2 points of each other, as the Utes feature a smashmouth offense that has vaulted the program onto the national scene.In a conference marketed by speed and governed by spread offensive principles, Utah has been as deliberate as it gets. That’s the work of offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Andy Ludwig, who returned to Salt Lake City this offseason after previously serving in the former role from 2005 to 2008.3 Ludwig shepherded the Utes to a 13-0 record and a Sugar Bowl victory the last time he called the plays. Like many coordinators, Ludwig adapts his system to the personnel on hand. This season, that flexibility has arguably produced the kind of offense that, according to Utah backup quarterback Jason Shelley, will “smash you right in the face.”Last season, Utah huddled on just 60.7 percent of snaps. Two seasons ago, only 27.5 percent of offensive plays involved that traditional gathering. But this year, Ludwig has the Utes huddling before 98.4 percent of plays, a rate outpaced by only a handful of teams. The Pac-12 averages a huddle rate of 52.2 percent, with six teams opting to huddle on less than 40 percent of snaps. In turn, Utah has gone almost entirely under center. While Arizona, Oregon and Washington State have used just two under-center snaps this season combined, Utah has racked up 78. By average time of possession per play and per drive, this is easily Utah’s slowest offensive cadence in at least 15 years — and it’s on pace to be the slowest Pac-12 offense over that same stretch. MetricUtahPac-12 average Time of possession per drive3:122:30 Huddle percentage98%52% These team performances have come via an abridged playbook. “Ludwig has done a very good job of just keeping things really basic,” Moss said after the Utes thrashed Idaho State. “We’ve just been running the first couple installs we did going into this year. If you can win with your basic stuff, that’s really good for your offense.”Friday’s matchup at USC presents an opportunity for the Utes to allay fears that the moment will grow too big for them. It would mark a historic victory for Utah, which hasn’t beaten the Trojans in Los Angeles since 1916 (though in only nine attempts). Since arriving in the Pac-12 in 2011, Utah has never shown the flash of Oregon or the imagination of Washington State. It has even found itself in the shadow of Stanford, another program that bucks conference norms behind a conservative, play clock-drowning style. So it’s fitting that Utah, a program conventionally known for a stout defensive front, is gunning for contention behind an old face and a new offensive blueprint.Check out our latest college football predictions. read more

Read More »

Met Office chief executive sacked amid questions over governance and management

first_imgThe findings of the internal investigation were then passed to Alex Chisholm, the permanent secretary at BEIS, who requested that Mr Varley resign. “He agreed to step down after being told to step down,” said the BEIS spokesman. The Met Office has been plunged into crisis after its chief executive was sacked over problems with “governance and management controls” at the £170 million a year public body.Rob Varley was ordered to resign from his £160,000 post by the most senior civil servant at the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), which oversees the national weather service.Mr Varley, who had worked at the Met Office for 34 years beginning as a trainee forecaster in 1983, agreed to step aside.It comes at a pivotal time for the Met Office, which lost the contract to provide forecasting services for the BBC to its rival MeteoGroup. It will stop providing forecasts later this month. The Met Office has provided data for the BBC’s weather forecasts since the corporation’s first radio weather bulletin in November 1922.An internal report by Sir John Beddington, the Met Office’s chairman and the Government’s former chief scientific adviser, raised concerns over the “governance arrangements and management controls” within the chief executive’s department, said a BEIS spokesman. [Rob Varley] agreed to step down after being told to step down.BEIS spokesman Mr Varley’s father had also worked at the Met Office and the pair briefly overlapped. It is not clear the precise nature of the complaint against Mr Varley. The Met Office’s annual report raised a “significant governance and control issue” over “a particular product development and a bid which resulted in incorrect pricing and specifications for some key services”. The report went on: “The specific issues have been addressed but these processes are being analysed to identify the root causes and to develop appropriate remedial actions.”center_img The Government refused to say exactly what the problem was but insisted it concerned management around the chief executive’s office and said the problem was “not on a huge scale”.The Met Office declined to say why its chief executive had been forced to resign. A spokesman said it had come as a surprise and nobody had been informed of the reason.The Met Office said that its work was “wholly unaffected” by Mr Varley stepping down  and that the current deputy chief executive and chief finance officer Nick Jobling has taken over with immediate effect on a short term basis.“This will ensure continued leadership of our world-class National Meteorological Service,” said the organisation, adding; “Met Office operations and services are wholly unaffected by this decision.” Mr Varley was appointed chief executive in 2014 and had spoken of his great ‘privilege’ in heading up the body.He said at the time of his appointment: “I feel hugely privileged to be asked to take up this role having started work at the Met Office as a forecaster over 30 years ago.”He went on: “I am passionate about the difference accurate forecasts and warnings can make to people lives and livelihoods. As Met Office Chief Executive, I want to ensure we unlock the full potential of our science for the benefit of the nation and our partners in the UK and overseas.” 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

Read More »

There are one million app jobs in Europe right now and Apple

first_imgMORE THAN ONE million direct and indirect European jobs have been created by the growing app industry, according to a new report.The findings, from Vision Mobile, says that more than $16.5 billion (€12.3 billion) in revenue was generated this year, accounting for 19% of the revenue generated by the global app economy.It said that the number of direct European app economy jobs is up 26% from 2013 to 667,000.However, it warned that the app economy in Europe was growing much slower than Asia, which accounted for approximately three times the smartphone sales volume of Europe.It said that while developers were in a strong position to capture a large share of Western markets, they should extend their reach into fast-growing markets like China and India.Using the same findings, Apple also released its own EU update and claimed that 629,000 jobs were created or supported by Apple in Europe.It said that 497,000 jobs were directly attributable to the App Store – roughly half of the direct and indirect app economy jobs in Europe – and that $6.5 billion (€4.8 billion) in App Store income was earned by developers based in Europe.It said its Cork headquarters makes it the largest private employer in Ireland, where it employs 4,000 people and helps support another 2,500 positions in the local area like security, catering, recruitment and maintenance.The report also found that professional developers were more likely to work with iOS, with 43% of them prioritising it compared to 35% for Android.Previous research from the Insight Centre for Data Analytics at NUI Galway and GigaOM research, released back in February, found that app developers in the EU made €17.5 billion in revenue in 2013, and estimated that this figure would increase to €63 billion in five years.Read: Apple and Samsung decide to call a patent truce, but only outside the US >Read: Samsung has been knocked off the top spot in China by a local smartphone maker >last_img read more

Read More »

Skalkos charged with indecency

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Colourful Sydney publisher Theo Skalkos is in legal hot water again, but those familiar with his insatiable appetite for courtroom stoushes will be expecting him to once again channel his inner-Houdini.Fairfax Media reported this week that Skalkos, 83, had been charged with committing an act of indecency with a teenager of unspecified sex. A former bankrupt, Skalkos is alleged to have engaged in the act with a 19-year-old at Mascot on February 4.Dubbed ‘Earthquake’ due to his thunderous presence in his company’s office, Skalkos has an uncanny knack of finding his way out of the gravest of legal difficulties.In another sex-related court matter dating back to 2003, Skalkos was accused of indecent assault in relation to a former employee. Skalkos ultimately made his getaway, unscathed – thanks to the talents of legendary barrister Jim Conomos, who convinced the magistrate the 35-year-old alleged victim had been motivated by greed.One of his most famous court losses dates back to the 1980s, when celebrated Australian Cypriot television producer and football entrepreneur Harry Michaels sued The Greek Herald for defamation and managed to extract $150k in damages from Skalkos after launching legal proceedings in NSW.To avoid similar payouts in other states, Skalkos changed the name of the paper to the Hellenic Herald. In 2012, Skalkos yet again faced court on firearm charges after allegedly levelling a double-barrelled shotgun at a tradesman chasing him for almost $25, 000 in unpaid work performed on his Mascot office. Skalkos allegedly ripped up an invoice presented to him by plumber James Hasapis, telling him, “if you come back I will cut off your legs”.In Waverley Local Court, Magistrate Jacqueline Milledge found Skalkos “probably” did assault Hasapis, but it had not been established, beyond reasonable doubt, and because the accused was “a person of otherwise excellent good character”, she wasn’t satisfied he committed the offence. In separate charges Skalkos was convicted and fined $1,200 with $81 court costs on the firearms charge of failing to keep the shotgun and ammunition secure after pleading guilty.Skalkos pleaded not guilty to the latest charge laid against him in a Sydney court on Monday and will reappear on September 14.last_img read more

Read More »

LAfrique du Sud veut miser sur lénergie éolienne

first_imgL’Afrique du Sud veut miser sur l’énergie éolienneL’Afrique du Sud vient tout juste de dévoiler son atlas des vents qui recense les principaux endroits propices à l’installation de fermes éoliennes. Le pays espère ainsi attirer les investisseurs et réduire la part du charbon dans son alimentation électrique.L’éolien a le vent en poupe ces dernières années. Alors que de plus en plus de pays veulent miser sur les énergies renouvelables, c’est au tour de l’Afrique du Sud de vouloir réduire sa dépendance au charbon. Le pays a en effet créé son premier atlas des vents sur lequel apparaissent les principaux endroits destinés à accueillir l’installation de fermes éoliennes. Un projet qui fait partie d’une politique d’encouragement des énergies renouvelables et va permettre à l’Afrique du Sud d’attirer les investisseurs. À lire aussiMaladie de Charcot : symptômes, causes, traitement, où en est on ?La vice-ministre de l’Energie Barbara Thompson explique : “c’est une opportunité pour les investisseurs. C’est une occasion pour eux d’investir dans notre économie verte.” Financée par le programme de l’Organisation des Nations Unies pour le développement éolien local et l’ambassade du Danemark, la réalisation de l’atlas a coûté pas moins de 22 millions de rands soit 2,3 millions d’euros. Il couvre ainsi les trois provinces côtières du Cap (septentrional, occidental et oriental), sur les façades ouest et sud du pays.”Il y a un bon potentiel dans de vastes régions de l’Afrique du Sud. Il est totalement inexploité”, a indiqué Jens Carsten Hansen, spécialiste de l’éolien à l’Université technique du Danemark cité par l’AFP. Le gouvernement sud-africain a mis en place un nouvel appel d’offres (le second) destiné aux producteurs d’énergie éolienne privés afin de renforcer le réseau électrique de la compagnie publique Eskom qui a du mal à contenir la croissance de la demande. A terme, le pays souhaite ramener de 90 à 65% la part du charbon dans son alimentation électrique d’ici 2030.Le 16 mars 2012 à 20:31 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

Read More »

US stocks stage big rally erase 600 point drop in Dow

first_imgWall Street staged a swift, last-minute turnaround Thursday that rescued stocks from a steep dive and put the market on track to end a topsy-turvy, volatile week with a gain.The comeback reversed a 611 point drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq eked out modest gains after having been down 2.8 and 3.3 percent, respectively.Thursday’s sharp swing in stocks followed their best day in 10 years. Even so, the market remains headed for what could be its steepest annual loss since the financial crisis.The market’s sharp downturn that began in October has intensified this month, erasing all of its 2018 gains and nudging the S&P 500 closer to its worst year since 2008. Even with the two-day winning streak, the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq are all down more than 9 percent for the month and stocks are on track for their worst December since 1931.“There are reasons we should be volatile, including a lot of unknowns as we head into 2019, starting with tariffs,” said JJ Kinahan, chief markets strategist for TD Ameritrade, noting that below-average trading volume this time of year is also contributing to the market’s volatility this week.last_img read more

Read More »

Westbound Sunrise Boulevard in Lauderhill closed due to paint spill

first_imgLAUDERHILL, FLA. (WSVN) – A portion of Sunrise Boulevard has been closed due to a paint spill, Thursday.Officers closed the westbound lanes of Sunrise Boulevard between Northwest 31st Street and 34th Avenue. #Traffic Alert. Westbound Sunrise Blvd between NW 31 Ave & NW 34 Ave closed due to Truck that dumped paint all over roadway. In front of SWAP Shop @TotalTrafficMIA #BreakingNews @LauderhillFDPIO @LPDPIO pic.twitter.com/TXfMw4qoej— LauderhillFDOpsChief (@LHFireOPSChief) December 14, 2017Police said a car collided with a tractor trailer that was carrying commercial-grade paint, causing it to spill onto the street.The lanes were closed as crews cleaned the mess, but they have since reopened.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

Read More »

Michigan Looks to Economic Study to Help Grow Defense Presence

first_imgA study sponsored by the Michigan Defense Center is expected to shape state efforts to preserve its Army and Air National Guard facilities following a future BRAC round as well as to attract new missions.DOD accounts for an estimated $8 billion in annual spending in Michigan, an impact the center would like to grow. About 67 of Michigan’s 83 counties are a place of business under at least one defense contract, said Sean Carlson, the agency’s executive director.The $400,000 study — being prepared by Matrix Design Group — should provide officials an understanding of what military activities would best fit the state’s industries and workforce, reported Crain’s Detroit Business. The study should be completed within several weeks.The military has a significant amount of excess infrastructure and needs to find ways to cut spending on its infrastructure.“It stands to reason that you can’t afford to keep everything you have open, so there is a lot of pressure to make base operations dollars stretch further,” said Sal Nodjomian, executive vice president at Matrix and program manager for the study. Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more

Read More »

New Study Reveals Human Trafficking Indicators

first_imgMike EmeryRebecca Pfeffer, assistant professor of criminal justice at the University of Houston- Downtown, partnered up with the Houston Police Department to help officers spot human trafficking cases versus prostitution.A new study has been released that could help Houston police officers better identify human trafficking in the city.The research analyzed almost 1,500 prostitution cases from 2014 to find key factors that aligned with human trafficking.Rebecca Pfeffer, assistant professor of criminal justice at the University of Houston-Downtown, partnered up with the Houston Police Department to help officers spot human trafficking cases versus prostitution.“They’ve been trained for so long to look at something that they’ve identified and called prostitution for so long that they can’t see the victimization behind some of those cases,” says Pfeffer.The most common indicators of human trafficking were victims under the age of 18, people who used coercion tactics, and depriving victims of alternatives.“So looking for things like that in the narrative of the police incident reports to see how many of these cases had these indicators,” says Pfeffer.HPD Deputy Larry Yium says the department is open to the study. And he says using evidence-based research helps provide a different perspective.“If we can reduce crime, or prevent crime and reduce victimization by changing some of our practices that’s very important just to society overall,” says Yium.The deputy said the department plans to implement recommendations from the study and take part in more human trafficking research in the future. 00:00 /01:12 To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Listen X Sharelast_img read more

Read More »

Party Politics Texas Edition Ep 24 Redistricting Ruling Rodeo

first_img To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: 00:00 /17:41 Listen center_img Sam CravenSam Craven of Meyerland had hoped this AquaDam around his house would prevent flooding from Harvey. The dam helps against up to 30 inches of water. Craven’s house took on 5 feet.On this episode of Party Politics: Texas Edition, co-hosts Jay Aiyer and Brandon Rottinghaus explain what’s happening in Texas, post-Hurricane Harvey:Houston’s tax hikeJudge Ed Emmett’s flood changesLt. Gov. Dan Patrick and the Texas GOP now support flood control infrastructureSenator Ted Cruz’s account liked something NSFW on TwitterThen, the profs talk about the Supreme Court’s blocking of the rule against Texas redistricting. By the way, don’t forget to check out our national episodes of Party Politics, too.Party Politics is produced by Dacia Clay, Edel Howlin and Laura Lucas. Our audio engineer is Todd Hulslander. This article is part of the Party Politics podcast Share Xlast_img read more

Read More »

Latest SpongeBob iOS game includes 9999 inapp purchase

first_imgAlthough SpongeBob SquarePants has fans of all ages, Nickelodeon clearly aims the character and anything he puts his name to at children. So it’s surprising to see just how much and how expensive the new SpongeBob iOS game turns out to be.Yesterday, Nickelodeon launched a new game on the App Store called SpongeBob Moves In. It costs $1.99 to purchase, which is fair enough, but then has in-app purchases ranging in price from $0.99 right up to $99.99. That’s right, you can spend $100 in one transaction in this game.The game sees you play out SpongeBob’s life and doing everything you’d expect SpongeBob to do while ensuring his home city expands and runs smoothly. Achieving the in-game goals requires currency though, which takes the form of both Jellyfish Jelly and Coins. These can be earned, but also purchased as an IAP.Nickelodeon has made it very clear when you first load the game that it’s possible to spend money when playing and that charges will appear on your iTunes account. However, it isn’t clear why they have included such expensive IAPs in what is essentially a game for kids.Jellyfish Jelly can be purchased for as little as $0.99, but that only gets you 25 jars. The amount you can acquire then goes up to the most expensive tier, which gets you 4,000 jars for $99.99. Purchasing coins isn’t much cheaper. Again, $0.99 gets you 100 coins, but you can spend as much as $49.99 buying 10,000 of them.Any parent buying this app for their kids to play would do well to ensure in-app purchases are disabled, otherwise they could find themselves with a very large bill spent on jelly and coins.last_img read more

Read More »

Computer chess created in 487 bytes breaks 32yearold record

first_imgIt doesn’t matter how far you go back in the relatively short history of video games, storage space and memory limits have always been an issue. Today’s games are concerned with texture sizes and making sure an entire game is capable of fitting on to a 50GB Blu-ray disc. However, early hardware limited games to just a few kilobytes of memory. But this week a very old record has been broken, and it involves the game of chess.The record for smallest computer implementation of chess on any platform was held by 1K ZX Chess, which saw a release back in 1983 for the Sinclair ZX81. It uses just 672 bytes of memory, and includes most chess rules as well as a computer component to play against. You can see the program listed in the February 1983 copy of Your Computer Magazine.The record held by 1K ZX Chess for the past 32 years has just been beaten this week, however, by the demoscene group Red Sector Inc. They have implemented a fully-playable version of chess called BootChess in just 487 bytes. A video of BootChess in action can be watched below:It’s not much to look at as you’d expect, but it’s an impressive feat of assembly coding nonetheless. It’s equally impressive that it’s a multi-format game, capable of running on Windows, Linux, OS X, and BSD due to the way in which it was implemented.It seems unlikely BootChess will be beaten any time soon, and it could in fact hold the record for as long as 1K ZX Chess has. That is, of course, unless someone spots an optimization when reviewing the BootChess code.last_img read more

Read More »

Colin Lonzo should keep starting when Rondo returns

first_imgRajon Rondo was named starting point guard for the Lakers before the season started, partly because LeBron respects his Basketball IQ and ability to effectively run a team, but also because Lonzo Ball is fresh off a knee injury that limited his offseason and has been playing catch up as the season gets underway.With Rondo serving the first of a three game suspension because of his fight with Chris Paul, Lonzo started against Phoenix in the Lakers first win of the season last night, and based on what he saw, Colin thinks he should remain the starting point guard even when Rondo gets back.The Suns are awful, but it gave them a blueprint of a style of play that can win with. Lonzo is better suited for the breakneck pace L.A. played last night in scoring 131 points to beat the Suns, and will have to play all year, to make up for their lack of three-point shooting. Rondo is a high assist total guy, but is notorious for pounding the ball into the floor and won’t get the ball up the floor like Lonzo will.Watch Colin explain why Luke Walton should stick with Lonzo, even when Rondo returns.Even when Rajon Rondo returns from suspension, Lonzo Ball should be starting for the Lakers pic.twitter.com/CM5tmZEQ0m— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) October 25, 2018last_img read more

Read More »

Goodbye Car Wash Nissan Develops SelfCleaning Car

first_img 1 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Unless you’re a kid, and get to sit back with snacks while you’re chauffeured through all the bubbles and steam, going to the car wash can kind of suck.Luckily, thanks to Nissan, car washes may soon be a thing of the past: The Yokohama, Japan-based car company is developing “the first ‘self-cleaning’ car prototype.”While it’s a sci-fi headline, the reality is slightly less dramatic. (There are no robots involved.) Instead, Nissan is developing a high-tech paint job, one that repels mud, rain, spray, frost, sleet, standing water and everyday dirt. The company predicts that the paint means “drivers may never have to clean their car again.”The nano-paint technology has been applied to all-new European market Nissan Note, the company said.For now, Nissan doesn’t have plans to offer the self-cleaning paint on production models. The ‘self-cleaning’ car will instead be tested in Europe over the next few months.Check out Nissan’s nano-paint in action below. Related: Forget Smartphones and Watches. Are iCars and iCardio Monitors in Apple’s Future? Enroll Now for Free Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now April 25, 2014last_img read more

Read More »