WONSAN, Korea, Democratic People’s Republic Of — For North Korean factory managers, a visit by leader Kim Jong Un is the highest of honours and quite possibly the most stressful event imaginable.The chief engineer at the Songdowon General Foodstuffs Factory had looked forward to the visit for nearly a decade. His factory churns out tons of cookies, crackers, candies and bakery goods, plus dozens of varieties of soft drinks sold around the country. In its showroom, Kwon Yong Chol proudly showed off one of his bestsellers, a nutrient soup made with spirulina, a blue-green microalgae “superfood.”“Ever since construction began everyone here had wanted the leader to visit, and this year he did. His visit was the biggest thing that could happen to us,” Kwon, smiling broadly, said of Kim Jong Un’s visit in July. “He ate our instant noodles. He said they were delicious.”Not all managers have been so fortunate.There’s a lot on the line for North Korea these days. And Kim means business.___Though the international spotlight has been on his denuclearization talks with Washington, the North Korean leader has a lot riding domestically on his promises to boost the country’s economy and standard of living. His announcement in April that North Korea had sufficiently developed its nuclear weapons and would now focus on building its economy marked a sharp turn in official policy, setting the stage for his rapid-fire meetings with the leaders of China, South Korea and the United States.It also set in motion an ambitious campaign of “on-the-spot guidance” trips to rally party officials, factory managers and military troops.After the announcement of the “new strategic line” and his first round of summits, including his meeting in June with President Donald Trump, Kim embarked on nearly 20 inspection tours around the country in July and another 10 in August, all but one of them to non-military locations. The military inspection rounds are instead being handled by the country’s premier, Pak Pong Ju, who has gone on 18 inspection tours from July, mostly to military facilities.On-the-spot guidance tours are a tradition Kim inherited from his father and grandfather, the late “eternal General-Secretary” Kim Jong Il and “eternal President” Kim Il Sung.They date to the late 1940s, when Kim Il Sung began gradually institutionalizing the visits to demonstrate his hands-on leadership and, as invariably portrayed by the North’s media, his deep care and concern for the well-being of the people.Factories, farms and important industrial facilities are the usual destinations. But Kim Jong Un’s focus on them this year marks a break from excursions in 2017 to nuclear weapons facilities and missile sites.Reflecting the gravity of his current mission, Kim has shown little patience for cadres who come up short.On his July tour in the northern part of the country he lambasted officials at a factory that produces backpacks for students, saying their attitude was “very wrong” and “has no revolutionary spirit.” He then dressed down officials at a power plant that has been under construction for 17 years, criticized people in charge of a hotel project for taking too long to finish plastering its walls and slammed the authorities responsible for building a recreational campsite.“Looking round the bathroom of the camp, he pointed out its very bad condition, saying bathtubs for hot spring therapy are dirty, gloomy and unsanitary for their poor management,” said an official report of the visit.___Most inspection tours, however, go like Kim’s two-hour visit to the Songdowon processed foods factory.With a gaggle of cameramen in tow — the tours are always top news in North Korea’s media — the site’s senior manager generally serves as the guide. Members of Kim’s entourage frantically take notes as he suggests tweaks of this or that and offers praise or encouragement.Many factories put up red and gold plaques to commemorate the event. Some have special wall displays made afterward that show the exact path the leader took in little LED lights that can be turned on at the press of a button.At Kwon’s factory, which has 300 employees and is located on the outskirts of the eastern coastal city of Wonsan, Kim advised managers to improve operations on an “automated, unmanned and germ-free basis, holding aloft the banner of self-reliance.”Before the obligatory group photo session, the North’s official news agency reported, Kim voiced “his expectation and conviction” the factory would produce more quality foods “and thus more fully demonstrate the honour of being a factory loved by the people.”But Kim also had a broader point to make.He told the factory management that they must be prepared to work in a more competitive environment, to modernize and cut the fat. These are special times and they, and basically all managers throughout the country, need to step up their game.“The Respected Marshal Kim Jong Un pays much more attention to the quality of a product,” Kwon said. “When he came to this factory he gave instructions to maintain a high level of hygiene because food is closely associated with the health of the people, and to keep the highest level of quality of products that people like. He said we must produce products that are world class, and produce a lot of foods that people like.”Kwon said the pressure isn’t just coming from above.“The people demand more quality,” he said. “When people look at the product, they must feel like they want to have it. So we are designing things in line with that. We have to satisfy the demands of the people.”___Talmadge is the AP’s Pyongyang bureau chief. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter: @EricTalmadge.Eric Talmadge, The Associated Press
NEW YORK — Facebook’s outgoing head of communications is taking the blame for hiring Definers, the public relations firm doing opposition research on the company’s critics including billionaire philanthropist George Soros.In a Facebook post that went up late Wednesday, Elliot Schrage said the responsibility to hire Definers rests with him and that he approved the decision to hire it and similar firms.Schrage has been at Facebook for a decade and announced his departure in June. In the post, Schrage acknowledges that Facebook asked Definers to do work on Soros after he called Facebook a “menace to society” in a speech. Definers, he says, also helped respond to what he said were unfair claims about the company.Facebook stopped working with the firm after a New York Times investigation unveiled its tactics.The Associated Press read more
Marakech- Morocco is the world’s only country that permits Jewish family courts to operate within its legal system.. The Jewish court in Morocco can only deal with inheritance and family issues such as marriage, divorce, wills, probate estates, and gifts between Moroccan Jews.They are not permitted to deal with other legal matters, which remain within the domain of the Moroccan legal system and deal with civil and criminal cases.Despite a diminishing Jewish population, the rabbinical courts still deal with some 150 cases a year. The system was set up under the pre-war French protectorate, but also dates back to the dhimmi laws allowing Jewish family law to operate under rabbinical courts according to their customs. Jewish communities had a special place under Moroccan sultans because of their financial acumen and access to funds. They were also allowed to deal in precious metals like gold and silver and create jewelry, which at the time was denied to Muslims.Despite the fact that most Moroccan Jews emigrated abroad (many to Israel), the courts still deliver judgments under the auspices of the King. The Jewish population in Morocco stood at 265,000 in the 1960s, but many left for Israel, Canada, and other locations following the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. The population has declined to 3,000 to 7,000, according to some estimates. Now there are only two rabbinical courts in Casablanca, which has five rabbis. The court in Marrakech has been closed for six months due to the death of the rabbi.The 2011 Moroccan constitution recognized the unique position of Jewish heritage in Morocco and its synagogues. Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane attended the opening of the refurbished Slat Al Fassiyine synagogue in Fez and read a congratulatory message from His Majesty King Mohammed VI emphasizing the importance of Morocco’s historic Jewish heritage and the King’s assurance to maintain Jewish religious freedom. read more
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email OTTAWA – Canada’s financial industry regulator is looking into whether an interest rate rigging scandal that has rocked global banks could happen in Canada.The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada said Friday it is not aware of problems, but is launching a review of Canadian practices in light of the interest-rate fixing scandal engulfing European and U.S. banks related to a wholesale lending rate known as LIBOR.IIROC is reviewing what is known as CDOR, the Canadian dealer offered rate set at 10 a.m. each business day after a survey of nine market makers, including the big banks.It measures what banks would charge their best corporate customers for syndicated loans, and would have little bearing on consumer loans such as mortgages, analysts said.“While we are not aware of concerns at this time with the setting of CDOR, recent experiences with LIBOR point to a need for increased scrutiny of such survey-based reference rates and IIROC is conducting a review of current practices among CDOR survey participants,” said Lucy Becker, IIROC vice-president for public affairs.LIBOR, little-known outside the financial industry, is short for the London inter-bank offered rate and provides a benchmark for trillions of dollars in contracts around the world, including mortgages.A British banking trade group sets the rate every morning after international banks submit estimates of what it costs them to borrow money.Scotiabank economist Derek Holt said CDOR is derived at by a survey of market participants as is LIBOR, but is not the best measure of bank funding rates.“There are better measures of the cost of funding to banks, like a weighted average of Bankers Acceptance (rate) and other short-term market measures,” he explained.The IIROC review is not related to a Competition Bureau investigation into whether Canadian affiliates of six international banks played a role in the fixing scandal with LIBOR.The scandal was sparked when venerable British bank Barclays admitted that it had submitted false information, resulting in a fine of US$453 million and the resignation of its chief executive.The investigation has since spread to several other banks, including the Royal Bank of Scotland, Deutsche Bank, Citigroup and JP Morgan Chase.The Federal Reserve Bank of New York released documents Friday that show it learned five years ago of big banks understating their borrowing costs to manipulate the key interest rate.The documents also show Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who was then president of the New York Fed, urged the Bank of England to make the rate-setting process more transparent. by The Canadian Press Posted Jul 13, 2012 5:54 pm MDT Industry regulator launches probe into Canadian lending rate setting read more
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email ___Greeks hit by closed banks, warnings from eurozoneATHENS, Greece (AP) — Anxious pensioners swarmed closed bank branches Monday and long lines snaked outside ATMs as Greeks endured the first day of serious controls on their daily economic lives ahead of a July 5 referendum that could determine whether the country has to ditch the euro currency and return to the drachma.As strict capital controls took root following Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ surprise weekend decision to call a referendum on international creditors’ latest economic proposals, Greece’s population tried to fathom the sheer scale of the impact on their day-to-day existence.___Officials hint at possible win for Uber in Mexico CityMEXICO CITY (AP) — Times are tough for Uber in many parts of the world, from a recent California ruling that its drivers cannot be classified as contractors to a Paris taxi protest that became a riot and led France’s president to promise a crackdown.But the smartphone-based ridesharing app may soon get some good news in Mexico City.Ahead of a city government decision on its future, Uber recently got a ringing, though nonbinding, endorsement from the influential Federal Commission on Economic Competition. Even Mexico City’s Human Rights Commission has weighed in favouring the service.___NBC to Donald Trump: You’re firedNEW YORK (AP) — NBC said Monday that it is ending its business relationship with mogul and GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump because of comments he made about Mexican immigrants during the announcement of his campaign.The network said it would no longer air the annual Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants, which had been a joint venture between the company and Trump. Miss USA has aired on NBC since 2003, and this year’s edition was set for July 12.___Truffle dogs sniff out pungent fungus prized by foodiesCARNEROS, Calif. (AP) — The growing appetite for truffles is feeding demand for dogs trained to sniff out the pungent fungus prized by chefs and foodies.As more landowners plant orchards in hopes of harvesting truffles, more dogs are being trained to detect the earthy delicacies, which take several years to ripen on tree roots underground.“There is huge demand for truffle dogs right now,” said Alana McGee, co-founder of the Truffle Dog Company, which helps orchard owners search for truffles and trains dogs how to find them in orchards or in the wild.___International economists release critical Puerto Rico reportSAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — International economists released a critical report on Puerto Rico’s economy Monday on the heels of the governor’s warning that the island can’t pay its $72 billion public debt.The news that Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla delivered late Sunday was another jolt to the recession-gripped U.S. island, as well as a world financial system already worrying over Greece’s collapsing finances.Garcia is scheduled to air a pre-recorded televised address late Monday afternoon as legislators continue to debate a $9.8 billion budget that calls for $674 million in cuts and sets aside $1.5 billion to help pay off the debt. The budget has to be approved by Tuesday.___Incomes rise for bottom 99 pct.; US inequality still worsensWASHINGTON (AP) — Solid job growth is finally boosting paychecks for the rest of us.Incomes for the bottom 99 per cent of American families rose 3.3 per cent last year to $47,213, the biggest annual gain in the past 15 years, according to data compiled by economist Emmanuel Saez and released Monday by the Washington Center for Equitable Growth.The increase likely reflects robust hiring last year when employers added 3.1 million jobs — the most since 1999. That lowered the unemployment rate to 5.6 per cent from 6.7 per cent a year earlier. Strong job gains and a falling unemployment can help broadly raise incomes as businesses are forced to offer higher pay to attract workers.___US pending home sales climb to 9-year highWASHINGTON (AP) — More Americans signed contracts to purchase homes in May, as pending sales climbed to their highest level in more than nine years.The National Association of Realtors said Monday that its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index rose 0.9 per cent to 112.6 last month. The index has increased 10.4 per cent over the past 12 months, putting it just below the April 2006 level — which was more than a year before the housing bust triggered the Great Recession.___Hyundai sees green future in hydrogen-powered carsYONGIN, South Korea (AP) — Hyundai Motor Co. said Monday it believes hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are the future for eco-friendly cars despite challenges of limited infrastructure and slow sales.South Korea’s largest automaker has sold or leased 273 Tucson fuel cell SUVs since beginning production in 2013, lower than its 1,000 target, mostly in Europe and California.Kim Sae Hoon, general manager at Hyundai’s fuel cell engineering design team, said fuel cell cars represent a bigger opportunity than electric cars because competition is less fierce. Hydrogen-powered cars also give more flexibility to designers, he said. They can be scaled to big vehicles such as buses as well as small cars.___Feds shut down background check database over flawWASHINGTON (AP) — The federal personnel agency whose records were plundered by hackers linked to China announced on Monday the temporary shutdown of a massive database used to update and store background investigation records after newly discovering a flaw that left the system vulnerable to additional breaches.There is no evidence the vulnerability has been exploited by hackers, agency spokesman Samuel Schumach said in a statement, adding that the Office of Personnel Management took the step protectively. He said the system could be shut down for four to six weeks.___Sysco pulling out of US Foods buyout after FTC moveNEW YORK (AP) — Sysco is scrapping its proposed $3.5 billion buyout of US Foods after a Federal Trade Commission legal victory that temporarily blocked the deal to combine the two food-service companies.The FTC opposed the deal, saying it would reduce competition by putting 75 per cent of the national market for suppliers to restaurants and other food-service operations under the control of one company. The U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., granted the halt on Tuesday.___GE selling some fleet businesses to Element for $6.9BFAIRFIELD, Conn. (AP) — General Electric Co. is selling its U.S., Mexico, Australia and New Zealand fleet businesses to Element Financial Corp. for $6.9 billion.GE Capital Fleet Services provides commercial car and truck financing and fleet-management services. GE recently announced it would sell most of GE Capital over the next two years.GE Capital Chairman and CEO Keith Sherin said in a written statement that the company is on track to sell off businesses worth about $100 billion by the end of the year and expects to be finished with the sales by the end of 2016.___Justices rule against EPA power plant mercury limitsWASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court ruled Monday against the Obama administration’s attempt to limit power plant emissions of mercury and other hazardous air pollutants, but it may only be a temporary setback for regulators.The justices split 5-4 along ideological lines to rule that the Environmental Protection Agency did not properly take costs into account when it first decided to regulate the toxic emissions from coal- and oil-fired plants.___Discovery secures European Olympic TV rights through 2024LONDON (AP) — U.S.-based media giant Discovery Communications Inc. secured the European broadcast rights for four Olympics through 2024 on Monday in a landmark deal worth 1.3 billion euros ($1.45 billion).The parent company of the Discovery Channel and Eurosport won the rights to the games of 2018, 2020, 2022 and 2024, and also agreed to collaborate with the IOC on its new year-round Olympic Channel.The International Olympic Committee said the deal covers all platforms, including free television, subscription and pay TV, internet and mobile phones in 50 countries across the continent.___By The Associated Press=The Dow Jones industrial average fell 350.33 points, or 2 per cent, to 17,596.35. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 43.85 points, or 2.1 per cent, to 2,057.64. The Nasdaq lost 122.04 points, or 2.4 per cent, to 4,958.47.Benchmark U.S. crude fell $1.30 to close at $58.33 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils used by many U.S. refineries, fell $1.25 to close at $62.01 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline fell 1.9 cents to close at $2.030 a gallon. Heating oil fell 2.6 cents to close at $1.837 a gallon. Natural gas rose 3.2 cents to close at $2.805 per 1,000 cubic feet. by The Associated Press Posted Jun 29, 2015 3:55 pm MDT Business Highlights read more
This could have funded around 60 hip replacement operations. Her predecessor Neil Cook, cost £35,000 for less than two months – equivalent to £240,000 a year. It also employed Ralph McCormack as executive lead for stabilisation and transition at a cost of £275,000 for the year.The CCG had a deficit of £21.8m at the end of the financial year, £6.4m adrift of the original plan agreed with NHS England. NHS authorities which say patients should endure “intense and persistent” pain before they can have hip surgery are paying managers more than £300,000 a year, an investigation has revealed.Seven areas are planning restrictions which are so severe that surgeons have warned patients could be left at risk of painkiller addiction.And senior officials at the organisations are being paid rates of more than £300,000 a year. Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in Sussex have proposed rationing policies for hip replacement which say patients are expected to endure “uncontrolled, intense, persistent” pain for six months before referral for operations.The proposals are part of wider restrictions aiming to save £20m.The British Orthopaedic Association said patients could become at risk of opiate addiction while waiting for surgery under the policies. Now an investigation by Health Service Journal reveals that the cash-strapped bodies have been paying rates of more than £300,000 a year to officials in charge of making savings.One of the seven CCGs currently considering the rationing plans spent more than £600,000 a year on interim officials.Coastal West Sussex CCG employed Margaret Ashworth as interim chief finance officer at a cost of £295,000 for under 11 months in 2017-18 – equivalent to more than £330,000 a year. At another organisation, East Surrey CCG, interim chief finance officer Ray Davey cost £205,000 for seven months. This rate – paid via an agency -is equivalent to £351,000 a year. The CCG had a deficit of £24.9m.Since 2016, all off payroll staff at director level in CCGs have had to be approved by NHS England. Any interim costing over £900 a day – about £225,000 a year – has to be approved by the NHS England commercial executive committee. Under the rationing plans being considered in Sussex, patients would have to endure “uncontrolled, intense, persistent” pain which substantially affects their daily life for six months before being routinely referred for a hip replacement. If adopted, the policy would mean patients are expected to have taken painkillers including opioids, had physiotherapy, and tried to lose weight, if necessary, for six months before referral for surgery. Ananda Nanu, president of the British Orthopaedic Association, said: “While the policy that Sussex CCGs are looking to implement does not contravene NICE guidelines, the BOA takes the view that the restrictions are not putting patients’ needs and well being as the priority.“The BOA is also concerned that opiates are being championed for the management of a chronic condition such as arthritis where the treatment and solution is clearly surgical. These are strong, highly addictive controlled drugs that are intended for acute pain of short duration. The evidence shows that patients using opiate pain killers prior to total hip replacement have higher complication rates afterwards.”Gill Galliano, Acting Chair at NHS Coastal West Sussex CCG said: “Since the appointment of Adam Doyle as the CCG’s substantive Accountable Officer from 01 April 2018, all posts within the Senior Management Team have been filled with permanent members of staff both from within the CCG and the wider commissioning system.“Substantive and consistent leadership has been a priority for the CCG’s Governing Body in order to allow the organisation to make the improvements necessary to address the challenges it faces; this is now in place and we are working productively together to give the CCG the clear leadership to move forward.” 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. read more
TABLET COMPUTERS WILL outsell personal computers by 2015 globally in another sign of the shifting tech landscape, a survey showed Monday.A report by the research firm Gartner said that the shift comes despite a cooling of the tablet market in 2014 and some stability in PC sales, due to upgrades of ageing devices.The research firm said it expects total PC sales this year of 308 million units, with some growth in “ultramobiles” offsetting declines in traditional desktop and laptop purchases.For 2014, PC sales will still hold a lead over tablets – with sales expected of 256 million units. But by 2015, tablet sales will hit 320 million to 316 million for PCs, it says.The prediction came in a report which said total device sales including PCs, tablets and mobile phones hit 2.4 billion units this year.Gartner analysts said the tablet market is cooling a bit, with growth slowing to 23.9% this year, around half the pace of 2013. The PC market meanwhile is seeing relative stability – with a decline expected of 2.9% after a 9.5% drop last year.Gartner analyst Ranjit Atwal said PC sales are being helped by upgrades and replacements of ageing devices.“This year, we anticipate nearly 60 million professional PC replacements in mature markets,” he said.Sales of mobile phones are expected to reach 1.9 billion units in 2014, a 3.1% increase – with smartphones accounting for two-thirds of the total.Taking into account all the devices, Google Android is expected to represent around half of all sales – 1.16 billion, Gartner said. Windows devices will account for 333 million while Apple’s iOS and MacOS will total 271 million, the report said.- © AFP, 2014Read: 200 jobs up for grabs as Ryanair launches digital lab >Read: These 17 web tools will improve your productivity > read more
The United States does not seek conflict with Iran, but we are postured and ready to defend US forces and interests in the region.Amid the rising tensions, Trump said on Thursday he was open to talks with Tehran’s leadership.“What I would like to see with Iran, I would like to see them call me,” Trump told reporters at the White House.“We don’t want them to have nuclear weapons – not much to ask,” he said.In the latest of a series of escalating statements, however, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo the same day threatened a “swift and decisive” US response to any attack by Iran.“Our restraint to this point should not be mistaken by Iran for a lack of resolve,” he said, adding however: “We do not seek war.”In May last year, Trump pulled the United States out of an agreement aimed at curtailing Iran’s nuclear ambitions and reinstated unilateral economic sanctions.On Wednesday, President Hassan Rouhani said Iran would no longer implement parts of the deal and threatened to go further if the remaining members of the pact, including the European Union, failed to deliver sanctions relief to counterbalance Trump’s renewed assault on the Iranian economy within 60 days.© AFP 2019 May 11th 2019, 12:28 PM US sends amphibious ships and missiles to the Gulf amid reports of Iran ‘threat’ Iran said this week that it had stopped respecting limits on its nuclear activities agreed under a 2015 deal with major powers. By AFP THE UNITED STATES is deploying an amphibious assault ship and a Patriot missile battery to bolster an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers already sent to the Gulf, ratcheting up pressure on Iran.In response to alleged threats from Iran, the USS Arlington, which transports marines, amphibious vehicles, conventional landing craft and rotary aircraft, and the Patriot air defence system will join the Abraham Lincoln carrier group, the Pentagon announced.The carrier and a B-52 bomber task force were ordered towards the Gulf, as Washington reiterated that intelligence reports suggested Iran was planning some sort of attack in the region.Centcom, the US forces for the Middle East and Afghanistan, said on Twitter yesterday that the B-52 bombers arrived at the area of operations on 8 May, without saying where they had landed.US President Donald Trump’s national security advisor John Bolton has said the deployment aimed to send a “clear and unmistakable” message to Iran about any attack against the US or its partners in the region.Washington has not elaborated on the alleged threat, drawing criticism that it is overreacting and unnecessarily driving up tensions in the region.There was no immediate reaction from Tehran on the latest US moves, but earlier in the week it shrugged off the carrier deployment.“Bolton’s statement is a clumsy use of an out-of-date event for psychological warfare,” Iran’s Supreme National Security Council spokesman Keyvan Khosravi said. A landing craft air cushion approaches the deck of the amphibious ship USS Arlington. Source: SIPA USA/PA ImagesThe increasing tensions come as Tehran said on Wednesday it had stopped respecting limits on its nuclear activities agreed under a 2015 deal with major powers.Iran said it was responding to the sweeping unilateral sanctions that Washington has re-imposed since it quit the agreement one year ago, which have dealt a severe blow to the Iranian economy.US ‘not seeking war’The Pentagon, for its part, said the deployments were “in response to indications of heightened Iranian readiness to conduct offensive operations against US forces and our interests”.“The Department of Defence continues to closely monitor the activities of the Iranian regime, their military and proxies,” it said. The US Navy amphibious transport dock ship USS Arlington transits the Atlantic Ocean. Image: Megan Anuci https://jrnl.ie/4629980 63 Comments The US Navy amphibious transport dock ship USS Arlington transits the Atlantic Ocean. Share26 Tweet Email2 Short URL Image: Megan Anuci 19,472 Views Saturday 11 May 2019, 12:28 PM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article read more
A tropical subject … Could typhoons affect the upcoming Rugby World Cup? The disruption caused in Tokyo on Monday by a typhoon has ignited questions about contingency planning. https://jrnl.ie/4804605 A man rides a moped through a flooded street due to a typhoon in Tokyo Image: AP/PA Images 27,510 Views Short URL By AFP NAMIBIA 0 NEW Zealand 0 at the Rugby World Cup – An improbable scoreline but one that could happen if their pool match is cancelled due to a typhoon.The disruption caused in Tokyo in the early hours of Monday by powerful typhoon Faxai has reignited questions about contingency planning for the Rugby World Cup, which starts in just 11 days.Here are some of the key questions as one of the world’s natural disaster hotspots prepares to host one of the world’s biggest sporting events.What happens if a game is called off?The regulations vary depending on whether the match affected is during the pool stages or the knock-out phase of the competition.According to section three of World Rugby’s tournament rules for Japan 2019: “Where a pool match cannot be commenced on the day in which it is scheduled, it shall not be postponed to the following day, and shall be considered as cancelled.“In such situations, the result shall be declared a draw and teams will be allocated two match points each and no score registered.”With the tournament being hailed as one of the closest ever, this could have a dramatic impact on the initial phase.From the quarter-finals onwards, there is some wiggle room, however.“Where a knock-out match cannot be commenced on the scheduled match day, it will be considered as postponed, and will be rescheduled to be played within the two days following the scheduled match day, or such longer period as determined by RWCL (Rugby World Cup Ltd),” the regulations state. Urawa station packed with commuters as the typhoon suspended the train services in Saitama, Tokyo Source: PA ImagesCould typhoons affect the World Cup?The tournament – especially the early parts – is being played during prime typhoon season.Faxai, which battered Tokyo on Monday with torrential rain and hurricane-force winds, was the 15th tropical storm of the year.It has already had some impact on team preparations, as the Wallabies were forced to delay their arrival in Japan. England were also slightly delayed but France managed to touch down in Tokyo just before the storm hit.Typhoons are not the only worry.Japan is one of the most seismically active countries on Earth and tournament organisers are also bracing for the possibility of an earthquake disrupting the schedule.How are organisers preparing?According to tournament director Alan Gilpin, contingency planning has been a huge part of the pre-competition activity.“Our view is that you can plan for it. You’ve just got to make sure you’ve worked through all those different permutations,” Gilpin told AFP in an interview earlier this year.“We’ve got to be ready for the ‘what ifs’… We’ve got contingency venue plans if we lose a venue to an earthquake or any kind of issue, (or) if we lose a major transport hub – because it’s not just about venues.” Beach houses are damaged as the typhoon hits the beachfront area in Miura, south of Tokyo Source: AP/PA ImagesHow are teams preparing?England coach Eddie Jones, who would be familiar with Japan’s extreme weather as a former coach of the Brave Blossoms, has been quoted as saying there is “no doubt” typhoons will have an impact on the World Cup.He said the team would train indoors on artificial turf if weather conditions prevented them from playing outside.Aside from training, a major issue could be transporting the 20 teams and their fans around the 12 venues spread out around the vast Japanese islands.Dozens of flights and bullet trains were cancelled during Typhoon Faxai and large parts of the Tokyo train network were also shut down, causing chaos on the Monday morning commute.A spokesperson for the organising committee said there was only a “minor” impact on preparations and that they had been monitoring the approach of the typhoon carefully. Should fans be worried?While there is a non-negligible risk of a typhoon or an earthquake striking at some point during the seven-week Rugby World Cup, fans should be comforted by the fact that Japan is extremely well set up and resilient to natural disasters.Even with record rains and winds battering Tokyo, the world’s most populous city, there was only one death, a handful of light injuries and fairly minor damage.Buildings and transport networks are designed to withstand major earthquakes and tremors of a magnitude that would destroy many cities result in a jolt but limited damage.Authorities have worked hard to upgrade early-warning systems and information channels in the event of a natural disaster to make sure they are available in English.- © AFP 2019 Image: AP/PA Images Share3 Tweet Email A man rides a moped through a flooded street due to a typhoon in Tokyo Sunday 15 Sep 2019, 7:30 AM 12 Comments 14 hours ago Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article read more
With iOS 12 — the next major operating system for Apple’s iPhone and iPad devices — the company has been working on additions including “a redesigned home screen app grid, a multiplayer mode for augmented reality games, and a merger of the third-party applications running on iPhones and Macs,” according to a Bloomberg report earlier this year.At the 2017 WWDC, Apple introduced a new 10.5-inch iPad Pro, revamped iMacs and MacBooks, and teased a new desktop computer for professionals dubbed the iMac Pro. Among other news, the company announced last year that Amazon Video would be coming to Apple TV, as well as updates to iOS to use machine learning to get better at photo recognition and other “intelligent” tasks. Popular on Variety ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 Apple CEO Tim Cook is set to unveil the tech giant’s next new things at the 2018 Worldwide Developers Conference next month.The company has issued official invites for the WWDC keynote, which will take place June 4, starting at 10 a.m., at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center.WWDC 2018 runs June 4-8, featuring more than 100 technical and design-focused sessions presented by Apple engineers. It announces all of its big news for the event in the opening-day keynote.Already, the rumor mill is churning out speculation over what Apple might announce. While no news is expected on new iPhone models, Apple may be revealing iOS 12 and other updates to its software platforms, and is rumored to be prepping announcements about improvements to Siri and HomePod and possibly new MacBook and iPad Pro models. read more
Buy This Comic: MAN-EATERS #1Buy This Comic: Twisted Romance Stay on target The hot and muggy swamp lands of Florida bring out the worst in people, I feel. The “Florida Man” news reports are heard from around the world, and it can be embarrassing at times living in this state. When I learned that Image’s new witch infused Redlands was not only set in ‘The Sunshine State’ but was a huge theme looming over the series, I chomped at the bit to cover this first issue.Before I go any further, here is a brief synopsis from Image Comics.“A brand-new horror book from the minds of Eisner Award-winner JORDIE BELLAIRE (PRETTY DEADLY, Vision, Batman) and critically acclaimed artist VANESA R. DEL REY (ZERO, Scarlet Witch, Constantine) brings you to the sleepy, sunny town of Redlands, Florida. The police are failing to maintain control of their old-fashioned town, and a coven of killer witches plan to take everything from them. This summer, hide your bibles.”The story behind Redlands does not take its time at all and throws you right into thick of things. So much so that I thought I had missed a previous issue zero. This is just the charm behind this dark and ominous comic. Another interesting piece behind Redlands is the female led creative team. The comic is the brain child of Jordie Bellaire (Pretty Deadly) who had been kicking around the horror story for a while. She later approached artist Vanessa R. Del Ray (Hit) about the project. These two frightening powerhouses stir up one of the darkest tales I’ve read in a while. Del Ray’s cross-hatched art style is a great accent to Bellaire’s occult storytelling. It truly bleeds the underlining hate and racism that goes on in the deep south at night.In an interview with Entertainment Weekly back in March, Bellaire said she was thinking about what could change the things that upset her the most? It was the ultimate archetype female figure of the witch that struck a cord with her. Bring a coven in that has been around for a very long time to one of the most hate-fueled states in America today and try to make things right. They may do some horrific deeds along the way, but in their eyes, it’s is all for the better in the small town of Redlands. The characters in this tale of horror are a tad unlikable (you most to expire), but they are still approachable. Especially when most of them are criminals who are stuck in the wrong place at the wrong time.With witches on the rise in entertainment today with shows like American Horror Story, Salem and a possible Craft series in the works, It’s a great time to dig into Redlands. Its themes are strong and does not hold back any punches when it comes to gore. Horror fans, do not miss out on this beautiful dark tale. And if you are a Florida resident, I urge to head to the Wiccan town of Cassadaga and read the first issue in the Devil’s Chair located in the middle of the cemetery. It may bring you enlightenment, or chills beyond your wildest nightmares. The series hits store shelves August 9th and can also be pre-ordered at Comixology now.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. read more
Trade In Your Nintendo Switch For a Better Battery (With a Catch)Controller Patent Teases SNES Games on Switch Capcom has done much to win over fans in the past couple of years. From new titles like Resident Evil 7, Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition, Monster Hunter: World, and all of the classic anthologies, the legendary developer is on a roll. To that end, it’s fitting that the company is finally resurrecting its former mascot, Mega Man, with a brand-new game. Mega Man 11 is a return to form for the long-running series. Not only does it honor the past, but it also lays down a solid foundation for the future. Mega Man 11 is the best video game comeback story of 2018.Mega Man 11 contains everything the series is known for. This means intricately designed stages which test one’s platforming and shooting skills, challenging robot masters to defeat, and unique weapons obtained from the masters. The overall package has a decidedly modern look, but has the core mechanics fans have come to love. Like I said in my preview, Mega Man 11 is the Mega Man sequel we deserve.AdChoices广告As with the past ten installments, the story of Mega Man 11 centers on the Blue Bomber stopping the evil machinations of Dr. Wily. The not-so-good doctor has once again reprogrammed otherwise peaceful robots into killer machines and sets them loose to wreak havoc on the world. The big difference this time is that each robot master uses the doctor’s experimental Double Gear system, which makes them faster and stronger. In order to stop these enhanced androids, Mega Man must also utilize this unstable system to augment his own abilities.While simplistic, I enjoyed the slightly greater emphasis on story. We actually get to see Dr. Wily and Dr. Light during their college days as they debate the merits of the Double Gear system. The game also contains a number of short cutscenes that help move the story along. If you wish, you can skip all these and commence with the shooting and the jumping, but I appreciate that Mega Man 11 has more story than usual.Mega Man games are notorious for their extreme levels of difficulty and Mega Man 11 is no exception. Normal and Superhero difficulties will test all of your shooting and platforming skills. Despite the challenge, the game isn’t unfair. After playing through each level enough times, you’ll learn how to avoid environmental hazards and enemy attacks. This isn’t to say you won’t experience your fair share of unexpected deaths. You’re going to die, a lot. But with enough time and patience, players will find the best way to reach the bosses relatively unscathed.Newcomers or those who haven’t played Mega Man in years can choose between Beginner and Casual difficulties. Beginner is tailor-made for folks who aren’t too familiar with platforming games. Enemies die quicker and it is impossible to die from falling into a bottomless pit or landing on spikes. There’s a little bit of challenge, but nothing overwhelming. This mode is for those who just want to have fun. Casual difficulty ramps things up. Enemies don’t die as quickly, pits and spikes kill instantly, and lives are finite. Despite bearing the “casual” moniker, this difficulty still demands a high degree of skill. If you want to make things even easier, you can purchase power-ups like extra lives and E-tanks from the in-game store with bolts found in each level.Mega Man 11‘s boss battles retain the rock/paper/scissors system the series is known for. Each robot master is weak to a specific weapon from another robot master. Figuring out which weapons work best against the bosses is half the fun of playing Mega Man. Though bosses have specific weapon weaknesses, players can defeat all of them with the standard Buster Cannon. This isn’t easy, since Mega Man’s trusty weapon does minimal damage to most bosses, but it is possible. Boss battles are truly epic, and go through several phases. Just when you’re used to its pattern, the boss will switch things up mid-battle. Some of these fights can get a bit tedious (and cheap), but for the most part, boss battles are a highlight.The Double Gear system alters the way the actual game functions. Players can ignore it if they want, but Double Gear is a welcome addition to the series. This mechanic lets Mega Man temporarily slow time down or enhance the power of his attacks. The system complements the core gameplay nicely and gives users more options during tricky platforming sections and enemy encounters. When close to death, Mega Man can initiate the Double Gear Technique which simultaneously boosts his firepower and slows down time for a short while. However, doing this leaves him weak afterward. The Double Gear system is a natural addition to Mega Man’s arsenal and one players will appreciate having.Outside of the core game, there’s a selection of challenges for players to complete in Extras. These range from completing stages as quickly as possible, using a minimal amount of jumps and buster shots, collecting items, a boss rush mode, and more. You can see how well you’ve done compared to others in the leaderboard. The Gallery shows you all of the enemies and bosses. Each has a brief bio, and bosses have audio samples to listen to. There isn’t a whole lot regarding extras, but the challenges alone should add additional hours of playtime.The last two Mega Man games returned to the 8-bit graphics and sounds of the NES era. For Mega Man 11, the developers went with a modern-day visual and audio presentation. At the same time, they didn’t want to veer too far from what players are used to. To that effect, the game employs a 2.5D art style. Levels and characters are polygonal, but the gameplay is 2D. Despite the enhanced graphics, it still very much looks like a Mega Man game should. The added lighting and environmental effects serve to enhance the relatively simple art style. Besides Mega Man 7 and Mega Man 8, this is the best-looking title the series has ever produced.The Mega Man franchise has some of the most memorable video game musical tracks ever produced. The soundtracks of Mega Man 2 and Mega Man 3, in particular, are modern day classics. Unfortunately, the themes in Mega Man 11 won’t exactly set ears on fire. It’s not that the themes are subpar. They do a respectable job of giving each level a specific tone and feel. Sadly, they are rather forgettable, even after repeated listens.Speaking about audio, Mega Man 11 features full English and Japanese voice-overs. If you still have nightmares from Mega Man 8 and the later Mega Man X games, rest assured that the English voice work here isn’t cringe-inducing. Some dialogue does border on the corny side though, especially the pun-tastic lines from the robot masters. Most of the time, the voice work is top notch. I’m sure some may not want any kind of voice work in Mega Man, but I think it makes the characters feel more believable and endearing.While I enjoyed the imaginative level design, I wasn’t a fan of how long they take to complete. These are easily the longest levels in Mega Man history. Just when you think you’re near the end, you realize you’re not even halfway finished. If you’re playing on Normal or Superhero, checkpoints are few and far between. Levels do not feel as long after subsequent playthroughs, though. You’ll learn how to navigate each in the quickest, most optimal way possible. But the fact remains that playing levels for the first time can feel like a gauntlet of never-ending challenges. It’s possible some players will love the extended levels. They definitely help expand the game time. If you’re like me, you’ll wish for the brevity of the classic levels.Mega Man is one of the most important characters in video game history and it’s great to see him return in such a fantastic new game. As the success of the Mega Man Legacy Collections has shown, the world isn’t tired of the loveable blue android. Hopefully, we’ll get new games on a regular basis from now on. Mega Man 11 is 2018’s greatest video game comeback story. Stay on target Subscribe and watch Geek.com’s live Let’s Plays every Friday at 3 PM EST over on Facebook and Twitch.TV! Purchase Mega Man X Legacy CollectionLet us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. read more
New Delhi: The amount of plastic garbage increases as the population grows, and disposable plastic products, like wet wipes, coffee cups, drinks bottles, sweet wrappers and other packets, accumulate over time. In India, we generate around 15,000tonnes of plastic waste per day and is growing every day. As per a study conducted by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) in few major cities of the country, it has been observed that around 4,059 tons of waste is generated on per day basis. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfBig players of consumer-goods such as Unilever and Procter & Gamble pledged to use more recycled plastics for their products in order to initiate change for sustainable future. As the concern over plastic waste increases around the world, scientists, entrepreneurs and engineers have begun to come up with solutions that could help our planet to survive for the coming generations. Slow but effective development can be seen as some are coming up with methods for recycling plastics, while on the other hand few are developing products that are safe and biodegradable in niche segments. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveMs. Rishu Gandhi, Founder, Mother Sparsh says “In Consumer goods category wet wipes are 3rd largest contributor of plastic based pollution in the world, it takes centuries for these 80% polyester-based wipes to degrade. To tackle the plastic pollution, we as brands need to go organic like what we did with our offerings which started with natural and eco friendly products line of wipes in the market.” In India, with over 1.5 million births every month we are doubling the consumption of wet wipes every month with the increasing population. To add to the concern, Waste management is itself a problem in India hence, plastic waste management is very poor. These plastic wastes are either burned releasing toxic gases, buried to degraded over centuries or thrown in our oceans to make them more polluted and harmful for oceans ecology. According to Social Activist Mr. Vneet P Yadav, “Plastic is a concern for environment specially for humans if we burn it, it never gets burnt completely and release harmful gases like styrene which affects eye & mucous membranes, central nervous system. Dioxin which is a carcinogen and hormone disruptor also is emitted in the air which gets settled on our crops and water thus into our food. Dioxin also gets accumulated on body fat and passed on to babies of expectant mothers. Hence, a useful invention has been abused so much that it has become a concern for the planet.” To add to that, scientists have found that micro plastics which can not be seen are getting mixed in our air and water. Given the state of Indian infrastructure, we have successfully added micro plastics as a pollutant in the long list of chemicals and particulate matter. A report from UK suggested that we inhale around 130 tiny plastic particles in a day, so the situation is much more alarming if we look at the Indian scenario where air quality refuses to leave severely polluted category. “We are breathing polluted air induced with harmful chemicals and gases. We as human beings are completely oblivious of the fact that we inhale plastic substances every day, w hich makes way to our lungs – causing us serious health issues. We need to understand that outdoor air pollution is not only endangering our lives but even indoor air pollution is contributing to this menace.” Said Mr. Rohit Bansal, AQI Expert & Founder, aqi.in. Plastic has proven to be a resilient opposition in terms of pollution of air, water and land. Whether it is visible or invisible the plastic waste is here to stay and we as humans are not just using plastics but are carrying plastic in our bodies which is an alarming sign. Hence, Government has to work more aggressively towards this problem before it becomes hard to contain. read more
Crowne Plaza Terrigal Source = Crowne Plaza Terrigal The beachside hotel has achieved the Regional Superior Accommodation of the Year gong in the 2010 Australian Hotels Association (AHA) NSW Awards For Excellence, handed out last night.The award win follows the completion of the Crowne Plaza Terrigal’s major multi-million dollar renovation, featuring the transformation of its corridors, lobby, first floor landing and all 196 guest rooms. Hotel general manager David Bark was very proud to receive the prestigious honour – one of the most coveted accolades in the industry.“Recognition by our industry peers as NSW’s best superior accommodation outside the Sydney metropolitan area is a fantastic accomplishment,” David said.“The win reflects our ongoing efforts to provide a consistently high standard of service from our friendly and efficient team, great conference, corporate and leisure facilities and an array of top quality food and beverage options, all in a spectacular beachside setting less than 90 minutes from Sydney.”To celebrate the award win, Crowne Plaza Terrigal has released special winter rates on its Escape to Terrigal package, including overnight accommodation in a spacious, newly renovated Resort Room and full buffet breakfast for two in the hotel’s Seasalt Restaurant overlooking the beach, from just $169 per night*. *Subject to availability and conditions apply. There is a surcharge for Saturday nights. read more
Share Agents & Brokers Department of Commerce Investment Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Bankers Association Processing Service Providers 2011-10-20 Ryan Schuette MBA: Multifamily Lending Jumps 31% Over 2010 October 20, 2011 438 Views in Data, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing More than 2,000 multifamily lenders financed five-unit apartment buildings to the tune of $68.8 billion over the course of 2010, according to a “”Mortgage Bankers Association””:http://www.mbaa.org/default.htm (MBA) report released Wednesday.[IMAGE] The MBA pooled data from the “”_MBA 2010 Commercial Multifamily Annual Origination Volume Rankings_””:http://store.mortgagebankers.org/ProductDetail.aspx?product_code=EC6-300026-RP-I, which it said covered $119 billion in commercial and multifamily loans over the course of last year.Summaries helped cover the multifamily market, listed 2,548 multifamily lenders by lending volume and loan size, and profiled metropolitan areas in which these lenders supplied loans.[COLUMN_BREAK]The trade group found a 31-percent increase in total dollar volume for the multifamily lending industry, up from data seen in 2009.One percent of the lenders pooled their financial strength for 51 percent of multifamily loans, with 75 percent or so of all lenders yielded five loans or less over 2010.””Wells Fargo””:https://www.wellsfargo.com/, “”CBRE Capital Markets””:http://capitalmarkets.cbre.com/, “”Berkadia Commercial Mortgage””:http://www.berkadia.com/default.aspx, “”PNC Real Estate””:http://www.berkadia.com/default.aspx, and “”Prudential Mortgage Capital””:http://www.prumortgagecapital.com/businesscenter/realestate/pmcc/home/welcome.shtml topped a list of multifamily lenders by total dollar volume last year.””The multifamily lending market grew 31 percent in 2010, with credit extended by a broad range of lenders to a broad range of properties,”” “”Jamie Woodwell””:http://www.mbaa.org/jamiewoodwellbio.htm, MBA’s VP commercial real estate research, said in a “”statement””:http://www.mbaa.org/NewsandMedia/PressCenter/78224.htm.The figures coincide with data revealed by the “”Commerce Department””:http://www.commerce.gov/ this week that “”housing starts went up by 15 percent over September””:https://themreport.com/articles/housing-starts-leap-forward-15-over-september-2011-10-19, beating worse-for-the-wear forecasts largely on the strength of five-unit multifamily construction.Multiple news outlets cast the news about multifamily starts and lending volume as evidence that more Americans prefer to lease their homes in lieu of wobbly financial markets and others. read more
Paphos’ Neapolis University announced on Friday that its library was now open to the public both physically and digitally.The library, a written statement said, consists an integral part of the academic community, but it offers its various services also to society in general.Its collections, that are constantly being enriched, cover various topics with emphasis on issues of law, psychology, business, management, architecture, theology, history and culture. The Library offers open access, which means that users can have access to its collections even when they are not physically present at the university premises.The library’s printed collection consists of 10,000 books, whereas its digital collection consists of 300,000 e-books and more than five million articles in electronic format which are drawn from 17 world famous publishing houses and databases, such as Springer, Taylor & Francis, Ebsco, Emerald, Wiley, JSTOR, Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, Sage, Fame, Orbis, Westlaw, Proquest, TLG, CYS etc.“It is the first and only private academic library in Cyprus that has an open source electronic repository, which is constantly being enriched with the outcomes of research and papers produced by members of the academic community of Neapolis,” it said.The library also implements programmes of digitalisation of valuable archival material, such as Cypriot newspapers and rare manuscripts of the Greek Under-Consulate in Cyprus. This material is digitally available to researchers through the use of the “Hephaestus” Digital Platform (https://hephaestus.nup.ac.cy/).During the academic period, the library is open on weekdays between 8am and 8pm, on Saturdays between 9am and 5pm, and on Sundays between 9am and 12pm. After the end of the normal opening hours, two rooms remain open as reading rooms.You May LikeOnline Bank Accounts | Search AdsHave you ever thought about a new Bank Account? See HereOnline Bank Accounts | Search AdsUndoWmntalks.com10 Health Benefits of Drinking Coffee You May Not Know AboutWmntalks.comUndothedelite.comTotal List Of Stores Closing Locations in 2019thedelite.comUndo State Legal Service condemns attack on attorney-generalUndoMorphou bishop now claims gay men have a ‘nasty smell’UndoGreek Prime Minister in Cyprus for official visitUndoby Taboolaby Taboola read more
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