LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment With production budgets getting smaller and smaller, and content creators having to develop multiple skills such as video and audio, micowave.studio offers on array of recipes developed over the years, and tested on thousands of advertising projects. “Technology has only recently allowed us to bring this project to fruition” says Martin Rouillard, who runs research, development and innovation at Audio Z.YouTubers, podcasters, video editors and multimedia studios, will now have the possibility to offer a better audio experience, without having to go through the painstakingly complex process of putting a professional audio mix together. Login/Register With: Facebook Twitter Advertisement Advertisement Advertisement MONTREAL – On May 23rd 2018, Montreal studio Audio Z launches it’s latest service: microwave.studio (https://microwave.studio/) ; an innovative intelligent audio mixing platform, created specifically with digital content creators in mind. Just like the microwave in our kitchens never replaced a high-end restaurant or a master chef’s talent and skills, microwave.studio doesn’t replace professional sound recording studios. “But for projects like a 3 hour podcast, a quick radio ad or an audiobook, microwave.studio can be a great solution”, stated Serge Laforest, Audio Z’s founder and président.Audio Z – Located on the 26th floor of the Stock Exchange tower, Audio Z has made a name for itself as a key player among Montreal’s audio post-production studios. Aside from 8 fully-equipped studios, music composition and mixing services, Microwave.studio is the third online service created by Audio Z, the two others being Webcargo.net and MSTR.TV.
APTN National NewsA Nunavut man is claiming he was abused by RCMP while in custody in Iqaluit.The incident was captured on video.That video has sparked an outside investigation into the RCMP in Nunavut.APTN’s Kent Driscoll has the story.
Aimia Inc. has rejected an unsolicited US$180-million offer by Mexican airline operator Grupo Aeromexico to buy the Montreal-based company’s stake in their joint loyalty program PLM.The proposed transaction to buy Aimia’s 48.9 per cent stake in Premier Loyalty & Marketing (PLM), a joint venture which owns the Club Premier frequent flyer program, would have given Grupo Aeromexico full control.“The Company has promptly rejected the offer as it believes that its stake in PLM is worth significantly more than the offer price, which reflected no improvement whatsoever to the terms previously proposed by Aeromexico to Aimia in prior discussions between the parties,” Aimia said in a statement Thursday.Aimia noted that PLM generated adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of US$77.4-million in 2017, and the contract between the two parties runs until 2030.The offer came one day after a group led by Air Canada offered to buy Aimia’s loyalty business Aeroplan in a deal valued at $2.25 billion, including points liabilities they would assume.Grupo Aeromexico is “playing hardball” said Adam Shine, an analyst with National Bank in a note to clients.“If it wasn’t obvious yesterday, it’s increasingly clear today that Aimia is being pushed into selling off its pieces by larger partners who always had a stronger bargaining position in these assorted relationships.”Grupo Aeromexico, which currently owns 51.1 per cent of PLM, had said the offer for Aimia’s 48.9 per cent stake would expire at midnight on Aug. 3, but such deadlines are often amended.Club Premier has more than 3.7 million members and more than 100 partners, according to Aimia’s website.Grupo Aeromexico, which also operates its namesake airline, said it has informed Aimia that its current contract will not be extended beyond its current expiration date in 2030.“If completed, the Proposed Transaction would result in a positive outcome for Aimia’s shareholders as it provides an opportunity to realize an immediate return on the disposal of an asset, the divestiture of which would have otherwise been challenging,” the group said in a statement. “The Proposed Transaction would also provide benefits to Aimia’s stakeholders as it would provide material financial resources which Aimia can use to strengthen its core business.”Air Canada told its clients that the proposed transaction, which expires Aug. 2, would allow customers to transfer their points to the airline’s own loyalty program when it launches in 2020.Grupo Aeromexico said Thursday that the US$180 million price tag, including dividends and marketing fees paid to Aimia since its investment, represents an annualized rate of return for the Montreal-based company of approximately 18 per cent. The group also said launching an initial public offering of PLM is not an option.“For this reason it is Aeromexico’s view that the best long-term solution for all stakeholders is for Aeromexico to acquire the equity stake currently held by Aimia,” it said in a statement.
Meanwhile army spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasuriya said that most soldiers placed at Weliweriya have been withdrawn and only a few still remain there. The army spokesman however noted that the soldiers never directly attacked the protesters and only defended themselves against a group who had attacked the police and army using petrol bombs.Weliweriya was tense last night with soldiers patrolling the area after violence broke out last evening leaving one person dead and at least 23 injured. “They are there to assist the police and we expect them to be removed from there soon. While assisting the police in its investigations the army is conducting it own internal investigation,” he said. The army has launched an investigation into the clashes at Weliweriya amidst allegations soldiers mishandled the situation.Army Commander Lieutenant General Daya Ratnayake appointed a special board of inquiry headed by Major General Jagath Dias to investigate the army role in the clashes. Television footage showed soldiers firing in the air and at times directing their guns at the protesters who pelted stones and other objects at the troops during the violence earlier in the evening. (Colombo Gazette)CLICK HERE FOR AUDIO
The Geneva-based Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) was considering the case of the woman, whose contract was not renewed in 2009 after she refused to undergo a secondary mandatory HIV test required only of foreigners, arguing it was “discriminatory and an affront to her dignity.”In a statement released by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) today, CERD members noted that the Republic of Korea did not provide any reasons to justify the mandatory testing, from which Korean and ethnic Korean teachers were exempt. They also noted that, during arbitration proceedings, the woman’s employers, the Uslan Metropolitan Office of Education (UMOE), said that HIV/AIDS tests were viewed as a means to check the values and morality of foreign English teachers.The testing policy, the Committee wrote in its findings , “does not appear to be justified on public health grounds or any other ground, and is a breach of the right to work without distinction to race, colour, national or ethnic origin.” The Committee called on the Republic of Korea to grant the woman adequate compensation for the moral and material damages she suffered. The Committee also urged the authorities to take steps to review regulations and policies related to the employment of foreigners and to abolish, in law and in practice, any legislation which creates or perpetuates racial discrimination. “The Committee recommends the State party to counter any manifestations of xenophobia, through stereotyping or stigmatizing, of foreigners by public officials, the media and the public at large,” members wrote. The Committee has asked the Republic of Korea to inform it within 90 days of the steps it has taken. In its submission to the Committee, the Republic of Korea said that, since 2010, its guidelines on the employment of foreign teachers do not specify that they have to submit results of HIV/AIDS and drugs tests to have their contracts renewed, and that mandatory testing is no longer required by the UMOE.
Last year was the second time Jeff Hornacek made history as an overachiever for the Suns.The first came in 1989. As the third leading scorer, at 13.5 points per game, on that year’s team, he was a key factor in its historic run. Even though the Suns were swept by the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference finals that season, they were the greatest overachievers — defined as actual wins relative to what we would expect before the season14These backward-looking retro-predictions use the Statistical Plus-Minus (SPM) metric devised by FiveThirtyEight’s Neil Paine, and the SPM projection system devised by FiveThirtyEight editor-in-chief Nate Silver. They allow for estimates of how good a team “should have been” in a given season (based on how its players performed in preceding seasons) going back to 1979-80. — of any team going back to 1980. The 1989 team was expected to only win about 33 games, and finished a whooping 26 games better than expected.Last year, Hornacek’s Suns joined Hornacek’s Suns. Except this time he was their coach. In his first year as a head coach, he made the 2013-14 Suns the 13th-greatest overachieving team of all time, earning 48 wins instead of the projected 32.Those 16 wins over expectation were by far the best of any team last year.Last year’s Suns team was solid offensively. While fast-paced and led by speedy guards Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe, it ranked eighth in relative pace. Fast, but not like Steve Nash’s “:07 Seconds Or Less” Suns. The 2014 Suns’ relative offensive rating was eighth. For overall efficiency, they were 10th.Offense aside, however, they were just average, ranking 15th in relative defense. We project the Suns to win 44 games this season, good for 14th in the league and ninth in the Western Conference, so just shy of the playoffs. To make it to the postseason, the Suns will have to overachieve again. — Andrew Flowers Anthony Davis cannot generate any more hype — there’s that much of it already. Fresh off a dominating performance at the FIBA World Cup (54 percent shooting from the floor, 6.6 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game), Davis is poised to make the jump into the game’s elite.Last year, when he wasn’t on the bench with a fractured hand, Davis put together an offensive season that was nearly as good as any by a second-year power forward or center in the past 30 years. If we look at his Offensive Rating7Offensive Rating measures offensive efficiency by estimating how many points a player produces through made shots, free throws, assists and rebounds per 100 possessions. versus his Usage Rate,8Usage Rate measures how many of a team’s possessions he “uses” up — via shooting, drawing fouls or turning the ball over — when he is on the floor. Davis produced a season matched only by Shaquille O’Neal and David Robinson, scoring at an efficient rate while using more than 25 percent of his team’s possessions.Of course, not all of Davis’s stats were world-beating last season. According to Evan Zamir’s invaluable NBA WOWY9With Or Without You. database, New Orleans allowed as many points per possession (1.10) when Davis was on the court as when he was not. And despite his 6.7 percent block rate (most among players who played more than 2,000 minutes), Pelicans opponents took a larger percentage of their shots at the basket and made a larger percentage when Davis was on the floor.While Davis definitely has improvements to make defensively (see Zach Lowe’s excellent feature for details), New Orleans had other defensive shortcomings last season. Which is why the Pelicans signed Omer Asik. Asik was one of the best defensive centers in the league according to Real Plus-Minus,10Real Plus-Minus is the latest version of Adjusted Plus-Minus, a measure of a team’s point differential when a player is on the court vs. off it. Read more about it here. and should provide Davis with a legitimate defensive backcourt partner who might be able to complement his athleticism and uncanny ability to block shots.As long as Davis can remain healthy, his performance at the World Cup and the improvement of his supporting cast both point toward his ascension into the top five or 10 players in the NBA. — John Ezekowitz After an offseason of homecoming parties, failed coups and depressing injuries, the NBA is back. To celebrate, we took each player’s projected Real Plus-Minus and wins above replacement, calculated a total for each team, and ran 10,000 simulations of the NBA schedule to divine likely records and championship odds.1The rosters we used came from ESPN.com’s depth charts, and were current as of Monday, Oct. 20. We’ve split the teams into the lower and upper tiers in each conference; these are the seven teams that likely won’t make the playoffs from the West. So ease into your red wine bath (hi, Amar’e) and let us tell you the stats, x-factors or regressions that offer a preview of the coming season. (Editor’s note: This article was published before the Lakers announcement on Friday that Steve Nash would not play this season because of a back injury.)As Kobe Bryant returns from the leg fracture that limited him to six games in 2013-14, the Los Angeles Lakers are hoping he has one more playoff push left before he ends his illustrious career. But that’s going to be hard to do with this supporting cast. The Lakers are coming off a 27-55 season, the highest single-season loss total in franchise history. And perhaps more troubling, they received an unusually small amount of production from their future Hall of Famers, traditionally the franchise’s bread and butter.According to a wins above replacement (WAR) variant I computed based on a combination of Player Efficiency Ratings and Win Shares,2For those curious, I regressed PER and Win Shares per 48 minutes onto Real Plus-Minus (RPM); you can estimate a player’s RPM using the formula 0.15*(PER – 15) + 30.5 *(WS48 – 0.1). I then made sure the minute-weighted average of a team’s estimated RPMs scaled to the team’s efficiency differential for the season in question, and computed WAR using the same process FiveThirtyEight editor-in-chief Nate Silver employed in this article. This statistic is useful in cases where RPM (for which data only exists going back to 2000-01) or even Statistical Plus-Minus (which extends back to 1976-77) are not available; Basketball-Reference.com computes WS and PER going all the way back to 1951-52, the first year the NBA kept track of minutes played. the Lakers have received an average contribution of 20.6 WAR per season from their Hall of Fame-bound players,3Or future Hall of Famers, as determined by Basketball-Reference’s Hall of Fame probability statistic. which places them second to the Boston Celtics’ 21.8 mark among NBA franchises since 1951-52. During the decade of the 1980s, and again in the first five seasons of the 2000s, the Lakers got more than 28 WAR per season from Hall of Famers alone. And from 2006-2013, as they won two more championships and another conference title, the Lakers received an average of 16.4 WAR from Hall of Famers per year. But last season, the Lakers’ future HOF contingent — which included Bryant (who has a 100 percent probability of making the Hall according to Basketball-Reference), Pau Gasol (61 percent) and Steve Nash (55 percent4Admittedly a lowball figure, this is an artifact of MVP awards not being factored into the Hall of Fame probability method.) — generated just 0.8 WAR, the lowest such output Los Angeles has received since 1994-95, when nary a single Hall of Famer suited up in forum blue and gold.The rueful joke about the Lakers, at least from fans of the league’s other 29 franchises, is that they consistently manage to “pick up a HOFer or two every 4 years or so when their team’s playoff performance starts to slide a little,” in the words of one Internet commenter after LA was on the verge of acquiring Dwight Howard in 2012. And it’s basically true: Shortly after George Mikan’s career wound down, Elgin Baylor and Jerry West reported for duty, to be joined later by Wilt Chamberlain. Soon came the next wave: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, then Magic Johnson and James Worthy, whose departures were followed within a few years by the arrivals of Shaquille O’Neal and Bryant. And four years after O’Neal left, along came Gasol. The supply of Hall of Famers rarely goes un-stocked in Laker-land.That’s why, as a rule, the Lakers don’t stay bad for long. The team has only suffered back-to-back losing seasons twice since 1961, and in each case it snapped back above .500 — and stayed there for an extended period of time — starting the very next year.The Lakers appeared to follow their classic “pick up a HOFer” formula when they eventually did snag Howard. But the cycle was, for once, broken; after a single disappointing season in LA, Howard did the unthinkable, spurning the Lakers for the Houston Rockets. Now the only future Hall of Famers in sight are the 36-year-old Bryant and 40-year-old Nash, as newcomer Carlos Boozer has but a 7 percent chance of ever making the Hall, and overhyped rookie Julius Randle will probably be lucky to be more than a bench player in the NBA.The Lakers have a history of grabbing all-time greats to plug holes, and they will have salary cap space available starting next season. But as it stands now, they’re looking at the distinct possibility of painful Hall of Famer withdrawal after Bryant retires. The franchise has essentially never had to deal with that before. — Neil Paine As Gordon Hayward went, so went the Jazz. And last year, neither went far. Heading into restricted free agency, Hayward finished last season with a career-low true shooting percentage of 52.0 percent and an ugly career-low 3-point percentage of 30.4 percent. The Jazz were 25-57.Given those shooting struggles, it may seem strange that the Charlotte Hornets signed Hayward to a max offer sheet this summer, and that the Utah Jazz matched that contract, retaining him. But Hayward has a diverse array of offensive skills and, perhaps more importantly for a Jazz team without many standout players, he’s a workhorse.The full nature of Hayward’s offensive responsibilities are probably best shown by Seth Partnow’s True Usage statistics, which measure total offensive involvement, including a player’s assists and potential assists (as calculated by SportVU Player Tracking statistics). True Usage can be read as the percentage of a team’s offensive possessions involving a player when he takes a shot, gets fouled, turns the ball over or creates a scoring opportunity for a teammate.Hayward’s True Usage was 42.33 percent last season, 11th among all wing players and roughly the same as Carmelo Anthony’s. He also had an Assist Usage5Assist Usage measures the percentage of possessions a player is on the floor in which he creates a scoring chance for a teammate. of 18.38. That number was fourth among all wing players, and roughly the same as LeBron James’s. Even though Hayward didn’t shoot well, the Jazz’s offense was better by 3.3 points per 100 possessions with him on the floor.From the Jazz’s perspective, the key to getting value from Hayward’s massive new contract, and getting the most out of his versatility on the court this season, is asking him to do less. Alec Burks and Trey Burke will both have another year of experience, and explosive rookie Dante Exum will probably have the ball in his hands plenty. Hayward’s shooting percentages should climb this season as he works slightly more off the ball, finding shots by spotting up, cutting to the basket or driving against a defense that has already shifted.It may seem counterintuitive for a team to ask its best and highest-paid player to take on a smaller offensive role, but in the Jazz’s case it may be the answer to many of the team’s offensive challenges. — Ian Levy With Kevin Love gone, the Minnesota Timberwolves are starting over after trading away a homegrown superstar. (Sound familiar?) Rather than sit through another season of rampant Love speculation,11Love could have opted out of his contract after the 2014-15 season, opening up the very real possibility that he would leave Minnesota as a free agent with no compensation at all. Timberwolves coach/general manager Flip Saunders decided to move on with whomever he could get for Love — a haul that included the No. 1 overall picks from each of the past two NBA drafts (Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett), plus under-appreciated veteran Thaddeus Young.Minnesota preemptively unloaded Love in part because it was unable to convince him that his teammates were good enough to win. And certainly the Timberwolves didn’t do enough winning to even make the postseason a year ago, finishing just 40-42 in what was supposed to be a strong playoff push for the team.12Although they did increase their win total for the fourth consecutive season. Amid the rubble of another frustrating season — which came in spite of Love’s ongoing statistical brilliance — the weak-supporting-cast argument was tough to overcome.But the 2013-14 Timberwolves were a better team than their wins and losses indicated. Their Pythagorean record — i.e., the record we would have predicted them to have based on their point differential — was 48-34, good for seventh in the Western Conference. After adjusting their average margin of victory for strength of schedule, Minnesota was the ninth-best team in the NBA last season.That would have shown up in the standings if not for Minnesota’s dismal record in close games, which led to the seventh-most negative disparity between actual and Pythagorean wins of any team since the 1976 ABA-NBA merger. And as much as we extol the virtues of execution in crunch time, these differences are, traditionally, mostly the product of bad luck.It’s very possible the Timberwolves would have enjoyed a reversal of fortune in 2014-15, had they simply kept Love.Instead, the Wolves are counting on the development of Wiggins, Bennett and 2014 No. 13 overall pick Zach LaVine to boost an existing core that includes Nikola Pekovic and FiveThirtyEight darling Ricky Rubio. But although Wiggins was regarded as a once-in-a-generation prospect in high school, his college numbers suggest a future better described by “solid starting wing” than “next LeBron.” Meanwhile, Bennett is coming off one of the worst rookie seasons in NBA history,13By any rookie, much less a No. 1 overall pick. and LaVine’s undistinguished stats at UCLA have me wondering if he’s doomed to follow in Joe Alexander’s footsteps as a workout warrior turned draft bust.Minnesota was in a difficult position with Love, and trading him to Cleveland yielded as good a package as the team was likely to get, given its relative lack of leverage. Even so, Love was a true franchise player, and Minnesota pulled the plug on his Timberwolves career a year early, leaving the team’s future in some very unproven hands. — Neil Paine The Kings began their offseason with a move that confused many in the NBA, especially those who do analytics. In July, they decided against re-signing excellent young point guard Isaiah Thomas, and replaced him with Darren Collison.Last season, Thomas scored 20 points per game with a 57 percent True Shooting Percentage, the 10th-best mark for a point guard in the NBA, while maintaining a 35 percent assist rate and shooting 52 percent on drives to the basket. Collison is an effective shooter, but he is inferior to Thomas in almost every other statistical category. He had one of the worst assist rates (22 percent) for a point guard who played more than 2,000 minutes last season, turned the ball over more frequently than Thomas, and had one of the worst Defensive Real Plus-Minus marks (-3.23) for a point guard. What makes the move even more puzzling is that the Kings didn’t save that much salary: only $1.5 million per year.The Kings’ roster turnover has been dramatic since the beginning of last season (when 23 different players suited up for the Kings). Both point guards, Collison and presumed backup Ramon Sessions, are new to the team this year, as is rookie shooting guard Nik Stauskas.They’ll have to mix in with DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay, who are coming off successful World Cup campaigns for the U.S. national team. It’s a defining season for both players, as Cousins is entering what should be his prime and Gay is in a contract year at the end of a much-maligned max deal. Both of them love to shoot — Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant are the only pair of teammates who can match the duo’s elevated Usage Rates (32.7 percent for Cousins, 27.6 percent for Gay) — and it’s likely their Usage Rates will climb with Collison running the point instead of Thomas.With DeMarcus Cousins, anything is possible, but given the depth and quality of the Western Conference, any realistic hopes of the Kings contending likely left with Thomas. — John Ezekowitz Last year, under first-year head coach Brian Shaw, the Nuggets learned to love the long ball. Denver attempted almost five more threes per game last season than in 2013, despite not playing all that much faster. That increase was the second-largest year-over-year jump in the NBA.6Beaten only by the Phoenix Suns’ amazing 7.3 threes per game increase.Shaw’s push for more threes was aided by the arrival of Randy Foye, a gunner for hire, who hoisted 498 3-pointers last season (11th most in the NBA). Wilson Chandler, too, set a career high for threes attempted. The return of Arron Afflalo, acquired from Orlando in the offseason, figures to increase Denver’s 3-point launching. Afflalo shot 42 percent from three on 300 attempts last season.But Afflalo’s threes — especially the corner threes — are welcome. Afflalo shot 49 percent from the corner three spots last season, a success rate that will bolster the Nuggets’ already potent attack. Denver was the third-best team from the corners last season, connecting on 42 percent of its attempts.Much of Denver’s ability to generate corner threes will depend on Ty Lawson and Nate Robinson. Both excel in getting to the rim and causing the defense to collapse, but Lawson is the better at finding 3-point shooters. Thirty-one percent of his 542 assists last season were on 3-pointers, and 52 were from the corner.With the uncertain timing of the return of JaVale McGee from a stress fracture in his leg, the Nuggets figure to play small again this year (other than Timofey Mozgov). This means their race for a playoff spot in the West again could come down to their 3-point shooting. — John Ezekowitz
Primary school pupils will also learn about the perils of social media, according to the proposals.All age four to eleven-year-olds should be taught a set of rules and principles to protect themselves online, the draft guidance will say, as well as how to spot risks and harmful content.Pupils at primary school should also be taught why computer games, online gaming and social media sites have age restrictions, it will add.Last year, the Government tabled an amendment to the Children and Social Work Bill as early as today that will make “age appropriate” sex and relationship education (SRE) part of the English national curriculum in primary and secondary schools. Under legislation passed last year, relationships education is now compulsory in all primary schools, while sex and relationships education is compulsory in secondaries.As part of the move, guidance on the subject is being updated, amid concerns that the current advice is out of date and fails to address modern day issues such as cyber-bullying, sexting and online safety. 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. Ministers have faced mounting pressure from across the political spectrum to bring about the change, following concerns children are being left ill-equipped to cope with the new realities of online porn, cyber bullying and sexting.It will become a statutory requirement for all school children to be given sex and relationship education classes from September 2020.Currently only pupils attending local-authority run secondary schools, which represent around a third of secondary schools, are offered sex and relationships education. Sex education will become compulsory for school children from September 2020, the Government has announced.Pupils as young as four are to be given lessons in well-being and healthy living, according to Department for Education (DfE) proposals.Health education will be a mandatory part of the curriculum for all primary and secondary schools in England from autumn 2020.Under the plans, which are now open to consultation, pupils will learn about “resilience” and well-being to help guard against mental health issues.Classes will also cover physical health, such as the importance of exercise, and healthy eating and the benefits of a healthy lifestyle as well as preventing health problems.The proposals are being published alongside draft guidance on relationships and sex education.Education Secretary Damian Hinds said that good physical and mental health is “at the heart of ensuring young people are ready for the adult world”.”By making health education compulsory we are giving young people the tools they need to be ready to thrive when they leave school.”
Making reference to the Auditor General’s pronouncement that missing financial records were stalling a special audit into the controversial Durban Park project, Opposition leader Dr Bharrat Jagdeo posited that it is ironic that the APNU/AFC Administration has missing records pertaining to the Durban Park Project, when documents for the former Administration can be readily accessed.Opposition leader Dr Bharrat Jagdeo“It tells you a pattern…[They expended] $1.4B but we can’t find the details of this bidding process that was concluded two years ago, yet they found elements of the bid that was done 12 or 13 years back,” he told media operatives during a press conference on Thursday.He was at the time making reference to the criticisms levied against the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) by the APNU/AFC Government that it wasted $38M on filling the land at the Durban Park site and had presented documents from 13 years ago to support its arguments.“…imagine that was done some 13 years ago and they still could have found documents to show when the tender went out and who won the bid, we finished this project just two years ago and we can’t find any documents about the bidding process and who the contractors were, who supplied the material?,” Jagdeo questioned.Last year, Auditor General of Guyana, Deodat Sharma had told media operatives that the missing financial records for the project was prolonging a special audit which had been launched among concerns of corruption and mismanagement of the State’s resources.Works on the controversial $1.4B project, which was shrouded in secrecy, started in 2015.The exorbitant project has been the subject of fierce debate between Government and the OppositionAfter months of intense pressure from the parliamentary opposition, a motion was presented in the National Assembly forcing Government to divulge information on the project.In 2016, while utilizing his time in the budget debates former Minister of Education, Dr Rupert Roopnarine broke his silence regarding his role as a Director in the Homestretch Development Inc (HDI), the private company that was created to overlook the development of the Durban Park.He revealed that HDI was set up to manage the project with donations from the public/ private sector.Some $400M was reportedly facilitated by HDI after which the project was then transferred to the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, since HDI ran out of funding and could no longer complete the project on time for the country’s 50th Independence anniversary celebrations.It was at this point that more taxpayers’ dollars were taken to complete the project.Government in 2016, approved an additional $500 million to be paid out from the Consolidated Fund to a number of contractors and other persons owed varying amounts for works done on the controversial project.Contractors however, were still significantly underpaid, approximately $298M, for works done at the D’Urban Park complex.Finance Minister Winston Jordan told them they however, they could could either “take it or leave it.”According to Jagdeo, this project will go down in history as one of the most corrupt projects the incumbent Administration still has to answer for. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedGov’t perpetrating brazen heist of Guyana’s Treasury – Opposition Leader JagdeoNovember 6, 2016In “Politics”Jagdeo calls for an investigation into Govt’s procurement, tenure policiesSeptember 2, 2016In “Politics”Govt hijacks PPP/C business in ParliamentNovember 5, 2016In “latest news”
← Previous Story Bartosz Jurecki to leave Magdeburg after 9 years! Next Story → Velimir Petkovic to become new Romanian head-coach? handball in zagrebppd zagrebTHW Kielzagreb The new season in VELUX EHF Champions League begins this week. One of the matches who will have the biggest number of spectators in the hall will be played in Zagreb, where PPD Zagreb will host German THW Kiel. The clash of the two famous club didn’t change the “politics” of the Croatian team. All the fans can watch battle with prestigious rival for free. They have just to visit the ticket-office and pick up the tickets – not more than six per person.Even financial status of the Croatian champions isn’t pink, income from the selling tickets is still something less important than the full stands at “Zagreb Arena”. Exactly 15.200 seats waiting for the sunday’s clash at 19.30hrs.PPD Zagreb have a new head-coach – Veselin Vujovic, who took charge three days ago.
Jeûner pour se soigner ?Plutôt qu’un recours excessif au médicament, le jeûne pourrait-il être prescrit à des fins thérapeutiques ? D’après plusieurs études étrangères, le jeûne permettrait de se soigner. Les réalisateurs de documentaires Thierry de Lestrade et Sylvie Gilman (auteurs de “Le jeûne, une nouvelle thérapie ?”) expliquent comment cette thérapie peut porter ses fruits.À lire aussiPourquoi certains s’évanouissent-ils à la vue du sang ?Dans Le Nouvel Observateur, les documentalistes indiquent que le jeûne ne doit pas effrayer et que “le jeûne n’est pas la panacée. Il ne sera pas la solution à lui seul des problèmes de notre système de santé. Mais le jeûne est un révélateur. Révélateur de la capacité à penser autrement.” Au Norris Hospital de Los Angeles, un des plus grands centres de cancérologie de Californie, David Quinn, chef du service des essais thérapeutiques explique : “nous suivons avec beaucoup d’intérêt cette piste. Une méthode simple, facile à mettre en œuvre, et pas chère, potentiellement applicable à tous les cancers : pourquoi la négliger ?”En France, championne du monde de la consommation de médicaments, le jeûne est “à proscrire en cas de maladie” pour certains. Valter Longo, auteur d’une étude sur le jeûne et la chimiothérapie chez la souris détaille : “c’est difficile d’imaginer que vous pouvez supprimer la nourriture à quelqu’un et qu’il devient plus fort.” Ce à quoi le professeur Valentin Nicolaïev ajoute : “c’est encore plus difficile pour un médecin. Jeûner, c’est un peu mettre sa tête à l’envers.”Le 30 mars 2012 à 18:09 • Maxime Lambert
Marcia BernicatUS ambassador in Dhaka Marcia Bernicat on Monday held a meeting with foreign minister AH Mahmood Ali at the latter’s residence in the capital, according to UNB.Confirming the meeting an official told UNB that the meeting lasted for an hour and 45 minutes but he did not share what was discussed in the meeting.”I can tell you the meeting began around 5:00pm and ended around 6:45pm,” said the official.State minister for foreign affairs M Shahriar Alam and foreign secretary M Shahidul Haque were also present, said another official.It could not be known what they discussed in the meeting.Earlier on Sunday, the vehicle carrying the US ambassador came under attack while leaving Badiul Alam Majumdar’s residence in the capital. Later the US embassy appreciated efforts taken by the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) and security officials for their quick and professional response.”We express our appreciation to the Dhaka Metropolitan Police and security officials for their quick and professional response following the incident,” said the embassy in a statement.An official vehicle from the US Embassy in Dhaka, which was transporting Ambassador Marcia Bernicat, was attacked by a group of armed adult men, some on motorcycles, in the Mohammadpur area on Saturday where she attended a dinner, said the statement.There were no injuries to the ambassador, her drivers, or security staff; however, two security vehicles sustained some damage, said the US Embassy.
Scientists map high-risk areas for hepatitis E This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Researchers at Leeds University designed the machine, which will be marketed by a spin-off company called Xeros Ltd (which means “dry” in Greek). Company founder Stephen Burkinshaw, a professor of textile chemistry, explains that the machine will reduce both water and energy consumption. Currently, washing machine use accounts for 13 percent of daily household water consumption in the UK, or about 21 liters (5.5 gallons) of water per day, according to the UK organization Waterwise. Besides saving water, the Xeros machine uses just 2% of the energy of a conventional washing machine. And since clothes come out nearly dry, they don´t require the use of a dryer.”We have shown that it can remove all sorts of everyday stains, including coffee and lipstick, while using a tiny fraction of the water used by conventional washing machines,” Burkinshaw said.When doing a load of wash, users throw their clothes in like a normal washing machine. Then a cartridge in the back of the machine adds plastic chips – about 45 pounds (20 kg) of them – to the load. Next, a cup of water containing the detergent is added. After the water dissolves the dirt, the chips absorb the water, without the need for a rinse or spin cycle. When finished, a grill at the bottom of the machine opens to collect the chips.According to Xeros, the chips can last for about 100 loads of laundry, or about six months for an average family. The company has not yet provided details on what the chips are made of, or how easily and safely the chips can be disposed of or recycled.Working with Leeds University´s commercialization partner IP Group, Xeros has secured an investment of almost 500,000 pounds ($984,400) for the project. The price of the Xeros washing machines for consumers is “not expected to be dramatically different from (conventional) washing machines,” according to the company.More information: www.XerosLtd.comvia:InventorSpot, Reuters Xeros Ltd’s washing machine uses less than 2 percent of the water and energy of a conventional machine. Citation: Nearly Waterless Washing Machine to Debut in 2009 (2008, July 29) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2008-07-waterless-machine-debut.html Explore further A new washing machine that uses just a cup of water, a pinch of detergent, and about 1,000 small plastic chips to clean clothes may be available for consumers in the UK next year.
Tuesday, March 28, 2017 Travelweek Group Share Posted by Tags: Royal Scenic, Technology << Previous PostNext Post >> Pre-calculated commission maximums with Royal Scenic’s new booking engine TORONTO — Royal Scenic’s new online booking engine, at royalscenic.com, is for the exclusive use of travel agents across Canada.“We are very proud to introduce an online booking engine that includes all of the best features available in the industry. From a content, speed and search result criteria, I believe ours is the top air consolidator online booking engine in Canada today, and we will continue to enhance it to ensure it will always meet the needs of travel professionals,” says Dmitry Kharlap, Royal Scenic’s Director of Software Development.The new booking engine has been designed for better productivity and efficiency, and promises to improve the experience for all travel professionals who use it, says Royal Scenic. Some of the highlights of the new booking engine include:A modern yet functional and user-friendly interface;Advanced payment features such as pre-calculated commission maximums for charges on credit cards and airline based modes of payment;Numerous search filtering options allowing agents to zero in on specific flights;Only engine in the market to offer a responsive design, allowing agents to work from their mobile phones and tablets;An ability to view the most current info that is synchronized with GDS; andAccess to the best net, dynamic discounted and published fares as well as the most comprehensive fare rules and actual baggage policies.More news: AMResorts has a new Sr. Dir. of Cdn. Sales & Consortia Rel’ns“Our team has worked very hard to create not only a state-of-the-art booking engine that provides the agent community with access to our stable of top tier airline contracts, but a system with features that help our partners provide their customers with exceptional service by allowing them access to information otherwise inaccessible through traditional means or that required sophisticated knowledge of the GDS to access. Our system allows the agent to focus on servicing their customer base and closing the sale rather than servicing the booking,” said Royal Scenic VP Mike Baxter.Royal Scenic is holding three monthly draws to celebrate the launch of the new online booking engine, in April, May and June. Agents who make bookings using the new booking engine will be entered for a chance to win free air tickets to Mexico, Asia and almost anywhere Qatar Airways flies.Royal Scenic is also inviting agents to join one of its upcoming webinars to learn more about the new booking engine. The first webinar takes place March 29 at 1 p.m. EST, and another will be held on April 12 at 1 p.m. EST. Participants who participate in the April webinar will receive five bonus entries for the April lucky draw. To register visit bit.ly/royalscenic_webinar.More news: Marriott Int’l announces 5 new all-inclusive resorts in D.R. & MexicoNew agents can sign up at royalscenic.com/sign-up_new.html. For more information, agents can also call Royal Scenic at 1-888-302-8886 (Eastern Canada), 1-877-630-8882 (Quebec) or 1-877-736-6028 (Western Canada) or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
$1.1B in Servicing Rights Up for Bid MountainView Servicing Group announced it is advising the sale of another two mortgage servicing rights (MSR) portfolios, these ones possessing a combined unpaid principal balance of $1.1 billion.The first portfolio, which goes up for bid April 3, is $923 million of Freddie Mac servicing. According to MountainView, the offering features 100 percent fixed-rate and first lien product with a weighted average original FICO score of 768, a weighted average original loan-to-value ratio of 72 percent, and no delinquencies. The weighted average interest rate for the portfolio is 3.66 percent.“Over the last six months, we have marketed approximately 40 MSR portfolios consisting mainly of low-rate, conventional servicing,” said Matt Maurer, managing director at MountainView Servicing Group and the lead advisor on the sale. “But this may be the lowest-rate portfolio of them all, with its weighted average 30-year fixed interest rate of 3.66 percent.”The greatest concentration of loans in the portfolio are in California (35.1 percent), followed by Virginia (7.0 percent), Washington (5.4 percent), and Arizona (5.2 percent).The second offering unveiled this week is a $205 million Fannie Mae portfolio bidding on April 4.Quality features include 96 percent fixed-rate and 99.8 percent first lien product weight a weighted average original loan-to-value ratio of 71 percent and a weighted average interest rate of 5.12 percent.Geographically, the portfolio is mostly concentrated in New York (81.4 percent), California (6.3 percent), New Jersey (4.7 percent), and Florida (2.5 percent). Share April 2, 2014 446 Views Fannie Mae Freddie Mac Mortgage Servicing Rights MountainView 2014-04-02 Tory Barringer in Daily Dose, Headlines, News, Servicing
by Victoria Ahearn, The Canadian Press Posted Apr 19, 2018 9:01 am PDT Last Updated Apr 19, 2018 at 11:01 am PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Cameron Bailey, shown in a handout photo, has been promoted to artistic director and co-head of the organization behind the Toronto International Film Festival. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-TIFF-Matt Barnes MANDATORY CREDIT Cameron Bailey is new co-head of Toronto International Film Festival TORONTO – Cameron Bailey says he wants to ensure the Toronto International Film Festival remains engaged with its audience as he helps co-lead the organization through a changing cinematic landscape.On Thursday, TIFF announced Bailey has been promoted to its artistic director and co-head. It’s a newly created position and expansion of his current role of artistic director, which he has held since 2012.The role is part of a two-headed structure to replace outgoing director and CEO Piers Handling, who announced last July that this year’s festival would be his last.Bailey’s position will focus on the artistic direction of the organization — overseeing the programming of films, talks and learning programs.The other position, managing director and co-head, will handle business and revenue. TIFF says the board of directors is expected to announce who will be in that role prior to this year’s festival, which runs Sept. 6-16.Bailey says part of his goal is to ensure audiences are visiting the TIFF Bell Lightbox, watching movies and taking part in its programming.“I still believe that that social experience is going to be really important,” Bailey said Thursday in a phone interview.“And as we’re doing that, we have to also look at the different ways that people are engaging with film. The streaming services have changed, the landscape for people, just the volume of choice that’s available to all of us now has changed the landscape.”Such an outlook is part of TIFF’s five-year strategic plan that includes helping inspire audiences.“How do we help people expand their world through what we’re putting in front of them? That’s really the job going forward,” Bailey said.Bailey joined TIFF as a programmer in 1990 and was festival co-director from 2008-2012.His new position takes effect Oct. 1, after the 2018 festival finishes and Handling steps down from his post.TIFF said its board decided on the two-headed structure for TIFF, with both roles working closely together.Handling has been working for the festival since 1982. He will have been CEO for 24 years by the time he steps down.In a statement, Handling said he has “tremendous respect” for Bailey “and his longstanding contribution to TIFF’s success.”“His passion and vision for the future of the organization underlines his deep leadership skills. It gives me great comfort to know TIFF is in such good hands.”Bailey said he and Handling are “in the thick of” programming the 2018 festival, which will be the first TIFF since the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements started.“I think we’re all more aware of the need to really build an environment of respect and safety for everyone who attends our festival,” said Bailey, noting they’ll be ensuring everyone knows what their code of conduct is.“It’s been clear from some of what has come out in the last few months that festivals can be an opportunity for abuse and we want to make sure that does not happen at TIFF.”
October 22, 2014It’s been a while since we reported on the upgrade work in the East Crescent Keystone area. You can see an elevation and a plan of this project in our report from August 15. and the beginning of the work is reported on 8/20/2014. Continuing reports were posted on 9/1, 9/3, and on 9/10, 9/12, 9/15, 9/22 9/26, 10/1 – 10/6/2014.[photos and text by Sue Kirsch]In our last report we talked about the completion of the staircase.The next step is landscaping of the area.The October workshop has a chance to get into the act during their seminar week synergy. Here we see workshop participants digging holes for foundations for light fixtures that will be planted along the middle path.The crew has leveled and packed the ground on both sides of the staircase. Ali Gibbs and Paolo Van Erp layed down fine gravel and are installing pavers.More to come.
The state veterinary services warned consumers on Tuesday to avoid two cold cuts and sausage brands as they are produced in facilities that are not approved by the authorities.According to an announcement, products of the companies ‘Χωριάτικα Αλλαντικά Ξιψιτής Λτδ’ – Choriatika Allantika Xipsitis Ltd – and ‘Πλατανικ’, – Platanik – are produced in facilities that are not approved by the veterinary services and are thus “considered unsafe and should not be consumed”. You May LikeInsured Nation – Auto Insurance QuotesNew Rule in Rowland Heights, California Leaves Drivers FumingInsured Nation – Auto Insurance QuotesUndoComparisons.orgCalifornia: Best & Worst Refinance Mortgage Companies Of 2019Comparisons.orgUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoby Taboolaby Taboola
Moody’s rating agency said the decline of non-performing exposures (NPEs) by €5.6bn, or 33.6 per cent, stemming from the resolution of the co-operative bank (CCB) is a credit positive for the Cypriot banking system because it reduces asset quality risks and supports depositor confidence.The NPE improvement primarily reflects the resolution of Cyprus Cooperative Bank Ltd. (CCB) and subsequent transfer of its €5.6bn of NPEs, primarily related to household lending, to a non-bank asset management company, Cyprus Asset Management Company.CCB’s resolution and NPE transfer reduce the risk of higher losses for the Cypriot banking system, Moody’s said.The CCB’s remaining assets and deposits were transferred to Hellenic Bank, which has supportedoverall depositor confidence in the system.Cyprus’ percentage of NPEs dropped to 31.8 per cent by September 30, 2018, which remains highrelative to the region, but is down from 40.4 per cent at the end of the previous month, and 43.7 per cent at year-end 2017.“We estimate that the majority of CCB’s NPEs (over 80 per cent) were primarily mortgage loans. Therefore, the NPE ratio in the household sector (accounting for 40 per cent of system gross loans as of September 2018) improved the most, declining to 38 per cent as of September 2018, from 53 per cent as of August.”Household loans have the lowest loan loss coverage ratio so their exclusion leads to an improvement in the system’s overall coverage, Moody’s said.However, the reduction in banking system NPEs does not reduce the debt burden on the economy because CCB’s NPEs will continue to be managed, albeit outside of the banking system, with the intention of being restructured, rescheduled and repaid.Cypriot households continue to be highly indebted: household debt was 105 per cent of Cyprus’ gross domestic product and nonfinancial corporate debt accounted for an additional 122 per cent of GDP as of March 2018. The transfer does not reduce these debt levels.In total, NPEs across Cypriot banks dropped by €10bn during the first nine months of 2018 to €11bn, almost half the amount as of year-end 2017.In addition to the recent €5.6bn transfer, the other main driver of the recent reduction was roughly €3.2bn of NPE sales and transfers by Bank of Cyprus, Alpha Bank, and Hellenic, primarily related to small and midsize enterprises.Despite the reduction from these sales and transfers, however, the pace of actual loan repayments has been very slow, despite economic recovery and growth since 2015.Moody’s said it expected loan repayments to be supported by the recent regulatory and legislativemeasures to improve the foreclosure and insolvency framework, and a government-sponsored plan (Estia) targeting socially vulnerable borrowers that have defaulted on their mortgages. Estia, in particular, is expected to incentivize the resumption of repayment of around €1.4bn of retail loans that remain in the banking system’s NPE balances.You May LikeCalifornia Earthquake AuthorityEarthquake coverage that comes with optionsCalifornia Earthquake AuthorityUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoSUVs | Search AdsThese SUVs Will Take Your Breath Away. Research 2019 Luxury Crossover SUV DealsSUVs | Search AdsUndo Our View: Argaka mukhtar should not act as if he owns the beachUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoThree arrested in connection with hotel theftsUndoby Taboolaby Taboola
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