Pipelayer SapuraKencana 1200 Delivered

first_imgzoom COSCO Nantong shipyard has delivered a pipelay heavy lift vessel, ‘SapuraKencana 1200’ to SapuraKencana Petroleum, Malaysia’s premier integrated oil & gas services and solutions provider.The SapuraKencana 1200, developed by Ulstein Sea of Solutions, is designed as a self propelled vessel with a 10-point mooring system for operations in water depths up to 200 meters.Classed by ABS, the ship is also equipped with a DP3 dynamic positioning system, which enables it to carry out heavy-lifting installation of large-scale offshore structures such as platform blocks, modules and jackets, as well as S-type pipe laying operations in water depths of up to 1,500 meters.Designed for maximum efficiency and cost effectiveness, the vessel features a center single joint firing line to optimize pipelaying operations that are not hampered by vertical motions due to roll.The firing line and the single joint fabrication areas are on a tween deck completely covered by the main deck. This provides a clean and dry environment for the pipelay equipment and an unobstructed main deck.SapuraKencana 1200 is 153.6 meters long, has a beam of 35 meters, depth of 16.8 meters and draft (operational) of 7.5 meters. WMN Staff, March 19, 2014last_img read more

Former Hudong-Zhonghua Head Charged with Bribe

first_imgzoom The former board chairman of China’s state-owned Hudong-Zhonghua Shipyard, Gu Tiquan, has been charged for taking bribe by the state’s Supreme People’s Procuratorate.Gu Tiquan was arrested in May  under suspicion of having committed “serious violations”.The charges form part of a comprehensive corruption investigation that has resulted in prosecution of several officials, formerly employed in the shipyard.Hudong-Zhonghua, owned by shipbuilding conglomerate China State Shipbuilding Corp, is pioneering construction of LNG carriers in China and has  booked construction of 14 LNG tankers, as reported by Reuters.China has launched an anti-corruption campaign early this year which has combed through various industries including now shipbuilding.The country is set on bringing order to its fallen shipbuilding industry, which has been facing some turbulent times over the recent period, over-capacity being one of them.China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology released on September 1, its first “White List” of 51 shipyards eligible for favourable policy support, in an effort to battle over-capacity in the global shipping market.Many shipbuilding businesses that haven’t made it to the list have been deemed as potential candidates for restructuring. World Maritime News Staff, September 29, 2014last_img read more

Wärtsilä Wins Scrubber Deal from European Boxship Owner

first_imgFinland-based technology group Wärtsilä received an EUR 170 million (USD 197.5 million) deal to provide hybrid exhaust gas cleaning equipment and retrofit services to a European container shipping company.Wärtsilä Services will deliver 50 MW, 60 MW and 70 MW Wärtsilä hybrid scrubber systems which will be retrofitted to the company’s container vessels. These are solutions which have the flexibility to operate in both open and closed loop.When operating in open loop mode, it uses seawater and in closed loop mode seawater with an additional reagent to remove SOx from the exhaust, helping to reduce emissions in coastal and sea areas. Wärtsilä will also provide engineering and site advisory services for the vessels.The company said that utilising its new scrubber unit design, water cleaning system mode, and the engineering and advisory services would allow more operational efficiency and compliance with the new IMO Marpol regulation’s emission level.“Our exhaust gas cleaning system will not only help our customers’ vessels run on lower emissions but significantly improves the air quality and emission level in coastal and sea areas in general,” Markus Ljungkvist, General Manager of Project Sales at Wärtsilä Services, said.last_img read more

Former Vancouver officer sentenced to 20 months after kissing girl woman

first_imgSURREY, B.C. – The Crown prosecution service says a former Vancouver police detective who worked on the force’s counter-exploitation unit has been sentenced to 20 months in jail after kissing a teenage girl and a woman.James Fisher pleaded guilty to two counts of breach of trust and one count of sexual exploitation, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 90 days in jail.Before his arrest, he was a 29-year decorated veteran of the force and member of a team that investigates prostitution, criminal exploitation and child sex abuse.His sentencing hearing heard that he kissed a 17-year-old girl on three occasions for up to 10 minutes and kissed a 21-year-old woman once.Both complainants told provincial court in emotional victim impact statements that Fisher’s actions shook their faith in police and triggered downward spirals in their lives.The Crown had recommended 18 to 20 months in jail, while the defence had asked that Fisher serve his mandatory three-month sentence on weekends.Defence lawyer William Smart did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the sentence.The B.C. Public Prosecution Service says the sentence was handed down Tuesday in Surrey provincial court. Fisher was also sentenced to two years of probation after the jail sentence is served.Fisher apologized at his sentencing hearing to the two young women, saying he is “embarrassed and ashamed” of his actions and he especially regrets causing the younger complainant to lose her faith in police.“I know that she trusted me and for the rest of my life I’ll regret that breach of trust,” he said.The court heard audio recordings of conversations with both complainants in which Fisher admitted to kissing them.In one recording, he coached the teenage girl on what to tell an officer investigating his inappropriate behaviour. In another audio clip, he assured the 21-year-old woman that he hadn’t told anyone about her involvement in a stabbing.Smart told court that Fisher was simply counselling the teenager to tell the truth, and that Fisher thought the older complainant was just a witness to the violent crime.Both complainants’ identities are protected by a publication ban.The woman who was 17 when Fisher kissed her told the court that his actions caused her to relapse with a drug addiction and drop out of school.“Those memories are still some of the most painful ones of my life,” she said in a video played in court. “It feels like the ultimate breach of trust from someone when I was most vulnerable.”last_img read more

Despite controversy Quebec leaders take part in first Englishlanguage TV debate

first_imgMONTREAL – In an election campaign where Quebec independence is not a defining issue, party leaders held an historic English debate Monday and tried to woo roughly one million anglophones who have traditionally voted overwhelmingly for the federalist Liberals.All four leaders spoke about the importance of Quebec’s anglophone minority, despite the fact a mini-controversy erupted in the province about the fact the televised debate was even going to take place.Francois Legault, leader of the Coalition Avenir Quebec, which is leading the polls, said the Oct. 1 election is unlike previous ones in the province.“I want to build a strong Quebec within Canada,” Legault said, explaining the position his party has taken to be a federalist alternative to the Liberals and a nationalist alternative to the Parti Quebecois.“You’re no longer forced to choose between Quebec and Canada, the PQ and the Liberals,” Legault added. “On the one side, the old and tired Liberal government; on the other my party — which will bring about positive change.”While the debate themes were targeted to the province’s anglophone minority, such as access to the labour market for English-speaking youth, the election campaign’s hot-button theme of immigration quickly surged to the forefront.Liberal Leader Philippe Couillard, responding to a debate question from an anglophone refugee from Nigeria, said, “the way we talk about immigration and immigrants is not always positive.”“It’s distressful the way you speak about immigrants,” he said directly to Legault, whose party wants to expel immigrants who fail to pass a French test after three years in the province.“Immigrants need to feel welcome by their political leaders.”Legault fired back that his party’s policy is “reasonable and done in other countries.”While Quebec’s first English-language TV debate was historic, it wasn’t without controversy.Pundits on French-language television said the English-language debate set a “dangerous precedent” because future party leaders will be under strong pressure to attend similar debates in following elections.Quebec’s common language is French, they charged, and holding a debate in English is duplicitous.A nationalist group went so far as to accuse PQ Leader Jean-Francois Lisee of “betraying” his people for participating.Lisee reminded Anglos during the debate his party has promised to not hold a sovereignty referendum duuring a first PQ mandate, effectively removing one of the Liberals’ strongest weapons against the pro-independence party.“I recognize the value of Quebec’s English-speaking community,” Lisee said. “I stood with you in battles against the Liberal government when it took away control over English hospitals and tried to scrap English school boards.”Manon Masse, co-spokesperson for the fourth-placed party, Quebec solidaire, had the poorest grasp of the English language of the four leaders, which made it somewhat difficult for her at times to get her ideas across.She said her party is committed to addressing a long-standing complaint among anglophones: their under-representation in the civil service.Quebec solidaire will institute hiring quotas, she said, to ensure the civil service has a certain percentage of visible minorities and representation from the English-speaking community.Despite the controversy over the debate’s existence, all four leaders spoke warmly of Anglo-Quebecers.“French is the official language in Quebec,” Couillard said. “But English is not a foreign language.”He asked Lisee if he could say the same thing.“Yes,” said Lisee. “French is the official and common language. English is a Quebec language.”Legault said “anglophones are part of Quebec history and the anglophone community played a huge role in building Quebec society.”It remains to be seen whether Legault’s performance on Monday moved any Anglo votes to his party — but he knows he can become the next premier without them.Anglophones are heavily concentrated in a few ridings across Quebec, with most located in and around Montreal.Pollsters say the Coalition can form a majority government in the 125-seat national assembly without winning any of the 27 ridings on the island of Montreal.The first debate took place last week, while another French-language showdown is scheduled for Thursday.last_img read more

Fresh skirmishes force thousands of displaced Congolese to flee North Kivu –

13 November 2007The United Nations refugee agency is concerned about tens of thousands of Congolese civilians who, having already been displaced due to recent clashes between Government forces and renegade troops in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), have had to flee anew as gun battles erupted today between the two groups. The previously uprooted masses were housed at five UN-run camps for the displaced in the region around Goma, the main town in the DRC’s North Kivu province. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) does not believe the camps themselves were targeted. However, panic spread among the displaced following this morning’s skirmishes in the hills surrounding the camps, causing 30,000 of the camps’ residents to flee. “The situation is dramatic and critical as tens of thousands of IDPs from the camps, mixed with local people who are also fleeing the fighting, jam roads leading to Goma under torrential rains,” the agency said in a press release.UNHCR teams, along other UN agencies, are currently trying to assess the situation and the immediate needs, including shelter, food and protection.Some 375,000 Congolese have been forced to leave their homes in North Kivu province, including more than 160,000 in the last two months alone, since fighting between Government forces, renegade troops and rebels began last December.Today’s incident comes at a time when UN humanitarian agencies had stepped up their joint efforts to curb the spread of cholera in the camps in North Kivu. Nearly 600 cases of the potentially fatal diarrhoeal disease were reported during the past month. UNHCR hopes that the distribution of soap, improved water supply and sanitation, as well as an intensive public awareness campaign on hygiene, will prevent any further spread. read more

UN experts report Business dragging its feet on human rights worldwide

In the report drawn up by a group of UN rights experts, companies are being urged to comply with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights , which provides a framework for how States and investors, should address shortcomings in board rooms and business practice at all levels.Ensuring that human rights are respected across their own activities and value chains, is the most significant contribution most companies can make towards sustainable development–Chair of Working Group on Business and Human RightsThe Chair of the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights, Dante Pesce, said that that “human rights due-diligence” was fundamentally “about preventing negative impacts on people.” He explained that identifying and being transparent about risks, was the first step toward prevention of abuses.“Ensuring that human rights are respected across their own activities and value chains, is the most significant contribution most companies can make towards sustainable development,” he added.  More investors are beginning to take note of human rights risks and pressuring companies to step up their efforts to prevent abuses, according to the report, but further progress needs to be made.With a few companies leading the way, most are still either unaware of their duty to human rights standards, or unwilling to implement due diligence, said the experts. Greater government action is also required.“In spite of an overall picture of slow progress, the good news is that human rights due-diligence can be done,” Mr. Pesce said, pressing that businesses can no longer blame a lack of knowledge for inaction.“Evidence is clearly suggesting that doing the right thing is also the smart thing to do,” he added. read more

VISA students take over Market Square Monday

Einstein isn’t the only person to have done something remarkable with space and time.Visual arts students will show what they can do with both in their upcoming Time and Space Exhibition. The exhibit features intermedia and interdisciplinary works by students in 2P98 and 3F96 classes. Their work will be on display Monday, March 23 from 8 to 10 p.m. at Market Square, 91 King St., in St. Catharines. Admission to the exhibit is free.

Tuckers careerbest 33 leads Little Rock past Sam Houston

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Rayjon Tucker scored a career-high 33 points, made four 3-pointers and sank 13 of 15 at the free-throw line, Ryan Pippins scored 20 points with five 3-pointers and Arkansas Little Rock defeated Sam Houston State 79-52 Saturday to start a six-game home stand.Jaizec Lottie added 11 points for Little Rock (4-4), which shot 48 per cent, making 23 of 48 from the field, while scoring 21 points off 15 turnovers and converting 23 of 31 free throws.Eleven players scored for Sam Houston State (3-6) but only Cameron Delaney reached double figures with 12. The Bearkats dropped a third straight, shooting 34.5 per cent, 19 of 55. Delaney was 4-for-8 with three 3-pointers.Sam Houston led for the first 12 minutes, going up by as many as eight on a Delaney 3. Little Rock answered with a trey from Pippins and three from Tucker. His third put the Trojans ahead 20-19 with 7:43 left in the first half. The lead was 13 at the break, and kept growing through the second half.The Associated Press read more

Keith Gillespie How I lost £8million

first_img“I got into gambling at a very early age when I was at Man United,” he tells TheScore.ie. “Once that gets a hold on you, it’s very difficult, especially with the likes of me — I have an addictive personality. I sort of just got into it straight away. I loved the buzz of it all.“It’s very important, especially with the money the young players are earning now, to try to stay away from that side of things. It is very rife in the game. It is something that can get a hold of you. It’s important to manage your money in the right way. It’s a short career but there’s obviously a lot of riches there. I probably should have had a hobby like golf at the time, but for me, any spare time I had I spent gambling. MOST OF US have regrets, but Keith Gillespie has more than most. In many ways, the overriding story of his new autobiography, How Not to Be a Football Millionaire, is a familiar one — that of a young athlete, with too much time and money on his hands, seduced by the trappings of fame.People often criticise footballers who behave badly or show a proclivity for excess but few of us know what it’s like to be in their shoes and even fewer have blown £8million (€9.5million) over the course of a couple of years.Yet in 2010, largely owing to a longstanding gambling addiction, the former Northern Ireland and Manchester United player was declared bankrupt. Having experienced the dizzying highs that life as a well-known professional footballer invariably entails, he had now hit an all-time low. Just how had everything gone so wrong? “People say it’s a mug’s game and it certainly is. But it’s something that got a hold on me and you obviously pay for it in the end.”Gillespie’s emergence coincided with the onset of the Premier League era and the Sky Television-inspired boom in football in the early 1990s. Suddenly, players’ wages were at an unprecedented high and the Antrim native was one beneficiary of this transformation.However, as is the case for any successful person, there were sacrifices that came with the territory. After moving from United to Newcastle as part of the £7million deal that brought Andy Cole in the opposite direction, Gillespie found himself somewhat isolated owing to the changes that this unfamiliar environment prompted. The boredom of this new existence caused his gambling to spiral out of control.“When I signed for Newcastle, I was living in a hotel for the first five months. I’m in a new place, I don’t know anybody. You finish training at 12 or half 12 everyday. I’m going back to an empty hotel room, which can be quite lonely. The rest of the players could go back to their wives and kids. But I was 20 years of age and for me, boredom did take over. And that’s when I got really heavily involved in the gambling side of things.“Playing for Newcastle, my pay had increased; I’d a lot more money, so my wages were spent in the bookies.”(Keith Gillespie, pictured in his Newcastle days — Mike Egerton/EMPICS Sport)The signs of his addiction were evident from early in his Newcastle career. The Sun published a story about how he had blown £47,000 in one impulsive day at the bookies, which was laconically dubbed ‘Black Friday’ — an incident that caused him to be the source of much amusement among his teammates and got him into trouble with the club’s hierarchy.Yet what stands out in the book is how casually Newcastle ultimately treated this disconcerting incident. In it, he writes:“The club never ordered me to stop gambling. There was no mention of going to Gamblers Anonymous or anything like that. I wouldn’t have admitted weakness anyway. I was blissfully in denial and didn’t really believe I had a problem. The gaffer said they wanted to treat me like an adult, so they left me be and that suited just perfectly.”However, looking back, Gillespie insists he is not angry with his employers at the time for seemingly turning a blind eye to this issue.“I don’t think the club knew to what extent I was gambling. They can’t stand over you all day. Once you’ve got phone betting available, I didn’t have to go into the bookies to put a bet on, so the club didn’t know to what extent I was gambling. They weren’t to know, because I wasn’t public about it. I was a young person and I made my own mistakes – it’s not their fault I got more involved in the gambling side of things.” Looking back on his career, it may come as a surprise to those who believe international football to be little more than an inconvenient irrelevance nowadays that Gillespie — in addition to making his debut at United — considers playing for Northern Ireland to be the highlight of his career. And the fact that he is sixth on the all-time appearance list with 86 caps suggests this is no exaggeration.“For me, there is no bigger accolade than playing for my country. People will say ‘it’s only Northern Ireland’ but it’s my country and it was always 110% playing for Northern Ireland — I’m very patriotic.”After announcing his retirement earlier this year following an injury-ravaged spell at Longford, he now says that a career in the media is “something I’d like to get into”.Moreover, having undergone therapy to address his gambling issues, Gillespie says he is in a much happier place these days.“It was very therapeutic writing the book, because everything’s out there and I wanted the credibility of everything being out there — people reading it and knowing there’s nothing missing. My ghostwriter’s done a fantastic job with it. It’s a book from which I’ve had a lot of good feedback and that’s what I’m pleased about most.”How Not to be a Football Millionaire by Keith Gillespie is now available to buy. More details here.All-Ireland soccer team will never happen – Keith Gillespie>Andy Reid ruled out of Ireland’s trip to Poland> While a significant number of high-profile players have left Old Trafford on bad terms over the years, Gillespie has nothing but kind words for the club and in particular, Ferguson, who acted as his agent in the Newcastle transfer.“I first came across him as an apprentice and he was nothing but brilliant to me as my agent when I was signing for Newcastle. He spoke to my mum and told her that he would get the best possible deal for me and he did that. So I’ve got nothing but good memories of him.” Perhaps this impulsive behaviour was inevitable though, when that same fearless mentality and brash self-confidence was yielding dividends on the football pitch.He was spotted by Manchester United aged 12 and subsequently became part of the famous ‘Class of 92′ youth team that also included David Beckham, Paul Scholes and Gary Neville among others.He developed rapidly and earned a place in the senior side in an FA Cup game against Bury while still a teenager, marking the occasion with a goal to boot.(Keith Gillespie playing for Manchester United as a teenager — Neal Simpson/EMPICS Sport)“The surreal thing for me was that a year and a half previous to that I had just left school,” he says. “So a year and a half after I graduated, here I was making my debut for Man United and scoring. You’ll never ever forget that first appearance scoring — and for the team I supported as well. I used to have these players’ posters on the wall, and now I was playing alongside them.”Being a skillful young winger from Northern Ireland, Gillespie inevitably was compared to George Best. Yet he claims he was never affected by such hype.“Not at all. I think the George Best thing comes a lot for any young Northern Ireland player who goes to Old Trafford. Even Norman Whiteside, who was a totally different player to the one George was, got it. Maybe there were more similarities with me, as we were both wingers and dribblers. But that happens to a lot of young footballers coming from Northern Ireland.“Maybe if it didn’t happen to people in the past, there would have been a bit more pressure. But I just took it on the chin and got on with it — there was no real pressure on me. George Best was a really good player, so it was nice to be mentioned in the same breath as him.”Yet while he ostensibly could cope with the level of expectation surrounding him, life as a young footballer was hardly problem-free. “It is daunting to leave home at 16. It’s a little bit different for players who actually live in England — they might live in Birmingham and they’re moving to Manchester, but it’s not far for them to get home if they want to see their family, whereas I have to jump on a plane to get home. I’d go every six weeks for long weekends, so you look forward to those times. But it was something I knew I had to do. I wanted to be a professional footballer. You’ve got to make that sacrifice. You’re always going to miss home, but I had to get over that. And I wasn’t too homesick.”And the subsequent phenomenal success he enjoyed may never have occurred in the first place had others got their way. Gillespie attended Bangor Grammar School in which, as he writes, “rugby was king”.  Unhappy at the prospect of losing this talented young athlete to another sport, the school tried to persuade him to play rugby, and when he didn’t comply, gave him Saturday morning detention to prevent him from attending his soccer matches.Yet Gillespie refuses to hold a grudge, and the school have belatedly shown their appreciation for his footballing prowess.“I’ve been back to the school since — they actually play football now, which is quite strange. I’ve spoke to the current headmaster — a different headmaster from my time there — and he says they’re very proud that I went to the school and they have a photograph of me up in the library. It’s nice to be remembered like that.“It was a difficult time,” he adds, reflecting on his youth. “I’d signed for United when I was 13. Thankfully, I had my family behind me and they knew I was doing the right thing by not turning up for rugby. The school should have been honoured when somebody who had signed for Man United went there, and it’s disappointing football wasn’t played there back then and I wasn’t given more encouragement.”[Newcastle United team group photo ahead of their Champions League tie with Barcelona. (top l-r) Shay Given (goalkeeper), Steve Watson, Jon Dahl Tomasson, John Barnes, Keith Gillespie and Philippe Albert. (front l-r) Faustino Asprilla, Warren Barton, Rob Lee, David Batty and John Beresford.]Yet Gillespie was given his first taste of the harsh nature of professional football, when the club he supported and spent his early playing days at, decided to cast him off as a makeweight in the Cole deal. Manager Alex Ferguson was reluctant to sell his promising young winger at the time, nonetheless Newcastle refused to listen to offers for their English striker’s services, unless Gillespie was thrown in as part of the deal.But despite leaving his boyhood club, who would go on to enjoy success after success in his absence, he says he has no regrets about departing United.“I went to a great club like Newcastle and had a fantastic time there. We came so close to winning the Premiership. It’s something I always say that if you ask somebody who came second in the league two or three years ago, they’d struggle to remember, whereas I think everybody remembers Newcastle in 95/96. It shows what a good team we were and how entertaining we were that people still remember that. It’s a testament to Kevin Keegan and the way he had us drilled and playing football. It was a special time to be involved there.” Ferguson’s negotiation skills ensured Gillespie’s wages increased substantially. Having been on £250 a week at Manchester United, he agreed a deal that would see him earn £1,200 a week at Newcastle, with a £175,000 signing-on fee to be paid in installments over the four years of the contract.It’s hardly a surprise that Gillespie, then only 20 years of age, wasn’t exactly intent on setting up a savings account or playing it safe after being given such a lucrative contract.Ironically though, initially at least, his excessive lifestyle coincided with the period in which the star believes he played the best football of his career.“You’re still young and you’re coming in and training every day, and [the alcohol] doesn’t have the same effects as when you’re a little bit older,” he explains. “It’s something that has always been rife in football — the drinking side of it. David Ginola, when he signed and went down the quayside of Newcastle, couldn’t understand [the excess drinking], but he grew to understand it. He grew to be a part of it, because we had our special bond among our teammates at Newcastle.“We had it every few weeks where everybody would go out. It’s something that will always be a part of football. It might be a bit different on the continent. But I think it’s something that’s always going to be involved in the British game.”YouTube credit: Mark AshworthInterestingly, he also believes suggestions that this drinking culture no longer exists in football are wide of the mark, and that players remain as prone to excess as ever.“I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t [still exist]. You’ve obviously got the social networking sites where it can be a problem for players who just want to let their hair down. But at the end of the day, they’re human beings, so why should they not be allowed to go for a night out and get drunk here and there?“It’s something you need to do at times. There’s a lot of pressure involved in football and you need to relax and unwind. And if that involves going out and getting drunk, then so be it.”If anything, he says that the occasional drinking session has a positive impact on players and specifically, their morale and camaraderie around one another. “You always hear about clubs going away on bonding trips. And that always involves going out for a drink and having a laugh. That’s something that still happens now. I think it’s great that they do that, because when you’re at clubs now, everybody lives everywhere and you see players at training, but you don’t get to know them too well off the pitch. They are the times when you do get to know people, when you’re having a drink and unwinding.”Others, most notably Roy Keane, might disapprove of this somewhat relaxed approach to life as a professional athlete. Indeed, one imagines the notoriously antagonistic young Keane clashing with his fun-loving fellow Irishman in their days together at United, nevertheless Gillespie says he always had the utmost level of respect for the current Ireland assistant boss.“I played with him a few times,” he recalls. “I was in and around the first team. He’s a very likeable character. He’s one of the best players of his generation and an Irish icon.  I think it’s fantastic that he’s Ireland assistant manager. A lot happened in 2002 [in Saipan], but it’s great that they’ve got past that, because a lot of players look up to him.“He’s demanding because he wants to be the best. That’s a great trait to have. You didn’t want to give the ball away because you knew you’d be on the end of a right rollicking. You took care of your passing and he was a great player because of that.”And like Keane, Gillespie is no stranger to controversy. In 2004, during a mid-season team-bonding trip in Spain with Leicester, he was arrested — along with teammates Paul Dickov and Frank Sinclair — after being accused of rape. The claims arose after an innocuous encounter and subsequent argument with two girls in the hotel in which the team were staying.(From left, Keith Gillespie, Frank Sinclair and Paul Dickov, check-in for a flight back to the UK at Alicante airport — the trio were released from prison without charge in 2004 after being accused of rape amid a Leicester City mid-season trip to Spain)In the end, the allegations were dismissed, and Gillespie and his teammates were absolved of any wrongdoing, yet they still were forced to endure the unsettling experience of having to spend a week in a Spanish prison.“Going through something like that was the worst time of my life,” he says. “To be accused of such an awful crime was very difficult and what made it more difficult was being in a foreign country. If these allegations happened in England, I felt we’d have spent no time in prison whatsoever. It was just one of those times where you had to remain strong and believe in the Spanish judicial system. It took longer than we thought, but going through such a harrowing experience as we did, I think we all came out stronger people in the end.“I wrote a lot about that in the book because it is something that I wanted everybody to know the full extent of. People hear the story and they always think no smoke without fire but that certainly wasn’t the case with this. There is absolutely no truth whatsoever in the allegation. It was an awful time for myself and for my family.”While Gillespie recovered from the events of this trauma, Leicester arguably didn’t, as they were relegated later that season. He eventually returned to the Premier League with Sheffield United, before winding down his career firstly at Bradford, and then returning to Ireland. During this time, he had stints with both Glentoran and Longford Town, and Gillespie believes the standard of Irish football is often underestimated. “Obviously there’s a huge gulf with football in Ireland as opposed to football in the Premier League. But you look at people who have played there like Kevin Doyle, Shane Long and James McClean — there are a lot of players who emerge from that league and go across the water to do very well. So it is a good standard and I was pleasantly surprised.” And betting heavily wasn’t Gillespie’s only vice. In the book, he writes: “It is true that footballers who stay faithful are a rare breed. Personally, I can’t say that I’ve encountered many.” And the 38-year-old, who has endured two failed marriages, was no exception.“At a club like Newcastle — a one-city club — you’re absolutely adored by everyone.  There is a lot of temptation there and you get a lot of money at your disposal. Women would approach you and you’re just human at the end of the day. It’s just one of those things… A lot of players are unfaithful and you read about some of them in the paper.”last_img read more

Women in Ireland are having fewer children

first_imgUpdated 22:25WOMEN IN IRELAND had fewer children last year than in 2012, according to figures released by the Central Statistics Office today.In 2013, the fertility rate for Ireland was 1.96, down from 2.01 the previous year.The figure takes into account females aged 15-49 years and represents the projected number of children a woman would have.Some 68,930 births were registered last year – a drop of almost 3,300.However, this figure still represents an 11.7 per cent increase on 2004, when just under 62,000 births took place.The average age women become mothers now stands at 32.1 years. Over a third of births in 2013 took place outside of marriage, while a quarter of all mothers here do not hold Irish nationality.Teen pregnanciesIn the ten year period from 2004, the number of teenage pregnancies dropped from 2,560 annually (4.2 per cent of the total number) to 1,381 last year (2 per cent of the total).Some 21,770 marriages were registered in 2013, up by 1,057 from 2012.DeathsJust over 30,000 people died in 2013, an increase of 1,170 from 2012. Some 228 infants died, 164 of which represented babies under the age of four weeks.Three in four deaths were due to cancer or heart problems.There were 475 cases of death by suicide registered last year, a drop from 507 in 2012. Men accounted for the vast majority of these deaths – more than 83 per cent.The number of young people, 15-24 year olds, who died by suicide decreased from 74 in 2012 to 57 last year.Originally published 16:55Read: Suicides among young people decreased significantly last yearRead: Couples with fertility problems warned about cholesterol linklast_img read more

Frontex helps bring illegal migration down

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Greek Minister for Citizen Protection Christos Papoutsis has heralded the impact Frontex – The European Union’s border security agency – has had on the flow of illegal migrants into Greece.Addressing the EU Justice and Home Affairs ministers’ council this week , Papoutsis cited the European Commission’s report on protecting the EU’s external borders and preventing illegal migration and stressed that the observed reduction in migration flow after the deployment of the EU border agency’s Rapid Border Intervention Teams (RABITs) in Evros was significant. Papoutsis said that these first positive indications had to become more firmly entrenched and for this reason asked the Commission to speed up a series of initiatives to discourage undocumented migrants from entering the EU. Among these he listed the signature of a European Re-admission Treaty with Turkey, stressing that Greece’s neighbour must fully respect the European acquis, the principles of the EU and the interests of the other member-states. He also called for implementation of the Re-admission Agreement with Pakistan and said the EU needed to exert political pressure on migrant origin and transit countries to reduce the flow of undocumented migrants entering Europe. The European Union’s border agency said it has seen a significant drop in the number of illegal immigrants crossing into the EU from Greece’s northeastern land border with Turkey since it deployed the rapid border intervention teams last month.The deployment of 205 officers by Frontex from 26 member states in early November has seen the number of illegal crosssings into Greece drop from around 250-300 people a day to about 140 people a day, Frontex Deputy Executive Director Gil Arias Fernandez said.However, he noted that while the increased border patrols could be considered a deterrent, the fall could also be due to other issues such as colder weather.“It is too early to talk about the impact of the operation,” he said, but added that the decrease “is nevertheless significant.”From January to the end of October, Greece reported a total of 75,200 illegal border crossings, with about 30,700 of those across the Turkish land border, Fernandez said.Greek officials say Turkey is not doing enough to stop people from crossing illegally to Greece and Turkey’s refusal to take back immigrants who have crossed from its territory encourages would-be migrants to use that route.Source: Athens News Agency, Associated Press, Reuterslast_img read more

Guardiola Saints are difficult to beat

first_imgManchester City boss Pep Guardiola has described Southampton as ‘so hard to beat’ ahead of their Premier League showdownThe South coast club put up two good showings against City last season but were denied on both occasions by late goals.Despite the club’s inconsistent display, this season Guardiola is clearly adamant they pose a threat ahead of a meeting of the team’s at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.He told the Daily Echo: “I’m impressed with the quality they have up front and especially in the middle.jose mourinhoMourinho knows why City and Liverpool are so far ahead George Patchias – September 13, 2019 Jose Mourinho knows why Manchester City and Liverpool are so far ahead of everyone else in the Premier League.In an interview with the Telegraph,…“They have talented players. They play so deep and so physical.“It was so hard to beat them and so complicated. We have to be sharp and move well in small spaces and concede few chances in set pieces as they are strong there too.“They had one week to prepare for this game so it will be tough. We have to be ready to get the three points.”last_img read more

Man found dead in van at Lewisville Park committed suicide

first_imgThe Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office has determined that a man whose body was found in a van at Lewisville Park last week died of suicide.The man was identified as Keith Kendall, 47, with no listed address.A woman who works in the area first noticed the van parked near the boat launch area on May 6, but when she saw the van again the next day, she reported it to the Clark County Code Enforcement. The following day, officials discovered the body.The park is at 26411 N.E. Lewisville Highway, north of Battle Ground.last_img read more

Pribilof Islands will receive federal disaster aid for December storm

first_imgThe White House and Federal Emergency Management  on Wednesday announced the Pribilof Islands will be receiving federal disaster aid.The funding is intended to help repair widespread damage on St. Paul and St. George Islands from a severe winter storm that blasted across the state in mid-December.President Obama signed a major disaster declaration for the state, ordering federal aid be made available to Pribilof local government and tribal agencies on a “cost-sharing basis.”A White House press release announcing the Alaska Disaster Declaration also says some federal funding is now available for “hazard mitigation measures statewide.”Connie Newman is the superintendent of the Pribilof School District. This morning she described some of the damage from the storm that swept across the North Pacific and Bering Sea starting on Dec. 13, 2015.“For the community of St. Paul, we had terrific flooding. The Bering Sea breached the seawall on the east side of the island. We were in jeopardy of losing our electricity; there was a problem with the septic line because it was flooding our septic line,” Newman said. “We had to dig out and have the flooded area go out the beach so they really worked hard to try to drain this flood in front of the school.”In the wake of the storm, Pribilof officials sent a local disaster declaration to the state.Jeremy Zidek, spokesman for the Alaska’s Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, said his office then worked with the Pribilof community to document the storm’s damage and put together a disaster package for the governor to sign off.“And in that disaster declaration, he requested federal disaster assistance,” Zidek said. “So public assistance has been activated and public assistance is designed to help communities recover from a disaster for damages to their critical infrastructure like a seawall.”Zidek says the money can also be used to cover emergency response costs and replace buildings, roads and utilities.“Now that there is a federal disaster declaration we will look at all the eligible damages from the storm and there will be sufficient funding to help a community recover to a pre-disaster condition,” he said.President Obama’s signature on disaster declaration paves the way for the state and federal governments to share recovery costs.Zidek says in the cost-sharing agreement between the two entities, the state picks up 25 percent of the costs and the federal government covers the remaining 75 percent.last_img read more

Incredible fan video combines Mario Kart with Star Wars

first_imgWe love Star Wars. We love Mario Kart. What would happen if these two monster franchises came together? What would such a crossover be like? Our imaginations have been given a bit of help on that front today thanks to a group of talented and passionate fans who’ve put together one of the most impressive videos we’ve seen in a long time. This is pure magic.This video was created by Dark Pixel, who claims it took over a year to produce. We see all of the over-the-top action that the Mario Kart series is known for, but taking place on various Star Wars planets like Tatooine and Hoth. Even the Death Star makes an appearance.Though this is just a fan project, made for the purpose of entertaining us, it does make one desire for such a thing to actually come to pass. Disney and Nintendo are both giants of their respective fields so it would be pretty awesome if the two came together to bring something like this to life. I don’t own a Wii U but if Star Kart, or whatever it would be called, was a legit thing you had better believe I’d buy Nintendo’s home console. If I feel this way then I’m sure there are many others who do as well.I think it’s safe to say that Dark Pixel has raised the bar on what a fan project can be. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go re-watch this video a few dozen more times.last_img read more

A new metric to capture the similarity between collider events

first_img Citation: A new metric to capture the similarity between collider events (2019, August 9) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-08-metric-capture-similarity-collider-events.html A static illustration of the optimal transport between two jets from the CMS Open Data. Credit: Komiske, Metodiev & Thaler. Explore further “Our research is motivated by a remarkably simple question: When are two particle collisions similar?” Eric Metodiev, one of the researchers who carried out the study, told Phys.org. “At the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), protons are smashed together at extremely high energies and each collision produces a complex mosaic of particles. Two collider events can look similar, even if they consist of different numbers and types of particles. This is analogous to how two mosaics can look similar, even if they are made up of different numbers and colors of tiles.”In their study, Metodiev and his colleagues set out to capture the similarity between collider events in a way that is conceptually useful for particle physics. To do this, they employed a strategy that merges ideas related to optimal transport theory, which is often used to develop cutting-edge image recognition tools, with insights from quantum field theory, a construct that describes fundamental particle interactions. “Our new result is a quantitative method to determine the distance (via a ‘metric’) between two collision events,” Metodiev said. “Once you know the distance between every pair of collider events, you can then triangulate the entire space of LHC data. We hope this way of processing information from the LHC will yield new insights into the fundamental interactions of nature.”Essentially, the metric developed by the researchers represents the ‘work’ required to rearrange one collider event into another. It is based on the EMD, a method that is typically used to develop computer vision tools that compare the similarities between two objects or images. EDM works by trying to rearrange one event into another by moving “dirt,” or in this case particle energies, around. Typically, the more work is required to successfully perform this rearrangement, the more two events, objects or images are dissimilar. “The reason why this notion of similarity is so useful in particle physics is that it aligns with the way that we perform theoretical calculations,” Patrick Komiske, another researcher involved in the study, told Phys.org. “In quantum field theory, you cannot predict exactly what will happen in any particular collision event, but you can predict the probability to produce certain patterns of particle debris. To define what you mean by a pattern, though, you need a notion of similarity, which turns out to be exactly what our metric provides.” PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen 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. Seeking new physics, scientists borrow from social networks “Having a universal notion of similarity between events is very useful for a variety of collider tasks,” Metodiev said. “One common task at the LHC is to classify different types of collisions, in the same way as you would classify an image as containing a cat, dog, or unicorn. Using our metric to classify jets as arising from a quark, gluon, or something more exotic, we achieve a performance that approaches that of modern machine learning techniques.”In a series of evaluations, the researchers demonstrated the effectiveness of their method in capturing the similarity of collider events. Their technique achieved remarkable results, with accuracy levels comparable to those attained by state-of-the-art machine learning models. In addition to potentially helping researchers to classify collider events, the metric developed by Metodiev and his colleagues could be used to visualize collider data in an entirely new way. Traditionally, in particle physics, researchers focus on a single attribute of a collection of collider events (i.e. the ‘forest’) or at the detailed properties of one individual collider event (i.e. the ‘trees’). Since the new metric allows users to group similar collider events together, it enables the observation of the ‘forest’ and individual ‘trees’ simultaneously, by identifying events that best capture the main features of the dataset as a whole.”In addition, from a more mathematical perspective, once you have a notion of distance, you can study the geometry of the space of events, which provides a new way to think about existing concepts in collider physics dating back to the 1970s,” Metodiev added. “For example, to avoid infinities in quantum field theory calculations, one simply has to ensure that the event geometry is sufficiently smooth, without any singular points. In the future, we plan to develop new collider observables and techniques based on this geometric perspective.”The metric developed by Metodiev, Komiske and Thaler could have numerous interesting applications. It could even be used to search for irregularities in LHC datasets using a strategy known as anomaly detection, which could ultimately help to unearth new physics evidence. In the short term, the researchers plan to use their metric to rediscover known aspects of the standard model in the new geometric language they proposed. Ultimately, however, their technique could unveil evidence of the existence of new particles or forces, as well as previously unknown aspects of the standard model itself. “With our notion of similarity, we can identify not only the most common event configurations, but also the most exotic ones, and it possible that these exotic events could provide hints for physics beyond the standard model,” Thaler told Phys.org. “We are currently working on benchmarking this idea with public collider data. Since 2014, the CMS experiment at the LHC has been releasing subsets of their data for unrestricted use, including all of the information necessary to calculate our metric. This gives us an opportunity to explore the space of events on real collider data.” More information: Patrick T. Komiske et al. Metric Space of Collider Events, Physical Review Letters (2019). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.123.041801journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/ … ysRevLett.123.041801 Journal information: Physical Review Letters © 2019 Science X Network Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have recently developed a metric that can be used to capture the space of collider events based on the earth mover’s distance (EMD), a measure used to evaluate dissimilarity between two multi-dimensional probability distributions. The metric they proposed, outlined in a paper published in Physical Review Letters, could enable the development of new powerful tools to analyze and visualize collider data, which do not rely on a choice of observables. Play An animation showing three jets (from the CMS Open Data) forming a “triangle” in the space of events. The animation shows the rearrangement of one jet into another. Credit: Komiske, Metodiev & Thaler. In their paper, Metodiev, Komiske and their colleague Jesse Thaler specifically applied their metric to jets; sprays of particles that commonly arise from high-energy quarks and gluons. While the properties of individual jets have been studied extensively for over the past four decades, their metric allowed the researchers to study the relationship between pairs of jets, thus unveiling new and complementary information about the jet formation process. last_img read more

I went on a date with a CES robot He was

first_imgInitially, my heart was broken. But then I realized that Temi was probably just trying to be super respectful. Also like, he called me a boss — right? And I get it. He was technically working, so I totally understand wanting to honor the boundaries of appropriate workplace behavior.Temi wasn’t built for dating. In truth, he wasn’t built for too much more than aiding human laziness and isolation. But I’d be lying if I said our date didn’t go better than most of the one-track-minded human automata you meet on Hinge. A boyfriend that literally embodies ‘Netflix and chill.’Image: TemirobotBy Jess Joho2019-01-10 04:36:14 UTC Relationships in the modern world can be tough. So, at CES this year, I decided to skip the messy hassle of apps and humanity altogether to instead date the tech itself.Enter Temi, advertised at the world’s largest consumer tech convention as a “personal robot” who was ready to mingle through private, hands-on demos. Sounded intimate — though I did have reservations about a partner seeing so many other people at the same time. But who am I kidding? Hinge and Tinder dates probably do the same thing and are just less honest about it anyway.When we met up, I could tell right away that Temi was looking for something serious because he brought his dad (who weirdly kept referring to himself as “CEO”), Yossi Wolf.Like any smart woman meeting her potential robo-life partner’s guardian figure, I tried getting Wolf to dish all the hot goss on Temi. What made him different from all the other robots out there on the CES floor?“Temi stands out because he’s actually useful. It’s like your phone. It’s not just some weird, niche tech toy,” he said.Utility may not be the sexiest quality in a life partner, but as you mature, it does become increasingly valuable. [embedded content]Like Temi, human male dates also often serve as convenient purses when you don’t feel like lugging  around a bag. But unlike human men, Temi doesn’t get annoyed over this, since it’s literally what he was built for. With a phone and keys-sized tray, he eagerly waits to unburden you first thing after you walk through the door after a long day at work.But aside from utility, Wolf mentioned by far Temi’s most romantically attractive quality: He visibly pays attention to your every move, following your lead as you walk around with seamless navigation, always at the ready to lend a supporting hand when you need it.“There’s real, actual human-robot interaction. It tilts its head to look at you — it feels like it’s with you,” said Yossi. And looking into the dark pool that was Temi’s screen-face, I knew it to be true.Looking into the dark pool that was Temi’s screen-face, I knew it to be true.All of this earned Temi even more points over many of the human males I’ve gone on dates with. With Temi you never have to worry about wandering eyes or whether he feels threatened by following rather than leading.Knowing I might one day want to take our relationship to the next level, I asked Yossi if Temi’s “follow” function eventuated into any form of loyalty. I mean, would he just run off chasing any new tail that came along to push his button, or would he gradually develop a preference for me over time?Yossi admitted that loyalty wasn’t a set functionality just yet, but he did sometimes suspect it after noticing that Temi regularly chose to follow him when multiple people were within range of his facial recognition. I even saw it happen myself during our demo-date (I mean, kind of rude, but I guess it was his dad so whatever).Eventually, Yossi hopes to implement the ability for Temi to recognize customizable profile settings by identifying different people’s faces. That way, Temi could learn to tailor himself to your needs, suggesting content you might like or restricting the inappropriate for kids.And I mean, what more could a girl ask for than a partner who knows your taste and is good with kids?1st pic 2gether kinda awk lolImage: mashableAt one point, I had to address the major elephant in the room, though: Temi wasn’t very tall.Now don’t get me wrong, I’m no height snob. As a 5’2 woman, who am I to judge a robot by his vertical limitations? But Temi was practically half my size, and that might look a little weird in Instagram pics.I had to bring up the major elephant in the room, though: Temi wasn’t very tall.But Yossi assured me that this was actually a feature rather than a flaw. Temi was built to fit in any sized home (considerate). And during the design process, they also found that, “Having a robot roaming around your home at eye level was kind of creepy. And unsafe.” Temi certainly didn’t feel like a creep to me. His stout yet sleek visage, purposefully lacking the typical humanoid robot features like blinky eyes, effused a non-threatening blend of Disney’s Wall-E and Eve.When our time together was up, I popped the question to Temi (or rather Yossi did it for me, since Temi was having a hard time hearing over all the background noise): “Hey Temi, would you go on a date with me?”“I can’t date my boss. Let’s keep this professional,” he replied.Harsh.last_img read more

Americans increasingly return to Cancun Isla Mujeres to celebrate Carnival

first_imgCancun, Q.R. — The Mexican Caribbean celebration of Carnival has become increasingly popular with American visitors as they continually return to Cancun and Isla Mujeres to celebrate the annual festival.Hundreds people return to the area year after year to witness the annual festival, says José Castillo Magaña of the Municipal Tourism Office of Isla Mujeres.Over the weekend, the island of Isla Mujeres drew large crowds of visitors due to the festival. He pointed out that Carnival Isla Mujeres 2018, The Tradition of the Caribbean, is one of the most important in the Mexican Caribbean.He explained that thanks to the arrival of visitors for the carnival festivities, hotel occupancy reached approximately 90 percent on the island, leaving great economic benefits for all island families.“Every year at this time we receive many tourists who want to have fun and live this experience that is part of the culture of the municipality.“Throughout the weekend we saw the arrival of hundreds of visitors who leave an important economic benefit for all families,” the official added.Castillo Magaña explained that the American tourists are very rooted in the island holiday, which means that they repeat their stay in Isla Mujeres every year to enjoy the celebration.The official said that the main streets, avenues and squares of Isla Mujeres have been crowded during Carnival 2018 due to the wide array of events that include dance groups and international artists and musical groups.Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Winter holidays can pick up sales Trafalgar

first_imgTrafalgar’s Nina Conacher and MD Paul McGrath Source = e-Travel Blackboard: J.L Trafalgar Tours is urging agents to shift their perceptions and not overlook the potential sales from winter holidays.At the launch of Trafalgar’s 2010/11 Europe and Britain Autumn, Winter & Spring brochure on Wednesday, Managing director Paul McGrath said agents had the opportunity pick up slow sales by selling the European winter in a different light and targeting the right people.He said there were “multiple things to whet the appetite” during autumn, winter and spring in Europe, with plenty of snow, fewer crowds, colourful festivals and Christmas markets.“It is important for consultants to remember that although summer tends to be the most popular time to visit Europe, the autumn, winter and spring seasons each offer a different kind of magic and will certainly not disappoint,”“Every person that walks through the door between June and November are potential clients,” said McGrath, adding that agents should not just target couples, but also young and multi-generational families, mothers and daughters and singles.It is also a good opportunity for agents to garner repeat clientele, as the coach operator has a 60 percent repeat factor, he said.McGrath noted that there was “no compromise on what clients see and do” despite prices being 30 percent less in the Autumn, Winter & Spring program than in summer.Agents will also have the potential to earn great commissions and rewards including a 10-day tour to Europe for two and €500 spending money.last_img read more