Nagpur: Union minister Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday said this year’s Independence Day will be celebrated with “much more enthusiasm” in view of the Centre’s decision to revoke Jammu and Kashmir’s special status. With this decision, the Indian government has given a strong reply to terrorists and “Pakistan’s infiltration activities” in the Kashmir Valley, Gadkari said. He was addressing a gathering of students at the mass recitation of the song ‘Vande Mataram’ here in Maharashtra. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ “By revoking Article 370, we have strongly retaliated to the infiltration activities of Pakistan in Kashmir. The dreams of all Indians are fulfilled in the real sense today,” Gadkari said. “There is peace in Kashmir and in a way, terrorists have got a strong reply from India. And in this backdrop, the Independence Day tomorrow will be celebrated with more enthusiasm,” he added. The senior BJP leader, who is a Lok Sabha member from Nagpur constituency, said everyone should resolve to fulfill the dream of ‘Akhandh Bharat’ (undivided India). Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K He also praised actor-turned-politician Sunny Deol, who was present on the occasion. Addressing the gathering, Deol said he feels that ‘Akhand Bharat’ will certainly become a reality one day. “On the Independence Day, we should not forget how we got independence. We should remember our freedom fighters like Mahatma Gandhi, Bhagat Singh, Chandrashekhar Azad, Subhash Chandra Bose, Lokmanya Tilak and others who sacrificed their lives for the nation,” the BJP MP from Gurdaspur said. The ‘Vande Mataram’ recital was organised here by local NGO Matrubhoomi Pratishthan to mark the ‘Akhandh Bharat Sankalp Day’.
Rabat – Samira Sitail, head of the news department of channel 2M has criticized Moncef Belkhayat for describing Nabila Mounib, the secretary general of the Unified Socialist Party (PSU) as “a lovely and classy lady”.Last Thursday, the former Sports and Youth minister Moncef Belkhayat was embroiled in a sexism row over Twitter comments he made.Belkhayat, who is a member of the political bureau of the National Rally of Independents (RNI) retweeted a picture of Nabila Mounib and commented in French: “Who is this lovely lady? She seems very bourgeois… I find her very classy and very Zaz [chic] “. Belkhayat received backlash from social media users over the past week and was recently slammed by Samira Sitail.Samira Sitail took to Facebook to reply to Belkhayat’s comment. She wrote: “YES [Moncef] Belkhayat, Nabila Mounib is ‘Zaz’ [chic]. You did well revealing this on a political stage..”“Yes she brings some ‘classiness’ to the political scene during a time where it is dominated by the junk and rotten,” she added.Sitail went on to add that she would be more appreciative if “You [Moncef Belkhayat] first noted that Nabila Mounib was competent, intelligent and honest.”Mocenf Belkhayat who already apologized for his tweet about Nabila Mounib, protested against Sitail’s intervention.In a video posted on YouTube, Belkhayat said Sitail “attacked me and offended my dignity on the day of the launch of my political campaign.”“Sitail has intervened in a political clash between two candidates running for the same office and took a stance as head of the news department in 2M in favor of Nabila Mounib,” he added.He pointed out that Sitail violated the law by showing bias and called Morocco’s High Authority for Audio-visual Communication (HACA) to take action against her.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission
4 March 2009The Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations has urged a speedy consolidation of women’s programmes at the United Nations, in order to intensify efforts for gender equality and women’s political, economic and social empowerment. “A new entity focused on gender equality is overdue,” Asha-Rose Migiro told Ministers responsible for women’s and family affairs gathered for the 53rd session of the Commission on the Status of Women on Monday.“Women of the world look to us for leadership and action. We cannot fail them,” Ms. Migiro said, noting that the issue of strengthening the UN system’s work for gender equality has been under discussion for almost two years.”There are now, she noted, four major gender-focused entities at the UN: the Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues, the Division for the Advancement of Women, the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) and the UN International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW). “There is little disagreement that the gender architecture is fragmented,” she said, adding that it is also inadequately funded and insufficiently focused on country-driven demands, with gaps between policy and implementation and weak authority. Options for consolidation include a fund or programme focused on women on the order of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) or the UN Development Programme (UNDP). Other options include a department of the Secretariat, such as the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) or a hybrid that would combine the features of a fund and a department. The options, including better use of the existing UN gender architecture, were discussed during informal consultations of the General Assembly last September.With the issue of reform as yet unresolved, she said, the Assembly asked Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to provide a detailed paper on all options, focused, however, on the creation of a composite entity. She anticipated that a new round of informal consultations will begin soon.“It is hoped that the inter-governmental process will ensure we put in place a new gender entity that will strengthen our efforts at both the operational and normative level,” Ms. Migiro said.
TORONTO — Energy stocks helped pull the Toronto stock market lower Thursday as oversupply concerns pushed down crude oil prices.The S&P/TSX composite index declined 88.31 points to 14,873.93.The April crude oil contract in New York fell 70 cents to US$43.96 a barrel and the energy sector gave back 2.75%.Oversupply concerns have hit prices hard recently with crude down 14% over the past eight sessions as inventories continue to climb. U.S. oil stockpiles rose by 9.6 million barrels last week — much more than expected. The latest worry is that oil storage space is becoming full, which could further depress prices.“Once that is gone then what are you going to do with it?” said Philip Petursson, director of institutional equities at Manulife Asset Management.“There’s no refining capacity, so essentially we’re going to have to see production come down or people are going to have to sell it at a deep discount to the current price.”The Canadian dollar gave back a good-sized chunk of a 1 1/4-cent surge Wednesday after the Federal Reserve’s much-anticipated rate announcement. The loonie was down 0.97 of a US cent to 78.58 cents Thursday.The Fed signalled it wants to see the job market improve and inflation to come off its lows before it begins raising rates.New York markets had rallied in the wake of the Fed announcement Wednesday, but on Thursday the Dow Jones industrials lost 117.16 points to 17,950.03 and the S&P 500 index declined 10.23 points to 2,089.27. The Nasdaq rose 9.55 points to 4,992.38.On the TSX, selling pressure also came from the base metals component, which fell 1.4% even as the May copper contract gained nine cents to US$2.66 a pound.The gold sector added 0.2% with the April bullion contract ahead $17.70 to US$1,169 an ounce. The market also found support from consumer discretionary companies and the tech sector.On the corporate front, Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan (TSX:POT) fell $1.23 to $41.14 as it said that the Saskatchewan government’s 2015-2016 budget is expected to hurt its 2015 pre-tax earnings to the tune of $75 million to $100 million. The province is dealing with sharply lower oil revenues and will require potash mining companies to take tax deductions based on their capital spending over a longer period of time, which would boost provincial revenue by $150 million.U.S. retailer Target has proposed to pay US$10 million to settle a class-action lawsuit brought against it following a massive data breach in 2013. The retailer says individuals affected by the breach could be reimbursed up to a maximum of $10,000.
“We are in the process of conducting consultations,” said Ambassador Martin Belinga-Eboutou of Cameroon during the midday break. He added that he is “optimistic” because the members wanted to adopt a resolution in the coming week, but he also cautioned patience. In formulating a new resolution, the Council aimed to both support and facilitate the work of United Nations weapons inspections mandated to operate in Iraq. As such, their input would be essential in helping the Council to define their mandate, he said. Speaking to reporters after the afternoon session wrapped up, Ambassador James Cunningham of the United States agreed that the views of the heads of the UN Monitoring Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) would be vital. “We’re looking forward to meeting with [UNMOVIC Executive Chairman Hans] Blix and [IAEA Director-General Mohammed] ElBaradei on Monday to get their views of the specifics of the inspection regime that we’ve set out, and then after that I think we’ll be in a good position to look at how we get forward to come to conclusion on the resolution next week,” he told reporters. Ambassador Cunningham said the text of the draft resolution cosponsored by the United States and United Kingdom had been reviewed by all Council members. “We’ve heard their views and we’re going to take all that on board, and we will now take it in consideration,” he said. To a question on US motives, he said, “We didn’t bring this issue into the Security Council to look for authorization of the use of military force; we brought it in the Security Council to send a clear message to Iraq and to strengthen and reinforce the inspections regime so it can have a chance of success.”
The United Nations agency responsible for children vaccinated 1.3 million children between the ages of 9 and 10 in Bangladesh this September, reaching 98 per cent of their target, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said. “Measles can be deadly to children and infants, especially when it is contracted during times of crisis, such as the recent earthquake in Pakistan,” UNICEF Bangladesh Representative Louis-Georges Arsenault said from the agency’s offices. The national plan to immunize all Bangladeshi children against measles involved more than 15,000 volunteers, 1,600 health workers and the setting up of 4,500 health centres. The second phase of the campaign, which starts in about six months, will focus on the remaining 33.5 million children in the south Asian country, and will require more than 300,000 volunteers to complete.
Even in a court of law, people with aphasia are often believed to have diminished mental capacity. It’s a common misconception about the communication disability, even though it doesn’t typically affect an individual’s ability to reason or make judgments.Brock University researcher Richard Welland’s recent study on aphasia in a courtroom context highlights the need for building understanding of communication disabilities, especially adult-onset conditions like aphasia.May is Speech and Hearing Month in Canada, a month devoted to increasing public awareness of communication health issues.Welland, an associate professor and speech-language pathologist in the Department of Applied Linguistics, recently attended the Speech-Language and Audiology Canada conference to present his research.Aphasia is a communication disability that affects language comprehension and production. It is most often the result of a stroke damaging the brain’s language network.Ranging from mild to severe, aphasia can interfere with a person’s ability to apply rules of language when listening to and speaking to others.Welland first became interested in aphasia in courtroom settings after reading about the case of Regina vs. W. H., a man accused of sexual molestation in 2006. Before his trial, W. H. suffered a stroke and developed severe aphasia.When severe, aphasia can mask the person’s ability to demonstrate competency.Although nurses and a social worker testified that they could communicate with W. H. by adapting the length of their questions and using gestures, a psychiatrist and psychologist both claimed that his aphasia made him unfit to stand trial.“The judge accepted their testimony and rejected W.H.’s alternative communication modes of gesture and short verbal responses — without any testimony from a speech-language pathologist, the most appropriate professional to assess a person with aphasia,” Welland notes.“As a result, W. H.’s alleged victims were denied the opportunity to give their testimony against W. H., and W. H. was denied the opportunity to clear his name.”Welland went on to review 26 more court cases involving persons with aphasia. He found that few judges or lawyers understood that for most people with aphasia, there are ways to communicate that do not compromise the admissibility of their testimony. Furthermore, only two of the 26 cases included testimony from speech-language pathologists.The lack of expert involvement is an issue. Studies show that although 65-68 per cent of health-care professionals (including medical doctors) are aware of aphasia as a condition, only 10-23 per cent of them have a basic knowledge of what the condition entails.That level of understanding is only slightly better than that of the general public, which ranges from one to 10 per cent.“When severe, aphasia can mask the person’s ability to demonstrate competency. In the courtroom, lawyers and judges can misinterpret language difficulties as a lack of mental capacity, an attempt to mislead the court during testimony or to hold up court proceedings, or a way to avoid punishment,” Welland explains.“Speech-language pathologists can assess the communication disabilities associated with aphasia and recommend ways to accommodate them that are applicable to the courtroom.”Although exact numbers of people living with aphasia in Canada are unknown, international studies have shown that roughly one-third of stroke survivors have aphasia. In 2016, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada estimated that some 400,000 stroke survivors live across the country, suggesting that roughly 120,000-140,000 Canadians may experience the effects of aphasia.
PORTLAND, Ore. — Robert McCoy scored 26 points to lead seven Portland State players in double figures and the Vikings beat Portland Bible 123-40 on Saturday night.Portland State set program records for turnovers forced (43), steals (31) and margin of victory (83) — breaking the previous mark of 75 set almost a year ago. The Vikings (4-3) beat Portland Bible, a member of the National Christian Collegiate Athletics Association, 125-50 on Dec. 2, 2017.McCoy was fouled on a dunk and made the ensuing free throw to open the scoring and converted another 3-point play to make it 12-2 with 15 minutes left in the first half. Payton Moore hit a 3-pointer to pull the Wildcats within seven a couple minutes later but Portland State scored 26 of the next 28 points to take 31-point lead. Sal Nuhu’s dunk made it capped a 9-0 run that made it 65-18 at halftime.Durham Rosser led Portland Bible with 23 points on 9-of-17 shooting. The rest of the Wildcats made just 5 of 28 (17.9 per cent) from the field.The Associated Press
GREEN BAY, Wis. — How fortunes have changed in less than two years for the Atlanta Falcons and Green Bay Packers.The participants in the NFC title game in January 2017 are floundering this season. The Packers have already fired head coach Mike McCarthy.Falcons owner Arthur Blank reaffirmed support for his coach, Dan Quinn, after a four-game losing streak dropped the team out of the playoff picture.The game between the Falcons (4-8) and Packers (4-7-1) on Sunday at Lambeau Field was once circled on the NFL calendar as a potential matchup between contenders jockeying for a home game in the playoffs.Instead, it’s turned into a matchup between disappointing teams each trying to avoid a losing season.“I think what you want to do when you go through a difficult stretch is you want to make sure you take the lessons first, and when you do that, there’s something that you have to gain,” Quinn said. “Sometimes you don’t like to admit it, but that’s where the learning takes place the most.”It sounds a lot like what the Packers are going through at Lambeau, where the future is clouded by uncertainty.Offensive co-ordinator Joe Philbin took over as interim head coach after McCarthy was fired following the stunning 20-17 loss last week to the lowly Arizona Cardinals.A coaching veteran with a dry sense of humour, Philbin has delivered simple messages at a time of upheaval.“I told the offence, we’ve got to block, we’ve got to throw and catch, we’ve got to run hard with the ball. That’s really ultimately what wins games,” Philbin said. “Schemes are important, but not as important as playing guys together and playing with great effort and playing fundamentally sound. That’s really the focus.”The Packers have lost three straight and five of six. They need lots of help to get into the post-season even if they can somehow win their last four games.“I think everybody’s kind of realizing that we’re all under the microscope even more. Who knows what the changes are going to be after the season,” quarterback Aaron Rodgers said. “So I feel like the energy was good today. Unfortunately the urgency that you need early in the season, we kind of had out in practice today.”Other notes and things to watch:RODGERS RECORD WATCHAt least the game could be worth watching for the quarterback play. Rodgers’ 61.8 per cent completion rate this year is his lowest since 2015 (60.7 per cent), though he has thrown just one interception all season. Rodgers has thrown a franchise-record 336 attempts without an interception, trailing only New England’s Tom Brady (358 in 2010-11) for longest such stretch in league history.THIRD-QUARTER BLUESOne of the Falcons’ goals for the week is to jump-start their abysmal third-quarter scoring. Atlanta has been outscored 71-34 in third quarters, including 6-0 in last week’s 26-16 loss to Baltimore. The Falcons ran only five plays and held the ball less than two minutes in the quarter. By contrast, the Falcons’ 115 second-quarter points and 107 fourth-quarter points rank among the top five in the league.CALLING PLAYSPhilbin, the former Dolphins head coach in his second stint as a Packers assistant, has extensive experience coaching and putting together offensive game plans. But the previous time that Philbin called plays was when he was a college assistant at Northeastern in 1995-96. He’ll assume those duties again on Sunday since McCarthy was the play-caller in Green Bay. Of course, the Packers also have a veteran at quarterback in Rodgers who is often at his best out of the pocket when a play breaks down.WELCOME BACKThe Falcons have lost eight players to injured reserve this season, including long snapper Josh Harris this week. They finally had a key starter return from IR last week when linebacker Deion Jones set a career high with 15 tackles and a sack against the Ravens. Jones missed 10 games after suffering a broken right foot in the opener against Philadelphia. Jones’ 15 tackles were the most by a Falcons player this season.RUN TIMEThe Falcons have the NFL’s worst rushing attack, averaging just 79 yards a game. They were held to 34 on the ground last week against Baltimore , a week after a season-low 26 against the Saints.“When we’re at our best, we’re running the football and we’re able to create play-action passes,” quarterback Matt Ryan said.This might be the week they get things going. Green Bay allowed a season-high 182 yards on the ground to the Cardinals last week, who have the league’s second-worst rushing offence.___AP Sports Writer Charles Odum in Flowery Branch, Georgia, contributed.___More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFLGenaro C. Armas, The Associated Press
Vlad Jr.? Like father, like son: But it’s how the progeny of former players are reaching the pinnacle of the sport, and at increasing numbers, that is misunderstood.“There’s a lot of misconceptions,” said Zach Schonbrun, author of the “Performance Cortex: How Neuroscience Is Redefining Athletic Genius.” “Everyone thinks two great athletes are going to come together and they are going to have a kid, and that kid is automatically going to become a superstar. It’s not so easy.”Imitation gameWhen Cavan Biggio and his brother, Conor (who was drafted by the Astros in 2015), were in elementary school, Craig Biggio picked them up from school when the Astros were at home. They traveled straight to Minute Maid Park for the Astros’ pre-game batting practice. During games, Cavan and Conor didn’t spend their time in the family section; rather, they confined themselves to the Astros’ concrete bunker of a batting cage in the bowels of the stadium. They would hit off the tee and play games in the space, only vacating it if an Astros bench player came to get ready for a pinch-hitting at-bat. They observed the swings and collected the balls swatted into the nylon netting. The only other time they would pause is to watch their dad’s at-bats when their attention turned to the bubble-screen TV attached above the cage.Like his dad, Cavan has a two-handed finish in his swing. This is not a coincidence. “The only thing he would say to me, mechanically, was ‘Two-handed finish, two-handed finish,’” Cavan said. “I still hear it today ‘Two-handed finish’ OK. I know [Dad]. I got it.”He’s not alone in mimicking what made his dad so successful. The swing of Bo Bichette is also similar to his father’s. It’s not just at the plate, too. In Pirates camp, Hayes is renowned for his defensive ability at third base. “My mom says that our mannerisms on defense, the way we stand and stuff like that, are exactly the same,” Hayes said.Driveline Baseball’s Kyle Boddy studies athletic movement patterns and is on the vanguard of player development in baseball. In speaking with Boddy for reporting on the “The MVP Machine,” he said the greatest advantage in being the son of a major leaguer is in mimicking movement patterns. After all, early-life imitation is key in motor learning. He cited the throwing motion of Astros’ McCullers Jr., which closely resembles that of his father’s. DUNEDIN, Fla. — Within a 30-foot radius in the Toronto Blue Jays’ cramped spring training clubhouse are locker spaces adorned with the nameplates Guerrero, Biggio and Bichette. Any baseball fan of the 1990s and early 2000s would recognize these surnames: Vladimir Guerrero, Craig Biggio and Dante Bichette combined for 20 All-Star Game appearances across two decades. But these lockers belong to Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Cavan Biggio and Bo Bichette, who have combined for zero big-league at-bats to date. They are on the cusp of the majors, prospects invited to camp in the sleepy Gulf Coast town of Dunedin, Florida.But expectations are high for the Blue Jays’ young trio. Guerrero is the No. 1 prospect in the game according to most evaluators. Bichette is considered a top 20 prospect. And Biggio dramatically elevated his prospect status last season. Another son of a former big leaguer, pitcher Mark Leiter Jr., was also in the clubhouse before undergoing Tommy John surgery.Second-generation prospects are not limited to the Toronto system, either. ESPN’s Keith Law has San Diego’s Fernando Tatis Jr., another legacy, as the game’s No. 1 prospect, while Pittsburgh’s Ke’Bryan Hayes — son of Charlie — is also a top 20 prospect. And numerous legacy prospects are or will soon be contributing to their big-league clubs: Adalberto Mondesi (son of Raul) is expected to be in the Royals’ starting lineup, Lance McCullers Jr. is a fixture in the Astros’ rotation when healthy, and slugger Cody Bellinger (son of Clay) has already earned an All-Star nod for the Dodgers.If it seems like the kids of former big leaguers are taking over the sport this spring, it’s because they kind of are — they’re making the majors at rates far greater than the general population.Whether it’s Guerrero, Bichette, Biggio or another prospect, the next child of a major leaguer to reach the majors will set a record for legacy debuts in a single decade. Entering 2019, the 2010s (44 debuts) are tied with the 1990s for most such debuts, according to Baseball-Reference.com data analyzed by FiveThirtyEight. The share of debuts by sons of major leaguers this decade is the second-highest on record (2.1 percent), and could perhaps challenge the 1990s record (2.3 percent) by the close of the season. Boddy suspects the children of major leaguers succeed at abnormally high rates. With the available data it’s difficult to know exactly how their success rate compares to the general population, but there are suggestions that it’s far better.The proportion of U.S. high school players compared to domestic-born major leaguers has stayed more or less the same. In every year since 1978, there have been almost exactly 500 high school players in the country for every one U.S.-born major leaguer, according to Baseball-Reference.com and National Federation of State High School Associations data. That’s a success rate of about 0.2 percent. We don’t know the total number of major league progeny playing baseball, so we can’t make a direct comparison. But, over the last 30 years, the sons of majors leaguers have accounted for 2 percent of all debuts, and that number has gradually risen throughout the game’s history.1Baseball-Reference.com does not record data on family connecetions of top-level, non-major leagues like Nippon Professional Baseball (Japan) and the Negro Leagues. While data is sparse, there are examples of sons of Negro or NPB players to reach the the majors.Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said Hayes’ pedigree played a role in moving him up their draft board, selecting him in the first round in 2015. Huntington is also confident the Blue Jays are “baking in” legacy considerations to their evaluation sauce.“There’s a lot to be said for seeing how things are done at the highest level whether it’s motor learning or whether it’s how people carry themselves,” Huntington said. “They see the drive, the work ethic it takes.”What’s also interesting about Hayes, Biggio and Bichette is not just what they observed but how they were taught.“I never really worked on mechanics,” says Hayes about his father’s tutelage. “ At a young age, I just kinda learned the right movement, the fundamental stuff.”Said Bichette: “We didn’t do a lot of drills.”Boddy is wary of burdening pitchers with too many internal cues. Similarly, Schonbrun says implicit learning is the most effective way to acquire a skill.“Ken Griffey Sr. probably didn’t show his son how to wiggle his bat and find that perfect arc for his swing,” Schonbrun says. “I’m guessing he probably told Ken Jr. ‘Here’s how you should get from A to B,’ and Ken developed that swing on his own. … In a lot of ways, that’s a better way for the brain to learn rather than following really detailed explicit instruction.”‘Specialization’ is not a dirty wordA common experience shared by Biggio, Bichette and Hayes is that they all grew up with a batting cage in their backyards. They all had access to travel baseball, equipment and facilities. Tim Lee, a professor of kinesiology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, believes that those factors are perhaps the greatest advantage in having a professional athlete for a parent.“The relationship of the model to the learner is one of the important moderating variables in observational learning,” Lee told FiveThirtyEight. “My hunch, however, is that this plays a far less important role than does the availability of practice facilities and instructional opportunities.”While those spaces speak to the financial edge that also comes with being the son of a big leaguer, the cages, lessons and tools allowed them to be exposed to not just high-level motor patterns but enabled them to log thousands upon thousands of reps.In the backyard of their Houston home, Hayes estimates he took “anywhere from 400 to 500 swings a day.”Said Bichette of life in the backyard swing incubator: “At one point in my life we would go into cage and count at least 200 swings.”For his fielding work, Biggio said his dad taught him to throw a lacrosse ball off a wall to create unusual hops to improve his hands. Hayes was also taught the practice and still tosses a lacrosse ball off of a wall when killing time in the hallways of minor league clubhouses. It’s one reason he projects as having a 70-grade glove on the 20-to-80 scouting scale.When Bichette was a freshman in high school, he was also an excellent tennis player, but his parents urged him to choose one sport. Dante Bichette understood the importance of specialization.While there has been research and concern about sports specialization leading to injury and burnout, Schonbrun notes it’s difficult to excel without it. Florida State professor Anders Ericsson attempted to quantify the hours of specialization needed to become an expert in 1993, which Malcolm Gladwell later dubbed the 10,000-hour rule in his book “Outliers.” Schonbrun said specialization is “necessary.”“From a cognitive and neurological standpoint, the more you can focus on one task, the more practice that goes into it, the better you are going to be,” Schonbrun said.Baseball-Reference.com‘s database contains father-son pairs to play in the majors but it does not include minor league family history or other family connections. That means the advantage in growing up around the game is probably even more considerable than we’re showing here. Consider the case of another consensus top-five prospect this spring, a player who could be the next teenager to reach the majors: Tampa Bay’s Wander Franco.While he seems like a natural, dominating older competition at age 17 last summer, he is also the youngest of three brothers — each named Wander Franco — who each play in the Giants organization. His father, another Wander Franco, pitched in the minor leagues. His uncles Willy and Erick Aybar played in the majors. His neighbor growing up in the Dominican city of Bani was Cleveland Indians infielder Jose Ramirez.Franco IV was exposed to elite-level motor patterns when he was young, but he was also around people obsessed with baseball. There was a dry river bed near his neighborhood in Bani and that became their ballpark. They used whatever scrap they could find to create bases. They wound up a sock to use as a ball.“It was all games, every day,” Franco told FiveThirtyEight through an interpreter.The Rays gave Franco, the No. 1 international prospect in 2017, a $3.85 million bonus. “One of the things that helped us get comfortable with that level of investment was that he had grown up around the game,” said Chaim Bloom, the Rays’ vice president of baseball operations. “You see a lot of guys who have a tremendous amount of skill but don’t know how to apply it on a baseball field. The way that Wander was able to do that as an amateur was really, really rare.”Franco might seem like a natural, but his story might be more about nurture than nature.Genes do play a role in success, of course. Bichette said the “bat speed” he shares with his father cannot be taught. Biggio says he has better than 20-20 vision and so does his brother and father. There are things Guerrero Jr. does with that bat that are assuredly tied to genetics.But in some ways they are all lesser athletes than their fathers. Biggio is not nearly as fast as his father. Guerrero Jr. is not built like his father listed at a 6-2, 250 pounds, where his father was 6-3, 235. As a shortstop, Bichette has a much smaller frame than his father, who was a slugging corner outfielder.While they are the sons of former professional athletes, there are more talented natural athletes that never reach the major leaguers. Their advantages go beyond genetics, and for a variety of reasons, the advantage of being the son of a major leaguer is growing.
← Previous Story CONFUSION IN COLOGNE: Lanxess Arena mistake rearranges Germany-Denmark clash Next Story → Momir Ilić is SEHA GAZPROM League 2015/2016 MVP The French team PAUC announced signing contract with the best African line-player from the last African Championship 2016 in Egypt – Mohamed Mamdouh. The 26-years old Mamdouh coming from domestic Al Zamalek, where he came last summer from powerful Qatari team – El Jaish Sports Club.Mamdouh has specific experience of playing at the biggest international stage with the national team and clubs.He signed two years contract with ambitious French team. Mohamed MamdouhPAUC Handball
Updated 9amTHE BODIES OF a man and a teenage boy were recovered from a quarry in county Down last night.PSNI say an investigation into their deaths is now underway, confirming it was a drowning incident. Police also named the victims as 15-year-old Kevin O’Hare and 39-year-old Colin Polland.Post mortem examinations will be carried out shortly.It is understood the man jumped into the water at the disused quarry on the Glassdrumman Road in an attempt to save the boy’s life. He had got into trouble while swimming in the water hole, a popular pastime for locals. A number of people were swimming in the quarry at the time.Women continue sleep-in protest at Bray Town Council over homelessnessGardaí make fresh appeal about fatal Kildare crash
Having your phone run out of juice may soon mean more than not being able to make calls or surf the mobile web, it could result in being locked out of your own home.Yale, one of the oldest brands offering locking solutions, has come bang up-to-date by developing a lock that is opened via NFC. So instead of needing a key or even a keypad PIN, you can just hold your smartphone up to the lock and it opens. If you don’t want to rely on a phone, then another device, even a dedicated NFC dongle, could be used.The advantage of using a smartphone is the fact it can handle multiple locks through a single app. As the video below demonstrates, you first select which lock you are trying to open in the app, then hold it up to the appropriate lock. That way your home could be secured with several different locks, but all opened with your phone, or any of the phones members of your family own.Yale gave a first showing of what it is calling the Yale Real Living lock at the CEDIA Expo 2011 conference held earlier this month. The associated patented technology behind the lock is owned by parent company Assa Abloy and called Mobile Keys.There’s no release date for the home version of the Real Living lock yet, but Yale has already had the technology proven by using it at the Clarion Hotel in Stockholm where it was given to 28 of the hotel’s most frequent guests.More at CE Pro and the Yale press release
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram One of the last traditional Greek cafes in outback New South Wales is no more.The Cafe De Luxe at Brewarrina was burnt out last weekend in a fire that took fire crews six hours to extinguish.The owner and former mayor of the Brewarrina Shire, Angelo Pippos, was in Sydney when the blaze broke out.Speaking to Neos Kosmos, Mr Pippos (67) said he and his wife Margie were devastated.“This is the only home I’ve ever known. I don’t know what we’ll do now.“We’ve lost just about everything. This was an Australian icon, it was still the same as when it was built”.Meanwhile, Mr Pippos has received messages of sympathy from across Australia and overseas, as news of the fire spread.“We’ve had calls from people who we don’t even know who visited the cafe, saying how sad they are to hear the news.”Mr Pippos, who has no children, said that a new Cafe de Luxe rising phoenix-like from the ashes wasn’t out of the question.“We’re not going to make a rash decision. If everything goes to plan we’ll probably rebuild, but it’ll be nothing like the old one.”The fire is believed to have started as the result of an electrical fault.Mr Pippos’ father George, a migrant from Ithaka, opened the Cafe de Luxe in 1926, one of five he created in western NSW. By the late 1970s only the Brewarrina business was left.Author and museum curator Peter Prineas told Neos Kosmos that it was unlikely that any other Greek Australian cafe had operated under the ownership of one family for so long.“As well as the personal loss for the proprietors, this is a tragic loss of Greek cafe heritage, as the interior decor and fittings looked to be mostly original.”Hundreds of Greek-owned cafes were established across rural NSW and Queensland in the 1920s and 1930s, with entrepreneurs freshly arrived from Greece eager to realise commercial opportunities in regional Australia.Serving up a hybrid menu of British and American and Mediterranean influences, the cafes became a much-loved Australian institution, particularly in the bush where cafes were often the only establishments open seven days a week. Almost all are now gone.Writing in The Australian, George Pippos’ grandson Andrew lamented his family’s loss, but said that such cafes were “never meant to last”.“The beautiful art-deco interiors, the scales for lollies, the silverware, the saloon doors, the soda fountains, the booths, the jukeboxes, the quirky signs (‘Our Motto: cleanliness and civility’) – it’s sad to see these institutions destroyed, first by time, now by fire.”Andrew Pippos said the cafe “was the heart of an often-troubled town … a place where everyone – Anglo, Indigenous, European, Asian – sat down together”, but customers would also remember what the old cafes didn’t offer. “There was no Greek food. The mixed grill and T-bone steak were preferred, and everything came served on oversized, oval plates. For dessert, you ordered a sundae.”Andrew’s memories of the cafe include spending hours as a boy perched in an olive tree in its back yard.“If you climbed to the top you could see across the main street of Brewarrina, over the houses, down to the river, where the town returned to the bush.“The olive tree, now dead, is almost too obvious a symbol for the Greek Australian cafe institution: these businesses nurtured something new in our towns, they thrived, they had their time, and now they are almost all gone.”
OLYMPIA — Washington’s first charter school has been placed on probation for not meeting all the requirements of its charter.The Washington State Charter School Commission informed First Place Scholars in Seattle of a list of requirements it must fulfill. Problems identified at the school included not keeping the commission informed of school board actions, not properly providing special education and not giving proof that every staff member had completed a criminal background check.Commission staff told school leaders they will be making frequent visits to First Place to make sure they are in compliance.The commission is in charge of approving and overseeing most of the state’s charter schools. It has approved seven other charter schools, with six scheduled to open in fall 2015.Spokane Public Schools, which can authorize charter schools, has approved two more schools scheduled to open in 2015.Commission executive director Joshua Halsey said at a meeting on Thursday that the decision to put First Place on probation is step three in the commission’s due process procedure.The school will remain on probation until it fulfills all the requirements of the commission’s corrective action plan, which will continue at least until the first month of the next school year.“I’m hopeful that First Place will fulfill their obligations,” Halsey said, after reporting on a meeting with school leaders earlier in the week.
Dan Cohen AUTHOR More than 100 A-10 close air support aircraft would be retrofitted with new wings, ensuring they would not be retired prematurely, under an amendment House lawmakers added last week to the fiscal 2017 defense spending bill.The amendment was sponsored by Arizona Rep. Martha McSally (R) and represents the former A-10 pilot’s latest move to stave off the Air Force’s plans to retire its fleet of A-10 Warthogs. McSally’s Tucson district is the home of Davis-Monthan AFB, which has three squadrons of A-10s.“Without these retrofitted wings, the Air Force estimates needing to mothball 13 A-10s by FY 2018, 28 by FY 2019, and nearly 50 by FY 2021 — something we cannot afford,” she said in a news release.“Along with a recent provision I advocated for mandating an A-10, F-35 fly-off and prohibiting the retirement of anymore A-10s until this occurs, this new funding sends a clear signal that Congress strongly backs our entire A-10 fleet,” she said. The provision would provide $100 million for the wing upgrades.Earlier this year, the Air Force proposed to gradually retire the fleet beginning in FY 2018 and ending by Oct. 1, 2021. The House-passed defense authorization bill, however, would require the service to maintain a minimum of 171 A-10 aircraft designated as primary mission aircraft. The Senate version of the defense policy bill prohibits the Air Force from retiring any A-10s.New wings have been purchased for 173 of the 283 A-10s in the fleet, under a billion dollar retrofitting program awarded to Boeing in 2007. Along with other upgrades, the wing replacement was intended to keep the A-10 flying until 2028, reported the Arizona Daily Star.The chamber passed the underlying $576 billion spending bill Thursday.
00:00 /00:53 A new study by Rice University found racial prejudice among a sample group of white Americans went down in recent years.Rice sociology professor Tony Brown, together with four graduate students, analyzed data from a national survey taken at different times of the same people between 2003 and 2013.Each time they tried to gauge racial apathy by asking how much survey participants cared about racial inequality.In 2003, 49% of whites said they cared very much about racial inequality. In 2013, that jumped up to 56%.“This indicator of racial apathy tends to indicate that prejudice, at least as measured using the items that we have, tends to decline over time among whites,” Brown said.He said it has become less acceptable for whites to admit that they wouldn’t marry a person or vote for a political candidate of a different race. That’s why, Brown said, racial apathy is now a better measure for white racial prejudice.“But I do want to caution that these are attitudes,” the professor said. “And what’s difficult about attitudes is their link to behavior isn’t quite clear. So people could care more but that doesn’t mean they’re going to go out and engage in behavior that’s progressive.”The researchers also found a correlation between prejudice and the grades people received in school, suggesting education may be a factor. To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Courtesy of 123rf.com/Rice University X Listen Share
Easily Assign Tasks With Google AssistantLGBTQ+ Video Creators Sue YouTube, Google Stay on target Imagine having the ability to control devices with easy hand gestures. Google wants to make this concept a reality with its ‘Soli’ radar-based motion sensor technology.On Monday, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said it would give Google a waiver to operate the Soli motion sensor at higher power levels, Reuters reported. The FCC also said the Soli motion sensor can be used on flights.According to the FCC, Google’s Soli motion sensor, “will serve the public interest by providing for innovative device control features using touchless hand gesture technology.”AdChoices广告Soli, a sensing technology that uses a tiny radar to detect touchless gesture interactions, was developed by Google to improve smart device use. According to Soli’s website, the Soli motion sensor works by emitting electromagnetic waves in a wide beam and tracking dynamic gestures expressed by hand and finger motions. The sensor can be embedded into computers, wearables, and vehicles for easy hands-free control.The Soli motion sensor enables users to turn a virtual dial by placing a thumb against an index finger or press an invisible button between the index fingers and thumb. If this technology becomes commercialized, people won’t have to use mobility or speech to engage with smart devices.In 2018, Facebook raised concerns with the FCC over the Soli motion sensor, because it might have issues working with other technology forms. After several talks, Facebook and Google jointly approached the FCC in September, and said they agreed that the Soli motion sensor could work at higher power levels, but lower than the power levels Google initially requested.If placed within wearables and other smart devices, the Soli motion sensor would be an upgrade to touchscreen products in the future.More on Geek.com:Macaulay Culkin Is Home Alone Again With Google Assistant Google Transformed Cloud Storage Traffic Into Cool Data Art Google Assistant Will Now Alert You When It Predicts Flight Delays
7 min read Americans can’t get enough of their smartphones. Most of us compulsively check them countless times a day, then stash them by our bedsides at night, according to the Pew Research Center. We’re hooked on them because they make our lives easier.Fortunately for businesses large and small, smartphones also make it easier for people to research and make purchases on the go. And that very (and very lucrative) mobile purchasing power is precisely why it’s critical for your company website to look great and work smoothly on smartphones — and on tablets, too.Here are 10 crucial questions to ask when optimizing your company’s website for mobile users:1. My website looks okay on mobile devices now. Is it really worth it just to make it look and feel as slick as possible on smartphones and tablets? Yes, without a doubt, says Brian Alvey, “chief scientist” at Ceros, a cloud-based real-time web content authoring platform. Global fashion, auto and retail brands look to Ceros to publish interactive marketing experiences that are designed to “work flawlessly” on all types of devices, and smartphones and tablets are no exception.“Mobile used to be the future of business,” Alvey says. “Mobile used to be a trend. Now it’s the norm.” The bottom line: If you don’t adapt to mobile and quick, you could miss out on a prime revenue-generating opportunity, or even lose customers to competitors who already embrace mobile. 2. Should I have a dedicated mobile version of my existing website or simply make my existing website responsive to mobile? You have two choices. You can either opt for a single website that displays content responsively for different device and browser types, otherwise known as responsive web design. Or you can create a standalone dedicated mobile website separate from your main website. If your main site is www.examplesitehere.com, then your dedicated mobile site would likely appear as m.examplesitehere.com. The .m signifies mobile. Alvey prefers an all-in-one responsive site. He says he’s heard that Google and Bing prefer them as well.3. Should I try to mobile-optimize my website myself or delegate it to someone on my staff? Particularly for small businesses that are light on resources, it’s best to leave it to the pros. The mobile optimization process is generally too cost-prohibitive, complicated and time-consuming to go in-house.“Most SMBs can’t justify even a single full-time designer, so in-house isn’t an option,” Alvey says. “Unless you have the time and experience to directly manage freelance designers, I’d hire a company [to do the job].”4. What are some of the best mobile optimization options available and what do they cost?Luckily, there are a wide variety of solutions available for every budget. Alvey suggests deciding what you’re willing to spend, then choosing the best available option from there.Alvey’s favorite mobile services are from popular website hosting companies like WordPress (free hosting, plus premium upgrades), GoDaddy (hosting costs $4.99 to $7.99 per month) and SquareSpace (free 14-day trial, hosting costs $8 to $24 per month). Each offers a broad array of automatically mobile-friendly, attractive prefab website designs, features and themes, plus premium add-ons.Another is bMobilized, whose slogan is “mobilize any website… instantly.” This can be a smart option if you simply want to add mobile responsiveness to your existing website. The service’s software mobilizes your site with the click of a button. Pricing is monthly and reasonable at $15.20 per month annually or $19 month-to-month.5. Should I just hire a contractor? Hiring a contract web designer for the job is also an option, though it could cost you more in the end than using an online solution. Alvey says web designer fees are generally charged hourly and vary quite a bit from city to city. If you do go the contractor route, he advises that you hire locally and carefully check customer references before committing.6. What are some key, must-have mobile site features?Required mobile features vary, Alvey says. “Obviously, if you don’t have e-commerce, then a shopping cart is useless.” But if you do sell goods online, you should definitely include one in your mobile design. Or, if you own a brick-and-mortar retail business, be sure to prominently display your store address and hours, and perhaps a link to driving directions as well.Another essential feature all businesses should position front and center is a “click-to-call” phone number. All mobile users have to do is click the number and their smartphone will call you, allowing them to instantly and directly engage with your business.“Never forget that a customer who is checking out your business on their phone — is holding a phone.”7. What about social media integration?Social media integration is like free advertising. It lets users generate a buzz around your brand. In most cases including social elements is a must. For example, on the mobile site for a free online deal-tracking service called Hukkster, first-time users can sign up to use it by entering their Facebook (and Google) credentials. Hukkster’s Facebook integration makes it easier for its users to share their favorite product discounts with their friends on the popular social platform, while simultaneously broadening Hukkster’s marketing reach on Facebook. Alvey points out that, because they’re so inherently visual, hotels and fashion companies thrive on Instagram and Pinterest, so those particular platforms make sense to integrate into their mobile sites. Whereas Twitter integration is a better fit for airlines and TV shows, which tend to experience high engagement on the microblogging service, he says.Whichever social platforms you settle on, it’s wise to limit yourself to only two or three social media sharing buttons, not a dozen, Alvey says.8. What’s the best way to test my mobile site before launch?Test-driving your site helps you discover and weed out bad links, confusing navigation and a host of other potential functionality issues. Be sure to test yours on as many devices and browsers possible, “not just the ones your team or your CEO uses,” Alvey says. Interestingly, he also suggests swinging by Best Buy, which he cheekily calls a “free mobile testing lab,” or a similar consumer electronics retailer to check your site out on as many of their sample smartphones and tablets as possible. You’ll get a hands-on feel for what works and what doesn’t — at zero cost. 9. How can I track the success of my mobile strategy? The most popular, user-friendly website traffic and usage tracking option available is Google Analytics. The free self-service tool shows you how many people visit your mobile site, from which devices and how often, along with where they live, how they found your site and much more. It also tells you which social channels drive people to your mobile entity and what content they share from it. Use what you learn to fine tune your mobile strategy over time.10. What are some common mistakes to avoid?One of the biggest blunders is poorly targeting which devices users will view your content on, Alvey says. “If you send my Android phone to a desktop version (of a website) or my iPad to a smartphone version (of a website), you’ve lost me as a customer.”Other common mistakes on Alvey’s list of mobile mistakes to skip include: crowded designs with links that are too close together for people’s fingers to accurately click, not optimizing image sizes for mobile bandwidth, making people fill out complicated forms and “harassing me to download your app.” March 4, 2014 Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Register Now »
State authority in India to subsidise sex change operationsState authority in India to subsidize gender confirmation surgeriesConservative Christian colleges in America grapple with LGBTI issuesRead the full article on Gaystarnews: :https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/kerala-announces-a-quota-for-transgender-students-in-universities/ Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us) Kerala, a state in South India, has recently announced their new requirements for colleges and universities—the allotment of two additional seats reserved for transgender students.The announcementFollowing a recommendation by the social justice department, this order was issued by the government’s department of higher education. ‘Social Justice Department has recommended and forwarded the request for issuing special order for reserving seats for Transgender Students for various courses in Universities and affiliated Arts and Science Colleges,’ the government order reads.‘In the above circumstances, Government are pleased [to] sanction two additional seats in all courses in Universities and affiliated Arts and Science Colleges exclusively for admitting transgender students subject to the fulfillment of qualification,’ the Department of Higher Education stated.‘The government is pleased to sanction two additional seats in all courses in Universities and affiliated Arts and Science colleges exclusively for admitting transgender students subject to fulfillment of qualification,’ Secretary MG Ranjith Kumar said in a statement.This order has been issued to the presidents and registrars offices of multiple state universities including Kerala, Mahathma Gandhi, CUSAT, Calicut, Kannur, Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit, and Thunchathezhuthchan Malayalam Universities.Trans people from Kerala reactTransgender people in Kerala welcomed this new order. ‘Higher Education Department of Kerala issues a GO (government order) asking all Higher Educational Institutions in the state to reserve two seats, for all courses across colleges and Universities, for Transgender Students. A few transgender students, who had applied for various courses in Ernakulam Maharajas College, couldn’t get through the merit based admission process. They then approached the state Social Justice Department, which along with other departments initiated this major step towards inclusive education,’ an LGBTI group in Kerala wrote on Facebook.‘This will empower transgender students to conquer many heights. Often they are forced to discontinue their studies midway. It will also help them be open about their identity and rub shoulders with everyone,’ trans activist Raga Ranjini told The Hindustan Times.Anything else?Last month, the Kerala State Literacy Mission Authority (KSLMA) launched a new program that provides scholarship money and housing for trans students.A survey conducted by KSLMA found that about 50% of trans people in the region live on a monthly income of 1,000 Rupees [$14.54; £10.94; €12.37] or less.Got a news tip? Want to share your story? Email us . GAYSTARNEWS-