New Delhi: Stressing the need to have anti-counterfeiting solutions along with adequate awareness and monitoring, industry body ASPA has claimed counterfeit products across various sectors in India are causing losses to the tune of over Rs 1 lakh crore every year. The Authentication Solution Providers’ Association (ASPA), comprising 60 members, mainly focuses on adoption and advancement of authentication technology and solutions for brand, revenue and document protection. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscal”At present counterfeiting causes around Rs 1.05 lakh crore losses to India per annum. If counterfeiting is curbed by 50 per cent through proper implementation of authentication solutions, enforcement, awareness and monitoring, it can save more than Rs 50,000 crore per annum,” ASPA President Nakul Pasricha said. Amongst various sectors, counterfeiting is more prevalent in the pharmaceutical industry, he said adding that the government needs to take measures in this regard as it is a threat to public health. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostCiting a report of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Pasricha said trade in counterfeit and pirated goods has risen steadily in the last few years globally with trade volumes in fake products now standing at 3.3 per cent of total global trade. Trade of fake goods causes loss to the companies and governments while creating profit for organised crime gangs, he added. There is a wide variety of technologies available today that support in curbing counterfeiting, the ASPA president said. These technologies are applied in the three main areas of anti-counterfeiting — anti-tampering, tracking and tracing. Giving an example, Pasricha said that with the use of physical as well as digital authentication solutions like track and trace, Nigeria could reduce rate of counterfeiting in some key medicines from nearly 20 per cent to 3.5 per cent within a period of three years. While anti-tampering technologies are used to protect a product from adulteration or replacing it with a fake product, tracking and tracing technologies are used to determine where and when a product, taking its components into account, was manufactured and its current status in the supply chain, he said. Some technologies also allow for determining where a product is supposed to go. Thus, tracking and tracing technologies are used to fight unauthorised distribution, which is frequently linked to counterfeiting, he said. “The return of investment on authentication solutions is much greater and the positive impact of using of the anti-counterfeit solutions is proven in the other countries and we are confident that India too will adopt it,” Pasricha added.
Rabat – The Moroccan movie “Sofia,” produced by Moroccan director Meryem Ben M’barek, has found its public in France. The feature movie won, on Sunday, August 26; the “Valois” for best scenario at the Angoulême Francophone Film Festival held in southwest France), from August 21-26. The award is not Ben M’barek’s first distinction. In May, “Sofia” received the Cannes Festival’s Screenwriting Award. “Sofia” is Meryem Ben M’Barek’s first feature film. Her short film “Jennah,” her thesis project at INSAS in Brussels, won the 2014 Grand Prize at the Rhode Island International Film Festival.Starred by Maha Alami, the cast includes Sara Elmhamdi Elalaoui (“Much Loved”), Sarah Perles (“Burnout” by Nour-Eddine Lakmari), Hamza Khafif, Lubna Azabal (“Exiles” and “Paradise Now”), Faouzi Bensaidi (“The Blissful”), Nadia Niazi, and Said Bey.Ben M’Barek’s script tells the story of a single mother desperately searching for the father of her unborn child to avoid being reported to the authorities by the hospital.However, the objective of the film is not to discover the identity of the father but to show “the pressure imposed by a society that cannot comprehend a birth without a husband,” as Ben M’Barek explained in a statement.The film “Sofia,” a French-Qatari-Moroccan production, in which the lead role is played by the actress Maha Alami, will be released in cinemas in France on September 5.The “Diamond Valois,” the highest distinction of the Francophone Film Festival, was won by the film “Sheherazade,” the first feature film by French director Jean-Bernard Marlin.Created by producers Marie-France Briere and Dominique Besnehard, the FFA defends a popular and subtle cinema and honors the francophone and French films of today, those of the past, and also the talents of tomorrow. read more
22 February 2007The death of a former militia leader suspected of war crimes in Sierra Leone has deprived the West African country’s people of their right to see justice done, the prosecutor of a United Nations-backed court there said today, while pledging to press forward on their behalf. The death of a former militia leader suspected of war crimes in Sierra Leone has deprived the West African country’s people of their right to see justice done, the prosecutor of a United Nations-backed court there said today, while pledging to press forward on their behalf.The Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, Stephen Rapp, issued a statement in Freetown voicing deep regret at the death today of the West African country’s former Internal Affairs Minister and militia leader Sam Hinga Norman, who has been on trial for war crimes since the summer of 2004.Mr. Norman’s death signals an end to the case mounted against him in the Special Court, where, as one of the leaders of the now-defunct Civil Defence Forces (CDF), he was being tried on eight counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including unlawful killing, physical violence, mental suffering, terrorizing civilians and using child soldiers during the brutal 10-year civil war.“Hinga Norman’s death means that the people of Sierra Leone are deprived of their right to see justice done in an important and high-profile case before the Special Court,” Mr. Rapp said. “When an Accused dies before judgment, then justice is denied.”Mr. Norman died this morning at a military hospital in Dakar, Senegal, and initial reports indicate that he suffered heart failure during post-operative care.He was transferred to the hospital on 17 January for medical procedures generally considered routine but which are not available in Sierra Leone. He received treatment on 8 February with no complications.The Court’s Registrar, Lovemore Munlo, has ordered an independent investigation by international medical experts to determine the exact cause of death.Mr. Rapp said, “While we profoundly regret the death of Hinga Norman, we will continue our work to see that justice is done in the name of and on behalf of the people of Sierra Leone.”The Court is the world’s first hybrid international war crimes tribunal, and was established by an agreement in January 2002 between the United Nations and the Republic of Sierra Leone. It is mandated to bring to justice those who bear greatest responsibility for atrocities committed in the country after 30 November 1996. read more
24 December 2008The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is calling for concerted action to end the recent spate of murders of albinos in Tanzania and bring perpetrators to justice. Reports from the Tanzania Albino Society say more than 35 albinos have been killed this year, and many other deaths have likely gone unreported, by local Tanzanians who believe their blood and body parts can bring wealth to others. The brutal practice has spread to neighbouring Burundi , where several albinos, including children, have been killed in the past few months. “UNICEF condemns these heinous acts as a systematic violation of individual human rights that must be dealt with decisively,” the agency said in a news release. Tanzanian authorities have arrested 173 suspects, including five policemen, in connection with the murders, and are offering protection to albinos throughout the country. Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete has also condemned the attacks and called for tough action against the killers. UNICEF lauds those measures, but is calling on the judiciary, the media, religious leaders, politicians and communities to bolster the response and weed out deeply-rooted superstitious beliefs that incite the murders. The problem is particularly acute in the Lake Victoria regions of Mara, Mwanza, Shinyanga and Kagera, in the country’s north, where witch doctors have convinced fortune-seekers that albino body parts and blood can be used to prospect for gold and increase a catch of fish – both important sources of income in these regions rich in minerals and commercial fishing.UNICEF said it will also do its part by working with the Tanzanian Government, UN offices in Tanzania and others to “ensure albinos like other citizens enjoy their fundamental rights to life, freedom and protection.” The agency is already partnering with Burundi ’s Government to protect albinos there, give them non-food items and ensure their children can still attend school. read more
OTTAWA — The Liberal government is thinking about using its massive purchasing power to support women in business.“Inclusive federal procurement is a potential avenue through which the Government of Canada can demonstrate leadership and support for women’s entrepreneurship,” said a November 2016 memo prepared for Patty Hajdu, who was then minister for the status of women.“The Treasury Board of Canada is currently looking at opportunities to better link federal procurement practices with the broader socio-economic objectives of the Government,” said the memo. “It is recognized that women and other under-represented groups should be considered in a renewed federal approach to procurement.”The Canadian Press obtained the document under the Access to Information Act.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tasked the federal public services minister — a role being filled by Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr, while Judy Foote is on a leave of absence — with modernizing procurement practices. That includes “social procurement” where the government uses contracts for goods and services to achieve broader policy goals, such as increasing the diversity of the supply chain.Last year, Status of Women Canada asked the Conference Board of Canada to make the case for why using more diverse suppliers — defined as businesses that are majority-owned, operated and controlled by women, visible minorities, Indigenous Peoples, members of the LGBTQ community or others facing discrimination — makes good economic sense.A draft of the report released alongside the memo said benefits can include higher profits, greater employee retention and even access to new markets, including the U.S., which has had supplier diversity policies at the municipal, state and federal level since the 1960s. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer included maintaining these programs among his goals for the new North American Free Trade Agreement.The report pointed out that while many businesses had adopted such policies, public institutions and governments were behind the curve.The report also looked to pre-empt some likely opposition to the idea by noting supplier diversity is neither a social program nor a guarantee of business.“Corporations with an effective supplier diversity program do not compromise on the quality or the cost of the services or products they supply, nor do they change the service requirements for all suppliers,” said the report. “The program is simply a market access opportunity for both the corporation and the diverse supplier.”The memo urged Hajdu to use the report to convince her fellow cabinet ministers to enact such a policy for the roughly $15 billion to $20 billion in annual federal procurement spending.The 2017 federal budget hinted at things to come when it said the Liberal government would “encourage procurement from companies led by women and other underrepresented groups” for its new $50-million program aimed at supporting innovation.Philippe Charlebois, a spokesman for Status of Women Minister Maryam Monsef, said department officials are examining key issues and potential strategies to “advance the participation of women-owned enterprises in the federal procurement process.”The City of Toronto brought in a social procurement policy last year as part of its poverty-reduction strategy.There are various criteria depending on the value of the contract, but for competitive bids worth between $3,000 and $100,000, the city has to invite at least one supplier that has been certified as diverse, such as majority-owned, operated and controlled by women, to be one of the three finalists.Denise Andrea Campbell, the director of social policy analysis and research for the City of Toronto, said she welcomes other levels of government getting on board with the idea.“It’s one of those tools where we think you can use existing budgets to create a larger impact,” she said.The report to Hajdu said the Women Business Enterprises Canada Council (WBE Canada) has certified more than 375 women-owned business that employ more than 13,600 people and generate more than $2.8 billion in revenue.That seems to be only a fraction of the potential, as the report said there are nearly one million Canadian women who own businesses that contribute more than $117 billion to the economy each year.Mary Anderson, the president of WBE Canada, which has teamed up with two similar organizations to form the Supplier Diversity Alliance Canada, said they have been working closely with Public Services and Procurement Canada on the issue.“We recognize that any change takes time,” said Anderson.— Follow @smithjoanna on Twitter read more
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Michael Oliveira, The Canadian Press Posted Mar 19, 2014 6:15 am MDT Google’s Chromecast for streaming web content on TVs finally coming to Canada TORONTO – Canadian Netflix and YouTube users looking for a cheap and easy way to stream content on their big screen TVs will finally be able to buy Google’s Chromecast device starting on Wednesday.Originally launched in the U.S. last July, the small $39 gadget plugs into a TV’s HDMI port and is powered either through a TV’s USB connection or by plugging into an electrical outlet.The Chromecast doesn’t come with a remote. Instead, users control streaming content on their TV with phone or tablet apps or via the Google Chrome web browser on a computer.“I think what’s really resonated with consumers is using their personal devices as a controller. That’s something that we bet on and we’ve seen that bet come to fruition,” said Chromecast product manager Raunaq Shah during a media preview in Toronto on Tuesday.The Chromecast quickly sold out after it was first released in the U.S. and continued to be tough to find in stores.Shah said that won’t be a problem with the Canadian launch and consumers should have no issues purchasing one through Amazon.ca or the Google Play store.“It will be easy to get,” he said, and added that Google is also hoping to get the Chromecast in Canadian stores.“We’re working with a number of (companies) trying to get more partners on board as soon as we can.”While the Chromecast was first launched in the U.S. with a coupon for three free months of Netflix, that offer will not be available in Canada.Users can also stream Google Play purchases onto their TV with the Chromecast, watch music videos through Vevo and listen to music via Songza. Another feature — which is currently in beta, so Google doesn’t promise it’ll work perfectly — allows users to beam the content of any Chrome tab onto a TV.Google recently released a software development kit that allows more programmers to tap into the device and the company said more than 3,000 have signed up in about a month.“It’s not a couple of lines of code but it’s not something that’s onerous on developers at all,” Shah said. read more
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by The Canadian Press Posted Feb 18, 2015 12:35 pm MDT PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. – First Nations leaders in northern British Columbia are threatening to block all attempts to move oil through the province by rail as they explore alternatives.The chiefs say they will meet in the next 30 to 45 days to discuss a plan, adding the mode of oil transport is putting their communities and the environment at risk.Five aboriginal leaders are leading the call to halt oil by rail as they cite the landmark Tsilhqot’in (SILL’-ko-teen) court decision, which they say reinforces the requirement for First Nations to be consulted over the railway in their territory.Burns Lake Indian Band Chief Dan George says oil by rail is a serious threat and the chiefs feel obligated to explore safer alternatives.The chiefs are also against the Northern Gateway pipeline proposal but have agreed to consider Eagle Spirit Energy — a pipeline being pitched by an aboriginal businessman as an alternative.The new proposal would link Alberta’s oil sands to a tanker terminal on the B.C. coast and include a method to refine bitumen to a lighter product. Northern B.C. chiefs want to stop oil transport through province by rail read more
earls.ca AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Earls President says beef move was “dumb” The president of the Earls Restaurant chain is apologizing to Canadian beef ranchers for the company’s ill-conceived move to buy beef outside of Canada.Mo Jessa called the company’s strategy last spring to only buy beef raised in the United States as “dumb” while speaking at an industry conference in Calgary.Jessa said the company now knows that it deeply offended the Canadian cattle industry when it announced it would buy products from an American supplier that had a “certified humane” designation.The move prompted outrage and threats of a boycott and was eventually reversed.Canadian Beef Industry Congress Co-Chairman Rob Smith was glad to hear the apology.“What he hears from his people is that local means community,” Smith said. “I think that that’s giving our producers from coast to coast that are here a lot of good insight as they figure out where their production practices are going, where they’re finding their efficiencies [and] how they market their products,”In June, Earls signed supplier deals with Canadian ranchers who raise cattle without antibiotics, steroids or added hormones and who are regularly audited for animal welfare.Alberta Beef Producers Chair Bob Lowe said he hopes the controversy will result in more cooperation on beef industry promotion between Canadian producers and the restaurant industry. by Cindy White Posted Aug 10, 2016 12:30 pm MDT read more
Some of the most active companies traded Wednesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange:Toronto Stock Exchange (15,372.14, down 92.42 points):B2Gold Corp. (TSX:BTO). Miner. Up three cents, or 0.79 per cent, to $3.81 on 10.7 million shares.Manulife Financial Corp. (TSX:MFC). Financial Services. Up four cents, or 0.17 per cent, to $23.19 on 6.4 million shares.Baytex Energy Corp. (TSX:BTE). Oil and gas. Down 34 cents, or 8.72 per cent, to $3.56 on 5.9 million shares.Bombardier Inc. (TSX:BBD.B). Aerospace, rail equipment. Down two cents, or 0.78 per cent, to $2.53 on 5.6 million shares.Encana Corp. (TSX:ECA). Oil and gas. Down $1.04, or 7.85 per cent, to $12.21 on 5.2 million shares.Cenovus Energy Inc. (TSX:CVE). Oil and gas. Down 71 cents, or 6.13 per cent, to $10.88 on 4.9 million shares.Companies reporting major news:BlackBerry Ltd. (TSX:BB). Wireless communications. Down 10 cents, or 0.67 per cent, to $14.90 on 2.9 million shares. BlackBerry’s automotive division has created an updated software platform to help keep the connected and autonomous vehicles of the future secure. The QNX hypervisor 2.0 allows multiple operating systems to run at the same time on one hardware platform and allows breaches in one part to be isolated without impacting the rest of the car’s software.Dollarama Inc. (TSX:DOL). Discount retailer. Up $1.04, or 0.81 per cent, to $129.02 on 790,376 shares. The Montreal-based discount retailer reported Wednesday a profit of $94.7 million or 82 cents per share in the first quarter ended April 30. That was up from $83.2 million, or 68 cents per share a year ago. Sales rose 10 per cent to $704.9 million. The company also said it can absorb planned minimum wage increases across the country, but the retailer won’t rule out raising prices if labour costs continue to climb. Most actively traded companies on the TSX by The Canadian Press Posted Jun 7, 2017 2:34 pm MDT Last Updated Jun 7, 2017 at 3:00 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more
“Switzerland is the global home for health and human rights, for refugee assistance and disaster preparedness, for labour rights and fair trade and so much else,” Mr. Ban told the Swiss Parliament in an address – the first by any UN Secretary-General to the Swiss national legislature – marking the 10th anniversary of Switzerland’s accession to the UN.“Your devotion to the relief of poverty and suffering around the world is so powerful that it has been incorporated into the Federal Constitution,” he continued, adding that the Latin inscription written on the Parliament’s ceiling signifying ‘One for all, and all for one’ also encapsulated “the spirit of the United Nations.” The UN chief thanked the Swiss parliamentarians for their rapid approval of a financial donation for the renovation of the Palais des Nations – the UN headquarters in the country and the second largest UN centre after the Organization’s Headquarters in New York.“The Palais des Nations is itself a monument to the ideals that the United Nations and Switzerland share – a living monument where thousands of staff bring those ideals to life,” the UN chief stated. “The United Nations highly values your commitment to preserving our history while making the complex a model of sustainability and energy use in serving new generations.” Shifting to a number of topical issues confronting the Organization – such as the situation in Syria and meeting sustainable development goals – the Secretary-General also urged the Swiss legislature to continue helping the UN tackle the world’s most critical concerns.“The bonds between Switzerland and the United Nations are strong and growing stronger,” Mr. Ban said. “At this time of uncertainty and unease, it is good to know that the United Nations can count on your support, on your friendship, on your commitment and on your leadership of Switzerland.”During his visit, Mr. Ban also met with the President of the Swiss Confederation, Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf, to whom he expressed appreciation for Switzerland’s significant contributions to the UN’s work. At the same time, he underlined that much had yet to be done on a host of issues including the achievement of the anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by the 2015 deadline, the fight against climate change and ridding the world of nuclear weapons. “I think we will have to go a long way to realize all of these goals and objectives, realizing sustainable political stability all around the world, particularly in the Arab countries that are in transition,” the Secretary-General said in a joint press conference following his meeting with President Widmer-Schlumpf. “I think these are a common commitment and I think these are a common collective responsibility that we can and we should work together [on] in the years to come,” he added. read more
Special Envoy Geir O. Pedersen pointed to the importance of trust- and confidence-building between the Government and opposition, saying that Syrians from all walks of life “need to be engaged and involved in the effort to build confidence and trust, and search for peace”.“There will be no sustainable peace in Syria unless all Syrians are included in shaping the future of their country,” he said, echoing the words of the Women’s Advisory Board to the UN envoy, set up in 2016.Syria remains volatile for those who remain inside and for those who wish to return – UN Envoy for SyriaRecalling the Sochi peace talks that established the Constitutional Committee, and the agreed-upon agenda of the UN-led Syrian political negotiations, known as the intra-Syrian talks, Mr. Pedersen asserted: “We are not starting from scratch”, but “it will require the readiness of all to deal seriously with the realities of the conflict and to work together to move things step-by-step in a positive direction”.The UN envoy said that he sensed “a wide acceptance” that a credible, inclusive Constitutional Committee, once established, could be “a door opener to a deeper dialogue and genuine negotiations”.He highlighted resolution 2254, which provides for a Syrian-led, UN-facilitated process to establish credible, inclusive and non-sectarian governance, saying that it contains all the “vital” elements for a political solution. “It addresses issues of governance, a constitutional process and UN supervised elections”, which, he spelled out, was how “the Syrians, and no one else, should determine their future.”Speaking to and cooperating with the Government and the Syrian Negotiations Commission, Syria’s umbrella opposition group, is the new UN Special Envoy’s “first and most important priority”. Mr. Pedersen took over at the end of December from the veteran Italian-Swedish diplomat, Staffan de Mistura, who had held the complex and demanding job of Syria envoy, since July 2014.Mr. Pedersen told council members he had already had “frank, practical and constructive engagements” with a host of different parties involved in the process, including the Syrian Government – with visits also to Moscow, Cairo, Ankara, Tehran, Paris, Berlin, and Brussels – and meetings with senior officials of key countries in Geneva, at the Davos World Economic Forum, and in Munich.,Status of Syrians at a glance 80 per cent are living below the poverty line. Half the population is unemployed. 5.6 million are refugees. 6.6 million internally displaced. 11.7 million need humanitarian assistance.,While “battlefield developments might be winding down”, Mr. Pedersen stressed “the conflict is far from over” and “the challenges of winning the peace are staggering in scale and complexity.”“Syria remains volatile for those who remain inside and for those who wish to return”, he said.With about half the country’s pre-war population displaced, much work also remains to be done over the fate of detainees, abductees and missing persons, according to the UN envoy, who cited the release of 42 either detained or abducted, as being of “immense humanitarian importance” and “an essential part of building confidence”.,He also flagged that “socio-economic challenges are acute”, particularly for women who have often become primary breadwinners, and face increased forms of targeted violence.Noting that international forces operating within Syria on the side of either the Government or rebel fighters, could lead to further international escalation an tension, and he vowed to focus on “improving international dialogue and cooperation.”“There is no military solution and the true victors will be those who can move beyond slogans and paint a hopeful picture…even if the road towards it will be long and hard”, he asserted.He concluded on a note of optimism by drawing on his first-hand experience “that history can bend in directions that nobody anticipated”. read more
David Siegel presents a Niagara Community Observatory policy brief about municipal council representation.Although the next municipal election is still a few years away, Brock’s Niagara Community Observatory (NCO) recommends we spend time now examining how residents are represented on regional council.The NCO released its tenth policy brief on Sept. 15. The brief, entitled “Representation on Municipal Councils in Ontario,” examines how regional councillors and regional chairs in Niagara are selected compared to a number of other jurisdictions in Ontario.“This brief is timely because it addresses important issues that should be the subject of careful debate and citizen discussion,” said David Siegel of the NCO.If changes are proposed before the next municipal election, provincial legislation might have to be changed as well, Siegel said. So the potential changes would need to be discussed well ahead of campaign time, which opens Jan. 1, 2014.The brief, summarized during a presentation at the Four Points Sheraton, outlines advantages and disadvantages of current regional council structures in two main areas: representation on regional council, and the way in which the regional chair is selected. Highlights include:Niagara Region has 125 elected councillors, which is large compared to other jurisdictions, but which means a low ratio of population per councillor, and potentially easier access to elected representatives Ways to reduce the number of councillors, including double direct or weighted voting methods Options for selecting a regional chair, including direct election by the general electorateIn Niagara’s current legislation, any qualified elector may stand for regional chair. But Siegel said that tradition has seen regional councillors select the chair from one of their own rank. Tradition has also dictated that the chair not be a mayor.The brief, written by NCO research assistant Doug Hagar and Brock student Margaret Corbett, is available online at the NCO website. read more
In the home matches, Pulisic received 40 passes in the central area of the final third.2This refers to the area of the penalty box extended out to about 35 yards from goal. In the qualifiers on the road, he received just 11 in that area. At home, he has been free to drop back in buildup, receiving 30 passes in the defensive half, compared with 12 while away. Pulisic is distinctly a winger in away matches, with 63 percent of all his away receptions (40 out of 64) taking place in wide areas; in home matches, that figure is only 35 percent (43 out of 123).This is by design. With half the teams in the CONCACAF “Hex” qualifying group reaching the World Cup, a pattern of home wins and away draws is more than sufficient for a berth. In the recent away matches, the USMNT has taken a more conservative approach and kept Pulisic in his assigned position to protect the wing and offer a counterattacking outlet. Looking for wins at home, Arena has freed Pulisic to make plays either early in buildup (dropping back into the defensive half) or around the box (receiving passes in the center).The U.S.’s attack has thrived with such tactics, outscoring its opponents 8-2 in home matches. Even in the 0-2 loss to Costa Rica, the Americans led the expected goals tally 1.3 to 0.8, meaning that they had more opportunities despite the result. Panama was able to slow Pulisic down in its home fixture (a 1-1 draw), but he will be much harder to contain in a less tactically restricted role on Friday night — assuming that Arena and Pulisic continue this recent pattern.3) The U.S. needs to plug the holes in midfield.The U.S. lined up in a 4-4-2 formation in both of its last qualifying matches, with a pair of strikers in each (Jozy Altidore and Bobby Wood vs. Costa Rica; Clint Dempsey and Jordan Morris vs. Honduras). Two strikers, plus the use of Pulisic in a more aggressive role, should strengthen the attack, but Arena will need to tighten his midfield at the same time. The opening goal against Honduras shows why U.S. fans should be a little worried. Since 1990, qualifying for the World Cup has seemed like a birthright for the U.S. men’s national team. In the three decades since it last failed to qualify for a World Cup (1986), all of England, France, Portugal, Uruguay and the Netherlands have missed the cut at least once. In fact, largely because of the comparatively easy qualification process for teams from this part of the world, only six countries have a longer active World Cup streak than the U.S.1Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Italy, South Korea and Spain.That run may come to an end this year. After taking just 1 point from its last two matches, the U.S. is running dangerously close to being left at home when the World Cup convenes in Russia next year. What happens in the Americans’ high-stakes match against Panama in Orlando on Friday night will go a long way to determining that. Here are three three factors that will bring you up to speed on the match.1) Make no mistake — this one is really important.ESPN’s Soccer Power Index projects that if the USMNT can win, the side will have a 93 percent chance of making the tournament. But a loss cuts the U.S.’s chances down to 44 percent. Among the group of six in CONCACAF, Mexico has already punched its ticket to Russia, and Costa Rica needs only a single point from two matches to join El Tri. That leaves two remaining spots for the region: Third place gets the last automatic qualifier while fourth place will play in an inter-confederation playoff against either Australia or Syria. Panama is currently a point ahead of the U.S. in the table, and every team has two matches left to play. Here is how the result of this game will affect the various scenarios::A win for the U.S. against Panama would boost the Americans into the third guaranteed qualifying place with only a relatively easy trip to Trinidad and Tobago remaining. Any other result will leave the USMNT scoreboard-watching.If the two countries draw in Orlando, Panama will need only a win over an already qualified Costa Rica team to secure the third qualifying spot.A win for Panama would clinch World Cup qualification for Los Canaleros for the first time in their soccer history, leaving the U.S. sweating Honduras’s results in hope of landing in the fourth-place playoff.2) Home Pulisic is the best Pulisic.In such a huge match, the U.S. will be looking to its young superstar to step up. However, Christian Pulisic has been a very different kind of star in home and away matches. Since Bruce Arena took over for Jurgen Klinsmann, he has kept Pulisic on the wing in the team’s three away matches in CONCACAF qualifying (against Panama, Mexico and Honduras). But during the three qualifying home matches (against Honduras, Trinidad and Tobago, and Costa Rica), the Borussia Dortmund attacker has been free to roam infield in a free, creative role — and this has been true regardless of formation. In the three home matches, Pulisic had three goals and two assists. In the away matches, he had a clutch assist against Panama but has otherwise been kept off the scoresheet.Here’s a look at all of Pulisic’s pass receptions (home and away) in those six World Cup qualifying matches. Certainly defender Omar Gonzalez’s missed tackle was the biggest problem on this goal, but he was put in position to make this mistake because the U.S. midfield allowed a pass to be picked out under absolutely no pressure. The 4-4-2 formation gives the U.S. one fewer player to challenge opposition passers in midfield. What’s more, the U.S.’s back line has been shaky, which puts more pressure on the midfield to prevent the sort of attacking moves that can apply pressure on the defense.And in the last two games, the two center midfielders — first Darlington Nagbe and Michael Bradley, then Bradley and Kellyn Acosta — have been unable to disrupt opposing midfielders, who have connected on many direct forward passes. Against Costa Rica and Honduras, the U.S. conceded 21 direct attacking moves driven by long, forward passes through midfield.3I am defining direct attacks as attacking moves in which at least 60 percent of overall ball movement is directly toward goal and long forward passes as passes that travel at least 15 yards forward toward goal. In the four previous matches, the U.S. had conceded just 22 of these direct midfield attacks.The USMNT should be favored against Panama no matter the lineup, but a susceptibility to direct, central attacks doesn’t bode well. One or two good counterattacks could be enough to get Los Canaleros their result. The solution here could be some sort of single-striker system. By not playing two out-and-out-strikers, Arena would have flexibility to get another presser into midfield without limiting Pulisic positionally. Of course, this puts more of the burden on the 19-year-old to create goals by himself, but ultimately, what else is a superstar for if not that?Whatever he chooses, Arena needs to get this game right because a World Cup trip — as well as his legacy — may hang in the balance.Check out our latest club soccer predictions. read more
New York : un Apple Store dans la gare principaleLa marque à la pomme s’est vue offrir un superbe emplacement dans la gare centrale de Manhattan à des prix très avantageux.Apple vient d’obtenir l’emplacement rêvé pour installer un magasin en plein coeur de Manhattan. La marque à la pomme va donc ouvrir un Apple Store dans la célèbre gare Grand Central de New York, explique Zdnet. Une bonne nouvelle puisque cet Apple Store verra 750.000 voyageurs passer devant sa porte chaque jour. Un magasin qui devrait offrir quelques 2.000 mètres carrés mais qui suscite des polémiques à Big Apple.En effet, les services de l’Etat de New York viennent d’ouvrir une enquête sur les conditions dont profite Apple, notamment le loyer de 800.000 dollars fixé pour la première année, un tarif bien inférieur à ce que paient des enseignes directement voisines de cet Apple Store, explique le New-York Post. Qui plus est, Apple serait aussi la seule marque à ne pas être soumis à un partage de ses recettes avec la Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) qui gère les baux. Un MTA qui explique néanmoins que le prix payé par la firme informatique pour les 10 ans de bail était supérieur à celui du précédent occupant des lieux.Le 3 décembre 2011 à 10:30 • Maxime Lambert read more
‘The Gifted’ S2 Finale Recap: Death, Destruction & Hope for Season 3’The Gifted’ Season 2, Episode 13 Recap: They Need a Hero Stay on target Well, last week ripped our heart out with the death of Blink (noooo, she was my favorite!), and this episode made sure the wound stayed open. The opening flashback isn’t a years-ago parallel to the events of this episode. It’s from two months ago. A tender moment between Thunderbird and Blink. From the moment he convinced her to stay. Jeez, they really had to make it hurt. More importantly, it featured Thunderbird reassuring her that he believed Lorna would return. That she’d see how terrible the inner circle was. Well, the latter happened. And with Reeva closing in, Lorna’s return to the Underground is inevitable.For now though, Thunderbird is angry and in pain. He lashes out at Erg, trying to bait him into using his power against him. Erg nearly does too, until the little girl stops him from murdering a fellow mutant. It’s really the only rational thing going on right now. For everyone else, the world has been thrown into chaos. The Underground is trying to find space for all the Morlock refugees. A task Eclipse has to pull away from to deal with a grieving John. To make matters worse, after the Purifiers massacred the Morlocks, Reeva is ready to enact the next phase of her plan. She plans to send her team to destroy government buildings.At least one thing goes right. While Reid is checking out the area Thunderbird’s having his crisis in, he runs into Ted Wilson. He’s initially able to convince him that he’s not a mutant, but the stress of the situation sets his powers off. Before Wilson can react, Reid grabs his gun, turning it to ashes. When Wilson threatens to wipe out all mutants, Reid grabs hold of his neck and does the same to him. Reid looks like he feels guilty, but it’s about time this racist cop got his.Lowery Brown and Stephen Moyer (Cr: Annette Brown/FOX.)Reid and Eclipse convince Thunderbird to come back with them, rather than wait for Purifiers and/or cops to take him out. Even though he’s able to calm down a bit, he still can’t use his powers. Anytime he tries to track anyone, he just sees Clarice. That’s going to make finding Lauren and Kate, still on the run from the cops they shot at last week, a little harder. They resort to the old-fashioned way of using a police scanner. And hey, it’s a little slow, but it works. They come across a large police response and narrow down which building Kate and Lauren are holed up in. They find the one unguarded brick wall, meaning Reid has to break it down on command. I have to say, this particular arc was handled pretty well this season. It’s been fun to watch Reid, little by little, accept and learn to control his mutant powers. Here, it comes to its logical conclusion, with Eclipse giving Reid an impromptu lesson right when he needs it most. With the Strucker family mostly reunited, it’s time to get the missing member back.Speaking of, Lorna spent this episode learning what she could about Reeva’s final plan before getting the hell out of dodge. The more she learns, the more horrified she is. Same goes for Andy, who puts on a tough front at first, but grows clearly uncomfortable throughout the episode. Percy Hynes White gets a lot to chew on in this episode and he makes the most of it. It’s not until Reeva shows everyone the tunnels they’ll use to get inside the Sentinel Services building that Lorna puts everything together. Reeva’s working withe the purifiers to further drive a wedge between mutants and non-mutants. She used them to drive out/slaughter the Morlocks so she could use their network of tunnels. Andy’s already shaken at this point by the prospect of the violence he’ll have to commit. When Lorna reveals everything she’s learned, he loses faith in the inner circle entirely. It’s only a fear of being rejected that keeps him there. He saw how scared his family looked when he nearly killed that Purifier. How will they accept him back after all this time working against them.Grace Byers–Cr: Steve Dietl/FOX.The two main stories come together so nicely here. This season spent a lot of time with all the main characters split up. Sometimes it led to some cool moments and action packed episodes. All too often, it gave us overstuffed hours where no story could get the momentum it needed. It was always a welcome change of pace when two seemingly separate stories could link up like this. And with one episode left, this instance was the season’s most satisfying. Andy asks to speak to his dad, and explains that he feels he has to stay with the inner circle because of the darkness inside of him. Reid explains that he has that darkness too. He killed a man earlier because he wanted to. By this point, we know how this is going to go. Andy will realize that he won’t be alone back with the Underground and decide to return. But, the show has one more ad break to get through, so the show has to drag it out.This is the one moment where the episode’s pacing hits a serious speed bump. This was one of my favorite episodes all season, hitting the fast-paced dramatic highs of the first. So it was especially jarring when the show tried to drag out the question of whether Andy would return for another 10 minutes. It slowed everything down and forced us to wait for a conclusion we already knew was coming. None of the intended suspense landed, we just had to sit through a few filler scenes. Fortunately, that didn’t make the actual reunion any less satisfying. This is what we’d been waiting for all season. Sure, splitting the Underground like this led to some poorly plotted episodes, but it sure felt good to see the entire Strucker family back together. Even better was the reunion of Eclipse and Polaris, with the Aurora Borealis swirling around their embrace. It’s just so sweet, which is exactly what this dire situation needed. It’s even enough to snap Thunderbird out of his funk.Sean Teale, Stephen Moyer, Amy Acker, Percy Hynes White, Natalie Alyn Lind, Emma Dumont and Blair Redford–Cr: Annette Brown/FOX.The only part that’s still not quite working for me is Jace Turner’s story. Are they trying to give him a redemption arc or not? Because at this point, he probably doesn’t deserve one. He killed Blink and covered up the murder of a kid tied to a chair. He starts to feel bad about busting up what was essentially a refugee camp with children in it. He brings up these concerns to Bennedict Ryan who uses Wilson’s death to get Turner back in line. Maybe he’s beginning to sense he’s being manipulated, but it gets harder to care every time this happens. I don’t know how many more times I can watch Turner almost do the right thing, then fall right back in with the worst people. Here’s hoping it all somehow pays off in next week’s finale, though.The Gifted airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on Fox.Previously on The Gifted:The Gifted Season, Episode 13 RecapThe Gifted Season 2 Episode 12 RecapThe Gifted Season 2 Episode 11 Recap read more
LONG BEACH — Razor clam digging is open through Monday on Long Beach Peninsula with a bonus daily limit of 25 clams.State shellfish managers agreed to increase the daily limit, which normally is 15 clams, at Long Beach because the beach has been closed much of this clam season due to elevated levels of marine toxins.“We wanted to provide diggers with some additional opportunity at Long Beach since we know there are plenty of clams there for harvest,’’ said Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.The increased limit of 25 clams per day applies only at Long Beach, Ayres said. Diggers at Twin Harbors, Mocrocks and Copalis can harvest the typical limit of 15 clams per day. Diggers are required to keep the first 15 clams (or first 25 at Long Beach) they dig. Each digger’s clams must be kept in a separate container.Long Beach’s annual razor clam festival is Saturday and Sunday.Low tides are -1.8 feet at 8:42 a.m. Friday, -1.7 feet at 9:32 a.m. Saturday, -1.3 feet at 10:24 a.m. Sunday and -0.8 feet at 11:20 a.m. Monday. read more
The factsWhat are health cash plans?A health cash plan allows an individual to receive cash payments that cover the price of everyday healthcare costs. This kind of plan will primarily cover optical and dental care, as well as physiotherapy. However, health cash plans can also be tailored to include more varied benefits. They can be employee- or employer-funded as part of a corporate plan.What are the origins of health cash plans?First hitting the market in the 19th century, health cash plans were originally provided by charitable or non-profit organisations. Formed before the creation of the NHS in 1948, this system helped employees to pay for their various healthcare needs. Where can employees get more information and advice?More information can be found via the British Health Care Association, www.bhca.org.uk, which represents not-for-profit healthcare organisations, including most of the UK’s leading health cash plan providers.What are the costs involved?For employer-paid plans, the £1-a-week model is still predominant, although for the voluntary benefits market, contributions could fall anywhere between £5 and £10 a month. Adding bolt-on options to a basic plan will also increase costs, for example, Westfield Heath’s hospital treatment bolt-on sets the plan cost at £5.55 per employee, per month. What are the tax issues? Employer-paid health cash plans are treated as a benefit-in-kind for tax purposes and the value of the benefit is determined by the premium paid rather than the cash that is repaid to an employee.What are the legal implications?There are no legal implications associated with a cash plan, although an employer can use one to help fulfil its duty-of-care requirements to employees’ health and wellbeing.What is the annual spend?LaingBuisson’s Health cover UK market report, published in August 2015, found that total spending on health cash plans in the UK was estimated at £468m in 2014, with the average price paid quoted as £179. The average benefit paid equated to approximately £54 per claim during 2014, with £81m from employer-funded health cash plans and £387m from individually funded plans (comprising employee-paid schemes and personal cover).Which providers have the biggest market share?According to the LaingBuisson report, Simplyhealth has the largest slice of the health cash plan market, with an estimated income share of 43.5% in 2014. Westfield Health had 12% of the market in 2014, and BHSF Employee Benefits, Health Shield, HSF Health Plan and Medicash all have shares between 4.5% and 7%. Other providers in the market include Aviva, Benenden and Bupa.Which providers have increased their market share the most?A couple of key players have seen an increase in their market shares, with Westfield Health nudging up from 10% in 2006 to 12% in 2014. However, according to LaingBuisson Health Shield had the largest increase in market share, rising from 3.5% in 2008 to 6% in 2014.Despite first emerging in the 19th century, the continued success of health cash plans has earmarked these as a well-used benefit, with its utilisation in the corporate sphere increasing in recent years. According to LaingBuisson’s Health cover UK market report, published in August 2015, there were 2,645,000 contributors to health cash plans at the end of 2014.Available as either employee- or employer-paid, health cash plans allow individuals to claim back the expense of day-to-day medical treatments, with optical care, dental care and physiotherapy the mainstays of health cash plan benefits. Whether treatments are provided by the NHS or privately, health cash plans are a low-cost and affordable option for employers when looking to support the health and wellbeing of their staff and fulfil their duty of care.They also have an element of flexibility because employers can choose what products to include or exclude for their employees’ plan. As well as leading to general improvements in the health of an organisation’s workforce, health cash plans can contribute towards reduced sickness rates, especially because employees can get a lot of healthcare cover for a minimum cost.Although typically costing £1 per week per employee, industry trends show that creating a more comprehensive health cash plan package is on the agenda for many employers. According to Westfield Health, employers are now opting for higher levels of cover as products have become more established. For example, Westfield Health’s offering includes a non-urgent, elective hospital treatment bolt-on.Another way that health cash plans are being bolstered is by adding complementary medicine to the roster of services available; LaingBuisson’s report lists aromatherapy, herbalism, nutrition, Indian head massage and sports massage as a few of the newer treatments making an appearance. Despite this influx, optical treatments still make up the bulk of health cash plan claims at 30.6% of the total benefit, while dental treatments account for 27.6%. Physiotherapy comes in third at 19.7%.Market growthThe health cash plan market is experiencing continued growth. Westfield Health has demonstrated between 5% and 10% growth in voluntary sales over the last few years, citing the everyday benefits health cash plans provide as a point of attraction to employees, while employers value it as an engagement tool. Meanwhile, BHSF Employee Benefits has achieved a 24% increase in new business from 2015. BHSF Employee Benefits sees approximately more than one claim per policy holder per year, while Westfield Health sees roughly two claims per policy holder per year.LaingBuisson’s report found that employer-funded health cash plans took 31.5% of the market share in 2014, compared with 8% back in 2006. Although individual policies have seen a downwards trend, with sales hitting the 7%-8% mark in the four years to 2014, employer-paid plans are going from strength to strength with a 36.5% new business rate.In addition to serving as a cost-effective way of supporting employee health, health cash plans can also run alongside other corporate health schemes, such as private medical insurance (PMI).With ancillary benefits such as 24/7 GP access, prescriptions and employee assistance programmes (EAP) now being added to health cash plans, these are widening to support the diverse needs of organisations and workforces.Statistics:5.7% of the UK population was covered by a health cash plan at the end of 2014 (Source: LaingBuisson, Health cover UK market report 2015)12%: the increase in employer-paid health cash plan contributors in 2014 (Source: LaingBuisson, Health cover UK market report 2015)32% of Health Shield clients claimed for dental treatments, making it the most popular claims category (Source: Health Shield claims data 2014) read more
Hyderabad: The Central Crime Station, DD, White Collar Offences (WCO) Team – XII on Friday nabbed an accused identified as T V S N S Vara Prasada Rao (45), who is a practicing Advocate in High Court of Telangana and AP, on charges of cheating to the tune of Rs 78 lakh. According to officials, a complaint has been lodged by one K Ramarao in which he stated that the accused Prasada Rao along with another accused cheated him to a tune of Rs 78 lakh with a false promise of providing jobs in Staff Selection Commission and as Assistant Executive Engineer. On receipt of a complaint, officials registered a case under sections 406 and 420 IPC. Connecting the dots, they nabbed the accused and produced him before the Court for Judicial custody.
A section of the protesting students along Pragati Sarani in Dhaka on 21 March. Photo courtesy: Daily StarAbout 100 university students formed a human chain at Pragati Sarani, in front of the Jamuna Future Park in Dhaka on Thursday, protesting against the death of Bangladesh University of Professionals (BUP) student Abrar Ahmed Chowdhury and demanding safe roads.The students held the programme beginning around 12:00pm. Prior to the human chain, students of BUP and American International University Bangladesh (AIUB) gathered at Pragati Sarani, entry of the Bashundhara Residential area.“The police personnel requested us not to stay on the road in view of suffering of the commuters,” said Raihanul (single name available), one of the students. “We told them our protests are peaceful and we then decided to form a human chain,” he added.Another student, of AIUB, said they would continue their movement as they believe, no demands would be met unles there is protest.The protesters held national flags along with placards and demanded death sentence for the driver of the bus that killed Abrar.When contacted, the Badda police station duty officer said the demonstration was peaceful and movement of vehicles on the road was normal.Abrar Ahmed Chowdhury, son of retired brigadier general Arif Ahmed Chowdhury of Bashundhara area, was killed when a bus of ‘Suprabhat Paribahan’ ran over him, in front of Bashundhara gate on Tuesday.The death sparked off protests across the city and continued for two days. On Wednesday, a section of the agitating students suspended their movement with a 7-day ultimatum.Many others also vowed to continue their demonstration in the city until their demands were met. read more
Share Al Ortiz/Houston Public MediaThis file photo shows a construction crew working on a home being built in a new subdivision located in the greater Houston area on December 9, 2017.A year after Harvey, the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR) has reported home sales in the first three weeks of August were up more than 7 percent compared to the first three weeks of last August, just before the hurricane hit.The storm essentially halted all real estate sales in Houston in the latter part of the month.HAR also compared this August to August of 2016, showing a more modest 4.3 percent increase in home sales.Median prices also rose 3 percent, at more than $236,000 for a single family home.