Efforts are underway to ensure the early release of 20 fishermen of Thoothukudi detained in Sri Lanka on a charge of illegal fishing in Lankan waters, India’s Union Minister of State for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Pon. Radhakrishnan said while talking to the media at the Thoothukudi airport, The Hindu newspaper reported.The fishermen from Threspuram, a hamlet in Thoothukudi, who ventured into the sea by three country boats, were detained by the Sri Lankan Navy on March 6. He said the Centre was keen on protecting the interests of fishermen and hence was taking swift action to secure the release of Indian fishermen whenever they were detained by the Sei Lankan Navy. Around 1,500 fishermen, who were held in Sri Lanka and other countries on various charges, had been released after efforts were taken by the Centre. The detention of Thoothukudi fishermen was brought to the notice of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. The Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa, had also forwarded letters twice to the Centre after the fishermen were detained seeking efforts to secure their release at the earliest, he said. (Colombo Gazette)
WorldMap_OfficeLocations_774.png Searching for an SD-WAN Solution Tim Proctor October 02, 2019 As enterprises look to cut costs and manage networks more effectively, managed SD-WAN service providers are looking to help. The Cloud EdgeThe new cloud edge, as Cisco is calling it, is a byproduct of the traffic patterns of an SD-WAN. With legacy WANs, there was a branch edge where all the traffic backhauled to the data center or other central hub. The Internet edge was located in the data center, so any traffic going from the branch to the Internet had to traverse the WAN, go through the data center, and then on to the Internet. Cisco’s SD-WAN software addresses these issues through the following enhancements: Cisco’s reseller event, Partner Summit, kicked off on Tuesday, November 13. The highlight of the event was the new branding that revolves around building a bridge (see “The ‘Bridge to Possible,’ Brought to You by Cisco”). As far as news from the event goes, a close number two would be the updates to its SD-WAN solution. The press release on the news highlights how Cisco has brought together SD-WAN and security to address what it’s calling the new “cloud edge” — but the features go beyond security. Securing the Cloud EdgeThe downside of the cloud edge is that all that expensive security the enterprise placed in the data center won’t see cloud traffic. This leaves the business wide open to attacks that are directed at users through the cloud. Securing the cloud edge can be a difficult task using traditional security tools, as those need to be placed in every location. This can be expensive, complicated, and time consuming. Another issue is that app performance can be inconsistent. While I said direct cloud connectivity can improve app performance, there’s a higher degree of variability in performance, as the Internet can be unpredictable, and erratic performance can frustrate users. See All in SD-WAN » Integrated security — The software now includes a “full stack” of security tools, including an enterprise firewall, intrusion prevention system (IPS), and URL filtering. The services are powered by Cisco’s Talos threat intelligence service and can be managed through a single dashboard.Secure Internet gateway — Cisco Umbrella is a cloud-based, secure Internet gateway that offers DNS-level security. Users point their DNS gateway at Umbrella and when a cloud service is accessed, traffic flows through Umbrella. The service then checks the integrity of the site and denies access to anything malicious. For example, a user might click on a spam link that directs them to a fake version of a banking website. Umbrella would know this and block access before a connection is ever established.Improved Office 365 experience — It’s nice when arch rivals team up to do what’s right for the customer. With this enhancement, Cisco has partnered with Microsoft to optimize the performance of Office 365 applications. Cisco SD-WAN continually monitors all available paths to the Office 365 cloud and can direct traffic to the closest cloud using the best performance. This can help smooth out the variances seen with over-the-top access to cloud applications. Kerravala_CiscoSDWAN_Licensing_774.png Log in or register to post comments This might be Cisco’s biggest SD-WAN update ever; it’s certainly the biggest since it acquired Viptela in mid-2017. The integration of security is well timed, as more and more customers I talk to are shifting their decision away from speeds and feeds and toward security. The cloud edge create by an SD-WAN is a fundamentally different architecture than the traditional branch edge, and security needs to available everywhere.Tags:News & ViewsCiscocloud edgeOffice 365licensingSD-WANEnterprise NetworkingProduct NewsSecuritySystems Management & Network DesignVendor News Articles You Might Like Why You Need SD-WAN in Your Digital Transformation Journey Jayanth Krishna July 18, 2019 The promise of enhanced network flexibility, improved performance, and increased security make this solution hard to ignore. The SD-WAN Connection: A Cloud Friendly Approach Ryan Daily September 26, 2019 As cloud computing changes the traditional flow of traffic, SD-WAN solutions, like Aryaka’s HybridWAN, allow enterprises to develop a proactive “cloud-first” strategy. Cato Says, ‘Look Ma, No Hands!’ to SD-WAN Management Zeus Kerravala July 16, 2019 Cloud SD-WAN platform provider rounds out portfolio with fully managed option With an SD-WAN, traffic headed for the cloud goes directly to it, without having to make a pit stop in the enterprise data center. This greatly improves the performance of multi-media apps such as voice and video, as the number of hops is minimized. The cloud edge extends down to the user instead of being limited to a branch office. One of the great things about SaaS apps is that they can be accessed from anywhere regardless of whether the worker is in a company office location. The Internet has now become the new business network, with the cloud edge being where users, branches, and things sit. SD-WAN Still All the Rage Ryan Daily September 17, 2019 To meet the demand of UC, companies like Verizon, NEC, and Masergy are integrating and optimizing SD-WAN. Kerravala_CiscoSDWAN_774.png DevNet updates — It’s fair to say that Cisco’s DevNet has come of age. The skunkworks project started by VP Susie Wee in 2014 is now a major part of Cisco’s go to market. In one of its recent earnings calls with Wall Street, Chuck Robbins specifically mentioned DevNet growth. From what I understand, we will be seeing more DevNet updates moving forward, including more product launches — and this announcement is no exception. Cisco has added a number of new learning labs, an SD-WAN sandbox, and code exchange to help developers and network engineers build custom features and applications to drive innovation.New SD-WAN hardware — What would a Cisco announcement be without some shiny new hardware? Cisco already has two new devices to add to its already broad line of SD-WAN infrastructure. The ISR 1111X-8P is a compact form factor, fixed branch platform that includes integrated Wi-Fi and LTE. With a list price of $1,595, it’s ideal for small- to mid-size offices. The ISR 4461 is the new high-end appliance. It’s modular in design, with a number of available modules including storage, compute, and switching. This is meant for high performance uses cases and large offices and has a list price of $24,000. At first glance, the $24K price point may seem way out of whack considering where SD-WAN appliances are selling, but this is the high end of the high end and includes storage and compute power. A small business could use this as a small data center in a box. Given the functionality, the $24K price tag is reasonable.Deployment services — Cisco has created a new quick start service that helps customers accelerate SD-WAN deployments while reducing risk. For a fixed fee, customers have access to remote implementation engineers and knowledge transfer capabilities.Simplified licensing — Cisco has a lot of products, which can make the process of buying them difficult. This is particularly true of the software, as Cisco has different options for buyers to choose from. Cisco has made the procurement task a bit easier by making network and security available as a single license model that can be managed through a single interface. It’s got more work to do here, but this is a good start.
Despite a good harvest, 7.2 million Ethiopians – nearly one in 10 –will require outside aid to meet minimum food requirements in 2004, according to a joint report released today by two United Nations agencies. While this represents about half of the level of assistance needed last year, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) warned that the international community cannot become complacent in the face of Ethiopia’s hunger. “We had hopes that with better climatic conditions we were actually going to get a dramatic improvement in the situation, and there has been some improvement, but that doesn’t mean that people can just say, ‘Right that’s one problem solved,’” WFP spokesman Robin Lodge told the UN News Service. “We will be looking to the donors for funds because Ethiopians desperately need help,” he said when interviewed by telephone from his office in Rome. Ethiopia will need nearly a million tons food relief this year, with confirmed commitments standing at less than a sixth of that, according to the report by based a month long joint mission to Ethiopia at the end of last year. The report said overall agricultural performance last year was much better than in 2002 primarily due to favourable weather conditions. It noted that seasonal rains began on time, were well distributed and continued until October in the main production areas, resulting in an upsurge of grain production. Aid programmes also helped ensure access to seeds in most regions, while the increased use of improved seed and fertilizer also contributed to a marked improvement in yields over 2002. But despite these overall gains, the report estimated that Ethiopia will still need 980,000 tons of food relief for 2004, compared with 1.8 million tons last year. Confirmed food aid commitments stand at 160,000 tons, the report said.
“It is especially tragic that this attack took place at a point in time where we are calling for a restoration of the cessation of hostilities,” UN Special Envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed said. Noting that the building attacked was supposed to host the committee that will oversee the cessation of hostilities and report on violations, the Special Envoy said: “The United Nations maintains a regular presence in this building and this incident is not a sign of good faith.”Mr. Ould Cheikh Ahmed urged Ansar Allah and the General People’s Congress to commit to participate in the De-escalation and Coordination Committee’s preparatory workshop. He underscored the importance of the support to the work of the committee which is critical for the success of a renewed truce. “It is of the interest of both parties in the conflict to commit to the rapid resumption of a long-lasting cessation of hostilities in the coming days and weeks. The improvement in the security situation will open space for renewed dialogue,” he added.In a briefing to the UN Security Council late last week, Mr. Ould Cheikh Ahmed said those seeking a military solution will only prolong the suffering caused by the war, allow the terrorist threat to grow and deepen the challenges that will face the eventual recovery. “With political courage and will, the war can be stopped,” he said, pressing both sides to demonstrate the political courage needed to stop the nearly two-year-long war.
For most of the first period at Madison Square Garden on Monday night, the newly renovated scoreboard above center ice displayed only the time remaining and a 0-0 score — not shots on goal, face-off percentage or the other data that it normally tracks.I thought this might be a ploy by New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault. In Games 1 and 2 of the series — both comeback wins by the Los Angeles Kings — the Kings’ peripheral stats were more impressive than the Rangers’ (the Kings led the Rangers 87-65 in shots on goal, for example). Indeed, Los Angeles has a well-deserved reputation as a stat-savvy team that focuses on metrics related to puck possession and scoring opportunities, which can better predict game results than goals scored and allowed.No #fancystats for you, LA Kings! No moral victory on the strength of Zone Start Adjusted Corsi! You’ll have to win this hockey game the old-fashioned way: by scoring more goals than the other team!The stats clicked back on to the MSG scoreboard late in the first period. Soon after, the Kings scored, and they went on to beat the Rangers 3-0.But it was the Rangers who had more scoring opportunities. They had 32 shots on goal, compared with 15 for LA. Counting missed shots and blocked shots, their edge was 59-33.It can be tempting, if you have a passing familiarity with advanced hockey metrics, to take solace when outcomes like these occur or to curse your favorite team’s bad luck. How often does a team lose despite outshooting its opponent by a 2-1 margin, for instance?Actually, teams lose often. In playoff games since 1988, teams that took about two-thirds of the shots in a game (somewhere between 65 and 70 percent) won only 62 percent of the time. The chart below generalizes this data based on logistic regression and estimates how often teams win a game based on the number of shots they take.Much of this is simply a reflection of the fact that goals scored and allowed are a noisy statistic. A lucky deflection or two for the Kings, a great save or two by Jonathan Quick, and all those extra shots often go for naught.But another reason is that play changes once a team finds itself trailing. The shot count was even at 4-4 when the Kings scored with one second left in the first period. The Rangers piled on shots only once they trailed.The chart below shows how often a team shoots based on the game score. The data is based on playoff games since 2012. It includes blocked shots and missed shots, as well as shots on goal (these are called Corsi events in #fancystats terms) in 5-on-5 play.Teams down by one goal are shooting about 25 percent more often than their opponents at even strength. Teams down by two or more goals are shooting about 40 percent more often.Are those extra shots translating into goals? Actually, yes. In cases when it trails by two goals or more, a team scores about 2.4 goals per 60 minutes of ice time at even strength, compared with 1.8 goals for the leading team.So, at least in the playoffs, there’s been some tendency for the trailing team to recover (despite that it should be the slightly weaker team on average for having fallen behind). It’s like a mild version of the CPU Assistance that allowed the computer to make spectacular comebacks in games such as NBA Jam just when you thought you had everything wrapped up.It isn’t clear whether this represents rational behavior on the part of the leading team. It would be one thing if it were stalling just to get the game over with, reducing shots and scoring for both teams. But it’s actually allowing its opponents more shots and more goals — at the same time it’s taking fewer of its own.One possible explanation is the avoidance of penalties (to the extent they can be averted through more passive play). In playoff games since 2012, teams are scoring 6.3 goals per 60 minutes on the power play — nearly three times their rate at even strength. Shorthanded teams score 0.8 shorthanded goals per 60 minutes. Those long-term averages didn’t help the Rangers on Monday night, who went scoreless in six power play opportunities.
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram A Greek court this week convicted a policeman of murder and sentenced him to life imprisonment for the shooting of a 15-year-old whose death sparked massive riots in Athens two years ago. A panel of judges and jurors at a court in the tiny remote mountain town of Amfissa found the 38-year-old police officer, Epaminodas Korkoneas, guilty of intentionally shooting Alexandros Grigoropoulos on December 6, 2008 in central Athens. A second officer, 32-year-old Vassileos Saraltiotis, was convicted of complicity and sentenced to 10 years in prison. The policemen claim the teenager died from a ricocheting bullet when the officers fired a warning shot after they came under attack from the youths during a night patrol in Exarchia. The lawyer for the two officers said they would both appeal the sentences.The outcome is a source of grim satisfaction for the family of 15-year-old Alexandros Grigoropoulos, who had fully expected Korkoneas to be convicted of murder.Alexandros’ mother, Gina Tsakilian, who runs a jewellery store in Athens, was highly distressed by attempts by Korkoneas’ defence team to paint her son as a trouble maker and the verdict helps to restore his memory.“Justice has been done,” a spokesman for Ms Tsakilian said. “Of course, Alexandros is not coming back, but at least what is important for the family is that his good name has been restored.”Alexis Kouyias, the lawyer for Korkoneas, criticized the procedures used during the eight-month trial, including the failure to examine testimony from a key witness. He said Korkoneas would appeal, exercising his automatic right under Greek law.“I am confident that the court decisions to follow will be different to this one,” he said.The teenager’s death sparked massive riots in cities across the country, lasting two weeks and causing extensive damage to state buildings, businesses and cars. The Greek capital has since been beset by violent protests and multiple bombings against police stations, banks and state agencies by leftist and anarchist groups. The violence has left one policeman dead and seven wounded, several seriously. Source: Deutsche Press, BBC, AP
Lillie Green and her son exchanged dozens of letters after he entered the Army in 1917. In the summer of 1918, several of the envelopes she had addressed to Pvt. Jasper Green came back to Greenleaf, Idaho, with a heartbreaking word stamped in red.Deceased.The 24-year-old soldier had been gravely wounded on July 22, 1918, in one of the pivotal battles of World War I. Jasper died a month later, even as Lillie and other family members continued to send him letters.“They were writing to him, and they didn’t know he was gone,” said Diane Green-Hartley, Lillie’s great-granddaughter.That was not the end of Lillie’s writings, however. In 1930, she became one of 6,654 American mothers and widows who visited the graves of their sons and husbands in Europe.Lillie Green kept a diary during her journey, describing where she and her fellow Gold Star women went and what they saw.The diary and the WWI letters — almost 100 years old — plus other family keepsakes help tell a little-known chapter of American history. Green-Hartley wove them into an account of her great-grandmother called “Lillie’s Jasper: The 1930 Pilgrimage of a Gold Star Mother.”Keeping her story aliveThe book started out as an exercise in preserving the diary of Lillie’s trip.“My parents knew about its existence, and they knew it was a good story, and they asked me to type it,” the author said recently in her Hazel Dell home.
In April, it was reported that Gov. Sean Parnell’s top staffer used his personal e-mail account to communicate with Alaska National Guard whistleblowers about sexual assault response. In an interview with APRN that month, the governor said Chief of Staff Mike Nizich’s correspondence on the National Guard should be a matter of public record.PARNELL: I spoke with Mr. Nizich and understand that was at the request of the chaplains who wanted to go outside the official channels. However, I’ve asked Mr. Nizich to check his personal e-mail for that and his recollection is that it’s one email, but again that was four years ago, five years ago. I’ve asked him to check for that and move it to the state account, which is protocol to follow. And that will be a part of the public record at that point.Shortly after that interview, APRN filed a records request to learn how the Office of the Governor handled complaints about the Guard. Four months later, that request has been denied. APRN’s Alexandra Gutierrez has more.Download Audio:Alaska regulations give government bodies 10 working days to fulfill a records request, plus another 10 if they need an extension. It took Parnell’s office 86 full working days just to deny one.The request asked for any e-mails Parnell Chief of Staff Mike Nizich sent to National Guardsmen using his personal account from 2010 on. It also sought interdepartmental correspondence between the governor’s office and the top two officials at the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs: Adjutant General Thomas Katkus and Deputy Commissioner McHugh Pierre. The governor asked both of those men to resign this September, after a scathing federal report concluded the Alaska National Guard mishandled sexual assault reports and was plagued by a lack of trust in leadership.APRN asked for these documents to find out how the Governor’s Office responded to complaints about the National Guard from its own members: Did they respond efficiently, and did they take complaints seriously?Since the request was filed in May, APRN put in more than two dozen calls to the governor’s office to find out when the request would be satisfied, many of which went unreturned. The response finally came in as a three-page letter that arrived on Friday, September 26, at 6p.m.The denial letter, sent by Policy Director Randy Ruaro, brings up three major reasons for rejecting the request. It cites the legal right to privacy, and it makes reference to a recent attack ad by Sen. Mark Begich’s campaign that upset the family members of sexual assault victims. It mentions not wanting to identify victims, even though two victims have already publicly come forward. It also suggests the documents fall under privileges protecting personnel and the communications of clergymen.The letter notes that a “significant amount of information on the subject of alleged misconduct in the National Guard has already been made public.” To that end, the Governor’s Office also included a 56-page enclosure of news stories on the matter, including some done by APRN, instead of any actual documents.Gov. Parnell was aware of the request, but not of its denial. After a Monday debate in Juneau, Parnell did not say if he believed records related to the National Guard should be made public, and instead repeatedly referred questions to his policy director before telling a reporter she was not “serious” in her questions.PARNELL: I’ve known about the request, but I have not reviewed any records. I don’t know what he has done.CANFIELD: Do you want to release the records?PARNELL: We will comply with the statute to the best of our abilities and that’s why I suggest you go see and ask Randy Ruaro.So, that’s what we did. First, Ruaro apologized for the slow response.“That is a long period, I agree,” Ruaro said in a phone interview.Ruaro said they were “swamped” with requests and lacked manpower to deal with them. He said there was no political calculation behind the delay, and that there was no effort to avoid potential litigation over the request being processed before Election Day.As far as the denial itself, Ruaro said he took a “broad view” when he opted to reject the request wholesale instead of partially fulfilling it or releasing redacted documents.“There’s no exceptions for partial releases of records when it’s coming to identities of victims, their circumstances, personnel records,” said Ruaro. “The statutes don’t just say in those instances that you can release part of a record but not all of it. As I read it, they’re more of a blanket prohibition.”Parnell’s political rival disagrees with that legal interpretation. Bill Walker, an attorney who is running as an independent candidate for governor, questioned some of the reasons for the denial, specifically the argument that the correspondence with National Guard chaplains who raised concerns about leadership should be excluded.“They’re trying to apply a privilege that doesn’t apply to them,” said Walker. “Those chaplains are not the clergy for Mike Nizich and Sean Parnell.”Walker said if he were governor, his interpretation of the public records statute would make transparency a higher priority.“Certainly the victims’ names would be redacted out, but not necessarily the process would be redacted out,” said Walker of the policy he believes should have been followed.Walker also suggested the governor is stonewalling, and the point of the delay is “to keep the issue out of the public eye — to not expose the governor’s wrongdoing until after the election.”The chaplains who notified the Governor’s Office of wrongdoing within the National Guard declined interview requests or did not respond to messages. But their attorney, Wayne Ross is disappointed Parnell is not providing more information about his office’s response to the allegations.“I think you ought to hold his feet to the fire and get them,” said Ross. “Obviously he said if it would be released and it’s not being released, somebody’s not following his orders — or he’s not being truthful. I would like to believe that somebody is not following his orders.”While the Governor’s Office did not provide any records, APRN was separately able to obtain three e-mails sent by a National Guard chaplain along with one response sent by Nizich from his personal account.The e-mails were sent at the beginning of 2012, and the chaplain’s correspondence refers to the sexual assault crisis only broadly. The chaplain does not identify victims, but he does name specific Alaska National Guard leaders and proceeds to excoriate them. The chaplain mentions the “misuse of a government credit card to the tune of over $200,000” and the promotion of a senior officer who ignored the problem of sexual assault in his command. On a third message sent February 3, the chaplain expresses concern that he’s “cluttering up” Nizich’s inbox.Nizich did not respond until more than two weeks after the chaplain’s third message. The e-mail, sent from Nizich’s personal e-mail account, reads “just so you know I am receiving your messages. I got a call … wanting to me [sic] to send an acknowledgement.”KTOO’s Jennifer Canfield contributed reporting to this story.
When India’s squad for the World Cup was picked, chief selector MSK Prasad informed that they had selected Vijay Shankar ahead of Ambati Rayudu for the number 4 spot. He also said that the team management could decide the role of KL Rahul depending on the situation and the requirements of the team.However, this number 4 spot still remains a conundrum for Virat Kohli’s side and in one of the chats, opener Shikhar Dhawan revealed that the choice is between KL Rahul and Vijay Shankar and that there is no longer any confusion over the same.”There is no debate anymore now. There is Vijay Shankar now. Even KL Rahul is there. They are there to play for that number. Whatever the captain and coach think we will go with them,” Dhawan said on the sidelines of a brand event.Spoke about the pitches in England and in ICC tournaments Shikhar DhawanRobert Cianflone/Getty ImagesHe also believed that since most members of this side have played enough in England conditions and know the pitches on offer, it should serve the Indian side well. He also said that the pitches on offer are very different from what they encounter in a bilateral tournament and ICC tournaments.”In England when we played Test series over there (last year), pitches were totally different, when we go and play the ICC tournaments the pitches are going to be very different,” he added.Speaking about India’s record in ICC tournaments, especially in England, Dhawan spoke about the performance of the side in 2013, when they were the champions and then again in 2017, when they lost to Pakistan in the finals. Virat Kohli and Shikhar DhawanLakruwan Wanniarachchi/AFP/Getty Images”Especially in England, as Indian team, we have performed really well in ODI format and T20s. You remember Champions Trophy 2013 and 2017. In 2013 we were champions and in 17 we were the runners-up and mostly all the players are the same so that is again a good sign,” Dhawan added.Speaking about his own form, the left-hander conceded that he was extremely lucky to be playing under Ricky Ponting and Sourav Ganguly at Delhi Capitals and is looking forward to using their tips in the World Cup.”Ricky Ponting and Sourav Ganguly…I am very fortunate that I am working with them now. They both have been great leaders. It is very good to be close to them because I can get their insight, know what was their mindset, what was their approach when they used to play or captain their side,” Dhawan said.
Prothom Alo illustrationAs rape has become a common crime in the country, 132 women and children have fallen victim to rapists in Khulna district over the last two years, reports news agency UNB.Police say 75 of the incidents were reported in the city alone and the rest from different upazilas between May 2017 and April this year.The victims include school children.According to the district’s Law-and-order Committee report, charges have been pressed in court in most of the cases.It also highlighted another disturbing development. As many as 50 lawsuits have been filed under the Women and Children Repression Prevention Act in the district in the last three months alone.The latest victim was a 10th grader. She was gang-raped by three stalkers on 29 January. Police have arrested three suspects.Khulna Mahila Parishad secretary Rasu Akhter blamed the rapes on moral degradation, pointing out to such incidents being reported from madrasas and temples.However, Anisur Rahman, additional superintendent of Khulna Metropolitan Police, claimed that the rate of rape incidents is declining in the district.Public prosecutor Jesmin Parveen of Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunal-2 said there are three courts in the district to deal with torture and rape-related incidents.Currently, the tribunals are handling about 3,000 cases. About eight to 10 cases get verdict on a regular basis.The pace of rape case settlement is good, she said.
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The body of a murder victim was found just after 5.30am on Monday morning in the Peacetown area.The deceased, who is thought to be about 28 years old, was shot sometime during the course of the night.He is still to be identified.Police are investigating a case of murder. WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite DID YOU KNOW?Click on the words highlighted in red to read more on this and related topics.If you are reading this on your cellphone and there are telephone numbers provided in the text, you can call these simply by clicking on them.To receive news links via WhatsApp.For the latest news, visit our webpage or follow us on Facebook and Twitter why not join us there?
Related posts:Costa Rica’s top two surfers bow out against the sport’s best at Vans World Cup Puerto Viejo native Gilbert Brown wins Latin Pro surf competition in ALAS debut Costa Rica surf squad wins Central American Games for 10th straight year Team Costa Rica shines on first day of 2016 World Surfing Games The winners list on Sunday was peppered with Ticos, as has become the norm when the ALAS comp comes to town.Pavones’ Leilani McGonagle, home from her own rookie QS jaunt this year, has only participated in one other ALAS competition in 2015, the Roca Loca event in nearby Hermosa, which she also won. At the Billabong Fest on Sunday, she found herself in a finals heat made up entirely of Tica chicas. McGonagle, the national Women’s Junior champion and frequent international medalist, outmaneuvered 12-time national Women’s champion Lisbeth Vindas (Jacó), who came in second. Emily Gussoni (Jacó) came in third, and Paula Duarte (Jacó) was fourth.“This tournament had very good waves compared to previous years that I’ve done it and I was very happy about that,” McGonagle said. “It’s always fun to compete against all the girls here; we always go head to head. I am very happy to be back home after a month and a half away. Now, I have to study and train to be ready for the Central American Games and hopefully Costa Rica can bring another gold medal.”According to Diego Naranjo, one of the organizers of Billabong Fest (which was also the second date of the Costa Rica Pro Surfing Tour 2015), McGonagle is unstoppable because of all the effort she puts into her training for these contests. “Of course, there are girls that can challenge her, but Leilani is physically, mentally and technically prepared to compete. She works very, very hard for her achievements so far. She’s such a disciplined athlete, and such a smart girl.” Winners of the 2015 Billabong Fest, Women’s category, from left: Paula Duarte, Emily Gussoni, Leilani McGonagle and Lisbeth Vindez. (Courtesy ALAS)Rounding out the winners of the Billabong Fest were Aldito Chirinos of Playa Negra for Juniors, Joseph Méndez of Jacó for Boys, Kenet Peralta of Jacó for Grommets (under 14), and Anthony Flores of Jacó for Longboard.With new, big name sponsors such as Ford, Naranjo hopes to bring ALAS to other beaches around Costa Rica such as Negra, Pavones or even Salsa Brava next year.Final results for the ALAS Billabong Fest:Open Men:1- Jason Torres (Costa Rica)2- Jonathan Chila (Ecuador)3-Anthony Fillingim (Costa Rica)3-Leon Glatzer (Costa Rica)Women:1- Leilani McGonagle (Costa Rica)2- Lisbeth Vindas (Costa Rica)3- Emily Gussoni (Costa Rica)4- Paula Duarte (Costa Rica)Juniors:1- Aldo Chirinos (Costa Rica)2- Joseph Méndez (Costa Rica)3- Leon Glatzer (Costa Rica)4- Lucca Mesinas (Perú)Boys:1- Joseph Méndez (Costa Rica)2- Aldo Chirinos (Costa Rica)3- Leilani McGonagle (Costa Rica)4- Tiago Carrique (Costa Rica)Grommets (Under 14):1- Kenneth Peralta (Costa Rica)2- Gabriel Córdoba (Costa Rica)3- Axel Castro (Costa Rica)4- Neo Escaler (Costa Rica)Longboard:1-Anthony Flores (Costa Rica)2- Julian Schweizer (Uruguay)3- Diego Naranjo (Costa Rica)4- William Aguero (Costa Rica) Facebook Comments People in the Costa Rica surf world excitedly bandy the names Noé Mar McGonagle and Carlos Muñoz — and with good reason, they’re amazing and represent their country well on the international circuit. Yet, it’s another Tico surfer who seems to be shining brightly on his home waves and will soon get the chance to show the world what he’s made of.That’s Jason Torres of Jacó, who is not only the Costa Rica national surf champion this year, but now the winner of this year’s second Association of Latin American Professional Surfers (ALAS) contest in Costa Rica. The ALAS circuit includes competitions throughout Latin America.With his win at the Billabong Fest in Jacó this past weekend, Torres is tied at No. 8 in the 2015 ALAS rankings. The Latin Pro circuit will continue on without Torres into its finals, the Puntas Rocas Super Prime Classic, which starts Nov. 30 in Perú. Instead, the two-time Central American surf champion will join Anthony Fillingim, David Herrera, Gilbert Brown, Leilani McGonagle and others in Nicaragua the first week in December as Costa Rica battles for its 10th Central American Games team title.More good news for Torres: Thanks to his sponsor O’Neill noticing all his accomplishments in Costa Rica and allocating a nice budget, it looks like Torres will be joining Noé McGonagle and Muñoz next year In the World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS), a step he’s been itching to take these past few years.In Jacó, however, this latest notch on Torres’ surfing belt came as no big surprise to everyone but him. For the first two days of Billabong Fest, the German-born Costa Rica resident Leon Glatzer was touted as the score leader, and the one to watch for the win. Meanwhile, Torres was “doing his own thing,” he said. “I wasn’t in competition with anyone but myself.”Glatzer made it all the way to the semi-finals, but the finals ultimately pitted Torres against the ALAS No. 1-ranked Jonathan Chila of Ecuador.“Chila started fast, but I did not get anything for like seven minutes,” recalled Torres of the final that took place in 3-5-foot waves. “Then a good right came, I got three snaps and closed really good. The score was 7.33. My second wave was a left with a little snap and a nice little air for 6.83, beating his air, a little Superman maneuver. This put me in first place. The other guy had a little right 30 seconds before the end, but it wasn’t enough,” Torres recounted. Torres won.“These are the kinds of situations I like to surf,” he added. “These are situations with justice.”See also: Jason Torres: From bad boy to national surfing champ Nicaragua’s Rosanny Alvarez competes in the 2015 Billabong Fest in Jacó, Nov. 20-22. (Courtesy ALAS)
Related posts:Crocodile that attacked U.S. surfer captured in Tamarindo Thousands of dead fish wash up from Gulf of Nicoya Death of crocodile in traditional Costa Rican activity stirs controversy Shark species win international protection despite Costa Rica’s abstention A Costa Rican shrimping boat sank earlier this week off the coast of Playa Brasilito on the country’s northern Pacific coast, spilling large amounts of diesel fuel into the ocean. In the aftermath, community members have come out in force to help mitigate the damage.According to the Costa Rican Oceanology Institute, the spill happened Sunday night at approximately 8 pm, when it is believed that the boat hit a large cluster of rocks that ripped a large hole in the hull of the vessel. Institute president Marie Beal told The Tico Times that about 80 members of the local community have helped with cleanup efforts on the beach, and that they group finished removing scrap metals and debris from the beach on Wednesday morning.Beal said that while it is unknown exactly how much diesel fuel leaked into the ocean, the boat’s tank had a capacity of 18,000 gallons of diesel, which is made from crude oil. Nelson Soto, the head of the Navigation and Security Division of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport (MOPT), indicated in a statement on Wednesday afternoon that the maximum amount of fuel the boat could have carried while fishing was 5,000 gallons.“We’re extremely worried about the environmental damage that this is going to leave behind,” Beal said during a phone interview. “The good news is that the whole community rallied to help clean up everything that came to shore.”Beal, who lives in nearby Playa Potrero, said that five to six crew members were aboard when the boat sank. Members of the Costa Rican Coast Guard were then immediately sent to bring them to land.The boat, named Azoriano and registered in Puntarenas, was safely situated onshore Wednesday morning as oil remains in the water, Beal said. The statement from MOPT indicated that the boat will be removed from the water on Thursday.A Coast Guard member from Playa Flamingo who was a part of the rescue crew, and who asked not to be named because he is not an official spokesman, told The Tico Times that the boat sank “very rapidly” after hitting the rocks and that it was impossible to save the ship because so much water was rushing in. He said he could not comment on whether the captain of the boat made an error, but did say that the accident occurred in a very dangerous part of the ocean because it is rocky.Nelson Marín, a regional director for the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC), told The Tico Times that it is not yet possible to gauge the severity of the damage.“Since yesterday we have been working with other institutions to clean up and do an evaluation of how much has spilled and the long-term effects on the fauna,” he said.Marín added that this is the first large fuel spill in Guanacaste that he could remember. Facebook Comments
Source = ETB News: P.T. Local police in Indonesia have warned of civil unrest and rising political tensions, with a planned demonstration to take place outside the Australian Embassy in Jakarta today. The Australian government’s Smart Traveller website has urged travellers to exercise a high degree of caution if visiting Indonesia, including the island of Bali. Australian’s have been advised to monitor local media reports, avoid protests and maintain high levels of vigilance and security awareness. A demonstration is scheduled to occur outside the Australian Embassy on 21 November 2013.
July 16, 2015 549 Views in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News Builder Confidence National Association of Home Builders Wells Fargo Housing Market Index 2015-07-16 Staff Writer Builder Confidence Soars to Highest Level Since 2005 Share Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes in July reached new heights not seen since November 2005. According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) released Thursday, builder confidence hit a level of 60 in July, while the June reading was upwardly revised one point to 60.“The fact that builder confidence has returned to levels not seen since 2005 shows that housing continues to improve at a steady pace,” said Tom Woods NAHB chairman and a home builder from Blue Springs, Missouri. “As we head into the second half of 2015, we should expect a continued recovery of the housing market.”The index determines builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months as “good,” “fair,” or “poor.” The survey also asks builders to rate traffic of prospective buyers as “high to very high,” “average,” or “low to very low.” Scores for each component are then used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index where any number over 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor.According to the NAHB, two of the three HMI components posted gains in July. The index that determines current sales conditions rose one point to 66 and the index charting sales expectations in the next six months increased two points to 71. Meanwhile, the component measuring buyer traffic dropped a single point to 43. The West and Northeast each rose three points to 60 and 47, respectively when looking at the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores. The South and Midwest posted one-point gains to 61 and 55, respectively.”Builders report more serious buyers are visiting models and discussing prices and features,” said David Crowe, NAHB’s chief economist. “While buyers are taking more time to decide to buy, more of them are finally making those decisions. However, builders remain concerned about their access to lots and labor. Ready-to-build lot supply continues to be the biggest concern among builders as the cheaper lot supply left from the bust is about exhausted, the pipeline of new developments was interrupted by very limited access to capital from regional and community banks and competition for the available lots has intensified.”
airportsAllianzBrisbane Airporttravel insurance Allianz Worldwide Partners (AWP) has signed a new three-year partnership with Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC), to offer Allianz Global Assistance (AGA) travel insurance directly through the Brisbane Airport website, commencing early May 2018.From early May, the first-of its-kind partnership will provide customers the option to purchase AGA travel insurance to protect their journey, alongside services such as checking flight schedules and pre-booking discounted parking, all from the one online destination. Commenting on the new partnership, Brad Smith, Chief Sales Officer, Allianz Worldwide Partners says, “The BAC website caters to travellers transiting through Brisbane Airport, providing an easy one-stop-shop for all their pre-departure needs. Our data shows that travel insurance is often purchased as an afterthought, so we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with BAC and add travel insurance to the platform, ensuring it’s on that pre-departure checklist.“This is just the start of what we hope will be a long-term partnership to offer a range of insurance and assistance products tailored to suit Brisbane Airport Corporation’s customer base.”Floor Felten, General Manager Strategic Planning and Development, Brisbane Airport Corporation, said the airport was committed to providing a personalised and seamless experience for passengers. “We have conducted extensive research in an effort to understand the needs of passengers and it is clear travellers are relying on digital services more and are seeking ways to simplify their whole travel journey through the airport and beyond.“The convenience of purchasing Allianz Global Assistance travel insurance via the BNE website, alongside online services we already offer like parking, car hire, and currency exchange, gives travellers one less thing to think about,” Ms Felten said.Travellers departing from Brisbane Airport can purchase Allianz Global Assistance travel insurance HERE
Interior ministry official Christakis Petrou on Wednesday pled guilty to taking kickbacks by waste-management company Helector Cyprus.Petrou is the third defendant in the bribery scandal involving the awarding of contracts for the Paphos and Koshi landfills to plead guilty, following former Paphos mayor Savvas Vergas and Helector’s former CEO Demetris Giannakopoulos.Petrou, who sat on the ministry’s tenders-review committee, pled guilty to being bribed by Helector with €3,000, through Giannakopoulos’ successor Ioannis Kokotsis, in order to treat Helector’s bid favourably.Following his guilty plea, the prosecution suspended charges of fraud by a civil servant and money laundering against him.Petrou’s defence lawyer will argue for mitigation on June 7.In addition to Petrou, Vergas, and Giannakopoulos, 13 others are defendants in the trial over kickbacks concerning the Koshi and Paphos landfills.They are former Larnaca mayor Andreas Louroudjiatis, former Paphos Sewerage Board (Sapa) director Eftichios Malekkides, civil servants Michalis Pantis and Stelios Papadopoulos, pensioners Antonis Kourouzides and Georgios Koullapis, municipal employee Demetrios Patsalides, doctor Nicolas Koullapis, engineer Imad Bagle, chemical engineer Theofanis Lolos, and companies Enviroplan, Helector Cyprus, and Midoriaco Ltd.You May LikeClassmates.comLook For Any High School Yearbook, It’s FreeClassmates.comUndoFigLeaf Beta AppHow to Become Fully Anonymous Online in Less Than 3 Minutes? Better safe than sorryFigLeaf Beta AppUndoTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoAuthorities release five of 12 Israeli rape suspects, seven due in court FridayUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoby Taboolaby Taboola
By Stelios OrphanidesAll decisions related to the amendment of the foreclosure legislation have been taken, including that by the European Stability Mechanism to disburse a 350 million euros tranche after Cyprus fulfilled all required preconditions, finance minister Harris Georgiades said amid repeated threats from the opposition to suspend the enactment of the foreclosure bill.You May LikeLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoKelley Blue BookYou Won’t Believe How Affordable These Ford Car Models AreKelley Blue BookUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCruise passenger airlifted to Paphos hospitalUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboola