Former College Football Player Shot 3 Times Protecting Students During School Shooting

first_imgJason Seaman with his mother during senior day.Unfortunately, it seems like every few days now, news breaks that there’s been another school shooting. Friday, it happened yet again, this time at Noblesville West Middle School in Noblesville, Indiana. The reported actions of one teacher – who is a former college football player – may have saved many lives.Jason Seaman, who played at Southern Illinois from 2007-2010, was reportedly shot three times – once in the abdomen, once in the hip and once in the forearm. Despite getting shot, Seaman was reportedly able to intervene and help stop the shooter from doing further damage. One other person – a female student – was shot during the attack.Seaman’s brother, Jeremy, told the Indianapolis Star that he isn’t surprised his brother stepped up:“It’s not surprising, to be honest,” he said of his brother’s intervention in the shooting. “He’s not really ever been the person to run away. When the safety of the kids is at hand, it’s not surprising to me that he was going to do what he had to do.”Seaman is already undergoing surgery for his injuries. His mother posted to Facebook that he’s currently in “good condition.”Please pray for my son Jason. This morning there was a shooting at his school Noblesville West Jr High. He was hit 3…Posted by Kristi J. Hubly Seaman on Friday, May 25, 2018Seaman, who is married with two children, has reportedly been a science teacher at the school for four years.Seaman’s alma mater posted a tribute to him after hearing the news.Jason Seaman’s mother reports he was shot 3 times, including one bullet through abdomen. Is out of surgery and in good condition. After he was shot, Seaman still managed to help stop the shooter. #Hero— Saluki Football (@SIU_Football) May 25, 2018The shooter, who has yet to be identified, is in custody. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all affected by yet another senseless tragedy.last_img read more

D250 lance une série de concerts dété à bord du NCSM Sackville

first_imgDémocratie 250 fera vibrer le front de mer d’Halifax à bord du NCSM Sackville cet été grâce à une série de concerts gratuits visant à encourager les jeunes à célébrer les 250 ans de gouvernement démocratique en Nouvelle-Écosse. Les concerts auront lieu tous les samedis, du 12 juillet au 30 août, de 19 h à 20 h 30. Ils mettront en vedette les artistes canadiens bien connus et ambassadeurs jeunesse de D250, Dwight d’Eon, Jordan Croucher et Stephanie Hardy. D250 vise à aider les jeunes Canadiens à comprendre l’importance du vote. La Nouvelle-Écosse est le lieu de naissance de la démocratie canadienne et de la première assemblée législative du pays, qui a eu lieu le 2 octobre 1758. La série de concerts débute samedi avec Dwight d’Eon. Il est possible d’écouter les concerts sur le quai, et le nombre de sièges est limité. On invite les personnes de tous les âges à assister aux concerts. Pour plus d’information, consultez le site Web ou http://D250.calast_img read more

Air pollution increases hypertension in women

first_imgExposure to higher levels of indoor air pollution in India is associated with an increased risk of hypertension among women, according to a study. Researchers studied the association in India, where burdens of air pollution and hypertension are projected to increase. The results show that women exposed to higher levels of air pollution at home have a higher hypertension prevalence. The study, published in the journal Epidemiology, studied 5,531 adults from 28 peri-urban villages near Hyderabad city. Also Read – An income drop can harm brainThe researchers measured systolic and diastolic blood pressure of participants and estimated their annual residential exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and black carbon. The participants also answered a survey to determine socio-economic status, lifestyle and household characteristics, including the type of cooking fuel generally used. All study participants were exposed to fine particulate matter levels above the 10 microgrammes per cubic metre limit recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). Also Read – Shallu Jindal honoured with Mahatma AwardAverage exposure to PM2.5 in this study was 33 microgrammes per cubic metre. Based on the blood pressure measurements, almost half of participants (46 per cent) were identified as hypertensive, with high proportions of participants with undiagnosed and untreated hypertension. The results show that an increase of one microgramme per cubic metre in PM2.5 exposure was associated with a four per cent increase in hypertension prevalence in women, as well as a higher systolic and diastolic blood pressure – an increase of 1,4 millimetres of mercury (mmHg) and 0.87 mmHg, respectively. In men, the association observed was weaker, researchers said. “Women spend most of their time near their households in this study area – 83 per cent of their daily time as compared to 57 per cent for men, which could explain why we observe a stronger association in women than in men,” said Ariadna Curto, first author of the study. The study indicates that long-term exposure to particulate matter is associated with a higher prevalence of hypertension, regardless of the type of fuel used for cooking. “Other studies have found that women that cook with solid fuels such as biomass tend to have higher blood pressure than those using clean fuels, although our data is not powered enough to support this,” Curto said. “Our study suggests that the effects of outdoor air pollution on cardiovascular health may be independent from those of indoor air pollution,” she said. “In the light of our lack of association with black carbon, it is important to keep in mind that this is a peri-urban area, where the sources and chemical makeup of air pollution differ to urban areas mostly dominated by traffic sources,” Curto said. Cathryn Tonne, the study coordinator, said that the mechanisms by which air pollution could contribute to high blood pressure “include inflammation and oxidative stress, which may lead to changes in arterial function.” “Although further epidemiological evidence is needed to confirm our findings, ideally through longitudinal studies, these data suggest that public policies aimed at reducing air pollution will greatly benefit cardiovascular health,” said Tonne.last_img read more

Indian women hockey team beat Japan 21 to win Olympic Test event

first_imgTokyo (Japan): The Indian women hockey team won the Olympic Test event with Navjot Kaur and Lalremsiami leading the side to a 2-1 win over Japan in the final, here on Wednesday. Navjot Kaur (11th minute) opened the scoring to put India ahead but the lead was neutralised within a minute as Minami Shimizu (12′) scored for the hosts. Lalremsiami (33′) struck the winning goal for India. India dominated the first 10 minutes, and finally managed to find the breakthrough when Forward Navjot kept her nerves under pressure and produced a fine finish in front of the goal. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhHowever, the next minute saw Japan strike back immediately with a well-crafted field goal which was put into the back of the net by Shimizu to make it 1-1. The second quarter saw both the teams focus on their defensive structure and tread carefully in the attacking third. India had a few chances in the first few minutes, with the likes of Vandana Katariya and Navjot combining well on the attacking front, but could not produce a goal-scoring opportunity. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced laterJapan also tried to create some opportunities of their own, with goalscorer Shimizu coming close to scoring her second of the match, but India defended well. It was an aggressive start from the Indian team after the half-time break as they won themselves a penalty corner in the 33rd minute. India’s prolific drag-flicker Gurjit Kaur stepped up to take the execution, but her shot was saved by the Japanese Goalkeeper Megumi Kageyama. However, the rebound fell to India’s young Forward Lalremsiami, who did not make a mistake in putting the ball into the back of the net to make it 2-1 for India. It was a huge blow to the hosts who were finding it difficult to cope up with India’s rhythm, but after some tough battles in the midfield, the Japanese team earned themselves back-to-back penalty corners in the 42nd minute. However, India’s defense was up to the task, and made sure that they protected their lead. India also had a penalty corner in the 45th minute, but could not extend their lead. The first chance of the last quarter came India’s way but Kageyama made a diving save. Japan too got back-to-back penalty corners but Indian Goalkeeper Savita made a great save on the second attempt to make sure that India saw out a 2-1 win.last_img read more

Davina McCall Battles Wild Weather For Charity

first_imgDavina McCall faces further weather havoc as she continues on day six of The BT Sport Relief Challenge: Davina – Beyond Breaking Point, a seven day ordeal which sees her attempt to run, swim and cycle from Edinburgh to London.Video: Day 6 – Good Luck Davina | Davina Beyond Breaking Point | BT Sport Relief ChallengesThe challenge is sponsored by BT – a long-term supporter of Comic Relief challenges since 2009 – who are declaring today ‘Dial for Davina’ day, where BT will kindly donate 1p to Sport Relief for every call made from a BT home phone line, BT business line as well as every call made from a BT payphone.Finding herself combating the weather that’s been taking the UK by storm – literally – for the past five days, Davina last night battled fearsome gales and flooding so severe that the team was forced to take an eight mile diversion. Her mammoth journey took almost 12 hours to complete. Day six sees an even bigger challenge. Standing between Davina’s starting point in the heart of Birmingham and tonight’s destination of Windsor are some of the worst floods seen in years, and with weather conditions not set to improve, she’s going to have to pull out everything she’s got to make it to the finish line.Speaking before setting off on today’s journey, Davina said: “It was misery yesterday; it was like cycling through treacle. There was no respite. I was just going a little bit mad – I was talking to myself, I was trying to chivvy myself along. At one stop along the way I arrived and got really angry. Everyone was asking me what was wrong, and I kept shouting “I’m just really angry with the wind!” It’s incredibly frustrating.“Today’s going to be an interesting one because we’re not quite sure how it’s going to pan out. We’re trying to get to Windsor, and – as the news is covering and as I’ve been watching in horror – the country is under deluge from tons and tons of water. Our route was down by the Thames, but now we’re going to get on the bike, do the first 30 miles, then do the next 30 miles, and take each section as it comes. We’re trying to get to Windsor. We’re going to get to Windsor. I can’t even think about tomorrow until I get through today…”Davina got a little help from her friends this morning, with The Great British Bake Off co- host Mel Giedroyc providing some early morning snacks and support, and waving the 46-year-old challenger off from The Bullring in the heart of Birmingham accompanied by a crowd of cheering supporters. Since starting her BT Sport Relief challenge on Saturday at Edinburgh Castle, Davina has tackled a 130-mile cycle on day one – equivalent to some of the longest stages on the Tour de France, swam the brutally cold Lake Windermere, scaled the colossal Scafell Pike on foot in freezing snow, and will finish on Friday, after seven tortuous days, by running a full marathon into London.Davina’s challenge is all about girl power. She’ll be joined by famous female friends along the route and will be spurred along by her ultimate goal of helping projects that work to help women. In many developing countries, simply being born female can mean a lifetime of added dangers and challenges, and money raised from the challenge will be spent to help change the lives of thousands of women and girls in Kenya as well as transform lives in the UK and around the world.last_img read more

Gerald Stanley murder trial triggers call to change how juries selected

first_imgThe Canadian PressSome legal experts and Indigenous advocates say the trial of a Saskatchewan farmer accused of murdering a Cree man highlights a long-standing need for more diversity on juries.A jury is currently deliberating the fate of Gerald Stanley, who testified that he accidentally shot Colten Boushie when the young man and four others drove onto Stanley’s farm near Biggar, Sask. Boushie’s family voiced frustration after no visibly Indigenous jurors were selected.Several Indigenous people were rejected by the defence during jury selection with what are called peremptory challenges.“Peremptory challenges just are really asking lawyers to rely on their stereotypes about the person they see,” said Jonathan Rudin with Aboriginal Legal Services in Toronto.“The message that it sends is just awful … In this case, that Indigenous people cannot be trusted to serve as a juror.”During jury selection, the Crown and defence are each given a set number of peremptory challenges and don’t have to give reasons for rejecting a potential juror. Lawyers can also “challenge for cause,” which involves a judge asking potential jurors pre-approved questions, including whether they may have a bias in the case.Rudin said it’s time for peremptory challenges to go.“You never see white people being excluded from the jury because they’re white.”At the beginning of Stanley’s trial, the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations called on the federal government to make it mandatory for juries to include First Nations people.Federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould responded by saying she’s concerned about the under-representation of Indigenous jurors in several provinces. But she added that any changes to the justice system would require careful study and consideration.In 1991, the Manitoba Aboriginal Justice Inquiry report detailed how Indigenous people were historically denied the right to sit on juries since names were drawn from voting lists. Status Indians were not considered citizens or allowed to vote.Over the last few decades, there has been little improvement, with lists still lacking names from Indigenous communities.The report called Manitoba’s jury system a “glaring example of systemic discrimination” and called for peremptory challenges to be eliminated.Murray Sinclair, Manitoba’s first Indigenous judge and now a senator, co-chaired the inquiry. He tweeted about the Stanley trial last week.“Without Indigenous people on the jury, how will they understand?” he wrote.His son Niigaan Sinclair, a professor of native studies at the University of Manitoba, said Indigenous jurors bring history and experience into a room. He suggests all jurors undergo some sort of educational training before a trial starts.“The situation in Saskatchewan demands competency in understanding the relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples, and I would say that, on the whole, Canadians are not adequately prepared for the complexities of the past 150 years,” he said.“Understanding the Indian Act, understanding how Canada has been built off the exploitation of Indigenous peoples and resources … all of that goes into the (killing) of Colten Boushie.”Toronto lawyer Jessica Orkin said problems with Canada’s jury system can’t be solved with one fix.She represented an Aboriginal man, Clifford Kokopenace, in his battle over jury fairness before the Supreme Court in 2015. Kokopenace was convicted of manslaughter but argued the verdict wasn’t by a jury of his peers.The Appeal Court ordered a retrial but the Supreme Court ruled the province had done an adequate job of trying to get Indigenous people on the list of potential jurors.Each province is responsible for sending notices for jury duty. In Ontario, Orkin said, it’s done using names on municipal and property rolls. Other provinces use driver’s licences and health records.It’s a problem when people don’t own property or drive.Instead of abolishing peremptory challenges, Orkin suggests change needs to start with getting more Indigenous people on voting lists.An inquiry report by former Supreme Court justice Frank Iacobucci in 2013 recommended several changes to get more Indigenous people on juries in Ontario. So far, nothing has been implemented, Orkin said.She hopes that Wilson-Raybould, Canada’s first Indigenous justice minister, may finally be able to bring about some change.“This is a really challenging issue and unfortunately one that has been left to fester for an extremely long time.”last_img read more

Face recognition researcher fights Amazon over biased AI

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Facial recognition technology was already seeping into everyday life — from your photos on Facebook to police scans of mugshots — when Joy Buolamwini noticed a serious glitch: Some of the software couldn’t detect dark-skinned faces like hers.That revelation sparked the Massachusetts Institute of Technology researcher to launch a project that’s having an outsize influence on the debate over how artificial intelligence should be deployed in the real world.Her tests on software created by brand-name tech firms such as Amazon uncovered much higher error rates in classifying the gender of darker-skinned women than for lighter-skinned men.Along the way, Buolamwini has spurred Microsoft and IBM to improve their systems and irked Amazon, which publicly attacked her research methods. On Wednesday, a group of AI scholars, including a winner of computer science’s top prize, launched a spirited defence of her work and called on Amazon to stop selling its facial recognition software to police.Her work has also caught the attention of political leaders in statehouses and Congress and led some to seek limits on the use of computer vision tools to analyze human faces.“There needs to be a choice,” said Buolamwini, a graduate student and researcher at MIT’s Media Lab. “Right now, what’s happening is these technologies are being deployed widely without oversight, oftentimes covertly, so that by the time we wake up, it’s almost too late.”Buolamwini is hardly alone in expressing caution about the fast-moving adoption of facial recognition by police, government agencies and businesses from stores to apartment complexes. Many other researchers have shown how AI systems, which look for patterns in huge troves of data, will mimic the institutional biases embedded in the data they are learning from. For instance, if AI systems are developed using images of mostly white men, the systems will work best in recognizing white men.Those disparities can sometimes be a matter of life or death: One recent study of the computer vision systems that enable self-driving cars to “see” the road shows they have a harder time detecting pedestrians with darker skin tones.What’s struck a chord about Boulamwini’s work is her method of testing the systems created by well-known companies. She applies such systems to a skin-tone scale used by dermatologists, then names and shames those that show racial and gender bias. Buolamwini, who’s also founded a coalition of scholars, activists and others called the Algorithmic Justice League, has blended her scholarly investigations with activism.“It adds to a growing body of evidence that facial recognition affects different groups differently,” said Shankar Narayan, of the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington state, where the group has sought restrictions on the technology. “Joy’s work has been part of building that awareness.”Amazon, whose CEO, Jeff Bezos, she emailed directly last summer, has responded by aggressively taking aim at her research methods.A Buolamwini-led study published just over a year ago found disparities in how facial-analysis systems built by IBM, Microsoft and the Chinese company Face Plus Plus classified people by gender. Darker-skinned women were the most misclassified group, with error rates of up to 34.7%. By contrast, the maximum error rate for lighter-skinned males was less than 1%.The study called for “urgent attention” to address the bias.“I responded pretty much right away,” said Ruchir Puri, chief scientist of IBM Research, describing an email he received from Buolamwini last year.Since then, he said, “it’s been a very fruitful relationship” that informed IBM’s unveiling this year of a new 1 million-image database for better analyzing the diversity of human faces. Previous systems have been overly reliant on what Buolamwini calls “pale male” image repositories.Microsoft, which had the lowest error rates, declined comment. Messages left with Face Plus Plus weren’t immediately returned.Months after her first study, when Buolamwini worked with University of Toronto researcher Inioluwa Deborah Raji on a follow-up test, all three companies showed major improvements.But this time they also added Amazon, which has sold the system it calls Rekognition to law enforcement agencies. The results, published in late January, showed Amazon badly misidentifying darker-hued women.“We were surprised to see that Amazon was where their competitors were a year ago,” Buolamwini said.Amazon dismissed what it called Buolamwini’s “erroneous claims” and said the study confused facial analysis with facial recognition, improperly measuring the former with techniques for evaluating the latter.“The answer to anxieties over new technology is not to run ‘tests’ inconsistent with how the service is designed to be used, and to amplify the test’s false and misleading conclusions through the news media,” Matt Wood, general manager of artificial intelligence for Amazon’s cloud-computing division, wrote in a January blog post. Amazon declined requests for an interview.“I didn’t know their reaction would be quite so hostile,” Buolamwini said recently in an interview at her MIT lab.Coming to her defence Wednesday was a coalition of researchers, including AI pioneer Yoshua Bengio , recent winner of the Turing Award, considered the tech field’s version of the Nobel Prize.They criticized Amazon’s response, especially its distinction between facial recognition and analysis.“In contrast to Dr. Wood’s claims, bias found in one system is cause for concern in the other, particularly in use cases that could severely impact people’s lives, such as law enforcement applications,” they wrote.Its few publicly known clients have defended Amazon’s system.Chris Adzima, senior information systems analyst for the Washington County Sheriff’s Office in Oregon, said the agency uses Amazon’s Rekognition to identify the most likely matches among its collection of roughly 350,000 mug shots. But because a human makes the final decision, “the bias of that computer system is not transferred over into any results or any action taken,” Adzima said.But increasingly, regulators and legislators are having their doubts. A bipartisan bill in Congress seeks limits on facial recognition. Legislatures in Washington and Massachusetts are considering laws of their own.Buolamwini said a major message of her research is that AI systems need to be carefully reviewed and consistently monitored if they’re going to be used on the public. Not just to audit for accuracy, she said, but to ensure face recognition isn’t abused to violate privacy or cause other harms.“We can’t just leave it to companies alone to do these kinds of checks,” she said.___Associated Press writer Gillian Flaccus contributed to this report from Hillsboro, Oregon.Matt O’Brien, The Associated Press read more

Aid reaches hundreds of thousands in Somalia but difficulties persist UN says

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that, to date, 366,000 of those displaced between February and earlier this month have been provided with food and supplies such as shelter and household items by UN agencies and their partners.Humanitarian organizations have also been working to provide clean drinking water, sanitation, education and health services to internally displaced persons (IDPs), many of whom are now using the lull in fighting to return to Mogadishu, OCHA said.OCHA voiced particular concern, however, over the prevalence of acute watery diarrhoea, which has killed nearly a thousand people, and the fact that some areas affected by the outbreak remain inaccessible.Many roads are still too dangerous for transport, landmines have been reported in some areas, airstrips have been rained out, transit through Kenya is still being negotiated and ships are refusing to sail to Somalia following the deadly 19 May attack against a chartered ship off the port of Merka. A guard trying to repulse pirates was killed in that incident.In follow-up to the mid-May visit of UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, an inter-agency mission travelled to Mogadishu from 29 to 30 May to discuss ways to increase humanitarian assistance. The mission emphasized that the focus of the current response is now on providing basic services to the IDPs, leaving resettlement plans to be linked to the national reconciliation process. 31 May 2007Aid has been distributed to more than 90 per cent of the nearly 400,000 people displaced by recent fighting in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, though considerable humanitarian difficulties persist, the United Nations said today. read more

Court extends DO on Pillayan till December 10

He was produced in court today and the Magistrate approved the extension of the detention order. Pararajasingham was shot dead in December 2005 at St. Mary’s co-cathedral church in the Batticaloa town while attending Christmas prayers. (Colombo Gazette) Pillayan is being questioned in connection to the murder of Joseph Pararajasingham, a senior Tamil politician and former Batticaloa district Member of Parliament (MP) of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA). The Colombo Magistrate today approved a request from the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) to continue to question former Eastern Province Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan under Detention Orders (DO) till December 10.The CID had on October 14 obtained approval from the Colombo Chief Magistrate to detain Pillayan, till today to be questioned further following his arrest. read more

Outgoing president of UN Disarmament Conference sees no early accord on work

Ambassador Carlos Amat Fores of Cuba made his assessment following weeks of intensive consultations involving a majority of delegations. While stressing that he did not wish to point fingers or lay blame, he said certain countries were playing a “significant role” in the lack of agreement on a programme of work. The outgoing President noted that while many delegates wished to preserve the Conference as the sole international forum for multilateral disarmament negotiations, some had also pointed out that its prospects for the immediate future were not very encouraging. He warned that if the Conference remained unable to conduct substantive work, its credibility would be seriously affected. The Cuban Ambassador emphasized that all possible efforts must be made to advance the substantive issues, which constituted the main reason for the Conference’s existence. Progress required political will and flexibility on the part of all members. The Conference on Disarmament was of vital importance and should be preserved until it was ready to act when the right conditions emerged, he stressed, adding that the current climate of pessimism should not be allowed to prevail. Established in 1979, the 66-member Conference on Disarmament works strictly on the basis of consensus on matters that touch the national security interests of States. It reports to the United Nations General Assembly, while defining its own rules and agenda. read more

South African epidemiologist to lead panel of expert scientists on HIV –

The head of the United Nations agency leading the global HIV/AIDS response today appointed South African scientist Salim S. Abdool Karim to chair a panel set up to provide advice on how new research and innovations can help tackle the epidemic. “In the 30 years since HIV was identified, the progress made by science has been extraordinary and its benefits have been felt far beyond those directly affected by HIV,” said Michel Sidibé, the Executive Director of the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).“To reach the end of the AIDS epidemic, we need to continue to embrace science and innovation and I am delighted that Professor Karim has agreed to take on the leadership of our new UNAIDS scientific panel,” he stated in a news release. Mr. Karim is an epidemiologist who has conducted research on HIV epidemiology, pathogenesis, prevention and treatment over the past 25 years. The panel which he will head up is tasked with providing strategic advice on the relevance of new research and findings and how they can be rapidly implemented to prevent new HIV infections and improve the lives of people living with HIV. The other members will be announced in the coming weeks.“Science has the power to illuminate the future path to defeating AIDS. I am humbled by this appointment and look forward to this new challenge,” said Mr. Karim, who is currently Director of the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa – CAPRISA, a long-standing UNAIDS Collaborating Centre. Mr. Sidibé announced the appointment in Durban, South Africa, during his opening address at a UNAIDS Scientific Symposium on the implications of the so-called ‘Mississippi baby’ for public health programmes on mother-to-child transmission of HIV. The symposium is the first of several scientific consultations the new panel is convening on behalf of UNAIDS. Earlier this year, it was announced that the baby, treated in the United States with antiretroviral drugs during the first months of her life, appears to be functionally cured of the disease. If the findings are confirmed, it would be the first well-documented case of an HIV-positive child who appears to have no detectable levels of the virus despite stopping HIV treatment.The doctor who cared for the baby, Dr. Hannah Gay, from the University of Mississippi, is one of the invited experts who will present the case history. Experts will discuss ways to improve early diagnosis of HIV in newborn children and implications of starting them on antiretroviral therapy early. read more

UN media seminar on peace in the Middle East highlights power of

That was a key part of the Secretary-General’s message delivered at the start of the two-day United Nations 2018 International Media Seminar on Peace in the Middle East, being held in Moscow.It has been organized by the UN’s Department of Public Information (DPI) as part of the Special Information Programme on The Question of Palestine, in collaboration with Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and with the support of the UN Association of Russia, and the Russian Peace Foundation.In his message, delivered in the Russian capital by the UN Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications, Alison Smale, said that the seminar provided an “important platform to discuss media-related topics connected to the difficult and challenging situation in the Middle East” adding that it was “encouraging that it remains strong, 27 years after its inception”. “The Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains central to the Middle East quagmire. The recent tensions in Gaza are a painful reminder of how fragile the situation is,” she said, on behalf of Mr. Guterres.“The people of the region and the world cannot afford another escalation of violence”, she added, noting that the UN remains “strongly committed to a just, comprehensive and lasting two-State solution that ends the 50-year occupation and resolves all final status issues. This is key for security and stability in the entire region”.The event brings together more than 150 diplomats, journalists, media experts and youth representatives from Israel, Palestine and other parts of the Middle East, Russia, the United States, Europe, and beyond.Subjects for discussion and debate on Wednesday and Thursday include a look back at the legacy of the 1993 Oslo Accords; how journalists cover the whole Israel-Palestine conflict and can better protect themselves covering conflict; and the narrative of Palestine refugees, 70 years on from the Nakba, or “catastrophe” by which Palestinians commemorate their mass-displacement during the 1948-1949 war. read more

How Our 2016 MLB Predictions Work

NAMEFRANCHISEDATEPITCHER SCORERATING ADJ. Pedro MartinezBOS6/8/200078.0+108.6 Bob GibsonSTL5/25/196968.676.6 Jake ArrietaCHC67.857.2 Pitchers in the table above are listed only once, at their absolute peak. If we listed multiple peaks per player, Martinez, Greg Maddux, Randy Johnson and Roger Clemens would occupy 18 of the top 20 spots.In addition to scores for each pitcher, we maintain a pitching score for every team — these are based on the game scores of every starting pitcher on that team. Each pitcher’s Elo adjustment is relative to his team’s pitching score; pitchers above the team average give the team a bonus when they start, and pitchers below the team average give the team a penalty. Note that in the table above, one pitcher may have a higher overall score than another pitcher but a smaller Elo adjustment; this generally means that his team had a better rotation or that he started more games and his game scores contributed more to the team’s overall average.These are the 2016 pitchers who give their team the biggest boost when they start: Gerrit ColePIT57.135.8 Frank TananaLAA6/24/197768.472.2 Jose FernandezMIA57.336.5 David PriceBOS57.928.6 This methodology article is for an old version of our MLB forecast. See how our latest MLB predictions work.During last year’s MLB playoffs, we introduced our baseball Elo ratings and used them to take a look at the best teams going into the playoffs and the World Series. Today we’re publishing two interactives using similar ratings: our 2016 MLB Predictions, which preview upcoming games and show the chances that each team will make the playoffs or win the World Series, and the Complete History Of MLB, which charts the successes and failures of every franchise throughout history.Thanks to Retrosheet, we’ve collected game results and box scores back to 1871 and used them to create an Elo-based rating system and predictive model for baseball that incorporates home-field advantage, margin of victory, travel, rest and — most importantly — starting pitchers. The ratings are also adjusted for park and era effects and account for the fact that favorites are more likely to win in the postseason than in the regular season.Elo is a simple but elegant system that can be tuned and customized endlessly to incorporate available data. In our baseball Elo system, each team has a rating (the average is about 1500), and after every game, the winning team gains some Elo points while the losing team loses the same number of points. The number of points exchanged is based on the chances our model gave each team to win the game and the margin of victory; a win by a big underdog results in a bigger exchange of Elo points than a win by a favorite, and the larger the margin of victory, the larger the exchange.Before every game, we also adjust each team’s rating based on whether it has home-field advantage, how far it’s traveled to the game, how many days of rest it’s had and which pitcher is slated to start.Home-field advantage is worth 24 Elo points in our model, and travel and rest adjustments are worth up to about 5 points each;1The travel adjustment is calculated as (-MILES_TRAVELED^(1/3))*0.31, and the rest adjustment is DAYS_REST*2.3. these three components are combined into the “Home field, travel and rest” section in the image above.2Here are some more of our baseball Elo parameters:The general K factor is 4, though it’s 6 for postseason games and also is adjusted based on margin of victory.Home-field advantage is worth 24 points.The difference in rating between two teams is multiplied by 4/3 for postseason games.Expected margins of victory are calculated with elo_diff^3*5.46554876e-08 + elo_diff^2*8.96073139e-06 + elo_diff*2.44895265e-03 + BASE (BASE is dependent on the year and stadium the game is played in but has an average of about 3.4).The actual margin of victory in each game is also adjusted for era/stadium effects and then flattened a bit with ((abs(margin_adj) + 1)^0.7)*1.41.Thus, the whole Elo shift is (outcome – winprob) * (adjusted_margin / expected_margin) * (6 if postseason else 4). Clayton KershawLAD66.0+63.5 J.R. RichardHOU4/30/198067.767.1 Jake ArrietaCHC10/7/201568.363.4 Bob FellerCLE8/4/194068.464.7 Sandy KoufaxLAD10/14/196568.164.4 Pete AlexanderPHI7/13/191567.764.7 Madison BumgarnerSF58.328.4 Johan SantanaMIN10/5/200467.666.9 Starting pitcher adjustments can have a substantial impact on pre-game team ratings and win probabilities. For example, in June of 2000, Pedro Martinez was worth about 109 Elo points to the Red Sox each time he started, which is the equivalent of a 15 percent boost to their chances of winning the game.3Starting pitcher adjustments give our model about a 1 percentage point improvement in the percentage of games correctly “called” and a corresponding improvement in mean squared error. This means Martinez was worth 109 points more than the average starting pitcher on his team (or even a bit more, since his starts were already incorporated into the team’s overall rating).To generate these pitcher adjustments, we’re using a version of Bill James’s game scores proposed by Tangotiger (and slightly modified by us) to isolate pitching performances. After each game, the starting pitcher’s game score is calculated as:47.4 + 1.5*outs + strikeouts – 2*walks – 2*hits – 3*runs – 4*homerunsWe maintain a running average of these game scores for each pitcher to produce his overall pitcher score.4Just like the margin of victory modifier, game scores are normalized for eras and stadiums so pitchers are directly comparable. They’re also adjusted to take the opposing team’s offensive strength into account. Here’s a list of the pitchers with the highest peak scores in history, the dates when they peaked and their corresponding Elo bonus:5A pitcher’s Elo bonus is calculated with 4.7*(pitcher_score – team_pitching_score). Tom SeaverNYM4/26/197267.372.8 All-time pitcher peaks, based on pitcher score Mike ScottHOU5/18/198766.961.4 Top 2016 pitchers by rating adjustment to their team Lefty GroveOAK6/13/193266.964.1 Pitcher scores include games through April 24Sources: Retrosheet, ESPN Since starting pitcher bonuses from the two teams are additive, they cancel each other out when two top pitchers face each other and can be quite large when a strong pitcher faces a weak pitcher. The biggest mismatch of all time according to our pitcher scores was a 137-point Elo swing back in 1997, when Randy Johnson (+87) faced Ricky Bones (-50).Our 2016 preseason team ratings are a blend of our 2015 end-of-season ratings (reverted to the mean by one-third) and four projection systems (PECOTA, ZiPS, Steamer and Davenport). Our preseason team pitcher scores use our 2015 end-of-season pitcher scores combined with projected starts from the same four projection systems.We use Monte Carlo simulations to play out the season thousands of times to see how often each team makes the playoffs or wins the World Series. As with our other forecasts, we run simulations “hot,” meaning that a team’s rating changes within each simulation based on simulated results, including the bonus for playoff wins. For games where a starting pitcher is not yet known, we assume a pitcher of average strength will play.Our Complete History Of MLB uses a slightly simplified Elo system that doesn’t take pitchers, travel or rest into account.6This means that the ratings in our Complete History interactive won’t always match the ratings in our 2016 MLB Predictions, but using separate rating systems gives us the flexibility to alter our forecast methodology from year to year but keep our Elo history interactives unchanged. Like the forecast, it will update after each game.It’s early, but the Cubs are looking pretty good. We’re looking forward to the rest of the season and hope you’ll follow along with us. Roger ClemensTOR7/28/199770.675.3 Chris SaleCHW60.032.3 The pitcher score is a running average of a pitcher’s individual game scoresSource: Retrosheet Curt SchillingARI4/7/200269.164.3 Ron GuidryNYY9/15/197866.962.4 Randy JohnsonARI5/16/200071.883.3 Greg MadduxATL7/19/199571.867.3 Dallas KeuchelHOU58.434.6 Dwight GoodenNYM5/6/198668.574.4 Zack GreinkeARI59.443.1 Kevin BrownSD10/8/199867.465.4 NAMETEAMSCORERATING ADJ. Dazzy VanceLAD5/5/192969.776.3 Kenta MaedaLAD60.738.5 read more

Womens basketball Kelsey Mitchell named Associated Press secondteam AllAmerican

OSU junior guard Kelsey Mitchell looks to move he ball inside against No. 9 seed Northwestern on March 3 in Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. OSU won, 99-68. Credit: Ashley Nelson | Sports DirectorOhio State junior guard Kelsey Mitchell was named an Associated Press second team All-American on Monday, collecting the honor for the third straight year. Earlier in the season, Mitchell received the Big Tens Player of the Year for her second consecutive season. This season marks the third year which she has led the Buckeyes in scoring.The Cincinnati native is also the quickest player to score 2,000 points in the NCAA. Mitchell leads the Buckeyes in three-points made and is on-track to become the Buckeyes all-time leading scorer, trailing OSU’s leading scorer, Jantel Lavender, by only 265 points.OSU lost to Notre Dame in the NCAA tournament Sweet 16 on Friday, ending its season. read more

MineSense front and centre in bulk ore sorting game

first_imgHaving just commercialised its bulk ore sorting technology at Teck Resources’ Highland Valley Copper (HVC) operations in British Columbia, Canada, MineSense is looking to show the wider industry just how effective this pre-concentration process can be.IM spoke with President and CEO, Jeff More, to find out more about the company’s ShovelSense and BeltSense technologies and how the Vancouver-based startup has been able to secure investment from the likes of ABB, Caterpillar and Mitsubishi.IM: Can you explain in a little more detail how your ShovelSense and BeltSense solutions work?JM: The base technology for both is X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) – a technology that has been around for some time. What we have done to this existing technology, which is quite unique, is three things:One, we have extended dramatically the range of XRF. Traditionally XRF would almost have to be held to the surface of a rock to get accurate measurements. The range extension allows us to work in the shovel environment where we are working across metres of volume;Second is speed. Our system is extremely fast. High speed analysis is required on our conveyor belt applications, but this is even more important in the shovel, where we’re measuring dynamically; as the material is flowing into the shovel, to get a representative reading, you have to be able to take very fast readings of the material as it is moving past the sensors;The third is robustness. On a shovel, you are in a nasty environment from a shock and vibration perspective. We developed a system with sensitive components – the XRF itself, as well as the computing devices around it – that can stand up to that very high shock- and vibration-type environment.IM: The most high-profile examples of the application of your ShovelSense technology have been at copper mines (HVC, in particular); is the detection technology particularly effective in these ores? Is it being trialled elsewhere?JM: The current sensing we have with the XRF is very effective in a certain section of the periodic table, which nicely covers the major base metals. We’re focused on copper, nickel, zinc and polymetallic versions of those three. The fourth area of focus is iron ore.We’ve selected copper as our first focus because of the size of the market and the geography. We have done most of our work in copper, but we now also have operating systems in nickel and zinc.On a lab scale, the technology has been very effective in iron ore, but iron ore is a very different flow sheet, so we have purposely set it as our fourth market in what we call our primary clusters.We have five mine site customers at the moment – three copper, one zinc-lead and one nickel-polymetallic.We were very much focused on North America and, in particular, British Columbia for our first pilots and trials as it was quite easy for us to service in our back yard. The first international market was Chile, for obvious reasons in terms of copper production, and we now have a full MineSense entity and team operating in Chile and Peru.We’re staggering the rest of our global expansion. We’re now quite active from a business development perspective in southern Africa – South Africa, Zambia, DRC – and have activity in Australia.We have Systems installed at two different copper mines in British Columbia, one at a very large nickel-polymetallic complex in Sudbury, Ontario, and will have a fourth system operating in Alaska. We also have two mines, but four systems, operating in Chile. By the end of Q2, we will have another three systems operating in Chile.We did all our development work for the system at Teck’s HVC operation and we’re now completely commercial there. We officially commissioned our first system in December, the second system is being commissioned as we speak and the third and fourth will be installed and commissioned in late-March. This will completely equip their fleet.IM: Teck has previously said the use of ShovelSense has resulted in “a net measurable increase in the amount of ore (and the associated head grade)” it has available to feed its mill at HVC. Are these results in keeping with your expectations for the technology?JM: Yes, absolutely. We base everything on, what we call, our value model. Very early in our engagement process, we set out a detailed model that calculates the profit improvement that mine will see – we did the same for Teck HVC.We agreed on a target at HVC and are actually exceeding that estimate. Most importantly, Teck is also seeing that value and is estimating a great overall impact at that mine.This is an abridged version of a Q&A to be published in the ore sorting feature in the March issue of International Mining.last_img read more

New iPad and A5X jailbroken in record time

first_imgIf you happened to have picked up a new, A5X-powered iPad today, then you might already be looking to jailbreak it. How could you not want to smuggle some of those sweet, sweet Cydia apps into Apple’s walled garden? There is some good news for you: MuscleNerd and the jailbreaking pros over at the Dev Team have already cracked the new iPad and its kind-of-new SoC.Earlier today @MuscleNerd wrote:jailbroken iPad3: a first step, still lots of work to do!No ETA!)— MuscleNerd (@MuscleNerd) March 16, 2012As he noted, this is just the first step — having a single, jailbroken unit is a far thing from having a full-on release for the 3rd generation iPad, let alone the holy grail of iOS device freedom: the untethered jailbreak. In an second image we can look behind the scenes and see how some of the jailbreaking sausage is made:In the tweet MuscleNerd noted that there is no ETA on the jailbreak’s release so new iPad owners will have to sit tight for the time being.So how was the jailbreak able to be done in record time (apparently in under 3 hours)? It seems to be a combination of factors boiling down too the following. First of all, the iPad 3’s A5X SoC isn’t that different from the A5. The A5 was tough to beat, but once people figured it out, getting past the A5X (which is essentially unchanged from an upgraded GPU) seems like it was no challenge. Also, iOS 5.1, which the new iPad ships with, has been cracked open already so there was additional work to be done on that front. If the new iPad hadn’t shipped with 5.1 that could have been a hurdle, but it didn’t.If you did get a third generation iPad and you are looking to jailbreak it, one piece of advice: stick with iOS version 5.1 for the time being. Nothing new is available, but if something were to drop, delay updating until you get some more information.via Cult of Maclast_img read more

Theres been a surge in people leaving the state for their Christmas

first_img Sunday 4 Dec 2016, 4:25 PM Yes (2354) By Daragh Brophy There’s been a surge in people leaving the state for their Christmas shopping Clothes, alcohol and food & groceries topped the list for those leaving the state for shopping. Image: Shutterstock/Free Free Free Photos No (4046) Image: Shutterstock/Free Free Free Photos Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article YesNoVoteRead: It’s been snowing heavily in Hawaii this weekend >center_img There is also a bit more confidence around this year. Traffic volumes are up, employment is up and people are spending more generally.Further down the list of countries and cities respondents to the AA membership survey said they planned to visit for Christmas shipping, just over 5% said they planned to visit continental Europe and 1.03% said they would go to New York.Poll: Will you be leaving the state for Christmas shopping? THERE’S BEEN A surge in people crossing the border for Christmas shopping trips this year, according to a new survey from the AA.9,000 members were surveyed, with over a quarter saying they planned to leave the State for the purpose of Christmas shopping this year – a three-fold increase compared to 2015.Northern Ireland was top of the list, with 12% planning a trip across the border.5.33% said they were planning a visit elsewhere in the UK.Clothes, alcohol, and food & groceries topped the list for those leaving the state for shopping.The weakness of sterling is probably the key factor behind an upsurge in shoppers planning a trip to Northern Ireland or Great Britain in advance of Christmas, according to the AA’s Conor Faughnan.“It is very likely that the currency is the key factor but it’s probably not the only one,” he said. Poll Results: 24,667 Views 58 Comments Share Tweet Email1 Dec 4th 2016, 4:25 PM Short URLlast_img read more

EXCLUSIVE 60 use digital communications to improve benefits engagement

first_imgRead the full Employee Benefits/Staffcare Benefits research 2017. EXCLUSIVE: Just over two-thirds (68%) of employer respondents use digital communication to improve employee engagement with benefits, according to research by Employee Benefits and Staffcare.The Employee Benefits/Staffcare Benefits research 2017, which surveyed 271 employer respondents in February-March 2017, also found that 60% use face-to-face communication, such as group seminars and benefits roadshows.Both digital and face-to-face communications are effective ways of reaching groups of employees, particularly when a workforce may be mobile, geographically dispersed or work varying shift patterns.Printed communication materials (49%), and technology platforms (26%) also remain popular among respondents.Where respondents use personalised total reward statements (36%) as a means of improving employee engagement with benefits, 63% use online statements, while a third (33%) issue printed documents.last_img read more

Puppys death sparks outrage brings community together

first_imgThe shooting death of a puppy in the Fairbanks area has ignited community outcry as residents who have had similar experiences with their animals question how the authorities respond to such incidents.Listen nowDan Powell tells the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner he let his dog out to use the bathroom when it went missing. After searching his neighborhood, he came home to find his young dog Lucy shot dead in his driveway.Powell took to a community Facebook page to share the incident with others, who reported similar stories about their dogs going missing and being shot.Many also expressed outrage that Alaska State Troopers aren’t investigating the incident.Trooper Scott McAfee attended a meeting organized by the community Sunday. He urged residents to keep their dogs secured and said he’d continue to monitor the situation.last_img read more

China Worlds largest Disney store opens in Shanghai

first_img The worlds largest Disney store opened its doors to the public in Shanghai on Wednesday (20 May), giving fans of Mickey and Minnie the chance to browse row upon row of toys and Disney-themed products in the heart of Shanghais financial district.The 53,000ft2 store is the first Disney store in China, adding to the more than 340 locations the company has worldwide. It will allow the entertainment conglomerate to cash in on an increasingly affluent middle class in the worlds most populous nation.Outside the store, 24-year-old Zhao Jieyu showed off his purchases.[This is a] cowboy doll. This one is exactly the same as the one in Toy Story. It also has Andys autograph on it. And it also has a pull-tab to make a sound, so its fantastic. Its completely the same as that in the original movie, he said.For 27-year-old Wu Jiani the fact that the store offered performances was a major draw.Its better than my expectations. There are lots of images showing details from fairy stories. I also heard they will have activities every hour, which Im looking forward to. Theres so much fun inside and I think it is worth a tour. But there are quite a lot of people at the moment so I suggest people come on work or regular days, she said.In addition to the Disney Store, Shanghai is set to get its own Disneyland theme park in the spring of 2016. The company had earlier set a target of a late 2015 opening but decided to add attractions to the park, a $5.5bn (£3.54bn) joint venture with Chinas state owned Shanghai Shendi Group. Closelast_img read more