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QSST Wins 18’s Boys Title

first_imgThe teams were locked at 5-all at half-time before QSST ran away with the game in the second half. NSWCCC got out to a perfect start, scoring in their first set of six when Wesley Sefuiva combined with Josh Rozairo to send Jonathan Huskins over on the wing. QSST were quick to hit back however, capitalising on a CCC mistake which saw Jackson Luke score on the wing to level the score at 1-all. QSST hit the lead soon after, when Marlon Doak scored on the wing in the fifth minute to take a 2-1 lead. The experienced duo of Sefuiva and Rozairo were quick to retaliate, levelling the score one minute later before reclaiming the lead when Macauley Dawson was the recipient of a great long ball to take a 3-2 lead. Down the other end of the field, Mathew Couper was on the receiving end of a long ball similar to the touchdown prior, levelling the score at 3-all. Luke put his QSST team in front soon after, scoring his second touchdown for the game, showing plenty of speed as he ran down the far wing to score.  Huskins then scored his second for NSWCCC in the 11th minute, after being on the receiving end of another great long ball, and locked things up at 4-all. Defence then took over, with both teams unable to score for the next seven minutes following plenty of touchdowns in the first stanza of the game.  It looked like QSST would take a one touchdown advantage into the half-time break when Luke Swan scored a touchdown in the final minute of the half. But NSWCCC were determined to lock things up, with Cade Price scoring after the siren to level the game at 5-all at half-time. QSST came back from the half-time break in blistering form, scoring the first four touchdowns of the half to take a 9-5 lead midway through the second half. NSWCCC captain, Sefuiva, led by example shortly after, stepping around the opposition to bring the difference back to three touchdowns, but a double to Theo Majid extended his side’s lead out to five touchdowns. Australian 18’s Boys representative, Mathew Couper, scored his second touchdown for the game, before CCC hit back through Andrew Heffernan. Player of the Final, Lachlan Pierce, continued his impressive game and scored his third touchdown of the half with 90 seconds remaining, to give QSST a six touchdown advantage and claim the title 13-7. NSWCCC’s Josh Rozairo was recognised for his impressive form throughout the event, being named Player of the Series. QSST 13 (Lachlan Pierce 3, Mathew Couper 2, Theo Majid 2, Jackson Luke 2, Jason Norford, Ashley Taylor, Marlon Doak, Luke Swan) defeated NSWCCC 7 (Jonathan Huskins 2, Wesley Sefuiva 2, Luke Tonegato, Andrew Heffernan, Macauley Dawson).Referees: David Baggio, Mick Medlin, Luke McKenzielast_img read more

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Aspiring model charged with firstdegree murder

first_imgLaurie Phan, who once competed in the ATV Miss Asia Toronto in 2013, has turned herself in to police in connection with the February death of Noel Williams.York Regional Police found Williams, 27, suffering from gunshot wounds at a residence in the area of McCowan Rd. and Bur Oak Ave. on Feb. 10 of this year. He was rushed to hospital, where he was later pronounced dead. Police said at the time that the suspect or suspects fled in a vehicle.Phan, 22, has been charged with first-degree murder. Login/Register With: An old profile on a model networking site stated that Phan, then 19 and fresh out of the Miss Asia Toronto competition, was studying nursing and wanted to get into modelling.In the profile, she called herself a “very motivated and determined person” and said she was “interested in fashion, glamour, hair/makeup, promotional modelling, runway, fit modelling and swimwear shoots!” Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisementcenter_img The most recent photo on the site was from 2015, a rosy, tri-colour close-up of her face.She is the second suspect to be charged. Jasper Atienza, 28, was also charged with first-degree murder on April 19.The investigation is on-going.BY ALEXANDRA JONES – TORONTO STAR Advertisement Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

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Timeline for Boeing and Bombardier dispute over the CSeries

first_imgMONTREAL – The timeline of the commercial dispute between Boeing and Bombardier:– April 27: The Chicago giant asks the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) to take action against Bombardier’s business practices.– May 18: The Department of Commerce confirms the beginning of an investigation. Ottawa replies by questioning a military order from Boeing for new Super Hornet jet fighters.– June 9: ITC gives the go-ahead for Washington to continue its investigation into CSeries sales south of the border.– 28 June: At the request of Boeing, the Department of Commerce agrees to delay the disclosure of its preliminary decision on possible punitive duties by two months, until Sept. 25.– Sept. 4: Boeing International Division President Marc Allen says the U.S. giant has no intention to back down and withdraw its complaint against Bombardier.– Sept. 5: British Prime Minister Theresa May, in a telephone conversation with U.S. President Donald Trump, pleads in favour of the Quebec manufacturer, which has more than 4,000 employees in Belfast, Northern Ireland.– Sept. 13: Demonstration in downtown Montreal of hundreds of union members in the aeronautics sector to denounce the Boeing approach.– Sept. 20: Bombardier workers in Toronto walk off the job to support company’s battle against Boeing.– Sept. 24: JetBlue becomes latest U.S. airline to write to the ITC urging it to deny Boeing’s petition, saying tariffs on the aircraft would harm competition and result in higher airfares.– Sept. 26: Department of Commerce announces a hefty 219 per cent preliminary countervailing duty on CSeries exports to the U.S., pending a final determination in February.– Oct. 4: Department of Commerce is expected to announce preliminary anti-dumping duties, but that could be extended.– December: Department of Commerce will release its final determinations.– February: ITC will make its final ruling, imposes any final duties.last_img read more

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Second Cup franchisees file lawsuit against coffee chain over debt ad fund

first_imgMONTREAL — A group of current and past Second Cup Ltd. franchisees has filed a lawsuit against the Canadian coffee chain.The suit filed earlier this month in the Superior Court of Quebec alleges the company misused a franchisee-funded advertising reserve and forced franchisees to acquire debt to fund equipment that failed to boost sales — among other things.None of the claims have been proven in court.The suit stems from an original claim by one Second Cup franchisee against the company that eight other franchisees later asked to join.Second Cup filed a document last week arguing the additional plaintiffs should be treated separately from the first claim as “each claim is extremely fact-specific.”The coffee chain and its lawyer declined to comment.A company spokesperson said the company does not comment on active court matters, particularly if they are at a very early stage of the proceedings. Companies in this story: (TSX:SCU)The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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A pattern from Kargil to Balakot

first_imgNothing could be more serious than the fact that for the very first time in the history of Independent India, eight former service chiefs, including another around 150 veterans, had to write a letter to the President and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces Ram Nath Kovind, urging him to intervene against politicisation of the military in the Lok Sabha elections. Though the letter endorsed by 156 prominent army-men requests the President to take all necessary steps to ‘urgently direct all political parties’ that they must forthwith desist from using the military, military uniforms or symbols and any action by military formations or personnel for political purposes or to further their political agenda, the timing of the letter clearly shows that the army veterans are deeply upset with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appeal to first time voters to dedicate their vote to the memory of Balakot and Pulwama. Modi had even gone to the extent of telling the young voters that if they will push the lotus symbol in EVMs, their vote will directly reach him. Election Commission has also expressed serious displeasure on Modi’s speech in an election rally at Latur in Maharashtra in which he made every effort to take political advantage of the unfortunate incident in Pulwama and a fitting reply by Indian army in Balakot. Prime Minister Modi shows no sign of any hesitation in tearing apart the election code of conduct whenever he gets an opportunity to attract voters. At different times during assembly elections held in the past five years, he never bothered to respect the basic spirit of elections in a democracy. Modi has within him strong defiance for any democratic norm. He always tried to take political advantage of the achievements of Indian Forces after taking over as the Prime Minister. I recall the last day of January 2017, when the then President Pranab Mukherjee mentioned about the surgical strikes in his address to the joint session of Parliament. Modi thumped his desk the loudest and his body language was giving all the credits to this achievement to himself. After September 2017 surgical strikes by the army across the Line of Control, Modi has spared no stone unturned in making such actions the central theme of his government’s stellar achievements. Prime Minister Modi never bothered to consider the negative consequences of using military operations to garner votes for his Bhartiya Janta Party. Even his lieutenants such as Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Aditya Nath have gone to the extent calling the forces as “Modi ki Sena” without giving a thought that it will impinge adversely on the moral and fighting efficiency of those who selflessly serve the nation in uniform. On this, Union Minister (Retd.) Gen. VK Singh also had to criticise his party fellow UP Chief Minister. Modi government had also turned a deaf ear to 21 opposition parties who condemned the blatant politicisation of the armed forces and criticised Modi for not convening an all-party meeting amid the rising Indo-Pak tensions. Modi does not believe in the principle that national security must transcend narrow political considerations. BJP president Amit Shah had announced at the time of the elections in five poll-bound states that two key planks of his party’s electoral campaign would be demonetisation and surgical strike. But then he chose to sideline the demonetisation issue as it was heavily counter-productive and BJP focused on singing the song of surgical strikes. Similar is the situation in ongoing general elections. BJP is busy snatching the credit of various important security operations from the armed forces and scientists and adding it to its political kitty. The real issues of ruined economy, worst job market, inflation, social disharmony and rise of crony capitalism have deliberately been washed away from the national discourse. Some may argue that when Manohar Parrikar is no more amongst us, it is unfair to make any comments on him, but let us not forget how he has been credited with planning and conducting the surgical strikes of 2017, which he also had attributed to his ‘RSS training’. The fact is that Parrikar those days was spending more time in Goa for the preparations of Assembly elections than in strengthening the country’s defence. I have no idea what is there in Modi’s mind for the warriors of Balakot? But you may like to recall that how one-and-a-half year back he could make the surgical strikes the most highly decorated single operation in the history of Indian army by giving 32 awards to personnel who carried out the plan. Soon after that when Parrikar attended a BJP rally at Lucknow, the banners and posters carrying the pictures of director-general of military operations Lieutenant General Ranbir Singh, who was the public face of the surgical strikes, surrounded by the photographs of Modi, Shah and Parrikar were seen at the rally venue and all over Lucknow streets. That was a trailer of BJP’s keenness for the politicisation of army. The current general election is watching a full feature film of this mindset. It is not accidental that Modi has demanded the votes from first-time voters as a return gift to him for what he has done in Balakot. He wants them to believe that only he can ensure India’s safety and security. There is a particular pattern from Kargil to Balakot through which BJP tries to fetch votes in its favour. By creating a political hype of army operations, the issues of colossal intelligence failures at strategic and tactical levels are brushed aside. BJP’s determination to extract maximum political mileage from military achievements is dangerous. We sleep safely at night because tough men stand ready all the time, but we spent sleepless nights when we see people weakening the very roots of our democratic polity by misusing army ventures to harvest their political aims. Enlightened leadership is always spiritual—spirituality not as some kind of religious dogma or ideology but as a domain of awareness. Our political system is fast losing the values of goodness and compassion. Unless we have insight and focused attention to change the scenario during this general election, the Indian dream will shatter for decades to come. Therefore, the electorate, especially our first-time voters have much more responsibility this time. Let’s hope for the best! (The author is Editor & CEO of News Views India and a national office bearer of the Congress party. Views expressed are strictly personal)last_img read more

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Draymond Green Is Key For The Warriors In Game 7

Draymond Green’s playmaking PASSES TO SHOOTEREFG%QSQQSI Games 1-44945.953.9-8.0 Game 5856.353.9+2.3 Crunch time in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals wasn’t subtle. The Oklahoma City Thunder lost the ability to run even basic basketball plays — they had six turnovers in the last five minutes, with four coming in a disastrous two-minute stretch — and Kevin Durant, who has played masterful defense all series, spent the final possessions looking like an overgrown Tim Thomas. Klay Thompson carried the Golden State Warriors with a record-setting 11-for-18 performance from three, and Stephen Curry registered enough of a pulse to get the Warriors over the final hump. But just as important to the Warriors’ Game 6 win as those runs of inept or brilliant play was Draymond Green’s return to form.The Warriors are solid favorites to win Game 7 tonight: -7 at the sports books, 70 percent to win by ESPN Stats & Info’s Basketball Power Index and 68 percent to win by our CARM-Elo forecast. Plenty of factors will go into tonight’s result, including the reemergence of Curry’s shot and handle and the sustained defense of both teams (the Warriors contested 56 of 58 field goal attempts by Durant and Russell Westbrook in Game 6 and forced each to shoot under 40 eFG%, according to player-tracking data). Curry also seemed to begin to solve Durant switching onto him in Game 6. But the Warriors need Green to play in Game 7 like the all-world playmaker of the regular season and Game 6.Green was lively on offense and forceful on defense in Game 6 in ways he wasn’t in Games 3 and 4, both won by the Thunder. He pressured the ball high and made crucial stops in the fourth quarter after the Warriors went to their “Lineup of Death” with about six and a half minutes remaining remaining. And throughout the game, he created shots for the Warriors at a rate and of a quality that was more like his regular season performance, when he was one of the best playmakers in the league.Using player-tracking data from the NBA, we can show Green’s ups and downs as a playmaker. Here’s the qSQ (shot quality expressed as the predicted effective field goal percentage of a shot, as determined by factors like defender location and where the shot came from) and qSI (how much better shooters did than the qSQ prediction) for Green’s passes to shooters in the regular season, and in the Western Conference finals so far. Game 61471.454.1+17.3 Green’s regular season numbers are outstanding — at +5.6, he ranked fourth in the NBA1Among players who passed to shooters at least 500 times. in qSI (meaning his teammates made shots he created for them more than player-tracking data expected), edging out both Russell Westbrook and Chris Paul (each at 5.2). High qSI numbers stem from having good teammates, but just as much, they come from providing value on shots that still escapes the scope of player-tracking data. Mike Conley, for instance, was No. 1 in the league (+6.7) before he went out to injury, and his Memphis Grizzlies are stocked with guys who couldn’t hit the ocean from an aircraft carrier.You can see in the numbers that Green’s passes weren’t very effective early in the series, but you could see this in the games just as easily, particularly in Games 3 and 4. Partly this was due to Durant playing suffocating defense, but Green wasn’t driving, rolling to the rim or putting pressure on the defense in any of the ways that he typically does. The shot difficulty numbers are broadly the same, but this is a place where the numbers don’t tell the whole story, with many of Green’s passes coming a little mistimed or just slightly out of rhythm. The result was a bunch of possessions that looked like this: Green came to life somewhat in Game 5, but in Game 6 he was outstanding. It’s tempting to look at that massive qSI number and assume that Thompson simply shot the Holy Ghost out of the ball, inflating Green’s numbers. That’s a little true — eight of the 14 shots Green created went to Thompson, who hit four, including three of his threes — but Green also created many of those with pressure and timing. In other words, this wasn’t simply the difference between shooters making and missing shots, but a fundamental change in the quality of the shots, even if player-tracking data doesn’t quite catch it.Consider the fast break in the video below, where Green drives into Durant’s chest before passing off to Andre Iguodala. On a similar play in Game 4 (in the above video), he passed off before putting his body on Durant, allowing KD to recover and break up the play. Source: NBA player tracking data Regular season1,06162.056.4+5.6 If Golden State gets more plays like these out of Green in Game 7, the Warriors will be that much closer to regaining their peak form, and likely on their way back to the NBA Finals. read more

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Ronaldo will miss Portugals friendly against Belgium

first_imgThe Portuguese captain, Cristiano Ronaldo will be given a break after his long and tiring season with his club so that he would be totally fit in his return before World Cup kick off.Seleccao is scheduled to have the warm-up game against Belgium in Brussels on Saturday night. Yet, instead of joining his teammate, Ronaldo is in tennis court with his fellow, Miguel Paixao to keep fit during his short break.According to Mirror, Portugal’s head coach, Fernando Santos said that he deserved his rest after playing in 49 games in one season.  He also said, “Cristiano Ronaldo is on holiday,”Franck Ribery, FiorentinaFiorentina owner: “Ribery played better than Ronaldo!” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Fiorentina owner Rocco Commisso was left gushing over Franck Ribery’s performance against Juventus, which he rates above that of even Cristiano Ronaldo’s.“I won’t bother Cristiano by calling him, after a spell where he’s put in so much effort and is tired. I don’t have to talk with Cristiano. Hopefully he can have a great holiday and he can come back in good condition. That’s the important thing.”Portugal will begin their World Cup campaign against Spain on 15th June.last_img read more

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San Diego City Council to consider regulations for dockless scooters and bicycles

first_img April 23, 2019 Updated: 4:41 PM San Diego City Council to consider regulations for dockless scooters and bicycles Posted: April 23, 2019 KUSI Newsroom, center_img SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The San Diego City Council will vote Tuesday on a regulatory package for dockless electric scooters, bicycles and the companies that own them.The package would limit the speed of dockless scooters from 15 mph to 8 mph in high-traffic areas areas like Spanish landing and near Petco park, and as low as 3 mph along the Embarcadero and the Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade.Scooter companies like Bird, Lime and Razor would be required to use geofencing technology on their scooters to limit speeds and parking abilities in designated areas around the city. Bird already uses geofencing to reduce scooter speeds in areas like the Santa Monica Beach Bike Path.Scooter riders would be banned from parking the devices near hospitals, schools, beach area boardwalks, the Petco Park perimeter and the north and south legs of the Embarcadero. The city also plans to designate scooter parking zones along city streets so as to decrease the number of scooters parked on sidewalks. In downtown, scooter riders and companies would only be able to park devices in groups of four, with at least 40 feet between groups.The city would also require that scooter companies obtain a six-month operational permit with a to-be-determined fee and pay $150 per scooter or bike each year to continue operating in San Diego. Companies could renew permits in January or June, at which time they could negotiate operating terms like fleet size, which they are not currently required to report to the city.The council’s Active Transportation and Infrastructure Committee unanimously approved the package in February and requested that it return to the committee within six months of its implementation for further review and to ensure the city is keeping pace with the evolution of technologies like geofencing.The council is scheduled to discuss and vote on the package at its 2 p.m. session. The council will meet in the City Administration Building’s 12th floor Council Chambers, located at 202 C St. KUSI Newsroom Categories: Local San Diego News, Politics FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

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The rise and fall of Anil Ambani Heres how things became worse

first_img Ericsson case: Anil Ambani guilty of contempt, directed to pay Rs 453 crore or face 3 months jail After the death of his father Dhirubhai Ambani, Reliance Industries was divided into two in 2005 with Mukesh Ambani, his elder brother, getting control of the flagship oil-refining and petrochemicals business. Anil got hold of newer businesses for example power generation, financial services and telecom business, having a high potential of growth back then. From this very moment, Anil Ambani-led companies started borrowing heavily to diversify and create a conglomerate that could generate as much wealth as Mukesh’s refining firm Reliance Industries created. IBTimes VideoRelated VideosMore videos Play VideoPauseMute0:01/0:58Loaded: 0%0:01Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE-0:57?Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window. COPY LINKAD Loading … Anil Ambani is facing worst time of his business career.Credit: ReutersEleven years ago, Anil Ambani was one of the wealthiest men in the world. As per Forbes valuation, the younger son of industrialist Dhirubhai Ambani was listed as the world’s sixth richest person in 2008. Just after a decade, he is now struggling to save his reputation. On Friday, the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) refused a plea seeking the tribunal to direct a group of lenders led by State Bank of India (SBI) to release Rs 260 crore of tax refunds to Reliance Communications. Notably, the amount is due to be paid to Ericsson for which the Swedish multinational networking and telecommunications company has approached the Supreme Court (SC).The judgment is a huge setback for Anil Ambani-led Reliance Communications. As per the directions of the apex court, RCom is bound to pay Ericsson its remaining dues of Rs 453 crore by Tuesday to ensure that Ambani doesn’t go to jail. RCom has cleared partial dues of Rs 118 crore of the total Rs 571 crore. How did one of the world’s wealthiest men come this to the sorry state? Let’s find out.center_img Close Anil Ambani’s RCom was doing fairly good till 2010, the year a non-compete clause between him and his elder brother was scrapped which kept Mukesh Ambani out of telecom business. In the cut-throat competition in the growing telecom market, RCom kept borrowing to remain in the fight. RCom started losing position as the No.2 carrier in the telecom market which was further accelerated when Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio entered the market and completely disrupted it with free calls and data. Today, Anil Ambani is facing arrest due to non-payment to the Swedish telecom equipment maker. RCom offered to settle the case but since last year, things have not appeared to reach any conclusion. Only, time will tell Anil Ambani’s fate.last_img read more

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Nwora Will Enter NBA Draft Maintain Collegiate Eligibility

first_img LOUISVILLE, Ky. – University of Louisville forward Jordan Nwora will enter his name in the 2019 NBA Draft pool, but will take steps to maintain his collegiate eligibility to allow a return for his third season with the Cardinals.”Because of the ability to test the waters without losing eligibility, it seems like the perfect opportunity for me to try out with NBA teams and get feedback from them directly regarding my strengths and weaknesses,” said Nwora. “If the feedback is positive, I would stay in the draft. If the feedback indicates I should return to school for continued development, then that’s what I will do. Either way, it is a positive experience that will allow me to find out what specifically NBA teams want me to improve to enhance my draft stock, whether it is for this year or next year.””The NBA and the NCAA continue to shape the undergraduate process of determining draft prospects in a more refined way,” said UofL Head Men’s Basketball Coach Chris Mack. “I fully support Jordan as he tests the draft waters on where he stands in his basketball future. When the time comes to make his decision it will be with feedback straight from the source, the NBA.”New NCAA legislation in effect in 2019 allows college basketball players to be represented by an agent after the season if they request an evaluation from the NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee.  To maintain collegiate availability, the agreement with an agent must be in writing, disclosed, terminated when the student returns to college, as well as meeting other conditions.  Players who request an evaluation, participate in the NBA combine and aren’t drafted can return to school as long as they notify the university by the Monday after the draft.Honored as the 2019 ACC Most Improved Player, Nwora was the second-most improved scorer in the nation with his 17.0 scoring average (sixth in the ACC), up 11.3 points per game from his 5.7 average a year ago.  The All-ACC third team selection is one of five players in the ACC who scored 20 or more points on at least 13 occasions this season.  Nwora scored in double figures in 31 of 34 games and produced nine double-doubles this season.A sophomore from Buffalo, N.Y., Nwora was UofL’s leader in scoring and rebounding (7.7 rpg, ninth in the ACC).  He was also among the ACC leaders in field goal percentage (.446, 12th), three-point field goal percentage (.374, ninth), three-pointers made per game (2.3, 11th), defensive rebounds (6.44 per game, fourth) and minutes played (31.9 per game, 21st).  He was named to the USBWA All-District IV team and NABC All-District 2 team.An exercise science major who was named to the All-ACC Academic men’s basketball team, Nwora scored a career-high 32 points against Boston College in Louisville with 10 rebounds and four assists.  Honored on the 2018 NIT Season Tip-Off All-Tournament team in November, he made at least three three-pointers on 16 occasions this season.  Nwora helped Louisville achieve a 20-14 record against the nation’s third-toughest schedule and participate in its 39th NCAA Tournament.  Picked in the preseason to finish 11th in the ACC, UofL attained a 10-8 conference record and earned a tie for sixth in the final regular season standings.Print Friendly Version Story Linkslast_img read more

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Kelsi Worrell Dahlia Finishes Sixth in the World Championships in the 100

first_imgStory Links Australia’s Emma McKeon won bronze in 56.61 and Elena di Liddo broke her own Italian record to take fourth in 57.07. Australia’s Brianna Throssell (57.09), Worrell Dahlia (57.11), and Sweden’s Louise Hansson (57.16) a nail behind. France’s Marie Wattel took eighth in 57.29.Print Friendly Version University of Louisville swimmer Kelsi Worrell Dahlia finished sixth in the world in the 100M butterfly finals at the FINA World Championships last night in Gwangju, Korea.center_img Kelsi Worrell Dahlia touched in 57.11 to take sixth. The event was won by Canada’s Maggie MacNeil, who won in an upset of favorite Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden. Sjostrom took an early lead, nearly a second ahead of MacNeil, who made the turn sitting in fifth. MacNeil powered past her to win in 55.83 to the Swede’s 56.22. Sjostrom had held all 10 of the all-time top 10 times in the event and was one of two women to ever break 56.last_img read more

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How to Protect Customer Data When Using CreditCard Plugins for Smartphones

first_img Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. March 29, 2012 Limit control over access to those employees who actually take credit card information. Data access and monitoring should be limited to you or your controller. Q: Are those credit card plug-ins for smartphones really PCI compliant? A: First, a primer on Payment Card Industry (PCI) noncompliance. If you fail to protect customers’ credit card data, your business could face hefty–even crippling–penalties and fines from payment processors, and could lose the ability to accept cards altogether. (Then there’s the prospect of facing angry customers demanding to know how fraudulent charges ended up on their credit card statements.)If you think your small operation is too insignificant to bother, think again. According to the PCI Security Standards Council, 80 percent of all credit card security breaches in the U.S. since 2005 have been attributed to small businesses. (For more info, go to PCISecurityStandards.org.)With usage of mobile payments skyrocketing each quarter, understanding and maintaining PCI compliance is vital to protecting your business. As for the security of the hardware attachments (dongles) and software that can turn a smartphone or iPad into a credit card reader, you can breathe easy if you follow PCI rules and common sense, according to Rajat Bhargava, chairman and CEO of StillSecure, a Colorado-based security provider and PCI-compliance expert. Here’s what he suggests.Separate online credit card processing from your business’s main network, ideally with a dedicated computer, smartphone or tablet with its own internet connection. This will reduce the chances of infection from malware downloaded from an e-mail, website or app. Testing Square’s card-processing app on your nephew’s iPhone? That’s a no-no. 2 min readcenter_img Secure the device being used to process credit cards 24/7–both physically and through regularly updated network security apps. Start thinking of your smartphone or iPad as a portable cash register full of money. The last thing you want to do is lose it. This story appears in the April 2012 issue of . Subscribe » Monitor your account regularly–daily is best. You’ll quickly spot any security breach or theft. If you find a breach, have a plan in place and follow it. This will help you validate your compliance measures and could reduce or negate your responsibility for fraud. Register Now »last_img read more

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This Company Wants to Disrupt Ticketmasters Tight Grip on Your Favorite Events

first_imgAugust 11, 2016 Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. 6 min read Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goalscenter_img Services such as Live Nation and its Ticketmaster subsidiary wield control over ticket sales for some of the country’s most popular concerts and sporting events. Customers get rerouted through these sites, bombarded with extra fees and threatened that, if they resell independently, they risk their tickets being voided in an attempt to combat fraud.SeatGeek, founded in 2009, carved a niche as a search engine to help customers find the best deals among tickets being sold and resold online, as well as a place for electronic tickets to safely change hands (or mobile devices, rather) without fraud worries. Today, the company has announced SeatGeek Open, its official entry into primary sales that aims to eventually compete with the ticketing industry’s biggest players.Overall, SeatGeek’s goal is to open up the marketplace (despite the fact that Ticketmaster is trying to keep it as closed as possible). Its key differentiator lies in its open-source technology, which will allow artists, teams, venues and the like to present and sell available tickets directly via social media and ecommerce.Related: What Facebook’s Just Announced Tools Mean for EntrepreneursBy opening up its software, SeatGeek is giving developers and startups the opportunity to innovate new solutions to benefit teams and artists. “Disruption is sort of an overhyped term, but we’ve seen major industries disrupted by taking advantage of secular trends in technology, like mobile, and taking advantage of open APIs,” SeatGeek CEO Jack Groetzinger tells Entrepreneur. “Ticketing is not one that has undergone that yet, and I think that’s because it really lacks the technical underpinning, the technical rails to make it happen, and that’s what we’re providing here.”One area that’s ripe for development, and thereby entrepreneurship, is dynamic pricing. While the airline industry has software that updates flight prices in real time, any pricing fluctuations for sporting events, for instance, have to be calculated manually. “You can imagine a whole ecosystem of companies competing to dynamically price better,” Groetzinger says. “I think at a high level, this is going to catalyze a huge amount of innovation in live entertainment that’s been stifled up to this point.”Any app or website can utilize SeatGeek Open to start selling tickets, provided they receive permission from the team or artist. From there, a seller is also free to post the tickets on more than one app or site at once to expedite sales. SeatGeek will take an “industry competitive standard fee” for each ticket the team or artist sells.“Even the most iconic brands in America, like Apple, sell across many different channels, many different websites, and that’s because it makes sense,” Groetzinger says. “It’s how people can make the most money and optimize their businesses. Ticketing doesn’t operate that way, purely through historical, contractual reasons, not because there’s any sort of inherent logic to it.”With SeatGeek Open, Groetzinger explains, artists or teams will be able to find their fans and sell them tickets where they already are, rather than directing them to a singular website to purchase them. The company believes that this will give customers easier access to tickets, boosting sales.Related: This New Crowdfunding Platform Lets Fans Invest in Music Artists’ SuccessFor example, if a person’s online behavior suggests that he or she is a fan of a certain team or has listened to a particular artist, he or she may find tickets to an upcoming event directly in his or her Instagram feed — and then buy them, right there in the photo-sharing app.In addition to integrating its fraud-proof tech that validates ticket exchanges, SeatGeek Open is also a potential way for sellers to vet buyers. Online ticket sales are highly susceptible to scalpers, but Groetzinger says SeatGeek intends to help sellers outwit these non-fans. On social media, for example, a seller could examine a buyer’s profile to decide whether he or she is a true fan and deny sales to brokers. Artists and teams could also gather data about the actual attendees to help them with targeted marketing for future events.“As we build solutions to help teams and artists better understand the identity of buyers, it’ll be important that we carefully consider what info is and is not appropriate to collect, and that we are transparent with users about this,” Groetzinger says. “It’s important that users know that their privacy is being handled appropriately.”In a hint toward Open, last month, SeatGeek became the official ticketing partner of Major League Soccer and announced its plans to begin integrating MLS ticket sales into third-party platforms. While the release of SeatGeek Open presents opportunities for several new sellers, there’s one major exception: Those who are already bound by contracts.“If the tickets were ticketed via a legacy company like Ticketmaster, then they wouldn’t be part of SeatGeek Open,” Groetzinger says. “Basically, the way it works is teams and venues will sign usually long-term contracts with a particular primary ticket platform. And SeatGeek Open will be adding more and more venues as those contracts expire.”Related: 3 Ways Messaging Will Transform MarketingSeatGeek Open is also a move to keep up with StubHub, which was originally founded as a marketplace for reselling tickets but inked a primary deal with the Philadelphia 76ers earlier this year to be its official ticketing partner for the 2016-2017 NBA season. The possibility for integration with social networks and ecommerce sites is SeatGeek Open’s defining factor. Plus, just as StubHub allows for third-party resale rather than confining consumers to its walled garden, SeatGeek Open technology works with StubHub.“If you resold your ticket on StubHub,” Groetzinger says, “StubHub could integrate with these SeatGeek Open APIs to reissue that ticket to the recipient, so that they know they’re going to get a verified ticket to get into the game.” Register Now »last_img read more

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A5 closed following accident near M6

first_imgGet the biggest Daily stories by emailSubscribeSee our privacy noticeThank you for subscribingSee our privacy noticeCould not subscribe, try again laterInvalid EmailThe A5 is closed in both directions between the M6 and Cannock following an accident this evening. Staffordshire Police are leading the response to the accident, between junction 12 of the motorway and the A4601, south of Cannock. It is unclear how many vehicles are involved in the accident, which is understood to have taken place at around 10pm. We do not have any information on whether anyone has been injured, but the road is expected to remain closed for several hours as a result of the accident. A Highways England spokesman said: “The A5 is closed in both directions, between the A4601, just south of Cannock and the M6 J12, due to a collision, led by Staffordshire Police. “Information from scene indicates that the A5 will remain closed for a few hours.” Read MoreFour roads closed due after road accident brings down power cables Motorists are advised to seek alternate routes for now. We will bring you more on this story as we get it.last_img read more

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How to Build TensorFlow Models for Mobile and Embedded devices

first_imgTensorFlow models can be used in applications running on mobile and embedded platforms. TensorFlow Lite and TensorFlow Mobile are two flavors of TensorFlow for resource-constrained mobile devices. TensorFlow Lite supports a subset of the functionality compared to TensorFlow Mobile. It results in better performance due to smaller binary size with fewer dependencies. The article covers topics for training a model to integrate TensorFlow into an application. The model can then be saved and used for inference and prediction in the mobile application. This article is an excerpt from the book Mastering TensorFlow 1.x written by Armando Fandango. This book will help you leverage the power of TensorFlow and Keras to build deep learning models, using concepts such as transfer learning, generative adversarial networks, and deep reinforcement learning. To learn how to use TensorFlow models on mobile devices, following topics are covered: TensorFlow on mobile platforms TF Mobile in Android apps TF Mobile demo on Android TF Mobile demo on iOS TensorFlow Lite TF Lite demo on Android TF Lite demo on iOS TensorFlow on mobile platforms TensorFlow can be integrated into mobile apps for many use cases that involve one or more of the following machine learning tasks: Speech recognition Image recognition Gesture recognition Optical character recognition Image or text classification Image, text, or speech synthesis Object identification To run TensorFlow on mobile apps, we need two major ingredients: A trained and saved model that can be used for predictions A TensorFlow binary that can receive the inputs, apply the model, produce the predictions, and send the predictions as output The high-level architecture looks like the following figure: The mobile application code sends the inputs to the TensorFlow binary, which uses the trained model to compute predictions and send the predictions back. TF Mobile in Android apps The TensorFlow ecosystem enables it to be used in Android apps through the interface class  TensorFlowInferenceInterface, and the TensorFlow Java API in the jar file libandroid_tensorflow_inference_java.jar. You can either use the jar file from the JCenter, download a precompiled jar from ci.tensorflow.org, or build it yourself. The inference interface has been made available as a JCenter package and can be included in the Android project by adding the following code to the build.gradle file: allprojects  {repositories  {jcenter()}}dependencies  {compile  ‘org.tensorflow:tensorflow-android:+’} Note : Instead of using the pre-built binaries from the JCenter, you can also build them yourself using Bazel or Cmake by following the instructions at this link: https://github.com/tensorflow/tensorflow/blob/r1.4/ tensorflow/contrib/android/README.md Once the TF library is configured in your Android project, you can call the TF model with the following four steps:  Load the model: TensorFlowInferenceInterface  inferenceInterface  =new  TensorFlowInferenceInterface(assetManager,  modelFilename);  Send the input data to the TensorFlow binary: inferenceInterface.feed(inputName, floatValues,  1,  inputSize,  inputSize,  3);  Run the prediction or inference: inferenceInterface.run(outputNames,  logStats);  Receive the output from the TensorFlow binary: inferenceInterface.fetch(outputName,  outputs); TF Mobile demo on Android In this section, we shall learn about recreating the Android demo app provided by the TensorFlow team in their official repo. The Android demo will install the following four apps on your Android device: TF  Classify: This is an object identification app that identifies the images in the input from the device camera and classifies them in one of the pre-defined classes. It does not learn new types of pictures but tries to classify them into one of the categories that it has already learned. The app is built using the inception model pre-trained by Google. TF  Detect: This is an object detection app that detects multiple objects in the input from the device camera. It continues to identify the objects as you move the camera around in continuous picture feed mode. TF  Stylize: This is a style transfer app that transfers one of the selected predefined styles to the input from the device camera. TF  Speech: This is a speech recognition app that identifies your speech and if it matches one of the predefined commands in the app, then it highlights that specific command on the device screen. Note: The sample demo only works for Android devices with an API level greater than 21 and the device must have a modern camera that supports FOCUS_MODE_CONTINUOUS_PICTURE. If your device camera does not have this feature supported, then you have to add the path submitted to TensorFlow by the author: https://github.com/ tensorflow/tensorflow/pull/15489/files. The easiest way to build and deploy the demo app on your device is using Android Studio. To build it this way, follow these steps:  Install Android Studio. We installed Android Studio on Ubuntu 16.04 from the instructions at the following link: https://developer.android.com/studio/ install.html  Check out the TensorFlow repository, and apply the patch mentioned in the previous tip. Let’s assume you checked out the code in the tensorflow folder in your home directory.  Using Android Studio, open the Android project in the path ~/tensorflow/tensorflow/examples/Android. Your screen will look similar to this:  Expand the Gradle Scripts option from the left bar and then open the  build.gradle file.  In the build.gradle file, locate the def  nativeBuildSystem definition and set it to ‘none’. In the version of  the code we checked out, this definition is at line 43: def  nativeBuildSystem  =  ‘none’  Build the demo and run it on either a real or simulated device. We tested the app on these devices: 7.  You can also build the apk and install the apk file on the virtual or actual connected device. Once the app installs on the device, you will see the four apps we discussed earlier: You can also build the whole demo app from the source using Bazel or Cmake by following the instructions at this link: https://github.com/tensorflow/tensorflow/tree/r1.4/tensorflow/examples/android TF Mobile in iOS apps TensorFlow enables support for iOS apps by following these steps:  Include TF Mobile in your app by adding a file named Profile in the root directory of your project. Add the following content to the Profile: target  ‘Name-Of-Your-Project’pod  ‘TensorFlow-experimental’  Run the pod  install command to download and install the TensorFlow Experimental pod.  Run the myproject.xcworkspace command to open the workspace so you can add the      prediction code to your application logic. Note: To create your own TensorFlow binaries for iOS projects, follow the instructions at this link: https://github.com/tensorflow/tensorflow/ tree/master/tensorflow/examples/ios Once the TF library is configured in your iOS project, you can call the TF model with the following four steps:  Load the model: PortableReadFileToProto(file_path,  &tensorflow_graph);  Create a session: tensorflow::Status  s  =  session->Create(tensorflow_graph);  Run the prediction or inference and get the outputs: std::string  input_layer  =  “input”; std::string  output_layer  =  “output”; std::vector  outputs; tensorflow::Status  run_status  =  session->Run({{input_layer,  image_tensor}},{output_layer},  {},  &outputs);  Fetch the output data: tensorflow::Tensor*  output  =  &outputs[0]; TF Mobile demo on iOS In order to build the demo on iOS, you need Xcode 7.3 or later. Follow these steps to build the iOS demo apps:  Check out the TensorFlow code in a tensorflow folder in your home directory.  Open a terminal window and execute the following commands from your home folder to download the Inception V1 model, extract the label and graph files, and move these files into the data folders inside the sample app code: $ mkdir -p ~/Downloads$ curl -o ~/Downloads/inception5h.zip https://storage.googleapis.com/download.tensorflow.org/models/incep tion5h.zip && unzip ~/Downloads/inception5h.zip -d ~/Downloads/inception5h$ cp ~/Downloads/inception5h/* ~/tensorflow/tensorflow/examples/ios/benchmark/data/$ cp ~/Downloads/inception5h/* ~/tensorflow/tensorflow/examples/ios/camera/data/$ cp ~/Downloads/inception5h/* ~/tensorflow/tensorflow/examples/ios/simple/data/  Navigate to one of the sample folders and download the experimental pod: $ cd ~/tensorflow/tensorflow/examples/ios/camera$ pod install  Open the Xcode workspace: $ open tf_simple_example.xcworkspace  Run the sample app in the device simulator. The sample app will appear with a Run Model button. The camera app requires an Apple device to be connected, while the other two can run in a simulator too. TensorFlow Lite TF Lite is the new kid on the block and still in the developer view at the time of writing this book. TF Lite is a very small subset of TensorFlow Mobile and TensorFlow, so the binaries compiled with TF Lite are very small in size and deliver superior performance. Apart from reducing the size of binaries, TensorFlow employs various other techniques, such as: The kernels are optimized for various device and mobile architectures The values used in the computations are quantized The activation functions are pre-fused It leverages specialized machine learning software or hardware available on the device, such as the Android NN API The workflow for using the models in TF Lite is as follows: Get the model: You can train your own model or pick a pre-trained model available from different sources, and use the pre-trained as is or retrain it with your own data, or retrain after modifying some parts of the model. As long as you have a trained model in the file with an extension .pb or .pbtxt, you are good to proceed to the next step. We learned how to save the models in the previous chapters. Checkpoint the model: The model file only contains the structure of the graph, so you need to save the checkpoint file. The checkpoint file contains the serialized variables of the model, such as weights and biases. We learned how to save a checkpoint in the previous chapters. Freeze the model: The checkpoint and the model files are merged, also known as freezing the graph. TensorFlow provides the freeze_graph tool for this step, which can be executed as follows: $ freeze_graph–input_graph=mymodel.pb–input_checkpoint=mycheckpoint.ckpt–input_binary=true–output_graph=frozen_model.pb–output_node_name=mymodel_nodes Convert the model: The frozen model from step 3 needs to be converted to TF Lite format with the toco tool provided by TensorFlow: $ toco–input_file=frozen_model.pb–input_format=TENSORFLOW_GRAPHDEF–output_format=TFLITE–input_type=FLOAT–input_arrays=input_nodes–output_arrays=mymodel_nodes–input_shapes=n,h,w,c  The .tflite model saved in step 4 can now be used inside an Android or iOS app that employs the TFLite binary for inference. The process of including the TFLite binary in your app is continuously evolving, so we recommend the reader follows the information at this link to include the TFLite binary in your Android or iOS app: https://github.com/tensorflow/tensorflow/tree/master/ tensorflow/contrib/lite/g3doc Generally, you would use the graph_transforms:summarize_graph tool to prune the model obtained in step 1. The pruned model will only have the paths that lead from input to output at the time of inference or prediction. Any other nodes and paths that are required only for training or for debugging purposes, such as saving checkpoints, are removed, thus making the size of the final model very small. The official TensorFlow repository comes with a TF Lite demo that uses a pre-trained mobilenet to classify the input from the device camera in the 1001 categories. The demo app displays the probabilities of the top three categories. TF Lite Demo on Android To build a TF Lite demo on Android, follow these steps: Install Android Studio. We installed Android Studio on Ubuntu 16.04 from the instructions at the following link: https://developer.android.com/studio/ install.html Check out the TensorFlow repository, and apply the patch mentioned in the previous tip. Let’s assume you checked out the code in the tensorflow folder in your home directory. Using Android Studio, open the Android project from the path ~/tensorflow/tensorflow/contrib/lite/ java/demo. If it complains about a missing SDK or Gradle components, please install those components and sync Gradle. Build the project and run it on a virtual device with API > 21. We received the following warnings, but the build succeeded. You may want to resolve the warnings if the build fails: Warning:The  Jack  toolchain  is  deprecated  and  will  not run.  To  enable  support  for  Java  8 language  features  built into  the  plugin,  remove  ‘jackOptions  {  …  }’  from  your build.gradle  file, and  add android.compileOptions.sourceCompatibility  1.8 android.compileOptions.targetCompatibility  1.8 Note:  Future  versions  of  the  plugin  will  not  support  usage ‘jackOptions’  in  build.gradle. To learn  more,  go  to https://d.android.com/r/tools/java-8-support-message.html Warning:The  specified  Android  SDK  Build  Tools  version (26.0.1)  is  ignored,  as  it  is  below  the minimum  supported version  (26.0.2)  for  Android  Gradle  Plugin  3.0.1. Android  SDK  Build  Tools 26.0.2  will  be  used. To  suppress  this  warning,  remove  “buildToolsVersion ‘26.0.1’”  from  your  build.gradle  file,  as  each  version  of the  Android  Gradle  Plugin  now  has  a  default  version  of the  build  tools. TF Lite demo on iOS In order to build the demo on iOS, you need Xcode 7.3 or later. Follow these steps to build the iOS demo apps:  Check out the TensorFlow code in a tensorflow folder in your home directory.  Build the TF Lite binary for iOS from the instructions at this link: https://github.com/tensorflow/tensorflow/tree/master/tensorflow/contrib/lite  Navigate to the sample folder and download the pod: $ cd ~/tensorflow/tensorflow/contrib/lite/examples/ios/camera$ pod install  Open the Xcode workspace: $ open tflite_camera_example.xcworkspace  Run the sample app in the device simulator. We learned about using TensorFlow models on mobile applications and devices. TensorFlow provides two ways to run on mobile devices: TF Mobile and TF Lite. We learned how to build TF Mobile and TF Lite apps for iOs and Android. We used TensorFlow demo apps as an example. If you found this post useful, do check out the book Mastering TensorFlow 1.x  to skill up for building smarter, faster, and efficient machine learning and deep learning systems. Read Next: The 5 biggest announcements from TensorFlow Developer Summit 2018 Getting started with Q-learning using TensorFlow Implement Long-short Term Memory (LSTM) with TensorFlowlast_img read more

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Chet Kanojia Following its damaging legal defeat l

first_imgChet KanojiaFollowing its damaging legal defeat last week, US cloud TV service Aereo has suspended its operation, but is already planning how it will hit back.The decision has been made to “temporarily” pause operations as the company maps out its “next steps”. All paying customers will be refunded their last paid month as a consultation period plays out.Last Wednesday (June 25), the US Supreme Court ruled Aereo was illegally broadcasting signals from American broadcasters over-the-top, which delivered a near-fatal blow to the firm.In a letter to customers, Aereo founder and CEO Chet Kanojia said the verdict dealt “a massive setback to consumers”, and noted the case had been returned to a lower court.Kanojia called on subscribers to protest against the decision and sign up to a connected website, ProtectMyAntenna.com. “Our journey is far from done,” he said.“The spectrum that the broadcasters use to transmit over the air programming belongs to the American public and we believe you should have a right to access that live programming whether your antenna sits on the roof of your home, on top of your television or in the cloud,” said Kanojia.Aereo will now consult with the court before deciding whether to press on with legal proceedings.last_img read more

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Todays article comes to us from world traveler a

first_img[Today’s article comes to us from world traveler and quintessential “international man” Dr. Jack Wheeler.] Jamestown, St. Helena, South Atlantic Ocean. If you have ever heard of this little 47 square mile island lost in a vast sea, 1,200 miles west of Africa and 1,800 miles east of Brazil, it’s because here is where the British exiled Napoleon after Waterloo, and here is where he died. The 5.5 years of Napoleon’s exile – October 15, 1815 to his death on May 5, 1821 – dominate the island’s 500-year history. For the last 354 years, since 1659, it has been a British possession. Yet such is the grip of Napoleon that the Brits ceded the home and property of where he lived in exile on St. Helena – called Longwood House – to the government of France. It is French territory, as is his original burial place nearby. Moreover, there is a Consul appointed by the French government, who lives in a diplomat’s mansion on the island. Personally, I have no regard for a megalomaniac responsible for the deaths of millions of people. The Brits should have treated him as a war criminal, executed him by firing squad aboard a ship far out to sea, and dumped his body in the ocean. But no. Instead the Brits treated this mass murderer, because he called himself “Emperor” and dressed himself in ermine robes, with the same honor and respect as if he were royalty. This has tainted St. Helena and its people ever since. You have to wonder though, after learning the island’s history, whether it has been tainted from the beginning. This place is a paradise – or rather, it’s a place that always could have been but never was. The people of St. Helena like to call themselves “Saints.” In a number of odd and interesting ways, they are the saints who lost paradise. And it turns out those ways are very relevant and instructive for us today. The folks who originally made it a paradise were the Portuguese. A captain named João da Nova returning from India was blown off course in 1502, and discovered an uninhabited island which he named St. Helena (the mother of Roman Emperor Constantine who converted him to Christianity) as it was her Saint’s Day (May 21). He had meant to keep a course up Africa’s west coast, but realized the prevailing winds (the southeast trades) made it quicker and easier to sail via this island that was lush and verdant, with a perfect climate for growing anything, and that no one knew about. The Portuguese converted it into a replenishment station to resupply ships on the way back home from India, planting fruit trees (fig, lemon, orange, pomegranate), plus vegetables and herbs, and left pigs and goats to breed – all for food for ships’ crews. They never colonized it nor built a settlement, and kept it a secret for 86 years. Then a British captain, Thomas Cavendish, found it in 1588, and soon British pirates used it to waylay Portuguese ships heavily laden with riches from the East. When the Dutch learned of St. Helena, they began fighting the Brits over it, and the Portuguese left in disgust that their peaceful paradise was spoiled. Even though the Brits and Dutch fought over it, strangely enough neither settled there, until 1659 when the British East India Company landed the first people to ever live on St. Helena. The fruit trees were flourishing, plenty of pigs and goats to eat (not to mention swarms of fish in the sea), plenty of water, forests, fertile land – and somehow these folks, even with African slaves, managed to go hungry. In 1672, the first of many mutinies and rebellions occurred, when the settlers seized the East India Company’s Governor of the island and shipped him back to England. Settlers and soldiers stationed by the Company mutinied and forcibly removed subsequent Governors in 1674, 1684, and 1693. The Company insisted a large contingent of soldiers was necessary to guard the island, among whom drunkenness was a constant problem. Whenever there wasn’t enough booze (rum shipped from the Caribbean or an island-made tequila distilled from fermented prickly pear juice), they would threaten to mutiny. The biggest was the Christmas Mutiny of 1783, after which ten soldiers were hung. All through this, the settlers and their slaves couldn’t manage to adequately feed and work for themselves. So in 1810, the Company imported hundreds of Chinese laborers. When Napoleon arrived in 1815, they built Longwood House and cultivated its gardens. The British spent a fortune guarding Napoleon to prevent his escaping as he had previously at Elba (an island just off the west coast of Italy, easy to escape from). 2,000 more soldiers were stationed on the island, and Royal Navy ships constantly patrolled the coastline. Napoleon and his entourage dined with fine cuisine and wines every night. He had his personal library of 1,847 books, he dictated his memoirs, his entourage doted on him, he had a life of peace and leisure. Yet he deteriorated rapidly. There are many contemporary drawings of him at Longwood, showing him getting fatter, older, and more depressed with each year. By 1820, he looked like an aged old man. When he died of stomach cancer the next year, he was 51 years old. The Brits withdrew their guarding soldiers and patrolling ships, and the islanders slid back into their usual poverty. In 1832, the East India Company turned control of the island to the Crown. St. Helena became a British Crown Colony and slavery was abolished, with 2,200 African slaves (one third of the population) liberated. The Colony was instructed to become self-sufficient – which, after an almost unbroken string of failed attempts, it has proved unable to do so to this day. From the 1840s through the 1870s, every attempt to establish the island as a whaling center failed. In 1869, the Suez Canal opened, so ships had no need to go around Africa (and stop at the island) to get to and from the Orient. More isolated than ever, the islanders turned to flax. Seedlings were imported from New Zealand, and grew like weeds. Flax mills were built to convert flax into fiber for rope and twine. Flax, however, is a plantation plant harvested with mechanization. On the mountainous slopes of the island, it could only be harvested by hand. Excepting a few rare interludes over the next 90 years, the flax industry could only be supported by government subsidy, and collapsed immediately after the subsidy was finally withdrawn in 1966. An attempt at establishing a lace-making industry failed in 1907, followed by the failure of a fish-canning factory in 1909. The islanders, it seems, just weren’t very good at catching fish. They never have been, accounting for the failure of another fish cannery in 1957. Another thing Saints have never been any good at is growing food. Valleys once full of groves of fruit trees left by the Portuguese became dead and stony due to neglect. Land cleared for pasture was allowed to erode away. The islanders were as bad at farming and husbandry as they were at fishing. They’ve been like that since the 1660s and are now. Most fruit, such as lemons and oranges, are imported today. It’s the same with most meat and vegetables, imported from South Africa. Tristan’s 262 people can feed themselves in a far harsher environment, but St. Helena, with some 3,000 people and thousands of acres of far more fertile land, cannot. What could account for centuries of incompetence and failure on this lush, beautiful island? What happened last week, before we got here, might help explain. A large cruise ship arrived, enroute to Cape Town, carrying 900 passengers. Not one of them was able to step ashore. Jamestown, the only place to make a landing, has no harbor – not even an itsy-bitsy one like Tristan with an itsy-bitsy breakwater. The Jamestown Wharf has no dock, no breakwater, nothing’s enclosed, the swell just slams into these concrete steps straight on. Last week, the swell was so large that it wasn’t safe for the ship’s tenders to offload passengers – so the ship finally sailed away, with 900 very angry and frustrated people aboard. Tristan can’t expand its micro-harbor as the water’s so deep. But Jamestown’s anchorage is shallow, making it far easier to construct a safe harbor – yet the Saints never bothered. Last week, they just shrugged their shoulders at the loss of business from 900 customers. I’m on a small expedition ship. There’s only 54 of us, and we use Zodiac inflatables to make landings. The swell is down a bit this week, so we all got ashore. We found most stores closed. It’s a Saint tradition that everything shuts down on Wednesday afternoons – and it just doesn’t matter if there are visitors in town willing to spend money. So I went off to climb Jacob’s Ladder. Jamestown is in a narrow valley open to the sea, two blocks wide and a mile long. In 1829, the Brits built what is still the world’s longest continuous stairway, 699 10-inch steps, at a gradient of 39° to 44°, to a fort at the top of the hill above the town. Going up Jacob’s Ladder wasn’t so bad – it was coming down fast that blew out my quadriceps. So I retired to the locals’ main watering hole, the bar at the Consulate Hotel, for a cold beer. There, old-timer Saints like Trevor and Geoff were happy to tell me how St. Helena was Paradise Lost. “I’d say the Saints’ problem has always been lack of enterprise,” Trevor let me know. “You say you’ve been to Tristan, right? They really know how to fish there, how to work hard, how to raise their sheep and grow potatoes. Here, folks don’t know and don’t want to know, they don’t care. They’d rather be poor and hungry than work hard. Been that way for centuries, why everything here always fails.” Geoff stepped in. “That may all be true – the government is always complaining about the Saints’ ‘lack of motivated labor,’ as they put it. But the government has always been the problem here, all the rules and very little private property, first of the Company and then the Crown ever since. All these ‘civil servants’ sent from London to run our lives – we call them ‘inky fingers.’ Their fingers used to be stained from handling the carbon copies of their forms in triplicate.” We all laughed hard and ordered another beer. I told them, “I have a news flash for you guys. In America, it’s just as bad now. Our lives are controlled by Obama’s inky-finger bureaucrats.” Geoff asked, “Are people in America leaving or staying? It won’t be as bad as here until lots of people leave and won’t stay. Then it keeps getting bad. For three centuries here, people with gumption left the island to work elsewheres like South Africa or England. Those with no gumption stayed. You say you’ve been to the Falklands – bet you met a lot of Saints working hard there, right?” I nodded. I thought of Carl, who managed the Malvina House Hotel in Stanley so well, and other smart, capable Saints I knew there. A fellow named Bob joined us. With a smile, he said, “Well, you might use these two as examples. Both are from old Saint families, born and raised on the island, then Geoff here joined the British Merchant Marine and sailed the world, while Trevor went to the UK and became a London cabbie. Do you know how smart you have to be with an encyclopedia in your head to be one of them?” I certainly did and said so. Trevor acknowledged the compliment. “Yes, for 37 years I was, and now we’re retired – Bob here was with the RAF (British Royal Air Force) – so we’ve come back home to live, where our pensions can easily carry us. Look around town, you’ll see many of us, and youngsters, but fewer of working age. They’ve left, and the remits (remittances) they send back to their families are what keep this economy afloat.” Bob added, “That and all the government paychecks everyone gets, for unemployment or a make-work government job.” I asked them, with almost no crime at all on the island, why did I see uniformed police walking in ones and twos all over town? “More make-work with government money,” came the answer. “Most of them are nice, but it’s still more government control, and more rules to enforce that are made up by the inky fingers.” Government control really is the universal social poison. Combine it with a flawed culture, and you get failure every time. The Saints were given a paradise, but they were never given freedom, not by the East India Company nor the British Crown. They never developed a work ethic, a determination to thrive, as did the people of Tristan. Those that did have it expressed it by leaving. The future of St. Helena may not be good, at least for the Saints. An international airport is being built on the island, by a South African company at British government expense. A “tourist boom” is expected, but just how and for whom is not clear. St. Helena is a beautiful place, but there are no beaches, there’s little wildlife, its history can be experienced in a morning’s tour of Longwood House and an afternoon walk in Jamestown. The airport should be completed by 2016 and the island is utterly unready. Not a single airline has committed to flying here. There’s no tourist infrastructure nor people trained in the tourist industry, and given the Saints’ work ethic, it’s unlikely there will be. Which means there’s going to be a huge influx of foreign labor to build the hotels and staff them and various tourist services. If the tourists come, on airlines willing to bring them. The whole thing may be the biggest St. Helena Failure of all. It may succeed, but those succeeding will be the foreign workers, managers, and business owners. Most Saints will remain on government paychecks, while Trevor, Geoff, and Bob will be at the Consulate Bar gently laughing about it all over a cold beer. The first Americans – settlers from England in the 1600s like the Saints – were given a paradise. And they were given their freedom. They put them together to develop a determination to thrive like no other people on earth. Yet freedom-destroying government control and subsidies can sap that determination out of any culture, and can cause the loss of any paradise. Ronald Reagan called America “the last, best hope of mankind.” The loss of a paradise on a volcanic speck in the South Atlantic Ocean means nothing, save to the tiny number of people who live there. The loss of the American Paradise of Freedom and Prosperity would be an incalculable loss for all of humanity. We haven’t lost it yet, but we’re losing more of it day by day, inch by inch. We’re losing what the Saints never had, a culture of freedom, self-sufficiency, personal responsibility, the determination to thrive, a culture not controlled by inky fingers. The Saints never had this, so it’s hard for them to acquire it. But we did have it, and we still have enough of a residue to get it back. We’re not Saints, we’re Americans. It’s time to shake off control of Zero’s inky fingers. [Editor’s Note: Once called “Indiana Jones of the Right” by The Washington Post, Dr. Jack Wheeler is the founder of To The Point, a website that serves as “The Oasis for Rational Conservatives”. Learn more at www.tothepointnews.com.]last_img read more

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Goldsmith Why I Work For Doug Casey Now—EyeOpeni

first_img Goldsmith: Why I Work For Doug Casey Now—Eye-Opening Report from Former Stansberry Director Sean Goldsmith recently left Stansberry to work alongside one of the most influential economists in the world today, Doug Casey. Goldsmith explains the full details here. Recommended Links The deals keep getting bigger…and one of the gravest financial warnings of 2015 keeps growing in relevance. Last month, legendary investor Carl Icahn publically warned that cheap money is fueling a bubble in dealmaking. Icahn said: …[W]hat [companies] do with the money is almost perverse. They just go in and buy another company to show analysts on Wall Street that earnings are going up, so their stock will go up and it’s financial engineering at its height. Icahn is known for buying huge stakes in “broken” companies…taking a seat on the board…and trying to turn the companies around. He knows more than almost anyone about buying companies. •  Last week, we were reminded of Icahn’s warning… On Thursday, pharmaceutical giant Pfizer (PFE) revealed plans to buy drugmaker Allergan PLC (AGN). Pfizer is the 12th-largest publicly-traded U.S. company. It’s worth $213 billion. Allergan is another huge drug company. It’s worth $123 billion. If the deal goes through, it would create the sixth-largest publicly-traded company in the U.S. The new company would dethrone Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) as the world’s largest healthcare company. Pfizer-Allergan would be biggest deal in a monster year for mergers and acquisitions. On Sunday, Financial Times said 2015 is shaping up to be the biggest year ever for global dealmaking: With close to $4tn worth of deals already announced this year, 2015 is on track to beat the all-time record of 2007, when the credit bubble helped generate $4.3tn worth of transactions. •  Pfizer has already made a big acquisition this year… In September, Pfizer completed its $15 billion purchase of pharmaceutical company Hospira. Pfizer’s management hopes these deals will help the company start growing again. Pfizer’s annual sales have declined, for the last four years, by an average of 6.5% per year. – The Fed’s Crazy Plan Zero percent interest rates have led to the largest amount of malinvestment in human history. How will the Fed’s historic monetary experiment end? And how will it affect you? To get Marc Faber’s insight into these questions and more, click here.center_img Regards, Justin Spittler Delray Beach, Florida November 2, 2015 We want to hear from you. If you have a question or comment, please send it to feedback@caseyresearch.com. We read every email that comes in, and we’ll publish comments, questions, and answers that we think other readers will find useful. If management’s track record is any indication, the acquisition of Allergan won’t create value for Pfizer’s shareholders. Since 2000, Pfizer has spent more than $235 billion buying other companies. However, Pfizer is only worth $213 billion today. Pfizer isn’t the only company in the healthcare sector making big deals. Last week, Financial Times reported global healthcare companies have announced $850 billion worth of deals this year. In July, health insurance company Anthem (ANTM) agreed to buy rival Cigna (CI) for $48.3 billion. The deal will create the nation’s largest health insurer. And last Tuesday, pharmacy chain Walgreens (WBA) bought rival Rite Aid (RAD) for $17 billion. It was a pricey acquisition…Walgreens paid more than a 50% premium to Rite Aid’s share price, and 21 times Rite Aid’s book value. •  Record low interest rates are driving the massive increase in dealmaking… During the 2008 financial crisis, the Federal Reserve dropped its key interest rate to effectively zero. The Fed has held rates near zero ever since. Seven years of zero percent rates have made it ridiculously cheap to borrow money. Many companies have used this as an opportunity to buy out competitors with borrowed money. According to the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, U.S. corporations borrowed a record of $1.2 trillion in the bond market through the first nine months of 2015. •  Buying a competitor can boost sales and profits… But Carl Icahn notes the “high” usually wears off quick. Last month, Icahn said buying a company with borrowed money was like “taking a drug.” It can cause sales and profits to jump, but the benefit usually only lasts a year or two. Icahn says U.S. companies are buying up rivals to goose their earnings numbers. He says this is masking major problems in corporate America. And the facts back up his claim… Last week, The Wall Street Journal explained how U.S. business investment has stalled since the financial crisis: Business investment in the real economy is weak. While U.S. gross domestic product rose 8.7% from late 2007 through 2014, gross private investment was a mere 4.3% higher. Growth in nonresidential fixed investment remains substantially lower than the last six post-recession expansions. Instead of investing to build their businesses, companies are taking a shortcut to growth by buying other companies. In July, Forbes reported that 54% of CEOs in the U.S. plan to complete an acquisition by the end of the year. •  Earnings growth has been sluggish… Earnings for companies in the S&P 500 have only grown 6.9% annually since 2011. That’s far less than during past economic expansions, according to The Wall Street Journal. Earnings grew 12.9% per year between 2003 and 2007. They grew at 11% per year between 1995 and 1999… As of Friday, 340 companies in the S&P 500 reported third-quarter results. So far, earnings have declined 2.2% from last year. We can’t know for sure until all the results are in, but it appears that earnings will decline overall this quarter. If that happens, research firm FactSet says it will be the first time since 2009 that earnings have declined two quarters in a row. If you’ve been listening to Icahn’s warnings, this bad earnings news shouldn’t be a surprise. Instead of investing in their businesses, companies are using cheap money and financial engineering to boost profits. That can work for a while. But once the “high” wears off, you’re left within shrinking profits and no growth. Chart of the Day Don’t buy into the “recovery” hype… Today’s chart shows the number of people enrolled in the U.S. federal food stamp program. As you might expect, the number of people on food stamps surged during the financial crisis. However, food stamp usage kept rising through 2013. More than forty million Americans are still on food stamps today, nearly double the pre-crisis number. This isn’t what a healthy, growing economy looks like. —last_img read more

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US Supreme Court Allows Part of Trumps Travel Ban to Take Effect

first_img Enroll Now for $5 Trump & Business Lydia Belanger The ban ‘may not be enforced against foreign nationals who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.’ Image credit: Eric Thayer / Stringer | Getty Images U.S. Supreme Court Allows Part of Trump’s Travel Ban to Take Effect Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful.center_img Add to Queue Next Article 4 min read –shares The Supreme Court ruled Monday to reinstate a limited version of President Donald Trump’s executive order, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States,” better known as the travel ban.It will go into effect on June 29 (72 hours after the Supreme Court’s ruling was issued), with the following exception: The ban “may not be enforced against foreign nationals who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States,” according to the Supreme Court ruling. This ruling applies to tourists as well as students accepted into U.S. higher education institutions or employees of companies in the U.S. seeking new visas.The ban, which restricts foreign nationals from six Muslim-majority countries — Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — from entering the United States for a period of 90 days, as well as refugees from any country from entering the U.S. for 120 days, was blocked by federal circuit courts earlier this year prior to being implemented, on March 15. The block has been upheld by appeals courts. Judges in these courts cited insufficient evidence of national security risk, as well as discrimination against Muslims, in their rulings of the travel ban’s unconstitutionality.Today is the last day before the Supreme Court goes on summer break; the justices will reconvene on Oct. 2 and will hear full oral arguments for the case sometime after that. The Trump administration originally issued the 90-day ban on national security grounds and has stated it will perform an internal review of vetting procedures for visa applicants from the six countries specified during the 90-day period. The justices said they “fully expect” this review should be complete prior to Oct. 2, so the case may no longer be relevant by then.Some have expressed concern that the “credible claim of a bona fide relationship” language in the Supreme Court’s June 26 ruling leaves too much room for individual interpretation and discretion — including Justice Clarence Thomas. He wrote in his opinion that it will “burden executive officials with the task of deciding — on peril of contempt — whether individuals from the six affected nations who wish to enter the United States have a sufficient connection to a person or entity in this country.” He wrote that this will “invite a flood of litigation until this case is finally resolved.”It is yet to be seen how this will be uniformly enforced. The ruling states that, “as for entities, the relationship must be formal, documented, and formed in the ordinary course, rather than for the purpose of evading EO–2. … A worker who accepted an offer of employment from an American company or a lecturer invited to address an American audience [would have such a relationship with an American entity]. … A nonprofit group devoted to immigration issues may not contact foreign nationals from the designated countries, add them to client lists, and then secure their entry by claiming injury from their exclusion.”The executive order in question is the second of two executive order travel bans. The first, signed by President Trump on Jan. 27, included Iraq, specified preferential treatment for Christians and banned Syrian refugees indefinitely. It was stopped by a federal court on Feb. 3.Related: Trump’s Travel Ban: What Has Happened So FarIn March, Entrepreneur explored implications of the travel ban for business travelers and entrepreneurs. It caused uncertainty and inconvenience for individuals — even those who were permanent U.S. residents — during the period in which it was blocked by lower courts, as individuals and organizations were aware that the ban or another iteration of it might be instated at any time.Read: Trump Travel Ban, Even While Blocked, Casts Long Shadow Over Immigrant EntrepreneursRead: What Business Travelers Need to Know About Trump’s Travel Ba June 26, 2017last_img read more

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