Canadian firm tied to Facebook data scandal got 100K from feds in

first_imgOTTAWA – The Canadian company at the heart of the international scandal over the unauthorized use of Facebook information received $100,000 in federal funding last year to develop data-driven tools for political campaigns, The Canadian Press has learned.AggregateIQ Data Services Ltd. received the one-time contribution from the National Research Council for a nine-month project aimed at developing digital tools to predict who would turn out to vote and the likelihood of supporting a specific candidate, and to predict the outcome of a campaign’s communications strategy.The British Columbia company is under investigation by privacy officials in Ottawa, B.C. and the United Kingdom for its role in influencing the outcome of the U.K.’s Brexit referendum. It is also under investigation for allegedly violating limits on spending during that campaign to benefit the “leave” side.AggregateIQ has also been linked to Cambridge Analytica, the political consultancy firm accused of improperly accessing private Facebook data to help political campaigns, including Donald Trump’s 2016 U.S. presidential bid and the Brexit campaign.On Friday, Facebook announced that it has suspended AggregateIQ from its platform following reports that the company may be connected to Cambridge Analytica’s parent company, SCL.“In light of recent reports that AggregateIQ may be affiliated with SCL and may, as a result, have improperly received FB user data, we have added them to the list of entities we have suspended from our platform while we investigate,” a Facebook spokesperson said.“Our internal review continues, and we will co-operate fully with any investigations by regulatory authorities.”Facebook estimates the personal information of 622,161 users in Canada — and nearly 87 million worldwide — was improperly accessed by Cambridge Analytica.AggregateIQ has said it has always complied with the law and has denied ever being part of Cambridge Analytica or SCL. It has also said it never entered into a contract with Cambridge Analytica, nor has it ever had access to Facebook data allegedly obtained improperly by Cambridge Analytica.The privacy controversy has put a spotlight on the use of data by political parties, which depend heavily on access to quality data about voters to target their campaign pitches.In the months following the 2016 Brexit and Trump victories, the National Research Council provided AggregateIQ with $100,000 in funding, under the Industrial Research Assistance Program, to support a $250,000 project by the company.A copy of the funding agreement, obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act, says the project’s objective was to create tools to help political campaigns accurately predict voter turnout, the likelihood of support for a specific candidate and the effectiveness of a given campaign communications strategy.“At the completion of the project, AggregateIQ will have an agnostic campaign data reporting platform that will enable our staff to provide more efficient consulting in the work we do as well as sell access to the tool for other organizations to use,” reads the agreement.“This will make our consulting business able to handle more clients and open a new line of revenue in sales and support of a much needed tool in the campaign space.”The NRC’s project with AggregateIQ was scheduled to begin Jan. 1, 2017, and end Sept. 30, 2017. The agreement also contained a section that outlined “ethical” considerations.“While this project relies heavily on the collection of data to support analytics and decision making, the data that will be collected is either a data derivative or anonymous data,” the document said, stressing that none of data would have information that could be used to identify individuals.“With no personal data and no data that could be matched back to an individual, we believe that the project meets all ethical requirements and does not require further ethical review,” the agreement said.In its pitch to the NRC, the company, which said it employed 10 people at the time, wrote that it would provide $148,620 towards the project.The company also stressed the demand for such a political tool — and referenced the Trump and Brexit campaigns as examples.“As is evidenced by the recent election between Trump and Clinton, or with the U.K. EU referendum, the traditional polling companies are unable to accurately predict outcomes,” the document said.“Political decision makers are turning to internal data analytics to decide where to spend money, allocate resources and ultimately find out if they are going to win.”The Canadian Press sought comment from AggregateIQ’s chief operating officer, Jeff Silvester, who is listed in the agreement as the company’s representative, but received no response. The agreement was signed by AggregateIQ’s CEO, Zackary Massingham.Canadian data expert Christopher Wylie, who blew the whistle on Cambridge Analytica’s allegedly improper use of Facebook data, has claimed he helped found AggregateIQ while he worked for parent company SCL. He has said he “absolutely” believes AggregateIQ drew on Cambridge Analytica’s databases for its work on the Brexit campaign.On Thursday, the federal and British Columbia privacy commissioners announced they are joining forces to investigate Facebook and AggregateIQ.The federal privacy watchdog first launched an investigation last month to look into allegations about the unauthorized access of private Facebook data. It broadened its probe to join the B.C. privacy czar’s ongoing probe of the Victoria-based AggregateIQ, which began late last year, to determine whether the company broke privacy laws.A spokesman for the National Research Council said last year’s funding agreement with AggregateIQ was “the first and only collaboration with the company.”“The Industrial Research Assistance Program works with firms under specific and strict terms and conditions, and evaluates each project on an individual basis, following a rigorous process,” said Charles Drouin.— with files from Associated Presslast_img read more

Stars Curate Home Decor Event For Charity

first_imgTo celebrate giving back with style, Joss & Main, the revered online destination known for luxury home furnishing flash-sale events, has partnered with the Epidermolysis Bullosa Medical Research Foundation (EBMRF) to launch their exclusive Curate for a Cause program.Orlando Bloom, Courteney Cox, Bridget Moynahan, Matthew McConaughey and Zoe Saldana have each signed on to curate a month-long home decor event. A portion of the proceeds from each item benefits EBMRF, a foundation dedicated to finding a cure and raising awareness about kids with this life-threatening skin disorder.“We are delighted to work with EBMRF to support this important cause,” said John Mulliken co-founder and General Manager of Joss & Main. “We are very grateful to the celebrities who have put their fame and creative skills to good use by curating this special collection of items.”The celebrity curators worked closely with the Joss & Main team to handpick pieces for their curated collections, which will showcase everything from casual-chic styles to high-end modern designs. In addition to their curated collections, each celebrity collaborated on the design of a limited-edition serving tray, showcasing their own personal style. Launching in November, just in time for holiday gift giving, the trays are perfect for entertaining, displaying decor, or breakfast in bed.Find out more here.last_img read more

EC replaces Kolkata police commissioner 3 other Bengal top cops

first_imgKolkata: The Election Commission of India (EC) on Friday night removed Kolkata Police Commissioner Anuj Sharma and Bidhannagar Police Commissioner Gyanwant Singh ahead of the Lok Sabha elections in a major shake-up in the police establishment of the state. The announcement comes days after BJP leaders had alleged that free and fair elections would not be possible in the state under these officers. Dr Rajesh Kumar, Additional Director General of Police (ADG), Pollution Control Board, was made the new Kolkata top cop, while Natarajan Ramesh Babu, ADG and IGP, Operations, was named the Bidhannagar police commissioner, an ECI notification about the decisions said. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari Puja The poll body also named Avannu Ravindranath, DC (Airport Division) of Bidhannagar, as the new superintendent of police (SP) of Birbhum and appointed Srihari Pandey, DC KAP, 3rd Battalion, as the SP of Diamond Harbour. The EC wrote to West Bengal Chief Secretary Malay Dey, directing an immediate implementation of the directives and seeking a compliance report in respect to the joining of the transferred officers within 24 hours. The commission also directed that the present incumbent officers being shifted should not be involved by the state government in any election-related duty. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highway Both Sharma and Singh were present with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee when she started her dharna to protest a CBI action against the then Kolkata police commissioner in connection with its probe in the Saradha scam. Sharma had replaced Kumar in mid-February. Incidentally, after Trinamool Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee’s wife Rujira was allegedly found carrying gold at the Kolkata airport, the BJP had lodged a complaint with the EC against Bidhannagar Police Commissioner Gyanwant Singh. The party had demanded that Singh be held “responsible” for the alleged police interference, if “prima facie any such incident happened”.last_img read more

Patricia brings rain now winds later to Southern Ontario

(Updated) Rain, wind and flood warnings are in place as a storm moves across Southern Ontario today. The storm is driven by the remnants of Hurricane Patricia merging with a clipper system coming from the west, and it could deliver between 45 and 55 millimetres of rainfall today. Strong wind gusts between 40 to 70 kilometres per hour are also possible during the storm and could cause power outages and some tree or property damage. Horizon Utilities is warning customers to be prepared for possible power outages. Residents are asked to call 911 if they see wires that have been knocked down or fallen on a tree. If you see a downed power line you’re asked to stay at least 10 metres, or the length of a school bus away from it.If flood water rises above power cords, or near service panels or outlets, customers are asked to call Horizon Utilities, or their local power provider. You’re also reminded to keep cell phones charged, and keep an emergency kit with items like a battery operated radio, a flashlight with batteries, candles and matches, water and non-perishable food items. Police are reminding drivers to slow down on highways and city streets as the rainfall is making the roads treacherous. Vehicles have struck several pedestrians throughout the region.As well, many sports fields are closed because of the storm. Anyone flying out of Pearson or Hamilton airport should check with their airline about possible delays or cancellations. read more

On World Day UN chief urges States to promote right to truth

This annual observance of International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims pays tribute to the memory of Monsignor Óscar Arnulfo Romero, who was murdered on 24 March 1980. He was actively engaged in denouncing violations of the human rights of the most vulnerable individuals in El Salvador. “Across the world, every victim has the right to know the truth about violations that affected her or him,” Mr. Ban said in a message on the Day. “But the truth also has to be told for the benefit of all people and communities as a vital safeguard against the recurrence of violations. The right to the truth is closely linked to the right to justice.” To advance this effort, the UN supports fact-finding missions, commissions of inquiry, mapping exercises, and truth commissions, which document human rights violations and make recommendations to ensure accountability, reconciliation, and other reforms, he said, noting that from Colombia to Tunisia, from Mali to Sri Lanka, from Nepal to South Sudan, the UN has advocated for inclusive and genuine consultations with victims and affected groups, especially women, girls and those who are far too often excluded and marginalized. “Their meaningful participation must be ensured in all relevant stages of transitional justice processes, and their specific needs must be fully recognized in any reparation measures,” he said. He also stressed the need to secure the testimonies of victims and witnesses to ensure the rights to know the truth and to justice. Appropriate mechanisms for the protection of victims and witnesses, including their physical and psychological integrity, privacy, and dignity, must be put in place. Moreover, the preservation of archives and other documentation relating to human rights violations is crucial for ensuring undistorted historical record and preservation of memory, he added. read more

Football Defense gave OSU offense a shot at a comeback

OSU sophomore linebacker Jerome Baker (17) and senior linebacker Chris Worley (35) combine on a sack againstr Michigan junior quarterback Wilton Speight (3) during their game on Nov. 26 at Ohio Stadium. The Buckeyes won 30-27. Credit: Mason Swires | Assistant Photo EditorThe Ohio State Buckeyes were doomed for defeat against rival Michigan. Everybody could see it. Everyone could feel it throughout the stadium. The signs were present.Through much of the game, the OSU offense failed to string together consistent drives to put the Wolverine defense on its heels. Almost a replica to how the offense looked in its only loss of the season at Penn State, redshirt junior quarterback J.T. Barrett was erratic with his throws and the running game was stopped for minimal gain against a ferocious Michigan defense.However, there were a couple signs of a possible OSU comeback, all of which began with the defense.In the second quarter, a theme was developing. The OSU offense was unable to move the ball past its own 35-yard line in the quarter and only accumulated two first downs. A booming 60-yard punt pinned Michigan quarterback Wilton Speight at his own 6-yard line.OSU blitzed junior linebacker Raekwon McMillan and sophomore linebacker Jerome Baker, but it was McMillan who got to Speight and forced an errant throw that landed in the hands of Malik Hooker. The redshirt sophomore safety returned it to the house for his third pick-six of the season, breaking a school record.In the third quarter, an unproductive offense became the story of the game. Barrett wasn’t connecting with receivers in the passing game and redshirt freshman running back Mike Weber and junior H-back Curtis Samuel were being stalled in the run game.Michigan led by 17-7 nearing the fourth quarter and it was clear that the defense needed to make a play to boost the offense or the Wolverines were going to roll to victory. Like it had so many times before, the defense stepped up.Baker intercepted a pass from Speight and returned it 22 yards to the Michigan 13. Two penalties later, OSU had the ball on the 4 where Barrett carried for three yards, then Weber punched it in to trim the deficit to three.“We just do our job. I got it in there, did what I can do,” Baker said. “Raekwon, (Chris) Worley, Joe (Burger), all those guys kept my head up.”Again in the fourth quarter, following senior kicker Tyler Durbin’s second missed field goal that would’ve tied the game, the Silver Bullets took the field needing to stop the Wolverines for the offense to have another chance to tie, or possibly win the game. A couple first downs likely would’ve put the nail in the coffin of OSU.Three plays later, the defense was off the field and the offense marched 77 yards to send the game to overtime.“Our defense kept hanging in there, hanging in there, and they provided sparks,” said OSU coach Urban Meyer. “And the offense kind of took over in the fourth quarter and overtime.”It was the third time in the biggest game of the year that the defense saved a lackluster offensive performance, and was one of several games that the defense gave the offense a chance for redemption. A walk-off sack against Wisconsin in overtime, an early pick-six in Norman, Oklahoma, a game-saving interception on a Michigan State two-point conversion and a game-clinching interception against the Spartans are all plays that have defined this 2016 defense as opportunistic. They are all plays that can bail out an offense. The two interceptions on Saturday were primary examples of something that has been a staple of co-defensive coordinators Greg Schiano’s and Luke Fickell’s defense.Michigan running back De’Veon Smith gained 158 yards and score two touchdowns in the previous game against Indiana. On Saturday, McMillan, Baker and the rest of the defense halted Smith to just 60 yards on 21 carries. The two linebackers combined for 31 tackles — 16 and 15, respectively.“At times we need (the offense) to help pick us up. At times, they need us to pick them up,” McMillan said. “We needed them toward the end and they needed us toward the beginning. The brotherhood at the beginning, they just keep us going.” read more

People were screaming and crying seven injured after driver falls ill and

first_img‘People were screaming and crying’ – seven injured after driver ‘falls ill’ and strikes pedestrians at funeral At least four people were hospitalised in the aftermath of the incident at the Immaculate Conception Church in Clondalkin at 10.20am. Monday 25 Jun 2018, 12:44 PM Source: AA Roadwatch/Twitter Parish staff worked closely with emergency services in the aftermath of the incident to assist where they could.Local councillor Emer Higgins meanwhile described the incident as being “absolutely terrible”, a “terrifying ordeal for all those involved”.“My thoughts and prayers are with all those impacted by this shocking event, in particular those in hospital who I hope will make full recoveries,” she said.With reporting by Gráinne Ní Aodha in Clondalkin 95 Comments Updated Jun 25th 2018, 12:44 PM A cordon surrounds a car which struck a number of attendees at a funeral in Clondalkin this morning Source: RollingNews.ieSEVEN PEOPLE ARE believed to have been injured, two critically, after a driver struck multiple pedestrians outside a funeral in west Dublin this morning.It’s understood that the driver was a priest who was involved in the funeral and fell ill prior to the incident. The Archdiocese of Dublin has been contacted for comment.At least four people have been hospitalised – one person has been taken to Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown with minor injuries. Two others were taken to St James’s Hospital, and one to Tallaght Hospital.The incident happened outside the Immaculate Conception Church on New Road in Clondalkin at about 10.20am. A funeral was due to take place at the church at 10am. Emergency service vehicles cram Boot Road in Clondalkin, which mostly has residential houses on it @thejournal_ie pic.twitter.com/tTBxuelxxc— Gráinne Ní Aodha (@GAodha) June 25, 2018 Share880 Tweet Email4 Jun 25th 2018, 10:48 AM http://jrnl.ie/4090183 Short URL Source: Gráinne Ní Aodha/Twitter Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article The funeral was postponed in the aftermath of the incident, and recommenced at 1pm. The car involved remains at the scene.Gardaí now say that they understand the driver of the car ‘fell ill’ immediately prior to the incident. Source: Gráinne Ní Aodha/Twitter I’m just grateful I’m ok – I could have been in that crowd.Larry Mooney, who was attending the funeral and was inside the church when the incident happened, said “it sounded like the church collapsed, it was unbelievable how loud it was”.“You could see people all lying under the car, some people were trapped. One man just his fingers injured but other people were very seriously injured. One man was trapped underneath the car and they tried to lift the car but they couldn’t lift it.”Eight ambulances were requested to attend the scene along with four fire appliances, a rescue tender and a Dublin Fire Brigade district officer.Dublin Fire Brigade earlier described the situation as ‘developing’, and appealed for the public to avoid the scene as it attempts to get rescue vehicles in and out of the area.Roads are closed in the area and diversions are in place.The priests and staff of the Parish of the Immaculate Conception in Clondalkin said they wish to express their sympathies to the people injured in the incident, and that “they are keeping all involved in their prayers at this difficult time”. One local who was in attendance described the scene as “shocking”, and said that people had been trapped under the car in the wake of the accident.“It happened as I arrived, and there were people trapped under the car, and just from listening to people they said it was (the driver) who took a heart attack and crashed into people. It’s really shocking, to see the people trapped and the injuries involved, it really was shocking,” he said.“The emergency services were coming in the gate, and people were screaming and crying, things like that you know. The whole village was closed off, the hearse had to continue up the road to let people in.” By Cianan Brennan #DUBLIN Very serious incident in Clondalkin with road closures. More here: https://t.co/JFnarzHnaP— AA Roadwatch (@aaroadwatch) June 25, 2018 Emergency services at Clondalkin’s Immaculate Conception Church where pedestrians were hit by a car @thejournal_ie pic.twitter.com/hGdUgJQAtG— Gráinne Ní Aodha (@GAodha) June 25, 2018 186,228 Views All told, approximately 13 people were treated at the scene by emergency services. Source: Gráinne Ní Aodha/Twitter Another local, Maureen McNulty, said that “people thought it was a bomb, that’s how loud it was”.“There was one man caught underneath the car, and another caught at the front. A lot of men tried to lift the car off him and couldn’t do it, so they had to let car back down again,” she said.She said that she rang for an ambulance, and said that she thought about nine people had been injured.“The place was littered with people on the ground. I just said you’re going to need a half dozen ambulances. It was so frightening,” she said.“There were people running everywhere. The driver sort of fell in the passenger seat, and then there were people looking after him. There were a lot of people just slightly injured, but in terrible shock,” she added.McNulty said that she was lucky as she “has a number of things wrong with me” and uses a walking stick. At the Clondalkin church where four people were taken to hospital after being hit by a car this morning @thejournal_ie pic.twitter.com/cjjWyfbeYc— Gráinne Ní Aodha (@GAodha) June 25, 2018last_img read more

Record raised as Fronditha heralds in new Thornbury development

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram The Greek community of Victoria have dug deep into their pockets and donated over $270,000 for Fronditha Care. An all time record was set for the annual 3XY Radio radiothon, with the aged care organisation collecting over $205,000 over the two-day drive, while generous single donations from prominent members of the community boosted the total. The radiothon aimed to raise money not just for the organisation as a whole, but for the expensive new Thornbury development of Anesi. The $18 million Anesi development that was officially opened last Saturday will cater to 90 new residents and will add to the 30 already being cared for next door in the Thornbury Fronditha base. At the packed event, hundreds came along to tour the new facilities which will be welcoming its first residents in about a month’s time. The three-level giant looked on as it was formally blessed by Reverend Evmenios and Fathers’ Vasilios Kourtesis and John Thagaris. Fronditha President Mike Zafiropoulos couldn’t contain his praise for the new development and the maturity of the organisation he’s been a part of for decades. “This is the largest project ever undertaken by Fronditha Care in its 36 year history,” he told hundreds in the crowd. “This building embodies the Fronditha Care Board of Directors long-standing vision and commitment to expand our services in order to respond to the increasing needs of our elderly here in the Northern suburbs of Melbourne.” Both the Prime Minster and the Opposition leader championed the new privately built facility in their letters of congratulations and pointed to the need for more culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) services for the elderly. Both Minister for Health and Ageing David Davis and the Federal Minister for Batman Martin Ferguson attending the opening. All mentioned the great need that Fronditha has filled in the CALD community and the new changing demographic in Australia. Between 2011 and 2026, Australia’s population of older persons from CALD backgrounds is expected to increase by over 40 per cent. It is projected that by 2026, one in four Australians aged 80 and over will be from a CALD background. CEO George Lekakis said the development was the largest and most expensive project undertaken by a not-for-profit Greek organisation in Australia, and revealed it was only possible with the donations of the community. Singled out in the ceremony were five generous benefactors of the Anesi development. Mr A. Andrianopoulos, Mr N. Andrianakos, Mr A. Vitou, The Stamoulis Family, and Mr S. Aggelodimou all received keys to open the new building and cut the ribbon. Mr Andrew Andrianopoulos received the platinum key with his donation of $25,000. But it was the staggering $1.8 million donation from the Michael Constantine Krizos bequest that got the most applause. Dr Constantine Krizos’ son, Michael, a strong believer in Fronditha, left in his will the huge amount to honour his family’s work in the Greek community and see the elderly receive the best care possible. Joined by all the dignitaries of the Greek community, including the Greek Ambassador to Canberra, Haris Dafaranos, GOCMV President Bill Papastergiadis, AGWS President George Spiliotis and countless parliamentarians, volunteers and staff, the show of support was staggering. Even before the first residents are taken to their rooms, work is underway to refurbish the existing Anesi, and the Clayton premises. And with a purpose built tiny eklisaki (shrine) watching over the new development and its residents, nothing has been left to chance.last_img read more

Build Yourself A Working Nerf Blaster Out Of Lego

first_imgStay on target Got a little extra time on your hands, a big box of Lego bricks, and the desire to shoot people with foamy darts? Why not build yourself a functional Nerf blaster!The crew at Astonishing Studios will be all to happy to help you do it. Their studless pistol looks good enough to sell in a retail box, and they’ll show you everything single piece you need to build one just like this.If you’ve seen one of Lego’s blasters torn down before, you know their design tends to be clever and elegantly simple. The fact that it can be reproduced using standard Lego bricks… well, that’s flat-out awesome.Having a fresh Lego Classic Medium Creative Brick Box around will help. You should be able to score one of those for around $30 on Amazon or at any of innumerable brick-and-mortar stores where you can buy Lego.You’ll also need some Technic pieces, but the video will give you a good long look at all the pieces you need, neatly laid out on a white field. This way you can get your parts together before you start building, get halfway through, and figure out that you’re missing two bloody pieces and can’t finish.You’re going to need a nice, beefy spring, too, and something that will cut it to the appropriate length. That’s what will give your blaster its “boom.” This Life-Sized Captain Marvel Model Is Built From 17,000 Lego Bricks’The Lego Movie 2′ Trailer is Here and It’s an Intergalactic Dream center_img If you’d rather not be led through the process by watching a video, you can also download a Lego Digital Designer file of the build. Hit up the YouTube page for the video and check the description for the link.last_img read more

Ter Stegen thanks Iniesta for the special years

first_imgBarcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen has thanked the departing Andres Iniesta for the “4 special years” they had together at the Nou CampIn his final game for his beloved boyhood club, a Philippe Coutinho strike ensured that Iniesta would leave Barcelona on a high with the club having broken Real Sociedad’s 38-year unbeaten record in La Liga earlier this season on their way to winning the league title for the 25th time in their history, as well as winning the Copa del Rey last month.In a 22-year playing career, the 34-year-old has also won both the World Cup and European championship for Spain and will likely turn to full focus to the national team for what will be very likely his final appearance at a major international tournament for his country.“4 special years playing alongside you. I hope to see you soon again my friend” wrote Ter Stegen on Twitter.Sergio Ramos, Real MadridZidane reveals Sergio Ramos injury concern for Real Madrid Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Zinedine Zidane has put Sergio Ramos’ availability for Real Madrid’s trip to Sevilla next weekend in doubt after withdrawing him against Levante.4 special years playing alongside you. I hope to see you soon again my friend. ?????? @andresiniesta8 #Infinit8iniestahttps://t.co/rMapybH5ac pic.twitter.com/Pjakar9qCL— Marc ter Stegen (@mterstegen1) May 21, 2018last_img read more

Guardiola makes Sarri defence after heavy loss

first_imgFollowing Chelsea’s heaviest defeat in any competition since 1991, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has pleaded for more time for his Chelsea counterpart Maurizio SarriGuardiola’s men took the Blues to the cleaners with a 6-0 defeat at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday, Sarri’s worst league defeat as a professional manager.However, the former Barca manager sympathised with Sarri citing his own career struggles when he first joined the League and the Italian’s exploits as Napoli’s boss.When asked if he felt pity for Sarri, Guardiola told Sky: “Yes of course. I know exactly what he wants to do. I think this kind of person – it always helps to make our (Premier League) football better.“They beat us at Stamford Bridge – and against Napoli last season – they were tight games. During moments of those games, they were better than us.“People don’t understand how difficult it is. I said many times, my first year was difficult too. Some moments we played good but not consistently.“People expect ‘Okay, manager arrives, he buys players and immediately come [results]’ – it needs time. It depends on the belief from the owners, the people who are in charge; they really need to believe in that.“The main reason I decided to come to Manchester City is because my bosses, the chairman specifically, I didn’t have to convince him. He knows me.Cristiano Ronaldo, JuventusSarri: “Cristiano Ronaldo is the strongest player in the world” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Maurizio Sarri has no doubts that Cristiano Ronaldo is the main man at Juventus, and plans to the star give more freedom to exploit his talents to their fullest extent.“When it’s not going good, we try to find a solution. He doesn’t think I’m good when I win and bad when I lose. That is the reason why I am enjoying this period at this club.”Emotional Sarri headed straight down the tunnel after the 6-0 drubbing, appearing to ignore Guardiola’s outstretched handshake.“I spoke with (Chelsea assistant) Gianfranco Zola,” Guardiola added.“Maurizio Sarri didn’t see me. I have a good relationship with him so it is no problem at all.”Maurizio Sarri: I’m ‘always at risk’ of being sacked by Chelsea https://t.co/ho1MzvX9q9 #MCICHE #MCFC #CFC pic.twitter.com/8uVZeSqc5Q— Guardian sport (@guardian_sport) February 10, 2019last_img read more

MercedesBenz AClass plugin hybrid brings electrified power to more people

first_img Post a comment More From Roadshow Now playing: Watch this: 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE450 review: More luxurious and techy than ever 13 Photos 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class first drive: ‘The S-Class of SUVs’ earns its title More about 2019 Mercedes-Benz A220 Enlarge ImagePlug-in power isn’t just for top-tier Mercedes models anymore. Mercedes-Benz Like so many automakers, Mercedes-Benz has a mission to electrify its lineup of vehicles in the near future and future powertrain technology won’t be reserved for just the top end of the spectrum. On Monday, the brand revealed the A-Class plug-in hybrid with a claimed estimated electric range of 40 miles for European markets.Donning the “EQ Power” badge, which denotes any electrified Mercedes-Benz vehicle, the A250e will be available as both a hatchback and sedan. On this side of the Atlantic, we’re only treated to the A-Class sedan, and on that note, it’s unclear whether the company plans to bring the A-Class plug-in to these shores. Considering the brand’s push to electrify more vehicles with mild-hybrid tech, it seems inevitable.As mentioned, Mercedes-Benz said the A250e will go 40 miles purely on electricity, though that figure comes on the notoriously liberal New European Driving Cycle scale. The EPA scale would likely peg the real-world electric driving range around 20 miles. Providing the electric power is an electric-motor generator married to the 1.3-liter inline-4 engine. A 15.6-kWh lithium-ion battery packs the charge. With both the electric motor and engine working in concert, the A250e makes a total of 218 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. Power flows through an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission to the front wheels only.Mash the throttle and Mercedes-Benz quotes a 0-62 mph time of 6.6 seconds and a top speed of 146 mph. Try the same motions with just the electric power and the top speed falls to 87 mph. After a day of driving, it’ll take just an 1 hour and 45 minutes to charge the A250e on a standard outlet, but thankfully, the plug-in hybrid accepts DC fast charging. Plugged in to a DC fast charger, 80% charge comes in around 25 minutes.Mercedes-Benz touts this plug-in hybrid technology as its smartest yet. The third-gen system includes intelligent packaging to make space for the electrified part of the powertrain. Specifically, the exhaust under the vehicle floor and doesn’t run to the rear. The brand said this helps save a tremendous amount of space in the trunk — a major issue when packaging plug-in hybrid powertrains. For Europe, the system also includes route-based operations. Translation: The car knows when it enters a zero-emission area and will run on electricity only.The A250e was unveiled alongside the B-Class plug-in hybrid and both of them will make up 20 plug-in hybrids offered by 2020. Preview • 2019 Mercedes-Benz A220 Sedan: A class above Mercedes-Benz A-Class plug-in hybrid is packed with smart tech Tagscenter_img 2019 Mercedes-Benz A220: The entry-level luxury sedan… 0 Hybrids Luxury cars Share your voice 2019 Mercedes-AMG G63 review: Loud and proud, and absolutely divine Mercedes-Benz Review • 2019 Mercedes-Benz A220 review: Raising the entry-level bar 6:01 Mercedes-Benzlast_img read more

Starbucks to add 240000 jobs worldwide by 2021

first_imgA staff serves beverages at a Starbucks coffee shop in Seoul, South Korea, March 7, 2016.Reuters fileUS coffeehouse chain Starbucks has plans to hire 240,000 more people globally by 2021, including 68,000 jobs in America.The company announced its plans at its annual shareholders meeting on Wednesday, CNN reported. It also marks the final shareholder event that Howard Schultz will attend as CEO before being replaced by Kevin Johnson on April 3. Schultz will remain as executive chairman.The announcement comes as Starbucks is heavily focused on growing its business abroad.It is currently opening one store per day in China, and the company has also entered the Italian market.The coffee chain plans to add 12,000 new stores worldwide by 2021.Johnson told CNN that the single most important thing Starbucks needs from President Donald Trump is more guidance on trade policies — and there is concern about how Trump’s “America First” platform and anti-free trade sentiments may affect global brands.”Certainly, as an American brand, sometimes politics in the US can carry over,” Johnson said.Schultz, who endorsed former presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton during the campaign last year, said it was too soon to tell whether Trump’s policies will hurt Starbucks.Starbucks is also standing firm behind its commitment to hire 10,000 refugees around the globe, a move that the company announced the day after Trump implemented his initial travel ban.last_img read more

Australia Tourisms Canada numbers leaping forward like roo

first_imgTags: Australia << Previous PostNext Post >> Jean Sorensen Australia Tourism’s Canada numbers leaping forward like ‘roo Friday, June 9, 2017 center_img Share VANCOUVER — Australia has been a runaway destination for North Americans as it heads into 2017, coming off unprecedented visitor stats in 2016. Now Tourism Australia is attempting to trigger new incentives for travel agents that will keep the numbers moving forward like bounding kangaroo.“We had an extraordinary year. North America has seen unprecedented momentum,” said Tourism Australia’s Robert Keddy, Head of Commercial Partnerships for the Americas, who was in Vancouver to give an industry update to travel agents at the Blue Water Cafe.Canadian travel figures climbed in 2016 to 152,000 for an 8% increase over 2015. U.S. figures also ramped up to 720,000, a 21% increase. Keddy said the North America market is now Australia’s third largest in terms of global arrival numbers. And in 2017 Australia is projecting that Canada and the U.S. will send 1,000,000+ visitors to its shores.Goway’s Janette Purdham, a South Pacific specialist, and Vincent Tong, sales agent, sample Australian wines at a Tourism Australia industry update event held at the Blue Water Cafe in Vancouver’s trendy Yaletown area. Photo credit: Jean SorensenThere is every indication that North American will reach that goal. Stats for the 12 months leading up to March 2017 have seen 158,000 Canadian visitors for an 11% increase over the same period a year earlier. For the month of March there was a 22% rise in Canadian visitors. Australia is seeing the same kind of increase in arrivals from the U.S.Keddy said he is now trying to determine what factors influence Canadians and North Americas to pick Australia as a vacation spot. “It is important to determine what drives people,” he said.More news:  Le Boat has EBBs along with its new 2020 brochureResearch collected so far indicates that Canadians are motivated by the perception that Australia is a safe and secure county, provides good value for money, has vibrant cities and friendly individuals and good food and is culturally rich with interesting history.While U.S. travellers share the same concern for safety, their main drivers are the natural outdoors and wildlife as well as the cuisine. Value for the dollar was at the bottom of the main five motivators.Keddy said Tourism Australia is currently looking at how to use what it calls ‘User Generated Content’, or UGC, made up of thousands of photos and video clips generated by travellers every day and posted on Tourism Australia’s social media channels.  He showed the Vancouver agents gathered at the event a sampling of the brilliant photos and videos, all taken by visitors.Keddy said he is hoping to develop a program that will allow travel partners and/or travel agents to access some of these photos and video clips through Tourism Australia’s website Australia.com, to encourage clients to travel to the country.On hand to promote Australia and its adventure travel product was Michael Mullin, Western Canadian sales executive for Tourism Australia.Tourism Australia revamped its Aussie Specialist Program a year ago with new training material and videos, with the goal of creating a more appealing learning experience. Some 11,117 Canadian travel agents have enrolled in the program and 655 have completed it. Those figures represent a 79% enrolment increase and a 54% completion increase versus a year ago. The program is also aimed at providing the information that travel agents need to sell.More news:  Kory Sterling is TL Network Canada’s new Sales Manager Canada“It is important that we are out there driving that demand,” Keddy said.In the U.S. Tourism Australia has launched a trial program which has it working more closely with individual commercial partners.  Keddy said he hopes the program will be replicated in Canada in the latter part of 2017 or early 2018.Keddy supplied 2016 Canadian air carrier statistics as well. They showed Air Canada leading with 32% of travellers, Qantas at 13%, Air New Zealand at 11%, United Airlines at 7%, Cathay Pacific at 6%, Jetstar at 4%, Virgin Australia at 4%. Other airlines accounted for the remaining 23%.One of Australia’s attractions for Canadians is the diversity of its cuisine and spirits. Seafood was paired with Australian wines and beer at Tourism Australia’s industry update session in Vancouver.Tourism Australia’s target market for travellers is the 45+ age group, said Keddy. “Our target group is the 45+ people who are adventurous.  They have travelled outside North America at least once and they are experience driven,” he said.This target market has chosen Australia become of its diversity of experiences, from the famous Sydney BridgeClimb to relaxing beach time.Among the new experiences attracting Canadians in growing numbers are indigenous tours and excursions. “Australia has one of the oldest indigenous cultures in the world,” said Keddy, adding that the culture dates back 40,000 years. Unique tours include mud crabbing in northern Queensland with an indigenous family on the mud flats.Equally interesting experiences can be found in urban areas where indigenous guides provide tours of botanical gardens, providing insight into how people used the plants in their daily lives. “They (travellers) want experiences that have brag-ability,” said Keddy. Posted bylast_img read more

11 lawmakers return to Costa Ricas Legislative Assembly for second term

first_imgOf the 57 lawmakers who take office today for the 2014-2018 period, 11 have previous experience in the Legislative Assembly. Costa Rica’s Constitution does not allow consecutive re-election of lawmakers.Five of the returning legislators belong to the National Liberation Party (PLN). Antonio Álvarez Desanti, Sandra Piszk, Juan Luis Jiménez and Rolando González were in office from 1994-1998, and Olivier Jiménez served from 2002-2006.Two returning lawmakers belong to the Citizen Action Party (PAC) , including the party’s founder and former presidential candidate Ottón Solís, who was in office from 1994-1998. However, at the time Solís was a member of the National Liberation Party. Epsy Campbell served from 2002-2006.Mario Redondo, from the Christian Democratic Alliance, was elected by the Social Christian Unity Party (PUSC) from 2002-2006, and was president of the Assembly’s directorate. He left PUSC after the end of his term.The list includes the founder of the Libertarian Movement Party, Otto Guevara, who unsuccessfully ran for president in several national elections, as well as Accessibility Without Exclusion’s Oscar López and PUSC’s Jorge Rodríguez. Guevara was a legislator from 1998-2002, López served from 2002-2006 and Rodríguez from 1990-1994. Facebook Comments Related posts:Economist and Citizen Action Party legislator Henry Mora wins Assembly’s presidency Legislative Assembly reverses order restricting access to information Less-than-impressive: It’s been a year of few achievements by Costa Rica’s Legislative Assembly Crash victims’ relatives ask lawmakers to table bill to eliminate prison sentences for blocking roads during protestslast_img read more

Sri Lankas warhit Tamils vote for wider autonomy

first_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies 0 Comments   Share   The win provides a platform for the TNA to campaign for an autonomous federal state, although the provincial council is largely a toothless body.The Tamils have fought unsuccessfully for self-rule for six decades, at first through a peaceful struggle and then the bloody civil war.The elections were seen by the international community as a test of reconciliation between the Tamils and the majority ethnic Sinhalese, who control Sri Lanka’s government and military.“We asked the people (for votes), and the people have given. Now it’s our turn to reciprocate,” said the chief minister-elect of Northern Province, retired Supreme Court Justice C.V. Wigneswaran.“The government has to learn from our victory,” he said. “The people have spoken democratically … the people have shown in no uncertain terms what their aspirations are. So I am sure the government will take stock of the matter and help us to make democracy work in the Northern Provincial Council.”The campaigning period and election day were marked by sporadic attacks and threats against TNA supporters, including some allegedly by uniformed army soldiers.The U.S. Embassy said in a statement that the involvement of uniformed individuals in election violence was “particularly alarming,” adding that a process free of violence and intimidation is needed to further post-war reconciliation. Government spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said the two victories were an endorsement of the government, adding that the TNA victory was a reflection of democracy in the Indian Ocean island nation.On calls for wider autonomy, Rambukwella said only changes within the existing constitution would be allowed.Tamils have been demanding regional autonomy in the country’s north and east since Sri Lanka became independent from Britain in 1948. After years of nonviolent protests, a civil war broke out in 1983 calling for full independence.The provincial council was created in 1987 as an alternative to separation, but the Tigers _ the strongest of the rebel groups _ rejected it as inadequate. The fighting that followed prevented the council from functioning.The military’s defeat of the Tigers meant Tamils were back to where they had started 60 years earlier, with no tangible achievement, tens of thousands of deaths and losing another million people who fled the country as refugees.___Associated Press writer Jayampathi Palipane contributed to this report.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 Top Stories The central government retains control over finances in the province, so it could withhold money to frustrate any council plans.Wigneswaran said before the vote that winning would give his administration the public backing to lobby for wider powers based on federalism.But he will face a two-pronged challenge _ from a central government unwilling to part with any power, and an influential expatriate Tamil lobby insisting that the party work for total independence.The central government is against devolving any substantial power and says even existing powers in provincial hands, such as those over land and policing, are a threat to the country.The country’s ethnic divisions widened with the quarter-century civil war that ended in 2009 when government troops crushed the Tamil Tiger rebels, who were fighting to create an independent state.While the TNA, a former political proxy to the Tamil Tigers, won the north, Rajapaksa’s ruling coalition convincingly won two ethnic Sinhalese-dominated provincial councils _ Central and North West _ in a sign of the existing ethnic polarization. Much of the Sinhalese-dominated south strongly backs Rajapaksa for winning the war and his hard-line stand on devolution. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Sponsored Stories 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Rajapaksa called the elections after much international criticism that he delayed fulfilling wartime promises to share power with the minority Tamils. The largely successful conduct of the election could deflect some pressure off the government ahead of a Commonwealth country leaders’ meeting in November in Colombo, Sri Lanka’s capital.The government has rejected international calls that it has not thoroughly investigated alleged war crimes committed by its troops at the end of the war, when, according to a U.N. report, they may have killed 40,000 Tamil civilians. The Tamil Tiger rebels have also been accused of widespread war crimes, including the forced recruiting of child soldiers.The election results also suggest that a vast majority of voters prefer self-rule over Rajapaksa’s effort to win them over through infrastructure development.The provincial council, however, is mostly powerless and will have to contend with a governor appointed by the central government who will control most of the council’s affairs, which could cause rifts.But the two-thirds majority on the provincial council means Wigneswaran can follow through with his threat to call for a no-confidence vote against the governor. JAFFNA, Sri Lanka (AP) – Sri Lanka’s main ethnic Tamil party earned a convincing victory in the country’s northern provincial elections, according to results released Sunday, in what is seen as a resounding call for wider regional autonomy in areas ravaged by a quarter century of civil war.The Tamil National Alliance will form the first functioning provincial government in the northern Tamil heartland after securing 30 out of 38 seats in Saturday’s polls, Sri Lanka’s elections commission said. President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s coalition won the rest of the seats. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologistlast_img read more

Discovery Parks relocates its Headquarters

first_imgDiscovery Parks relocates its HeadquartersDiscovery Parks relocates its HeadquartersDiscovery Parks, Australia’s largest owner and operator of holiday parks, relocates its headquarters to Level 7, 60 Light Square, Adelaide effective immediately.On 24th August, the Discovery Parks team welcomed over 150 guests to celebrate this joyful occasion including key Executive team at Sunsuper, Chief Executive at Southern Australian Tourism Commission Rodney Harrex and Vice Chair of Variety SA Rob Kerin.“This inspiration for the new office was founded in the idea of bringing the park inside. It is designed to encourage interaction and facilitate a cross-functional approach to all aspects of the business. So this is more than just an office opening party, we’ve invited you here today to celebrate the next stage of our business,” CEO of Discovery Parks, Grant Wilken’s said at the event.“Our new business structure will focus on further investing in our people, place and process and support us for scalable growth to 2020 and beyond.”Founded in Adelaide, Discovery Parks is a great South Australian success story and has over 1,200 staff nationally and this support office has created work opportunities for 80 people in Adelaide.“As an Adelaide based company, we proudly invest in South Australia with plans to spend $15 million in three years across our South Australia portfolio. The goal is to build the best accommodation business in Australia and help our guests ‘discover what matters’ with a customer focused strategy.”This relocation follows a string of exciting developments. Last month, Discovery Parks acquired Coolwaters Holiday Village at Yeppoon in Queensland and inked a 15-year management contract for Streaky Bay Foreshore Tourist Park in South Australia.Source = Discovery Parkslast_img read more

Leading Indicators Point to WarmWeather Recovery

first_imgLeading Indicators Point to Warm-Weather Recovery March 20, 2014 489 Views in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News Conference Board Housing Permits Unemployment 2014-03-20 Tory Barringercenter_img Leading economic indicators for the United States experienced a jump in February, lending credence to arguments that sluggishness earlier in the winter was largely due to weather.The Conference Board reported its Leading Economic Index (LEI) increased 0.5 percent last month to 99.8, inclining steeper after a 0.1 percent gain in January.“The U.S. LEI increased sharply in February, suggesting that any weather-related volatility will be short lived and the economy should continue to improve into the second half of the year,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, economist at the Conference Board.According to Ozyildirim, the strengths and weaknesses in the LEI were mostly balanced against each other in February, “with large increases in housing permits and the interest rate spread more than offsetting decreases in the workweek in manufacturing, consumer expectations and rising initial claims for unemployment insurance.”The group also reported improvements in the Coincident Economic Index (CEI)—a measure of current conditions—to 108.2 and the Lagging Economic Index (LAG)—a measure of indicators that follow major economic changes—to 122.1, though those improvements were minor compared to headline index.“While the CEI shows the pace of economic activity remained slow at the start of 2014, the trend in the LEI remains quite positive,” said Ken Goldstein, another economist for the Conference Board. “The biggest challenge continues to be weak consumer demand, pinned down by weak wage growth.“These conditions were still in evidence the first two months of the year, but will likely improve as spring arrives.” Sharelast_img read more