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eSports a hard sell in grades-obsessed Singapore

first_imgNo need to wear face masks in Metro Manila, says scientist Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MLB average attendance down 1.7%, hurt by losing teams Daybreak as smoke, ash billows from Taal volcano PLAY LIST 01:04Daybreak as smoke, ash billows from Taal volcano01:05Poor visibility, nakaapekto sa maraming lugar sa Batangas03:028,000 pulis sa Region 4-A, tuloy ang trabaho03:57Phivolcs, nahihirapan sa komunikasyon sa Taal01:04Sold-out: Stores run out of face masks after Taal spews ash01:45Iran police shoot at those protesting plane shootdown Players who cut short their education and made a success of eSports say their families have, for the most part, accepted their choice — although they stress they are not encouraging other gamers to follow their lead.Kang used to be part of a team in the United States, where his accommodation was paid for and he received a salary and prize money. He currently plays for a Thailand-based team.“Eventually they (my parents) were convinced,” he said. “I could pay for my own food, live on my own.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Teenage gamers worldwide are shunning mainstream education in favor of spending hours tapping away on computers and phones, attracted by a booming eSports scene where prizes at major tournaments reach millions of dollars.But perhaps nowhere is the prospect of swapping textbooks for joysticks more daunting than in Singapore, which tops global education rankings and where striving for academic excellence is deeply ingrained in the national psyche.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSAndray Blatche has high praise for teammate Kai SottoSPORTSBig differenceSPORTSAlmazan status stays uncertain ahead of Game 4Kang — who is his national side’s coach and competes in multiplayer battle game Dota 2 under the moniker “Meracle” — said his belief in his own playing skills was so great he had the courage to do what most would not dare.“I stopped studying and went to pursue this passion of mine,” the 23-year-old told AFP at a Southeast Asian Games boot camp in Singapore, which was organized by the tournament’s eSports partner, gaming hardware company Razer. LOOK: Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Part 3 takes you straight to hell with a Music Video and First Look-Images View comments This photograph taken on September 2, 2019 shows participants attending an Esports bootcamp training session in Singapore. – Teenage gamers worldwide are shunning mainstream education in favor of spending hours tapping away on computers and phones, attracted by a booming eSports scene where prizes at major tournaments reach millions of dollars. (Photo by ROSLAN RAHMAN / AFP)In a country highly focused on academic achievement, Singaporean Galvin Kang Jian Wen did something almost unthinkable — he stopped studying as a teenager to spend more time playing computer games.He defied parental and social disapproval after his high school finals to pursue his dream of becoming an eSports champion, but believes the sacrifice has paid off as he heads with his national team to Southeast Asia’s mini-Olympics.ADVERTISEMENT Francis Kong, Jason Magbanua headline ‘The School for the Passionate, New Bold U 2020’ Taal Volcano eruption: House to develop rehab plan for Batangas, Cavite, Laguna MOST READ Negros Occidental gov’t, church call for prayers for safety of Taal evacuees “Obviously (my parents) were not very happy about my decision because nobody wants their kids to stop studying.”Education pressureHe is the exception, however, in a country known for a strict education system, a focus on getting good exam results and where a growing number of students go on to university or another form of tertiary education.The pressure starts as early as primary school, and critics say it has contributed to the growing incidence of mental illness among the young, although the government is seeking to make things easier through steps like reducing exams.The focus on education and a choice of well-paying jobs in the affluent country mean few are willing to pursue a career in the fledgling eSports scene — Singapore has only around 15 professional gamers.ADVERTISEMENT LOOK: Taal Volcano island 2 days after eruption ‘People evacuated on their own’ “Singapore is very focused on study,” said the country’s eSports association president Ng Chong Geng, recalling how when he gave a talk at a university, not a single student expressed an interest in becoming a professional player.“Now more or less everyone graduates with some sort of degree… If you try to be an eSports athlete you have to give up on a lot of other opportunities.”Players also complain the country’s system of conscription — male citizens undergo two years of national service from the age of 18 — is a hindrance for promising gamers who need time to develop their skills.But after retirement?Kang is not alone among players heading to the SEA Games, taking place in the Philippines in November and December, in having chosen to focus on gaming rather than study.“The thing that most changed me was quitting school so I can play for the whole day, play full time,” said 17-year-old Thai Dota2 gamer Nuengnara Teeramahanon, who quit school aged 16.“I just did not want to study anymore, I just feel like it’s so boring.”However, the lack of qualifications could be a disadvantage for players when they retire, which can come at a young age in eSports. In some games, players can be finished by 23 as their reactions slow.Players from nine countries will compete in six titles at the SEA Games — Mobile Legends, Arena of Valor, Dota 2, Starcraft II, Tekken 7, and Hearthstone.Supporters hope the tournament could be a step towards a spot at the Olympics although that seems unlikely any time soon, with the venerable institution so far unenthusiastic about the discipline. LATEST STORIES Taal Volcano’s lava fountain weakens, but Phivolcs says it’s not sign of slowing downlast_img read more

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Trump booed at UFC fight night in New York

first_img2 village execs nabbed in Bohol buy-bust There was no repeat of the loud chants of “lock him up” that greeted Trump when he attended a World Series baseball game last weekend, but loud jeers rung out.Many mixed martial arts fans also clapped and cheered as Trump took his seat just 15 feet from the cage where the UFC was set to award the “BMF” belt.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSAndray Blatche has high praise for teammate Kai SottoSPORTSBig differenceSPORTSAlmazan status stays uncertain ahead of Game 4Several dozen protesters carrying placards with slogans such as “Trump/Pence Out Now!” and “Headlock Him Up” demonstrated outside the 20,000-seat venue as Trump arrived for the pay-per-view spectacle.The president, 73, looked on in concern as lightweight Kevin Lee delivered a vicious left kick to rival Gregor Gillespie’s face during the first bout on the main card. US President Donald Trump (C) next to Panamanian boxer Roberto Duran (R) arrives to attend the Ultimate Fighting Championship at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York on November 2, 2019. AFPNEW YORK — President Donald Trump was loudly booed on Saturday for the second time in a week at a sporting event as he attended a UFC fight in New York.Trump, wearing a dark suit and a red tie, pumped his fist and waved at the crowd as he walked into the city’s iconic Madison Square Garden arena on Saturday night.ADVERTISEMENT ‘Gago’ View comments Lava gushes out of Taal Volcano as villagers flee No need to wear face masks in Metro Manila, says scientist Phivolcs: Cloud seeding in ashfall affected areas needs study Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. DSWD Bicol donates P1.5M worth of food packs for Taal eruption evacueescenter_img MOST READ 400 evacuees from Taal eruption take refuge in Mt. Banahaw The contact, which left the fighter sprawled on the ground for around 30 seconds, drew loud gasps from the capacity crowd as they watched the slow-motion replay of his face being squished.Trump could be seen clapping in support when Gillespie finally got to his feet.The president was attending the fight night with sons Donald Jr and Eric.Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz were due to slug it out for the “BMF” belt later Saturday.ADVERTISEMENT Canelo Alvarez stops Sergey Kovalev in 11th round to win 175-pound title LATEST STORIES Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Daybreak as smoke, ash billows from Taal volcano PLAY LIST 01:04Daybreak as smoke, ash billows from Taal volcano01:05Poor visibility, nakaapekto sa maraming lugar sa Batangas03:028,000 pulis sa Region 4-A, tuloy ang trabaho03:57Phivolcs, nahihirapan sa komunikasyon sa Taal01:04Sold-out: Stores run out of face masks after Taal spews ash01:45Iran police shoot at those protesting plane shootdown ‘People evacuated on their own’last_img read more

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Bridging the ethnic divide

first_imgMost Guyanese would concede that ethnicity plays an inordinate role in our politics and that the way the latter has structured our political participation has not been positive. Since the claim that “modernisation”, set into motion after WWII , would soon make the “primordial” roots of ethnicity disappear has been proven quite premature, it behoves policymakers to take another look at our political system and institute changes that could steer our political behaviour in more positive directions. In fact, evidence gathered during the last 50 years had demonstrated that ethnicity and other bases of “identity politics” have now become the predominant form of political mobilisation – even in the developed countries such as Britain and the US.The call for “constitutional change” in Guyana is one initiative to achieve the positive aim, but unfortunately, most of its initiators have studiously avoided the elephant in the room: the aforementioned ethnic divisions that form the bases of our political activity. Unless we begin by acknowledging this reality and not wishing it would disappear by “post racial” incantations, we will be dooming ourselves to spinning wheels, that continue to take us backwards.Ethnic politics is, first of all, encouraged by the logic of democracy which focuses on agglomerating numbers to form majorities. In such a milieu, it is to be expected that politicians will exploit any avenue, including the omnipresent ethnic identity to achieve the maximum agglomeration. The promise of rewards if people “vote for their own” goes beyond material incentives, since power in the hands of one’s group offers a psychic satisfaction that springs from the ethnic identity itself.Constitutional change, then, should offer incentives that would encourage politicians and political persons to not necessarily eschew their ethnic labels and constituencies but to reach across such constituencies. This normative practice becomes easier to achieve when, as in Guyana presently, no single ethnic group constitutes an absolute majority. Politicians would be forced to moderate their rhetoric for any one group or against any other group and this behaviour should create a moderating centripetal mobilisation effect.The present Guyanese Constitution, which was supposedly extensively amended in 2000 to address Guyana’s challenges, unfortunately left intact the requirement for a government to be elected with not even a majority of votes by the electorate but by a plurality. Additionally, it prohibits coalitions from being formed after elections, the most propitious time for groups, ethnic or otherwise, to modify their platform to strike bargains. These two stipulations must be changed at a minimum.But outside of explicit constitutional strictures, the idiosyncrasies of an ethnically plural society also pose challenges emanating paradoxically from the most fundamental modern norm of “equality”. In these societies, the politics is dominated by the immanent feature of group comparison, leaving some groups “suffering” in that comparison, especially in the realm of economics. Equality of opportunity will not satisfy the “losing” group: they are looking to be guaranteed equality of outcome, while ignoring the personal and group attributes that are mediating factors.Such groups will attempt to subvert the norm of equality in the political realm by asserting greater legitimacy than other groups which should allow them greater access to the national patrimony. Today, we see this feature taking centre stage in Guyanese politics and, rather sadly but predictably, it is accompanied by rhetoric decrying other groups’ legitimacy to their own share of the national patrimony.While in all societies, especially in ex-colonies, there might be disabilities induced via past discrimination in some groups in terms of truly enjoying “equal opportunity” and therefore deserving of circumventing the equality imperative through “affirmative action” programmes, these must be crafted quite transparently so that backlashes are not precipitated from groups that will denounce “ethnic favouritism”.For instance, there are some who claim Indian Guyanese are not represented to their proportion of the population in the Army and Police Force. But the historical discrimination must be proven before rectificatory action can be taken.last_img read more

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Democracy has fled

first_imgDear Editor,Suddenly, the dark era of the PNC has descended on Guyanese like a relentless plague, a phenomenon which many had thought would never return after savouring the fruits of democracy for 23 years. The ghosts of the dark past have now returned to life once again to haunt this nation. In the meantime, our hard-won democracy has been so much trampled upon that it has fled with great alacrity. The PNC has once again displayed its penchant for violating the Constitution and this time, the violation is not about delaying the elections but it is the violation of one’s right to freedom of movement, freedom of assembly, freedom of expression and by extension the right to peacefully protest. All the fundamental rights and freedom of individuals are being violated daily. The PNC has become the Constitution!Article 148(1) of the Constitution states that, “No person shall be deprived of his freedom of movement, that is to say, the right to move freely throughout Guyana…” The exception would be to prevent the commission of a crime, or in the interest of public safety, or to protect public morality or to PREVENT THE SUBVERSION OF DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTIONS. In the case of the Guyana Police Force’s action against the protestors at Cornelia Ida, there is a clear indication that it is in complete defiance of Article 148. Moreover, they did the opposite of the constitutional stipulation: they subverted the democratic institutions. The GPF was committing a crime NOT the protesters!The caretaker President, David Granger, was attending a graduation ceremony and dinner at the Saraswati Vidya Niketan School in the area and an NGO, the Association of Democracy and Human Rights Guyana launched a protest to show their concern about the many violations of the Constitution and the CCJ’s rulings resulting on an assault on the democratic institutions in Guyana. David Granger has so far shown scant regard for these institutions. It is apparent that Granger knew about the protest beforehand and the Police erected a barricade in the streets to prevent the protesters from getting in close proximity to the school where the graduation was held and so neutralise the effect. It must be noted that it is normal for protesters to line the shoulders of the public roads but in this case they were prevented from doing so. It seems that Granger cannot bear to behold the sight of people protecting their inalienable rights; however, he is not averse to school children lining the streets and waving flags for his own pleasure.In addition, to add insult to injury, the peaceful protesters were pushed further down the streets in a bid to stifle their democratic voices. In this maddening haste to chase the protesters further down, the barricades were used as battering rams which resulted in injuries to some. But the Police was not satisfied with this, they arrested two of the protesters and held them in detention at the station for a couple of hours. Until now, they were not given any reason for their unlawful detention. This act is simply to stir fear and prevent others from standing up for their rights. It is clear that just as it was in Burnham days the Police has become the shameless tool of fear and intimidation of the PNC dictatorship. It can be assumed that it is only a matter of time before the Police is used to take out political opponents under the slightest pretext of aggression. The signs are manifesting!What is also alarming is the discriminatory action of the Police. This was so blatant since the PNC counter-protesters were allowed free access to the main road by the Police. Will these counter-protesters morph later into the House of Israel? We have seen in the not so distant past that protests led by the PNC had subjected law-abiding citizens who they deemed to be supporters of the PPP to the most demeaning and horrific acts-they were robbed, beaten and sexually molested. I could not recall any arrests made by the Guyana Police Force, for instance, the Agricola protest when these acts were done in broad daylight and in the presence of the Police. In addition, businesses were razed to the ground in some cases resulting in multimillion dollars losses. Where were the Police then? How many were arrested?As expected, the growing dictatorship has now made it the norm for Granger to travel around with heavy Police escorts and other security presence which only serve to instil fear and insecurity in the minds of Guyanese. The people now have to dive for cover anytime they hear a siren in the distant. The siren has now become a messenger of death. This is a lot more than Burnham was used to, so it may be prudent to assume a bigger dictator in the making. But such is the life of a dictator who feels unsafe to walk freely even among invitees at a graduation function. Can you imagine that invitees to this graduation function were body searched at the gate by the Police before being admitted? Since exposed to Pegasus, the courage of the caretaker President has certainly taken a sudden flight! The paranoia is growing rapidly!Guyanese must now stand up to this Granger dictatorship. It is time that we must register our non-cooperation with evil through peaceful protests and civil disobedience in order to eradicate this growing scourge.Yours sincerely,Haseef Yusuflast_img read more

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EPA lowers estimate of methane leaks during the production of natural gas

first_imgMethane gas is the main component of natural gas, and there has been different scientific estimates on the amount of methane that leaks from wells, pipelines as well as other facilities during production and delivery.Michael Shellenberger, President of the Breakthrough Institute tells the A.P. “This is great news for anybody concerned about the climate and strong proof that existing technologies can be deployed to reduce methane levels.”In a mid-April report by the E.P.A. on greenhouse emissions, the organization now says as a result of the tighter pollution controls instituted by the industry resulted in an average annual decrease of 41.6 million metric tons of methane from 1990 through 2010, which works out to a 20 percent reduction from previous estimates.- Advertisement -The EPA says they made the changes based on expert reviews and new data from a number of sources, however the estimates are not based on independent field tests of actual emissions.Despite the encouraging news, figures from the EPA still indicate natural gas operations  are the main source of methane emissions in the U.S. despite the fact that all the sources of methane combined still account for only 9 percent of greenhouse gases.The organization notes that they are still seeking further information on the subject, so the report may change in the future.Advertisementlast_img read more

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AFCON 2019 qualification tops Okumbi’s agenda

first_img0Shares0000Harambee Stars players during a training session at the Moi Sports Centre Kasarani on November 11, 2016. PHOTO/Raymond MakhayaNAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 11-Harambee Stars head coach Stanley Okumbi has his eyes set on qualification to the 2019 African Cup of Nations, saying he is building up a team to get Kenya across the line to continental football for the first time since 2004.Kenya failed to make it to the 2017 Nations Cup after finishing bottom of group E with minnows Guinea Bissau picking up the automatic qualifying slot ahead of Congo Brazzaville and Zambia. Okumbi who leads the national team to two international friendly matches against Mozambique and Liberia on Saturday and Tuesday respectively believes they will have enough time to put a strong team together, relieving Kenya’s hunger of continental football.“The talk has been about the 2022 World Cup but we have other important tournaments before us and my hope is taking a step at a time. We have the AFCON Qualifiers coming up in March next year and that is our starting point. We need to have a good team to have us started on the qualification and that is my focus now,” the tactician said as he oversaw the team’s training session on Friday at Kasarani.Harambee Stars head coach Francis Okumbi follows proceedings during a training session at the Moi Sports Centre Kasarani on November 11, 2016. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya“We are building on a team for that purpose. We are not there yet because there are so many players we need to look but at least we are making some progress. It is important to have a consistent team if we are to get results,” the tactician added.The first round of qualification for the 2019 edition starts on March 20 next year.Okumbi has seen the team roll on a four match unbeaten run, winning at home against Congo Brazzaville and away to DR Congo in between back to back draws against Uganda and Zambia away.He will be looking to have the engine running against Mozambique and Liberia who are ranked lower than Stars and he believes his boys are up to the task.“The morale of the players is very high and everyone is looking forward to the match. Playing more regularly gives these players confidence and you find that in the long run, as a team we perform well. It will be very important to win especially now that we are playing at home,” Okumbi said.He has hinted the possibility of fielding changed teams for both ties, especially with the availability of the Zesco United trio of David Owino, Teddy Akumu and Jesse Were doubtful for the Tuesday encounter with their club set to have a midweek fixture.The coach has been boosted with the return of skipper Victor Wanyama who missed the last match against Congo and he believes his influence will be vital.“He brings in leadership on and off the pitch and you see a difference whenever he is playing. It is something good to have him back,” Okumbi offered.Harambee Stars captain Victor Wanyama takes on Amos Ekhalie during a training session at the Moi Sports Centre Kasarani on November 11, 2016. PHOTO/Raymond MakhayaWanyama, speaking to Capital Sport has underlined the importance of winning the two matches, especially as far as FIFA rankings is concerned.“We are playing in front of our home fans and it will be very important to win. Also, we are looking at rising in the FIFA rankings so as to open up more opportunities for our players to play in the top European Leagues. Everyone in the team is upbeat ahead of the two games,” Wanyama who turns out for English Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur said.Both matches kick off at 4pm with a flat rate ticketing of Sh200 set out.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

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Karim Benzema ‘will not participate in Euro 2016’, French FA announce

first_img Karim Benzema playing for Real Madrid Karim Benzema is not set to take part in France’s bid to win the European Championship when they host the competition this summer, with the French FA confirming the Real Madrid star will not be called up.The 28-year-old has not played for his country since being questioned by police in November in connection to an alleged blackmail attempt against France team-mate Mathieu Valbuena, over a sextape reportedly showing Valbuena and his partner.And now it has been confirmed that Benzema, who, with 27 goals in 81 games, is his country’s eight leading scorer, will not be called up by Didier Deschamps this summer.The forward posted a video on Facebook to plead for his recall to the national fold, but the French football federation (FFF) have made it clear that the Madrid star will miss out.A statement published by the FFF said: “Didier Deschamps and (president) Noel Le Graet met to discuss the situation of Mr Benzema.“The president of the federation and the coach would agree that athletic performance is an important but not exclusive criteria for selecting the France national team.“The ability of players work towards unity, in and around the group, are also taken into account.“As a result, Noel Le Graet and Didier Deschamps decided that Karim Benzema will not participate in Euro 2016.”There are no indications as to whether Benzema will be called back up to the France squad following the tournament this summer, but it looks as if his career with Les Bleus will end having earned 81 caps. 1last_img read more

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Donegal distillery’s new gin to serve up future jobs boost

first_imgSliabh Liag Distillery will launch An Dúlamán Irish Maritime Gin this weekend – a unique craft gin inspired by the Donegal coast and the ingredients found around the Sliabh Liag peninsula.The official launch of this unique gin takes place on Friday 27th October with an event celebrating “draíocht na farraige”, the magic of the sea. Sliabh Liag Distillery is Donegal’s first distillery in 175 years and the directors, James and Moira Doherty, are passionate about creating brands inspired by local lore and legends, rooted in the Donegal Gaeltacht, where the new distillery will be built on the slopes in the lee of Sliabh Liag Cliffs.James believes the new distillery will boost employment in the local community, while also bringing more visitors to the area.“We have 5 employees today and with construction on the main Sliabh Liag Distillery, we will create employment for up to 40 people once the distillery and visitor centre is fully operational. The Sliabh Liag Cliffs are Donegal’s main visitor attraction with almost 200,000 visitors each year.”Directors of the Sliabh Liag Distillery, James and Moira Doherty, who will launch their unique An Dúlamán Irish Maritime Gin this weekend.James continues: “Drinks tourism in Ireland is an area of huge growth and there’s been an explosion of craft gin in recent years. Construction of the new distillery will begin next year. The company has a portfolio of four spirits brands and has already launched its first expression, an independent bottling of Irish Whiskey named The Silkie.” The inspiration for An Dúlamán came about during a trip foraging seaweed in Donegal, as James explains: “My wife Moira was out picking Dulse with my aunt at Muckross Head close to Killybegs and she asked the question: ‘has anyone ever put this into alcohol?’. The seeds of an idea were born that day and we’re delighted to be able to share the result this weekend.”“An Dúlamán is made using only the finest Donegal Sweet Kombu (Sugar Kelp), Dillisk (Dulse), Pepper Dulse, Carrageen Moss and Channel Wrack. Pepper Dulse, sometimes known as the “truffle of the sea” is the shyest of these coastal treasures and can only be harvested on a full moon when the tides and the wild Atlantic work in our favour,” James adds.“Once collected, each botanical is treated on its own merits. Some are dried to intensify their flavours and others frozen to capture the delicate umami essence.“Following this, some of the ingredients go into Méabh, our hand beaten copper pot still and we add the more challenging ones into the flavour basket to be distilled into An Dúlamán, Irish Maritime Gin. The result of this devilishly narrow cut is a taste that captures fresh juniper, an umami richness and the dry tang of sea breeze,” says James.An Dúlamán is presented in a dark bottle reminiscent of those found on the Armada wrecks along the coast of Donegal. The bottle’s labelling in drawn by a local artist and inspired by the Book of Kells. Each bottle is wax sealed and the batch number is linked to the lunar phases.The gin’s name comes from the traditional song Dúlamán na binne bhuí, made famous by Altan, Clannad and other famous Irish singers and songwriters. James knows the drinks industry well having held senior positions with major drinks suppliers SABMiller in Asia, Foster’s in Australia and William Grant & Sons. He and his wife Moira are joined by James Keith, the Hughes family, Dom De Lorenzo and John Davidson in their mission to reclaim the distilling heritage of Donegal.Moira says: “the artisanal gin category is exploding and with Donegal officially the coolest place on the planet we feel it’s an exciting time for the county and we want to thank everyone from the local community and further afield who helped us along the way.”The launch of An Dúlamán takes place from 8pm – 10.30pm at An Dúlamán Gin Palace, Sliabh Liag Distillery, Line Road, Carrick, Co. Donegal. It is strictly for over 18’s only and ID may be required. There is very limited car parking at the venue. For more information on An Dúlamán Irish Maritime Gin or Silkie whiskey visit www.sliabhliagdistillery.com or for any queries please contact Sliabh Liag Distillery on info@sliabhliagdistillery.com. Please enjoy alcohol responsibly. Donegal distillery’s new gin to serve up future jobs boost was last modified: October 24th, 2017 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:an dulamanginsilkie whiskeySliabh Liag Distillerylast_img read more

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Mark Sampson made ‘racist remarks’ towards England pair, report finds

first_img1 The lawyer who initially cleared former England women’s manager Mark Sampson of bullying and racism has changed her mind and decided he did make two racist remarks to players.Katharine Newton, a highly qualified barrister, was called in by the Football Association in December 2016 to follow up an internal investigation into claims made by England and Chelsea striker Eni Aluko against Sampson.Aluko issued several allegations against Sampson but the two central claims were that he made discriminatory remarks to her ahead of an England-Germany game in 2014 and her Chelsea team-mate Drew Spence at a players’ meeting in 2015.Newton’s first review, completed in March, backed the FA verdict that there was insufficient evidence to say whether Sampson made these remarks, and cleared him of Aluko’s other claims of bullying and racism.But now, in a dramatic twist to what has already been a remarkable affair, Newton has reversed the first part of her verdict after interviewing several new witnesses who did not take part in her first investigation, including Aluko and Spence, and seeing contemporaneous WhatsApp messages between players.In the conclusion to her reopened investigation into Aluko’s claims, Newton said: “I have concluded that on two separate occasions, (Mark Sampson) has made ill-judged attempts at humour, which, as a matter of law, were discriminatory on grounds of race within the meaning of the Equality Act 2010.“However, that is not the same as concluding that (Sampson) is racist. In fact, I consider it fundamentally important to emphasise that I have not concluded (Sampson) is a racist.”Newton then goes on to explain that, in light of the testimony from new witnesses and WhatsApp messages, she has re-examined all of Aluko’s other complaints about Sampson discriminating against her.On these matters, Newton has not changed her mind and continues to believe Sampson was innocent of bullying or picking on Aluko.She does, however, state that if he was still employed by the FA, he should be sent on “equal opportunities and diversity training” as he has “difficulty judging the appropriate boundaries when engaging in banter” with players.Newton’s change of mind is based on the fact that Aluko chose not to cooperate with her first inquiry, having grown frustrated with the FA’s own review, and was protecting Spence’s identity because the younger player had not wanted to make any formal complaint.Following widespread media coverage of the story, both Aluko and Spence agreed to talk to Newton and share their messages, and Newton was also able to speak to six other players who were in the room when Sampson made the comment to Spence, who is of mixed race, about her “being arrested before”.Crucially, three of these witnesses recalled the comment, which was made in an informal setting, and three did not.In regards to the comment made to Aluko in 2014 – a reference to her Nigerian family not bringing Ebola with them to Wembley – Newton relied on her contemporaneous accounts of the conversation to others.Sampson was sacked by the FA last month for an “inappropriate” relationship he had with a young player in his former job at Bristol Academy in 2013.In a statement responding to Newton’s new report, FA chief executive Martin Glenn said: “On behalf of the Football Association I would like to sincerely apologise to Eniola Aluko and Drew Spence.“Based on new evidence submitted to independent barrister Katharine Newton, she has now found that they were both subject to discriminatory remarks made by an FA employee. This is not acceptable.” Eni Aluko last_img read more

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More opt to vote at home by mail

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’“We can expect the November general election will have even higher numbers requesting, and subsequently casting, absentee ballots throughout the state,” Secretary of State Bruce McPherson wrote last week. But experts warn the trend has made campaigns longer and more expensive and has raised concerns about privacy and security. “The old adage used to be, just campaign in the last 10 days because nobody paid attention,” said Allan Hoffenblum, a political analyst who publishes the California Target Book analyzing state elections. “They now start well over 30 days out, because they know a lot of voters start at least a month before the election. It’s changed the tactics.” And Kim Alexander, president of the California Voter Foundation, said that while the boom in absentee ballots has made it more convenient to vote – and thereby may boost turnout – it also has an isolating effect. “In California, we don’t have a lot of civic rituals as it is,” Alexander said. “Voting at your polling place is one of the few civic rituals millions of Californians engage in. I think it would be a mistake to take that experience away.” Advocates say absentee ballots allow voters more time to think through their choices – and that is particularly critical on a ballot like this year’s where many voters will be making more than 30 choices. Still, experts say absentee voting also raises the question of whether people who vote at home may be pressured by others in the household to vote a certain way – compared with voting at a polling place, which is a truly secret ballot. Voting by mail also depends on the postal service, and McPherson recently expressed concerns about such costs this year. In at least 15 counties, McPherson said, the ballot is so big that it will cost 63 cents to mail rather than the standard 39 cent stamp. And that has McPherson concerned voters will use insufficient postage and their ballots will be kicked back to them. McPherson has asked the U.S. Postal Service to work with local county election officials to ensure heavier ballots with insufficient postage are delivered on time. The issue is not affecting Los Angeles County because its Ink-a-Vote system creates a smaller ballot, said county Registrar Conny McCormack. Los Angeles County also has traditionally had a lower absentee-voting level than other counties. In the June primary, 30 percent of L.A. County voters mailed in their votes compared with more than 55 percent in Contra Costa and Orange counties. Those counties also have encouraged residents to sign up as permanent absentee voters so they are automatically mailed absentee ballots every election. “Some counties have done that, and they believe it makes their processing easier,” McCormack said. “That wouldn’t be the case here. “If we had 30 or 40 percent of our voters \ absentee that would mean we’d be mailing out 2 million ballots. And getting 2 million ballots ready to mail out by Election Day would be extremely difficult. “If we had to, we would do it, but it’s very expensive.” “And you have to set up polling places anyway. So it really becomes running two elections.” harrison.sheppard@dailynews.com (916) 446-6723160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! For the first time in state history, more Californians are expected to vote by mail in the November election than actually going to the polls because of the growing popularity of absentee ballots. Once the domain of overseas travelers and homebound seniors, absentee voting has been made easier by changes in state laws – and busy residents have jumped at the chance to save time and still have their voices heard. “As we all get more and more hectic lives, absentee is a very attractive way to vote,” said Tim Hodson, executive director of the Center for California Studies at Cal State Sacramento. Two decades ago, 9 percent of general-election voting was done by absentee ballot. By last year’s special election, absentee voting was up to 40 percent and in the June primary, nearly 47 percent of votes cast were absentee. last_img read more

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Homeless program gets new director Search goes on for Wednesday shelter

first_img“She has big shoes to fill from John Purvis, but she’s doing a great job,” Nelson said. The lack of a shelter site on Wednesday nights makes it hard on the homeless who need a place to stay, Nelson said. The church that provided Wednesday night shelter in the past could not participate in the program this year because of scheduling conflicts with a Bible study class and a youth group. “We’ve been talking to several other churches who might be able to help,” she said. “We’re working on it right now and hoping by next Wednesday we will have a place for people to sleep.” eric.leach@dailynews.com (805) 583-7602 Shelters The Simi Valley homeless shelters are open from 7:45 p.m. to 6 a.m. Here are their locations: Sunday’s shelter is in the Knights of Columbus Hall, 1255 E. Patricia Ave. Monday, Seventh-day Adventist Church, 1636 Sinaloa Road. Tuesday, Trinity Lutheran Church, 2929 Alamo St. Thursday, Simi Valley Community Church, 2000 Royal Ave. Friday, Our Savior Lutheran Church, 4191 Cochran St. Saturday, United Methodist Church, 2394 Erringer Road, in partnership with St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church. After the shelters close at 6 a.m., homeless adults in Simi Valley can go to the Samaritan Center, 280 Royal Ave., from 7 to 11 a.m. Monday through Friday for breakfast, showers, clean clothes and help getting public services. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SIMI VALLEY – The winter shelter program for the homeless in Simi Valley has a new director but still no place for the valley’s homeless residents to stay on Wednesday nights. Kittie Fidermutz, 42, who has been coordinating the bell-ringer program for the Salvation Army in eastern Ventura County for 11 years, volunteered as supervisor for the shelter program after longtime director John Purvis stepped down this year. Purvis worked for the past decade as director of the Public Action to Deliver Shelter program seven nights a week, but he decided to move on to other work this year. The PADS program runs from Nov. 1 to the end of March. “In the beginning, because the weather was so warm, we didn’t have many clients, but now that it’s cold, we’ve had more and more,” said Fidermutz, who is helped at the shelters by her 24-year-old son, Steven. “We’re expecting up to 40 a night when it rains. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’“The clients are people like all of us. They are nice and willing to help. I care about them.” “Some of them are working so hard to find a permanent home. They get up and go to work every day,” she said. “I’ve had a couple of families, including a single mom with five children. The youngest one was 11 months old.” Fidermutz said she has hired homeless people in the past for the bell-ringer program, and they made excellent employees. “You just have to give them a chance,” she said. Virginia Nelson, director of Simi Valley’s Samaritan Center, which sponsors the PADS shelter program with the help of local churches and the Knights of Columbus, said Fidermutz was “a godsend” after Purvis left. last_img read more

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Which partnerships have created the most chances for each other this season?

first_img REVEALED Getty Images 6 He and the Brazilian have created a league-high 27 chances for one another.Have a look at the table in full here… Hazard and Willian have created 20 chances for eachother Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? huge blow Salah and Firmino top the list of pairs who have created the most chances for one another Boxing Day fixtures: All nine Premier League games live on talkSPORT Salah and Mane have created many chances for eachother this season Green reveals how he confronted Sarri after Chelsea’s 6-0 defeat at Man City Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury whoops no dice gameday cracker Mitrovic and Seri have created several chances for eachother this season The pair have created a combined 20 goalscoring chances for one another even though Seri plays as a central midfielder.4 = Eden Hazard and Willian (Chelsea)Blues forwards Hazard and Willian take fourth spot on the list. Bournemouth’s Ryan Fraser has created the most big chances in the Premier League this season.The Scot leads the way having been the orchestrator of 17 clear-cut opportunities for his team-mates. 6 Fraser has created 17 big chances this season deals Man United transfer news live: Haaland ‘wants a change’, two players off in January center_img REVEALED 4 = Aleksandar Mitrovic and Jean Michael Seri (Fulham)Somewhat surprisingly, Mitrovic and Seri have created the fifth most opportunities for each other his season. Son ban confirmed as Tottenham fail with appeal to overturn red card Mohamed Salah and Lucas Digne take silver and bronze in the list respectively – but which strike pairings have formed the best relationship this season?And Opta have identified the duos that have created the most goalscoring chances for each other so far.Find out below… 6 Did Mahrez just accidentally reveal Fernandinho is leaving Man City this summer? The pair have created a combined 20 goalscoring chances for each other this term.3. Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane (Liverpool)Although Salah is misfiring in front of goal at the moment, he has created a huge amount of chances for his team-mates this season. 6 6 shining Premier League Team of the Season so far, including Liverpool and Leicester stars Sterling and Aguero have created 25 combined chances for one another 6 He and Mane have created a combined 23 goalscoring chances for one another.2. Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)Sterling and Aguero are both flying in Pep Guardiola’s side and their stats show for it. LATEST PREMIER LEAGUE NEWS They have created a combined 25 goalscoring opportunities for one another – the second highest on the list1. Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino (Liverpool)Salah remarkably appears twice on the list but this time with Firmino. REAL DEAL Real Madrid ‘offer’ Isco to Chelsea in bid to ‘make room’ for Tottenham star Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won tense last_img read more

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Cllr Mac Giolla Easbuig: Government taking “lotto approach” to school funding

first_imgIndependent Councillor Micheál Choilm Mac Giolla Easbuig has slammed the government for what he described as a “lotto approach” to funding schools in Donegal. The councillor was responding to news that 18 schools in Donegal are to receive free meals after missing out on DEIS funding.The councillor said that the government has just “picked schools at random when it selects which schools gets funding and which don’t.” “There are many schools that receive no DEIS or no funding while facing the same disadvantages as other schools. It’s total inequality on the government’s behalf.“Our schools are facing daily challenges to heat and maintain themselves and are relying on local funding to keep them afloat.”Cllr Mac Giolla Easbuig: Government taking “lotto approach” to school funding was last modified: April 1st, 2017 by Elaine McCalligShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Councillor Micheál Choilm Mac Giolla Easbuigdeisdonegalschoolslast_img read more

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Marshfield softball sweeps two from Big Rivers teams

first_imgBy Paul LeckerSports ReporterMAUSTON – The Marshfield softball team improved to 3-0 this season with a pair of victories over Big Rivers Conference competition on Saturday at Woodside Sports Complex.Marshfield whipped Eau Claire Memorial 14-4 and Menomonie 4-3 in nonconference action Saturday afternoon.Marshfield started out the game against Memorial on fire, scoring 11 straight runs with one out in the bottom of the first inning to take an 11-2 lead.Megan Donahue had an RBI triple and a two-run double in the first inning, and Caitlin Kozik added an RBI double in the rally.Kozik earned the win, striking out two and not allowing a walk in a complete-game effort.The Tigers fell behind 2-0 in the first inning of the second game as well, but quickly rallied and held on late for the win over Menomonie.Marshfield scored twice in the bottom of the first to tie it, and had single runs in the fourth and sixth to pull ahead by two. The Mustangs scored once in the seventh, but Donahue closed out the win. She had nine strikeouts and three walks to earn the victory.Lexi Dupee was 3-for-3 with two doubles and a triple, and finished with five hits overall in the two games.“The top of the batting order, especially at the beginning of the games, have really been coming through,” Marshfield coach Mike Voss said. “Overall, the offense is doing a pretty good job. We’re getting girls on base, moving them around and coming through with big hits to score some runs.”Marshfield hosts Stevens Point at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Marshfield Fairgrounds.(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com.)Tigers 14, Old Abes 4Eau Claire Memorial 200 02 – 4 8 3Marshfield (11)03 0x – 14 11 3WP: Caitlin Kozik. LP: Miah Peterson.SO: Peterson 1, Dani Mestelle 2; Kozik 2. BB: Peterson 3, Mestelle 1; Kozik 0.Top hitters: M, Megan Donahue 2×2, 2B, 3 RBIs; Kozik 2B; Melissa Roberts 2 hits; Lexi Dupee 2 RBIs.Records: Marshfield 2-0; Memorial 0-2.—Tigers 4, Mustangs 3Menomonie 200 000 1 – 3 5 1Marshfield 200 101 x – 4 5 3WP: Donahue. LP: Manor.SO: Manor 3; Donahue 9. BB: Manor 0; Donahue 3.Top hitters: MAR, Dupee 3×3, 2 2Bs, 3B; Emily Draeger 2B.Records: Marshfield 3-0; Menomonie 0-3.last_img read more

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Nokia vs Apple in The Internet Mobile Device Market

first_imgNow the bad news. In the Internet mobile device stakes, where Apple is now a big threat, Nokia reported that its “converged mobile device” options (e.g. NSeries and ESeries) has 41% of the market. However the same time last year they had 51%. Nokia says that the “converged mobile device industry” sales were 37.1 million units in Q2, compared with an estimated 27.0 million units in the second quarter 2007. Nokia’s converged mobile device volumes were 15.3 million units in the second quarter 2008, compared with 13.9 million units in the second quarter 2007. The company says it shipped “over 10 million Nokia Nseries and almost 2 million Nokia Eseries devices during the second quarter 2008.” To get back to the iphone – how can we resist, sorry Russell – it’s clear it will make serious inroads into Nokia’s market share of Internet mobile devices. The Blackberry is also continuing to hurt Nokia in that high end market. Nokia’s own figures are showing that it’s struggling to keep pace with Apple and RIM, just 41% market share in converged devices in Q2 compared to 51% a year ago (also see this report of nearly 53% in Q4 07).Longer term, I’d expect Apple’s iPhone to reach levels similar to the Mac in the PC market – 8.5% and rising according to latest reports. Maybe 5% is more realistic, but you never know with the momentum Apple has in all digital media markets right now. As for Nokia, it will probably continue to hit around 40% in overall market share, but its Internet phones are trending in the wrong direction. According to a CNET report, Nokia plans to soon introduce “a range of touchscreen phones that will likely compete head-to-head with Apple’s iPhone”. And as its recent outright purchase of the Symbian OS shows, it’s looking to attack Apple on the ‘open’ front. As the advert below shows, it is talking tough in the process (note also the parody above):Via CommandZedIt will be interesting to see if they can reverse the trend. I suspect that Apple is always going to have the advantage when it comes to high-end computing products, and mobile will be no exception. But Nokia’s mainstream market share is too large for it to be easily usurped, so the iphone almost certainly will never have the market share that the ipod enjoys (85% plus). We’re interested in your thoughts on the Internet mobile device market, please share them in the comments.Images: tnkgrl and brandon shigeta Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement richard macmanus What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Related Posts The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology We’ve been as excited as everyone else about the iPhone 3G. But it’s easy to forget that the iphone is just a tiny player in the mobile phone market. Even if it hits Steve Jobs’ target of 10 million iphone sales by end of 2008, that will still be less than 1% of the mobile device market.To put it into perspective, Nokia remains the world’s biggest mobile handset maker with an estimated 40% of the market. Impressively Nokia has a very healthy lead over its competition. However if you look more closely, Nokia is slipping behind in the all-important Internet mobile device market.But first the good news for Nokia fans. Nokia just announced that in Q2, 2008 it had sold 122 million cell phones, up about two percentage points from its second quarter 2007 market share of 38%. These are Nokia’s estimates, but they say that overall 303 million mobile devices were sold worldwide in Q2, 2008. Interestingly the geographical breakdown shows clearly that the Asia-Pacific market dwarfs the North American market: Tags:#Analysis#Features#mobile#web last_img read more

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Why We’re Desperately Awaiting Feedsqueezer

first_imgWhen the RSS management company Feedburner was acquired by the internet goliath Google back in May of 2007, some people were excited, others were concerned. On the one side, there was hope that putting Google’s weight behind the struggling service would improve the speed with which feeds were updated. Plus, there would be the option to put AdSense in feeds, which pleased some publishers. Others, however, felt that that the move gave Google too much power over the syndication marketplace. One of the people concerned was Dave Winer, one of the world’s first bloggers and an RSS pioneer. At the beginning of this month, he posted a link toFeedsqueezer, a Feeburner competitor that may end up being the only viable option we’ll have when it comes to feed management. Though he didn’t provide any context for the link, we found it interesting as well.Feed Management: The Internet Monopoly Surprisingly, feed management is one service where there aren’t a million different options available. Unlike Web 2.0 sites like Twitter and Friendfeed, whose competitors are plentiful and varied, FeedBurner stands alone. Years ago there was Feedpass, but it never got off the ground. These days, as Allen Stern just noted on CenterNetworks, the only other viable option is Pheedo, a service that offers basically the same services as FeedBurner, but also seems to come with the same set of issues: feeds don’t update too quickly, much less in real-time. Obviously, this lack of true competition is a giant, gaping hole that everyone is waiting for someone to fill. That’s why we have our eyes pinned on Feedsqueezer service, hoping that something will come of it. Feedsqueezer, the Upcoming Alternative to FBToday, the Feedsqueezer homepage is nothing more than a promise of what’s to come: a feed management platform that delivers analytics, SEO, feed re-distribution, content delivery, and more. There’s a quiet Twitter account and an unused GetSatisfaction page set up for the service. The one employee representing the service there is “gadgetboy,” aka John Federico, a marketing and business development representative whose prior experience includes serving as VP of Marketing for BlogTalkRadio, Senior Strategist for IconNicholson, Sr. Director of podcasting for Audible, Inc., and more. The only clue we have to Feedsqueezer’s progress is yesterday’s one (and only) tweet that announces “getting schooled in all things EC2,” a reference to Amazon’s “Elastic Compute Cloud” service where it appears Feedsqueezer will be hosted. At least a day old tweet appears to be progress. Now, more than ever, publishers need a real alternative to Feedburner. Anyone interested in signing up for the beta can do so from the Feedsqueezer homepage. Who knows? It’s worth a shot. Update: We mistakenly reported that FeedSquuezer was Winer’s own project in our initial coverage. Winer is in fact not associated with the service in any way and we apologize for the error in reporting. The confusion resulted from his statement on his blog: “I also volunteer to help get a Feedburner competitor on the air…update:Feedsqueezer.” Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Related Posts sarah perezcenter_img Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#Product Reviews#RSS & Feeds#web last_img read more