first_imgWashington: Reaffirming the dominance of Indian-Americans, a record seven Indian-origin students were among eight who jointly won the prestigious 2019 Scripps National Spelling Bee, taking home more than USD 50,000 in cash and prizes in an “unprecedented” competition. It is the first time in the 94-year history of the contest that more than two co-champions have been named. It was also the first time since 2007 when an American student, Erin Howard, was among the winners. Also Read – ‘Hong Kong won’t rule out Chinese help over protests’Rishik Gandhasri, 13, of California; Saketh Sundar, 13, of Maryland; Shruthika Padhy, 13, of New Jersey; Sohum Sukhatankar, 13, of Texas; Abhijay Kodali, 12, of Texas; Rohan Raja, 13, of Texas; Christopher Serrao, 13, of New Jersey and Howard, 14, of Alabama were named as co-champions. For Rishik Gandhasri, the winning word was “auslaut.” Erin Howard, spelled “erysipelas” correctly. Saketh Sundar, won on “bougainvillea.” And Shruthika Padhy, won with “aiguillette.” Sohum Sukhatankar, spelled “pendeloque” correctly. Abhijay Kodali, spelled “palama” right. Christopher Serrao, won with “cernuous.” Rohan’s winning word was “odylic.” Also Read – Pak Army chief accompanies Imran at key meetings in China”I was last,” Rohan said after it was all over. “I had to watch everybody get applause,” he said. Each of the eight students will receive the full winner’s prize of USD 50,000 in cash. In all, 50 of the 562 spellers reached the finals, 34 of them eliminated during the afternoon rounds. The six boys and two girls combined to spell the final 47 words correctly over five consecutive perfect rounds in the most extraordinary ending of the competition. “In an unprecedented display of academic achievement, eight spellers have become co-champions of the 2019 Scripps National Spelling Bee, making history as the first group to share the coveted title in the 92 years of the storied event,” the organisers tweeted. Thursday night’s finals went on more than an hour and half past the scheduled time with words like omphalopsychite, Geeldikkop and auftaktigkeit. The competition, broadcast nationally, kicked off on Tuesday with its biggest field ever. The 565 contestants ranged in age from 7 to 14 and came from across the US and several other countries, including Canada, Ghana and Jamaica. “Champion spellers, we are in uncharted territory,” official pronouncer Jacques Bailly said. “We do have plenty of words remaining on our list, but we’ll soon run out of words that can possibly challenge you, the most phenomenal assemblage of super spellers in the history of this competition,” Bailly said.last_img read more

first_imgNew Delhi: The bodies of two men and as many women, who drowned during Ganesh idol immersion, were recovered from near Palla Bakhtawarpur village in the early hours of Friday, the Delhi Fire Service said. The Fire Department received information regarding the drowning around 9 pm on Thursday, officials said. A fire tender was rushed to the spot and a rescue operation initiated. The bodies were subsequently recovered, they said. According to police, information of four people drowning in the Yamuna river near ‘thoker’ number 17 was received around the same time as the Fire Department. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murder During inquiry, it was found that a group of around 30 people were on their way to bathe in the Yamuna river after performing Ganesh puja, they said. “They were stopped at Shani Mandir and Bakhtawar Pur, and advised by civil defence and police staff to avoid bathing in the river,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (Outer North) Gaurav Sharma said. The group had initially agreed to the requests but eventually, eight of them did enter the river, Sharma said. Police were informed that eight people, who were bathing on the banks of the Yamuna, had ventured into deeper water, following which four of them drowned, officials said. The deceased have been identified as Umesh Yadav (20), Priyanka (20), Pinki (21) and Nikit (21), all residents of Nihal Vihar, Nangloi, they added.last_img read more

first_imgTOKYO — Japanese media say Tokyo prosecutors have charged Nissan former chairman Carlos Ghosn with underreporting his income. Another executive and Nissan Motor Co. also were charged.Prosecutors would not immediately confirm the reports Monday by Kyodo News service and other media. They were due to brief media later in the day.The prosecutors say Ghosn is suspected of underreporting his income by 5 billion yen ($44 million) over five years. In Japan, a company can be charged with wrongdoing.Some kind of action by the prosecutors had been expected as the detention period allowed for the allegations disclosed so far ends on Monday.Nissan executive Greg Kelly is suspected of having collaborated with Ghosn. Kelly’s attorney in the U.S. says he is asserting his innocence.Ghosn has not commented.The Associated Presslast_img read more

first_imgOn May 5, President Trump tweeted for a fresh look for a high tariff on Chinese goods worth US$ 200 billion imports from 10 per cent to 25 per cent from Friday, if the renewed negotiation failed. The US alleged China for backtracking from its previous offers. The negotiation failed. The US activated a new 25 per cent duty on US$ 200 billion worth of exports from China, effective from 1st June. India is not far from the pounce of America’s high tariff trade war. President Trump slammed India for high tariff, tweeting it a “tariff king” and accused it of trade deficit with the US. During the recent bilateral trade meeting, the visiting US Commerce Minister Willbor Ross blamed India for “overly restrictive” tariff, which brought a jolt to US’s exports to India, and eventually caused trade deficit with India. He said that India ranked 13 of US’s exports because of the high tariff. Whereas, the US is the biggest export destination for India. Also Read – Hijacking Bapu’s legacyIndia hogged a blemish for “unjust trade” and fell in the warrant list of US’s high tariff cudgel. US fixed India in the watch list of 301 and threatened to withdraw GSP benefits as a counter-attack on India’s price cap on medical devices, such as cardiovascular stent and knee implants. It also threatened to drag India in WTO Dispute Settlement Body on export subsidies. India lost the entitlement for subsidies after crossing the cap of US$ 1000 per capita income level. In retaliation, India threatened to impose a high tariff on 29 items from the US. Also Read – The future is here!The slugfest between India and US will linger with no side bowing for adjustment. Against this backdrop, FTA (Free Trade Agreement) could be recourse to resolve the trade dispute. US Ambassador to India, Kenneth Juster mulled for FTA between US and India. A top American business advocacy group, US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF), asserted for FTA. It believed that FTA would be key to resolve the trade irritants. The President of USISPF believed that “Once you have FTA, all the issues of tariff will go away”. The US is the second biggest trade partner of India, after China. In 2017-18, the US accounted for 9.7 per cent of India’s total trade. Incidentally, India’s trade relation with China and US countries are diagonally opposite to each other. While China is the trigger for the trade deficit, the US is pivotal for export growth, yielding trade surplus. It helped in offsetting a chunk of trade deficit, triggered by China. In 2017-18, the US’s trade surplus offset 13 per cent of India’s total trade deficit. Against this backdrop, a lesson can be drawn for India before vying for retaliation against the US. In trade and investment relation, US is more significant to India than vice-versa. The US is the biggest export destination for India and a major foreign investor. To this end, any retaliation by India means opening a Pandora Box. The US is the backbone for India’s export growth. In 2017-2018, it shared one-sixth of India’s export, accounting for 15.8 per cent. It is gear to India’s export growth. For example, in 2017-18, India’s a total export surged by 10 per cent and the US was the main gear to this growth. It shared 13.4 per cent of India’s export. In the basket of exports also, the US has been playing an important role. It is the biggest importer of readymade garments, marine products, diamonds and pharmaceuticals, which are the major components of India’s exports. Incidentally, besides earning foreign exchange and reducing the trade deficit, exports to the US paves the way for generating employment opportunities in India. This is because garments and diamonds are labour intensive industries. Both World Bank and Peterson Institutes studies have predicted significant gains for both US and India if a free trade agreement is concluded. Before Trump, US was a believer in low tariff and oppose to protectionism. With a turnaround in the trade policy under Trump regime, US and India are in the same boat of protectionism with their aim for America First and Make in India respectively. Given this paradigm shift of the US’s trade policy, FTA will play an important role in gearing up the trade relationship between the two countries. With tariffs done away under FTA, trade potential between the two countries will increase through trade-related investment. The US has the advantages of technology and financial muscles and India has an edge in providing low cost of production base and big domestic demand. FTA will encourage US investors to invest in India in the lure of low-cost production while importing high tech products duty-free as inputs. Eventually, it will help in reducing the trade deficit. Manufacturing of mobile phone by US investors can be a case in point. Currently, more than 85 per cent of component and material costs for making a mobile phone is imported. India produces only 5-10 per cent of the billing cost, which includes casing, plastic and box packaging. Most of these components and materials are imported from China because of low price advantages. With basic duties on components and materials waived off under FTA, which are around 10-12 per cent, US manufacturers will have an edge over the manufacturers, who are dependent on imports from China. India is on the trend for heading towards a new manufacturing dynamism after digitisation and automation, which embraces component base industries. These industries require technology and skilled manpower. FTA with the US will leverage the benefit of technology transfer through the import of components and materials at low cost. This will have a dual impact on US-India trade relation. On one hand, it will have a propitious impact with the increase in US’s exports of inputs to India, and on the other side, it can pose a big challenge to China’s low coat dumping in India. Increase in US’s exports will have a cascading impact on US-India economic relation. It will increase the US’s investment in India, along with exports. Eventually, it will quell the US’s ire against India and pitch for a win-win situation for both countries.(The views expressed are strictly personal)last_img read more

8 March 2011An independent United Nations expert today stressed the need to ensure that human rights standards, particularly the right to adequate housing, are included in post-conflict and post-disaster reconstruction processes. “This has disastrous consequences, particularly for the most vulnerable,” Raquel Rolnik, the UN Special Rapporteur on adequate housing, said in her annual report to the Geneva-based Human Rights Council.This is “particularly alarming when we know that armed conflicts and natural disasters are not only a massive but a growing problem worldwide,” she added. Ms. Rolnik emphasized that “the impact of conflicts and disasters should not be measured simply in terms of physical assets destroyed and people displaced but also and perhaps primarily in terms of the extent of disruption of social relationships, networks and assets.” The issue of access to land warranted special attention, according to the Special Rapporteur. “The most vulnerable are very often displaced from the land they were living in before disasters or conflicts to open the way for real estate projects,” she noted. “No institutional or financial provision for either the acquisition of well located land for the landless or to create more secure rights for the vulnerable population in situ are usually provided.” Ms. Rolnik called for a system of rapid assessment and analysis of pre-existing tenure and property rights in the immediate aftermath of a disaster or conflict, to guide all urgent steps taken to protect the right to adequate housing and tenure security of all, but particularly the poorer and marginalized members of society. She urged all relevant actors to ensure the effective consultation and direct participation of affected communities in the design and implementation of post-conflict and post-disaster responses, particularly on matters of housing and land. read more

He was also instrumental in securing the assistance of the Asian Flight Oral Cancer organization based in Tokyo headed by Professor KanichiSeto to fight against oral cancer among Sri Lankans resulting in the cure of over 250 victims. In recognition of his outstanding service in promoting Japanese productivity techniques in Sri Lanka and enhancing bilateral relationship between the two countries, he was awarded the Japanese Foreign Minister’s Commendation in 2014. The Government of Japan today announced the conferment of “The order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette” upon Lal De Alwis in recognition of his significant contribution in strengthening and deepening Japan and Sri Lanka relations.A congratulatory message was sent by Fumio Kishida, Minister of Foreign affairs in Japan today upon the announcement stating “Please accept my sincerest congratulations on the conferment of ‘The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette’, in recognition of your outstanding contribution, and my best wishes for your continued good health and happiness”. De Alwis followed two training programmes organized in Japan by the Asian Productivity Organization and was able to transfer this technology to many private sector companies and government organizations through seminars conducted by the Japan Sri Lanka Technical Cultural Association (JASTECA). In 1983, he also followed the Association for Overseas Technical Scholarship (AOTS)programme for Cross – Cultural Management (PCCM) in Japan and was instrumental in introducing the 5S management practices in Sri Lanka. Since then, he has been supporting JASTECAin organizing seminars, workshops and also conducting an annual award scheme known as the Taiki Akimoto 5S awards and Kaizen Awards which have grown in popularity among many organizationsand industries in Sri Lanka.Accordingly, Lal De Alwis has played a key role in promoting JASTECA activities for the last 30 years resulting in the Association being graded as one of the best AOTS Alumni Societies in the world by AOTS. He also played a pioneering role together with the late Ian Dias Abeysinghe in establishing the Sri Lanka alumni of AOTS and ABKD known as the Asia Cultural Association in 1965 for the purpose of channeling technical training opportunities to Sri Lankans.In February 1984, De Alwis together with Abeysinghe and assisted by four others established the Japan Sri Lanka Technical Cultural Association (JASTECA).In 1985, He was elected as the Secretary General of the JASTECA and became its president in 1984, 1989, 1990 and 1991.In 1989, he was unanimously elected to chair the World Convention of AOTS Alumni Societies held in Yokohama, Japan. On his initiative as the Chairman of the World Convention of AOTS an independent fund known as the WNF was established to assist developing countries. He is currently the Vice Patron of JASTECA and a Trustee of the JASTECA Trust. De Alwis is a well-known business leader and has served as Managing Director and CEO of several prominent companies in Sri Lanka. In rendering his valuable service in the Sri Lanka’s business arena, also served as the President of the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka for a period of 2 years from 2009 to 2011.He was also elected to chair the Joint Chambers Business Forum comprising of all the trade chambers of Sri Lanka. (Colombo Gazette) De Alwis graduated in Business Management in 1976 and holds a Diploma in Professional Diplomacy and World Affairs which he obtained in 2011 conducted by the Bandaranaiyake International Training Institute. read more

On the same night, Naval personnel attached to SLNS Elara located in Karainagar in the Northern Naval Command apprehended another 6 Indian fishermen who were poaching in the sea area North of the Delft Island. Along with the fishermen, a fishing trawler and two unauthorized fishing nets were also taken into custody. The fishermen and items were handed over to the Jaffna Fisheries Director for further investigations. (Colombo Gazette) The Sri Lanka Navy arrested 10 Indian fishermen who were poaching in Sri Lankan waters at two separate locations yesterday (7), the Navy media unit said today.Accordingly, 4 Indian fishermen along with a fishing trawler, engaged in illegal fishing activities, were apprehended by the Naval personnel attached to SLNS Thammanna located in Talaimannar belonging to the North Central Naval Command, in the sea area North of Talaimannar. The apprehended persons and trawler were handed over to the Directorate of Fisheries, Mannar for onward action. read more

Miloon Kothari, the UN Commission on Human Rights’ Special Rapporteur on adequate housing, will begin his two-week field mission on Monday. He is expected to examine the status of Peru’s efforts to realize the right to adequate housing and other related rights, with particular attention to aspects of gender equality and non-discrimination.Mr. Kothari is also expected to speak with high-level national and local officials – including the Ministers of Housing and of Women and Social Development – other global agencies and representatives of civil society about their efforts to secure these rights; and identify practical solutions and best practices towards enhancing the standard of living overall.The Special Rapporteur, an architect by training, will also visit communities in Lima, Iquitos and Ica to assess housing and living conditions, with particular attention to the needs of the poor, the rights of women, children, minorities, migrants and indigenous peoples. He will also hold hearings to listen to experiences of community groups. read more

Glencore mulls changes in Xstrata bid, big Gulf investor wants better terms AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by News Staff Posted Jun 27, 2012 4:55 am MDT LONDON – Commodities trader Glencore International said Wednesday that it is considering changes in incentives for senior employees of Xstrata, amid growing shareholder concerns over its proposed takeover of the mining company.The possible revision of the offer comes barely two weeks ahead of a shareholders vote on the deal.Glencore’s announcement followed a demand by a Qatari investment fund for better terms for its 10 per cent stake in Xstrata. It wants 3.25 new Glencore shares for each Xstrata share, significantly more than the 2.8 shares currently on offer.The Financial Times reported Wednesday that the Qatari demand means that holders of about a quarter of Xstrata shares are opposed to the terms, enough to block the deal.Some shareholders have raised objections to retention provisions in the deal, including a three-year, $45 million deal for Xstrata’s chief executive Mick Davis, who is in line to become chief executive of the merged company.In all, the deal calls for 73 senior employees of Xstrata to share in 173 million pounds of incentives to remain in their jobs.Glencore said it had received a revised proposal from Xstrata “and will make a further announcement when appropriate.”When the deal was announced in February, two big fund managers — Standard Life Investments and Schroder Investment Management — said Glencore’s offer undervalued Xstrata.The Association of British Insurers also opposes the retention provisions.Glencore, which has scheduled a general meeting of shareholders for July 11, already holds a 34 per cent stake in the mining company. Xstrata shareholders are to vote on July 12.Glencore shares were down 2.8 per cent at 294 pence in morning trading in London, while Xstrata’s share price fell 1.2 per cent to 776 pence. read more

by Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press Posted May 28, 2015 11:55 am MDT Last Updated May 28, 2015 at 4:13 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email MONTREAL – Bicycling enthusiasts around the world are facing higher prices as manufacturers adjust to a stronger U.S. dollar and introduce new lines of more expensive rides this summer, bike maker Dorel Industries said Thursday.“Everyone in Canada will be raising prices from last year,” chief financial officer Jeffrey Schwartz said following the company’s annual meeting.The Montreal-based company, the world’s fourth-largest bike firm, anticipates a turnaround in its sports business in the second half of this year after currency headwinds caused revenues to drop nearly five per cent in the first quarter.Dorel, the company behind the Cannondale and Schwinn bicycles, said in addition to raising prices, it is cutting costs and introducing nine new bike platforms — the most in its history.“Probably too much for a company our size to do, but we needed to catch up,” Schwartz added.Among those announced so far are fat bikes with extra large tires and a bike aimed at the growing trail category in the mountain bike market. Prices for the Habit being launched in July start at US$1,799.For triathletes, Dorel has the Slice. There are five models ranging from US$2,700 to just under US$11,000.The company is also seeking to bolster its parts and accessories business with the introduction of a carbon fibre saddle, created in collaboration with Airbus. The lightweight Fabric ALM saddle recently began to sell in Canada, with prices ranging between US$200 and US$500.Dorel (TSX:DII.B) hopes the seat, made without foam or padding, along with a new clip-on water bottle, will be among the products that can help expand its parts and accessories business to industry norms.The higher margin accessories business is a US$10 billion global industry. While most bike makers derive up to 20 per cent of their sales from parts and accessories, Dorel’s take is less than three per cent.Dorel says research and development investments in new bikes and Cannondale and GT parts and accessories should allow that part of its business to double or triple in sales in the coming years.It is also launching new child car seats, strollers and home furnishings, including a ready-to-assemble sofa.Follow @RossMarowits on Twitter. Dorel hopes to cycle its way to growth by raising bike prices, adding new lines read more

by Andy Blatchford, The Canadian Press Posted Feb 26, 2016 5:30 am MDT Last Updated Feb 26, 2016 at 6:40 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Baloney Meter: What’s to become of the Liberal vow to lower debt-to-GDP? OTTAWA – “In every year of our plan, federal debt-to-GDP will continue to fall… In 2019-20, we will: reduce the federal debt-to-GDP ratio to 27 per cent.” — the Liberal election platform.“We will have a situation where we will be able to reduce our net debt-to-GDP situation during the course of our mandate.” — Finance Minister Bill Morneau said in French at a Feb. 22 news conference after he released a fiscal update.“Keeping our debt-to-GDP ratio on a downward path throughout our mandate remains a central plank of our economic agenda.” — Liberal MP Leona Alleslev told the House of Commons on Feb 4.—The Liberals’ winning election platform contained two central pledges it described as “fiscal anchors” to guide a Trudeau government’s overall fiscal framework.One was a promise to balance the federal books in the fourth year of a Liberal mandate.The other one committed a Liberal government to shrinking the country’s debt-to-GDP ratio to 27 per cent by the end of that four-year term.“In every year of our plan, federal debt-to-GDP will continue to fall,” said the Liberals’ campaign blueprint.“Canada benefits from a low debt-to-GDP level and historically low borrowing rates. Our plan ensures that the government of Canada remains in a sustainable fiscal position.”But earlier this week, Morneau released updated fiscal forecasts for the next two years that now predict debt-to-GDP to increase from 31.0 per cent in 2015-16 to 31.8 per cent in 2016-17, before decreasing to 31.1 per cent in 2017-18.The projected path of Canada’s debt-to-GDP ratio prompts the questions: Will the Liberals lower the ratio each year and how feasible is it for them to hit the 27-per-cent target by 2019-20?Spoiler alert: The Canadian Press Baloney Meter is a dispassionate examination of political statements culminating in a ranking of accuracy on a scale of “no baloney” to “full of baloney” (complete methodology below).This one earns a rating of “some baloney.” Here’s why.THE FACTSOttawa calculates its debt-to-GDP ratio by dividing total federal debt by the overall size of the economy, as measured by nominal gross domestic product.The ratio, also known as the debt burden, represents a government’s capacity to pay back debt. By targeting debt-to-GDP, politicians have more spending flexibility than simply targeting deficits or surpluses. They can run deficits and still reduce the ratio as long as the economy grows faster than the debt.In recent months, the Liberals started putting more emphasis on the debt-to-GDP vow, as the country’s economic and fiscal outlooks started to sour amid falling oil prices. At the same time, they also started backing away from another vow: capping annual deficits at $10 billion.Ottawa is now projecting a shortfall of at least $18.4 billion next year — a deficit that’s widely expected to be even bigger in the March 22 budget.The latest deficit projection, released this week, didn’t account for billions in promised spending the Liberals plan to introduce in order to fund infrastructure projects, which are expected to help boost the struggling economy.Citing worse-than-expected economic conditions, the Liberals have also cast doubts on whether they can fulfil their fiscal vow to balance the books before the next election.Facing accusations of breaking promises from opponents, the Liberals have repeatedly pledged to keep pushing down debt-to-GDP every year until the next election.But in Morneau’s updated projections this week — which only look at the next two years — the ratio is now expected to rise from the 2015-16 level. It is forecast to fall between 2016-17 and 2017-18, but to a level still slightly higher than this year’s ratio.The day after releasing the update, Morneau also appeared to raise doubts about this second fiscal anchor.“Our debt-to-GDP ratio is the lowest in the G7,” Morneau told the House of Commons during question period.“We will invest and this ratio will grow at a lower rate than in the past 10 years.”WHAT THE EXPERTS SAYUniversity of Calgary economist Trevor Tombe says it’s entirely feasible that the Liberals will be able to lower the debt-to-GDP ratio to 27 per cent by the end of their mandate.It will depend, of course, on factors such as how quickly nominal GDP grows and what happens with government revenues and spending, Tombe said.But from an economics perspective, it’s not really important if the Liberals fall short of fulfilling the pledge, he said. Canada’s ratio is already very low, Tombe noted, and movements of a percentage point or two would have minimal impact on the overall economy.“It’s really a political question of how they’re going to change their messaging if they don’t feel they’re actually going to hit it,” Tombe said.It’s more important, he said, for the government to focus on the expected path of future deficits. But he added that there’s no reason to think the federal shortfalls will get out of control.Stephen Tapp, research director at the Institute for Research on Public Policy, said it’s sensible to try and put the debt-to-GDP on a downward track, as long as it’s fiscally sustainable.However, Tapp thinks governments should focus on keeping the ratio within a range over a longer period, rather than trying to lower it every year.It’s easier for a government to control the budget balance than nominal GDP, he added.“That type of micro-managing is not feasible in practice,” Tapp said.THE VERDICTWith the debt-to-GDP ratio poised to rise, it’s doubtful the Liberals will be able to stick to their word and lower it in each of the next few years.But there’s still time for the Liberals to meet their fiscal anchor of reducing the ratio to 27 per cent by the end of their mandate.For that reason, the Liberal position rates “some baloney.”METHODOLOGYThe Baloney Meter is a project of The Canadian Press that examines the level of accuracy in statements made by politicians. Each claim is researched and assigned a rating based on the following scale:No baloney — the statement is completely accurateA little baloney — the statement is mostly accurate but more information is requiredSome baloney — the statement is partly accurate but important details are missingA lot of baloney — the statement is mostly inaccurate but contains elements of truthFull of baloney — the statement is completely inaccurate— Follow @AndyBlatchford on Twitter read more

This, according to Achim Steiner, the Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), who wrote the foreword of the report, The Future of the Bornean Orangutan: Impacts of Change in Land Cover and Climate, released today.And the report’s lead author Dr. Serge Wich declared: “The current policies for land conversion on Borneo are simply unsustainable” not just for orangutans but for the human population as well.According to the report published by UNEP and Liverpool John Moores University in collaboration with the Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP), “the massive conversion of Borneo’s forests for agricultural development – primarily oil palm – will leave the endangered orangutans fragmented and facing extinction in a number of areas.” “The environmental impact of climate change exacerbated by the deforestation of Borneo could result in severe floods, temperature rises, reduced agricultural productivity and other negative effects,” the report said.While native to Indonesia and Malaysia, a century of deforestation, illegal logging, hunting and expansion of agro-industrial plantations, have combined to isolate orangutans to only the rainforests of Borneo – the world’s third largest island – and Sumatra, says UNEP. Borneo’s deforestation rate has been among the world’s highest for over two decades and 56 per cent of the protected tropical lowland forests – an area roughly the size of Belgium – was lost between 1985 and 2001.The report goes on to say that if deforestation in the Southeast Asia continues, a staggering 75 per cent of the original forest cover will be lost by 2030.The Future of the Bornean Orangutan, according to a UNEP press release examines different climate and land-cover scenarios for the years 2020, 2050 and 2080 and models the individual and combined effect of both factors on the orangutan habitat.In each scenario, “dramatic rises” in temperature brought on by deforestation and the loss of land cover cause serious damage to the island’s biodiversity, with the combined model showing an even more pronounced impact than either factor alone, the report said.UNEP’s top official, Mr. Steiner, urged adoption of programmes that measure the natural capital of a region and offer payment for ecosystem services to mitigate these threats.“Now, it is time to utilize these approaches and divert from an unsustainable pathway to development,” he wrote. “It is clear that a future without sustainable development will be a future with a different climate and, eventually, without orangutans, one of our closest relatives.”An estimated 55,000 Bornean orangutans remain in the wild, according to UNEP. “But orangutans’ solitary nature and slow reproductive rates leave them particularly vulnerable to forest loss,” the agency said. “Models incorporating projected changes to climate and to land cover indicate that 68-81 per cent of the current orangutan habitat might be lost by 2080.”Among the 59-page report’s eight recommendations to curb the impact of agricultural conversion are: immediate identification and protection of priority orangutan populations and habitats; connection of key orangutan sites through the creation of corridors, so as to ensure the species’ mobility and viability; conversion to more sustainable methods of agricultural use for palm oil and other crops; and support forest protection programmes.GRASP is an alliance of 100 national governments, conservation organizations, research institutions, UN agencies, and private companies committed to ensuring the longterm survival of great apes in Africa and Asia. The report was presented at the GRASP Regional Meeting – Southeast Asia on Borneo in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. read more

Ohio State defender Matt Miller fights with Notre Dame hockey players in the Notre Dame zone on Nov. 4. Credit: Courtesy of Ric KruszynskiBeating Michigan is unlike any other win as a Buckeye.After the No. 6 Ohio State men’s hockey team beat No. 17 Michigan 5-3 Saturday at the Schottenstein Center, the Buckeyes have now defeated their arch-rivals in all four meetings between the two teams this season. Ohio State outscored the Wolverines 17-6 in the season series. “With the parity in college hockey you know you have to play your best, especially when you play a program like this; their tradition and their history,” head coach Steve Rohlik said. “It just makes a rivalry that much more. It’s certainly nice that we were able to go out and win four hockey games against them.”Junior forward Freddy Gerard made a major impact, adding two goals to give him 15 points in 16 Big Ten games. He had one point in nine games out of conference.“I just try to take every game the same way,” Gerard said. “I think it’s just coincidence that I found success playing in the Big Ten, there is no secret here.”The Wolverines took a 1-0 lead midway through the first period when freshman forward Jack Becker skated into Buckeyes’ zone and fired a shot just inside the blue line that trickled through the pads of Ohio State redshirt junior Sean Romeo.Ohio State quickly responded when Gerard put what seemed like a harmless shot on net that pinballed around the crease and past sophomore goaltender Hayden Lavigne to tie the game.“I kind of came over the [blue line] and was like, ‘You know, I’m just gonna try to get this puck on net,’” Gerard said. “I knew [sophomore forward Tanner Laczynski] was going and thinking, ‘Hey, maybe the puck will bounce around.’ Fortunately, it hit off their guy and went in the net, so I’ll take it.”Just 26 seconds into the second period, Gerard potted his second of the game, with assists coming from Laczynski and senior forward Matthew Weis.Junior forward Mason Jobst (26) becomes a wedge between Michigan’s Quinn Hughes (43) and Dexter Dancs (90) Jan. 26, 2018 at the Schottenstein Center in Columbus, OH. Credit: Ethan Clewell | For The LanternThe assists extended Weis’ and Laczynski’s point streaks to 10 games each. That brought their totals to 36 points in 26 games for Laczynski and 28 points in 26 games for Weis.“Anytime you are on line with two Hobey Baker [Award] candidates, I think it’s going to go pretty well,” Gerard said. “Fortunately for me, I found my ability to fit in with those two. [Weis] can see the ice from anywhere. [Laczynski] is the most dangerous guy on the ice every night, I just try to fill in when I can.”Michigan tied the game at two on a goal by senior forward Niko Porikos. Ohio State quickly responded with offense of its own.Ohio State junior forward John Wiitala picked off a Wolverine pass in Michigan’s zone and fed sophomore forward Ronnie Hein to give his team the 3-2 lead.The Buckeyes continued their dominance in the Wolverines’ zone, outworking Michigan to every puck. Eventually, junior forward Brendon Kearney caught the puck at the top of the right circle and floated it through traffic and into the net, doubling his team’s lead.Ohio State junior forward Mason Jobst added a shorthanded-goal with a wrister in the slot set up by a nice pass from senior forward Luke Stork to bring the Buckeye lead to 5-2 in the third period.Jobst did not stop there. On a five-on-three power-play chance for Michigan, he blocked multiple shots to help keep the lead at three.“Anytime you’re getting called out on a 5-on-3, you know you are going to have to sacrifice your body,” Jobst said. “When you are playing a team like Michigan, you definitely want to get out there and lay the body out. I’m just doing my best to lead by example.”Michigan added a late tally to bring the score to 5-3, but could not add another in the losing effort.Next up for the Buckeyes is a weekend series against Michigan State on Friday and Saturday. Both games will be at the Schottenstein Center and start at 7 p.m. read more

The NBA playoffs can sometimes come down to key role players knocking down clutch shots in important moments. But mostly, it’s all about the stars. The league revolves around its top players more than any other sport, and those players usually determine where the championship resides each season.So which playoff team has the most star power? One way to measure this is to break players into tiers based on their performance metrics. A few years back, my boss Nate Silver devised a system called “star points,” which awarded teams a score based on how many stars it had on its roster. Players in the top tier of stars (“Alphas”) are worth 3 points apiece, those in the next (“Betas”) are worth 2, and the lower tier (“Gammas”) are 1 apiece. Teams generally need at least 5 of these star points in total to begin thinking about a title run, and 7 star points is where a championship roster really begins to take form.Perhaps surprisingly, there aren’t any teams with 7 or more star points this season. The Golden State Warriors would have had 8 if DeMarcus Cousins hadn’t been injured Monday night, but Cousins is out indefinitely with a torn quadriceps and may miss the rest of the playoffs. That drops the Warriors into the co-lead with 6 star points, alongside Toronto. And that could mean a more wide-open postseason than we’ve been used to, in which role players might take on an even greater degree of importance.To calculate star points this season, I turned to the constantly updating player talent ratings from our CARMELO projection-system depth charts. (In the previous iteration of star points, Nate used an amalgam of various advanced metrics, but that was before our player ratings updated in-season.) After resetting the cutoffs for each tier to maintain a similar number of players of each type,1An Alpha now has a CARMELO-projected overall plus/minus of +5.5 or greater; a Beta has a projected plus/minus of less than +5.5 but at least +4.0; and a Gamma has a projected plus/minus of less than +4.0 but at least +2.5. I found that the NBA has six current Alphas (four of whom are active in the playoffs), 13 Betas (12 of whom are in the playoffs, but one of those — Cousins — is injured) and 17 Gammas (13 whose teams are in the playoffs, with two injured). PLAYERTEAM+/-PLAYERTEAM+/-PLAYERTEAM+/- The NBA’s championship-caliber players, 2019 edition2019 NBA player tiers based on CARMELO-projected plus/minus talent Houston Rockets17531105 ConleyMEM+2.6 San Antonio Spurs15480000 Detroit Pistons14250022 * Star points are based on a weighted total of a team’s stars, in which Alphas are worth 3 points, Betas are worth 2, and Gammas are worth 1.Team totals do not include injured players.Sources: ESPN, Boston Celtics16410113 HardenHOU+8.0WestbrookOKC+5.3LeonardTOR+3.7 DurantGS+4.6Oladipo*IND+3.1 * Out indefinitely with injuryPlayers in italics are on teams that missed the playoffs.Sources: ESPN, Check out our latest NBA predictions. IrvingBOS+4.1WalkerCHA+2.8 JamesLAL+6.3TownsMIN+4.9HolidayNO+3.2 Cousins*GS+4.1BledsoeMIL+2.8 How the playoff teams stack up on star powerCurrent CARMELO ratings and star points* for 2019 NBA playoff teams Brooklyn Nets14780000 AntetokounmpoMIL+6.9GeorgeOKC+5.2HorfordBOS+3.4 Players By Tier ButlerPHI+4.0MillsapDEN+2.8 CovingtonMIN+2.7 Oklahoma City Thunder16730204 Orlando Magic15340102 GasolTOR+2.5 JokicDEN+6.8GobertUTA+5.1GreenGS+3.3 LowryTOR+4.0GreenTOR+2.8 Utah Jazz16990102 In an unusual twist, two of this season’s Alphas — LeBron James and Anthony Davis — actually missed the playoffs. (Their intertwined soap opera is worth its own set of charts.) But among the postseason’s remaining star power, there are some interesting mixes of player tiers on the top teams.The Warriors might be a surprise with only one Alpha (Stephen Curry), one Beta (Kevin Durant) and one Gamma (Draymond Green). Durant didn’t quite qualify for Alpha status, in part because he ranked only ninth in Real Plus-Minus (and 18th in Box Plus/Minus) this season. Meanwhile, Green was downgraded to a Gamma because of a weak offensive season,2According to our mix of RPM and BPM, he was 0.9 points per 100 possessions worse than the average NBA player on offense, though his defense more than made up for it. Klay Thompson barely broke even in projected plus/minus talent (+0.1), and Cousins now appears to be lost for at least most of the playoffs. The usual caveats about the Warriors’ sometimes lax regular-season efforts apply, but based on performance metrics, this team’s name recognition might outpace its actual star power at this point.And yet, only the Raptors match the Warriors in that regard among postseason teams. They also did it in a very different way: Unlike Golden State, Toronto boasts no Alphas, but it does have one Beta (Kyle Lowry) and four Gammas (Kawhi Leonard, Pascal Siakam, Danny Green and Marc Gasol). Wait … Lowry is a Beta and Leonard is only a Gamma? The difference between the two (+4.0 vs. +3.7) is so slim as to be splitting hairs, but Leonard had a surprisingly down year in RPM, ranking just 37th in the league, while Lowry ranked 20th. The broader point, however, is that Toronto has assembled an unusually deep stable of star talent. The team has long been known for its depth down the roster, but a series of moves helped turn that depth into something slightly different: a collection of quasi-star-level talent at the top of the lineup. Golden State Warriors17941116 Milwaukee Bucks17391014 ALPHASBETASGAMMAS Denver Nuggets16731014 Philadelphia 76ers16730215 The Rockets and Sixers rank just below the Warriors and Raptors in star points with 5 apiece, but where in that group is Milwaukee, the East’s No. 1 seed? The Bucks have perhaps the Alpha of all Alphas this season in Giannis Antetokounmpo. But only one other player around him qualified as a star: Eric Bledsoe is a Gamma, while Brook Lopez barely misses the cutoff. Milwaukee’s overall lack of supporting star power would make it a historical anomaly if it does end up winning the NBA title.The Utah Jazz, in the midst of a brutal first-round matchup against the Rockets, also has very little star power (one Beta in Rudy Gobert). But they have a bunch of guys who just barely missed Gamma status: Joe Ingles, Derrick Favors, Ekpe Udoh and Donovan Mitchell all had CARMELO plus/minus ratings under +2.5 but greater than +1.5. If we added an extra category for “Deltas” — worth, say, a half-point per player — the Jazz would leapfrog Boston and be much closer to the top of the heap than the bottom.Regardless, there’s a reason that star points don’t track perfectly with a team’s CARMELO rating or its championship odds. Depth does matter some, even if the effect is less of a factor as rotations shorten during the postseason. And sometimes teams are simply built with a blueprint that helps them perform better than their star power would suggest (the Bucks are a good test case there as well), while others aren’t quite as good as their multiple stars say they should be (the Sixers could be lumped into that group).Before they blew a 31-point lead Monday night — and, more importantly, lost Cousins to injury — the Warriors were looking every bit the star-studded machine we thought they’d be all season long. Now, they are still sizable favorites to win it all, but their edge in star power is not quite as decisive as it’s been in recent seasons. We’ll find out soon enough whether that will matter in Golden State’s quest for a third straight championship, or if another team near the top of the rankings above can finally supplant the Warriors and build a star-powered legacy of its own. CurryGS+6.6PaulHOU+4.9Nurkic*POR+3.3 TeamCARMELO RatingAlphasBetasGammasStar Points VucevicORL+4.5SiakamTOR+3.0 Portland Trail Blazers15810102 EmbiidPHI+4.4GriffinDET+2.9 Toronto Raptors17750146 Los Angeles Clippers15000000 DrummondDET+2.7 DavisNO+5.8LillardPOR+4.7SimmonsPHI+3.1 Indiana Pacers15440000 read more

When he was hired in May to coach the Milwaukee Bucks, Mike Budenholzer inherited a promising but underachieving core of young players led by Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Bucks — who have not won a playoff series since 2001 — had just suffered yet another postseason disappointment and hoped a coaching change would help them escape perpetual mediocrity.To say the results have been encouraging would be an understatement. Budenholzer has implemented a new and more modern offensive strategy that is utilizing Antetokounmpo’s unique talents like never before. Under Budenholzer this season, the Bucks are scoring at a conference-leading rate of 113.2 points per 100 possessions. The team has the best record in the NBA, has won 10 of its last 11, and has already beaten conference rivals Boston, Philadelphia and Toronto (three times now). Milwaukee is heading into All-Star weekend as perhaps the most intimidating team in the Eastern Conference.So, yes, the coaching change has worked. But what exactly has Budenholzer done — and why is it working so well for the Bucks? One strategic change was clear even back in the preseason when Budenholzer rolled out his new offense.“Coach Bud wants us to shoot more 3s,” Milwaukee guard Malcolm Brogdon told Eric Nehm of The Athletic. “A lot more 3s.”Last year, the Bucks attempted just 24.7 3-pointers per game (25th-most in the league). Under Budenholzer, they have pumped up their long-range volume to 37.8 3-pointers per game, second-most in the NBA this season (trailing only the Houston Rockets).But Budenholzer has done more than just open the 3-point flood gates in Milwaukee this year: He has engineered a sea change in shot selection.“I think there’s a lot of focus on how many 3s [we are taking], but hopefully we’re having the best of everything,” Budenholzer said to The Athletic. “If you’re an efficient offense, you’re getting to the basket. You’re getting to the paint. You’re getting to the free-throw line. And you’re shooting a bunch of 3s.” This season, the Bucks have done more to modernize their shot chart than any other team in the league, as shown in these year-to-year charts.1The 2017-18 chart is through games as of Feb. 5, 2018. Their share of shots taken at the rim or behind the 3-point line — referred to as the Moreyball Rate, after Houston general manager Daryl Morey — has jumped by 16 percentage points, according to data compiled by PBP Stats. Correspondingly, their average 2-pointer is being attempted from a shorter distance, about 2.5 feet closer to the hoop. And everybody on the team is cutting back on midrange jumpers.The Bucks’ transformations in Moreyball Rate and 2-point shot distance are the biggest changes by any team in the NBA from last season to this one. In fact, the Bucks’ sudden modernization is among the most drastic changes in shot selection by any team during the entire era of play-by-play data (available since 2001-02). Appropriately, Morey produced the biggest Moreyball makeover in league history during Houston’s 2012-13 season, James Harden’s first with the team.For the Bucks, the advantage of being laggards in the Moreyball revolution has been an opportunity to learn from the mistakes of their competitors. Seth Partnow, now Milwaukee’s director of basketball research, wrote for Vice Sports in 2016 that creating makeable shots takes more than just jacking threes and driving headlong into the lane. “Three-pointers and shots at the rim are indicators of good offense, but they’re not good offense in a vacuum, and teams that use them as targets should be wary of putting the cart before the horse. Those are good shots in theory. In practice, the best shots are the ones the personnel on hand can make.”Fundamentally, the Bucks have achieved their impressive offensive efficiency on the strength of the two principles of Budenholzer’s offensive philosophy: pace and space.Budenholzer’s emphasis on court spacing has been emblemized by the image of five “stand-here” squares he had taped to the floor of the Bucks practice court, surrounding the 3-point line. By initiating their offensive possessions with all five players outside the 3-point line, the Bucks leave more space for Antetokounmpo to attack the basket. Once Antetokounmpo draws attention around the basket, he’s free to kick the ball out to open 3-point shooters in space. It’s a positive feedback loop that yields easier shots for Antetokounmpo and his teammates.The Bucks’ improved floor spacing has been facilitated by some shrewd front-office maneuvers. The team signed capable stretch bigs Brook Lopez and Ersan Ilyasova on team-friendly contracts while at the same time cutting ties with paint-clogging centers Greg Monroe, Tyler Zeller and, most recently, John Henson.With all that extra space, Antetokounmpo has been attacking the basket relentlessly this season. Since last year, he has increased his volume of drives per game from 11.0 to 12.9; his paint touches are up from 5.3 to 6.5 per game; and he’s now taking more shots at the rim (523) than any other player in the league. These additional basket-attacking duties have put the onus on Antetokounmpo to read the defense and distribute the ball to his teammates.The result has been a career high in assists for Antetokounmpo this season (5.9 per game), with an emphasis on kick-out dimes. On 289 total assists this season, Antetokounmpo has set up a teammate for a 3-point basket 168 times (58 percent), while he has assisted a teammate in scoring a 2-point basket just 121 times (42 percent). In other words, Antetokounmpo has created 262 more points via assisted 3-pointers than he has via assisted 2-pointers this year. That is the biggest such margin of any player in the league and it’s not even remotely close — Detroit’s Blake Griffin is second with 98 more points assisted on 3-pointers than 2-pointers.Among the top-30 assist leaders this season, Antetokounmpo and teammate Eric Bledsoe are two of only seven players who have created more points via assists on 3s than on 2s. 2018-19Bucks6480+167.55.0-2.5 MEMMike Conley225103328450309-141 SeasonTEAMPrev. seasongiven seasonDiff.Prev. seasongiven seasondiff. NOPJrue Holiday293138431586414-172 The Bucks’ drive-and-kick is producing threesThe top 30 2018-19 NBA assist leaders by the difference in points created from assisted 3-pointers vs. 2-pointers, through Feb. 5 2013-1476ers5166+159.56.5-3.0 TORKyle Lowry287101388574303-271 PORDamian Lillard23188319462264-198 2005-06Cavaliers4760+139.08.0-1.0 2015-16Hornets5164+139.58.2-1.3 CHAKemba Walker174117291348351+3 BOSKyrie Irving195120315390360-30 INDDarren Collison21989308438267-171 2014-15Cavaliers5365+128.87.2-1.6 2012-13L.A. Lakers5163+129.18.1-1.0 2008-09Trail Blazers4454+1011.08.9-2.1 MOREYBALL RATEAVG. 2PA DISTANCE Moreyball Rate is the share of the team’s shots taken at the rim or behind the 3-point lineSome percentage-point and distance differences may not add up because of roundingAs of Feb. 5, 2019Source: MINJeff Teague17179250342237-105 LALLonzo Ball19461255388183-205 MILEric Bledsoe167112279334336+2 PHXDevin Booker174108282348324-24 GSWKevin Durant192119311384357-27 GSWDraymond Green17896274356288-68 PHIBen Simmons236182418472546+74 UTARicky Rubio182104286364312-52 WASJohn Wall178101279356303-53 2012-13Rockets53%74%+208.8ft6.2ft-2.6ft 2018-19Wizards5871+128.76.9-1.8 ATLTrae Young239155394478465-13 SASDeMar DeRozan192123315384369-15 2004-05L.A. Lakers5061+118.67.8-0.9 OKCRussell Westbrook321163484642489-153 TeamPlayer2P3PTOTAL2P3PDIFF HOUJames Harden251151402502453-49 UTAJoe Ingles19173264382219-163 DETBlake Griffin140126266280378+98 LACLou Williams18569254370207-163 MILGiannis Antetokounmpo121168289242504+262 2003-04Wizards3852+1410.98.7-2.2 DENNikola Jokic285114399570342-228 Source: 2017-18Raptors5871+128.36.5-1.8 ASSISTSPOINTS CREATED DALLuka Doncic151120271302360+58 Milwaukee has modernized its shot selection, big timeTeams with the biggest jumps in their Moreyball Rate from the previous season and their change in average distances from the basket on 2-point field-goal attempts, since 2001-02 2007-08Magic5366+138.06.9-1.1 2016-17Nets5372+198.46.1-2.4 2008-09L.A. Clippers4457+1310.28.2-2.0 SACDe’Aaron Fox227146373454438-16 LALLeBron James16785252334255-79 WASBradley Beal152117269304351+47 BKND’Angelo Russell230116346460348-112 At the top of the list, Antetokounmpo finds himself in the company of a few other big ball handlers — Griffin, Ben Simmons, Luka Doncic — who can distribute to their teammates from the inside out. LeBron James, who is basically the prototype for this point-forward approach, assisted on 344 of his teammates’ 3-pointers in Cleveland last year (for 1,032 points), more than any other player in the NBA. (He created 226 more points on the 3s he assisted than on 2s.) Antetokounmpo is on pace to post a similarly lopsided distribution of assists this season.Impressively, when Antetokounmpo has been on the court this season, 89 percent of the Bucks’ 3-pointers have been assisted; that’s 11 percentage points more than the team’s assisted-3 rate when he’s been on the bench. The Bucks’ improved spacing seems to be helping Antetokounmpo create all the right shots for his Milwaukee teammates.Establishing a faster pace has gone hand-in-hand with the Bucks’ efforts to create better spacing. Budenholzer has emphasized playing with urgency and purposeful movement, and the team has shaved nearly a second off the duration of its average offensive trip (from 14.0 to 13.1 seconds per possession). According to Synergy Sports, the Bucks have attempted fewer field goals this season during the last seven seconds of the shot clock (from 19 percent of all field-goal attempts to 15 percent) and have correspondingly increased the proportion of their attempts (from 59 percent to 65 percent) that are attempted with somewhere between seven and 18 seconds remaining on the shot clock.Antetokounmpo helps push the pace for the Bucks. Budenholzer has instructed his lanky star to dribble the ball up the court immediately after securing any defensive rebound, which has created more uptempo half-court possessions and shots in semitransition.The Bucks are shooting better when they keep their offensive flow uptempo like this — with an effective field-goal percentage of 56 percent on shots taken with between seven and 18 seconds left on the shot clock and just 48 percent on their more slowly developing shots.A new and more modern offensive approach predicated on floor spacing and pace, along with some smart personnel decisions, have helped Budenholzer unlock the immense potential of the Bucks’ young superstar. Perhaps when they hired Budenholzer the Bucks would have been happy with winning a playoff series. But with Milwaukee in pole position for its first conference championship appearance in nearly two decades, the Bucks now have eyes on a bigger prize. The older Milwaukee generation is surely reminiscing of the summer of ’71 — the last time there was a transformative young star in town. And who knows, maybe this season will end like that one, with an NBA championship for the Bucks. Check out our latest NBA predictions. read more

As two of the faces of United States and international soccer, retired forward Abby Wambach and current midfielder Megan Rapinoe have used their platforms to act as leaders for various social issues, such as LGBT and women’s rights. But now, following in the steps of another former U.S. women’s national team star, Brandi Chastain, Wambach and Rapinoe have plans to make a difference in an entirely different way.In an interview with The Lantern before the two spoke at Ohio State for an event sponsored by OUAB, Wambach disclosed that she has made arrangements to have her brain donated for concussion research. Rapinoe later revealed the same during the event.“I think it’s amazing. I’m going to do the same myself,” Wambach said of Chastain’s pledge to donate. “Actually, I’m going to be doing a piece with her in order to get the word out, and I think that will be so important not just for the next generation, but to learn more.”Wambach later added that the piece with Chastain is set to be a podcast.Chastain, known for her game-winning penalty kick and ensuing celebration in the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final, announced her intentions in early March, becoming one of the most prominent female athletes to do so.The 35-year-old Wambach, the all-time leading goal scorer in international soccer, could prove especially valuable in the research due to her propensity to use her head on the pitch. Of her 184 goals in international play, 77 were deposited using her head.“I think there will be valuable research and information that will be studied, and we will understand more about the heading and the heading process as it pertains to the game,” Wambach said.During the OUAB event, Rapinoe acknowledged that she’s unsure how much information could be gathered from her brain, as she does not use her head to the extent of Wambach. Even so, she said she felt it necessary to contribute to the burgeoning research on concussions. Boston University, where Chastain plans to donate her brain, is the lead researcher on the field of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, a postmortem degenerative brain disease that is suspected to be linked to concussions and repeated blows to the head. However, only seven of the 307 brains studied by Boston University belonged to a female, according to The New York Times, which adds salience to the commitments of the three U.S. soccer players. CTE, initially linked to boxing, is now commonly associated with football, as the first large-scale findings on the disease came after Dr. Bennet Omalu published a paper in 2005 on former NFL center Mike Webster. Since the initial report, the list of NFL players diagnosed with CTE continues to grow. An October study from the Department of Veteran Affairs and Boston University found the disease in 87 of the 91 brains of former NFL players that were examined. Despite the repeated linkage to football, research on the disease and the impacts of head trauma is developing beyond gridiron, namely to soccer. Boston University discovered CTE in the brain of a deceased 29-year-old soccer player in 2014, the first named player to have traces of it. A 2013 study from Yeshiva University found abnormalities in the brains of soccer players who frequently head the ball that are similar to patients who have sustained concussions. The study noted a single header is not enough to result in traumatic brain injuries, but the lead author, Dr. Michael Lipton, wrote that “repetitive heading could set off a cascade of responses that leads to degeneration of brain cells over time.”As a preventive measure in young players, the U.S. Soccer Federation put forth new safety guidelines in November, banning headers for players under 10 years old, while limiting it in practice for those aged 11 to 13. Wambach said she fully supports safety measures to protect youth players, but she is advocating that there are better ways to go about it than simply banning headers altogether.“We want to make sure that when those 10-year-olds get to that 11-year-old age, the 11- to (13-year-olds) get to the next level, we want to make sure those kids are prepared,” she said. “You don’t want to send somebody out and not know how to do it, how to properly head a ball. I think that actually makes it more dangerous.“If you can do it technically sound, you’re less likely to incur a concussion. In fact, most concussions come from elbow-to-elbow or head-to-head contact, and that’s something that’s a little not talked about.”She said that because of this belief, she is working with the federation to instill new programs to teach proper technique when heading the ball.“I’m setting up a protocol with U.S. Soccer at this point to create a business in and around some of these clubs with soft balls to properly teach how to technically head a soccer ball, how to attack a soccer ball, to not be afraid of heading a soccer ball, because I don’t foresee soccer ever losing heading as part of its game,” Wambach said.Soccer might not be a sport noted for its spine-tingling collisions or overtly physical nature. But Wambach said that is precisely why she thinks research into the effects of the sport could prove invaluable to future generations.“We’re different from the NFL,” she said. “Heading a ball is different than getting struck in the head by a linebacker that’s 300 pounds trying to literally rip your head off, so I’m excited to see what those results are.”Nick Clarkson contributed to this story. read more

Celje PLMate Lekai ← Previous Story Dinamo Minsk again leader in Belarus Next Story → Slovenia: Celje PL wins 16th Cup trophy! Hungarian playmaker Mate Lekai is forced to end the season at the beginning of March. Member of Celje Pivovarna Lasko has broken finger and for him is current season over. Ex-Pick Szeged’s player got injured during Slovenian Cup Final between Celje and Gorenje 28:24 (19:11). It’s still unknown whether surgery will be necessary, but the most important is that without Lekai – Celje’s chances at EHF CL TOP 16 clashes with HSV Handball and championships battle in Slovenia will be much smaller… read more

first_imgA MEMORIAL FOR the 159 Irish people who died during the Korean war was unveiled in Seoul today.The Irish Association of Korea, with the Embassy of Ireland, the Somme Association and the Royal Ulster Rifles Association, organised a remembrance service to honour those who fought between 1950 and 1953.But it was not just soldiers who perished during the conflict. Seven members of the Columban order and Anglican nun, Sister Mary Clare Witty, also died during the atrocities, according to IKA chairman Conor O’Reilly.A dozen Irish veterans, many of whom fought with the British forces, were invited to today’s ceremony as part of the official April Revisit Korea programme. The former soldiers were mainly from the Royal Ulster Rifles and other British regiments. There was also a veteran from the US 8th Cavalry in attendance, as well as family members and two people were present on behalf of soldiers killed in action.The memorial reads:Men from all over Britain and Ireland, from every community, fought with the Royal Ulster Rifles in Korea. The regiment sacrificed many to the Korean War with the most significant losses suffered at the Battle of ‘Happy Valley’ in defence of Seoul, capital of South Korea, on the night of 3-4 January 1951. The VIII Kings Royal Irish Hussars and the Royal Artillery in support of the RUR also sustained casualties. Images: Conor O’Neill/IKAMore: BBC to air North Korea documentary despite criticisms from universityRead: North Korea demands recognition of ‘nuclear state’ status before US talks This monument recalls the original Memorial Pillar in Happy Valley which was carved by a Korean mason during the succeeding battles before being erected on 3 July 1951 overlooking the battlefield. The original memorial was moved in 1962 to Northern Ireland and now stands in the grounds of the City Hall in Belfast.last_img read more

first_img 182,600 Views 28.02.18 ‘Now is the time’: People asked to clear snow from outside their home before snow worsens Tomorrow, Storm Emma will arrive from the southern part of the country and collide with the cold mass of air which brought today’s dousing of snow, which is expected to increase snowfall.Earlier tonight, Minister for Transport Shane Ross said that 25cm of snow was expected tomorrow, and 40cm was forecast by lunchtime on Friday.People have been warned not to leave their homes during a Status Red weather alert unless absolutely necessary. Updated 11.50pm By Gráinne Ní Aodha Wednesday 28 Feb 2018, 11:18 PM 78 Comments RED Snow-Ice Warning issued FOR ALL COUNTIESStatus: RedValid: Wed 11pm until Friday 3pmLatest information & warning updates here:— Met Éireann (@MetEireann) February 28, 2018 Red snow-ice warning issued for ALL counties until 3pm Friday All schools are closed for the next two days. Feb 28th 2018, 10:01 PM center_img Source: Met Éireann/Twitter A STATUS RED weather warning has been issued all counties in Ireland from tonight at 11pm until 3pm on Friday.The alert was issued tonight by Met Éireann and appears to replace an earlier high-level snow-ice warning that was to be in effect in Leinster and Munster from 4pm tomorrow until noon on Friday.“Heavy snow showers” are expected overnight in counties Dublin, Kildare, Louth, Wexford, Wicklow, Meath, Cork and Waterford. Earlier this evening, Met Éireann had extended the Status Red county to cover the above counties.Met Eireann say that it will be “bitterly cold” night tonight, with temperatures possibly dropping as low as -8 degrees.Education Minister Richard Bruton confirmed that the escalation of the alert across the entire country means that ALL schools will be closed on Thursday and Friday. Related Read UPDATE: Status red has now been issued for all counties with immediate effect. All schools, third level institutions and colleges of further education will be closed tomorrow and Friday #stormemma— Richard Bruton (@RichardbrutonTD) February 28, 2018 Source: Richard Bruton/Twitter Share2183 Tweet Email13 Short URL Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

first_imgCamas — Three years after Camas city councilors voted to limit fireworks in the city, they will discuss whether or not to further tighten fireworks regulations. The city will hold a public hearing during a special meeting at 7 p.m. Monday at Camas City Hall, 616 N.E. Fourth Ave.The vote in 2015 limited fireworks discharge to July 3 and 4 and Dec. 31. The city is now discussing four options: leaving the regulations as is, allowing residents to use fireworks on only July 4 and Dec. 31, limiting fireworks to “safe and sane” ground-level ones, or a complete ban on all fireworks.The councilors will further discuss the issue at their May 21 workshop, and direct staff to draw up an ordinance for a possible vote in early June. Whichever direction the council chooses, no new regulations can go into effect this summer.Firework regulations are a popular discussion around Clark County this week, as both Clark County Council and Battle Ground city councilors discussed limiting fireworks use, as well.last_img read more