Open records laws becoming vehicle for harassing academic researchers, report warns

first_imgThe electronic age of communication is making it easier for activists, companies, and lobbying groups to use state open records laws—designed to promote transparency—to harass academic researchers they disagree with, a scientific integrity group warns in a new report. The findings underscore the need for states to revisit how the laws are implemented and for universities to clarify how they balance privacy, transparency, and academic freedom in responding to requests for e-mails, letters, and other documents, the report argues.“[I]ndividuals and well-heeled special interests across the political spectrum are increasingly using broad open records requests to attack and harass scientists and other researchers and shut down conversation at public universities,” warns the report from the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), which was unveiled today at a session of the annual meeting of AAAS (which publishes Science) in San Jose, California. It documents numerous examples of university researchers becoming engaged in often lengthy and complex battles with outside groups requesting internal records.But that doesn’t have to happen, concludes the report, authored by Michael Halpern, a program manager for strategy and innovation at UCS’s Center for Science and Democracy in Washington, D.C. “If lawmakers, universities, and researchers develop a shared understanding of what they should disclose and a system for proactively doing so, they can avoid costly and time-consuming lawsuits and other battles,” it states. “And that, in turn, will allow researchers to get back to what they are supposed to be doing: learning more about our world.”Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)At issue are federal and state laws, often modeled on the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), that allow the public to request the disclosure of documents related to government-funded activities, including university research. The laws typically exempt many types of information, such as proprietary data and information that would violate privacy, from requests. Journalists, activists, and others routinely use the laws to request documents that shine a light on potentially troubling issues, including mismanagement and financial conflicts of interest. The laws have also been used by an array of groups troubled by the policy uses of certain kinds of science, including research into water and air pollution, climate change, genetically modified foods, and gun violence.UCS says the laws are, in principle, useful for promoting transparency and scientific integrity. But the group warns that unfettered open records requests can have an ill effect by threatening researchers’ privacy and discouraging the candid discussions that occur during the scientific process. And anecdotal evidence suggests that electronic record keeping, which has increased the paper trail left by scientists, is making it easier for members of the public to file overly broad and burdensome requests, the UCS report finds.“These companies, organizations, and activists may disagree with researchers’ findings or even dislike an entire field of study,” it states. “They request all materials on a topic in a university’s possession, including researchers’ draft papers, emails, and even handwritten notes. This strategy can curb the ability of researchers to pursue their work, chill their speech, and discourage them from tackling contentious topics.”Prominent examples in recent years include a widely publicized 2010 attempt by former Virginia Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli, a Republican, to obtain documents from climate scientist Michael Mann from the University of Virginia. Cuccinelli, a self-avowed doubter of climate change, had subpoenaed the university for the records under the state’s Fraud Against Taxpayers Act.When the state’s highest court rebuffed that effort, conservative groups led by the American Tradition Institute (ATI) tried obtaining the records under the state’s open records laws. The university and Mann ultimately fended off that effort, with a state court ruling that the university could withhold certain records if disclosing them would hurt university research efforts, damage faculty recruitment, violate privacy and confidentiality, and impair free exchange of ideas. ATI, now called the Energy & Environment Legal Institute, has since expanded its open records push by targeting climate researchers in other states, including Arizona, Alabama, and Texas, the UCS report notes.In another example, the Highland Mining Company in 2012 filed open records requests seeking raw data, documents, and peer-review comments on the work of Michael Hendryx, formerly of West Virginia University and now at Indiana University, “who had investigated connections between mountaintop removal mining and adverse health effects such as cancer,” the report states. When the university refused to provide all requested documents, the company took it to court, but the court sided with the university.One pattern emerging from case studies examined in the report is a lack of consistency in how officials at public universities respond to open records requests, UCS concluded. “Although some are pushing back, universities and researchers are often unprepared to respond appropriately, partly because laws and privacy protections vary by state,” the report says.For example, when the environmental group Greenpeace sought e-mail correspondence and other records on the work of climate skeptic David Legates, “University of Delaware officials seemed confused about how best to respond” under the state’s open records laws, the report notes. Citing testimony by Legates to a Senate panel, the UCS report says it took “more than four years of inconsistency and confusion before the university determined that it had no records to supply in response.”Many scholars want university governing boards to clarify their policies and procedures on open records requests, the report notes. Academic institutions and lawyers should also develop strategies on how to respond to overly broad requests, UCS argues, and should disclose to the public their general approach for responding to open records requests.On the policy side, UCS suggests that state lawmakers revisit their open records laws to “ensure that they include appropriate exemptions but are not so broad as to compromise accountability.” And the group urges the National Academy of Sciences and other research organizations to give lawmakers and universities guidance on how to determine which materials need to be disclosed.Check out our full coverage of the AAAS annual meeting.What message would you send into space? Tell us on Twitter and Vine with #msgtospace!last_img read more

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India, Singapore Amend Tax Treaty

first_imgIndia and Singapore amended a decade-old double tax avoidance agreement (DTAA) that will allow the tax department to impose capital gains (tax) on investments routed through the island nation and plug a possible misuse of benefits. Related Itemslast_img

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Sports acupuncture scores major points among fitness enthusiasts

first_imgAcupuncture has suddenly caught the attention of fitness freaks and sportspersons, who have greatly benefitted from this therapy.Dr. Raman Kapur, a renowned medical acupuncture specialist, practicing in New Delhi since the last 32 years shares his experiences of treating some well known sportsmen with acupuncture:Acupuncture is one of the quickest ways to restore muscle balanceIndian players:Cricketer Yuvraj Singh came to him in March 2013, with a history of migraine headaches which he has had since 2007.  Yuvraj used to take frequent medications to get relief. The headaches were accompanied by blurring of vision and pain around his eye ball. His trigger would often be empty stomach, causing wind and then headaches.  Yuvraj who had a disturbed sleep pattern also suffered from nasal allergies accompanied with urticaria.  Another problem which had taken a toll on his career was his severe left sided neck stiffness. He also had recurrent episodes of low back pain radiating to his legs, causing him to often miss matches.Yuvraj who had a disturbed sleep pattern also suffered from nasal allergies accompanied with urticariaAll these problems were treated concurrently by Dr. Raman Kapur with acupuncture wherein he used a combination of body acupuncture points and ear acupuncture points to great effect. Today, Yuvraj has recovered and is super fit.  Yuvraj said, “The best part of this therapy is that it is safe and drugless without any side effects and I have made a significant recovery. I feel the therapy should be made popular so that more sportspersons and cricketers can get benefits.”advertisementAnother famous polo player, Mr. Navin Khanna, took acupuncture treatment for his recurrent tennis elbow and got fully cured by Dr. Raman Kapur.  International players:According to Matt Callison, a faculty member at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine and licensed acupuncturist in San Diego, California, traditional Chinese medicine has been an extremely helpful and growing trend in athletics for quite a while.San Francisco 49ers team members, Steve Young and Jerry Rice have been treated with sports acupuncture, and Canadian speed skater Kevin Overland received sports acupuncture to help him earn a bronze medal in the 1998 Olympics.As a sports acupuncturist, Callison has been treating athletes for 11 years. Three of those years were spent with the Minnesota Vikings during their playoff run, and he now treats many of the San Diego Chargers.There are no side effects of acupuncture treatments when provided by a fully trained and licensed acupuncturistPacific College use acupuncture to help rehabilitate post-operative injuries, sports injuries and athletic performance by increasing range of motion, muscle strength and tissue healing potential.Callison reported that the most common injuries he treats athletes for are muscle contusions and tendinitis, as well as over-use injuries involving the lower back, shoulder, knee and ankle, all examples of common sports injury areas. These injuries typically require two sports acupuncture treatments a week, with a varied recovery time depending on the injury.Marcellus Wiley, a defensive end for the San Diego Chargers, is one patient who noticed how quickly he felt the benefit of acupuncture.”I responded quickly and favorably to the treatment. It was refreshing to receive therapy that allowed me to sustain my health for the duration of a season and physically grueling career, “said Wiley.How does it work?According to Dr. Kapur, both Oriental medicine and sports medicine techniques focus on proprioception, which he defines as the muscles’ awareness communicating to the central nervous system. Injury can disrupt this communication, thus hindering balance.”Acupuncture is one of the quickest ways to restore muscle balance,” Dr. Kapur said. “When acupuncture is used at specific sites, the muscle spindles are reset, and then that balance is reawakened.”Kapur further adds, “When you insert a sports acupuncture needle to a motor point region, it changes the awareness that the muscle reports to the central nervous system, and that is completely different”.Sports acupuncture consists of the gentle insertion and stimulation of thin, disposable sterile needles at strategic points near the surface of the body. Over 2,000 sports acupuncture points on the human body connect with 14 major pathways, called meridians. Chinese medicine practitioners believe that these meridians conduct qi, or energy, between the surface of the body and internal organs.It is qi that regulates spiritual, emotional, mental and physical balance. Disruption of the flow of qi through poor health habits or other circumstances can result in pain and disease. Sports acupuncture helps to keep the normal flow of this energy unblocked and “fine-tune the bio-electric system. “This ability to fine-tune and restore the body’s balance makes sports acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine a viable preventative therapy that greatly enhances sports medicine exercises. Many players come to see me for injury prevention by way of balancing their opposing muscle groups, especially to work on common sports injury points,” says Dr Kapur.advertisementSide-effectsDr. Kapur maintains that there are no side effects of acupuncture treatments when provided by a fully trained and licensed acupuncturist. In 1993, the National Institutes of Health Consensus Conference on acupuncture released a similar affirmation: “The data in support of acupuncture are as strong as those for many accepted Western medical therapies. One of the advantages of acupuncture is that the incidence of adverse side effects is substantially lower than that of many drugs or other medical procedures used for the same conditions. Athletes especially need to be balanced and take care of their bodies. That is what acupuncture does. Every athlete can benefit from it in that respect.”Dr Raman Kapur is the Chairman, Dept. of Medical Acupuncture at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi.last_img read more

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More heroics from Man United’s Marcus Rashford in Manchester derby win

first_imgManchester United teenager Marcus Rashford wrote another chapter in his fairytale introduction to top-flight football, scoring a brilliant goal to secure a 1-0 win in his first derby match against Manchester City on Sunday.The 18-year-old local hero, who also netted on his Europa League debut and in his first Premier League game, endeared himself further to United fans with a dazzling piece of skill after a quarter of an hour to stun the Etihad Stadium crowd.After being freed by Juan Mata, Rashford sped past Martin Demichelis, leaving the defender on his backside, before side-footing coolly past the advancing Joe Hart. (Also read – Mourinho signed Manchester United pre-contract in February: Report) The youngster should have been awarded a penalty just before halftime after another rash challenge from the hapless Demichelis, whose torment was ended when he was brought off soon after halftime.At 18 years and 141 days, Rashford became the youngest player in the Premier League era to score in the derby, leaving his manager Louis van Gaal delighted with his extraordinary progress.”He is a real striker and that’s why I let him stay in that position,” Van Gaal told Sky Sports.”He can score goals but he’s also an attacking point and runs the channels. I like him very much. He’s just 18 so we have to wait and see how consistent he is.”Rashford is very quick and Demichelis looked like the years are catching up with him. He was a very good defender, he was my centre-back at Bayern (Munich) but that is the life of football.”advertisementRashford provided the cutting edge that the home side lacked and, though City piled on the pressure in the second half, the usually deadly Sergio Aguero headed against the post and had tow other glaring misses.City’s defeat in the 171st Manchester derby virtually ends their lingering hopes of regaining the title they won in 2014.They are fourth, 15 points behind leaders Leicester City and one point clear of their sixth-placed Old Trafford neighbours.To make things worse, City’s England goalkeeper Hart had to be taken off moments after the break, damaging his calf after rushing off his line to challenge United striker Anthony Martial following Demichelis’ poor, under-hit back pass.last_img read more

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India successfully launches first swadeshi shuttle

first_imgBengaluru, May 23 (PTI) India today successfully launched its maiden swadeshi space shuttle with the winged Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV-TD) fulfilling its mission objectives in the first crucial test to make space travel easier and cheaper in the future. With the test-firing of the indigenous unmanned model space shuttle — the size of a Sports Utility Vehicle — by the ISRO from Sriharikota spaceport in Andhra Pradesh, about 350 km from here, India has joined the race to develop reusable spacecraft to put satellites into orbit after US Nasa stopped its Space Shuttle programme in 2011. Lifting off from the launch pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre, the double delta-winged flight vehicle RLV Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD) was hoisted into the atmosphere on the special rocket booster for a peak altitude of over 65 km and released for its re-entry into the atmosphere before its splashdown in the Bay of Bengal. The total flight duration of the 6.5-metre long aeroplane-like structure from launch to landing lasted about 770 seconds, the ISRO said. From a 65 km altitude, RLV-TD began its descent followed by atmospheric re-entry at around Mach 5–five times the speed of sound–with the vehicles Navigation, Guidance and Control system accurately steering it during this phase for safe descent, the Indian Space Research Organisation(ISRO) said in a statement. After successfully surviving high temperatures of re-entry with the help of its Thermal Protection System (TPS), RLV-TD successfully glided down to the defined landing spot over Bay of Bengal, at a distance of about 450 km from Sriharikota, fulfilling its mission objectives, it said. The RLV-TD is described as “a very preliminary step” in the development of a reusable rocket, whose final version is expected to take 10-15 years.advertisementThe aerospace vehicle with a 1.75 tonne weight was not recovered as it disintegrated on impact with water since it is not designed to float. The vehicle was successfully tracked during its flight from ground stations at Sriharikota and a shipborne terminal.The government has invested Rs 95 crore into the RLV-TD project. The RLV is ultimately aimed at putting satellites into orbit around earth and then re-enter atmosphere with the ultimate goal of drastically slashing down the cost of launches by as much as 10 times. In this flight, critical technologies such as autonomous navigation, guidance and control, reusable thermal protection system and re-entry mission management have been successfully validated, ISRO said in a statement.The reduced-scale space plane resembling a US space shuttle was experimented on a model almost six times smaller than the final version. Hailing the successful mission, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “Launch of Indias first indigenous space shuttle RLV-TD is the result of the industrious efforts of our scientists. Congrats to them.” “The dynamism & dedication with which our scientists & @isro have worked over the years is exceptional and very inspiring,” the Prime Minister, now in Iran, said in a tweet. PTI KSU RA BN KK DV GSN GSNlast_img read more

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Indian dressing room like a living room, everyone relaxed: Virat Kohli to India Today

first_imgVirat Kohli said the Indian team dressing room is like a living room where everyone was relaxed and at ease. In an exclusive interview with India Today, Virat Kohli said he was thrilled with the way his men have played over the last two years in the lead-up to the World Cup.In 2018, Virat Kohli led India to a historic ODI series win in South Africa. Later that year, India defeated Pakistan twice and won the Asia Cup. In 2019, Kohli oversaw ODI series wins in Australia and New Zealand.Several players were tried out before the selection committee met with Virat Kohli to finalise the 15-man squad for the World Cup. And every player has been happy in the Indian dressing room. It is well known that Kohli puts his players at ease and gives them the freedom to express themselves on the field.Not surprisingly then, a lot of young players have excelled. Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, KL Rahul are all in their 20s but very confident and assured of their roles in the team. Vijay Shankar came into the team earlier this year and made an immediate impact.Virat Kohli credited the entire Indian team management for the way it has handled the group.”I think the whole management group the way they have handled the entire group, it creates a good environment where everyone is relaxed.”Our change room is like a living room, chilled out with everyone relaxed. The Indian team has to be paramount and everyone and players respond in a very positive manner right from the management, myself, Mahi bhai (MS Dhoni) being the senior most guy and everyone. There is one goal and everyone is in sync with that goal,” Kohli said.advertisementThe Indian team looks well prepared for the World Cup and Virat Kohli, the energetic captain of the team, said it was the most balanced team he could have thought of and said he was very happy with his team for the tournament.”We are very happy with the way we have played in the last couple of years, especially away from home. This is the most balanced side we could have thought of because everyone is in a good space,” Virat Kohli told India Today. “Even though players are playing the IPL, the anticipation is for the World Cup and you can see that energy the way everyone is playing. We are very happy with 15 that we have,” Kohli said.Also Read | Unfortunate to see so many people going after MS Dhoni: Virat Kohli to India TodayAlso Read | Delighted to have Vijay Shankar in India’s World Cup team: Virat Kohli to India TodayAlso Read | 2019 World Cup: Out-of-form Hashim Amla makes 15-man South Africa squadAlso Read | Dinesh Chandimal not named in Sri Lanka’s 15-member squad for 2019 World CupAlso See:last_img read more

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Wenger distances Arsenal from Malcom move

first_imgTransfers Wenger distances Arsenal from £40m Malcom move Chris Burton Last updated 1 year ago 17:50 1/12/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Malcom Bordeaux Getty Images Transfers Arsenal Tottenham Hotspur Manchester United Bordeaux Premier League Ligue 1 The Brazilian forward is among those reported to be a January transfer target for the Gunners, but their manager says no approach has been made Arsene Wenger has sought to distance Arsenal from reports suggesting that a £40 million move for Bordeaux forward Malcom is imminent.Goal revealed earlier this week that the Gunners are preparing to step up their efforts to land the talented 20-year-old as they ready themselves for life without Alexis Sanchez.With the Chile international on the brink of departing Emirates Stadium for Manchester – with City and United both keen – Arsenal are eager to bring in a long-term replacement. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Malcom has been mooted as a possible contender to fill that role, but Wenger insists no move has been made for the highly-rated Brazilian.”He is a good player but nothing is happening,” the Frenchman told a news conference on Friday.”We are not on that case at the moment.”Malcom has also been linked with Arsenal’s arch-rivals Tottenham, while United are said to be closely monitoring a developing situation.Arsene Wenger ArsenalThe Gunners have held an interest in the youngster in the summer, but have been put off by Bordeaux’s demands.Interest could be rekindled, though, if the price is right, with Wenger conceding that he is continuing to scour the market for suitable additions.He added when pressed on whether Arsenal supporters should expect movement during the winter window: “I don’t rule it out – at the back, in midfield or up front. We are in the market and we are active.”But I don’t want to give news that I cannot confirm. Things change very quickly.”At present, most of the transfer activity in north London has focused on outgoings.While Sanchez continues to edge his way towards the exits, Francis Coquelin has departed for Valencia , uncertainty continues to shroud the future of Mesut Ozil and Everton have admitted to holding an interest in Theo Walcott .Konstantinos Mavropanos is the only player to have been brought in, with the 20-year-old Greek defender considered to be one for the future rather than the present .last_img read more

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Former Clemson Defensive End Ebenezer Ogundeko Arrested For Assault, Tweets That He “Hates Cops”

first_imgThis off-season has not gone well for former Clemson defensive end Ebenezer Ogundeko. The former blue chip recruit was dismissed from the ACC program after being charged with a count of financial transaction fraud in May. Ogundeko had since announced his transfer to FCS program Tennessee State, but now that may be up in the air. TigerNet reports that Ogundeko was arrested on Friday in connection to an assault at an off-campus party.Former Clemson defensive end Ebenezer Ogundeko was arrested July 24th for an incident that took place in March, the embattled New York native’s second arrest since late May.Ogundeko was arrested last Friday after an investigation into an alleged mob assault at an off-campus party.…Friday’s arrest stemmed from an incident that took place March 27 at The Pier at Clemson apartments, and he was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center on Friday morning and released later that day on a personal recognizance bond of $1,092.50. The (Seneca) Journal reported Ogundeko’s arrest in its Tuesday edition.Ogundeko is not taking things in stride, based on a recent tweet, which he deleted after about an hour.ebenezer ogundeko hates cops tweetThis is very bad for Ogundeko, whose promising football career looks to be in serious jeopardy now. [TigerNet]last_img read more

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Travel Weekly’s STAR Program Returns to CruiseWorld for 2019

first_imgWritten By: Jennifer Kruse, Associate Director, Trade Recruitment & Engagement – Travel Weekly Events  Following the tremendous success of last year’s CruiseWorld, the STAR (Select Travel Advisor Recognition) Program will be back once again for 2019’s event. The application to participate is now open and can be found at www.cruiseworldshow.com/star. The event will be held November 13-15 in Fort Lauderdale, with ship inspection opportunities on November 16 and 17. The program will include general sessions jam-packed with industry leaders and education, supplier training programs and breakout sessions, peer-led workshops, and the signature Exhibitor Showcase featuring suppliers from every facet of the travel industry. A select group of advisors will have the opportunity to attend the event in an enhanced capacity as a ‘STAR’. The STAR Program is structured to provide intense customized event programming while offsetting some of the financial expenses incurred by travel advisors to attend professional development events. CruiseWorld STARs receive VIP treatment and are provided with exclusive programming and networking opportunities to maximize their onsite experience. An exciting and exclusive feature of the STAR Program is the Travel Advisor Roundtable series. In this session, suppliers give a series of 15-minute presentations to travel advisors on their product. Travel advisors then rotate tables. The small group setting facilitates productive discussion and encourages question and answer between suppliers and travel advisors. Travel advisors will also have the opportunity to make individual face-to-face connections with supplier representatives during the Exhibitor Showcase. In addition to this added networking opportunity, advisors who qualify for the STAR Program, and who are selected to participate, receive complimentary registration and complimentary hotel accommodation for two nights. Specific participation requirements and program criteria are detailed on the CruiseWorld website at www.cruiseworldshow.com/star. As part of Travel Weekly’s ongoing commitment to supporting the professional development and growth of the travel advisor community, this program will again help fund attendance for up to 250 travel advisor attendees at CruiseWorld. “Last year’s event was the largest on record, and the STAR Program was no exception. We had over 1,300 visits to the application, making it an incredibly competitive group. Nearly six months after the conclusion of CruiseWorld, we are still receiving success stories that arose as a result of the connections and relationships built during the Exhibitor Showcase and other networking events. This is the greatest result Travel Weekly could hope for as staunch supporters of the travel advisor community and the industry as a whole,” said Alicia Evanko-Lewis, Senior Vice President of Events for Northstar Travel Group. The STAR Program garners glowing reviews from its alumni. “The CruiseWorld STAR Program has been essential in helping me to find suppliers that I otherwise would not have been able to connect with,” said Harry McKenzie of HM Travel Design. “After attending for the first time, I booked my first-ever cruise. I had previously been a European FIT specialist. Since the event, my cruise business has increased dramatically and I look forward to seeing the ways my business will expand and grow,” “The STAR Program is a fabulous opportunity to advance your business,” added Jenifer Breaux, Dream Vacations. “It makes you think, allows you to focus on yourself and your business, and find ways to improve your current strategy. It creates an environment that fosters relationships with both suppliers and other agents, in order to grow professionally and bring your business to the next level.” Traditional registration is available for those who do not wish to apply for the STAR Program. Visit www.cruiseworldshow.com/register to register. Travel Professional Community members can register using code HBTA to receive a $25 discount on the full-conference program rate. And remember, CruiseWorld isn’t just about cruise. This event brings together all facets of the leisure travel industry. Exhibitor categories include: airlines, attractions, business tools, car rental, cruise, destinations, hotels and resorts, professional services, rail, tour operators and packaged vacations, and more. For additional information about CruiseWorld, visit www.cruiseworldshow.com.last_img read more

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JAS and Digicel Sign $30 Million Sponsorship Deal

first_imgThe Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) and telecommunications giant, Digicel, on Monday, May 20, signed a $30 million contract to provide support for the Denbigh Agricultural Industrial and Food Show over the next three years.Speaking at the signing event held at Digicel’s downtown Kingston headquarters, JAS President, Senator Norman Grant, commended the company on the partnership, which started 12 years ago.“We are very excited about this sponsorship, which we see as strategic, and is a perfect fit, because technology is going to help to boost and move agriculture. The way we communicate among our 230,000 farmers, is significant, and this signals the deepening of the relationship between Digicel and the agricultural sector as a whole…we are going to use this opportunity to ensure that we move agriculture in Jamaica to the next level,” he stated.Senator Grant said the JAS is seeking to diversify the Denbigh show, which started some 61 years ago.“We are going to be going all out to make this exciting product the very best,” he remarked.The agreement represents $4 million in cash value, and the remainder in marketing and promotional support, including social media, text promotion, mini board advertising, and signage for the show over the three years. Digicel will also collaborate with the JAS for the entertainment packages for the show on August 6, through the performance of Digicel Rising Star Finalists, Digicel brand ambassadors, and headline acts.Digicel will also assist the JAS in promoting a number of events and activities including Youth Day on Monday, August 5, which will see students being transported to the showground, and receiving back-to-school packages from Digicel. For this event, the JAS is hoping to attract over 10,000 students.“It’s a day that children must come to learn about agriculture and to understand that if we are going to drive economic growth and development in Jamaica, it is going to be agriculture that will take us there,” the JAS President said.Digicel will also work with the JAS in organising a 5K Run. Senator Grant noted that this will tie into the ‘Eat What We Grow’ campaign.“There is a net benefit in agriculture in terms of import and export…import went up by 2.5 per cent, moving from US$959 million to US$979 million, but exports grew by $50 million over the previous year. So what we are trying to do is say, if you eat local you’ll run well, and you’ll be healthy (and) we are saying let’s eat more of what we grow, and grow more to export…so it’s a major effort that we will be earmarking here,” the JAS President explained.Sponsorship Manager for Digicel, Tanida Nunes, expressed enthusiasm about the partnership, on behalf of Digicel, noting that the company is “in it for the long haul”.The JAS will be seeking to attract at least 70,000 patrons to the annual agricultural showcase, which will be held from August 4 to 6.Contact: Alphea Saunderslast_img read more

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DU admissions may not begin from May first week

first_imgNew Delhi: Refuting the reports claim of Delhi University admission starts from the first week of May, the official at the admission coordinator said that “the date of admission will be announced when our preparations will be complete. It is not possible to start the admissions in the first week of May.”Moreover, the official also said that there is no major change in the DU admission process this year, “There are many misleading reporting are being circulated. The sports and ECA quotas are not going to be removed. We will soon have an official meet where all the rules and regulation will be annouced and such confusion will b debunked,” he added. Talking to earlier, he had said that the ECA and sports admissions will be “delinked from admission cut-off lists”. He further added that, “These seats are supernumerary in nature. Their admissions have no relation with the cut-off list so why should we unnecessarily wait for the cut-off lists for these admissions? They are dependent on trials so we will start those early, along with the registration process.” The varsity has also decided to give extra benefits to students hailing from villages. “We are planning to give some advantage to students from government schools and those who have done their schooling in villages. This is in addition to the benefit we are already giving to girls,” a committee member had said. The committee has also advised that an online calculator be devised, which can calculate students’ best-of-four percentage according to the course. “Students tend to hop from one course to another, and one college to another, which unnecessarily delays the admission process. To discourage this, we have decided that the number of cancellations allowed will be one less than the number of cut-offs that come out,” he added. Meanwhile, “the academic council of the University of Delhi (DU) has given its nod to 30 new courses to be introduced across colleges in the varsity. The courses include both undergraduate and postgraduate level programmes which will be imparted in a choice-based credit system from the coming academic year 2019-20 onwards.last_img read more

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Sweethearts candies wont be on shelves this Valentines

DETROIT — Sweethearts — those chalky little candies with messages on them — won’t be on store shelves this Valentine’s Day.The New England Confectionary Co. — or Necco — had been making the popular candies since 1886. But the company filed for bankruptcy protection last spring.Ohio-based Spangler Candy Co. bought Necco in May. But Spangler said Thursday that it didn’t have time to bring Sweethearts to market this Valentine’s season.CEO Kirk Vashaw said Spangler wants to make sure Sweethearts “meet customer expectations” when they return to market. He didn’t say what changes Spangler plans to make or when they’ll go back on sale.Competitors like Brach’s are still making conversation hearts. But online retailer CandyStore.com says Sweethearts were by far the most popular brand, commanding 80 per cent of U.S. market for candy hearts.The Associated Press read more

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Cogeco selling cloud services company Cogeco Peer 1 for 720 million

Companies in this story: (TSX:CCA) MONTREAL — Cogeco Communications Inc. has signed a deal to sell Cogeco Peer 1 Inc., its cloud services company, to investment firm Digital Colony for $720 million.The company says it plans to use the proceeds from the sale to repay debt and repurchase shares.Shares in Cogeco were up about seven per cent or $5.31 at $80.36 in trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange following the announcement.Cogeco acquired Peer 1 Hosting in 2013.The deal is subject to customary closing conditions, including certain regulatory approvals, and is expected to close in the third quarter.Cogeco Peer 1 is expected to remain based in Toronto and adopt a new brand. The Canadian Press read more

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Journalists need to declare their assets

In the past there had been reports in the media calling for politicians to declare their assets.Minister Rambukwella said that there are 3000 journalists registered with the government information department. He also said that journalists in Sri Lanka will be categorized based on provincial journalists, full time journalists and others. (Colombo Gazette)Report by Indika Sri Aravinda Journalists will need to declare their assets in future, Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said.The Minister said that a special committee will be appointed to look at a system under which details of the assets will be collected. He said that once implemented, the Media Ministry will be the body to which the assets of journalists will be declared. The government hopes to implement the system in three months time, the Minister said. read more

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New York City sues TMobile for tricking customers

New York City is suing T-Mobile for what it calls “abusive sales tactics” at Metro by T-Mobile stores, the wireless carrier’s prepaid phone brand.The city’s lawsuit says dozens of stores sold used phones to customers as new, charged fake taxes and unexpected fees and offered financing for phones that resulted in higher-than-expected prices. The city also says a 30-day return policy is deceptive and comes with restrictions.The city filed its lawsuit in a New York state court on Wednesday. New York’s attorney general is separately leading a coalition of states in suing to block T-Mobile’s $26.5 billion deal for rival carrier Sprint.T-Mobile says it’s investigating, as the allegations are “at odds with the integrity of our team.”Tali Arbel, The Associated Press read more

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Highlighting insecurity in Sudans Darfur UN urges support for African force

The UN Advance Mission in Sudan (UNAMIS) reported incidents including possible ceasefire violations, an attack on a village, another on a convoy of the UN World Food Programme (WFP), militia activities and rape cases.Underscoring the importance of safety for the people of Darfur, Mr. Annan said all sides must respect the ceasefire and take measures to protect civilians, even before the arrival of AU troops.Speaking at a press conference in London with the United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, the Secretary-General noted that every effort is being made to send in the African monitors and protective force, “and I think their presence will also make quite a lot of difference.”Earlier this month, given the planned expansion of the AU’s current 350-strong group of monitors, Mr. Annan recommended that the AU force be given the power to protect internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees, including those living in makeshift camps; monitor the activities of the local police; and disarm fighters, including the Janjaweed militias accused of committing most of the attacks against civilians.With additional humanitarian workers being sent in, “I think…that many people would also help dissuade the attacks,” he added. “On the security side we need to do everything and give the African Union the support to go in there. And we should press the parties, the government and the rebels, to go back to the table and discuss seriously, in the spirit of compromise, to find a political solution.”He also noted a $200 million shortfall in funding for relief activities and voiced hope that donor countries will do everything needed to provide resources for the UN’s humanitarian effort.”We need to provide humanitarian assistance in the quantities that are required. Not just give them food and shelter, but also the non-food items – health, sanitation and other aspects,” he stressed.Meanwhile, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said its mobile protection teams are currently working in western Darfur near the Chad border to monitor internal displacement, as well as mapping and assessing the condition of abandoned and destroyed villages.”This work is vital in trying to help a complicated of mix of internally displaced people, recent returnees from Chad, and even Chadian refugees who still reside in Darfur,” UNHCR spokesman Ron Redmond said at a press briefing in Geneva.Since heavy fighting broke out early last year in Darfur between government forces and two rebel groups, some 1.65 million people have been forced to flee their homes, with about 200,000 of them crossing into neighbouring Chad.In a separate development, the UN agency and the Sudanese Government’s Committee on Refugees have finalized plans to register Chadian refugees in Darfur in preparation for their eventual return home, Mr. Redmond noted.The Chadian refugees have been in Darfur for many years, escaping severe drought and potential famine in 1984, as well as border clashes between Chadian and Libyan forces. “But now, having been caught up in the trauma of the recent violence in the region, want to return home,” he said. read more

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Whats Behind All These Crazy NBA Stat Lines

As the calendar approached 2017 Saturday night, Houston’s James Harden decided to provide his own New Year’s Eve fireworks. The triple-double line he dropped on the New York Knicks was nothing short of mind-boggling: 53 points, 17 assists and 16 rebounds — the first 50-15-15 game in NBA history, the finest game of Harden’s career (according to John Hollinger’s Game Score metric, which assigns a rough value to all the good and bad things a player does on the court), and the top performance of the 2016-17 NBA season to that point.But no sooner had Harden finished that outburst than Chicago’s Jimmy Butler responded with his own bit of insane stat-stuffing: 52 points, 12 rebounds and 6 assists against the Hornets on Monday night. Since it came with a better shooting percentage, fewer turnovers and more steals and blocks, Butler’s performance unseated Harden’s for the best Game Score of this NBA season so far.And it wouldn’t be surprising if Butler’s own mark fell sooner rather than later. This season has already seen 12 individual performances eclipse a Game Score of 40,1For reference’s sake, this LeBron James game against the Hornets on Dec. 10 — 44 points, 10 assists and 9 rebounds — earned a Game Score of exactly 40. the same number as the previous five seasons had through this stage of the season2Specifically, through 38 team games — the same number as the league-leading Clippers, Grizzlies and Lakers had when this story’s research was conducted on Thursday. combined. As my ESPN colleague Zach Lowe wrote Thursday, scoring is up across the league this season, and it’s going hand in hand with some truly prodigious individual performances.Here’s the breakdown of the individual games that eclipsed certain Game Score milestones (30, 35 and 40) during the first 38 team games of each season since 1983-84, the first year for which Basketball-Reference.com has complete game-level box score data: Aside from a brief spike in the post-handcheck era, when Allen Iverson, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Gilbert Arenas — remember how good he was at his peak? — were blowing up the scorebooks in 2005-06, we haven’t seen a spate of stat-padding close to this since 1990-91, when Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley and company were putting up ridiculous numbers from Day One of the season. And even that year didn’t see as many performances crack a Game Score of 40 as there have been this season; to find more of those at this stage of a season, you’d have to go back to 1987-88.It probably isn’t too shocking that the number of big Game Score outings in a given season is reasonably correlated with the league’s pace factor.3Since 1984, there’s a correlation coefficient of 0.59 between the league’s pace and the number of individual games breaking a Game Score of 30, for instance. The more possessions per game, the easier it is to produce eye-popping stat lines — and this season has featured the NBA’s fastest pace since the early 1990s. So, given the game’s more up-tempo state, perhaps we shouldn’t be too surprised by this year’s explosion of big statistical games.But there’s also evidence that we’re in an age of better NBA talent than we’ve seen since the days of MJ and Sir Charles. When I borrowed FiveThirtyEight editor-in-chief Nate Silver’s “baseball time machine” technique — which infers the amount of talent present in a given season by comparing the performances of the same players in adjacent seasons — and applied it to basketball to prove millennials weren’t ruining the NBA, I found that the past few seasons contained the NBA’s strongest talent base since the early to mid-1990s. (As measured by Box Plus/Minus, which is pace-adjusted and accounts for both offense and defense.) It was part of a trend in leaguewide quality that’s been on the upswing since the mid-2000s, as the game finally stabilized after adding seven new teams between 1988 and 2004.Lending further credence to the theory that there’s simply a wealth of good players in today’s NBA, 2016-17 has also seen its big stat-stuffing games spread across more players than past seasons have. This season, there have been 89 games with a Game Score of 30 or higher, recorded by 38 different players — an average of 2.3 big games per player. By contrast, the 1990-91 season featured an average of 2.8 big games per player, meaning the performances were more concentrated among players; the same was true in all of the big-game-heavy seasons of the late 1980s and early 1990s. This season has featured a lot of great performances, but they’re not being being hogged as much by the same small group of usual suspects.(Even Russell Westbrook, freed to summon a hellstorm of statistical vengeance in Kevin Durant’s absence, leads the league with “only” nine 30-plus Game Score games. At the same stage of the 1987-88 season, Jordan had twice as many!)Between expansion, rule changes, the advent of superteams and sweeping strategic developments (many of which owe to the increasing influence advanced analytics wields over teams), the league has undergone a lot of upheaval over the past couple of decades. It may be that this season’s jaw-dropping statistical feats are a product of all that evolution — and we could just be witnessing the beginning of a trend toward ever-crazier numbers.Check out our latest NBA predictions. read more

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Tate Britain brings back labels and rehangs in themes to help audience

first_imgTate Britain’s 2018 season will include a exhibition dedicated to Edward Burne-Jones Another show, All Too Human, will explore the “intense experience of life” through figurative painting and the works of Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, RB Kitaj and Paula Rego.Tate Modern will host video and textile art from Joan Jonas and Anni Albers alongside its blockbuster Picasso exhibition, while Tate St Ives explores 35 female artists led by the works of Virginia Woolf. In an interview with the Evening Standard, as Tate announced its plans for 2018, Farquharson confirmed he advocated labels once again offering interpretation of the art.He added the chronological collection will be rehung thematically, in a key reversal of the old guard’s ways.”If one frames art that way it’s an invitation to an audience to understand the work without prior knowledge of art historical categories,” he said. Tate Modern will show the work of Joan Jonas Tate Britain's 2018 season will include a exhibition dedicated to Edward Burne-Jones Tate Britain is to rehang its entire collection as it reinstates proper labels explaining what the art is about, it has emerged, as its director says he wants to invite audiences to understand the works properly.Alex Farquharson, who took over Tate Britain 18 months ago after the surprise departure of Penelope Curtis, said he will be grouping paintings into themes in a bid to improve the audience experience.Curtis, who departed the gallery for Lisbon in 2015 after five years at the helm, had faced much criticism over her exhibitions, with strident calls for her dismissal described at the time as “verging on a vendetta”. “So there could be big themes, like London as an urban space in the 18th century or Britain in the post-war age of anxiety. We want to look at how social factors caused art to take the forms it did.”The labels at Tate Britain, a source said, has “kept evolving” since the 2013 policy, with experts quietly reintroducing more information even before Farquharson’s arrival.Tate Britain plans for 2018 include the first exhibition of the work of pre-Raphaelite Edward Burne-Jones held in London in 40 years. Penelope Curtis, former Tate Britain directorcenter_img The works of Lucian Freud will star in Tate Modern’s All Too Human Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. The works of Lucian Freud will star in Tate Modern's All Too Human Her decisions including hanging the Tate Britain collection in chronological order, and overseeing a change in labelling to cut down on information to let visitors interpret more of the art for themselves.Chris Stevens, curator, explained in 2013: “Your [the audience’s] response is as valid as our knowledge, and this re-hang presents a sort of release for the artist and their work from this encumbrance of academic protocols.”One art historian called the concept of equating specialist knowledge with guesses from the public “chilling”. Tate Modern will show the work of Joan Jonas Penelope Curtis, former Tate Britain directorlast_img read more

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