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04
Jun
2021

St Patrick’s Day transatlantic exodus begins

first_imgPrint Linkedin Twitter Facebook Advertisement WhatsAppcenter_img Previous article€305,000 allocated to Limerick Sports PartnershipNext articleAbuse watchdog appointment welcomed Staff Reporterhttp://www.limerickpost.ie NewsBreaking newsSt Patrick’s Day transatlantic exodus beginsBy Staff Reporter – March 15, 2015 726 The St. Patrick’s Day exodus to destinations celebrating the national festival around the world went into overdrive today as thousands of passengers jetted out to destinations across the globe today to catch festivities.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up The demand for services was such that Aer Lingus brought forward the recommencement  of its JFK New York service from Shannon Airport by one week after a two-month winter break.It resulted in an extra busy morning at the transatlantic gates at the airport, with passengers travelling from as far Dublin, Waterford and Sligo to catch the inaugural flight of the recommenced service.Among those joining the queue were the Kilkenny and Limerick Rose of Tralee representatives, Vera McGrath and Dawn Ryan, respectively, from the 2014 event, both of whom were travelling out to join with other Roses in the New York parade and making their first trip to the Big Apple.“There’s around 40 roses going to join the parade and it should be great fun. For both of us it’s our first time going to New York so it’s really exciting.  It will be great to meet up with everyone again as well,” said Dawn.The service also facilitated the travel plans of public representatives heading out on formal business, among them Cathaoirleach of Cavan County Council Shane P. O’Reilly.  “It’s going to be a busy few days as I will be attending a range of events in New York and then we are going to Rochester, which my own village of Mullagh is twinned with, and Clinton, New Jersey, which was founded by two brothers from Belturbet.“Some might think Shannon is a long way to go if you’re from Cavan, not least as Dublin is just an hour from where we live, but we are on the motorway very quickly and down here in under three hours.  We live in rural Ireland, Shannon is in rural Ireland so it’s great to support it.  I would recommend it any day. It’s my first time here and it’s so stress-free it’s unbelievable.”The service was due to recommence this day week after its winter break since January 5th but was brought forward to cater for demand for seats each way for St. Patrick’s Day festivities.  Flights will operate daily, except Tuesdays, departing Shannon at 12:20p.m. and arriving at 2:40p.m. New York local-time. The return leg departs at 6:20p.m. local-time, arriving in Shannon at 6a.m.Transatlantic services have made a major contribution to the resurgence at Shannon Airport since it was made independent two years ago.  Last year saw a 10% increase in transatlantic passengers as Shannon built on the momentum of 2013.Welcoming the recommencement of the service, Operations Director at Shannon Airport Niall Maloney said,  “Aer Lingus has a long legacy of transatlantic services at Shannon and it’s great to see them back this year ahead of schedule on JFK to cater for demand around St. Patrick’s Day.  Outside of Ireland there are more people of Irish descent in New York than anywhere else in the world and that creates a huge market for services, particularly across the western half of the island with so many people having emigrated from here in the past.“Shannon is the only airport from Cork right up to the North West with transatlantic services so we play a major role in supporting tourism and industry links with these services.  You can see it here today as we have passengers from Waterford, Dublin, Sligo, Galway, May and Cavan.  The demand for these services is also growing with the economic recovery both here and the US and, indeed, the success of the Wild Atlantic Way so we are expecting a busy season again and delighted to have the service back.”Aer Lingus Director of Communications Declan Kearney said, “We are happy to recommence services between Shannon and New York in time for the St Patrick’s Day celebrations. We continue to grow our transatlantic business adding extra capacity and a bigger choice of destinations to North America. New connections across the USA allow for seamless transfer options, making Aer Lingus the smart choice.” Emaillast_img read more

26
May
2021

Google – Paytm Feud: Is It Time To Regulate Application Stores In India?

first_imgColumnsGoogle – Paytm Feud: Is It Time To Regulate Application Stores In India? Eshvar Girish & Kritika Trivedi15 Oct 2020 10:38 PMShare This – xRecently, the Paytm application. was taken down from the Android Play Store by Google on the ground that it featured games that were against Google’s gambling policy. Google claimed that the cash back feature of the Paytm Game called ‘India Cricket League’ facilitated unregulated gambling. However, Paytm was restored on the Play Store after it agreed to remove its cashback feature….Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginRecently, the Paytm application. was taken down from the Android Play Store by Google on the ground that it featured games that were against Google’s gambling policy. Google claimed that the cash back feature of the Paytm Game called ‘India Cricket League’ facilitated unregulated gambling. However, Paytm was restored on the Play Store after it agreed to remove its cashback feature. With this background, this article examines how application stores such as Google’s Play Store are regulated in India. It also analyses whether Google was justified in arbitrarily delisting the Paytm application from its Play Store. Regulation of Application Stores in India Currently, there are no specific legislations in order to govern application stores in India. It is pertinent to understand that application stores provide customers with virtual services such as communication, food delivery, banking, medical, etc., thereby falling under the purview of Consumer Protection Act, 2019 (CPA) and Consumer (E-commerce) Rules, 2020 (E-commerce rules). Section 2(17) of the CPA has defined an electronic service provider ‘a person who provides technologies or processes to enable a product seller to engage in advertising or selling goods or services to a consumer and includes any online marketplace for online auction sites’. Section 2(42) of the CPA has defined services as ‘service of any description which is made available to potential users and includes, but not limited to, the provision of facilities in connection with banking, financing, insurance, transport, processing, supply of electrical or other energy, telecom, boarding or lodging or both, housing construction, entertainment, amusement or the purveying of news or other information, but does not include the rendering of any service free of charge or under a contract of personal service’. Hence, a conjoint reading of both these provisions implies that application stores can be considered as electronic service providers who facilitate the aggregation of users at a common platform, i.e., the application stores. Under the erstwhile Consumer Protection Act, 1986, the online marketplace entities often used the shield of ‘safe harbour protection’ provided to intermediaries under Section 79 and Section 81 of the Information Technology Act, 2000 and the provisions of Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines) Rules, 2011 to escape all liabilities with respect to the contracts between buyers and sellers. Thus, reference must be made to the case of Christian Louboutin SAS v Nakul Bajaj & Ors , wherein the court observed that ‘So long as they are mere conduits or passive transmitters of the records or of the information, they continue to be intermediaries, but merely calling themselves as intermediaries does not qualify all e-commerce platforms or online market places as one’. From the conjoint reading of the provisions of the CPA and the judicial interpretation of intermediaries in the aforementioned case, it is evident that the ‘application stores’ fall under the ambit of an electronic service provider as laid down under the CPA. The E-commerce Rules define an e-commerce entity as “any person who owns, operates or manages digital or electronic facility or platform for electronic commerce”. Rule 2(2) of the E-commerce rules, states that the rules are applicable to all E-commerce entities irrespective of whether they are established in India or not. Such a provision can impose statutory obligations over application stores such as Play Store (established by Google in California, United States) or App Store (established by Apple in California, United States), etc. even though they are not established in India. Rule 2(a) has laid down that it is applicable to all digital products which are sold over digital or electronic network. In the case of application stores, electronic network would be the internet and digital products would be the applications. Similarly, from other related provisions of the E-commerce rules, one can ascertain that application stores can be brought under the ambit of the said rules. Hence, the E-commerce Rules and the CPA can be collectively used to regulate the application stores until a specific legislation or explicit provisions are brought about in order to govern them. On this account, the authors deliberate upon how application stores are regulated in other countries. Regulation of application stores in Other Countries In the United States, there are instances wherein, the Google Play Store was tried under the consumer protection laws due to activities such as unauthorized billings with respect to in-app purchases which were made without the consent of the user. Additionally, the U.S. has introduced a specific legislation called the APPS Act of 2020 (yet to be passed) to not only regulate mobile applications but also to regulate the actions of application stores. The authors recommend that a similar legislation must be contemplated for the regulation of application stores and mobile applications in India as well in order to curb inordinate exercise of power by application stores over their listed apps as seen in the case of Paytm’s removal by Google. This will also ensure that the application stores have a policy in consonance with the legislation rather than having their own policies which might be detrimental to the interests of the applications listed on them. In Australia, there is no specific legislation to regulate Application Stores. One can observe that the scope of its Competition and Consumer Protection Act, 2010 is broad enough to cover issues arising out of application stores. On July 12th, 2020, the European Union adopted the Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on promoting fairness and transparency for business users of online intermediation services (P2B Regulations). The P2B Regulations are applicable to online software application services (application stores) such as the Apple App Store, Play Store and the Microsoft Store respectively. The said regulations have a provision according to which the application stores cannot exclude all the goods or services of a business user (application) in order to maintain proportionality. Termination of the entire application is allowed only in severe cases wherein the application violates multiple or all terms and conditions of the application store. In such a scenario, the Play Store would not be able to arbitrarily take down the entire application as it did with Paytm in India. Instead, it would be obligated to only remove a certain feature of the application such as the cashback feature in this case, which flouted the terms and conditions of the Play Store. In light of the same, the authors discuss whether the cashback feature provided by Paytm in its fantasy sport ‘India Cricket League’ actually amounted to gambling as cited by Google. Position of online gambling in India It is important to realize that the legislative framework of online gambling in India is not uniform. The Constitution of India has empowered the states to enact laws relating to gambling. In light of the same, few states such as Bihar, Chattisgarh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, etc have enacted the Public Gambling Act, 1867. While states such as Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Daman and Diu, Haryana, Goa, and Kerala have passed legislations to regulate gambling, states such as Bombay and Gujarat have enacted legislations to prohibit gambling. It is pertinent to note that these legislations were passed with respect to regulation of physical gambling and not online gambling. Sikkim, Nagaland and Telangana are few states which have statutes related to regulation of online gambling under which only ‘games of skill’ are considered legal. While it is practically impossible to thwart online gambling in India, the authors contend that the recommendations of the Law Commission’s Report in 2018 titled ‘Legal Framework: Gambling and Sports Betting including in Cricket in India’ must be taken into consideration to effectively regulate online gambling in India. The Sports (Online Gaming and Prevention of Fraud) Bill, 2018 which was shelved by the Parliament in 2018 must be reconsidered in order to preserve integrity in sports and legalize online gambling in India. The Indian Courts have thrown some light to clarify the position of online gaming by classifying them as ‘game of skill’ or ‘game of chance’. When the legality of fantasy sports was considered by the High Court of Punjab and Haryana in the Varun Gumber Case, it held Dream 11’s format of fantasy sport to be a game of skill. This decision was reiterated by the High Court of Bombay in the case of Gurdeep Singh Sachar v Union of India. The Supreme Court’s judgment in this regard remains to be seen. In light of these decisions, one can observe that the ‘India Cricket League’ game of Paytm greatly resembles the format of fantasy sport ‘Dream 11’ which enables users to create their own cricket teams consisting of real life cricket players for the upcoming matches. While such a format has been legally recognized and allowed in the cases discussed above, Google citing Paytm’s game as a ‘facilitator of unregulated gambling’ is beyond the legalities contemplated in the field of Indian fantasy sports. Thus, the authors contend that Google’s actions in this regard can not only be considered as an abuse of its dominant position but also in the violation of India’s competition laws. Abuse of dominant position by Google It is a well-established fact that Google is a dominant market player in the field of technology. Thus, Google’s decision to arbitrarily remove Paytm from its Play Store has raised suspicions of anti-competitive practices by Google. This can be attributed to the fact that Google wants to subdue Paytm which is not only India’s go to payments application, but also a major competitor to Google’s own payment application i.e., Google Pay. This can be considered to be in the violation of Section 4 of the Competition Act, 2002 which clearly prohibits a dominant player from abusing its market position. Similar allegations have been made earlier that Google predominantly showcases its Google Pay application over other applications inside the Play Store in India. Such a move by Google would provide it with an unfair advantage over other applications of the competitors, thereby abusing its dominant market position. In 2018, the Google was fined with 21 million dollars by the CCI for indulging in a ‘search bias’. An appeal against the same is still pending. Also, in 2019, CCI had probed into Google’s alleged misuse of is dominant position to reduce the ability of smartphone manufacturers to opt for alternative versions of its Android Mobile Operating System. CCI’s order in this regard remains to be seen. Attention must be given to the fact that YouTube (Google’s company) charges hefty fees to promote Paytm First Games. By doing so, Google is contradicting its own ‘gambling’ policy by promoting Paytm First Games on YouTube but not allowing the same to be listed on its Play Store. Although Paytm First games has been relisted in the play store, Google’s actions clearly denote an inherent essence of anti-competitiveness in the market, thereby establishing its supremacy. As a consequence of Google’s Monopolistic behaviour, Paytm has launched its own mini application store to provide consumers and developers with ‘choice’ of more than 300 apps on it without charging any commission or fee for any of the applications on it unlike Google’s 30% commission on apps. This is a clear head on fight by Paytm against Google which is aimed at providing better customer services for application developers by filling in all the service gaps prevalent in the Google Play Store. The absence of legislative framework with respect to application stores in India has allowed Google to take undue advantage and abuse its dominant position by taking down apps such as Paytm and Mobikwik arbitrarily. Thus, there is an inherent need for the establishment of a legislative framework to effectively regulate application stores in India. This would facilitate a level playing field wherein the application stores such as Play Store, App Store, Paytm Mini Store, etc. need to adhere to the statutory requirements rather than forming their own policies, thereby affecting the ecosystem of mobile applications in India. The introduction of ‘Paytm Mini Store’ is in line with the Prime Minister’s vision of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ (self reliance). Only time will tell how far Paytm can compete with a tech giant like Google with respect to application stores in India.Views are personal only.Subscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. All payment options available.loading….Next Storylast_img read more

31
Dec
2020

Pleasant Prairie Plant in Wisconsin Will Close in 2018

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Milwaukee Journal:On Tuesday, Milwaukee-based WEC Energy Group announced it was closing the plant permanently in the second quarter of 2018 as the company moves to cheaper natural gas and other energy sources.The decision is the latest sign of coal’s diminishing status as a source of electric generation as utilities turn to natural gas, surplus wholesale power and renewable sources such as wind and solar.Pleasant Prairie is a major source of power in the state. The plant uses an average of 13,000 tons of coal a day, shipped in train cars from Wyoming’s Powder River Basin. In full operation, it can supply the electric needs of about 1 million homes.The shift to other fuel options should lead to lower prices for consumers in the future, the company said.Pleasant Prairie has been operating at reduced capacity at times in recent years, underscoring its excess plant capacity and the cheaper energy options available to the company. Pleasant Prairie did not operate for three months this spring, the company said. The plant’s closing also means less air pollution and a smaller carbon footprint for state’s largest utility holding company and should help southeastern Wisconsin address longstanding ozone air emission problems.“We are looking for a clean, reliable energy future for our customers,” said Cathy Schulze, a spokeswoman for the company.The power plant employs 158 people and the company said it will try to keep many of the employees by redeploying them to other facilities.More: We Energies’ coal-fired power plant in Pleasant Prairie to be shut down in 2018 Pleasant Prairie Plant in Wisconsin Will Close in 2018last_img read more

19
Oct
2020

Global recession risk spikes as world powers down, markets slump

first_imgInvestors are sounding the alarm that policy makers aren’t doing enough, with a deepening rout in global stocks and strains in credit markets compounding the concern over the economic outlook. Stocks were primed for more heavy losses in Asia on Friday after the worst Wall Street session since 1987.The virus “has disrupted the global economy and has quickly morphed into a dislocation in financial markets too,” Morgan Stanley economists led by Chetan Ahya said in a report to clients in which they warned of a “rising risk” of a full-blown global recession.“The need of the hour is a quick, sizeable response from public health, monetary and fiscal authorities,” they said.Read also: Time-out: IDX halts trading as shares plunge 5% Dashed are the hopes from just a few weeks ago that the world economy would track a V-shaped trajectory — a sharp first-quarter slump in growth followed by a second-quarter rebound. Now, the biggest economic shock since the 2008 financial crisis is raising the risk of a worldwide recession, with the debate shifting to how long and deep the slump will be.China is already on course for what could be its first quarterly contraction in decades. In the US, a Bloomberg Economics model suggests a 53 percent chance that the 11-year expansion will end within a year. The economies of Japan, Germany, France and Italy were already shrinking or stalled before the virus outbreak, and the UK is wobbling amid Brexit uncertainty.As the virus spreads, the threat grows of a phenomenon economists refer to as a feedback loop — a vicious cycle in which a country that starts to recover domestically then suffers diminished demand from abroad as other nations succumb, prolonging the downturn.At Pacific Investment Management Co., global chief economic adviser Joachim Fels says the US and Europe face the “distinct possibility” of a recession. Former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, a paid contributor to Bloomberg News, says the coronavirus may prove to be the most serious crisis of the century so far and puts the odds of a US recession at 80 percent.Traditionally more conservative in calling a recession, Wall Street economists are also downgrading their forecasts. Those at Bank of America Corp. on Wednesday cut their global growth forecast for 2020 from 2.8 percent to 2.2 percent. That’s “in spitting range of a typical global recession” and well below the world’s long-term trend of 3.5 percent, they said.Read also: Global stocks suffer historic rout, shrugging of central bank stepsCounterparts at JPMorgan Chase & Co. told clients this week that the risk of a global recession “has risen materially.” To revive their confidence, they said they need to see a fading of the virus, a stronger and more creative response by economic policy makers, and for firms and banks not to slash jobs or lending.They also argued that the tumble in the cost of oil may not necessarily boost growth as much as historically because consumers will pocket the windfall from cheaper fuel prices.Policy makers are already struggling to keep up, adding to concern that falling demand won’t be cushioned enough by stimulus.The Federal Reserve’s emergency interest rate cut of March 3 failed to buoy investor confidence, adding to pressure on its officials to ease monetary policy and perhaps even slash rates to zero when they reconvene next week if not sooner. There are also calls for it to follow the Bank of England in channeling assistance to parts of the economy in most need.European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde got her chance to act on Thursday after telling regional leaders earlier in the week that their economy risked a shock that echoed the crisis of the last decade if they didn’t urgently. The ECB announced what it called a “ comprehensive” package that included more quantitative easing and tools to increase liquidity, but disappointed investor calls for interest rates to be cut.The ECB already has negative rates so there’s little room to reduce them, a problem for Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda too.We’re all Japan now as virus drives low-rates world toward zeroThat leaves fiscal policy, which should be more potent than monetary policy because it can be targeted and delivered in size. But governments are again proving sluggish in getting ahead of the crisis with the majority waiting for their nations to become infected before shifting and then only slowly.While more governments are rolling out stimulus packages worldwide and are offering more than US$130 billion of virus-relief steps, Trump’s administration has been slow crafting a plan after initially questioning the need for one.German Chancellor Angela Merkel promised to do “whatever is necessary” on Wednesday. While the rhetoric has yet to be matched by a fiscal push in Europe’s largest economy, her administration is prepared to abandon its long-standing balanced-budget policy to help finance steps to contain the virus fallout.Read also: Europe grinds to halt as ECB is criticized for too little actionMuch of the economic data have yet to bear out the magnitude of the pain to the global economy. In some ways, though, the virus outbreak’s impact is more worrisome than even the financial crisis, given that it’s hitting a multitude of consumer and business channels and has crushed prospects for a full recovery in some sectors, said Taimur Baig, chief economist at DBS Bank in Singapore.“This is the opposite transition from the crisis propagation perspective — now we have the services sector basically coming to a standstill worldwide” while the financial system still is relatively healthy, said Baig, a former economist at the International Monetary Fund.While the crisis of 2008-09 was a “classic financial crisis,” this time, “it’s not about fixing banks or putting capital in there — it’s about saying the pandemic has ended. That’s what makes it very uncertain” as the virus has proved so hard to control, he said.Topics : A pandemic-driven global recession is becoming more likely by the day as the flow of goods, services and people face ever-increasing restrictions and financial markets slump.In just the past day or so, President Donald Trump curbed travel to the US from Europe, Italy’s government ordered almost every shop to close, India suspended most visas and Ireland partially shut down. Twitter Inc. joined companies telling employees to work at home and the National Basketball Association suspended its season.While such announcements are aimed at containing the coronavirus, each quarantined city, canceled flight, scrapped sporting event and scuppered conference will hammer demand this quarter and likely longer. An initial consumer rush to stock up on supplies may be followed by months of cautious restraint.last_img read more

17
Sep
2020

Kwara Holds Bendel Insurance as NPFL Action Returns to Benin…

first_imgDuro Ikhazuagbe in Benin CityTop flight football action returned to Benin City Wednesday after 11 years as Bendel Insurance played a scoreless draw with visitors Kwara United.in one of The Match day 4 NPFL matches.However, the new move by the state government to ensure that there are no crowd violence in Benin ensured match officials who disallowed what looked like a good goal were not molested. Bendel Insurance Although Insurance gave their all, Kwara United were resolute in defence and occasionally made daring attacks at Insurance goal area.Bendel Insurance’s most experienced player, Charles Omokaro who has become the talisman of the Benin Arsenal, failed to live up to his reputation as all his tricks could not yield any dividend in this first game at home since returning to the top flight.Elsewhere, MFM claimed their second win of the season and shoot ahead of the field in Group A, while former leaders Kwara United step one slot down with Enyimba and Katsina United completing the top four.Rangers start their campaign on a losing note and are rooted at the bottom of the table, while Lobi Stars are only one step and and one point.Wasiu Jimoh’s excellently-taken half-volley earned Rivers United a hard-fought 1-1 draw against Sunshine Stars in Akure.Sunshine Stars had taken the lead early in the second half through Fuad Ekelojuoti who scrambled home a header from three yards in a crowded Rivers United penalty area but the visitors responded gamely to claim a share of the spoils.The Rivers United Technical Manager, Stanley Eguma, made two changes gto the side that drew 1-1 with Nigeria Tornadoes in Minna in their last game.Kehinde Adedipe and Kingsley Patrick were preferred to Weli Christian and Chigozie Ihunda and the altearations proved to be inspired.A first half which failed to hit expected heights was marginally sahved by the hosts who dominated territorially but lacked imagination in the final third.Ekelejuoti’s brilliant cross on 22 minutes almost caused damage but the Rivers United goalkeeper, Drissa Bamba saved well from Seun Olunlayo’s header from point blank range off the precise delivery.Bamba was again called into action just before the interval and this time, he saved far less spectacularly from Tope Akande’s header as the hosts poured forward in numbers in an attempt to go into the interval in front.Eight minutes into the second half, the hosts took the lead in fortuitous fashion as Ekelejuoti prodded home the scrappiest of goals from three yards out as the visitors failed to clear their lines.In Group B, Heartland maintained their perfect result and stay on top of the table, while FC Ifeanyi Ubah are in second place, one point short with Plateau United in No 4.El-Kanemi Warriors have the opportunity of going ahead of Ifeanyi Ubah if they win their home match against Nasarawa United tomorrow.Group AKatsina Utd 1-0 WikkiSunshine 1-1 Rivers UtdMFM 1-0 Rangers,Enyimba 0-0 Lobi Stars,Insurance 0-0 Kwara Utd,Tornadoes 0-0 Remo StarsGroup BIfeanyiUbah 1-0 Yobe StarsHeartland 1-0 Go Round FC,Akwa Utd 2-2 Plateau UtdGombe Utd 2-0 Kano Pillars,Abia Warriors 1-0 Kada StarsShare this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

10
Feb
2020

Spotlight on 110m hurdles

first_imgDOHA, Qatar:Seven Jamaicans will be in action on today’s first of 14 Diamond League meets in this the seventh year of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) track and field series.Among the Jamaicans slated to face the starter when the 23-event meet gets under way at 9:41 a.m. (Ja time) in Doha, Qatar, are Hansle Parchment and Omar McLeod. The two are in a star-studded 110m hurdles field, which will also feature reigning Olympic champion Aries Merritt and his American compatriot David Oliver.Twenty-two-year-old McLeod, fresh off his 60m hurdles World Indoors triumph and his sub-10 100m run, will be aiming to give an impressive showing on his first Diamond League outing.”I am just trying to go out there and have fun and try to execute a good race. I just want to make a great debut to my Diamond League season,” McLeod told The Gleaner.World and Olympic medallist Parchment opened his season with a 13.42 stroll but believes the conditions in Qatar will see him clocking an improved time.”The temperature is much better, so it is one thing to look forward to. I am feeling good so far, so I am just going to go out there to execute my best race possible on the day,” Parchment said.The country’s most successful Diamond League athlete, 400m hurdler Kaliese Spencer, will renew her rivalry with two-time reigning World Champion and Olympic bronze medallist Zuzana Hejnova of the Czech Republic.The Jamaican looked on course for a Diamond Trophy last year only for Hejnova to win the last four meetings and pip her to the prize.Spencer, who is celebrating her 29th birthday today, won the 400m hurdles Diamond Race in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2014. She has, however, since changed coaches, having left the Stephen Francis-led MVP to join Bert Cameron’s Blazers.Having opened her season with a modest 56.39, Spencer is hoping to gift herself a victory with a much improved time.”It is my 29th birthday, so I want to come out with a victory. That would be something special,” Spencer said. “It would be good to run a 54 (seconds) right now. It is a bit early. Anything faster, I would be grateful, but somewhere in that region.”TRIPLE JUMPER SHANIEKA THOMASThe first Jamaican in action will, however, be triple jumper Shanieka Thomas, who comes in with the longest jump so far this season after her personal best effort of 14.57m in Kingston last month.The 24-year-old can expect to face strong competition from two-time World Champion and Olympic silver medallist Caterine Ibarguen of Colombia.The very competitive women’s 100m field will feature two Jamaicans, Veronica Campbell-Brown and Simone Facey.Campbell-Brown, who won the Diamond Trophy in the event in 2014, is looking forward to the competition.”I am excited. My objective is just to go in the race and focus on what I have to do and run a good race,” said Campbell-Brown.The Jamaican duo will have for company Dafne Schippers, who took silver in the event at last year’s World Championships; American Tori Bowie, who shares the world-leading time in the event, 11.00 seconds; with Facey also in the line-up.Nickel Ashmeade will line up in lane eight when he goes against Qatar’s Ogunode Femi in the men’s 200m. The fastest man in the field so far this year will be American Ameer Web (19.91), and he will be joined by compatriots Walter Dix and Isiah Young.This season’s Diamond League will feature a new points structure, which sees the top six finishers in each event gaining points instead of just the top [email protected]last_img read more

12
Jan
2020

GGMC looking to increase reclamation bonds

first_img…44 acres of mining land restoredAs the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) seeks to intensify land restoration efforts within the local extractive sectors, the body is looking to increase the reclamation bond.Mining Engineer in the Environmental Division within the GGMC, Carlos ToddAt a stakeholder forum seeking to educate partner agencies on land reclamation, Mining Engineer within the Environmental Division at GGMC, Carlos Todd, pointed out that for too long, reclamation has taken a backseat in the mining process. GGMC has embarked on having reclamation mainstreamed into the extractive industry.He noted that the Mining (Amendment) Act makes it mandatory for miners— not the GGMC— to restore lands upon closure of mining sites.Currently, miners are required to put up reclamation bonds— which are used if they fail to adequately restore mining sites at the end of operations.However, Todd noted that the value of the bond needs to be increased.“If there are cases where miners fail to carry out their legal obligation so in that case, GGMC will be forced to use the small bond to make an attempt to fix the area, but we know the bond is not enough at the moment. There are studies being done to come up with some suitable figure, what (amount) should be lodged as the reclamation bond,” he posited.A section of the participants at Tuesday stakeholders’ engagement hosted by GGMC at Herdmanston LodgeAccording to the Mining Engineer, stakeholders need to understand that reclamation is a part of doing business and as such, should be factored into the cost of mining.“We need to have a change in attitude how we conduct the mining process. The cost needs to factor in here. We need to know that if you’re going to factor in a cost for reclamation, then there is some cost in the (mining) process… to reclaim the area” he noted.Apart from land restoration, Todd added too that the GGMC also looks at the reclamation of waterways that were diverted or polluted by mining activities.“This exercise is long overdue. It’s an opportunity to bring awareness to the stakeholders about the importance of reclamation and the need to mainstream reclamation in the mining process… GGMC will be working to ensure we enforce the mining laws and as we go about doing that, we will try to work with miners to provide awareness and to provide education material miners need to help them in the process,” Todd posited.So far, sites at Dakoura, Linden; Olive Creek, Mazaruni; St. Elizabeth, Mahdia; Nooitgedacht, Mahdia; Frenchman, and Kara Kara, Linden, covering some 44 acres or 17 hectares, have been reclaimed during2009-2018. Of these six sites that were restored, two were bauxite sites and the other four were gold mines.According to GGMC Commissioner Newell Dennison, at Tuesday’s stakeholders’ engagement, some $100 million has been spent over the past three years on reclamation activities.He charged the participants to have dialogue and exchange ideas on how they can continue these efforts, noting that “… at the end of the day, the final objective would be as we mine, we reclaim”.“Let us share knowledge and insights, and let us accept that cost of being ignorant and non-responsive to today’s environment needs will the more costly it will be down the road. While we continue with our environmental education and awareness campaign in support of physical reclamation, we must not lose sight of the fact that reclamation is the law,” he added.Further recognising that mining cannot be done without disturbing the environment, the Commissioner noted the recalled criticisms of these efforts. He noted, however, steps taken to restore mined-out sites demonstrate the GGMC’s commitment to give effect to conventions such as the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Convention on Biological Diversity.To this end, Dennison posited that as regulators of the mining sector, they must convert stakeholders who sometimes do not appreciate the positives of compliance with the environmental standards and best practices.“The long term value will outlast, by far, the short-sighted resistance to the calls for a healthier landscape. We, all together, need to minimise and mitigate the impact on our environment for mining and invest in the potential after mining value chain. The health and wellness effect and social impact of mining could be under threat if the attitude in mining undermines the good works on show and/or the economic outlook or the landscape, which could become productive again depending on the kind of reclamation remedy,” the GGMC Head stressed.In its efforts to mainstream mine reclamation into the extractive industry, the GGMC is following a ‘Three Es’ initiative – Education, Encouragement and Enforcement – to engage stakeholders to support miners.The participants at Tuesday’s engagement were from stakeholder agencies such as: the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), the National Mining Syndicate, University of Guyana (UG), the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA) and Natural Resources Ministry, among others.last_img read more

15
Dec
2019

Ovo ups its distributed energy game with VCharge smart grid buy

first_imgDonal Power Related Posts In a move that will beef up its distributed energy systems capabilities, U.K.-based Ovo Energy has acquired U.S. smart grid startup VCharge.As reported by Smart Cities World, Ovo bought the Providence, R.I.-based VCharge for an undisclosed sum.Ovo, based in Bristol, is one of England’s independent energy providers, buying and selling electricity and gas to supply domestic properties throughout the U.K.The VCharge acquisition gives Ovo access to new energy technologies for distributed energy systems, as the market moves away from the centralized energy generation model.Ovo says VCharge’s proprietary platform paves the way for the rapid switchover to renewable energy and energy storage. VCharge’s technology solves the problem of intermittent renewable power by providing energy storage buffers.VCharge’s technology relies on advanced algorithms to balance individual energy user requirements with grid requirements.This technology was used in trial applications in social housing units in London and Scotland. The results proved that the technology allowed for better heating management while helping address fuel poverty in local communities.“VCharge’s vision is to help electricity grids around the world with the transition to becoming 100 per cent renewable, as the cost of renewable energy becomes more competitive with that of unsustainable fossil fuels,” said VCharge managing director Toby Ferenczi “Joining forces with OVO will dramatically accelerate how quickly we can achieve this goal, and will also enable us to address other important issues such as alleviating fuel poverty in the UK.”Making power affordable?Meanwhile, the firm sees the technology advantages from the VCharge acquisition as complimentary to the potential to address electricity affordability issues for many citizens.“We believe this platform will harness the potential of energy storage in reducing dependency on fossil fuels, while helping to make energy more affordable for all,” said Ovo CEO Stephen Fitzpatrick.In the partnership, VCharge said it plans to offer free heating control upgrades of electric storage heaters to 1.5 million Great Britain households.The deal comes against the background of British efforts use smart grid technology to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by millions of tons per year. Internet of Things Makes it Easier to Steal You… Follow the Puckcenter_img Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Aramco, Holder of the Largest IPO in History is… Tags:#distributed energy#IoT#Ovo Energy#smart city#smart grid#VCharge last_img read more

12
Dec
2019

Saddle Up With This Royalty-Free Playlist for Westerns

first_imgMake the dusty, sun-bleached west your own with this curated playlist of royalty-free western tracks for your next indie project.Westerns (and the people who watch them) demand authenticity — and authenticity can get expensive. You’re going to need some hats, bandanas, holsters, boots, and six-shooters. You’ll need to figure out where to get a horse or two. And if you’re going to skimp on your wealthy land baron’s costume, you might as well just rewrite the villain.Fortunately, the music in western films is a trope unto itself, and some of the most famous western scores are even more iconic than the films in which they feature. If you’re looking for authenticity, using a few solid royalty-free western songs (like those featured in the playlist at the bottom of this post) is a much more affordable approach than staging a cattle drive in the parking lot behind the mall. Let’s take a look at — and a listen to — three eras of western film.The Great Silent WesternsThe western genre goes back more than 100 years, to a time before talkies existed. Pop culture has trained us to associate silent films with jaunty piano melodies and dramatic organ arrangements played live by a mustachioed man wearing a bowler hat.1903’s The Great Train Robbery, directed by Edwin S. Porter and widely accepted as the first western narrative presented on film, was silent, and most versions of the film online do indeed feature the kind of soundtrack mentioned above. See for yourself.Funny thing, though. That approach to movie sound was still over a decade away from mainstream adoption when The Great Train Robbery was released. So what did the film’s audiences experience? In a fascinating in-depth discussion with Post Magazine‘s Christine Bunish, University of Iowa cinema professor Rick Altman said, “sound came out of the stage practice of providing sound effects and music for every visible sound source.”Bunish goes on to explain, “No directive was issued by Porter to theater owners to assure consistency of sound. Interpretation varied from place to place although certain sounds and sound effects were obvious: the train chugging down the tracks, the train whistle and bell, simulated gun shots. Music seen on screen, as in the dance hall sequence, was duplicated by the Vaudeville pianist or orchestra.”The Magnificent Classic WesternsFilm legends John Ford (The Searchers), Sam Peckinpah (The Wild Bunch), Howard Hawks (Rio Bravo), and their many contemporaries told uniquely American stories that captured the nation’s imagination in the mid-twentieth century.Throughout the 1940 and into the ’60s, people looked to white cowboy hats the way modern filmgoers look to superhero capes. These mainstream movies were popular with regular folks and critics alike, and the music from the films was as likely to get recognized for awards as the movies themselves.The score from The Magnificent Seven, composed by Elmer Bernstein, was nominated in 1960. The main theme endures as a definitive example of western film music, and it’s been widely used over the years in everything from now-banned cigarette commercials to campy James Bond movies and even as the intro music to massive arena rock concerts. Truly, it’s a go-to for anyone looking to capture the wide-eyed, can-do spirit of adventure associated with the American west.A Fistful of Spaghetti WesternsEmerging in the mid-1960s, the “spaghetti western” sub-genre introduced the world to one of history’s great creative partnerships: director Sergio Leone and composer Ennio Morricone.Their collaboration spans multiple films, but it’s Morricone’s work on Leone’s Dollars Trilogy — A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly — that came to define the sound of the spaghetti western in the public’s imagination.A Fistful of Dollars was the duo’s first collaboration, and the film’s score reflects both Morricone’s ingenuity and the production’s small budget. In addition to harmonicas, bells, trumpets, and the (at the time) new Fender electric guitar, Morricone’s score employs whistling, bullwhips, and gunfire, an approach that calls back to the sounds that accompanied The Great Train Robbery.With a larger budget, Morricone was able to stretch a little on The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, but it didn’t hobble his ingenious approach to writing music. The main theme’s iconic two-note opening trill, reminiscent of a coyote’s howl, pops up many times in the film, acting as a motif for each of the three main characters. For Clint Eastwood’s Blondie, the notes are played on flute. For Eli Wallach’s Tuco, the ocarina. When Lee Van Cleef’s Angel Eyes appears on screen, the notes are performed by the human voice.Interestingly enough, all of these groundbreaking and massively acclaimed scores were often written for their respective films before production started.In a 1987 interview, Sergio Leone said, “Ennio Morricone writes the music to your films before you shoot them. From Ennio I ask for themes that clothe my characters easily. He’s never read a script of mine to compose the music, because many times he’s composed the music before the script is ever written . . . I’ve always felt that music is more expressive than dialogue. I’ve always said that my best dialogue and screenwriter is Ennio Morricone.”About the genre and his partner Leone, Morricone told Limelight Magazine, “You know, when I hear the words spaghetti western, I stop talking. Because it’s an insult to the work of Sergio Leone. Spaghetti is something you eat — the work of Leone is certainly not something you eat.”Fair enough.Royalty-Free Music for Western FilmsImage via Westworld (HBO).The curated playlist below is brimming with a ten-gallon’s hat worth of royalty-free western songs that call back to the classics of the beloved genre. Whether you’re going for redemption, reckoning, rustling, or rowdy rodeo action, lasso up a few of your favorites and use them in perpetuity with a simple $49 Standard License. Happy trails, amigo.Cover image via The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (Produzioni Europee Associate).Header image via Sascha Burkhard.Playlist header image via Ray Redstone.Looking for more royalty-free music playlists? Well, pardner, today’s your luck day.Get More Laughs With Royalty-Free Comedy TracksRoyalty-Free Soundtrack Suggestions for VloggersSound as Lighting: The Mood-Altering Magic of Atmospheric Royalty-Free MusicSlinky, Smooth, and Slow: A Sensual Royalty-Free Music PlaylistEmbrace the undeniable Power of Sad Musiclast_img read more

30
Nov
2019

Olympics: US interested in Winter Games bid

first_imgUSOC Chairman Larry Probst (Maxx Wolfson/Getty Images/AFP)Los Angeles — The US Olympic Committee wants to bid for the Winter Olympics, but is still mulling whether it would be better to seek the 2026 or 2030 Games.“I put a stake in the ground that we are interested in hosting the Winter Games,” USOC chairman Larry Probst told reporters on Friday as he discussed talks at the USOC Assembly in Colorado Springs, Colorado.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City View comments Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games PLAY LIST 00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Read Next “Ideally, that’s probably 2030, so that there’s no confusion with preparations for 2028,” Probst added, referring to the Summer Games awarded to Los Angeles.The United States last hosted the Winter Games in Salt Lake City in 2002.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutUSOC board members discussed the pros and cons of possible 2026 or 2030 Winter Olympic bids on Friday, Probst said, adding that officials still need more information from the International Olympic Committee on the bidding process.Probst said the USOC wants to be part of the discussion if the IOC decides to award the 2026 and 2030 Olympics in one vote — as it did last month in choosing Paris for 2024 and Los Angeles for 2028. Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight The 2018 Winter Games start in February in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The Summer Games of 2020 will be held in Tokyo. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Pirates still peerless LATEST STORIES Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH In that case, the USOC could be interested in entering the next round of bidding.If so, they would need to select a bid city by next March, Probst said.Salt Lake City, Denver, Reno-Tahoe on Nevada’s border with California and other cities have expressed interest.“We really need more discussions with the IOC to understand their process and timing before we determine what our process is going to be,” USOC chief executive Scott Blackmun said.Probst said he has interpreted remarks from IOC president Thomas Bach about selecting a “more traditional” venue for the Winter Games as an indication that he wants them held in Europe or North America.ADVERTISEMENT Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president MOST READlast_img read more