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Council wants Pacific Games recognised as Continental Games: Minogue

first_imgHowever, according to PGC Executive Director Andrew Minogue there’s still some work and convincing to do before it fully becomes a recognised games for the region like all other continents.“We have Australia and New Zealand here and some of the sport are really using the Games now to qualify for the Olympics or World Championships and we have to deliver to a certain standard,” said Minogue.“For the Games Council we will look at what we all do, and say, is there a way that we might need another person or two in some areas to help make sure that we do deliver everything  to the standard that’s now being expected.”He says the desire has to come from  the athletes of the Pacific to want to come to the Pacific Games because its important to them and use the competition to make themselves better.The PGC realises that there a few hurdles to overcome.“We have to be a little bit realistic about it on a number of fronts. First of all, what’s happening here in 2015 was decided by our General Assembly last year as a trial. “And we really can’t go beyond treating it as a trail until the results are in from these Games and I mean I can say I think quiet confidentially on behalf of the Executive Board  that we’re very happy with what’s happened so far in the Games with the Australian and New Zealand teams here in the weightlifting, rugby 7s, sailing and taekwondo. “I think its off to a good start, but this is something that we now have to consider, we have to consult all our members and we also have to be mindful that we have Tonga and Vanuatu under contract to host the Pacific Games. “We have to be sensitive to their ability to host additional athletes and additional technical officials and so forth so I think the future is positive on this score but full integration and full membership of the Games Council is a thing quite off in the distance.“I think the Australians and New Zealanders are happy to be here, I’d expect they would be happy to receive invitation to the next games. But beyond that there’s a lot of thinking that we need to do in the region.”He said the Pacific Games Council wants to do that with the Oceania National Olympic Committee (ONOC) and the Oceania Sports Federation Organisation (OSFO)- and reach some long term strategic plan around how to use the games for all the member countries.“We really do want the Games to be recognised as the Continental Games. All the other regions of the world have one now, we had the European Games in Baku, Europe has ticked the box and we are starting to tick our box now. “We work with all of our partners to get to that point at the appropriate time,” Minogue said.     The inclusion of Australia and New Zealand in future Games is likely to come up in the PGC’s Annual General Meeting at the Gateway Hotel in Port Moresby today…..PACNEWSlast_img read more

INCHR Celebrates Africa Human Rights Day

first_imgINCHR staff and participantsPromises to Ensure that rights prevailThe Independent National Commission on Human Rights (INCHR) over the weekend celebrated Africa Human Rights Day, promising to ensure that human rights is at the center of everything done throughout Africa.Human rights are the basic rights and freedoms of every person from birth until death. They apply regardless of where you are from, what you believe or how you choose to live your life. Those rights can never be taken away, although they can sometimes be restricted – for example, when a person breaks the law, or in the interests of national security.The day was celebrated at the William V. S. Tubman High school under the theme, “Enhancing Youth Contribution Towards Effective Implementation of the Action Plan of the Human and People’s Rights Decade in Africa.”  The day is celebrated on October 21 every year throughout Africa to ensure that the rights and freedoms of every citizen are protected.This year the INCHR celebration looks at the youth as the drivers of change in every African society as they constitute 60 percent of Africa’s 1 billion population with the view that if the youth take part in human rights then the future of promoting and protecting them can move forward.Marcel Akpove, chief of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) Human Rights and Protection Section, through a proxy, said “This is the time for the young people to take center stage in protecting human rights in Africa, because people’s rights are being violated around the world and Africa is no different.”Akpove said that youth in Africa face underemployment and lack skills and education; a situation that is preventing them from participating in the promotion of human rights. He said this is the reason why the African Union (AU) decided to focus this year’s theme on the youth.He said if 60 percent of the population is not participating in what is happening in Africa, then it is a troubling result that may lead to disaster that needs to be addressed in order to secure the future of the younger generation.The deputy head of AU Mission, Prosper Addo, said the day is about giving value to human life, and getting the youth involved in society, “because it is important to know what human rights is all about.”Mr. Addo then challenged the youth that after the day’s celebration, they  must play a major role in promoting the right of others.He said human rights can be successful through constant awareness and knowing what it is about, and how important it is to the growth of the society where the action plan gives the youth their role in promoting and making decisions for the promotion and upholding of the human rights of all.Mr. Addo said that impressive efforts have been made in Africa to promote and protect people’s rights, and how to contribute to enhancing the rights of others.In Liberia, he stressed the importance of maintaining the peace as citizens go to the second round of elections, noting that where one’s rights ends the rights of others begin.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Local businesses to benefit from inaugural oil and gas summit

first_imgGuyanese businesses will have a chance to network and learn from leaders in the oil and gas industry at the inaugural Guyana International Petroleum Business Summit (GIPEX).GIPEX 2018 is being hosted by the Natural Resources Ministry from February 7-9. At a launch on Wednesday at the Marriott Hotel, subject Minister Raphael Trotman noted Guyana “is about to take off”.“We are providing a platform and an opportunity for all of those who speak about local content and the desire to see more of it, to actually shake hands and to actually touch the Schlumbergers and the others who do this and have been doing this for the last 10 and five decades,” Minister Trotman pointed out.Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman addressing the gathering at the launch on Wednesday at the Marriott HotelThe three-day summit will see some 50 local and international companies participating in the event, which is being coordinated by Valiant Business Media. Managing Director Shariq Abdul Hai noted that some 350 to 400 executives and high-level industry leaders were expected to be in attendance.Hai pointed out that while the Government was a partner in coordinating the event, the cost was being fully covered by the Private Sector. ExxonMobil is the lead sponsor of the summit. Hai noted that sponsors will be subsidising the cost to allow local businesses to participate in the summit.The Guyana Office for Investment (GO-Invest) is the lead organiser for the Government. CEO Owen Verwey also reiterated that the summit provided an opportunity for local businesses to benefit from joint ventures with international companies as well as gain knowledge from the workshops and panel discussions that will be held during the summit.GIPEX 2018 aims to promote Guyana’s oil and gas sector while exposing local businesses to the industry’s best practices. Areas that will be covered during the conference include using oil to remain green; overcoming challenges and supporting the growth of independent, indigenous producers and service providers, and providing Government priorities relating to the petroleum industry to provide insight into opportunities available in the future.On the final day of the summit, there will be an exhibition, which is open to the public. Meanwhile, Business Minister Dominic Gaskin noted that the summit was an opportunity for the Government and the Private Sector to showcase Guyana as a business destination.last_img read more

Zillow knows?

first_img“It seemed pretty accurate,” he said. “I also used it to check what price the home was last sold for. I didn’t want to offer much more than what the previous owner bought it for a year or two ago.” Carpenter, 28, still checks his and friends’ houses on the site every few weeks – and he sees why so many have become addicted to Zillow. “It’s personal information that people won’t openly share, and it’s posted on the Internet,” he said. “I think everyone has a little bit of a voyeuristic mind.” Some real estate agents however, are not thrilled with Zillow, saying it often gives buyers and sellers flawed information. Detroit area Realtor Rick Dulai said the site has led some of his clients astray. “It’s a starting point for a conversation,” he said. “But you should still talk to an agent or an assessor and be ready to accept that Zillow could easily be 10 (percent) to 20 percent off.” The creators of the travel Web site Expedia.com founded Zillow in February 2006. Both sites held the same goal of making information widely available that was once the realm of travel agents and, in Zillow’s case, Realtors and public records. Zillow pulls its information from many of the same sources real estate professionals do, but the site applies its own methodology to determine the “Zestimate.” “There is this real hunger for real estate information and it wasn’t easily available for free,” said Zillow spokeswoman Amy Bohutinsky. “The value of our homes is something we talk about at neighborhood barbecues … now Zillow fuels that conversation even more.” The site, which lists nearly 70 million homes nationwide, has built a significant following, Bohutinsky said. The typical visitor spends 10 minutes on the site, respectable by Web standards, and a half-million people have submitted information on their homes to improve Zillow’s records. Homeowners and agents can freely list homes for sale on Zillow. The site’s only revenue comes from advertising. A growing number of Zillow followers have named their “Make Me Move” prices. That feature allows a Zillower whose house is not on the market to set a walk-away price. The feature is popular in areas such as San Francisco, where potential buyers can’t find homes in the neighborhood they want to live, Bohutinsky said. The popularity of “Make Me Move” and other quirky features (such as Zillowing the neighborhoods that were home to the TV shows “The O.C.” or “Knots Landing”) proves that the site is used for entertainment as well as research. The site does not openly list celebrity homes, you must have the address to look up the value. No names are assigned to the property. Another concern with Zillow is accuracy of the home values it lists. The site’s accuracy is determined by the difference between a house’s Zestimate and what it actually fetches once it’s sold. Zillow claims its national median error is about 7.2 percent, which means a home the site listed for $100,000 typically sells for between $92,800 and $107,200. Like all assessments, Zillow tends to be most accurate in neighborhoods of largely similar homes. Bohutinsky said the site is still a work in progress. “We still consider ourselves a beta site,” she said. “We’re gathering more information every day … we’re really starting to bloom now.” MARGIN FOR ERROR The site’s accuracy is determined by the difference between a house’s Zestimate and what it actually fetches once it’s sold. Zillow claims its national median error is about 7.2 percent, which means a home the site listed for $100,000 typically sells for between $92,800 and $107,200. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Some use it to get the scoop on their neighbors. Others use it to keep an eye on the value of their own homes. Still others use it to get a better price on their dream house. No matter the reason, millions of Americans are Zillowing. At a time when home prices in some areas of the country are slipping, Internet browsers are turning to Web sites such as www.zillow.com to check out their homes and others. Launched just a year ago, Seattle-based Zillow has broken from the pack of Web sites that allow surfers to enter a property’s address and obtain its estimated value. Zillow has received national attention, and last month captured 4 million visitors – adding 400,000 users in February alone. Generally aimed at those looking to buy or sell a home, Zillow often fascinates users for hours as they check values of neighbors’ homes, price houses in upscale enclaves and of local celebrities – or grit their teeth as they see whether their own homes’ values have increased or decreased in the past month. Zillow uses public assessments, sales of comparable homes and publicly available information on the property to derive its “Zestimates.” Homeowners can click onto the site and add specific information, such as a new deck or remodeled kitchen, to get a more accurate Zestimate. But critics complain that the estimates aren’t always accurate, and don’t even exist for thousands of homes. In communities where it does work, though, Zillow is gaining converts. Ben Carpenter became a fan of the site as he hunted for houses recently. He said Zillow information allowed him to purchase a new home in Berkley, Mich., last month for less than the asking price. He said he checked 15 homes on the site before visiting each. last_img read more

The unsung of Canyons are honored

first_img“She is the heart of the most complex department in the college,” said Sue Albert, dean of the department and Faulconer’s boss. Until this semester, Albert said, Faulconer dealt with more than 100 students a semester. “Students in the Allied Health Department have so many documents and paperwork required for their practical courses, and Nancy handled all of that,” Albert said. “She is always worried about making things easier for everyone else, never herself.” Along with Faulconer, six other college employees were honored. The New Visions Award went to Edwin Abrenica, an instructional stockroom technician in the chemistry department. Lynne Mayer, administrative assistant to the college Board of Trustees and a member of the president’s staff, won the Professional Achievement Award. VALENCIA – It takes more than students and professors to run a successful college. And to honor its behind-the-scenes stars this week, College of the Canyons a held Vegas-style celebration. With Elvis and Blue Man Group impersonators present to bring music and color, the college’s often-overlooked administrators and support staff had lunch served to them by college trustees, administrators and managers. These classified employees were honored with plaques and cash prizes during the college’s 11th annual awards ceremony. Nancy Faulconer, the administrative support person for the Allied Health Department, was named Employee of the Year. The Gloria Jackson Service Award, named for the late college employee who ran the switchboard and mailroom for 25 years, went to two women who were close to Jackson. They are Michelle Thun, who works in the college’s human-relations office, and Mary Haines, who worked alongside Jackson at the switchboard. Yvette Barrios was chosen for the California School Employee Association Member of the Year Award. Chris Miner, an administrative assistant for the facilities department, received the Humanitarian Award for her support of the American Cancer Society. She also runs the college’s recycling program. Miner said she was flattered by the award but felt even luckier to be working with and for others at Canyons. “I have been here 12 years and this is an awesome place to work,” Miner said. connie.llanos@dailynews.com (661) 257-5254160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

CHARGES DROPPED AGAINST MAN ACCUSED OF KILLING BUNCRANA BOYS IN OMAGH OUTRAGE

first_imgThe scene of devastation following the Real IRA bomb attack on OmaghProsecutors in the North have dropped the charges against a bricklayer accused of murdering 29 people in the 1998 Omagh bomb – three schoolboys from Buncrana were among the victims.Sean McLaughlin, Oran Doherty and James Barker died in the terrorist attack. Seamus Daly, 45, had been on remand in prison since being charged with the Real IRA atrocity and a range of other terror offences in April 2014.Seven years ago, Daly was one of four men successfully sued for bombing the Co Tyrone market town when he was found liable for the attack in a landmark civil case taken by some of the bereaved families.No-one has ever been convicted of the murders in a criminal court.Daly, from Co Armagh, has always denied involvement in the bombing which inflicted the greatest loss of life of any terror atrocity in the history of the Northern Ireland Troubles.The dead came from both sides of the Irish border, England and Spain. One of the victims was pregnant with twins.The dramatic decision by the Northern Ireland Public Prosecution Service (PPS) comes before Daly’s case had even reached the floor of the Crown Court.Murdered: Oran DohertyA pre-trial hearing commenced in Omagh Magistrates’ Court last week to establish whether the evidence in the case was of sufficient strength to warrant such a trial.That decision has now been taken out of District Judge Peter King’s hands, as the PPS has withdrawn the charges before the preliminary hearing had reached conclusion.A PPS lawyer officially withdrew the prosecution during a routine magistrate’s hearing at Ballymena Courthouse, Co Antrim, on Tuesday morning.Families of victims in Buncrana were told of the decision yesterday.Those who died were:James Barker, 12, Buncrana, Co Donegal. Originally from Surrey, EnglandFernando Blasco Baselga, 12, from Madrid, SpainGeraldine Breslin, 43, OmaghDeborah-Ann Cartwright, 20, OmaghGareth Conway, 18, Carrickmore, Co TyroneBreda Devine, 20 months, Donemana, Co TyroneOran Doherty, 8, Buncrana, Co DonegalAiden Gallagher, 21, OmaghEsther Gibson, 36, Beragh, Co TyroneMary Grimes, 65, Beragh, Co TyroneOlive Hawkes, 60, OmaghJulia Hughes, 21, OmaghBrenda Logue, 17, OmaghAnn McCombe, 45, OmaghBrian McCrory, 54, OmaghSamantha McFarland, 17, OmaghSean McGrath, 61, OmaghSean McLoughlin, 12, Buncrana, Co DonegalJolene Marlow, 17, OmaghAvril Monaghan, 30, Augher, Co Tyrone (who was pregnant with twins)Maura Monaghan, 18 months, Augher, Co TyroneAlan Radford, 16, Omagh, Co TyroneRocio Abad Ramos, 23, Madrid, SpainElizabeth Rush, 57, OmaghVeda Short, 46, OmaghPhilomena Skelton, 39, Drumquin, Co TyroneFred White, 60, OmaghBryan White, 27, OmaghLorraine Wilson, 15, OmaghCHARGES DROPPED AGAINST MAN ACCUSED OF KILLING BUNCRANA BOYS IN OMAGH OUTRAGE was last modified: March 1st, 2016 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:buncranadonegalOmagh bomblast_img read more

PSG out to win race for €90m-rated France sensation Ousmane Dembele

first_img1 Ousmane Dembele scored for France against England Paris Saint-Germain have reportedly approached Borussia Dortmund star Ousmane Dembele, who is wanted by Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City.The Frenchman is regarded as one of most promising players on the planet having starred in his first season with the Bundesliga giants.All three Premier League clubs were keen on him while he was still a Rennes player and his switch to Dortmund this time last year appeared to have ended hopes of him moving to England any time soon.But he could be back on the market this summer – although Dortmund will only consider selling him for 90million euros (£79m).However that eye-watering fee for the 20-year-old does not appear to be putting off either PSG or Barcelona, who look set to go toe-to-toe to land him before the window shuts.And, according to L’Equipe, PSG sporting director Antero Henrique has made contact with Dembele’s entourage as they weigh-up their official approach.That could set the ball rolling on one of the biggest transfer deals of the summer, although one of the interested English clubs could yet make their move.last_img read more

4 LANTERNS USL: DRUMKEEN KNOCK CITY OUT OF KNOCKALLA CUP

first_img4 Lanterns USL Results & Reports 06.04.14Knockalla Cup Q-finalsLetterkenny Rovers 5 1 Milford Utd. Swilly Rovers 1 1 Glenea Utd.AET – Swilly won on pens.Drumkeen Utd. 0 0 Derry City Res.AET – Drumkeen Utd. won on pens. Glengad Utd. 2 3 Cockhill CelticSemi-final drawTies to be played on Sunday, May 4thLetterkenny Rovers v Drumkeen Utd.Swilly Rovers v Cockhill Celtic Match Report: Drumkeen Advance in Penalty Shoot OutDrumkeen Utd. 0Derry City Res. 0Drumkeen edged Derry City Res. 4-3 on penalties after normal time and extra-time failed to produce a goal in this Knockalla Cup quarter final, played at a very windy St Patrick’s Park. The first half was scrappy enough with both teams working hard to close each other down and very few chances were created, Darren Cassidy put one over the bar and at the other end Michael Barr had an effort saved by Steven Conroy, the game was delayed just before half time when one of the young Derry players became ill and had to be taken to hospital, Derry began the second half brightly and forced an early corner which was well dealt with by keeper Conroy, then Georgie Kelly had a shot saved by Conroy, Derry had the ball in the Drumkeen net on 51 minutes but Nathan Boyle’s effort was disallowed for offside, Drumkeen had a couple more efforts Conor Carlin shot was saved by Ciaran Gallagher and then Shovlin also had an effort straight at the keeper as well. The wind was very strong in the second half which made it difficult for both teams and in extra time there were very few chances. Conor Carlin had a shot saved and Derry forced a couple of corners which no one could get on the end of and so we went to the dreaded penalty shoot-out, Steven Conroy saved the third penalty and Derry’s last penalty went over the bar, Ciaran Gallagher also saved a penalty so it ended up 4 – 3 to Drumkeen on penalties and they advance to a semi-final meeting with Letterkenny Rovers. Overall not a great game but played in a good sporting manner, referee Stephen Toner handed out four yellows, two on each side but none were for bad tackles. We wish a speedy recovery to the Derry player. Drumkeen Utd: Steven Conroy, Michael Carroll, Dean Bonner, Ryan Gildea, Philip Whyte, Darren Cassidy, Darren McCready, Eunan Kelly, Conor Carlin, David Shovlin. Subs: Benny Bonner on for Ryan Gildea at half time, Ronan Coyle on for Eunan Kelly 70 mins, Peter McNamee on for Benny Bonner 75 mins, Jordan Duffy, Justin Deasley.Derry City Res.: Ciaran Gallagher, Shay Dunlop, Lee Toland, Conor Barr, Caolan McLaughlin, Luke McCloskey, Michael Barr, Conor McDermott, Georgie Kelly, Conor Harkin, Tony McNamee. Subs: Nathan Boyle on for Luke McCloskey on 36 mins, Rory Holden on for Georgie Kelly, Dylan McCallion, Ronan Curtis.Ref. S. TonerFixtures4 Lanterns USLFriday, April 11th in Maginn Park at 8pmDerry City Res. v Cockhill Celtic Ref. V. McLaughlinSunday, April 13th at 2pmDrumkeen Utd. v Bonagee Utd. Ref. P. DuddyFanad Utd. v Finn Harps Res. Ref. P. CollLetterkenny Rovers v Swilly Rovers Ref. S. Toner4 LANTERNS USL: DRUMKEEN KNOCK CITY OUT OF KNOCKALLA CUP was last modified: April 6th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Derry City Reservesdrawdrumkeen unitedKnockall Cuplast_img read more

ADVENTURE ONE DAILY SURF BLOG – BIG WAVES ON THE WAY!

first_img” Excellent conditions today for Surfing and SUPing!”Another glorious day today at Fanad and Rathmullan at Adventure One Surf and SUP Schools!Perfect waist to chest high waves and Fanad with everybody getting great waves, and our Paddleboard school was flat out with all 4 sessions fully booked today. The surf report for tomorrow Friday 27th July is for an increasing North Westerly swell but with it comes increasing North Westerly winds which means while the waves will be shoulder to head high the surf will be messy, and some beaches will have strong rip currents!If you would like to try surfing or Stand Up Paddleboarding give us a call on 086 1931 747 or check out our website www.adventureone .net or Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Adventure-One-Surf-School/116323048385243 for more info.Iain   ADVENTURE ONE DAILY SURF BLOG – BIG WAVES ON THE WAY! was last modified: July 26th, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:ADVENTURE ONE DAILY SURF BLOG – BIG WAVES ON THE WAY!last_img read more

BRENDAN SMASHES HIS PERSONAL BEST AS HE DOES DONEGAL AND IRELAND PROUD

first_imgMilford man Brendan Boyce may not have finished in the medals at the Olympics today but he did Donegal and Ireland proud.The 50k walker smashed his personal best time by more than two minutes to cross the line in a time of 3.55.01.Brendan finished 29th overall and it will provide a great platform for his next appearance in the Olympics – hopefully in Brazil in four years time. The pace was set from a very early stage in what looked like blistering heat around the streets of London.Brendan’s team-mate Rob Heffernan, who recorded a new national record, finished a terrific fourth place just outside the medals.Brendan is expected to come home to Donegal where he is expected to receive a huge welcome.“I was delighted with how I did; I mean I smashed my personal record and finished in the top 30, so I’ve got to be very happy with that,” said the Milford man. Well done Brendan – you did us all proud. BRENDAN SMASHES HIS PERSONAL BEST AS HE DOES DONEGAL AND IRELAND PROUD was last modified: August 12th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:50K WalkBrendan BoyceMilfordOlympicslast_img read more

Tory Island ferry controversy needs Government intervention – Doherty TD

first_imgPearse Doherty TD has renewed calls for the Government to intervene in the ongoing controversy over the proposed new Tory Island ferry service. The Sinn Fein Deputy’s calls were made amid growing anger over plans to service the island with a vessel which is over forty years old. A protest which took place at the gates of Leinster House yesterday (Thursday) organised by members of the Tory island co-operative in opposition to the plans.Deputy Doherty said: “I was more than happy to come out and join representatives from Comharchumann Oileáin Torai, islanders and supporters during yesterday’s protest outside Leinster House as part of their campaign in opposition to proposals for the island’s new ferry service. “This protest has been organized by the Co-Op in an effort to highlight their opposition to the planned new ferry service which it’s proposed will service the island from 1st April 2018.“The contract for the new service, which is due to commence on 1st April this year, was awarded to the operator of the ‘Queen of Aran’, a boat built some 40 years ago.“The age of the vessel has prompted many islanders and commentators to question the suitability of the ship for the crossing, including fears over the safety of the vessel.“In fact, several families who currently live on the island have publicly stated their intention to leave Tory permanently should these proposals go ahead. “Clearly, this is a very concerning and deeply worrying situation and raises real doubts over the future of Tory island which is a truly unique place and a strong Gaeltacht island community.“As part of this campaign, I was happy to arrange a meeting between representatives from the Co-op and other Oireachtas members from across the various different political groupings this week with the view to discussing this issue and to allow the islanders the opportunity to voice their concerns.“While this week’s protest and follow-up discussions were extremely constructive, clearly the ball is very much in the Government’s court now if a resolution is to be found here.“Yet instead of offering credible solutions, all we’ve heard to date from the Department is some nice words on how it wants to alleviate the concerns of islanders without actually offering any meaningful solutions.“I am once again calling on the Government to take urgent action and intervene in this controversy because otherwise there is a real risk over the future of this proud island community.” Tory Island ferry controversy needs Government intervention – Doherty TD was last modified: February 15th, 2018 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:ferryPearse Doherty TDTory Islandlast_img read more

Theophane furious over cancelled fight

first_imgKilburn’s Ashley Theophane claims Ricky Hatton’s promotional company is in breach of contract after his planned fight at the weekend was cancelled at the last minute.Theophane was due to face Chris Truman at the Manchester Arena on the undercard of Hatton’s unsuccessful return to the ring.He signed with Hatton Promotions earlier this year and says he does not blame the popular former world champion for the events of Saturday night.Instead his anger has been directed towards the company’s director of boxing Richard Poxon, who Theophane says is responsible for what he branded “a shambles”.The former British light-welterweight champion says he was initially told his would be the third fight on the bill and was later informed he would be on after Hatton’s clash with Vyacheslav Senchenko.In the end, a curfew meant Theophane did not enter the ring, leaving the 32-year-old furious – not least because his trainer had travelled from New York to be in his corner.He believes Poxon ensured two fighters he manages, Adam Etches and Scott Jenkins, were prioritised so that their bouts went ahead.“I was told at 12.10am when I was warming up to fight that I wouldn’t get on due to the curfew,” said Theophane.He added: “My team paid for my travel expenses to Manchester which should be paid for by Hattons.“Hattons were supposed to have transport for me to and from the venue but none was given.“Ricky is not to blame for this. He has employed people to do a job.”Poxon told West London Sport that Theophane had been paid in full.He also pointed out that fights being cancelled because of curfews is an unfortunate but accepted part of boxing.“It’s always disappointing when a fighter doesn’t get on but I’m afraid these things do happen,” said Poxon.“There was a curfew and it was simply the case that there wasn’t time for four of the fights to go ahead.“The others have accepted this, because it’s part of boxing, and the only one who has complained is Ashley.“It was always the case that we had title fights plus the Ricky Hatton fight that would be on television and we would put on whatever other fights we could.“It’s disappointing for Ashley and the other fighters that didn’t get on but they know this can happen in boxing and they were paid.”Theophane confirmed he had been paid, but insisted: “It’s about timekeeping and basic organisation.“I was told I was fight number three, so I definitely should have been on. You have a schedule and you should stick to it.”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 Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Birds get right of way at airport

first_imgMount Moreland attracts hundreds of birderswho gather at dusk to watch the swallowscongregating in their millions.(Image: SA Venues) The ecologically sensitive Lake Victoriawetland is home to millions of barnswallows in the summer months.(Image: Sprig) MEDIA CONTACTS • Communications Manager, Acsa+27 31 451 6666Janine ErasmusDurban’s King Shaka International Airport is set to welcome its first arrivals at the beginning of May, just in time for the 2010 Fifa World Cup.Besides taking care of its human passengers, airport management is also putting the safety of birds high on its priority list.The airport is situated on the north coast of KwaZulu-Natal province, some 35km north of central Durban. It forms part of the ultra-modern Dube Tradeport, which also includes an import and export zone and agricultural export zone, and is expected to significantly boost the economy of the region.The brand-new airport will take over all the traffic that passed through the old Durban International airport. To accommodate passengers who may fly out of Durban International but return to King Shaka, leaving their cars parked at the former, the Airports Company of South Africa (Acsa) will offer a complimentary shuttle service for a week after King Shaka goes live.However, during the planning of the airport it was found that a visiting flock of barn swallows (Hirundo rustica), also known as European swallows, had built a nesting colony in the 35ha Lake Victoria wetland near the small village of Mount Moreland – right in the path of the approach to King Shaka’s 3.7km runway.These migratory birds visit South Africa in the summer months to escape the cold of the northern hemisphere, where they breed in vast numbers. The tiny creatures, each weighing an average of 18 grams, cover the round trip between South Africa – some 12 000km – every year.The Mount Moreland colony is the largest in the country with between 3- and 5-million birds. The colony reaches its maximum size by November each year and the birds stay until mid-April, when they begin the long haul back north.During the 30 minutes or so before sunset the swallows gather in large numbers overhead, wheeling and swooping, before retiring to their nests hidden in the reeds.This spectacular sight attracts bird enthusiasts from all over the world, who trudge through the ecologically important Lake Victoria wetland, chairs and refreshments in hand, to reach the massive roost. Many attend the ringing workshops that are held to catch and mark the tiny specimens, enabling them to be indentified in other parts of the world.Birds and planes can coexistThe colony posed a serious conservation problem not only for the airport developers, because the safely of incoming craft could be jeopardised, but also for bird ecologists and enthusiasts. Bats are also at risk.At first the discussion focused on the possibility of destroying the reeds, but there was an outcry from organisations such as WWF South Africa and local and international chapters of BirdLife, who argued that destruction of the swallows’ summer roost would have a serious impact on their numbers in Europe. A new approach was needed.The developers and environmentalists returned to the negotiating table and thrashed out specifics of the birds’ flying patterns and requirements for aircraft.Once developers realised that the birds were in the air for no longer than an hour at dusk and dawn, that their nesting area was nearly 3km from the end of the runway, and that only about 5% of the flock tends to stray into the flight path, they were able to come up with a solution.A special radar system was built in the US, at a cost of around US$300 000 (R2-million), to monitor the birds’ movements and enable air traffic control to advise pilots of potential safety hazards.The radar scans an area of 3.7km both vertically and horizontally, and alerts air traffic control when unacceptably high numbers of swallows drift into the flight path. The airport’s bird and wildlife unit is also alerted immediately.Because the birds are so quick to fly off and come in to roost, flights may be delayed or have to slow their approach for only a short time.The system is up and running but must still get the green light from the South African Civil Aviation Authority. However, as the birds are scheduled for departure within the next couple of weeks, airport management will have a good five months to work out the finer details before they return in October.Hi-tech facilityThe R8-billion (about $1-billion) King Shaka International Airport is the first greenfield project of its kind in Africa and by the time it opens will have been under construction for a lightning-fast 30 months. The airport is named for the fearsome Zulu monarch who ruled the area in the early 19th century.Acsa has engaged a team of experts from Munich-based LGM to assist with the complex operational transfer programme. The German team has similar experience with about 10 airports around the world and is consulting with local technical staff to ensure that the transfer goes smoothly.The airport is fitted with the latest technology and features a wide selection of retail and food shops. Ample foreign exchange and banking services are available, as well as car rentals.A host of carriers, including all the local airlines as well as Emirates and Air Mauritius, will use the new airport, which can accommodate the largest passenger aircraft in the world, the Airbus A380.last_img read more

Infographic: 2016 Medium-term Budget numbers

first_imgThe medium-term budget presented by finance minister Pravin Gordhan this week is somewhat optimistic. He has released funds to tackle some of South Africa’s more urgent concerns, particularly reforms in education.        Finance minister Pravin Gordhan’s medium-term budget is making the best of a challenging situation. (Image: GCIS)Words: Shamin ChibbaDesign: Sandile KhumaloThe 2016 medium-term budget set out by finance minister Pravin Gordhan is somewhat optimistic. While the growth rate has dwindled in recent months, Gordhan expects it to rise next year.He is looking to ease the burden of social grantees, giving them R10 extra a month, and is also trying to make education more accessible to all in the foreseeable future.Below we break down the numbers of this year’s medium-term budget.For more on the mini-budget, check out:Mini-budget 2016 quotesFull text: the mini budgetClick image for larger view.last_img read more

SaaS Lessons Learned

first_imgWhy Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… audrey watters A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… As we wrote last week, the most common mistakes that SaaS providers make often involve errors made while balancing the incoming subscription receipts with the need to go out and spend some money to acquire new subscribers.Dharmesh Shah, CTO and founder of HubSpot, recently blogged his thoughts on a similar topic: the insights he’s gleaned from the B2B SaaS startup. Describing these as “non-obvious SaaS startup lessons,” Shah’s blog post contains a list seven important observations.You are financing your customersMost SaaS businesses are subscription-based. If you include a “30-day free trial,” then it will be quite some time before revenue comes in. Cash flow issues arise as a result because while subscription dollars come in over time, sales and marketing costs are incurred at the start. “The higher your sales growth, the larger the gap in cash-flows,” Shah writes. “This is why SaaS companies often raise large amounts of capital.” Retaining customers is criticalUnlike the ol’ software licensing fee model, you aren’t getting cash up front from customers who download and install your product. Although this model did utilize renewal fees as a way to maintain revenue, under the SaaS model, all revenue is, in Shah’s words, “some sort of recurring revenue.” He suggests you determine your total costs for customer acquisition and your monthly subscription revenue. If the acquisition cost is $1000, for example, and the monthly subscription revenue is $100, then you need to retain a customer for at least 10 months to recover that initial acquisition cost.It’s software, but there are hard costsTrue, you aren’t shipping disks, CDs, and DVDs, but there are still substantial infrastructure costs. “By the time you get a couple of production instances, a QA instance, some S3 storage, perhaps some software load-balancing, and maybe 50% of someone’s time to manage it all (because any one of those things will degrade/fail), you’re talking about real money. Too many non-technical founders hand-wave the infrastructure costs because they think ‘hey we have cloud computing now, we can scale as we need it.’ That’s true, you can scale as you need it, but there are some real dollars just getting the basics up and running.” Shah recommends talking to other SaaS companies who are willing to share some of their data so you can gauge what your hosting costs might be. It pays to know your funnelAs early as possible, ascertain the shape of your marketing and sales funnel. What drives prospective customers? What is the conversion rate of visitors to your site? “The better you know your funnel the better decisions you will make as to where to invest your limited resources.”You need knobs and dials in the businessAlthough there are lots of things you can adjust in the SaaS business – pricing, packaging, features, trial duration for example – it is tempting to adjust too many things at once or adjust things too soon. Shah does caution that experimentations with pricing should always take care of early customers with some sort of grandfathering clause. Visibility and brakes let you go fasterBecause of the shorter operational cycle of SaaS businesses, Shah contends, you are able to identify when “bad things start to happen” more quickly. User interface and experience countsA good user interface is crucial to obtain and retain customers, and so design needs to be a key element of your SaaS. “Start recruiting great design and user experience talent now.”If you’re an SaaS company, what other “lessons learned” would you add to this great list? Tags:#Analysis#cloud center_img 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts last_img read more

Oh! Heaven! Seventy Seven

first_imgIndia ranks 77 in Forbes’ annual list of Best Countries for Business list, ahead of China, which ranks 90.The U.S., which has been battered by a long recession, dropped from No. 2 to No 9 in the rankings, which was topped by Denmark, followed by Hong Kong, New Zealand, Canada and Singapore.Venezuela was at the bottom of the 128 countries in the rankings, which are based on 11 categories, such as property rights, technology, corruption, red tape, investor protection and stock market performance.The magazine touted India’s economic liberalization, English speaking population and high GDP growth, which at 6.5 percent in 2009 was the second highest in the world among major economies.  Related Itemslast_img read more