Japan Inc.’s Thriving Outpost Sits in This Dusty Indian Town

first_imgIn the desert-like scrub land of Rajasthan, beside a barren stretch of highway, an unlikely oasis appears: an island of Japan Inc.On more than 1,100 acres of land dedicated exclusively to Japan’s corporations, global titans such as Toyota, Daikin Industries and Hitachi have clustered together to protect themselves from the vagaries of India’s chaotic business landscape.Located roughly three hours from New Delhi, the sprawling industrial complex provides Japanese companies with largely uninterrupted power and water supplies. It also offers a streamlined license and approval process that bypasses local officials who might ask for bribes. These are rare luxuries in a country ranked 130th by the World Bank for ease of doing business. The project has been so successful that there are plans for another location that is similarly dedicated to Japanese firms.For Japanese expats, the perks are even better. There are three karaoke lounges, a hotel with Japanese TV channels and magazines, traditional pine-wood baths, a golf simulator and four restaurants serving everything from ramen to sushi.“In India, the size of investment matters,” said Takayoshi Tokimune, the managing director of the India subsidiary for Dainichiseika Color & Chemicals Manufacturing Co. “So we flocked together.”Japan’s foreign direct investment in India has risen since the global financial crisis, reaching nearly $3.5 billion in 2016. Japan is India’s 10th largest trading partner  with the bilateral relationship worth about $14.5 billion. Japan has the technological know-how and a cadre of mighty corporations hungry for new markets, as economic growth and its population shrink at home. India has rapid growth, an expanding middle class eager for higher-quality products and more than one million youth joining the labor force every month.Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Shinzo Abe, both right-leaning nationalist leaders, personify the tight-knit relationship, embracing every time they meet.“They have what we don’t, and we have what they don’t,” said Hiroshi Daikoku, a senior investment adviser to the Japanese external trade promotion agency, JETRO.Businesses — as well as Abe’s government — also view India as a low-cost regional base to ship Japanese products into Southeast Asia and across the Arabian Sea to the frontier markets of Africa.“If you look at this whole market from Africa to Southeast Asia, India is the core,” Kenko Sone, economic head of Japan’s embassy in New Delhi, said in an interview. “It’s easier from India to see the African market. And Indian companies also have strong connections with African businesses, especially on the east coast. We can collaborate.”As Japanese capital flowed into India’s fast-growing economy, the intriguing industrial experiment at Neemrana — a collaboration between JETRO and the government of Rajasthan — has created about 10,000 factory jobs.Daikin Air Conditioning assembly line. Photo: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg With the allotted land now more than 90 percent full of factories, mainly linked to the automotive sector, the project is being expanded to a separate 500-acre plot in Rajasthan, as well as to other Indian states such as Gujarat. Japanese executives in India said the vast Neemrana estate has allowed them to bypass the single biggest hurdle to setting up a factory in India: Obtaining a piece of land at a fair price that won’t be subject to contested land claims at a later date, and without needing to offer bribes to local officials.“They would say no to investment, and then yes the next day — with conditions,” said Eiichiro Terada, managing director for Mitsui Chemicals Inc. subsidiary Mitsui Prime Advanced Composites India. “It’s very difficult to talk to local government officials.”In Neemrana, that was not an issue. JETRO officials and company executives approached several state governments roughly a decade ago. With very little heavy industry, Rajasthan’s government was eager to set up the zone to attract investment.Investment was slow to start. Interest only picked up after the global financial crisis, fueled by healthy profits at Maruti Suzuki India Ltd., which is 56 percent-owned by Japan’s Suzuki Motor Corp. and dominates India’s booming passenger car market.“Land was cheap, so many companies bought large amounts, but the construction, the initial investment, was small,” Tokimune said. “Now people are expanding.”Photo: Prashanth Vishwanathan/BloombergThe Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency looked into a similar zone for Korean companies, but abandoned the effort after Korean firms chose to set up in existing industrial clusters.Attention’s now turning to a new industrial park in western India, in the state once governed by Modi. “Every Japanese company is now looking at Gujarat,” Tokimune said.Daikin, which has global sales of more than $17 billion, is expanding its factory at Neemrana with a new building, going from around 1500 employees to 2000.Kohei Yamamoto, the assistant general manager for finance and compliance at Daikin’s Neemrana facility, strolled across the cavernous facility where a 500-person shift was busy at work, some assembling the wall-mounted AC units that are ubiquitous across much of Asia.“We’re going to export to Southeast Asia and Africa,” Yamamoto said. “But right now it’s mainly India.”— Bloomberg Related Itemslast_img read more

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Google working on Stamp tool that would create Snapchat’s Discover-like stories

first_imgAlphabet’s Google is developing technology that media companies could use to create stories similar to those found on Snapchat’s “Discover” platform, a person familiar with the plans said on Friday.Google’s project, dubbed “Stamp,” is in the early stages of testing with publishers, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity.Tech firms including Google, Snapchat’s owner Snap Inc and Facebook Inc are racing to develop publishing tools for media companies, hoping to fill their own apps with news, entertainment, sports and other content.The challenge for such tools is making them faster and easier to use than a web browser, while creating an interesting experience for users.Snapchat’s “Discover” tab is distinct in the way it integrates video clips with text and photos, allowing users to skip to a new story or advertisement with the touch of a finger.The Wall Street Journal first reported the development of Google Stamp earlier on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter.Also Read: Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 4 leaked online, download available nowGoogle has been in discussions with several publishers, including Vox Media, Time Warner Inc’s CNN, Mic, the Washington Post and Time Inc to participate in the project, the newspaper said.Google said in a statement: “We don’t have anything to announce at the moment but look forward to sharing more soon.”The name Stamp echoes an existing Google product, Accelerated Mobile Pages, or AMP, that allows for faster loading of online news stories. Facebook has a competing product, Instant Articles.advertisementlast_img read more

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Greek Soccer Faces World Ban

first_imgTweetPinShare0 Shares Soccer’s governing bodies say they will ban Greece from international competition after the government cancelled the championship because of violence.Deputy Sports Minister Stavros Kontonis said he won’t change his decision as the SYRIZA-led government cracks down on endless hooliganism. That could shut the Greek national team out of European and world play.FIFA and European governing body UEFA sent a letter to Greek authorities requesting they reinstate the Greek Cup by April 1 after the tournament was canceled by the government earlier this month because of crowd trouble at a match, Reuters said.A failure to meet the deadline could result in sanctions that include the suspension of the Greek federation, clubs blocked from playing in European club competitions and the national side also barred from international tournaments.“I hope it is understood that the Greek government has no intervention of altering the decision to cancel the Greek Cup competition due to its exhaustive efforts in trying to protect basic social rights such as public order and social peace,” Kontonis said in a letter to FIFA circulated to local media.“We declare yet again that the Greek government fully respects the self-governing function of sports federations and is not intervening in the administration, nor on issues related to sports,” he added.The competition was called off after the first leg of the semi-final between PAOK and Olympiakos on March 2 was stopped because of relentless crowd violence, a common occurrence in Greece.Kontonis said that the decision was not only but that the Hellenic Football Federation (EPO) didn’t even object to his decision.EPO has since appealed to the Council of State, which will hear the case on March 29. Kontonis said he would abide by its decision.“The cancellation of the Greek Cup is another preventive measure designed to protect public safety, which although is particularly serious, is not a punitive measure, and the law actually provides the further step of suspending or canceling the championship, if it is necessary,” Kontonis added.“We would like to stress that the government will fully respect the decision which will be made by the Supreme Court of the country…”Kontonis dimissed FIFA’s assertion his decision was “disproportionate” and that the state could have used less severe measures, such as playing matches behind closed doors or a temporary suspension, noting those measures have been used before but failed to stop violence.last_img read more

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Roger Federer warms up for Australian Open with some tennis on the sand

first_imgRoger Federer is gearing up to defend his Australian Open title in the season’s first Grand Slam, starting January 14 in Melbourne.Federer, a 20-time Grand Slam champion, will warm up to the Australian Open at the Hopman Cup, starting December 29 in Perth. The 37-year-old will team with Belinda Bencic for Switzerland as the duo look to retain their title.Federer will be hoping for some good match practice and, it seems, there is plenty of it available for him as he may face the likes of Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece and Frances Tiafoe of the United States in the singles rubbers at the exhibition event.Federer and Bencic’s mixed doubles showdown against Serena Williams and Tiafoe is one of the most-anticipated ties at the upcoming tournament.Ahead of the new season, Federer visited the Pinnacles in Western Australia and interacted with some kids and played a bit of tennis on the scenic sand there.”It’s a great pleasure to be back here in Australia. I’ve come to a lot of love over the years and I’m a big fan of road trips, not many people know that but it’s one of my big dreams after I retire once and I have time,” Federer said.”I can’t wait for the Hopman Cup to get around and try my best to defend the title from last year, we had a blast with Belinda. I hope this is going to kickstart another great season for me because the last two have been absolutely crazy good for me to be honest.advertisement”I couldn’t have imagined that kind of a return after my knee problems, I’m just very happy that things are going so well and Hopman Cup is a good place for me to start the season with.”I hope @hopmancup will be the start of a great season for me, because the last two seasons have been crazy good.More from @rogerfederer ?? https://t.co/X5iqndBURZpic.twitter.com/FvHtUAhGr5#AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) December 28, 2018It’s great to have you back on Australian soil, @rogerfederer! pic.twitter.com/V5em81lOpd#AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) December 27, 2018Federer, ranked number three in the world behind his arch-rivals Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, was written off after he suffered a four-year title drought between 2012 and 2016.However, after skipping the second half of the 2016 season, a rejuvenated Federer stormed back to form and won the Australian Open crown for the fifth time in his career in 2017. Federer reigned supreme in the said year, winning the Sunshine Double and the Wimbledon title even as Nadal won the French Open and the US Open.In 2018, Federer successfully defended his Australian Open title but struggled for consistency towards the end of the season while Djokovic began dominating the men’s singles circuit.Federer has been carefully planning his stops on the tour but it will be interesting to see if he enters the clay-court swing of the season after having missed the French Open since 2016.Also Read | Maharashtra Open: Marin Cilic pulls out of tournament due to knee injuryAlso Read | Rafael Nadal excited about new season following quick recovery after knee surgerylast_img read more

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India vs Australia: India are going to look to bounce back pretty quickly, says Alex Carey

first_imgAustralia vice-captain Alex Carey on Monday said that an ODI series win against a top team like India “will mean a lot” considering the hosts’ struggles over the last 12 months.The home took a 1-0 lead in the three-match series with a 34-run win in Sydney, and the second ODI will be played in Adelaide on Tuesday.Pakistan were the last side to lose an ODI series to Australia, 4-1 in January 2017, and thereafter after a tumultuous 2018, wherein they won only 2 out of 18 ODIs, the hosts have started 2019 on a winning note.”It would mean a lot, it has been a while. I want to see Australia win and being part of it means so much to us every game we play. But to continue to get better every game is probably our biggest process at the moment leading into that World Cup,” said Carey.”Against India, they’re a really good side so they’re going to look to bounce back pretty quickly, so it’s going to be a great opportunity to stand up tomorrow night, to puff our chests out again and hopefully put another really good performance,” he said.Carey insisted that Australia are not seeing the ongoing contest as a revenge series after the loss in Tests against India.”I think the performance the other night is a really good step in the right direction. If you take a look at our batting performance, we all played well, we all played our role, and then with the ball having them three down early was pretty early.advertisement”But having to break that big partnership between MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma and get over the line was, as a player, was a really amazing feeling out there.”Carey also talked about rolling things into the World Cup and continuing the winning form.”He doesn’t need too many balls to make a big impact” #AUSvIND pic.twitter.com/5w8HCPrEntcricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) January 14, 2019″I think the other night was a really big step forward and we can improve from that, definitely. Obviously the three quicks that played the Test series and played last series aren’t in this series so it is a really good opportunity for Jason Behrendorff, Jhye Richardson and Peter Siddle who all played really well the other night.”It was a great opportunity for me too at the top of the order and Peter Handscomb coming back in. If you look across the list, there are so many opportunities for guys to put their hand up and really make a spot their own.”Australia haven’t announced their playing eleven for this second ODI, but no changes are expected after their Sydney win. Carey said that the Adelaide pitch might help spinners, as seen with Rashid Khan’s form in the Big Bash League, and if so, the team management might bring in Adam Zampa.All-rounder Mitchell Marsh has recovered from gastroenteritis, but probably won’t feature given the hot conditions prevalent here.”It (the pitch) favours Rashid Khan. But, I think Nathan Lyon bowled really well the other night and obviously, we have got Zampa to go if required. I think it will be quite a nice paced wicket.”Carey, who hails from Adelaide, also talked about his move to open the innings, after having batted in the middle order against South Africa previously.”I guess at the top there the role is to get us off to a good start and get us past the first ten overs, and then go to work through the middle overs. Working with Aaron Finch up the top, he is so experienced and so calm so to go out there with him to bounce off him it is pretty exciting opening the batting.”But I think to have a taste of the middle overs in the last series was a really good experience and to open the batting in one-day cricket. I have done it a bit for South Australia in the Big Bash as well so it is a role I really enjoy,” he said.The only concern for Australia going into the second ODI is if Glenn Maxwell is batting too low at number seven. Their innings in Sydney was sluggish but Carey denied suggestions that they needed to attack the Indian attack earlier than they did.Also Read | Virat Kohli obliges fans with autographs and selfies at Adelaide. What about MS Dhoni?Also Read | India treating next two matches vs Australia as knockouts, says Bhuvneshwar KumarAlso Read | Bhuvneshwar gets down to perfecting yorkers in Bumrah’s absenceadvertisementlast_img read more

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Indian women’s hockey team end series with 0-4 loss to South Korea

first_imgThe Indian women’s hockey team lost 0-4 to hosts South Korea in the third match of the series here on Friday. India had earlier registered two back-to-back wins but could not muster a third win to end the series on a sweet note.The team’s defense was put under pressure right from the start as the hosts made successful forays into the striking circle. They created as many as five penalty corners in the match and converted one in the 29th minute.Jang Heesan was the one to score first following which the Indian team conceded back-to-back goals in the 41st minute through Kim Hyunji and Kang Jina. The 0-3 lead dented India’s comeback in the match while Lee Yuri’s goal in the 53rd minute sealed the match for the hosts.”The learning process is always with ups and downs and today was one such experience where we had to deal with setbacks early on and could not recover. But this does not mean we won’t learn from this experience,” stated coach Sjoerd Marijne after the match.He added that the “Republic Of Korea is a good team and today they were much better than us. But I am happy with our performances in the first two matches. And now we know what we must improve upon to be fully prepared for the FIH Women’s Series Finals Hiroshima 2019.”Also Read | India take unassailable 2-0 lead over Korea, clinch women’s hockey seriesAlso Read | Indian women’s hockey team beat South Korea 2-1 in tour openerAlso Seeadvertisementlast_img read more

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Kangana Ranaut nails rigorous workout like a queen in sports bra and tights in new gym pic

first_imgKangana Ranaut is taking the internet by storm with new picture from her workout session at the gym and it will give you the perfect motivation to hit the gym right now.Bollywood’s favourite Pilates instructor, Namrata Purohit, took to Instagram recently to share a picture of the Queen actor working out on the Cadillac reformer.She captioned the picture, “I’ve got you #Kangana! Pilates girls working out and having some fun!! @team_kangana_ranaut.”In the image, the two divas can be seen doing couple’s workout on the Cadillac reformer, as Kangana stretches on Namrata, who can be seen nailing a perfectly aligned push-up.For the workout session, baring her toned abs, Kangana donned a white sports bra and white and grey gym tights. She paired the gym ensemble with no-makeup look and her curly hair tied in a loose ponytail.The actress has been spotted quite frequently outside her gym lately and the reason is her upcoming film Panga, for which she is gaining weight.Kangana will also be seen next with Rajkummar Rao in Mental Hai Kya. The film is slated to be released on July 26.The film, according to Ekta Kapoor, is “a fictional thriller that encourages you to celebrate your uniqueness and embrace your individuality.”advertisementALSO SEE | Kangana Ranaut goes boss lady in blazer and mini shorts with Rs 10 lakh bag. See picsALSO WATCH | Kangana on being called witch, whore and psychopathlast_img read more

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Students collect waste on the way to school as fees for this Gaya school

first_imgThe students of Padampani School in Sevabigha village here collect waste materials on their way to school as their school fee. This step has been taken by the school authorities to create awareness among the children about the importance of protecting nature.Deepak Kumar, Vice Principal of the School, told ANI: “We started this school in 2014 and now we have around 250 students here.”Gaya: Students of Padampani School in Sevabigha village collect waste on their way to school as their school fees. Students say,”we collect waste as fees which are later sent for recycling. Along with good education, we are also taught to value the importance of nature.” #Bihar pic.twitter.com/TXThYcpdGy ANI (@ANI) July 14, 2019Free uniform and free books in exchange of waste”We impart free education and provide free uniform, books, mid-day meal to the students. Instead of fees, they are supposed to collect waste materials on their way to school and dispose it off in the dustbin kept outside the school,” the vice principal added.’Running this school on donation’ says school founderManoj Samdarshi, the founder of Padampani School, said: “We are running this school on donation as most of the students belong to very poor families.””However, we provide socio-cultural classes, along with other activities like sports. The school aims to keep areas around the world heritage site of the Mahabodhi temple clean and waste-free,” he added.School teaches students the importance of nature”We send all the waste materials for recycling. Our main focus is to instil awareness among the children to create a clean and green environment. With the help of students, we are taking care of more than 200 trees on the school premises,” said Vice Principal Deepak Kumar.Echoing the importance of protecting nature, a student said: “We collect waste as fees which are later sent for recycling. Along with good education, we are also taught to value the importance of nature. This helps us keep our area clean,” said the founder.advertisementRead: This ‘green school’ in Assam accepts plastic waste as school fees, teaches life skills society needs nowRead: Haji Public School, the mountain-cut village school that speaks of education red tapes in the stereotypically ‘terror-ridden’ KashmirRead: How one man became so tired of rote-learning that he battled odds and started his own schoollast_img read more

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Tennell, Nagasu, Chen earn US Olympic figure skating spots as Wagner left off

first_imgWinter Olympics 2018 Share on Messenger Share on WhatsApp Share on Twitter Topics Bradie Tennell wins surprise US figure skating title ahead of Mirai Nagasu Share via Email Read more Share on Facebook Figure skatingcenter_img Share on Pinterest Bradie Tennell, Mirai Nagasu and Karen Chen, the top three finishers at the national championships, were selected Saturday to the US team for the Pyeongchang Olympics.Three-time US champ Ashley Wagner, who complained vigorously about the marks after the free skate, was not included. Four years ago, Wagner also finished fourth but was placed on the team ahead of Nagasu. Wagner wound up with a bronze medal in the team event. “I really took time to remodel myself, because I didn’t want to feel that regret,” Nagasu said during the announcement on NBC’s Today show. “This has been about my journey and my goal to get here. To accomplish it last night has been a dream come true.”The 19-year-old Tennell and Chen, 18, the 2017 US winner, made their first Olympics. Nagasu, now 24, was fourth at the 2010 Games.Alternates are Wagner (first alternate), Mariah Bell (second alternate) and Angela Wang (third alternate). Only Wagner has been to an Olympics among those three.US Figure Skating uses a committee to decide the squad, and it went with the results of Friday night. Past performances and a variety of other data are included in the decision making.The remainder of the team – three men, three ice dance couples and one pair – is scheduled to be announced Sunday.Rising star Tennell’s near-perfect free skate earned her first national crown. Tennell, a long shot entering the season, was spotless in the short program two days ago, then as the final skater in the long program she didn’t miss a trick under tremendous pressure. Her top competitors, Nagasu and Chen, already had put down superb routines.“I just had to keep calm and focus on what I knew I could do,” Tennell said. “There’s the initial butterflies, but I kind of start to lose myself and keep going.“I don’t think it’s sunk in quite yet. I’m still kind of shocked. It’s indescribable to me.”Nagasu, US champ 10 years ago and a 2010 Olympian, capped a sensationally sweet comeback with a flowing performance to finish second, assuring a spot in next month’s Olympics – a berth she was denied in 2014 by the selection committee. That position for Sochi was given to Wagner, who had a better overall record.Chen, the defending champion, was third Friday night.After overpowering the entry and two-footing the triple axel that no other American woman tries, Nagasu hit six triple jumps, including a loop in the final seconds of a stirring program. She was so moved by her performance that she broke out in tears and covered her face, trying to gain control of the emotions that often had betrayed her in critical moments.She was still crying in, appropriately, the kiss and cry area when the marks showed Nagasu she had shattered her personal best by nearly 20 points with a 213.84.Chen’s big season last year had not translated into achievement this campaign. She put those struggles to an icy death with a superb showing that had one flaw toward the end. She, too, was overcome by tears for a 198.59 score.Tennell made it a trio of tears with her career best of 219.51. Tennell announced herself as an Olympic team threat with a third place at Skate America. Hardly ice shattering, but then she ratcheted up everything for nationals.Wagner had the crowd going for most of her energetic routine, but a flawed lutz as her final jump was costly. She responded to the fans with a deep bow when she finished, yet was shaking her head “no” when her marks were posted.Hours later, after she verbally campaigned to be placed on the Olympic team again, Wagner was left off. Share on LinkedIn Since you’re here… Support The Guardian … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Reuse this contentlast_img read more

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Report: Crystal Palace 1 Burnley 0

first_imgCrystal Palace 1 Burnley 0: Sako extends Eagles revival Dom Farrell Last updated 1 year ago 00:56 1/14/18 BakarySako - cropped Getty Images Crystal Palace are five points clear of the relegation zone after Bakary Sako scored decisively to down Burnley at Selhurst Park. Bakary Sako’s sixth goal of the season gave Crystal Palace a 1-0 win over Burnley and moved Roy Hodgson’s side further away from the relegation strife that once threatened to engulf their season.Former Wolves forward Sako was aghast to see a first-half penalty claim waved away after being brought down by James Tarkowski but channelled his frustrations to secure the points midway through the first half at Selhurst Park.Palace’s recovery under Hodgson now stands at a solitary defeat in their past 12 Premier League outings – an impressive rehabilitative effort for both the south London club, who are five points clear of the bottom three, and their veteran former England manager. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player That poisoned chalice might one day pass to Sean Dyche, who has rarely seen his robust backline endure as many problems as Sako, Christian Benteke and Wilfried Zaha inflicted during the opening half hour.Forwards Sam Vokes and Ashley Barnes had the Clarets’ best opportunities to equalise but a slump from their sparkling form earlier in the season now sees them winless in the past six Premier League matches, with Manchester United up next at Turf Moor. @sakobakary26 pic.twitter.com/4RqD3b0shI— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) January 13, 2018Burnley left-back Charlie Taylor cleared a viciously dipping Patrick van Aanholt cross just over his own crossbar in the eighth minute – a close shave that encapsulated a nervy opening for the visitors.Palace should have been awarded a penalty when Tarkowski dived in desperately on a rampaging Sako, although the same player responded by superbly breaking the deadlock in the 21st minute.There was still plenty to do when Sako retrieved Benteke’s flick, but he drove towards a backpedalling Phil Bardsley and crashed a low shot through Tarkowski’s legs that flew into the net via the boot of Nick Pope.Pope was then sold short by Taylor, with Zaha beating the Burnley goalkeeper to an ill-advised header back. Captain Ben Mee flung himself bravely to brilliantly deny James McArthur on the goal-line.Benteke leapt to power over from a Luka Milivojevic corner, while a set-piece situation saw Dyche’s side belatedly threaten – Vokes glancing Johann Gudmundsson’s searching ball from the left just past the far top corner.Palace keeper Wayne Hennessey did well to tip Barnes’ dipping effort over, while Pope would have had no chance in the 44th minute had Sako’s blistering volley from Timothy Fosu-Mensah’s cross been on target.PIC: James Tarkowski and Christian Benteke go head-to-head at Selhurst Park. pic.twitter.com/gZrARxPj4y— Burnley FC (@BurnleyOfficial) January 13, 2018Fosu-Mensah was less effective inside his own area six minutes into the second half when Barnes got over the back of him to nod wide, while Vokes came closer still by heading into the side netting.A bouncing ball in the Burnley box caused confusion in the 57th minute and Taylor did well to block when the goal beckoned for Zaha.Georges-Kevin Nkoudou was introduced in place of Jeff Hendrick for a Burnley debut after the hour and the Tottenham loanee almost had an immediate impact, clipping in a cross from the byline on the left that Gudmundsson was unable to turn home.Benteke headed off target under pressure from the tireless Taylor when Sako stood up a 69th-minute cross to the far post – more fine combination play from a forward duo who might relish next weekend’s trip to Arsenal.Hennessey was out sharply to deny Barnes an equaliser four minutes from time, with a subsequent melee by the touchline after Taylor sent Zaha careering into television equipment indicative of Burnley’s frustration. Key Opta stats:- The Eagles’ victory was their 50th at home in the Premier League.- Palace have kept consecutive home clean sheets in the Premier League – having kept just one in their previous 14 at Selhurst Park.- Goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey made more passes than any other Crystal Palace player in the match (36).- Only Southampton (10) are on a current longer winless run in the Premier League than Burnley (6). read morelast_img read more

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This Big 10 Program Had The Most Fans Ejected From Games In 2017

first_imgWisconsin's stadium with snow on the field.MADISON, WI – NOVEMBER 15: Snow falls on the endzone during play between the Nebraska Cornhuskers and the Wisconsin Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium on November 15, 2014 in Madison, Wisconsin. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)Madison, Wisc. is one of the best road trips a college football fan can make. Few campuses are better than Wisconsin’s on a fall Saturday when the Badgers are playing at home.It can get rowdy, though. Sometimes, it gets too rowdy.Eleven Warriors has obtained information on Big Ten programs’ stadium ejections, arrests and incidents for the 2017 season.Wisconsin leads the way in a number of categories.The Badgers had the most arrests, ejections and ejections/1,000 fans of any program in the Big Ten (three programs did not divulge information, though).Our annual look at arrests, ejections and other incidents from football stadiums around the Big Ten. https://t.co/GYhrPGpXuX— Eleven Warriors (@11W) June 4, 2018Here’s some more information on what happened at Wisconsin:Of the 137 people arrested at Wisconsin football games last season, 121 were cited for underage consumption of alcohol while 86 were Wisconsin students. Other citations issued at Camp Randall Stadium included five for obstructing/resisting arrest, four for disorderly conduct, three for trespassing, one for use of a fake ID, one for entering the playing surface, one for throwing hard objects, and one for drug possession.Of the 167 people ejected from Camp Randall Stadium last season, 74 were Wisconsin students. 58 people were ejected for intoxication, 34 people were ejected for seating issues in the student section, 33 were ejected for possession of alcohol, 30 were ejected for tobacco usage, 10 were ejected for disorderly conduct and two were ejected for disorderly conduct.You can view the full report here.last_img read more

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Gallery CoalLaden Water Spills from Adanis Terminal

first_imgImage Courtesy: Dean Sewell/OculiCoal-laden water, which spilled from Australia’s Abbot Point coal terminal, operated by India-based mining company Adani, has reached the neighboring Caley Valley wetlands and covered the adjacent beach.The thick black sludge of coal, which has flowed into the wetland, is smothering a large area, while the adjacent beach now appears to be scattered with lumps of coal, Australia’s environmental agencies informed.“The wetland has turned coal black. It looks trashed. It’s a tragic and shocking picture of what the future of the Reef coast looks like if we don’t stop digging up coal,” Geoff Cousins, Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) President, said.According to the Australian Marine Conservation Society, the coal spill is now at risk of washing out to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, adding even more stress to the crisis-point coral.“The Caley Valley Wetlands today are a microcosm of what could happen to our Great Barrier Reef if the Carmichael mine and port go ahead,” Imogen Zethoven, AMCS Great Barrier Reef Campaign Director, said.The Carmichael thermal coal mine, proposed by Adani Mining, a subsidiary of Adani Group, represents a AUD 16.5 billion investment in the north of the Galilee Basin in Central Queensland, Australia.“If the Reef were a person, it would be crying out for help. In nearly 20 years it has suffered four severe coral bleaching events, 10 severe cyclones and four massive flood events washing huge volumes of pollution into its waters. It can’t take much more,” Zethoven added.The spill, which can release toxic heavy metals into the water including mercury and selenium, comes in the aftermath of Cyclone Debbie which hit Australia’s coast in late March. The cyclone was the strongest tropical cyclone in the Australian region since Cyclone Quang in 2015.World Maritime News Staff; Image Courtesy: Dean Sewell/Oculilast_img read more

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Inuk Soldier Wanted To Die After Decade of Racism Sexual Harassment Broke

first_imgDennis WardAPTN InvestigatesAfter she phoned her sister, Cpl. Esther Wolki took a knife and began cutting into her arm.A decade with the Canadian Forces, including a tour in Afghanistan, the racism, sexual and emotional harassment had finally broke her.“I started cutting very slowly, inch by inch,” said Wolki, in an interview with APTN National News. “And then I did both wrists. But still, I wasn’t feeling anything. So I cut into my veins.”Forty minutes passed before someone found her and it was only because she forgot to lock the door ‎of the room she was in at CFB Shilo.She would spend the next three weeks at a psychiatric hospital in Brandon, Man.It was Nov. 15, 2014‎.On Thursday, Gen. Tom Lawson, the commanding officer of Canada’s armed forces acknowledged a problem with sexual misconduct in the military and he promised action. The military released a report from an internal review which found there was a “culture of misogyny” in the ranks.But for Wolki, it’s too late. She can’t wait for her military career to come to an end. An Inuk woman from a small community in the Northwest Territories, Wolki joined the military shortly after graduating from high school.Now Wolki’s days at the CFB Shilo begin by counting out the handful of pills she needs to get her through the day. She needs them to keep her alive and prevent another suicide attempt.“I’ve been scorned, scorned so hard from the military that I don’t think I deserve to live and I think suicide is the right for me to do because I think it’s the only peace I will get,” she said.Her military career wasn’t supposed to be this way.“It was pretty awesome at the start,” said Wolki.Wolki’s story begins in the small Arctic community of Paulatuk which sits perched on the northern-most tip of the Northwest Territories. Here is where she spent her childhood, a happy-go-lucky time dreaming of seeing the world. That was part of the desire that drew her to the Canadian Forces, but there was also a practical motivation.“I wanted to join so I could see different places and get out of Paulatuk, but mainly to make money for my family,” she said.Wolki ended up at CFB Shilo, which sits about two hours west of Winnipeg. It is one of the largest military bases in Canada. It is also where Wolki experienced the darkest moments of her life.“It started pretty much the first week I got there. There was other Native men there, Indians. And everybody presumed they were all my cousins and they’d ask me “You, this is your cousin, right? You guys are dating, right? Isn’t that would you guys do down in Northwest Territories,’” said Wolki.She still remembers the words of one soldier.“I was sitting there and he was like, ‘You know these people eat raw meat and piss in a bucket and wash their face with their piss because it’s warm,’” said Wolki. “He said, ‘Just quit and go back home and be a drunk like the rest of the Eskimos.’”Wolki said the comments made her feel ashamed.“They made me feel ashamed to be Inuit and from the North,” she said.Some of the worst comments came from superior officers, said Wolki.“You guys are the scum of Canada because you take welfare and you take up the government’s money.  You don’t work for it. When you get your money, all you do is drink it up and you guys are drunks,” Wolki remembers one senior officer saying.By the time she was packing her gear to deploy for Afghanistan, Wolki said she’d been labelled a drunken Eskimo and a dirty Indian.Still, she soldiered on.Wolki was stationed a forward operating base on the front lines in one of Afghanistan’s most violent regions.“A lot of people got hurt and passed away while I was on tour.  And it was really sad to see the soldier’s carried away in their caskets.  And their buddies holding up the casket,” she said.Like many other soldiers, Wolki returned from Afghanistan disturbed and depressed by what she witnessed.“The nightmares I’d have were…I’d be in my combat clothes but in the house. And I’d be getting dragged down, downstairs into the basement by Taliban. And it was like that every other night,” she said. “I’d dream about being in Afghanistan and being shot up. And seeing my friends all lying down. Seeing my family members getting blown up. I remember trying to save some people and I was carrying a kid and there had been an explosion and everybody was dead. And I’d wake up screaming.”Wolki said she feels her requests to be tested for post-traumatic stress disorder and other possible health problems were ignored.Former veteran’s ombudsman Ret.-Col. Pat Stogran said many soldiers like Wolki are let down by the system.“There are far too many cases of not only people in similar situations to this young lady but also people who have gone one step further out of despair and killed themselves,” said Stogran, who was 31 years in the military.But things were about to get worse for Wolkie. She would face one of the darkest moments of her life in November 2014.She was at a local watering hole n Brandon having casual drinks on a casual night when agreed to go to a house party in the city’s south-end with some male soldiers.Things took a nefarious turn.“There was one guy who was sober and I thought he was OK and I asked if he could watch over me.  And he took me to the washroom and pushed me down on the bathroom and he pulled down his pants and he said just do it,” she said.“And I was thinking it’s probably better than being raped because an hour before the guy I went to see, he was…I was kissing him in the washroom and he kept trying to turn me around and pull off my pants and I kept saying no.”Wolki was desperate to get out of the situation.The police report tells the rest. It said Wolki locked herself in the attic and shouted for help out the window, prompting neighbours to call 911. Neighbours said they heard a woman screaming saying she was being held against her will.Brandon police initially took three males into custody that night, but later released them because the officers felt Wolki’s claims were “unfounded.”Wolki says the Brandon police officers who dealt with the case treated everything like a joke, even warning her to stay out of attics.Back at the base, her superiors weren’t laughing and they also had little interest in her side of the story.One senior officer blamed her for embarrassing the soldiers.“He’s like you got these soldiers in shit and you probably ruined their night and that’s all he was saying to me you made the regiment a disgrace, you’re a disgrace to the regiment. This was all… that’s what he was saying to me,” she said. “They thought that everything was my fault and that I ruined the guy’s lives and I ruined their night for them and likely ruined their job.  That’s when they started yelling at me saying I was a disgrace to the military.”She wasn’t offered an ounce of compassion.“They didn’t even ask if I was OK or hurt, they just wanted me charged,” said Wolki.A week later, she decided to kill herself in Shilo, the place that caused her so much anguish.She placed one last call to her sister Celina in Paulatuk.“I answered the phone and she sounded really different.  She said I’m, I don’t want to leave anymore.  I don’t want to deal with them anymore,” said Celina Wolki.Then, the phone went dead and the sister panicked, she feared the worst was about to happen. And it almost did.Back at the base, Esther Wolki grabbed a knife to cut.Wolki still struggles to stay alive. The nightmares continue.Stogran said the military has a serious problem dealing with mental health issues. He said the matter should not be treated as a political scandal because this is about real lives on the edge.“Even if this young lady has the wrong perception of the way she was treated, the fact of the matter is that’s her reality.  And it’s going to cause a huge problem in her life.  And a problem, if the government doesn’t pick up the expense, is going to land in her family and in the community. These problems don’t go away,” he said.Hope, however, glimmers on the horizon for Wolki. She expects her to be finally released from the military.She is going home, back to Paulatuk, the only place where Wolki believes she can still find peace.“I miss the landscape.  I miss the people.  A lot of kids look up to me.  I’ll be able to make a lot of changes when I get back home,” she said.dward@aptn.ca@DennisWardlast_img read more

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Asian stocks sink for 2nd day after Wall Street slide

first_imgBEIJING — Asian stocks fell further Friday after Wall Street slid on recession fears, putting markets in Shanghai, Tokyo and Sydney on track to end 2018 down more than 10 per cent.Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index fell 1.6 per cent and the Shanghai Composite Index lost 1.2 per cent. The Chinese market is 2018’s worst performer, down nearly 25 per cent for the year.Stocks usually end the year with a flourish. But investors worry global economic growth is cooling and the U.S. could slip into a recession in the next few years.After “years of outperformance,” U.S. markets are working off “overvaluation in some areas” such as major tech companies, said Shane Oliver of AMP Capital in a report.China and other Asian markets “fell much earlier and harder and so far are holding above their October lows,” said Oliver.The Nikkei declined to 20,063.51, putting it down nearly 13 per cent for the year. Shanghai declined to 2,506.70. Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 retreated 1.3 per cent to 5,435.10 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gave up 0.3 per cent to 25,546.99.Seoul’s Kospi retreated 0.3 per cent to 2,052.45 and India’s Sensex declined 0.9 per cent to 36,103.52. Benchmarks in Taiwan, New Zealand and Southeast Asia also declined.Wall Street is headed for its worst December since the Great Depression.The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 464 points on Thursday, bringing its losses to more than 1,700 since last Friday.The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 index is down 16 per cent from its late-September peak. The technology-heavy Nasdaq composite is down 19.5 per cent from its record high in August.The market is swooning even as the U.S. economy is on track to expand at the fastest pace in 13 years. Markets tend to move, however, on what investors anticipate will happen further out.Among other threats: the trade dispute between the U.S. and China and rising U.S. interest rates, which act as a brake on economic growth by making it more expensive for businesses and individuals to borrow money.The S&P 500 index lost 1.6 per cent to 2,467.42. The Dow fell 2 per cent to 22,859.60.The Nasdaq fell 1.6 per cent to 6,528.41. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies dropped 23.23 points, or 1.7 per cent, to 1,326.This week’s U.S. sell-off came after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the fourth time this year and signalled more increases are likely next year. Investors were disappointed Chairman Jerome Powell failed to indicate a bigger slowdown in the pace of rate hikes.On Thursday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told Fox Business the market reaction to the Fed was “completely overblown.”In Asia, investors were disappointed Chinese President Xi Jinping announced no initiatives to boost cooling economic growth in a speech Tuesday.In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude rebounded 38 cents to $46.26 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. That came after the contract plunged $2.29 on Thursday to close at $45.88.Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose 32 cents to $54.67 per barrel in London. It fell $2.89 the previous session to $54.35.In currency trading, the dollar edged down to 111.21 yen from Thursday’s 111.24 yen. The euro gained to $1.1454 from $1.1447.Joe McDonald, The Associated Presslast_img read more

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General Assembly delays debate on reproductive cloning treaty by a year

After what the Assembly described in a statement yesterday as “intensive negotiations among concerned delegations,” members agreed by consensus not to take action on two proposals on reproductive cloning until next year’s Assembly session.Last month the Assembly’s Sixth Committee, which handles legal issues, voted narrowly to postpone for two years any debate on two competing human cloning resolutions.Yesterday’s unresolved debate focused on the Committee’s decision and a separate proposal for a draft resolution on a convention on human cloning, rather than specifying reproductive cloning.The Assembly passed 17 resolutions that emerged from the Sixth Committee, on subjects including terrorism, the protection of UN workers, justice administration and international trade law.Resolutions passed by the Assembly, which has 191 Member States, are not binding on States, unlike those of the Security Council.Yesterday the Assembly also adopted 24 resolutions and two decisions, nearly all recommended by its Fourth Committee, which handles special political and decolonisation issues.The resolutions covered issues including refugees, Israeli practices, decolonisation, information questions, outer space and radiation.The two decisions adopted included the approval of an increase in the membership of the Committee on Information from 99 to 102 States. read more

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Grenfell Tower Inquiry occupant of flat where fire started demands exoneration from

Images released to the inquiry show how Grenfell Tower was engulfed by flames Once outside Mr Kebede watched in horror as the fridge fire spread escaped from his flat, took hold of the building’s external cladding and spread up the side of the tower.“He desperately wanted to do more to help his neighbours and friends, but what could he practicably do? He felt helpless,” said Mr Menon.Video: How the Grenfell disaster unfolded “The inquiry needs to set the record straight. The inquiry needs to thank Mr Kebede for his prompt effort that he made on the night to contact the fire brigade, raise the alarm and warn his neighbours.”The inquiry heard that after Mr Kebede noticed smoke was pouring from the back of his Hotpoint fridge freezer he went round to each of his neighbours, banging on the door and shouting “fire, fire, fire” to rouse them and urge them to flee.At the same time he was trying to call the emergency services, though it took several calls before he got through. The inquest also heard how Mr Kebede, who is originally from Ethiopia and had lived in the tower for 25 years, was worried about the refurbishment of the block and the work done around his flat’s windows, from where it is thought the seat of the fire broke through and ignited the flammable exterior cladding through the gaps around the window frames. Only once he had ensured everyone on the fourth floor was aware of the danger did he leave the building, and then only after switching off the main electricity switch in his flat.Rejecting reports in the aftermath of the blaze that Mr Kebede, 45, had managed to pack a suitcase before fleeing, Mr Menon said: “All he had on his person were the clothes he was wearing and the mobile phone with which he was calling 999.”In short, Behailu Kebede did exactly what Grenfell Tower residents who discovered a fire in their flat were told to do by the fire action notice posted by the lifts.” Mr Menon said: “Mr Kebede was not happy and no one he knew in the tower was happy.”There were many problems and complaints. Mr Kebede personally had problems with incorrectly fitted double-glazed windows that left gaps between the frame and the concrete.”Many of his neighbours experienced electrical problems that were “apparently due to power surges” he added. “What he never knew, however, was that a highly flammable fuel had been used to insulate and clad the exterior of the tower as part of the refurbishment.” The resident whose fridge freezer is thought to have caused the devastating fire which engulfed Grenfell Tower has urged the public inquiry to exonerate him from the “racist assumptions” and innuendo that he was to blame.Behailu Kebede said he had been made to suffer “stress, trauma and guilt” after being wrongly held responsible by some for the deaths of 72 people killed in the inferno.In fact the inquiry into the disaster heard on Wednesday that he did all he could to warn his neighbours and make sure they had a chance to escape, before the fire began to spread uncontrollably as a result of the dangerous cladding used in the tower’s refurbishment.But the unfair reaction he suffered for his role in the disaster led to police becoming so concerned about his safety that they offered Mr Kebede and his family witness protection.’Come quick’: Behailu Kebede’s 999 call released Claims made in the aftermath of the fire that unauthorised repairs had been carried out on the fridge freezer, increasing the risk of malfunction and fire, were also rejected. The inquiry heard that such fridge freezer fires are not uncommon, with some 300 taking place in the UK every year, in some cases leading to fatalities.Mr Menon added: “The calamitous events at Grenfell Tower and the subsequent media intrusion have had very serious consequences for Mr Kebede and his family. His parents and children feel unsafe in his home and were forced to move out.”The police were so concerned about Mr Kebede’s safety that they suggested witness protection.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Images released to the inquiry show how Grenfell Tower was engulfed by flamesCredit:PA Speaking on his behalf Rajiv Menon QC told the inquiry: “Mr Kebede hopes that having heard all the evidence the inquiry will make a clear and unequivocal statement that Mr Kebede as absolutely blameless for the outbreak of the fire, its spread and its fatal consequences.”This is vitally important. If the inquiry does not explicitly exonerate Mr Kebede, all these sleazy accusations and hurtful innuendo, all the racist assumptions and ignorance that currently prevail will continue unabated. read more

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Murray Roberts community training centre opens doors for unemployed

first_imgA proactive and ongoing training programme by the Murray & Roberts Cementation Training Academy (MRTA) is empowering hundreds of unemployed community residents with basic technical and safety skills, paving the way for them to enter the job market in mining and other sectors.According to Murray & Roberts Cementation’s education, training and development (ETD) executive, Tony Pretorius, the training programme began in 2015 and was driven by the company’s and the Mining Qualification Authorities commitment to community development, especially in the areas where it has active projects underway.“The process started with us developing a Level 2 National Certificate programme in Occupational Health, Safety and Environment, which is now a learnership registered with the Mining Qualifications Authority,” says Pretorius.“We then extended the scope of our facility to offer this qualification and, working with other important stakeholders,reached out to communities near to our operations to train up the unemployed.”Not only does the training give local residents a better opportunity to be absorbed when possible into Murray & Roberts Cementation’s workforce, but it also equips the trainee with basic skills that are valuable in a range of basic mining, engineering and construction environments. By the end of 2017 financial year, over 250 local trainees had passed through the programme, increasing to 392 in the current financial year, already almost reaching the 400-learners-per-year capacity of the MRTA.“So successful was this training that we were able to recruit over 150 learners into our operations by the end of the 2017 financial year, and are looking to recruit about 120 in this financial year,” Pretorius says.“Furthermore, there have been no reports from our operations of any safety incidents involving any of these learners, which tell us that our training has been on the mark and that our learners have taken on board both the skills and the culture of safety that we impart to them.”To ensure that the training programme is relevant to the needs of the market, Murray & Roberts Cementation scopes its existing operations according to the planned labour demand from those projects, drawing semi-skilled applicants first from the skills pool developed through the training scheme.“We consider in detail which semi-skilled roles will be demanded by our mining projects over their life cycle, and train up our learners in the relevant scope of technical skills including basic engineering, mining and construction general labourers,” says Pretorius.Working closely with the Department of Labour, the company is able to ensure that the trainees are indeed local and unemployed.“These are the people we want to target as our strategic intention is to focus on the destitute, rather than on people who already have work and are just looking for a stepping stone,” he says.The MRTA also partners with Teba to conduct the medical and security screening for each learner, as clients require that candidates must be fit for work and must not be encumbered by a criminal record.Pretorius explains that the training involves core and relevant elective components including health, safety and environmental elements in line with the Level 2 National Certificate, as well as a supplementary component made up of basic technical skills such as working at heights, basic fire-fighting, basic rigging, general pipes and ventilation.A vital partner in this training collaboration is the Mining Qualifications Authority, which has provided a discretionary grant for non-artisan training that covers each of the learners’ personal protective equipment and stipends, and meets the training and administration costs incurred by the MRTA.Murray & Roberts Cementation also contributes financially by meeting the costs of the accommodation and feeding for all the learners during their time on campus at the MRTA’s extensive facility at Bentley Park near Carletonville.The learnership programme incorporates a wide selection of core formative and summative assessments which are administered over a six-month period, during which time learners are also required to complete various case studies at home.“The method allows learners to apply the theory and practical skills in a mining environment, as well as in their day-to-day lives at home,” he says. “We believe that this approach offers our learners a wider understanding of the application of health, safety and environmental awareness, equipping them to identify hazards in whatever circumstances they are, and to take corrective measures.”Pretorius highlights the numerous benefits for employers taking on learners from this programme, including considerable training savings in both time and money.“Companies who employ learners from this pool can be assured that the relevant awareness and skills have been learned and assessed, allowing a quick turnaround in getting them into the workplace,” he says. “Apart from saving themselves the cost of the training, employers benefit from the learners’ safe working practices and fewer incidents on site translate directly into a more productive and safer workforce.”He adds that almost half the trainees to date have been women, which is a valuable contribution to the national drive to prepare and engage more women of colour in mining and related sectors.last_img read more

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Valta seeks Kickstarter funds to bring power outlets into the 21st century

first_imgWho’s idea was it to put light switches on the wall? It’s super-inconvenient when you want to turn stuff off but aren’t in the general vicinity of said lightswitch. And if you’re not at home? Forget about it. Unless you have Valta, a new Kickstarter gizmo that promises to make your home more energy efficient while also enabling precise control of what’s turned on while you’re out.Valta consists of a hardware and software side. The hardware has two components: a small brick connected to your router called the v-Hub, and multiple AC socket pass-throughs (Valta sockets). Just plug the Valta sockets into a wall outlet, and then plug your device into the outlet on the Valta socket. This unit connects to the v-Hub to access the Valta service online. It also tracks power usage on that outlet over time. Up to 16 Valta plugs can be used on a single network.The software to control Valta will (if the Kickstarter succeeds) be made available on the iPhone and web. An Android version will come out sometime after the product launches. The apps can be used to manually toggle devices on and off from anywhere you have an internet connection, or just set up a schedule to have things turned on and off automatically.Additionally, Valta can track when a device is likely just idling and will send you a push notification so you can turn it off. The app also knows when you’re at home and when you’re away. Thus, you can have certain plugs turned off when you leave, and reactivated when you get home.Valta has a lot of potential to basically turn your home into a tiny smart power grid with usage statistics and cloud-control. But it won’t happen unless Valta gets funded. The company is seeking $100,000 before July 23rd, and are only a few thousand dollars in.To get your own Valta setup, you have to pledge at least $139. That entitles you to 1v-Hub and 3 Valta sockets to be delivered in November. You can bump that up to 4 sockets for $179, 5 for $219, or $8 for $349. Expensive, but this is a pretty cool idea.last_img read more

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Statistics chief questions probe into 2009 deficit data

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram The head of the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT), Andreas Georgiou, wrote to the Supreme Court this week demanding to be allowed to give evidence as part of the investigation into allegations that Greece’s 2009 public deficit figure was inflated on purpose. Georgiou suggested in his letter that the probe had been laid open to “political exploitation” and that it was putting the reliability of Greek statistics in question. Financial prosecutor Grigoris Peponis submitted to the Supreme Court last week the results of his probe into claims by two former ELSTAT officials that the 2009 deficit figure, which was rubber-stamped by the European Union’s statistics agency, Eurostat, was inflated at the behest of European officials to justify Greece’s bailout. Peponis suggested that the case should be passed to Parliament so MPs could decide if former Prime Minister George Papandreou should face prosecution. However, despite calling Georgiou as a witness, Peponis did not question him. Georgiou said he also submitted 74 500-page files to Peponis which explained how the deficit was calculated. The statistics chief said the prosecutor would have dropped the case if he studied this information. “This would have put an end to an issue which, as long as it remains in the spotlight, damages the public’s faith in the data that displays the state of the country’s economy,” said Georgiou. Education Minister Anna Diamantopoulou echoed this view. “These figures have been approved by Eurostat and based on this data, Greece is taking part in its most crucial and difficult negotiations,” she said. “If these figures are put into doubt, it blows this whole discussion into the air.”last_img read more

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