In the Mark Twain story The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, a frog named Daniel Webster “could get over more ground at one straddle than any animal of his breed you ever see.” Now, scientists have visited the real Calaveras County in hopes of learning more about these hopping amphibians. They’ve found that what they see in the lab doesn’t always match the goings-on in the real world. If you wanted to know how far the bullfrog Rana catesbeiana could jump, the scientific literature would give you one answer: 1.295 meters, published in Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology in 1978. If you looked at the Guinness Book of World Records, though, you’d find a different answer. In 1986, a bullfrog called Rosie the Ribeter covered 6.55 meters in three hops. If you divide by three, at least one of those hops had to be no shorter than 2.18 meters—about four bullfrog body lengths more than the number in the scientific paper.The disparity matters. If bullfrogs can hop only 1.3 meters, they have enough power in their muscles to pull off the jump without any other anatomical help. But if they can jump farther, they must also be using a stretchy tendon to power their hops—an ability that other frogs have but that researchers thought bullfrogs had lost. These particular amphibians, scientists speculated, might have made some kind of evolutionary tradeoff that shortened their jumps but enabled them to swim better in the water, where they spend much of their lives.To resolve the dispute, researchers attended the Calaveras County Fair. Since a few decades after Twain’s story came out, locals in this region 200 kilometers east of San Francisco have been hosting an annual Jumping Frog Jubilee. Now anyone can walk up, rent a bullfrog, and try to motivate it to show its jumping mettle. It’s the place where Rosie the Ribeter made that record-setting series of hops.In 2009, Henry Astley, then a Ph.D. student at Brown University, and colleagues brought a video camera in hopes of learning more about how far frogs can jump. The frogs perform their hops on the floor of a stadium, one at a time, through days of qualifying rounds. “Fortunately, it turns out we were able to measure the frog jumps without getting in anyone’s way, by videotaping the arena from a seat in the stands,” Astley says. During the contest, an announcer says the name of each frog. “Quite a few Kermits,” Astley says. “Mr. Slimy, things like that.” Then it’s time for the “frog jockey” to motivate his or her amphibian. “They literally will lunge their whole body after the frogs, imitating a predator—reaching for it and yelling and everything, trying to scare it.” (The local agricultural association has a frog welfare policy.)When the researchers got back to the lab with more than 20 hours of high-definition video, they measured the length of each jump. Fifty-eight percent of the 3124 jumps they recorded were longer than 1.295 meters, the longest jump reported in the scientific literature. One athletic bullfrog covered 2.2 meters in a single bound. Unsurprisingly, frogs jumped by professionals—those committed entrants who catch their own frogs every year and screen them for jumping ability ahead of time—managed longer jumps.The discrepancy between the longest reported jump for a bullfrog in the scientific literature and the feats pulled off by frogs at a fair shows that scientists may be wrong when they think they’re getting maximal performance out of animals in the lab, Astley says. And that means their conclusions about how bullfrogs jump are wrong, too. It seems that, like other frogs, they likely jump with help from a stretchy tendon that acts like a bow and arrow, storing energy until the frog springs from the ground, the team reports online today in The Journal of Experimental Biology.The study shows the advantages of collecting data from the real world—even if that world is a frog-jumping contest, says Steve Adolph, an animal physiological ecologist at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California. He can time sprinting lizards on a little racetrack in his lab, but he’s often wondered if he’s getting the lizards’ peak performances. The Calaveras County Fair suggests perhaps not. “This is one of those cases,” he says, “where the general public had better data than the scientific community.”
When we think of Dusshera, the first thought that comes to our mind is of fire crackers bursting out of Ravan’s effigy. This festival, which celebrates the victory of Lord Ram, the king of Ayodhya, over the king of Lanka, Ravan, in essence, symbolises that truth wins over evil, despite the challenges in its way.However, there’s a place in India whose residents may not share the same mental image most others may have of Dusshera.Read it at SBS Related Items
READ: MMA legend Vitor Belfort signs with ONE Championship “We’re in discussions with Roy and I would love to do it,” Sityodtong said during the ONE: A New Era press conference on Thursday at the Ritz-Carlton here. “Roy is one of the best boxers of all time. He is lightning quick and has massive KO power.”“It could be a legend vs legend match.”ONE just signed Belfort, a former light heavyweight champion in the UFC, last month.Both have legendary careers in their respective fields but are also well past their primes.ADVERTISEMENT Colombia protesters vow new strike after talks hit snag Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles WATCH: The legend Vitor Belfort in the flesh! #ONENewEra | @MarkGiongcoINQpic.twitter.com/OWOxrMpVZQ— INQUIRER Sports (@INQUIRERSports) March 28, 2019TOKYO, Japan—MMA icon Vitor Belfort mixing it up with boxing legend Roy Jones Jr. in ONE Championship has the potential to either work or turn out to be a flop.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsBut ONE chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong said he likes the possibility of the two squaring off.ADVERTISEMENT Google Philippines names new country director Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting READ: MMA legends gather in Tokyo for historic ONE: New Era fight weekBelfort, 41, was knocked out by Lyoto Machida in his last fight at UFC 224 in May 2018 while Jones turned 50 two months ago.A potential bout between the two came up after Belfort called out Jones in an interview with mmafighting.com.Jones, who is a four-division world champion, had already accepted Belfort’s challenge but there had been no development since until Sityodtong bared the ongoing talks.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Trump tells impeachment jokes at annual turkey pardon event In fact, Sityodtong said ONE is already talking to Jones, who was untouchable in the ring during his prime, about the fight with Belfort. LATEST STORIES PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss MOST READ Wintry storm delivers US travel woes before Thanksgiving Is Rafael dos Anjos willing to fight in ONE Championship? ‘Of course’ Bloomberg: US would benefit from more, not fewer, immigrants Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments
Next Nokia 4.2 vs Nokia 5.1 Plus: Similar price, premium design but different hardwareThe Nokia 4.2 and Nokia 5.1 Plus are both premium-looking Android One phones with affordable prices and unique features. At Rs 11,000, which of the two Nokia phones should you go for?advertisement Sanket Vijayasarathy New DelhiMay 9, 2019UPDATED: May 10, 2019 09:42 IST HIGHLIGHTSThe Nokia 4.2 is priced at Rs 10,990, while the Nokia 5.1 Plus costs Rs 10,599 right now.Both the phones offer premium glass designs and similar batteries.The Nokia 4.2 gets a smaller notch and ships with Android Pie.The Nokia 4.2 was launched in India on Tuesday, May 7 and it is one of HMD’s affordable smartphones for the market. The Nokia 4.2 is the first phone HMD has launched in India this year and the device was previously unveiled at MWC 2019. Like any good 2019 smartphone, the Nokia 4.2 boasts of some new design elements that make it look and feel like it belongs in the present times. This includes a premium glass design, a edge-to-edge display and stock Android Pie software, among other things.In fact, the Nokia 4.2 (Review) is a lot like what the Nokia 5.1 Plus (Review) was for HMD last year – Premium looks, affordable price and some interesting features. The Nokia 4.2 shares a lot of similarities with the Nokia 5.1 Plus right from design to pricing – both the phones were launched at Rs 10,990. Understandably, a lot of consumers might wonder which phone makes the most sense for the price considering the Nokia 5.1 Plus is still available in the market.Nokia 4.2 vs Nokia 5.1 Plus: Design and displayI’ve reviewed both the Nokia phones so what I say about them comes from a fair bit of experience. Like I said, from a design perspective the Nokia 4.2 and Nokia 5.1 Plus are awfully similar. They both come with 2.5D glass on the front and back and are pretty compact phone. Both come in Black and it would be hard to tell them apart face down in that colour. However, the Nokia 4.2 comes in a brand new Pink Sand colour, which looks quite attractive and fresh.advertisementThe two phones offer rear fingerprint sensors and dual camera. They’re both compact phone, although the Nokia 4.2 is slightly more compact thanks to a smaller screen size. When it comes to choosing between which phone is more premium, both the Nokia 4.2 and Nokia 5.1 Plus would be a good bet. But the Nokia 4.2 is a 2019 phone and with that comes a few new features as well. Two of them are on the frame. The Nokia 4.2 gets a LED notification light embedded in the power button, which glows bright upon receiving notifications. The second is a dedicated Google Assistant button, which allows you to quickly access the AI to make requests on the go. These two buttons offer a touch of unique and newness that you don’t get on the Nokia 5.1 Plus.Coming to the display, both the phones offer notched screen, but the type of notch differs. The Nokia 5.1 Plus sports a 5.8-inch HD+ display with a wide, iPhone X-like notch, while the Nokia 4.2 gets a waterdrop notch but with a slightly smaller 5.7-inch HD+ display. As far as intrusiveness goes, the Nokia 4.2 will offer a better, distraction free viewing. However, the Nokia 5.1 Plus arguably offers a brighter display at 457 nits. The Nokia 4.2 doesn’t offer a lot of brightness or good viewing angles, but the colours look good. But the biggest benefit with the Nokia 4.2 is that it is also Widevine L1 certified, which mean you will be able to stream content on platforms like Netflix and Prime Video in true HD resolution once the platforms offers its own support for the Nokia 4.2.Nokia 4.2 vs Nokia 5.1 Plus hardware and softwareIn the hardware department, the Nokia 5.1 Plus still offers more bang for the buck. It packs a 2.0GHz Helio P60, which is quite capable at running day-to-day operations and offering a smooth gaming experience on medium to high graphics. The Nokia 5.1 Plus can handle multitasking pretty well with 3GB of RAM and playing games like PUBG and Asphalt 9 is generally a good experience.The Nokia 4.2, on the other hand, is powered by a 2.0Ghz Snapdragon 439 based on a 12nm process like the Helio P60. While the Qualcomm chipset is equally power efficient, it isn’t as powerful as the Helio P60 in real world performance. The Nokia 4.2 feels more sluggish compared to the Nokia 5.1 Plus. It also runs graphic intensive games on low graphics, so when it comes to delivering a better gaming experience the Nokia 5.1 Plus is in the lead. Both the Nokia phones are part of the Android One program so they run stock and clean versions of Android. The Nokia 4.2 gets a slight advantage since it ships with Android Pie and will get updated to Android Q and Android R is the future. The Nokia 5.1 Plus, however, was launched with Android 8.1 Oreo and has been updated to Android Pie. This means the phone will get Android Q but may not receive another major update after that.Nokia 4.2 vs Nokia 5.1 Plus camera and battery lifeBoth the Nokia 4.2 and Nokia 5.1 Plus come with 13MP + 5MP dual rear cameras with PDAF. They also offer similar 8MP selfie cameras with support for selfie bokehs. On paper, this should mean that the Nokia 4.2 and Nokia 5.1 Plus offer similar photos, but that’s not true as the latter performs much better in daylight photography than the Nokia 4.2.advertisementDuring my time with the Nokia 5.1 Plus, I found daylight photos to look quite attractive thanks to deep and vivid colours and good detailing. Photos captured on Nokia 5,.1 Plus will look sharper thanks to a fast shutter speed. The Nokia 4.2, however, offers a laggy shutter which results in more blurry and shaky photos in daylight and especially in low-light. Colours will still look natural and attractive, but the Nokia 5.1 Plus offers brighter shots due to a slightly wider f/2.0 aperture. In low-light, both the phones tend to suffer pretty equally. In this price segment or for much cheaper, you’ll find phones like the Realme 3 or Redmi Note 7 that come with impressive night modes to offer attractive photos in tricky low-light conditions. As for the front camera, you should get similar selfies on both the Nokia device that is to say expect natural colours but don’t expect them to be too detailed.As ar as battery life is concerned, the Nokia 4.2 might offer more juice despite coming with a similar capacity as the Nokia 5.1 Plus. The Nokia 4.2 houses a 3,000mAh batter, while the Nokia 5.1 Plus gets a 3,060mAh battery. While both the phones come with power efficient processors and great software optimization, the Nokia 4.2 is a far less performance intensive phone which means it can last over a full day on most days.The flipside to the coin is the charging time. The Nokia 5.1 Plus charges faster over a Type-C port compared to the Nokia 4.2 with a microUSB port. During our testing, the Nokia 5.1 Plus took around two hours to charge from zero to 100 per cent with a 10W charger, while the Nokia 4.2 takes around 180 minutes with a 5W charger that comes with the box.Nokia 4.2 vs Nokia 5.1 Plus: Which one should you buy?The Nokia 4.2 and Nokia 5.1 Plus offers a few similarities but at the same time they also have their individual strengths. They are both equally premium looking phones for their price, but the Nokia 4.2 benefits by offering a less distracting waterdrop display. It also gets a few helpful new buttons, especially the Google Assistant button. It offer a better battery life and ships with Android Pie.On the other hand, you get the Nokia 5.1 Plus which gets a more powerful Helio P60 chipset that offers better gaming performance compared to the Nokia 4.2. It also gets slightly better cameras and a Type-C port.For online consumers, the Nokia 5.1 Plus offers more value for its price. It can often be found under Rs 10,000 during sales or offers on Nokia’s official website. The Nokia 4.2, on the other hand, is primarily for the offline crowd and should appeal to consumers who prefer going to a retail store to experience a device before purchasing.advertisementALSO READ | Nokia 4.2 review: Premium and compact Android One phone on a budgetALSO READ | Nokia 5.1 Plus review: HMD notches yet another win in the affordable segmentGet real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted bySanket Vijayasarathy Tags :Follow HMD GlobalFollow Nokia 4.2Follow Nokia 5.1 Plus
Tequila is an untameable spirit. If you’ve ever spent the night with it, then you’ve experienced its unbridled power first hand. When you drink a liberal amount of tequila, it’s common to wake up feeling utterly wrecked, yet with a vague sense of having had fun the previous night.Good news for those who have survived their encounters with tequila: Herradura — the premium, 140-year old tequila maker from the Mexican state of Jalisco — is debuting their new ULTRA Tequila in the U.S., where it’s bound to do some serious damage.Related: The Manual’s Liquor-Laden Gift Guide for Booze EnthusiastsULTRA is comprised of an Añejo base with a healthy amount of Extra Añejo blended in. For non-Tequila drinkers, Añejo is spanish for “aged,” or “mature,” and in this context refers to tequila that has been aged for at least a year. Extra Añejo is tequila that has been aged for longer than three years; the Extra Añejo used in ULTRA is aged in American White Oak barrels for up to 49 months (just over 4 years).The tequilas are imbued with a hint of agave nectar for sweetness, then filtered and bottled. The end result is a carnival of delicious flavors, including cooked agave, vanilla, honey, toasted almonds, dried fruits, and caramel. The aging process makes ULTRA extraordinarily smooth — it’s the kind of tequila you want to sip, not slam. Definitely a gentleman’s tequila.Herradura was founded in 1870 by a man named Felix Lopez. The word “herradura” is Spanish for horseshoe, which explains the bottle design AND the horse-kick-to-the-head feeling you get after you’ve had too much. Despite other tequila companies’ willingness to blend their products, Herradura always insisted on 100% agave tequila — and they still do to this day.For the best taste, the folks at Herradura recommend that you stir ULTRA with ice, then serve it chilled and neat in a shot glass. Starting this month, ULTRA will roll out in Southern U.S. markets, including California, Nevada, Georgia, Texas, and Florida. Hopefully we’ll see this tasty tequila come to the rest of the country real soon.(Feature Photo by Michael Bezjian/Getty Images for Tequila Herradura) 9 Best Tequilas (and 3 Mezcals) for Palomas, According to Bartenders Maestro Dobel Diamante Blends 3 Tequilas Into One 5 of the Best Aged Tequilas to Drink When the Weather Cools Down Editors’ Recommendations Celebrate National Tequila Day with these Awesome Agave Cocktail Recipes The 5 Best Margarita Mixes to Stock Up On Right Now
WINNIPEG – Ladybugs are usually thought of as one of the cuter insects, but there’s a new type emerging in Canada that has a bit more of a bite.Health Canada says Asian lady beetles were brought to North America in the 1970s to control crop-eating insects.But Winnipeg entomologist Taz Stuart tells CTV News that unlike ladybugs native to North American, the lady beetle has teeth.According to Health Canada, Asian lady beetles do not transmit disease, and can range from mustard yellow to dark reddish orange with spots or no spots at all.Asian lady beetles will also often have an M-shaped marking behind their heads.Stuart says they’ll start building up around cracks, crevices, door frames and windowsills as temperatures begin to cool, and create a stench if they die in large numbers.“They look like a ladybug, and at this time of year they’re coming in from the crops and the fields, and now looking for a place to stay over the winter and hibernate,” he says.“Previous to 2016, you really wouldn’t see a lot of Asian lady beetles around here. But last year we had an increase: a good number of calls in the fall around Halloween, and people were concerned.”The busy season prompted Stuart to dub them Halloween bugs.A regular visitor to the Maple Grove Dog Park, Jessica Nikkel says she first came across the insects was when walking on a back trail recently with her pup Molly.She had what felt like a black fly bite, but was surprised when she looked down.“And sure enough I looked and it was ladybug,” Nikkel says.If the bugs infest a home, Stuart says there’s a number of ways to deal with them, including vacuuming them up and throwing them out.(CTV Winnipeg)
An exhausted but elated Davina McCall crossed the finish line of her BT Sport Relief Challenge: Davina – Beyond Breaking Point at 4.10pm on Friday… having run, swum and cycled over 450 miles from Edinburgh to London in just seven days.The challenge is sponsored by BT, a long-term supporter of Comic Relief challenges since 2009.So far, Davina has raised an incredible £760,026 but it’s not too late for the public to show their support – sponsor Davina at sportrelief.com/davina.Fighting against extreme fatigue, aching limbs and fearsome weather, Davina pushed through the pain barrier to run a marathon on the final day of her challenge. She took her final few strides to a triumphant finish at the Millennium Bridge by Tate Modern and was greeted by crowds of cheering supporters – including her husband Matthew, who put her wedding ring back on her finger as promised.As Davina celebrated completing her epic challenge, she said: “I can’t believe it was me! Thank you to anybody that’s donated, that’s why I did it.“The team that got me here, they just carried me through. And Matt and the doctors and the physios.“My kids – I just hugged them, it was amazing! I’ve just got to stop crying!”“This challenge was for Sport Relief, it was for women and children living really hard lives, not just here but all over the world. It was a really important cause for me to be able to help other women.”Speaking while draped in a Union Flag and after hearing the total raised so far for her incredible challenge, a humble Davina said: “Wearing this is like being an Olympian, but I don’t really feel like I should be allowed to wave the flag around!“Thank you all, it means the world to me. And if you can donate anything it would be even better.”Davina set off on the BT Sport Relief Challenge: Davina – Beyond Breaking Point from Edinburgh Castle on Saturday 8th February, tackling a punishing 130 mile cycle on day one – equivalent to some of the longest stages on the Tour De France. Over the next six days she battled brutal conditions including swimming the life-threateningly cold Lake Windermere, scaling the colossal Scafell Pike on foot in freezing snow, and today finished after seven tortuous days by running a full marathon into London.Davina’s challenge was all about girl power. She was joined by famous female friends along the route, including Claudia Winkleman, Denise Lewis, Jo Brand, Laura Whitmore, Sophie Raworth, Martina Navratilova and Victoria Pendleton, and was spurred along by her ultimate goal of helping projects that work to help women. In many developing countries, simply being born female can mean a lifetime of added dangers and challenges, and money raised from the challenge will be spent to help change the lives of thousands of women and girls in Kenya as well as transform lives in the UK and around the world.BT is today giving £40,000 to support Davina as part of the £350,000 it has committed to raise in support of The BT Sport Relief Challenges: Davina – Beyond Breaking Point.All the ups and downs of Davina’s challenge will be captured for a BBC documentary, to be broadcast in the run up to Sport Relief Weekend, which is taking place from Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd March.
APTN National NewsThe Juno Awards and Canada’s biggest names in music are arriving in Saskatchewan this weekend.We went north to talk to the only Aboriginal nominee from the province.APTN’s Larissa Burnouf has the story from Prince Albert, Sask.
Rabat – The High Authority for Audiovisual Communication (HACA) decided to suspend two shows broadcast by Radio Mars host, Adil El Omari, on July 11. “The Scientists of Mars” and “Sports Issues Through The Eyes of Moroccans Abroad,” will both be suspended for a period of 15 days.During “The Scientists of Mars” July 4 show, El Omari made sexist comments which have caused outrage on social networks. Reading a message from a female listener expressing her opinion on the Atlas Lions’ participation in the African Cup of Nations (CAN), the host made sexist comments. El Omari told the female football fan that she’d better “take care of her cooking, watch Choumicha’ s shows (famous Moroccan cooking show) and leave the national team alone.” Read Also: Suspended Radio Mars Host Adil El Omari Broadcasts Live On AirRadio Mars consequently issued a statement on July 5, announcing El Omari’s three-day suspension despite his official apology on air.On its official website, HACA announced that they had “received about 114 complaints about El Omari’s shows.” Of these complaints, 22 were specifically filed after “The Scientists of Mars” July 4 show.The Higher Council for Audiovisual Communication (CSCA) held a meeting on July 11 to discuss the two Radio Mars shows following HACA’s complaints report. After deliberation, the CSCA decided that Radio Mars violated the legal and regulatory provisions in force, in particular those relating to the fight against stereotyped negative images of women. The CSCA considered the host’s statements to the female listener to be “an insult to her sense of belonging.” According to the official decision, this is a matter of disrespect for human dignity, the fight against stereotypes which undermine the dignity of women, and the principle of non-incitement to violence or hatred.Radio Mars will also be obliged to broadcast CSCA’ s statement during the time usually allocated to the two shows hosted by El Omari. Both of the host’s radio shows on the station will be suspended for 15 days.The statement includes, among others, the following message: “such statements undermine the function of women and their social contributions and diminish their competencies. They also cancel their freedom and their right to express their opinion.”
“There cannot be democracy without elections, and since its establishment in 2007, IHEC [Independent High Electoral Commission] has been fulfilling its constitutional mandate to plan, administer and conduct elections,” said Martin Kobler, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI).“Your efforts have created a solid foundation for your successors to ensure the rights of Iraqi voters to choose their leaders and policies in a fair, legal process,” he said when in met with the IHEC Board of Commissioners in Baghdad.Mr. Kobler encouraged Iraq’s Council of Representatives to select a new IHEC Board of Commissioners, in accordance with the electoral law, before the expiration of the current board’s term in April.He praised the professionalism of the IHEC staff in Baghdad and electoral offices in the country’s governorates, commending them for their sacrifices, including those killed or injured while serving the cause of democracy in Iraq.“IHEC’s professional staff is a valuable resource for the future of elections. It should be retained and supported as it continues to build its capacity to professionally deliver upcoming elections,” said Mr. Kobler.“Iraq and its people can take pride at the fact that IHEC has emerged as a model for most countries in the region and its expertise was solicited by a number of countries who invited Iraqi commissioners and staff to observe their elections,” he added.The Kurdistan Region governorate council elections, scheduled to take place on 27 September, are the next polls in Iraq. They will be followed by governorate council elections nationwide early next year.Since 2004, the UN has supported seven major electoral events in Iraq.“We are currently working with IHEC on the Kurdistan Region governorate elections and will continue to provide technical advice to our IHEC counterparts. Our objective is to contribute to further strengthening and consolidating a professional and sustainable electoral administration in Iraq,” said Mr. Kobler. 27 February 2012The United Nations top envoy in Iraq today underlined the central role played by the country’s electoral commission in enhancing the democratic process and praised members of the current body for laying the foundation that ensures that voters can exercise their franchise fairly.
North American markets look set for a lower to flat open tracking losses in global markets.U.S. futures were little changed as the Dow Jones industrial futures declined 14 points to 18,189, the Nasdaq futures were down 3.8 points to 4,458 and the S&P 500 futures gave back 3.8 points to 2,106.1. The Canadian dollar gained 0.29 of a cent to 80.12 cents. U.S. economic growth braked more sharply than initially thought in the fourth quarter amid a slow pace of stock accumulation by businesses and a wider trade deficit, but the underlying fundamentals remained solid. Gross domestic product expanded at a 2.2 percent annual pace, revised down from the 2.6 percent pace estimated last month, the Commerce Department said on Friday. The economy grew at a 5 percent rate in the third quarter. Oil prices advanced after plunging almost $3 Thursday to the lowest level in a month as data continues to show large buildups of crude inventories in the United States. On Friday, the April crude contract in New York was up 80 cents to US$48.97 a barrel. Crude prices have moved generally lower this week as the Department of Energy said American inventories rose for a seventh, straight week, leaving supplies at their highest levels in 80 years. Also depressing oil and other commodity prices lately is a steadily strengthening U.S. currency. A stronger greenback makes commodities more expensive for holders of other currencies and depresses demand. Metal prices declined Friday with April gold down $2.10 to US$1,208 an ounce while May copper was down two cents to US$2.67 a pound. The TSX looks like it will struggle to end the week positive despite a run of generally positive earnings reports from most of the big Canadian banks this week. Energy stocks were shaping up to be the major decliner this week. However, the Toronto market has enjoyed a positive month, led by gains in base metal miners, tech companies and consumer discretionary stocks. Meanwhile, it’s a big day for transportation giant Bombardier Inc. (TSX:BBD.B). Its new larger CSeries jetliner was to make its maiden flight Friday morning with takeoff scheduled for 10 a.m. Eastern time at Mirabel airport outside Montreal. The smaller CS100 began flight trials in September 2013 and the company says it will deliver its first CS100 in the second half of 2015.
During meetings with families who had returned to their homes on land recently released back to them, the delegation heard about the impact mine clearance has made on the daily lives of local residents. Thus far in 2018, U.S. funding has cleared 1.86 million square meters and safely removed 9,344 land mines and unexploded ordnance and 8,637 items of small arms ammunition.“We are proud to support Sri Lanka’s national mine action strategy and the goal of making Sri Lanka mine-impact free by 2020,” said Chargé d’affaires Robert Hilton. “Landmine removal directly supports peace and reconciliation in Sri Lanka by allowing citizens to return safely to their homes, businesses, schools, and places of worship.” The group met with the Ministry of Re-settlement, the National Mine Action Center, and the Sri Lanka Army’s Engineering Brigade and traveled to Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Vavuniya, and Mannar to review mine clearance operations. A delegation from the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement visited Sri Lanka from October 8 to 12, 2018 to observe U.S.-funded demining activities and meet with some of the beneficiaries of these projects, the US Embassy in Colombo said today.The projects are part of the nearly 600 million Sri Lankan rupees ($3.5 million) in assistance that the U.S. Department of State has provided towards Sri Lanka’s demining efforts in fiscal year 2018. Since 2002, the United States has provided more than 9.5 billion Sri Lankan rupees ($56 million) to clear explosive hazards in Sri Lanka.Thanks to U.S. funding and in cooperation with the Sri Lanka Army, the Batticaloa District was declared mine-impact free in 2017. U.S. funding continues to assist in clearance efforts in the other eight districts affected by landmine contamination and currently supports 664 de-mining jobs across the Northern and Eastern Provinces.The U.S. Government has assisted in clearance operations through its local partner the Delvon Association for Social Harmony and through international partners such as HALO Trust and the Mines Advisory Group. U.S. funding has supported training and provided equipment to the Sri Lanka Army, including specially trained dogs for mine detection. The United States has also funded mine risk education through the international partner Spirit of Soccer.
On Friday, the Tribunal unsealed an indictment against Gen. Janko Bobetko, 83, charging him with five counts of crimes against humanity and violations of the laws and customs of war for the “unlawful killing of at least 100 Serb civilians and captured or wounded soldiers” during and after a 1993 operation in a Serb-dominated area known as the Medak Pocket.The indictment claims that General Bobetko knew his troops were killing Serbs and failed to take “necessary and reasonable” measures to prevent such acts or punish the perpetrators.
In a statement released in New York, Mr. Annan said “it is with very mixed emotions that I have accepted the long-standing request” of Mr. Riza, 70, to retire on 15 January. Mr. Riza, who has been Chef de Cabinet since 1997, has worked for the UN both at Headquarters in New York and in the field since 1978, when he joined the world body after spending 19 years with Pakistan’s Foreign Service. He has held senior posts in the UN’s peacekeeping and political affairs departments, and has worked in the field in Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Bosnia & Herzegovina.Mr. Annan said Mr. Riza “has always provided me with wise and trusted counsel” during his stint as Chef de Cabinet.
The Security Council today extended for an additional six months the mandate of the 40-year old United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) and praised the efforts of Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who leaves office at the end of this month after 10 years at the world body’s helm, for his efforts to achieve a comprehensive solution.Mr. Annan had recommended the extension through 15 June 2007 in a recent report to the Council, citing the lack of a comprehensive political settlement in Cyprus and voicing concern about the attitudes of both sides.In acting on that recommendation by a unanimously adopted resolution, the Council welcomed recent developments since 8 July, when UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Ibrahim Gambari read out a text comprising a “set of principles” and a “decision by the two leaders” which outline next steps in the diplomatic effort to resolve the decades-old inter-communal conflict on the Mediterranean island.That text was forged following his meetings with Greek Cypriot leader H.E. Tassos Papadopoulos and Turkish Cypriot leader H.E. Mehmet Ali Talat.By today’s resolution, the Council expressed full support for the process agreed by the leaders, encouraged active participation in bicommunal discussions, and called for “early completion of the preparatory phase so that a fully-fledged good offices process may resume as soon as possible.”The resolution also expressed the Council’s appreciation for Mr. Annan’s “personal efforts over the last 10 years, and those of his staff, aimed at achieving a comprehensive solution.”Over the course of his service at the UN’s helm, Mr. Annan has conducted intense diplomatic efforts aimed at reunifying the island, where blue helmets have been deployed since March, 1964 to prevent further fighting between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities. These sensitive and top-level negotiations culminated in a plan presented to both sides in April 2004. Sixty-five per cent of Turkish Cypriots voted in favour of the plan but it was defeated because 76 per cent of Greek Cypriots voted against it.
by News Staff Posted Jul 26, 2012 1:02 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email US economy looks weaker ahead of key report on growth, businesses appear less confident WASHINGTON – Businesses placed fewer orders for most long-lasting manufactured goods in June, suggesting many are losing confidence in the slumping U.S. economy.The housing recovery also lost some momentum last month as fewer Americans signed contracts to buy homes. A third report Thursday showed applications for unemployment benefits plunged last week â€” normally a good sign. But economists quickly dismissed the decline, saying fewer temporary auto layoffs distorted the figure.The latest data added to worries that growth in the April-June quarter could be sharply lower than the start of the year. The government will issue its first of three estimates for second-quarter growth on Friday.“It looks like the corporate sector is starting to lose confidence in the economy,” said Ethan Harris, co-director of global economics at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, said.The most alarming sign Thursday was a report from the Commerce Department on business orders for durable goods, items expected to last at least three years.While overall orders rose 1.6 per cent in June from May, the increase was driven mostly by a surge in volatile aircraft orders.When excluding aircraft and other transportation equipment, orders fell 1.1 per cent â€” the third decline in four months. And orders for so-called core capital goods, which indicate business investment plans, dropped 1.4 per cent, also the third decline in four months.Businesses placed fewer orders for industrial machinery, computers, and autos in June.Manufacturing has helped drive growth since the recession ended three years ago. But it has slowed in recent months, along with the broader economy.The report on durable goods “is just another number confirming how weak the second quarter was,” Harris said.Economists expect growth slowed in the April-June quarter to an annual rate of only 1.5 per cent, according to a survey by FactSet. That’s down from 1.9 per cent in the first three months of the year.But Harris says that may be too optimistic. He expects growth of only 1.1 per cent. And he believes the economy will remain sluggish for the rest of the year.Europe’s financial crisis has lowered demand for U.S. exports. And the pending expiration of several U.S. tax cuts at the start of next year, along with scheduled spending cuts, may be weighing on growth.Many U.S. companies may postpone large investment plans until the outlook for those two issues improves, he said.“Why am I going to make a big capital spending decision, when I know that in a few months the economy could take a big hit?” Harris asked. Some economists forecast that the looming U.S. budget crisis could shave several points from next year’s growth.Overall durable goods orders rose to $221.6 billion in June. That’s 57 per cent higher than the recession low hit in the spring of 2009. But orders are still 9.1 per cent below their peak in December 2007, when the recession began.Europe did receive a dose of good news Thursday when Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank, said he would “do whatever it takes” to preserve the euro currency.Stocks surged on his comments. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 170 points in midday trading. Broader indexes also rose.The housing market has been a bright spot this year. But a report Thursday showed the recovery will be bumpy.The National Association of Realtors said its index of sales agreements fell 1.4 per cent in June to 99.3, down from 100.7 in May. A reading above 100 is considered healthy.Contract signings typically indicate where the housing market is headed. There’s generally a one- to two-month lag between a signed contract and a completed deal.The index is 9.5 per cent higher than it was a year ago. And Joshua Shapiro, chief U.S. economist at MFR Inc., noted that despite June’s drop, the index is higher than it was in April. That could translate into higher sales of previously occupied homes in July.Separately, the Labor Department said the number of people seeking unemployment benefits fell by 35,000 to a seasonally adjusted 353,000. But economists view the report with skepticism because the government’s seasonal adjustments didn’t anticipate fewer summer shutdowns by automakers, which have resulted in fewer temporary layoffs.
Ohio State redshirt senior guard Kam Williams (15) celebrates after making a 3-pointer in the first half of the game against Rutgers on Feb. 20. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorThere was just 1:54 remaining in the game when South Dakota State forward Reed Tellinghuisen knocked in his second free throw to tie his team’s first-round game in the NCAA Tournament against Ohio State at 70.Had the Buckeyes crumbled in that next 1:54, redshirt senior guard Kam Williams’ five-year career at Ohio State could have ended abruptly — not with a bang, but with a whimper.But Williams, always the most energetic player on the court for Ohio State, was not going to allow his team to exit the NCAA Tournament with a whimper. Just 18 seconds later, Williams heaved up a 3-pointer, was fouled and drilled the shot.After making the free throw — and three more after being fouled on another 3-point attempt — Williams gave his team the lead and set them up with a Saturday date against Gonzaga in the Round of 32.For someone who has never really shined for an extended period of time at Ohio State, Williams had a memorable performance to keep his team’s title hopes alive. He has always shown glimpses of becoming a potentially dynamic player, but just has never broken out. Williams scored more than 20 points in a game at least once in each of the past four years. Overall, he has achieved the feat six times. There have been times when he appears unstoppable from beyond the arc.However, for as often as he appeared flawless from 3, Williams also would attempt low-percentage shots that halted his team’s momentum or just quickly gave the ball back to the opposition.He also has had discipline issues. Before the team began its game against Illinois on Feb. 4, it announced Williams would be suspended indefinitely. He missed games against Illinois, Purdue and Iowa while head coach Chris Holtmann said he was finishing up work on a project.When he returned, he had to fight for the starting spot from sophomore forward Andre Wesson until he finally reclaimed it with a 13-point performance against Rutgers on Feb. 20 in his final home game as a Buckeye.The once-four-star prospect who came to Ohio State as the No. 72 prospect in the 2013 class would at times excite fans, but would frustrate them at other times.His final season has had a different feeling to it though. In past seasons, he has seemingly been a loose cannon that could function properly or backfire. There was no telling what to expect from Williams in a given night. In his final season, Williams has seemed more controlled. It seems that a player who has always been a wild card finally found his niche. His role was no longer someone who needed to carry the team on certain nights and try to knock down a shot every time he had his hands on the ball. Instead, he fit the role of a player who was free to find space when a player like redshirt junior forward Keita Bates-Diop was double-covered and knock down an open 3 and play consistent defense. The overall numbers aren’t his best. His 8.2 points and 0.7 assists per game averages would both be the third best of his career and the two rebounds per game are 0.1 shy of last season’s average. His shot selectivity has shown improvement, however, with his 48.6 percent and 44 percent field goal and 3-point success rates both representing career-high marks. Though he does not try to be the backbone of the team anymore, there are still times he still can provide the Buckeyes with momentum.During the middle of the first half, Williams stole an attempted cross-court pass from junior center Mike Daum and took it up the court before eventually knocking down a 3. Forty-four seconds later, he raced from the corner to get under the basket and extend his team’s lead to 26-18. He later had his seven-point streak late in the second half to give the Buckeyes the lead and ice the win.Williams has steadily improved in his final season in scarlet and gray, even if the numbers don’t directly show it. He has battled through a lot, including the suspension, to get to the point where he set the Buckeyes up for another game in the NCAA Tournament.His time as a Buckeye is drawing to an end. As long as he can help it, the team will continue to play on and ensure his final season ends with a bang. There’s no telling what will happen when fifth-seeded Ohio State faces No. 4 Gonzaga, a team that beat the Buckeyes 86-59 earlier in the season. It could be the final game for Williams. So too could have been Thursday’s game against South Dakota State.But thanks to his late-game heroics against South Dakota State, he has bought himself at least 40 more minutes.
Multiple people sent me this question as Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon is once again hitting his pitcher eighth in the batting order. Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell is reportedly considering doing the same, and many other managers have dabbled with the strategy over the years. Maddon picked it up from fabled lineup-tinkerer Tony La Russa, but does it work? Does it even matter?A lot of interesting research has been conducted on the subject. Most notably, co-authors Tom Tango, Mitchel Lichtman and Andrew Dolphin examined the question in their great sabermetric manual “The Book,” where they used a markov chain-based lineup simulator to measure the effect of slotting a pitcher-caliber (i.e., terrible) hitter into various lineup spots. Although it hurts the offense to give more plate appearances to such a poor hitter, Tango and co. found that the damage was offset by the benefit of giving the nine hole to a “second leadoff hitter”: a reasonably competent hitter (often with similar skills to a traditional leadoff man) who would often come up before the top of the order, setting the table for those hitters far more frequently than the pitcher would.One of my longtime favorites, Baseball Prospectus’s Russell Carleton, performed some follow-up research several years later. Carleton used a markov simulator similar to the one used in “The Book,” but he also tried to account for the way hitting the pitcher eighth increases the likelihood that a manager will have to make a tough pinch-hitting decision when the starter’s spot comes up in the mid-to-late innings of a close game. And in Carleton’s final analysis, the problems that decision causes cancel out the benefit of the second leadoff man, making it basically a wash. Hitting the pitcher eighth is different, and maybe even a little cool, Carleton wrote, but the research shows it doesn’t add (or subtract) much in the grand scheme of things. POSPLAYERAGE2017 WARPREV. CAREER WAR CFJacoby Ellsbury330.729.7 SPLuis Severino230.61.5 RFAaron Judge252.4-0.4 RPAdam Warren290.53.8 LFAaron Hicks270.81.4 WAR here is an average of the wins above replacement systems found at Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs.com. 2017 data current through May 3.Sources: Fangraphs.com, Baseball-Reference.com, Seamheads.com DHMatt Holliday370.747.3 2BStarlin Castro271.012.1 SPMichael Pineda280.610.1 RPAroldis Chapman290.513.9 Weighted by each player’s contributions to New York’s bottom line,4For this, I used WAR but also added in wins generated below the replacement level — yielding a total “wins added” for each player. (This was necessary because some teams — such as the 1979 A’s and 2003 Tigers — nearly finished an entire season with subzero WAR totals, which would have thrown off their averages.) the typical member of the 2017 Yankees went into the season with 13.2 lifetime WAR — a pretty ordinary total, considering the age of their roster. (Since the dawn of the expansion era in 1961, the average WAR for a team with the same age as the Yankees is 12.9.) That makes this group especially abnormal for New York, where there’s always an enormous budget for importing accomplished talent. By this measure, this is the least-pedigreed Yankee team in 25 years: This is also the youngest Yankee squad since the 1992 edition. That team only won 76 games, however, while this year’s version is conservatively on track for 88 wins with a solid chance at the postseason.The Yankees tend to exceed expectations a little anyway, winning about five more games per season on average over the past decade than would be predicted from the ages and credentials of their players alone. (Such are the benefits of a stingy bullpen and good pitching-staff management, along with having the payroll to fill gaps midseason.) But if this year’s team keeps playing to its early-season form, it would find itself punching above its weight class more than any Yankees team since the 1998 version that exploded for 114 wins and kicked off a dynasty.With 18 former or future All-Stars, though, those Yankees weren’t exactly lacking in star power. They’d already won the World Series two seasons before, and 1998 was the third straight year that the team posted 90 or more wins. By contrast, it’s been five years since the current Yankees cracked that threshold. There’s still plenty we don’t know about this year’s team, but it’s safe to say they’re not the reincarnation of the ’98 Yankees.And history tells us that while any team has the potential to catch lightning in a bottle, those that lack the underlying talent to back it up will almost certainly enjoy only fleeting success. Since 1961, the average team who outplayed their track records as much as the Yankees have thus far crashed back to earth the following season.5If the Yankees maintain their current winning percentage for the rest of the season, they’d finish with 106 wins, but we’d expect them to play like a 92-win team next year. And that’s looking at teams who elevated their play over an entire season, whereas the Yanks have only run hot for a month. That’s why projection systems still see New York as playing only a little better than .500 ball the rest of the season, despite the scorching start.All of which is to say, the Yankees still probably haven’t arrived quite yet, but it’s only a matter of time before they do. Even if New York’s less-pedigreed contingent cools off over the rest of the 2017 season, they should get a boost from hard-hitting catcher Gary Sanchez, who is scheduled to return from injury soon. And the team’s combination of the No. 2-ranked farm system and the No. 2-ranked payroll in baseball could easily have the Yankees cracking 90 or even 95 wins within a couple seasons. According to Matt Swartz’s research on the relationship between farm rankings, payroll and wins, the second-ranked farm system is worth four wins above average two years into the future and the second-ranked payroll is worth 11 wins, which would add up to a 96-win season.That Yankee squad will probably be headlined by current pinstripers like Judge and Sanchez, but also prospects like Gleyber Torres, Clint Frazier and James Kaprielian, none of whom have made the majors yet. By banking that gaudy April record, though, the Yankees have placed themselves squarely in the early-season playoff discussion, which is a conversation they should be a big part of for the foreseeable future.Too many eggs in the pitching basket?The New York Mets’ ongoing spate of pitching injuries this season — culminating Sunday with Noah Syndergaard’s torn right latissimus muscle, which will keep the flamethrower out indefinitely — had me wondering whether it was possible for a team to lean too heavily on the fragile arms of major league hurlers. (After all, how does a team go from being lauded for its pitching depth to relying on a catcher to chew innings in a month?)In other words: Is building a team around pitching value inherently riskier than banking on hitters? I looked at this a couple of ways. First, I measured the year-to-year correlation in a team’s batting/fielding WAR and its pitching WAR6Per 162 games. going back to 1961. The verdict: Pitching WAR (with a correlation of 0.48) was slightly less reliable than position-player WAR (0.53) — though it’s a small difference at best.The other thing I did was check to see if pitching-heavy teams were more prone to collapse — which I defined using several thresholds for declining records — in the following season. (Specifically, I ran a series of logit regressions testing whether the percentage of a team’s WAR that came from pitching was associated with an increased risk of declining by at least five, seven or 10 wins the next year.) It turns out there was no significant relationship between how much a team relied on its pitching staff and how likely it was to go down in flames in the future.There are certainly other ways to look at this, but my quick-and-dirty research suggests that the Mets’ policy of relying on pitching wasn’t necessarily a flawed one. They just appear to have picked the wrong group of pitchers to count on.Juiced-ball watchLast year, our own Rob Arthur and Ben Lindbergh noticed that balls had been flying out of ballparks at a ridiculous clip since late in the 2015 season, and they found evidence that changes to the baseball itself could be responsible. Here, Ben notes that we could be in for even more dingers this season: CAustin Romine280.5-0.9 SPMasahiro Tanaka280.410.8 RPDellin Betances290.48.5 SSRonald Torreyes240.40.6 3BChase Headley331.125.9 These aren’t your typical star-studded Yankees Give pitchers a chance (to hit eighth) LFBrett Gardner331.028.4 Welcome to Full Count, our new(!) weekly baseball column. Have anything you want me to write about? Email or tweet me at email@example.com or @Neil_Paine.The summer of 2017 was supposed to be one of the last opportunities for New York Yankees haters to bask in pinstriped mediocrity. Although the Bronx Bombers went into the season with baseball’s second-best farm system and an intriguing mix of veterans and kids at the big-league level, they were also sellers at last year’s trade deadline — for the first time in ages. General manager Brian Cashman had even sold management on the idea of a long-term rebuilding plan (at least, long-term by Yankees standards). New York was going to be dominant again in the near future, the thinking went, but probably not this year.Fast-forward to a month into the season, however, and the next great Yankees team appears to have arrived ahead of schedule. At 17-9, New York has the third-best record in the majors, and its underlying metrics are even more striking — according to wins above replacement,1Using an average of Baseball-Reference.com’s and FanGraphs.com’s WAR metrics. the Yankees have played at a 117-win pace (!) in the early going.2A team WAR of 11.2 in 26 games works out to about 70 over a full season; since the replacement level is set at 47 wins per 162 games (a .294 winning percentage), that adds up to 117 wins.But the fact that the Yankees are winning baseball games is not as fascinating as who they’ve been winning with. The players driving New York’s early run are either middling veterans (Aaron Hicks) or unproven youngsters (Aaron Judge). When you sort the roster by how much each player has contributed so far this season,3According to WAR. only two of their top five players (third baseman Chase Headley and left fielder Brett Gardner) had even a baker’s dozen of career WAR to their names before this year. The Yankees’ lack of pedigree is highly unusual for a franchise that famously seeks out (and overpays for) pedigree. It also suggests that the team probably won’t be able to sustain this breakneck pace. But whether their early 2017 results are real or not, they’re providing a preview of things to come for the franchise — even if that future might eventually involve a different supporting cast.For most teams, you can make a pretty good guess about how they’ll do simply by looking at the track records of the talent on hand. The Detroit Tigers, for instance, are a moderately old team whose WAR have come from moderately accomplished players, so it’s no surprise that they’re hovering around .500. But the Yankees are bucking that trend so far. For every Headley (25.9 career WAR before 2017) and Gardner (28.4 WAR), the Yanks are powered by many more players like Judge, the breakout second-year slugger who had -0.4 WAR while hitting .179 last year. In fairness, Judge was a well-regarded prospect despite his slow career start — he cracked the Baseball America Top 100 list in preseason — but that wasn’t true of other team leaders such as Hicks, Luis Severino, Starlin Castro, Michael Pineda, Austin Romine and Ronald Torreyes. Not old, but not exactly babies either, none had done much to suggest that greatness was around the corner.
HYDERABAD: A drunk man in Hyderabad kissed an on-duty cop during a procession in Hyderabad, the police said today. The incident happened during the celebration of an annual Hindu festival in the city. “On Sunday, the Bonalu festival was celebrated in Hyderabad city and policemen were deployed for security. Sub Inspector Mahendra was at a procession in the area. A person named Bhanu kissed him in a drunken condition,” a police inspector said. Also Read – Hyderabad: Intermediate student dies of cardiac arrest in class Advertise With Us A case has been registered against the man and he has been taken into police custody. “Today we have taken him into custody and he is being sent to judicial remand,” the inspector added.And the reaction when a drunk man kisses SI at #Bonalu procession in #Hyderabad pic.twitter.com/ohPgBAx09z— Nellutla Kavitha (@iamKavithaRao) July 29, 2019