It ‘sucks to lose’ French Open final, says Andy Murray

first_imgIn his 12th appearance at Roland Garros, and fourth final, the top-seeded Novak Djokovic earned that elusive title, casting aside a shaky opening set to dominate the rest of the way in a 3-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 victory over No. 2 Andy Murray on Sunday. (Djokovic clinches maiden French Open title, completes career Grand Slam)A dejected Murray said “it sucks to lose” the French Open final but he is proud to have played his part in Djokovic’s “amazing achievement” of becoming the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to win four Grand Slam titles in a row.”It sucks to lose the match, but I am proud to be part of today. This is something that is so rare in tennis. It’s going to take a long time for it to happen again,” said the Scot.”Novak, this is his day today. What he has achieved the last 12 months is phenomenal. Winning all four in one year is amazing. This is something that is so rare in tennis. It has not happened in a long time. Everyone who was here was lucky to see it,” he added.Djokovic played down the feat when asked about it by an on-court TV interviewer, focusing instead on the love-heart he drew on the red clay dust of the Court Philippe Chatrier, as three-time champion Gustavo Kuerten famously did. The Brazilian, nicknamed “Guga,” was in the crowd and smiled broadly.DJOKOVIC DOES A GUGA”The most important thing for me is that I wrote down that heart, like Guga did,” Djokovic said. “He gave me the permission to do this. The most important is that I felt the love, and drawing a heart means I will remain on this court with you every day.”advertisementNovak Djokovic looked as though he could hardly stand after winning his first French Open title, bent over with his hands on his knees. He gathered himself, drew a heart with his racket in the clay dust, and then lay down in the middle of it, on his back.Gustavo Kuerten, who did the same thing when he won the French Open, looked on from the crowd with a big smile on his face.As has become his habit at this French Open he has made his own, Djokovic then celebrated with the ball girls and boys, gathering them together and then all raising their arms to the skies together.”It’s really a very special moment, perhaps the greatest moment of my career. Perhaps. Thank you,” Djokovic said. “I hope you felt joy seeing our tennis.”Murray looked crushed, his eyes red, sat blankly on his chair at court side.last_img read more

North Korea pulls out of football tournament in South

first_imgFILE – In this Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019, file photo provided by the Korea Football Association, South and North Korean, wearing red uniforms, players play during their Asian zone Group H qualifying soccer match for the 2022 World Cup at Kim Il Sung Stadium in Pyongyang, North Korea. (The Korea Football Association via AP, File)North Korea has pulled out of a December international women’s football tournament in the South, Seoul’s football authorities said Tuesday, weeks after Pyongyang hosted a surreal World Cup qualifier in a near-empty stadium.Pyongyang’s nuclear talks with Washington are at a deadlock and it has been at loggerheads with Seoul since the collapse of the Hanoi summit between leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump in February.ADVERTISEMENT The North has repeatedly excoriated Seoul, saying it has “nothing to talk (about) anymore” with Seoul.Now the South has announced the North’s withdrawal from the East Asian Football Federation (EAFF) E-1 Football Championship due to be held in the South’s port city of Busan in December.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGreatest ever?SPORTSFormer PBA import Anthony Grundy passes away at 40SPORTSSan Miguel suspends Santos, Nabong, Tubid indefinitely after ‘tussle’ in practiceThe North is a power in the women’s game, ranked ninth in the world, and has won the tournament — previously known as the EAFF Women’s East Asian Cup — the last three times it has been held.“We have been notified by the EAFF that the North will not come to the South to play,” a representative of the South’s Korea Football Association told AFP. This jewelry designer is also an architect Justin Brownlee hopes to play for Gilas Pilipinas ‘sooner than later’ Canadian vaping study details danger from ‘popcorn lung’ chemical Ethel Booba on SEA Games cauldron: ‘Sulit kung corrupt ang panggatong’ Taiwan will take the North’s place in the four-team women’s tournament, which also features China and Japan as well as the host nation.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next DTI creates Marahuyo, a luxe Filipino fashion brand for global buyers “We don’t know at this point why the North made that decision,” he said, adding that they were first informed in September but were only making it public Tuesday.It comes after a historic World Cup qualifier — the first competitive match between the neighbor’s men’s teams ever hosted by Pyongyang — turned into a bizarre debacle earlier this month.Pyongyang allowed no home or away fans or foreign media to attend, and no live broadcast, with FIFA president Gianni Infantino one of just a handful of spectators.Infantino said he was “disappointed” after attending the match and “surprised” by the absence of fans and lack of media access.The Asian Football Confederation subsequently moved the final of the AFC Cup, its second-tier club competition, due to be held in Pyongyang this weekend to a neutral venue, citing logistical and broadcast issues, among others.ADVERTISEMENT View commentscenter_img Duterte calls himself, Go, Cayetano ‘the brightest stars’ in PH politics MOST READ LATEST STORIES Someone from the Philippines could win a $208 million jackpot this week! US says it will resume talks with North Korea soon PLAY LIST 01:13US says it will resume talks with North Korea soon03:21Exiled former North Korean diplomat: Kim has new nuclear ‘game plan’00:50Trending Articles02:11Makabayan bloc defends protesting workers, tells Año to ‘shut up’03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games01:38‘Bato’ to be ‘most effective’ CHR head? It’s for public to decide – Gascon02:07Aquino to Filipinos: Stand up vs abuses before you suffer De Lima’s ordeal01:28Ex-President Noynoy Aquino admits contracting pneumonia00:45Aquino agrees with Drilon on SEA games ‘kaldero’ spending issue Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Matteo Guidicelli had saved up for Sarah G’s ring since 2014? Becoming his own manlast_img read more

Otzi the Icemans wild wardrobe unveiled

first_imgLondon, Aug 21 (PTI) Otzi the Iceman, the 5,300-year-old well-preserved mummy found in the Austrian Alps, sported a varied animal-skin wardrobe and now researchers have identified the species that were used to make his ensemble.New genetic evidence suggests the iceman mummy, whose remarkably preserved body was found frozen in the Tyrolean Alps in Austria, once sported an outfit made almost completely of animal skin.Scientists have also found which animals were used to make this Stone Age getup.”We have discovered that the icemans clothes were composed of an array of different animals,” said Niall OSullivan, a doctoral candidate at the University College Dublin in Ireland.OSullivan, also a researcher at the Institute for Mummies and the Iceman, EURAC research in Italy, and his colleagues attempted to gather genetic data from Otzis outfit.By using more modern, next-generation sequencing techniques that amplify certain target strands of DNA, the team was able to identify the species associated with each piece of clothing, Live Science reported.Otzis leather overcoat was made of a grab bag of at least four different individual animals from two species – sheep and goat – while his lighter coat was made of sheep.His leggings were made of goatskin, perhaps because that type of animal skin provided the suppleness needed for walking, the researchers said.To top off the wardrobe, his leather shoes were stuffed with grass, and he sported shoelaces derived from wild cow, or auroch, they said. PTI SAR SARlast_img read more

ICC welcomes BCCI’s decision to send Indian team for Champions Trophy

first_imgIndia confirmed their participation in next month’s Champions Trophy in England and Wales on Sunday after initially delaying the announcement of their squad over a revenue sharing disagreement with cricket’s governing body.The dispute intensified when India failed to submit a squad for the one-day international tournament by an April 25 deadline after the Board Of Control For Cricket In India (BCCI) was unable to stall a new income model being adopted by the International Cricket Council (ICC).”The Board unanimously authorised the acting honorary secretary of the BCCI to continue negotiations with the ICC in the best interest of the BCCI while keeping its legal options open,” the BCCI said after a special general meeting.”The BCCI… unanimously decided that the Indian cricket team will participate in the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy.”The all-India senior selection meeting will be held tomorrow, May 8, in New Delhi to pick the team.”At last month’s ICC meetings, the BCCI was outvoted 13-1 in its bid to halt the revised deal which considerably slashes India’s share from global events in the 2015-23 cycle.Unimpressed by the $293 million forecast, down from the $570 million it would have received under a 2014 arrangement, the BCCI responded by refusing to name a squad for the June 1-18 eight-team competition.Acting BCCI secretary Amitabh Choudhary will now continue to negotiate with the world governing body to get a bigger share of ICC revenues during the next eight-year cycle.”The ICC welcomes the unanimous decision from the BCCI special general meeting this morning to confirm the participation of defending champions India in next month’s Champions Trophy,” the ICC said in a statement to Reuters.advertisement”The hundreds of millions of cricket fans around the world just want to see good cricket and now we can all look forward to a superb event in England and Wales starting on 1 June.”The option to boycott the event by revoking the Members Participation Agreement (MPA) between the ICC and the BCCI had been gaining traction within the board prior to Sunday’s meeting despite a number of former players opposing any withdrawal.The four Supreme Court-appointed administrators (COA), who currently supervise BCCI operations, however, instructed the board to ensure the team continued their preparations to defend their title.The COA stepped in to try and end the dispute with the panel also meeting BCCI members on Saturday to remind them that a confrontational approach would not be in the board’s interests.”We wanted them to take a middle ground and strive for a negotiated outcome with the ICC,” a COA source told Reuters. “We are glad that we have achieved that and the team will play in the Champions Trophy.”The top eight sides in the world rankings compete in the Champions Trophy with India winning the last edition in 2013.last_img read more

LG V40 may come with five cameras, notch display and 3D face unlock

first_imgLG has already launched two flagships in the V-series this year. The LG V30s ThinQ and the V35 ThinQ both follow a design language similar to last year’s LG V30, which is both good and bad. Good because they are currently one of the few flagships out there without a notch, and bad because nothing really screams out new. That may change, however, as reports have emerged that LG is already busy working on the successor, likely to be called the LG V40 ThinQ, and the phone could come with a total of five cameras and face unlock, among other things.AndroidPolice reports based on sources familiar with LG’s plans that the LG V40’s highlight feature will be its five cameras, which if true would make LG the first mainstream brand to do so. This likely means three cameras on the back similar to the Huawei P20 Pro and a dual camera system up front. Additionally, the two front cameras may also be used for an improved facial recognition feature that will allow for a 3D mapping of the face, but the report could not confirm this feature.Those of you who were hoping the V-series would continue the notch-less design may be in for a bit of a disappointment. As per the report, the LG V40 will sport a notched display similar to the LG G7, but it’s still unknown whether this will be OLED or LCD. The notch will most likely be used to house the dual cameras and some other sensors for a better facial recognition system, but one should take the report with a pinch of salt right now.advertisementComing back to the triple camera setup on the back, it looks like LG is keen to take on the P20 Pro, which is the first phone to sport a three-lens system. The unique configuration on the P20 Pro has also helped the phone achieve the top spot in the DxOMark camera ranking. Meanwhile, LG is yet to come out with a fantastic camera phone to take on the giants, and it looks like its pinning its hopes on the V40. According to the report, the configuration will include a standard wide lens, an ultrawide lens and a third sensor whose purpose is still unknown. With the ThinQ moniker likely to be attached, you can expect the cameras to get some AI assistance as well.Completing the rest of the design will be a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, a dedicated Google Assistant button, and a glass back panel that could support wireless charging. Powering the device will be the Snapdragon 845 chipset and the report also adds that LG will continue with the Quad DAC support as it has for its past flagships.These are among the first bits of information about the LG V40 and we expect to hear more in the months to come. It is still early in the days to know when exactly LG plans to launch the V40. Considering the LG V35 ThinQ was unveiled less than a month ago, the V40 could see a late 2018 launch.last_img read more

Earning respect as important as winning vs India: Tim Paine

first_imgFor many Australians, the first ball of a home Test series marks the start of a gradual winding down, when workers breathe easier in the leadup to Christmas and enjoy tuning in to watch the toil of the country’s best cricketers.For Tim Paine’s team, however, Thursday’s opening delivery of the first Test against India marks the start of a long summer job to win back the hearts of a sceptical public.Nine months on from the Cape Town ball-tampering scandal, fans will turn up to Adelaide Oval as always, some having ducked out early from their workplaces in a city that loves the sport like few others.Many will be curious about what to expect.Some will nurse a rare feeling of apprehension having read reports about the country’s worst-ever batting lineup set to take on an Indian team with a rare surfeit of quality pacemen.Others will feel Australia are barely recognisable from their last visit, when Steve Smith’s side hammered England by 120 runs on the way to an eventual 4-0 Ashes triumph.With Smith and David Warner serving bans for ball-tampering, Paine’s team have had little to celebrate and even less inclination to indulge in chest-thumping aggression.Defeat does little to lift the spirits, and Australia have lost a string of series across formats since the Newlands scandal.A barrage of cultural reviews linking the team’s past belligerence with a descent into cheating has hardly helped the mood.Fears abound that Australia have lost their mean streak, as if a sneer and a nasty remark on the field could trump skill with bat and ball.advertisementFormer captain Michael Clarke lamented that Australia would not win a game without re-embracing their anger.Paine has drawn criticism for pledging Australia will be better behaved but has steadfastly argued that winning and good sportsmanship are not mutually exclusive.”We play Test cricket to win, there’s no doubt about that.”And clearly we’ve realised that we needed to do some work in some areas and gaining the respect of our country and our fans is as high a priority as is winning,” Paine told reporters at Adelaide Oval on Wednesday.Also Read | Virat Kohli’s Adelaide memories: Two hundreds and a heartbreaking defeatAlso Read | India are smelling blood, we will show them great respect: Justin LangerAlso Read | Fan in Adelaide predicts India will win 3-0. Rohit Sharma responds: Why not 4-0?Also Read | A bit of banter not harmful but we won’t cross the line: Virat Kohlilast_img read more

‘Man City would beat 99% of teams!’

first_imgManchester City Klopp: Man City would beat 99% of world football Joe Wright Last updated 2 years ago 00:55 10/17/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) David Silva Raheem Sterling Manchester City Stoke City Getty Manchester City Jürgen Klopp Premier League Maribor v Liverpool Maribor Liverpool UEFA Champions League The Liverpool boss leapt to the defence of his side, citing the fact that they have only lost one Premier League match this season to the leaders Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes that Manchester City would beat “99 per cent” of all teams in world football given their current form.City sit atop the Premier League table having scored 29 goals in their opening eight matches as well as recording victories in Champions League matches with Feyenoord and Shakhtar Donetsk.City 15/2 to win Champions League Article continues below Editors’ Picks Why Barcelona god Messi will never be worshipped in the same way in Argentina 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. Liverpool are one of the sides that City have swept aside after they recorded a 5-0 win over the Reds in September, with Klopp’s side struggling for form thereafter.But the former Borussia Dortmund boss was quick to defend his team after a run of just one win from their last eight matches ahead of Tuesday’s clash with Maribor, claiming his side cannot be blamed for the defeat to City that sparked their poor period of results.”We have to be confident. It was disappointment after the game and that is because we deserved more. We are in a good moment and we are looking forward,” he told reporters.”It is easy to remember how hard we fought for the Champions League.”We have lost two games, one in the [EFL] Cup and one with 10-men against Manchester City. Ninety-nine per cent of teams in world football would lose against Manchester City at the moment. Why should we lose confidence?”Liverpool are two points behind Group E leaders Sevilla ahead of the meeting with the Slovenian champions and Klopp has challenged his side to get the sort of result that he feels their recent displays deserve.Jurgen Klopp Liverpool“Now, we face a decisive moment in the group stage. We need to be concentrated and brave against a top team of a European league,” he said.”They are a good footballing team. We have a job to do and not think about the next game.”We have wasted points and the performances have been good. We have to be very, very good again and take the result.”The two games we saw of Maribor were different. They usually have to attack, they are the top team in Slovenia.”I saw an offensive-minded team against Sevilla and Spartak Moscow. We need to be ready for this battle.”last_img read more

Mithali Raj, Harmanpreet Kaur in focus in India’s 1st match after coach fiasco

first_imgMithali Raj, Harmanpreet Kaur in focus in India’s 1st match after coach fiascoIndia vs New Zealand: Mithali Raj said the focus needs to shift back to cricket and felt this was a “great opportunity” to do just that. India women will play first ODI vs New Zealand on January 24.advertisement Abreshmina S Quadri New DelhiJanuary 22, 2019UPDATED: January 22, 2019 19:20 IST India vs New Zealand: Mithali Raj and Co. are in for a tough challenge against New Zealand. (@BCCI Photo)HIGHLIGHTSIndia women will play their first match after the Mithali Raj-Ramesh Powar controversyIndia lost to England in their previous match — a T20 World Cup semi-finalMithali Raj and Harmanpreet Kaur will have to work in a synchronised manner for successIndian women’s cricket team are set to be in the New Zealand and play a one-day international and twenty20 international series for the first time since the coach fiasco. There was a massive fallout between India’s star player Mithali Raj and then-coach Ramesh Powar, and that saw the latter’s exit from the team.Since that major controversy, the Indian women’s team will take the field in that blue jersey for the first time and will have a stiff challenge in New Zealand.India will play three ODIs and three T20Is against New Zealand from January 24 to February 10. On the other hand, the men’s team will take on the Blackcaps from January 23 to February 10.This is the second time that the men’s team and the women’s team will be playing in the same nation simultaneously. Early last year, Indian men and women had played in South Africa in the same manner.We are in New Zealand and can’t wait for the series to start. Let’s get behind @imVkohli and his boys and @M_Raj03 and her girls. #TeamIndia pic.twitter.com/EqCZMuKlPiBCCI (@BCCI) January 22, 2019Just like South Africa, India women will play the three T20Is on the same day on the same ground but prior to the men’s team.India will begin their campaign with three ODIs and Mithali Raj is set to don the captain’s role again. It will be interesting to see how the whole team and Mithali and Harmanpreet gel along after the big T20 World Cup fiasco.advertisementT20 WORLD CUP CONTROVERSYThe fiasco started with Mithali Raj being dropped for the semi-final of the T20 World Cup against England. India went down to England by eight wickets and serious questions were raised on Harmanpreet Kaur’s team selection.After coming back to India, Mithali wrote a letter to BCCI accusing Powar of discrimination and bias and said that he had humiliated her and made her feel like the Indian team did not require her anymore.She however did mention that she had no bad blood with Harmanpreet, only that “her call to support the decision of the coach to leave me out of the eleven was baffling and hurtful.”Powar responded to Mithali’s accusations with his side of the story saying that Mithali was throwing tantrums and that she had zero involvement in team meetings.Harmanpreet and Smriti Mandhana even tried backing Powar but BCCI went ahead and appointed Woorkeri Raman as the new coach.’I HAVE MOVED ON’Ahead of the series in New Zealand, Mithali asserted that she has moved on from the controvery and it was time to get focus back on cricket for everyone.”What has happened has happened, I have moved on. Cricket has taught me to move on whether it’s scoring a hundred or getting out on zero you have to be prepared for the next game, you need to tune in for the next day,” Mithali said ahead of the series against New Zealand.”As professional cricketers everyone understands what it takes to play international level, we are here to represent the country and want the team to play as a unit and get the best result,” she added.Mithali emphasised on the need to bring the focus back on cricket and said winning in New Zealand would help in that direction.”This is what as international athletes and cricketers we look forward to, and I’m looking forward to the series because it is very important to get back the focus on the sport and on the team performance and this is a great opportunity.”Asked how the team will deal with foreign conditions, Mithali said the side has prepared well.”Most of the team might be inexperienced to the New Zealand condition but otherwise we are an experienced lot that has been together for 4-5 years. So I don’t think we are a troubled tourists but yes we look forward to acclimatising with the conditions.””All of us our coming from the match practice weather it is playing in the domestic season or couple girls are coming from the WBBL and he (coach) has just joined it’s his first series.”We have arrived one week early to adapt to the windy conditions, we had a practice game and the girls are in good shape,” she added.Training done well! #NZvIND pic.twitter.com/QmLcuIk3cYPoonam Yadav (@poonam_yadav24) January 20, 2019Mithali also said the wind will affect all three departments but the team has been working on getting acclimatised to the conditions here.advertisement”We are training accordingly so when we get on the field it’s not the only thing we are thinking of,” Mithali said.”Spinners have always been our strength and they have bowled on different conditions and tracks and they do know how to bowl in the areas if the ball doesn’t turn.”It will be a challenge but I guess that’s where the experience counts we need to battle and negotiate different tracks and that’s what the bowlers will do,” she added.Mithali also stressed that as the captain and the most experienced player she will bring the team together against the ‘White Ferns’.”Right now all of us are in a good form, Smriti, Harmanpreet or young Jemimah – all are amongst runs. We also have a good middle order in Hemlata and Deepti Sharmaall of them have played a match winning performance for the team.”They won’t look on me completely but yes as an experienced batter I do have a responsibility to get the batting unit to perform.”(With PTI inputs)Also Read | WV Raman named Indian women cricket team’s new head coachAlso Read | India vs New Zealand: Flexible with ideas but focus on winning, says Virat KohliAlso Read | Mithali Raj looking for fresh start under new coach WV RamanAlso Read | Don’t think there has been any problem between me and Mithali Raj: Harmanpreet KaurFor sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get 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 Tags :Follow Mithali RajFollow Harmanpreet KaurFollow India vs New Zealandlast_img read more

Slovenia: Chinese Ambassador Visits Luka Koper

first_imgzoom Luka Koper’s Management Board President Gašpar Gašpar Mišič yesterday met with His Excellency Mr Zhang Xianyi, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Slovenia, and his colleagues. The Ambassador spent most of the day in Koper, commencing his visit at Koper Municipality where he was received by Mayor Boris Popovič.This was followed by a meeting with Luka Koper Management Board President Mr Gašpar Mišič, who presented Mr Zhang with an overview of the development of the Port of Koper, as well as its future plans and potentials for increasing trade with China.China is one of Luka Koper’s most important partners, and accounts for nearly one sixth – i.e. almost 900,000 tonnes – of total container traffic at the Port’ of Koper. “China is becoming an economic superpower, regularly achieving the world’s highest rates of economic growth. Over the coming years we anticipate a significant increase in trade with the Far East, particularly China, a nation with which Koper already enjoys direct container services,” commented Mr Gašpar Mišič, who visited China during the Christmas period.Together with Koper Mayor Mr Boris Popovič, Mr Gašpar Mišič visited the port in Hong Kong which has a capacity of some 18 million TEUs per year, making it one the largest container ports in the world. Their Chinese tour continued in Shanghai where they visited one of the city’s three deepwater seaports – Yangshan – which enjoys an annual cargo throughput of 12 million TEUs. Yangshan Port is constructed on an island connected to the mainland by a 32-kilometre long bridge, one of the longest in the world. In Shanghai, Luka Koper’s Management Board President met with representatives of the Third Harbour Design Company, which made the plans for the construction of the port, as well as representatives of the China Railway Shanghai Design Institute which engineered the port’s rail links. Mr Gašpar Mišič also met the Director of the Shanghai Chamber of Commerce, Mr Liu Min, and his colleagues, as well as the representatives of various logistics companies, the Secretary General of the Shanghai Pudong Logistics Association Mr Huimin Tao, together with the representative of the Shanghai Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone United Development Co., with whom they shared their views in relation to the development and opportunities of free trade zones.At the end of their visit, the Management Board President and the Mayor of Koper visited the city of Ningbo, a city of some seven million people located south of Shanghai. Enjoying an enviable annual nine percent annual growth, Ningbo’s a port handles 13 million TEUs per year. Here the Slovene representatives discussed the possibilities of collaboration between the port cities of Ningbo and Koper with Mr Hong Jiaxiang, Ningbo’s Deputy Mayor, and his colleagues.Mr Drago Napotnik, the Consul of the Republic of Slovenia in Shanghai, participated in the organisation of the major portion of this visit to China. Indeed, Mr Napotnik continues to excel with his commitment and assistance in establishing contacts and commercial links with China. My location Print  Close Luka Koper, January 8, 2014 此页面无法正确加载 Google 地图。您是否拥有此网站?确定last_img read more

Nova Scotia Companies Recognized for Export Success

first_img Nautel Limited also took home the award for Exporter of the Year. “Tonight’s winners should be especially proud of their accomplishments,” said Stephen Lund, president and CEO of Nova Scotia Business Inc. “In spite of a worldwide economic crisis, Nova Scotia exporters continue to find success in the global marketplace. These seven award-winners remain competitive in these challenging times by seeking out new markets, being more innovative and building on their existing relationships.” This year’s keynote speaker was Stephen S. Poloz, senior vice-president, financing Export Development Canada, who addressed the global financial crisis and its likely impacts on Canada. He also outlined how his organization is adapting to help exporters meet those challenges. Mr. Poloz leads Export Development Canada’s Financial Products Group, delivering an extensive range of lending, financing, political-risk insurance and equity programs. He is also responsible for economics and the corporation’s International Trade Intelligence Department. Seven Nova Scotia companies won honours at the 26th Annual Nova Scotia Export Achievement Awards last night. The winning companies had combined export sales of more than $55.5 million in 2008. “Nova Scotia is known for producing high-quality products and services that are distributed around the world,” said deputy minister of Economic and Rural Development, Ian Thompson. “Tonight’s award winners are some of our province’s top ambassadors, representing Nova Scotia as a strong competitor, while contributing to our province’s economy.” The award-winning companies are: New Exporter, Terra Beata Farms Ltd Long-term Exporter, Maritime Paper Products Limited Export Growth Through New Markets, Glenora Distillers International Export Growth Through Product Development, Nautel Limited Export Growth Through Partnership, TeamSpace Canada Export Growth Through Sales, Origin BioMed Canadian Market Development, AG Research Inc.last_img read more

Funding for Legions Keeps Communities Strong

first_imgLegion members and guests in 15 communities across Nova Scotia will enjoy better facilities thanks to nearly $103,000 in funding support through the Legion Capital Assistance Program. Suzanne Lohnes-Croft, MLA for Lunenburg, announced the funding today, Sept. 16, on behalf of Tony Ince, Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage. “Legion buildings often play significant roles in helping to strengthen communities,” said Ms. Lohnes-Croft. “They are places where veterans socialize and where communities mark some of their most important events. This funding program, created in partnership with the legion, honours our gratitude to veterans for all they have given to Nova Scotia.” The $102,889 funding will help legion branches make structural and roof repairs, upgrade washrooms, install heat pumps, and make other important improvements. The program ensures that existing community buildings remain in good condition for the benefit of the community. “I applaud the Government of Nova Scotia’s support for legion branches through the Legion Capital Assistance Program,” said Steve Wessel, president, Royal Canadian Legion Nova Scotia/Nunavut Command. “Cost-shared grants awarded through this program to carry out building upgrades are invaluable in assisting Royal Canadian Legion branches to remain accessible and sustainable to best serve our veterans and our communities.” The program provides up to 50 per cent of eligible costs, to a maximum of $10,000. In-kind trade work may be considered as part of the organization’s share. Legions apply for funding in the spring each year. Priority is given to those with the greatest financial need while ensuring that funding is spread well across the province.last_img read more

Bill to scrap 58 old laws introduced in Lok Sabha

first_imgNew Delhi: The government on Thursday introduced in Lok Sabha a bill to repeal 58 old laws which, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, are a source of inconvenience and trouble for people.Opposition members accused the government of “rushing through” bills without giving lawmakers due time to deliberate on their content. Prasad said the Narendra Modi government has already repealed 1,458 old and archaic Acts and the move to scrap 58 more laws is a part of the same exercise. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The government also rejected the opposition’s claim that members were not given adequate time to study the bill, with Prasad saying that a two-day notice was given and added that there is already a consensus that it is a good exercise. Members can debate the bill as it is only being introduced now, he said. Union minister Arjun Ram Meghwal said the bill was discussed in detail in business advisory committee, which has members from all major parties. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KSpeaker Om Birla said he will work to ensure from the next session that members get a two-day period to study bills before they are introduced and added that British era laws should be scrapped and replaced with new legislations. Some members were heard saying that the Indian Penal Code is also a British era law. In this debate between opposition members and the ruling party, BJD’s Bhartruhari Mahtab came to the government’s rescue and said it has stuck to the agenda decided in business advisory committee. Bills were distributed among members as a supplementary agenda by previous governments, something which has not happened yet, he said. Tharoor said he was not opposed to the Repealing and Amending Bill, 2019, while the attacking the government for its “bad habit” of rushing through bills. Some of the old acts that have been repealed are the Hackney Carriage Act 1879 which was legislated for the regulation and control of hackney-carriages, Dramatic Performance Act 1876 when theatre was being used a medium of protest against the British rule. Prasad said the Centre has conveyed to states the need to repeal 225 old laws which are in their realm.last_img read more

INTRODUCING THE RESIDENTS OF THE 2018 CBC ACTORS CONSERVATORY

first_imgDaniel Jun is a Korean-Canadian storyteller with an eclectic track record. He was born in Taiwan and grew up in China, New Zealand, Korea and Canada. In addition to being a dedicated actor, he is also a former Marine sergeant, a professional street dancer, a McGill alumnus, and an avid shower singer. Jun has worked with Cirque du Soleil and Tangente, and his recent screen credits includeDesignated Survivor, The Hummingbird Project and the lead in the indie feature Stand Up Man. ARAYA MENGESHACharacter Araya is inspired by: “I watched The Mask a million times. A guy with a green face became anyone he wanted, saved the day and he got the girl.” Advertisement Get to know our 2018/19 CBC Actors Conservatory residents below. We asked the incoming residents what character from a notable film or TV show has inspired them and why. Read their answers and bios:ANNIE BRIGGSCharacter Annie is inspired by: “Anne Bancroft (The Miracle Worker). I find myself attracted to characters that ignite a polarized response in me. I fell in love with her violent relentlessness, layered with surprising humour. And those spectacles!” Araya Mengesha is a Toronto born and raised actor. Mengesha’s stage credits include Breath of Kings(Prince Hal/Henry V) and Rice Boy for the Stratford Festival, as well as War Horse and The Lion King(Young Simba) for Mirvish Productions. His screen credits include recurring roles on TV series Anne with an E, Shoot The Messenger, Hemlock Grove and Rogue, as well as appearances in Man Seeking Woman,Saving Hope and Mystery Hunters, and films Run This Town(upcoming), Jean of the Joneses, Cul de Sac and Nurse.Fighter.Boy. Mengesha is a graduate of Ryerson Theatre School. We’re gearing up for the 10 th year of the CBC Actors Conservatory, Canada’s only full-time comprehensive professional onscreen acting program. The conservatory is renowned for offering a transformative artistic experience that strengthens the performers’ instrument, builds their professional and creative skill sets, and empowers them to navigate career and marketplace opportunities.The Actors Conservatory now boasts an impressive 74 alumni – alumni who are recognized industry-wide, in Canada and abroad, for their unique and exciting talent. Alumni who have landed lead roles on a range of hit TV series in a variety of genres (like Annie Murphy on Schitt’s Creek, Giacomo Gianniotti on Grey’s Anatomy, Emily Coutts and Patrick Kwok-Choon on Star Trek: Discovery, Alex Paxton-Beesley on Pure, Emmanuel Kabongo on Frankie Drake Mysteries, Kawennáhere Devery Jacobs on American Godsand the list goes on …) and roles in hit feature films (like Canadian Screen Award-winning actor Nabil Rajo for his performance in Boost, and Erin Carter and Grace Glowicki in Suck it Up). Actors Conservatory alumni are garnering international industry attention (like Kawennáhere Devery Jacobs making The Hollywood Reporter’s 2017 list of Canada’s Rising Stars: 15 Breakouts Making an Impact in Hollywood), are creating exciting content, and are enriching the global entertainment landscape. Alumni of the conservatory have inspired tremendous interest in this program – the work they are doing and their long list of successes are the best tools for recruiting future residents!And now, we are thrilled to welcome eight talented actors into this year’s program. The Canadian talent pool is deep and strong – as a result, our selection process was harder than ever. As Kathryn Emslie, CFC’s Chief Programs Officer, explains, “The CBC Actors Conservatory continues to attract wonderful actors that reflect an exciting range of backgrounds and experiences, stemming from theatre, dance, musical theatre, improv, comedy, TV, film and yes – even Cirque du Soleil! This year’s actors have much to offer our community and our creative industries; we’re delighted to have them join our program and we can’t wait to see them get to work!” NICKI WHITELYCharacter Nicki is inspired by: “Christine Baskets on FX’s series Baskets is the most heartwarming, heartbreaking, hilarious character I’ve ever seen. She is so genuine – the comedy never feels scripted.” Brandon McKnight is a Jamaican-Canadian actor who had his feature film debut in the Academy Award-winning film The Shape of Water (Guillermo del Toro). His other notable credits include the hit comedy series Kim’s Convenience (CBC), the upcoming feature film I’ll Take Your Dead (Chad Archibald), opposite Aidan Devine, Arri Millen and Jessica Salgueiro. Most recently, McKnight finished shooting Nose to Tail (Jesse Zigelstein), alongside Aaron Abrams. VIVIEN ENDICOTT-DOUGLASCharacter Vivien is inspired by: “Maria in The Sound of Music is an inspiration. I mean she sings whenever she has feelings about anything. Brilliant.” BRANDON MCKNIGHTCharacter Brandon is inspired by: “Daniel Day Lewis in There Will Be Blood – the first time I saw what work and commitment looked like.” Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment ERIC HICKSCharacter Eric is inspired by: “Joker in The Dark Knight makes me question the dimensions of complexity possible in character work and has me itching to get innovative.” MICHELLE MCLEODCharacter Michelle is inspired by: “Harriet. M. Welsch from Harriet the Spy inspires me to be intrigued by perspective. She also inspires me to dance to James Brown in a potato costume.” Michelle McLeod is a Toronto-based actor and comedian and a graduate of the University of Guelph’s Theatre Program, Humber College’s Acting for Film and Television Program and the Second City Conservatory Program in Toronto. McLeod’s credits include the lead role in Pat Mills’ Don’t Talk to Irene(TIFF 2017; 2018 Canadian Comedy Award for Best Feature Film), Angry Angel, They Eat Your Teeth, and most recently, the feature film Natalie. Originally hailing from Halifax, NS, Annie Briggs is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in NYC. Her select screen credits include Murdoch Mysteries, Before The Dark: Digital (Shaftesbury), Dark Matter (SyFy), Couple-ish (Square Balloon) and Luvvie (short). Briggs is best known for her work as “Lola Perry/The Dean” in four seasons of the multi-award-winning webseries Carmilla as well as the feature film adaptation, The Carmilla Movie. Most recently, she co-created, wrote and starred in the new Shaftesbury digital series CLAIREvoyant. Briggs has worked with a variety of Canadian theatre companies, including Neptune Theatre, Single Thread Theatre Co., Food for Thought, Festival Players of Prince Edward County, Chester Playhouse and Shakespeare by the Sea. Login/Register With: DANIEL JUNCharacter Daniel is inspired by: “The Terminator (Terminator 2). If ever I get slowly lowered into a pool of molten steel, I’m going down with my thumbs up. And screaming.” Nicki Whitely is a Toronto-based actor who became an ACTRA member at the age of 11. Her television credits include Workin’ Mom’s (CBC), Conviction (ABC)and a recurring role on The Strain (FX). Whitely is especially proud of her role in the TV movie Betty and Coretta (Lifetime), where she played Attalah Shabazz, the eldest daughter of slain civil rights leader Malcom X.Her training includes classes at Neptune Theatre School in Halifax, NS. Twitter Vivien Endicott-Douglas is best known for her work on stage with many of Toronto’s foremost theatre companies. She was recently nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Performance in Nightwood Theatre’s production Lo or Dear Mr. Wells.Endicott-Douglas has starred and guest starred in several films and television series, including Hemlock Grove, Copper, Murdoch Mysteries, Rookie Blue and The Line, and was nominated for an ACTRA Award for Outstanding Performance for her work in the feature film The Shape of Rex. Eric Hicks is a Saskatchewan born actor who starred in more than 30 short and independent films before joining ACTRA in 2015. His credits include Quantico(ABC), The Strain (FX), Reign (CW) and a recurring role on all three seasons of the multi-award-winning detective series Cardinal (CTV/eOne). Most recently, Hicks landed the recurring role of Detective Ken Tucker on Season 2 of Bad Blood (CityTV). Advertisement Facebook These eight residents will start at the CFC on Monday, July 16, 2018. Stay tuned for more updates on their activities throughout the six-month program.Want to learn more about the CBC Actors Conservatory? CLICK HERE for more information.By Cory Angeletti-Szasz | CFClast_img read more

Alberta Crown let Metis man plead guilty after RCMP said drugs werent

first_imgKenneth Jackson APTN NewsAn Alberta Crown prosecutor allowed a Metis man to plead guilty to simple drug possession in May after the RCMP told him the so-called drugs weren’t real, APTN News has learned.And it appears the RCMP sat on test results showing the drugs weren’t real for over a month.Clayton Boucher, 45, was arrested Jan. 22 after police raided a home where he was staying in Lac La Biche, Alta.After spending four months locked up in the Edmonton Remand Centre, he pleaded guilty at the end of May out of frustration with they system and needing to get out from behind bars. RCMP seized about 130 grams of suspected crack cocaine and sent two samples of powder to be tested Feb. 3 to Health Canada.The results came back negative for drugs Feb. 23 and 24.But Boucher remained in jail.Documents show a large gap between the date of results and when Alberta Crown Erwin Schulz learned of the results.Schulz wrote the RCMP Feb. 22 asking for the powder to be tested  “as soon as possible” apparently unaware that the RCMP had already sent the samples off to be tested. Boucher had also been maintaining it was baking soda and not cocaine since his arrest.There were two samples sent to Health Canada – and both were .4 grams according to the list of exhibits.In documents obtained by APTN News, Schulz claimed his assistant followed up with RCMP Mar. 13 and again April 3, but was told, “there is still no analysis of the drugs as of yet.”This happened again on April 20 but the RCMP, again, said there were no results.Finally, on May 3, the RCMP confirmed to Schulz the powder seized was not cocaine.It is unclear from the documents if the RCMP had those test results when the Crown had repeatedly requested them.APTN has requested this information from the RCMP but has not heard back.On May 4, Schulz contacted Boucher’s Legal Aid-appointed lawyer, Leighton Grey, telling him of the test results. They both agree to meet back in court May 30.But by this point, Boucher was struggling in jail and wanted out.Boucher told his lawyer May 15 he wanted to plead guilty to two counts of simple possession and claims his lawyer had never told him that the test results came back negative.“I only pleaded guilty ’cause my wife passed away and had a horrible time coping while incarcerated. That’s the only reason,” said Boucher in an interview with APTN Monday.APTN contacted Grey for comment, but have not heard back.(Clayton Boucher with his wife Phyllis Favel in an undated photo)Boucher’s common-law wife, Phyllis Favel, 34, died in a car collision April 30, a woman he calls the “love of his life.”Boucher did get to go to the funeral – in a bright orange jail-issued jumpsuit and shackles.“I stood out like a sore thumb,” he said. “It was horrible.”On May 30, Boucher pleaded guilty to two counts of simple possession – he was released the same day.“The Crown based the guilty pleas on the two entries on the exhibit list of 0.4 grams of cocaine wrapped in plastic which was viewed by both the Crown and defence to be spitballs (small packages of cocaine wrapped in plastic),” wrote Schulz in an email last month to the Law Society of Alberta that provided a timeline of events.Schulz said the description and weight were consistent with small amounts of cocaine.But according to documents, the tests came back negative.“I went to bed every night and woke up every morning knowing it wasn’t drugs. It killed me,” said Boucher.When he was released, Boucher went to the Lac La Biche RCMP detachment to get his belongings. He claimed later in a complaint against the RCMP that an officer there told him tests on the powder had come back negative.“The complainant was crushed by this,” his complaint states, “and it quickly dawned on him that the RCMP knew all along that the substance was not cocaine but allowed him to plead guilty regardless.”He told APTN this was the first time he learned not only that there had been a test but of the results.On July 10, Schulz received a call from the RCMP saying Boucher had filed a complaint.“The RCMP advised that the 0.4 grams were not spitballs rather samples taken from the large bags of cocaine which (did not come back as drugs),” Schulz wrote in his email to the Law Society.But the RCMP had already told Schulz the powder came back negative back on May 3 according to documents obtained by APTN.On July 11, the RCMP sent Schulz the lab results confirming, again, two samples sent to Health Canada came back negative.Boucher appealed the conviction – which was filed by Grey – not knowing that Grey had been told about the test results according to documents.On Sept. 26, the Court of Appeal of Alberta overturned Boucher’s conviction after receiving a letter from Jonathan Martin, senior counsel for the Public Prosecution Service of Canada.Martin confirmed in the letter the lab results came back negative for all the so-called drugs, meaning Boucher pleaded guilty to possessing baking soda that was found in a kitchen cupboard, according to the exhibit list.“A review of the file and communications from Mr. Schulz and the RCMP establishes that the substances in the counts under appeal did not analyze as controlled substances. The non-existence of this information at the time of the disposition would have been highly relevant to the decision to plead guilty,” wrote Martin.Boucher questions now how the results were non-existent when the RCMP had provided the results to the Crown.Boucher received more documents last week, including the Health Canada lab results, and it was then that he learned the results were completed by Feb. 24.“Last Thursday in Edmonton,” said Boucher of when he finally got the documents.He had traveled there from North Battleford, Sask., where he is currently living, to pick up the documents.“I had been asking for the certificates since my release and I finally got them with disgust,” he said.Boucher said he has a criminal record and at the time of his arrest had an outstanding probation warrant.“But I am not a drug dealer,” he said.He said he already filed a complaint against Schulz and Grey with the Law Society of Alberta, which had been declined on Oct. 4.The Law Society, like Schulz, argued – at least in part – that Boucher pleaded guilty to drug possession.Boucher said he has since sent the Law Society the Health Canada certificates and the file has now been forwarded to the conduct department.APTN asked the RCMP in Lac La Biche to comment Monday and again Tuesday when a spokesperson said the file had been sent to RCMP headquarters in Ottawa.Boucher also claims the RCMP told him that it is taking disciplinary action against several Mounties.APTN has still not received a response from the RCMP.An email to Schulz’s assistant asking why he allowed a man to plead guilty for a crime he didn’t commit hasn’t been answered.Meanwhile, Boucher said he believes if he had been out his wife would still be alive.“We went everywhere together,” he said. “Now I am serving a life sentence. Every day is a horrible day.”But there was one good thing to come from this, he said. After his release he moved to North Battleford with the help of his sister.He was awarded a certificate of bravery earlier this month for alerting a woman that her roof was on fire June 8.She had no idea of the fire when Boucher began pounding on her door.Contact Kenneth here: kjackson@aptn.calast_img read more

UN Finds No Evidence of Moroccan Military Activity in Mauritanian Borders…

Rabat – A United Nations investigation finds there was no sign of any Moroccan military activity in the Western Sahara.The Polisario Front, a separatist group that claim to represent the Saharawis, had protested to the United Nations that a large number of Moroccan military units had crossed over the Sand Wall, which marks a buffer zone between the Moroccan territory and the Tindouf camps, in southeastern Algeria.The United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) was established in 1991 to monitor the region, demine the buffer zone, and maintain the ceasefire between the Polisario Front and Morocco. Crossing the Sand Wall would have been a violation of that ceasefire agreement on the part of Morocco.“MINURSO has not observed a military presence or equipment in the buffer strip,” said Farhan Haq, UN Deputy Spokesman for the Secretary-General.MINURSO, Farhan said, had deployed ground and air capabilities to investigate allegations of violations in the southwestern part of Western Sahara near Mauritania and observed civilian vehicles crossing the Sand Wall but did not see military units.Morocco’s Interior Ministry said security forces have been carrying out an operation near the Mauritanian border in order to stop “smuggling rings and illegal commercial trade”.The Polisario Front had fought a guerilla war against Morocco for 15 years.  A ceasefire was agreed to in 1991.The Northwest African region has seen heightened conflicts after a diplomatic row in which UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon used the term “occupation” earlier this year to describe Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara.Morocco reacted by forcing the expulsion of all 84 international civil servants from the region and cut off funding of  $3 million. The civil servants were integral to the support of 242 peacekeeping troops and military observers in MINURSO.In July, Morocco allowed 25 civil servants to return to the region to provide logistic support for the peacekeeping operation.In April, the Security Council adopted Resolution 2285, which extends MINURSO’s mandate in the region until April 2017.The territorial dispute over the Western Sahara has been in standstill since 1991. After more than 12 years of vain attempts to hold the referendum, in 2004 the UN Security Council called on the parties to work towards achieving a mutually acceptable political solution.In April 2007, Morocco presented an Autonomy Plan that was described as “serious and credible” by the Security Council. The said plan proposes significant autonomy for the Sahara with a local government and a parliament, within Moroccan sovereignty.The Polisario Front, supported by Algeria, rejects the Moroccan plan and claims the people of the Sahara should have a right to self-determination through a referendum.Moroccan officials have emphasized on many occasion that the autonomy plan is all Morocco can offer to put an end to the territorial dispute. read more

Trudeau cabinet minister resigns amid controversy

TORONTO — Canada’s former justice minister has quit Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet amid allegations Trudeau’s office pressured her to avoid prosecuting a major Canadian engineering firm.Veterans Affairs Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould released a letter Tuesday announcing her resignation. She was demoted from the post of justice minister last month.The Globe and Mail newspaper reported last week that Trudeau or his staff pressured her to arrange a deal with Montreal-based SNC-Lavalin that would let it avoid criminal prosecution on allegations of corruption involving government contracts in Libya.Wilson-Raybould has hired a former Supreme Court justice to advise her on what she can say publicly about the matter.Her resignation is a potential blow to Trudeau as he faces re-election this year. He has denied directing Wilson-Raybold to arrange such a deal.The Associated Press read more

President holds special ministerial discussion on drought relief

A special discussion was held at the President’s Official Residence today (18) under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena, to look into the preparations at Ministerial level to provide essential reliefs to the public during the impending  drought situation in Sri Lanka.The President has given instructions to appoint a special committee comprising Secretaries of the Ministries of Power and Energy, Mahaweli and Water Supply, to make quick decisions in the process of providing relief to the people minimizing the difficulties. Ministers Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, Susil Premajanth, Ranjith Siyambalapitiya,Duminda Disanayake, Laxman Yapa Abeywardena, Lasantha Alagiyawanna, Secretaries of the Ministries and other officials participated in the discussion. (Colombo Gazette) President Sirisena also instructed the officials to implement a programme to reconstruct the tanks with no water, and pointed out the importance of apprising the public regarding the protection of water sources and proper use of the water. During the meeting, it was discussed in detail regarding the programmes already in existence and future work plans launched by respective ministries to face the impending drought situation. Further discussions were held regarding the steps that should be taken to protect water resources to minimize this kind of disaster situations. read more

Private sector to sell marijuana in Ontario turnaround report

TORONTO — The Ontario government will reportedly allow private stores to sell marijuana once recreational cannabis becomes legal on Oct. 17.A source in the provincial government told the Globe and Mail that Finance Minister Vic Fedeli and Attorney General Caroline Mulroney are expected to make an announcement as early as next week to outline a plan to let the private sector own and operate cannabis shops.The source, who spoke on condition of not being identified, also indicated that the government would still control the distribution of the product to the stores and manage online sales.The previous Liberal government under Kathleen Wynne had planned to give the Liquor Control Board of Ontario a monopoly on the sale of recreational cannabis, with 40 stores slated to open this year under an LCBO subsidiary called the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS).The new system would mirror the Alberta model, which will allow for privately run cannabis stores to sell marijuana with licences granted by the liquor commission.Ontario Premier Doug Ford has already indicated that he was considering the private sector, saying in late June that he doesn’t believe “government should stick their nose into everything.”A spokesman for the Ontario Ministry of Finance wouldn’t comment on the details but said the province will be ready by the time marijuana is legal in October. read more

SAMOA UN disaster risk chief calls for putting partnerships to work

“I think the challenge for all of us is how do we put a frame around this and make it understandable, call out the partners to the table, and get a commitment to constrict the focus,” said the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction.Speaking to the UN News Centre from the sidelines of a partnerships forum on climate change and disaster risk management, Margareta Wahlström summarized discussions between islanders, donors, civil society and others partner groups. The thematic forum is one of six others at the Third International Small Island Developing State Conference in Samoa, which wraps up tomorrow. The calls are for technical assistance, more and easier to access funding, wider replication of success stories and stronger partnership coordination, she noted.Disaster risk reduction is prioritized in the conference’s outcome document, a 124-point compilation known as the Samoa Pathway, which was, unusually, agreed upon before the conference started on Monday. The section on risk comes right after climate change and sustainable energy, and includes a wide range of general commitment – from technical assistance and financing for early warning systems, to harmonizing national and regional reporting systems. “I think it would be an excellent idea if we as the United Nations could, based on this conference outcome document, establish a clear cut, not so complicated, plan of action for the small island developing states, and tailor it to the Pacific, Caribbean and the Indian Ocean,” the Special Envoy said. “We need to build on what’s already here. There are very strong institutions here in the Pacific, excellent technical competence, knowing the region. Because the UN can bring something very important here which is the linkages to the global agenda, added attention,” she noted.Hundreds of partnerships have been announced throughout the week, and more than 300 are expected to be confirmed tomorrow at a total value of more than $1 billion, according to a senior UN official. Many of these are related to building resilience of islanders. “People know what to do. The challenge is to put a timeframe to it, to measure impact, and to make sure that you set certain quality standards around the outcome so that you actually measure – does this have an impact on people or not? Does this actually help governments? And if not, take corrective action before it becomes deadweight,” Ms. Wahlström explained. In the shorter term, the UN is likely to review its coordination and how it is structured in the Pacific which could open the door to greater financing, said the Special Envoy.“If we really put our mind to it, we could be positioned differently within one year,” she summed.Some of the greatest threats to the small island nations are environmental. Tropical cyclones and floods are among the most frequent cause of disasters in the Pacific region. Between 2001 and 2011, Pacific and Caribbean developing small islands were affected by at least 110 hazards, according to the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) and the UN Office for Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS). Given the high costs islanders pay for energy and transportation, and the countries’ reliance on natural resources for jobs, the impact of such disasters is particularly destructive. In Jamaica, for examples, losses from tropical cyclones between 1991 and 2011 averaged about 2.6 per cent of its average annual investment, yet may have slowed the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) by more than one point. In addition, earthquakes and subsequent tsunamis also have potential to cause great damage, as occurred in 1998 in Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands in 2007, and in 2009 in Samoa. The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Executive Director Christiana Figueres is overseeing talks between Governments on a universally accepted climate treaty. UNFCCC is the parent treaty of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. The final round of talks will be held in Paris next year. To build momentum for the talks, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will host his Climate Summit on 23 September.“By March of next year, they [Member States] will be coming forward with their quantified contributions to the solutions, certainly on mitigation and some also on adaptation. The Secretary-General’s summit has helped focus countries on this homework that they’re all doing and we will begin to see some announcements that will preview what we will officialize by March,” Ms. Figueres told the UN News Centre. In Samoa, she has been following the discussions, particularly from a renewable energy introduction perspective, as a growing number of island nations aspire for 100 per cent renewable energy.“That prepares them much better for disaster because it is a fuel that is available to them that they don’t have to depend to transferring in very difficult times,” Ms. Figueres said.Meanwhile, the Secretary-General of the Small Island Developing States Conference, Wu Hongo co-chaired a high-level event on Tuesday where Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma unveiled a vulnerability resilience framework, to help islanders develop national policies to build resilience and bounce back from economic and environmental crises. read more

Female African coders on the frontline of the battle to change gender

The UN chief was speaking after meeting girls from across the continent taking part in the African Girls Can Code Initiative, a joint initiative from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and UN Women. This new programme saw more than 80 girls from 34 African countries join the first Coding Camp in Addis Ababa for 10 days in August 2018.The girls attending the courses learn about digital literacy, coding and personal development skills, including enterprise know-how to ensure their financial security. They are trained as programmers, creators and designers, so that they are well equipped to compete for careers in areas such as Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and coding. The initiative will runs until 2022 and is expected to reach more than 2,000 girls through 18 Coding Camps. Mr. Guterres said that one of the fundamental problems in the world is that power is in the hands of men, leading to a male-dominated culture. In Africa, this is one of the reason why it is so difficult for girls to go to school. In technology professions, the problem is particularly acute, with an overwhelming majority of men.ITU data from 2017 shows that, as well having the lowest rates of Internet penetration, the African region has the widest digital gender gap in the world: only 18.6 per cent of women use the Internet, compared with 24.9 per cent of men.The UN chief recalled his time studying electrical engineering, when there was just one women female in a class of 300: “This is what we need to change, and we are not yet there. We need more girls to take technology courses. This is absolutely crucial. If girls and women are not more involved in technology professions, power relations will remain very male dominated.”Monday is the 2019 International Day of Women and Girls in Science, which raises awareness of the fact that women and girls continue to be excluded from participating fully and science, importance of changing this trend: According to UN data, only around 30 per cent of all female students select fields related to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) in higher education, and less than 30 per cent of researchers worldwide are women. read more