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Irish Soldiers forced to splash out €800 for return flight from foreign tours

first_imgIrish soldiers on foreign tours of duty are forced to splash out up to €800 to return home on leave, according to a new report. Troops serving in places such as Lebanon and the Golan Heights in Syria are given three weeks of leave during their six months deployment.But they’re not allowed stay in the mission area and must fund their own travel back to Ireland to see loved ones. Ireland currently has 655 soldiers serving overseas, with 460 of these forming part of the United Nations Interim Force in the Lebanon.The 114th infantry battalion flew out to the Middle East state last month to begin their six month tour of duty in the region.It’s estimated that the cost of a return flight from the Lebanon to Ireland costs €800, which must be paid for by each member.Labour’s defence spokesman Brendan Ryan described the practice as “disgraceful”. He told the Irish Sun: “I’ve raised the mistreatment of members of the Defence Forces a number of times in the Dail and this is just another example of this.“The Minister continuously says that they are valued but it’s clear they’re not.“We keep hearing about the low pay many are made to scrape by on and then something like this just adds to their hardship, just so they can see their families.“If they have three weeks leave from any tour of duty then they are going to go home to see their families.“They, along with their loved ones, make great sacrifices when they travel abroad on missions and if they’re flying home during their tours on leave then the Defence Forces should be paying for it.” Last month, Over 400 men and women of the Irish Defence Forces paraded through Letterkenny ahead of their six-month deployment to South Lebanon.Four hundred and fifty troops rotated to South Lebanon in what is Ireland’s largest overseas deployment to a single mission area.Irish Soldiers forced to splash out €800 for return flight from foreign tours was last modified: June 14th, 2019 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more


Bafana and Mozambique to kick off Chan 2014

first_imgThe mascot for the CAF African Nations Championship or Chan 2014 is this hippo dressed as a soccer player. (Image: CAF)MEDIA CONTACTS• Eric MwanzaCAF Media Officer Cape Town+ 27 612593821Ray MaotaWith its sophisticated infrastructure and experience in successfully hosting major international tournaments, South Africa has become the go-to country in Africa for continental and world sporting events. This year, it’s the turn of the CAF African Nations Championship, or Chan 2014, which kicks off in Cape Town on 11 January.A 16-team competition of African nations, with players drawn exclusively from the different countries’ domestic leagues, the tournament runs from 11 January to 1 February 2014, with matches held in three South African cities. Bafana Bafana will face Mozambique in the opening game at Cape Town Stadium at 18h00 on Saturday.See all the Chan 2014 fixturesMiller Matola, chief executive of Brand South Africa, welcomed the 15 other African teams to South Africa. “With games being played in Cape Town, Bloemfontein and Polokwane, visitors to our country will have an opportunity to experience our diversity and the unique quality of the different provinces,” he said. “However, the welcome of our people remains the same throughout the country and all South Africans look forward to hosting our visitors.”Matola said South Africans had demonstrated their warm hospitality and love of the beautiful game during the 2009 Confederations Cup, 2010 Fifa World Cup, and 2012 African Cup of Nations.“We are all ambassadors for this country so let us play our part and be good hosts during the Chan tournament.” The tournamentDuring the group stages of Chan 2014, two matches will be played every day from 11 to 22 January.The four groups making up the tournament will play in three different South African cities. Group A is made up of South Africa’s Bafana Bafana, as well as Mali, Nigeria and Mozambique, and will play in Cape Town. Group B – Morocco, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Burkina Faso – will also play in Cape Town.Group C, made up of Ghana, Congo, Libya and Ethiopia, will play in Bloemfontein in the Free State, and Group D – DRC, Mauritania, Gabon and Burundi – in Polokwane, Limpopo.The Chan tournament was not originally on Fifa’s calendar as it restricted which players could represent each country. But Fifa has since announced that matches will have full Fifa status, meaning they will count towards country world rankings. South African preparationsBafana Bafana’s preparations started with a hiccup as some clubs were reluctant to release their players. This was quickly resolved, and national coach Gordon Igesund has declared himself happy with the preparations.“The challenge is to get Bafana going to a point that we get into the top eight in Africa, so that we can be seeded when the draw for big tournaments is made,” Igesund said.“After beating Spain, we should carry on with the habit of winning and [the African Nations Championship] is a type of tournament where it is important for the team to do well.”Igesund stressed that crowd support will be important to Bafana’s success.“Nothing is more inspiring to a footballer than having a packed stadium behind him. We face tough opposition, but I am looking forward to winning the tournament.”Fikile Mbalula, minister of sport and recreation, visited the squad at their base camp in Cape Town on 9 January to wish them well.“If you go with the mentality that teams have not sent strong players here you are going to be surprised by Mozambique,” he warned. “They will want to come here and embarrass you.“And you don’t want to appear as people who did not give their all and did not want to represent their country. I thought I needed to emphasise that point that we have pride in you, and we are confident that all of you will make this country of ours proud. Rewards come at the end, not at the beginning.”last_img read more


Harvest forms for NCGA Yield Contest now available

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest With harvest underway in some areas and soon to begin in others, the National Corn Growers Association announces that online harvest forms for the 2015 National Corn Yield Contest are now available. While the harvest information form deadline may seem distant, entrants are asked to report within seven business days of their final yield check or by Nov. 20, whichever comes first.“While harvest has only begun in a few areas, we ask contest applicants to submit harvest forms within one week of their final yield check to allow NCGA staff adequate time to thoroughly review each form,” said Production and Stewardship Action Team Chair Don Glenn, a farmer from Alabama. “The National Corn Yield Contest plays a significant role in recognizing excellence and finding new, more productive techniques. We hope that growers continue to support the contest by seeing their entry through and submitting their completed harvest data forms.”The National Corn Yield Contest is now in its 51st year and remains NCGA’s most popular program for members. While an official count of the entries submitted for the 2015 contest is not yet available, participation appears to be strong again this year.The online harvest form is available to both farmers and seed representatives using the same login process as the initial entry form. Login does require submission of the entrant’s NCGA membership number.NCGA moved to a solely online entry platform this year. As part of this process, entrants must upload an image or PDF of weigh tickets in the electronic harvest form.  Supervisors need to either initial or sign the weigh ticket, and that will serve as their signature. If an entrant does not have the capability to scan, they will be permitted to mail in the weigh tickets with a copy of the confirmation.Rule changes have been announced for 2015, and detailed information is available on the website. Each NCGA membership used to register for the contest must have an individual’s name on it, and each individual may have only one membership number. Each membership number may have as many contest entries as desired but, as in previous years, each number will only be awarded official placement for one state and one national level entry.Contest winners will be announced on December 18. Winners receive national recognition in publications such as the NCYC Corn Yield Guide, as well as cash trips or other awards from participating sponsoring seed, chemical and crop protection companies. The winners will be honored during Commodity Classic 2016 in New Orleans, La.For access to contest information and a detailed list of the entry and harvest rules, click here.Click here for the 2015 National Corn Yield Contest Online Harvest Form.last_img read more


Majority of Maersk Terminals Operational after Cyber Attack

first_imgzoom Danish transport and logistics major Maersk has restored operations at the majority of its terminals only days after the company’s operations were disrupted by the cyber attack Petya.“The majority of our terminals are now operational,” the company said, adding that some of these terminals are operating slower than usual or with limited functionality.“APM Terminals continue to work towards full restoration of its IT systems,” Maersk informed.Maersk Line said that all vessels continue to be under control, employees are safe and communication to crew and management onboard is functioning.Additionally, the company informed that it is now able to accept booking again via INTTRA.Furthermore, Damco, a part of the group, has limited access to certain systems, a business continuity plan “has been deployed with a key focus on protecting customers’ cargo flows.”World Maritime News Stafflast_img read more


FA to investigate Raheem Sterling racial abuse

first_imgThe Football Association has announced that it’s conducting an investigation into the alleged racial abuse suffered by Raheem Sterling at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.Television cameras picked up a couple of Chelsea supporters shouting alleged racial slurs at Sterling, as he went to pick up the ball for a City corner kick.Both Chelsea and the London Metropolitan Police have released statements saying they will be investigating the incident.Sterling released a statement on Instagram condemning the abuse on Sunday.norwich city, manchester city, premier leagueReport: City are stunned by Norwich George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Manchester City was stunned by Norwich City in todays Premier League clash.Much has been made in recent days of the potential impact of Aymeric…According to Sky Sports, the English Football Association has now released a statement that read: “We take all allegations of discrimination extremely seriously and will work with the clubs and the relevant authorities to ensure this matter is dealt with appropriately.“We strongly condemn all forms of discrimination and encourage all fans and participants who believe that they have been the subject of, or witness to, discriminatory abuse to report it through the appropriate channels: The FA, our County FAs or our partners Kick It Out.”last_img read more


POLICE LOG for September 3 Police Issued 2 Summons To Drivers Street

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Ken Levine confirms Bioshock Infinite wont have multiplayer

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Jump into the screen with 360degree immersive video

first_imgAs you watch a video, have you ever wondered what’s happening beyond the camera frame? If you could jump inside the video and look around, you would have a 360-degree view of the world in your TV screen or computer monitor. Explore further Using virtual reality could make you a better person in real life A company based in Calgary, Alberta, called Immersive Media Corp. is trying to achieve exactly this type of immersive experience with a new camera and software technology. When watching a video filmed with the Immersive Viewer (IMViewer) system, users can control the scene, seamlessly moving the perspective up, down, sideways, or even behind the original frame. The technology is based on a Dodeca 2360 camera, which can record eleven image streams that are arranged in a geodesic geometry. The camera captures images at a resolution of more than 100 million pixels per second – significantly more than HDTV. The 20-pound camera also has four built-in microphones for simultaneous omni-directional audio recording. When recording, camera operators can check each individual lens to see what´s being recorded at every angle. Immersive Media’s software then turns the video files into “telemersion” files. A processor compresses, records, and synchronizes up to 12 channels at once. Then, the videos can be viewed on computer monitors, video screens, head-mounted displays, or projected onto a dome screen. When watching video on a computer monitor, viewers use the mouse to turn the viewing in any 360-degree direction (demos available at Immersive Media’s Web site). The viewing engine essentially blends camera image streams together in real time to make a movable window. With a head-mounted display, a viewer can see different angles simply by turning their head.To enhance the immersion experience, viewers can also “direct” the video by rewinding, pausing, speeding up, slowing down, or zooming in on certain areas. The technology is also compatible with GPS or other metadata, enabling viewers to determine the location they´e viewing.The software can also blend the entire 360-degree scene onto a single 2D screen, called a “sphere movie.” These sphere movies show the whole environment in motion at once, without having to direct the field of view. Sphere movies can be watched on standard software such as Quicktime or Windows Media Player, or recorded on DVDs. They’re also compatible with MPEG-2 and MPEG-4, and can be broadcast using HDTV-resolution channels.With another feature, viewers can watch three frames on a single screen: the controllable video, the full sphere movie (with crosshairs that correspond to where you are looking in the controllable frame), and a GPS frame telling you your location as you move. While Immersive’s camera technology was developed three years ago, it was originally used by the FBI to study street routes of visiting dignitaries for security purposes. More recently, Google Earth has used the technology to create its StreetView videos. Immersive also hopes to use the technology for applications such as urban planning, oil and gas resource management, emergency response and first responder operations, and commercial media.One notable company taking advantage of the technology is Adidas, which has featured videos incorporating the immersion capability on its Web site. Viewers can zoom in on their favorite basketball players and replay scenes to see reaction shots – in short, experiencing the event with a personal perspective.More information: Immersive Media Demos Citation: Jump into the screen with 360-degree immersive video (2008, February 27) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2008-02-screen-degree-immersive-video.html Immersive Media´s Dodeca 2360 camera. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more


Battle of wits

first_imgFor Nitish Kumar, who is at the helm of affairs for the third time in his 10-year’s chief ministerial stint, there are challenges galore from both within and outside the party. Interestingly, the political battle in the state would be fought on a different note and tempo as friends have become foes and arch rivals have buried the hatchet to checkmate their one and only opponent, the BJP, in assembly polls. No doubt, the marriage of JD(U) and RJD is the result of the debacle that both the regional satraps faced in the 2014 Lok Sabha election. The pertinent question, however, is whether this realignment would survive for a long period. Also Read – Find your own happinessSome key issues such as who will be the face of the grand alliance and who gets what are some contentious issues which both the parties need to work on. In an attempt to keep the things under wraps, JD(U) spokesperson Neeraj Kumar presented an opaque picture on the matter of merger of both the parties in the state.The JD(U) spokesperson said, “First, let things take shape. I will personally tell you when the decision of merger happens. Senior leaders of both the parties are working on developing  a consensus on different models to tackle the challenges ahead of us in assembly poll.” Also Read – Into the wild“No doubt, we have several challenges to face in near future, but chief minister has a very concrete strategy to overcome those. The CM is known for devising problem solving strategies. It is the BJP who should be blamed for ditching the people of Bihar, not JD(U) or Nitish Kumar,” said Neeraj Kumar, who represents Patna in the Bihar Legislative Council.Hopefully, Nitish Kumar, who is also known as ‘Mr Clean’, must have weighed the issues that may give jolt during the legislative assembly polls. Among several other concerns, the social hatred propagated by Jitan Ram Manjhi, after the later was dethroned, may cost Kumar dearly. “Its a fact that caste parameter is at the core of politics in state elections. Since, the strategy of Nitish Kumar to garner Dalit votes by elevating Manjhi has failed. Kumar will have to first deal with this issue on urgent basis. It’s also an open secret that Manjhi is working on behest of his akkas in BJP, to dent the Dalit vote share of JD(U) or say grand alliance comprising RJD, Congress,” said Dr Shefali Roy, HoD of Political Science at Patna Women’s College. “It’s beyond our understanding that how a person like Nitish Kumar could leave the CM’s chair just to avoid face-off with Prime Minister Narendra Modi by playing the card of moral responsibility. This was not expected from him. The intelligentsia of Bihar is not convinced by this argument of Kumar,” said Roy, who is the only faculty in the Department of Political Science from the total 21 permanent teachers at Patna’s premier college.Going back in November 2005, when the first NDA government involving JD(U) and BJP and headed by Nitish Kumar was formed after destroying apturing the 15-year-old citadel of RJD, the situation was very different. The mandate was given to NDA to resolve the problems of law and order, power, irrigation, employment, infrastructure, etc. Somehow, in the first stint, the NDA government worked hard to change the tag from a BIMARU to a developing state. The government worked in the direction of reviving sick units and building roads in urban as well as rural areas.The decline of Nitish government started after he snapped the ties with the BJP in June 2013 over the decision of BJP to anoint Narendra Modi as party’s PM nominee. After that things went haywire. The government looked clueless on every key issue, including power generation, quality education and infrastructure development.Pointing out the challenges for Nitish government, a senior official in the Nitish government said, “The situation of education in the state is getting worse. The government has not opened a single technical institution and not even acted in the direction to appoint faculties. There are in total 80 technical teachers only across the state. The condition of primary education is pathetic as the Nitish government in its first spell recruited teachers in hoards on the basis of marks only, which is proving more fatal as students of Class V are able to solve the problems of Maths of Class II.” The government should have trained the teachers that would had helped them in imparting qualitative education to students. The instances of teachers not knowing the names of country’s President or Prime Minister, state’s chief minister are very common, the official further added.“No concrete step has been taken to promote industry in the state. Had the government promoted industry sector, there would have been more employment generation. There are several projects related to broadening of roads biting the dust,” a Patna-based trader said. Admitting the plethora of challenges, JD(U) leader Neeraj Kumar said, “The turnaround of Bihar by Nitish during the past over eight years has been marred by Manjhi interregnum. Nitish  has to work harder and also he has very little time.” “During the last nine months when Manjhi was at the helm of affairs, a brake was put on development and law and order situation deteriorated. Manjhi’s strategy to propagate the social hatred will come a cropper. The Dalit vote will remain intact,” Kumar added. Apart from manifold challenges before the chief minister, Kumar said, the biggest challenge is governance. “Nitish Kumar’s USP was good governance and now the improvement is required not only in law and order but on every front from education to health, infrastructure to development and social welfare to delivery. Governance during Manjhi era was affected mainly at bureaucratic level and transfer industry flourished that affected normal functioning of the government,” he added. Nitish has resolved to work with zeal and dedication and ready to deliver development with justice which he had pledged in the winter of 2005. He fully knows that not only on political scenario but social fronts has also changed.To win back the confidence of Mahadalit society would be an enormous task for him amid the reports of simmering discontent among this section of society in the wake of Manjhi episode. The Mahadalits who were mildly influenced with the crowning of their man in May last, are now quite bitter and angry over his removal. BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi retorted, “The Mahadalit society which had been a strong supporter of Nitish has fully turned against him and they are swearing to vote against him.”It might be a Herculean task to amend the numerous decisions that Manjhi has made for the Mahadalits, including reservation for them in contract for construction works particularly roads and bridges, five decimal land to Mahdalaits for house, deployment of cops of Mahdalit sections in each police station and others. Before quitting on February 20, Manjhi in just four days made over a hundred decisions, which are likely to be reviewed by the new government.On the political front, Nitish will have to manage and settle down with traditional rival Lalu Prasad in the changed scenario. In 2005 when he came to power, the BJP was an ally and the party extended full cooperation to him in running the administration. The RJD was not even a forceful Opposition then. But now with a powerful Opposition, Nitish will have to tread very cautiously. His concentration on improving governance during the next nine months might create certain hindrances in view of a crucial election and seat sharing with new allies even if the merger of the Janata Parivar is not materialised by that time.CHIEF MINISTERIAL SPELLS First Term: March 3, 2000 – March 10, 2000 On March 3, 2000 Nitish Kumar was appointed the Chief Minister of Bihar but he resigned seven days later as he failed to prove majority. RJD leader Lalu Prasad enjoyed the majoritySecond Term: Nov 24, 2005 – Nov 24, 2010In November 2005, he led the NDA to victory in Bihar assembly elections bringing an end to the 15-year rule of the Lalu Prasad-led RJD. He was sworn-in as the chief minister of the state on November 24, 2005. Under his government, Bihar developed an electronic version of the Right to Information Act called Jankari scheme. In addition, he launched the e-shakti NREGS programme, by which rural people can get employment information by telephone. He is credited with improving infrastructure, and reducing crime, widely felt to be serious problems in the state. Under his governance Bihar has had a record number of criminal prosecutions through fast track courts. His government generated employment in police services and teaching and Bihar recorded record construction work during his five year mandate, surpassing the national average. During this period, women and extremely backward castes were given 50 per cent reservation in electorals for the first time ever in India.Third Term: November 26, 2010 – May 17, 2014  In 2010, Nitish Kumar’s party swept back to power along with its allies (at that time), BJP. On November 26, 2010, Kumar took oath as the chief minister of Bihar. This was his second consecutive term as CM of the state. In a keenly fought contest, Kumar led JD(U)-BJP combine won with four-fifth majority. NDA won 206 seats while RJD won 22 seats. On May 17, 2014, he submitted his resignation to Bihar Governor – a day after his party fared poorly in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, winning just two seats against 20 in the previous election. Kumar resigned, taking the moral responsibility of his party’s poor performance in the election, and Jitan Ram Manjhi took over.Fourth Term: February 22, 2015 – till dateNitish Kumar took the oath as Bihar CM for the 4th time on February 22, 2015 after the former CM Jitan Ram Manjhi resigned on February 20, just a few hours before he was scheduled to prove his majority in the state assembly.last_img read more