Cooperation crucial in the fight against organized crime The criminal activities of organized crime groups, such as drug smuggling, extortion, kidnapping, and human trafficking, have led to increased levels of violence in several OAS countries in recent years. For example, from 2000 to 2011, the homicide rate in El Salvador jumped from 60 to 69 per 100,000 inhabitants, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). During that time, the number of killings in Honduras rose from 51 to 92 per 100,000 residents. In Guatemala, the number of killings ncreased from 26 to 39 for every 100,000 inhabitants. The violent street gangs Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, and Barrio 18, or 18th Street, operate in each of those countries, where they engage in domestic drug dealing, extortion, and firearms trafficking. Those gangs are responsible for much of the violence in El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. These gangs also have alliances with Mexican drug trafficking organizations, such as the Sinaloa Cartel, which is led by fugitive kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, and Los Zetas. Strengthening joint actions Security officials in Latin America need reliable equipment, technological tools, and sound tactical and strategic plans to succeed in their battle against organized crime, officials from more than 30 countries agreed following a recent conference. These were the main conclusions reached during the IV meeting of the Ministers of Security in the Americas (MISPA) in Medellin, Colombia. Officials from the 35 countries which comprise the Organization of American States (OAS) participated in the conference, which took place Nov. 21-22 2013. Security officials at the conference also determined that regional cooperation between OAS countries is crucial in the fight against transnational criminal threats. Colombian Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzón, OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza, and United States Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. were among the officials who attended the conference. The two-day meeting strengthened ties between OAS countries which battle transnational criminal organizations, Pinzón said. “The summit is an instrument that strengthens and reinforces joint actions against transnational crime and criminal behaviors that are common in these countries,” Pinzón said. Many OAS members face the shared threat posed by transnational criminal organizations, Pinzón explained. Transnational criminal organizations are “a global challenge that prevents the development of countries and violates human rights,” the defense minister said. Gangs in Colombia An international commission Colombian security forces are battling several organized crime groups, including the drug trafficking gangs “Los Rastrojos” and “Los Urabeños.” Both of these gangs have alliances with Mexican drug cartels. ”, both linked to drug trafficking in collusion with Mexican drug cartels, especially the Sinaloa Cartel, led by the fugitive of justice, Joaquín “Chapo” Guzmán. Colombian officials are negotiating with representatives of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), which has been fighting the government for 50 years. The ongoing negotiations are taking place in Havana. Organized crime activity increases violence By Dialogo December 19, 2013 At the end of the meeting, MISPA defined strategies for regional cooperation in the fight against transnational criminal organizations. The strategy calls for joint investigation protocols and improving the lines of communication for police forces from different countries to share information. Several OAS member countries are already cooperating in the fight against organized crime. For example, on Nov. 14, 2013 in Piura, Peru, the presidents of Peru and Ecuador agreed to strengthen cooperation on security in the fight against human trafficking and the illegal sale of fuel. The agreement President Ollanta Humala of Peru and President Rafael Correa of Ecuador marked the closing of the VII Binational Ministerial Cabinet. On Nov. 23, 2013, President Correa met with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos to discuss the progress of the agreements reached during the first Binational Cabinet meeting between the two countries. This meeting was held in December 2012, in Tulcán, Ecuador, where eight agreements were signed on issues of security, transportation, education, tourism, and petroleum. During the MISPA meeting, Insulza urged officials from OAS nations to support the idea of forming an international commission to fight transnational crime. “I hope that the proposal for an Inter-American Commission against organized transnational crime is considered and realized, because even today, in the second decade of the 21st century, we do not have a technical-political agency dedicated to organizing and coordinating collective efforts to address the growing threat of transnational organized crime,” the OAS Secretary General said. “In the five years that have passed since our first meeting in Mexico City, the issue of public security has become a cornerstone for OAS actions. MISPA has been institutionalized and response capabilities of the various agencies have increased,” Insulza said.
“The September jobs report was a troubling one, as job growth fell below expectations and thousands left the workforce,” said NAFCU Chief Economist and Vice President of Research Curt Long. Non-farm payrolls rose 661,000 during the month, and while the unemployment rate fell 0.5 percentage points to 7.9 percent, the labor participation rate also fell – dropping 0.3 percentage points to 61.4 percent.“In all, the labor force shrunk by nearly 700,000 workers in September, 89 percent of which were female,” Long said in a new Macro Data Flash report, noting that the drop in female labor participation coincided with the start of the school year. “Meanwhile, the ranks of the unemployed continue to tilt away from temporary layoffs and toward permanent ones; the latter group swelled by 350,000 during the month.With those additions, permanent job losers represent 2.3 percent of the labor force, which is just over half the peak during the Great Recession. It was not until 2017 that the figure returned to its pre-crisis level,” he added.Results among the major industries showed modest gains in most sectors, led by services growth. Leisure and hospitality gained 61,000 jobs, as did education and health services. Professional and business services (+25,000 jobs) and construction (+16,000) also saw gains. This is placeholder text continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr This post is currently collecting data…
Brazil coach Carlos Amadeu said that it won’t be easy for the South American giants to break their 14-year-old trophy drought with “too many title contenders” in fray.“All the European teams are very strong, including Spain and England, while Mexico, United States and the South American sides will pose a threat,” Amadeu told reporters in Mumbai.“It’s always difficult to face an African side in this age group,” the 52-year-old added.Brazil have been dealt a severe blow after star striker Vinicius Junior, who has drawn comparisons with Paris-Saint Germain’s Neymar, was denied release by his club Flamengo.India, hosting their biggest football event yet, will also be keen to mark their debut with a strong showing. They are in Group A with USA, Columbia and Ghana.But India’s manager Luis Norton de Matos, a former Portugal forward, did not mince his words when he said that India have just a five percent chance of winning a game.The 23-day event culminates on October 28 with the final in Kolkata, the eastern city known as the hotbed of football in cricket-obsessed India. New Delhi, India | AFP | The Under-17 World Cup starting in India on Friday should feature only players born this century, but officials are taking no chances after defending champions Nigeria were caught in a major age-cheating scandal.All players at the competition, which has helped launch the careers of Neymar, Ronaldinho, Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez, will have their wrists scanned by MRI to check they weren’t born before January 1, 2000.The measure was confirmed after Nigeria, who have won the tournament a record five times, bombed out of qualifying after they lost 26 squad members who were found to be over-age ahead of a key clash in August.Age fraud is also rampant in other countries, according to football officials, prompting FIFA to bring Magnetic Resonance Imaging equipment to the 17th edition of the tournament, which is taking part in six Indian cities.MRI scans can determine whether a player is below 17 with 99 percent accuracy, experts say, as they can show whether he or she has stopped growing — which usually happens after 17.“While it is the responsibility of each member association to ensure that their players meet the age requirements, FIFA has decided to conduct magnetic resonance imaging of the wrist at its U-17 competitions,” said a FIFA spokesperson.Play gets underway on Friday in New Delhi, where two-time champions Ghana play Colombia at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, while New Zealand clash with Turkey in Mumbai.With the absence of Nigeria, and with three-time winners Brazil weakened, the tournament is regarded as open and unpredictable. Share on: WhatsApp
Two people are dead, and another 20 are injured, after a gunman allegedly opened fire at an off-campus Texas A&M University-Commerce Halloween and homecoming party Saturday night.According to Hunt County Sheriff Randy Meeks, the shooter may have been targeting a certain person at the gathering of about 750 people in Greenville, which is 15 miles southwest of the campus.The shooting occurred around midnight Saturday. Meeks says the injured included four people who did not have suffer gunshot wounds but were instead hurt while attempting to run from the scene.Authorities believe the male shooter entered the venue through a back door and then began firing with a handgun. He remains on the loose, and they do not know who he is or have a description of him.Sheriff’s deputies had been questioning a party-goer in front of the building due to complaints of parking on the roadway blocking traffic. That is when they heard gunshots coming from the back of the building.Meeks says the two deceased victims are both males, but he did not know if they were A&M-Commerce students.School and sheriff’s officials add that the party was not a school-sponsored event.The party was being held at a facility called The Party Venue. The owner is cooperating with authorities, Meeks says.According to its website, Texas A&M University-Commerce is the second-largest university in the Texas A&M University System. The school, which was founded in 1889, has about 6,000 undergraduate students and 4,000 graduate students.
Boynton Beach police say a man called them after he allegedly stabbed the person he attempted to rob.Police received a phone call from West Palm Beach resident Victor Morel on Saturday night, claiming that he had been shot at two times around the area of SE 23rd Avenue and South Seacrest Boulevard. Morel also told them that he had stabbed a person at 2039 South Seacrest Boulevard, and refused to meet with law enforcement.Officers responding to 2039 South Seacrest Boulevard found two spent shell casings in the parking lot. They also discovered an empty holster, loose amphetamine pills and a blood trail close to the front door of an apartment at that address.The victim was taken to Bethesda Memorial Hospital with a stab wound to his upper back and an abrasion to the right side of his head. He was later transported to the Delray Medical Trauma Center for a collapsed lung.When Morel eventually agreed to meet with police, he told them that he met the victim on a social media app called “Grindr.”He added that he had heard the victim was a drug dealer, and his intentions when meeting the victim were to “make some money off of him.”Morel also admitted that they met at the victim’s argument and got into an argument there.According to police, Morel admitted striking the victim in the head with a closed fist, causing the victim to fall to the ground.The arrest report adds that Morel then grabbed a briefcase filled with methamphetamine and struck the victim again before running out the front door.Morel stabbed the victim, who had managed to get a hold of a firearm.The other man fired two shots as Morel drove away, hitting the front windshield and driver’s side window.Police contacted the victim at the hospital, who told them that Morel had attempted to rob him of his wallet, but he put up a fight.The victim added that Morel stabbed him in the back, forcing him to pull out his firearm and shoot.Morel is charged with Robbery and Aggravated Battery.He was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail, and there is no word on any charges against the victim.
Facebook8Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest WashingtonBig Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Washington today announced the selection of Jeff Engle as the new CEO.Jeff Engle is the new CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Washington. Photo courtesy: Big Brothers Big Sisters“We’re very excited to have Jeff on board,” said Big Brothers Big Sisters Board President Mark Boyer. “It was a tough selection process. We had a lot of highly qualified applicants, but ultimately felt that Jeff’s professional experience and personal investment in the community made him the best candidate.”Engle has an extensive background in management and business development. He is also very familiar with the mission and values of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Washington as he has served as a Big Brother since 2012.“I am fortunate to have the opportunity to serve with a very talented and passionate group of individuals that live the mission every day,” says Engle. “I have experienced firsthand the positive affect mentoring has on at-risk youth and the vital role that Big Brothers Big Sisters plays in the community. I look forward to continuing the great work of the organization, expanding services within our five-county service area, recruiting more community members to volunteer as mentors, and ensuring the agency is fiscally sound.”Engle and his wife Cheryl Selby reside in Olympia. They are active in the community supporting numerous local organizations. In addition, Jeff enjoys tennis, hiking, golf, travel and being a grandfather in his spare time.Engle has begun the transition process and will assume full responsibility on September 1.About Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest WashingtonOur mission is to provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one mentoring relationships that change their lives for the better, forever.We serve children and youth ages 5-18 years old in the region of Thurston, Mason, Lewis, Pacific, and Grays Harbor counties. We are one of the only evidence-based, volunteer supported organizations that does not charge a fee to the children or families that we serve.To learn more, please visit the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Washington website and like us on Facebook.
To represent Nelson at the B.C. High School AA Girl’s Field Hockey Championships next month in North Vancouver, the L.V. Rogers Bombers need to play a few more games.J. Lloyd Crowe Hawks of Trail scored in the first minute en route to a 1-0 victory over the Bombers in the final of the West Kootenay Field Hockey Championships Wednesday at Pass Creek Park in Castlegar. The win was the first of the season for Crowe over LVR.The Bombers now take the back door route to provincials, competing in a Wild Card Game against #2 Okanagan and the #3 Fraser Valley Teams Tuesday (October 29), in Kelowna on the Mission Creek Turf Fields.If the Bombers win the final, it’s off to the AA Provincials in North Vancouver on November 6-8.Check out the Bombers athletics page at www.lvr.sd8.bc.ca
Second place went to David Jamieson with a 16.5 pound Rainbow with Rick Carlson finishing third.Bruce McIntosh from Genelle placed first, winning $2,000 in the Dolly competition. McIntosh landed a 14-pound Dolly.Second place went to Kirk Daley with John York taking home third.Once again this derby was a tremendous success say derby officials, far surpassing even their own high expectations. Hector Sandoval of Creston is $10-grand richer after walking away with the top prize at the Kootenay Lake BC Family Day Fishing Derby Monday.The event, hosted by Canadian Training Resources, by not only tossing out $30,000 in prizes but also donated 80 pounds of fresh fish to the local food bank in Creston.Sandoval won the top prize by landing an 18-pound (34-5/8 inches) Rainbow Trout. This year derby organizers asked fishermen to donate the fish they entered in the derby to the local food bank. Bonus prizes were given throughout the weekend including a fishing trip for two to the West Coast, a fishing trip to northern Saskatchewan, and an outboard motor as well as many smaller prizes of gift cards donated by local sponsors.To see all the prize winners go to http://www.ctrcanadaderby.com/
Photo: Qantas Qantas will sharpen its focus on attracting lucrative Chinese business travellers as it heads back into Beijing with daily A330-200 services as part of its strategy to boost its presence in Asia.The new service from Sydney marks the airline’s return to the competitive Beijing market since leaving in 2009 because it couldn’t make it work and comes as travel between Australia and China is burgeoning. It will capitalise on the Qantas alliance with China Eastern, which will codeshare on the flights from the expected start date of January 25.A strengthening of the China Eastern alliance will also see the addition of three international codeshare routes between Australia and China: Sydney-Hangzhou, Sydney-Kunming and Brisbane-Shanghai.The China Eastern partnership and a second with China Southern allows Qantas to offer more than 130 return services a week between Australia and China, connecting to a further 256 codeshare services a week on intra-China domestic routes. Low-cost brand Jetstar offers an addtional 20 return services a week into six Chinese cities from Singapore and Vietnam.Beijing will be the Australian carrier’s third destination in greater China, building on its existing daily services to Shanghai and 28 return flights a week to Hong Kong. The new route represents an 18 per cent increase in Qantas’ total capacity into Greater China and a seven per cent increase in its total capacity into Asia.The airline group said about half of Qantas and Jetstar international capacity is now dedicated to the Asia region, up from 30 per cent a decade ago, and it had added flights to Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, the Philippines and Indonesia in the past year.The expansion comes as rival Virgin Australia has indicated it is also looking at services to Hong Kong or mainland China.Two major Chinese groups, HNA and Nanshan, now own about 40 per cent of Virgin, and are moving to put representatives on the Virgin’s board. The election of HNA representative Nang Qi and Nanshan’s Dr Chien-tsung Lu will be put to shareholders at the airline’s annual meeting on November 16.China is becoming Australia’s biggest source of visitors after New Zealand and Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said the additional 3300 seats would help the airline take advantage of surging demand.“Australia is now at the top of the wish list for Chinese travellers thinking about where they want to go next,’’ Mr Joyce said. “There are 21 million people in Beijing alone and from the start of next year they will be just one Qantas flight away. The potential is tremendous.“We’re seeing strong loads on our existing Shanghai and Hong Kong services, and on this new Beijing route we’ll have the advantage of China Eastern marketing the Qantas flight as part of their own network.“We’ll be ramping up the work we’re already doing with the state tourism bodies and Tourism Australia on marketing campaigns in China to make sure we make the most of this potential. Our pitch is that if you want to experience the best of Australia, your trip should start with the national carrier. “The business travel market is another key focus for this route, particularly off the back of the free trade agreement with China, which is increasing the amount of freight we’re carrying.”The flying kangaroo has been on the hunt for new pilots as it brings in new Boeing 787 aircraft and looks to expand its presence in Asia and North America.The airline said Thursday it had received more than 500 applications from Australian and overseas pilots for 170 new jobs it announced earlier this year. The jobs announcement marked the first time Qantas had sought to bring in pilots from outside the group since 2009.
Almost all civil society organisations in Manipur announced on Sunday that they will join the Citizenship Bill agitations on October 3 throughout the Northeast region in protest against the moves to pass the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.A meeting of the representatives of the civil society organisations and social activists was held in Imphal on Sunday to reaffirm their stand against the Bill.Dilipkumar Yumnamcha, convener of the Manipur People Against Citizenship Amendment Bill (MANPAC) formed by over 84 civil society organisations in Manipur said, “People in the Northeast States are fuming over the one nation, one language theory. The people in Manipur have been agitating all these days contending that when enacted this Bill will be against the interest of the indigenous peoples of this region”.Even States such as Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland where there is travel restrictions of the outsiders since the Inner Line Permit is in force are not happy with the Bill.Mr. Yumnamcha said that because of the ferment in the NE States the Bill could not be tabled in Rajya Sabha. “However it does not mean that it will not be passed”, he added.All political parties in Manipur are also holding a meeting on Monday to make their stands clear to the people over the Bill.Chief Minister of Manipur N. Biren said that the Bill, when enacted, shall not harm the people of the State. However, his detractors maintain that people take his assurance with a pinch of salt. He said that police parolling and surveillance are intensified over the border towns said to be entry points of the illegal migrants.Another burning problem in Manipur is the forthcoming accord the Indian government is likely to sign with the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM). Several prominent politicians say that while the people welcome the forthcoming agreement with the NSCN(IM) they say that nothing should be done to threaten the unity and integrity of Manipur. Sunil Karam, president of United Committee Manipur which is for the protection of Manipur’s territory said that if Manipur’s voice is muffled people will “take up the cudgels to avenge the deaths of 18 persons on June 18, 2001”. They were protesting against the “without territorial limits” words in the agreement with the NSCN(IM).
As most of the Dutch team was packing its orange bags in the country’s only indoor nets on a freezing night in late January, hard-hitting all-rounder Ryan Ten Doeschate was gearing up to play for Tasmania against New South Wales in the finals of Australia’s Twenty20 competition.Ryan Ten DoeschateSouth African-born Ten Doeschate and South Australia’s Tom Cooper are the higher-profile players in a Netherlands team of relative unknowns that is also made up of students, a tobacconist and a hamburger restaurant owner. Many of the players had to take time off work or study to travel to the World Cup.But the Dutch part-timers have proven in the past they are capable of pulling off a shock, beating hosts England by four wickets in the opening match of the 2009 Twenty20 World Cup.”The target for us is obviously to cause upsets, make an impression,” New Zealand-born captain Peter Borren said. “And to do that, we need to knock off one of the big boys.”Realistically, however, the Netherlands will be targeting their two last Group B matches, against Bangladesh and Ireland as games to win.Before those two matches, the Netherlands takes on England in its opener at Nagpur on Feb. 22, followed by West Indies, South Africa and India.Borren said subcontinent cricket is not new to the team as it embarks on its fourth World Cup campaign.”In the last four years we’ve probably been to India maybe five or six times so everyone’s had some experience there,” he said. “But obviously not all that much experience playing at that level in those conditions.”advertisementNetherlands made its World Cup debut in 1996 and appeared at the last two editions of cricket’s showcase tournament in 2003 and 2007. So far its only two World Cup wins have been over fellow minnows Namibia, in 2003, and Scotland in 2007.Selector and former captain Tim de Leede said the Netherlands has no genuinely fast pace bowler to spearhead its attack and will rely on steady medium pacers and a pair of economical slow bowlers – off spinner Adeel Raja and left arm orthodox Pieter Seelaar.”They have to bowl line and length and hopefully the fielders will do as well as they possibly can to support them,” De Leede said.In its race to catch up with the rest of the cricketing world, the Netherlands has been using specialist fielding, batting, bowling and wicketkeeping coaches and has a full-time coach, Australian Peter Drinnen.”They have more professionals than ever. They have a full-time coach, they have specialists coming in … so there are really no excuses any more,” De Leede said.Batting is the Netherlands’ strongest suit, with Eric Szwarczynski, a fluid strokemaker who has a knack for finding gaps in the field and Worcester’s Alexei Kervezee likely to open. Pakistan-born bowler Mudassar Bukhari – usually a lower order hitter – also can open in limited-overs matches.The middle order will feature professionals Ten Doeschate, Borren and Cooper, who has a one-day average of 65.44 in his 10 matches for the Netherlands – most of them against second-tier associate opposition, including 80 not out on debut against Scotland.Seelaar says the likes of Borren and Ten Doeschate have changed the way many homegrown players approach the game and he hopes the new mind set will pay dividends at the World Cup.”I think we now are getting close to a professional setup now,” he said. “The pros teach us how to be pros.”
Five of the teams that participated in this year’s renewal of the Development Bank of Jamaica’s (DBJ) National Business Model Competition (NBMC) for tertiary institutions will represent the country in the 2018 International Business Model Competition (IBMC) in Utah, USA, from May 10 to 11. The UWI’s Skolastik Oasis and NCU’s Beasc Technology were also invited to participate. Heading the record list of entrants is University of the West Indies (UWI) Mona Campus-based market research entity, Queritel, which topped the six teams participating in the recent NBMC finals at The Knutsford Court Hotel, New Kingston, to emerge as Jamaica’s official representative at the IBMC. Five of the teams that participated in this year’s renewal of the Development Bank of Jamaica’s (DBJ) National Business Model Competition (NBMC) for tertiary institutions will represent the country in the 2018 International Business Model Competition (IBMC) in Utah, USA, from May 10 to 11.Heading the record list of entrants is University of the West Indies (UWI) Mona Campus-based market research entity, Queritel, which topped the six teams participating in the recent NBMC finals at The Knutsford Court Hotel, New Kingston, to emerge as Jamaica’s official representative at the IBMC.Queritel will be joined by first and second runners-up, Eco-Structures and Pneulyfe, representing the UWI and Northern Caribbean University (NCU), respectively.The UWI’s Skolastik Oasis and NCU’s Beasc Technology were also invited to participate.This year’s record number of NBMC entrants results from Jamaica securing four of the 12 coveted spaces offered in the IBMC’s highly competitive ‘At Large Round’, a feat never before accomplished.The DBJ’s Jamaica Venture Capital Programme Project Coordinator, Audrey Richards, who coordinates the NBMC, describes this as a “tremendous achievement”.“It endorses the work our universities are doing in building future business leaders. It is an endorsement of the quality of the judges at our competition, and it sends a signal that the work we, the Development Bank of Jamaica though the Jamaica Venture Capital Programme, are doing with our universities and, indeed (towards) the development of a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem, is on the right path,” she says.There is great anticipation of Jamaica doing well again in the upcoming IBMC, to replicate and even surpass impressive performances recorded by teams entering since 2014, when the country sent its first representative.Jamaican teams have consistently finished in the top 10, despite competing against thousands of participants from over 40 colleges and universities across the world.The 2014 NBMC winner, Herboo Enterprise, placed eighth; 2015 champion, JarGro Enterprise, reached the semi-finals; 2016 winner, Guardana Inc, which received honorary mention – sixth; and 2017 champion, Natsima Nutraceuticals – fourth.The replication or surpassing of these placements would cap a record-breaking year for the NBMC, which saw the UWI, through Queritel, winning the competition for the first time and, in the process, breaking NCU’s dominance of the initiative since its inception.The competition, which is designed to encourage and promote the creative and innovative thinking of students, facilitates local entrepreneurial skills and enhances collaboration and communication between stakeholders in the private sector and academia.According to Querital’s Vice President for Marketing and Operations, Kedonne Martin, “originally the idea for Queritel was (to name the entity) Research Aid Plus, which came up after realising that students on campus needed research work done and they needed help with this… so they came to us”.“After working with this idea for a year and pitching it, we realised that it made more sense to (market it) to entrepreneurs, who would be more willing to pay for this service. So, we pivoted to Queritel and, since then, we have had over 120 customers and made over US$6,000 in revenue, and it has been amazing. Winning this competition is another form of validation for us, and we are so happy for it,” he says.The members of Querital copped the winning prize of $2 million, plus an all-expense paid trip to the IBMC, slated for the prestigious Utah Valley Convention Centre and the Provo Marriott Hotel and Conference Centre.Prizes totalling $4 million were up for grabs in this year’s NBMC, which was sponsored by the Inter-American Development Bank, through the Multilateral Investment Fund; PanJam Investment; Restaurant Associates, through its flagship brand, Burger King; Musson Foundation; NCB Foundation; Sagicor Group; Scotiabank; GK Capital Management; and the PetroCaribe Development Fund.The IBMC is sponsored by the Kevin and Debra Rollins Centre for Entrepreneurship and Technology in the Marriott School of Management at Brigham Young University, headquartered in Provo, Utah.The entrepreneurship programme at the Marriott School, which has campuses/students across the United States and in 105 other countries, is consistently ranked among the top such offered, annually. 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zoom A German-Canadian research team has been conducting preparatory work to develop a system for a safe navigation through the icy waters of the Northwest Passage.A research team, coordinated by German Fraunhofer Institute for Communication, Information Processing and Ergonomics FKIE, aims at establishing a monitoring and information system that would enable ships to navigate safely through the passage in the future.The project entitled PASSAGES (Protection and Advanced Surveillance System for the Artic: Green, Efficient, Secure) is supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) as well as the project partners Airbus, exact Earth, and Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada.Wolfgang Koch, Head of Sensor Data and Information Fusion at FKIE, said that enabling the safe navigation through the passage is not an easy task because the route is challenging not only due to the presence of a number of bays, islands, uncharted shoals and narrows, but also because of drift ice and extreme weather conditions.In addition, vessels sometimes do not record their positions or (in cases like those of illegal fishing vessels) record false positions. The system has to provide reliable information about all of that.According to Fraunhofer, one of the problems is that there is little data available, because of the lack of infrastructure in sensor and communication technology. The entire route is larger than Western Europe and is sparsely populated. Even if there were sufficient data these would have to be processed into information which would be useful for stakeholders such as ship crews, Fraunhofer said.The researchers are addressing all of these difficulties by developing concepts about which technology can gather what information and where and how it can be fused.“The difficulty is to bring together very diverse and inaccurate data in order to provide for instance decision support for ship captains to decide on which route to take when,“ Koch said.The researchers said they need to create algorithms for the fusion of sensor data.The first thing to do is to tap data sources in the harsh climate zone. The Automatic Identification System (AIS) can be used, which reports among other information ships‘ current position. In addition, there are satellite images. Even old sonar systems from the Cold War era could be resurrected, the researchers said.However, a high-resolution view by means of which captains could safely pilot through the water does not yet exist. Koch is therefore still hoping for another data provider – the passive radar.Ships could navigate safely through the Northwest Passage in the future.This technology uses the electromagnetic pollution from mobile stations near the coast. Receiving stations will tap into this and gain information about ships and ice blocks – their size, position and speed. In this way, Koch said that large areas can be monitored. Other possibilities are unmanned vehicles that gather information below and above water.As the polar ice caps are melting, the Northwest Passage is becoming navigable for longer periods of the year. Ship traffic, however, still bears hazardous risks, according to Fraunhofer. The goal of the project is to change this.The sea route is said to be important for the federal government of Germany, due to its economic benefits.“For a country dependent on exports, such as Germany, shorter sea routes are of great importance,“ Koch said. “Compared to the route between East Asia and Europe via the Suez Canal, the route via the Northwest Passage is about 5,000 nautical miles shorter, which means enormous savings for ship owners,“ Koch added.The researchers hope that the project would evolve from a research into a development project. An operational system would be a great asset for shipping companies, coast guards, maritime authorities as well as for insurance companies, the researchers claim.Referring to insurance companies, Koch said that they could calculate premiums for the ships that are to be insured. After the tricky route is made manageable through safe navigation, ship owners would not have to spend so much on insurance coverage.It will take at least a decade until the navigation system is ready to be launched, according to Fraunhofer. Over these years, the route is expected to become progressively ice-free and economically navigable for shipping traffic.“As dramatic as global warming is, we try to get at least something positive out of it,“ Koch said.
‘Pre-booking has started for Passport at Amazon and BlackBerry exclusive stores from Monday itself. Customers pre-booking at Amazon.in would receive a gift card worth Rs 5,000. It will be be available across stores from 10 October for Rs 49,990,’ BlackBerry India Managing Director Sunil Lalvani said at the launch event.BlackBerry Passport has 4.5 LCD touch screen and comes with a three row qwerty keypad which also has capacitative touch features embedded in it. Also Read – I-T issues 17-point checklist to trace unaccounted DeMO cash‘The keypad can be used for typing as well as navigation by swiping fingers on it for functions like delete, moving predictive words function up and down etc,’ Lalvani said. BlackBerry Passport comes with 3450 mAh non-removable battery which company said will support up to 14 hours of talktime in 2G network and video playback of up to 11 hours. The square-shaped handset has 13 megapixel main camera and 2 megapixel front camera. The internal storage capacity of the phone is 32 GB and supports 128 GB of external storage. Also Read – Lanka launches ambitious tourism programme to woo Indian touristsBlackBerry has targeted professionals who have heavy typing requirement through Passport. The phones total length is about 5-inch and width is about 3.5 inch. Though BlackBerry Passport is completely different in terms of design, it may see tough competition from premium smartphones like iPhone 5S, Sony Xperia Z3, HTC M8 etc.Another tough competition for the phone could be Samsung Note 4, which is yet to be launched in India.Before Passport, the company’s most expensive smartphone was Blackberry Q10 launched for about Rs 45,000 in June last year. The handset is now available in the market at around Rs 19,000 — less than half its launch price. The company had to reduce price of its handsets as there was a huge inventory pile up due to less of demand of BlackBerry phones sold at premium price. Lalvani said the price of BlackBerry Passport is going to stay because of its high quality components and specifications.‘We launched Z3 in June and there is no price change till date. We are getting good response. We had two price revisions of Z10 over period of 18 months. Its not a secret. We had to write down some inventory and we are now coming out of it. Passport is competitively and aggressively priced because of its specification,’ Lalvani said.
Mela Khushiyon Ka is therefore a spiritual tadka as laughter triggers healthy physical changes in the body, boosts energy and diminishes pain. Being held at a time when the country is in the midst of spring, the three-day festival of holistic healing, cultural performances, mela is taking place at Zorba the Buddha and is on till Sunday. In addition to cultural performances, fire-walk, joyous therapeutic dance, soulful Baul songs and Bhangra, there are some impromptu ‘pop-up’ events like performers drumming, flute, jamming, dance, poetry to promote bonhomie and bonding. All this leads to an amalgamation of a holistic expression of an individual through the medium of creativity. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The highlight of the cultural event is the presence and participation of Shivani Sur, who comes from a family of musicians, whose talent was discovered at the tender age of three when she started imitating her father’s singing in Gonda in Uttar Pradesh. She is the third generation of her musician family. All this comes with the buzz and colours of wellness and happiness amidst the calm and serenity of healing workshops, yoga and meditation. The mela have a healing circle where healers will offer a wide variety of healing modalities such as Ayurveda, Tarot, Numerology, Aura Reading, Vaastu, Angel Card Reading, food stalls, art creations besides many more, in interactive personal sessions.Housing around twenty stalls, the mela showcases a wide variety of eclectic wares such as organic food, exotic tea blends, chutneys from the hills of Kumaon, Ayurveda products, fashion and style paraphernalia, books, music and more.