Baloney Meter Has every single refugee claimant in Canada been screened

first_imgOTTAWA — “We have made sure that every single person crossing our borders, whether legally or illegally, gets processed according to all our rules. We have seen over the past years all around the world an increase in migration and in asylum seekers happening everywhere, and Canada is not immune to that. However, we have a strong immigration system that continues to apply all its steps to everyone crossing the border.” — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in question period, May 7, 2019.—The influx of asylum seekers to Canada has become a sustained political headache for the Liberals over the last two years and is likely to be the subject of divisive debates in the upcoming fall federal election.The most heated rhetoric tends to revolve around tens of thousands of “irregular migrants” who have crossed into Canada through unofficial paths along the Canada-U.S. border since early 2017.The Conservatives have been accusing the Trudeau government of not being in control of the country’s immigration system and have been using the number of migrants — whom they typically call “illegal,” not “irregular” — to highlight those concerns.Trudeau and immigration officials continue to insist the system is just fine and that Conservatives are merely stoking fears for partisan gain.The prime minister responded to one recent question from deputy Conservative leader Lisa Raitt by  saying “every single person crossing our borders, whether legally or illegally, gets processed according to all our rules.”Is this statement true?Spoiler alert: The Canadian Press Baloney Meter is a dispassionate examination of political statements culminating in a ranking of accuracy on a scale of “no baloney” to “full of baloney” (complete methodology below).This one earns a rating of “Full of baloney.”Here’s why.THE FACTSAnyone wishing to make an asylum claim in Canada faces a number of screenings by three different federal agencies.The Immigration Department and Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) first conduct an eligibility assessment, which involves biometric screening (fingerprints and photos) and biographic checks as well as a security check for anyone over 18 years of age. This determines whether the person is eligible to make a refugee claim. Factors that rule out eligibility include whether the person has committed a serious crime, made a previous claim in Canada or received protection in another country.If, after those checks, the person is deemed eligible for refugee protection, the Immigration Department or CBSA then refers the claim to the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) — an arm’s-length tribunal that decides refugee cases and appeals.Once a claim is referred to the IRB, it’s reviewed for security, credibility and for possible grounds for exclusion from Canada’s asylum system.THE AUDITOR GENERALFederal auditor general Sylvain Ricard recently probed whether all three government agencies involved in refugee determinations have been consistently processing asylum claims in an efficient and timely manner.The audit found Canada’s refugee system has a backlog of asylum claims that is worse now than it has ever been, caused in part by systemic inefficiencies.Ricard’s office also zeroed in on whether biometric checks for criminality or identity were completed for a sample of 82,503 claimants.His office found that the CBSA had no quality-assurance program to ensure all the proper screening procedures had been completed. For example, the audit found some files contained errors in electronic documentation. It also flagged 400 claims where biometric checks for criminality or identity were not completed, as required. In some of these cases fingerprints were simply not taken and in others there were system errors that occurred when information was transmitted.“Although these cases represent 0.5 per cent of all claimants for whom criminality or identity checks were required, the checks are important for public safety and the integrity of the refugee determination system,” the auditor’s report says. “Neither organization systematically tracked whether a criminal records check was always completed because of poor data quality.”Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale responded by saying the system has “layers of protection.” When the auditor general found those 400 cases with missing biometrics, the CBSA immediately checked those files and in every case, proper criminal screening was done to ensure no bad actors inadvertently slipped through the system, Goodale told reporters May 7.“With respect to biometrics, (CBSA officials) were able to identify that in 0.2 per cent of cases, that part of the screening process was not completed properly. I guess you could look at it the other way around and say 99.8 per cent of the cases, it was properly completed, but in 0.2 per cent, they acknowledge an error and they have taken steps to make sure, by way of proper protocol, that doesn’t happen again,” Goodale said.THE VERDICTTrudeau clearly and matter-of-factly stated that “every single person crossing our borders, whether legally or illegally, gets processed according to all our rules.” He made this statement on the same day the auditor general’s report was published, describing the 400 cases where biometric screenings were not completed as well as other gaps in information collected or shared among government agencies about asylum seekers.The audit report did find that in most cases, proper procedures were followed, but it did flag areas where some people did not get screened according to all the rules.For that reason, Trudeau’s statement in the House of Commons earns a rating of “Full of baloney.”METHODOLOGYThe Baloney Meter is a project of The Canadian Press that examines the level of accuracy in statements made by politicians. Each claim is researched and assigned a rating based on the following scale:No baloney — the statement is completely accurateA little baloney — the statement is mostly accurate but more information is requiredSome baloney — the statement is partly accurate but important details are missingA lot of baloney — the statement is mostly inaccurate but contains elements of truthFull of baloney — the statement is completely inaccurateTeresa Wright, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Billboard company appalled no one taking ownership of Bernier ads

first_imgOTTAWA — The owner of the billboards that featured ads promoting Maxime Bernier’s stance on immigration says they would have stayed up had the third-party group that paid for them not left his company twisting in the wind.Randy Otto, the president of Pattison Outdoor Advertising, says his company agreed to run the ads on the condition that True North Strong & Free Advertising Corp. identify itself and let people viewing the billboards know how to reach it.Otto says his company felt the group could promote Bernier’s and the People’s Party of Canada’s views on immigration — as long as it was prepared to deal with any fallout.He says he did not like having been left alone to defend the ads.Otto says he was “further appalled” to see Frank Smeenk, the head of the third-party group, tell The Canadian Press he disavowed the ad and that he had paid for the campaign without getting the chance to approve its message.The billboards, which featured a photo of Bernier with his party logo and a slogan advocating against “mass immigration,” started appearing across the country late last week.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Knifeman Attacks Imam Inside Hassan Mosque During Friday Prayer

Rabat – A man wielding two knives attacked an imam during Friday prayers at the Hassan mosque in Rabat. Service attendees were quick to intervene to stop the suspect from attacking the leader of the Friday prayers.No injuries were sustained.A car guardian in Hassan, who witnessed the incident, told Morocco World News that a group of people performing Friday prayer managed to stop the knife-wielding suspect. Authorities arrested the suspect and took him to police headquarters for further investigation to determine the circumstances of the incident.A scene from the attack aired on Moroccan TV channels, Al Oula and 2M. However, both channels muted the sound and quickly showed images of the outside of the mosque.The unprecedented incident has caused shock and agitation among mosque-goers and the general public. read more

Eating seafood guilt free UN agency to establish guidelines to certify fish

As the world consumes more seafood, with an increasing proportion of it farmed in captivity, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) today announced that it is working to create a new international standard to certify the safety and harvesting of fish.Currently, almost half of all seafood eaten is farmed in captivity by humans instead of being raised in the wild, prompting questions about whether what is eaten is safe and whether it was produced without hurting the environment.A certification system that is uniform across the world could verify that seafood has been harvested in a way that is healthy, socially responsible and environmentally-conscious, and to this end, FAO is mounting the effort to create a standardized framework.“Establishing transparent, fair and reliable certification schemes is not at all straightforward,” said Lahsen Ababouch of FAO’s Fisheries and Aquaculture Department.Without one global standard, both consumers and producers are tasked with deciding which certification method to trust. As the number of so-called standards increase, consumers could become confused and lose confidence in the entire certification system.“Who sets the standards? Can producers be sure they are grounded in good science? Are the out of reach of poor farmers in the developing world?” he asked. “To what extent should private-sector standards supplement governmental consumer protection policies, and how can the two be reconciled?”Such issues, FAO said, could potentially be resolved with the creation of a uniform certification system. To this end, the agency, in collaboration with the non-governmental organization (NGO) Network for Aquaculture Centres in the Asia Pacific, has been conferring with certification organizations, producers, processors and consumer groups to establish global guidelines for the creation of a new system.“The idea is to bring together a broad group of all the different people involved in the industry, look at what’s already being done in terms of certification, and come up with an overarching framework that can help put aquaculture certification schemes on the same page,” Rohana Subasinghe of FAO’s Fisheries and Aquaculture Department said.“That will help ensure that certification standards, wherever they are being applied, are credible, trustworthy, and fair and will give producers clear goals to shoot for.”While the guidelines to be set up will not be standards in and of themselves, they will help to regulate the raising of seafood by Governments, NGOs or private companies, Mr. Subasinghe added.The first discussion among the various participants was held recently in Bangkok, bringing together 72 different groups from 20 countries.“There was wide consensus on the roadmap that is being proposed, that certification schemes should address four main areas: food safety and quality, social impacts of fish farming on local communities, environmental issues and economic feasibility,” Mr. Ababouch said.The next meeting is scheduled to take place later this year in Brazil, after which FAO and its partners will draft guidelines to be presented to Governments at the UN Agency’s Subcommittee on Aquaculture meeting to be held in November 2008 in Chile. 20 April 2007As the world consumes more seafood, with an increasing proportion of it farmed in captivity, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) today announced that it is working to create a new international standard to certify the safety and harvesting of fish. read more

Statement of Intent for new undergrad program

The Centre for Adult Education and Community Outreach has submitted a Statement of Intent that it wishes to introduce a new undergraduate program, BEd in Applied Adult Education.As part of the approval process, the statement is being made available for the information of the university community to allow the opportunity for comment prior to moving to the next step of the internal quality assurance process.Comments on the above proposal must be submitted by Feb. 14, 2013 via the link provided below. In submitting your response, please include the new program title in the subject line.Please send comments to: ARC-SOI@brocku.ca and Sharon Abbey, director, Centre for Adult Education and Community Outreach. read more

Feds Irving Shipbuilding reach deal to build naval Arctic patrol ships

by Murray Brewster, The Canadian Press Posted Jan 16, 2015 9:48 am MDT OTTAWA – The Harper government has signed a contract to build its long-promised Arctic patrol ships, but it had to increase the overall project budget by $400 million in order to do so.Officials from Public Works and National Defence, along with Irving Shipbuilding President Kevin McCoy, made the announcement Friday in Ottawa ahead of a planned event next week in Halifax.The entire program is now expected to cost $3.5 billion, up from the $3.1 billion initially proposed when the ships were first announced in 2007 as part of the Conservative government’s ambitious plan to rebuild the military.The ships themselves will cost up to $2.3 billion to construct and the rest of the allocation is made up of other costs, including jetty improvements, initial equipment and ammunition.The agreement is to build six light icebreakers for the navy’s use in the North and off both coasts, but there will be a ceiling to the budget and officials acknowledge the number of ships could slip to five if the program runs into trouble.“Should costs increase due to unforeseen factors, the contract will guarantee the delivery of five ships within the same ceiling price,” said a government official who spoke Friday at a technical background briefing.The deal provides incentives to Irving to keep costs down in order to deliver all six ships on time and on budget.Essentially, officials have agreed to a benchmark cost and if it isn’t met, Irving’s fee goes down. If the company manages to beat the benchmark, then its fee goes up.“It’s a fairly simple formula,” McCoy said. “As we drive our costs down, both Canada and Irving share in some of the benefit of the reduced cost.”Last fall, a series of defence and government sources told The Canadian Press that with existing funding, the program was on track to deliver five ships, not six — a report McCoy denied at the time. A few days later, the parliamentary budget office warned that delays and inflation would force the Conservative government to buy fewer ships if it stuck with the original budget.An official, not authorized to speak publicly, said the increase in the budget will mostly go to the project’s contingency fund, which is built into every program as a cushion against inflation and unforeseen circumstances.McCoy didn’t want to criticize the PBO report directly, but said the company’s exhaustive planning, use of computer modeling and three-dimensional imaging allowed it to more accurately predict the costs and what it could do.He was adamant Irving will deliver six ships by the end of the program in 2022.When the program was originally conceived, the Conservatives promised to build up to eight patrol ships, prompting Liberal defence critic Joyce Murray to wonder what exactly has changed.“What was the requirement?” she asked in an interview Friday. “It must have been based on something. Now we’re getting five or six. The lack of transparency — that is what is troubling.”It’s not clear whether the government is making the requirement fit the budget, or the other way around, she added.In order to stay within budget, Irving will have to keep a tight rein not only on its costs, but on those of its suppliers as well, who are already feeling the pinch and have complained to Nova Scotia Economic Development Minister Michel Samson.The Aerospace and Defence Industries Association wrote Samson last summer with concerns about “onerous conditions,” particularly when it comes to matters of intellectual property.McCoy was making no apologies Friday for driving a hard bargain with suppliers.“As the prime contractor, it is our job to deliver the ships that Royal Canadian Navy needs for a fair budget,” said McCoy, who noted that Irving hired outside experts to challenge costing formulas.“We’ve taken on a considerable amount of risk as a company and we expect our suppliers to give us the best possible price.”Modules, which test the ship’s design, will be built this summer and Irving expects to begin building the first ship in September. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Feds, Irving Shipbuilding reach deal to build naval Arctic patrol ships read more

UN agency renews call on donors to support Central African Republic refugees

“The CAR remains one of the most poorly-funded emergencies. The underfunding is badly hampering our ability to provide even basic survival assistance for the refugees and even less to host communities,” Babar Baloch, spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), told reporters in Geneva. “The new refugee arrivals show signs of the brutal violence they have escaped in CAR. [They] have walked for weeks through the forests with little to eat or drink. In April and May, as many as 40 per cent of all the new refugees, children as well as adults, were suffering from malnutrition. We fear that for some children the assistance may be coming too late.” The appeal, backed also by 16 other agencies providing life-saving relief, is a revision of a Regional Refugee Response Plan covering the four asylum countries – Chad, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and Republic of Congo – initially launched in April 2014. Today’s revised plan puts the required needs at $210 million for a targeted beneficiary population of 306,500 by December 2014. To date the amount is only 31 per cent funded. “Serious gaps in assistance remain in shelter and water, sanitation and hygiene. This poses particular concern now that the rainy season has begun,” Mr. Baloch said, stressing the need for resources and life-saving supplies. Over 357,000 CAR refugees are in Cameroon, Chad, DRC and the Republic of Congo and some 160,000 of them have fled since December 2013 after clashes intensified between the Seleka alliance and anti-Balaka militia. The situation is particularly worrisome in Cameroon, where a majority of the refugees are arriving. To deal with the influx of refugees there, the Revised Plan requested $111 million, almost double of what was sought earlier. “UNHCR has seen particularly serious malnutrition rates in Cameroon for over 118,000 arrivals in the last six months. Over 60 per cent of the refugees are women and children, with a high number of unaccompanied children,” he said. Children have indeed been affected by the region’s conflict. Since December 2013, some 17,500 have arrived in Chad, over 15,000 in DRC, with another 9,000 in the Republic of Congo.Also calling attention to the growing humanitarian crisis was UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and actress Mia Farrow who spoke to reporters at UN Headquarters in New York today. “There’s never going to be a time that [Central African Republic] will have the attention that it deserves,” she said. Recalling her first trip to CAR in 2007, Ms. Farrow said, “I came away thinking that the people of Central African Republic are surely the most abandoned people on Earth.” She said that in those early trips she did see tensions rising and a “sense of the otherness” between the Muslim population and the non-Muslim population but she never thought it would rise to such a level of systematic killing. In November 2013, she travelled to the town of Bossangoa, where she witnessed a chaotic scene of 30,000 non-Muslims “trapped” in a church and Muslims in an abandoned school. “Both populations were extremely traumatized with not enough of anything and NGOs [non-governmental organizations], and UNICEF and partners were working very hard to reach them with drinkable water and food. But it was the level of fear that I came away with.” When she returned this year, she said that the entire town of Bossangoa, virtually all Muslims, had been cleansed. “Truck loads” of people had gone either to Cameroon or to Chad. Christians, too, were driven out of their homes and were seeking shelter in churches.She said Central Africans were very much looking forward to September when UN peacekeepers will be on the ground. The UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in CAR (MINUSCA) will take over from the existing African-led MISCA force. “We can’t look to them to eliminate the problem but they can quell the killing and hopefully give humanitarian aid workers access to the population.” read more

UN chief welcomes roadmap adopted by parties at interMalian peace talks

“He commends participants for their willingness to engage in constructive dialogue in line with the 18 June 2013 Ouagadougou Agreement,” the Secretary-General’s spokesperson said in a statement issued last night.The Agreement, signed in the capital of Burkina Faso last year by the Tuareg rebel groups from northern Mali and the Government, allows the Malian regular army, as well as its civil administration, to gradually return to the region of Kidal, held by rebels since 2012. Despite initial improvements since the signing of the accord last year, the situation in northern Mali has deteriorated since the beginning of 2014, as noted by Mr. Ban in a recent report. An increase in incidents involving improvised explosive devices, mostly targeting Malian and international security forces, contributed to an overall sense of insecurity that has impeded the return to normalcy and resumption of economic and development activities.The Secretary-General remains “deeply concerned” by the deteriorating security situation in parts of Northern Mali, including armed confrontations, his spokesperson said.Mr. Ban called on all parties to immediately cease hostilities and to cooperate with the joint security commission – agreed on during the week-long peace negotiations that ended yesterday in Algiers – that will be led by the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). “This is essential to foster conditions favourable to the progress of the ongoing talks,” the statement noted. Also welcoming the consensus adoption of the roadmap was the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of MINUSMA, Bert Koenders, who said it will foster a climate of trust necessary for a comprehensive and definitive agreement that will allow all communities in Mali to live in peace. “This path on which you have committed yourself is not easy but it is the only option. By adopting a consensual roadmap, you are taking the first step in this direction,” he told the parties.The second phase of the inter-Malian peace negotiations is set to start in mid-August.In a related development, Mr. Ban has appointed Arnauld Antoine Akodjènou of Benin as his Deputy Special Representative for Mali. Mr. Akodjènou succeeds Abdoulaye Bathily of Senegal, who has been appointed as the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and Head of the UN Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA). read more

Monsters exact revenge on Marlies with OT victory

TORONTO — Mark Letestu scored 61 seconds into overtime to give the Cleveland Monsters a 2-1 win over the Toronto Marlies in American Hockey League action on Sunday.The Monsters (10-7-2-0) bounced back after losing 6-5 in overtime to the Marlies (7-7-2-2) on Friday in Cleveland.Cleveland’s Sonny Milano tied Sunday’s game with 1:42 remaining in regulation.Mason Marchment scored the lone goal for the Marlies in the first period.Cleveland outshot Toronto 27-24.The teams meet again on Wednesday night in Cleveland.The Canadian Press read more

For Years The Road To Grand Slam Greatness Ran Through Mario Ancic

Mario Ancic never won a Grand Slam tournament; he never even reached a final. He peaked at No. 7 in the world, with a Davis Cup win and an Olympic bronze medal, before illness and injury cut his tennis career short. This week, the 30-year-old Croatian started his final year at Columbia Law School, where he’s preparing for his next career — even as his old friends and rivals gather elsewhere in New York City to compete for the U.S. Open title.But Ancic earned one distinction that ranks him among only a few boldface names in tennis history: On the sport’s biggest stages, he almost always lost to the very best.In his seven years of Grand Slam play, Ancic lost 21 matches. The list of players who eliminated him is a partial who’s who of tennis greats over the last two decades, with just a few interlopers. Of the 25 men who have been No. 1 in the world in the 41 years of ATP World Tour rankings, seven beat Ancic at a Grand Slam. Andy Roddick beat Ancic twice at Grand Slams. Roger Federer did it four times in a little over two years.Even the 10 non-No. 1s who knocked off Ancic were a pretty impressive bunch. They include four other Grand Slam finalists, plus two others who were ranked in the Top 10 when they knocked him out of a major.The quality of a player’s conquerors is a product both of luck and of the player’s own abilities. Some players are so consistently good that they either win the big tournaments they enter or beat all but the very best. Others suffer from poor luck of the draw — like Ryan Harrison of the U.S., or Amer Delic of Bosnia, who faced one-time No. 1s in five of his 10 Grand Slam losses despite never advancing past the third round. Every time the guy thought he was going to get to kick the football, a Lucy — or Novak — yanked it away. Unlike, say, the orderly NCAA tournament bracket, tennis tournaments distribute their entrants randomly, within the constraints of rules preventing the best players from facing each other too early.A handful of other players have lost mostly to the very best, but for slightly different reasons than Ancic did. Only four men with more than 10 Grand Slam losses were facing former, current or future No. 1s in at least half of the losses, according to data provided by Jeff Sackmann, proprietor of the website Tennis Abstract: Ancic, Novak Djokovic, Juan Martin del Potro and Andre Agassi.Djokovic and del Potro are recent Grand Slam champions who have had the misfortune of playing during the reign of Federer and Rafael Nadal, one-time No. 1s who consistently reach the later stages of majors. Neither Djokovic nor del Potro has lost to as many different No. 1s as Ancic did, despite already having longer careers. Agassi is one of the all-time greats and usually was ranked in the Top 10 when he headed into Grand Slam events, so it’s not surprising that it usually took a top player to knock him out of big tournaments.Ancic’s story is quirkier. He was never ranked above 10th in the world heading into any Grand Slam tournament. But he often rolled in the early rounds, as his aggressive serve-and-volley style overwhelmed opponents. He combined that with a knack for drawing tough opponents in later rounds, and usually losing to them; he was 3-11 at Grand Slams against players who at one point were ranked No. 1. Sometimes he had to play them before their prime: As teenagers ranked outside the Top 75, both Nadal and Djokovic beat Ancic at Grand Slam tournaments. Sometimes he had to play them earlier in the tournament than he could have expected to: Ancic had a 25 percent chance of ending up in Federer’s quarter at any given event, yet he did so in four of five Grand Slams he played between 2006 and 2008. Federer was ranked No. 1 in the world each time. Ancic didn’t win a set in any of the matches.Ancic, who has a law degree from the University of Split in Croatia, sees no injustice in his tough Grand Slam record. He just wishes he could have reaped the benefits of his early losses by reversing some of those results once he reached what should have been his prime.“I saw those losses as a challenge — to improve my game, to improve the things I needed to do,” he said in a telephone interview. “That’s part of the fun of being an athlete: challenging yourself against the best of the world. I was never in despair — ‘Oh my God, if I didn’t play Roger in the quarters, if I had a better draw, maybe I’d play in the final of a Slam.’”Ancic felt he was learning from his losses. But then, when he was 22 years old, he battled mononucleosis and other health problems. He came back, several times, but other than one six-month stretch and a later five-month stretch in which he appeared in at least one event each month, his career was stop-and-go. Right when he thought he should be peaking, he was watching his career end. A back injury that would have kept him sidelined for a year convinced him to retire in 2011. Now he occasionally hits with the Columbia team and feels much better physically.Ancic is glad to be at Columbia and creating a new life, but he regrets not realizing his potential. “I’m sure I never achieved my top,” he said. “I still felt my peak was coming later.” He added, “I don’t like to think what would have happened if things were different.”If Ancic really had kept getting better, even more of his losses would have come against top players. And there’s lots of evidence that he was on pace to be one of the best of his generation. He led the under-20 rankings at the end of 2002 and the under-21s in 2004, and was second to Nadal among under-23s in 2006. And more tennis players stay competitive into their late 20s and early 30s these days. Six of the eight U.S. Open men’s quarterfinalists this week were 27 or older; Ancic is 30. Ancic faced each of those quarterfinalists during his career, beating six of them at least once — four at Wimbledon, his best tournament.Ancic remains close to the sport. At his invitation, Djokovic spoke to Columbia law students when in town for an exhibition in March. Ancic attended the U.S. Open on Monday as the tournament’s guest, where he caught up with some old friends who remain on tour. He also continues to follow the game keenly. He predicts Djokovic and Federer will meet in the final this year. If that matchup materializes and Federer wins, Djokovic will have the booby prize of increasing his percentage of Slam losses to one-time No. 1s.Ancic lost to both men at Grand Slams but also beat them both, at Wimbledon — no easy accomplishment against two all-time greats who together have won nine of the last 12 Wimbledons. “We are talking here about a couple of guys who are among the best ever,” Ancic said of Djokovic, Federer and Nadal. “It’s an honor to compete with them.” read more

Soccer fans around the country gather at International Champions Cup

Derevon Guyton cheers on PSG in the International Champions Cup at Ohio Stadium on July 27, 2016. Credit: Jacob Myers | Assistant Sports EditorWednesday night was another night inside Ohio Stadium where the fans were loud, somewhat obnoxious, donning their team’s colors, but it wasn’t quite September yet. A warm night in July pitted European soccer powerhouse clubs Paris Saint-Germain against Real Madrid.The International Champions Cup came to Columbus for the first game in the ‘Shoe since 1998 when the Columbus Crew played their last home season on Ohio State’s campus. All night, the atmosphere was electric, filled with an attendance of 86,641—a record for the state of Ohio. For some, this was the first chance they got to see the stars they idolize oversees.Derevon Guyton, 28, traveled from Washington state to see his beloved PSG squad play for the first time.“PSG to the death of me, bro,” Guyton said. “That’s my boys out there, man. I’m sitting out here, but I feel like I’m on the field with them.”A soccer fan since high school, Guyton flew out to Baltimore on Saturday to meet with his girlfriend for two days before they travelled to Columbus for the international friendly. He estimated his trip to be $1,200.Sporting a Zlatan Ibrahimovic jersey, who has since left PSG for the Premier League’s Manchester United, Guyton waved his red and blue PSG flag for the entire crowd to see, as if they couldn’t hear him already. Cheering at every moment, mocking Real Madrid defender Marcelo as he fell to the turf, the passion exuding from Guyton represented the growth of soccer in America.“I’ve been waiting to see them for years. It just costs too much to go to Paris. It’s not really feasible unless you’re like a millionaire, bro. It’s like $5,000,” said Guyton. “So for them to come here, it’s a big deal for me. I’ll always remember this.”Fans from nearby Dayton, Cincinnati, Toledo and Detroit made the journey to OSU for Wednesday’s friendly, as well as some from Chicago. These fans may live in the U.S., but some of them represent nationalities of Spain, France, Canada and even Nepal. One family made the trip to Columbus from Columbia to cheer on their national hero.“James (Rodriguez for Real Madrid). We came to see James,” said the family. Their trip cost around $2,000.A nationwide obsession of the video game FIFA has been a major impact in the expansion of soccer in the U.S. Major League Soccer has 20 teams currently playing across the country and some in Canada.Former Columbus Crew player Frankie Hejduk, who won a championship for the Crew in 2008 when there were just 14 teams in the MLS was in attendance on Wednesday night. He said that seeing die-hard soccer fans from many nationalities bonding with an American football-dominant crowd is something he didn’t think would have been possible five years ago.“This game really brings attention to the fans who don’t know much about soccer that could potentially say, ‘I had a blast,’” Hejduk said. “That’s what I see is people are learning to respect the game a lot more because these guys are athletes.”PSG won 3-1 with all scoring in the first half. The first goal came at the two-minute mark sending the crowd into a frenzy. Personal photos were being taken just about everywhere around the stadium to remember the moment they first got to see their team play in America. Fans also took part in a resounding stadium “O-H-I-O” in the second half.Real Madrid midfielder Lucas Vasquez said that he felt at home on the pitch and the atmosphere was phenomenal.“I think what we have seen is that all around the world we have fans, and we saw them when we got to the hotel,” said Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane. “Overall, we’re happy to be here and to spend a little time with the fans in Columbus.”The preseason exhibition between PSG and Real Madrid is one of four games played in the U.S. this month as a part of the ICC. Columbus has been a city that has adapted well to the game, but Wednesday night may have been another installment into how the sport continues to grow in the country.“It promotes real football. It shows them what football really is,” Guyton said. “I still believe that the MLS is years behind all the other leagues. But this right here is a spectacle.” read more

Persistent rain forces Pakistan v Sri Lanka washout in Bristol teams

BRISTOL, ENGLAND – JUNE 07: Ground staff clear water from the pitch during the Group Stage match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 between Pakistan and Sri Lanka at Bristol County Ground on June 07, 2019 in Bristol, England. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)Persistent rain and a damp outfield forced the first washout of the 2019 World Cup as the game between Pakistan and Sri Lanka was abandoned without a ball being bowled. Although the rain wasn’t heavy, it was enough to force a delay of more than five hours and render several parts of the outfield too wet to play on.According to ESPNCricinfo, umpires Ian Gould and Nigel Llong made the final call at 3.45pm local time. The teams split points, which ensured Sri Lanka moved to third on the table by virtue of a superior run-rate (-1.517). Pakistan, like Sri Lanka, have three points from as many games, but they only have a net run-rate of -2.412.The (no) result means Sri Lanka will have to wait even longer to break their World Cup duck against Pakistan. The head-to-head reads 7-0.Pakistan will now enjoy a five-day break before facing Australia in Taunton while Sri Lanka will run into Bangladesh on June 11 in Bristol, ESPNCricinfo reported. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedIt’s all Brizzle drizzle and fizzle as Sri Lanka v Bangladesh is washed outJune 11, 2019In “latest news”ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: Oval to host tournament opener between England, South AfricaApril 26, 2018In “Sports”Windies Women clash with arch-rivals Aussies in openerMarch 9, 2017In “latest news” read more

96M disaster management centre for Region 9

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedJawalla freak storm: Emergency supplies flown inAugust 21, 2017In “Environment”Guyana preparing to help hurricane-hit BahamasSeptember 4, 2019In “Environment”‘Harmon will help me manage the Ministry of the Presidency’ – Pres. GrangerMay 2, 2019In “latest news” A $96M disaster management centre will be constructed at Lethem, Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Essequibo).Minister of State Dawn Hastings-Williams, Director General of the Ministry of the Presidency Joseph Harmon, and Director General of the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) Kester Craig yesterday turned the sod for the construction of the facility.The centre will be the first of its kind in Guyana and the Government plans to open similar facilities at Regions 1, 7 and 8.The multipurpose building would provide shelter for both men and women, include a warehouse, training facility, conference room and office space.From left: Director General of the Civil Defence Commission, Lieutenant Colonel Kester Craig, Town Clerk of Lethem, Ms. Keisha Vincent, Minister of State, Mrs. Dawn Hastings- Williams, RDC Councillor, Mrs. Sandra Rafino and Director General of the Ministry of the Presidency, Mr. Joseph Harmon turning the sod for the construction of the facility.“The Government is committed to building similar facilities to ensure these remote regions can effectively respond to emergencies and disasters on their own,” the Minister of State said during the sod-turning ceremony.According to the Ministry of the Presidency, the centre will house a warehouse to pre-position and stockpile relief supplies, a shelter to accommodate displaced persons, a training facility and offices for emergency personnel.“The facility is expected to increase the efficiency of emergency response operations in the region by reducing the cost and time for shuttling relief supplies from Georgetown into the region,” Hastings-Williams said.“The facility will allow for items to be sourced within the region for stocking the warehouse, which is anticipated to have a positive spill-over effect on the local economy.”Additionally, she said the shelter facility will boost the region’s capacity to provide housing for residents displaced during flooding while the offices and training facilities will improve preparedness measures such as capacity building.Meanwhile, Director General Harmon, under whose stewardship the project originated and was included in the 2019 National Budget, said Guyana should be proud of the steps it is taking in disaster risk management.The Director General noted that the facility was meant to be funded by an international agency but after months of back and forth, the Government took a decision to budget for it to lessen the adverse impacts upon persons affected by emergencies. read more

Barbados braces as Tropical Storm Dorian nears Caribbean

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedCaribbean braces for passage of Hurricane IrmaSeptember 5, 2017In “latest news”Caricom leaders in Bahamas for closed-door meetingsSeptember 6, 2019In “latest news”Matthew reaches hurricane force, one dead in St VincentSeptember 30, 2016In “latest news” Prime Minister Mia Mottley(AP) — Much of the eastern Caribbean island of Barbados shut down on Monday as Tropical Storm Dorian approached the region and gathered strength, threatening to turn into a small hurricane that forecasters said could affect Puerto Rico and its neighbours later in the week.Prime Minister Mia Mottley closed schools and government offices across Barbados as she warned people to remain indoors.“When you’re dead, you’re dead,” she said in a televised address late Sunday. “Stay inside and get some rest.”The US National Hurricane Center issued a tropical storm warning for Barbados, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines. It also issued a tropical storm watch for Dominica, Martinique, Grenada, Saba and St Eustatius. The storm was expected to dump between 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 centimetres) of rain in Barbados and nearby islands, with isolated amounts of 6 inches (15 centimetres).As of 8:00 am EDT Monday, the fourth tropical storm of the Atlantic hurricane season was centred about 205 miles (330 kilometres) east-southeast of Barbados and moving west at 14 mph (23 kph). Maximum sustained winds were at 60 mph (85 kph). Forecasters said it could brush past southwest Puerto Rico late Wednesday as a Category 1 hurricane and then strike the southeast corner of the Dominican Republic early Thursday.In Barbados, many of the 285,000 inhabitants heeded the government’s warning, including Fitz Bostic, owner of Rest Haven Beach Cottages. He said he’s prepared in case officials shut down power and utility services as they have in previous storms.“We have to be very cautious,” he said in a telephone interview. “The word ‘storm’ frightens me man. I’m very nervous.”In the US territory of Puerto Rico, hundreds of people have been crowding into grocery stores and gas stations to prepare for Dorian, buying food, water and generators, among other things. Many are worried about power outages and heavy rains on an island still struggling to recover from Hurricane Maria, a Category 4 storm that hit nearly two years ago. Some 30,000 homes still have blue tarps as roofs and the electrical grid remains fragile and prone to outages even during brief rain showers. read more

BHP looks to LNG for lower iron ore shipping emissions

first_imgBHP, as part of its goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across its operations, has released the world’s first bulk carrier tender for LNG-fuelled transport for up to 27 Mt of its iron ore.The company said: “Introducing LNG-fuelled ships into BHP’s maritime supply chain will eliminate nitrogen oxide (NOx) and sulphur oxide (SOx) emissions and significantly reduce CO2 emissions along the busiest bulk transport route globally.”BHP, as part of its greenhouse gas emission reduction plans, recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Mitsubishi Development to work together in the pursuit of emissions reductions, including from the life-cycle use of marketed products.Rashpal Bhatti, Vice President, Maritime and Supply Chain Excellence, BHP, said emissions resulting from the transportation and distribution of the company’s products represented a material source of its value chain emissions (Scope 3).“We recognise we have a stewardship role, working with our customers, suppliers and others to influence emissions reductions across the full life cycle of our products,” Bhatti said. “Through this tender, we are seeking potential partners who share our ambition of lowering emissions to the maritime supply chain.”The tender is open to a select group of industry leaders, from ship owners, banks and LNG fuel network providers, BHP said. “As well as LNG-fuelled transport for up to 10% of its iron ore, the tender seeks other innovative solutions that can lower greenhouse gas emissions and increase productivity from BHP’s freight requirements.”Bhatti added: “We are fully supportive of the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) decision to impose lower limits on sulphur levels in marine fuels.“While LNG may not be the sustainable homogenous fuel of choice for a zero carbon future, we are not prepared to wait for a 100% compliant solution if we know that, together with our partners, we can make significant progress now.“This new tender adds to the work BHP is doing with customers, suppliers and parties along our value chain to influence emissions reductions from the transport and use of our products.”The IMO ruled from January 1, 2020, that the marine sector will have to reduce sulphur emissions by over 80% by switching to lower sulphur fuels, with the current maximum fuel oil sulphur limit of 3.5 weight percent (wt%) falling to 0.5 wt%.As well as investments in emerging technologies, BHP sets greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets for its operations, builds the resilience of its operations and communities to the physical impacts of climate change, and works across sectors to strengthen the global policy and market response, the company said.last_img read more

Epiroc pumps up rock reinforcement offering

first_imgEpiroc, together with LKAB, has developed a new solution for installing long-term rock bolts in poor rock conditions.The pumpable resin system for underground rock bolting, designed for the mechanised bolting machines Boltec M and Boltec E models, is a result of the mining OEM and mining company’s collaboration within the EU-led Sustainable Intelligent Mining Systems (SIMS) project.Epiroc says: “One of the more difficult rock reinforcement tasks in underground mining and tunnelling operations is how to install long-term rock bolts in poor rock conditions. Rock bolting, as a result, is often the bottleneck within the drill and blast cycle, leading to difficulties to predict work task scheduling.”Blocky or friable ground often leaves drilled bolt holes blocked or partially blocked. This slows down, or in the worst case, prevents the introduction of bonding agents such as cement grout or resin cartridges into the bolt hole.“The Epiroc and LKAB solution will allow a faster, more reliable and cost effective bolting alternative for long term rock reinforcement in difficult ground conditions,” Epiroc said.Peter Bray, Global Product Manager, Epiroc, said: “An important factor to achieve a workable rock reinforcement solution is to have a system where the bolt design, bonding agent and bolting rig all work together to provide a robust and reliable bolt installation. To this end, Epiroc has worked hand in hand with a leading bolt and chemical supplier to create a bolting system that addressed the issues faced with long-term bolting in poor ground conditions.”The result of this work is an integrated pumpable two-component resin system that can be used with a Self-Drilling Anchor style bolt in tougher ground conditions or, alternately, with a two-step hollow bolt in more moderate ground conditions.“Having the ability to choose a long-term rock bolt that suits the ground conditions means that customers are able to achieve an optimal rock reinforcement regime in terms of function and budget,” concluded Bray.last_img read more

SEMAFO reports pit wall failure at Mana operation

first_imgSEMAFO Inc reports that there has been a pit wall failure at Mana in the Wona pit. No mining was underway in the area, and no-one was injured. A pit wall failure occurred on Friday August 2, and the team has been “working diligently on assessing the impact.” The incident took place in the northern part of the Wona pit where there is no active mining. No-one was injured, and no equipment was damaged.“Currently, we are mining in the southern part of Wona pit. However, under the 2019 mine plan, some 45,000 oz were expected from the northern portion of the pit between late August and year-end. To mine securely and regain access to ore in Wona North, we will have to push back the pit wall and mine approximately 6 Mt of waste material.  As a result, mining of ore in the northern part of the pit will be deferred until the first quarter of 2020. These 6 Mt were part of the life of mine plan in 2021 and therefore do not represent additional tonnes or cost.”After evaluating multiple scenarios to compensate for the ore from Wona North in 2019, SEMAFO established that there would be insufficient ore to feed the mill for approximately ten weeks. It now expects to suspend the processing of ore at Mana between mid-August and end of October. The mining plan for the Siou pit remains unchanged. Development of Siou open pit is ongoing with ore expected in the fourth quarter; and development of Siou underground is proceeding on time and on budget.In addition to ongoing geotechnical assessment, SEMAFO says it conducts yearly independent geotechnical reviews in conjunction with Golder Associates that include pit slope parameters. “Safety will remain our top priority as we conduct a full analysis to ensure continued stability of our mining operations.”SEMAFO estimates the impact at Mana to be approximately 40,000-50,000 oz of lower production than originally contemplated. Therefore, annual guidance at Mana has been revised to 130,000-140,000 from the original 170,000-190,000 oz. “There is no change to our Mana all-in sustaining cost (AISC) guidance. During the shutdown, mining costs of approximately $22 million for Siou and Wona will be capitalised in development and there will be a non-recurring charge of approximately $7 million mostly representing fixed costs for the period.” Boungou guidance remains unchanged at between 220,000 and 240,000 ounces of gold at an AISC of between $470 and $510 per ounce.last_img read more

City Council will spend €250 €300k to dispose of illegal rubbish

first_imgTHE PRIVATISATION OF waste collection in Dublin City has been criticised after a councillor said she and her colleagues were told yesterday that it costs the council between €250 – €300,000 a year to dispose of illegal rubbish.Dublin City Council central area manager Charlie Lowe met with city councillors for the central area to brief them on the illegal dumping/litter situation.Cllr Mary Fitzpatrick said that at the meeting Lowe told them that Dublin City Council is collecting thousands of dumped bags every day at a cost of ‘between €250- and €300,000 per year’ to dispose of it.ProblemThe Fianna Fáil councillor said that this problem “was caused by the disastrous decision of the majority Labour and Fine Gael Councillors to privatise bin collections in Dublin City in 2012″. I think the city council made a mistake when they were privatised the bin service in that they didn’t fully understand what the impact on the ground would be.She said the privatisation was “always going to end in disaster” because “there is no regulator for waste collections, the government has failed to introduce the national bin waiver scheme they promised, the legislative changes that are needed to bring effective prosecutions are not in place and there is no evidence of any real savings”.Cllr Fitzpatrick said that at the meeting she objected to the recent proposal that Dublin City Council stops cleaning in parts of Dublin’s north inner city in an effort to curb illegal dumping.The proposal came on foot of the setting up of an action group to deal with the issue. “To do this would be wrong. It would make a bad situation worse,” said the councillor.It would penalise responsible residents who do dispose of their rubbish properly. It will send the wrong message about Dublin Central and damage the local community and businesses.She has now called on Dublin City Council to introduce a low cost weekly community collection that will allow people avail of a pay-as you go, group collection. She is also calling for the council to extend the opening hours for bring centres in the central area.The area manager agreed to consider the views of the councillors and to bring a report to the next meeting of the Central Area Committee in May 2013 on this.Cllr Fitzgerald said that she hoped privatisation could be ended, and that she wouldn’t accept it could not be ended because of a cost issue as “what we have at the moment is all of this cost being incurred and absolutely no revenue – it is unsustainable”.She also criticised the prices of bags set by some private waste collectors, saying one company charges €9 for three bags which is “an outrageous charge”.“I do have confidence in the central area manager and the area staff ,” she concluded, saying that they are “taking a very difficult task and they are putting significant effort into trying to solve it.”Read: 271 fined for illegal dumping in Dublin’s inner city since December>Read: Blog shines spotlight on Dublin city’s illegal dumping problem>Read: Council could ‘name and shame’ illegal rubbish dumpers>last_img read more

Funny River Fire Hits 67000 Acres

first_img(NASA photo)The Funny River fire on the Kenai Peninsula has topped 67,000 acres.The combination of Memorial Day weekend and extreme fire conditions have firefighters concerned.Download AudioJim Schwarber, a public information officer with the Alaska Incident Management Team on the Funny River fire, says the fire has been growing gradually in nearly every direction, and is within a few miles of some communities along the Sterling Highway and the Bear Creek subdivision on Tustumena Lake.“We have folks working on all those areas to work towards securing that line to try to hold the fire back,” he said.So far, the fire hasn’t caused any structural damage, but Schwarber says as part of the fire creeps west, firefighters are growing more concerned.“That’s where the larger communities are is on the west side of the fire, and we’re putting a lot of effort into slowing and holding the fire so that it doesn’t cause any damage,” Schwarber said.There are around 375 personnel working on the Funny River fire, with more crews expected in the coming days.Schwarber says this fire is burning a lot hotter than fires normally do this early in the season, which makes it particularly dangerous.“The fire has been burning very active in typical fuels, but it’s also been spreading and burning in mixed hardwoods, which is an area that typically slows a fire,” he said.Certain fuels, like black spruce, tend to burn more actively later in the summer, but this year it’s happening early.As the annual influx of campers make their way down to the Peninsula for Memorial Day weekend, Schwarber says they need to be cognizant of the dangers.“The Kenai is a tinderbox right now, and we need to behave appropriately,” he said.Red Flag warnings are in effect for the western Kenai Peninsula and the Matanuska-Susitna Valley.Until further notice, all open fires are prohibited on the Kenai Peninsula. The term “open fires” refers to any flame source not immediately extinguishable or controllable and applies to any form of wood or charcoal-based fire, even in established fire rings. Gas grills, backpacking or camp stoves using fuel or compressed canisters which can be regulated and shut off are still permitted for use.last_img read more

New Service Aims to Simplify Ecommerce Payments

first_img Brick-and-mortar retailers wouldn’t dream of sending customers outside the confines of their stores to finalize a purchase. Yet online merchants do it all the time, ushering shoppers away from digital storefronts to third-party payment platforms like PayPal. It’s counterintuitive–and can lead to lost revenue.Roughly two-thirds of consumers abandon shopping carts before completing a web purchase, due mainly to the complexity and length of the checkout process. A new service, Ribbon, promises to eliminate this friction with a patent-pending, quick-and-simple system that enables merchants to take payments via links inserted into websites, e-mail, Facebook pages and Twitter feeds.”Why push buyers away from whatever platform they’re already on? Why don’t we keep them there?” asks Hany Rashwan, co-founder and CEO of the San Francisco-based company. “With Ribbon, the buyer never leaves.”Merchants log on to Ribbon and plug in product information, photos and videos; for each item, the service generates a short URL, which sellers can copy and paste anywhere they wish to offer merchandise. Each URL links to a one-page checkout option customized for that platform. For example, if a customer clicks on a product from a seller’s Facebook page, the purchase is completed entirely within the News Feed, for a consistent, user-friendly customer experience.Ribbon works with all major credit cards and processes purchases over a fully encrypted, SSL-secure payments system. All payments are deposited directly into the seller’s bank or PayPal account. Ribbon takes 5 percent of the purchase price and a 30-cent transaction fee–high in the online payments game, but worth it for the convenience, the company claims.Ribbon has thousands of vendors; roughly half market digital products like music. San Francisco rock trio Cloning Dolly turned to Ribbon to sell tickets to a recent concert and plans to offer T-shirts and song downloads in the future. “We posted the Ribbon link directly into our Facebook News Feed,” says singer/guitarist Alejandro De Simone. “People told us buying tickets was easy and fast. The way it’s presented is very intuitive.” May 16, 2013 Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. This story appears in the April 2013 issue of . Subscribe » 2 min read Register Now »last_img read more