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‘Brontosaurus’ name resurrected by new dino family tree

first_imgWhat’s in a name? Sometimes plenty, as the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) found out in 1989 when it issued colorful dinosaur stamps, including one for Brontosaurus. Paleontologists and educators loudly protested that the correct scientific name for the iconic beast was Apatosaurus—a fact that even lay dino aficionados and many 8-year-olds took pride in knowing. The Smithsonian Institution accused USPS of favoring “cartoon nomenclature to scientific nomenclature.” It didn’t help that the stamps were officially launched at Disney World.Now, a dinosaur-sized study of the family tree of the Diplodocidae, the group that includes such monstrous beasts as Apatosaurus, Diplodocus, and Barosaurus, finds that USPS got it right: The fossils originally called Brontosaurus show enough skeletal differences from other specimens of Apatosaurus that they rightfully belong to a different genus. The study, published online this week in the journal PeerJ, brings the long-banished name back into scientific respectability as a genus coequal with Apatosaurus.“I didn’t start out trying to resurrect Brontosaurus,” says lead author and paleontologist Emanuel Tschopp. He was just trying to better understand the evolutionary relationships among all Diplodocidae as part of his Ph.D. thesis at the New University of Lisbon. Indeed, paleontologists are impressed by the scope of the new study, which included 81 skeletons and 477 skeletal features or characters, far more than any previous analysis. “Emanuel’s data set is now the largest published so far” for plant-eating dinosaurs, says Philip Mannion, a paleobiologist at Imperial College London. The name change is likely to stick, adds paleobiologist Paul Upchurch of University College London: “I will be happy to start using Brontosaurus again.”Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)How Brontosaurus lost its name in the first place is the stuff of dino legend. During the “Bone Wars” of the late 19th century, paleontologists Edward Cope and Othniel Marsh marauded through the American West bitterly competing for dinosaur fossils, which led to some rapid and slapdash descriptions. In 1877, Marsh published a brief note on one of his skeletons, calling it Apatosaurus (“deceptive lizard”). Two years later he published an equally brief report on a supposed new genus, Brontosaurus (“thunder lizard”). By 1903, paleontologists had decided that the two beasts were too similar to be divided into separate genera. Because Apatosaurus had been named first, it had precedence under the rules of scientific nomenclature. Paleontologists confirmed this conclusion in the 1970s, and know-it-all children have instructed their parents that “Brontosaurus” isn’t a valid name ever since. (The taxon had its defenders, including evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould in his “Bully for Brontosaurus” essay.)In the new analysis, Tschopp looked at every Diplodocidae specimen he could get his hands on. These plant-eating dinos lived in today’s North America and Europe between 160 million and 145 million years ago; their long necks and tails stretched up to 35 meters from end to end. Tschopp examined bones in 18 different museums in the United States and Europe and studied photos and drawings from other specimens. The idea was to get a high-resolution family tree by examining many individual specimens, rather than focusing only on fossils that represent an entire species. The study included six specimens of Apatosaurus excelsus, as Brontosaurus has been called since 1903.Tschopp and colleagues found that A. excelsus differed from the three other recognized species of Apatosaurus in at least a dozen key characters across the skeleton. That’s as many differences as seen between genera long accepted as distinct, such as Diplodocus and Barosaurus. For example, a true Apatosaurus has a bulkier neck and was “even more robust than Brontosaurus,” Tschopp says. But Brontosaurus also has some features that Apatosaurus lacks, such as a rounded expansion of one edge of its shoulder blade and a longer bone in its ankle.Given these anatomical differences, “It would be unfair to lump Apatosaurus and Brontosaurus together,” Upchurch says. Mannion agrees, and also endorses the team’s finding that another Diplodocidae genus, Eobrontosaurus, should be included within Brontosaurus, giving the dinosaur a few additional species to call its own.Some paleontologists have reservations. “It’s going to force us to ask questions about what we really mean by genus and species in a paleontological context,” says paleontologist John Whitlock of Mount Aloysius College in Cresson, Pennsylvania. “Is it more useful to distinguish specimens as Brontosaurus and Apatosaurus than it is to distinguish A. excelsus from other species of Apatosaurus? I don’t know, but I hope it’s the start of a conversation.” He and others, including Tschopp himself, note that the characters used aren’t cut-and-dried and could be scored differently by others.Upchurch thinks this kind of detailed taxonomy could help resolve questions such as how diverse dinosaurs were just before they went extinct about 66 million years ago. Others welcome the resurrection of an icon. “Brontosaurus has a prominent place in the public imagination,” Mannion says. “It can only be a good thing that it is back with us. … It shows that science develops through time and that it’s possible to change our minds, even about long-held views.”last_img read more

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Saina will climb back to No. 3 position

first_imgSaina Nehwal kept the promise she made to her mother.A couple of days before the Indian ace left to play in the Hong Kong Super Series, she told mother Usha Rani that she would return with the trophy.Saina Nehwal is all smiles during the award ceremony in Hong Kong. Photo by APOn Sunday at the Queen Elizabeth Stadium, the 20- year- old Hyderabadi outlasted third seed Chinese Wang Shixian 15- 21, 21- 16, 21- 17 in a thrilling final.It was the perfect way to end a successful year as Saina won the year’s final Super Series event.She will now be competing at the Super Series Finals to be held in Taipei from January 5.This was Saina’s third Super Series title of the year. She had won the Singapore and Indonesian titles earlier.Speaking to MAIL T ODAY a couple of hours after winning the victory, Saina said she rated her Hong Kong triumph as one of her best achievements.”The field in Hong Kong was very tough. Also the fact that I could defeat Shixian in the final makes me very satisfied. Not only is she the Asian Games champion but is also one of the most consistent players in the world,” said Saina.It must be mentioned here that Saina had lost to Shixian in straight games at the World Championships in Paris in August.”That defeat to her (Shixian) at the Worlds still rankles me. She was just too good for me on that day and there was hardy anything I could do,” she said.advertisementAnother factor which made the Hong Kong win all the more memorable was the fact that it came soon after her disappointing loss at the Asian Games in Guangzhou.”This win does go some way in making up for my disappointing loss at the Asian Games,” she said.To jump one spotSaina’s win in Hong Kong has ensured that the Indian will climb one place to No. 3 when the fresh world rankings are released next Thursday. She is likely to finish ahead of Denmark’s Tine Bine (formerly Rasmussen) The fact that she missed five Super Series events – Denmark, Japan, France, and a couple of events in China – meant Saina did not finish as the top player in the world.”She had to miss five Super Series events due to her preparations for the Commonwealth and Asian Games. That is the main reason she did not finish the year as the world No. 1,” said chief coach Pullela Gopi Chand.He went on to add that what made him happiest was the manner in which Saina fought back after losing the opening game.”After losing the first game, she ensured that she changed her tactics. She was quick to learn from the mistakes she committed in the first game and was discreet enough to avoid them in the next two games,” said Gopi.P Baskar Babu, the coach who accompanied Saina to Hong Kong, said that she was playing at a very fast pace throughout the week.”She was moving very well. Also her smashes were very good and that made all the difference today,” he said.Babu also felt that Shixian was a bit taken aback by the pace at which Saina played.”I think Saina’s speed took her opponent by surprise. She did not expect her (Saina) to play at the same pace in the decider. The fact that Saina took a 11- 6 lead in the decider shows that Shixian was clearly rattled.”last_img read more

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Sena nominates Sanjay Raut for RS election

first_imgMumbai, May 17 (PTI) Shiv Sena today nominated its leader Sanjay Raut as a candidate for the Rajya Sabha election slated for June 11.Sena ministers in the BJP-led government in Maharashtra, Subhash Desai and Diwakar Raote will be the partys nominees for the Legislative Council elections scheduled on June 10, the party announced here.Raut has been a party MP for two consecutive terms and his current term ends on July 4, 2016.In Maharashtra, six RS seats are up for grabs while there are 10 vacancies in the Legislative Council.Besides Raut, the other retiring Rajya Sabha MPs from Maharashtra are Ishwarlal Jain and Praful Patel (NCP), Vijay Darda and Avinash Pande (Congress), and Union minister Piyush Goyal (BJP).The biennial elections to 57 seats in Rajya Sabha are necessitated as 55 members from 15 states are retiring between June and August.As per the arithmetic, the BJP and Shiv Sena have a chance to wrest at least one seat each from Congress and NCP given their present strength in the Legislative Assembly.The number of votes required to win election by a candidate is pegged at 42.However, considering their strength in the Lower House, it seems unlikely that Congress or NCP will field more than one candidate.The combined strength of Sena (63) and BJP (122) in the House is 185 while that of Congress and NCP at 42 and 41, respectively.Rajya Sabha polls are held through open ballot wherein the members of the Legislative Assembly (excluding nominated MLA) have to display the preference of voting to the party whip.advertisementThe elections to 10 seats of Maharashtra Legislative Council will be held on June 10, in which, as per the given scenario, five seats are expected to be won by BJP, three by Congress and NCP collectively, and two by Shiv Sena. PTI MM NSK TIRlast_img read more

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Nets Playoff Push Beats Lakers, 107-99

first_imgTweetPinShare0 Shares NEW YORK — Alan Anderson patrolled the locker room area in a Michigan State hat, screaming “Spartan!” so loudly that his teammates wondered how they could live with him for the next week.The swingman’s college team is thriving again in March, and suddenly so is his pro team.Brook Lopez had 30 points and 11 rebounds, and the Brooklyn Nets kept up their playoff push by beating the Los Angeles Lakers 107-99 on March 29 for their third straight victory.Joe Johnson added 18 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for the Nets, who moved into sole possession of eighth place in the Eastern Conference, a half-game ahead of Boston and Indiana.Just like last season, the Nets are trying to overcome a disappointing first half of the season with a strong finish.“It has been a trend, for whatever reason,” point guard Deron Williams said. “I wish it was different, but as long as we get in the playoffs we feel like we’ve got a shot.”Brooklyn won for the fifth time in six games to give itself a chance at a third straight postseason berth after going 21-31 before the All-Star break.The schedule is favorable for a late-season run, with the Nets two games into a stretch that sees them play seven of nine at home — with another just across the river at the league-worst Knicks. However, they are still just 14-20 at Barclays Center, even with their improved play.Reserve Jordan Hill had 22 points and 16 rebounds for the Lakers, who played without Jeremy Lin and Carlos Boozer because of upper respiratory infections, while Ed Davis was rested with Hill returning from a three-game absence.“He was active,” coach Byron Scott said of Hill. “Did really well on the offensive end. Made some shots for us. Did a great job of rebounding the ball on both ends of the floor. Really gave us a chance towards the end to win the game.”Lopez extended his best stretch of the season by making 13 of 22 shots. He averaged 28.8 points in the Nets’ four games this week, overwhelming a Lakers team that was both too short-handed and too short.“Regardless of whatever the other team’s situation is, we’ve just got to prepare night in and night out,” he said. “It’s all on us. We can put ourselves in the playoffs if we just stick with it.”Coming off their 106-98 victory over Cleveland on March 27, the Nets started quickly, with Lopez and Williams combining to outscore the Lakers in the first quarter in helping Brooklyn to a 30-19 lead.The Nets made 73 percent of their 2-point shots in the first half, though were only 3-of-17 on 3s in taking a 61-50 lead.“We just wasn’t in the right place at the right time in the first half,” Hill said. “There wasn’t a lot of help. We were letting drives get to the middle. It was tough.”Los Angeles, which never led, cut it to 96-93 with under 4 minutes to play before a dunk by Lopez and 3-pointer by Johnson pushed the lead back to eight.Rookie Markel Brown scored a season-high 17 points for the Nets, while Williams overcame an illness that sidelined him from practice March 28 to finish with 13 points and nine assists.(BRIAN MAHONEY, AP Basketball Writer)last_img read more

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Neymar: I don’t approve of Pele’s criticism

first_imgBrazil striker Neymar has said he ‘does not approve’ of Pele’s recent criticism of him.The former World Cup winner was vocal following Neymar’s repeated diving in Russia last year and said that the 26-year-old should focus on playing football.”Pelé’s criticisms? I’ve found them interesting,” Neymar told Canal. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? “As soon as you don’t win, criticisms come. I’ve never been acting during the World Cup, I’ve just been subject to fouls. “Today people talk a lot about that because it’s Neymar and everything is amplified. I respect Pelé’s criticisms but I don’t approve them.”Pele had previously said: “It’s difficult to defend Neymar for all the things he does besides playing football. I spoke with him and reminded him of his ability.””He was unlucky because Brazil did not win the World Cup and he was singled out.”I’ve been with him in Europe twice. We talked and I explained: ‘The God of football gave you the gift. What you do complicates it’,” he added.While life for the national team may be tough for Neymar at the moment, club football certainly is not, and the former Barcelona man bagged a hat-trick in a remarkable 9-0 win against Guingamp on Saturday.Despite appearing comfortable with Parisian life, Neymar has be consistently linked with a move away from the Ligue 1 club, something he did not rule out in same interview with Canal, though he denied anything imminent on the horizon.”Rumours of me leaving? There have been rumours like that since I’ve become a pro. But there’s nothing concrete. As soon as there is something certain, I’ll talk about it and I’ll assume it, be sure of that.”Next up for Neymar and PSG is a French Cup last 32 fixture against Strasbourg, before league fixtures against Rennes, Lyon and Bordeaux. The Ligue 1 leaders then face a mouth-watering Champions League tie with Manchester United, something Neymar is looking forward to.“I want to win everything, especially the Champions League, since it’s every player’s dream,” he said.“United will be a good game for us and for people who like football. What do we lack in order to win the Champions League? You have to grow in this competition, everyone must attack and defend well. We were good defensively in the first games, we’re getting better and better.”last_img read more

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New Minas Gets Affordable Rental Housing Project

first_img Residents of New Minas will soon have access to more affordablerental housing with the approval of a $1.78 million, 24-unitproject under the Canada-Nova Scotia Affordable Housingagreement. The governments of Canada and Nova Scotia made the announcementtoday, Sept. 22. “The government of Canada is committed to supporting affordablehousing for those Canadians who need it most,” said Scott Brison,federal Minister of Public Works and Government Services onbehalf of Joe Fontana, Minister of Labour and Housing. “We arepleased to be making this investment in New Minas to createaccess to safe, affordable housing units. Together with ourpartners, we are helping to build healthy, sustainablecommunities across the province.” “This project is going to be of tremendous benefit to thecommunity,” said Nova Scotia Community Services Minister DavidMorse, “because it addresses an identified need for affordablerental housing for seniors in the area.” The project, to be located on Prospect Street in New Minas, willreceive funding from both levels of government and the developer. The government of Canada is providing $600,000 in up-frontcapital, the province is providing $375,000 in rent supplementfunding, and Asset Management Ltd. is providing $95,325 in cashand land valued at $171,000. The project is one of four announced today by the governments ofCanada and Nova Scotia. Other projects include 24 units forsingles, families and seniors in Debert, 16 units for seniors inChester and 4 units for persons with disabilities in Westville.To date, a total of 83 new rental units totalling $6.5 millionhave been announced for the province. It is expected that 850 to 1,500 affordable housing units will becreated or renovated under the $37.3-million Affordable Housingagreement by 2007. COMMUNITY SERVICES–New Minas Gets Affordable Rental HousingProjectlast_img read more

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Federal government posts third straight doubledigit deficit with 14B shortfall

first_imgOTTAWA — The federal government’s latest annual financial report shows it ran a $14-billion deficit in 2018-19 for its third consecutive double-digit shortfall.The deficit for the fiscal year that ended March 31 was $900 million smaller than the government projected in last spring’s federal budget.The report says revenues in 2018-19 expanded by $21 billion — or 6.7 per cent — compared to the previous year.The revenue gain was partially offset by an increase of $14.6 billion — or 4.7 per cent — in program expenses and an expansion of $1.4-billion — or 6.3 per cent — in public debt charges.The 2018-19 deficit follows two straight $19-billion shortfalls, and the annual financial numbers haven’t shown a surplus since 2006-07.The state of federal finances has already been the subject of political debate during the ongoing election campaign as parties argue whether the government should make an effort to balance the federal books — and how quickly.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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Illinois steel company announces 197M move to Indiana

first_imgGARY, Ind. — An Illinois steel company has finalized plans to move its operations to northwestern Indiana .The state of Indiana announced Wednesday that Alliance Steel plans to invest $19.7 million in Gary, about 25 miles (40 kilometres) from its plant in Bedford Park, Illinois. The company is beginning renovations in Gary in early 2019 and could be operational there by January 2020.Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb says it’s “an exciting step forward” for northwestern Indiana.Alliance Steel’s CEO Andy Gross says the region is “making all the right moves to recreate a very promising industrial area.”The company currently has about 100 workers and employment in Gary could reach 130 by 2023.The Indiana Economic Development Corp. offered Alliance Steel more than $2.7 million in conditional tax credits. Gary offered additional incentives.The Associated Presslast_img read more

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HC grants time to ED to file response on maintainability of Robert

first_imgNew Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Thursday granted more time to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to file an affidavit regarding the maintainability of Robert Vadra’s plea seeking quashing of a money laundering case in which he was questioned by the probe agency.A bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Vinod Goel directed the ED to file the response within a week and listed the matter for further hearing on July 18. The court asked Vadra and his close aide Manoj Arora to file their rejoinder to the ED’s affidavit in two weeks thereafter. Also Read – 2019 most peaceful festive season for J&K: Jitendra SinghCentral government standing counsel Amit Mahajan, appearing for the ED, said the short affidavit was almost ready and they require some more time to file it. The court had earlier on March 25 asked the probe agency to file its response in the form of an affidavit regarding the maintainability of two separate but similar petitions by Vadra and Arora within two weeks. The ED had opposed Vadra’s plea, saying it was not maintainable as he “wilfully suppressed” material facts from the court. Also Read – Personal life needs to be respected: Cong on reports of Rahul’s visit abroadIt had contended that the plea of Vadra, brother-in-law of Congress president Rahul Gandhi, was an abuse of process of law. When he feared that “law will catch him, he challenged the PMLA provisions”, it had added. The ED case relates to allegations of money laundering in the purchase of a London-based property at 12, Bryanston Square, worth 1.9 million pounds. The property is allegedly owned by Vadra. Vadra has also sought that various provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002, be declared unconstitutional. Vadra has sought in his plea that Sections 3, 17, 19, 24, 44 and 50 of the PMLA be declared ultra vires or unconstitutional.last_img read more

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Vasu says attempt to unify UPFA futile

President Maithripala Sirisena had refused to give former President Mahinda Rajapaksa nominations from the UPFA to contest the upcoming Parliament elections.The decision paves the way for a major split in the UPFA which will see several Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) members joining Rajapaksa to contest the polls. Audio Playerhttp://colombogazette.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/AAAAA.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. However Vasudeva Nanayakkara said that President Sirisena had refused to agree to the proposal so the talks were completely futile. The proposal was that the common list of UPFA candidates be headed by Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Parliament election. General Secretary of the Democratic Left Front and United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) member Vasudeva Nanayakkara says talks held with President Maithripala Sirisena this evening, in an attempt to unify the alliance, ended in failure.He said that a proposal was put forward for a common list of candidates for the August 17 election to be agreed on, which will include UPFA members supporting and against former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The SLFP, which is part of the UPFA, and UPFA party leaders had key talks with President Maithripala Sirisena today.At the meeting a decision was to be taken with regards to giving nominations to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to contest the August 17 Parliament elections.At the meeting the President has said that he, as chairman of the SLFP and UPFA, will not give nominations to Rajapaksa. (Colombo Gazette) read more

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Sushma to have wideranging talks during Lanka visit

The Joint Commission, co-chaired by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka and the Minister of External Affairs of India will be held on 5 February 2016 in Colombo. Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will have wide-ranging talks during her Sri Lanka visit.Swaraj will undertake an official visit to Sri Lanka from 5-6 February 2016 for the Ninth Session of the India-Sri Lanka Joint Commission, the Foreign Ministry said today. The India-Sri Lanka Joint Commission was established in 1992 as an effective mechanism to address matters pertaining to bilateral cooperation between the two countries. The discussions will include areas such as economic cooperation, trade, power and energy, technical and maritime cooperation, social, cultural and educational matters, science and technology, defence cooperation, health, civil aviation, tourism, and people-to-people contact.The Eighth Session of the India-Sri Lanka Joint Commission was held in New Delhi on 22 January 2013. Minister Swaraj will arrive in Sri Lanka in the afternoon of 5 February and depart in the evening of 6 February. During her visit, Minister Sushma Swaraj will also call on President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and former President Chandrika Kumaratunga. (Colombo Gazette) read more

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Inspections continue as chief UN arms experts hold talks with Iraqi counterparts

A biological team from the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) revisited the Communicable Diseases Control Centre in Baghdad – which is responsible for the infectious diseases epidemic control in the country – to carry out discussions related to the site activity.Another biological team revisited Kham Vani Saad to inspect two large hangers. “It is a declared site with tagged equipment,” said Hiro Ueki, a spokesman for UNMOVIC and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Baghdad.A third biological team revisited Baghdad Alcoholic Drinks Company, a brewery, in the Zafarania industrial area of Baghdad to inspect the company’s quality control laboratory and the tagged equipment. A fourth team revisited an agricultural site in the southern outskirts of Baghdad to complete the inspection of the remaining buildings that were sealed during their first check on 15 January.Meanwhile, an UNMOVIC chemical team returned to the Al Qa Qaa complex to inspect production units while a multidisciplinary team inspected the Rashdiya Munitions Filling Plant.An UNMOVIC missile team travelled 90 kilometres south of Baghdad to inspect the Al Qa Qaa Static Test Stands used to test small rocket motors, located within the Al Qa Qaa complex. Another missile team went to the Al Harith Workshop to re-tag SA-2 missiles, whose tags had been removed the week before for maintenance, and to remove tags from other SA-2 missiles that will go through a maintenance cycle next.The IAEA, supported by UNMOVIC geophysical and chemical inspectors, conducted a simultaneous inspection of two previously uninspected sites in the north of Baghdad, Mr. Ueki reported. read more

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War fears contribute to lower UN forecast for US European economies

The ECE’s Economic Survey of Europe 2003, which covers Western and Eastern Europe, the United States and Canada, forecasts 2.5 per cent growth in US gross domestic product (GDP) and 1.6 per cent for the European Union (EU). By contrast, a UN report on the world economic situation issued two months ago projected US GDP growth at 3 per cent and EU GDP growth at 2 per cent.”Uncertainty surrounding the short-term economic outlook is amplified by the increasing possibility of war with Iraq,” the ECE said in a statement regarding its survey. “This has already contributed to the weakening of consumer and business confidence and has fostered a wait-and-see attitude with regard to big spending items. Even the available baseline forecasts, which assume that there will be no military conflict, however, suggest only a moderate strengthening of growth in the global economy in the course of 2003.”Both reports allow that a variety of risks exist that could push growth rates for the world and key regions even lower. These include geopolitical tensions in West Asia, rising petroleum prices and macro-economic imbalances.One bright spot noted by the ECE is the continuing resilience of economies in transition in Eastern Europe and the former states of the Soviet Union, where 4.2 per cent growth in GDP is forecast for 2003. These economies grew by 4.8 per cent and 4.1 per cent, respectively, in the difficult economic years of 2001 and 2002. read more

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Transat senior executives miss out on bonuses and wage increases in 2012

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Transat senior executives miss out on bonuses and wage increases in 2012 by Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press Posted Feb 8, 2013 5:20 pm MDT MONTREAL – Senior executives at Transat A.T. missed out on cash bonuses and saw their wages frozen in 2012 as the vacation tour company continued to lose money.The top five officials, including CEO Jean-Marc Eustache, didn’t receive any short-term incentives for a second consecutive year. The incentives included a special bonus established to offset salary freezes and cost of living increases, according to a proxy filing with the securities regulator ahead of the company’s annual meeting March 14.The special bonus representing four per cent of the base salary was payable if semi-annual financial objectives were met. They weren’t last winter so no money was paid. The objectives were achieved in the summer period but the executives waived the bonuses.Transat’s (TSX:TRZ.B) executives did benefit from substantially higher option-based awards during the year, although whether those will be paid out depends on the company’s future financial performance.Wages were frozen in 2012 for all executives and will be again this year except for chief financial officer Denis Petrin, whose salary could increase because of a market comparison done in 2010.Despite the freeze, Eustache’s potential total compensation increased nearly 12 per cent to $2.08 million, largely as a result of a 32 per cent boost in the value of such option-based awards to nearly $652,000.His base salary also increased slightly despite the wage freeze to $822,000 because the company’s fiscal year includes two months in 2011. He also received $246,600 in share-based awards, $293,852 in the value of this retirement plan and $65,760 in other compensation.With nearly 34 years of service, Eustache’s pension plan is worth $11.3 million as of Oct. 31, providing him with nearly $900,000 in annual benefits.Transat Canada president Allen Graham’s total compensation was $943,521, up from $700,076 in 2011, a figure that included $400,000 from salary.The other named executives are Daniel Godbout, senior vice-president transport and revenue management, and Andre de Montigny, president of Transat International.Petrin, Graham and de Montigny saw their salaries grow by five to 13 per cent in part because of changes in their responsibilities or market benchmarking, said spokeswoman Debbie Cabana.Petrin’s salary increased 13 per cent to $320,000 representing half his total compensation. De Montigny’s salary grew nine per cent to $295,000 which boosted his total compensation to $557,862.Transat has been attempting to cut costs as it tries to restore profitability in the face of intense competition for packaged holidays to sun destinations and Europe.Meanwhile, the union representing maintenance workers has begun voting on a cost-reduction proposal reached following discussions with Air Transat that will allow Transat to operate narrowbody planes in house instead of continuing to subcontract them to Canjet.The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers couldn’t be immediately reached for comment but it was scheduled to hold votes Friday in Toronto, followed by sessions Tuesday in Montreal. Voting in Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton was to be determined.The head of the union representing 1,800 flight attendants said he sees no roadblocks to reaching agreement on changes that could, in the long-term, increase employment.“I’m quite confident that actually we will reach some form of agreement but right now they kind of left it to all parties to look and examine it and come back to the company and say what we would be willing to propose to the membership,” Peter Buzzell, president of the Air Transat component of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, said from Ottawa.The Canjet contract, which started in 2009, ends in April 2014. It follows an earlier deal in 2003 with WestJet Airlines (TSX:WJA).The airline’s goal is to cut $20 million in annual operating cost as part of its parent company’s efforts to restore profitability.Some of the savings will come from concessions by employees, who last year accepted a two-year wage freeze. But this time, the company isn’t seeking to touch salaries. Among the changes is a switch of hotels close to airports instead of pricier digs downtown.The $20 million in overall cost savings will help Transat realize its goal of improving its pre-tax operating profit (EBITDA) by $50 million over three years through a series of cost reductions and moves to boost sales.According the Transat’s regulatory filing, its largest shareholder is Letko Brosseau, an independent investment management firm founded in 1987, which owns 5.5 million shares or 14.76 per cent all of the company’s outstanding B stock.It is followed by the Quebec Federation of Labour’s Solidarity Fund, with 4.9 million shares.Connor, Clark & Lunn Investment Management Ltd., held 38.1 per cent of all class A variable voting shares, followed by Norges Bank, which held 31.55 per cent of A shares.On the Toronto Stock Exchange, Transat’s shares closed down 18 cents, or 2.7 per cent, to $6.42 in trading Friday. read more

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Man in his 40s shot dead in Lucan burnt out car found

first_imgA MAN IN his 40s has died following a gun attack at a house in Lucan, west Dublin this evening.It happened at the Earlsfort View estate at around 7.30pm, according to gardaí.The man, who is in his mid-40s, was taken to Tallaght Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.A burnt out car, found nearby in Glen Vale, is believed to have been used to carry out the attack.The scene of the killing has been sealed off pending forensic tests, and the Office of the State Pathologist has been notified.last_img read more

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Garda Ombusdman now has direct access to Garda PULSE system

first_imgTHE GARDA OMBUDSMAN’s office now has direct access to the gardaí’s database system, PULSE.The PULSE system is used by gardaí to log case details during their investigations.Previously, the Ombudsman’s office only had access to the system under Garda supervision, either through the two members of the Garda force seconded to the GSOC or through requests to the local district involved in a case under Ombudsman investigation. GSOC got live access to the PULSE system from our offices this week and have successfully made our first direct enquiries.— Garda Ombudsman (@GardaOmbudsman) August 1, 2014 A spokesperson for the GSOC told TheJournal.ie that direct access will be more efficient and more independent, and that it will be restricted to trained members of staff due to the sensitive nature of the information involved.They also said that PULSE would only be accessed on occasions when the GSOC needs to examine case notes to see how an investigation was carried out, such as during disciplinary inquiries.Read: More than 1,100 public complaints filed against gardaí last year >center_img Source: Garda Ombudsman/Twitterlast_img read more

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Coalition unmoved by changes to ENFIA tax

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Complaints continued to emerge from within government ranks about the single property tax (ENFIA), forcing the coalition to replace two of its MPs ahead of the vote on the amendments it made this week.New Democracy’s Lefteris Avgenakis and PASOK’s Nikos Sifounakis both said they would not vote in favour of the latest changes to the tax, which include a 20 percent reduction in the levy on homes that are empty or which do not have electricity. Both MPs said the changes did not do enough to make the tax fairer.“I will not consent for a second time to changes that do not solve the problem and which will cause thousands of taxpayers to correctly believe that they are being taken for a ride,” said Sifounakis.The fact that Parliament is still in its summer session, when 100 rather than 300 MPs sit in the House, means that the parties can replace lawmakers. The government has decided to do this in the case of Avgenakis and Sifounakis to minimize the risk that the amended ENFIA does not receive lawmakers’ support.“I understand the pressure that government MPs are feeling,” said Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis. “But now that the [adjustment] program is coming to its end… our role, and that of our MPs, is to ensure that the Greek economy and the country continue on their course toward exiting the crisis.”Source: Ekathimerinilast_img read more

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Oracle publie un correctif pour ses logiciels

first_imgOracle publie un correctif pour ses logicielsOracle propose un correctif de sécurité pour ses différents produits. Le patch comprend pas moins de 78 vulnérabilités corrigées.L’éditeur Oracle va publier un correctif pour améliorer la sécurité de plusieurs de ses produits. 78 vulnérabilités au total seront corrigées dans des applications éditées par Oracle et au sein des bases de données MySQL.À lire aussiTwitter, victime d’une faille permettant d’usurper l’identité d’utilisateurs ?Les bases de données 11g, 10g ainsi que les serveurs WebLogic, MySQL et d’autres applications d’Oracle telle que Fusion Middleware, Transportation Management, PeopleSoft Entreprise CRM, HCM, seront plus sûres après installation du “Critical Patch Update” disponible ce mardi 17 janvier.Ce sont donc 11 patchs pour Fusion Middleware, 17 correctifs destinés au système d’exploitation Solaris qui peuvent notamment être installées gràce à ces mises à jour logicielles. Sans celles-ci, les bases de données peuvent être piratées. La liste des mises à jour peut être consultée ici. Le 18 janvier 2012 à 12:45 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

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Off Beat Theres no fine for turning the page on a book

first_imgRegional library officials decided a week ago they won’t charge fines for overdue books.But it doesn’t mean that readers don’t pay a cost when they spend a month or more struggling to finish a book. After all, your time is worth something.We touched on this topic a couple of years ago. But it’s worth a recap following last Monday’s decision by the Fort Vancouver Regional Library District trustees to not fine people who hold books longer than 21 days.Sure, some people who get overdue notices are forgetful, some are very busy and some are inconsiderate. But some people view a book as a challenge to be conquered. And if you’re still stuck in Chapter 5 after three weeks, maybe it’s time to give up and return the book.Nancy Pearl, a Seattle librarian and author, explained her formula for that a few years ago in Vancouver. Pearl, who’s become something of a pop-culture star (she has been immortalized in a librarian action figure), recommended that people who are younger than 50 should read 50 pages before giving up on a book.People 50 and older should do a little math to determine when they can move on to the next book in their stack. Take your age and subtract it from 100. If you’re 60 years old, you can give up after 40 pages. If you’re 80 years old, you can quit on Page 20, Pearl said at a library benefit dinner held by the local Altrusa service organization.last_img read more

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Marketers Concerned About Transparency of Programmatic

first_img Around 300 agency and client-side marketers responded to the survey commissioned by Advertiser Perceptions on behalf of TMBI, revealing industry-wide skepticism in two categories: audience targeting, and site credibility. “Big brands are going to want to do business with brands that offer a well lit, transparent environment,” says Rich Sutton, chief revenue officer of TMBI. It is good news for magazine brands, whose greatest asset in a crowded advertising space is their cultural credibility. Most magazines have track records of consistant and reliable content. If marketers are insecure about the “safety” of their brands, what better place for their dollars than in the hands of a legacy publisher? Sutton stresses that this survey does not mean that programmatic is going away. TMBI itself takes in revenues from programmatic buys, and he says that marketers love the high ROI of low cost purchases.  There is a crisis of confidence among CMOs and marketers when it comes to transparency in programmatic, the latest white paper released by Trusted Media Brands claims. Prev1 of 6NextUse your ← → (arrow) keys to browsecenter_img Flip through to see the survey results for yourself. In short, the concern is this: marketers don’t feel that they have enough information about or control over where their programmatic ads land. In a world of fake news websites and social media accountibility, advertising on a website with offensive material can lead to a negative conversation about your brand in the greater media eco system. Marketers, the survey shows, feel that programmatic sellers are too opaque when it comes to controlling for such errors. Seventy-three percent of respondents agreed that the ability to buy ads programmatically is important. However, 81 percent of respondent agreed that “given recent news concerning credibility of digital sources, it’s even more important to advertise on the right site.” Prev1 of 6NextUse your ← → (arrow) keys to browselast_img read more

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