MEXICO CITY — The theft of $3 billion in fuel every year from Mexico’s state-run fuel depots and pipelines is an inside job, the country’s new president said Thursday.President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said thieves didn’t just drill taps into government pipelines. He said company employees stole fuel and distributed it, or helped thieves by ensuring fuel continued to run through pipelines.The country’s top prosecutor said criminal investigations have been opened against three employees of the state-owned oil company Pemex for their alleged involvement in the scam.While thieves drill an average of about 42 illegal taps per day, Lopez Obrador said that represents only about 20 per cent of losses. The rest was presumably stolen from distribution centres aboard tanker trucks.“There is a hypothesis that of all the (fuel) thefts, only about 20 per cent is done by illegal pipeline taps,” Lopez Obrador said. “It’s a kind of smoke-screen, and the majority is done through a scheme that involves the complicity of authorities and a distribution network.”Lopez Obrador suggested much of the stolen fuel left distribution centres aboard about 600 tanker trucks every day carrying fuel worth about $10 million per day.Authorities have long suspected Pemex employees of complicity in the thefts, since drilling illegal taps and extracting fuel without causing an explosion requires inside knowledge.But an even bigger mystery has been how that much stolen fuel gets sold; simply selling it on roadsides to passing truckers could never account for the vast amount of stolen gasoline and diesel.A few dozen gasoline stations have been implicated in selling stolen fuel, but that also wouldn’t account for enough sales volume.“If we’re talking about 600 tanker trucks per day, we’re not just talking about “huachicol” pipeline thefts,” Lopez Obrador said. “We are talking about a scheme that has involvement inside the governments and has a fuel distribution system, because it is not easy to distribute and sell 600 tanker trucks per day.”Officials say that by targeting corrupt employees and monitoring fuel shipments they have already managed to reduce the thefts since Lopez Obrador took office on Dec. 1.Military personnel are participating in a new plan to monitor distribution depots.Still, the problem remains strikingly widespread; authorities found 12,581 illegal pipeline taps in first 10 months of year, equivalent to about 42 per day. Fuel theft gangs also have brought extreme violence to previously peaceful states in central Mexico, and the gangs frequently recruit entire neighbourhoods to block police raids and acts as lookouts.The Associated Press
VICTORIA, B.C. — Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development Minister Doug Donaldson announced today that new rules and penalties for off-road vehicle users to reduce the wildfire risk around the province will go into effect immediately.Donaldson announced today that the government has increased some wildfire-related penalties up to $100,000 to help prevent fires and discourage irresponsible off-road vehicle use on Crown land. He said that all off-road vehicles that operate on Crown land are now required to have a spark arrestor installed.A spark arrestor is a small screen or other device that is installed in an exhaust system to stop sparks or other exhaust residue from exiting the tailpipe. Not having a spark arrestor could result in a fine of $460 or a penalty of up to $10,000 if an ORV without a spark arrestor is operating at a time or place where there is a risk of a wildfire starting. Anyone operating an ORV that starts a wildfire could receive a fine of $575, a penalty of up to $10,000, or a court fine of up to $1,000,000 and/or up to three years in jail. The person responsible could also be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs. “These changes reflect the tougher stand that our government is taking to eliminate unnecessary wildfire risks, encourage compliance, protect communities from harm and help keep British Columbians safe,” said Donaldson.Donaldson also announced today that fines for failing to comply with area restrictions or evacuation orders would be increasing from $767 to $1,150. The Wildfire Regulation was also amended to add a new penalty of up to $100,000 for violations related to power line operations.
Dr. Tom Perry, a Vancouver medical specialist who led the pledge drive at the 3D Medical Conference, said he was excited that visitors to Tumbler Ridge helped raise a substantial contribution toward keeping the museum open.“The Peace River Palaeontology Research Centre and Tumbler Ridge Museum are not just provincial, but national treasures,” said Dr. Perry. “I think that the doctors, pharmacists and other health professionals attending our course recognized the tremendous value of this resource for science and education, and want to see it thrive over the long term.”Dr. Helm said that the Foundation’s long-term goal remains to work with municipal and regional governments to secure stable funding from the Province. TUMBLER RIDGE, B.C. – Officials with the Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation say that after being closed since March due to financial difficulties, the Tumbler Ridge Museum was able to reopen its doors last weekend.Foundation spokesperson Dr. Charles Helm said that the Museum was able to reopen on June 14th after the Foundation was able to secure additional funding in the past couple of months. In early May, the District of Tumbler Ridge, which had denied the Museum’s application for $200,000 in grant funding earlier this year, offered the Foundation $50,000 to open five days a week during the summer tourist season. This followed a ‘challenge grant’ of $50,000 from The Dalglish Family Foundation, challenging government and other funding sources to contribute funds, with the Foundation’s goal to raise $150,000.Dr. Helm said that over $20,000 was pledged by the attendees of the Drugs, Dinos and Dinner Medical Conference held in Tumbler Ridge earlier this month. Kelly McManus and Roachelle LaPrairie pledged a substantial personal donation, supported by sizeable contributions from LaPrairie Crane and Northland Fleet. The Lions Club of Tumbler Ridge then came forward with a further major contribution. Coupled with a contribution from the District of Tumbler Ridge, Dr. Helm said that the goal had been reached.
TAYLOR, B.C. – At a District of Taylor Council Meeting on Tuesday, Staff provided an update on the 2018 Climate Action/Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Report.This report compiles strategic goals, set out by Council, in an effort to reduce carbon emissions within the District.According to the Report, it shows that the District meets the goal of a five percent reduction of CO2 emissions from 2007 levels as set by Council for 2020. Council’s goal by 2030, is to have a 30 percent reduction of carbon emissions from 2007 levels and to have an 80 percent reduction by 2050 from 2007 levels.Through the Climate Action Revenue Incentive Program, the District was able to receive $21,730 in 2018.Since the District is currently on track to reducing carbon emissions, Council has voted to adopt the 2018-19 Climate Action Revenue Incentive Report.The report can be found on the District of Taylor’s website.
The Philadelphia Eagles are 2-0, but they’re living dangerously. The Eagles fell behind 17-0 against Jacksonville on opening day before hanging 34 unanswered points on the Jaguars defense. And Philadelphia was at it again in Monday night’s victory over the Indianapolis Colts. Trailing 20-6 at one point in the third quarter, the Eagles came back to win on a Cody Parkey field goal as time expired.Philadelphia has an average points-per-game margin of +10 so far this season, which ties it for fifth-best in the NFL. If you look at how the Eagles’ games have developed, though, you’d never guess they’d have such a positive scoring margin. To measure this phenomenon, FiveThirtyEight contributor Chase Stuart has created a metric called Game Scripts, which attempts to more accurately measure how the totality of a game played out beyond the final score line. A team’s Game Script in a given game (or season) is its average point margin at any given moment.Against Indianapolis, the Eagles had a Game Script of -4.8, meaning they trailed by nearly five points at any given moment in the game. Needless to say, teams that post a Game Script of -4.8 tend to lose. Historically, only about 17 percent of teams with that particular Game Script win the game in question. But that’s nothing compared with Philadelphia’s game vs. Jacksonville — the Eagles won despite a -7.1 Game Script. Teams with such a negative Game Script tend to win only 9 percent of the time.Adding those two winning percentages up, we’d expect the Eagles to have won just 0.26 games so far this year, based on the degree to which they’ve trailed and the amount of time they’ve spent trailing. That represents a huge difference from their actual win total (two). Through two games, it’s the biggest difference between actual wins and Game Script-predicted wins of any team since 1978 (when the league expanded to a 16-game schedule in 1978).But that gap is probably unsustainable. After all, impressive late-game comebacks aren’t necessarily very predictive of how a team will play in the future. However, I decided to test which statistic was a better descriptor of a team like the Eagles: two actual wins in two games, or 0.26 Game Script-predicted wins?For both metrics, I looked at teams’ two-game starts to the season (excluding strike-shortened campaigns) and their records over the remainder of the season. For example, the average 2-0 team ended up winning eight games out of its next 14. So just from Philadelphia’s record alone, we’d expect them to finish the season 10-6. But the average team with 0.26 Game Script-predicted wins through two games won only 5.9 of their next 14 games, which would yield a predicted record of about 8-8 for the Eagles despite the 2-0 start.I then tested which mixture of actual and Game Script-predicted wins yielded the best prediction about how a team would finish the year. The result? Both variables carry almost exactly the same weight. Accuracy is maximized when predicting a team’s rest-of-season record by giving 50.7 percent weight to that which would be predicted from its actual record, and 49.3 percent to that which would be predicted from its Game Script. (And both variables are statistically significant.)For the Eagles, this means they aren’t quite the team we’d expect from their 2-0 record. But they also shouldn’t have their big average deficits completely held against them. Combining the two metrics, we’d expect them to finish with almost exactly seven wins in their final 14 games, which would yield a record of 9-7.
Share your voice 3:01 Smart Home Security Preview • Mycroft wants to be your smart-home’s brain Now playing: Watch this: All the cool new gadgets at CES 2019 CES 2019 Mycroft Smart Home AI Platform What the heck is LG’s ThinQ AI? LG executive David Vanderwaal shows off a homebrew machine and talks AI. Angela Lang/CNET For the past two years, LG has talked up the prospects of artificial intelligence. At CES 2019, the company pushed its ThinQ AI platform forward by allowing it to give you personalized recommendations based on your usage pattern. But that means collecting your data at a time when consumers are waking up to the fact that tech companies have been exploiting our personal information — sometimes with disastrous results. David Vanderwaal, senior vice president of marketing for LG Electronics’ US arm, as well as the main presenter at today’s CES 2019 press conference, helped break down how the company’s AI platform works, the issue of data privacy and why consumers should care. The following is an edited transcript of our interview. Tags 0 Q: What the heck LG ThinQ?Vanderwaal: LG ThinQ is our artificial intelligence platform that allows not just individual devices to react to commands, but also takes user data, lifestyle data, and pulls them together to make consumers’ lives easier and more enjoyable. So how does this work?LG’s vision for AI takes what we call lifestyle data, and that’s going to allow us to look at things like how our products are used in the home. For example, what television shows you watch, how often you do laundry, what type of clothes do you wash, how often do you clean your home. All those are combined with both internal and outside environmental factors to learn what users’ specific circumstances really are, and from there, offer proactive suggestions based on that user’s lifestyle.Does that mean you’re collecting our data?With LG, data privacy is extremely important to us, so the way that we’re protecting it is in a hybrid manner. So, their individual usage of that device is stored on the device only. But the aggregated data of how users use the device altogether is stored on a cloud. So always privacy is protected for the individual consumer. How else is LG protecting our information?Consumer data and the privacy to it is extremely important to LG. Everything is opt in. 85 Photos Post a comment Why should consumers care about AI?The challenge with all of us who are trying to explain artificial intelligence to consumers is what are the benefits? We’ll use a lot of use cases to actually show consumers what kind of lifestyle benefits they’ll see when they use artificial intelligence. Like what?A great example of ThinQ platform is understanding that a consumer washes clothes every Saturday. By knowing every Saturday, the AI platform, called LG ThinQ, is gradually accumulating what the behavior is and offering suggestions for how to get better washing.Is this all just a gimmick?With LG, we’re trying to make artificial intelligence relevant. Because right now, there’s a lot of artificial intelligence that consumers are using and not even knowing it. So we’re trying to make it simple to understand and show the benefits of why artificial intelligence will help products. And to communicate the idea of products communicating with one another. CES 2019: See all of CNET’s coverage of the year’s biggest tech show. CES schedule: It’s six days of jam-packed events. Here’s what to expect. Artificial intelligence (AI) LG
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley welcomed the interest rate cut by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), terming the move as “very positive for the economy.”The RBI cut its repo rate by 25 basis points, to 7.75%, for the first time in almost a year, on the back of easing inflation and weak demand.Repo rate is the rate at which banks borrow from the RBI. A reduction in the rate makes funds cheaper and helps retail and institutional borrowers reduce their interest outgo, a key factor in deciding to fund projects or investments through a bank loan.”Reduction in the rates is a positive development. It will lead to more money in the hand of the consumers and result in greater spending. It’s positive for the Indian economy,” Jaitley told reporters on Thursday, according to Business Line.He expressed hope that the move will assist in reviving the investment cycle that the government seeks to restore.Meanwhile, Subramanian noted that the move would provide some fillip to the economy, directly and indirectly.”It does signal a shift in the underlying (monetary) stance going forward,” said said Arvind Subramanian, Chief Economic Adviser to the Finance Ministry in an interview with television channel CNBC-TV18. Chief economic adviser at India’s Finance Ministry Arvind Subramanian (bottom L) listens to finance officials during their meeting in New DelhiReutersThe BSE Sensex traded at 28,016.24, up by 669.42 points or 2.45% at 1:23 pm.
The United States braced Sunday for a second day of furious protests against Donald Trump’s ban on travellers from seven Muslim countries as the White House doubled down despite a partial stay from a federal judge.Protests were scheduled outside the White House and in New York’s Battery Park, which looks across to the Statue of Liberty-America’s famed beacon of freedom and immigration-and expected at airports nationwide.Trump signed the temporary ban as an executive order on Friday afternoon, suspending the arrival of all refugees for at least 120 days and barring visa holders from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.Also affected were foreign dual nationals, who may not have needed a visa to enter the United States, for example British citizens, and at least initially green card holders already on the path to US citizenship.The inclusion of green card holders sparked particular outrage, leading White House chief of staff Reince Priebus to backpedal Sunday, telling CBS television that the ban “didn’t affect them.”Nevertheless they are still liable to face “extreme vetting” at US borders upon arrival.The travel ban triggered shock and confusion, as well as a wave of anger at home and abroad, sparking demonstrations Saturday at airports in Washington, Chicago, Minneapolis, Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Dallas.Travelers were detained at US borders, splitting families-such as a father unable to reach his son’s wedding, and a grandmother unable to meet her grandchildren-and officials warned it was a “gift to extremists.”On Saturday night, a federal judge in New York partially blocked the order, saying that US authorities could not to deport refugees or other people detained on arrival.But Trump-the New York real estate billionaire turned Republican commander-in-chief-was unrepentant Sunday, defending his policy in the face of growing outrage across the globe and from Americans at home.“Our country needs strong borders and extreme vetting, NOW. Look what is happening all over Europe and, indeed, the world – a horrible mess!” he tweeted to his nearly 23 million followers.Bannon promoted -The Department of Homeland Security said it would comply with court orders not to deport those already detained, but said it would otherwise continue to enforce the order.“Prohibited travel will remain prohibited, and the US government retains its right to revoke visas at any time if required for national security or public safety,” it said in a statement.Trump fanned further disquiet by giving controversial adviser Steve Bannon, a founding member of far-right website Breitbart News, a permanent seat on the National Security Council at the expense of other security chiefs.While Bannon was promoted, the Director of National Intelligence and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff will now be present only when “their responsibilities and expertise” are required, said an executive memorandum.The exact number of those affected by the travel ban is unclear, but Judge Ann Donnelly ordered the government to provide lists of all those detained at US airports since the measure went into effect.She issued the emergency stay late Saturday night but did not broach the constitutionality of Trump’s order to the anger of protestors at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport, where thousands had gathered.“People are prepared to stand against this” said David Gaddis, 43. “Every day he’s in office, it’s a national emergency.”Deporting those travelers following Trump’s order exposes them to “substantial and irreparable injury,” Donnelly wrote in her decision.The American Civil Liberties Union went to court after two Iraqi men, one of whom had worked as an interpreter for the US military after the 2003 US-led invasion, were detained on arrival at JFK.Overseas outrage -A second federal judge in Virginia issued a temporary order restricting authorities for seven days from deporting legal permanent residents detained at Dulles Airport just outside Washington.The order follows through on one of his most controversial campaign promises, to subject travelers from Muslim-majority countries to “extreme vetting”-which he declared would make America safe from “radical Islamic terrorists.”The State Department has said that only people holding a dual citizenship with the US will be allowed to enter.The plan triggered a fierce political backlash, but was endorsed by Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.Democratic lawmakers have also been up in arms, seeing the ban as an opportunity to galvanize outrage to the new president.“This is not who we are,” wrote former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on Twitter.German Chancellor Angela Merkel slammed the restrictions, saying it was “not justified” to target people based on their background or religion and a spokesman said Berlin will examine the consequences for German citizens.British Prime Minister Theresa May, who met Trump in Washington on a charm offensive last week, said she did “not agree” with the restrictions.British athletics legend Mo Farah, who was born in Somalia, called it a policy of “ignorance and prejudice” that could keep him apart from his family, based in Oregon, while he is currently training in Ethiopia.And in Iraq, a key partner in the war against jihadists for more than two years, there were calls for a reciprocal ban on US citizens.
France’s Hadopi commission, the body tasked with implementing the country’s controversial anti-piracy regime, has had its budget cut from €11 million to €9 million, Hadopi president Marie-Françoise Marais has confirmed.The Hadopi, which was tasked by the previous French government with tackling illegal filesharing by issuing warning notices and ultimately fining and cutting off the internet connections of persistent offenders, has been criticised by the current culture and communication minister, Aurélie Fillipetti, as being expensive and ineffective. Marais defended the body’s record when she delivered its annual report yesterday.
US cable operator Comcast has added Google Chrome browser support for its Xfinity TV Go online TV service. The firm said that the extension offers an “easy way to see what’s on and tune quickly into live streams on the Xfinity TV Go website,” with a drop down menu allowing viewers to choose between 53 live sports, news and entertainment channels.“Today’s enhancement is just one of the many things we’re doing to make our growing library of TV everywhere content more accessible and easier to discover,” said Comcast.
Greek telecom operator Wind Hellas has signed an agreement with pay TV operator Forthnet SA that provides wholesale access to the content of Nova Sports channels.Wind Hellas plans to launch a new TV platform that will hold the streaming rights for the sports content of Nova Sports channels, featuring premium Greek sports content including as the Greek Superleague, Euroleague basketball, and other international sports.The company says it is on a fast track to develop its own TV platform and will soon launch a service that will allow its customers to watch premium content, anytime, anywhere, on any screen.“We are committed to launch a TV experience that will stand out for its technology and premium content as well” said Nassos Zarkalis, chairman and CEO of Wind Hellas. “Our cooperation with Zappware ensures the first part and today we are excited to announce an agreement that will bring lauded content to our customers. The full portfolio of our upcoming TV platform will provide to the Greek market a high quality and competitive TV content offering”.