Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH “This is a big help for us, especially for the team’s morale,” said Pascua in Filipino. “Hopefully we can sustain the momentum, the consistency, and the effort.”Pons led FEU with 18 points while Toni Rose Basas and Celine Domingo added 16 and 12 points, respectively.Risa Sato had 14 points to lead NU with Jaja Santiago and Aiko Urdas coming away with 13 and 11 points, respectively.ADVERTISEMENT Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Far Eastern University stunned previously unbeaten National University, 25-22, 25-27, 25-13, 25-20, and created a three-way logjam for second place in the UAAP Season 80 women’s volleyball tournament Wednesday at Filoil Flying V Centre.ADVERTISEMENT View comments The Lady Tamaraws hiked their record to 4-2 and joined defending champion De La Salle and Ateneo at the second seed while the Lady Bulldogs remained atop the pile with a 5-1 card despite the loss.After Bernadeth Pons scored off a powerful crosscourt kill to give FEU a 23-18 lead in the fourth set, the Lady Bulldogs managed to put a scare after NU got a couple of free points, a net touch and service error, to inch within 24-20.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutNU, though, ironically got handed the loss after Roma Doromal’s last attempt went out of bounds.FEU head coach George Pascua is hoping his team can sustain the momentum from his huge victory. Tabora hopes to help bring back interest in bowling with PSA recognition AFP official booed out of forum LATEST STORIES Pussycat Dolls set for reunion tour after 10-year hiatus LOOK: Iya Villania meets ‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ cast in Mexico MOST READ Families in US enclave in north Mexico hold sad Thanksgiving John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Google honors food scientist, banana ketchup inventor and war hero Maria Orosa Read Next Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university PLAY LIST 01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City
Sawarn Singh Virk rows at the Chungju Tanhgeum lake on Thursday.Englishman Steve Redgrave was to rowing what Usain Bolt is to sprinting – there have been many great athletes in their respective sports but no one can match their Olympic achievements.These are the people who inspire youngsters sitting in remote areas of the globe to take up these sports and help them dream of Olympic gold medals.Sawarn Singh Virk is no different. A huge fan of Redgrave, Sawarn gave up his first love, volleyball, to take up rowing in 2009. Five years later, he won his maiden Asian Games medal on Thursday, in the men’s single sculls event, though it wasn’t the lustrous gold medals he saw around Redgrave’s neck but India’s hoodoo at these Games, a bronze.Soon after, it was another bronze for the country in the men’s eight event, behind China and Japan on a day when the weather was pleasant and the wind didn’t cause much trouble.Indian rower Sawarn Singh Virk won his maiden Asian Games medal in the men’s single sculls event.It’s not easy for rowers to stay motivated. Compared to indoor sports where spectators egg you on, these men and women have to keep goading themselves and hope for the best in open water.At the picturesque Chungju Tanhgeum Lake Rowing Centre, which is a three hour drive from the main city, Sawarn grew in stature as an international rower after first getting noticed when he qualified for the 2012 London Olympics.advertisementBefore leaving for Incheon, Sawarn had spoken about wanting to win gold this time and emulating Bajrang Lal Takhar’s achievement in Guangzhou four years ago, but his best efforts were thwarted by Iran’s Mohsen Shadinagadeh and Kim Dongyong of South Korea. Incidentally, Sawarn used a boat bearing Bajrang’s name.Sawarn said after the event: “I was aiming to win gold here but got the bronze. I wish to train hard and do well in the Rio Olympics.”Members of the men’s eight team with their bronze medals.This is a sport where muscle power, concentration, proper breathing pattern and the ability to produce a final burst matters immensely. One look at Sawarn’s chiselled frame tells you that he has the physical tools to do the job.Sawarn pulled hard to lead the field in the first 500 metres, completing the distance in 1 minute and 43.86 seconds. Over the next 500 metres, too, he led the way, conceding just three hundredths of a second to the Iranian.It was the third 500m section where Mohsen overtook him, and by the end of the 2000m race, Sawarn had lost so much steam that Kim not only overtook him but finished about four and a half seconds ahead of him. Sawarn’s final time was 7 minutes and 10.65 seconds, and he later collapsed due to exhaustion.It all boils down to preparation, and the fact remains that India’s improving rowers still train at a place that is a world away from the Korean facility – the Hussain Sagar Lake in Hyderabad. The rowers and coach Ismail Baig have got them some success thus far, but to take the next step, better facilities and more focused training are required.In a sport like this, recovery plays a huge role and that’s where physios and trainers are needed to help these athletes.
A Pakistani daily on Friday criticised Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh for his comments on the India-Pakistan World T20 match and said that letting political views ‘tarnish the sport to such an extent is unacceptable’. (Pakistan threaten to pull out of ICC World Twenty20 )An editorial ‘World T20 security concerns’ in The Nation said that the woes of Pakistan cricket continue to pile up.”Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh said that they will not provide security for the Pakistan India match to be held there on March 19 for no other reason than he doesn’t like Pakistan,” said the daily.It added that seeking political parallels in sporting events is one thing, ‘but letting political views – extreme ones at that – tarnish the sport to such an extent is unacceptable’. (Pakistan have to decide if they want to play in Dharamshala: BCCI ) “Even before it has begun the World T20 has already stepped outside the bounds of sport and into politics, with tangible consequences. Failure of both countries to control this will be highly damaging – especially for India,” the daily noted.The editorial noted that a lot has been said about the security situation in Pakistan when it comes to cricket.”However, the questions over security of Pakistani players playing in India is often brushed under the rug. Yet the problem exists; Pakistani players from several sports have had to be pulled out of India to avoid violence while others are warned not to come,” it said.advertisement”Virbhadra Singh’s statements make the problem worse; where the threat used to come from fringe groups in the past, now the state has joined in on the action by wilfully refusing to provide protection that it is bound to provide.”It went on to say that “India is fighting a niggling problem with extremism, one that extends to its government benches”.”…India is becoming a perilous place to international tournaments involving Pakistan – perhaps next time a ‘neutral venue’ would be more suitable.”
ATHENS (AP) — With the financial gap in Greek soccer getting smaller and smaller, Olympiakos is finding it harder and harder to stay at the top.The perennial Greek champions — the team has won 19 of the last 22 league titles — are normally already well out front by mid-October. But this year, Olympiakos is only in fourth place following a 1-1 draw with defending champion AEK Athens at the Olympic Stadium.“For all the teams chasing the title, it isn’t enough to create chances. Those chances need to be finished,” said Olympiakos coach Pedro Martins, a former midfielder who played one match for Portugal. “We didn’t make that happen today. It cost us the game today.”Olympiakos midfielder Kostas Fortounis gave his team the lead in the 58th minute on Sunday, but Tasos Bakasetas equalized in the 90th with a powerful header. Giannis Fetfatzidis could have scored the winner for Olympiakos, but he missed an open goal in the final seconds.The draw comes a week after Olympiakos lost to league leader PAOK Thessaloniki, which has won all six of its matches but has only 16 points because it started the season with a two-point penalty. Atromitos, a small Athens-based team, also has 16 points but trails on goal difference.AEK and Olympiakos have 13 points each.Referee Kristoffer Kristoffersen from Denmark during a Greek Super League soccer match between AEK Athens and Olympiakos at Olympic stadium in Athens, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)The renewed competitiveness for the Greek league title comes at a time when financial gap is closing. Olympiakos is still the most valuable team in the league with an estimated worth of 64 million euros ($74 million), while PAOK is valued at nearly 60 million euros ($69 million). AEK, which has battled back to the top division after going bankrupt five years ago and winning successive promotions from amateur leagues, has caught up to nearly 40 million euros ($46 million).The rules of how soccer is run have also changed.Danish referee Kristoffer Kristoffersen was in charge at Sunday’s game after a shakeup introduced this season bringing overseas officials in to be used at every major Greek match.Clashes between AEK fans and police did break out at halftime on Sunday, but criticism normally leveled at the referee after key matches was muted.—By DEREK GATOPOULOS and DEMETRIS NELLAS , Associated PressAEK Athens’ Tasos Bakasetas, left, celebrates after scoring against Olympiakos during their Greek Super League soccer match at Olympic stadium in Athens, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)AEK Athens’ Tasos Bakasetas celebrates after scoring against Olympiakos during their Greek Super League soccer match at Olympic stadium in Athens, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)AEK Athens coach Marinos Ouzounidis reacts during a Greek Super League soccer match against Olympiakos at Olympic stadium in Athens, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)Olympiakos’ Ahmed Hassan, center, tries to score against AEK Athens during their Greek Super League soccer match at Olympic stadium in Athens, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)Olympiakos’ Kostas Fortounis, left, celebrates after scoring against AEK Athens during their Greek Super League soccer match at Olympic stadium in Athens, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)Olympiakos’ Kostas Fortounis, left, celebrates after scoring against AEK Athens during their Greek Super League soccer match at Olympic stadium in Athens, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)TweetPinShare0 Shares
Kolkata: The Mamata Banerjee government is planning to use Artificial Intelligence (AI) for the dissemination of human-centric data by forming a linkage between three government departments that provide direct services to the common people.”We feel that it is necessary to have a framework through which departments under the state government can be interlinked so that we can share human-centric data. A high-level meeting on how AI applications can be used in various areas related to agriculture, transportation and health was held on Monday. IIT Kharagpur will guide us and research scholars from the premier institute will be in constant touch with us so that we can establish a human-centric database combining the three departments. We are hopeful that this will create new avenues in various areas,” a senior official of Information Technology & Electronics (IT&E) department said. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaWebel Informatics Limited (WIL), the Education & Training arm of West Bengal Electronics Industry Development Corporation (WBEIDC) will take the lead in this endeavour. “We will begin with three state departments — Transport, Health and Agriculture and after getting the desired results we will proceed further,” the official said. The high-level meeting was attended by Additional Chief Secretary IT&E Debashis Sen along with key officials of Transport, Health and Agriculture department and IIT Kharagpur Director Dr Partha Pratim Chakrabarti. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayA private company — PRM Fincon at Rajarhat is working on knowledge of actual case developments of AI in Bengal. The company uses AI to analyse the risk profile of companies and thus advise investors to invest wisely. “They are working on video analytics and their laboratory level prototype is already able to use AI to analyse CCTV feeds to flag if vehicles were crossing lanes and if a two-wheeler rider is wearing a helmet or not and whether it is a soft cap or a proper hard helmet. This would be a great case to improve road safety in accordance with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s “Safe Drive, Save Life” campaign. We have asked Prithwiraj Mukherjee, CEO of the company, to explore the possibilities of developing it further and use it in curbing accidents in New Town,” the official added. IIT Kharagpur’s Centre for Artificial Intelligence that was set up in April 2018 has been applying its research in AI for solving industrial, scientific and social problems such as retail, industry 4.0 and manufacturing.
As the 32nd session of the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) got under way yesterday in the capital of the Dominican Republic, the body’s Executive Secretary outlined a number of issues that the region must address in light of a global situation characterized by economic deceleration, high inflation and rising oil and food prices.José Luis Machinea said the first priority was to mitigate the impact of rising food and energy prices on low-income groups through subsidies, lower taxes and similar measures.Also, more resources should be allocated – through special donations from developed countries – to agencies that can alleviate the situation in the poorest countries, he told delegates from nearly 40 countries.In addition, Mr. Machinea stressed the need for cooperation between the public and private sectors, as well as broad agreements among all social and political actors to improve social cohesion and embark on a path toward sustained growth.“The good news is that Latin America faces new opportunities. To take advantage of them, we must be capable of building a basic consensus that will enable us to develop a country perspective, and hopefully, a regional one,” the Executive Secretary stated.The current session, which ends on Friday, guides the work of the Commission – headquartered in the Chilean capital, Santiago – and sets the priorities of its work programme for the following two years. 11 June 2008Mitigating the impact of rising food and fuel prices on low-income groups must be a priority for countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, a senior United Nations official has stressed at the start of a regional meeting taking place in Santo Domingo.
Friday’s meeting, held at a checkpoint in the Cité Soleil neighbourhood of Port-au-Prince, was focused on improving relations and on discussions about joint work involving the forces on the ground.Major-General Carlos Alberto Dos Santos Cruz, the Force Commander of the UN mission, and the Commissioner of UN Police, Mamadou Mountaga Diallo, attended on behalf of the mission, which is known as MINUSTAH.The Force Commander stressed that good relations between the two institutions “are essential for the successful completion of work,” according to a press release issued by MINUSTAH.Cité Soleil has been plagued by high crime rates and gang problems for many years, and the neighbourhood has also long been wracked by poverty. 11 August 2008Senior officials with the United Nations peacekeeping force in Haiti have met with their counterparts in the Haitian National Police (HNP) in a notorious district of the capital to discuss how to strengthen the relationship between the two institutions.
Another foreigner who was with the Ukrainian was injured in the incident. (Colombo Gazette) A foreign tourist was killed following a wild elephant attack in Habarana today, the police said.The police said that the Ukrainian National was killed when he was riding a motorbike along the Habarana-Sigiriya road.
BEIJING — Ahead of China’s appearance at the U.N. General Assembly this week, The Associated Press explains where the U.S.-China tariff war stands:___The United States and China are making conciliatory gestures ahead of trade talks, but they are showing no signs of progress toward ending a tariff war that threatens global economic growth.Beijing is offering to narrow its trade surplus with the United States by purchasing more American exports. But Chinese leaders are resisting pressure to roll back technology plans that their trading partners say violate Beijing’s free-trade commitments and hurt foreign competitors.Ahead of the 13th round of talks in Washington in early October, President Donald Trump postponed a planned tariff hike on Chinese goods. Beijing lifted punitive duties on soybeans in a move that helps both American farmers and Chinese pig breeders who need soy as feed and are under economic pressure amid a devastating outbreak of African swine fever. Those gestures helped reassure jittery financial markets.But economists say while some temporary agreements in the sprawling dispute over technology and trade might be possible, they don’t expect a final settlement this year.Trump has accused Beijing of dragging out talks in hopes he will be defeated in his re-election bid next year and his successor might agree to more favourable terms. Private sector analysts say that is unlikely. But they say Beijing might be hoping Trump will feel pressure to compromise to reinforce his self-proclaimed status as a deal-maker.The tariffs Trump first imposed on Chinese imports last year largely spared American consumers by focusing on industrial goods. But the latest rounds — Sept. 1 and Dec. 15 — hit household goods such as smartphones and baseballs.“Being tough on China is popular as long as that doesn’t mean you pay more for stuff,” said Nathan Sheets, chief economist at PGIM Fixed and former undersecretary of the treasury for international affairs.A look at the trade war and its impact:___HOW IT STARTEDTrump slapped 25% tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese imports last year. Beijing retaliated with similar penalties. In a spiral of tit-for-tat increases, the United States has raised duties — or announced plans to do so — on $550 billion of Chinese goods, or almost everything Americans buy from China. Beijing has raised duties on an estimated $120 billion of American goods. China is running out of imports for retaliation due to the lopsided trade balance.___WHAT THE DISPUTE IS ABOUTThe Trump administration wants Beijing to roll back plans for government-led creation of global competitors in robotics and other technology fields. Europe, Japan and other trading partners object to Trump’s tactics, which also have been used against them, but echo American complaints that Beijing’s plans violate its market-opening commitments. They say China’s industry development is based on stealing or pressuring companies to hand over technology and violating its trade agreements by subsidizing and shielding its fledgling companies from competition. Chinese leaders are reluctant to give up development strategies they see as a path to prosperity and global influence.WHY IT MATTERSThe war has battered American and Chinese farmers and factories and sent shockwaves through global industries. Chinese data show trade with the United States fell 13.9% from a year earlier in the first eight months of 2019. That has disrupted industrial supply chains that stretch around the world, depressing demand for processor chips and other industrial components from Japan, South Korea, Europe and other suppliers. Companies and investors worry global economic growth, which already shows signs of cooling, could fall into recession.STATUS OF NEGOTIATIONSA sticking point is how to enforce any agreement. China insists Trump’s tariff increases must be lifted as soon as a deal takes effect. Washington says at least some must stay in place to guarantee Beijing carries out its promises. Talks broke down in May over that issue, and there is no indication either side has offered concessions to break that deadlock.As world leaders gather for their annual meeting at the United Nations this week, the AP takes a look at some of the issues brewing in the background that are contributing to tensions between countries.Joe McDonald, The Associated Press
“I’m encouraged by what happened in Washington yesterday,” the Secretary-General said in remarks to the press after briefing the Security Council on the Quartet meeting. He also expressed hope that given the tragedy that had happened in that region and the suffering of the innocent civilians caught in the conflict, “the military option is going to be so totally discredited; that we will all turn around and focus on the political search for peace.”This sentiment was echoed by the Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Terje Roed-Larsen, who accompanied Mr. Annan at the Quartet talks and the Council briefing. “For the first time in a very long time, the conference in Washington yesterday produced a beam of hope, and we haven’t seen that for a very, very long time in the Middle East,” Mr. Roed-Larsen told reporters outside the Security Council chamber.”Within the Quartet – and, I believe, broadly in the international community – there is an agreement on how to approach the difficult and critical matters of security, terrorism and economic revival, and also the key political issues on a parallel basis and also emphasizing that all these issues are interlinked; that gives hope,” the envoy added.He also lauded the fact that the Quartet meeting had taken the practical step of deciding to convene the international conference. “The principals in the meeting instructed their envoys who were present… to immediately start hammering out the proposal on participants, where and when the meeting should be, the agenda, the format, etc.,” said Mr. Roed-Larsen. “We will shortly start working on that.”On the Jenin fact-finding mission, he noted that the Secretary-General had consulted with the Government of Israel, while a prominent member of the Security Council had put forward a resolution on the concept. “On that basis, we thought it was the right thing, we still think it’s the right thing, and we regret that it turned out not to be practically possible to carry through the fact-finding mission,” Mr. Roed-Larsen said.For his part, the Secretary-General said, in response to a question from the press, that he was obviously disappointed that the team led by former President of Finland Martti Ahtisaari did not go in. “I think it would have been much better for everyone if they had gone in to clarify issues,” Mr. Annan said. “As it is, I think the long shadow which has been cast over Jenin will be with us for a while.”
The Nairobi Validation Station, the first of its kind in tropical and sub-tropical Africa, has been installed within the grounds of the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP) at Gigiri. The agency, which is involved in the work, said the station would detect ozone, emitted from the East African part of the tropics and formed from sources such as industry, transport, agriculture forest fires and charcoal burning. When the station was inaugurated today, UNEP Executive Director Klaus Toepfer called ozone a “curious chemical,” noting that in the upper atmosphere, it acts as a shield, protecting life on Earth from damaging levels of solar radiation. “In the lower atmosphere, known as the troposphere, small amounts are helpful, acting as a detergent to clean the air,” he added. “But high amounts, formed by sunlight mixing with human-made pollution from cars, factories and other sources, can be harmful, Mr. Toepfer said. “These smogs – increasingly a phenomenon in developing as well as developed countries – can prove fatal for vulnerable people such as those with heart conditions and asthma, and can also damage car tires, electricity cables and crops.” One of the key roles of the new station is to help unravel the fate of ozone damaging chemicals produced in the region from both human-made and natural sources such as vegetation. Scientists are unsure as to how much of this pollution makes its way into the upper atmosphere and how much remains closer to the ground. Understanding this is crucial to knowing how quickly the ozone layer may recover after decades of destruction by substances such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). Once in the upper atmosphere, ozone-damaging chemicals can travel north and south towards the poles where, in the colder conditions, the layer is at highest risk.
The Council also agreed on resolutions to bolster the work of the UN Forum on Forests, and strongly urged countries to support and complete negotiations on a new convention on the rights of persons with disabilities during the next General Assembly session.Jose Antonio Ocampo, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, said this year’s ECOSOC meeting was significant for the Ministerial Declaration on Employment and Decent Work that emerged from the Council’s high-level meeting held earlier this month.“The declaration identified a number of concrete steps to further implementation of the 2005 World Summit commitment to make the goal of full and proactive employment and decent work a central objective of national and international policies,” he said in concluding remarks to the meeting.Recognizing that 192 million people were out of work and almost half of the world’s workforce did not earn enough to lift themselves and their families out of poverty, the Ministerial Declaration called on countries and international organizations to create an environment conducive to the attainment of full and productive employment and decent work for all as a foundation for sustainable development. “The ministers recognized that employment was a critical element in the achievement of the internationally recognized development goals,” Dalius Cekuolis, Vice-President of the Council, said, adding it should help to create a UN development agenda.This year’s meeting, Mr. Ocampo noted, showed the Council was playing an increasingly effective role in addressing development issues.
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Alex Veiga, The Associated Press Posted Jul 16, 2013 10:02 am MDT U.S. homebuilders are feeling more optimistic about their home sales prospects than they have in more than seven years, a trend that suggests home construction will accelerate in coming months.The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index released Tuesday jumped to 57 this month from 51 in June. It was the third consecutive monthly gain.A reading above 50 indicates more builders view sales conditions as good, rather than poor. The index hasn’t been that high since January 2006, well before the housing market crashed.Measures of customer traffic, current sales conditions and builders’ outlook for single-family home sales over the next six months vaulted to their highest levels in at least seven years.“Builders are seeing more motivated buyers coming through their doors as the inventory of existing homes for sale continues to tighten,” said David Crowe, the NAHB’s chief economist.The latest confidence index, based on responses from 281 builders, points to continued improvement for new home construction, which remains a key source of growth for the economy.Last month, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke cited housing gains as a major reason the Fed’s economic outlook has brightened.Steady hiring and low mortgage rates have encouraged more people to buy homes over the past year. But the inventory of previously occupied homes on the market has declined sharply in many markets. On a national level, it was down 10 per cent in May from prior-year levels as sales rose to an annual rate of 5.18 million.With demand up, prices rising and few homes on the market, builders have grown more optimistic about their prospects, stepping up construction. In May, builders applied for permits to build single-family homes at the fastest pace in five years.Meanwhile, sales of new homes climbed in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 476,000, the fastest pace in five years. That’s still below the 700,000 annual rate that’s considered healthy by most economists, but the pace has increased 29 per cent from a year ago.Though new homes represent only a fraction of the housing market, they have an outsize impact on the economy. Each home built creates an average of three jobs for a year and generates about $90,000 in tax revenue, according to NAHB statistics.In the latest builder survey, a gauge of current sales conditions for single-family homes jumped five points to 60, the highest level since February 2006, while a measure of traffic by prospective buyers improved five points to 45. It hasn’t been that high since November 2005.Builders’ outlook for single-family home sales over the next six months increased seven points to 67, the highest reading since October 2005.On a regional basis, confidence grew across the board, but posted the strongest among builders in the Midwest. Survey: US homebuilder confidence at highest point in more than 7 years, sales growth seen
INFLATION WAS LOW but prices remained high in Ireland between 2007 – 2011.That is according to the latest Central Statistics Office figures on Ireland’s progress during those years. Its findings show that Ireland was the fifth most expensive EU state in 2011, after Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Luxembourg, with prices 17 per cent above the EU average.However this represents a considerable improvement on 2008, when Irish prices were the second highest in the EU.Here are some further findings from the report:EconomyThe GDP growth rate was 1.4 per cent in 2011, while the public balance deficit was 13.1 per cent of GDP, the largest of any EU member state. In 2010, it was 31.2 per cent.Government debt increased substantially to 108.2 per cent of GDP in 2011, the third highest debt/GDP ratio in the EU.Employment The employment rate (for those aged 15-64) in Ireland rose from 65.2 per cent in 2002 to 69.2 per cent in 2007, but fell to 59.1 per cent by 2012.Social cohesion In 2010, 6.2 per cent of the population were in consistent poverty. This was an increase on 2009′s level of 5.5 per cent.Voter turnout at Dáil elections declined from over 76 per cent in the 1970s to less than 63 per cent in 2002, before increasing to nearly 70 per cent in February 2011.EducationIn 2011, 46.3 per cent of the population aged 25-34 had completed third level education, the third highest rate across the EU. The proportion of the Irish population aged 18-24 who left school with at most lower secondary education was 10.6 per cent in 2011. The EU average was 13.5 per cent.HealthCurrent public expenditure on health care in Ireland averaged €3,219 per person in 2010 (at constant 2011 prices), an increase of close to a third on 2001.Life expectancy at birth in Ireland in 2010, as calculated by Eurostat, is 78.7 years for males and 83.2 years for females, above the EU averages.Population Ireland had the highest percentage increase in population between 2001 and 2011 in the EU. The rate of natural increase of the population in Ireland was 10.4 per 1,000 in 2010 compared with an EU average of only 1.0.Ireland had the highest fertility rate in the EU in 2010 at 2.07; the EU average was 1.59.The divorce rate in Ireland was 0.7 divorces per 1,000 population in 2010, the lowest rate in the EUHousingThe number of dwelling units built increased sharply, peaking at almost 90,000 in 2006 before collapsing to 10,480 in 2011, below the level in 1970.The average value of a new housing loan in Ireland rose from €114,800 in 2001 to €270,200 in 2008, before dropping to €206,700 in 2010.CrimeThe number of kidnapping and related offences increased by over 40 per cent between 2005-2011.The number of weapons and explosives offences increased by over a third, while controlled drug offences increased by just under a third. However, the number of murders/manslaughters in Ireland decreased from its peak of 84 in 2007 to 44 in 2011.Environment Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions were at 110 per cent of 1990 levels in 2010, lower than the Kyoto 2008-2012 target.The percentage of waste recovered in Ireland rose to 38 per cent in 2010, and 53 per cent of waste was landfilled.Read: Births, deaths and marriages all decreased in Q1 of 2012 – CSO>
MICHAEL NOONAN HAS told Bloomberg TV that Europe now owes Ireland as it has become the ‘A’ student in fulfilling a bailout programme.In a wide-ranging interview, the Finance Minister said Ireland has a “strong case” to get help from Europe to cut the ties between sovereign and banking debt.“Part of the intervention which put the burden of the bank debt – 40 per cent of GDP – onto the shoulder of the taxpayer, while some of it was our own fault, a lot of the action was taken at the direction of the ECB to prevent contagion spreading to the European banking system.“As Ronald Reagan used to say, ‘We took one for the team.’ And I think the team owes us now.”Noonan is still optimistic that a deal can be reached to allow for some sort of retrospective compensation in relation to the €64 billion pumped into Irish banks over the past five years. “There is a lot of goodwill on the political side in Europe to facilitate us in some way.”There is a general understanding that we will be looked after, he added.Prom NightDuring the interview, Noonan dismissed the Bundesbank’s perceived problems with Ireland’s recent promissory note swap.“The discussions have been going on for several months. It couldn’t have happened unless it was agreed in Frankfurt.”There was no dissent when it was noted unanimously by the council of the ECB. The Bundesbank subsequently commented along the lines we expected them to comment, he said.“They didn’t challenge what was done…no rules were broken.”He said he didn’t expect any legal challenge on the promissory note arrangements from “any authority or institution in Europe”. Individuals may take cases but “they don’t go very far”.“The deal is done…The ship has left the port and is sailing on under new rules. There is no suggestion that this will be unwound.”MarketsAsked about Ireland’s return to the markets, Noonan confirmed a long-term bond will be issued in the next four months. To qualify for the ECB’s bond-buying programme, two long-term issuances must be completed.However, Ireland would only use the programme as a “backstop” – to let lenders know it is there.Watch the full interview>
UPDATE: An Interstate 5 slowdown for Columbia River Crossing pre-construction testing work is now delayed until this evening or to a later date, CRC spokeswoman Anne Pressentin said. The Columbian will update the story when the new timing of a slowdown is announced.ORIGINAL STORY: The Washington State Patrol is expected to slow traffic on Interstate 5 southbound from Mill Plain Boulevard to the Interstate Bridge at 11 a.m. to accommodate pre-construction work for the Columbia River Crossing.Crews have been driving piles and test shafts as part of pre-construction project to evaluate the strength of the soil and the construction techniques for the replacement Interstate 5 Bridge support structures. This morning, crews will be using a large crane to install a 150 foot metal reinforcing cage just west of I-5, requiring the slowdown, CRC spokeswoman Anne Pressentin said.The slowdown is expected to last between 30 and 45 minutes; drivers are advised to take alternate routes.Northbound I-5 will not be affected.
There to introduce the global trends of the MICE industry was Niall Murray, founder of Murray International, a strategic business consulting firm with much IR development experience.MICE Business is attracting attention all over the world and by 2023 it is estimated that the industry will have an annual average growth rate of 7.5%.There are 62 exhibition halls worldwide that boast an area of 100,000 square meters. However, Japan is not represented at all in this list, Murray noted. The current largest, Tokyo Big Sight, has a floor space of just 95,000 square meters.According to data provided by Murray, the largest MICE facility in the world is in Hannover, Germany, measuring a vast 466,000 square meters.“The MICE market is growing in Las Vegas, China and Singapore,” he said. “Japan needs to compete with this and of course has the potential to do so. When it comes to legal frameworks, I want a flexible approach to be adopted.“For example, visas. When there is flexibility, inbound visitors will increase. Of course, I would expect the atmosphere in a facility unique to Japan to be distinct.” Galaxy offers first glimpse of new Galaxy Macau convention center ahead of 2021 launch RelatedPosts Load More A study session was held by the Japan IR Association earlier this month with the topic “What should Japan’s MICE look like?”The session was held in the Second Members’ Office Building of the House of Representatives. Parties related to local governance and Diet members who have shown interest in IR bids participated. Osaka approves Yumeshima site for commercial development in latest IR move Suncity Group looking to develop new resort hotel in Okinawa, Japan after US$10 million land purchase
Access platform rental firm Height for Hire is to launch an employee engagement and internal communications hub for its 200 employees.The portal, provided by Reward Gateway, will enable Height for Hire’s staff to access existing benefits, as well as instant rewards and recognition schemes, through a centralised online hub using a single employee login.Height for Hire operates depot locations spread across the UK and Ireland, and a high percentage of its employees work offline. Through the implementation of the new hub, the organisation aims to address these communication challenges and enhance internal communications across its workforce.The new hub, which will be introduced in February-March 2016, also aims to build Height for Hire’s brand identity and ensure that all employees feel invested in the organisation.Dave Browe, head of HR for UK and Ireland at Height for Hire, said: “We are in a highly competitive industry, and as market leader it is our mission to ensure we retain and attract the best talent. The only way that we are able to do that is through engaging with our employees.“The creation of our new, centralised hub is the first step on that journey. It will ensure our staff share the organisation’s vision and feel part of our journey to success.”