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Number of Indian Visitors to U.S. Falls for the First Time in Eight Years

first_imgFor the first time in eight years, the number of Indians visiting the United States has recorded a fall, according to a report by the National Travel and Trade Office (NTTO).About 11.14 lakh Indians traveled to the United States in 2017, which is about 5 percent less than 2016 when the number stood at 11.72 lakh, the report said. On the other hand, during the same period, American visitors to India saw a decline of 2 percent. In 2016, 18.2 percent Americans visited India and the corresponding number fell to 16.2 percent in 2017.According to the Times of India, the last time the U.S. ever witnessed low turnout of Indian visitors was in 2009 when only 5.5 lakh Indians visited the country. This was about 8 percent less than the previous year. That was a time the global financial crisis had set in and travelers, visitors, corporates, and businesses cut down on travel. But since then Indian visitors were increasing every year up to 2016.Nearly 77 million international visitors visited the United States in 2017, according to NTTO, which is a part of the U.S. Department of Commerce International Trade Administration. The growing markets were led by South Korea (+17.8 percent), Brazil (+11 percent), Argentina (+10 percent), Ireland (+9 percent), and Canada (+4.8 percent).  Growing markets outnumbered declining markets by 2-to-1.In April 2018, the NTTO had temporarily suspended publication of overseas arrivals data due to anomalies in records received from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). “Together, the NTTO and CBP identified approximately 4.5 million records that had been misclassified with respect to residency, due to a programing error. The misclassification had not been identified until it became apparent that the records were not reflecting trends consistent with other indicators of overseas travel to the United States,” NTTO said in a statement. “The data has been revised for 2016 and 2017.”NTTO has forecast an increase in the number of Indian visitors to the United States during 2018-2022, according to the Times of India.The report also showed that fewer Americans visited India in 2017. About 16.2 percent of Asia-bound American travelers spent their dollars in India, a decline of 2 percent when compared to 2016 when that number was 18.2 percent. In 2010, 14 percent Americans visited India, which jumped to 17.1 percent in 2012 and 19.1 percent in 2013. In 2014, 18.8 percent Americans came to India on a tourist visa, and the number fell to 17.7 percent in 2015.China is now the preferred travel destination in Asia for American tourists, the NTTO said.The United States welcomed nearly 77 million international visitors into the country, who collectively spent a record-setting $251.4 billion experiencing the country in 2017, a two percent increase when compared to 2016. In 2017, travel and tourism exports helped support more than 1.2 million American jobs across the United States, the report said. Related ItemsTourismUnited Stateslast_img read more

Salman Butt says cash was clean

first_imgFormer Pakistan captain Salman Butt has claimed that the thousands of pounds of cash discovered by British police at his hotel room during spot-fixing investigation in late August was part of his legitimate tour allowances.Butt and pacemen Mohammad Asif and Mohammed Amir were provisionally suspended by International Cricket Council following allegations of spot-fixing in a News of the World sting.There were subsequent accusations that police had discovered $ 24,036 in marked notes in Butt’s hotel room.However, Butt said the money was legitimate as they were tour allowances given to him by the Pakistan Cricket Board.”Well I think everybody knows the Pakistan Cricket Board pays us daily allowances on tours and it was a long tour,” he said in an interview at his Lahore home with Sky Sports due to be broadcast later.”About 11,000 of that money was from our daily allowances and being the captain, I had an extra entertainment allowance which amounts to about 4,500 from the tour, which I had with me,” said Butt.- With PTI inputslast_img read more

Dipa Karmakar scared to return home empty-handed from Rio

first_imgWith no more tears left to shed, a distraught Dipa Karmakar now wants to get back into training so she can start working towards leaving a lasting legacy in gymnastics. (RIO OLYMPICS – FULL COVERAGE) While the memory of losing an Olympic medal by just 0.15 of a point in Sunday’s vault final continues to haunt her, the 23-year-old knows what she achieved in Rio could be the start of something big for Indian gymnastics.”I want to inspire the next generation so that in 10 to 15 years, India can send a full gymnastics team to an Olympics and not just one athlete,” Karmakar told Reuters in an interview in her native Bengali in the athletes’ village before heading home to India on Thursday. (Also read: PV Sindhu becomes India’s 15th individual Olympic medalist)”(Five-times Olympic champion) Nellie Kim told me that in 10 years’ time, Indian gymnastics will be at the same level as the Chinese team.”If that happens, it will be because of the barriers Karmakar and her coach Bishweshwar Nandi have broken down over the past decade. (Also read: Dipa Karmakar recommended for Khel Ratna after spectacular Rio show) When the duo embarked on their dream to make Karmakar a world-class gymnast, they had no funding, no equipment and no guidance. All they had was a determination to succeed and a brainwave to build makeshift apparatus from a pile of crash mats and discarded parts of a second-hand scooter.Such hardships will be totally alien to the three gymnasts who finished ahead of Karmakar in Rio – Simone Biles, Maria Paseka and Giulia Steingruber – but it is thanks to the Indian trailblazer that future generations will have an easier start to their careers.advertisement”Up until three months ago I was using out-of-date equipment. Even now we still do not have the Olympic standard balance beam and uneven bars in India,” explained Karmakar, who was one of only two competitors in Rio to attempt the high-risk Produnova vault.”But I am now hopeful those will be imported into India.” (Also read: PV Sindhu’s parents back her to win Gold today)’A LASTING LEGACY’Just how oblivious Indians are about gymnastics was clear on Sunday when a throng of reporters bombarded Karmakar with questions such as:”Couldn’t you have done the landing better?””Is this your highest mark?””Does anyone else attempt this vault?””Someone even asked me’why didn’t you do the Produnova twice? If you did it twice, you would have got the medal!'” Karmakar, who got a career-best of 15.266 for the vault, said rolling her eyes.”That’s when I realised how ignorant some people still are about gymnastics. I had to explain to them that the rules state I have to perform two completely different vaults, one going forward and one going backwards.”The Produnova – consisting of a front handspring and two front somersaults – is so difficult that even its inventor, Elena Produnova, landed it standing up just once in her career.All her subsequent attempts resembled Karmakar’s effort, with Produnova’s bottom touching the mat before she bounced back onto her feet.In Rio, Uzbekistan’s Oksana Chusovitina also tried out the skill known as the “vault of death” but ended up doing a forward roll on the crash mat to finish seventh.”The one thing I do know is that everyone now knows the Produnova vault. I have probably made it more famous than Elena Produnova ever did!” Karmakar said with a laugh.”I have yet to reach my target with the Produnova as I am determined to stand up straight on my feet from this vault.”So does she have any aspirations to invent a vault herself?”Every gymnast wants to invent a skill that will bear their name so that they leave behind a lasting legacy. I too have that dream,” said Karmakar.While working towards that goal cannot begin until she is back in India, she wanted to make sure she left Rio without a bitter taste in her mouth.”I had ice cream two days after the final and two large strawberry smoothies. It was the first time in three months I’ve had any desert. But I had a little too much and now I have a bad throat,” she said as she broke down in laughter.WINNING HEARTSAlthough she has been hailed by the majority of Indians as the athlete who “won the hearts of a billion people” the one social media post that sticks out in Karmakar’s mind is not as complimentary.advertisement”Someone posted a Facebook message saying ‘Dipa should be ashamed of herself for wearing such a (revealing) costume in competition,” Karmakar said.”But then someone else replied: ‘so did you expect Dipa to compete with a burqa on?'”It is this kind of extreme reaction that is also weighing on her mind as she embarks on her journey home.”I am not in any rush to get back to India because I am going back empty handed. I am kind of dreading it,” she said.”There has been a lot of sadness and pain over the last four days. If I had won a medal, then I would have been in a rush to go back (and show it to everyone).”But on the flip side I am thinking, if I won a medal at my first Olympics, I would have lost the drive to improve even more.”My goal is that I can take a medal back for India at the next Olympics. I will try my hardest to achieve that.”last_img read more

Rodri: Adapting to ‘overwhelming’ Man City not easy

first_imgAdapting to life as the holding midfielder in an ultra-attacking Manchester City side is no easy task, according to the club’s record signing Rodri.A £62.8 million (€70m) close-season recruit from Atletico Madrid, Rodri has stepped in for Fernandinho over the opening weeks of the season, the Brazil international having returned late to club duty following his Copa America commitments.Rodri turned in assured performances at the base of the midfield in the Community Shield triumph over Liverpool and 5-0 opening-day win against West Ham in the Premier League. Article continues below Editors’ Picks 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? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Ilkay Gundogan provided support in central areas as playmakers Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva set about Tottenham in Saturday’s 2-2 draw, where City were forced to settle for a share of the spoils despite having 30 attempts at goal.”I feel better every day,” Rodri told his club’s official website.”It’s good for me to play minutes [because] it is not easy to get into a team with the dynamic City have ­– overwhelming, always wanting to attack.”I’m trying to settle well, I know I still have a lot to learn, but I’m happy because Pep Guardiola is showing me a lot of confidence.”I want to help the team with my style, but at this current point I need to identify what the team demands.”Gabriel Jesus had what he thought was an injury-time winner ruled out at the weekend when a VAR review penalised Aymeric Laporte for handball in the build-up to the goal.Rodri was involved in an earlier controversy when the video official decided not to advise referee Michael Oliver to award a penalty after Spurs winger Erik Lamela appeared to pull the Spain international to the ground.”It is a little bit difficult to get used to it,” the 23-year-old said of VAR. “Sometimes you don’t know why some actions are checked and others aren’t, but I think that the officials try to do their job the best they can.”We can only analyse what we control, we can’t control the things that are not in our hands.” Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.last_img read more

Regulatory Measures Have Boosted Securities Sector – Minister Phillips

first_img Regulatory measures implemented after the financial crisis of the 1990s, have resulted in “phenomenal growth” of the securities sector in Jamaica. Story Highlights The Minister stressed the crucial importance of sustained and consistently adequate financial regulations. Shortfalls could undermine the financial system stability and undercut possibilities for economic growth. Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, says that the regulatory measures implemented by the Government coming out of the financial crisis of the 1990s, have resulted in “phenomenal growth in size and assets” of the securities sector in Jamaica.“As at December 2002 … there were 26 securities firms with funds under management amounting to $148 Billion.  By December 2012 there were 29 securities firms and more than $663 billion under management.  In the unit trusts industry, the aggregate value of funds was in 2003, $8. 2 billion and by December 2012, the funds had grown close to $50 billion,” he informed.Dr. Phillips was delivering the main address during the official opening of the Caribbean Group of Securities Regulators 10th Annual Conference and Workshop at the Hylton Rose Hall Resort and Spa in Montego Bay, St. James on November 6.The Minister, in his presentation, stressed the crucial importance of sustained and consistently adequate financial regulations, to maintain confidence in the financial sector and promote business confidence generally, provide stability to the markets, and protect customers, workers and taxpayers “from moral hazards that are inherent in certain financial decisions.”He stated that any shortfalls could undermine the financial system stability and undercut possibilities for economic growth.Dr. Phillips said that the banking crisis faced by Jamaica in the mid 90s “is a lesson that we in Jamaica will never forget, because the resolution of that crisis imposed a significance cost and indeed, we are still overcoming the effects of that crisis in many respects.”He stated that the experience, “if nothing else, has convinced us of the value of a sound regulatory and supervisory environment. The financial sector crisis exposed the weaknesses in the framework for financial institutions. As a result of this, the regulatory framework for financial institutions was enhanced and as a consequence of that, the supervision of insurance and securities sector were placed under the direction of the Financial Services Commission (FSC).”He informed that the outcome of all the regulatory enhancements was that Jamaica’s financial system was able to “absorb the effect of the 2008 global crisis without any direct negative impact”.“That is a lesson that has sustained us in our conviction in the country that a sound regulatory framework is an essential platform upon which economic growth, development and system stability, as a whole, must be based.  Overall, I think that it is fair to say that the resilience of our financial sector is a direct result of the measures that were instituted during and immediately after the financial sector crisis of the mid 90’s.  This led to the consolidation of the financial sector, as well as significant strengthening of the regulatory powers, to enhance the supervisory authority and to enforce prudential requirements and the capacity to take early actions”, Dr. Phillips informed.The three-day regional conference is organised by the FSC and the Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance Centre (CARTAC) and is being carried out under the theme: ‘Fostering innovation, growth and financial stability in the Caribbean Securities Market- a path to recovery”.last_img read more

Afai Southern Floats Out NAN HAI JIU 202 (China)

first_imgzoom Coastal fast rescue vessel NAN HAI JIU 202, built by Afai Southern Shipyard for Rescue & Salvage Bureau of China’s Ministry of Transport was launched successfully on November 4th.The Deputy Director General of Nanhai Rescue Bureau Mr. Wuhui, supervision team of shipowner, representatives of CCS Guagnzhou branch and the leaders of Afai jointly witnessed the launching of the vessel.The NAN HAI JIU 202 pertains to the southern type and it is the sixth coastal fast rescue vessel contracted by Afai to join the Nanhai Rescue Bureau. The vessel is a full aluminum wave-piercing catamaran, propelled by twin engines and twin waterjets, with large deck area, fine navigability, high speed and maneuverability.She has a capacity to carry a maximum of 200 rescued people, and meets the relevant requirements of the CCS rules on rescue vessels and aluminum high speed vessels.Afai Southern, November 7, 2013last_img read more

IDay SHOs asked to maintain records of antiterror steps

first_imgNew Delhi: As Independence Day is nearing, series of meetings are being held on regular basis regarding the security arrangements in the city. Recently, during a meeting between Delhi Police officers and Railway Protection Force (RPF), a discussion was held regarding safety and security at railway stations in the city.Police sources said that station house officers (SHOs) were directed that every efforts and activity which are being undertaken to keep the safety and security at the railway station should be recorded systematically. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murder Police sources told Millennium Post that the meeting was taken by Deputy Commissioner of Police (Railway) Dinesh Kumar Gupta with the SHOs and ACsP of GRP railway and RPF officers. “Station house officers (SHOs) were told to maintain a separate register about the anti-terrorists measures taken by them for maintaining safety in railways jurisdiction,” sources said. Further in the meeting, discussion was held on CCTVs. “Officers were told that it should be ensured that all CCTV cameras are functioning properly, SHOs were directed to deploy at least one staff (byname) round the clock. It was desired that all CCTV cameras must be working condition,” sources said. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsThe senior officer in the meeting said, “Tall grasses grow up alongside railway station/ tracks need immediate cutting, as any terrorist , anti-social element may hide in the same.” The staff who is doing the checking, frisking duty should not carry a weapon, the other staff accompanying him should be armed and give proper cover during such checking. Additional machan to be installed at the vital locations, crowded places for close surveillance. Staff should be deployed at machan. They should be specifically briefed about their duties and they should not burden with multitasking responsibilities. “A coordinated plan be chalked out to conduct joint patrolling at railway stations. Joint patrolling of GRP& RPF personnel be carried out at all the railway stations, tracks and the record of such joint patrolling should be maintained properly,” DCP told other officers in the meeting. At the meeting, there was discussion regarding an entry gate which required to be closed immediately, as there is no access control, which is dangerous from the security point of view.” Announcement system at railway stations should be effectively utilized to make the passengers and public awareness about threats and danger to their safety & security,” was one of the points in the meeting.last_img read more

Stelco pushes PM for help in dealing with changing landscape for steel

OTTAWA — Canadian steel producer Stelco is looking for more support from the federal government as the country’s steel and aluminum producers grapple with punishing U.S. tariffs imposed on exports of their products south of the border.Stelco Holdings Inc., president and executive chairman Alan Kestenbaum met with Justin Trudeau in Ottawa Thursday.While he thanked the prime minister for the government’s support of the metals industry since the imposition of American tariffs last year, Kestenbaum said steel producers are now facing new pressures.Stelco reported a surge in income and revenues in the final quarter of last year, despite the 25 per cent tariffs on steel imported from Canada that the Trump administration imposed last June.The company reported net income of $108 million on revenue of $648 million in the three months ending Dec. 31, compared with $16 million of income and revenues of $452 million during the same period in 2017.But the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) issued a report last week that could see Canadian import restrictions lifted on some steel products.The provisional safeguards announced in October, designed to shield domestic producers from a flood of imports into Canada resulting from the U.S. tariffs, were considered by the World Trade Organization as emergency measures and are set to expire in about a month’s time.Finance Minister Bill Morneau issued emergency import restrictions on seven products, arguing that they posed a serious threat to Canada’s steel industry.The CITT report, issued April 3, ruled the safeguards were warranted on just two of the seven products.The report is not binding on Morneau, who can choose to ignore some or all of the findings and make the safeguards permanent.“The measures that were put in place, the actions that were put in place, have enabled Stelco and other steel producers to really be able to operate well in this very, very difficult environment,” Kestenbaum said as he sat with Trudeau in the prime minister’s West Block office.“Today we’re here to talk about a changing landscape.”Kestenbaum suggested he was looking to Trudeau for help in preserving jobs in Canada’s steel industry.The prime minister told Kestenbaum his government is focused on supporting the steel industry and its workers as they continue to face what Trudeau described as “punitive” and “illegitimate” tariffs.Trudeau said officials from his government have been meeting “almost daily” with U.S. officials in attempts to have the duties lifted.In the meantime, the government is having discussions on how to support the metal industries, he said.The Canadian Press read more

Public sector must constantly challenge itself to improve Annan

In a message delivered by Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs Jose Antonio Ocampo, Mr. Annan said, “It is widely recognized that good governance is essential to our ability to reach the Millennium Development Goals.”It is also understood that good governance requires the state, civil society and the private sector to work better together so as to be more responsive and accountable to the citizenry. That means the public sector must challenge itself continuously to improve the way it does business.”The eight Millennium Development Goals set parameters governments must meet if extreme poverty is to be halved by 2015.The Mexican Government’s agenda for “doing more with less” gave conference participants opportunities to learn from Mexico’s experiences, to strengthen South-South cooperation in sharing best practices and to forge alliances, Mr. Annan said. read more

Average US 30year mortgage rate declines to 343 per cent

by The Associated Press Posted Aug 4, 2016 8:25 am MDT Last Updated Aug 4, 2016 at 11:40 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email This Thursday, May 26, 2016, photo shows a home for sale in Carlsbad, Calif. On Thursday, Aug. 4, Freddie Mac reports on the week’s average U.S. mortgage rates. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi) Average US 30-year mortgage rate declines to 3.43 per cent WASHINGTON – Long-term U.S. mortgage rates declined this week after rising for three straight weeks, continuing to lure prospective homebuyers.Mortgage giant Freddie Mac said Thursday the average for the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 3.43 per cent from 3.48 per cent last week. The average rate is down sharply from 3.91 per cent a year ago.The 15-year fixed mortgage rate dipped to 2.74 per cent from 2.78 per cent last week.Record-low interest rates this year have helped spur home purchases and boost the housing market. The Federal Reserve has been holding its key short-term rate near zero since 2008, and a statement from the Fed last week after its latest policy meeting had led many economists to conclude that a strengthening economy would lead the central bank to resume raising rates as soon as September.But after a government report last Friday showed a surprisingly lacklustre economy in the second quarter, many economists said a September rate hike was now probably off the table. The Commerce Department data showed that gross domestic product — the broadest gauge of the economy — grew just 1.2 per cent in the April-June period.To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country at the beginning of each week. The average doesn’t include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates. One point equals 1 per cent of the loan amount.The average fee for a 30-year mortgage remained at 0.5 point this week. The fee for a 15-year loan also was unchanged from last week at 0.5 point.Rates on adjustable five-year mortgages averaged 2.73 per cent, down from 2.78 per cent last week. The fee held at 0.5 point. read more

Ohio States Marcus Hall on Senior Day All good things come to

Redshirt-senior safety C.J. Barnett (4) celebrates an interception during a game against Illinois Nov. 16 at Memorial Stadium. OSU won, 60-35.Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorAs the No. 3-ranked Ohio State football team (10-0, 6-0) prepares to try and break the OSU record for consecutive wins, the Buckeye seniors are getting ready for their final game at Ohio Stadium as players.For most seniors like redshirt-senior safety C.J. Barnett, Saturday will be a memorable game, but the pre-game ceremonies aren’t what they’re focused on most.“We’ll get through the emotions together, but we’ve got a job to do, (to) go out there and try to beat Indiana,” Barnett said.Barnett said playing his final home game makes him think back over all the accomplishments he and his classmates have achieved in Columbus.“I’ll probably be a little emotional. I can remember the first time I ran out there against Navy in 2009,” Barnett said. “We have had ups and down, but I do think we’re finishing strong.”Redshirt-senior right guard Marcus Hall said Wednesday he’s not ready to start thinking about what will be going through his head Saturday against Indiana (4-6, 2-4), but he will definitely miss his time at Ohio State.“I just really don’t want to see it come to an end,” Hall said. “But you know what they say, all good things come to an end.”Coach Urban Meyer said redshirt-junior cornerback Bradley Roby will participate in the senior ceremonies, as the two have already discussed his plans for next year. Meyer said four years is all he expects his players to commit to the program, adding Roby is on track to earn his degree in the spring.“(Four years) is all you ask, you don’t ask for five years nowadays.”Meyer said not all senior classes are good and deserve the praise this class will receive before the game.“It’s not because they’re seniors, it’s because what they’ve done,” Meyer said.Junior linebacker Ryan Shazier, who might forgo his senior season after a very successful campaign in his third year, said he has not made a decision regarding next year at this time.“I just want to help (the seniors) leave with a bang,” Shazier said. “I’m not even thinking about (the NFL Draft) right now, I’m thinking about Indiana.”With a win Saturday, OSU will clinch the Big Ten Leaders division title and punch its ticket to the Big Ten Championship Game. Meyer said being in the title hunt mid-November, both in the Big Ten and the BCS, is what attracted him to OSU two winters ago.“That’s why you come to Ohio State as a coach or a player,” Meyer said.Junior quarterback Braxton Miller said the state of the BCS, which has No. 3 OSU ahead of No. 4 Baylor by .0013, isn’t something his team can afford to focus on out on the field.“It’s not in our hands, but a couple things are in our hands,” Miller said. “We can go out there and dominate who we’re playing.”OSU and Indiana are set for a 3:30 p.m. kickoff Saturday in Ohio Stadium. read more

School scraps homework to give teachers time to plan lessons

first_imgTeacher marking books “We want it to be the number one priority so teachers can plan for students’ individual needs and keep on top of their progress on a daily basis.”Out-of-school-hours learning will still be encouraged through the school’s website, with prizes offered to the most dedicated students.Last year, the independent boarding school Cheltenham Ladies’ College announced plans to ditch homework in response to an “epidemic” of mental health problems.In 2013, Jane Austen College in Norwich said pupils would be expected to complete all their work during timetabled hours, and extended the school day to 5pm. ‘Homework is too often made up of unfinished curriculum work’Credit:Alamy A school has scrapped all homework to allow teachers more time to plan lessons, it has emerged.Catherine Hutley, principal at Philip Morant School and College, in Colchester, Essex, has said her staff will use the time previously spent on setting and marking homework on planning lessons more precisely.The school isn’t the first to abolish homework, but previously schools have done so to reduce mental health problems among pupils, or have then extended school hours to make up the time.Ms Hutley accepted the move would be controversial but she said she was “genuinely excited” about the innovative approach and was convinced students would benefit. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.center_img She said: “The job of a teacher is impossible.”There are not enough hours in the day for a teacher to teach, set homework, mark homework, and plan their lessons.She continued: “It is a move away from a more traditional approach but we would not do anything which would hinder the progress of our children.”We have the most dedicated and committed staff you could possibly ask for.”They are working every hour God sends but planning lessons can fall by the wayside. There are not enough hours in the day for a teacher to teach, set homework, mark homework, and plan their lessonsCatherine Hutley Ms Hutley said homework at her school was too often made up of unfinished curriculum work which had not been completed in class. That work will now be completed in lessons, ensuring children who were not completing their homework would not miss out.Ms Hutley said the new Prove It+ extension work will encourage independent learning, which would also benefit students in their post-16 education.Ms Hutley said the move away from traditional homework had been discussed for a year. She added: “We are aware opinions on this issue are polarised, with many parents and carers delighted by the change but others concerned by what the move will mean for their child.”We have carefully analysed the performance and progress of our students and the impact homework has had on this.”last_img read more

Police probe over retired Greek Australian GP accused of sex abuse

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Neos Kosmos first became aware of the allegations against Dr Constantine Kyriacou over sexual misconduct following three of his former patients coming forward to share their harrowing stories of inappropriate comments, fondling and sexual assault.Maria Moutsidis, 61, Sandra Rokebrand, 52, and Suzii Crowley, 49, independently lodged official complaints over their medical consultations at Dr Kyriacou’s practice on Barkers Road in Hawthorn having been far from professional.Following their statements, it was revealed by The Age that complaints regarding Dr Kyriacou’s misconduct were first raised with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) almost 20 years ago, but a complaint was withdrawn and no action was taken.AHPRA, which regulates the nation’s health practitioners, is currently under investigation over the long delays with its current probe into Dr Kyriacou, which was finally launched in February 2016 but surprisingly, is still months from being finalised.Meanwhile, Dr Kyriacou, removed himself from the register of medical practitioners in August 2017 claiming he was suffering from a brain injury, however, it appears he was trying to avoid AHPRA.“You have questioned how it could be that Dr Kyriacou cannot recall these patients but can deny the alleged actions,” Mr Kyriacou’s lawyer, John Petts from Kennedys, told the press.“The answer is that when these allegations were first made, Dr Kyriacou was able to provide clear instructions and he denied the allegations,” he added stressing his client’s diagnosis of “significant cognitive impairment”.Well known Greek Australian actress Maria Moutsidis, also known as Maria Mercedes, said she suffered from panic attacks and chronic anxiety in her early 20s, following her experience as a patient of dr Kyriacou’s.Maria Moutsidis“I would be asked to stand with Dr Kyriacou standing behind me and him directing me to lean backwards onto him, whereby he proceeded to stretch my body and I would feel his erect penis, pressing behind me,” she said in her sworn statement to AHPRA on 31 January 2018.“For whatever medical reason that I came to see him, sore throat, anxiety, abdominal pain, he would ask me to fully undress. Always,” she said in a disturbing report.Ms Crowley and Ms Rokebrand who are represented by Arnold Thomas & Becker, also lodged writs in the Supreme Court that accusing Dr Kyriacou of sexual assault and professional misconduct.Following the publication of their stories several other women have come forward, contacting police and AHPRA sharing similar stories.last_img read more

Klopp defends Alissons £66m price tag Jan Oblak would have cost

first_imgLiverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has defended the club’s decision to pay up to £66.8m for Alisson from AS Roma, that made him the world’s most expensive goalkeeperAfter just one season as the first-choice at the Stadio Olimpico, Alisson completed his world record move to Liverpool earlier this month to the astonishment of others.This year, Liverpool have spent over £250m in new recruits and the price they have paid for Alisson has raised concerns among the supporters.But Klopp argued that in such a small marketplace, they were left with few options that could have been potentially cheaper.The German cited Atletico Madrid’s Jan Oblak as an example.“Everybody thinks it’s a lot of money. It is a lot of money, but he could’ve left for crazy money,” said Klopp, according to the Belfast Telegraph.“The clause for Oblak, for example, is 100m euros (£89m), so nice!“The goalkeeper market is different because it’s not each year that there is anybody available.Roberto Firmino, LiverpoolVirgil van Dijk praises Roberto Firmino after Liverpool’s win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Virgil van Dijk hailed team-mate Roberto Firmino after coming off the bench to inspire Liverpool to a 3-1 comeback win against Newcastle United.“We didn’t know exactly if Alisson is available or not, but from a specific moment we realised obviously he is available and that’s the moment when we decided we want to go for him.”The 51-year-old had swapped around goalkeepers Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius throughout the first part of last season before permanently installing the latter as his number one.But Karius’ mistakes in May’s Champions League defeat to Real Madrid had left Klopp with no other alternative but to seek a new goalkeeper, despite medical results proving that the 25-year-old had suffered a concussion.“We are really fine with our goalkeepers. So there’s no doubts (about) Simon Mignolet – big quality, absolutely Premier League highest-level quality, Loris Karius as well,” he added.“Yes, we all know what happened in the final, but we know as well why it’s not about that. It’s not the reason (for signing Alisson).“We really wanted to bring in a player which we didn’t have before to be honest and that’s what happened with Alisson.”But if there was one person that is happy with the deal it’s Roma president James Pallotta.“In Alisson’s case, come on, let’s be serious. You know, 70m euros is a lot,” he told SiriusXM FC.last_img read more

No 17 Arizona beats Washington State 247

first_imgPULLMAN — Sports Illustrated once dubbed Washington State “Quarterback U,” a tribute to the steady stream of quality quarterbacks developed in Pullman.WSU still has a knack for developing quarterbacks, but now the Cougars seem to be helping opposing quarterbacks develop as much as their own.For the third week in a row, WSU lost to a team playing its No. 2 quarterback most or all of the game when Matt Scott replaced injured Arizona star Nick Foles early in the second quarter and led the 17th-ranked Wildcats to a 24-7 victory Saturday at Martin Stadium.Scott played quite ably, but the much-maligned WSU defense — ranked last in the nation coming into the weekend — gave up a season-low 352 yards. The 24 points allowed was the least for WSU in a Pac-10 game since a 16-13 triumph against Washington on Nov. 22, 2008.The Cougars racked up season highs of six quarterback sacks and 10 tackles for loss, and Arizona mustered just 10 points and 101 yards in the second half with Foles on the sidelines with a knee sprain. The Wildcats led 21-0 before the Cougars produced their only score, a 23-yard bullet over the middle from Jeff Tuel to Marquess Wilson late in the third quarter. WSU finished with 297 total yards, and Tuel was responsible for 290. He passed for 257 yards and ran for 33 despite being sacked a season-high seven sacks. Only Tuel’s nimble feet, vision and willingness to take a hit when scrambling prevented the Wildcats from reaching double digits in sacks.last_img read more

SCDS batch leaves for Italy on study programme in Vijayawada

first_imgVijayawada: As many as 25 students of Samana College of Design Studies (SCDS) from two Telugu states, a faculty member along with CEO Sheeba left to Milan, Italy on Friday to attend the student exchange programme at ‘NABA’, said the SCDS chairperson Samana Hussaini. Addressing the media she said that SCDS was the first college that proved an international exposure to its designers. She said that they had left no stone unturned and worked hard to achieve this moment of pride, and added that SCDS was the only college from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh which is providing an international platform for its designers. Also Read – TDP to open shelters for victims of attacks Advertise With Us She said that it is a month long programme for both fashion designing and interior designing trainees. During the period of stay, the students will be open to a totally new method of teaching and multi cultural atmosphere. They are taking many of their project works to present at the university and they would come back with a bundle of new ideas and memories to share with their peers back home, she said and wished the students a safe and a fruitful journey.last_img read more

Texas Adoption Agencies Could Ban Jews Gays Muslims

first_img Share Parents seeking to adopt children in Texas could soon be rejected by state-funded or private agencies with religious objections to them being Jewish, Muslim, gay, single, or interfaith couples, under a proposal in the Republican-controlled Legislature.Five other states have passed similar laws protecting faith-based adoption organizations that refuse to place children with gay parents or other households on religious grounds — but Texas’ rule would extend to state-funded agencies. Only South Dakota’s is similarly sweepingly.The bill had been scheduled for debate and approval Saturday in the state House, but lawmakers bogged down with other matters. It now is expected to come up next week.Republican sponsors of Texas’ bill say it is designed to support the religious freedom of adoption agencies and foster care providers. Many of the agencies are private and faith-based but receive state funds.But opponents say it robs children of stable homes while funding discrimination with taxpayer dollars.“This would allow adoption agencies to turn away qualified, loving parents who are perhaps perfect in every way because the agency has a difference in religious belief,” said Catherine Oakley, senior legislative counsel for the Human Rights Campaign. “This goes against the best interest of the child.”The bill also blatantly violates the Constitution, Oakley added.“As a governmental entity, Texas is bound to treat people equally under the law,” said Oakley. “This is a violation of equal protection under the law.”State Rep. James Frank, the bill’s author, said it’s designed to address the state’s foster care crisis by making “reasonable accommodations so everyone can participate in the system.”“Everyone is welcome. But you don’t have to think alike to participate,” said Frank, a Republican from rural Wichita Falls, near Texas’ border with Oklahoma.A federal judge in 2015 ruled that the state’s foster care system violated youngsters’ constitutional rights. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott made fixing it an “emergency” priority and the Legislature has increased funding while backing a number of major changes.Suzanne Bryant, an Austin-based adoption attorney who works with LGBT clients and was one of the first individuals to have a legal same-sex marriage in Texas, said the bill fails to provide alternatives for prospective parents rebuffed by adoption agencies.“Say you call an agency and say, ‘I’m Jewish,’ and it’s a Catholic agency and they hang up on you,” said Bryant. “The bill says you can be referred to another agency, but there’s no mechanism to set that up.”Not only could agencies turn away hopeful parents under the religious freedom provision, but they could require children in the foster care system to comply with their faith-based requirements, said Bryant.That means child welfare organizations could send LGBT kids to conversion therapy, a treatment designed to turn people straight — which the Pan American Health Organization calls a “serious threat to the health and well-being of affected people.” And they could deny young people contraception and abortions.“If a 17-year-old who is sexually active wants birth control, the burden to prove that constitutional right is on the child,” said Bryant. “They don’t have their parents advocating for them and supposed to go it alone against the system.”Frank said most adoptions happen through the state’s Child Protective Services, which would not be subject to the religious freedom mandate, though outside agencies that receive state funding would be. He said his bill “codifies” the choices adoption agencies are already making as they select parents.“My guess is if you have an LGBT agency they’re going to pick an LGBT family, and if you have a Baptist agency they may be more likely to pick a Baptist family,” Frank said. “They’re free to do that and should be free to do that.”Frank also said the bill directs state child services to ensure that other outside adoption providers without religious objections are made available to help would-be adoptive parents who get turned away by any who do raise objections.But his proposal is just one of 24 pending bills in the Texas Legislature that LGBT advocates say encourage discrimination.last_img read more

We Remember Mates A Pearl Harbor Survivor Looks Back

first_img Share Wikipedia CommonsThe U.S.S. Shaw explodes after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.Today is Pearl Harbor Day. On this day 77 years ago, the Japanese attacked the U.S. fleet in Hawaii and launched America into World War II.Courtesy – Cliff HamberlinVaughn Hamberlin, Pearl Harbor survivor who served on the U.S.S. Tennessee.One of the men who survived the attack was Vaughn Hamberlin, who served aboard the U.S.S. Tennessee. Some 35 years later, in 1976, he revisited the site of the attack and was moved to write an account of that day and his feelings for his fallen comrades.On this Pearl Harbor Day, his son, Cliff Hamberlin of The Woodlands, tells us about his father. And we hear some of Vaughn’s account of that day from an article he wrote shortly after revisiting the site. It was published in the Beaumont Enterprise.Vaughn Hamberlin died in 1994 in Beaumont.“We Remember Mates”Vaughn Hamberlin’s Account of Pearl Harbor, Used by PermissionAs we glided across the blue-green water of Pearl Harbor, we were all caught up in the beauty of the “Pearl of the Pacific.” My mind quickly traveled back across the years to a Sunday morning not unlike this one.As a young man of nineteen, I had been assigned duty aboard the battleship U.S.S. Tennessee. In two days I would complete my first year in the U.S. Navy. On this particular morning, I was waiting with my fellow softball team members for a launch that was to transport us to the Naval “Rec” field. None of the team ever boarded that launch.The anticipation of a day of leisure at the recreation field and on the beach was broken by an excited voice on the public announcing system, “All hands man your battle stations!” As the ship’s crew hastened to their stations I thought, “Why couldn’t this drill have waited five minutes, then we would have been off the ship.” I should have known something was wrong; normally, general quarters was sounded on a boatswain’s whistle, followed by verbal instructions. The voice on the loud speaker began shouting, “This is no drill; it is the real thing!”Before I reached my station the old wagon was shaking from stem to stern. I wasn’t sure what was going on, but the battleship U.S.S. West Virginia which was tied to our port side had taken the first of what would be many torpedoes into her port side. World War II had begun.From that moment on things began to happen so fast and furious it is hard to put them in sequence. The short time that followed branded my mind with memories that would last a lifetime.The battleship U.S.S. Maryland was docked just forward of the U.S.S. Tennessee with the U.S.S. Oklahoma alongside her. None of the ships escaped being hit by either torpedoes or bombs in the first few minutes.At the beginning of the vicious attack, the Oklahoma was hit hard on her port side by several torpedoes – as was the West Virginia. It was standard procedure for all ships to get underway when under attack; but to everyone’s horror, when the Oklahoma’s lines were cut from the Maryland she immediately began to roll over. It only took a few minutes until she was bottom-up, trapping many of her crew below deck.The West Virginia would have seen the same fate if an old boatswain on the Tennessee had not refused to allow her lines to be cut from us. She sank only a few feet and her keel rested the bottom, wedging the Tennessee against the quays, making it impossible for her to move; but without a doubt the boatswain’s decision had saved many lives on the West Virginia. The U.S.S. California docked forward of the Maryland had much the same fate as the West Virginia.Being located as they were the Tennessee and Maryland were protected from the torpedo planes. Directly aft of us was the battleship U.S.S. Arizona and the repair ship U.S.S. Vestal was alongside her. Because of Ford Island, the Naval Air Station, the attackers could not make a water approach from our starboard side; however, we did take several heavy bomb hits and a lot of strafing.Then the biggest blast of the day came; the Arizona blew up! Some believe a bomb went directly in her stack; others believe a torpedo went under the Vestal, hitting her below the armor plating, blowing her boilers and magazines. It seems inconceivable that what I saw could actually happen. Her forward deck seemed to roll forward, and she belched forth fire, steel, oil, and men; all coming down on the ships around her. It seemed for a time the entire line of battlewagons was on fire and that nothing could be saved. My whole world was on fire.No one knows how, but the Vestal was able to get underway and move out of the holocaust and move away from the Arizona; but her freedom was short lived when she caught a couple of heavy bomb hits – one ripping her open from the main deck to her keel. She began to sink, and her Skipper ran her aground to prevent disaster.Throughout the attack I was alternately fighting fire and handling the dead and wounded. My hands had never before touched a dead man. It was a horrifying experience to have the flesh of a man fall apart to my touch. I heard cries, whispered prayers of fear, and cursing in anger; but through it all, I saw no panic. I had tasted the bitters of Hell, but I did not weep.In the days following, I was assigned to a launch as the motorman. Two others – a coxswain and a bowman, made up the launch crew. Our duty was removing bodies that were rising to the surface in the harbor. It was almost impossible to pull the bodies into the launch without tearing the flesh, so we towed them to a specially built float at the recreation field.After three days this work began to tell on my nerves. Each time we removed a body I was afraid to search for identification; because you see, I was afraid I would find my brother Wayne, who was assigned to the Vestal.On the third day after the attack, I told the bowman how to operate the engine and then asked the coxswain to drop me off on the gangway to the Vestal, then lay-off and wait for me. I was surprised when the Duty Officer allowed me aboard; but when I told him why I made the request, all he asked me was if I know where my brother’s quarters were.  When I said yes, he welcomed me aboard. I walked to the hatch that led down to Wayne’s quarters, and my heart almost stopped from what I saw. The hatchway was blown away, and a bomb had gone right through Wayne’s quarters. I began to shake. I tried to light a cigarette, and my hands shook so hard I couldn’t contact flame with cigarette. A man lit my cigarette for me.  It was a friend of my brother whom I had met on a previous visit. He said Wayne was okay, but was on the beach in a work party. I was shaken, but did not weep.It took ten day to remove the Tennessee from her wedge between the West Virginia and the quays. When she was freed we returned to the shipyard at Bremerton, Washington for extensive repairs and alterations.The years that followed were spent on three ships in every corner of the globe, both in the Pacific and the Atlantic. All through the suspense, monotony, loneliness, and horror, I was proud that this farm boy had the privilege of wearing the uniform of Uncle Sam’s Navy. The songs “Anchors Aweigh,” “America the Beautiful,” and our beloved “Star Spangled Banner” still make my chest swell with pride.As the tour craft pulled alongside the memorial that is constructed over the still visible hull of the Arizona, my thoughts returned to the present. The crowd was very quiet as we filed aboard the Memorial. The first thing we saw was the great bell that served the battleship for many years. The people were very reverent; and when anyone spoke, it was almost in a whisper. My wife and I stood for several minutes viewing the pictures of the attack and read the more than one thousand names of those still entombed in the hull only a few feet below where we were standing.As we stood looking down on what would have been about mid-ship, small wisps of oil would occasionally break on the surface as if those below were saying, “Hey up there; we’re still here.” I wanted to shout, “We remember mates – and thank you.” I wept.As I stood gripping the railing with my back to the crowd so they could not see the tears rolling down my face, my thoughts raced through history and the years from 1776 to the present. There were so many that had paid the ultimate price to win and hold the freedom we enjoy. To those below and the others before and after you, “You are not forgotten.”“We Remember Mates”Vaughn E. HamberlinBorn: Sept. 26, 1922 in Gilmer, TexasDied: April 13, 1994 in Beaumont, TexasMr. Hamberlin first visited the Arizona Memorial in April 1976 and wrote this article May 10, 1976.last_img read more

Star Wars The Old Republic Report Flashpoints are highly entertaining

first_imgUpdate: As some of our SWTOR savvy readers have pointed out, flashpoints are better compared to the multiplayer dungeons that exist in games like WoW, rather than raids. The mechanism that exists for large party raids are called “Operations”, and are for high level player groups. Having a level 20 character, I have not yet had a chance to experience an Operation, but am looking forward to reporting on them in the future. My opinion of the flashpoints themselves has not changed, as they are well crafted narrative game experiences as I outlined in the rest of the piece.Thanks to our readers for keeping us on the straight and narrow! May the Force be with you.If you are an avid MMO gamer, you will be familiar with the group gaming experience called the “raid.” Made popular by World of Warcraft and legendary 40-person raid dungeons, these are akin to “boss” battles in a single player RPG. Usually reserved for high-level elite players, they have received both praise and criticism alike. Casual players resent the fact that they can’t usually take part, while hardcore players love the exclusivity they receive because they have time to pour into leveling their characters.The debate on how raids should be implemented in massive online games has influenced developers to try and fix the issues, making as many players as possible happy. With a few exceptions, this usually ends up in disaster. There has not been a truly successful raid system in an MMO until now. BioWare has succeeded where so many others have failed, by creating a raid system that is balanced and allows players of all types to enjoy deeper part of the game.In the  Star Wars: The Old Republic, raids are called “flashpoints” and are chock full of high-level enemies, rare loot drops, and deep narratives that immerse a player into the mission they are on. I have had the opportunity to take part in two flashpoints so far: “Esseles” and “Hammer Station”. Both have been highly entertaining experiences that show how much work BioWare has put into the title.Rather than creating a raid experience that is targeted only at elite players in large guilds, BioWare opted to make the flashpoint aspect of the game as accessible as possible. The only requirement to get into the early missions is to be the right level and have a group of people with you. The events are both easy to find and travel to, making it possible for anyone who wants to experience them to have a chance. This is a refreshing change of pace from games like Everquest 2 and WoW, where it’s much easier if you are in a large guild to make raid-runs possible. Those games almost penalize you for being a solo player.SWTOR is the first game I have experienced where a casual player can actually make some progress. You can easily drop in for a flashpoint run as a solo player, find a group to play with and be done in a hour. It feels like you are playing through a level in a console game that you can walk away from when you are done.Getting introduced to the flashpoint system is a enjoyable experience as well. Pictured above is the first Republic-playable flashpoint entitled the “Esseles.” It’s a two-man raid for players level nine or higher, and focuses on exposing players to the narrative flow of the raid system. I had the opportunity to run this scenario with Russell Holly, another writer here at Geek.com.One of the aspects of flashpoints that I really enjoy are the group conversation portions of the narratives that are built into each scenario. The conversations serve to tie together the flow of the flashpoint, directing players to the next objective to be accomplished. Requiring  total group participation, each member of your party has an opportunity to control the ebb and flow of the mission by responding in certain ways to dialogue presented from NPC’s. Each player has a “social roll” that happens during these conversation points, the character rolling the highest number is who decides how the party reacts to situations.Pictured above is the dialogue of entering into one of these narrative events from the second flashpoint called “Hammer Station.” This is a four-man raid that I was able to run with my guild, “The Consortium.” What’s fun about these conversations is that if one of the players is trying to earn Dark Side points and wins the roll, it can get the group in some hot water. Don’t worry though, if you are trying to keep your nose clean and adhere to the Light Side of the Force, their decision does not impact your point levels in that area.Besides good amounts of experience, flashpoints offer some of the best loot drops in the game. Each raid has several “boss” battles, like the one pictured above from Hammer Station. These are obviously tougher battles that hold some danger of character death with them in exchange for the rarer reward drops when victory is achieved. These battles are incredibly chaotic and fun, with lightsabers flashing and laser weapons firing in the background. The end result being that you feel like you have been in the fray, and actively participated in the drama playing out before you.The flashpoint system is another indicator about how seriously BioWare worked to create an experience that players will enjoy. It’s obvious that a lot of research went into the planning and development to address as many different player concerns with the raiding system as possible. People often say that you cannot please everyone, but honestly it feels like BioWare has. Everyone in game can take part in flashpoints if they want, the system is all inclusive which is incredibly refreshing to say the least.The last point to touch on is the beneficial social aspect of flashpoints. MMO players will know that building a strong friend list in-game is something that is crucial to success. Being able to call upon your in-game buddies to help with a heroic area or to see if they have components for that lightsaber you are trying to craft is vital. Because flashpoints are grouped together, there is usually a large group of people milling around, all looking for groups. This gives a person a great opportunity to make some allies in their fight against the Sith.Stay tuned for more reporting from The Old Republic.last_img read more