12 Oct
2019

Anwar El Ghazi Cristiano Ronaldo Advised me to Opt for the

Rabat – Anwar El Ghazi has opted to play for the Netherlands after consulting Real Madrid talisman Cristiano Ronaldo. The Ajax Amsterdam player of Moroccan origins has revealed that Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo has advised him to pledge his allegiance to the Netherlands and not Morocco.The 20-year-old is included in Danny Blind’s 28-man Netherlands preliminary squad to play the UEFA Euro 2016 qualifiers against Kazakhstan and Czech Republic next month. El Ghazi, who has scored seven goals for Ajax so far in the season, said he was persuaded by the three-time Ballon d’Or winner to represent the Netherlands at international level.“I have thought about it for a long time. My parents, my family, my personal trainer and also Cristiano Ronaldo have advised me. I have included everything in my choice,” El Ghazi told Ajax’s official website.“It came up with Ronaldo. He asked how I stood on the Netherlands. He said if he were me, he would opt for the Netherlands. He said I had to decide it myself and that people always have an opinion.“Choose Netherlands and Moroccans will say I’m not a real Moroccan, opt for Morocco then the Dutch say ‘Hey, you’re born and raised here, what the hell is that?’”El Ghazi added: “I’m going to do my best. I’m going to give everything for the country because I was born and raised here.”© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission read more

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12 Oct
2019

Trump administration seeks to boost Opportunity Zones

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is proposing new regulations aimed at making it easier for investors to take advantage of tax breaks for investing in ‘Opportunity Zones’ in low-income areas.The proposed regulations issued by the Treasury Department seek to clear up questions that were keeping some investors from using the tax incentives.President Donald Trump, speaking at a White House conference to promote the program, says that governors in all 50 states and U.S. territories had designated 8,700 neighbourhoods as Opportunity Zones, making these economically depressed areas eligible to be used for the federal tax incentives.“Nobody thought it was going to catch on like it’s caught on,” Trump says.The program was included in the $1.5 trillion tax cut legislation that Trump pushed through Congress in 2017.Martin Crutsinger And Darlene Superville, The Associated Press read more

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8 Oct
2019

Government assures law and order after protest

The Government says it has taken all measures to maintain law and order and that there would not be any room for unruly elements to create any sort of disturbances in the country.Minister of Justice Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said that unruly protests will not be allowed in the North or any other part of the country over the kidnapping, rape and killing of an 18-year-old schoolgirl in Kayts, Jaffna. He said that Police have so far arrested nine suspects over the rape and killing of the schoolgirl. The situation was brought under control with the help of the riot police and security forces after firing tear gas to quell the emotionally agitated mob, the Minister said. (Colombo Gazette) He pointed out that 130 suspects were arrested for pelting stones at the Jaffna Police Station and the Magistrate Court on May 20. According to the Minister, the violent protesters attempted to harm the eight suspects arrested earlier for the gruesome murder. The Kayts police, after arresting the suspects, transferred them to the Jaffna police.Then the protesters gathered in front of the Magistrate Court and the Police Station in Jaffna and started hurling stones and attacking police personnel who tried to save suspects from being assaulted and the court and the police station being damaged. read more

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7 Oct
2019

Brock to unveil plaque honouring early union supporters in Niagara

Tomorrow, Brock will unveil a new plaque recognizing the significant contributions that local union members made to the University’s Founding Fund from 1965 to 1970.The plaque, which will be located in the Mackenzie Chown Complex 300-level hallway where blocks B and C meet, was proposed by Brock’s Centre for Labour Studies as part of the University’s 50th anniversary celebrations. What: Plaque unveiling honouring early union supporters in NiagaraWhen: Wednesday, April 2 at 1:30 p.m.Where: Mackenzie Chown Complex, 300-level hallway (B & C blocks), Brock UniversityLabour unions played a key role in organizing voluntary payroll deduction in worksites across Niagara in support of the early growth and development of the University.In 1965, local unions throughout Niagara agreed to recommend to their respective memberships that each member donate a day’s pay each year to Brock for the next five years. Organized labour set a goal of $1-million for itself, but by 1970, had surpassed this target, having raised more than $1.4 million for the University’s Founding Fund.This amount represented almost a quarter of the total amount raised by the University’s Founding Committee.Workers at McKinnon Industries — a subsidiary of General Motors (GM) — contributed to Brock University’s Founding Fund (Special Collections and Archives, Brock University) read more

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6 Oct
2019

Loblaw to spin off real estate plans public stock offering for REIT

by Hugh McKenna, The Canadian Press Posted Dec 6, 2012 4:59 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Loblaw to spin off real estate; plans public stock offering for REIT in mid-2013 TORONTO – Loblaw Companies Ltd. is creating a real estate investment trust that will be one of the country’s largest commercial landlords, an announcement that sent it shares soaring Thursday.The REIT, which would operate as a subsidiary of Loblaw (TSX:L), would see Canada’s biggest supermarket operator contribute real estate assets with a current market value of more than $7 billion to the venture.Units of the REIT would then be sold in an initial public offering expected to be completed in mid-2013, subject to regulatory approvals.“However, it is our intention to retain a significant majority interest in the REIT — over 80 per cent,” Loblaw chief financial officer Sarah Davis told a conference call with analysts.“While we expect to generate funds from the IPO, it is anticipated that the long-term source of capital and the structural advantage of the REIT are the real benefits,” Davis added.Details on pricing and the number of units to be offered in the IPO were not disclosed. Those details typically are determined after a preliminary prospectus is issued and underwriters gauge investor interest.Loblaw executive chairman Galen G. Weston called Thursday’s announcement an exciting development for Loblaw.“The creation of the REIT is expected to build long-term value both for Loblaw and the REIT,” Weston said in the statement.“This strategic initiative positions Loblaw’s core businesses well for the future. We expect the REIT to not only unlock value for our shareholders, but also increase our financial capacity to pay down debt, buy back shares and create a long-term source of capital to invest and grow.”Loblaw isn’t the first such chain to make the move. Empire Co. Ltd. (TSX:EMP.A), operator of the Sobey’s supermarket chain, spun off a number of properties into Crombie Real Estate Investment Trust (TSX:CRR.UN) in 2006.The Weston family controls Loblaw through its stake in George Weston Ltd. (TSX:WN), where Weston’s father W. Galen Weston is executive chairman of the board.The younger Weston told analysts Thursday that Loblaw was making the move now “because we feel the timing is right for both our business and the capital markets.”“REITs are recognized as an optimal vehicle to acquire and develop real estate and the size and quality of our real estate assets should be appealing to investors,” he said.Loblaw shares closed up almost 14 per cent at $38.20 Thursday on the Toronto Stock Exchange on heavy volume of more than 10 million shares. The stock was up 20 per cent earlier in the trading day.George Weston (TSX:WN) also saw a boost, rising $4.30, or 6.78 per cent, to close at $67.71.Weston said the REIT, which the company expects to be one of Canada’s largest, “builds on our long-standing commitment to owning and developing quality real estate.”He called the business model for the REIT “fairly straightforward.”“We will use the initial Loblaw real estate assets as a base and then drive growth in two ways — through vending in the remaining Loblaw real estate assets over time and investing to build a diversified portfolio of non-Loblaw properties,” he said.As part of the transaction, Loblaw intends to contribute approximately 35 million square feet to the REIT and will enter into long-term lease arrangements with the REIT on those properties.The contributed real estate portfolio will be largely retail focused and comprise a geographically diverse mix of stores and shopping centres, and will also include warehouses and office buildings.Loblaw’s real estate portfolio spans an estimated 47 million square feet and has a current estimated market value of $9 billion to $10 billion.Loblaw expects that as a stand-alone entity, the REIT will benefit from a lower cost of capital, which will support its development and expansion.The REIT will have a dedicated management team — with candidates being sought from both within and outside the company — focused on overseeing the contributed properties and growing the portfolio, while Loblaw will provide support and various services.Meanwhile, Davis said she expects the move will have a “minimal impact” on Loblaw’s consolidated results in the near term.“Paying rent will reduce Loblaw retail EBITDA margins but we expect distributions and interest payments made by the REIT to Loblaw to reduce the drag on earnings substantially,” she said.Loblaw president Vicente Trius said creation of the REIT was a “very positive event” for the whole company.“I am confident that this development will facilitate our ability to deliver our plan to strengthen our competition for the long term.”Trius said he expects the REIT to help drive retail store development and create a more attractive shopping experience for customers. read more

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2 Oct
2019

Setting the stage for Congress 2014 at Brock University

Runs for seven days from Saturday, May 24 to Friday, May 30Potential to generate $10 million dollars in spinoffs for host communitiesAttendees, on average, spend about three days at the weeklong gatheringGuests have booked 3,000 room-nights at five St. Catharines and 10 Niagara Falls hotels1,500 guests every night of the conference in residences on Brock’s campus110 paid contractor positions for Brock students and alumni, and community membersRecruiting 400 volunteers – to volunteer contact cgadula@brocku.caBrock’s “Congress Plus” program includes 30 events (theatre, art, concerts, lectures) that are free and open to the publicThe Big Thinking lecture series at Congress featuring eight notable scholars is free and open to everyoneCongreLicious menu with more than a dozen downtown restaurants, in partnership with the St. Catharines Downtown Association With ten days to go and with registration at more than 7,000 attendees, Brock is busily preparing to host Congress 2014 – the largest academic gathering of its kind in Canada.“In the lead-up to and during Congress, our campus will be completely transformed and reconfigured to accommodate the burst of creative energy that this event will bring to Niagara,” says Brad Clarke, Brock’s project manager for the event.“It’s kind of like when a sports organization switches over a playing field from a hockey rink to a basketball court, or vice versa. It’s a completely different game.”“Though we welcome thousands of conference guests to Brock each year,” adds Clarke, “this is the single largest conference our University has hosted since the last time Congress, then The Learneds, came to campus in 1996.”The annual Congress of the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences brings together 70 learned societies and associations to share findings, refine ideas and build partnerships that will help shape the Canada of tomorrow.From large associations with more than 500 members, like the Canadian Sociological Association and Canadian Society for the Study of Education, to smaller groups with a couple dozen or so members, like the Canadian Peace Research Association, these groups will come together at Brock from May 24 to 30 under the guise of Congress.“The way Congress is organized, it’s like 70 different-sized conferences all happening at the same time,” Clarke says. “So all of the little details required to pull off an event of this size and complexity add up to some big numbers for our logistics teams.”The University is co-ordinating more than 2,500 requests for meeting spaces during Congress. This includes converting more than 60 residence lounges, labs and studios into functional spaces for academic meetings. Administrators are also reconfiguring Brock’s seminar-style classrooms to accommodate theatre-style seating with presenter tables and all of the necessary audio/video requirements.In order to accommodate all of these substantial changes, the University has sourced, both from on and off campus, more than 2,000 extra chairs, 300 six-foot tables, 100 digital projectors, 100 laptops, and 20 A/V carts.Hospitality-wise, there’s been more than 900 catering orders placed, which could be anything from a coffee break to a banquet for 600 people, to a lunch reception or book launch event.Thirty venues are also being licensed for more than 70 special events and receptions, and two new venues are being created just for Congress – Knowledge on Tap, a giant beer garden; and the Corks and Forks wine bar. Both of these venues will showcase food and drink sourced from our own backyard, including 25 kegs of beer from local microbreweries and 100 cases of Niagara wine.Key community partners for Congress include the St. Catharines Transit Commission that will operate daily shuttle routes to and from campus to the five St. Catharines and 10 Niagara Falls hotels where guests will be staying.Niagara Airbus will also be helping out with transportation services during the gathering and Rainbow Tours will be running optional excursions for conference guests.On-campus, the Rosalind Blauer Child Care Centre and Youth University will be providing on-site child minding services for attendees. Other campus partners helping to set the stage at Brock for Congress include Campus Security, Recreation Services, Facilities Management, Student Services, BUSU, IT Services, Parking Services, the Campus Store, and more.— Congress 2014 at Brock at a glance read more

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28 Sep
2019

The 2018 Brewers Sure Look A Lot Like The 2015 Royals

When the Kansas City Royals made back-to-back World Series in 2014 and 2015 — coming agonizingly close in the former and winning the latter — they launched a thousand think pieces about whether manager Ned Yost’s brand of small ball would spread throughout the game. But then it looked like it might never get the chance: Right after the Royals’ revival, baseball embarked on a record-setting home run explosion, and the appeal of a team built primarily around speed, defense and a lights-out bullpen seemed to wane.1The Cubs and Astros shared some of those strengths, mind you, but each was also packed with ample power up and down the lineup.One of 2018’s top teams is taking a page out of K.C.’s championship playbook anyway. It isn’t just that the Milwaukee Brewers share the same center fielder with those Royals — although another All-Star caliber season from Lorenzo Cain hasn’t exactly hurt the comparison. The Brewers are also leading the NL Central with a strikingly similar combination of fielding, relief pitching and clever base running, even as the advanced metrics remain skeptical. (Sound familiar, Royals fans?) All that’s left is for postseason history to repeat — assuming Kansas City’s winning formula still works in a game that looks very different than it did just a few seasons ago.Going into the season, the Brewers were not expected to build much on last year’s surprising 86-win performance, despite loading up on players such as Cain and Christian Yelich over the winter. In fact, both the Vegas bookmakers and computer projections such as FanGraphs’ depth charts and Baseball Prospectus’s PECOTA picked Milwaukee to take a step backward, averaging out to about 83 wins for the season with only a meager chance of making the playoffs. In theory, the 2017 Brewers had gotten slightly lucky both in terms of wins and losses — they overshot the record their statistics predicted2At least, according to Base Runs, which estimates how much a team “should” win with neutral luck, based on its raw statistics. by a couple of games — as well as in career seasons from both batters (Eric Thames, Domingo Santana, Travis Shaw) and pitchers (Jimmy Nelson, Chase Anderson, Corey Knebel). So it wasn’t too hard to argue that a tumble would be on its way this summer.But remember, Milwaukee wasn’t supposed to be very good last year, either; all it proceeded to do was hang around the NL Central race far longer than anyone in the media — or on the presumptive division-favorite Chicago Cubs — thought possible. The Brewers led the Central well into late July before the Cubs (along with the Diamondbacks and Rockies) overtook them down the stretch. It was a good enough showing to convince general manager David Stearns to accelerate the club’s recent rebuilding project and raise the franchise’s expectations sooner than originally anticipated. And the result has been the best record in the National League through the season’s first two months.The Brewers aren’t alone in beating projections this year, but what stands out is how they’ve done it. Despite the new firepower in the lineup — and the emergence of hard-hitting first baseman Jesus Aguilar — Milwaukee ranks in the middle of the major league pack in runs scored, with middling numbers for both power and walks. Their starting rotation has also slipped, from ninth in MLB in wins above replacement3Using an average of Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs.com’s WAR metrics. per game in 2017 to 20th this season, with Anderson struggling to replicate last year’s form and Nelson missing the entire season to date because of injury.Milwaukee is making up for the difference, though, with the majors’ 10th-best base running WAR per game, along with the third-best WAR per game from both defense and relief pitching. It’s a combination of metrics eerily similar to the one Kansas City produced during its own championship run three years ago: On the basepaths, the Brewers have the majors’ most successful rate of taking extra bases, a category the famously aggressive Royals also excelled in. Milwaukee’s ability to track down balls in the field, led by Cain in the outfield and Orlando Arcia at shortstop, easily recalls the rangy Royals of, well, Cain and Alcides Escobar. And with reliever Josh Hader rewriting the all-time strikeout record book (to say nothing of the 0.60 ERA season Jeremy Jeffress is having), the Brewers have been even more unbeatable with a lead in the late innings than the Royals were in their Wade Davis-led heyday. So far this season, Milwaukee is a perfect 27-0 when leading through six innings, making it the only team in baseball that can say it hasn’t blown such a situation yet. MLB Ranks in WAR from… 2015Royals58.616th12th1st21st2nd 2018 Season2014-15 Seasons 8NYY31391.28LAA1391590.3 Sources: Baseball-Reference.com, Fangraphs.com 2018Brewers61.7%17th10th3rd20th3rd This looks familiar …MLB-wide ranks in wins above replacement (WAR) per game from each category, 2015 Kansas City Royals vs. 2018 Milwaukee Brewers 4SF27293.14CLE1341391.2 The Brewers’ bullpen has been positively Royals-esqueBest record when leading after six innings, 2014-15 and 2018 seasons 3BOS32294.13MIA107992.2 SeasonTeamWin %BattingBase RunningFieldingStartersRelievers TeamWinsLossesWin % 2CHC24196.02SD108992.3 6PIT24292.37MIN1131290.4 5BAL13192.95NYY1331391.1 Includes postseason for the 2014 and 2015 seasons. Through June 3 for the 2018 season.Source: ESPN Stats & Information Group 6ATL24292.36SF1441590.6 10CIN18290.010PIT1391689.7 9SD20290.99STL1401689.7 TeamWinsLossesWin % 1MIL270100.0%1KC1501093.8% Kansas City combined for a staggering 150-10 mark across those situations in 2014 and 2015, including the postseason, so the Brewers still have some work to do before catching up to their doppelganger. And the Royals comparison isn’t 100 percent perfect — Milwaukee isn’t quite the batting average machine K.C. was, for instance, because the Brewers strike out at a normal clip, not the freakishly low rate Kansas City did at its peak. But the Brew Crew might be the closest thing we’ll get in the homers-and-strikeouts world of 2018 baseball.Questions also remain about Milwaukee’s place among the pantheon of 2018 contenders. According to The Baseball Gauge, only the Seattle Mariners have gotten luckier this year, in terms of sequencing and winning close games (although the latter can be explained in part by the Brewer bullpen’s aforementioned dominance). After the Brewers dropped two of three to the lowly Chicago White Sox over the weekend,4Which, in fairness, the Royals also did twice in 2014 and 2015, plus they were swept by the White Sox on another occasion. our Elo forecast now thinks Milwaukee will go 54-48 over the rest of the season and be caught by the Cubs in the Central before too long — though it does give the Brewers a 67 percent chance of making the playoffs. (That projection is also on the high side; FanGraphs thinks the Brewers will go 48-54 from here on out, with less than a coin flip’s shot at the postseason.)But that’s just another way in which the Brewers evoke memories of Kansas City’s World Series-era teams. With their unconventional mix of strengths and weaknesses, those Royals squads spent multiple seasons bucking the odds and poking holes in the statistical arguments against them. Maybe now it’s Milwaukee’s turn to do the same.Check out our latest MLB predictions. read more

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28 Sep
2019

Offensive explosion led by Cardale Jones Devin Smith gives Buckeyes 59 point

OSU senior wide receiver Devin Smith celebrates after scoring one of his 3 touchdowns in the 2014 Big Ten Championship Game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. OSU won, 59-0.Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editorINDIANAPOLIS — More than three years ago, a pair of future Ohio State football players connected in a high school all-star game for a seemingly meaningless touchdown.On Saturday night, that connection re-emerged in a big way as redshirt-sophomore quarterback Cardale Jones found senior wide receiver Devin Smith for three scores in a 59-0 blowout victory over the Wisconsin Badgers, giving the Buckeyes their first Big Ten title since 2009.Jones and Smith last connected for a touchdown in the 2011 Big-33 classic, which pits some of the best high school football players from the states of Ohio and Pennsylvania.That connection, which was a 54-yard touchdown pass, was reminiscent of the Buckeye win over the Badgers as Smith hauled in scores of 39, 44 and 42 yards from Jones, who was making his first career start for OSU.Jones took over the starting spot after redshirt-sophomore quarterback J.T. Barrett fractured his ankle during OSU’s win over Michigan to close out the regular season.Smith finished the game with a Big Ten Championship Game record 137 receiving yards to go along with his three scores.Smith said he discussed that game in June of 2011 with Jones prior to the Big Ten title matchup.“I knew when J.T. went down that Cardale was going to be the quarterback,” Smith said. “I just told him, ‘lets get back to the Big 33 all-star game we played in together’ and that right there (his performance) says it all.”Jones completed 12 of 17 passes for 257 yards and three touchdowns, all to Smith.The redshirt-sophomore’s performance was of no surprise to Jones’ head coach Urban Meyer.“I knew he had the talent to throw the ball and execute but I figured there would be first game jitters,” Meyer said after the game. “There was none of that.”Barrett, who was on the sideline for the game, said he was happy for Jones and the way the team played as a whole.“Definitely proud of him (Jones) and he’s able to … just take over the moment,” Barrett said after the game. “He seized the moment, seized the opportunity and he did it as a team. It wasn’t just him, that was the great thing about it, he had help around him. And that’s the great thing about this team.”Jones said that he, along with his teammates, prepared with a sense of urgency heading into the matchup with Wisconsin.“We worked all week for this and as a team we had faith in one another,” Jones said. “There was no down time and we treated this like it was our game to take and we were going to leave it all on the field.”It wasn’t just Jones that made a statement for the Buckeyes, as sophomore running back Ezekiel Elliott broke the Big Ten Championship Game record for rushing yards in the game as he rushed for 220 yards on 20 carries for two scores.The record that Elliott broke was once held by Wisconsin redshirt-junior Melvin Gordon who was bottled up by the Buckeye defense as the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year rushed for just 76 yards on 26 carries.Elliott said that he wanted to step his game up Saturday, especially with Gordon on the opposite sideline.“Definitely. Just trying come out there and make a name for myself,” Elliott said. “I know it was a big stage, I knew everyone was going to be watching Melvin so I just wanted to come out and compete with him.”Eighty-one of Elliott’s 220 yards came on one single play as the sophomore back exploded up the middle for OSU’s second score of the game.Elliott gave credit to his offensive line for that run after the game.“It was basically wide open, I just had to break one arm tackle reaching off a block, and the line did it all,” he said.Elliott was overwhelmed in the locker room after the game, as he said the Big Ten Championship is the first championship he has ever been apart of at any level of competition.“Man, it feels so good. I can’t even explain it. I have never won a championship in my life,” Elliott said. “Made it to state three times in high school and we lost. Coming back after last year, get some redemption and make up for that loss we got last year.”The 59-0 win came against not only the No. 13 team in the country, but the second ranked defense in the nation as well.After the dominating performance, Elliott said he believes the Buckeyes belong in the first-ever College Football Playoff.“We definitely do. We came out here and we dominated today. I think we should,” Elliott said. “All year we have shown resilience. We had so many obstacles and we haven’t backed down, we never folded and we always come out and get better every week.”Meyer echoed his running back’s comments referencing the the level of play the Buckeyes have reached in recent weeks.“That is a question I know everyone is going to ask me. We just won 59-0 against one of the top teams in America,” Meyer said. “These kids are playing at an extremely high level right now.”Whether it’s in a high school all-star game, or in the Big Ten title game, Jones said it is exciting being able to showcase his abilities.“It was very fun, going out there showing everybody what we can do when we all come together as one,” he said.OSU will find out whether they will come together in the College Football Playoff or elsewhere tomorrow as the final rankings are scheduled to be announced at 12:30 p.m. Sunday. read more

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24 Sep
2019

Leica ScanStation P20 three world firsts in a ultrahigh speed laser scanner

first_imgLeica Geosystems’ Leica ScanStation P20, brings, it says: “unprecedented performance to ultra-high speed laser scanning.” The Leica ScanStation P20 provides three world’s firsts in a compact terrestrial laser scanner: Onboard Check & Adjust functionality, sub-millimeter range noise at 120 m, and modern Waveform Digitising (WFD) technology delivering 1 million points per second. The Leica ScanStation P20 uses an optimal combination of angular and range measurements to provide unrivaled 3D point quality and product reliability.Leica ScanStation P20 includes an onboard Check & Adjust routine that lets users perform an electronic field check and adjustment of the instrument to ensure an optimally performing scanner.Leica ScanStation P20 sets new standards in laser scan data quality thanks to a combination of highly accurate, low-noise  angular and range measurements. Achieving 1 million points per second scan speed plus sub-millimeter range noise – even out to 120 m – is based on an innovative combination of time-of-flight range measurement and modern Waveform Digitising (WFD) technologies. It is also an eye-safe class 1 laser instrument.Leica ScanStation P20 is designed to master demanding environments. Working in temperatures from -20ºC to +50ºC, and with IP54 protection, it can be deployed for all applications, even in extreme conditions.Simultaneous with the release of Leica ScanStation P20, companion Leica Cyclone v8.0 and Leica CloudWorx office software packages are updated to support the new scanner and provide optimal workflows for converting point clouds of reality into final client deliverables.The Leica ScanStation P20 is planned to be available later this year. Ordering information is available from Leica Geosystems representatives and authorized Leica Geosystems dealers.last_img read more

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22 Sep
2019

IBM uses Watson supercomputer to crunch cancer data

first_imgIBM IS PUTTING its Watson supercomputer to work fighting cancer, in what is described as the first commercial programme of its kind to use “big data” to help patients with the disease.The US computing giant unveiled its initiative with health insurer WellPoint and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York.The supercomputer, which gained fame by defeating two human champions in the ‘Jeopardy!’ quiz show, has been sifting through some 600,000 pieces of medical evidence, two million pages of text from 42 medical journals and clinical trials in oncology research.This can speed up the way data is analysed to make the best diagnosis and find the optimal treatment, says Craig Thompson, Sloan-Kettering’s president.“It can take years for the latest developments in oncology to reach all practice settings,” Thompson said.“The combination of transformational technologies found in Watson with our cancer analytics and decision-making process has the potential to revolutionise the accessibility of information for the treatment of cancer in communities across the country and around the world.”IBM first announced plans to work with WellPoint in 2011, and last year began receiving data from the New York research hospital which specialises in cancer.The first application will work with 1,500 lung cancer cases, where clinicians and analysts are training Watson to extract and interpret physician notes, lab results and clinical research.The Maine Center for Cancer Medicine and Westmed Medical Group will be two centres testing the service and providing feedback to WellPoint, IBM and Memorial Sloan-Kettering.“IBM’s work with WellPoint and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre represents a landmark collaboration in how technology and evidence based medicine can transform the way in which health care is practiced,” said Manoj Saxena at IBM.“These breakthrough capabilities bring forward the first in a series of Watson-based technologies, which exemplifies the value of applying big data and analytics and cognitive computing to tackle the industry’s most pressing challenges.”The programme is being commercialised under the name Interactive Care Insights for Oncology, powered by Watson.Watson, named after IBM founder Thomas Watson, can ingest tens of million pages of data in just seconds.- © AFP, 2013Read: Daffodil Day campaign aims to raise €3.4m >Column: ‘I was in work one day and diagnosed with cancer the next’ >last_img read more

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21 Sep
2019

Valve is porting Steam and the Source engine to Linux

first_imgValve’s digital distribution service Steam has been offering up games for almost 9 years now, and yet until May last year it remained a Windows-only service. Then Valve made Mac gamers happy by porting not only the service, but its back catalog of games to Apple’s platform. Now, it looks as though the long rumored Linux port is finally going to happen.Michael Larabel, the man behind the well-known Linux website Phoronix, was invited out to Valve’s offices in Bellevue, Washington. He has now returned and started sharing the details of what they showed him.Apparently Valve has been working towards a Linux port of both the Steam service and Source engine for quite a while. The reason it has taken so long is there has been no real direction and focus on the project: developers there just work on it when they can and when they want to. That has now changed, with Gabe Newell taking the lead on pushing the project forward.While at Valve, Larabel got to load up Ubuntu and launch a working version of the Steam client without need of Wine (used for running Windows apps on Linux). He has also confirmed that Left 4 Dead 2 is the game being used to test development/porting because it offers both a stable and up-to-date implementation of the Source engine. Once that is ported other games from Valve’s back catalog will follow, meaning Half-Life and Portal on Linux will be released eventually.Based on Larabel’s account of what he saw and what he talked about with Newell, Linux users are likely to see a release at some point this year. It may be beta, and it may be limited to one Valve game, but that’s a great start. Larabel also believes Valve is going above and beyond what other services and games companies are doing on Linux, and that they will become the “most Linux-friendly game company.”Read more at Phoronixlast_img read more

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20 Sep
2019

Motorola Admiral nouveau smartphone Android avec clavier

first_imgMotorola Admiral : nouveau smartphone Android avec clavier !Le 23 octobre prochain, sortira aux Etats-Unis le nouveau modèle de smartphone de Motorola. L’entreprise américaine, qui fait feu sur tous les fronts médiatiques actuellement (Motoactv et Droid Razr en tête…) compte bien imposer encore un peu plus sa présence avec l’Admiral.Le nouveau Motorola embarque un processeur Qualcomm MSM8655 (monocoeur) de 1,2 GHz, un stockage de 4 Go internes, un écran VGA de 3,1 pouces et également une caméra de 5 millions de pixels avec la possibilité de filmer en HD 720p. Fonctionnant sous Android (version 2.3 Gingerbread), il dispose, comme on peut le voir sur la photo, d’un clavier physique, mais sera tout de même complété par un clavier tactile (l’époque oblige).  À lire aussiNomophobie : traitement, symptômes, qu’est-ce que c’est ?Avec un style ressemblant aux Blackberry, le Motorola Admiral pourra satisfaire les consommateurs qui ne cherchent pas forcément le téléphone le plus high-tech du moment. Celui-ci semble plutôt se rapprocher de la catégorie des smartphones modestes avec des caractéristiques techniques toutefois honorables et un certain côté pratique, notamment pour l’envoi d’e-mails.Il ne reste plus qu’à attendre sa venue pour avoir plus de détails et éventuellement une prochaine sortie en France pour se faire une idée des prix pratiqués sur ce produit dans l’Hexagone.Le 22 octobre 2011 à 09:39 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

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15 Sep
2019

Brother of hit and run victim demands justice

first_imgSUNRISE, FLA. (WSVN) – The brother of a woman struck by a hit-and-run driver in Sunrise is asking anyone with information on who committed the horrific act to come forward.Michelle Holguin was struck by a car while riding her bike home from a restaurant where she works, near West Sunrise Boulevard and North Flamingo Road, Sunday morning.Related: Woman in critical condition after hit-and-run in Sunrise“He should come forward. I wouldn’t want it happening to his family, leaving her on the side of the road like a piece of meat. It’s not right, someone out there knows something. Just come forward,” said the victim’s brother Joseph Holguin.The 53-year-old waitress remains in critical condition at Broward Health Medical Center.If you have any information that can help, call Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $3,000 reward.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

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9 Sep
2019

Dillingham and schools around Alaska roll out new PEAKS test

first_img(Alaska Department of Education & Early Development)The Dillingham City School District started its annual statewide assessment in English language arts, math and science today. The testing window for schools around the state opened Monday and runs through April 28. This year schools are using PEAKS (Performance Evaluation for Alaska’s Schools).Listen nowStudents in Dillingham will be taking their PEAKS test with pencil and paper. This year, the state of Alaska gave schools the option to administer a paper test or a computer-based test. Dillingham Elementary School Principal Nick Schollmeier said that they made that choice to ensure that they will have no technical difficulties.“The last two years we put a lot of time into setting up schedules and making sure that we had all the equipment we needed up and running,” Schollmeier explained. “And this year even middle way through January we still didn’t know what the requirements were going to be. So we decided our best bet would be to do paper and pencil this year.”The state switched away from Standards Based Assessments (SBA) two years ago. The longstanding SBAs were replaced with the Alaska Measures of Progress (AMP). But that has been a bumpy road. Last year the computer-based testing was interrupted when a construction worker at the University of Kansas accidentally severed a fiber optic cable. The university housed Alaska’s testing vendor, and the cable connected it to the students taking the test. As a result, the scores were cancelled.Even before the technical difficulties, there were growing pains associated with the transition from one test to another. Schollmeier said that was true of AMP and will likely be true of PEAKS testing.“I think it’ll take this year alone for base score, and I think to get a pretty accurate and a good base score it’ll take a couple of years. Next year there’s a good chance it will be all electronic, so next year could be a base line as well,” Schollmeier said. “It could be a while before we actually get something that we can kind of use at a district or a at a classroom level.”The vendor for PEAKS, Data Recognition Corporation, is the same one that produced the SBAs from 2005 to 2014, and Schollmeier said he thinks the tests will be similar.The testing schedule for Dillingham students is reading and writing for third through 10th-graders on Tuesday and math on Wednesday. On Thursday, fourth, eighth and 10th-graders will be tested on science.last_img read more

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3 Sep
2019

Offices open today

first_imgThe government and private offices will open on Wednesday as the three-day public holiday on the occasion of holy Eid-ul-Fitr ended on last Tuesday.Eid-ul-Fitr, one of the biggest religious festivals of Muslims, has been celebrated in the country amid much enthusiasm and religious fervour on Monday.The eid holidays started from 25 to 27 June, while government officers and employees enjoyed their vacation from 23 June to 24 June as the two days were weekly holiday.last_img

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3 Sep
2019

TIB questions Ershads role as PMs special emissary

first_imgThe government pays him Tk 500,000 per month as well as provides him with other facilities and special allowances as the prime minister’s special emissary, the report said. HM Ershad. File PhotoTransparency International Bangladesh (TIB) has raised questions about how effectively Jatiya Party (JaPa) chairman HM Ershad performs his duties as special emissary to prime minister Sheikh Hasina.Despite being the PM’s special emissary, Ershad was not seen performing this role in his personal tours to several countries, TIB officials said quoting a study at a press conference on Thursday.TIB revealed the study, titled ‘Parliament Watch’, on the operation of 14th to 18th session of the 10th national parliament.According to TIB’s study, the chief of “official opposition party” in parliament, HM Ershad, was appointed as PM’s special emissary on 12 January 2014.The government, however, did not clarify by issuing any gazette or order as to what Ershad’s duties would be as the prime minister’s special emissary.Executive director of the TIB, Iftekharuzzaman, said that they failed to collect any specific gazette regarding the appointment of Ershad as PM’s special emissary.Asked about this, cabinet secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam told Prothom Alo that there is a gazette in this regard.According to media reports, Ershad’s duties include representing Bangladesh as a modern, Muslim-dominated democracy, promoting its education system, culture, and non-communal image before the world, as well as working to widen Bangladesh’s scope of exporting manpower in the Middle East.As special emissary, he visited several countries, but he was not seen performing as the prime minister’s special envoy in any of these countries, according to the Parliamentary Watch report.last_img read more

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1 Sep
2019

Microsoft lists the reasons you need Xbox Live Gold on Xbox One

first_imgCome launch day of the Xbox One and PS4, both Sony and Microsoft would love you to sign up for a PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live Gold subscription. And in the case of Xbox Live, Microsoft has now confirmed that spending $60 a year is pretty much mandatory if you want to do anything other than play single-player games.The official Xbox website has been updated to include a breakdown of how to get the most from the Xbox One with Xbox Live Gold. Xbox 360 owners are already used to some of the restrictions in place that require a Gold subscription to unlock. They include access to multiplayer gaming, allowing you to stream premium 3rd-party content, the ability to use Internet Explorer on your TV, and gaining access to exclusive deals and special offers.For Xbox One, the list of features hidden behind the Live Gold subscription expands by five to include:The NFL on XboxOneGuideGame DVRSkypeSmartMatchI think the most surprising service on that list to require Gold is Skype–a service Microsoft should really be pushing as hard as it can and one that can generate revenue itself. OneGuide, Game DVR, and SmartMatch are likely to be the key draws alongside multiplayer to entice Xbox One owners to sign up, though.OneGuide is the TV overlay feature, allowing you to bring up information such as trending programming while you watch TV as well as customizing your viewing experience. SmartMatch goes hand-in-hand with multiplayer and is meant to take the pain out of matching/pairing players for online play. And then we have Game DVR, which is the Xbox One’s ability to record and share your best gaming moments with others.One of the growing complaints about Xbox Live in general on the Xbox 360 is the amount of advertising Microsoft injected into the experience. That is probably going to continue, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Sony do the same in a bid to generate more cash from its online service.My main gripe with paying for Live Gold or PlayStation Plus for the new consoles is the fact they aren’t free for the first year, or at least offered at a discount price. I am paying a minimum of $399 or $499 for the console hardware and they want another $50-$60 to unlock a relatively long list of additional features, some of which are integral to the game playing experience. Microsoft is offering a free copy of Killer Instinct if you pre-order Live Gold, but I’d much rather see a more permanent discount if you sign up for a year from a brand new console.last_img read more

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31 Aug
2019

Phase transitions of rice farmers may offer insight into managing natural resources

first_img © 2017 Phys.org More information: H. S. Sugiarto et al. “Social Cooperation and Disharmony in Communities Mediated through Common Pool Resource Exploitation.” Physical Review Letters. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.118.208301 Citation: Phase transitions of rice farmers may offer insight into managing natural resources (2017, May 30) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-05-phase-transitions-rice-farmers-insight.html Study finds mutual reinforcement of phenotypic diversity and cooperation (Phys.org)—The Balinese subak is a self-organized agrarian society on the island of Bali in Indonesia, whose members must share a limited amount of water for irrigation and rice production. Some of the farmers share the water fairly, and some don’t. As in many societies, the members of the Balinese subak are segregated into different communities. , Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Explore further The researchers mapped three clusters of subaks to three phases indicated by the analytical curves: cooperation (circles); disharmony (diamonds); and defection (squares). Credit: H. S. Sugiarto et al. ©2017 American Physical Society Journal information: Physical Review Letters This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Now in a new study, scientists have found that this segregation changes a society’s cooperation dynamics and may help to promote cooperation and fair resource utilization at the societal level. The results have implications for managing natural resources, which is of particular relevance for addressing environmental issues such as curbing pollution, reducing deforestation, and saving endangered species—problems that require widespread cooperation.The researchers, H. S. Sugiarto et al., from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, the National University of Singapore, and other institutions, have published their results in a recent issue of Physical Review Letters.In their study, the researchers developed a model of social cooperation in self-organized societies that lack central governance, in which individuals are free to choose whether to abide by the rules or not. Their model shows that, as a shared resource becomes more abundant, more individuals may shift from being cooperators (who follow the rules) to being defectors (who violate the rules). At some point, the resource becomes so abundant that all individuals become defectors and social cooperation vanishes.Then the researchers looked at the same scenario, but this time they allowed the society to self-segregate into smaller communities. They found that the downside of the segregation is that it increases the social disharmony throughout the society as a whole. The upside, however, is that the social disharmony within each community becomes very low. In some communities, individuals are more likely to keep cooperating with each other—using the shared resource fairly—compared to the situation without segregation. These results were very similar to what the researchers observed in the segregated society of the Balinese subak.As the researchers explained, the results can be understood in terms of phase transitions. While phase transitions are common in many areas of physics, their role in complex systems, such as human societies, is a newer area of research. In the current study, the shift from cooperators to defectors in a society without segregation as the resource becomes more abundant represents an abrupt phase transition. The researchers explain that segregation “softens” this transition by replacing it with multiple intermediate phases, which arise because some communities are full of cooperators while others are full of defectors. “The greatest significance of our work is in the revelation that stable phases of social and ecological regimes do exist in real-world systems,” coauthor Lock Yue Chew, an associate professor at Nanyang Technological University, told Phys.org. “Our work has also developed mechanistic insights that address a vital question in social science through a more fine-grained and realistic application of ideas from physics.”In the future, the researchers plan to investigate how these results can help improve cooperative behavior in the real world, in order to better manage natural resources.”Our results are relevant to applications where the induction of cooperative social behavior is the primary approach to managing the sustainable use of limited natural resources in the context of coupled human-natural systems,” Chew said. “Potential systems of interest include the forest system, fisheries system, and many others, in addition to the rice production system of Bali in our paper.”Building on these results, in an upcoming paper the researchers report on how stress from pest infestation can affect rice growth, and how it can lead to an optimality in the farmers’ payoff. This work is scheduled to appear in the June 2017 issue of PNAS.last_img read more

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31 Aug
2019

Forensic experts inspect Park Street Metro station

first_imgKolkata: Experts from state Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) visited the Park Street metro station on Wednesday afternoon. According to sources, FSL scientists went to Shakespeare Sarani police station and met the investigating officer regarding the case lodged against Metro Railway. Later, they went to the Park Street metro station to inquire the case.After reaching Park Street metro station FSL team members met the staff of metro who was on duty at the time of the incident. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataLater, the distance was measured using a measuring equipment. FSL experts observed that on Saturday, Sajal Kanjilal travelled almost 50 metres from the boarding point to the falling point. Also, several other information were noted down by the FSL experts. The CCTV camera footage of the Saturday incident will also be scrutinised. After measurements and gathering information, FSL team went to Noapara metro car shed and inspected the ‘medha’ rake, which the deceased Sajal Kanjilal tried to board on Saturday. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateSources informed that the inquiry on Wednesday was just preliminary. Elaborate investigation would be conducted soon. FSL team may visit Noapara metro car shed and Park Street metro station again. Metro Railway has decided to fine commuters if they try to stop the door from closing to board the train at the last moment. According to Metro Railway officials, though the law was there in the books, but it was never implemented till date. After the Saturday incident, which claimed the life of a senior citizen, metro authority decided to implement the law stringently. According to the provisions in the law, if any passenger is found trying to obstruct the metro rake door while closing, he or she will be detained and prosecuted. The maximum fine amount may go up to Rs 1,000 while the minimum amount is Rs 500. Also, there is provision of imprisonment for such cases. If the rule violator fails to pay the fine amount then he or she may get imprisoned for six months. There are also provisions of both fine and imprisonment. To create awareness about the prosecution, Metro Railway will display the information in all metro stations and circulate messages through television channel, which runs in the metro stations.last_img read more

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19 Aug
2019

Losing the leatherback

first_imgFrom the print editionBaby sea turtles can’t get a break. Poachers and wild animals snatch up their eggs before they can hatch, and when they do break out of their shells they have to dig through 80 centimeters of sand and crawl to the water to face the toothy, hungry horrors of the oceans all alone.Now, a recently published study shows that successful hatches of baby turtles in Playa Grande, on the northwestern coast of Costa Rica, are likely to decline by as much as 50 to 60 percent as temperatures rise and rainfall diminishes in crucial nesting areas.“This is very bad news for the leatherback sea turtle, at least in this area,” said Pilar Santidrián Tomillo, science director for The Leatherback Trust, a sea turtle conservation group. “Unless climatic conditions are reverted we may have to move eggs to climate-controlled hatcheries; we may have to shade nests or water nests [to ensure successful hatchings].”Leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) are the largest marine turtles, growing as large as 500 kilograms. They are critically endangered with an estimated global population of about 30,000. Pacific leatherbacks are the most threatened of the leatherbacks with only about 2,000 turtles nesting at the most important nesting areas in Costa Rica and Mexico. No related posts. Baby leatherback sea turtles crawl from a nest near Playa Grande on the northwestern coast of Costa Rica. Pacific leatherbacks are the most threatened of the leatherbacks with only about 2,000 turtles nesting at the most important nesting areas in Costa Rica and Mexico. Courtesy of Erin Keenecenter_img Baby sea turtles that survive egg poachers, make it to the sea and don’t get eaten by crocodiles or sharks face a lifelong threat of being caught up in industrial fishing nets or longlines, which stretch out with studded with baited hooks across tens of kilometers.The study, “Climate-Driven Egg and Hatchling Mortality Threatens Survival of Eastern Pacific Leatherback Turtles,” examined hatching success rates in leatherback  nests at Playa Grande near Las Baulas National Marine Park, and used climate-change predictions from the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to project egg and hatchling survival rates through the end of the century. IPCC climate predictions indicate that the effects of climate change will cause hotter, drier weather in the northwestern part of Costa Rica while other parts, particularly the Caribbean coast, will see increases in rainfall as the century progresses.But how hot is too hot for the baby leatherbacks?“Within the nest, clutches with average temperatures above 33-34 degrees Celsius don’t seem to hatch,” said Santidrián. “For air temperatures, it’s different, since rainfall is the most important factor affecting hatching success, and it has a cooling effect in the nest. In general, it seems that our model predicted approximately 0 percent hatching success for air temperatures above 32 degrees [C], … [depending] on precipitation.”The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) released a report in San José this past March, which predicts a minimum average temperature increase in Central America of 2.4 C by 2100. That projection is based on a worldwide best-case scenario. The upper end of the ECLAC projections, which are also based on IPCC data, indicate a potential 4 C average temperature increase in the region (TT, March 2).Current average temperatures at Tamarindo, near Las Baulas, vacillate between lows of about 22 C and highs of 29 C in the cooler months of the year, and lows of 24 C and highs of 34 C in warmer months.Leatherbacks nest at Playa Grande from October to February, and the eggs take approximately 60 days to hatch, meaning many clutches hatch during the warmest months of the year.The projections don’t look good for the future of leatherback eggs and hatchlings – the ECLAC report predicts hatchling survival will “rapidly decline in the region over the next 100 years by 50-60 percent, due to warming and drying in northwestern Costa Rica, threatening the survival of leatherback turtles.”More heat means more femalesTemperature also affects the sex of hatching sea turtles. Santidrián said the middle point for sex determination in leatherback turtles at Playa Grande is 29.4 C. Temperatures warmer than that churn out lots of baby girl turtles and temperatures below that mean it will be mostly boys charging for the oceans upon hatching. According to the report, Playa Grande leatherback females nest on average seven times per season. They lay clutches of approximately 50-120 eggs that incubate at a depth of 80 centimeters beneath the sand, according to the conservation group WWF. Leatherback nesting and hatching cycles depend on periodic El Niño and La Niña weather patterns to stagger “boom and bust” hatches of male and female turtles – El Niño years are warmer and drier resulting in more females, and La Niña years are cooler and wetter, resulting in more males. As annual average temperatures rise steadily over the course of the next 88 years, though, the trend predicts many more booming seasons for females and a paucity of male-heavy hatches with obvious, negative implications for the species as a whole.Why do they matter?Besides being the world’s largest sea turtles, the oldest living reptiles, and their ability to dive to depths of 1,200 meters, what’s the big deal about leatherback sea turtles?“They feed mainly on jellyfish,” Santidrián said. “So, for example, in places like the Mediterranean where turtles are disappearing, there are jellyfish blooms every year reaching very developed beaches, where there are a lot of swimmers in the water.”Besides being a painful end to a day of surf and sun, jellyfish stings can lead to anaphylactic shock and death.Jellyfish sometimes feed on fish larvae, which can have big impacts on commercially viable fish species when jellyfish populations are out of equilibrium. “Jellyfish sometimes compete with fish, so when you see jellyfish increase other fish species may decrease,” Santidrián said. “Everything about a species is very tied to their ecosystem, and when you remove them there are always consequences.”In Playa Grande, local residents – some of them reformed poachers – work as guides for tourists who visit Costa Rica specifically to see nesting or hatching turtles. The tourists bring economic opportunities with them.“For a country that has a reputation as a conservationist country, to let a species go extinct is not a good thing,” Santidrián warned.What now?Santidrián said she remains optimistic that the leatherback sea turtle can be saved, but the fact remains that there’s not much Costa Rica can do to offset this particular threat to its turtles. Central American countries produce only 0.3 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, but due to high poverty, poor infrastructure and long stretches of low-lying coastal areas, the region will bear a disproportionate amount of the negative effects of rising global temperatures and sea levels (TT, March 2).As temperatures continue to rise throughout the rest of the century, Santidrián said, some short-term actions like manually watering or shading nests or moving eggs to climate-controlled incubators might give leatherbacks a better shot at survival.But, she admits, these are stopgap measures.“I think that this is sort of a final warning,” Santidrián said. “There is still a way out, but we have to start taking this very seriously.” Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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