When urban designer Trupti Vaitla asked residents of a Mumbai slum what new features they’d like to see in their dilapidated public space, she was surprised by one popular answer: a patch of grass.The Lotus Garden is the only open area for about 200,000 people who live in cramped and squalid tenements abutting the city’s biggest landfill. The municipal corporation had done little for its upkeep and it was littered with trash.Three years ago, Vaitla and her team were tasked with transforming it into a space that people would actually use. They expected residents to suggest elements like lighting, elaborate landscaping and a gym.The team didn’t expect such enthusiasm for a simple lawn.“But they were excited to be involved, and for them, a patch of green was really important – a small oasis in their otherwise drab and congested world,” said Vaitla, chief executive of Mumbai Environmental Social Network (MESN).Vaitla’s team, backed by funding from United Nations Habitat, which promotes sustainable urban development, spent months cleaning up Lotus Garden. They installed lights and water, planted shrubs and grass, and built an open-air gym.From the very first day, residents including women and children who had earlier avoided the space, swarmed in, Vaitla said.The appetite for areas like the Lotus Garden is not surprising. In Mumbai, with its population of 18 million and counting, soaring real estate prices and relentless construction, public spaces are shrinking.“In a crowded slum, these spaces are particularly relevant, as people have nowhere else to go,” said Pontus Westerberg, digital projects officer at UN-Habitat.“These spaces also impact on their health, sanitation, safety, access to emergency services.”Digital LegoEncouraged by their success with Lotus Garden, MESN and UN-Habitat collaborated on another space in the nearby Gautam Nagar neighbourhood. This time, they decided to use technology to encourage even more community involvement.The team settled on Minecraft, a video game that allows players to build their own worlds using virtual Lego-like pieces.For the past five years, UN Habitat has used Minecraft in its Block by Block programme, which aims to encourage some of the poorest communities in the developing world to participate in upgrading their common spaces.The programme is a partnership between UN-Habitat, Mojang, the creator of Minecraft, and Microsoft, which owns Mojang.“It can be a challenge to mobilise people in slums – especially the youth – who are resigned to their environment and don’t feel a sense of ownership,” said Westerberg by telephone from Kenya’s capital, Nairobi.The traditional approach, using maps and drawings, often draws little interest from residents, he said.“But with an interactive design tool like this – I call it digital Lego – they are so engaged, and that makes the process more democratic,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.The Block by Block programme was launched in Kibera, Nairobi’s largest slum. It has since been used in about 50 locations in more than 20 countries including Indonesia, Nigeria and Mexico.Once UN-Habitat selects a site, a Minecraft model of the site is built using photographs, videos, maps and Google Street View, if it is available. UN-Habitat then holds a workshop.Residents are put into groups of mixed ages and genders, and given a laptop with the Minecraft model. They learn the game in a matter of minutes or hours, Westerberg said, and everyone pitches in on the redesign.The designs are then discussed with local officials, one design is chosen, and the project is handed over to a local architect to execute.No swimming poolWhen Vaitla brought Minecraft to a workshop in Gautam Nagar, participants used it to create plans including better lighting, seating, trees and play areas for children.The slum’s 6,000 residents live in close quarters, among open drains and common spaces strewn with garbage. They were looking for realistic solutions to improve their lives.“The designs they came up with were all sensible,” Vaitla recalled. “No one said, ‘We want a swimming pool.'”Other organisations are also putting digital tools like Google Earth and smartphones to work for disadvantaged residents of India’s urban areas.Shelter Associates, a charity that focuses on slum upgrades, is working with residents to create maps of slums that need amenities like sewage lines, or are at risk of eviction because they are on disputed land.This is particularly relevant as the government’s Smart Cities plan risks hastening slum evictions.In the western state of Maharashtra, where Mumbai is located, Shelter Associates has mapped about 500 settlements of more than 200,000 homes, said Executive Director Pratima Joshi.“There are so many low-cost technologies that are easy to use, and we train slum residents to use them as a first step towards mobilising the communities,” she said.As for Lotus Garden, residents continue to take pride in the space they redesigned, said Vaitla.“The lawn is a bit scraggly, but still being maintained, as are other amenities,” she said.“If you involve the community, they will participate, and they will take better care of these spaces.”
The Tamil Nadu Assembly on Tuesday unanimously passed a bill making enforcing dress code and banning entry of persons wearing ‘dhoti’ in public places a cognisable offence punishable with jail term.The House adopted the Tamil Nadu Entry into Public Places (Removal of Restriction on Dress) Act 2014 after Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa moved it for consideration and passing.It empowers the state to cancel the licences of such clubs, recreation associations, trusts and company or society denying entry to any person wearing a ‘vesthi’ (dhoti), traditional attire of men in the state.The legislation, enacted against the backdrop of denial of entry to a Madras High Court Judge and two advocates recently by a prominent cricket club here, also seeks to declare any regulation or by-law made by any organisation imposing a dress code as null and void.The violators of the act will attract penal action, including cancellation of licence after notice, besides punishment with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year and with a fine upto Rs 25,000.No dress code restrictions can be imposed for entry into public places– recreation clubs, hotels, theatres, malls, halls, auditoriums, stadiums and such other places as may be notified by the government, where people including members congregate in connection with any function, event, entertainment, sports or other activity.The imposition of restriction on persons for entry into public places on the ground that their dress does not conform to Western culture would amount to continuation of the Colonial imperialistic attitude, one of the provision of the bill stated. At the height of the controversy over denial of entry to the Judge last month, Jayalalithaa had asserted that a bill banning such dress code would be introduced and passed in the current budget session of the assembly itself. advertisement
Argentine striker Carlos Tevez has leapt to the defence of the talismanic striker Lionel Messi after the latter announced he is retiring from international football.Messi decided to quit playing for the national side as they lost 2-4 on penalties to Chile in the Copa America final on Sunday. This was the 29-year-old’s fourth loss in a major final representing Argentina. They had earlier lost in the 2007 and 2015 Copa finals, as well as the 2014 World Cup decider.In his farewell speech Messi had said he was done playing for the white and blue and army.Tevez believes Messi’s decision was also partly due to his anger with the Argentine Football Association (AFA).”The AFA is an absolute mess,” Boca Juniors captain Tevez was quoted as saying by TyC Sports on Saturday.”Leo sees the players breaking their backs for the shirt and sees the AFA neglecting them. We have to put ourselves in his position. He is tired, and that’s normal. I also got tired of the national team a few times.” (Pele urges Messi to reconsider retirement)The Boca Juniors captain also believes Messi should return to the side as the country still needs him.”We have to give him time. It is obvious that we need him,” Tevez, who has played 76 times for Argentina, said.”After a few games have passed and everything at the AFA is a bit more organised, perhaps the national team can seduce him back — and we will be waiting for him.” (Amul pays tribute to Messi)advertisement
MOSCOW (AP) — Japan and Senegal have had a 2-2 draw in a result that will keep the two underdogs atop the World Cup group.Both teams opened with surprising 2-1 wins— Japan over Colombia and Senegal over Poland — and lead Group H with four points.Colombia and Poland were playing later Sunday.Sadio Mane scored the opener for Senegal in the 11th minute after finding himself in the right spot and deflected the ball past goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima.Takashi Inui equalized with a low right-foot in the 34th.Senegal regained the lead in the 71st when Moussa Wague scored from close range but veteran Keisuke Honda equalized again for Japan six minutes after coming off the bench. Senegal’s Senegal’s Sadio Mane, left, celebrate his side’s opening goal during the group H match between Japan and Senegal at the 2018 soccer World Cup at the Yekaterinburg Arena in Yekaterinburg , Russia, Sunday, June 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)TweetPinShare0 Shares
Lakshya Sen assured India of at least a silver when he entered the final of men’s singles badminton competition at the 2018 Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires on Thursday.Title favourite Sen defeated second seed Kodai Naraoka of Japan 14-21, 21-15, 24-22Sen, the reigning Asian junior champion, lost the first game 14-21 but came back to beat Naraoka in the next two to pocket the semifinal match Thursday night. The Indian levelled the match by winning the second game 21-15.The deciding game was an rollercoaster where the reigns of the match felt from one racket to the other. The game eventually went into the deuce and Sen eventually won it 24-22 after a 36-minute tussle.Mesmerizing!An unbelievable 79-shot rally between @lakshya_sen and Kodai Naraoka in the #badminton semifinals at #BuenosAires2018!Watch the @youtholympics live https://t.co/lQHnJ5AVH8 pic.twitter.com/oJyi7sV4fMOlympic Channel (@olympicchannel) October 11, 2018Lakshya Sen began the decider in a mesmerising fashion where Naraoka just could not find his ground against the Indian.With excellent smashes and some delightful drop shots, couple with a few net errors from Naraoka, Sen raced to an 11-0 lead at the break.After the break, Naraoka came right back in the match and took six straight points to make it 11-6.However, Sen found his game once more after that and giving away just two points, he took the seven points to make it 18-8.It was after this that Naraoka turned the match on its head. Naraoka suddenly found a bundle of energy and got back everything that Sen threw at him.advertisementForcing errors out of Lakshya, Naraoke stormed into the match in some fashion as he won nine straight points to reduce Sen’s lead to just a point.After that, there were a few nervous moments for the Indian as Naraoka levelled the game at 19-19 but Sen moved up with a booming smash to take the first match point.Naraoka saved the match point with a solid smash himself and the won a match point for himself.Thereafter, Sen managed a half-smash to save the match point and then earned a couple of match points to seal the match on his third as Naraoka struck the net.Sen will now meet Li Shifeng of China in the final.If Sen wins the final match, he will become the first Indian gold medallist shuttler in the Youth Olympics. Prannoy Kumar had won a silver in the inaugural Youth Olympics in Singapore in 2010.(With inputs from PTI)
England’s chances of qualifying for the semi-finals of the World Cup 2019 received a major blow when they were beaten by arch-rivals Australia by 84 runs at Lord’s on Tuesday. With just 8 points from 7 games, England now need to win their remaining 2 games to stay in contention for a semis berth.Opting to bowl first after winning the toss, Eoin Morgan’s side couldn’t restrict Australia’s openers David Warner and Aaron finch who posted a 123-run stand to lay the foundation for their team total of 285/7. In reply, England were blown away by the left-arm pace of Jason Behrendorff (5/44) and Mitchell Starc (4/43) as they succumbed to a 64-run defeat.After the loss, Morgan admitted to being outplayed by Australia but defended his decision to bowl first, saying that the wicket didn’t suit batting first.”I thought a lot of today we were outplayed, and us losing early wickets wasn’t ideal. Thought we bowled well upfront. Little bit unlucky as Australia played and missed a lot. They built a fantastic partnership. Wicket got a little bit better, but still challenging. Wicket this morning was soft when we started. Choosing to bat would’ve been a horrific decision,” said Morgan.According to Morgan, England’s bowlers did well to restrict Australia at the end but losing 4 wickets for 53 runs wasn’t ideal.”They dominated until the 25th but to restrict them to 280 was a good effort. But to be 20 for 3 pegs us bad considerably.”Given the circumstances, it’s not hugely disappointing, our fate is in our own hands. Everything we need to turn around is quite simple, the basics have let us down, and hopefully we will improve on them moving forward,” hoped Morgan.advertisementEngland will next play India on June 30 before clashing against New Zealand on July 3 in their final league game.Also Read | World Cup 2019: Australia crush England to storm into semi-finalsAlso Read | England vs Australia World Cup 2019: Eoin Morgan looked scared, says Kevin Pietersen
COLUMBUS, OH – SEPTEMBER 08: Tate Martell #18 of the Ohio State Buckeyes breaks free on a 47-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter of the game against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Ohio Stadium on September 8, 2018 in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State won 52-3. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)Tate Martell expected to be the heir apparently for the Ohio State quarterback job, with Dwayne Haskins’ decision to head to the NFL after one year as starter.Justin Fields’ abrupt transfer from Georgia threw a wrench in those plans.Fields, the No. 2 player in the 2018 class behind Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, is one of the most highly touted quarterbacks to come out of high school in recent memories.He did not beat out incumbent Jake Fromm at UGA, and made the somewhat surprising decision to leave after just one year, with his sights on immediate eligibility.Fields and Ohio State reportedly expect a decision on that front in the next few weeks. They better be confident in the case, because Martell may be on the way out now.According to Lettermen Row’s Jeremy Birmingham, Tate Martell has entered his name into the NCAA transfer portal.Miami and West Virginia are two potential landing spots, per his report.West Virginia loses Will Grier to graduation, while new Miami coach Manny Diaz inherits a talented but messy quarterback room, and has openly said that he is looking at outside options at the position.Can confirm that Tate Martell is now in the NCAA transfer portal. He’ll begin to explore options outside of Ohio State — believe Miami and West Virginia are two schools that are worth watching.— Jeremy Birmingham (@Birm) January 10, 2019This does not mean Martell is definitely leaving. There’s a good chance that it may hinge on whether Fields can play in 2019 or not.Martell was a four-star recruit in the class of 2017, and the No. 2 dual-threat quarterback in the country.As a redshirt freshman this year, he appeared in six games, completing 23-of-28 for 269 yards, and one touchdown. He also ran for 128 yards and two touchdowns.
zoomImage Courtesy: Teekay LNG carrier owner and operator Teekay LNG Partners has unveiled plans to amend its US tax status to be treated as a corporation instead of a partnership.This would provide access to a larger investor base and should not result in Teekay LNG recognizing a gain or loss or change its taxes payable going forward, according to Kenneth Hvid, Teekay’s President and Chief Executive Officer.“The Board is recommending that Teekay LNG elect to be treated as a corporation, instead of a partnership, for US federal income tax purposes, which we believe is in the best interests of our current and future unitholders because, by eliminating the burdensome K-1 reporting, we anticipate that Teekay LNG will be a more attractive investment for larger, institutional investors,” Mark Kremin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Teekay Gas Group, said.A proxy statement has been filed and is subject to common unitholder approval, the company said.Teekay LNG closed the quarter ended September 30, 2018, with a GAAP net income attributable to the partners and preferred unitholders of 25.9 million, compared to a net loss of USD 18.9 million seen in the same quarter last year.Adjusted net income attributable to the partners and preferred unitholders stood at USD 19.5 million in Q3 2018, against USD 13.5 million in Q2 2018 and USD 20.9 million in Q3 2017.“Teekay LNG’s results for the third quarter of 2018 improved substantially, with adjusted net income up 44 percent compared with the second quarter of 2018,” Kremin commented.During the quarter, the partneship took delivery of Pan Europe LNG carrier, Megara MEGI LNG carrier, Bahrain Spirit FSRU and Rudolph Samoylovich ARC7 LNG carrier.“The earnings and cash flow from the delivery and contract start-up of our recent LNG carrier newbuildings are beginning to have a positive impact on our financial results, with eight newbuilds having now delivered since the start of 2018 and an additional seven LNG carriers, and the Bahrain regasification facility, expected to commence their fixed-rate contracts during 2019,” Kremin added.“Importantly, the vessels that have delivered to-date during 2018 only represent approximately 50 percent of the total USD 310 million of expected incremental cash flow from vessel operations relating to our existing LNG newbuilding program and therefore, we expect our fixed-rate cash flows will continue to increase through 2019 as the remaining projects deliver,” he further said.In September, the partnership agreed to charter-in Magellan Spirit LNG carrier from its 52%-owned Teekay LNG-Marubeni joint venture for a period of two years.“We have now fixed that ship (Magellan Spirit) on a five-month charter contract to the end of March 2019, which we expect will add approximately USD 8 million in incremental profit to Teekay LNG over the length of this charter alone. In addition, the Torben Spirit LNG carrier and two Teekay LNG-Marubeni joint venture LNG carriers are scheduled to come off-charter between December 2018 and May 2019 and we are currently in discussions to secure employment for these vessels at significantly higher rates,” as informed by Kremin.The partnership also sold two 2003-built Suezmax tankers, African Spirit and European Spirit.Teekay LNG has interests in 49 LNG carriers — including seven newbuildings –, 22 mid-size LPG carriers, seven multi-gas carriers, and three conventional tankers. In addition, the partnership owns a 30 percent interest in a regasification terminal, which is currently under construction.
Viola Cain has gained a lot of wisdom from loving more than a hundred foster children. For starters, she’s learned to cope with many different nicknames earned over the decades. The trick, she says, is simple. Just answer. Respond to them all. A roll call of the most persistent names includes Nanny Viola, Auntie, the Big Vee and Auntie Blow How. Even her home in the African Nova Scotian community of North Preston is dubbed Nanny’s House. From toddlers to teenagers, many children have traipsed across that threshold. “As soon as they come to the door I tell them, it’s up to you what you call me,” she explains. “That’s so they don’t get mixed up with their own family.” The 70-year-old is now taking care of three school-aged children, plus her adopted 33-year-old son, who has an intellectual disability. Thanks to the children she feels at least 10 years younger. It helps to be constantly on the go. Right now basketball is her main activity on Saturday. “They are all playing and all on different teams,” she laughs. “It’s, c’mon nanny, everyone else has parents there. So out we go, all together.” Saturdays include an early morning, a day of cheering on her teams, maybe a detour through McDonald’s, and by the evening, a chance to sit down back at home. “I tell everyone that on Saturday, I’m an unfit mother,” she jokes. “On Saturdays, it’s eat what you can catch day.” Viola believes that happiness comes from loving what you’re doing. “I can’t wait for each morning to come. I rise at 5 a.m. and do my devotions until 6 a.m. Then the next time is devoted to my son and getting him ready. Then, there are the other children to get ready for school.” Being well organized, and planning ahead, is ingrained in her. Depending on the children’s ages, she either prepares or supervises lunches the night before. “I know what kids do. You have to teach them responsibility. So I tell them. I don’t feed garbage cans. I feed stomachs. You eat your fruit when you come home from school. They do.” On Saturday night she prepares a big meal for the next day. This frees up time to visit with former foster children who drop by with their children on Sunday afternoons. She draws strength from her family and community at Saint Thomas Baptist Church, where she also teaches Sunday School. “Sundays are a special day. We always have a big dinner after church. We sit down together as a family.” “There’s a phone check here – no cellphones allowed up my stairs. They would even try to text and set the table at the same time. It’s not good for the kids to see that. So now we have our family chat time and that’s good.” Viola is happy to share her experience and wisdom with others. “We have to help young parents. I belong to a support group in the community.” She would like to see more foster homes in African Nova Scotian communities. “That would be the best thing that could happen, having more foster families. We’ll be gone – we need new blood. So I’ve been recruiting others already.” -30-
TORONTO – Businesses that illegally sell recreational marijuana after the government of Ontario sets up its own shops could be fined up to $1 million under legislation tabled Wednesday.One of the main aspects of the proposed law, which would take effect once the federal government makes the drug legal in July 2018, is to crack down on the array of illegal dispensaries, Attorney General Yasir Naqvi said.“We are going to work very hard towards that,” he said. “We have put very strict penalties in that regards….We feel very comfortable that the regime that we will put in place will be a significant deterrent for these illegal businesses.”The bill also contains new penalties for people that are convicted of illegally selling or distributing cannabis, including fines of up to $250,000 and/or jail of up to two years less a day.For every day those people or businesses continue to sell marijuana after being convicted the first time, they will be subject to further fines of up to $100,000 and $500,000, respectively.The law would also allow police to immediately close premises they suspect are being used for the illegal sale or distribution of marijuana.Ontario was the first province to announce its detailed marijuana plan last month, which includes the sale of the drug in up to 150 stores run by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario.They are known in the legislation as the Ontario Cannabis Retail Corp., though Naqvi admitted the name might be jazzed up a little.“That is the legal name of that company,” he said. “There will be branding that we’ll do, so that’s to come, and sort of a visual logo.”Those stores will only sell to people 19 and older, a minimum age that would also apply to possession, home growing and use of marijuana.People under 19 caught using, growing or possessing weed could be fined up to $200, or a court could refer them instead to an educational or prevention program.“I want to be very clear that there will be no criminal record, it’s under a provincial offence…our purpose is not to punish our youth but to educate our youth,” he said.Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said ahead of the bill’s introduction that an important part of the Liberal government’s plan is shutting down the current dispensaries.“I think that there needs to be a regulation of cannabis and we have a history in this province of regulation of alcohol and I think that doing this in a safe, responsible way means that we put some parameters around the distribution of this substance,” she said.“As resources are identified to deal with enforcement and education we recognize that municipalities need to have a substantial share of that because they are actually on the ground going to be doing enforcement.”Some Ontario municipalities have expressed concern that they will have to foot the enforcement bills for shutting down marijuana dispensaries.Toronto Mayor John Tory said Wednesday he is “looking forward” to getting money to help with that, because it’s about the rule of law.“These shops, to the best of my knowledge, are illegal, have always been illegal, will continue to be illegal and are not contemplated as being part of the regime going forward,” he said.“We want to be able to keep children and families and neighbourhoods and schools and retail strips safe and stable and that we need to be able to do that so it isn’t kind of a Wild West environment where people can just go out and set up any kind of a shop they want. I don’t think anybody really supports that except perhaps the people that are operating the shops.”The bill also includes a ban on consumption in public spaces or workplaces. But medicinal marijuana will be regulated differently, banned only where tobacco smoking is currently prohibited, such as enclosed public places.The government has been coy on potential pricing, saying decisions will be made after more details come from the federal government, but that the aim is stay away from overly expensive prices that fuel illegal sales.“This actually isn’t about money, from my perspective,” Wynne said. “This is about making sure that a substance that needs to be regulated is regulated in a safe and responsible way.”Municipalities in Ontario will find out in the coming weeks where the government wants to locate the first batch of cannabis stores, but the finance minister has said none will be near schools.
The eye of the hurricane passed directly over Dominica (AFP)ROSEAU, Dominica (CMC) — The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is undertaking a nation-wide study on the damage caused Dominica’s infrastructure as a result of Hurricane Maria that ploughed through the island on September 18 killing at least 28 people and leaving billions of dollars in damage.The study is being done in collaboration with the Housing Division and other stakeholders and according to UNDP representative Massimiliano Tozzi the exercise will not only provide the authorities with a true understanding of the damage caused by the Category 5 storm, but will provide information on how to rebuild stronger.“Currently we have more than a 100 persons…going throughout the island to assess all the buildings on Dominica. They are organised into 27 teams…, and they are using an…app that is provided by Microsoft ..“So basically the app allows the assessors to assess the level of damage the building has at the level of the roof, the level of the ceiling, the level of the walls, the level of the ceiling but also to collect some very important demographic information that will allow the next phase to the government of Dominica to plan evidence based policies…”Over 90 per cent of all buildings—including government facilities— were affected after Hurricane Maria wrought havoc in Dominica.“So far what I can say is that we have an amount of about one third of the survey reflect that no damage accorded to the housing but we have a lot of survey, two thirds that say the damage has been extensive, we have a high number of houses that have been tagged as “red” which means basically they must not be inhabited any longer, some others have been tagged as “orange” and a smaller number tagged as “yellow”.He said all the assessors have been trained by UNDP and engineers from the non-governmental group, engineers without borders “so that we can ensure all the data that we gather are consistent”. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedHigh-level Conference to mobilise resources for hurricane-ravaged CARICOM States set for NovemberOctober 31, 2017In “latest news”Hurricane ravaged Barbuda and Dominica must “build back better”September 28, 2017In “latest news”Hurricane Maria: Puerto Rico may be months without powerSeptember 21, 2017In “World”
← Previous Story Nenad Vuckovic (Melsungen) for HP: “We want a medal!” Next Story → ASOBAL derby: Atletico Madrid 23-25 Barcelona In a statement for Scandinavian media, Bojana Popovic announced that she’s seriously thinking of ending career after the Olympic Games and to dedicate time on family. Her priority at the moment is the World Championship in Brazil, where Montenegro is a big favorite for a medal. She is then gonna ponder the option to end the career after the upcoming Olympic Games in the summer.
This fund is intended to give these estates, where there are residents present, a realistic hope of resolution.There are concerns that some estates will never be completed unless roads and infrastructure are put in place.The Department of the Environment has already spent five million euro carrying out safety works in 159 ghost estates, while NAMA has also made separate improvements.O’Sullivan said:Since 2010 there has been a 56 per cent decrease in the number of unfinished developments. However, there are still families living in 992 unfinished developments across the country.Applications for the funding should be lodged by local authorities by 28 February.Over 550 unfinished estates have been resolved in the last year, but 1,200 remain>Forty ghost estates targeted for demolition> TEN MILLION EURO is being allocated to finish ghost estates across the country.There’s 992 ghost estates in Ireland and there’s a good chance some of them could still end up being demolished.The Special Resolution Fund is principally designed to address deficiencies in public infrastructure.The money will be given to local authorities to finish roads, lighting and footpaths so that the overall appearance of the estates will be improved in the hope this may attract investment from developers to finish the estates.The Housing Minister Jan O’Sullivan said:
Image: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Saturday 29 Oct 2016, 11:56 AM 38 Comments “However, the high number of vacant properties in the regions underlines how poorly Fine Gael has delivered for rural Ireland.”He said the department, the IDA and Enterprise Ireland need to “get their act together” to win investment and locate businesses in these sites that have already been paid for.“Our communities deserve better,” he added.In her response, Mitchell O’Connor the availability of an adequate supply of marketable serviced land and office buildings is a key element in the IDA’s ability to compete for investment.“If the IDA did not have available properties to offer prospective investors it would significantly diminish the agency’s capacity to attract and win new investments.”Read: Dublin’s agri-workers contribute three-times more to Ireland’s economy than those outside capital>Read: ‘Business angels’ sink millions of euro into Wicklow craft beer company> Share21 Tweet Email ‘Rural communities deserve better’: Two in three IDA properties vacant Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor said the IDA needs to have available properties to offer to prospective investors. Oct 29th 2016, 11:56 AM MINISTER FOR JOBS, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor has revealed that there are 85 vacant IDA properties across the country.There are a total of 137 IDA properties nationwide and the figures from the last quarter of 2015 indicate nearly two in every three of these are unoccupied.Fianna Fáil TD Niall Collins, who requested the information in a parliamentary question to the minister, pointed out that just five of the vacant properties are located in Dublin city or county.“94% of all IDA vacant properties are located outside the capital in towns, villages and communities that are desperate for FDI investment,” he said.For the past five years, and especially since they got a strong message from rural Ireland at the last general election, the minister and her government colleagues have been shouting from the rooftops that they are spreading the jobs to the regions. 10,325 Views By Michelle Hennessy Image: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie Short URL http://jrnl.ie/3053621
What’s better than ordering snacks, pizza, and beer? I can personally think of several things better than beer (or alcohol for that matter), but if it’s beer and pizza you want without having to get out of bed, have I got a robot for you.Little Funnie is a robot who just made an appearance at the Software For Artists event in Brooklyn, New York this past Sunday. Funnie made its way to a pizza store in the area and delivered both pizza and drinks to the guests at the nonprofit foundation Pioneer Works in what is possibly one of the most charming ways ever.Funnie is a Fundroid or a special delivery bot that can order and pay for food on its own. That’s more than some of us can do, and we’re human (I get lazy too!). Funnie isn’t going to be planned for a wide release for everyone to utilize, but you’ve got to admit it’s one heck of an awesome idea.via garow.me/users/sierra_oFunnie will get inside a store, and people can press its “Proceed” button so it can order pizza or beer. It’s absolutely adorable, especially when it orders using words like “pizza pie.” You have to keep pressing its buttons to complete an order, and it will continue to interact with you in meaningful ways so it can finish the order out. It even has thumbs and money box to keep the money in which it’ll pay for its order. Honestly, it sounds like one of the cutest things that was ever made.Hopefully, this is the prototype for more adorable little beer and pizza robots in the future, and we’ll see a rise in products like these going forward. Can you imagine taking an order for this little guy? It’s almost too adorable to take. Stay on target Review: ‘Daemon X Machina’ Has Big Robots, Small Fun on Nintendo SwitchThis Robot Is Equal Parts Lawnmower and Snow Blower
Manchester United defender Phil Jones believes their clash with Tottenham will give them an indication of their current strength under caretaker manager Ole Gunnar SolskjaerThe Red Devils have won all five of their games since Solskjaer replaced Jose Mourinho last month at Old Trafford.But Jones, who has started four times under the Norwegian, warns that Spurs will likely give them their toughest challenge yet on Sunday.“Spurs is a good test,” Jones told the club website.“We are in good form and have some momentum going. We have steadied the ship a bit.“We have not done anything yet, we have not achieved anything, but we need to keep it going. Possibly Spurs will be an indicator for us and how far we can go but it is a game we need to win.Liverpool legend Nicol slams Harry Maguire’s Man United form Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Steve Nicol believes Harry Maguire has made some “horrendous mistakes” recently, and has failed to find his best form since joining Manchester United.“They are in good form and doing well and we need to have a good week, train well and prepare for a tough game. Hopefully, the momentum can carry us on to win that match.”The 26-year-old insists Champions League football remains the target with United now just six points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea after four successive wins.“Of course we should be in the Champions League next season and that is the aim but we have done nothing yet. I know it is a cliche but it has to be game by game,” said Jones.“I don’t really want to think about the top four, or the Champions League or the FA Cup.“It has to be game by game. Tottenham is tough and we aim to see where we are after that.”Jones has made seven league appearances for United this season.
Super Bowl 2019 Mercedes-Benz reading • Mercedes-Benz gives a guy god-like powers in its 2019 Super Bowl ad See All More about 2019 Mercedes-Benz A220 2020 BMW M340i review: A dash of M makes everything better Super Bowl 2019 ads so far: Watch them here How to watch Patriots vs. Rams online, start time and more Stream these football movies to kick off the big game Feb 7 • Every Avengers: Endgame character flash at the start of that Super Bowl trailer 2019 Mercedes-Benz A-Class redefines entry level More From Roadshow Preview • 2019 Mercedes-Benz A220 Sedan: A class above 2020 Hyundai Palisade review: Posh enough to make Genesis jealous Feb 28 • Last chance to get 3 months of Mint Mobile service for $20 0 Post a comment Mercedes-Benz is really aiming high for the new A-Class with its 2019 Super Bowl ad spot, entitled “Say The Word,” which it released Wednesday. In it, a random guy gets god-like powers that force the world, and its people and animals, to do his bidding. I mean, MBUX is cool, but I don’t think it’s been able to find any lost cats and has yet to make Ludacris appear at any of our parties.The A-Class has been available elsewhere in the world for some time now, but 2019 is the first time that we’re getting it stateside, and to our eyes, it’s a damn sight prettier than its curvier cousin, the CLA. Share your voice As we see in “Say The Word,” the new A-Class is one of the first platforms in Mercedes’ range to get the new MBUX infotainment system, and we appreciate this more democratic approach to the dispersion of tech. Why start on the S-Class and trickle down? Give MBUX to the people!”MBUX is a game-changer and we think that once aware of the A-Class price point and technology, a lot of people who hadn’t considered Mercedes or thought owning one was still several years away will want to take a look,” said Drew Slaven, vice president of marketing for Mercedes-Benz USA. “And, given that we have some of the highest owner loyalty in the industry, once these new buyers join the brand, they’re likely to stay for quite some time.” Aug 14 • Raising the entry-level bar Tags As part of MBUX’s natural speech recognition, it uses a form of AI that helps it understand you better when you talk. For example, if you whine at it, “Hey Mercedes, I’m cold,” MBUX will turn up the heat. It’s deceptively simple, but it works, and we like it.The new A-Class starts at an eminently reasonable $32,500 for the front-wheel drive version and prices climb quickly from there, thanks to that most Teutonic of traditions: lengthy options lists. Still, I’ve been looking at the configurator for like 20 minutes and still haven’t found the demigod option. We’ll let you know if we come across it. 56 Photos • Review • 2019 Mercedes-Benz A220 review: Raising the entry-level bar More Super Bowl May 7 • 2020 Toyota Supra first drive review: More reset than reboot More Mercedes-Benz 2020 Kia Telluride review: Kia’s new SUV has big style and bigger value 2019 Mercedes-Benz A-Class Sedan starts at $32,500 Mercedes-Benz Car Culture Luxury cars Sedans Super Bowl 2019
The 2016 race strategies that mushers have chewed over for months are coming into focus as top teams near their mandatory 24-hour rest period in some of the race’s remote checkpoints in Alaska’s interior. As mushers clear the rest and march to the flat expanses of the Yukon River, the race to Nome will only accelerate. But to be in a position to match the strongest team, mushers must execute a flawless early-mid-race rest strategy to build reserves for the next several hundred miles. Here’s what to read today to get up to speed on this year’s Iditarod.1. Sled Dogs driving sled dogsSebastion Schnuelle at the Iditarod Insider explores the increasingly popular method of carrying dogs in a trailer behind the main race sled. Rotating dogs between the team and trailer saves miles on the dogs and adds a small amount of weight that the musher can use to regulate speed. Pioneered in its most recent incarnation by Jeff King, Schnuelle digs into the minute-by-minute calculations that elite mushers like Mitch and Dallas Seavey have to balance. “Normally as a musher you try to stop as little as possible on the trail and do everything with as little moves as possible fixing a dog on the wrong side, putting a few lost booties on, snacking dogs or what ever else might be necessary and then pulling the hook quickly. Now loading and unloading dogs is nothing quick. Specially 3 or 4 of them. “Two-time champion Mitch Seavey, pictured here in McGrath, is racing at the front of the 2016 race. (Photo by Zach Hughes, Alaska Public Media)2. Prying out race strategies from poker-faced mushersKNOM’s Emily Schwing and APRN’s Zach Hughes chiseled away at mushers’ exteriors to pry out a little bit of race strategy. Wade Marrs is taking his 24-hour rest in McGrath. Brent Sass and Aliy Zirkle bypassed McGrath, while Lance Mackey held his cards close but said he wasn’t planning doing his big rest in Takotna. But Mackey never comes up short on interesting color from the trail. “Lance Mackey was ninth into McGrath, and stopped for a little over two hours, splitting apart square plastic bowls frozen together and ladling a hot salmon and kibble broth to his dogs.“How many people you know feed their dogs out of cat-litter boxes?” he said.”Wade Marrs declared his 24-hour break in McGrath. (Photo by Zachariah Huges, Alaska Public Media)3. Checkpoint hazards 2.0: Matthew Failor’s untimely mistake cuts deepAlaska Dispatch News’s Tegan Hanlon brings us the story from the Nikolai checkpoint of the ziptie that changed Matthew Failor’s race. “By Tuesday evening, Failor used crutches as he walked out of the designated mushers’ sleeping area at the village school and into the attached cafeteria, ordering a bowl of stew. Failor estimated that the self-inflicted gash was about 2 centimeters deep and 2 centimeters wide. He received five stitches from a local medic.”That trail full of Fairbanks snow? Anchorage didn’t use any of it. (Photo by Ben Matheson / Alaska Public Media)BONUS: A snowflake’s highly-publicized 350-mile journey to the snow dump.At Alaska Dispatch News, Devin Kelly updates us on the goodwill gesture of the Alaska Railroad to haul snow from Fairbanks to a snow-starved Anchorage. National media jumped to cover the irony of Anchorage importing snow for a dog race, and great visuals of a seven-car train said it all. But after the ceremonial run was shortened, the city didn’t want or need Fairbanks’ snow, according to city manager Chad Abbott.“The city didn’t ask for the snow, Abbott noted — the Iditarod Trail Committee arranged for the seven railcars, or 350 cubic yards, of snow to be brought into Anchorage. Abbott also said the extra snow wasn’t needed. The ceremonial route was shortened from 11 miles to 3, he said, to accommodate the city’s paltry snow reserves.In an interview at the Assembly chambers, Abbott first said that he didn’t know what happened to the Fairbanks snow. But after checking with city employees, he reported that the city brought snow to the city snow dump on Commercial Drive in Northeast Anchorage.”You can find Alaska Public Media’s complete coverage at alaskapublic.org/Iditarod
Porto Velho: President Jair Bolsonaro on Friday authorized the deployment of Brazil’s armed forces to help combat fires raging in the Amazon rainforest, as a growing global outcry over the blazes sparks protests and threatens a huge trade deal. Plumes of thick smoke rose into the sky above dense forest in the northwestern state of Rondonia, where bright orange flames from various fires were visible for kilometers (miles), an AFP photographer reported. Also Read – Pakistan test-fires 290-km range missile Advertise With Us “It’s not normal and it’s like this because of the smoke from the fires,” said a hotel employee in the state capital Porto Velho, which was covered by a layer of smoke as fires burned near the city. The fires in the world’s largest rainforest have sparked street protests around the planet and ignited a war of words between Bolsonaro and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, who has described the wildfires as an “international crisis” and vowed to block a trade agreement between the European Union and South American countries. Also Read – Imran calls on Pakistanis to take part in ‘Kashmir Hour’ Advertise With Us The latest official figures show 76,720 forest fires were recorded in Brazil so far this year — the highest number for any year since 2013 — which experts blame on accelerating deforestation as land is cleared during the months-long dry season to make way for crops or grazing. More than half are in the Amazon. Around 700 new fires were ignited between Wednesday and Thursday, according to the National Institute for Space Research (INPE), fueling air contamination in cities including Sao Paulo, where thick smog turned day into night on Monday. Advertise With Us After a late-night crisis meeting with members of his cabinet, Bolsonaro on Friday issued a decree permitting the deployment of armed forces to help extinguish fires and crack down on criminal activities in the region. Bolsonaro’s decision came as demonstrations are held around the world over the fires in the Amazon forest, a region considered the “lungs of the planet” and seen as crucial to keeping climate change in check. Several thousand protesters marched in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, amid growing European pressure as well as offers to help put out the fires from US President Donald Trump and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. In an escalating public row over the blazes, Macron on Friday accused Bolsonaro of lying to him on Brazil’s stance on climate change. France will now block a trade deal between the European Union and the South American trade bloc Mercosur, which includes Brazil, a French presidential official said. Macron had tweeted Thursday that the fires burning in the Amazon amount to an international crisis and should be discussed as a top priority when the G7 countries meet this weekend in France. Bolsonaro then blasted Macron for having a “colonialist mentality.” Ireland also threatened to block the trade deal. “The extent of the fires in the Amazon area is shocking and threatening and not only for Brazil and the other affected countries, but also for the whole world,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman said Friday. ‘International pariah’ Environmental specialists say the fires have accompanied a rapid rate of deforestation in the Amazon region, which in July quadrupled compared to the same month in 2018, according to INPE data, which Bolsonaro previously described as lies and prompted the sacking of the agency’s head. Bolsonaro instead attributes the blazes to increased drought, and accuses environmental groups and NGOs of whipping up an “environmental psychosis” to harm Brazil’s economic interests. Earlier in the week, Bolsonaro accused NGOs of starting the fires. Brazil’s powerful agriculture sector — a key supporter of Bolsonaro — has expressed concerns over the president’s rhetoric, fearing a boycott of their products in key markets. Thomaz Favaro of Control Risks consultancy, told AFP Bolsonaro’s comments were “raising the risks of sanctions and retaliation, including against the EU-Mercosur deal.” “Brazil has gone from being a global model of forest conservation to an international pariah,” Robert Muggah, research director at the Igarape Institute, a think tank in Rio de Janeiro, told AFP. Bolsonaro had given “ammunition” to countries opposed to the EU-Mercosur deal, said Oliver Stuenkel, professor of international relations at Getulio Vargas Foundation. The mayor of Manaus, Brazil’s largest city in the Amazon, told reporters Friday the rainforest was “fundamental for the world.” “The entire world demands sensible, intelligent, appropriate governance for the Amazon at the risk of regrettable consequences for our country,” Arthur Virgilio Neto said on the sidelines of a UN climate change workshop in the northeastern city of Salvador. Legendary tribal chief Raoni also called for international help to extinguish the fires. Neighbouring Paraguay and Bolivia are also battling separate wildfires that have devastated large areas of their rainforests. The Bolivian government on Friday took delivery of a “supertanker” aircraft to help extinguish fires that have destroyed around 7,770 square kilometres (3,000 square miles) of the eastern province of Santa Cruz for the past month.
May 27 can’t come soon enough for gamers who have been waiting to play Ubisoft’s open-world hacking game Watch Dogs since it missed its first launch window last year. But which platform do you buy the game for? PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, or PS4?It’s going to look best on PC or next-gen consoles, but Sony may have made the answer to this question much easier with that well-worn term “exclusive content.” Yes, it has been revealed that Watch Dogs on PlayStation consoles (both the PS3 and PS4) comes complete with an extra hour of exclusive gameplay as well as a couple of extra features you won’t find elsewhere.The additional gameplay on offer includes four missions centered around the DeadSec organization, although nothing is known yet about what those missions entail. The other exclusives Sony has secured include a white hat hacker outfit and a hacking boost. That boost means you’ll have an extra bar on your in-game smartphone battery, meaning less recharging will be necessary.Let’s be clear here, exclusive content for different platforms is not great for gamers. It only benefits the platform holder. And ultimately this content eventually gets unlocked for all platforms in a Game of the Year edition of the title or really isn’t worth bragging about to begin with. Gamers don’t like it because it limits choice, but it must work because Sony/Microsoft keep paying to secure this stuff.Before you rush out and pre-order your PlayStation version of the game because of this content, just consider it may be worth waiting. There’s a possibility Microsoft has done its own deal with Ubisoft and will reveal yet more exclusive content you’ll only get on Xbox 360 and Xbox One in the coming days or weeks.