TORONTO — Here’s a look at reaction to serial killer Bruce McArthur pleading guilty to eight counts of first-degree murder:___“Bruce McArthur has pled guilty, and that’s closure. I’m not considering it a win. It’s the right outcome … it was sparing the community, sparing the family members, of potentially seeing graphic evidence tendered in court.” — Det. David Dickinson, Toronto homicide squad___“It was a terrible case.” — Justice John McMahon, following McArthur’s guilty plea___“These losses have forever changed the lives of families, friends, loved ones and have left our communities shaken and aggrieved. The fact that it remained unknown and unseen for so many years is its own inconceivable tragedy.” — The 519, a community organization serving Toronto’s LGBTQ communities____“It’s actually quite relieving, I think, because we have an answer now. He’s pled guilty and I think that puts the community and the family at rest to say that we have closure now, finally.” — Haran Vijayanathan, executive director at the Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention___“Throughout this case, I have said our city deserves two things: justice and answers. I know that the public continues to have many questions related to this case, and so do I.” — Toronto Mayor John Tory.____ The Canadian Press
TORONTO — The federal government should consider dropping retaliatory tariffs against the United States, Ontario’s economic development minister said Monday, as he and his Quebec counterpart pressed Ottawa for action on American levies on steel and aluminum.The tariffs were imposed last year by the U.S., and the American commerce secretary has said they were designed to address the world’s overproduction and overcapacity of steel. The federal Liberals were criticized last fall for signing a new North American trade pact, which includes the U.S., without securing any guarantees from Washington that it would lift the levies.Ottawa has applied retaliatory tariffs on $16.6-billion worth of U.S. imports of steel, aluminum and other products, and has announced a financial aid package for industries caught in the crossfire, including up to $2 billion in new funding and support for workers in steel, aluminum and manufacturing sectors.The tariffs are hurting industries and workers in both Canada and the U.S., said Ontario Economic Development Minister Todd Smith. If Ottawa dropped its countermeasure tariffs, it could lead the U.S. to drop theirs, he said.“This is one thing that government can control,” he said. “We can control punitive tariffs. These tariffs are unsustainable on both sides of the border.”Premier Doug Ford has suggested to the federal government that Canada’s tariffs should be dropped first, Smith said, though he admitted there is no indication doing so would lead the U.S. to in turn remove its tariffs.“But clearly something has to be done,” Smith said. “These tariffs have been in place since June of last year and there’s been no movement on this.”Smith and Quebec Economy and Innovation Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon sent a letter Monday to federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau, calling on Ottawa to secure the permanent removal of all tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum.Morneau has met with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has discussed the tariffs over the phone with U.S. President Donald Trump.Canada has rejected the premise of the American duties — that its metals exports pose a national-security threat to the U.S. — and has been fighting for the removal of the tariffs.The Canadian Press
ADCOLOR, the premier organization celebrating and promoting professionals of color and diversity in the creative industries, announced their 2017 honorees and nominees this week at ADCOLOR Live!The organization also announced the 2017 class of ADCOLOR FUTURES, a program that chooses the best and brightest professionals who are 1-3 years into their career to attend the annual conference and awards show which will take place September 19th, 2017 in Los Angeles at The Loews Hollywood Hotel.The announcement took place at the Facebook Live Studios and was hosted by author and 2016 ADCOLOR Rockstar Honoree Luvvie Ajayi, ADCOLOR Founder and President Tiffany R. Warren, Edelman NY Head of Public Affairs and 2015 ADCOLOR Advocate Honoree Brian Ellner, DIAGEO’s Vice President of Corporate Relations, Constituent Affairs and ADCOLOR Chairman of the board Marc Strachan and Senior Strategic Planner, TBWA\Chiat\Day and 2016 ADCOLOR FUTURE William Yu.The 11th Annual ADCOLOR Awards will highlight and honor the achievements of African-American, American Indian/Native American, Asian Pacific-American, Hispanic/Latino, LGBTQ professionals, as well as spotlighting diversity and inclusion champions in the creative industries.“The list of honorees, nominees and FUTURES is stellar,” said ADCOLOR Founder and President Tiffany R. Warren. “The group represents some of the best across the fields of advertising, technology, media and marketing, truly reflecting this year’s theme of ‘Come Together’. We very much look forward to honoring them in September.”Honorees include Jesse Williams, star of “Grey’s Anatomy” and Founder of farWord, Inc. – who will be presented with the All-Star Award – and 13 Reasons Why actor Wilson Cruz, who will be presented with the Advocate Award.The ADCOLOR Award Nominees and Honorees are carefully selected from a large population of diverse influencers across the creative industries. The finalists are chosen by the individual’s representation of ADCOLOR’s motto, “Rise Up and Reach Back”. Those honored not only excel in their own careers, but also give back to the community and support their peers. Their goal is to create a network of diverse professionals to encourage and celebrate one another.Join them September 16th – 19th for the Annual ADCOLOR Conference and Awards. Registration is now open and early bird pricing ends July 31st. Visit ADCOLOR.org for more details.
Rabat – Days after Fitch confirmed Morocco’s investment grade for its long-term sovereign debt, it is now the turn of its American colleague Standard & Poor’s to renew the stable outlook for the solvency of the kingdom.Albeit the good news reported by the two firms, Morocco’s per-capita GDP remains one of the lowest in the category of countries rated BBB-/A-3. Before issuing their verdict and delivering their sovereign ratings, the rating agencies run thorough studies on the examined countries, such as the one developed by Standard & Poor’s (S&P), which has recently granted Morocco its BBB-/A-3 note.Through its published note, the rating agency has thoroughly scrutinized every aspect of the country’s political, economic and social situation. It started with the five-month political deadlock and moved to the nature of the electoral system preventing the handing over of an absolute majority to a single political party, and on to the recent events in the city of Al Hoceima and the constitution of the government majority. The Impact of a Tense Political EnvironmentIt goes without saying that the El Othmani government has its work cut out for it. The new coalition is expected to focus more on reducing deficits and pursuing reforms, a task that will not be so easy to accomplish in the face of enormous social pressures, including the relatively high youth unemployment rate.For the year 2017, the agency expects the country’s GDP to reach a growth rate of 3.5 percent, driven by the harvests of a good rainy season. Non-farm activity is also expected to continue at the same level as in 2016.For the upcoming years, the agency forecasts a growth that will have to converge towards an average of 4 percent, although it is still below potential, due to its sensitivity to weather conditions and to the demand of European countries.According to S&P, the main challenge facing Morocco is to ensure “strong and volatile growth” to tackle the high unemployment rate, which according to the latest High Commission of Planning report, had reached 9.4 percent especially among young graduates.“Moroccan GDP per capita remains one of the lowest in the category of countries rated BBB-/A-3, reaching USD 3.500,” notes S&P. At the same time, it revises downwards its short-term budget deficit projections, targeting a 2.5 percent target by 2020, compared to 3.5 percent in 2017. The year 2016 resulted in a deficit of 4.1 percent, against an initial forecast of the government around 3.5 percent.The S&P not did not, however, fail to laud the pension reform approved by parliament back in July 2016, under the second mandate of the Benkirane government. The agency expects this reform to relieve the pressure on public finances on the long term.As for the projected fiscal consolidation, the agency believes it will help to stabilize medium-term debt ratios. Nevertheless, the overall stock of indebtedness has increased considerably in recent years alongside the increase in deficits. In fact, S&P expects a “level of debt going towards an average of 51 percent of GDP between 2016 and 2019, compared to 38 percent in 2011”.Industries to The RescueThe US based agency also presented a balance of payments analysis on its paper. S&P expect the current account deficit to be 3.7 percent of the GDP between 2017 and 2020, compared with an average of 5.8 percent between 2012 and 2016. At the heart of this improvement, S&P is betting on the good behavior of exports of new industrial projects in the automotive, aeronautics and energy sectors.Over the next three years, the agency predicts a slight recovery in tourism receipts as well as a sharp increase in export volumes from the Renault plant in Tangier. These account for nearly 5 percent of GDP in 2016, exceeding phosphate revenues, which account for 4 percent of GDP.The S&P agency is also foreseeing an improvement in Morocco’s external position over the next three years. “Gross external financing needs will remain covered by foreign exchange reserves and new export earnings from the automotive sector,” stated the agency.Moreover, the rating agency welcomes the three lines of precaution and liquidity (LPL) opened by Morocco to the International Monetary Funds, amounting to MAD 6.2 billion in 2012, then revised to MAD 5 billion in 2014, and finally to 3.5 MMDH in 2016.S&P emphasized that these LPL’s provided Morocco with anchored reforms, useful assurance in a context of uncertainty, and sent positive signals to international markets.Aggressive Banks Amid an Accommodating Monetary PolicyAccording to S&P, the successive and substantial reductions in BAM’s reserve requirement ratio, 4 percent since June 2016 compared with 15 percent in January 2008, have helped to reduce domestic liquidity and ensure adequate financing of the national economy.The current policy rate of 2.25 allows for the proper conduct of monetary policy, which is deemed accommodating by the Agency. Within the same framework, the Agency expects that credit to the economy will continue to grow at a moderate pace in the coming years, while inflation is expected to remain low: “we expect it to average 2 d percent during the 2016-2020, compared to 1.6 percent in 2016.”The agency also classifies the Moroccan banking sector in category “7” as part of its banking industry risk assessment (BICRA). “While we consider that regulatory standards in Morocco are generally conservative, Moroccan banks are still exposed to cyclical sectors, such as steel mills, tourism, real estate and construction,” said S&P.“We therefore consider that the economic risks to the Moroccan banking sector remain high in a global comparison. We also assess the risk appetite of the system as aggressive, given the rapid expansion of Moroccan banks, including in the High-risk African countries,” adds the rating agency. It concludes that the stable outlook reflects the expectation that the consolidation of Moroccan fiscal deficits will continue to contract over the next few years. This will help to stabilize the debt, while economic growth and employment will remain below potential, due to domestic structural deficiencies.heThe Positive Prospects of Liberating the DirhamReferring to exchange rate policy and the prospect of a transition to a flexible exchange rate regime, S&P positively perceives these new decisions. “By migrating to a flexible regime, we believe that the Moroccan authorities, in the short term, will maintain or gradually reduce the restrictions on the Balance of Payments capital account to avoid a large-scale exit of capital. We expect the Central Bank to be a strong currency cushion in the coming years in order to maintain market confidence,” the US-based rating agency stated.For the rating agency, “the current exchange rate regime limits the flexibility of monetary policy.” S&P adds that it understands that the Moroccan authorities and the Central Bank, Bank Al Maghreb, are considering moving gradually from the current basket of currencies to a more flexible exchange rate regime over the next 12 months, with policies including the targeting of inflation.“We see these developments as positive for our overall monetary valuation for Morocco,” S&P announced. Monetary authorities are encouraged by the increasingly active macroeconomic environment, including the comfortable level of foreign exchange reserves, the improvement of the external situation and the value of the dirham relative to other currencies. The State is also assisted by the insurance provided by the IMF’s LPL.“While we are moving towards a more flexible exchange rate regime, we believe that the Moroccan authorities will maintain, in the short term and gradually, restrictions on the capital accounts in order to avoid any large-scale capital outflow. Bank Al Maghrib will accumulate a significant currency cushion over the next few years to maintain market confidence during this transition,” S&P concludes.
22 September 2010Although the world is on track to meet the goal of halving the proportion of people without access to safe water, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned today that hundreds of millions worldwide still live with an absence of clean water, perpetuating poverty. Although the world is on track to meet the goal of halving the proportion of people without access to safe water, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned today that hundreds of millions worldwide still live with an absence of clean water, perpetuating poverty.Water, he stressed, “is not only a basic necessity, it is a human right.”Since 1990, some 1.7 billion people have gained access to safe drinking water, which means the world will likely meet the target set in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Four regions – Northern Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Eastern Asia and South-Eastern Asia – have already met the target. However, nearly 900 million still do not have access to clean water.With 2.6 billion people not having access to basic sanitation services such as toilets, the sanitation target is likely to be missed. If the current trend continues, the number is expected to climb to 2.7 billion by 2015.“Living in these conditions increases the likelihood of disease and death,” Mr. Ban told participants at an event held at UN Headquarters called “Addressing the Global Water and Sanitation Challenge: The Key to the MDGs.”He urged drastic changes in public health policies and sanitation infrastructure.Gender considerations must remain a priority, the Secretary-General underlined, with women, as primary care-givers, often spending hours to secure water.“Access to clean water and sanitation will free up time and enable mothers to provide their children with a healthy start in life,” he said, adding that girls are also more likely to attend school where there are proper sanitation facilities.The UN has endeavoured to spotlight the issue through its “Water for Life” decade launched in 2005.“Let us build an unstoppable tide for progress,” Mr. Ban said at today’s event, which was held on the margins of the high-level UN summit to review progress on the MDGs.
The Fourth UN Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) is due to take place in Istanbul, Turkey, from 9 to 13 May to assess the implementation of the Brussels Programme of Action – the outcome document adopted at the 2001 LDC conference – and to reach agreement on a new generation of international support measures for the 48 States.Cheick Sidi Diarra, the UN High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, told a news conference in New York that consultations with LDCs and their development partners have resulted in the identification of some priority measures for continued support.They include strengthening infrastructure and access to technology; improving domestic resource mobilisation; consistent official development assistance with a special focus on job creation and poverty reduction; and improving food production through investment in agriculture.Other important strategies that would help the LDCs achieve their development targets include enhancing their capacity to attract foreign direct investment, and supporting their efforts to gain greater access to markets.Mr. Diarra was speaking on the sidelines of the first preparatory session for the Istanbul conference, which is meeting at UN Headquarters for four days to discuss the new challenges and the priorities that the gathering in May will consider.According to Mr. Diarra’s office, progress since 2001 among the world’s poorest nations has been mixed. Some countries have performed better than others, but overall, economic growth has not always translated into reduced levels of poverty.Over the past three decades, only Botswana, Cape Verde and Maldives have “graduated” from the category of LDCs. 10 January 2011The forthcoming conference on the world’s least developed countries provides an opportunity for the international community to recommit to helping these vulnerable States achieve economic growth and social development, a senior United Nations official said today.
The Chancellor has responded to industry calls to reform the R&D tax credit system, announcing the change to an ‘above the line’ credit in today’s Autumn Statement. The reform will signal the UK’s international competitiveness, generate more investment in UK R&D, safeguard jobs and affirm the country’s status as a prime location to base high-skill operations.“Reform of the R&D tax credit system propels the UK into a new league of global competitiveness sending a strong signal to international investors,” said Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive. “The UK is already a centre for innovation with advanced engineering and low carbon expertise attracting major corporations to invest in the UK; this reform will enhance the UK’s investment appeal, create high value jobs and drive economic growth.”UK-based automotive companies already invest more than £1.5bn each year in R&D. This, coupled with a world-class skills base, has made the UK a leader in the development of low and ultra-low carbon technologies. Moving to an ‘above the line’ system will strengthen the link between R&D investment decisions and the credit, enhancing the UK’s international competitiveness and attracting a greater share of global investment.The Chancellor also:Cut January’s planned 3p rise in fuel duty, providing welcome relief to motorists.Re-affirmed his commitment to boosting skills, particularly those leading to engineering and science degrees.Introduced a national loan guarantee scheme of up to £20bn to help small businesses to invest in growth.Announced a £1bn Business Finance Partnership fund to assist mid-sized companies to find affordable finance through non-bank channels.Alongside the Autumn Statement, government also published its Logistics Growth Review that sets out plans to improve efficiencies, remove barriers, develop skills and encourage growth in the logistics sector. The SMMT is part of a task force that will spearhead the development of the sector, liaising with government, local authorities and industry to implement measures that support the use of low emission technologies.In a letter to the Chancellor last week, SMMT called on government to use today’s Statement to deliver tangible changes to unlock private sector investment and support export-led growth. These included:R&D tax credit reform – Reform to make the R&D tax relief ‘above the line’ would generate more investment and jobs, make the incentive more visible and allow the UK to compete more effectively with overseas competitors.Capital allowances – Allowances for capital spending in the UK are now among the lowest in the G20. To grow and develop the domestic supply chain, government must help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to invest now in plants, machinery and retooling.Skills – Skills are vital for productive and globally competitive suppliers. Flexible government support is needed to deliver up-skilling of the existing workforce and support for advanced apprenticeships.Business rates – The competition for investment and new model development with sister plants is intense for UK manufacturers. Current business rates for manufacturing sites are not internationally competitive, risking global investors favouring other countries in Europe and around the world in a drive to reduce cost per car.Access to affordable finance – Without the ability to obtain competitive finance and credit, businesses across the UK – particularly SMEs – are unable to invest and grow. The government’s credit easing plan has to be well targeted to the needs of the businesses it is trying to support.Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)
I WAS SITTING out the back garden with my mother, when she noticed an unusual mole on my foot. I had been ignoring it and when she pointed it out to me I told her it was fine. It didn’t show any of the serious signs like bleeding, so I honestly thought it wasn’t a problem. But it began to play on my mind after that, so I decided to get it checked out, and I am so glad that I did.I first went to my GP, who said that it was in an unusual place but, better to be safe, so he sent me to a specialist. Thankfully, there was no delay.Waiting for the biopsy, I wasn’t overly concernedWhen the specialist dermatologist looked at it, he too said that most likely it would be fine, but again, to be safe, he would be happier to remove it. When they removed it, because of the depth of it, they had to take away a large amount of skin, so I had a skin graph. Then all I had to do was wait for the results of the biopsy, but at that point I still was not overly concerned.I was only 29 years old, so I wasn’t worried, but when I got the diagnosis that it was a melanoma, I was totally shocked. I began to worry that it had spread, it can be aggressive cancer. It was a real wake-up call.The doctors had to investigate if it had spread, and waiting to hear back about that was very worrying. Luckily, the results came back negative.As a teen, I used to use oil on my skin while sunbathingYears ago when I was younger, there was not a lot of awareness about the dangers of the sun and like a lot of people, I wasn’t overly concerned about taking care. I used to sunbathe during the summer and on holidays without suns cream and I even used oil on my skin in an attempt to get a tan. As a young adult, I got into sailing, a sport that had my exposed to a lot of sun while out at sea. I got an opportunity to work on the sailing tall ships in the Caribbean and Mediterranean and looking back now I was totally oblivious to the dangers and would rarely wear sunscreen.I am a typical fair-skinned Irish person. Over here we seem to be obsessed with getting a bit of colour. We get so little sun over here, that when we do, we tend to indulge. We take the shirts off, get the shorts on and we don’t think about what we are exposing our skin to. Now, with fake tan it’s easy, we can get the tan we want from a bottle, so people should save their skin. Ireland and Scotland have some of the highest skin cancer rates in the world, which is a scary thought.When I see young people lying out in the sun, I know the last thing they are concerned about is cancer, but I try and tell them to be careful, and if they are not thinking of their health, at least think about the wrinkles. Perhaps that will make them wear more sunscreen.I was lucky that I read up on the signs of skin cancerA melanoma can be fatal if it isn’t caught quickly. Jim Stynes is an example how it can be a different story for other people. You can have a mole in an unusual place and if you are not pro-active about it, you could miss it. There have been some great breast cancer and prostate cancer awareness campaigns about checking yourself out, but I think people are only now really catching on that they need to be as vigilant when they are checking their skin. I was lucky that I read up on the signs of skin cancer. My mole only had two or three of the signs, so I am glad I decided to go to my doctor. Who knows where I would be if I didn’t.I just want to get the word out to people that they should be paying attention to any changes they see on their skin and to put sun screen on, no matter what. I don’t think it has sunk in with people that they can be at risk, just like any other cancer. There has been talk about sun bed use in Ireland, we love to look tanned and healthy. To ban something outright can prove difficult, people will get around it. I think that there should be regulations around their use and I think there should be a lot of warnings around the beds, perhaps like they do with the cigarette packets using the graphic images. I think that would make people think twice about using them.All I can say is, please don’t put it on the long finger. Get checked out. If you enjoy the outdoors, like I do, there is no reason to hide away, just use sun cream and look after your skin.The Irish Cancer Society has launched its SunSmart campaign which gives tips on how to protect your skin in four easy steps, as well as a UV Index which specifies the hourly UV index for any given area in Ireland.Read: Calls for health insurers to include mole mapping in general policies>Read: It’s officially* summer! Let’s play Irish summer bingo>Read: Melanoma Awareness Month: 100 people die of melanoma every year in Ireland>
When Canonical released Ubuntu 10.10 it brought with it the Unity interface, which seems to have a love or hate relationship with users. You can’t fault Canonical for trying to change the established norm for user interfaces, and in so doing hoping to improve upon them. Now it seems, Unity was just the first step.With the release of Ubuntu 12.04 at some point in April this year, Canonical is making another drastic change to the way we interact with both the OS and the apps that run on top of it. The menu system we all expect to see at the top of every window is being scrapped. In its place will be a HUD.It sounds a bit futuristic and risky, but Canonical have been working on this new system for some time. It’s what they are calling a Vocabulary UI (VUI), an “intent driven interface” or intenterface for short. And it redefines how we, or more specifically Ubuntu users will interact with the software they use.In a post on his blog, Mark Shuttleworth has gone into great detail as to why a VUI is better than the classic menu system. He argues that menu systems are now so infrequently used they really don’t warrant the space they take up on the screen. Add to that the fact the menu tree can get really complex, it’s slow to navigate with a mouse, you have to remember hotkey combinations, and it forces developers to fit things into a menu structure, even when they don’t really fit one category, and you may share his viewpoint.These are all valid shortcomings, but essentially a menu system works when it is required. Can it really be improved upon? Shuttleworth is convinced it can be, and says the HUD system is already proving it deserves its place in Ubuntu. So what is the HUD?Essentially, what Ubuntu’s development team has done is to rip out the menu and replace it with a universal search field. You type in what you want to do, and the options are listed below your text. It also learns the most common actions a user requests, and offers them up more readily in future. By doing this, the user no longer needs to use a mouse to find something, there’s no need to remember hot keys or where something is on a menu, and over time the option you want will appear quicker as the HUD is used to what you request.The HUD offers more than just a menu replacement, though. It allows functionality and actions beyond the scope of the software with focus. So you may be in an art package, but using the HUD you can set your IM status, load other apps, or issue system commands–all without having to switch focus.Although this is going to be a big change for users, there will be a fallback of the traditional menu system if you prefer it. Software developers need not worry either, as the HUD requires no changes to their software. It just replaces the menu and works.One final bonus to moving to a universal HUD that works across all apps and the OS: it means that voice support can be implemented and it also works across all software. This is an addition for the future, but you can see the benefits of removing the need to implement voice on a per app basis.With Ubuntu 12.04 seeing a release in April, we don’t have long to wait to try out the HUD. If you don’t want to wait, then you can play with the pre-release version.Read more at Mark Shuttleworth’s blog
The first Turkish-Cypriot negotiator to have visited Athens in an official capacity in more than five decades on Thursday described his talks with Greek officials on the renewed Cyprus peace push as “historic and very constructive.”Kudret Ozersay (photo) met for two hours with the Greek Foreign Ministry’s general secretary, Anastasis Mitsialis, and said the climate was more cordial than he had expected but gave no details about the substance of the talks.Meanwhile in Ankara Greek-Cypriot official Andreas Mavroyiannis met with the Turkish Foreign Ministry in a parallel initiative.In a related development on Thursday, the junior partner in Cyprus’s coalition quit the government following a dispute with President Nicos Anastasiades over the latter’s handling of the new peace drive.The center-right DIKO party has accused Anastasiades of granting too many concessions to the Turkish Cypriots.Source: Kathimerini Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram
[Representational Image]IANSThe much-awaited Cabinet reshuffle of the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh is likely to take place on Monday evening.According to sources, half a dozen new ministers will be sworn in and legislators from western Uttar Pradesh are likely to get a place in the Ministry. Some ministers are likely to be dropped, while some may have to undergo a change of portfolio.Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Uttar Pradesh BJP President Swatantra Dev Singh had on Friday met BJP working President J.P. Nadda in Delhi to decide the details of the reshuffle. On Saturday evening, Yogi met state Governor Anandiben Patel to inform her in this regard.The Yogi Cabinet at present has 43 ministers — 21 Cabinet ministers, nine ministers of state with independent charge and 13 ministers of state. The Ministry has 17 vacancies.
Wyndham Surfers Paradise view Wyndham Hotel Surfers Paradise has been honoured with a prestigious 2012 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Award for receiving consistent outstanding traveller reviews.The Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific property was recognised as being one of the best in the business for its exceptional achievement of a 4-star rating on TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel website, a result of high praise and recommendations from its guests.The Certificate of Excellence award honours hospitality excellence each year and is only given to businesses that consistently achieve outstanding traveller reviews on TripAdvisor. Only about 10 per cent of accommodations listed on TripAdvisor receive the award each year.“We are honoured that Wyndham Surfers Paradise has received this prestigious award from TripAdvisor. It demonstrates our ongoing dedication to providing an exceptional experience for our guests every time,” said Barry Robinson, CEO and Managing Director of Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific.“To hear that our guests are enjoying the best possible experience during their stay is truly rewarding for our team and I thank everyone who has helped us achieve this honour,” Mr Robinson added.Officially opened by Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific, in partnership with Wyndham Hotel Group, in 2010, Wyndham Surfers Paradise is an all-suite hotel, sleek and modern in its design and offers stunning views across Surfers Paradise to the ocean and hinterland. The spacious one and two-bedroom suites feature full kitchen facilities, modern amenities and private balconies and onsite facilities include a resort-style swimming pool, spa, gymnasium, lobby café and bar and ground floor dining precinct.The hotel is located in the heart of Surfers Paradise and within walking distance to the beach, as well as some of the best restaurants, shopping and nightlife that the Gold Coast has to offer. Source = Wyndham Vacation Resorts WyndhamSurfersParadise_external
He has the potential to be really, really good.“A guy that we had rated extremely high,” Cardinals GM Steve Keim said of Nkemdiche. “From a talent perspective, (he) has tremendous skills. Height, weight and speed, rare movement; tremendous flexibility for a big man.“Not only is he a guy that we think can be a tremendous player, but he has great schematical flexibility. Has the ability to bounce from anywhere, really, across the defensive line, and in fact in nickel situations can bounce outside and rush the passer. He is a guy that we are extremely excited about.”It’s easy to understand why the Cardinals are so pleased to land a player of Nkemdiche’s caliber, especially picking where they were. The number one overall recruit in the country coming out of high school, the 6-foot-4, 296-pound defensive lineman was a two-time first-team All-SEC selection and a two-time second-team All-America pick while at Mississippi.In all, he tallied 98 tackles, seven sacks, 19 tackles for loss and five passes defensed in three college seasons, and at the Scouting Combine in Indianapolis he ran the 40-yard dash at 4.87 seconds, posted a 35-inch vertical jump, did 28 bench press reps and had a broad jump of 116 inches. However, any concerns over a lack of dominance in college are assuaged by what Nkemdiche could be, which is one of the better interior defensive linemen in the NFL.“He did not play power running schemes, double-team stuff, very well when he knew it was going to happen all the time,” Arians said of his inconsistent production. “But, versus zone teams, he was unblockable. I think with all — especially young players coming out early — there are going to be some peaks and valleys as far as effort, especially in the defensive line.“But, when he was on, baby, there was nothing else like him.”– / 3 Picking as late as they were, Keim said the Cardinals were forced to sweat it out while they hoped Nkemdiche would be available when they were on the clock. After listing some of the player’s credentials, the GM added they feel fortunate to have been able to make this pick.That said, there was little thought given to trading up in order to ensure they’d be able to grab Nkemdiche.“Trust your board,” Keim offered.While his statistics do not exactly jump off the page, Nkemdiche’s tools do, and he posted some of his biggest games against some of college football’s best teams. Last season, he notched six tackles and a half-sack in an upset victory over eventual College Football Playoff Champion Alabama.“He’s a nightmare for a guard or a center, and he can work at tackle, off the edge,” Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said. “The thing he brings is such a powerful, inside, quick rusher that runs good stunts and games.”Arians added he likes what his team’s defensive front looks like now adding Nkemdiche to a group that includes Calais Campbell, Chandler Jones, Markus Golden and Rodney Gunter.A defensive focal point in college, he is now joining a team with plenty of established talent around him. “I’ll play three-technique; I’ll do whatever they need me to do to help them be successful,” Nkemdiche said of where he sees himself fitting in. “It’s just a life-changing moment and I can’t wait to be with my teammates and get to know them and start winning games and start grinding with them.”Unlike last year’s first-round pick, offensive tackle D.J. Humphries, Nkemdiche will be expected to see the field this season. Arians said he reminds him a bit of former Cardinal Darnell Dockett, albeit “a little bit bigger, a little bit stronger and a little bit faster.”“But a lot like Darnell; explosive — just a nightmare for a guard.”When asked who he models his game after, Nkemdiche brought up John Randle, who just so happens to be a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. As for how he describes his game, though, the rookie started by saying he is aggressive.“I’m very smart, almost spastic,” he added. “I just love the game. I can pass rush. I can stop the run. I can just fit into the defense well; I can be very disruptive and I know how to get in the backfield and cause havoc and cause problems.”The Cardinals certainly believe he is capable of that, and his production begins to match his potential, the team will have itself one of the draft’s biggest steals. Until he takes the field there will be question marks, though, which is the case when collegiate production does not quite match up with raw skills. TEMPE, Ariz. — The Arizona Cardinals’ selection of defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche at No. 29 overall in the 2016 NFL Draft should come with a warning.A top talent, he was available to them for a reason.The reason, in fact, is pretty well documented. Some off the field issues as well as inconsistent effort led teams to question whether or not he will be a success as a professional.Yet, for any reasons the Cardinals should not have drafted the former Ole Miss standout, there was one thing that led to them making him the pick. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Top Stories Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Comments Share Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact
by Christopher Bodeen, The Associated Press Posted Dec 5, 2018 1:50 am PDT BEIJING — Chinese audiences aren’t exactly going nuts over the U.S. box office hit “Crazy Rich Asians,” despite its all-Asian cast and theme of rising Asian prosperity.Industry data show the film made just $1.2 million over the three days of its initial release, far behind local productions in the world’s second-largest movie market. That compared with the $24.2 grossed by the Chinese crime drama “A Cool Fish,” according to figures from the consultancy Artisan Gateway cited by Variety, an industry journal.Chinese film industry veteran Wei Junzi says the romantic comedy’s focus on Southeast Asian culture did not resonate with mainland Chinese, despite the cast’s ethnic makeup.“It’s a good genre movie,” Wei said. “It’s also an interesting comparison with the current China-U.S. relationship. You think you know about China, but in reality you don’t.”The film’s poor performance in China contrasts sharply with its near-rapturous reception in the Chinese diaspora, especially in the U.S. where it was hailed as the first all-Asian box office smash.Critic Shi Hang said Chinese audiences are so constantly exposed to all-Asian productions that the casting didn’t hold much novelty.“What the public was excited about abroad was all-Asian-faces, but, sorry, we watch all-Asian-faces every day so it is less valuable here,” Shi said.The film’s over-the-top displays of wealth and entitlement may also have been a turn-off for some viewers in a country where the widening gap between rich and poor rankles many.“It is understandable in a comedy atmosphere, but it gets harder for me to get into the story,” he said.The Warner Bros.’ breakout romantic comedy earned $173 million in the U.S. and was a box office hit in Singapore, where it is set. Like most comedies, John M. Chu’s film hasn’t been as much of a sensation elsewhere. It took months to secure a China release date, a delay some attributed to its portrayal of extremely wealthy Chinese Singaporeans at a time when China’s ruling Communist Party is cracking down on corruption and displays of crass consumerism.That time lag may also have enabled many Chinese viewers to access pirated versions online or through streaming services, diminishing their desire to splash out on theatre tickets.The film’s performance in China is potentially worrisome for Warner Bros. Its planned sequel, “China Rich Girlfriend,” aims to better capitalize on the world’s second largest film market.Another upcoming film targeting Chinese audiences is a live-action version of Disney’s 1998 animated classic “Mulan,” which told the story of a plucky Chinese girl who took her father’s place in battling invaders from the north. That film also boasts an almost entirely Chinese cast, led by popular actress Liu Yifei in the title role.However, Wei said the film’s success will be based on how authentic it feels to Chinese audiences.“Will this be just another movie about Chinese culture, with you Americans’ own interpretation?” Wei said.___Associated Press researchers Shanshan Wang and Fu Ting contributed to this report.Christopher Bodeen, The Associated Press ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ fails to click with Chinese audiences AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email
NEW YORK — This season of “The Bachelor” may have begun with 30 women competing for Colton Underwood’s heart, but the series was turned upside down when front-runner Cassie Randolph bowed out. Suddenly the hunted became the hunter, with Underwood telling the other two remaining women they were out, and he was going to try to change Randolph’s mind. It was a first for the show, and a choice that could have left him with no one at the end. His decision paid off, and now he and Randolph are happily together.Gary Gerard Hamilton, The Associated Press Colton Underwood chases Cassie Randolph and chooses privacy by Gary Gerard Hamilton, The Associated Press Posted Mar 14, 2019 11:43 am PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email
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