Whale rescued during South African Billabong Pro

first_img1 July 2015While international surfing stars rode the waves at the Billabong Pro in Ballito, on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast, a dramatic rescue played out beyond the break today.A humpback whale became entangled in the shark nets off the coast of the seaside town and was freed by members of the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board.The drama was captured on camera by photographer Barry Bowditch. The lensman had been photographing surfers at the contest when he noticed a commotion beyond the break.“I was down at the beach shooting the Billabong Pro and I noticed the Sharks Board boats out there, so I started focusing on them. I only had a 400mm lens so I couldn’t really tell what was going on at first, then I noticed them cutting the nets and hauling them into the boat,” he said.“From what I saw the whale was docile. It was lying between the two boats and went berserk as it was released. That’s where all the spray comes from.”Sharks Board chief executive Mike Anderson-Reid said the saga of the whale began on 29 June when it was spotted near the nets at Salt Rock, north of Ballito. “On Monday, with the assistance of the lifesavers, we tried to herd the whale away from the nets. We noticed it had a serious skin infection and it wasn’t very receptive to being moved away. We thought it might strand overnight.“The gear [shark nets] was serviced and at about 11:00 on Tuesday I got a call to say the whale was in the nets. We responded and it was the same animal,” he said.“We carried out a normal disentanglement of the whale, which was between 7m and 8m long. It gave us a bit of a wake-up call now and then. When we did the final cut on the tail, the big splash came and it moved offshore.”Source: News24Wirelast_img read more

Racket in agricultural loans busted in Odisha

first_imgA racket in the issue of agricultural loans in the name of non-existent or dead persons has come to light from the Karchuli rural branch of the State Bank of India (SBI) in Ganjam district of Odisha.Based on a complaint by the present branch manager, a case has been registered at the Buguda police station under Sections 468, 471, 409 and 420 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).Bhanjanagar Sub-Divisional Police Officer Utkal Keshari Dash said till now inquiry at four villages has brought to light 16 non-existent beneficiaries in whose name agricultural loans were issued.It is suspected that a former manager and staff of the bank branch might be involved.Interesting developmentIn an interesting development, the former manager concerned deposited Rs. 7,67,000 in the bank on Sunday.“But the police will continue its investigation and track down everyone involved,” said Ram Chandra Biswal, the inspector in charge of the Buguda police station.The amount returned to the bank matches with the alleged total amount issued as agricultural loans to fake beneficiaries.All the agricultural loans had been issued by this SBI branch in 2014-15. Some of the loans had been issued in the name of persons like Barik Naik of Udaypur, who died 18 years ago.During investigation, several persons in whose name loans had been given could not be traced.According to the SDPO, the police will also investigate the modus operandi through which these agricultural loans were issued in the name of dead or non-existent persons.“We will investigate whether fake documents were used for the purpose,” he added.last_img read more

9 months agoReal Madrid in contact with Genoa striker Krzysztof Piatek

first_imgReal Madrid in contact with Genoa striker Krzysztof Piatekby Carlos Volcano9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveReal Madrid are in contact with Genoa striker Krzysztof Piatek.AS says sources close to the player have confirmed the approach.This contact claimed that conversations have taken place between Real Madrid and the Genoa striker’s representatives and that the Bernabéu “is following him” closely.These same sources also stated that they have been talking with “many great clubs” that are interested in the 23-year-old.However confirmed that Barcelona was not amongst those clubs, and that, as of yet, no formal offer has been made by any clubs. TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Leaders Charities And Stars Mourn The Loss Of Kofi Annan

first_imgThe Elders are shocked and deeply saddened at the passing of their dear friend and colleague Kofi Annan, who was the globally admired and respected Chair of The Elders.A founding member of The Elders, Kofi Annan succeeded Archbishop Desmond Tutu as Chair in May 2013. He played a vital role in leading The Elders’ work, and was a voice of great authority and wisdom in public and private, most recently on visits to South Africa and Zimbabwe in July 2018.As the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations from 1997 to 2006, he was a constant advocate for human rights, development and the rule of law. The first Secretary-General to reach the post from within an organisation he served for over 40 years, Kofi Annan had a life-long commitment to the cause of peace and was known for his staunch opposition to military aggression, notably the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.The great respect for him and his essential work was illustrated when he, together with the United Nations as a whole, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001.Gro Harlem Brundtland, Deputy Chair of The Elders, said:“We are devastated at the loss of our dear friend and fellow Elder. Kofi was a strong and inspiring presence to us all, and The Elders would not be where it is today without his leadership. Throughout his life, Kofi worked unceasingly to improve the lives of millions of people around the world. While we mourn his passing today, we resolve as Elders to continue to uphold his values and legacy into the future”.In retirement, Kofi Annan continued where he had left off at the United Nations, founding and leading the work of the Kofi Annan Foundation, based in Geneva, and maintaining a hectic international schedule. His quiet advice on how best to defuse impending crises was in constant demand from all corners of the globe, in particular from Africa.All of the Elders and their Advisory Council and staff team members send their heartfelt condolences to Kofi’s family: his wife Nane, his children and grandchildren. They have lost a devoted husband, father and grandfather.The world has lost an inspiring figure – but one whose achievements will never be forgotten, and whose commitment to peace and justice will endure to inspire future generations.Leaders, charities and stars around the world have also expressed their sadness at the passing of Kofi Annan.“I was saddened and heartbroken to learn of the passing of Kofi Annan. Father. Husband. Humanitarian. Elder. He was a lifelong servant of peace,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “He was particularly concerned about the future – the world our children and their children will inherit. And he led the United Nations during a time when millions emerged out of poverty and he helped shape the future of global development work.“Most of all, Kofi Annan believed in the project of the United Nations. When once asked why he had failed to advance reforms, he reportedly quipped, ‘the Lord had the wonderful advantage of being able to work alone.’ Yet, through his six decades of international public service, Annan was committed to making sure he was not alone – enlisting us all in the work of building a better world.“And in the end, Annan’s life reflected his understanding of it – that the fate of each of us determines the fate of all of us. On behalf of everyone at UNICEF, I extend my deepest condolences to his family, his beloved nation of Ghana, and the UN community.”“I’m deeply saddened by the passing of Kofi Annan, a true global statesman and man of integrity,” added UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie. “Like many others, I will remember him for his kindness, his grace, and his calm strength of purpose. My thoughts are with his wife and family.”“Like so many, I was proud to call Kofi Annan a good friend and mentor. I was deeply honoured by his trust in selecting me to serve as UN High Commissioner for Refugees under his leadership. He remained someone I could always turn to for counsel and wisdom — and I know I was not alone,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in a statement. “He provided people everywhere with a space for dialogue, a place for problem-solving and a path to a better world. In these turbulent and trying times, he never stopped working to give life to the values of the United Nations Charter. His legacy will remain a true inspiration for all us.”The UN Foundation Board today released the following statement in response to news of the death of former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, a UN Foundation Board Member since 2007.“We are devastated by the loss of Kofi Annan – our fellow Board member, former Secretary-General, and friend. Kofi was a towering figure whose deep humanity, compassion, and courage inspired everyone whose life he touched. We are privileged to have worked with such an honorable man and visionary leader. His achievements will not be forgotten, nor will his impact on history.“Kofi led the United Nations into the modern era and shaped the best of what it stands for today. He insisted on holding the UN to the highest standards and was relentless when it fell short. We pay tribute to his tireless efforts to fight for peace, justice and human dignity. He believed that anyone could take a stand, make a difference, and help create a better world for all – especially women and young people – and he always took time and effort to listen to those who too often went unheard. In his own story, he showed us all how a life well-lived could be a powerful force for good. There was not a part of the world he left untouched.“His loss on the eve of World Humanitarian Day, when we remember the service and sacrifice of humanitarians and peacemakers around the world, reminds us only further of his life and leadership. We send our heartfelt condolences to his wife Nane, children and grandchildren and all those who knew and served alongside him. He will be forever remembered.”Ted Turner, UN Foundation Founder and Chairman, said: “Kofi Annan was a friend and a champion for peace. He opened the doors of the UN to me and millions of others who have been inspired by the UN’s values. He challenged us to help make a difference for the world, and he led with a formidable combination of compassion, fierceness and hope. We will miss him greatly.”During his tenure as Secretary-General, Kofi Annan led one of the most comprehensive efforts to revitalize the United Nations and make the international system more effective. He strengthened UN peacekeeping, adopted the UN’s first-ever counter-terrorism strategy, and led Member States to adopt the “responsibility to protect” framework that addressed genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity. In addition, he helped establish the Global Fund to fight Tuberculosis, AIDS and Malaria, and launched the Global Compact initiative that continues to encourage corporate social responsibility.In 2001, the UN and Kofi Annan were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The Nobel Committee commended Annan for “bringing new life to the organization,” balancing the UN’s traditional role in peace and security with greater emphasis on human rights across the world.Bill Clinton had this to say: “Kofi Annan was a truly great UN Secretary-General. It was an honor to work with him in his efforts to reform the UN, strengthen global health and peacekeeping, and reduce poverty. He made the fight against AIDS and the responsibility to protect civilians in conflict zones true priorities for the UN.“After he left office, he continued his leadership on poverty, environmental, and peace issues through his foundation. In every phase of his life, he held fast to his Ghanaian roots and set a powerful example of determined leadership while always treating others with respect and dignity.“I will always be grateful to have worked with him as President and later as UN Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery. Hillary and I treasured our friendship with him and Nane, and our thoughts and prayers are with her and their family.”last_img read more

Urban Meyer on Big Ten Good teams will surface

The No. 16-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes (3-0) will close out their non-conference schedule this Saturday, Sept. 22, when they host the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Coach Urban Meyer discussed his team’s upcoming opponent and Big Ten conference woes during the Big Ten coaches weekly teleconference Tuesday. Blazing Downfield Through two games, UAB (0-2) has been anything but prolific on offense. The Blazers rank 110th of 124 teams nationally in points scored, and failed to find the end zone last weekend against South Carolina. Nonetheless, Meyer said UAB poses concerns for his defense, particularly in the passing game. “They just throw it down the field a lot,” Meyer said. The Buckeyes have struggled defending aerial attacks so far this season, allowing an average of more than 283 passing yards per game. “We’ve seen enough big plays for a season, yet alone just three games,” Meyer said. “And this team is willing to launch it down the field. That’s an issue.” Big Problem for the Big Ten? In recent years Big Ten teams have struggled to compete nationally, consistently losing high-profile non-conference games and struggling during bowl season. The trend has continued this season. Only three teams in the conference remain undefeated, and at No. 16, Ohio State is the conference’s highest ranked team in the latest Associated Press Top 25 poll. Meyer said there is only one way for Big Ten teams to silence the criticism and prove that they are among the nation’s elite conferences. “There’s one answer, go win those non-conference games,” Meyer said. “It’s not because of a lack of players or lack of coaching, they just have to find a way to close the deal. And I think they will.” Meyer said he hasn’t had a chance to watch much Big Ten football yet this season, but believes that there is still plenty of talent in the conference. “It’s a long season,” Meyer said. “There are a lot of things that will happen. I think there are a lot of great football teams in the Big Ten conference and I’m sure they will start to surface here real soon.” read more

Sunday Morning Quarterback Evaluating Ohio States win against Illinois

Ohio State improved to 10-0 Saturday with a convincing win against Illinois, 52-22. While the result shouldn’t shock anyone – Illinois is likely the worst team in the Big Ten – this is an OSU team that has struggled against the likes of Indiana and Purdue. But everything was clicking for the Scarlet-and-Gray on Saturday, and OSU is now just two wins away from a perfect season. More than just Miller Sophomore quarterback Braxton Miller will continue to receive Heisman hype, but it was a collective effort on the ground for the Buckeyes, who piled up 330 yards rushing against the Illini. Carlos Hyde has been a revelation this season. The junior running back rushed for 137 yards and three scores, while averaging 7.6 yards per carry. It’s fairly easy to move the chains when your running back averages nearly a first down, and thanks to Hyde, the Buckeyes had no problem doing so against Illinois. All told OSU converted 32 first downs, a team best for the season. Defenses have to respect Hyde, and they occasionally over-commit when it looks like the physical running back is about to tote the rock through the middle. When the defense does, Miller is able to keep the ball on read-option plays, and scamper toward the undefended outside for big gains. Hyde’s power complements Miller’s speed and elusiveness and the duo have become one of the nation’s most lethal combinations on the ground. It should be comforting for Buckeye fans to know that each has eligibility to return next season, though Hyde potentially could flirt with an early departure for the NFL. Meanwhile, redshirt sophomore running back Rod Smith is piecing together a respectable season in his own right. Smith was ranked by ESPN as the seventh best running back prospect in 2010 coming out of Paul Harding High School in Fort Wayne, Ind., but it’s taken some time for him to live up to that billing. After redshirting in 2010, Smith opened the 2011 season as a potential breakout star. Instead he struggled with ball security, and was eventually buried on the depth chart. This year, Smith has quietly emerged as a solid backup option, and the coaching staff seems intent on getting him more touches. Smith caught his first career touchdown reception against Illinois, a 51-yard strike off a wheel route. The play featured a formation that the Buckeyes used a lot on Saturday, lining both Hyde and Smith in the backfield on either side of Miller. “It’s a great look,” coach Urban Meyer said. “That has always been in the playbook, but we never had enough confidence. Now we do. I think it was a productive set and I think you’ll see more of that.” Looking past the bye week OSU is off with a bye next weekend, and will return to action on Nov. 17 against Wisconsin in the team’s final road test. Wisconsin was a preseason favorite to win the Big Ten, but has been an up-and-down team all season. They will likely be on the down turn against the Buckeyes, playing without starting freshman quarterback Joel Stave, who was injured for the season last weekend. Wisconsin is a run-first football team, and without its starting quarterback it will rely even more on its ground attack. This plays right into OSU’s strength – though the Silver Bullets have struggled against spread offenses, power-run teams haven’t fared well against the Buckeye’s defense. The most comparable opponent to Wisconsin is Michigan State, and OSU held its run game in check earlier this year. OSU will have to overcome one of the Big Ten’s most ruthless road environments in Camp Randall Stadium, but it fared well in a similar test at Penn State on Oct. 27. With an extra week to prepare, OSU will be favored to do the same at Wisconsin. Then there is The Game, the finale against Michigan. With a potentially perfect record on the line, in Meyer’s first game against the Wolverines, expect to see a fired-up ball club on Nov. 24 in Ohio Stadium. Both games will likely be close contests, and OSU could very well be facing its two most talented opponents in the coming weeks. But the bottom line is, with two games remaining, OSU is in a favorable position to complete a perfect season. Give an extra helmet sticker to … Sophomore linebacker Ryan Shazier. Shazier led the team with 14 tackles, and he continues to assert himself as one of the team’s leaders on defense. Aside from Miller, there may not be a more valuable player on this team than Shazier. He has almost single-handedly legitimized the Buckeyes’ linebackers, which seemed to be the weak-link of the defense not too long ago. Because of a lack of depth and injuries, OSU features senior Zach Boren, a converted full back, next to Shazier at linebacker. Shazier has elevated his play the past three weeks, allowing Boren to settle within the defense. OSU’s defense as a whole has also looked improved the past three weeks, and that, by no means, is a coincidence. read more

Womens lacrosse Ohio State looking to right the ship against perennial powerhouse

Ohio State freshman midfielder Sage Darling receives a pass in the offensive zone against Rutgers on March 25. Credit: Courtesy of OSUThe Ohio State women’s lacrosse team (6-8) have not had the easiest path to get where it is at this point in the season, and it is not going to get any easier. The Buckeyes have three games remaining against three of the best teams in the country: No. 17 Northwestern, No. 1 Maryland and Johns Hopkins, who sits just outside the 20th spot in the Inside Lacrosse Poll.While OSU began to get its offense back on track against No. 6 Penn State — scoring 12 goals for the first time since March 7 — they will need to summon even more production in the remainder of their games. “I thought we had some good chemistry on the attack,” coach Alexis Venechanos said of the team’s loss to the Nittany Lions. “I thought we limited our turnovers in the midfield, and when you’re playing these conference games, those little details are going to matter.”Northwestern has, historically, been dominant against the Buckeyes, winning 13 of the 16 previous matchups, with OSU’s most recent win coming in a 2014 overtime game. Venechanos spent three years on the Wildcats’ staff (2004 to 2006) as an assistant, so it means a lot to her for them to be one of the big rivals in their conference. “It was a great learning experience. I learned a lot on the field and off the field,” Venechanos said. “(Northwestern coach Kelly Amonte Hiller) is a great competitor. She taught me how to compete, and I’m glad we have an opportunity to play them every year.”Hiller has led the Wildcats to seven NCAA championships, with last season being the first year that they had not reached at least the NCAA quarterfinals in 14 years. While Northwestern’s record at first glance is similar to the Buckeyes at 6-6, the Wildcats’ schedule has been stacked with great competition. The Buckeyes will still be without freshman midfielder Liza Hernandez, but they can still be capable of generating offense. Junior attacker Molly Wood and sophomore midfielder Baley Parrott have both stepped up to lead their team in scoring.“We’re working on ourselves right now,” Wood said. “We’re working on the little things, the fundamentals and to see those getting better is huge for our team.”OSU will be looking to continue its development as the season winds down, but Venechanos said they are most excited for the present. “We’ve challenged our players to get a little bit better from the previous week, the previous day and even in the drill we are doing — let’s get better this time,” Venechanos said. “We’re moving some people around, they’re stepping up.”The game is set for a 7 p.m. start time on Thursday, in what will be OSU’s first game of the season at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. read more

DataWinds market share in India tablet sales up maintains leadership position

first_imgDataWind Inc. sold 37.2 percent of the approximately 950,000 tablets in India, during the three months ended June 30, 2016, according to CMR’s India Tablet PC Market Review. The overall tablet market grew 5 percent compared to the first quarter of 2016.The company has maintained its leadership position, selling more tablets than any other company in India for the third successive quarter. DataWind’s share of 37.2 percent is up from 34.2 percent in Q1 2016 and 20.7 percent in Q4 2015. DataWind’s market share is now almost double than that of Samsung’s, which sold 18.9 percent of tablets in the quarter.The CMR study also shows that DataWind is the only company among the top three sellers which has increased its market share.Mr. Suneet Singh Tuli, President and CEO of DataWind said: “We continue to see tremendous demand for our low cost Internet-enabled tablets and smartphones from consumers in India. DataWind is moving ahead with a clear focus on driving device and Internet costs downward to a level where access to technology becomes ‘universally affordable’ and the democratization of technology finds its true meaning.”DataWind dominated the sub-Rs. 5,000 tablet segment (approximately $75) with 76 percent market share, up from 74 percent last quarter, in the largest and fastest growing market segment in India. The study showed that the number of tablets sold in the sub-Rs. 5,000 segment has now increased to 48 percent of the overall market, up from 46 percent last quarter.DataWind is the only tablet provider in India focused on offering affordable tablets and Internet access. All DataWind devices come bundled with one year of unlimited Internet access. The devices feature the most affordable ongoing plans available in the market. This is due to the company’s unique, patented technology that reduces up to 97 percent, the amount of data needed for web browsing.last_img read more

TCS doubles pay for new recruits with knowledge of AI Machine Learning

first_imgLogos of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) are displayed at the venue of the annual general meeting of the software services provider in Mumbai, June 29, 2012.ReutersTata Consultancy Services has doubled the normal salary for freshers who have new-age digital skills.The Indian MNC is now offering up to Rs 6.5 lakh per annum compared to the Rs 3.5 lakh per annum it was offering until now.However, this is only for engineering freshers with new-age digital skills on which they will be tested before they are offered the job. They will have to sit for the National Qualifier’s Test where they would take the digital skills-based examination, according to TOI.”The NQT was open to graduates and postgraduates of the 2019 batch, across engineering colleges in India. This re-imagination of the campus hiring process, using sophisticated technology platforms, has transformed traditional recruitment models and reinforces TCS’ philosophy of being an equal opportunity employer,” TCS said according to a PTI report.TCS has had a 175 percent increase in test applications than before after the NQT was announced.”People who have done well in the NQT will get a chance to write another test for the digital talent pool, and if they clear and go through the interview, then they will get into the digital pool and their compensation will be differentiated,” Ajoy Mukherjee, executive VP and head of global human resources reports TOI.The test by TCS is longer and more difficult than the NQT and requires coding skills and a basic knowledge of artificial intelligence, machine learning and data intelligence. The exam will also test the candidates programming skills.last_img read more

Party Politics Texas Edition Ep 19 The Wager

first_img X Listen To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: 00:00 /16:50center_img Public DomainPostcard depiction of two popular Frisco Railroad passenger trains, The Meteor and The Texas Special. The Meteor is at left. Both trains were equipped with diesel locomotives and brand new line paint schemes in 1948.On this episode of Party Politics: Texas Edition, co-hosts Jay Aiyer and Brandon Rottinghaus break down these tumultuous topics in Texas political news:The passing of Gov. Mark WhiteTexas Education Agency may take over ISDs across the state for low performanceLt. Gov. Dan Patrick: Cities run by democrats are the problem!No democrats running for governor?Then the profs dig deep into – rhymes with “merry mecial mession” – this very special session. How many of  Gov. Abbott’s priority bills will get passed? Care to wager? By the way, don’t forget to check out our national episodes of Party Politics, too.Party Politics is produced by Dacia Clay, Edel Howlin and Laura Lucas. Our audio engineer is Todd Hulslander. This article is part of the Party Politics podcast Sharelast_img read more