zoomImage Courtesy: Dorian LPG Gas carrier owner and operator Dorian LPG has witnessed an increase in revenues in the second quarter of fiscal year 2018, driven by an improvement in time charter equivalent (TCE) rates.The company said that its revenues for the quarter ended September 30 reached USD 40.8 million, rising by 17.5 percent from USD 34.7 million reported in the same period a year earlier. The increase is primarily attributable to a rise in average TCE rates and fleet utilization.Namely, TCE rate for the company’s fleet increased to USD 20,973 for the quarter from USD 18,015 earned in the same period in 2017.Dorian LPG also managed to shrink its net loss to USD 8.2 million, compared to a net loss of USD 11.9 million reported a year earlier.“Demand for VLGCs increased during our fiscal second quarter driven by increasing export volumes and end-user demand. This improvement is reflected in higher fleet utilization during the quarter and improvement in achieved TCE rates,” John C. Hadjipateras, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, said.“While additional VLGCs scheduled for delivery in 2019 negatively impacts supply, we believe the market has become more balanced… We believe that we are well positioned to deliver strong cash flows throughout the market cycle as a result of our low leverage, no near-term debt maturities and a best-in-class fleet.”
New Delhi: India will be easing mandatory local sourcing norms for FDI in single brand retail trading in the next few weeks, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said. “India has opened up opportunities for single brand retail and is easing some detrimental clauses of the policy in next few weeks which will help single brand retail come in a bigger way to the country,” an official statement said quoting the minister.He was addressing CEOs of multi-national companies in the UK-India Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) meeting held on Monday in London. The government in Budget proposed that local sourcing norms will be eased for FDI (foreign direct investment) in single brand retail sector. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in SepCurrently 100 per cent FDI is permitted in the sector with certain conditions, including 30 per cent mandatory local sourcing preferably from MSMEs. The minister also requested companies around the world to respect Indian sensitivities on restrictions of foreign investment in multi-brand retail. “Particularly, e-commerce companies coming to India will have to ensure that they stay within the letter and spirit of the law when it comes to multi-brand retail and India’s policies around that,” he said. He also said that manufacturing in India, in a cost-competitive environment, could be the key for British companies to expand their footprints to other parts of the world. Also Read – Ensure strict implementation on ban of import of e-cigarettes: revenue to Customs”Designed in the UK-Made in India can be the new focus area for this partnership. Similarly, in the services sector, India can provide huge technical expertise to British companies,” the minister said. Further he said if the spirit of research and innovation in British industry and academia is bound together with the strength of the skilled Indian work force, the two countries may become the preferred supplier for the rest of the world. Both countries have agreed to set up three new bilateral working groups to tackle barriers in specific sectors including food and drink, healthcare and data services. India-UK trade and economic relations are reviewed annually by JETCO at the level of Commerce and Industry Minister. Till date, 12 meetings have taken place and the last was held in January 2018 in London. Goyal assured that India’s foreign direct investment (FDI) norms in the multi-brand retail sector are a very well thought out policy which are unlikely to change any time soon. Speaking on the sidelines of an India Day event organised by the UK’s Department for International Trade (DIT), the minister said the 49 per cent FDI threshold in multi-brand retail must be respected in letter and spirit by all foreign brands. Britain’s prime ministerial frontrunner Boris Johnson had recently expressed his disappointment at UK retailers like Sainsbury’s and Waitrose not being able to set up base in India and had said he would like to see India opening up to more of our great brands . “On multi-brand retail we are very clear as of now it’s a 49 per cent restriction for foreign investment,” Goyal said, when Johnson’s recent intervention was put to him. “It’s a very well thought out policy, recognising that the strength of Indian small retailers to serve the people of India across the length and breadth of the country is very deeply rooted in the culture of the villages of India. So, for the present, we would not like to change that,” he said. “I think companies which want to come into India will have to look at restricting the foreign ownership to 49 per cent if they are looking multi-brand retail. And we would like them to ensure that in letter and in spirit,” Goyal said. The minister, however, highlighted the significant concessions and liberalisation planned for the single-brand retail sector so that more international companies can set up stores in India and expand their business. “They can also meet their requirements of 30 per cent domestic sourcing through their export requirements and integrate their global chains so that it’s a win-win both for India and the single brand retailer coming into the country, he said. With reference to the key outcomes of JETCO, the minister said that he has observed an enthusiastic approach within the UK government to make the best out of the opportunity that will come out of Brexit. “While we recognise that till Brexit happens, the UK is constrained to be able to finalise things or to move forward with any bilateral arrangement with any country,” he said. If we can continue this comprehensive dialogue, where the larger gamut of issues are on the table now for the next 12-15 months, we will be well poised before Brexit to be able to make some significant announcements soon after Brexit and to be able to expand this relationship and take it to significantly larger levels. Goyal, who is also minister of railways, addressed the India Day event organised to showcase bilateral investment prospects to highlight the potential India and the UK have to offer an “unbeatable cost competitive” partnership. Asked about some of the missed opportunities in the bilateral ties recently flagged by a UK parliamentary panel, the minister said that he believes that Brexit would result in addressing some of those gaps.
Six stories in the news for Friday, Aug. 11———B.C. JOINS LEGAL FIGHT AGAINST TRANS MOUNTAINBritish Columbia says it will join the legal fight against the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, while warning the company it can’t begin work on public land until it gets final approval from the province. The NDP government has hired former judge Thomas Berger to provide legal advice as it seeks intervener status in court challenges against Ottawa’s approval of the $7.4-billion project.———JUDGE TO IMPOSE SENTENCE IN B.C. CHILD BRIDE CASEA B.C. judge will sentence a man and woman today who were convicted of taking a 13-year-old girl over the U.S. border over a decade ago to marry the now-imprisoned leader of a polygamous sect. Former husband and wife Brandon Blackmore and Gail Blackmore were found guilty in February of the charge of taking a child under the age of 16 out of Canada for sexual purposes.———B.C CONSIDERING A BACKCOUNTRY ACCESS BAN DUE TO WILDFIRESOfficials will decide today whether a widespread ban to accessing the backcountry in the B.C. Interior is necessary to help mitigate wildfires. Warm, dry conditions persist throughout the province and thunderstorms in the forecast could bring more lightning that has already been causing new fires to ignite. The B.C. Wildfire Service says human-caused fires must be avoided in the coming weeks so crews can stay focused on the naturally occurring ones.———MONTREAL POLICE APPROVE NEW CONTRACTMontreal police officers have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a new contract that draws a long-running dispute over pension reforms to a close. The city’s police union says more than 95 per cent of the officers who voted approved the new six-year agreement. The dispute had seen police officers wearing camouflage pants and ball caps between July 2014 and this June to protest the lack of a contract and imposed changes to their pension plans.———CANADIAN TEEN STUNS TOP-SEED AT ROGERS CUPCanadian teenager Denis Shapovalov is the talk of the tennis world after a stirring upset victory last night at the Rogers Cup. Unseeded Denis Shapovalov of Richmond Hill, Ont., defeated Spanish veteran and top-seed Rafael Nadal in the third round of the tournament in Montreal. After the match, Shapovalov said he always dreamed of facing a player like Nadal, and that beating him is a “dream come true.”———SHANIA TWAIN TO PERFORM AT GREY CUPCountry music superstar Shania Twain will be the halftime performer at this year’s Grey Cup. The five-time Grammy Award winner from Timmins, Ont., has more than 90 million albums sold worldwide and U.S. sales topping $34.5 million, making her the top-selling female country artist of all time. This year’s Grey Cup will be held in Ottawa on Nov. 26.———ALSO IN THE NEWS TODAY:— The federal transport and fisheries ministers will announce temporary measures to address whale deaths in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.— Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan will announce a plan to strengthen the Canadian aerospace and defence sectors.— Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard will attend the funeral of former cabinet minister Jacques Daoust.
Lucifer showrunners Idly Modrovich and Joe Henderson said in the release that the relocation will benefit the show.“Los Angeles is a key character in Lucifer with the storylines revolving around iconic locations in Hollywood and Southern California, so we are thrilled that the California incentive now makes it competitive to base the show in the LA area,” they said.A total of 15 television projects were selected to be part of the California Television and Tax Credit Program.The projects are estimated to generate more than $620 million in direct in-state spending, including more than $235 million in wages to more than 4,400 crew and cast members.The shift in production will cost the B.C. city approximately 400 crew jobs.Vancouver is the third largest film production centre in North America. There are currently 46 TV programs and movies shooting in British Columbia. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Advertisement Advertisement Facebook Login/Register With: Two television shows filmed in Vancouver will be leaving the city for Los Angeles, after qualifying for California’s expanded film tax credit program.Legion and Lucifer are among 11 other TV shows that are moving their filming to California. The OA and The Affair will be relocating to LA from New York.“The tax credit program is working as intended to reaffirm California’s status as the preferred choice for film and TV production,” said Amy Lemisch of the California Film Commission in a release. Twitter
Tinejdad, Morocco- Amany El Khayat, the Egyptian TV presenter who insulted Morocco in her Daily TV show, will go to court following a complaint filed by the Moroccan Embassy in Cairo and Association of Moroccan Community in Egypt. These actions were a result of Amany El-Khayat?lashing out at King Mohammed VI and the ruling Islamists party claiming that the Moroccan economy is based on “prostitution.” Her comments can be seen in a video posted on YouTube, July 16.According to the Egyptian Arabic website Dostor, the Attorney General of the Republic of Egypt, Hisham Barakat, issued a communiqué announcing the court proceeding. The French based website Yabiladies said that Article 181 of the Egyptian law condemns anyone who would attack and / or insult a king or president of a foreign country.Following a storm of controversy over the offensive remarks made by Amany El-Khayat in her Daily TV show, the Moroccan ambassador to Egypt and the Association of MRE in Egypt filed a complaint against the TV presenter on charges of libel and defamation of the king and the people of Morocco, through her TV show on “Online TV.”Despite the apology of Amany El-Khayat to the King and people of Morocco, her unprofessional blunder has cost her the position of presenter in the “ONTV” daily show.
THE HAGUE, Netherlands — The highest U.N. court has rejected a request by the United Arab Emirates for interim measures to be imposed on Qatar in a racial discrimination dispute.The case centres on the boycott of Qatar by Bahrain, Egypt, the UAE and Saudi Arabia, which were angry at Qatar’s support for Islamists.Qatar filed a case last year against UAE alleging that the boycott breaches an anti-discrimination convention. Judges issued an interim order that Qatari families separated by the UAE boycott must be allowed to reunite and Qatari students should be allowed to complete their education in the UAE.On Friday, judges at the International Court of Justice rejected a UAE application to compel Qatar to unblock a website that enables family reunifications and to prevent state-run media from aggravating the dispute.The Associated Press
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hosted the latest meeting of the so-called Quartet which brings together the UN, European Union (EU), Russia and the United States in a now seven-year-old effort to resolve the so-far intractable issue.“The Quartet reiterates that the only viable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is an agreement that ends the occupation that began in 1967; resolves all permanent status issues as previously defined by the parties; and fulfils the aspirations of both parties for independent homelands through two States for two peoples, Israel and an independent, contiguous and viable State of Palestine, living side by side in peace and security,” it said in a communiqué.Mr. Ban was joined at the high-level meeting in New York by EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana and External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and United States Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Special Middle East Peace Envoy George Mitchell.Also attending were Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, representing the EU Presidency, and Quartet Representative Tony Blair.“The Quartet shares the sense of urgency expressed by [US] President [Barack] Obama and fully supports the steps ahead as outlined in his statement to the UN General Assembly on September 22,” the communiqué said.“The Quartet urges the Government of Israel to freeze all settlement activity, including natural growth; and to refrain from provocative actions in East Jerusalem and calls on the Palestinian Authority to continue to make every effort to improve law and order, to fight violent extremism, and to end incitement,” the communiqué said, echoing Mr. Obama’s words. The four partners welcomed plans by the Palestinian Authority to complete the building of state institutions within 24 months as a demonstration of its serious commitment to an independent State that provides opportunity, justice, and security for the Palestinian people and is a responsible neighbour to all States in the region. They also noted significantly improved economic growth in the West Bank and welcomed initial ministerial contact between the Palestinian Authority and Israel on economic issues, as well as further steps by Israel to promote change on the ground, urging it to re-double those efforts, in particular concerning free movement of people and goods.The Quartet called for a durable solution to the Gaza crisis that addresses Israel’s legitimate security concerns, including an end to weapons smuggling into Gaza; promotes the re-unification of Gaza, which was seized by Hamas two years ago, with the West Bank under the Palestinian Authority; and facilitates the opening of crossings to allow the unimpeded flow of humanitarian aid, commercial goods, and persons.Ahead of today’s meeting, Mr. Ban yesterday conferred separately with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, calling for a full settlement freeze with the former, and congratulating the latter on recent steps towards political renewal and economic revitalization. 24 September 2009The United Nations and its diplomatic partners in the search for Middle East peace today urged Israel and the Palestinians to resume their negotiations as a matter of urgency in pursuit of a two-State solution to their conflict.
The online campaign (click here) calls on the President to take decisive action by publicly condemning the hate campaign of Buddhist extremists and hate groups.It also urges to the government to continue to proclaim publicly that the minorities are equal citizens and equitable stakeholders in the country. The online petition also calls on the police to take necessary action to stop incidents of harassment against minorities and their businesses. “Declare it a criminal offence for hate groups to utilize police forces. Publicly declare it a criminal offence for hate groups to conduct state-unauthorized raids into houses, take action against perpetrators of such raids. Empower the police to respond to instances where such forces try to take the law in to their own hands. Ensure that the authorities take action against the media when they contribute to the propagation of this hate sentiment. Diffuse the tension around the halal issue by either empowering the All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama (ACJU) to continue to offer the certification, or by mandating a government institution to engage in the process (given that the certification is most necessary to maintain our export markets),” the petition said.The Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) had said on Sunday that Sri Lanka is not a multiracial or multi-religious country but a Sinhala Budhist country.Speaking at the Bodu Bala Sena convention in Panadura, the venerable Medagoda Abayathissa thero urged the Sinhalese to protect the nation and not let other races or religions to take over.The monk also urged Sinhalese families to have at least 5-6 children so that the Sinhalese Buddhist population grows in order to protect the Sinhala race and Buddhism in Sri Lanka.Meanwhile Secretary of the Bodu Bala Sena, the venerable Galaboda Aththe Gnanasara thera said that Sri Lanka should be ready to rally against Christian and Muslim extremist groups operating in the country. (Colombo Gazette)Related story: http://colombogazette.com/2013/03/24/bbs-insists-lanka-not-multiracial/ An online campaign has been launched seeking the intervention of of President Mahinda Rajapaksa to protect the liberties of Sri Lanka’s minorities and to defend their interests against hate speech and hate acts such as those committed by the Bodu Bala Sena, Sinhala Ravaya and other such hate groups.
An official of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) will join with representatives of the East Timorese government tomorrow to raise public awareness on the protection of children’s rights.Members of the press and civil society have been invited to the briefing by Mehr Kahn, Director of UNICEF’s South-East Asia Division, and government officials, at which they will discuss protections found in East Timor’s Constitution, as well as the Convention on the Rights of the Child and other international human rights treaties. Senior officials have indicated that East Timor may soon accede to those conventions and treaties, possibly around September, when it becomes a member of the United Nations.Ms. Kahn arrived in East Timor on Tuesday for a four-day visit to review UNICEF programmes, meet with leaders of government and civil society, and inaugurate a number of UNICEF projects – including a community school and a breastfeeding counselling room at the Dili National Hospital.Addressing the issue of child rights, the head of the UN Mission of Support in East Timor (UNMISET) today observed that children are among the most vulnerable in East Timorese society. Kamalesh Sharma stressed that accession to international human rights treaties was significant, as it implied a permanent commitment by the government to its people.
Klaus Toepfer, who led the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) over an eight-year period that saw environmental sustainability become central to international development goals, bid farewell to the agency today during ceremonies in Nairobi. Mr. Toepfer’s tenure was noted for the increased importance given to environmental considerations by the international community, UNEP said. The importance of environment for development became central to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) agreed to at the 2000 World Summit to reduce extreme poverty and other global ills by 2015. When that focus was reaffirmed at the 2005 World Summit, Mr. Toepfer noted the environment “is not a luxury good, only affordable when all other problems have been solved. It is the oxygen that breathes life into all our aspirations for a healthier, fairer and more stable world.” Among the milestones of Mr. Toepfer’s time at UNEP are a number of important environmental agreements, including the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, which addresses issue of genetically modified organisms, and the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. He was also closely involved in behind-the-scenes negotiations in support of the Kyoto Protocol on climate change, which entered into force in February 2005 after Russia’s ratification papers were handed to the UN Secretary-General at UNEP headquarters in November 2004. In addition, Mr. Toepfer’s term saw the establishment of the annual Global Ministerial Environment Forum, which is tasked by the UN General Assembly to review important and emerging environmental issues, as well as an expanded role for UNEP at the national level with the adoption of the Bali Strategic Plan for Technology Support and Capacity Building in 2005. Mr. Toepfer’s successor as UNEP Executive Director is Achim Steiner, currently Director-General of the World Conservation Union (IUCN). He will start his term of office as UNEP’s fifth Executive Director on 15 June 2006. In the intervening period, UNEP’s Deputy Executive Director, Shafqat Kakakhel, will serve as acting Executive Director.
“So far our ongoing efforts have not led to an agreement on Security Council reform. However, we should not lose hope in our ability to make progress on this important matter,” Sheikha Haya Rashed Al Khalifa told the Assembly at the opening of the discussion in which some 64 countries were scheduled to take part.“After many years of inconclusive debate on this important matter, I believe the time has come for us to make a realistic assessment of the whole issue,” she said. “In doing so we should be prepared to look at this matter with a fresh and open mind so that we can make substantial progress.”Seeking “concrete proposals and views on how to move ahead on this important reform agenda item,” she pledged her readiness to work with all concerned to “establish the most appropriate process” to foster progress.The General Assembly has been debating the issue of Security Council reform since 1979. A working group started formulating proposals on the issue in 1994.The number of non-permanent members on the Security Council was increased from six to ten by an amendment of the UN Charter which came into force in 1965. The five permanent members are China, France, Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Oil rises as traders look toward OPEC meeting and possible Iran-Saudi showdown by Sandy Shore, The Associated Press Posted Jun 12, 2012 4:08 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email The price of benchmark U.S. oil rose Tuesday ahead of a key OPEC meeting that could become a showdown between Saudi Arabia and Iran over how much oil the organization is producing.West Texas Intermediate crude rose 62 cents to finish at US$83.32 a barrel Tuesday in New York.Brent crude, used to price international varieties of oil, fell 86 cents to US$97.14 a barrel. Brent’s price has fallen about 23 per cent since reaching a 2012 high of US$126.22 in March.Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s biggest producer, has raised output to almost 10 million barrels a day in an effort to push Brent down toward US$100 a barrel, a level the Saudis believe the global economy can tolerate. Iran wants a higher price because its oil exports have been curtailed by western sanctions imposed because of a dispute over its nuclear program.An OPEC report published Tuesday showed that its production was just short of 33 million barrels a day in April. That’s almost three million barrels more than the organization’s overall quota and the highest in four years. Iran will likely argue that production needs to be cut when the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries meets Thursday in Vienna.Other OPEC members could support Iran’s call for lower production. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said last week that OPEC members should maintain what he called a “fair level” of oil prices, which he said was around US$100 a barrel.Tradition Energy analyst Addison Armstrong said that Iran’s economy already is reeling from the sanctions and that the Saudis “can use the falling oil prices as a way to keep Iran in check, which is one of their overriding political goals.”The U.S. and other world leaders believe Iran may be working on a nuclear bomb, an allegation that Iran denies. The economic sanctions in place make it tougher for Iran to sell its oil by blocking financial transactions with major Iranian banks.At least 18 countries have cut back on Iranian oil imports in wake of the sanctions. And Iran is also facing a European Union oil embargo starting July 1.U.S. officials said Iran’s oil exports have declined from about 2.5 million barrels a day last year to between 1.2 and 1.8 million barrels a day, greatly reducing a key source of revenue for Tehran. Iran is participating in talks about its nuclear program but so far hasn’t made any concessions.Oil trader Stephen Schork said the Iranians “really are in a precarious state.”“They’ve overplayed their oil card and not realizing, or not thinking, the West would call their bluff and the West has called their bluff. Now, they’re just trying to save face,” he said.Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill, said that Iraq has moved ahead of Iran to become OPEC’s No. 2 exporter.The OPEC meeting comes against the backdrop of weaker economic growth in both the U.S. and China, the world’s biggest consumers of oil, and a debt crisis in Europe. This weekend’s election in Greece could determine if that financially troubled country will leave the euro currency union.Separately, the U.S. Energy Information Administration predicted that the price of West Texas Intermediate crude will average about US$95 a barrel throughout 2012 and remain relatively flat in 2013, citing slower economic growth forecasts.In other trading, heating oil fell 1.42 cents to end at US$2.6215 a U.S. gallon (3.78 litres), gasoline dropped 0.64 of a cent to US$2.6502 a gallon and natural gas rose 1.4 cents to US$2.232 per 1,000 cubic feet.(TSX:ECA), (TSX:IMO), (TSX:SU), (TSX:HSE), (NYSE:BP), (NYSE:COP), (NYSE:XOM), (NYSE:CVX), (TSX:CNQ), (TSX:TLM), (TSX:COS.UN), (TSX:CVE)
High Liner to downsize New Bedford fish plant, rely more on 3 other locations by The Canadian Press Posted Feb 17, 2016 11:11 am MDT Last Updated Feb 17, 2016 at 12:02 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email LUNENBURG, N.S. – High Liner Foods Inc. (TSX:HLF) is ceasing some of its operations at an underused seafood plant in New Bedford, Mass., in a move that affects about 200 jobs.The plant’s value-added fish operation, which will end operations by September, has 35 salaried employees and 167 hourly workers. The scallop portion of that operation, which will continue to operate, has an additional 25 employees.The Nova Scotia-based company says its Lunenberg plant, and two other plants in the United States, have sufficient capacity to make up for the lost output at New Bedford, about 100 kilometres south of Boston.“In 2015, we made good progress . . . and sufficiently increased capacity at our Lunenburg, Portsmouth and Newport News facilities such that they are able, collectively, to absorb the production of our New Bedford facility and still provide sufficient capacity to meet our growth objectives going forward,” said Keith Decker, High Liner’s CEO and president.The company, which reports in U.S. currency, estimates the move will reduce annualized operating costs by about US$7 million. It expects to recognize $5 million of one-time costs, including the impact on employees and inventories.High Liner also announced Wednesday that sales for its 2015-16 financial year totalled $1 billion, about $50 million less than the prior year. For the fourth quarter ended Jan. 2, sales were down about $22 million at US $224.9 million.Net income for the year was $29.6 million, including $7 million or 23 cents per share in the fourth quarter. Adjusted net income for the year was $35.6 million, including $8.1 million or 26 cents per share in the fourth quarter.
DOWNLOAD1. £100m for investment in new equipment2. FTA between EU and Canada finalised3. Week aheadClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)
LOS ANGELES — Former NBA player and coach Derek Fisher has been hired to coach the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks.The Sparks announced the move Wednesday, five says after longtime WNBA coach Brian Agler resigned.Fisher helped the Los Angeles Lakers win five NBA titles during his 18-season playing career and served as president of the players’ union. He coached the New York Knicks from 2014-2016.“I’m excited to be the new head coach of the LA Sparks,” Fisher said in a team statement. “There is no finer organization in the WNBA and I can’t wait to work with our ownership group, front office, talented players and staff to cement a culture of sustained excellence, which is what LA basketball fans demand — and deserve.”The 44-year-old Fisher is the 12th coach in Sparks history.“Derek is a great basketball mind who brings a ton of high-level experience to our team,” two-time MLP Candace Parker said. “I look forward to working with someone with championship pedigree and who has a track record of strong leadership. Derek has been a strong supporter of women’s basketball for quite some time, so it’s nice to officially welcome him.”The Associated Press
AN AIRLIFT OF over 100 tonnes of aid from Ireland is due to arrive in the Philippines today, as the international response to the tragedy and destruction caused by Typhoon Haiyan gains momentum.The shipment, valued at €510,000, contains 599 tents, 700 tarpaulins, 10,000 blankets and 880 ropes.The supplies are in addition to the emergency funding of €1 million announced by Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore on Sunday.“On hearing of the scale of the disaster, I immediately authorised an airlift of emergency shelter items to the Philippines from Ireland’s pre-positioned stocks in the UN Humanitarian Depot in Dubai,” Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs Joe Costello said.“These essential supplies will be distributed by Plan Ireland, to alleviate the immediate needs of men, women and children affected by one of the most powerful storms ever recorded.”The shipment left Dubai at around 6am this morning (Irish time) and is due to arrive in the Philippines at 6pm.International effortThe UN estimates more than 11.3 million people have been affected with 673,000 made homeless, since Haiyan smashed into the nation’s central islands on Friday.Overwhelmed and under-resourced rescue workers have been unable to provide food, water, medicines, shelter and other relief supplies to many survivors, however, and desperation has been building across the disaster zones.Many countries have pledged help as part of an international relief effort. The United States and Britain are sending warships carrying thousands of sailors to the Philippines, and US amphibious craft were also being deployed.All are expected to arrive over the next few days.This article includes reporting from AFPRelated: Eight killed as mob storms Philippine rice storeRead: Filipino ambassador warned about typhoon devastation – last yearIn Pictures: Survivors of Typhoon Haiyan attempt to leave Tacloban
JERUSALEM — President Donald Trump has cast the elusive pursuit of peace between Israelis and Palestinians as the “ultimate deal.” But he will step foot in Israel having offered few indications of how he plans to achieve what so many of his predecessors could not.Trump has handed son-in-law Jared Kushner and longtime business lawyer Jason Greenblatt the assignment of charting the course toward a peace process. The White House-driven effort is a sharp shift from the practice of previous U.S. administrations that typically gave secretaries of state those responsibilities.Kushner and Greenblatt were to accompany Trump on his two-day visit, set to begin Monday and include separate meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Trump also planned to visit the Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem and the Western Wall, an important Jewish holy site.On the eve of Trump’s visit, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Security Cabinet approved several confidence-building measures, including construction permits for Palestinians near their cities in parts of the West Bank that had previously been off limits, a senior official said. Under interim agreements 60 percent of the West Bank, known as Area C, site of Israel’s settlements, is under Israeli control and Palestinian development there has mostly been forbidden by Israel.Speaking on condition of anonymity in line with protocol, he said the package also includes economic concessions and opening the border crossing between the West Bank and Jordan.
Hey this one ain’t so bad. pic.twitter.com/er0FxZNVO8— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) January 13, 2018Some people felt the comparison was less than apt.Guys I regret to inform you that the google art selfie is not perfect. pic.twitter.com/fECrM03T6M— Kate Flaim (@kateflaim) January 14, 2018 Is anyone else noticing how black people are mostly being matched up with street art?— Rap Game Ina Garten (@KaraBTweets) January 14, 2018And still other fretted about the implications of Google compiling its own database of users’ faces.In the app, the company says it only stores the selfies long enough to make the matches and won’t use the photos for any other purposes.But the viral buzz was enough that many international would-be-users have been left frustrated. Google said on Monday the experimental feature is only available “in parts of the US,” but will be improved and expanded.Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Special thanks to the google arts & culture app’s doppelgänger feature for keeping me humble. pic.twitter.com/dhTese3mE5— Susie Meister (@susie_meister) January 14, 2018Others were unimpressed with the results, pointing out that the poor matches for non-white users was indicative of the lack of museum representation.The google arts and culture selfie feature is just a reminder of how little Asian representation there is in art history pic.twitter.com/pmfQsZ7xf2— nydthakid (@nydiahartono) January 11, 2018 Share Andrew Burton/Getty ImagesGoogle’s app matching faces to famous paintings went viral prompting, a flurry of selfies over the weekend.Art gals on google arts & culture… pic.twitter.com/bYBl5R6Qzg— Molly (@mollycgallagher) January 15, 2018Who can say why some gimmicks take off and others flop? But the Google Arts & Culture app tapped into the zeitgeist over the weekend, until it seemed like just about everyone with access to a camera phone and a social media account was seeking and sharing their famous painting doppelganger.Forget the fact that Google launched the app and online page in 2016, allowing users to browse a trove of artwork sourced from hundreds of museums worldwide. It was the portrait feature included in last month’s update that has spun the selfies into overdrive.The metric site App Annie said Google Arts & Culture was the No. 1 free app over the weekend. And by Monday, it was still holding on to the spot.Perhaps users can’t resist the vain pleasure of seeing and showcasing their own visages reflected back in a famous work of art.Or maybe it’s just fun.It works like this: iPhone or Android users must download the app, then find the “Is your portrait in a museum?” function and take and submit their photo. Google sifts through the thousands of paintings in its database and using its computer vision software makes a match alongside a percentage of how well the two images resemble each other. (There is no explanation given about the supposed science behind this.)As they shared their results on Twitter and Instagram, some users praised the similarities.Google’s ‘find your face in art history’ app is pretty crazy. Not a bad match – wish I could grow a mustache, though. pic.twitter.com/3TAfAaQ1zi— Kevin Parry (@kevinbparry) January 13, 2018
Batman Loses a Dad Again, Another Ben Affleck Update & More DC Movie NewsSecret Aquaman Role, Wonder Woman’s Throwback Photo, & More DC Movie News The DC Extended Universe has a ton of announced movies we really don’t know all that much about yet. In some ways, that’s exciting. Unlike Marvel, where we have a decent idea of what each announced film will be, DC is still figuring out the tone and shape its own cinematic universe will take. One of the more interesting projects coming doesn’t even have any immediate ties to Justice League. We know there’s a Shazam! movie in the works, but no one has yet been cast to play him. One of the heroes rogues, Black Adam, has already been cast (Dwayne Johnson), and will have his own standalone movie before he and Shazam meet on the big screen. Now, Warner Bros. has reportedly narrowed down their options to two actors, and one would make Johnson’s casting even cooler.The Hashtag Show reports that in addition to having a finished script, Warner Bros. is talking to both Joshua Sasse and John Cena for the role of Shazam. Sasse isn’t too well-known at this point. His biggest role was starring in ABC’s Galavant!. In that show, he definitely proved that he could play the classic golden age superhero archetype that Shazam requires. Also, he has a great singing voice, and I’m all for anything that opens up the possibility of one of DC’s superheroes breaking out into song.As great as Sasse would assuredly be though, how awesome would it be to have Cena in the role? He certainly has the body for it, and in his recent film appearances, he’s proven to be a charismatic actor with great comic timing. But his acting isn’t the reason his casting would be great. If Cena is chosen to be Shazam, that would mean that he would eventually have to fight Dwayne Johnson in a sequel. The DCEU could give us a big screen The Rock vs. John Cena matchup. And you wouldn’t have to shell out for an expensive pay-per-view or keep up with years of terrible wrestling lore to enjoy it.Whether The Rock goes up against a former Wrestlemania opponent or a superpowered musical theatre kid is still up in the air. We’ll know for sure when as we get closer to February 2018, when Shazam! is due to start filming. Anabelle: Creation director David F. Sandberg is directing, so that’s already a point in its favor.Elsewhere in the DC Universe, we’re only about two months away from seeing Justice League. It’ll be the first time we’ll see all of DC’s heroes come together, and if Warner Bros.’ fall movie previews are any indication, they may be using the movie to unite all their future films under a common banner. Comic Book reports that the company released a new logo for the upcoming superhero team-up flick that puts DC front-and-center.(Via Warner Bros.)All the movies that have come before have had their own unique looks and branding. Whether that remains the case or not, this could be seen as an attempt to make it clear that all these movies are connected. By now, it’s clear that DC isn’t copying Marvel exactly when building their cinematic universe, but aside from a couple of cameos, it’s felt a little disjointed. We don’t know if the movies will have more explicit connections in the future, but DC is at least making sure we know they’re all under the same banner. Whether or not they directly interact with each other, they’re all in the same universe. Depending on what DC’s plans are for the future, subtle changes like these might be all they need.Gal Godot (Photo: Screenshot via YouTube/Warner Bros.)Finally, it’s no secret that people loved Wonder Woman. So far, it’s the only DC movie to enjoy massive critical success; it’s by far the DCEU’s biggest commercial hit so far. Now, it’s hit another milestone. Mashable reports that Wonder Woman is now in the top five highest-grossing superhero movies ever made. And that’s only counting domestic box office. This movie has made a ton of money.Marvel still leads the list with The Avengers sitting at number one, having made $623.3 million. At number two is The Dark Knight with $534.8 million. Avengers: Age of Ultron is number two with $459 million, and The Dark Knight Rises is number four with $448.1 million. Rising to $409.1 million over a historically weak Labor Day weekend for newer movies, Wonder Woman surpassed both Captain America: Civil War and Iron Man 3 to claim the number five spot.It turns out there’s a sizeable market for a woman-led superhero movie. Particularly one as well-written and directed as Wonder Woman. That shouldn’t be a surprise, but you can bet there are some Hollywood executives who never thought something like this was possible. Here’s hoping this is enough of a lasso of truth to get them to make more.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Stay on target
Kolkata: The Special Task Force (STF) of Kolkata Police has arrested two persons from the city and recovered fake Indian currency notes with a face value of Rs seven lakh from their possession. The anti-FICN team of the STF arrested the persons from the Hare Street Police Station limits on Wednesday night. All the fake notes were in the denomination of Rs 2,000, a senior police officer told PTI. The arrested duo has been identified as Razzak Sk, a resident of Kumbhira in West Bengal’s Malda, and Vikash Kumar Gautam alias Vikash Kumar Lodi of Unnao in Uttar Pradesh, he said. Both were booked under different sections of the IPC, he said.