first_imgdan rowinski Getting app downloads and increasing user retention is a problem for every app publisher, from the indie developer to big, established brands to the current flavor of the month (think Angry Birds, Candy Crush, Temple Run). Even though the incumbents in the App Store and Google Play have the same type of problems that many other app publishers face, they also have mastered the art of acquiring and retaining users. Hence, they hold the keys to the house that are the top rankings in the app stores. According to analytics company Trademob, only 2% of the top 250 app publishers in the Apple App Store are newcomers while only 3% are new to Android’s Google Play store.  The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology What is your apps problem? Foremost, it may be low on signal and high on noise (it is not original and just not good enough). Really, there a lot of apps and many, many of them are just not that good. A generic game or brand app can get lost in the nearly two million entrants between the two stores. Second, the environment for mid-market apps is really, really thin. Only one in every 10,000 apps generated more than $1 million in the fourth quarter of 2012, according to Trademob. Third, you probably do not have the money to compete with the top of the heap of the app stores where all the money is made. Top app publishers have large marketing budgets and teams dedicated to nothing but getting their app seen (through public relations campaigns, advertising or cross promotion to social networks, television and other apps).  Related Posts Even if your app is not generating hundreds of thousands to millions of downloads, there are things you can do to hold to the users you do have. Localytics offers three tips for retaining and engaging app users after they have downloaded your app.Optimize customer acquisition: Tie customer acquisition sources (e.g., Facebook ads, cross promotion) to the long-term retention, conversion rates and most importantly lifetime value of app users. This focus shifts acquisition resources to those providing the highest quality customers.Engage / nurture customers:  Use tools such as in-app messaging to communicate with customers within the app. You can provide special offers, nudge customers through conversion points (e.g., registrations) and request customer feedback as input to app development.Continuous improvement: Use app analytics to discover opportunities to continuously improve the app experience, remove bottlenecks, smooth app user flow and move popular content and features forward.Check out the infographic below from Trademob on app downloads and the difficulty in breaking into the top ranks in the app stores. What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Tags:#analytics#app development#App Store#Google Play You just spent months building an app with the hopes that it would be a boon for your business or usher your way into the lucrative world of top end app publishers. You have Candy Crush dreams and Evernote aspirations. After you publish your app, nobody downloads it. Those that do download it aren’t coming back into it more than once or twice. “This sucks,” you tell yourself over your morning (and afternoon) Ramen noodles. See also Making Android Pay: 5 Tips To Topping The Charts On Google PlayMaking noise in the App Store and Google Play is harder than ever. At last count, Apple has more than 900,000 apps in the App Store while Google boasts more than one million in its Android market. Even if you have the chops to develop an app and push it out, the competition is fierce for mobile users’ time, attention… and dollars.Nearly two-thirds of developers do not break even with their app investments. Most apps average much less than 50,000 downloads (which may seem like a lot, but it is not the peak of app store performance). Gross downloads are not always a sign of success. If one million people download your app but only use it once, that is also a failure of execution and retention. According to data from mobile analytics and marketing firm Localytics, 66% of app users open apps between one and 10 times. Only about 34% of users open an app 11 or more times, as of the third quarter of 2012 (and that number is up from 26% for the same time in 2011).  Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagementlast_img read more

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first_imgAfter almost 14 years, Sridevi is returning to the big screen with R Balki’s English Vinglish where the actress has chosen to play the role of a housewife struggling with the language.In the first look of the film, directed by Gauri Shinde, the Bollywood diva has sported a de-glam look clad in a carrot coloured sari like a simple middle class woman.The trailer of the film begins with Sridevi reading from a Censor Board certificate spread out like wallpaper with her back facing the viewer. The 48-year-old starts struggling with reading the words in English. The character of Sridevi in the film is shown struggling with the language.The film also features Adil Hussain, Priya Anand and French actor Mehdi Nebbou. Amitabh Bachchan will be making a guest appearance.Sridevi is known for films like Sadma, Chandni, Chaalbaaz, Mr India and Lamhe. Her last outing was Judaai which released in 1997.English Vinglish is set to be released on September 21.last_img read more

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first_imgEngland Test captain Alastair Cook created history on Monday as he became the youngest batsman to breach the 10,000-run landmark in Test cricket, breaking an 11-year record held by Indian batting legend Sachin Tendulkar.Cook achieved the feat – aged 31 years, five months and 7 days – on Day 4 of the ongoing second Test against Sri Lanka at Chester-le-Street. Tendulkar was 31 years, 10 months and 20 days old when he scored his 10,000th run in a Test match against Pakistan at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata in 2005.COOK REACHES THE MILESTONE IN STYLEThe left-handed opening batter was 36 runs short before the start of the series. He was dismissed on 16 in the first Test against the Lankans and got out on 15 in the first innings of the second Test. Cook finally reached the mark in the second innings with a boundary off his pads and raised his bat in celebration.England declared their first innings on 498/9 and then bowled out Sri Lanka for 101. The visitors then managed to avoid the follow-on which was enforced on them and made 475 in their second innings, setting England a target of 79 for victory. England currently lead the 3-match series 1-0.Before the series Cook had said that he was eager to get to that mark as soon as possible so he can fully focus on rest of the series against Sri Lanka.”It would mean a lot and hopefully I can get there sooner rather than later so we can talk about something else,” the England captain said on the eve of the first Test.advertisementQUICKEST TO ENTER 10,000 CLUBHe has become only the 12th player and the first from England to reach the milestone, joining an elite list of players considered to be some of the greatest the game has ever seen. Cook also broke Rahul Dravid’s record of being the quickest to reach 10,000 runs in terms of the number of days from debut.”It’s a big milestone in terms of the people who have done it previously so it would be great to try and score these 36 runs. I’ve just got to put that to bed… and try and do what I’ve done in the previous 10 years, which is just try and concentrate on that ball coming down and nothing else.””It will be a nice moment and you get to join an elite band of Test cricketers,” Cook told BBC Test Match Special. “Those guys are far better batter than me.”West Indian legend Brian Lara was the quickest to reach 10,000 Test runs. Playing in his 111th Test, Lara took 195 innings to get there. Tendulkar and  Sri Lankan great Kumar Sangakkara also took the same number of innings as Lara but they were playing in their 122nd and 115th Test match respectively.Here are the cricketers in the 10,000 club1.Sachin Tendulkar (India) – 15921 runs in 200 matches2.Ricky Ponting (Australia) – 13378 runs in 168 matches3.Jacques Kallis (South Africa) – 13289 runs in 166 matches4.Rahul Dravid (India) – 13288 runs in 164 matches5.Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka) – 12400 runs in 134 matches6.Brian Lara (West Indies) – 11953 runs in 131 matches7.Shivnarine Chanderpaul (West Indies) – 11867 runs in 164 matches8.Mahela Jayawardene (Sri Lanka) – 11814 runs in 149 matches9.Allan Border (Australia) – 11174 runs in 156 matches10.Steve Waugh (Australia) – 10927 runs in 168 matches11.Sunil Gavaskar (India) – 10122 runs in 125 matches12.Alastair Cook (England) – 10000* runs in 128* matcheslast_img read more

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first_imgKhattar said Haryana Safai Karamchari Ayog will look after the interests of Safai Karamcharis and work for their betterment.Speaking at the function organised on the eve of Maharishi Valmiki Jayanti here, he said efforts would be made to ensure that 50 per cent Safai contracts (for cleanliness) were given to the people belonging to Valmiki Community.He also announced construction of Valmiki Bhawans in Ambala and Karnal and Balmiki Bhawan on behalf of Union Minister for Steel Birender Singh in Narwana.He also announced an award after the name of Dayanad Mayana, a freedom fighter of the Valmiki Community and said the new sports stadium in sector-9 here would be named after Eklavya.Congratulating people on the eve of the birth anniversary of Maharishi Valmiki, the Chief Minister exhorted the people to take inspiration from his life.Khattar said the BJP government in the state, which is completing two years in office on October 26, will during its third year, focus on creating maximum job opportunities for the youth in both government and private sectors and also through skill development make them self-employed.Referring to the demand of Singh, who was also present on the occasion, the Chief Minister assured that the state government would get the proposal examined regarding reducing the age limit of SC beneficiaries of old age allowance from 60 years to 55.He said the government is working to make the Haryana kerosene free state.”It is matter of pride that eight districts would become kerosene free by November 1 and by March 31, 2017 all remaining districts of the state would achieve this feat,” he said.advertisementKhattar said the Haryana Housing Board has constructed and allotted 87,000 houses, including 65,000 for the economically weaker sections.Apart from this, 13,000 houses are under construction of which 5,000 houses would be allotted before December 31, he informed.Earlier, speaking on this occasion, Singh urged the people belonging to Scheduled Castes to “remain united and not to be misguided by those having vested interests”.Without naming any party, he said during the last 60 years, a party made tall claims for their welfare “but did nothing for them”. PTI SUN AQS AQSlast_img read more

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first_imgThe male coach of the Thailand women’s team wore a hijab to enter the playing arena with his team for the Asian Kabaddi Championship.The Asian Kabaddi Championship held in Gorgan, Iran ended two days ago with India lifting the title beating Pakistan in the final. However, the tournament in Iran did not finish without some drama. The Thai coach wore a hijab to pretend to be a woman so he could be present during his team’s matches. In photographs that made their way to social media, the Thailand coach can be seen wearing a hijab or a handkerchief covering his head.In Iran, men are not allowed to enter sports venues when women athletes are in action.In other news from #Iran: The coach for Thailand Womens Team had to wear (a sorta) Hijab, apparently to pretend he is a woman, in order to be allowed into the the arena & lead his team during the Asian Kabaddi Championship tournament in Gorgan. pic.twitter.com/oZTHqQDJ2y- Hadi Nili (@HadiNili) November 29, 2017This is not the first time the hijab rule in Iran has troubled sports and sportspersons.Last year, top India hooter Heena Sidhu had pulled out of Asian Airgun Shooting Championship in Iran due to their compulsory hijab rule for all women athletes.In an interview to India Today, Heena had said she was against “a woman made to do certain things while men are not.””I am against women made to do a certain thing while men are not. It’s more of a man-woman thing. It should be avoided in sport. You are afterall inviting sportspersons to compete in your land,” Heena had said.advertisementHeena felt that world sports bodies may take a stronger stand if more athletes protest.”Maybe something might come up. It could happen if athletes object. But that’s not why I decided. It’s their law and it’s a sovereign nation. If we are not happy we should not go. As a foreigner if you are not comfortable you should not go. It’s about taking a stand on something you don’t belive in,” Heena had shared.One year down the line, much hasn’t changed as is evident by what the Thailand coach had to do just to be with his team.last_img read more

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first_imgATHENS, Greece (AP) — AEK Athens defeated Greek league leader Olympiakos 1-0 in an ill-tempered game on Sunday that saw 12 yellow cards and two dismissals.Astrit Ajdarevic scored the only goal in the 34th minute with a free kick that deflected off Olympiakos defender Manuel da Costa.Olympiakos’ athletic director Francois Modesto was sent to the stands for protesting about the lead-up to AEK’s goal. His team’s central defender Alberto Botia was dismissed after a second yellow card in the 75th for pulling an advancing AEK forward’s jersey.Despite the defeat, its second of the season, Olympiakos has a 10-point cushion over second-place Panionios, which beat 10-man Iraklis 1-0.PAOK, a 4-0 winner over Veria, remains in third place, one point ahead of Panathinaikos, which beat Asteras 5-0 on Saturday. AEK is joint fifth with Xanthi.TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

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first_imgAccording to a Delhi government circular, the weight of a school bag in Delhi is officially fixed.The circular asks schools to inform the students in advance about the books and notebooks to be brought to the school on a particular day.Weight of school bag:Class I and II: Should not be above 1.5 kgClasses III to V: Two-three kgClasses VI-VII: Four kgClasses VIII-IX: 4.5 kgClass X: Five kgMoreover, the circular also asks schools not to assign any home work to Class I and II children.Who took this decision?The decision of the Delhi Directorate of Education follows Centre’s order and guidelines for capping the weight of school bags for classes 1-10.”Heavy school bags are a serious threat to the health and wellbeing of the school students. It has a severe adverse physical effect on the growing children which can cause damage to their vertebral column and knees,” said the circular.Load of the school bag:According to the circular, the load of the school bag is increased by bringing textbooks, guides, homework/classwork notebooks, rough work notebooks, water bottles, lunch box and sometimes the heavy bag itself.”The schools running under Directorate of Education have to follow the textbooks prescribed by the SCERT, NCERT and CBSE. The number of textbooks in different classes should not exceed the number prescribed by the statutory bodies. The Head of schools and teachers should frame a well-designed timetable for each class so that children do not have to carry too many books to the school,” the circular said.More on the report:advertisementThe reading library books and participation in games, sports, art and culture and other creative and co-curricular activities for holistic development of students must be encouragedThree textbooks (of Hindi, English and Mathematics) have been prescribed for classes I and II. There shall not be any homework for these classes, as reported by IANS.Six textbooks have been prescribed for classes VI to X — three textbooks for three languages and one for Maths, Science and Social Studies eachAlso, there shall be one notebook for each subject for exercises, projects, Unit Test, experiments etc. which the students need to bring as per timetable. Students should not be asked to bring additional books, extra material to the school.The students should always use both straps for carrying the bags and should not sling the bag over one shoulder. The students should keep the bag down while waiting for the school conveyance or in the school assembly(With inputs from IANS)Read: Nursery Admissions 2019: Here’s a look at important dates for Delhi schoolsRead: Schools in Ghaziabad to adopt Chhota Internet’ to digitally provide quality education without the use of internetlast_img read more

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first_imgPhoto Attribution: Icon SMI“10 Thoughts on Stanford” just wasn’t going to cut it. Heck, “100 Thoughts on Stanford” wasn’t going to cut it so at Carson Cunningham‘s urging I decided to go with a full-blown Simmons-style running diary for OSU’s first ever BCS appearance.Hope y’all enjoy it with all your Tostitos.6:30 P.M. CST – Getting started early here in the mini-man-cave as I catch the end of Wisconsin vs. Oregon’s helmets. De’Anthony Thomas is fast.6:35 – If you would have told me five years ago when I was in college that OSU would be in a BCS game in five years and that I would be watching that game from my couch eating a Papa John’s pizza with my wife and sister in lieu of being at the game, I would have gone Eli Manning face on you for like 15 minutes. And yet here we are.6:36 – My wife just asked if Andrew Luck was “that really weird guy.” Herbstreit-level analysis in the Porter household tonight.6:45 – Just found out OSU is wearing all black tonight. Justin Gilbert just locked up the uniform Heisman forever and I haven’t even seen him yet.6:50 – My wife is setting the DVR for The Bachelor and trying to figure out how to pronounce Ben Flajnik’s last name, meanwhile Russell Wilson is scoring the go-ahead touchdown in the background while I’m yelling at her to clear the screen. At least we’re getting started on the right foot!6:57 – Jenni Carlson just tweeted that Boone Pickens just said OSU reached a BCS game about two years earlier than he thought they would. Guess Brandon Weeden wasn’t in that original RFP?6:59 – My sister just informed that neither Chip Kelly nor Bret Bielema are married and now we’re talking about how funny my wife thinks it is that Bachelor fantasy drafts actually exist. Somebody pass me a Corona.7:05 – The OSU game got bumped back to 7:50 CST on account of this scoring fest at the Rose Bowl. Good thing we aren’t following the Alamo or we’d be looking at another 12:15 A.M. start time…7:07 – Also, if you’re ESPN why are you scheduling another game only 3.5 hours after one that’s being played by Oregon? That’s like making Springsteen open for Arcade Fire then saying “man, sure hope he doesn’t go too long, guys!”7:11 – Musburger and Herbstreit acted surprised when Oregon went for a 4th & 6 from Wisconsin’s 28 in the 4th quarter with 8 minutes left and a 4-point lead. Uh, you guys watch much Oregon football?7:12 – Tiger Woods and Rickie Fowler are both on the sideline for tonight’s affair game. That doesn’t bode well for OSU, wait, yes it does, remember what happened last time OSU and Stanford went head-to-head on the national stage??7:16 – Andy Staples just reported this: “The drum major for the Leland Stanford Junior Marching Band is dressed as Hello Kitty. That is all.” And that’s not even in one of the top ten strangest things this band has done. At least the Fiesta Bowl is letting them play this year?7:35 – Russell Wilson just made Les Miles proud with a three-second spike to end the Rose Bowl on Oregon’s 30-yard line with two seconds left. Colt McCoy is in Ohio, watching, laughing, texting Bo Pelini smiley faces.7:40 – Okay Herbs, I don’t need you breaking down every play of Wisconsin’s final drive, Matt Millen has had enough time to cover up his Brodrick Brown #19 jersey with a nice looking suit, let’s move along to the Fiesta.7:43 – Oregon hasn’t won the Rose Bowl since 1917?! How is this possible? For four hours today Florida had won a taxslayer.com bowl more recently than Oregon had won a Rose Bowl.7:45 – This was just tweeted. I’m distracted forever.7:49 – Heather Cox interviewing Mike Gundy in his t-shirt, my wife is screaming at him, now she’s distracted by the fact that Justin Blackmon has “an inner thigh infection” wondering aloud “is that, like, a STD?”7:52 – Stanford opens in a power formation, Sean McDonough wonders if they’ll hit a home run ball early. I don’t know what else to type.7:55 – Justin Gilbert gets uniform Heisman forever honors tonight but Shaun Lewis is really giving him a run for his money. The all-black look is equal parts scary and outstanding.7:57 – I’ve never understood the “throw it 4 yards on a 3rd & 7 play” play but now I feel justified because it appears that Andrew Luck doesn’t either.7:59 – Stanford’s kicker just yanked a FG and dropped a “what the f***” when it went directly over the left upright. Those sting my man, I feel your pain.8:00 – Weeden throws a really bad pick on OSU’s first play and Matt Millen immediately starts talking about how much he loves Bulldog Brown. Matt Millen referencing Brown should be part of a drinking game.8:01 – Markelle Martin just Jevan Sneaded Ty Montgomery. There is a 0.00% chance that hit won’t be on OSU’s intro video next year.8:08 – OSU offense goes three and out and has had the ball for about 45 total cumulative seconds. Weeden and Luck are a combined 3-5 for 8 yards midway through the first quarter. Bob Griffin is sitting in his dorm room a resort somewhere grinning and stroking his Heisman.8:16 – Luck over the top to Montgomery for 6 (not sure how he’s still standing, much less running routes). Matt Millen just said “there’s a mistake by OSU.” Incredible insight.8:18 – Weeden completes OSU’s first first down to Cooper for 15 yards. My wife yelled “Coooooooooop” for like 12 seconds. More Coronas.8:21 – Weeden is about as off he’s been since the Louisiana game, which makes sense because he hasn’t had this long of a layoff since this summer.8:28 – Sorry for the 7-minute break. I just took the IV out they had to jam in me after Gilbert’s sideline pick of Luck.8:29 – And OSU was just shut out in the first quarter for the first time since the Kansas State game last season. They were also held to 27 yards, which is eight fewer points than they scored in the first quarter against Kansas.8:34 – We just had our first “Bob Griffin vs. Andrew Luck” infographic. Wife wants to know “WHERE THE WEEDEN STATS ARE??” I concur, considering he had more yards than both.8:38 – Ryan Stewart takes one in from 24 yards out which represents 15% of his total rush yards for the season. 14-0 Trees.8:43 – Our cable just died for 45 seconds and came back to Blackmon celebrating a TD, I wish I could make this stuff up. 14-7, we have a ballgame.8:49 – Cable died again for an 8-minute stretch which felt like 8 months. It’s okay Verizon, I’ve only been waiting 26 years for this game!8:50 – Stanford senior tackles Stanford freshman trying to run a kick out from six yards deep out of the end zone. There wasn’t an algorithm for that, young pup. Stanford has to punt a few minutes later.8:58 – Just as I’m wondering how OSU can get the running game more involved, Blackmon sheds two dudes for a 67-yarder to tie it. Somewhere Cam Newton is on bended knee praying Sam Bradford hates OSU just enough that he can convince Jon Gruden to pass on #81. Fourteen all.9:04 – ESPN did a super-duper slo-mo of Big Hands Andy after which Quade texted me and said “you need to start talking about how much I loved that slo-mo of BHA.” So yeah, there you go. Big Hands Andy in slo-mo apparently grabs Quade’s attention.9:11 – Weeden just threw three straight passes to Colton Chelf (he now has three catches fo 68 yards), needless to say OSU has completely abandoned the run.9:18 – Brandon Weeden just scored a rushing touchdown on a designed rushing play for him. The Mayans were correct, folks, be very afraid. And this comes seven minutes after I noted that OSU had completely abandoned the run. Following the play we got 20 seconds of Melanie Weeden on camera, 15 of which were her mouthing the words “OHHHHHHHH EMMMMMMMM GEEEEEEEE.” Awesome.9:22 – Halftime, and we’re knotted up at 21. We could be getting ready for a classic second half. I only have one halftime question and it doesn’t involve football. Does Jesse Palmer have not skinny ties?9:37 – I’ve been getting a lot of “where’s Tracy Moore” questions on Twitter and I have no idea, but really, when you have Colton Chelf doing Colton Chelf things, who needs Tracy Moore?9:45 – Second half starts with me looking up the passing yardage record for OSU bowl games and I’m surprised to find it’s held by Zac Robinson with 329 yards against Oregon in the Holiday Bowl. Weeden has 239 to start the second half so that falls on what, the second possession?9:49 – We had or first reminder of the 2011 title game with a Joseph Randle foot slip on what would have been a sure first down. LaMichael James is watching on his iPhone and nodding solemly.9:53 – Matt Millen alerts us for the 93rd time tonight that Andrew Luck does in fact have a full and comprehensive understanding of Stanford’s playbook. This is quietly becoming the Jordan Shipley and Colt McCoy roomed together in college story of this game.9:54 – Now Millen busts out the not-often-used “kinesthetic sense” I hadn’t heard from him since Tracy Moore made that dirty one-foot acrobatic catch in College Station.9:55 – My wife asked “did the announcer just say ‘the running back squirts through a hole’?” He did indeed. Millen and McDonough have put together quite the 3rd quarter so far. Maybe they should be doing A&M games only? Also, I think the head ref sees Jerry Jones’ plastic surgeon.10:05 – There isn’t enough CGI in all of James Cameron’s deep man bag of scripts to make a commercial that would convince me to eat Taco Bell’s nacho Frito burrito thing. I think I want to be ill.10:09 – McDonough after Kye Staley dropped the game-tying TD, “Staley is a frequent target…he has 10 catches on the year.” The hits just keep on coming from the booth. OSU settles for a field goal after four plays from the four-yard line. 28-24 Trees.10:17 – At what point do we start worrying about how long OSU’s defense has been on the field? They’ve been out there for 2/3 of the game so far and Stanford isn’t exactly an offense that wears down as the game goes on.10:20 – Luck is unbelievable, and not in an “I’m Chris Leak and I throw the prettiest college ball in history” kind of way. Every throw he makes is safe and correct and smooth. For every 15 positive things he does he’ll do one negative thing. I think the normal college ratio is more like five or six to one.10:26 – My wife just said “ewwww, who wants that trophy” about the Fiesta Bowl hardware. I can think of a lot of people in orange right now who do. Plus me. 4th quarter is coming up, Cowboys trail 28-24.10:31 – Weeden continues to look for Chelf for 25+ yards downfield. I don’t know what bizarro world I’m living in right now but how about we start throwing to somebody else?10:35 – And speaking of, Weeds just made a big time across-the-field throw to Cooper on a huge 3rd & 8 play. Next level throw by #3, nothing unexpected, but in a big spot that OSU needed.10:40 – Blackmon catches his 3rd TD of the night over the middle and I believe got patted down by one of his lineman who was undoubtedly checking for weaponry or a written statement from Blackmon who could feasibly officially announce his exit to the NFL during this game. 31-31.10:49 – You’d think the Cardinals could have skimped a little on that Larry Fitzgerald $120M contract to install some decent turf on this field.10:53 – Stanford timeout with five minutes left and a 3rd and 7 looming. OSU might only get the ball back one more time and needs to force a FG here very, very badly.10:58 – Instead Luck completes two HUGE third downs and Stanford punches it in from the one to take the lead, 38-31. ESPN announces that he is 15-15 on Stanford scoring drives tonight. Me, Texas fans, Titans fans, and Jags fans are all in hell right now.10:59 – OSU gets the ball back but Randle is stuffed on 3rd and 4. He’s struggled all night and I don’t really know why, one guy who I would think could handle the physicality of Stanford. Gundy has to go for it on 4th and four with three minutes left. This could be ballgame.11:00 – OH MY, Weeden with the quick slant to Blackmon for 10. That was a BIG TIME call and Weeden’s throw was on the money. Also, Millen was impressed by what Blackmon’s hips looked like on that play. I’m out of words.11:03 – Randle up the middle for the tie, 38s for everyone. Stanford only had two down linemen lined up when Weeden snapped it and Randle still barely got in. I’m breathing into a brown paper bag.11:07 – Stanford driving for the game winner as I try to figure out what rattles Andrew Luck? Engineering? Scantily clad women? Vontaze Burfict? Archie Manning? Anything?11:10 – There are three ways this last drive by Stanford ends and two of them are very, very bad. 1:07 and ticking…11:15 – Uh oh, Jeremy Stewart just went for 25 yards to get Stanford within field goal range. Of course they’re going to be trotting out a redshirt freshman who already missed a 41-yarder so “field goal range” right now might be like inside the 10.11:16 – Welp, Stanford is sitting on OSU’s 17-yard line with 0:03 left and their freshman kicker looks like he wants to find the nearest trash can. Don’t worry bud, you’ve only got the #1 pick and best golfer of our generation to come face up to if you miss it.11:17 – Gundy calls a timeout. Dan Bailey made sure that was in the game plan this morning.11:18 – Here we go…11:18 – Oh my gosh, he missed it. Badly. Luck looks like he wants to pluck his own beard one hair at a time. Weeden looks like he’s about to go for the kill shot. Williamson (the kicker) looks like he doesn’t care because he’s going to be wealthier than every person in that stadium not named Boone, Tiger, or Andrew. Sean McDonough does not make matters any better for Stanford fans as he points out that’s only the second time this year that Stanford has failed to score inside the red zone.11:20 – Headed to overtime as the captains meet at midfield. Hey Stanford, you send out your two-time Heisman runner-up for the overtime coin flip, we send out our punter/kicker. Game on, fellas.11:21 – Stanford gets the ball first and is headed the wrong way, on OSU’s 30 now. What are they going to do, send their kicker out for a 47-yarder after that debacle?11:23 – Oh no, just a 43-yarder. There is NO WAY this is going in.11:24 – Wide left, again. That kid is smart enough to know that this game wasn’t on him but goodness, how long is that ride back to Palo Alto? Kyle Brotzman thinks that’s a long ride back to Palo Alto.11:26 – Weeden2Chelf over the middle FOR THE WIN! AND THE COVER, OH THAT’S A MIRACULOUS COVER!11:27 – Wait, this is getting reviewed, Heather Cox basically had her mic in Gundy’s face already. Ooooh, this one’s coming back to the 1 folks, he wasn’t in. WHERE ARE YOU AT EMOTIONALLY IF YOU HAD OSU -4?? Do they try to punch it in or just turn it over to Sharp for the extra point W?11:28 – Weeden takes a knee at the five in the middle of the field. People with OSU -4 are weeping right now. Those with Stanford +4 cannot believe what’s happening.11:29 – Sharp hits it, ballgame. Big 12 Champs. Fiesta Bowl Champs. Game over. Season over. What a ride.11:30 – Gundy doing his usual “Office-like stare into the camera and look away real fast” ironic routine. He’s the best.11:31 – He dedicated this win to the four people who died in the plane crash and said he didn’t want to talk about it before the game but they had been planning on dedicating it to those four all along. You think the OSU family isn’t tight?11:32 – Justin Blackmon just declared for the draft. ESPN will probably call this breaking news and run their red ticker across the bottom of the screen for the next week. Joe Schad is probably on a helicopter to Glendale right now if he isn’t already there.11:35 – Scotty Verplank hugged Weeden after Weeden got interviewed. Big time hug right there, lot of golf shots from that duo.11:43 – Monken getting drilled with the orange Gatorade by his linemen, no curse words were uttered, might be the biggest upset of the night.11:46 – Holy crap, do those shirts say “Nacho Victory”? Please tell me they don’t say that, please tell me that’s a typo. Tell me anything than that’s what was actually printed by Nike for the Fiesta Bowl winners.11:48 – Nope, that’s what they say. I am floored.11:50 – Gundy and Blackmon pulled Budke’s wife up on the podium and gave her a huge hug. WOW, what a moment for the university.9:55 – Gundy takes the golden trophy and hands it off to a player. True or false, that baby was 65% off in Hobby Lobby’s post-Christmas sale this week?11:57 – Now the Tostitos administration is handing out player of the game awards and she’s introducing the players like we’re getting ready to watch a conference basketball game. Oh my. “Numbbbbberrrr four, the defensive playerrrrr of the game, Juuuuustin GIL-beeeeeert.” Oh, this lady is destroying me.11:58 – McDonough with a nice Michael Buffer reference on the Tostitos lady. What a night.12:05 A.M. – And that’s a wrap on the wildest ride in Oklahoma State history. Hope you guys enjoyed it because it’s all Cezar and spring ball from here until next September!#QUINNINGIf you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!last_img read more

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first_imgIt was early February 2015 when Mike Gundy boarded a private Oklahoma State airplane to make the nearly 900-mile trip to see Chris Carson. The highly-recruited junior college running back had previously committed to in-state school Georgia but word had gotten out the Carson may be reconsidering his decision.Mike Gundy brought a special guest with him.When Gundy sans mullet walked into Carson’s house he carried with him Barry Sanders’ 1988 Heisman trophy. The message was simple: We’ve got our star quarterback for the future. We’ve got stud receivers. You’re the missing piece.The Cowboys’ running game was in dire straits coming off an seven-win 2014 season that showcased one of Oklahoma State’s worse offenses in years. Carson was also looking at an opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream.Carson talked about one reason he chose the Cowboys.“One of my favorite running backs was Kendall Hunter,” Carson said. “So I knew OSU put some people in the NFL, but I didn’t really think it was more than Georgia at the time. But after they broke it down to me, I see that they actually put out more than Georgia. That was a big factor in my decision.”Carson officially de-committed from Georgia on February 2 and committed to play in Stillwater that same day.Since then, Carson has had his ups and downs. He’s struggled with minor injuries and ineffective play. He’s seen his offensive line hit its own learning curve.But now, after the better part of two seasons, Carson and Oklahoma State’s running game have finally hit their stride.During Saturday’s win in Fort Worth, Carson had a career-best 146 yards and a touchdown as part of the best two-headed rushing exhibition OSU has put on in a couple of years.Since coming back from a hand injury sustained early this season, Carson has been on a tear, averaging 7.7 yards a carry and scoring six touchdowns in five games.Mike Gundy is proud of his senior running back.“The attitude he brings to the game, in the running game – he’s a completely different person than he was last year, and I told the team that,” said Gundy. “He’s going to be in an NFL camp now, in my opinion.”Now that leaping ability and imposing stature no longer seems contrived. His physical skills have become a revelation. With the help of an improved offensive line and the emergence of a star true freshman in Justice Hill, Carson is actually able to use his skill set.On senior night, Chris Carson put his stamp on Cowboy football history by not scoring a touchdown.Late in the game, after completely destroying a Texas Tech defender to get the first down, Carson took one step over his helpless victim and took a knee on the Red Raiders’ 4-yard line, effectively sealing the win while staring down what would have been a career-high third rushing touchdown that night.Mike Gundy was asked to describe who Chris Carson is now.“He’s a pretty good college running back now. He’s been a really good weapon for our team. I cautioned our team about listening to the outside after the second and third game of the year. I cautioned them again about listening to the outside when people are going to start telling them how good they are.”“But I felt comfortable in telling our team and Chris Carson today that he’s the most improved player on our team. He’s grown up a lot as a young man because it’s not easy to look past people saying, ‘What happened to you?’“He’s running like the guy we recruited now.”Chris Carson never won a Heisman. He’s not an All-American and probably won’t hear his name from the podium next spring during the NFL Draft. Maybe it hasn’t all gone exactly as he’d planned.But with his college career nearly over, Carson has (at least) two more chances to build on his legacy at Oklahoma State and help the Cowboys win a conference championship. And that’s something very few of those running backs that preceded him, the ones Mike Gundy told him about and persuaded him with, can say.Not Barry Sanders. Not Thurman Thomas. Not Kendall Hunter. Not Keith Toston. All played in the NFL, yes, but none hoisted a trophy at the end of the year with OU in their wake. In that sense, Chris Carson still has a chance to make history.If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!last_img read more

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first_imgThere was a roll-call of former title-winners and mosaics around the ground to mark the 125th anniversary of Liverpool’s first ever game, against Rotherham Town, but there was precious little in the present to celebrate for Jürgen Klopp. “Fortune was not wearing a Liverpool shirt today,” their manager said. Fortune did not fashion a stalemate with Burnley either.Sean Dyche’s team have clearly learned the lessons of a painful campaign on the road last season, when they took until 29 April to record their first win and suffered 14 away defeats. The experience of a second consecutive season in the top flight is showing in players who have taken five points from visits to Liverpool, Tottenham and Chelsea. The lessons the home side are learning in their second full season under Klopp are more difficult to ascertain. Burnley Twitter Premier League Facebook Read more Share on Facebook Scott Arfield, centre, celebrates his goal to open the scoring for Burnley at Anfield. Photograph: Jason Cairnduff/Action Images via Reuters Share on LinkedIn Klopp introduced Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Dominic Solanke in a concerted push for victory. The latter went close to obliging when he volleyed against the bar from close range after Alexander-Arnold’s cross deflected into his path. Klopp claimed a penalty for a challenge on Salah in the build-up to Solanke’s chance while Dyche credited Pope with a vital save. Both were stretching it.“Our plan was to keep them from our goal,” Dyche said. “It is much harder to score from 30 yards than six and we did that well other than their goal.“We got caught on a long ball, the irony of that. They made seven changes, players who have been brought in for absolute fortunes, players on the bench who have come in for £35m. The challenge we have as managers is we are judged exactly the same but the playing field is not level. But I don’t want to make too much of a big deal because I believe in my players, however much they cost.” Share on Pinterest Share on WhatsApp Share on Twitter Dyche said Burnley deliberately targeted Alexander-Arnold in the air and while that tactic paid dividends they did not allow Liverpool a monopoly on weak defending against a long ball. Emre Can created a swift equaliser with a measured ball over the top from just inside his own half. Mohamed Salah read the delivery perfectly, unlike Stephen Ward and Ben Mee who backed off and allowed the Egypt international to control and steer a fine low finish beyond Pope.Normal service resumed thereafter. Liverpool continued to dominate and Burnley rediscovered their resilience to frustrate them. It was only in the final stages that Burnley attacked in numbers and late adventure almost edged them back in front. Brady stung Mignolet’s palms from 25 yards before, from two corners in quick succession by the Republic of Ireland international, Mee had two free headers at the back post. The defender’s first was headed off the line by Matip. His second was saved at close range by the Liverpool goalkeeper with Anfield enraged by a warning unheeded.center_img The Observer Read more Pinterest Liverpool Reuse this content match reports Share on Messenger Not for the first time, indeed for the second time in four days, Liverpool dominated on home soil but fell behind to a cheap goal conceded from their opponents’ first meaningful attack. They also produced 35 shots but Nick Pope, making the first Premier League start of his career was forced into mainly routine saves from distance as Liverpool’s winless run extended to three games in all competitions.After a 5-0 defeat at Manchester City and an avoidable Champions League draw with Sevilla, Klopp labelled this week the most frustrating of his Anfield reign “results-wise”. He added: “But, honestly, I am not like this as a person. My job is to see the performance and we reacted really well. We made seven changes and still played this type of football – no one should take this for granted. There were a lot of positive things although I don’t feel any positivity at the moment.”The first act came as no surprise to the Anfield regulars. Liverpool controlled proceedings only to encounter stubborn resistance and creak under the first spell of pressure. When James Tarkowski swung a long ball out to the left wing the defence disintegrated. First Robbie Brady beat Trent Alexander-Arnold in the air. Both Liverpool centre-halves, Joël Matip and Ragnar Klavan, closed on Chris Wood for the second ball but neither prevented the towering striker nudging a slight touch towards the unmarked Scott Arfield. The forward steered a crisp finish inside Simon Mignolet’s right post to leave Klopp raging at his defenders from the sideline.“It was just a long ball,” he said. “We could have won the first header and the ball bounced in the wrong direction. Robbo [full-back Andrew Robertson] knows he should have seen Arfield quicker. They are better in these situations, they are more used to it. A good goal for them. We could have defended much better.” Jamaal Lascelles heads Newcastle United to win over Stoke City Topics Sergio Agüero hat-trick puts rampant Manchester City top of the table Share via Emaillast_img read more

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first_imgTom Brady, former Michigan Wolverine and current NFL quarterback talks with Head coach Jim Harbaugh of the Michigan Wolverines.ANN ARBOR, MI – FEBRUARY 3: Tom Brady, former Michigan Wolverine and current NFL quarterback talks with Head coach Jim Harbaugh of the Michigan Wolverines during the Michigan Signing of the Stars event at Hill Auditorium on February 3, 2016 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)Jim Harbaugh, Tom Brady played catch before today’s Michigan-Colorado game, and the interwebs exploded shortly thereafter.Brady, the former Michigan legend, is the Wolverines’ honorary captain this afternoon. He’s still serving his four-game suspension from the NFL so he’s away from the New England Patriots.Here’s Brady and another ex-UM quarterback, some dude named Jim Harbaugh, playing catch before the game.Tom Brady and coach harbaugh playing catch before the game! #goblue pic.twitter.com/bD7oEKrgQO— Jason Henrickson (@jhenrickson32) September 17, 2016Tom Brady is playing a game of catch with Jim Harbaugh at pregame in Michigan stadium. pic.twitter.com/2FFydDdloL— Patrick Barron (@BlueBarronPhoto) September 17, 2016What is more American than two Michigan men tossing a football around on a fall Saturday?The 2-0 Wolverines, ranked No. 4 in the nation, will face off against Colorado at 3:30 p.m. ET on the Big Ten Network.last_img read more

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first_imgzoom National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) is considering venturing into the liquefied natural gas (LNG) market as Iran gears up for production of natural gas in the future.The plans were revealed by Mohammad Reza Shams Dolatabadi, NITC’s head of international affairs, Reuters reported, who said that NITC was looking into the acquisition of LNG tankers in the upcoming three to five years.The diversification plans and fleet build-up come as NITC marks a substantial return to the European shipping market following the lifting of sanctions against Iran in January 2016.“Our ships are calling at many European ports, and the number of these shipments is increasing day by day,” he told Reuters.According to Dolatabadi, the company is eager to renew its fleet and is working on a five-year plan that will include purchasing of new tonnage and dismantling of outdated vessels, but without a major change to the fleet’s capacity.Earlier this month, NITC’s parent company, National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), signed a USD 5 billion deal with Total, marking the return of European oil majors to the country.“By signing this contract, a lot of doubts with some foreign companies to invest and work in Iran will be resolved, and in fact, this will be the beginning of a return for those who want to invest in Iran, not only in Oil industry, but also in other fields not related to oil,” Iranian Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh said.As disclosed by NIOC, Iran currently produces 290,000 barrels of crude oil per day, the figure which is going to witness an increase of 78,000 barrels bpd.World Maritime News Stafflast_img read more

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first_imgHALIFAX – The spiritual leader of an international Buddhist organization based in Halifax is stepping back from his duties pending the outcome of an independent investigation into sexual misconduct allegations.In a recent letter to the Shambhala International community, the office of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche said he fully supports a third-party investigation and wishes to provide the time and space for it to occur.Inspired by Tibetan Buddhism, Shambhala is one of the largest western Buddhist movements with more than 200 meditation centres around the world.Mipham’s father, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, visited Nova Scotia in the late 1970s and soon after made Halifax the world headquarters for Shambhala Buddhism, encouraging many Buddhists — largely from the United States — to move to the province while prompting locals to join the community.Meanwhile, members of the Shambhala governing council are also stepping down, saying that despite the “groundless situation” Shambhala can emerge healthier and more supportive.“We recognize that parts of our system are broken, and need to dissolve in order to make room for real change,” nine members of the leadership body said in a letter.They said they will “exit responsibly,” and have hired Halifax law firm Wickwire Holm to investigate the allegations.The upheaval within the Buddhist community comes after a report last month by Andrea Winn detailed sexual misconduct allegations against Mipham.In the report, multiple unnamed women accuse the Shambhala leader of heavy drinking and using his attendant to “procure women students for his own sexual gratification.”The women describe being torn by their devotion to Mipham as their guru, alleging they were cast out of his inner circle if they resisted his sexual advances. They also alleged that members of the Shambhala leadership were aware or enabled his behaviour.None of the allegations has been proven in court and no charges have been laid.Mipham, who is often referred to as the Sakyong, was unavailable for an interview Monday.Carol Merchasin, the lawyer and sexual misconduct investigator who oversaw the preliminary investigation, said the women interviewed made “credible allegations of sexual assault and/or sexual abuse.”“The pattern of behaviour that their stories establish is compelling,” she said in a memo included in the report.In the letter to the Shambhala community, Mipham’s office said he was entering “a period of self-reflection.”“The Sakyong has decided to step back from his administrative and teaching responsibilities within Shambhala during the independent investigation of these allegations,” Mipham’s office said. “He is also stepping down from his positions and responsibilities at Naropa University.”The private liberal arts college in Boulder, Colo., issued a statement last week calling the accusations against Mipham “credible and believable.”Winn, who oversaw the report into the sexual misconduct allegations, said she was “overjoyed” to learn Mipham has stepped aside.“He’s allowing the flow of goodness to happen and I’m very grateful for that,” she said in an interview Monday. “It had to happen for the community to have an authentic healing process.”Winn said the leadership council’s mass resignation was good move, given that some members were aware of Mipham’s alleged behaviour.The Kalapa Council said there will be a “phased departure” of members to ensure there is a board in place to uphold legal and financial responsibilities.In addition to hiring a law firm, the council also brought in An Olive Branch, an organization members say will serve as a neutral party for receiving allegations of harm, survivor advocacy and consulting on Shambhala’s policies going forward.Winn said it’s unclear what the intention of An Olive Branch will be, and said the law firm had still not reached out to Merchasin.“I still feel no confidence until that law firm is in touch with our investigator and our investigator gives the thumbs up,” she said.last_img read more

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first_imgEver since she shot to fame performing on Strictly Come Dancing, 17-year-old Dionne Bromfield has been known for her soulful voice, which is reminiscent of that of her late godmother, Amy Winehouse. Now, the talented singer’s advocacy for animals will be well known, too.Dionne Bromfield – Here’s the Rest of Your Fur CoatCredit/Copyright: PETA UKIn her new anti-fur ad for PETA, Bromfield holds a bloodied, skinned fox and stares pointedly into the camera above the words “Here’s the Rest of Your Fur Coat”.“Not only is fur cruel, it’s also totally gross”, says Bromfield. “I mean, who wants to wear the skin of an abused animal? Not me! I watched one of PETA’s fur videos, and I challenge anyone who wears fur to watch it, too. Seeing these terrified animals as they have their skin ripped off their backs just so that someone can walk around in a fur coat or hat really upset me – but it also inspired me to try to raise awareness about the fur trade.”Animals on fur farms spend their entire lives confined to cramped, filthy cages before they are beaten, gassed or anally electrocuted. Sometimes, they are even skinned while still alive. More than 2 million cats and dogs are skinned in China every year – many while fully conscious. Designers such as Ralph Lauren, Stella McCartney, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein and Vivienne Westwood have all publicly sworn off fur. With so many stylish alternatives available, there’s no excuse to harm a hair on an animal’s head.Bromfield joins a long list of celebrities – including Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Joss Stone, Mark Ronson, Ke$ha, Rylan Clark, Natalie Imbruglia and Jamelia – who have teamed up with PETA to speak out against the fur industry.For more information, please visit PETA.org.uk.last_img read more

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FRANKFURT — The German government has slashed its growth forecast sharply for this year, to 1.0 per cent from 1.8 per cent in last fall’s outlook, as fears about a chaotic Brexit and trade tensions hold back Europe’s largest economy.Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said Wednesday the German economy would grow for a 10th year in a row. But he said “the headwinds, primarily from the external environment, are increasing.”German businesses are unsettled about the possibility that Britain will leave the EU without agreeing on trade rules for a transition period. New import taxes imposed by the U.S. and China are also weighing on prospects for global trade. That hurts the outlook for Germany because the country is a major exporter.Germany’s economy grew 1.5 per cent last year and 2.2 per cent in 2017.The Associated Press read more

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Rabat – The Dubai based nightclub, White, is expected to open a “halal” nightclub in Jeddah,Saudi Arabia.The nightclub will not serve alcohol and will operate from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. People aged 18-years and over  will be allowed entry to the club.Video circulating in #Saudi says Jeddah will get its first Disco club, “White”. Halal and serves Sheesha: pic.twitter.com/FIPp5OOLbq— Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) June 12, 2019The night club will make its debut today, June 13 with a concert  led by US singer Ne-yo. The news generated different reactions, including mockery, surprise, and controversy, as well as anger.Some Twitter users, however, broke a party on social media with the hashtag “Disco in Jeddah.”One Twitter user said,  “White club in Jeddah?! You must be kidding me!!”Another person tweeted: “Guys help our religion is deteriorating. They literally built a ‘halal’ disco in Jeddah.”“It seems like true disco in Jeddah so if it is then the Royalty of Islamic Kingdom has shaken badly from inside. May Allah prevent us all from evil and this fitna that is making its roots near holy cities,” said a third Twitter user who opposed the initiative.Guys help our religion is deteriorating they literally built a “halal” disco in Jeddah omfg pic.twitter.com/8LrWK11CkE— MJ + M = 5ever (@_pastellips) June 13, 2019Videos have also been also circulating from what is believed to be the  White disco. The nightclub will only serve sheesha or hookah.On May 6, the Consultative Assembly of Saudi Arabia, or the Shura Council, approved the provision of sheesha products in the restaurants and cafes of Saudi cities, “according to specific regulations,” reported the Saudi newspaper Ajel.It seems like true #disco_in_jeddah so if it is then the Royalty of Islamic Kingdom has shaken badly from inside. May Allah prevent us all from evil and this fitna that is making its roots near holy cities. https://t.co/pvswJvXEti— Mustafa Bhoja (@mustafabhoja) June 12, 2019In January,  Turki Al Al-Sheikh, Chairman of the General Authority for Entertainment, promised that his country will issue licenses for live shows in cafes and restaurants.“We accept applications for licensing of live shows in restaurants and cafes,” he said.The move aims to  give permits to cafes and restaurants to host live music shows and stand-up comedy. The move is part of  vows of reform promised by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as part of his 2030 reform plan.The plan calls for opening the Saudi kingdom to the world.Saudi Arabia has recently allowed women to drive and lifted the ban on cinemas and artistic festivals. read more

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“Our aim should be twofold: we must prevent any expansion of nuclear arsenals, and we must accelerate the reduction of existing weapons and stockpiles. All countries should move towards halting production of fissile material for weapons,” Mr. Ban said in a speech read out by Sergei Ordzhonikidze, Secretary-General of the Conference on Disarmament and Director-General of the UN Office at Geneva.“Maintaining the moratorium on nuclear tests is equally important, and should be in effect at least till the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty enters into full force,” he said, urging all States that have not yet done so to sign or ratify that pact. Preventing an arms race in space also continues to be an “urgent challenge,” he added.Mr. Ban told the 65 Member States of the Conference, the world’s sole multilateral forum for disarmament negotiations, that “stakes are high” in dealing with these issues, as he also highlighted the massive amount of money spent on arms and suggested this would be better used helping to fund the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to reduce poverty and other global ills by 2015.“World military spending has now risen to over $1.2 trillion,” he said. “This incredible sum represents 2.5 per cent of global GDP (gross domestic product). Even if one per cent of it were redirected towards development, the world would be much closer to achieving the Millennium Development Goals.”Today’s plenary session also heard speeches from Ambassador Glaudine Mtshali of South Africa, the President of the Conference, and the representatives of Poland, Slovakia, the United States, the Netherlands and the Russian Federation. During 2007, the rotating presidency of the Conference will be held by Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland and Syria. The three parts of the 2007 session will be held from 22 January to 30 March for the first part; 14 May to 29 June for the second part; and 30 July to 14 September for the third part.In 2006, the Conference was not able to reach agreement on a programme of work and so was unable to start work on substantive issues, however it did debate the Conference’s agenda items, focusing mainly on cessation of the nuclear arms race and nuclear disarmament, prevention of nuclear war and other related issues. 22 January 2007Preventing further expansion of nuclear arsenals and reducing weapon stockpiles should be the key aims of this year’s Conference on Disarmament, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today in his message to the meeting’s first session in Geneva, where he also noted that military spending worldwide has risen to over $1.2 trillion. read more

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UN Police (UNPOL) conducted 43 patrols and responded to five incidents in the capital Dili today, and reported no injuries or damage to property, the UN Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) said.UNPOL is also continuing its investigation into the two killings that took place in Viqueque over the weekend, and officers from the Major Crime Investigation Unit are working with forensics experts and other officers from the National Investigation Unit who arrived in the district today.The first shooting took place one hour after a campaign rally for the National Congress for Reconstruction of Timor-Leste (CNRT) concluded. Following altercations between CNRT supporters and their opponents, one man was shot dead in a marketplace.UNMIT said the man is believed to have been shot by an off-duty officer of the National Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL) and a search is under way to apprehend the person responsible.The second deadly incident occurred when a group of CNRT supporters, accompanied by former President Xanana Gusmão who heads the party, returned the body of the deceased man to his hometown of Ossu. Initial reports said that PNTL members fired shots to control a crowd and a 24-year-old man was killed while a 16-year-old was injured. Earlier this week, the Government stressed that it will not tolerate retaliation for the shootings, and reiterated its call for political supporters to remain calm, said UNMIT’s acting head, Eric Tan. 5 June 2007Although the overall security situation in Timor-Leste is stable, the district of Viequeque remains tense in the wake of two deadly shootings over the weekend, according to the United Nations peacekeeping operation in the country which the world body ushered to independence in 2002. read more

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The United Nations Security Council on Wednesday approved an 11-month extension of its ban on imports of rough diamonds from Sierra Leone that aims to reduce the role played by the illicit trade in diamonds in fuelling the conflict in the country. Both the original ban imposed in July 2000, and its current extension, fall under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, which makes them legally binding on all Member States. The ban will be reviewed after six months, and whether or not it is lifted will depend on the general situation in Sierra Leone, including the extent of the Government’s authority over the diamond-producing areas. By its unanimous action, the Council also welcomed ongoing efforts by the diamond industry and others to break the link between trade in illicit diamonds and armed conflict, and expressed its support for the export diamond certification regime set up by neighbouring Guinea, and for efforts by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to develop a region-wide certification regime. The ban’s establishment followed reports that diamonds from Sierra Leone were presented on international markets as deriving from neighbouring countries, and that funds from their sale were used to finance the activities of the rebel Revolutionary United Front (RUF), which controlled many of the diamond-rich areas. While noting that there had been significant progress in the Sierra Leone peace process recently, and the Government, with the support of the UN Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL), had taken steps to extend its authority over those areas, the Council said today that this authority was not yet fully effective. Rough diamonds whose origin is certified by the Government of Sierra Leone are exempt from the ban. read more

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The new $80 million research vessel Dr Fridtjof Nansen will host seven laboratories to collect data on marine ecosystems, climate change and pollution to help countries develop sustainable fisheries management, according to a press release by the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO).At the same time, FAO’s Director-General opened the Committee on Fisheries in Rome by stressing the importance of fisheries to the world’s food security and nutrition and sounding an alarm on the threats those resources face.Fisheries and aquaculture make a “central contribution to food security and nutrition,” Jose Graziano da Silva said, adding that that sustainable development in the world’s island and coastal states was especially dependent on the “vitality of oceans and fish stocks.”“Overfishing, pollution and climate change are putting this vitality at risk. The impacts are already evident. And the world’s poor, in rural and coastal areas, are among the most affected,” he said.The Director-General pointed out that fisheries and aquaculture were the sources of 17 per cent of the animal protein consumed in the world and up to 50 per cent in some small islands and Asian countries. They were also central to the livelihoods of some of the most vulnerable families in the world.“The livelihoods of 12 per cent of the world’s population depend on this sector. In particular, small-scale fisheries are the source of employment for more than 90 per cent of the world’s capture fishers and fish workers, about half of whom are women,” he said. The Dr Fridtjof Nansen will replace an older craft of the same name that has been navigating the coast of Africa since 1993, carrying out in-depth research into the state of the continent’s marine ecosystems for the EAF-Nansen Project, the latest phase of a unique 40-year programme.As a direct result of the project and with technical guidance from FAO, 16 countries in Africa have developed management plans for their fisheries, FAO said. read more

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