Newcastle United 0 Watford 3: Concerns growing for Benitez after alarming defeat Matt Dorman Last updated 1 year ago 00:55 11/26/17 Getty Images Watford completely outclassed Newcastle United on Saturday as Marco Silva’s men eased to back-to-back victories. Newcastle United slumped to a fourth successive Premier League defeat as Watford stormed to a 3-0 win at St James’ Park on Saturday.Eager to correct a concerning wobble, the alarm bells only grew louder for the Magpies as they were routinely exposed at the back.Watford had themselves ended a three-match losing run last weekend and looked full of confidence during an open first half. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Will Hughes clinically dispatched his second in as many matches in the 19th minute before Marvin Zeegelaar, who assisted the opener, drew an own goal from DeAndre Yedlin in first-half stoppage time.The rout was complete just after the hour mark when Richarlison teed up Andre Gray to put the seal on a second consecutive victory and strengthen Watford’s grip on eighth.Joselu did manage to force a rare save from Heurelho Gomes inside the final 25 minutes, but Newcastle never looked like mounting the kind of comeback needed to avoid a seventh defeat in the league.While Rafael Benitez’s men slide closer to danger, Marco Silva’s side already boast more away points, with 13, than the 12 they managed for the entirety of last season.2 – Will Hughes has scored in back-to-back league games for the first time in his career. Bloom.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 25, 2017An end-to-end first half began with Joselu completely miscuing Jacob Murphy’s promising low pass from the left.Matt Ritchie made a better connection with his side’s next effort, although Richarlison was first to test either goalkeeper when he capped a counter-attack by drawing a sharp low save from Rob Elliot.However, there was little the Newcastle goalkeeper could do about the next attempt. Hughes arrived late into the area and guided a fine finish into the bottom corner after being spotted by Dutch full-back Zeegelaar.The hosts failed to heed the lesson and were thankful to see Abdoulaye Doucoure inexplicably volley wide from another left-sided Zeegelaar cross.Watford sensed a weakness and profited once more on the stroke of half-time as Zeegelaar’s low delivery deflected off Yedlin and beat a wrong-footed Elliot at his near post.7 – No player has been involved in more away goals in the Premier League this season than Richarlison (4 goals, 3 assists). Talent.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 25, 2017The home side should have been buried within 10 minutes of the restart, but Gray and Richarlison both offered reprieves.The pair made up for their errors in the 62nd minute. Richarlison had time to size up a cross, again from the left, and superbly picked out Gray for a simple stretching finish.Spanish striker Joselu did draw a fine close-range save from Gomes with just over 20 minutes remaining, while substitute Aleksandar Mitrovic had a shot blocked by Christian Kabasele, but those proved the best of Newcastle’s chances to improve a limp display at both ends. Key Opta stats: – This was Watford’s biggest away win in the Premier League, and their biggest on the road in the top flight since a 5-1 victory vs Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in May 1986.- Watford have won three consecutive league games against Newcastle for the very first time.- This is only the second time that Rafael Benitez has suffered back-to-back home defeats in the Premier League as manager, with the other occasion coming with Liverpool in January 2005 (vs Chelsea and Manchester United).- Newcastle have failed to win any of the 68 Premier League games in which they’ve been losing by two or more goals at half-time, drawing three and losing 65. read more
VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – On Jan. 31, 2018, Canada’s national anthem was forever changed in an attempt to be more gender inclusive. With the stroke of a pen, the lyrics “True patriot love in all of thy sons command” was changed to the gender-neutral “in all of us command.”The two-word alteration marked an important milestone for members of Canada’s LGBTQ+ community, who said the change helped them feel included in their national anthem, regardless of how they identified or the historic definition of the old lyrics.The change, however, did not come without struggle and controversy. Several previous bills to change the anthem, dating as far back as the 1980s, were all rejected and during the latest iteration, Conservative senators voiced outrage and boycotted a motion to close debate and push ahead with the final vote. There was resistance to changing the lyrics, which had been a staple for at least most of the 20th century, with opposition calling it an attack on Canadian identity and political correctness gone too far.“To me it’s sad that people have equated a desire to be inclusive as somehow cowing to the pressure to be politically correct, which is not at all what it is,” said Lisa Salazar with the LGBTQ+ group PFLAG. “Inclusive language is language that shows respect and acknowledges the other person’s identity.”Inclusive language includes removing words, phrases and expressions that needlessly differentiate between women and men, or exclude or belittle gender identity, expression or sex. It may include changing phrases such as ‘let’s go guys’ to ‘let’s go everyone’ or hostess to host.Using inclusive or gender-neutral language in our everyday lives is important because it creates a safe space for people of all identities to communicate and feel accepted, according to Salazar.“It says to the other person I respect you, you matter. I’m a human being you’re a human being. We may be different. But we’re not going to get anywhere if we’re attacking each other, and if we’re using language as a weapon then it just means we have no communication,” she said.Debate and criticism of inclusive language appears to be heightened in the United States, according to Salazar, however she has seen it creep into Canada in recent years.She points to opposition to the transgender community and B.C.’s new LGBTQ+ inclusive resource; Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI 123). Several anti-SOGI demonstrations and counter demonstrations have been held across the Lower Mainland in recent months with opponents asking the province to leave discussions of sexual identify and orientation up to parents and stick to general anti-bullying strategies.Related article: Gender-neutral Canadian anthem lyrics now officialThe B.C. Human Rights tribunal ordered a man to pay $55,000 to prominent Vancouver transgender activist and former B.C. NDP candidate Morgane Oger for distributing flyers targeting her gender identity as a reason not to vote for her.Meanwhile in Ontario, Premier Doug Ford has received backlash for his Progressive Conservative government’s repeal of an updated sex-ed curriculum that included topics of same-sex relationships and gender identity. In Alberta, the government is poised to pass legislation providing school boards with a guide for when it’s reasonable to disclose students’ participation in gay-straight alliances.While the reasons people may not want to adapt to inclusive language are unique to each individual, Helene Frohard-Dourlent with UBC’s equity and inclusion office says part of the reason may be because it can be hard for someone to learn that the words they’re using are hurting others.“I think a lot of people wrestle with ‘what does it mean I was doing this thing that was hurtful?’ Sometimes the reaction instead is to say ‘no, I didn’t mean to hurt you so I didn’t hurt you’ instead of hearing that hurt,” Frohard-Dourlent said.Salazar, meanwhile, questions what opponents of inclusive language programs like SOGI 123 are afraid of.“I wonder how big the push back really is or if they are just being given a platform because they’re loud and they’re obnoxious,” she said.As a health care worker and inclusivity teacher with the Fraser Health Region and Vancouver Coastal Health, Salazar says she is particularly impressed by the willingness of health care professionals to make their spaces safe and inclusive for not only members of the LGBTQ+ community, but for different languages, cultures and religions.Having transitioned in her late 50s, Salazar says she used to be hyper vigilant of homophobic language used by those around her, but the culture has improved.“I think that as more information became available and more people were educated about what’s going on and what it was, there seemed to be at least less anxiety,” she said. “What I see happening today is people are intentionally being mean spirited and it’s almost like they’ve been given license by what’s going on in the United States.”Related article: Senate approves gender neutral wording for Canada’s national anthemDespite the recent debate over inclusive language, Frohard-Dourlent says overall the environment in Canada is becoming more welcoming to the LGBTQ+ community.“We do know there are some folks who have been in the public eye over the last couple of years and made a bit of name for themselves around pushing back against this idea of inclusive language,” they said. “But I actually think, for the most part, those folks are in the minority, certainly in terms of the intensity with which they reject some of this inclusive language.”The No Big Deal Campaign in Ontario is a resource for people to show support for transgender and non-binary people and their pronouns in everyday life without making it into a big deal.Examples of inclusive language legislation have included allowing individuals to use the gender identifier X on their passports. B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, and Newfoundland and Labrador offer their residents the option not to specify gender on their licences. P.E.I. allows people to select non-binary gender options of ‘gender not listed’ and ‘prefer not to say.’Canada’s second official language, French, also poses challenges to inclusive language, according to Frohard-Dourlent, because of its inherent use of gendered nouns, adjectives and grammar.“As with any kind of shift, it’s hard to have everyone to move at the same pace. There’s obviously a lot of unevenness in terms of how inclusive language is picked up or what types are picked up,” Frohard-Dourlent said, adding uneven access to education and resources may be causing the delay in a nation-wide adoption. “Most of the people I encounter and work with, are wanting to be more inclusive in their language. Sometimes the barrier is not knowing exactly how to do that.”Frohard-Dourlent recommends listening to how an individual refers to themselves and reflect that language back to them, while not focusing on a person’s sex or gender as a means to identify them.“Be aware that all of us are constantly learning about new concepts, identities and words,” they said. “Being open to that feedback and knowing that feedback may come.”Salazar says adopting inclusive language is about recognizing the evolving nature of language. Words which were once commonplace may now be insulting, while old words take on new meanings to certain groups or individuals.“If we really want to be inclusive, it requires that we do the homework, that we are curious, intentional, that we ask respectfully if we are having a conversation with someone who is LGBTQ+ that we don’t make assumptions. That we ask them ‘how can I address you? When I talk to you, am I saying anything that is offensive to you?’” she said. “Instead of giving you a list of words and terms you should use right now, the best advice I can you is the same I’ll give you two years from now is if you’re not sure, simply ask. If you want to be respectful, simply ask.”This story is part of a national series on Fighting Hate. Click here for more.
“Corruption acts as a hidden overhead charge that drives up prices and erodes quality without any benefit to producers or consumers. Preventing corruption makes good business sense,” Mr. Ban said in a message to mark International Anti-Corruption Day.“Increasingly, investors are factoring not only environmental, social and governance considerations into their decision-making, but sound ethical performance as well,” he added. Mr. Ban noted that the UN Convention against Corruption has helped the public sector to make progress in detecting and preventing graft. State parties to the treaty, which now number 148, last year established a peer review mechanism to identify gaps in national anti-corruption laws and practices, a move he termed “a major breakthrough” that can help governments halt bribe-taking and the embezzlement of public funds.The UN is itself fighting corruption in its work, he said, by ensuring individual accountability, collaborating with law enforcement agencies, and investigating all possible instances of corruption.The UN Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) yesterday brought together representatives from various organizations around the world for a two-day conference aimed at strengthening the role of internal investigations in combating corruption.“On this International Anti-Corruption Day, let us all do our part to foster ethical practices, safeguard trust and ensure no diversion of the precious resources needed for our shared work for development and peace,” Mr. Ban said.In particular, he called on businesses to join the UN Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative, which provides participants with tools to fight all forms of corruption, including extortion and bribery.To mark the Day, the Global Compact, together with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the UN Development Programme (UNDP), and the UN Ethics Office, is hosting a high-level discussion in New York on the role of the private sector in fighting corruption. Yury Fedotov, UNODC Executive Director, stressed in his message for the Day the need for the private sector to make effective use of the Convention against Corruption.“The private sector plays a key role in fostering development, but it is lagging behind the public sector in its efforts to stop corruption,” said Mr. Fedotov. “In the past year, a number of countries have stepped up enforcement of anti-corruption laws, and we have seen high-level prosecutions of major companies, but many of these cases have ended in plea bargains.” He noted that although companies found culpable in graft cases have paid huge fines, the money stayed in the States where the settlements were reached and none of it went back to countries from which it was taken.“Ordinary people are the losers. We need to address this integrity deficit. I encourage the working group on asset recovery to look into this,” Mr. Fedotov said, referring to the intergovernmental body set up in 2006 by the parties to the corruption treaty and mandated to advise and assist parties on the issue of the return of proceeds of corruption.During today’s event, to be held at UN Headquarters, the Global Compact and UNODC will launch the Anti-Corruption E-Learning Programme, an educational online platform.“The programme dramatizes situations in which real people can find themselves, and offers clear lessons on the right course of action,” Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro said at the launch, in remarks delivered on behalf of the Secretary-General.Ms. Migiro noted that it is one of many initiatives the UN is carrying out with key partners like Transparency International, the International Chamber of Commerce and the World Economic Forum. At the same time, the world body is doing everything possible to promote an ethical organizational culture across its system, she said. “We are putting in place new measures to ensure individual and managerial accountability, working with law enforcement officials, and investigating all possible instances of corruption that may arise in the course of our activities.“Working together, we can protect resources from falling into corrupt hands – and instead ensure that they contribute to a better life for the honest but struggling people of our world,” she said. 9 December 2010Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today urged business leaders across the world to denounce corruption and institute measures to combat the vice, in line with the United Nations convention against graft, saying corruption distorted markets and hindered economic growth.
He says the Tamil speaking people should vote for the candidates they feel will address their immediate concerns. The TNA is contesting the Parliamentary election in the Northern and Eastern provinces but Wigneswaran has not taken part in any rally in support of the TNA. (Colombo Gazette) Northern Province Chief Minister C V Wigneswaran is maintaining his stand to remain neutral at the Parliamentary elections next week.In a media statement released yesterday, Wigneswaran said that he took the decision to remain neutral after giving it deep thought and continues to maintain that stand. Wigneswaran said that he will not urge any Tamil in the North and East to back any particular political party but to instead keep their interests in mind on election day. However he said the Tamils should also ensure the political party they support is one which will push for self-determination for the Tamils, ensure accountability and justice for the victims of the war and back an international investigation on alleged war crimes.Wigneswaran contested and won the Northern Provincial Council elections in 2013 while contesting with the Tamil National Alliance (TNA).
This handout photo obtained from the twitter account of Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, shows French President Emmanuel Macron (2ndR), French Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian (3rdR) and French Presidential chief-of-staff Admiral Bernard Rogel (R), receiving Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (2ndL) during a meeting on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Biarritz, southwestern France. (Bloomberg) — In a break in summit talks on Sunday afternoon, cameras caught British Prime Minister Boris Johnson congratulating his French host on his handling of a tense dinner the night before.“Well played,” Johnson told Emmanuel Macron, breaking, momentarily, into French. Conversations between U.S. President Donald Trump and other Group of Seven leaders had grown heated around the issues of Iran and particularly Russia.“You did very well last night,” Johnson went on. “My God, that was a difficult one.”Macron’s response: “I’m not finished…”In fact, the 41-year-old president was just getting started. His shock tactics to reinvent the tired old G-7 format were beginning to wear on his colleagues, and that was even before they discovered what was headed their way (literally). But one, key actor had been let in on the secret.Story continues belowThis advertisement has not loaded yet,but your article continues below.As lunch was wrapping up, reporters and advisers in Biarritz began tracking a plane on the Flightradar app that was approaching the town’s closed airport. Iran’s green, white and red flag was emblazoned on the jet’s blue tailwing.Onboard, was Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. Iran has divided the G-7 ever since Trump pulled out of a nuclear deal with the country in 2018. European countries want to salvage the agreement but the U.S. president is holding firm. Zarif himself is under U.S. sanctions and had his movements heavily restricted during a recent visit to New York.Barack Obama’s team choreographed his movements around the United Nations headquarters in 2009 to avoid a chance run-in with the Iranians. Bringing Zarif to the same beach resort as Trump looked like a highly provocative move given the U.S. administration’s hostility to the Iranian regime. AFP “This is completely disrespectful to @realDonaldTrump and the other leaders at the G-7,” Nikki Haley, Trump’s former ambassador to the UN said in a tweet. “Iran supports terrorism at every turn and continues to pursue ’Death to America.’ Manipulative of Macron to do this and very insincere.”In the corridors of the summit, aides reacted with a mixture of disdain and frustration. It was a typical Macron stunt, a G-7 official said.But Trump was calm.“President Macron asked my approval,” Trump told reporters in Monday morning. “I don’t consider that disrespectful at all.”As French TV showed the Iranian motorcade heading into the town center, Macron played it straight at a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on African development and refused to take questions on any other subject.Brigitte Macron, the president’s closest confidante through his dizzying rise to power, had taken Melania Trump and the other leaders’ partners to sample sangria. “Just an advice,” she warned them playfully, “don’t drink too much.” Those exchanges over more than three hours were the turning point. It was when Macron seemed to have thought he had secured an agreement to take the initiative on Iran on behalf of the entire club.Sunday morning saw more friction with Trump. Macron told reporters he had the backing of the G-7 to deliver a joint message to Iran. Trump said, “We’ll do our own outreach.”Whatever the substance of the Saturday night agreement, most officials were surprised to see Macron move so fast, and so far.By Sunday afternoon, Zarif was installed in the mayor of Biarritz’s office for three hours of meetings — including a brief greeting with Macron himself.But the flash point many were expecting never materialized. Trump retreated to his room in the Hotel du Palais, just 500 meters away and didn’t reemerge until Zarif had left. You could almost pretend that the past six hours had never happened.By the time Zarif was wheels up, Trump still hadn’t tweeted a single thing about his visit and heading out to enjoy another dinner with the rest of the leaders. Julien de Rosa/Pool / Reuters But on a terrace outside the summit venue, Macron’s advisers were smoking one cigarette after another, looking out across the empty beach — cleared of tourists for security reasons. One said that he’d kicked his habit before he joined Macron’s team, but he’d started again under the pressure of the French president’s high-wire diplomacy.One person familiar with Macron’s plans said the idea started to take shape on Friday after a fruitful meeting with Zarif in Paris.When Trump arrived in Biarritz on Saturday, Macron grabbed him for an impromptu lunch and pitched him with a plan for lowering the tensions over Iran — the Tehran government would be allowed to export more oil if it returned to compliance with the nuclear accord and joined formal talks.That private conversation was one opportunity for Macron to let the U.S. leader in on his plan.Even so, trouble was brewing between the U.S. delegation and their hosts. The U.S. had bristled at the focus on climate and White House aides said they thought the French were deliberately manipulating the agenda to embarrass their boss.Certainly, the European leaders were kept out of the loop until the last minute.The Italians found out from French news wire AFP, while Merkel later said she was “well informed” but “just in time.” Merkel said that Macron had decided to take the leap after what both Trump and Johnson called a “lively” discussion at the Lighthouse gala dinner. rigitte Macron, wife of French President Emmanuel Macron, and U.S. first lady Melania Trump pose during a meeting with surfers at the Cote des Basques beach as part of the G7 summit, in Biarritz, France, August 26, 2019. Ian Langsdon/Pool / Reuters U.S. President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron attend a work session during the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, August 26, 2019.
Video of special event [3hrs 34mins] “Islam’s tenets are frequently distorted and taken out of context, with particular acts or practices being taken to represent or to symbolize a rich and complex faith,” he said in an address entitled “Confronting Islamophobia: Education for Tolerance and Understanding,” part of a UN-sponsored series on “Unlearning Intolerance.””Some claim that Islam is incompatible with democracy, or irrevocably hostile to modernity and the rights of women. And in too many circles, disparaging remarks about Muslims are allowed to pass without censure, with the result that prejudice acquires a veneer of acceptability.”No one should underestimate the resentment and sense of injustice that members of one of the world’s great religions, cultures and civilizations felt as they looked at unresolved conflicts in the Middle East, the situation in Chechnya and the atrocities against Muslims in the former Yugoslavia, Mr. Annan said.”But we should remember that these are political reactions – disagreements with specific policies. All too often, they are mistaken for an Islamic reaction against Western values, sparking an anti-Islamic backlash,” he said.The first seminar in the series, organized by the Educational Outreach Section of the UN Department of Public Information (DPI), took place on 21 June with an opening address by Mr. Annan and fellow-Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel as keynote speaker. It was called “Confronting Anti-Semitism: Education for Tolerance and Understanding.”Like other religions, Mr. Annan said, the Islamic world grouped together modernizers and traditionalists and the most populous Muslim countries are not Arab, but are located in non-Arab Asia, from Indonesia to part-Asian, part-European Turkey.Despite the ferocity and prevalence of xenophobia, “people are not hard-wired for prejudice,” he said. “In some cases they are taught to hate. In others, they are manipulated into it by leaders who exploit fear, ignorance, or feelings of weakness.”Unlearning intolerance was partly a matter of legally protecting human and civil rights, as well as providing relevant education, leadership, social integration and dialogue, he said.Dialogue should include day-to-day contacts which “can be especially useful in demystifying the ‘other’,” Mr. Annan said.In his keynote speech, Prof. Seyyed Hossein Nasr of George Washington University in Washington, DC, questioned the use today of the suffix “phobia,” saying that when Islam rose and covered land from France to China within one century, the Christian West had a fear of Islam that was both religious and political.By contrast, the non-Islamic world today was very powerful from many points of view. Unfortunately, the reservoir of historical consciousness had been resurrected and Islamophobia was not only a question of fear, but also a matter of hatred, Professor Nasr said.Muslims were not trying to be aggressive, they were trying to be themselves, he said, but in many areas that effort had led to fanaticism and the fanaticism on one side was feeding the fanaticism on the other side.In analyzing Islamophobia, therefore, it was important to take into account not only the role of extremism in Islam, but also the role of extremism among Christians and Jews, he said.The first seminar was accompanied by a photo exhibition open to the public and entitled “Diaspora: Homelands in Exile” by Frederic Brenner. Today’s event was highlighted by a similar photo exhibition, called “Islam,” by Iranian photographer Abbas, a former president of the Magnum photographers’ cooperative.
“Climate change and the increasing risks of droughts are strong reasons to upgrade the humble cactus to the status of an essential crop in many areas,” said Hans Dreyer, the Director of Plant Production and Protection Division at FAO, noting the plant’s potential. According to the UN agency, cultivation of cactus pear is slowly catching on, in part, boosted by growing need for resilience in the face of drought, degraded soils and higher temperatures. This was evident during the recent intense drought in southern Madagascar, where the plant – once viewed as a worthless invasive species – provided a crucial supply of food, forage and water for local people and their animals. While most cacti are inedible, the Opuntia species – also referred to as prickly pear – has much to offer, especially if treated like a crop rather than a weed run wild. “Today the agriculturally relevant Opuntia ficus-indica subspecies – whose spines have been bred out but return after stress events – is naturalized in 26 countries beyond its native range,” says FAO, adding: “Its hardy persistence makes it both a useful food of last resort and an integral part of sustainable agricultural and livestock systems.” Historically, cactus’ culinary qualities have been a prominent feature in Mexico as well as the Italian island of Sicily, renowned for its gourmet tradition. In Mexico alone, the yearly per capita consumption of nopalitos – the tasty young pads, known as cladodes – is 6.4 kilograms and the plant is grown on small farms (as primary or supplemental crop) and harvested in the wild on more than three million hectors. Cactus as source of water and to lower greenhouse gas emissionsAside from providing food, cactus also stores water in its pads, providing up to 180 tonnes of water per hectare – enough to sustain five adult cows. This usefulness is all the more important during droughts, when livestock survival rate has been far higher on farms with cactus plantations. And with pressure on water sources only projected to rise in the future, cactus could become one of the important crops for the 21st century. Furthermore, there is evidence that yields in barley – a major cereal grain globally – rise when cactus is grown alongside it as a soil-improving alley crop, and there is research showing that use of cactus in cattle diets reduces the ruminants’ methanogenesis (production of methane in the guts of animals, especially cattle and other ruminants), thus contributing to lower greenhouse gas emissions.
The Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, concluded on Tuesday the Lebanon leg of his wider Middle East tour to visit UN missions, including the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), and high-ranking government officials in the region.While in Lebanon, Mr. Lacroix met with President Michel Aoun and other senior officials, and saw first-hand the crucial work done by UNIFIL, in close coordination with the national armed forces.UNIFIL was established in 1978 following Israel’s invasion of southern Lebanon after the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) carried out a deadly attack on its territory.Today, some 10,500 peacekeepers from 41 countries are serving in its area of operations and at sea as UNIFIL is complemented by a six-vessel Maritime Task Force: the first and only one of its kind in UN peacekeeping.Mr. Lacroix praised the Lebanese Government’s continuous support and cooperation in implementing the UNIFIL mandate, which includes monitoring the cessation of hostilities in the wake of the July 2006 conflict.The UN peacekeeping chief also underlined the need for the parties to work together to build on the years of relative calm since then.“It is important for the leaders on both sides to take advantage of the window of opportunity that UNIFIL has helped provide to work towards a permanent ceasefire and long-term solution to the conflict as envisaged in UN Security Council resolution 1701,” he said. “A peacekeeping operation helps create the space for political solutions.”Security Council resolution 1701, adopted in August 2006, called for an end to hostilities between Israel and Hezbollah in south Lebanon.It mapped out steps for a permanent ceasefire and a long-term solution to the conflict.Mr. Lacroix toured the UNIFIL area of operations and the Blue Line, a border demarcation established in June 2000 to confirm the withdrawal of Israeli forces from southern Lebanon following another invasion in June 1982.“I am impressed with the work of UNIFIL and its high tempo of patrolling both during the day and at night as well as their activities to maintain stability, especially along the Blue Line,” he said.Mr. Lacroix expressed appreciation for the UN force’s efforts to de-escalate tensions through its participation in a forum bringing together senior Lebanese and Israeli officials which was chaired by UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander, Major General Michael Beary.
“Today, the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation – in collaboration with Member States, UN agencies and other development partners – is launching a compilation of ‘Good Practices,” together with “Triangular Cooperation, for Sustainable Development,’” said UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed on behalf of the Secretary-General at a commemorative event in New York.She showcased works-in-progress, including an ecosystem-based approach for managing freshwater resources, in six small island developing States.“The transfer of technologies and vast inter-regional infrastructure investments are facilitating access to international markets for medium and small-scale enterprises,” she stated. “However, we are all keenly aware that there is more to be done to fully leverage the potential of South-South collaboration and partnership.”In the late 1970s, the Global South embarked on a knowledge-sharing collaboration featuring economic, political, environmental, social and technical know-how, that formally became the Buenos Aires Plan of Action for Promoting and Implementing Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries (BAPA) – a blueprint for South-South cooperation.According to Ms. Mohammed that “marked the beginning of a new phase of cooperation.”“Driven by a spirit of solidarity, respect for national sovereignty and equal partnership, BAPA embodied the developing world’s desire to promote the sharing of homegrown solutions as a complement to North-South cooperation in fostering international cooperation for development,” she elaborated. UNOSSCLeft to Right: H.E. Mr. Daniel Raimondi, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship, Government of Argentina；Ms. Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations； H.E. Mr. Mohammad Fathi Ahmed Edrees, Permanent Representative of Egypt and Chair of the Group of 77； Mr. Jorge Chediek, UNOSSC Director and Envoy of the Secretary-General on South-South Cooperation at a high-level meeting at UN Headquarters in New York, on 12 September 2018. Since that landmark agreement, there has been a surge in South-South and triangular cooperation, with developing countries becoming key actors in implementing the 2030 Agenda.Furthermore, over the last decade, greater trade between developing countries has driven an increase in world trade and new multilateral institutions devoted to South-South cooperation.The deputy UN chief pointed out that in a few months, Member States would meet again in Buenos Aires for the Second High-level Conference on South-South Cooperation, BAPA+40, to review four decades of trends, and to launch an inclusive South-South and triangular strategy to implement the 2030 Agenda. “I encourage us all to actively participate in the BAPA+40 preparatory process,” she said. “And I invite you to participate in the Global South-South Development Expo here in New York from 28 to 30 November.”In concluding, she encouraged all to “reaffirm our commitment to this invaluable means of achieving sustainable development and improving the lives of billions of people in the Global South and beyond.”A cornerstone for sustainable developmentAt the same time, a commemorative event in Thailand called for deepening cooperation to foster sustainable development in countries across Asia and the Pacific.Jointly organized by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), UN Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC), and Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the high-level gathering highlighted that South-South and triangular cooperation must be a corner stone to collectively implementat the 2030 Agenda in the region.”Asia Pacific is now the world’s largest trading region, sitting at the heart of global value chains and international investment, and at the forefront of technological innovation,” said Kaveh Zahedi, ESCAP Deputy Executive Secretary. “Expertise which, deployed intelligently, could improve competitiveness, reduce inequality and make globalization fairer – more sustainable.”In a video message, Jorge Chediek, UNOSSC Director stressed that BAPA has provided a strong mandate to implement South-South Cooperation as a key instrument to achieve the globally agreed goals.“The Asia-Pacific region has been a birthplace and model for South-South Cooperation,” said Mr. Chediek. “We are confident that this region will continue to make contributions to the new global agenda with renewed commitment to South-South Cooperation.”
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said,2017 has been a very robust year for UK engine manufacturing, with huge investments into new facilities and engine models delivering impressive dividends both at home and overseas. To attract future investment and ensure continued global success, government must safeguard the business conditions we currently enjoy and provide clarity on our future trading relationships with the EU and other key markets.Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) British engine manufacturing grows 11.4% in November to 279,532 units.Both domestic and export demand up, by 20.8% and 4.0% respectively.Year-to-date more than 2.5 million engines have rolled off UK production lines.
Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Mr Wheler, who is now 96, was honoured with a flypast by the RAF Red Arrows when he returned to Britain in 2015.During his sortie in NH341 on 24th June 1944 several German mechanised transports were destroyed. Later in the war he was shot down and, in what became known as ‘Wheler’s walk,’ successfully escaped captivity three times to return to his unit.Flt Lt Antony ‘Parky’ Parkinson MBE, who is due to captain NH341’s forthcoming maiden flight, said: “It symbolises so much of the war years and there aren’t many people in the world who don’t think the Spitfire is the most impressive plane to have flown in our history.”Pilots that were shot down by other planes wanted to be shot down by a Spitfire.” Yesterday, in preparation for that commemorative event, the newly-restored plane, which took part in 27 combat missions during World War II, was showed off for the first time at the Imperial War Museum’s Duxford Aerodrome, one of the most RAF’s most important wartime bases.There were gasps of delight from assembled veterans and aircraft aficionados as the plane made its way out of its hangar and onto the runway.Gerry Abrahams, 94, a former Lancaster pilot who served in the 75 squadron between 1944 and 1945, was among those who had gathered to watch.”Hearing the engine start made my heart flutter, that is the best part of a Spitfire,” he said. “We can’t forget what happened in the war. So many soldiers lost their lives and young people don’t realise that, but they should.”Ron Dearman, 93, who flew a DC3 Dakota with the 267 Pegasus squadron during the war, added: “The Spitfire looks smashing. Everybody should know about these planes which helped us fight in the war.” Among the other men who flew her were Flt Lt, later Squadron Leader, H C ‘Charlie’ Trainor and Flt Lt A B ‘Bruce’ Whiteford. Warrant Officer James “Jimmy” Jeffrey, who was shot down in NH341 in 1944, but survived and evaded capture with help from the French Trainor, who received the Distinguished Service Order (DSC) DFC and Bar, claimed ‘Ace’ status after achieving eight victories over German aircraft, including two ME109s, in NH341.Whiteford flew NH341 more times than any other pilot and the personalised markings ‘EO’ and ‘Elizabeth’, in honour of his wife, have been recreated on the aircraft.Only one of the Canadian airmen who flew Spitfire NH341 in battle is still alive today – Flg Off T R ‘Tommy’ Wheler. WO Jeffrey survived the war and returned home to Canada and his wife Jean.Three years ago the badly damaged body of NH341 was bought by Keith Perkins, the owner of Aero Legends, a firm which offers the public the chance to fly in vintage planes such as the Tiger Moth, Harvard or Spitfire.It took dozens of craftsmen and engineers and a lot of patience to restore NH341 to its current state, able to take to the skies once more.Mr Perkins said: ” When I acquired this aircraft as a restoration project I was totally unaware of the history that surrounded it and it has been a fascinating journey of discovery, with new information becoming available all the time. In its short but eventful operational life NH341 it touched many lives.” Jimmy Jeffrey with some of the French resistance fighters and villagers who helped him escape capture by the Germans after his Spitfire was shot down in 1944 Nearly three quarters of a century ago a group villagers risked their lives to rescue Canadian pilot Jimmy Jeffrey from the clutches of the Nazis after his Spitfire crashed in Normandy, one of hundreds of allied airmen assisted by the French during the war.This summer the very plane he flew will dip its wings over the site near Orbec where he crashed in July 1944, to pay tribute to all those brave men who took to the skies to defend Britain from invasion and those who helped them on the ground.The flight will be the result of an extraordinary £3 million project to recover and rebuild Jeffrey’s Spitfire NH341. Spitfire NH341 was flown by nine pilots of the Royal Canadian Air Force’s 411 Grizzly Bear Squadron, including Warrant Officer Jeffrey, before it was shot down after engaging in a dogfight with a Focke-Wulf 190 near Caen.The squadron was part of 126 Wing, the highest scoring allied Air Force Wing of World War Two – claiming 336 enemy aircraft destroyed – and NH341 is credited with shooting down two Messerschmitt 109s.WO Jeffrey managed to bale out when the plane was hit, before being taken in by the Soetards, a local farming family.With the help of the French resistance – who brazenly took him into a local town for a haircut and to buy cheese under the noses of the Germans – he managed to return to his unit at the airfield of Beny-sur-Mer, occupied by the Allies following the D-Day invasion. Spitfire NH341 undergoing restoration Tommy Wheler, one of NH341’s wartime pilots, with the aircraft during restoration
Imperial Oil has chosen Finning as a mining mobile equipment supplier for the Kearl oil sands project. The ten-year agreement includes the supply of Caterpillar equipment, parts, specialized maintenance labour and training. The Kearl project is envisioned to be developed in three phases and could ultimately produce more than 300,000 barrels/d of bitumen. The first phase of the project, expected to begin production in late 2012 with total production to average 110,000 barrels/d, is anticipated to cost about $8 billion or approximately $4.50 per barrel to construct.Kearl’s total recoverable bitumen is estimated to be 4.6 billion barrels. It is located near the surface and will be recovered using open-pit mining methods similar to those used at existing oil sands mines in the region. Full development will take place in three phases, with selective clearing, mining and reclamation continuing over the 50-year life of the project. All disturbed lands will be progressively reclaimed and returned to productive use. The reclaimed landscape will be a mix of native plants and forest with lakes and wetlands. Kearl’s mining operations will only use some of the total project lands at any given time and many areas will not be affected for 20 to 25 years.The Kearl project was subject to a joint review by provincial and federal government representatives and 16 days of public hearings in late 2006. The panel thoroughly reviewed various stakeholder concerns and issues such as social and economic effects, mine plan and resource conservation, tailings management, reclamation, air emissions, surface water, aquatic resources, traditional land use and human health. The Alberta government granted its approval to Kearl through an Order-in-Council in May 2007. Canada’s federal government followed with their approval through an Order-in-Council in August 2007.Subsequent to these approvals, the joint review panel report was challenged in the Federal Court of Canada by a coalition of environmental groups. The joint review panel was eventually reconvened and provided additional rationale for one of the report’s conclusions, and the project received the necessary authorisation in June 2008 to allow preliminary work to continue at the site.Kearl is expected to operate from about 2012 to 2060 and beyond. An initial site ditching and drainage program was completed in the first half of 2008. Work in the second half of 2008 included clearing and draining surface water from the initial mining and plant site areas. Muskeg and topsoil is being removed and stockpiled for use in future reclamation.
Updated 20.44US AUTHORITIES SAY a suspect is in custody after opening fire at the Los Angeles International Airport and injuring multiple people.A TSA agent is reported to have been killed and two others injured during the shooting at the busy airport this evening.The suspect has been named as 23-year-old Paul Anthony Ciancia, a Los Angeles resident. The man’s father said he had, before the shooting, asked for help from police in locating his son because he was worried about his mental state.Police stand on high alert at Terminal 2 at Los Angeles International Airport. Pic: Reed Saxon/AP/Press Association ImagesPatrick Gannon, chief of Los Angeles airport police, said the gunman entered the terminal, pulled an assault rifle from a bag and began shooting at a screening checkpoint before entering the terminal. Officers took him into custody after a shootout.“As you can imagine, a large amount of chaos took place in this entire incident,” he said.Gannon said that a lone shooter approached a TSA agent who was checking passenger documents, and opened fire.Interim Los Angeles Fire Chief Jim Featherstone said paramedics treated seven people at the scene, and six were taken to hospitals.Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti says urges public to stay away from the airport for the time being.Evacuated passengers were loaded onto buses by the dozens, while others decided to walk off the airport grounds.Pic: AP/Press Association ImagesPoliceLos Angeles police Officer Norma Eisenman said officers responded to the incident Friday which occurred at 9.30am, 4.30pm Irish time.Multiple people were hit by gunfire, she says but their condition is unknown.She said the suspect exchanged fire with airport police and was taken into custody. The airport is being swept for precautionary measures and the bomb unit is on scene.Responding crews were outside Terminal 3 at LAX, the second busiest airport in the US and the sixth busiest in the world.Pic: AP Photo/Reed SaxonThe LAPD confirmed that they were on “tactical alert” for the whole city due to a “major incident”, but this was scaled down to cover just the area that the airport is in.Cars are being stopped on their way in and out of the airport.Witness Brian Keech said he heard “about a dozen gunshots” from inside the security gate at Terminal 3.Arrivals and departures at the airport have been closed at the airport, disrupting travel nationwide.The airport was the scene of the killing of two people in a 2002 shooting.More to follow.- Additional reporting AP – Additional reporting Aoife Barry
Real Betis manager Quique Setien is not keen on the reports that suggest FC Barcelona is looking for him to replace Ernesto Valverde.In recent days there has been a lot of heat towards FC Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde, some reports from several parts of the local media are even talking about Quique Setien to replace him.The great offensive work that the Real Betis manager has been doing in the last year has more than enough support to link him to the job, but when asked about the possibility, he decided to respect Valverde and denied that he would be interested in that right now.As we all know, La Liga returns this weekend and Betis will play against Real Valladolid, which is the only thing that Quique cares about right now.But the interest for him did flatter the manager, because that makes him understand that he is doing his job right and it encourages him to improve day by day.But for Setien, talking about the job of another manager who is currently still working there is completely disrespectful.In the most educated possible manner, Setien did his best to slip away from the question and didn’t go any further than praising Valverde for the job he is doing right now but there is no doubt that managing Barcelona in the future could be within the Betis manager’s objectives due to the style of play he has.El plan B del Barcelona para Valverde está compuesto por Quique Setién y Jordi Cruyff. Vía @sport pic.twitter.com/KQpqgOZIxT— Noticias Barça (@news_viscabarca) October 13, 2018Talking to Canal Sur, Quique spoke about the links with Barcelona by saying: “This is the same topic that was discussed for the National Team. I’m flattered it gets published, but we shouldn’t listen to everything that is put out there…”“Barcelona already has a fantastic manager, we all need to respect him, especially all of his colleagues. Valverde is doing a great job and I believe Barcelona are great right now, despite that sometimes they can lose one or two matches.”“All I can think about right now is Valladolid, we have to play a good match and keep a high intensity. The international breaks are something I don’t like, you are coming from a great dynamic and all they do is cut the momentum you have gathered for weeks.”“This is the only thing that worries me right now. I’m very happy with a lot of different things in Sevilla, but not with everything. There are some things that worry me quite a bit but you can’t keep repeating them.”“I have been in the training grounds, I have already expressed these things to the club because it’s a very serious matter. We can’t get the football pitches to remain in good condition to work,” he concluded.Quiz: How much do you know about David Villa? Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 Time to test your knowledge about Spanish legendary forward David Villa.Breaking 📰 [SPORT] | In case Ernesto Valverde fail to impress Barça board there is ‘Plan B’The alternative options are Quique Setién and Jordi Cruyff. pic.twitter.com/vzjTmrBPO5— BarcaTimes (@BarcaTimes) October 13, 2018Even comparisons from his game to Pep Guardiola’s have been made recently, as his style is very reminiscent to the one that the Catalan manager has always practiced with all his squads.The base of his game consists on using at least three very capable midfielders who love having the ball and can play at two touches tops, this is very familiar to what Pep did and he also uses two full-backs who have a lot of taste for going on the attack.In fact, one of his players who already played under Pep Guardiola spoke about the similarities between both managers. That player is, of course, Catalan defender Marc Bartra.We can keep enjoying the great offensive style that Real Betis plays this season, because they will play against Valladolid on Sunday and they are looking quite powerful right now.Some even confirm that this squad has enough quality to reach Champions League positions by the end of the season, this is some very crucial information that even Ernesto Valverde should be afraid of.And paradoxically, it would be poetic that Barcelona’s manager lost his job against Real Betis’ most hated enemy and Setien took over after him.”Quique Setien is the alternative in case Ernesto Valverde leaves Barcelona.” pic.twitter.com/9Gh40UGDSW— Sᴇʀɢɪ’s Rᴜɴs ☢️ (@Robertonical) October 13, 2018How do you think Quique Seiten would perform as the Barcelona manager? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.
Valery Chkalov died in a crash while test-piloting a plane in 1938.Evan Petcoff and his family drove from their home in Walnut Grove to see a record-setting Russian airplane 75 years ago, and the 14-year-old boy was more than impressed.He was inspired.Petcoff wasn’t able to catch a glimpse of the aviators following their unexpected arrival at Vancouver’s Pearson Field on June 20, 1937. Still, their achievement had something to do with how Petcoff wound up as a member of an American bomber crew during World War II.“I was a B-29 flight engineer,” Petcoff said Wednesday morning after placing a flower at the Transpolar Flight Monument. “I think (the Chkalov flight) stimulated that a bit.”Petcoff, 89, was one of a handful of Vancouver-area residents who’d seen the ANT-25 aircraft in 1937 and were able to return for Wednesday’s 75th anniversary ceremony.The event at Pearson Air Museum celebrated the moment when pilot Valery Chkalov, co-pilot Georgy Baidukov and navigator Alexander Belyakov returned to the ground at 8:22 a.m., ending a record-setting flight of 63 hours and 16 minutes. Former State Rep. Val Ogden, center, with Robert Buker, left, and Gayle Rothrock, place flowers at the Transpolar Flight Monument on Wednesday. Buker’s father took him to see the airplane on June 21, 1937, the day after it landed.
The memo refutes some of the framing of that article however, claiming that it was Press+ who initiated discussions around a sale several months ago. Founders Steven Brill and Gordon Crovitz would not comment directly, but their memo says they’re looking for international opportunities and new markets that RR Donnelley doesn’t offer at the moment.”Press+ might be better able to take advantage of the opportunities offered for international expansion and—with our new video meter—expansion into new content markets by having a home with a different kind of partner,” they say.Brill and Crovitz also hint at possible expansion under new ownership.The group, previously known as Journalism Online, has grown rapidly in the two-and-a-half years since it was purchased by RR Donnelley for a reported $35 million. With less than 30 clients at that time, Press+ now says it has about 450 with more on the way. A London-based business development director was hired in June with the intent of expanding the company’s presence internationally.The move would ultimately be a minor one for RR Donnelley which generated $2.6 billion in net sales for the third quarter and acquired Consolidated Graphics for $620 million last month.The Press+ platform, launched in 2009, is based on a freemium content model. Visitors get a set number of stories (usually around 10) for free and are asked to pay for access to more.The memo from Brill and Crovitz:You may have seen, or will see, a report from Ken Doctor [of Nieman Journalism Lab] that RR Donnelley is “shopping” Press+. Although “shopping” is not accurate, what is going on is that a few months ago we began discussing with RRD the possibility that now that we have grown so fast, Press+ might be better able to take advantage of the opportunities offered for international expansion and – with our new video meter – expansion into new content markets by having a home with a different kind of partner. At the same time, RRD could be rewarded for its early investment. (Remember: when they bought us, we had just a dozen or two launched Affiliates.) Put simply, they’v been an ideal partner, and this is a possibility we are exploring together.Nothing is certain. We are under no pressure to do anything; we are simply considering various possibilities. And if we do change or add partners, the two of us aren’t going anywhere (and, if anything, in this scenario the staff would probably be expanding more quickly).We will keep you posted, but don’t expect any big announcements soon. And please keep this confidential. Steve and Gordon *Editor’s note: Folio: is a Press+ client.RR Donnelley’s digital paywall platform, Press+, is on the market, according to an internal memo obtained by Folio:.Nieman Journalism Lab broke the news that the company was being “shopped” on Wednesday.
Clear-cuts and old-growth forests are part of the view of Indian Valley on Prince of Wales Island. The Forest Service just announced three more timber sales in the Island’s Big Thorne area. (Creative Commons photo by Nick Bonzey)The Forest Service plans three more timber sales in a part of Prince of Wales Island conservationists say needs to be protected. They’re much smaller than a recent sale in the same area.Download AudioThe sales are between Thorne Bay and Coffman Cove, on northeast Prince of Wales Island. They’re part of the larger Big Thorne sale area, which is tied up with court challenges.Officials recently sold nearly 100 million board feet of Big Thorne timber to Viking Lumber, Southeast Alaska’s largest mill. Tongass National Forest Supervisor Forrest Cole says the three smaller sales total less than 5 percent of that amount.“There’s a fairly significant number of small operators on Prince of Wales and these projects have been set up specifically for them,” Cole says.The smaller mills have lobbied the Forest Service for sales they can afford to bid on. Cole says the goal is to help keep them operating.“They are larger than typical sales that they deal with. But the concept for these projects is similar to the Big Thorne, to try to get a longer-term amount of wood to the smaller operators,” he says.Several conservation groups have sued to block sales in the Big Thorne area. One is Greenpeace, where Sitka’s Larry Edwards is Alaska forest campaigner.“We think that the whole Big Thorne sale needs to be set aside and legal matters decided before any sales are made at all,” Edwards says.Others involved include the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council, the Alaska Wilderness League, the Greater Southeast Alaska Conservation Community and the Center for Biological Diversity. They say Big Thorne sales will hurt deer and wolf populations.Gov. Sean Parnell’s administration has filed to become involved in the legal battle. The state fears the Forest Service will not adequately defend its decisions.While the sales are designed for smaller mills, Cole says there’s no guarantee they’ll get the trees.“Everybody can put in a bid in on it. These are being put out as timber sales contracts, so the highest bidder wins. Given that the larger operator just picked up about 100 million [board] feet, we suspect there will probably be less interest there and more interest by the smaller operators,” he says.Some small mills have expressed doubts about the bidding process for all the sales. Tongass officials won’t release contract details for the larger sale until it’s signed.The Forest Service estimates the three small sales’ value at $750,000. They were advertised in the Oct. 4 Ketchikan Daily News. Bids are due in early November.“These projects are all old growth and off the existing road systems. We’ve got about 2,300 acres of young growth that we intend to put up at a later date. It’s in a form of commercial thinning and we have not got to that point yet,” he says.While the Forest Service is moving ahead with the sales, it’s promised to delay logging until next spring. Cole says that should be enough time to address the court challenges.But Greenpeace’s Edwards says it’s not a done deal.“We haven’t heard from the court yet if they’ve agreed to the April 1st date, so there’s still a question mark there. But if there’s no activity on any of these projects until a decision is made by the court, that’s certainly a plus,” he says.The sales are the 500,000-board-foot Buck Rush, the 1.6-million-board-foot Last Stand and the 2.3-million-board-foot In Between.For reference, Cole says about 10,000 board feet can go into a good-sized house. And 25,000 to 30,000 board feet of old-growth trees can be logged per acre, which about the size of a football field.
The recent and ongoing issues with PSN have lead me to think about my online gaming-related accounts in general recently, and I noticed my Xbox Live Gold account subscription was coming up for renewal.In the UK a Gold membership costs £39.99 ($65) which is about the price of a new game. I don’t use it anywhere near enough to warrant the (automatic) renewal happening so I decided to cancel. The fact is, I prefer single-player campaigns and tend to move on to the next game rather than hang around for the multiplayer, hence a Gold account goes to waste.The process of cancelling, or even turning the auto-renewal off, is painful in this day and age. You can’t just login to your account and untick the box or just go to xbox.com, it requires a phone call to Xbox Support. So I called and after a 10 minute wait I got through to someone who then proceeded to ask me lots of security questions. Once that was done I told him I wanted to stop the auto-renewal at which point his training kicked in and he was trying to keep the account going… and the money flowing.Now here’s the kicker. When the Gold account auto-renews it does so at the full price you paid the year before. But the act of me attempting to cancel allowed the support person to offer me the same 12 month subscription for just £24 ($39). That’s a saving of $26 just for phoning up support.The reason given for being able to offer the discount was loyalty, and because I had been a Gold member for 12 months I was entitled to a discount. Now I put it to Microsoft: if you can offer the service for $26 less after the first year, why isn’t this being offered to all Gold members by default?I realize this is a tactic used by many services to entice you to stay, but it doesn’t stop me getting angry about it. We pay enough to purchase the console, buy the games, and invest in digital downloads. The subscription on top of that for playing online should be as low as possible and clearly it isn’t in this case. There’s also the issue of Xbox Live only acting as a gateway in a lot of cases with publishers running their own servers for specific multiplayer games.So if your Gold membership is coming up for renewal I suggest you phone up support and ask for the auto-renewal to be turned off. This doesn’t cancel your account, it just means you have to manually renew. However, if your experience is anything like mine, you’ll be paying a reduced price for another 12 months over the phone.
In a bid to increase tourism from selected destinations, India has lifted visa restrictions imposed on travellers making subsequent visits.Following the Mumbai attacks in 2009, the country introduced a 60-day gap rule on multiple-entry visas, First Post India reported. Recognising restrictions behind the law, India has agreed to relax the rule on foreign visitors, however, citizens of Pakistan, China, Iran, Iraq, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Sudan will continue to travel under the two-month gap rule.The imposition will also continue to apply for any traveller with any sort of Pakistan lineage, even if it is two generations back.Showcasing a more relaxed destination, earlier this year Indian tour operators increased their offerings to the gay and lesbian community as a means of becoming the ultimate ‘pink’ travel spot. India has agreed to relax the rule on foreign visitors. Image: indiavisa24.co.uk Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J