Tag: 上海水磨会所

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DeSantis: New Federal Relief is Ahead for Unemployed Floridians

first_imgBenefits would be retroactive to August 1 of this year.Eligible individuals would include those receiving:-State Reemployment Assistance, including Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) and Unemployment Compensation for Ex-Service members (UCX);-Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC);-Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA);-Extended Benefits (EB);-Short-Time Compensation (STC);-Trade Readjustment Allowance (TRA); and-Payments under the Self-Employment Assistance (SEA) program.The new federal program is being provided from FEMA disaster relief funds. Residents of Florida could soon join those of many other states across the country that are getting a new boost in their unemployment benefits.That’s because Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Wednesday that the state is about to apply to for the federal Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program.It covers people who are already eligible for Reemployment Assistance on or after August 1. The benefit would be $300 per week, in addition to other benefits claimants may already be receiving.The previous federal assistance program, which provided $600 per week to unemployed individuals who lost their jobs during the coronavirus pandemic, expired July 31 and was not renewed or extended by Congress.“On behalf of Floridians who are continuing to face challenges finding employment, I would like to thank President Trump for providing additional funding while they get back on their feet,” according to Gov. DeSantis. “We appreciate the opportunity to provide this temporary assistance through the Lost Wages Assistance program.”In order to be eligible for the new benefit when the state obtains federal approval, claimants must be receiving at least $100 each week from an approved Reemployment Assistance program. They will also be required to provide full or partial unemployment due to the pandemic.COVID-19 Gov. DeSantis Announces Florida’s Participation in the Federal Lost Wages Assistance Program. Pending federal approval, this will allow Florida to offer an additional $300 per week to eligible Reemployment Assistance claimants. pic.twitter.com/xjXVNVIRKJ— Linda Stewart (@LindaStewartFL) August 26, 2020last_img read more

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Takeaways from the Giants’ 2-1 victory over Miami on Sunday

first_imgSAN FRANCISCO — The Giants still are scuffling to score runs, but Johnny Cueto delivered another pitching performance that made everyone feel better.Cueto pitched his second straight scoreless start since returning from Tommy John surgery last summer, and the Giants closed out their homestand with a 2-1 victory over the Miami Marlins on Sunday.The Giants have scored just seven runs the past four games, but they took two of three from the National League’s worst team as they embark on a trip …last_img read more

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Killing salmonella, avian flu in eggs

first_img16 November 2005A consortium led by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has developed a new system that pasteurises raw eggs to destroy the dangerous Salmonella enteritidis bacteria – and could kill the virus that causes avian influenza.Salmonella can cause potentially lethal diarrhoea and is a major concern for the restaurant trade, which uses raw eggs in puddings and sauces.With increased restrictions on feed antibiotics administered to chickens, the incidence of salmonella is rising. Many countries have recently had to take measures to contain salmonella outbreaks.The World Health Organisation reports that 40% of food poisoning cases in Europe are a result of infected eggs. In Africa, the higher incidence of HIV can make the consequences of salmonella poisoning more serious in immune-compromised individuals.To tackle the problem the research consortium pooled the skills of the CSIR, the University of Pretoria, Delphius Technologies and Eggbert Eggs, the country’s second largest egg producer. Financial support came from South Africa’s Innovation Fund.The process works with low-frequency microwaves and hot air, says Nell Wiid, managing director of Eggbert Eggs. The eggs are placed in a specially designed microwave oven and are heated to between 50°C and 70°C, killing the salmonella bacteria without cooking the eggs.Pasteurised eggs are sold in the US, but they cost up to three times more than untreated eggs, says Wiid. Moreover, the US system uses an impractical water-bath technique that partly cooks the egg white.The South African technique requires a specially designed oven cavity and phased process developed by Delphius Technologies, specialists in the development of industrial microwave ovens. The consortium is seeking an international patent for the ovens and processes.“The most difficult part of the project optimising the heating curve and identifying hot spots,” says Wiid. “Eggs vary in shape, mass, position of the yolk and heating profile and the microorganisms are sensitive to many of these variables.”The bird flu threatBy the time the consortium’s work had produced results, warnings by the World Health Organisation on bird flu led the team to expand its research to include testing on a low-virulence strain of the avian flu virus.“Preliminary results from these trials indicate that the new pasteurisation technology also destroys the avian influenza pathogen,” says Dr Gatsha Mazithulela, the CSIR’s executive director for biosciences.“While all indications are that South Africa is currently free of avian flu, we are encouraged by these results and by the future potential of this technology as one possible preventative measure.”From December South African consumers will be able to buy pasteurised eggs – clearly marked as “Safe Eggs” and “Pasteurised Eggs” – from supermarkets. They will cost about 8c more than unpasteurised eggs. The eggs also have an extended shelf life of at least double that of unpasteurised eggs, and can be kept for up to six weeks at 18°C to 22°C.Huge international interest in the technology has taken Wiid to Belgium and France, and he is optimistic that South Africa could significantly benefit from this innovation.SouthAfrica.info reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

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World champion Buckeyes celebrate success in the sawdust

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Emily Beal, writer for The Ohio State University College of Food, Agriculture and Environmental SciencesThis time of year, Ohio State University fans around the world are getting ready to watch a Buckeye team make a run for a National Championship. Many, though, many not realize that there are already some 2019 champion Buckeyes that compete in a different type of venue. The Ohio State Dairy Judging Team proved it was the cream of the crop, placing first at the National Intercollegiate Dairy Cattle Judging Contest at the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wis. this fall. The last time Ohio State won the contest was in 1986.The Dairy Judging Team placed first among 18 schools in the National Intercollegiate Dairy Judging Contest on Sept. 30. Coached by Bonnie Ayars, The Ohio State University team placed seventh for reasons with a score of 788. The team consists of fourth-place overall individual Billy Smith and ninth-place overall individual Lauren Almasy along with Sarah Lehner and Ian Lokai. Almasy is a junior majoring in animal sciences and Lehner is a sophomore majoring in agribusiness and applied economics. Lokai is a junior majoring in animal sciences and Smith is a senior majoring in animal sciences.The team carried 10 pennies and a buckeye in their pockets in honor of former Dairy Judging Team Coach Pete Spike who owned a dairy farm named Ten Penny Holsteins.Ohio State’s team had already proven itself a force to be reckoned with, but no one knew if it would be able to capture the first-place prize. While the van trip to the event might have been entertaining, once the team reached Madison, it was show time. The members of the team were anxious. The day started at 6:30 a.m. with breakfast, and ended at 4:30 p.m.“They had bottles of Tylenol in the rooms because they knew exactly how we would be feeling,” Lehner said.Team members had to judge one class of dairy cattle at a time. Each class represented a specific breed, with four heifers, calves, or milk cows in the class itself. The students looked at each cow’s overall physical appearance. Did it have a good udder, a clean cut, a straight line, and functional feet and legs?The most stressful part of this process was the reasoning portion of the competition. During the reasoning section, competitors gave detailed descriptions as to why they placed a class the way they did. This required the individuals to hone in, focus, and stand by their selections.“Judging 12 classes and then going to give six sets of reasons requires a lot of brain power and definitely calls for a long day,” Almasy said.The reasoning process made the team members’ hearts beat a little faster. It filled their bodies with pent-up nerves and their brains with racing thoughts. After the reasoning portion of the contest, the teammates could all heave sighs of relief.While the competition results were full of suspense, the team, in the end, was victorious, beating The Pennsylvania State University’s team by a single exhilarating point. Finally, after the 33-year dry spell, the team brought home gold to the Ohio State University College of Food, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) Department of Animal Sciences.When it came down to who would seize first and second place, all the team members could do was wait. Thoughts of winning the expo swirled in their heads, while thoughts of coming in second crept in, too. The team members were clinging to each other while anxiously waiting to hear those magical words: “In first place, Ohio State!”After the agonizing wait, they hollered, they hugged. Some cried.While dairy judging is not a typical extracurricular activity, the team and coach Bonnie Ayars worked long, diligent hours with the team getting ready for the contest.“It’s just like coaching any other sports team. We have a playing field; we have an arena. Ours is just made of sawdust, not turf,” said Ayars, who is also a program specialist in the CFAES Department of Animal Sciences. “On this team, all four were steeped in the dairy industry and had a real passion for it.”Ayars herself is no stranger to the dairy industry. Coaching Ohio State’s Dairy Judging Team for the past 14 years, she has been a staple of its success. She and her husband, both dairy show judges, run their own dairy farm.“It all came natural — my kids judged, I judged. There was no choice in the household, really,”Billy Smith, a member of The Ohio State University Dairy Judging Team. Photo provided by OSU CFAES.Ayars said.The team members’ crazy schedule and weekend trips have allowed them to form special bonds with one another. Explaining cattle isn’t all they talk about; they share life experiences with each other as well.“I can sincerely say my teammates are some of my best friends,” Almasy said.Taking a van to contests hours away has been a primary force of this bond that’s been created. The teammates have eaten together, stayed in hotels together, laughed together, and shared some secrets in the van.“Let’s just say what happens in the van, stays in the van,” Smith explained with a smile on his face.While the team attributes the endless hours of cattle-evaluation practice to their success, they also believe luck was on their side while standing on those green shavings.“I always say, ‘Luck is what happens when skill runs out,’” Ayars said.Before the team’s victory, the members struck a deal with Ayars — one she did not think she would have to honor. As the team discussed the possibility of winning, they also began talking about Switzerland, the home of the Brown Swiss cattle breed.“Well, one thing led to another, and soon enough Bonnie was telling us that if we won the Expo, she would take us to Switzerland,” Smith said.A deal is a deal, and on Nov. 26, the team left to see those special Brown Swiss cows in Switzerland.Watching the team talk about Ayars, it is clear to see that the team looks up to her and regards her as a mentor.“Bonnie is very well respected by the industry and knows her cows. For her to coach a team to win, that says something,” Lokai said.As for Ayars, she is confident that no matter where life might take these four individuals, they will have wild success. That’s the thing about cream — it always rises to the top.last_img read more

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LEED-Platinum Skyscraper is an ‘Energy Hog’

first_imgOpened in 2010, the Bank of America Tower in New York City was praised as a model of sustainability. But the LEED-Platinum building has proved to be anything but, according to an article by Sam Roudman in the New Republic.Roudman writes that while the building boasted green features such as waterless urinals and rainwater harvesting, it actually uses twice the energy per square foot as the Empire State Building, which is 80 years old. In fact, the building produces more greenhouse gases and uses more energy per square foot than any office building of comparable size in Manhattan, Roudman says.“LEED has helped create a market for sustainability where one didn’t exist before,” the article says. “The problem is that real-estate developers have been able to game the system, racking up points for relatively minor measures.”Much of the energy use, however, can be traced to huge trading floors packed with computer monitors and servers.The U.S. Green Building Council, which created and administers the LEED system, said it had no control over how the occupants use the building. “We are not the government,” Roudman quotes Scot Horst, sernior vice president for LEED as saying. “We can’t regulate anything.”And Roudman’s assertions brought an interesting rebuttal from Treehugger writer Lloyd Alter, who thought the article amounted to “LEED-bashing.”last_img read more

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LaVar Ball questions Trump’s role in son’s release

first_imgKammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH FILE – In this July 7, 2017, file photo, LaVar Ball, father of Los Angeles Lakers’ Lonzo Ball and UCLA player LiAngelo Ball, watches the Lakers play the Los Angeles Clippers during an NBA summer league basketball game, in Las Vegas. President Donald Trump tweeted Sunday, Nov. 19, that he should have left three UCLA basketball players, including LiAngelo Ball, accused of shoplifting in China in jail after LaVar Ball minimized Trump’s involvement in winning the players’ release during an interview Saturday, Nov. 18, with ESPN. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)WASHINGTON — Outspoken basketball dad LaVar Ball questioned the extent of President Donald Trump’s involvement in securing his son’s release from the custody of Chinese authorities during a combative 20-minute CNN interview on Monday night.The president, in tweets Sunday, said he should have left LiAngelo Ball and two other UCLA basketball players accused of shoplifting in jail because LaVar Ball “is unaccepting of what I did for his son” and“very ungrateful!” LaVar Ball has refused to thank Trump.ADVERTISEMENT Pelicans’ Cousins ejected for swinging elbow at Westbrook Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 LaVar Ball didn’t back down during the CNN interview, telling host Chris Cuomo that Trump has more important things to do than ask for his gratitude.“That’s on your mind, that a father didn’t say ‘Thank you’? And you’re the head of the U.S.? Come on,” Ball said. “There’s a lot of other things that’s going on. Let him do his political affairs and let me handle my son, and let’s just stay in our lane.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutBall suggested that he and Chinese president Xi Jinping had more to do with securing his son’s release than the president.“Did (Trump) help the boys get out? I don’t know. If I was going to thank somebody, I probably would thank President Xi. He’s in China. He’s the president of China,” Ball said, later adding: “I helped my son get out of China. I had some people that had boots on the ground that knew the situation.” Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion View comments Read Next MOST READcenter_img QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Kris Aquino ‘pretty chill about becoming irrelevant’ Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes PLAY LIST 01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss00:58Trump blames media, Democrats for impeachment during Kentucky rally01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES Ball also pushed back against Trump’s suggestion that shoplifting “is a very big deal in China.”“It wasn’t a big deal because being raised in South Central LA, I’ve seen harsher things. I’ve seen 16, 17-year-old kids that have had to go to jail for life, that were my friends,” Ball said. “He wasn’t physical. He returned it. He fessed up to it.”LiAngelo and fellow UCLA freshmen Jalen Hill and Cody Riley have been suspended indefinitely. They were arrested and questioned about stealing from high-end stores next to the team’s hotel in Hangzhou, where the Bruins stayed before leaving for Shanghai to play Georgia Tech. All three apologized for their actions and thanked Trump for his role in securing their release, which occurred while the president was traveling in Asia.The trio isn’t allowed to suit up, be on the bench for home games or travel with the team. Without them, No. 23 UCLA lost to Creighton on Monday night in the Hall of Fame Classic.LaVar Ball is attempting to build an empire around the basketball skills of his three sons — Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo, LiAngelo and prep prospect LaMelo — and his own bombastic personality. He started an apparel company, Big Baller Brand, with shoes that retail for $500 or more, and he got in several plugs for his products during the CNN interview.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

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Paid news breaches the trust of readers

first_imgPaid news is deceit. A publication that offers editorial space for sale in a manner that it is meant to look exactly like a news story is not just putting a “For Sale” sign on the sanctum sanctorum of editorial space, but is also peddling our trust.Think about it: the reason any advertiser would want to buy “paid news”, is that there is little that differentiates it as an advertisement from legitimate content. The latter is what we read and trust as an independent effort of a correspondent, and an editor taking a judgment call on what is to be communicated to us, the readers.Paid news, on the other hand, gives you no indication that what you are reading is sponsored content. In newspapers, there is no difference in typeface or background colour to differentiate it from regular news. On television, we rarely see the word “advertisement” on the screen whenever there is a sponsored show that looks like a regular news show.Large media houses have also begun taking equity in firms that don’t want to pay by cash – a business model known as “private treaties”. These deals are usually advertising- space-for-equity barters. As media houses are in the business of news, it becomes an open case of conflict of interest when newspapers and television channels become investors in companies that they might report on.Faith:Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), the stock markets regulator, wants all media houses to disclose their private treaties investments in companies that are listed or are in the process of being listed.advertisementThis is a welcome move. If implemented earnestly, it will protect investors and readers. The reader and the investor have every right to know about these private arrangements so that they are not fooled by media reports.In paid news, the advertiser fundamentally wants to overcome “banner blindness”, the changing of channels during ads, and indeed a certain degree of defensive scepticism that one associates with the pitch that an advertisement makes. Print sells text, television sells sponsored shows and radio, even though it doesn’t broadcast news, sells what is euphemistically termed “anchor mentions”.We may bemoan the quality of news being delivered to us but as readers, we don’t just buy a publication, or just watch a channel. Consciously or subconsciously, we put our faith in the notion that the intent behind information and opinion being served hasn’t been prostituted.But what if the advertisers are individuals or even firms who merely want to insure themselves against unfavourable news in the future? We don’t expect the publication to be up for sale or for negative coverage to be a precursor to extortion from an election candidate; the words “caveat emptor” (Latin for “let the buyer beware”) probably don’t even occur to us.As any public relations executive will testify, they’re in the business of managing perception, and a key part of that is to manage the perception of our gatekeepers – the journalists. This is not new: journalists are wined and dined, taken on international “junkets”, gifted “demo” products that are never taken back; as a result, some of them are more favourably inclined. But it can become ugly.There is, for instance, a well-documented investigation by SEBI highlighting collusion between a major business publication’s journalist, a PR agency and significant shareholder of the Pyramid Saimira stock to manipulate its share price, by forging a SEBI letter, and then making public announcements to mislead investors, which were reported in the publication.For some journalists, it’s about favour and trust; for some, it is about the lure of power and a Rajya Sabha membership. But we don’t know what happens behind the scenes, do we? What we perceive as readers or viewers is often our reality. This is the corruption of our beliefs at its subtlest, on par with the practice of rewriting history books.Some media publications audaciously have rate cards, with the rationale: why not just do away with the middlemen – the journalists.Politics:According to a report submitted to the Press Council of India ( PCI) by a task force assigned to investigate this malaise (a copy is available at http:// presstalk. blogspot. com), it’s not that many media organisations are selling just your trust: during the 2009 general elections, many of them resorted to extortion.The report mentions allegations of publications denying coverage to politicians unless money was paid and even publishing negative coverage. Some news entities are upfront about their political or ideological leaning; paid news, on the other hand, is about putting these leanings up for sale. Funnily enough, the PCI report cites instances of specific newspapers carrying reports of two opposing candidates being likely to win the same elections.advertisementWhat this amounts to is indirect mass rigging of elections, and strikes at the very core of our democracy.Private treaties, however, are even more dangerous. Times Private Treaties, from the Times of India Group, won an award in 2009 in the “Innovative Business Models Contest” organised by the PubliGroupe and International Newsmedia Marketing Association.HT Media does both ads for equity and property deals; Network18 has Synergy18 for such deals. Business Standard had reported in 2008 that Dainik Bhaskar and Jagran Prakashan were also considering this model.At its core, private treaties is much more than just a business model. While it is legitimate for media businesses to take a stake in any company, it creates a financial bond between the two, and the linkages are far deeper than those between advertisers and publications.It is a marriage of their risks and growth. For its own financial growth, it is in the publication’s interest to further the cause of the company it has invested in, since the value of its investment is directly dependent on the growth or decline of the value of the company.An example of how a private treaty model works is available as a part of a draft red herring prospectus filing from Planet41, a mobile value added services company. The filing (at http:// www. sebi. gov. in/ dp/ planet4 1. pdf ) indicates that Brand Equity Treaties Limited (BETL) bought 2.88 per cent, by investing Rs 2.54 crore in Planet41, allowing the company to place advertising worth Rs 4.8 crore, of which Rs 80 lakh will be paid until the IPO.The company would have to pay BETL 33 per cent of the value of the advertising in cash, back, and post listing, 50 per cent. Once listed, depending on how investors perceive the company, the value of the 2.88 per cent stake will change. There is no mention of coverage, but favourable news coverage does tend to push up stock prices, and unfavourable reports can pull it down.While this merely suggests that media companies are corruptible, and not necessarily corrupt, let’s ask a simple question: over 200 companies having done such deals, most of them covered by publications that have invested in them, when was the last time you read disclosure from the news publication, accompanying the story? Now take into account the scale of operations – media companies have cross holdings across platforms – Print, Internet, Radio, DTH and Mobile.Accountability:To be sure, no amount of government or regulatory threats to censure will work because the advertisers pay for your eyeballs.You can never tell if media houses haven’t been promised bribes as full page advertisements, in order to go soft on an upcoming, disastrous and corrupt international sports event.Readers must therefore demand accountability from their publications, and choose those which disclose their interests.advertisementAdvertisers need to be told that readers are more than just a constituent of a circulation figure or a TRP. We also have much greater access to content from various global sources. Twitter and Facebook are fast becoming key sources of news, with people who we trust recommending news articles.Online, there’s always someone lurking to correct, critique or criticise coverage in the comments, holding the publication accountable. Sources that flaunt their disclosures and are open about their mistakes are those that value your trust as a reader. That’s an opportunity in trust for media businesses to pursue: to aggressively use disclosures as a differentiator; else, the readers will make their own choices. And advertising will follow the reader, as it has done in the west.The writer is the Editor of MediaNama ( www. medianama. com), an online publicationlast_img read more

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Winning Bharat Ratna will be a dream come true: Sachin

first_imgIndia batting powerhouse Sachin Tendulkar on Tuesday said that receiving the Bharat Ratna “will be a dream come true” for him.”Every Indian citizen dreams to be honoured by his nation for his contributions. To be appreciated is the greatest feeling one can have,” Tendulkar said.Sachin TendulkarThe 37-year-old scored his 50th Test century while batting against South Africa in Centurion in December last year. He had remained unbeaten in the Test even as the rest of the battling line-up had folded.In the same Test series he went on to score another century in the Cape Town to bring up his tally to 51 even as India levelled the series 1-1.In February last year, Tendulkar became the only batsman to score a double hundred in ODIs while batting against South Africa in Gwalior.Several leading figures including sportspersons around the country have also voiced their support for Tendulkar in winning the Bharat Ratna.Earlier in September 2010, the Indian Air Force conferred on him the honorary rank of Group Captain.Padma Shri for VVS LaxmanMeanwhile, India Test batsman VVS Laxman has been bestowed the Padma Shri for his services to the game.The Hyderabadi, who has played significant part in securing many a memorable wins for India in Tests, follows Virender Sehwag in the list. India opener Sehwag was conferred the honour last year.The Padma Shri is the fourth highest civilian honour in the country after Bharat Ratna, Padma Vibhushan and Padma Bhushan.last_img read more

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15 days agoLiverpool forward Firmino on target for Brazil in Senegal draw

first_imgAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Liverpool forward Firmino on target for Brazil in Senegal drawby Freddie Taylor15 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveRoberto Firmino was on target for Brazil in Thursday’s 1-1 draw with Senegal in Singapore.The Liverpool striker opened the scoring after just eight minutes when he latched onto a pass from Manchester City rival Gabriel Jesus before chipping the ball past Alfred Gomis from close range.Senegal levelled with a penalty by Bristol City’s Famara Diedhiou on the stroke of half-time.Neymar made his 100th appearance for Selecao, becoming just the seventh man to do so.Firmino’s Liverpool teammate Sadio Mane also featured and nearly scored the winner for his country with five minutes remaining. last_img read more

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Procurement problems undermining Liberals defence policy analyst says

first_imgOTTAWA – Long-standing problems with Canada’s military procurement system are threatening to undermine the Trudeau government’s vaunted defence policy, warns a new report.The study, published by the Canadian Global Affairs Institute this week, says the government is on track to spend billions less on new equipment this year than was promised in the Liberals’ policy.The main reason, says the report’s author, defence analyst David Perry, isn’t that the money isn’t available; bottle necks in the procurement system have slowed progress on a variety of projects, meaning the money can’t be spent.That has been a recurring theme in military procurement for the past five years, as the actual amount of money spent on new equipment has steadily declined because of delays and other snarls in the system.And while the Liberals’ defence policy, released last June, promised to dramatically increase year-over-year spending on new equipment over the next decade, it did not include any major new measures to address those problems.The short-term fear is that the military will have to wait longer than expected for new equipment; the bigger concern is that the Liberal government’s ambitious plan to revitalize and expand the military won’t materialize as promised.The first year of the 20-year defence policy, entitled “Strong, Secure, Engaged,” was supposed to see federal officials buy about $6-billion worth of new equipment for the Canadian Forces.Perry, however, found that barring a major surprise in the last quarter of the federal government’s fiscal year, officials will purchase between $3 billion and $4 billion in equipment.“The first fiscal year of Strong, Secure, Engaged is already providing evidence that the policy’s spending plans will not be achieved as outlined unless significant changes (to the procurement system) are made,” he wrote.The policy did include some planned reforms to the system, which has been the subject of years of criticism and controversy for failing to deliver much-needed equipment on time and on budget.And while some federal procurement officials have already acknowledged the challenge they face, they insist that efforts are underway to streamline the system and hire more specialized staff.“Financially, we’ve been very well resourced through the defence policy, and now we have to deliver on it,” Maj.-Gen. Jean-Marc Lanthier, who is responsible for managing National Defence’s corporate strategy, said in October.“The money is coming and our feet are being held to the fire to do what we said we could do.”But many experts and industry representatives worry those reforms will have only a limited effect, an assessment that Perry echoes, saying that a “paradigm shift” will be required to make sure the policy doesn’t go off the rails.That’s because the policy includes a plan to quadruple spending on new military equipment over the next seven years — an astronomical increase unparalleled in recent Canadian history.“While the procurement changes outlined in Strong, Secure, Engaged are all sensible and likely to have some positive impact on procurement,” Perry wrote, “they are unlikely to support the paradigm change required.”Perry points to the way the defence policy was crafted as one of the main culprits for the current situation, noting that it was drafted in secret by a small group of defence officials without input from other departments.“This limited ability to realistically validate the hundreds of individual project schedules and their spending forecasts that comprise the capital spending plans of Strong, Secure, Engaged,” he wrote.“This is important because a project’s schedule dictates when DND will actually spend money. If schedules slip, funds are not spent as intended — a dynamic that has occurred repeatedly over the last 10 years.”— Follow @leeberthiaume on Twitter.last_img read more

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