Hot Java


first_imgThe Café Coffee Day (CCD) location in Mumbai’s upmarket Lokhandwala area is a favorite haunt of 23-year-old television actress Sweety Sangar. She visits this coffee shop, part of India’s leading café chain, at least twice a week with her friends. “I love the ambience and the crowd here,” says Sangar, sinking comfortably into a lounge chair. “I even discuss films (for possible work) with Bollywood directors here.”Just across the road is Barista, another popular coffee outlet. Two 30-year-old friends-cum-entrepreneurs dig into rich chocolate brownies in between working on their laptops. They are waiting to interview a candidate for their start-up. “This is a cool place to grill someone,” says Tejas Mahurkar, one of the pair. In the same neighborhood is Café Mocha, yet another coffee shop. Like CCD and Barista, it too is a favorite with college students and young adults.According to New Delhi-based research and consultancy firm Technopak Advisors, there are over 1,500 coffee cafes in India at present; of these, around 1,000 have opened in the past five years. Valued at around $185 million, the organized café market in India is estimated to be growing at a compound annual rate of 25%.Stirring up the market is India’s growing youth segment: around 50% of India’s 1.2 billion people are 25 or younger. By 2015, this is expected to increase to 55%. For this segment, particularly those with steady, disposable incomes, coffee shops serve as a social hub. “Coffee chains offer a basic emotional need — refuge. They are brands between home and office,” according to Shripad Nadkarni, managing director at Mumbai-based business and marketing consulting firm MarketGate Consulting.“The growth (of cafés) has been triggered by rising youth spending, paucity of alternative hang-outs and an increasing number of new office complexes and colleges,” adds Arvind Singhal, chairman of Technopak. The market, he says, has the potential to touch $800 million to $900 million with a total of 5,000 cafés by 2015. “The sector is wide open,” agrees Gaurav Marya, president of franchise solutions firm Franchise India, which has six café clients.It’s not just local coffee chains that are looking to get a seat at the table. With growth slowing down in developed markets, India is fast becoming a hot spot for coffee retailers across the globe. “Foreign retailers have seen the phenomenal growth of homegrown brands like Café Coffee Day and Barista with increased out-of-home consumption of food. These companies have already established the café concept (in India), and the market is now beginning to look attractive to every coffee maker in the world. They feel they don’t have to start from scratch,” says Ramesh Srinivas, executive director at consulting firm KPMG.Some, like the U.K.’s Costa Coffee and Gloria Jean’s of Australia have already gained a foothold. They set up shop in India a couple of years ago and are now in the process of expanding. Among those waiting to make a splash in the Indian landscape are players like U.S.-based Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts, London’s Coffee Republic, Australia’s Coffee Club and France’s Alto Coffee.Increasing Coffee ConsumptionIndia’s coffee consumption pattern gives a clue to the potential that the market holds. The nation’s per capita consumption of coffee is just 85 grams, compared to 4.5 kilograms in France, 4.6 kilograms in Japan and 6 kilograms in the U.S. The Indian Coffee Board’s numbers reveal that while India is the sixth largest coffee producer in the world, with an annual output of 300,000 tons, domestic consumption is only a third, or 100,000 tons. That’s because like most of Asia, India is predominantly a tea drinking nation. Coffee is a staple only in the southern part of the country.Till the mid-1990s, coffee consumption in India stagnated at 55,000 tons annually. It has doubled since then because of the growing coffee café culture led by domestic brewers CCD and Barista. Over the years, others like the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, The Chocolate Room, Qwiky’s and Café Nescafe joined the party. Hindustan Unilever, the Indian subsidiary of Unilever, is currently pilot-testing Bru World Café in Mumbai with four outlets.Consultants believe that the entry of global heavyweights will change the game further. “The entry of Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts will energize the cafe market,” says Harish Bijoor, a brand consultant and visiting professor at the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad. According to Bijoor, there is bound to be a deeper degree of investment by the existing cafe players, which will help broaden and deepen the base for coffee in India. “Add to it the different formats that will enter. Dunkin’ Donuts worldwide is a pick-and-go play. On-the-go coffee consumption is still nascent territory in India, despite the population being peripatetic within cities. This will add more zing.”MarketGate’s Nadkarni points out that the entry of big global brands like Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts will address consumers who are already exposed to those chains. “That could be a threat to existing players who will have to work harder to retain customers,” he says.Creating New Entry PointsWith 17,000 stores in 55 countries, including 426 in China, Seattle-headquartered Starbucks brewed an agreement with Tata Coffee, India’s largest coffee producer, in January. Starbucks will source and roast green coffee beans from Tata Coffee and will also set up retail outlets in partnership with the Tatas. In an interview with Reuters, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, said the company is “enthused” about entering the Indian market. According to Schultz, Starbucks will look to create different entry points for different demographics and “will create food relevant to Indian consumers that (it does not) provide anywhere else.”Starbucks had in fact begun scenting opportunity in India much earlier, and initially wanted to make a solo entry. But the company’s effort was stalled by FDI regulations — India does not allow 100% foreign ownership in single-brand retail outlets — and was compelled to take the partnership route.For Dunkin’ Donuts, too, it’s been a long journey. In February, following two years of groundwork and negotiations, the company announced a master franchise agreement with north India-based Jubilant FoodWorks, which operates the Domino’s pizza chain in India.”We will raise the bar for existing players,” says Ajay Kaul, Jubilant’s CEO, who will oversee Dunkin’s expansion.Dunkin’ Donuts, which is known globally for pairing coffee with donuts and bagels, is banking on food to grab a bite of the Indian palate. “Unlike others who are pure cafes, the Dunkin’ story is about all-day food, donuts and coffee for premium and middle-class consumers,” notes Kaul. While coffee and other beverages bring in 60% of Dunkin’s revenues in the U.S., in Asia, food accounts for almost 80%, with beverages contributing a mere 20%. “There’s a big opportunity for both coffee and food in India,” Kaul adds. Dunkin’s Westernized menu will gradually expand to include Indian fare. According to Kaul, plans are to look at all formats for the new stores, including 100 to 150 square-foot kiosks. The first Dunkin’ store is expected to open in the first quarter of 2012. The target is to open 30 outlets in three years and increase to 100 in the next five years.Expanding the NetworkMeanwhile at Gloria Jean’s, regional general manager Tony White is also gearing up for a marathon. Gloria Jean’s currently has 16 outlets in Mumbai and Delhi. White is looking to increase that number to 25 by year’s end across other metros, and then jump eightfold to 200 by 2014. “Once we establish beachheads, we will go to smaller towns,” he says.White is also tweaking the company’s sourcing strategy for the Indian market. For the first time, Gloria Jean’s is sourcing and roasting coffee beans outside of Sydney; in this case, in India itself. That’s because coffee attracts a 112% import duty in India and in a price sensitive market like this, passing on the extra costs to the consumers would be suicidal for any player. “It just didn’t make sense importing them,” White notes. “We want to be at the upper end of the mainstream market and have to be cost effective.”At Costa Coffee, the target is to take the 73-store tally to 300 by 2014. Australia’s The Chocolate Room (TCR), which set up shop in 2007 with two Indian techies as master franchisees, is aiming to go up from the current 40 outlets to 50 next year, including standalone shops and kiosks in malls. “We will spend a lot on marketing and visibility,” says L. Chaitanya Kumar, managing director of TCR India.But Venu Madhav, chief operating officer of market leader CCD, is not unduly worried about competition. He believes that there is scope for another 4,000 to 5,000 new outlets over the next five years. “The category is still small. There’s room for everyone,” he says. Madhav expects the market to grow by 40% in the coming years. “New (consumers) are entering the segment and there’s a relatively (higher) degree of comfort in visiting cafes today.”The market leader by a huge stretch, CCD currently has 1,132 outlets in India and 15 overseas. Madhav is now looking at opening another 250 outlets this year and 1,000 in the next three years. He is also experimenting across different formats — the regular neighborhood CCD stores; Coffee Day Squares that offer coffee from around the world for discerning consumers and the spacious Coffee Day Lounges. Madhav has also revamped the menu at the CCD outlets. While outlets along National Highways serve Indian staples like idlis (rice cakes), dosas (rice crepes), paranthas (stuffed flat bread) and biryani (vegetable rice) to travelers, CCD Lounge customers can cook up their own treats with a do-it-yourself menu. “Earlier, the functional need of consumers was coffee and conversation. Now, the consumer is spoilt for choice,” he says. To ensure that footfalls remain high, Madhav has recently signed up consulting firm Landor Associates to engineer a rebranding exercise for CCD.At Barista, India’s second largest coffee chain, which since 2007 had been part of Italy’s Lavazza Group, a key part of the growth strategy is to target customers on the move. Barista plans to increase its number of outlets from 230 at present to 500 by 2014. A majority of the new locations will be located on the highways. Interestingly, both Barista and CCD have signed deals with leading oil companies — Indian Oil, Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat Petroleum — for setting up cafes in gas stations across India.Other domestic players are also gearing up. Like CCD and Barista, the cafe chains are getting into newer territories, like highways, and captive locations such as hospitals and college campuses; experimenting with scalable new formats including kiosks and coffee carts; firming up on supply chains; refining and expanding menus, and also upping the overall experience quotient.India’s coffee café story has its outliers, however, like Java Green from the Reliance Group. Java Green began life as a cyber café in 2003 to support the Reliance group’s telecom business and is now part of Anil Ambani’s empire. The strategy at Java Green is to open stores in locales like colleges and office campuses that have a captive audience. In exchange for free space and electricity, the institutions demand a 10% to 20% discount on all of Java Green’s offerings. The idea is to generate volumes for Java Green and also bring in subscribers for Reliance Telecom. But experts point out that this agenda has made Java Green a fringe player in the café sweepstakes. “The store has a good brand name and beverage range, but needs an aggressive owner. It’s a miniscule business for Ambani,” according to Chennai based G. Giridharan, who was closely associated with the brand during its initial days.Roadblocks AheadEven as the market gets more competitive, there are strong roadblocks ahead. Take the price of roasted coffee. It is currently at an all-time high of $7 to $8 per kilogram, up 60% since last year. Then there is the huge real estate cost. For most foreign players, the rent-to-sales ratio in India is one of the highest across their global markets. With all players targeting a similar profile of consumers, zeroing in on the right location is crucial. Gloria Jean’s White points out that the mix of high rent costs and low menu prices puts tremendous pressure on the business.Manpower is yet another challenge. Much of the success of a café depends not just on the quality of the products it serves, but on the overall ambience and guest experience. This requires trained staff. But vending coffee is not a highly skilled job and is low paying, which often results in high turnover. With every player on expansion track, there is a scramble for putting together the best team. Some brands like CCD and Gloria Jean’s have set up their own training schools, but for others it’s a tough task.With more players entering the arena, the challenges around managing costs, even as one strives to deliver the best international standard of cafe experience, will only intensify. Indian consumers, however affluent, have always put a premium on value-for-money offerings and, as White notes, in order to be successful, every player will need to strictly adhere to the “trifecta of product quality, value-for-money pricing and customer engagement. It will be difficult to scale a large business without the calibration of all three components,” he says. Adds Franchise India’s Marya: “It’s time for everyone to tie up the loose ends and take consumers to the next level.”  Related Itemslast_img read more

Froome looking to make up for 2012 ‘frustration’ at Tour de France


first_imgWestbrook, Biles win athlete of year honors at The ESPYS China furious as Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong El Nido residents told to vacate beach homes LOOK: Jane De Leon meets fellow ‘Darna’ Marian Rivera While the last two flat stages since Monday’s rest day were relatively simple and tranquil for the overall contenders, some still managed to get themselves in bother.‘Nervy’Romain Bardet, third overall at 51sec, came off his bike twice, as did two-time former winner Alberto Contador.“I’m ok, I’m happy to have finished with that stage, it was nervy,” said Bardet.“I was caught up in crashes twice so I’m happy to have come out unscathed and to have finished with these flat stages.“It’s never nice to crash twice — these are the type of days on the Tour where you have to know how to accept your pain with patience, kowtow a bit and wait for better days.”Contador might have been thinking about attacking in the Pyrenees but his two crashes, added to two more last Sunday, have left him looking just to survive until the Alps.“This complicates things a lot for me in the Pyrenees but there’s no way I’m letting my head go down,” insisted the 34-year-old, who is already five minutes down and 12th overall.“When things go against you, instead of thinking of other things or other objectives, you need to be stronger, more determined, and that’s what I’m going to do.“This certainly doesn’t help. I’ll have to wait for the Alps (to attack).” “I have mixed feelings. On that day there was frustration for not being able to go for the stage win, but at the same time I had great feelings and great legs.“I would be very happy if they felt the same tomorrow.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsThe 17th stage in 2012 was won by Spaniard Alejandro Valverde by just 19 seconds as he held off the charging Froome and Wiggins.But several times Froome had been able to accelerate away from his team leader, only to be called back to wait for Wiggins, the yellow jersey holder at that time. LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. “I’ve no regrets, that’s not who I am. I will continue to look forward and in the moment I made the right decisions,” said Froome.Thursday’s 214.5km stage will be crucial to the overall standings, according to Froome, and he’s expecting his rivals to try something audacious.“It’s interesting, it’s going to be certainly one of the stages that shapes this year’s Tour de France being one of the only uphill finishes left now — there are two of them,” said the Sky team leader.“From our point of view, we don’t want to see guys who’ve lost time already getting back into the game, so we aren’t going to let any GC contenders get up the road to get that time back.“But my focus is on Fabio Aru who’s only 18 seconds behind.”ADVERTISEMENT Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR MOST READ Another vape smoker nabbed in Lucena Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Britain’s Chris Froome puts on the overall leader’s yellow jersey on the podium after the eleventh stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 203.5 kilometers (126.5 miles) with start in Eymet and finish in Pau, France, Wednesday, July 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)Chris Froome will return to the scene of one of his most frustrating moments at the Tour de France on Thursday.But the three-time champion said after Wednesday’s 11th stage he has no regrets about the day he was denied the chance of going for a stage victory in Peyragudes as he had to wait for team leader and eventual champion Bradley Wiggins.ADVERTISEMENT Colombian Nairo Quintana vowed to attack if he has the strength, although he’s been complaining of a lack of that the last few days.He cracked on the final climb last Sunday and has drifted out to eighth overall at 2min 13sec from Froome. But he too is staying positive.“We’re not far and we’ve not lost hope. We’ll see how tomorrow goes and how the legs are.“For the moment they feel good and we hope they’ll get better still.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend View commentslast_img read more

LeBron calls for love, unity before taking swipe at Trump


first_imgCleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James speaks while holding his daughter, Zhuri, during the We Are Family Reunion at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017. (Erin McLaughlin/The Sandusky Register via AP)SANDUSKY, Ohio — Along with getting good grades and listening to their parents, LeBron James has encouraged kids in his foundation’s educational program to stand up for their beliefs.On Tuesday night, the superstar gave a lesson in how it’s done.ADVERTISEMENT Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Concluding a day of fun and games at an amusement park, James turned serious when speaking about the recent violence and tragedy in Charlottesville. James also took a pointed swipe at President Donald Trump, calling him the “so-called president.”While holding his young daughter, Zhuri, James stood on stage before an excited crowd of students, parents and others connected to the LeBron James Family Foundation and delivered his emotional message.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games opening“I know there’s a lot of tragic things happening in Charlottesville,” James said to cap the annual event at Cedar Point amusement park. “I have this platform and I’m somebody that has a voice of command, and the only way for us to get better as a society and for us to get better as people is love. And that’s the only way we’re going to be able to conquer something as one.”Then, James, who endorsed Hillary Clinton last year and introduced her at a rally in Cleveland just two days before the election, went at Trump, whom he has criticized in the past. Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Valdez, PH volleyball take lessons from losses in AVC Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo MOST READ Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ LATEST STORIES NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Now in its sixth year, James’ foundation has brought hope to children who might not have any otherwise. If the students meet certain criteria, stay in the program and graduate, they can receive full tuition to the University of Akron.“That means everything,” Latasha McCullough said as she sat with her husband, Arthur, and children Arlissa and Arsea while waiting for James to appear on stage.The McCulloughs have been directly impacted by James and his work, and they’re forever grateful.“He doesn’t have to do anything,” Latasha said. “All he is responsible for are his kids, his family, go to work and provide for his, but he does it for his city. He does it for everybody, everybody’s kids. All the things he didn’t have growing up, he’s giving it to our kids with no problem and he’s not being selfish. It’s constant and consistent, you earn what you get.”James has grown his foundation beyond its initial goals of tackling the city’s drop-out rate. Next year, the charity will open the I Promise School, designed to help students who have already fallen behind and need extra attention.Michelle Campbell, executive director of the LeBron James Family Foundation, is awed by what the group has accomplished.James has led the way.“It’s never enough with him,” she said. “He is always pushing, just like on the basketball court, pushing and pushing. I could have never imagined what we have done and are doing, but with his belief and what he wants to do and his drive and his ability to put all these partners around us. We can’t fail.“It started out with working with kids and changing a child, then OK, we got the family involved and we learned that some didn’t have their high school diplomas, so we broke down those barriers. Now he’s changing a whole community. He’s uplifting this whole community, on his back.” Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. “It’s not about the guy that’s the so-called president of the United States, or whatever the case. It’s not about a teacher that you don’t feel like cares about what’s going on with you every day. It’s not about people that you just don’t feel like want to give the best energy and effort to you. It’s about us. It’s about us looking in the mirror. Kids all the way up to the adults. All of us looking in the mirror and saying, ‘What can we do better to help change?’ And if we can all do that and give 110 percent, then that’s all you can ask for.“So, shout-out to the innocent people in Charlottesville and shout-out to everybody across the world that just want to be great and just want to love. Thank you, and I love you all.”James’ remarks ended a star-studded show that included pop stars Jordin Sparks and Usher as well as his Cavaliers’ teammate J.R. Smith. They stood alongside him for his message along with his sons, Bronny and Bryce.There had been a celebratory vibe all day, as James hosted nearly 7,000 of his foundation’s students and their families, who strolled around the immense park best known for its roller-coasters wearing light blue T-shirts with “We Are Family” across the fronts.It was as if James’ hometown of Akron had all gone out together for the day, and that was exactly the point of the event — to celebrate the successes of kids committed to making more of their lives.ADVERTISEMENT View commentslast_img read more

London Olympics: Kazakhstan’s Zulfiya Chinshanlo wins gold, sets new world record


first_imgKazakhstan’s teenage prodigy Zulfiya Chinshanlo powered her way to a weightlifting gold in the 53kg category on Sunday, breaking her own world record in the clean and jerk. The 19-year-old posted a snatch of 95kg before making history with 131kg in the clean and jerk, one kilogram more than her effort at last year’s world championships.The total of 226kg gave a seven-kilo winning margin ahead of Hsu Shu-Ching of Chinese Taipei, who took the silver, and Moldova’s Cristina Iovu, who won the bronze.Hsu was awarded the silver over Iovu due to a lesser bodyweight.China’s 17-year-old prodigy Zhou Jun, one of the favourites for gold, was a surprise early casualty, failing to snatch 95kg.Another contender, Yuderqui Contreras of the Dominican Republic, also crashed out in the snatch after dropping all three attempts at 94kg.last_img read more

London Olympics: Li Xiaoxia beat Ding Ning to win gold in women’s table tennis


first_imgLi Xiaoxia of China beat teammate Ding Ning in a controversial Olympic women’s singles table tennis final on Wednesday.[blurb} Li, 24, won 11-8, 14-12, 8-11, 11-6, 11-4.The fourth game saw controversy that reduced Ding Ning, the top-ranked world champion, to tears and effectively ended her challenge.With Li 8-2 up, Ding was shown a red card for dissent after approaching the umpire about a serve fault.Ding did not appear to be protesting, and seemed to have merely made a polite inquiry.Visibly distraught, Ding was unable to maintain the fight and capitulated 4-11 in the final game.Earlier on Wednesday, Feng Tianwei of Singapore won the bronze medal match, destroying Japan’s Kasumi Ishikawa four games to nil.It was Singapore’s third medal in Olympic history, a feat that left Feng, who won team silver in Beijing, visibly moved as she left the arena.last_img read more

Juventus sign Roma midfielder Pjanic for five years


first_imgItalian football champions Juventus have prepared themselves in case of a possible departure of midfield sensation Paul Pogba with the signing of Roma’s Miralem Pjanic to a five-year contract.”Juventus Football Club can confirm that Miralem Pjanic has completed a permanent switch from Roma for a fee of 32 million euros ($35.9 million),” the turin-based club said in a statement on Monday.”The 26-year-old has signed a five-year contract with the club.”Pjanic who completed the medical tests earlier, will reportedly get a deal worth 4.5 million euros ($5 million) per season.He had been linked with English Premier League clubs Manchester United and Chelsea.Pogba has reportedly been linked to Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester United with the Madrid-based club being told by Juventus to pay 120 million euros ($134.7 million) to get the services of the 23-year-old Frenchman.Pjanic handed in an official transfer request on Saturday. The player informed Roma that he wished to activate a release clause in his contract that allowed him to leave for a pre-agreed amount, adding that he would pay 20 per cent of the fee himself, with Juventus making up the balance.The Bosnia-Herzegovina international joined Roma from French outfit Lyon in 2011 for 11 million euros, and scored 30 goals in 185 appearances for the capital club.After spending most of his youth in Luxembourg, he established himself as one of the best players in Serie A with a knack for scoring spectacular goals.However, when signing a new contract in 2014, a 38 million release clause was included, and Juventus activated it before taking him to Turin.advertisement”Im delighted that Ill be wearing the Juventus shirt from now on. It’s a great feeling, and I hope to score lots of goals, play well and win. I just want to make the Juve fans happy,” Pjanic said in a video.”I’m delighted to be here, and I hope to give you lots to celebrate on the pitch. I hope we can win together, forza Juve,” he added.I hope itll continue to be just as hard for opponents here and that well enjoy a lot of success together.”last_img read more

Chile will enter FIFA Confederations Cup final, says Arturo Vidal


first_imgArturo Vidal asserted on Tuesday that his team will overcome Portugal in the FIFA Confederations Cup semi-final and meet reigning World Cup champions Germany in the title clash on July 2.The two-time Copa America champions will take on current European champions Portugal in the semi-finals at the Kazan Arena on Wednesday.Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo has been in good form for Portugal, bagging man of the match awards in all three group matches.Vidal however, has allayed any fears ahead of the vital tie, asserting that the four-time Ballon d’Or winner will not be able to carry Portugal to the final.”I have already told my Bayern Munich team-mate (and Germany international) Joshua Kimmich that we will meet again in the final,” the Chilean midfielder was quoted as saying by the Daily Mirror on Tuesday.Vidal also lashed out at the Portuguese star, saying he does not exist for him.”Cristiano is a smart ass. For me he does not exist,” Vidal said.Portuguese midfielder Luis Fernandes also thinks that the South Americans are favourites in their semi-final clash.”Chile are favourites. They’ve players of great quality playing in big clubs worldwide, but our goal is to play the final,” Fernandes said.last_img read more

Microsoft Surface Go launches in India with Pentium Gold processor, starts at Rs 38,599


first_imgAfter waiting for a while, Microsoft has finally brought its cheapest Surface device to the Indian market. The device in question is the Surface Go tablet and starts at Rs 38,599 for the base variant with 4GB RAM and 64GB eMMC s storage. Microsoft will also be selling two accessories to enhance the productivity of the tablet for users. The Surface Go is available for pre-order on Flipkart for all the variants and accessories.As stated, the Surface Go is a tablet device from Microsoft. The device sports a 10-inch touchscreen IPS LCD display with a resolution of 1800 x 1200 pixels. The display gets Gorilla Glass 3 protection. Underneath, the Surface Go is powered by an Intel Pentium Gold 4415y processor, which is tailored for handling moderate tasks with ease. The tablet will run the desktop version of Windows 10 S out-of-the-box and will get all the latest Windows updates as and when released. Users will able to upgrade to the full Windows 10, which also means users will be able to run the full Windows applications and programs, if the hardware permits.The Surface also sports a USB-c port alongside a 3.5mm headphone jack. Microsoft claims that the hinge design helps users find the perfect angle for any task — from adjusting the device angle on the plane to pushing the kickstand down to ink on a photo to share with your friends. For those concerned with connectivity, the Surface Go features a 5-megapixel HD camera for the front and an 8-megapixel HD with the auto-focus camera for the rear, along with dual microphones. Windows Hello features will also be available that use the onboard biometrics to securely unlock the device on the go.advertisementAs for the accessories, the Surface Go comes with a Signature Type Cover and a Surface Dock. The Surface Type Cover offers a backlit keyboard with a trackpad. The base is made out of Alcantara and comes in four colours — Black, Platinum, Burgundy, and Cobalt Blue. The Surface Dock will transform the tablet into a workstation by letting the users attach a keyboard and a mouse for a full desktop experience.The Surface Go starts in India at Rs 38,599 for the base variant with 4GB RAM and 64GB eMMC storage. The top-end variant with 8GB RAM and 128GB SSD storage costs Rs 50,999. The Surface Go Signature Type Cover Black variant will cost around Rs 8,699 while the coloured variants will cost upwards of Rs 11,799.Additionally, Flipkart and Microsoft will be offering some unique offers for Microsoft Surface Go buyers. Buyers can avail a discount of Rs 2,000 on pre-paid transactions on the tablet while a discount of Rs 4,000 can be availed on the type cover. Additionally, buyers can also avail a no-cost EMI of Rs 5,561 on most debit and credit cards.ALSO READ | Xiaomi Redmi 7 Pro leaked specs reveal it will not be a major upgrade over Redmi 6 ProALSO READ | Micromax launches Infinity N12, N11 series smartphones, starting at Rs 8,999ALSO READ | Lenovo Z5s variant with a whopping 12GB of RAM spotted ahead of launchlast_img read more

Everyone Thinks This Was A Dirty Hit On Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray


first_imgKyler Murray throws a pass in warmups.NORMAN, OK – SEPTEMBER 22: Quarterback Kyler Murray #1 of the Oklahoma Sooners throws during warm ups before the game against the Army Black Knights at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on September 22, 2018 in Norman, Oklahoma. The Sooners defeated the Black Knights 28-21 in overtime. (Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images)Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray took a nasty shot late in the game against Alabama. Star defensive lineman Quinnen Williams hit Murray with a helmet-to-helmet blow and landed with most of his weight on the Sooners’ quarterback.Murray laid on the ground for several minutes while be attended to by medical staff.Video shows Murray’s helmet getting ripped off during the play. He was forced to leave the game of at least one play, but hopped right back in the game when he was eligible.Those watching at home expected a flag to be called on hit by Williams.Check it out.Dru Samia has gotta calm down, already been flagged this game for extracurricular stuff – pic.twitter.com/BV5seurD29— Michael Kist (@MichaelKistNFL) December 30, 2018The officials decided not to throw the flag on the play, but got Williams for an offside call just a few plays later.Alabama leads the game 38-20 with just under 12 minutes left in the contest. Can the Heisman Trophy-winner overcome an 18-point deficit in the final minutes?Stay tuned.last_img read more

Expanded Panama Canal Tops Expectations


first_imgzoom On its way to further position Panama as the logistics hub of the Americas, the Expanded Panama Canal has set a number of records and surpassed expectations in its first year of operations, resulting in redrawn global trade routes.Over the past 12 months from its inauguration date of June 26, the Expanded Canal’s performance “has exceeded nearly all expectations.”During the period, more than 1,500 Neopanamax vessels transited the new locks, according to the Panama Canal Authority (ACP).Containerships represent some 46.8 percent of traffic through the waterway, followed by liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) carriers and liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers, which represent around 34.2 and 9.4 percent, respectively. Other segments such as bulk carriers, tankers, car carriers, and passenger vessels have also transited the new locks.Additionally, Panama Canal’s tonnage has increased by 22.2 percent when comparing the 2016 and 2017 fiscal year. On average, 5.9 vessels transit the Expanded Canal per day, surpassing original forecasts of two to three daily transits for the first year of operation.Fifteen new liner services opted to transit the Expanded Locks, “as shipping lines continue to reroute their services to take advantage of the economies of scale offered by the Expanded Canal.”The one-year anniversary of the canal’s inauguration, one of the most significant milestones in the history of the 102-year old waterway and a defining moment for the people of Panama and the broader maritime industry, will be commemorated on June 26, 2017.All vessels transiting on Monday will receive a commemorative first anniversary plaque, the ACP informed.last_img read more

Province Awards Two RoadPaving Contracts in HRM


first_imgThe province has awarded two road-paving contracts in Halifax Regional Municipality valued at $4,652,310. The first contract, for $4,341,600, is to repave Highway 107 from west of the Exit 19 overpass at Porters Lake for 8.4 kilometres to the Exit 21 overpass, including the ramps at Exit 19 and 20, and the connector road between Highway 107 and Trunk 7 at Exit 20. In addition, it includes repaving of East Jeddore Road from the intersection of Bakers Point Road for 3.8 kilometres to the end of pavement. The second contract, for $310,710, is to repave Conrads Road at Queensland Beach from the intersection of Trunk 3 for about 0.4 kilometres. Both contracts were awarded to Dexter Construction Co. Ltd. “Both of these contracts will be beneficial to local residents and visitors alike,” said Murray Scott, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. “Highway 107 is the key to the scenic wonders of the Eastern Shore, while Queensland Beach is one of the busiest in Nova Scotia.” These projects are part of government’s commitment to better roads and infrastructure. The department’s highways division manages more than 23,000 kilometres of roads in Nova Scotia. It maintains 4,100 bridges and operates seven provincial ferries. Staff provide services from district offices in Bridgewater, Bedford, Truro and Sydney.last_img read more

Advocates say Quebec Alzheimers slaying highlights need for caregiver support


first_imgMONTREAL — Advocates for caregivers are hopeful the case of a Montreal man who killed his Alzheimer’s-stricken wife in what was described as an act of desperation, will shed some light on the plight of those struggling to care for relatives suffering from the disease.Michel Cadotte was sentenced Tuesday to two years less a day in jail for the 2017 suffocation killing of his wife, Jocelyne Lizotte, 60, who was in a long-term care facility. A jury had found him guilty earlier this year of manslaughter. He had told the court he couldn’t handle watching her suffer.The culmination of the case will hopefully alert the public to the daily struggles faced by primary caregivers, particularly those who are taking care of relatives stricken with Alzheimer’s, said Sylvie Grenier of the Quebec Federation of Alzheimer’s Societies.Grenier, who testified for the defence at sentencing, said the Cadotte case highlights the fact that relatives caring for patients with the neurodegenerative disease need to be looked after as well.“What the federation wants the public to retain from this, is all the distress faced by those who get the disease — the victim and their family,” Grenier said Wednesday. “We must support the person with the disease as well as all of those around them.”In Quebec, an estimated 145,000 people are currently suffering from Alzheimer’s and it’s a number that’s expected to spike to 260,000 by 2025.“We’re not ready for this,” said Grenier, adding that various agencies and groups are working to organize social and support services, medical care and day centres to deal with what she described as a “tsunami” of cases that are coming.Cadotte’s sentence was merited and must be denounced, Grenier said. But, she added, the case reveals how family members caring for sick relatives often live in isolation.“For those who are lucky enough not to deal with it, the impact of this disease is not something they can appreciate,” Grenier said. “They can’t understand the impact it can have on the level of distress in people.”Melanie Perroux, co-ordinator of the Regroupement des Aidants Naturels Du Quebec — an organization that represents caregivers, said she hopes the Cadotte case gives people pause to consider how taxing caregiving can be.“I think it shows us how we forget how complicated it is to take on this role and to be a caregiver on a daily basis,” Perroux said. “I really hope that within families where there are caregivers, people will stop to ask the principal caregiver: ‘How can I help you today? Can I do something for you?.”Political reaction was muted in Quebec City Wednesday. Senior ministers assigned to health and to seniors did not want to comment on the matter.Justice Minister Sonia LeBel wouldn’t comment directly on the Cadotte ruling because of the possibility of appeals.“There’s probably a societal debate to be had,” LeBel told reporters. “We can talk about how this type of situation doesn’t arise again, because there’s a sad situation at its core, the judge highlighted that in her judgment.”Sidhartha Banerjee, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

First Nations citizen groups call for auditor general to investigate nuclear waste


first_imgTodd Lamirande and Lucy ScholeyAPTN NewsFirst Nations communities and citizen groups are sounding the alarm on what they call the federal government’s “ill-advised” approach to handling nuclear waste.The Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility, the Canadian Environmental Law Association and the chief of the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne said a planned nuclear disposal waste facility in Chalk River poses future environmental and health risks.“The age of nuclear waste has no end in sight as it stretches into eternity, posing serious unresolved problems for countless generations of Canadians to come,” said Gordon Edwards, president of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility, during a press conference on Tuesday.The Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) is the consortium of companies tasked with dismantling several nuclear facilities in Canada, including the Chalk River site.Once completed, the facility will bury one million cubic metres of nuclear waste underground near the Ottawa River, but critics have said the plan does not conform to international standards.The groups are also calling on the auditor general to hold an inquiry into the costs of nuclear reactor decommissioning and whether the federal government is sustainably handling nuclear waste.Further, critics said the CNL has not been adequately consulting with First Nations groups and the Canadian public on its Chalk River plan.“Several federal reactors are located on unceded aboriginal traditional territory,” said Akwesasne Chief April Adams-Phillips of the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne in a press release. “Now we hear that these defunct reactors may be turned into giant radioactive hulks, covered in cement as a monument to folly. We cannot stand by and let this happen.”The CNL argued its method is safe, designed to protect the Ottawa River and poses “the lowest risk” to the public, the environment and its workers. It will only accept “low-level” nuclear waste, including contaminated soil and discarded materials like mops and gloves. Further, CNL workers will continue monitoring the facility for the next 200 years.Interest groups have suggested Canada adopt Finland’s nuclear waste disposal facility, which is built to store the waste in deep geological reserves for 100,000 years.“We’ve looked at all the different types of waste disposal and for this type of material, the hazard of this type of material, it’s the most appropriate to deal with the situation,” said Kurt Kehler, CNL’s vice-president of decommissioning and waste management.As for public engagement, Kehler said CNL has distributed more than 50,000 newsletters, posted updates on social media, hosted open houses and invited Indigenous representatives to consult on the matter.“We’ve been getting the message out for going on two years now,” he said.CNL is still waiting for an environmental assessment, but is hoping to start construction on the $500-million facility by 2020. If all goes according to CNL’s plan, the Chalk River nuclear waste disposal facility will be fully operational by 2023.Edwards said Canada is lacking a meaningful long-term nuclear waste policy.“There is a near-perfect policy vacuum surrounding this question at the federal level,” he said. “Canada’s nuclear waste policy framework … is pathetic.”In an email, Natural Resources Canada stated that Canada has a policy framework for radioactive waste that includes a “clear assignment of the roles and responsibilities of both the federal government and waste owners.”The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission is meeting in Ottawa on Wednesday to review the progress on CNL’s nuclear waste plans, including the Chalk River facility and Whiteshell Laboratories on the Winnipeg River in Manitoba.Interest groups plan to protest outside the meeting.last_img read more

Longest cyclone in Bay of Bengal


first_imgCyclone Fani was the longest-lived cyclone in the Bay of Bengal ever observed. The elongated time period of the storm went on for 11 days in the sea and land put together. What made it even more surprising was the fact that it had formed in the pre-monsoon season, that too in April. We had started observing it as soon as it formed in the equatorial Indian Ocean as a low-pressure area. At first, we were tracking it with the help of imagery from Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) SCATSAT-1 satellite, which gave us its exact location once every day. It also informed us on the direction and intensity of winds close to the ocean surface. Also Read – Hijacking Bapu’s legacyThis information was fed into two of our ocean-atmospheric coupled simulation models which then forecast the prospective track and intensification of the cyclone. When our simulation confirmed that the storm is becoming severe, we alerted all the state authorities like disaster management officials and also the Union Ministry of Home Affairs. When the storm transformed into a cyclone we started directly alerting the district administration, which then started provisioning and storing essential supplies. Also Read – The future is here!Our doppler weather radar at Chennai was the first to image half of the cyclone which gave us more information about its various parameters and then once it came further the radar at Machilipatnam was able to see the entire cyclone for the first time. Our forecasts became better after this. Throughout the life cycle of the cyclone, five doppler radars at Chennai, Machilipatnam, Paradip, Gopalpur, and Kolkata kept a watch on the cyclone at one time or the other. This happened for the very first time and helped us with the frequently changing track of the cyclone. By April 30, 2019, we were clear about the fact that the cyclone will move towards Odisha and make landfall. This information was sent to the authorities on the ground through bulletins every three hours, emails and WhatsApp groups. Different sets of officials have different WhatsApp groups and the alerts are sent to all these groups. Just 24 hours before landfall the bulletins were issued every hour until the actual landfall.(The author is the Director General of Meteorology, India Meteorological Department)last_img read more

Two mountaineers from Bengal on Kanchenjunga expedition feared dead


first_imgKolkata: Two mountaineers from the state on Kanchenjunga expedition — Kuntal Karar and Biplab Baidya — are believed to be dead as the rescue operation to bring them back to the base camp proved futile.The Sherpa team, which was on the rescue job of the two injured Indian climbers Biplab and Kuntal, has returned to Camp-4 of Kanchenjunga, as reported from the base camp. The herculean rescue operation, performed by Sherpa Nirmal Purja and his team on Wednesday, yielded no positive outcome. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaUnesh Zirpe, the leader of the expedition team Giripremi from Base Camp, said: “There is almost no hope that any further rescue operation is possible to bring Biplab and Kuntal back to Camp-4 at this stage.” The handling agency has also made it clear that there is almost no possibility that any further rescue effort can save these two lives. Ramesh Ray, another climber from the same team, was rescued by the Sherpas and brought to Camp-4 around 10 pm on Wednesday. His health is on the verge of critical deterioration and he was suffering from altitude sickness leading to HAPE (high altitude pulmonary edema) and snow blindness. Climber Rudraprasad Halder, who was at Camp-4 on Thursday morning, was also suffering from frostbite. Later in the day, both of them were evacuated by rescue helicopter and brought at the base camp. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highway”They are undergoing treatment at the base camp but arrangements are being made to hospitalise them as quick as possible considering their deteriorating health condition,” said Ujjal Roy, a member of the advisory committee of the state Youth Affairs department. Biplab, Kuntal, Ramesh, Rudraprasad and Sk Sahabuddin were part of a five-member team from Bengal, who had embarked on the Kanchenjunga expedition. Four of them — Rudraprasad Halder, Ramesh Ray, Sk Sahabuddin and Biplab Baidya — had reportedly reached the summit point on Wednesday morning. However, Biplab and Kuntal fell sick while descending and sought help from an altitude above 8000m. It was believed that Kuntal was suffering from HAPE. One team member (possibly Rudraprasad) sent an SOS to their family around 3:12 pm on Wednesday via GPS device asking for urgent help. The device read an elevation of 8271m. Nirmal Purja with two other Sherpas — Gesman Tamang and Mingma David Sherpa — responded promptly to the request assuring a rescue operation from an altitude of 8200m. The sherpas were on their way down from the summit of Kanchenjunga.last_img read more

New report offers 14country snapshot of wedding traditions


NEW YORK — In much of Europe and North America, September and October are peak months to get married. In Chile and elsewhere in Latin America, wedding guests are familiar with la hora loca, a wild late-night wedding party with masks, noisemakers and costumes.More than two-thirds of U.S. couples still seek a parent blessing before tying the knot, compared to less than 10% in Italy and Spain, while Colombian weddings have the lowest guest count at an average of 91, as opposed to 524 in India.Those are just a few of the insights in a report released Wednesday by the bridal site TheKnot.com and sister sites WeddingWire.com and the Spanish-language Bodas.net. The report is based on a survey of about 20,000 newlyweds in 14 countries: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, India, Italy, Mexico, Peru, Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States.“One of the similarities that we saw across many countries was the strong desire to put a personal stamp on a wedding,” said Lauren Goodson, senior director of insights for parent company The Knot Worldwide. “We see that springing up from engagement all the way through to the ceremony, the reception and the honeymoon.”While personalization is a strong trend, some longstanding traditions are common across the countries, she told The Associated Press ahead of the report’s release. An average of 78 per cent of those surveyed took a honeymoon, for instance, though in parts of Latin America, couples tend to stay closer to home, Goodson said.Wedding traditions vary widely by region in some parts of the world, including India, where a range of cultures have their own flavours, and auspicious and good luck dates are chosen for ceremonies. For Hindu weddings, for example, such dates are distributed in an annual calendar.But other aspects of weddings offer more commonality, such as fall being a popular time to get married in the U.S., Spain, Portugal and elsewhere in Europe and North America due to mild weather. In Europe, extended summer vacations are common, making wedding planning difficult. December is the top month for engagements in all countries except India.Timelines for planning weddings varied among respondents. Colombian couples had the shortest wedding planning period at seven months, followed by India and Chile at eight months. Goodson said countries where couples are less likely to live together before marriage tend to have shorter planning timelines. Respondents in the U.K. had the longest at 15 months.As for bride attire, those in the Americas and Europe continue to embrace white dresses, with many personalizing their looks through non-traditional silhouettes and accessories. In the U.K., Meghan Markle wasn’t the only one to rock a tiara at her wedding: 22% of British brides wore one, Goodson said.The traditional parent blessing before engagement isn’t necessarily widespread outside of the U.S., she said. It’s less common in Europe, where couples will make the decision to marry, then share the news with parents.More than two-thirds of U.S. couples, or 67%, ask for a parent blessing, compared to 14% in France, 8% Italy and 9% Spain.“Seeking parents’ permission ahead of time is one of the areas where we saw some of the biggest differences,” Goodson said.In terms of wedding price tags, in Mexico it’s traditional to name a “padrinos” who serves as a type of sponsor for the engaged couple — often relatives, godparents or others with a special relationship to the couple, according to the report. It’s considered an honour to serve in the role but there are big responsibilities, such as contributing to the cost of the wedding or participating in the ceremony.In Latin America overall, Goodson said, couples tend to cover a hefty portion of expenses. In Spain, parent contributions are much more substantial. In Peru, Chile and Colombia, couples pay about 55% of wedding costs, and a significant percentage take out loans or amass credit card debt to make it happen.Countries where couples see more financial support from parents or other family members also include Italy, where they cover two-thirds of expenses, the report said.The number of invited guests varies, with smaller receptions, including those driven by economic constraints. Some are influenced by other factors.“It’s actually a pretty big honour to be invited to a Colombian wedding,” Goodson said. “It really says something to your connection to that couple.”While receptions are as personalized as ever, great music keeps the party going until the wee hours in such countries as Chile and Peru, where a Latin American tradition of la hora loca, or “crazy hour,” is popular.At one recent wedding in Santiago, Chile, a couple reported hiring gigantic LED robots to blast confetti in the air while guests danced under neon lights, according to the report. Some of those surveyed said they take on la hora loca themes, like the pair who decided on costumed characters from Super Mario Bros to entertain guests and hand out hats, beads and other wacky party favours.Now that’s a wedding.Leanne Italie, The Associated Press read more

GALLERY Brock closes Spring Convocation with celebration of 100000th graduate


It was a moment she had no idea was coming, but one that she’ll never forget.Rebecca Alcock, a 21-year-old from Ancaster, became Brock University’s 100,000th graduate Friday, June 8 when she received her Bachelor of Arts from the University’s Faculty of Humanities.Chancellor Shirley Cheechoo and President Gervan Fearon pose for photos with Rebecca Alcock, Brock’s 100,000th graduate.Breaking from the traditional prim and proper occasion of Spring Convocation, music rang out and red confetti rained down as Alcock was hooded by Brock University President Gervan Fearon.“I was very shocked and nervous, but it was exciting,” she said. “I’m honoured and proud.”The English Language and Literature major, who plans to enrol in teacher’s college at Nipissing University this fall, called it one of many highlights of her four-year experience at Brock.“I think the most memorable thing is the friends I met in first year and who I’ve kept throughout my experience here,” she said.Early on in the planning, Fearon encouraged Brock staff to make the occasion a special one for the 100,000th graduate, while recognizing the importance of the students and staff who laid the groundwork for this moment.“The idea of being the President of Brock for this moment is an amazing honour, but the tremendous milestone for the University reflects the actions and efforts of everyone up to this point — faculty, staff, alumni, donors, partners and presidents,” said Fearon.“It places Brock in an elite group of universities and says that as an institution, we have a wide range of individuals across Canada and around the globe who can point to Brock as being where they got their post-secondary education.”Brock Registrar Geraldine Jones, whose office has been tracking graduate numbers over the years, said everyone was thrilled to be involved with the celebration.“This is the stuff we love,” she said. “Convocation is purposefully a serious occasion, but it’s always great when we can inject a little frivolity into the medieval traditions we recognize.“It’s an important marker of where we’ve come and where we’re headed,” she said.The ceremony came more than 50 years after the awarding of Brock’s first-ever graduate on May 26, 1967. On a sunny spring day, John Auld received his Bachelor of Arts during the first Convocation held on the podium beside the Schmon Tower.Auld wasn’t able to join Friday’s milestone celebration, but sent his well-wishes.“There were 39 of us — and I was the first to the podium,” Auld said recalling his big day. “We were both excited and relieved, and we all wondered what this ‘Brock Thing’ would mean in our futures.“Although I subsequently attended several universities, and taught at one for 30 years, none compared to the gift and good fortune I received from Brock,” said Auld, who went on to become a professor at the University of Guelph.The final Spring Convocation ceremony was also marked with multiple teaching and student awards for the two Faculties represented at the ceremony, Humanities, as well as Math and Science.Allison Glazebrook, from the Department of Classics, won the Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching for Humanities while Jeffrey Atkinson, from the Department of Chemistry, won the same award for the Faculty of Math and Science.The Board of Trustees handed out Spirit of Brock Medals to one undergraduate and one graduate student from each of the two faculties. Elizabeth Angotti (French Studies) and Terrance McDonald (Interdisciplinary Humanities) won for Humanities while Michael Tolentino (Biomedical Sciences) and Mikel Ghelfi (Chemistry) won for Math and Science.Deans medals for the highest overall average were awarded to Rachel Agombar (Dramatic Arts) and Andrea Caruso (French Studies) in Humanities and Grant Mckinnon (Biological Sciences), Shabana Jamani (BSc) and Bill Truong (Physics) for Math and Science.Also awarded Friday was the Governor General’s Gold Medal, given to the student graduating in either Fall or Spring Convocation ceremonies with the highest academic standing in a master’s degree. Winning the award was Michelle Przedborksi, who earned a PhD in Theoretical Physics with a 97.25 per cent average.Watch the 100,000th graduate celebration below: read more

Livein caregiver charged with theft in Burlington


A 55-year-old caregiver from Saint Lucia has been charged after money and personal items were stolen from a Burlington home. Charmain Peter was arrested and charged with theft, possession of property obtained by crime and uttering threats.Peter worked as a live-in care provider for one the elderly residents of the home. Police say some of the stolen property was recovered following her arrest. Police are reminding residents to ensure you conduct a screening process for hiring live-in care providers and care providers who may be entering your home. “If you hire them privately; ensure they are entitled to work in Canada with a Social Insurance number, conduct reference checks, and ask questions about their qualifications for the services they are going to be providing,” says Halton police. “Another method to ensure your safety and that you receive the professional care you are contracting for is to hire a registered and licensed Personal Support Worker.” read more

Volunteers needed for Alternative Reading Week


Their trips may have taken place 3,000 miles apart, but Jesse Clews and Jennifer Krause both came home with a similar outlook on life.The Brock students participated in the University’s Alternative Reading Week (ARW) program in February 2017, heading to Peru and South Carolina respectively. They both plan to return to their respective volunteer posts this winter, but not without bringing along a few new recruits.The pair will be on hand to share their experiences at some of the upcoming information sessions aimed at getting new ARW volunteers on board.Despite the vast distance and differing cultures of each location, both Clews and Krause experienced the effectiveness of the program and its overwhelming impact on participants.Jesse Clews worked closely with Peruvian children during Brock’s February 2017 Alternative Reading Week program in Peru, where he was part of a medical outreach team.In South Carolina, Krause, now a fourth-year history student, worked alongside fellow Brock students and local community members to build a Habitat for Humanity house for a family in need. “I learned a lot about myself,” Krause said of the experience. “I am really shy and I was nervous about meeting new people in a different environment. While I was there, I learned a lot of new personal skills and interacted with others on a different level.”Meanwhile, in Peru, Clews, now a fourth-year health sciences student, was participating in a medical outreach program that allowed him to not only gain important hands-on experience, but to also learn valuable life lessons.“The trip gave me the medical job-shadowing opportunities that I needed,” he said. “And on a humanitarian level, I learned that we all need to be a bit more appreciative of what we have.”Kristen Smith, Manager of Community Outreach Programs, with Brock’s Student Life and Community Experience Department emphasized that, in addition to personal growth, students on Alternative Reading Week trips are also often practically affirmed in their career choices.“They feel the sense of ‘I am in the right field,’” she said. “Or they realize there is a less traditional path for them to take to begin their career.”That sentiment rang true for both Clews and Krause.Krause, an aspiring teacher, said the trip has inspired her to direct her career towards helping the less fortunate.Clews discovered that Peruvian physicians employ a more holistic approach to patient care, and he hopes to use this method within his own medical career.Beyond the hands-on humanitarian experience, Krause and Clews each felt the best part of their respective trips involved spending time with local residents while soaking up some life lessons they could not have learned at home.“They taught me to be more patient and not to sweat the small stuff,” Clews said.“And to treat everyone with equity, dignity and respect,” echoed Krause.“The impact that individuals can have in our global society, recognizing similarities and differences, is life changing,” said Smith. “And we are excited for more students to have those experiences in this year’s programs.”Clews hoped to encourage students to take the leap and join one of the worthwhile trips.“You are volunteering seven days of your reading week to have experiences that will stay with you for the rest of your life,” he said.Students interested in learning more about Brock’s Alternative Reading Week program are invited to attend the following information sessions:Tuesday, Oct. 3 at noon in Welch Hall 311Wednesday, Oct. 4 at 3 p.m. in Plaza 311Wednesday, Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. in Plaza 411Thursday, Oct. 19 at 10 a.m. in Thistle 149Information on the Alternative Reading Week programs can also be found on ExperienceBU. read more

Duncan scores 28 points in Vermonts 7064 win over Towson


TOWSON, Md. — Ernie Duncan scored 28 points and Isaiah Moll 20 to lead Vermont to a 70-64 victory over Towson on Friday night.Duncan was 6 of 9 from the arc and made all eight of his free throws while Moll had three 3-pointers and a game-high seven rebounds. Anthony Lamb added 12 points for the Catamounts (5-3).Brian Fobbs scored 25 points and Tobias Howard had 12 for the Tigers (3-4), who had a streak of seven straight victories over America East opponents snapped.Vermont led 27-25 at halftime. After a free throw cut the lead to one to open the second half, the Catamounts went on a 23-6 run that included four 3-pointers for an 18-point lead with 12 minutes remaining. Towson didn’t get as close as six after that until the final minute when Vermont made seven free throws to seal the win.The Associated Press read more