Watch: Ishant-Dhammika on-field spat turn ugly at SSC

first_imgIt was all chaotic at the SSC during the end of India’s second innings. Dhammika Prasad replaced Tharindu Kaushal in the 76th over he tried to get the last Indian wicket,  peppered Ishant Sharma with short balls- three of them.Ishant ducked the first one and swayed away from the second. Dhammika’s cold stare at Ishant Sharma spiced things up in the middle. Ishant wore a smile on his face when Dhammika overstepped while bowling the third bouncer.An angered Dhammika sent in another one directed at Ishant’s ribs. The Indian tailender nudged it to point to take a single and while doing so he started banging himself on the helmet signalling Dhammika to target his helmet the next time.It got ugly between the two and Dinesh Chandimal, Ravichandran Ashwin and Angelo Mathews joined in and things got a bit out of control. The umpires had to intervene to calm things down.It didn’t end there as Dhammika started tailing Ishant on his way back to the dressing room during the innings break.When Ishant had the ball in his hands Ishant Sharma was all fired up when he had the cherry in his hands. The Indian pacer took two early wickets sending back Upul Tharanga and Dinesh Chandimal.And when he got the wicket of Chandimal, this is how he reactedlast_img read more

Exclusive: Board of Control for Cricket in India takes on International Cricket Council, rejects financial model

first_imgThe Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Sunday sent an 11-page letter to International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive Dave Richardson, categorically rejecting the proposed revenue model and constitutional reforms.India Today has accessed BCCI’s 11-page letter to the ICC rejecting the venue model. (Shashank Manohar resigns as chairman of International Cricket Council)The BCCI has reminded the world body that they have the option of exercising the rights mentioned under the Members’ Participation Agreement (MPA).While BCCI’s stand was always known, the Supreme Court appointed Committee of Administrators (COA) member Vikram Limaye, in his letter, has pointed out that ICC should respect the MPA signed on October 12, 2014.The matter is listed in the Supreme Court today and before the Apex Court hears it, the CoA has made it clear that it will do all to protect India’s financial monopoly.It has been learnt that BCCI can take legal recourse if ICC violates MPA, which assures certain benefits to member nations who compete in the ICC tournaments from 2015-2023. (Why Shashank Manohar resigned as ICC chairman)The letter states: “The proposed new ICC Constitution and financial model will, if adopted, entitle us to exercise certain rights under the MPA and also to avail remedies under applicable law. We trust the ICC will reconsider the proposed new ICC constitution and financial models in light of provisions of the MPA so that we do not have to consider exercising our rights and remedies in relation to the MPA, which are expressly reserved. Please communicate our stand to ICC for information and necessary action.”advertisementLimaye, after his first Board meeting in Dubai in February, had said that ICC could not give any cogent reason as to what economic model has been used for equitable distribution of revenue which seemed to be based more on “good faith and equity”.Many felt that it was erstwhile ICC chairman Shashank Manohar’s indirect attempt to hit BCCI which was in tangles after the Supreme Court verdict that led to the ouster of its president Anurag Thakur and secretary Ajay Shirke.However, the BCCI has garnered enough support to thwart the move with Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe by its side.Here’s the full letter:PRELIMINARY OBSERVATIONS ON THE PROPOSED NEW ICC CONSTITUTION AND MEMBERSHIP CRITERIA1. The proposed ICC constitution seeks to convert the ICC from a members’ organization to a supra-national regulator. This is a fundamental change in the nature of the ICC that adversely affects the autonomy of its members. Further, several of proposed changes (more particularly described below) are vague and unclear in their purport and intended operation. Given that one of the stated objectives behind the proposed changes is to bring in clarity and transparency, it is imperative that there is complete clarity on all the proposed changes so that members can properly understand the same before formulating their position thereon.Preliminary Observations on the proposed Amended and Restated Memorandum of Association2. Paragraph 3.2.1 states that the role and objects of the ICC have inter alia been clarified to provide greater detail. However, the reference to “democratic elections free from outside influence” in Clause 5(D) is unclear. Does the ICC intend to reserve for itself the right to determine whether the internal elections within each member are democratic and free from outside influence? Whilst it is expected that all members would have internal elections that are democratic and free from outside influence, the jurisdiction to determine whether this is so would obviously lie with the respective national courts of member countries and not with the ICC.3. Clause 5(E) suggests that ICC will inter alia control and manage the scheduling of cricket events at an international level and ensure that members do the same at the national level. It is unclear whether this is limited to ICC-organized events only, which it ought to be. Does ICC intend to interfere in bilateral cricketing ties between members? If yes, then it would amount to substantial interference with the autonomy of members, which is unacceptable.4. Clauses 9 and 10, which seek to incorporate the financial distribution methodology/ formula in the Memorandum of Association itself, is out of place. The financial distribution methodology/ formula may need to be tweaked more frequently than the ICC Constitution needs to be amended and it is impractical and unworkable to bring about a situation where any change in the financial distribution methodology/ formula will necessitate an amendment to the ICC Constitution. Observations on the proposed ICC Finance Model have been provided separately below.advertisementPreliminary Observations on the proposed Amended and Restated Articles of Association5. Article 2.4(D) obliges members to manage its affairs autonomously and ensure that there is no government (or other public or quasi-public body) interference in its governance, regulation and/or administration of cricket (including in operational matters, in the selection and management of teams and in the appointment of coaches or support personnel). It needs to be clarified that having Court-appointed administrators (other than insolvency/ bankruptcy administrators) as also having a nominee of the government (or other public or quasi-public body) on the managing committee to ensure transparency and oversight does not amount to a breach of this obligation.6. With reference to membership related matters:(a) The creation of a Membership Committee (“MC”) with the power to determine membership issues that can thereafter be reviewed by the Board of Directors only on limited grounds as specified in Articles 2.6(D) and 2.9(D) amounts to excessive delegation. The Board of Directors must have the final say on all membership issues with complete power to re-examine all aspects of any MC recommendation.(b) The MC contemplated in Article 2.5 should be a completely independent external agency that is not part of the ICC. Alternately, the composition of the MC should be such that there are no Directors who are also members of MC. Further, the criteria for appointment of members of MC should be clearly laid down. For instance, because membership is such an important issue, there should be a provision that the MC must comprise at least one member from each continent. This is because admission of a new member and/or re-classification of an existing member will impact all members and views of at least one member from each continent need to be taken into account before assessing the comprehensive impact of the same.(c) The cure period of 14 days in Article 2.9(E) is too short for any member to cure any failings with respect to proposed Re-Classification of Membership. Sufficient time of at least 90 days must be given for this purpose as there may be a need to call one or more General Body meetings (notice period of 21 days) before the same can be cured.(d) Article 2.9(H) provides for suspension or termination of membership by the Board of Directors without reference to MC where it “appears” that a member is in serious breach of its obligations as a member. Article 2.10(A) provides for a similarly drastic power that can be exercised by the Board of Directors with immediate effect and in its absolute discretion. There should be a higher threshold such as “prima facie view” or “sufficient evidence” for the exercise of such drastic powers.(e) Article 2.12 provides for an appeal to the Dispute Resolution Committee on all membership issues. In order to ensure that this is an effective remedy, the Dispute Resolution Committee must be completely independent of the ICC. In fact, no member of the Dispute Resolution Committee should be a Director of the ICC or part of any other ICC committee.advertisement(f) Admission of a new Full Member or re-classification of an existing Full Member should only be done at the end of every revenue cycle as this will have a significant impact on the FTP. For instance, since the sporting calendar for cricket would already have been filled up with bilateral events, a new Full Member will not find any members to play bilateral events with. Similarly, re-classification of an existing Full Member will result in all scheduled bilateral events being jeopardized, thereby affecting other members as well.(g) Several of the Membership Criteria prescribed in Appendix D are vague. Given that the stated purpose behind having Membership Criteria is to have clear and objective criteria for determining membership issues, having vague criteria defeats the very purpose of having Membership Criteria. For instance:(1) Clause 3.1(b)(i) requires an aspiring Full Member to have in place a detailed governance system that is “fit for purpose”, without specifying what is the purpose for which the same must be fit.(2) Clause 3.1(d)(ii) requires an aspiring Full Member to have satisfactory junior pathway structures in place, without specifying what are “junior pathway structures” and what may be considered “satisfactory”. Similarly, Clause 3.1(d)(iii), which requires an aspiring Full Member to have satisfactory women’s pathway structures in place, is equally vague.(3) Clause 3.1(d)(iv) requires an aspiring Full Member to have a sustained and sufficient pool of players for national level selection across the senior men’s, U19 and women’s teams, without explaining what is meant by “sustained and sufficient”.(4) Clause 3.1(d)(v) requires an aspiring Full Member to have strong national participation in the sport and/or evidence of strong recent growth, again without explaining what is “strong national participation” or “strong recent growth”.(h) Certain other Membership Criteria are onerous. For instance:(1) Clause 3.1(b)(iii) requires an aspiring Full Member to have fully audited accounts for the previous 4 years that are “unqualified”. Almost every organizations audited accounts would have some qualification or the other. Are ICC’s own audited accounts unqualified for the last 4 years? If the audited accounts are qualified, the nature of the qualification is important and needs to be examined. It may also be noted that Clause 4.1(b)(iii) requires an aspiring Associate Member to have fully audited accounts for the previous 2 years without requiring them to be unqualified.(2) Clause 3.1(b)(iv) requires an aspiring Full Member to generate a minimum of 10% of the revenues it receives from the ICC from out its own revenues without reliance on ICC funding in each of the previous 4 years. Do even the 2 new proposed Full Members viz. Ireland and Afghanistan meet this requirement?(3) Clause 3.1(c)(iii) requires an aspiring Full Member to have registered victories over at least 1 Full Member team in an ICC event and at least 4 victories against 2 or more Full Member teams in bilateral cricket, both over the previous 8 years. Do even the 2 new proposed Full Members viz. Ireland and Afghanistan meet this requirement?(4) Clause 3.1(c)(iv) requires an aspiring Full Member to have participated in at least 1 ICC women’s event over the previous 4 years or feature on the ICC’s official women’s rankings table. This clause discriminates against aspiring Full Members who may have a developed system for men’s cricket but not so developed system for women’s cricket for historical and/or cultural reasons. It should be sufficient to impose a requirement to take steps to promote women’s cricket.(5) Clause 3.1(e)(i) requires an aspiring Full Member to have access to at least 2 ODI venues accredited by the ICC for Full Member matches. Since there is no requirement for the venues to be in the territory of the aspiring Full Member, this requirement may be included in the Retention Criteria instead of in Full Member Membership Criteria.(i) The discretion given to the MC under Clause 5.5 of Appendix D to recommend an aspiring Full Member or aspiring Associate Member for membership in cases where exceptional circumstances are demonstrated is contrary to the purpose of having objective criteria in the first place.(j) Retention Criteria should include the requirement of playing a minimum number of Test Matches.7. With reference to the Chairman of the ICC:(a) Article 3.2(B) provides that the Chairman shall be elected in accordance with a process that is agreed by the Board of Directors and a secret ballot overseen and adjudicated by an appropriate independent third party duly appointed by the Board of Directors. The process for election of Chairman should be clearly laid down in the Articles of Association and not left to the Board of Directors to agree on. Further, the election should not be by way of a secret ballot so that complete transparency is ensured.(b) Article 3.2(D)(ii) provides that in the event the Chairman is unable, for any reason, to fulfil or continue to fulfil his/her duties on a permanent basis, then the Board of Directors shall nominate and elect a new Chairman for a new 2 year period. It should be only for the remainder of the 2 year term of the outgoing Chairman.(c) Article 3.2(E) provides that an acting Chairman shall not have an extra vote at meetings of the Board of Directors. Since ICC is a members’ organization and the Chairman is to be independent of any member, the Chairman should not have a vote at meetings of the Board of Directors.(d) Article 3.2(G)(ii) provides that the Chairman shall inter alia supervise the Chief Executive’s performance, implementation of ICC’s strategic plan and key initiatives and remuneration. In order to maintain the independence of the Chief Executive, he/she should report to the Board of Directors and not to the Chairman in respect of the above. The performance of the Chief Executive and other key management personnel may be reviewed by an independent agency because substantial bonuses are paid on the basis of such appraisal.(e) Article 3.2(H) provides that the Chairman shall have the power to bind the ICC but Article 3.3(G) provides that the Chief Executive shall have the power to bind the ICC. It should be clarified that only the Chief Executive acting under instructions of the Board of Directors should have such power.8. With reference to the Board of Directors:(a) Article 4.2(B) provides that even Full Member Directors must meet the Director Eligibility Criteria to which reference is made in Article 4.2(A) without elucidation. Since Full Member Directors represent their respective Full Members on the Board of Directors, the Full Members should not be constrained by the Director Eligibility Criteria while deciding whom to appoint as their respective Full Member Directors, especially since what these criteria are has not been specified.(b) Article 4.2(C) provides that the Voting Associate Members together with the Regional Representatives shall be entitled to elect 3 individuals as Associate Member Directors. In our view, there should only be 1 Associate Member Director on the Board of Directors.(c) Article 4.5 provides for an Independent Director. The Independent Director should be a non-voting member of the Board of Directors (like the Chief Executive). Further, apart from a female non-voting Independent Director, there should also be provision for a player/ former player representative to be a non-voting Independent Director. The criteria on the basis of which such Independent Directors will be appointed should also be laid down along with the process for short-listing probables.(d) Article 4.6(C) provides that all members of the Board of Directors except the Chief Executive shall have an equal right to vote at meetings of the Board of Directors. As mentioned above, the Chairman and the Independent Director should not have a vote on account of not representing any particular member.(e) Article 4.9(A) provides for secret ballot if 2 or more Voting Board Members request. There should not be any provision for secret ballot so that complete transparency is ensured. Further, under the existing Article 4.8(C)(2), at least two-thirds of the aggregate number of votes exercisable by all the Full Member Directors are required to be cast in favour of a resolution irrespective of whether or not all them are actually present. This should not be changed to two-thirds of Voting Board Members that are present and voting.(f) Article 4.10(C) provides that the interest of a person who is connected with Director shall be treated as an interest of that Director for the purposes of declaration of conflicts of interest but does not specify what “connected” means.9. Article 5(A) provides that the Board of Directors may designate one or more committees of Directors each consisting of one or more Directors. In order to ensure independent functioning of committees, they should comprise of persons who are not Directors. This will obviate potential situations where the same person is part of the MC which makes a recommendation, sits on the Board of Directors which reviews the recommendation to take a final decision and is also part of the Dispute Resolution Committee which will decide any appeal on membership issues against a decision of the MC or Board of Directors.10. All the committees which are referred to in the Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association should find place in the Committee Structure at Appendix C. The process for selecting the members of each Committee should also be clearly laid down.11. Article 6.1(B) provides that a Special Meeting may be convened by the Chief Executive either on request by members meeting the specified threshold(s) or on the request of the Chairman. The Chairman should have no role to play in calling a Special Meeting. It should only be Chief Executive on instructions of the Board of Directors or by members meeting the specified threshold(s).12. Article 6.4 provides that meetings of members shall take place at such venue as shall be designated by the Chairman or the Chief Executive. The Chairman should have no role to play in deciding the venue. It should be either the Chief Executive on instructions of the Board of Directors or the members meeting the specified threshold(s) who are requesting the meeting, as the case may be.13. Article 6.10(F) permits the chairman of a members’ meeting to refuse to accept a proposed members’ resolution and Article 6.10(G) makes the decision of the chairman on the same final and binding. This curtailment of members’ right to propose a resolution is unacceptable.14. Article 6.15(C)(ii) provides that a Special Resolution requires 75% of aggregate number of votes exercisable by members present and voting to be cast in favour. The existing requirement of three-fourths of total number of votes capable of being cast by Full Members irrespective of whether or not all of them are present should be retained at least for those resolutions referred to in Clauses 8(1) and 8(2) of the existing Memorandum of Association.15. Article 9(A) provides that the Chairman shall decide any dispute concerning the interpretation of the Memorandum of Association or Articles of Association or the effect of any resolution of the Board of Directors or members and an appeal shall lie to the Dispute Resolution Committee. It should be directly decided by the Dispute Resolution Committee because Chairman would not have the requisite legal expertise whereas the members of the Dispute Resolution Committee should have such expertise.PRELIMINARY OBSERVATIONS ON THE PROPOSED NEW FINANCIAL MODEL16. The ICC is seeking to change the existing financial model without having any scientific formula or technical analysis behind the proposed changes, as stated in Paragraph 3.6.1. It is a fundamental attribute of any resource allocation system to first collect information and then allocate resources based on the information, priorities and a defined methodology following appropriate principles. The move to propose changes to the existing financial model without carrying out the aforesaid exercise is an arbitrary one.17. We understand that the existing financial model is based on the methodology of payment of a participation fee (called ‘Contribution Cost’) to all Full Members to secure their participation in ICC events and compensate them for the opportunity cost incurred on account of blocking portions of their cricketing calendar in order to participate in ICC events (which periods could otherwise have been used by such Full Members to schedule home series and earn revenue independent of the ICC) and also takes into account the relative contribution of each Full Member to the revenues of the ICC. Since no methodology has been articulated in support of the proposed new financial model, we are unable to evaluate the same on any recognized and/or accepted parameters. Any discussion on the proposed new financial model has to be based on clearly articulated and acceptable principles which recognize the relative contribution of BCCI to the revenues of the ICC. For the above reasons, we are not agreeable to the proposed new financial model.18. Further, as mentioned earlier in relation to the proposed new ICC constitution, it is not appropriate to include the financial distribution methodology/ formula in the Memorandum of Association. The financial distribution methodology/ formula may need to be tweaked more frequently (based on the rationale behind the existing financial model) than the ICC constitution needs to be amended and it is impractical and unworkable to bring about a situation where any change in the financial distribution methodology/ formula will necessitate an amendment to the ICC constitution.19. Clause 11 of the proposed Amended and Restated Memorandum of Association refers to equal contribution of USD 3 by each Full Member in case the ICC is liquidated. Similarly, Clause 12 of the proposed Amended and Restated Memorandum of Association refers to equal distribution of 75% of the surplus on ICC being liquidated amongst Full Members with the remaining 25% being distributed equally amongst Associate Members. The proposed new financial model needs to explain and justify how the formula for contribution/ distribution in case of liquidation can be different from the formula for distribution of operational surplus.20. The version of the 2014 model that supposedly reflects the reality (“Revised 2014 Model”) is actually a different model altogether and does not present an accurate and comparable picture to members relative to the existing financial model. For instance:(a) As per the ICC Board resolutions dated 8th February 2014 and 9th April 2014 (“2014 Resolutions”), levels of Event Cost/ Expenses were approved corresponding to gross revenue levels and it was specified that for gross revenue between USD 2.5 billion and USD 2.74 billion, the Event Cost/ Expenses would be USD 550 million whereas for gross revenue of 2.75 or higher, the Event Cost/ Expenses would be USD 600 million. As per the Revised 2014 Model, the Event Cost/ Expenses has been increased to USD 610 million despite the gross revenue remaining at USD 2.5 billion as envisaged under the existing financial model. There is no explanation for this increase in Event Cost/ Expenses. We need to understand why this increase in Event Cost/ Expenses has taken place.(b) Similarly, as per the 2014 Resolutions, levels of Admin Cost/ Central Expenses were approved corresponding to gross revenue levels and it was specified that for gross revenue between USD 2.5 billion to USD 3.24 billion, the Admin Cost/ Central Expenses would be USD 250 million whereas for gross revenue of USD 3.25 billion or higher, the Admin Cost/ Central Expenses would be USD 275 million. As per the Revised 2014 Model, the Admin Cost/ Central Expenses has been increased to USD 320 million despite the gross revenue remaining at USD 2.5 billion as envisaged under the existing financial model. There is no explanation for this increase in Admin Cost/ Central Expenses. We need to understand why this increase in Admin Cost/ Central Expenses has taken place.(c) The Revised 2014 Model introduces a contingency fund of USD 40 million which is not envisaged under the existing financial model. There is no explanation for why this is necessary. We need to understand why this contingency fund is being created and how the contingency fund is intended to be utilized.(d) The Revised 2014 Model contemplates USD 25 million being transferred to ICC reserves which is not envisaged under the existing financial model. The ICC reserves have always been generated from out of the ICC’s treasury operations. We need to understand why transfer of funds to ICC reserves from out of ICC’s operating funds is now being contemplated.21. The proposed new financial model seeks to introduce a contingency fund and contemplates transfer to ICC reserves (as mentioned above in relation to the Revised 2014 Model) without any explanation.22. The figures included as part of the proposed new finance model on Page 93 with an assumption that gross revenue will be USD 2.7 billion whilst retaining the assumption of gross revenue under the existing Finance Model and the Revised 2014 Model at USD 2.5 billion is not a fair comparison. The fair comparison should be with the figures in the relevant column on Page 94 which provides revised (lower) figures under the proposed new finance model whilst retaining the assumption of gross revenues being USD 2.5 billion. ICC needs to explain with breakup of each stream of revenue as to how revenue assumption has gone up from USD 2.5 billion to USD 2.7 billion.23. The proposed new finance model treats Afghanistan and Ireland (existing Associate Members) as Full Members without reducing the funds allocated to them from Associate Members’ share.24. Clause 9.2 of the Amended and Restated Memorandum provides that the Associate Members’ share of surplus revenues shall be distributed amongst Associate Members as per the Scorecard System approved by the Board of Directors from time to time. Although this Scorecard System need not be incorporated in the Memorandum/ Articles of Association itself, it should be clearly specified as part of the financial model.We also draw your attention to the Members Participation Agreement dated 12th October 2014 (“MPA”) entered into between BCCI and ICC Business Corporation FZ LLC (“IBC”) relating to ICC Events between 2015 and 2023. The proposed new ICC constitution and financial model will, if adopted, entitle us to exercise certain rights under the MPA and also to avail remedies under applicable law.last_img read more

NRAI chief takes digs at ministry, backs Ronak and Heena

first_imgNew Delhi, Mar 23 (PTI) Throwing his weight behind Ronak Pandit and Heena Sindhu, National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) chief Raninder Singh today said “we have to fight more here than there”, in an apparent dig at the Sports Ministrys move to drop 21 names from the IOAs list of non-athletes as part of the contingent for the Gold Coast bound Commonwealth Games. Among those dropped from the Indian Olympic Associations list include PV Sindhus mother Vijaya Pusarla, Saina Nehwals father Harvir Singh and shooter Heenas husband Pandit, who is the High Performance Director of the Indian pistol and rifle team. Raninder gave his assurances to Heena and Ronak, who is her technical coach besides being an observer, in a series of tweets. “The NRAI is clearly willing to pay for our observer, who is an integral part of our team. Its almost as if we have to fight more here than there! .The issue shall be accreditation. I am willing to opt out as I think to have him,” Raninder wrote on his twitter handle. The NRAI president also sought to allay Heenas concerns. “Hinna please dont pay any attention to all this nonsense. Ronak will be there I assure you. Just put all this out of your mind and focus on your task. We will deal with this I assure you. “NRAI will ensure he is there its our team which is Indias team which is SAI/GOIs team which is IOAs team so who needs other countries to compete with, how will the gun permits be transferred? What will our team use to shoot?. No one seems to care or understand. (sic)”advertisement “Besides, I need him for the team other than you individually. Smile and get on with it.” IOA president Narinder Batra yesterday questioned the ministry for raising “unnecessary issues” about the family members of Commonwealth Games-bound athletes travelling with them, asking it to apply the same standards of probity for its own bureaucrats. Raninder twitted, “One cant club Ronak in the same category as parents. The parent thing one can understand but why keep picking on this young man so often? There clearly seems to be a strange bias against the young man – wonder why?” Meanwhile, Heena made it clear that Ronak is her technical coach. “I have never lied, never cheated. I have always stayed true to my sport. I have been shooting for 11 years now and training with Ronak for the past 6 years. And for 6 yrs I have been having this fight. Be it funding for my coach, travel or even acknowledgement. I am mighty tired. “I just want 2 put it out for everyone that Ronak is my TECHNICAL COACH. Anybody who has spent even 5 mins on the range will know I have only one coach and thats Ronak. He is also team manager for shooting.. the heading shud read as Sindhus Mom, Sainas dad and Heenas coach axed.” PTI AH KHS AH KHS KHSlast_img read more

New Mapping Technology: Nova Scotia’s Powerful Ally in Protecting Valuable Forests

first_imgCarita Chan, a former intern with WRI’s forests team, also contributed to this post.The government of Nova Scotia announced an ambitious plan earlier this month to protect 245,000 hectares of forest and park land, establishing the Canadian province as a conservation leader in one of the world’s most heavily forested nations. Roughly 14 percent of all land in Nova Scotia will now be legally protected from development, making it the province with the second-highest percentage of land devoted to protected areas in Canada, after British Columbia.This news is significant for conservationists and for the vast number of Canadians who depend on these forests for clean air, water, and a bounty of other resources. It also illustrates a powerful truth: precise, science-based maps are an essential component of good forest management and planning.Canada’s Forests: Vital, Yet ThreatenedCanada accounts for about one-tenth of total global forest cover, including one-third of the world’s boreal forest and one-quarter of the world’s temperate forests. These forests are vulnerable to a host of threats, including fragmentation by development and the subsequent loss of biodiversity.The new plan will not only protect a significant amount of forests, it will preserve extremely valuable ecosystems. More than half of the new protected lands are comprised of intact forest landscapes (IFL), uninterrupted expanses of natural ecosystems within forest biomes that show no signs of significant human disturbance. Intact forests possess an ecological integrity that make them a reservoir for biodiversity and ecosystem services in regions where most forests are fragmented, degraded, or cleared. By virtue of these qualities, the conservation value of protecting IFL is high—especially considering that they are endangered. Only about 23 percent of the world’s remaining forests are IFL.Mapping Canada’s Intact Forest Landscapes: The Path from Science to PolicyThe scientific roots of the new forest plan date back to the early 2000s, when WRI and the Global Forest Watch network developed an algorithm to map intact forest landscapes using satellite imagery. In 2009, Global Forest Watch Canada, an independent partner organization of Global Forest Watch, updated and expanded the maps to include Nova Scotia’s Intact Forest Landscapes. GFW Canada found that 1.2 million hectares of Large Intact Forest remain in Nova Scotia, roughly 21.5 percent of the total provincial landmass. Much of this forested land is comprised of critically endangered New England-Acadian forest. This type of forest historically stretched across the eastern seaboard of North America, but now only 5 percent remains in truly pristine condition.These maps proved to be a powerful tool for civil society groups, who were already advocating for expanded protection for Nova Scotia’s forest areas. Leading among these was the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS), which in 2007 successfully urged the Nova Scotia government to set a goal of protecting 12 percent of province land by 2015. CPAWS was subsequently invited by the government to join a small team of experts who would help achieve the goal by mapping out a proposed system of protected areas.CPAWS and the team of experts were then able to use Global Forest Watch Canada’s maps to easily determine where large tracts of IFL existed—areas representing the highest conservation value. Map 1 and Map 2 below give an example of how GFW Canada identified gaps where Intact Forest Landscapes were not covered by existing protected areas, and where the proposed protected areas could be expanded even further. Using these maps, CPAWS and other experts submitted their recommendations to the provincial government. In 2012, the plans became the basis of the government’s proposal for protecting new land.On August 1, 2013, the government of Nova Scotia ratified their official plan to expand protected areas in the region by 245,000 hectares, an area the size of the state of Rhode Island. The final plan was founded firmly in the original recommendations from CPAWS and GFW Canada, and finally gave the official mandate to the longstanding efforts to protect Nova Scotia’s valuable intact forests.Map 1: Proposed and Existing Protected Areas in Nova Scotia (credit: GFW Canada)Map 2: Clusters of large IFL of Nova Scotia not protected within existing and proposed protected areas (credit: GFW Canada)The Future of Forest Mapping and MonitoringWithout up-to-date data and maps, the Nova Scotia government would not have been able to determine where IFL forest existed or take action to protect these regions. Accurate and science-based mapping instead allowed the government to plan forest protections by knowing exactly where its highest-conservation value forest was located.Effective forest management requires precision, transparency, and up-to-date information. By making use of constantly evolving mapping technologies, proactive governments like Nova Scotia’s will be better equipped to develop policies that protect the world’s forests.LEARN MORE: In the coming months, WRI will launch Global Forest Watch, which will capitalize on improvements in the resolution and frequency of satellite imagery to further improve forest monitoring and land use planning. GFW will combine various near-real-time tree cover loss alert systems with complementary satellite imagery, maps, mobile technology, and on-the-ground data to help governments like Nova Scotia’s monitor and manage their forests.last_img read more

Josh Stewart declares for NFL Draft

first_imgScreen shot 2014-01-07 at 3.01.25 PMNo word yet on whether or not JW Walsh will follow suit.If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!last_img

Mikel Arteta is strong favourite to replace Arsène Wenger at Arsenal

first_imgThe club have considered the merits of a number of managers, including Max Allegri, but the current Juventus manager wants greater control over budgets and recruitment for the next cycle of his career. Those demands do not match the Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis’s vision for the job and Allegri is understood to be leaning towards staying in Turin.Arteta would be happy to take a job more akin to that of a head coach. That would not compromise the structure put in place by Gazidis. Last November the club appointed Dortmund’s Sven Mislintat and Barcelona’s Raul Sanllehi as head of recruitment and football relations respectively.Arteta, a former Arsenal captain who played for the club from 2011 to 2016, has been working as a coach at Manchester City under Pep Guardiola since July 2016. City’s manager has said he would not stand in Arteta’s way if Arsenal come calling. Topics Share on Pinterest Arsène Wenger Sign up for The Fiver, our free daily football email. Share via Email news Arsenal Mikel Arteta is the strong favourite to succeed Arsène Wenger as manager at Arsenal, with productive talks having progressed between his camp and the club.Conversations are so advanced that Arteta is giving thought to the people he might want in his backroom team. It is unclear whether Steve Bould would stay, with Wenger’s assistant not always seeing eye to eye with Arteta when they were together at Arsenal. Share on LinkedIncenter_img Share on Facebook “If he decides to move because he has this offer, this option, I will not say you don’t have to go,” Guardiola said. “I want the best for my friends and he’s a friend of mine. If he decides to go, I will be so sad but I will understand his decision, because it’s his career, his life, his family.” David Squires on … Arsène Wenger and the North Bank Redemption Read more Share on WhatsApp Share on Messenger Share on Twitter Reuse this contentlast_img read more

Carroll: I only knew two of Liverpool’s players when I joined

first_imgAndy Carroll has admitted he didn’t know who his Liverpool team-mates were when he joined the club back in 2011, because he didn’t watch football.Then 22, he moved from Newcastle for £35 million ($56m), taking over the number nine shirt at Anfield following the exit of Fernando Torres.But despite having gained a reputation as one of English football’s hottest young prospects, he admitted to being fairly clueless as to what was going on in the world of football at the time. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? “When I was here [Newcastle], I’d go home, mess about with my mates, play football, go out, whatever, but I’d never watch football, I never knew any players,” he told Newcastle’s official website.“I’d come in on the Friday or wake up on the Saturday morning saying, ‘who are we playing?’ It was just completely oblivious to all the football that was going on. I would work at the training ground and knew my tactics, but until we had a meeting I didn’t know who we were playing, unless I asked someone.“When I was in the helicopter down to Liverpool, I was like, ‘I know Stevie G[errard], I know [Jamie] Carragher. Who else?’ My agent at the time had to tell me, and I would get it on Google and find out the team.“So that’s actually a true story. It’s bad because it’s Liverpool players, but it’s not disrespectful – I just literally didn’t watch football, so I didn’t know.”Liverpool’s campaign in 2010-11 wasn’t a vintage one for the club. They finished sixth in the Premier League, were knocked out of both domestic cups in the third round – including a defeat to Northampton Town in the League Cup – and the Europa League in the round of 16.Andy Carroll during Liverpool playing daysThe likes of David N’Gog, Maxi Rodriguez and Sotirios Kyrgiakos were unknown to the youngster Carroll, who admits he has done some growing up over the past few years.Having represented West Ham since joining initially on loan in 2012, Carroll is now back where it all began, and he says is better for his mistakes.“I wasn’t ready [for the Liverpool move] at all,” he said. “But things happen like that. I went down there and it was like a whirlwind.“I was happy, just about to sign a new deal, and the next day I was gone. I’d just bought a house and, believe it or not, I’d just got a cat. It was in the house, and I never went back to the house – I left in the helicopter and my brother had to have the cat.“I do have a daft side to me, a silly side to me, which will never ever go, and I don’t want it to, you know? I’m still a child at heart. But I’ve grown up massively. I’ve realised my mistakes in the past, and realised what I want to be, and what I am.”“I was stupid, I was young, and I was carried away with the lifestyle that I had. Now it’s completely different. I’m actually a dad, I’ve grown up, and got responsibilities, so… I’ve got a purpose.” Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the weblast_img read more

DryShips Inks Deal to Write Off Receivables

first_imgzoom Nasdaq-listed owner of drybulk carriers and tankers DryShips Inc.has entered into agreement with one of its charterers to write-off about USD 16.5 million in overdue receivables related to charter hire payments due on 11 vessels on time charter.As part of the transaction, the charterer has agreed to forgo the exercise of certain “in-the-money” purchase options related to 7 vessels on time charter and provide new charters for 11 vessels at $12,500/day gross with 50-50 profit sharing starting as of June 1, 2015 and for an average period of about 4.5 years.“We are pleased to have reached an agreement with one of our charterers that allows DryShips to put a floor on its downside while providing upside potential. With the negative conditions in the drybulk market we believe this is a prudent way to take advantage of market volatility,” said George Economou, Chairman and CEO.DryShips owns a fleet of 39 drybulk carriers with a combined deadweight tonnage of approximately 4.3 million tons, and 8 tankers with a combined deadweight tonnage of over 1 million tons.last_img read more

Traffic Advisory Pictou County

first_img Local Area Office: 902-755-5142 Fax: 902-755-7184 PICTOU COUNTY: Highway 104 There will be no direct access to and from Highway 104 from Old Pine Tree Road, effective today, Oct. 2. Drivers on the north side of Highway 104 between Pine Tree Road and Old Pine Tree Road will now only have access to the highway by way of the newly constructed extension to Old Pine Tree Road. -30-last_img

By your side Farhan Akhtar tells girlfriend

first_imgBangkok: Actor Farhan Akhtar has shared a sweet message for his girlfriend Shibani Dandekar with whom he is currently holidaying in Koh Samui, Bangkok. Farhan on Friday shared a sizzling photograph of himself along with Shibani. In the image shared on Instagram, the two are seen relaxing in a swimming pool. “At, by and on your side. Shibani Dandekar,” he captioned the image. This is not the first time the couple have shared their photographs. Farhan and Shibani frequently post their images on social media. Earlier this year, Instagram was flooded with images from their beach holiday in Mexico. Also Read – I have personal ambitions now: Priyanka The two also watched the UEFA finale in Madrid. On the work front, Farhan will be next seen in Shonali Bose’s “The Sky Is Pink”. The film also stars Priyanka Chopra Jonas. The film is based on the true life story of the young motivational speaker Aisha Chaudhary and her parents. It marks Priyanka’s much-awaited comeback to Bollywood after her appearance in a leading role in ABC’s “Quantico”.last_img read more

Too early to reintegrate Russia to G7

first_imgBiarritz: G7 leaders back strengthening cooperation with Russia after its expulsion from the group in 2014 but believe it is too early to reintegrate Moscow and return to a G8, diplomatic sources said Sunday. “The leaders of the G7 are in favour of reinforcing coordination with Russia on current crises (but)… it is too early for reintegration,” said a diplomatic source, who asked not to be named. Russia was thrown out of what was the G8 in 2014 after it seized Ukraine’s Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, an annexation never recognised by the international community. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USThe G7 now brings together Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United States. The source added the seven leaders agreed the position on Russia during the summit’s opening dinner late Saturday. US President Donald Trump, who will host next year’s 2020 summit, has floated the possibility to reintegrate Russia. Asked Sunday about inviting Russia to next year’s G7, Trump responded: “That I don’t know. It’s certainly possible.” G7 leaders had also mandated French President Emmanuel Macron to send a message to Iran as tensions rise over its nuclear programme, the source said.last_img read more

Annie Lennox Performs At mothers2mothers Event

first_imgAcclaimed singer, songwriter, campaigner and activist, Annie Lennox, performed at an exclusive event on Thursday, October 3, to support mothers2mothers vital work in sub-Saharan Africa, preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV.The intimate event was held at One Marylebone, London at 7pm in partnership with GUCCI as the Headline Sponsor. Ms. Lennox, whose peerless music career and tireless charity work has been widely praised and recognised with prestigious awards and honours headlined the evening, hosted by the internationally acclaimed actor Richard E. Grant, and successful author, broadcaster and businesswoman Muriel Gray.Speaking about his involvement, Richard E. Grant said, “The ground-breaking Mentor Mother programme devised by mothers2mothers is a simple, but very effective way preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV. I’m delighted to be a part of this very special evening and to support mothers2mothers as they strive to expand this vital work and reach more mothers.”As the evening’s title sponsor Gucci’s Frida Giannini added; “As part of our ongoing commitment to organisations that help to empower girls and women in the areas of health, education and justice, Gucci is proud to support mothers2mothers.”The evening raised over £300,000 through its silent auction of mothers2mothers projects in sub-Saharan Africa and a live auction assisted by Richard E Grant and chaired by Bonham’s. Most notably, an exclusive lot of the handwritten signed lyrics of ‘Sweet Dreams’ by Annie Lennox’s went for an estimated £40,000. Additionally, one-of-a-kind hand written and signed lyrics by Bono, Sting and Chris Martin of Coldplay were also part of the special auction lots. These funds will be used to expand mothers2mothers groundbreaking Mentor Mother programme across sub-Saharan Africa: saving lives by preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV; empowering mothers living with HIV; and supporting livelihoods.Source:mothers2motherslast_img read more

Police fire teargas and water cannons on IUSF protest

The Police fired tear-gas and water cannons on a protest staged by the Inter University Students’ Federation at Town Hall today.A court order had earlier been obtained preventing the students from obstructing traffic or entering any Government institution. The Police fired tear-gas and water cannons on the university students when they protested near the Higher Education Ministry at Town Hall.The protest against the SAITM private institute caused a severe traffic congestion in the Town Hall area this afternoon. (Colombo Gazette)

Texas State hires WVU assistant Spavital as head coach

SAN MARCOS, Texas — Texas State has hired West Virginia offensive co-ordinator Jake Spavital as its next head coach.Texas State announced the hiring Wednesday. Spavital succeeds Everett Withers, who was fired after winning just seven games in three seasons.Spavital guided one of the nation’s top offences this season as No. 15 West Virginia went 8-3 and had a chance to play in the Big 12 title game until a 59-56 loss to No. 4 Oklahoma.Texas State plays in the Sun Belt Conference and has been playing at the FBS level since 2012.Spavital has been as assistant coach for 11 seasons, with previous stops at Oklahoma State, Houston and Texas A&M. He spent the last two seasons at West Virginia.___More AP college football: https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25The Associated Press read more

As injuries mount secondary struggles against passing game

While the Buckeye victory was never in doubt during the 73-20 rout of Eastern Michigan on Saturday, OSU’s secondary appeared to be a bit suspect. Missing key contributors such as Chimdi Chekwa, C.J. Barnett, Travis Howard and Nate Oliver from the defensive backfield, the silver bullet defense surrendered its highest point total of the season, giving up five completions of 20 yards or more, including touchdown passes of 13 and 32 yards. At times, the Eagles aerial attack exploited the banged up Buckeye secondary. “It’s definitely unacceptable. You don’t want that to happen,” cornerback Devon Torrence said about the numerous big plays surrendered by the secondary. “But those guys are on scholarship, too, and they’re going to make plays, but you don’t want those types of things to happen … so you have to keep working hard and fix whatever happens.” Because of the array of injuries plaguing the defense, youngsters such as redshirt freshmen Corey Brown and Dominic Clarke have been thrust into the mix to help fill the void. And although there might be a learning curve as new guys come in, safety Tyler Moeller said the mistakes in the secondary must be corrected. “When a guy comes out there for the first time and hasn’t been playing with the same people, sometimes those situations occur,” Moeller said. “But I’m not exactly sure what happened. We’ll go to the film room tomorrow and just adjust and improve.” Even with the issues and lack of experience, safety Orhian Johnson said the guys filling in are still perfectly capable of getting the job done. “Our coaches wouldn’t put anyone in a situation they wouldn’t be able to handle,” he said. “So we are expecting those guys to go in there and do the job that they’re expected to do just like if they were a starter.” No matter whose shoulders the defensive deficiencies fall on, one thing remains: There is still plenty of room for improvement. “Obviously we have to get a lot better,” free safety Jermale Hines said. “I think we will with our coaching staff and the players we have around here. I think we will get better.” read more

La Xbox 360 reste en tête des consoles HD

first_imgLa Xbox 360 reste en tête des consoles HDLa console de Microsoft se révèle un énorme succès commercial, puisque depuis sa sortie en 2005, elle se serait vendue à 67 millions d’exemplaires, d’après les derniers chiffres annoncés par la firme de Redmond.La Xbox 360 s’avère un énorme succès commercial. Sortie en 2005, la console s’est depuis vendue à environ 67 millions d’exemplaires dans le monde, a annoncé Yusuf Mehdi, directeur marketing d’Interactive Entertainment Division chez Microsoft, sur le blog officiel de la firme.Ces ventes ont généré plus de 45 milliards d’euros de chiffre d’affaires. Un chiffre boosté depuis fin 2010, après la mise en vente de la Kinect, écoulée jusqu’à aujourd’hui à 19 millions d’unités. Cette même année, la console de Microsoft est même parvenue à dépasser les ventes totales de la PS3. Sony a quant à lui vendu environ 64,5 millions de consoles depuis sa mise en vente en 2006.Clé du succès  Au-delà du fait d’avoir sorti sa console un an avant la PS3, la réelle clé de la réussite pour la firme de Redmond reste le Xbox Live. Plus de 40 millions de joueurs utilisent ce service dans le monde. Ceux-ci passent en moyenne 84 heures par mois devant la console. À titre de comparaison, un Américain passe en moyenne 150 heures par mois devant sa télévision. À lire aussiUn nouveau modèle de subventionnement pour la Xbox D’une manière plus précise, les propriétaires d’un compte Xbox Live seraient plus attirés par l’offre de services et de moins en moins vers le jeux vidéo. En effet, plus de 50 % du temps passé sur la plateforme concerne la visualisation de films et l’écoute de musiques. Si la Xbox est actuellement en tête des consoles HD, elle reste néanmoins loin derrière la Wii, vendue à 95,8 millions d’unités depuis sa sortie en 2006.Le 31 mai 2012 à 14:00 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

PUBG Finally Hits PS4 With Exclusive Sony Skins

first_img ‘PUBG’ Story Trailer Teases the Unknown PlayerJordan Bans ‘Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds’ Stay on target Hey kids, stop playing Fortnite for one second and let’s talk about that other big battle royale game PlayerUnknown’s BattleGrounds. It feels like it’s been a century since PUBG got so many people first hooked on the idea of slaughtering 99 other players on a doomed island. But it’s only been about two years. While PUBG has since been eclipsed by the incomparable sheer success of Fortnite, by any other metric the game has still been a huge success in its own right.There are a lot of reasons Fortnite blew up like it did in ways PUBG did not. Fortnite has an actual art style. Its gameplay isn’t as janky. And most importantly it’s free. But Fortnite was also very aggressive about getting on every machine imaginable from PC to mobile to the Nintendo Switch. And now PUBG’s presence is about to grow as the battle royale game is finally coming to PlayStation 4.On December 7, PlayStation 4 owners can buy PUBG in a variety of ways, ranging from $30 for the base game to the $60 Champion’s Edition that adds the Vikendi Event pass and a bunch of in-game currency. PUBG has been available on Xbox One for about a year, but Sony fans will have their patience rewarded with exclusive Naughty Dog pre-order skins like Nathan Drake from Uncharted and Ellie’s backpack from The Last of Us.Even if it’s been slightly overshadowed by Fortnite, PUBG is still a massive game. Battle royales that consistently need 100 players for new matches greatly benefit from big audiences, so adding 80 million potential new PS4 players will surely help. And with Sony finally willing to dip its toes into crossplay with other platforms, the entire PUBG community should benefit from these new future corpses.For more on PlayerUnknown and his famous Battlegrounds check out these PUBG tips for newcomers. And if you think PUBG just isn’t that great regardless of what console it’s on, I agree with you.Purchase PUBG For PS4last_img read more

Potential Health Concerns At Clinics In Galveston County

first_imgPhoto via PixabayNorth Cypress argues that because Roberts didn’t have private insurance or Medicare or Medicaid.State health officials are looking into the potential that hepatitis and HIV were transmitted at some clinics in Galveston County.Officials say over nine-thousand people may have been exposed, although there’s no evidence disease transmission did in fact occur.Coastal Health and Wellness Clinics is urging anyone treated at its locations in Galveston and Texas City to get tested for the diseases.The Galveston County Health District is offering free testing to anyone treated at the clinics through April thirteenth.Galveston county health officials say the clinics used improper sanitation methods between March 2015 and February 2018. Sharelast_img

Ship just got real in Leviathan Warships trailer

first_imgMost video game trailers attempt to show off the game’s most exciting and interesting elements. Adventure games show off exploration and platforming, MMOs show large groups of players attempting to take down a mob at once, and first-person shooters tend to bandy explosions about. Strategy games, on the other hand, don’t exactly have the most exciting in-game scenes, and can’t quite show off a deep, complex system in a short trailer. The developers behind Leviathan: Warships, a boat-based strategy game, realized this and produced an appropriate trailer if we ever saw one.Not only does the narrator’s dulcet tones and smooth jive make us want to put on a smoking jacket, swirl some brandy, and suss out the best strategy for blowing up enemy warships, but the self-awareness of the pitch is downright refreshing.If you have been paying attention, after the Humble Indie Bundle helped the indie market explode, the term “indie game” began describing a genre of gameplay and aesthetics as much as it described the method of funding put into the game. At some point, if you’ve seen enough indie game trailers, you might start to sour on how each game acts completely unaware that it’s just another physics-based puzzle platformer with a “retro” aesthetic. The developers behind Leviathan: Warships seem to be fully aware that strategy games are slow and difficult to convey as exciting in a short trailer. So, they thankfully played to that, and gave the world one of the best video game trailers we’ve seen in recent memory.Paradox Interactive’s totally chill turn-based naval strategy game will release on April 30, for Windows and OS X, as well as for iOS and Android tablets. If you’re into strategy games, Leviathan: Warships actually looks pretty good. However, we’d be happy if the team that made the above trailer took a break from game development and became video game trailer consultants.Now read: Scrooge McDuck will make a cane-wielding comeback in DuckTales Remasteredlast_img read more