Can Question No. 12 survive? Researchers fight to retain a question about college degrees on American Community Survey

first_imgA proposal to drop a question about college education from a large annual government survey would make it a lot harder for the National Science Foundation (NSF) to track trends in the U.S. scientific workforce. Social scientists hope to persuade the Obama administration to reject the idea, which stems in part from criticism of the survey by some members of Congress.Each year, the Census Bureau uses the American Community Survey (ACS) to collect housing and demographic information from some 3.5 million people. The ACS debuted in 2005 as a way to keep track of national trends that occur between the decennial census, a tally of every household in the country. Many federal agencies and private firms use the ACS data to track trends and plan programs. NSF, for example, uses the question that has been proposed for elimination—which asks respondents to identify their college major—to create a sampling pool for a more detailed survey that illuminates trends in the science and engineering workforce.But some members of Congress dislike the ACS. They believe the government has no business asking Americans about the number of flush toilets in their homes or when they leave for work in the morning, or even how much they earn. Some legislators have gone even further, arguing that the 72-question ACS should be drastically shortened or even eliminated because it’s an unnecessary burden on the public.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)In response to that criticism, the Census Bureau this year carried out the first stem-to-stern review of the survey. A review panel graded each question on two key criteria: Did a law or regulation require the government to collect that information? And how much time and effort did it take to answer? The bureau also tried to measure the value of the information to the federal government and the broader audience of users.Seven questions scored low enough to be axed from the survey beginning in 2016, the bureau announced on 31 October in the Federal Register. Six of the choices appear to be uncontroversial—five questions pertain to a person’s marital status, and a sixth asks residents whether there is a business or medical office on their property. (Update:  Some social science groups are unhappy that these questions have been targeted.)And then there’s the bureau’s decision to flag Question No. 12, which asks respondents who have completed college to list their undergraduate major. (Question No. 11 asks people about their level of education, from no schooling through a Ph.D.) The proposed elimination of that question has struck a nerve with the U.S. statistical and social science research community, and with the thousands of organizations that cite the data for their own purposes. There is a bipartisan political consensus that the country needs more tech-savvy workers, they say, and Question No. 12 is the most comprehensive, timely, and cost-efficient way to collect the data that policymakers need to achieve that goal.The bureau’s decision is actually a proposal to an interagency panel that will make a final recommendation next spring to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The Federal Register notice started the clock on a 60-day comment period. The U.S. statistical community hopes its responses will persuade the Obama administration to reverse what it sees as an unintended yet potentially damaging consequence of a well-meaning exercise in good government.Keeping the question is “a no-brainer,” says Norman Bradburn, a senior fellow at NORC, an independent research organization at the University of Chicago in Illinois. “There is at present no other source for this information,” says Bradburn, a former head of NSF’s social and behavioral sciences directorate, which includes the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) in Washington, D.C. “To produce it by a special survey would be extremely costly and provide data of much less quality and utility.”Degrees of difficultyAnother opponent of dropping the question is Patrick Jankowski, vice president of research at the Greater Houston Partnership. When Jankowski tries to woo high-tech companies to the Texas city, data from Question No. 12 allow him to brag that the metropolitan area has a higher concentration of graduates with degrees in science and engineering than the country as a whole. The question also generates a demographic breakdown of the region’s population, for example, how many women aged 25 to 39 hold degrees in science and engineering. He says such data can be very useful in tailoring the city’s pitch to prospective employers, to other scientists and engineers thinking of relocating to Houston, and to businesses who wish to reach a particular population.“It’s b—s— to say that it’s a burden on someone to answer that question,” Jankowski says. “Anybody who has gone to college is proud of the degree they received.”In fact, Question No. 12 scored very low on the bureau’s scale of the “burden” it imposes on the public: It takes the average respondent 9 seconds to answer, officials estimate. “It’s easy for people to provide the answer, the response rate is high, and it’s not a sensitive question,” explains James Treat, chief of the ACS office in Washington, D.C.The problem is that Question No. 12 also scored low on the “benefits” side of the bureau’s ledger. In large part, that’s because Congress hasn’t explicitly mandated collection of the information. But officials at NSF, which waged a successful campaign to have the question added to the ACS, say that Congress has repeatedly made it clear it wants the agency to collect such information in a cost-effective manner.The charge goes back to NSF’s founding in 1950 as a research agency that would also be a “central clearinghouse for the collection, interpretation, and analysis of data on scientific and engineering resources.” Since then, Congress has reinforced that mission several times in legislation.One of NSF’s key information products, the biennial Science and Engineering Indicators, draws upon Question No. 12 to help paint an exhaustive picture of global trends in science and engineering. The data are also essential for a congressionally mandated report on women, minorities, and persons with disabilities in science. NCSES uses the answers to create its own survey of college graduates. Its definition of the scientific workforce includes both persons with so-called STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) degrees and those holding jobs requiring STEM-related skills but who lack a STEM degree.NSF once obtained data on college majors from the decennial census. But the long form disappeared after the 2000 census. NSF fielded its own survey in 2003 to identify the subset of scientists and engineers in the overall U.S. workforce, at a cost of $17 million. So in 2005 Lynda Carlson, then head of NSF’s statistical shop, began a campaign to place an equivalent question on the ACS and eliminate the need for a stand-alone NSF survey.Carlson initially was told that legislation would be needed ordering the Census Bureau to add the question to the ACS. But after the relevant committees balked at her request, she got OMB to agree that asking about undergraduate fields of degree was in the national interest. After extensive field tests, the question first appeared in 2009. Since then, the arrangement has worked out so well that NSF was able to save another $4 million by canceling another survey on recent college graduates that it had used to fill in the blanks between each decennial census.Question No. 12 provides “the only way we have to take a broad look at the entire U.S. population,” says John Gawalt, the current NCSES director. Gawalt reacted “with disbelief” when the question appeared on the Census Bureau’s hit list, he says, adding that he finds it “ironic” that the bureau actually carries out the survey of college graduates on behalf of NSF.“The Census Bureau is fully aware of the importance of the question,” Gawalt says. “And we’ve been encouraged to comment on the benefits that weren’t captured in its initial analysis.”Political considerationsSocial scientists aren’t blaming the Census Bureau for its decision to put Question No. 12 on a hit list. Instead, they believe that census officials agreed with them on the question’s value but that political realities have forced their hand.“The Census Bureau does not want to do this,” asserts Katherine Smith, executive director of the Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics in Alexandria, Virginia, which represents those who rely on the quality and availability of federal statistics and which strongly opposes dropping Question No. 12. “They were forced to go through a process, and this is how it turned out. But I don’t think they are any happier with the result than we are.”The Census Bureau “has to show Congress that it is trying to save money,” Bradburn explains. Given that many legislators favor reducing the size and scope of bread-and-butter surveys like the ACS, the obvious solution was to propose dropping some questions.The Census Bureau’s Treat says he has no dog in the fight except to make sure that the ACS content review is carried out with integrity. “There are no quotas” for the number of questions that must be dropped, he says, “and in the end I don’t really care about the fate of any particular question.” At the same time, he says the Federal Register notice gives the community a golden opportunity to make its case for retaining Question No. 12 and, by extension, the ACS itself.“I know there’s a lot of angst in the community right now,” Treat says. “But I think there’s a lack of understanding that the survey is under attack. So I encourage everybody to respond to the notice. The more responses we get, the better understanding there will be about the value of collecting this information.”Update, 1:20pm 11/14/2014: This story has been updated to reflect concerns about the proposal to remove questions related to marital status.last_img read more

CWG: Saina and party make promising start

first_imgSaina Nehwal won her match as expected but was not a hundred per cent happy with the conditions prevalent at the Siri Fort Indoor complex on Monday. The Hyderabadi who dismissed Kenya’s Mercy Mwethya 21-11, 21-14 to help India beat Kenya 5-0 in their opening team Group D tie felt that she had not adjusted to the court conditions.”The court is quite fast,” she said. She was referring to the drift in the hall, which had proved to be her undoing at the Asian Badminton championships in April – she had lost to Chinese qualifier Li Xiuerei in the quarters.Saina felt a more pronounced drift this time. “I feel it’s a bit more pronounced. But there is no cause for concern. I will get used to it in a couple of days,” she said.Chief coach Pullela Gopi Chand was happy with his wards’ performance. “I am satisfied with the way the team played. But it will be much tougher against Scotland and Wales. They are much tougher than Kenya and Barbados (whom India play on Tuesday),” he added.Chetan Anand put India on the right track with a 21-7, 21-13 win over Victory Oderga in 14 minutes. He was in good form, scoring repeatedly with smashes and cross-court drops.Saina stepped on court to rout Mwethya in a mere 16 minutes.Then, the doubles combine of Rupesh Kumar and Sanave Thomas crushed Victor Munga and Patrik Kibet 21-5, 21-5 to hand the home team an easy win over the Kenya pair.advertisementHaving clinched the tie, the Indian think tank decided to rest Jwala Gutta as she was paired with Velliavetil Diju for the mixed doubles – the day’s last match.Aparna Balan partnered Aswini Ponnappa to crush Joseph and Anitah Bushuru 21-8, 21-6 win the women’s doubles.In the fifth and final match Jwala and Diju spanked Anna Njambi Ng’ang’a and Frederick Choube 21-8, 21-5 as India recorded a clean 5-0 sweep over Kenya.For Chetan, it was an easy outing. “It was good to be off to such a good start. I was stroking well and catching the shuttle early. We are aiming to reach the finals – let’s see what happens,” he said.He agreed that India’s last two ties against Scotland and Wales would be a different proposition. “There is no mistaking the fact that Scotland and Wales are much stronger.They have been regulars on the European championships,” he added.On her part, Jwala said: “I think all the hard work I had put in is bearing fruit. Playing with Diju is a real pleasure,” she added Jwala, a strong mixed-doubles medal contender, expects to meet Canada in the quarter-finals. “We should make it to the finals,” she said.Former international Sanjay Sharma said India stood a good chance of putting it across to top seeds Malaysia.”I think England will be tougher for us to beat than Malaysia. They have an edge over us in the men’s singles and doubles events. In the singles, Rajiv Ouseph is a hard nut to crack. I am not saying he is a sure shot but would fancy his chances more than Chetan. Saina should almost certainly win her match. But the three doubles ties are loaded in England’s favour,” he said. India are drawn to play England in the semi-finals.In the case of Malaysia, Sanjay said despite having the likes of world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei and the leading doubles pair of Kein Keat Soo/Boo Heong Tan, India had the advantage in the other three matches.For instance, Saina and the pairs of Diju/Jwala and Jwala/Ashwini are better than the Malaysians. I will stick to my stand that we have a better chance against Malaysia than against England,” he added.In the other matches, New Zealand beat Jamaica 5-0, while earlier in the morning session, Malaysia beat Isle of Man 5-0, Australia defeated Seychelles 5-0, Singapore thrashed Nigeria 5-0 and Canada beat Uganda 5-0.On the other hand, the Organising Committee left the Indian team’s technical officials to run from pillar to post for their kits.Eventually, they had to return empty-handed or were handed over kits without anything substantial – there were socks but no shoes, ties but no blazers. There was only one trousers instead of two and no sport Tshirts.The Organising Committee had promised the kits to these officials.”Even after going to collect my kit but fot the third time, I haven’t got a complete one. It is really embarrassing,” a Badminton Association of India official said, showing his receipt. The receipt remarked “a rain coat and two bright yellow tshirts pending”.advertisementlast_img read more

Fantastic four all set for Wimbledon

first_imgPost the slugfest on the French Open clay, the big four of tennis now carry their rivalry to the grass of Wimbledon. And tennis has never been so good with the fantastic four getting ready for another showdown.RAFAEL NADALRafael NadalThe Spaniard lifted his game at the right moment and that’s what helped him emerge triumphant at the French Open. He has the ability to transform his game to suit the grass and that’s why he is still the man to beat.World ranking: No 1. Rafa’s reign at the top of the pile would have come to an end had he not beaten Roger Federer at Roland Garros.Titles: The Spaniard equalled Swede Bjorn Borg’s six French Open titles to win his 10th Grand Slam and his 46th title.Prize money: So far Nadal has trousered a mind-boggling 25,823,025 pounds in his career.Best shot: He is an underrated volleyer and his serve has become a force but the monster forehand remains the most awesome weapon in tennis.Fitness rating: Nadal has had serious problems with his knees but his French Open displays show he is in peak shape.NOVAK DJOKOVICNovak DjokovicThe Serbian has never reached the final of Wimbledon or the French Open, yet he has improved so much in the past nine months and become so used to winning that you would put nothing past him.Withdrawing from this week’s AEGON Championships may not hurt him but the key will be whether he can move as phenomenally well on grass as he has been doing on clay and the hard courts.advertisement World ranking: No 2. The Serb’s amazing 43-match unbeaten run came to an end in Paris – and with it went his chance to take over at the top.Titles: Djokovic has won the Australian Open twice for his only two Grand Slam triumphs and taken 25 titles in total.Prize money: Still trailing Federer and Nadal but his career earnings are 16,155,281 pounds.Best shot: While he has turned his serve from a weakness to a strength in the past 12 months, his backhand down the line has been superb, and highly effective against the left-handed Nadal.Fitness rating: Sometimes ran out of steam in long matches but no longer an issue.ROGER FEDERERRoger FedererHis serve was outstanding at Roland Garros and will be even more effective at the Wimbledon. He may be at odd against Nadal on clay but let’s not write him off on grass, his favourite surface.But in the end it will be a question of how intensely he wants to win at SW19. World ranking: No 3. After years of unrivalled domination at the top of the rankings, Federer knows he is in a four-way fight to get there again.Titles: Holds the record for Grand Slams with 16, beating Pete Sampras. He has only won the French Open once, however. Also picked up 67 other titles.Prize money: Not surprisingly, the Swiss tops the charts on that front, too. He has won 39,183,323 pounds on the court.Best shot: There is nothing he cannot do and his serve combines power and accuracy, but the free-flowing forehand is as beautiful as it is deadly.Fitness rating: Has pulled out of the pre-Wimbledon event in Halle because of a groin strain.ANDY MURRAYAndy MurrayHis favourite court may be the hard ones but he is excellent on grass and usually plays well in front of the home crowd. Besides, he is going through a purple patch and will be looking to cash on it at Wimbledon.World ranking: No. 4. Murray started the year at four, dropped to five behind Robin Soderling, but is back knocking on the door of his rivals.Titles: Although he has reached the semi-finals in all four Slams, the big prize still eludes the British No. 1.Prize money: 9,840,956 pounds leave him in the shade of his three other rivals.Best shot: His hugely versatile backhand.Fitness rating: Has had a number of injuries, the latest of which was a sprained ankle at the French Open, but should be okay for the grass courts.last_img read more

Four injured in Halloween shooting at Los Angeles campus

first_imgFour people were shot during a Halloween party on the University of Southern California campus late Wednesday, including one person who was critically injured.The incident sent a flood of police into the area to control the crowd. Police Sgt. Andrew Chao of the Hollywood Station told City News Service that the shooting took place around 10 p.m. on Hollywood Boulevard.A 17-year-old boy was critically wounded with gunshot wounds to the chest and a leg.A 14-year-old boy was shot in a foot and a 25-year-old man was struck in the buttocks, he said. All three were transported to local hospitals.The gunmen fled, possibly in a white sport utility vehicle, Chao said.KNBC reported a fourth person injured in a possible assault with a deadly weapon, around 11:20 p.m. Footage shot from KNBC helicopter showed paramedics loading a man into an ambulance.Dozens of police officers were on the scene, some in riot gear and others on horseback and bicycle, to control the crowd and close off the street, one of Los Angeles’ major thoroughfares.Video footage on KNBC’s website showed several hundred people along Hollywood Boulevard and at least three men taken into custody in handcuffs.last_img read more

PCB to appoint new coach by first week of May

first_imgThe Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar Khan has said that the new selection committee will be appointed next week while the new head coach would be selected by first week of May.The PCB is on the lookout for a new coach after Waqar Younis stepped down following Pakistan’s poor show at the Asia Cup and ICC World Twenty20. The cricket board also sacked the entire selection panel headed by Haroon Rasheed.PCB has asked candidates to apply for the position of head coach by April 25 after which a committee comprising of former players Wasim Akram and Rameez Raza will take a decision on the new coach.However, Shaharyar Khan said that the board is yet to decide whether to appoint a foreign or local coach. But he dropped a hint that the board had already shortlisted a foreign and a local candidate.”The new coach will be appointed by first week of May and Wasim is also in India for the IPL to discuss with candidates,” Khan said.The names of former Test stalwarts Aaqib Javed, Moin Khan, Mohsin Khan and Mudassar Nazar are doing the rounds for the post of head coach while the board is said to be eyeing Tom Moody and Dean Jones as the best possible foreign candidates.Moody is busy in the IPL while Jones recently coached the title winning Islamabad United in the Pakistan Super League.Khan said that the new selection committee would be named by late this week or next week as the board wanted the selectors to also watch the Pakistan Cup one-day tournament in Faisalabad starting next week.advertisementHe confirmed that Mohsin Khan had been offered the post of chief selector but he declined.”Mohsin is more inclined towards coaching the national team,” he added.The names of former Test spinner Iqbal Qasim, Moin and Mohsin are also being tipped to head the selection committee. The PCB chief said the board would now make appointments after giving it proper thought as the national team had tough tours to England and Australia and there was a need to improve its rankings in all three formats.(with PTI inputs)last_img read more

AUTHORITIES IDENTIFY VICTIM OF HIGHWAY 20 FATAL CRASH

first_imgAUTHORITIES HAVE IDENTIFIED THE VICTIM OF TUESDAY AFTERNOON’S FATAL COLLISION BETWEEN A SEMI AND A PICK UP TRUCK ON HIGHWAY 20 EAST OF CORRECTIONVILLE.THE IOWA STATE PATROL SAYS 59-YEAR-OLD ROBERT BREWER OF UTICA, SOUTH DAKOTA DIED WHEN THE PICK UP TRUCK HE WAS DRIVING COLLIDED HEAD ON WITH THE ONCOMING SEMI IN THE 4200 BLOCK OF HIGHWAY 20 EAST.THE SEMI WAS CARRYING HAZARDOUS MATERIALS, BUT THE PATROL SAYS NONE OF THE MATERIALS SPILLED OR WERE DAMAGED.DEBRIS FROM THE AFTERMATH OF THE COLLISION LITTERED THE ROADWAY AND THE HIGHWAY WAS CLOSED FOR SEVERAL HOURS.THE DRIVER OF THE SEMI WAS TREATED AND RELEASED FROM MERCY MEDICAL CENTER.last_img read more

KOS SPORTS X BLADES AWARDED AUSTRALIAN BUSINESS AWARD FOR INNOVATION

first_imgOn the eve of the X-Blades National 18 Years and Under Championships, Kos Sports X Blades, official partners of Touch Football Australia, have been recognised in the prestigious Australian Business Awards with the Award for Innovation.The team at Kos Sports X Blades have been recognised for their cutting edge technology and products for the sports footwear industry.X Blades are naming rights sponsor of the National Touch League Open and Seniors Tournament, as well as the National 18 Years Tournament, the showcase events on the Touch Football Australia National calendar.Kos Sports X Blades are the official shoe of Touch Football Australia and their new “Genius” range, available in October, will provide revolutionary lightweight mid-sole boots that fit well with comfort, support, flexibility, and durability for the Touch Football enthusiast of all levels of ability and experience.Representatives from Kos Sports X Blades will be in attendance throughout the National 18s Tournament and will have Kos Sports X Blades footwear and products available for sale and order at a designated merchandise area.From park Touch Football to the Elite level, Kos Sports X-Blades has the shoe to suit all standards and competitive interests.Touch Football Australia congratulate Kos Sports X Blades on their success in the Australian Business Awards and look forward to a long and healthy relationship with the market leaders.To read more about Kos Sports X Blades success at the Australian Business Awards please click on the below attachment.Related Filesx-blades_australian_business_awards_winner-pdflast_img read more

Are Waterproof Socks the Right Fit for Your Adventure?

first_img The Best Men’s Waterproof Boots for Tackling All Weather Editors’ Recommendations The primary components of footwear include shoes and socks, but it isn’t always that simple. Depending on the activity, footwear can be as simple as a pair of sandals or as complicated as waterproof boots, shoe covers, gaiters, crampons, and multiple pairs of socks. So, in this wide spectrum, where do waterproof socks fit in?As a self-proclaimed adventurer — my resume includes thousands of miles hiked, multiple bike tours, and overnight camping in most kinds of weather — I’d say waterproof socks might be useful in very specific situations. In all of my explots, though, I’ve never owned a pair of waterproof socks and likely never will. I haven’t used them because there is either more functional gear available or because waterproof socks not only keep moisture out, they keep the sweat in.For a general overview about different sock types and uses, REI has a great article called “Socks: How to Choose.” A big takeaway from that guide includes the following fun fact about feet: “Each of your feet are densely covered with about 250,000 eccrine sweat glands, making feet one of the sweatiest places on your body.”Waterproof socks find their use when consistent water and/or cold weather are involved. If a trip involves multiple cold river crossings or any situations where loss of warmth could be dangerous, consider using a waterproof sock or over sock to stay dry and warm. In most other scenarios, waterproof socks are made obsolete by proper gear. When hiking, waterproof boots or shoes and a good pair of wool socks will be more functional (and less sweaty) than waterproof socks. When biking, a proper shoe cover will cover and keep shoes, socks, and feet dry. When paddling or surfing in cold water, booties will serve their purpose better than waterproof socks. Although not a necessary article in everyone’s adventure kit, waterproof socks are useful in very specific situations or can be an easy and affordable item to keep your feet dry without investing in other, pricier gear. We’ve pulled together a few products that are worth checking out:DexShell Hiking Trekking Socks – $40These socks are built with three layers to keep your feet dry. The outer layer is abrasion and water resistant nylon, the mid-layer is waterproof and breathable, and the inner sock provides comfort and moisture-wicking properties. This sock stands out over purely synthetic socks because the inner layer is 40 percent Merino wool, which is naturally warm and moisture-wicking. Due to these abilities, wool doesn’t develop bad odors since it quickly eliminates the opportunity for bacteria to develop.See ItRocky 11″ Gore-Tex Waterproof Socks – $60If you’re familiar with high-quality rain jackets, then you likely know that GORE-TEX is the industry standard for a breathable and waterproof layer. If you want to stop water from coming in while letting your own moisture escape, this sock is your best bet. With quality comes a price tag, which is about $60. If you are looking for warmth as well, you might consider sizing up on this sock to fit a Merino wool sock underneath.See ItRandy Sun Waterproof Socks – $18Similar to the Dexshell socks, these are built with three layers to keep your feet dry. Instead of a wool inner layer, though, these socks use a synthetic coolmax. For anyone that is allergic to wool, these are a great option. The socks come in a variety of colors and patterns at an affordable price.See ItArticle originally published May 1, 2017. Last updated March 27, 2018. Patagonia Goes 100% Sustainable with New Line Called Shell, Yeah! How to Transition Your Wardrobe to Fall 14 Scandinavian Clothing Brands You Need to Know Your New Favorite Pair of Go-to Leather Shoes Just Got More Affordable last_img read more

BMT Launches Fleet Performance Management App

first_imgzoom BMT SMART (BMT), a subsidiary of UK-based BMT Group, has introduced SMARTNOON , a new solution that can deliver higher resolution vessel performance data based on noon reports.Taking a vessel’s noon report as a starting point, SMARTNOON  adds metocean data, AIS information and BMT SMART’s analytics to provide ship owners and operators with valuable insights, without the need for on-board installations and additional sensors, or disruptive changes to established operating behaviors, according to BMT.“We recognise that there are various motivations for vessel performance management. Whether it be centred around fuel efficiency, voyage performance or better reporting across the fleet, SMARTNOON is the perfect first step in the digital revolution for ship owners and operators who may be looking to implement a fully automated fleetwide data collection system,” Peter Mantel, Managing Director at BMT SMART, commented.As explained, the application uses AIS data to provide a framework for noon report information that enables it to be modeled over the noon to noon period. This means that the metocean factors that contribute to overall vessel performance such as wind, waves and currents can be successfully incorporated into performance analysis.“By using existing ‘small data’, namely the traditional noon reporting process and aligning with BMT SMART’s … functionality, we can now bring top-tier performance analysis to new market segments, at near-automatic data logging system resolutions,” Mantel added.last_img read more

Some places we had 5 minutes to get people out Stories from

first_imgTina HouseAPTN National NewsThe fire around Ashcroft Indian band in British Columbia is under control.The entire community was forced to flee when the wind whipped the flames of a wildfire burning nearby.Parts of the community were completely lost – but no one was seriously injured.There are still more than 150 fires burning across B.C.Here’s a look at one that officials were able to tame.thouse@aptn.calast_img

Morocco to Invest MAD 200 Billion in Energy Sector By 2020

Rabat  –  Around 200 billion dirhams will be invested by 2020 in the Moroccan energy sector and a considerable share of it will be used to strengthen electricity infrastructure, Minister of energy, mining, water and environment Abdelkader Amara announced on Tuesday.This step is meant to meet the growing energy demand which will increase from 25,000 GWT in 2008 to 70,000 GWT by 2025, said the minister who was the guest of MAP Forum on the theme “Is Morocco on the eve of energy transition?” The official also announced the upcoming opening of medium voltage in the field of renewable energy, following the high and very high voltage. “The photovoltaic option has an economic potential of 4.6 GWT by 2030, in addition to slashing the country’s energy bill”, he said.   On nuclear energy-based electricity, the minister said that this is an open choice that could be possible in 2030 unless the regional context changes, adding that such option is part of the diversification of energy sources. Referring to the National energy strategy, he said that it is based on four objectives namely: securing energy supply, generalizing access to energy for reasonable prices, controlling the demand and preserving the environment read more

Sri Lanka ready to join global fight against IS

He said that several arrests have already been made and more was expected over the deadly suicide attacks in Colombo and outside Colombo.The Prime Minister also praised Sri Lanka’s intelligence service saying they helped arrest several suspects linked to the bombers. (Colombo Gazette) Sri Lanka is ready to join the global fight against the Islamic State (IS), Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said today.He noted the statement made by IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in a new video warning of attacks around the world. The Prime Minister also said that key information has come to light related to the Easter Sunday bombings carried out by a group linked to IS. Wickremesinghe said that Sri Lanka will share intelligence information and expertise with the international community to face the threat from IS. read more

SandersBiden feud ramps up in front of key union audience

PHILADELPHIA — The high-stakes fight for working-class voters moved to Pennsylvania on Tuesday as a slate of Democratic White House hopefuls vowed to use the power of the presidency to crack down on corporate America and strengthen organized labour.But beneath all the agreement at the AFL-CIO conference, a feud between two leading candidates, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, began to spill out into the open. Neither mentioned the other by name onstage. Yet both moved to undermine the other’s credibility with a group of voters that may hold the key to the 2020 presidential election.Sanders was the most aggressive when he ticked down a list of unpopular votes from Biden’s decadeslong record in politics as he faced hundreds of union members in a Philadelphia convention hall.“Unlike some of the folks running for president, I did not vote for the war in Iraq, I did not vote for the Wall Street bailout, I did not vote for a terrible bankruptcy bill and, maybe most important, I did not vote for the disastrous trade policies like NAFTA,” Sanders declared.Speaking to reporters afterward, the Vermont senator repeatedly called out Biden by his first name, charging that “Joe” has a long record of voting against the interests of the working class.“All I wanted to do today was make it clear that in terms of the needs of working people, I don’t have a record I have to apologize for,” Sanders said.Earlier in the day, Biden took a jab at Sanders by reminding union members that the health care plan championed by the Vermont senator — known as “Medicare for All” — would ultimately force union members from their private insurance plans to a government-backed system.“In mine, you can keep the health insurance you bargained for if you like it,” Biden said.The tension between the two leading candidates came during what organizers called a “workers’ presidential summit,” an event in downtown Philadelphia that gave the Democratic Party’s 2020 class an opportunity to speak to hundreds of union officials in a premier swing state.Besides Biden and Sanders, the lineup featured Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, California businessman Tom Steyer, Ohio congressman Tim Ryan, New York entrepreneur Andrew Yang and author Marianne Williamson. A handful of candidates, most notably Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, did not attend.A Warren spokeswoman said she had “prior commitments” in New York, noting that she attended an AFL-CIO forum over the summer.Arguably, no group of voters will play a more critical role in 2020 than those gathered at the Pennsylvania Convention Center on Tuesday afternoon. Trump won the presidency on the backs of white working-class voters in Pennsylvania, Michigan in Wisconsin — three states that hadn’t supported a Republican for president in almost three decades before Trump.Biden has built his decades-old political brand as a native of working-class Scranton, Pennsylvania. He reminded union members on Tuesday about his nickname “Working-class Joe” and called labour unions “the backbone of the country.”“The bad news is I’ve been around a long time. The good news is that I’ve been around a long time. You know me. I’ve never not been with you,” Biden said.Yet his long record in Washington gives his rivals in both parties ample political ammunition. Some conference attendees received flyers highlighting the low points of Biden’s record.The former Delaware senator is the only 2020 Democratic candidate who voted to support the North American Free Trade Agreement. As vice-president, he helped implement a rescue package for the nation’s big banks. He also wrote a 2005 bankruptcy bill backed by credit card companies. And as the only 2020 contender in Congress back in 2002, he is the only candidate who voted to authorize use of military force in Iraq.Biden also supported the trade deal written by the Obama administration known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership that Trump ultimately killed once he took office. Still, in the Senate, he voted against a number of trade deals, including those with Singapore, Chile and Oman.Until Tuesday, there was little public tension between Sanders and Biden, although Sanders, like other Democratic contenders, has long hoped that Biden’s early advantages in the Midwest would ultimately fade because of his record on trade.Sanders, by contrast, aggressively opposed the trade deals. That’s not to say Sanders does not have tough questions to answer, however.His signature health care plan, Medicare for All, would end the private insurance system. That’s something many union members oppose because it would wipe away the health care benefits they fought to win.Facing pushback from labour, Sanders recently added language to the plan to provide additional oversight for union members.But on Tuesday, Sanders was decidedly on offence.“I did not vote to bail out the crooks on Wall Street. Joe did,” Sanders told reporters. “So not only is there a difference in terms of our vision for Americans, there is a very strong difference in terms of our record.”Steve Peoples, The Associated Press read more

US factory production rises 03 per cent in October but mining and

WASHINGTON – U.S. factories increased production for a third straight month in October, as stronger output of primary metals and furniture offset declines in auto production.Manufacturing output rose 0.3 per cent last month, up from 0.1 per cent in September, the Federal Reserve reported Friday. Factory output is the biggest component of industrial production, which also includes mining and utilities.Overall industrial production fell 0.1 per cent after a 0.7 per cent September gain. The mining sector, which includes oil and gas drilling, declined 1.6 per cent after six months of gains. Utility output fell 1.1 per cent.Manufacturing has been gaining strength in recent months. Output has risen in five of the past six months. And factories have stepped up hiring over the past three months, according to the government’s October employment report released last week.Factories are busier in part because overseas growth has picked up and the housing recovery has driven more demand for furniture and other wood products. Automakers are also having their best year for sales since the recession, although production of motor vehicles and parts fell 1.3 per cent in October after two months of gains.Output of primary metals such as steel rose 1.1 per cent and furniture production was up 1.5 per cent.Economists were encouraged by the gains in manufacturing after a period of weakness in the spring and early summer. They predicted those increases would continue, helped by strengthening overseas demand and less impact from federal government spending cuts and tax increases.“As long as the overseas recovery continues and the domestic fiscal drag fades, output should continue to grow at reasonable rates,” said Paul Dales senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics.The government report was the latest sign of strength for manufacturing. A private sector report from the Institute for Supply Management showed factory activity climbed to a 2 1/2 year high in October. The group’s manufacturing index has risen for five straight months. The October gain was especially encouraging because it showed the federal government’s 16-day partial shutdown had little effect on manufacturers.The overall economy grew at an annual rate of 2.8 per cent in the July-September quarter. But 0.8 percentage point of that growth came from a buildup in business stockpiles. Many economists believe businesses will cut back on stockpiling in the current October-December period and that will slow growth.Manufacturers are hoping that rising export sales will offset weakness in domestic demand.Through the first nine months this year, exports are up a modest 1 per cent. U.S. companies have had to deal with weakness in Europe, which has cut into sales in that important market. by Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Press Posted Nov 15, 2013 7:17 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email US factory production rises 0.3 per cent in October, but mining and utility output both fall read more

Appeals court hearing dispute over governments new Internet traffic rules

WASHINGTON – A long-running legal battle over government rules that require Internet providers to treat all Web traffic equally is back for another round before a federal appeals court.Cable and telecom industry groups will urge a three-judge panel on Friday to throw out regulations that forbid online content from being blocked or channeled into fast and slow lanes.The Federal Communications Commission approved the new rules in February after its previous attempt to mandate “net neutrality” was struck down last year by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.The rules, which for the first time treat broadband like a public utility, have won praise from consumer advocates and content companies such as Netflix and crowdfunding site Kickstarter. They want to prevent Internet service providers from manipulating data moving across their networks or offering paid preferential treatment to some content over others.But providers like Comcast, Verizon and AT&T say the FCC’s move will threaten innovation and undermine investment in broadband infrastructure. The U.S. Telecom Association, an industry group, calls the latest rules “a sweeping bureaucratic power grab” that subjects companies to “intrusive, central-planner-style oversight.”In an added twist, one of the judges hearing the latest case has twice authored opinions striking down the FCC’s earlier attempts to enforce net neutrality.Judge David Tatel ruled last year that the FCC rules were not grounded in legal authority because the commission at the time classified broadband as an information service. After Tatel’s 2014 opinion, the agency reclassified broadband providers as common carriers akin to utilities, giving it power to impose the new rules.Tatel had also ruled against the agency in a similar 2010 case, finding that the FCC could not prevent Comcast Corp. from slowing Internet access to a popular file-sharing service.Barbara Cherry, a professor of telecommunications at Indiana University who supports net neutrality, said the FCC is simply restoring the classification that Internet providers should have had all along.“It’s a legal chess game basically,” Cherry said. “They never should have classified it as an information service in the first place.”Tatel was appointed to the court by President Bill Clinton in 1994. The other judges on the panel are Stephen Williams, appointed by President Ronald Reagan, and Sri Srinivasan, appointed by President Barack Obama.Placing Internet service in the same regulatory camp as telephone service means providers have to act in the “public interest” when supplying service. It gives the government power to investigate complaints about unjust or unreasonable behaviour by service providers, such as controlling Internet traffic in a way that promotes their own financial interest.Obama endorsed the idea of net neutrality last year, calling on the FCC to regulate Internet service like it does other public utilities to protect consumers.Cable and telecom opponents say the FCC went too far in reclassifying broadband as a common carrier. They argue the new rules will prevent them from recovering costs for connecting to broadband hogs like Netflix that generate a huge amount of Internet traffic.“Congress never envisioned entrusting the FCC with the extraordinary authority that the order purports to exercise or subjecting the Internet to intrusive central-planner-style oversight,” says a brief from the U.S. Telecom Association.Defending the regulations, the FCC said in court briefs that it has the authority “to ensure that the Internet, the central means of communication in the 21st century, remains open to all Americans.”A small Texas broadband provider, Alamo Broadband Inc., has also challenged the rules, claiming among other things that they violate free speech rights.A ruling could take several months. Appeals court hearing dispute over government’s new Internet traffic rules by Sam Hananel, The Associated Press Posted Dec 3, 2015 9:53 pm MDT Last Updated Dec 3, 2015 at 10:40 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

As Colombians bid farewell to decades of flames Ban pledges UN support

‹› With a ceasefire now in effect and violence in the country reduced significantly, the Secretary-General said that lives have already been saved. Moreover, the initial release of minors is a welcome beginning, he noted, commending the negotiating teams that worked tirelessly in Havana who had shown the courage that will be needed in the crucial period ahead.The agreements promise not only to stop the armed conflict, but to create the conditions for lasting peace based on equitable development, human rights and inclusion. They envision a peace that values and ensures the participation of women, and a future in which there is room in politics for all, “but no room in politics for violence,” underscored Mr. Ban. And while the divisions and distrust from decades of conflict run deep, “I hope that the Colombian people can overcome the pain, join together and make this a truly national project.” He also stressed that the peace process has been led by Colombians “every step of the way.”With the peace accord reached, the parties have now entrusted important responsibilities to the UN, which the Security Council has unanimously endorsed. In that regard, he said the UN Mission in Colombia, tasked with the verification of the ceasefire and the laying down of arms, is already deployed throughout the country.Now, thanks to painstaking, visionary dialogue, you can look ahead with optimism.“Its verification mandate is activated with the signing of this agreement. I thank the countries from within and beyond the region that are providing observers,” explained the UN chief.Further, the United Nations system in Colombia will also be there to help implement the agreements, building on many years of engagement on peacebuilding and its work with victims and communities. “We will continue to offer our support to address the human rights and humanitarian challenges that persist. I am encouraged to know that there is already excellent collaboration among the Mission, the larger UN system in the country and our Colombian partners,” the Secretary-General added.He went on to recognize the invaluable contribution of Cuba and Norway, as guarantors of the process. He also commended Chile and Venezuela as accompanying countries. In addition, peacemakers working in other parts of the world are already studying Colombia’s peace process for lessons that can inform their efforts, he noted.Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hails Colombia peace as “powerful message” of hope to the world (21 September). Credit: UN News Centre“The challenge now is to convert the vision that was so carefully crafted in Havana into transformative change here in Colombia, especially in some of the most remote and historically neglected regions of the country. Demonstrating early dividends will be crucial for building confidence,” he stressed. Encouraging the parties to remain as strongly committed to implementing the agreements as they were to reaching them, the Secretary-General also encouraged them to welcome in this endeavour the contributions of all who are part of the diverse and vibrant nation: civil society, the private sector, Afro-Colombian and indigenous communities, women and youth. “But now, thanks to painstaking, visionary dialogue, you can look ahead with optimism.You are inviting Colombians to join you in pasando la página a un futuro en paz – turning the page to a future in peace,” said Mr. Ban, adding: Today, Colombians are bidding farewell to decades of flames, and sending up a bright flare of hope that illuminates the entire world. Viva la Paz! Viva Colombia!Also present at the signing ceremony, Peter Thomson, President of the UN General Assembly, congratulated all involved in the process and welcomed the historic opportunity, which brings an end to more than 50 years of armed conflict and opens a new chapter of peace in Colombia and Latin America. “The 2030 Agenda clearly states that there can be no sustainable development without peace and no peace without sustainable development,” and as such, he looked forward to the full implementation of the agreements and to continue “our strong engagement and support so the remarkable progress achieved may be reconfirmed in the coming months and years. Colombia and this process are an example and a beacon of hope to the international community.” Secretary-General Attends Ceremony for the Colombian Ceasefire Agreement, in Havana, Cuba (June 2016). UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe Deeply moved to see thousands of Colombians at the signing ceremony, Mr. Ban said he was honored to celebrate the achievement of the parties “and that of countless Colombians who never lost hope in peace.”Since 2012, parties have been in talks hosted in Havana, Cuba. Throughout, negotiators have reached agreements on key issues such as political participation, land rights, illicit drugs and victims’ rights and transitional justice. Among other developments, the Government and the FARC-EP announced in May an agreement to release and reintegrate child soldiers from the opposition force. The parties also announced the establishment of a gender sub-commission to bolster the voice of women in the peace process.In his remarks today, the Secretary-General recalled that when he first visited Colombia five years ago, the adoption of the Victims’ Law had begun to build the foundations for peace.“You had the vision to bring the victims to the forefront. What they have lost can never be restored. Yet victims have been among the most forceful voices for peace and reconciliation, and against bitterness and hatred. Their example should be an inspiration to all,” he said.Commending the parties for the first steps they have taken to acknowledge responsibility for tragic events of the conflict, the UN chief encourages them to continue on this path and, welcoming the commitments made to ensure truth, justice and reparations for all victims, he said: “This is how healing begins.” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon arrives at the San Pedro Claver Church in Cartagena, Colombia, to attend a reconciliation mass, ahead of the official signing ceremony today, of the peace agreement between the Government of Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army (FARC-EP). Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon arrives in Cartagena, Colombia, where he will attend the signing ceremony of the agreement between the Government of Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (right) receives a copy of the Colombian Peace Agreement from Juan Manuel Santos Calderón, President of Colombia (19 September). UN Photo/Rick Bajornas The city of Cartagena prepares for the signing of the agreement between the Government of Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia UN Photo/Rick Bajornas Peace Agreement document which was presented by President Juan Manuel Santos Calderón of Colombia to the President of the Council. UN Photo/Kim Haughton Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon arrives in Cartagena, Colombia, where he will attend the signing ceremony of the agreement between the Government of Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas read more

Tennis And The Olympics Make An Awkward Match

We’re on the ground in Rio covering the 2016 Summer Olympics. Check out all our coverage here.Olympic tennis should be as, well, grand as a Grand Slam. The world’s best players show up with a chance to win hardware for their countries — and without making a yearlong commitment. They get to hang with other great athletes in the Olympic Village. And they only get one chance every four years — not four chances every year. That makes it especially precious for players who are sidelined with injury just before the games, as Rafael Nadal was in 2012 and as Roger Federer is this year. The reality, though, is a bit more flawed. The necessities of the national nature of the Olympics imposes restrictions on what is otherwise mostly an individual sport. And that robs the Olympics tennis event of some of its top players and teams — and that’s not counting the stars who blamed Zika when they withdrew.No country gets more than four players in each of the men’s and women’s 64-player singles draws — half the size of major draws. That limit means half of France’s eight men in the Top 50 don’t get a shot at individual glory. Meanwhile, to improve regional representation, Ons Jabeur of Tunisia (ranked No. 188 at the time the entry list was finalized) and Stephanie Vogt of Liechtenstein (No. 274) got into the women’s draw. At majors, they’d usually have to try to earn their way in through qualifying.At least in singles, players are competing as they usually do. On the tours, some of the best doubles teams are paragons of multinational cooperation — a former pairing of an Indian man and a Pakistani teammate inspired tennis fans in both their countries. Part of what makes tennis great, if you’re into individual agency for athletes, is that even when players team up on tour, they do so by choice. They choose whom to partner and whom to dump — leading to a fun round of musical chairs and attendant gossip in each offseason. The Olympics, though, forces teammates to split up. Four of the top 10 women’s teams in the world, including the very best one, pair players from different countries. So do six of the top 10 men’s teams. There isn’t a ranking for mixed doubles, yet just three of the 16 majors since the last Olympics were won by a man and woman from the same country. Yet all those players who normally partner with someone from a different country had to find someone else to play with in Rio de Janeiro.The bigger problem with mixed at the Olympics is how easy it is to medal once you’ve qualified: Just 16 teams enter (after having qualified by making it into one of the other draws and then signing up for mixed in Rio), so it takes just two wins to reach the semifinals. Win one of the next two matches and you’re on the podium.Partly because of all the limitations, especially on top players who don’t qualify because their country’s talent pool is too deep, the tours stopped offering ranking points for wins in this year’s Olympic event. John Isner, the highest ranked American man, cited that as a major factor in his decision to skip Rio. Isner and other opt-outers have been feasting on depleted competition at the tour events. Isner got 150 ranking points for beating three players outside the top 50 in Atlanta last week — 150 more than he would’ve gotten if he’d won the gold medal in Rio. Ranking points, not gold, are the currency on tour, yielding direct entry to events and higher seeds that offer safer passage through the draw.The Olympic men’s singles draw may have lost other stars to early upsets because of their best-of-three-set format until the final. Novak Djokovic, who has won just about every important title except a gold medal, lost his first match in straight sets to Juan Martin del Potro. At a major he would have had a chance to try to come back — a thrilling prospect whether or not he would have pulled it off.I asked the International Tennis Federation, which helps organize the event, for a response to my criticisms. David Haggerty, president of the ITF, said in a statement sent through a spokesman: “The ITF is happy with the overall format of the Olympic Tennis Event, which presents a unique opportunity for players to represent their countries in individual competition. The current format ensures a strength of entry alongside a diversity of nations that reflects the universality of our sport.” He added that the draw size and number of sets are constrained by the desire to limit the event to a little over a week so players can get back on tour, and so that they can enter singles, doubles and mixed without undue burden.I’m not arguing, as many do, that tennis shouldn’t be in the Olympics.1Nor is it a plea on behalf of ESPN, the owner of this website and the broadcaster of the U.S. Open but not of the Olympics. All of the sport’s top players in recent years have competed passionately for their countries and have medaled in 2008 or 2012, or both: Serena and Venus Williams, Maria Sharapova, Victoria Azarenka, Djokovic, Federer, Nadal, Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka. I watched many of them at the London games in 2012 and enjoyed the novelty of watching singles stars playing doubles, wearing country uniforms and bringing lots of new colors to the usually staid Wimbledon aesthetic. And no one who watched the Djokovic-del Potro epic, or saw both players’ tears afterwards, would prefer it had never happened. It’s just a reminder that when the Olympic format is forced on top of an established sport’s pre-existing structure, flaws and awkwardness are inevitable. Tennis is an individual sport and is at its best when players — and doubles pairs — are free to compete for themselves. read more

Big Ten bounceback Ohio State looks to avenge earlyseason conference woes

The California Golden Bears football team will be hoping to continue a trend of Pac-12 Conference dominance over the Big Ten when they play Ohio State this Saturday. On the second Saturday of the college football season, three Big Ten teams traveled west to play Pac-12 teams, and all three of them – Wisconsin, Nebraska and Illinois – lost their games, respectively to Oregon State, UCLA and Arizona State. But this Saturday, the tables will be turned on California, which travels east to play the Buckeyes in Ohio Stadium. California comes into the game with a 1-1 record, coming off a 50-31 victory against Southern Utah, after opening its season with a 31-24 loss to Nevada. California’s first road game of 2012 comes against the Buckeyes, which are 2-0 and ranked No. 12 in the Associated Press top 25. Even though his team is on the road and unranked, California freshman wide receiver Chris Harper believes his team will defeat its ranked opponent on Saturday. “I think that even though Ohio State is a great team, I think that we’re a great team also and we’re going to be able to compete and come out victorious,” Harper said. Junior Keenan Allen, a fellow wide receiver, agreed. “I think our chances (of winning) are high,” Allen said. “We’ve been practicing pretty good all week, and I just think we just got to polish up on a couple of things from these last games and I think we’ll be a great football team.” Coach Jeff Tedford said during the weekly Pac-12 teleconference on Tuesday that playing OSU, who will have senior linebacker Storm Klein and senior running back Jordan Hall suited up, will be a “great challenge” but believes his team is prepared. “I think our guys are ready for that test against a very good football team,” Tedford said. “We’ve had to play through a couple things the first two weeks actually that have kind of persevered us through some things.” Harper said his preparation for playing the Buckeyes has been the same as it is for any other game. “I’m preparing the same I would any other week,” Harper said. “This is just, it’s another game. Although it’s a big game against a big team, my preparation is still the same because I try to come out and work hard every day at practice.” California ranks 49th nationally in total offense, with an average of 441 yards per game in its first two contests, and is tied for 35th in scoring offense with 37 points per game. Defensively, the Golden Bears have been worse statistically, ranking only 78th in total defense while allowing 410.5 yards per game, and 91st nationally in points allowed with 31. Nonetheless, OSU coach Urban Meyer said the Buckeyes’ opponent has no shortage of talent, including future NFL players on its roster. “You’ll see some Cal Bears going in the draft next year,” Meyer said. One California player whose talents have received considerable recognition from OSU coaches and players alike is Allen, who ranked ninth in the Football Bowl Subdivision in both receptions and receiving yards in 2011. “Anytime you play a great receiver, you have to have tremendous respect for their ability, and what they do well,” said OSU cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs. “Keenan Allen is a great route-runner, he’s got great speed, he does really well, he’s got great body control when the ball is in the air, he goes and gets it. They’re going to run vertical routes, so he’s going to be a factor. They’ll do that with multiple receivers, but he’s a tremendous talent.” OSU sophomore cornerback Bradley Roby said he is looking forward to the opportunity to “go against the best.” “Everybody has been talking about him, saying he’s one of the best in the country,” Roby said. “I think he’s a good athlete and I think he’s a good football player, so I’m just ready to go against him.” Allen said the Bears “definitely need to make progress” with their passing offense from their first two games of the season, but pointed out that he is not the team’s only offensive playmaker. “We have a lot of guys on offense who make plays,” Allen said. “C.J. Anderson (senior running back), Isi Sofele (senior running back), myself, Chris Harper, Bryce Treggs (freshman wide receiver). We all make plays in open field, so once we get the ball into our hands, they really going to have break down and make the open-field tackle.” Coombs also praised California’s quarterback, senior Zach Maynard, who is Allen’s half-brother. “He’s very athletic, he’s very fast, he does a great job of avoiding pressure, pulling it down, making things happen, and sometimes scrambles to run, sometimes scrambles to throw, makes a lot of big plays,” Coombs said. “I think he’s a total package and a guy who’s got experience.” As for OSU’s quarterback, sophomore Braxton Miller, California senior linebacker Robert Mullins compared him to Colin Kaepernick, who played the position at Nevada from 2007-2010, and is currently the backup quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers. “(Miller)’s the most athletic (quarterback) I’ve seen,” Mullins said during California’s weekly press conference on Tuesday. “In terms of how dynamic he is, he reminds me of Kaepernick.” Mullins also discussed how the California defense can slow down Miller, who has accounted for 664 yards of total offense in his first two games of the season. “Any time you have a dynamic quarterback like that, you have to be disciplined,” Mullins said. “We have to rally to the ball because he can move in space, he may break some tackles … ultimately, it comes down to what we do.” Another OSU player to whom Tedford gave specific praise was senior defensive end John Simon. “(Simon) plays as hard as anybody I’ve ever seen,” Tedford said. Meyer said that he has great respect for the coach that will be across the field from him on Saturday. “One of my great friends, I’ve known Jeff (Tedford) for a long time,” Meyer said. “Studied football with him back when I was at Bowling Green.” Kickoff in the Horseshoe between OSU and California is scheduled for noon on Saturday. Patrick Maks contributed to this story. read more

Somerset farmer killed by his dog after it accidentally drove forklift truck

Mr Meade Simon Chilcott, principal investigator for the Health and Safety Executive, told Mr Mead’s inquest there were no other “reasonable explanations” for the tragedy.Mr Mead suffered spinal fractures and was pronounced dead at the scene.Dr Peter Harrowing, assistant coroner for Avon, reached a conclusion of accidental death at the hearing in Flax Bourton, near Bristol, on Friday.”The most likely explanation, which I accept, is that the dog that he had in the cab with him on that day inadvertently moved the shuttle lever, causing the forward motion on the Manitou which sadly trapped Mr Mead against the solid gate, causing injuries which he did not survive,” Dr Harrowing said. “We stopped and I could see Dad’s legs at the front of the machine,” Alistair Mead said.”I could see that he was trapped. He was crouched down, facing the machine as if he had turned to see the machine coming towards him and ducked, trying to avoid it.”Mr Mead said his father was being pushed against the gate and was unresponsive.”Inside the cab was my Dad’s dog, a Jack Russell,” he told the inquest.He reversed the truck and first aid was given to his father, with paramedics later arriving on the scene.Mr Mead was pronounced dead at 3.04pm. Mr Meade’s family said they were “processing the tragic and sudden loss” of their father and husbandCredit:GDJ Photography/PA “I’m satisfied that this death of Derek Mead was one of a very tragic accident.”In a statement read to the court, Mr Mead’s son, Alistair, said they worked together and had 1,600 acres over eight farms.The garden of Mr Mead’s home had a large pond, next to which he was building a rockery on the day of his death.In a statement, Mr Mead’s family said: “As a family we have been processing the tragic and sudden loss of our father.”It has been a very difficult time for us and for all of those who knew our father well.”Whilst we grieve for the loss of our dad, grandfather and friend, we celebrate everything that he has achieved and focus on continuing his legacy.”We want to express our deepest gratitude for the support and all the kind wishes we have received during this difficult time from so many that Dad reached out to.”We thank you for continuing to respect our privacy as we, as a family, continue to grieve.”Mr Mead used the “old” Manitou truck, which he used on his property in a personal capacity, to shift top soil to the site.His son spotted the truck at the entrance to a field while driving with his family down a lane near Mr Mead’s home. A farmer was killed by his dog after it pushed a lever inside his forklift truck and crushed him against gate, an inquest has heard.Derek Mead, 70, was working on building a rockery next to the pond at his home in Hewish, near Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, on June 4 last year.The experienced farmer stopped his Manitou forklift truck at the entrance to a field on his land and is believed to have got out of the vehicle to open the gate.Avon Coroner’s Court heard that Mr Mead left the machine in neutral, with the engine running, and did not apply the handbrake as the land was flat.His pet dog was inside the cab at the time and may have jumped up or put its paws on the shuttle lever, which moved the vehicle forwards. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

Mobile users targeted by phone scam involving Lithuanian numbers

first_imgSEVERAL MOBILE PHONE users have reported being targeted by a phone scam involving calls from Lithuanian numbers.Last night, Irish mobile users with 087 numbers received short or missed calls from a number starting with +37, the Lithuanian country code.It emerged last month that mobile users were targeted by a Slovenian premium number scam which tried to encourage users to return the call and run up high charges.Users targeted by the most recent scam have contacted TheJournal.ie, reporting that they received calls of a few seconds or just missed calls from different numbers, all with the Lithuanian country code. All users said they were customers on the 087 prefix, as with the previous spate of calls.The telecom’s regulator, ComReg, could not be reached for comment today.Have you been targeted by the scam? If so, let us know in the comments below.Related: Mobile phone users targeted by Slovenian premium number scam>Read: Regulator says mobile users shouldn’t pay price for Slovenian scam>last_img read more