The Rajasthan government on September 2 announced a ban on paan masala containing magnesium carbonate, nicotine, tobacco, mineral oil and flavoured ‘supari’ in the state.All such products will now be banned in the State under the Food Safety Act. This is an important decision taken to curb addiction among youth, Health Minister Raghu Sharma said.Production, storage, distribution and sale of these products will not be allowed in the State.With this, Rajasthan has become the third State after Maharashtra and Bihar to announce such a move, according to a release here.
On Saturday morning, ESPN’s College GameDay kicked off from Orlando ahead of UCF’s contest against Cincinnati. The show has a long-standing gag running with the university which claims it won a national title in 2017 despite not playing in the College Football Playoff.During the show, ESPN showed a graphic touting UCF’s winning streak as the longest by a Florida school since Florida won 22-straight from 2008-09.There’s only one problem with that. Florida State has a more-recent winning streak that wasn’t mentioned.The Seminoles won 29-straight games from 2012-2014 until the team was destroyed by Oregon in the very first College Football Playoff in 2014.Umm is @CollegeGameDay forgetting that @FSUFootball won 29 straight from 2012-2014? pic.twitter.com/m1NExtGRGu— Seamus Toner (@s_toner_4) November 17, 2018Not a great look for College GameDay.Florida State takes on Boston College this afternoon. If the Seminoles lose, they’ll miss a bowl game for the first time in 37 years.Meanwhile, UCF takes on Cincinnati with the hopes of extending its winning-streak. The Knights and Bearcats kick off at 8:00 p.m. ET on ABC.
zoom Port of MelbourneAsciano Limited has responded to media speculations linking the company with China Merchants Group as a potential buyer of the company’s terminals and logistics division Patrick Terminals. The announcement has followed the speculations that the China Merchants Group put forward a USD 1bn offer for a majority stake in the business, which runs international container terminals in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.Asciano has confirmed that it has been, and continues to be, in discussions with third parties in relation to a potential sale of a non-controlling interest in its Terminals & Logistics business division.According to Asciano, these discussions are preliminary and incomplete and no agreement has been reached with any parties at this stage.Asciano also notes that these discussions are consistent with the detail in the presentation made at Asciano’s recent investor day on June 19, 2014.The company stated that it can give no assurance that agreement will be reached or that any transaction will take place.World Maritime News Staff, July 18th, 2014
Angel MooreAPTN NewsSt. Mary’s First Nation in New Brunswick has partnered with a university in an effort to save the Maliseet language.At the moment, there are fewer than 100 people speak the language email@example.com@angelharksen
Rabat – Algeria has once again canceled a major arms deal with Russia due to “the decline in oil prices,” according to Moroccan newspaper Al Massae.Al Massae reports that the Russian arms deal had intended to serve the Polisario Front interests, as the separatist group was eager to receive military equipment and weapons from Algeria to boost its military capacity.According to the newspaper, the decline in oil prices has had a significant impact on the budget allocated for armaments, including funds allocated for the Polisario. The decline in oil prices stymied plans for the separatists’ leader, Ibrahim Ghali, who intended to build a headquarters in the region’s buffer zone of the region and later relocate some of the Tindouf camps in the region.Since taking office as the head of the Polisario Front’s alleged Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), Ghali started planning to shift the group’s headquarters.. However, Ghali’s plan did not please some members of the separatist group. According to Al Massae, members of the Polisario considers Ghali’s project a waste of public money.Moroccan news outlet Le360, reported that Algeria canceled a similar deal with Russia in December due to the decline in oil prices. Morocco’s eastern neighbor was expected to receive an important shipment of arms, many of which would have been subsequently delivered to the separatist group.One source with Le360 said that the separatist group rejected Algeria’s reasons for canceling the Russian arms deal. Certain “hawks” within the Polisario alleged that Algeria had refused to renew its arms supplies with the separatist group due to the pressure from French President Emmanuel Macron during his recent visit to Algeria. The Polisario accused Macron of intervening with Algeria’s President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to cancel the arms contract with the Polisario.On December 6, 2017, Macron visited Algeria in order to discuss the Western Sahara issue. On the eve of his visit, Macron told the Algerian daily El Khabar that he was in favor of opening up a “dialogue between Morocco and Algeria around the Sahara issue,” as “the resolution of this crisis represents a major challenge for the integration of the Arab Maghreb.”
Two flights were diverted to the Mattala International Airport today owing to bad weather at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) in Katunayake this morning.Officials said that a passenger plane from Dubai was diverted to Mattala before it returned to the BIA while a SriLankan Airlines flight arriving from Mumbai was also diverted to Mattala before it returned to the BIA later. (Colombo Gazette)
TORONTO — The Ontario Cannabis Store says it has partnered with 26 licensed producers for its online retail platform.The store, which will be Ontario’s only online retailer when recreational marijuana is legalized in the fall, said Monday that the supply agreements with Health Canada-authorized producers were competitive.The online retailer says it will sell a variety of products, including dried flower, cannabis oil and cannabis seeds, to customers 19 and older when pot becomes legal on Oct. 17.Public vs. private: Which is better for cannabis retail?‘The old plan wasn’t much of a plan’: How Ontario’s new pot plan targets the black marketSecond Cup looking to convert Ontario coffee shops to cannabis storesSupply agreements with cannabis accessory suppliers are also in the works, the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) says, adding that it plans to expand the selection of its available products over time.The OCS says to ensure products are delivered to homes safely, it will have a verification system in place.It says it will also establish a wholesale distribution network to supply pot in private stores.The Progressive Conservatives’ new plan to have cannabis sold through a private retail model is a contrast to the Liberals plan for a provincial government monopoly on cannabis sales.The province was to operate 150 brick-and-mortar stores by 2020, but the new plan means sales at physical stores won’t start until April 2019.
“These criminal acts against innocent civilians are also aimed at fostering divisions among the Iraqi people,” Mr. Annan said in a statement issued by his spokesman.”The Secretary-General reiterates that no cause can justify the indiscriminate use of violence, in which innocent civilians are the principal victims,” the statement added.He extended his condolences and deepest sympathies to the families of all the victims.
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Most actively traded companies on the TSX, TSX Venture Exchange markets by The Canadian Press Posted Jun 6, 2013 5:04 pm MDT TORONTO – Some of the most active companies traded Thursday on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the TSX Venture Exchange:Toronto Stock Exchange (12,409.33 down 34.32 points):Kinross Gold Corp. (TSX:K). Gold miner. Down a penny, or 0.15 per cent, at $6.74 on 11.73 million shares.Bombardier Inc. (TSX:BBD.B). Plane and train maker. Up six cents, or 1.23 per cent, at $4.92 on 6.12 million shares. The company’s rail division won a US$771-million order from the Stockholm Public Transport Authority, which included 96 Movia driverless vehicles with options for 80 more vehicles.Eldorado Gold Corp. (TSX:ELD). Gold miner. Up nine cents, or 1.07 per cent, at $8.47 on 5.74 million shares. The gold sector was one of the advancers, up 0.31 per cent to 207.69 points as the price of the bullion advanced for a third trading day in a row. The July contract finished US$1.02 higher to $94.76 per ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange.B2Gold Corp. (TSX:BTO). Gold miner. Down 23 cents, or 8.55 per cent, at $2.46 on 4.81 million shares.Uranium One Inc. (TSX:UUU). Miner. Up a penny, or 0.36 per cent, at $2.77 on 4.53 million shares.Toronto Venture Exchange (951.43 up 3.99 points):Colorado Resources Ltd. (TSXV:CXO). Mineral explorer. Down 43 cents, or 34.96 per cent, at 80 cents on 9.82 million shares.EastCoal Inc. (TSXV:ECX). Coal miner. Down half a cent, or 20 per cent, at two cents on 6.81 million shares.Companies reporting major news:Transcontinental (TSX:TCL.A). Media and printer. Down half a cent, or 0.43 per cent, at $11.70 on 112,086 shares. Transcontinental warned of more cuts in its media division due to weak advertising conditions. The company posted a $27.5-million profit in the second quarter, reversing year-ago loss of $106.2 million, which included a huge impairment charge. Revenue decreased slightly to $521.3 million.WestJet Airlines Ltd. (TSX:WJA). Airline. Down two cents, or 0.09 per cent, at $22.16 on 306,874 shares. CEO Gregg Saretsky said the company’s interested in flying out of Toronto island airport should any slots become available. Saretsky made his comments at Bombardier Aerospace’s Toronto plant, where Bombardier officially handed over the keys to two new Q400s built for WestJet.
Des aires marines protégées pour sauver le manchot d’Afrique de l’extinctionAfrique du Sud – Le CNRS est formel : des aires marines protégées pourraient sauver le manchot du Cap de l’extinction. Une équipe de chercheurs franco-sud-africaine a en effet démontré les effets bénéfiques de l’arrêt de la pêche dans les zones occupées par cette espèce, qui se nourrit exclusivement de poisson.Seul manchot africain, le manchot du Cap (Spheniscus demersus) est en danger d’extinction. Entre 2001 et 2009, sa population mondiale a décliné de 60% en raison d’une pénurie de nourriture due au déplacement des bancs de poissons dont les manchots africains se nourrissaient. Une situation exacerbée par la compétition entre ces oiseaux marins et les pêcheries qui exploitent les derniers poissons disponibles.Face à cette menace d’extinction et en concertation avec les chercheurs et les industries de la pêche, l’agence gouvernementale sud-africaine responsable de la gestion des pêcheries a réalisé une expérience sur l’impact des aires marines protégées (AMP). En janvier 2009, une zone d’océan de 20 kilomètres de rayon autour de l’île St Croix abritant la plus grande colonie de manchots du Cap était fermée à la pêche. Une autre zone témoin, autour de la colonie de Bird Island, est restée ouverte afin de permettre aux chercheurs de comparer les comportements alimentaires des manchots.A l’aide d’enregistreurs GPS miniaturisés attachés à 91 oiseaux des deux colonies, les chercheurs ont étudié le comportement de recherche alimentaire des manchots. Les résultats constatés sont frappants : avant la fermeture à la pêche, les manchots de St Croix se nourrissaient principalement à plus de 20 kilomètres de leur colonie, parcourant parfois jusqu’à 150 kilomètres à la nage pour chercher de la nourriture. Au bout de seulement trois mois, ils ont modifié leur effort de pêche et 70% de leurs plongées ont été effectuées à moins de 20 kilomètres, à l’intérieur de l’aire marine protégée. Leur temps de recherche alimentaire a alors diminué de 30%, réduisant ainsi leur dépense énergétique journalière de 40%. Sur Bird Island, les manchots ont continué à se comporter comme en 2008. L’expérience, unique au monde, confirme l’impact négatif de la pêche industrielle sur les conditions de nourrissage des manchots et démontre les bienfaits immédiats d’une aire marine protégée pour la conservation d’une espèce de prédateurs marins supérieurs en danger d’extinction.Le 21 février 2010 à 18:48 • Emmanuel Perrin
N Chandrasekaran takes home Rs 30 crore in FY 2017ReutersN Chandrasekaran, who was CEO and MD of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) till February this year, earned Rs 30 crore in 2016-17, around 83 percent (Rs 25 crore) of which was commission, according to the 2017 annual report of the company. The rest came in the form of basic salary (Rs 2.4 crore) and perquisites (Rs 2.7 crore), the Economic Times reported.The overall compensation for the 11-month period marked a fall of 16.6 percent Chandrasekaran received for 2015-16 (Rs 36 crore, including Rs 10 crore as one-time bonus). It may be recalled that his remuneration triggered a row during the company’s annual general meeting last year when shareholders questioned his compensation that was almost 460 times the median salary paid by the company.After the unceremonious exit of Cyrus Mistry, the then chairman of Tata Sons, last October, the conglomerate appointed Chandrasekaran as the chief of the Group’s holding company in February this year. He was replaced by Rajesh Gopinath for a five-year term with effect from February 21, 2017.While Chandrasekaran’s salary as chairman of Tata Sons is yet to be revealed, ET had earlier reported that he would be paid about Rs 4.8 crore as basic salary per annum, plus a variable payout of about 200 percent, depending on the company’s performance. Meanwhile, amid all the reports of layoffs in the IT industry, Chandrasekaran said the situation was not as bad as everyone perceived it to be. The sector is “alive and kicking,” Chandrasekaran wrote in a column for the publication, saying the only change that the industry has been undergoing was the nature of technology. “Consumers and business are now embedded in technology. And more technology means more jobs. Not less,” he wrote. The same has been discussed at length by various experts before. Numerous companies have been embracing technology in the form of automation of various processes. However, many believe that this is leading to lesser number of people being hired each year.”With automation, the number of people we are hiring in the past will not be the same. It will slow down a little bit. We are also looking at hiring very differential kind of people,” the Indian Express quoted Krishnamurthy Shankar, executive vice-president and group head, human resource development, Infosys, as saying.Pankaj Bansal, co-founder and chief executive officer of PeopleStrong, noted that the job cuts due to automation may not show a drastic impact right away, but it will be visible by around 2020. “The change has started, with companies introducing bots for customer service, managing warehouses, etc.,” he told Mint.
An armband projects a user interface onto the skin, enabling users to control devices with a larger touchscreen than is offered by many mobile devices. Credit: Harrison, et al. Skinput interface input armband sensors. (PhysOrg.com) — If you find yourself getting annoyed at the tiny touchscreens on today’s mobile devices, you might be interested in a “new” yet overlooked input surface: yourself. A new skin-based interface called Skinput allows users to use their own hands and arms as touchscreens by detecting the various ultralow-frequency sounds produced when tapping different parts of the skin. Currently, the acoustic detector can detect five skin locations with an accuracy of 95.5%, which corresponds to a sufficient versatility for many mobile applications. The prototype system then uses wireless technology like Bluetooth to transmit the commands to the device being controlled, such as a phone, iPod, or computer. Twenty volunteers who have tested the system have provided positive feedback on the ease of navigation. The researchers say the system also works well when the user is walking or running.As the researchers explain, the motivation for Skinput comes from the increasingly small interactive spaces on today’s pocket-sized mobile devices. They note that the human body is an appealing input device “not only because we have roughly two square meters of external surface area, but also because much of it is easily accessible by our hands (e.g., arms, upper legs, torso).” Citation: Skinput turns your arm into a touchscreen (w/ Video) (2010, March 1) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-03-skinput-arm-touchscreen-video.html Skinput is a collaboration between Chris Harrison at Carnegie Mellon University and Dan Morris and Desney Tan at Microsoft’s research lab in Redmond, Washington. The researchers have shown that Skinput can allow users to simply tap their skin in order to control audio devices, play games, make phone calls, and navigate hierarchical browsing systems.In Skinput, a keyboard, menu, or other graphics are beamed onto a user’s palm and forearm from a pico projector embedded in an armband. An acoustic detector in the armband then determines which part of the display is activated by the user’s touch. As the researchers explain, variations in bone density, size, and mass, as well as filtering effects from soft tissues and joints, mean different skin locations are acoustically distinct. Their software matches sound frequencies to specific skin locations, allowing the system to determine which “skin button” the user pressed. Explore further © 2010 PhysOrg.com Good vibrations: Devices aid the deaf by translating sound waves to vibrations — Chris Harrison, Desney Tan, Dan Morris. “Skinput: Appropriating the Body as an Input Surface.” CHI 2010, April 10-15, 2010, Atlanta, Georgia, USA– Skinput project: www.chrisharrison.net/projects/skinput/ More information: This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Play Playing Tetris. “Furthermore, proprioception – our sense of how our body is configured in three-dimensional space – allows us to accurately interact with our bodies in an eyes-free manner,” the researchers write in a recent paper. “For example, we can readily flick each of our fingers, touch the tip of our nose, and clap our hands together without visual assistance. Few external input devices can claim this accurate, eyes-free input characteristic and provide such a large interaction area.” In April, the researchers plan to present their work at the Computer-Human Interaction meeting in Atlanta, Georgia. PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen
News | Proton Therapy | August 08, 2019 MD Anderson to Expand Proton Therapy Center The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center unveiled plans to expand its Proton Therapy Center during a… read more News | Artificial Intelligence | August 13, 2019 Artificial Intelligence Could Yield More Accurate Breast Cancer Diagnoses University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) researchers have developed an artificial intelligence (AI) system that… read more Images of regions of interest (colored lines) in the white matter skeleton representation. Data from left and right anterior thalamic radiation (ATR) were averaged. Image courtesy of C. Bouziane et al. Related Content News | Pediatric Imaging | August 14, 2019 Ultrasound Guidance Improves First-attempt Success in IV Access in Children August 14, 2019 – Children’s veins read more The MD Anderson Proton Therapy Center expansion is expected to be completed in 2023. Rendering courtesy of Stantec. News | Radiation Therapy | August 16, 2019 Drug Accelerates Blood System’s Recovery After Radiation, Chemotherapy A drug developed by UCLA physician-scientists and chemists speeds up the regeneration of mouse and human blood stem… read more News | Mammography | August 14, 2019 Imago Systems Announces Collaboration With Mayo Clinic for Breast Imaging Image visualization company Imago Systems announced it has signed a know-how license with Mayo Clinic. The multi-year… read more News | Radiation Therapy | August 15, 2019 First Patient Enrolled in World’s Largest Brain Cancer Clinical Trial Henry Ford Cancer Institute is first-in-the-world to enroll a glioblastoma patient in the GBM AGILE Trial (Adaptive… read more Following radiation, the bone marrow shows nearly complete loss of blood cells in mice (left). Mice treated with the PTP-sigma inhibitor displayed rapid recovery of blood cells (purple, right). Credit: UCLA Broad Stem Cell Research Center/Nature Communications Catalyst PT image courtesy of C-RAD News | Patient Positioning Radiation Therapy | August 15, 2019 Mevion and C-RAD Release Integration for Improved Proton Therapy Treatment Quality Mevion Medical Systems and C-RAD announced the integration between the C-RAD Catalyst PT and the Mevion S250i proton… read more Image courtesy of Imago Systems News | Patient Positioning Radiation Therapy | August 07, 2019 Qfix kVue One Proton Couch Top Validated by Mevion Medical Systems Qfix and Mevion Medical Systems announced that a special version of the kVue One Proton couch top is now both validated… read more September 26, 2016 — A new analysis of Veteran’s Affairs Central Cancer Registry records demonstrates a clear positive impact of increased stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) use for stage 1 non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients. Escalated adoption of this advanced form of radiation therapy (RT) from 2001 to 2010 was associated with substantial increases in overall survival (OS) rates and lung cancer specific survival (LCSS) rates.The research was presented at the 58th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO).“Lung cancer causes more than one million deaths each year worldwide,” said Matthew Boyer, M.D., Ph.D., lead author of the study and a resident in radiation oncology at Duke University in Durham, N.C. “Moreover, an increasing number of localized, or stage I, lung cancer diagnoses are occurring, due to an aging population and advanced screening techniques.”While the majority of patients with stage I NSCLC underwent surgery, RT is recommended for patients who cannot tolerate surgery or desire non-surgical management. SBRT, which was developed in the 1990s, uses advanced imaging techniques to deliver highly-targeted radiation to a tumor and limit damage to surrounding tissue. Preserving healthy tissue is particularly important for NSCLC patients, whose tumors are located near or in essential organs including the heart and lungs.Researchers sought to determine whether the increased use of SBRT in recent years had a subsequent impact on the outcomes of patients with NSCLC. Using the Veteran’s Affairs Central Cancer Registry (VACCR), they identified more than 14,000 patients diagnosed with stage I NSCLC from 2001 to 2010, including 3,012 records of patients who received RT as their primary treatment. From this cohort, 468 patients were identified who had SBRT and 1,203 patients who received conventional RT (i.e., the CRT group). Data regarding fractionation, co-morbidities, treatment toxicity, positron emission tomography (PET) utilization and vital status were obtained from the VA Corporate Data Warehouse (VACDW).Primary outcomes included rates of overall survival (OS) and lung cancer-specific survival (LCSS) measured at four years following RT. Researchers computed hazard ratios (HR) to compare OS and LCSS rates and changes in survival rates between the SBRT and CRT groups, as well as employed multivariate analysis to assess the influence of participant characteristics on survival outcomes.The average age of study participants was 72, and 98.6 percent of patients were male. At the time of diagnosis, nearly nine in 10 patients (89.4 percent) were current or former smokers. In terms of disease type, 50.5 percent of patients were diagnosed with stage IA NSCLC, and 41.5 percent were diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma.Average survival rates for all patients increased over the study period, as did the use of SBRT. Four-year OS for study participants as a whole who underwent radiation rose from 12.7 percent to 28.5 percent and four-year LCSS rose from 33.9 percent to 50.4 percent, concurrent with increased utilization of SBRT from 4.7 percent to 60.3 percent.At four years follow-up, both overall and lung cancer-specific survival rates were significantly higher for SBRT patients than for CRT patients. By Kaplan-Meier analysis, four-year OS was 37 percent for SBRT patients, which was significantly higher than the 18.8 percent OS rate for CRT patients (HR, 0.60; p < 0.001). This improvement in OS was largely due to an increase in LCSS, which, at four years, was 53.2 percent for patients treated with SBRT as compared to 28.3 percent for patients treated with CRT (HR, 0.39; p < 0.001).On multivariate analysis, treatment with SBRT versus CRT was associated with a nearly 30 percent reduction in the risk of death (HR, 0.72; p < 0.001). In addition, older age (HR, 1.01 per year; p = 0.022), higher Charlson co-morbidity score (HR, 1.52 for a score of 2 vs. 0; p < 0.001) and higher stage (HR, 1.39 for Stage IB vs. IA; p < 0.001) were associated with improved survival. Notably, there was no significant difference in survival on multivariate analysis based on receipt of PET scans for staging (HR, 0.88; p = 0.084) or treatment era (HR, 0.93 for 2006-2010 vs. 2001-2005; p = 0.317), indicating that the doubling in survival for patients receiving radiation was strongly correlated with increased utilization of SBRT and not with improved staging with PET scans or other improvements in treatment and care over the same time period.“It is very rare for a study to show that double the number of patients were likely to be alive at four years due to the introduction of a new treatment,” said Boyer. “We identified that this doubling was due to the introduction of these advanced radiation techniques collectively termed stereotactic body radiation therapy, or SBRT. These findings of improved survival in stage I lung cancer patients in general, and those undergoing radiation specifically, are generalizable to patients outside the VHA. Although a number of studies are underway to define the best treatment for stage I non-small cell lung cancer, our study and others indicate that advances in radiation treatment and delivery can improve patient survival, and that SBRT should be the standard treatment for patients treated with radiation for stage I NSCLC.”For more information: www.astro.org FacebookTwitterLinkedInPrint分享 News | Brachytherapy Systems | August 14, 2019 Efficacy of Isoray's Cesium Blu Showcased in Recent Studies August 14, 2019 — Isoray announced a trio of studies recently reported at scientific meetings and published in medica read more News | Neuro Imaging | August 16, 2019 ADHD Medication May Affect Brain Development in Children A drug used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) appears to affect development of the brain’s... read more News | Lung Cancer | September 26, 2016 Radiation Therapy Advances Have Improved Survival Rates for Early-stage Lung Cancer Patients Analysis of Veteran’s Health Administration database from 2001 to 2010 finds survival rates doubled with increased adoption of SBRT for stage I NSCLC
SEATTLE — Holland America Line’s newest 2,666-guest Pinnacle-Class ship will have eight more staterooms than its sister ship, a redesigned Pinnacle Suite – the largest on the ship – as well as reconfigured Family Staterooms.Holland America Line’s Nieuw Statendam is set to debut in December 2018. While much of the ship’s design will be similar to sister ship Koningsdam, the first Pinnacle Class ship, Nieuw Statendam will have exclusive public spaces and its own style, says the cruise line. Meanwhile Nieuw Statendam will still offer all the stateroom innovations introduced on Koningsdam, including single-cruiser accommodations, as well as a wider range of suite configurations. “As with every new ship, we’ve listened to guest feedback and made our own assessments that have led to exciting changes to Nieuw Statendam that will enhance our stateroom experience across every category,” says Holland America Line President Orlando Ashford. Nieuw Statendam adds five more ocean-view and three more interior staterooms, bringing the total stateroom count to 1,339. More news: ‘Turn around year’ for TPI brings double-digit growthThe ship has 103 oceanview and 280 interior staterooms ranging from 225 to 266 square feet. The ship will also have 851 verandah or verandah spa accommodations, bringing the total staterooms that have a verandah, including suites, to 912.The 32 family oceanview staterooms range from 222 to 231 square feet and have been reconfigured for more living space. The family staterooms accommodate up to five passengers and have two bathrooms and extra closet space. The 12 single ocean-view staterooms for solo cruisers range from 127 to 172 square feet and are located on the forward main deck.Meanwhile the Pinnacle Suite is an expansive 1,290 square feet with a bedroom, living room, dining area, dressing room and private verandah with whirlpool. Nieuw Statendam’s Pinnacle Suite was reconfigured to offer an open-concept design with the living room and dining area in one large space. Forty-three Neptune Suites and two Neptune Spa Suites range from 465 to 855 square feet. Guests in these accommodations as well as the Pinnacle Suite have access to the exclusive Neptune Lounge with the personalized service of a concierge. More news: CIE Tours launches first-ever River Cruise CollectionThe 14 Signature Suites are up to 400 square feet in size, and the 104 Vista Suites range from 260 to 356 square feet. Special amenities, include oversized bath towels, fresh flowers, a pillow menu, mini bar and one-touch phone concierge service.Spa Suites or Verandah Spa, Outside Spa or Inside Spa staterooms are located near the Greenhouse Spa & Salon, and come with yoga mats for use during the voyage and an iPod docking station. Friday, March 16, 2018 Posted by Share HAL’s Nieuw Statendam: more staterooms and an even bigger Pinnacle Suite Travelweek Group Tags: Holland America Line << Previous PostNext Post >>
in Daily Dose, Featured, News, Origination Borrowers Business Strategy Costs Demand Fannie Mae homes HOUSING Inventory Lenders mortgage sentiment Supply 2018-06-21 Radhika Ojha As the market gets more competitive, mortgage lenders are looking for ways and means to cut costs. According to the latest Mortgage Lenders Sentiment Survey published recently by Fannie Mae, cost-cutting jumped from the second least important priority in 2017 to the third most important one for lenders, coming in after consumer-facing technology, and business process streamlining.In a blog, Doug Duncan, SVP and Chief Economist at Fannie Mae wrote that the rise in cost-cutting as a priority should not come as a surprise for the industry. “Today, lenders are facing an increasingly difficult market environment,” Duncan wrote. “Mortgage rates have risen about 80 basis points since September 2017, pushing refinance activity down sharply. Refinance applications fell every week in May, dragging the monthly average to the lowest level since December 2000.”According to industry estimates, profits for mortgage lenders declined to 10 basis points in the first quarter of 2017 “until, finally this past quarter, the industry took a loss of eight basis points per loan, the first loss in four years.” Now, Duncan wrote, “they appear to be turning to cost-cutting as a means of managing their bottom lines.” Citing another industry estimate, Duncan said that personnel expenses made up 66 percent of total loan production expenses in the first quarter of 2018 and was little changed from the prior quarter a year ago.“Payroll reduction could potentially assume a more prominent role in future cost-cutting efforts,” Duncan predicted. Additionally, he saw the mortgage industry employment approaching the cyclical peak, even as hiring among nonbanks and mortgage brokers hovered near expansion highs in April. Like so many other factors being impacted by it, the problem with the purchase market also boils down to the lack of housing supply that has challenged the otherwise favorable market conditions. “The for-sale inventory of existing homes has remained below the year-ago level for nearly three years. While the number of new homes for sale has continued to trend up, the increase has been concentrated in incomplete units. Ongoing tightness in the for-sale inventory of existing homes and completed new homes is likely to continue to restrain new home sales and boost prices” Duncan said.All these factors together, have led to increasingly tight margins for lenders, a trend, according to Duncan, that is likely to persist as a top driver of lenders’ mortgage business strategy as interest rates continue to rise and inventory remains tight. The quarterly Fannie Mae survey of lenders had found that despite lenders making significant investments to improve operational efficiencies, margins had declined over the past few years. The survey also painted a sobering picture of the housing market, indicating that mortgage demand sentiment had reached a three year low. Lenders’ profit margin outlook also took a dive and remained in the negative territory for the seventh consecutive quarter. Mortgage Lenders Become Frugal as Competition Heats Up June 21, 2018 824 Views Share
Raising the age children start school aims to boost results, but is there more that should be done?BY increasing the school starting age the ministry of education hopes that younger children, especially boys, will be able to settle into school better and a corresponding improvement in later schooling will be seen. But is this just the tip of the iceberg when the island continually scores so badly in international tests?As of the 2020-2021 school year children entering first grade must be five years and 10 months, two months older than the current age threshold. The following school year first graders must be six before September 1.The move is based on a number of international studies that show countries where children start school at a later age continually do well, but of course this is not the only factor that varies in education patterns. Committees from the education ministry have looked at research including the Trends in International Mathematics and Science study (Timss) and The Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa), a worldwide study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which Cypriot students take part in.“Timss results show that on average the younger the children were the worse their scores were,” head of the ministry’s primary school department Christos Hadjiathanasiou said. “Also, the accrediting body of the ministry studies which children are most at risk of having to repeat the last year of gymnasium, and they are mostly the younger ones, especially boys.”Pisa results, he added, confirm the importance of age. Countries like Finland and Hong Kong which show good results are those where pupils start later.The switch to an older school starting age should have been made a long time ago, Hadjiathanasiou said.Most European countries have a school starting age of six, and it is also the most common school starting age worldwide. Cyprus, Malta and the UK are the only countries in Europe where the starting age for some pupils is five.Research overwhelmingly supports a later start in formal education when groups within the same country are compared.Studies have compared groups of children in New Zealand who started formal literacy lessons at ages five and seven. Their results show that the early introduction of formal learning approaches to literacy do not improve children’s’ reading development, and may even be damaging. By the age of 11 there was no difference in reading ability between the two groups, but the children who started at five developed less positive attitudes to reading and showed poorer text comprehension than those who started later.Apart from better academic achievement, Sweden and Finland also have a high index of child well-being, but is this because of the later start? Bulgaria is in the same group of countries who send their young ones to school from the age of seven, yet according to the 2015 Pisa report which was so damning for Cyprus – saying some 32.8 per cent of 15-year-old Cypriots had poor skills in reading – Cyprus was still ‘only’ the third worst in the EU – after Bulgaria and Romania.A total of 42 per cent of Cypriot pupils also had problems with Maths, ranking it second worst in the EU – after Bulgaria.Finland has consistently ranked high in the Pisa study, which compares national educational systems internationally. In the 2012 study, Finland ranked sixth in reading, twelfth in maths and fifth in science, while back in the 2003 study Finland was first in both science and reading and second in maths. Finland’s tertiary education has moreover been ranked first by the World Economic Forum.Yes, in Finland and some other countries, formal academic education doesn’t start until children are deemed to be mentally and physically ready for the challenge, but students in Finland have had access to high-quality preschool, which likely affects their performance in school.The idea is that before seven children learn best through play and motivation, so by the time they finally get to school they are keen to start learning.The Finnish Ministry of Education attributes its success to “the education system (uniform basic education for the whole age group), highly competent teachers, and the autonomy given to schools.”In Cyprus, at least in theory, the idea is also that pre-school age children learn best through play and according to Hadjiathanasiou in the compulsory pre-primary year they pick up some reading, writing and maths in a playful way.Is the age change then going to improve the dismal Pisa ratings? Yes, says the ministry.“This will help them to more effectively follow the curriculum, which will be enriched to give children new learning experiences. This change is also one of the preventive measures that can be adopted so that the rates of students with a high probability of remaining linguistically and mathematically illiterate are reduced,” the education ministry said.There is more to it than that, the Bulgarian example shows and academics believe.“Changing two months or even four is not going to make them automatically more mature in learning language and mathematics,” associate professor at University of Cyprus department of education Eleni Loizou who teaches early childhood teachers said.“We need to look into the transition from pre-primary school to primary school. Before primary children are involved in a more playful way of learning, and suddenly they are confronted with formal teaching and books and are asked to satisfy the expectations of all, the teachers, the curriculum, the ministry…”This suggests the motivation which makes Finnish kids so eager to start school may not be so widespread in Cyprus.By the time pupils get to the age of 15 – the age at which they take part in Pisa assessments – many other things have influenced the results, such as tests, teachers’ methods, textbooks and the ability of teachers to gauge what is interesting and appropriate at every age. Research such as the Pisa study may not even be what we should look at.“We need to think of the children’s past and present and not always focus on their future. We should focus on children’s socio-emotional skills along with their academic skills – Pisa outcomes cannot measure children’s happiness and life success,” Loizou added.“It’s not a matter of age but a matter of what we want the children to learn during their early years and first grades of elementary school,” Loizou said. “We are not seeing what is appropriate. We need to have children be active in their learning and we need to be willing and flexible to change our practices and policies to support them.“Research suggests that schools should change to welcome children and not the opposite. We should invest in children’s capabilities and potential to support them in the skills they have not yet developed.”In short, just like Finland and other successful countries have done, we need to look at much more than changing the school starting age.The future will show if the ministry is up to making the necessary improvements.“We will have committees which evaluate the changes recently made in the curriculum and then see what else needs to be done,” Hadjiathanasiou concluded.You May LikeYahoo SearchResearch Stair Lifts Rowland Heights California: Stunning New Stair LiftsYahoo SearchUndoKelley Blue BookSubcompact Luxury SUV Best Buy of 2019Kelley Blue BookUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoAuthorities release five of 12 Israeli rape suspects, seven due in court FridayUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoby Taboolaby Taboola
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