Netflix rolls out 199 plan to woo Indian users

first_imgNew Delhi: Premium video streaming company Netflix on Wednesday announced a Rs 199 mobile-only plan in India as it looks to woo viewers amid intense competition from Amazon Prime Videos and other local players. The video content platform, which had been testing the mobile-only plan for several months in India, has also restructured its three existing plans. Indians spend 30 per cent of their time on entertainment, they are consuming content on the go and in their homes. Members in India watch content on their mobile phones more than anywhere else in the world, Netflix Director Product Innovation Ajay Arora told reporters here. He added that more people sign up for Netflix service on mobile phones in India more than any other country. “The mobile plan for Rs 199 a month is made for India. Users will have access to the same unlimited standard definition (SD), ad-free content under this plan,” he said adding that this will help the company expand to smaller cities in the country.last_img read more

JK state flag removed from Civil Secretariat

first_imgSrinagar: The flag of Jammu and Kashmir which used to fly along with the tricolour was removed from the Civil Secretariat here on Sunday, three weeks after the Centre revoked Article 370 provisions which granted special status to the state, officials said.Under Article 370, Jammu and Kashmir was permitted to have its own flag, which was red in colour with three equidistant white vertical strips and a white plough. The flag, which was hoisted along with the tricolour every day atop the civil secretariat, the seat of the government, was supposed to be removed on October 31 when the law bifurcating Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories — Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh — will come into effect. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’However, on Sunday morning, only the tricolour was hoisted on the secretariat building, the officials said. They said the flag will be removed from other government buildings as well. The flag was adopted by state constituent assembly on June 7, 1952, The three stripes represented the state’s three regions of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. The Centre had on August 5 abrogated Article 370 provisions in the Constitution which granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir for residency and government jobs. Parliament approved the resolution in this regard and also passed the bill on the bifurcation of the state into two Union Territories. Later on August 9, President Ram Nath Kovind gave assent to the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, bifurcating the two Union Territories, which will come into existence on October 31. Since August 5, various parts of the Kashmir valley are under strict restrictions.last_img read more

Trudeau having trouble finding replacements for independent federal watchdogs

first_imgOTTAWA – Justin Trudeau is extending the terms of the federal ethics and lobbying watchdogs by another six months and relaunching the application process to find their replacements.It’s the third time the prime minister has given six-month extensions to ethics commissioner Mary Dawson and lobbying commissioner Karen Shepherd, both of whom were scheduled to leave their posts within the next few weeks.The move underscores the difficulty the Trudeau government has had in finding replacements for officers of Parliament, the watchdogs who are supposed to provide independent oversight over crucial matters like federal elections, government spending, ethics, lobbying, linguistic duality and access to information.And it comes on the heels of Trudeau’s botched nomination of Madeleine Meilleur, a Liberal partisan and former Ontario cabinet minister, to the post of official languages commissioner.Meilleur withdrew her nomination Wednesday after weeks of controversy over her partisan ties to the very government she was supposed to hold to account and amid opposition complaints that they weren’t consulted, as legally required for an officer of Parliament.A senior government source told The Canadian Press that Trudeau will send letters next week to opposition leaders, asking them what stakeholders they want consulted about the next ethics and lobbying commissioners and urging them to encourage potential candidates to apply.The government posted online Friday a new “notice of opportunity,” inviting applications for the two posts.In the meantime, Privy Council Office spokesman Paul Duchesne confirmed that Dawson and Shepherd, whose terms were originally supposed to expire a year ago, have agreed to serve until the end of this year.Since taking office, Trudeau has had the opportunity to choose successors for five of the eight officers of Parliament — all but the auditor general and privacy and public sector integrity commissioners. So far, he’s filled none of those slots.In addition to Dawson and Shepherd, he’s extended the term of information commissioner Suzanne Legault, which was to end this month, until the end of the year.The post of chief electoral officer has been vacant since Marc Mayrand retired in December. Mayrand gave advance notice last June of his intention to step down precisely because he believed “the early appointment of a successor to lead Elections Canada well ahead of the next general election (in 2019) is essential and should not be delayed.”The official languages slot has also been vacant for six months and is likely to remain so for some time now that Meilleur has withdrawn.The delay in finding timely replacements for Dawson and Shepherd has complicated the selection process, since both their offices are now immersed in investigations involving Trudeau himself. Shepherd has been examining the involvement of lobbyists at fundraisers featuring the prime minister and Dawson has been examining Trudeau’s use of a private helicopter during a family vacation last Christmas to the private Bahamian island owned by the Aga Khan.Trudeau has recused himself from choosing Dawson’s replacement to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest. He has not recused himself from the choice of a new lobbying commissioner.In part, the delay is due to the new process Trudeau has initiated for filling vacancies in some 1,500 so-called governor-in-council positions, including officers of Parliament. It is supposed to be more transparent, merit-based and open — with vacancies posted online and Canadians invited to apply — and more reflective of the country’s diversity.But it’s also turned out to be more time-consuming.“The more rigorous approach to conducting selection processes represents a significant volume of work,” said Duchesne, adding that more than 14,000 applications have been received since the new process was launched last year.In the Commons on Friday, government House leader Bardish Chagger boasted that more than 150 appointments have been made under the new process, 60 per cent of whom are women, 13 per cent visible minorities and 10 per cent indigenous Canadians.However, the senior government source, who was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter, acknowledged that finding officers of Parliament has posed a particular challenge. In part, that’s because the specific qualifications for each watchdog are spelled out in legislation, resulting in a pool of candidates that is “naturally quite small.”Moreover, because the watchdogs tend to play highly visible, public roles — and have faced harsh criticism in some instances — the pool of candidates willing to take on the jobs is whittled down even further, the source said.But Duff Conacher, founder of the non-partisan, ethics advocacy group, Democracy Watch, disputed that contention. The statutory qualifications required for most of the watchdog posts are very broad or non-existent, he said.His group has repeatedly called on the government to create a truly independent appointments commission, as has been done in Britain, and is about to launch an online petition to “stop political lapdog appointments.”Conservative deputy ethics critic John Brassard accused the government of deliberately stalling appointments to other watchdog posts while it floated the Meilleur “trial balloon” to see if it could get away with partisan appointments to what are supposed to be non-partisan positions.“Parliament is not a Liberal partisan playground,” Brassard told the Commons, asking, “When will the prime minister put down the selfie stick and get to work by appointing independent, non-partisan officers of Parliament?”Echoing Trudeau’s defence of the Meilleur appointment, Chagger continued to argue that past political involvement shouldn’t automatically disqualify an otherwise qualified person from appointment to a watchdog role.“That’s simply wrong,” retorted Conservative MP Kevin Sorenson. “No one believes that people giving tens of thousands of dollars to the Liberal party are independent.”last_img read more

Famous Faces To Bet Big At Cancer Free Generation Poker Tournament

first_imgTV icon Jason Alexander, along with dozens of stars from TV, sports, music and film, will bet big to support talented young cancer researchers and change the future of cancer at Tower Cancer Research Foundation’s (TCRF) Inaugural Cancer Free Generation Poker Tournament and Casino Night on Saturday, June 7, 2014 in Los Angeles.The event has attracted the support of numerous celebrities, including AJ Buckley (CSI NY), Alexis Bellino and Jim Bellino (Real Housewives of Orange County), Ashlyn Pearce (The Bold and the Beautiful), Carl Weathers (Rocky), Christine Bently (Ballers-HBO), Corey Maggette (Detroit Pistons), Erik Valdez (General Hospital), Gilles Marini (Switched at Birth/Dancing With The Stars/Sex and the City), Golnesa “GG” Gharachedaghi (Shahs of Sunset), Gretchen Rossi and Slade Smiley (Real Housewives of Orange County/Marriage Boot Camp), Katie Cleary (America’s Next Top Model, Ironman 2), Kiptyn Locke (The Bachelorette), Lil’ Mama (hip hop recording artist), Maryse Ouellet (WWE Diva), Michael Vartan (Alias, Bates Motel), Nicholas Gonzalez (Sleepy Hollow, Resurrection), Nyambi Nyambi (Mike and Molly), Quinton Aaron (The Blind Side), Ryan Cabrera (pop rock singer/musician), Shanna Moakler (VH1 Hollywood Exes), Tony Denison (Major Crimes), Vanessa Marcil (Las Vegas), and Torrie Wilson (WWE Diva/Playmate).Cancer Free Generation (CFG) is the young leadership division of Tower Cancer Research Foundation. CFG seeks to identify, among their peers in Southern California, visionary and innovative doctors, medical professionals and researchers and enable them to discover and implement new ideas and techniques to conquer cancer. Additionally, CFG’s efforts support young people and their families who have been impacted by cancer, so that they may approach life with renewed strength and optimism. With this dual approach, CFG’s goal is to help ensure that the next generation becomes the first cancer free generation.TCRF has been the Southern California cancer patient’s greatest ally since 1996. The foundation is known for its stellar reputation professionally vetting cancer research programs and maximizing the impact of donor-investors. TCRF provides grants for clinical trials, innovative cancer research, caring patient support and community education. In line with its mission to advance local cancer research on every level, TCRF supports pioneering and talented physician scientists with awards of annual grants to those doing cutting-edge bench-to-bedside lab research. TCRF’s patient support services include patient mentoring, cancer support groups, free groundbreaking workshops and support for caregivers. TCRF’s Cancer Information and Resource Telephone Help Line, staffed by professional social workers, is a free service to help cancer patients and their families cope with the complexities and challenges of a cancer diagnosis and cancer treatment.Poker & Casino Prizes include: PokerStars supporting a Cancer Free Generation by donating an Entrance into the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event in the Bahamas, valued at $10,000; 5-Night stay at the Trump International Waikiki, Hawaii; 2 Los Angeles Lakers Floor Seats.Raffle and Silent Auction Items Include: Red Hot Chili Peppers autographed guitars; Private tour and Night at the Magic Castle Hollywood; Santa Anita “A Day at the Races” Package; and much more.The event will take place at the Sofitel Hotel, Riviera 31, 8555 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048. Red carpet arrivals begin at 6:00 PM PST.Tickets may be purchased here or by calling 310.299.8477.Source:PR Newswirelast_img read more

CRPF commandos to guard Baghdad embassy

first_imgNew Delhi: India has deployed an elite contingent of its commando-trained armed paramilitary personnel to guard its embassy and diplomatic staff in Baghdad in Iraq, a war-ravaged country getting back to normal after defeating ISIS terrorists. About 45 multi-skilled troops, drawn from the country’s largest Central Armed Police Force (CAPF), the CRPF, have taken charge of the embassy complex located in the Al Mansour area of the Iraqi capital, sometime ago. Also Read – Encounter under way in Pulwama, militant killedThe contingent has taken charge in Iraq and the troops celebrated their first Republic Day and hoisted the tricolour in that country on January 26, official sources told PTI. The squad is led by a Deputy Commandant-rank officer of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and this is the second foreign assignment for the paramilitary as it similarly guards the Indian Embassy in Libya’s capital city of Tripoli for the last few years, they said. India has, on February 4, revised its ‘no travel’ advisory to Iraq and has said that citizens can now travel to the war and insurgency ravaged country as the security situation has “improved”. The advisory, issued by the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi, allows Indians to travel to any part of the country for work or business except five provinces of Nineveh (capital Mosul), Salahuddin (capital Tikrit), Diyala (capital Baquba), Anbar (capital Ramadi) and Kirkuk. PTIlast_img read more

As summit ends Macron expresses hope for USChina deal

BIARRITZ, France — With clouds growing over growth, French President Emmanuel Macron ended the Group of Seven summit of rich democracies Monday with a sparse declaration in which leaders committed themselves to “open and fair global trade and the stability of the global economy.”The four-sentence section devoted to trade in the summit’s final statement landed amid uncertainty caused by the U.S.-China trade conflict that has slowed trade among nations and held up industrial production and investment. Macron, who said he wrote the one-page document himself based on positions of the other six leaders including U.S. President Donald Trump, praised the “great unity and the positive spirit of their debates” among the participating leaders.The statement of professed unity among leaders with 40 per cent of global gross domestic product at least presented a contrast to the situation around the closing statement from last year’s G-7 summit in Canada, which U.S. President Donald Trump repudiated on his way to visit North Korea.Macron said in his closing news conference that “the discussions between China and the US have triggered uncertainty and it troubled investors and markets, creating tensions. We saw it on various stock exchanges.”“The question is, what will be the outcome of these discussions. We are hoping very much that an agreement is found between the two most important economic powers. President Trump has clearly indicated his will to reach an agreement, and we have seen some positive signals during the last hours of discussions here.”Yet the politre tone of the 2019 G-7 summit could not hide the fact that Trump and the other leaders critical of his trade policy such as European Union council President Donald Tusk simply agreed to state their positions and leave it at that, reinforcing the assumption that dealing with static from the trade conflict will simply be part of the economy that investors and business executives have to get used to for now.The statement omitted mention of key economic issues such as whether countries should apply more stimulus from government spending, although some of those were addressed at a finance minister’s meeting in July. Still, the entire statement, including the trade section and paragraphs on Iran and Russia’s conflict with Ukraine, was at 263 words about the same length as the two paragraphs devoted just to trade in the declaration from last year’s summit.The declaration nods to several of Trump’s issues by calling for “fair” as well as “open” trade and calls for a shakeup of the World Trade Organization so it can better protect intellectual property such as copyrights and patents. That has been a key issue with China shared by Trump and European Union politicians and businesses, who have complained that China requires foreign companies to give up their trade secrets as the price of doing business there. There was no explicit prohibition on trade protectionism, until Trump a commonplace of such declarations.“So what is bad for world economy is the uncertainty, so the quicker we find and an agreement the more we reduce this uncertainty,” Macron said. “And this was clearly the topic of our discussions yesterday and was also the will of the US president.”___Associated Press Writer Angela Charlton contributed to this report.David McHugh, The Associated Press read more

US assures IAEA that Iraqi nuclear material secured

The Agency said in a press release that most of the material at the Tuwaitha Nuclear Research Centre was placed under safeguard, and was not required to be removed following the 1991 Persian Gulf War because it was not ready for use in nuclear weapons.During weapons inspections in Iraq from November to March, IAEA inspectors visited the facility several times and documented higher-than-normal radiation levels in some of the buildings because of past Iraqi nuclear activity there.”As soon as circumstances permit, the IAEA should return to verify that there has been no diversion of this material,” IAEA Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei said.

You cant sit here Ohio State honors POWMIA with an empty seat

A sign reading “YOU ARE NOT FORGOTTEN” in front of the POW-MIA seat at Ohio Stadium. Credit: @OhioStAthleticsIt’s a seat, but not any seat. Unlike other seats, which are meant to be sat in, no one will sit in it. Not on Saturday when the Ohio State football team opens its 2016 season against Bowling Green at Ohio Stadium. Not any on Saturday, or the week’s other six days. No, no one will ever sit in this seat, because this seat, it’s more than a seat. The seat is in the first row of section 3AA at the stadium. It’s in that section, surrounded by the some 100,000 frenzied other fans wearing Scarlet and Gray and the usual sliver of opposing fans wearing whatever colors of whatever team they support, that members of the ROTC program at Ohio State, donning their branch’s respective uniforms, sit during football games. This seat, unveiled for the first time Thursday, is black. It’s not for Buckeye fans. It’s not for opposing fans. It’s not for any of us. This stirring black seat is a memorial for the 92,000 American soldiers that are unaccounted since World War I, the war that was supposed to end all wars. If looking at the seat from the front, in the upper right-hand corner, it’s marked seat No. 1, for the 92,000. In the middle of the forever-empty seat’s back is the harrowing POW/MIA logo — the silhouette of a man’s head in the foreground, with a guard tower and a barbed-wire fence in the background. The rest of the seats at Ohio Stadium are mostly bleachers. The bottom rung, closest to the green astroturf, are steel gray. The ones beyond that are scarlet. That pattern — rows of gray, rows of scarlet, rows of gray — spiral upward until the stadium stops and the sky begins. Smattered throughout the vast stadium, disrupting that perfect scarlet-and-gray spiral, are scarlet chairs, for the season ticket holders. But on game day, what those seats look like, no one knows; it doesn’t matter. The seats in the stadium, whether it be for the meaningless spring scrimmage, the banal early-season matches versus weaker teams or the wintery late-season contests, are, it seems, always occupied.This POW-MIA seat will remain empty the entire season at Ohio Stadium. Credit: @OhioStAthleticsExcept this black seat will never be occupied. Though it has a backing like the scarlet chairs season-ticket holders sit in, this is quite literally one-of-a-kind. It shall always serve as a reminder that whatever a game’s outcome is, at the end of the day, it’s just sports, which are important, but not that important. On the gray railing in front of the empty black seat is a black rectangular plaque, with a thin-gray trim. In large gray font, it reads: “YOU ARE NOT FORGOTTEN.” Below, it continues: “Since World War I, more than 92,000 American soldiers are unaccounted for. This unoccupied seat is dedicated to the memory of these brave men and women and to the sacrifices each made in serving this country. God Bless You. God Bless America.” Sometime around noon on Saturday, the kicker for either Bowling Green or Ohio State will send a football flying through the blue September sky. Well over a 100,000 fans, wearing a collection of scarlet and gray, orange and brown, or their ROTC uniform, will leave their seats, making noise, as the game gets under way.But in the first row of section 3AA, there will be a tiny space where no noise is coming from, near the black seat, in which no one is sitting. read more

Sophomore racquets step up for Buckeyes

Normally, when a top player goes down with an injury, it’s panic time for a coach and his or her team. When the women’s tennis team’s No. 1 singles player and senior captain Paloma Escobedo went down in early March, coach Chuck Merzbacher didn’t have to reach for the panic button. Instead, he and his team put their faith in the sophomore trio of Gabby Steele, Fidan Manashirova and Kara Cecil. Their faith has paid off in wins. With a combined record of 55-30, the three have helped the Buckeyes (10-8 overall) to a winning record. The team is 3-1 in the Big Ten, with its lone loss coming against Northwestern, which leads the conference with Michigan. “They’ve stepped up,” said Merzbacher, who isn’t surprised by his players’ success. “They were a good recruiting class coming in. I knew they were going to be significant. They’ve done that and more.” With the loss of Escobedo, the players were forced to fill in the gap. “I think that everyone had to step up,” Manashirova said. “We all had to play our best tennis every single match.” The women were all 5-star recruits coming out of high school, and have had little difficulty adjusting to collegiate tennis. “Looking at the past captains and leaders, you learn from that. It’s really easy to adapt quickly here,” Manashirova said. The players’ quick learning curves have impressed Merzbacher. “They’ve adapted to college tennis very quickly,” he said. “They’ve come in; they’ve learned how to win right off the bat. They just keep moving up the lineup. There’s been no delay in their progress; they’ve gone right to it.” On the court, the women play with a quiet intensity. Despite attending high school in different regions (Manashirova in California, Steele in Ohio and Cecil in Florida), the women play with a natural chemistry. In less than two seasons, they have secured 103 combined wins in singles play. But when it comes to their success, the women aren’t ones to promote themselves. “We just keep having fun. We don’t take anything too seriously,” Steele said. “We just kind of go for it.” Merzbacher thinks otherwise. “I think they push each other. … They compete with each other, and they’re great teammates to each other at the same time,” he said. “They’re going to be an important part of this year and for the future.” It’s not the future or the past that interests Manashirova and Steele. The women prefer to focus on their next opponent. “Just taking it one match at a time. I just want to win every single match that I play,” Manashirova said. “I just want to think about what’s next.” Steele also believes her next match always has to be better than her last. “I think there’s always room for improvement and you can always do better,” she said. “Every single day that you go out on the court, work hard to improve.” The hard work and focus is paying off and Merzbacher doesn’t hesitate to say he’s proud. “Those three stepped up,” he said. “I think that shows the type of kids they are.” read more

Plot hatched to reintroduce extinct great auk to British shores

first_img 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. Errol Fuller, a writer and expert on extinct birds, said the great auk was a “superstar of extinction”.“The bird has an appeal which I don’t think you can put into words,” he said.“It’s just iconic, and that’s why the 19th century collectors wanted it so much.“It’s British, it’s large and it’s dramatic looking – black and white.”Other “de-extinction” projects already taking place include those to restore the woolly mammoth, passenger pigeon and heath hen.In each case the extinct genomes have been thoroughly sequenced, along with the genomes of their closest living relatives.In the case of the woolly mammoth, 16 genes governing three important traits have already been edited into a living elephant cell line by Harvard scientists.To reintroduce the Great Auk, a flock of captive-bred razorbills will eventually be needed to supply sufficient embryos. Equivalent in size to a medium penguin, they lived mainly in the open ocean except for when they waddled onshore to breed.Once out of the water, however, the striking black and white bird’s flightlessness made it vulnerable to humans eager to exploit its meat and feathers.As early as the 16th century, fruitless attempts were made to restrict hunting the great auk, but as their numbers steadily dwindled the animals became even more coveted by collectors, which further hastened their decline.In 1844 the last birds in the final known colony on an island off Iceland were killed. Great Auk The flightless bird was easy prey for humansCredit:Alamy The great auk could return to British shores for the first time in almost 200 years after geneticists hatched a plan to bring the extinct bird back from the dead.An international team of scientists has met to discuss reintroducing the flightless marine birds onto the Farne islands off the north-east coast of England.Until the species’ final extinction in the middle of the 19th century, great auks ranged across the Atlantic from Northern Europe to Iceland, Canada and the eastern United States. It would be rather wonderful to feel that we could bring it backMatt Ridley Matt Ridley, a science writer who chaired a recent meeting where the plans were discussed, said: “Effectively the great auk is the only European breading bird to go extinct in the last 500 years.“It’s one of the very few flightless birds of the northern hemisphere and it obviously played a very important part in the ecosystem of the North Atlantic.“It would be rather wonderful to feel that we could bring it back.”The Farnes, one of the very few island groups of the east coast of Britain, have been selected because are attractive to island-nesting seabirds.The number of breeding birds has approximately doubled in the last 40 years, thanks largely to protection from human disturbance and control of the predatory gull population.Each summer the islands now host tens of thousands of puffins, guillemots, razorbills and other species. Now an American research institute, Revive & Restore, which attempts “genetic rescue” for endangered and extinct species, believes it can recreate the species and gradually restore it to its old breeding grounds.The scientists want to extract great auk DNA from fossils or preserved organs and then use digital data to sequence the animal’s entire genetic code, or genome.The important genes – those particularly characteristic of the great auk – would then be edited into the cells of its nearest living relative, the razorbill.Fertilised embryos would then be implanted into a bird big enough to lay a great auk egg, probably a goose.last_img read more

Spinning and yoga classes should be introduced by employers during lunchtime NICE says

obese Lunchtime yoga and spinning classes should be introduced by employers to stop staff becoming obese, health officials have said.New guidelines, published today by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice), also advise companies to introduce stand-up meetings and ensure staircases are “clearly signposted and attractive to use” to stop employees using the lifts.Nice issued the advice as part of wider plans to tackle Britain’s obesity crisis, as almost two-thirds of people in the UK are obese or overweight.The guidance suggests that workplaces should advertise local gym classes such as spinning, offer subsidised gym memberships and distribute leaflets encouraging people to take the stairs and take regular breaks from sitting down.Offices should also have adequate bike storage, showers and changing facilities, and staff could be given access to a pool of bikes for short-distance business travel, it said. 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. The national medical director of the NHS welcomed the advice, saying that there needs to be “concerted action taken by all parts of society” to tackle the growing problem of obesity.“Obesity is one of the greatest public health challenges we face as a nation – it can lead to a string of serious illnesses, with the NHS all often left to pick up the pieces,” Professor Stephen Powis said.The guidelines were also published in an attempt to reduce the amount of sick leave people take due to stress, depression or anxiety. Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that more than 131 million working days were lost to sickness in 2017, including 13 million working days lost to mental ill-health.Professor Gillian Leng, deputy chief executive and director of health and social care at Nice, described the new guidelines as “a win-win for everyone,” adding: “If the United Kingdom’s 5.7 million small and medium sized businesses encouraged their workforce to be more active, they are more likely to reap the benefits of having engaged employees who are more productive and are less likely to take time off sick.”Simple things like providing secure bicycle storage, showers and changing facilities can go a long way to enabling people to cycle to work or to meetings.”As a society we are facing an obesity crisis caused in part by people not exercising enough. We need people to change their lifestyle and to take more exercise.”If they can do this during the working day, not only will they benefit, but so too will their employers and the NHS.” Two thirds of adults in the UK are obese, according to the NHSCredit:Clara Molden/PA read more

The 9 at 9 Tuesday

first_img Tuesday 19 Jun 2018, 8:58 AM EVERY MORNING, TheJournal.ie brings you all the news you need to know as you start the day.1. #TUSLA: The head of child and family agency Tusla has warned staff, via email, to expect “further adverse media and political commentary for the agency” this week, ahead of the publication of a report sparked by the agency’s handling of a file pertaining to claims made against Garda Sergeant Maurice McCabe.2. #SHOT: Controversial chart-topping rapper XXXTentacion was shot dead yesterday in Florida in a possible robbery, authorities said.3. #TRUMP: China has accused US president Donald Trump of “blackmail” and warned it would retaliate in kind after the US president threatened to impose fresh tariffs on Chinese goods, pushing the world’s two biggest economies closer to a trade war.4. #ESRI: The Economic and Social Research Institute has said there is very little scope for cutting the overall tax burden in the next Budget, in their Quarterly Economic Commentary, RTÉ reports.5. #CANADA: Canadian MPs yesterday passed a bill that would allow free consumption of cannabis.6. #DEVINE: Sinn Féin senator Máire Devine is to return to Sinn Féin today after being suspended three months ago for retweeting a tweet about a prison officer killed by the IRA in the 1980s.7. #WEATHER: It’s set to be a cloudy day with some heavy rain this afternoon in the north and west. It will be cool in these areas, but warm and humid in the south and east with highest temperatures of 17 to 22 degrees, according to Met Éireann.8. #IMMIGRATION: Reporters have obtained audio from inside a US Customs and Border Protection facility, in which children can be heard wailing for their parents. The audio has been released by ProPublica.9. #APOLOGY: Men who were convicted of engaging in same-sex sexual activity in Ireland before it was decriminalised are to receive an official apology today in the Dáil and Seanad, RTÉ reports. Image: Shutterstock/Maxim Khytra Share2 Tweet Email 10,878 Views http://jrnl.ie/4078299 The 9 at 9: Tuesday Here’s everything you need to know as the day gets started. No Comments Jun 19th 2018, 7:58 AM By Cormac Fitzgerald Short URL Image: Shutterstock/Maxim Khytra Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Charleton says it would be absolutely futile to bring journalists who claimed

first_imgMy submission is if a journalist is asked did you have ‘off the record’ conversations with Taylor concerning McCabe, and refuses to answer on a purported basis of privilege which does not exist, this tribunal is entitled to draw whatever inference is apposite from a failure to answer that question.McDowell said that Taylor was entitled to have the questions answered when he had waived his privilege.McDowell said he was not saying the tribunal should refer questions to the High Court as it would serve no useful purpose and delay the completion of this tribunal’s proceedings.“There is no need to refer to the courts because it is so blindingly obvious that journalistic privilege is not involved, and there is no reason the tribunal should be delayed or frustrated by lengthy court proceedings,” McDowell said.John Ferry BL for Taylor, said that some journalists had taken an “absolutist position” on journalistic privilege, and the interests of Taylor outweighed issues of privilege where no details have been given of what privilege was being claimed.Ferry said that Taylor had identified himself as a source and provided waivers, and no journalistic privilege applied.“The right of Superintendent Taylor to protect his good name trumps the claim of journalistic privilege in those circumstances,” Ferry said.Ferry said that similar to McDowell, he was arguing that an inference should be drawn that Taylor’s evidence, as the only evidence about his interactions with some journalists, was the version that should be accepted.Ferry said that in the event the tribunal did not draw an inference, Taylor was entitled to have all avenues exhausted.Chilling effectShane English BL said that irrespective of waivers given by Taylor and the former commissioners, his clients would not answer questions about their sources.English said that the journalists wished to preserve the free flow of information, and identifying a source would have a chilling effect. Journalistic privilege was a social good and essential to the right of free expression, and a basic condition of a free press.Waiving that privilege could deter future sources from coming forward, undermine the ability of journalists to provide accurate information, and put their livelihoods at risk.“They have appropriately invoked their lawful entitlement to journalistic privilege,” English said.Tom Murphy BL, on behalf of the Irish Daily Mail and Irish Mail on Sunday, said his clients were also claiming privilege. Murphy said that given other evidence available to the tribunal, it was not necessary for the tribunal to require journalists to answer any further questions.John Fitzgerald BL, on behalf of An Garda Síochána, said that for the tribunal to draw inferences from a refusal of journalists to answer questions would require it to leap to conclusions.He said that Taylor’s evidence was “utterly devoid of supporting evidence”, and there was no electronic or documentary evidence to support his allegations.One of the few details Taylor did provide was a list initially of nine journalists, which then grew to eleven, and which, on Wednesday, “extraordinarily” became twelve.Fitzgerald said that none of the journalists supported Taylor’s evidence, which eight denied and four claimed privilege.Fitzgerald said An Garda Síochána regretted the position taken by the journalists, which it believed was mistaken in law, but said it was not necessary for the chairman to go to the High Court.Tribunal barrister Diarmaid McGuinness SC said that the tribunal legal team will consider whether any witnesses need to be recalled, following which final submissions would be heard. The chairman said he would meet with his legal team on Monday to decide on the next steps to take.Judge Charleton also outlined 20 issues he had to consider in preparing his report, and which barristers should address in making their final submissions.‘Rumours among journalists’Earlier the tribunal heard from Tom Brady, a retired journalist formerly with Independent New & Media, where he worked as security editor from 1989 to 2014.Professor Colum Kenny said Brady was one of two journalists he spoke to at a Dáil committee hearing in 2014 about McCabe “to sound out their views”.Kenny said he was told that McCabe “was under investigation for alleged child abuse”. Kenny believed the encounter took place on 19 February 2014.“I wasn’t at that committee meeting, ” Brady told the tribunal. Brady said he was covering a murder story on that date, and the Irish Independent report on the Dáil committee that day was reported on by two other journalists.Brady said he rarely covered Dáil meetings, having done only three or four such stories in his life.Brady said that he had heard a rumour about McCabe which he checked out, and established it had been investigated and in 2007 the DPP had directed no prosecution in the case. The Garda investigation took place following an allegation of historic abuse from Miss D in 2006.The first person who told him the rumour “was probably a journalist”, Brady said. He said he could rule out any garda, past or present, as the source.Fergus O’Shea, the deputy head of news in the Irish Sun in 2014, said that journalist Eavan Murray went to him about a potential interview with Miss D in 2014.In her evidence, Murray said that the assignment was given to her by O’Shea, who told her the Independent was planning a large exclusive on the story.“First of all I don’t recollect that. It that was heard, it wasn’t me that heard it,” O’Shea said.O’Shea said it could have been someone else at the newsdesk who told Murray about Miss D. He said he did not hear that the Irish Independent was doing a story with Miss D.Robert Cox, who was deputy news editor of the Irish Mail on Sunday from 2013, said that he had never spoken to Callinan or O’Sullivan.He said he might have spoken to Taylor when he was press officer but could not be certain, but he definitely never spoke to any of the officers about issues before the tribunal.Journalist Debbie McCann had approached the family and spoken to Mrs D, the mother of Miss D, but the family declined to give an interview. No Comments Friday 22 Jun 2018, 4:25 PM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article By Gerard Cunningham 8,286 Views http://jrnl.ie/4086469 Share7 Tweet Email Short URL Journalists who refused to answer questions properly put as to whether they had such discussions do not have any state-able (sic) journalistic privilege which would justify such a refusal.“If there is no privilege, there is no rule against drawing inferences from a refusal to answer a question,” McDowell said. Jun 22nd 2018, 4:25 PM Charleton says it would be ‘absolutely futile’ to bring journalists who claimed privilege to High Court Four journalists have claimed privilege at the Disclosures Tribunal on the basis of protecting their sources. Supreme Court judge Peter Charleton arrives to deliver his opening statement of the Disclosures Tribunal, February 2017. Source: Caroline QuinnTHE CHAIRMAN OF the Disclosures Tribunal has said he will not go to the High Court to require journalists to answer questions where they claimed journalistic privilege because it would be “absolutely futile”.The tribunal is looking at allegations by Superintendent David Taylor, a former Garda Press Officer during 2013 and 2014, that he was directed to smear whistleblower Sergeant Maurice McCabe. Former commissioners Martin Callinan and Nóirín O’Sullivan deny there was any smear campaign.On day 97 of the inquiry, barristers for some newspapers told Mr Justice Peter Charleton that journalistic privilege was a social good and essential to the right of free expression, and a basic condition of a free press.Shane English BL, on behalf of the Irish Examiner, said that identifying a source would have a chilling effect and waiving privilege could deter future sources from coming forward.Mr Justice Charleton said that if he was to order journalists to answer questions from the tribunal “there will be no change because the manner in which they resisted answering the question convinced me that any order I made would be absolutely futile”.Journalistic privilege was claimed by three Irish Examiner journalists, Juno McEnroe, Dan McConnell and Cormac O’Keeffe, and by Irish Mail on Sunday journalist Debbie McCann.In submissions to the chairman Michael McDowell SC, on behalf of Sergeant McCabe, said the tribunal had made every reasonable effort to inquire into whether there was negative briefing of journalists by Superintendent Taylor and the two former commissioners.last_img read more

Schmidt needs to find answers after record hammering by England

first_img https://the42.ie/4781455 Schmidt needs to find answers after record hammering by England The Ireland head coach insists his team are working towards peaking at the World Cup. By Murray Kinsella Short URL 39,337 Views Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article 75 Comments Tactically, we only saw glimpses of what Schmidt had intended for Ireland to do in Twickenham, as they failed to launch off the crumbling lineout.There was another twist on their exits as Rob Kearney used his left boot, there was some interesting shape in phase play with decoy runners coming very close to the ruck and Conor Murray playing out the back, while Jordan Larmour’s try on turnover possession saw Kearney passing over the top of edge defender Cokanasiga in encouraging fashion.Kearney offloaded on a kick return early in the game too – a rarity for Ireland – as Schmidt looks to develop that side of his team’s game. But on other occasions, they reverted to one-out phases that struggled to make a dent in the powerful English defence.Defensively, Andy Farrell has lots to work on. At times, it looked like Ireland’s players didn’t know what system they were playing in.Their defence from set-piece was very poor on several occasions against an admittedly sharp English attack, while tries like the ones Maro Itoje and Tom Curry scored simply shouldn’t be conceded by a team with ambitions like Ireland. This was basic stuff that cannot be explained away by fatigue. Ireland will need to work hard to keep confidence in the group. Source: James Crombie/INPHOPerhaps most important for Schmidt, though, is shoring up his players on the mental front. They looked shell-shocked at the final whistle on Saturday and this heavy defeat will only add to the damage of this year’s Six Nations.Ireland have never given up on a game under Schmidt but looked beaten early in the second half at Twickenham.“It isn’t usually a problem for us,” said Schmidt of his squad’s mental state. “I have been incredibly lucky for the last six and a half years to work with a group of young men who, honestly, fight tooth and nail for their country. “They give up bigger contracts elsewhere to stay here and try and make sure they do that. I don’t foresee it being a problem in the future.”As Schmidt looks forward, he must hope this short-term pain yields long-term gain.center_img Aug 26th 2019, 6:01 AM Schmidt watches on in concern at Twickenham. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO“That is in four weeks’ time, but there’s pressure to make sure that we’re not too far off peaking over the next two weeks because we need to get a lot of our process elements up to speed.”It was a worry for Ireland to be outmuscled by England again, having been bullied during the Six Nations. Most teams will struggle to live with athletes like Billy Vunipola, Maro Itoje and Manu Tuilagi at their rampaging best but Ireland will need to find a way – particularly with another huge side, the Springboks, potentially waiting if they can reach the World Cup quarter-finals.“I think it’s not always bigger is better,” said Schmidt. “We saw Jacob Stockdale get around Joe Cokanasiga at one stage and but for his right heel going on the line, I think he gives that ball up, potentially, to Andrew Conway and we’re away to score, you know?“I’d like to think that a guy like Garry Ringrose, he’s such a good athlete, a smart player and he plays bigger than he is. His hit on Joe Marler today, now I think he was pretty sore afterwards, but that’s a willingness to put your body on the line. “You can line the players up and say, ‘Look, size, strength, numbers against numbers, how do we stay competitive?’ And yet over the last six years, it’s probably tit-for-tat against England. We’ve matched them and they’ve matched us.”Schmidt also has real injury worries over Cian Healy and Joey Carbery. Johnny Sexton sat out much of training last week and is unlikely to feature until the final warm-up game against Wales, while Conor Murray took a blow to the head/neck against England.On the technical front, it was concerning for Schmidt to see Ireland’s shortcomings, very much a continuation from the Six Nations.There were inaccurate passes which checked the receiver, poor defensive technique as Ireland missed 38 tackles, weak ball retention in contact, and sloppy clearouts, while the lifting, jumping and throwing at the lineout was shambolic at times.  Conor Murray, Rob Kearney and Will Addison after defeat. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO“It’s always a collective thing,” said Schmidt of the lineout, while indicating the defensive quality of England’s Itoje and George Kruis. “I think there were a couple of calls that we put ourselves under pressure on.“We put a bit of pressure on [lineout caller] Iain Henderson by being a bit slow with our process and they could see the picture early and then they can get into it.“I would have to say our lineout has been a massive strength for us and we have jumbled a few things around during this week and obviously Iain and Jean Kleyn have never played together, so you’re always going to be a little bit sticky from that perspective.” FOR SOME OF those supporters who went into Saturday with pessimistic concerns about Ireland’s World Cup prospects, that sense had twisted into full-scale panic mode by the end of a 57-15 hammering at Twickenham.It felt like the dark old days when Ireland were perennial whipping boys in the Five Nations and took a few hidings from the English along the way, including the previous record losing margin of 40 points in 1997, and the former record of points scored by England of 50 in the year 2000. Ireland had no answers for an excellent England performance. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHOOf course, this was different in being a World Cup warm-up, where the results are generally unimportant, but there is no sidestepping the fact that Ireland’s performance in London was worrying.Everyone expected England to show they are ahead of Ireland in readiness, having had two physically tough battles with Wales before Saturday’s encounter, but the scale of the gap between the teams was eye-opening and underlined that Joe Schmidt is now chasing the leading contenders. The Ireland head coach most likely expected to lose to England but he certainly wouldn’t have foreseen a 42-point margin between the teams. That kind of thumping can genuinely undermine confidence in a group and sow seeds of doubt in players’ minds – if they weren’t there already after this year’s Six Nations.Schmidt has a huge job on his hands on all fronts now – mentally, physically, technically and tactically.On the physical side of things, Schmidt pointed to Ireland’s heavy eight-day training camp in Portugal in an attempt to explain why his players looked so lethargic.He continued to assert that peaking for Scotland in their World Cup pool opener on 22 September is the real key.“When you have a volume of work in your legs, there’s only a degree where you can get mind over matter, and there’s a point at which your legs are a bit heavy and you’re a bit sluggish,” said Schmidt.“We’ve got to make sure that now we get our periodisation right, that we’re starting to temper [the workload in training] so that we can make sure we are peaking at the right time. Get the latest Rugby World Cup news and analysis, delivered straight to your inbox: Monday 26 Aug 2019, 8:55 AM Share3 Tweet Email last_img read more

Nokia Maps se met à jour et améliore son service

first_imgNokia Maps se met à jour et améliore son serviceNokia ne perd pas de temps et met son application phare de navigation à jour. Au menu l’intégration d’un service de météo et des corrections d’interface et d’ergonomie.On ne peut pas dire que Nokia chôme actuellement. En plein lancement de ses smartphones premium Nokia Lumia, l’entreprise finlandaise peaufine ses produits le plus possible. En témoigne cette mise à jour de l’application Nokia Maps, qui est passée en version 3.08.À lire aussiNokia : un nouveau Windows Phone dévoilé le 5 septembre ?Le constructeur indique qu’un service de météo a été inclus au sein de l’application. Aussi et surtout, elle résout de nombreux problème d’interface et d’ergonomie, ainsi qu’une flopée de bugs en tout genre qui perturbaient la navigation des utilisateurs. Ce système propriétaire fonctionne grâce au GPS intégré à tous les smartphones de la marque. Elle permet de faire l’économie d’un appareil routier, et constitue l’un des points forts de ce modèle puisque Nokia est le seul constructeur à inclure un tel logiciel, et non une solution de cartographie basique type Google Maps. On comprend donc l’intérêt de ne négliger aucun détail quant à la bonne mise en place de ce système. La mise à jour est disponible sur le site de Nokia, ou directement depuis le mobile et téléchargeable en 3G ou en WiFI, celle-ci ne pesant que 15 Mo. Le 17 novembre 2011 à 21:20 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

Google Chrome est le plus prisé des navigateurs du dimanche

first_imgGoogle Chrome est le plus prisé des navigateurs du dimanche !Depuis quelques semaines, Google Chrome devance Internet Explorer sur le plan du nombre de ses utilisateurs. Chose surprenante : ce résultat est mesuré le dimanche seulement !Selon StatCounter le navigateur Internet Chrome devancerait tous ses concurrents… mais seulement le weekend et en particulier le temps de la journée dominicale ! Une tendance qui a cependant pu être observée sur plusieurs semaines.À lire aussiÉquinoxe du Printemps : pourquoi tombe-t-il le 20 mars ?Cette statistique, intéressante, pourrait donc révéler que la popularité d’Internet Explorer est due à sa plus large présence sur les ordinateurs destinés aux tâches professionnelles. Le dimanche 18 mars, Chrome a affiché ainsi une part de 32.71% des utilisateurs contre 32.5% pour Internet Explorer. La semaine suivante, Chrome virait de nouveau en tête (33,02% contre 32.13% pour son concurrent). Enfin, au 1er avril, les mêmes résultats ont été mesurés : Chrome dominait Explorer avec un taux de 32.52% contre 32.48%.Si ce constat est avéré, Google Chrome va devoir trouver un moyen de se faire une place en entreprise… Enfin, il est intéressant de noter, au moins à titre de comparaison, que l’utilisation de Firefox est quasiment invariable pendant les 7 jours de la semaine. Le 8 avril 2012 à 16:30 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

Nacho Novo says its luck to still be alive after surgery

first_imgRangers legend Nacho Novo said his surgeon told him he is lucky to still be alive after a life-threatening heart surgery.Novo, who collapsed during a football tournament in Berlin revealed that his surgeon told him how lucky he was to survive the same condition that claimed the lives of former Motherwell captain Phil O’Donnell and late Cameroon international Marc-Vivien Foe.Novo said, according to Daily Record:“It was terrible. Terrifying. I was in Germany all by myself when the doctor told me they were going to need to operate on my heart.”“What I immediately thought about was other players who had heart attacks and died instantly. I had the same condition.”Rangers is still behind Celtic: John Hartson Manuel R. Medina – September 3, 2019 According to the former Celtic player, there’s still a massive gap between his ex-club and Rangers in the Scottish Premier League.“But being so fit helped to save me and I think I’ve recovered well. My heart had been working at just 30 per cent of capacity and now it’s up to 60 per cent.”“I’m fine now and growing stronger and stronger. My heart is stronger than most people’s now, so I’m happy with that. It was nice, though, because there were lots of messages from all over the world, including Celtic players.”“When something like that happens it’s good that everyone comes together – it helped me to keep fighting as well.”last_img read more

Shaqiri Friends blame me for Mourinhos sacking

first_imgLiverpool midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri has revealed some of his friends are blaming him for Jose Mourinho’s sacking after his brace against Manchester United last weekendThe Switzerland international came on in the 70th-minute in Sunday’s clash at Anfield and put Liverpool ahead just three minutes later.Shaqiri then added another shortly afterwards to seal a stunning 3-1 win for Liverpool.But, for Mourinho, the result proved to be the final blow of his United career with the Portuguese coach being dismissed on Tuesday.“I had a lot of messages from my friends when it happened,” Shaqiri told The Guardian.Victor Wanyama, Tottenham Hotspur, Premier LeaguePochettino admits Wanyama remains in his Spurs plans Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Kenyan international, Victor Wanyama, was the protagonist of a summer transfer saga, but in the end, he is set to stay at Tottenham Hotspur.“There were a lot of good messages about the United game at first and then, when the news came out about Mourinho, I had messages saying: ‘That’s your fault!’ But this is football sometimes.“I don’t think it was just because we won that game that United wanted to change their manager.“There were other reasons but it means the game goes down in history. It will always be in my history too.”Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been confirmed as interim manager at United for the rest of the season.Premier League leaders Liverpool will take on Wolves away tonight with kick-off set for 21:00 (CET).last_img read more

POLICE LOG for October 3 Incident At Dog Park Texting Leads To

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Here are highlights from the Wilmington Police Log for Wednesday, October 3, 2018:Equipment was reported stolen from Koch Membrane on Main Street. (1:09pm)Police received report of a male and female fighting in the parking lot of Dunkin Donuts on Ballardvale Street. Male got into his vehicle and left, but then returned. Police advised both of their 209A rights. Both claimed there was no issue. (2:23pm)A caller reported her dog was in an altercation at the Town Dog Park. Dog had small puncture wound. Caller obtained license plate number of dog’s owner, who refused to give any information. Caller requested a follow-up from the Animal Control Officer. (4:23pm)A 2-vehicle crash took place on Lowell Street. Both drivers refused medical attention. One vehicle towed. One driver was cited for texting, following too closely, and speeding. (6:41pm)Police called to Yentile Farm after dog was seen on soccer field. Dog’s owner was advised of park rules. (7:48pm)3 motorcycles were involved in a crash on Chestnut Street. No injuries noted. 2 motorcycles towed. (10:42pm)(DISCLAIMER: This information is public information.  An arrest does not constitute a conviction.  Any arrested person is innocent until proven guilty.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedPOLICE LOG for August 18: 2 Vehicles With Same License Plate; Statue Missing From Wildwood CemeteryIn “Police Log”POLICE LOG for August 19: Fist Fight At Planet Fitness; Hawk Stuck Inside Building; Gas Line StruckIn “Police Log”POLICE LOG for July 18: Cat Gets Stuck In Wall After Plastering Project; Baby Raccoons Get Stuck In ChimneyIn “Police Log”last_img read more

Britain is playing with fire Russia

first_imgThe United Nations Security Council meets on the situation between Britain and Russia on 5 April at United Nations headquarters. Photo: APThe international furore over the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter intensified, with Russia warning Britain that it was “playing with fire.”At a UN Security Council meeting on Thursday, Russia’s UN ambassador Vassily Nebenzia claimed that Russia was the victim of a hasty, sloppy and ill-intentioned defamation campaign by London and its allies.Britain has blamed Russia for the 4 March poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter. In response, more than two dozen Western allies including Britain, the US and NATO have ordered out over 150 Russian diplomats in a show of solidarity. Moscow has fiercely denied its involvement in the nerve agent attack and expelled an equal number of envoys. The diplomatic turmoil has hit lows unseen even at the height of the Cold War.Moscow assumes “with a high degree of probability” that the intelligence services of other countries are likely responsible for the incident, Nebenzia said at the UN.“Everything confirms this is a coordinated, very well-planned campaign” intended “to discredit and even delegitimize Russia,” he added.Britain’s UN ambassador, Karen Pierce, shot back that Russia has come up with 24 theories on who bears responsibility for the poisoning, but the United Kingdom has only one – that it’s highly likely Russia was responsible.Nebenzia refused to name the intelligence services that Russia suspects, but said their goal is to accuse Moscow of using “a horrible, inhumane weapon, of concealing the arsenal of this substance,” of violating the Chemical Weapons Convention, and putting in question Russia’s role “not only in finding a solution in Syria, but anywhere else.”He warned: “We have told our British colleagues that you are playing with fire and you will be sorry.”Britain’s Pierce said Russia’s 24 theories for the attack include blaming it on terrorists and saying Britain wanted to distract from Brexit, its departure from the European Union.Earlier Thursday, Skripal’s 33-year-old daughter, Yulia, said in a statement released by British police that her “strength is growing daily” and she expressed gratitude to those who came to her aid when she and her father, Sergei, were found unconscious on a bench a month ago.“I am sure you appreciate that the entire episode is somewhat disorientating, and I hope that you’ll respect my privacy and that of my family during the period of my convalescence,” she said in her first public comment.The hospital in the English city of Salisbury confirmed that Yulia’s health has improved, while her 66-year-old father remains in critical condition.Adding to the intrigue was a recording aired Thursday by Russian state Rossiya TV of a purported phone call between Yulia Skripal and her cousin in Russia. In the call, Yulia Skripal allegedly said she and her father were both recovering and in normal health, and that her father’s health was not irreparably damaged.Skripal’s niece, Viktoria, confirmed the veracity of the recording in an interview with the BBC on Friday.It was Yulia. I have no doubt it was Yulia,” she told the BBC. “100 per cent.”Asked what her reaction was, she said, “You heard it in the recording. I couldn’t believe my ears.”Moscow has steadfastly hammered away at Britain’s account of what befell the Skripals on March 4, especially the claim that their exposure to a Novichok nerve agent developed by the Soviet Union meant the attack was carried out by Russia.During the Security Council meeting, Nebenzia questioned the British government’s claims of Russian responsibility by posing a series of questions.He asked why the British policeman was affected by the nerve agent immediately when it took four hours for Skripal and his daughter to be affected. He asked what antidotes for exposure to Novichok the Skripals were given, where the Skripals were for four hours without cellphones on the day of the attack, and what happened to two cats and two guinea pigs in the Skripals’ house.Russia has said it never produced Novichok and completed the destruction of its chemical arsenals under international control last year. Nebenzia insisted that Britain is required to allow Russia to cooperate in the investigation.“Great Britain refuses to cooperate with us on the pretext that the victim does not cooperate with the criminal,” he said. “A crime was committed on British territory, possibly a terrorist act, and it is our citizens who are the victims.”He said both Skripal and Yulia are Russian citizens, and Moscow must be granted access to them.Pierce said the U.K. has left it to Yulia to decide whether to give Russia consular access to her.The British government says it relied on a combination of scientific analysis and other intelligence to conclude that the nerve agent came from Russia. But the Foreign Office on Wednesday deleted a tweet from last month that said scientists at Britain’s defense research facility, the Porton Down laboratory, had identified the substance as “made in Russia.”last_img read more