Pakistan Super League (PSL) franchises announced their player retention on Tuesday ahead of the November 20 player draft.Shahid Afridi was released by Karachi Kings while Kieron Pollard, Mohammad Hafeez, Andre Russell, Dwayne Bravo, Rashid Khan, Eoin Morgan and Brendon McCullum were some of the biggest names in world cricket not to be retained by their respective franchises.All six PSL teams were asked to retain up to ten players from their squads.The names of 371 foreign players and 311 Pakistani players will feature in the PSL players draft to be held in Islamabad.The contract of Multan Sultans with Schon Properties Broker LLC has been terminated because of allegations of non-payment of dues. However, the team has been renamed as the “The Sixth Team” for now and will continue to exist.Except for India, players from all the Test playing nations and associate member countries of the ICC are available for the players draft.A PSL franchise is allowed to have up to three platinum, three diamond, three gold, and five silver category players in the squad.Also Read – Steve Smith ready to play Pakistan Super League but only in UAESteve Smith has given his conditional availability for the fourth edition of the PSL insisting he would only play matches in the UAE and not travel to Pakistan for the play-offs and final.The fourth edition of the PSL will start from February 14 in the United Arab Emirates.Here’s the full list of retained and released players:Karachi KingsadvertisementRetained (8 players): Mohammad Amir (Platinum), Babar Azam (Platinum), Colin Munro (Platinum), Usman Khan (Diamond), Colin Ingram (Diamond, Ambassador), Imad Wasim (Diamond), Mohammad Rizwan (Gold), Ravi Bopara (Gold)Released: Shahid Afridi, Usama Mir, Khurram Manzoor, Mitchell Johnson, Luke Wright, David Wiese, Tabish Khan, Mohammad Irfan Jnr, Hasan Mohsin, Eoin Morgan, Saifullah BangashIslamabad UnitedRetained (10 players): Shadab Khan (Platinum), Luke Ronchi (Platinum), Faheem Ashraf (Platinum), Mohammad Sami (Diamond), Asif Ali (Diamond), Rumman Raees (Gold), Hussain Talat (Silver, Ambassador), Sahibzada Farhan (Silver), Zafar Gohar (Silver), Waqas Maqsood (Silver)Released: Andre Russell, Misbah-ul-Haq, Samuel Badree, Iftikhar Ahmed, Amad Butt, JP Duminy, Sam Billings, Alex Hales, David Willey, Mohammad Hasan, Mohammad Hasnain, Samit Patel, Rohail NazirQuetta GladiatorsRetained (9 players): Sarfraz Ahmed (Platinum), Sunil Narine (Platinum), Shane Watson (Diamond, Mentor), Sohail Tanvir (Diamond), Mohammad Nawaz (Diamond), Rilee Rossouw (Gold, Ambassador), Umar Akmal (Gold), Anwar Ali (Silver), Saud Shakil (Silver)Released: Mahmudullah, Umar Amin, Mir Hamza, Asad Shafiq, Brathwaite, Rameez Raja jnr, Saad Ali, Rashid Khan, Azam Khan, Kevin Pietersen, Chris Green, Kohler Cadmore, Ben Laughlin, Jason Roy, John Hastings, Carlos Brathwaite, Faraz Ahmad KhanLahore QalandarsRetained (8 players): Fakhar Zaman (Platinum), Yasir Shah (Diamond), Anton Devcich (Gold), Rahat Ali (Gold), Shaheen Afridi (Silver, Ambassador), Hasan Khan (Silver), Agha Salman (Silver), Sohail Akhtar (Silver)Released: Brendon McCullum, Cameron Delport, Aamer Yamin, Bilawal Bhatti, Ghulam Mudassar, Angelo Mathews, Mitchell McClenaghan, Gulraiz SadafPeshawar ZalmiRetained (8 players): Wahab Riaz (Platinum), Hasan Ali (Platinum), Darren Sammy (Diamond), Kamran Akmal (Diamond, Ambassador), Liam Dawson (Gold), Umaid Asif (Silver), Khalid Usman (Silver), Sameen Gul (Emerging)Released: Shakib Al Hasan, Mohammad Hafeez, Haris Sohail, Chris Jordan, Mohammad Asghar, Dwayne Bravo, Tamim Iqbal, Hammad Azam, Saad Nasim, Taimoor Sultan, Ibtisam Sheikh, Andre Fletcher, Evin Lewis, Mohammad ArifSixth TeamRetained (8 players): Shoaib Malik (Platinum), Junaid Khan (Diamond), Mohammad Irfan (Diamond, Ambassador), Shan Masood (Gold), Mohammad Abbas (Silver), Mohammad Irfan Khan (Silver), Umar Siddiq (Silver), Mohammad Junaid (Emerging)Released: Kieron Pollard, Kumar Sangakkara, Sohaib Maqsood, Kashif Bhatti, Nicholas Pooran, Abdullah Shafiq, Saif Badar, Hardus Viljoen, Umar Gul, Ross Whiteley
zoom Governments of India and Bangladesh met in New Delhi where they drafted a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on passenger and cruise services on coastal and protocol route. The protocol will be formalized after approval of the respective governments.In a meeting held on November 16, the Secretary level delegation of India and Bangladesh also agreed on the payment of transit fee of approximately USD 2.500 per metric tonne for the transshipment operations at Ashuganj port for movement of goods to and from North-Eastern part of India.Bangladesh added that the government will not insist upon Bank Guarantee on each consignment of transit cargo, therefore reducing the transportation cost and encouraging cargo movement in this route.Additionally, the countries agreed that measures should be taken to ensure an adequate draft in upper reaches of Indo-Bangladesh protocol route in Bangladesh. With this decision, Bangladesh will submit a proposal for dredging of rivers in Bangladesh, including the ones under protocol route.
Business Minister Mark Furey confirmed today, Feb. 25, that Nova Scotia’s six provincial visitor information centres will remain open. They will continue to be operated and administered by the province. Over the past year, Tourism Nova Scotia consulted with industry and communities about its programs and services, including other ways to operate provincial visitor information centres. “These centres are important provincial assets that add value to the tourism experience in Nova Scotia and to the communities where they operate,” said Business Minister Mark Furey. “As technology advances tourism is changing rapidly, and we need to keep up with the pace of change. That’s why we took the time to make an informed decision about the role the centres will play in growing this industry.” While activity at the centres has decreased over the last decade as tourists get more information online, they continue to play a role in local tourism. The private sector-led Tourism Nova Scotia has a goal to attract more first time visitors to Nova Scotia and double tourism revenues to $4-billion by 2024. Tourism Nova Scotia acknowledges the importance of frontline visitor information services to help meet that goal. Tourism Nova Scotia will also continue to offer travel planning assistance 24 hours a day on novascotia.com and 365 days a year through the Tourism Contact Centre. In addition to the six provincial visitor information centres, there are more than 50 locally-run centres across the province.
TORONTO – A tie purported to be the one late Toronto mayor Rob Ford wore on Nov. 5, 2013, when he admitted smoking crack cocaine, is up for sale on eBay again.There were 111 bids on the tie over a seven-day auction in 2015, with the winner putting in a bid of $16,100 for the neckwear featuring logos from NFL teams past and present.The tie is currently listed on eBay with a buy-it-now price of $9,999.The listing says the tie is “professionally framed” and comes with a certificate of authenticity signed by Ford as well as the actual box he shipped it in.Ford’s assistant said at the time that he sold the tie and other items on eBay as part of a spring cleaning.Ford became internationally notorious when he admitted having smoked crack cocaine, “probably in one of my drunken stupors,” while apologizing and insisting he was not an addict.
By Sanae ElouaziRabat – Obtaining a driving license in Morocco will no longer be an easy task, announced the Secretary of State for Equipment and Transport, Najib Boulif, following the Governing Council meeting on December 28. Boulif presented a series of new measures to tighten the conditions for obtaining driving licenses, as part of a strategy to reduce the balance sheet of road accidents, to fight against illegal licenses and corruption. From now on, it will be necessary to have 34 points out of 40 to pass the theoretical test for the license B whereas previously, it was enough to have 30 points out of 40. The examination for the category C and D passes to 40 points out of 46 instead of 36 points out of 46.Moreover, the candidates can no longer expect to obtain their driving licence in a fortnight. The duration will be set on at least 45 days from the beginning of the training to the first test applied.The Ministry has also decided to fix the number of candidates for the tests applied to 10 people per car and per instructor for each month for category B, to prevent the instructors from submitting a large number of candidates to the examination centers. Boulif also announced that the 600 exam questions of the theoretical test would be reviewed and changed, given that the questions are initially well known by the candidates. Changes will also affect the training fees. Thus the prices for category B will be fixed at MAD 37 per hour for the theoretical test and MAD 75.5 for the applied training.The Secretary of State for Transport also lambasted the “fraudulent practices” of some driving schools and denounced the “unhealthy climate” in which the driving tests took place.It is no secret that the conditions for examining the license are tainted by serious irregularities, particularly corruption and clientelism that allow hundreds of candidates to obtain the document without passing the driver’s license exam.
Rabat – In the late 1940s, American director Orson Welles began to realize the legendary Shakespearean play “Othello” on the big screen. However, although he planned to produce the film in Italy, one of the story’s settings along with Cyprus, fate brought him to North Africa instead. The geographical change proved to be an extreme boon for the director, and it enabled him to produce one of the most renowned classical films of cinematic history. The play “Othello,” a story about a general in the Venetian army, was originally published in 1603 and was based on an earlier Italian novel called “Un Capitano Moro.” The play immediately became a hit, and one of the first things that grabbed the attention of the 17th century English audience was the race of the protagonist. Othello is ambiguously described as a “Moor,” a term used during the time to describe Muslims of the Maghreb and Andalusia. But Othello had a special connection with Morocco from the beginning. Historians have supported claims that Othello was based on Abd el-Ouahed ben Messaoud ben Mohammed Anoun, the Moroccan ambassador to Queen Elizabeth I at the time. Anoun’s delegation stayed in England for six months, giving Anglo-Saxons a rare glimpse of a Moorish individual in person. Coincidentally, Othello was released a year later, according to the British Library.Read Also : FIFM: Martin Scorsese Reflects on Dying Cinema IndustryWhen Welles was filming the cinematic version in 1948, funding problems caused Welles to constantly put the project on hold to continue work on other directors’ movies, according to Moroccan news outlets. Eventually, the filmmaker travelled to Morocco to shoot the film, setting up in El Jadida and Essaouira, coastal cities south of Casablanca. Welles immediately fell in love with Morocco, describing it as “uncontaminated, cheaper, and historically closer to Cyprus than Italy.”Welles finished Othello in Morocco, and it debuted in Rome in 1951. Since, the movie has become a world renowned classic.But Morocco has not received much credit for helping create one of Welles’ most defining films. Many viewers would not be able to differentiate between the Moroccan coast and places around Europe. But Othello remains a silent salute to the silent beauty that Morocco emanates.
Facing more tough competition and lower profits, Rogers cuts 375 jobs by News Staff Posted Jun 26, 2012 2:54 pm MDT Rogers Communications Inc. (TSX:RCI.B) will eliminate 375 jobs, a move that comes as the wireless, cable and Internet provider cuts costs in the face of lower profits and tougher competition on all fronts.The staff reduction is part of a cost-cutting strategy announced earlier this year and include employees in the business, wireless, and cable and Internet divisions. They follow 300 job cuts announced in March.The latest downsizing covers a variety of skills and includes some management and sales positions, Rogers spokeswoman Patricia Trott said Tuesday.“Going forward, we’re managing costs where it makes sense but we’re continuing to invest in driving the business forward and obviously we have a focus as well on driving revenue, new sources of revenue,” Trott said.“This is sort of Part 2 of our cost cutting initiative that we announced earlier.”Rogers hopes to get increased revenues from its mobile banking initiative, devices connected to its wireless network such as parking meters, appliances and machines and other business services.“Again, a difficult day for everyone but we’re really focused in the future on alternative revenue sources and driving the growth of the business,” Trott said.Trott wouldn’t address any competitive pressures that Rogers is facing.The Toronto-based company’s wireless division â€” which has the largest base of subscribers in Canada with about 9.3 millionâ€” has faced challenges from players big and small. It’s competing against major players Bell (TSX:BCE) and Telus (TSX:T) for mobile phone subscribers and also from new players like Wind Mobile.Rogers, Bell and Telus are fiercely vying for lucrative smartphone subscribers on faster, next-generation networks. Rogers had a competitive advantage with its more advanced network until three years ago when Bell and Telus upgraded their networks, allowing them to offer the same smartphones as Rogers.Rogers’ cable division is also battling fellow industry giant Bell, which has rolled out its Internet Protocol TV service in Montreal and Toronto. The service is delivered over an Internet Protocol network and allow users to watch sports, for example, while pulling up stats.The layoffs in March focused on management and head office positions. At the end of 2011, Rogers had almost 29,000 employees.RBC Capital Markets analyst Drew McReynolds said the cuts are indicative of competition and reflect management’s goal of maintaining its profit margins.“We continue to expect Rogers to ‘grind away’ in 2012 pending a more balanced competitive equilibrium on wireless and television (our estimates and consensus are below 2012 guidance),” McReynolds wrote in a research note.McReynolds said the discount that Rogers trades at relative to its large-cap peers reflects these competitive headwinds. He is targeting a $43 per share price for Rogers, which would be about $6 above the current market value.In April, CEO Nadir Mohamed told shareholders that Rogers would cut costs to help deal with competition in the wireless and cable TV markets that has resulted in slower revenue growth.In its first quarter, Rogers said it lost 7,000 cable customers in a highly competitive period with Bell’s IPTV service. UBS analyst Phillip Huang said at that time the loss of subscribers was not a “one-off event” and he has predicted Rogers will lose 86,000 cable subscribers in 2012.For its first quarter, Rogers posted a lower profit of $305 million or 57 cents per diluted share on $2.95 billion in revenue for the first quarter.That compared with a profit of $335 million or 60 cents per diluted share on $2.99 billion in revenue a year ago.Revenue of $2.95 billion also missed analyst expectations, which on average were for $3.05 billion for the first quarter of fiscal 2012.Rogers shares were up seven cents at $36.58 in afternoon trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email
by The Canadian Press Posted Aug 7, 2013 2:09 pm MDT High Liner Foods posts higher profit despite lower sales volumes AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email LUNENBURG, N.S. – High Liner Foods Inc. (TSX:HLF) says it recorded a profit of US$9.9 million in the second quarter, up from $1 million a year ago as lower raw material costs offset a decrease in sales volumes.The quarterly results also got a boost from synergies related to the company’s acquisition of Icelandic USA.The frozen seafood company reported sales of US$204.9 million for the quarter, down slightly from US$216.8 million in the same period last year due to headwinds from the U.S. food service business because of soft restaurant sales, as well as weakness in its retail private labels.Sales volume in the Canadian food service business, however, experienced an increase in the second quarter compared to last year. The earnings amounted to 63 cents per share, compared with six cents in the quarter last year.Adjusted net income increased in the second quarter to $9.2 million or 59 cents per share, compared with $5.5 million or 35 cents in the second quarter.That excluded the after-tax impact of certain items, including one-time integration costs, stock-based compensation expense, the revaluation of the embedded derivative associated with the long-term debt LIBOR floor, and certain other non-recurring expenses.
“Medical care that causes severe suffering for no justifiable reason can be considered cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and if there is State involvement and specific intent, it is torture,” said Juan E. Méndez, the Special Rapporteur on torture.Mr. Méndez made the comments while presenting his latest report to the UN Human Rights Council, which is currently meeting in Geneva. The report analyses all forms of abuse labelled as ‘health-care treatment’ which try to be premised or justified by health-care policies, according to a news release.“There are unique challenges to stopping ill-treatment in health-care settings due, among other things, to a perception that, while never justified, certain practices in health-care may be defended by the authorities on grounds of administrative efficiency, behaviour modification or medical necessity,” he noted.In his report, Mr. Méndez notes that, under the premise of drug rehabilitation centres, street children, persons with psychosocial disabilities, sex workers, homeless individuals and tuberculosis patients are sometimes reportedly detained in so-called rehabilitation centres which are commonly run by military or paramilitary, police or security forces, or private companies.He also identifies the scope of State’s obligations to regulate, control and supervise health-care practices.Referring to instances where governments have denied pain treatment, Mr. Méndez urges authorities to “guarantee essential medicines – which include, among others, opioid analgesics” as part of their minimum core obligations under the right to health, and to protect people under their jurisdiction from inhuman and degrading treatment. He notes that denying opiate substitute treatment, which is often used to help heroine addicts, is sometimes used by authorities to elicit criminal confessions. The report also cites violations of reproductive rights, abuse of persons with psychosocial disabilities and marginalized groups, including women and gay and lesbian persons. Independent experts are appointed by the Human Rights Council to examine and report back, in an unpaid capacity, on specific human rights themes.
Junior left fielder Ronnie Dawson (4) takes a swing during a game against Bethune-Cookman.Credit: Giustino Bovenzi | Lantern reporterOhio State senior pitcher John Havird couldn’t have pitched much better than he did Friday in the second game of the day against Maryland, but a costly late error tied the game, and the Buckeyes would eventually fall 2-1 in the bottom of the 10th inning. Havird threw a career-high eight innings, allowing no hits and striking out seven, but after hitting his second batter during the first at-bat in the bottom of the ninth, the senior was pulled. Senior left-handed reliever Michael Horejsei retired his only batter on a pop fly, but the struggles immediately began after redshirt sophomore closer Yianni Pavlopoulos took to the mound.After a groundout to short, Pavlopoulos struck out Maryland junior designated hitter Nick Cieri, but Cieri reached first on the wild pitch. Sophomore first baseman Kevin Biondic then hit a hard groundball to third baseman Nick Sergakis. The senior could not come up with the ball cleanly and airmailed the throw to first into the stands, scoring the runner from third.With one out in the bottom of the 10th inning, sophomore center fielder Zach Jancarski singled up the middle for the first Maryland hit of the game. He would later steal second base and score off another single up the middle by junior right fielder Madison Nickens to give the Terrapins the 2-1 win.The game was scoreless until the bottom of the seventh inning when OSU freshman designated hitter Brady Cherry lifted a sacrifice fly to left field, scoring Sergakis. With the way Havird was pitching, the 1-0 lead seemed like it might have been enough to come out victorious, but the rally erased the lefty’s third win of the year. Game 1The first game of the doubleheader on Friday saw Maryland take an early two-run lead and keep OSU off the board to win by a final score of 3-0.After the Buckeyes went down in order to lead off the first inning, Nickens led off the bottom of the first with a walk. Freshman second baseman Nick Dunn singled to follow the free pass, and both runners would advance a base after an error by OSU senior shortstop Craig Nennig. After a strikeout, Cieri singled to left, scoring Nickens. A passed ball by OSU junior catcher Jalen Washington would score the Terrapins’ second run of the inning.The following four innings saw the score remain at 2-0 until Maryland freshman left fielder Marty Costes hit a solo home run to center field. Both starters pitched complete games in the matinee. OSU junior starting pitcher Tanner Tully went eight innings, surrendering three runs (two earned) on three hits, two walks and eight strikeouts. His counterpart, Maryland sophomore Taylor Bloom, tossed nine innings of shutout baseball, allowing only three hits and one walk while striking out five. With rain and snow looming, the Buckeyes and Terrapins will take a day off Saturday, with plans to finish out the series Sunday. The finale is scheduled to take place at 1 p.m. with junior right-hander Mike Shawaryn set to take the bump for Maryland and redshirt sophomore Adam Niemeyer starting for OSU.
One of the most talented European left back, Borut Mackovsek (20) is close to sign contract with German TOP team, SG Flensburg Handewitt. Slovenian 204cm tall left back showed his potential at WCH 2013 in Spain, where he was one of the key players in success of his NT – winning the fourth place. He is under contract with Celje Pivovarna Lasko until 2014, but two teams are close to find a deal about the “freedom” next summer. Celje’s manager, Roman Pungartnik admited to Slovenian PRESS that negotiations are in the final stage…photo: SLAVKO KOLAR ← Previous Story Rajko Prodanovic to MKB Veszprem! Next Story → Ruben Schelbert in Kadetten Schaffhausen for two more years
Inondations en Australie : Rockhampton menacé par serpents et crocodilesLes inondations “bibliques” qui touchent le nord-est de l’Australie depuis plusieurs semaines ne faiblissent pas. Aujourd’hui, les 75.000 habitants de la ville de Rockhampton sont sur le point d’être coupés du monde. Les autorités les mettent en garde contre les serpents et crocodiles. Le pire reste à venir selon les autorités australiennes. Aujourd’hui, le monde entier a les yeux rivés sur la ville de Rockhampton, qui risque d’être coupé du reste du pays et de devenir une île. Les sacs de sable commencent peu à peu à s’entasser autour des maisons et des magasins, rapporte l’AFP. Ainsi, les habitants espèrent se protéger des eaux de la rivière Fitzroy, qui atteignaient ce matin 9,2 mètres. Tous craignent que le niveau des eaux reste aussi élevé pendant au moins deux semaines. Cela favoriserait la prolifération de moustiques porteurs de maladies. Autres menaces : les serpents venimeux et les crocodiles.Scott Mahaffey a déclaré à l’AFP : “Le problème avec les crocodiles, c’est qu’il est difficile de les repérer au milieu des débris”. Des policiers se sont déjà retrouvés dans les eaux face à une mâchoire puissante et menaçante.Ces inondations sont dues à des pluies violentes, puis au passage du cyclone Tasha. Les cours des rivières du nord-est de l’Australie ont alors gonflé à des niveaux historiques. Les mines de charbon et les exploitations agricoles sont aujourd’hui sous les eaux.Vingt-deux bourgades rurales sont concernées par cette catastrophe, et 200.000 personnes sont affectées. Depuis fin novembre, le bilan s’élève à 10 morts à cause des pluies diluviennes et de la montée brutale des eaux. Le 4 janvier 2011 à 09:08 • Emmanuel Perrin
WWE Smackdown will be airing at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday the next two weeks in Canada. The show has been bumped from Wednesday to Thursday due to the NHL Playoffs.Source: The Wrestling Observer/Figure Four OnlineRecommended videosPowered by AnyClipSeth Rollins Defends WWE On Two Separate OccasionsVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPauseUnmuteDuration 0:30/Current Time 0:02Loaded: 100.00%0:02Remaining Time -0:28 FullscreenUp NextThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Replay the list Seth Rollins Now Playing Up Next Cesaro WhatsApp Videos Articles Pinterest Facebook Now Playing Up Next Twitter Now Playing Up Next Wrestleview Weekly: Predictions for tonight’s Clash of Champions event in Charlotte Ronda Rousey Highlighting WWEs Problems Seth Rollins Defends WWE On Two Separate Occasions Now Playing Up Next Roman Reigns is in Remission Kurt Angle WWE Draft confirmed to be taking place as a two-night event starting on October 11 Videos Articles Now Playing Up Next Ronda Rousey On WWE: I Love This Job, But I Dont Need It Joan Jett Set To Perform Ronda Rouseys Entrance At WrestleMania 35 Adam Martin RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Videos Articles Google+ WWE Hall of Famer Trish Stratus confirmed for WWE Smackdown premiere on FOX
California man guilty of killing family of 4 found in desert June 10, 2019 AP Posted: June 10, 2019 AP, FacebookTwitter Categories: California News, Local San Diego News McStay FamilySAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (AP) — A Southern California man was convicted Monday of killing a family of four and burying their bodies in the desert, a case that puzzled investigators for years after the family suddenly vanished from their home in 2010.After a trial that spanned more than four months and depended largely on circumstantial evidence, jurors in San Bernardino found 62-year-old Charles “Chase” Merritt guilty in the bludgeoning deaths of his business associate Joseph McStay, McStay’s wife, Summer, and the couple’s 3- and 4-year-old sons.Merritt closed his eyes and looked down when the court clerk said the word “guilty” the first of four times to first-degree murder. Sobs came from the packed courtroom. Someone called out, “Yes!”Prosecutors say Merritt killed the family with a sledgehammer at a time when he owed McStay money and was being cut out of the victim’s business making and selling custom water fountains.The jury also found the special circumstance of multiple murders. Prosecutors have said they would seek the death penalty if Merritt was convicted, and the penalty phase of the trial was scheduled to begin Tuesday.Prosecutors declined to comment after the verdict, escorting the McStays’ relatives from the courthouse.After the McStay family disappeared, authorities found bowls of uneaten popcorn at their San Diego County home, which had no signs of forced entry, and their car parked at a strip mall near the Mexican border.For years, officials couldn’t determine what happened to the McStays. At one point, investigators said they believed the family had gone to Mexico voluntarily, though they couldn’t say why.In 2013, their bodies were found in shallow graves in the desert after an off-road motorcyclist discovered skeletal remains in the area. Authorities also unearthed a rusty sledgehammer that they said was used to kill the family.“It was blow, after blow, after blow to a child’s skull,” the Los Angeles Times reported prosecutor Britt Imes said during closing arguments.Merritt, who worked with McStay in his water features business, was arrested in 2014.Authorities said they traced Merritt’s cellphone to the area of the desert gravesites in the days after the family disappeared and to a call seeking to close McStay’s online bookkeeping account.Merritt referred to McStay in the past tense in an interview with investigators after the family vanished, and while the evidence linking him to the killings is largely circumstantial, it is “overwhelmingly convincing,” Imes said.Merritt’s attorneys said the two men were best friends and investigators overlooked another possible suspect in the killings. Instead, they said, authorities zeroed in on an innocent man, but the evidence didn’t add up, noting there were no signs of an attack inside the family’s home.“They tried his character and not the facts of this case,” defense attorney James McGee told jurors.Many questions still remain about the family’s disappearance. Prosecutors acknowledge details of the killings aren’t entirely clear but say the evidence from the family’s car, cellphone towers and financial accounts link Merritt to the killings.Authorities said McStay was cutting Merritt out of the business in early February and the two met on Feb. 4 in Rancho Cucamonga, where Merritt lived at the time.Prosecutors say financial records show Merritt tried to loot the business bank accounts just before and after the family disappeared and backdated checks to Feb. 4, knowing it was the last day anyone had contact with McStay.Phone records show McStay called Merritt seven times after the Feb. 4 meeting, with defense lawyers arguing that McStay wouldn’t likely do that if he had just fired Merritt.
Three-term incumbent Nancy Barnes will have a challenge on her hands come November, to keep her seat on the Clark Public Utilities commission.But, who will be her rival?Votes counted Tuesday showed Mike Lyons and Robert Nichols in a tight race for second place and a slot in a run-off election with Barnes.Lyons, a retired Vancouver firefighter and current Clark County Fire District 5 commissioner, had earned 3,848 votes, or 24.1 percent.Just 71 votes behind was Robert Nichols, a three-decade Bonneville Power Administration engineering and management veteran, with 3,777 votes, or 23.6 percent.Trailing behind were local tax preparer John Elkin with 1,370 votes (8.6 percent) and Jeff Bier, former U.S. Air Force officer, computer consultant and Boeing analyst, with 979 votes (6.1 percent).Lyons’ and Nichols’ combined votes outpaced the 5,947 votes, or 37.2 percent, that Barnes earned.Barnes was unopposed in 2004 when she won her current six-year term on the three-person panel. Lyons said he believes commissioners’ recent talk about raising utility rates helped his and Nichols’ effort.“Of course, they’re going to have raise rates, but I’m all for minimizing the impact of that,” Lyons said.
B-to-b media industry revenue rose 6.9 percent last year, from a total of $24.7 billion to $26.4 billion between 2010 and 2011, according to the latest report from ABM’s Business Information Network. The most dramatic increase, at 22 percent, came in digital advertising revenue, which increased from $5.2 billion to $6.3 billion during that period. Print advertising jumped 2.9 percent, bringing the total to $7.6 billion and marking a 29 percent contribution to total b-to-b media revenue. Trade show dollars comrpised 40 percent of the total, ticking up 2.2 percent to $10.5 billion between 2009 and 2010.Data services—the smallest segment, at 7 percent—increased 6.5 percent to $1.9 billion.Growth across these categories is welcome news to an industry that stayed essentially flat between 2009 and 2010, declining 1.3 and 6.4 percent in print and trade shows respectively, despite a 15 percent increase in digital. Print revenue fell by a stark 24 percent between 2008 and 2009, followed by trade shows, which saw a 15.8 percent drop during that same period. Source: ABM
HCL Technologies, India’s fourth largest IT firm, is reportedly planning to list its shares on the US stock exchange this year. The listing could be the first by a major Indian company in over eight years.The Noida-based IT major, which currently has a market capitalisation of $17 billion, is working with Citigroup Inc. and Credit Suisse Group AG to issue the public offer in the US, sources familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.HCL may look to raise nearly $1 billion from the offer, sources told the new agency.The company could be the third Indian IT company to list on the world’s largest stock market, after Wipro and Infosys. Indian companies have mopped up $15.4 billion from share sales in the US since 1999.HCL is going for US listing to boost its profile among global investors, sources said. The company has to receive approval from its shareholders to list in the US before deciding the size and pricing of the offer.HCL Technologies’ earnings came above analysts’ expectations for the December quarter, posting revenue growth of 5.5 percent from the Americas in constant currency terms. But its revenue from Europe declined by 2.4 percent in the October-December period, while the growth from other regions rose 3.4 percent.The company also saw an increase in the number of $50-million dollar clients by one to 19 during the quarter.HCL said on Tuesday that it acquired Volvo’s external IT business, adding 40 new clients from the Nordics and France to its portfolio in Europe.
Donald TrumpUS president Donald Trump tried to counter one-two blows of betrayal and scandal Thursday, punching back at a bare-knuckle book that portrayed his White House as a fetid stew of backbiting, incompetence and dysfunction.Trump’s lawyers moved to prevent the release of “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House” — an exposé by author and political muck spreader Michael Wolff — which quotes key Trump aides raising questions about his fitness for office.The book — which paints Trump as craven, unstable and far out of his depth in the Oval Office — extensively quotes his former ally and chief strategist Steve Bannon, who also received a “cease and desist” order from Trump’s attorneys.”Your publication of the false/baseless statements about Mr. Trump gives rise to, among other claims, defamation by libel, defamation by libel per se, false light invasion of privacy, tortious interference with contractual relations, and inducement of breach of contract,” Trump’s lawyers said in the letter to Wolff.In the book, Bannon is quoted accusing Trump’s eldest son Don Jr of “treasonous” contacts with a Kremlin-linked lawyer, and saying the president’s daughter Ivanka is “dumb as a brick.”But it is the US president himself that is cast in the most unfavorable light — by a series of his top aides.The book claims that for “Steve Mnuchin and Reince Priebus, the president was an ‘idiot.’ For Gary Cohn, he was ‘dumb as shit.’ For H.R. McMaster, he was a ‘dope.’ The list went on.”Trump appears to have been most upset by the betrayal of Bannon — the man who engineered the New York real estate mogul’s link to the nationalist far right and helped create a pro-Trump media ecosystem.”He called me a great man last night. He obviously changed his tune pretty quick,” Trump said in the Roosevelt Room Thursday. “I don’t talk to him.”A day earlier, Trump unleashed a spectacular denunciation of Bannon, describing him as insane and irrelevant.”Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my presidency. When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind,” Trump said in a written statement.Bannon, who left the White House in August, is also quoted in the book as saying that the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller into Russian interference in the 2016 election will focus on money laundering.The investigation by Mueller, a former FBI director, is looking into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to help get him elected — a charge the president has repeatedly and vehemently denied.- ‘You should have called the FBI’ -Don Junior took a meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya in June 2016 after an intermediary promised material that would incriminate Trump’s Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and then campaign chairman Paul Manafort also attended the meeting at Trump Tower in New York.”The three senior guys in the campaign thought it was a good idea to meet with a foreign government inside Trump Tower in the conference room on the 25th floor — with no lawyers,” Bannon was quoted as saying in the book.”They didn’t have any lawyers.”Even if you thought that this was not treasonous, or unpatriotic, or bad shit, and I happen to think it’s all of that, you should have called the FBI immediately,” he said.- Disbelief over victory -Wolff’s book — which he says is based on interviews with Trump, his senior aides and others — also mentions that Trump eats food from McDonald’s because he believes it to be safe from poison, and that his team did not believe he was capable of winning the election.”Shortly after 8 p.m. on Election Night, when the unexpected trend — Trump might actually win — seemed confirmed, Don Jr. told a friend that his father, or DJT, as he calls him, looked as if he had seen a ghost. Melania was in tears — and not of joy,” it said.The book even deals with the subject of Trump’s infamous hairdo, citing Ivanka as telling friends it was the result of a combover from the front and sides of his head, stiffened by hair spray.”The color, she would point out to comical effect, was from a product called Just for Men — the longer it was left on, the darker it got. Impatience resulted in Trump’s orange-blond hair color.”Trump’s press secretary Sarah Sanders hit back.”This book is filled with false and misleading accounts from individuals who have no access or influence with the White House,” she told a briefing.Stephanie Grisham, a spokeswoman for the first lady, denied allegations that she had cried tears of sadness on election night.”The book is clearly going to be sold in the bargain fiction section. Mrs. Trump supported her husband’s decision to run for President and in fact, encouraged him to do so. She was confident he would win and was very happy when he did,” Grisham said in a statement.
Robin Jerstad for The Texas TribuneA Border Patrol agent closes a gate at the Eagle Point development in Eagle Pass.A Central American migrant has died while in the custody of the U.S. Border Patrol in the Rio Grande Valley, the agency said in a news release Monday.The Guatemalan teenager, who hasn’t been identified, was processed by agents May 13 and was set to be transferred to the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement, which oversees the treatment of immigrant minors in federal custody. He was found unresponsive Monday morning at the Border Patrol station in Weslaco.“The men and women of U.S. Customs and Border Protection are saddened by the tragic loss of this young man and our condolences are with his family. CBP is committed to the health, safety and humane treatment of those in our custody,” CBP said in a statement.A cause of death is unknown, CBP added. The agency said its inspector general, members of Congress and the Guatemalan government have been notified of the teenager’s death.The teen’s death marks the fifth time in less than six months that a Central American child has died in the federal government’s custody. The most recent death occurred earlier this month when a 2-year-old boy, who was also from Guatemala, died after spending weeks in the hospital, The Washington Post reported last week. The toddler was apprehended with his mother in early April.On April 30, a Guatemalan teenager died in a Texas hospital after being in the care of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, and in December, Jakelin Caal Maquin, 7, died after she and her father were apprehended with a large group of undocumented immigrants near Antelope Wells, N.M., which is in the U.S. Border Patrol’s El Paso sector. About two weeks later, Felipe Alonzo-Gomez, 8, died after he was apprehended in El Paso and transferred to a nearby hospital in New Mexico after falling ill.Texas’ Rio Grande Valley is in the midst of an ongoing surge of unauthorized migration, mainly of people escaping violence and poverty in Central America. Last week, the U.S. Border Patrol announced it was constructing four additional temporary tents in the Valley to house some of the thousands of migrants who continue to cross into the country from Mexico. That’s in addition to a 500-person facility recently completed in Donna.This article was originally published on The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues. Share
Trade In Your Nintendo Switch For a Better Battery (With a Catch)Get Used to ‘Fortnite’s’ Powerful Mech Suits Stay on target Not too long ago I got a code for the new mobile game Remedy Rush, the latest game from awesome Chicago-based indie developer Whitaker Trebella. From Pivvot to Piloteer, I’ve been a fan of Trebella’s work for years now, and Remedy Rush’s hook sounded strong enough to make up for it being his first free-to-play game. You play a cure fighting diseases in a human body. It’s like Fantastic Voyage or Osmosis Jones with slightly less Bill Murray, which is still great!After playing Remedy Rush, I still think it’s a cool game folks should check out, but it was disappointing to me for a pretty personal reason. The game’s random, deadly, dungeon crawler formula gives it much in common with the roguelike genre. And that’s a genre I just can’t stand. But as more and more games adopt these elements, games like Remedy Rush that are absolutely worth recommending, I’ve accepted that roguelikes just aren’t for me. And that’s okay.Unfortunately, I had to discover this the hard way. In 2009 I was reviewed the mobile port of Sword of Fargoal. At the time, I didn’t know what roguelikes even were, let alone that this was a classic of the genre. To me, this was just some weird, dated RPG that wasn’t fun and seemed allergic to progress, and I rated it accordingly. But commenters weren’t too happy about my low score. I was still new at reviewing games, I could have done more research, and I raised the score after later updates made the game more approachable. However, I stand my original critical thoughts. This was my first time being yelled at on forums for expressing my honest opinion on a game. It’s pretty wild.What is a roguelike? Literally, it’s a game that’s like Rogue, a classic 1980 PC role-playing game about armed explorers crawling through randomized dungeons where progress is totally reset whenever you die. Why don’t I like roguelikes? Basically, every staple of the genre doesn’t jive with my personal taste in gaming. I’m not the biggest RPG fan, no matter what region they come from. I prefer a finite amount of crafted levels rather than randomized elements stretched out forever by an algorithm. And since I hate losing progress in a game and save as frequently as possible, I think permanent death is the single worst video game mechanic. Fire Emblem is balanced around permanent death, but there’s a reason the series didn’t break through until after it made the punishing feature optional.Like some kind of cosmic joke, since my first encounter with roguelikes in 2009, the genre’s popularity has exploded. Spelunky, Don’t Starve, Downwell, Rogue Legacy, FTL, Galak-Z, Nuclear Throne, Darkest Dungeon, Invisible Inc. Not only do these all have roguelike DNA, but they are also all pretty acclaimed. One of the games at the Nintendo Switch event that everyone but me enjoyed was upcoming roguelike Has-Been Heroes.When making an indie game, looking to roguelikes for inspiration makes some sense. It’s a good way to make your game with cool mechanics but limited development resources last longer. See also, survival/crafting games. However, I’d argue the Souls series is also a part of this roguelike boom. I dislike those games and their fetish for difficulty through obtuse controls for the same reasons, but they are definitely a lot bigger than indie games.Fortunately, these neo-roguelikes aren’t just using the formula but evolving it as well with ideas from other game genres. Crypt of the NecroDancer and The Binding of Isaac may both feel like roguelikes, but one has players defeating monsters through dancing, and the other is a biblical dual-stick shooter where you shoot tears to kill demons and return to your mother’s womb. In general, these games have also been moving away from discouraging players with harsh death mechanics towards encouraging players to find secrets by mastering mechanics and repeating runs. They’re more palatable. I still don’t like these games, but I understand their appeal more.Ultimately, it doesn’t really matter what I think. Some people like roguelikes, I’ve accepted I don’t, and that’s okay. I never really want to play Sword of Fargoal again, but after talking with the creator Jeff McCord I think he’s a cool dude and a good game designer. And honestly, there are so many good games these days; it’s kind of nice being able to write off a whole genre and free up time for games I actually want to play.If you like roguelikes or think you would, by all means, download Remedy Rush and any other game in the genre. But I know myself well enough to recognize I’m probably done with them. It’s not you, roguelikes, it’s me.