$51M Irrigation System for Yallahs

first_img$51M Irrigation System for Yallahs CommunityOctober 24, 2011 Related$51M Irrigation System for Yallahs FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail KINGSTON — In an effort to increase agricultural production in Yallahs, St. Thomas, the Government is seeking to improve the irrigation system in the area. Cabinet has approved a $51 million contract, awarded to Jamaica Drip Irrigation Limited, for the supply of irrigation pipes and fittings for the Yallahs Irrigation System, Phase 1. Speaking at Wednesday’s (October 19) Post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House, Minister with responsibility for Information, Telecommunications and Special Projects, Hon. Daryl Vaz, said the Yallahs component of the National Irrigation Programme will serve 311 farmers on over 100 hectares of land. The project is one of four irrigation schemes under a National Irrigation Development Programme, which is being funded by a loan agreement with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). Related$51M Irrigation System for Yallahs Related$51M Irrigation System for Yallahs By Chris Patterson, JIS Reporter Advertisementslast_img read more

EU warns clock is ticking for telco industry

first_img ETNO flags European 5G lag Related Devices Tim joined Mobile World Live in August 2011 and works across all channels, with a particular focus on apps. He came to the GSMA with five years of tech journalism experience, having started his career as a reporter… More Read more EuropeNeelie KoresOpen Mobile SummitRegulatory Tim Ferguson Home EU warns clock is ticking for telco industry AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to MoreAddThisMore 19 MAY 2014 center_img Previous ArticleSouth Africa’s Vodacom reaches $680M agreement to buy NeotelNext ArticleXiaomi tops local-brand smartphone chart in China – report LIVE FROM OPEN MOBILE SUMMIT, LONDON: Time is of the essence in efforts for Europe to tap into its technology potential, including the creation of a single telecoms market, according to Carlota Reyners Fontana (pictured), member of the cabinet of vice president Neelie Kroes.Fontana outlined how the increase in internet traffic is taking place as revenue for the European economy declines, showing that businesses are not exploiting opportunities.Speaking at the Open Mobile Summit in London, Fontana said: “Time is certainly of essence in this sector. Massive investments are needed and yet the EU is investing less.”One of the main areas that Kroes and her team are looking to address is the relative lack of 4G coverage, which Fontana said “still represents a too small share” and a lack of penetration in rural areas.Turning to the potential of the app economy — which the European Commission expects to contribute €63 billion to the EU economy and employ 4.8 million people by 2018 — Fontana said: “If we have these opportunities, let’s make sure we can seize them.”She added that new business models and innovation are essential if Europe is to generate the kind of technology-related economic activity seen in the US. “This is central to our economy. It’s underpinning Europe’s competitiveness and growth.”Referring to the efforts to eliminate roaming charges, Fontana said these are currently in a transition phase. “This will certainly happen, this is about how and when.” Apple hit with further iPhone slowdown claims Author Tags Samsung plays for 4G, 5G network win in Polandlast_img read more

Blog: Are smartphones losing role as central interface?

first_img AlexaCortanaGoogle Home Author HomeBlog Blog: Are smartphones losing role as central interface? When Google unveiled its artificial intelligence (AI)-powered Google Assistant in October 2016, CEO Sundar Pichai commented the world is moving from being “mobile first” to “AI first”.The prediction already appears to be coming true. In addition to AI-powered digital assistants including Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant, Microsoft’s Cortana and Samsung’s Bixby featuring in smartphones, some AIs are also making inroads into consumers’ homes in the form of connected speakers.Amazon led the way with its Amazon Echo range running its Alexa AI (though, ironically, the latest device in the range features a 7-inch touch screen). Google quickly followed with Google Home, Harman Kardon is preparing to launch the Cortana-powered Invoke, and Apple unveiled its HomePod speaker at its annual developer conference on 5 June, which will be launched in the US, UK and Australia in December.The emergence of voice AIs in devices designed to take pride of place in users’ homes poses an obvious question: are smartphones losing their position as consumers’ central interface?Jonathan Collins, research director at ABI Research covering smart homes (pictured, left), told Mobile World Live (MWL) the smartphone’s position is certainly being challenged, but not because of any “waning in the value of the smartphone interface.”The analyst explained smartphones “will remain central in most locations,” but will “sit alongside other interfaces” in consumers’ homes.Smartphones’ role in the home is evolving from being the central to an additional interface because: “aspects of the device design that enable it to be mobile and personalised – rechargeable, easily portable, a mandatory companion – do not suit a role as sole smart home controller,” Collins said.David McQueen, an ABI Research analyst with long experience covering the mobile device market (pictured, right), agreed smartphones will complement home-centric connected speaker products: “I tend to believe that voice AI gets used more in the home (or in a car) than on smartphones owing to it being positioned in a more private, exclusive environment.”While McQueen believes smartphones’ position as the sole interface in the home may be changing, he predicted the mobile devices “will still be used for other voice AI applications, notably navigation”.Francisco Almeida, senior research analyst covering European Mobile Devices at IDC EMEA, agrees the device used will vary by task.While Almeida (pictured, left) conceded “theoretically, smartphones would see their position challenged at some point,” he noted consumers have been slow to use existing AI-based assistants in their daily lives: “There are tasks they could already be doing with Google Assistant or Siri, and they don’t see it brings the required value compared to touch, compare to their status quo.”In the long term, voice AIs could be the latest evolution in user interfaces, following the shift from pushing buttons to touch screens, Almeida explained. However “there is still a lot of education to be done on the consumer side” regarding the benefits and limitations of AI technology, he said.Platform land grabAnother aspect to consider is whether the smartphone as a device is losing its place as the sole focal point for platform providers.McQueen highlighted most of the connected speaker products available today use voice AIs already available for smartphones, noting Samsung is yet to push Bixby beyond smartphones and predicting other vendors are likely to develop “their own voice AI platforms”.For Collins, companies “have seized the potential to leverage their smartphone platforms” as part of a broader “land grab taking place for control in the smart home”. At this stage, speakers are allowing the delivery of existing platforms “in a more suitable form factor.”Such an approach, though, surely presents something of a problem for platform providers, which have built a large ecosystem around their current smartphone-oriented systems?Almeida agrees: “There’s still no ecosystem synergy, so even early adopters that are technology savvy, they might have an iPhone as their smartphone, an Amazon Alexa at home, and use Cortana in their work laptop. So there is not the required interconnection of data to take this to the next level of utility from a user’s standpoint,” he told MWL.Talking properAs recent reports of Samsung’s struggles to train Bixby in the intricacies of English, and Apple’s decision to launch HomePod in three English-speaking markets attest, language remains a key obstacle for voice AI platforms.With so many players developing their own systems, McQueen queried whether the market for home devices could become fragmented “with various voice AI platforms requiring specific cues (wake words) to set them off?” There are also questions over content curation: “For example, if you ask Alexa for a particular Beatles song to play, do you care where it gets the song from and who handles that decision as long as it gets played?”Almeida noted Amazon is being methodical in its approach to deploying Echo to ensure the devices fully understand all possible variations – accents – in individual languages.In time, Almeida speculated, the ability to cover a wide range of languages and accents could become a point of differentiation for voice AI platforms and, indeed, overcome a key weakness of the current market: namely that consumers still choose a device based on its features and price rather than the AI it runs.The editorial views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and will not necessarily reflect the views of the GSMA, its Members or Associate Members. Michael doesn’t want to admit that he has been a journalist and editor for close to 20 years covering a diverse set of subjects including shipping and shipbuilding, fixed and mobile telecoms, and motorcycling…More Read more Michael Carroll AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to MoreAddThisMore 06 JUN 2017 center_img Tags Related Blog Previous ArticleEE vaunts fastest UK data speeds with 4G+Next ArticleBlackBerry upbeat despite Toyota connected car shift Blog: Smart speakers must go beyond “gadget effect”last_img read more

Monday Scramble: Many happy returns

first_imgLee Westwood keeps proving ’em wrong, Andrew Landry blows a big lead (but still wins!), Brooks Koepka eases into action, Tiger Woods returns and more in this week’s edition of the Monday Scramble: Getty Images 1. Lee Westwood closed with 67 to win the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, the 25th European Tour title of his career. TAKEAWAY: With the victory Westwood, 46, has now won in four different decades, a remarkable achievement for a player who two years ago was drifting toward irrelevance. Instead, Westy is back among the game’s elite, a top-30 player and now a lock to play in all of the majors and WGCs this season. Oh, and there’s something else on his radar, too: The Ryder Cup. Having been a vice captain for the home matches in 2018, Westwood admittedly thought he’d end his career with 10 cups played, but he’s rising in the standings. He grew emotional when reflecting on his late-career resurgence. “It’s just nice to come out and keep proving that you’ve still got it,” he said. Getty Images 2. In his first action in more than three months, Brooks Koepka tied for 34th in Abu Dhabi. TAKEAWAY: It was a surprising result only because of how his week began, with a bogey-free 66 that put him just two shots off the lead. But Koepka struggled to break in a new driver, tumbled down the leaderboard and eventually finished in the middle of the pack. Koepka said that his left knee still isn’t 100 percent – and might not be for a while – and so it was understandable that he reported some soreness as he walked 18 holes for the first time since October. Koepka will tee it up again next week, in Saudi Arabia, but he might not do so as the top-ranked player. If Rory McIlroy wins this week at Torrey Pines, he’ll supplant Koepka and rise to No. 1 for the first time since 2015. Getty Images 3. Andrew Landry earned his second PGA Tour title in dramatic fashion, blowing a six-shot lead before making birdie on the final two holes. TAKEAWAY: As a 5-foot-7-inch grinder on a bomber’s tour, competing against young stars who seemed destined to be great, Landry realistically expects to contend only one to three times a season. The key, then, is to capitalize when he does. That’s what made his back-nine collapse at the American Express so difficult to watch. Five shots clear with six holes to go, Landry bogeyed three consecutive holes and watched as Scottie Scheffler and Abe Ancer made furious charges. All square as he stood on the 17th tee, the watery par 3 on PGA West’s Stadium Course, Landry hit a choked-down 8-iron to 6 feet. Birdie. Then he pured a drive on the visually intimidating home hole, leaving only a wedge that he – once again – stuffed to 6 feet. Another birdie. Afterward, Landry sounded more relieved than happy. And for good reason. “I don’t want to be a part of something like that ever again,” he said. Getty Images 4. In her 2020 debut, Inbee Park lost in a playoff at the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions. TAKEAWAY: Park usually starts her year in late February, but she opted to tee it up in the season opener for the first time since 2016. That wasn’t a coincidence. This year, like 2016, is an Olympic year, and Park, 31, is determined to defend her gold medal. It won’t be an easy task. Among the uber-talented South Koreans, Park, the LPGA’s Player of the Decade, is currently the second alternate, so she’s planning an ambitious schedule in an attempt to earn enough points to leapfrog her compatriots and earn a coveted spot on the four-player team before the June 29 cutoff. The TOC was a squandered opportunity, as her putter went cold in the final round, dropping her into a three-way playoff with Gaby Lopez and Nasa Hataoka. Park exited on the third extra hole, but it’s clear that she’s on a mission in 2020. Lopez came back Monday morning and finally bested Hataoka – on the seventh playoff hole. Getty Images 5. After an impressive end to the fall, Tiger Woods makes his 2020 debut at Torrey Pines, where he’s won eight times as a pro. TAKEAWAY: Expectations have ratcheted up significantly for Woods, who claimed his record-tying 82nd Tour title at the Zozo Championship before going 3-0 as a playing captain at the Presidents Cup. Prepare accordingly for an onslaught of “Chasing History!” promos, but it seems unlikely that he’ll pass Sam Snead this week, even at one of his personal playgrounds. Since 2013, Woods hasn’t finished better than 20th at Torrey Pines, and there are various theories why. Perhaps Woods, a single father now in his mid-40s, isn’t quite as ready to go in his first start of the new year. Or maybe the cool San Diego mornings don’t allow his surgically repaired body to warm up. Or the brutish South Course is simply too demanding a test to start. That said … the way Woods was swinging in Japan and Australia, anything seems possible right now.   THIS WEEK’S AWARD WINNERS …  Getty Images Tough Look: Cameron Smith vs. PGA Tour. Golf Digest reported that the Australian was warned by the PGA Tour that another public attack on a fellow player could result in disciplinary action, per the guidelines in the Tour handbook. That’s technically true, but the optics here are horrible. The Tour is seemingly protecting Reed while trying to silence those who called him out for an egregious rules breach. Hundreds of NFL and NBA players are fined each season by their respective leagues; they decide that speaking their mind (about the refs, management, teammates, whatever) is worth the financial repercussions. Here’s hoping Tour players feel the same, because the sport needs their candor. His Time is Coming: Scottie Scheffler. The 54-hole co-leader at the AmEx, Scheffler battled his swing all day and could only manage a 70 in the final round, dropping to solo third. It was his fourth top-7 of the young season, and he’s gaining valuable experience. Something to Watch: Rickie Fowler. PGATour.com reported that Fowler recently switched swing instructors, from Butch Harmon to John Tillery, who coaches, among others, Kevin Kisner and Scott Brown. Harmon is looking to lighten his workload in retirement, and Fowler is trying to use his lower body more effectively in his swing. Fowler has top-tenned in each of his two starts this year.    The WTH? Moment of the Week: Hosung Choi. His act wore thin a long time ago, but Choi was back in the news again, this time for hitting his playing partner with his thrown driver. This was a missed opportunity – just “accidentally” take a step forward and snap that shaft in half. More of the Same: Phil Mickelson. In what will likely be a recurring theme this year, Mickelson’s pledge to hit bombs and go on a tear didn’t materialize at PGA West, where his increased driving distance only added up to a 3-under total through three rounds and a missed cut by six. He’s now 82nd in the world and dropping fast. Well, That’ll Change Things: Abel Gallegos. The 17-year-old Argentine was preparing to turn pro, but now he’ll have to wait a few more months. He shot 67 in the final round of the Latin America Amateur Championship, earning spots in the Masters, The Open and also sectional qualifying for the U.S. Open.   Tweet of the Week: Brooks Koepka. Twas an epic clap back at Bryson, who violated the golden rule of social media with his claim that “Body Issue” Brooks lacks six-pack abs: You come at the king, you best not miss.  Getty Images Big Easy Vibes: Ernie Els. It seems like a perfect fit, Ernie Els and the over-50 circuit, and he nearly had a perfect debut in Hawaii, where he closed with rounds of 65-65 to lose in a playoff to Miguel Angel Jimenez at the PGA Tour Champions opener. Unlike so many former Tour stars who hit the senior tour, Els seems committed to a full schedule – and that’s bad news for all of the regulars.    Stand up: John Smoltz. We’ve seen these self-standing putters, but we haven’t seen anyone use one in competition, celebrity or otherwise. Then we watched John Smoltz light up the field at the LPGA’s Tournament of Champions as he defended his title in the celebrity division. Who knew?  Early Returns, Not Good!: Bryson DeChambeau. It’s still a small sample size, and this week’s return to Dubai (where he shot 24 under and won by seven last year) will be a better gauge of his game, but Beefy Bryson’s play is continuing to raise eyebrows. Swinging out of rhythm, almost as if to prove that he’s longer off the tee, DeChambeau shot a second-round 77 in Abu Dhabi and missed the cut, continuing a run of uninspired play that included a 15th-place finish at the 18-man Hero and then a semi-benching at the Presidents Cup, where captain Tiger Woods used him only once in team play. Blown Fantasy Pick of the Week: Charles Howell III. Not since 2004 had one of the game’s most consistent performers missed a cut in the desert, and he was coming off a T-12 in windy conditions at the Sony. But he couldn’t find a spark at the AmEx, shooting 6 under and missing the cut. Sigh.last_img read more

Frigid Temps, Icy Roads But Little Snow From Weekend Storm

first_img An audio version of this story.0:38Metro Atlanta didn’t get much snow from this weekend’s winter storm, but temperatures did get frigid, and that caused some problems on the roads.  The Georgia Department of Transportation says most roadways in Metro Atlanta are in good shape now, but there are still icy patches in sports north of the city.“They’re dealing with some conditions where they have an enormous amount of shade. So these roads haven’t seen the sun the way that the metro area has,” said GDOT spokeswoman Natalie Dale. “They haven’t had that benefit.  So their crews have had to work twice as hard to clear these roads.”Cobb, Cherokee and Paulding counties were among the areas that didn’t have school on Monday.“The decision was made by school districts in those areas that it was safest for school buses not to be on the road,” said Dale. “And we support that and we will continue to support them through the clean-up from this storm.”Representatives of those school districts say they are monitoring the conditions.Chances are good school will be in session throughout North Georgia on Tuesday.The National Weather Service says temperatures should return to the low 60’s by the middle of the week.Like us on Facebook Related Stories ‘It’s Fractured’: Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan On Healing Republican Party 0:38 | Play story Add to My ListIn My List Legal Advocate Discusses Medical Abuse At Shut Down Georgia ICE Facility For Whom The Bell Rings Sharelast_img read more

The Elder Scrolls Online has reached 13.5m players

first_imgThe Elder Scrolls Online has reached 13.5m playersZenimax’s MMORPG has gained 2.5m new players in the last yearRebekah ValentineSenior Staff WriterFriday 7th June 2019Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareCompanies in this articleBethesda SoftworksZenimax OnlineZenimax Online has announced that its MMORPG The Elder Scrolls Online has reached 13.5 million lifetime players just over five years after its initial launch.Publisher Bethesda tells GamesIndustry.biz sister-site USGamer that this number includes players on Xbox Game Pass, but not free trials of the game.This milestone comes on the heels of the game’s recent-released expansion, Elsweyr. It’s also 2.5 million more players than the game had last year, as announced at Bethesda’s E3 2018 press event.Related JobsSenior Game Designer – UE4 – AAA United Kingdom Amiqus GamesProgrammer – REMOTE – work with industry veterans! North West Amiqus GamesJunior Video Editor – GLOBAL publisher United Kingdom Amiqus GamesDiscover more jobs in games The Elder Scrolls Online launched in 2014, then went subscription-free in 2015 Earlier this year, it was honored with the inaugural GLAAD Media Award for video games, for “outstanding LGBTQ-inclusive content.””It seems like ever since our One Tamriel update back in 2016, which leveled out the leveling curve and let everyone play with everyone else, that’s when the game really started taking off,” said Elder Scrolls Online game director Matt Firor to USGamer. “We did have a pretty hefty explosion of player from [late December 2018] through [February 2019] that took us off-guard. We didn’t know we were going to be that popular, which is a great problem to have.”We had a series of really successful free trials on Xbox. We had a lot of people get interested in the game because of that. The Game Pass is basically an extension of those, because it gives people a way to jump in and play.”Celebrating employer excellence in the video games industry8th July 2021Submit your company Sign up for The Publishing & Retail newsletter and get the best of GamesIndustry.biz in your inbox. Enter your email addressMore storiesMicrosoft’s Zenimax acquisition approved by EUUpdate: European Commission has no concerns with the deal impacting the common marketBy James Batchelor 2 months agoMicrosoft requests EU approval for ZeniMax acquisitionEuropean Commission’s antitrust regulators will decide by March 5By James Batchelor 3 months agoLatest comments Sign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now.last_img read more

What is Global Times trying to achieve with its articles on India-China LAC standoff?

first_imgOnce upon a time, there was an intelligent pet dog of a rich lady who did not like a certain man in the neighbourhood. The dog was trained to read the reactions of the man to the dog’s persistent barking so that the lady could broadly figure out when was the right time for her to plot to send her lackeys and make the man’s family vacate their house. So the intelligent pet dog would bark ferociously at the man every time the dog saw him…and the man would promptly pick up a stone and throw at the dog, hitting the dog as it yelped. ‘Poor soul’, a bystander would sometimes exclaim.The man in the above story is the Indian public who go on Global Times to respond under the comments section to counter the many logical fallacies of its India-centric articles written in an aggressive tone.Global Times knows by now that posturing via its heavily one-sided views adds no value to its readers in India, China or the rest of the world. In fact, they are one publication whose articles only add value to furthering their cause. The reason for them to write articles is only one:PROPAGANDA!One of the major goal of Global Times as far as publishing anti-India rhetoric is to gauge the support for the current Indian government and their stand on China. One look at the comments section makes one notice that 90% of the comments are from Indians, all vehemently countering the flawed (or rather porous) arguments of Global Times and some even giving it back. A few are from other countries like Pakistan, more interested in undermining comments by Indians rather than supporting Chinese views, and a few from Americans who can range from pro-India to neutral views.Amazingly, there are often no comments by Chinese. Zilch. One may argue that English isn’t the main language in China, but then one would expect at least a part of the huge Chinese diaspora to chip in with some support for China. That seldom happens on Global Times. It is almost as if the reason for these English educated Chinese settled abroad or otherwise to stay silent isn’t that they do not love their motherland, but that they do not approve of the Communist regime and its actions.This is where I would like to share a small experiment that I performed on the Global Times by trying to publish various types of comments. The Global Times comments sections is regulated by an app called ‘Disqus’. One has to make an account via Gmail/Facebook on this app. Then, once a comment is made, it goes under review. Almost half of the comments aren’t published and readers often complain in a separate comment that ends up getting published.Now, the interesting part is that if you write any anti-China or anti-Chinese comments (e.g. China is bad, Chinese are cowards, etc.), they are readily published. However, if one were to make a similar point but try to portray the Communist Party or Xi Jinping in a bad light (e.g. Tyrannical regime, Dictator, etc.) then that comment gets deleted. In fact, I haven’t come across a single mere mention of Xi in the comments I have been reading for a month. Tells you about the kind of pressure the poor comment reviewer faces.The reason that Global Times allow the comment writers to abuse China is pretty obvious: They want the sympathy of any Chinese who happens to chance upon reading that comment. They wish to show China as the victim to their people to garner support while the Communist party pulls the strings from behind.Also frankly, putting it very bluntly, the articles on Global Times carry the scent of substandard tabletop journalism and aren’t even worth a read. The only reason that Indians end up on the site is that a lot of media in India gives coverage and undue importance to Global Times.In my personal opinion, we Indians are doing the CCP a great favour by reading Global Times because we tend to think it is an official source that can be relied on whereas, in actuality, it is just CCP propaganda. In fact how many Chinese read Indian newspapers in return?And why is our media reporting what is published in another paper, that too of a rival country? Does it happen anywhere in the world? Does it happen in India? Does Hindustan Times ever report that ‘Hey look! This is what the Times of India has published’ or vice-versa?If we shun Global Times by having our media take the collective responsibility of not reporting what has been published there, it may, in fact, coax the Chinese officials out of their shell to answer the tough questions that they conveniently brush-off in their press conferences. The very questions that are later picked up to be answered in a twisted fashion by Global Times: the newspaper with totally illogical, factually laughable articles that are Beethoven to the ears of the CCP and are penned by the 21st century Don Quixotes of China (or Wolf warriors as they are called).This is the demand of the day: We must stop depending on the Chinese media for authentic news. We stop reading Global Times, South China Morning Post, etc. Because then they will know that we Indians do not entertain propaganda but only deal in facts and truth.last_img read more

Bertram Allen Makes his Mark at Longines leg in Verona

first_imgMore from Horse Sport:Christilot Boylen Retires From Team SportAfter an exemplary career as one of Canada’s top Dressage riders, seven-time Olympian Christilot Boylen has announced her retirement from team competition.2020 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair CancelledFor only the second time in its history, The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair has been cancelled but plans are being made for some virtual competitions.Royal Agricultural Winter Fair Statement on 2020 EventAs the Province of Ontario starts to reopen, The Royal’s Board and staff will adhere to all recommendations put forward by government and health officials.Government Financial Assistance for Ontario FarmersOntario Equestrian has recently released this update of several financial assistance packages available, including those for farm business. Horse Sport Enews Subscribe to the Horse Sport newsletter and get an exclusive bonus digital edition! SIGN UP Email* He’s only 19 years old, but Ireland’s Bertram Allen is taking the Jumping world by storm and today reigned supreme in his first-ever Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Western European League qualifier at Verona in Italy. Riding the 10-year-old grey mare, Molly Malone, with which he has secured phenomenal successes this year including victory in the Grand Prix at Dublin and 7th place individually at the World Equestrian Games, he beat a world-class field with a devastating turn of speed when second-last to go in this afternoon’s 10-horse jump-off.Runners-up were recently-crowned team world championship gold medallists Maikel van der Vleuten and VDL Groep Verdi from The Netherlands, while three-time FEI World Cup™ Jumping champion, Marcus Ehning from Germany, lined up third with Cornado NRW ahead of Sweden’s Malin Baryard-Johnsson and H&M Tornesch in fourth place.Today’s jump-off was a thriller, and Allen’s performance was described by many as one of those “I was there!” moments in the history of any sport.Taking their tollCourse designer, Uliano Vezzani, set them a tough test, with the triple combination at fence nine and the double at fence 11 both taking their toll in the first round. And some riders, including Britain’s William Whitaker with Fandango and America’s Kent Farrington with Blue Angel, produced jumping exhibitions only to falter at the very last rustic oxer.Italy’s Piergiorgio Bucci led the way against the clock with the handsome and athletic Casallo Z and set the pace with a tidy clear in 37.06 seconds, but that was never going to be fast enough to take the maximum World Cup points on offer in a line-up filled with so many other shining stars.The first of three Swiss contenders, Martin Fuchs, was a little quicker with PSG Future in 37.15, but Sweden’s Malin Baryard-Johnsson shaved almost a second off that with a thrilling tour of the new track with H&M Tornesch when posting 36.28 on the board. Fuchs’ fellow-countrymen, Pius Schwizer (Armani the Gun) and Olympic champion Steve Guerdat (Albfuehren’s Paille), then both faulted before Ehning took over the lead with a sensational run from the fabulous grey stallion Cornado NRW. Ehning was one of several riders to reduce the distance between the opening oxer and the following vertical to six strides instead of seven, and his legendary corner-cutting was put to good use all the way to the finish where they broke the beam in 35.77 seconds.Faster and fasterBut the target-time just kept getting faster and faster.Dutchman Maikel van der Vleuten cut every corner he could, and when he stopped the clock on 35.22 seconds it seemed that surely that was as quick as they could go. But Allen has one of the coolest young minds in the sport, and even though he took that extra stride down to the first fence, such is his extraordinary partnership with his lovely little grey mare that they simply made every turn just that little bit sooner over the remainder of the course, and rolled down to the final Longines oxer to break the beam in a sensational time of 34.89 seconds.Last in was the reigning Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping champions Daniel Deusser riding Forlap, but a pole down put paid to their chances and it was Allen who stole all the limelight.Coolness under fireAllen believes he owes his coolness under fire to the amount of experience he gained during his hugely successful career with ponies. “You have to be able to deal with pressure at that level too, so I’m kind of used to it” he said evening.He trains with Marcus Ehning who lives nearby in Muenster, Germany. Ehning was asked this evening what it feels like to be beaten by his pupil, and replied, “I have to say I have no problem with that all! I’m quite proud that I could help him a few steps on his way. I’m not really his only trainer, but any time he needs help I try to help him. We have been working together now for a few years and we have a good relationship” he pointed out.Talking about his ride in the jump-off Ehning said “I had a very good run, but I knew when I was finished that these guys could be faster”. And talking about his spectacular jumper, Cornado NRW, he added, “since last year, when he won the big class here on the Saturday afternoon, to this year he has improved really a lot. This is now his second show after the World Championship, and I feel that he is getting older and more relaxed. On the first day he was already very good here in Verona, and today in both rounds he was very good again, and I’m very pleased with him”, he said.Jump-off trackVan der Vleuten was asked if he knew where he might have been faster on the jump-off track.“I didn’t lose too much time I think, everywhere I had a nice forward distance. If I compare my round to Bertram’s he had a quicker turn to second-last jump, for the rest I was really happy with the way my round went” he replied.Allen’s career-progress has been exceptional, but despite his tender years he doesn’t allow his success to go to his head. Talking about his ride against the clock he said “”my horse is naturally fast. I did one more (stride) down first distance, I got a great turn to the second fence and then everywhere else was quite sharp and to the second-last fence I risked it a bit”.He praised his mare, Molly Malone, for the part she played in today’s fantastic victory. “I’m very happy and I’m very proud of my mare. This is one of her first shows since the World Equestrian Games and she gave me 100 per cent today” he said.Results1, Molly Malone V (Bertram Allen) IRL 0/0 34.89; 2, VDL Groep Verdi TN NOP (Maikel van der Vleuten) NED 0/0 35.52; 3, Cornado NRW (Marcus Ehning) GER 0/0 35.77; 4, H&M Tornesch (Malin Baryard-Johnsson) SWE 0/0 36.28; 5, Casallo Z (Piergiorgio Bucci) ITAL 0/0 37.06; 6, PSG Future (Martin Fuchs) SUI 0/0 37.15; 7, Viking (Michael Whitaker) GBR 0/4 35.91; 8, Armani the Gun CH (Pius Schwizer) SUI 0/4 36.15; 9, Forlap (Daniel Deusser) GER 0/4 36.98; 10, Albfuehren’s Paille (Steve Guerdat) SUI 0/8 37.04.Full result here Tags: Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping, We’ll send you our regular newsletter and include you in our monthly giveaways. PLUS, you’ll receive our exclusive Rider Fitness digital edition with 15 exercises for more effective riding.last_img read more

NCT completes world’s largest bio-gas decker fleet

first_imgThe world’s largest fleet of bio-gas double-decks is now fully operational, after Nottingham City Transport’s (NCT) 53rd bus entered service this week, completing a £16.8m investment in the ADL-bodied Scanias.A £4.4m grant from the government’s OLEV scheme, alongside £12.4m from NCT has seen fuelling facilities installed at NCT’s main Parliament Street Bus Garage and the buses enter service on seven routes (6, 10, 24, 25, 36, 44, 45).Plans are for further gas ‘deckers deck buses to be ordered (subject to funding) alongside a £3m grant from the Clean Vehicle Technology Fund to convert 185 diesel buses to Euro 6.Frank McGhee, ADL Regional Sales Manager; Mark Fowles NCT Managing Director, Gary Mason, NCT Engineering Director and Mark Oliver, Scania UK Bus and Coach Fleet Sales General ManagerAs a result, NCT is on track to reduce emissions by 90% by 2020, and comply with the city’s forthcoming Clean Air Zone.Bio-gas is produced naturally through anaerobic digestion, using food waste, farm waste and sewage. The methane emitted from the digestion process is captured, treated and turned into fuel.With all 53 Bio-Gas double deck buses from this initial order now in use, over 3,500 tonnes less CO2, 35 tonnes less NOX and 0.75 tonne less particulate matter will be emitted each and every year from the NCT fleet, delivering significant improvements to air quality in Nottingham.Mark Fowles, NCT Managing Director commented, “Our Bio-Gas double deck buses are the greenest buses on the road, with significantly lower emissions throughout the entire ‘well to wheel’ process of fuel generation, transportation and use. With Nottingham City Transport now operating 53 of these super environmentally friendly buses, we’re delivering cleaner air for Nottingham with the largest fleet of Bio-Gas double deck buses in the world.”Mark Oliver, Scania UK Bus & Coach Fleet Sales General Manager said, “With emissions of carbon dioxide reduced by up to 84 per cent, the introduction of this gas-powered double-deck bus fleet – the world’s largest fleet of its type – represents an important milestone for Nottingham City Transport and Scania as together we look to drive the shift towards a more sustainable transport future.  We are delighted to be involved in this important environmental programme, and are sure many other public transport operators around the country will now look to follow Nottingham’s lead.”Frank McGhee, ADL Regional Sales Manager, commented: “Bio-Gas is a key technology in our low emission bus portfolio, particularly suited to the conversion of large fleets of high capacity vehicles in demanding operations. We’re delighted to support NCT’s investment in greener transport, and to help improve passengers’ journeys with our state of the art buses.”As well as being the greenest buses on the road, customers travelling on the new Bio-Gas buses enjoy a smoother, quieter ride in comfy high specification seats and are able to keep their devices fully charged with USB charging points on board and free 4G Wi-Fi.last_img read more

Britain’s best hope: A federal EU

first_imgThe Commission is an expert on the technicalities of this stuff. But Europe is less well prepared on a political level. The bloc should use the September summit in Salzburg — convened to discuss transatlantic issues and immigration — to reflect on its future relationship with Britain. Unless the EU is ready to conclude a robust and comprehensive association agreement with Britain, it will have truculent, litigious and nationalistic neighbor on its hands for many years to come.Prime Minister Theresa May’s Chequers plan for Brexit led to several Cabinet resignations, and did not go over well in generalBoth sides will have to compromise. The U.K. should accept that it can’t keep up regulatory equivalence on services if it is not willing to come to an agreement on the mobility of people that respects EU rules on the free movement of citizens within the bloc. And the EU should be willing to accommodate a joint court, alongside joint political and technical institutions, to adjudicate on questions arising from the future arrangement. In return, the British will have to drop their inhibitions about the authority of the European Court of Justice. Most importantly, the association agreement will only work if it is dynamic; it should allow future relations to develop in a constructive way and be responsive to changing circumstances, both foreign and domestic.That’s all fine for the short term, but it leaves the U.K. — a close ally of the EU, sharing many of its values and interests — unneccesarily distant from its partners across the English Channel.The EU has of course left the door open for the U.K. to come back as a full member. But it would be wise to go one step further, as the cross-country Spinelli Group will propose in its manifesto this week, and prove an alternative route by creating a way to be part of the European Union.The EU is due to revise its treaties. It should use the occasion to create a new type of “associate membership” that would entail a commitment to respect the values of the EU but not all of its political objectives.An associate state could be expected to observe the first two Copenhagen criteria on the eligibility for membership — stable democratic institutions and a functioning market economy — but not the third, which demands adherence to the aims of political, economic and monetary union, for example. A deep and comprehensive free-trade agreement would be a prerequisite for all associate members, but other aspects of the relationship — including customs arrangements — would vary on a case-by-case basis. One size would not fit all.That would allow the countries that desire a stronger, more federated Europe to forge ahead, without unnecessarily alienating their closest allies. It would allow others — like the U.K. and other associate members such as Norway, Iceland and Switzerland — to upgrade their relationship with the bloc over time in a way that contributes to rather than detracts from European unity.Andrew Duff is president of the Spinelli Group and visiting fellow at the European Policy Centre. Also On POLITICO Commission defends Selmayr promotion from watchdog criticism By Lili Bayer and Maïa de La Baume Brexit Files Insight Soft Brexit bridge is no magic solution By Tom McTague Fanatical Brexiteers are bound to be disappointed. The European Union and the United Kingdom are so deeply interdependent that a real divorce is, in practice, impossible. Forget “taking back control.” What the U.K. is almost certain to end up with is an especially close “association agreement” — a legal arrangement used for countries that aren’t part of the EU but still want to cooperate closely with the bloc.This is good news. Both for the the U.K., which desperately needs to avoid a no-deal Brexit, and for the EU. If there’s one positive thing to have come out of the Brexit turmoil, it’s that it has highlighted an obvious fact: There should be a way to be affiliated with Europe and part of the European institutions without being a full member of the EU.Why? That would allow the core of the EU — its original members and anyone who wants to cooperate more closely — to move toward the more integrated, federalist Europe that will be crucial if the EU is to be able to provide its citizens with prosperity and security where member countries fail to do so. center_img At the heart of the Brexit negotiations is the question of what the association agreement between the U.K. and the EU should look like. There are different models. The obvious one, the European Economic Area, was quickly ruled out by both sides. The British government, supported by Labour Party leadership, argues that continued membership of the single market and customs union is not compatible with the referendum result; the EU, for its part, refuses to let the U.K. benefit from the perks of the single market without abiding by the four principles of freedom of movement.For months, arguments have raged about whether a simple free-trade agreement — along the lines of Canada’s deal with the EU — would be sufficient for the U.K. The answer was clearly no. At a government retreat in July, the Theresa May’s Cabinet finally took the decision to maintain a very significant degree of regulatory alignment with the EU.Both sides will have to compromise.May hoped that doing so would guarantee substantial access to the EU market, continued participation in many EU common policies and robust security cooperation. But the so-called Chequers plan didn’t go down well, and prompted a number of high-level Cabinet resignations.There is still much to negotiate. The question of how to articulate the future relationship in the binding political declaration that accompanies the Withdrawal Agreement is a particularly thorny one.The EU invented a new-style association agreement for Ukraine in 2014, which it later copied for Georgia and Moldova. These arrangements, more modern than the EEA, provide a useful template for the U.K.’s future relationship with the bloc, on which formal negotiations can only begin after Britain officially leaves the bloc in 2019.last_img read more