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Turkey confirms military operation against Syrian regime

first_imgThe situation in rebel-held Idlib was already volatile as the regime supported by Russian air power pressed an assault on the region, killing hundreds of civilians, in a bid to retake the last opposition enclave in an eight-year civil war.The confrontation between the Russia-backed Syrian military and NATO-member Turkey, which supports Syrian rebels, has prompted worries over a wider conflict and a migrant crisis in Europe similar to 2015. Migrant numbers have already surged along the rugged frontier after Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, seeking to pressure the EU over Syria, said the country had “opened the doors” to Europe.Greece said Sunday it has blocked nearly 10,000 migrants at its border with Turkey. As migrant boats continued to land on Greek islands, Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar announced the first confirmation of a full and continuing operation against Damascus.”Following the heinous attack on February 27 in Idlib, operation ‘Spring Shield’ successfully continues,” Akar said in a video shared by the defence ministry.Turkish forces hit Syrian regime positions after Erdogan warned Damascus would “pay a price” for the air strike that killed 34 Turkish troops inside Idlib on Thursday.Under a 2018 deal with Russia meant to bring calm to Idlib, Turkey has 12 observation posts in Syria — but several have come under fire from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.Turkey on Friday said it retaliated by hitting more than 200 Syria regime targets in drone and artillery bombardments.Turkey wants the international community to establish a no-fly zone over Idlib, where Islamist fighters backed by Ankara pose the biggest obstacle to Damascus seizing back control over all of Syria. Planes shot down Syrian state media reported that Turkey targeted two regime planes over Idlib.SANA also reported the regime shot down a Turkish drone near the town of Saraqeb, publishing footage of an aircraft tumbling from the sky in flames. That could not be immediately confirmed.The Turkish defence ministry confirmed one of its drones was shot down and two other anti-aircraft systems had been destroyed.It added two SU-24 regime planes that were attacking Turkish aircraft were downed.The latest violence has raised tensions between Moscow and Ankara, but Ankara insists Turkey did not wish to clash with Russia.Turkish media reported on Sunday that Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin would meet in Moscow on March 5.Earlier on Sunday, Istanbul police detained the editor-in-chief of the Turkish version of Russia’s Sputnik website as its offices were being searched in Istanbul.Three of its journalists were also taken to a courthouse in Ankara for questioning, likely related to a Sputnik article in English claiming Turkey’s Hatay province was “stolen” from Syria. Colonial power France ceded the southern region to Turkey in 1938.The news website later said they had been released.The Russian and Turkish foreign ministers spoke by telephone on Sunday, Moscow’s ministry said, to discuss preparations for the meeting between Putin and Erdogan, and the safety of the Sputnik journalists. Protecting borders Some 13,000 migrants have amassed at the Turkey-Greece border, including families with young children who spent the night in the cold, the International Organization for Migration said. An estimated additional 2,000 migrants arrived at the Pazarkule border gate Sunday, including Afghans, Syrians and Iraqis, according to an AFP reporter. But as the crowds rushed to enter Europe, Greek police and soldiers blocked 9,972 “illegal entrances” from entering the northeastern Evros region in the past 24 hours, a Greek government source said. The UN refugee agency spokesman Babar Baloch called for “calm and easing of tensions on the border,” as he urged countries to “refrain from the use of excessive and disproportionate force”.European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen on Saturday said the EU was watching “with concern” and stood ready to deploy its Frontex border guard agency.The developments recalled events in 2015 when over a million migrants fled to Europe, mainly via Greece in what became the continent’s worst refugee crisis since the Second World War.The EU’s commissioner for migration, Margaritis Schinas, tweeted Sunday he had requested an extraordinary meeting of EU interior ministers to discuss the situation.Erdogan said Turkey, home to some 3.6 million refugees, did not plan to close the borders because “the (EU) should keep its promises”.He was referring to the 2016 deal with Brussels to stop the flow of refugees in exchange for billions of euros.Topics : Turkey on Sunday announced the launch of an offensive against the Moscow-backed Syrian regime, as Ankara put pressure on Europe by opening its border for migrants to seek passage to the continent via Greece.Tensions have soared between Russia and Turkey — who back opposing forces in the Syria’s civil war — after an airstrike blamed on Damascus killed dozens of Turkish soldiers in Idlib last week.Turkish and Syrian military exchanged fire over the weekend with Syrian forces targetting a Turkish drone and artillery and Ankara claiming to have shot down two Syrian fighter jets.last_img read more

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Countless jellyfish leave Probolinggo waters after stealing locals’ attention

first_img“This is a sort of entertainment for us. However, we have to stop swimming at the beach for a while because these jellyfish will make our bodies itch,” Tanjung Tembaga Port resident Neli said on Monday. The jellyfish began showing up in the area last week. However, the local administration and residents ignored the sea creatures as they usually disappear on their own. Fisherman Saifudin conceded that the jellyfish disturbed fishing activities as they often get stuck on a boat’s propellers. “We usually try to navigate our ship to avoid the jellyfish,” he said. (dpk)Topics : “But at noon, I saw that the jellyfish were beginning to swim away, heading north.”Locals around Tanjung Tembaga Port reported sightings of the jellyfish swimming on the surface of the water. Read also: Jellyfish thrive in the man-made disruption of the oceansAlthough such jellyfish sightings are considered a common yearly occurrence, many local residents still wanted to witness the alluring creatures themselves. The arrival of countless jellyfish in the waters of Tanjung Tembaga Port and other fishing ports in Mayangan district, Probolinggo, East Java, on Monday has become the talk of the town.The marine animals, however, had gone out of sight by Tuesday afternoon, reported kompas.com.“I still saw a good number [the jellyfish] just a little bit earlier. Most of the locals also saw them and took pictures with their mobile phones,” a Tanjung Tembaga port officer who declined to be identified said as quoted by kompas.com on Tuesday.  last_img read more

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Joseph Mariathasan: Markowitz, Friedman and the crucial debate on ESG

first_imgI had the privilege of spending a few days in June in San Diego with Harry Markowitz, joint winner of the 1990 Nobel Prize for economics, founder of modern portfolio theory and still going strong at the age of 91. We had some great discussions on a number of subjects in the company of another innovator in finance, Yves Choueifaty, founder and CEO of TOBAM.One of the areas we touched upon was environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) risks. Some might put it down to a generation gap, but Markowitz’s views on ESG seem to mirror those of another Nobel Laureate in economics, Milton Friedman, who argued in 1970 that companies’ sole responsibility was to maximise profits.However, Markowitz’s views are also similar to those voiced more recently by Henrique Schneider, an economist and vice president of the Swiss SME association SGV/USAM. It is an argument that advocates of ESG in investment – and I am certainly proud to be in that category – need to tackle head-on.Speaking last month at an industry event, Schneider said it was “dangerous to want to change the world with other people’s money”, and argued that Swiss Pensionskassen should integrate ESG principles only if it became legally binding for them to do so – which he claimed was unlikely. Nobel prize-winning economist Milton Friedman‘Physics envy’The Friedman viewpoint on ESG is attractive because it has the certainty and simplicity behind it akin to the laws of physics. Isaac Newton’s law of gravity states that any two objects exert a force on each other directly proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance apart. That law can be verified experimentally, and even Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity simplifies to Newton’s laws in less than extreme environments.Economics, however, is not an experimental science – despite the tendency for economists to experience “physics envy”. Economics ultimately is the study of human behaviour. It is messy, can change with time, and includes ideals such as altruism and long-term time horizons.Friedman’s views influenced generations of academics and corporate executives. If a company were to take ESG criteria into account, it would – according to Friedman’s analysis – be in direct conflict with the duties of company management.“What does it mean to say that the corporate executive has a ‘social responsibility’ in his capacity as businessman?” he wrote. “If this statement is not pure rhetoric, it must mean that he is to act in some way that is not in the interest of his employers.”He went on to question whether an executive should “make expenditures on reducing pollution beyond the amount that is in the best interests of the corporation or that is required by law in order to contribute to the social objective of improving the environment”.Friedman’s viewpoint would mean that, if the law did not keep pace with industrial activity, corporations would have a license to pollute since it was both within the law and in their interests not to spend money on reducing pollution. Shareholders would not lose, even if it cost society much more to remove that pollution and deal with its consequences.Celebrated economist Adam Smith is widely regarded as the father of capitalism. Yet even he, according to a biography by Jess Norman, believed that “markets are sustained not merely by incentives of gain or loss, but by laws, institutions, norms and identities, and without those things they cannot be adequately understood”.It is also worth bearing in mind that, as well as writing The Wealth of Nations with its famous concept of the “invisible hand” of self-interested traders directing the economy for the common good, he also wrote The Theory of Moral Sentiments. Morality, he stated, was natural and built into us as social beings. Smith saw no contradictions between his two major works and, by some accounts, regarded The Theory of Moral Sentiments as the more important of the two.Perhaps the proponents and opponents of incorporating ESG into decision making need, as Norman argues, the wisdom to follow the thoughts of Adam Smith in their full implications. The crucial debate with which ESG advocates must engage relates to whether or not the interests of shareholders should trump those of all other stakeholders in a company. That debate has not yet been resolved – and it needs to be. Friedman promoted the idea of the supremacy of shareholder value maximisation over all other objectives. In his 1970 article in the New York Times, he argued that “there is one and only one social responsibility of business – to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition without deception or fraud”. That philosophy is reflected in Harry Markowitz’s view that it is up to the state to set the legal framework under which companies should operate.Are Markowitz, Friedman and Schneider all wrong? This is a fundamental question for ESG advocates, and one that is too often swept under the carpet by investment firms claiming to incorporate ESG into their investment criteria – and I have yet to meet a firm that tells me it does not incorporate ESG into its investment process.last_img read more

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Siemens Gamesa Starts Repairing Anholt Blades, London Array Up Next

first_imgAnholt offshore wind farm; Image source: Siemens Gamesa/ archive (cropped)Siemens Gamesa has commenced a blade repair and upgrade campaign at the Anholt offshore wind farm, after signing agreements with Ørsted for these works to be carried out on the Danish offshore wind farm and UK’s London Array, both featuring Siemens Gamesa’s 3.6MW wind turbines that have been affected by leading edge erosion. During the campaign, Siemens Gamesa will dismantle the blades, apply a protective shell and install an aerodynamic improvement kit to increase the yield.The companies are also in the process of planning individual repair and upgrade campaigns, while the two specific agreements for Anholt and London Array are based on earlier agreed guiding principles on a portfolio basis. Further agreements, following similar principles, are expected in the months to come, Ørsted’s CEO Henrik Poulsen said.Ørsted does not expect this to have any, or any significant, impact on its finances due to the increased production and partly as result of warranty claims.The 111-turbine Anholt offshore wind farm, for which Siemens Gamesa has a 5-year service contact, was inaugurated in September 2013, only two months after the 175-turbine London Array, for which the turbine supplier signed a long-term service agreement.In February, Ørsted selected Siemens Gamesa as the exclusive wind turbine supplier for the 1.4GW Hornsea Project Two, planned to consist of 8MW wind turbines with a 167-metre rotor.The recently completed and soon-to-be commissioned Walney Extension offshore wind farm, which is set to take over the world’s largest title from London Array, is also featuring Siemens Gamesa technology within its East phase.last_img read more

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Kroger, Union Hoping To Beat Saturday Deadline

first_imgKroger and the supermarket’s union workforce are meeting this week as a labor contract is set to expire on Saturday, Nov. 9.They’re trying to beat the deadline to reach a new labor deal for the 12-thousand employees at 80 tri-state stores.Negotiations have been ongoing since late September, and both sides extended talks by a month which originally expired on Oct. 5.Officials say contract agreements have been complicated by health care benefits and their costs.last_img

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Villa to sign Steer

first_img Press Association Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert has confirmed Norwich goalkeeper Jed Steer will become his sixth summer acquisition on July 1. The former England Under-19 cap will provide competition for Brad Guzan and Benji Siegrist. Shay Given is expected to leave the club this summer. Lambert told the club website: “Bringing in Jed will add to the goalkeeping department and helps with everybody pushing one another, learning from one another and making everyone better and wanting to improve. “You want competition for places throughout the team, which is something we didn’t have last season.” center_img Lambert has already been busy in the transfer market, bringing in defenders Jores Okore and Antonio Luna, midfielders Leandro Bacuna and Aleksandar Tonev, plus Danish striker Nicklas Helenius. The former Norwich boss was also keen to strengthen his goalkeeping ranks, and has returned to his old club to secure the signing of 20-year-old Steer, who will complete the move to Villa Park once his deal at Carrow Road expires. last_img read more

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India begins work on £84M stadium, the largest in world cricket

first_img… Complex to take two years to completeBy Dan HawkinsMELBOURNE Cricket Ground (MCG) will no longer be the world’s largest cricket ground, with construction company Larsen & Turbo (L&T) due to start work on a new-look Sardar Patel Gujarat stadium in Motera, Ahmedabad.The previous stadium had a capacity of 54 000 before it was demolished in 2015 to allow for a big-scale renovation, meaning the new site will hold 110 000, putting MCG’s 100 024 to shame.The new stadium, when completed, will be the largest cricket stadium in the world which will be made to meet all the latest the international standards,” read a press release from the Gujarat Cricket Association.The overall cost of the project will be around £84M ($103M) but will be more than just a cricket ground.The complex will house 76 corporate boxes, four dressing rooms, a clubhouse and an Olympic-size swimming pool, as well as three practice grounds and an indoor cricket academy.And to cope with the inevitable traffic problems, the stadium will have three entry points instead of just one.The Sardar Patel cricket stadium in Motera has hosted 12 Test matches and 24 one-day internationals since it was inaugurated in 1982.India already has some of the world’s largest cricket arenas, the hallowed Eden Gardens once accommodated 100 000 before it was modernised and reduced the capacity by 40%, and the Salt Lake stadium in Kolkata, which holds 68 000.Gujarat Cricket Association’s vice-president and Rajya Sabha MP Parimal Nathwani has also hinted at the possibility of a new name for the stadium once completed.The completed stadium is also expected to be the home of Indian Premier League side Gujarat Lions. (IBT)last_img read more

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Cricket News Dominant England build lead over Windies

first_imgGros-Islet (Saint Lucia): England built on an already dominant position in reaching 207 for three in their second innings, an overall lead of 330 runs, at tea on the third day of the third and final Test against the West Indies in St Lucia on Monday. With the home side short-handed in the bowling department on the day and without regular captain Jason Holder for the match, the tourists took full advantage of the situation in adding another 99 runs in the afternoon session for the loss of Joe Denly’s wicket.Under pressure to deliver after a modest start to his Test career in the second match a week earlier, Denly rode his luck in getting to 69 before falling to Shannon Gabriel to end a 74-run second-wicket partnership with Joe Root.Although troubled by a slight hamstring strain, the fast bowler continued to charge in at pace and was eventually rewarded with the wicket via a catch to wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich.ALSO READ | I hope Raman isn’t criticised to bench Mithali Raj, says Ramesh PowarCaptain Root was then joined by Jos Buttler and the pair have progressed without too many difficulties, their fourth-wicket stand already worth 60 with Root on 45 and Buttler on 37 going into the final session of the day as they pursue a consolation victory after already surrendering the series and the Wisden Trophy following defeats in the first two Tests in Barbados and Antigua.A morning of misfortune and misadventure saw England ensuring there was no repetition of the collapses which have defined this Caribbean tour so far, although the early signs were not encouraging.Resuming at the overnight position of 19 without loss, the tourists suffered an immediate setback when Rory Burns clipped the first delivery of the morning to Alzarri Joseph at square-leg to give Keemo Paul immediate success.However, the young all-rounder, drafted into the final eleven for this match due to the suspension of regular captain Holder for a slow over-rate offence in the previous match, left the field on a stretcher shortly after as he appeared to suffer a serious leg injury chasing a ball to the boundary.West Indies did not help their increasingly difficult situation when Shimron Hetmyer put down a simple chance offered by Denly off Shannon Gabriel. It proved a costly miss.ALSO READ | Kiwi skipper rates T20 series win against India as an ‘isolated’ oneHe lost the other opening batsman, Keaton Jennings, midway through the morning when the left-hander attempted to turn a delivery from Joseph top the leg-side and the ball ricocheted off his body onto the stumps to send him back to the pavilion for 23. For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.last_img read more

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Syracuse rides early attack to 2-0 home win over Duke, advances to ACC tournament semifinals

first_img Published on November 9, 2014 at 5:04 pm Contact Matt: mcschnei@syr.edu | @matt_schneidman Facebook Twitter Google+ Twenty-five seconds into the game, Duke’s Brody Huitema headed the ball off the crossbar.Syracuse goalkeeper Alex Bono was frozen in place and the Orange was on the back foot before it could even get possession of the ball.“We looked like we were a bit nervy that first five minutes,” head coach Ian McIntyre said.But the nerves subsided and SU responded with two first-half goals, one from forward Alex Halis and one from midfielder Nick Perea, to jump out to a two-goal lead before the break. The early cushion paced No. 1 Syracuse (15-2-1, 5-2-1 Atlantic Coast) to a 2-0 win over seventh-seeded Duke (9-9-1, 4-4) in the ACC tournament quarterfinals in front of a record 2,533 fans at SU Soccer Stadium on Sunday afternoon.“It really forced them to kind of change the way they wanted to play,” McIntyre said of putting the Blue Devils in an early hole. “They had to meet us a little higher up.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe early blitzkrieg may not have been possible, though, if it weren’t for McIntyre inserting Halis into the starting lineup for only the second time this season, and not starting forward Emil Ekblom for the first time in his 36-game career.Halis verified McIntyre’s decision by winning a 50-50 ball off a Julian Buescher cross at the edge of the 6-yard box less than 10 minutes in. The sophomore toed the ball over Duke goalkeeper Wilson Fisher and into the top of the net to give the hosts a 1-0 lead.He threw his hands up in the air and ran to the student section behind the goal, hugging a fan before celebrating with his teammates.“I can’t explain the feeling,” Halis said. “It was good to get that off my back. I know I said that earlier in the season, but postseason, it felt good.”The Orange continued to pepper Fisher throughout the half, as midfielder Liam Callahan, forward Chris Nanco and Halis were all denied chances from point-blank range.The mass of SU students behind the goal repeatedly gasped, but it didn’t materialize into an all-out celebration as the Orange couldn’t break through. McIntyre said that on a different day, it could’ve been a “3” or a “4” on the SU scoreboard with the amount of chances his side had in the first half.But with just less than 13 minutes remaining in the frame, the hosts padded their lead after midfielder Oyvind Alseth curled a high cross from in front of the Duke bench. It met the foot of Callahan beyond the left post on the goal line, and he one-timed a cross to a wide-open Perea, who volleyed it home from the doorstep to give the hosts insurance.“You get a rush,” Perea said of scoring in front of a record crowd.As the Orange has repeatedly done with one- and two-goal leads all year, it buckled down. Bono and the back three were a brick wall throughout the entirety of the second half to secure the team’s first postseason win in almost two years.And while Duke senior Matt Slotnick cried in his teammates’ arms after the buzzer sounded, the Syracuse bench poured onto the field and will get a chance at revenge against sixth-seeded Louisville in Cary, North Carolina next Friday.Said Halis after the game: “I have goosebumps right now.” Commentslast_img read more