Pakistan decides to promote close relations with Sri Lanka

The initiative will help in exploring opportunities for exchange visits by Alumni. It will provide guidance, useful information/tips and contacts for fresh graduates before their departure to Pakistan and vice versa. To foster, encourage and promote close relations between the people of Pakistan and Sri Lanka and to provide support to prospective Sri Lankan students going to Pakistan for higher education, the High Commission of Pakistan in Sri Lanka is planning to launch Pakistan Alumni Society of Sri Lanka, soon.The Society aims to connect the universities of both countries under various scholarship programmes. Through this Alumni Society, the public and private sectors as well as civil society will be able to build networks and create professional opportunities that will contribute to the development of two countries. The purpose of this alumni society is to engage the members and provide them means to learn, integrate, and share what they learned during their education/training for the benefits of a larger community. All Sri Lankan citizens those who received professional qualifications or attended short or long term training programmes in Pakistan are eligible to join the Society.It will make meaningful contributions to the development of both countries through community service, conferences, mentoring future generations, and reaching out to inspire and recruit new exchange participants. Further details and membership form can be downloaded from Pakistan High Commission’s website i.e. http://www.pakistanhc.lk/pakistan-alumni-society-of-sri-lanka/. read more

SF to be Law Order Minister despite opposition from top cops

Senaratne said that while senior Police officers do not want Fonseka to get the post junior officers feel he is the right man for the job. The Minister also said that when taking decisions it must be based on discussions held between the President and Prime Minister and not just based on what the two main political parties in the Government think. (Colombo Gazette) He said that in the next cabinet reshuffle Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka will get the post. Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka is to be appointed as the next Law and Order Minister in two weeks time, despite some strong opposition from senior Police officers, cabinet spokesman Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said today.Senaratne said that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was appointed Law and Order Minister for two weeks. The cabinet spokesman and Health Minister said that the Law and Order Minister needs to be a straight forward person and not someone who plays a “double game”.Senaratne said that Ministers cannot be appointed based on what one or two people think. He says Ministers who have feet planted on two sides must be removed. read more

Tight security outside Lake House after court ruling

Tight security was placed outside Lake House (state media) following the Supreme Court ruling on the dissolution of Parliament today.Riot Police and the Special Task Force had been placed outside the building. The Police then intervened and removed the UNP supporters. (Colombo Gazette) A group of United National Party (UNP) supporters had gathered outside Lake House and demanded that posters placed on the building wall supporting former President Mahinda Rajapaksa be removed.The UNP supporters insisted that since the Supreme Court had ruled against the dissolution of Parliament the management of Lake House must be returned to the UNP. read more

In Case of Fire… a Story About Restoring Voice Services

At present, AT&T is in the process of replacing telephone poles with buried fiber, ensuring greater resiliency and more reliable services with greater capacity.The district has strategically consolidated schools based on factors such as anticipated number of returning students, functional connectivity, and, of course, whether buildings are occupiable.In addition, PUSD is deploying a software-defined WAN with mesh connectivity between district buildings and LTE failover. It’s provisioning DID service over SIP trunks, with redundant connections. See All in Case Studies » Could the district have been differently prepared? Maybe, but all in all, dedicated response, quick thinking, and creative solutions by staff and service providers got Paradise back up and running quickly, ultimately leaving the district in a better position than before the fire. 1024px-Camp_Fire_oli_2018312_Landsat.jpg Kudos to all involved for responding quickly and committing to success. Because the fire also affected the AT&T central office, initial attempts to forward old numbers to new ones or implement redirect recordings on the old numbers were unsuccessful. With new phone numbers at the temporary district office and most Paradise residents without connectivity, the PUSD had no way to broadcast the new Chico phone numbers quickly to evacuated Paradise residents. AT&T was eventually able to forward the old main numbers to the new ones, and temporarily disconnect the other related numbers at the site to avoid charges for non-working numbers. Paradise Union School District (PUSD) was quick to find space in Chico for district office employees. AT&T responded promptly, installing new lines at the temporary location in a matter of days. The Avaya IP phone system, found intact in the PUSD district office in Paradise, was transported by vehicle from Paradise to Chico and installed in the temporary location. Once the temporary lines were connected to the relocated phone system, school district employees were able to communicate with each other and the outside world. “SCTC Perspectives” is written by members of the Society of Communications Technology Consultants, an international organization of independent information and communications technology professionals serving clients in all business sectors and government worldwide. Aerial view of fire that destroyed Paradise, Calif., in November 2018 Turning Emotion into Call Center Data Michelle Burbick June 05, 2017 Talkdesk rolls out sentiment and mood feedback mechanisms, with one early user, ParkWhiz, reporting drastic improvement in ability to capture customer satisfaction ratings. After several months, some school buildings were cleared for occupancy and the district began planning for the return of staff, educators, and students. Occupying a school, however, required working telephone service at each building. Even with the central office up and running, physical connectivity between it and the schools hadn’t yet been restored… the telephone poles that had burned down still needed to be replaced. The Paradise, Calif., fire in fall 2018 wiped out an entire town in an instant. Once the district office was up and working, PUSD set up temporary school locations in Chico, ensuring students would be able to complete their education for the year. With temporary services up and running, long-term planning began in earnest. While it took several months to determine when services might be restored, and in what order, the bigger question became how many residents would return… and when. Many residents have returned and, after recent rains, burn areas are showing new growth. Life has returned to Paradise. In the immediate aftermath, local government and school districts temporarily relocated to Chico, the nearest city with functioning infrastructure, to regroup. Once the temporary offices were up and running, the next question was determining which telecommunications services in Paradise were still functioning, and what should be done with them. sctcperspective_Small.png Because Paradise is remotely located with limited physical infrastructure and access, the fire not only ate up every building in its path, but also took out telephone poles (yes, these still exist), local carrier access boxes, and even an AT&T central office. Cellular service, often sketchy before the fire, was suddenly overwhelmed with emergency personnel looking to implement disaster protocols and people trying to locate loved ones. All of this became infinitely more complex simply because limitations imposed by geography and terrain had dictated how infrastructure was laid out. Tags:News & ViewsVoice Services Recoverydisaster recoveryCase StudiesConsultant PerspectivesNews & ViewsSCTC Articles You Might Like Once services were up and running, Paradise had a unique opportunity to rebuild infrastructure across the city. Lack of physical connectivity, coupled with the voice connectivity requirement for occupancy, PUSD deployed a Verizon Mobile VoIP solution for use until AT&T could restore dial tone at each occupied building. Log in or register to post comments read more

Ontario wines focus of CCOVI lecture

Creating an identity for the Ontario wine industry is the subject of the next lecture in a series hosted by the Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI).The lecture will be given by CCOVI fellows Dirk De Clercq, associate professor in the Department of Organizational Behaviour, Human Resources, Entrepreneurship and Ethics, and Maxim Voronov, assistant professor in Marketing, International Business and Strategy.The lecture will be Monday, May 3 from 3 to 4:30 p.m. in MC H313. It will also be webcast live at brocku.ca/ccovi. Admission is free and everyone is welcome. read more

Chinese embroidery exhibit opens next week

The Confucius Institute is hosting an exhibit of Xiang embroidery from Oct. 9 to 12 in the Sean O’Sullivan Theatre.Xiang embroidery, one of the four great embroideries in China, is world famous for its exquisite techniques, unique features and long history.And samples of it are coming to Brock next week in an exhibit called From Qing to Republic: Chinese Embroidery from 1644 to 1949.The showcase, hosted by the Confucius Institute, features a collection of women’s embroidered clothing, including gowns, coats, jackets, waistcoats, pants, and skirts.It also features a broad range of finery, such as hats, scarves, bags, bibs, collars, cuffs, and lace.The exhibit covers the imperial, folk, Han and minority ethnics clothing and finery and reflects the combined influence of eastern and western culture on the art and style of embroidery. Most importantly, it vividly represents the embroidery techniques, aesthetics, and charm of the Hunan Xiang Embroidery.Xiang embroidery uses techniques that are generally based on Chinese painting, although it also includes techniques of engraving, calligraphy and embroidery.This combination of techniques produces a double-faced product with different images and colors on each side of a transparent chiffon, which greatly uplifted the artistic value of Xiang embroidery. The main threads used include pure silk, satin, transparent gauze and nylon.The items on display are from the collection of Zou Minne, who has been collecting and studying traditional Hunan Xiang embroidery for more than a decade with his wife.They have published several books on the topic. Two of their most comprehensive books include Hunan Embroidery and The Soul of Hunan Embroidery -Traditional Embroidery of Taoyuan.From Qing to Republic runs Oct. 9 to 12 in the Sean O’Sullivan Theatre Lobby. Exhibit hours are Tuesday, 11 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. read more

Seven arrests in pellet gun school shooting

(Updated) Wednesday was a long day for students at a couple of schools near Locke Street in Hamilton.The schools were were put into lockdown after pellet gun shots were fired at windows shattering some of them.The frightening incident happened before noon, and police are still investigating.Several people have been arrested. Sean Leathong is live on Locke Street at Herkimer with the details.00:00:00 | 00:00:00::Projekktor V1.3.09

Two Canadians to meet in Rogers semis

Its been quite a Rogers Cup so far, from major upsets like Ferrer and Murray going down to controversy like Milos taking a 12 minute injury time-out, when you’re really only supposed to have 3 minutes. Its been fun to say the least.Speaking of Milos Raonic, history was made Thursday when two Canadians advanced to the quarterfinals for the first time since 1989.Milos and Pospisil in action Friday looking to make more history.The last time a Canadian was in the semi final was 1969. Earlier in the day on centre court, Vasek Pospisil taking on Nikolay Davydenko. Good start for the Canadian, opening game Pospisil with backhand winner holding serve at love, he’s up 1-0. Pospisil would then get an early break winning a second straight game breaking the Russian who sends it wide. 3rd game off the rally and Davydenko seems to be struggling; he can’t get to the Pospisil winner. After going down 3-0, Nikolay calls for the trainer who checks him out. Davydenko then decides he can’t go anymore and retires from the match after 19 just mins. Pospisil advances to the semis.Then, it was Milos. Taking on Ernest Gulbis…pick it up….5-4Raonic’s serve too much for gulbis. 5-5They’d need a tie breaker. But no problem for Milos. Up 4-1 and Milos too much as Gulbis misses the forehand and he takes it out on his racket. Not the racket’s fault!Couple of points later, its 6-3 Ace. Milos takes the first set 7-5.Mom and dad. loving it.Unfortunately, 2nd set. 1st game. Gulbis able to break Milos.Gulbis takes the 2nd set 6-4. Match tied at 1.3rd set and it’s 2-1 Milos with a break point chance.Gulbis gives it to Milos with the double fault. Milos up 3-1.However, very next game, Gulbis up love-40 & following a good rally, Milos’ shot goes wide. Gulbis breaks him. 3-2.Pick it up, Milos with the advantage, going for the break and the match. Gulbis’ shot is in the net. Milos wins! Milos wins!And yes, it will be Milos Raonic versus Vasek Pospisil in the semi-final on Saturday.00:00:00 | 00:00:00::Projekktor V1.3.09 read more

Cyclist critically hurt after being struck by SUV in Oakville

A 39-year-old man is in critical condition after he was hit by a SUV in Oakville on Feb. 4. Police say a Chevrolet Trax was travelling on the South Service Rd. around 6:35 p.m. when it struck a cyclist. The man was thrown from his bike and suffered serious injuries. He was taken to Hamilton General Hospital where he remains in critical condition. The 69-year-old woman who was driving the SUV was not injured. Police are currently investigating the incident and ask any witnesses to call the Collision Reconstruction Unit at 905-825-4747, ext. 5056. read more

The top iPhone and iPad apps on App Store

App Store Official Charts for the week ending July 7, 2019:Top Paid iPhone Apps:1. Minecraft, Mojang2. Heads Up!, Warner Bros.3. Plague Inc., Ndemic Creations4. Facetune, Lightricks Ltd.5. iSchedule, HotSchedules6. Bloons TD 6, Ninja Kiwi7. Geometry Dash, RobTop Games AB8. Dark Sky Weather, Jackadam9. Procreate Pocket, Savage Interactive Pty Ltd10. kirakira+, bytes inc.Top Free iPhone Apps:1. aquapark.io, Voodoo2. Fun Race 3D, Good Job Games3. Touch the wall, Voodoo4. Picker 3D, Rollic Games5. Netflix, Netflix, Inc.6. Instagram, Instagram, Inc.7. YouTube: Watch, Listen, Stream, Google LLC8. Pottery, Voodoo9. Snapchat, Snap, Inc.10. Polysphere, PlaygendaryTop Paid iPad Apps:1. Minecraft, Mojang2. Procreate, Savage Interactive Pty Ltd3. Notability, Ginger Labs4. GoodNotes 5, Time Base Technology Limited5. Geometry Dash, RobTop Games AB6. Human: Fall Flat, 505 Games (US), Inc.7. Five Nights at Freddy’s, Scott Cawthon8. Amazing Frog?, FAYJU9. Bloons TD 6, Ninja Kiwi10. Stardew Valley, Chucklefish LimitedTop Free iPad Apps:1. aquapark.io, Voodoo2. Fun Race 3D, Good Job Games3. Polysphere, Playgendary4. Netflix, Netflix, Inc.5. Dancing Road: Color Ball Run!, Amanotes Pte. Ltd.6. Stack Ball 3D, Azur Interactive Games Limited7. YouTube: Watch, Listen, Stream, Google LLC8. Magic Tiles 3: Piano Game, Amanotes Pte. Ltd.9. Tiles Hop – EDM Rush, Amanotes Pte. Ltd.10. Pottery, Voodoo__(copyright) 2019 Apple Inc.The Associated Press read more

BP says 2nd quarter earnings were flat

LONDON — BP says second-quarter earnings were flat as increased production offset lower oil prices.Its underlying replacement cost profit — the industry’s preferred measure — remained at $2.81 billion.Production rose 4% from a year earlier to the equivalent of 3.8 million barrels of oil a day. That helped counter a 7.4% decline in the price of Brent crude, the international oil benchmark.Oil companies have been preparing for an era of lower prices by cutting costs and streamlining operations since Brent dropped below $30 a barrel in January 2016.CEO Bob Dudley said Tuesday that “BP is right on target” at the mid-point of its five-year plan.BP expects third-quarter production to fall due to seasonal maintenance and the impact of Hurricane Barry on operations in the Gulf of Mexico.The Associated Press read more

Stelco Holdings says revenue down in Q2 on lower prices and market

HAMILTON — Stelco Holdings Inc. says it swung to a net income of $1 million in the second quarter compared with a loss of $11 million in the same quarter last year.The steel producer says its adjusted net income worked out to $6 million, or seven cents per share, for the quarter ending June 30, compared with adjusted income of $165 million or $1.86 per share last year.Analysts had expected adjusted net income of $21.5 million, or 21 cents per share, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.The Hamilton-based company says revenue came in at $431 million for the quarter, down from the $711 million it took in during the same quarter last year, in part because its average selling price dropped 15 per cent and shipped steel volumes decreased 27 per cent.Stelco says it faced a number of headwinds in the quarter including destocking, falling market prices and the 232 tariffs imposed by the U.S.The company says conditions have since improved as the U.S. has dropped the metal tariffs on Canada and customer demand is stronger. Companies in this story: (TSX:STLC)The Canadian Press read more

Line 3 protesters rally at Enbridges Bemidji office

BEMIDJI, Minn. — Dozens of people rallied outside the Minnesota office of Enbridge Energy to protest the company’s proposed Line 3 oil pipeline replacement.Protesters say six members of their group chained themselves to a gate early Monday. Enbridge’s Bemidji office closed for the day.Enbridge spokeswoman Juli Kellner says a vehicle drove through a locked gate at a pipe storage yard in Hubbard County over the weekend. It’s unknown if that’s related to the protest.The $2.6 billion replacement pipeline would carry Canadian crude from Alberta across northern Minnesota to Enbridge’s terminal in Superior, Wisconsin. Enbridge says the current Line 3, which was built in the 1960s, is subject to corrosion and cracking.Environmental and tribal groups say the project risks oil spills in pristine areas of the Mississippi River headwaters region.The Associated Press read more

WatchHousehold debttoincome ratio edges lower Canadians now owe 170 for every 1

In other words, there was $1.70 in credit market debt for every dollar of household disposable income.That compared with 170.5 per cent in the previous quarter, which was revised down from an earlier reading of 171.1 per cent.“While it’s too early to tell, we just might have seen the peak in the debt ratio in Q3, as Q1 will no doubt see a sizeable decline due to seasonality,” said Benjamin Reitzes, Canadian rates and macro strategist at the Bank of Montreal.Household debt is often cited as a key risk to the Canadian economy by the Bank of Canada and others.The central bank, which has raised its benchmark interest three times since last summer, has said it is carefully monitoring the economy’s sensitivity to higher interest rates.Statistics Canada reported the key ratio crept lower as total household credit market debt, which includes consumer credit, mortgage and non-mortgage loans, increased 1.1 per cent in the fourth quarter to $2.13 trillion. Mortgage debt totalled $1.397 trillion, while consumer credit rose to $630.4 billion.Debt-ridden Canadians would owe even more money if it wasn’t for Ottawa, says Bank of CanadaQuality of consumer credit seen ‘under threat’ as red flags mountMeanwhile, the total household debt service ratio, measured as total obligated payments of principal and interest as a proportion of household disposable income for both mortgage and non-mortgage debt, remained flat at 13.8 per cent in the fourth quarter.Royal Bank economist Josh Nye said it looks like debt growth is turning a corner.“With interest rates expected to rise further and housing regulations tightening at the federal and provincial level, the peak in debt growth could very well be behind us,” Nye wrote in a report.“That should be viewed as a positive development by the Bank of Canada, though progress on reducing the ’key vulnerability’ of elevated household debt will likely be very slow.” The drop in the key debt ratio came as the net worth of the household sector increased 2.1 per cent in the fourth quarter to nearly $10.9 trillion.Statistics Canada said financial assets were the main contributor, growing by $196.6 billion to nearly $6.9 trillion, led by equity and investment funds.The value of household residential real estate increased by 0.6 per cent in the fourth quarter, after remaining flat in the previous two quarters. OTTAWA — The ratio of Canadian household debt relative to income edged down slightly in the fourth quarter of last year, raising speculation that the growth in debt may have turned a corner.Statistics Canada said Thursday household credit market debt as a proportion of household disposable income was 170.4 per cent in the fourth quarter.The peak in debt growth could very well be behind us read more

WatchCMHC head issues sharp defence of mortgage stress test as calls grow

Last month, CIBC World Markets Inc. deputy chief economist Benjamin Tal released a report showing that the new mortgage stress tests accounted for at least half of the $25-billion decline in new mortgages started late last year. Tal argued the test was necessary, but could be made more flexible by taking into account rising interest rates, for example.Last week, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer promised to “re-work” the stress test “that have pushed the dream of home ownership out of the reach of so many Canadians across this country.”Siddall called out critics who have asked for the stress test to be eased and other measures, like offering 30-year mortgage terms.These measures would inflate property prices by up to one to two per cent in Canada’s large cities, he said, as well as stimulate more borrowing.“My job is to advise you against this reckless myopia and protect our economy from potentially tragic consequences,” he said, asking the committee to “look past the plain self-interest” of the Canadian Home Builders Association, the Mortgage Professionals Association of Canada and the Ontario Real Estate Association. The CEO of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation is forcefully defending mortgage stress test rules and warning federal policy makers to hold the line amid calls for the measure to be changed.“The stress test is doing what it is supposed to do,” wrote president and CEO Evan Siddall in a letter dated Thursday to the Standing Committee on Finance, calling out accusations of unintended consequences.The stress test requires would-be borrowers to show they would still be able to make payments if faced with higher interest rates or less income. It first applied to insured mortgages or those with down payments of less than 20 per cent of the purchase price with a variable rate and a term of less than five years. IMF urges Canada to resist pressure, stay course on mortgage stress test Housing market no longer considered highly vulnerable after prices ease, CMHC says Stephen Poloz’s ‘call to arms’ for mortgage market shakeup is something worth fighting for In Oct. 2016, Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau extended it to five-year mortgages. The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions amended the B-20 rule starting January 2018 to include uninsured mortgages or those with a down payment of more than 20 per cent.The goal of the measures is to lower house prices and protect Canadians from borrowing too much money.“Housing affordability is CMHC’s raison d’etre and we will consistently argue for that,” Siddall wrote.Changes to the stress test requirements starting in 2010 have helped keep house prices 3.4 per cent lower nationally than where they otherwise would have been, he said.“Critics of the stress test ignore the fact that high house prices are the overwhelming reason why home ownership is out of reach.”Some groups and economists have called for changes to the B-20 as property sales and house prices fall across Canada.My job is to advise you against this reckless myopia and protect our economy from potentially tragic consequencesEvan Siddall read more

UN officials hail progress achieved at Vienna symposium on fighting terrorism

“I want to report a sense of accomplishment – an unusual sense of accomplishment,” said Antonio Maria Costa, who heads the UN Office of Drug Control and Crime Prevention (ODCCP). “I have attended a large number of academic and other symposia and conferences but I have never had the feeling I had here [in terms of] political accomplishment,” he told reporters at a press conference held in connection with the two-day event.A large number of participants had called attention to the potential role of ODCCP in fighting terrorism, he noted, pledging that “we will be carefully examining what they have suggested.” Mr. Costa, who is also the Director-General of the UN Office at Vienna, hailed the achievements of the Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) and stressed the “complementarity” between its work and that of ODCCP.CTC Chairman Ambassador Jeremy Greenstock of the United Kingdom agreed and underscored the central role to be played by the UN in the global fight against terrorism. “The reaction to stop the potential of future terrorism or actual terrorists who may do future acts has to be globally coordinated or else terrorism migrates to where it is safer for them to be,” he observed. The job of the CTC – which was set up to implement Council resolution 1373, a landmark text adopted in the wake of the 11 September attacks against the United States – was to “raise the capacity of every Member of the UN to defeat terrorism,” he stressed.Shashi Tharoor, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, stressed that the world body’s contribution to the fight against the menace could not be viewed statically. “When we talk about the UN’s efforts to combat terrorism, we are really taking a picture of a moving train, and as the train is moving, the tracks in front of it are still being laid,” he said. “So you may have to wait a little longer to the final picture of the destination, but we know that our objectives are one and the same – and that is, of course, to defeat the scourge of terrorism.” read more

Iraqi oil exports bounce back under UN oilforfood programme

In the week ending on Friday, Iraq sold 6.4 million barrels of oil, up from 2.6 million barrels the week before. At an average price of approximately €26.35 (euros) or $25.75 per barrel for Iraqi crude oil, last week’s exports brought in €170 million (euros) or $165 million.Despite the surge in the level of oil exports during the week, the programme still suffers from a cumulative revenue shortfall which stands now at just under $2.21 billion. The deficit has left over 1,200 approved humanitarian supply contracts without funds. read more