2012 North Queensland Games

first_imgTouch Football will be one of the sports included in the Games, hosted by the Whitsunday Touch Association from Friday, 22 June until Sunday, 24 June 2012.  Whitsunday Sports Park, Airlie Beach will be the venue for the event, with three divisions on offer – Over 30’s Men’s, Over 40’s Men’s and Mixed (Over 35’s Men’s and over 30’s Women’s). For further information and to find out how to nominate, please visit the North Queensland Touch website:http://www.northqldtouch.com.au/posts/2012-north-queensland-games-17.phplast_img read more

Photo: The Official Game Ball For The Final 4 Features The National Championship Trophy

first_imgWe’re a little more than a day away from the 2015 Final Four. At 6:09 p.m. E.T. Saturday, Duke and Michigan State are set to tip off at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind. Following that contest, at roughly 8:49 p.m. E.T., Kentucky and Wisconsin will play. Here’s the official game ball for the Final Four. It features the national championship trophy. Official game ball. Trophy embossed. pic.twitter.com/jJt9v0hq2i— Duke Basketball (@dukeblueplanet) April 3, 2015Which team will be throwing that ball into the air late Monday evening?The Final Four games will be televised on TBS.last_img read more

G7 allies prepare for clash over tariffs with Trump at leaders summit

first_imgWHISTLER, B.C. – Group of Seven nations moved closer to a trade war with the United States on Saturday, as six members of the exclusive club singled out their American partner over tariffs they warn have undermined open trade and shaken confidence in the global economy.The group’s highly unusual public rebuke of one of its own members called out the U.S. for hefty steel and aluminum tariffs the Trump administration imposed in recent days on its G7 friends.U.S. President Donald Trump’s tariffs are driving a wedge in the G7 — and laying the groundwork for a potential clash among its leaders next week in Quebec’s Charlevoix region.Allies including Canada and the European Union are threatening retaliatory tariffs in hope of forcing Trump to back down from his position.G7 finance ministers and central bankers crafted a message to Washington Saturday at the end of a three-day meeting in Whistler, B.C. The gathering, meant to explore economic issues ahead of the leaders’ summit, featured discussions on trade that one minister described as “tense and tough.”In the joint “chair’s summary,” they asked their counterpart, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, to “communicate their unanimous concern and disappointment” to his boss.Ministers urged the U.S. to quickly abandon the tariffs ahead of the leaders’ summit before the move causes deeper divisions within the G7.“The international community is faced with significant economic and security issues, which are best addressed through a united front from G7 countries,” said the summary, was agreed to by the ministers.“Members continue to make progress on behalf of our citizens, but recognize that this collaboration and co-operation has been put at risk by trade actions against other members.”Finance Minister Bill Morneau, who chaired the Whistler meetings, said even though the group found common ground on many subjects, G7 members are now forced to do whatever they can to convince Trump to move back from the tariffs.“We are concerned that these actions are actually not conducive to helping our economy — they actually are destructive. And that’s consistently held across the six countries that expressed their point of view to Secretary Mnuchin,” Morneau told reporters in Whistler.“I would expect that those sorts of sentiments will be passed along to the leaders’ round, and they will have a similar sort of discussion.”Morneau has called the steel and aluminum tariffs “absurd,” because Canada is by no means a security risk to the U.S. He’s warned the measures will destroy jobs on both sides of the border.France’s Bruno Le Maire, the finance and economy minister, was more blunt in his assessment of the Whistler meetings, where ministers confronted Mnuchin.“It has been a tense and tough G7 — I would say it’s been far more a G6 plus one than a G7,” said Le Maire, who called the tariffs “unjustified.”“We regret that our common work together at the level of the G7 has been put at risk by the decisions taken by the American administration on trade and on tariffs.”Le Maire said it’s now up to the U.S. to take action to rebuild confidence among G7 members — and to avoid any escalation next week during the G7 leaders’ summit.That summit, which will be hosted by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, will also mark Trump’s first visit to Canada as president.On Saturday, Mnuchin told a news conference in Whistler that despite the differences in the room over trade, there were many areas the group was “completely united on.”“I think there was a comment out there that (this was) the G6 plus one. It was not… We believe in the G7, it’s an important group,” Mnuchin said.“I’m sure that the president looks forward to coming to Canada and meeting all the other leaders with many, many important issues going on throughout the world.”Follow @AndyBlatchford on Twitterlast_img read more

If BC doesnt back down Canada should cut their funds says Alberta

first_imgB.C. Premier John Horgan says he will do whatever it takes to keep the pipeline from being built and has threatened to use regulations to stop additional oil from flowing through the line even if it is built.The Vancouver Board of Trade also said today Trudeau has to sit down with Horgan and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley immediately to solve the impasse or exert Canada’s jurisdiction through other means.Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr says Canada will consider financial, legal and regulatory options, but insists the government has approved the pipeline in the national interest and, one way or another, he says it will be built. OTTAWA, O.N. — Pressure is mounting on the federal government to use money or the Constitution to back up its claims that the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project will be built, no matter what.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet is in Ottawa today for an emergency meeting following news that Kinder Morgan is suspending all non-essential spending on the pipeline until it and its investors feel secure the project won’t fall apart amid strong opposition from the British Columbia government.Jason Kenney, leader of Alberta’s United Conservative party, says since Trudeau had no qualms withholding more than $60 million from Saskatchewan for not joining the Liberal carbon tax plan, he should follow suit by withholding transfers to B.C. for blocking a pipeline it has no jurisdiction over.last_img read more

Betrayed Canadians could launch unprecedented protests over pipeline activist

first_imgVANCOUVER, B.C. – Outrage over the federal government’s announcement about buying the Trans Mountain pipeline to ensure it gets built could fuel unprecedented protests, says a prominent environmentalist who was at the forefront of British Columbia’s so-called War in the Woods in the 1990s.Tzeporah Berman said the fight against the pipeline expansion is even bigger than those over logging in Clayoquot Sound.Canadians are angry the government is shelling out $4.5 billion to purchase the Trans Mountain pipeline rather than investing in clean energy after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s climate-change promises during the 2015 election and his later commitment to the Paris climate accord, she said. “The protesters and the opposition, and the civil disobedience is probably going to increase,” Khelsilem said.“Our mandate from our people is to continue to defend our rights as a people and to protect our territory, not just for us but for future generations. We’re going to continue to stand with our allies that support our Indigenous rights and change the story of Canada, that Canada is no longer a country that disregards Indigenous rights.”(THE CANADIAN PRESS) “My experience is that people are motivated by betrayal, they’re motivated by a lack of fairness, they’re motivated by a sense of shared common purpose and outrage. In this case we have all of that,” said Berman, who was cleared of aiding and abetting protesters at the Clayoquot blockade and is now an adjunct professor of environmental studies at York University in Toronto.Berman said the Liberal government “made a very big mistake” by backing Kinder Morgan’s project and alienating voters to create “a perfect storm” that would prompt people to take action.“I think a lot of us who knocked on doors for the Trudeau government really believed them when they said they were going to bring evidence-based analysis and science and democratic process back to pipeline reviews.”Berman is a director of Stand.earth, one of the groups that organized an anti-pipeline protest in Vancouver on Tuesday after Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced the government’s plans for the pipeline between Edmonton and Burnaby, B.C. Another protest is planned in Victoria on Thursday.“My expectation is that the outrage is going to grow and we’re not just going it see it here in British Columbia but we’re going to see it nationally and internationally,” she said, adding social media makes it possible for activists to connect in ways that didn’t exist at the height of anti-logging protests in 1993.Chopper 9 hovered over a rally was organized by First Nations and environmentalists opposed to the Kinder Morgan project. Extended: https://t.co/puolrDQOQU pic.twitter.com/eG77JC8N3l— CTV Vancouver (@CTVVancouver) May 30, 2018center_img “We didn’t have email, we didn’t have cell phones. It was a remote location that took most people five to seven hours to get through. This is a pipeline project that runs through urban centres,” she said of Trans Mountain.Khelsilem, a Squamish Nation council member who goes by his first name, said the federal government’s decision to pursue completion of the pipeline expansion threatens Indigenous communities if there was a spill of bitumen from increased tanker traffic in B.C. waters.“Trudeau had promised during the election that he would create a new environmental process that would protect Indigenous rights and that the Kinder Morgan project would be included and sent back to be done through the new process, and on both those counts he’s failed completely,” he said.Along with multiple legal challenges involving the pipeline, the Squamish Nation and five other First Nations are involved in a Federal Court of Appeal case that targets Ottawa’s approval of the project.last_img read more

Revision to the City Cemeteries Bylaw was asked to get a second

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The City of FSJ seeks to amend the Cemeteries Bylaw and Council asked for the City to consult with the local Funeral provider for input on the desired changes and return with a report.The City presented a request for a change to Bylaw 2433 at the Committee of the Whole meeting with a presentation developed from a 2016 Master Study and comparison to other communities.The City seeks to change the Bylaw in several areas which included, the Cemeteries operational hours, prices, ornamentation and the language used in the Bylaw. Councillors were concerned with the requested time change. Current hours of operation are 8 am to 5 pm and want them changed to the hours of 9 am to 4 pm. The concern is that the new hours could put additional financial stress on a grieving family if there were to be a reduction in working hours causing overtime charges when dealing with interment.During the City Council meeting, Council directed the staff to consult with the local funeral provider for their input on the presented changes and to bring back a report that also includes a better outline for cost recovery, timeframes for an increase per year based on other communities and the Master study.last_img read more

Morneau unveils principles for Indigenous ownership in Trans Mountain pipeline

first_imgCALGARY, A.B. – Finance Minister Bill Morneau says the government remains committed to putting the Trans Mountain pipeline and its proposed expansion back in private hands as he unveiled four principles for including Indigenous groups in those discussions.But he says timing and details of the sale of the pipeline depends on when it is “de-risked” and therefore can’t be determined until consultations now underway with affected Indigenous groups are completed.The minister says discussions of potential Indigenous ownership could proceed if the communities would have “meaningful economic participation”, if the deal can proceed in the spirit of reconciliation, and if the resulting entity works to the benefit of all Canadians and on a commercial basis. Morneau is in Calgary to promote last week’s federal budget. His next stops are in Vancouver and Edmonton.Chanting and honking horns could be heard from a large gathering of pro-pipeline picketers across the street from the Fairmont Palliser hotel while Morneau spoke to the Economic Club of Canada.In his speech, he said Ottawa realizes that resource-dependent provinces like Alberta have different economic challenges than others and vowed to continue to implement measures that encourage confidence and optimism.“We’ve been very clear that we see the importance of getting our resources to international markets. We’ve also been very clear that the only way these projects can get done is if they’re done in the right way,” he said.“I hope and expect that Albertans will see that we’re comporting ourselves in the way we need to in the face of getting a project done.”last_img read more

Advani BJPs tallest leader Shiv Sena

first_imgMumbai: The Shiv Sena Saturday said L K Advani would remain the “tallest leader” of the BJP irrespective of his poll presence, two days after the party nominated its chief Amit Shah from Gandhinagar, a seat represented by the BJP patriarch. In an editorial in the party mouthpiece “Saamana”, the Sena said Shah contesting in place of Advani is politically translated as the ‘Bhishmacharya’ of Indian politics being “forced” to retire. “Lal Krishna Advani is known as the ‘Bhishmacharya’ of Indian politics, but his name does not feature in the list of BJP’s candidates for Lok Sabha polls, which is not surprising,” the edit said. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ The Sena said the development underlined that the BJP’s Advani era has come to an end. “Advani has been elected from Gujarat’s Gandhinagar constituency six times. Now, Amit Shah will be contesting from that seat. This simply means Advani has been forced to retire,” the editorial said. Marking a generational shift in the BJP, the party recently announced candidature of Shah, who will be contesting his debut parliamentary election, from Gandhinagar. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K Advani, 91, had served as Union home minister and deputy prime minister. He won the Gandhinagar seat six times. After Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the BJP to massive victory in 2014 and Shah was made the party president, Advani was made a member of Margdarshak Mandal (group of mentors). The Sena said, “Advani was one of the founding members of the BJP, who along with former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee steered the rath of the party ahead. “But today, Modi and Shah have taken the place of them (Vajpayee and Advani). An environment has already been created in the party to ensure that seniors do not get any responsibility this time,” it stated. The Sena further said Advani has played a “long innings” in politics and would remain the “tallest leader” of the BJP. The Sena is contesting the next month’s Lok Sabha elections in alliance with the BJP. The Sena said it didn’t believe that a leader retains his top position only if he continues to be in active politics. The Uddhav Thackeray-led party also attacked the Congress which has said the Gandhinagar seat has been snatched from Advani. “The party (Congress) should not talk about insult to elders. The then prime minister P V Narasimha Rao, who had steered the Congress governments in difficult times, was insulted by the party even after his death,” it said. The Sena also referred to the 2013 incident when Rahul Gandhi tore an ordinance (on protecting convicted lawmakers) in the presence of the then prime minister Manmohan Singh. “What happened with Sitaram Kesari (former Congress president who was succeeded by Sonia Gandhi)?….Therefore it does not suit the Congress to talk about respecting elders,” the Sena said. Praising Advani, the Sena said he was responsible for expanding the BJP’s footprint across the country. “Every shining sun has to set. The BJP could reach the top because of Advani’s ‘Rath yatra’ in Ayodhya in 1990s. The BJP is reaping (dividends) because of Advani’s toil,” the Sena said.last_img read more

World Bank Extends Morocco USD 200 MillionLoan For Transparency And Governance

first_imgRabat – The World Bank extended Morocco a loan of USD 200 million to support the country’s policy to develop transparency and governance.The loan will support the completion of major rights and principles of governance contained in the constitution and will serve to consolidate transparency and governance, and increase citizens’ commitment and access to information.The loan agreement was signed this Monday by Morocco’s Minister of Economy and Finance, Mohammed Boussaid, and head of the World Bank’s department for the Maghreb, Simon Gray. The Hakama (governance) program targets the consolidation of transparency and governance in the management of public resources and the promotion of governance through improving the financial control of public enterprises and institutions, improving access to information and modernizing the management of local finance.The two sides also signed a donation agreement, worth USD 4.55 million extended by the WB MENA transition fund to finance a program to support territorial councils.The goal of this program is to develop a sustainable program to give targeted local councils access to decentralized support services and inter-council cooperation institutionalization.last_img read more

Gonzaga Just Keeps Proving It Never Should Have Been An 11Seed

1991ConnecticutSweet 1616.6+0.8—— Wichita State, also an 11 this tournament, had higher Pythagorean and SRS ratings than the Zags. But the Shockers lost in the second round to Miami after getting hosed with a play-in game against Vanderbilt, another strong 11-seed, and a first-round meeting with Arizona, which was underseeded as a 6. The 2014 Tennessee team, which tops both the SRS and Pythagorean charts in terms of strength versus its opponents, had a much easier path in its region — the Volunteers faced 14-seed Mercer in the round of 32, a team that had upset Duke in the first round and one of the weakest opponents an 11 has ever faced.2Among opponents of 11-seeds, Mercer had the second- and fourth-lowest Pythagorean and SRS, respectively. Even though Tennessee made the Sweet 16 and nearly upset 2-seed Michigan, the massive differential between it and Mercer — 17.34 to 5.33, by SRS — disproportionately affected its statistical résumé. That game saw an Elo discrepancy of 194 points (1912 to 1718), the second-largest margin of any game an 11-seed has played. Tennessee also played Massachusetts at an Elo advantage of 148 points, the fourth-highest such margin. Meanwhile, Gonzaga’s two games so far rank 12th and 30th all-time.If Gonzaga is so good, though, why was it seeded so low? The Zags are a high-major squad playing in a mid-major conference — the West Coast Conference has cracked KenPom.com’s top 10 conferences ranking just twice.3These rankings also date to 2002. This means the team can pick up only a few high-profile wins during WCC play. Few typically schedules an aggressive nonconference schedule to boost the squad’s Rating Percentage Index, the official and preferred evaluation metric for the NCAA selection committee. This season, though, Gonzaga struggled to pick up a key win, losing to Texas A&M, Arizona, UCLA and Southern Methodist by a total of just 20 points.4The losses to Texas A&M, Arizona, UCLA and SMU were by 1 point, 5 points, 5 points and 9 points, respectively. Even with the Bulldogs’ five top-100 wins, their RPI profile was terrible. If Gonzaga hadn’t beaten Saint Mary’s in the WCC Tournament title game to win the league’s auto bid, the Bulldogs would probably be competing in the NIT (which is what happened to the Gaels).That would have been a shame, because Gonzaga’s underlying metrics are superb — at the close of the regular season, it was one of two teams with an offensive and defensive effective field goal percentage in KenPom’s top 20. What makes Gonzaga special, though, is how efficiently the team’s offense operates, particularly in the half-court. According to Synergy Sports Technology, Gonzaga scores 0.99 points per half-court trip, a rate that is tied for first among tourney teams and fifth overall in Division I. Indiana is the only NCAA Tournament team with a stronger effective field-goal percentage in the half-court than the Zags (55.8 percent, per Hoop-Math.com).Against Saint Mary’s in the WCC final, the Zags used just 58 possessions to score 85 points (1.47 points per possession). Saint Mary’s defense will never be mistaken for Virginia’s, but that level of offensive efficiency is astounding.Domantas Sabonis and Kyle Wiltjer are the team’s high-profile names; Wiltjer transferred to Spokane from Kentucky, and his 6-foot-10 frame belies a big who moves gracefully around the perimeter and can score just as effectively within the arc (53 percent on 2-pointers) as he can from deep (43 percent, which leads the team). Wiltjer has an array of shot fakes, step-backs and step-throughs to get his shot off with even the longest defender crowding his space. Sabonis is an unmovable object on both the offensive and defensive glass, and he’s the best post-up man in D-I. Per Synergy, 42 percent of his possessions come in the block, and he scores 1.15 points per possession on those plays. Against Utah and the Utes’ star big Jakob Poeltl, Sabonis used his quick feet, body awareness and agility to score 19 points on an effective field goal percentage of 70.8 percent.But while Wiltjer and Sabonis draw most of the attention, it’s the team’s backcourt that will largely determine if Gonzaga not only makes its first Final Four but becomes the first 11-seed to reach the national championship. Eric McClellan (a swingman), Josh Perkins (a point guard), Silas Melson (a point who can also play off-ball) and Kyle Dranginis (a three who is essentially a hybrid wing) struggled at the beginning of the season but have finally begun to match the offensively brilliant output of the team’s frontcourt.From a higher seed, this sort of late-season surge would be cause to start thinking about a run to Houston and the Final Four. For Gonzaga, the odds are still long, but 17 percent is a far cry better than most 11-seeds see.Check out FiveThirtyEight’s 2016 March Madness Predictions. 2015TexasRound of 6416.2-0.50.872+0.010 2010WashingtonSweet 1615.60.00.835-0.046 2013St. Mary’sRound of 6414.5+2.80.861+0.014 SRSPYTHAGOREAN 2016MichiganRound of 6413.9+1.80.766-0.025 2014TennesseeSweet 1617.3+4.10.897+0.097 YEAR11-SEEDMADE IT TO …PRE-TOURN.DIFF. FROM TOURNAMENT OPPONENTSPRE-TOURN.DIFF. FROM TOURNAMENT OPPONENTS 2016Wichita St.Round of 3217.5-1.00.912+0.037 2015UCLASweet 1612.1+0.10.8060.000 Mark Few’s Gonzaga hasn’t been a proper Cinderella for more than a decade now, having outgrown the designation some time ago. This season’s squad, however, entered the 2016 NCAA Tournament in an unfamiliar position — an 11-seed. Matched up with the streaking 6-seed Seton Hall, which had just won the Big East Tournament, Gonzaga was predicted by many to be bounced in the first round.But 11-seeds have replaced 12s and 13s as a trendy upset pick, and the Zags have since rolled through the first two rounds of the tournament, beating the Pirates and then embarrassing 3-seed Utah late Saturday night. On the eve of the second weekend of play, Gonzaga now has a 7 percent chance of making the title game and a 17 percent chance at the Final Four; before the tournament began, those chances were 1 percent and 3 percent, respectively.What’s remarkable about Gonzaga this tournament isn’t just how well it’s played as an 11-seed, but how it has come into its games with a stronger statistical profile than its opponents — which really shouldn’t happen unless something goes wildly wrong in seeding. In fact, FiveThirtyEight’s power ratings had Gonzaga as a 6-seed, one of the bigger seeding discrepancies in the field, and so far this tournament, the team has had better pre-tournament Pythagorean winning percentage and Simple Rating System metrics than each of its opponents (including Syracuse, whom the Bulldogs face Friday in the Sweet 16). Gonzaga won’t encounter that scenario unless they make the Elite Eight.We went through all 156 11-seeds1There have been 37 NCAA tournaments during that span with 148 “natural” 11-seeds. In 1984, there was a preliminary round that featured two 11-seeds (Northeastern and Long Island University). And since the field expanded to 68 teams in 2011, there have been seven additional 11-seeds in the tournament’s first round (the first four in 2012 included 12- and 14-seeds, so there was not an additional 11 that year). since 1980, when the field expanded to include at-large teams, to the present, and tracked their tourney progression and how each matched up through SRS, Ken Pomeroy’s Pythagorean ranking (which began in 2002 and contains 67 teams) and our Elo database. Then, for each of those ratings, we found the difference between the 11-seed’s rating and the average of its tournament opponents. According to SRS, at least, not many 11-seeds have been as strong relative to their opponents as Gonzaga.Most 11s lost in the first round, especially in the early years of the expanded bracket. Even the 11s that made significant runs — LSU (1986), Loyola Marymount (1990), VCU (2011) — began March as considerable underdogs, posting a negative differential in both ratings with their opponents. Only 10 teams had positive differentials in either rating. 2016Gonzaga—17.2+2.50.890+0.043 1984NortheasternRound of 643.1+2.0—— Note: Pythagorean rankings began in 2002Source: kenpom.com, Sports Reference 11-seeds with better power rankings than their NCAA Tournament opponents, 1980 to present read more