While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Leave it to ESPN to cause an Oklahoma stir which is easily confusable — but completely unacceptable ’round these parts.In an interview with ESPN on Friday, Baker Mayfield sat down (with an OU logo hat, nonetheless!), and ESPN gave him the shrug and screen with the “Oklahoma State quarterback” title:@ESPN? that’s really weird, thought he went to OU pic.twitter.com/JdOhFlKLzL— Spencer Parsons (@SParsons_3) September 16, 2016Thanks for the shade, ESPN!
While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Here’s some numbers to keep an eye on for Bedlam 2016.1. Explosive Plays Will Be AbundantUnless you’re one of those “three yards and a cloud of dust” fans, you’re in for a treat this weekend. Saturday features two of the more explosive offenses in college football. OU receiver Dede Westbrook has been gaining serious Heisman hype of late and here’s a big reason why: he has 11 touchdowns of greater than 40 yards (the previous school record was five). Westbrook and Joe Mixon combined average nearly four 20+ yard plays (3.91) each game, quite the duo.The Cowboys have a strong counter in James Washington who leads the nation in 80+ yard plays from scrimmage (3). He averages 19.32 yards per catch, followed by the red hot Chris Lacy (16.17 ypc) and senior Jhajuan Seales (15.87), the three forming a deadly trio of deep threats.2. Who wins the rushing battle?They say football games are won in the trenches, no doubt Bedlam will be too. One of the better ground game match ups in recent history is in line between Sooners’ Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine against the Cowboys’ lightning and thunder attack of Justice Hill and Chris Carson.Hill is a freshman All-America candidate averaging 106.8 yards per game in conference play and Carson has been virtually untackle-able since his return from injury (96 yards per game over the past three weeks).Even more important could be controlling the time of possession where OU is second in the Big 12 just below the plodding K-State Snydercats. Air raid quarterbacks rely on rhythm and tempo so long, clock draining drives from either side are liable to throw the opposition into a funk.Vincent Taylor & Co. will have their hands full this week, Mixon and Perine are a pair of complete backs that are hard to bring down and can take it the distance.The Pokes don’t necessarily have to out rush OU (they’ve won four times this year without winning the ground battle) but it’d be tremendously helpful to keep the ball out of their hands.It wouldn’t hurt to go ahead and win that ground battle, the Cowboys win nearly 80 percent of the time under Gundy when out-rushing the opposition. 3. Turnovers Will Be EverythingSpencer’s gang has been phenomenal in 2016, forcing a league-leading 23 turnovers (2.1 per game) on the year. OU hasn’t developed the same penchant for takeaways but has been hot lately, forcing seven turnovers over the past two games. The Cowboys are 60-7 (89.6 percent) when winning the turnover battle since 2005 so it seems like whoever wins this battle will be the favorite to win the war.Coach Stoops was quoted saying that “turnovers are the most important statistic to keep track of” (thanks Bob) and will no doubt play a big part this week. The Cowboys are second in the league at forcing both fumbles and interceptions, if Mixon puts one on the ground or Baker hangs one up there for a double-covered Westbrook…Could be time to break out the old #WTIB hashtag:Bonus StatAnother good sign has been how well the Cowboy D has been on third downs. In eight of nine wins, they’re holding foes to less than 50 percent on third down conversions, including twice when opponents were held to less than 25 percent. The Cowboys are holding opponents to a 39 percent conversion rate on the year which ranks fourth in the Big 12.
Transfers Muntari joins Seedorf at Deportivo La Coruna Jamie Smith 22:38 22/2/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Transfers Deportivo La Coruña Deportivo La Coruña v Espanyol Primera División The former Ghana international has joined the La Liga side on a free transfer after a successful trial period at the club Sulley Muntari has signed for Deportivo La Coruna, the La Liga strugglers bringing in the free agent to boost their relegation battle.Clarence Seedorf was appointed by Depor this month but is yet to oversee a victory, or even see his side score a goal.And the Dutchman has signed former AC Milan team-mate Muntari in a bid to give Depor a greater chance of avoiding the drop. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Muntari, who played in three World Cups for Ghana, was available on a free transfer after leaving Pescara at the end of last season.The 33-year-old had an unhappy spell at the club, saying he was “treated like a criminal” after claiming to have been racially abused during a Serie A match at Cagliari.Muntari’s most successful period came at Inter Milan, where he played for four seasons between 2008 and 2012. At Inter, the midfielder won two Serie A titles, two Coppas Italia as well as the Champions League in 2010.He began his professional career with Udinese in 2002 before moving to Portsmouth, while also spending time at both Milan clubs, Sunderland, Saudi side Al-Ittihad and Pescara.Depor, second bottom in the table, are three points from safety with 14 league games still to play
Cristiano Ronaldo FUT Birthday: Dates, features & squad building challenges for the FIFA 18 Ultimate Team event Goal Last updated 1 year ago 06:57 17/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) EA Sports Cristiano Ronaldo FIFA Ultimate Team celebrates another birthday this week and EA have released details of a number of different features It’s that time of year!FIFA 18’s FUT Birthday bonuses have been revealed by Sony and EA Sports to celebrate its ninth birthday.It’s a huge event every year for FUT players, with new and exciting squad-building challenges and a special Birthday Squad included. Here’s what has been revealed so far. Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp What is the FUT birthday week? The FUT Birthday week celebrates, as the name suggests, the birthday of FIFA Ultimate Team. FUT first came into existence on March 19, 2009 for FIFA 09, and though EA tend to mark the anniversary a little later than that so as not to clash with their St Patrick’s Day promotions, this year they have included the holiday in their celebrations!”Even St. Patrick’s Day is included in this year’s massive celebrations! Get in on the Luck of the Irish with Weekly Objectives that reward special Irish player items with upgraded ratings that can be used to complete certain FUT Birthday SBCs,” EA said.When is the FUT birthday week? EA Sports kicked off the Birthday week on March 16 and it will run until March 23.FUT birthday celebrations are coming to #FIFA18 !Stay tuned for details on PlayStation Blog tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/Hrkw9qTIoh — PlayStation Europe (@PlayStationEU) March 15, 2018 What is the FUT Birthday Squad The main attraction of the event is the FUT Birthday squad.Each year, a new roster comprised of players who were popular in previous versions of the game is released.”This year’s FUT Birthday squad is made up of players that dominated at different positions in previous versions of FUT, all of which will be available in packs as special player items for the entire event. These new items open up fresh and inventive ways of FUT squad-building, thanks to position changes and upgraded ratings.FUT Birthday Squad 2018 Cristiano Ronaldo is again pick of the squad with a rating of 95, though Eden Hazard is close behind on 92. Gareth Bale (90), Marco Reus (90), and Javi Martinez (88) have also been included.Other players included are Paris Saint-Germain’s Angel Di Maria (87), Chelsea’s Cesar Azpilicueta (88), and Sadio Mane (86) of Liverpool. FUT Birthday Squad Rating Cristiano Ronaldo 95 Gareth Bale 90 Javi Martinez 88 Moussa Sissoko 81 Eden Hazard 92 Ángel Di María 87 César Azpilicueta 88 Keisuke Honda 84 Cheikhou Kouyaté 81 Kwadwo Asamoah 83 Marco Reus 90 Yannick Bolasie 85 Jordi Alba 88 André Schürrle 83 David Alaba 87 Danilo Pereira 85 Felipe Anderson 83 Julian Draxler 86 Alessandro Florenzi 86 Riyad Mahrez 86 Sead Kolašinac 84 Sadio Mane 86 Bruno Peres 82 FUT Squad Building Challenges 2018 “You’ll discover all kinds of Squad Building Challenges (SBCs) available during FUT Birthday, including the next End of an Era SBC celebrating a top player that retired from professional football in the past year,” the official EA statement reads.”Speaking of retired stars, get ready to beef up your FUT squad with the next batch of Prime ICONS in FIFA 18, which will be released during the Birthday event. Not only available in packs, these items can also be obtained by completing SBCs.”The new Prime Icon cards can be obtained through card packs and through completing FUT Birthday SBCs. Players will also be able to undertake Daily Birthday Wish SBCs to unlock value rewards.”Themed Objectives that reward in-game kits and other club items that you can show off during FUT matches are also going to be available,” EA continues. “As you dig into the festivities, you’ll find SBCs that are repeatable over the course of the event, as well as Daily Birthday Wish SBCs that offer high value rewards.”
Christian Eriksen I’ve not peaked yet, claims Spurs FA Cup hero Eriksen Ryan Benson 23:42 17/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Tottenham Hotspur Swansea City v Tottenham Hotspur Swansea City FA Cup The Dane scored twice for his side as they dumped Swansea out of the competition and he believes there is more to come Christian Eriksen is hopeful his fine form has not yet hit its peak after he helped fire Tottenham past Swansea City and into the FA Cup semi-finals with a 3-0 triumph. The Denmark international produced an excellent display at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday, breaking the deadlock early on and then completing the scoring in the second half after Erik Lamela had struck. Though content with his recent showings, Eriksen expressed an eagerness to strive for more as Spurs seek to secure a top-four berth and silverware this season. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp “I’m in a very good place, but not sure it’s the best I’ve been,” he told BT Sport.”Hopefully there’s something more to reach, but I’m happy where I am and where the team is and we’re going in the right direction.”Victory means Spurs will feature in a semi-final at Wembley, which is their home ground this term, and Eriksen conceded it will be “weird” playing there without being able to fill the stadium with their own fans.”Of course with the semis coming up, it’s going to be fun to play at Wembley in a different meaning,” added the 26-year-old. “Of course, it’ll be weird, because as you say it’s our home stadium in the FA Cup, so it won’t only be our fans in the stadium. It’ll be fun to play.”
Football is back baby. Well, sort of.The NFL preseason kicked off Thursday night and a couple of Pokes flashed their brilliance, each in his professional debut.Justice Hill, Baltimore’s fourth-round pick, led the team with 33 rushing yards on 10 carries in a 29-0 blowout of the Jacksonville Jaguars.But it was one of his two catches that set Twitter ablaze.#Ravens RB Justice Hill has some juice in his legs. pic.twitter.com/TJbsfW4ORD— Marcus Mosher (@Marcus_Mosher) August 9, 2019 But he wasn’t the only former Oklahoma State standout to make waves on Thursday night.Tyron Johnson, who went undrafted but signed with the Houston Texans, is doing his utmost to prove to Texans brass that he belongs on the roster. And that carries over into Houston’s game in Green Bay.Going deep!Joe Webb III finds Tyron Johnson for 44 yards.#HOUvsGB pic.twitter.com/yO0LKZFq3l— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) August 9, 2019Tyron finished with two catches for 48 yards and was open for a touchdown, but Houston QB Joe Webb couldn’t find him.The preseason action continues tonight with the James Washington and Mason Rudolph’s Pittsburgh Steelers facing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 6:30 p.m. CST and Dan Bailey’s Minnesota Vikings squaring off against the New Orleans Saints at 7 p.m.Check out our viewing guide so you don’t miss a Poke in the preseason this weekend. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.
Kolkata: Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has arrested one of the directors of Pailan Group from Sealdah railway station on Friday evening. The accused, identified as Binay Kumar Singh, had been absconding for almost a year. Another director of the group, identified as Apurba Saha, is still on the run.According to sources, Pailan Group was named in the complaint lodged by CBI a few years ago, in connection with a different chit fund scam. It was alleged that the group had racked up a huge amount of money under the guise of their real estate business. They had also made actor Rituparna Sengupta their brand ambassador for the same. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaDuring investigation, CBI had raided several offices of Pailan Group and houses of the group’s portfolio holders. In the middle of investigation, Singh and other directors managed to hide in order to avoid suspected arrest. Recently, CBI came to know that Singh was trying to change his hideout using Kolkata as corridor. However, whether he was staying in Kolkata or coming from somewhere else was not determined. On Friday, CBI got a tip that Singh will come to Sealdah railway station. A team from CGO Complex in Salt Lake soon went to the station and kept a strict vigil across the platforms. In the evening, CBI officials spotted him at platform number 9 and immediately, Singh was surrounded. Later, he was brought to the CGO Complex and subsequently arrested. Earlier during 2018, CBI had conducted raids at several places in and around Kolkata, in connection with the chit fund case involving the Pailan Group and had managed to seize a huge amount of incriminating documents. According to CBI, the group had collected around Rs 520 crore from the market through different chit fund scams, by assuring a high rate of interest.
ORLANDO – The Federal Aviation Administration says a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 Max jet made a safe emergency landing Tuesday in Orlando, Florida, after experiencing an apparent engine problem.The crew declared an emergency after taking off from Orlando International Airport around 2:50 p.m., and landed the plane safely. No passengers were on board. The aircraft was being ferried to Victorville, California, where Southwest is storing the airplanes.The 737 Max was grounded in the U.S. March 13 after a deadly crash involving a Max on March 10. It was the second fatal crash involving the airplane. U.S. Airlines are allowed to shuttle the planes but cannot carry passengers.The FAA says it’s investigating but it appears the emergency was not related to anti-stall software suspected in the two fatal crashes.The Associated Press
Advertisement Login/Register With: Advertisement Facebook Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment After buying the Maclean-Hunter media empire in 1994, Rogers Media grew quickly in the magazine world, and soon became the biggest magazine publisher in Canada by far. But in recent years Rogers has been slowly reducing its print footprint. In 2016 when it phased back publication of some titles, and stopped producing others altogether while laying off staff. Rogers Media has struck a deal with the company that publishes Toronto Life to sell the company’s remaining magazine brands for an undisclosed sum.In a press release Wednesday, Rogers and St. Joseph Communications say Maclean’s, the English and French versions of Chatelaine, Today’s Parent, HELLO! Canada, along with digital publications FLARE and Canadian Business, have been sold for an undisclosed sum.“All current Rogers Media Publishing employees will be offered employment through the deal, which is expected to close in April 2019,” the release said. Rogers sold off all of its remaining magazine brands on Wednesday, including Canadian Business, which it stopped publishing in print form in 2016. (Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press) Twitter
Northern Health spokesperson Andrea Palmer confirmed today that a theft of narcotics did occur at the Dawson Creek Hospital sometime this week and that the drugs have since been recovered by the RCMP.She said that the RCMP did attend the hospital in response to the reported theft.Palmer said that Northern Health is apologizing that the theft occurred, and that a full internal review and investigation has been initiated in cooperation with the RCMP.She was not able to say what types of narcotics were stolen from the hospital, or whether all of the stolen drugs have been accounted for, saying that the matter is currently under investigation.Palmer added that more details about the investigation may be released in the coming days. DAWSON CREEK, B.C. – Northern Health is currently investigating a theft of narcotics that occurred at the Dawson Creek Hospital earlier this week.According to an anonymous tip from someone claiming to be a hospital employee, the drugs were found at a local skate park after an unknown person broke into the hospital sometime Monday night.The source told Energeticcity.ca that the RCMP were informed about the theft after a parent saw that local youth had found the drugs at the skate park and posted the discovery on Snapchat.
Srinagar: Two Kashmiri militants affiliated to the Hizbul Mujahideen group were gunned down in an encounter with the security forces on Thursday in Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag district, police said. Following specific information about militant presence in Bijbehara town, the security forces had surrounded the Baghander Mohalla late on Wednesday. At day break, the militants were challenged and they fired back triggering the encounter. The slain terrorists were identified as 25-year-old Kashmiri men Safder Amin Bhat from Bijbehara itself and Burhan Ahmad Ganaie of Malipora Hablish in Kulgam. Searches were underway in the area and mobile Internet services have been suspended in the district as a precautionary measure.
The Hague – The world’s chemical weapons watchdog said Thursday that it had completed nearly half its inspections of Syria’s arsenal with a view to its destruction by mid-2014.“We have done nearly 50 percent of the verification work of the facilities that have been declared to us,” Malik Ellahi, a political advisor on Syria for the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, told journalists in The Hague.Despite the progress, Ellahi said security remained a concern for the unprecedented mission in war-torn Syria, with mortar and car bomb attacks around the inspectors’ Damascus hotel. “One of the things that is of concern is of course the security situation,” said Ellahi, who advises OPCW Director-General Ahmet Uzumcu.“There have been a number of incidents over the last few days which gives some cause for concern.”The OPCW said on Wednesday that its inspectors had checked 11 out of 20 sites identified by Damascus and destroyed chemical weapons equipment at six sites.The organisation, which last week was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, and the United Nations currently have about 60 experts working in Syria to eradicate chemical weapons, around a month after the OPCW accepted President Bashar al-Assad’s application to join the Chemical Weapons Convention, in a bid to stave off a possible Western military strike.Syria formally joined the convention on Monday.So far Syria has won rare praise for its cooperation with the inspectors, but the UN has stressed that key deadlines in the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons should be met.This included verifying Syria’s disclosed chemical weapons, identifying key equipment, destroying production facilities and starting the destruction of Category 3 chemical weapons by November 1.Inspectors have until June 30 next year to complete the destruction of Syria’s chemical arsenal.The United States threatened a military strike after an August 21 chemical weapons attack near Damascus in which hundreds of people died.Under a disarmament plan that has been given added force by a UN Security Council resolution, Damascus now has until mid-next year to get rid of its reported stocks of sarin, mustard and VX gas.Syria must give the OPCW a plan for destroying its estimated stockpile of 1,000 tonnes of chemicals by October 27 — one month after the Security Council Resolution.By November 15, the OPCW will have set out a detailed plan with a timetable for the destruction of actual chemicals.Russia and the Unites States, which drew up the disarmament plan, are still working with the OPCW on how to destroy the chemicals, diplomats said at the UN on Monday.Russia has proposed building at least one furnace in Syria to burn it, they said.However, OPCW and UN experts have doubts whether a furnace can be installed while the conflict, which has left more than 100,000 people dead since March 2011, rages on.
TORONTO — TD Bank Group says recent severe flooding in Alberta and the Toronto area will likely result in a loss for its insurance business, which would have been profitable without the weather-related expenses.TD Insurance faces an after-tax net loss of between $240-million to $290-million for the period, which includes the months of June and July, the bank announced Tuesday.TD joins other major Canadian insurers in disclosing some of the costs associated with widespread severe flooding in southern Alberta in late June and a flash flood that inundated parts of the Toronto area in early July.Excluding the weather-related and general insurance claims, TD Insurance would have had between $130-million and $180-million of net earnings during the quarter ending July 31.TD Insurance is a small part of the banking group’s overall business, which includes TD Canada Trust and a major banking arm in the United States.In a note to clients, CIBC analyst Rob Sedran said that while most of TD’s announcement was expected, the non-weather component was a “modest negative” for its shares.“Management has flagged a structural challenge to profitability and growth in a segment that is almost 10 per cent of the bank,” he wrote.“While we expect all of the banks to report some impact from this summer’s severe weather, TD has the largest exposure to the auto insurance market and so we see more limited impact, if any, to the rest of the group.”Bank of Montreal issued a statement saying that its insurance operations will not be affected by the flooding because it isn’t in the property and casualty business in CanadaShares of TD Bank slid $1.86 to $87.03 in afternoon trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.Last week, Co-operators General Insurance Company dropped to a second-quarter loss of $5.9-million, mostly on costs from the floods in Alberta. The company said it lost around $77-million before taxes as a result of the Alberta floods, even after collecting reinsurance.Intact Financial Corp., which is Canada’s largest publicly-traded property and casualty insurance company, expects to book about $257 million in costs over the second and third quarters as a result of catastrophic losses.Intact’s estimate includes costs associated with the flooding in Alberta and Toronto and the Lac-Megantic train disaster in Quebec in July.The Canadian Press
by The Associated Press Posted Nov 4, 2016 4:50 am MDT Last Updated Nov 4, 2016 at 8:00 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Automaker plans to close Chrysler Museum in suburban Detroit AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – Fiat Chrysler plans to permanently close the Walter P. Chrysler Museum in suburban Detroit next month and convert it into office space.The automaker tells The Detroit News (http://detne.ws/2e80q7x ) the company will continue to preserve its historical vehicles and will showcase them at internal and external events, including displays around the Chrysler Technology Center and other FCA facilities in the U.S.The museum opened in 1999. It was closed to the public for financial reasons since the end of 2012 with the exception of private events, but reopened again to the public in June. The company says Dec. 18 will be the final day the museum is open to the public.The collection shown at the Auburn Hills museum includes antique, custom and concept vehicles.___Online:http://www.wpchryslermuseum.org___Information from: The Detroit News, http://detnews.com/
In a statement released today, the 15-member body also condemned the continued attacks against Yemeni security forces in Hadramawt on October 9, as well as in Bayda on October 8, aimed at undermining Yemen’s stability.Members expressed their “deep sympathy and condolences to the families and friends of those killed and injured by these heinous acts.” Perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of these reprehensible acts of terrorism must be brought to justice, the Council reiterated, urging all States to cooperate actively with the Yemeni authorities in this regard. Terrorism in all its forms constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security, Members reiterated. All measures taken to combat terrorism must comply with all their obligations under international law, in particular international human rights, Members said. The political transition in Yemen must move forward, the Security Council stressed, reiterating their support for President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi. Members also called on all parties to work constructively to implement fully all terms of the Peace and National Partnership Agreement, including turning over all medium and heavy weapons to legitimate State security bodies. It is also important for all parties to continue to implement the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Initiative and Implementation Mechanism. Members also underscored the importance of an inclusive transition process and new government that represents all of Yemen’s communities.
“The Secretary-General is appalled by the chilling military escalation in the city of Aleppo, which is facing the most sustained and intense bombardment since the start of the Syrian conflict,” said a statement issued today by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson ion New York.Since the announcement two days ago by the Syrian Army of an offensive to capture eastern Aleppo, there have been repeated reports of airstrikes involving the use of incendiary weapons and advanced munitions such as bunker buster bombs, according the statement. “The Secretary-General underlines that the apparent systematic use of these types of indiscriminate weapons in densely populated areas may amount to war crimes,” it added. Emphasizing that the UN chief considers this a “dark day” for the global commitment to protect civilians, statements says the international community has to unite to send a clear message that it will not tolerate the use of indiscriminate and ever-more deadly and powerful weapons against civilians.Mr. Ban’s call comes just days after a ministerial level meeting of the UN Security Council on the situation in Syria, where he said the five-year conflict, which has killed some 300,000 people, is at “a make or break moment,” and challenged the Council to use its influence “now to restore a cessation of hostilities, enable humanitarian assistance everywhere it is needed, and support the United Nations in charting a political path for the Syrians to negotiate a way out of the hell in which they are trapped.”
Introducing the report, children’s commissioner Anne Longfield said young children in care “often feel worried and confused about the lack of physical affection they are shown”.Older children were “scathing about their carers’ inability to show them affection or to give them a hug,” she said. Local authorities also prevented children and foster carers making decisions about matters such as ear piercing or haircuts. In one case a foster carer was refused permission to fund a highly intelligent child’s private education, the review said. Carers should be empowered to make more decisions and birth parents “cannot be allowed to veto the ability of foster carers to provide day to day parenting”, it said. Sir Martin also recommended that the Government should consider introducing a national register of carers in order to improve recruitment. Minister for Children and Families Nadhim Zahawi said: “The report gives us an opportunity to celebrate foster care and to recognise the invaluable role foster parents play in the lives of vulnerable children. “We are committed to supporting them in this role, and that’s why we recently announced that we will extend our 30-hour childcare offer to foster children to provide extra help for foster parents.”The Department for Education is due to formally respond to the report later this year. The report said children were being denied “the physical or emotional affection they need that helps them to thrive” because carers “had been taught to be fearful of potential allegations”Credit:Vladimir Godnik/fStop Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Foster parents are scared to hug their children in case they’re accused of sexual abuse, a Government report has found. Sir Martin Narey’s review of fostering in England found that guidance for foster carers leaves them afraid of showing affection to the children they look after. The report, co-authored by Sir Martin, the former chief executive of Bernardo’s, and children’s services adviser Mark Owers, said that children were being denied “the physical or emotional affection they need that helps them to thrive” because carers “had been taught to be fearful of potential allegations”. One local authority advises carers to manage physical contact “in a manner which is safe, protective and avoids the arousal of sexual expectations, feelings or in any way which reinforces sexual stereotypes”, advice which the review said was “depressing”. Another fostering organisation’s advice specifically focuses on male carers, telling them they “should be aware that showing physical affection towards children/young people could be misinterpreted and put them at risk”. Male carers are also told to ask children to sit in the back seat if they pick them up in their car because of the “additional risk of allegations”. The report, which has been published following a consultation with academics, carers and children, criticised the Department for Education for failing to provide clear guidance on the issue.
Update 12.08pmTHE WORLD HEALTH Organisation has issued a statement to correct an entry in one of its reports which indicated that people in Greece are intentionally infecting themselves with HIV in order to obtain extra benefits.The September 2013 document, Review of social determinants and the health divide in the WHO European Region, made reference to rising HIV rates and heroin use in the country. It erroneously stated that “about half of new HIV infections being self-inflicted to enable people to receive benefits of €700 per month and faster admission on to drug substitution programmes”.According to WHO’s latest statement, the sentence should have read: “half of the new HIV cases are self-injecting and out of them few are deliberately inflicting the virus”.The body apologised for the mistake, which it attributed to the editing process. It continued:The source for the statement is a correspondence published in the Lancet by Alexander Kentikelenis and colleagues in September 2011. In this article, Kentikelenis mentions ‘accounts of deliberate self-infection by a few individuals to obtain access to benefits of €700 per month and faster admission onto drug substitution programmes’, based on the report of the ‘Ad hoc expert group of the Greek focal point on the outbreak of HIV/AIDS in 2011′ (Greek Documentation and Monitoring Centre for Drug, 2011).Earlier…NEWS REPORTS THIS morning have suggested that people in Greece are deliberately infecting themselves with HIV in order to secure extra social welfare payments.The headline was first used by FoxBusiness and picked up by many other outlets across the world, including Ireland.So, is it true?Fox says that a recent World Health Organisation report paints the “alarming picture” of citizens so desperate for €700 in government benefits that they will infect themselves with the virus.The September 2013 report looks at inequities in health across the European region and notes that the 2008 economic crisis exacerbated social inequalities.The body said that such inequities in health are now “widespread, persistent, unnecessary and unjust”.The paper cites an October 2011 report from the Lancet, which in turn, cites a study by the University Mental Health Research Institute from the same year. That research lists possible causes for an increasing incidence of HIV in injecting drug users. Of that list of eight factors, scientists note the “well-founded suspicion” that some problem users are intentionally infected with HIV because of the benefit they are entitled to (€1,400 every two months).There is also quicker access to a drug substitution problem which usually has a long waiting list.The WHO said immediate action is needed on the social determinants of health which have been adversely affected by the financial crisis.It mentions the dramatic rise in suicide rates, as well as the doubling of homicides and thefts. Prostitution has also risen, probably a response to economic hardship, it says.These adverse trends in Greece pose a warning to other countries undergoing significant fiscal austerity, including Ireland, Spain and Italy, according to the WHO. It also suggests that ways need to be found for cash-strapped governments to consolidate finances without undermining much-needed investments in health.First published at 8.16amDijsselbloem: EU ministers are ‘losing patience’ with Greece
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Budget 2016: The government has confirmed it is considering limiting the range of benefits that attract relief on tax and national insurance contributions (NICs) when offered via salary sacrifice arrangements.However, details of its intentions, set out in Budget 2016 documentation, stated that pension contributions, childcare and health-related benefits, such as bikes for work, should retain tax and NIC relief when provided through salary sacrifice arrangements.Nick Boyton, client relationship director at Broadstone, said: “The Chancellor indirectly referred to salary sacrifice in his speech, and this suggested some considerable changes to salary sacrifice might be unveiled once we had the detailed budget information.“Happily, the government is retaining the incentives for pension saving, childcare and health-related benefits but it is clear the range of options available will be reduced with benefits such as retail vouchers likely to fall victim to the change.“Existing arrangements will need to be reviewed once the allowed range of benefits are confirmed.”Steve Herbert, head of benefits strategy at Jelf Employee Benefits, added: “It appears that only the more unusual benefits that have found their way into salary sacrifice offerings will be targeted at this stage, which is good news for all those employers who rely on this mechanism to fund traditional employee benefit offerings.”Find out more about all the latest developments impacting reward and benefits at Employee Benefits Live 2016 on 11-12 October at Olympia National, London