Srinagar’s Deputy Mayor attacked, injured in council meeting

first_imgSrinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) Deputy Mayor Sheikh Imran was injured after corporators attacked him during an ongoing corporation session in Srinagar on Monday.Mr. Imran said he fell down after a heavy object was flung at him “by BJP and RSS-backed councillors during the meeting”.“I have been consistently opposing BJP’s footprints here and won’t tolerate any interference in our religious identity. As I was comforting myself on the seat during the meeting, BJP and RSS-backed councillors flung an object at me, resulting in multiple stitches on the face. It was a planned attack,” said Mr. Imran.Mr. Imran appealed to Governor Satya Pal Malik and the Chief Secretary to look into the matter.However, a section of corporators accused Mr. Imran of “making their lives vulnerable in Kashmir by labelling them as pro-BJP”. “Mr. Imran, and not us, is in touch with top BJP leaders of the State. We contested the elections as independents,” they alleged.Meanwhile, Mayor Junaid Azim Mattu said the house was in complete order and the handful who created a ruckus were evicted. “If there was any violence, there will be consequences as per the law,” he said.The proceedings of the council was adjourned after the incident. The police have taken cognisance of the incident.Srinagar elected 76 municipal corporators in a much-delayed elections held in October last year. The elections witnessed very low turnout as both the National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party decided to stay away from the polls.last_img read more

Trouble-free wins

first_imgPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Two-day strike in Bicol fails to cripple transport Meanwhile, PBA commissioner Willie Marcial fined four members of Philippine Cup champion San Miguel Beer for their involvement in the on-court incident that marred Game 5 of the Finals between the Beermen and Magnolia Hotshots.A fan dressed as Spider-Man, later identified as Paolo Felizarta, ran into the court in the fourth quarter of Game 5, resulting in a skirmish that stretched into the tunnel leading to the dugout.Players Kelly Nabong and Ronald Tubid were both fined P75,000 and were banned from playing three games, while assistant team manager Daniel Henares and team physician Dr. Ramon Ibanez were slapped with P50,000 penalties and were also suspended for two games.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next “Perhaps the players got challenged,” he said.The Aces, meanwhile, couldn’t find a way to plug the absence of Chris Banchero, the top performer in their first win this conference who sat out Wednesday night’s game due to an injured calf.In the second game, Terrence Jones had 41 points and 14 rebounds as TNT whipped NLEX, 102-87.Jones validated all the hype that surrounded his arrival, dumping 23 points in the first half alone to power the KaTropa.“My teammates helped a lot, especially defensively and they really helped get me going,” Jones said.ADVERTISEMENT Mighty takes Gilas PH spot in Taipei Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess View comments Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess MOST READcenter_img DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss ANTIPOLO—NorthPort, without its foremost weapon, flaunted its depth to topple an equally hobbled Alaska side, 103-81, on Wednesday in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at Ynares Center here.ADVERTISEMENT The Batang Pier banked on feisty performances by import Prince Ibeh, Sean Anthony and Robert Bolick in the second half to pull away from the Aces.“We usually just do well for three quarters. Then in the fourth, we’re no longer executing, we’re no longer playing defense,” coach Pido Jarencio said after steering the Batang Pier to their first win in the conference.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logistics“[Tonight] we delivered completely … We played 48 minutes of good basketball.”It was a solid show for NorthPort despite the absence of star guard Stanley Pringle. But Jarencio said the absence of Pringle, who is recovering from a procedure to remove bone spurs and who will rejoin the squad in its next game, actually helped fire up the squad. ‘Rebel attack’ no cause for concern-PNP, AFP Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue LATEST STORIES Catholic schools seek legislated pay hike, toolast_img read more

ICC World Twenty20: Herath & Co. can help Sri Lanka overcome England threat, says Dinesh Chandimal

first_imgSenior Sri Lankan batsman Dinesh Chandimal on Friday admitted that his side cannot always use ‘transition phase’ as an excuse for the team not doing well in recent times.Ahead of their World T20 cricket match against England today, Chandimal blamed on ‘inexperience of middle-order’ for their inconsistent performances of late but he added that players need to ‘put their hands up and perform’. (Also read: Lasith Malinga is irreplaceable, says Thisara Perera) “You cannot always say transition. We need to put our hands up. We will give our best shot in the next game,” Chandimal said when asked whether a team comprising of Tillakaratne Dilshan, him, Chamara Kapugedara, Angelo Mathews and Thisara Perera can be termed as inexperienced.”We are struggling with middle order. In big games, we don’t have experience. The guys are working hard in practice.”We are looking to do well in our next game,” Chandimal said.He said Saturday’s game against England and the next against South Africa will give his side an opportunity to do better.”We are concerned with our middle order but we will have a good chance anyway. England’s pacers can be surprise package,” the talented right-hander said.Chandimal is confident that the slowish Feroze Shah Kotla track will prove to be an advantage for the Sri Lankans considering that scoring will be difficult as compared to the batting-friendly conditions at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.”It’s all about the conditions. Wankhede was a good pitch while this (Kotla) wicket is slow. So we will have a good chance,” he added.advertisementSri Lanka are playing their third game after a six-day break and Chandimal said it had helped the team to rejuvenate.”It was a really good break. We discussed what went wrong in the two games. We need to execute our plans and guys are looking forward to the match,” he said.Chandimal made it clear that the team would look to use its spin strength under Rangana Herath’s leadership to unsettle England team that looked ill at ease against Afghanistan spinners.”Rangana Herath is a world-class bowler. He can cause damage. Even South Africa are struggling against spinners.”Vandersay is a surprise package and Sachithra Senanayake is also good. Yes we expect big things from Rangana as he knows how to handle pressure,” said Chandimal.He conceded that England was a better side but it had some plans in place.”We have something up our sleeves. England are a better side with good youngsters. A good score on this kind of track depends on conditions and how one plays the first six overs,” he concluded.last_img read more

Smog turns Delhi into poisonous gas chamber, IMA declares ‘health emergency’

first_imgA double whammy of crop stalk burning in Punjab and Haryana and unfavourable meteorological conditions in the form of moisture-laden winds from Uttar Pradesh poisoned the Capital’s atmosphere on Tuesday. Delhiites woke up to a toxic cocktail of air overlooking their balconies and entering their living rooms and Metro tunnels as the government was also jolted into waking up and announcing a slew of measures immediately.Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia declared that primary schools in the city will remain closed on Wednesday. A four-fold hike in parking fees and slashing of Metro fares were also announced. Social media was flooded with grim pictures underscoring the extent of the crisis.The Supreme Court-mandated Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority, empowered to enforce the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP), also directed the states in the region to start preparing for implementing measures like the odd-even road space rationing scheme in light of the “crisis situation.”The air quality index was in the “severe” zone, with a score of 448 in a scale of 500, for the second time this year. Earlier, Diwali fireworks had triggered peak pollution levels on October 20. The National Green Tribunal took the governments of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana to task, seeking to know why preventive steps were not taken.FOUR-FOLD HIKE IN PARKING FEESThe Delhi government is considering shutting schools till the peak pollution levels prevail. “Delhi has become a gas chamber. Every year this happens during this part of year. We have to find a solution to crop burning in adjoining states,” chief minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted. “Considering high level of pollution, I have requested Manish Sisodia, Education Minister, to consider closing schools for few days.”advertisementEPCA chairman Bhure Lal and member Sunita Narain directed the municipal bodies in the region to immediately enhance parking fees by four times and instructed the Delhi Metro to lower fares during off-peak hours for at least 10 days, introduce more coaches and ensure frequent services.Among other measures, the EPCA instructed Delhi and neighbouring UP, Rajasthan and Haryana to introduce more buses and said a fine of Rs 50,000 would be imposed on road construction agencies violating dust pollution norms.ODD-EVEN COMEBACKThe body asked the Delhi-NCR governments to start preparing for steps like odd-even and a complete ban on construction activities if pollution aggravates. The measures include complete closure of brick kilns, hot mix plants and stone crushers across the region till further notice and a ban on entry of goods vehicles – not destined for Delhi, for the next 20 days – in the city.”Delhi has become a gas chamber. Every year this happens during this part of year. We have to find a soln to crop burning in adjoining states,” Kejriwal tweeted.The Indian Medical Association said Delhi is witnessing a “public health emergency” and appealed to the government to stop outdoor sports and other such activities in schools to protect children.”At present, Delhi’s air quality is unfit for living. Delhi has turned into a poisonous gas chamber similar to the Bhopal gas tragedy,” Dr Arvind Kumar, chairman of the Centre for Chest Surgery at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, told Mail Today. The EPCA announced that all measures under the GRAP’s severe category will be implemented across the region till further notice. “Definitely, respiratory cases have just doubles in the past two-three days,” Dr (Prof) GC Khilani, head of pulmonary medicine department at AIIMS, told Mail Today. “We are witnessing two types of patients: one with existing respiratory complications and the other are patients without fresh complaints of breathing.”WATCH |  Delhi engulfed by smog blanket, visibility drops to 15 meterslast_img read more

How to build a nation

first_imgKUMAMOTO, Japan – Since the end of the summer I have been shuttling between ASPENCORE’s bureaux in America, Asia and EMEA in a deliberate process with our editorial team to compile and configure a review of 2017 and a look-forward to 2018. Amid many late-night chats in the office kitchen, my editors and I couldn’t help noticing the intense intrigue with which engineers, manufacturers, and supply chain companies from Huntsville to Silicon Valley to Zurich were watching the development of China’s semiconductor industry.After a first wave of manufacturing clusters formed around Shanghai, Suzhou and Beijing, in recent years metropolitan areas such as Chengdu, Shenzhen, Nanjing, Xi’an, Xiamen and Wuhan have committed mind-boggling amounts of capital, land, and human resource to the industry. As these investments begin to round out China’s semiconductor manufacturing capabilities at scale, they may well trigger an upgrade of China’s semiconductor ecosystem at large, including advanced materials research and manufacturing equipment technologies. A recently concluded congress in China has contributed a sense of inevitability as it articulated an ambitious and surprisingly detailed vision to build a prosperous nation by committing China’s national policy to artificial intelligence, internet of things, autonomous driving, clean energy, and a smart, modern supply chain, among other levers of future economic growth and global technological leadership.As I pen this note in Kumamoto prefecture, 900 kilometers east of Shanghai and one of Japan’s post-WWII semiconductor clusters, the sentiment over the Japanese semiconductor industry cannot stand in greater contrast. While specific causes vary, an over-reliance on heavy industries and home appliances as well as an under-appreciation for the rise of software in electronic design have led giants such as Sharp, Sony and Toshiba to either put up much vaulted assets or the entire company for sale in recent years. According to ASPENCORE’s European bureau chief Jürgen Hübner, in Germany, where Industrie 4.0 and autonomous driving are two of the top areas of research focus, Japanese suppliers have largely fallen out of the mindshare of engineers. In some circles, it is in vogue to write off Japan as a has-been.But the truth is not as simple. As ASPENCORE’s chief international correspondent Junko Yoshida reports from Kanagawa, any analysis of Japan’s semiconductor sector must go beyond companies whose main business is semiconductor manufacturing. One of Junko’s examples was Toray Industries, a textile company that started in the rayon business but is now one of the world’s leaders in advanced nanofiber, carbonfiber, and nanoalloy technologies. Another example was construction and mining equipment company Komatsu, whose Kelk division achieved breakthroughs in optical communications and energy harvesting by leveraging its strengths in advanced materials, precision manufacturing and energy efficiency modules. Continue Reading Previous Making new contacts and friends at ESC Silicon Valley 2017Next Spotlight topics for in 2018 These seemingly conflicting data points in fact offer valuable lessons and forward-looking strategies for the two East Asian powers. For China, there must be a heightened awareness that the semiconductor industry is a broad ecosystem that goes far beyond manufacturing. Be it the upstream materials science and equipment technology or the downstream vertical applications and new user scenario development, only a holistic perspective on industry drivers, innovation hot spots, and human capital investment can infuse long-term sustainability into the growth of China’s semiconductor industry.A significant advantage for Chinese companies that is much discussed but little understood in Western tech media is the unique national conditions of the Chinese market: Its almost unfathomable scale, its growth rate without peer, and its significant and yet untapped growth potential. In the internet sector, we have seen these advantages catalyze the emergence of Chinese mega-platform companies such as Alibaba, Tencent, and Baidu. For example, as of April 2017, Ant Financial, a division of Alibaba, has seen one of its investment products reach $165 billion in assets under management, surpassing JP Morgan as the world’s largest money market fund. ASPENCORE believes the Chinese semiconductor ecosystem enjoys similar advantages and should seek to achieve escape velocity sooner by fully exploiting these unique national conditions.For Japan, hope is far from lost. While some companies have had to sell off well-known business units to survive financially, not all those businesses are crucial or even necessary for a corporate renewal. In fact, Renesas continues to dominate the automotive MCU sector, and Sony has successfully pivoted to high-end optical sensors. When Tesla looked for a battery cell partner for its Model 3, it chose to set up a gigafactory with Panasonic. More importantly, Japan’s combination of demographics, geography and industrial history provides fertile ground for breakthrough in healthcare, power generation and harvesting, and consumer robotics. Whether it’s an advanced service robot that can provide around-the-clock care assistance better than a human care provider, or exoskeleton suits that can improve the quality of life for aging seniors or veterans, the decline of Japan’s semiconductor industry may be one of the most exaggerated story lines of our times, as the land of the rising sun may well prove to be a formidable semiconductor powerhouse for many more decades to come.Lastly, I cannot end this month’s note without a heartfelt thank-you. A few weeks ago, ASPENCORE convened the 2017 edition of our Global Distribution and Supply Chain Summit in Shenzhen, China. The event, chaired by ASPENCORE’s Asia Pacific bureau chief Yorbe Zhang, attracted more than 600 in-person attendees and more than 10,000 unique viewers on live broadcast. Since then, many of our friends and colleagues from the industry have written in to tell us how much they enjoyed the summit’s content and lively format. These words of praise are both a source of encouragement and a reminder that at ASPENCORE we must continue to elevate the quality and diversity of our analysis and coverage. To our keynote speakers and panelists, many of whom are CEOs and captains of industry, we are grateful for your generosity in giving the audience your precious time and sharing your wisdom. To our attendees and broadcast viewers, many of whom listened and participated attentively and excitedly and some traveled long distances to reach Shenzhen, we are grateful for your trust. To our sponsors, all industry disruptors and thought leaders, we are grateful for your support and leadership in driving the growth of the industry. On behalf of the entire ASPENCORE staff around our global bureaux, I extend our sincerest appreciation to you and look forward to seeing you at our summit next year.As ever, any questions or comments, please write me at, or contact your favorite ASPENCORE editor directly. Thank you for your support.Victor Gao is an American journalist and publisher of ASPENCORE, the parent company of, EE Times and other electronics titles .Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInMoreRedditTumblrPinterestWhatsAppSkypePocketTelegram Tags: Industry, Manufacturing last_img read more

IAR enhances Amazon FreeRTOS integration for Arm Cortex-M-based IoT applications

first_imgIAR Systems has released a new plugin for the IoT Microcontroller Operating System Amazon FreeRTOS, providing a high level of control and visibility within IAR Embedded Workbench for Arm. The new plugin adds task awareness for all Arm Cortex-M devices, providing developers with full control of the execution at the task level and enabling display of the local execution context for each individual task within the IAR Embedded Workbench IDE.Together with Amazon Web Services (AWS), IAR Systems provides developers with easy access to high-performance, pre-integrated development tools for developing and debugging embedded and IoT-connected applications based on Amazon FreeRTOS. Amazon FreeRTOS provides tools developers need to quickly and easily deploy a microcontroller-based connected device and develop an embedded or IoT application without having to worry about the complexity of scaling across millions of devices.Enabled by IAR Systems’ C-SPY RTOS Awareness plugin, the integration with IAR Embedded Workbench gives developers a high level of control and visibility over an application built on top of Amazon FreeRTOS. It displays the position in the code, the register content, call stack information and local variables of the selected task. Task-specific breakpoints and task-specific stepping make it easier to debug tasks. Task-specific breakpoints and task-specific stepping make it easier to debug tasks. The new integration is being showcased at IAR Systems’ booth at embedded world.Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInMoreRedditTumblrPinterestWhatsAppSkypePocketTelegram Tags: Tools & Software Continue Reading Previous HCC Embedded: MISRA-compliant embedded cryptography suite and managerNext AAEON: embedded artificial Intelligence processing card for AI on Edge computinglast_img read more

Senior Management Specialist at FIGO

first_imgSenior Management Specialist (International Health Programme)FIGO received a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to lead an initiative to improve Maternal and Newborn Health in low and middle resource countries. The initiative aims to strengthen the leadership, advocacy and organisational capacity of selected FIGO member national professional organisations and is being undertaken initially in eight FIGO member associations in Africa and Asia.In connection with this initiative, FIGO is seeking to recruit a highly qualified London based Senior Management Specialist.The selected individual will assume following responsibilities:To directly support, in-country, the Member Associations’ implementation of specific activities of the project from the agreed work plans.To provide direct support to the Member Association in the documentation of the project and the development of reports of the outputs and the outcomes from implemented activities to FIGO and the M&E consultants.To provide one-to-one coaching, small group training workshops and technical assistance for the participating member associations in the following:Governance: To include the development of strategic plans and implementation, constitution, by-laws, minutes, action plans, implementation strategies and reporting mechanisms.Leadership: Leadership models, committee skills, communication skills, negotiation skills, facilitating skills, conflict resolution skills, gender equality.Management, including project/programme management: Log frames, work plans, roles and responsibilities, appraisal skills, performance management, understanding monitoring & evaluation, filing systems.Financial management: Financial planning, annual budgets, policy manuals, financial probity, external audit, fund raising including membership fees, external grant writing, accessing government support, in-kind contributions, charitable donations, investments.Human Resources: Recruitment procedures, job description, advertisements, pension/benefits, policy manuals, performance reviews, skills enhancement/ training.Communication/IT: Paper and IT based systems for internal and external communication, newsletters, media training, advocacy training.To facilitate the identification of national and regional consultants who may be able to provide technical assistance and discuss these suggestions with the Project Director.The successful candidate will have the following:A relevant university degree, or equivalent qualification or expertise in a health related setting (Master level or above is required)Demonstrated experience in project management, implementation, monitoring and evaluation tools, development of workplans, budgets and proposal writingAbility to train individuals and organizations in the above mentioned skillsPrevious experience in working and coordinating with the UN, NGOs or government agenciesFluency in Portuguese or French would be desirableThe fixed-term full-time position will be based in central London. The appointee will also be required to spend significant periods of time in Africa or AsiaSalary will be by negotiation based on experienceFurther information, together with detailed job descriptions, may be found on the FIGO website at http://www.figo.orgApplications in writing – including a full CV – should be submitted by no later than on Friday, the 11th of February 2011 to:Professor David TaylorFIGO, FIGO HouseSuite 3 – Waterloo Court10 Theed StreetLondon SE1 8STE-mail: figo@figo.orgInternational Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics is a UK Registered charity –(No 1113263; Company No 5498067) and is an equal opportunities employerThis job description is also available for download as a Word documentShare this: Posted on February 3, 2011November 13, 2014Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)IMPROVING MATERNAL AND NEWBORN HEALTH IN LOW-RESOURCE COUNTRIES THROUGH STRENGTHENING THE ROLE OF OBSTETRIC AND GYNECOLOGICAL NATIONAL ASSOCIATIONS ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

Discussions under Way to Broadcast Stem Content to Schools

first_imgStory Highlights The two-day conference, organised by the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO), has as one of its focal points, the transition from analogue to digital broadcasting, which, Minister Reid noted, provides a number of benefits for Jamaicans. Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, says discussions are well advanced with a local digital broadcast company to facilitate the transmission of content in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to certain schools. The Education Minister was speaking to JIS News following the opening of the Commonwealth Digital Broadcasting Caribbean Forum 2017 at The Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston on November 21. Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, says discussions are well advanced with a local digital broadcast company to facilitate the transmission of content in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to certain schools.“We are way down the wicket in discussions with one of our digital broadcasters to pursue this, and we are anxiously waiting,” he noted.The Education Minister was speaking to JIS News following the opening of the Commonwealth Digital Broadcasting Caribbean Forum 2017 at The Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston on November 21.The two-day conference, organised by the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO), has as one of its focal points, the transition from analogue to digital broadcasting, which, Minister Reid noted, provides a number of benefits for Jamaicans.“I think one of the classic ones is the quality of the broadcasts, particularly for those who do not have cable television. The picture quality isn’t very good (on analogue),” he pointed out.“Certainly, in terms of spectrum, for the broadcaster, they can make it more efficient to broadcast several different programmes at the same time,” he added.Secretary-General of the CTO, Shola Taylor, noted that the switch from analogue to digital allows for the development and broadcasting of local content.“Too often, we look for content outside of the region to broadcast to our people…I want to ask people of the Caribbean to develop local content within their region and to export them. In the United Kingdom (UK), I do not find any Caribbean stations,” he said.Meanwhile, Executive  Director of the Broadcasting Commission, Cordel Green noted that Jamaica has been on the journey to switch from analogue to digital broadcasting since 2003.“We’re at a point now where we’ve definitively settled on the date and on the technical standards. Then there are some other issues having to do with funding and ensuring that it is an inclusive process and that no one is left behind,” he said.Mr. Green informed that the Government is looking to make the switch “in the region of 2020 or possibly 2021, conceptually,” but noted that “it could be sooner rather than later because the broadcasters are keen on moving forward”.Held under the theme ‘Reinventing broadcasting for a new generation,’ the forum is part of CTO’s efforts to help countries in the Caribbean region to make the switch to digital.Over the two days, meaningful discussion will be facilitated on the transition, drawing on the experiences of diverse jurisdictions, including the UK, Suriname, United States, Samoa and Nigeria.Presenters include Controller of Distribution Operations at the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC); Stephen Baily; President of the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC), Mark Richer; and Chairman of Digiteam, Nigeria, Edward Idris Amana.last_img read more

Bangladesh India set a model of neighbourhood relations Envoy

first_imgNew Delhi: Bangladesh has emerged as one of the world’s fastest growing economies thanks to the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the country’s high commissioner to India Syed Muazzem Ali said on Thursday.He was speaking at IIMT Engineering College in Meerut at a function attended by about 800 students from different bachelor’s courses, besides officials and teachers of the prestigious institution. Syed Muazzem said Bangladesh today is one of the fastest growing economies of the world with a record 7.86 per cent GDP growth last year, and 8.13 per cent so far this fiscal year. He said India too is fast emerging as a global economic power with strong growth coupled with scientific and technological achievements. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The successes of both the neighbors offer each other opportunities to further deepen their economic relations, the envoy said in his speech on “India-Bangladesh Relations.” He said the neighborhood relations are so strong that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has recently suggested making joint efforts to showcase this model of relations to the world, in the form of research and study at the University level, in the form of thesis, PhD for a PhD degree. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K”Indeed, the relations have reached to an exceptional level and the “best ever” one, under the dynamic leadership of our two Prime Ministers Sheikh Hasina and Narendra Modi. It has gone beyond the strategic partnership level and now encompasses all aspects of our bilateral cooperation,” the envoy said amid applauses from the audience. To further the excellent bilateral cooperation Dhaka and New Delhi are now focusing particularly on three key areas: trade and investment, connectivity and energy. The session witnessed a lively interaction during which the students wanted to know from the veteran freedom fighter diplomat various aspects of Indo-Bangla relations, the regional cooperation and the way forward for the South Asian nations.last_img read more

IGP promotes 146 cops

Inspector General of Police (IGP) N.K Illangakoon has promoted 146 police constables to the rank of police sergeants with effect from 2009, the police media unit said today.The constables were promoted after they had filed fundamental rights petitions in court saying they had faced injustice by not being promoted. After considering their petitions filed in court last year the IGP has decided to promote them with effect from 2009.2.15, the police media unit said.

Climate change threatens selfdetermination of citizens in island States UN rights council

The President of Kiribati and the Prime Minister of Tuvalu were joined by Deputy UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Flavia Pansieri, who opened the discussion, telling the Geneva-based Council that human-induced climate change is not only an assault on the world’s shared ecosystem but it also undercuts “the rights to health, to food, to water and sanitation, to adequate housing and – for the people of small island states and coastal communities – even the right to self-determination.”The spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Rupert Colville, briefed the press on the discussions, saying that continued sea level rise at their current rate, could result in low-lying Pacific Island States, including Kiribati and Tuvalu being submerged within decades. He noted that some citizens have already been forced from their homes, while the two Governments struggle to supply people with adequate supplies of food and clean drinking water.According to a Government minister from Kiribati who briefed the Council in January, preparations are underway for a time when climate change “refugees” might exist. The Government of Kiribati has been buying land offshore and providing people with the skills to “migrate with dignity” when their islands were no longer habitable, Mr. Colville said.Survival is one thing but if the islands of Kiribati and Tuvalu do disappear, the spokesperson said, gone with them will be all the trappings of a modern state – Government buildings, courts, hospitals and schools. That will undermine those States’ peoples’ right to self-determination.Their leaders will have to find ways of reconstituting their States elsewhere, or persuade another government to provide their citizens with passports, welfare and protection. If they can’t do this, these “climate change refugees” will become stateless.“We are calling for human rights standards to be put front and centre of discussions on mitigating the negative impacts of climate change,” said Mr. Colville. “Any action designed to limit climate change must have people’s rights at its core. This should be taken into account when the UN Climate Change Conference convenes in Paris later this year to draw up a new global agreement.” read more

Deschamps Tactical changes were key to France win

first_imgFrance boss Didier Deschamps said that the tactical changes he made in the first-half had a key impact on his forwards in their 2-1 win over GermanyLes Bleus bounced back from Toni Kroos’ 14th-minute penalty to claim all three points in their Nations League clash with Germany after a brace from Antoine Griezmann in the second-half.It’s France’s 11th win in their last 15 matches and one more against the Netherlands at Rotterdam next month will secure them the top spot in Group A1.Speaking after the win at Paris, Deschamps praised the reaction of his players following a difficult opening 45 minutes and reflected on the changes he made during the game.“There was a reaction and we upped the intensity and tempo. The Germans played with real intensity in the first half,” said Deschamps on the UEFA website.“I modified my tactics after 25-30 minutes and found a better balance that gave more freedom to my forwards, especially Kylian (Mbappe) and Antoine (Griezmann) on the wings.Top 5 Bundesliga players to watch during the weekend Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 11, 2019 With the international activity cooling down for the next month, we go back to the Bundesliga’s Top 5 players to watch next weekend.The German…“It’s a good thing in terms of our aim of finishing top of the group, but we were up against a very good German side today.”France lead Group A1 with seven points from three games.#FRAALL 🇫🇷 2-1 🇩🇪 #NationsLeagueLe fait/homme du match, c’est _________.— UEFA Nations League (@EURO2020) October 16, 2018last_img read more

Kenai Man Seriously Injured In Crash Off Parks Highway

first_imgFacebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享A Kenai man was seriously injured when his vehicle rolled outside Palmer. Troopers are investigating the crash for possible involvement of drugs or alcohol. Thompson attempted to exit the Parks Highway at high speed at Hyer Road, failed to negotiate a sharp curve at the end of the off-ramp and rolled. The Alaska State Troopers say the rollover crash late Sunday night injured James Thompson, 39, of Kenai. Emergency responders transported Thompson to Mat-Su Regional Medical Center.last_img read more

Three zoo employees retire

first_imgBahadurpura: Three employees of Nehru Zoological Park retired on Sunday. Higher officials lauded their services during their tenure and felt that they stood as an example of discipline serving at the animal abode.K Venkataiah, Zoo Sergeant, K Kistaiah, Watchman and Jangaiah, Mali retired on Sunday (on superannuation) after putting in 34 years of service in Forest Department of the zoo. N Kshitija, curator, Zoo felicitated the retiring staff with garlands, shawls and mementos. Speaking on occasion Kshitija, said that during their tenure major events like Golden Jubilee Celebration was successfully organized and recollected that duty performed by all the three of them was remarkable. Also Read – Secunderabad: Major General N Srinivas Rao makes farewell visit to AOC Advertise With Us Several speakers recollected the punctuality and discipline which they brought out in performance of their duties. It was expressed by several speakers that the services of K Venkataiah, K Kistaiah, and Jangaiah, to the Zoo can never be forgotten. Assistant Director (Veterinary), Dr Shambhulingam, Assistant Curators, Bhavani Shanker, Satish Babu, Deputy Range Officers, Bhooma Laxmi Devi Kunwar, Saroja, Superintendent Annamani and others were present.last_img read more

Xbox One or PlayStation 4 Which system for which type of gamer

first_imgDo you like TV? Are you a hardcore gamer? Are you a casual gamer? Are you a tech layman? Well, those categories are pretty vague and the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 aren’t out yet, but I’m going to spitball and determine which is the right system for you. These are guidelines, based on my intimate knowledge of your tastes and personality, and you should feel in no way concerned that the Kinect or PlayStation Eye will tell me anything I don’t already know.FPS player (bro)Call of Duty: Ghosts and Battlefield 4 are coming out for both systems, so it’s a pretty hard choice. You can win an Xbox One if you get Mountain Dew and Doritos, or you can win a PlayStation 4 ahead of time if you buy the Taco Bell $5 lunch box. Unfortunately, I don’t think you can enter to win both if you get a Doritos Locos taco, Cool Ranch or not. It looks like the junk food marketing aspect is a wash, but only the Xbox One washes it down with Mountain Dew.Ultimately, Halo’s going to be the dealbreaker, and Halo 5 is practically confirmed for the Xbox One some time in the future. You think any of your friends are gonna be playing Killzone? Put on your Spartan armor and get pwning when you get bored with your military shooter of choice.FPS player (standard)Okay, now that the bros are out of the way, let me remind you that you’re a serious FPS player. Why should you sully your hands with a gamepad when a mechanical keyboard and high-sensitivity laser mouse, both wired of course, are the only tools worthy of your craft? Let the kids have their toys.So you won’t be playing Halo 5. You probably won’t be playing Destiny either, unless a PC port is announced. You can still play Call of Duty: Ghosts and Battlefield 4 if you want a laugh, and for true gaming you’ll always have your well-worn, memorized installs of Counter-Strike and Team Fortress 2.You know you weren’t really considering getting a console, anyway.Sports fansAsk your friends which systems they’re getting. If you’re better than them at Madden, get the same system so you can beat them any time. If they’re better than you at Madden/NBA 2K14, get the other system so they can only play you on your home turf.Indie gamerYou can’t use Desura or GOG or download Humble Bundle games on Xbox Live or the PlayStation Network, man. Keep gaming on your PC but, if you want a console right now, the the PS4 has a lock on the indie titles.Retro gamerSurprise: Get a Nintendo Wii U. The Xbox One and PlayStation 4 don’t have much word in what classic games will be available on them, and the Wii U not only has its own Virtual Console, but a Wii menu with a pretty full back catalog of Virtual Console games you’ll be able to upgrade to full Wii U versions (so you can play on the gamepad) for $1.50 a pop when they come out.When the PlayStation 4 gets PSOne and PS2 Classics, though, that’ll be another story entirely.Early adopter (with money to spend)Uh, get both. What are you, a Luddite content with Angry Birds? Step out of yesterday and jump into tomorrow!Early Adopter (with an actual budget)Sell a kidney, then get both.Early adopter (with no budget)Sell two kidneys. You’ll be fine (note: I am not a doctor).Brand-dedicated hardcore gamer with discerning tastesLet me remind you just how superior Microsoft/Sony (circle one) is at crafting a genuine gaming experience, unlike the bros and casuals at Sony/Microsoft. The Xbox One/PlayStation 4 is clearly the superior console of the generation, and the people who spend money on the PlayStation 4/Xbox One have no taste.Not only does Xbox Live/PlayStation Network offer a much better online gaming experience and more services than PlayStation Network/Xbox Live, but the Kinect/PlayStation Eye will offer valuable gesture controls and video chat and it’s obviously better than it’s included/not included in the box. The new Xbox One/PlayStation 4 gamepad is also immensely more comfortable and responsive than the PlayStation 4/Xbox One gamepad, and you can’t even use the PlayStation 4/Xbox One gamepad without your hand cramping up.Then there are the exclusives. I mean, sure the big games around launch are going to be cross-platform, but look at how Ryse: Son of Rome/Knack/Crimson Dragon/Killzone: Shadow Fall/Killer Instinct/Forza Motorsport 5 look amazing/underwhelming, with Driveclub/infamous: Second Son clearly looking like inferior/superior titles down the line.RealistNew game consoles are coming this month. They cost $400-500. They don’t have many major titles that won’t also be released on a competing console or PC. Wait a bit for more interesting games to come out, or you’ll be using either system as little more than a three-game toy that plays Blu-ray discs for the next six months.last_img read more

PWN2OWN Hacker Contest Targets Smartphones

first_img None of the smartphones that were slated for the attack were compromised. With mobile devices limited on memory and processing power, many researchers (hackers) main exploit techniques are not able to work.TippingPoint also identified unexpected complications with the possible combinations of handsets, operating systems and carriers introduced into the exploit equation. A spokes person at TippingPoint went on to say; “we didn’t realize how complicated it was.” In some cases TippingPoint wasn’t able to determine the exact phone or operating system’s version early enough to give researchers the lead time they needed to work up an exploit of a vulnerability they might have already uncovered. In next years Hackers Contest, TippingPoint plans to work out the details ahead of time so that it can publish the rules and specifications of the smartphones in plenty of time for researchers to prepare.An Apple iPhone could have been hacked if a researcher had wanted to part with the vulnerability. A TippingPoint spokes person commented, “there was an exploit at the show that could have broken the iPhone, but the researcher said that the $10,000 wasn’t enough to part with that level of vulnerability.”Some researchers just want to hold on to the bugs they have uncovered, even when offered $10,000 in cash. They have pride in their own little vulnerability they worked so hard on. But up© 2009 Citation: PWN2OWN Hacker Contest Targets Smartphones (2009, March 26) retrieved 18 August 2019 from This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. QuickTime Exploit Details Disputedcenter_img Explore further ( — TippingPoint, a security response team at 3Com Inc, had offered $10,000 for each exploit of any smartphones, which included Apple Inc.’s iPhone and RIM’s BlackBerry, as well as phones running the Windows Mobile, Symbian and Android operating systems.last_img read more

Expo Liberia a Tico tradition

first_imgExpo Liberia is 10 days of celebrating history, ranching and agriculture of Costa Rica’s most productive region, Guanacaste. From July 19-29, the streets of provincial capital Liberia, in the northwestern part of the country, will be filled with 100,000 expo-goers. Events includes a carnival, rodeos, bull fights, cattle shows, horse parades and numerous mounted competitions.Héctor Muñoz, president of the Liberia Chamber of Cattle Ranchers, the group organizing Expo Liberia, said the event is a union of ranching culture and tourism.“In one place you can find all of the diversity of Guanacaste,” Muñoz said. “The expo reveals the true identity of the region.”The celebration has taken place for nearly 200 years. It began in 1824, when the people of the Nicoya Peninsula chose to annex from what today is Nicaragua. The annexation anniversary is July 25.One of Muñoz’s favorite aspects of the week is the horse and cattle shows. There are numerous shows for different breeds raised in Costa Rica, and judges award breeders prizes for having superior animals.“These shows present the most beautiful horses and finely bred cattle,” Muñoz said. “It’s full of adrenaline and what ranching families have been practicing for decades.”One example of pride, tradition and beauty at Expo Liberia is the nomination of a novia, or bride, of the expo. This year’s novia is Irene Sánchez, great-granddaughter of one of the founders of the Liberia Chamber of Cattle Ranchers. Muñoz said she will hand out awards and prizes throughout the week.The rodeo is July 24, and includes barrel racing, pole bending, team penning and breakaway roping. Costa Rica’s horsemanship championship will be held on July 25. The traditional tope, or horse parade, is on July 28.Evenings during the expo will be filled with presentations of traditional Guanacaste music and dance, and of course, regional food.“There’s horchata, tamales, barbeque, fresh tortillas, sweets and more,” Muñoz said. “You can have all the delicacies of Nicoya, one right after the other.”See more details on the celebration and history of Guanacaste in next week’s edition of The Tico Times.For an event schedule and more information, visit Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

Costa Ricas Solís administration seeks changes to 485 million Chinabacked highway contract

first_imgRelated posts:Lawmakers could approve $395 million Chinese loan to expand Route 32 as early as this week Lawmakers to discuss San José-Cartago highway expansion Lawmakers pass $395 million loan for Limón Route 32 in final debate Solís pledges to fix La Platina bridge – the third president to make the promise Costa Rica will send China a new proposal by the end of the month for a revised contract to expand Route 32, which connects San José with the country’s Caribbean port city of Limón, Public Works and Transport Minister Carlos Segnini said Tuesday.Following a weekly Cabinet meeting Segnini said Chinese officials had agreed to consider renegotiating the terms of the $485 million contract signed by former President Laura Chinchilla’s administration. The plan calls for a four-lane expansion of 105 kilometers of the highway, the main access to the Caribbean.Officials from the Public Works and Transport Ministry, or MOPT, traveled last week to China to discuss what President Luis Guillermo Solís’ administration believes are flaws in the contract that could jeopardize the project.Costa Rican officials asked for an extension through February to provide a final evaluation. Costa Rica hopes to revise a loan agreement with the Export-Import Bank of China, as well as the deadlines for property expropriation and the relocation of public utilities.Other problems include the terms of arbitration for potential legal disputes. The contract states that disputes would be settled in Chinese tribunals. Costa Rica hopes to appoint a neutral third country in such cases.Costa Rica also now opposes waiving immunity for government officials during legal disputes, which Solís’ administration believes is unconstitutional. Segnini earlier this year said several provisions of the contract need further review, including clauses that set substantial fines if Costa Rica fails to comply with the terms.Representatives of several professional associations and private sector chambers also say the agreement is problematic.Transport officials are seeking to renegotiate provisions by Chinese contractor CHEC that require only Chinese workers and companies be used to carry out construction.“We made ​​it clear to our counterparts in China that while this project is significant and important for our country, the [contract] provisions were negotiated by the previous administration under conditions that we believe are not appropriate for our country’s interests,” Segnini said. “Those conditions not only jeopardize final approval in the Legislative Assembly, but they also could be ruled unconstitutional by the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court.”The minister said China would respond by Nov. 30.Members of a legislative commission focused on issues affecting Limón who met with Segnini before the Cabinet meeting appeared skeptical about the minister’s report.Social Christian Unity Party lawmaker Luis Vásquez said, “Mr. Segnini made no progress and failed to bring concrete proposals from China.”The National Liberation Party’s Danny Hayling said all 18 of his party’s lawmakers are willing to pass the bill to approve the contract in its current form, because “it is clearly beneficial for the country.”A majority of lawmakers last week agreed not to discuss that bill until President Solís returns from a trip to China in January. Solís hopes to directly renegotiate with China’s Xi Jinping some of the contract clauses. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

New generation of Costa Rican surfers puts sport in the spotlight

first_imgBut the fan pick didn’t quiver under the towering presence of his idols. Muñoz, who bounces through chaotic waves in the tranquil way a frog bounces across a pond, beat Medina in the first round with 7.73 and 6.17 wave scores. By virtue of the first round win, he automatically advanced past the second round, but in the third round Medina got his revenge and knocked Muñoz out of the tournament.“When I was leaving the water after Gabriel Medina won, I thought to myself for a second, I can’t believe I did so well against these guys,” Muñoz said. “For a kid from a little place like Esterillos to be in front of all the cameras, it was awesome.”Now, as his international image grows through connections with big-name brands and magazine photo shoots, Muñoz said he remains conscious of being a leader for the country’s younger surfers.At the Grand Reef Final last Saturday, after a winning heat, three teenaged boys tiptoed up to Muñoz while playfully shoving each other and laughing. They waited for him to finish posing for a selfie with a fan before greeting him with hugs and congratulations.One of the boys was Malakai Martínez, a 14-year-old surfer from Tamarindo who Brenes calls one of the leaders of his age group. With Martínez, Oscar Urbina and Aldo Chirinos, the boys national champion (15 and under), the sport has a line of visible talent for years to come.“These are the guys who are going to be world champs in four years,” Brenes said. “At this stage they might be surfing even better than Cali (Muñoz) or Noé Mar (McGonagle) did.”Muñoz said he gets goosebumps watching the juniors, while 21-year-old Fillingim admitted that the next group is on the verge of bringing Costa Rica surfing to an even higher level.“I remember when I was that age I was still dreaming about doing some of the stuff they’re doing,” Fillingim said. “But now they’re like doing backside full-rotation airs and frontside full-rotation airs and getting rail gains. I think the younger generation is going to be even better.” Cali Muñoz (left) and Carlos Brenes share a laugh with President Luis Guillermo Solís during a July 7 visit to Casa Presidencial. (Courtesy of Casa Presidencial)An olive branch from Casa PresidencialThough it has overlooked surfing in the past, this year Costa Rica’s government gave the world champion team the highest form of acknowledgment by extending an invitation to visit President Luis Guillermo Solís in Casa Presidencial earlier this month.“These surfers are another example of this extraordinary talent that shines in many tough conditions,” President Solís said while the surf team looked on. “These athletes haven’t always received our support or understanding of what they’ve had the heart to take on in the sea.”From the sands of Playa Hermosa, the soft-spoken Fillingim said younger surfers can look up to the medal-winning team and now follow a blueprint for winning future surfing crowns. When he was a kid growing up on his hometown waves of Santa Teresa, the champion surfer said he didn’t realize that his passion could be a vehicle, carrying him to his dreams on dry land. “Since I was little I wanted to meet a Costa Rican president, and thanks to surfing we just did it,” he said.Still, a short chat with the president does not make up for years of inattention. One way the government can strengthen its recent commitment to surfing is by investing in more major surfing events, which can, in turn, help tourism and local municipalities.During his meeting with the team, Solís compared politics to surfing, saying that politicians choose which legal path to take the same way surfers decide which wave to ride. Now, policymakers at the Costa Rican Institute of Tourism have to decide whether or not to take up an offer to host the World Surf Games for the first time since 2009. Costa Rica is currently in back-and-forth talks with Aguerre and the ISA about hosting the event, which holds the promise of bringing more money to surfing and tourism.In May, Costa Rica rejected the ISA’s $800,000 charge to set up the event, according to daily La Nación. But Brenes said the government is rethinking its original decision and calculating how much revenue could be made from the event. In 2009, tourism numbers boomed as 100,000 visitors descended on Playa Hermosa during the week-long surf fest.As talks between the government and the ISA continue, Aguerre says Costa Rican surfing needs more support from its public sector to build on the momentum established through its world title.“(Costa Rica) is really benefitting from this but it’s not investing much in terms of national resources,” he said. “If you have the best restaurant in town but you don’t promote it, then nobody is going to go.” 2015 Grand Reef Final mini-grommet champion Isuaro Elizondo, 11, of Panama said he comes to Costa Rica to surf for the higher level of competition. Alberto Font/The Tico TimesAs one wave goes out, another formsThough the highest possible team goal was achieved through the world title win, surfing’s most sought-after honors are normally reserved for the individual pro circuit. So as the country’s top surfers develop, they are likely to venture further away from national events, especially as they climb higher in the world rankings.Muñoz and Noé Mar McGonagle (Mar opted out of last weekend’s Grand Reef Final to surf in California) are ranked in the top 25 of the World Surf League’s Qualifying Series halfway through the season. To break into the Championship Tour, however, they must finish in the top 10 by season’s end.Noé’s sister Leilani ranks among the top female surfers in the world for her age group. And Fillingim, who said his goal is to break into the top 100 qualifier ranks next season, continues to rack up accolades throughout Central and South America.Though the Dream Team may never come together again in international competition, it’s left a golden mark on a country that’s wavered in promoting it.As ISA president, Aguerre was in Playa Popoyo, Nicaragua on the World Surf Games podium to lay medals on the champion riders. After Aguerre crowned the Costa Ricans, the young stars circled around with their right hands stretched into the middle.“Who are we?” they shouted. “Ticos!” they answered in booming unison.“Where are we from?”“Costa Rica!““How are we?”“Pura vida!“Seven weeks later, past the sponsor tents and the onlooking parents camped on the black sands of Playa Hermosa, you could almost hear the chant coming from the waves as an 11-year-old surfer popped up above the crashing water before landing an aerial.“Costa Rica surfing has shown that it can get to this level and continue going up,” Brenes said. “It’s not just once. There’s so much material for years to come.” Facebook Comments PLAYA HERMOSA, Puntarenas – Four by four, they launch themselves on surfboards into burgeoning waters like a disciplined and fearless army. All of the skinny soldiers — kids not more than 15 years old — emerge from the swell to tame seemingly intimidating waves with laughable ease.Behind their mid-afternoon silhouettes dotting the sea, cloudy skies blend with the Pacific so that the western horizon fades away into a blue mesh that seems to have no boundary.Today is the first day of the 2015 Grand Reef Final in Playa Hermosa, Garabito, where the country’s top junior talent opens the competition for the older stars. This year, Costa Rica’s national surfing championship brings together the country’s best for a weekend that is both a celebration of a world title just won, and a peek into a golden generation of young surfers that is stirring up a tidal wave of buzz.There’s the 15-year-old girl with diamond eyes and a surreal instinct in the water. As she walks parallel to the shore, the ocean bends towards her. Once in the surf, she zigzags the water in search of the perfect drop-in before popping up on the board, which moves as if attached to her feet from birth.Unlike most young surfers who wait in one spot for the right wave, Leilani McGonagle hunts for them with a strength that is impossible to imagine in a teenage girl until you witness it firsthand. And despite her age, the weekend’s winner of the female junior category is already closing in on the world’s top 100 women surfers in the World Surf League’s Qualifying Series. Her older brother, 19-year-old Noé Mar McGonagle — absent from the weekend’s competition — is currently the top-ranked Costa Rican surfer in the world at 17th in the men’s Qualifying Series.Then there’s Carlos “Cali” Muñoz, the shaggy-haired surfer from Esterillos, dubbed by a popular surf magazine as the “Flying Costa Rican.” At Playa Hermosa he lands an aerial spin amid collapsing waves to draw awes from the beachside audience.Anthony Fillingim Abarca, the current Latin American surfing champion, came to the event early to coach his 13-year-old cousin competing in the grommet’s category.Along with now national title-holder Jason Torres and 12-time women’s national champion Lisbeth Vindas, these young athletes make up what’s come to be known as El Equipo Soñado, the Dream Team. And they’re leading the way for a golden generation of surfers in a sport that has historically been neglected by the government. Even with the swell of collective talent, which came together to win this year’s International Surfing Association (ISA) World Surfing Games in Nicaragua, Costa Rica is still struggling to find support for its prize-winning sport.“You have an enormous amount of young talents who have the oceans as their courts, but they’ve been overlooked in favor of other sports,” said ISA President Fernando Aguerre.Born on a waveRaised on the famous wave break of Pavones on Costa Rica’s southern tip, Leilani McGonagle says she’s too young to even remember the first time her surfer parents put her on a board, though they tell her she started when she was about 18 months old.“It was either you go surfing or you sit on the beach and watch,” she said, seated on the winding root of a palm tree at Playa Hermosa. “I decided I wasn’t going to sit on the beach alone.”McGonagle and her brother, Noé Mar — children of a British father and American (U.S.) mother — led the way to Costa Rica’s first-ever world championship win last month. Noé Mar’s individual gold medal at the World Surfing Games, highlighted by a spectacular 9.93 run (out of 10), and Leilani’s silver medal pushed the tiny country over perennial surfing powers like the United States, Australia, and Brazil. Together with the other four members of El Equipo Soñado, the McGonagles proved the future generation already has its footprints planted in the present.Costa Rican Surf Federation spokesperson Carlos Enrique Brenes says surfing has taken off here in recent years thanks to surfer parents like the elder McGonagles. With built-in coaches training their kids on the waves before they’re even potty-trained and taking them on international travels as they grow up, the country’s young surfers have seen so much by the time they’re teenagers that they surf without fear, Brenes said. It doesn’t hurt that they share the waters with equally talented friends and siblings.Brenes, who’s been involved with the sport for 12 years, said international events used to be too big for Costa Rican surfers. That’s changed.“These kids aren’t intimidated anymore,” Brenes said. “They’re friends with the best surfers in the world.” Overlooked and underpaidThough Costa Rica is now on the map with some of the world’s best competitive surfing nations, a few years ago the national surfing federation couldn’t even afford to take a team to international championships. Severely underfunded and basically ignored by the government up until two years ago, federation leaders could barely scrape together enough money to pay for airfare, not to mention room and board for each athlete.Surf federation president Randall Chaves said without a steady stream of support from the government, Costa Rican surfers have clear disadvantages going into international competitions.“They don’t have money to eat, they don’t have money to sleep or to travel,” Chaves said. Ideally, he said, “we always try to put them in their comfort zone so that the only thing they have to worry about is to compete and win.”This is despite the fact that the Costa Rican Institute of Sports and Recreation (ICODER) has officially recognized surfing as the country’s highest performing publicly-funded sport. Costa Rican surfers have won nine world medals in the past four years.Still, today surfing is in line behind cycling and track in terms of government funding, according to surf federation spokesperson Brenes.International Surfing Association president Aguerre suggested the country’s leaders had misguided sports priorities. “The game is here,” he said during a recent phone interview, referring to surfing. “There are not many sports in which Costa Rica can compete for Pan-American gold medals and world gold medals. Well, they just won one of them with surfing.”But the sport is slowly demanding more attention. This year, for the first time, surfers became eligible to receive government scholarships. Ten surfers are currently getting scholarship money, according to Andrés Carvajal, head of ICODER’s Sports Performance Department. The department has a half-million dollar budget to dole out annual scholarships to young athletes across the country.Carvajal said the addition of scholarships for surfers was the government’s way of recognizing the regional and global achievements that the athletes have garnered while carrying Costa Rica’s flag.On top of domestic sponsorships from the likes of Kölbi and the national beer company, international surf and skate brands also fund the surf federation’s tournaments, helping to improve the sport’s infrastructure. And, apparently, it pays off for those brands: more surfing merchandise is sold in Costa Rica per capita than anywhere else in the world.Still, private sponsorships aren’t enough to keep the sport advancing, said Aguerre, who co-founded Reef, the major surfing brand that hosts Costa Rica’s surf finale each year. He said if the country neglects its young surfers by failing to provide long-term funding, pot holes will sprout up on their road to development.“It’s world-class talent without the world-class means,” Aguerre said. Though only 14 years old, Malakai Martínez is already being hailed as the next great Costa Rican surfer. Alberto Font/The Tico TimesSurfers grab their placeAt Playa Hermosa, the biggest waves hit “Cali” Muñoz when he comes out of the sea. An unrelenting swarm of fans, one after the other, crash upon the always-vibrant Muñoz. Each request for a signature or picture is met with gratitude and smiles from the country’s biggest surf star.Streaks of gold run through his dark, bushy hair, which sags heavy with water over a marketable smile that never wavers. A few miles away, his facade is plastered on a 20-foot billboard over Route 34 as it nears Jacó. With sponsorships from Red Bull, Volcom, and FCS in his pocket, the 22-year-old Muñoz is the humble rock star of Costa Rica’s world championship team. As recognizable as he is talented, the surfer from Esterillos carries such an upbeat ethos that Aguerre says he could be an advisor to the pope.It’s easy to see why: sponsors give him monthly pay checks to do what he loves and help support his family. Muñoz says surfing kept him afloat when he could have sunk under bad habits.“When I was young I had a lot of problems like anyone else,” he said. “(Surfing) opened up an incredible culture for me, like traveling and doing your own things and also helping my mom. I think surfing is my whole life. It totally changed my life.”At his young age, Muñoz has already made it further on the individual circuit than any Costa Rican in history by competing in a World Championship Tour title event – the highest level of pro surfing. After winning a video contest thanks mainly to a large contingent of Costa Ricans who went online to vote for him, the popular surfer was elected to fill the wildcard entry at the 2014 Hurley Pro at Trestles surf competition in Southern California. At the tournament he entered the water with the sport’s very best, including Kelly Slater — widely considered the greatest surfer of all-time — and last year’s world champion Gabriel Medina.center_img Related posts:Surfing year in review: 2015 a historic year for Costa Rica surf Costa Rica surf squad will bring out its brightest stars for World Surfing Games World Surfing Games in Jacó: 5 things to know about attending WATCH: Noe Mar McGonagle rides near perfect wave to advance at surf comp in Portugallast_img read more