After Effects Quick Tip: Minimizing Pixelation and Artifacts

first_img2. Find Edges and Camera BlurFor this method, duplicate the image and precomp it, telling it to “Leave all attributes” in the original comp. Open the precomp and apply a Find Edges effect. You’ll use this as a matte to blur out any pixelated edges. I hope these three methods help when you’re stuck using tiny assets! If you’ve got any of your own recipes for minimizing grain in After Effects let us know in the comments below! Here are three quick ways to minimize pixelation and artifacts in low-res pictures!No mater how much you try to avoid it, eventually you’re going to have to use some images in a project that are just too small. There are some creative motion-graphics solutions for getting around scaling the images up to a point where you see any pixelation, but here are three quick ways to minimize pixelation when you really need to scale them up to full-fame or larger in After Effects.Here’s the low-res picture we’ll be using at it’s original size in a 1080p comp.Yes, that’s me. I was an awkward teenager. Can we ignore that please! 🙂I’ve had to scale it up to 450%, so you can see the artifacting below:1. Detail-Preserving UpscaleThe Detail-Preserving Upscale effect is a relatively new feature in After Effects, and it’s pretty simple to use. Leave the layer’s scale at 100%, then increase the layer scale in the effect itself. It does a pretty great job, though sometimes the images come out looking just a bit over-sharpened. Go back to the main comp, turn off the precomp, and apply the Camera Blur effect to the original picture. Set the Blur Map to the precomp and set the Blur Radius to 1. This kind-of has the opposite effect of the Detail-Preserving Upscale. You lose a bit of detail/definition, but it’s not a total blur of the whole image.3. Add Film GrainMy personal favorite, and in my opinion, the easiest of all. If you don’t mind a bit of a vintage look, film grain is a great way to cover pixelation. I pulled in a “16mm” clip from my personal Cinegrain package (any equivalent film grain will do), set it to overlay.I then selected “Freeze Frame” (an optional step). Right away, you can see that almost all traces of the pixelation/artifacting are hidden by the grain. The heavier the grain, the more pixelation/artifacting it covers up!last_img read more

As Gujarat Deputy CM sulks over allocation of portfolios, Patidar leaders rally behind him

first_imgWithin days of its taking over, cracks have appeared in the new government in Gujarat as Deputy Chief Minister and prominent Patidar leader Nitin Patel is sulking over the issue of portfolio allocation which saw three powerful departments — finance, petrochemicals and urban development — being taken away from him.Patidar quota agitation leader Hardik Patel said, “Nitinbhai should break from the BJP with his MLAs and we will talk to the Congress to support him.”Earlier, Mr. Hardik asked the Deputy Chief Minister to join his stir ”to fight for justice” to the Patidar community. “Nitinbhai can join in our fight for justice. After all, he got only lollipops in the BJP,” the 24-year-old Mr. Hardik said in Botad, where he is holding a Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) meeting to deliberate and discuss their future strategy. Mr. Hardik is likely to meet Mr. Nitin by Sunday.Many other community leaders are pouring in to meet Mr Nitin.Sardar Patel Group (SPG) chief Lalji Patel announced that Mehsana (Mr. Nitin’s constituency and the epicentre of the Patidar agitation) would remain shut on January 1 to protest against ”injustice” to Mr. Nitin. Mr. Lalji met Mr. Nitin on Saturday.The SPG and PAAS jointly launched the quota agitation in 2015.Nitin skips officeOn Friday, Mr. Nitin did not turn up to his office and did not even make any public appearance anywhere. Sources in the government said he had made his displeasure known to the central leadership of the BJP on being given “light weight portfolios” despite being the Deputy Chief Minister.In the new government, he has got Roads and Buildings, Narmada, Health, Medical Education and Capital Projects.According to party insiders, the central leadership is sending a senior leader to mediate and end the crisis.Differences with CM Vijay RupaniDifferences between Mr. Nitin and Chief Minister Vijay Rupani cropped up on Thursday before the first Cabinet meeting in which Ministers were supposed to be distributed the departments. Due to the differences, the meeting, scheduled to ‪start at 5 p.m.,‬ commenced ‪only at 9 p.m.‬ after a marathon meeting at the Chief Minister’s residence, where  Mr. Rupani, Mr. Nitin and State party president Jitu Vaghani assigned portfolios to Ministers after consultations with the party brass in New Delhi.“Nitinbhai is upset with not getting the Finance Department,” a senior party leader said, adding, “despite being Deputy Chief Minister, he is not dealing with any important portfolios like Home, General Administration, Industries, Mines and Minerals, Finance, Urban Development or Revenue.”After the Cabinet meeting, Mr. Rupani, Mr. Nitin and Mr. Vaghani held a press conference in which Mr. Rupani ruled out any differences. Mr. Nitin, however, did not talk.“There were no differences on anything and the government will utilise Nitinbhai’s experiences and expertise,” Mr. Rupani said as Mr. Nitin looked on with a sullen face.In the new government, Mr. Rupani has kept Home, General Administration, Industries, Mines and Minerals, Urban Development and Petrochemicals with himself.Ex-Minister rehabilitatedSaurabh Patel, who was dropped from the Cabinet when Mr. Rupani took over as Chief Minister in 2016 after a series of allegations of irregularities and nepotism against him surfaced, has been rehabilitated now. He has been given Finance and Energy.last_img read more

Eight injured in Faizabad jail violence

first_imgA clash between two groups of prisoners sparked a riot in Faizabad divisional jail where at least eight inmates were held hostage and assaulted during the stand-off that lasted six hours on Saturday, according to police sources. The inmates threatened to blow up cooking gas cylinders which they took from the jail kitchen and threw stones at the security personnel as reinforcements were rushed in to restore order.Probe ordered Faizabad District Magistrate Anil Kumar Pathak said that a magisterial enquiry has been ordered into the incident. The trouble started at 9 a.m. when a jail functionary complained to the Superintendent about some undertrial prisoners talking on mobile phone, the police said. Miffed with his action, a group of prisoners thrashed him. When some other prisoners objected to it , the group attacked them too and held them hostage. The rioters also broke CCTV cameras installed in jail as chaos reigned. Additional forces were called in, which used drone cameras to take stock of the situation, they said. After more than six hours, the security forces were able to free the eight badly injured hostages who were shifted to Faizabad district hospital, they said. According to sources, the jail has a capacity of 4,000 inmates but over 8,000 prisoners are lodged there.last_img read more

FIFA World Cup 2014: Rampaging Croatia romp to 4-0 win over Cameroon

first_imgCroatia will be eager to register their first points in the tournament as they take on CameroonMario Mandzukic scored two goals Wednesday to keep Croatia in the mix at the World Cup with a 4-0 win over 10-man Cameroon, which will be going home after the group stage. Mandzukic, who returned to the team at the Arena da Amazonia after sitting out the opening loss to Brazil through suspension, headed in a corner from Danijel Pranjic in the 61st minute and then knocked in a rebound in the 73rd of the Group A game.Ivan Perisic also scored one goal and made another for Ivica Olic.MATCH COMMENTARY Cameroon was reduced to 10 men after midfielder Alex Song was given a red card for elbowing Mandzukic in the back in an off-the-ball incident in the 40th minute.The team started without the injured Samuel Eto’o, the team’s best player.Croatia now has its future in its own hands. If the 1998 World Cup semifinalists beat Mexico on Monday, they will guarantee themselves a spot in the second round. The Mexicans will advance with only a draw.Cameroon is out, however, and can only play spoiler in its final match against five-time champion Brazil, also on Monday. If the 1990 World Cup quarterfinalists beat Brazil, the host country could still advance or be forced out of the tournament on goal difference.Darijo Srna started the move for the first goal, whipping a cross into the area from the right in the 11th minute. Mandzukic and Nicolas Nkoulou then collided while going for it, but the ball popped loose to Perisic. The Croatia midfielder stepped up and coolly slid the ball into the path of Olic to tap in.advertisementPerisic did it all himself early in the second half, beating Cameroon defender Dany Nounkeu to a long pass from goalkeeper Charles Itandje and taking it all the way back to where it came from.Perisic, with Nounkeu chasing him, ran into the area down the left and gave himself a tough angle before slipping his shot between Itandje and the near post in the 48th.Mandzukic was left unmarked to head home Croatia’s third goal and followed up with the simplest of tap-ins when Itandje spilled a shot from Eduardo.Cameroon knew it needed points against Croatia, and the team came out fast in an effort to take the early lead. Several dangerous attacks down the right flank caused concern to the Croatia defense early, but none of them materialized into any real danger.A few late chances came close, but nothing got past Croatia goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa.The loss of Eto’o, who came to Brazil with a right knee injury, was a blow to the team, however. Although Cameroon still went on the attack even without their best attacker, the finishing class of the former Chelsea and Barcelona striker was missing.The loss of Song didn’t help, either.The midfielder, well away from the ball, was running back from the Croatia end when he lashed out and elbowed Mandzukic in the back. Referee Pedro Proenca of Portugal immediately pulled out his red card and sent Song off.Song is the cousin of Cameroon great Rigobert Song, one of only two players to be sent off at two different World Cups. The other is Zinedine Zidane.Team Line-ups(from):Croatia: Stipe Pletikosa; Darijo Srna, Vedran Corluka, Dejan Lovren, Danijel Pranjic; Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic, Ivan Perisic (Ante Rebic, 78th), Sammir (Mateo Kovacic, 72nd); Ivica Olic (Eduardo, 69th), Mario MandzukicCameroon: Charles Itandje; Aurelien Chedjou (Dany Nounkeu, 46th), Nicolas N’Koulou, Benoit Assou-Ekotto; Stephane M’Bia, Alex Song, Joel Matip, Eyong Enoh; Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (Edgar Salli, 75th), Vincent Aboubakar (Pierre Webo, 70th), Benjamin Moukandjolast_img read more

Taskforce on Maha agrarian crisis submits report to govt

first_imgMumbai, Feb 15 (PTI) A Maharashtra government-appointed taskforce on tackling the agrarian crisis has mooted a two-pronged strategy of having a distress management relief plan and restoration of agriculture extension services.Vasantrao Naik Sheti Swavlamban Mission (VNSSM) headed by Kishor Tiwari was constituted by the state government for redressal of farmers grievances and was asked to submit a report on measures needed to tackle agrarian crisis in the 14 drought-prone districts of Maharashtra.In the report submitted to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis recently, Tiwari has proposed laying out a distress management relief plan that covers food security, health services improvement, providing 100 per cent fresh farm credit and crop insurance cover to every farmer.It also includes improving educational facilities in distress farm suicide area, zero pendency and corruption free local governance, livelihood management as well as job creation under National Rural Employment Guarantee Act and Mudra scheme.The second of suggestions includes restoration of agriculture extension services, participation of Krishi Vikas Kendras (KVKs) in agro-counselling, reintroduction of food, edible oil and pulses crop, soil moisture management, long term farm credit policy and income based resource mobilisation in rural economy.The activist also proposed that farmers of the 14 districts be made to shift from rain sensitive crops to cultivating edible oil seeds abd pulses while nalas, rivers that were dead be revived under the Jalyukt Shivar project.He also suggested that the government create post- harvest processing facilities, health care and educational facilities for farmers and their children and ensure hundred per cent fresh farm credit and crop insurance cover to every farmer.advertisementThe other suggestions include covering seven million families, farm labourers and landless farmers in the 14 districts under the National Food Security Act, which will give average annual relief of Rs 6,000 to every family. (MORE) PTI MM ARS RT RYSlast_img read more

Audi A3 completes 5 years in India, premium sedan now priced at Rs 28.99 lakh

first_imgGerman luxury car manufacturer Audi has lowered the prices of its A3 premium sedan in India by nearly Rs 5 lakh. The entry-level Audi A3 35 TFSI Premium Plus now comes at a starting price of Rs 28.99 lakh. The car was launched in the country in 2014.Audi A3 is available in India in two engine options — 4-cylinder, 2.0-litre, 35 TDI (diesel) engine and 4-cylinder, 1.4-litre 35 TFSI (petrol) engine. The diesel motor produces 143 hp and 320 Nm of torque and comes mated to a 6-speed S tronic dual-clutch automatic transmission. The petrol mill delivers 150 hp and 250 Nm of torque and is offered with a 7-speed S tronic dual-clutch automatic transmission. The carmaker claims that the ARAI certified mileage for the diesel option is 20.38 kmpl and petrol option is 19.20 kmpl, respectively.The premium sedan features LED headlights and taillights. It also gets panoramic glass sunroof, tinted glass insert with manual, infinitely adjustable sun shield and an integrated wind deflector. Audi A3 cabin boasts of features like 3-spoke multifunction sports steering wheel, air vents in aluminium look, aluminium interior elements, dual-zone electronic climate control with sunlight-dependent control, interior electric front and rear windows, front and rear floor mats, interior lighting, sun visors and 17.78 cm display with high-resolution graphics.Audi A3 also gets the S line package and comes with S line front and rear bumpers and side skirts, S line radiator grille, S line rear diffuser, tailpipes in chrome, illuminated door sill trims with S logo and S line badge on the front fenders.Below are the variant-wise Audi A3 prices (ex-showroom).advertisementVariantNew PriceOld PricePrice DifferenceA3 35 TFSI Premium PlusRs 28.99 lakhRs 33.12 lakhRs 4.13 lakhA3 35 TFSI TechnologyRs 30.99 lakhRs 34.57 lakhRs 3.58 lakhA3 35 TDI Premium PlusRs 29.99 lakhRs 34.93 lakhRs 4.94 lakhA3 35 TDI TechnologyRs 31.99 lakhRs 36.12 lakhRs 4.13 lakhALSO READ | Maruti Suzuki Baleno touches 6 lakh sales milestone since launch in October 2015ALSO READ | Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza petrol variant launch around September 2019?ALSO READ | Hyundai Venue: New compact SUV gets a thumbs up for price, features, enginelast_img read more

Notes on the OSU-Texas game

first_imgWe are at the point of sarcastic cheers from Cowboys fans every time the Pokes get a first down. #okstate— Andrew Carter (@Andrew__Carter) November 16, 2014 Tyreek Hill tries to break free against Texas. (USATSI)Tyreek Hill tries to break free against Texas. (USATSI)I posted the 10 Thoughts over here — this is the rest of my notebook from tonight. Not going to lie, it’s a little more sparse than usual.• Texas ran 76 plays, OSU ran 52. Normally I wouldn’t say that’s a big deal but when you play a team as physical as Texas is, it seems like it matters more.• I loved Texas’ helmets. Not sorry.• Am I the only one who feels like Tyreek almost never hits the correct hole? Far be it from me to criticize the fastest dude in college football but I find myself saying “no, not that one!” pretty often.• “Daxx Garman has done a very good job of doing the best he could.” A real quote from Joey Harrington.• Strange but true: OSU still has zero fumble recoveries on the season. I can’t find a team this century that has finished a season like that. In fact, I can’t find a team that has had fewer than two since…OSU did it in 2003.• The one upside of horrific games is that Twitter is usually on point.They had to wake up Bullet from a 3 hour nap. #okstate— Carson Cunningham (@KOCOCarson) November 16, 2014 This win will make UT bowl eligible which means they’ll likely be ranked top 5 next year in the preseason.— Nolan (@nolancox) November 16, 2014• Had to feel for Desmond Roland tonight. First game back after his mom died, senior night. All of the emotions.• Kameron Doolittle led OSU in receiving tonight. Just gonna leave that right here.• Joe Davis, the head announcer (I think that was his name) at one point gushed about a Daxx incompletion saying “at least he set his feet and stepped into it!” That’s where we’re at, folks.• OSU was 2/13 on third downs. We’re now 51/153 on the season. Seems not good.• Pretty good analysis at halftime from The Visor.Gundys insight to robert Allen was awesome. “We aren’t very good”— d (@dbeeze_) November 16, 2014• OSU didn’t beat Texas in Stillwater in my teens or 20s. That’s a little depressing.• I’ve never seen a “leg whip” penalty.• You know who’s a boss? Orange Power guy at the games. He would show up and scream his head off if you were rolling 11 dudes out there that have contributed to this blog. I love him.• At one point in the second half we had 56 offensive yards and 55 penalty yards.• This sounds about right.Charlie Strong said he told his players to take off their cold gear before the game. Wanted to set the tone and create the right mindset— Brandon Chatmon (@BChatmon) November 16, 2014• I feel like Swoopes throws east-west a lot (or north-south in BPS). I noted it in the 10 Thoughts but are we positive he’s good? I know he does good things but I’m not convinced he’s a star.[1. We will lose by 52 in Austin next season.]• Monstrous. He’s been one of the few bright spots. I don’t know if he’ll get it but he should be All-Big 12.#okstate Emmanuel Ogbah becomes OSU’s first 10-sack guy since Greg Richmond in 2003.— Bill Haisten ?? (@billhaisten) November 16, 2014• This guy.• This was called roughing the passer. I truly hope Swoopes lives through it.• Still sick. Boone Pickens just grabbed the mic from Pres. Hargis at midfield: “Congratulations all of us, and Burns, my a$$ is cold.”— Kyle Boone (@PFBoone) November 16, 2014 If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers! If OSU plays Kansas next week, they lose. Plain and simple.— Tyler Ames (@TyAmes93) November 16, 2014 This picture from tonight is amazing. #OkState pic.twitter.com/g7acA5GPEL— Kyle Boone (@PFBoone) November 16, 2014last_img read more

Transfer latest: Vidal ‘ideal target’ for Man Utd

first_imgTransfers Transfer news & rumours: Vidal ‘ideal target’ for Man Utd Goal Last updated 1 year ago 00:00 2/3/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) Arturo Vidal Bayern 2017 Getty Images Transfers Premier League Serie A Bundesliga Primera División Ligue 1 Goal takes a look at the biggest transfer news and rumours from the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A and beyond Vidal ‘ideal target’ for Man UtdBayern Munich midfielder Arturo Vidal is viewed as an ideal summer signing by Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho, reports the Manchester Evening News . Mourinho will look to bring in a new midfielder in the summer, with Michael Carrick due to retire and doubts over the future of Marouane Fellaini, whose contract expires at the end of the season.Vidal could be allowed to leave the Allianz Arena after Bayern agreed a deal for Leon Goretzka and Mourinho feels the experienced Chilean would be an astute addition to his squad. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Madrid target Hazard & KaneEden Hazard ChelseaEden Hazard and Harry Kane are at the top of Real Madrid’s summer shopping list for new signings, claims Mundo Deportivo . Madrid view a deal for Paris Saint-Germain’s former Barcelona star Neymar to be more feasible in 2019, but club president Florentino Perez still wants big-name signings at the end of the season.Chelsea playmaker Hazard, who has recently been linked with Manchester City, and Tottenham striker Kane are the key names Perez is focusing on for new arrivals.Leicester wanted Roberts in Mahrez dealPatrick Roberts, Celtic, 17/18Leicester City wanted Patrick Roberts included as a makeweight in Manchester City’s bid to sign Riyad Mahrez, according to the Telegraph .The Premier League leaders tried to sign Mahrez before Wednesday’s transfer deadline, but refused to pay more than £60 million for the winger.Reports suggested Leicester were keen to have a player included in the deal too and enquired about Roberts, but Pep Guardiola didn’t want to sell the attacker, who is currently on loan at Celtic.City sign PSG midfielderMikel Arteta, Manchester CityParis Saint-Germain teenager Claudio Gomes has agreed a deal to sign for Manchester City, reports Le Parisien .The France Under 18 captain has rejected a professional contract at PSG and will instead move to City at the end of the season.City assistant coach Mikel Arteta is reported to have played a key role in persuading the highly-rated Gomes to leave PSG in favour of the Etihad Stadium.Mahrez misses training againRiyad Mahrez Leicester City WatfordRiyad Mahrez has missed Leicester City training for the second day in a row after his January move to Manchester City fell through, reports Sky Sports News .The Algeria international handed in a transfer request on deadline day as City made a late move to secure his signature, but the deal ultimately collapsed.Reports have since suggested that Mahrez will not play for the club again, and he has been AWOL from training for the last two days.Mourinho wants Barca’s UmtitiSamuel Umtiti BarcelonaJose Mourinho hopes to lure Samuel Umtiti away from Barcelona this summer, reports Don Balon . Barca have stalled contract talks with the 24-year-old centre-back and Manchester United hope to pounce on the uncertainty with a lucrative offer.Umtiti’s has a €60 million release clause in his contract and United would have no problem meeting it to land the France international.Juve target summer Darmian dealMatteo Darmian Manchester UnitedManchester United’s Matteo Darmian is Juventus’ prime summer target in their search for a new right-back, reports Tuttosport .Darmian has been repeatedly been linked with a return to Serie A and Juventus are ready to make an approach for the former Torino defender at the end of the season.Juventus are also interested in signing Liverpool midfielder Emre Can, Roma midfielder Lorenzo Pellegrini and Cagliari’s North Korean striker Han Kwang-song.Klopp won’t spend ‘crazy’ moneyJurgen Klopp, LiverpoolJurgen Klopp resisted reinvesting the funds Liverpool received for Philippe Coutinho during the January transfer window due to the inflated prices of the Reds’ targets.Coutinho departed in a reported €160 million deal to Barcelona at the beginning of January, but Liverpool did not pursue a direct replacement.They were linked with a move for Monaco’s Thomas Lemar, while RB Leipzig resisted Liverpool’s attempts to bring the end-of-season signing of Naby Keita forward , with Klopp explaining that the “crazy money” involved led to a quieter window.Read the full story on Goal right here! Dendoncker wants release clauseLeander Dendoncker Anderlecht 2017Leander Dendoncker is holding talks to agree a fixed transfer fee for him to leave Anderlecht in the summer after missing out on a January move to the Premier League, reports Het Laatste Nieuws .West Ham were interested in signing the midfielder on deadline day, but failed to persuade Anderlecht to sell after making an offer approaching the reported asking price of €20 million.Dendoncker, who has also been linked with Crystal Palace, Manchester United and Watford, was reportedly upset at the failure to clinch a move and an agreement on a fixed fee for the Belgium international to move at the end of the season is being discussed.Valencia consider RafinhaRafinha, Bayern Munich, 17/18Valencia are considering an approach for Bayern Munich full-back Rafinha, according to SuperDeporte .The 32-year-old, who has been with Bayern since 2011, is out of contract at the end of the season and a decision is due to be made on whether he will be offered an extension.However, he could have the option of moving to Spain as Valencia are weighing up an offer for the Brazilian as they search for a new right-back.Real Madrid eye Roma keeper AlissonAlisson Becker RomaReal Madrid are keeping a close eye on Roma revelation Alisson as they look to line up a new goalkeeper ahead of next season, Mundo Deportivo   claims.The 25-year-old has been a sensation in Serie A this season and reportedly attracted interest from Liverpool in January. However, the Brazilian has caught Madrid’s eye and, after missing out on a new shot stopper in the winter transfer window, they are considering making a move for him in January.Madrid have already been linked with David de Gea and Thibaut Courtois, but see Alisson as top quality option.Conte offered Italy escape routeAntonio ConteItaly are ready to offer Antonio Conte his national team job back if he is sacked by Chelsea, claims the Daily Star .The ex-Juventus boss has come under fire for recent bad results, while his outspoken criticism of transfer policy is also understood to have vexed those in charge at Stamford Bridge. But if he is removed from his post less than a year after lifting the Premier League, he could bounce right back with Italy, still without a head coach after Gian Piero Ventura was sacked in November due to his failure to make the World Cup.Brady to blame for West Ham’s failed Slimani bidIslam Slimani Leicester CityLeicester City refused to sell Islam Slimani to West Ham because of comments made by vice-chairwoman Karren Brady,  The Mirror  reports.The London club tried to sign the forward before the close of the transfer window, but the Foxes refused to do business with them over comments Brady made about owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha in a newspaper column last year.Although Brady apologised for criticising the owner in the wake of Claudio Ranieri’s dismissal, Leicester still hold a grudge and sent Slimani on loan to Newcastle instead.Barca put Retsos top of listPanagiotis RetsosBarcelona are showing a heavy interest in Bayer Leverkusen defender Panagiotis Retsos, according to Mundo Deportivo .The defender joined Leverkusen from Olympiakos in August for a reported €22 million and has been a revelation in the Bundesliga so far.Barca have already had Jonathan Tah high on their list of targets, but his team-mate has overtaken him in the Catalan side’s estimations. Blind was offered to RomaDaley Blind Manchester UnitedRoma snubbed the chance to sign Daley Blind after the Manchester United player was offered to the Italian side, technical director Monchi says.The Netherlands international was linked to Roma towards the end of the January transfer window, but the club felt he was too expensive and not right for their team.”Blind was offered to us three or four days ago, but we decided he was not the right player,” Monchi said. “Even from an economic point of view, which is important.”Read the full story here! Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.last_img read more

Fair Treatment for NonBargaining Unit Employees

first_img government departments government business enterprises and governmental units, including Crown corporations and agencies, the health authorities and regional school boards various other employers funded by departments Management and non-management employees who are not unionized will fall under the same four-year wage pattern, step increases and service award rules as bargaining unit employees, government announced today, May 11. “We need to protect important public services while providing appropriate compensation to public sector employees,” said Randy Delorey, Minister of Finance and Treasury Board. “We are doing this in a manner that is fair to employees, affordable for taxpayers and consistent with the Public Services Sustainability Act.” The four-year wage pattern for non-bargaining unit employees will not have an increase in the first two years, then one per cent in the third year, 1.5 per cent in the fourth year and 0.5 per cent on the last day of the fourth year. Eligible non-bargaining unit employees will continue to receive step increases consistent with their bargaining unit colleagues. The public service award, for those who are eligible, has been updated and will be based on an employee’s bi-weekly salary at the time of retirement. This applies to: All administration of non-bargaining unit employees’ compensation will be in line with recent ratified and tentative agreements and is within government’s fiscal plan.last_img read more

Global concern grows over Canadas funding of fight against AIDS TB malaria

first_imgOTTAWA — International concern is growing in medical and development circles that the Trudeau government is about to step back from its much-publicized global leadership on eradicating AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.In 2016, Trudeau announced with fanfare that Canada was contributing $804 million to the Global Fund, a 24-per-cent increase to the international organization that aims to curb the three afflictions that are now widely seen as preventable with the proper amount of medical and financial support.The increase in Canadian spending was in keeping with past bump-ups to the Global Fund’s replenishment drive every three years, both from the previous Conservative government of Stephen Harper and the Liberal governments before it.But development officials in several organizations say they believe the government is simply planning to announce a repeat of 2016’s funding with no increase, which would be a first for Canada.Chris Dendys, the executive director of Results Canada, a grassroots anti-poverty advocacy group, said that based on conversations that she and others in her sector have had with federal officials, the government is planning no increase because of a “cash crunch” heading into the fall election.The Global Fund wants to see a 15-per-cent increase in total pledges this year, to US$14 billion.A spokeswoman for International Development Minister Maryam Monsef said Canada respects the Global Fund and will announce its contribution in “due course.”Canada recently announced at the Women Deliver conference in Vancouver that it will contribute $1.4 billion annually to 2030 to fund global health and nutrition, including sexual and reproductive rights and health, said Hanna Button, Monsef’s policy director.“Our ongoing support to the Global Fund will be an important part of this holistic approach,” Button said in an emailed statement.The Women Deliver funding is a reallocation of money from the current budget for international development.“It’s really a matter of political will in an election year, or not an election year,” said Dendys, who noted that Canada’s overall spending on foreign aid has not been significantly increased under the Liberals to meet the United Nations target of 0.7 per cent of gross national income.She said the spending has not increased “beyond the basement of 0.26 per cent of GNI. There’s been plenty of opportunities to do the right thing.”Canada’s last Global Fund pledge came at an international conference that Trudeau hosted in Montreal in September 2016, a star-studded event that featured U2 singer Bono, who founded the anti-poverty advocacy group, the One Campaign.France will host this year’s pledging conference in October, in the middle of Canada’s federal election campaign, so advocates want to see Canada take the lead and deliver its increased pledge before the election writ is dropped, to show leadership to other countries.Two other G7 countries, Britain and Japan, recently announced increased pledges of almost 17 per cent and five per cent respectively.“Other countries are starting to move in that direction,” said Dr. Julio Montaner, the director of the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS.“My bottom line is we want Canada to be not just counted but playing a leadership role, making an early pledge and in doing so, providing an example to the rest of the world.”Montaner’s research led to the medical breakthrough that controlled and reduced the spread of HIV-AIDS in the late 1990s: the “triple cocktail” of antiretroviral drugs that has been credited with reducing mortality across the globe.The approach has been replicated worldwide, and is now the cornerstone of the work of the Global Fund, he said.“I am very hopeful that Prime Minister Trudeau will make an executive decision in short order to do the right thing,” Montaner said.“He promised me, privately, before the (2015) election that he would do so. He did so in writing … I hope that he will be consistent with that kind of approach when it comes to supporting the Global Fund.”Montaner said that with reduced funding the fight against the spread of HIV-AIDS will be curtailed and that will mean more long-term financial burdens on health care across the world.About one-third of the Global Fund’s spending targets women and girls through programs aimed at comprehensive sexual and reproductive health, said Stuart Hickox, the executive director of the Canadian branch of One.“If Canada doesn’t increase its support, it’s essentially a retreat from its leadership. We asserted that space in 2016 as a global leader in this area,” said Hickox.Dr. Mark Dybul, who was the executive director of the Global Fund from 2013 to 2017, said Trudeau showed great leadership in 2016, mobilizing youth and creating a great sense of optimism at the 2016 Montreal event.“I understand the pressures on budgets but I think given the leadership Canada had, in particular with this same prime minister and because of the emphasis on girls and women, I think it would be unfortunate if they didn’t follow the trend of the other donors and show a leadership role,” said Dybul, the co-director of the Centre for Global Health Practice and Impact at Georgetown University Medical Centre in Washington.Dendys said her organization has lobbied 30 MPs to push Trudeau to increase Canada’s support for the fund.“What we’re hearing is Canada is going to keep its pledge to the Global Fund flat-lined, which really is a really a retreat in global leadership,” she said.“Everyone we’ve spoken to has basically said, there’s just a cash crunch.”Women and children are disproportionately affected by malaria and TB, which creates massive burdens on the health budgets of developing countries. Keeping up funding levels to help eradicate preventable diseases is in the economic interest of every country, especially with Africa’s population predicted to double by 2050, said Dybul.“If they don’t have health, education and economic opportunity — you’re worried about refugees today? What do you think the world is going look like?” he said.“It is necessary for the long-term growth of the global economy, Canada’s economy, and also so that we don’t have a continent collapsing.”Mike Blanchfield, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Markets Right Now Solid gains for stocks in early trading

NEW YORK — The latest on developments in financial markets (all times local):9:35 a.m.Stocks are broadly higher on Wall Street in early trading as banks and media companies move higher.JPMorgan Chase jumped 3.5% early Friday after reporting a solid increase in earnings, and Disney soared 10.5% after unveiling a new video streaming service to go up against Netflix. Netflix was off 3.1%.Chevron sank 4.6% after announcing a deal to buy Anadarko Petroleum for $33 billion. Anadarko skyrocketed 32.5% higher.The S&P 500 index rose 18 points, or 0.6%, to 2,906.The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 256 points, or 1%, to 26,410. The Nasdaq rose 38 points, or 0.5%, to 7,985.Bond prices fell sharply, sending yields higher. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury rose to 2.55% from 2.50% late Thursday.The Associated Press read more

As super typhoon Haiyan hits Philippines UN and partners prepare to provide

08 Nov 2013: Philippines, Vietnam – Tropical Cyclone HAIYAN “We are working closely in support of Government and local authorities to assess the life-saving needs of the people affected by this typhoon,” said Julie Hall, acting Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in the Philippines.The super typhoon, known locally as Yolanda, has ripped roofs off housing, uprooted trees and affected businesses, but the full extent of the damage will not be known until the storm has passed. According to media reports, it is one of the strongest storms ever recorded, with sustained winds of 295 kilometres per hour (kph), placing it above the 252 kph threshold for a Category 5 hurricane, the highest category on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale. Three people have reportedly died, and seven others have been injured. Haiyan is expected to travel over eastern, central and western Visayas, Bicol and Southern Tagalog, which have a combined population of 29.4 million people. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) described the typhoon as “violent” but said it is expected to weaken slightly on a trajectory towards Viet Nam. Click on map to download PDF version (846.38 KB) The Government has taken preventative steps to save lives by moving people from coastal and low-lying areas known to be prone to flash flooding and landslides. The UN Humanitarian Country Team and partners have complemented these efforts by pre-positioning stocks to respond to life-saving needs of affected people. “The Humanitarian Country Team and partners are fully prepared to support and assist the Government in response to this latest typhoon,” said Ms. Hall. “We will continue to support their efforts as we wait to see exactly the extent of the damage caused by Typhoon Haiyan.”The World Food Programme (WFP) estimates that 2.5 million people will require immediate assistance in the aftermath of the typhoon, and said it would participate in the Government-led assessment.Haiyan is the third major crisis to hit the Philippines in just two months. In October, the Bohol earthquake affected more than 3 million people, triggering landslides engulfing entire homes, ripping apart bridges and tearing down centuries-old churches. Seven cities in three different provinces were initially affected. In September, tens of thousands were forcibly displaced by armed clashes in Zamboanga City in the southern part of the country. read more

Ambulances wait nine hours outside AE amid epidemic of delays

first_imgSoaring numbers of sick patients are being forced to wait in ambulances outside Accident & Emergency departments amid a deadly “epidemic” of delays, health officials have warned.A Telegraph investigation reveals record waits in casualty units, with patients spending up to nine hours in parked ambulances or with paramedics in hospital corridors before being seen by a doctor or nurse.Emails seen by this newspaper reveal that orders have been given to abandon patients in hospitals after 30 minutes, so that paramedics can return to their duties. Last night one of Britain’s most senior A&E doctors warned that hospitals had reached a state of “gridlock” with safety at risk and patients “crammed in like sardines”.Official guidelines state that handovers from ambulances to hospitals should take no longer than 15 minutes. Number of patients waiting at least 2 hours for handover2013/14 2,1242014/15 4,8332015/16 10,031 London: 9 hours 3 minutes Queen Elizabeth II, Woolwich MarchNorth West: 8 hours 37 minutes, Southport District Hospital, JulyYorkshire 6 hours, 24 minutes, Scarborough District Hospital AprilEast Midlands 6 hours 21 minutes, Leicester Royal Infirmary JanuaryEast of England: 6 hours 6 minutes, Broomfield Hospital, FebruarySouth Western: 5 hours 29 minutes, Dorset County Hospital, JulyNorth East:  4 hours 40 minutes, Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital, MarchSouth East Coast: 4 hours 35 minutes, Royal Surrey County Hospital, AprilWest Midlands 4 hours 31 minutes. Royal Shrewsbury, April South Central: 4 hours, Queen Alexandra Hospital, March A number of redundancies [were made] to reinvest about £10million savings in ongoing pay costs into frontline servicesAmbulance trust Official statistics show growing pressures on the NHS Credit:Chris Radburn /PA  Number of patients waiting at least 4 hours for handover2013/14 1262014/15 1742015/16 405Source: FOI disclosures Jeremy Hunt  A&E sign  Carol Wilson with husband Peter  But Freedom of Information (FOI) disclosures show that the number of patients subject to longer delays has risen by 64 per cent in just two years, with almost 400,000 cases in 2015/16.Emails seen by this newspaper disclose fury among ambulance trust chief executives at the “unacceptable risks” being posed to patients.They said 999 response times were deteriorating because paramedics were being forced off the roads for long periods, to care for patients queuing for A&E care.In one message, the head of East of England ambulance Service trust said handover delays had reached “epidemic proportions” – with a “completely unacceptable” impact on 999 performance.In the email, Robert Morton told NHS trust chief executives across Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire that in future, paramedics would have to abandon patients after 30 minutes.center_img Carol Wilson died after a paramedic told her to take paracetamol for chest pains  Longest handover delay recorded by each ambulance service, 2016 so far More than 10,000 patients waited at least two hours before handover to a casualty unit in 2015/16 – a five-fold rise in just two years.More than 400 of the waits lasted at least four hours.They included delays of more than nine hours at Queen Elizabeth II Hospital in Woolwich in March of this year and a hold-up of 8 hours 37 minutes at Southport District Hospital in Merseyside, in July.Dr Chris Moulton, Vice President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, said the safety of patients was at increasing risk, because of the numbers of ambulances being forced off the roads.“The flow in hospitals has become gridlocked, the risks to patients aren’t acceptable,” he said.“You’ve got all these ambulances waiting at hospitals, patients stuck on trolleys for 12 hours, crammed in like sardines,” said Dr Moulton, an A&E consultant at Bolton NHS Foundation trust. “There are safety risks to those patients, because they aren’t getting proper care, and there are wider safety risks to all those patients in need of an ambulance, who are forced to wait longer,” he said, calling for extra funding, and an increase in the number of hospital beds across the NHS. The documents reveal increasingly tense exchanges between senior managers in the health service, as A&E and ambulance response times deteriorated.One letter from Anthony Marsh, chief executive of West Midlands Ambulance Service, told the then chief executive of Worcestershire Royal Hospital: “Our managers in Worcestershire are having to stop doing their jobs and go to the hospital to care for your patients, in your corridors, in our hospital.”  The letter, sent in March last year, was followed by a warning the next month that the situation had become “totally unacceptable”.NHS targets say 75 per cent of 999 calls classed as potentially life-threatening calls should receive a response within eight minutes.But in the last two years, national performance has plummeted. In the first eight months of this year, one in three urgent calls did not receive a response within in the NHS eight minute target, with more than 1.1 million cases classed as “life-threatening” forced to wait longer.In the last year, the ambulance service has had an 11 per cent rise in calls, while visits to A&E have risen by more than six per cent.An NHS England spokesman said: “These figures demonstrate the increasing rise in demand for both ambulance and A&E services over recent years.  Although there are occasions when it is necessary and best for the patient that their handover is delayed while they are, of course, still receiving care from skilled ambulance staff, this has to be reduced wherever possible.” Number of patients waiting at least 30 minutes for handover2013/14 239,7722014/15 319,8562015/16 393,446 The message, sent in March, was met with anger from hospital bosses, who said A&E performance was “on a knife edge” and that abandoning patients would put them in too great danger.In another email, the head of South Central Ambulance Service – which covers Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire and Oxfordshire – tells a local hospital chief executive that delays at her hospital “exceed acceptable levels”.The warning to the chief executive of Portsmouth Hospital trust, sent the same month, describes “grave concern” about the consequences for those in need of a 999 response.  The disclosures from the country’s 10 ambulance trusts reveal record delays at hospitals across the country. Jeremy Hunt has been questioned about the ability of the NHS to cope amid growing strain Credit:PA  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.last_img read more

VIP paedophile ring fantasist Carl Beech granted almost £180000 in legal aid

The MOJ admitted that the figures could continue to rise. “As these matters have only very recently concluded, the billing process has not yet completed,” a spokesman for the government department said. “Claims for payment are made in arrears once a trial has been finalised.”Beech’s allegations also resulted in raids on the homes of Field Marshal Lord Bramall, the widow of Lord Brittan, and the former Conservative MP Harvey Proctor.  He also wielded allegations against former Prime Minister, Sir Edward Heath, the former home secretary Leon Brittan, the ex-MI5 chief Sir Michael Hanley, the late Labour MP Lord Janner, as well as the former Tory MP Harvey Proctor, among others. All of his claims were later accepted as completely false. The VIP paedophile ring fantasist has received almost £200,000 in legal aid, new figures reveal, as officials admit that the total sum could continue to rise. Beech, 51, was found guilty last month of 12 charges of perverting the course of justice and one of fraud at Newcastle Crown Court last month. He was jailed for 18 years and has since lodged an appeal against his conviction and sentence. The serial liar who fabricated “cruel and callous” lies of an establishment paedophile ring as well as a string of lurid claims that high-ranking officials tortured, abused and murdered children, prompted a £2.5million Metropolitan Police inquiry. However, it can now be reported that the fantasist has been granted almost £180,000 in legal aid. Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act revealed the amount of money which Beech was granted in order to clear his name.The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) figures, obtained by the Sunday Sun, the regional Sunday paper on sale in north-east England, reveal that the former NHS manager was granted £178,479 for barrister fees during his Newcastle Crown Court trial, as well as over £1,400 in legal aid solely for legal representation at a police station.  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. Beech was sentenced to 15 years in jail for perverting the course of justice and a further 18 months for fraud after he claimed compensation for being an alleged victim of a crime. He was given an additional 18 months after pleading guilty at an earlier court hearing to paedophile charges that included making indecent photographs of children and a charge of voyeurism.The Met claims to have spent £2.5million investigating Beech’s allegations before the case collapsed in 2016. The force opened its investigation into the claims, known as Operation Midland, in 2014 and declared that Beech’s claims of murder, rape and torture by public figures were “credible and true”.  Beech was formerly known as ‘Nick’ – an alias given to him to protect his identity while his claims were investigated. That sum also included over £470 in solicitor’s fees for a police interview where Beech – who is a “committed and manipulative paedophile” – blamed his own son for downloading indecent images. read more

HP webOS Tablets Detailed Possibly

first_imgEnjoy your brief tablet vacation while it lasts. It’s a nice, brief respite from the flurry that produced 80+ tablets at ces the other week, and will continue to manifest itself in offerings from a number of manufacturers both large and small. It seems safe to assume that we can expect new tablets from companies like Apple and HP in the near future.HP’s entry is expected to surface on February 9th, during an already-announced press conference. The company is likely to show off some of the fruits of its Palm acquisition via a number of new pieces of hardware for the “Something big, Something small, Something beyond” event. The above tablet is expected to be in the mix. It’s apparently a rendering of the Topaz device, courtesy of an Engadget “tipster.”The tablet completely lacks buttons on its face and features a front facing camera, a micro-USB port, and three built-in speakers, according to the site.last_img read more

Two Legged Robots Race in Japan

first_imgWell, this is encouraging. Just as we were all coming to grips with domination at the hands of Watson and his fellow know-it-all robot overlords, footage like this gets out. This is the first bipedal robot marathon, and in terms of future human enslavement, the results are pretty encouraging. The robots really sort of shuffle along and fall over–though they can right themselves for the record, so those planning on tipping over an invading robot hoard might want to rethink their approach.The robots, which raced early today in Osaka, are also fairly tiny, with the largest coming in at 16 inches tall. The race itself is really an endurance contest, with the ‘bots walking around the 328 foot long course a full 422 times. Battery recharges and repairs are allowed during the raise. If they fall over, they’re required to right themselves without the help of a human-type person.The four compete robots were designed by either the Osaka Institute of Technology or a company called Vstone.last_img read more

Russian bans to hurt Greek producers

first_imgThe Russian government has banned all imports of meat, fish, milk and milk products and fruit and vegetables from the United States, the European Union, Australia, Canada and Norway, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev announced this week. Greece is expected to lose 180 million euros if Russia goes ahead with the announced one-year ban on food imports from the European Union but Athens was hopeful that a number of local products would be exempted from the embargo.“We are making a constant effort to ensure that we only suffer the smallest possible consequences, even none at all, if possible,” said Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos.According to the Greek daily Kathimerini, Russian diplomatic sources have given verbal assurances that many Greek products would be left off the list of imports that Russia will ban when it provides a final list in the days to come.Sources at the Greek Foreign Ministry believe that Moscow recognises Greece has attempted to dissuade the EU from taking tough action against Russia as the dispute over Ukraine intensifies. Athens also thinks that its decision to assist Russian tourists stranded after two travel agencies went into bankruptcy was appreciated by Russian authorities.“I do not want to discuss the process we are involved in,” said Venizelos. “As a European Union country, committed to its community obligations, we try to have the best relations with all countries and protect Greek agricultural production.”Russia is by far the biggest consumer of EU fruit and vegetables and a major global consumer of fish, meat and dairy products.In 2013 Greek exports to Russia were worth a total of 178 million euros. However, they have already suffered a dip this year. According to the Panhellenic Exporters Association, the value of Greek exports to Russia was down 23.9 per cent in the first quarter of this year compared to 2013, falling from 82.9 million euros to 63 million.If the embargo goes ahead it will have a significant effect on some areas of Greece, such as the peach-producing areas of Pella and Imathia. Around half of the fruit produced in these areas is exported to Russia.Source: ekathimerini Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Top 10 most read stories this week

first_imgThe top 10 most read stories on employeebenefits.co.uk between 17-23 September:JLT to acquire Close Brother’s corporate businesses.The benefits of being a mermaid.How are the pension reforms impacting employers?Wearables could boost staff health.Follow the action at Employee Benefits Live.Delta Airlines to increase pay and pension contributions.Pension Wise to move to the Department for Work and Pensions.Employers must align financial wellbeing to reward.84% are not charged a pension exit fee.Lend Lease launches wellbeing days.last_img