Taking the web to children in India’s remote salt desert

first_imgSheltered beneath a canvas sheet to escape the blistering desert sun, miles from any roads or power lines, a group of Indian children huddle around a tablet and experience the internet for the very first time.The remote wi-fi connection is powered by a van bringing the digital world to around 10,000 families living on the inhospitable salt flats of western Gujarat state, where they work eight months a year in extreme conditions.The salt desert known as the Little Rann of Kutch, is roughly 180 km (110 miles) from state capital Ahmedabad.The workers mining the land for salt live without electricity and other amenities while their children attend school in mud huts or tin sheds where they lack even the most basic learning supplies.Bringing the web to this isolated region is no small feat, with communities scattered over thousands of square kilometres.The crew from NGO Agariya Heethrakshak Manch, one of the stakeholders in the project, first erected a powerful digital tower on the outskirts of the desert capable of sending a signal up to 60 km away.Then they fixed an antenna to the top of their van and hit the road armed with laptops, tablets and printers.They visit each of the region’s 14 makeshift schools approximately once per week, teaching the students how to use technology to access the internet and learn digital skills.The students are eager to learn, crowding around to watch online videos about maths and science.“The internet and these tablets have made learning much more fun and engaging for all the children. They now have so much to learn and explore,” Pankti Jog of Agariya Heethrakshak Manch told AFP.The youngsters are not the only ones discovering the joys of the web. This mobile service has also helped their parents — migrants who make the annual journey to the salt plains for work — access government welfare schemes online, Ms. Jog said.The crew hopes to increase the frequency of school visits to once every three days once they get more vans.Currently their single van speeds between three schools a day, spending about two hours at each, Ms. Jog said.“We have connected around 800 students to internet and digital learning in this remote region”, she said.last_img read more

‘Siklab Atleta’ looks to help make Olympic gold dream a reality

first_imgDon’t miss out on the latest news and information. “Siklab Atleta Pilipinas Sports Foundation will fuel the Philippine’s best athletes to make the country’s dream of bagging an Olympic gold a reality,’’ said Phoenix Petroleum president and CEO Dennis Uy, the brains behind the foundation.During its launching at the Century Park Hotel in Manila, Uy led the unveiling of the 29 elite athletes who will receive all-out financial support from the foundation.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“We need to provide our athletes the support befitting their stature as our country’s representatives to the world,’’ said Uy, also President Rodrigo Duterte’s Presidential Adviser for Sports.Heading the list of the athletes expected to qualify to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo are Rio Olympic silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz, windsurfing champion Geylord Coveta, triathlete Kim Mangrobang, tracksters Eric Cray and Trenton Beram, taekwondo jins Elaine Alora and Pauline Lopez. Pussycat Dolls set for reunion tour after 10-year hiatus John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Typhoon ‘Tisoy’ threatens Games Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university PLAY LIST 01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH 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 City Families in US enclave in north Mexico hold sad Thanksgiving MOST READ Siklab Atleta Launch. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOAfter the recent Philippine Olympic Committee elections, private support for Filipino athletes hoping to make it big in the Olympics has started to come in.Siklab Atleta Pilipinas Sports Foundation, Inc. became the first organization outside of the government to formalize its backing on Saturday for the country’s ultimate objective of capturing a first Olympic gold medal.ADVERTISEMENT LOOK: Iya Villania meets ‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ cast in Mexicocenter_img Tenorio ‘blessed’ to have played 57 minutes in Ginebra 3OT win Google honors food scientist, banana ketchup inventor and war hero Maria Orosa LATEST STORIES View comments Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Cycling’s Marella Salamat, Sienna Fines and Ariana Dormitrio were also included in the cast along with archer Nicole Tagle, judokas Kiyomi Watanabe, Mariya Takahashi, Shugen Nakano and Kesei Nakano, boxers Eumir Marcial and John Tupas, gymnasts Carlos Yulo and Kaitlin De Guzman.Completing the lineup are canoe-kayak’s Hermie Macaranas and OJ Fuentes, swimmers James Dieparine and Nicole Oliva, pole vaulter EJ Obiena, karateka OJ Delos Santos, surfers Philmar Alipayo and Edito Alcala, weightlifter Kristel Macrohon and windsurfer Yancy Kaibigan.Uy has called on fellow businessmen to help support these athletes in their quest for the gold. Siklab Atleta Pilipinas Sports Foundation executive director Raymond Zorilla said the resources would be pooled through the foundation to provide athletes with training equipment and facilities, coaches services, exposure to international competitions, education, housing and livelihood programs.Also present during the affair were Foreign secretary and Philippine Southeast Asian Games organizing committee chair Alan Peter Cayetano, POC president Ricky Vargas, Philippine Sports Commission chair Butch Ramirez and PSC commissioner Ramon Fernandez.ADVERTISEMENT Read Next Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMClast_img read more

India vs England: 4th Test, Day 2- As it happened!

first_imgIndia won the toss and elected to bat first against EnglandWelcome to the coverage of Day 2 of the 4th Test between India and England from the Old Trafford Cricket stadium in Manchester.Scorecard | Day 1 It’s official, play has been abandoned for the day. The weather has come to India’s rescue, though there is still a lot of time left in the Test match. The forecast for tomorrow is fine, but Hurricane Bertha is apparently heading towards the UK on Sunday. Bhuvneshwar Kumar began the day well by accounting for nightwatchman Chris Jordan before dismissing a well set Ian Bell. Varun Aaron bowled exceptionally well and knocked over Moeen Ali. Joe Root and Jos Buttler though batted positively after lunch to increase England’s lead to 85. The rain came down heavily in the post-lunch session and flooded the outfield. Though it stopped spitting after a while, a lot of damage was already done near the boundary rope. The groundstaff tried their best but couldn’t quite ensure that it is bone-dry and safe enough for the players to continue play. Tomorrow is an important day for both sides and more important for the hosts considering that they have the upper hand at this stage. GOOD NEWS: It has stopped raining and the covers are coming off! We could have some play today, especially with the sun popping out. The umpires will have a pitch inspection at 17:00 local time. RAIN UPDATE: It is pouring down heavily at Old Trafford. The long delay is about to get longer. There are heavy puddles of water by the edge of the boundary. An arduous task awaits the groundsmen. advertisementBAD NEWS: It has started raining at the Old Trafford cricket ground. The umpires have decided to halt play and the players are walking off the field. Stay tuned for more updates!! With Jos Buttler(22) and Joe Root(48) at the crease, England are currently at 237/6 after 71 overs.NINE RUNS off the over!!66.3 overs: FOUR!! Joe Root goes for the drive and gets a bottom edge past the wicket-keeper for a boundary. That brings up the FIFTY-RUN PARTNERSHIP between these two!! With Jos Buttler(19) and Joe Root(31) at the crease, England are currently at 215/6 after 65 overs.FIVE RUNS off the over!!64.2 overs: FOUR!! Jos Buttler leans into the drive and sends it scurrying through covers for a boundary. That was SWEETLY TIMED by Buttler!! With Jos Buttler(14) and Joe Root(31) at the crease, England are currently at 210/6 after 64 overs.India’s first innings in #IndvsEng match~Total number of balls Faced by MS Dhoni is~ 133 BallsRemaining 10 Indian Batsman~ 147 Balls Shanaya (@Sinceere_Angel) August 8, 2014EIGHT RUNS off the over!! Ravindra Jadeja will bowl from the other end for India.With Jos Buttler(13) and Joe Root(24) at the crease, England are currently at 202/6 after 63 overs.ONE RUN off the over!! Joe Root and Jos Buttler are out in the middle for England while Pankaj Singh will start the proceedings for India.And, we’re back!! LUNCH: So India have won a session after Lord’s. Cue for wild celebrations in their camp! They had gone 16 sessions without winning one, since this one. It was all started off by Bhuvi who got the nightwatchman Jordan out with a short ball, then removed Bell with a beautiful outswinger. Aaron came to the party and produced a brute to dismiss Moeen Ali as India went on the attack, sensing blood and more wickets. But Buttler and Root have stayed firm since Moeen’s dismissal and have seen it through till lunch. The lead is 49 and India would be hoping to restrict it to as less a figure as possible. The post-lunch session should be another cracker, with overcast conditions still prevailing – which gives the bowlers a fair crack. With Jos Buttler(13) and Joe Root(23) at the crease, England are currently at 201/6 after 62 overs.ONE RUN off the over!!Ravindra Jadeja will bowl the FINAL OVER BEFORE LUNCH for India. FOUR RUNS off the over!!60.5 overs: FOUR!! Jos Buttler gets a stride forward and drills it past mid-off for a boundary. With Jos Buttler(7) and Joe Root(21) at the crease, England are currently at 193/6 after 58 overs.Just overheard dhoni saying “jaagega tu, do din hogaye” to sir jadeja on the stump mic! Gotta love this guy #IndvsEng #banter #dhoni Mandela Kiran (@mandela86) August 8, 2014THREE RUNS off the over!! FINALLY, Ravindra Jadeja comes into the attack for India. Took him 57 overs though!! With Jos Buttler(3) and Joe Root(17) at the crease, England are currently at 185/6 after 55 overs.Indian bowlers don’t forget,you still have the ROOT cause of all problems there at the crease.There is buttler too.Get em out soon!#indvsengadvertisement Shikhar Saini (@shikharskr) August 8, 2014FIVE RUNS off the over!!54.6 overs: FOUR!! Joe Root hangs back and flays the cut shot past backward point for a boundary. That was BEAUTIFULLY TIMED by Root!! With Jos Buttler(1) and Joe Root(12) at the crease, England are currently at 178/6 after 53 overs.Pleased to know that @VarunAaron and @BhuviOfficial are upping the ante and causing serious damage to English batting! #bravo #IndvsEng 🙂 Sam Christy Varghese (@samchristyv) August 8, 2014TEN RUNS off the over!!Jos Buttler comes to the crease for England.That was FAST & FURIOUS from Aaron!!52.2 overs: That’s OUT!! Varun Aaron has bowled Moeen Ali on a fiery inswinger. Ali was a tad too early in the shot as the ball swings past his bat and pad to rattle the stumps. Moeen Ali departs after scoring 13 runs off 27 balls with two boundaries. Another BLOW for England!! With Moeen Ali(10) and Joe Root(9) at the crease, England are currently at 160/5 after 48 overs.TWELVE RUNS off the over!!i dont think mooen ali is struggling with short balls batting nicely #IndvsEng srextasagar (@srexta) August 8, 201447.6 overs: FOUR!! Moeen Ali rocks back and smacks it towards square leg for another boundary. BACK-TO-BACK BOUNDARIES for Ali!!47.5 overs: FOUR!! Moeen Ali leans forward and flicks it through midwicket for a boundary. With Moeen Ali(1) and Joe Root(4) at the crease, England are currently at 145/5 after 46 overs.Another wicket down #indvseng @BhuviOfficial showing his potential.. divyanshu rai (@the_divyanshu) August 8, 2014FOUR RUNS off the over!!44.2 overs: FOUR!! Joe Root picks the length early and steers it towards third man for a boundary. EASY PICKINGS for Root there!!That’s a WICKET MAIDEN by Bhuvi!!Moeen Ali comes to the crease for England.Bhuvneshwar Kumar is ON A ROLL here!!43.4 overs: OUT!! Bhuvneshwar Kumar has got Ian Bell out caught by the wicket-keeper. Bell was forced to play at it and gets an outside edge through to MS Dhoni behind the stumps. Ian Bell departs after scoring 58 runs off 82 balls with eight boundaries and a six. BIG WICKET for India!! With Ian Bell(58) and Joe Root(0) at the crease, England are currently at 140/4 after 43 overs.FOUR RUNS off the over!!Joe Root comes to the crease for England.Bhuvneshwar Kumar STRIKES AGAIN for India!!41.4 overs: That’s OUT!! Bhuvneshwar Kumar has got Chris Jordan out caught at midwicket. Jordan goes for the pull but gets a top-edge that goes straight towards Varun Aaron who takes it comfortably. Chris Jordan departs after scoring 13 runs off 22 balls with three boundaries.38.6 overs: FOUR!! Chris Jordan waits for it and steers it towards third man for a boundary.SIX RUNS off the over!!36.4 overs: FOUR!! Chris Jordan rocks back and clouts the pull towards deep square leg for a boundary.Pankaj Singh will bowl from the other end for India.FOUR RUNS off the over!!35.6 overs: FOUR!! Ian Bell goes on the backfoot and crashes the cut past backward point for a boundary. CRACKING SHOT from Bell!!advertisementIan Bell and Chris Jordan are out in the middle for England while Bhuvneshwar Kumar will start the proceedings for India.Toss: India won the toss and elected to bat first against England.Changes: India have made three changes with Gautam Gambhir, Ravichandran Ashwin and Varun Aaron replacing Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Mohammed Shami. On the other hand, England have decided to play the same team from the last Test match.Teams(from):England: Alastair Cook, Sam Robson, Gary Ballance, Ian Bell, Joe Root, Moeen Ali, Jos Buttler, Chris Jordan, Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad, James Anderson.India: Murali Vijay, Gautam Gambhir, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Varun Aaron, Pankaj Singhlast_img read more

Punjab govt to hire more psychiatrists to deal with drug menace

first_imgChandigarh, Jul 16 (PTI) In a bid to strengthen the anti-drug campaign, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh today directed officials to hire retired government psychiatrists to handle the increased inflow of patients at de-addiction centres. Singh directed the officials to formulate strategies for ensuring security of drug addicts and their families coming to the de-addiction and rehabilitation centres, and for a holistic media campaign to effectively spread awareness on drugs,according to an official statement issued here. At a weekly review meeting of the Cabinet Sub-Committee set up to monitor the anti-drug measures taken by various agencies, the chief minister asked the district authorities to crackdown on centres selling ‘Buprenophine – Naloxone’ in large quantities in violation of prescribed protocols. He directed the chief secretary to approach the Union Ministry of Social Empowerment and Justice for financial grant for setting up additional private de-addiction centres in Punjab to complement the state government’s efforts to contain drug abuse. To reach out more aggressively to the people with information on various anti-drug government programmes, Singh asked the health department to involve SDMs, BDPOs and village panchayats in dissemination programmes. The list of the nearest Outpatient Opioid Assisted Treatment (OOAT) centres should be displayed on billboards and hoardings at strategic places, including bus stands, government hospitals and civil dispensaries in all cities, towns and villages across the state, he said. The chief minister also directed the ministers in-charge of the districts concerned to hold regular meetings, along with theMLAs, to keep strict vigil over the treatment and medical carefacilities being extended to the drug addicts at the government drug de-addiction and rehabilitation centres.advertisement Singh asked the Sports & Youth Welfare Department to evolve an action plan for the revival of youth clubs in villages and encourage these clubs to regularly organise kabbadi, volleyball and hockey tournaments in order to constructively channelise the energy of youth. PTI CHS SNESNElast_img read more

Heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua to fight Jarrell Miller in New York on June 1

first_imgUndefeated heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua will fight American challenger Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller in New York on June 1 in his first title bout outside Britain.Joshua had been due to defend his WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight belts at London’s Wembley Stadium on April 13 against an unnamed opponent, but that had been looking unlikely for some time.”I’m going to be travelling over to New York on June 1, I’m going to be defending my heavyweight titles at MSG (Madison Square Garden) against Jarrell Miller,” the 29-year-old announced on YouTube on Wednesday.He blamed ‘boxing politics’ for getting in the way of a unification bout with American WBC champion Deontay Wilder on April 13.”So we had to branch out and look for other options and Jarrell Miller came up,” said Joshua, who has a professional record of 22 wins, which includes 21 knockouts.”It will be an exciting fight, I will leave nothing to chance, and plan on dismantling Miller in style to make my mark,” added the Briton, who said he would be doing a lot of his training in New York but was in shape already.Miller is also unbeaten, with a record of 24 fights, 23 wins and a draw.Joshua beat Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley in April 2017 and then fought Carlos Takam and Joseph Parker at the Principality Stadium in Wales before returning to Wembley to beat Alexander Povetkin last September.Before that the 2012 Olympic super-heavyweight champion had fought in venues around Britain including Manchester and at London’s 02 Arena.advertisement”Wembley is so close to my heart, it’s a great spot, a great location, I’ve fought in small halls and arenas and its been humbling and a blessing to fight in the stadiums. But now it’s time for a change,” he said.Miller, 30, said Joshua was making a ‘huge mistake’ and would lose his titles.”He wants to announce himself on the American stage, but all he’s doing is delivering me those belts by hand. It’s dog eat dog in the ring and this dog has got a bigger bite. He’ll be leaving New York empty-handed,” he told Sky Sports.last_img read more

Alberta PC candidate Morton Metis cant have their cake and eat it

first_imgAPTN National NewsOne of the front runners for the leadership of the Alberta Progressive Conservatives used a covert email address to avoid public scrutiny.Ted Morton used his first and middle names for an email address he used for internal communications while he was in government to discuss hot button issues.The “Frederick Lee” pseudonym was used to discuss controversial new land use legislation. In one of these emails, from November 2008, Morton wrote about Metis settlements in Alberta, stating that their lands are not considered private lands in the conventional sense.“If the Metis suddenly want to share in some of the potential benefits of private land ownership, do they also want to be subject o all other restrictions and duties that attach to private land ownership in Alberta? I doubt it. They cannot have their cake and eat it took,” wrote Morton in the email.Morton was not available to comment on the emails.last_img read more

BlackBerry QNX selfdriving car hits the road in the first Canadian street

first_imgOTTAWA – A BlackBerry QNX-equipped self-driving car hit the road in suburban Ottawa Thursday in what was billed as the first on-street test of an autonomous vehicle in Canada.The grey Lincoln MKZ pulled away with Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, councillor Marianne Wilkinson and John Wall, general manager of BlackBerry QNX, aboard.BlackBerry QNX opened an autonomous vehicle innovation centre in Ottawa late last year.“Today is the first public fruits of what we’ve been doing,” Wall said.The street was closed for the public demonstration, which attracted scores of people, but the car is expected to be operating on city streets in the test area amidst real traffic and pedestrians.To aid in the demonstration, the test loop around the suburban technology park has been upgraded with traffic lights equipped with transmitters that communicate with the car as well as repainted street lines and new LED street lights.BlackBerry QNX is developing the software foundation for autonomous vehicles, while Wall said others are working on what he called “the brain.”“In a lot of cases, the OEMs want to own that, so the Fords of this world, the Mercedes of this world, that’s their secret sauce, they’re going to build the brain,” he said.“We’re going to provide all the infrastructure, the security, the safety, the redundancy, the communication, how the signals come in.”Wall said fully autonomous cars without a steering wheel are still a long way off, but he added that cars are already incorporating some of the technology such as sensors that will keep your car in its lane, hit the brake if they think you are going to hit something or detect another car in your blind spot.Automotive and technology companies around the world have been racing to develop self-driving systems.A demonstration test zone has been announced for Stratford, Ont., as part of the Ontario government’s plan to create an Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network, with the help of $80 million over five years.Canadian auto parts firm Magna International Inc. (TSX:MG) announced earlier this week that it would join BMW and Intel Corp. to develop a self-driving system for the global vehicle marketplace by 2021.Several companies including Uber and Waymo, which was spun out of Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc. last year, have been testing self-driving cars on city streets in the United States.Uber briefly suspended its self-driving fleet last month after a car collided with a self-driving Uber SUV.BlackBerry QNX has been a supplier of software platforms to the auto industry for 20 years including telematics, infotainment, acoustics, and instrument cluster systems.last_img read more

UNbacked scholarship recipients reach out to fellow Somali refugees

21 April 2010After graduating from a teacher training college in Kenya thanks to a United Nations-backed scholarship scheme, three Somali men are returning to the refugee camp they grew up in to help the next generation of children. Aden Yusef Mohamed, Ahmed Aden Hasa and Hish Mohamed Maow ranked in the top 20 among the 500 students they graduated from the two-year programme at the Nakuru Teachers Training College.They are now working in schools in the sprawling and crowded Dabaab refugee complex in northeast Kenya, home to nearly 300,000 refugees, mostly from Somalia. The three young men completed their primary and secondary education in the camp.“Our education does not only help us, but also our community and the community hosting us,” said Mr. Mohamed, voicing hope that he can “contribute to a better future for Somalis and Somalia.”According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), more than 1.4 million people are internally displaced in Somalia, which has been devastated by factional fighting and without a functioning central government since 1991, owing to escalating violence and a worsening humanitarian situation.In addition, some 560,000 Somalis live as refugees in Kenya and other neighbouring countries, including Yemen and Ethiopia.The Albert Einstein German Academic Refugee Initiative, or DAFI, is funded by Germany, is supported by UNHCR. The programme supports the agency’s broader strategy of promoting self-reliance and durable solutions for refugees.Some 12,000 refugees have benefited from DAFI scholarships since their inception in 1992, studying a wide range of subjects in more than 30 host countries.In 2008, the scheme began offering educational assistance in their home countries to refugees considering repatriation. read more

Hootsuite CEO says tax changes for small business could hamper innovation

SEATTLE — The head of one of Canada’s best-known tech darlings says Ottawa’s proposed changes to small business taxes could hamper innovation and prevent Canada from becoming a hotbed for technology giants.“I’ve been an entrepreneur and a small business owner for a large part of my career, I know that a lot of those businesses operate on the margins,” Ryan Holmes, CEO of social media management platform Hootsuite, said in an interview at the Cascadia Innovation Corridor Conference.“I would encourage the government to look very closely because … it is causing a lot of concern to business owners,” he said.In mid-July, the federal government released a three-pronged plan to end several tax provisions used by some small businesses.One provision at risk of being eliminated is income sprinkling, a practice that permits business owners to lower their taxes by passing income to family members, even those not active in the business, who are in lower tax brackets.The government is also proposing limits on the use of private corporations as a way to gain tax advantages when making passive investments, and limiting the conversion of a corporation’s regular income into capital gains that are typically taxed at a lower rate.If the government wants to have more head offices in cities like Vancouver, Holmes said, that won’t happen by convincing established companies to move to the West coast as that involves significant cost, among other issues.“If we want to get more head offices there we need to create more Hootsuites,” he said. “I think you need to be very favourable at the small end of the market.”Those start ups can become big businesses with large, local headquarters.Hootsuite, which launched in 2008, now employs close to 1,000 people in Vancouver and several offices abroad, according to its website.Holmes is not the first to criticize the controversial tax proposal. Doctors, lawyers, tax professionals, shopkeepers and others who have incorporated their small businesses to reduce their tax bill are among those speaking out.The criticism from Hootsuite’s CEO and other small business owners is directed at a federal government that has put innovation front and centre. The buzzword received hundreds of mentions in the budget and the Liberals have committed to $950 million to a supercluster program.Tech firm leaders have been successful in changing the Liberal government’s mind about policy in the past. After discontent from a number of tech firms, Ottawa abandoned a plan to cap how much could be claimed through stock option deductions.The prime minister’s chief of staff, Gerald Butts, responded to criticism of the proposals on Wednesday morning with a recognition that the measures are not just a question of fairness but also of boosting government revenues.“If we all want the Canada we say we want, we have to pay for it. If our government encourages our wealthiest citizens to opt of progressive income tax, we will not be able to do that.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has previously said the government is holding public consultations to hear Canadians’ concerns and ensure there are no unintended consequences. The consultations end Oct. 2.Follow @AleksSagan on Twitter. read more

Commons committee calls on Liberals to tax ecommerce services like Netflix

OTTAWA — A Liberal-dominated House of Commons committee is calling on the Trudeau government to make Internet giants like Netflix collect and remit sales taxes on their services.The international trade committee’s report on e-commerce issues, released today, recommends the government apply sales taxes “on tangible and intangible products” sold through online platforms, and tax the profits from those sales.Foreign-based streaming services without a physical presence in Canada don’t have to collect or remit sales taxes, leaving it up to consumers to pay the sales tax to tax collectors — something that, in reality, rarely happens.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been adamant that his government wouldn’t increase taxes on online subscriptions, but his finance minister has suggested the Liberals want to ensure online firms pay their fair share of taxes.Conservatives on the committee say they want Trudeau to honour his pledge not to introduce a Netflix tax, writing in a dissenting report that such a tax would only create additional costs for consumers and hurt Canada’s small businesses.New Democrats on the committee say the Liberals need to apply corporate income taxes on e-commerce profits earned in Canada by domestic and foreign sellers, provided the income exceeds a specific threshold. read more

Defense key to Buckeyes success heading into Sweet 16

Coach Jim Foster usually attributed his team’s struggles during conference play to a lack of commitment to defense. Now, in the midst of an impressive 11-game winning streak and an upcoming game against top-seeded Tennessee in the Sweet 16, his team’s commitment to its play on the defensive end has been as key a factor as any. “I think we realize … how good we can be if we play (defense) really well, and then that opens up everything else,” guard Samantha Prahalis said after OSU’s second-round win against fifth-seeded Georgia Tech on Monday. Heading into that game, the Buckeyes were allowing opponents to shoot just 37.8 percent from the floor. During the rough patch of the season where the team lost nine of 15 games, its defense was allowing teams to shoot at a 44.7 percent clip in the losses. In contrast, OSU is shooting 45.6 percent from the field — good for 11th in the country. Its shooting numbers are thanks largely in part to Jantel Lavender, who accounted for 28.8 percent of her team’s field goal attempts while shooting 54.4 percent before Monday’s tournament win. The lowest point of the team’s season came Feb. 6, when the team suffered a 74-68 loss to conference foe Northwestern. It was the team’s ninth loss in 15 contests, and the psychological low point for Foster and his players. After that game, Foster mentioned how disappointed he was in his team’s lack of will, especially defensively. “We let them do what they wanted to do and needed to do, and we didn’t fight through it,” he said. “We aren’t a team that fights through adversity, and that’s how you win games. “Basketball is a game of stops. … In all of these games, there is a point where we just don’t get stops.” He went on to say that although his team was good offensively, it would not turn things around until it did a better job of guarding opponents. And now it has. During its current 11-game winning streak, OSU has clamped down defensively by only allowing opponents to shoot 36.8 percent — a nearly 8 percent decrease from its nine losses between Dec. 11 and Feb. 6. The team’s improved defense has allowed it to pick back up where it left off early in the season when it was ranked as high as No. 6 nationally. Accompanying the 11-game winning streak is a new type of self-confidence that was absent in conference play. “Our confidence level kind of boosted when we won our seventh game, eighth game, ninth, 10th,” Lavender said after her team’s first-round win against Central Florida on Saturday. “We know what we’re capable of doing. We realize who we are now, and everyone’s playing their role and they’re playing their role well.” The Buckeyes will play the Lady Volunteers, led by heralded coach Pat Summitt, in the Sweet 16 at noon Saturday in Dayton, Ohio. Tennessee shoots 47 percent from the floor, good for sixth in the country, and likely is the toughest team the Buckeyes have faced since squaring off against UConn, losing, 81-50, on Dec. 19 in the midst of the Huskies’ all-time record winning streak of 90. read more

SNP urged to drop indyref2 threat as figures confirm Scotlands trade with

first_imgRe export figures, it is bogus to say Indy Scotland would not trade with rUK – and runs completely counter to arguments UKG making elsewhere— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) January 25, 2017 Nicola Sturgeon has been urged to abandon her repeated threats of a new independence referendum after official figures confirmed Scottish exports to the UK were worth four times as much as sales to the European Union.Statistics published by the Scottish Government showed sales to other parts of Britain were worth almost £50 billion in 2015, while exports to the EU were worth £12.3 billion. In both cases, exports grew by 4.4 per cent that year.David Mundell, the Scottish Secretary, said the figures, which do not include offshore oil and gas, showed that “the UK union is the vital union for Scotland”.Mr Mundell said export statistics showed “businesses in Scotland sold £37.5 billion more in goods and services to their own market in the UK than they did to all 27 EU countries put together”.He added that the export figures highlighted the importance of preventing any new barriers to doing business across the UK as Britain leaves Europe. David Mundell David Mundell with Nicola SturgeonCredit:Getty “Scottish Labour will not support any SNP plans for another referendum and if Nicola Sturgeon wants to stand up for Scotland’s economy she will take that threat off the table.”The Liberal Democrat MP and former Scottish secretary Alistair Carmichael said the statistics showed the critical importance of keeping Scotland in both the UK and the EU, and said anything else would cause “real harm”.center_img “We know the Scottish Government’s constant talk of a second independence referendum is creating damaging uncertainty for the Scottish economy,” said the minister.”I again call on the First Minister to end that uncertainty by taking her threat of another referendum off the table and working with us to get the best deal for Scotland and the whole of the UK.”Kezia Dugdale, the Scottish Labour leader, said that while the Tory plans for a hard Brexit risked damaging Scotland’s economy”, the SNP’s own figures showed that independence would be “considerably worse”.She added: “These figures confirm that the UK single market is four times more important to Scottish jobs and the economy than the EU single market.”It is simply a reckless nationalist gamble to put access to the UK single market, and all the jobs that depend on it, at risk. That’s why the SNP must drop plans for a second independence referendum. 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. Nicola Sturgeon took to Twitter to claim it was “bogus” to say that an independent Scotland would not trade with the rest of the UK and that argument ran “completely counter to arguments UKG making elsewhere”.She has repeatedly warned that Theresa May’s plan to remove Britain from the single market “undoubtedly” makes a second independence referendum more likely. The First Minister said on Tuesday, after the Supreme Court ruling, that the need for a new vote on separation was becoming “ever clearer”.In the wake of the Brexit vote, the Scottish Government has published a paper suggesting it could stay in the single market, even if the rest of the UK leaves.Overall, Scottish international exports, excluding oil and gas, increased by £1 billion in 2015, to be worth £28.7 billion.Keith Brown, Scotland’s economy minister, said that rise was “hugely encouraging”, adding: “It is clear that since the vote to leave the European Union, we must continue to be seen to be a country that is outward facing and open for business.”The EU market is eight times the size of UK market, which highlights the importance of remaining in the single market. I want to be clear that Scotland should not face a choice between exporting to the EU or UK. We can do both.”last_img read more

Designing slurry pipeline systems

first_imgIn March, Paterson & Cooke will give two presentations of their annual course on the design of slurry pipeline systems at the Breakwater Lodge in Cape Town’s Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. The event, which has been running since 1996, is aimed at providing guidance for the design of slurry pipeline systems for the mining and process industries. It provides delegates with a sound understanding of slurry flow mechanisms and an appreciation of the design requirements for a successful slurry pipeline transportation system.The course will cover topics including flow behaviour and modelling of different types of slurries, centrifugal and positive displacement pumps, pump and pipeline wear, instrumentation and laboratory techniques, valves for slurry service and hydraulic design and engineering considerations.Formal design sessions are included in the course. Delegates are divided into four groups and tasked with designing a number of typical slurry pumping systems. Each design session is led by a senior engineer from Paterson & Cooke. Hands-on demonstration sessions are conducted to illustrate pipeline hydraulics, settling slurry flow behaviour and rheology measurement techniques for non-Newtonian slurries. Delegates are issued with a comprehensive set of printed reference notes and suggested solutions for the design tasks.The course has proven to be extremely popular and delegates from Australia, Botswana, Brazil, Chile, Israel, Canada, France, Namibia, the Netherlands, Tanzania, the UK, the USA and Zimbabwe have attended previous courses.Two identical courses will be presented at the Graduate School of Business at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. The first course will be presented from 3 to 6 March and the second from 10 to 13 March 2009. For more information on the courses visit www.patersoncooke.comlast_img read more

5 talking points from todays FA Cup action

first_imgLast season, Paul Lambert was widely praised for not only helping Aston Villa stay up, but also doing so while playing an enterprising brand of football with a focus on young, up-and-coming players.There is no doubt that he has improved the side significantly, compared with the state they were in under previous boss Alex McLeishNevertheless, amid their 2-1 loss to Sheffield United today, Lambert and his team were booed by the Villa fans, even though the side sit in the relatively comfortable position of 11th in the league.In the context of Lambert’s current relationship with the club’s supporters, the phrase “but what have you done for me lately?” springs to mind. 1. Arsenal expose frailties in Tottenham’s 4-4-2 systemThere is no denying that — up until today — Tottenham’s new look under Tim Sherwood, encompassing a 4-4-2 system, has worked relatively well, with Spurs winning 10 out of a possible 12 points in the league.However, at the Emirates, against a five-man midfield as talented as Arsenal’s, Tottenham were always going to be up against it.Despite a bright start from the visitors, the Gunners largely dominated the game when it was there to be won.Jack Wilshere, Tomas Rosicky and Santi Cazorla all enjoyed far too much time on the ball, with the latter highlighting the visitors’ vulnerability in this regard, as he was allowed considerable time and space to score the first goal.2. Seamus Coleman gives Irish footballers something to aspire toSeamus Coleman scored again today as Everton outclassed QPR, beating them 4-0 in the process.Amid the dispiriting end of the Trapattoni era, there was much talk inferring that Ireland are incapable of producing top-class footballers — and there is no doubt that there is a patent lack of genuinely great players within the Irish set-up.However, of late, Coleman has gradually developed into one of the league’s most accomplished right backs.Consequently, surely other Irish footballers — both current and underage — will take heart from the full back’s performances and realise that Ireland can produce excellent footballers, despite the recent overly negative suggestions to the contrary.3. Is City’s draw with Blackburn a blessing in disguise?(Manchester City’s players stand dejected after Blackburn Rovers’ first goal – Mike Egerton/EMPICS Sport)Man City seem to have a fondness for making life difficult for themselves if today’s match is anything to go by.Their below-par away form was evident again, as Blackburn grabbed as deserved draw against the Premier League side.For a team of Man City’s talent and resources, drawing against a mid-table Championship side is only likely to reinforce the belief that their players’ attitudes are far from exemplary.However, the City players would perhaps be forgiven for breathing a sigh of relief, given that the upcoming replay means they no longer have to travel all the way to Abu Dhabi for a meaningless mid-season friendly.4. Is Lambert’s Villa revolution stalling? 5. Walcott wrong to rise to Spurs’ fans idiocyIn recent years, football stadiums have become an increasingly toxic environment whereby many fans show opposition players little or no respect.The Tottenham supporters’ treatment of Theo Walcott tonight epitomised this disconcerting trend, and the England star’s subsequent reaction to the abuse he received was understandable if not excusable.Players are human beings too, so it’s hardly a surprise that they occasionally react to such persistent taunting.However, they are also professionals who know that such abuse is an intrinsic part of the game, so Walcott and others need to smarten up and realise that responding to fans is unacceptable in such circumstances.Provoking opposition supporters only adds to football’s increasing toxicity, and also risks sparking stadium violence.Roy Keane calls Spurs fans ‘idiots,’ says Tottenham ‘will always let you down’>Aston Villa dedicate win over Sunderland to late Irishman Jody O’Reilly>last_img read more

Android on the HP TouchPad the plot thickens

first_imgHundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in search of a $99 TouchPad, as though it were forbidden fruit of some kind. Now that they have it, there’s a question boiling up through all of the social networks that yearns to be answered: Can we put Android on this thing?While I am inclined to agree with a previous commenter that installing Android on the TouchPad is mildly akin to ripping up the hardwood floor in your home to install laminate, the call of “because I can” will not be ignored. So, the TouchPad team soldiers on, despite some significant setbacks recently, and prepares to announce Android on the TouchPad once it is ready. In the mean time, however, there are some really interesting questions surrounding this whole plot. Seemingly cloak and dagger-esque operations that have been going on that leads this writer to wonder just how significant Android on the TouchPad will actually be.The Qualcomm InitiativeWhen a device surfaced on YouTube a few days ago with a TouchPad running Android 2.2.1 as the star of the show, there were plenty of questions. The thing that legitimized that video in the end was the bootsplash from Qualcomm’s internal developer group. Qualcomm clearly had a vested interest in having Android running on TouchPad-like hardware, and they accomplished exactly that. I speculated in a previous article why this might have happened, but there’s still nothing to explain how this device got into the hands of a consumer, since it appears to be new in box with the original wrapping on it.That was a strange and seemingly random thing to have happen once, so imagine what happens when three more TouchPad’s show up with the same story. All three of the other devices have the same Qualcomm bootsplash, same version of Android and the same build numbers. They all started in the same place, Qualcomm. Oddly enough, though, none of them were purchased in the same place. An online purchase, two completely different Best Buy stores, and a Wal-Mart were all victims of the same unchecked distribution.The good news is that if any of the developers working on TouchDroid get their hands on one of these devices, getting functional builds to a normal TouchPad would be ridiculously easy. If this happens, it will be possible to have tablet-friendly build of Android such as CyanogenMod to the Touchpad before Ice Cream Sandwich is released. After the source code for the next version of Android is released, putting it on the TouchPad would be just as simple.Fragmented OS, Fragmented community, Fragmented resultsOne of my favorite things about the WebOS community is the feeling of organization. For a small group, they have survived by working together and accomplishing a truly significant amount things since WebOS was conceived. The Android community has no such feeling of organization. In many ways, the Android ecosystem is as fragmented as the OS is accused of being. Currently, there are multiple groups on multiple sites working on Android for the TouchPad, some of while even have cash bounties posted for the teams that are successful.  The motivation formed by this kind of competition has yielded positive results in the past, but I can’t help but think back to the origins of this device, and if this kind of thing would have happened in the WebOS community to encourage developers.Currently, the infamous XDA-Developers have teamed up to offer a $2,150 bounty for delivering a finished product to the masses. The bounty is broken out based on individual accomplishments, ranging from simply porting Android to getting the wifi and camera functional. As these things are accomplished, the results will be published and any user with the know-how will be able to do these things on their personal TouchPad. The lang term hope is that this results in a simple to use solution that ports completely functional versions of Android to the TouchPad.Android will happen for the TouchPad, at this point it can’t not. However, there’s a pretty long list of questions regarding how long it will take and how functional it will be, to determine if it will even be worth it in the end. In the end, however, it really just depends on how strong the urge to accomplish goal “because I can” is. In the meantime, Geek.com will keep following the story as it develops.last_img read more

Limbaugh Attacks DCs Busboys and Poets

first_imgPopular D.C. bookstore, Busboys and Poets.Radio personality Rush Limbaugh, known for his racist tirades, attacked popular D.C. bookstore, Busboys and Poets, because “it dissed his two children’s books.” The ultra-conservative talk show host was upset that the executive director of Teaching for Change remarked on a C-Span network that it specialized in children’s books written by and about people of color and many times ignored best sellers, like that of Rush Limbaugh.Teaching for Change, a nonprofit organization, operates the bookstore located at 14th and V. It provides teachers and parents with the tools to create schools where students learn to read, write and change the world.Deborah Menkart, executive director of Teaching for Change, explained its concept. “Only one out of 10 children’s books being published currently is by or about people of color. These are also not the books that are on the best-seller lists. In fact, one of the books on the best-seller list for children right now is by Rush Limbaugh. You will not find that book in our bookstore,” Menkart said.“It’s also getting lots of awards. To flip the trend, flip the script, 90 percent of the children’s books that we sell at the bookstore – the independent, progressive, nonprofit bookstore here [at Busboys and Poets] – are by or about people of color. Those are the books that we find and we feature. So we prove there is a market for them.”Rush Limbaugh said D.C. bookstore, Busboys and Poets dissed his two children’s books.Limbaugh played the audio of the remarks for his listeners. Things went wild from there. “The point here is really not that my books got dissed. I’m just taking the occasion of that here to make another point. This woman would be stunned to find out that my books have people of color in them, and she would likewise be shocked and stunned to learn that the “people of color,” as she talks of them, in my books are heroes,” said Limbaugh on a June telecast. “Who looks at the world this way? Barack Obama on down looks at the world this way.”Limbaugh continued, “She said, ‘We’re not breaking even.’ Maybe that’s their objective. That’s right. Nonprofit means they don’t dare show a profit. They can’t show a profit. Profit’s evil. But they’re not even breaking even. And so you say who runs a business this way? Nobody with any brains runs a business this way. This is exclusionary, it’s racist, it’s bigoted, and it’s the opposite of everything they claim to be. And it’s exactly what they accuse us of being. They claim that they’re tolerant. They claim they’re open-minded. They claim that they are colorblind and all that. They are the most bigoted, racist people. They exclude here and exclude there and then they don’t make any money and they can’t figure out why.”“Limbaugh is distorting the definition of racism,” Teaching for Change’s contributing author Enid Lee explained, “One of the things that we have to make clear is that racism is about power and the ability of one group of persons, based on their race, to control institutions like publishing and marketing. What Teaching for Change is doing is reversing trends of racism by ensuring that people of color have a voice and that their lives are represented in children’s literature.”Limbaugh continued to rant on the airwaves. “These people are loony. They simply are dumb. They don’t have the slightest idea what they’re doing. And they happen to be running the country. And I don’t just mean in Washington. People like this are in charge of the public school system. People like this are teaching your kids. People like this are running day care. People like this show up at Obama’s fundraisers. …“They think that’s how the world works. And it is what the Democrat Party is becoming, and it is this demographic, the way the left or a Democrat looks at the country and sees it versus the way a conservative Republican looks and sees it, those two disparate views of the country are getting wider and wider and further and further apart.”Menkart noted that people do come in large numbers to the Teaching for Change bookstore in search of the titles that reflect the diversity of the country we live in. In addition to featuring children’s books by and about people of color, Teaching for Change vets titles for historical accuracy. As a review, in the respect Booklist notes, Limbaugh’s books fall way short in that category.Menkart said although the bookstore received lots of very derogatory calls and threats from Limbaugh listeners and followers, the negative publicity has also increased its visibility. “People are going to our website that didn’t even know we existed. They liked what they’re seeing and have offered to support us,” Menkart said.last_img read more

Justice Department Is Using Planes to Gather Data Cell Phone Data on

first_img Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. 3 min read November 14, 2014 An agency of the U.S. Justice Department is gathering data from thousands of cell phones, including both criminal suspects and innocent Americans, by using fake communications towers on airplanes, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.The program run by the U.S. Marshals Service began operations in 2007 and uses Cessna planes flying from at least five major airports and covering most of the U.S. population, the newspaper said, citing people familiar with the operations.The planes use devices made by Boeing Co that mimic the cell phone towers used by major telecommunications companies and trick mobile phones into revealing their unique registration data, the report said.The devices, nicknamed “dirtboxes,” can collect information from tens of thousands of cell phones in a single flight, which occur on a regular basis, according to those with knowledge of the program, the Journal said.It said a Justice Department official would not confirm or deny the existence of such a program, saying such discussion would allow criminal suspects or foreign powers to determine U.S. surveillance abilities, but that department agencies comply with federal law, including by seeking court approval.A Department of Justice spokesman declined to comment to Reuters.The program is similar to one used by the National Security Agency which collects the phone records of millions of Americans in order to find a single person or a handful of people.The Journal cited the people familiar with the program as saying that the device used in the program decides which phones belong to suspects and “lets go” of non-suspect phones.Although it can interrupt calls on some phones, authorities have made software changes to make sure it doesn’t interrupt anyone calling the 911 emergency number for help, one person familiar with the matter said, the Journal reported.It also bypasses telephone companies, allowing authorities to locate suspects directly, people with knowledge of the program said.The Journal quoted Christopher Soghoian, chief technologist at the American Civil Liberties Union, as calling it “a dragnet surveillance program. It’s inexcusable and it’s likely, to the extent judges are authorizing it, they have no idea of the scale of it.”The newspaper said it was unknown what steps are being taken to ensure data collected on innocent people is not kept for future perusal by authorities.(Writing by Eric Walsh; Editing by Eric Beech) Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global This story originally appeared on Reuters Register Now »last_img read more

Adults only for Virgin Voyages first ship setting sail in 2020

first_img GENOA — Virgin Voyages sailings will be exclusively for passengers 18+, “which was a direct result of listening to future sailors and travel partners”, says the cruise line.Virgin Group Founder Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Voyages President and CEO Tom McAlpin hosted a ‘Ship Tease’ yesterday in Genoa at the keel laying ceremony for the first ship, scheduled to launch in 2020. The cruise line says it is now accepting US$500 refundable deposits for a pre-sale window at VirginVoyages.com.Live from Fincantieri’s shipyard, Sir Richard and Tom McAlpin arrived on stage via a 200-foot crane drop.“This is a very big day for Virgin Voyages, as an exciting new holiday option for travellers starts to get ship shape,” said Branson, adding: “She will be the most recognizable ship sailing the seven seas, delivering an irresistible sailor experience. We’re also committed to making sure our crew are the happiest at sea and will be proud to sail with us.”More news:  War of words between Transat, Group Mach ramps upCEO McAlpin said the entire ship “will be built with an attention to detail, reflecting the craftsmanship and materiality inspired by super yachts.”Designed to feel more intimate and connected to the sea, 86% of all cabins will feature a sea terrace and 93% an ocean view, he said. “Virgin Voyages is creating a sophisticated ship and a transformational experience that offers our sailors a place where rejuvenating day-life meets exciting nightlife and everything in between.”Making first ship’s experience ‘Adult By Design’ was a decision driven by feedback “from future sailors and travel professionals, who are looking for a more elevated and premium experience, with a few Virgin style surprises.”The ship’s livery features a sleek silvery-grey hull with smoked glass and touches of Virgin’s signature red. Virgin Voyages’ first fleet will be known as the ‘Lady Ships’, a play on the term ‘your ladyship’, a nod to Virgin’s British heritage.McAlpin says the spirit of the ship will be represented by a mermaid design adorning the bow.More news:  Marriott Int’l announces 5 new all-inclusive resorts in D.R. & MexicoConsistent with their commitment to have one of the cleanest fleets at sea, Virgin Voyages has also signed an agreement with Scanship, providers of advanced waste management systems. Travelweek Group Adults only for Virgin Voyages’ first ship, setting sail in 2020 Share Tags: Virgin Groupcenter_img Posted by Wednesday, November 1, 2017 << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

2 Comments  

first_img 2 Comments   Share   Former NFL quarterback Kurt Warner points to the sky at the end of his speech during inductions at the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday, Aug. 5, 2017, in Canton, Ohio. (AP Photo/David Richard) Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Full page ad from @AZCardinals in today’s Arizona Republic pic.twitter.com/jZHZQWa8M4— Mark Dalton (@CardsMarkD) August 6, 2017Before listing the rest of the former Cardinals who have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the ad reads:center_img The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Officially, Kurt Warner is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.The quarterback who wore the No. 13 on the back of his jersey became the 13th Cardinal to make it to Canton, Ohio, in franchise history, and the team recognized him Sunday by buying a full-page ad in The Arizona Republic to congratulate Warner for his accomplishments. “Today, the Red Sea is overflowing with pride.The Professional Football Hall of Fame is home to the names of many Cardinals greats. We are proud to add one more to the class of 2017.The one and only Kurt Warner.Kurt, we thank you for your inspiration, leadership and ability to make us all jump out of our seats.”In the Hall of Fame, Warner joins Cardinals Charles W. Bidwill (1933-1947), Jimmy Conzelman (1940-42, 1946-48), Dan Dierdorf (1971-83), John Driscoll (1920-25), Dick Lane (1954-59), Ollie Matson (1952, 1954-58), Ernie Nevers (1929-31), Jackie Smith (1963-77), Charley Trippi (1947-55), Roger Wehrli (1969-82), Aeneas Williams (1991-2000) and Larry Wilson (1960-72). – / 70 Top Stories last_img read more

The Pullman brand has announced plans to transform

first_imgThe Pullman brand has announced plans to transform the ground floor of one of Melbourne’s hotels, Pullman Melbourne On The Park, with a $6million investment.The 419-room hotel’s ground floor interior spaces – reception, arrival area, bar and restaurant – will be completely transformed, whilst respecting the hotel’s heritage, under the direction of national design practice, Rothelowman, who have been appointed to manage the project.The redevelopment will connect the external streetscape with the internal lobby, restaurant and bar with a radically-redesigned series of interconnected spaces, positioning the hotel design in line with the Pullman Hotels & Resorts global cosmopolitan brand.Set to undergo the greatest transformation is the restaurant and bar which is soon to become a playground of culinary delight, focused around local produce and the visual theatre of food preparation. Large open-plan spaces and semi-private dining room areas will be incorporated into the new restaurant concept, all designed around creating an interactive environment, featuring a large pizza oven, raw bar section for fresh seafood and cured items, a churned ice-creamery and dessert bar.Featured quite prominently in the design is an oversized new bar with a central position, designed for bar staff and mixologists to create and animate cocktail making. The bar will also serve craft beers and a selection of wines, as well as all-day dining options focused around shared dishes. Set to be an entity in its own right, the bar will feature a large double sided fireplace near the entrance to welcome hotel guests and external patrons alike, acting as a conduit, linking to the restaurant, lobby and hotel.Inspired by the hotel’s outlook over Fitzroy Gardens, the colours and textures will be reflected in treatments throughout the new ground floor design, with patterns set against a backdrop of chevron timber wall panelling, retaining the formality of an upscale executive hotel with a relaxed, sophisticated ambience. Erkin Aytekin, general manager at Pullman Melbourne On The Park said, “This iconic hotel has long held a special place in the hearts of Melbournians, and our new welcoming sophisticated ground floor spaces are set to impress our loyal returning guests and attract even greater volumes of global nomads, captivated by Pullman hotels.”“Key to Rothelowman’s innovative design is the ability for the ground floor to flex from cosy intimate spaces to larger open plan spaces to accommodate high demand periods associated with the hotel’s proximity to Melbourne’s main sports and entertainment precinct – just a stone’s throw from the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground, Rod Laver Arena, Hisense Arena, Olympic Park and AAMI Park.“Once completed, the hotel will be brought into line with the international direction of the Pullman brand with its state-of-the-art design and finishes, whilst respecting the hotel’s rich heritage,” concluded Erkin.last_img read more