Britain said its exports could increase by a billion pounds as a result of the trade deals it is seeking from Australia and New Zealand, setting out its negotiating objectives on Wednesday ahead of the start of formal talks.Australia and New Zealand are among Britain’s top priorities for trade talks, alongside the United States, the European Union and Japan, as it looks to define an independent trade policy after leaving the EU in January.”Ambitious, wide-ranging free trade agreements with old friends like Australia and New Zealand are a powerful way for us … to make good on the promise of Brexit,” trade minister Liz Truss said in a statement. Topics : The government’s aims for each deal were largely similar and broadly focused on increasing goods and services trade and cross-border investment. They included chapters on digital trade and ways to help small businesses export more.The aims for an Australian deal included a focus on technology, innovation and research and development, while the objectives for the New Zealand talks made reference to the need to protect both countries’ climate change commitments.The first round of talks is expected to take place by videoconference in the coming weeks.
Fnatic and GamingZone have entered a strategic partnership that will see a new Fnatic CS:GO Academy team born. GamingZone are the producers behind GAMERZ, the esports reality show in which two sets of players compete against each other, with the winners earning professional, salaried Counter-Strike contracts. The first iteration of the reality show was based purely around Nordic talent, with the scouting and trials taking place at DreamHack before an initial set of twelve players joined the show. Each week from then on, the blue team would face the red team and the losing team would potentially have a player leave the show. They would then be replaced with a new player, until the show ultimately culminated in a final week best of three showdown in which the blue team emerged victorious.This time, however, the show is “Europe” focused, thus targeting a broader range of players and Fnatic will be fairly confident of finding a solid academy team as a result. The show is set to air in 2018.Interestingly, Fnatic’s key players and coaches will be part of the show, sharing their know-how and experiences with the teams and fans.“Fnatic has a rich history in finding, educating and growing esports talents and we’re proud to have some of the biggest esports Pros competing under the Fnatic banner. Partnering with GAMERZ gives us again an opportunity to share our knowledge and experience with the newer generations. And of course the opportunity to welcome new talent into our CS:GO Academy team.” says Patrik Sattermon, Chief Gaming Officer at Fnatic. “Through GAMERZ we will get a cool scanning of all the talented players out there. We really look forward to this.”“This co-op is a classic win-win where Fnatic will bring their expertise and awareness to GAMERZ and GAMERZ can help Fnatic find future esport stars. And in the process give the fans some cool entertaining programming” commented Karl Mikael Cakste, CEO of Gamingzone Entertainment.Esports Insider says: Cool initiative, this one. We haven’t seen or heard too much of the players that won the previous series but the opportunity to be signed to Fnatic is huge. We look forward to seeing the next series air.
The Texters can run with the Beermen when Smith is on the bench, but when the import is in the game, Racela always calls for Smith to have a touch inside, creating problems for San Miguel’s defense.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next WATCH: Firefighters rescue baby seal found in parking garage The rookie coach will almost always clam up when asked about situations in his team—even if the situation he is being pressed about is something major. Like, say, import Joshua Smith’s state of health.And no one seems to mind. What’s important is that his brilliant mind is delivering and he has allowed his team to take momentum in this best-of-seven series not a few have predicted the Beermen will dominate with ease.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutLeo Austria, meanwhile, is the exact opposite and talks at length whenever asked.“We have less than 48 hours to realize what’s going on,” Austria said, not referring to anything specific after his Beermen trailed most of Wednesday night before failing to cover Smith effectively at winning time. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: 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 City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games World’s 50 Best Restaurants launches new drinking and dining guide Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken 1 dead in Cavite blast, fire “But definitely, we will make the adjustments,” Austria said.Racela may contemplate on adjustments and convince people he will be busy working on them, but the burden of coming up with new strategies lies heavily on Austria in the 7 p.m. contest slated at Smart Araneta Coliseum on Friday.“We need to contain their perimeter shooters,” Austria said as TNT’s outside guns pelted them with the baskets that mattered in the crunch, with Jason Castro’s triple in the dying seconds putting the Beermen in a 102-99 hole.TNT managed to gut out the win despite playing Smith sparingly—torn ligaments in the import’s right foot make him a liability when the game’s tempo picks up.When he is on the floor, however, Racela has made it sure that the Texters can maximize his imposing 6-foot-9, 330-pound presence in the shaded lane.ADVERTISEMENT Filipino fighter Yabo looks for redemption in ONE Championship MOST READ Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ LATEST STORIES TNT KaTropa head coach Nash Racela. PBA IMAGESNash Racela’s young coaching career in the PBA has been predominantly marked by two things: Safe answers during interviews and success.“We will make the adjustments for Game 2,” Racela, with a straight face, said Wednesday night, looking and sounding like he and his TNT KaTropa were the ones on the losing end of a 104-102 decision over favored powerhouse San Miguel Beer at the start of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals.ADVERTISEMENT Jordan delivers on promise: 2 Cobra choppers now in PH View comments What ‘missteps’?
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Tuesday asked the government to lay off its cricket turf. BCCI Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Ratnakar Shetty asked Union Sports Minister Ajay Maken to improve the state of other sports and not to interfere in the functioning of the autonomous body. He said that BCCI’s functioning has been praised time and again by various global sporting bodies. “I think the sports ministry will work better in finding out what needs to be done for the development of the other sports. The amount of problems the other federations face, they (government) should be concentrating on that and try to develop other sports rather than concentrating on cricket which is already well established,” Shetty said. Congress MP and BCCI vice president Rajiv Shukla said, “I have not seen the draft bill. Show me the draft bill. How can it be under RTI when it does not take any grant from the government?” Young BJP MP and BCCI member Anurag Thakur opposed the proposal to bring the board under RTI. Thakur told Headlines Today that it could be used to harass the cricket body. “I oppose Sports Bill. RTI is a tool to harass. There is no age limit for politicians and prime minister. First the (sports) ministry should look into Sports Authority of India. It is an attempt to hide Commonwealth Games scam. Politicians are required in sport bodies,” Thakur insisted. “As far as age-limit is concerned, I think that there is no age-limit for the prime minister or ministers. Then why should there be an age-limit for the head of a sports body,” he questioned.advertisement
Maria Sharapova hit out at tennis authorities today for failing to warn her that a drug she had been taken had become a banned substance.Sharapova, a five-times Grand Slam champion, had an initial two-year suspension by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) reduced to 15 months after she tested positive at the 2016 Australian Open for meldonium.This was a medication the Russian had been taking when it was within the rules but which was later reclassified as a prohibited drug.”Why didn’t someone come up to me and have a private conversation, just an official to an athlete, which would have taken care of the confidentiality problem they talked about later?” Sharapova told The Times.However, she did accept she had become “complacent”, saying she was responsible for failing the drug test.”Ultimately the fault was mine,” she added. “I had been getting clearance on everything I was taking for seven years and I became complacent.”Meldonium was added to the World Anti-Doping Agency list of banned substances at the start 2016 after increasing evidence that it enhanced performance.Sharapova is set to make her return to competitive tennis at the WTA Stuttgart Grand Prix, which starts on April 24.
Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan has been in an exceptional form ever since he made a comeback to Team India.Dhawan scored a total of 338 runs in the five matches of the recently concluded ICC Champions Trophy which included the best score of 125, while in the ongoing series against West Indies, he has smashed 87 and 63 in two appearances.The left-handed batsman said that he worked hard on himself before making a comeback to the Indian team.”Past months were quite unfortunate for me. That’s why I was out of the team. I went back and worked on myself, and am a stronger person and sportsman now. I knew I have those skills and capabilities to perform at the international level. I have been working hard and I never lost hope,” he said.”When I wasn’t doing well, I knew I will get out of the team. I went back and started enjoying domestic cricket. There was less pressure as compared to the international cricket.”That’s how I relaxed myself and stayed calm. But yes, at the back of my mind, I always knew I had to perform good and make a comeback and serve my country and achieve my goal,” he added.Commenting on the ongoing controversy relating to Anil Kumble’s stepping down as the head coach of Team India, Dhawan said, “I didn’t play much under Anil Kumble, so cannot comment on that. Moreover, I just focus on the game. Everyone has their own individuality and character. Anil Bhai, Dhoni Bhai and Virat, of course all are different.”advertisementMeanwhile, India, now with a 1-0 lead in the five-match series, will play their third ODI against the Caribbean side at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua on June 30.
Leicester boss Rodgers fumes: Mane made most of itby Paul Vegas20 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveLeicester City boss Brendan Rodgers was furious with the way Sadio Mane won Liverpool’s matchwinning penalty on Saturday.Mane was brought down in stoppage time after a mix up between Albrighton and goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel before James Milner calmly slotted from 12 yards to give the hosts a huge victory that extends their winning run in the league to 17 games, dating back to March.Rodgers felt aggrieved by Chris Kavanagh’s decision to award the penalty kick, saying: “I think he has made the most of the contact.”Strikers now, they are clever. He has had a touch and gone over. If the referee didn’t give it I don’t think anyone would have said it was a clear and obvious error. “To concede a 95 minute penalty was difficult to take. I thought we deserved a point. You come to the European champions and you have to be resilient and deal with pressure and show your own qualities. I felt we did that.”I thought we could go on and win the game. We conceded a goal when we were in control. I thought it was a very soft penalty, not clear and obvious that is for sure but when the referee gives it it is hard for the VAR to go against it. “But I am very proud of the team and the personality we showed. To come here and be that competitive, it shows we are very much on the right path.”You have to have that [doggedness]. Any of the best teams always has a balance.”You come to a stadium that is one of the most difficult in Europe, in terms of momentum. We were able to turn the momentum around for us. “You have to have all types. Today we had to have that persistence and perseverance but when we had spells with the ball, we looked creative and we had a threat. “We looked like we could maybe get in front in the game. It wasn’t to be but I am proud of coming to here and bringing a team to compete at that level.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
SURREY, B.C. — Mounties say a significant increase in violent crime in the first quarter of 2019 in Surrey, B.C., is partly due to a new Statistics Canada reporting requirement, and the change is likely to affect police data across the country.The federal agency announced revisions to its Uniform Crime Reporting Survey last year, following national media attention and police reviews of the use of the “unfounded” designation for sexual assaults.The changes took effect Jan. 1 and mean that “founded” occurrences now include offences where there may be no evidence to substantiate that an incident took place, but there is also no credible evidence to confirm it didn’t happen.Previously, offences that could not be substantiated with evidence were not included in a city’s crime statistics.Surrey RCMP say it’s too early to fully assess the impact of the changes on crime statistics, but its analysis shows that some crime types are impacted more than others including assaults, uttering threats and shoplifting.In the first quarter of 2019, total Criminal Code offences increased four per cent in Surrey compared with the first quarter of 2018, while violent crime jumped 43 per cent with notable increases in robberies, sexual offences and assaults.The large Metro Vancouver municipality appears to be among the first jurisdictions to release first-quarter statistics for 2019. Not all police departments release detailed quarterly numbers, says Surrey RCMP Cpl. Elenore Sturko.She says Mounties are taking a hard look at the data. Some of it is not attributable to the data-collection change — for example, a 48 per cent increase in robberies reflects a genuine theft spike that occurred in the city earlier this year.“We don’t want to completely write off everything and just say, ‘Oh, don’t worry about it. It’s because of the change,’ ” she says.“Violent crime in Surrey is something that is a priority and is remaining a priority for us. But understandably, some of this is as a result of the (Uniform Crime Reporting Survey) changes.”Sexual offences jumped by 48 per cent in the first quarter of 2019 compared with the same time period last year, while assaults increased 40 per cent.It’s difficult to say exactly what portion of the violent crime jump was caused by the Statistics Canada change and it’s going to be hard to directly compare 2019 data with previous years, she adds.Surrey RCMP “fully support” the change, Sturko stresses.“The reasoning behind making this change is a really important one, I think. It’s giving statistics that are more victim-centred,” she says.“Hopefully, as a result of these important changes, we’ll be able to eliminate the under-reporting of these serious crime types.”Statistics Canada has said that a victim-centred approach to recording crimes is emerging. The approach puts forth that, unless there is concrete evidence to prove the crime did not happen, it should be believed that the crime occurred.The statistics agency likely won’t release the Canada-wide 2019 crime data until spring 2020, says Robert Gordon, a Simon Fraser University criminology professor. It will be impossible to compare it to previous years, he says.“Basically, the clock stopped Dec. 31 and it restarted under a new reporting and categorization regime Jan. 1,” Gordon says.He says the changes reflect a major revision to the way police forces count crimes. Sexual assault and family violence have long been considered to be under-reported, and this change aims to address that, he says.For example, a complainant who tells police they were assaulted but refuses to proceed with the investigation will now be included in the crime numbers, as will a third party who reports child abuse but the child can’t or won’t report the crime, he says.“All these things where the victim says, ‘Ah, I don’t want to bother,’ you should still be recording them because they are actually crime incidents. It’s important to keep an account of those.”The change moves Canadians closer to understanding the extent of crime in our communities, but there is still an unknown number of offences out there that never get reported to police, he notes.“This new approach won’t change that one bit.”The Canadian Press
OTTAWA – The federal Liberals gave an update Tuesday on the government’s finances, and with it, how they plan to spend a windfall generated by better than expected economic growth.Here are some highlights from the fall economic update:— Positive economic developments have left the government with about $46.6 billion more to spend over five years than they’d projected in the 2017 budget.— The economic update details ways they plan to spend roughly $14.9 billion of that over five years, leaving the rest to pull down the deficit.— The deficit this fiscal year is now projected to be $18.4 billion, down from the spring projection of $25.5 billion. By 2021-2022, the deficit will fall to $10.9 billion. It had originally been projected to come in at $15.8 billion.— The government focused on four major spending measures in the update: indexing the Canada Child Benefit to cost of living increases, expanding the Working Income Tax benefit program, formalizing a promised cut to the small business tax rate and ongoing work to overhaul the tax code.— The indexation of the Canada Child Benefit project will now begin in July 2018, two years ahead of schedule. Over five years, the increases are projected to cost about $5.6 billion. As an example, the government says someone currently receiving the maximum amount of $6,400 for a child under six would see that rise to $6,496 next year, and $6,626 by 2019-2020.— Expanding the Working Income Tax Benefit program. The program is designed to account for the fact that when people go off government assistance and get a job, their paycheque may not be as high as government support and so there’s less incentive to work. The benefit seeks to make up some of that pay difference. The government says they’ll spend $500 million a year starting in 2019 to allow more people to qualify.— Taken together, measures to lower the small business tax rate to 10 per cent next year and nine per cent in 2019, along with ongoing overhauls to the tax code, will cost the government $1.3 billion between 2017 and 2022, but that doesn’t take into account one of the major changes coming to tax rules on how passive investments are handled.— Almost $9 billion in program spending is detailed in the update, some of which has not been previously announced at all, or has only been detailed in very broad strokes. Among the new programs: over $1 billion for Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Canadian Coast Guard Services over six years; $760 million for security at Canada’s embassies and consulates over six years; $4 million over two years to expunge the criminal records of Canadian previously convicted of consensual sexual activity with same-sex partners; $526 million for legalization marijuana and a further $150 million over six years to handle drug-impaired driving.
Mayor Ackerman wants the report to look at any actions that can be taken on behalf of the City to motivate those with illegal suites and as the Mayor said, “know darn well they have that suite, to rectify that.”Mayor Lori Ackerman shared other actions are required by the City to motivate people with illegal suites. “I think on the principle of safety, this needs to be dealt with,” said Ackerman in terms of the congestion in neighbourhoods that have several vehicles that block sidewalks and roads, causing visibility and safety issues.Council agreed this report was necessary to know what it will take to equip Bylaw officers with the tools they require for their toolbox to end this problem. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – At Monday’s Council meeting Councillor Grimsrud on behalf of Councillor Bolin put forward a resolution to help improve enforcement and parking issues due to neighbourhoods that have illegal suites.Grimsrud asked that Council direct staff to provide a report on the current staffing hours of Bylaw enforcement employees and to look at when vehicles are allowed to park on the street.Mayor Ackerman said she heard the public’s concerns at the recent Trade Show as well as receiving an email regarding specifically 104 A Avenue.