With extraordinary political theater, Winter Olympics begin

first_imgNorth Korea’s Hwang Chung Gum and South Korea’s Won Yun-jong arrive during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) — In an extraordinary show of unexpected unity, North and South Korea sat side by side Friday night under exploding fireworks that represented peace, not destruction, as the 2018 Winter Olympics opened on a Korean Peninsula riven by generations of anger, suspicion and bloodshed.The sister of North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, shook hands with South Korean President Moon Jae-in — and appeared genuinely pleased — while they watched an elaborate show of light, sound and human performance. Minutes later came a moment stunning in its optics and its implications: the United States, represented by Vice President Mike Pence, sitting a row ahead of Kim’s sister, Kim Yo Jong, and the North’s nominal head of state, all watching the games begin — officials from two nations that many worry have been on the brink of nuclear conflict.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ LATEST STORIES Grizzlies coach Bickerstaff gets $25,000 fine from NBA On Saturday morning, the North’s official news agency, KCNA, issued a report about the Olympics opening that was notable in its lack of the loaded language it usually uses when writing about the South and the United States, which it characterizes as Seoul’s overlord.“The 23rd Winter Olympics opened in Phyongchang of south Korea,” KCNA wrote in English, using an alternate spelling for the Olympic city and, notably, the lower-case “south” — a style it uses to show it does not endorse the names “South Korea” and “North Korea.”On Friday night, a huge crowd gathered in the freezing Olympics Stadium as performances displayed the sweep of Korean history and culture. The march of athletes from the world’s many nations saw them girded against a frigid Korean night with temperatures that dipped below freezing and biting winds.One notable visual came with the appearance of the Russian delegation, which marched in unable to carry its flag because of doping-related sanctions by the International Olympic Committee. Normally dressed in blazing red, they paraded in wearing grey and white jackets and seemed — uncommonly for that delegation — quite sedate.Members of a delegation from North Korea, part of an Olympics partnership between the two Korean rivals, watched from high in the stadium a performance called “The Land of Peace” and as past South Korean athletes paraded a large southern flag. The North Koreans, dressed in identical garb, cheered in careful coordination.The North has sent nearly 500 people to the Pyeongchang Games including officials, athletes, artists and cheerleaders after the Koreas agreed to a series of conciliatory gestures to mark the games. More than 2,900 athletes from 92 countries will compete here, making it the biggest Winter Olympics to date.Pyeongchang was not supposed to share the spotlight with Pyongyang. This was not supposed to be, as some in Seoul grumble, the “Pyongyang Games,” a play on the North Korean capital’s phonetic similarity to Pyeongchang.After two failed Olympic bids that emphasized the high-sounding notion that the games could help make peace with North Korea, Pyeongchang finally sold its successful try in 2011 on the decidedly capitalistic goal of boosting winter sports tourism in Asia.But North Korea has a habit of not letting itself be ignored when it comes to its southern rival.Its agents blew up a South Korean airliner ahead of the 1988 Seoul Olympics in an attempt to dissuade visitors; then it boycotted its rival’s Olympic debut on the world stage. A few years later, the discovery of the huge progress Pyongyang had been surreptitiously making on its nuclear programs plunged the Korean Peninsula into crisis. It has only deepened over the years as the North closes in on the ability to field an arsenal of nukes that can hit U.S. cities. View comments OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Almazan vows to comeback stronger after finals heartbreak Michael Porter Jr. stays patient as playing time increasescenter_img Nonito Donaire vs Naoya Inoue is BWAA 2019 Fight of the Year Not long after, North and South Korean athletes entered Olympic Stadium together, waving flags showing a unified Korea — the long-time dream, in theory at least, of many Koreans both North and South. It was the rivals’ first joint Olympic march since 2007. International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach then handed the podium to Moon, who declared the Olympics officially open.The ceremony’s signature moment delivered another flash of unity and deft political stage-managing, too. Two athletes from the joint Koreas women’s hockey team climbed stairs to the cauldron with the Olympic torch. At the last moment, though, they handed off the flame to former Olympic champion figure skater Yuna Kim, arguably South Korea’s most famous person. She actually lit the cauldron as the home crowd roared.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkMoon, in a statement, said athletes from North and South will “work together for victory.” And Bach lauded the joint march of the two Koreas as a “powerful message.”“We are all touched by this wonderful gesture. We all join and support you in your message of peace,” Bach said. After years of frustration, billions of dollars and a nagging national debate about their worth, the opening ceremonies took place before a world watching the moment not only for its athletic significance and global spectacle, but for clues about what the peninsula’s political future could hold.There is a palpable excitement in this isolated, rugged mountain town, as one of the poorest, coldest and most disgruntled parts of an otherwise prosperous South Korea kicks off two weeks of winter sports, spectacle and, from the looks of things, some inter-Korean reconciliation.After a chaotic year of nuclear war threats and nuclear and missile tests from the North, the opening ceremony proved to be an evening of striking visual moments.The significance of Pence and the North Koreans sitting in the same box seemed to run counter to the mission he was supposed to undertake. He’d been dispatched from Washington for the Olympics in part, he said, to make sure the world didn’t forget that North Korea was a misbehaving and dangerous neighbor in the community of nations.What did seem clear was that, deliberately or not, the North Korean government had managed to edge its way onto center stage during the South’s biggest global moment in years.ADVERTISEMENT And so, with a little help from a liberal South Korean president eager to engage Pyongyang, the 2018 Pyeongchang Games open.They do so with as much focus on the North, which has zero real medal contenders, as the South, which in the three decades since its last Olympics has built a solid winter program as it went from economic backwater and military dictatorship to Asia’s fourth-biggest economy and a bulwark of liberal democracy.Could Pyeongchang’s initial pitch — that it could contribute to peace on the Korean Peninsula — actually become reality? The opening ceremony offered at least some hints about that, and maybe more. What’s certain is that these Games, more so than any in recent memory, are about far more than sports.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Newsome sets focus on helping Bolts open new PBA season on right track Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. last_img read more

Ramón Laureano’s rapid rise to A’s Opening Day leadoff man

first_imgCLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing the photos on a mobile deviceTOKYO — Things were a lot different for Ramón Laureano just a year ago.Around this time in 2018, the A’s center fielder was frustrated in extended spring training down in Arizona in the aftermath of breaking his left pinky finger after he was hit by a pitch in a Cactus League game. The injury robbed him of re-establishing himself as a top prospect with his new organization after the Houston Astros had soured on him …last_img read more

South Africa retains ranking in 2015 Ibrahim Index of African Governance

first_imgMo Ibrahim, chair of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, at the launch of the 2015 Ibrahim Index of African Governance in London on Monday 5 October. (Image: Mo Ibrahim Foundation)Johannesburg, Tuesday 6 October 2015 – South Africa has retained its position in the 2015 Ibrahim Index on Africa Governance. In the 2015 Index, South Africa has retained its rank of 4 of 54 countries assessed in the Index.This follows South Africa’s improved performance in the 2015/16 World Economic Forum’s annual Global Competitiveness Index which saw South Africa rise seven places from 56 to 49 of 140 countries.The Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) measures the quality of governance in 54 African countries on an annual basis by looking at four areas: Safety and Rule of Law, Participation and Human Rights, Sustainable Economic Opportunity and Human Development. South Africa’s performance in each of these areas earns it the position of 7 (up from position 8 in 2014), 4, 2 and 6 respectively on the continent. Countries in the SADC region have also performed well in the 2015 Index.Brand South Africa CEO Kingsley Makhubela said, “We welcome South Africa’s performance in the 2015 Ibrahim Index of African Governance particularly in areas where improvements have been noted. The National Development Plan (NDP), together with various other instruments, will guide South Africa’s interventions to address other areas of concern including, amongst others, issues around personal safety.”“South Africa commends countries in SADC, in particular, on their performance in the Index. Although the 2015 IIAG indicates improved performance by countries on some indicators, we cannot under-estimate the urgency for the continent as a whole to implement Agenda 2063.”“All countries on the continent should have national programmes to drive their social and economic development. These programmes by African states will collectively contribute towards Africa’s plan for holistic socio-economic development.”“In this regard, we call on all South Africans in their different sectors to play their part in implementing the NDP which will be South Africa’s contribution to Agenda 2063. Continuous improvements in the various pillars identified in the NDP will translate into better performance by South Africa in various indices that assess our competitiveness and attractiveness as an investment destination,” concluded Mr Makhubela. [1] Please note that the ranking cannot be compared with previous years’ data. Annual refinements are made to the scores, and the entire IIAG dataset is revised retrospectively. Analysis above therefore draws comparisons between years based entirely on 2015 IIAG dataset. For more details on methodology, please see the methodology section of the IIAG website.last_img read more

Media to experience the competitiveness of the province of Limpopo

first_imgThe Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies officially launches the upgraded Seshego Industrial Park in Polokwane on 28 July 2016. (Image: The DTI, Twitter)Johannesburg, Monday 29 August 2016 – Brand South Africa, in partnership with the Departments of Trade and Industry, Home Affairs, the Industrial Development Corporation and the National Research Foundation will host media in Polokwane, Limpopo where elements of the province’s competitiveness will be showcased. The visit is scheduled from Tuesday 30 August – Thursday 1 September 2016.This comes within the context of Brand South Africa’s mandate to positively position South Africa’s competitiveness. Provincial and city brands are the building blocks of the Nation Brand. Competitive strengths of provinces and cities therefore impact positively on the South African Nation Brand.In this regard, the following sectors will be profiled in Polokwane: investment, manufacturing, agriculture, research as well as science and technology.Media will visit the Seshego Industrial Park recently re-launched by Minister Davies; the Seshego Hospital to experience early registration of birth to communicate how this will contribute to the integrity, credibility and reliability of the national population register; Kay T’s Green Tea – a South African company in the business of processing Kombucha Green Tea on a commercial basis for 8 years; the University of Limpopo where some scientific innovations will be showcased as well as attend the annual Awards function hosted by Minister Pandor and the National Research Foundation.Participate in the conversation on #ExperienceSA #SANationBrandlast_img read more

Is Business Headed for a Cognitive-First Future?

first_imgFollow the Puck Brad AndersonEditor In Chief at ReadWrite How Data Analytics Can Save Lives Related Posts AI: How it’s Impacting Surveillance Data Storage Tags:#data#Trending Brad is the editor overseeing contributed content at ReadWrite.com. He previously worked as an editor at PayPal and Crunchbase. You can reach him at brad at readwrite.com. As the world generates more and more data — at a clip of 2.5 quintillion bytes each day — it simultaneously struggles to manage it. With humans unable to manually process such large amounts of data and analyze its implications, the business world has to turn to machines to take on some of the load.Smart machines can transform data points into patterns and insights; imbuing these machines with human knowledge and allowing them to “learn” from the additional information they gather can speed up the computations needed by businesses. Cognitive machines aren’t just reactive, however. With enough data, they can anticipate problems, suggest solutions, and carry them out without human intervention.Cognitive predictive maintenance for the Industrial Internet of Things, an arena in which machines detect failures in other machines, is poised to influence whole industries. Empowering machines to perform unsupervised (or partially supervised) techniques to identify equipment failures quickly and accurately will save money for businesses. From preventing downtime to freeing up employee time for higher-level issues, cognitive predictive maintenance will revolutionize how enterprises handle asset management.Thy Machine’s Will Be DoneCognitive predictive maintenance uses sensors and artificial intelligence to monitor operations of complex systems, giving early warning in the form of anomaly detection. This early detection can help address minor issues before they turn into more serious problems.Deep reinforcement learning, a component of many cognitive predictive maintenance systems, uses algorithms to determine which pieces of information — gathered from resources such as manuals and operator notes or through real-time happenings — are relevant. Combining these with feedback received from a company’s techs, these autonomous solutions will create a library of knowledge without human input — beyond the manual feedback, of course.“The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is unlocking new possibilities for asset-intensive industries. … Sadly, almost 85 percent of these industries let this data sourced from trillions of data points go unused,” explain the experts at DataRPM, a Progress company, considered a cognitive disruptor in the IIoT maintenance space. “Only the remaining 15 percent possess the capabilities to derive insights from the limited data sourced from a select few sensors. This leads to building generalized models that encompass only a few assets, which are then extrapolated to the entire asset population.”And that’s a big deal: DataRPM has calculated that a 1 percent improvement in productivity across the manufacturing industry can result in $500 million in annual savings. Predicting anomalies can result in a 70 percent elimination of breakdowns, the firm says. With McKinsey predicting the IoT industry will have an economic impact of approximately $11 trillion by 2025, that’s a lot of potential money left on the table without cognitive-first processes.Which Industries Will Benefit?The saying that “data is the new oil” has gained momentum in recent years, and even the oil industry should feel that way. It’s one of a handful of industries that stand to quickly benefit from cognitive predictive maintenance.Oil and gas. With decades-old pipelines, old technology, and dangerous terrain, the oil and gas industry is ripe for machine intervention. Its outsized impact on the environment underscores the importance of predicting failures before they happen. Updated sensors and data analysis can result in not only avoided tragedies, but also 10 percent cost savings through enhanced performance.Manufacturing. Factories are constantly on the lookout for ways to improve their analytics and equipment effectiveness. Cognitive predictive maintenance can help with both these areas, as well as with conducting cognitive visual inspections. Deloitte’s findings suggest that cognitive predictive maintenance helps manufacturing equipment achieve more than 90 percent effectiveness.Automotive. Just like other manufacturing arenas, automotive companies are searching for ways to increase the uptime of their assembly lines and decrease malfunctions and subsequent recalls. Although only 8 percent of automotive manufacturers currently use cognitive predictive maintenance, these companies could save more than $1 million per day by issuing recalls sooner.Aviation. Unsurprisingly, nearly every transportation and logistics industry can benefit from cognitive-first solutions, and aviation’s tight regulations, safety concerns, and replacement schedules make cognitive predictive maintenance a perfect fit. With an aircraft like the A350-900 costing nearly $305 million, it’s clear that downtime for any part of an airline’s fleet can be devastating. Cognitive predictive maintenance can help airlines take care of problems before they need to ground flights.Energy and utilities. With the environment and climate changing rapidly, extreme weather power outages doubled between 2003 and 2012; extreme weather is considered the culprit behind 80 percent of outages. In a society becoming further chained to the internet and machines on a daily basis, energy and utility companies would do well to adopt cognitive predictive maintenance, which can help them predict and manage blackouts and brownouts before they happen.Producing enormous amounts of data means we also need to build systems that can absorb and use that data. Industries that need to process such data before major problems occur likely have a cognitive-first future ahead of them, led by machines smart enough to fix what isn’t yet broken. Leveraging Big Data that Data Websites Should T…last_img read more

Wangs leans on big 3rd quarter to wallop Zark’s

first_imgCayetano to unmask people behind ‘smear campaign’ vs him, SEA Games The Fil-Am swingman also added six rebounds and five assists to improve Wangs’ standing to 4-3.Michael Juico topped the Couriers with 30 markers, 12 boards, and six dimes, while John Ambulodto got 16 points and six rebounds.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsGoing back on the winning track, Wangs coach Pablo Lucas noted that the biggest adjustment his team took in the halftime break was its dedication to defense.“We wanted for them to have no easy shots. Our offense just came after that,” he said. Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ LOOK: Jane De Leon meets fellow ‘Darna’ Marian Rivera The loss spoiled Robby Celiz’ 37-point effort for the Jawbreakers, while also collecting three rebounds, three assists, and three steals.RR de Leon got 18 markers and six boards, and Clark Bautista got 15, as Zark’s Burgers stumbled to its third straight defeat and drop to 1-6.The scores:WANGS BASKETBALL 133 – Juico 30, Herndon 26, Ambulodto 16, Habelito 12, Sorela 11, Arambulo 10, Montemayor 8, Bitoon 8, De Chavez 6, Tayongtong 6, Riley 0, King 0.ZARK’S BURGER 92 – Celiz 37, De Leon 18, Bautista 15, Mangahas 11, Cudal 4, De Ocampo 4, Sheriff 2, Nalos 1, Cariaga 0, Cayabyab 0, Argamino 0, Ferrer 0, Juruena 0.ADVERTISEMENT 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 Another vape smoker nabbed in Lucena Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ China furious as Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong LATEST STORIEScenter_img Quarters: 30-30, 56-50, 102-62, 133-92.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend What ‘missteps’? Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. PBA IMAGESWangs Basketball had a superb third quarter and clobbered Zark’s Burgers, 133-92, for its fourth victory in the 2017 PBA D-League Foundation Cup Monday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.Robbie Herndon anchored the Couriers’ 46-point third quarter explosion as he dropped 11 of his 26 points in the period, turning a close 56-52 lead to a whopping 40-point advantage, 102-62, entering the final frame where the lead swelled to as high as 47, 133-86, late.ADVERTISEMENT View comments Beermen stay motivated, aim for Grand Slamlast_img read more

7 dead 5 critical in Cuban bus crash

first_imgHAVANA — Seven people died and five are in critical condition after a bus crashed carrying tourists and local travellers in far eastern Cuba.State media report that the bus was carrying 18 Cubans and 22 tourists from Holland, Great Britain, France, Mexico and Canada when it crashed Thursday afternoon on a road between the cities of Baracoa and Guantanamo.The names and nationalities of those killed haven’t been released.The driver told Radio Guantanamo that he lost control on the wet and winding road.Cuban highways are poorly lit, narrow and rutted with huge potholes. There were 750 deaths and 7,999 injuries in 11,187 accidents last year in the country of 11 million. Thursday’s wreck was the fourth major bus accident in a month.Associated Presslast_img read more

By 2018 almost 400 million homes will receive TV s

first_imgBy 2018 almost 400 million homes will receive TV signals via satellite, up by almost 100 million compared to the end of 2012, representing a quarter of global TV households.According to the new Digital TV Research stats, the number of pay satellite TV (DBS or DTH) homes will reach 251 million by 2018, up from 178 million at end-2012 and 103 million at the end of 2008.Free-to-air DTH households will also rise, reaching 142.6 million households in 2018, compared to 118 million in 2012.Combined this will result in some 393.8 million homes receiving satellite TV in 2018 out of a total 1.58 billion TV households, according to the study, which looked at 97 countries.“From the 73 million pay satellite TV subscribers added between 2012 and 2018, India will provide 24.4 million, Brazil 9.2 million, Indonesia 6.8 million and Russia 5.9 million. However, the Global Satellite TV Forecasts report estimates that pay satellite TV subscriber totals will fall in 11 countries between 2012 and 2013 as subs convert to other platforms,” said Digital TV Research.In 2018 the top four pay satellite TV countries by subscribers will be India with 61.1 million subscribers, USA with 36.6 million, Brazil with 19 million and Russia with 16.7 million.The US will remain DTH market leader by revenues generated, although its share of the total will fall from 43.5% in 2012 to 38.7% in 2018.Brazil will add the most DTH revenues between 2012 and 2018, the research said, though satellite TV revenues will decline in 20 countries between 2012 and 2018, thanks mainly to greater competition, forcing satellite TV platforms to offer cheaper packages.last_img read more

European channel group SPI International has acqui

first_imgEuropean channel group SPI International has acquired programming from NBCUniversal, while preparing for the launch of its first 4K network.The NBCU deal gives it close to 100 first-run film titles in the Czech Republic and Slovakia including Fast and Furious 6, Despicable Me 2 and 47 Ronin and run on the FilmBox Premium channel.Meanwhile, the Ulta HD channel will be called 4K FunBox UHD. Acquisitions for the channel are being sought an finalised here in Cannes at MIPTV, and SPI has already secured more than 200 hours of content for it.“Our new Ultra HD library will initially offer very diverse content such as visually stunning nature documentaries, breath taking videos of San Francisco skyline and eye-popping CG animations,” said Berk Uziyel, executive director of FilmBox International, an SPI subsidiary.last_img read more