AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInTransport Minister Humza Yousaf today (25 August) launched a consultation on the future of the national concessionary travel scheme. The Scottish Government wants to hear views on the options to safeguard the longer term sustainability of the existing free bus travel scheme and on providing free bus travel to young modern apprentices to support their travel costs.The plans to provide young modern apprentices with free bus travel will initially be tested in a pilot scheme in 2018, to ensure the success of a full roll out.Mr Yousaf said:“The Scottish Government is committed to providing free bus travel to older and disabled people and no one who has a bus pass will lose it. This popular scheme provides free travel throughout Scotland and in doing so access to services, facilities and social networks locally and further afield. It promotes a more active lifestyle thus improving health and is helping older and disabled people to be independent, socially active and generally helps them play a greater part in their community.“People are living longer, staying healthy longer, and staying in work later in life and we aim to ensure that access to the benefits of the bus pass goes to those who have greater reliance on free bus travel. We keep the Scheme under review to ensure that it continues to meet this objective and, as part of this process, the consultation gives us the opportunity to find out how the people of Scotland see the future of the scheme.“We will listen carefully to the views given in the consultation and take account of them in deciding whether any changes need to be made to the scheme at this time. If we then decide that changes are to be made, I can confirm that everyone who already has a bus pass before any changes come into force will continue to have access to the benefits of the scheme.“We want to help ease the transition into work for younger people in Scotland, especially those on lower incomes and that is why we are looking to introduce free travel for modern apprentices.“Other than looking to provide free companion travel for eligible disabled children under five who are not currently covered by the scheme, we have no plans to change the current disability criteria. Those people eligible as a result of disability will continue to access free bus travel, as now.”Skills Development Scotland Director of National Training Programmes, Katie Hutton, said: “Each year more and more individuals are choosing to start apprenticeships to work, learn and earn making a valuable contribution to businesses and the economy.“Skills Development Scotland supports the concessionary travel consultation and we would encourage all those with a shared interest in the success of apprenticeships to get involved.”The concessionary travel consultation will be available via the Transport Scotland website HERE until 17 November 2017.
Share Share 189 Views no discussions Tweet Share LocalNewsSports Dominicans to compete in NORCECA volleyball qualifier by: – April 9, 2014 Sharing is caring! Yahn Florent skies to block a hitTwo young men will have the opportunity to be Dominica’s first youth Olympians when they participate in the final round of the NORCECA Beach volleyball qualifier in Puerto Rico. Yahn Florent and Arden Elmes will compete in the tournament scheduled for April 10 to 14, 2014, a press release from the Dominica Amateur Volleyball Association indicates. They will play against teams from Barbados, Trinidad, USVI, Guatemala, Honduras, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and the USA.Only 2 spots will be awarded into the finals of the 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympics in China. The team which has been in intense training since January was coached by youth team coach Ray Robinson with assistance from Kairann George and Lenon Honore.Yahn Florent and Arden Elmes will represent Dominica at the tournament in Puerto Rico“Both players have shown great committed to the task at hand as well as steady and significant improvement throughout their training”. “The coaching staff expects that if they play to full potential they will be more than a competitive force and Dominica may very well be represented in China this summer,” the release states further.The pair qualified for this round by placing second in the regional leg in St Lucia last year. “The Dominica Amateur Volleyball Association is proud to be represented by these young men and wish to profusely thank the Dominica Olympic Committee for their unwavering support in this venture”.Dominicans are encouraged to give full support to the young future Olympians.Dominica Vibes News
Kumu Networks, a Stanford-born startup has developed a full-duplex relay technology that enables small cells to self-backhaul by using the same channel to provide access and backhaul. Wireless Full Duplex is a technology that allows a radio to simultaneously transmit and receive overlapping signals using a single frequency channel. Full-duplex communications would allow a node to send and receive data at the same time in the same channel which essentially doubles the capacity of a telecommunications system.This first of its kind technology is soon expected to move out of the lab for field trial stages and first general deployment. The company has had several successful commercial field trials in 2016, and is now beginning to deploy in live networks this year.One of past trials for Kumu was with Italian mobile operator TIM, who conducted a test in the vicinity of Turin, Italy. According to TIM, the technology will allow mobile transmissions in downlink and uplink to travel at the same time, even if they are of different intensities,. This is ideal for 4G small cells in areas where there is no traditional backhaul solution available.The field trials throughout 2016 helped Kumu Networks understand that the full duplex relay has a number of benefits in enhancing capacity in consumer hot spots and also extending coverage in areas where it’s difficult to get traditional backhaul. Based on trials the technology helps achieve a two-time to five-time capacity boost, helping LTE networks actually deliver their peak rates and bridge the gap between reality and expectation.In the context of a centralized radio access network architecture, which centralizes the baseband unit and uses fiber to connect remote radio heads, the integrated full-duplex is an interesting complex from a future looking perspective. Kumu Network believes that as applications stream a large amount of data to the cloud in the future, and a prospect of two separate networks rises: narrowband IoT for the uplink, millimeter wave for the downstream; there’s a huge opportunity, effectively, to use full-duplex to reuse the spectrum being used on the downlink for machine traffic on the uplink.Kumu Networks has a commercial-ready full-duplex relay ready to go and is now working on a single-chip solution with the goal of a commercial launch in 2018.
Altai Technologies, a leading supplier of carrier-grade WiFi products and technologies is introducing a new smart antenna 802.11ac Wave 2 carrier-grade outdoor access point. The upcoming Altai AX500 series will provide the largest signal coverage among 2×2 802.11ac wave 2 access points in the market. Altai will be releasing this product at CommunicAsia 2017 in Singapore next week.With different antenna options (sector/omni/external), the IP68-rated AX500 series is designed to deliver unparalleled WiFi experiences to mobile users for outdoor deployments, ranging from high-density public hotspots to large coverage narrowband IoT hubs. The Altai AX500 series uses the latest smart antenna technology and is able to provide LOS access up to 1 km, the largest coverage among 2×2 802.11ac Wave 2 access points market.Combined with AltaiCare and its powerful access control features and advertisement engines, the new series delivers best-in-class WiFi hotspot solutions for high density deployments. The superior coverage and capacity makes it the best solution for smart city projects.In conjunction with the functionality and feature rich AltaiCare platform, enterprise/service providers can manage their WiFi networks and collect data easily and economically for big data analytics. Enterprises can also opt for either off or on-premises AltaiCare versions, depending on their business requirements.Some of the features of the AX500 series include: Multi-beam smart antenna to adaptively transmit traffic to each client by selecting the best beam that optimizes performance and range MU-MIMO to increase capacity of the series substantially by allowing simultaneous transmissions from the AP to multiple clients Integrated high gain dual-polarized antennas offer reliable and consistent performance to mobile clients that are constantly changing their orientation Advance interference mitigation to provide significant reduction in interference AirFi technology to enhance clients’ throughput based on signal strength and traffic Altai Technologies will be showcasing their entire lineup of the Altai Super WiFi products, the new AX500 series and AltaiCare at the CommunicAsia 2017 event next week.
ETS-Lindgren has integrated its EMQuest EMQ-100 Antenna Measurement Software with Anritsu’s Radio Communication Test Station MT8000A for 5G OTA testing. This accurate and flexible turnkey solution allows user equipment (UE) developers and manufacturers to characterize and validate the 5G OTA performance of their designs. This collaboration enables existing customers to efficiently upgrade their LTE solutions to support 5G New Radio (5G NR). To date, ETS-Lindgren has successfully delivered several 5G NR OTA test systems with the Anritsu MT8000A. The seamless integration of this hardware and software solution results in an efficient turnkey package for 5G NR test applications.ETS-Lindgren’s EMQuest EMQ-100 offers a wide range of fully parameterized test methods for measuring basic antenna performance metrics, as well as testing both radiated and conducted performance of various wireless devices. Flexible in its design, the EMQuest EMQ-100 can be used to analyze antennas in stand-alone applications, or to test an embedded antenna system and radio module against any of the industry standard OTA-radiated performance test requirements.Anritsu’s new MT8000A test platform supports the latest 5G technologies, including wideband signal processing and beamforming required by 5G NR enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB). The MT8000A all-in-one platform supports sub-6 GHz (FR1) and mmWave band (FR2) signaling RF tests covering 400 MHz to 6 GHz, as well as the 28 GHz and 39 GHz 5G NR bands. The MT8000A supports both NSA (non-standalone) and SA (standalone) modes and can be paired with MT8821C (LTE-A Radio Communication Analyzer) to provide a natural upgrade path to 5G for existing LTE customers. ETS-Lindgren’s flexible approach to instrumentation remains a key advantage for OTA test labs. Adding the Anritsu’s MT8000A to EMQuest Antenna Measurement Software supports lab personnel who may have a favored instrument brand or have existing instrumentation available. ETS-Lindgren has a long tradition in supporting all major instrumentation manufacturers, including those addressing the new 5G technologies.
“Identifying the culprits would absolve state agents who are being blamed for the deaths of the human rights activists,” Roque said. “We will leave no stone unturned to put these people behind bars.” MANILA – Malacañang denied that President Rodrigo Duterte had directed the Philippine National Police (PNP) to deny the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) access to reports on the killings of human rights activists and defenders in the country. “There is no truth to the alleged report that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte instructed the Philippine National Police not to release or share their information to the Commission on Human Rights regarding the recent attacks against right defenders and activists,” Roque said in a press statement. Meanwhile, the PNP also denied the allegation as they strictly comply with all procedures based on the Rules on Evidence and the Data Privacy Law mandating the protection of identities while the investigation on crime incidents is pending. The Palace spokesperson also told the CHR that the Duterte government is “equally interested” to know the identities of people behind the “brazen” killings of the human rights defenders. CHR is conducting a probe into the killings of human rights defenders and members of progressive groups, which were tagged as communists by state forces and under surveillance, that happened between 2017 and 2019. Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said CHR Commissioner Leah Tanodra-Armamento’s claim that their investigation into the deaths of 89 human rights defenders had been stalled because of Duterte’s supposed intervention was not true. “He (Duterte) wants the wheels of justice to grind, for the sake of the victims of abuse and violence and their families,” he added. It also said that once a case is filed with the prosecutor’s office, the PNP cannot disclose any details without clearance from the assigned prosecutor./PN
New national records were also set by Tomoko Nagai, winner of the women’s 100-meter freestyle in 54.35, and Naoya Sonoda, who claimed the men’s 200-meter backstroke title in 1:55.01.Tomohiro Okuno swam to a national record 49.18 in his heat of the men’s 100-meter freestyle. The national short-course championships were not held the last two years due to a tight competition schedule for long-course events.At the diving pool of the Tatsumi venue, Takiri Miyazaki, bronze medalist in the synchronized diving at last year’s World Championships in Fukuoka, won the women’s 10-meter platform for the second straight year with 482.43 points. IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5 Versatile swimmer Tomoko Hagiwara set a national record in the women’s 200-meter backstroke Monday when a handful of records fell on the opening day of the national short-course championships.Hagiwara, a Japanese representative at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, coasted to victory with a time of 2 minutes, 5.10 seconds at Tokyo Tatsumi International Swimming Center, breaking Mai Nakamura’s previous record by 1.32 seconds. GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMES
MELBOURNE (Reuters) – India became the first team to reach the Women’s Twenty20 World Cup semi-finals yesterday after beating New Zealand by three runs to register a third successive victory at the tournament. India, put into bat, could not make the most of a strong start but their 133-8 still proved beyond Sophie Devine’s team, who managed 130-6.Once again, leading India’s charge was opener Shafali Verma whose 46 earned the 16-year-old her second player-of-the-match award at Melbourne’s Junction Oval.Her opening partner Smriti Mandhana disappointed again though, dragging a wide Lea Tahuhu delivery onto her stumps to depart on 11. Verma and Taniya Bhatia (23) forged a half-century stand to prop up the Indian innings, aided by some sloppy catching by their opponents.Verma, who smashed Anna Peterson for back-to-back sixes, was first dropped by Maddy Green at long on and then at midwicket by Tahuhu.The opener eventually holed out at long-off as wickets started tumbling. “She’s giving us good starts as we expected from her,” said captain Harmanpreet Kaur, who fell for her third successive single digit score.“I hope she continues that because those initial runs are very crucial for us.”New Zealand wobbled early in their chase after their top three, including skipper Devine, departed with the team reeling at 34-3. Green made 24 and Katey Martin contributed 25 to arrest the slide but it was Amelia Kerr’s lion-hearted 34 not out down the order which injected excitement into the contest.Needing 16 off the last over from Shikha Pandey, Hayley Jensen and Kerr hit a boundary each and ran three singles but could not reach the target.Defending champions Australia remained on course to be the second team from Group A to make the semi-finals after crushing Bangladesh by 86 runs in Canberra. Electing to bat, the hosts capitalised on a blistering start from Alyssa Healy and Beth Mooney to post 189-1, the highest total at this year’s tournament.Player-of-the-match Healy smacked three sixes in her 53-ball 83, while Mooney remained not out on 81 off 58 balls.The duo featured in a record opening stand of 151 before Healy fell in the 17th over.Left with a mountain to climb, Bangladesh managed 103-9, losing three wickets in three balls, including two run-outs, in the final over. “It was a good all-round performance. It was something that we really needed,” home captain Meg Lanning said.“We were a little bit timid in the first few games. World Cups are all about big games and we want to be a part of them.”
Related ABC/Bob D’Amico(LOS ANGELES) — Tracee Ellis Ross said she feels “really proud” to be on the hit ABC show black-ish because it tackles tough issues in society and breaks them down for viewers. In tonight’s episode, postpartum depression takes the spotlight as only black-ish could.“Postpartum is prevalent and it’s something that is not talked about,” Ross, 44, said on Good Morning America today. “And it is something that can be treated and supported and a lot of women experience it, and I love that we address it on the show.”The Golden Globe-winning actress said it was, “really interesting trying to find the balance between having postpartum and being funny,” while, “not making fun of it, because it is not something to be made of.”She explained that her character, Dr. Rainbow “Bow” Johnson, didn’t experience postpartum depression until her fifth child, which “was a little disconcerting for her,” and which is common in real-life cases.“I’m really grateful that we talked about this on the show and we do it comedic way that doesn’t make fun of the issue.”black-ish airs tonight at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.Powered by WPeMatico
Related iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Confusion over what happened during an ambush of U.S. Special Forces in Niger earlier this month apparently sparked a full Pentagon probe of the incident announced Thursday, which some officials say could have had even worse casualties than four American soldiers killed from the small, “out-matched” team.Officials have described a harrowing burst of violence in or near a village close to Niger’s border with Mali on Oct. 4, which led to the first U.S. combat deaths in the small African nation battling Islamist extremists.The gunfight may have split the team of a dozen or fewer American commandos in half, according to one counterterrorism official. It was so chaotic that one soldier remained missing for up to 36 hours before his remains were recovered.“They met an overwhelming force,” the counterterrorism official who was familiar with the mission and its aftermath, told ABC News. “They were out-gunned and out-matched. The enemy had relative superiority in numbers and fully enveloped and out-flanked the team. I think they got cut in half with suppressive fire.”Four U.S. special operations soldiers were killed in action, along with 1 Nigerien soldier killed and two Americans wounded.Another U.S. official said that the Defense Intelligence Agency has assessed it “highly likely” that the group of 50 or more attackers behind the ambush in Niger were from ISIS in the Greater Sahara, referred to as ISGS. But the counterterrorism official said the attackers may have included current or former members of al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamist extremist group Ansar Dine from neighboring Mali.Reports that day quickly came back to Fort Bragg, N.C., where the U.S. team of “Bush Hogs” from 2nd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group is based, that one soldier was missing and unaccounted for. “Accountability,” meaning ascertaining the whereabouts of all soldiers in a team when when they are in contact with an adversary, is a critical matter. The Army’s Warrior Ethos includes the pledge to “never leave a fallen comrade.”But multiple sources said Sgt. La David Johnson, a support trooper in 3rd Special Forces Group, was missing for as long as 36 hours before his remains were found. Once he was recovered, it did not appear that he had been captured by the insurgents but it is believed he died in the initial fighting, several officials said.It is very rare for a Green Beret team to make a “tactical withdrawal” under fire without having full accountability of its teammates — but the gunfight in Niger was extraordinary.“They had critical casualties. They had zero air support on station,” the counterterrorism official said. “If they had stayed, everyone would have died.”Since Niger is a low-intensity conflict, there are not many U.S. bases nearby with medevac helicopters and combat air support. French forces in the region often partner with the American forces and provide air support.Leaving a man behind under fire may have been their only choice given three Americans were known to have been killed, as well as one Nigerien soldier, and several other soldiers wounded, said an experienced Special Forces commander.“In reality, when you’re in a firefight, you may not have the luxury of having immediate accountability. When you get ambushed, your forces are trying to get out of the kill zone alive. Three guys may go left and one guy goes right, and the guy who goes right gets killed,” said retired Green Beret, Lt. Col. James Gavrilis. “If you’re on the losing end of an ambush, it’s not realistic to expect those guys to have full accountability of every man on the team right away.”It remains unexplained by the Pentagon what the team’s specific approved mission was that day beyond “train, advise and assist” Nigerien partner forces, or even how many were Americans were in the team on the mission that day. Some missions such as tribal engagement may require lighter combat loads while night raids and long vehicle patrols may necessitate bringing heavier weapons and much more ammunition piled in their vehicles.“‘Train and assist’ is not a classroom exercise. It’s typically out in the field, learning tactics and improving capabilities of indigenous forces like the Nigeriens,” said Matthew Olsen, former National Counterterrorism Center director and an ABC News contributor. “Just because it’s called ‘train and assist’ doesn’t mean that it’s not dangerous.”“It’s Special Forces doing what they’re supposed to do — working alone and unafraid,” said the counterterrorism official.Officials have said between eight and a dozen American troops were involved, a mix of operators and support troopers. Two of those killed were operators who wore the coveted Green Beret and the other two were support soldiers in the unit.The counterterrorism official said the U.S. team’s downfall may have been a combination of not having enough, or not accurate enough, “ISR” — intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance scans — of the patrol area before commencing the mission; that it was a team of special operations soldiers with few prior combat deployments among them; the possibility of a compromised mission plan leaked by Nigerien troops to the enemy; or just simply very bad luck, officials said.“They were set up for failure,” said one 3rd Group veteran, who monitored the incident and its aftermath.The overarching mission in Africa of 3rd Special Forces Group, known as “The Tribe,” is “foreign internal defense” and counterterrorism operations in a low-intensity conflict around the Sahel region in which partnering with indigenous forces in remote areas is intended to build relationships in order to defeat violent extremists in at-risk countries such as Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad and Nigeria.In one version of events provided by a U.S. official, the Green Beret-led team had driven to a village near the border with Mali and were walking to or from the meeting when they were ambushed by about 50 fighters from an ISIS group. But two different officials said that it appears only some of the American soldiers went into the village to meet with elders and that’s when they were attacked, meaning the Americans were separated at the outset of the gunfight.There was a Nigerien platoon in the general vicinity but they were not part of the mission to the village and they did not participate in the firefight that followed the ambush, one official said.Once Sgt. Johnson went missing, U.S. Joint Special Operations Command moved vast resources immediately to the area including intelligence assets and “tier one” operators, the most elite commandos, to assist in finding the missing soldier, who many feared at the time could have been taken prisoner. But by late morning (EST) on Oct. 5, the Sgt. Johnson had been found deceased.Officials have said that the missing remains were found by Nigerien troops in the vicinity of the firefight. It was apparently a fluid battle scene that extended over a large area and wasn’t localized in one area, which may be why he wasn’t immediately located.“There are inevitably going to be questions about this mission and whether or not it was handled appropriately,” Olsen said. “The reality is that it’s important for us to have elements like this ‘train and assist’ mission in these countries to help stem the flow of foreign fighters.”Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.Powered by WPeMatico