In Short

first_imgBako raises fundsBako Northern & Scotland raised £730 at its charity golf day on 29 September. Taking place at Durham City Golf Club, the event raised funds for its designated charity, The Puffin Appeal, which supports children who suffer from breathing disorders.Peter’s on songPeter’s Pies has received approval from Dame Shirley Bassey, patron of the Noah’s Ark Appeal, in a new partnership with the charity. This month, the Welsh baker will launch a range of pies featuring the charity’s logo and raise money from product sales for the Children’s Hospital for Wales.Best chocolate treatChocolate brownies have claimed the top spot in a survey by Dawn Foods to discover the nation’s favourite chocolate bakery treat. The chocolate brownie took 28.6% of the votes, with the chocolate chip cookie achieving 19%, the double chocolate muffin 14.3%, and chocolate cake also 14.3%.Enhanced yeastUndergraduate biology students at John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, USA are working on a project to enhance yeast with beta carotene a pigment turned into vitamin A when digested. Called VitaYeast, the ingredient could be used to make ’functional’ bread to combat malnutrition in developing countries.last_img read more

Press release: Funding awarded to innovative data projects

first_imgLondon-based Cartographix is one of the organisations which have been awarded funding through the crowdsourcing competition, which was led by the government’s Geospatial Commission in partnership with Innovate UK.By using existing infrastructure, such as WiFi hotspot locations and smartphone sensors, the programmers at Cartographix hope to create a sat-nav-style system for people to use as they walk around public buildings. Organisations would volunteer to have their buildings included on the system and the maps would be made available through existing phone apps.Anu Joy from Cartographix said: The Minister for Implementation, Oliver Dowden, said: New systems designed to highlight the safest roads for cyclists to use in busy cities, create a database of all the UK’s trees, and launch an indoor mapping system to help people find their way around public buildings, could soon be created thanks to a government competition designed to find new ways to use data.In November, the Minister for Implementation, Oliver Dowden, announced a £1.5 million competition to help organisations find innovative ways to use crowdsourcing and location-based data.Among the 10 winners are schemes including: COMMUNITREE – a collaborative project to collect data on trees from across the UK to create a publicly accessible database RIDE – a London-based project to help cyclists find the safest routes around cities PINPOINT – a project to create an indoor mapping system to help people find their way around complex public buildings, such as hospitals and universities. We are investing in location-based data technology to improve public services and the way people experience them. I’m delighted to see such innovative ideas come forward, which will help people in their everyday lives and keep the UK at the forefront of this exciting new technology. Ten innovative schemes from across the UK have won government funding to look at new ways of using location-based data to help people in their everyday lives One project will look at ways to use crowdsourced information to create indoor maps to help people find their way around public buildings, such as universities and hospitals Other winners will create a UK database of trees and map the safest routes for cyclists to take through citiescenter_img The aim of our mapping system is to make life easier for people. And we would not be able to do this work without the funding we are receiving from the government. Also receiving funding are projects to highlight mobile phone signal blackspots, help tackle travel problems experienced by disabled people, and boost public understanding of the planning system.The projects will be worked on by organisations across the UK and see research carried out by University College London, the University of Warwick, the University of Exeter and the Open University.A full list of all the winners of the competition can be found below.Notes for editorsWhat is the Geospatial Commission?The Geospatial Commission is an impartial, expert committee within the Cabinet Office, set up in April 2018 and supported by £80 million of funding. The Geospatial Commission is chaired by Sir Andrew Dilnot. Nigel Clifford is the Deputy Chair.The commission has been set up to drive the use of location-linked data more productively, to unlock up to £11 billion of extra value for the economy every year. The commission is currently developing the UK’s national geospatial strategy, that it will publish at the end of this year. It is running a range of projects to inform this work.About the competitionThe aim of the competition is to explore the benefits and challenges of using crowdsourced data, while delivering public benefit through individual projects. It also aims to showcase the importance of geospatial data for improving public services.The competition asked different organisations to work together to identify innovative new ways for crowdsourced data, to either: improve the delivery of public services support the third sector enhance the quality of open public datasets As well as delivering this exciting range of initiatives, the Geospatial Commission will use the lessons learned from each programme to help inform the development of the national geospatial strategy.Original press release for the 1.5 million competition.What is crowdsourcing?Crowdsourcing is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as “the practice of obtaining information or input into a task or project by enlisting the services of a large number of people, either paid or unpaid, typically via the Internet.”The sources of geospatial data are many and diverse and many services already use the concept of ‘crowdsourcing’ to enhance the depth and currency of the data supporting the service. Examples are ‘WAZE’, OpenStreetMap, Google traffic app, Uber, and Trip Advisor which is based on user feedback to inform other users.The rise of the smart cities agenda, connected online communities and the growth of smartphones means that crowdsourcing products are part of a growing market which the Geospatial Commission wishes to explore through a competition.Competition winnersCOMMUNITREEProject partners: Forest Research, Open University, Treework Services LimitedThis project will develop the largest and highest quality urban tree map in the world for use by business, government and other research needs.YOUR.VU.CITYProject partners: Vu.City, Pipers Projects Limited, University College LondonVu.City will engage the public with the planning process to improve the understanding of the built environment.Crowd Blackspot Intelligence for 5G RolloutProject partners: Ranplan Wireless Network Design, University of WarwickThis project will look at crowdsourcing service complaints to help guide 5G rollout for rural and urban areas.Crowdsouring for a Digital Geospatial Joint Strategic Needs AssessmentProject partners: City Science Corporation Limited, University of ExeterRelevant databases will be brought together to enable members of the public to take an active role in health outcomes, by crowdsourcing data such as air quality, to enable practitioners to improve targeting of resources and the health of the nation.Precision INdoor POsitioning INformation sysTem (PINPOINT)Project partner: Cartographix LTDThis project will use WiFi networks and smartphone sensors to help better indoor navigation of public buildings.StreetFocusProject partners: Cyclestreets, PlanitCommunities will be able to automatically identify areas that need improvements to street infrastructure.CoreoProject partner: Natural ApptitudeThis platform will enable anyone to build and run geospatial citizen science projects to improve collection, management and maintenance of geospatial data.Routing Innovation through Data Engineering (RIDE)Project partner: BeelineRIDE will develop route optimisation to increase cyclist safety and uptake.Generating crowdsourcing geospatial dataProject partner: Transreport LimitedThis project will undertake research to understand the accessibility issues for transportation and the user experience for a wide range of disabilities, and how the data collected can be used to improve the service.The Neighbourhood safety indexProject partner: Synced LTDThis will produce the first integrated live score of how safe a neighbourhood is.last_img read more

Food Paper joins the Federation of Bakers

first_imgNorthamptonshire-based Food Paper has joined the Federation of Bakers (FOB) as a new associate member.The food paper manufacturer, which is BRC accredited, is part of packaging specialist Linwood Raker. It supplies sustainable direct food contact paper and packaging for the food manufacturing and food retail sectors.Its food paper uses specialist coatings, which resist high temperatures and remain strong when wet, reducing the need for fats and oils, leading to a ‘purer taste’, the company said.“We are delighted to join the Federation of Bakers at what is an exciting time for the company. We are passionate about making a positive impact in the lives of our customers and have a desire to educate everyone in the correct applications of food paper,” said Richard Smith, director of Food Paper.Food Paper has recently launched a new website, which focusses on informing the food industry and individuals about how to transform day-to-day practices with the ‘right food paper’.“We are delighted to welcome Food Paper as an associate member of our organisation and hope to support them as they continue to grow their business,” added Gordon Polson, chief executive of the FOB.The FOB represents the UK’s largest bakeries with eight members running 32 sites in the UK. These include Warburtons, Roberts Bakery and Fine Lady Bakeries. It also has 22 associate members which supply the UK baking industry, including CSM, British Bakels, Puratos and St Pierre Groupe.last_img read more

Man fleeing troopers hits car, killing mother, 2 young kids

first_imgCOOKEVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Authorities in Tennessee say a mother and her two young children were killed when a man who was fleeing state troopers slammed into their car with his truck in a city intersection. Cookeville police say 24-year-old Amanda Chatman and her 3- and 4-year-old kids were pronounced dead at the scene Tuesday. Twenty-five-year-old Michael Don Shepherd of Pegram has been charged with vehicular homicide and evading arrest. It couldn’t be determined immediately if Shepherd has an attorney to speak for him.last_img read more

UN: Situation in Ethiopia’s Tigray now ‘extremely alarming’

first_imgNAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Life for civilians in Ethiopia’s embattled Tigray region has become “extremely alarming” as hunger grows and fighting remains an obstacle to reaching millions of people with aid, the United Nations says in a new report. The conflict that has shaken one of Africa’s most powerful and populous countries has killed thousands of people and is now in its fourth month. But little is known about the situation for most of Tigray’s 6 million people as journalists are blocked from entering and communications are patchy. A U.N. special adviser on genocide prevention now warns of the high risk of atrocity crimes.last_img read more

State working on potholes, $1.3 million and counting

first_imgGovernor Peter Shumlin said today that state highway crews are out in force across Vermont to tackle one of the worst pothole seasons in memory, noting that the Agency of Transportation has already spent about $1.3 million on pothole patching  so far this year, exceeding the five-year annual average.  ‘This year’s heavy snowfall and spring rains created a bumper crop of potholes across the state,’ Gov. Shumlin said at a news conference in Middlesex with a highway road crew. ‘Highway crews are working hard to keep up with the never ending sea of potholes on all of Vermont’s paved roads.  We will continue to patch holes and do what we can to keep the big ones from coming back. Crews have used 5,500 tons of cold patch so far this year, exceeding the five year average by 30 percent. These costs come on the heels of an already-expensive winter road season. For the season:·         Last year’s total winter expenditures:                      $14 million ·         FY 11 actual winter expenditures, to date:              $22.1 million ·         Last year’s total salt usage:                                             57,000 ton ·         FY 11 actual salt usage, to date:                                    96,600 ton Most potholes are formed due to fatigue of the paved road surface. As fatigue fractures develop they typically interlock in a pattern known as “alligator cracking.” The chunks of pavement between cracks are worked loose and may eventually be knocked out of place by passing vehicles. The formation of potholes is exacerbated by spring weather and the numerous freeze/thaw cycles.  In the spring, district forces try to clean out the hole with a broom or shovel because excess debris and water will keep the patch from bonding well.  Cold patch (a mix of aggregate and emulsion) is shoveled into the hole and compacted in place. There are problems with spring patching, including the reality that passing cars can pull parts of the patch out. Within the next month, however, the paving plants will open for the season and serious paving and reconstruction work will begin. The state plans to spend $4 million on leveling to address about 50 miles of state roads; $65 million on overlay and rehab work to address 185 miles of interstate, state and Class 1 Town Highways around the state; and $45 million on large reconstruction projects, including US 2 in Cabot and Danville, US 7 in Brandon, the Bennington Bypass and Barre City’s Main Street project.last_img read more

When is making a cake protected by First Amendment?

first_imgPhotography is inherently a creative, expressive art, so photographers have a strong case against compulsory documentation of ceremonies at which they must be present.Less clearly but plausibly, florists can claim aesthetic expression in floral arrangements, but their work is done before wedding ceremonies occur.Chauffeurs facilitate ceremonies, but First Amendment jurisprudence would become incoherent if it protected unwilling chauffeurs from their supposedly expressive participation in ceremonies to which they deliver actual participants.It is difficult to formulate a limiting principle that draws a bright line distinguishing essentially expressive conduct from conduct with incidental or negligible expressive possibilities.Nevertheless, it can be easy to identify some things that clearly are on one side of the line or the other.So, regarding Phillips’ creations:A cake can be a medium for creativity; hence, in some not-too-expansive sense, it can be food for thought. Phillips was neither asked nor required to attend, let alone participate in, the wedding.Same-sex marriage was not yet legal in Colorado, so Craig and Mullins were to be married in Massachusetts.The cake was for a subsequent reception in Denver.But even if the cake were to have been consumed at a wedding, Phillips’ creation of the cake before the ceremony would not have constituted participation in any meaningful sense.Six decades ago, the civil rights movement gained momentum through heroic acts of civil disobedience by African-Americans whose sit-ins at lunch counters, and other challenges to segregation in commerce, produced the “public accommodations” section of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.It established the principle that those who open their doors for business must serve all who enter.That principle would become quite porous were it suspended whenever someone claimed his or her conduct was speech expressing an idea, and therefore created a constitutional exemption from a valid and neutral law of general applicability. (He also refuses, for religious reasons, to make Halloween cakes.)To be compelled to do so would, he says, violate his constitutional right to speak freely.This, he says, includes the right not to be compelled to contribute his expressive cake artistry to a ceremony or occasion celebrating ideas or practices he does not condone.Well.The First Amendment speaks of speech.Its presence in a political document establishes its core purpose as the protection of speech intended for public persuasion.The amendment has, however, been rightly construed broadly to protect many expressive activities. Many, but there must be limits. However, it certainly, and primarily, is food.And the creator’s involvement with it ends when he sends it away to those who consume it. Phillips ought to lose this case. But Craig and Mullins, who sought his punishment, have behaved abominably.To make his vocation compatible with his convictions and Colorado law Phillips has stopped making wedding cakes, which was his principal pleasure and 40 percent of his business.He now has only four employees, down from 10.Craig and Mullins, who have caused him serious financial loss and emotional distress, might be feeling virtuous for having done so.But siccing the government on him was nasty.center_img Categories: Editorial, OpinionWASHINGTON — The conversation about a cake lasted less than a minute but will long reverberate in constitutional law.On Tuesday, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear 60 minutes of speech about when, if at all, making a cake counts as constitutionally protected speech and, if so, what the implications are for the Colorado Civil Rights Commission’s contention that Jack Phillips violated the state’s law against sexual-orientation discrimination.Phillips, 61, is a devout Christian and proprietor of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colo., where he works as — his description — a cake artist.Charlie Craig and David Mullins entered his shop to order a cake to celebrate their wedding.Phillips said that although he would gladly make cakes for gay people for birthdays or other celebrations, he disapproves of same-sex marriage on religious grounds, and so does not make cakes for such celebrations. Denver has many bakers who, not having Phillips’ scruples, would have unhesitatingly supplied the cake they desired.So, it was not necessary for Craig’s and Mullins’ satisfaction as consumers to submit Phillips to government coercion.Evidently, however, it was necessary for their satisfaction as asserters of their rights as a same-sex couple.Phillips’ obedience to his religious convictions neither expressed animus toward them nor injured them nor seriously inconvenienced them.Their side’s sweeping victory in the struggle over gay rights has been decisive, and now less bullying and more magnanimity from the victors would be seemly.George Will is a nationally syndicated columnist who writes for The Washington Post.More from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationlast_img read more

Chartwell and Henderson make key appointments

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German FM voices ‘serious concerns’ over Israeli annexation plan

first_imgEU weighs response While Berlin shares Amman’s opposition to annexation, the EU has not yet announced any retaliatory measures. Europe holds significant financial clout in Israel as the country’s top business partner, with trade totaling 30 billion euros ($34 billion) last year, according to EU figures.Sanctions would need the approval of all 27 member states.Some European countries could formally recognize a Palestinian state but, according to an Israeli official, Germany would not be one of them.”Germany even with annexation would not recognize a Palestinian state and is not going to support sanctions against Israel,” he told AFP.The French foreign ministry on Wednesday reiterated its support for a two-state solution as “the only way to reach just and lasting peace, and regional stability”.While in Jerusalem, Maas also discussed Israeli foe Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah.Berlin was one European party to a landmark 2015 accord to curb Iran’s nuclear activities from which Trump has since withdrawn. Maas also condemned Iran’s “incitement or glorification” of militancy in the region and its calls for the destruction of Israel, stressing that “Israel’s right to exist is not negotiable”. Germany and its European partners have “serious concerns” over Israel’s plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in Jerusalem Wednesday.The first high-level European visitor to Israel since the coronavirus pandemic hit, Maas brought a message of disquiet to Israel which he later reiterated in neighboring Jordan.Speaking in Jerusalem, Maas expressed “our honest and serious concerns… about the possible consequences of such a step”. Ashkenazi called Trump’s initiative “an important milestone” and a “significant opportunity”.”The plan will be pursued responsibly, in full coordination with the United States” while maintaining Israel’s existing and future “peace agreements … and strategic interests”, he said. Topics :center_img Israel has signaled it intends to annex West Bank settlements and the Jordan Valley, as proposed by US President Donald Trump, with initial steps slated to begin from July 1, the same day Germany takes the rotating EU presidency.”Together with the European Union, we believe that annexation would not be compatible with international law,” Maas told a joint press conference alongside his Israeli counterpart Gabi Ashkenazi, calling instead for the resumption of talks towards a two-state solution.The bloc has yet to agree on how to react if Israel presses ahead with annexation or whether to impose sanctions on Israel.”I don’t think much of the politics of issuing threats at a stage when no decision has been taken yet” by Israel, Maas said. ‘International pressure’ Following talks with Ashkenazi, Germany’s top diplomat met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz, who forged a new unity government last month.Israeli annexation forms part of the US peace plan Trump unveiled in January, which paves the way for the eventual creation of a Palestinian state.A statement from Netanyahu’s office cited him telling his German guest that “any realistic plan would have to recognise the reality of Israeli settlements, and not feed the illusion of uprooting people from their homes.”Trump’s proposals exclude core Palestinian demands such as a capital in east Jerusalem and have been rejected by the Palestinian Authority.Palestinians have sent a counter-proposal envisaging a “sovereign Palestinian state, independent and demilitarized” to the Quartet, made up of the UN, US, EU and Russia, Palestinian prime minister Mohammed Shtayyeh said Tuesday.”We want Israel to feel international pressure,” Shtayyeh said.Maas then travelled on to Amman, where he held a video conference with Shtayyeh and met his Jordanian counterpart Ayman Safadi.Last month, Jordan’s King Abdullah II told German magazine Der Spiegel that Israeli annexation risked sparking a “conflict” with his country.Maas said that “as a direct neighbor, Jordan is more directly affected than any other country by any developments” in the coming weeks pertaining to Israel and the Palestinian territories.He warned that “unilateral steps by either side will not bring us any closer” to a negotiated two-state solution, would impact regional stability and bear “great, great potential for escalation”.Safadi warned it was “imperative …to stop annexation because ultimately it is a path to institutionalize apartheid of Palestine and that is not a recipe for peace”.Speaking in Arabic, he added that annexation would “not be without a response from Jordan”.last_img read more

Norway’s Nordic sovereign fund swelled by oil prices in first half

first_imgNorway’s domestically focused sovereign wealth fund posted a 4.3% investment return in the first six months of this year, boosted by rising oil prices.The Government Pension Fund Norway (GPFN) – the sister fund to the country’s giant Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) – added NOK10.4bn (€1.1bn) in the first half, meaning the fund’s total capital increased to NOK250.5bn at the end of June.Folketrygdfondet, which manages the GPFN, reported that the fund returned 5.5% in the second quarter, beating its benchmark by 0.6 percentage points.The 4.3% return for the whole of the January-to-June period was 0.8 percentage points above the benchmark, the Oslo-based manager said. Acting CEO Lars Tronsgaard said: “First and foremost, it is the positive development on the equity market, driven by a high oil price, which contributed to the good result.”Equities produced an 8.7% return in the second quarter for the GPFN, leading to a 7.2% return for the first half, while the bond portfolio generated 0.6% in the second quarter leaving it with a flat result for fixed income for the first half overall.The first half returns for equities and bonds were 1% and 0.5% above their respective benchmark returns, Folketrygdfondet said.The Oslo Stock Exchange’s All-Share index rose by 10.6% in the first six months of the year in local currency terms, with most of that gain coming in the second quarter. The Brent crude oil price rose by more than 19% in dollar terms in the same period.As one of the world’s highest per-capita oil producing countries, Norway has a high proportion of oil and oil-related equities and bonds listed on its stockmarket.In the other three countries where the fund can invest, however, Folketrygdfondet said equities rose just 0.9% in the three-month period in Norwegian krone terms.The GPFN has a mandate to invest 85% of its portfolio in Norwegian assets and 15% in Denmark, Sweden and Finland. Asset allocation is split into 60% in equities and 40% in bonds.last_img read more