Pale Spear-nosed Bats, Phylbostomus discolorPowers: Omnivory and Speaking BatThe pale spear-nosed bat is widely distributed from Mexico to Brazil. They like to mix up their diet, eating nectar, fruit, flowers, pollen, insects, and even frogs. These bats also communicate with each other displaying vocal learning and turn taking, which are fundamental hallmarks of human language, with sonic and ultrasonic vocalizations.Pale Spear-nosed Bats, Phyllostomus discolor. Photo: Julie Larsen Maher Animals, Bats, Environment, Mammals, Photos, Wildlife This photo post comes via Mongabay’s partnership with the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Wild View blog.Under this partnership, we publish occasional original contributions from Wild View that highlights an animal species or group.In this post, the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Sarah H. Olson and Julie Larsen Maher write about bats on the occasion of Bat Week, which runs from October 24-31. Sure, you may know that bats echolocate to control insect populations, but bats have other offbeat super powers. According to fossil records, bats have been around for at least 50 million years, and over that time, they evolved different survival strategies and abilities.Currently bats represent 20% of all mammal species known on earth, but they are increasingly being threatened by human activities. For example, an introduced fungal disease, white-nose syndrome, affects hibernating bats and can destroy entire colonies. Conservationists are exploring ways to protect the world’s only flying mammal by preserving rural and urban bat habitat and using scientific studies to gain new insights.When bats inevitably come up in conversation this Halloween, you can help spread the word about unsung bat super powers – and be a hero for bats.Celebrate Bat Week 2018 from October 24-31.Hammer-headed Bat, Hypsignathus monstrosus. Photo: Sarah OlsonHammer-headed Bat, Hypsignathus monstrosusPowers: Sonic Attraction The males of this species tend to gather at a lek, a site in the forest canopy where they compete for females, attracting them with their honking calls. Their moose-like nose and lip-folds help create the harmonics of love for this species and also illicit human adoration.Hammer-headed Bat, Hypsignathus monstrosus. Photo: Sarah OlsonIndian Flying Fox, Pteropus giganteusPower: Supersize VegetarianAs the species name suggests, this giant of a bat has a wingspan that can reach nearly five feet across. Despite their size, these bats are frugivorous (fruit-eaters) or nectivorous (nectar-eaters) and in India, they’ve documented these bats help propagate 21 species of plants.Indian Flying Fox, Pteropus giganteus. Photos: Julie Larsen MaherIndian Flying Fox, Pteropus giganteus. Photos: Julie Larsen MaherRodrigues Flying Foxes, Pteropus rodricensisPower: Immovable Endemic to a small, isolated island in the Indian Ocean, this bat has survived on Rodrigues since its arrival hundreds of thousands of years ago. Deforestation and overhunting exacerbated natural population declines from cyclones leading to a tiny population of about 70 bats in 1970s. Thanks to conservation efforts to restore habitat and captive zoo populations, the bat population on the island has recovered to 20,000 individuals, and is hopefully here to stay.Rodrigues Flying Foxes, Pteropus rodricensis. Photos: Julie Larsen MaherRodrigues Flying Foxes, Pteropus rodricensis. Photos: Julie Larsen MaherRodrigues Flying Foxes, Pteropus rodricensis. Photos: Julie Larsen MaherRodrigues Flying Foxes, Pteropus rodricensis. Photos: Julie Larsen MaherProboscis Bats, Rhynchonycteris nasoPower: CamouflageThese bats range through Central and South America. When roosting, they form a line and are hidden against the bark of trees.Proboscis Bats, Rhynchonycteris naso. Photo: Julie Larsen MaherProboscis Bats, Rhynchonycteris naso. Photo: Julie Larsen Maher Townsend’s Big-eared Bat, Corynorhinus townsendiiPowers: Arial Acrobat This bat has an unusually small mass to wing surface area ratio making it highly maneuverable in its pursuit of moths and other insects. Young pups can fly within a few weeks of birth in early summer. As adults, this agile bat can hover in a stationary position and fly at speeds of 12 mph to capture prey. Their gigantic ears are pointed forward during flight, providing highly sensitive directional echolocation, and possibly contribute to aerodynamic lift.Townsend’s Big-eared Bat, Corynorhinus townsendii. Photo: Nathan FullerMore information at www.science4bats.orgAuthor biosSarah H. Olson, PhD, is an Associate Director of Wildlife Health for the Wildlife Conservation Society. Julie Larsen Maher is WCS Staff Photographer and editor of Wild View. She takes photos at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s five New York-based wildlife parks and global field locations.Editor’s note: Sharp-eyed readers caught a few errors in the original version of this post, including misspellings of Pteropus giganteus, Desmodus rotundus, and Phyllostomus discolor as well as Rhynchonycteris naso being identified as Balantiopteryx infusca. These have been corrected. Additionally, there was considerable debate over the first photo captioned “common vampire bats” — mammalogists and biologists suggested no less than five different species, so we changed the photo to a bat we know is a vampire. Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Madagascan Rousette Bats, Rousettus madagascariensisPowers: Aerial Seed Bombing This fruit bat eats forest figs, seeds and all. Combine that with a fast gut transit time of around 30 minutes that doesn’t appear to affect the germination rate of the seeds, and an ability to poop midflight, and this bat is a talented Johnny Figseed. They are near-threatened on the IUCN Red List.Madagascan Rousette Bats, Rousettus madagascariensis. Photos: Julie Larsen MaherMadagascan Rousette Bats, Rousettus madagascariensis. Photos: Julie Larsen MaherAfrican Straw-colored Bat, Eidolon helvumPower: First-class Flyer Straw-colored fruit bats hang out in huge colonies. They are tireless travelers when foraging with a tendency to fly beyond local food sources to find their favorite fruits and flowers. Near-threatened on the IUCN Red List, their numbers are decreasing in some areas due to heavy harvesting for bushmeat.African Straw-colored Bat, Eidolon helvum. Photo: Julie Larsen MaherAfrican Straw-colored Bat, Eidolon helvum. Photo: Julie Larsen MaherAfrican Straw-colored Bat, Eidolon helvum. Photo: Julie Larsen MaherAfrican Straw-colored Bat, Eidolon helvum. Photo: Julie Larsen Maher Article published by Rhett Butler Common Vampire Bat, Desmodus rotundusPower: Super-powered Saliva The saliva of this cave-dwelling bat contains proteins that stop blood from clotting while it is feeding on a host. One of the major anticoagulants in the saliva of this bat also reduces inflammation. Researchers are investigating properties of vampire bat saliva to help inform the development of therapies for stroke patients.Vampire bat. Photo courtesy of WCS
New technology in retail loss prevention emerges regularly. In this profession, it’s important to stay abreast of any new technologies that may show potential and could help reduce theft and fraud.[text_ad use_post=’2383′]Industry conferences and events are a great place to scope out the latest solutions. For example, Tom Meehan, CFI, witnessed some new technology in retail at the National Retail Federation’s BIG Show in January. He comments on the connection between loss prevention and the Internet of Things (IoT) in a column for the May-June 2017 issue of LP Magazine:- Sponsor – RFID is commonly used for inventory tracking. RFID in an omni-channel environment is a no brainer as it allows you to know where your inventory is and helps get it into the customer’s hands. For every three to five percent improvement in inventory accuracy, you can expect a 1 percent sales improvement.Ned McCauley, director of retail strategic accounts at Tyco Integrated Security, said, “Success in omni-channel retailing is not possible without precise data, and RFID is the single greatest enabler of this capability. From operators to loss prevention, retailers are starting to reap the benefits of item-level visibility in a way that was just not possible in the past.”RFID has many applications from “RFID as EAS.” Instead of installing a tradition EAS system, retailers are using RFID tags as opposed to EAS tags. This allows them to be ready for the future. Some retailers are using RFID in an effort to track organized retail crime and dishonest employees. It doesn’t end there. Imagine customers using RFID to help pair a dress with a handbag. All of that is possible today.Check out the full column, “When Ordinary Things Get Smart,” to see what a ski jacket has to do with the Internet of Things. You can also visit the Table of Contents for the May–June 2017 issue or register for a free subscription to the magazine. Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox. Sign up now
Audible, Inc., the world’s largest seller and producer of downloadable audiobooks and other spoken-word content, today announced that the Hogwarts library book Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, written by J.K. Rowling as Magizoologist Newt Scamander and narrated by Academy Award-winning actor Eddie Redmayne, is available for the first time as a digital audio book, and can be preordered now.Featuring six new beasts, a new foreword by Newt Scamander, and elaborate sound design, the recording will be released by Pottermore on March 14, 2017. Visit audible.com/FantasticBeasts to order the audiobook in advance.Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them has been an approved textbook at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry since its publication. Newt Scamander’s masterpiece is an indispensable introduction to the magical beasts of the wizarding world. Some of the beasts will be familiar to readers of the Harry Potter books – the Hippogriff, the Basilisk, the Hungarian Horntail. Others will surprise even the most ardent amateur Magizoologist.This essential companion to the Harry Potter stories has been revised by JK Rowling, bringing the original classic up to date with new content that reflects the exciting developments in her Wizarding World, with the release of the movie event of 2016, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which was inspired by the original edition of the book.“Before I was cast in the film, David Yates told me about Newt and this textbook. I found it so funny and so enchanting and really wittily written. But it wasn’t until I started reading it out loud for the audiobook that I realized how tricky and poetic J.K. Rowling’s use of sounds and language can be. There are some really great tongue twister words in here! Occasionally, I had to stop recording just because I was incapable of saying the words without either laughing or getting my tongue in a muddle. I enjoyed the challenge and hope listeners can sense that in my narration,” said Redmayne, who starred as Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them the 2016 film inspired by the original edition of this Hogwarts library book.“We are thrilled to offer Audible listeners, the most voracious readers there are, the opportunity to enjoy a brilliant performance of yet another essential component of J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World seamlessly through the Audible service. We look forward to bringing even more listeners to this richly imagined universe through our effortless and affordable service,” said Andy Gaies, Audible Chief Content Officer. “Ever since we first made the Harry Potter series available on Audible in 2015, they have been consistently among the highest rated, most downloaded, and most listened to audiobooks in our store.”Pottermore will make a proportion of the proceeds from this audiobook available to Comic Relief and J.K. Rowling’s own international charity Lumos, charities which help some of the world’s most vulnerable children and young people, to help them have a better life.Pottermore, the digital entertainment, news and e-commerce company from J.K. Rowling, is the publisher of the Harry Potter digital audiobooks. The Pottermore Shop, the company’s digital retail arm, will continue to sell the Harry Potter digital audiobooks.Audible, the world’s largest seller and producer of downloadable audiobooks and other spoken-word content, invented and commercialized the first digital audio player in 1997, and has since been at the forefront of the explosively growing audiobook download segment. Audible members downloaded an average of more than 17 books over the course of the year. Two thirds of new Audible members are first-time audiobook buyers.
HALIFAX – Despite an analysis that highlights the potential for billions of dollars worth of onshore gas in Nova Scotia, Premier Stephen McNeil says his government has no intention of lifting its ban on hydraulic fracturing.The Nova Scotia Onshore Petroleum Atlas lists the economic potential at between US$20-billion and US$60-billion.The analysis, which began in 2013 and was recently released by the Energy Department, says that based on available geological data, the Windsor and Cumberland sub-basins are the areas that hold the most potential for hydrocarbons.But McNeil said Thursday that it’s simply one report that will give Nova Scotians a chance to discuss fracking and onshore gas exploration. The Liberals passed legislation banning fracking in 2014, but have not proclaimed it.“At this time there is no discussion to lift that ban,” he said. “The information that has come out I’m sure will lead to great public discussion.”McNeil said barring any new information, the government remains concerned about the potential impacts fracking could have on potable water tables given the province’s geology.Most of the potential, about US$40 billion, exists in shale gas which would require hydraulic fracturing to extract it.McNeil said he wasn’t concerned that the province is passing up an economic opportunity as offshore reserves of natural gas dwindle.“No, you always weigh these things as they come forward as we did when the ban was put in,” he said. “As the ongoing discussion happens across our province, we like everyone else will be part of that and look at it, but I can tell you the issue of removing the ban has not got to my desk.”The atlas estimates Nova Scotia is sitting on up to seven trillion cubic feet of hydrocarbons when conventional natural gas reserves are included.In spite of the government’s reassurances, a coalition of environmental groups issued a news release this week warning of the potential interest for lifting of the ban in light of the atlas findings.Stephen Thomas, energy campaign coordinator with the Ecology Action Centre, called the atlas a waste of “time, money and expertise” given the existing ban on fracking.“We need to move beyond fossil fuels and invest time and money in renewable energy development, improving energy efficiency, and meeting our climate targets in a way that benefits Nova Scotians and our growing green economy,” said Thomas.A study commissioned by the government and released in 2014 said fracking shouldn’t be allowed for the foreseeable future.The report, by former Cape Breton University president David Wheeler, said more independent research was needed on health, environmental and economic impacts.
MONTREAL – The Canadian government may be handing SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. a lifeline to resolve the criminal charges it faces by vowing to change the law to allow settlements to address corporate wrongdoing.The introduction of deferred prosecution agreements (DPA) will offer a way for companies to address bribery and other corruption accusations without going to trial, according to the federal government.Under a DPA, criminal prosecution is suspended if the accused admits guilt, pays a significant fine, puts safeguards in place and co-operates with authorities. Upon completion, the charges are withdrawn.The process is meant to prevent blameless employees and others from suffering dire consequences if a convicted company is barred from securing government contracts.Shares in SNC Lavalin, which faces fraud and corruption charges, closed three per cent higher Friday at $57.25.The firm has argued that the agreements allow companies to settle corporate corruption cases and avoid being put at a disadvantage when competing against rival firms in G7 countries that have such dispute resolution options.An SNC-Lavalin spokeswoman said the move is beneficial for Canadian companies doing business internationally.“It’s about levelling the playing field, about Canada’s international competitiveness, about improving transparency and encouraging self-reporting,” said Daniela Pizzuto.However, it’s not yet clear if the changes will benefit SNC-Lavalin, which is slated to begin a preliminary hearing in September.Paul Lalonde, chairman of Transparency International Canada, an anti-corruption organization, said there is doubt about whether a DPA program would apply retroactively to charges that are already in process.And he said the normal timeline for enacting legislation suggests it likely won’t be completed before the next election in 2020.Without details, it’s impossible to render judgment on the changes, but DPAs can be a useful enforcement tool that will bring more issues to light, he said.“They’re not meant to be just turned into a cost of doing business and an expensive get out of jail free card,” he said in an interview.Ottawa also said it will make enhancements to the Integrity Regime, introduced by the former Conservative government.That could remove the mandatory 10-year debarment and provide flexibility so that penalties are proportionate with the circumstances.No details or timeline for the legislative changes were provided.Public Services and Procurement Canada said addressing corporate wrongdoing protects the integrity of markets and promotes fair competition.It said in a summary of last fall’s consultations that the public is supportive of “fair, proportional and transparent measures” that hold companies to account for misconduct.Most contributors also said DPAs shouldn’t be available to individuals.Patricia Adams, executive director of public interest research group Probe International, said she’s disappointed, but not surprised, by the government’s move.She said DPAs are bad for corporations and bad for the criminal justice system.“It’s basically going to let anybody in a corporation who actually does commit a crime off the hook and there’s no guarantee that it’s not going to happen again,” she said.“And it just becomes a cost of doing business.”SNC-Lavalin has pleaded not guilty to the one fraud and one corruption charge filed by the RCMP against it and two of its subsidiaries.The RCMP alleges SNC-Lavalin paid nearly $47.7 million to public officials in Libya and defrauded various Libyan organizations of about $129.8 million.The company said the actions were taken by executives who are no longer with the company and who face criminal charges.Industry analysts said the legislation should be helpful to SNC-Lavalin.“We see this as a (long overdue) step in the right direction toward finally putting the 2012 corruption scandal to rest and bringing new investors to the table,” said Frederic Bastien of Raymond James.Follow @RossMarowits on Twitter.Companies in this story: (TSX:SNC)
BURNABY, B.C. – Protesters around Vancouver held duelling rallies on Saturday, some welcoming Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project with others decrying it.Several hundred pro-pipeliners, including a bus load of Albertans, gathered downtown to show support for the resources infrastructure — just hours after First Nation leaders marched with thousands of anti-pipeline activists in Burnaby, B.C.The Indigenous leaders beat drums and sang out against the project, saying they wouldn’t step aside for construction.Rueben George, of the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation, told thousands of protesters that it will take more rallies and protests to stop the project, which is set to increase the flow of oil products to 890,000 barrels up from 300,000 barrels per day.“It’s going to take gatherings such as this … (to) make sure the environment is not laid to waste and taken away from future generations. This is what we stand for today,” George said, speaking by megaphone to the crowd gathered outside Burnaby’s Lake City Way Skytrain station.The Tsleil-Waututh are among six First Nations that filed a court challenge to the project last fall, along with the City of Burnaby and City of Vancouver.The protest was led by elders and spiritual leaders from Coast Salish Nations and many other Indigenous peoples, with support from environmental and grassroots organizers.Protesters marched toward a traditional “watch house” they were building at Burnaby Mountain to oversee work by Kinder Morgan.George explained that Coast Salish First Nations would traditionally build a watch house, or “Kwekwecnewtxw,” to watch for enemies. He said the environmental threat posed by the pipeline expansion constitutes such an enemy.Squamish First Nation elder Robert Nahanee said expanding the pipeline will only add more pollution to the coast where he grew up.“My family was food gatherers. We gathered clams, crabs, oysters fish — everything. That’s how I grew up. Now we can’t even do that,” Nahanee said. “We need to stand up and hear our voices. My voice is: O, Canada, you’re on native land.”At the sparser pro-pipeline rally, people spoke about fighting the “greenies” and crowd members shouted out phrases like, “mitigate risk.”Stewart Muir, who spoke in favour of the $7.4-billion project as executive director for the Resource Works Society, said it doesn’t have to be a decision between the environment and economy.“Canada can have both. We can have the environment protected and respected and we can have the economic benefits that will allow Canada to be in future what it has been in the past,” Muir said.Bernard Hancock, who works on a service rig and grew up in North Vancouver, said Canadians need jobs to support their families and save for retirement.“The oil patch provides good paying work. It’s the only thing that ever paid me,” Hancock said.Jonathan Wilkinson, parliamentary secretary for the minister of environment and climate change, issued a statement Saturday saying he has come to support the project. He said the federal government is protecting the coast with its $1.5-billion Oceans Protection Plan and has consulted 118 potentially affected Indigenous groups on the project.“The fact is, the Kinder Morgan pipeline already exists — it has been delivering oil to the port of Vancouver safely for over 60 years, and carrying diluted bitumen for three decades. This project would simply add capacity to the existing pipeline, and we’ve set 157 binding conditions to ensure it can be constructed and operated safely,” Wilkinson said.On Friday, a B.C. Supreme Court judge granted Kinder Morgan an interim injunction aimed at preventing anti-pipeline activists from protesting construction at two terminals in Burnaby.The injunction restricts protesters from coming within 50 metres of the facilities until Wednesday, when a hearing on the matter will continue.
Indicative of the growing popularity of Japanese cuisine in India, food exports from the East Asian nation jumped 40 per cent in 2018. Even as it is working with various entities to further bump this up and has bestowed a government-authenticated tag on 36 fine diners. “Last year, Japan reached an agreement with India on the sanitary certificate of fishery products exported from Japan to India. Following this, in 2018, the export of Japanese food from Japan to India increased to about 1.3 billion Japanese yen (about Rs 833 million), which translates to a more than 40 per cent increase compared to 900 million Japanese yen (about Rs 580 million) in 2016,” the country’s Ambassador, Kenji Hiramatsu said. Also Read – An income drop can harm brainThe Japanese government is currently working on increasing exports of agricultural products and foods to India and is engaged in discussions with Indian government agencies including the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (MoAFW) among others. “With FSSAI, we signed an MoU on food safety last October at the annual summit meeting, and are currently in discussions on improving the management system of food imports to India. With MoAFW, we are having discussions on exporting Japanese apples and pears to India,” the ambassador said. Also Read – Shallu Jindal honoured with Mahatma AwardFor Japanese restaurants, he pointed out, “the availability of Japanese ingredients and drinks from Japan are essential. Therefore, in order to promote Japanese food in India, at the same time, we also need to work on the establishment of an ecosystem where Indian outlets can have easy access to Japanese ingredients and drinks. I will keep working on this important task furthermore”. He also pointed out that until last year, the number of certified Japanese Food Supporters, a tag granted by the Japan External Trade Organisation to fine diners, was only one in India, but now, the number has dramatically increased and 36 are certified in India, including 16 which were certified in February. How would he describe the role of food diplomacy in India-Japan ties? “I think we can understand each other’s culture more in depth at the ground level by appreciating both Indian and Japanese food. You can also learn something about Japanese sensitivity and sense of beauty through Japanese cuisine. “Japan is a country with a highly refined food culture, and the Japanese people have traditionally enjoyed a rich variety of food gathered from the mountains as well as the sea. In each of the four seasons, we can enjoy different kinds of agricultural produce and fresh seafood at their best.” “Enjoying Japanese food also means learning about the Japanese people and their culture. Through cultural exchanges including food between Japan and India, I think we can enrich our lives and gain a better understanding of each other’s country,” the ambassador explained. Currently, there are some Japanese restaurants operating in major cities of India, such as Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Chennai, because of the increasing number of Japanese expats and also the growing awareness of Japanese food.
Casablanca- According to news outlet Medias 24, the current economic crisis is forcing more and more European countries to ease the conditions for granting residence permits, and even citizenship, in exchange for imported investments or high sums of money.This is reportedly the case in European countries such as Malta, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Ireland and Cyprus. The list of European countries which have decided to monetize their nationality or residence permits is gradually expanding.For instance, the republic of Malta has set the price of its citizenship for non-European citizens at 650,000 Euros. Spain, Morocco’s closest European neighbor, decided to offer its citizenship to any foreigner who buys property costing at least 500,000 Euros or who acquires treasury bills valued at 2 million Euros. By doing so, Spain aims to pull the Spanish real estate market out of its current decline.Portugal for its part offers legal residence to foreigners in exchange for buying property for 500,000 Euros or for creating 30 jobs with a capital of 1 million Euros in a Portuguese bank. Surprisingly, the European Union did not disapprove of the practice, stating that all countries constituting the EU are free to determine conditions for granting their nationalities to foreigners.While some of the European countries undergoing acute economic crises have opened doors to all foreigners interested in acquiring their nationalities in exchange of financial input, Western countries, such the U.S. and Canada, intend to grant their nationalities only to potential key investors from the Middle East, Russia, and China.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed
Royals56.5110.391.6101 How would MLB’s worst (and most average) do in Triple-A?Wins per 162 games by league for the Orioles, Royals and Phillies using Out of the Park Developments to simulate Class AAA results for each team Phillies83.2123.3133.8128.5 Wins per 162 games in… Orioles46.892.7102.197.4 TeamReal-Life MLBInt’l LgPCLAAA Combd. Which winning percentage is “correct”? There are a few reasons to think Out of the Park’s findings are more realistic.3And no, they didn’t pay us to say that. Although many of Baltimore’s players rate at or slightly below the replacement level by WAR, that performance is by definition equivalent to the top level of talent found in the minors. Remember, even a completely replacement-level MLB team would rank among the upper echelon of AAA. Plus, many Orioles are also suffering horrendously down years. Out of the 38 veterans who have logged time for Baltimore this season, 29 are producing WAR below their established level from the previous three seasons. With slightly improved luck, against greatly reduced competition, even the Chris Davises of the world could expect better results. So, similar to a college football team trying to beat an NFL team, baseball’s best farm clubs would probably lose their share of games against the worst the majors has to offer.But while studying the depths of the Orioles’ and Royals’ badness in the context of minor league teams is fun in itself, studying MLB’s bottom feeders is also useful for understanding how they fit into — and represent — some of the game’s larger trends.Baltimore wasn’t necessarily attempting to be terrible to begin the season like the tanking efforts of teams like the Houston Astros and Chicago Cubs earlier this decade. But the Orioles were awful near the deadline and got even worse when they finally elected to rebuild, trading away many of their best players (such as Manny Machado, Kevin Gausman, Jonathan Schoop and Brad Brach). The Orioles were 32-75 through July and have picked up the losing pace with their depleted lineup, going 11-32 since the start of August and reaching 100 losses on Sept. 7.The Orioles at least have the excuse of having to play 38 games against the Yankees and Red Sox. The Royals, meanwhile, are in the woeful AL Central, a grouping of teams that might be the worst division ever. The Royals rank last in the American League in pitching WAR (4.0), and only the Orioles (5.22) have a poorer ERA than Kansas City’s 5.05. Of the 18 Royals pitchers to log at least 20 innings, 10 are at or below replacement level.The lineup isn’t much better. The Baltimore Orioles really struggled in the season’s second half, going 17-26 in the International League. Fortunately for Baltimore, they still managed to hold off the Charlotte Knights and Gwinnett Stripers by a comfortable margin in the South Division. Advancing to the postseason, the Orioles rallied to capture the league title with series wins over the Rochester Red Wings and Toledo Mud He — wait, what?That scenario is a hypothetical minor league season simulated by Out of the Park Developments at the request of FiveThirtyEight. In reality, the Orioles are actually a major league team that resides in the American League East, where they were a staggering 60 games behind the division-leading Boston Red Sox entering play Tuesday. The modern record for most games back of a division (or, before divisions, league) leader was set in 1906 by the Boston Beaneaters, who finished 66.5 games behind the Chicago Cubs.Our forecast calls for Baltimore to lose 115 games, which would be tied for the fourth-most losses in a season since 1901. The AL record for games lost in a season is 119 by the infamously bad 2003 Detroit Tigers, while the 1962 New York Mets — an expansion club — hold the modern major league record for losses in a season (120). Both of those numbers are achievable for Baltimore this season. And the Orioles aren’t alone: The Kansas City Royals are also remarkably terrible, projected to lose 105 games. If the Royals and Orioles each lose at least 105 games, they would be the first teams to do so in the same season since 2002.After unloading many of their assets at the trade deadline, Baltimore and Kansas City are struggling so mightily against real MLB teams that we were curious to see how they would stack up if they were relegated to Triple-A. At what point does the designation between a major and minor league team start to blur? And what are the implications of that blurring for the broader world of Major League Baseball?To help answer the first question, we started with a minor league equivalency (MLE) calculator, which converts MLB statistics to their corresponding Triple-A numbers. The MLEs were not bullish on Baltimore’s chances in Triple-A: Assuming there is an 18 percent bump in wins above replacement1Using a mix of FanGraphs’ and Baseball-Reference.com’s versions of the metric. when moving down from the majors to the minors,2Which we arrived at by reverse-engineering the MLE calculator’s 15 percent penalty in on-base plus slugging for moving from Class AAA to the majors. the Orioles were still projected to have just a .446 winning percentage in Triple-A. And the Royals? Their 2018 performance translates to a .489 winning percentage in Triple-A. For comparison’s sake, the Philadelphia Phillies are the most average team in baseball this season according to WAR. Their major league performance translates to a .585 winning percentage in Triple-A.According to Out of the Park’s game engine, though, the Orioles and Royals would at least hold their own against minor league competition. In the aforementioned simulation, Baltimore went 79-59 (a .572 winning percentage) in the International League; a separate sim had the Orioles finishing 87-51 (.630) in the Pacific Coast League (another AAA league). Combined, those records would be good for 97 wins over the standard 162-game schedule.(The Royals played at a 101-win pace against their AAA opponents in the simulations, while the Phillies projected for a 129-win pace.) Sources: Out of the Park Baseball, Baseball-Reference.com How did K.C. and Baltimore get here? Most damaging are their relative struggles to draft and develop quality players and prospects, and little help is on the immediate horizon as the Orioles and Royals ranked 25th and 26th in a composite ranking of midseason prospects.Although Baltimore regularly exceeded expectations in the 2010s under manager Buck Showalter and general manager Dan Duquette, the team now faces a long and difficult rebuild with a thin farm system and in a tough division.“We’re the worst team in the business, but we’re not unlike Kansas City, who had a good run,” Duquette said. “You go through a winning cycle. You don’t draft up high. Your players get older. There is a lot of stress on your resources to replace your players.“Our situation in Baltimore was we put an inordinate amount of resources into the major league to try and sustain the competitive window. That was a decision by the ownership. Along the way, we didn’t invest in the infrastructure required to sustain it, and by that I mean the international [free agent] recruiting, the analytics, the technology, the front office personnel. The ownership group made a conscious choice to invest money into the major league team to extend the competitiveness of the team a bit longer.”One of the biggest takeaways from the Orioles’ and Royals’ struggles is that the gap between the haves — the super teams — and have-nots might be growing. From 2010 to 2016, an average of 4.9 teams per season had scoring differentials or 100 runs or greater. Eight teams accomplished the feat last year, and eight teams are projected to do so again this season.Conversely, seven teams are expected to post negative differentials of 100 runs or more this year after six reached the mark in 2016 and 2017. Over the past decade, three teams have a run differential of -200 or worse, including the DisAstros of 2012 (-211) and 2013 (-238) and the San Diego Padres of 2017 (-212). There will likely be three such teams this season in the Orioles, Marlins and Royals. By run differential between the first- and last-ranking teams, the Orioles are 3.34 runs worse per game than the Astros, which is the second greatest margin in any season since 1954.Part of this is by design. The Cubs and Astros tanked specifically to acquire premium draft picks and clear payroll, following the NBA’s worst-to-first model. The fact that those two teams won the past two World Series will only strengthen belief in this philosophy. The Royals arguably employed the strategy, too — perhaps inadvertently — to form a core that took the club to the 2014 and 2015 World Series, winning the 2015 title. Two key members of those Royals teams, Eric Hosmer and Lorenzo Cain, left as free agents last winter.Duquette has been a major league GM since the early 1990s. Does he believe rebuilding strategies have become more extreme?“I think one of the things that is different now … is players over 30 now are way less productive than they were in the 1990s and 2000s,” Duquette said. Older players have indeed become less productive and account for fewer seasons being played since performance-enhancing drug testing began in 2004.“Those are generally some of the players that would be available to make an impact on your major league team. … It’s always been a young’s man game [but] with those [older] players not being available on the market, I think teams, in general, are placing a higher value on the prospects they have, and younger players.”As long as relegation to the minor leagues isn’t a part of baseball, tanking is a logical approach to acquiring premium young talent. But it won’t always work — and it might not be in the game’s overall interest.In the American League, the Indians and Red Sox have already clinched playoff berths, and the Indians have clinched the A.L. Central. The Red Sox and Astros have 99 percent chances of capturing their divisions, while the Yankees and Athletics have 99 percent chances of winning the league’s wild cards. So midway through September, there are no AL playoff races — and that is likely playing some role in declining ticket sales.MLB attendance is down 4.28 percent (2.88 million) from last season’s pace through Sept. 17. A number of factors are at play, including cold early season weather, improving in-home TV/streaming experience and changes to the secondary ticket market. But American League attendance, and its fewer games of interest, is down more (5.97 percent decline and loss of 1.83 million fans) than attendance in the National League (2.99 percent decrease and 1.06 million fans).The Orioles have suffered the fifth-largest attendance drop in the majors to date (-405,652 fans) while the Royals are third (-523,317).“If you lose over a 100 games, that’s extreme,” Duquette said. “It’s hard on your club, and it’s hard on the fan base to continue to maintain enthusiasm.”While rebuilding has always been part of baseball, the depths of such retooling projects are becoming more extreme in nature. They’re so extreme that the gap between the worst major league teams and minor league play might be closing.Check out our latest MLB predictions.CORRECTION (Sept. 20, 2018, 11:30 a.m.): A previous version of this article repeated an error made by betting company regarding the modern record for how far back a team finished in the standings. The betting line said the record was 65.5 games in 1909. The record was actually set by the Boston Beaneaters in 1906 at 66.5 games.
Bayern Munich’s Franck Ribery posted an emotional farewell message to his departed teammate Arturo Vidal, who has just sealed a surprise move to BarcelonaThe Chile international’s future at Munich appeared to be nearing its end throughout the entire summer after his playing opportunities became increasingly more restrictive in his three-year spell.Inter Milan had been the favourites to sign Vidal and at one point seemed on the verge of making the signing, before Barcelona made a last-minute bid for his services.And now a deal has been completed that will see Vidal wear the famous Blaugrana shirt next season.While his time at Bayern ended on a sour note with just a mere 17 league starts last season, Vidal will still be missed at the Bavaria with Ribery wishing his friend well for the future.He wrote on Twitter: “Brother, you do not know how much I’m going to miss you!Fiorentina owner: “Ribery played better than Ronaldo!” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Fiorentina owner Rocco Commisso was left gushing over Franck Ribery’s performance against Juventus, which he rates above that of even Cristiano Ronaldo’s.“For me you are the best, a man of values and principles. I am very proud to have played by your side!“I wish you the best for your future, you are a warrior and that is rare in our profession.”Hermano no sabes a que punto te voy a echar de menos! Para mi eres el mejor, un hombre de valores y principios. Estoy muy orgulloso de haber jugado a tu lado! Te deseo lo mejor para tu futuro, eres un guerrero y eso se encuentra poco en nuestra profesión. ???????? @kingarturo23 pic.twitter.com/eq7M8i29er— Franck Ribéry (@FranckRibery) August 3, 2018