Slimming program for medical operating devices

first_imgOperating devices in the medical sector are not only subject to strict controls and requirements. Nowadays design demands are becoming more and more important for developers of medical HMI devices. Design demands in medical are based on the flattest/slimmest HMI units possible. By Jörn Wittig, Data Modul                                Download PDF version of this articleProfessional HMI systems must be expertly equipped in terms of quality and technology, not just because of legal requirements. Operating devices in the medical sector are subject to strict controls and requirements. For a few years now, there has also been another aspect, which concerns developers of medical HMI devices: the demands of the customer and end user on the design. Among other criteria, the devices should be fitted with PCAP, Projected Capacitive Touch. Due to the user experience from the end consumer market, the industry customer today knows about feasibility and possibilities and therefore requests operating devices which work just like smartphones, PCs and tablets also for medical applications.The design demands in medical are based on the flattest/slimmest HMI units possible. What is more, the strict demands applicable to medical applications are also taken into account. A slim device design requires slim components. However, the control is difficult here. A provider such as Data Modul helps their partners in the development and production of HMI systems, whether monitor or panel PC. The company is a certified development and production partner under the number 13485:2016. The distribution range also includes their own product developments.With the eMotion series, Data Modul have developed their own control solution and, with the eMotion USB type C3.1 single-cable solution in alternate mode, have found a way to design even slimmer monitors. Slim designs are also possible with other boards of the eMotion family, such as the ST5.3. The capacitors and plugs are flatter here, a display port interface and DVI and VGA save overall height.If a panel PC is installed in the application, Data Modul offer their own SBC form factor especially for slim panel PCs: the eDM-SBC-iMX6-PPC. With dimensions of 130 mm x 80 mm x 13 mm, this format offers more width and allows a larger scope for interfaces. Thanks to flatter plugs, where the mating connector is introduced on the side, no structural height is lost when connecting the interface. Even the connection jack of the RJ45 network plug is positioned lower down to design the wireless card to be as flat as possible. TFT-LC displays are seen in industrial applications. However, you should definitely stay away from slimmer consumer panels. They usually do not conform to the industrial demands with regard to lifespan, temperature range, availability and processes for change management and EOL.Figure 1. This schematic structure shows the different components of a modern touch display. An industry customer places value on high readability and a wide viewing angle. For medical devices, displays with MVA, Multiple Vertical Alignment, and IPS, In-Plane Switching, are the best choice. Both technologies offer high quality image display, high color accuracy and wide viewing angles as well as contrast. These are mainly wide and ultra-wide format displays. To see the finest structures and gray tones even on devices with larger diagonals of more than 20”, Data Modul’s self-developed controller board eMotion UHD II is used. As well as UHD, this also offers HDR, which allows a 10-bit color depth. To find out whether a display is suitable for medical use or not, Data Modul places it under a stress test. This happens in the company’s own climate chamber. Here, the displays are exposed to low or high temperatures and temperature cycles depending on the project, application and requirements. This simulates how the panel will behave in continuous or long-term operation. Furthermore, conclusions can be drawn on reliability and quality from the occurring aging effects. For this, the test periods range from a few days/weeks up to several years. This depends on the later use.Figure 2. eMotion UHD II: advanced TFT LCD controller board The first (capacitive) touch screens entered the market at the beginning of the 1990s. Since then, the basic structure of the touch sensors has barely changed. The basic structure is formed by X and Y levels, usually with a conductive rhombic pattern. Both levels are insulated from each other. If a finger or a conductive medium touches a crossing point of both levels, the capacity is changed and a touch event is recognized. HMI systems can be operated based on this principle, even through a glass panel. A central component is the transparent, conductive material ITO, Indium Tin Oxide. This forms a conductive rhombic pattern. In general, the conducting material is applied on two different sensor substrates: glass or PET film. A major drawback owed to the manufacturing procedure is the conductor path of these kinds of sensors and the resulting external dimensions.All electrodes are connected via a conductor path which leads to the Flextail at the edge of the sensor. With a line/space gap of 100/100 µm, the distance between two conductor paths and the conductor path itself, the structure is wide. This is particularly evident with diagonals bigger than 12.1”, since the resolution of these sensors is significantly higher. The glass/glass sensor is barely used in current applications due to the exterior dimensions and the robust overall structure. ITO film sensors (film/film) are thinner. With a sensor structure of 0.5 to maximum 0.7 mm, it is possible to use this in mobile devices. ITO films can be processed very well and the most unconventional shapes are possible. In spite of PET film, temperatures from -20 to 60°C or 70°C are possible. With a combination of a laser and etching processes, a line/space gap of 50/50 µm can be reached.Figure 3. SBC-iMX6-PPC: slim single board computer with NXP i.MX6 Cortex A9 SoC Data Modul has further developed the ITO sensors: SITO, Single-side ITO, which can be applied to diagonals of 7 to 21.5”. Unlike film/film sensors, both ITO electrodes in direction X and Y are applied only on one side of a glass substrate. The special feature is that on these crosspoints, metal bridges (metal jumpers) are placed to prevent bypasses caused by the single-layer touch structure. This means that a slimmer edge is possible and the sensor designs can be adapted individually. The external dimensions of the sensors here are not larger than those of the TFT display, meaning the sensors fit in almost every existing customer design. The temperature range is also wider for SITO sensors.PCAP without a glass surface is not possible, the flexible film on its own would not be durable. A thinner, more robust carrier must be applied (glass/film/film). The glass has a purely protective function: it prevents the sensor from bending and the sensitive conductor paths from being destroyed. Carrier glass and cover glass is available in different thicknesses, imprints and/or shapes.  With PCAP, the operating surface remains glass and in the medical environment, special anti-bacterial surfaces and glasses are used. Thanks to the anti-bacterial glass and anti-microbial effect of silver ions in the glass, 99 percent of the present bacteria is already dealt with.Data Modul has taken a special patented nano-free clear glass surface into development.  An additional coating becomes unnecessary. The antibacterial effect also remains after cleaning with aggressive products. Other directly antibacterial glass options are lacquered glass, mirror and laminated safety glass, with and without a sound-proofing function. In particular the gap in the device casing must either be narrow or wide to allow it to be cleaned easily. However, a closed device surface is often desired. Data Modul can fill the gap with the gap-filling process or also press-fitting. This requires the engineers involved to be familiar with various materials and the corresponding production procedures.For design and functionality of the casing design, material, dimensions and production possibilities and feasibility are important. Speakers, cameras, light conductors that are integrated directly into the casing, semi-transparent surfaces and specific surface roughness of the front frame must particularly be taken into account. Data Modul provides their own construction team for the casing concept and integrates the required components in such a way that the casing can be kept as slim as possible. Figure 4. Stress test in the Data Modul climate chamber All EMC demands are also taken into account.  CPU boards, touch controllers and sensors are integrated into metal chassis and, thanks to passive filter switching, are not sensitive to interfering signals. The demands on electromagnetic compatibility of medical devices, particularly on those for intensive-care medicine, are very high. Interior chassis made from aluminum improve the emission and immission behavior. Even the touch controller can be integrated. A backshell can be made of compact plastic injection molding ABS plastic, the sealing of which must often correspond to protection type IP54. The integration of the connection field, position and type of plugs also reduces the structural height.  In the company’s own EMC chambers, the devices are pre-qualified in accordance with medical standard 60601-1.Before the start of every series production, detailed qualifications and tests ensure that the production quality will pass.  This involves several phases which begin with functional designs and prototypes. Prototypes which are produced in near-serial processes as well as first samples in small quantities are built. The desired functions can be demonstrated and the product samples show the slim design.Furthermore, the panel and touch functionality can be tested. Parts produced in the rapid prototyping process give important information about the function and fit accuracy before series production. The success a device will have on the market finally depends on the end user. With the presentation of samples/prototypes, the synergy of design and function of the modern, slim medical device can be highlighted.Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInMoreRedditTumblrPinterestWhatsAppSkypePocketTelegram Tags: Chips & Components Continue Reading Previous congatec: COM Express Computer-on-Module with 3 GHz Intel Core i3 processorNext Scaling the Internet of Things with cellular technologylast_img read more

China to open world’s longest glass spiral bridge this month. Planning a trip?

first_imgIf you are in dire need of an adventure, head to China straight as a new walkway – set to be the longest glass bridge in the world – will open this month. What is so adventurous about it, do you ask. Well, then, you must know that the walkway spirals through the air and also provides a picturesque view of the scenery around it, CNN reports.The walkway, which is 550 meters long, will stretch across southwest China’s Huangguoshu Scenic Area. Pan Zhaofu, director of the Huangguoshu Scenic Area, said that the intention is to maximise the interest of tourists.”We want to create a resort where tourists can be entertained and enjoy sports and leisure as well as health care, by integrating innovatively the elements of leisure, recreation, stimulation, amusement and health care,” Pan Zhaofu, director of the Huangguoshu Scenic Area, said, as per the report in CNN.Almost $1 million has been invested into the construction of the bridge that commenced in March. China has several other glass bridges but CNN reports that this is the “first of its kind” in Suiyang County, Guizhou Province.Hongyagu glass suspension bridge in Hebei Province’s Hongyagu Scenic Area opened in 2017 and is 488 meters long. It was billed as the world’s longest glass-bottomed suspension bridge but the new walkway that will open in August has broken the record set by the aforementioned bridge.ALSO READ: Tourists dare to cross world’s longest glass-bottomed bridge in China. Watch viral videoALSO WATCH: Bihar boy tries making TikTok video, diesadvertisementlast_img read more

Clarksons Greece Owns the Worlds Largest Fleet

first_imgzoom With the latest turn of the tide, Greek owners have placed themselves at the top with 210.1 millon gross tons, representing the world’s largest fleet, according to Clarksons Research.This change is the latest in a recent set of switches in the leadership of ownership of the global orderbook. Although the Japanese now own the world’s second largest fleet at 164.2 million gross tons, they account for the largest orderbook across all owner nationalities, with 488 ships of 28.2 million gross tons on order.This year, the size of their orderbook has surpassed that of their Chinese counterparts, leaving Japanese owners on top of this particular pile.Following the boom in ordering preceding the global economic downturn, the orderbook stood at its highest ever level with 416.6 million gross tons in October 2008. At this point in time it was Greek owners who accounted for the largest orderbook, ahead of the German owners in second place. Since then, things have largely gone downwards for the Greek orderbook.By start of 2011, the Chinese owners’ orderbook was the world’s second largest and across the period 2012-15 it vied with the Greek orderbook for pole position before pulling ahead last year.In December 2016, Japanese owners took the lead in the orderbook stakes. The Japanese orderbook surged in 2015 as Japanese owners contracted 22 million gross tons, often bulkers and largely at domestic yards. “Against the background of a declining orderbook since 2008, the Japanese orderbook has switched from third to first position,” Clarksons Research said.“Contracting has been extremely limited last year and this year so far, but at some point it will come back in greater volumes and then it will be necessary to watch the movements in the orderbook even more intently.”last_img read more

Fincantieri Delivers Fourth Viking

first_imgzoom Viking Sun, the fourth of eight cruise ships Viking Ocean Cruises has ordered from Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri, was delivered to the company on September 25 at the Ancona shipyard.Like its sister ships, Viking Sun is placed in the small cruise ship segment. With a gross tonnage of about 47,800 tons, it has 465 cabins with accommodation for 930 passengers, with a total capacity of over 1,400 people, including the crew.Fincantieri informed that the Viking Ocean Cruises units “are all built according to the latest navigation regulations and equipped with the most modern safety systems, including the ‘Safe return to port’.”Additionally, they feature the most advanced technologies for energy saving and for meeting the strictest environmental regulations with energy-efficient engines and an exhaust gas cleaning system.The first of the series, Viking Star, was built at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Marghera and delivered in 2015, the second and the third, Viking Sea and Viking Sky, took the sea from the shipyard in Ancona in 2016 and 2017.Viking Ocean Cruises is scheduled to take delivery of the last four units in 2018, 2019, 2021 and 2022, respectively.last_img read more

Positions Available on Agencies Boards and Commissions

first_imgNova Scotians have an opportunity to serve their community and grow their careers by becoming a member of one of the province’s 150 agencies, boards or commissions. Applications are now being accepted and all residents of the province are eligible to apply. “Being a member of an agency, board or commission has given me access to other like-minded individuals, and the opportunity to have a say in government policy,” said Amy Parsons, member of the Accessibility Advisory Board. “There are many opportunities available. For example, if a person has interest in agriculture, policy and procedures, the arts or other areas, they can choose which ones to apply for based on their own personal interests.” People can apply to serve on a variety of agencies, boards and commissions, ranging from colleges and boards of self-regulated health professions, such as the colleges of chiropractors, counselling therapists, physiotherapists and paramedics, to cultural organizations, such as Arts Nova Scotia, and police advisory boards. “Nova Scotians can gain great experience by volunteering for an agency, board or commission while also making a difference in their communities,” said Leo Glavine, Minister of the Voluntary Sector. “We need people from all walks of life and with diverse backgrounds and abilities to serve in these important roles. I encourage Nova Scotians to take a look at the many opportunities available and apply for those that grab their interest.” Applications for some opportunities are due by Nov. 19. Applications for many other positions are accepted year-round. To find out more and apply, visit , or call 902-424-4877 or 1-866-206-6844. Applicants are assessed based on their skills and qualifications, taking into account the needs of the individual agency, board or commission. Applications will be considered for both current and upcoming vacancies. Typically, appointees are reimbursed for expenses, and in some cases, paid a modest amount for their services. In order to increase the diversity of the agencies, boards and commissions, applications are encouraged from women, Mi’kmaq and other Indigenous people, African Nova Scotians and other racially visible people, persons with disabilities, Acadian Nova Scotians, immigrants and newcomers and persons from the 2LGBTQ+ community.last_img read more

Hospital fires nurse after women given inappropriate drug to induce labour

first_imgMONCTON, N.B. — A New Brunswick hospital says police are investigating a nurse suspected of inappropriately using a drug that induces labour.The Moncton Hospital says it appears the registered nurse administered oxytocin to two women.Both needed emergency caesarean sections as a result.Dr. Ken Gillespie of Horizon Health Network says the nurse has been fired.The hospital is not giving further information about the nurse.Gillespie says the women and babies are doing well and have been told what happened.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Samsung still has time to correct its foldable dream

first_imgNew Delhi: Just when the industry through innovation in the smartphone business had hit stagnation, Samsung wowed us with its first foldable device “Galaxy Fold,” worth a whopping $2,000. A super-premium phone that took almost a decade in the making and opens like a book when unfolded, shouted everything next-generation. However, the expectations took a beating when reports of the Galaxy Fold issues surfaced. The units given to international tech reviewers encountered display distortion and screen flickering issues, forcing the South Korean giant to postpone its launch in Hong Kong and Shanghai on April 23 and 24 respectively, and issue a recall of review units. Also Read – Swiggy now in 500 Indian cities, targets 100 more this year The big question lingers: Will the “Foldgate” make a dent in Samsung’s image like the Galaxy Note 7 with exploding batteries did in 2016? According to CyberMedia Research (CMR), the smartphone major has been mature and pragmatic enough by postponing its launch and sorting out all the issues before its general availiability. “All said, for Samsung, there is no race for first past the post with its foldable smartphone. It is more imperative for the company to focus on not delivering a flawed product, but rather ensuring highest consumer experience when the device goes on sales,” Prabhu Ram, Head, Industry Intelligence Group (IIG), CMR, told IANS. Also Read – New HP Pavilion x360 notebook with in-built Alexa in India Defending its devices just days before its roll-out, a Samsung spokesperson assured that the firm would “thoroughly inspect” the units. According to market research firm Gartner, foldable phones would make up 5 per cent of high-end phones sales by 2023 with around 30 million units. According to Faisal Kawoosa, Founder and Principal Analyst of market research firm techARC, from a technology-rich company like Samsung, “one would expect things out only after reliability of desired levels are achieved”. The Galaxy Fold is expected to be priced around Rs 1,40,790 in India. “Nevertheless, the lab and real-world conditions play differently. I don’t see it as a big issue as the product has not exchanged hands with consumers yet. They have time to correct this aberration,” Kawoosa told IANS. Some units of the Galaxy Fold, which became the first phone with a foldable OLED display, is encountering two primary issues: the foldable screen seems to have a layer of protective layer that is similar to a cheap screen film. Several units reportedly failed after the layer was taken off. Few other screens failed because the hinge exposed areas which allowed debris to get inside of the display, thus, damaging the unit. “We expect that users will use a foldable phone as they do their regular smartphone, picking it up hundreds of times a day, unfolding it sporadically and typing on its plastic screen, which may scratch quickly depending on the way it folds,” Roberta Cozza, Research Director at Gartner had earlier said. However, according to market research firm techARC, this is primarily a material issue than a design. “I think till the time it’s a plastic-based screen, the chances of such mishaps remain high. I would certainly like to see a glass display, that too from credible makers like Corning, to have a reliable foldable screen,” stressed Kawoosa. Moreover, there’s no denying that the second-generation of foldable devices would be better that the experimental and ambitious first generation iterations. “The first generation of an innovation is always experimental, and which over successive iterations achieves perfection. Let’s’face it. The Galaxy Fold was just a mistake in timing. It does not take away anything from its manufacturing capabilities,” Ram noted.last_img read more

Nawazuddin Siddiqui to feature in ‘Housefull 4’

first_imgMumbai: Actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui is all set to make a special appearance in Akshay Kumar-starrer “Housefull 4”. Producer Sajid Nadiadwala has roped in the “Photograph” actor to play a pivotal role, which will make an interesting twist to the plot of the film, sources close to the development said. “We will be shooting a song with Nawaz along with all the six actors. The song will have a major gravity in the movie in which Nawaz will have a pivotal role to play. It will be a grand song with 500 dancers and Ganesh Master setting the choreography,” the sources said. “We have a 5 day schedule for the same. Director Farhad Samji along with the team was working on this development for over 2 weeks and finally we shall shoot in end of May for the same,” they added. The fourth instalment of the comedy franchise is set to release in Diwali this year. The film will also feature Riteish Deshmukh, Bobby Deol, Kriti Sanon, Kriti Kharbanda and Pooja Hegde along with Rana Daggubatti.last_img read more

GM union workers call on Trudeau for support at Montreal auto show protest

MONTREAL — Unifor’s Quebec director Renaud Gagne is calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to follow in Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s footsteps by pledging support for General Motors workers faced with a looming plant closure.Some 300 Unifor members, including about 60 retirees from the now-demolished GM plant in Sainte-Therese, Que., showed their support for Oshawa GM workers on Friday, taking advantage of the Montreal Auto Show now underway.Demonstrators were visible throughout the exhibition. Many wore blue T-shirts with the slogan, “GM to sell here, build here,” and chanted the slogan, “Say-say-say-save GM,” both in French.The General Motors plant in Oshawa, Ont., is slated to shut down at the end of 2019, resulting in an expected 2,600 job losses at the factory.Gagne cited a union-commissioned study that forecasts that by 2025, the closure will have prompted 14,000 job losses in Ontario and 10,000 in the rest of Canada.Gagne noted that some 10,000 people work in the auto parts sector in Quebec.The Canadian Press read more

Identity of Russian Ambassador’s Assassin Revealed

Casablanca – The man who shot dead Andrey Karlov, the Russian ambassador to Ankara, at an art exhibition on Monday worked for the Ankara riot police since 2014.A gunman shot Russia’s ambassador to Turkey at an art exhibition while the official was delivering a speech. The attacker was camouflaged with a black suit that made him appear as the ambassador’s personal bodyguard. He appears in the video shooting the ambassador with several bullets, which also injured three others during the assassination.Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s president, reportedly said the attacker’s name was Mevlut Mert Atlintas. He also revealed that Atlintas worked for Ankara’s riot police for more than two years but was off-duty as he carried out the act. Mevlut Mert Atlintas, 22 years old, shouted “Allahu Akbar” in Arabic, which translates into ‘God is great’. He then began repeating, in Turkish, “Do not forget Aleppo! Do not forget Syria! Do not forget Aleppo! Do not forget Syria!”A witness told Voice of America that security was not tight that night, which explains why the metal detectors that were used in the entrance did not detect the attacker’s gun.According to Turkish authorities, the assailant, who was shouting “Only death will remove me from here,” was killed 15 minutes after his attack, in a gunfight with Turkish Special Forces.Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Maria Zakharova, told Reuters that Russia considers the attack a “terrorist act,” noting that “terrorism will not win and we will fight against it decisively.”The Russian President, Vladimir Putin, stated in a televised comment following the attack that he held a phone conversation with his Turkish counterpart, and that “the investigative committee has already launched an investigation into this killing. It had been tasked with the mission of forming a working group, which will have to fly to Ankara to join its Turkish colleagues in jointly investigating this murder.”In his turn, the Turkish president said in a tweet: “This attack is a provocation aimed at disrupting our relations. I condemn it vehemently.” read more

Iraq UN report on rights violations says violent attacks in decline

15 March 2008In its latest report on human rights in Iraq, the United Nations mission in the war-torn nation noted that violent attacks have decreased significantly in the capital Baghdad, but cautioned this reduction might not be sustainable as the security situation continues to deteriorate in other areas. The twelfth report of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) – covering the second half of 2007 – said that the decline in such attacks, such as suicide attacks and car bombings, is a result of the ongoing “surge” within the Baghdad Security Plan launched last February.“The extent to which the decrease in violence was sustainable remained unclear, with the security situation still precarious in many parts of the country,” it observed. “As security improved in parts of Baghdad and other locations, it deteriorated elsewhere with heightened activity by insurgent groups and others in governorates such as Mosul and Diyala.” Civilians were deliberately targeted by Sunni and Shi’a armed groups through suicide bombings, car bombs and other attacks, UNAMI said.“Such systematic or widespread attacks against a civilian population are tantamount to crimes against humanity and violate the laws of war, and their perpetrators should be prosecuted,” the mission said.Also vulnerable to attack were: Government officials; religious figures; state employees; law enforcement personnel; professional groups including academics, journalists, lawyers and judges; religious and ethnic minorities; and women in so-called “honor killings,” it reported.During the reporting period, thousands were forced to flee due to the continued sectarian violence. According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), as of last December, there are over 4.4 million displaced Iraqis worldwide, with 2.5 million inside Iraq and about 1.9 million in neighbouring countries.The new report welcomed the expanded capacity of the Iraqi judiciary to process cases as the detainee population continues to grow.Despite this progress, UNAMI voiced concern over “continuing prolonged delays in reviewing detainee cases; the lack of timely and adequate access to defense counsel for suspects; the failure to promptly and thoroughly investigate credible allegations of torture and to institute criminal proceedings against officials responsible for abusing detainees; and the procedures followed by the Central Criminal Court of Iraq (CCCI) and other criminal courts, which fail to meet basic fair trial standards.”Additionally, although the Multi-National Force (MNF) has taken steps towards speeding up reviews and decisions on the release of detainees, UNAMI said that its concerns regarding their due process rights within the Force’s legal framework remains unaddressed.The mission cited gender-based violence as cause for serious concern in the Kurdistan Region, in Iraq’s north. In spite of the creation by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) of an Interior Ministry department to tackle violence against women, the report called for scaled up efforts and political will to bring those responsible to justice.UNAMI also welcomed Iraq’s decision to ratify the UN Convention Against Torture, and noted there has been “a greater degree of transparency and access to information pertaining to law enforcement issues on the part of both Iraqi officials and their international advisers.” read more

Bank of Canada daily avg for the Cdn dollar 7950 cents US

The average value for the Canadian dollar on Thursday was 79.50 cents US, down 0.12 of a cent from Wednesday.The U.S. dollar was at C$1.2578, up 0.18 of a cent.Pound sterling was at C$1.6519, down one cent, and US$1.3133, down 0.99 of a cent.The Euro was at C$1.4928, up 0.38 of a cent.Quotations provided by the Bank of Canada.

Annan will name Special Adviser on Haiti UN official says

Video of the General Assembly meeting [55mins] The UN has no political presence in Haiti and has had to depend on reports on political developments from the media and “other sources available to us on the ground,” Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Kieran Prendergast told an informal meeting of the General Assembly. “The capacity of the Secretariat for political analysis of the Haiti situation remains limited and needs strengthening,” he said. Haiti’s political situation became volatile after flawed elections in May 2000, and in recent months, confrontations became fatal as the positions of the Government and opposition hardened, the Under-Secretary-General said. Anti-government protests have increasingly focused on the demand that President Jean-Bertrand Aristide resign, while he has pledged not to leave office before the end of his term in 2006. Mr. Annan has repeatedly underlined the UN’s full support to the two regional organizations working to break the impasse between Haiti’s Government and opposition: the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Organization of American States (OAS). Meanwhile, the UN is sending missions to assess humanitarian needs in the hardest hit areas in Haiti and is planning a “Flash Appeal” for international assistance with such problems as health care, conflict resolution and disarmament, Mr. Prendergast said. “At the moment, teams are visiting the northern departments that have been cut off in recent days, particularly around the cities of Cap Haitien and Port-de-Paix,” he added. “Gonaives will be visited in coming days.” read more

Chinas economic growth dips to 6year low but consumer spending helps avert

BEIJING, China – China’s economy decelerated in the latest quarter but stronger spending by consumers who are emerging as an important pillar of growth helped to avert a deeper downturn.The world’s second-largest economy grew by 6.9 per cent in the three months ended in September, the slowest since early 2009 in the aftermath of the global financial crisis, data showed Monday. That was down from the previous quarter’s 7 per cent.China’s economic prospects are being scrutinized around the world. Its slowdown has unnerved global financial markets and held down growth in countries such as Brazil and Australia that export raw materials to China.Last month, the Federal Reserve mentioned China’s slowdown and deteriorating global economic conditions when it delayed a long-anticipated increase in short-term American interest rates. The central bank’s main concern, however, was low U.S. inflation which suggests underlying weakness in the world’s No. 1 economy.Weakening trade and manufacturing have fueled concern in China about possible job losses and unrest. The communist government has cut interest rates five times since last November in an effort to shore up growth.The latest data highlight the two-speed nature of China’s economy in the midst of a marathon effort by the Communist Party to nurture self-sustaining growth based on domestic consumption and reduce reliance on trade and investment. Manufacturers are shrinking and shedding millions of jobs while consumer-oriented businesses expand.In September, growth in factory output slowed to 5.7 per cent from August’s 6.1 per cent. At the same time, retail sales growth rose to 10.9 per cent from July’s 10.5 per cent. E-commerce spending leaped ahead, rising 36 per cent in the third quarter over a year earlier.“Continued downward pressures from real estate and exports caused GDP growth to drop,” said Louis Kuijs of Oxford Economics in a report. “But robust consumption and infrastructure prevented a sharper slowdown.”The decline in Chinese heavy industry and construction has depressed demand for oil, iron ore and other commodities, dragging on growth in Australia, Brazil and other supplier countries.At the same time, rising Chinese incomes are propelling demand for European wines, wheat and fresh fruit from Australia and the United States, medical technology and other imports.Private sector forecasters have cut their outlook for China’s growth this year to between 6.5 and 7 per cent. That still would be the second-strongest of any major country, surpassed only by India, where the International Monetary Fund expects 7.5 per cent. It would be more than double the 3.1 per cent growth forecast by the IMF for the United States.Much of China’s 5-year-old slowdown has been self-imposed but an unexpectedly sharp decline over the past year, due in part to weak demand for Chinese exports, prompted concern the downturn might be deepening too sharply. Forecasters expect Beijing to cut interest rates further and take other steps to shore up growth.The IMF expects growth to slow to 6.3 per cent next year and 6 per cent in 2017.“We think there is further slowing to go,” said Wei Li of Commonwealth Bank of Australia in a report. “Although we do not foresee China falling into a crisis, the economic growth rate is set to stay lower for longer.”Communist leaders set an official growth target of “about 7 per cent” for this year but have tried to discourage investors and the public from focusing on that figure. The top economic official, Premier Li Keqiang, said in September he would accept growth below that level so long as the economy keeps creating enough new jobs.“In order to restructure, the economy will face some downward pressure,” said Sheng Laiyun, a spokesman for the Chinese statistics agency.“China does not lack growth momentum,” said Sheng at a news conference. “Despite a slowdown in the industrial sector, China’s services sector is growing rapidly.”Already, e-commerce, restaurants and other services for China’s own consumers account for 41.7 per cent of the country’s employment, well ahead of manufacturing’s 34.7 per cent share, according to government data.The economy’s latest performance was slightly better than forecast, defying expectations the collapse of a stock market boom the previous quarter would drag down consumer spending.September imports plunged in dollar value but analysts said that was due to lower prices for oil and other commodities. They noted the volume of imports of iron ore, oil and some other raw materials increased slightly, suggesting construction and manufacturing might be accelerating.Exports in the first nine months of the year were down 1.9 per cent from a year earlier, threatening the health of manufacturers that employ millions of workers. Weak global demand makes it unlikely Beijing can meet its trade growth target of 6 per cent for this year.Some forecasters suggest Beijing overstates growth and the true rate might be as low as 5 per cent.“Today’s data suggest that while the official GDP figures continue to overstate the actual pace of growth in China by a significant margin, underlying conditions are subdued but stable,” said Julian Evans-Pritchard of Capital Economics in a report.___National Bureau of Statistics of China (in Chinese): FILE – In this Oct. 6, 2015 file photo, a worker tosses boards onto the back of a truck at a construction site in Beijing. China’s economic growth decelerated in the latest quarter but relatively robust spending by Chinese consumers helped to avert a deeper downturn. The world’s second-largest economy grew by 6.9 percent in the three months ended in September, the slowest since early 2009 in the aftermath of the global crisis, data showed Monday, Oct. 19, 2015. That was down from the previous quarter’s 7 percent. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, File) China’s economic growth dips to 6-year low but consumer spending helps avert deeper downturn by Joe McDonald, The Associated Press Posted Oct 18, 2015 8:12 pm MDT Last Updated Oct 19, 2015 at 8:40 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

Why Cant The Rockets Be The Warriors

We’ve seen all this before. And it was not so long ago.On Tuesday night, with his Houston Rockets up 2 against the streaking Portland Trail Blazers, a little more than three minutes on the clock, James Harden made a three. A few possessions later, he made another. The Rockets won 115-111 to go to 57-14 on the season, best in the NBA and four games up on the reigning champion Golden State Warriors. On both shots, Harden took what would have been called hero ball shots in another context. No other Rocket touched the ball; everyone in the arena knew what Harden would do, and how. Harden has made these shots his signature and his team’s by finding success where others have found only stacks of Rudy Gay box scores. And while the league has come to view the shot as not just unguardable but reliable, it has at times waffled on whether Harden’s team can be trusted. Funny, given the recent history of ascendant teams led by star guards with an unguardable shot.Just a few seasons ago, a team was led by two star guards who hadn’t found much success in the postseason thanks to a history of injuries and bad fortune. It featured a young big man who anchored the defense and epitomized a key facet of modern offenses. It boasted a sixth man who would have been a featured starter on practically any other team, a roster loaded down with dead-eye marksmen and a fleet of versatile wings who could switch assignments and not fall down. This team won the NBA title.(Key: Steph, Klay, Draymond, Andre, just about everyone else, and the top-ranked 2014-15 defense.)The 2014-15 Golden State Warriors were an unexpected development. The team had won 51 games the previous season under then-coach Mark Jackson, and the roster was largely unchanged coming into that season. Once the season began, however, it was clear that something was very different. Golden State won 21 of its first 23 games and finished the season with 67 wins, ranked first in defensive rating and, importantly, second in offensive rating, up from 12th the season before. Yet a broad set of NBA observers doubted that a team playing the way the Warriors did could win a title, even after they’d already won it.This season, the Rockets ran out to a 25-4 record before losing seven of nine games. In each of the losses, they were missing Harden, Chris Paul or Clint Capela. Since then, Houston has lost just three times in 33 games. FiveThirtyEight’s projections expect the Rockets to win 67 games total, up from their tally of 55 last season. They have the top-rated offense not just this season, but for as long as has been keeping track. They sneak into the top 10 on defense this season as well, an improvement on 18th the previous season. They’re flat good. But you know that by now. What’s important here is that when a team is this good, regardless of what its doubters say, the question isn’t whether it has arrived but whether it will win the title or merely its conference.There are a few ways to slice this. Since 1983-84, this year’s Houston team ties for 20th among all teams in net rating (the difference between points scored and points allowed per 100 possessions) through 71 games. That’s a bigger deal than it may seem, for a few reasons. First, the teams ahead of this season’s Rockets are immensely accomplished. They include four Michael Jordan teams, three Tim Duncan teams, two Laker teams — one Shaq and Kobe, another Magic and Kareem — one Kevin Garnett Celtics team and, of course, the past three versions of the Golden State Warriors. In general, teams at Houston’s level at least win the conference. The teams that didn’t make the finals tended to have extenuating circumstances. The 2012-13 Thunder, for instance, were the top seed in the West but lost Russell Westbrook in the first round and fell to Memphis in the second. The 2011-12 Chicago Bulls lost reigning MVP Derrick Rose in the first game of the first round. And the 2015-16 Spurs faced an exceptionally high level of competition, losing in the second round to a Thunder team that went up 3-1 on the Warriors.1These rankings tend to be sticky. Meaning that the list after 25 games looks a lot like the list after 45 games, which looks a lot like the list after 65 games. Teams shift around a few places, but they do not tend to bomb in or out of the rarified neighborhood. We know that the early season is predictive in sports because players tend to be healthy and rested, but it’s also good to remember that teams playing at an all-time level are seldom flukes.Net rating isn’t the only factor in which Houston is dominating, and as Benjamin Morris wrote for FiveThirtyEight a few seasons back, margin of victory is actually far less predictive in the playoffs than it is in the regular season. In fact, it’s Houston’s wins that make it a playoff force. In the postseason, the difference between two teams’ win totals is much more predictive than margin of victory. If the Rockets finish with 67 wins and the Warriors finish with their projected 61, Morris’s data from his 2016 article suggests that given home court advantage, Houston would win a series 70 percent of the time — even if the two teams were dead-even on margin of victory.The Rockets may not be quite as good as the Warriors were in that first season or as Golden State was in the 73-win 2015-16 campaign. But, then, neither are this year’s Warriors. The team’s injury troubles and continuing sloppiness have turned it into a merely dominant team, not an all-time one. Even if we grant the Warriors a few extra victories because their injury problems have been worse than Houston’s, it would make a prospective series between the two a coin flip, not heavily slanted toward Golden State.And like the Warriors, the Rockets aren’t simply unguardable as a team: They have a player who has mastered an unguardable manner of playing. Harden doesn’t have the same switchblade release as Curry — he can’t dart around a ball screen and have a shot in the air before his man can turn his head. What Harden can do is get just about any switch he wants, thanks to the level at which he and Paul are running the pick and roll, and then, in isolation, he can walk into his now-trademark step-back threes.The pull-up three is increasingly a staple of modern offenses, as defenses have adjusted to the off-ball maneuvering that good offenses use to free up shooters. Harden leads the league in pull-up threes per game, taking 8.0 and making 39.0 percent of them. Paul is third on the list, taking 5.2 per game and making 38.5 percent of them.2The Blazers’ Damian Lillard sits between the two at 5.4 pull-up threes per game. As a team, the Rockets are taking 16.5 pull-up threes per game and making 35.9 percent. The next-closest team, the Los Angeles Clippers, takes 10.0 per game. Even if its primary pick-and-roll engine sputters, Houston has an entire extra, independent dimension to carry its offense through dry spells, like Curry’s pull-ups or like Kevin Durant’s mastery of contested shots in last summer’s finals.Nothing the Rockets could do this season would make them meaningful favorites to most NBA fans against a healthy Warriors team in the playoffs. Nothing the Warriors could do would do that, either. That’s probably correct: There are many things most projection systems, like FiveThirtyEight’s CARM-Elo, can’t spot, such as player injury, which undermine the edge Houston holds by the numbers. Golden State is a dominant champion with what is now a considerable track record of excellence. It’s tough to be favored heavily against that. But there is also now sufficient evidence to declare that Houston is squarely in Golden State’s weight class, just as there was for Golden State when it arrived on the scene.Check out our latest NBA predictions.CORRECTION (March 22, 2018, 5:15 p.m.): A previous version of this article mistakenly said that James Harden played in Houston’s Jan. 4 loss to Golden State. He was out with a strained hamstring. read more

Swedish defensive power Kim Andersson A lot of good things could happen…

Sweden showed convincing performance at the start of the 24th Men’s World Championship in Doha by beating Iceland 24:16 (12:7). Only 16 goals of Icelanders speaking about the defensive level provided by Nielsen, Kallman, Karlsson, and of course, Mattias Andersson between the posts. That’s why the biggest Swedish star Kim Andersson was enthusiastic after the opener:– I am very satisfied not only by the victory, but especially because we performed well and our goalkeeper Mattias Andersson had an outstanding game. We were a little bit nervous before the start of the match, but we handled the situation. It is too early to make predictions, but to be honest, if we keep playing that kind of defence, a lot of good things can happen here for us” Kim AnderssonQatar 2015Sweden handball ← Previous Story Germans give revenge to Poland Next Story → Qatar 2015 (Day 3): No surprises in Group A and B read more


← Previous Story PSG Handball sent message, Omeyer: Defense was perfect Next Story → VIDEO: Crazy finish in Nantes and Celje! nikolaj jacobsenraul gonzales Raul Gonzales (RK Vardar Skopje) and Nikolaj Jacobsen (Rhein Neckar Lowen) won the most important titles in the world of club’s handball in previous season 2016/2017, VELUX EHF Champions League and DKB Bundesliga trophies.Two coaches who will be remembered in an era of European club’s handball had seven clashes in the last three seasons.Five won Gonzales, while in two matches Jacobsen was better.Gonzales VS Jacobsen 5:2.18/11/17, MRK Vardar Skopje – Rhein-Neckar Löwen 30 : 2626/11/16, MRK Vardar Skopje – Rhein-Neckar Löwen 26 : 2917/11/16, Rhein-Neckar Löwen – MRK Vardar Skopje 27 : 3311/02/16, Rhein-Neckar Löwen – MRK Vardar Skopje 28 : 2710/10/15, MRK Vardar Skopje – Rhein-Neckar Löwen 25 : 1921/02/15, Rhein-Neckar Löwen – MRK Vardar Skopje 28 : 3512/10/14, MRK Vardar Skopje – Rhein-Neckar Löwen 28 : 25 read more

In need of virtual cash a Chinese couple sold their kids

first_imgA number of online games can eat away at your wallet more than you might expect. You drop the initial $60, or so, on the game, and then you realize that in order to advance, you need to spend more money. Is cash is low, you might sell something on eBay or elsewhere to get a small fund going. Those are reasonable options but one that isn’t is what a couple in Dongguan, China did. They sold their three children.The couple met in 2007 and clicked due to their love of online gaming. The Sanxiang City News broke the story about Li Lin and Li Juan who left their first child, shortly after he was born in 2008, to go play an online game in an internet café.The idea to sell their child came with the birth of their second child, a girl, in 2009. They sold their daughter for a meager sum of RMB 3,000, about $500. After spending it all, they then sold their son for RMB 30,000, about $4,600.They spent the money from the second child, too. The birth of their third child, a boy, provided them with another pot of gold, so to speak. Lin and Juan earned another $4,600 for him, too.The under 21 couple were not safe for long because Li Lin’s mother turned them in to the authorities. Both claimed they did not know they were breaking the law.This is all a very strange occurrence in the ether of China’s video game culture. About two months, there were reports of a man dubbed Liu Dali who spoke to the press about his time as an inmate in China. The guards there would force inmates to play online games in 12 hour shifts after hard physical labor. The virtual cash earned would then be sold by the guards. The inmates earned nothing.What would you sell for a game?Via ABC New Radiolast_img read more

Messis response to Linekers praise

first_imgOn the eve of Wednesday’s Champions League derby between Tottenham Hotspur and Barcelona, the England national team record World Cup goalscorer, Gary Lineker, expressed his opinion on the Blaugrana hotshot Lionel Messi.The British publication, Daily Star, have transmitted Lineker’s interview with Barca TV, where he described Messi as the ‘best player to ever put on a pair of boots.’“He is the best player to ever put on a pair of boots.“It’s as if he sees the game from afar, at the same time as he is playing. He is not human.“He never rises to provocation, and he is a great example to both the world of football and to every young person who plays the sport.”It didn’t take much time before the 5-time FIFA Ballon d’Or winner responded with an astonishing performance against the Premier League giants.David Villa, SpainQuiz: How much do you know about David Villa? Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 Time to test your knowledge about Spanish legendary forward David Villa.”I feel blessed to be in this stadium to watch this live..” 🙏”It’s like he’s got a controller in his hand.” 🎮@RioFerdy5 is in awe of another Wembley masterclass from Messi.— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) October 3, 2018The Argentinean wizard who was rested against Athletic Bilbao last weekend, returned to be a protagonist at the Wembley Stadium, notching two second-half goals in Barcelona’s 4-2 victory over the Spurs.Messi is currently a leading goalscorer this season, with five goals, as he netted his eight Champions League hat-trick against PSV Eindhoven on the opening matchday.last_img read more