Google stops responding directly to data requests from Hong Kong govt

first_imgGoogle reviewed all requests for user data and pushed back on “overly broad ones” to protect the privacy of users, it added.The Washington Post newspaper reported earlier on Friday that Google would stop responding directly to data requests from Hong Kong authorities, implying the company would now treat Hong Kong effectively the same as mainland China in such dealings.The national security law has drawn criticism from the administration of US President Donald Trump and further raised US-China tensions after Washington’s decision to end the former British colony’s special status under US law.Read also: Over 2,500 games removed from Apple’s China App Store after loophole shuts: Data firmGoogle notified Hong Kong police on Thursday that it would direct officials to pursue any requests for data through a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty with the United States, which involves routing through the US Justice Department, the Washington Post reported.In July, Facebook Inc, Google and Twitter Inc suspended processing government requests for user data in Hong Kong.Tech companies have long operated freely in Hong Kong, a financial hub where internet access has been unaffected by the firewall imposed in mainland China, which blocks Google, Twitter and Facebook.Topics : Alphabet Inc’s Google said on Friday it would no longer provide data in response to requests from Hong Kong authorities following the enactment of a new national security law imposed by China.The US tech giant had not produced any data since the sweeping new law took force in June and would not directly respond to such requests henceforth, it added.”As always, authorities outside the US may seek data needed for criminal investigations through diplomatic procedures,” Google said in an emailed statement.last_img read more

Sandfish: Expensive, endangered and ecologically essential

first_imgBY ROSSEA LEDESMA Through science, the institution aims to replenish their numbers in the wild and promote a healthier environment where the sandfish are grown. Production of sandfish, from the hatchery to the farm, is being optimized at one of the leading institutions in sandfish research – the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center Aquaculture Department (SEAFDEC/AQD) based in Tigbauan, Iloilo. Aside from their economic value, sandfish also play an important role in keeping the marine environment healthy.  Sandfish regularly bury into the sediments every day from late afternoon until the early morning, as documented in a study by SEAFDEC/AQD sandfish expert Dr. Jon Altamirano and his team published in Fisheries Research in 2017. This “plowing” behavior helps mix available nutrients and oxygenate the sediments. Thankfully, sandfish is among the easiest to propagate of the tropical sea cucumbers because of established hatchery production techniques; thus, providing hope to alleviate the threat to their numbers in the wild. Because of these environment-friendly behaviors, sandfish and other sea cucumbers are often referred to as the earthworms of the sea. Because of the high demand for these expensive invertebrates, their natural population have drastically decreased in the recent decades. These creatures live in shallow sand flats and seagrass beds where gleaners can easily pick them up from among their close relatives, the starfishes and sea urchins. SANDFISH, or Holothuria scabra, is one of the most threatened tropical sea cucumbers because of its high price, reaching up to $1,600 per kilogram (approximately P80,800) when processed and dried into trepang or beche-de-mer which are used in exotic Asian cuisine and medicinal products. Sandfish also feed by grazing on the surface of the sediments, ingesting everything that can fit through its mouth – from small animals and plants, decaying matter, and even bacteria and sand particles. In effect, they re-work and transform all these materials in their gut and discharged as “useful” feces. The release of sandfish, which began in 2015, was part of SEAFDEC/AQD’s successful community-based sea ranching project which also released abalone beginning 2011 after years of social preparation. Just off the shores of Molocaboc Island in Sagay, Negros Occidental, overharvesting reduced stocks to a mere three sandfish per hectare prior to 2015. That number has grown by fortyfold since SEAFDEC/AQD released hatchery-grown sandfish in the area in 2015. A buried sandfish emerging to feed at the sea ranch site in Molocaboc Island, Sagay City, Negros Occidental. JP ALTAMIRANO A box of dried sea cucumbers sold at a store in Hong Kong for HK$4,280. JP ALTAMIRANO In another research published in 2012 by SEAFDEC/AQD’s visiting scientist Dr. Satoshi Watanabe and his team, sandfish juveniles in tanks grew much better when fed with detritus (organic matter from decomposing plants and animals) and shrimp feces collected from tiger shrimp culture ponds.  Studies like this show that sandfish may also potentially help minimize wastes accumulation in some aquaculture systems./PNlast_img read more

From furlough to free-to-air: Premier League becomes a political football

first_img“When the furlough scheme and the discussions around player salaries and taking pay cuts arose, my feeling was that was opportunistic on the part of government and actually very cynical,” Professor Simon Chadwick, Director of Eurasian Sport at Emlyon business school told AFP.“Within weeks the government had flipped again and suddenly this is important for national well-being, social cohesion and national identity, providing a diversion from the pandemic.“This was the government using football to achieve its own ends, rather than of football itself, or fans and the population.”– Mass audiences –Attention from politicians was certainly not welcomed by players, particularly as they set up a fund to generate funds for Britain’s National Health Service (NHS).Hancock was accused of “deflecting” underfunding of the NHS by Crystal Palace winger Andros Townsend, while Newcastle’s Danny Rose said players’ health was being put at risk to boost the national mood.However, the pressure from government for free-to-air matches could yet have long-lasting benefits for the English top-flight.For the first time since the inception of the Premier League in 1992, the BBC will show four live games before the end of the season.Amazon and a Sky freeview channel will also bring more live games to a wider audience.Cricket and golf are among the sports to have suffered consequences of disappearing behind a paywall in the UK.“It is important that as many people as possible can access our games,” said Premier League chief executive Richard Masters.By being beamed back to the masses on its return, the Premier League could ensure absence makes the heart grow fonder and increase its already massive following.Share on: WhatsApp premier leagueLondon, United Kingdom | AFP |  The green light for the Premier League’s return owes much to a political will for the national game to lift spirits in the country hardest hit by coronavirus in Europe.Suspected and confirmed deaths from coronavirus in Britain passed 50,000 according to analysis from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) this week.Restrictions on personal freedoms remain in place, while plans to reopen schools to all pupils in England have been shelved until September.Yet, on Wednesday, Premier League stars will return to live action with the government revelling in its role to ensure 33 of the remaining 92 games of the season will be shown on free-to-air platforms.Prime Minister Boris Johnson told parliament last month that the return of live sport to television “could provide a much-needed boost to national morale”.On the day June 17 was set as the date for the Premier League’s return, Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State for Sport, said football had a “special place in our national life.”– Furlough fury –However, the Premier League has not enjoyed such political backing throughout the course of the pandemic.In the early weeks of April as clubs scrambled to respond to a sudden drop in revenue, Liverpool and Tottenham were among the top-flight teams that signalled their intent to use the government’s furlough scheme for non-playing staff.The scheme, designed to protect jobs once lockdowns are lifted, has seen the government cover the cost of 80 percent of wages up to a maximum of 2,500 ($3,100) a month per employee.Yet, the sight of last season’s two Champions League finalists using tax payers’ money without cutting the wages of players provoked a furious reaction.Conservative MP Julian Knight accused the Premier League of a “moral vacuum.”At a daily news briefing at the height of the crisis, even Health Secretary Matt Hancock told Premier League players to “take a pay cut and play their part”.Both clubs bowed to the public pressure and quickly reversed their decision to use the scheme.last_img read more

Senior champion East among four new caps in England team for Europeans

first_img Stephen East (Moortown, Yorkshire), recently crowned English Seniors champion, is one of four new caps in the England team for the European Seniors Team Championship to be played at Sierra Golf Club in Poland on 2nd – 6th September. The other three are Clive Jones (Toulouse, France), Tony McLure (Longhirst Hall, Northumberland) and Alan Mew (Stoneham, Hampshire, IoW & CI). Completing the six-man team is Richard Latham (Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire) and Andrew Stracey (Denham, BB&O). East (image © Leaderboard Photography) has enjoyed remarkable success in his first year as a senior golfer. He won the English title at Matfen Hall in Northumberland in June which followed his victory in the Spanish Seniors at La Manga. Since then he hasn’t looked back, finishing runner-up in the British, Irish and Scottish Seniors and fourth in the European Seniors. All this follows a successful career in golf in which he was a stalwart for Yorkshire while he also won the English Mid Amateur Championship for the Logan Trophy three times, the European, British, Portuguese and Yorkshire Mid Amateur titles. Jones, another in his first year as a senior, has lived in France for the past 20 years after moving from Sussex. He won this year’s European Seniors title against a strong field, including East, by a shot in Spain in June and had two good round in the British. McLure, 56, is another enjoying success at a new level after a highly productive amateur career which included winning the Lytham Trophy. He is a former winner of the French Mid Amateur and three times the Durham Match Play champion when a member of Whickham. In the senior ranks last year, he won the Seniors County Champions Tournament at Woodhall Spa, finished second in the Welsh Seniors and third in the Scottish, while this year he again finished runner-up in Wales and equal third in the British Seniors. Mew, 61, has also enjoyed a distinguished amateur record, particularly in his home county of Hampshire. Again, the senior rank has opened a new career. He won the Senior County Champions Tournament in 2012 and this year has finished second in the Scottish Seniors, eighth in the European Seniors and 15th in the British. Latham, 56, was the man to beat last year when he became a senior. A stalwart of Hertfordshire golf for many years and then Lincolnshire, he had a meteoric rise through the senior ranks, winning the Scottish and English titles within weeks then being capped in last year’s European Seniors Team Championships. Although he hasn’t tasted victory this year, Latham finished fourth in defence of his English Seniors at Matfen Hall, sixth in the Scottish Seniors and equal 20th in the British. He was also selected in the GB&I team for the Concession Cup against the USA in Florida. Stracey, 60, is a former winner of the Irish and Welsh Seniors and was also selected for the Concession Cup. A senior international since 2009, he finished joint runner-up in this year’s English Seniors, equal fourth in the Welsh Seniors and tied eighth in the British Seniors. England has not won the European Team title since 2010 at Fairhaven. Last year in Hungary the team finished third. 22 Aug 2014 Senior champion East among four new caps in England team for Europeans last_img read more

Chivas’ Vocal Leader

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre By Billy Witz Staff Writer It probably wouldn’t surprise any of his teammates if Chivas USA midfielder Jesse Marsch peered over the shoulder of his wife, Kim, and peppered her with instructions as she changed their infant son’s diapers. Do you have enough wet wipes? Are you sure you got everything back there? And honey, make sure those tabs are fastened tight – remember what happened the last time? Why, they’d figure, should she be any different? If there’s a tactical observation to be made, an attitude to adjust, or even a mess to clean up – on the field, at least – it’s likely that Marsch’s voice drives the discussion. If this sounds like a coach on the field, well, he is. Earlier this year, Marsch completed his “A” coaching license, which is required to coach in Major League Soccer or for U.S. Soccer, a career path he plans to pursue when he’s done playing. “We already call him Coach Jesse,” defender Jonathan Bornstein said. And how far does one have to be from Marsch to be out of earshot? center_img “Texas,” quipped striker Ante Razov. Though his teammates seem to take great pleasure in poking fun at Marsch – his beloved Green Bay Packers shirt was stolen and hidden in a refrigerator for 24 hours earlier this week and his man-crush on Brett Favre is a constant target of locker-room jibes – they also clearly look up to him. Marsch, who turns 34 next week, has been a member of three MLS Cup winners, played in two other finals and has been on four U.S. Open Cup winners. Sasha Kljestan, an emerging star, credits Marsch with helping him with subtleties – such as setting himself up to take two touches with the ball instead of three. Bornstein, a member of the U.S. national team, calls him a father figure. “He talks a lot,” said Bornstein, who, like Kljestan, is 22 years old. “Every once in a while, someone will be like, `Hey, dude, chill out.’ But everyone takes what he says into consideration. He’s always on a winner so obviously he’s doing something right.” This week they’ve listened most attentively. Chivas finished atop the Western Conference during the regular season, but it enters tonight’s return leg of the first-round playoff with Kansas City trailing by a goal. Chivas will again be without the injured Razov and its other top scorer, Maykel Galindo, is questionable with an abdominal injury. It will be up to Marsch and captain Claudio Suarez to make sure that nobody’s shin guards are shaking in a lineup that could include six players who are 23 or younger. “The key for us is going to be if it doesn’t come right away, to not panic,” Marsch said. “We have to be patient.” For much of his career, Marsch has played the role of midfield grunt – a scrappy defender who pesters the opponent’s playmaker and makes sure the ball finds its way to his team’s stars. “A hard player,” is how Chivas coach Preki remembered Marsch from his playing days. David Beckham had another word (or two) for him in late August when Marsch delivered a kick to Beckham’s midsection just before halftime of a game against the Galaxy. Beckham jumped up off the turf and ran right at Marsch, who stood chin to chin with Beckham, barking right back. A near riot ensued and one player from each team was ejected. Coincidence or not, Chivas – which had beaten the Galaxy once in 10 games – scored three second-half goals to win in a rout. “Jesse makes a huge difference for us,” said Razov, who was also his teammate in Chicago. “He’s a player who has been overlooked his whole career, but he thinks the game and battles and challenges other guys to battle.” Marsch’s competitiveness was nurtured growing up in Racine, Wis. His father never let him win in basketball games in the driveway or soccer in the basement, and if the sport was eating mashed potatoes, his older brother fought him to the last spoonful. Marsch developed into a good enough soccer player to make the United States’ under-18 team, but when he arrived at Princeton as a freshman he was quickly informed by the coach that he didn’t know how to play the game. “My first reaction was this guy’s an idiot,” Marsch said. Princeton’s coach happened to be the best thing to happen to Marsch. His name was Bob Bradley, who is now the U.S. national team coach. When Bradley left Princeton to become an assistant at D.C. United, he lobbied to draft Marsch. When he became the head coach in Chicago, he traded for Marsch. And when Bradley was hired by Chivas two years ago, he dealt for him again. “As a coach, you challenge players how to move their games up a notch and Jesse always accepted those challenges,” said Bradley, who gave Marsch his second national team cap in June for an exhibition against China. “Throughout his career, Jesse has always worked hard to take a bigger role on his team and try to see how he could help more. That’s the reason he’s been on good teams. He knows that the real mark of a player is playing an important role on a team that wins something.” Bradley said Marsch has the right qualities to get into coaching – namely, that he leaves the field each game still thinking about what took place on it. billy.witz@dailynews.com160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img