Former Donegal Minister back out on the election trail!

first_imgFormer Donegal TD Dinny McGinley is back on the canvass trail after being appointed Director of Elections for Glenties Electoral Area candidate Evelyn Sweeney.The former Fine Gael Minister – who fought in 12 general elections – will bring his vast experience to help elect mother of three and Gaoth Dobhair native Sweeney.“I was delighted and honoured to be asked to be Evelyn’s director of elections,” said Mr McGinley. “Evelyn is a young mother of three who brings vast experience having worked with Minister Joe McHugh. She understands the issues on the ground because she is dealing with them every day.“That experience in representing local people is of huge benefit to her and it’s important for politics that people like Evelyn are elected to the next Donegal County Council.“It is very important for the Fine Gael party too that we have someone like Evelyn working on the ground at a grassroots level, helping to deliver change for people in the Glenties Electoral Area. She’s a brilliant candidate.”Mr McGinley, who served as a TD for 35 years, added: “We have brilliant candidates across Donegal and I am very optimistic that the party can do very well on May 24. It’s important that we have grassroots councillors working alongside Minister McHugh at Government level to deliver for Donegal.” Evelyn Sweeney is backed by former Minister Dinny McGinleyMcGinley and Education Minister Joe McHugh will be guest speakers at Sweeney’s election launch at Teach Jack in Gaoth Dobhair this Friday at 8pm.“I am delighted and honoured to have Dinny as my director of elections,” said Sweeney.“His vast experience in election campaigns is unrivalled. I’ve been overwhelmed by the positive response on the ground and the positive response too to Michael McClafferty who is running with me in the Glenties Electoral Area.“This is a very important local election; Michael and I want to work hard on the ground on local issues and use that effort at Government level so that north and west Donegal benefits in the years ahead.”She added: “I am also delighted that I am one of four female candidates in this election – Eimer Friel in Milford, Michelle McKenna in South Inishowen and Bernie Moran in Letterkenny. We are all working together and supporting each other and we are all very hopeful for May 24.” Former Donegal Minister back out on the election trail! was last modified: April 10th, 2019 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Dinny McGinleyelection trailMinisterlast_img read more

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Iron Lady of manganese takes on mining’s big boys

first_imgDaphne Mashile-Nkosi is the owner of a multimillion-rand manganese mine in the arid Northern Cape town of Hotazel and one of a handful of women in South Africa’s mining industry. Battle-hardened by her experiences in the struggle against apartheid, she’s not afraid to tackle those who stand in her way.Daphne Mashile-Nkosi is not only a successful businessperson but is also an activist for women’s rights. (Image: Kalagadi Manganese) Shamin ChibbaHotazel, as its name suggests, lies on an arid savannah in the Kalahari region of the Northern Cape, the scorching sun beating the dusty plains. Dominating the town’s landscape is a massive, nondescript plant: the Kalagadi Manganese Mine, said to be the largest in the world, but also one of the most eco-friendly.Standing on the top floor of the site’s seven-story sintering plants, which processes the manganese ore, the mine’s owner Daphne Mashile-Nkosi, known as the iron lady, looks out over the arid landscape. She recalls the time she and her now late husband, Stanley Nqobizizwe Nkosi, got the land.“Before we built the mine, this was a game farm,” she said. “When my husband and I approached it, there was a locked gate. The farmers wanted to put the dogs on us.”The Nkosi’s eventually received their licence to prospect for manganese in the Kalahari Basin in 2005 and started what is now a R7-billion venture. Mashile-Nkosi is the chief executive and founder of Kalahari Resources, the holding company for the Kalagadi Manganese Mine in Hotazel.For well over a century South African mining has been dominated by white men, so it is rare to find a black woman among the major players in the industry. “The mining industry has not been an easy road, especially for a black woman,” Mashile-Nkosi said at the 2014 African CEO Forum in Geneva, Switzerland, where she was named CEO of the Year.“I have persevered and succeeded in surmounting the many obstacles that have been placed in my path. Where there is no pain, there is no gain.”But Mashile-Nkosi is not all business. She is also involved in women’s rights and upliftment, and environmental sustainability. She is a trustee and the chairperson of the Women’s Development Bank Trust and chairs the Women’s Development Bank Investments Holdings.At her speech in Geneva, she counted these as her successes, part of the work that earned her the award. That award, she said, “also acknowledges that an African woman can make her mark in the historically male-dominated mining industry.”The Stanley Nqobizizwe Nkosi Sinter Plant at the Kalagadi mine that processes the manganese mined in the area. (Image: Kalagadi Manganese)The making of a woman minerIn 2001, Mashile-Nkosi and her husband established Kalahari Resources with the intention of mining manganese on the game farm. The opportunity arose from new mining legislation designed to bring historically disadvantaged individuals, especially women, into the industry.The mine has brought some relief to an impoverished part of South Africa, creating up to 3 000 jobs in the Northern Cape. And it looks after the people in those jobs: Kalagadi has on-site accommodation and state-of-the-art ablution facilities. According to Mashile-Nkosi, the mine first completed a prefeasibility study through JSE-listed construction firm Group Five to determine the housing needs of its workers.In an interview with Leadership magazine, Mashile-Nkosi said women employees at Kalagadi are treated as equals to men, and often have high-level responsibilities. “We have ensured that women are given meaningful and critical roles at Kalagadi Manganese – especially in the fields of finance, geology and engineering.”Kalagadi has an estimated 960-million metric tons of manganese as deep as 340 metres underground. The plant’s advanced mining and processing machinery allows it to produce as much as 2.4-million tons of manganese per year. Mashile-Nkosi said the life of the mine could be more than 300 years.The mine unearths some 3-million tons of ungraded ore a year, 38% of which is made up of manganese. The sintering plant then processes ore and dust into a high-grade agglomeration known as sinter, 47% of which is manganese, which is then ready for the smelter.Resilience born from the struggleBorn in Pilgrim’s Rest in Mpumalanga, Mashile-Nkosi grew up in a poor household that included two brothers and a sister. After completing her schooling in 1976, she became a committed anti-apartheid activist. Her experience of the struggle cemented her determination to develop black communities and women to this day.She was a founding member of the Detainees Parents’ Support Committee, which in the 1970s and 1980s gave moral and material support to families of detainees and political prisoners. She was also involved in the formation of the United Democratic Front in 1983, chaired the Soweto sub-region of the ANC Women’s League, and was later the general-secretary of the Soweto branch of the South African Communist Party.In 2008 Mashile-Nkosi’s battle-hardened attitude served her well, when her husband died. He went to Charlotte Maxeke Hospital in Johannesburg to treat a pinched nerve in the neck. But according to reports, poor nursing and a botched throat operation left him choking to death. She worked through the trauma well enough to take on the mining business on her own and turn it into a multibillion-rand venture.Her steely personality came to the fore again during a dispute with Kalagadi’s major shareholder ArcelorMittal. The steelmaker had not fulfilled its funding obligations. Kalahari Resources took them to the South Gauteng High Court and won the case, forcing the steel giants to pay R285-million within five days.In that time, Mashile-Nkosi did not succumb to the pressure of the court battle, and thanks her resilience. This trait, she told DestinyConnect.com, are the qualities of a leader. “She rates resilience, self-motivation, tenacity, courageousness, vision and patience as her strengths,” said the writer.Source: Kalagadi Manganese.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

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Futurist’s Cheat Sheet: Artificial Intelligence

first_imgdan rowinski Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Previous Futurist Cheat SheetsInternet of ThingsQuantum ComputingHolographic DisplaysHuman AugmentationBiometric AuthenticationImage courtesy of Shutterstock. There is no more powerful concept in futurist writings then the notion of artificial intelligence. The ability for humans to create machine-based life that thinks on its own and acts on its own has the potential to make our lives dramatically better – or worse, depending on what kind of science fiction you read. But getting there won’t be easy. What Is Artificial Intelligence?Artificial intelligence has long been a pipe dream of scientists and science fiction writers. In reality, though, we are nowhere near the practical application of artificial intelligence. True artificial intelligence implies a conscious machine with subjective experiences and thoughts; self-aware, sentient (with the ability to feel) and the capacity for wisdom (sapience).Apple’s Siri voice-activated personal assistant and Google’s search algorithms are examples of the current state of artificial intelligence. Neither acts on its own nor perceives intentions. You can have a conversation with Siri by interacting with a collection of pre-loaded answers, but there is no intelligence behind it. Siri merely uses a set of rules to select the most appropriate canned answer to your question. Siri and Google search are examples of what is called “weak artificial intelligence” – or machine intelligence not intended to match the capabilities of human beings. A weak AI engine could recognize characters, play chess or drive a car. But a machine performing intelligent actions is not necessarily acting intelligently. There is a difference between a smart machine (one that can take various inputs and act accordingly) and one that has its own cognitive capabilities. A smartphone can know many things about its surroundings, but does it know to call Mom when your fiance dumps you?Strong AI lies on the other end of the spectrum. Strong AI presupposes that a machine can match or exceed the intelligence of a human. It can think on its own and perform intelligent calculations as well or better than a human could. Strong AI, as defined by engineering researchers and philosophers, does not currently exist. To find strong AI you need to turn to the science fiction realm of The Terminator, The Matrix or Isaac Asimov’s I, Robot. How Artificial Intelligence WorksAI combines the theoretical with the philosophical before even getting into the nuts and bolts of how it can be achieved. How do you quantify the theoretical capabilities of a sentient computer when one does not yet exist? To even think about achieving artificial intelligence, one must first answer a very old and still very confusing question: exactly what is intelligence?Humans consider themselves intelligent because they have the capacity to make sense of the world through a series of brain functions. The human mind integrates many different kinds of sensory information and performs computations to create assertions and judgments.Take a look at the person closest to you. What do you see?In your mind you see Dick or Jane – because your brain tells you that the person is Dick or Jane. What you are actually seeing is a variety of agents and individual components that your mind associates with Dick or Jane. Your brain makes instant, complicated computations that define what you see – and then more calculations to decide how to react to that object, perhaps to communicate with it. The neural network that is the human brain works in a complicated web to determine the world around it.In the realm of artificial intelligence, the classic way to determine intelligent behavior is via the Turing test. Developed by early AI pioneer Alan Turing, the Turing test is designed to see if a machine’s capability for intelligent behavior makes it indistinguishable from that of a human: If you were having a conversation with an entity behind a curtain, could you tell if it was a machine or a human?The Turing Test may not be the final arbiter of determining whether or not a machine has achieved true strong AI. But it is a good starting point. For instance, if you were talking with a Chatbot, would you think that it is human just because it responds to you with an emotional reply? Or could it merely be responding using a recognition engine, analyzing keywords and phrases?AI’s Potential ImpactArtificial intelligence’s many flavors make it devilishly hard to describe what we are looking for. The top of the ladder, the pinnacle of AI, would be sentient computers complete with feelings, emotions and wisdom – just like humans. Let’s not get into whether we should create such systems (in science fiction, true AI seldom turns out well) and focus on the research now being done and where it might lead. As noted, weak AI systems are already paying dividends in Siri, Google, high performance computers with advanced pattern recognition, and many other applications. AI improvements will make these functions smarter, more cognitive and more contextually aware. Consider the pinnacle of weak AI the self-driving car. AI can also help solve higher functions. Neural networks can help achieve greater depths of data mining to understand huge sets of numbers (for instance, subatomic structures colliding at high speeds). We can give computers human-like vision, and the ability to make complex decisions based on what they see. Or maybe we’ll just build a sub-class of robot slaves to do everything for us while we bask in our own glory. Really, why not?The AI ChallengeThe challenge of creating machine-based, sentient life could not be more profound. But if we reduce intelligence to multi-layered recognition and reaction to a series of inputs, a road map to AI becomes somewhat clearer. A human brain operates like a like a network, a series of nodes that work together to create intelligent behavior. This neural network is the nuts and bolts of what makes human intelligence. The next goal for artificial intelligence is to create a similar neural network. We may not have the capability to create true strong AI right now, but the building blocks are becoming available. Think of intelligence as matter of sensors sending information back to a central processor, which then makes judgments. For humans, our sensors are our eyes, ears, fingers, skin, nose, tongue, etc. Those sensors send information back to our brain to inform our perceptions.A machine can have a variety of sensors as well. A smartphone can see (it has a camera), determine light and proximity, know where it is (GPS), accept input from apps and software, and connect to external information on the Internet or a database through Wi-Fi and cellular technology. These capabilities, loosely described as “agents,” inform the machine. The next step is to combine these agents to a central system, a “brain,” that can make determinations based on them. Past a certain point, this is not a matter of silicon computer chips,  but rather one of software. The central system needs to be able to calculate between the agents to create meaning and action.Limited examples of these types of actions are already available. The next step for researchers is to advance both the capabilities of the sensors as well as the ability of the software to recognize, react and make determinations on its own. Unfortunately, that does not get us all the way to true strong artificial intelligence. We can make machines smarter, a lot smarter. But that does not mean we can actually make them intelligent. There is a yawning gap between making a machine understand its surroundings and act upon them – and actual sentience, sapience and self-awareness. As yet, there is no clearly defined understanding of what software or hardware would be needed to accomplish that feat. This is not an all or nothing proposition. Strong AI, in one form or another, is a likely possibility. Computer vision, neural nets, data mining, machine learning and input, more responsive sensors, predictive analysis, pattern recognition and advanced software to make it all think coherently will all play a role in creating stages of artificial intelligence. When Will AI Be Ready?Very rarely will I say this in a Futurist Cheat Sheet but… maybe never. Not in the way it’s imagined in science fiction, anyway. Our future will no doubt be filled with very smart machines. Machines that may even seem like they are truly intelligent. But can we create machines that match or exceed human intelligence? If it’s a matter of time, it’s likely a fairly long time. Perhaps 20 years. 50 years? 200 years? Basically, we have no idea if that dream can be realized. The goal for now is to create smarter machines that increasingly take on more aspects of intelligence as we evolve them. Anybody that tells you they know the answer about when humankind will achieve true artificial intelligence is probably trying to sell you something. Further Information On AIJohn R. Searle – “Minds, Brains, And Programs” (PDF) (1980)Blue Brain Project (Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne)iProgrammer – Overview of Articial IntelligenceRay Kurzweil – “The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence” (2000)Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence Tags:#Digital Humanities#Future Tech#web Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

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Meet Microsoft’s First Surface Tablet — From 21 Years Ago

first_imgThe Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology At this point, handwriting recognition wasn’t new; both Pencept and CIC offered PCs with handwriting recognition built in, according to Wikipedia, and 1989’s GRidPad went on to inspire the Palm Pilot.Still, simply being able to scrawl a note and have it translated into actual text looks pretty impressive, even today. Vision Objects, for example, recently signed a deal to power the Samsung Galaxy Note and Note 2 with its handwriting-recognition system, and company executives demonstrated the same sort of handwriting-to-text capabilities that the Windows for Pen Computing demonstration included.The tablet also translates drawn lines and circles into their digital equivalents. There were even gestures: “If you want to delete something, you just swipe through it,” Gates says. “That’s one of the easy-to-remember gestures.” Gestures like cut, copy, paste and other common functions used their own shortcuts, while user-defined functions (macros, basically), were letters in a circle. People could also train the system to recognize quirks in their handwriting, such as connecting the horizontal swipe of a “t” with the lower hump of an “h.” Gates also showed off the ability to sign a form and connect to a database, both useful functions for a mobile tablet used for shipping and receiving, for example. Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Related Posts Tags:#Microsoft#mobile#Surface center_img Twenty-one years ago, Microsoft debuted the first Surface tablet, complete with handwriting recognition and gestures. It wasn’t called the Surface then. In fact, the prototype tablet that a young, charming Bill Gates showed off was an unnamed prototype from NCR running Windows 3.1.In a video lost among the millions on YouTube, Gates marked the debut of Windows for Pen Computing, the first tablet interface for Windows.Next week, Microsoft will debut its Surface, a tablet that the company introduced in June. Surface will come in two flavors, one based on the full-fledged Windows 8 operating system, and one running a derivative for ARM processors, called Windows RT, which will be priced at $499 and up.  Beneath The SurfaceThose tablets flip Microsoft’s design process on its head: The Surface and its rivals guided the development of Microsoft’s new operating system, rather than the other way around. Two decades ago, the PC was at the center of the technology solar system, although even then it was clear that Gates and Microsoft were thinking about vertical industries like health care and shipping.The original video, a production by Microsoft titled “Personal Computing: The Second Decade Begins,” opens with Gates strolling through another relic of the era, a computer store. Printers line the walls, and Gates holds up a clunky laptop that weighs “only” seven pounds.Soon enough, however, we see why Gates is there – to promote the “graphical environment” of Windows 3. (Support engineer Joe Long notes, incidentally, that the number of support calls for Windows 3 is about 2,500, and Microsoft doubled its support staff to compensate.) In the video’s second chapter, however, Gates introduces something new.Pen Computing A Precursor To Touchscreens“One of the products we’re testing today is called Pen Computing for Windows,” Gates says in the video, adding his own spin to the brand name. “The idea is that hardware manufacturers will be building PCs that include a touch-sensitive surface.”“You use a pen, right here on the surface, and you can handwrite, just like you can on paper, and the computer recognizes it,” Gates adds. “So you don’t have to use a keyboard. So a machine like this could be taken into a meeting, or out on a sales call, and used in a very natural way. We’re making sure that it’s easy for people to work with Windows for Pen Computing.”Byron Bishop, then a lowly product engineer (later ascending to become the executive vice president of Expedia, and beyond) shows off the tablet interface by first clicking a calendar tab, then a date, then pulls up a schedule. The Pen Computing interface allows Bishop to draw an amusing little map of the location (no calendar-to-map integration, then!) which is saved as digital ink, automatically. Bishop also then scrawls in a new appointment, which is automatically converted into text and saved. markhachman Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Unfortunately, certain elements of the Windows for Pen Computing interface were found to infringe upon patents held by GO Corp., a rival and pioneer in tablet computing. In 2005, Go filed suit against Microsoft; technology developed by GO eventually found its way to Alcatel-Lucent, which successfully sued Microsoft for $512 million for patent violations.Still, the video is impressive, not just for the history, but as a reminder that Windows 3 was actually useful. If you buy a new Surface, remember, some of its capabilities Microsoft has touted are more than two decades old.last_img read more

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RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat dons vest after his kurta goes for repairwork

first_imgIllustration by HadimaniRSS chief Mohan Bhagwat strongly believes in Gandhian austerity to the extent that he packs only a spare kurta when he travels. During a recent RSS brainstorming session in MP’s Dhar district, some leaders pointed out a wardrobe malfunction- Bhagwat’s kurta was torn near the pocket.The RSS chief,Illustration by HadimaniRSS chief Mohan Bhagwat strongly believes in Gandhian austerity to the extent that he packs only a spare kurta when he travels. During a recent RSS brainstorming session in MP’s Dhar district, some leaders pointed out a wardrobe malfunction- Bhagwat’s kurta was torn near the pocket.The RSS chief handed the garment to volunteers and asked them to locate a tailor to fix it. In the meantime, he sported a vest and remained indoors for an hour because his spare kurta had not dried after a wash.Clearly, the top BJP leadership, that changes stylish kurtas at the drop of a hat, is yet to learn from the Parivar head.last_img read more

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Asian Athletics Championships 2019: Dutee breaks record, Hima Das injured in heats

first_imgDutee Chand proved worthy of medal expectations as she broke her own national record to qualify for the women’s 100m semi-finals on the first day of the 23rd Asian Athletics Championships at the Khalifa International Stadium, Doha, on Sunday.Dutee timed her personal best of 11.28s in the heats, breaking her national record of 11.29s, to emerge the fastest qualifier in Doha.Dutee was the fastest qualifier as she clocked 11.28s in the heats, breaking her own national record of 11.29s set in Guwahati last year.That’s Dutee Chand after improving her own National Record with a timing of 11.28s this morning in 100m (W) heats at #AAC2019 #DohaAll the best champ for finals!#AsianAthletics @qatarathletics @[email protected] pic.twitter.com/AhwegDyjUdAthletics Federation of India (@afiindia) April 21, 2019In 2018, the Indian sprinter had won silver in women’s 100m at the Jakarta Asian Games, gifting her country its first in this event since 1998.Elsewhere, another medal hope for India, Hima Das, pulled out halfway through women’s 400m semi-finals owing to an injury. However, her counterpart MR Poovamma qualified for the 400m final, finishing second with a time of 52.46.Junior World champion and Asian Games silver medallist Hima Das suffered a back pain to crash out of the tournament.Official statement on @HimaDas8″She had spasm at L4 and L5. The Doctor who attended her said informed us and he said nothing serious. She will be OK within a day or two”- Radhakrishnan Nair, Deputy Chief Coach #India.#AAC2019 #AsianAthleticsPC- @rahuldpawar pic.twitter.com/Lvry9j4KT7advertisementAthletics Federation of India (@afiindia) April 21, 2019The 19-year-old came in lighlight in 2018, winning a 400m gold at the World U20 Championships. Hima is currently also the national holder with 50.79s clocked in the 2018 Asian Games.In men’s 400m category, Muhammad Anas finished third in his heat with a time of 46.36s to make it to the semi-finals.In other events, Asian Games silver medallist Jinson Johnson finished second in his heats with a time of 1:53.43s to qualify for the 800m semi-finals while Gomathi Marimuthu clocked 2:04.96 to finish second in her heats and qualify for the 800m finals.In 400m, Arokia Rajiv qualified for the semi-finals, winning his heats with a timing of 46.25s.This Asian Championships is crucial as the gold medallist gets the automatic qualification for the World Championships. This competition is also an ideal platform to accumulate ranking points if an athlete fails to achieve the stiff entry standards prescribed by the international federation.Also read | Sri Lanka serial blasts: Virat Kohli, Sachin Tendulkar condemn ‘act of terror’Also Read | Riyan Parag, the boy who almost became IPL’s youngest half-centurion, loves soft toysAlso Seelast_img read more

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Does Torontos Game 1 Win Spell Doom For The Warriors

Check out our latest NBA predictions. sara.ziegler: FiveThirtyEight’s most valuable player (valuable in the most literal sense), Pascal Siakam had an amazing NBA Finals debut, scoring 32 points on 14-of-17 shooting. How surprised were you at how well he played?tchow: You could say Siakam was shining bright like a pendeloque last night.neil: LOLOur model definitely thinks highly of Siakam as a player, but I’m not going to say I saw him scoring 30+ going in. He had 32 points on 82 percent shooting!!! That’s the fourth-best shooting percentage in a 30-plus-point finals game EVER, according to Basketball-Reference.com.chris.herring: The Warriors got a lot of questions here about Siakam after last night’s performance. Draymond Green said it’s clear that Siakam is “a guy” now — meaning that we might not have treated him as a difference-maker before, but we sure as hell will now.sara.ziegler: He’s a ⭐️ now.chris.herring: Golden State basically acknowledged leaving certain guys open to begin the game in hopes of taking away Kawhi Leonard. That process worked, in a way. Leonard wasn’t efficient.But as a result, everyone else — particularly Siakam and Marc Gasol, who played brilliantly — got going. Danny Green was also himself again. And Golden State was never able to turn off that faucet.neil: Siakam might be a problem for the Warriors going forward. They didn’t have many good options to stop him. He scored 16 directly on Draymond. He also showcased his dangerous range as a 3-point shooter when rotations broke down or he trailed the play.chris.herring: I understand why GSW was willing to take that gamble with Siakam. He’s become very good from the corners but is right around 30 percent — if not worse — from above the arc. The real issue was letting him get whatever he wanted in transition. He was 5 of 5 in transition and hit 11 shots in a row at one point — the longest streak in a finals game over the last 20 years. As good as he is, that simply can’t happen in a game like that if you’re the Warriors.Golden State gave credit to Siakam but also largely chalked the game up to them not having seen this Raptors club before. They hadn’t played since early December, and Toronto has added Gasol, while Kawhi obviously took turns in and out of the lineup to rest.sara.ziegler: Yeah, no one was expecting this from Siakam, so game-planning it would have been tricky.chris.herring: I feel like I should get my apology in now.Although I don’t know if I’m apologizing to a person or an algorithm.neil: Or are you apologizing directly to CARMELO Anthony? Lol.chris.herring: Our model narrowly had Toronto winning this series. I ruled that possibility out pretty swiftly last week.But Thursday’s game was enough for me to think that their defense is good enough to win the series — particularly if Durant doesn’t return, and perhaps even if Durant is back but doesn’t jell right away after the long layoff.neil: I wanted to go back to what you said about loading up to stop Kawhi. Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala did a good job limiting his efficiency, although it seems like that played a little into Toronto’s hands. Jackie MacMullan had a great reaction story about just how many other efficient options the Raptors have now if a team tries to focus too much on Kawhi.Only two of the seven Raptors who played at least 10 minutes averaged fewer than 1.2 points per individual possession, according to Basketball-Reference. (For reference, the Warriors as a team averaged 1.17 points per possession in the game.)sara.ziegler: And even with Kawhi bottled up, he still scored 23.neil: And! I worry about Iguodala’s health after he came up limping late. He did the bulk of the job guarding Leonard.tchow: So far, it looks like he’ll be OK, though.chris.herring: Yeah. That was the one other concern we mentioned in the preview: While the Warriors clearly could use Durant on offense, their defense becomes really, really thin on the wings without him. Especially if Iguodala is hurt or isn’t himself. This is now the second time he’s been banged up — he didn’t play in Game 4 against the Blazers, either.Speaking of Durant: The Raptors’ starting front court outscored Golden State’s 75-18.neil: 👀sara.ziegler: WowHow much of a problem is that for the Warriors? If there’s no scoring help for Steph and Klay?neil: Certainly Draymond wasn’t much of a factor. Yes, he got the rare 10-10-10 triple double, but he also shot 2 of 9 from the floor and was a minus-8.chris.herring: They’re now 29-2 when he records a triple-double.neil: And both losses have come this postseason.chris.herring: I think what we saw yesterday is this: The Warriors, without KD, don’t have anyone who can shoot outside of Curry and Thompson.sara.ziegler: That seems … bad.chris.herring: I think Quinn Cook is probably the most reliable guy outside of those two.neil: How weird is it to think about the Warriors not having enough shooting?chris.herring: That’s where Durant’s ability to get his own shot comes in handy. He forces enough defensive attention to where he can play other guys open. Generally speaking, Steph often commands a second defender’s attention, so that’s enough to get someone else open and get the ball moving. It’s a tougher task when the other team can guard him and everyone else straight up.sara.ziegler: And Klay doesn’t really create his own shots.chris.herring: We haven’t talked much about DeMarcus Cousins’s return, but that’s both the blessing and the curse of having himYou hope he can create an occasional double-team. But by the same token, his spot could have been used on a guard — and I think some people were of that opinion when they first got him: that the Warriors might have been better served by having another shooter.neil: Yeah, I thought the Warriors might go smaller and take somebody like Gasol out of the game, but either Kevon Looney or Jordan Bell played most of the game, and Gasol logged nearly 30 minutes. Meanwhile, Cousins played eight minutes and didn’t really do much of note.chris.herring: He looked a little rusty, but he made a few really nice passes.It’s tough to get your first playing time in weeks and weeks at this level, in the finals. Same may be true of Durant, honestly, if and when he comes back.tchow: It feels like it might be too soon to judge Cousins, but this is the problem of reintroducing someone like him back into the lineup during the finals.chris.herring: Exactly.neil: And that might be one of the ways our model was overrating the Warriors. It considered him one of the biggest talents of the series, which is true, but didn’t factor in the injury comeback.chris.herring: Not to mention the fact that Golden State has been better with Cousins off the court this season.Albeit with Durant playing more often than not.tchow: Yeah, Neil, it probably did overrate the Warriors because of his return. He ranked as the fifth most valuable player (behind Curry, Durant, Leonard and Lowry) according to our projections.neil: And at full health, that might be true in terms of skills. But that was a lot to expect with him easing back into playing.sara.ziegler: While Cousins did play a bit, the other injured Warrior was spotted high-fiving teammates behind the scenes. What did you make of Durant traveling with the team?neil: It has to be an encouraging sign for his chances of returning sooner rather than later, right?sara.ziegler: Is there a chance he plays in Game 2?chris.herring: No, it sounds like he won’t. Kerr was pretty firm about him needing to practice before having a chance to play.They’ll have another two practices — today and again on Saturday — before Game 2. But it doesn’t sound like he’ll be ready to practice here in Toronto before they suit up again Sunday.neil: The good thing about the finals is the sheer gap in days between games.Game 1 on a Thursday — Game 2 … all the way on Sunday.sara.ziegler: He has at least resumed “basketball activities,” which is my favorite phrase in all of basketball.neil: That reminds me, I need to go to the gym and “resume basketball activities” as well.sara.ziegler: 🤣So what do the Warriors need do to even the series?neil: Well, it seems obvious that Siakam won’t be down for 30+ again, so they have that going for them.chris.herring: Be a little less focused on stopping Kawhi to make sure that the other Raptors don’t overtake Jurassic Park again.And they have to slow Toronto down in transition, where the Raptors can be wildly efficient.It’s more of a question as to what they do differently on offense. But getting more stops and creating more opportunities to get out and run off those misses will ease some of that concern, I’d think.neil: Yeah, and that probably played a part in Toronto’s 24-17 disparity on fast-break points as well. Not enough stops turning into chances the other way.tchow: They have to play with rhathymia. (Am I using that right?) Just be the fun-loving Warriors we know.sara.ziegler: LOLtchow: I also agree with Neil in that the Warriors could afford to play smaller and get Gasol out of the game. He’s been solid all playoffs like an imbirussú for the Raptors. Otherwise, the Raptors could embarrass you again. Calembour intended.(OK, now I’m just forcing it.)neil: Tony, you’re banned from watching the spelling bee at work ever again.chris.herring: It’s a lot tougher for the Warriors to dictate the tempo without Durant. Playing smaller alone doesn’t get it done if you don’t have enough shooting to force the Raptors to come out and guard you on the perimeter.sara.ziegler: It’s interesting to me, too, that Kyle Lowry didn’t add much on offense again. He had as many field goals as charges forced. If he heats up, that’s a different wrinkle for Toronto.neil: Lowry continued his trend of being associated with strong Raptors play (+11) despite garbage individual stats.chris.herring: Frankly, if they’re getting what they got from everyone else — Green, Gasol and Siakam — they don’t need Lowry to do anything but bring energy. He had massive moments in that last series, and he’s always going to give you what he has on defense.It also helps a ton that VanVleet can stay attached to Curry so well in the minutes that Lowry is taking a breather.tchow: VanVleet was draped over Curry like a ferraiolone and actually guarded Curry for more possessions than Lowry in the end (33 possession vs. 16).chris.herring: O_______oneil: I’ve come around on this, Tony, and I applaud your spelling work here.👏 👏 👏 👏tchow: Can we all pretend to be a marmennill for a minute? What do you think is going to happen now? Do the Warriors still three-peat? Do the Raptors pull this off?sara.ziegler: Our model (which accepts Chris’s apology) now has the Raptors at 63 percent to win it all. That feels right to me.chris.herring: The Raptors are the lone team that the Warriors haven’t beaten this season, and they have now won all three matchups against Golden State. I expect Golden State to respond. But stuff will get SO interesting if Toronto takes Game 2 as well.neil: 63 percent kinda makes more sense than our pre-series projection, to be honest. Home teams that win Game 1 of the NBA Finals win the series 78 percent of the time, historically. So this suggests that Toronto has far less of a talent edge than the typical home team that takes a 1-0 finals lead. Which is definitely true.tchow: This is anecdotal, but I was chatting with my cousin who lives in Toronto during last night’s game, and he said: “There’s just one guy outside our building somewhere screaming at the top of his lungs, ‘Let’s go, Raptors, over and over.” I can’t imagine what that guy will scream if the Raptors pull this off. That city is gonna be WILD.neil: I love seeing how excited Toronto fans are. (Drake aside.) Nav Bhatia was going nuts trying to distract Warrior free-throw shooters.chris.herring: I decided to walk home last night, about 35 minutes to my hotel. These two people were shouting “Let’s go, Raptors!” for entire blocks. I thought it was a crowd of people, and it was actually just those two guys.But between that, and all the car horns going off last night, people are on a noisy cloud here right now. Sort of how Milwaukee was to begin the last series. So we’ll see how it plays out.tchow: The city is gonna be as loud as a large flock of emberizines. From ABC News: sara.ziegler (Sara Ziegler, assistant sports editor): One game into the NBA Finals, and #WarriorsIn4 is already over. But what a first game! The Toronto Raptors led for most of the contest but weren’t able to put away the Golden State Warriors until the very end.tchow (Tony Chow, video producer): I’m gonna be honest. I was second screening Game 1 because my eyes were glued to the Scripps National Spelling Bee. I learned some new words that I’m gonna try to sneak in here, so you all better have your dictionaries ready — I’m about to drop some 🔥neil (Neil Paine, senior sportswriter): Omg, Tonysara.ziegler: TonyThough, I’m not gonna lie, I turned to that after the game was over.neil: Fortunately, the NBA can’t declare an eight-way tie for the championship. (Sorry, Celtics.)sara.ziegler: Chris, you’re in Toronto right now. What was the game like up close?chris.herring (Chris Herring, senior sportswriter): The atmosphere was incredible, and loud — both during the game and then pretty wild after. The fans here are insane.I think the game was what we hoped it would be, after years of watching relatively uncompetitive series with a team that couldn’t defend Golden State well enough. The Raptors’ defense is no joke, and it challenged the Warriors all game long. Toronto presents real problems for a club missing someone like Kevin Durant.neil: Yeah, Chris, this was the Warriors’ 20th-worst shooting game of the season by effective field-goal percentage. They still managed to get to the line, but they had a lot of turnovers, and Toronto held the non-Steph Curry scorers mostly in check. Fred VanVleet even did an admirable job keeping Curry from truly exploding.chris.herring: The Warriors shot 23 percent on contested shots last night, the worst mark they’ve had in a playoff game in the Steve Kerr era, according to ESPN Stats & Information Group.neil: And you have to think that Durant — one of the best tough-shot makers in history — would have boosted that some.chris.herring: Yeah. I’m really curious as to where Curry is going to have problems with VanVleet — we mentioned in our preview that he’d done very little scoring this season — averaging just 10 points per 100 possessions when VanVleet is the man defending him. That continued last night. read more

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Brother of San Diego man killed while fighting for ISIS sentenced to

first_img KUSI Newsroom, SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — Marchello Dsaun McCain, a convicted violent felon and the brother of Douglas McCain, the first known American who died fighting for the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), was sentenced in federal court today to 10 years in prison for his illegal possession of a cache of firearms and body armor and making false statements to federal agents involving international terrorism.In a related case, the United States unsealed a two-count indictment charging Canadian national and former San Diego resident Abdullahi Ahmed Abdullahi with providing, and conspiring with Douglas and other individuals in the United States and Canada to provide, material support to terrorists engaged in violent activities in Syria, that is, a conspiracy to murder, kidnap and maim persons in a foreign country.On March 9, 2014, Douglas McCain departed the U.S. and traveled to Syria where he joined and fought for ISIS.  Approximately five months later, on or about August 25, 2014, Douglas McCain was killed in Syria fighting a battle against the Free Syrian Army. Following Douglas McCain’s death, Federal Bureau of Investigation Joint Terrorism Task Force (FBI-JTTF) agents interviewed Marchello McCain on several occasions from August 26, 2014 through January 23, 2015, when agents arrested him on federal firearms charges.In January 2016, Marchello McCain, who was previously convicted of two felony crimes of violence in Minnesota involving assault with a firearm, pleaded guilty to five counts of possession of firearms and ammunition by a felon and one count of possession of body armor by a violent felon.  Eight months later, in September 2016, he pleaded guilty to making false statements to FBI-JTTF agents concerning his assistance to and knowledge of individuals providing material support (personnel and money) to individuals engaged in violent terrorist activities abroad and ISIS, including Douglas McCain and Abdullahi.MarchelloMcCainSentencingLGcrvsAs part of his guilty pleas, McCain admitted that he made material false statements to the agents about his knowledge of the purpose of his brothers’ travel abroad and the methods of payment and source of monies to fund such travel. McCain acknowledged that he possessed over nine firearms, which included a stolen firearm and several semi-automatic 9 mm pistols, an AR-15 style semi-automatic rifle and an M1 Carbine .30 caliber semi-automatic rifle with a large capacity magazine. Marchello McCain also admitted that on February 13, 2014, approximately three weeks prior to Douglas McCain’s departure to fight in Syria, Marchello McCain went to a San Diego gun range with his brother and shot firearms, including an AR-15 style semi-automatic rifle and a 12-gauge pump-action shotgun.In imposing sentence, the court found that defendant’s obstructive conduct frustrated, delayed and thwarted the United States’ efforts to uncover the scope and membership of conspiracies to provide material support to terrorists and a foreign terrorist organization, ISIS.“ISIS has brought the war on terror closer to home by directing and inspiring attacks in the U.S. and other countries, thereby putting American lives in danger,” said U.S. Attorney Adam Braverman. “By lying to federal agents, Marchello McCain delayed, frustrated and thwarted an investigation into a group that supplied U.S. and Canadian fighters to ISIS. We are committed to doing whatever it takes to protect American lives here and abroad.”“Counter-terrorism investigations are the highest priority investigations conducted by FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces,” commented FBI Special Agent in Charge Eric S. Birnbaum. “When someone misleads or obstructs counter-terrorism investigations, this can adversely affect investigative activity in these important cases. Today’s sentence will hold Mr. McCain accountable for his actions and dissuade others from lying to law enforcement agents concerning international terrorism matters.”The defendant’s lies, including his false statements regarding the source and means of the financing of Douglas’ travel were not only intended to prevent the United States from finding out about the involvement of Abdullahi and others, but were also intended to prevent the discovery of his own involvement.As detailed in the United States’ pleadings, the defendant’s involvement included: agreeing to travel to Syria and join his brother in violent jihadist activities; assisting Douglas and others in traveling to Syria to engage in violent jihadist activities by taking Douglas to a gun range to target shoot semi-automatic weapons; depositing cash into his wife’s bank account and letting Douglas use his wife’s credit card to purchase plane tickets to Turkey, a known entry point for foreign fighters seeking to enter Syria, and to make hotel reservations; regularly communicating with Douglas and other individuals regarding the financial and logistical needs of foreign fighters in Syria; wiring $800 to an ISIS operative in Turkey to support Douglas and/or others engaged in violent jihadist activities; and engaging in obstructive conduct to conceal the material support conspiracies.Notwithstanding the obstructive conduct of McCain, the United States continued its investigation of the terrorist activities of Douglas McCain, Abdullahi and others. On March 10, 2017, a federal grand jury in the Southern District of California returned a two-count sealed indictment charging Abdullahi with conspiring to provide, and providing, material support to terrorists.On September 15, 2017, pursuant to an extradition request by the United States, Canadian authorities arrested Abdullahi. Abdullahi is currently detained in Canadian custody without bail, pending an extradition hearing scheduled for May 31, 2018.  On January 3, 2018, the Abdullahi indictment was unsealed.  Abdullahi is also facing charges in Canada for a January 9, 2014 armed robbery of an Edmonton jewelry store.The Abdullahi indictment alleges that from in or about August 2013 through in or about November 2014, Abdullahi conspired with Douglas and other individuals to provide personnel and money to individuals engaged in terrorist activities in Syria, including the killing, kidnapping and maiming of persons. The charged conspiracy alleges the participation and/or assistance of Abdullahi and approximately 14 other individuals and spans four countries, the United States, Canada, Turkey and Syria.In preparation for their travels, Douglas and other members of the conspiracy practiced with firearms in San Diego and Canada. According to the indictment, Abdullahi, Douglas and others agreed to travel to Syria to support and join terrorist fighters engaged in terrorist activity, including the killing, kidnapping and maiming of persons.In order to raise funds to support their efforts to support and join terrorist fighters in Syria, members of the conspiracy encouraged others to commit crimes against the “kuffar” (an Arabic term meaning infidels or non-believers), such as theft. In furtherance of this material support conspiracy, the indictment alleges that on January 9, 2014, prior to the travel of Douglas and another co-conspirator, Abdullahi committed an armed robbery of a jewelry store in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, in order to finance the travel of Douglas and other members of the conspiracy to Syria.  Thereafter, Abdullahi wired and caused others to wire money to other members of the conspiracy in the United States — including approximately $3,100 to Douglas – in order to finance the travel of foreign fighters from North America to support and join terrorist fighters engaged in terrorist activities in Syria.Additionally, members of the conspiracy, including Abdullahi, wired and caused money to be wired to third-party intermediaries in Gaziantep, Turkey (located approximately 40 miles from the Syrian border) for the purpose of supporting members of the conspiracy fighting and engaging in terrorist activity in Syria, including the killing, kidnapping, an maiming of persons.The government alleges that because of the efforts of Abdullahi and other co-conspirators, beginning in November 2013 through November 2014, five co-conspirators, including Douglas McCain, traveled from North America to Syria, via Turkey, and acted as foreign fighters in Syria engaging in terrorist activity in Syria, including the murder of persons.  Douglas McCain was killed in battle fighting for ISIS in August 2014.  The remaining four co-conspirators were all killed in Syria in mid-November 2014. Brother of San Diego man killed while fighting for ISIS sentenced to 10 years on terrorism-related charges January 12, 2018 Posted: January 12, 2018center_img KUSI Newsroom Updated: 4:25 PM Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

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