Hyderabad, Jun 11 (PTI) Cyclists from across the country will take part in the third edition of the Infinity Ride to be held from August 9 to 15 to raise funds for specially-abled athletes.”Hundreds of cyclists from the country as well as from abroad will participate in the Infinity Ride from Hyderabad to Tirupati via Amravathi, a route which is close to about 722 kilometres, from August 9 to 15 to raise funds,” said para cyclist Aditya Mehta, founder of the Aditya Mehta Foundation (AMF), who announced the launch of Infinity Ride here today.The ride aims to not only support with top class equipments for para athletes but also to extend them healthcare and coaching facilities in their quest to become international champions, said Mehta, who himself will also be cycling and accompany the riders all through the journey.The additional aim is to raise awareness about sport among not only the specially-abled athletes but also people in general, he said in a release adding AMF has been working very closely with the various wings of the Armed Forces to counsel, find, nurture and support the talents and transform them into para athletes.The fund that will be generated through the fund-raiser will be used for the well-being and the training purposes to be able to compete at the global level, added Mehta. PTI VVK NRB
Lazio deny reports of deal for Liverpool winger Bobby Adekanyeby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveLazio have denied reports of a deal for Liverpool winger Bobby Adekanye.Adekanye, who joined Liverpool from Barcelona in 2015, has been linked with Lazio in the last few days.However, the Serie A club said in a statement on their official website on Monday that no deal is in place.It read: “In reference to the news released by some media, according to which SS Lazio have found an agreement with the player Bobby Adekanye, the club denies this and announces that it has not signed any contract, nor has it started negotiations for the aforementioned player.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Ex-Man Utd midfielder Hargreaves: Greenwood just like Van Persieby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveMason Greenwood has compared to Robin van Persie by former Manchester United midfielder Owen Hargreaves.Greenwood’s brilliant goal gave United a 1-0 win over Astana at Old Trafford on Thursday.And Hargreaves saw glimpses of former United striker van Persie in the 17-year-old.He said: “I think you have to take the positives on a night like this and the positives are that they kept a clean sheet and Mason Greenwood scored a stunning goal.”It reminded me a little bit of Robin van Persie, chopping inside onto that right foot and scoring a great goal.”I’m really happy for him because, as you saw (Bukayo) Saka for Arsenal, the night was all about the academies really.”They produced tonight for Arsenal and for Manchester United .”
Brighton boss Potter dips into pocket to help Ostersunds rescue fundby Paul Vegas16 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveBrighton boss Graham Potter has dipped into his pocket to help Ostersunds’ rescue fund.The Swedish club is battling to stay financially afloat this season.Former OFK coach Potter has contributed to the club’s fighting fund to pay back a tax debt.A statement on the club’s Facebook page read: “OFK’s former coach Graham Potter, together with his colleagues at Brighton, Björn Hamberg, Billy Reid and Kyle Macaulay, went in and made a big contribution to ÖFK in our ‘I believe in this’ campaign. “A big thank you to these four coaches for helping us!” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
About the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Matthijs de Ligt admits confidence knocked at Juventusby Carlos Volcano10 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveMatthijs de Ligt admits his confidence has taken a hit since leaving Ajax for Juventus.The defender, 20, has had a slow start to his Juve career.”I’m still not at my best, I know that,” he said after Netherlands’ 2-1 win in Belarus yesterday.“The more I play, the more I’ll get there. What I can do is keep working hard, doing my best and learning from my teammates.“At Ajax I felt a sense of invincibility. Now I feel less so, but it’s natural. I have a little less confidence than I did last season.“I’m at a new club, with a new style of play and new teammates. For me, it’s all new. It’s less familiar than at Ajax, but I’m getting better and better.”
TORONTO – The Bank of Montreal is taking a first step towards artificial-intelligence powered customer service by launching chatbots that can field questions via Facebook Messenger and Twitter.The deployment of such technology is the latest move by a Canadian bank to beef up its digital capabilities as customers increasingly conduct their banking on mobile phones and computers, rather than over the phone or in a brick-and-mortar branch.BMO developed the Facebook chatbot in partnership with Vancouver-based Finn.ai and the Twitter one with Toronto-based Massively.They will only answer customer questions such as how to view their account balances or transfer money, not perform transactions, such as paying a bill, themselves, even though chatbots have the capability and some financial institutions are adopting it already.BMO is exploring adding further functions to the virtual robots’ repertoire, but is treading slowly to ensure customers’ personal information discussed on platforms outside of their own digital properties is secure, said Brett Pitts, BMO’s chief digital officer.“We’re not starting in a place where people are entering personal information, or making payments or balances or any of those type of things… We have to be very thoughtful about those elements before we are comfortable rolling out the next generation of features,” Pitts said in an interview.The chatbots have been fed with the top customer questions received at BMO’s call centre and their websites. Both chatbots will learn over time, but customers will also have the option to talk to a live customer service representative on Facebook and Twitter during business hours, he added.Other Canadian banks have either been testing or rolling out chatbots on Facebook and Twitter as well. In October last year, Calgary-based ATB Financial launched a virtual banking assistant in conjunction with Finn.ai that allows users to do transactions such as paying bills via Facebook Messenger. Also in October, Toronto-Dominion Bank announced an agreement with Kasisto to integrate its AI-powered interactive chat interface into the lender’s mobile app.TD and BMO are also among the financial institutions that have developed a voice app, called a skill, that allow customers to ask questions via Amazon’s voice-activated assistant, Alexa.These technologies can help these financial institutions both save costs and address higher volumes of customer requests.The Big Five Canadian lenders have been in a technological arms race in recent years and have been ramping up investment and spending to stay ahead of the curve.Last year, BMO increased its technology spending by 13 per cent, and expects that expenditure to grow in the double digits moving forward, its chief executive Darryl White told an industry conference in January.Meanwhile, the physical footprint of Canada’s five largest lenders is shrinking, as they close or remove more branches than they are opening.In the 2017 fiscal year, these banks collectively opened or relocated 39 and 29 branches, respectively, but closed 170 brick-and-mortar locations, according to their public accountability statements. BMO closed 19 branches, but opened three and relocated nine in the 12 months ended Oct. 31, 2017.Its a reflection of changing banking patterns among Canadian consumers. A 2016 survey commissioned by the Canadian Bankers Association shows that 51 per cent say online or internet banking was their primary method, up from 47 per cent in 2012. Mobile banking was the route of choice for 17 per cent of those surveyed, up from five per cent four years earlier. ATMs and tellers were falling out of favour, at 16 per cent and 12 per cent respectively, compared to 26 per cent and 17 per cent in 2012.BMO will be investing in its traditional digital platforms, but will be looking at different ways to interact with customers, particularly in conversational interfaces, said Pitts.“Clearly, there are a number of indications that we are going to be thinking more flexibly about digital distribution.”
LIMA, Peru — The top U.S. trade official has taken the first step toward potential sanctions on Peru for allegedly violating the environmental protections included in its free trade pact.U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer announced Friday that the Trump administration has requested consultations with Peru. The consultations are aimed at opening a diplomatic channel to resolve the dispute before advancing toward more punitive measures.Peru recently moved an agency monitoring the nation’s notoriously corrupt logging industry to be under the Environment Ministry. The agency is required to be independent under the U.S-Peru trade pact.Peru’s government contends the forest auditor’s office remains independent despite the shift.The case could have broader implications as Washington debates ratifying a new North American free trade deal.The Associated Press
Story courtesy Nikkei Asian Review: https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Business-Deals/Long-stalled-LNG-plant-revived-as-Asia-ditches-coal TOKYO, JAPAN — The Nikkei Asian Review is reporting that Japan-based JGC Corp and U.S. firm Fluor have won a contract to design and build the LNG Canada liquefied natural gas project for an estimated $14 billion.Nikkei has not named sources in its article, but says that LNG Canada should begin liquefying natural gas for shipments to China, South Korea and other Asian markets by roughly 2023. Transporting LNG to Asia takes just eight days from the B.C. North Coast, compared with 20 days from the Gulf of Mexico and 14 from the Middle East.China surpassed South Korea last year to become the second-largest importer by volume, a 50 percent from 2016. Japan ranks as the world’s largest importer, while demand is also growing in India and Southeast Asia.
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Volunteers are needed to help residents of the Old Fort.On Sunday, the Peace River Regional District said they would let some residents temporarily enter their homes starting Monday. Local volunteers Jeff Garrison and MP Bob Zimmer were also asked on Sunday to help organize volunteers that will help residents winterize their homes and help move any belongings using riverboats.In a video posted to Facebook late Sunday night, Garrison said “what we are looking for volunteers to provide riverboats, people to help move items. There is nothing we can’t use you for.” If you would like to help, meet at Evangel Downtown Church on Monday night from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Garrison says volunteers will be needed starting on Tuesday.Last week Jeff Garrison and Bob Zimmer lead a group of volunteers to residents in the Old Fort, despite the evacuation order being in place. Following that effort, the Peace River Regional District offered to work with the group once the area became safe to access.
Lance Armstrong‘s historic straight Tour de France cycling championships never happened. That’s what the UCI, the international governing body of the sport, said in its scathing support of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s report that Armstrong used performance-enhancing drugs in a wide-ranging fashion during his legendary career.His career is now notorious.Once considered the greatest rider in Tour history, the American was cast aside like a flat tire by his sport Monday, formally stripped of his seven titles and banned for life for his involvement in what U.S. sports authorities describe as a massive doping program that tainted all of his greatest triumphs. The Tour de France wants the prize money he received back. Professionally, it cannot get much worse for Armstrong.“Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling, and he deserves to be forgotten in cycling,” said Pat McQuaid, president of the International Cycling Union. “This is a landmark day for cycling.”McQuaid announced that his group, known as UCI, accepted sanctions imposed by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and would not appeal them to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. McQuaid said he was “sickened” by some of the evidence detailed by USADA in its 200-page report and hundreds of pages of supporting testimony and documents.The condemnation by cycling’s most senior official confirmed Armstrong’s pariah status, after the UCI had backed Armstrong at times in trying to seize the doping investigation from USADA. McQuaid said the UCI endorsed a lifelong ban for Armstrong after almost two weeks studying the American agency’s evidence, and will meet Friday to discuss going after his 2000 Olympic bronze medal.Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme said he no longer considers Armstrong to be a champion from 1999 to 2005 and wants him to pay back his prize money.“We wish that there is no winner for this period,” he said in Paris. “For us, very clearly, the titles should remain blank. Effectively, we wish for these years to remain without winners.”Armstrong’s representatives had no immediate comment, but the rider was defiant in August as he chose not to fight USADA in one of the agency’s arbitration hearings. He argued the process was rigged against him.“I know who won those seven Tours, my teammates know who won those seven Tours, and everyone I competed against knows who won those seven Tours,” Armstrong said then. “The toughest event in the world where the strongest man wins. Nobody can ever change that.”