Press release: Secretary of State approves first City Deal for Northern Ireland

first_imgIt is hoped the deal will see the delivery of more than 20 projects to help create up to 20,000 new and better jobs alongside an increase in productivity levels, as well as having a positive impact on the most deprived communities, delivering a balanced spread of benefits across the region.Speaking on behalf of the Belfast Region City Deal partners, Belfast Lord Mayor Councillor Deirdre Hargey said: I am absolutely delighted to sign the heads of terms for the Belfast City Deal. The signing of a Heads of Terms for the Belfast Region City Deal is a significant milestone in our journey towards substantial investment in inclusive regional regeneration. Communities Secretary, Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP, said: This is an investment which will improve quality of life for people living here and further enhance our attractiveness as a destination of choice for investors, visitors, new residents and students alike. I am also engaging closely with the Chancellor to secure a financial announcement for the Derry-Londonderry Region City Deal and help unlock the huge potential that Derry-Londonderry has to offer. The UK Government is committed to developing a comprehensive and ambitious set of City Deals across Northern Ireland and delivering a stronger economy that works for everyone. It’s testament to the power of collaboration and partnership and we look forward to progressing plans with our wide range of partners, including our colleagues working to deliver a programme of investment for Derry-Londonderry and the North West region. Antrim & Newtownabbey Ards & North Down Belfast Lisburn and Castlereagh Newry, Mourne & Down Mid & East Antrim The UK Government has committed £350 million of funding to support and encourage economic development across the region, creating jobs and boosting prosperity. This is tremendous news for the communities and businesses living and operating in the Belfast City region. Innovation and digital – creating global centres of innovation excellence in partnership with enhanced digital capability and connectivity; Infrastructure – including Phase 2 of the Belfast Rapid Transit scheme; Tourism and regeneration – delivering a series of internationally visible tourism products and the transformation of key towns across the region; and*Employability and skills – facilitating a strong, complementary employability and skills package to deliver the right skills base to support the growth and opportunities created by this Belfast Region City Deal investment. The ambitious programme will help grow the region’s business strengths in life and health sciences; ICT, digital and creative industries, and advanced manufacturing. It will also support digital development and tourism-led regeneration across the entire region, underpinned by infrastructure developments and investment in skills to connect people to jobs and services.For more information on the proposed programme of investment, click here. You can also follow #BRcitydeal on Twitter.ENDSNOTES TO EDITORS:Click Head of Terms Document with Signatures (PDF, 1.02MB, 10 pages) for the full Heads of Terms document which sets out further details of the projects being proposed. All projects will be subject to the approval of final business cases.Belfast Region City Deal incorporates six of the 11 councils in Northern Ireland: This transformative deal will bolster innovation, productivity and prosperity across the region, and I am delighted to see the hard work which has gone into this deal come to fruition. Alongside Queen’s University and Ulster University, and Regional Further Education colleges, including Belfast Met, Northern Regional College, South Eastern Regional College and the Southern Regional College, it provides a truly collaborative approach to this multi-million pound investment programme and helping to drive economic development across the region, boosting jobs, creating opportunity and encouraging further inward investment.Some of the 22 proposed projects include: The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, the Rt Hon Karen Bradley MP, has signed the Heads of Terms for the Belfast City Deal, alongside the Belfast City Regional Deal partners and the Northern Ireland Civil Service.This is a major milestone towards the completion of the first City Deal for Northern Ireland. The Belfast Region City Deal will see the UK Government invest £350 million into the Belfast Region over the next 15 years. It is proposed that this figure will be matched by the Northern Ireland Executive once the devolved institutions are restored.The City Deal will be further bolstered by co-investment of upwards of £150m from Belfast Region City Deal partners and investment by the private sector is anticipated to bring the total investment package to over £1 billion.The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, the Rt Hon Karen Bradley MP said:last_img read more

Hammers swoop for Song

first_img Song revealed it was a conversation with Hammers boss Sam Allardyce that led to his decision to move to east London and he is targeting European qualification. “When I spoke to the manager, he gave me very good advice,” he told “I had a very good chat with him and that’s why I am coming here. We have to do better than last season. I think the club has very good ambition and I hope we can maybe catch the European positions, because that would be very good for the club. “West Ham is looking to be a very, very big club in the future. The club has a great project and it is a very big project with very big ambition. “I think it’s great for the fans that the club wants to be one of the biggest in England. That’s why I chose to come here. I always said that if I was to leave (Barcelona) one day I would return to the Premier League. “It was a very hard decision when you have options of a lot of clubs who are playing in the Champions League, but at the end of the day I chose West Ham because I wanted to come to the Premier League.” Song, who won one Primera Division title during his spell in Spain, is likely to be West Ham’s final summer signing – taking the total of new recruits to eight. Carl Jenkinson has also joined on loan while Aaron Cresswell, Cheikhou Kouyate, Enner Valencia, Diafra Sakho, Diego Poyet and Mauro Zarate have been signed on permanent deals. West Ham have announced the signing of Barcelona midfielder Alex Song on a season-long loan. Press Association The 26-year-old Cameroon international struggled to hold down a regular place at the Nou Camp following a move from Arsenal in 2012 and returns to the Barclays Premier League with the Hammers – who paraded their new addition to fans ahead of the clash with Southampton. Clubs throughout Europe were put on alert when it emerged Song would be allowed to leave Barcelona – with West Ham having won the race to take him to Upton Park on a temporary basis despite reported interest from the likes of Napoli and Galatasaray. Allardyce said he hoped to complete one more deal before Monday’s transfer deadline and, with the acquisition of Song, it would be seen as a surprise if any other new faces came in. Song was sent off in Cameroon’s 4-0 World Cup defeat to Croatia in his last competitive game and could make his debut in the Premier League trip to Hull after the international break, following in the footsteps of his cousin Rigobert Song, who turned out for the Hammers between 2000 and 2002. Although Allardyce also insisted he did not foresee anyone leaving, bringing in Song leaves doubts over the future of Mohamed Diame – who has been heavily linked with a move to QPR. last_img read more

To Sleep, To Dream: To Dream, Perchance, to Learn

first_imgWhen you have learned a complex task, take a nap and dream about it.  A new study shows that dreaming helps consolidate the memory in your mind and helps you perform the task better next time around.    Science Daily reported on research by scientists at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.  They tested 99 subjects by having them learn a 3D maze.  Some subjects reviewed the task while awake; others were given a 90 minute nap.  A few hours later, the subjects were retested on their ability to work the maze.  Only the subjects who napped and dreamed about the maze performed better – up to 10 times better.    Dr. Robert Strickgold, an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and senior author of the study, was surprised and excited about these results.  “What’s got us really excited, is that after nearly 100 years of debate about the function of dreams, this study tells us that dreams are the brain’s way of processing, integrating and really understanding new information,” he said.  “Dreams are a clear indication that the sleeping brain is working on memories at multiple levels, including ways that will directly improve performance.”    Even though subjects reported diverse dreams about the maze, like being lost in a bat cave, or just hearing the background music from the maze, dreaming appeared to be associated with success in the second trial.  Just thinking about the maze while awake did not have the same beneficial effect.  One researcher thought “that the dreams were an outward reflection that the brain had been busy at work on this very task.”  In other words, the dreams don’t cause you to remember the task – they are just indications that the brain is at work consolidating and integrating the information for the next run.  The hippocampus may be solving the details of the maze, while the higher cortical areas may be thinking of how that task applies to other similar complex tasks.  Co-author Dr. Erin Wamsley offered this explanation:“Our [nonconscious] brain works on the things that it deems are most important,” adds Wamsley.  “Every day, we are gathering and encountering tremendous amounts of information and new experiences,”she adds.  “It would seem that our dreams are asking the question, ‘How do I use this information to inform my life?’”Strickgold offered an evolutionary speculation for the apparent unique aspect of brain physiology that allows this integration and consolidation during sleep:“In fact,” says Strickgold, “this may be one of the main goals that led to the evolution of sleep.  If you remain awake [following the test] you perform worse on the subsequent task.  Your memory actually decays, no matter how much you might think about the maze.    “We’re not saying that when you learn something it is dreaming that causes you to remember it,” he adds.  “Rather, it appears that when you have a new experience it sets in motion a series of parallel events that allow the brain to consolidate and process memories.”It appears that just like Phillip Benfey in the 04/23/2010 entry, Dr. Strickgold has just offered a requirement for evolution without a specification for how it could have been fulfilled.  He also begged the question why sleep would evolve as a solution.  In addition, in speaking of “the evolution of” any complex phenomenon, any mention of “one of the main goals” is grounds for disqualification from Darwinism.Sorry to have to keep excusing these Darwinist indiscretions; hope you can pardon the transgressor and move along to the soul of this story, if you will pardon the suggestive term.    Notice Wamsley’s line, “Our [nonconscious] brain works on the things that it deems are most important.”  What is the subject of that sentence?  Is it a piece of meat?  Is it a person?  If it is a person, how can it be you, if you are asleep?  We don’t seem to have much control over our dreams.  Who is doing the deeming during the dreaming of what is most important?  Was Wamsley referring to some ghost in the machine that goes to work when you go to sleep?  These are intriguing questions we may not be equipped to answer.  Similar questions come begging from her line, “It would seem that our dreams are asking the question, ‘How do I use this information to inform my life?’”  Normally we think of sentient beings asking questions, not dreams.    One explanation is to say the brain is like a sophisticated computer.  That way, the brain is not a person, but a physical object, a processing machine.  (How it got programmed, by a designer or by evolution, is another question.)  But that’s a misdirection pretending to be a solution.  Of the many fascinating essays in David Berlinski’s latest book, The Deniable Darwin (see Resource of the Week for 03/13/2010) is his 2004 essay, “On the Origins of the Mind” (pp. 421-441).  He doesn’t provide an answer – he claims all we know so far is “darkness, mystery and magic” about this fundamental question – but his essay is valuable for unmasking the pretensions of evolutionary psychology.    Evolutionists commonly use three similes to naturalize the mind.  They say the brain is like a computer, or a like a secretory organ, or like any other product of natural selection.  Of the first, that the brain is like a computer, Berlinski argued that it suffers from a displacement problem.  “A machine is a material object, a thing, and as such, its capacity to do work is determined by the forces governing its behavior and by its initial conditions,” he said.  “Those initial conditions must themselves be explained, and in the nature of things they cannot be explained by the very device that they serve to explain.”  Trying to simplify the simile by replacing the computer with an abacus, he explained, would do nothing to eliminate the infinite regress.  One still have to explain the human hand, arm, and brain that manipulates the balls of the abacus down the wires with fine muscle control, purpose and intent.  “No chain of causes known to date accommodates the inconvenient fact that, by setting the initial conditions of a simple machine, a human agent brings about a novel, an unexpected, an entirely idiosyncratic distribution of matter.”  The causal chain simply gets pushed back, or displaced, to a point where it can be conveniently ignored.  That’s why the computer analogy is a distraction, not an explanation: “A simile that for its persuasiveness depends on the very process it is intended to explain,” Berlinski chuckled, “cannot be counted a great success.”  Ditto for the other two similes.*    Which leads to the “ordinary, very rich, infinitely moving account of mental life that without hesitation we apply to ourselves.”  Modern secular science disallows mentalistic explanations, even though we use them and take them for granted in everyday “folk psychology” (attributing intentions, reasonings and emotions to one another by visual and auditory cues).  The language of action and intention sounds very soulish.  It is, indeed, the explanation that has endured for thousands of years.  It is intuitive, predictive, and coherent.  When the Darwinian naturalistic detour has remained at square one for 150 years, it seems non-naturalists are being overly magnanimous.  This is especially so when an appeal to an infinite regress is arguably a kind of appeal to supernaturalism.(Visited 31 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Final touches for Ellis Park Stadium

first_img17 February 2009With five months to go before the first ball in the 2009 Fifa Confederations Cup is kicked, renovations at Ellis Park, the host stadium of the opening and final matches of the football tournament, are complete.Giving an update on the status of the venue to last week, Sibongile Mazibuko, the executive director in the City of Johannesburg’s 2010 unit, said great progress had been made.“The stadium itself is now complete and the sub-contractors will be handing over at the end of the month,” Mazibuko said. “The pitch and seating have also been completed … We are excited that this phase is coming to an end and we are happy with the work that has been done.”The Confederations Cup – known as the Festival of Champions as it pits the champions of the six Fifa confederations, the reigning world champions and the next Fifa World Cup hosts against each other – will take place from 14 to 28 June.South American champions Brazil, European champions Spain, African champions Egypt, Asian champions Iraq, Concacaf champions the United States, Oceania champions New Zealand, 2006 World Cup champions Italy, and 2010 hosts South Africa will compete.It will be played at Johannesburg’s Ellis Park Stadium, Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria, Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein, and Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace in Rustenburg.Ellis Park will host three opening round matches:14 June – South Africa vs Iraq18 June – Italy vs Egypt20 June – Iraq vs New ZealandThe stadium will also host the opening and closing ceremony of the football festival.ChangesEllis Park has undergone major changes. The west, south and north stands have been revamped with additional seating and a new roof added. New change rooms, VIP, media and medical facilities and a new entrance façade to the north stand have been built.A new, five-level car park has also been completed and will accommodate 1 200 cars.The revamped Ellis Park Stadium seats 62 000 football fans, increasing its capacity by almost nine percent from the previous 57 000.“All the building work on the stadium is complete. We are now busy with outside paving and putting final touches to the parkade area,” says the stadium manager, Paul Appalsamy.Precinct upgradeThe completion of Ellis Park Stadium sees focus shifting towards sprucing up the area around the stadium ahead of the Confederations Cup and the World Cup in 2010.The regeneration falls under the Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA), and Nyiko Gudlhuza, the JDA project manager, says work on the Ellis Park precinct is 86 percent complete.“We expect all work around the stadium to be done by end of March 2009. We have completed paving around the stadium and built two ablution blocks,” Gudlhuza said. “A water feature between Ellis Park Stadium and Johannesburg Stadium is currently being built while landscaping and putting up artwork is complete.”The Olympic-size swimming pool in the sports precinct has also been upgraded, according to Gudlhuza. “However, installation of CCTV cameras will be done early in April.”Source: City of Johannesburglast_img read more

7 years, 327 DNFs, 2 Finds — A Real Challenge (GC1764C) Lives Up to Its Name

first_img SharePrint RelatedMotorcycle Geocaching – Two Wheels, One Mission to ExploreJanuary 31, 2012In “Community”Welcome to the New Look of The Geocaching BlogJune 7, 2013In “Community”Turn that frown upside downDecember 18, 2018In “News” Share with your Friends:More A little geocache frustration from geocacher The Wumpus, with Leaderdog and Tape Worm in the background, while on the search for A Real Challenge.Editor’s Note: Updated in September 2013 with additional DNF numbers.Another Editor’s note: Updated August 2014 to include the second find!In this week’s Geocaching Weekly Mailer, we talked about logging DNFs (did not find). While no one yearns to log a DNF, they’re a necessary part of the game. DNFs can mean all sorts of things: the geocache has been moved, needs maintenance, or in the case of A Real Challenge (GC1764C), it could mean that it’s incredibly hard to find.With 247 DNFs and only one find, A Real Challenge lives up to its name. In fact, it took nearly four years for the FTF. This geocache was hidden near Peoria, Illinois, USA by geocacher Fuzzy B, who set out with the goal of creating something he’s never seen before, which, with nearly 46,000 finds, is hard to do. “I have felt a little guilty that so many people have spent so much time searching for it,” he said when asked how it felt to be the owner of such a difficult geocache.In the geocache description, Fuzzy B writes, “Please, to hold down the level of frustration, anger, etc., just put this on your ignore list, it’s not very findable.” But he goes on to reassure us,  “Yes, its there. It’s a shelter Cache, a log in a container. Cache is not in, on, or touching any part of the electrical equipment. It’s not on the roof, or under the shingles, nor the drip edge. Cache is exposed to light and air. Cache is within the footprint of the roof. There is NO reason to damage or destroy Park property.”BransonAdventure after their find.It’s there somewhere…A Real Challenge has only one find so far by geocacher BransonAdventure. “We found at 8:07pm, but waited to log so we could confirm with owner it wasn’t a decoy or mistake. All the way from Nebraska on vacation we extended the Eastward travel just for this cache,” they said in their log, “I will say we spent just a little under 2 hours looking when my husband found it and then to unroll the log, being so excited and shaking felt like it took about as long. The husband and kids did a little jig.” After the find, Fuzzy B came to meet the lucky geocachers.Even if it’s a little discouraging, DNFs are an important part of the game. Just think, if all the people that had searched for A Real Challenge hadn’t logged their DNFs, the FTF wouldn’t have been as special.There’s only one way to find out where this geocache is located, but in the meantime, we can speculate. Where do you think it’s hidden?UPDATE, August 2014:On August 11, 2014, a second intrepid geocacher made this nearly impossible find. This makes only two finds after nearly 7 years and 327 DNFs. Congratulations to wcs24fan for being only the second geocacher to conquer the odds and sign their name on the logbook. In their log, wcs24fan writes, “As the sun was retreating behind the clouds and beginning to paint them hues of various pinks, we were still searching for this well hidden treasure. Hope has a way of making one think they can achieve the unachievable. On this evening, for us, the unachievable was struck down as we made the find! Upon opening the container and seeing the log of the BransonAdventure team in the FTF spot, it was confirmed that we had found what we had hoped for. Excitement and elation bathed us for several minutes as we signed the log and pondered what we had just accomplished. The first to find in 3 years and only the second to find overall! Those feelings would travel with us for hours to come as we made our way through the winding back roads to the interstate and our way home. Thanks Fuzzy for giving us the hope that we could pull this off and the great adventure!”Geocache owner Fuzzy B meets the only geocacher to find A Real Challenge, BransonAdventure.last_img read more

Laxman demands developing quality coaches in the country s

first_imgMumbai, Nov 29 (PTI) Lamenting the lack of recognition to formative coaches, former India batsman VVS Laxman today said that the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) has urged the BCCI to shift its focus from infrastructure to developing a quality pool of coaches.”We never ever gave importance to Desh Prem Azad, who identified and nurtured Kapil Dev till he played for Haryana. After that once you play at the highest level or you play first class cricket, you become mature,” Laxman, who is a part of three-member CAC that also includes Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly, said.Stressing that mentors are more important in a players career than infrastructure, Laxman cited the example of Tendulkars coach Ramakant Achrekar, saying that the iconic batsman was developed by his coach and not by Shivaji Park, the ground where he practised.”I believe that more than infrastructure, a lot of importance should be given to develop quality coaches and that is something, which we have recommended to the BCCI also,” the 43-year-old said while addressing the inaugural session of the CII — Sports Summit 207 in suburban Andheri here.Laxman said that he was fortunate that his maternal uncle identified talent in him when he was young.”My uncle was my mentor. My maternal uncle identified the spark, talent in me and convinced my parents that I got a good chance of playing at the highest level. How many kids have access or an opportunity of having such a guide. I was very fortunate that I had wonderful coaches in the academy where I went to,” Laxman, always remembered for his unbeaten 281 against Australia in Kolkata in 2001, said.advertisement”All the players who you talk to, who have achieved excellence they will tell that there was a mentor or a coach, who was like an elder brother or a father. Sachin was not because of Shivaji Park (a ground in Dadar), Sachin was because of Achrekar Sir. I think the important message there is to invest money in developing those quality coaches,” the stylish batsman explained.The cricketer-turned-commentator also rued the fact that parents in India are still not open about their kids taking up sports as a career option. PTI NRB CM CMlast_img read more

The Weeknd and iHeartRadio show Toronto love

first_imgAdvertisement Facebook Advertisement The Chainsmokers, Hedley, Serena Ryder, Belly, Niall Horan, and Alessia Cara all graced the stage, but undoubtedly it was the starboy from the east+end, the Weeknd, who owned it.The Weeknd spent the last few weeks promoting the release of his new album, Starboy, with popup listening parties and a musical guest star on SNL, but all he had to do was look in his own backyard for love from one of the biggest entertainment powerhouses in the game. Advertisement Login/Register With:center_img BY AUNDREYA FOR EBOSS CANADAAundreya is an expansive force on the artistic scene; respectively, a successful model, writer, actor and producer. She focuses on bringing authentic and relatable content to life, working with and bridging the gaps amid a broadening network of creative talent. Perpetually prolific, find her online at and Every year, several times a year, the iHeartRadio music franchise serves up instant gratification and good times to thousands of people by way of radio hits. Giving airtime to a spectrum of musical tastes, the massive success of the brand’s core festival led to event spinoffs, like the iHeartRadio Summer Pool Party and the holiday party to end all holiday parties, the 2016 iHeartRadio Jingle Ball tour.On November 25, the iHeartJingleBall stopped for the first time ever in Canada.Browse iHeartRadio Canada’s guide to the performers on the Toronto stop of the 2016 Jingle Ball Tour (links, bios & more) LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitterlast_img read more

Now for the weekend TCI calendar…

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppBlue Haven Resort’s grand opening weekend begins on Friday at Salt Bar & Grill with the ‘Blue your mind’ party, on Saturday and Sunday there will be beach volleyball, an art & craft fair, opening of Fire & Ice lounge and a beach soccer tourney.Friday evening Paradise Arts hosts an art show at the gallery in Grace Bay.Saturday morning, there is a clean-up of the Bight and Grace Bay with TCI Shines and the Tourist Board to wrap up TEAM; volunteers will meet at the Bight Park and Tropicana Plaza at 6:30am.Saturday and Sunday the 12th Sandals Resorts Star Awards takes place at the French Village, where top travel agents will be rewarded.Saturday night will also be for fashion as the JerritJermell spring collection will be unveiled at Club Pillows. The North Caicos designer Jermell Wiliams, said he was inspired by the TCI waters with this line.Sunday, the Kiwanis Club welcomes residents to down town Provo for the Annual Christmas Tree Lighting concert and gift giving ceremony it starts at 7pm. Related Items:calendarlast_img read more

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