Business Minister Dominic Gaskin, who is tasked with responsibility for tourism, has admitted that there was a grave need for more training in the hospitality sector in order to bring more tourists to the country.Gaskin told Guyana Times during a recent interview that although efforts were being made to increase the number of airlines serving the country, persons who make direct contact with visitors should be properly trained.The Minister made specific reference to hotel receptionists as well as minibus and taxi drivers.Business Minister Dominic Gaskin“We need more airlifts, but that is being attended to and we are getting people coming. Our visitor arrival is increasing, but I think what we need though is a lot more training in some of the hospitality sectors as well as the transportation sector so that the visitor experience is one that they would want to recommend,” he said.Gaskin added, “I think a lot of work has to be done in the services sector whether it is restaurant, hotels, minibus, taxis, even retail, because we want to give them an experience that reflects our seriousness about tourism and if you don’t have good service, you not gonna get return visitors”.According to him, the Ministry has been conducting training for some hotel personnel while the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) is working on a new programme which will ensure more persons are trained in this regard.“I think what we are focusing on now is … a particular training programme that involves certification and we are trying to get the GTA trainers trained so that they can actually do the training themselves and certification,” he noted.Moreover, Gaskin explained that the new programme would allow the Ministry to train and certify persons to an internationally recognised standard.The Minister was keen to note that although he hoped for this programme to be operational before year end, it does not mean that other training sessions would discontinue.Guyana was recently named the number one “Best of Ecotourism” destination in the world. The award was presented to Guyana at the Internationale Tourismus-Börse (ITB) global travel trade fair in Berlin, Germany – the world’s largest tourism trade fair.The second annual “Best of Top 100” Awards is a selection of the finest top 100 destinations selected by a panel of experts, who reviewed sustainability success stories submitted by destinations worldwide.The newly-created “Best of Ecotourism” category was added in 2019 and puts Guyana up against very well-known and long-established ecotourism destinations, such as Sierra Gorda in Mexico, Tmatboey in Cambodia, and the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador.Back in December last year during budgetary debates, Gaskin boasted of a 17 per cent increase in visitor arrivals up to September, when compared with figures for the same period last year.The Minister pointed out that apart from the two major agricultural products which are rice and sugar, tourism brings in the highest amount of foreign earnings while also providing opportunities for young Guyanese.Recognising the importance of the sector, Gaskin said the Ministry increased the budget allocation to the GTA from $123 million in 2014 to over $300 million in 2019.He explained that the GTA and the Department of Tourism would receive budgetary allocations of $305 million and $93 million respectively.
MONTREAL – Quebec’s crane operators are being ordered back to work.A labour tribunal hearing ruled Thursday evening in favour of an order sought by the province’s construction commission, forcing workers to end any work stoppage or slowdown tactics.The tribunal will decide at a later date whether the actions constituted a illegal strike when it hears the case on its merits.In granting the interim order, the tribunal ruled that the urgency to act was justified because of significant impacts on worksites because of the work stoppage.Quebec crane operators stayed away from the job for a fourth day on Thursday, protesting changes made to training requirements earlier this year they say will make their workplaces more dangerous.The changes were made in May and allow workers to operate cranes without first obtaining a vocational diploma.Crane operators say the new training program is less comprehensive and could lead to a rise in workplace accidents.The construction commission, which enforces industry labour rules in Quebec, had argued the strike is illegal because crane operators are under contract until 2021.The collective agreement prohibits ordering, encouraging or supporting a strike, slowdown or lockout.There are 1,856 crane operators in the province and 1,573 of them are represented by two major unions whose lawyers argued against the order on Thursday.
Vegas is notoriously hard to beat. But as the NFL season gets started Thursday, there’s some promise for gamblers in betting on projected team win totals. Half-win totals from 8.5 on down seem to be very solid bets to hit the over, even when accounting for the vigorish, or house margin.Money-line data is only available for a subset of the years for which we have win totals, but using a curated data set covering 2003 through 2018 provided by FiveThirtyEight contributor Greg Guglielmo, I calculated the implied probability that a team would hit the over for each half-win total below nine wins and compared it to the actual win percentage of those NFL teams. Surprisingly, there appears to be an edge.Vegas typically wants a healthy margin on its action — the vigorish on win totals averages about 30 percent. But blindly betting the over on half-point totals from 5.5 to 8.5 wins since 2003 is nearly a push, with the house netting just a percentage point edge. And if you were to bet any of the half-point totals where the under is favored (indicated by a money line that is positive), you would actually come ahead, beating the house by 3 percentage points. Put in a way more familiar to gamblers: If you bet $100 on each of the 110 half-point overs in the sample with positive money lines, you’d come out ahead $330.So why is there a systematic undervaluing of teams with half-point win predictions? One possible explanation might be that the public isn’t exactly sure how to value them; half-point totals aren’t particularly intuitive to bet. Additionally, perhaps there hasn’t been a widespread interest in surveying historical odds and win predictions, so bettors may not be particularly aware of the lack of calibration of the closing lines.I ran this finding by professional bettor Seth Burn, and he pointed out that half-point win totals with the under favored don’t appear to exist currently, so perhaps the edge has already been squeezed out of the market. Or perhaps it’s a phantom edge that never really existed in the first place.
Rashidul HasanMartyred intellectual Rashidul Hasan was picked up from his home 46 long years ago by the collaborators, the razakars, but the memory of that day remains fresh in the mind of his daughter Rokaiya Hasina. She was a student of class six then, in 1971. She is now in her fifties, but those last moments with her father seem just yesterday.Rokaiya had grasped her father’s right hand. One of the khaki-clad persons at the doorway had asked, “Are you Rashidul Hasan?” When he replied “yes”, they simply grabbed him and dragged him away.A pen and a signature seal of Rashidul Hasan remains preserved at the fourth gallery of the Liberation War Museum. Below these items it is written that this teacher of Dhaka University’s English Department was picked up by razakars and Al Badr from his home on 14 December 1971.Eldest daughter of Rashidul Hasan, Rokaiya Hasina, is a Rabindra Sangeet artiste. Speaking to Prothom Alo, she said, her father had been moved by the dream for freedom nourished by the Bangalis during the turbulent days of 1969. He was a great admirer of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. He was not directly involved in politics, but would join the public meetings and gatherings. He would inspire his students with the spirit of independence. He would keep in contact with the freedom fighters in various ways during the liberation war and extend his assistance in any way he could. The Al Badr members reported this to the Pakistani army officers.Rokaiya was sitting in her Dhanmondi residence, sharing memories of her father.Rashidul Hasan earned his BA (Hons) degree from the English department at Dhaka University in 1958. That same year he began teaching at Narsingdi College. Then he joined Edward College in Pabna. Next, in 1967, he joined Dhaka University as a lecturer.Rokaiya Hasina said that her paternal family roots were in the village Boroshija of Birbhum district in West Bengal, India. Rashidul’s education till the higher secondary school level was at Boroshija. His elder brother lived in Dhaka due to government service and so Rashidul was admitted to Dhaka University. He did not return to India after completing his education. He married Begum Rokaiya in Boroshija and they had three children – Mahmud Hasan, Rokaiya Hasina and Suraiya Amina.During the liberation war, Rashidul Hasan would live in the Dhaka University teachers’ quarters, at building no. 23, next to Sergeant Zahurul Huq Hall. There was a sprawling slum along the road next to that building. On 25 March the Pakistani armed force went on a killing spree at the slum. They also entered the teachers’ quarters and carried out killing and torture.Rokaiya Hasina said, the Pakistani soldiers broke down their door, entered their home and began breaking things in their drawing room. Everyone in the family was hiding under the beds. Many people that night were dragged from the slums and from the university and killed on the roof of that very building. The next morning 32 bodies were found on the roof.Rashidul Hasan and his family left that house two days later and went to stay with acquaintances in Rayer Bazar. They returned to the campus after a month. This time they moved to house no. 28 on Savage Road (now known as Isha Khan Road). Professor Anwar Pasha of the Bangla department lived in the house next door, no. 30. Anwar Pasha and Rashidul Hasan were both from the same area in Birbhum and so had developed a close friendship. Their families were close, too.Rokaiya Hasan related, on 20 September the Pakistani soldiers took her father way from the university and kept him in custody at the Ramna police station. He was accused of motivating students to join the liberation war. Rashidul Hasan’s family would visit him every day at the police station. He was released after 12 days.When air raids began in December, there were blackouts every night in Dhaka. Everyone was scared. Anwar Pasha told them to go to their house. Rokaiya recalls, “We would go to Anwar uncle’s house after dinner every night. Then every morning we would move back home after a cup of tea.” They were preparing to go back home on the morning of 12 December too when Anwar Pasha told them to have breakfast. Rashidul Hasan’s favourite meal of khichuri and omlettes was being prepared and hence the delay.Breakfast was almost ready when suddenly there was a loud knocking on the door. Anwar Pasha opened the door and about seven or eight men in khakhi oufits with their faces covered in black cloth burst in. They asked, who is Anwar Pasha? When he identified himself, they tried to push him towards the door. Rashidul Hasan went and stood in front of the door, trying to block the way.With a tremble in her voice, Rokaiya recalls, “I was so scared and I grasped abba’s hand tightly. Anwar kaka was staring at abba, as if pleading that he do something. Abba kept asking the men where they were taking Anwar Pasha. One of them was in the verandah with a paper in his hand. He asked abba’s name. When abba told them his name the man indicated the paper, telling the others, ‘His name is on the list too. Bring sir along.’ They took them both away. From the verandah we saw them being blindfolded and taken away in a minibus.”The bodies of Rashidul Hasan and Anwar Pasha were found 22 days later. The bodies of the intellectuals had been buried in two holes in a jungle area of Mirpur. Relations of the dead persons identified the bodies by their clothes. Rashidul Hasan and Anwar Pasha’s bodies were there too. After their janaza at the university central mosque, they were laid to rest by the mosque.Rashidul Hasan’s relations live in West Bengal and they wanted Rashidul Hasan’s wife and children to go back there. But they did not. “Mother would say, my husband gave his life for this land. I will not leave. She brought us up with great difficulty. We received no special help at all,” said Rokaiya.They had to leave the university quarters. When she first came to power in 1996, the prime minister Sheikh Hasina issued directives to allot a house for them, but that did not materialise. Rokaiya Hasina said they have no regrets. Their father gave his life for the country and that was their pride.*This piece, originally published in the Prothom Alo print edition, has been rewritten in English by Ayesha Kabir.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson speaks at the US Embassy in London on 14 September, 2017. Photo: AFPUS Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Thursday condemned violence against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar as “unacceptable”, as thousands of refugees continue to stream across the border into Bangladesh.“We need to support Aung San Suu Kyi and her leadership but also be very clear and unequivocal to the military power sharing in that government that this is unacceptable,” Tillerson said.“This violence must stop. This persecution must stop. It has been characterised by many as ethnic cleansing. That must stop,” he said during a visit to London, speaking alongside British counterpart Boris Johnson.“I think it is a defining moment in many ways for this new emerging democracy,” Tillerson said, acknowledging that Myanmar’s leader Suu Kyi found herself in a “difficult and complex situation”.A crackdown by Myanmar’s army, launched in response to attacks by Rohingya militants on August 25, has pushed vast numbers of refugees from the stateless Muslim minority across the border.Some 389,000 are estimated to have crossed since then.
US President Donald Trump welcomes Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago state in Palm Beach, Florida, US. Photo: ReutersBeijing on Tuesday accused Donald Trump of “blackmail” and warned it would retaliate in kind after the US president threatened to impose fresh tariffs on Chinese goods, pushing the world’s two biggest economies closer to a trade war.Trump said on Monday he had asked the US Trade Representative to target $200 billion worth of imports for a 10 percent levy, citing China’s “unacceptable” move to raise its own tariffs.He added he would identify an extra $200 billion of goods-for a possible total of $450 billion, or most Chinese imports-“if China increases its tariffs yet again”.“Further action must be taken to encourage China to change its unfair practices, open its market to United States goods and accept a more balanced trade relationship with the United States,” Trump said in a statement.Last week, he announced 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese imports, prompting Beijing to retaliate with matching duties on US goods.The US leader warned Friday of “additional tariffs” should Beijing hit back with tit-for-tat measures.“The trade relationship between the United States and China must be much more equitable,” he said in explaining his latest decision.“I have an excellent relationship with President Xi (Jinping), and we will continue working together on many issues. But the United States will no longer be taken advantage of on trade by China and other countries in the world.”China’s commerce ministry immediately responded by saying the US “practice of extreme pressure and blackmail departed from the consensus reached by both sides during multiple negotiations and has also greatly disappointed international society”.“If the US acts irrationally and issues a list, China will have no choice but to take comprehensive measures of a corresponding number and quality and take strong, powerful countermeasures.”The news hit stock markets in Asia, with Shanghai down almost four percent and Shenzhen tumbling nearly six percent, while Hong Kong fell more than two percent.Leading the fall in Hong Kong was Chinese telecom giant ZTE, plunging nearly 26 percent and shedding nearly two-thirds of its value since striking a deal with the Trump administration to lift a ban on using critical US components.But on Monday, the US Senate defied Trump by voting to overrule his administration’s deal with legislation to reimpose the ban on hi-tech chip sales to the company, whose fate has figured prominently in the trade talks.Trump is moving forward with the trade measures after months of sometimes fraught shuttle diplomacy in which Chinese offers to purchase more American goods failed to assuage his grievances over a widening trade imbalance and China’s aggressive industrial development policies.China had offered to ramp up purchases of American goods by $70 billion to help cut its yawning trade surplus with the United States, whereas Trump had demanded a $200 billion deficit cut.“Disregarding the consensus reached by the two countries, the US is playing fast and loose and once again stirring up a trade war,” said China’s foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang.“This way of doing things breaks faith with everyone,” Geng said.‘Unacceptable’ -The China trade offensive is only one side of Trump’s multi-front battle with the United States’ economic partners as he presses ahead with his protectionist “America First” agenda.Since June 1, steel and aluminium imports from the European Union, Canada and Mexico have been hit with tariffs of 25 percent and 10 percent, respectively.“This latest action by China clearly indicates its determination to keep the United States at a permanent and unfair disadvantage, which is reflected in our massive $376 billion trade imbalance in goods,” Trump said of China’s retaliatory tariffs.“This is unacceptable.”Two decades ago, China’s economy was largely fuelled by exports, but it has made progress in rebalancing towards domestic investment and consumption since the global financial crisis erupted last decade-limiting the damage trade tariffs could inflict on Beijing.Still, strong exports this year have lifted the economy, which is now showing signs of losing steam under the weight of Beijing’s war on debt, launched to clean up financial risks and rein in borrowing-fuelled growth.Initially, 545 US products valued at $34 billion will be targeted by China, mimicking the Trump administration’s tariff rollout.Beijing wants to “demonstrate that things will be done their way or not at all,” said Christopher Balding, an economics professor at Shenzhen’s HSBC Business School, who believes Chinese policymakers prefer demonstrations of “power and control” over “technical policy rightness.”“It is a game of chicken,” Balding said.So far Beijing has targeted major American exports to China such as soybeans, which brought in $14 billion in sales last year, and are grown in states that supported Trump during the 2016 presidential election, as well as other politically sensitive products.Officials also drew up a second list of $16 billion in chemical and energy products to hit with new tariffs, though China did not announce a date for imposing them.More American targets are likely to follow as soon as the Trump administration follows through with publishing an expanded tariff list.
Phase folded light curve and the best fitting transit model of EPIC 219654213. Gray points are the measurements, black circles the binned data. The continuous line represents the best fitted model. Residuals to the fit are shown in the lower panel. Credit: Eigmuller et al., 2018. © 2018 Phys.org Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: New binary system showcasing beaming effect found by astronomers (2018, September 5) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-09-binary-showcasing-effect-astronomers.html An international team of astronomers has discovered a new eclipsing binary system composed of an M-dwarf orbiting a main sequence star. The transiting dwarf star exhibits the so-called relativistic beaming effect. The finding is reported in a paper published August 20 on the arXiv pre-print repository. Journal information: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Astronomers detect a doubly eclipsing quadruple star system The relativistic beaming effect, also known as Doppler boosting, is the process by which relativistic effects modify the apparent luminosity of emitting matter that is moving at speeds close to the speed of light. The process is caused by the reflex motion of the stars introducing photometric flux variations due to the Doppler effect.Measurements of the beaming effect are important for astronomers studying binary systems, as they allow independent estimate of the radial velocity of secondary components. This could be crucial in disclosing physical parameters and the nature of such systems.Now, using data from NASA Kepler spacecraft’s prolonged mission known as K2, a group of researchers led by Philipp Eigmuller of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) has studied the star EPIC 219654213, which was initially identified as a potential host for a planetary system.However, K2 data complemented by follow-up spectroscopic observations with ground based observatories, including Keck telescope, Nordic Optical Telescope (NOT) and McDonald Observatory, indicate that EPIC 219654213 is a binary star. The observational campaign allowed also the scientists to determine fundamental parameters of the newly found system.”In this paper, we present the detailed characterization of a DEB [detached eclipsing binary] formed by a main sequence star and an M dwarf companion with precise K2 photometry and ground-based radial velocity follow-up,” the astronomers wrote in the paper.The primary component of the system is a slightly evolved main sequence star of spectral type F7V. The star, about 4.1 billion years old, has a radius of approximately 1.52 solar radii and a mass similar to that of our sun.The companion is a dwarf star of spectral type M5V. It is about five times smaller and less massive than the sun. The dwarf is on a nearly circular orbit around the primary star, orbiting it every 5.44 days. The components of the system are separated by approximately 0.065 AU.The authors of the study also provided the details about the beaming effect observed in the system, focusing on its amplitude.”The results show a change in the amplitude of the beaming effect of 35ppm, which account for 50 percent of the observed discrepancy between expected and observed beaming effect,” the paper reads.In concluding remarks, the researchers noted that EPIC 219654213 should be further investigated using exoplanet-hunting missions such as NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) and ESA’s PLAnetary Transits and Oscillations of stars (PLATO). More observations of this system may confirm if its smaller component is indeed an M dwarf or a brown dwarf or, what is also possible, a highly inflated “hot Jupiter” exoplanet. More information: A transiting M-dwarf showing beaming effect in the field of Ruprecht 147, arXiv:1808.06325 [astro-ph.SR] arxiv.org/abs/1808.06325Ph Eigmüller et al. A transiting M-dwarf showing beaming effect in the field of Ruprecht 147, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2018). DOI: 10.1093/mnras/sty2155AbstractWe report the discovery and characterization of an eclipsing M5V dwarf star, orbiting a slightly evolved F7V main sequence star. In contrast to previous claims in the literature, we confirm that the system does not belong to the galactic open cluster Ruprecht 147. We determine its fundamental parameters combining K2 time-series data with spectroscopic observations from the McDonald Observatory, FIES@NOT, and HIRES@KECK. The very precise photometric data from the K2 mission allows us to measure variations caused by the beaming effect (relativistic doppler boosting), ellipsoidal variation, reflection, and the secondary eclipse. We determined the radial velocity using spectroscopic observations and compare it to the radial velocity determined from the beaming effect observed in the photometric data. The M5V star has a radius of 0.200+0.007−0.008 R⊙ and a mass of 0.187+0.012−0.013 M⊙. The primary star has radius of 1.518+0.038−0.049 R⊙ and a mass of 1.008+0.081−0.097 M⊙. The orbital period is 5.441995±0.000007 days. The system is one of the few eclipsing systems with observed beaming effect and spectroscopic radial velocity measurements and it can be used as test case for the modelling of the beaming effect. Current and forthcoming space missions such as TESS and PLATO might benefit of the analysis of the beaming effect to estimate the mass of transiting companions without the need for radial velocity follow up observations, provided that the systematic sources of noise affecting this method are well understood.