“Picking the right door” with the future of Unity

first_img“Picking the right door” with the future of UnityCMO Clive Downie on why Unity won’t develop games, the engine’s future as an educational tool, and the promise of Google StadiaRebekah ValentineSenior Staff WriterWednesday 17th April 2019Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareCompanies in this articleUnityUnlike its main competitor, Epic Games, Unity Technologies is adamant that it is not and will never be a company that develops games alongside its game engine.At Unity’s keynote at GDC 2019, CEO John Riccitiello emphasized that point. “We’re not here to make games,” he said. “We’re not interested in creating experiences that compete with your hobbies or your businesses.”Granted, Unity dabbled in development last year with its FPS Sample Game. But Unity chief marketing officer Clive Downie is very clear to draw a line between the Sample Game as an experiment to teach the company what its engine’s “pain points” might be, and what, say, Epic Games is doing with Fortnite.”We used [the FPS Sample Game] because we wanted to eat our own dog food,” he says, speaking to GamesIndustry.biz at GDC. “That’s something that we had not historically been that good at.”The FPS Sample Game, he says, helped Unity avoid the pitfall of “not making enough things” with its own engine — a problem it has faced in the past. Through it, Unity discovered struggles its users were having with aspects such as collaboration features and its Cinemachine tools; struggles it is now working to address.”If you’re in a company that makes games, it is all-consuming. It comes with a gravitational pull” Though Downie says Riccitiello’s opening line at the GDC keynote wasn’t intended as a direct jab at Epic, he has a very firm philosophy about why game development and game engine creation don’t mix in a single company.”If you’re in a company that makes games, it is all-consuming,” Downie says. “It comes with a gravitational pull. It dictates where the best people go, what drives the strategies of the company. Suddenly the revenue of the business and the focal points of most everything you decide every single day go toward a game, because that’s what a successful game does. “You have to feed it, especially when it’s a live service. You have to always make it fresh. You have to always make it innovative. You have to sustain its growth, and that just becomes all-consuming.”So you kind of have to pick a door. Are you going [for] the, ‘We’re going to make great stuff for consumers’ door? Because that’s great, and I love playing games, so thanks. Or do you pick the door of, ‘We’re going to make a creative platform and the tools so people can make great things’? That’s the challenge.Unity’s interest in game development extends only as far as experiments like its FPS Sample”For us to make games, over time we might have to move great people off of the tools. We’d have to move great people off operative services. We’d have to move people off of networks that might monetize people’s games. Because we’d have a shiny new thing, and shiny new things attract great people.”Unity’s keynote at GDC brought a number of new announcements, including a partnership with Tencent to bring cloud services to developers in China. Though the partnership will also help developers get their games released in the country, Downie says the decision to work with Tencent on cloud was simply a natural extension of the work the company is already doing with Google Cloud elsewhere.”You have a lot of cloud-based services that can benefit game developers in the operational components of their products’ life,” Downie says. “But we partner very well with Google Cloud on that, and Google Cloud isn’t available in China. So Chinese developers, who are numerous in the Unity ecosystem, can’t benefit from any of our back-end services. This partnership with Tencent Cloud allows us to provide those services, backend multiplayer, dynamic hosting, etc, to China customers. Now they can get the full spread of benefits the platform gives.””Education is interesting to us, as is the ability for Unity to be something that students realize is as transformational as a pen and paper used to be” Another major announcement from the keynote was a tool called AR Foundation, a framework specifically for augmented reality developers intended to bridge the gap between ARCore and ARKit, by allowing projects made on one to work in both. Downie says offering more tools for AR development is extremely important to Unity, though he views the possibilities for the technology as stretching far beyond just gaming — possibly to the point of becoming, as he puts it, “the next internet.””Mobile devices are already AR-enabled, so there are over a billion AR-enabled devices, which is like the training wheels for AR in the consumer world,” he says. “Consumers are getting used to AR either as a map function or an entertainment function, in a game or a service. Everyone is getting used to that; bite-sized versions of AR are starting to show up in their day-to-day at scale. That signals a potential future for consumer use, where what’s going to converge is, ‘I’ve become used to seeing AR in my life’ and ‘Now there’s a new way to experience AR that augments my life.'”But while AR received attention on stage at the Unity keynote, the company was rather quiet about any new plans for virtual reality. Downie doesn’t specify the reason for the relative silence this year, but he says that Unity will, of course, continue its support and improvement of VR tools. And like AR, he sees the future (and present) of VR as finding the keys to its success outside of and beyond gaming.”People ask me a lot: ‘VR’s dead, right? What’s going on with VR? When’s it going to be big?’ And my answer is that VR is very successful. It has transformed enterprise services and businesses. It’s already a day-to-day technology in industrial design, in medical fields, in education. VR is in the hidden world of enterprise that the consumer world doesn’t see every day. We view it in that light, so we support VR and continue to be available as a development platform for all of the new VR platforms that are coming.Unity is an early partner of Google Stadia, which Downie believes will be a ‘magic moment’ in the industry’s development”We’re still very much involved in fuelling the pioneers of consumer VR. There’s a place for VR; it’s successful in one area, it’s continuing to grow in others, and we just want to be able to fuel the creators in it.”Then there’s the future. As Unity continues to improve its creation tools, one segment where Downie hopes to see strides made in the coming years is education. He’s not content with Unity being just one element of a development-specific curriculum. Rather, he wants the engine to become a fundamental of how creative digital skills are taught in classrooms.”As a game player, I can tell you that what Google is proposing is another magical moment in gaming” “Education is interesting to us, as is the ability for Unity to be something that students realize is as transformational for learning and development as a pen and paper used to be,” he says. “We want a real-time creative tool with its essence in game making to be something that students come out of education knowing how to use, because it’s going to be such an important part of many different careers over the next decade.”It doesn’t matter whether you are a game maker, animator, filmmaker, industrial designer, architect, a product designer, you’re a [computer science] grad, Unity can be the constant thread through all of those.”Finally, I ask Downie about Google Stadia, which had just been announced the day before our conversation. Unity has partnered with Google to ensure its engine will be supported on Stadia, a relationship that Downie is understandably optimistic about.Related JobsSenior Game Designer – UE4 – AAA United Kingdom Amiqus GamesProgrammer – REMOTE – work with industry veterans! North West Amiqus GamesJunior Video Editor – GLOBAL publisher United Kingdom Amiqus GamesDiscover more jobs in games “I’ve been playing games for longer than I can remember,” he says. “Almost four decades. I remember when I first played a game that was on a cassette, and I thought, ‘Holy shit, this is big time.’ I could sense me taking data down through my tape deck through my computer, and then magic happened. A magical moment.”I remember my first five-and-a-quarter inch floppy disc, putting it into a drive, and then a space simulator on BBC Micro came up, called Elite — it was a trading game in a wireframe universe. I remember thinking, ‘Holy shit, I can go to new worlds on these computers.’ I remember putting a cartridge into a console and turning it on, and the game instantly starting on the Sega Genesis. Holy shit. A magical moment. You get the message.”When I got the Project Stream beta announcement, I remember clicking on the link in my browser on my Macbook Pro, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey came on in 60 frames-per-second in 4K. I’m playing a console product in my browser instantly… So as a game player, I can tell you that what Google is proposing is another magical moment in gaming.”Celebrating employer excellence in the video games industry8th July 2021Submit your company Sign up for The Daily Update and get the best of GamesIndustry.biz in your inbox. Enter your email addressMore storiesUnity reports record year despite lossesEngine maker’s first post-IPO results show revenues up across all divisions, including $25 million COVID boostBy James Batchelor 3 months agoPeter Moore joins Unity as SVP and GM of sports and live entertainmentFormer Sega, EA boss finds new role at engine developer following departure of Liverpool FCBy Rebekah Valentine 3 months agoLatest comments Sign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now.last_img read more

Flu Scan for Jul 09, 2014

first_imgEgyptian man dies from H5N1 infectionA 34-year-old Egyptian man whose H5N1 avian flu case was announced in late June has died, the World Health Organization (WHO) said yesterday in a statement.The man, from Minya governorate, was a construction worker who got sick on Jun 15 and was hospitalized Jun 22 after his symptoms didn’t improve after several clinic visits. His H5N1 infection was confirmed by Egypt’s central lab on Jun 25, which prompted an announcement the next day by the country’s health ministry.The man was transferred to a hospital in Cairo on Jun 25, where he had been listed in critical condition. He died on Jul 7, according to the WHO.An investigation revealed that the man had contact with sick poultry at a market near his home before he became ill. Contact tracing has turned up no other people with flulike symptoms.His illness is Egypt’s third H5N1 infection and first fatality from the disease so far this year. The country’s overall total is 176 cases, 64 of them fatal. The global total is 667, the WHO said at the end of June. The man’s death would push the overall fatality count to 394.Jul 8 WHO statement Jun 26 CIDRAP News scan “H5N1 hospitalizes Egyptian man” Jun 27 WHO influenza at the human-animal interface update WHO pandemic prep program to begin in 4 European nationsFour Eurasian countries are first in line in the WHO’s European Region to benefit from the agency’s Pandemic Influenza Preparedness (PIP) Framework, according to a WHO announcement yesterday.The PIP Framework, adopted by the WHO’s 64th World Health Assembly in May 2011, is “a unique partnership between industry, civil society and governments to improve pandemic preparedness and access to antiviral medicines and vaccines,” says the notice. Plans for implementation of the framework are being launched at a meeting in Copenhagen that began yesterday and concludes tomorrow.The European Region countries to benefit initially are Armenia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. The first step in implementing the PIP Framework will be to strengthen surveillance systems in the countries. Representatives from the four nations are currently working with WHO staff to make specific and detailed plans to accomplish this.Countries participating in the framework are responsible for sharing any influenza viruses considered to have pandemic potential with the WHO through national influenza centers. Among responsibilities of participating industries are yearly donations to the program.Jul 8 WHO notice WHO PIP Framework home pagelast_img read more

Gary Shanahan and Jesse Devers sign new contracts with Galway United

first_imgGalway United are delighted to announce that Gary Shanahan and Jesse Devers have signed new contracts with the club.The attacking duo have signed deals until the end of the 2017 SSE Airtricity League season.Shanahan, 23, has been a mainstay for United over the last three seasons. The Newcastle West native has made 106 appearances, bagging 16 goals from midfield.Former Wolverhampton Wanderers striker Devers joined Galway United at the start of the 2016 season, the 19-year-old made 7 appearances for the Tribesmen’s first team and he finished the season as an important member of Johnny Glynn’s under-19 side, who reached the final of the competition.Shane Keegan’s latest additions bring his squad size to 15 with pre-season on the horizon and the new United boss hailed Shanahan’s re-signing as another important piece of business.“I think Gary is rightly somewhat of a fan favourite. He was almost an ever present in the season just finished and I suppose what any manager would say is that he’s a player that you can absolutely trust.“He runs himself into the ground, if you give him a job, he goes and does it to the letter. He’s just a really solid footballer and he has a fantastic track record as well in terms of avoiding injuries and suspensions.“Gary contributes massively and quite often with a player whose main attributes are their application and work-rate, you then tend to maybe overlook the actual qualities that they bring to the side as well.”Mayo native Devers is a highly rated young talent, who scored 3 goals in 6 games for Johnny Glynn’s under-19 side last season. He will vie with Vinny Faherty, Ronan Murray and Padraic Cunningham for a starting berth in 2017.“Jesse hasn’t really kicked a ball at first team level yet,” Keegan explained.“I’ve sat down with senior players and last year’s coaching staff, everybody is absolutely raving about Jesse, saying what he was doing on the training ground and the potential he has.“People are really saying that this is a player that, given an opportunity, and if he goes and really pushes himself this year, is capable of doing great things.“I’ve said on a number of occasions that I get really excited by throwing young players into the first team if they’ve given me a reason to throw them in. Again, if Jesse performs as I’ve been told he’s been capable of doing, he will find himself in there and it’s up to himself to put his best foot forward.”2017 GALWAY UNITED SQUAD (15): Colm Horgan, Paul Sinnott, Lee Grace, Stephen Folan, Marc Ludden, Gary Shanahan, Alex Byrne, David Cawley, Gavan Holohan, Conor Melody, Kevin Devaney, Vinny Faherty, Ronan Murray, Padraic Cunningham, Jesse Devers.print WhatsApp Facebook Twitter Emaillast_img read more

Miss Match of the Day? Get every goal from an action-packed weekend here

first_imgSON HEUNG-MIN scored twice as Tottenham fought from a goal down to beat Bournemouth 4-1 at Dean Court.But although Mauricio Pochettino’s men leapfrogged Liverpool to move third, it was a dark day for Spurs – as Harry Kane picked up an ankle injury that saw him leave the ground on crutches.2 Heung-min Son smashed home for Tottenham at the VitalityJunior Stanislas had opened the scoring for the Cherries, before Dele Alli equalised.Son then scored twice with Serge Aurier adding a late fourth for the visitors..Bournemouth 1 Tottenham Hotspur 4Bournemouth 1-4 Tottenham: Heung-min Son double rescues Spurs after Harry Kane ankle injuryEarlier, north London rivals Arsenal had put in an impressive performance at home to Watford.Shkodran Mustafi scored an early goal before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang doubled the lead.Skipper Petr Cech then saved a Troy Deeney penalty before Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored his first Premier League goal for the Gunners in a 3-0 win.Arsenal 3 Watford 0Arsenal 3-0 Watford: Mustafi, Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan with goals for Gunners to seal first win in four league gamesSaturday Round-Up: Watch the best action from Saturday’s Premier League gamesMARCUS RASHFORD was the hero as Manchester United beat Liverpool 2-1 in the big derby.The Old Trafford star pulled off this astonishing Cruyff turn as part of his two goals in the opening 24 minutes.2 Marcus Rashford was the hero for Manchester UnitedCredit: EPAOnly an Eric Bailly howler let Jurgen Klopp’s side back into it – but it is Mourinho’s men who have a five-point cushion over third place.And the Portuguese can take all the credit after his match-winning tactics were picked up on television cameras at Old Trafford.Manchester United 2 Liverpool 1Manchester United 2-1 Liverpool: Marcus Rashford double earns hard-fought win despite Eric Bailly own-goalElsewhere, Sam Allardyce can breathe a big sigh of relief after an own goal and Cenk Tosun came to his rescue.Big Sam has faced the very real threat of relegation this season but Gaetan Bong’s error and Tosun’s strike gave him a comfortable 2-0 win.Everton 2 Brighton 0Everton 2-0 Brighton: Cenk Tosun bags first Goodison Park goal to ease pressure on Sam Allardyce as Knockaert sees red for BrightonShameful scenes at the London Stadium were the main talking point from West Ham’s 3-0 defeat by Burnley.MADNESS West Ham fans invade pitch with co-owners Sullivan and Gold told to leave for own safetyCo-owner David Sullivan was almost blinded by a coin thrown by a yob, only confounding the dejection felt by everyone at the club following goals from Ashley Barnes and a double from Chris Wood.West Ham 0 Burnley 3West Ham 0-3 Burnley: Clarets take all three points at the London Stadium as Hammer fans run riotLatest football newsLive BlogBLUES NEWSChelsea news LIVE: Follow all the latest updates from Stamford BridgeLive BlogUNITED LIVEMan Utd news LIVE: All the latest updates and transfer gossip from Old TraffordLive BlogBLUES NEWSChelsea transfer news LIVE: Havertz deal LATEST, Willian move updatesLive BlogUNITED LATESTMan Utd transfer news LIVE: All the gossip and updates from Old TraffordLive Bloggunners newsArsenal transfer news LIVE – Latest updates from the EmiratesAZPI BETTERAzpilicueta reveals turning off phone saved his season after horror startNewcastle 3 Southampton 0Chelsea loanee Kenedy proved Rafa Benitez’s hero as his double put the Toon on the march to safety… for now.The Magpies sit five points clear of the relegation zone after cruising to this win, which was made three by Matt Ritchie’s 57th minute goal.Newcastle 3 Southampton 0: Chelsea loanee Kenedy’s two first-half goals give Toon valuable three points in relegation six-pointerWest Brom 1 Leicester 4Under-fire Alan Pardew must have been thinking things were finally looking better after Salomon Rondon’s eighth-minute opener.But then the Foxes ran riot with Jamie Vardy equalising and second-half goals coming from Riyad Mahrez, Kelechi Iheanacho and Vicente Iborra.West Brom 1-4 Leicester: Mahrez, Vardy, Iheanacho and Iborra cancel Salomon Rondon’s opener as relegation looms for Pardew’s sideChelsea 2 Crystal Palace 1Willian’s outside-the-box strike coupled with Martin Kelly’s own goal put Antonio Conte’s side on easy street.Patrick Van Aanholt grabbed a late consolation but it won’t be enough to stop Roy Hodgson having sleepless nights.Chelsea 2-1 Crystal Palace: Willian on target as Blues put losing run behind them ahead of Barcelona clashHuddersfield 0 Swansea 0Ten-man Swansea edged a step closer to safety with the unlikeliest and grittiest point of the season.Carlos Carvalhal’s men played all but the first ten minutes a man light, after Jordan Ayew got his marching orders.Huddersfield 0-0 Swansea: Terriers drop points at home to 10-man Swans as relegation battle heats upMost read in footballRETRACING STEPSJack Charlton’s granddaughter Emma Wilkinson ‘would love’ to visit IrelandROY RAGEFurious Roy Keane launched foul-mouthed rant at Pique over Fabregas friendshipPicturedTOP FORMBrazil icon Ronaldo soaks up sun with partner Celina Locks on yacht in FormenteraPicturedON THE PAOLPaolo Maldini shows off shredded physique at 52 while on holiday with wifeExclusiveLOCK CLOWNPaul Scholes flouts local lockdown rules by throwing huge 7-hour birthday bashLive BlogUNITED LATESTMan Utd transfer news LIVE: All the gossip and updates from Old Traffordlast_img read more

Women’s Basketball: Jan. 14 Scoreboard

first_imgThe Lady Demons were outrebounded by 10 (34-24), but were able to grab offensive boards at key times. NSU converted their five offensive rebounds into five points, including a drought-busting two free throws by Ndey Sonko at the 11:10 mark.Before Sonko’s free throws, neither team had scored since Tia Youngblood scored from the low block with 16:51 to play in the game. Northwestern State 66, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 59NATCHITOCHES, La. – Janelle Perez has made a difference in numerous ways in her three seasons at Northwestern State. – Return to top – Abilene Christian 79, McNeese State 59Northwestern State 66, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 59 In the Southland Conference portion of the 2014-15 season, it has been as a scorer. For the third time in five conference games, Perez topped the 20-point mark, scoring 18 points in the second half alone, as the Lady Demons rallied past Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, 66-59, on Wednesday night at the American Bank Center. Led by Perez, the Lady Demons (10-6, 5-0 Southland) are off to their best conference start since 2003-04 when they won their first 11 games. Abilene Christian 79, McNeese State 59LAKE CHARLES, La. – Abilene Christian women’s basketball broke away from its traditional lineup for the first time all season and the change certainly accomplished its desired effect as the Wildcats started and finished strong to stun McNeese State, 75-59, Wednesday night at Burton Coliseum.The win snapped a season-long four-game losing skid for the Wildcats, improving their season and Southland Conference marks to 8-6 and 1-3, while the Cowgirls fell to 8-7  and 2-2. It was only the second loss all season at home for McNeese.Suzzy and Lizzy Dimba along with guards Alexis Mason and Whitney West remained in the lineup for the 23rd consecutive game dating back to last season, but head coach Julie Goodenough opted to have sophomore forward Sydney Shelstead come off the bench tonight while starting junior guard Paris Webb.And each player unquestionably proved to be a major contributor.Webb totaled 10 points on 4-of-8 shooting with a pair of threes, pulled down four rebounds and dished out four assists through 33 minutes in her first start as a Wildcat.Shelstead, meanwhile, put up starter numbers, registering her sixth double-double of the season, coming down with 14 rebounds and scoring 19 points in 28 minutes.The Wildcats led by as many as 15 points in the first half, but that advantage was gone by halftime and the Cowgirls continued to roll offensively through the opening moments of the second half and grabbed a 10-point lead (49-39) following a three-point play by Talisa Boyd at the 17:08 mark.Shockingly though, as fast as the Cowgirls offense could appear, it would disappear just as quick – and for long stretches of time. The bucket by Boyd would be McNeese’s last for close to seven minutes as the Wildcats struck back with a 14-1 run to regain the lead at 53-50, and right after the Cowgirls connected on consecutive baskets within 10 seconds at the midway point to go up 54-53, they again were held without a field goal for three minutes.It was during the latter scoring drought with about 9:30 remaining that Shelstead began to take off on offense, scoring six straight points for the Wildcats followed by a big 3-pointer off the bench from sophomore Ellyn Avery with 7:25 to go.Avery added a second basket a minute later and by the final media timeout the Wildcats had their second 15-point lead of the night at 71-56 thanks to a layup and a ‘and one’ from Shelstead.ACU finished the game on a 36-10 over the final 15:53 after McNeese took its largest lead of the evening.ACU started tonight incredibly efficient on offense, knocking down five of its first seven field goal attempts, the last of which forced McNeese to call a timeout with 16:08 remaining. The Dimbas were responsible for ACU’s first 12 points with both Lizzy and Suzzy burying a 3-pointer.Shelstead came in following the first media timeout and broke the Dimbas’ streak with a layup that made it 14-4 in ACU’s favor and capped a 7-0 run. Moments later ACU went off on a mini 3-point binge as long-distance buckets by Lizzy Dimba, West and two from Webb gave the Wildcats a 28-13 lead.But the Cowgirls quickly transitioned to a full-court press following the second media stoppage that resulted in five turnovers and 11-straight points as ACU went scoreless from 9:43 to 6:17. That run cut the Wildcats lead down to 30-26.A Shelstead basket eventually snapped ACU’s scoreless streak, but the Wildcats couldn’t regain the offensive firepower that carried them through the first ten minutes as they hit just two more field goals over the final six minutes.McNeese went on a 13-4 run during the final four minutes of first half, during which a bucket by Verdin made it a one-possession game at the 2:09 mark. Then Allison Baggett tied the score for the first time with a 3-pointer at :45 seconds, and Boyd gave the home team its first lead a mere 10 seconds.A Jalyn Johnson free throw put McNeese ahead at halftime, 39-36.ACU started the half shooting .571 (12-21) from the floor and .600 (6-10) from 3-point range, but finished 3-14 (.214) and 0-5 (.000).McNeese shot .472 in the first half (.17-36) despite missing 10 3-pointers. Baggett had the most points with 12 as she connected on 5-of-7 attempts. She then hit her first of the second half, kick starting a 10-3 run that put the Cowgirls ahead by 10 points three minutes in.That’s as good as it would get, however, for McNeese as the Cowgirls went stone cold from the field for the remainder of the contest, finishing 24-of-66 (.364) from the field and 4-27 (.148) from beyond the arc.Baggett led all Cowgirls with 17 points, but none of her teammates reached double figures either in scoring or rebounds as ACU won the battle off the glass, 42-36 (23-14 in second half).In addition to Shelstead’s 14 boards, Mason and both Dimbas each pulled down six rebounds. Suzzy Dimbaalso added two blocks.The Wildcats didn’t make any trips to the free throw line in the first half, but connected on 8-of-11 tries in the second half led by Mason, who went 4-of-4 and West who went 2-of-2 after hitting the front end of a one-and-one with 5:03 remaining.ACU employed all of four lineups through 30 games last season with Renata Marquez, West, Mason, and Suzzy and Lizzy Dimba as its most frequent combination (18g).The Wildcats return to action Saturday at 2 p.m. for a home showdown vs. the defending Southland Conference champions from Stephen F. Austin that will follow the men’s nationally televised game against the Lumberjacks. The men’s contest tips at 11 a.m. on CBS Sports Network. Joining Perez in double figures were Chelsea Rogers (14) and Keisha Lee (10). The NSU trio combined to hit all 10 of the Lady Demons’ 3-pointers on a combined 19 attempts. Buoyed by Perez’ efficiency, Northwestern State committed just six turnovers, a season low, and allowed just four points off of those turnovers. Conversely, NSU forced 13 turnovers and scored 12 points off the Islanders (6-9, 2-2) miscues.center_img Their combined 52 points allowed the Lady Demons to overcome a 24-point outburst from the Islanders’ Shay Weaver, who controlled the early action, and a double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds from Camesha Davis. After a back-and-forth first 10 minutes, the Islanders appeared to take control as NSU endured a 3:45 drought between field goals.  The Lady Demons trailed by nine on two occasions in the first half, the second time with 5:28 to play on a pair of Jennifer Ramirez free throws. Perez, the reigning SLC Player of the Week and the league’s leading scorer in conference games, played a pivotal role in bringing the Lady Demons back, draining a pair of 3-pointers. – Return to top – Weaver carried the Islanders offense, scoring Texas A&M-Corpus Christi’s first seven points of the game and assisting on Kassie Jones’ 3-pointer that snapped a 7-all tie. Weaver finished the first half with 13 points and two assists. Northwestern State stormed back with a  10-0 run, capped by Beatrice Attura’s driving scoop shot with 51 seconds to play, to take a one-point lead. The lead didn’t last as Weaver hit a jumper on the ensuing possession to give the Islanders their one-point halftime lead, 31-30.last_img read more

Investors told to wise up over cost of environmental crime

first_imgLack of knowledge of environmental crimes doesn’t protect companies or financial investors from prosecution, warns a new Climate Advisers report.The case of U.S. hardwood flooring company Lumber Liquidators is a salutary reminder to others of the pitfalls of ignoring where timber products are sourced from.The report also calls for U.S. authorities to use a greater range of laws to tackle forest crimes. Companies and their investors are exposing themselves to massive legal and financial risks by trading, sometimes unwittingly, in products derived from illegally harvested timber, according to a new report.Published earlier this month by the Washington, D.C.-based consultancy Climate Advisers, the report recommends that U.S. authorities look beyond purely environmental legislation to prosecute any crimes associated with the illicit sourcing of timber products.“Despite recent progress, a continued lack of transparency in sectors most at risk of illegal forest clearing, such as cattle, oil palm, soy and timber, means that investors may not know the extent of their exposure to material financial risks from deforestation through companies they invest in,” the report says.The potential for companies to become involved in such activities is vast, with Interpol estimating the scale of illegal logging at somewhere between $50 billion and $150 billion a year.Climate Advisers highlights the case of Lumber Liquidators in its report: in 2016, the U.S. firm paid more than $13 million in fines and forfeited assets in connection with the importing of hardwood flooring from timber that had been illegally logged in Russia’s Far East.The Mongolian oak the company used for its products came from forests that are home to two of the world’s rarest big cats: the Amur, or Siberian, tiger (Panthera tigris tigris) and the Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis).Forest clearance and plantation development in PT Megakarya Jaya Raya (PT MJR) palm oil concession in Papua. New Guinea Island is home to the world’s third-largest rainforest, but is facing intense pressure due to the logging and palm oil industries. Image by Ulet Infansasti/Greenpeace.The Lumber Liquidators case showed “the true cost of turning a blind eye to environmental laws,” U.S. Assistant Attorney General John C. Cruden said at the time in a statement released by the Department of Justice. “This company left a trail of corrupt transactions and habitat destruction. Now they will pay a price for this callous and careless pursuit of profit.”Lumber Liquidators was prosecuted under the Lacey Act, a law dating back to 1900 that bans trafficking in illegal wildlife. It was amended in 2008 to include plants and plant products such as timber and paper.More can be done, according to Anthony Mansell, director of policy and research at Climate Advisers. Mansell said his organization’s report highlighted how activities such as illegal logging could also be addressed using other laws. “Forest crime involves many of the same crimes or violations of the law that goes with any other organized crime,” Mansell said in an interview. “Crimes such as money laundering, racketeering and corruption, for example.”The next Lumber LiquidatorsThere are an increasing number of examples of corporate involvement in illegal forest clearing or land grabs leading to financial hits, according to Susanne Breitkopf, policy manager for the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA). The nonprofit works to expose environmental crimes through its on-the-ground investigations, and was responsible for uncovering Lumber Liquidators’ role in the illegal timber trade.The share price of Lumber Liquidators fell nearly 90 percent, from a high of $119.44 before the scandal broke in 2013, to less than $20 in 2015.“This case had big consequences for the industry,” Breitkopf said in an interview. “Nobody wants to be the next Lumber Liquidators. But if investors are not looking where they are putting their money, especially when it comes to land banks, they are taking really high risks.”In a different case, in 2017 United Cacao was delisted from the London Stock Exchange’s Alternative Investment Market after the EIA said it had financed more than 111 square kilometers (43 square miles) of illegal deforestation in the Peruvian Amazon. A report in the U.K.-based Mail on Sunday newspaper in February 2017 revealed that United Cacao’s share price had plummeted by a third in just over two years. It was described as having been “a disastrous investment.”Using the law more extensivelyThe Climate Advisers report sets out a whole suite of U.S. statutes, not specifically environmental in nature, that could be used against companies involved in illegal logging, including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), anti-money-laundering laws, and wire and mail fraud legislation. The FCPA has already been used extensively in multiple international lawsuits against companies with complaints of aiding and abetting terrorism.The report gives a hypothetical example of a U.S. investor that funds an agricultural commodity producer knowing it will offer bribes to officials to turn a blind eye to illegal forest clearing.Red ruffed lemur (Varecia rubra), a species that lives in northeastern Madagascar, where rosewood logging has been severe. Photo by Rhett A. Butler.“Because of its global reach and robust enforcement, the FCPA has major, if untested, potential in application to forest crime,” the report says. “Bribes help unscrupulous companies to obtain forest land rights, to frustrate enactment and enforcement of relevant regulatory regimes, and to export and market illegally-trafficked agricultural products.”Mansell said one of the advantages of using laws other than the Lacey Act (or the Endangered Species Act), like the FCPA, was that it could make it easier to prosecute environmental crimes.“Proving something is a particular species is very hard,” Mansell said, pointing to highly technical issues like the need to demonstrate that a particular wood was illegally logged. “Money laundering is the same, no matter where it occurs.”The bottom line, according to the 2013 EIA report that blew the lid off the Lumber Liquidators issue, is that companies and investors should take extra precautions if timber is being sourced from countries where illegal practices are known to be rife.Breitkopf pointed out, though, that the concept of using additional laws on the books was still far from simple. “I agree there are more laws that lend themselves to prosecute this type of illegal activity,” she said, “but crimes such as corruption and money laundering are very difficult to prove.”Banner image: In 2015, the largest seizure of Peruvian timber was made from the ship called the Yacu Kallpa. Photo courtesy of the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA). Article published by Genevieve Belmaker Deforestation, Forests, Governance, Illegal Logging, Illegal Timber Trade, Illegal Trade, Rainforests, Supply Chain, Timber, Timber Laws, timber trade, Tropical Forests center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

Hamburg Port Ups Discount for Use of Harbor Power

first_imgzoom In an effort to better control portside emissions, the Hamburg Port Authority (HPA) has increased the discount for cruise and container vessels visiting the port and using the “environmentally friendly” harbor electricity. Effective July 1, the discount enables ships to save up to EUR 3,000 (USD 3,440) instead of current EUR 2,000.With this move, the HPA said it wants to encourage more port users to stop using their own, less expensive electricity while their ships are at berth.Under the term harbor electricity, the port refers to the use of onshore power supply but also to an alternative power supply while a ship is docked at the port, for example, LNG. As explained, the port focused on cruise ships and boxships as they have a greater need for electricity.“Our goal is to contribute to air pollution control and to keep Hamburg as an attractive port of call,” Tino Klemm, HPA’s CFO and Member of the Management Board, pointed out.In the course of the next few years, the HPA plans to install power plant units in accordance with its second Air Pollution Control Plan. The so-called PowerPacs will be used. PowerPac is a mobile, environmentally friendly power supply which can fulfill energy needs of containerships berthed at the port.World Maritime News Staff; Image Courtesy: Hafen Hamburg/Jorg Modrowlast_img read more

Gary Sinise and the Lt Dan Band to Perform Free Concert At

first_imgThe 19th annual Fleet Week Coronado Speed Festival, September 17-18, is proud to announce award-winning actor and humanitarian, Gary Sinise, as Grand Marshal.As part of the event, Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band will perform in concert at noon on Saturday, September 17, 2016—with FREE admission to active duty and their direct dependents. The band’s performance is generously donated by the Gary Sinise Foundation with flights provided by American Airlines, their official airline sponsor. Sinise began the Foundation in 2011 and it is now in its sixth year.Honor. Gratitude. Rock & Roll. That’s the mission of every Lt. Dan Band concert. There’s something for everyone as the 12-member group covers hits from every genre. Performing pop songs to classic rock staples, the band raises awareness and lifts spirits everywhere it goes. The Gary Sinise & Lt. Dan Band is one of the many programs the Gary Sinise Foundation offers. They have played hundreds of shows for over half-a-million troops and their families and helped to raise funds to support the Gary Sinise Foundation’s outreach as well as military charities across the country.“It’s always an honor to get to perform for those who serve, and the Lt. Dan Band is ready to bring a great show to this year’s festival,” said Sinise. “I want to thank the event organizers for naming me Honorary Grand Marshal and for believing wholeheartedly in the mission of the Gary Sinise Foundation.”Tickets can be purchased online (www.fleetweeksandiego.org) or at the event. Coronado Speed Festival is free for active duty military and their direct dependents with ID. Children under 12 are free with adult paid admission. For the public, tickets cost $25 for one day and $35 for both days, in advance. Tickets will also be available at the venue ($35 one day and $45 for both days).“It is a privilege to have a patriot as dedicated to the military as Gary Sinise serve as Grand Marshal for the Coronado Speed Festival,” says Dennis DuBard, president of the Fleet Week San Diego Board of Directors. “We are doubly honored to have the Lt. Dan Band perform and entertain, and know the concert will be before a sell-out crowd.”last_img read more

Thompson man missing for a month found alive by searching family

first_imgKathleen MartensAPTN NewsA northern Manitoba family is celebrating after finding their 26-year-old son who had been missing for a month.Russell Hyslop, of Lac Brochet, was located in some bush near the Thompson float plane dock midday on Friday.His parents, Tom and Jeanette Shaoullie,  were looking for him at the time after hearing a man had been spotted in the area that morning.“One of the searchers yelled, ‘Russell, we’re looking for you,’ when he looked in a shack. And there he was,” Tom told APTN News via phone Saturday morning.Tom called Jeanette who was in another part of the area and she came running.“We were hugging and crying and saying his name. He was crying, too.”The family and their friends had been scouring the city of Thompson by land and air for weeks.The happy discovery came just as RCMP were poised to launch a drone with an infra-red camera, Tom added.The parents described their son “as freaked out” and say he was in the same clothes he was wearing when he disappeared on June 19.They said he was in the community for a medical appointment that he missed.“He was in a mental state. He was exhausted,” said Jeanette. “It’s very saddening. He’s in the hospital, he’s getting the help he needs right now.”She said Russell seemed to be hiding and acting “very afraid.” She said he was not hurt.Jeanette said it appears her son relied on survival skills his dad passed onto him when it came to hunting and living off the land.Tom said they found he had a small axe, utility knife, pieces of rope and rolled up tarp.He said Russell even snuck onto a float plane and hid aboard while it made a trip. It was when Russell exited the plane and made for the bush that he was spotted Friday and police were called.“They didn’t know it was the guy we were looking for. RCMP called us to come in so they could describe him and tell us in person.”The reunion took place very near the campground searchers were using as a home base, Tom added.“Not very many parents locate their loved ones. It’s overwhelming,” he said, pausing to compose himself.While their story has a happy ending, the Hyslops know many other families are still searching for their missing loved ones.They said they could see the family of 60-year-old Dianne Bignell, missing in Thompson since May 17, dragging the river.“I would tell them not to give up,” Tom said. “If it’s meant to be the loved one will return.”The couple thanked community members, volunteer searchers, and Aboriginal organizations for supporting them emotionally and with camping equipment.They say this experience has shown them more search and rescue training and resources are needed in northern and remote areas.And Jeanette says it’s time for broader mental health and wellness [email protected]@katmartelast_img read more