HK court says media tycoon Jimmy Lai not guilty of criminal intimidation in 2017 case

first_imgA Hong Kong court declared media tycoon and pro-democracy activist Jimmy Lai not guilty of criminal intimidation on Thursday, ending one several cases against him after his high-profile arrest last month under a new national security law.Thursday’s verdict was for a case that dates back to 2017 and was unrelated to his arrest. Lai, who is a key critic of Beijing, had used foul language when confronting a reporter from Oriental Daily News, a major competitor to Lai’s tabloid Apple Daily. Police however only charged him in February this year.The mainland-born media magnate had pleaded not guilty. The national security law punishes anything China considers subversion, succession, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces with up to life in prison.Critics say it crushes freedoms, while supporters say it will bring stability after prolonged anti-China, pro-democracy protests last year.Lai’s pro-democratic Apple Daily has vied with pro-Beijing Oriental Daily for readership in the special administrative region. In 2014 Oriental Daily published a fake obituary of Lai, claiming that he had died of AIDS and many types of cancer.Prosecutors in the case said Lai had intimidated the Oriental Daily reporter.Lai’s lawyers said Lai had been followed by reporters for three years and his comments were not intended to harm the reporter but expressed his exasperation.Lai is also facing separate court cases for illegal assembly relating to anti-government protests last year. Dressed in a light grey suit and green shirt, he smiled after the verdict was read out and shook hands with supporters who filled the courtroom.His case comes after he was arrested for suspected collusion with foreign forces on August 10, making him the highest profile person to be arrested under the Beijing imposed law.The 71-year-old had been a frequent visitor to Washington, where he met officials including U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to rally support for Hong Kong democracy, prompting Beijing to label him a “traitor”After Lai’s August arrest around 200 police officers searched the office of his Apple Daily newspaper.center_img Topics :last_img read more

Metallica reunites with SF Symphony to open Warriors’ Chase Center

first_imgCLICK HERE if you are having trouble viewing these photos on a mobile device.Metallica, the biggest Bay Area band of all time, is set to open the new Chase Center in San Francisco.The band, which has sold more than 125 million albums worldwide, will rock the new home of the Warriors on Sept. 6, long before Steph Curry and company play their first official game in the 18,064-seat venue. And Metallica, consisting of vocalist-guitarist James Hetfield, drummer Lars Ulrich, guitarist Kirk Hammett …last_img read more

Team SA shine – but no medals yet

first_img11 August 2008South Africa’s men’s 4 by 100 metres freestyle relay team were dethroned as Olympic champions on Monday in an astonishing final in which the first five teams bettered the world record that the USA had set in the heats.The South Africans had qualified for the final by finishing third in their heat, with the sixth best time overall. They clocked three minutes 13.06 seconds, which bettered their gold medal winning time in Athens by 0.11, and was also a new national record.The USA, swimming without their three fastest sprinters, showed amazing depth as they cracked their own world record of 3:12.46 with a time of 3:12.23. Australia and France also finished beneath the previous mark.Relay finalIn the final, the Americans included Michael Phelps, Garrett Weber-Gale and Jason Lezak, with only Cullen Jones retained from their team that qualified for the final. It proved to be one of the most eye-opening of all the events swum so far in Beijing.Despite their enviable depth, the Americans needed the fastest leg ever swum in a relay to reel in France over the final 100 metres. Lezak clocked 46.06 seconds with the flying start and hauled in Alain Bernard, who holds the world record at 47.50 seconds, to take the USA to victory in 3:08.24. The French touched a mere eight hundredths of a second later.The winning time slashed an astounding 3.99 seconds off the record that had been set in the heats.Australia took third, Italy fourth, and Sweden fifth, all under the old mark. Canada followed in sixth and South Africa’s Roland Schoeman, Darian Townsend, Lyndon Ferns, and Ryk Neethling finished seventh in 3:12.66, which was once again a national record. Great Britain finished eighth.Basson impressiveJean Basson excelled in the 200 metres freestyle heats, winning his race and recording the second fastest time of 1:46.31. US superstar Michael Phelps turned in the fourth fastest qualifying time.Basson then upped the excitement level considerably by winning his semi-final in 1:46.13. Two swimmers in the other semi-final bettered his time, but not by much, so a cracking final is on the cards. Phelps, in his quest for a record eight Olympic gold medals, made it through by finishing third.While South Africa’s swimmers have failed to win a medal in the pool, it is hard to criticise their performances, which have been littered with national and African records.National recordsGerhard Zandberg won his heat in the 100 metres backstroke in an African record of 53.75 seconds, which was the fifth best time of the heats. He couldn’t match that time in the semi-finals, clocking 53.98, which was good for only sixth and saw him fail to make the final.Riaan Schoeman failed to progress beyond the heats in the 400 metres individual medley, but his time of 4:14.04 was a national record. Kathryn Meaklim also couldn’t progress beyond the 400 IM heats, but she, too, set a national record, lopping almost four seconds off the previous mark in 4:37.11.Mandy Loots established yet another SA record in the heats of the 100 butterfly with a time of 58.61. It wasn’t good enough for her to go on to the semi-finals, but Lize-Marie Retief lowered the new record shortly afterwards to 58.20, which earned her a spot in the semis where she finished last in her race.The one-minute barrierCameron van der Burgh became the first African to break through the one-minute barrier in the 100 metres breaststroke in the heats with his time of 59.96 seconds. He was third in his race as Norway’s Alexander Dale Oen won in an Olympic record that was later broken in the final.Van der Burgh was not as sharp in his semi-final as he had been in the heats and his time of 1:00.57 saw him eliminated after he finished fifth in the second race.Suzaan van Biljon qualified for the semi-finals of the women’s 100 metres breaststroke by finishing third in her heat in 1:07.55, which was the fifth best time. The winner of the race, Australia’s Liesel Jones, set an Olympic record of 1:05.64 and then won her semi-final in a slightly slower time. Van Biljon was badly off song in the semi-finals, finishing in a time two seconds slower than her time in the heats, and in last place.Augustyn’s star on the riseIn the men’s cycling road race, won by Spain’s Sammy Sanchez over a tough and hilly 245 kilometre course, John-Lee Augustyn, one day shy of his 22nd birthday, excelled by finishing in 27th place. With his recent strong performance in the Tour de France and his gritty showing in Beijing, Augustyn has confirmed that he is a star in the making.Marissa van der Merwe finished 34th in the women’s road race, while teenager Cherise Taylor settled for 49th place.The SA women’s hockey team got their campaign off to a rough start against defending champions The Netherlands. They were crushed 6-0.Rowing hopesRower Ramon di Clemente kept alive his hopes of adding to the bronze medal he won at the Athens Olympics men’s pairs with Donovan Cech, who has since retired. He and new partner Shaun Keeling comfortably qualified for the semi-finals by finishing second in their heat.Keeling is confident they can challenge for a medal; he says they held something in reserve in their outing.Rika Geyser qualified for the quarterfinals of the women’s single scull by finishing third in her heat.Would you like to use this article in your publicationor on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Today I woke up..

first_img…in a country that said, “be who you want to be.” Zanele Situ, Nelson Mandela, ‘Baby Jake’ Matlala, Natalie du Toit, Joel Stransky, Johnny Clegg and Sipho Mchunu are among the New South African heroes who woke up to a country Alive with Possibility. Click arrow to play video.last_img

Designing Duct System Vents for Good Air Flow

first_imgThe important factor that comes into play here is net free area. It’s not just the overall size that matters. It’s the amount of open area in the return grille that matters. This is something a lot of people ignore when they switch out the metal vents in their home with wooden grilles. The net free area in a metal grille is typically 70 to 90 percent. A wooden grille might have a net free area of 50% or less. That can make a huge difference in air flow.Then there are the DIY jobs. Just do a little search on the term “decorating a return air vent,” and you’ll see a lot of creative ways to make your system underperform — but it sure will look good!Sizing a return grilleSo how do you size a return vent? The author’s of Manual T give a pretty easy way to do it. If you’re using a non-filter grille, you divide the air flow rate in cubic feet per minute (cfm) by the face velocity in feet per minute (fpm). (Sorry, rest of the world. We use “those annoying imperial units” here in the U.S.)But wait, you say. What the heck is the face velocity? Great question! It’s the speed of the air over the whole face of the grille. Occasionally you’ll see a reference to core velocity, which is the speed over the free area of the grille. When designing the returns, we typically use a maximum face velocity of 400 fpm for a non-filter grille.Let’s do the numbers. Say you have a return designed for 1,000 cfm. The grille area, then, would need to be 1,000 cfm / 400 fpm = 2.5 square feet. That’s 360 square inches, so a 19″ x 19″ grille would work. Except you can’t find one with those dimensions. At 360 square inches, a 20″ x 18″ is right on the money. But…Use real engineering dataWhat does the manufacturer say about their grilles? If you look at the Hart & Cooley catalog, it’s easy to see that these simple calculations don’t quite work. Take a look at the table below (see Image #3) and you’ll see what I mean. 20″ x 18″ isn’t in the table, but 20″ x 20″ is. And it doesn’t make the grade. The highlighted column is the one for a face velocity of 400 fpm.Hmmmm. We wanted 1,000 cfm, but the 20″ x 18″ grille will give us something less than 720 cfm at those conditions.The solution is to go bigger. The snippet of engineering data below is from further down in the table. To have a return grille that can move at least 1,000 cfm at 400 fpm face velocity, we need a 30″ x 20″ grille. The 30″ x 18″ doesn’t quite get us there so we bump it up to the next size.That simple calculation from Manual T that I opened up the discussion of sizing with turns out to be a rough rule of thumb. To get the proper sizes for your return grilles, you must use the engineering data.A delicate balanceAt the other end, the supply duct terminations have to do a lot. Here’s the short list of what you want to accomplish with the supply air when it exits the ducts:Deliver the right amount of air. Of course, most of that is determined by what happens before the air gets to the end of a run but the vent type is still significant.Mix the supply air with the room air. That means shooting it out fast enough and in the right direction(s).Keep fast-moving air away from people. Drafts create comfort problems.Get the air out of the vents quietly. This is such an important point it deserves its own article.Don’t give that freshly conditioned air a short circuit to a return vent. If you put a supply just across from a return, you’re asking for trouble.I’ll cover that important topic in the near future. In the meantime, your homework is to get your hands on a copy of Manual T, download a catalog or two , and see if you can make some sense of this stuff. (Hart & Cooley and Shoemaker are the two big names in registers, grilles, and diffusers.) When I come back to this subject, we’ll explore those design issues in some depth. Allison Bailes of Decatur, Georgia, is a speaker, writer, building science consultant, and the author of the Energy Vanguard Blog. You can follow him on Twitter at @EnergyVanguard. RELATED ARTICLESAll About Furnaces and Duct SystemsSaving Energy With Manual J and Manual DKeeping Ducts IndoorsReturn-Air ProblemsSealing DuctsDuct Leakage Testing You’re at a cocktail party when, as it so often does, the discussion turns to HVAC design. What do people talk about? Load calculations. Manual J. Oversizing. Maybe a little about duct sizing or location. But how many times have you been in that conversation and heard someone talk about what happens at the end of the ducts? Yes, I’m talking about the often overlooked part of HVAC design in which the designer selects the proper terminations for the duct runs.In the protocols of the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA), this part of the design process is described in Manual T: Air Distribution Basics for Residential and Small Commercial Buildings. This step is just as important as the other parts of the design process but is often given short shrift. Here’s an overview of some of the main factors we consider when selecting grilles and registers for the systems we design.Suck it inFirst, let me say that most of our attention is on the supply outlets (the registers and diffusers). The return inlets (grilles) are important but getting them right is pretty easy. Mostly, they just need to be big and open enough for the amount of air they’re moving. If they’re not, you’ll hear it once the fan runs. Make them too small — a common problem — and they’ll be noisy and reduce air flow.last_img read more

Photo: Jim Harbaugh Recruiting Graduate Students For “Top Secret” Research Projects

first_imgjim harbaugh research flyerTwitter/@ByAZunigaIf we’ve learned anything about Jim Harbaugh in his first 18 months as Michigan head coach, it is that he’ll look for any advantage he can get. Based on a flyer posted to Twitter by Maize ‘N Brew‘s Alejandro Zúñiga, Harbaugh is recruiting “highly motivated” Michigan graduate students for top secret “applied research projects.”Michigan football is planning a top-secret project:— Alejandro Zúñiga (@ByAZuniga) June 15, 2016It is impossible not to be intrigued by what the means, coming from Jim Harbaugh’s Michigan program. It could be anything.MORE FROM COLLEGE SPUN:The 10 Most Aggressive Fan Bases In CFBIn Photos: Golfer Paige SpiranacESPN Makes Decision On Dick Vitalelast_img read more

Saskatchewan First Nations take Treaty fight to legislature

first_imgAPTN National NewsWith provincial organizations like the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations in disarray, First Nations in Saskatchewan took matters into their own hands.A march was organized to the provincial legislature to call on the provincial government to respect their Treaty obligations.APTN National News reporter Delaney Windigo has the story.last_img

DavidsTea shareholders sue company founder seeking to have him removed

first_imgMONTREAL – The founder of DavidsTea Inc. is being sued by company shareholders seeking to have Herschel Segal removed as executive chairman and the election of a new board of directors.Three Highland Limited partnerships which together own 12.8 per cent of the Montreal-based beverage retailer’s shares filed suit in Quebec Superior Court against Segal and his investment firm Rainy Day Investments.Rainy Day Investments owns 46.4 per cent of DavidsTea shares.DavidsTea says the lawsuit is without merit and contains old, baseless allegations.Segal says in a statement that DavidsTea won’t be distracted by efforts to turn around the struggling retailer.The company, which is not named as a defendant, says it will defend against efforts that affect the election of directors or appointment of management.It says the new lawsuit seemingly replaces a similar motion filed before the June annual meeting that was later withdrawn.A slate of Rainy Day nominees were elected to the board and that resulted in the resignation of CEO Joel Silver, but two of those directors also later resigned.Segal has pledged that the chain of tea shops will become profitable within a year and focus on its Canadian roots.last_img read more

Category 2 open burning ban to take effect Thursday

first_imgthe open burning of any material (piled or unpiled) smaller than two metres high and three metres wide; andstubble or grass fires over an area smaller than 2,000 square metres.The prohibition does not apply to Category 3 fires or campfires that are a half-metre high by a half-metre wide or smaller, nor to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes. Anyone lighting a campfire must maintain a fireguard by removing flammable debris from around the campfire area and have a hand tool or at least eight litres of water available nearby to properly extinguish the fire.Anyone found in contravention of an open burning prohibition may be issued a violation ticket for $1,150, required to pay an administrative penalty of $10,000 or, if convicted in court, fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to one year in jail. If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person responsible may be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.To report a wildfire or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone. For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, go to: PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. – Category 2 open burns will be prohibited throughout the Prince George Fire Centre and that includes all of northeast B.C.The prohibition will take effect at 12 p.m. on Thursday May 23 and will remain in effect until the public is notified.Category 2 fire is considered one of the following:last_img read more

EC calls for detailed report on disturbance affected areas during Panchayat polls

first_imgKolkata: The Election Commission has asked the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Bengal to send a detailed report of the pockets that had witnessed disturbance during the last Panchayat polls. The report should be sent within a couple of days.A senior official in the EC said that the report will be matched with the report prepared by their team, which had taken stock of the law and order situation of the state during their recent visit and accordingly start deploying CRPF personnel — the first batch of which is expected to reach the state by Friday or Saturday. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellersThe CRPF jawans will be first deployed in the disturbance-affected pockets. As per sources in the office of the Bengal CEO, ten companies of CRPF will be deployed in South 24-Parganas, North 24-Parganas, Murshidabad, Malda, East Midnapore, North Dinajpur, Birbhum, West Burdwan and Kolkata. A source in the commission said that Deganga in North 24-Parganas, Basanti and Kultali in South 24-Parganas, the bordering areas of Malda, Murshidabad, East Midnapore, Birbhum and Asansol in West Burdwan will witness the deployment first. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari Puja”We have not yet finalised the total deployment of CRPF for Bengal. They will be coming in phases and will carry out area domination to boost the confidence of voters,” a senior official in CEO’s office said. According to senior officials of the commission, the jawans will directly coordinate with them and as per their instructions, will also send live photographs from their body-mounted cameras. Vulnerability mapping on the part of the commission is still on and is being conducted on the basis of six factors including ‘intimidation of voters’, ‘threat on basis of caste, religion or political identity’, ‘histories of political clashes and tension, ‘margins of previous elections’ and ‘worry lists and complaints from political parties’. “Previously we used to consider the winning margin to determine the vulnerability but this time, we will see the polling percentage and tally it with the last election. If we find that there is a huge gap between the two elections, then we will identify the booths. These factors will be incorporated in mapping the vulnerability,” the official added.last_img read more