As of 6:30 a.m., there were still several canceled flights in and out of ILM listed.As always, check with your airline before heading to the airport. Photo: MGN WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — After a day of canceled flights at the Wilmington International Airport Thursday, it looks like some are back on track Friday.According to the airport’s website early Friday, more than a dozen flights are set to arrive or depart on time Friday.- Advertisement –
A patient care area at New Hanover Regional Medical Center’s Emergency Department. (Photo: WWAY) SOUTHEASTERN NC (WWAY) – A newly released report scored hospitals on how safe they keep their patients from errors, injuries, accidents, and infections.New Hanover Regional Medical Center received a B.- Advertisement – According to a breakdown of the grade, their worst performance came during problems with surgery. That’s where New Hanover’s performance was below average in five of the seven categories. The categories ranged from ‘death from serious treatable complications’ to ‘accidental cuts and tears.’New Hanover’s best performance was in their practices to prevent errors, coming in above average in all five categories.Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center received an A.Related Article: Less fat, more fruit may cut risk of dying of breast cancerColumbus Regional Healthcare System also received an A.“The employees at CRHS work relentlessly each and every day to provide the safest care to our patients. We are proud that these efforts are being nationally recognized by Leapfrog,” said John Young, Interim CEO, Columbus Regional.Grades for Pender Memorial and Cape Fear Valley Bladen County Hospital were not available.The report, released by The Leapfrog Group, an independent nonprofit organization, analyzed 27 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to assign grades to hospitals twice a year.For a more detailed look at each hospital’s safety grade, click here.
Forest Hills Global Elementary School (Photo: Kirsten Gutierrez/WWAY) NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Classes resumed at Forest Hills Global Elementary after crews discovered a malfunctioning HVAC unit caused a gas leak.The HVAC unit, which is on the roof, has a re-heating element that is powered by gas. The unit has been repaired and the school is operating again on its normal schedule.- Advertisement – Around 10:45 a.m., the school was evacuated due to the odor of something that smelled like gas.According to the New Hanover County School District, school maintenance and safety officials responded.Forest Hills Elementary has been evacuated due to the odor of something that smells like gas. NHCS Maintenance and safety officials are on-site inspecting the cause. We will provide an update shortly.— New Hanover Co Sch (@NewHanoverCoSch) April 27, 2018Related Article: Study abroad trip to Chile inspired woman to teach SpanishNew Hanover County Schools spokeswoman Valita Quattlebaum said parents were notified with a phone call.On Wednesday, the school was dismissed at noon due to electrical power issues. Power was restored later that day and the first phase of the repair completed. The second repair was scheduled to take place after school dismissed today.
“I am shocked and very, very happy,” said neighbor Rick Wilson who has fought the mine dating back to when the NCDEQ gave the property a permit for the mine several years ago.The land, for the longest time, was zoned to for agricultural use. The developer was approved for rezoning and the special use permit for a mining operation last month by the county planning board.This was after the developer was granted a continuance on the project and returned with new buffer plans along the private road that backs up to a dozen homes. Conditions were also added for a half mile stretch of Sledge Road, where the upwards to 80 dump trucks would traverse sand off of the mining site, to be widened and paved. However, the part that would be paved and maintained was not near the outlet onto Castle Hayne Road.Related Article: New Hanover County Planning Board approves sand mine special use permitIt was enough to get approved at the planning level, but not before the county commission mostly because a majority of commissioners did not see the public need for it.“Development in New Hanover County would end, it cannot exist in the absence of sand,” said attorney Steve Coggins representing the land owner.Coggins’s claim was quickly challenged by commissioner Woody White who said, “Well it’s existed until today without this sand mine,” referring to growth and development.“We’re simply going to be digging some sand, moving it in dump trucks, and going from there,” said Coggins before the commission adding that the state mining permit requires they stop any operation if contaminants or hazardous material is uncovered given that the site sits near a reported contamination site GE is responsible for.“What have we heard, or what should we hear for us to find that having a sand mine is in the public interest,” asked commissioner White who was joined by commissioner Pat Kusek who questioned if the conditional rezoning had any assurance the sand taken would be staying local for beach, road, or building projects.“I have no problem with them using their resource, but it has to be done in a manner that’s responsible to the county and especially the residents of the area,” said neighbor Don Kohler who from the beginning never spoke publicly at meetings but carried a sign that read, ‘Heavy Industry is not Neighborly’.In the end it came down to not noise, but the necessity. The commission voted 4 to 1 against the rezoning. There was an issue brought up that an apparent key piece of evidence was not given to commissioners that displayed how the operation was within the public interest and necessity. Because of that, commissioner Rob Zapple argued that the request by Hilton Properties be continued to a later meeting. However, that request came after a motion and a second to turn it down.WWAY has reached out to Mr. Coggins for further statement on the decision by the commission that left many Castle Hayne neighbors happily surprised.“I am so happy that they citizens were considered over industry, an unnecessary industry,” said Wilson. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — There will not be a sand mine coming to north New Hanover County following a vote by county leaders Monday afternoon.Hilton Properties worked over the past two months to get the county’s approval to put a controversial sand mine along Castle Hayne Road north of GE.- Advertisement –
Advertisement Accrediting the shifting trends in mobile payment space, financial institutions, telcom operators and vendors are very incisive to explore the latest approach to withstand in mobile wallet eco-system. Nearly all the articles provide vibrant evidences of mobile phone users, unbanked customers, smarter way of payments and revenue generated by mobile payment system (forecasted to be $800 billion by 2017). However after spending few months with our Team who are committed to implement mobile wallet ecosystem in under developed countries (Nepal, Bangladesh, and Kenya), made me realized that it requires more than an ecosystem to take the project to success.Consumer’s dependency on mobile phone is rapidly intensifying with exponential rate. Addiction of getting information about social networking sites, professional & personal emails and financial updates are considered priorities, hence these facts have been the driving force behind introduction and seamless service of mobile wallet. Though the adaptability rate of mobile wallet is quite high, impediments are playing their part. A complete mobile payment ecosystem consists of Regulatory Authorities, financial institutions, telecom operators, merchants, users and technology providers. Each component has its own significance. This ecosystem is interdependent and differs itself from the term ‘mobile payment’. Enhancing mobile payments with location based services, consumer preferences, digital coupons, reward points and humanizing brand loyalty turn mobile payments into a complete mobile wallet. A user expects a stagnant response from each component, failure to this will lead to the unacceptability of services.Study reveals that major barriers for consumers are communication systems, lack of accessibility & interoperability and infrastructure inadequacies. Even Google Wallet is yet to be a success due to a very small number of users, retailers of NFC enabled payment mechanism. Now, the true challenge is to please consumer and retailer in order to provide them an innovative shopping experience through mobile phone. It is universally accepted that omnipresent magnetic strips credit cards are too difficult to obsolete, therefore switching to mobile wallet is obviously an uphill task. – Advertisement – Fear of losing mobile phone is also an obstacle to endorse mobile wallet. According to a source (Lookout Labs), An American loses one mobile phone a year. Hence the security matters and even more when a mobile phone is a replica of user’s credit card, Which actually question to initiate alternate ways to authenticate the transactions. It also encourages all the providers to be more creative in order to enhance the mobile payment system with more security. The question to be answered is what if we lost our mobile phone or battery goes dead.The only live and successful case study of mobile wallet in any underdeveloped country is from Kenya, with per capita GDP $1800 and 40 % of unemployed population (According to CIA World fact book). One of the major component of its success is poor banking infrastructure with very few ATM installed. The subscribers are hooked to use mobile phone for any transaction as It’s difficult to find ATMs at every corner in Kenya.A true success of mobile wallet will only be possible as a whole ecosystem. Users and merchants are two valuable factors of this eco-system, they need to be educated thoroughly. If the awareness is uniformed among these two components, they could be the driving force to foster mobile wallet.Since being the technology provider in this mobile wallet eco-system, we cannot rely on inadequate infrastructure and the large number of mobile phone user in each country to promote mobile payment system every time.
Advertisement China appears to have once again taken the lead from the United States in the burgeoning super-computing wars, developing a supercomputer that is twice as fast as anything America has to offer.The new Tianhe-2 supercomputer, nicknamed the Milkyway-2, was unveiled by China’s National University of Defense Technology (NUDT) during a conference held in late May. University of Tennessee professor Jack Dongarra confirmed this week that the Milkyway-2 operates as fast as 30.7 petaflops — quadrillions of calculations — per second.Titan, the U.S. Department of Energy’s fastest supercomputer, has been clocked in at “just” 17.6 petaflops per second. Dongarra is also a researcher at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory which houses Titan. – Advertisement – The new Chinese supercomputer will provide an open, high-performance computing service for southwest China when it moves to the Chinese National Supercomputer Center in Guangzhou by the end of this year. NUDT has listed several possible uses for the Milkway-2, including simulations for testing airplanes, processing “big data,” and aiding in government security.The Milkyway-2 will have to be officially tested, but its incredible speed will likely place it atop the biannual Top 500 supercomputer list, which is expected to be unveiled during the International Supercomputing Conference next weekend. It would mark the first time since 2010 that China topped the list — then with the Tianhe-1.
Advertisement Twenty people were injured when a promotional stunt in Seoul for LG’s new G2 smartphone went wrong.LG released 100 helium balloons, each with a free smartphone voucher, at the so-called G in the Cloud event, which took place in an outdoor park in the Korean capital city.[related-posts] – Advertisement – The phones, which sell for $851/£550, would be given to people in possession of the voucher, the company said.Customers arrived with BB guns to shoot down the balloons and surged forward when they were released.One person carried a pointed staff to the event.The handset was released in New York last week, after weeks of build-up on social media.It is expected to be available globally with more than 130 carriers within several weeks.Source: BBC
Advertisement The world cup craze is getting out way as i write this with more than 100 Million related searches on Google search, am not suprised the social networks are joining in on the party. This started with Facebook creating a hub and a few hours we saw twitter join in with a similar update and a few other updates. Well here is a quick overview of these updates.Facebook Hub.The Hub has some cool features like match updates, player and teams. So fans will always keep up with their favourite teams. Similar to timelines you will be able to keep up with what your friends are posting about the world cup. The hub will also provide a visual map of how fans are interacting worldwide using the Fan Map. Another feature we are also looking out for is the FacebookRef which is going to be giving live commentary from the on going matches. – Advertisement – Twitter:Well Twitter has taken this further, because if you are now signing up for a twitter account, you have an option of picking a Flag of one of the teams in the world cup as your avatar. We now even have the awesome #flags which appear if you tweet using a hashtag of the different country code like #ENG will bring an England Flag. Like Facebook, they will also have a dedicated page where you can keep up with the live scores and the tweets with #worldcupI can say am impressed and i expect more crazy updates as we go along, but if you want an app for all this craze i suggest you check the official FIFA app.Catch you in the next one
This year we saw several instances of vehicles being vulnerable to hackers. Image Credit: HiltonHead Advertisement Nothing was safe from hackers this year.From cars and gas stations to phones and hospital equipment, hackers got very creative finding new vulnerabilities to exploit.And, even worse, they managed to get their hands on more intimate data than in past years. – Advertisement – This year wasn’t just hackers accessing emails, passwords, and social security information, but they also stole new kinds of personal data including fingerprints and pictures.Here’s a look at the most frightening hacks that happened this year.1. A billion Android devices were compromised by a vulnerability in the operating systemA nasty Android vulnerability called“Stagefright” went public in July. The exploit would let hackers take over the operating system of any Android phone without the user even knowing.With almost 1 billion Android devices affected, security researchers were quick to call it one of the biggest smartphone security flaws ever. The vulnerability was discovered by the security company Zimperium, so we don’t know if any hackers ever actually used it.Google rolled out a patch, but because hardware manufacturers must first implement it before it can go to consumers, there’s a good chance that millions of devices are still exposed.2. Ashley Madison hack left millions of cheaters exposedThis was not a good year for cheaters.In July, it was revealed that the infidelity website Ashley Madison was breached and some 32 million users had their email addresses and partial credit card information posted to the internet.Because the sole purpose of Ashley Madison is to help married people have an affair, just having names exposed was a huge deal.Ashley Madison, though, claims that since the hack it has actually seen increased growth. Users whose information was exposed, though, haven’t been so lucky.3. A serious zero-day vulnerability was found in Mac OS XEven Apple, who is known for having some of the most secure devices, was hit with a major security headache when it was revealed hackers were exploiting a vulnerability called DYLD.DYLD is known as a “zero-day exploit” because it’s a security hole that the software creator doesn’t even know exists. Once these are discovered by the company, they are usually fixed pretty quickly.The exploit let hackers install malicious applications on a victim’s computer by taking advantage of a security hole in Apple’s latest error-logging feature in the Mac OS X 10.10.Apple reportedly worked quickly to fix the bug.4. Researchers took control of a Corvette’s brakes via text messageA scary vulnerability in cellular-capable car dongles enables hackers to take control over certain functions in cars, including car brakes and the windshield wipers.The dongle is question is a USB-like device that plug into a vehicle’s on-board diagnostics port under the dashboard. A lot of car owners these days are using dongles to make their cars smarter.Security researchers used a Corvette to demo how to exploit the vulnerability, but they said that the exploit could work on almost any car with a dongle.The car dongle the researchers used was one produced by Mobile Devices and distributed by Metromile. Metromile has since disabled the cellular capabilities in its devices.5. 15 million T-Mobile customers had their data stolen after a third-party breachIn October, T-Mobile revealed that some 15 million customers who applied for T-Mobile services or for device financing between September 1, 2013 to September 16, 2015 had sensitive data stolen.However, the data wasn’t stolen directly from T-Mobile.The hackers managed to get the information from servers belonging to Experian, which processes credit checks for T-Mobile.While no payment or banking information was obtained, hackers did manage to get the names, addresses, Social Security numbers, and identification numbers like those found on a driver license or passport of all those affected.[BusinessInsider]
Pandora’s target audiences include more casual fans who want an outside-designed selection for a party, or stores and restaurants looking for the ideal mood music. Image Credit: Mashable Advertisement Internet radio giant Pandora introduced a feature to improve personalisation of musical selections as it hopes to prevent potential defections to on-demand sites.Unlike major streaming sites such as Spotify that allow listeners to pick each track, Pandora consists of stations that a listener chooses.Pandora said it was starting “Thumbprint Radio,” a personalised channel based on the “thumbs up” of approval clicked by listeners while on the platform. – Advertisement – The personalised station will make suggestions based on past selections and will be automatically updated.“Our musicologists have made sure you will be guided seamlessly through all of the genres you have thumbed up, no matter how varied they are,” Chris Phillips, Pandora’s chief product officer, wrote in a blog post.[related-posts]Sweden-based Spotify is the largest global streaming music site but Pandora has retained a lead in the United States, according to App Annie, which tracks popularity of smartphone apps.Pandora’s target audiences include more casual fans who want an outside-designed selection for a party, or stores and restaurants looking for the ideal mood music.Spotify has increasingly tried to personalise the experience, earlier this year introducing a “Discover Weekly” function that suggests tracks once a week based on past choices.Google has also focused heavily on personalisation in its recently launched YouTube Music site, which automatically generates channels with the listener able to fine-tune the level of adventurousness.Apple Music, the streaming service launched in June by the tech giant, also has a “for you” selection that lets subscribers create a station based on their preferences.[The Star Online]
The FitBit Blazer watch. Image Credit: aolcdn Advertisement Last year was a big one for Fitbit. In April, Apple threw down the gantlet to wearables and fitness-tracker makers with the Apple Watch, and in June Fitbit went public in a larger-than-expected initial public offering. With its first major release since these milestones, Fitbit has come out swinging by introducing the Blaze, the company’s first smartwatch with some fashion sense.Strictly speaking, the Blaze isn’t Fitbit’s first smartwatch. That honor goes to the Surge, famously worn by President Obama when cruising around with Jerry Seinfeld or walking the First Dogs. Still, the Blaze is Fitbit’s first watch that doesn’t look like something you might use for help in scaling Everest. The silver and black watch definitely looks a little like its fruit-branded competitor, but it sports an open lug design that makes it appear a little lighter on the wrist. The face still looks like a screen, but at least it’s one that wants to make a good impression.A bunch of band options let you customize the Blaze. It comes with one of the textured rubber bands familiar to Fitbit customers, in black, plum, or blue, and you can purchase additional rubber straps, real leather bands, and a metal bracelet to swap in if those are more your speed. The tracker itself (the black square unit) swaps in and out, and the bands are integrated on the silvery frame around it. At least at launch, you won’t be able to buy the Blaze in its native state on any band other than the active rubber, emphasizing that, at its core, this is a smartwatch meant for fitness. – Advertisement – This brings us to an important point: The Blaze isn’t a smartwatch that you can weight down with apps or customize to organize your entire digital life. It is primarily meant to be a detailed fitness tracker that can be worn all the time, offering a few additional features for convenience. Apart from interacting with Fitbit’s own fitness app, the Blaze can push calendar appointments, calls, and texts, but it doesn’t get into the weeds with such things as e-mail or Twitter notifications.The screen is a full-color display, with a soft (but not dull) appearance. You can navigate menus with the push buttons on the frame or use the touchscreen itself. Workouts and sleep are automatically detected and the heart rate monitor functions continuously, minimizing the number of times you have to fiddle with it when you’re merely doing daily activities. The Blaze does need your phone to get GPS data, but this helps with the multi-day battery life that Fitbit believes is crucial for a product like this.The Fitbit Blaze will set you back $200 for the tracker and the rubber strap that’s included. Additional rubber straps will cost $30, leather options are $100, and the steel bracelet is the most expensive, at $130. Fitbit plans in the coming months to offer additional options made with fashion partners such as Tory Burch.[related-posts]While the base model is less expensive than Fitbit’s Surge, adding the leather or metal band places it squarely in price competition with the likes of the Apple Watch Sport and the Moto 360. “It’s important to understand that Fitbit has a singular focus on health and fitness,” said Fitbit CEO and Co-Founder James Park in an email when asked about competing with other smartwatches. “With the introduction of the Fitbit Blaze, we have developed a smart fitness watch that is fitness first, has the most relevant smart features that wont’t overwhelm users…This focus is our competitive advatage.”The Fitbit Blaze is now available for pre-order via Fitbit and will go on sale January 6 via Fitbit’s larger retailers such at Amazon, Best Buy, and Target in the United States. Global availability isn’t yet set, but the Blaze will start rolling out outside the U.S. in March.[Bloomberg]
Advertisement Co-Founders of Vine; Colin Kroll and Rus Yusupov alongside Dom Hofmann, back in 2013 sold the Vine; a video sharing app to Twitter for $30 million and last week as news broke out, Twitter announced it plans to shut down the video sharing platform since it wasn’t performing well as expected.According to NDTV news today, the Colin and Rus have unveiled their new live video broadcasting app, dubbed HYPE, which might act as a direct competitor to Facebook’s live videos. Launched first in the beta phase, the HYPE app is now available for download via the App Store.However, according to it’s developers, the app will also be available for Android users, but there was no mention of when the app will be available on play store. – Advertisement – Let’s see if HYPE will be able to compete against Twitter’s Periscope and Facebook’s Live video efforts.[related-posts]
Advertisement Google releases a new version of Android at least once a year, but the overwhelming majority of users won’t see that update for many months–if they see the updates at all. The latest Android dashboard report, released on 2 May, shows that the latest versions of Android Nougat (7.0 and 7.1) are running on just 7.1% of all Android smartphones. About 32% of smartphones are still running on two-year-old Android Marshmallow (5.0 and 5.1) versions.Apple has greater control over iOS as it controls the entire device ecosystem.How Android update works now – Advertisement – After Google releases the open source code for the latest version of Android, it is modified by the chipmaker for the specific hardware. This modified version of the new release is then passed on to the OEMs who make further changes in the release to accommodate their custom UIs over them.Every time Google releases a new update, both OEMs and chipmakers have to make sure that the update works with the custom UI as well as the smartphone’s hardware. This makes providing updates a costly and time-consuming process which most OEMs want to avoid.Enter Project TrebleWith Project Treble, Google is making some key changes to Android’s system architecture. These changes will show up with the upcoming version of Android, codenamed Android O. More information is expected on it at the Google I/O conference which begins on 17 May.The objective is to lessen the involvement of chipmakers for updates and provide more control to the OEMs. This will make it less costly and easier for OEMs to update their existing smartphones to the new OS.To accomplish this, Google will create a vendor interface called VTS (Vendor Test Suite) for OEMs on similar lines as the CTS (Compatibility Test Suite) for software developers. CTS is a platform which allows apps developers to write a single app for different devices running on different hardware. It is one of the reasons why app updates are so easily available on most smartphones.With VTS, now OEMs will be able to directly access the hardware specific parts, update the Android framework and release a new update to the end-user faster.What it means for usersWith Project Treble, OEMs will have more control over the software updates. This should result in faster updates for the end-user. However, OEMs who overlay the original Android software with their own custom UIs will still have to run tests before making these updates compatible with their custom UI. If the UI is too complex, the update may still get delayed.
Advertisement Facebook has announced another News Feed algorithm update, this time focused on reducing the reach of websites which are not optimized for mobile devices.As explained by Facebook: “We’ve heard from people that it’s frustrating to click on a link that leads to a slow-loading webpage. […] During the coming months we’re making an update to News Feed to show people more stories that will load quickly on mobile and fewer stories that might take longer to load, so they can spend more time reading the stories they find relevant.”The mobile app will show users more stories that load quickly, pushing ones that may take longer further down in your feed — giving you relevant content that you will spend time reading. – Advertisement – The company explained it has been taking many factors into account for years to make sure Facebook users see relevant stories quickly. Your News Feed, especially, considers the type of device you are using and the speed of the mobile network or Wi-Fi connection. If you are on a slower internet connection that is not loading videos, your feed will show fewer videos and more links or status updates instead.[related-posts]To load stories faster for those on a slow network, Facebook prefetches stories — meaning the mobile content is downloaded before clicking on the link. Stories are prefetched based on how likely you will click on the link in the mobile News Feed. If the prediction score measures up to the specific requirements, the initial HTML file is downloaded when the link appears on your screen. The content is then cached locally on your device for a short period of time.
MTN Uganda Chief Executive, Wim Vanhelleputte addressing press at one of the telcos gathering in Kampala. Advertisement Uganda is the first country outside South Africa to host the largest gathering of top executives from the MTN Group and its subsidiaries from 24 countries. At least 300 delegates are in the country for the MTN Global Leadership Gathering (GLG) taking place from 30th to 31st January, 2018 at the Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort.“MTN Uganda takes pride in being considered to host this prestigious gathering where strategic decisions for the future of the MTN Group are made. With a subscriber base of 232 million across 24 African countries, MTN Uganda is glad to host a gathering of the decision makers within the MTN Group to discuss how to further grow the numbers and continue to facilitate communication,” said Wim Vanhelleputte the CEO MTN Uganda.MTN Uganda is a success story in the MTN Group especially with the impressive growth in Mobile Money that has continues to facilitate financial inclusion. – Advertisement – With MTN Uganda hosting this summit, it is a sign that there is confidence at MTN Group level in the work being done in the country. It also represents the confidence in the Ugandan economy.“This year, MTN Uganda turns twenty years, which indicates that the Ugandan economy continues to support expansion of our investments over the years. Hosting the summit emphasizes that and also presents greater investment opportunities in the country. For MTN Uganda, it is also an opportunity to showcase Uganda’s potential beyond just investment,” Wim added.
[dropcap]W[/dropcap]elcome to Starters Orders. Our daily midday update from the trading room at Star Sports with our key market movers for the day across all sports.Friday 6 JuneRACING4.00 Epsom (Oaks)Tarfasha 13/2 > 4/15.20 EpsomMime Dance 12/1 > 9/1TENNISLooking to get Djokovic beaten in the outright market – come on Gulbis!What’s your view?CALL STAR SPORTS ON 08000 521 321
[dropcap]W[/dropcap]elcome to Starters Orders. Our daily midday update from the trading room at Star Sports with our key market movers for the day across all sports.Saturday 13 DecemberRACING12.50 CheltenhamChampagne West 4/6 > 4/71.25 CheltenhamAstracad 11/2 > 4/12.35 CheltenhamPort Melon 11/4 > 9/43.10 CheltenhamThe New One 4/7 > 1/2What’s your view?CALL STAR SPORTS ON 08000 521 321
HORSE RACING1.45 TowcesterIora Glass 13/8 > 10/114.05 LudlowLord Huntingdon 8/13 > 2/54.55 ChelmsfordVolatile 3/1 > 6/4BET WITH STAR SPORTS 08000 521 321 [dropcap]W[/dropcap]elcome to Starters Orders. Our daily midday update from the trading room at Star Sports with our key market movers for the day across all sports.Thursday 10 November
There is always real excitement when it comes to the first day of Royal Ascot and I just cannot wait. It really is such a magical place with all the glamour and such a great atmosphere. Plenty of people always ask me if I get nervous on the big occasions and the genuine truth is that I don’t. I feel completely relaxed on the back of a horse and once we leave the paddock it’s just a case of business as usual. All that said, it is a bit strange being so close to the Royal Family and seeing them in the flesh – I sometimes have to pinch myself. As for Tuesday, I have four nice rides to look forward to and my family will be there to watch too which makes it even more special. My wife Vicky will bring the kids and they will cheer me on from the stands…TUESDAYROYAL ASCOTBEAT THE BANK 2.30pm Queen Anne StakesFor whatever reason he didn’t seem to run his race in the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury for a second year in a row, but he bounced back to run well in this last season so hopefully he can do so again. He finished sixth behind Accidental Agent having been denied a clear run at a crucial time and I’m hoping he can return to form again. He produced a really nice performance at Sandown on his reappearance and won’t be far away if in the same form. This does look really competitive and a case can be made for about a dozen of the 16 runners. The likes of Le Brivido, Barney Roy, Mustashry and the filly Laurens all have major claims, but we will give it our best shot.MAKYON 3.05pm Coventry StakesJudged on the way he handled the ground at Hamilton, I guess Makyon wouldn’t mind it if the forecast thunderstorms arrived early. He showed good speed and a nice attitude that day and stepped up from his debut at York. This will require another big step though, but he is a nice colt who deserves a tilt at a prize like this. Aidan O’Brien is always respected in a race like this and Arizona looked well above average at the Curragh last time and may take some stopping. I also hear plenty of good things about Richard Hannon’s Threat too.FOX CHAMPION 4.20pm St James’s Place StakesMy second Group One ride of the day and again in the blue and white King Power Racing colours. Fox Champion has been really progressive this season having won all three starts. He comes here on the back of winning the German 2000 Guineas in Cologne last time, but this is a big step up. Phoenix Of Spain and champion two-year-old Too Darn Hot set the bar very high and will be tough to beat. However, my colt is clearly in good form, has a lovely attitude and may just surprise a few of the well-fancied ones in this.MANCINI 5.00pm Ascot StakesMy final ride of the afternoon is Mancini who takes his chance in the Ascot Stakes over a marathon 2m 4f. This will be the first time I have ridden him, but he shaped nicely at York last time and I’m looking forward to it. This is the first time he has stepped up to a trip like this and I suppose we will only know whether he truly stays after the race! That’s the same for the bulk of these and we will give it a good go. The National Hunt trainers are always respected in this and I notice Gordon Elliott brings over a couple and Willie Mullins brings over one too. I suspect none of those three will be far away.As for the other two races I don’t ride in, here are my thoughts…3.40pm King’s Stand StakesOnly the 12 runners in this with the top two in Battaash and Blue Point looking the obvious ones. Blue Point picked off Battaash late on last year, but I have a feeling Charlie Hills’ colt could gain his revenge this time. They are drawn wide apart and he looked to have matured at Haydock last time so may not misbehave as usual.5.35pm Wolferton StakesYou always need a bit of luck in a race like this with 16 runners and it looks as competitive and wide open as always. Mark Johnston’s Elarqam looked back to his best last time and could just be the one to beat. He was too good for Willie John at Goodwood and the pair look leading players again.Good luckSILVESTRE YOUR SAYIf you have a question for Silvestre drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll try and include in the next blog…
ShareMEDIA ADVISORYDavid Ruth713email@example.comJeff Falk713firstname.lastname@example.org Immigration reform conference at Rice’s Baker Institute set for April 9Leading immigration, public policy experts to discuss issues, solutionsHOUSTON – (April 1, 2013) – The April 9 conference “Immigration Reform: A System for the 21st Century” at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy will bring together leading United States immigration experts as well as key public policy thinkers involved in the current reform debate. A range of panels will address issues and solutions to today’s crucial questions surrounding immigration reform. Hosted by the institute’s Latin America Initiative, the conference is part of the Baker Institute’s 20th-anniversary event series.Who: Leading U.S. immigration experts, including keynote speaker Demetrios Papademetriou, president and co-founder of the Migration Policy Institute.What: “Immigration Reform: A System for the 21st Century” conference.When: Tuesday, April 9, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.Where: Rice University, Baker Hall, Doré Commons, 6100 Main St.Panel topics are “Immigration and the Face of America,” “Security, the Economy and Immigration,” “Dealing with Immigration at the Local Level” and “Moving Forward on Immigration.” The conference is free and open to the public. RSVPs are requested at www.bakerinstitute.org/events/immigration-reform-a-system-for-the-21st-century/subscribe.The Baker Institute is celebrating its 20th year. To mark this milestone, the institute has planned a series of special events that highlight its programs and research. Throughout the year, lectures and conferences will focus on a host of important and timely issues.To view the event description, agenda and panelist information, visit www.bakerinstitute.org/events/immigration-reform-a-system-for-the-21st-century. For more information about the Latin American Initiative, see www.bakerinstitute.org/programs/latin-america-initiative. A live webcast will be available at http://bakerinstitute.org/webcasts.Members of the news media who want to attend should RSVP to Jeff Falk, associate director of national media relations at Rice, at email@example.com or 713-348-6775.-30-Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.Founded in 1993, the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University in Houston ranks among the top 20 university-affiliated think tanks globally and top 30 think tanks in the United States. As a premier nonpartisan think tank, the institute conducts research on domestic and foreign policy issues with the goal of bridging the gap between the theory and practice of public policy. The institute’s strong track record of achievement reflects the work of its endowed fellows and Rice University scholars. Learn more about the institute at www.bakerinstitute.org or on the institute’s blog, http://blogs.chron.com/bakerblog. AddThis