Sunderland lift Johnson suspension

first_img The 27-year-old midfielder was suspended by the Black Cats earlier this month following his arrest on suspicion of sexual activity with a girl under 16, but will now be free to resume while the police investigation continues. A club statement said: “The club has discussed the current position in detail with both the PFA (Professional Footballers’ Association) and Adam’s representatives. Poyet departed in the wake of Saturday’s 4-0 home defeat by Aston Villa, which left Sunderland sitting just a point above the relegation zone with nine games to play. Advocaat’s task is simply to keep the club in the top flight, and the importance of his mission was underlined by financial figures filed on Wednesday which showed increased losses of £16.3million on ordinary activities before tax for the year ended July 31, 2014. In the report, chairman Ellis Short says: “The directors consider the major risk of the business to be a significant period of absence from the Premier League. Ongoing investment in the playing squad aims to reduce this risk.” Johnson could prove key as Advocaat and his staff attempt to find a way to get the best out of January signing Jermain Defoe. The 32-year-old striker, who arrived on Wearside from MLS side Toronto in a swap deal with Jozy Altidore, scored twice in his first five appearances for the club but has not found the back of the net in his last five. Defoe appears to represent Sunderland’s best hope of dragging themselves out of trouble, but Poyet simply could not find the system to provide him with the chances he needs, on Saturday opting to play him as a lone frontman with Scotland international Steven Fletcher attempting to provide support from the left wing, a job to which he proved less than suited. Advocaat will hope Johnson can provide the natural width, pace and flair which won him his big-money move to Manchester City and his 12 England caps to spark the fightback his club needs during the closing weeks of the campaign. “In line with those discussions we recognise that the player is entitled to re-commence his duties with the club while the legal process continues. He will therefore return to training. “The club’s own investigation cannot continue until the conclusion of the legal process. Sunderland AFC will make no further comment on the matter due to the ongoing police investigation.” Durham Police later confirmed that investigation remains “very much live and ongoing” and reiterated its warning to social media users about the dangers of identifying the alleged victims of sexual offences. A statement said: “Sunderland AFC informed us this morning of their decision, which of course is a matter entirely for the club. The police investigation remains very much live and ongoing and a man remains on bail while enquiries continue. “We would once again urge those posting on social media to be aware of the effects their comments can have. We accept rumour and speculation may be inevitable, but many of the comments have been distressing to the complainant, her family and people connected with the investigation.” Former England international Johnson has not played for the club since the 2-0 Barclays Premier League defeat at Manchester United on February 28, but could now be in line to make a contribution at West Ham on Saturday. He was arrested at his County Durham home on March 2 and questioned at Peterlee Police Station before being released on bail until March 18. However, that period was extended until April 23 on Tuesday. News of the player’s impending return came during another tumultuous week at the Stadium of Light, during which head coach Gus Poyet was shown the door and replaced in the short term by 67-year-old Dutchman Dick Advocaat. Sunderland winger Adam Johnson is to return to training after the club lifted his suspension. Press Associationlast_img read more

Tendulkar is by far the best batsman of his era: Lara

first_imgSachin Tendulkar is by far the best batsman of his era, according to West Indies’ batting legend Brian Lara who said it was an “honour” to rub shoulders with the champion Indian batsman during his playing days.Sachin Tendulkar”Tendulkar is the best batsman of the world,” Lara said on the sidelines of a cricket clinic at the Ferozeshah Kotla Stadium here on Tuesday.Asked if it was Tendulkar or Don Bradman, Lara added, “Respect his average (of 99.96) but haven’t seen the Don batting. And making comparison is very difficult for all of us.””It’s an honour to be talked about in the same breath, and to have rubbed shoulders with him during my playing days,” There is no superlative for Sachin,” Lara said.For over a decade, the world watched in awe as Tendulkar and Lara rewrote records after records.Asked if an Indian victory in the upcoming World Cup would make Tendulkar bigger than him, Lara said, “It doesn’t really matter. The records he has set, I don’t think they are going to be surpassed.”Lara also believed that Tendulkar could one day surpass the West Indian’s world record Test score of 400 not out. “It will soon be broken. I think Sachin is there, and there is Sehwag, Gayle; they may have the opportunities and they are all very attacking players. The top three in the batting order have the best chance,” Lara said.With cricket becoming more and more competitive, Lara said that the era of invincibility doesn’t exist anymore. “You can’t really tell who is number one now,” he said.advertisement”Ashes shows every country will have their time. It’s going to be very competitive. Sports is a cycle. West Indies had their team, we were an invincible team once. Then Australia dominated for a long while. Now, the time of invincibility has gone,” the stylish left-hander said.Lara was full of praise for the current Indian team, ranked number one in Tests and two in ODIs.”Indians are producing results we were not accustomed to. They have been on the top of their game, they will be a very tough team to beat (in the World Cup). They have a well-balanced team that can compete with anyone in the world,” he said.Talking about India’s tradition of producing quality batsmen, Lara said, “India batting has always been very good.The likes of (Mohammad) Azharuddin, Ravi Shastri, Navjot Singh (Siddhu), (Sanjay) Manjrekar, there were also world class batsmen, and Sachin was also there.”- With PTI inputslast_img read more

Take back damaged medicines Directorate of Drugs Control

first_imgKolkata: The Directorate of Drugs Control (DDC) in the state on Wednesday issued a notification asking the manufacturers and wholesalers to take back the medicines stored in various shops at Bagree Market as they might have been damaged due to the excessive heat generated during the fire.The step has been taken as a precautionary measure to check the medicines from being sold in the markets. The DDC apprehends that the quality of these medicines might be reduced and compromised due to the raging blaze. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe DDC has urged the medicine sellers, both retail and wholesale, to stop selling the affected drugs and also the biological products. It was stated that many of the drugs that were kept inside Bagree Market need to be refrigerated. As there had been power cuts in the building since the incident took place, the medicines might have been damaged. If these medicines are circulated in the market, it might adversely affect the people.A senior official of the DDC said the temperature in the building had gone up as a result of which the quality of the medicines would be hampered. Hence all the manufacturing houses have been asked to withdraw the stock or stop operations. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThese medicines cannot be sold until the authorities ensure that the quality of the medicines remain intact. The DDC also assured that stern action will be taken against those who will be found violating the instructions.An official of the DDC said that as they are short-staffed, it is not always possible for them to conduct raids at various places. Hence the body is trying to check the spread of the drugs which were recovered by some of the businessmen there. It may be mentioned that there was a wholesale market of medicines within Bagree Market that used to supply medicines in different places. It had the wholesale market of various important drugs including those of cancer and people used to obtain such medicines at much cheaper rates.It was learnt that around 25 wholesale shops were there in the market many of which have been damaged. The extent of the damage is yet to be ascertained as all the electronic gadgets that maintained the records have been gutted. Bengal Chemist and Druggist Association added that the devastating fire that took place at Bagree Market on Sunday will have no major impact on the supply of medicines in the state.last_img read more

Machine Learning Needs Bias Training to Overcome Stereotypes

first_img 6 min read It’s no secret that there is a wide gender gap in the tech industry. According to the Center for the Study of the Workplace, women represent around 20 percent of engineering graduates, but just 11 percent of practicing software engineers. Unconscious bias is one of the primary drivers of this disparity, which has led many of Silicon Valley’s leading tech companies to introduce unconscious bias training to their employees. However, it’s fair to say that its machine learning algorithms need it more.What is unconscious bias?In humans, unconscious biases are ingrained assumptions about particular personal attributes (including race or gender) that can influence decision making without the decision maker being explicitly aware. These biases are universal because they are the result of “mental shortcuts” people make based on social norms and stereotypes – this group is like X, that group does Y.Numerous studies, such as this one from the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, have shown that unconscious biases have a significant influence on important decisions, such as hiring or promotions. In an effort to improve diversity and create a more welcoming work environment, companies are working hard to train their employees about unconscious bias, its implications and how to counteract it.For example, Google put a majority of its employees through workshops on how to understand and stop unconscious bias, and Facebook developed an internal training course called Managing Unconscious Bias, which it released to the public.Can an algorithm be biased?While these companies are taking admirable and necessary measures to actively educate its tech employees about unconscious biases, the systems they are building still seem vulnerable.Consider personalized online advertising.Carnegie Mellon University conducted experiments on Google ads, which found that significantly fewer women than men were shown online ads promising to help them get jobs paying more than $200,000. According to CMU, this raised questions about the fairness of targeting ads online, as a gender bias was clear.Related: How Entrepreneurs Can Spot Subtle BiasRacial bias is also an issue. Latanya Sweeney, the former chief technologist at the Federal Trade Commission, uncovered racial bias on the basis of Google searches, according to a report in The Nation. Sweeney found that black-identifying names yielded a higher incidence of ads associated with “arrest” than white-identifying names.In neither of these cases did a programmer sit down, and write an explicitly sexist or racist algorithm. Instead, these biases are the work of machine learning algorithms that learn patterns automatically on the basis of the large data sets they are presented with. Just like humans do. And just like humans, machine learning algorithms are susceptible to developing biases which, if not explicitly checked for and corrected, lead to discriminatory behavior.How can an algorithm be biased?There are many potential reasons why machine learning systems can learn discriminatory biases.One is selection-bias in the training data. If the model is trained on a dataset that is not representative of the population, then it will make poor general inferences. For example, the miscategorization of a black man by Google Photos in 2015 led many to question whether the algorithm’s training data had predominately comprised white people.Hidden variables are another factor. It might seem possible to avoid biased machine learning algorithms by making sure you don’t feed in data that could lead to such problems in the first place. If you remove race and gender data from the equation, how can the bias prevail?Related: Meet RankBrain, The New AI Behind Google Search ResultsEarlier this year, a study of Amazon Prime showed that predominantly black zipcode areas were conspicuously denied same-day delivery. Amazon won’t reveal the details of how it determines eligibility for same-day delivery, but the company almost certainly does not feed “race” into its models explicitly. The problem is most likely that race turned out to be a hidden variable behind the model, meaning there were other reasons why Amazon’s model excluded the zipcodes and race turned out to be highly correlated with those reasons.Third, machine learning systems can discriminate by perpetuating existing social biases. Biases run rampant in our society. We know that women are heavily under-represented in the board room, and there are significant racial wealth gaps. If you train a machine learning algorithm on real data from the world we live in, it will pick up on these biases. And to make matters worse, such algorithms have the potential to perpetuate or even exacerbate these biases when deployed.What can be done?As machine learning expands into sensitive areas – such as credit scoring, hiring and even criminal sentencing — it is imperative that we are careful and vigilant about keeping the algorithms fair.Accomplishing this goal requires raising awareness about social biases in machine learning and the serious, negative consequences that it can have. Just as tech employees are educated about the negative implications of their own unconscious biases, so should they be educated about biases in the models they are building.Related: Overcoming Unconcious Bias Is Key to Building an Inclusive TeamIt also requires companies to explicitly test machine learning models for discriminatory biases and publish their results. Useful methods and datasets for performing such tests should be shared and reviewed publicly to make the process easier and more effective.As an industry we need more research into how machine learning algorithms can be trained to avoid undesirable social biases. This issue is a relatively new phenomenon, and the examples we have seen so far are just the tip of the iceberg. More research needs to be done to better understand the problem and determine what technical solutions can be deployed to minimize the risk of unconscious bias creeping into machine learning systems.It’s time for the risks of social bias to be embedded deeply in data science codes of ethics and education. Register Now » Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. August 12, 2016 Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.last_img read more

Adorable cats take over London tube station

first_img Posted by Tags: London Travelweek Group Share LONDON – London is being overrun by cats, 68 of them to be precise.Early morning commuters this week were surprised to find all of the advertisements at Clapham Common Tube station have been taken down and replaced with 68 oversized portraits of adorable felines.Thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign, which according to BBC News raised £23,000, community action group Citizens Advertising Takeover Service (CATS) was able to purchase the advertising space at the station and splash huge photos of cats on walls, escalator panels and subway turnstiles. Many of the featured cats are available for adoption via Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, and Cats Protection.The creative venture was organized by a group called Glimpse, which said its mission was to “inspire people to think differently about the world and realize they have the power to change it.”The campaign will run only for the next two weeks. Lucky for us, the adorable cats will live on forever in Instagram snaps.More news:  Canada raises travel warning amid escalating protests in Hong Kongcenter_img Adorable cats take over London tube station Friday, September 16, 2016 << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

After a delicious lunch Arcosanti crewmembers ta

first_imgAfter a delicious lunch, Arcosanti crew-members taught a hands-on silt workshop. Each person was able to make his or her own ‘silt-carved’ artwork, have it poured in plaster and take with them. For more information on the availability of SPECIAL TOURS, call or e-mail the Arcosanti Public Relations office. [Photo: Siobhan Watts & Text: sa] March 25, 2004During a three-day conference, for employees of the Hotel business in Phoenix, a one-day ‘team-building’ workshop at the Arcosanti site was offered. A group of 34 participants started with an intensive tour of the site. [Photo: Siobhan Watts & Text: sa]During a three-day conference, for employees of the Hotel business in Phoenix, a one-day ‘team-building’ workshop at the Arcosanti site was offered. A group of 34 participants started with an intensive tour of the site. [Photo: Siobhan Watts & Text: sa] A rare highlight for this group was a question and answer session with Paolo Soleri, held in the Colly Soleri Amphitheater. [Photo: Siobhan Watts & Text: sa]last_img read more