Just a matter of days after La Liga announced plans for its very first esports competition, it’s confirmed a partnership with McDonald’s.Together they’ve created McDonald’s Virtual La Liga eSports – alongside with the Liga de Videojuegos Profesional (LVP) – which itself is set up to be a gateway competition to find a representative in the FIFA 18 eWorld Cup.The first stage of the online qualification process will kick off on March 19th for both Xbox One and PlayStation 4 players, and is open to anybody over the age of 16. It will be played on ArenaGG, a gaming platform from LVP. There are 32 places available for the in-person final stage: 16 from Xbox, 15 from PlayStation, and the final participant will qualify through an exclusive tournament ran by McDonald’s.The second part of the tournament is set to commence on April 16th, and will take place at the LVP venue in Barcelona. The 32 participants who qualify will compete each and every week until they’re knocked out of the tournament. The winner of each event will make it through to the EA SPORTS FIFA 18 Global Series Playoffs. Players can sign up here. La Liga will also be partnering with department store El Corte Ingles, financial services company Allianz, car manufacturer Hyundai, and mobile network operator Orange for its first official foray into esports. Esports Insider says: It makes complete sense for La Liga to follow in the footsteps of other football leagues, such as Ligue 1, the Bundesliga, the Australian A-League, the MLS and others, in allowing the nation’s best players a chance to battle it out for a spot in the FIFA eWorld Cup. It’s a clever first move for La Liga Esports, and this collection of initial partners isn’t too shabby either.
Companies in this story: (TSX:CFP)The Canadian Press VANCOUVER — Canfor Corp. has signed a deal to buy a 70 per cent stake in Swedish sawmill company Vida Group for about $580 million.Under the agreement, the current owners of Vida will retain a 30 per cent interest and continue to manage the day-to-day business.The privately held company has nine sawmills in southern Sweden with an annual production capacity of 1.1 billion board feet.Vida also has nine value-added facilities that include premium packaging, modular housing, industrial products and energy.Canfor says it expects to be able to finance the acquisition with cash and liquidity on hand, but will complete an extension and expansion of its existing operating and term loan facilities.The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of next year.
Companies in this story: (TSX:CP)The Canadian Press CALGARY — Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. says Unifor members have ratified a four-year labour agreement covering about 1,200 employees responsible for maintaining rail cars and locomotives.The two sides reached a tentative agreement for Unifor Local 101R in early December. The previous contract is set to expire Dec. 31.Details of the agreement haven’t been disclosed but Unifor national president Jerry Dias said on Dec. 2 that the union had been able to push for significant gains.
Washington DC: The F-21 multi-role fighter jet will give India a “significant edge” with greater standoff capability, American defence giant Lockheed Martin has said and claimed that producing it locally will also strengthen the country’s integration into the world-wide network of advanced fighter aircraft technology. Lockheed Martin during the Aero India show in Bengaluru in February unveiled the F-21 multi-role fighter jet for India, to be produced locally. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The Maryland-based company, which had earlier offered its F-16 fighter jets to India, said the F-21 addresses the IAF’s unique requirements and integrates India into the world’s largest fighter aircraft ecosystem. Lockheed Martin and Tata Advanced Systems would produce the F-21 in India. Vivek Lall, vice president for strategy and business development, Lockheed, said, While it is inappropriate for us to compare specific capabilities, the F-21 will give India a significant edge with greater standoff capability, greater staying power with less fuel burn, and network data linking capabilities across all platforms. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KThe tactics India employs with the F-21 will also be different – uniquely developed by the Indian Air Force, he said. “The F-21 will meet all of India’s performance, capability and advanced technology requirements – the same requirements all other 4th generation competitors are offering. As we pursue cutting-edge technologies for the F-21, some capabilities may be evaluated as discrete, integrated functions, Lall said. Refuting reports that the F-21 fighter jet is rebranding of the F-16, Lall said that while aircraft structures may look familiar, the differences become clear when looking at the unique capabilities of the F-21. This includes an Advanced APG-83 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, which has detection ranges nearly double that of previous mechanically scanned array radars and the ability to track and attack more targets with higher precision, he said. It has an Advanced Electronic Warfare (EW) System, developed uniquely for India, that provides enhanced survivability against ground and air threats; Long-Range Infrared Search and Track (IRST), enabling pilots to detect threats without detecting them and Triple Missile Launcher Adapters (TMLAs) allowing the F-21 to carry 40 per cent more air-to-air weapons, he said. The F-21 proposal is unique in that the F-21 production line will be in India, and Indian industry will also be integrated into the global F-16 production and sustainment ecosystem. Approval by the US Government for such an important strategic move signals a significant development in US-India relations, Lall told PTI in an interview. “The unmatched ecosystem we will partner with Indian industry and Lockheed Martin’s top suppliers to develop will further strengthen India’s integration into the world-wide network of advanced fighter aircraft technology and cutting-edge production and sustainment, he said. The F-21 also demonstrates Lockheed Martin’s commitment to India: to deliver an advanced, scalable fighter to the Indian Air Force that also provides unrivaled industrial partnership opportunities, he asserted. PTI
New Delhi: India’s largest IT services company Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) said it has deployed an integrated solution for India Post that has helped modernise a network of more than 1.5 lakh post offices in the country. In 2013, the Mumbai-based company had announced receiving an over Rs 1,100- crore multi-year contract from the Department of Posts (DoP) for an end-to-end IT modernisation programme. The partnership was aimed at equipping India Post with modern technologies and systems to enable it to offer more services to the customers in an effective manner. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscal “At the heart of this transformation is the Core System Integration (CSI) program designed and implemented by TCS. This involved deploying an integrated ERP solution that caters to mail operations, finance and accounting, and HR functions, and connects its vast network of more than 1.5 lakh post offices, making this the largest distributed e-postal network in the world,” TCS said in a statement. The integrated solution supports requirements of over five lakh employees, services over 40,000 concurrent users, and processes over three million postal transactions a day, making this one of the largest SAP implementations globally, it added. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boost On the front-end, TCS said, it has implemented its Point of Sale (PoS) solution across 24,000 post offices with over 80,000 PoS terminals and has also built a web portal with consignment tracking capabilities, and set up a multi-lingual call centre for customer support. “An important objective of the transformation is to use the department’s nation-wide reach to drive financial inclusion and accessibility of citizen services in remote areas. “This is being accomplished through over 1.3 lakh DARPAN 1 hand-held devices that Gramin Dak Sevaks use to provide postal, banking, insurance, and cash management services in remote villages, even those without network connectivity,” TCS said. TCS Business Group Head (Public Services) Debashis Ghosh said postal services across the world are reinventing themselves to stay relevant to a new generation in the digital era. “We are proud to have partnered with the Department of Posts in this pioneering, mission mode initiative to build a world class, future-ready digital platform that the nation can be proud of. With this, the department can offer smart postal services, enriched customer experiences, and innovative value-added services to the citizens of India,” he added.
New Delhi: Shaurya Doval, son of National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, has been accorded a top ‘Z’ category level security in view of potential threats to him, officials said on Tuesday.Similarly, 10 BJP candidates, who are contesting elections from West Bengal, have been accorded security by the Centre for a “limited period”, they said. The officials told PTI that junior Doval has been “brought under the mobile security cover” of a central paramilitary force after a security perception report prepared by central agencies claimed that he faced “threats from people inimical to his father and others”. Also Read – 2019 most peaceful festive season for J&K: Jitendra SinghPost this report, the Union home ministry has ordered deployment of CISF commandos to guard Shaurya Doval (43) under the ‘Z’ category of VIP cover and AK-47 wielding commandos will be guarding him everytime he moves in any part of the country. About 15-16 commands have been “detailed” for the security of Shaurya Doval, they said. Shaurya Doval heads the think-tank ‘India Foundation’. NSA Doval enjoys the topmost category of ‘Z+’ provided by the Central Industrial Security Force. Ajit Doval was brought under this security umbrella about four years ago. Also Read – Personal life needs to be respected: Cong on reports of Rahul’s visit abroadIn a similar move, the government has accorded a “limited period” VIP security cover to a number of BJP candidates contesting the general elections in West Bengal. BJP candidates Aupam Hazra, contesting Lok Sabha polls from Jadavpur and Arjun Singh, who joined the party after deserting the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and is contesting from Barrackpore, have been given a ‘Y+’ cover of central armed paramilitary commandos. Similarly, Minister of State in the Union cabinet and candidate from Durgapur, S S Ahluwalia, Cooch Behar candidate Nishit Pramanik, former IPS officer and Ghatal seat candidate Bharti Ghosh have been accorded the ‘Y+’ cover that entails about 5-6 armed commandos. BJP leader Siddharth Shekhar Das has also been given the security. BJP candidate from North 24 Parganas Shantanu Thakur has been accorded a ‘Y’ category cover while the lowest ‘X’ category cover has been given to Dulal Chandra Bar and Khagen Murmu who switched sides to the BJP from Congress and CPI(M) respectively. A similar ‘X’ category security cover, that entails about 2-3 commandos with escort vehicle, has been accorded to Kabir Shankar Bose. All the political people getting security cover in West Bengal will have the armed commandos with them till the polls get over and the MHA (Ministry of Home Affairs) has directed to withdraw the cover from them by May-June. PTI
Doha: Iran said Wednesday it hopes to have good relations with arch-rival Saudi Arabia and its allies, and called for an end to their bitter dispute with Gulf neighbour Qatar. Riyadh broke off relations with Tehran in 2016 after protesters angry at its execution of a top Shiite cleric torched its diplomatic missions in Iran. The following year the kingdom and its allies Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates imposed a trade and travel boycott on Qatar, demanding that it mirror their hardline policies towards Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince Salman ‘snubbed’ Pak PM Imran, recalled his private jet from US: Report”We have extremely good relations with Qatar, Kuwait, Oman,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said, referring to the two Gulf Arab countries which remained neutral in the dispute. “We hope to have the same type of relations with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates,” Zarif told reporters on the sidelines of the Asian Cooperation Dialogue in Doha. “We also hope that countries within the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) could resolve their differences peacefully. We were against pressure on Qatar, we still believe that pressure on Qatar is against international law.” Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain have repeatedly accused Qatar of posing a threat to Gulf security through its support for “extremism”. Doha has consistently denied the allegation accusing its former allies of seeking a pretext for regime change. In April, Qatar said it filed three lawsuits in London and New York against Saudi and UAE banks for allegedly plotting to undermine its currency and bonds.
Navigating through the minefield that is Big Ten wrestling might be difficult enough, but pushing through the toughest part of the conference schedule without arguably your best wrestler – a reigning national champion – is an entirely different challenge. The No. 6 Ohio State wrestling team, however, has dealt with this problem the past five matches, emerging at a respectable 3-2 in the conference, but dropping tough decisions to No. 4 Minnesota and No. 3 Iowa. “Unfortunately, we didn’t fare as well as I thought they would,” said OSU coach Tom Ryan. “Overall, some individuals handled it really well … the others didn’t handle it so well, but we’re in the middle of a hard training period getting ready for the end, so we’re looking forward to it.” And here comes the calvary. Redshirt sophomore and team captain Logan Stieber, the reigning 133-pound NCAA Champion, will make his return to the OSU lineup Friday against No. 8 Illinois in a pivotal, late-season Big Ten showdown after a lower leg strain kept him off the mat. “I’m excited, you know it’s hard watching everybody and not being able to help,” Stieber said. “Illinois is a (top-eight) ranked team, so it should be a good match. I’m excited to come back.” Some OSU wrestlers said with Steiber’s return, the team can get back on track. “We should have handled it better,” said sophomore Hunter Stieber, Logan’s teammate and younger brother. “It didn’t help that we didn’t have Logan with us, but still, he’s one person, everyone needs to step up and be a leader, but we did an OK job with it.” Illinois poses a tough challenge for the Buckeyes, but the prospect of Logan Stieber’s return has helped infuse some confidence in the team. “I think the team’s excited,” Ryan said. “Fired up to have a solid unit in there, 10 guys, shoulder to shoulder, so I think it’s going to be great to get him back.” Logan Stieber’s return likely means OSU can refocus on its team goals instead of worrying about the 2012 All-American and Big Ten Champion’s absence. “I want to win a national title again,” Logan Stieber said. “We can bring home a team title.” His coach agreed. “We have to improve,” Ryan said. “We got a shot at winning a national tournament, but we got to get way better to do that. We can be a much better team than we are now, but everyone’s got to do the right things when nobody’s looking.” OSU is set to take on Illinois Friday in Oak Harbor, Ohio, at 7 p.m.
Junior midfielder Yianni Sarris (6) attempts to tackle the opposing player during a match against IPFW Aug. 20 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. OSU won, 2-0.Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorThe struggles for the Ohio State men’s soccer team (2-6-3, 0-2) have continued against rival Michigan, as the Buckeyes fell to the Wolverines 1-0. It was the fourth consecutive match in which OSU has failed to net a goal.Nearly 1,000 fans were in attendance for the game Sunday, and members of the Ohio State Marching Band were present for the rivalry matchup. Buckeye senior defender and captain Sage Gardner said the support of the fans and the band was great for the team.“It’s always awesome here at (Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium) and having that big of a crowd — especially against Michigan — just pumps us up,” he said. “It’s tough we couldn’t get the result today, though.”Gardner said it will be important to keep the spirits of the younger guys high as the team still has the majority of its in-conference games yet to play in addition to the Big Ten Tournament scheduled to be held at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in November.“I don’t remember how many games we have left, but the majority of them are Big Ten and the season is still not over,” Gardner said. “We can turn things around easily by giving (the younger guys) motivation with a Big Ten Championship ring and with the Big Ten Tournament being here.”A 25th minute goal for Michigan (4-3-3, 1-1) was all it took for the Wolverines to leave Columbus with a victory.Sophomore forward James Murphy scored his third goal of the season for the Wolverines from the middle of the box, giving Michigan a 1-0 lead. Murphy’s shot went into the upper left corner of the net after he receiving a pass from Michigan junior midfielder Marcos Ugarte.OSU took 11 of its 15 shots in the second half but was unable to capitalize. The lack of scoring has become an unfortunate, yet familiar trend with this Buckeye team, OSU coach John Bluem said.“We have to elevate our intensity throughout the game,” Bluem said after the loss. “I think we may have to start looking at some different combinations and getting some other players a chance to play because we can’t seem to get it done with the players we are putting out there.”With just more than five minutes left in the match, the Buckeyes fired multiple shots, including two by junior midfielders Alec Lowell and Yianni Sarris. Lowell’s shot was high and sailed over the goal and the shot by Sarris was blocked by Wolverine redshirt-junior goalkeeper Adam Grinwis.OSU freshman forward Danny Jensen gave the Buckeyes one final chance to send the game into overtime when his header sailed toward the goal with just more than a minute left in play, but it was saved by Grinwis.Buckeye redshirt-junior goalkeeper Alex Ivanov said the team must stay positive moving forward. He called the team’s next game against Michigan State a “must-win.”“Well, we are 2-6-3 now and well, we have nothing to lose,” Ivanov said. “We got six guaranteed regular season games left, so the motivation there is to capture as many points out of those six games as we can and you always got to be looking forward.”OSU is set to play its next match in East Lansing, Mich., against Michigan State Oct. 13 at 1 p.m.