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Tags:#Alphabet#Apple#Autonomous#Avis#car rental#driverless#Google#Hertz#Self-Driving#Waymo Related Posts David Curry IT Trends of the Future That Are Worth Paying A… Break the Mold with Real-World Logistics AI and… For Self-Driving Systems, Infrastructure and In… Waymo, the self-driving division inside of Alphabet, has partnered with car rental company Avis to manage its fleet of autonomous cars in Phoenix, Arizona.Avis will be responsible for cleaning the car, managing oil and tire changes, and performing regular safety inspections. It will not manage the specialized hardware, like Waymo’s Lidar sensors.See Also: Waymo picks ex-Tesla engineering chief to build them a driverless carWaymo expects to send the bulk of its 600 Chrysler Pacifica minivans to Phoenix. The city will be the first place for members of the public to experience Waymo’s self-driving cars, having previously been tested by engineers and other Google employees.Previously, Waymo has had less than 200 cars on the road at any one time. The minivan expansion is a major point in the timeline for Alphabet’s car project, which is now focused on vehicles that can be mass produced.Even though the partnership is only for managing the self-driving fleet, pundits suspect that it could turn into a more fruitful agreement in the next few years. Avis owns Zipcar, an on-demand rental service that has around one million members, mostly in urban areas, according to Bloomberg.It is easy to see a time where Zipcar could offer self-driving options for customers, either by the hour or day. Waymo is already rumored to be in talks with Lyft about a similar arrangement, where it would use the ride-sharing service to offer self-driving options.Waymo is not the first to work with a car rental service for self-driving cars, Apple partnered with The Hertz Corporation to manage its three Lexus RX450h vehicles, according to the Chicago Tribune.Car rental services have taken a kicking from the stock market in the past year, as worries over autonomous cars plague the future of these companies. The agreements with Apple and Waymo suggest that there may be light at the end of the tunnel, as shown by the spikes in both companies stock after the announcement. 5 Ways IoT can Help to Reduce Automatic Vehicle…
“One of the ways to make sure there is more certainty is to look at possible financial arrangements that would help de-risk the project.”Pipeline builder Kinder Morgan has halted all non-essential spending on the project until it gets assurances from Ottawa that the issues will be resolved. The federal government has until May 31 to respond.Trudeau has put a lot of political eggs in the Trans Mountain basket, risking political capital among climate-change activists in search of middle ground that allows for pipeline construction alongside improved environmental safeguards.Trudeau, who is currently in Peru for the Summit of the Americas, was originally supposed to fly to Paris directly from Lima on Sunday for meetings with French President Emmanuel Macron. Instead, he’ll be back in the national capital in search of a resolution to anintractable and politically perilous dispute.Carr refused to discuss the specific financial options available, other than to say there are many of them on the table and they’re all being considered.One of those options, however, is to buy a stake in the pipeline, something Notley has already said Alberta would be willing to do Canada and Alberta could jointly buy the pipeline outright, or at least a significant stake in the project.Another option is to provide a guaranteed source of revenue for private investors if the pipeline completion date misses the target for when returns on their investments were supposed to start flowing. Carr was only prepared to say Sunday’s meeting between Trudeau and the premiers would be a chance for the various sides to share their positions and try and talk things out _ not necessarily a day when further action would be announced.That, said Sears, would be a bad political move.“If they come out of that meeting on Sunday and (Trudeau) says, ‘We’ve made good progress and I’m off to Paris,’ it will cost them severely,” he said.University of British Columbia politics professor Kathryn Harrison said she doesn’t know that there is a way for everyone to come out of Sunday’s meeting with a win.“They have drawn lines in the sand that are simply incompatible,” said Harrison.Trudeau and Carr have spent more than two years accusing the former Conservative government of themselves failing to build pipelines because they stacked the deck against environmental concerns, failing in the process to get the social license necessary to allow the projects to proceed.The Liberals introduced new review processes that accounted for things like the potential greenhouse gas emissions resulting from increased oil flows. The National Energy Board’s 2016 approval of Trans Mountain required monitoring and upstream emissions offsetsrelated to construction.But environmental concerns remain including the risk of higher emissions from increased oilsands production and the environmental impact of a spill. As a result, environmentalists who helped get Trudeau elected are now doubting his commitment to the cause.Harrison said Trudeau has staked a claim on being able to reconcile both interests, offering up the pipeline and the resulting ability to get resources to market _ as a quid pro quo toget provincial and stakeholder support for a carbon price and environmental investments.“That was the compromise and they got pretty far with it,” Harrison said, noting all provinces but Saskatchewan signed onto the climate change framework.“We’re at that point now where the trains are colliding. This is a moment of truth for Canada and a country that relies heavily on producing fossil fuels.”(THE CANADIAN PRESS) The company had targeted May 31 as the make-or-break deadline to start construction if the pipeline was to hit those investment targets. That date is now the drop-dead date Kinder Morgan has given Canada to prove the company should have the confidence to move forward.Political strategist Robin Sears, a principal at Earnscliffe Strategy Group, said another option would be to increase spending on the environmental protection side, including on improved research into preventing and mitigating the impacts of a diluted bitumenspill.“The company has not done what it needs to have done to satisfy the people of B.C. they have taken the steps necessary to protect the environment,” said Sears.Sears said the Trudeau government has an oceans protection plan on paper, but hasn’t done much if anything to put it into action. OTTAWA, O.N. – Canada is considering several ways to reduce the financial risk for Kinder Morgan investors spooked by the uncertainty plaguing the planned Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr said Friday as a high-level, make-or-break meeting loomed on the horizon.The government is still examining its options, Carr said, but won’t commit to a course of action before Sunday, when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau jets home from Peru for a hastily organized meeting in Ottawa with British Columbia Premier John Horgan and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley.“What we’re now faced with is to find ways to make sure there is more certainty than there is now,” Carr said in an interview with The Canadian Press.
“A rise in tensions puts Canadian bids to win major healthcare projects, education projects, transportation projects, on an increasingly shaky footing,” said Allam, a former Canadian diplomat and head of Allam Advisory Group.“What you’re seeing is that Riyadh’s hard line against Ottawa is going to result in substantial harm to the Canadian economy in general.”He said the recall of 12,000 to 15,000 Saudi students from Canada, and accompanying relatives, is going to remove as much as $2 billion in annual investment in the Canadian economy.The cancelling of flights between the two countries means Canada loses an important link not only with Saudi Arabia but with numerous Saudi allies such as the United Arab Emirates, which was quick to declare its support for the measures against Canada, he said. CALGARY, A.B. – Canada can easily replace the oil it imports from Saudi Arabia should relations with the Middle Eastern kingdom deteriorate to the point that trade in crude is halted, says an energy economist.But this week’s trade tension escalation means Canada will be on the sidelines as the Saudis try to diversify their economy away from its dependence on oil and gas, said Omar Allam, a Canadian consultant who specializes in advice on doing business in Saudi Arabia.Eastern Canadian refineries import about 75,000 to 80,000 barrels per day of Saudi Arabian crude, said Judith Dwarkin, chief economist with RS Energy Group in Calgary, on Tuesday. According to the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service, Canada exported $1.45 billion worth of products to Saudi Arabia in 2017, with about half in the category of vehicles and equipment at $760 million.The federal office says Canada imported $2.6 billion worth of goods from Saudi Arabia, with $2.5 billion of that in mineral production.A handful of Canadian companies operate in Saudi Arabia and could potentially be affected by the ongoing trade battle.Precision Drilling Corp. of Calgary has about 900 employees working between Kuwait, where it has five active rigs, and Saudi Arabia, where three of its four rigs in the country are currently active, the company confirmed, without offering further comment.SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. says on its website it has had a 24-year relationship with Saudi Aramco, the national Saudi Arabian oil company, providing general engineering services for its oil and gas facilities.Armoured tanks and personnel carriers have been Canada’s biggest recent export to the kingdom. A London, Ont.-based firm called General Dynamics Land Systems signed a $15-billion deal with Saudi Arabia in 2014 to export its light-armoured vehicles to the kingdom.By Dan HealingTHE CANADIAN PRESS That’s less than 10 per cent of total imports and amounts to a “drop in the bucket” compared with the United States, she said, which accounts for two-thirds of imports and could easily cover Saudi’s share thanks to growing domestic production.It is also dwarfed by the 3.5 million barrels per day of Canadian oil that Canada exports mainly to the U.S.“The Saudis, if they choose to supply less to Canada, will divert those barrels, possibly to China, and U.S. barrels that would have gone to China, but are uncompetitive under Chinese tariffs, come to Canada,” Dwarkin said.“Basically, the cupboard gets rearranged.”Saudi Arabia declared a freeze on new trade with Canada and recalled thousands of students attending Canadian universities following a tweet last week from Global Affairs Canada that expressed concerns about the arrest of activists in the kingdom.The Saudi foreign ministry has also ordered Canada’s ambassador, Dennis Horak, to leave the country.
DAWSON CREEK, B.C. – On Thursday, January 10, 2019, Brandon MacDonald, 32-years-old, and Robert Clarke, 34-years-old, pleaded guilty to charges in Supreme Court in Dawson Creek in relation to a 2016 investigation.MacDonald, a resident of Chetwynd entered a guilty plea to the following charges:Attempt Murder with a firearm (Section 239(1) (a.1) CCC)Kidnapping (Section 279(1)(1) CCC)Uttering Threats (Section 264.1(1) CCC)MacDonald was sentenced to just under 8 years with a lifetime firearm prohibition. Clarke, a resident of P.E.I. entered a guilty plea to Aggravated Assault (Sec 268(2) CCC) and was sentenced to 1.5 years in jail with a lifetime firearm prohibition.Clarke was arrested on February 23, 2017, in Nova Scotia.
The $800,000 GO Fund was established in 2016 to support non-profit organizations in the Peace Region that provide services to children, families and seniors. According to BC Hydro, $391,091 has been distributed to 44 projects to date.Applications for funding are accepted on an ongoing basis and funds are distributed quarterly over an eight-year period.For more information on the fund and application details; CLICK HERE FORT ST. JOHN, B.C – The Tansi Friendship Centre Society received a $10,000 donation from BC Hydro through the Site C project’s Generate Opportunities (GO) Fund.The grant was put towards the society’s Chetwynd Student Support Program will receive the funding to help provide school supplies to children in need, and helps local families provide healthy snacks for their school-aged children. This program also teaches family members of the children about healthy food preparation.“Back-to-school was made easier for many families in Chetwynd through the BC Hydro GO Fund,” said Leatha Dowd, executive director of the Tansi Friendship Centre Society. “We are very fortunate to be able to provide low-income families in our community with back-to-school supplies and help with school lunches.”
Frankfurt: German industrial equipment maker Siemens says it will cut some 10,000 jobs in a major restructuring that will involve spinning off its oil, gas and power generation business and creating new areas of growth. News of the moves to increase profitability and address the struggling power business sent the company’s share price up 4.6 per cent to 107.30 euros (USD 120.20) in morning trading in Europe on Wednesday. The company said it would spin off its division that makes power turbines to increase its entrepreneurial freedom, while embarking on a sweeping cost-cutting effort at its remaining operations. Also Read – Commercial vehicle sales to remain subdued in current fiscal: IcraThe gas and power division has been under pressure due to a broader trend toward renewable energy such as sun and wind power. Competitors in the power business such as Boston-headquartered General Electric and Japan’s Mitsubishi have struggled as well. Siemens said in the announcement late Tuesday that it would keep a significant stake of less than 50 percent in the spun-off company and would bundle in a majority stake in its renewable energies company. That would create what Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser called “a powerful pure play in the energy and electricity sector” that could offer products across the entire scope of the energy market from a single source. Kaeser also announced sweeping cost cuts to increase profitability at the company’s remaining businesses, which range across factory automation, energy infrastructure such as power grid control, and high-speed trains. The company plans to take out 2.2 billion euros in costs by 2023, in the course of which it will drop some 10,400 positions.
TRIPOLI – Amnesty International alleged Monday a Libyan soldier was tortured to death by members of his own unit, calling on authorities to investigate the case and break with such Kadhafi-era practices.“Hussein Radwan Raheel, 37, who served with the Saiqa Forces, an elite army unit under the ministry of defence, was severely beaten and subjected to electric shocks,” Amnesty said quoting family members.It said the soldier “was tortured to death last week following 10 hours of interrogation by his own army unit” following the disappearance of a military vehicle from the unit’s Tripoli compound. “A forensic report and photos of his body seen by the organisation also indicate he was tortured,” added the watchdog.It called for an independent probe, saying it “fears that a military investigation will lack transparency and independence and will only lead to whitewashing abuse”.Amnesty’s Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui said torture was widespread under the toppled regime of dictator Moamer Kadhafi, who was killed in the 2011 uprising.She charged that ill-treatment and rights violations still flourished under the rule of Libya’s new authorities who also have “turned a blind eye to abuses by militias”.“Torture and ill-treatment were routinely used by the state to terrorise the Libyan people under Kadhafi’s brutal rule. The Libyan authorities must show that the country has made a clean break with the past by sending a strong message that human rights violations by state officials will not be tolerated,” said Hadj Sahraoui.Libya’s top political authority, the National General Congress, in April passed a law criminalising torture, forced disappearances and discrimination.Amnesty said there had been 20 deaths in custody in Libya between September 2011 and July 2012.It said its delegates toured 27 prisons and detention centres this year, including those run by former rebels, and found torture was widespread in some and systematic in others.Libya has been marred by lawlessness since the 2011 uprising, which much of the unrest blamed on the former rebels who have resisted appeals by authorities to integrate into the regular armed forces.
Chris Webber has run out of timeouts with the State of California and now they’ve filed a six-figure tax lien against the five-time NBA all-star … TMZ has learned.According to documents filed by the California Employment Development Office, CWebb owes the state for unpaid taxes from the last few months of 2008 and all of 2009. The initial amount was for $81,427.36, but with $25,874.56 in penalties and $11,629.05 in interest … the former Sacrament King now owes $118,930.97.
The Vegas Golden Knights are only halfway through their inaugural season, and they’ve already redefined what anyone thought was possible for an NHL expansion franchise. Against all odds, the Knights are currently 29-10-3 with 61 points, good for the best record in the Western Conference — and only 4 points shy of the Tampa Bay Lightning for the best record in the entire league. It’s enough to make the Knights hockey’s greatest debut team ever, hands down.But that’s not all: Vegas is also lapping the field of expansion teams across every major pro sport. Even after adjusting for the way records are distributed in other sports, no other brand-new club in modern history came close to doing what the Knights have done so far. Expansion teams just aren’t supposed to have this kind of success this early.Constructed as a Frankenstein’s monster of unwanted parts from the rest of the league, a new club is usually very bad indeed. In a franchise’s first season, merely being “competitive” — code for losing but keeping things close most nights — is an admirable goal. And going into this season, there were plenty of people who had trouble seeing the Knights even reaching that modest level of success. Most outlets picked Vegas to finish either last or next-to-last in the Pacific Division.That was a reasonable expectation based on the past performance of first-year clubs. Our own analysis found that Vegas had dredged more talent out of the expansion-draft pool than normal — but that was just supposed to mean the Knights would exceed historical expectations. It didn’t mean we thought they’d make the playoffs, much less that they’d contend for the Stanley Cup.So far this season, however, Vegas has picked up 73 percent of the maximum number of points in its games and outscored its opponents by 0.7 goals per game. To compare those marks across NHL seasons, we converted them to z-scores, or the number of standard deviations they sat above or below league average. (This helps us account for changes in the league’s spread of talent over time and allows us to make comparisons between different sports — which will come in handy later.) In both categories, Vegas’s z-scores are easily the top marks for an NHL expansion team since the league blew up the Original Six and added six new teams in 1967-68:1Excluding the four World Hockey Association teams (the Edmonton Oilers, New England Whalers, Quebec Nordiques and Winnipeg Jets) that merged into the NHL in 1979. Although those teams held an expansion draft, they were also able to keep some of their existing players, and they had existed in the WHA since its founding, making them different from brand-new franchises starting from scratch. 1962Houston Colt .45’s-0.8-1.040.0-1.0 Vegas vs. NFL expansion teamsScore DifferentialWin percentage YearTeamValueZ-ScoreValueZ-Score 51994Mighty Ducks of Anaheim-0.3-0.37 Vegas vs. NBA expansion teamsScore DifferentialWin percentage 12018Vegas Golden Knights+0.7+1.28 1966Miami Dolphins-10.6-1.221.4-1.4 81968Los Angeles Kings-0.3-0.62 61968Minnesota North Stars46.6-0.40 1968Cincinnati Bengals-8.1-0.821.4-1.1 Vegas is destroying its NHL expansion competitorsBest z-scores (standard deviations relative to average) for point percentage and goals per game differential, NHL expansion teams (1968-2018) Vegas beats other sports’ expansion teams, tooHow the Vegas Golden Knights stack up against top expansion teams in each league by z-score* of winning percentage, 1961-2018 The Florida Panthers used to be the model for a successful NHL expansion team. Florida was more than merely competitive in 1993-94 — it finished one win shy of a .500 record and scored exactly as many goals as it allowed. Then, with the good core of talent they had picked up in the expansion draft, the Panthers made the Stanley Cup final three seasons into the franchise’s existence. Before Vegas came along, that was the gold standard for brand-new clubs: solid in the first year, outright good within a couple seasons. But the Knights’ debut has flipped those expectations on their head.(Yes, it should be noted that the 1967-68 St. Louis Blues made the Cup final in their first season. But that was solely because the NHL dropped all six of its new teams into the same division, the winner of which had to make the final. Every team in the new West division, which housed all the expansion clubs, had a negative goal differential during the regular season, but someone had to win it — and the Blues were that team. They were also swept by the mighty Montreal Canadiens when they played for the Cup.)2In fairness to St. Louis, it was as close a sweep as you’ll see; each game was decided by a single goal.Vegas’s season becomes even more impressive when you compare its z-scores to those of the top expansion teams from other sports. No modern MLB expansion club finished a season any better than the 70-win 1961 Los Angeles Angels; no debut NBA team ever topped the 33 wins of the 1967 Chicago Bulls; no NFL expansion team could beat the 7-9 Carolina Panthers from 1995. Hockey does tend to see its teams’ records more tightly bunched than in such sports as football and basketball, but even after adjusting for that with our z-scores, the Golden Knights’ current season blows away any would-be challenger from the NFL, NBA or MLB since the early 1960s: 1967Chicago Bulls-3.7-0.740.7-0.5 YEARTEAMPOINT %–Z-SCORE 41968St. Louis Blues-0.2-0.36 21994Florida Panthers+0.00.00 31968Philadelphia Flyers-0.1-0.15 Goal differential 71973Atlanta Flames-0.6-0.58 61968Pittsburgh Penguins-0.3-0.54 2018Vegas Golden Knights+0.7+1.372.6%+1.7 41968Los Angeles Kings48.7-0.16 YEARTEAMGPG DIFF.–Z-SCORE 1967New Orleans Saints-10.4-1.221.4-1.3 2018Vegas Golden Knights+0.7+1.372.6%+1.7 12018Vegas Golden Knights72.6%+1.73 81973Atlanta Flames41.7-0.57 Vegas vs. MLB expansion teamsScore DifferentialWin percentage 71968Pittsburgh Penguins45.3-0.57 1995Carolina Panthers-2.3-0.443.8-0.4 1993Colorado Rockies-1.3-2.141.4-1.2 1969Kansas City Royals-0.6-0.842.6-0.8 YearTeamValueZ-ScoreValueZ-Score 51968St. Louis Blues47.3-0.32 2018Vegas Golden Knights+0.7+1.372.6%+1.7 1969Milwaukee Bucks-5.1-1.132.9-1.1 91971Buffalo Sabres40.4-0.65 1961Los Angeles Angels-0.3-0.343.5-0.7 101994Mighty Ducks of Anaheim42.3-0.76 1971Portland Trail Blazers-4.5-0.935.4-1.0 21994Florida Panthers49.4-0.06 Full-season statistics are used for all teams except Vegas.Source: Hockey-Reference.com 1990Minnesota Timberwolves-4.2-0.926.8-1.3 Point percentage YearTeamValueZ-ScoreValueZ-Score 1961Minnesota Vikings-8.7-0.921.4-1.3 101971Buffalo Sabres-1.0-0.85 91971Vancouver Canucks-0.9-0.77 31968Philadelphia Flyers49.3-0.08 1968Seattle SuperSonics-6.5-1.328.0-1.3 1969Seattle Pilots-1.0-1.339.5-1.1 *Z-score is the number of standard deviations above/below average, relative to the overall league that season.Sources: Baseball-Reference.com, Basketball-Reference.com, Pro-Football-Reference.com One thing that jumps out is that many NHL expansion teams had better z-scores than the best expansion teams in the other sports. But why is it so much easier to build a strong NHL expansion team (relative to the league) than in the other Big Four North American sports? I don’t have a great explanation.Hockey is the sport with the least reliable individual stats — while scouts’ eye tests can be swayed by recency and other biases — so it may be that the caliber of players left available in the expansion draft is higher than in other sports. Or perhaps the outsize value of goaltending means one good pick between the pipes is enough to carry a team of talent-strapped skaters to respectability. Or maybe good coaching deserves more credit than it sometimes gets around the league. Whatever the reason, expansion teams have done better on ice in general, even before Vegas started to blow the doors off the league.We know that, in the NHL, it takes a lot of games to tell who’s good and who’s bad — which is why even a hot half-season can turn cold overnight. For Vegas, the heat has been generated by MVP-candidate seasons from the likes of William Karlsson and Jonathan Marchessault and a near Vezina-worthy performance from Marc-Andre Fleury — all players who were considered expendable as recently as seven months ago. Peeking under the hood, the Knights’ ratio of shots taken to shots allowed at even-strength is nothing special, even after adjusting for score effects and other factors. And let’s face it: Few teams can sustain this pace for an entire season: Of the 24 teams with at least 60 points in their first 42 games since 2005-06,3Excluding the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season. only one (last year’s Capitals) had a second-half point percentage as good as it did in the first half of the season.So it would be logical to assume that a second-half regression could be lurking around the corner for the Golden Knights. But the advanced stats don’t suggest that Vegas has been particularly lucky. In terms of expected goals (which measures where a team’s chances come from in addition to their volume), the Knights have the ninth-best ratio in the league.Regression or no regression, various projection systems consider the Knights all but a lock to make the playoffs, which would make Vegas the first expansion team to claim that honor since the 1968 season’s standings guaranteed that four new clubs would qualify. Even the in-town sportsbooks are paying attention to the possibility of playoff action in the desert: The Knights are currently tied for the second-best Stanley Cup odds of any team in the league.For an expansion team, all of this seemed unthinkable going into the season. New franchises aren’t supposed to be instant contenders. They’re supposed to struggle, to require years of building before achieving this kind of success. Vegas clearly doesn’t care about any of that. And now we have an entirely new yardstick with which to compare every other expansion club that comes along in the future, no matter the sport.