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Shutdown static blinds U.S. radio telescopes

first_imgU.S. radio telescopes are going off the air as a result of the government shutdown. The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) is turning off its three U.S.-based facilities today because of a lack of funds, although it will be able to continue supporting a fourth international telescope based in Chile for a short while longer.“We’re really at a dead halt,” NRAO Director Anthony Beasley tells ScienceInsider from the group’s headquarters in Charlottesville, Virginia. Some 385 NRAO staff members are being sent home, with about 90 remaining to look after sensitive equipment. Overall, it costs about $150,000 per day to keep the observatories running, Beasley estimates.NRAO, largely funded by the National Science Foundation, is a coalition of universities that operates four facilities that collect electromagnetic signals from space:The Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT) in West Virginia, the world’s most sensitive single-dish radio telescope;The Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA), a 27-telescope array in New Mexico heavily used by astronomers;The Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA), a 10-telescope array spread across more than 8600 kilometers from Hawaii to the Virgin Islands that is used for high-resolution astronomy; andThe Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), an observatory in Chile run in partnership with Europe, Japan, and Chile.Several thousand researchers use data from the telescopes to explore a wide range of questions, including how stars and galaxies behave and how the universe formed. A few hundred astronomers are especially heavy users, Beasley says.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Now, the GBT, VLA, and VLBA are all going offline, Beasley says. NRAO’s ALMA operations will continue “for another 3 or 4 weeks,” he says. “We have some additional resources in the bank in Chile.”Although the shutdown began on 1 October, NRAO was able to stay open until today because it had some funding left over from the 2013 fiscal year, which ended on 30 September. “We were able to cruise out for a couple of days from the shutdown, but we couldn’t keep going,” Beasley says.Shutting down the telescopes “isn’t as easy as flicking a switch,” he says. And the skeleton crew will be responsible for maintaining some sensitive parts, including cryogenically cooled electronics. If the shutdown goes into November, however, the telescopes could be in trouble. “This is a very difficult situation,” Beasley says, especially if it gets to the point where NRAO can’t pay its electric bills.You can see our complete shutdown coverage here.last_img read more

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For Indian Students, The American Dream is Becoming a Canadian One

first_imgWith the US and the UK slowly shutting their doors, Canada has flung its open, and Indian students are rushing in.In 2017, Indian students who secured Canadian visas increased by almost 60% from a year ago, according to official data. In all, Indian students received 83,410 of the 317,110 Canadian study permits granted during the year.Read it at Quartz Related Itemslast_img

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Indian Women’s Hockey Team Lose 1-3 to Great Britain in 4th Match on Tour

first_img Great BritainIndian women’s hockey team First Published: October 2, 2019, 10:49 PM IST Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox – subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what’s happening in the world around you – in real time. Marlow (England): The Indian women’s hockey team tasted its first defeat on England tour when they went down 1-3 to Great Britain in the fourth match here on Wednesday.Great Britain took an early lead through Hannah Martin (5th minute) but India’s Neha Goyal (18th) scored the equalized. However, a goal before half-time from Charlotte Watson (29th), and one in the last quarter through Giselle Ansley (50th) meant that Great Britain secured their first win of the tour, snapping India’s unbeaten run in the last three matches of the tour.World No 9 India had notched up a 2-1 win in the first match, before drawing the next two games 1-1 and 0-0 respectively.The hosts dominated possession in the early stages and won their first Penalty Corner in just the 3rd minute, but India’s goalkeeper Rajani Etimarpu produced a fine save to deny the hosts early on.However, the visitors could not deny the hosts on the second occasion as they took the lead through a field goal by Hannah in the 5th minute.India gradually came into the game, and had a few chances of their own in the latter stages of the first quarter, but were denied by Maddie Hinch during back-to-back Penalty Corners.With the momentum on their side, the Indian team combined well at the start of the second quarter, and pressed for the equalizer, which eventually came in the 18th minute as Neha produced a slick finish to make it 1-1, and put the pressure back on the host nation.Four minutes later, Great Britain had another Penalty Corner, but were denied by the first rusher, while India also won themselves back-to-back PCs in the 24th minute, but could not get past their Goalkeeper Hinch.It was in the 29th minute at the stroke of half-time that Great Britain created a great chance through combination play by their forwards, and managed to take a 2-1 lead into half-time as Charlotte Watson scored their second.The third quarter saw a great battle between the two sides, as both of them tried to create chances. India were looking to equalize for the second time in the match, while the hosts wanted to extend their lead.Great Britain had a wonderful chance to make it 3-1 in the 40th minute as they won themselves a Penalty Corner, but could not beat India’s Savita, who had replaced Etimarpu in the third quarter.Neither team could create any real opportunity in the third period, and were battling it out in midfield. The drying up of chances for both the teams meant that Great Britain maintained their 2-1 advantage at the break with 15 minutes to play.The Indian team tried to attack their opponents more in the last quarter, as they looked for the equalizer, meaning they had more players up the field.The tactic meant that the hosts looked to counter their opposition on the break of possession, and were actually successful in doing so in the 50th minute when the Indian defence had to concede a Penalty Stroke after an obstruction inside the striking circle.The resulting execution from the spot was taken and converted by Giselle Ansley, who made it 3-1 in the hosts’ favour.India had a few chances in the last 10 minutes to make a comeback, but could not produce that cutting-edge pass in the final third to score again in the match, as the hosts ran away with a 3-1 win in the third match.India will play Great Britain in their fifth and final match of the Tour on Friday. last_img read more

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Lenovo to launch Vibe K5 in India on June 13

first_imgChinese company Lenovo will launch the budget phone Vibe K5 in India on June 13. The company has taken to social media channels to make the formal announcement regarding the same. The Vibe K5 is successor to the Lenovo A6000 and was first announced at the MWC 2016 event in Barcelona alongside the Vibe K5 Plus. The Vibe K5 Plus is already available in India for a price of Rs 8,499. The phone is sold exclusively through Flipkart.The Lenovo Vibe K5 has a 5-inch HD display with 1280×720 pixels resolution. It is powered by a 1.4GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 415 processor coupled with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal memory which is further expandable by up to 32GB via a microSD card. The dualSIM phone runs Android 5.1 Lollipop out-of-the-box and supports 4G LTE connectivity.Get ready to experience #FullOnMazza on the 13th of June. The Vibe K5, successor to the A6000 is coming with a bang! pic.twitter.com/UxgZn5MbIu Lenovo India (@Lenovo_in) June 10, 2016The Vibe K5 sports a 13-megapixel camera on the rear with LED flash along with a 5-megapixel camera on the front. The phone is backed by a 2,750mAh battery.Also Read: Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus review: Neither here, nor there The Vibe K5 Plus which is already available in India comes with a 5-inch FullHD IPS display and is powered by a 1.5GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 616 processor coupled with 2GB RAM and 16GB of internal memory which is further expandable by up to 32GB via microSD card slot.advertisementThe dualSIM phone runs Android 5.1 Lollipop-based Vibe UI and supports 4G LTE connectivity and Dolby audio technology. It has a 13-megapixel camera on the rear with autofocus and LED flash. Theres also a 5-megapixel front-facing camera. The Vibe K5 Plus is backed by a 2,750mAh battery.last_img read more

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Report: Wolves 2 Tottenham 3

first_imgTottenham survived a second-half Wolves fightback to leapfrog Arsenal into the top four with a hard-earned 3-2 away win on Saturday.Mauricio Pochettino’s men were made to work for three points as Juan Foyth, on his maiden Premier League start, conceded two penalties from which Ruben Neves and Raul Jimenez eroded a three-goal buffer.But the visitors held on amid a nervy final 10 minutes to condemn the hosts to a third successive defeat. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! Erik Lamela and Lucas Moura had earlier struck in three first-half minutes before Harry Kane netted what proved the winner just after the hour with his first goal in four league appearances.The match started on a sour note for Tottenham with an ankle injury cutting short Mousa Dembele’s 250th club appearance.Son Heung-min was introduced and helped lift the mood, providing the pass from which Lamela punished sleepy marking in the 27th minute.11 – Erik Lamela has had a hand in 11 goals in his last 12 appearances in all competitions for Spurs (8 goals, 3 assists). Thriving. pic.twitter.com/YIfTuAGg7q— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 3, 2018Kieran Trippier delivered an even better assist less than three minutes later as his curling cross dropped perfectly for Lucas to head Spurs into a two-goal lead.And everything seemed to be going their way when Jimenez had a goal ruled out for an incorrect offside flag against Matt Doherty.The tide would have turned after the restart if not for Hugo Lloris, whose trio of fine saves took on extra significance as Kane fired in at the second attempt following Lamela’s lead-up work.Foyth’s rash challenge in the box allowed Neves to finally beat Tottenham’s skipper seven minutes later and the Argentine defender was at fault again 11 minutes from time, gifting Jimenez the final consolation after bundling over Jonny Castro Otto.A neat finish to give the Wolves fans hope#WOLTOT pic.twitter.com/2uw7pwApYA— Premier League (@premierleague) November 3, 2018What does it mean? Wolves have reason for optimismNuno Espirito Santo will rue what was far from a deserved defeat as only a few losses of concentration cost his otherwise impressive and hard-working top 10 contenders.Lloris leads Spurs to three pointsHe was twice beaten from the spot but Lloris deserves no small measure of praise for denying each of Jimenez, Neves and Helder Costa in a crucial period at the start of the second half.Foyth’s frustrating first startIt was a starting league debut to forget for centre-back Foyth as he single-handedly offered Wolves a way back into a match that seemed beyond their reach.Key Opta Facts- Tottenham have won 24 points from their 11 Premier League games this season, only in 2011-12 (25) have they picked up more at this stage of a single campaign in the competition.- Wolves have won none of their last 25 Premier League matches against sides starting the day in the top half of the table (D10 L15).- Tottenham’s Harry Kane has scored 27 goals in his last 27 away Premier League games.- Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves’ penalty was his first league goal scored inside the box in English football, with his previous seven coming outside the box.What’s next?Tottenham host PSV in the Champions League on Tuesday before a weekend visit to Crystal Palace, while Wolves head to London to meet Arsenal a week on Sunday. read morelast_img read more

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World Cup 2018: Russia did not push us around, says Uruguay coach

first_imgUruguay defeated 10-man Russia to top Group A with a perfect record while dampening the hopes of the tournament hosts, who had to settle for second.Luis Suarez grabbed his second goal of the tournament to open Uruguay’s account with a free kick after 10 minutes and they doubled the lead with an own goal from Russia’s Denis Cheryshev soon after.That silenced a vociferous home crowd who had been in party mode after Russia’s opening two victories and were not expecting their final group contest to be effectively ended in the 36th minute when Igor Smolnikov was sent off for a second booking.Edinson Cavani bundled home a third goal for Uruguay at the death to wrap up their third straight victory, ensuring they finished above the Russians, who will now have to face the winners of Group B in the last 16.MATCH REPORT | HIGHLIGHTS”Russia did not push us around, they tried to put us into a corner. Not only did we prevent them from doing that, but we put them in their half of the pitch in the first half. We could have won by even more goals. We did not manage to score on certain counter-attacks that we should have. Sometimes the timing wasn’t perfect. We need to improve very quickly, because any match in the round of 16 will be extremely difficult,” said Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez, after the match.Uruguay won all three group stage matches and that too without conceding a single goal for the fitst time ever in their history. Something that made the coach a very happy man.advertisement2018 FIFA WORLD CUP: FULL COVERAGE”The result and to be top of our group pleased me most. We won by a wide margin but I like the fact that we didn’t concede. We need to work towards that end. And I liked the dedication and concentration that my team had. They were focused from end to end, the entire squad. They executed the plan that we worked towards and which we all agreed,” he said.”For me the holy grail of football is the word: balance. When we attack we need to be able to attack, but it doesn’t come from an abstract suggestion. Whenever there is an attack it is because ball possession has been recovered or we have defended well on an opponent’s attack. We work on balance all of the time,” he added.FIFA WORLD CUP: FIXTURES | POINTS TABLESuarez, who is second in the list of most goals scored for his country, was also happy with the result.”It’s obviously what we wanted, we wanted to keep growing throughout the World Cup and after winning two matches 1-0, today we wanted to do even better. We wanted to play in the same way we did before,” Suarez said after the match.”On a personal level I’m happy to move forwards, with the team we continue to make history. As a team we’re thinking about what’s best for the squad as that’s what’s most important. I also want to recognise all the Uruguayans who have made the effort to come out here and we’ve been able to return that effort with today’s result,” he added.Uruguay, who kept their sixth straight clean sheet, will face the runners-up from that group, which will be decided when Spain, Portugal and Iran battle it out for two last-16 spots later on Monday.”Obviously, the first few matches you’re tense and don’t want to make any mistakes or lose. One mistake can be very expensive. Today we came to the pitch with a different attitude and perspective and that’s made the pressure better. That’s what we saw on the pitch,” Suarez signed off.While Russia had confounded those who predicted a group stage exit with resounding victories over Saudi Arabia and Egypt, there was still a question mark over how they would perform when they faced stronger opposition.Russia coach Stanislav Cherchesov though feels that his side are well prepared for the next game in the round of 16 match.”Even when we had ten people on the pitch, they were running hard and they wanted to attack more that’s why I brought on a substitute. Psychologically we are well prepared for the next games. I believe that we should come to some conclusions, during the training sessions: this is one thing and when you come to the pitch to play the game it’s another. This is an art to be prepared at any second,” he said.advertisementlast_img read more

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Major College Football Program Losing A Bunch Of Top Recruits

first_imgA look at the sky during a Miami-Syracuse game.MIAMI GARDENS, FL – OCTOBER 21: A general view of Hard Rock Stadium during a game between the Miami Hurricanes and the Syracuse Orange on October 21, 2017 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)One major college football program has suffered some major recruiting losses over the past couple of days.Miami, which is coming off a disappointing 7-5 season, has some of top classes in the country for 2019 and ’20, but those classes have taken hits.This morning, the Hurricanes lost two defensive back recruits.Keshawn Washington, a four-star safety in the 2020 class, has announced his decommitment.I’m officially De-Committed from The University Of Miami…No interviews— Keshawn Washington (@KeshawnW_5) December 13, 2018Another 2020 defensive back, Jaiden Francois, has also de-committed.Please respect my decision…. pic.twitter.com/VwAkxKhAhD— 2️⃣✈️ (@jHumble22) December 13, 2018This is likely the result of Miami losing its defensive coordinator, Manny Diaz, to Temple. He’s become the Owls’ head coach.More decommitments could be coming in the following days. Diaz is one of the top recruiters in the state of Florida.last_img read more

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Maximize Your Tub Time With These Kick-Ass Shower Accessories

first_img Save Your Eyes from the Scourge of the Screens with the Best Blue-Light-Blocking Glasses for Men Editors’ Recommendations As we mentioned before, a shower beer is a great way to relax and take stress away from a long day. But, where do you put it? It’s risky to place your beer on just any ledge, as you risk water contaminating your drink. For this, we give you the Tooletries shower beer holder, a silicone holster that grips securely to most bathroom textiles, such as tile, glass, or marble. There are no suction cups you have to worry about and there is a drainage system to make sure beer and water don’t collect in the holder. Just get you water started, slap the shower beer system on a wall, and elevate your shower beer routine for the best.Shop NowBlackwood Scalp Massager – $10Have you ever wondered what a head massage would feel like when taking a nice hot shower? Well if you have, Blackwood’s scalp massager is constructed with a hypoallergenic silicone material that reduces the risk of dandruff and increases circulation. Use this massager to apply your shampoo and conditioner for an extra-deep cleaning of your hair and leave the shower feeling refreshed and ready to use your brain power.Shop NowRugged & Dapper Body Wash + Shampoo – $20This dual-purpose formula is teeming with refreshing ingredients such as olive, borage, oregano, tea tree, and rosehip oils that are strong enough to tackle dirtiness from your scalp to your toes. It will leave your hair feeling soft and supple without stripping it of all the natural oils you need while putting off a pleasing, masculine scent.Shop NowGrown Alchemist Intensive Body Exfoliant – $59Exfoliating your skin is a great method for staving off unwanted toxins. By using activated charcoal, caffeine-rich guarane, and Omega vitamins to draw out and scare off pesky bacteria, Grown Alchemist’s body scrub is ideal for hydrating aging and dry skin, as well as protecting against acne, oiliness, and ultimately providing you with smooth, healthy skin.Shop NowAqua Notes Waterproof Notepad – $9Sometimes a man’s best ideas come to fruition in the shower, and it’s a shame when those ideas go to waste. For those critical moments, the Aqua Notes waterproof notepad is there to take down all the unique epiphanies that come to mind. You can use the notepad to organize your thoughts, lay out the itinerary for the day, or simply keep your creative juices flowing with a drawing or haiku.Shop NowI Love Handles Switchboard – $75Every refined man needs a towel hanger to match. This switchboard hanger from I Love Handles boasts a beautiful modern design of 25 triangular wood hooks that will fold down when in use, and retract against the wall when not. This supplies you with plenty of versatility in the bathroom, whether you’re hanging up towels, your bathrobe, or the next outfit you’re going to wear.Shop NowLevel Naturals Shower Bomb – $8Even if you don’t have a spa set up at home, your time in the shower should give you the same effect if you’re doing things right. To round out our collection of best shower accessories, Level Naturals shower bomb offers an aromatherapy treatment that releases a menthol- and eucalyptus-infused steam when exposed to running water. This invigorating solution helps open your sinuses, refresh your skin, soothe your muscles, and reset your mind before or after a busy day at work.Shop Now The Ooni 3 Portable Pizza Oven Produces Perfect Pies on the Go Why Tea and Beer Go Well Together (and 5 Tea Beers to Try) center_img The Mission Workshop Khyte Sets a New Standard for Messenger Bags Your daily shower can be a boring, monotonous routine. With the right shower accessories, it doesn’t have to be.  An effective shower can help relieve the impacts of stress, improve blood circulation and muscle recovery after a hard workout, as well as enhance your overall hygiene.Most people think they need a trip to the spa to get these therapeutic effects. However, with the right set of gear in your bathroom, your shower can go from a chore to feeling like an individualized spa adventure. A shower beer session is a great place to start, but since cracking open beer in the morning isn’t exactly acceptable, we’re here to give you some other options that’ll allow you to unwind.From comfortable, aesthetically satisfying towels, bathrobes, and bath mats to waterproof speakers and other toiletries, these shower accessories will enhance your shower experience while keeping you feeling fresh.Brooklinen Mid-Plush Bath Sheets – $79When diving into bathroom accessories, the first thing that comes to mind is towels. This is what you’ll use most often when showering and grooming, and you’d be surprised just how far this simple luxury will take you. These gigantic bath sheets from Brooklinen are perfect for even the largest of men, meaning more towel for maximum coverage for everyone. Crafted from 100 percent Turkish cotton, the Mid-Plush bath sheet is an extremely soft, lightweight, and absorbent towel that will make showering less of a chore and more of a therapy session.Shop NowParachute Waffle Robe – $119If you don’t own a robe, you should. Not only are they great for lounging on lazy days, but a bathrobe will truly make you feel like you’re living the spa life — especially with this luxurious waffle robe. Featuring a lightweight cotton build, hip pockets, a folded collar, and a great waist tie, Parachute provides a functional and comfortable fit available in charcoal grey or cream. There’s also an unspoken expectation to have a matching pair of slippers.Shop NowMorihata Ishikoro Pebble Stone Bath Mat – $76Not only will this river bed-inspired mat make your bathroom looks amazing, but it also provides ample absorbance to quickly soak up water and a padded texture that feels great underneath your feet.Shop NowMorihata Binchotan Charcoal Body Scrub Towel – $21You definitely have a normal towel and you probably have a hand towel, but you might not own a body scrub towel. Think of this as an exfoliator for your body, because it is. The Binchotan body scrub towel also features a softer portion for sensitive skin and a coarser section for the contrary.Shop NowTooletries Mighty Toothbrush Holder – $18Shower organization is essential. The Tooletries silicon toothbrush holder has space for your toothpaste, a hanger for your razor, and a small shelf for important hand jewelry. The best part is its ability to attach to glass, a mirror, tile, or marble.Shop NowSoundbot Bluetooth Waterproof Speaker – $15For some of us, relaxation and therapy come through sound, and there’s nothing better than enjoying a nice, hot shower to the soundtrack of your favorite tunes. Soundbot offers one of the best shower speakers you can get. Take advantage of its universal compatibility, water-resistant loudspeaker, and constructed mic for use both indoor and outdoor use. All this at a price that won’t break the bank.Shop NowPerfetto Kitchen and Bath Multi-Function Shower System – $270Perfetto’s all-in-one solution to all of your shower needs is an awesome upgrade to an otherwise ho-hum shower routine. A shower should be a time of reflection and relaxation. Perfetto’s wall-mounted shower system has built-in controls, features multiple modes, such as an overhead waterfall and multiple body sprays, and it’s insanely easy to set up.Shop NowThe FootMate System Massager and Scrubber – $28Keeping your feet happy is one way to get your day started off the right way. FootMate’s massager and scrubber suction to your shower floor so you can just stand on it and let the system go to work. The systems scrubber cleans areas that most foot cleaning products couldn’t even fathom, and also helps with blood circulation, leaving your feet soothed so you can feel better from the ground up.Shop NowTooletries Shower Beer Holder – $15 10 Best Crime Documentaries on Netflix Right Now last_img read more

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ABS Class Insurance Should Jointly Work on Cyber Safety

first_imgzoom Chairman of the classification society American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) has called upon marine insurance and classification industries to work closer together in addressing the next-generation safety system. Christopher J. Wiernicki, Chairman, President and CEO of ABS, addressed the American Institute of Marine Underwriters (AIMU), describing the future of maritime safety and risk mitigation as it relates to cyber safety as well as outlining how the classification and insurance industries can strengthen their collaboration as the progression of cyber and autonomy propel maritime safety into new waters.“Building on our safety and risk control focus, class and insurance are in a unique position to lead in several areas – specifically, simplifying and establishing common terminology as well as delivering … products and solutions like cyber programs and notations,” Wiernicki said.“Maritime safety depends increasingly on cyber-enabled physical systems and integrated information technology and operational technology efforts, so safety-related standards and services, including class and insurance, must recognize and address this as the safety system that no one sees,” he added.“As both ABS and AIMU share a common interest in safeguarding vessels and cargoes, their crews and the environment, there are clear opportunities for class and insurance to work together in shaping a smarter safety conversation. The insights shared … from ABS underscore the importance of how we are stronger together in our journeys, leveraging each other’s strengths to simplify the complexities of topics like cyber that are defining our future,” John Miklus, AIMU President, commented.Related – Interview: Shipping Still a Moving Target for Cyber Threatslast_img read more

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VANCOUVER FILMED HALLMARK SERIES CUTS TIES WITH LORI LOUGHLIN FOLLOWING FRAUD CHARGES

first_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Her former series, which was shot in Langley, was in the middle of its sixth season when Loughlin was charged earlier this week.One day before Crown Media Family’s decision, a U.S. federal court judge granted Loughlin permission to return to British Columbia to continue working on her Hallmark projects.Apart from travelling to the Vancouver area, the actor is only allowed to move within the continental U.S.Loughlin is charged with mail fraud and honest service mail fraud in the alleged bribery scheme. Authorities allege she and her husband paid US$500,000 to have their daughters labeled as crew team recruits at the University of Southern California, even though neither was a rower.Loughlin has not responded publicly to the allegations or entered a plea in the case, and didn’t speak in court Wednesday except to give one-word answers to the judge’s questions.CTV NEWS ~ With files from The Associated Press  UPDATED:  TWITTER STATEMENTS FROM HALLMARK CHANNELThe series will not air this Sunday March 17 while we are evaluating all creative options around the When Calls the Heart series. #Hearties please keep checking back to our social for all updates related to the beloved When Calls The Heart. pic.twitter.com/8sVTlJN21n— Hallmark Channel (@hallmarkchannel) March 14, 2019 Login/Register With: Facebook Advertisement We are saddened by the recent news surrounding the college admissions allegations. We are no longer working with Lori Loughlin and have stopped development of all productions featuring Lori on the Crown Media Family Network channels — including #GarageSaleMysteries. pic.twitter.com/VDisz1J3SU— Hallmark Channel (@hallmarkchannel) March 14, 2019 Advertisement In this Oct. 4, 2017 photo, actress Lori Loughlin arrives at the 5th annual People Magazine “Ones To Watch” party in Los Angeles. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File) Twitter The Hallmark Channel has announced its no longer working with Lori Loughlin in light of her arrest in the sprawling U.S. college admissions cheating case.The channel’s parent company, Crown Media Family Networks, issued a statement Thursday revealing it has stopped development of all productions involving the “Fuller House” star.Loughlin had been working on two Hallmark Channel projects filmed in Metro Vancouver, the TV series “When Calls the Heart” and the “Garage Sale Mysteries” movies.last_img read more

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We have to live with these changes everyday Norway House still struggling

first_imgAPTN News requested an interview with Manitoba Hydro for this series. They declined, but spokesperson Bruce Owen emailed a written statement.“We recognize the impact hydro-electric development has had on many Indigenous communities,” he says. “We also recognize that resolving past grievances is fundamental to strengthening our relationships with Indigenous communities.”APTN also reached out to Manitoba’s Minister of Indigenous and Northern Relations, Eileen Clarke, who declined our interview request.“Hydro has altered our way of life,” Clarke says, standing on the shore at Two-Mile Channel after showing Wa Ni Ska Tan members how Hydro re-engineered the land and waters between Playgreen Lake and Lake Winnipeg.“It’s altered everything. And what upsets me is they don’t show us proper regard or respect,” he continues.“Sure, the damage is done already, but how can we minimize it? How can we help the lake survive?“Someday I want to see my grandchildren…or my sons, continue this way of life that I’ve enjoyed.“Trapping, hunting, fishing. It’s who we are as Cree people. The lake and the land were loaned to us by the Creator for us to survive. I want people to understand that. Life is not all rosy, and we have issues to deal with, but we try our best to live.”jbrake@aptn.ca@justinbrakenewsabrandson@aptn.ca@ashleybrandson “We have to live with these changes every day…”Clarke is president of the Norway House Fisherman’s Cooperative, which represents 50 local fishers who work in a struggling industry harvesting fish from Playgreen Lake, Lake Winnipeg and Kiskittogisu Lake.Today he’s taking Wa Ni Ska Tan alliance members out in boat to show them the impacts hydro development has had on the waters and fisheries.The boat weaves through a channel, a few kilometres outside of Norway House, with cabins and homes scattered along the shore.A crane towers above the tall grasses along the banks and watches the boat pass by.Minutes later the channel opens up, revealing beams of sunlight glimmering on Playgreen Lake’s pale green waters. There is slight wind.The boat passes dozens of islands, some of them new, some reduced to the bedrock that once sat below their soil and vegetation, and others completely submerged underwater.All of the islands have eroded as a result of fluctuating water levels controlled by Manitoba Hydro; they’re a danger to fishermen and others who use the lake, Clarke explains.(The Norway House Fisherman’s Co-op, established in 1962, represents 50 commercial fishers from the Norway House area. Photo: Justin Brake/APTN)A 20-minute boat ride takes the alliance members—there to witness and document the impacts of hydro development on local people and communities—to a small plant owned by the Fisherman’s Co-op.It’s here the fishermen land their catches of whitefish, pickerel and sauger and package it for transportation by truck 800 kilometres to Winnipeg, where the fish is further processed and marketed.Standing on the dock and peering out at the lake, Clarke says the co-op’s fishers are working with a significantly reduced quota and often struggle to make ends meet.“The silting is killing this lake because it’s killing the oxygen: the plant life, the fish — the fish can’t spawn here anymore.”(Lands were blasted and excavated to create Two-Mile Channel, which connects Playgreen Lake to Lake Winnipeg. Photo: Justin Brake/APTN)He says sturgeon—culturally significant to the Cree but now listed as an endangered species—were once plentiful in the lake but have almost entirely disappeared since the wave of hydro development in the region four decades ago.Clarke says trees are constantly falling into the lake due to the shoreline erosion, and that they pose a safety risk to fishermen.As in other hydro-impacted communities, Manitoba Hydro pays locals from Norway House to retrieve trees and other debris in order to reduce the safety risk, he explains.Fluctuating water levels also create air pockets beneath the ice in wintertime, like the one Clarke fell through a few years ago.Some have given up fishing altogether, he says.“We have to live with these changes everyday. Day in, day out, while we’re out here trying to make a living, providing for our families.”Dispossessed by hydroIn the 1960s, Manitoba and the federal government jointly explored the hydro potential of the Nelson River as a source of power for the growing energy needs in the south.The Nelson drains into Lake Winnipeg and runs more than 600 kilometres to Hudson Bay.With a drainage basin that spans more than 1 million square kilometres across multiple provinces, it’s also an important waterway for the Cree, Metis and other Indigenous peoples in the region.But by the 1970s, Manitoba Hydro had turned the river, its tributaries, and other waterways in the region into energy-and-profit-producing entities.According to Hydro’s website, The Churchill River Diversion (CRD) “was created to increase the water flow to our large generating stations on the lower Nelson River”, with most of the Churchill’s flow “diverted at Southern Indian Lake into the Nelson River.”Hydro describes a network of dams and channels that control the river’s flow into South Indian Lake and Split Lake, with the outcome being an average of “25% more water [flowing] into the Nelson River system.”At the same time, as it was re-engineering the Churchill River system, Hydro also undertook the Lake Winnipeg Regulation (LWR), another massive engineering feat that “created a second outlet for Lake Winnipeg and a network of channels and structures,” according to Hydro’s website.Hydro boasts that the Jenpeg dam and a series of diversion channels “increase [Lake Winnipeg’s] outflow potential by about 50%” and help “reduce overland flooding in summer.”In writing, the Churchill River Diversion and Lake Winnipeg Regulation projects sound relatively harmless.But for the Indigenous peoples whose existence and well-being are intimately connected to these waters, a reality of destruction, disorientation, and dispossession unfolded.The Churchill River’s flow was completely reversed, affecting fish migration and spawning. Fish that did survive were found to have elevated levels of mercury.Rivers and lakes people once travelled on, swam in and drank from, turned green after the flooding, their levels and currents unpredictable.Those who carried traditional knowledge of the rivers and lakes’ nature and behaviour found themselves unable to navigate the waters.Lands were flooded, including burial sites and other sacred spaces. People were uprooted from their ancestral homelands and forced to relocate to accommodate the new reservoirs.Influxes of southerners to their communities during the construction phases of dams, powerlines and other infrastructure created social problems.The Cree’s way of life was dramatically altered.A 1993 report on the NFA prepared for the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples describes the “systematic degradation of the local economy,” resulting from hydro development in the region.“Many persons or households find themselves incapable of coping with economic and social disruption,” the report continues, explaining many were forced out of the traditional land-based economy and on to “welfare”.(The Jenpeg generating station near Norway House Cree Nation. Photo: Ashley Brandson/APTN)In Norway House, it was the Two- and Eight-Mile Channels that brought an influx of water into Playgreen and Little Playgreen Lakes from Lake Winnipeg.And the 115-megawatt Jenpeg dam 100 kilometres north of the community that held those waters back.Most of Norway House’s people, once members of a community at the heart of the 18th and 19th century fur trade, and in the 19th century the beneficiaries of a thriving fishery, began witnessing the end of a way of life.The Northern Flood Agreement and broken promises In 1974, as multiple dams were under construction on the Nelson River and flooding continued to devastate to Cree communities, the chiefs of five First Nations—Nelson House, Norway House, Cross Lake, York Landing and Split Lake—formed the Northern Flood Committee to negotiate compensation for their people.In 1977 they signed the Northern Flood Agreement (NFA) with Manitoba Hydro, the Government of Manitoba, and the Government of Canada.The NFA promised to compensate First Nations with reserve lands impacted by the flooding, chief among those promises “a commitment and schedule to investigate plans for alleviating mass unemployment and poverty in the communities,” says Peter Kulchyski, a professor of Native Studies at the University of Manitoba.“And Article 6 was an open-ended commitment from the federal government to ensure a continuous supply of potable water that meet the federal government’s water, health and safety standards,” he adds.Kulchyski, a co-founder of Wa Ni Ska Tan who has worked with hydro-impacted communities in northern Manitoba for more than two decades, says the NFA’s key commitments were never met.“I think [Manitoba] Hydro thought they were going to make so much money they wouldn’t know what to do with it, and they were going to throw some money at these communities and they’d be fine,” he says.But the promises proved too costly for Hydro, from a financial standpoint, Kulchyski explains.“The community needs, and also the environmental impacts, I think were far greater than they anticipated,” he says, adding the provincial utility “still touts hydro as clean power — but that’s now in absolute denial.”From Canada’s perspective, Kulchyski figures the feds were “very worried about their water commitment and the cost of that, especially when they saw that…it wasn’t going to be safe to drink the water from the river.“So suddenly supplying fresh water to the communities was an expensive proposition,” he explains.With provincial and federal governments and Manitoba Hydro largely unwilling or unable to fulfill their promises to the communities, they “went community by community, offering them various packages of some hundreds of millions of dollars,” Kulchyski continues, “if the communities would sign an agreement that said they would no longer pursue any legal action under the NFA.”Four of the five NFA Nations, excluding Cross Lake, signed what Hydro has called “implementation agreements”.Or, as Kulchyski calls them, “extinguishment agreements”.“They are basically agreements saying ‘we won’t live up to our promises under the NFA and you’ll get some money instead,’” he says.Cash compensation “never going to be enough”: councillor(A sign by the Jenpeg generating station warns of a rapidly changing water levels. Photo: Ashley Brandson/APTN)Norway House signed its implementation agreement in 1997.The $78.9 million deal compensated the community for the harms hydro had inflicted on its people.Over the past 20 years the band has used the money to build housing, a multi-use facility, and to fund programs in the community.Band councillor Langford Saunders says most of that money is now spent, though some remains invested but not generating as much interest as the band council hoped.Yet with some new infrastructure and several now-defunct programs, Saunders says the impacts of hydro development on his community continue.The beaches he grew up playing on are still gone due to the flooding.The scarcity of safe places for young people to swim or fish, coupled with fear of getting sick from the once-clean waters, is still keeping youth off the land, he says.Saunders, who was elected to council earlier this year, says he’s hopeful Hydro will work with his community to ensure the people of Norway House are compensated for the loss of their way of life.At the same time, “it’s never going to be enough,” he says.“My opinion is we can’t put a price on the loss of the activities we used to do prior to the construction of the two channels [on Playgreen Lake]. We’ve lost a lot, and there’s not enough compensation to compensate for that.”Saunders says Hydro’s “commitment to support the community has to continue.” This is Part 2 of a series on hydro-impacted communities in Treaty 5 territory. Click here to access other stories featured in Power Failure: The impacts of hydro in Northern Manitoba.Justin BrakeAshley BrandsonAPTN NewsIt was mid-December, a few years back when Chris Clarke was out on snowmobile near his brother’s camp and trapline on Playgreen Lake.He “hit an air pocket” and went through the ice into the shallow water below, he recalls.“Almost drowned that time.”His brother built a fire to warm Clarke up. The two spent hours trying to haul the brand new snowmobile out of the hole.The father and fisherman “quit trapping for a couple years,” he says.(Chris Clarke says despite his community’s settlement with Hydro, the waters are still polluted, fish populations are dwindling, and his people are struggling to hold on to their way of life. Photo: Justin Brake)But the heightened dangers associated with waterways connected to hydroelectric development weren’t enough to keep Clarke away forever.He returned to fishing and trapping, carrying on his family’s tradition and working to preserve his people’s way of life for future generations.But that way of life has been threatened since the 1970s, he explains, when Manitoba Hydro began reengineering the lakes and rivers that Cree in Treaty 5 territory have lived along, and depended on, since time immemorial.Watch Ashley Brandon’s story on the effects of hydro development on northern Manitoba. last_img read more

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Vandalism act a black spot in Indian history

first_imgKolkata: The syndicate of Calcutta University on Thursday condemned the destruction of the bust of Pandit Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar on May 14 on the premises of Vidyasagar College, which is affiliated to the varsity.Reading out the resolution for condemnation, the Vice-Chancellor of the Calcutta University Sonali Chakravarti Banerjee said: “The destruction of Vidyasagar’s bust is a black spot in Indian history and the university community denounces this attack on our heritage.” She further said the Vidyasagar College authorities had informed the university about the incident and the varsity had assured the college of all possible assistance to reconstruct of the bust of the great social reformer. Vice-Chancellors of state universities have expressed deep concern over the vandalism and wrecking of the bust of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar at the Vidyasagar College. The statement jointly issued by the Vice-Chancellors asserts that such incidents were destroying the sanctity of educational institutions and striking at the root of Bengal’s eclectic cultural past. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari Puja”We express deep concern regarding the vandalism that was perpetrated on educational institutions in Kolkata and the wrecking of the bust of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar on the premises of Vidyasagar College on Tuesday evening,” read the statement. “Vidyasagar symbolised the spirit of the Bengal Renaissance and pioneered the movement for the spread of education and women’s empowerment.” The Vice-Chancellors urged that in the name of politics people should not tarnish the heritage of Bengal.last_img read more

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Moroccan Professor Released From Humiliating Detention in Belgium

By Safaa Kasraoui and Sana ElouaziRabat – After spending three days in the Steenokkerzeel detention center in Belgium for allegedly not having enough money to finance his stay in the country, Moroccan professor Abdelkader Hakkou was released on Sunday.  On Friday, Hakkou headed to Belgium after he received an invitation from the Free University of Brussels (ULB) in order to take part in an inter-university mission for a development cooperation project on the sustainable management of palm and date palm cultivation. After landing at Charleroi airport on Friday, Hakko was prevented from leaving the airport by the Belgian authorities, who then detained him in the closed center of Steenokkerzeel, a Dutch-speaking Belgian municipality in the Flemish Region.Authorities said that Hakkou’s papers were not in order, and that there was a refoulement procedure in place. Authorities claimed that Hakkou, who is also vice-president of Oujda’s Mohammed I University, could not afford to finance his stay in the country and thus did not fulfill the conditions for entering in Belgium.Humiliation After his release, the professor strongly condemned his detention, saying that he was “humiliated.”“I stayed all night on a metal chair, it is humiliating. It is hard to accept,” the professor told the press.Hakkou added that he was surprised by the way he was received by the airport authorities while his ULB colleagues were waiting just outside. “What a spiral of events I lived these two and a half days! It is a shame for a democratic country that respects human rights,” reported Maghreb Arab Press (MAP).ULB Responds to Airport AuthoritiesThe arrest shocked not only Hakkou but also the university, who strongly denounced his arrest Nicolas Dassonville, spokesperson of the university, said after his arrest was reported that “it is absolutely absurd that he is in detention. This is not the first time he has been to Belgium or Europe. It is very surprising that this is happening.”The university spokesperson affirmed then that the professor is on an official trip in the country. ”We will ensure that the professor will be released as soon as possible, because we have all the documents that prove that he is on the Belgian territory for a development cooperation project for which it is financed.”At the time, one of the professors has already visited the closed center of Steenokkerzeel to bring documents proving Professor Hakkou’s cooperation mission.  ULB explained that it had “appointed a lawyer to get him out of the closed center as quickly as possible,” a procedure that led to his release on Sunday.For Yvon Englert, rector of the ULB “[Belgium] needs to open to up to the world. We especially need the university to have serene collaborations with all countries, including those from the south, and I would like to remind you that this professor is here in the context of a collaboration financed by public money, which makes the situation even more surreal.”The university rector believes that “Belgium is going the wrong way. We must stop running behind the extreme right. This is not the right track.” read more

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Gunman at Marylands Capital Gazette Charged with 5 Counts of FirstDegree

By Chase LacyRabat – Friday five charges of first-degree murder were filed against Capital Gazette shooter Jarrod Warren Ramos. The gunman’s bail hearing was set at 10:30 a.m. in Annapolis, Maryland. On Thursday, June 28, the gunman stormed into the office of the Annapolis-based newspaper and opened fire on the staff. The gunman shot through the glass door and, according to Anne Arundel County Police Chief William Krampf, “He entered the building with a shotgun and he located his victims as he walked through the lower level.” Staff in the small office began scrambling and hiding under their desks, hoping that the gunman would not cross their path. Staff members noted when they could hear his footsteps wandering around, the blasts of his shotgun, and when he reloaded. Staff reported that the police reaction was swift, responding to an emergency call in less than two minutes. Police entered the building and, without an exchange of gunfire, apprehended the gunman hiding underneath a desk with his gun lying beside him. Approximately 170 people evacuated the multi-office building with their hands in the air. Victims of the attack were editorial page editor Gerald Fischman, assistant editor Rob Hiaasen, reporter John McNamara, sales assistant Rebecca Smith, and features writer Wendi Winters. Two other staff members sustained non-life threatening injuries and were released from the hospital. The shooter had a tumultuous history with the Capital Gazette, filing a defamation lawsuit against the paper in 2012 because of an article written by Eric Hartley. The shooter claimed he was harmed by the article, which described his guilty conviction for criminal harassment of a woman online. The case was dismissed in 2013, and the ruling was upheld in 2015.Police reported that the suspect was not cooperative and that identifying him was difficult. They reported that he had no identification on his person and his fingerprints had been “altered.” The police reportedly used facial recognition software to identify the 39-year-old from Laurel, Maryland. The last case of journalists shot and killed came in August 2015, when Vester Lee Flanagan II killed television reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward during a live broadcast in Roanoke, Virginia. The case is one among a multitude of shootings every year in the United States, and adds fuel to the ongoing bitterly divisive political debate amongst Americans regarding gun control. read more

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UN humanitarian chief to lead inspection mission into Darfur Sudan next week

A UN spokesperson told reporters today that Jan Egeland, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, will visit Greater Darfur’s three regions – northern, western and southern – to examine issues of protection, possible gaps in humanitarian assistance and ways to increase relief and funding.UN agencies estimate that at least 700,000 people have become internally displaced within Darfur since fighting erupted there early last year between the Sudanese Government, allied militias and rebel groups. Another 110,000 refugees have fled into neighbouring Chad.Early this month, after briefing the Security Council, Mr. Egeland told the press that the Janjaweed, identified by reports as Arab militia and allied to Khartoum, was mainly responsible for the forced depopulation of whole areas of Darfur. He said UN staff had received credible and frequent reports of murders, rapes and acts of looting, and the victims were largely the Fur, Zaghawas and Massalit ethnic communities.On Friday the UN announced it was seeking $115 million in donations from the international community to help the people of Darfur cope with the effects of the civil conflict, a five-fold increase from a September appeal.Next week’s humanitarian mission has been arranged at the request of the Sudanese Government, spokesperson Marie Okabe said, and follows last week’s signing by Khartoum and the rebel groups of a ceasefire in Darfur. The mission will include representatives from several UN humanitarian agencies, as well as members of the Sudanese Government.A separate fact-finding mission, organized the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), remains in the Sudanese-Chadian border area interviewing refugees. That mission is still waiting for authorization to travel into Darfur. read more

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UN seeks to ease Bangladeshs worsening flood crisis

With more than 23 million people in Bangladesh affected by devastating floods that could yet worsen after already killing at least 275 people and damaging or destroying over 12 million houses, United Nations agencies are rushing in aid ranging from essential medicines to food to water purification tablets.Flooding has also hit the neighbouring Indian state of Assam, affecting nearly 10,500 villages with a total population of more than 12 million people, killing more than 180 people and rendering millions homeless.A new Operations Coordination Room has been set up to consolidate all assessments on the ground in Bangladesh under the Disaster and Emergency Response area of the south Asian country’s Local Consultative Group, which includes such bodies as the UN and the World Bank.Nearly 1 million people have been forced to move into shelters and the situation is still worsening in the capital, Dhaka, where water from several river basins is continuing to flow in. Some 2 million acres of crops has also been damaged or destroyed in Bangladesh.UN agencies involved in aid operations include the World Health Organization (WHO), which is providing essential drugs and medical supplies and the World Food Programme (WFP), which, with its partners, has been distributing high energy biscuits, rice and polypropylene bags.The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has pledged a further $100,000 for nutrition, sanitation, health and water-related needs and has also donated water purification tablets, temporary sanitary facilities and food for young children.The forecast for the country of 124 million people remains one of prolonged flooding, with possible recurrences towards the end of August. The Government continues to welcome any international assistance provided by the UN and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported. read more

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UN expert Ecuadors indigenous people lack adequate access to social services

Just back from a 10-day visit to Ecuador, during which he met a wide cross-section of society, including the President and other officials, donors, UN representatives and indigenous peoples and their leaders, Rodolfo Stavenhagen, the Special Rapporteur on the human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people, also drew attention to the increasing emigration from indigenous communities due to the lack of employment.“The information obtained indicates that the indigenous peoples lack adequate access to basic social services such as education and health,” he said, voicing particular concern about maternal and infant mortality rates and the absence of health services, especially in rural areas.“The lack of regulations regarding indigenous justice is giving rise to conflictive situations related to jurisdictional disputes and to possible violations of the right to life and physical integrity,” he said, pointing out that these problems are being aggravated by the lack of an adequate public defence system.”The Special Rapporteur visited various communities including Sarayaku, which is involved in a conflict related to oil exploration and exploitation and he called attention to how some economic activity is adversely affecting indigenous peoples.“Of particular concern are the progressive deterioration of indigenous habitat and the impact of extractive activities (hydro-carbon, mining and logging) on the environment and the rights of indigenous peoples,” he noted, adding he had received “serious claims” regarding this situation in the Amazonian region as well as other areas of Ecuador.“Special attention should be paid to the growing problems of the people confronting illegal logging and other activities in their territories, who have not been contacted,” he said.Special Rapporteurs are unpaid experts serving in an independent personal capacity who received their mandate from the now defunct UN Commission on Human Rights and will now report to the newly established and enhanced Human Rights Council. read more

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Annan visits war crimes court in Sierra Leone

On the second stage of an African and European trip, Mr. Annan visited Camp Solar, which houses the more than 200 Mongolian soldiers who protect the UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone, where those charged with crimes against humanity are being tried for their roles in the 10-year conflict in which thousands were killed and many others mutilated with amputations of limbs. He thanked them for their dedicated, exemplary service so far from their home, adding that they could be the vanguard of increased Mongolian participation in UN peacekeeping.The Secretary-General assured President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah that while the peacekeeping mission had closed, the UN remained dedicated to working in Sierra Leone and stands ready to assist in elections.Speaking to reporters after meeting the president, Mr. Annan praised progress in Sierra Leone. “There have been some remarkable achievements: the security situation has remained stable; commercial activity has expanded; the economy is growing, albeit from a low base; there has been progress in fostering national reconciliation; the country now has a professional police force; the restructuring of the army continues; you are preparing to go to national elections next year. At the same time, he noted that Sierra Leone is beset by a number of difficulties, including “limited employment opportunities, especially for the youth; lack of capacity in many State institutions; extreme poverty and the fragile security situation in the sub-region.” The UN Integrated Office in Sierra Leone was created to support the Government in consolidating the gains already made and in addressing remaining challenges, he added.He then went to see the Special Court, where he was briefed by senior officials on its work and its completion strategy. The Special Court will have jurisdiction over the case against former Liberian President Charles Taylor at The Hague. Speaking to reporters, Mr. Annan said that trial would be a signal event. “Mr. Taylor’s trial should send the strong message around the continent, and around the world, that warlords in other parts of Africa, and the world, can not assume that they will get away with their crimes, and that impunity will not be allowed to stand.”Mr. Annan, who arrived in Sierra Leone from the Gambian capital of Banjul where he attended an African Union summit, was leaving for Liberia. After that, he will head on to Côte d’Ivoire, where he expects on Wednesday to continue discussions on resolving the crisis that has divided the country between a Government-held south and a rebel-held north. In New York, a UN spokesman announced that Mr. Annan has added Italy and Russia to the European part of his trip which already includes talks in Berlin with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Horst Kohler. In Russia he will attend the summit of the Group of 8 (G-8) industrialized countries in St. Petersburg. read more

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BC Liberals to table balanced budget NDP has doubts

by Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press Posted Feb 17, 2013 3:00 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email B.C. Liberals to table balanced budget, NDP has doubts VICTORIA – Finance Minister Mike de Jong is set to deliver what he’s calling a pre-election balanced budget Tuesday _ complete with a seal of approval from a noted economist _ but the Opposition New Democrats say British Columbians won’t buy it.The delivery of what de Jong is calling a balanced budget makes good on the Liberal government’s promise to get British Columbia out of the red after four consecutive deficit budgets in time for the fast-approaching May 14 provincial election.But de Jong said it wasn’t easy balancing the books, which means the budget won’t be bursting with election goodies to entice voters.“To reconfirm, the budget will be balanced,” he said last week. “Getting there is not easy. This will not be a traditional pre-election budget where governments are doling out promises in the billions of dollars. The money simply isn’t there.”A Liberal government source who spoke on condition of anonymity said the government will go to great lengths to show exactly how Tuesday’s budget is balanced.The source said the budget includes economic forecasts of modest surpluses over the next three years.The source said former Bank of Montreal chief economist Tim O’Neill has examined the government’s revenue projections in the budget and will confirm the numbers are on track.The Liberals are expected to release O’Neill’s report on Monday.Opposition finance critic Bruce Ralston said the findings of a hired hand and the government’s tabling of what it says is a balanced budget likely won’t be enough to convince British Columbians.He said most British Columbians have yet to forget former premier Gordon Campbell’s promise during the 2009 election campaign that the budget’s deficit was a maximum of $495 million, but ended up near $2 billion after the campaign in which the Liberals won their third consecutive mandate.“They face intense public skepticism on their record that they deceived the public in 2009, so I think people will approach whatever the finance minister says with a real lack of confidence,” said Ralston.He said the New Democrats will be scouring the budget documents to watch if the government continues its previous practice of placing hundreds of millions of dollars in dividend earnings from BC Hydro into general revenue.Recent Hydro budget numbers included in the Crown corporation’s environmental impact statement for Hydro’s proposed Site C dam project suggest losses of about $1 billion over the next four years, Ralston said.The New Democrats will also be looking for more details on the government’s proposed sale of asset properties that were highlighted in last year’s budget, he said.The Liberals said they had targeted sales of up to $700 million in asset properties, but have provided few details on the properties except for the Vancouver area Little Mountain property worth about $290 million.“On asset sales, you have to be cautious to not count your chickens before they hatch,” Ralston said.The government source said the budget will not raise the corporate capital tax, bank tax or the carbon tax. The agriculture sector will get a carbon tax break, but the source would not elaborate.The source did not discuss comments made last year by former finance minister Kevin Falcon that the government would consider raising corporate income taxes to 11 per cent from 10 per cent in 2014 if the financial situation doesn’t improve.The New Democrats say they will raise corporate income taxes to 12 per cent if elected in May.De Jong said one of the major reasons he’s able to table a balanced budget on Tuesday is because of the contract settlements the government reached with its public service workers.Pay increases were held to bare minimums under the government’s negotiating mandates of net zero and co-operative gains.“If, for example, in those years where the settlements had been for zero, it had been very modest settlements of two and two per cent, we’d be billions of dollars under water now,” said de Jong. “We wouldn’t be having any kind of conversation about a balanced budget.”Last week’s throne speech highlighted the Liberal government’s proposed B.C. Prosperity Fund, which proposes to eliminate the debt and provincial sales tax with revenues and royalties from the province’s expected lucrative returns from the export of liquefied natural gas to Asia.But so far, none of the proposed LNG plants, which the province forecasts could earn up to $1 trillion over the next 30 years, are in operation.Premier Christy Clark said the Prosperity Fund could accumulate between $130 billion and $260 billion for the government, but it won’t start earning money until the LNG plants start operating.The Liberal government’s jobs plan forecasts one LNG plant in northwest B.C. in operation by 2015 and two others running by 2020. The government has recently said interest in LNG has increased and there’s a possibility of five plants in operation by the end of the decade.Exporting LNG involves extracting natural gas from northeast B.C., shipping it in pipelines to Kitimat and the Prince Rupert area, where the gas is cooled and placed on tankers headed for Asia. read more

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