Arrested activists win ZP, panchayat polls

first_imgNagpur: When the gram sabhas (villages bodies) in Maoist insurgency-hit Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra decided to contest the recently concluded zila parishad and panchayat samiti elections, many of their candidates were in jail or facing court cases.Those, who were not in jail or facing court cases, were facing hostility at the hands of police, and were being labeled as “Maoist sympathisers.”However, six out of 20 candidates fielded by the gram sabhas managed to win these local body elections.Tribal activist Sainu Gota and Lalasu Narote got elected to Gadchiroli Zila Parishad, while Sainu Gota’s wife Sheela Gota and three other tribal candidates made their way into panchayat samities.Poll plankThe poll plank of the gram sabhas was opposition to the proposed mining projects in the district. Many candidates fielded by the civic bodies were activists leading the anti-mining protests in the district.A statement issued by gram sabhas and gotul samities in Surjagad, Bhamaragad and other villages in Gadchiroli read, “Despite the opposition by the local people, the government is pushing mining projects in our area. Many gram sabhas have already passed resolutions against these projects and submitted it to the district administration. But the government wants to carry out mining activities in our area.”It added, “Our candidates had to face a lot of hostility and harassment in the last few weeks. Three of our candidates were in jail for over 15 days. He added that their win “against all odds” suggest that they are “the real representatives of the people.”Released on bailMr. Gota and his wife were arrested by police when they took two tribal women from Chhattisgarh to a lawyer in Nagpur, claiming that the girls were raped by policemen. However, at a hearing before the Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court, the girls denied the claim, which resulted in backlash by the police against Mr. Gota and his wife.Lalasu Narote, who won from the Maoist-affected Nelgonda area of the district (bordering Maoists’ bastion Abujhmad), said, “Mr. Gota and his wife were released on bail a day before the campaigning was about to end. They had just one day for campaigning, but the people and workers were not even ready to talk them fearing police backlash. The people were not even ready to come near their house in Jambia Gatta village. But the couple won by a margin of more than 500 votes.”He added, “This suggests that people clearly supported Sainu and his wife but could not speak out due to the pressure from the authorities. This shows the ground situation in the district; the local people can not speak their mind freely.”Mr. Sainu and his wife could not be contacted for their comments as the village they live in has poor phone network connectivity.‘Maoist sympathisers’Mr. Narote, one of the very few tribal lawyers from Gadchiroli, lives in Hemalkasa village in Bhamaragad division. He has also faced allegations of being a “Maoist sympathiser.”Mr. Narote said, “The police have raided my house twice but they found nothing objectionable. The authorities call us Maoist sympathisers, but how can Maoist sympathisers get elected by such big margins in elections where the ballot is a secret? He added, “The fact is, every dissenting voice in the district is being termed as a Maoist sympathiser. This is a misconception by the police about everyone opposed to mining in the district. It’s wrong. The local people know who and what we are and that’s why they have elected us to raise their voice in zila parishad and panchayat samities.”Mr. Narote also said activists, until now, were taking out rallies and protests, they can take up their issues in the civic bodies. “We can also raise the issues of illegal arrests and detentions of local tribals in the name of counter-insurgency [operations] in the district.” Sweet successAfter tasting success in the civic polls, the gram sabhas are planning to contest the Assembly and Lok Sabha elections, which are two-and-a-half year away.Mr. Narote said, “The gram sabhas will decide about [Assembly and Lok Sabha elections]. This victory has also shown that we are democracy-loving people.”Mr. Narote preferred to stay in his village, despite a professional degree.He told The Hindu, “People and police ask me why I am staying in the village, despite being educated. But you need educated people here, who can stay on the ground and raise the voice of local tribals because they don’t even know their basic rights.”last_img read more

Kareena Kapoor shows her moves on Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa

first_imgKareena Kapoor Khan had been busy refuting rumours of differences with film-maker Karan Johar ever since she was dropped from his upcoming production Shuddhi. She chose the platform of dance reality show Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa to clear the air. Dressed in an off-white anarkali suit, Kareena made an appearance on the sets of the show to promote her upcoming film Singham Returns, slated for release on Independence Day.Kareena Kapoor Khan with Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa judges (from left) Remo D’Souza, Madhuri Dixit and Karan Johar.The public display of affection between Kareena and Karan was too glaring for anyone to miss. Bebo revealed how she has always enjoyed sharing a stage with Karan and working with him in films in Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham. She has been missing in action after her last film Gori Tere Pyar Mein opposite Imraan Khan. The film failed to leave any impression at the box office, but, a dance number Tooh, did catch up with the audience. Kareena is trying to ensure that her comeback with Rohit Shetty directed Singham Returns opposite Ajay Devgn is not missed by anyone.Kareena was at her cheerful best as she sportingly came up on stage to dance with young dancing sensation Akshat Singh. Madhuri Dixit gave a tough competition to Kareena as she agreed to match steps with her on hit number Tooh. In the film, Kareena will be seen shaking a leg with rapper Yo Yo Honey Singh for an opening video album based on the Singham theme.advertisementlast_img read more

Exclusive: Nobody can stop me from defending the title, says Vijender Singh

first_imgCold, dark and wet. Vijender Singh has to push himself out of the bed and like every other day, so badly longs for a ghar ki chai. Another two weeks to go, he tells and wills himself for another round of intense workout and sparring.   “This is life of a sportsman. To achieve something you have to sacrifice a lot. Your family, your time at home, everything. It is only after you come out of India that one realises how badly you miss home,” says the Beijing Olympic medalist who is yet to lose a fight since he turned professional last year.This one could easily turn out to be the toughest yet. Vijender, 31, will be defending his WBO Asia Pacific Super Middleweight Champion title on December 17 at the Thyagraj Stadium in Delhi. It is the same venue where the Bhiwani-boxer beat Australia’s Kerry Hope in his maiden pro-bout in his backyard. (Vijender Singh to defend WBO Asia Pacific title vs former world champion Francis Cheka)This time he’ll be facing former world champion and current inter-continental super middleweight champion Francis Cheka from Tanzania.  But Vijender thinks, and speaks like a hardened boxing professional: “It is being billed as the toughest test of my professional career but to me it doesn’t make any difference. I am training hard in Manchester, having high intensity sessions and my punches are more powerful than ever before. Singh will be the King once again on December 17,” Vijender tells India Today in that famous Haryanvi dialect of his.advertisementVijender’s seven-on-seven gains credence when you throw in another stat: six have come on knockouts and all this in a total of 27 rounds. On the other hand, the Tanzanian boxer is a veteran of 43 fights with 32 wins, including 17 KO’s and massive experience of 300 rounds.Cheka was the first one off the blocks, so as to say, typically announcing  last week. “I am ready to give this kid (Vijender) a lesson of boxing. I will come to India, no turning back, no surrender. I have heard a lot about this Indian boxer and there’s a lot of hype around him, I just can’t wait to be the one to put him in his place.”Vijender does not believe in responding in the same tone. “I will reply to him in the boxing ring. I never uttered bad words for my rivals. I believe if you are good enough then your punches will respond to verbal volleys. Let him say whatever he wants to.” (Vijender Singh to defend WBO Asia Pacific title on December 17)Quite literally, it has been a hard fought journey in professional boxing for the Indian boxer so far.  “There was so much criticism of me when I announced that I will turn professional. It was a very difficult time for me. I also knew that my first fight will be an extremely important one. If I will lose then I lose everything. It was an enormous challenge. Everything was new for me in this world, the press conferences before the fights, the face-to-face affair with the rival. Everything. I was learning new things everyday. The diet I had to take, the rest that I needed. It was all different from the amateur boxing world I came from. Yahan bahut maar bhi padti hai (you get a lot of beating in pro boxing)”While on the phone, you hear someone asking Vijender to wrap up the interview. It’s his trainer Lee Beard who tells him it’s time to leave and drive down to the Manchester Arena for a sparring session.  “A normal routine here means just training, meditation and listening to Punjabi music. Also, I sleep a lot. I love dreaming. I am eagerly waiting to return home. Yahan bhi thand hai, wahan bhi thand ho jayegi (it is cold here and will be cold in India too in December). The transition will be a lot easier than what I experienced in July when I came to the fight from London to Delhi. It was hot and humid there.”Mid December will be cold in Delhi. But the heat is only going to go up.last_img read more

Putin Cancels Doping Meeting

first_imgMOSCOW — Vladimir Putin canceled a meeting with the country’s sports leaders on Nov. 11 because of heavy rain in Sochi.The Russian President had been due to discuss the doping allegations published Nov. 9 in the World Anti-Doping Agency commission’s report.Because of the report, which accused Russia of operating a vast state-sponsored doping program, the country’s track and field team is facing possible exclusion from next year’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.According to Russian state news agencies, Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the reason for the cancellation was heavy rain that has restricted flights in and out of Sochi, the host city of last year’s Winter Olympics.“The decision was taken by the president to continue his working timetable,” Peskov said in comments reported by the RIA Novosti agency.Putin had been due to meet with track federation coach Yuri Borzakovsky and other Russian sports leaders in Sochi. The plane carrying the sports officials was forced to land in the city of Mineralnye Vody, where they have instead arranged a meeting with Russian Olympic Committee President Alexander Zhukov.Peskov added that Putin would be briefed and may hold another meeting on sports and doping issues later in the day, depending on how the weather conditions develop.On Nov. 13, track’s governing body is scheduled to decide whether to suspend Russia, the first step toward preventing the country from competing on the track at the Olympics in Rio.IOC President Thomas Bach said in interview with New Zealand television that he believes Russia will take steps to ensure it complies with global anti-doping rules in time to avoid a ban.In Russia, Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said the country was ready to cooperate with WADA and asked the agency to provide a “road map” of reforms to implement.“If we carry it out, let’s shake hands,” Mutko told the Interfax news agency.Mutko also took a shot at Britain, criticizing the country’s anti-doping authorities for failing to catch all the supposed Russian drug cheats at the 2012 London Olympics.The WADA panel’s doping report implicated Mutko’s ministry in covering up failed drug tests by Russian athletes. It also said that six athletes were allowed to compete at the London Olympics after earlier anti-doping cases against them were slowed down.“If you’re accusing our athletes today, then I’m afraid your system is zero and worse than ours,” Mutko said.Athletes can use a variety of techniques to evade detection, including timing consumption so the banned substances leave their system before competition.Besides serving as Sports Minister, Mutko is also the head of the 2018 World Cup organizing committee and a member of the FIFA executive committee.Responding to comments from English Football Association President Greg Dyke that FIFA should consider suspending the Russian minister’s membership, Mutko said it was “absurd.”“So should I raise the issue of suspending the British football federation from FIFA?” Mutko said.(JAMES ELLINGWORTH, AP Sports Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

10 months ago​Wolves star Dendoncker relishing Prem test

first_imgAbout the authorAnsser SadiqShare the loveHave your say ​Wolves star Dendoncker relishing Prem testby Ansser Sadiq10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveWolves midfielder Leander Dendoncker is enjoying life against the top teams.The newly promoted side have reserved their best showings for clashes against the “top six” in the Premier League.Their most recent scalp is the 2-1 FA Cup third round win over Liverpool at home.And Dendoncker is loving such occasions.”It’s great to play in the team, it helps to be on their side,” he said to the Express and Star.”I’m happy for the team, we will see what comes.”The whole team performed really well. We try to help each other a lot, that’s what we try to do every game.”It was a good team performance, the whole team worked a lot for the win.”We kept on going, even when they scored at 1-1.” last_img read more

Stars Join UNICEF Super Dads Campaign

first_imgStars from the world of entertainment and sport including Mahershala Ali, David Beckham, the All Blacks, Daniel Cormier, Novak Djokovic, Lewis Hamilton, Hugh Jackman, Sachin Tendulkar, Thalía and Chris Weidman joined Super Dads, a new UNICEF initiative launched today to celebrate fatherhood, and highlight the importance of love, play, protection and good nutrition for the healthy development of young children’s brains.With more than 90 countries celebrating Fathers’ Day this month, the initiative invites families to post photos and videos of what it takes to be ‘super dads,’ using the hashtag #EarlyMomentsMatter on their Instagram and Twitter accounts. To inspire families across the world to share their ‘super dads’ moments, photos and videos of UNICEF ambassadors and supporters who have got behind the campaign will be posted on UNICEF’s Instagram and Twitter, and featured on the campaign’s gallery between June 6 and 18.“As a father, I’ve seen for myself the impact that every smile, every bit of love, and every positive action has had on my child during these precious early years of life. Being a new parent isn’t easy. There are many challenges that fathers across the world face. This campaign is about supporting and encouraging fathers so they can be the Super Dads their kids desperately need,” said UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Novak Djokovic.“I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support of my dad, there’s no question about that. He was involved right from the start and gave me all the love, guidance, decent food, and care that I could have wished for. I’ll remain forever grateful to him for that,” said UNICEF supporter Lewis Hamilton. “I hope this initiative celebrates dads like mine across the world and helps those who are struggling get the support they need to be super dads too.”“When I was a young child, my father gave me the right amount of love, freedom and support to shape who I am today,” said UNICEF Ambassador Sachin Tendulkar. “Every kid needs protection, love, good food and play to support growth and development, and it’s up to both parents to provide these.”The heart-warming videos and photos of celebrity dads will be coupled with stories of super dads from across the world, including those who are doing their best to raise their children in extremely difficult circumstances.One such super dad is South Sudanese refugee Idro, who is raising three daughters aged 2 months, 3 and 13 years old in Uganda’s Bidi Bidi refugee settlement, the largest in the world. Idro fled his war-torn country in July 2016, and is doing everything he can to keep his young daughters’ healthy, happy and safe. “My daughter asks me “when are we going home”, I hold her to my side to comfort her. I play games with her and carry her. She must feel that I love her. If I can’t fulfil for my family, I am not happy,” said Idro.“The earliest years of life present a critical, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to shape children’s brain development – and it’s their parents who hold the largest stake in this process,” said Pia Britto, UNICEF Chief of Early Childhood Development.“The more fathers, mothers and other family members shower their babies and young children with love, play, good nutrition and protection, the better these children’s chances are of reaching optimal health, happiness and learning ability. Good parenting for young children living in highly stressful conditions like conflict or extreme poverty can even provide a buffer, helping them to fully develop despite adversity,” said Britto.Good parenting in early childhood, especially during the first 1,000 days, sparks neural connections in children’s brains, laying the foundation for their future successes. Research suggests that when children positively interact with their fathers, they have better psychological health, self-esteem and life-satisfaction in the long-term.“We need to break down the employment and societal obstacles that deprive fathers – and mothers – of precious time with their young children,” said Britto. “It is critical that the private sector and governments work within their communities to give parents and caregivers of babies the time, resources and information they need to give children the best start in life.”The ‘Super Dads’ initiative forms part of UNICEF’s #EarlyMomentsMatter campaign, which aims to drive increased understanding of how children’s environments and experiences in early childhood can shape their future health, well-being, ability to learn, and even how much they will earn as adults.All photo and video submissions to the Super Dads initiative will feature on the #EarlyMomentsMatter gallery. UNICEF will select the most heart-warming, humorous, and imaginative photo and video submissions post them on the organization’s own digital platforms.last_img read more

Inspiration Awards Benefiting Step Up Raises Nearly 500000

first_imgOn Friday, June 1, Step Up hosted its annual Inspiration Awards, presented by The Coach Foundation.They welcomed 800 guests to a luncheon and reception benefitting Step Up’s confidence building programs for girls, and honored Regina Hall and Step Up teen Vivi for their commitment to this cause. Step Up believes all girls should have the opportunity to fulfill their potential, and the Inspiration Awards raise 45% of the funds Step Up needs to reach girls in the Los Angeles community for one year. This year’s celebration raised nearly $500,000.Among those who attended were speaker Amy Wakeland (First Lady of Los Angeles), presenters and additional special guests including Channing Dungey, Julie Bowen, January Jones, Sanaa Lathan, Jaina Lee Ortiz, Amy Brenneman, Lacey Chabert, Garcelle Beauvais, Kaley Cuoco, Rebecca Gayheart Dane, Amy Davidson, Torrey DeVitto, Jennie Garth, Meagan Holder, Ashley Jones, Christine Lakin, Lisa Ling, Charlotte McKinney, Alex Meneses, Beverley Mitchell, Ciera Payton, Jillian Rose Reed, Louise Roe, Marla Sokoloff, Emeraude Toubia, Argelia Atilano & Omar Velasco, Rainbow Barris, Suzanne Boda, Kimberly J. Brown, Nancy Carell, Willa Ford, Dr. Nita Landry, Nicole Lapin, Stephanie Lemelin, Kelsey Patel, Jenna Paulette, Elena Satine, Ashley Torres, Malina Weissman, and many more.Step Up propels girls living or going to school in under-resourced communities to fulfill their potential by empowering them to become confident, college-bound, career-focused, and ready to join the next generation of professional women.last_img read more

Trinamool moves EC against Central forces

first_imgArambag/Kolkata: Going on the offensive against the Central forces, the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress on Tuesday moved the Election Commission, accusing the troopers of influencing the electorate to vote for the BJP during phase-3 of the Lok Sabha polls in West Bengal. State Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee made public the party’s move while addressing an election rally at Khanakul in Hoogly district. “Today I have got the news that in Malda South constituency’s Englishbazar, Central force personnel entered the polling booth number 166 and 167 and influenced the voters to vote for BJP. They have no rights to do this. We have lodged an official complaint against them,” Banerjee said. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari Puja “Police cannot enter the polling booths without the permission of the returning officer. They are asking people standing on the queues to vote for BJP,” she alleged. Malda south and Balughat are two of the five Bengal Lok Sabha constituencies, where polling was held on Tuesday. Trinamool’s North Dinajpur district president Amal Acharya said in Itahar and other places, the Central force officers threatened to open fire as they had done in Uttar Pradesh. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highway “The belief that the Central force will help in conducting a free and fair election is shattered. Their partiality is evident,” Acharya said. As per a source in the Chief Electoral Office, the commission has received a complaint against the Central forces and has sought a report. Meanwhile, Banerjee urged the troopers to stick to their duty of maintaining law and order and not try to influence the elections. “The Central force may come during the elections. They will come for a day, conduct elections and go back. State police guide them and help them out. I love both the forces. I do not differentiate between them,” she said. “I would request you and the state police to do your job. You are our guest and friend. If we form government at the Centre, you will work with me. Modi ji will not be there,” Banerjee said.last_img read more

The Latest Lawyers seek priority status for wildfire claims

SAN FRANCISCO — The Latest on a court hearing on Pacific Gas & Electric Corp.’s bankruptcy (all times local):2 p.m.Attorneys for wildfire victims suing Pacific Gas & Electric Corp. urged a U.S. bankruptcy judge to prioritize the claims of wildfire victims.Frank Pitre, who represents victims of wildfires in 2017 and 2018, said at a hearing Thursday that the process needs to move urgently because some victims are facing the possibility of becoming homeless without a settlement.Legal experts say wildfire victims could receive less money in payouts in bankruptcy court than they would in civil court proceedings.PG&E has filed for Chapter 11 reorganization to deal with roughly 1,000 lawsuits and potentially tens of billions of dollars in claims over devastating blazes in CaliforniaAn attorney for PG&E, Stephen Karotkin, said PG&E wants to establish a trust fund to resolve all lawsuits from wildfire victims.___11:45 a.m.An attorney for Pacific Gas & Electric Corp. says its goal in its bankruptcy case is to establish a trust fund to resolve all lawsuits from wildfire victims.Lawyer Stephen Karotkin said at a hearing Thursday that the fund could be financed in various ways and would expedite payments to families affected by wildfires.Legal experts say wildfire victims could receive less money in payouts in bankruptcy court.Karotkin said PG&E did not file for bankruptcy to avoid potential responsibility for California wildfires in 2017 and 2018.He said Chapter 11 was the only way the company could restore financial stability, address wildfire claims fairly and continue providing reliable electric and gas service.The Associated Press read more

The Latest Putin says North Korea needs guarantees

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia — The Latest on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s at an investment forum (all times local):6:35 p.m.Russian President Vladimir Putin says solid security guarantees need to be given to North Korea to persuade it to denuclearize.Speaking at an investment forum in St. Petersburg alongside Chinese President Xi Jinping, Putin said Moscow and Beijing both want Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons.But he noted that North Korea has “an example of Iraq and Libya before its eyes and it doesn’t want to repeat their fates.”Pyongyang, he added, would need serious guarantees.Putin said he discussed the issue with Xi Thursday and had earlier talked about North Korea with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo when he visited Russia last month.The Russian leader voiced hope that U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un could continue negotiations.___5:40 p.m.Russian President Vladimir Putin says he is open for talks with Ukraine’s newly-elected president.Asked Friday why he didn’t congratulate comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy on taking the office of Ukrainian president last month, Putin pointed at Zelenskiy’s statements in which he called Russia an aggressor.Relations between the two countries have been strained ever since Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine and Moscow’s support for a separatist insurgency in eastern Ukraine.Putin said that Zelenskiy is a talented actor, but noted that “there is a difference between playing and being.”He softened the statement by adding that Zelenskiy may have the makings of a leader and said that he is open for a meeting with Ukraine’s new leader___3:45 p.m.Russian President Vladimir Putin has criticized the United States for using pressure and sanctions to maintain its economic supremacy, hurting international trade and eroding global stability.Speaking Friday at an investment forum in St. Petersburg, the Russian leader said the U.S. has turned its currency into an “instrument of pressure,” undermining trust in the U.S. dollar and damaging its own interests.Putin said the U.S. attempt to “spread its jurisdiction to the entire world” challenges the global order.Flanked by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the forum’s panel, Putin said that the U.S. action against Chinese telecom giant Huawei represented an attempt to “blatantly squeeze it out of the global market,” marking “the first technological war of the digital era.”The Associated Press read more

Opposition objects to Police probing MPs over Parliament clash

The opposition today objected to the Police investigating Members of Parliament over the clash in Parliament during the political crisis.Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa told Parliament today that outsiders must not be allowed to get involved in an incident which took place in Parliament. A report compiled by a Parliament committee over the incident was handed over to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya today.However, separately the Police is also investigating the incident based on complaints made with the Police. However the opposition said that the privilege rights of Parliamentarians was under threat by the Police investigating the incident. (Colombo Gazette)

Rather than stoke anxiety politicians should work to improve livelihoods Canadas Trudeau

Telling the Assembly that he had learned much from speaking with the Canadian people, including young people frustrated by the lack of employment, women still faced with discrimination and parents struggling to give their children opportunities, Mr. Trudeau said that while Canadians still believed in progress, that optimism was mixed with concern – an anxiety shared worldwide.“Faced with citizens’ anxiety, we have a choice to make. Do we exploit that anxiety or do we allay it? Exploiting it is easy, but, in order to allay it, we need to be prepared to answer some very direct questions,” Mr. Trudeau said. “We believe we should confront anxiety with a clear plan to deal with its root causes,” he continued, adding: “Fear has never created a single job or fed a single family […] People want their problems solved, not exploited.”“What will create the good well-paying jobs that people want need and deserve? What will strengthen and grow the middle class and help those working hard to join it?” he said, stressing that leaders should work to allay them by enabling a safer, more peaceful world and creating economic growth that was broadly shared.For Canada, that also meant reengaging in global affairs through institutions such as the United Nations. Among other things, Canada had helped to negotiate the Paris Agreement, reasserted its support for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), strengthened its role in peacekeeping and increased its contribution to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the fifth replenishment conference of which Canada had hosted in Montreal this past weekend. In Canada, Mr. Trudeau continued, diversity was seen as a source of strength, not weakness. While the country had had had many failures – from the internment of Ukrainian, Japanese and Italian-Canadians during the World Wars, to the shameful marginalization of indigenous peoples – what mattered was that it had learned from its mistakes and was committed to doing better.To that end, Canada recently opened its arms to thousands of Syrian refugees, welcoming them as neighbours, friends and new Canadians. The Government has been working with the business community, civil society and citizens to help the newcomers adapt. He also pointed out the contrast between middle-class Canadians who struggle with anxieties and middle-class Syrians, who often find themselves living in refugee camps. Going forward, he said, Canada would continue to invest in education and infrastructure development, while working to build an economy that worked for everyone, not just for the richest one per cent. It would refuse to give in to pressure to change its most profound values in order to win votes. Indeed, strong, diverse, resilient countries such as Canada did not happen by accident, and they would not continue without effort. “Every single day, we need to choose hope over fear” and unity over division, he stressed. The citizens of the world were better than what the cynics and pessimists thought of them. “People want their problems solved, not exploited,” he said, calling on the international community to work in concert to those ends. read more

Research Chair shares career experiences with grad students

Melanie Pilkington, Canada Research Chair in Chemistry, delivered the opening address at the 2012 Mapping the New Knowledges Graduate Student Research ConferenceMelanie Pilkington promised that she wouldn’t deliver a science lesson as part of her opening address at the recent Mapping the New Knowledges Graduate Student Research Conference.However, true to her field, the associate professor in Brock’s Faculty of Mathematics and Science and Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Chemistry, drew on her own journey to break down the elements – personal drive, support, new experiences and life balance – that work together for a successful research and supervisory career.She told more than 60 graduate students gathered at Plaza 400 Level Mezzanine that her journey began as an undergraduate student at the University of Kent, United Kingdom. In her third year she participated in a one-year exchange at the University of Bologna in Italy – a formative experience for her both personally and academically.After graduating with a BSc degree from Kent, Pilkington went to work at Pfizer as part of the pharmaceutical company’s discovery research group. She said she is grateful to her Pfizer colleagues for their support and encouragement in her decision to leave the company and return to Kent to pursue her PhD.“When I look back on this part of my journey, I realize that I was determined and self-motivated from the very start of my graduate studies,” said Pilkington. “I figured out early on that the key to a successful PhD thesis would be to work closely alongside my supervisor and to put as many hours in as I could manage to get the work done.“During my grad studies, I lived for my research; I was very driven to find out if my reactions had worked and if not what had gone wrong.”It wasn’t all about work, added Pilkington. Just as important was time spent at department cricket matches, watching Saturday afternoon football on TV and the all-important daily tea breaks that brought a sense of relief and balance to the intensity of research life.It’s all about enjoying this part of your life, stressed Pilkington as a take home message to the group of future researchers and scholars.“It is your opportunity to grow academically, broaden your mind and make memories that will sustain you later on in your lives and careers,” she said.“Have the courage to make the most of every opportunity that comes your way. Be realistic about your strengths and weaknesses and work hard to improve yourself. Be kind, supportive and respectful to your colleagues and peers. Stand up for yourself and don’t be intimidated, speak up to defend your ideas and thoughts. Learn all you can from your mentors, listen to their suggestions and don’t take their criticism too personally since their objectives are to mould you into the thinkers of the future.”Following the opening address, more than 90 graduate students gave oral and poster presentations throughout the day at the seventh annual conference, which is held by the Faculty of Graduate Studies, the Office of Research Services and the Graduate Students’ Association. read more

Headworks wastewater treatement technology deployed at Seabee gold mine

first_imgHeadworks, a leading provider of advanced wastewater treatment processes and equipment for municipal and industrial facilities globally, has announced that its fully owned subsidiary Headworks BIO Inc has been awarded a contract by Claude Resources to deploy the company’s innovative Moving Bed Biofilm Reactor (MBBR) technology to treat underground mine water at the Seabee gold mine in Northern Saskatchewan, Canada.Claude Resources chose the Headworks solution because it required a wastewater treatment process to lower the ammonia content of the mine effluent. Headworks will deploy their proprietary high-surface area ActiveCell 920 media and supply the aeration grids, retention screens and two blowers to the mine. During the process, the influent water will receive pretreatment to have the Total Suspended Solids removed. The water will then be heated to 10°C and the effluent will be discharged safely into a large pond.The Seabee mine is situated in a remote location in Northern Canada where direct access to the mine site is restricted. Equipment and heavy supplies have to be trucked to the site via a 60 km winter ice road. This road is only available for use from January through March when the ice is thick enough to sustain the heavy traffic, so on time delivery and logistics are extremely critical. “We are pleased to be awarded this project. It is affirmation of our expertise and our MBBR process’s ability to operate under some of the most challenging conditions, as well,” explained Michele LaNoue, President and CEO of Headworks, “It also demonstrates the flexibility of our technology to be used for such a diverse and not so obvious application. We are confident that we will work within the time constraints and deliver this project on schedule with the ultimate goal of a successfully operating treatment system accomplished.”MBBR is a highly effective fixed film wastewater treatment process that employs thousands of polyethylene biofilm carriers to support the growth of biofilm. The carriers move freely in the reactor oxidising ammonia nitrogen in the wastewater. Oxygen is delivered to the carriers through course bubble aeration, which also keeps the carriers mixed and in suspension. Media is retained in each reactor via stainless steel retention screens.last_img read more

Phil Hogans hold protest against controversial Kilkenny bridge

first_imgMORE THAN 50 protesters dressed as former Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan took part in a protest in Kilkenny yesterday.They took to the streets in Kilkenny wearing masks of Hogan’s face in a bid to highlight their concerns over a controversial new road scheme.Protests have been ongoing over the construction of a bridge over the River Nore, with locals taking to kayaks and rafts on the river, and keeping up a 24-hour presence at the site.Construction beginsThe work is taking place under the Kilkenny Central Access Scheme, known as the CAS.Although construction had been temporarily suspended the week before last, it resumed last week. Pile driving began even though locals were in the river. The construction was fenced off while work was ongoing.One protester, Darragh Byrne, told that during yesterday’s stunt the locals donned the Phil Hogan masks to draw attention to a change in Local Government legislation brought in by the former Minister for the Environment in June 2014 just before he left office.The protesters say the new legislation was tested on the TD’s home ground of Kilkenny last month when it was used during a special sitting of Kilkenny County Council.The protesters have utilised the #savekilkenny hashtag on Twitter during their campaign and say they have been “misrepresented and smeared as ‘unemployed’ or ‘outsiders’” by some.They fear the bridge will bring more traffic into the centre of the medieval town. Protest to continue during festivalsThe protest is set to continue throughout August, with a series of events due to take place during Kilkenny Arts Festival and Heritage Week to draw attention to the new bridge and controversial legislation.The council is due to hold another meeting in September about the CAS.Irish rugby legend Willie Duggan has also weighed in on the campaign, saying in a video interview with “Our representatives or our council should pay attention to what the people are telling them.”All photographs are by Vicky Comerford and Danny LahartRead: Work on Kilkenny bridge resumes – while protesters are nearby on river>Read: Man to spend second day on raft protesting against Kilkenny bridge>last_img read more

TCI not ready for independence says Premier PNP to begin candidate selection

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, TCI, July 6, 2016 – The Turks and Caicos is not ready to be an independent nation and Premier Rufus Ewing said he will not push these islands toward the step before there is better education and less apprehension on the issue.  “So it’s nothing to take lightly, it’s nothing to just jump to.  Yes we all require some education about independence, and we have to continue to speak about independence without getting nervous about it, but we haven’t been able to do so in this country, because the minute you decide to speak about independence, there’s some fear mongers who make people believe that you are going to go independent tomorrow, and that a government can push you to independence and push it down your throat.  No government can make this country independent without you the people.”Premier Ewing was speaking at the press conference held by the PNP on Monday at the Opus conference room and taking on an issue former premier Michael Misick says is a matter of urgency; Misick chided the current PNP for not moving more swiftly toward independence for the country.  The decision of 52% of British voters to eventually end the UK’s place in the European Union last month brought new comments from Misick who said the Governor and the Premier should at least hold a referendum on the matter of independence.While the Governor on National Heroes Day said both he and the FCO want to see a referendum held on Independence in the Turks and Caicos, when Magnetic Media asked the Premier if he is ready to hold that referendum, there was this point blank response.  “No i’m not prepared to run a referendum.”The Progressive National Party will next week begin the candidate selection process but even securing the most support at that level where party members vote will not mean automatic candidacy on the PNP ticket.  Party Chairman, Royal Robinson explained that two thirds of the vote must be had and where that is not accomplished in the district and all island candidate categories, there will be some executive meetings within the party to determine the final five for the districts and the final three for the at large.“If that doesn’t happen on the first round, then there will be a second round of voting.  If there’s still no person coming out with the two-thirds majority at the second round, then the two persons that have the top amount of votes will then be sent to the NEC of the Progressive National Party for a recommendation and decision that will go to the National General Council or a special convention.”There are nine vying for the at large spots including current MPs, Norman Saunders and Donhue Gardiner and races for South Caicos, North Caicos, Grand Turk North and two seats for Provo.  The PNP Primaries span all of next week. Related Items:pnp begins candidate selections, tci not ready for independence says premierlast_img read more

Commodity Statement on Federal Deficit and Debt Reduction

first_imgA joint statement from:National Association of Wheat Growers President Jerry McReynolds, a wheat producer from Woodston, Kan.National Corn Growers Association President Bart Schott, a corn grower from Kulm, N.D.American Soybean Association President Alan Kemper, soybean farmer from Lafayette, Ind.National Sorghum Producers Chairman Gerald Simonsen, a sorghum grower from Ruskin, Neb.”Farmer members of the American Soybean Association, the National Association of Wheat Growers, the National Corn Growers Association and the National Sorghum Producers are meeting at Commodity Classic to determine policies that reflect their priorities in 2011 and beyond. Among these priorities, we recognize that reducing federal deficits and the national debt is critical to putting the American economy, including U.S. agriculture, on a sound course for future growth and prosperity.”We note that agriculture made a down payment in cutting spending when the Department of Agriculture directed $4 billion in savings under the Standard Reinsurance Agreement for federal crop insurance toward deficit reduction. We believe any further reduction in discretionary spending should recognize and reflect this contribution. We would also note that agriculture-related programs represent less than one-half of one percent of the federal budget.”Looking forward, we believe any meaningful approach to deficit and debt reduction in the FY2012 budget must encompass all entitlement programs and all discretionary spending. We look forward to working with Congress and the Administration to develop a budget that successfully addresses the need for federal deficit and debt reduction balanced with the need of ensuring a successful agricultural economy.”last_img read more

Decision On PFD Could Effect Timeline On Dividend Payment

first_imgIf he plans to veto the PFD funding in House Bill 2001, the Legislature would need to meet again to ensure PFDs get out this year. According to state law, dividends can be sent as late as December 31. He has until August 30 to sign the bill, or to veto all or parts of it. In a statement, Dunleavy said he isn’t planning to call the Alaska Legislature back into a third special session immediately. Governor Dunleavy: “It doesn’t follow the law, the law that’s been in effect for decades. That law is still in existence.”  Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Governor Mike Dunleavy has still not indicated whether or not he will sign a bill he received on Wednesday that would provide a $1,600 permanent fund dividend this year. If the governor chooses to veto the bill then Alaskans could receive their payment later this year than normal.center_img The governor campaigned on a dividend funded under the formula set in a 1982 state law, which would be roughly $3,000. But the House of Representatives and the Senate passed a smaller amount of $1,600. The governor signed Senate Bill 2002 on Thursday, which funds the capital budget.last_img read more

KoalaSpotting Drones Outdo Human Experts

first_img Researchers in Australia developed a fast, reliable way to count koalas using drones.By flying unmanned aerial vehicles equipped with infrared imaging, a team from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) can spot marsupials even under the cover of the eucalyptus trees where they live.The technique, detailed in a paper published by the journal Scientific Reports, involves heat-seeking drones and a very specific algorithm.“Nobody else has really managed to get good results anywhere in the world in a habitat this complex and in these kinds of numbers,” according to study co-author Grant Hamilton, a senior lecturer in QUT’s School of Earth, Environmental and Biological Sciences.QUT researchers use drones to search for koalas (via Queensland University of Technology)Previously, drone-based animal population detection systems have been applied to what the University called “fairly simple scenarios,” like looking so seals on a beach or animals in the savannah.“A seal on the beach is a very different thing to a koala in a tree,” Hamilton said in a statement.“The complexity is part of the science here which is really exciting,” he continued. “This is not just somebody counting animals with a drone; we’ve managed to do it in a very complex environment.”The researchers cheated a bit, conducting aerial sweeps early in the morning during cold months—when the difference between koala body heat and their surroundings would be at its greatest.Moving in a striped “lawn mower” pattern, the drone flew up and down over a specific area. After the flight, collected data was fed through an algorithm, designed to identify the heat signatures of koalas compared to other local fauna.Based on the animals’ GPS tracking tags, Hamilton & Co. were able to confirm locations captured by the drones and effectively rate their system’s accuracy.“On average, an expert koala spotter is going to get about 70 percent of koalas in a particular area,” Hamilton explained. “We, on average, get around 86 percent. That’s a substantial increase in accuracy that we need to help protect threatened species.”The eyes in the sky also work more quickly and cheaply than humans, covering in a couple of hours what it would take an expert all day to achieve.“There are advantages and downsides to each of these techniques,” Hamilton said, “and we need to figure out the best way to put them all together. What we do know now is that this is a really powerful tool within the toolbox.”The full study—co-authored by QUT’s Hamilton, Evangeline Corcoran, and Simon Denman, along with John Hanger and Bree Wilson from wildlife management firm Endeavour Veterinary Ecology—was published in the journal Scientific Reports.More on Piece Together Ancient ‘Marsupial Lion’ SkeletonBoeing Unveils ‘Wingman’ Drone That Could Fly Alongside Fighter JetsAustralian Rodent Becomes First ‘Climate Change Extinction’ UPS Wants to Bring Drone Deliveries to U.S. HospitalsWatch: Drone Captures Great White Sharks Interacting Off Cape Cod Stay on targetlast_img read more

VIDEO Hawaii resident surprised to return home to hellish wall of spewing

first_imgAs most people are aware the ongoing volcanic eruptions in Hawaii have displaced residents and continue to threaten residents with massive loss of property and potential loss of life.Keith Brock, a resident of the Leilani Estates area which has been been hardest hit by the eruption, returned home to collect his belongings while he still can. When he walked into his backyard he was greeted by a wall of spewing lava that was about 30 yards away. Basically hell.He actually sounds pretty upbeat here, and said he wasn’t directly in danger because the wind was blowing the other way. Yeah, whatever dude. Get the hell out of there already.last_img