InFocus Lack of Aboriginal representation barring justice

InFocus Lack of Aboriginal representation barring justice

14 October 0

first_imgAPTN InFocus with Cheryl McKenzieIn this edition we put an important part of Canada’s justice system InFocus.Juries. They carry a big responsibility to examine the facts and arrive at a verdict.But what happens when there isn’t fair representation of Aboriginal people on those juries?Nishnawbe Aski Nation, Deputy Grand Chief, Alvin Fiddler tells us how they are being proactive to ensure there is justice in an upcoming inquest.Lawyers, Julian Falconer and Katherine Hensel tell us about how the problem has created a backlog of cases.last_img read more

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Liberal definition of middle class Canadians not useful says economist

Liberal definition of middle class Canadians not useful says economist

13 October 0

first_imgOTTAWA – The Liberals speak constantly of strengthening the Canadian middle class, but any precise definition of that amorphous category of people getting all the attention has always been ambiguous at best.Until now — depending on how one defines the word “precision.”Earlier this week, Transport Minister Marc Garneau rose in the House of Commons to reveal the Liberal government’s criteria for the middle-class club.“The government of Canada defines the middle class using a broad set of characteristics that includes values, lifestyle, and income,” Garneau said Monday in response to a question that Conservative MP Kelly Block posed in writing in May.“Middle-class values are values that are common to most Canadians from all backgrounds, who believe in working hard to get ahead and hope for a better future for their children,” he continued.“Middle-class families also aspire to a lifestyle that typically includes adequate housing and health care, educational opportunities for their children, a secure retirement, job security, and adequate income for modest spending on leisure pursuits, among other characteristics.”The short speech contained a total of 127 words, but not one of them was a number, such as one resembling the annual income reported on a middle-class tax return.That, Garneau suggested, is part of the point.“The income required to attain such a lifestyle can vary greatly based on Canadians’ specific situations, such as whether they face child care expenses or whether they live in large cities where housing tends to be more expensive,” he said.The order paper question, akin to an access-to-information request for MPs, was based on a response that Karen McCrimmon, the parliamentary secretary to the minister of transport, gave in March when Block asked about the privatization of airports.McCrimmon referred to “middle-class Canadian travellers” and Block wanted to know what she meant.Statistics Canada has no clear definition of the middle class either, although they usually look to trends in median income.“Obviously, the middle class means different things to different people,” said Andrew Heisz, the assistant director of the income statistics division.Stephen Gordon, an economist at Laval University, said there is no perfect way to define the middle class.That does not mean that Garneau should expect to see his own definition in an academic paper any time soon.“Definitions are neither right or wrong, they are only useful or not,” Gordon said.“I’d put this in the ‘not useful’ category,” he said, because it would be difficult to base policy on such a definition, especially if you were aiming to target economic benefits. “It’s so broad that approximately every Canadian could be labelled as ‘middle class.’”Still, politicians are not economists, so even this less-than-useful definition would have its benefits.“If they are going to say ‘Our priority is the middle class,’ nobody wants to hear, ‘That means not you,’” Gordon said.— Follow @smithjoanna on TwitterNote to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version referred to Laval University as the University of Laval.last_img read more

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Chorus Aviation profit climbs in secondquarter revenues up nearly 2

Chorus Aviation profit climbs in secondquarter revenues up nearly 2

08 October 0

HALIFAX — Chorus Aviation Inc. reports a higher second-quarter net profit of $36.5 million and its revenues were up almost two per cent.The Halifax-based airline earned 30 cents per share, compared with $7.9 million, or six cents per share, in the same quarter last year.Operating revenue was $417.8 million, an increase of 1.8 per cent from $410 million in the same quarter of 2013.Excluding one-time items, adjusted net income was $22.2 million, or 18 cents per share, up from $21.4 million, or 17 cents per share. year-over-year.In the second quarter, Chorus had an unrealized foreign exchange gain of $14.3 million versus an unrealized foreign exchange loss of $13.5 million in the same period of 2013.Chorus operates Air Canada Express flights under a capacity purchase agreement with Air Canada as well as offering charter service under the Jazz banner. It was formed in 2001 when Air Canada combined four regional carriers into one. read more

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Government notes inaccuracies in Special Rapporteurs report

Government notes inaccuracies in Special Rapporteurs report

08 October 0

The Government has noted several inaccuracies in the report by Rita Izsák-Ndiaye, the Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues, which was submitted to the UN Human Rights Council.A statement by the Government to the Council says some references in the report are inaccurate and completely misrepresentative of reality in respect of society and societal formation or structures in Sri Lanka. The Government said it is disappointed that such incorrect, inaccurate and misleading references have been made to Sri Lanka in an important Report of this nature presented to the Council.“Especially in the context of factually incorrect reference to Sri Lanka in the Report, we welcome the visit of the Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues to Sri Lanka, as such a visit will certainly enable the Special Rapporteur to engage with all concerned in my country to obtain the factual position in this regard and accurate information which will clarify and clear misconceptions pertaining to the areas mentioned in this report,” the Government added. The Government notes that the references to caste in paragraph 35 of her report which states that Sinhala, Sri Lanka Tamil and Indian Tamil are categories of caste is completely erroneous. “Moreover, it is completely incorrect to state that people in Sri Lanka are under pressure to follow caste based employment. Untouchability, as stated in the report is not a feature one would find in Sri Lankan society at all. The term “Dalit” has no relevance whatsoever in the context of Sri Lanka. There is no community or caste identified by such nomenclature in Sri Lanka. As pointed out in Paragraph 110 of the Report, the Constitution of Sri Lanka in Article 12(2) specifically prohibits discrimination based on the grounds of race, religion, language, caste, sex, political opinion, place of birth or any such grounds,” the Government said. Sri Lanka says is looks forward to being able to seek the expert advice of the Special Rapporteur on any outstanding issues or issues of concern during the visit. (Colombo Gazette) read more

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University BUFA commence bargaining

University BUFA commence bargaining

07 October 0

Today (6 May 2014) the Brock University administration and the Brock University Faculty Association (BUFA) met to commence bargaining on a new collective agreement.After signing off on a joint Memorandum of Conditions on Bargaining, the parties exchanged and provided explanations of their respective proposals. The parties also discussed a schedule of meetings for the months of May and June.

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US builders began work on fewer houses in November though 2012 likely

US builders began work on fewer houses in November though 2012 likely

06 October 0

WASHINGTON – U.S. builders broke ground on fewer homes in November after starting work in October at the fastest pace in four years. Superstorm Sandy likely slowed starts in the Northeast.The Commerce Department said Wednesday that builders began construction of houses and apartments at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 861,000. That was 3 per cent less than October’s annual rate of 888,000, the fastest since July 2008.Still, the decline follows months of strong gains. Housing starts remain on track for their best year in four years, and the housing market overall appears to be sustaining its recovery.An encouraging trend was that applications for building permits, a sign of future construction, rose to 899,000 in November, the most since July 2008.“Growth in housing starts was extremely strong in the prior three months … so some giveback is not a concern at this point,” said Robert Kavcic, an economist at BMO Capital Markets.Housing starts fell 5.2 per cent in the Northeast from October to November. Starts in the West fell 19.2 per cent. Over the past year, housing starts have declined nearly 26 per cent in the Northeast, the only region to record a year-over-year drop. That suggests that Sandy slowed construction in the region.Thousands of homes destroyed by the storm will likely be rebuilt in coming months, economists say. But the increase in construction starts won’t likely be noticeable on a national scale or in any single month.Patrick Newport, a housing economist at IHS Global Insight, estimates that about 40,000 destroyed homes will be rebuilt over the next three years. The rebuilding will boost housing starts by 16,000 next year, 16,000 in 2014 and about 8,000 in 2015, Newport estimates. Next year, housing starts could reach 900,000, so the rebuilding from Sandy will scarcely move the national data.The overall slide in construction in November was due mostly to single-family homes. Builders began work on 4.1 per cent fewer single-family homes than in October. Construction of apartment buildings, which tends to fluctuate sharply, dipped 1 per cent in November.Housing starts were 21.6 per cent higher last month than in November 2011. Housing starts are far above the annual rate of 478,000 touched in April 2009, the recession low. They’re still well short of the roughly 1.5 million annual rate consistent with a healthy market.But numerous signs suggest that the housing market is picking up. Builder confidence rose in December for a seventh straight month to the highest level in more than 6 1/2 years, according to a survey released Tuesday by the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo.The index of builder sentiment rose two points to 47, the highest since 2006. Builders are more optimistic, in particular, about current sales and buyer traffic, the survey found.Readings below 50 still signal negative sentiment about the housing market. But the index has been rising since October 2011, when it was 17.More people are looking for a new house or apartment, encouraged by modest job gains, a gradually improving economy and mortgage rates near record-low levels. At the same time, fewer homes are available for sale. The low supply is helping lift prices.Sales of previously occupied homes rose 2.1 per cent in October. New-home sales fell slightly that month, slowed by steep declines in the Northeast from Superstorm Sandy. But they were still 17 per cent higher that month than in the same month a year ago.Sandy struck the East Coast on Oct. 29, disrupting businesses and cutting off power to 8 million homes in 10 states.Though new homes represent less than 20 per cent of the housing sales market, they have an outsize impact on the economy. Each home built creates an average of three jobs for a year and generates about $90,000 in tax revenue, according to data from the homebuilders association.___Follow Christopher Rugaber on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/ChrisRugaber . US builders began work on fewer houses in November, though 2012 likely to show big gains AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Christopher S. Rugaber, The Associated Press Posted Dec 19, 2012 1:22 pm MDT read more

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Opinion Whats the point in learning about history

Opinion Whats the point in learning about history

22 September 0

first_imgI SPENT TWO nervous hours in my school last June, waiting for my students to come out from their Junior Cert History exam. As I paced a corridor, I thought about the work they’d done so far, their time in the school, and everything they’d been through – good and bad – to get to where they are now. My thoughts turned to their future. What would they become? What successes and challenges would they meet? What would their stories be? As a History teacher, I couldn’t help but think of this. I love stories.The questionEvery History teacher in the country can attest to hearing the Dreaded Question at least once a year: “What’s the point in learning about this?” This question became a national discussion with former Minister Ruairi Quinn’s plans to remove History as a compulsory subject in the Junior Cycle and his challenge to historians to show why History should matter to 12-year-olds and their parents.The Dreaded Question is actually a good one. Sure, there are many dramatic, exciting topics in the History course, such as World War II, the American Revolution, and the Irish struggle for independence, but then there are other, less exciting topics such as early Christian Ireland and the Plantations. Indeed, what is the point in learning about them?The StoryImagine reading the third book of the Hunger Games series without ever reading the first two, or watching Game of Thrones from the most recent episode without ever watching the earlier seasons. Sure, you’ll pick up on bits and pieces of the story as you go along, but without reading or watching what happened before, you’ll never gain a complete sense of the story, the events that have happened in it, and what the characters have been through. Every character has an origin and every story has a beginning, including our own.We live in the longest-running and most complex story there has ever been. Most of us exist in this story as background characters, only a few of us go on to influence the overall plot. Some parts of the story began a long time ago, other parts are just starting now.Take, for instance, the story of the Troubles in Northern Ireland: the long-running discrimination and bigotry that resulted in decades of death and destruction. It’s certainly a dramatic story, and much more likely to capture the attention of students then, say, the Plantations – but how can one understand the former without the latter? The Plantations may come across as dull and uninteresting, but they’re a prequel to the partition of Ireland and the Troubles. History is full of prequels and sequels. The world we live in today is a sequel of sorts to the events of World War II. It will in turn become the prequel to something else.The charactersOf course, just because most of us might be background characters in the larger story, that doesn’t mean we’re barely a part of it. We all have our own stories: where we came from, what we’ve been through, and how we came to be who we are. Even if we never turn out to be as prominent a character as Rosa Parks, Michael Collins, Mary Robinson or Barack Obama, we still have our individual parts to play – just as each of those four people did before they were famous, and just as they would have done anyway.Irish people often tend to cherish our stories. The struggle for independence still captures peoples’ imaginations today, and we have given a great amount of attention to commemorating the many centenaries that take place in this decade – not least the one coming up in 2016. Even Ruairi Quinn himself acknowledges the importance of the story and his role in it – he wrote about it in his 2005 memoir, Straight Left.The historiansSo, how can we expect children growing up today to enter this story as adults if they don’t know what’s already happened in it? How can someone properly understand the economic downturn, the Garda surveillance controversy, or the recent horrible discovery in Tuam without knowing what previously happened in the story that led to these events?Ireland has developed around that story. Our cities and towns have developed around that story, and we as individuals have developed around that story. The popularity of shows such as Who Do You Think You Are? and The Genealogy Roadshow is evidence enough of our desire to know the origins of our part in the story. To answer Ruairi Quinn’s challenge, historians don’t need to convince anyone that History matters. We have always been a nation of historians.The futureMy students came out of the exam centre in dribs and drabs. We chatted about the exam, and I congratulated them on all their hard work and effort. I was still thinking of their future as they walked off: how their stories would tie in to the larger one in which we all live. As they get older, those students will experience the latest twists and turns of that story. How can we expect them to live in it if they don’t know what twists and turns have happened already?Jason Kelleher is a History teacher at the Cork Life Centre (www.corklifecentre.org), an education centre for early school leavers. I also run a revision site called History Help, and is on Twitter at @historyjk.Read: 8 iconic photos from history, brought to life in colourRead: 70 years on, here’s how D-Day was originally reported to the worldlast_img read more

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Kapalos rides for a cause

Kapalos rides for a cause

21 September 0

first_imgGreek Australian news presenter, Helen Kapalos, will take part in The Ride To Conquer Cancer, on 27 – 28 October, in memory of her mother that died of cancer at the age of 54. The Ride to Conquer Cancer is a two-day, 200 km bike ride from Albert Park to Healesville in the Yarra Valley, to raise money for the Peter McCallum Cancer Centre, Australia’s only public hospital solely dedicated to cancer. This challenging ride is open to anyone, but each entrant must raise $2,500 before they can compete. To help Helen to raise her funds for the Peter Mac Cancer Centre, go to website www.conquercancer.org.au. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

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HandsOn Super Smash Bros Ultimate Goes Pro

HandsOn Super Smash Bros Ultimate Goes Pro

20 September 0

first_imgStay on target You probably already have a pretty accurate idea of what Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is, and not just because Nintendo spent nearly half an hour detailing the upcoming mascot fighter at E3 recently. The power of the Nintendo Switch means it’s the best the series has ever looked, a slight return to the more epic aesthetic of Brawl. And we already know every single character who has ever been playable in the franchise is returning alongside newcomers Inkling and Ridley and Daisy. There are surely more surprises to learn between now and the December launch, but currently you could call this Super Smash Bros. Self-Explanatory.But if you watched the entire Smash presentation you saw this game is packed full of changes. They may seem like minute changes not worth caring about, but they are there. And as someone who very much cares about all of those minute changes, I was practically salivating to experience them for myself. Now after having played a handful of matches, I feel good in saying Super Smash Bros. Ultimate goes pro.For my first match, instead of trying out a new character, I did the fighting game thing of choosing my main from previous games to see how the character changed in the new game. And let’s clear that up, despite clearly being based heavily on the Wii U version, this is a new Smash Bros., or at least as new as countless other fighting game sequels. To find out how new I chose my boy Ganondorf, and the differences I noticed spoke to how much this game is being tuned in small but smart competitive ways.In Brawl, Ganondorf could simultaneously short hop and perform his immensely powerful down aerial thunder stomp attack in a way that caused him to land without any punishing lag. It was a borderline broken extremely safe way to approach on ground that made him super fun to play while still being arguably the worst character in the game.Unfortunately, that’s still gone. But his improvements here have finally squared the faster Ocarina-style Ganondorf of Melee with the beefy brawny Twilight Princess grandpa of Brawl and Smash 4. His slow movement makes his fast attacks all the sneakier. The Flame Choke still creates some nasty set-ups. And his new sword-based smash attacks have great reach. Smash attacks in general have higher initial knockback and can be charged way longer. But directional air dodging counters this by aiding in recovery.All of that sounds really technical, like a fighting game should, and many players won’t even notice. But if all this tweaking of a single character out of dozens was so immediately obvious to me, a relative scrub as far as Smash skills are concern, imagine what the competitive players will pick up on. Also playing with us was PCMag fighting game guru Jeff Wilson who was delighted to see the familiar Street Fighter combos he could pull off with Ryu (when he wasn’t spamming Snake’s missile).I also played with newcomers Ridley and Inkling. A two-minute, four-player, item-filled free-for-all isn’t exactly the best scenario to really test out their moves. But I did pull off a brutal Sudden Death victory with Ridley’s floor-dragging special. Managing ink as a Splatoon character while playing on a Breath of the Wild stage was also a reminder at how many instantly iconic new Nintendo games have come out since Smash on Wii U even. Along with the fighting game, Smash Bros. is one of best examples of video game historical celebration.It felt validating to notice all the subtle ways Super Smash Bros. Ultimate changes the series for the better on a sheer mechanical level. But here’s hoping there are still some big additions left to announce between now and release on December 7.Buy it now!Super Smash Bros. UltimateNintendo SwitchProtect Your Nintendo Switch With These Awesome CasesLet us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. ‘Star Wars Pinball’ Has Your Favorite Brand in Ball Form‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’ Was Final Mission From Late Nintendo President last_img read more

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Save Up to 97% Off Secure Cloud Storage Services

19 September 0

first_imgKoofr Cloud Storage Plan: Lifetime SubscriptionFile management is a breeze when you have Koofr at your disposal. Simply link it to your existing cloud based accounts, such as Dropbox and Google Drive, and access everything through one easy to use interface. It lets you find and eradicate duplicate files, rename entire groups of documents at once, and share your files to any device.Subscribe now for just $19.99 and save 92 percent off the regular price. ThunderDrive Cloud Storage: Lifetime Subscription – $59See Deal Zoolz Cloud Backup: 1TB of Cloud Cold Backup with Multiuser Access – $89See Deal Zoolz Cloud Backup: 1TB of Cloud Cold Backup with Multi-user AccessWant a cost effective cloud backup option for your business? Then try Zoolz Cloud Backup. Perfect for small and medium-sized businesses, Zoolz provides 1TB of cold backup space that can be accessed by multiple users. Simply back up regularly so you can restore your file system to like new condition should you suffer a catastrophic event.Save 97 percent off a five user plan and pay just $89. An unlimited user/server plan is also available for $119. Stay on target Zoolz Cloud Backup For Home: 1TB of Cloud Backup Storage – $19.99See Deal Still using a hard drive to manage most of your files? Then you’re just asking for trouble. That’s because hard drives are far more susceptible to catastrophic failure and cyber crime than any other option. And that is precisely why cloud based systems have become so popular and why, if you aren’t already using one, you should do yourself a favor and check out these solutions that are on sale today.ThunderDrive Cloud Storage: Lifetime SubscriptionAccess files from anywhere, at any time, and across all your devices with ThunderDrive. A lifetime Pro subscription offers access to a huge 2 TB of secure cloud-based real estate with which to keep your documents, photos, and more. And, since they boast transfer speeds that are far faster than the competition, you’ll be able to pull down your files much more quickly.Save 95 percent off the cost of a lifetime Pro subscription and pay just $59. This $500 SEO Tool Is Only $24 TodayThis Easy-to-Fly LED Drone Performs Acrobatic Moves Zoolz Cloud Backup For Home: 1TB of Cloud Backup StorageNot everyone needs a cloud storage service that provides instant access to every file. For some, just having a place to securely keep files backed up is enough. And, for those people, Zoolz Cloud Backup for Home is ideal. Zoolz offers unlimited access to 1 TB of cloud based cold backup, which means files are accessible in three to five hours. It’s convenient, safe and, above all else, affordable.Buy a one year license for just $19.99 or a three year for only $34.99. Koofr Cloud Storage Plan: Lifetime Subscription – $19.99See Deal Like this deal? Check out Vault — you’ll get four premium tools, including NordVPN and Dashlane, to supercharge your online security. Try it free for 14 days now!Prices subject to change.last_img read more

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Oliver suggests adding 2 members to port commission

Oliver suggests adding 2 members to port commission

19 September 0

first_imgA three-member board of commissioners has governed the Port of Vancouver’s affairs ever since the first cargo ship moored at its docks. Now, more than 100 years later, the port’s business and the city of Vancouver have changed significantly, and Commissioner Jerry Oliver is asking if the port’s ruling body should change, as well.Within the next month, according to port staff, the port will host a workshop on the notion of changing the port’s leadership from three commissioners each serving a six-year term to five commissioners each serving a four-year term.“I have long felt six years is far too long,” Oliver said during the Jan. 9 commission meeting. “Not that we’re blessing the idea, but we’re asking staff to prepare the public workshop to hear the opportunities that might be available in going to a five-member commission and moving to ultimately four-year terms with the understanding the existing commissioners would serve out their existing terms. I think it’s something for the future growth and governance of the Port of Vancouver to consider.”Of Washington’s 75 public ports, five have five-person commissions, said Eric Johnson, executive director of the Washington Public Ports Association.When public ports were first created in 1911, they all had three-member commissions.The ports of Seattle and Tacoma grew from three commissioners to five in the mid-1960s, but were treated differently in state statute because of their size.In the early 1990s, the state Legislature allowed other ports to add two commissioners, so long as it was approved during an election by voters in the port district. The notion can be put on the ballot either by a resolution made by the current port commission or by a petition signed by 10 percent of the district’s voters who participated in the last general election.last_img read more

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NYT GMO Article Draws Strong Response in Ag Academic Community

NYT GMO Article Draws Strong Response in Ag Academic Community

16 September 0

first_imgThe New York Time’ recent article on genetically modified crops (GMOs) received strong reactions from agriculture groups and academics this week.In addition to the American Soybean Association’s (ASA) response, stating it is critical to continue discussion on GMOs, in light of inaccuracies and omissions in the article, several others made their voices heard to fill in the missing gaps of knowledge on this valuable innovative tool for farmers. Here’s an overview:Andrew Kniss: The tiresome discussion of initial GMO expectationsKevin Folta: Rehashing a Tired ArgumentSteven Novella: The Times Gets it Wrong on GMOsRobb Fraley: Biotechnology Makes a DifferenceJayson Lusk: New York Times on GMOsNina V. Fedoroff: Hakim’s Effort to Skewer Biotech Crops in Sunday’s NY Timeslast_img read more

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Hyderabad Boy attempts suicide after being ragged by

06 September 0

first_imgHyderabad: A 14-year-old boy allegedly attempted suicide at his residence in Saroornagar area here after being harassed by his classmates, police said. The boy, a student of class 10 allegedly tried to hang himself on Monday. “Some of the classmates humiliated the child and demanded a sum of Rs 1,000 from him. Unable to bear the insult, the child took the extreme step. It is a case of ragging. We have booked a case and investigation is on,” said Inspector Srinivas Reddy.last_img read more

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Man arrested for killing woman faces public wrath

06 September 0

first_imgThiruvananthapuram: A man arrested for allegedly killing a 30-year old woman with whom he was in a relationship was attacked by a crowd of angry locals Monday when police took him to his house for evidence gathering. The crowd booed and threw stones at Akhil, the prime accused who has claimed himself to be an Army soldier, as the police escorted him to his house at Amboori near here, two days after he was arrested in connection with the death of the woman. Also Read – HC declines protection to Shivakumar from arrest Advertise With Us Police said they anticipated angry reaction from the locals and had taken “enough precaution” and shielded him. A few stones did fall on him, but he was not hurt. A police official said they managed to keep away the crowd and completed the evidence gathering. Akhil and his brother Rahul were arrested on Saturday for allegedly killing Rakhi, who was in a relationship with the prime accused for over six years, and burying her body in the backyard of their house. Also Read – Odisha’s Conjoined Twins To Return Home 2 Years After Separation Advertise With Us Akhil was absconding and was arrested when he arrived in Thiruvananthapuram Airport from New Delhi on Saturday night. “We were able to gather the necessary evidence. Will produce him before the magistrate and seek custodial remand for further investigation,” the investigating officer told PTI on the developments Monday. Akhil told police he was an Army soldier and been posted at Leh and had come on leave, he said adding they have sent a personnel to Delhi to verify the claims with Defence personnel. According to police, the brothers strangled Rakhi to death after she started troubling Akhil on learning that he was getting married to another woman. The killing came to light when police found the decomposed body of Rakhi on July 24.last_img read more

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Google Play Apple App Store may take down Tik Tok anytime soon

Google Play Apple App Store may take down Tik Tok anytime soon

05 September 0

first_imgClose What is Nillu Nillu challenge trending in Kerala? Madras High Court earlier in the month urged the central government to ban Tik Tok in India over the reports of unabated circulation of vulgar content on its video sharing platform and the most serious charge include children getting access to these age-inappropriate clips.On Monday (April 15), Tik Tok urged Supreme Court to put a stay on ban order, but the former dismissed the petition but announced a follow-up hearing on April 22 to review the outcome of the review petition in Madras court slated for hearing later today (April 16). Tik Tok app is available for download on Apple App StoreApple App Store (screen-grab)”As per the proceedings in the Supreme Court today, the Madras High Court will hear the matter on ex parte ad interim order. The Supreme Court has listed the matter again for April 22, 2019, to be apprised of the outcome of the hearing on the April 16th, 2019 before the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court. At TikTok, we have faith in the Indian Judicial system and the stipulations afforded to social media platforms by the Information Technology (Intermediaries Guidelines) Rules, 2011. We are committed to continuously enhancing our existing measures and introducing additional technical and moderation processes as part of our ongoing commitment to our users in India. In line with this, we have been stepping up efforts to take down objectionable content. To date, we have removed over 6 million videos that violated our Terms of Use and Community Guidelines, following an exhaustive review of the content generated by our users in India,” Tik Tok said to International Business Times, India Edition.As a double whammy, now, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has asked top mobile leaders Apple and Google to take down the Tik Tok from their respective App Store for iOS and Google Play for Android platforms, reported The Economic Times.As of now, Tik Tok is still available for download on both the platforms, but it won’t be for long. It is being said that those who have already installed the app, they can continue to use it, but new users won’t be able to find Tik Tok on app stores in coming days. Screen shots of Nillu Nillu challenge videos posted in Tik Tok appHowever, Tik Tok as already brought in stringent regulations to curb aforementioned nefarious activities in addition to protecting children from predators and thwarting cyberbullying with a self-defined filter to stop users from posting vulgar and abusive messages in the comment section.With the help of content moderation technology and a robust human moderation team, the company has deleted six million videos for violating its Terms of Service, Privacy Policy and Community Policies, since July 2018. If the user is a serial offender, his or her users’ accounts will be terminated that. This team, which is based in over 20 countries and regions including India, covers major Indian languages, including Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, Gujarati and more.Also, Tik Tok has brought in age-limit to access the video-sharing app. Only users who are 13 years or above to login and create an account on TikTok and it has also incorporated additional safety mechanisms to ensure that underage users do not use the platform.Tik Tok is expected to release a follow-up statement after the Madras High Court announces the verdict on the review petition. Stay tuned for latest updates.last_img read more

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4 exMDs found responsible for Barapukuria coal theft

03 September 0

first_imgBarapukuria coal mine yard. Photo: UNBA probe body formed by Petrobangla, a state-owned national oil company, has found four former managing directors responsible for stealing nearly 145,000 tonnes of coal from Barapukuria mine.The coal pilfered is worth Tk 2.3 billion, according to an official estimate.The coal scam led to acute coal shortage at the 525-MW Barapukuria Power station, the only coal-burnt power plant in the country. This also forced the authorities to shut down the plant immediately.The authorities said it will not be possible to resume the power station until the next month as the coal extraction from the new layer will start on 15 August.The three-member investigation committee, headed by its director (mining) Quamruzzaman, on Wednesday submitted the report to Nasrul Hamid, state minister for power, energy and mineral resources ministry.Engineer Habib Uddin Ahmed, who has just been removed as the managing director of Barapukuria Coal Mining Company Limited (BCMCL), LNG processing company Rupantarita Prakritik Gas Company Limited’s former MD Kamruzzaman, Maddhapara Granite Mining Company Limited’s former MDs — SM Nurul Aurangajeb and Anisuzzaman, who is now working at a Chinese company, were found responsible for disappearance of coal, according to the report.BCMCL’s manager (administration) Mohammad Anisur Rahman has filed a case accusing 19 officials of the company, including recently sacked MD Habib Uddin Ahmed, in connection with the coal scam.Barapukuria coal mine yard. Photo: UNBAccording to the case statement, the coal extraction commercially began at the mine on 10 September in 2005. As per recorded volume of extraction, the reserved coal was supposed to be 147,000 tonnes by July this year. But, on 19 July, only 3,000 tonnes of coal was found at the BCMCL.People familiar with the matter said none of the MDs of BCMCL earlier kept record of the volume of the coal.Asked about the matter, SM Nurul Aurangajeb, who is one of the accused in the case, said, “I can’t tell anything about it right now. Contact with me, later.”No one except SM Nurul picked phone calls when contacted.State minister Nasrul Ahmed told Prothom Alo that all of the former managing directors are involved with the irregularities.Even, deputy general managers are also involved with the embezzlement, the mister added.He said that legal action will be taken against the accused.On 23 July, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) also formed another investigation committee, which is supposed to submit a report within 14 days.Meanwhile, the ACC has sent a letter to the Special Branch (SB) of the police seeking a ban on any foreign travel of the 19 officials of the company.Petrobangla chairman Abul Monsur Md Foyzullah visited the coal mine and talked to the labourers at the mine for at least two hours on Wednesday.* This report, originally published in Prothom Alo print edition, has been rewritten in English by Toriqul Islamlast_img read more

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Greenland is open for business not for sale

03 September 0
first_imgUS president Donald Trump speaks during a `Keep America Great` campaign rally at the SNHU Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire, on 15 August 2019. Photo: AFPGreenland is not for sale, local authorities said Friday, after a newspaper reported that US president Donald Trump is looking into whether it might be possible for the United States to buy the mineral-rich Arctic island.Trump has expressed interest in the self-governing part of Denmark — which is mostly covered in ice, — asking advisors if it is possible for the US to acquire the territory, The Wall Street Journal said Thursday, citing people familiar with the discussions.The president, a former real estate magnate, has been curious about the area’s natural resources and geopolitical relevance, the paper reported.Greenland is a self-governing region of Denmark, which colonised the 772,000 square-mile (two-million square kilometre) island in the 18th century, and is home to only about 57,000 people, most of whom belong to the indigenous Inuit community.There has been no official comment from the White House, and the Danish embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to AFP’s request for comment.Greenland’s ministry of foreign affairs insisted the island was ready to talk business, but was not for sale.”#Greenland is rich in valuable resources such as minerals, the purest water and ice, fish stocks, seafood, renewable energy and is a new frontier for adventure tourism,” it tweeted.”We’re open for business, not for sale,” it added.’April Fool’ The office of Danish prime minister Mette Frederiksen declined to comment when contacted by AFP.But a former premier, Lars Lokke Rasmussen, tweeted: “It must be an April Fool’s Day joke… but totally out of season!”Greenland locals were similarly bemused by the report.”If you look at the social media, people see it as a big joke,” Jakob Ipsen, owner of a hotel in Qulusuk in eastern Greenland, told AFP.”In my own opinion, it’s never going to happen. People are laughing at the moment.”Qulusuk has around 280 inhabitants, most of whom make their living from hunting and fishing, but groups of American tourists come to the village during the summer months.US president Donald Trump speaks during a `Keep America Great` campaign rally at the SNHU Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire, on 15 August 2019. Photo: AFPSome Trump advisors say acquiring Greenland, which is northeast of Canada, could be good for the US, while others called it only a “fleeting fascination” from the president, The Wall Street Journal said.Others outside the White House say Trump’s interest could be a desire to secure a legacy achievement, the paper reported, and advisors wondered about the potential for research or greater military clout for the US.World’s largest island The US’s northern-most military base, Thule Air Base, has been located on Greenland for decades.But Greenland doesn’t quite live up to its lush name — 85 percent of the island is covered by a 1.9-mile-thick (three-kilometre) ice sheet that contains 10 percent of the world’s fresh water.The world’s largest island has suffered from climate change, scientists say, becoming a giant melting icicle that threatens to submerge the world’s coastal areas one day.July and August saw unprecedented melting of the Greenland ice sheet.Trump, who in 2017 withdrew the US from the Paris Climate Agreement to cap global warming levels, is reportedly set to visit Copenhagen in September.This isn’t the first time the president has expressed interest in foreign properties — he has said North Korea’s “great beaches” would make ideal locations for condos.last_img
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Understanding reef systems at the genetic level

31 August 0

first_img More information: “The genome of Aiptasia, a sea anemone model for coral symbiosis.” PNAS 2015 ; published ahead of print August 31, 2015, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1513318112AbstractThe most diverse marine ecosystems, coral reefs, depend upon a functional symbiosis between a cnidarian animal host (the coral) and intracellular photosynthetic dinoflagellate algae. The molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying this endosymbiosis are not well understood, in part because of the difficulties of experimental work with corals. The small sea anemone Aiptasia provides a tractable laboratory model for investigating these mechanisms. Here we report on the assembly and analysis of the Aiptasia genome, which will provide a foundation for future studies and has revealed several features that may be key to understanding the evolution and function of the endosymbiosis. These features include genomic rearrangements and taxonomically restricted genes that may be functionally related to the symbiosis, aspects of host dependence on alga-derived nutrients, a novel and expanded cnidarian-specific family of putative pattern-recognition receptors that might be involved in the animal–algal interactions, and extensive lineage-specific horizontal gene transfer. Extensive integration of genes of prokaryotic origin, including genes for antimicrobial peptides, presumably reflects an intimate association of the animal–algal pair also with its prokaryotic microbiome. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Understanding reef systems at the genetic level (2015, September 8) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-09-reef-genetic.html Researchers have been seeking an experimentally versatile model of the cellular biology underlying this symbiosis, which could be a key to understanding the adaptability and resilience of reef systems. An international group of researchers now reports in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on a genetic study of the sea anemone Aiptasia, a globally distributed species that harbors Symbiodinium, the most widespread known group of endosymbiotic dinoflagellates, which inhabit many species and are common to cnidarians that occupy nutrient-poor waters.The host provides the algae with a sheltered environment and the nutrients necessary for photosynthesis and growth; in return, Symbiodinium supplies over 90 percent of the cnidarian’s total energy. The reasons this holobiont provides an attractive model system for reef studies include polyp sizes convenient for experimentation, and its easy production in a laboratory environment, where it can reproduce asexually, yielding large clonal populations. It can also be maintained indefinitely in an aposymbiotic state (without its endosymbiote) and reinfected with a variety of Symbiodium strains.The researchers sequenced the DNA from Aiptasia anemones and produced a reference transcriptome, which was sequenced using RNA derived from different developmental and symbiotic states. They uncovered a number of previously unknown genetic features of Aiptasia, but more importantly, the study provides a foundation for understanding the evolution and function of the symbiosis between the two organisms. Among their discoveries, the researchers found a novel cnidarian-specific family of putative pattern-recognition receptors that may be involved in the symbiotic relationship. Cnidarian hosts must necessarily distinguish among potential symbionts, and most can establish relationships with some strains of Symbiodinium but not with others. “Such discriminations must be accomplished in the absence of an adaptive immune system and presumably depend on innate immunity mechanisms that involve the recognition of microbial cell-surface molecules by host pattern-recognition receptors,” the authors write. The study’s findings support the hypothesis that invertebrate pattern-recognition capabilities are more flexible than previously assumed.They also document evidence for horizontal gene transfer (HGT) between the hosts and the symbiotic dinoflagellates. Given that the associations between the two organisms have evolved over millions of years, HGT is extremely likely to have occurred. The researchers found 275 HGT candidate genes specific to Aiptasia, plus another 548 candidates believed to have been transferred from a nonmetazoan source to a basal cnidarian in the evolutionary past and shared among a large number of cnidarians. The researchers conclude that the variety of conserved features found in their analysis should help to illuminate the evolution of many kinds of symbiotic anthozoans, not just Aiptasia-Symbiodinium holobionts, thus enhancing knowledge of reef systems, among the most important marine ecosystems. Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Phys.org)—Coral reefs are the most diverse marine ecosystems, biodiversity hotspots now under anthropogenic threat from climate change, ocean acidification and pollution. Efforts are underway to protect and expand shrinking reef systems, but such endeavors are inhibited by the lack of information about such fundamental features as the functional symbiosis between the cnidarian coral animal and the photosynthetic alga that live in its gastrodermal cells.center_img © 2015 Phys.org Aiptasia sp. Credit: Wikipedia/CC BY-SA 3.0 Caribbean coral findings may influence Barrier Reef studies Explore furtherlast_img read more

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Costa Rican government There is no 8 million from China

Costa Rican government There is no 8 million from China

19 August 0

first_imgForeign Minister Enrique Castillo said Wednesday that an $8 million donation from the Chinese government was actually part of a Chinese aid package to be used to build a National Police Academy.Said Castillo of the $8 million donation the Costa Rican government announced last week: “It was a miscommunication on the part of Chinese authorities.” Chinese officials were forced to clarify the misunderstanding “when aid requests were sent by people affected by the Nicoya earthquake and living in coastal areas,” he said.Presidency Minister Carlos Ricardo Benavides told Radio Reloj that he “prefered not to call it a miscommunication,” but he also “wasn’t fully aware of the details.”President Laura Chinchilla said on Aug. 29 the money donated by China “would be invested in technology or education.” Castillo said on Wednesday the money must be used entirely for the Police Academy. Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

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Mind the gap in public and private sector wages economists warn

09 August 0

first_imgBy Stelios OrphanidesCypriot policy makers should pay attention to the pay gap between the public and private sector, a labour market distortion and the risk for public finances which Cyprus’s economic adjustment programme has hardly addressed, economists said.While on average, workers in the public sector earn significantly more than those in the private sector, the remuneration system for government workers favours those with lower skills who earn significantly more while those working in positions requiring more qualifications are disadvantaged, Alexander Michaelides who works for the London-based Imperial College said in an interview.“Basically, to a brutal approximation, the secretaries are overpaid in the public sector relative to the private (sector) and the doctors or people with high human capital are underpaid,” Michaelides said, adding that this explains why it is hard for the government to fill top positions such as doctors or university professors, while vacancies for junior positions attract an excessive number of applicants.His comments came days after the Fiscal Council criticised the lack of “a rational and scientifically drafted remuneration mechanism” in the wider public sector. Such a mechanism should promote meritocracy, transparency and good practices, reduce corruption and make the sector more resistant to pressure groups demanding “unreasonable benefits” and pay increases. According to the council’s autumn report, public sector workers earn on average €2,757 a month compared to €1,752 in the private sector.“They have a point,” the Imperial College economist said in reference of the fiscal watchdog’s position.What is important, Michaelides continued, is for policy makers to realise that horizontal changes in remuneration of public workers does not address the problem.A progressive pay cut, part of Cyprus’s fiscal consolidation measures in response to the fiscal and banking crisis five years ago, made matters even worse, as it reduced the pay for highly-skilled workers disproportionately, he added.The latest attempt by the government to overhaul the human resources management in the public sector failed 11 months ago when the parliament rejected a bundle of draft bills which was part of an initiative by the head of the Unit of Administrative Reform, Constantinos Petrides who is also minister of interior. Workers in the public sector receive annual pay rises depending on collective agreements negotiated with unions, which have stepped up the pressure for more pay in recent weeks. In the absence of evaluation procedures, seniority is rewarded regardless of a worker’s performance.Taking for granted that the government is more generous in remunerating its workers compared to private-owned companies regardless of their productivity, leading to more demand for such jobs, this in turn puts more pressure on the private sector to offer more money, said Alexandros Polycarpou, an economist working at the University of Cyprus.Still, the capacity of the private sector companies to lure skilled workers with more pay is limited he said.Polycarpou said that while such a gap in pay does affect the way the labour market operates, he warned at the same time that in the absence of a thorough recent study comparing “like with like” it is hard to draw safe conclusions.The most recent study in this area was published six years ago by Panos Pashardes, the late University of Cyprus professor, which shows that lower skilled workers are better off working for the public sector and vice-versa.“There have been cases when the government sector was unable to attract highly skilled employees with scarce qualifications, like it was the case of the actuaries in the past, when the government was unable to attract any because of the relatively low remuneration,” the University of Cyprus economist said. “Likewise, today we see doctors leaving the public sector, as it is not offering similar earnings like the private sector”.You May LikeDr. Marty ProPower Plus Supplement3 Dangerous Foods People Feed Their Dogs (Without Realizing It)Dr. Marty ProPower Plus SupplementUndoYahoo SearchThese SUVs Are The Cream Of The Crop. Research Best Compact SUV CarYahoo SearchUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoOur View: Argaka mukhtar should not act as if he owns the beachUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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