Category: sgenkdft


PostBrexit UK aggressively woos Indian students

first_imgLondon: For years, Indians were the second-largest international student population in Britain, after China. However, there has been a slight dip in students opting for the UK in recent years after strict student immigration laws were introduced in 2011. This figure fell by almost 30% between 2013 and 2017. Brexit hasn’t helped either as the UK was suddenly the fourth choice, down from being the second most preferred destination for Indian students. Also Read – Turkey preparations for Syria offensive ‘completed’Analysing the above statistics, the UK government recently introduced post-study visa opportunities as part of a new “International Education Strategy”. This strategy is aimed at increasing the enrolments of international students in UK universities from 460,000 to 600,000 each year by 2030. It will offer students the chance to stay in the UK on a work visa for six months after graduation. In an effort to attract Indian students, UK universities are recruiting more overseas students. According to a recent report by the Times, Glasgow University is also likely to increase its composition of overseas students to make up half of the total admissions while University College London (UCL) will also up the foreign intake to 50% and reduce its domestic enrolments. Also Read – Imran Khan arrives in China, to meet Prez Xi JinpingHema Ramachandran, Country Adviser, Sheffield Hallam University explains how the university’s unique course offerings are attractive for students from South Asia. She says: “The number of students opting to study at SHU from the South Asia region has been on a steady rise. In addition to the UK government’s new policy to offer work visas, our university presents a unique offer for students to work for a year in the UK by opting for sandwich courses.”last_img read more


Air freshens in parts of BC as provincial park evacuated due to

first_imgKAMLOOPS, B.C. – A lightning-caused fire in southern British Columbia that the BC Wildfire Service says went undetected because it was initially obscured by smoke has now charred 69 square kilometres and threatens a popular backcountry lodge.The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen issued an evacuation order Friday for Cathedral Provincial Park and Cathedral Lakes Lodge, east of Manning Park, along B.C.’s southern border.Erick Thompson, information officer with the regional district’s emergency operations centre, said 44 people, including campers and staff, were required to leave.“This is the second time this month an evacuation order has been issued for Cathedral Lakes Lodge,” the regional district said in a news release, adding the order was issued because of “immediate danger to life safety.”A blaze identified as the Cool Creek fire had already chewed through one square kilometre of timber before it was pinpointed Aug. 15, the Wildfire Service said on its website.Crews were not immediately tasked to fight the fire because it was remote, burning in steep, unreachable terrain and was not immediately threatening properties or infrastructure, it said. Flames kicked up last Thursday but it was several days before visibility improved enough that a plane could assess the situation and crews were assigned.Wildfire officials hoped cooler temperatures and low winds would mean moderate activity on the fire over the weekend but an area closure was imposed covering Cathedral Provincial Park and the lodge.The Cathedral Lakes Lodge was evacuated Aug. 1 when a separate blaze threatened the only road leading to the facility.The Wildfire Service said seven new fires were sparked Thursday and 555 fires were burning Friday in all areas of the province.Sixty of those blazes were considered fires of note, meaning they either posed a threat to people and property or were highly visible. Most were in the southeast part of B.C.Air quality advisories remained for most of the province due to high levels of ultra-fine grit tossed up by the fires.Environment Canada was offering some hope to residents of Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley after nearly a week of stagnant, smoke-filled air, but its forecast was not as positive for people closer to the wildfires burning in the Interior region.The weather office said those fine particulates should continue to decline across the Lower Mainland and a smog advisory has been dropped. Cooler temperatures and fresh Pacific air blowing toward the coast are credited for the reprieve, but forecasters said winds over the Interior will pin the smoke there and communities downwind of wildfires will stay shrouded for the foreseeable future.Winds also complicated the battle against many fires, including two with a combined area of more than 1,000 square kilometres southwest of Burns Lake and along the south shore of Francois Lake.Officials said no new homes have been lost since the blaze destroyed three in Lower Post near the Yukon boundary and a trace amount of rain had fallen.Crews were working to keep flames away from the Alaska Highway.(The Canadian Press, CKRW)last_img read more


Darija in School Books Noureddine Ayouch Calls his Critics Dogs

Rabat – After his controversial remarks about standard Arabic, Noureddine Ayouch has referred to his critics as “dogs.”Ayouch, a member of Morocco’s Supreme Council for Education, Training, and Scientific Research, is generating rounds of criticism and backlash after strongly defending the use of Darija (Moroccan Arabic) in the Moroccan education system.Activists, scholars, academics, and sociologists heavily criticized Ayouch’s belief that Darija should be included in the education system. In response, Ayouch said that “the dogs may bark but the caravan moves on.”Activists launched a petition on calling on the government to remove Ayouch from Morocco’s Supreme Council for Education.The petition has generated 7,554 signatures so far.The petition, according to the signatories, aims to suspend Ayouch’s plans “to destroy the principles and moral values and execute the Arabic language.”In his recent interviews with local news outlets, Ayouch said that Darija existed before classical Arabic and that Darija could curb the education crisis in the country.He also said that classical Arabic is not “sacred.”Ayouch told Chouf TV that he called people who insult him and his family dogs, adding that he respects people who criticize him.“I have always supported freedom of expression,” he said.For years, Ayouch has called on the government to include Darija in the education system.In 2016 Ayouch announced that he would launch the first online Darija dictionary in Morocco.Ayouch said that the dictionary aims to give importance to Moroccan Arabic.Promoting Darija in the education system has fuelled controversy in Morocco. The head of government, Saad Eddine El Othmani, made a public statement against the use of Darija in school books for primary education.El Othmani made it clear that he believes Darija cannot be used in education. He said the government is ready to give up on school books with some Darija words after a consultation between the concerned parties.El Othmani said the two official languages in Morocco are standard Arabic and Tamazight (Berber) as recognized by the Moroccan constitution.The head of government also called on Minister of Education Said Amzazi to give an explanation to the public about the use of the Moroccan Arabic in school books. read more


Endorsing Gaza war report UN Human Rights Council condemns Israel

The Human Rights Council today strongly condemned a host of Israeli measures in the occupied Palestinian territory and called on both sides to implement the recommendations of a United Nations commission that found evidence that Israel and the Palestinians committed serious war crimes in the three-week Gaza war nine months ago.The commission, led by Justice Richard Goldstone, recommended that the Security Council require Israel and the relevant Palestinian authorities to launch appropriate independent probes into the alleged crimes, monitor their compliance, and refer the matter to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) if these did not take place. In a resolution, adopted by 25 votes in favour, six against, and 11 abstentions, the Council recommended that the General Assembly consider the Goldstone report during the main part of its current session, requested Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to submit a report on the implementation of its recommendations to the Council in March, and condemned Israel’s refusal to cooperate with the commission.The Goldstone report concluded that, while the Israeli Government sought to portray its operations as a response to rocket attacks in the exercise of its right to self defence, the Israeli plan had been directed, at least in part, at the people of Gaza as a whole. It highlighted the treatment of many civilians detained or killed while trying to surrender as one manifestation of the way in which the effective rules of engagement, standard operating procedures and instructions to the troops on the ground appeared to have been framed to create an environment in which due regard for civilian lives and basic human dignity was replaced with a disregard for basic international humanitarian law.The destruction of food supply installations, water sanitation systems, concrete factories and residential houses had been the result of a deliberate and systematic policy by the Israeli armed forces and not because those objects had presented a military threat, it said.It also found that Palestinian armed groups caused terror within Israel’s civilian population through the launch of thousands of rockets and mortars into Israel since April 2001, determining that both sides may thus have committed serious war crimes and possible crimes against humanity. Much of today’s resolution was devoted to other Israeli activities, particularly in Jerusalem, including condemnation of limits to Palestinian access to properties and holy sites based on national origin, religion, sex, age or other grounds, calling this a grave violation of the Palestinian people’s civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights.It condemned recent Israeli violations of human rights in occupied East Jerusalem, particularly the confiscation of lands and properties, the demolishing of houses, the construction and expansion of settlements, the continuing construction of the separation Wall built in part on land Israel occupied in the 1967 war, and the continuous digging and excavation works in and around Al-Aqsa mosque and its vicinity.The Council demanded that Israel allow Palestinian citizens and worshippers unhindered access to their properties and religious sites in the occupied Palestinian territory, cease immediately all digging and excavations beneath and around the mosque, and refrain from any acts may endanger the structure or change the nature of Christian and Islamic holy sites.It requested that UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay report periodically on Israel’s implementation of its human rights obligations in and around East Jerusalem. 16 October 2009The Human Rights Council today strongly condemned a host of Israeli measures in the occupied Palestinian territory and called on both sides to implement the recommendations of a United Nations commission that found evidence that Israel and the Palestinians committed serious war crimes in the three-week Gaza war nine months ago. read more


As Iraq prepares for polls donors must step up to the plate

“The challenge is to consolidate the hard-earned gains that have been made,” he stresses in the report to the Security Council, citing the agreement between political parties over the election law and the greater responsibility assumed by Iraqi security forces from the United States in fighting insurgents.“I now appeal to all political blocs and their leaders to demonstrate true statesmanship during the election campaign and participate in a spirit of national unity. I also encourage all Iraqis to exercise their right to vote in these upcoming elections which will shape their country’s future.”He calls on the Federal Government in Baghdad and the leadership of the Iraqi Kurdistan region to resolve their differences through meaningful dialogue, particularly on disputed internal boundaries and sharing of natural resources, terming this an “essential” requirement for bringing political stability and lasting peace to the country.While noting the progress Iraqi forces have made in restricting insurgent activity and shielding the population from potential attacks, Mr. Ban warns that coordinated deadly assaults on key Government institutions, in August and October, serve as a reminder of the threat from those who seek to undermine the country’s continuing democratization.“In the face of these and other deplorable attacks, however, the Iraqi people have not been deterred. They have demonstrated their determination not to allow such attacks to stand in the way of democratic progress,” he adds, calling the elections “a historic opportunity for Iraq and a crucial step forward for national reconciliation” that could go a long way towards strengthening Iraq’s sovereignty and independence.He reaffirms the UN commitment to continue to support and assist Iraq, where the Organization has maintained an assistance mission known by its acronym UNAMI since 2003. Turning to humanitarian issues, recovery and development, Mr. Ban warns that the 2009 consolidated appeal for Iraq is still only 44 per cent funded – nearly $135 million from the revised mid-year requirement of almost $309 million. “Many sectors remain critically under-funded, especially agriculture and mine action,” he writes, urging donors to continue to demonstrate their support. “Following the successful conduct of national elections, there will also be a need for the Government of Iraq, together with the support of the international community, to improve the delivery of basic utilities and accelerate the pace of reconstruction and development in the country,” he adds, stressing the need for a healthier economy that raises the living standards of ordinary citizens. The Government and the UN are considering the establishment of a multi-donor trust fund in 2010 to focus on transition programming for capacity building, job creation, better services and civic participation for all vulnerable groups, and Mr. Ban urges donors to explore this option in addition to ongoing bilateral arrangements to achieve the maximum possible operational coherence for the UN in Iraq.He also calls for humanitarian and development support to tackle the drought and desertification crisis, with rainfall still 50 per cent below normal levels, river flows ebbing, and potable water at only two thirds its required 10 million cubic metres per day. 13 November 2009Iraq is entering a crucial period with national elections slated for January, and the international community must help it deliver basic services in “critically under-funded” sectors to ensure stability, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says in a new report on the strife-torn country. read more


Lauding immunization pledges UNICEF says they will save millions of lives

13 June 2011The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) today congratulated the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) on its London conference in which public and private donors pledged $4.3 billion, which it said will save millions of lives. “The generosity and commitment of the donors at today’s GAVI replenishment conference will benefit the lives of millions of the poorest and most vulnerable children around the world,” UNICEF said in a press release.“The outcome of this pledging conference is exciting and tremendous news which will save millions of lives of the most threatened children around the world,” said Anthony Lake, UNICEF Executive Director. “And UNICEF renews its pledge to redouble our own efforts to help governments and other partners deliver vaccines to the hardest to reach children.”The children’s agency said while 82 per cent of the world’s children receive vaccines, “one child in five, those most vulnerable to disease and living in the hardest to reach communities, lack access to these life-saving medicines.” UNICEF, a founding member of GAVI, supplies nearly 60 per cent of the world’s children with vaccines. In 2010, UNICEF purchased on behalf of GAVI and developing countries around 2.53 billion doses of traditional and new vaccines worth $750 million. Despite significant progress in reducing childhood mortality, nearly two million children still die each year from vaccine-preventable diseases, UNICEF said.Launched in 2000, the GAVI Alliance is a global health partnership of private and public sectors comprised of, among others, developing world and donor governments, private sector philanthropists such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the financial community, developed and developing country vaccine manufacturers, research and technical institutes, civil society organizations and multilateral organizations including the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF and the World Bank. read more


Undersized spuds blemished apples now sold by Loblaw as Naturally Imperfect

TORONTO – Loblaw Companies Limited (TSX:L) has launched a program to sell blemished, misshapen or undersized produce under the No Name Naturally Imperfect brand.Bags of Naturally Imperfect apples and potatoes are already being sold in select grocery stores across Ontario and Quebec and cost up to 30 per cent less than other fruits and vegetables.In the past, the produce selected for Naturally Imperfect products might have been used for juices, sauces, soups or dehydration.“If you were to grow produce in your backyard there’s a lot that would grow that wouldn’t look as pretty as what you would see in a grocery store. And Mother Nature doesn’t grow everything perfectly,” said Dan Branson, Loblaw senior director responsible for produce, floral and garden items.A lower-grade Red Delicious apple might have only 50 to 60 per cent colour, with the rest of the fruit a lighter shade of green. There might also be some scarring.“I’d like to think if somebody were to take a No Name Naturally Imperfect apple and put it right beside a perfect No. 1 apple and closed their eyes and eat it, there would be no difference,” Branson said Thursday.Bulk and bagged potatoes are typically within a specific size range, with bigger or smaller spuds undesirable.“Potatoes will often go into food service, but the smaller potatoes, it’s sometimes a real question what happens with those. So we’re taking some of those smaller potatoes and this is where we’re presenting it into a consumer pack for people to take home,” he added.Branson said the lower-cost produce “improves accessibility to fresh fruits and vegetables for some people that may not normally be able to afford to have that access.”It’s also a win for producers. In the past substandard fruit and vegetables often weren’t harvested and would go to waste.Naturally Imperfect products are already available in some Maxi, No Frills and Real Canadian Superstore outlets.Loblaw is looking at rolling out the Naturally Imperfect brand nationally by the end of the year, with an expanded assortment of items available.Stores will continue to offer items that are safe to eat but might be close to expiry at a deeper discount.Follow @lois_abraham on Twitter. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Lois Abraham, The Canadian Press Posted Mar 12, 2015 2:45 pm MDT Undersized spuds, blemished apples now sold by Loblaw as ‘Naturally Imperfect’ read more


Latest murder of Somali journalist sparks condemnation from UN

According to media reports, Abdihared Osman Adan, a newscaster with Radio Shabelle in the country’s capital of Mogadishu, was gunned down on 18 January by a group of unidentified armed men as he left his home to broadcast the morning news. “The targeted killing of journalists and media workers in Somalia and the continuing impunity for these cases has been a long-standing concern,” the UN Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Somalia, Shamsul Bari, said in a news release.Mr. Adan is the latest victim of media-related violence in Somalia where at least 10 journalists and media workers have been killed since 2012. In addition, reporters working for Radio Shabelle have been a frequent target of violence with Mr. Adan being the ninth journalist from the radio station to be killed since 2007. Most recently, on 24 May 2012, Mr. Adan’s colleague, Ahmed Addow Anshur, was shot by unidentified gunmen after receiving death threats for his reports on corruption. Last November, the spate of killings prompted Somali President Hassan Sheikh to delegate Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon with the role of instituting a Task Force aimed at bringing those responsible for the murders to justice.The Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia, Augustine P. Mahiga, urged the Task Force to expedite its investigative work while calling for a greater Government role in stopping the series of “heinous killings targeting the Somali media community.” “It’s deplorable that the perpetrators continue to enjoy impunity, while the Somali media community continues to be targeted,” Mr. Mahiga declared. “Every violent attack against the media is an attack against transparent governance,” he continued, adding that freedom of expression was “guaranteed under Somalia’s provisional constitution as well as Somalia’s international commitments.” Turning his attention to related human rights issues affecting the Horn of Africa nation, Mr. Bari also condemned the Government’s recent execution of two soldiers, Jamal Ahmed Alqadir and Abdi Isman Ali Magan. Both men had been sentenced to death by a military court in September 2011 for a series of crimes, including murder and rape. They were shot on 16 January. “The executions raise concern in relation to the level of compliance of military justice in Somalia with international fair trial standards,” warned Mr. Bari, while calling on the Government to renew a moratorium on the death penalty which had been in effect prior to the current administration’s mandate. The executions in Somalia diverge from the growing trend of countries who have acknowledged the inhumane nature of the death penalty. In late December last year, the UN General Assembly adopted a non-binding resolution calling for a moratorium on the death penalty by a recorded vote of 111 in favour to 41 against, with 34 abstentions. In it, the Assembly expressed its deep concern about the application of the death penalty, and called on States to respect international standards providing safeguards guaranteeing the protection of the rights of persons facing the death penalty.There are currently 150 countries around the world that have abolished capital punishment or have instituted a moratorium on the practice. read more

The Most Talented College Football Team In History

Two days after Thanksgiving, the Miami Hurricanes closed out another mediocre regular season with what the Miami Herald called a “dismal downer” of a game. They never led Pitt in the 35-23 defeat, and many UM faithful streamed out of Sun Life Stadium with almost an entire quarter left to play. Miami will appear in a postseason game this month because it has a just technically bowl-eligible 6-6 record (and it’s a well-known university). But the Duck Commander Independence Bowl in Shreveport, Louisiana, is not exactly a destination befitting a program that was once college football royalty.Cycles of boom and bust, however, are nothing new in Coral Gables. This Saturday, ESPN is airing “The U Part 2,” a “30 for 30” by director Billy Corben that follows up on his 2009 documentary about the Hurricanes’ dominant, lawless football program of the 1980s. The sequel explores the process that rebuilt the scandal-ridden team into what would become, statistically, the most talented — if not quite the most dominant — team in college football history.Before the Hurricanes came back from the brink, they were as low as they are now. Miami’s mid-to-late 1990s deterioration reached its nadir at the end of 1997, the program’s first losing season in 18 years. When the final whistle blew on that campaign, Miami had a +3.8 Elo rating,1According to an Elo-like modification of ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI) developed by FiveThirtyEight’s editor in chief, Nate Silver. which means Miami would have been favored by just 3.8 points against an average FBS team on a neutral field. To use 2014 teams as a comparison, Miami was the equivalent of this year’s Colorado State or Navy teams — a far cry from their dominant squads of the 1980s and early 1990s. (Although this year’s team is even worse, with a rating of +2.0.)This is what happens when a program transgresses enough NCAA rules to deserve its own documentary. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Hurricanes’ violations ranged from a pay-for-play scandal to a UM academic adviser helping players defraud the federal government of Pell Grant money. When the NCAA was finished handing down its penalties, the Hurricanes had been banned from the postseason for a year and stripped of 31 scholarships from 1995 to 1997.For college football teams, scholarships are currency. There’s a clear relationship between a team’s recruiting success and its on-field performance, and in the wake of the sanctions, Miami was unable to recruit as effectively as it had during the early 1990s.2Although it bears mentioning that, even in a relatively “down” recruiting year like 1996, the Hurricanes still hauled in four of the nation’s 100 best recruits.But under Butch Davis, the Hurricanes had figured out how to rebuild. From creative accounting to get around the scholarship limits — Davis persuaded wide receiver Santana Moss (among others) to run track on scholarship for UM while walking onto the football team — to rummaging through the recruiting bin for undervalued prospects, Davis amassed a talent collection better than college football has ever seen before or since. If we judge the players by where they were drafted in the NFL, tally the expected future approximate value for players picked in that slot, add it up for each school by each historical draft class, and assign a weighted sum of the previous four years to each college team-season,3The weights, in this case, are 4-3-2-1, derived from what combination best predicts a team’s FPI rating for the season in question. So, for instance, Miami players accumulated 103 points of AV in the 2002 draft, 86 points in the 2003 draft, 115 points in the 2004 draft and 46 points in the 2005 draft. That means the weighted sum for the 2001 Hurricanes squad is 4 times 103, plus 3 times 86, plus 2 times 115, plus 46 — which equals 946 points, the highest total any college team posted since the first NFL/AFL common draft in 1967. the Miami teams built by Davis and eventually coached by his successor, Larry Coker, are in a universe unto themselves.The single most talented college roster of the past 48 years, according to this measure, was the fabled 2001 Miami Hurricanes, who went 12-0 and won the BCS title while posting one of the best point differentials (+395) of any national champion. Davis-built Miami teams in 2000 and 2002 also rank third and fourth, respectively.The Hurricanes turned their unprecedented collection of talent into a one-loss 2000 team (which media-poll voters thought should have played undefeated Oklahoma for the national championship instead of Florida State, whom Miami had beaten earlier in the season); a historically dominant, unbeaten national champion in 2001; and a 2002 squad whose sole loss came in double overtime of the BCS title game.“You could have taken that 2001 [Hurricanes] team and put them in the NFL,” former Hurricanes safety Antrel Rolle told Corben, “and without a doubt they would have made the playoffs.”It’s probably the closest such a sentiment has ever come to actually being true. Then again, as stacked as the Davis/Coker Hurricanes were in terms of skilled athletes, and as impressive as their 34-game winning streak4Which stretched between Sept. 23, 2000, and Jan. 3, 2003. was, it’s difficult to argue they would have torn up the pros when they barely cracked the top 10 in terms of the highest modified FPI ratings by college teams in the past three decades.Under Davis, the Hurricanes’ Elo rating peaked at +24.3 after they beat Florida, the AP Poll’s No. 7, 37-20 in the 2001 Sugar Bowl — Davis’s last game as UM’s coach before leaving for the NFL’s Cleveland Browns. After Coker took the reins, Miami’s rating would grow to +29.0 after thumping Nebraska 37-14 in the 2002 Rose Bowl, and crested at +30.2 before the 2003 Fiesta Bowl against Ohio State.That mark represents the 10th-highest rating achieved by any team since 1982, but it trails entries from some of college football’s other most celebrated dynasties — including the 1990s Nebraska Cornhuskers, the 2000s USC Trojans, the 2008 Florida Gators, the 2012 Alabama Crimson Tide and even the 1988 Miami Hurricanes.There’s also the tricky matter of how the Hurricanes’ second golden era ended, marred by yet another scandal. While the program was ultimately assessed lighter penalties than it had received in the mid-1990s, in some ways that was due as much to the NCAA’s botched investigation as it was an absolution of Miami’s violations.And now the Hurricanes are back in the muck. But if there’s good news for Miami, Corben’s documentary underscores just how volatile this program has been over the past three decades. Of the top 18 FBS programs (by Elo rating) since 1982, Miami has by far the widest distribution of end-of-year Elo ratings.5In stats parlance, it has the largest standard deviation — 9.5 Elo points.In other words, the team tends to seesaw between greatness and mediocrity. And while life at “The U” has its peaks and valleys, if the story of Corben’s second Miami film is any indication, the next Hurricane dynasty might be just around the corner, no matter how bad things seem in the present. read more


Dublin off licences urged not to sell booze before 4pm on Paddys

first_img No (1936) Poll Results: I’m not sure (2104) Updated 23.09pmFIANNA FÁIL COUNCILLOR Mary Fitzpatrick has today called on Dublin off licences to “follow the example” of those located in the north inner city and not sell alcohol before 4pm on St Patrick’s Day.For the last few years, under a voluntary code, off licences in the north inner city have agreed with gardaí not to sell alcohol before that time. Fitzpatrick said she welcomed the fact that off licences in the Cabra area have decided to follow suit this year.“The St Patrick’s Day parade and the events and attractions built around it means all those attending can look forward to a wonderful day of family fun and entertainment,” said Fitzpatrick.“By agreeing not to sell alcohol until after 4pm off-licences are playing their part alongside other businesses, Dublin City Council, the gardaí and local communities in creating a welcoming and fun-filled atmosphere free from any public order disruption”.What do you think? Should off licences sell alcohol before 4pm in St Patrick’s Day?center_img Yes (438) YesNoI’m not sureVoteOriginally published 18.12pmRead: Cross-party TDs at least agree on one thing, the need to tackle alcohol abuse>Revealed: Ireland’s first discount pub will be called…>last_img read more


Shatter offers olive branch to lawyers over appointment of new regulators

first_imgTHE JUSTICE MINISTER Alan Shatter has offered an olive branch to solicitors and barristers, promising to abandon plans which would see him gain the power to control the proposed new regulator for legal services.Shatter said this afternoon that legislation to set up the regulator, which has not been touched in the Oireachtas for 15 months, would be amended to “copper-fasten” the independence of the body by ensuring that appointments were made through nominating bodies.The legislation has been heavily criticised, in its current format, for giving lay people a majority of seats on the new regulator’s 11-member board – with the power of appointing those lay members resting with the minister.Both barristers and solicitors said the legislation meant their respective professional societies – the Bar Council and the Law Society – would be sidelined, and overruled by a body whose membership was effectively controlled by the minister of the day.Speaking at the Law Society’s Annual Conference in Co Kerry today, however, Shatter said he would bring amendments to the legislation to ensure that appointment of members lay with nominating bodies – removing his effective right to appoint a majority of members.“In a similar vein, I will be enhancing the modalities of appointment of members of the Complaints Committee and of the Legal Practitioners’ Disciplinary Tribunal,” he said, also adding that the members’ four-year terms would be staggered in order to minimise the possibility of political interference.The legislation passed its first Dáil vote in February 2012, but has not progressed to committee stage since then. Shatter said this stage – the first at which amendments can be made – would now be held in July.Minister questions two-month autumn break for courtsSeparately, Shatter questioned the merit of a court recess for the entire months of August and September, pointing out that the sustained recess seemed lengthy in the modern world – particularly with the higher courts facing a significant workload.“I hope I will not be misunderstood and there will not be a suggestion of some new controversy if I merely raise the question,” the minister asked, welcoming the recent announcement that a number of High Court judges would be sitting during September to help hear some cases.Shatter also announced that the government had agreed to a constitutional amendment safeguarding the tenure of judges if the Seanad were to be abolished.Currently the impeachment of judges requires a majority in both houses – meaning that, if the Seanad were to disappear, a majority of TDs could have a judge removed from office.Shatter said this would be adjusted so that a two-thirds majority would be needed in future, assuming that the proposal to abolish the Seanad is approved in a referendum later this year.Read: Alan Shatter and The Supremes: New judges to deal with courts backloglast_img read more


Mick Jagger on the mend after medical procedure

first_img Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article 14,837 Views Apr 5th 2019, 8:18 PM Short URL Friday 5 Apr 2019, 8:18 PM 10 Comments Share81 Tweet Email3 center_img Mick Jagger performing at the Rolling Stones’ ‘No Filter’ Europe Tour 2017 at U Arena in Nanterre, outside Paris, France. Image: Michel Euler vai PA Images Image: Michel Euler vai PA Images Mick Jagger performing at the Rolling Stones’ ‘No Filter’ Europe Tour 2017 at U Arena in Nanterre, outside Paris, France. By AFP MICK JAGGER IS “on the mend” after a reportedly successful heart valve procedure in New York. “Thank you, everyone, for all your messages of support, I’m feeling much better now and on the mend – and also a huge thank you to all the hospital staff for doing a superb job,” said the Rolling Stones frontman, 75.Days earlier The Rolling Stones announced they would postpone the North American leg of their upcoming tour so Jagger could receive medical treatment.Industry tracker Billboard had said late Thursday doctors performed a minimally invasive transcatheter aortic valve replacement, allowing the artist to avoid major surgery that would open his chest.Instead, doctors accessed the heart valve of the flamboyant Stones lead singer through his femoral artery in the thigh.Jagger was resting in the hospital, according to Billboard, citing anonymous sources who said he must lay low for four to five days so the artery could heal without triggering severe bleeding.Representatives for Jagger and the Stones did not immediately reply to AFP queries.After the band that formed in 1962 announced the tour postponement of 17 shows in the US and Canada, Jagger had tweeted that he was “devastated” and would “be working very hard to be back on stage as soon as I can.”“I really hate letting you down like this,” he said.Jagger, who has eight children, five grandchildren and a great-granddaughter, has maintained his energetic stage performances well into his 70s.© AFP 2019   Mick Jagger ‘on the mend’ after medical procedure Jagger reportedly underwent a minimally invasive transcatheter aortic valve replacementlast_img read more


Daniel Andrews comes to the Lonsdale Street Greek Festival bearing gifts

first_imgThe presence of a Premier at the Lonsdale Street Greek Festival can hardly register as news; the annual event has been going strong for three decades now, getting bigger every year, something that no political leader can overlook. What makes this year’s announcement that Daniel Andrews will visit the festival and get on stage to give a speech to the thousands of Greek-Australian festival goers flocking Lonsdale Street on Saturday, is that this time, the Premier will come bearing a generous gift. Neos Kosmos can report that the Andrews Labor government of Victoria will pledge to provide $600,000 to fund the Lonsdale Greek Street Festival for the next four years. “We will keep supporting the Londsale Street Greek Festival, cementing it as a key fixture in Victoria’s multicultural calendar,” said the Premier. On top of that, Premier Andrews is set to offer funds of $337,000 for the completion of the Parthenon Frieze replica placed over the main entrance of the Greek Centre. “The expanded Parthenon Frieze replica will be truly striking and help enshrine our Greek identity and history in the heart of the city,” he stated. Daniel Andrews visited Greece recently, where he met with the Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras and the President of the Hellenic Republic, Prokopis Pavlopoulos. During his visit to the Acropolis, the Premier announced that the Labor Government of Victoria will allocate funding of 150,000 towards programs to teach Greek to preschoolers. Victoria’s minister of Youth, Jenny Mikakos, who was traveling with him launched the program this week at the State Parliament, where he addressed the House speaking in Greek, in a symbolic motion to participate in the February 9 celebration of the International Day of Greek language. Asked to comment on the announcement that the Premier will officially make on Saturday, Minister Mikakos said:”I’m thrilled that everyone walking past the Greek Centre on Lonsdale Street will now see a wonderful tribute to the Parthenon marbles right here in the heart of Melbourne.” The Minister also praised the Lonsdale Street Festival for being “an iconic celebration” of Hellenic culture in Melbourne. “I’m pleased that our Government is giving it even more support,” she said. Minister for Multicultural Affairs Robin Scott shared t he same seentiment. “Victoria’s Greek community have made immeasurable contributions to the social and economic life of our state,” he said. “This additional funding will see the Lonsdale festival prosper into the future. It is amongst the best festivals and demonstrations of culture in Victoria, and I anticipate it will be even bigger in years to come.”Victoria’s Premier, Daniel Andrews, surrounded by Bentleigh Member Nick Staikos, Greek Medical Association President and Mayor of Maroussi, Giorgos Patoulis, Minister Jenny Mikakos, Greek Community Treasurer Marinis Pirpiris, GCOMV Assistant Secretary Tammy Iliou, and GCOMV President, Bill Papastergiadis, at the unveiling of the first part of the Parthenon marble frieze replica adorning the Greek Centre’s entrance, last November. Photo: Kostas Deves Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more


Les pêcheurs artisans comptent bien se faire entendre

first_imgLes pêcheurs artisans comptent bien se faire entendreEn France, la pêche artisanale ne représente pas moins de 80% de la flottille. Mais elle peine à se faire entendre. Le secteur a alors décidé de s’unir, et c’est soutenu par Greenpeace comme par le WWF qu’il espère parvenir enfin à faire respecter ses droits, et rappeler qu’il pratique depuis toujours une pêche durable, visant à exploiter les ressources marines tout en les préservant.Bien qu’ils représentent la très large majorité de la flotille française (80%), les petits pêcheurs ne parviennent pas à faire entendre leur voix, au niveau national, comme européen. Bien décidé à faire changer les choses, le secteur de la pêche artisanale – pratiquée sur des navires de moins de douze mètres ne comptant pas plus de trois marins à leur bord -, a alors décidé de se fédérer. Une organisation qui bénéficie du soutien de deux grandes ONG écologistes : Greenpeace et le WWF.”Nous voulons faire entendre la voix des petits métiers de la pêche parce que nous sommes absents de toutes les instances décisionnaires”, a déclaré lors d’une conférence de presse rapportée par l’AFP Anne-Marie Vergez, patron pêcheur à Saint-Jean-de-Luz. Lors de ce point presse, elle a présenté une déclaration commune élaborée par ces petits métiers qui sont, affirme-t-elle, “attachés à la protection de l’environnement marin, condition nécessaire à la continuité de notre activité”.L’Association des ligneurs de la Pointe de Bretagne et le Syndicat des petits métiers du Languedoc-Roussillon, dont fait partie Mme Vergez, alliés aux représentants d’organisations venus de toutes les façades maritimes de France, appellent alors tous les pêcheurs artisans du pays, en métropole comme en Outre-mer, à s’unir afin de donner naissance à une alliance nationale. Un type d’organisations qui existe déjà dans certains pays européens, tels que le Danemark, l’Espagne ou la Grèce. Le but n’est pas d’interdire toute activité À lire aussiMaladie de Charcot : symptômes, causes, traitement, où en est on ?Cet appel est lancé au moment où se joue à Bruxelles l’avenir de la Politique commune de pêche (PCP). Celle-ci doit en effet être réformée, et tandis que les négociations sont en cours, les petits pêcheurs entendent faire savoir qu’ils travaillent dans le respect de l’environnement, pratiquant une pêche durable pour préserver les ressources marines. Ce qui n’est pas le cas de la pêche industrielle et ses immenses chalutiers, dénoncent-ils.Et si Greenpeace et le WWF soutiennent la démarche des pêcheurs artisans, c’est pour cette raison. “Les ONG et les petits pêcheurs sont d’accord sur ce que peut être une pêche durable” a souligné Hélène Bourges, chargée de la campagne Océans à Greenpeace. Et Elise Pêtre, chargée du programme pêche durable au WWF, d’ajouter : “Il faut sortir du cliché amis des poissons contre les amis des pêcheurs”. Les associations écologistes n’ont pas pour but de voir “un océan sur lequel on aurait interdit toute activité”, explique-t-elle, mais seulement un océan respecté par les activités de pêche.Le 29 juin 2012 à 14:43 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more


Il y a 65 millions dannées les caméléons partaient en mer vers

first_imgIl y a 65 millions d’années, les caméléons partaient en mer vers MadagascarSelon une étude publiée aujourd’hui, il y a 65 millions d’années, les caméléons ont quitté l’Afrique et ont rejoint Madagascar en prenant la mer.L’origine des caméléons est sujette à controverse. Certains scientifiques estiment que ces reptiles sont apparus en Afrique avant de se répandre ailleurs dans le monde, notamment à Madagascar tandis que d’autres défendent la théorie selon laquelle ils ont donné naissance à leurs 195 espèces directement à partir de l’île. Difficile de trancher car, il y a 120 millions d’années, l’Afrique et Madagascar faisaient partie d’un seul et même continent : Gondwana. À lire aussiMaladie de Charcot : symptômes, causes, traitement, où en est on ?Néanmoins, des fossiles indiquent que l’ancêtre des caméléons est apparu bien après que Madagascar s’est détachée du continent africain et a dérivé pour adopter sa position actuelle. Du coup, les scientifiques se querellent pour savoir de quel côté de la mer est apparu le caméléon. Une nouvelle étude parue mercredi pourrait finalement mettre tout le monde d’accord. Krystal Tolley, de l’Institut national de la biodiversité sud-africain, auteur principal de l’étude, explique : “Nous avons estimé la période à laquelle différentes espèces de caméléons, vivant en Afrique et à Madagascar mais liées entre elles, ont divergé”. Pour cela, les chercheurs se sont basés sur l’analyse génétique de 174 espèces différentes de caméléons. Ainsi, “nous avons découvert que cela s’est produit pour la première fois voici 65 millions d’années, au Crétacé supérieur, puis encore il y a 45 millions d’années, durant l’Oligocène”, indique la chercheuse citée par l’AFP. Le plus probable serait donc que certains reptiles aient embarqué sur des branches mortes et autres débris flottants dans des rivières africaines en crue puis aient été emportés au-delà des mers vers Madagascar. En effet, la direction des principaux courants océaniques rend ce scénario parfaitement plausible. Ces deux épisodes de divergence ont “très probablement eu lieu d’Afrique en direction de Madagascar”, estime ainsi en conclusion Krystal Tolley, écartant de toute façon l’hypothèse que les caméléons soient apparus sur l’île même. Le 31 mars 2013 à 09:42 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more


Project Tuhura is a MegaYacht Straight From the Future

first_img Oceanco, a manufacturer of luxury custom yachts, has unveiled its latest project: the Tuhura. It’s a whopping 377 feet long, making it among the longest yachts in the world. It’s also got a bizarre, futuristic look, wholly inspired by science fiction and one of the most efficient nautical designs in history — an early Polynesian dugout canoe.The project was shown off at last week’s Dubai international boat show. The name is taken from the Maori word for exploration and discovery.“Our Tuhura is a simple idea,” says designer Igor Lobanov. “The thought was to take a natural shape similar to those seen in the earliest canoe-type craft and enlarge it multifold to a larger scale, using modern technology.”Indeed, Oceanco’s packed the yacht with all kinds of new materials and tech. Massive semi-translucent windows that run along the hull allow those inside to see out, without revealing the insides. It’s also built to adjust to the tastes and preferences of its guests, automatically adjusting things like room temperature.It should also be an excellent ship in its own right, at least according to the firm responsible for its naval engineering, BMT Nigel Cree. “It has low overall resistance, good seakeeping, and excellent maneuverability,” BMT spokesperson James Roy said. “There is a synergy between the efficiency of the canoe hull form, and that of the propulsion system, leading to a yacht which marries an evolutionary simple hull with an evolutionary advanced propulsion system.”The innards are also remarkable. Fashioned by Italian architect Achille Salvagni, the interior also takes cues from cultures of the Pacific Islands.01-tuhura-115-nologo-living-101-tuhura-115-nologo-living-1Credit: Oceanco01-tuhura-115-nologo-living-201-tuhura-115-nologo-owner-s-cabin-501-tuhura-115-nologo-owner-s-cabin-401-tuhura-115-nologo-living-3dp118-tuhura-exterior-3dp118-tuhura-exterior-4dp118-tuhura-exterior-2dp118-tuhura-exterior-1Credit: Oceanco“Tuhura is a mega yacht conceived for a dynamic owner. Nevertheless, the timeless sense of peace and calmness are the main characteristics,” Salvagni told luxury goods outlet Robb Report. “This softness and dynamicity are reflected in the humble elegance and sensuality of the primitive organic shapes echoed throughout.”Now I’m a bit wary of using the word “primitive” in general, but especially when the goal is to mimic the designs and art of cultures that are typically looked down upon. It’s also very, very likely that the folks behind this project didn’t give a huge kickback to the folks from whom they are borrowing. Aaaand it’s a little hard to separate out the fact that many Polynesian islands will soon be underwater because of the ludicrous overconsumption of the hyper-wealthy — at least in part.So it definitely comes off as a double-middle-finger to the cultures they’re taking from, but I digress.This definitely looks cool, and I’d love to see all the tech and engineering specs because I, like most geeks, love to geek out about such things. But, it’s also impossible to report on climate science all the time and not think about it when such obvious examples of excess are readily present.That said, I do hope one of the buyer’s names it Boaty McBoatface. I just… need to see that — a pristine luxury liner emblazoned with the greatest name a seaworthy vessel will ever have. I mean it’s been that and Sotally via Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Stay on targetcenter_img Watch: Massive Whale Breaches Near Boat in MassachusettsWatch the Shocking Moment Lightning Strikes Boat in Boston last_img read more

VAT Accountability demanded by Bahamians State Minister slammed over speech at PLP

first_img The Luxury of Grace Bay in Down Town Provo And they were, among them FNM Chairman, Sidney Collie who is now calling on the PLP Government to tell Bahamians the truth.  Collie is joined by the Democratic National Alliance and Greg Moss, the MP for Marco City who disagree with pronouncements by Mr. Halkitis.  In a media statement Collie said Bahamians will not believe the rhetoric and that Bahamians reject the new explanation that VAT monies did not go to pay off debt, but to fund projects.  In a radio talk show, Minister Halkitis was taken to task for the breakdown of the monies to projects.  The PLP Administration in this presentation by the State Minister also said it provided $12 million for the COB to University of The Bahamas transition and they have doubled scholarship funded from $7.73 million to $16.3 million.   Another $150 million to the National Health Insurance plan, $100 million to Bahamasair for a new fleet of aircraft and $232 million on border and marine resources protection.  No schools he was reminded have been built in four and a half years of the 2012 Perry Christie Administration, so what did he mean when he said VAT money went there… “We are building new schools and have invested tens of millions of dollars in repairs and upgrades of existing schools, thus empowering our young people.  That’s where the VAT money gone.”  Electricity Cost of Service Study among the big agenda items at September 11 Cabinet meeting However, when asked this week about spending on all of the above Mr. Halkitis had to give a different version of events.  The State Minister for Finance instead explained that VAT money was used to help secure the loan for Bahamasair new planes and needs for improved border security and that some of the VAT money has been earmarked for assistance with NHI – not yet spent as he said during convention.  Halkitis defended that he did not believe he misrepresented the facts in his presentation.  Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp ALERT # 2 ON POTENTIAL TROPICAL CYCLONE NINE ISSUED BY THE BAHAMAS DEPARTMENT OF METEOROLOGY THURSDAY 12TH SEPTEMBER, 2019 AT 9 PM EDT Related Items:#magneticmedianews Recommended for you Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppNassau, Bahamas, January 31, 2017 – It sounded rhythmic and it did rouse the party base during the recent PLP convention but now Bahamians are blasting the State Minister for finance for making hyped up claims which many believe are simply untrue.   That’s where the VAT money went was the recurrent chorus by Michael Halkitis on opening night of the Progressive Liberal Party’s Convention but Opposition challenges, fact checking and media interviews do not bear those claims out and challenged the Minister firmly on his now controversial speech.  VAT was introduced in 2015 with tremendous national push back, still it passed into law that 7.5% would be charged on most goods and services.  The tax far exceeded expectations and reportedly raised around a billion dollars, with some $850 million said to have been collected. The question was a lingering one, where did the money from VAT go and so Minister Halkitis’ use of the PLP podium to make the announcement was a sound decision, thousands would be watching.  Still, those criticizing his speech express that they are more interested in hard facts, truths and evidence on the billion dollar VAT spending than they are with semantics.  Branville McCartney of the DNA called for the Central Revenue Agency which was supposed to be established as an oversight body for the Value Added Tax.  McCartney said the PLP is guilty of wasteful spending and went 100 times over budget and now the Party is using VAT money to make up for errors at tax payers’ expense.#MagneticMediaNewslast_img read more

Dead whale found off coast of Torrey Pines State Reserve

first_img Ed Lenderman March 27, 2018 Video Player error: Format(s) not supported or source(s) not Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.A dead whale was found off the coast of Torrey Pines State Reserve late yesterday morning. It was moved to Fiesta Island and could be transported to a landfill this morning.Ed Lenderman says scientists will try to determine its cause of death — illness or collision with a ship — later today. Posted: March 27, 2018 Ed Lenderman, center_img Updated: 6:51 AM Dead whale found off coast of Torrey Pines State Reserve Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

SUV bursts into flames in NW MiamiDade

first_imgNORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) – Firefighters responded to an SUV engulfed by flames, Thursday, on Northwest 12th Avenue and 79th Street.Fire rescue crews put the fire out but not before the SUV was destroyed.Officials have not said what sparked the fire or whether anyone was hurt.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img


In this shutdown every day is a winding road

first_imgPhoto by Liz RuskinSen. Lisa Murkowski says it’s slow-going, but she sees progress at the U.S. Capitol among lawmakers working to end the partial government shutdown, now in its fourth week.Does she see a path to reopening government? The question prompted her to sing a Beatles line: “A long and winding road. Buh-boom.”Murkowski has been meeting with other senators, Republicans and Democrats, who also want to end the stalemate. She said their numbers are growing, and she’s somewhat hopeful.“The important thing for folks is to know that we’re not just sitting back here and hoping that one day (House Speaker) Nancy Pelosi or President Trump are going to wake up and say ‘I’ve changed my mind.’ That’s not how we’re going to to get out of this,” Murkowski said. “I think it’s going to take a coalition of the willing, and I’m part of that willing.”Her latest plan may sound familiar: She wants Congress to pass a short-term continuing resolution that would re-open government now, and then consider all the elements in President Trump’s border security package, including the wall. President Trump just rejected a similar idea.“Well, it’s been re-floated,” Murkowski said. “And it’s been suggested that, look, if there is a there is a significant group of folks that would get behind this, is this something that we can talk about? And so we’re taking very baby steps here.”Murkowski says she knows that workers who are no longer getting paid want to see more than baby steps, but she says it takes some work to resolve what’s become a serious impasse.Sen. Dan Sullivan said on the Senate floor the solution has to include Trump’s border security program.“Every nation has the right, has the responsibility to protect its citizens, protect its sovereignty, and in my view this is something that should not be controversial,” Sullivan said.Sullivan sees a different path forward.  He says all sides are near an agreement to secure pay for the Coast Guard, and he says that can serve as a template for ending the broader shutdown.Meanwhile, in an unusual display of impatience, a group of Democrats, all brand-new House members, marched over to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office to urge him to break the impasse. But, McConnell wasn’t in.“We left a note for them to set up a meeting,” Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., told a throng of reporters following them. “So we’ll be back!”After a few more statements to the Capitol press corps, they turned to head back to the House.They went the wrong way.“Hey, we’re freshmen,” one said.last_img read more