New Solar Program Helps Nova Scotians Save Money on Energy Bills

first_imgNova Scotia homeowners looking to save money on their electricity bills by installing solar panels will soon have a more affordable option. Minister of the Public Service Commission Tony Ince, on behalf of Energy Minister Geoff MacLellan, and MP Darren Fisher on behalf of Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna, announced today, June 25, details of the new SolarHomes Program. “By adding solar to their homes, Nova Scotian families can cut their energy bills today, while having more energy choices and more control over their energy future,” said Mr. Ince. “Our province continues to be a national leader in fighting climate change, and this new program will build on our successes for the economic and environmental benefit of all Nova Scotians.” “The environment and the economy go together. Through the Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund, we are joining forces with provinces and territories to improve quality of life from coast to coast to coast,” said Mr. Fisher. “That’s why we are supporting the SolarHomes program, to help Nova Scotia homeowners save money on energy bills and support good middle-class jobs, while meeting our climate commitments.” On average, a solar electricity system can save homeowners about $1,300 per year. Under the program, homeowners will receive a $1 per watt rebate, or roughly 30 per cent of the installation cost of a solar electricity system. The average rebate will be about $7,000 and the maximum rebate will be $10,000. Dartmouth-based Thermo Dynamics expects to expand its solar manufacturing and installation business to help meet demand created by the new program. “We are going to start manufacturing solar electricity equipment, in addition to our solar thermal operations,” said Paul Sajko, general manager of Thermo Dynamics. “It’s a multi-million-dollar investment that will create dozens of jobs, but now is the right time to go for it.” The program will be administered by Efficiency Nova Scotia. “This is another great offering for homeowners who want to reduce their carbon foot print and increase their control of the kind of energy they use,” said Stephen MacDonald, CEO of EfficiencyOne, operator of the Efficiency Nova Scotia franchise. “Making residential solar more affordable is another example of the good things efficiency brings.” Program funding comes from the Government of Canada’s commitment of $14 million per year for four years to Nova Scotia from the Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund. The province is investing $3 million a year for four years to support the fund, and through residential electricity rates Nova Scotians are currently investing over $15 million a year for programs that increase renewable energy use and make homes more energy efficient. For more information visit www.novascotia.ca/solar .last_img read more


Ontario ticket takes Saturday nights 40 million Lotto 649 jackpot

first_imgTORONTO – A single ticket claimed Saturday night’s nearly $40.5 million Lotto 649 jackpot.The ticket was purchased in Ontario, though the exact location was not immediately revealed.The draw’s guaranteed $1 million prize went to a ticket holder in Quebec.The jackpot for the next Lotto 649 draw on Nov. 1 will be approximately $5 million.last_img


Alabama shocker Six ways stunning Senate result upends American politics

first_imgWASHINGTON – It took a near-miraculous confluence of factors for a pro-choice Democrat to win the state of Alabama — but it happened Tuesday. The ruby-red Republican state delivered a stunning win to Democrat Doug Jones, now elected to the U.S. Senate pending a potential recount.Last time Democrats didn’t even mount a campaign in Alabama. A write-in Democratic candidate lost to Jeff Sessions by a nearly inconceivable margin of almost 95 per cent. This time the Democrat won by 1.5 per cent, according to the initial count.Here are six ways this shapes American politics.1 — Passing bills just got harder for the GOP. Republicans now hold just a one-vote majority in the Senate. That means their legislation can be defeated, and their judicial appointments blocked, whenever two Republicans defect and vote with the Democrats and Democrat-leaning Independents, down from the current three. This gives Republican moderates like Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski near-veto power.2 — Republican infighting. The GOP has been a tinderbox of internal tension, and this is one more spark. Recriminations began before votes were even counted. The party establishment swiftly blamed the nationalist, alt-right wing for elevating controversial candidates like Roy Moore. It was party insurgents who propelled the gay-bashing, anti-Muslim, accused one-time molester of adolescents to the nomination. A close confidant of congressional leader Mitch McConnell pointed this out, even while counting was still underway. Josh Holmes tweeted: ”I’d just like to thank Steve Bannon for showing us how to lose the reddest state in the union.” Anti-Trump senator Jeff Flake, who even donated to the Democrat, tweeted: ”Decency wins.” The party’s other wing has grounds for its own grievances. Expect Bannon and others to castigate party elites for failing to support Moore, by holding back funding and endorsements. Bannon’s Breitbart website offered an early taste of that line of counter-attack, with the headline: ”Republican Saboteurs Flip Seat To Dems.”3 — Democrats energized. After a dominant performance last month in races across the country, Democrats now have ample reason to believe they can reclaim the House of Representatives in next year’s midterms. Turnout has been unexpectedly high in Democrat areas. Recruitment of candidates and fundraising has accelerated. The party can now point to its longshot win in Alabama, as it tries recruiting star candidates for closer anticipated races.4— Start the Senate-watch. Just winning one of two congressional chambers next year would give Democrats the power to stall bills and launch investigations, denting Trump’s presidency. But the ultimate prize isn’t the House — it’s the Senate. Until Tuesday night, it seemed positively unattainable for them. By a fluke of the calendar, the Senate seats up for election next year are overwhelmingly Democratic, placing the party mostly in defensive mode, with few opportunities for pickups. But the astronomical odds have just narrowed. To end the GOP majority, Democrats now need just two Republican seats, and they will be gunning hard in Nevada, Arizona and elsewhere, while defending their own two-dozen seats up for grabs. Why does the Senate matter so much? The upper chamber doesn’t just have power over which bills pass. It’s also the chamber that approves presidential nominations — to the cabinet, federal agencies, and the Supreme Court, where several incumbent justices are over 75 years old and nominees over the coming years could decide hot-button issues like abortion.5 — Spotlight on the White House. Fox News pundit Laura Ingraham speculated that Democrats will try turning this momentum against President Donald Trump. She said they will recycle sexual-misconduct allegations against him, compare them to Moore’s, point to voters’ rejection of Moore, and argue the president should be investigated. That’s already begun. Several Democrats have been calling for investigations, or even for Trump’s resignation. The grumbling about the president extends to his own side. Fearing a tidal wave in next year’s midterms, some Republicans started pressing the president to adjust his behaviour. Former presidential candidate Rick Santorum, on CNN, called Tuesday a wake-up call for Trump: ”It is a very clear warning shot.” He urged the president to tone down the constant conflict and chaos, as it’s turning off voters: ”It’s just debilitating. It wears people out… (People are) worn out by the daily controversy coming from the president’s Twitter feed.”6 — Roy Moore might disappear. To a number of Republicans commenting late Tuesday, this is the silver lining. They speculated Democrats would have constantly reminded voters of this lawmaker — who called for homosexuals to be jailed, for Muslims to be barred from Congress, and who was reportedly once banned from a mall for his alleged habit of creeping on adolescent girls. They said Democrats would have turned Moore into the poster-boy for their party, and campaigned against him next year, in places far less hospitable to Republicans than Alabama.last_img read more


Statement by the American Foundation For Suicide Prevention On Logic Performing At

first_imgThe nation’s largest organization dedicated to suicide prevention, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention has released the following statement on the song “1-800-273-8255” by Logic featuring Alessia Cara and Khalid, which was performed at the Grammy’s:“When Logic released the song 1-800-273-8255, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s calls increased by nearly 50 percent. This was no coincidence. To have an artist and musician like Logic write about depression and advocate for suicide prevention is helping to create a culture that’s smart about mental health and suicide prevention. With the help of celebrities and musicians like Logic, use a public platform to open up about their own mental health, we can reach more people with the message that it’s okay to reach out for help when you need it. When this message is coupled with information on where to go for help, it’s life changing for so many. Through his music, Logic he is helping to save lives,” said Robert Gebbia, AFSP CEO.If you need help right now, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.last_img read more


King Mohammed VI Launches, Inaugurates Important Social Projects in Casablanca

Casablanca  – King Mohammed VI launched and inaugurated, on Friday in Casablanca, major social projects meant to develop youth’s sports and cultural capacities, slash delinquency and school dropout rate, safeguard collective memory and reinforce medical and social offer. These projects are worth 40 million dirhams and are in line with HM the King’s efforts to foster community-based policy, strengthen social projects, promote a comprehensive and sustainable human development and reinforce basic infrastructure in the city.  The King launched in the Ben M’Sik prefecture the building works of an Indoors Semi-Olympic Swimming Pool (16.5 mln MAD), a Drama Training Center (2.8 mln MAD), a War Veterans Cultural and Museum Center (1.6 mln MAD) and a Tuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases Treatment Center (3.61 mln MAD) at the Errahma II neighborhood in the Dar Bouazza urban commune.  The sovereign also inaugurated in Ben M’Sik the “Shabab” Park after its redevelopment totaling 15.4 mln dirhams.  The indoors swimming pool will be built over a surface area of 13,500 m2 within a period of 18 months. It will include mainly a semi-olympic pool, terraces, changing-rooms, a reception area and a management office.  This project is the fruit of a partnership between the national initiative for human development (INDH), the ministry of youth and sports, the council of the greater Casablanca region and Casablanca urban commune.  As for the Drama Training Center, it will help the beneficiaries develop their creativity and imagination, and acquire pedagogical and communication means to integrate the job market.  The 900-m2 facility will span eight months under a partnership between the INDH, the council of the greater Casablanca region and Casablanca urban commune.  The War Veterans Cultural and Museum Center will house objects, scale models and posters as a testimony of resistance movements during colonial era. The 550-m2 center will open its doors to the public in 8 months. It is undertaken by the INDH, the council of the greater Casablanca region and Casablanca urban commune.  Concerning the Tuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases Treatment Center, it will stretch over 400 square meters and will be carried out by the health ministry in partnership with Dar Bouazza. It is aimed at reinforcing and diversifying the city’s medical services.  As for the “Shabab” Park, it is meant to enhance the city’s attractiveness, improve local population’s lifestyle and protect the environment. It will offer the citizens an area for relaxation and spare-time activities.  The 5-hectare park hosts five mini football fields with artificial turf, a kids pedagogical garden, playgrounds, a fitness area and a hiking circuit. It was carried out as part of the INDH in partnership with the youth and sports ministry, the council of the greater Casablanca region, Casablanca urban commune and Casablanca prefectural council. read more


Most actively traded companies on the TSX

Some of the most active companies traded Thursday on the Toronto Stock Exchange:Toronto Stock Exchange (15,703.36, down 8.95).Aurora Cannabis Inc. (TSX:ACB). Health care. Up 32 cents, or 3.21 per cent, to $10.30 on 23.4 million shares.Crescent Point Energy Corp. (TSX:CPG). Energy. Down 21 cents, or 5.87 per cent, to $3.37 on 11.3 million shares.Manulife Financial Corp. (TSX:MFC). Financials. Up 11 cents, or 0.52 per cent, to $21.11 on 10.7 million shares.Aphria Inc. (TSX:APHA). Health care. Down 13 cents, or 1.02 per cent, to $12.67 on 10.3 million shares.Bombardier Inc. (TSX:BBD.B). Industrials. Up 10 cents, or 4.88 per cent, to $2.15 on 10.2 million shares.Crius Energy Trust. (TSX:KWH.UN). Energy. Up $2.02, or 36.86 per cent, to $7.50 on 7.4 million shares.Companies reporting:BCE Inc. (TSX:BCE). Down seven cents to $57.49. The parent company of Bell Canada had an eight per cent decline in fourth quarter net income last year, as an asset writedown and other expense items offset higher revenue for the telecommunications and media company. BCE says its net income fell to $642 million in the three months ended Dec. 31 while net income attributable to common shareholders fell to $606 million or 68 cents per share. Operating revenues rose three per cent to $6.22 billion while its adjusted earnings rose 7.9 per cent to $794 million or 89 cents per share. BCE also announced a five per cent increase in its common share dividend to 79.25 cents per quarter.Bombardier Inc. — The transportation company announced a leadership shakeup Thursday, naming a new head of the company’s troubled train unit after his predecessor resigned. Danny Di Perna, 53, has replaced Laurent Troger, 55, who took on the role in December 2015 after 11 years with the company, Bombardier said. The abrupt announcement comes as the Montreal-based company enters the final two years of a five-year turnaround. Over the past decade, delays and repair problems have plagued Bombardier train contracts including Toronto’s streetcar and light-rail train orders.Nutrien Ltd. (TSX:NTR). Up $1.07 to $69.51. Nutrien says lower crop prices last year from trade uncertainty and high crop yields put pressure on its customers but that it expects the situation to improve this year. Prices are already improving for key crops and the fundamentals have improved, said company CEO Chuck Magro on an earnings call Thursday. He said that a resolution of the trade dispute between the U.S. and China would help but that it expects this year to be better than last either way. The company said it earned US$3.57 billion last year, compared with a combined net income of US$327 million for PotashCorp and Agrium Inc. a year earlier before the two merged to form Nutrien.Saputo Inc. (TSX:SAP). Up $1.71 or 4.3 per cent to $41.23. The daily and cheese producer says it earned $342 million in its latest quarter, up from $337 million in the same quarter last year. Saputo says the profit amounted to 87 cents per diluted share for the quarter ended Dec. 31, up from 86 cents per diluted share a year earlier. Revenue in what was the company’s third quarter totalled $3.58 billion, up from $3.02 billion a year earlier, as the company benefited from acquisitions. On an adjusted basis, Saputo says it earned 44 cents per diluted share, down from an adjusted profit of 47 cents per diluted share a year earlier.Maple Leaf Foods Inc. (TSX:MFI). Up two cents to $29.99. The Supreme Court of Canada will hear a case on whether a distributor is responsible for a franchisee’s losses during a food recall. The top court has granted an application for leave to appeal by a class-action lawsuit representing Mr. Submarine Inc. franchisees against Maple Leaf Foods Inc. and Maple Leaf Consumer Foods Inc. The case started after a 2008 recall when Toronto-based Maple Leaf pulled roughly 200 products due to a deadly listeria outbreak caused by contamination at one of its plants.The Canadian Press read more


TSX little changed after Suncor beats expectations

A solid earnings report from oilsands giant Suncor Energy (TSX:SU) helped push the Toronto stock market higher Tuesday.The S&P/TSX composite index climbed 32.97 points to 14,563.88.Suncor posted operating earnings of $1.79 billion, or $1.22 per share, widely beating the average analyst expectation of 93 cents, according to estimates compiled by Thomson Reuters. Operating revenues, net of royalties, were $10.3 billion, up from $9.8 billion a year earlier and its shares were up $1.42 or 3.43 per cent to $42.76.The Canadian dollar was up 0.44 of a cent to 91.14 cents US.New York indexes advanced while data showed that U.S. home price gains cooled in February for the third month in a row, as harsh winter weather and high buying costs have slowed sales.The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 12.9 per cent in February compared with 12 months earlier. While healthy, that is down from a 13.2 per cent gain in January.The Dow Jones industrials were up 76.42 points to 16,525.16 ahead of the latest read on consumer confidence coming out later in the morning.The Nasdaq gained 17.98 points to 4,092.38 and the S&P 500 index rose 7.85 points to 1,877.28.Investors also looked to the U.S. Federal Reserve, which wraps up its two-day meeting Wednesday. Policy makers are expected to further trim the central bank’s bond-buying program and provide further insight into the state of the world’s biggest economy.Traders also look for further indications of when the Fed might start to raise short-term interest rates, which have been near zero since the financial crisis.Prices were mixed on the commodity markets with June crude in New York up $1.03 to US$101.87 a barrel. The energy sector rose 1.2 per cent ahead of earnings out this week from other major energy companies.Industrials were the biggest TSX weight, led by losses in the two big railroads. Canadian Pacific (TSX:CP) lost $5.13 to $165.71.July copper was down two cents to US$3.08 and the base metals sector drifted 0.15 per cent lower.Bullion prices were lower after the Pentagon said Russia’s defence chief has assured U.S. Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel that Russia will not invade Ukraine.Gold fell $3.70 to US$1,295.30 an ounce and the sector was off 0.11 per cent.In other corporate developments, Quebecor Inc. (TSX:QBR.B) shares were 29 cents lower to $26.33 with the announcement that its president and chief executive is retiring. Robert Depatie, who was promoted to the post last May when Pierre Karl Peladeau stepped down, announced Monday that he was retiring for health reasons.Power generation company TransAlta (TSX:TA) handed in net earnings of $49 million, or 18 cents per share, up $60 million from a net loss of $11 million, or four cents per share, in the same period last year. Revenues were at $775 million, up from $540 million year-over-year. Its shares gained 11 cents to $51.15.Uranium miner Cameco (TSX:CCO) earned $131 million or 33 cents a share in its latest quarter, boosted by the sale of its stake in Bruce Power Limited Partnership. Revenue slipped to $419 million from $444 million a year ago.  Excluding one-time items, the company earned $36 million or nine cents per share compared with $27 million or seven cents per share a year ago and its shares fell 82 cents to $23.31. read more


UN General Assembly Security Council conclude elections for World Court judges

After voting this afternoon in the Assembly and the Council, which met independently from but concurrently with each other, Patrick Lipton Robinson of Jamaica was elected to a nine-year term on the ICJ, starting on 6 February next year.On 6 November, the Assembly and the Council elected four judges – Mr. Mohamed Bennouna of Morocco, Mr. James Richard Crawford of Australia, Ms. Joan E. Donoghue of the United States, and Mr. Kirill Gevorgian of the Russian Federation – also to nine-year terms beginning on 6 February 2015.The two bodies were originally supposed to elect all five judges on 6 November, but, after seven rounds of voting in the Assembly and four rounds of voting in the Council, the fifth vacancy remained, as both of the two remaining candidates had garnered the required absolute majority. The following day, several rounds of simultaneous voting in the Assembly and the Council failed to produce agreement on the same candidate to fill the remaining seat. In each of those rounds, Mr. Robinson consistently garnered the majority in the Assembly, while the Council selected Susana Ruiz Cerutti of Argentina.The 15 judges serving on the Court are elected by an absolute majority in both the General Assembly (97 votes) and Security Council (8 votes).Mr. Bennouna and Ms. Donoghue currently serve on the ICJ, but their current terms expire in February. Judges are eligible for re-election. The other judges’ terms in office expire in either 2018 or 2021.The Court’s composition at 6 February 2015 will be as follows (terms expire on 5 February of the year in parentheses): Peter Tomka, Slovakia (2021); Ronny Abraham, France (2018); Mohamed Bennouna, Morocco (2024); Dalveer Bhandari, India (2018); Joan E. Donoghue, United States (2024); Antônio Augusto Cançado Trindade, Brazil (2018); Giorgio Gaja, Italy (2021); Christopher Greenwood, United Kingdom (2018); James Richard Crawford (Australia) (2024); Hisashi Owada, Japan (2021); Xue Hanqin, China (2021); Julia Sebutinde, Uganda (2021); Kirill Gevorgian, Russian Federation (2024); Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf, Somalia (2018); and Patrick Lipton Robinson, Jamaica (2024).According to the Court’s Statute, its judges must be chosen by coordinated actions of both the Council and the General Assembly, with the date of elections determined by the Council.Judges are chosen on the basis of their qualifications, not their nationality, but no two judges can be from the same country. Effort is also taken to ensure that the principal legal systems of the world are reflected in the composition of the court.Established in 1945, and based in The Hague in the Netherlands, the ICJ – which is also known as the “World Court” – settles legal disputes between States and gives advisory opinions on legal questions that have been referred to it by other authorized UN organs. read more


The Great Betrayal Northern Ireland conflict veterans raise funds for film about

first_imgVeterans march to Downing Street against Bloody Sunday prosecutions Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Veterans march to Downing Street against Bloody Sunday prosecutionsCredit:Paul Grover “At present those who served their country in the war against the IRA feel betrayed. It’s time the truth was told,” writes the organisation’s founder Alan Barry, a former soldier who served in Northern Ireland on the Justgiving website.He said: “The Great Betrayal will expose those who never faced prosecution and escaped justice,” said Mr Barry while condemning what has been branded a ‘witch hunt’ against British troops.The film-makers have so far raised only a fraction of what is needed although a financier and Conservative Party donor Christopher Mills has pledged £25,000.Mr Mills, who founded the private equity firm Harwood Capital and is said to be worth almost £300 million, said: “It is an honour to help such a worthy cause.” The PSNI’s legacy investigations branch is investigating more than 1,100 killings during the Troubles, of which more than 300 are attributed to british troops while more tha half are blamed on Republican terror groups.But Army veterans suspect they are being disproportionately targeted because official record kept by the military make them easier to investigate.They also complain that under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement paramilitaries on both sides would serve a maximum of two years for any offence including murder while British troops would be liable for life sentences. British army soldiers patrol 26 August 1971 in the Bogside quarter of the city of LondonderryCredit:AFP Mr Hutchings is expected to be the first of the cases to go to trial. He was first arrested over the death of John Pat Cunnginham, 27, who had learning difficulties, three years ago.Mr Cunningham was shot dead by an Army patrol in June 1974.  The prosecution has alleged that Mr Hutchings chased him across a field and fired his weapon three times.Lawyers for Mr Hutchings contend that he fired warning shots. Prosecutors admit they have no idea if Mr Hutchings fired the fatal shots and that is “equally possible” a second soldier, who has since died, killed Mr Cunningham.The Great Betrayal will question why – so long after the death – Mr Hutchings is being dragged to court. Veterans Justice for Northern Ireland march to Downing Street against Bloody Sunday prosecutions British army soldiers patrol 26 August 1971 in the Bogside quarter of the city of Londonderry Veterans Justice for Northern Ireland march to Downing Street against Bloody Sunday prosecutionsCredit: Paul Grover They are calling it ‘The Great Betrayal”.Veterans of the conflict in Northern Ireland are raising funds for a film about the hundreds of troops now facing possible prosecution for killings during the Troubles.Among the backers is a 76-year-old great grandfather who is to stand trial later this year charged with the attempted murder of a vulnerable Catholic man more than 43 years ago.Dennis Hutchings, a former corporal major, has donated  £100 towards the making of the documentary through the fundraising website Justgiving.“I put in what I could afford,” said Mr Hutchings, who retired to Cornwall but faces a trial in Northern Ireland later in the year. “I would like to see this film happen. It has got to happen. If it doesn’t nothing will get done about our plight.”Mr Hutchings, who suffers from kidney and heart problems, is expected to be the first of a number of former soldiers prosecuted over hundreds of historic killings being investigated by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).The film is being made by the campaign group Justice for Northern Ireland Veterans and needs to raise £50,000 to get the project off the ground.last_img read more


Robert Hedin Norway before the Draw I wish Germany and Macedonia

← Previous Story Eszter Matefi resigned – Palinger decided to STOP Next Story → EHF explained decisions about seeding EHF EURO 2012Robert Hedin In Belgrade are Norwegian national team participating at the “Serbian Trophy” with host team “A”, “B” and Slovenia. At the PRESS Conference, Norwegian coach, Robert Hedin talked about “German first pot” and of course, his wishes on tommorow Draw for EURO 2012:– There is no bad teams at the EHF EURO competitions, but if you ask me, I would like to get Germany and Macedonia. We beated Germany twice and Macedonia at the WC 2009 in Croatia.Danish reaction after decision that Germany is in the “First Pot” for the Draw was quick and impulsive. How do you react, if we know that Norway was also qualification group winner and has better results than Germany in last years…– For all of us isn’t totally clear, how Denmark isn’t in the first pot. There is no answer for this. I saw Danish reaction. For us is ok to be in second Pot. We didn’t deserved to be in the First, but Danes did. read more


Italian turnout drops in key national election

first_imgITALIANS ARE VOTING for a second day today in a national election that will determine if they are prepared to stay the course of painful economic reform or send a message of discontinuity to the political class that led the eurozone’s third-largest country to the brink of disaster by rallying around a protest party.Polls close at 2 pm, ending two days of voting in an election being closely watched by Italy’s eurozone partners as well as international investors trying to decide if they consider the third-largest economy in the Eurozone a good bet.Turnout was 55 percent when polls closed last night, seven percentage points below turnout rate in the last national election in 2008 . Experts say a low turnout will hurt the mainstream parties; usually around 80 percent of the 50 million eligible voters go to the polls.Leading the electoral field is Pier Luigi Bersani, a former communist who drafted liberalization reforms under previous center-left governments and supported tough measures pushed by incumbent Premier Mario Monti. Silvio Berlusconi, who was forced from office in November 2011 by the debt crisis, has sought to close the gap by promising constituents to restore an unpopular tax — a tactic that brought him within a hair’s breadth of winning the 2006 election. Unpopular taxMonti, respected abroad for his measures that helped stave off Italy’s debt crisis, has widely been blamed for financial suffering caused by austerity cuts and was trailing in fourth place.The great unknown is comic-turned-political agitator Beppe Grillo, whose protest movement against the entrenched political class has gained in strength following a series of corporate scandals that only seemed to confirm the worst about Italy’s establishment. If his self-styled political “tsunami,” which was polling third, sweeps into Parliament with a big chunk of seats, Italy could be in store for a prolonged period of political confusion that would spook the markets.Bersani’s lead in opinion polls, around 33 percent to Berlusconi’s 26, before a blackout on voter sentiment took effect 15 days ago would give him enough to control the lower house thanks to a widely contested electoral law that awards a premium to the leading party. But it will be more difficult for him to gain control also of the Senate, which is decided by regional votes with Lombardy, the nation’s wealthiest state and longtime Berlusconi stronghold, playing a critical role.Most analysts believe Bersani would seek an alliance with center-right Monti to secure a stable government, assuming parties gathered under Monti’s centrist banner gain enough votes. While left-leaning Bersani has found much in common with Monti, much of his party’s base is considerably further to the left and could rebel. APRead: Italy: Topless protesters hurl themselves at Berlusconi >last_img read more


Wearable computing is back Google reportedly making HUD glasses

first_imgAdmit it: at some point, you’ve dreamed of having Iron Man-style HUD glasses. Along with hoverboards and flying cars, computer-enhanced eyewear is probably one of a geek’s most-requested “future gadgets.” There’s something about having a secret, internet-powered Ninja View of your surroundings that gives you a sense of power and intelligence like no other (or so I hear).Some engineers and designers at Google may share this sci-fi fantasy. An alleged leak obtained by 9to5Google says that the company is working on its own pair of HUD glasses. These specs aren’t for Larry Page’s and Eric Schmidt’s private games of laser tag, though. They are prototypes that could make it to market sooner than you might expect.The glasses are said to have an extremely small front-facing camera, which will help to identify environmental objects (and enhance augmented reality apps?) and take pictures. It will also be equipped with a flash.As for the heads-up display, it will reside on one eye only and it won’t be transparent. So, though sci-fi typically shows these kinds of glasses having transparent displays that augment everything you see, this pair will simply offer information from the side. Navigation of the glasses’ UI will be done with head tilts and nods. Sources say that, once a user grows accustomed to this kind of control, it becomes second-nature.The glasses will reportedly also include a microphone for voice input, and some sort of earpiece for voice output. The specs are supposedly similar to a generation-old Android phone. It’s merely speculation, but the HTC EVO (released in mid-2010) comes to mind: it sports a 1GHz Snapdragon processor and 512MB of RAM. The glasses would obviously be wirelessly connected, and would ride on a 3G or 4G network.Google reportedly hasn’t yet decided how to release or market the glasses, and is playing it close to the chest (unsuccessfully, if this leak is legit). The company supposedly isn’t sure whether the device has market appeal, and is considering releasing them in a pilot program — similar to the Cr-48 Chromebooks.via 9to5Googlelast_img read more


Witness appeal after man and 4 teenage girls hospitalised following collision in

first_img Wednesday 20 Mar 2019, 3:26 PM Clogrennane, Ballinabranagh, Co Carlow 4 Comments 29,422 Views Share72 Tweet Email1 GARDAÍ ARE APPEALING for witnesses after a man and four teenagers were involved in a serious single vehicle collision in Co Carlow. The incident happened at Clogrennane, Ballinabranagh at around 11.50am this morning. Gardaí and emergency services are currently at the scene. Five occupants of the car, a man in his 20s and four teenage girls, have been taken to the Midland Regional Hospital and St Lukes General Hospital Kilkenny.Two of the occupants serious injuries, according to gardaí. A technical and forensic examination of the scene is currently underway. The road remains closed and diversions are in place. Gardaí are appealing to witnesses travelling on the Ballinabranagh Road between 11.40am and 12.15pm to contact Carlow Garda Station on 059 913 6620, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111, or any garda station. https://jrnl.ie/4552294 Clogrennane, Ballinabranagh, Co Carlow Image: Google Mapscenter_img Witness appeal after man and 4 teenage girls hospitalised following collision in Co Carlow The incident happened at Clogrennane, Ballinabranagh at around 11.50am this morning. By Hayley Halpin Image: Google Maps Short URL Mar 20th 2019, 3:26 PM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more


Woman killed in Venezuela riots as Guaido urges sweeping public sector strikes

first_imgWoman killed in Venezuela riots as Guaido urges sweeping public sector strikes The opposition leader is continuing his calls for public protests on the streets of Venezuela. Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Share11 Tweet Email Short URL https://jrnl.ie/4616170 By Conor McCrave Thursday 2 May 2019, 7:39 AM 6,981 Views Image: Shutterstock/Ruben Alfonzo May 2nd 2019, 7:39 AM 31 Comments Image: Shutterstock/Ruben Alfonzo ONE WOMAN HAS died and more than forty people were injured in Venezuela yesterday during clashes between armed forces and opposition supporters.Opposition leader Juan Guaido made a call for Venezuela’s military to get behind him after claiming President Nicolas Maduro’s re-election last year was not legitimate.It comes following days of protests, with Guaido now calling for public employees to move for industrial action and walk out of their jobs, under threat that they might lose their jobs if they do. Guaido, who heads the National Assembly legislature, invoked the Venezuelan constitution, declaring himself as acting president on 23 January with growing tensions turning to public protests and rioting in recent days.Human rights organisations and health services reported 46 people injured in yesterday’s clashes, including one person with a gunshot wound.A 27-year-old woman reportedly died after being hit by a “bullet in the head during a demonstrations,” the non-governmental Venezuelan Observatory of Social Conflict said on Twitter.National Guard troops fired tear gas at stone-throwing protestors attempting to block a highway close to the air base in eastern Caracas, where Guaido had tried to spark a military uprising on Tuesday. A second day of confrontations between opposition supporters and Maduro’s security services came as the United States said it was prepared to take military action, if necessary, to stem the crisis in the South American nation.At least one journalist was injured when National Guard soldiers fired rubber bullets at a group of reporters covering the clashes.A local 17-year-old man reported to a medical center saying he had been shot in the foot while protesting on the highway near the La Carlota air base. “I didn’t manage to run and hide,” he said.Guaido rallied his supporters in Caracas for the Labor Day demonstrations, urging them to stay in the streets.His appeal came despite the apparent failure the day before of a revolt by some soldiers and members of the Bolivarian National Guard who joined his side.  In Tuesday’s clashes, one person was killed and dozens injured, according to human rights monitors. More than 150 people were arrested, the government and human rights organizations said.UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres warned Venezuelan authorities not to use deadly force against demonstrators, while the US and Russia accused each other of making the crisis worse.SanctionsThe US government has previously sanctioned Venezuela, including sanctions on oil sales – a huge money-maker for the country – in a move to hinder Maduro’s regime. In an address yesterday, Maduro alleged that the ‘so-called coup d’etat’ had been organized from the White House by US national security advisor John Bolton.Guaido said his supporters will remain on the streets until Maduro is removed. “We’re going to remain in the streets until we achieve freedom for the Venezuelan people.“The regime will try to increase the repression. It will try to persecute me, to stage a coup d’etat,” said Guaido, recognized by more than 50 countries as the country’s interim president.He said staggered industrial action would begin today, leading to a general strike.Venezuela has suffered five years of a recession, marked by shortages of basic necessities as well as failing public services, including water, electricity and transport.With reporting from AFP.© – AFP 2019Guaido is now calling for public employees to move for industrial action and walk out of their jobs under threat that they might lose their jobs. last_img read more


Bahamas Junior Junkanoo Seed Money Presented

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Bahamas, November 3, 2017 – Nassau – Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture the Hon. Michael Pintard (front row centre) and his Director of Culture Rowena Sutherland (right of Minister) are pictured with stakeholders and recipients, during the Junior Junkanoo Seed Money Presentation, held on October 30, 2017, at the Kendal Isaacs Gymnasium.(BIS Photo/Kristaan Ingraham) Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:last_img read more


Weather Eye December should begin on mellow note

first_imgAfter a wild week or two of November weather, things look to be rather calm after a little rain Tuesday, maybe into Wednesday morning. Strong high pressure builds in over the great Northwest and December begins on a mellow note.The only problem with high pressure this time of the year without easterly winds is, yeah you guessed it, fog. And sometimes it can be rather persistent during the day before we see much clearing. Let’s hope that doesn’t occur this time around.At least after Tuesday the week will be good for holiday errands and such. There will be nothing to shovel and no rush to unclog gutters and downspouts. And maybe one can get the remaining leaves raked up and decorate for the holidays.See, always a silver lining in the clouds, right?The remainder of my holiday in Sunriver was uneventful weather wise after the snow on Thanksgiving. Mostly sunny skies and very mild temperatures. The trip home over the mountains wasn’t bad either.I hope everyone had a pleasant holiday.Thinking about weather gifts, I would recommend a weather radio for each household. My favorite is a handheld radio durable enough for outside use, such as camping and hiking. These NOAA weather radios can alert you to watches and warnings as well as national emergencies. I got mine at Radio Shack and purchased the optional AC adapter so I can keep it plugged in and on standby mode in the house. I always carry it while at the beach in case of tsunami warnings.last_img read more


Aibos dark side Why Illinois bans Sonys robot dog

first_img 9 Photos Security Cameras Security Tags Share your voice CNET Smart Home Illinois law The Biometric Information Privacy Act was established in 2008 to regulate “the collection, use, safeguarding, handling, storage, retention, and destruction of biometric identifiers and information.” BIPA defines “biometric identifiers” as retina scans, iris scans, fingerprints, hand scans, face scans and voiceprints. Basically, an individual or a company needs “informed written consent” to use another individual’s biometric info.  State senator Terry Link for Illinois’ 30th district introduced Senate Bill 2400 on Feb. 14, 2008 to protect the biometric privacy of Illinois residents. State senators Christine Radogno, Iris Y. Martinez, David Koehler and Heather Steans served as co-sponsors of the bill. It was approved as the Biometric Information Privacy Act on Oct. 3, 2008.Senator Link filed an amendment to BIPA on May 26, 2016 to redefine “biometric identifier,” to make it easier to collect certain biometric data, but later withdrew the amendment.A Sony support page titled “Why Is Aibo Not for Sale in Illinois?” simply says: Due to state regulations and policies, the Aibo™ robotic companion is not for sale or use in Illinois. In order to mimic the behavior of an actual pet, an Aibo device will learn to behave differently around familiar people. To enable this recognition, Aibo conducts a facial analysis of those it observes through its cameras. This facial-recognition data may constitute “biometric information” under the law of Illinois, which places specific obligations on parties collecting biometric information. Thus, we decided to prohibit purchase and use of Aibo by residents of Illinois. While Sony simply opted out of selling the face-detecting Aibo in Illinois, other companies, like Nest, sell their facial recognition-enabled cams in Illinois, with the facial recognition feature disabled. Facial recognition 101: Your face is your new fingerprint Amazon’s Ring takes heat for considering facial recognition for its video doorbells Microsoft calls for regulation of facial-recognition technology Now playing: Watch this: Security cameras with facial recognition tech inside Honeywell Nest Facial recognition Privacy Google Sonycenter_img Facial recognition: Get to know the tech that gets to… In other facial recognition news 5:11 31 I’m watching Aibo, Sony’s robo-dog, scuttle around the office. Its mechanical joints make slow, noisy work of it on the concrete floor, but I can’t help but be mildly heart-warmed. I’d rather have a real dog here, but there’s something charming about Aibo. This is part of a CNET special report exploring the benefits and pitfalls of facial recognition. James Martin/CNET The $2,900 pup is a companion robot, one Sony claims “learns its environment and develops relationships with people.” Aibo even enlists a camera in its nose to scan faces and determine who’s who so it can react to them differently.Because of our office pet’s face-detecting capabilities, Sony doesn’t sell Aibo in Illinois. The state’s Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) regulates the collection of biometric data, including face scans.So Aibo’s out in the land of Lincoln, but the story doesn’t stop with Sony’s quirky robot. Illinois also limits access to facial recognition in home security cameras, a feature that’s becoming increasingly prevalent in the consumer security market. Let’s take a closer look at BIPA, the growth of biometric tech in consumer products — and how other states in the US treat your biometric info. A quick visit to the Nest Cam IQ Indoor page says “Familiar face alerts require a Nest Aware subscription. Not available on Nest Cams used in Illinois.”The Nest Cam IQ Indoor has an optional feature called familiar face alerts that you pay a monthly (or yearly) fee to access via the Nest Aware service. Like many other home security cameras with facial recognition, the IQ Indoor allows you to create a database with the faces of friends, family members, caregivers and any other people that regularly visit your home. That way, when you get a motion alert, the Nest app tells you it sees “Molly” or “Tyler.”That feature won’t work in Illinois, even if you pay for Nest Aware. Google disables Nest’s facial recognition capabilities in the state: “We use a variety of factors to determine a user’s location, including IP address of their devices and the physical address associated with their account,” a Google spokesperson told me over email. Privacy talk Although BIPA remains the strictest state privacy law, Texas and Washington also regulate biometric information. A Texas law, established in 2009, similarly defines biometric identifiers as “a retina or iris scan, fingerprint, voiceprint, or record of hand or face geometry.”A section of the law states: “A person may not capture a biometric identifier of an individual for a commercial purpose unless the person: informs the individual before capturing the biometric identifier; and receives the individual’s consent to capture the biometric identifier.” Washington’s 2017 House Bill 493 doesn’t specifically reference face or hand scans in its definition of biometric identifier. The definition also doesn’t include “a physical or digital photograph, video or audio recording or data generated therefrom, or information collected, used, or stored for health care treatment, payment, or operations under the federal health insurance portability and accountability act of 1996.” The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit advocacy group for digital privacy, supports state regulation of biometric data.”When you start to capture biometrics from people it turns a corner to where we think that shouldn’t be happening without the consent of the person who’s biometrics are being taken,” EFF senior staff attorney Adam Schwartz says during a phone interview while referencing Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act.”What it says [BIPA] is that, one private person can’t take biometrics from another private person without their consent. And that’s where we [the EFF] would draw the line,” Schwartz adds. The facial recognition landscape  At the same time that states are implementing biometric privacy laws, we’re seeing more consumer devices with facial recognition. Here’s a list of home security cameras you can buy today with facial recognition capabilities.Honeywell Smart Home Security  Nest Cam IQ Indoor Nest Cam IQ OutdoorNest HelloNetatmo Welcome Tend Secure Lynx  Tend Secure Lynx Pro Wisenet SmartCam N1Not only is facial recognition more prevalent, we’re also seeing more products that enlist fingerprints or hand scans. The iPhone and other smartphones have fingerprint-scanning capabilities so you can quickly unlock your phone. I saw a smart lock at CES 2019 called the Elecpro US:E that relies on a face scan and a hand scan to unlock.Airports are increasingly adding tech that scans faces or fingerprints to determine who you are, too. Schwartz refers to the growing popularity of biometric tech as a “normalization of biometrics,” something the EFF finds concerning, he says. “If you start using biometrics to board your airplane because it’s convenient, other forms of biometrics seem more normal. We’re very concerned about that,” explains Schwartz. Whether or not you’re personally concerned about your biometric data, expect to see more regulations around it in the coming years. Alaska, Michigan, Montana and New Hampshire are already working on their own biometric laws. And, given the influx of devices that use biometric information both for consumer and commercial purposes, more are probably on the way. Commentslast_img read more


Governor may release video of St Michael man who died in prison

first_imgA view of St. Michael. (KNOM file photo)Almost a year after Larry Kobuk’s death, a special assistant to the governor traveled to St. Michael last week and met with the late man’s family.Kobuk died in January after being restrained at the Anchorage Correctional Complex. His was one of many inmate deaths in the last few years that led Gov. Bill Walker to call for an independent review of Alaska’s Department of Corrections.Download AudioSince the highly critical report came out last month, the governor’s office has said prisons need to be safer — and released the videos of two inmate deaths.Larry Kobuk’s video could be out next.Before Dean Williams was special assistant to the governor and co-wrote the recent DOC review, he ran the McLaughlin Youth Center in Anchorage. Before that, he led the Nome Youth Facility and worked at the district attorney’s offices in Nome and Kotzebue. When he looks back at his long career, though, Williams said meeting Larry’s Kobuk’s family in St. Michael will be one of the days that sticks out most.“Very emotional. Larry’s mother started off the meeting with a prayer, and she invited all of the siblings along,” Williams said. “They knew I had brought the video of Larry’s death inside the prison. I warned them all ahead of time. Of course, it was difficult to watch.”According to the review, the video shows Kobuk brought into booking around 11 p.m. after he was arrested for vehicle theft and eluding police. He tells a nurse he has a heart condition and takes medicine, and then he refuses to give his sweatshirts to correctional staff. He’s taken to a cell, and then the video shows officers placing him face down before they remove his handcuffs and clothes.The DOC report notes that officers are “on Mr. Kobuk’s back” during this process and that he “yells several times” that he can’t breathe. Minutes later, when Kobuk is still face down and unmoving, officers try to rouse him and begin “life-saving efforts.” Kobuk is eventually taken to a hospital and pronounced dead before 1 a.m.Helen Paniptchuk is Kobuk’s mother. She saw the video for the first time last week, and she said she considers the correctional staff responsible for her son’s death.“They literally killed him,” said Paniptchuk. “There’s absolutely no reason why it should have happened. I mean, they literally took out a 33-year-old man’s life.”The report said there was no personnel investigation after Kobuk’s death, and the DOC did not find the restraint process to be excessive. The review, on the other hand, stated that “an inmate with a reported heart condition might warrant decreased force,” especially since Kobuk did not appear to present a safety threat.Despite Paniptchuk’s frustration that no correctional staff was charged with misconduct in the incident, she said meeting with Williams and finally seeing the video was a “godsend” that helped her family find closure.“The guys who did this to Larry, they should be accountable, too. But love and mercy to the people that did this to him — to my son and to the other inmates as well,” she said.Gov. Walker has already released the videos for two of the four inmate deaths highlighted in the DOC report, and Williams said Kobuk’s could be made public soon. Ultimately, it’s the governor’s decision, but Williams has been visiting the families of late inmates first — to show them the videos in advance and get their input.He said the goal is be transparent about the problems in Alaska prisons, and so far, most family members have been on board.Paniptchuk said it’s very important that the video of her son’s death be made public.“My thought process behind getting it released is that you can see what actually happened,” she said. “The truth shall set us free, and the truth will set a lot of peoples’ minds free about what happened to Larry.”Beyond helping families find closure, Williams said releasing the videos is another way for the state to show its commitment to changing Alaska’s prison system for the better.“I’ve never been able to fix anything — whether it’s your car or your life or anything — without knowing what the problem is first,” he said. “I think the first thing we have to get is beyond any sense of denial and say: ‘This is what happened. Why do we think it happened? And what can we do differently the next time?’”The report outlines several things the DOC can do differently, including providing better training for prison staff and creating an internal investigation team that reports outside the department.The recommendations were based on visits to correctional facilities around the state, interviews with inmates and prison employees, and the videos of 11 inmate deaths — much of which pointed towards unclear and out-of-date policies, broken chains of command, and flawed attempts by the DOC to investigate itself in cases of alleged misconduct.Williams said the governor is looking seriously at all the recommendations and has already started on some. Walker removed the DOC Commissioner, and Williams said his interim replacement has begun updating corrections policies, some of which haven’t been revised since the 1980s.Williams said they’ve also started developing the internal affairs agency to handle DOC investigations by researching other models, a preliminary process that may take six months to a year.The decision on the video of Larry Kobuk’s death, however, should come much quicker. Williams met with Walker this week to share his experience with Kobuk’s family in St. Michael, and he said the governor will make a final decision soon. If the video is made public, it’ll be available through news outlets, not through the DOC or governor’s websites.In the meantime, Williams said the governor’s office is dedicated to making Alaska’s prisons safe and rebuilding public trust.“It’s important work, and it’s one the governor is committed to seeing through. I am as well,” he said. “There’s kind of a calling on this now. We’re not going anywhere.”last_img read more


Carbon nanotube film restores light sensitivity to blind retinas

first_img Journal information: Nano Letters The development of artificial retinas still faces many challenges: the implants should provide long-term light sensitivity, should have high spatial resolution, should not contain wires, and should be made of materials that are biocompatible and mechanically flexible. Candidate materials include conducting polymers and quantum dot films, with each having its own advantages and disadvantages in these areas.Another approach to restoring light sensitivity involves optogenetics, in which light-sensitive proteins (bacterial opsins) are introduced into neurons in the retina. However, this method still requires an electrode to assist in light-induced stimulation of these neurons. In a new paper published in Nano Letters, researchers at Tel Aviv University, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and Newcastle University have found that a film containing carbon nanotubes and nanorods is particularly effective for wire-free retinal photostimulation. “The greatest significance of our work is in demonstrating how new materials (quantum rods combined with carbon nanotubes) can yield a new system suitable for efficient stimulation of a neuronal system,” coauthor Yael Hanein, Professor at Tel Aviv University, told Phys.org.The researchers showed that, when the film is attached to a chick retina at 14 days of development (at a time when the retinas are not yet light-sensitive, and so completely blind), the retinas produce a photogenerated current—a neuronal signal that can then be interpreted by the brain. In the new film structure, the nanorods are interspersed throughout a 3D porous carbon nanotube matrix, and the resulting film is then patterned onto a flexible substrate for implantation. The researchers explain that the 3D structure of the new film provides several advantages, which include high light absorbance, strong binding to neurons, and efficient charge transfer. While other candidate materials for artificial retinas, such as silicon, are rigid, nontransparent, and require an external power source, the new material does not have these problems.With these advantages, the new films look very promising for use in future artificial retina applications. The researchers also expect that the films could be improved even more with further research.”At the present, we study the new implants in vivo, attempting to demonstrate their performances over long-term implantation,” Hanein said. “We teamed up with a retina surgeon to develop an implantation and testing procedures compatible with conventional surgical practices towards attempting human trials in the future.” Carbon nanotubes combined with nanorods are used to create a light-sensitive film, potentially replacing damaged photoreceptors in the retina. Charge separation at the nanorod-nanotube interface elicits a neuronal response, which could then be interpretted by the brain. Credit: Bareket, et al. ©2014 American Chemical Society Photoelectric dye-coupled thin film as a novel type of retinal prosthesis 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. © 2014 Phys.orgcenter_img (Phys.org) —Light striking the retina in the back of the eye is the first major step in the vision process. But when the photoreceptors in the retina degenerate, as occurs in macular degeneration, the retina no longer responds to light, and the person loses some or all of their sight. However, if the retina can be made sensitive to light with the help of some type of optoelectronic implant, then vision may be restored. Citation: Carbon nanotube film restores light sensitivity to blind retinas (2014, November 11) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-11-carbon-nanotube-sensitivity-retinas.html More information: Lilach Bareket, et al. “Semiconductor Nanorod-Carbon Nanotube Biomimetic Films for Wire-Free Photostimulation of Blind Retinas.” Nano Letters. DOI: 10.1021/nl5034304 Explore furtherlast_img read more


Women bag top 3 places in Smart India Hackathon at IITKGP

first_imgKolkata: Three all-woman teams have emerged as the winner and two runners-up at the Grand Finale of Smart India Hackathon 2018Hardware Edition at the IIT Kharagpur, a statement from the institute said today. The teams devised innovative prototypes in Agriculture/Agro-electronics sector which was the theme of the Hackathon at the IIT-KGP. The institute was one of the 10 nodal centres across the country for the Hackathon, each having different themes for the contending teams and would have their own winners. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flights While ‘Whistling Cookers’ team of the Avinashilingam Deemed University for Women, Coimbatore, was declared the winner at the IIT-KGP, first runner-up, Team Buddies, was from the same institution, an IIT KGP statement said today. The second runner-up was ‘Team Askurvara’ from the Silicon Institute of Technology, Bhubaneswar. The winning team designed a prototype for ‘non-destructive estimation of sugar content of fruits using visible-light imaging’, the statement said. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killed The top three winning teams won cash prizes of Rs 100,000, Rs 75,000 and Rs 50,000 respectively, it said. At the IIT-KGP, nine teams from all over the country brainstormed over the theme ‘Agriculture/Agro-Electronics’ to build their hardware solutions as a working prototype. The event at IIT-KGP saw innovations in smart drip irrigation, technology-powered mechanical harvesters and soil testing and cost-effective detection of the status of fruits and vegetables. They were among the total 150 short-listed teams in final round as the rest 141 competed at other nodal centres. The Smart India Hackathon 2018 Hardware edition was initiated by the Ministry of HRD to provide a national platform to young technical minds to showcase their innovations in devising products which can bring about significant changes in sectors like agriculture, health, clean water, waste management, automotive, smart communication and education. The event was inaugurated on June 18 by Union HRD minister, Prakash Javadekar through video-conferencing.last_img read more