HC permits Nalini to argue her plea for leave in person on

first_imgChennai: The Madras High Court on Tuesday granted permission to Nalini Sriharan, serving life sentence in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, to appear in person on July 5 to argue her plea for six months’ ordinary leave to make arrangements for her daughter’s wedding.Nalini, who has been in prison for over 27 years, wanted the court to direct the Superintendent of Police, Special Prison for Women in Vellore, to produce her before the court so that she could argue her case for leave as party-in-person. Also Read – Cong may promise farm loan waiver in HaryanaA division bench of justices M M Sundaresh and M Nirmal Kumar gave her permission to personally appear on that day at 2.15 pm to argue her case, but made it clear that she shall act in accordance with the prison manual and rules and co-operate with the police escort. “This court is not in a position to deny her request. After all, a lawyer is only a representative of a party. “When the party wishes to appear in person and put forth her case, the court of law is not required to reject the request until and unless strong reasons exist,” it said. The court rejected the contention of the state counsel that there can be a law and order situation if Nalini is allowed to appear in person. Also Read – Modi formed OBC commission which earlier govts didn’t do: Shah”The APP (Additional Public Prosecutor) apprehends likelihood of law and order situation during her appearance. But we do not find any existing material on the apprehension. We direct the respondents to produce the petitioner before this court at 2.15 pm on July 5,” it said. The bench made it clear that it was open to prison authorities and police to take appropriate steps towards protection and security. “We further make it clear that petitioner shall act in accordance with the prison manual and rules and cooperate with the police escort,” it said. The court had on June 11 observed that the right of Nalini to appear in person to argue her plea cannot be denied. According to Nalini, a life convict is entitled to one-month leave once in two years and since she had never availed such ordinary leave for more than 27 years, she made a representation to prison authorities on February 25 seeking six months’ leave to make arrangement for her daughter’s marriage. Subsequently, Nalini’s mother also made a similar representation on March 22. As the authorities failed to consider her representation, she moved the high court. Nalini was initially sentenced to death for her involvement in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. However, her death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment by the Tamil Nadu government on April 24, 2000. She claimed that after commutation of her death sentence, around 3,700 life convicts, who had served 10 years of imprisonment and less, were released by the Tamil Nadu government. “My request to the state for premature release under the 1994 scheme of premature release of life convicts was cleared by the council of ministers and on September 9, 2018, the council advised the governor to release me and other six life convicts in the case. “But it has been over six months and the decision of the state is still yet to be implemented,” she had submitted. The AIADMK government had adopted a resolution recommending to Governor Banwarilal Purohit the release of seven lifers — Murugan, Santhan, Perarivalan, Jayakumar, Ravichandran, Robert Payas and Nalini. Chief Minister K Palaniswami had said his government was committed to the release of the convicts and expressed the hope that the governor would act on the cabinet recommendation for setting them free. His statement came amid renewed calls, both from the opposition and Tamil groups, for the release of the convicts, after the Supreme Court disposed of a plea against freeing them filed by the relatives of those killed along with Rajiv Gandhi. Former PM Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by an LTTE suicide bomber during an election rally at Sriperumpudur near here on May 21, 1991.last_img read more


first_imgAdvertisement Summer 2018 Top Selling ActsBased on total sales on StubHub for 2018 Canadian dates from May 21 to September 3, 2018Ed SheeranFoo FightersRadioheadEaglesHarry StylesDrake  U2Taylor SwiftShania TwainSam Smith“The 2018 summer concert season is extremely diverse this year,” said Jeff Poirier, General Manager of Music, Theatre and Performing Arts for StubHub. “Newer pop acts continue to flourish next to older legacy bands, while acts from the ’90s are showing a particularly strong comeback this year.” TORONTO, June 6, 2018 — StubHub, the world’s largest ticket marketplace, today released its annual preview of the Canadian summer concert landscape, breaking down the most in-demand touring acts of summer 2018. For the second year in a row, singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran is the most in-demand touring act in Canada, beating out Foo Fighters, Radiohead and Eagles, in the next three spots. Former One Direction vocalist Harry Styles continues to demonstrate his strength as a solo artist claiming StubHub’s number five spot of the summer. Drake, hip-hop star and Toronto’s favourite son, comes in at number six thanks to the recent announcement of his Aubrey and Three Migos tour. 2018 also marks the official return to the road for Timmins’ own Shania Twain, whose highly anticipated tour has her performing 14 shows in Canada this summer. Facebook TOP TRENDSThe Nineties are Back!’90s nostalgia reigns supreme this summer with Foo Fighters and Radiohead taking spots two & three on the list. Also, although not in the top 10, Smashing Pumpkins, Weezer, and Bush are all on road this summer.This is the first time Foo Fighters have placed in the top 10 since 2015, and the first time Radiohead has appeared in a StubHub summer concert top 10 preview. Advertisement Harry Styles Going in One Direction…Up!Breaking away from the boy band has been good for Harry Styles – he placed number five for top selling acts across Canada, and first place in Vancouver, where he performs on July 6.The last time Styles cracked the summer top 10 list was in 2015, when One Direction placed number six. Advertisement BREAKING DOWN THE TOP 10The Height of StardomEd Sheeran is the top selling act in Canada for the second summer in a row, cementing his superstar status across the nation.center_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Breakdown by CityRegional differences are alive and well this summer, with different artists topping the list of most in-demand acts for each major Canadian city.Toronto Top Summer Acts                                    1. Ed Sheeran2. Foo Fighters3. Eagles4. Radiohead5. Harry StylesMontreal Top Summer Acts                                               1. U22. Radiohead3. Shania Twain4. Sam Smith5. Paul SimonVancouver Top Summer Acts                                            1. Harry Styles2. David Byrne3. Jack White4. Tom Jones5. Erasure2018 Top Canadian Festivals                                             With a musically diverse lineup including Foo Fighters, The Weeknd, Lorde, and Neil Young, Quebec City’s Summer Festival tops the list of most in-demand 2018 Canadian music festivals based on ticket sales. The rest of the top five include the always popular Osheaga (number one on last year’s list), Boots and Hearts, and Shambhala festivals:1. Quebec City Summer Festival2. Ever After Music Festival3. Osheaga Music and Arts Festival4. Shambhala Music Festival5. Boots and Hearts Music FestivalStubHub offers the widest selection of tickets to events in 48 countries around the world. Tickets for the summer concert season are available now along with thousands of other events in sports and theater. As always, StubHub backs all listings with its market-leading FanProtect™ Guarantee and fans can use StubHub’s best value feature and price alerts technology to find the perfect seats for any event.About StubHub At StubHub, our mission is simple: help fans find fun. We connect fans with their favorite teams, shows and artists and introduce them to the ones they’ll love next. As the largest ticket marketplace in the world, we enable fans to buy and sell tickets to tens of thousands of events, whenever they want, through our desktop and mobile experiences, including our StubHub app for iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Android. Offering a superior fan experience at its core, StubHub reinvented the ticket resale market in 2000 and continues to lead it through innovation. Our industry firsts include the introduction of the first ticketing application, the first interactive seat mapping tool and the first live entertainment rewards program. Our business partners include more than 130 properties in NHL, MLB, NFL, NBA, MLS, CFL and NCAA, plus AEG, AXS and Paciolan. With the acquisition of Ticketbis in August 2016, throughout the world, StubHub provides the total end-to-end event going experience. StubHub is an eBay company (NASDAQ: EBAY).  For more information on StubHub, visit StubHub.com or follow @StubHub on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram or YouTube.com/StubHub. Twitter (PRNewsfoto/StubHub) Login/Register With: The King of the Six and Canada’s Country QueenThe only Canadians to make the top ten are Drake at number six, and the reigning queen of country Shania Twain at number nine. Last summer, it was The Weeknd, who landed at number eight on StubHub’s list. New Year, New ActsOther than Sheeran, the only other repeating act from last year in the top 10 list is U2, which placed fourth in 2017, but sixth in 2018.last_img read more

Most actively traded companies on the TSX

first_imgSome of the most active companies traded Tuesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange:Toronto Stock Exchange (14,667.83, down 60.45 points).Aurora Cannabis Inc. (TSX:ACB). Health care. Up 26 cents, or 3.39 per cent, to $7.93 on 20.1 million shares.Aphria Inc. (TSX:APHA). Health care. Up 67 cents, or 8.9 per cent, to $8.20 on 14.9 million shares.Bombardier Inc. (TSX:BBD.B). Industrials. Up eight cents, or 3.8 per cent, to $2.18 on 9.8 million shares.RNC Materials Corp. (TSX:RNX). Metals. Up five cents, or 10 per cent, to 55 cents on 7.3 million shares.Manulife Financial Corp. (TSX:MFC). Financials. Down 19 cents, or 0.95 per cent, to $19.85 on 6.5 million shares.Baytex Energy Corp. (TSX:BTE). Energy. Down nine cents, or 3.9 per cent, to $2.22 on 5.9 million shares.Companies reporting major news:Cenovus Energy Inc. (TSX:CVE). Up six cents to $10.10. Oilsands producers Cenovus Energy and Athabasca Oil Corp. have announced capital budgets that restrict spending to what’s required to almost maintain current production levels in 2019. Cenovus said it will spend between $1.2 billion and $1.4 billion next year, down about four per cent from this year’s budget, with a target of a two per cent decline in overall production to between 472,000 and 500,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2019. Smaller Athabasca is cutting its spending by about half and will also reduce the number of Calgary head office staff by 25 per cent and cut its executive and director salaries by 10 per cent to save money.Enbridge Inc. (TSX:ENB). Up three cents to $42.12. Enbridge is proposing a fundamental change in how it assigns space on its Mainline pipeline system that will allow up to 90 per cent of its capacity to be reserved for priority customers. The 2.85-million-barrel-per-day network of pipelines operates as a common carrier, where customers nominate the volume of crude they would like to ship each month. Those nominations have exceeded the volume available for much of 2018, leading to “apportioning” or cutbacks in all shipments, which have angered many producers.MTY Food Group Inc. (TSX:MTY). Down 22 cents to $62.77. MTY Food has signed a deal to acquire South St. Burger, a chain of gourmet burger restaurants, for an undisclosed price. The burger chain will join MTY’s stable of restaurants that includes food court staples such as Thai Express, Vanellis and Manchu Wok as well as Baton Rouge, Pizza Delight and Scores restaurants. South St. has 26 franchised and 14 corporate restaurants.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Most actively traded companies on the TSX TSX Venture Exchange markets

by The Canadian Press Posted Nov 2, 2012 6:37 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email TORONTO – Some of the most active companies traded Friday on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the TSX Venture Exchange:Toronto Stock Exchange (12,380.41 down 119.34 points):Baja Mining Corp. (TSX:BAJ). Miner. Up four cents, or 38.10 per cent, at 14.5 cents on 7,111,997 shares.Bombardier Inc. (TSX:BBD.B). Transportation equipment. Down eight cents, or 2.13 per cent, at $3.68 on 5,566,161 shares. The plane and train maker’s plant northeast of Quebec City began its first strike Thursday in more than 30 years over concerns about sub-contracting, pensions and wages. The plant is building the sidewalls and roofs for an order from Toronto for 420 subway cars and interior finishings for 706 Chicago transit cars.Talisman Energy Inc. (TSX:TLM). Oil and gas. Down 21 cents or 1.86 per cent, at $11.10 on 5,559,741 shares. The energy sector had one of the biggest declines, dropping 1.47 per cent to 258.46 points. The December crude contract fell US$2.23 to $84.86 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.Kinross Gold Corp. (TSX:K). Miner. Down 55 cents, or 5.56 per cent, at $9.34 on 5,419,317 shares. The gold sector had the largest drop, falling 4.41 per cent to 324.56 points.New Gold Inc. (TSX:NGD). Miner. Down $1.03, or 8.74 per cent, at $10.75 on 5,388,647 shares.Yamana Gold Inc. (TSX:YRI). Miner. Down $1.02, or 5.09 per cent, at $19 on 4,879,378 shares.TSX Venture Exchange (1,310.03 down 11.26 points):Porto Energy Corp. (TSXV:PEC). Oil and gas explorer. Down 4.5 cents, or 45 per cent, at 5.5 cents on 11,122,416 shares.Prodigy Gold Inc. (TSX:PDG). Miner developer. Down two cents, or 1.87 per cent, at $1.05 on 3,471,402 shares.Companies reporting major news:Thomson Reuters (TSX:TRI). Data and information. Down 37 cents, or 1.30 per cent, at $28.06 on 1,090,306 shares. The specialized news provider earned a profit of US$462 million or 56 cents per share compared with $369 million or 44 cents in the same period last year. Revenue totalled $3.22 billion, down from $3.45 billion.Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (TSX:VRX). Drug maker. Down 33 cents, or 0.58 per cent, at $56.20 on 645,923 shares. Canada’s largest publicly traded drug maker says acquisition and other costs drove its third-quarter profits 81 per cent lower despite a 50 per cent rise on revenues. Most actively traded companies on the TSX, TSX Venture Exchange markets read more

West Indies spark spiritofcricket debate with controversial dismissal

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedWest Indies ‘mankad’ Zimbabwe to enter quarterfinal – under-19 world cupFebruary 2, 2016In “Sports”Rovman Powell disappointed over umpiring errorDecember 15, 2018In “latest news”Lara ’embarrassed’ by unsporting West Indies behaviour of oldSeptember 5, 2017In “latest news” West Indies have once again ignited the spirit-of-cricket debate at the Under-19 World Cup, when they appealed against South Africa opener Jiveshan Pillay for obstructing the field in their Group A fixture in Mount Maunganui.West Indies captain Emmanuel Stewart appeals (International Cricket Council photo)Emmanuel Stewart, the West Indies captain and wicketkeeper, made the appeal after Pillay picked up the ball close to off stump, even though it was stationary after rolling off an inside edge. The third umpire Ranmore Martinesz was called in and the decision went in West Indies’ favour after a long wait and a number of replays. The incident occurred in the 17th over of South Africa’s innings, when they were 77 for 2.Once the decision was referred to the TV umpire, it was going to be difficult to give the batsman not out unless Stewart and West Indies withdrew the appeal. Law 37.4, which deals with ‘returning the ball to a fielder’, states: “Either batsman is out obstructing the field if, at any time while the ball is in play and, without the consent of a fielder, he/she uses the bat or any part of his/her person to return the ball to any fielder.”South Africa Under-19 coach Laurence Mahatlane was measured in his reaction during the innings break. “Our take is very simple: we play to the laws of the game and it’s part of the laws,” he said. “It’s happened and hopefully we’ll learn for a long time from it.”West Indies’ actions in this game are likely to be debated widely, as they were at the 2016 World Cup when their bowler Keemo Paul effected a mankad to dismiss Zimbabwe’s last wicket – Richard Ngarava – to win a must-win group game. They eventually went on to win the tournament. West Indies were in a must-win position against South Africa in this game too, having lost their tournament opener against New Zealand.In 2016, former West Indies fast bowler Ian Bishop had defended the U-19 side against criticism for the mankad, but he was less supportive of this obstructing-the-field dismissal.“This is an unfortunate issue,” Bishop, one of the commentators at the game, told Fox Sports. “The batsman isn’t trying to gain an advantage. He is not trying to being unfair. The umpires have done what they need to do. The ball has stopped. It’s not threatening the stumps. I don’t really necessarily feel as if that’s a good law. It could take a re-look.“The batsman is not trying to gain an unfair advantage. All he is trying to do is help out the fielding team. I would have to have a deeper look at myself if I was the fielding captain. Can I use some discretion here for the sake of the game and whatever the spirit of the game means? I wouldn’t have gone that way. He’s obviously a bright kid and he understands the letter of the law. On this occasion it’s slightly different for me compared to the last World Cup.” (ESPNCricinfo) read more

At least 125 killed as storms batter India

The dust storm also hit the capital Delhi (EPA image)AGRA, India (AFP) — A huge dust storm and lightning strikes killed at least 125 people across India which braced Thursday for more wild weather.Dust clouds plunged swathes of north India into darkness as choking winds of more than 130 kilometres (80 miles) per hour swept across the states of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Punjab, flattening houses, walls, trees and power pylons.At least 111 people were killed, many as they slept when walls and roofs came tumbling down on them.Another 14 people were killed in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh which was hammered by more than 41,000 lightning strikes on Wednesday, disaster officials said.Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan bore the brunt of the dust storm that was blamed on a collision of two weather fronts with India in the grip of higher temperatures than normal.Some districts reported 45 minutes of destructive winds followed by fierce lightning storms.Similar storms kill many people each year in India but this was one of the most severe in recent decades.Shivam Lohia, who owns a resort hotel in Alwar district of Rajasthan, abandoned his car on the road and ran for his life after it was almost blown away.“I haven’t seen such a devastating storm in at least 25 years. Everyone was scared and running for cover as trees and homes were getting blown away. It was a nightmare,” Lohia told AFP.There were 73 confirmed deaths in Uttar Pradesh in the north, 36 in the desert state of Rajasthan to the west, and two in Punjab.Agra district in Uttar Pradesh was one of the worst-hit areas, with at least 43 people killed. The Taj Mahal is in Agra city but officials said the monument escaped damage.Last month, a similar storm killed at least 15 people in Uttar Pradesh and destroyed two minarets over an entry house to the Taj Mahal.Rescuers were still going through the rubble of felled homes on Thursday. Media reports said more than 20 people were found dead in the village of Kheragarh southwest of Agra.T.P. Gupta of the Uttar Pradesh relief commissioner’s office told AFP the death toll was “unprecedented” from such a storm in the past 20 years.More than 150 cattle and other animals were also killed across the state.“There is a forecast for more storms in the next 48 hours across the state so people should be alert,” he added.Hemant Gera, head of Rajasthan’s Disaster Management and Relief Department, said emergency services were on alert and that people should not sleep outdoors.In Punjab, Kumar Amit, deputy commissioner of Patiala district, told AFP that a wall collapsed killing two people.– Power cut –The India Meteorological Department warned there would be more storms over a wider area up to Saturday.Three districts in Rajasthan, a state popular with tourists for its heritage palaces and desert safaris, were hit the hardest on Wednesday.There were 19 deaths in Bharatpur, nine in Alwar and eight in Dholpur.Weather department officials in New Delhi said the storm was caused by a collision of rival eastern and western weather systems over the humid northern plains.Charan Singh, a scientist at India Meteorological Department, said winds of 132 kph hit Agra while even in the capital Delhi there were gusts of 59 kph.Power was cut in many parts of Rajasthan as thousands of electricity pylons were destroyed. Officials said it could take more than two days to restore power.The state government quickly released funds to compensate the families of those killed or for damage. About $6,000 would be given to the families of each of the dead.“Saddened by the loss of lives due to dust storms in various parts of India. Condolences to the bereaved families. May the injured recover soon,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Twitter.“Have asked officials to coordinate with the respective state governments and work towards assisting those who have been affected,” he added. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedLightning in Indian states kills 79June 22, 2016In “latest news”At least 99 dead after consuming toxic alcohol in IndiaFebruary 11, 2019In “latest news”Lightning strikes kill 50 in BangladeshMay 14, 2016In “latest news” read more

HTC sues Apple for patent infringement using newlyacquired Google patents

first_imgIt seems like if it’s not an iPhone 5 rumor, it’s another report on a patent infringement lawsuit. Though news was buzzing today about a picture of a plate of sushi taken with what may or may not have been the iPhone 5, we also heard news that HTC filed another patent infringement suit against Apple. This would normally just be another “ball’s in your court” type of thing in the ongoing battle between the two companies, but what’s interesting about this filing is that the nine patents listed happened to be acquired by Google.Google acquired these nine patents over the past year from Motorola, Palm, and OpenWave, and then transferred them all to HTC on September 1. We should point out that the Motorola patents in question were actually acquired by Google before Google acquired Motorola for $12.5 billion on August 15.The big question on everyone’s mind is why didn’t Google just sue Apple itself? If indeed the nine patents are strong enough, why didn’t Google just go after Apple with a settlement that would cover all Android phones — including HTC phones? It’s curious that Google had to transfer the patents over to HTC instead of just keeping them and suing Apple itself, so it appears that Google is having HTC do its dirty work this time around.HTC filed for patent infringement in a Delaware federal court on four of the nine patents, and filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission for the five others — two of which originally came from Palm, and three that came from OpenWave.It’s believed that Google bought Motorola, the company who more or less pioneered the cellphone, for its patents. Motorola has over 17,500 patents and 7,500 patent applications that relate to mobility products. The thought is that Google would be able to defend Android better with all the patents it got from Motorola.There aren’t a ton of details as of now, which has a lot of people speculating about why Google did this so close to acquiring Motorola. It also begs the question of whether or not Google will do the same thing with other Android vendors who are also facing legal battles with Apple, such as Samsung and Motorola?via Bloomberglast_img read more

Apple updates iOS to 601 ahead of iPad mini iPad 4 release

first_imgApple rolled out the latest update to its iOS operating system just before the launch of the newest round of iPads, although none of the issues it fixes appear to be specifically related to those new devices. iOS 6.01 is essentially a conglomeration of minor bug patches and tweaks that have popped up since the last update (which was released for the iPhone 5).As iOS 6.0 currently stands, there is a bug that prevents the iPhone 5 from using mobile data to install software updates as well as a display issue where horizontal lines appear on the screen. Those problems are fixed in iOS 6.0.1.In addition, problems with the camera flash not going off, users being unable to access cellular networks, and an unspecified error with Exchange meetings are all also addressed.The 6.0.1 update also improves WiFi reliability for fifth generation devices and makes using iTunes Match over mobile data a more seamless process. The update has reportedly been testing the update over the last two weeks.To get the update, users will first need to install a separate app to actually be able to get an over-the-air update installed on their phone. It is unclear if this latest firmware will be available built-in to the iPad mini and iPad 4, so it is possible that users will need to install an update right after taking their new device out of the box.The update is available now to all applicable users. It comes just a few weeks after the release of iOS 6. That’s about the same amount of time it took for Apple to release the first firmware update following iOS 5.More at Applelast_img read more

Could your bottle of beer soon carry scary cigarettestyle warning labels

first_img Source: Dominic Lipinski PA Wire/PA ImagesIn terms of guidelines, this would equate to 17 units a week for men (around 7 pints of beer, cider or stout) and 11 units for women.Buggy added: “We know from experience in the fight against tobacco that public health legislation like the smoking ban works and that is why it is so important this Bill is enacted as soon as possible”.The President of the Royal College of Physicians in Ireland and member of the Alcohol Health Alliance, Professor Frank Murray, says that the provisions contained in this bill are essential to deal with the harms caused by alcohol in Ireland.He said: “The [latest] Health Research Board data demonstrates that, between 1995-2013, the rate of increase in alcoholic liver disease trebled among 15-34 year olds… It also shows that as more women consume alcohol in greater amounts, this is having an adverse impact on their health.One in 10 breast cancers between 2001 and 2010 was attributable to alcohol.“I urge all Oireachtas members to urgently adopt this important piece of public health legislation and all of its contents, including establishing a minimum price for alcohol and introducing health labelling.”Trouble aheadIt’s already been flagged that Ireland could face big trouble with its EU neighbours on this provision for labelling.The state is subject to common free trade laws and other countries in the bloc feel that bringing in a labelling requirement could impede this.A key part of the campaign for Britain to leave the EU last year was the idea that Brexit would allow the UK to “take back control” of its affairs.The idea of taking back control of its own laws got a section to itself in the white paper on Brexit that was recently published by the UK government.While Ireland has been a net beneficiary from being part of the EU, as shown in this FactCheck from theJournal.ie, the country is subject to regulations of free trade that govern all member states.And, in terms of labelling, other EU countries feel that this new bill could act as a barrier to free trade.Countries, such as France and Germany, feel that the move would have negative implications for importing its nation’s products into Ireland.Fine Gael MEP Brian Hayes explained: “If the legislation is introduced, manufactures who import alcohol into Ireland would be required to include health labels on their products.“11 EU Member States have submitted objections to the legislation as well as the European Commission stating that the legislation would create barriers to free trade.The Commission issuing warning shots against Ireland on this issue denies the principle of subsidiarity and hampers public policy making in Ireland. It sets a dangerous precedent and must be opposed.Despite EU concerns, Corcoran Kennedy told the Dáil that, in regard to this legislation, Ireland had adhered to its obligations and that the bill is free to go through the houses of the Oireachtas. Frances Fitzgerald (far left) has indicated that problems could arise in free trade, while Corcoran Kennedy (to her left) remains in support. Source: Laura Hutton/Rollingnews.ieThis matter was complicated, however, by a statement made by Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald in the Dáil last October, when asked about a different system whereby all alcohol sold would have a unique code that could be traced back to the buyer.She said: “In the case of imports from EU countries, any additional labelling requirements would be regarded as infringing internal market rules relating to free movement of such products”.That certainly raises further problems. If additional labelling on alcohol on imported alcohol products would, as Fitzgerald suggests, infringe rules related to free trade, Ireland leaves itself open to potential legal action over this provision of the bill.Last week, Fitzgerald also said in the Dáil that Minister Corcoran Kennedy had taken time to re-examine elements of the bill which some felt would be “unduly punitive, particularly for small enterprises”.As we pointed out last week in relation to minimum pricing, it is not the only part of the bill which could be challenged in court.Any other problems?Again, as we’ve seen with other aspects of the bill, Ireland is taking the lead in some respects among other European countries in the steps they are taking with this alcohol bill.We don’t have hard evidence to show all of its provisions will reduce alcohol-related harms because we’re among the first countries to introduce them.The potential legal implications notwithstanding, the requirement to label all of their products will have a damaging effect on exports for Irish companies, according to the alcohol industry. Source: Hannah McKay PA Wire/PA ImagesThe head of the Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland Ross Mathuna told TheJournal.ie that its job of supporting local brewers and distillers in creating jobs was incompatible with some aspects of the bill.He said: “If you’re trying to launch a new product in Ireland, you may have to carry health warnings for products you want to sell abroad. We should standardise the label as much as possible but a label for here and a different label for somewhere else makes no sense.We want the legislation to have its intended effect. But don’t kill the industry here – an industry which is supporting a lot of jobs.In terms of “intended effect”, then-Minister for Health Leo Varadkar made the government’s intentions clear when he published the bill in late-2015.He said: “This Bill addresses alcohol as a public health issue for the first time by tackling price, availability, marketing, advertising, and labelling.By taking this approach and confronting the problem in a wide range of ways, I am confident that we can make a huge difference to public health.So when’s it all going to happen?Soon, according to Taoiseach Enda Kenny.The bill disappeared from debate in the House of the Oireachtas before Christmas, and opposition members have been pressing the government on when they’ll get a final chance to debate the bill before TDs vote on it.Even on last week’s most tumultuous of Valentine’s Days, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin found the time to ask the Taoiseach this question, amid the Maurice McCabe controversies:Prior to Christmas, there was significant concern and debate on the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill… Will the Taoiseach indicate when it will be brought back for discussion, debate and passage through the House?Kenny replied that he believed Minister Corcoran Kennedy would reintroduce the bill to to the house “quickly”.Having said that, the bill was last debated properly in the Seanad in 2016, and the extensive lobbying being done on aspects of the bill, particularly in terms of advertising and shop layout, is coupled with the Tánaiste’s statement that parts of the bill “are being examined again”.The bill has ambitious aims, and sets out an unprecedented collection of ways to tackle the public health issue of alcohol.In its current form, it will radically change how alcohol is shown to us, how much it costs and what its packaging looks like.Barring any major changes to the bill being proposed by government, and provided they follow through and bring it forward again quickly, it has the potential to change Ireland’s attitude to alcohol.Whether it actually will, however, remains to be seen.Read: The behind-the-scenes machinations shaping the government’s new alcohol lawsRead: 12 cans of Heineken for €20? This is how minimum pricing could affect your pocket Share142 Tweet Email3 Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article 68 Comments http://jrnl.ie/3239311 17,207 Views By Sean Murraycenter_img The new Public Health (Alcohol) Bill has been under consideration by the government since late 2015 but has not yet been enacted.It is a far-reaching bill with new legislation on aspects such as minimum pricing, advertising and product labelling.You can catch the first two parts of our series covering the important aspects of this bill here (on advertising), and here (on minimum pricing). This week we look at how alcohol labels will change, and ask if this bill is what is needed to tackle the problem of alcohol in Ireland.WHEN YOU BUY a pack of cigarettes in Ireland, around 65% of the box is taken up with health warnings.It tells you that “smoking kills” and that “tobacco smoke contains over 70 substances known to cause cancer” along with a graphic warning of what smoking can do to our teeth, lungs and throat. James Reilly showing off the planned plain packaging for cigarettes back in 2015 Source: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall IrelandThe exact details haven’t been ironed out yet, but the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill is set to bring in similar health warnings to cans and bottles of beer, wine and spirits in Ireland.Unlike minimum pricing which is clear cut on what it’ll bring, labelling will be much harder for the government to introduce, with legal action from our EU neighbours among the risks to its implementation at the moment.What it saysUnder the section of the bill on “labelling of alcohol products and notices in licensed premises”, it says that all alcohol products manufactured, imported or sold in the State must contain:A warning that is intended to inform the public of the danger of alcohol consumptionA warning that is intended to inform of the dangers of alcohol consumption when pregnantThe number of calories in the product, and the number of grams in the productA link to a public health website, to be set up by the HSE, which will give information on alcohol and other health-related harmsFurthermore, anywhere that sells alcohol – both pubs and off-trade – will be required to display these warnings.Also, the industry will have a three-year period to prepare for the implementation of labelling.However, it is here where it gets complicated. The bill has little detail on what these warnings will actually look like. It does say, however, that it will be up to the Minister of Health to decide.The Minister will be able to decide the “size, colour and font type of the printed material on the warning concerned”. Source: Sasko Lazarov/Rollingnews.ieIn other words, if the bill was in effect today, Simon Harris could decide how large the warnings would be on alcohol packaging. He could make them part of the small print, or he could place them as prominently as cigarette packaging.When TheJournal.ie asked the Department of Health what its plans were when this labelling requirement is brought in, they said that they hadn’t been finalised yet.A spokesperson for the department said: “[We have] commissioned research regarding health warning and information labelling on alcohol products, which will inform the decision making process.Regulations in this regard will be published after the Bill is enacted.So, for now, the government will “wait and see” what they’ll do once the bill passes.One amendment put forth by senators at committee stage could clarify the issue, if accepted by government. A group of senators, including Frances Black and David Norris, proposed a warning “to inform the public of the direct link between alcohol and fatal cancers”.In relation to a section of the bill which outlines that the onus will be on the Minister to prescribe the size, colour and font type, they put forward the following:Where at least one third of the printed material will be given over to evidence-based health warnings.That amendment would bring alcohol packaging more in line with that of cigarettes, with clearly visible-printed warnings on the label.Systems where drinks companies have voluntarily placed health warnings on their products have been introduced in the likes of the UK and Australia, where warnings take up a small portion of the packaging. Source: Rick Rycroft AP/Press Association ImagesAs for if it will work, there is scientific evidence both for and against such actions being successful.Any exceptions to the rule?None.Minister of State for Health Promotion Marcella Corcoran Kennedy has been unequivocal that this part of the legislation will apply across the board, with no exceptions.When a written question was asked by Fine Gael TD Brendan Griffin regarding possible exemptions for the labelling requirements, she had this response:The department is not providing an exemption from the labelling provisions in the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill. The labelling provisions will apply to all retailers. [This bill] provides a 3 year lead in time for the introduction of the labelling provisions.When Fianna Fáil TD Timmy Dooley queried whether an imported alcohol product could have its health warning attached after it arrived in the country, Corcoran Kennedy responded:“Under the legislation, it will be an offence for an individual to manufacture, import or sell to a person in the State an alcohol product that does not comply with the labelling requirements.All alcohol products imported into the State must be correctly labelled prior to being removed from the warehouse and placed on sale in the State.Why this is importantA range of amendments were being discussed by senators before the bill conspicuously disappeared from debate in the Houses of the Oireachtas towards the end of last year.Members of both houses have repeatedly asked the government when it will be brought back, but its burial from debate was closely followed with a Fine Gael parliamentary meeting where concerns were raised about the advertising provisions in the bill.As a result, amendments proposed to the bill remain in limbo, until the government reintroduces the legislation again.A warning on cancer was proposed to be added to the bill by senators, and although it has not been finalised yet, it is something that the Irish Cancer Society was very keen on.Its head of services and advocacy, Donal Buggy, said: “We are asking the bill go further in its labelling provisions and for a specific warning on alcohol products that highlight the link between alcohol and fatal cancers.People are simply not aware of the cancer risk associated with drinking alcohol and we need to ensure they are presented with the facts… Of the 900 new cancers each year related to alcohol, half of them could be prevented if people drank within the Department of Health’s guidelines. Feb 19th 2017, 12:05 AM Short URL Sunday 19 Feb 2017, 12:05 AM Could your bottle of beer soon carry scary, cigarette-style warning labels? The Health Minister will get the power to set the size of warnings on alcohol products.last_img read more

Publishing Executive Shutters Print Edition

first_imgNAPCO Media’s publishing industry trade journals, Publishing Executive and Book Business, are shutting down their print editions, editor-in-chief Denis Wilson announced Monday. The decision to reduce or cut its print products entirely to focus more on digital and live events reflects an ongoing trend in the B2B publishing industry, with IDG Enterprise taking CIO, it’s last print product, digital-only in late October, and Vendome Group expanding its live events business. Wilson goes on to tell readers to expect more online coverage from an expanded community of contributors, as well as more webinars, indicating similar plans for Book Business in a note on its website. “It’d be disingenuous to suggest that we aren’t a little sad that starting in 2016 Publishing Executive will not be printed as a periodical magazine,” Wilson writes. “We’ll still print special topic issues where we see the opportunity and audience demand, but moving forward, we’ll set our attention on providing valuable content primarily on the web and at live events.” Parent company NAPCO Media reduced the print frequencies of both Publishing Executive and Book Business in 2015, from six issues a year to four and two, respectively. In a note posted on Publishing Executive’s website, Wilson confirms that 2016 will see the end of the quarterly print product, but that the brand will live on digitally and in the live events business, with plans for expansion in both areas. The B2B exhibition industry hit all-time highs in 2015, according to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research.last_img read more

Wilmington OBITUARIES Week of December 23 2018

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Here are the obituaries published on Wilmington Apple during the week of December 23, 2018:Lived In Wilmington At Time Of Passing:Carol A. (Costa) Barrasso, 76Andrzej “Andrew” Holowenczak, 53Barbara Ann (D’Amico) Howe, 74Lena (Fontana) Mercuri, 77Shirley E. (Nunziato) Peterson, 83Previously Lived In Wilmington:Mary Virginia Gallagher, 68Margaret A. (Ray) Gray, 72Worked In/Volunteered In/Connected To Wilmington:Gloria Louise Dombrowski, 93Frances M. “Fran” LeFave, 64Kathleen V. (Connor) Joyce, 96Joseph Warren Walker, 86Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedOBITUARY: Francis J. Zizis, 94In “Obituaries”OBITUARY: Kathleen V. (Connor) Joyce, 96In “Obituaries”OBITUARY: John “Jack” Tannian, Jr., 89In “Obituaries”last_img read more

Scrubbers to Cut Cruise Ship Pollution

first_imgA Celebrity Cruise Line ship sails into Juneau in 2012 with emissions coming out of its stack. New pollution-control equipment being installed on Alaska-bound and other ships will reduce the emissions plume. (Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska-Juneau)Download AudioCruise lines that sail Alaska waters are installing new pollution-control equipment. It’s aimed at clearing the air — and meeting new regulations. But it’s also dodging some stronger, more expensive measures.The stuff that comes out of cruise ship smokestacks can cloud the air, leaving a haze over port cities, and plumes along their routes.But it’s more than unsightly. Sulfur dioxide, ash and other ingredients contribute to acid rain and smog. They can also cause respiratory problems — and even death.That’s why the Environment Protection Agency set new emission standards for most vessels.Smoke pours out of the smokestack of the Carnival Spirit as it fires up its engines. (Courtesy Ground Truth Trekking)That includes almost 30 large cruise ships sailing Alaska waters, some of which are getting new pollution-control equipment.“One of the ships, which is the Solstice, is being retrofitted right now,” says Rich Pruitt, vice president of environmental stewardship for Royal Caribbean International.The line will send five ships to Alaska this summer.He says about 20 of its vessels, close to half its worldwide fleet, are getting new air-emission control equipment, calledscrubbers.“By spraying water into the exhaust stream, the sulfur dioxide and particulates are basically captured in the water spray. And it effectively removes any sulfur dioxide, up to about 98-99 percent, and a significant portion of the particulates,” he says.Pruitt says the rest of the corporation’s fleet will eventually get the technology, though it may try some other options.The cruise industry could meet EPA standards, and upcoming international rules, by switching to low-sulfur fuel, which causes far less pollution. But Pruitt says that’s too expensive, and refineries may not make be able to keep up with the demand.That’s why the industry is installing scrubbers.“We’re looking at this as a way of ensuring that we’ll be able to be compliant regardless of where we operate,” he says.Royal Caribbean is one of several worldwide lines installing scrubber technology.Carnival Corporation, which owns Princess and Holland-America lines, announced its intentions in 2013.“The only other major cruise line that brings ships to Alaska is Norwegian Cruise Lines and they also have a program to start to install scrubbers on their existing ships,” says John Binkley, president of the Alaska chapter of the Cruise Lines International Association.The new federal rules, which mirror those in Canada, are for lines sailing within 200 miles of the coast. They took effect in January, but Binkley says many ships were not ready.“Each company has negotiated with the EPA, the Environmental Protection Agency, on a schedule and when they’re going to bring certain ships into compliance,” he says.Critics say the lines should have been ready sooner.Chip Thoma campaigned for a tax-and-pollution-control initiative voters approved about 10 years ago.“The cruise lines fought that tooth and nail in the State Department, and every chance they’d get in Washington, D.C., to try to scuttle that treaty,” he says.He’s encouraged by plans for new scrubber technology. But he says the lines should also switch to low-sulfur diesel.“I think the price of fuel, all fuel, is going to keep going down. And it’s eventually going to be in everybody’s best interests to just burn clean fuel,” he says.Some critics say scrubbers only change air pollution into ocean pollution, since the filtering water is disposed of overboard. Pruitt says Royal Caribbean ships, which include the Celebrity line, will treat the water and dispose of the resulting sludge on land.Similar technology is used on other large ocean-going ships and coal-fired power plants.Alaska does not regulate the chemical composition of cruise-ship air emissions. But it does measure its density.Ed White of the state’s cruise ship monitoring program says scrubbers should improve the situation.“The assumption is that as the amount of sulfur in the fuel decreases, the opacity would as well. We don’t have any requirements for the equipment used or anything like that. So we’re not directly involved with the scrubbers. But once it goes overboard, we’ll be monitoring that,” he says.Scrubber technology is expensive.Some lines won’t discuss what they’re spending. But Carnival has said installation on 70 of its ships would cost about $400 million, or around $6 million each.Royal Caribbean’s Pruitt says despite the cost, the new equipment won’t increase fares.“By having the exhaust gas cleaning systems or scrubbers, it will allow us to burn the more affordable fuel. So, it’s not like we feel that we have to pass that on,” he says.While EPA rules kicked in this year, worldwide standards won’t take effect until 2020. They’re less stringent, but are still a significant reduction.last_img read more

Weather Temporarily Gives Firefighters An Edge in Aniak

first_imgAniak and Chuathbaluk are receiving favorable winds today, cutting down on the smoke and fire danger. The fire across the river from Aniak has grown to 27,000 acres.  Bill Wilson is Aniak’s Mayor.“The fire is paralleling on the opposite side of the river of where the runway and town is here. It’s worked its way about halfway down the runway at this point.  You can see it, Most is further off the shore, it’s touched down in a few places at the shoreline. The smoke is think, it’s blowing toward the Russian Mountains and towards the north more.Two crews are in Aniak to do point protection in the off chance that the fire moves across the river.“With the winds the way they are, there’s no chance of it jumping across unless we had another thunderstorm at this point.”Three flights of at-risk people were evacuated to Bethel yesterday to stay out of the thick smoke. Near Chuathbaluk, the approximately 5,000-acre Mission Creek Fire was 1.3 miles from the old airport and is visible from town. Two hotshot crews are also doing site protection in Chuathbaluk.   There had been discussion of moving a large amount of people to Aniak from Chuathbaluk, but Wilson says there’s no need to at the moment.“We’re still prepared, we have plan ready, places for people to come. We have food and boats to run there.  Until there’s a more imminent threat, they’re going to stay put and hold their homes.”Francis Mitchell is with the state Division of Forestry. He says farther upriver, the Red Devil fire has been threatened the community.“Late yesterday, the fire got within 1,000 feet of the village, there were a couple air tanker drops of retardant drops in that knocked it down pretty well. There are fire fighters in there, two crews.”Forty-eight people are working to protect Red Devil.  Three crews members are in Crooked Creek, which has been prepared for site protection. Others crews are making a fire line around Lime Village.Closer to Bethel, a 1,000 acre fire is burning southeast of Kwethluk, but officials say nothing is at risk now.  This weekend, firefighters might get a little break from the weather.“At least swaths of rain, not big rain, not putting out fire rain, but dampening down fire type of rain, maybe in that lime village and middle Kuskokwim area. rain will help in several places, but it’s probably not going to last long, as far was we’re being told.”More than 230,000 acres have burned in Southwest Alaska. There are 78 active fires in the region and 317 statewide.last_img read more

Chocolate is 1500 Years Older Than We Thought

first_imgStay on target Eat Your Feelings With Hershey’s Limited-Edition Chocolate Emoji BarReese’s Vending Machine Lets You Swap Lame Candy for Peanut Butter Cups As children (and many adults) prepare to gorge themselves on fun-sized chocolate bars this week, researchers revealed that the sweet treat is actually much older than we thought.A study, published this week in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution, suggests that cacao—the plant from which chocolate is made—was initially grown some 1,500 years earlier than previously believed.Archaeological evidence of the bean’s use, dating back 3,900 years, previously planted the idea that the cacao tree was domesticated in Central America. New chemical analysis, however, points instead to equatorial South America, where wild cacao still grows.“This new study shows us that people in the upper reaches of the Amazon basin, extending up into the foothills of the Andes in southeastern Ecuador, were harvesting and consuming cacao that appears to be a close relative of the type of cacao later used in Mexico—and they were doing this 1,500 years earlier,” co-author Michael Blake, an anthropology professor at the University of British Columbia, said in a statement.“They were also doing so using elaborate pottery that pre-dates the pottery found in Central America and Mexico,” he continued. “This suggests that the use of cacao, probably as a drink, was something that caught on and very likely spread northwards by farmers growing cacao in what is now Colombia and eventually Panama and other parts of Central America and southern Mexico.”The cacao tree (Theobroma cacao) was culturally important in Mesoamerica, the historical region that runs through present-day Mexico, Guatemala, Hondura, Belize, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica.Its beans were used as currency and to make chocolate drinks consumed during rituals and feasts.In an effort to pinpoint the earliest evidence of cacao use (by the Mayo-Chinchipe culture between 5,300 and 2,100 years ago), researchers examined ceramic artifacts from Santa Ana-La Florida in Ecuador.Among the pieces of pottery, they found starch grains and the residue of a bitter alkaloid specific to the cacao tree, as well as fragments of ancient DNA with sequences unique to the plant.“For the first time, three independent lines of archaeological evidence have documented the presence of ancient cacao in the Americas,” lead study author Sonia Zarrillo, an adjunct professor at the University of Calgary, said. “These three methods combine to definitively identify a plant that is otherwise notoriously difficult to trace in the archaeological record because seeds and other parts quickly degrade in moist and warm tropical environments.”Such discoveries, according to Blake, are important: Knowing the origin of foods we rely on now helps us understand what humans were like then.“Today we all rely, to one extent or another, on foods that were created by the Indigenous peoples of the Americas,” he said. “And one of the world’s favorites is chocolate.”Researchers at the University of California, Davis; the French Agricultural Research Center for International Development (CIRAD), University Montpellier, and Kennesaw State University also contributed to this report.More chocolate coverage on Geek.com:These Japanese Chocolates are Infused with Sake, Wasabi, and SeaweedFinally, You Can Eat a Kit Kat Quesadilla at Taco BellMore Chocolate Will Be Delicious Thanks to Ultrasonic Waveslast_img read more

Not all quantum properties are lost through interaction with the environment

first_img Explore further (PhysOrg.com) — One of the most well-known “rules” of quantum physics is that all quantum properties are lost due to environmental interaction. This rule, though, may not hold true in all situations. “We have discovered the first counter to this common rule,” Sabrina Maniscalco tells PhysOrg.com. Maniscalco is a researcher at the Turku Centre for Quantum Physics, University of Turku in Finland. Along with fellow researcher (and husband) Jyrki Piilo, and Ph.D. student Laura Mazzola, Maniscalco has identified evidence that some quantum correlations can remain intact. Copyright 2010 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. The results of their work are published in Physical Review Letters: “Sudden Transition between Classical and Quantum Decoherence.”“Laura really did most of the work,” Maniscalco says. “She was studying different interactions between quantum properties and the environment, and looking for different correlations in noisy quantum systems. No one expected her to find strange behavior. When she first called Jyrki and me with the result, we thought it must be a mistake.”Maniscalco and Piilo went over the data and realized that it wasn’t a mistake. “We checked the calculations again, and found that the time evolution of quantum correlations in this case remains constant for a long time. It represented a transition between classical and quantum decoherence, and the quantum property was not lost.”This particular correlation can be found, for example, in quantum systems comprising of two qubits. “These qubits, each with different properties, such as different polarizations, have to interact with a type of noise that doesn’t change the energy of the qubits,” Maniscalco explains. “Instead of changing the energy, the noise just changes the phase, such as flipping polarizations. The type of noise that we have considered is one that contains all frequencies in a way that is very similar to white noise.”While this discovery is theoretical, Maniscalco says that it has an experimental basis as well. “A very recent experiment has confirmed a type of quantum correlation that is not affected by the environment. And this is not a weird type of environment; it’s a natural environment that we could work in right now.” (For more on this experiment, see Jin-Shi Xu, et. al., “Experimental investigation of classical and quantum correlations under decoherence,” Nature Communications (April 2010). Doi:10.1038/ncomms1005.)In the last 20 years, Maniscalco points out, technology has advanced to the point where it is possible to use single atoms or photons to build quantum logic gates for future quantum computers, or perform communication, measurement and cryptography tasks. “We’ve learned that it is possible to exploit the quantumness of the microscopic state, but in order for us to succeed, the quantum properties have to remain intact for a long time. That is a challenge, since once the properties are lost through interaction with the environment, a device can’t exploit quantumness.”This discovery that certain quantum correlations are not lost in presence of the environment could lead an increased ability to exploit the quantum world for use in technological devices. Maniscalco points out that the idea that all quantum properties need not be lost through interaction with the environment presents more than interesting fundamental implications. “While this work has a surprising fundamental aspect,” she says, “it opens up a whole range of possibilities with applications in quantum technology, including computing, communications, metrology and cryptography.”Next, Maniscalco says that her group, and Piilo’s group, at the University of Turku will need to study this effect. “We need to learn the most general conditions for this behavior, and see if it holds for other environments. We are also working toward deigning a quantum protocol that uses this state, so that we can demonstrate an application of this effect in practice.”For more information, you can visit the Open Quantum Systems and Entanglement group and the Non-Markovian Processes and Complex Systems group web pages. Citation: Not all quantum properties are lost through interaction with the environment (2010, June 1) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-06-quantum-properties-lost-interaction-environment.htmlcenter_img 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. More information: Laura Mazzola, Jyrki Piilo, and Sabrina Maniscalco, “Sudden Transition between Classical and Quantum Decoherence, Physical Review Letters (May 2010). Available online: link.aps.org/doi/10.1103/PhysRevLett.104.200401 Quantum cryptography: No Signaling and quantum key distributionlast_img read more

VIDEO Jet boarder singlehandedly rescues capsized catamaran

first_imgIn a rescue straight out of a sci-fi movie, a man on a water powered jet board executed an incredible one man rescue of a capsized catamaran while he was out doing some tricks.The boarder was flying around when he saw the boat flip and flew into action. He grabbed the mast and flew skyward, righting the ship and saving the day.Hard to argue this technology is completely useless after this effort.last_img

US pledge to rebuild Haiti not being met

first_img 0 Comments   Share   The single largest recipient of funding is Washington, D.C.-area contractor Chemonics, which has received more than $58 million, including $6.8 million to remove rubble, $7.2 million to develop a market for environmentally friendly cook stoves, and money for youth soccer tournaments and “key cultural celebrations” including Flag Day, patron saints days and Mother’s Day. Chemonics spokeswoman Martha James says 67 percent of the federal money went to Haitians, including salary for 94 Haitian staff, and Haitian subcontractors, grantees and vendors.Meanwhile, 390,000 people are still homeless. The U.S. promised to rebuild or replace thousands of destroyed homes, but so far has not built even one new permanent house. Auditors say land disputes, lack of USAID oversight and no clear plan have hampered the housing effort. USAID contested that critique.The State Department says 29,100 transitional shelters have been built, to which residents are adding floors, walls or roofs to make permanent homes, although homes once again vulnerable to natural disasters. U.S. funds also supported 27,000 households as they moved in with friends or families, and repaired 5,800 of the 35,000 damaged homes they had planned to complete with partners by July 2012. Also by this month the U.S. had planned to help resolve 40,000 to 80,000 land disputes, but at latest count had helped 10,400. _ Of the $988 million spent so far, a quarter went toward debt relief to unburden the hemisphere’s poorest nation of repayments. But after Haiti’s loans were paid off, the government began borrowing again: $657 million so far, largely for oil imports rather than development projects._ Less than 12 percent of the reconstruction money sent to Haiti after the earthquake has gone toward energy, shelter, ports or other infrastructure. At least a third, $329 million, went to projects that were awarded before the 2010 catastrophe and had little to do with the recovery _ such as HIV/AIDS programs._ Half of the $1.8 billion the U.S. promised for rebuilding is still in the Treasury, its disbursement stymied by an understaffed U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince in the months after the quake and by a Haitian government that was barely functional for more than a year._ Despite State Department promises to keep spending public, some members of Congress and watchdogs say they aren’t getting detailed information about how the millions are being spent, as dozens of contractors working for the U.S. government in Haiti leave a complex money trail.“The challenges were absolutely huge and although there was a huge amount of money pledged, the structures were not there for this to be done quickly,” said former U.S. Ambassador Brian Curran. “The concept of build back better is a good one, but we were way over-optimistic about the pace we could do it.” Quick workouts for men PROMISES UNMETWithin months of the quake, Congress approved a 27-page plan detailing a partnership with the Haitian government to “lay the foundation for long-term stability and economic growth.” USAID, an agency overseen by the State Department, was held responsible for getting the job done by choosing contractors, selecting projects and overseeing the work. But just as there’s little to show for the $2 billion the U.S. spent in Haiti in the two decades before the earthquake, it hasn’t built much that is permanent with the new influx of cash.The plan laid out broad categories: infrastructure, health care, education, economic development. It was followed by a strategy that included specific benchmarks. This month, as about 40 of those come due, some are met, like a new police hotline to report abuse. But others are not.For example, the U.S. had planned to improve the business environment by working with the local government to reduce regulations, pass national e-commerce laws, expand mortgage lending and update the tax code. The measurement of success, said U.S. planners, would be a better ranking by the World Bank’s “Doing Business” indicators. Critics say the U.S. effort to reconstruct Haiti was flawed from the start. While “build back better” was a comforting notion, there wasn’t much of a foundation to build upon. Haiti’s chronic political instability and lack of coordinated leadership between Haiti and the U.S. meant crucial decisions about construction projects were slow to be approved. Red tape stalled those that were.The international community’s $10 billion effort was also hindered by its pledge to get approval for projects from the Haitian government. For more than a year then-President Rene Preval was, as he later described it, “paralyzed,” while his government was mostly obliterated, with 16,000 civil servants killed and most ministries in ruins. It wasn’t until earlier this year that a fully operational government was in place to sign paperwork, adopt codes and write regulations. Other delays included challenges to contracts, underestimates of what needed to be done, and land disputes.Until now, comprehensive details about who is receiving U.S. funds and how they are spending them have not been released. Contracts, budgets and a 300-item spreadsheet obtained by The Associated Press under a Freedom of Information Act request show: Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home And to date, debt relief is the largest single item the U.S. has spent toward Haiti’s rebuilding: $245 million.But since taking office in May 2011, President Michel Martelly’s administration has borrowed $657 million, largely from Venezuela for basic fuel needs, but also from Taiwan, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, the International Monetary Fund and OPEC. Next year Haiti is expected to spend close to $10 million servicing those debts, according to the IMF.“The U.S. government cannot dictate how the government of Haiti, as a sovereign country, chooses to address its financial situation,” said USAID’s Haiti task team leader in Washington D.C., Beth Hogan, whose office facilitated the payments. The U.S. is now only providing grants, not loans, to Haiti.Waters now says she’s disappointed, but not surprised, that Haiti has resumed its borrowing habits.More than half of Haiti’s annual $1 billion budget comes from foreign aid.“Haiti needs grants, gifts and loans,” said Haitian official Nau. “Every country in the world has debt and Haiti is no different.”OFF THE RECORDA major frustration for watchdogs of the U.S. effort is a lack of transparency over how the millions of dollars are being spent. “Then the earthquake happened and everything changed,” AIR vice president Jane Benbow said. “They said we need you to take the resources you have left and we need you to redirect them, we need you to start doing other things with that money.”In April 2011, USAID announced that a $12 million AIR project had “constructed or is in the process of constructing more than 600 semi-permanent classrooms serving over 60,000 students.”But when pressed for details, AIR spokesman Larry McQuillan said the number of classrooms actually was 322. They were serving at least 38,640 students each day, many in two shifts.The organization left Haiti last year after building 120 temporary schools. Today, about half of Haiti’s school age children attend school, about the same as before the catastrophe. The Haitian government says it wants to put another 1.5 million children into school _ by 2016.The education money has made no difference for Odette Leonard, 39, who lost her husband, and her home, to the quake. Like most Haitians, she cannot afford to pay even the modest school costs for uniforms and books.“People like me won’t be able to see any of that money,” Leonard said. She had to send her two children to her mother’s house in the countryside so they could attend an affordable school. Top Stories From interviews to records requests, efforts to track spending in Haiti by members of Congress, university researchers and news organizations have sometimes been met with resistance and even, in some cases, outright refusals.As a result, U.S. taxpayers are told they’ve agreed to spend $7.2 million for a project to design and distribute cleaner cooking stoves to 10,000 street vendors and 800 schools and orphanages, but there’s no public accounting for how that will break down: How much might each stove cost? What are the office expenses? What are workers’ salaries?“The lack of specific details in where the money has gone facilitates corruption and waste, creates a closed process that reduces competition and prevents us from assessing the efficacy of certain taxpayer-funded projects,” said Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, a New York Democrat whose district includes the second largest population of Haitian immigrants in the country.Legislation introduced last year in Congress would direct the Obama administration to report on the status of post-earthquake humanitarian, reconstruction and development efforts in Haiti.The AP filed a Freedom of Information request to learn what was accomplished and how much was spent on a two-day retreat for 12 senior U.S. staffers in Miami in March 2011. USAID released the hotel sales agreement, the facilitator’s purchase order and an agenda. It did not release information about what was accomplished, and withheld another nine pages, citing concerns that it contained information that had not been finalized. Instead, this year Haiti sank eight points lower compared with the rest of the world as a place to do business in categories including securing construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, receiving credit, enforcing contracts and paying taxes.And so far, the U.S. has no public plans to build a clean water or sewer system in Port-au-Prince, even as the country grapples with the world’s biggest cholera outbreak that medical researchers say was likely introduced by a U.N. peacekeeping unit after the earthquake. The U.S.’s largest jobs program is a garment manufacturing plant being built in Caracol, 280 kilometers (175 miles) from the capital.Adams said some investments, like fixing the electricity system, are taking more time.A $137 million effort toward supplying reliable electricity in Haiti, including blackout-prone Port-au-Prince, stalled after a contract dispute led to a stop-work order _ leaving the capital with electricity only about 10 hours a day. Those who can afford it use private generators and those without use lanterns or candles. To date, just $18 million has been spent on electricity _ largely to build a power plant at the northern industrial park in Caracol. State Department officials say they are trying to be responsive, noting that in the past nine months, they have coordinated 51 briefings to members of Congress and their staff on Haiti and delivered five congressionally-mandated reports.One of the problems with following the money in Haiti is that the records are not up to date.A State Department inspector general report in June found the embassy’s political section retains about 10 linear feet of paper files dating back a decade in several safes, and the narcotics affairs team doesn’t have a coherent filing system.In its own effort to follow the money, this year the AP began contacting firms that have received U.S. funding since the earthquake. A memo went out two weeks later.“A series of requests from journalists may come your way,” cautioned Karine Roy, a spokeswoman for the USAID, in an email to about 50 humanitarian aid officials. “Wait for formal clearance from me before releasing any information.”U.S. contractors, from pollsters to private development firms, told the AP that USAID had asked them not to provide any information, and referred to publicly released descriptions of their projects. More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements The U.S. Special Coordinator for Haiti Thomas C. Adams, who oversees USAID spending here, says the first priority in the critical days after the quake that killed more than 300,000 was crisis management, and the U.S. government spent $1.3 billion on critical rescue operations, saving untold lives.Three months later, the goals shifted from rescue to what would become a $1.8 billion reconstruction package aimed at building new foundations.“U.S. taxpayers, in the past, have spent billions of dollars in Haiti that haven’t resulted in sustainable improvement in the lives of Haitians,” said Adams. “The emphasis was never on `spend the money quickly.’ The emphasis was on spending the money so that in a year or two, we could look at these projects and see that we’ve helped create a real base to jump-start economic development and give Haitian families and businesses the kind of opportunities they deserve.”Haitian government officials are appreciative, and said the U.S. provides generous support for projects that impact long-term development. As for going back into debt, “Haiti needs all the assistance it can possibly get at this point,” said Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe’s deputy chief of staff Dimitri Nau. Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family One of USAID’s most tangible post-earthquake accomplishments was the construction of a bridge across the muddy, winding Ennery River. The strong and well-engineered span eases a key route from the north to the south 160 kilometers (100 miles) from Port-au-Prince. The bridge had been down for more than a year before the earthquake, a casualty of the 2008 hurricane season. Plans had been sketched for a new bridge, but there wasn’t funding.Engineer Larry Wright, who temporarily moved to Haiti from Wyoming to lead the $4 million project, said he didn’t know the funding came from earthquake reconstruction funds.“This had nothing to do with the quake,” said Wright.AND YET MORE DEBTWhen the earthquake hit, world lenders were already several years into forgiving Haiti’s substantial debts, many of which dated back to millions in loans taken by the dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier, who was overthrown in 1986 and suddenly returned last year. In June 2009, seven months before the earthquake, donors wiped out $1.2 billion of the Haitian government’s debt. In January 2010, as the capital lay in ruins, it still was $828 million in the red.In March 2010, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) said canceling the debt is “one of the simplest but most important things we can do to help Haiti.” The State Department acknowledges that efforts to build shelters has been slower than anticipated.While more than 1 million people have been moved out of the tent camps, most went to stay with family or friends, or moved into temporary shelters.“Having tent cities in the capital 2 1/2 years after the earthquake is horrendous,” said Raymond Joseph, a former Haiti ambassador to the U.S. “It’s a condemnation of those who had the money and dragged their feet.”`NOTHING TO DO WITH THE QUAKE’Making progress in Haiti has been easier with established programs that were under way before the earthquake. Contractors had already been chosen, and plans drawn up. As a result, much of the recovery and reconstruction funding was awarded to projects that were not damaged in the earthquake _ from medical clinics to rural farms. Of the $988 million spent to date, $1 out of every $5 went to HIV/AIDS programs, though $49 million went to farming projects and $16 million supported elections.Lack of education has long been a problem. Haiti has about 4.5 million school-age children, about half of whom were attending school before the earthquake. The largest U.S. education program after the quake was through the Washington, D.C.-based American Institutes for Research, which was a few years into a $25.6 million U.S.-funded project to train teachers. Sponsored Stories (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths The Durham, North Carolina-based group Family Health International 360, for example, received $32 million, including $10 million for what the State Department described as an “initiative designed to increase the flow of commercially viable financial products and services to productive enterprises, with a focus on semi-urban and rural areas.”When the AP asked for a budget breakdown, FHI 360 spokeswoman Liza Morris said, “We were pulling that for you but were told that it was proprietary by our funder.”Who is the funder?“Our funder,” she said, “is USAID.”___U.S. spending documents: https://www.documentcloud.org/search/project:%20%22Haiti%20-%20U.S.%20Spending%22___Follow Martha Mendoza on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/mendozamarthaand Trenton Daniel at https:// http://www.twitter.com/trentondaniel Associated PressPORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) – The deadly earthquake that leveled Haiti’s capital more than two years ago brought a thread of hope: a promise of renewal. With the United States taking the lead, international donors pledged billions of dollars to help the country “build back better,” breaking its cycle of dependency.But after the rubble was cleared and the dead buried, what the quake laid bare was the depth of Haiti’s dysfunction. Today, the fruits of an ambitious, $1.8 billion U.S. reconstruction promise are hard to find. Immediate, basic needs for bottled water, temporary shelter and medicine were the obvious priorities. But projects fundamental to Haiti’s transformation out of poverty, such as permanent housing and electric plants in the heavily hit capital of Port-au-Prince have not taken off. 4 sleep positions for men and what they meanlast_img

US rejects nuclear disarmament document over Israel concerns

first_img Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean Israel is not a party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and has never publicly declared what is widely considered to be an extensive nuclear weapons program. A conference might force Israel to acknowledge it.Since adopting a final document requires consensus, the rejection by the United States, backed by Britain and Canada, means the entire blueprint for global nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation for the next five years has been blocked after four weeks of negotiations. The next treaty review conference is in 2020.That has alarmed countries without nuclear weapons, who are increasingly frustrated by what they see as the slow pace of nuclear-armed countries to disarm. The United States and Russia hold more than 90 percent of the estimated 16,000 nuclear weapons in the world today.Amid a growing movement that stresses the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons, Austria announced that 107 states have now signed a pledge calling for legal measures to ban and eliminate them.The U.S. comments Friday came after a top State Department official was dispatched to Israel this week for intense talks, as Israel protested the idea of being forced into a conference with its Arab neighbors without prior agreement on an agenda. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Comments   Share   Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Top Stories center_img Sponsored Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Israel had been furious when the U.S. at the treaty review conference five years ago signed off on a document that called for talks on a Middle East nuclear-free zone by 2012. Those talks never took place.The language on the final document rejected Friday was “incompatible with our long-standing policies,” said Rose Gottemoeller, the U.S. under secretary of state for arms control and international security.She named Egypt as being one of the countries “not willing to let go of these unrealistic and unworkable conditions.”Egypt later said it was extremely disappointed and warned, “This will have consequences in front of the Arab world and public opinion.”Iran, speaking for a group of more than 100 mostly developing countries, said it was surprised to see the U.S., Britain and Canada willing to block the entire document in defense of a country that it said has endangered the region by not agreeing to safeguards for its nuclear program.Israel has been a fierce critic of the current efforts of world powers to negotiate an agreement with Iran over its nuclear program, which Iran says is for peaceful purposes only.Gottemoeller also pointed out that the 2010 mandate to hold a conference on a Middle East nuclear-free zone has now effectively expired. The head of the Russian delegation, Mikhail Ulyanov, noted the setback, saying it was “a shame that an opportunity for dialogue has to be missed, perhaps for a long time to come.” Parents, stop beating yourself up Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United States on Friday blocked a global document aimed at ridding the world of nuclear weapons, saying Egypt and other states tried to “cynically manipulate” the process by setting a deadline for Israel and its neighbors to meet within months on a Middle East zone free of such weapons.The now-failed final document of a landmark treaty review conference had called on the U.N. secretary-general to convene the Middle East conference no later than March 2016, regardless of whether Israel and its neighbors agree on an agenda.last_img read more


first_img Comments   Share   D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation Bryan Robinson joined the Cardinals before the 2008-09 season as a player who was expected to provide solid depth and veteran leadership.Three years later he is looking at free agency and the Cardinals have to make a decision.Re-up: Robinson has been everything the Cardinals expected him to be, and probably more. It’s been difficult for the coaches to take him out of the lineup, though his impact off the field may be even more important. He helped mentor rookie Dan Williams last season, even saying if the first round pick didn’t take the veteran’s job something will have gone wrong. An attitude like that is great to have around a young team. What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinkecenter_img Top Stories Reject: Robinson is 37-years-old and looked every bit of it at times last year. He doesn’t do much more than take up space, which is something Williams should be able to do just as well. Veteran leadership is nice, but the game is about production, and Robinson didn’t do much last season. No reason to think he’s going to rebound next year. Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right awaylast_img read more

Related Skyscanner Lands VC Funding to Build World

first_img RelatedSkyscanner Lands VC Funding to Build World’s Leading Flight Search EngineSkyscanner has attracted a £2.5 million first round funding package from leading venture capital group Scottish Equity Partners.Skyscanner appoints high flyer as chairmanOnline travel tycoon Ray Nolan joins Skyscanner board as company builds on record revenues.Skyscanner Partners with Sequoia CapitalSequoia Capital’s investment values Skyscanner at $800M Skyscanner, which is building the world’s first flight search engine to offer prices for every commercial flight, has recruited John Nicholson as its chairman, bringing on board a wealth of experience in growing successful technology companies.SEP invested £2.5 million in Skyscanner in 2007 to enable the company to execute its plan to transform the travel market with its comprehensive global flight search engine.Nicholson, who has more than 25 years international experience in the information technology industry, has held a number of senior management positions including Group Sales Director for Compaq for the UK and Ireland.He brings extensive experience in advising venture-backed companies and holds non-executive positions with several other SEP portfolio companies including high-performance computing specialist Nallatech and VirtenSys, which develops virtualisation solutions for data centres.Nicholson is also Chairman of Office Shadow, a business continuity software provider and a trustee of The e-Learning Foundation, a charity which works to ensure that all children can obtain access to technology for learning, irrespective of their background.Nicholson commented: “Skyscanner is led by a fantastically capable team which has developed an innovative and valuable offering for consumers and the travel industry. With SEP on board as investor, this is a very strong combination and I’m excited about the opportunity to help the company achieve its full potential.”Click here for more information on Skyscanner.ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Maplast_img read more