Three Opposition MLCs resign in U.P.

first_imgIn a fresh blow to the Opposition in Uttar Pradesh, three MLCs from the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) resigned on Saturday.The resignations, announced just minutes after BJP national president Amit Shah landed in Lucknow for a three-day organisational visit, fuelled speculations of further political changes.Barely had BJP leaders and workers welcomed Mr. Shah at the airport that Samajwadi Party MLCs Bukkal Nawab and Yashwant Singh individually resigned from their posts, while BSP MLC Thakur Jaiveer Singh also submitted his resignation letter. There were speculations that a third SP MLC, Madhukar Jetley, was also on the verge of resigning but he returned without putting in his papers.The resignations not only dent Opposition morale but are also likely to ensure the smooth entry of senior BJP ministers, including Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and his two Deputies Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma, into the Legislative Council and thence the Assembly. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, his deputies Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma, and two other BJP ministers Mohsin Raza and Swatantra Dev Singh , require to get elected to the State Assembly or Council as they are not members of either House in the State at the moment.They are required to be elected as members of the State Assembly or State Legislative Council within six months in this case by September 2017.There are hints that the Opposition rebels could head to the BJP or support it, as they lavished praise on the party after their resignations. ”I dedicate this seat to UP CM Yogiji,” said Mr. Yashwant Singh, making it clear that he was vacating the seat for Mr. Adityanath.Mr. Singh, a close aide of Thakur leader Raja Bhaiya, used the nationalism plank to justify abandoning the SP, saying he was offended by Mr. Yadav’s recent comments in the House where he glorified China.”Since that day I developed a feeling that it would not be morally right for me to continue in the party whose national president called India weak, and does not have desh prem (patriotism), but love for China,” he said.Mr. Singh, however, told The Hindu that he had not been approached by any BJP leader yet and dismissed the idea that his resignation was timed to sync with Mr. Shah’s visit. But if the BJP came asking, he would not say no. Mr. Bukkal Nawab said he had resigned as he was feeling “suffocated” in the SP over the last one year. Criticising the functioning of the party in recent times, he said the SP reflected an arena more than a party with an organization. “They should not call it the Samajwadi Party but the Samajwadi Akhara,” he said.Interestingly, Mr. Nawab, a Shia leader, heaped praise on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Mr. Adityanath for their sabka saath sabka vikaas slogan and and “good work,” respectively.He also said he had no qualms in joining hands with the BJP if such an offer came. “If they invite me, then I will go. All options are open,” Mr Nawab said, who had recently launched the Rashtriya Shia Samaj.He was elected as to the Legislative Council, for his second term last year.Reacting to the developments, SP president Akhilesh Yadav accused the BJP of pressurising Opposition legislators to defect through “political corruption.”Mr. Yadav said the BJP leaders were afraid of fighting direct elections and were seeking a safer route through the Legislative Council.“BJP people can’t muster courage to go to the people. I dare them to go to the people and get elected. But not cheat like you did with the machines [EVM],” Mr. Yadav said, terming the BJP “undemocratic.”BSP chief Mayawati also cried foul and blamed the BJP for misusing power and State machinery to target Opposition parties and their legislators.She said the BJP’s “hunger for power” had now transformed into a “lust.”After Goa and Manipur, and mostly recently in Bihar and Gujarat, the BJP was now trying the same manipulative tactics in UP through misuse of State agencies like CBI and Income Tax department to run a campaign to paint its opponents as corrupt, Ms. Mayawati alleged.She urged Opposition party legislators to not surrender before the BJP but resist its “dictatorial, arrogant and oppressive” stance.”Instead of kneeling before the BJP, they should have have fought back against the terror and oppression of the BJP government,” Ms. Mayawati said.”If you don’t fight back, the BJP will get emboldened as they have now tasted blood,” she said.Mr. Yadav resorted to sarcasm to taunt Nawab, saying not many days had passed since the Shia leader had treated him with sewai on Eid. ” Bahut mithi thi sewai. Abhi Eid gaye kitne din guzre,” the SP chief said.Deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya said the resignations were the “personal matter” of the SP leaders.Meanwhile, Mr. Shah addressed a meeting of UP BJP office bearers, including district presidents & legislators, before meeting leaders of the BJP’s allies.His visit to Lucknow is said to clear out the BJP’s next move in the State regarding the strategy of getting its ministers elected to the House.last_img read more

Mutual fund AUMs to cross Rs 20-trn mark by 2018: Report

first_imgTotal assets under management (AUMs) of Mutual Fund industry are expected to cross Rs 20 trillion mark by 2018 from the existing Rs 12 trillion, according to a report. Faster growth is backed by factors like sound macro-economic environment and favourable demographics, according to a joint report by EY and Cafemutual. While the domestic MF industry has outpaced global mutual funds in terms of AUM growth, there lies a significant opportunity to channelise household savings, which are only at Rs 11.7 trillion, into capital markets, it said. Since 2008, mutual funds AUMs have grown at a CAGR of 16.84 per cent, outpacing the global average of around 8.80 per cent by double the rate. Basing its optimism on the favourable demographics, the report said a growing young population is expected to increase the number of MF investors. “There is a lot of positive feeling about the domestic mutual fund industry and we are on the right trajectory from a long term perspective,” EY partner Murali Balaraman told PTI. However, he cautioned that despite a high savings rate of 30.6 per cent of GDP, the percentage of mutual funds is a mere 7, which is very low. Citing the reasons for this, the report said there is a preference for less risky investment products which was coupled with lack of financial literacy among households and limited development of various distribution channels. “Going by the low share of households investing in MFs, the industry is still waiting for its takeoff,” Cafemutual founder Prem Khatri said.last_img read more

Serena Williams to make comeback at Fed Cup

first_img COMMENT Serena Williams withdraws from Australian Open January 24, 2018 SHARE SHARE EMAIL TENNIS-SERENA   –  Reuters RELATED TENNIS-SERENA   –  Reuters ×center_img COMMENTS Serena aims for ‘outrageous’ Australian Open comeback tennis Serena Williams, who has not played a competitive match since capturing last year’s Australian Open, will return to the court next month at a Fed Cup tie, the US Tennis Association announced.Williams was pregnant when she won her 23rd major crown last January in Melbourne. She gave birth to a girl, Alexis Olympia, last September and married father Alexis Ohanian in November.The defending Fed Cup champion Americans will play host to the Netherlands in a first-round tie February 10-11 on an indoor hardcourt at Asheville, North Carolina.Joining 22nd-ranked Williams on the US squad will be her sister seven-time Grand Slam champion, Venus, and ninth-ranked CoCo Vandeweghe, a semi-finalist at last year’s US and Australian Opens in her best major results.This will be the first time in two years that either Williams sister has been on the US Fed Cup squad. The US women have never lost in eight ties when both Williams sisters have been named to the squad, the most recent of those wins in 2015. Serena last played Fed Cup in April 2015, when she won two singles matches in a World Group playoff loss to Italy in Brindisi. Venus, ranked fifth, won two singles matches in her most recent Fed Cup appearance in a 2016 tie against Poland in Hawaii.Vandeweghe went a combined 8–0 in singles and doubles for the US Fed Cup team last year, the first player with eight wins in the same year in more than 20 seasons.The final member of the US squad and the Dutch lineup will be announced next week, the USTA announcement said. The Americans are 6-2 against the Dutch in their all-time rivalry, but the most recent meeting was a 5-0 US home sweep in 1998. The only Dutch wins came in 1968 and 1997. Published on SHARElast_img read more

WWE: Roman Reigns relinquishes Universal Championship amid health issues

first_imgAdvertisementFormer Universal Champion Roman Reigns kicked off Monday Night RAW this week and in the end, left the WWE Universe in shock. The ‘Big Dog‘ firstly apologized to the gathering present in Providence, Rhode Island for not being a fighting Champion that the company wanted him to be.He further alluded that his real name was Joe and for 11 years he had an ongoing battle against Leukemia. However, Reigns unfortunately revealed that the disease had returned and he needed to relinquish the Universal Championship as he would be unable to fulfil his role as the main titleholder on RAW.Here’s a glimpse of Roman Reigns’ speech last night on RAW:Reigns was set to defend his title against Braun Strowman and Brock Lesnar at WWE Crown Jewel in Saudi Arabia on November 2. But with him out of action, Strowman and Lesnar will clash for the vacant Universal Championship in singles competition next Friday.The WWE Universe and Superstars alike expressed their gratitude towards Roman and sent out their prayers for him and his family on social media. In the past, many superstars have to give up their championship due to injuries but Reigns’ fight against cancer is something that everyone was unaware off and has honestly left us stunned.We wish Roman a speedy recovery and are sure that he will once again kick Leukemia out of his life and come back stronger and better than ever before.#ThankYouRomanAdvertisementlast_img read more

Spotlight on Salman at IOAs Olympic contingent send-off

first_imgNew Delhi, Jul 18 (PTI) The Indian Olympic contingent was given a warm send-off here today, but it was Bollywood actor and IOAs Goodwill Ambassador Salman Khan who turned out to be the cynosure of all eyes, instead of the 20-odd Rio-bound athletes present on the occasion. A record contingent of 121 athletes, including 54 women, will represent India at the upcoming sporting extravaganza in the Brazilian city known for its sand and sea. “The contingent this time is one third more than last time and this itself proves that Indian athletes are improving. It is not just about winning medals but qualifying to participate in the Olympics itself is a huge thing,” Indian Olympic Association president N Ramachandran said. Besides Ramachandran and his colleagues from IOA secretary general Rajiv Mehta and treasurer Anil Khanna, other dignitaries present were Sports Minister Vijay Goel, Sports secretary Rajiv Yadav, SAI DG Injeti Srinivas, Chief-de-Mission Rakesh Gupta and Deputy Chief de Mission Anandeshwar Pandey. And there was, of course, Salman accompanied by music maestro AR Rahman, who is also IOAs Goodwill Ambassador. Tennis ace Sania Mirza, shuttlers PV Sindu and Kidambi Srikanth, talented wrestlers Vinesh Phogat, Babita and Sandeep Tomar, archer Deepa Karmakar and paddler Manika Batra were some of the well-known athletes present on the occasion. Salman said, “People have a lot of hope from this contingent, I wish you guys all the very best. I am here from Bombay to give you a send-off and respect that you deserve. I know how difficult it is to be a sportsperson and I know it because I couldnt become one. “I didnt have that much strength to become a sportsman but you guys have it and thats why you guys have qualified. Go there and give your best. Please dont come early.” Salman was controversially appointed as Goodwill Ambassador, which left the countrys sporting fraternity divided. During the ceremony, Salman and Rahman gave the athletes flower bouquets with the cine star indulging in a bit of trademark banter. PTI AH KPM KHS KHSadvertisementlast_img read more

Lewis Hamilton plans to come out fighting in Malaysia

first_imgTriple world champion Lewis Hamilton could do little at the Singapore Grand Prix on Sunday to prevent Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg from leapfrogging him in the Formula One standings but the Briton will not give up his title without a fight.Hamilton rallied from a big early season deficit to overhaul Rosberg in the standings but after the German led from pole to flag in Singapore to claim a third straight victory, the Briton finds himself eight points adrift after his third-place finish.”We have a good car and we’ve got to have a good weekend,” Hamilton told reporters as he looked ahead to the next race in Malaysia.”We’ve come from 43 points down so theoretically eight points isn’t anywhere near as steep as that but still, Nico’s been performing fantastically well.”This weekend he’s done an amazing job. I expect him to continue like that so I’ve got make sure that I do the same.”Hamilton arrived in Singapore a year ago with a 53-point lead over Rosberg as he cruised to his third Formula One title and although the tables have somewhat turned this campaign, the Briton knows there are still six rounds remaining.”Well, it’s a lot different to when I was here last year, but in all in all, with everything that’s gone on this year, I’m still in the fight, there’s still a long way to go and I’m going to give it everything I’ve got,” he said.On Sunday, Hamilton started third on the grid and was unable to get anywhere near Rosberg once he failed to get past Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo at the first turn and ended up fighting with Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen for the final podium spot.advertisement”I was struggling with my brakes, they were way overheating, so I just had to slow down, so I had to watch the other guys pull away and I was looking at different ways to try and get them back under control,” he added.”Once I did my second or third stop, all of a sudden my brakes were under control but of course, towards the end I still got a bit of heat in them.”last_img read more

Roger Federer favourite as absentees offer hope to young guns at US Open

first_imgAn injury-ravaged U.S. Open men’s draw offers the best opportunity yet for a young pretender to claim a maiden grand slam crown but in this most retro of seasons Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will look to turn back time in New York.With the physical demands of modern-day tennis taking its toll the tournament will start without four of the top 11 in the ATP rankings including defending champion Stan Wawrinka who ended his season early with a knee injury.Twice champion Novak Djokovic (elbow), 2014 runner-up Kei Nishikori (wrist) and Milos Raonic (wrist) are also absent while 2012 champion Andy Murray and 2014 winner Marin Cilic have been sidelined since Wimbledon by injuries.Federer, looking to win three grand slam titles in the same year for the first time since 2007, withdrew from Cincinnati with a back niggle and while Nadal, who returned this week to world number one, is fit, his form of late has been patchy.Just taking a stroll…..with @Charlymoya and @RafaelNadal ????????????https://t.co/pEWbaZEzSc #USOpen pic.twitter.com/K5eEXBNjmN- US Open Tennis (@usopen) 25 August 2017All the more reason that Alexander Zverev, Dominic Thiem and Nick Kyrgios — to name but three — will be relishing seizing a golden opportunity in the Big Apple.Of those Germany’s 20-year-old Zverev looks the best bet to shake it up after rising to sixth in the world after beating Federer in the Rogers Cup in Montreal — the biggest title so far for the six-foot-six-inch powerhouse.Squad goals ????????? #USOpen pic.twitter.com/d18ZbHhwDradvertisement- US Open Tennis (@usopen) 25 August 2017″Is Zverev ready to step up best of five?” four-times Flushing Meadows champion John McEnroe, part of ESPN’s commentary team, said this week.”If he is he’s got a great chance to step forward and get to the final, at least the semis.”Unpredictable Australian Kyrgios has shown signs of delivering on his potential this year, most recently when beating Nadal in the quarter-finals in Cincinnati before losing to Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov, another U.S. Open title candidate, in the final.”You can say he’s slowly hopefully but surely going in the right direction,” McEnroe said of the 22-year-old Kyrgios..@rogerfederer & @rafaelnadal are on course to meet in the semifinals. Only 3? days until the #USOpen begins!????L https://t.co/gMLPctDhYw pic.twitter.com/MCAVoa0z46- US Open Tennis (@usopen) 25 August 2017Austrian Thiem appears to have left his best tennis on the European clay, struggling on the North American hardcourts.Jack Sock, John Isner and Sam Querrey will lead the American challenge in the men’s tournament — hoping to end a six-year wait for a men’s quarter-finalist for the host nation.”I don’t see any of them winning it. I see all of them being dangerous,” McEnroe said.The 36-year-old Federer, seeded third, will be most people’s title pick having produced a stunning year since returning from a six-month lay-off in January — compiling a 35-3 record.Having claimed a first Australian Open title for seven years, a first Wimbledon title for five years he could surpass even those feats with a first U.S. Open since 2008 and take his grand slam tally to a record-extending 20.”At the moment we are assuming that Roger is going to pull the rabbit out of the hat again,” McEnroe said.”If Roger wins this, this will be one of the great stories in the last 50 years or ever.”Should either the Swiss or French Open champion Nadal, twice a champion in New York, prevail it would be the first time since 2010 that the duo have scooped all of the year’s majors.However, if fans were hoping for a Federer-Nadal finale, those hopes were dashed after Friday’s draw set them on a semi-final collision course.Defending #USOpen champion @angeliquekerber will face Osaka in her R1 match. https://t.co/nWiYVAqUVG (??: 2016) pic.twitter.com/bkxPPw8J0t- US Open Tennis (@usopen) 25 August 2017Kerber: “[This year] I learned to focus on what I ??: going on court & practicing hard, playing my best in front of fans, & winning” #USOpen pic.twitter.com/Wox61v4vWx- US Open Tennis (@usopen) 25 August 2017And even before a ball is hit in anger, the countdown to that possible showdown has set pulses racing.2014 champion @cilic_marin, No.5 seed, opens against Simon https://t.co/jzQFY1rxrz (??: 2014) #USOpen (??: 2014) pic.twitter.com/Zl6Q7yjT0E- US Open Tennis (@usopen) 25 August 2017Top seed and 2x champion @RafaelNadal starts his 2017 #USOpen campaign vs. Lajovic https://t.co/BUyVkSJpJg pic.twitter.com/diUTYthcHAadvertisement- US Open Tennis (@usopen) 25 August 20172006 #USOpen champion @MariaSharapova will face Halep in her R1 match. https://t.co/czpOX2dTrQ (??: 2012) pic.twitter.com/0jjIOlJaHt- US Open Tennis (@usopen) 25 August 2017last_img read more

Our aim was to qualify for World Cup on merit: Rani Rampal to India Today

first_imgIndia women ended a 13-year-wait on November 5 when they became the Asian champions beating China 5-4 in a nail-biting hockey Asia Cup final in Japan.The previous women’s Asia Cup victory for India came in 2004, when they had defeated Japan in New Delhi.With the victory, the Indian women’s hockey team have qualified for next year’s World Cup.The Indian women team’s triumph follows the men’s Asia Cup victory last month.Rani Rampal was a proud captain as the Indian team touched down in New Delhi with the trophy shining bright in their hands.”It’s a huge achievement for us that we have qualified for the World Cup being the continental champions. We had the feeling amongst us that we have to qualify for the World Cup on our own and not through any other means,” Rampal told India Today.WATCH VIDEOTeam India received a grand welcome after arriving from Japan late on 6th Nov with the 9th Womens #AsiaCup2017 trophy. pic.twitter.com/0EIanay3Mi- Hockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) November 7, 2017Rampal praised her team and highlighted the role of the coaching staff behind their success.”The team played very well and the coaching staff helped us a lot, guided us wonderfully and enabled us to perform well.”Rampal said they were very happy now that they could end the country’s long wait for the trophy.”The team is really happy because we last won the Asia Cup in 2004 and now this. So this shows that hockey has gradually improved,” Rampal concluded.advertisementEarlier, the Indian women’s hockey team expressed their disappointment over the fact that their game were not telecast live on TV.Monika Malik, Savita Punia and others said to ANI that they were hurt with the treatment meted to them in terms of the telecast.last_img read more

NYC Day Three – Summary

first_imgIn addition to the games, Touch Football Australia launched its AusSquad program and the Australian Men’s and Women’s Open squads played against the Alliance in their first ever encounter. In the 18’s Boys division, the quarter finals were played on Friday afternoon, with the four winners progressing through to the semi finals. In the first qualifying final, New South Wales Combined Catholic Colleges (NSWCCC) defeated the Western Tigers, 11-3, while the North Queensland Tropical Cyclones were 6-5 winners over the Sydney Scorpions in the second qualifying final. In the third qualifying final, Queensland Secondary Schools Touch (QSST) was two touchdown winners over the Central Queensland Bulls, winning 8-6. In the fourth qualifying final, New South Wales Combined High Schools (NSWCHS) was too good for the South Queensland Sharks, winning 13-5. In the 18’s Boys semi finals, NSWCCC will meet North Queensland in the first semi final, while QSST will play NSWCHS in the second semi final. The Scorpions and the Sharks will playoff for fifth and sixth places, while the Bulls and the Tigers will playoff for seventh and eighth places.In the 18’s Girls semi finals, QSST will meet NSWCCC, while NSWCHS will play the Brisbane City Cobras, with the winners of the two games to meet in the final at 2.05pm. To view all the results from day three of the 2010 X-Blades National Youth Championships, please click on the following link:http://www.sportingpulse.com/assoc_page.cgi?c=14-742-0-0-0&a=COMPSlast_img read more

ALPART Gives $2.6 Million to Assist Students

first_img They sought to give two high school students five-year scholarships As part of its quest to support the development of children, Alumina Partners of Jamaica (Alpart), through its Community Council, has provided educational assistance to 625 students in South Manchester, and St. Elizabeth, valued at $2.6 million.Speaking at a back-to-school ceremony, held at the Alpart Sports Club, in Nain, St. Elizabeth, on August 15, Administrator of the Council, Camilla Blake, explained that the educational programme, now in its third year, has reached more students than in previous times.“The programme assists needy students at all levels of the educational spectrum -early childhood level, primary level, secondary level and tertiary level – and they are all drawn from the communities neighbouring Alpart,” he noted.While the initiative has catered to all categories of students, this year they sought to give two high school students five-year scholarships that would take them through their secondary education.“They had to have an average of 90 per cent and more. Applicants had to demonstrate financial need, and they had to have a good record of discipline and potential at their school; and took part in extra curricula activities, because we are looking for rounded individuals,” Miss Blake said.“We had 17 applicants who fit the criteria outlined. After an interview process and deliberations, the two successful students were selected, and a decision was made by management that hard work should be rewarded, so each of the other 15 applicants will receive a grant valued at $15,000 for their first year at high school,” she said.Meanwhile, Member of Parliament for South Manchester, Hon. Michael Peart, provided educational support for some 150 students residing in the Alligator Pond Division, at a cost of over $500,000 from the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).“Next year we will be taking this programme to another level where your academic achievement and your attendance record will be investigated before a disbursement is made, to make sure that students who benefit from the programme are deserving of it, not only on need, but on performance,” Mr. Peart said.Both the Member of Parliament for South East St. Elizabeth, Mr. Richard Parchment, and Managing Director for Alpart, Mr. Timothy O’Driscoll, encouraged the students to do their best at school and reap the rewards in later years.For his part, Chairman of the Council, Lenworth Blake, reported that the group has spent some $12 million over the past year to develop communities, and for educational development.“There is no community around the plant where we have not done a project. We have helped the farmers, police station, fire station, and community centres. We also see the worth of education and we are prepared to invest in education,” Mr. Blake told the audience. Story Highlights Alpart, through its Community Council, has provided educational assistance to 625 students The programme assists needy students at all levels of the educational spectrumlast_img read more

Premier Offers Condolences to Dennis Family

first_imgPremier Darrell Dexter tonight, Dec. 1, expressed his condolences on the passing of Chronicle Herald publisher, Graham Dennis. “Graham Dennis leaves behind a long and important legacy in this province. He loved his newspaper, and he loved Nova Scotia,” said Premier Dexter. “He will be remembered as a fine businessman, and a great Canadian.” Graham Dennis holds the longest record of service as a publisher in the Canadian daily newspaper industry. The Halifax Herald Limited, under his direction, remained independent – a rarity in Canadian journalism. “On behalf of all Nova Scotians, my condolences to the Dennis family and the Chronicle Herald family,” the premier said. “Nova Scotia has lost a dear friend and a great champion.” -30-last_img read more

Fire marshal releases cause of fatal Pubnico Head fire that killed four

first_imgHALIFAX – A fast-moving fire that claimed the lives of four children in rural Nova Scotia last month was ignited by heat coming from a wood stove, the province’s fire marshal confirmed Thursday as he said his office must do a better job of releasing such information.“We have an opportunity to look at what’s been done in the past and an obligation to make improvements in the public interest where we can,” Fred Jeffers said in an interview.While the fire was sparked by a wood stove, its origin was around the chimney, he said.The two-storey home in Pubnico Head, N.S., was engulfed in flames by the time firefighters arrived 11 minutes after receiving a call for help on Jan. 7.Emma Kennedy and her common-law partner Phil Prouty escaped the blaze, but the fire killed four-month-old Winston Prouty, four-year-old Jayla Kennedy, seven-year-old Mya Prouty and seven-year-old Mason Grant, a cousin who was visiting for a sleepover.Prouty, a local fisherman, was left badly injured by the fire. He was brought out of an induced coma two days later.Last week, a spokeswoman for the provincial government confirmed the fire marshal’s investigation had been completed, but she refused to release its basic findings, citing “privacy laws.”The response from the Municipal Affairs Department, which oversees the Office of the Fire Marshal, was criticized by David Fraser, a legal expert in privacy issues, and journalism professor Fred Vallance-Jones at Dalhousie University in Halifax.Fraser said the province’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act grants most public bodies broad discretion when it comes to disclosing information considered in the public interest, while protecting personal data.Police, for example, often release the cause of death and victims’ names in murder cases. But the personal information in an autopsy is protected by the provincial statute, typically referred to as FOIPoP.When a fire causes multiple deaths, it’s in the public interest to release the cause because such information can promote public safety, Fraser said.Jeffers said his office is not in the habit of routinely releasing such information, but he confirmed basic findings have been released in the past when doing so was in the public interest.As well, he stressed that his investigation reports must first be vetted through the FOIPoP process before any information can be released.He agreed when asked if there needed to be more openness when it comes to releasing that information.“The wording of that response probably wasn’t what we should have had there,” he said, referring to the Municipal Affairs Department.“Based on this incident … we can certainly see that what we’ve done in the past is not in the best interest of the public, and we need to look at it.”Jeffers, who has been fire marshal for over a year, would not say what changes his agency is contemplating.“We have an opportunity here to look at past practice … and consider a better way forward. I don’t want to commit to any more than that right now.”He said promoting fire safety is a top priority for his office, noting there is a deputy fire marshal dedicated to that job. Jeffers also made a point of pointing to his office’s website, which includes extensive information about fire safety, including facts sheets on carbon monoxide, escape planning, fire extinguishers and careless smoking.According to the Canada Safety Council, an area of at least one metre around a wood stove or fireplace should be clear of anything that might catch fire or overheat. It says installing a heat shield can prevent heat damage to nearby walls, adding that no one should leave the house or go to bed while a fire is still burning.“If you are using a fireplace, regularly have the chimney cleaned and serviced by a professional,” its website advises.—On the internet: For more information on fire safety visit https://novascotia.ca/dma/firesafety/Follow @NovaMac on Twitterlast_img read more

Pets lower stress in older adults

first_imgHaving a pet can help older adults cope with mental and physical health issues, according to a US poll which showed that owning an animal lowers stress and gives people a sense of purpose. While pets come with benefits, they can also bring concerns, and some people may even put their animals’ needs ahead of their own health, the poll found. In all, 55 per cent of adults ages 50 to 80 have a pet, according to the new findings – and more than half of those have multiple pets. Also Read – An income drop can harm brainMore than three-quarters of pet owners say their animals reduce their stress, and nearly as many say pets give them a sense of purpose. However, 18 per cent also said having a pet or pets puts a strain on their budget. Two-thirds of all pet owners, and 78 per cent of dog owners, said their pet helps them be physically active, according to the findings from University of Michigan in the US. For those who reported that their health was fair or poor, pet ownership appeared to offer even more benefits. More than 70 per cent of these older adults said their pet helps them cope with physical or emotional symptoms, and 46 per cent said their pets help take their mind off of pain. Also Read – Shallu Jindal honoured with Mahatma Award”We have long known that pets are a common and naturally occurring source of support,” said Cathleen Connell, a professor at University of Michigan. “Although the benefits of pets are significant, social connections and activities with friends and family are also key to quality of life across the lifespan,” Connell said. “Helping older adults find low cost ways to support pet ownership while not sacrificing other important relationships and priorities is an investment in overall mental and physical health,” she said. The poll results indicates a need for physicians and other health care providers to ask older adults about the role of pets in their lives. More than half of those who owned pets said they did so specifically to have a companion – and a slightly higher percentage said their pets sleep in bed with them. Sixty-five per cent of pet owners said having a pet helps connect them to other people, too. “Relationships with pets tend to be less complicated than those with humans, and pets are often a source of great enjoyment,” said Mary Janevic, an assistant research scientist at the University of Michigan. “They also provide older adults with a sense of being needed and loved,” Janevic said. One in six said that they put their pet’s needs ahead of their own health needs – a figure that was closer to one in four among those with health issues. “Later life is often a time when people have more freedom to travel, and a long list of things they want to do with their free time, and sometimes having a pet can get in the way,” said Janevic.last_img read more

Senior UN relief official views flood disaster in Nicaragua

3 November 2011With an estimated 1.2 million people in Central America affected by severe floods, the United Nations is mobilizing resources to provide life-saving assistance to those in need, as a senior UN relief official visiting Nicaragua today described the situation in the country as a “real disaster.” “When you have close to 10 per cent of your geographic area under water, I would say that is a disaster,” said Catherine Bragg, the Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, who will also visit El Salvador starting tomorrow.“I have been seeing areas where the poorest people were affected and now they have moved to drier land. There is the immediate response that has to happen [and] the level of the lake that surrounds Managua is still rising, which is a permanent threat,” she said when she visited the flood-affected Domitila Lugo area, a low-lying part of the Tipitapa municipality, about 19 kilometres from the capital, Managua.The UN Population Fund (UNFPA), meanwhile, reported that many medical facilities in El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Honduras have been damaged or are inaccessible after the flooding that has followed weeks of torrential rainfall blamed on a tropical depression in the region.In El Salvador, where over 300,000 people have been affected by floods, UNFPA has deployed two mobile health centres to cater for 150,000 people, including 50,000 who have sought refuge in shelters.More than 5,000 hygiene kits were distributed to families by UNFPA partners at the onset of the crisis. The kits include hygiene items such as soap, sanitary pads and towels. An additional 5,000 kits will be distributed in the coming weeks.The UN has issued a flash appeal for $15.7 million to provide emergency assistance to an estimated 300,000 people affected by the disaster in El Salvador, and a separate appeal for $14.3 million for 134,000 affected Nicaraguans.In Guatemala, UNFPA is helping to coordinate health units made up of doctors and nurses who will travel to the most affected communities to provide emergency maternal health care and conduct epidemiological surveillance.In Nicaragua, UNFPA is focusing on preventing gender-based violence in shelters for those displace by the floods and on providing assistance to survivors of sexual violence. Psychosocial assistance is also being provided to women in Guatemala through the training of 50 local psychologists on post-traumatic stress management. read more

Security Council holds closeddoor consultations on Iraq agrees to meet again Friday

Speaking to reporters following the meeting, Ambassador Sergey Lavrov of the Russian Federation voiced his country’s two basic concerns about a draft resolution presented by the United States, namely “the automaticity of the use of force” and “loading [UN weapons] inspectors in spite of their wishes with unimplementable mandates.”These two elements were of principal interest to Moscow and had long been communicated to Washington, he said. “Unfortunately, so far we have not seen changes in the text which would take into account these concerns.”Ambassador Jeremy Greenstock of the United Kingdom said the text in question “is intended very clearly to be a last chance offer to Iraq.” The message was that Baghdad must “take the inspection process seriously; it’s going to be a tough one but it’s going to be a fair one under UN rules and if you get it wrong, that’s a disaster for you.”He added that operative paragraph 12 in the text calls for “a second stage, where the Security Council considers any report from the inspectors that shows trouble and will have a discussion at that point.” Ambassador Greenstock cautioned patience, stressing that the process would “take a few more days.” Ambassador John D. Negroponte of the United States said there had been “brief, preliminary comments” on the draft before the Council agreed to continue consultations on Friday morning.While declining to speculate on when the text might be adopted, he said, “time is going by and I think we all feel that the moment has come to get an added sense of urgency to this question,” and voiced hope that the process would move as quickly as possible.The US Ambassador said “most if not all” Council members generally accepted that it would be “useful and important” to have another resolution on Iraq. read more

UNs top priority remains getting aid to tsunami victims it has not

“There are still many areas that we have not been able to get people to, many areas are still, particularly on the western coast of Sumatra, unreachable by land,” Kevin M. Kennedy, the Director of the Coordination and Response Division of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), told a news briefing in New York of the Indonesian provinces that officials have dubbed the disaster’s “ground zero.”He said that in the coming days the relief operations would be calling on international military assistance to help repair key infrastructure, such as bridges, culverts and roads, to allow delivery of food and assistance in Sumatra and Aceh province.Mr. Kennedy noted that while helicopters now being used are “absolutely critical” to the operation, they are an expensive way to bring in aid. A Black Hawk helicopter carries about a half ton of food. “Now that’s extremely important because it may prevent people from losing their lives…but what we will need are roads that we can drive 20-ton and 10-ton trucks down at a much lower cost and deliver much more assistance,” he said.But he added that “rather substantial progress” is being made in the overall efforts to bring literally life-saving supplies to the survivors of the tsunami which is estimated to have killed more than 150,000 people in a dozen countries, injured 500,000 others and left up to 5 million more lacking basic services, many of them in emergency camps.Without clean water, antibiotics and other basic supplies, survivors face the prospect of deadly diarrhoeal and other diseases that, in a worst case scenario, could kill as many or more people than the actual tsunami itself.Mr. Kennedy noted that in Sri Lanka, one of the worst-hit areas with at least 750,000 people affected, the relief operation will, by this weekend, probably have reached every person in need with at least initial food assistance and non-food items, “which is, I think a very significant achievement.”Food is already on hand to assist all the estimated 50,000 beneficiaries in the Maldives, and efforts are underway to distribute food in Somalia where operations are complicated by geography and security concerns.But, he said the biggest challenges remain Sumatra and Aceh, noting that in some areas there the giant waves penetrated up to five kilometres inland.Even here, however, he noted “a couple of key developments,” including the opening of an air bridge from Subang in Malaysia to Medan in Sumatra and Aceh. This allows the entry into the region of wide-bodied aircraft with large quantities of relief supplies such as water treatment facilities, generators and fuelling systems that can be unloaded in Malaysia and transported onward by smaller planes.He said the number of international staff on the ground had also increased with about 50 UN international personnel in Banda Aceh alone, along with up to 200 non-governmental organization (NGO) and Red Cross staff, as well as hundreds of national staff.”We are increasing our deliveries day by day, both food and non-food items,” he added. “We remain very concerned about the health situation, respiratory diseases, malaria, treatment for the injured, and we’re working with the government and the various militaries to extend our health services.”He also highlighted progress in “putting into place the kind of coordination, arrangements, mechanisms that are required to bring together efficiently and effectively so many different moving parts” from such a multilateral operation that includes 11 military forces, all the governments of the affected countries and the dozens of NGOs, as well as the various UN agencies and the Red Cross.In related developments, the office of the Global Compact, Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s initiative to promote better business practices in human rights, labour and the environment, announced today that private sector organizations around the world had stepped in with unprecedented donations in the form of financial aid, food, medicine and other supplies and services.Meanwhile, victims of natural disasters will be able to benefit from faster and more effective rescue operations starting tomorrow when the Tampere Convention enters into force, simplifying the use of life-saving telecommunications equipment in the 30 countries that have ratified it.”From the mobilization of assistance to the logistics chain, which will carry assistance to the intended beneficiaries, reliable telecommunications links are indispensable,” Mr. Annan said. Video of press briefing [25mins] read more

Coop student spends summer impacting young lives

A summer co-op work term has affirmed for Joel Maves that his future lies in making a difference in young lives.The third-year student in Brock’s international dual degree program spent the summer completing a co-op work term at Youth Unlimited, a local not-for-profit Christian outreach organization that works primarily with troubled teens.It was through this experience that his eyes were opened to the potential career path helping others may take him down.Though Maves is taking classes within the Goodman School of Business, he was anxious to participate in a co-op that allowed him to explore his interest in not-for-profit youth work.“Through participating in church youth groups growing up and being a camp counsellor, I have discovered a passion for facilitating programs for youth and building relationships with them,” he said.Maves found it helpful to be able to apply his classroom skills in a real-world working environment.“In my co-op, I found things that applied directly to organizational behaviour, such as dealing with conflicts within the organization or examining the style of leadership that my supervisor was using,” he said.To secure his position with the organization, Maves had to fundraise much of his own salary, complementing the summer student grant Youth Unlimited had already been awarded.He created a fundraising campaign and, with the help of friends, family and other supporters, was able to reach his $4,400 goal and serve as the organization’s summer program co-ordinator.Maves felt one of the biggest draws of working with a not-for-profit organization like Youth Unlimited was the diversity of tasks he was able to take on.“There was no average day,” he said. “I took care of office work, helped to clean the youth centre, planned weekly events and fundraised to send kids to summer camp. I facilitated a weekly faith-based talk and games program for young men, and hosted our drop-in night for guys and girls.”The organization also hosts weekly programming for girls and offers a variety of programs and support networks for young parents.“A lot of the time I was just a listening ear,” he said of his time with Youth Unlimited. “I am here to encourage and uplift those who need it and to help out when they are struggling with self-esteem issues.”Beyond providing a safe space for young people, the organization also aims to help them develop emotionally, intellectually, spiritually, physically and socially.“When they come to us they are encouraged to pursue their interests and we try to help,” said Maves. “One of our students wanted to join the military, and we helped him figure out what he needed to do and how we could assist in that process.”Maves is aware that his work term was different from the office jobs that many students pursue, but he emphasized that co-op students can grow their careers in any work environment.“Don’t be frightened by unconventional opportunities,” he said. “They make you stand out and add tons of value to your resumé.”With 15 per cent of Brock’s students completing co-op work terms in 40 different programs, Maves is one of many participants using the co-op to fast track their career. He was particularly grateful to the Co-op Education team for keeping him on track to achieve his goal of working with youth.“Having assignments throughout my work term helped to keep me accountable,” he said. “I was able to keep track of what I learned, and that helped me to tangibly gauge my improvement while also having time for self reflection.“I knew that I had an interest in working with youth,” he said. “And now I can say that I actually do enjoy it a lot and that I am passionate about entering a career in the not-for-profit sector. It has been fantastic to work with Youth Unlimited, and I hope to use my connection with the organization to continue to work with young people once I have finished my degree.” read more

Weird Hockey Superheroes Invade NHL AllStar Game

first_imgThe National Hockey League was looking to drum up some interest, so naturally it did what any major league sporting body would–it contacted Stan “The Man” Lee. The X-Men/Spider-man/Fantastic Four/Hulk/Iron Man creator helped dream up the Guardian Project, an odd team of heroes based loosely upon different NHL teams.The 30 characters will “come to life” during the NHL All-Star game this weekend in Raleigh, North Carolina. The league will be showing of a computer animated short featuring the characters, which will offer “fans a glimpse of their individual powers and collective force.”The adventures will continue over at the Guardian Website–and, of course, merchandizing in the form of cards, posters, t-shirts, pins, pucks, and a graphic novel.Silly promotion? Sure. But heck, we’re writing about the NHL this morning, and how often does that happen?last_img read more

Gardaí stop driver five times over legal alcohol limit

first_img Share155 Tweet Email 66 Comments Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Jan 25th 2017, 10:24 AM Short URL Gardaí stop driver five times over legal alcohol limit The person also had no motor tax or NCT. http://jrnl.ie/3203945 26,399 Views GARDAÍ STOPPED A driver in Cabra in Dublin last night who was five times over the legal alcohol limit.The person also had no motor tax or NCT on their vehicle.A court appearance is expected. Source: TwitterThe Garda Press Office said it could not give any more information about the person.Transport Minister Shane Ross has previously said he is considering a public database of disqualified drivers in a bid to crack down on offences such as drink driving.Read: Drink driver arrested speeding at 130 kph in 50 kilometre zoneRead: Most people want drink drivers to be publicly named and shamed By Órla Ryan Wednesday 25 Jan 2017, 10:24 AMlast_img read more

Keto Turns Your Smartphone Into Your Car Keys

first_img There are plenty of companies who offer products that let you conveniently add smart locks to the doors on your house. But using your phone to unlock and start your car? That’s another story.If you’re buying new, you might have to upgrade to an expensive tech package… if there’s even one available. An aftermarket remote starter is another option, but not everyone is keen on having a third party tinker with their vehicle’s electronics.Korean startup Onekey thinks they’ve come up with a better option. It doesn’t involve any complicated wiring or deep technical knowledge of your vehicle’s systems.All you need is a fob and a little patience, and a device called Keto.Keto works by keeping things simple. It’s a kind of remote button pusher, so it works with just about any fob for just about any vehicle.Pop open the Keto base unit, insert one of your fobs, and then fire up the smartphone app. Any functions your fob can perform are supported. You can lock and unlock doors, open the trunk, or start the engine. All you have to do is map the fob’s buttons in the app and you’re good to go.I was curious about how Keto handles lockout protection — you have to leave the fob in the base unit and the base gets left in your vehicle. I reached out to the Onekey team and they informed me that the base doesn’t supply power to the fob unless your smartphone is in range.(Photo Credit: KETO)That power is supplied by an integrated lithium-polymer battery which recharges via a USB port (hook it up in your vehicle and it’ll top itself off whenever you go for a drive).Like most smart deadbolts, Keto lets you share access to your vehicle via the mobile app. You can gives folks you trust permanent access with their own digital key or allow them temporary use.Onekey has already blown past their goal for the Kickstarter project and backers should receive their Keto units by December of this year. If you’d like to reserve one for yourself, perks start at $139.Watch: Your Phone Case May Be Hurting Your Phone’s 5G PerformanceMore on Geek.com:Covert Dock for Nintendo Switch Fits in Your PocketKickstart This Sleep Box Inspired by Mark ZuckerbergRugged BlackBerry Clone With QWERTY Keyboard Hits Kickstarter Stay on target Covert Dock for Nintendo Switch Fits in Your PocketRugged BlackBerry Clone With QWERTY Keyboard Hits Kickstarter last_img read more