Action on Initial Recommendations by Council to Improve Classroom Conditions

first_imgMinister of Education and Early Childhood Development Karen Casey has received the 18 initial recommendations from the Council to Improve Classroom Conditions and has directed her department and school boards to act on them. Eight of the recommendations will be immediately implemented and ten are in progress. “From the results of its first meeting, it is clear the council and its members are committed to addressing classroom issues and developing real, sustainable solutions,” said Ms. Casey. “We will implement a number of them right away and work to carry out the remaining recommendations as quickly as possible.” The eight immediate actions include: eliminating three provincially mandated assessments and exams putting in place a five-year moratorium on new school board and provincially initiated assessments maintaining the suspension of Grade 10 exams, which will be available at teachers’ request maintaining the suspension of one provincially mandated assessment issuing a directive to school boards about PowerSchool with regards to marks, which is effective April 3 issuing a directive to school boards about PowerSchool with regards to attendance, which is effective April 3 issuing a directive to school boards about PowerSchool with regards to outcomes, which is effective April 3 preparing and sharing a summary of council discussions and recommendations The province is developing a targeted consultation with teachers and other users on more improvements to PowerSchool and TIENET. This will include observing educators as they use the programs to identify areas where improvements can and should be made. Many of the outstanding recommendations require the department and school boards to present information and options to the council at its next meeting in April. These include giving teachers more time to respond to emails and prepare Individual Program Plans and looking at the timing of pupil evaluation, classification, and administrative days. The council also reviewed a draft attendance policy, which will be discussed further at April’s meeting. The initial report from the council is expected by April 28. A full list of the 18 recommendations, status, and implementation timelines is available online at www.novascotia.ca/classroomcouncil.last_img read more

World Cup exile Hales will still cheer on England

first_imgLondon: Alex Hales insists he will still support England at the upcoming World Cup despite his shock exile from international cricket. The Nottinghamshire batsman was on course to feature for World Cup hosts England until a report in the Guardian newspaper last month revealed he was serving a 21-day ban following a second positive test for recreational drug use. The England and Wales Cricket Board responded to the report by announcing that Hales, a member of the provisional World Cup squad, had been withdrawn from international duty. Also Read – We don’t ask for kind of tracks we get: Bowling coach ArunHales, 30, is now turning his attention instead to a stint with the Barbados Tridents in the seventh season of the Caribbean Premier League. The hard-hitting batsman, speaking after being selected as the first pick in the draft for the Twenty20 franchise competition staged in London on Wednesday, said he still wanted England to win the World Cup in his absence. “I’m still a fan and wish all the boys all the best. What we have done over the last few years has been unbelievable,” Hales said in an interview broadcast by Sky Sports. Also Read – Bastian Schweinsteiger announces retirement, could join Germany set-up”I will be (keeping an eye on the World Cup). The guys deserve to win it and I’ll be sat there watching and cheering.” As for his feelings about his World Cup exile, confirmed when Hales was left out of England’s 15-man tournament squad announced Tuesday, he simply added: “I’m not here to talk about that.” The CPL draft saw Hales selected ahead of West Indies captain Jason Holder and star batsman Chris Gayle, with the competition starting on September 4. “I just want to get back playing what I love most and that’s cricket,” Hales, now a white-ball specialist, added. “This is such a good opportunity to go and play at a ground where I have such fond memories of – the Kensington Oval — and play in a big tournament in some different conditions. “I’ve got a few things to do with the ECB, there’s obviously a process to go through and then I start training I guess.”last_img read more

China demands US withdraw request for Canada to extradite Huawei executive

first_imgBEIJING — China is issuing fresh demands that the U.S. abandon its request that Canada extradite a senior telecom executive who was detained in Vancouver last month.Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in Beijing today that Meng Wanzhou’s case was out of the ordinary and Canada’s extradition treaty with the U.S. infringed on the “safety and legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens.”Hua says China wants the U.S. to withdraw the arrest warrant against the Huawei Technologies executive and “not make a formal extradition request to the Canadian side.”The demand comes a day after 140 international China experts — including five former Canadian ambassadors — urged President Xi Jinping to free two Canadians detained in apparent retaliation for Meng’s arrest.The letter praises former diplomat Michael Kovrig and entrepreneur Michael Spavor as bridge-builders between China and the world, and said their detentions will make its authors “more cautious” about travelling to China.Meng’s arrest has infuriated China, which also sentenced Canadian Robert Lloyd Schellenberg to death last week for a previous drug-smuggling conviction.— With files from The Associated PressThe Canadian Presslast_img read more

Hamilton man taken to hospital after motorcycle runs into curb

Hamilton police are investigating a crash that threw a man off a motorcycle in East Hamilton last night.The man was riding a 2008 Triumph motorcycle on King Street East when he reportedly lost control and hit a curb near Main Street East around 7:30 p.m. last night. He was then thrown from the bike.A 25-year-old Hamilton man was taken to hospital with serious injuries, where he remains in stable condition.Police would like to speak with the driver of the four-door white sedan that was in the area at the time of the crash. Police are asking the driver of the sedan and anyone with information to contact the Collision Reconstruction Unit at (905)546-4753 or (905)546-4755. read more

January 2004 bus and coach registrations reflect declining trend

Registrations of new buses and coaches in 2003 were better than most industry executives envisaged. There were very positive annual growth rates of 7.3 per cent for all buses over 8.5t and 9.4 per cent for coaches. However, the SMMT’s Bus and Coach Section expects to see decline over the near and medium term for bus registrations, with modest growth or stability for annual coach volume.Underlying market trends are not clear using the standard month on month comparisons. These are often highly variable. There are long lags between orders, production, sales and registrations, so the key trends are better tracked over three, six or even 12 month periods. Also, the standard classification presented in the alongside all commercial vehicles in the SMMT press release is inappropriate if one wants to assess how the different segments of the sector are doing.To help give a more balanced understanding of the trends in UK’s new bus and coach market, the SMMT is presenting an additional monthly series of information. This follows on the next page. Its basis is all vehicles registered with a bus and coach body type. It covers the whole spectrum from mini buses to double deck buses and to coaches. Direct comparisons with the standard monthly CV press release are not possible, as most mini buses are included in the heavy van category and there are some bus and coaches classified as commercial vehicles.Over time, this new initiative will contribute to a better understanding of the nature and direction of the UK’s new bus and coach registrations.For table and analysis, please click on the link below.DownloadClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) read more

EYEWITNESS Cant touch this…

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedOPINION: Eyewitness – Jawboning…July 26, 2019In “latest news”EYEWITNESS: Fighting for relevance…January 28, 2019In “EYEWITNESS”Unfit and improppa…in the LGENovember 11, 2018In “EYEWITNESS” …King!Why is it your Eyewitness isn’t the least bit surprised Royston King wasn’t censured by the City Council on Sherod Duncan’s motion?? Is it possibly because he’s not only stuck his middle finger at all his critics of his serial transgressions but proceeded to stick his index finger into their eyes, and was allowed to get away with it for almost three years? Here’s a fella appointed by the Communities Minister – who’s never even brought him to task – much less to heel! – for so flagrantly abusing his office.And an AFC Councillor to boot!! While Duncan seems to be a good egg (your Eyewitness is speaking RELATIVELY, of course!!) he’s effectively carrying around the neck the albatross the AFC’s been transformed into by their leaders. Who from the PNC will take him seriously when his leaders are jostling each other to become that party’s doormat?? And this is what it’s all about, isn’t it? Party politics.Georgetown is PNC territory…and once you carry the party’s banner, all is forgiven. And Royston King is a “born PNC” so his mandate is “do wha’ you want wid dem!”!! Signing a parking meter contract that would’ve effectively had the City in hock to the Smart Operators…oops!!…Smart City Solutions – until the sun runs out of hydrogen?? No problem!Clearing Stabroek Market of vendors and herding them into a private lot? No problem! Leasing City Land to private developers to create house lots. No problem!! And the list goes on, and on, and on….!Royston King is a metonym for the politics of Guyana….and that’s why the Mayor has no shame or compunction in so blatantly subverting any hope of getting Georgetown back on its feet. They know they’re not being judged by any rational criteria such as “getting the job done” or efficiency or other such quaint standards…It’s all about keeping those PPP types OUT!! Remember when Hoyte – the leader of the PNC allowed the PPP to get back into the government? Well remember too that they voted for Hamilton Green for Mayor – because he’d resisted Hoyte’s move to hand over power!!These same two connivers, Green and King, were behind the movement of half a dozen motions of no-confidence against Carol Sooba when she was the Town Clerk. So if they were OK then, why not now?? Funny you ask, dear reader…Carol Sooba was PPP!!! That’s why not!! And just to remind you, again, Georgetown is PNC.Like MC Hammer, King is singing, “You can’t touch this…oh-oh oh oh oh-oh-oh!!!…sacred cowWhy is it your Eyewitness also isn’t surprised David Hinds and Lincoln Lewis lost their columns in the Chronic. It does appear these two worthies really believed in David Granger’s avuncular demeanour and forgot the old saying, “You can’t judge a book by its cover”!! And even with books there’s the Burnham corollary on what’s inside the covers: it’s not what’s on the lines that matters – it’s what’s between the lines!!Both gentlemen had experiences with Burnham – the founder leader of the PNC, whose legacy Granger has vowed to continue. And what’s that legacy? Burnham had bauxite workers tear-gassed at Linden in the early seventies when they wanted the money in the Canadian pension fund RILA NOT transferred into a local fund. Then later in 1979 – when Rodney was infiltrating the GDF…he fired the top tier and placed the relatively junior Granger at its helm. Read between the lines as to why.And the rest, as they say, is history. A very sordid history. One that will brook nothing but slavish sycophancy.…wet runIf a “dry run” is a trial run of something so as to get a feel for the real Mc Koy, then Exxon conducting a test of handling a possible oil spill at Splashmins has to be a “wet run”!!Or a damp squib!! read more

Newmonts targeted approach to technology and innovation

first_imgThe rapid evolution of technological innovation over the last decade has brought new challenges and opportunities to the mining industry. At Newmont, the company says it is responding to this swift change “through targeted investments in people and through systems that are transforming how we operate in the digital era.”“Our approach to digital integration focuses on advancing responsible mining practices that, as Mike Wundenberg explains, ‘maximise sustainable value.’ In his role as VP, Operational Technology and Innovation (OT&I), Wundenberg leads Newmont’s new OT&I department under Technical Services. With a background managing Newmont’s Full Potential and Asset Management programs, he helped oversee digital assessments across the business last year, identifying and prioritising value opportunities in the technology space. Now he’s focused on bringing similar opportunities to life in our mines.” Wundenberg believes a disciplined organisational structure – supported by underlying systems and change management – is critical to maximising return on technology investments and long-term value creation.Newmont employees like Wundenberg are key to realising the benefits of digital technology across the mine lifecycle. “OT&I will work closely with our operations to optimise the strengths and capabilities our global teams need to enhance productivity and sustainability, accelerate growth and improve margins.”Working under his leadership, specialised teams will target strategic digital opportunities across the portfolio. This includes IT/OT integration architecture and infrastructure through connected, streamlined and analysis-rich operations. Mine monitoring and control teams will focus on leveraging wearable technology for safety and operational efficiency, while machine control and automation crews will improve equipment performance, safety and consistency through Artificial Intelligence and other tools.In the coming months, Wundenberg will work alongside Marcelo Godoy, VP, Resource Evaluation and Mine Planning, to spearhead Smart Mine development work and target applications of digital mining solutions. Newmont’s regional leadership, General Managers of Operations Services and other TS functional teams will support this work, lending their industry-leading expertise to the development of a five- to 10-year enterprise technology and innovation strategy – what Wundenberg calls “a roadmap for the evolution, alignment and integration of digital platforms and systems.”“This strategy, along with an underlying commitment to improvement, helps us capture the full value of mining in the digital age.”last_img read more

Gilmore in Washington to highlight plight of undocumented Irish

first_imgTÁNAISTE AND MINISTER for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore today begins two days of meetings in Washington DC to “highlight the plight” of over 50,000 undocumented Irish people living in the US.He will meet with several Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill, including former Vice-Presidential candidate Congressman Paul Ryan, to push for reform of the American immigration system.During his meetings, Gilmore will also discuss the establishment of a visa regime for future legal migration between Ireland and the US as part of a comprehensive reform package.Last year the US Senate approved an immigration reform bill which would allow for a so-called “path to citizenship” for the almost 12 million undocumented migrants living in the US, including the 50,000 Irish emigrants.Since then, the focus has been on the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, where it is hoped cross-party support can still be secured for proposed reforms of the immigration system.Speaking ahead of his departure, Gilmore said the government is “focused on trying to end the great hardship and uncertainty faced by undocumented Irish people living in the US, and by their families at home in Ireland”.Securing overall agreement on US immigration reform will continue to be a complex and difficult process, but I am here to make sure that the Irish dimension to this debate is kept to the foreDuring his trip, the Tánaiste will also discuss the political talks in Northern Ireland with members on Congress and Richard Haass.Sinn Féin: ‘Undocumented Irish in US just want to live a full life paying their taxes’>Read: Obama pushes immigration reform with Republicans reeling after shutdown>last_img read more

Commodore 64 Returns Sort Of

first_imgThe much beloved and (for most intents and purposes) long defunct Commodore 64 platform is set to make a comeback. Commodore has re-released the iconic early personal computer, offering it in a number of configurations, ranging in price from $250 to $895. On the high end of the scale, you get a 1TB hard drive, Blu-ray drive, and 4M of RAM.The product comes as Commodore re-asserts its ownership of its own brand. Said Peter Bromage, a VP at the company, “I’m sure you’ll appreciate the Commodore thing has been in a state of flux over the last 20 years,” Peter Bromage, the vice president of sales and marketing for Commodore said in January. “But now the ownership is resolved, we 100 percent own the brand.”The company will also be offering up a re-issue of its Amiga brand, including the Amiga 1000.last_img read more

Klopp reveals his Christmas Day plans

first_imgIn an exclusive interview with Sky Sports, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has revealed what he and the players will be up to on Christmas Day.After his spell in Bundesliga, Klopp is slowly getting used to the Premier League’s fixture congestion around the new year and the challenges that come with it.Liverpool will host Newcastle United at Anfield on Boxing Day, and Arsenal will also visit Merseyside three days later.“In your country, it’s celebrated on the 25th, but in Germany, the ‘holy evening’ is the 24th,” Klopp told Sky Sports.“So for the 25th, I asked the boys how they want to do it. We know we have to train, that’s it, but I’m flexible enough to say ‘come on, tell me about your traditions’.Jadon Sancho, Borussia DortmundCrouch: Liverpool could beat Man United to Jadon Sancho Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Peter Crouch wouldn’t be surprised to see Jadon Sancho end up at Liverpool one day instead of his long-term pursuers Manchester United.“We will train early in the morning and then the boys go home, have their Christmas Day traditional things with the family, then we meet again late in the evening and go to the hotel ahead of the Newcastle game.“It’s already a challenge to deal with a home game, but an away game is something you cannot really do as families should.“I know people don’t think about it, but players in that age group have a lot of little kids, so we try to make it as comfortable as possible.”last_img read more

Webcast Co Secures 8M in Financing

first_imgON24 has secured $8 million in equity and expansion capital financing, the Webcasting and virtual events group announced today.The equity round was led by U.S. Venture Partners, Canaan Partners and Rho Ventures. Gold Hill Capital led the expansion capital financing. The money, ON24 says, will be used to accelerate the global expansion of its sales, marketing and client services organizations, and for product development initiatives including the ON24 Virtual Show and the company’s flagship Webcasting platform.In addition to its expansion, ON24 sought this round of funding in order to be “well capitalized during the economic downturn,” according to president and CEO Sharat Sharan. “With rising fuel costs and the economic downturn, we have seen increased demand by organizations to leverage our solutions to hold online events as a cost-effective alternative to in-person events,” Sharan said.Late last month, ON24 launched its Virtual Show, a solution that offers a virtual venue for trade shows, job fairs and conferences.last_img read more

Alaska News Nightly Tuesday July 14 2015

first_imgCoast Guard Gears Up For Shell’s Chukchi SeasonLiz Ruskin, APRN – Washington, D.C.As Shell gears up to drill in the Chukchi Sea this summer, the Coast Guard is getting ready, too. At an Arctic Symposium in Washington D.C. this morning, the head of the U.S. Coast Guard outlined the difficulties the service will face in the Chukchi Sea this summer, and in the Arctic generally.Shellfish genetics could be the key to climate change adaptationShady Grove Oliver, KBBI – HomerA recent NOAA study found that by 2040, Alaskan shellfish hatcheries may no longer be sustainable because of ocean acidification, unless serious mitigation efforts are put in place. Yesterday, we reported on a hatchery in Oregon that’s become a model for adapting to these different conditions. But the long term solution may actually lie in shellfish genes.Report: Heroin Use is Skyrocketing in AlaskaAnnie Feidt, APRN – AnchorageA new report from the state health department shows a dramatic rise in heroin use in Alaska. The number of hospitalizations for heroin related causes nearly doubled in the state from 2008 to 2012.Education Lawsuit Heads Through Appeals ProcessLeila Kheiry, KRBD – KetchikanSeveral briefs were filed by the June 30th deadline with the Alaska Supreme Court in the Ketchikan Gateway Borough’s ongoing lawsuit challenging the State of Alaska’s requirement that local governments earmark a certain amount of property taxes for public education.Knik Arm Project Gets A Tentative Green Light from AdministrationEllen Lockyer, KSKA – AnchorageIn a letter to state Department of Transportation commissioner Mark Luiken, state office of management and budget director Pat Pitney has advised DOT to proceed within existing appropriations, to continue work on the Knik Arm Crossing.Falling Debris From Decrepit Apartments Closes Juneau ParkLisa Phu, KTOO – JuneauThe burnt out Gastineau Apartments in Juneau will finally be demolished by the end of November, according to Juneau’s city attorney. In the meantime, the city says the downtown buildings are a public safety concern. It’s temporarily closed the neighboring park due to falling debris.City Considers Amending Land Use Code to Address Child Care ShortageLakeidra Chavis, KTOO – JuneauThe Juneau Assembly is working on amending child care permit regulations in an effort to increase child care availability in Juneau.Nome Reindeer Ranch Cultivates A New Generation of HerdersLaura Kraegel, KNOM – NomeIn 1967, Larry Davis snow machined from Nome to Cape Espenberg. When he returned, he brought with him 200 reindeer — a herd that would eventually swell to 10,000 in the 1990s. Stories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via email, podcast and RSS. Follow us on Facebook at alaskapublic.org and on Twitter @aprn.Download Audiolast_img read more

Four homes lost to fire after Cook Inlet earthquake

first_imgMia Gottschalk, 9, rests at an emergency shelter set up in the Kenai National Guard Armory on Sunday. Her family lived in one of the four homes that was destroyed in a fire caused by a natural gas explosion after the earthquake Sunday morning. (Photo by Jenny Neyman/KDLL.)A neighborhood in Kenai was evacuated after a fire and explosions caused by a natural gas leak following the magnitude 7.1 earthquake that hit Southcentral Alaska at 1:30 a.m. Sunday. Four homes were destroyed in the fire.Download AudioFor most Kenai Peninsula residents jolted awake early Sunday morning, the initial shock of fear from the earthquake faded into a daylong buzz of excitement.But for some Kenai residents, the day only got worse. A section of town on the north end of Kenai was evacuated at 3 a.m. after a natural gas leak caused an explosion in a home at 1213 Lilac Lane and a fire that spread to three neighboring houses. Lilac parallels the Kenai Spur Highway on the bluff side, across the highway from Wildwood Correctional Facility.An emergency shelter was set up at the Kenai National Guard Armory. Sgt. 1st Class Albert Burns got the phone call from the Kenai Peninsula Borough’s Office of Emergency Management.“They called me at 3 o’clock this morning and said, ‘We have people displaced.’ And I go, ‘OK, I’ll be there in 15 minutes,’” Burns said. “I’d already been awake because of the earthquake and as soon as I got the call and Dan said his name, it was like, ‘OK,’ I knew what was going on. This isn’t the first time I’ve had to do this.”By midmorning, about 45 evacuees had been through the shelter, from Lilac Lane, Cook Inlet View Drive and Wells Way, with that number growing to 60 by the end of the day.Kenai Police officers came by regularly to give updates. By 10:30 a.m., Lt. David Ross reported that the fires were under control.“There’s still a problem with the natural gas there, Enstar’s got lots of equipment there, lots of people there,” Ross said. “The gas is bubbling out of the ground in some places so it’s still not a safe place to return to. The gas is shut off to the neighborhood, so that should dissipate and the fires are just about out. That’s the good news part of it.”Natural gas explosions and fires destroyed four homes on Lilac Lane following the earthquake at 1:30 a.m. Sunday. (Photo courtesy of the Kenai Fire Department)All residents of the four burned homes got out safely, with only one person sustaining mild burns. Pets were not so lucky, as there hadn’t been time to do anything but grab family members and run.Janice Gottschalk lives with her fiancée, brother and three kids, ages 9 to 12, at 1211 Lilac.“About 1:30 a.m. the earthquake hit, and probably about 1:40, 1:45 a.m. I heard my neighbor’s house blow up; the gas blew off the roof,” Gottschalk said. “They thankfully made it out. And then we were all told probably about five minutes later to evacuate our house, as well.”They went to a friend’s apartment across the street and waited with a dozen people while fire crews attempted to contain the fire. A little before 3 a.m. fire personnel smelled gas leaking at the east end of the street and evacuated more of the neighborhood. Another explosion damaged a second home, and the flames spread. Homes across the street sustained some percussion damage.“We made it out with everything on our backs; our house is a complete and total loss,” Gottschalk said. “But I’m thanking God that we made it out, thanks to the fire department and the police department.”Gottschalk said her kids were shaken but doing OK. Ten-year-old Sara alternated between reading a book and roaming the Armory, still in her pajamas.“Usually I just lie down,” she said. “That’s all I basically do, lie down and wander.”The American Red Cross took over operation of the shelter by Sunday afternoon and would help find temporary housing for the families that couldn’t return home.Lilac Lane offers mostly lower-cost housing for people with limited means. Gottschalk doesn’t know what her family will do in the immediate future, but has already been amazed at the support from business and individuals in the community.“I’m from Anchorage and I’m not used to this,” Gottschalk said. “It’s a dog-eat-dog world. And down here it’s so close knit and I’m just really overwhelmed and shocked right now.”Renee Duncan, of Soldotna, heard about the evacuations early Sunday morning and began calling businesses to secure donations. Walmart, where Gottschalk works, had started bringing donations of food, blankets, a TV, DVD player and other items within an hour of the shelter opening. McDonald’s, Safeway, Fred Meyer, Kaladi Brothers and Home Depot also helped out.“Went and gathered up a bunch of different stuff from them and brought it over,” Duncan said. “So I’m just going to spend time today and see if I can help out with anything.”Around 2 p.m. Kenai police opened Cook Inlet View Drive and Wells Way to residents, but closed the streets again around 3 p.m. due to elevated gas levels. Enstar was on scene all day Sunday working to contain the leaks.By 10 p.m. Sunday, Enstar reported that it had completed repairs and was testing the system. Natural gas service was restored to residents around Lilac by 11 p.m. Homer Electric Association restored power to most of the 44 meters in the area last night, as well. Fifteen meters were left without power at the request of fire officials due to hazardous conditions.A Go Fund Me site has been started for the Gottschalk/Smith family.last_img read more

Federal money for water and sewer systems floods the Delta but more

first_imgA flood of federal funding is coming to rural Alaska for water and sewer projects, and a big chunk of that is going to the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta.Listen nowMembers of several agencies met to announce funding for water and sewer projects at a press conference on August 30, 2016. The press conference was held at the YKHC conference room in Bethel, Alaska. (Photo by Katie Basile, KYUK – Bethel)Lisa Mensah, U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Undersecretary, arrived in Bethel from Washington D.C. on Tuesday to deliver the news.“I have the joy of announcing a combined total of $27 million in our water and environmental programs here in rural Alaska,” Mensah said.Let’s break down where that money is going in the Delta:Eek will get water and sewer lines for the first time.Toksook Bay will finish hooking up homes to its water and sewer system.St. Mary’s will expand its waste heat recovery system, saving the community about $10,000 a year in energy costs.The City of Bethel will get four new water trucks, three new sewer trucks, and rehabilitate its sewage lagoon, which means dredging 30 years of sewage from a tundra pond.USDA-Rural Development Under Secretary Lisa Mensah talks with YKHC CEO/President, Dan Winkelman. Secretary Mensah visited Bethel on August 30, 2016 to announce funding for water and sewer projects in the YK-Delta region.(Photo by Katie Basile, KYUK – Bethel)The Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation will continue its program to help operate water and sewer systems across the Delta.And seven YK Delta communities will assess their water and sewer needs and how to meet them.David Beveridge, Project Management Director with the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, said that these projects affect both the quality of life and health of rural communities.“Studies have shown that there’s a strong relationship between infectious disease and sanitation service in rural Alaska,” Beveridge said.For example, an infant living in a community with honey buckets in the region is five times more likely to be hospitalized from a lower respiratory infection and 11 times more likely to be hospitalized with pneumonia than an infant in the rest of the United States.Ann Capela, Bethel City Manager, discusses funding to design and construct improvements to the sewage lagoon truck dumpsite, and purchase additional sewer trucks in Bethel. (Photo by Katie Basile, KYUK – Bethel)Running water also means that people wash their hands more often and use fresh water when they do.After a series of speakers from Alaska and D.C. talked about the various projects, Dan Winkelman, CEO/President of YKHC, ended the gathering with a thank you and a reminder that there’s still a lot of work to do.“Although we have been making progress,” Winkelman said, “I think it’s much too slow for a lot of people that are out in the villages. They’re the more remote communities now, so they’re harder to get to. Costs are going to be expensive, but we still need to endure and make sure that we finish getting the people hooked up to water and sewer. Because it does make a difference in the lives of the people.”Winkelman said that to finish providing running water alone, about 1,500 YK Delta homes would have to be connected.last_img read more

Quarter of worlds population facing extreme water stress

first_imgWASHINGTON: Nearly a quarter of the world’s population lives in 17 countries facing extremely high water stress, close to “day zero” conditions when the taps run dry, according to a report released Tuesday. The World Resources Institute’s Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas ranked water stress, drought risk and riverine flood risk using a peer-reviewed methodology. Also Read – US judge dismissed criminal case against Jeffrey Epstein Advertise With Us “Agriculture, industry, and municipalities are drinking up 80 per cent of available surface and groundwater in an average year” in the 17 worst affected countries, WRI said. “When demand rivals supply, even small dry shocks – which are set to increase due to climate change – can produce dire consequences” such as the recent crises in Cape Town, Sao Paulo and Chennai. Also Read – Watch: Donald Trump says Florida faces absolute monster hurricane Advertise With Us Qatar, Israel, Lebanon, Iran, Jordan, Libya, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Eritrea, UAE, San Marino, Bahrain, India, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Oman and Botswana made up the top 17. “Water stress is the biggest crisis no one is talking about. Its consequences are in plain sight in the form of food insecurity, conflict and migration, and financial instability,” said Andrew Steer, CEO of WRI. Advertise With Us Another 27 countries comprised the “high baseline water stress” list and a full list can be found here: https://www.wri.org/our-work/project/aqueduct/ The Middle East and North Africa are home to 12 of the most stressed countries, while India, which is ranked 13, has more than three times the population of the other 16 in its category combined. “The recent water crisis in Chennai gained global attention, but various areas in India are experiencing chronic water stress as well,” said Shashi Shekhar, India’s former water secretary, adding that the tool could help authorities identify and prioritize risks. Even countries with low average water stress can have dire hotspots, the report found. While the US ranks a comfortable 71 on the list, the state of New Mexico faces water stress on par with the UAE.last_img read more

RBI Report 201314 Highlights and Growth Outlook

first_imgReutersThe Reserve Bank of India on Thursday released its annual report of 2013-14 and repeated its commitment to bring down the consumer price index to six percent by January and projected around 5.5 percent GDP growth for 2014-15.Additionally, the Central Bank’s governor also revealed that weak monsoon so far this year has not had much impact on India’s economic growth and farm production. Highlights of 2013-14: ReutersGrowth continues to be slow with contraction in mining and manufacturing, but service sector growth remained unchanged. The report added that there was an improvement in export growth, followed by depreciation of rupee and contraction in imports due to subdued demand conditions and policies of prevention of gold imports. Prospects and growth outlook of 2014-15: ReutersIndex of Industrial Production (IIP) data showed positive growth in the beginning of the year and monetary policy has been providing more stable environment in terms of interest rates, liquidity and credit conditions.The Indian economy can grow in the range of 5 to 6 percent around the central bank’s estimates of 5.5 percent.The report said the nation has marked improvement in monsoon since mid-July.”The adverse impact of lower rainfalls on growth, inflation, fiscal and trade deficits is expected to be limited as on the current reckoning the deficiency in quantitative and qualitative terms is likely to be much less than that in 2009 (a drought year),” the RBI reportsaid.The report mentioned that rainfall in the area where Kharif crops are grown was 2.3 percent lower than normal, but 8.9 percent higher than 2009. The reservoir water levels are said to have provided comfort to farmers.In case weak monsoon hampers the rest of the year, there is low risk of electricity shortage due to higher water levels in reservoirs and dams.The report added that mining, manufacturing, construction, trade, hotels, transport and communication sector can grow faster than the previous year.Automobiles sales, railway freight traffic, cargo handled at ports are on way to recovery.The Union Budget 2014-15 is beneficial in terms of both investments and savings as the Modi-led government hiked income tax limit by ₹50,000 with more saving options to tax payers. The apex bank has decided to provide incentives for encouraging the flow of bank credit to infrastructure and affordable housing. Inflation declined during the end of 2013-14, but remained above the level required to secure sustainable growth.The surge in vegetable prices, especially onions, led to CPI inflation peaking at 11.2 percent in November 2013. However, food price corrections by the government helped decline the CPI inflation rate to 8.3 percent in March 2014.Twin deficit concerns stabilised as the central government improved the gross fiscal deficit at 4.5 percent of GDP lower than 4.8 percent in the previous fiscal year.Public sector Banks and Public sector Enterprises have had sufficient reserves.Imports declined due to fall in gold imports as prices of international gold dipped. However, the improvement in exports was supported by depreciated rupee, the report said.last_img read more

MoU serves Myanmars interests only

first_imgThis handout photograph released by Bangladesh`s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 23 November, 2017 shows Bangladesh`s foreign minister AH Mahmood Ali (L) and Myanmar Union Minister U Kyaw Tint Swe attending a bilateral agreement signing ceremony in Naypyidaw. Photo: AFPThe recently inked Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has largely satisfied Myanmar’s interests as it was signed in line with the 1992 agreement, exactly what Myanmar was insisting upon.According to the MoU, Myanmar has agreed to bring back only its nationals who fled into Bangladesh after October 2016. The deal has no timeframe as to when the process of repatriation will end.The deal also said the repatriated Rohingyas will not be rehabilitated in their own lands, but will be kept in temporary camps in Myanmar, an option Rohingyas have all along rejected.Different international organisations including the United Nations have estimated that one million Rohingya Muslims fled persecution by Myanmar security forces and took refuge in Bangladesh. Of them, 700,000 came to Bangladesh after October 2016.The recent agreement does not say anything about the repatriation of the 300,000 Rohingyas who came to Bangladesh before October 2016.Bangladesh’s foreign minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali and the Myanmar minister for the office of state counsellor, Kyaw Tint Swe, signed the MoU on 23 November at Naypyidaw.On his return, AH Mahmood Ali informed the media on 25 November about the agenda of the understanding. Questions now arise as to how far the deal upholds the interests of Bangladesh.Bangladesh has emphasised the need to repatriate all the Rohingyas, no temporary camps, repatriation within a timeframe, and relocating Rohingyas to their original or nearby locations. But the agreement lacks these points.For about three months, Myanmar’s security forces and government have been facing international pressure due to Rohingya atrocities in Rakhine. In connection to this, on 5 December UNHRC (United Nations Human Rights Council) is to hold a special session to pass a proposal against Myanmar. Observers say that while pressure grew on Myanmar, Bangladesh rather seemed to be in a hurry to sign the deal.Foreign minister Ali expressed displeasure to media on Saturday at being questioned on the agreement. After reading out a written speech he said, “After so many things and providing copies of the MOU, there shouldn’t be any more questions.”The government is stressing on the present condition regarding a deal, since the 1992 deal had both good and bad aspects. The foreign minister himself said at different forums that the prevailing condition differs from that of 1992. Rohingyas are great in number now. Explaining the absence of a timeframe, Mahmud Ali said that timeframe cannot be fixed and it is useless to have such a deadline. He said, “, Let’s see, we’ll try. The world is with us.”Answering another question on the issue, Mahmud Ali said, “It’s alright that they want to follow the 1992 deal. It has been done nearly the same way. The most important here is the repatriation of the Rohingyas. Details of the agreement, errors, gaps, all of this are useless to talk about. It is important that they wanted to take back the Rohingyas. I told them that they have to take them back and shelter them.”This handout photograph released by Bangladesh`s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 23 November, 2017 shows Bangladesh`s foreign minister AH Mahmood Ali (L) shaking hands with Myanmar`s civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi in Naypyidaw. Photo: AFPThe 1992 deal stressed on the inclusion of the Rohingyas as permanent nationals in Myanmar. Ensuring rights and basic amenities of life for the Rohingyas were not mentioned there. The new deal includes this issue of ensuring Rohingyas’ rights several times.In answer to whether he was happy and if the people’s demands were being fulfilled or the country’s interests were being upheld, Mahmud Ali said, “That is a hilarious question. We two states, the UN, EU, the whole world is one side, while you are claiming that our interests are not upheld.  Who determines the interests? The government in power will determine it. We’ve determined our interests. Our interest is to repatriate the Rohingyas to their original locations preserving their security and dignity. We’re working on that.”Though the deal says repatriation is to start in two months, the foreign minister’s speech indicated it would be delayed.The foreign minister said, “Two months has been set to start prepatriation. As for those who were uprooted, most of their villages were burnt down. Where will they stay? I discussed the matter with the Indian and Chinese governments before going to Myanmar, as they have the technology to manufacture prefabricated homes. Both the countries agreed. In our final discussion with Myanmar, we informed them about India and China’s interests in helping them. Myanmar’s minister agreed on the matter and a dialogue will be held soon. I, at Dhaka, also will ask India and China to hold talks with Myanmar.”Though it is Myanmar’s responsibility to provide temporary Rohingya shelters in Rakhine, why Bangladesh is negotiating the issue with India and Chinese -diplomats? Several senior diplomats told Prothom Alo that about 150 thousand houses are needed to shelter more than 700 thousand Rohingyas. How long will it take to finish the task? Will Bangladesh wait till then?M Humayun Kabir, former ambassador of Bangladesh to the United States, said “There is growing international pressure on Myanmar due to the oppression on Rohingyas. Under this situation, we could wait more. We could bargain more and we would be in a vantage point. The 1992 deal is mixed. It had success along with failures. Finally, Myanmar did not take 22 thousand Rohingyas back. It would be better to wait a little more.”Officials associated with the deal said that, the draft initiated upon the discussion between officials of both the countries included significant issues including a timeframe.But these issues were replaced in favour of Myanmar’s proposals in the dialogue between Mahmud Ali and Kyaw Tint Swe. The officials’ discussion stressed on repatriation of all the Rohingyas fled at different times while the ministers’ discussion defined only those who fled the persecution after October 2016. Both the countries’ officials agreed on relocating the Rohingyas at their original places or nearby. But the ministers’ meeting agreed on temporary shelters for the Rohingyas. The officials did not opt to seek help from Bangladesh’s court in two sectors concerning the verification process, but the ministers finalised this.Beside this, the officials proposed for a verification of the unwanted children born as a result of persecution of Myanmar nationals in the Rakhine state. But the ministers’ dialogue omitted mention of this instance of persecution of Myanmar nationals in the Rakhine state.* This report, originally published in Prothom Alo print edition, has been rewritten in English by Nusrat Nowrin.last_img

UPDATE Conflicting Accounts Follow Meeting With Abbott Over Confederate Plaque

first_imgJohn Jordan / The Texas TribuneThe “Children of the Confederacy Creed” plaque was highlighted in a letter state Rep. Eric Johnson sent to the State Preservation Board, asking that it be taken down.A meeting between state Rep. Eric Johnson, D-Dallas, and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott over Confederate monuments on Capitol grounds ended with the governor expressing a desire to move forward with the removal of a controversial plaque from inside the Capitol, Johnson told The Texas Tribune.But Abbott’s office quickly disputed that account.“The governor did not agree to remove the plaque. He’s having the board look into it,” spokeswoman Ciara Matthews said, referring to the State Preservation Board which oversees Capitol grounds.The meeting was arranged after Johnson publicly called for the removal of the “Children of the Confederacy Creed” plaque, which was erected in 1959 and is located outside his Capitol office. The plaque asserts that the Civil War was “not a rebellion, nor was its underlying cause to sustain slavery.”“The governor has committed to me that he wants to have the State Preservation Board look into what the procedure is for removing the plaque because he agrees that it’s historically inaccurate and he does not want historically inaccurate information on display in the Capitol,” Johnson said after the meeting.Matthews, Abbott’s spokeswoman, described the meeting with Johnson as “productive.”“They talked about ways to increase employment opportunities, increase educational opportunities and improve the lives of African-Americans in Dallas and across the state of Texas,” Matthews said. “On the plaque, the Governor told Rep. Johnson he would ask the State Preservation Board to look into the issue, specifically the history of the plaque, as well as the history of the removal of a similar plaque at the Texas Supreme Court.”Johnson previously said the plaque “has no rightful place in the Texas Capitol,” adding it “is not historically accurate in the slightest, to which any legitimate, peer-reviewed Civil War historian will attest.” The plaque is one of about a dozen Confederate markers or monuments on the Texas Capitol grounds.During Friday’s meeting, Johnson said his conversation with the governor focused specifically on the plaque though he vocalized his opposition to all Confederate markers on Capitol grounds. Just three days before Johnson and Abbott met, the Dallas Democrat penned a formal request to the State Preservation Board — which oversees Capitol grounds — to remove the plaque.“I have taken every step legally necessary to request that this historically inaccurate plaque be removed from the Texas Capitol,” Johnson said in a letter dated Oct. 23. “It’s now time for the State Preservation Board to act, and I look forward to its favorable and expeditious consideration of my request.”Asked earlier this week about Abbott’s meeting with Johnson and whether the plaque will be removed, a spokesperson for the board told the Tribune that “the agency is unable to speculate on what may be the substance of that conversation at this time.”Abbott has previously said removing the monuments “won’t erase our nation’s past, and it doesn’t advance our nation’s future.”Removing Confederate markers from the Capitol is an issue that has crossed party lines. In September, House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, echoed Johnson’s request that the plaque by removed in a separate letter to the State Preservation Board.“This is not accurate, and Texans are not well-served by incorrect information about our history,” Straus said of the plaque. He added that “Confederate monuments and plaques are understandably important to many Texans” but stressed the importance of such landmarks being “accurate and appropriate.”Abbott’s meeting with Johnson is part of a larger conversation — both statewide and nationally — surrounding Confederate monuments. After a march defending a Robert E. Lee monument in Charlottesville, Virginia, erupted into deadly violence in August, some confederate statues in Texas quickly came down after years of debate, including three at the University of Texas at Austin and one in a public park in Dallas.Despite this, most Texas voters say they don’t want to remove Confederate monuments or put them in museums. According to our latest UT/TT poll, 22 percent think they should be left in place but with added historical context, while 34 percent say they should stay unchanged.Johnson, who has long tried to start a conversation on the issue, said after Friday’s meeting he is “confident” that Abbott and the State Preservation Board will remove the plaque. Still, there are more than 180 public symbols of the Confederacy around Texas, including about a dozen on Capitol grounds.  Sharelast_img read more

Caffaus star is a dwarf Gaia DR2 confirms

first_img Explore further Caffau’s star, the most metal-poor object known to date and one of the oldest stars in the Milky Way galaxy, turns out to be a dwarf star, according to an analysis of new measurements provided by Gaia Data Release 2 (DR2). The finding was detailed April 27 in a paper published on the arXiv pre-print server. Caffau’s star, also known as SDSS J102915+172927, is a faint 13-billion-year-old star in the constellation of Leo. In 2011, a team of researchers led by Elisabetta Caffau of Paris Observatory, France, found that this star is composed almost entirely of hydrogen and helium, with extreme under-abundance of heavier elements. This chemical composition surprised astronomers, as with its low mass (about 0.8 solar masses) and extremely low quantities of metals (more than 20,000 times smaller than that of the sun), this star should not exist at all.Although Caffau’s star was a subject of several studies, many of its properties remained uncertain, like its exact stellar classification and distance to it. One scenario proposed by astronomers suggests that the star is a dwarf, with an estimated a distance of 4,400 light years away from the Earth, while the other one proposes that the object is a subgiant star some 20,200 light years away.Now, a new catalog of data from ESA’s Gaia satellite has delivered important information that helped astronomers to find which of the two proposed hypotheses is true. The DR2 dataset, released on April 25, provides high-precision measurements, including positions in the sky, parallaxes and proper motions for more than 1 billion sources in our galaxy. DR2 data allowed a group of researchers led by Piercarlo Bonifacio of Paris Observatory and including Elisabetta Caffau, to confirm the true nature of SDSS J102915+172927.The authors write, “The Gaia mission with its second data release has provided us a very accurate parallax of 0.734 ± 0.073 mas. Thus, the distance is 1.37+0.15 −0.12 kpc, in perfect agreement with that estimated by Caffau et al. Gaia also provides photometry for this star G = 16.548 and a color BP−RP = 0.799. (…) We used the above information to compute the absolute V magnitude using the transformations provided by the Gaia DR2 documentation. This allows us to compare it to the metal-poor 3 isochrones computed by A. Chieffi (private communication) and shown in the figure.”According to the paper, data provided by DR2 exclude the possibility that SDSS J102915+172927 is a subgiant, which confirms that it is a dwarf star. Moreover, it also excludes the assumption that this star was formed from a medium dominantly enriched by a supernova of type Ia.The study published by Bonifacio’s team could be helpful in improving our understanding of such metal-poor, primitive and old objects like Caffau’s star, providing important insight into the process of star formation. It also underlines the role of dust cooling and fragmentation necessary in order to form a star like SDSS J102915+172927. More information: Gaia confirms that SDSS J102915+172927 is a dwarf star, arxiv.org/abs/1804.10419AbstractThe Gaia Data Release 2 provides a parallax of 0.734+/-0.073 mas for SDSS J102915+172927, currently the most metal-poor known object. This parallax implies that it is dwarf star, ruling out the scenario that it is a subgiant. The subgiant scenario had as a corollary that the star had been formed in a medium highly enriched in C, thus making line cooling efficient during the collapse, that was also highly enriched in Fe by Type Ia SNe. This scenario can also now be ruled out for this star, reinforcing the need of dust cooling and fragmentation to explain its formation. Citation: Caffau’s star is a dwarf, Gaia DR2 confirms (2018, May 7) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-caffau-star-dwarf-gaia-dr2.html The absolute magnitude of SDSS J102915+172927 derived from the Gaia parallax and the Gaia photometry implies it is a dwarf star. Credit: Bonifacio et al., 2018. 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. © 2018 Phys.org The star that should not existlast_img read more