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Special manifesto to tackle problems faced by northeast students: NSUI promises more hostels

first_imgIn order to address the various issues faced by students belonging to the northeast states, National Students Union of India (NSUI) has released a sub-manifesto so as to look after the same. The Rajya Sabha member Oscar Fernandes and former Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) President and current NSUI President Amrita Dhawan released the special manifesto.Promises made in the manifestoThe student’s wing of the Congress promised to build four hostels for students from the region, a cultural centre, and an alumni bodyIt also promised to ensure that Hindi language is not made a compulsory subject for northeastern students, among other thingsOther issues which the NSUI plans to tackle:Construction of more hostelsPhysical and academic infrastructure for differently-abled studentsIncentives for sports and extra-curricular activitiesFree health insurance Ensuring student representation in the governing body of collegesA statement issued by NSUI said, “Each year, over 30,000 students migrate from northeast India to Delhi, besides the nearly 2,00,000 northeast Indians already residing here. In order to bridge the existing gap, NSUI has come out with a special Manifesto for the North-Eastern students after widespread consultations with students of the University.”(Read: HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar to announce better opportunities for differently-abled students) Over 200 members of the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), student wing of BJP broke away from it and joined NSUI just a day before the DUSU elections which are scheduled to be held on September 9.NSUI alleged that it was due to an internal rift in the former party that they took this step.advertisementYash Shokeen, a member of ABVP since 2012, on Thursday joined NSUI in the presence of Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee President Shri Ajay Maken, bringing a hefty supporter base along with him.He said in a statement, “ABVP and BJP have now become a party of the rich. The notion of power has gone into their heads. It has become a game of money and nothing else matters to them. I couldn’t bring myself to stay in an environment where no respect is given to the cadres of the party and, therefore, decided to join NSUI.”Read: Kids from Mumbai bag trophy at national Abacus competition For information on more latest news and updates, click here.last_img read more

Salaam Cricket 2018: Wasim Akram recalls playing Holi with Indian team

first_imgWasim Akram recalled playing Holi with the Indian cricket team on the tour of 1987. The legendary Pakistan bowler, who started proceedings at Salaam Cricket 2018 with Sunil Gavaskar, shared several stories from his playing days and revealed the close bond Indian and Pakistani cricketers shared off the field after fighting hard on it.India and Pakistani cricketers are under constant pressure before and during cricket matches. However, the players share great camaraderie off the field, as Gavaskar and Akram said.Akram was a protagonist of several Pakistani victories over India. He was feared by Indian fans as he ran in to bowl at India’s star batsmen but after his retirement, Akram has continued to win hearts in India. He had also served as bowling mentor with Kolkata Knight Riders.During the first session of Salaam Cricket 2018, Akram and Gavaskar regaled the audience with some lovely stories from their playing days that showed how friendly the players were.Salaam Cricket 2018: Live”On the field we fought till the last ball. Off the field, we were fine. I remember having meals with Azhar (Mohammad Azharuddin). On the 1987 tour of India, Javed Miandad and Dilip Vengsarkar hated their guts on the field but they were so friendly off the field.”The idea was to compete hard on the field and be friendly off it after the day got over. I remember we even celebrated Holi and that was one of the highlights of my career,” Akram said.Gavaskar, meanwhile, said he had once suggested to Imran Khan that Akram, who went on to become the Sultan of Swing, could bowl really fast.advertisement”You play hard when the ball is bowled. I wasn’t doing anything wrong to India by suggesting to Imran Khan that Akram can bowl fast.”last_img read more

MLS: Zlatan Ibrahimovic gets 2-game suspension for violent conduct

first_imgLA Galaxy forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been suspended for two games by Major League Soccer’s disciplinary committee for his conduct during last weekend’s game against New York City FC.The league said Friday that Ibrahimovic’s actions against NYCFC goalkeeper Sean Johnson constituted violent conduct. Ibrahimovic was bumped in the back by Johnson following a missed shot in the 87th minute of a 2-0 loss Saturday. Ibrahimovic grabbed Johnson by the neck with his right hand before both players fell.It is the second time the former Sweden star has been fined for on-field since he joined the league last year. He received a red card and was suspended in a match last season for slapping a Montreal player on the side of the head.Ibrahimovic is second in scoring with nine goals in 10 MLS games.last_img read more

a month agoLiverpool veteran Milner delighted with MK Dons win: It shows our depth

first_imgLiverpool veteran Milner delighted with MK Dons win: It shows our depthby Freddie Taylora month agoSend to a friendShare the loveJames Milner says Wednesday’s win over MK Dons was a positive sign for Liverpool’s depth.Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren, Joe Gomez, Ki-Jana Hoever and Naby Keita were all handed starts, while Rhian Brewster, Harvey Elliott and Caoimhin Kelleher earned debuts.Milner scored in the 2-0 win and was pleased to see his side cope without a number of senior players.”It’s always tough when you have a mixture of guys who haven’t played many minutes and a group of youngsters, but you could see the style of football we wanted to play,” the No.7 told Sky Sports post-match.”We lost our way a little bit in the second half, and didn’t keep the ball as well, but I thought it was a pretty solid performance.”When you look at how good our squad is, it’s not easy for the youngsters to get to the level they need to be, but they’ve shown they want to get better and better. Everyone is pushing, and that’s what the senior boys need: competition for places.” About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Homeless BC Indigenous Nation buys land on Vancouver Island to build community

first_imgCAMPBELL RIVER, B.C. – Thomas Smith says his most vivid memory of living on British Columbia’s Turnour Island was watching families leave their homes.Five decades later, images of the exodus from the Indigenous village of Kalagwees are just as clear, he said.“I was pretty young at the time,” 60-year-old Smith said. “I was one year at the primary school there and then the family moved.”Jobs were scarce in the village accessible only by boat or float plane, he said of his former home northeast of Vancouver Island in the Johnstone Strait.The community began to empty as the school closed and hospital boat visits to the remote community were cancelled.“The village went quiet,” Smith said. “There were a few adults living there but the majority of the families moved. Some went to Alert Bay, others moved to Campbell River and some even further to Vancouver, Victoria, wherever they found a place comfortable.”The estimated 450 members of the Tlowitsis First Nation haven’t had a permanent home since then.But that is about to change, Smith said.The nation paid $3.5 million earlier this year for a 257-hectare rural, forested property eight kilometres south of Campbell River. Plans are now underway to establish a community of up to 100 homes, he said.“One of our hereditary chiefs, before he passed away, said he wanted a place for my people to have a home. This is basically a promise kept. The chief was my oldest brother Alec.”Frogs croak, ravens squawk and vehicles drive past as Smith stands at the steel gate and sign that mark the site in the Strathcona Regional District.The new community will be called Nenagwas, which means “a place to come home to,” Smith said. Last December, the federal government approved the property as Tlowitsis reserve 12.“This place in 30 years could be a very large place,” Smith said. “Indigenous people have lots of babies. It’s going to be an exciting place for our young people to grow up.”Engineering and planning studies are underway and the nation expects to break ground in 2020, bringing the dream of a new home community much closer to reality, he said.“We need a place for our members to get together and share things and learn their culture, their history. What it means to be Tlowitsis,” Smith said. “This will help.”Brenda Leigh, the Strathcona Regional District’s elected area director, said local residents had concerns about a lack of consultation, but now the focus is on developing infrastructure like sewage and transportation and fitting the Tlowitsis community into the sprawling, rural neighbourhood.“I am sure that they will love this setting and they will have an opportunity to build their reserve and enjoy the same peaceful life that all of us value so much in this region,” Leigh said in an emailed statement.Smith said early reaction to the Tlowitsis plan was shrill and concerned his band members. Graffiti with the words “No Rez” was painted on a road near the community site.The First Nation decided to move ahead with its plans and has met with the regional district board and local community associations, Smith said.“We’re here now,” he said. “You can see by our sign, we’re here and we’re going to start developing as soon as we can.”last_img read more

Stars Celebrate New Farm Animal Protection Laws

first_imgHouse of Cards’ Kate Mara, Twilight’s Nikki Reed, The Vampire Diaries’ Ian Somerhalder and Moby joined The Humane Society of the United States at a press conference to celebrate the implementation of California’s Proposition 2 and to call on retailers to use only cage-free animal products.The nation’s most comprehensive farm animal protection law, which took effect Jan. 1, requires that that veal calves, breeding pigs and egg-laying hens have enough room to turn around and extend their limbs.California voters passed Proposition 2 in 2008 with an overwhelming 64 percent of the statewide vote. Also beginning in 2015, all shell (whole) eggs sold in California must be produced in compliance with this animal welfare law. The HSUS is calling on California’s tens of thousands of food retailers to honor the terms and spirit of the laws by exclusively selling cage-free animal products.Mara stated: “I’m grateful to organizations like The Humane Society of the United States for spearheading game-changing legislation like Prop 2 to improve the lives of farm animals. Laws like these do so much to raise awareness about the plight of billions of animals raised for food, and open doors to other states to consider adopting similar measures as consumer demand for more humane products skyrockets by the day.”Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS, said: “Californians have made it clear that extreme confinement of farm animals is inhumane and unacceptable. With such a strong assist from celebrities such as Emily Deschanel, Alicia Silverstone, and Ellen DeGeneres, and so many others, the nation was exposed to the customary and unacceptable practices that had come to dominate the factory farming industry. The implementation of Prop 2 marks the beginning of a new era for farm animals, and we ask stores throughout California to commit to selling only cage-free animal products to honor the letter and spirit of California law.”Learn how these new standards will positively affect Californians, animals, and the egg industry as celebrities join The HSUS in heralding in a more humane California.Source:Humane Societylast_img read more

Nova Scotia court grants injunction against Mikmaq protester at Alton Gas site

first_imgThe Canadian PressA judge has granted a temporary order that requires an Indigenous man and others camped on the property belonging to Alton Gas to move their protest.The Nova Scotia company is behind a plan to store natural gas in huge underground caverns north of Halifax.The subsidiary of Calgary-based Alta Gas has argued the order was needed because workers have been prevented from moving in heavy equipment to repair its facilities near the Shubenacadie River.Justice Gerald Moir said protester Dale Poulette, his partner Rachael Greenland-Smith and others must stop occupying a two-storey mud-and-straw hut on the site.“There is no basis in law for the occupation,” said Moir in his oral decision, as about 30 of the protesters’ supporters listened intently in Nova Scotia Supreme Court.The judge said some changes would be needed to the original draft proposed by Alton Gas for how to deal with Poulette and other protesters.“Alton has offered to make a place on its lands where protesters can gather and be seen by the public,” he noted.“The main part of the injunction should be clarified to show that Mr. Poulette, Ms. Greenland-Smith and others … are confined to the area permitted by Alton.”Poulette declined to comment after the decision.Outside the courthouse, a group of about 50 protesters held banners suggesting the Nova Scotia courts were consistently failing to protect the rights of Indigenous peoples.A spokeswoman for the RCMP didn’t provide immediate comment on what the police agency’s plans are for enforcing the court order.James Gunvaldsen Klaassen, the lawyer representing Poulette and Greenland-Smith, said his clients were disappointed but he would take some time to analyze next steps.“The court has spoken and we’ll take it from here,” he said.Poulette, who is originally from Eskasoni First Nation in Cape Breton, has lived at the site over the past two years.The judge said that Greenland-Smith had also often been at the site.Moir noted in his decision Poulette has been asked to become a “water protector” by a group of “grassroots grandmothers” at the nearby Sipekne’katik First Nation.However, the judge didn’t appear to accept Gunvaldsen Klaassen’s arguments from last week’s hearing that Poulette can assert his treaty and Aboriginal rights on behalf of the Sipekne’katik First Nation.Moir said that Poulette clearly doesn’t represent the nearby band.The judge also said that he would need to see specific evidence for “an assertion of Aboriginal or treaty rights.”Moir acknowledged the Aboriginal right to fish in the Shubenacadie River had been demonstrated by the Supreme Court of Canada case in 1999 involving Donald Marshall Jr.The Mi’kmaq fisherman’s court challenge established that First Nations people on the East Coast had a right to hunt, gather and fish to earn “a moderate livelihood.”However, the judge added he saw “no support for Mr. Poulette’s land claims” for the sites along the river.“Perhaps the situation will change when the application for the final injunction is heard, but for the present motion there is no evidence to support the occupation of the … lands by Mr. Poulette, Ms. Greenland-Smith or others,” said the judge.During the hearing on March 12, Poulette’s lawyer had stressed that the protest has been non-violent, and no guns were used.However, Moir quoted from Poulette’s statements in a video he posted on Facebook depicting an encounter between himself and two Alton managers last March 25.“He ordered Alton’s people off the property and he made threats of violence,” said the judge.The judge quoted Poulette in the video telling the Alton employees, “I hope you guys have first aid training,” and quoted Poulette saying he knew where the two managers lived.“It does prove actual physical threats. Those are threats uttered to make employees feel fearful at their place of work,” said Moir.Moir said the fact that Poulette recorded the encounter and the threats and posted them to his Facebook page increased the nature of the threat.A hearing is scheduled for April 4 to set a time for a hearing on a permanent injunction.news@aptn.calast_img read more

The Farraga The Traditional Moroccan Pediatrician

By Fatima-Ezzahra MetkalCasablanca – In Morocco, traditional folk medicine is alive, well and coexistent with more modern medicine. Folk medicine is especially prevalent with respect to the health of women and children and used as a remedy when sorcery is at work. Those who practice folk medicine have a special place in Moroccan society.A “farraga,” for example, is the original pediatrician. She is a woman who has been blessed by a former farraga. In other words, she has received “Baraka,” the blessing from an old man or woman who used to perform the same job. Her job? Healing babies. She heals those who cannot sleep at night because they smell or see a work of sorcery, for it is believed that babies are angels who can feel and see things that adults cannot. The farraga also treats babies who have a cough, stomach ache, or those with “big heads” caused by the “evil eye,” according to her.Photo by authorThe tools of her trade are organic eggs, fenugreek, and a bandage for the babies’ big heads. She uses a drink of lavender, thyme, and other herbs for the babies’ cough. She also uses a small thin stick that she heats a little, then dips in tar. After that, farraga starts tapping the baby’s little fingers, toes, and head with the stick, so that the baby will grow up quickly and gain strength.The farraga’s clinic is usually a room in her house. On average, one treatment takes three to four sessions. The frequency of sessions depends on how often the baby meets with people outside the family, especially women, for they are the ones believed to be involved in the practices of sorcery.For this reason, some families tend to hide their babies and do not take them to crowded places. The price of the treatment is not fixed. The farraga will accept any amount of money one might give her, but it is agreed that the treatment runs around ten to twenty dirhams per session.Many people prefer to take their newborns to this traditional “pediatrician.” They claim that modern pediatric medicine cannot help when it comes to witchcraft. The poor often resort to the farraga because they have faith in the “Baraka” that she was purportedly given. Moreover, the treatment costs next to nothing. Some intellectuals consult her after trying a medical pediatrician’s prescription, which usually includes antibiotics. These medications are a double-edged sword that many prefer to avoid for the benefit of the child’s immunization.Thousands of mothers believe in the farraga’s magical healing powers, since she is believed to have enough knowledge and experience to take care of their babies. But the debate goes on as to whether to opt for traditional remedies or modern medicine.Edited by Elisabeth Myers © Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission read more

Urgent action needed before global financial crisis worsens Ban warns

13 November 2008Immediate action is needed to prevent the current financial crisis from becoming a “human tragedy,” resulting in political and security challenges that would overwhelm the current economic problems, warned Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon ahead of this weekend’s meeting of the so-called Group of 20 (G-20) nations. This will be the first time that the G-20 summit – aimed at promoting dialogue between advanced and emerging countries on key issues regarding economic growth and stability of the financial system – has met at the level of heads of State, as well as the first time that the United Nations Secretary-General has been invited to attend.“It is essential that the G-20 meeting signals an unmistakable common resolve to overcome the crisis, to act together, to act with urgency and to show solidarity towards the neediest,” Mr. Ban said in a letter to the global leaders attending Saturday’s meeting in Washington, D.C.“An important way of doing this will be by meeting the existing commitments on aid, so that progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) can be maintained,” he added, referring to the internationally agreed targets to halve extreme poverty and other ills by 2015.Mr. Ban stressed that institutional reforms cannot be restricted to financial sector regulation, but must deal with the broader challenges for human security, including climate change, conflict prevention and the eradication of poverty.He noted that an opportunity for climate change exists in the fiscal stimulus packages many countries are introducing as the economic crisis requires an increase in public investment to shore up national markets.“To limit climate change successfully we will need to invest in new technologies, in green jobs and in helping the world cope with the changes that are already inevitable,” Mr. Ban said in the letter.“Targeting a substantial part of the needed public spending to these needs will help fight the short-term crisis, while laying the foundation for the long-term sustainability of economic growth.”The Secretary-General also pointed to the lessons learnt from the economic depression of the 1930s, noting that greater protectionism at the expense of trade can deepen a recession, and that trade restrictions undermine jobs in the aggregate.“An early resolution of the issues holding up the Doha trade round [aimed at promoting free-trade] would be a great contribution to overcoming the crisis,” he said.“These broad challenges can only be met through a reinvigorated and inclusive multilateralism. The United Nations has much to contribute and remains the anchor of such a system.” read more

Innovation Nation What Canadas cuttingedge health tech startups need to get to

Mark Taylor has a front-row seat to the development and launch of some of Canada’s greatest health-tech innovations as the leader of the licensing and commercialization team at Toronto’s University Health Network (UHN), one of the largest health-care and medical research organizations in North America.Gene therapy to treat rare diseases in a single dose, devices that recognize brain tumours using artificial intelligence and a simple blood test that accurately diagnoses if you have cancer and, if so, what type are just some of the medical breakthroughs that are being developed and fine-tuned in the country’s biggest city.“It generally takes lots of money and risk mitigation to get these kinds of products to market, but our approach is to develop and test internally in the hospital setting before we license product or start companies,” Taylor said. “We’ve been very lucky to have some world-leading wins here and we’re glad to be able to share our successes with the community.” The race to future-proof the economy: Navdeep Bains on the state of innovation in Canada Innovation Nation: Big tech lifts all boats A robot in every factory: The $230-million bid to help automate Ontario’s manufacturing sector For example, Avrobio Inc., which develops gene therapy to treat cancer and rare diseases, has gone from startup to a public offering on the Nasdaq in just three years with the help of the team at UHN’s Technology Development and Commercialization office.But even outside of programs such as UHN’s, Canada has amassed an impressive list of health-tech companies with global appeal. There’s Vancouver-based Stemcell Technologies Inc. — a biotech firm that develops cell cultures and cell isolation systems for researchers — which ships its products to more than 70 countries and has been growing by at least 20 per cent annually since its launch in 1993.Or Toronto-based Newtopia Inc., the fourth health-tech startup launched by chief executive Jeff Ruby. Multiple Fortune 100 companies in the U.S. now use the company’s software to promote employee weight loss and substantially reduce employer-paid health plan costs.With an abundance of clinical talent, hospital support and a current government keen to keep investing in innovation, it seems Canada is creating the perfect ecosystem for continued health-tech growth. The question plaguing many industry leaders, however, is whether the country has the infrastructure and skillset needed to sustain this branch of innovation.The medical devices industry alone was valued at US$6.2 billion in 2015 and is projected to grow to $8.6 billion by 2020, according to Emergo, a regulatory consulting firm that specializes in global medical device compliance.On the surface, Toronto, in particular, provides the ideal launching pad for health-tech innovation because it has a highly educated and skilled workforce collaborating within a network of world-class hospitals willing to test technologies in real-world practice, said Cameron Piron, chief executive of Toronto-based Synaptive Medical Inc.“The talent here is unique and highly diverse and when you’re tackling problems (in health care) you need the best and the brightest,” he said.The city’s talent base has enabled Synaptive’s founders to launch several Canadian-based medical startups over the past 10 years, the latest of which develops robotics to provide better ergonomics and visibility for surgeons while operating.Avrobio co-founder Christopher Paige, a senior scientist at UHN, said the research hospitals and their strong association with top universities across the country create ideal synergies for innovation.“The research hospitals put researchers and top clinicians together in an environment where unmet clinical needs of our patients are pretty obvious — a highly motivating environment to make a difference,” he said.But industry veterans say this isn’t enough to sustain the growth of health-care technologies over the long term.They point out that even though Toronto is among the top biotech hubs in North America (along with Boston and San Francisco), it has nowhere near the commercial recognition of those two U.S. cities.“Collectively as an industry we’ve started to do some of the biggest deals in the world here, but we don’t publicize these wins as much as we could,” Taylor said. “Our science is top notch, but it’s underrepresented from a commercialization perspective.”Organizations such as UHN are helping to change that, he said, but there’s still a long way to go.As well as the lack of local recognition, Taylor said there is a lack of local talent who have the necessary management skills to bring innovative startups into the big leagues.“We never saw the lack of C-suite as a potential problem, but now, generally speaking, people who are coming in to lead these companies are Americans or Canadians who left decades ago and are coming back,” he said.An even bigger issue may be the lack of overall understanding that the rules of typical tech innovation — that is, develop a product and rush it to market before the competition — don’t necessarily apply to health tech.“As we see talent moving into this space from the tech market, they are shocked by the amount of work that goes on behind the scenes,” Synaptive’s Piron said.Piron said the industry is more like aviation or automotive, where products are thoroughly tested before launch and governed by myriad regulations.“This is a very serious industry that leverages technology, but needs a solid infrastructure behind it,” he said.Case in point, Synaptive in November voluntarily recalled its neurosurgical guidance system due to a software defect that could raise the risk of brain damage during surgery. Fortunately, the recall happened before any patients were impacted.Adding to the challenges that health-tech startups face are patient privacy issues that don’t apply to other sectors to the same degree.“Starting a health-tech company comes with a firm appreciation of health first, including adhering to privacy laws and regulations and being radically transparent throughout the process,” Newtopia’s Ruby said. “The ‘move fast and break things’ approach just doesn’t work in health tech.”A lack of long-term capital investment is yet another key issue.“There’s a lot of support for startups, but a lot less for those of us who have proven ourselves,” said Stemcell’s chief executive Allen Eaves, who adds that just four per cent of his company’s sales are in Canada.“We need health care to be profitable, yet we keep focusing on cost containment in provincial (health-care) budgets — if everyone works hard to save money, then we need to get engaged in the application of new innovations.”The four-year-old Council of Canadian Innovators (CCI) wants to clear the often rocky path from startup to scale that currently plagues some of the most innovative tech firms.Made up of more than 100 CEOs from the fastest-growing technology startups (18 of whom, including Eaves, come from health-tech companies), CCI is working with governments to ensure its members have a seat at the table when it comes to decisions around strategic standards, regulations and certifications.“There are a lot of regulatory pain points in how health-tech companies get their products to market here compared to other jurisdictions,” said Dana O’Born, CCI’s director of strategic initiatives. “Our health-tech companies are keen to work with government to work out these kinks and all our members want to play a role in the development of policy.”But even with all the growing pains, industry leaders say they are optimistic that things are improving every year, especially given the desire for better technologies while cutting costs.“Long ago, the public sector thought they had to be the owner of innovation, but now they see the value in renting it from sectors like ours,” said Patrice Gilbert, chief executive of PetalMD, a Quebec City-based company that digitizes hospital schedules for 48,000 users across 150 health-care facilities. “The private and public sectors are getting better and better at finding common ground.”Inherent in moving the dial forward in health care has to be an overall change in mentality around what health care in Canada should be, Newtopia’s Ruby said.“We want to keep people healthier longer rather than perpetuating the sick-care system we currently have,” he said. “That should be our ultimate goal.”Ruby, too, expects health-care costs to be increasingly offloaded to employers and insurers, because “there is no way” Canada’s current system will be able to sustain itself for much longer.Since 2014, health spending per capita has increased by an average of 1.7 per cent annually to an estimated total of $253.5 billion in 2018, with no signs of slowing.“As that happens, there will be more and more economic motivation to invest in companies like ours,” he said, “I absolutely see the tide changing in the years to come.”Financial Post read more

African leaders voice frustration at trade inequalities and aid curse during UN

Fradique Bandeira Melo de Menezes, President of São Tome and Principe, told world leaders who gathered for the debate that “it is time we faced some of the unspoken truths about poverty” and why so many countries remain in what has been dubbed ‘the poverty trap.’Mr. de Menezes said that although historic problems and a lack of resources can be critical, the biggest factor is bad government.“When States do not protect property and people; when national revenues benefit self-interested political insiders who oppose any actions that would lead to more equal distribution of income and resources; when government officials waste funds; when people are hired on the basis of being from the right family or region or political grouping; when nobody monitors government spending; when corruption is noted but never punished; and illegal activities are not restrained by law, the press or democratic opposition, then miserable results follow.”He said recent studies have also shown that poor nations can suffer from an “aid curse” if the aid projects are poorly managed and lack transparency and accountability.But Mr. de Menezes stressed that there have been “some beautiful successes” in aid programmes, such as in the fight against diseases such as small pox and river blindness.“Aid gives hope to millions of people around the world. We simply need to mend it, not end it.”Benin’s President Boni Yayi expressed strong disappointment over the failure of the Doha Round of trade negotiations, especially on the question of agricultural subsidies, which he said were “killing producers in developing countries.”Mr. Yayi said it was important for poor nations to find alternative sources of financing, and not rely only on official development assistance (ODA) from the industrialized world. He added that the remittances of workers living in other countries should not be counted as part of ODA programmes.Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba welcomed the commitments made last year at the G8 summit in Scotland to consider boosting development aid to Africa, cancelling the debts of the poorest countries and to promoting universal access to anti-retroviral drugs for HIV/AIDS patients by 2010.Mr. Pohamba called for greater cooperation between the UN, the African Union (AU) and other regional and sub-regional bodies to encourage economic and social development. He also backed an enhanced role for the UN’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in this process.But he voiced concern at “the slow pace” at which the world is tackling the issue of development and the way many countries are not adhering to their commitments under the Millennium Declaration of 2000.The same theme was explored by Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, who said that despite numerous international agreements on what needs to be done to help the world’s poor, there remains a “wide gap between rhetoric and concrete action on the ground.”Mr. Mugabe expressed particular frustration at the use of economic sanctions by some countries, which he said retarded development efforts and represented an unwarranted interference in domestic affairs.He also criticized “the tendency to use assistance in the fight against HIV/AIDS as reward for political compliance and malleability… In my country, for example, on average, a Zimbabwean AIDS patient is receiving about $4 per annum in international assistance, compared with about $172 per annum for other countries in the region.”Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, President of Equatorial Guinea, said the wealthier countries were using unfair means to maintain their continued “economic dominance and political influence.”Mr. Obiang said it was time to overhaul the UN “to put a stop to this crooked path of our international relations.”He added that while the actions of terrorists are deplorable, the world should not be surprised because the activity “remains as the recourse of those oppressed, a reaction of those who oppose the present injustices denounced through the last quarter of a century.” read more

BC union joins First Nations vowing to use law to fight pipelines

VANCOUVER – A union representing thousands of British Columbia government workers has signed an accord vowing to oppose pipelines from crossing the territories of 130 First Nations.The B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union signed a solidarity accord affirming its support of the Save the Fraser declaration, taking aim at the provincial Liberals’ handling of resource projects.The document of indigenous law bans the Northern Gateway pipeline or similar projects from crossing the signatories’ territories.About a third of the union’s 65,000 members work in direct government service. Treasurer Paul Finch said Thursday the union supports a recent B.C. Supreme Court ruling that found the province failed in its duty to consult with First Nations on Northern Gateway.“Governments have a legal and moral responsibility to engage in meaningful consultations with First Nations peoples, to gain their support before projects of this kind proceed,” he said.“So far, the B.C. government has spectacularly failed in this responsibility.”Asked whether the union had concerns about opposing pipelines that could create jobs for British Columbians, Finch said it did not. He said there must be a new approach to how oil and gas projects are assessed in the province.“We’re in favour of resource development projects. They just have to be done right,” he said.“We keep coming again and again into confrontation over these projects. It’s very clear that how it’s being done is not working.”Finch said union members strongly supported signing the accord and it had been years in the making.The Northern Gateway pipeline, headed by Calgary-based Enbridge (TSX:ENB), would carry heavy Alberta oil to B.C.’s north coast and was approved in 2014 by the federal cabinet. First Nations and environmentalists have launched multiple legal challenges that are working their way through the courts.A judge ruled last month that the B.C. government failed to consult with First Nations on the pipeline, stemming from the province’s decision to allow a single environmental assessment process under the National Energy Board rather than conducting a separate provincial review.The provincial government has formally opposed both Northern Gateway and Kinder Morgan’s proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.Saik’uz Chief Stan Thomas of the Yinka Dene Alliance, which spearheaded the declaration, said indigenous laws have guided the way First Nations use their lands and waters for generations and should be respected by all Canadians.Thomas said the “tide was turning” on Northern Gateway, pointing to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s call for a moratorium on crude oil tankers on B.C.’s north coast.“All of this is happening because we continue to uphold our laws and because First Nations and non-indigenous people are standing together,” he said.First Nations from across B.C. have signed the declaration, symbolically banning pipelines from crossing large swaths of land that cover nearly the entire province.The solidarity accord has also been signed by other labour unions including Unifor and the B.C. Teachers’ Federation, as well as business, environmental and community groups.Northern Gateway spokesman Ivan Giesbrecht said 28 First Nations that have signed on as “equity partners” of the project stand to lose about $1 billion in long-term economic and educational benefits if Trudeau’s proposed north coast tanker ban proceeds.The pipeline is expected to generate $1.2 billion in tax revenue for B.C. and create over 3,000 construction jobs and 560 long-term jobs in the province, he said, adding a total of 1,150 long-term jobs would be created, including in Alberta.— Follow @ellekane on Twitter. B.C. union joins First Nations vowing to use law to fight pipelines by Laura Kane, The Canadian Press Posted Feb 4, 2016 11:00 am MDT Last Updated Feb 4, 2016 at 2:40 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

Football Ohio State announces hiring of Alex Grinch to coaching staff in

Former Washington State defensive coordinator Alex Grinch. Credit: Courtesy of Ezekiel Nelson | Daily EvergreenOhio State announced it hired former Washington State defensive coordinator and secondary coach Alex Grinch, who joins the staff in an undisclosed role. The university said “his responsibilities will be announced at a later date.”Grinch will be the 10th assistant coach on Ohio State’s staff. The NCAA instituted a rule allowing football teams to expand their coaching staffs from nine to 10 assistant coaches.“I am pleased to announce the addition of Alex Grinch to our coaching staff,” Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer said in a statement. “I am very impressed with his body of work while at Washington State, as many others were, and am happy he chose to come home to Ohio to become a part of our Buckeye coaching staff.”A Grove City native who graduated from Mount Union in 2002, Grinch spent the past three seasons coaching Washington State.During his final campaign with the Cougars, Grinch’s defense allowed the 16th-fewest average yards per game (323.3) and was tied for the 56th-fewest yards per game (25.8). Prior to his hiring in 2014, Washington State’s defense ranked 114th in points allowed per game in the country with 38.6.Prior to his time coaching to Cougars, Grinch coached the secondary at Missouri (2012-14), Wyoming (2009-11) and New Hampshire (2005-08).Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports first reported Grinch would be joining Ohio State on Thursday. He reported Grinch would assume the role of co-defensive coordinator with Greg Schiano, but Ohio State did not mention what title Grinch will have. read more

Linden gets new Asphalt Plant

The plant being assembledRoads in the Linden community and other parts of Region 10 (Upper Demerara- Berbice) will soon benefit from an asphalt plant which is currently being set up at the Christianburg-Blueberry Hill area at Wismar, Linden.According to sources on the ground, the portable asphalt plant which arrived in the community on Saturday, compliminents of the Ministry of Public Infrastructure is expected to service roads in the entire Region, including the Mabura and Ituni roads which are in need of upgrade.The asphalt plant is presently being assembled and is undergoing test runs. It is expected to be in full operation soon. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedBartica gets asphalt plantAugust 15, 2016In “Business”Four companies submit bids for asphalt plant foundationJuly 26, 2019In “latest news”New roads being built in Mackenzie, WismarAugust 16, 2016In “latest news” read more

Alaskas congressional leaders renew push to allow ANWR drilling

first_imgAlaska’s congressional delegation this week renewed their effort to allow development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. (Image courtesy U.S. Geological Survey)U.S. senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan introduced a bill Thursday to open up a portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil and gas drilling.Listen nowFor decades Alaska politicians have pushed to allow development in the refuge’s coastal plain, but with Donald Trump taking the White House this month and a Republican-led Congress, the latest bill may gain more traction.In a joint news release, the senators say the Alaska Oil and Gas Production Act would allow development on 2,000 surface acres within the refuge’s coastal plain, also known as the 10-02 Area.On the House side, Alaska Representative Don Young introduced a bill to open a portion of the refuge for development on Tuesday.Environmental groups oppose the efforts, citing potential impacts to wildlife and subsistence hunting.last_img read more

8 million Mitsubishi factory set up in Karnataka to make metro rail

first_imgLeading Japanese electronics major Mitsubishi Electric Corporation on Friday opened its third Indian plant at Bidadi near Bengaluru to make transportation systems for metro rail and trains.”The $8 million factory will assemble electrical propulsion equipment for rolling stock to expand our transportation systems business in the Indian market and post $170 million (Rs.1,136 crore) revenue by fiscal 2020,” Mitsubishi Electric India Ltd Managing Director Makoto Kitai said on the occasion.The Indian subsidiary’s other two plants are at Gurgaon for automotive equipment and Pune for automation products.The Bidadi plant, 30 km from Bengaluru, will produce traction inverters, motors and other electrical equipment for rolling stock in metro systems across the country.”By setting up this factory here, we have demonstrated our commitment to invest, foster innovation, enhance skill development, protect intellectual property and build best-in-class manufacturing infrastructure in India, which is our ‘Make in India’ initiative,” said Kitai.The global firm has been providing Indian customers with electrical products for locomotives since the 1960s and expanded into rolling stock equipment for metro projects since 2000, accounting for 65% traction systems of metro rail networks.last_img read more

Federal Pot Policy Change Sparks Confusion Crackdown Fears

first_img Share Alex Brandon/APThe buzz kill long dreaded in the marijuana industry came just days after California opened what is expected to be the world’s largest legal pot market.The Trump administration announced Thursday that it was ending an Obama-era policy to tread lightly on enforcing U.S. marijuana laws. The declaration renewed anxiety, confusion and uncertainty that has long shadowed the bright green leafy drug still forbidden under federal law but now legal in a majority of states as medicine and in a handful of those for recreational purposes.“Everybody is super worried. My phone has been going off the hook,” said Terry Blevins, who runs a security firm and is part-owner of a marijuana distribution company in Southern California. “They are all, ‘What does this mean? … Is the federal government going to come into California” to raid businesses?Officials wouldn’t say if federal prosecutors would target pot shops and legal growers, nor would they speculate on whether pot prosecutions would increase.The action by Attorney General Jeff Sessions was not unexpected given his longtime opposition to pot, but comes at a heady time for the industry as retail pot sales rolled out New Year’s Day in California.In 2013, President Barack Obama’s attorney general advised prosecutors not to waste money targeting pot growers and sellers that were abiding by state laws, but to go after flagrant violations such as trafficking across state lines or selling to minors. Under this policy, several states legalized recreational pot, growers and sellers had begun to drop their guard over fears of a federal crackdown and the business blossomed into a sophisticated, multimillion-dollar industry feeding state government programs with tax dollars.Sessions and some law enforcement officials blame legalization for a number of problems, including trafficking black market weed. Authorities are also concerned about stoned drivers and fear that widespread acceptance of the drug could increase its youth appeal.Advocates for the drug that is classified in federal law in the same category as heroin have argued that it has medicinal qualities and causes less harm than alcohol. They have said the government needs to focus on rampant opioid abuse and allow a regulated marijuana market that will reduce crime by eliminating the need for a black market.Pot proponents along with some members of Congress, including Sessions’ fellow Republicans, roundly condemned the change in direction Thursday and said it was an intrusion upon the rights of states whose voters had approved use of the drug.“If … Congress allows the Department (of Justice) to crack down on individuals and state governments, it will be one of the biggest derelictions of duty I will have witnessed,” said U.S. Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska. “Congress is the voice of the people and we have a duty to do what is right by the states.”Some sheriffs in California welcomed the news, particularly in the northern part of the state where the majority of weed has been grown illegally for decades and enforcement of laws largely falls to rural authorities with limited budgets.Yuba County Sheriff Steve Durfor said he’s hopeful Sessions’ actions signal a new willingness of federal authorities to help the impoverished region enforce marijuana laws. His department outside Sacramento has struggled to slow a large and growing influx of illegal operations setting up shop in the region. Officers destroyed a record 30,000 plants last year, surpassing the previous record of 8,800 plants destroyed in 2016.Colorado’s U.S. attorney, Bob Troyer, said his office won’t change its approach to prosecution, despite Sessions’ guidance. Prosecutors there have always focused on marijuana crimes that “create the greatest safety threats” and will continue to be guided by that, he said. In Oregon, U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams said he would maintain the same level of enforcement and focus on unlicensed production of marijuana and smuggling out of state.Before the Obama administration put the policy in place, the feds sent shivers through the medical marijuana community by threatening landlords and operators with property seizure notices, resulting in many shops shutting down in cities where they were considered a nuisance.Federal prosecutors also sued and prosecuted some nonprofit dispensaries that were raking in money or dealing to people with no medical need, though the latter was hard to prove in a state like California, where regulations were loose at best.It was not clear how Thursday’s announcement might affect states where marijuana is legal for medical purposes. A congressional amendment blocks the Justice Department from interfering with medical marijuana programs in states where it is allowed. Justice officials said they would follow the law, but would not preclude the possibility of medical-marijuana related prosecutions.Sessions’ decision led to a skid in prices for marijuana-related stocks that had surged for weeks surrounding California pot sales.Officials denied the timing of the announcement was connected to California sales, which are projected to bring in $1 billion annually in tax revenue within several years.In addition to stock market losses, the change in policy in the short-term could chill investments in a burgeoning industry that will also see Canada and Massachusetts begin to allow recreational sales in July, experts said. However, many suggested that a large-scale crackdown was unlikely given the industry’s size.“Legal marijuana has become so entrenched in the U.S. — it’s a multi-billion-dollar industry,” said Don Morse, director of the Oregon Cannabis Business Council. “I don’t see the people who are behind this, people like myself, rolling over for the Justice Department.”Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said the state, which along with Colorado in 2012 were the first to allow retail pot sales, would continue marijuana operations.“We should, in my book, not push the panic button on either your individual lives or your businesses,” Inslee said.At Harborside in Oakland, one of California’s largest shops, founder and CEO Steve DeAngelo said it was business as usual and he wanted to assure customers not to fear shopping there.“We’ve been targeted by the federal government before and we stand up and we fight for our rights,” DeAngelo said. “Six months from now if U.S. attorneys have not taken Jeff Sessions up on this crazy offer, then I think that it absolutely makes no difference to anybody.”last_img read more

1 Killed 6 Injured When Car Plows Into NYC Pedestrians

first_imgBy The Associated PressNEW YORK (AP) — A 70-year-old driver trying to parallel park on a New York City street Monday lost control of his minivan and struck several pedestrians standing next to a fruit stand, killing one person and injuring six others, police said.“The car just suddenly appeared and banged into the wall backward. I was just so shocked,” said witness Jin Lin, 32, who saw several pedestrians trapped between the vehicle and the wall.A 70-year-old driver trying to parallel park on a New York City street Monday lost control of his minivan and struck several pedestrians, killing one person and injuring six others, police said. The driver was arrested on several charges. (Screengrab from AP video)It happened shortly before 7 p.m. Monday in Manhattan’s Chinatown. Police said four people were hospitalized. Two were in critical condition and the other two were in serious condition.According to police, as the driver approached a parking spot the vehicle accelerated, striking several people on the sidewalk. Video shows a dark-colored minivan speeding down a street in reverse.A man who runs a parking lot across the street tells the New York Post “it sounded like a big boom.” He said he saw people under the vehicle and “a lot of blood.”The unidentified driver, who remained at the scene, was arrested on charges of failure to yield to a pedestrian and failure to exercise due care.last_img read more