Comprehensive Science Legislation to Become Law

first_imgThe lame-duck House of Representatives today accepted a stripped-down Senate version of the America COMPETES Act, a bill to strengthen research, education, and innovation at several federal agencies. Now the bill will go to the president for his signature. But looming fights over the discretionary budget may make the legislative success a Pyrrhic victory.The sharply partisan nature of the debate on the House floor this afternoon—only 16 of 146 Republicans supported its passage, along with all 212 Democrats who voted—signaled that the new Republican House leadership won’t take kindly to bills that promise large increases in federal spending, no matter how worthy the cause. That attitude bodes ill for the likely impact of COMPETES, which puts Congress on record in support of steady increases in the budgets of the National Science Foundation (NSF), the basic science programs at the Department of Energy (DOE), and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.The bill also creates new programs aimed at enhancing science and math education, advanced manufacturing research, and regional innovation and mandates better coordination of them by the White House. And it tweaks the rules governing existing activities, from the fledgling Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy at DOE to long-running training programs at NSF, with the goal of getting a bigger economic payoff from federal investments. (Look for more details in subsequent posts.)Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)COMPETES doesn’t actually provide any money for any agency. That can has been kicked down the road into the next Congress because legislators couldn’t agree on the 2011 budget in their current lame-duck session. But that didn’t stop Republicans from railing against the increased “spending” authorized in the bill, which would allow up to $46 billion for those agencies over the next 3 years. And that’s after the House accepted Senate changes that sliced the last 2 years off a 5-year authorization and dropped several new programs. Republicans also complained that the bill, which the full House passed in a different form in May and which was vetted by a Senate panel in July, was being crammed down their throats.”Yes, the Senate has made it a $46 billion bill, saving $40 billion, … but it still contains $7.4 billion in new spending,” complained Representative Ralph Hall (R-TX), the incoming chairman of the House science committee. “Now, under a closed rule, we are considering a bill with no opportunity to consider amendments. Last month the voters told us they wanted us to do things differently, and now we are taking up a $46 billion bill.”Although Hall has so far declined to discuss his priorities for the committee, he laid out his strategy for possibly revising the COMPETES bill in describing what he didn’t like about it. “I can’t support this version of the bill,” Hall explained. “If it’s defeated, I pledge to reintroduce the good, fiscally responsible pieces of this legislation, agency by agency, in the next Congress. This bill should be considered in smaller pieces.”Representative Vern Ehlers (R-MI), a former physicist who’s retiring after 17 years in the House, was one of the few in his party who saw a silver lining in the COMPETES bill. It had to do with creating jobs by bolstering the nation’s manufacturing sector.”I know some do not like this bill. And I share some of those concerns,” said Ehlers, whose background gave him the stature to play the role as impartial interpreter of science during his tenure in Congress. “But if we don’t act, we are letting down the manufacturing sector. … Michigan has to work hard to manufacture cars that will sell. And we won’t compete successfully unless we invest more in research, which is used by manufacturers to develop new products and create jobs. I know the bill has shortcomings. But the Republicans are taking over in the House, and we can proceed to rewrite the bill the way we want it to be.”House Democrats weren’t thrilled with what they were given by the Senate, either. Retiring Representative Bart Gordon (D-TN), outgoing chairman of the House science committee, had spent 2 years crafting what he thought would be a bipartisan reauthorization bill, only to see it nearly fall apart as bipartisanship became an increasingly rare commodity in Congress. It was given up for dead when the Senate failed to act before the midterm elections. But last week the Senate adopted a 177-page amendment designed to remove objections raised by Republicans to what the House had passed.”This bill preserves the intent of RAGS and original COMPETES,” said Gordon, referring to the influential Rising Above the Gathering Storm report from the National Academies in 2005. “It keeps agencies on a doubling path, continues to invest in energy technology, STEM education, and [promote the] spirit of innovation. It continues to be a bipartisan, bicameral effort. … The business and academic and scientific communities … have all urged us to pass this bill to support research, foster innovation, and improve education and create 21st century jobs. … And I cannot think of anything I’d rather be doing in what is likely my last act after 26 years in Congress than to send this bill to the president.”last_img read more

Kepler telescope catalogs hundreds of new alien worlds, some potentially habitable

first_imgThe Kepler telescope has added several hundred new candidate exoplanets to its stable of 4034, including 10 that are near-Earth-size, in orbits that would allow liquid water at the surface. Kepler telescope catalogs hundreds of new alien worlds, some potentially habitable By Daniel CleryJun. 19, 2017 , 4:45 PM The galaxy is full of worlds like ours. That’s the lesson from Kepler, NASA’s prodigious exoplanet-hunting mission, which has found another 219 potential new exoplanets, bringing its total to 4034, according to a final analysis of its main 4-year search and published in a final catalog released today. Of the new candidates, 10 are near in size to Earth and sit in the habitable zone of their stars—the range of orbits in which liquid water could exist on their surfaces. Those new additions bring the total number of potentially habitable planets detected by Kepler to 49.And that’s just in the corner of the sky that Kepler stared at. This now-complete catalog will help astronomers assess just how common Earth-like planets are in our galaxy overall. “I’m really excited to see what people will do with this catalog,” Susan Mullally, a Kepler research scientist at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California, told a press conference today during the Kepler & K2 Science Conference at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Mountain View. One study, also presented at the conference, has discovered a clear dividing line between rocky planets larger than Earth and gassy planets smaller than Neptune.Between 2009 and 2013, Kepler stared at the same patch of sky in the Cygnus constellation and measured the brightness of some 200,000 stars. If any of them dipped in brightness for a short period, it could be sign of a planet passing in front, blocking some of their light. Of Kepler’s list of more than 4000 likely candidates from those observations, 2335 have been verified as exoplanets with further analysis or other ground-based observations. The mission continues to occasionally discover exoplanets with more limited capabilities in other parts of the sky.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Before Kepler, astronomers only knew of giant Jupiter-sized exoplanets, some in astonishingly tight orbits around their stars. But Kepler has revealed far more variety.For the final catalog, the team focused on teasing out Earth-sized planets around G-type stars like our sun. Such planets are harder to spot because they might have made only a few transits across their star during Kepler’s 4-year watch. The result is some of the nearest Earth-analogs found so far, including one known as KOI-7711. “It’s the closest to Earth in size and orbit,” said Mullally, “but there is still a lot we don’t know about this planet.”One of Kepler’s other big surprises was a profusion of planets intermediate in size between Earth and Neptune. Astronomers were at a loss to explain how such planets formed and whether there was a continuum between rocky terrestrial “super-Earths” and gassy “mini-Neptunes.”A follow-up study, described today by astronomer Benjamin Fulton of the University of Hawaii in Honolulu, fine-tuned the size measurements for some 2000 Kepler planets using the Keck telescopes in Hawaii. Far from there being a continuum of planets, the study found two distinct groups: one smaller than 1.5 times the size of Earth, the other bigger than twice Earth’s size, with very few examples in the gap in between. Fulton and his team believe that the smaller group is made up of rocky super-Earths, whereas the larger is comprised of gaseous mini-Neptunes. He likened the discovery to realizing that mammals and reptiles are on separate branches of the evolutionary tree.“The gap in radius is really interesting and comes from meticulous follow-up of the previously discovered Kepler planets, rather than the ones announced today,” says astronomer David Kipping of Columbia University, who was not involved in the study.Fulton said at the press conference that the team believes the division is caused by the environment a planet finds itself in at the time of its formation, along with its ability to hold onto volatile gases such as hydrogen. The gravity of a smaller super-Earth may not be strong enough to hold onto hydrogen; if it’s close to its star, the hydrogen may get blasted away. But if a planet starts out with more hydrogen, is larger, or forms further out before moving inwards, it may end up as a mini-Neptune.In the search for life, Fulton believes it will be better to focus on super-Earths. “This has implications in the search for life,” Fulton said. “It sharpens the dividing line between potentially habitable and not habitable.” NASA/Ames Research Center/Wendy Stenzel last_img read more

NADA slams BCCI for ‘non-cooperation’

first_imgThe National Anti-Doping Agency today lashed out at the BCCI for its “non-cooperation” and asked the Cricket board to make sure that their players fall in line with the WADA code.NADA Director General Rahul Bhatnagar said it was baffling to see BCCI rope in a Swedish company to conduct dope tests for cricketers while the national anti-doping body could have done the same job at a lesser cost or even for free.”The BCCI never sought the assistance of NADA to conduct dope tests. They have engaged a company — International Doping and Test Management (Sweden) — at a heavy cost to conduct dope samples, which NADA could have done at much lesser cost or free of cost,” Bhatnagar said.”It is surprising why BCCI is maintaining such a no-cooperation attitude with NADA,” he added.NADA is the national agency for conducting dope tests, collecting samples and results management of athletes and Bhatnagar said the body wants the cricketers to fully comply with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) codes, along with the ‘whereabouts clause’ against which the cricketers are up in arms.”NADA is strongly of the view that Cricketers must fully comply with all Anti Doping Regulations of WADA and NADA as all other sportspersons do. They are no exception and the rules apply to them equally. BCCI should ensure such compliance,” he said.Even though the International Cricket Council (ICC) is a signatory to the WADA Code, BCCI is spearheading an opposition to the vexed “whereabouts clause” which requires a player to inform, three months in advance, their availability for dope tests.advertisementWADA has already issued an ultimatum to the ICC saying they have to ensure that BCCI accepts the WADA Code in totality, failing which the world cricket governing body would be branded non-compliant.last_img read more

Yuki Bhambri qualifies for Australian Open main draw

first_imgIndian tennis star Yuki Bhambri on Sunday qualified for the main draw of the Australian Open.The 25-year-old came back from behind and defeated Peter Polansky of Canada in the third and final qualifying match 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 in Melbourne.In his third and final qualifying match, the 25-year-old player struggled with his serve in the opening set before Polanksy pocketed the set with ease. But he bounced back in the remaining two sets and won the match in one hour and 55 minutes.The final set followed a similar pattern and Bhambri grabbed the only break point that came his way to book his berth in the main draw of this year’s first grand slam.This will be Bhambri’s third appearance in a Grand Slam tournament. He had featured in the Australian Open in 2015 and 2016 but lost to Andy Murray and Tomas Berdych respectively in the first round.”I think it was a nervous start but once I got my rhythm a little bit, I started playing more freely. Hoping I can win a few rounds in the main draw,” Bhambri told The Hindu after his win.Meanwhile, another Indian player Ramkumar Ramanathan lost a three-setter to world No. 109 Vasek Pospisil (Canada) in the final round of qualifying.World No. 139 Ramkumar came back to win the second set but eventually lost 4-6, 6-4, 4-6 in one hour, 44 minutes.last_img read more

10 hacks to sail smooth through hostel life

first_imgWe’re pretty sure all hostel boarders out there must be resorting to some or the other survival technique to put up with regular hostel life. Here are some more hacks you can use to crack the most commonly faced problems in a hostel:1. Save space: Due to limited closet space, you have to learn to save maximum space in your cupboard. Here’s how:fold your clothes in a tricky waybreak the metal tab on soda cans and put them to better use2. Books are our best friends:Indeed, they are. For most of us who habitually can’t fall asleep early at night, here’s a hack for when you have to wake up for an exam, for studies or to prevent dozing off in class-avoid using any gadget for half an hour before you want to go to sleep. Instead, read a book. It’ll help put you off to sleep quicker.3. DIY study lamps: When your roommates are being fussy and you have to pull an all-nighter, use these two tricks to create a light that will not disturb anyone else, and assist you with your study:Cut a plastic water bottle from the bottom and insert a regular CFL bulb into itPull the hanging thread out from the bottle cap’s side and connect to the plug pointCover the bulb with a cardboard such that the light only focuses on your booksNikhil Kumar, an engineering hosteller in Netaji Subhash Institute of Technology, Dwarka, revealed a genius technique he and his friends adopt: “When we’re short of time and we have to complete an Engineering Drawing (ED) assignment, we hang a bulb inside a bucket, keep a plastic sheet on the opening and a drawing sheet on top of that. We can easily trace drawings without disturbing our roommates and can also complete the assignment faster.”advertisementAnother hack, says Maanas Singh from MIT institute of design, Pune, is to make light tables, by putting acrylic sheets between two single beds-“it makes shift tracing easy” (for students of Design).4. Managing cravings: When you run out of the munchies you got from home, and you’re too broke to even go out thrift shopping, life crisis nears.As Nikhil mourns, “This rich brat, who shares our dorm, gets fancy packed food from the grocery shop and stores it. That lasts him till the end of the month. He cooks chicken and mutton and what not… Makes all of us jealous and he doesn’t even share! On the other hand, here we are struggling to save our precious packets of Maggi because we were busy spending elsewhere at the start of the month.”We know the struggles foodies face. So, for the broke time of the month, learn some quick meals you can experiment with, requiring minimum materials. Here are some:Make your regular Maggi interesting by topping it with a half fried eggOregano and butter toasted on bread can taste like garlic breadCrush the sealed packet of Wai Wai noodles, open it, mix the tastemaker. I swear your taste buds will go yum!Innovate with the achaar/chutney your mom packed by using it as a dip with regular chipsWe’re sure you can come up with many more!5. The mattress conundrum: If your mattress is too hard, get a thick duvet cover from home to spread on your mattressIf your mattress is too soft, rotate the mattress in three cycles on a regular basis. First, rotate it such that the header comes at the footer position and vice versa. Second, flip it over. Third, repeat the first (but this time it will be on the opposite side of the mattress)Goldilocks, read the above points.6. The magnetic effect: Losing important stuff when you are away from home is a scary thing indeed, especially when you have less of them to go by. The worst is losing your keys. Know the feeling? Nikhil Kumar does–“The maximum we do is hand over a duplicate key to our roommates, due to the fear of losing them… But that’s not too reliable, so I guess there isn’t much you can do about it, except being responsible. In any case, if you lose them once, you learn the hard way, to be careful.”Well, apart from learning the hard way, we have one more solution for you:All you have to do is find yourself a piece of magnet (you can find one in the bell of your old cycle or take a trip to the hardware store)Nail that magnet to your wallEvery time you enter your dorm, just throw the key on that magnet, rest shall be taken care of (make sure you aim properly, though)advertisement7. Easy snack holder: Time for a snack but too lazy to find a bowl or even move enough to keep reaching out to the packet of chips? We got you. Wear your hoodie backwards such that the hood is in front. Fill your hood with those chips and carry on with whatever it is that you were doing, while casually munching on with the least effort.8. Mirror, mirror, on the wall: If your hostel doesn’t provide you with a mirror, Simran Kaur from Akal Academy, Shimla provides you a hack: “just hang a piece of cloth on the dorm window and it’ll almost serve the purpose of a mirror.”9. Multipurpose heating rods:Simran told us that she and her roommates used to save up on gas by using the iron rod provided to heat water in winters, to cook food-“Just put the iron rod in the water-filled pan and you can cook simple things like eggs and Maggi.”10. Bathroom phone pocket: We all love listening to music while showering, don’t we? But it’s not always possible due to the anxiety of getting our phones wet. To hack this problem, take a piece of cardboard or hard plastic or anything that wouldn’t get wet easily, and paste it on the wall in a manner of an envelope. There goes your phone-holder! You won’t even have to worry about it dropping/slipping into the pot, on the floor, or in the basin (don’t make that face; we’ve all done at least one of those).Make your life easier by adopting these useful tips, and hack your way through being a hostel kid!Read: Balancing sports and academics: Importance and tipsRead: Problems plaguing medical education: Why India suffers a severe lack of quality doctorsFor more updates on education, follow India Today Education or write to us at education.intoday@gmail.comlast_img read more

Manchester City accuse Uefa of leaks amid Champions League ban threat

first_imgThe IC chairman and chief investigator, Yves Leterme, a senior Belgian politician and former prime minister, is considering whether he agrees with that view, and will refer the club to the AC, which applies sanctions.IC members are thought to have formed the view, following a formal investigation launched in March, that if the AC concludes that City have misstated their income to Uefa, as alleged, the offence is so serious as to warrant a Champions League ban. Any such sanction would have to be imposed by the AC, because the IC’s disciplinary powers are limited to a warning, a reprimand or a fine up to a maximum of €100,000 (£87,000).City, who have strongly denied any wrongdoing, can be expected to oppose fiercely even the referral of the case by the IC and to appeal against any sanction all the way to the court of arbitration for sport if they consider it necessary, arguing they have proven the allegations are false.The club, whose team claimed a successive Premier League title on Sunday and can win an unprecedented domestic treble if they beat Watford in the FA Cup final on Saturday, are concerned that the suggestion of a guilty finding and Champions League ban is already damaging and could deter players from signing.City have been facing allegations since November that they falsely declared as sponsorships millions of pounds that were in fact an investment from the club’s owner, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan, of Abu Dhabi’s ruling family. The allegations are based on “leaked” internal City emails and other documents published by the German magazine Der Spiegel.The principal allegation is that in 2012-13 and 2013-14 City overstated to Uefa – and initially to the Premier League, which operates FFP declarations for its clubs – the amounts paid by their principal sponsor, the Abu Dhabi state airline, Etihad. An email from Simon Pearce, a senior City director and Abu Dhabi executive, to Jorge Chumillas, then the club’s chief financial officer, appears to suggest that Mansour’s own holding company, ADUG, paid the bulk of the then £65m annual Etihad sponsorship, while the airline paid only £8m. In another email Chumillas appears to have asked if ADUG paid sponsorship money to Etihad, which then paid it to City.Uefa’s FFP rules limit investment by owners to encourage them not to bankroll losses made by overspending on players. City have been sponsored by Etihad and other Abu Dhabi sponsors since shortly after Mansour bought the club in 2008. The Fiver: the Guardian’s take on the world of football news Uefa Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool look well set to avoid the curse of the runner-up Read more Share on Facebook Financial fair play Read more Topics Share on LinkedIn City have declared in their accounts investment totalling £1.3bn from Mansour, much of it on players and their wages, which the club could not otherwise afford in the early years of fuelling City’s rise, but all commercial income is stated as separate from Mansour.Etihad denied the allegation in November, stating that: “The airline’s financial obligations, associated with the partnership of the club and the broader City football group, have always been, and remain, the sole liability and responsibility of Etihad Airways.”City initially refused to engage at all with the coverage, stating that the documents were “purportedly hacked or stolen” and the contents taken out of context. After huge media coverage and pressure from other major European clubs, the CFCB’s investigatory chamber initially told Uefa it was not set up to investigate alleged misrepresentations by clubs, but Uefa encouraged it to do so, and the formal investigation was launched.City then explicitly denied wrongdoing for the first time, stating that the club welcomed the investigation “as an opportunity to bring to an end the speculation resulting from the illegal hacking and out of context publication of City emails.” Uefa launches formal investigation into Manchester City’s FFP conductcenter_img Share on Pinterest Manchester City say they have provided “comprehensive proof” of their innocence to the Uefa body investigating allegations of financial fair play (FFP) irregularities, which could be on the verge of recommending a Champions League ban for the club.Members of Uefa’s club financial control body (CFCB) investigatory chamber (IC) are thought to have expressed a strong view that City should be referred to the adjudicatory chamber (AC) for a final judgment, and to have recommended a Champions League ban if the allegations of misleading Uefa over FFP are proved. Responding to a report in the New York Times on Monday that the IC is set to recommend City being banned from the Champions League, the club issued a strongly worded statement saying they have provided proof that the allegations are false.This would be presumed to include further internal financial evidence and an explanation of the emails. The statement protested that the IC process itself has been the subject of leaks. “Manchester City FC is fully cooperating in good faith with the CFCB IC’s ongoing investigation,” the statement said.“In doing so the club is reliant on both the CFCB IC’s independence and commitment to due process; and on Uefa’s commitment of the 7th of March that it … will make no further comment on the matter while the investigation is ongoing.“The New York Times report citing ‘people familiar with the case’ is therefore extremely concerning. The implications are that either Manchester City’s good faith in the CFCB IC is misplaced or the CFCB IC process is being misrepresented by individuals intent on damaging the club’s reputation and its commercial interests. Or both.“Manchester City’s published accounts are full and complete and a matter of legal and regulatory record. The accusation of financial irregularities are entirely false, and comprehensive proof of this fact has been provided to the CFCB IC.”A statement from Uefa said: “We do not comment on ongoing investigations regarding financial fair play matters.” Share on WhatsApp Read more Share via Email Champions League Share on Messenger Manchester City Share on Twitter Reuse this contentlast_img read more

Subsea 7 Hires Siem Stingray OSCV

first_imgzoom Siem Offshore and Subsea 7 have entered into a charter agreement for the Offshore Subsea Construction Vessel (OSCV) “Siem Stingray”, which is under construction in Norway.The agreement is made at market terms and is for a firm period of three years with two yearly options.The charter shall commence in  the third quarter of 2014 following delivery of the vessel from the Norwegian yard.The Siem Stingray is designed for subsea operation duties such as construction and installation work, inspection and maintenance. The vessel is of clean design, has particularly good seakeeping abilities, station keeping performance and is able to keep a high transit speed.It is environmentally-friendly, its design focusing on low fuel consumption through its diesel electric machinery. The vessel is classed according to SPS 2008 and Clean Design.Siem Offshore, May 5, 2014last_img read more

Canadian Agricultural Safety Week

first_imgNova Scotia farmers will learn farm safety tips and the financialimplications of farm accidents during Canadian AgriculturalSafety Week, March 10-17. “It is important to reduce the number and severity of injurieshappening on farms,” said Chris d’Entremont, Minister ofAgriculture and Fisheries. “By promoting safety we are improvingthe health of the overall farm community.” The theme for this year’s safety week is Farm Safety Makes $ense.During the week farmers across the country will be educated onfarm safety and costs associated with agricultural injuries andfatalities. Such costs can be personal or business-related, andcan include the less measurable costs of pain, suffering, copingwith lifelong disabilities, and family grief. “An important part of maximizing profits on farms is minimizinglosses – and that includes losses due to injury, illness, ordeath of the farmer, farm family, or farm workers,” said Don Cox,president of the Nova Scotia Federation Agriculture. “Minimizinglosses can be accomplished by carrying out a safety checklist onyour farm, keeping all machinery in good repair with guards inplace and having adequate accident insurance coverage. It is alsoimportant to train workers in safety practices, lead by example,and make safety a priority on your farm.” Carl Palmer of the Canadian Farmers With Disabilities Registry,said attention needs to be given to how farms can be made intosafer workplaces. “I encourage any farmer who has been involvedin an accident to reach out to this organization as there aresome very valuable services available to them.” Canadian Agricultural Safety Week is an annual awareness campaignto promote farm safety. Each year the provincial government, inpartnership with the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, developseducational promotional materials aimed to help Canadian farmfamilies improve safety. For more information on farm safetyvisit the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture and Fisheries’website at www.gov.ns.ca/nsaf/farmsafety ; contact the NovaScotia Farm Health and Safety Committee at 902-893-6587; or theCanadian Farmers With Disability Registry at 902-893-2293.last_img read more

American Taliban Lindh freed from jail after serving 17 years

first_imgWashington: John Walker Lindh, the US Muslim convert who came to be known as the “American Taliban” after being captured while fighting in Afghanistan in 2001, was released from prison Thursday after serving 17 years, US media reported. CNN and The Washington Post reported his early morning release from the federal high security prison in Terre Haute, Indiana, quoting his lawyer, Bill Cummings. Cummings told CNN that 38-year-old Lindh, still suspected by some of harboring radical Islamic views, will settle in Virginia under strict probation terms that limit his ability to go online or contact other Islamists. Also Read – ‘Hong Kong won’t rule out Chinese help over protests’Known as “Detainee 001” in the US War on Terror, Lindh’s early release on an original 20-year sentence has resurrected memories of the September 11 attacks, when he became for many Americans one of the faces of the jihadist threat against the United States. But his release also underscores the fact that, almost two decades later, the US remains mired in a fight with the Taliban with no end in sight. Other than that he will settle in Virginia, the state abutting the US capital Washington, there was no information about Lindh’s plans. Also Read – Pak Army chief accompanies Imran at key meetings in ChinaHis family, which lives near San Francisco, California, has not recently commented on his case and could not immediately be contacted Thursday. His release comes amid concerns that he may not have abandoned support for hardline Islamic thinking while incarcerated. In a letter this week to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, two senators asked how his alleged threat would be contained, citing unproven allegations that he “openly” supports extremist violence. “We must consider the security and safety implications for our citizens and communities who will receive individuals like John Walker Lindh,” they said. Lindh, 38, earned a three-year early release from the Indiana prison for good behaviour. The quiet son of a middle-class couple, he converted to Islam at age 16 and travelled to Yemen in 1998 to study Arabic. After returning home for several months, Lindh went back to Yemen in 2000, and then on to Pakistan to study further in a madrassa, or religious school. In mid-2001, ostensibly drawn by stories of the mistreatment of Afghans, he enlisted in the Taliban’s fight against the Northern Alliance. After the United States intervened in Afghanistan following the September 11, 2001 attacks, Lindh was one of hundreds of Taliban fighters captured by Northern Alliance forces on November 25. He revealed his American identity to two CIA officers. One of them, Johnny Micheal Spann, was killed in a prisoner revolt hours after he interrogated Lindh, making him the first American killed in post-9/11 conflict in Afghanistan. While Lindh had no role in Spann’s death, his case became politically and emotionally entwined with it. Once back in the United States, he was branded a traitor and accused of murdering the CIA officer. Lindh was quickly charged with multiple counts of terrorism and conspiracy to kill Americans, with politicians and generals demanding he be given the death penalty.last_img read more

Ontario government cancels summer work updating K12 Indigenous curricula

first_imgPhoto courtesy: FacebookJustin BrakeAPTN NewsThe new Doug Ford government in Ontario has cancelled a gathering this week in Toronto intended to solidify plans for updating Indigenous content and delivery in the province’s K-12 system.On Monday a spokesperson for Ontario’s Ministry of Education issued a statement saying the government “will continue to move ahead with the updated Truth and Reconciliation Commission curriculum revisions” initiated by the former Liberal government.But the statement said that the writing sessions intended to devise a plan and resources for educators to introduce the changes were cancelled at the last minute “in keeping with the commitment Premier Doug Ford made to run government more efficiently.”Spokesperson Ben Menka identified the Truth and Reconciliation Commission curriculum revisions and Indigenous Languages in Kindergarten as two of the three writing sessions cancelled by the ministry.Criticism of the decision by Indigenous leaders, politicians, and on social media has been swift.“We have heard from many educators, Elders and knowledge keepers and share their frustration as this important work was dropped just before it was set to begin,” said Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Deputy Grand Chief Derek Fox.“This is a step backwards on our journey towards reconciliation. The education of the youth in Ontario shouldn’t be dictated by the party in power, but left to professionals who acknowledge that identity building is the only positive move forward.”Colinda Clyne, an Anishinaabe teacher and Curriculum Lead for First Nations, Metis and Inuit Education in Ontario’s Upper Grand District School Board, told APTN Monday the cancellations could impact the second and third phases of a three-stage process to update Indigenous content in the curricula.“This is really significant,” she said. “We use these updates to guide the work that we’re doing with educators in our schools.”Clyne said phase two of the planned reforms include Grades 1 through 3, Grade 9 geography, Grade 10 civics and some Grade 11 and 12 courses.“It took a long time to get that plan rolling. As of last year, Phase 1 had just completed, which was Grade 4-6 social studies, Grade 7 and 8 history, and Grade 10 history,” she said, explaining that after the curriculum changes were determined “the curriculum writing teams got together and gave teachers lots of different prompts of how they can get people into the curriculum.“Phase one is already done and is to be implemented in September, so I feel confident that the teachers who were part of that have a good understanding of what it is that they need to do,” Clyne continued. “I’m not confident they will know what to do with phase two, or even if phase two will exist.”In response to Monday’s news, London West NDP MPP-elect Peggy Sattler issued a statement saying Premier Doug Ford “needs to come clean with families, teachers, educators and students about what’s going on here.“The curriculum in Ontario’s public schools is outdated, and we simply have to do better for our children.“Scrapping the TRC curriculum writing sessions at the last second is a damaging step backwards on the road to reconciliation – and it sends a horrible message to Indigenous communities about their importance to the Ford government.”Monday’s news release from NAN said “Elders and knowledge keepers, many of whom are Residential School survivors, have made personal investments in this work,” and that “some will now lose income as they have booked time away from employment and other activities in order to participate.”Fox said NAN is “asking this government to reaffirm its commitment…working with Indigenous partners to address the legacy of residential schools, close gaps and remove barriers, support Indigenous cultures, and reconcile relationships.”In the government’s statement, Menka said the Ministry of Education “moved ahead with the cancellation unilaterally, with no direction from the Minister of Education,” MPP-elect for Huron-Bruce, Lisa Thompson.Ontario Minister of Education Lisa Thompson.Asked to clarify who made the decision, Menka responded “the deputy minister can have delegated authorities on certain matters,” referring to Ontario’s Deputy Minister of Education Bruce Rodrigues.Asked if Rodrigues is allowed to speak to the press about the decision-making process, Menka said “only the Minister’s office will be putting out a statement on this matter.”The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action 62 and 63 compel the federal, provincial and territorial governments to update curricula with age-appropriate Indigenous content, and to, among other things, “provide the necessary funding to post-secondary institutions to educate teachers on how to integrate Indigenous knowledge and teaching methods into classrooms.”According to Clyne, the cancelled writing sessions were intended to achieve the latter.“It’s so important because most of the educators in the province did not get this information about Indigenous Peoples, histories, and traditions…and we need, as school boards, to be able to support the teachers in this work,” she said.last_img read more

Ontario NDP leader says province should pay for services on reserve and

first_imgWillow FiddlerAPTN NewsThe leader of Ontario’s NDP party says she’s going to push the province to pay to fix water issues on First Nation communities and then send Ottawa the bill.Andrea Horwath made the comments while on a tour of three communities in northern Ontario.“And if some of the costs of those fixes need to come from the federal government, then fix the problems and send the bill to Ottawa,” she said. “But fix the problems first and foremost. Fix the problems so that the inter-generational trauma the communities are facing can start to be resolved. ”Horwath says finding solutions for First Nations in northern Ontario is not rocket science.“These challenges should have been dealt with over many, many years ago and unfortunately we continue to see the blame game and the real solutions not being implemented,” she said.“A lot of talk, not enough action.”Horwath took to the skies to visit three fly in communities with local NDP member of provincial parliament Sol Mamakwa.In Neskantaga First Nation, the duo toured the community’s new water treatment plant which is under construction.Last winter, Neskanta fired the contractor for being behind schedule.The community has been under a boil water advisory for 25 years and the plant was supposed to be completed months ago.But Chief Chris Moonias said even when the plant is finished and they have clean water coming out of the taps, the long terms effects will still be felt.“Well it’s going to be hard even after when it’s commissioned, right?,” he said. “It’s going to be hard to even trust the water, right?”Horwath said the federal and provincial governments have an obligation to ensure First Nations have water treatment plants that last.“And it’s to the point of course now where there’s an entire generation that has no trust or confidence whatsoever, that turning on a tap whether that be here in the community or whether that be somewhere like Thunder Bay, that the water that’s coming out is going to be safe,” said Horwath.Horwath and Mamakwa also visited Kingfisher Lake and Attawapiskat.“We’re going to put down in writing what we’ve heard, make sure it reflects what we, that what was spoken reflects what we thought we heard,” she said. “We always have to check back to make sure that we’re respectful and we’re not interpreting something the wrong way.”Horwath said she’ll be pushing the government of Doug Ford, and the federal government to fix the issues the chiefs identified.wfiddler@aptn.ca@willowblasizzolast_img read more

Canadian Food Inspection Agency suspends licence of Alberta packing facility

EDMONTON – The Alberta facility at the centre of a massive beef recall after an E. coli outbreak has had its operating licence temporarily suspended by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.The agency announced late Thursday that XL Foods Inc. in Brooks, Alta., won’t be able to resume operations until it implements corrective actions required by the agency.“The company took initial steps to ensure the safety of food being produced and at the time committed to additional steps to deal with all issues and prevent recurrence,” the agency said in a news release.“However, based on information provided by XL Foods Inc. on September 26, as well as through CFIA inspector oversight, the CFIA has determined that these deficiencies have not been completely corrected. To date, the company has not adequately implemented agreed upon corrective actions and has not presented acceptable plans to address longer-term issues.”The agency said all products currently at the plant are “under CFIA detention and control,” and will be released only after being tested for E. coli.The development came the same day the U.S. Department of Agriculture extended its public health alert about beef from the company’s Lakeside plant to stores in 30 states, including retail giant Walmart.The alert meant XL Foods would voluntarily recall beef products from these stores over concerns about possible E. coli contamination.The U.S. Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) says it is monitoring the effectiveness of the recall, which before Thursday covered eight states.XL Foods officials could not be reached for comment.Along with Walmart, the retail chains involved in the XL Foods recall in the U.S. include Safeway, Kroger, Jay C, FoodsCo., Food4Less, Albertson’s and Sam’s Club.Canada revoked the plant’s permit to export beef to the U.S. on Sept. 13 at the request of the U.S.D.A.Since Sept. 16, the CFIA has issued at least eight recall alerts for XL Foods ground beef products from its plant in Brooks over E. coli concerns.Two Alberta companies supplied by XL Foods, Reddi Food Solutions Inc. and Freson Bros., were added to the recall list Thursday.There are no reported cases of people getting sick from eating the ground beef.The FSIS said in a news release issued Wednesday that whole cuts of beef were produced at the XL Foods plant on the same production dates as the suspected tainted ground beef.The meat cuts were used by a U.S. manufacturer to make other food products, which have not been identified.Also Wednesday, Alberta Health Service officials announced that four people in Edmonton got sick from E. coli after eating Kirkland brand strip loin steaks purchased at a Costco outlet in Edmonton.The CFIA said the meat the steaks were made from came from the XL Foods plant, but health officials aren’t sure if the E. coli was on the product or if it came from a metal meat tenderizing machine used at the Costco store.The store has said it would no longer use the tenderizing machine.E. coli O157:H7 is potentially deadly. Health officials say it can cause bloody diarrhea, dehydration and, in the most severe cases, kidney failure. by The Canadian Press Posted Sep 28, 2012 1:47 am MDT Canadian Food Inspection Agency suspends licence of Alberta packing facility AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

Sears Canada president leaving job less than a year after starting

by The Canadian Press Posted Jul 26, 2016 3:29 pm MDT Last Updated Jul 26, 2016 at 4:41 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email TORONTO – Sears Canada has announced Carrie Kirkman is leaving her role as president of the retailer, less than a year after starting the position.Kirkman’s exit is one of several at the company’s executive level in recent years.Ronald Boire stepped down as president-CEO in August 2015, following the departures of Douglas Campbell in September 2014 and Calvin McDonald in September 2013.Sears Canada spokesman Vincent Power says Kirkman is now transitioning to an advisory role at the company, with a continued focus on strategic brand partner development.He says her last day as president and chief merchant will occur shortly after July 30.Prior to beginning at Sears, Kirkman was interim president of shoe retailer Nine West Canada between August and November 2015 and was president of Jones Apparel Group from October 2010 until April 2015. Sears Canada president leaving job less than a year after starting read more

Clement Attlee took in Jewish child refugee before Second World War

Clement Attlee took in a Jewish child refugee months before the Second World War, it has been revealed. The Labour leader sponsored a Jewish mother and her children through his local church, allowing them to leave Germany and stay in the UK. Paul Willer, 90, was one of the children and now lives in Gloucestershire. He lived with Mr Attlee and his wife for four months at their home in northwest London when he was 10-years-old. –– ADVERTISEMENT ––He told The Guardian: “It was a remarkable kindness, a generous offer. He did not try and glorify himself in any way. He did it for the right reasons.”Mr Willer is set to meet Mr Attlee’s granddaughter to mark the 80th anniversary of the Kindertransport programme in which about 10,000 Jewish children were brought to Britain. The former child refugee recalled leaving Germany in 1939 with his brother, a move spurred by his mother Franziska witnessing the antisemitic violence of Kristallnacht on 9 November 1938.Franziska’s brother Otto, who was based in London, contacted the Rev William Hewett, the rector of Stanmore, who then found two local families willing to take a boy each – one of whom was the Attlees. “He was a gentle man and a gentleman,” Mr Willer told the newspaper. “He was very good with the children and affectionate.”  Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. At the time, Mr Attlee was the opposition leader while Neville Chamberlain was pursuing a policy of appeasement. He went on to lead Labour to a landslide election victory in 1945. Jo Roundell Greene, the late prime minister’s granddaughter and now a Liberal Democrat councillor from Somerset, said her late mother, Felicity, “mentioned having a refugee to stay”.Looking ahead to the 80th anniversary meeting, she told the Guardian: “It will be an emotional afternoon.” read more

Watchdog to inspect disability centres for the first time

first_imgFrom now on, these Standards will provide those who use services and their families or representatives with a guide as to what they should expect from residential services. HEALTHCARE WATCHDOG HIQA is to begin inspecting residential centres for people with disabilities, where an estimated 9,500 people are currently living.It is the first time that these residential centres will be subject to independent scrutiny by a regulator, HIQA said.There are around 1,200 centres around the country, the vast majority of which are run by voluntary or religious groups with funding from the State. The new guidelines apply to all residential services, whether they’re run by public, private or voluntary bodies.HIQA – the Health Information and Quality Authority – today published its long-awaited national standards for residential services for children and adults with disabilities, which explicitly lays down guidelines for providers to ensure proper care is given to people living in or using the services.Phelim Quinn, the head of regulation at HIQA, said the publication of the new guidelines was a “landmark moment for disability services in Ireland”. Children and adults using residential services have the right to be safe, to receive good care and support and to have access to the services they need to enable them to live a fulfilling life.HIQA will begin the registration and inspection of residential centres later this year.The new standards and plans for inspections have been welcomed by groups involved in providing care to people with disabilities.(Video: hiaqvideo/YouTube)Read: Problems identified by child protection inspectors > Read: Children’s Minister ‘constantly amazed’ at lack of basic services > Read: Uncleanliness led to serious risks for patients at Sligo Hospital >last_img read more

Cork TD says people should pay €6 a year for travel pass

first_img By Cliodhna Russell Monday 23 Jan 2017, 7:41 PM Jan 23rd 2017, 7:41 PM “There are people with pensions of €150,000 a year … anybody above a €50,000 a year pension should be making a contribution to the bus pass.As it stands people automatically receive a bus pass but Daly thinks this needs to change.“People would only apply for a travel pass if they were going to use it.”Your Say Do you think a €6 charge is a good idea? A CORK TD is suggesting that people who hold free travel passes should pay an annual €6 charge to fill the Bus Éireann deficit.Speaking on the Cork Today show on C103′s Cork Today Show, Jim Daly said:There are 1.3 million free travel pass holders in the country, the shortfall at Bus Éireann is €6 million so if one million of those people paid €6 … that would wipe out the deficit.He added that he would be vehemently opposed to any reductions in rural services, saying, “We don’t have the services that people in the city do”.There are many people who could afford some sort of administration fee in the region of €6 per annum. I don’t know (403) Share2417 Tweet Email2 No (2791) Poll Results: YesNoIt should be more expensiveI don’t knowVoteRead: Bus Éireann workers reject latest plan as two unions threaten strike action> Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlecenter_img http://jrnl.ie/3201304 Cork TD says people should pay €6 a year for travel pass to wipe out Bus Éireann deficit Jim Daly says he would be vehemently opposed to any reductions in rural services. Yes (7892) 37,402 Views Image: Shutterstock/Valentyn Volkov 120 Comments Image: Shutterstock/Valentyn Volkov Short URL It should be more expensive (1697)last_img read more

Facebook net income spurts 76 for March quarter monthly users up by

first_imgFacebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg waves as he arrives on stage during the annual Facebook F8 developers conference in San Jose, California, U.S., April 18, 2017.Reuters fileSocial networking site Facebook began 2017 on a high note, posting upbeat results for the first quarter ended March (Q1). Net income rose 76 percent to $3.06 billion from $1.74 billion a year ago on the back of a sharp rise in advertisement revenues even as it added 80 million users during the three-month period.”We had a good start to 2017. We’re continuing to build tools to support a strong global community,” founder-CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement.In Q1, the California-based company earned $7.58 billion in advertisements, up 51 percent from $5.2 billion in the corresponding period last year, according to a media statement issued by the company. Mobile ad revenue accounted for about 85 percent, up from 82 percent, YoY.Total revenues stood at $8.03 billion, an increase of 49 percent from $5.38 billion, year-on-year. At the end of the quarter, the company’s cash and cash reserves stood at $32.31 billion, up from $29.45 billion as of December 31, 2016.Facebook’s daily active users rose 18 percent, YoY, to 1.28 billion while monthly active users were 1.94 billion, up from 1.86 billion at the end of December last year.The company had 18,770 employees as of March 31, 2017, an addition of 1,770 from December 2016.Facebook shares closed 0.75 percent lower at $151.64 apiece on Nasdaq on Wednesday. An attendee waits to try the newly announced Facebook Spaces virtual reality platform during the annual Facebook F8 developers conference in San Jose, California, U.S., April 18, 2017.Reuters filelast_img read more

Body formed to probe teenagers death on ferry

first_imgThe ministry of shipping on Monday formed a committee to investigate the death of a teenage boy in an ambulance on a ferry ‘as its departure was delayed by three hours for an additional secretary’, reports UNB.The probe body, headed by joint secretary Shahnewaz Dilruba Khan, was asked to submit the investigation report within seven working days, said an official release.It said necessary steps will be taken once the report is submitted.The release said a report published in different dailies on Monday and aired by a television channel on the death of the teenage patient drew attention of the ministry.Claiming that the report not fully correct, it said there is no additional or assistant secretary or any official named Abdus Sabur Mondol in the shipping ministry and no official car of the ministry or any agency under it crossed the Padma river using Kathalbari-Shimulia ferry route on that day.According to a report published in different national dailies, Titash Ghosh, a sixth grader who was in an ambulance on a ferry died on Sunday as the authorities allegedly delayed the departure of a ferry at Kathalbari jetty in Madaripur for Abdus Sabur Mondol, an additional secretary to the shipping ministry.last_img read more

Flash Flooding In Houston Sparks Memories Of Hurricane Harvey

first_img Share Stephanie Kuzydym for The Texas TribuneStreets flood in central Houston during heavy rain on July 4, 2018.Hurricane Harvey left Ty Boufford’s home with 8 inches of water when it struck the Houston area last August. For several days after, Boufford and his family were trapped in their Humble home because of street flooding.On Thursday, Boufford was once again cleaning up the aftermath of a flood, this time as an employee at Eleanor Tinsley Park in the city. Flash floods on Wednesday led to Buffalo Bayou flooding into the park, the cancellation of Fourth of July festivities, miles of submerged roadways and hundreds of stranded vehicles.“When I was here yesterday, and the water started coming up, the first thing I did was call my mom to make sure she was okay,” Boufford said. “I think I knew pretty quickly that it wasn’t going to be anything like Harvey, but flooding is just a part of life now here. We have to learn to expect it.”In the park, blue letters set up in the grass to spell “HOUSTON” floated downstream.It was the worst flooding the city has seen since Hurricane Harvey hit nearly a year ago.“It’s just a reminder for us that there’s still a lot of work that we need to do,” said Rob Lazaro, a spokesperson for the Harris County Flood Control District. “A lot of our efforts are still in recovery and emergency repair. The overall watershed improvements that folks are looking for — those, for the most part, have not occurred. They can take years to build.”Only a handful of structures were flooded, said Brian Kyle, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. Unlike Harvey, which hovered over the city for days, yesterday’s storms came in heavy bursts, he said, falling at a rate of 2 to 3 inches per hour.“That can’t be absorbed by the ground in that amount of time,” Kyle said. “It builds up in the streets, and that’s where you get street flooding. Water doesn’t really penetrate concrete really well. Even if the area was all grass, if you get that amount of rain in a short time period, it just doesn’t have time to soak it. It runs off, and that’s when you get flooding.”By the end of the day, the Houston Police Department had towed 347 vehicles, 92 of which were stranded in the water. The remaining 255 were the result of accidents throughout the day.Rick Flanagan, emergency manager for the city, called it a “tremendous and intense” amount of flooding. Taking note of forecasts, he said, city police, fire, and public works departments notified employees ahead of the holiday that extra manpower could be needed. It was.Involved departments continuously monitored the floods, he said, with police and fire departments feeding information about emergency calls back to Flanagan and his staff.Added public awareness also helped keep damage to a minimum, Flanagan said. The city issued alerts warning residents to avoid unnecessary travel, and even Mayor Sylvester Turner tweeted warnings to residents.Had the flooding not occurred on a holiday, rush hour traffic could have made matters worse, Kyle said.“It’s never a good time to flood, but if it has to, a day when most people aren’t working or traffic isn’t as bad as it usually is is a benefit,” Kyle said. “That probably saved a couple of lives in itself.”Residents and business owners watched the rain cautiously.“Here we go again,” Amber Ely, manager of The Blue Fish Japanese Restaurant, said she remembered thinking. “I don’t think it will ever be like what it was during Harvey, but that’s still in the back of your head.”Alice Kimsong said she trusted the city to take proper precautions but was still scared. Kimsong is the manager of Padthai Thai Restaurant, located near Buffalo Bayou, a flood-prone body of water in the heart of the city.After Harvey, the restaurant went without power for one month and was out of business for six months due to repairs.“We just buy more insurance and after that there’s nothing we can do,” Kimsong said. “We can’t escape it where we are, so that’s all we can do.”Scattered rain continued throughout the area on Thursday, but Kyle said residents should expect anywhere from no rainfall to a half inch heading into the weekend. Flanagan said with such heavy rainfall on Wednesday, slowed rainfall later in the day was a blessing for the city.  “The bayous and tributaries had already taken on a lot. We were worried about them coming over the banks,” he said. “Mother Nature really was kind yesterday.”last_img read more