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Firhad Hakim to hold councillors meet next week to select Mayor

first_imgKolkata: Firhad Hakim, the state Urban Development and Municipal Affairs minister, will sit with the councillors of Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation (BMC) next week to select the Mayor. Sabyasachi Dutta recently resigned after the councillors moved a no-confidence motion against him for his anti-party activities. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee met Krishna Chakraborty, chairperson of the BMC, Tapas Chatterjee, Deputy Mayor and Debashis Jana, a senior BMC councillor at Nabanna and discussed the steps that should be taken to resolve the impasse. Firhad Hakim was also present in the meeting. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaIt was decided that he would meet the councillors next week to select the Mayor. Some councillors have expressed their reservation over the appointment of Tapas Chatterjee as the Mayor. Chatterjee was an active member of the CPI(M) and was the chairman of Rajarhat Gopalpur municipality. In 2011, Chatterjee contested in the Assembly elections with a CPI(M) ticket from Rajarhat-New Town constituency and was defeated by Sabyasachi Dutta. After Chatterjee joined the Trinamool Congress, differences with Dutta came out in the open. There had been stormy meetings of the Mayor-in-Council members. On July 1, Dutta refused to share the dais with Chatterjee to commemorate the birth and death anniversary of Dr BC Roy which was organised by the BMC.last_img read more

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Appalled Trudeau calls for investigation of Canadian doctor in Gaza

first_imgOTTAWA – Justin Trudeau added his voice Wednesday to the calls for an independent investigation into the shootings by Israeli soldiers on the Gaza border that killed 59 Palestinians and wounded hundreds more during Monday’s mass protests.The prime minister said he was appalled by the shooting of a Canadian doctor who was trying to help wounded protesters in Gaza on Monday.In a statement, Trudeau described the reported use of excessive force and live ammunition as “inexcusable.”“We are appalled that Dr. Tarek Loubani, a Canadian citizen, is among the wounded — along with so many unarmed people, including civilians, members of the media, first responders, and children,” he said.“We are engaging with Israeli officials to get to the bottom of these events.”Loubani, an emergency physician at Ontario’s London Health Sciences Centre and at Shifa Hospital in Gaza, says he was shot in both legs Monday even though his team wore high-visibility jackets that identified them as medical staff.In a statement Wednesday evening, a spokesperson for the Israeli embassy in Ottawa said Israel’s “position regarding Hamas and recent events in Gaza is clear.“We have asked Jerusalem for instructions, as this is a prime ministerial issue,” Itay Tavor wrote.Trudeau called for a thorough examination of the possible use of both excessive force and the incitement to violence.“It is imperative we establish the facts of what is happening in Gaza,” he said.Germany, Belgium and Ireland and several UN Security Council members have also called for an investigation into Monday’s carnage. But the council has taken no action because the United States, a permanent member, says Israel acted with “restraint.”Monday’s violence erupted as the Trump administration followed through on its campaign promise to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.Canada and its other major allies do not support the embassy move. The government says the future of the Jerusalem needs to be part of a broader negotiated settlement between the Israelis and Palestinians — a process going nowhere at the moment.Monday was Gaza’s deadliest day in four years, as the violence escalated while the U.S. formally opened its controversial new embassy in Jerusalem several dozen kilometres away.Israel and the U.S. blame the militant group Hamas for endangering civilians in Gaza by inciting them to protest — a view echoed in Canada by several Jewish groups and the Opposition Conservatives.“In condemning the Israeli forces, Justin Trudeau ignores the role that the terrorist organization Hamas has played in inciting these clashes,” Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said in a statement Wednesday evening.“In responding to these events with nothing but criticism of Israel, Justin Trudeau has failed Canadians on the international stage once again.”The Toronto-based Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs requested an urgent meeting with Trudeau to convey its concern about his response to the violence.“We are deeply disappointed the government’s statement ignores Hamas’ direct responsibility for recent violence on the Israel-Gaza border,” the centre’s CEO, Shimon Koffler Fogel, said in a written statement.“This contradicts the government’s long-stated position that, as a close ally and fellow liberal democracy, Israel can count on Canada’s support when its security is threatened.”Koffler Fogel said Hamas uses civilians as “human shields” and has “left Israel no choice but to use force to protect the tens of thousands of Israelis who live close to Gaza.”Another Canadian Jewish group, the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center, released a statement expressing disappointment with what it called Trudeau’s “strong and unbalanced” comments.“While we despair about loss of life, Canada should steadfastly condemn Hamas for inciting violence and for attempting to enter a sovereign nation to carry out terrorism,” the group’s president Avi Benlolo said.“It’s disappointing that our prime minister did not condemn Hamas in his statement.”Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland in a Monday Twitter message said: “It is inexcusable that civilians, journalists + children have been victims. All parties to the conflict have a responsibility to ensure civilians are protected.”Since March 30, more than 100 Palestinians have been killed and 2,500 injured in protests at the border fence.The Canadian spokeswoman for the United Nations Children’s Fund in Gaza told The Canadian Press on Wednesday that it has confirmed that six Palestinian boys and one Palestinian girl among those killed in Monday’s shootings.They are among the 13 children who have been killed and the 1,000 injured since March 30, Genevieve Boutin, UNICEF’s special representative said in a telephone interview from East Jerusalem.Boutin said there is no legal justification for anyone to shoot at children under any circumstance.“According to international law, a child is a child, first of all, no matter what brought them there,” said Boutin.“At this point, the United Nations has been clear — many journalists have observed this — they’re largely unarmed and they’re quite far away from the soldiers. So for us, they’re all child deaths that should have been avoided.”Asked whether an investigation was warranted, Boutin replied: “We all work for the secretary general, so we would echo his call for an independent investigation.”last_img read more

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Trudeau disappointed with Fords constitutional override but wont intervene

first_imgOTTAWA – Justin Trudeau made it clear Tuesday he would not block the Ontario government’s use of the Constitution’s notwithstanding clause to forge ahead with plans to cut the size of Toronto city council, even though he was disappointed with the province’s decision.Trudeau said he and his government are staunch supporters and defenders of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms because it provides a set of guarantees that Canadians value and identify with as fundamental safeguards.“So any time a government chooses to invoke the notwithstanding clause to override the charter’s protections, it has to be done deliberately, carefully and with the utmost forethought and reflection,” Trudeau said during an event in Winnipeg.“But I won’t be weighing in on the debate on how big Toronto municipal council should be,” he added. “We shall respect and allow Ontarians to judge whether their government is doing a good thing or not.”The notwithstanding clause gives provincial legislatures and Parliament the ability to usher in legislation that effectively overrides charter provisions, but only for a five-year period.Ontario Premier Doug Ford took the rarely used step Monday after a judge said it was unconstitutional to slash the number of city council seats in the middle of a municipal election without consultation, as it interfered with the right to freedom of expression of candidates and voters.Toronto Mayor John Tory called the premier’s reaction a “gross overreach” of the province’s powers and said in a tweet Monday night he had met with Trudeau, who was in the provincial capital for a women’s summit, to discuss his concerns.Federal Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc said the notwithstanding clause is an extraordinary part of the Constitution that should be used only in the most exceptional of cases, after serious and sober consideration.“The rights and freedoms guaranteed by the charter are of utmost importance in our society and our government will always stand up to defend them,” he said in a statement.But like the prime minister, LeBlanc stopped short of federal intervention, saying Ontarians “will ultimately judge the actions of their provincial government.”While the Liberals chose not to pick a fight with Ontario’s newly elected Progressive Conservatives, they appeared to have few if any alternatives.A provision of the Constitution technically permits the federal government to disallow provincial legislation, but the provision was last used in 1943, raising questions in legal circles about whether it has become obsolete.LeBlanc’s suggestion the notwithstanding clause could be invoked in a legitimate emergency makes sense, said Michael Pal, an associate professor of law at the University of Ottawa.Beyond such exceptional circumstances, a government in Ottawa can play a leadership role in preserving rights and freedoms by refraining from reliance on the provision, he added.“If the federal government ever starts using the notwithstanding clause, it’s very hard to say to a province, ‘Oh, you shouldn’t use it either.’ So the federal government really sets the tone.”Ontario’s use of the clause in relation to freedom of political expression is worrisome because it could open the door to “some bad places” such as limiting criticism of the government or the right to protest, Pal said. “These are not fanciful scenarios if you look around the world.”Caroline Mulroney, the daughter of former prime minister Brian Mulroney, serves in Ford’s cabinet as attorney general. The senior Mulroney denounced the notwithstanding clause in 1989 as a “major fatal flaw” of the Constitution.Appearing at an event in Ottawa on Tuesday, he said that while in office he “had no interest in using it, no matter what.”“I had difficulty with anybody invoking a provision that (would) override the Supreme Court of Canada. And that’s why I opposed it then, and that’s why I oppose it today.“And, no, I haven’t discussed this with my daughter.”A spokesman for Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer had no immediate comment on Ford’s move.— Follow @JimBronskill on Twitterlast_img read more

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Fort St John sees big drop in crime rate from peak in

first_imgPrince George also ranked 11th in Canada for violent crimes (V.C.S.I. of 167.33), while Grande Prairie ranked 21st (114.94).North Battleford, Saskatchewan was once again the city with the highest crime severity index in Canada, at 371.58, while Thompson, Manitoba had the highest violent crime severity index, at 505.08. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The crime severity index in Fort St. John has dropped significantly over the past two years, when the Energetic City had the fourth-highest violent crime severity index in the country.According to data released by Statistics Canada on Monday, the overall crime severity index in Fort St. John in 2017 was 118.47, which ranked it 33rd among Canadian communities with a population of over 10,000.In 2016, the Energetic City placed 29th with a C.S.I. of 124.7, while in 2015 the C.S.I. was 165.46. Fort St. John also experienced a substantial drop in the violent crime severity index, which includes such crimes as homicide, assault, sexual assault, uttering threats, robbery, and firearms offences.The V.C.S.I. in Fort St. John in 2015 was the 4th-highest in Canada, at 221.68. Since then, the index has dropped to 133.83 in 2016 (23rd), and again to 103.55 (41st) last year.The Crime Severity Index metric was established by Stats Canada to assign more weight to more serious crimes in a given police jurisdiction, due to the fact that 40 percent of crimes reported nationwide are comprised of two relatively minor offences: Theft under $5,000, and Mischief.Both cities in the B.C. Peace Region saw crime severity index fall over the last two years, as the C.S.I. in Dawson Creek dropped from a peak in 2015 of 179.35 to 148.32 last year, or 18th spot on the list.Dawson Creek also saw a drop in violent crimes, from an index of 173.4 three years ago to 114.94 (33rd) last year.Interestingly, the crime severity index actually increased in both Prince George and Grande Prairie last year, as those two communities ranked 11th and 14th across Canada respectively. The C.S.I. in Prince George was 174.68, while Grande Prairie’s was 162.8.last_img read more

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Blood test can help diagnose preeclampsia

first_imgA simple blood test can help diagnose a common but potentially fatal pregnancy complication – pre-eclampsia, finds a study published in The Lancet journal. During the study, by measuring the concentration of placental growth factor (PlGF) in a woman’s blood, doctors were able to diagnose pre-eclampsia two days sooner on average. “We knew monitoring PlGF was an accurate way to help detect the condition but were unsure whether making this tool available to clinicians would lead to better care for women. Now we know that it does,” said lead author Lucy Chappell from King’s College London. Also Read – An income drop can harm brainPre-eclampsia, a condition in pregnancy characterised by high blood pressure, sometimes with fluid retention and proteinuria, can cause damage to vital organs, fits and can be fatal for the woman and baby, if left untreated. Globally, 100 women die due to pre-eclampsia every day. “For the last hundred years, we have diagnosed pre-eclampsia by measuring blood pressure and checking for protein in a woman’s urine. These are relatively imprecise and often quite subjective,” Chappell noted. Also Read – Shallu Jindal honoured with Mahatma AwardFor the recenlty conducted study, the research team studied 1,035 women with suspected pre-eclampsia from 11 maternity units across the UK. They were randomly assigned to two groups — one had their PlGF test results made available to their clinical team, the other did not. The PlGF testing was shown to reduce the average time to diagnose pre-eclampsia from four to two days and serious complications before birth (such as eclampsia, stroke, and maternal death) to four per cent from five per cent. There was no change in the likelihood of complications for the baby, the age at which babies were delivered prematurely or whether they were admitted to a neonatal unit, the researchers said.last_img read more

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SecretaryGeneral urges G77 countries to do their part to help the weak

Developing countries must keep their commitments made at the World Summit to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), to reduce poverty and disease, make our world safer, advance human rights and make the United Nations more effective, Secretary-General Kofi Annan said today in opening remarks to foreign ministers of the Group of 77.“Our task now is to implement what was agreed, and I look forward to the G-77 playing an active and constructive role in that process,” he said. Both developing and developed countries need to act, he noted but for their part the developing countries will have to “promote good governance, fight corruption, pursue sound macroeconomic policies, and made transparent and effective use of public funds.”Developed countries must also honor their promise to provide aid at 0.7 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) and expand debt relief so that developing countries can make improvements where they are really needed, such as providing malaria bed nets, expanding school meal programmes, and eliminating user fees for primary school and health services.But he also noted that he was disappointed with the lack of progress on trade, where “trade-distorting subsidies, quotas and tariffs” were undoing all the good works provided by debt relief and aid. Mr. Annan also touched on UN reform measures, and said he was looking for the G-77’s “engagement and support” in accomplishing “a more efficient, more effective, and more accountable” Secretariat and UN.But despite the strong emphasis on development and reform at the latest Summit, the UN’s good work still needs to be done, he said, which includes getting the Peacebuilding Commission up and running, making sure the Human Rights Council is successfully negotiated, agreeing on a global anti-terrorism strategy, and protecting civilians from genocide. Speaking on nuclear disarmament, Mr. Annan reiterated his disappointment in the lack of progress and called on the G-77 nations to support the Norwegian-led efforts to find a way forward.“I look forward to working with you to translate our commitments into results, particularly for the weak and the poor—most of them citizens of your countries, who we must never forget, represent the majority of the United Nations’ membership,” he said.The G-77 now numbers 132 member states, and calls itself the largest Third World coalition in the UN system. The association provides the means for the developing countries to articulate their collective economic interests and it enhances their joint negotiating capacity on international issues in the UN system. read more

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UN group reports jump in violations of arms embargo against Somalia

In a report released today, the four-member expert group points to a “severely elevated threat of widespread violence in central and southern Somalia” and calls for an “integrated embargo” to cover the export of charcoal and fish originating in the Horn of Africa country and a ban on foreign vessels fishing in Somali waters.”The proposal is not intended to seriously affect or impose restrictions on individuals in Somali civil society who are engaged in traditional, domestic and day-to-day subsistence activities for the purpose of local consumption,” the report says.The increase in the violations is a manifestation of the highly aggravated political tensions between the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and its opponents, fuelled by external support for different factions, the report says.Arms are flowing from Yemen to the Somali Government, according to the report. The arms cargo of a dhow was seized by the Yemeni Government, but the Group notes that round-trip flights to Somalia by Yemeni military aircraft took place in July.The Group says the Government of Ethiopia had sent arms shipments directly to TFG militia forces in Western Somalia – a charge which the authorities in Addis Ababa have denied.”Another State in the region,” which the Group declines to identify because the investigation is incomplete, has provided arms to the Somali opposition forces, countering Ethiopia’s assistance to the Government, and has also sent weapons to the rebel Oromo National Liberation Front (ONLF) of Ethiopia. read more

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Environment should play greater role in peacebuilding UN reports

Natural resources – which, in many conflict-affected countries, fuel and finance armed groups – can also play a major role in bringing about sustainable peace, the United Nations today reported urging Governments and partners to integrate natural resource management in post-conflict reintegration programmes.Incorporating natural resources in peacebuilding efforts can help to mitigate potential conflicts, such as disputes over land or water, and give green jobs to former soldiers, according to a joint report released today by UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).“When helping former fighters and their communities to start new lives after a conflict, it is often critical to help them turn existing natural resources into economic opportunities,” said Jordan Ryan, UNDP Assistant Administrator and Director of the Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery. “However, natural resources need to be managed properly as part of a well thought-out peace process,” he stressed in reference to minerals, oils, gas and timber. According to ‘The Role of Natural Resources in Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration – Addressing Risks and Seizing Opportunities’, plans for the fair management and distribution of natural resources are usually excluded from peace negotiations and disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) programmes, which have become an integral part of the UN’s post-conflict peace consolidation over the last 20 years.For example, in Sierra Leone, natural resources, which now make up 90 per cent of the country’s exports, were implicated in the country’s civil war, according to the report authors.Meanwhile, as an example of the creation of “green jobs” in a post-conflict setting, after the signing of the peace agreement in Nepal in 2006, approximately 19,600 former Maoist fighters awaiting integration into the Nepalese National Army were taught how to upkeep water systems and improved cooking stoves in their own cantonment camps. The report notes that given one-third of UN peacekeeping operations since 1990 have taken place in areas where the conflicts have been economically fuelled by, or otherwise driven by, natural resources, effective natural resource management has the potential to reduce risk of inflaming conflicts. The authors also noted the need to consider access to natural resources among vulnerable groups, such as women, who play a particularly important role as they are primarily responsible for providing food, water and other basic resources for households. read more

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UK Motor industry celebrates 20 years of sustainable growth

UK Automotive productivity up 208% since 1999, as industry highlights 20 years of sustainability gains.1Two decades of energy savings enough to power 9.5 million UK households, while water saved equals 810 litres for every person in the UK.2CO2 per vehicle produced more than halved, while new car CO2 has declined by a third.Auto manufacturing workers among UK’s better earners, with average salary 40% higher than the national average.3SMMT sets out key requirements to support a sustainable UK motor industry, including a frictionless trading relationship with the EU.The progress of UK Automotive in sustainable development is revealed today by new data published the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). The 20th annual Sustainability Report reveals environmental, economic, and social gains achieved by the sector over the past two decades, highlighting the substantial improvements in areas such as energy and water use, waste to landfill and CO2 emissions.Over the past 20 years, automotive manufacturing has grown to become one of the UK’s most important economic assets, turning over £82 billion in 2018 – an uplift of 70% since the first Sustainability Report was published in 1999. At the same time, workers have experienced a significant wage boost, with average automotive wages have risen by 85% over the period compared with 61% across wider manufacturing. Automotive manufacturing workers are now some of the UK’s better earners, with an average salary of £41,800, 40% higher than the national average. Meanwhile, productivity has increased considerably, with automotive output per a job growing by 208% from £32,000 to £100,900. The value of exports has also grown significantly, with 81.5% of cars produced in 2018 destined for international markets compared with 63.9% in 1999.However, this remarkable progress has not been at the expense of environmental performance. The UK automotive sector is now one of the most efficient in Europe, outperforming the EU average for energy, CO2 and water. Thanks to strict efficiency targets and continuous improvement and refinement of manufacturing processes, the sector has significantly reduced its environmental impact. Between 1999 and 2018, energy savings add up to power for 9.5 million homes for a year, while the CO2 saved would fill the Royal Albert Hall 37 times.4 Recycling is also high on industry’s agenda, with manufacturers having saved 693,969 tonnes of waste from landfill, equal to the annual waste produced by households in Bristol, Leeds and Edinburgh combined.5 Meanwhile, the amount of water saved is equivalent to 813 litres of water for every in the UK.These substantial advancements have been driven by massive investment in new models and plants. Brexit remains the biggest threat to the future competitiveness of UK Automotive. The country’s future relationship with the EU must deliver frictionless trade, assure our competitiveness and create an environment ready for investment. This is vital for not only future economic growth, but to further improve the sector’s sustainable development.Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said,Sustainability lies at the heart of the UK automotive sector and manufacturers are committed to balancing profitability and output with social and environmental responsibilities. Industry has invested heavily in ever safer, more efficient technology, but in processes and measures that have significantly reduced its environmental impact.We are on the cusp of a transport revolution and this sector has the potential to be one of the world’s leading forces driving the change. For the UK to reap the full benefits, any future relationship with the EU must assure our competitiveness, delivering frictionless trade and a supportive business environment to encourage investment.Alongside advances in production processes, Industry has continued to invest heavily in developing the latest low-emission technology to address air quality and environmental concerns. Efforts to deliver ever more efficient cars have resulted in average new car CO2 falling 31.2% since 1999, while Nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions have been cut by 84% since the turn of the millennium and exhaust particulate matter virtually eliminated.Key priorities for a sustainable UK Automotive sectorNotes to editors1. SMMT 20th Sustainability Report: https://www.smmt.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/SMMT-Sustainability-Report-2019.pdf2. 37,055,507 MWh of energy saved between 1999-2018. 53.7m m3 water usage saved = 53.7 billion litres, equivalent to 64 million x 7 litres of water.3. ONS data – Based on average UK full time gross wage of £569 for 52 weeks.4. 8.9m tonnes saved – would fill the Royal Albert Hall 37.5 times5. 693,969 tonnes waste saved from landfill. Equals waste produced by 700k households annually or the waste of Bristol, Leeds and Edinburgh combined over a yearClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) read more

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HMS Queen Elizabeth Britains postBrexit ambassador to the world

first_img 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. HMS Queen Elizabeth is the biggest and most powerful warship ever built by Britain.At it reached its home in Portsmouth on Wednesday Theresa May made diplomatic allusions, saying the 65,000 tonne aircraft carrier helps Britain forge a “new, positive, confident role for ourselves on the world stage in the years ahead.”Meet ‘Big Lizzie, a symbolic ambassador of post-Brexit Britain.last_img read more

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Duke and Duchess of Cambridge  play football at Windsor Park on Northern

The Duchess of Cambridge playing football with schoolchildrenCredit:Phil Noble/Reuters As duty called, the Duke and Duchess were called to meet a line-up of adults from the Female Football Leaders programme; the Goals Programme which helps young people who are not at employment, education or training; the Education Programme designed to reach the next generation of coaches; Stay Onside, aimed at reducing offending; and wheelchair football game Powerchair. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge meeting former Northern Ireland goalkeeper Pat JenningsCredit:Liam McBurney/PA In a meeting, they also heard from representatives of Ahead of the Game, a mental health partnership that aims to support players with mental illness in local clubs, with a focus on challenging the stigma and preventative measures.Before the left, the Duke and Duchess were presented with three small green shirts from the Northern Ireland national football team for George, Charlotte and Louis.”Thank you very much,” the Duchess said. Asking the children whether they’d enjoyed their football session, she admitted it was “quite difficult keeping the ball right on your foot” in the dribbling drills.”Louis will have to grow into that one,” said the Duke, noting the toddler-sized shirt with his name on before thinking about. “Actually, he’ll problem fit it.” The Duke and Duchess, who had changed from a smart Carolina Herrera red coat into casual sportwear, then stepped out onto the pitch to take part in dribbling drills with primary school children.The pair, who joined different groups, each made a good attempt at dribbling around cones and children, with the Duke heard to say: “I can’t tackle the children just yet.”The Duchess joined girls aged four to seven, who were taking part in a Shooting Stars programme to encourage young women into football. “Do you like doing sport?” the Duchess asked a group of them, crouching down to their level. “I love being outside. Thank you so much for letting me play. Do any of you want to play football professionally?”Told yes, she said: “Wow!”Clare Carson, girls’ participation officer at the IFA, said: “She was saying if she had played football when she was younger, she might have loved it as well.”She was happily surprised it’s now now just the norm to play as girls.” The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge meeting former Northern Ireland goalkeeper Pat Jennings The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge play football at Windsor Park, the home of Northern Irish football “She thought maybe the girls are here because their brothers play, but they’re not.”Moving to a second group, children from McDonalds Fun Football, the Duchess comforter Jasmine, nine, who had become a little overwhelmed by her royal visitor. Nadine Murphy, a coach, said afterwards: “The Duchess took her time and spoke to her about being shy, telling her it’s ok and a good thing. She made sure she loved football. She staying with her the whole time with her arm around her.”She said ‘I was shy at school as well and it’s ok’.”Jasmine, who went on to join the football drills happily, said that getting “a hug from a princess” had made her feel much better.The Duke had already joined a game of football with primary school children, and was busy shouting encouragement at them when his wife turned up on the sidelines.”Come on, superstar,” he said, before warning children conspiratorially: “Look out, she does for the ankles.”As the non-competitive game went on, he shouted “tackle her!” as he fell back to let the children have a chance.”I could happily stay here playing football all day,” he said later. Lynne Wilson, sports development officer at Belfast City Council added: “She was saying it’s not just about being on the pitch, it’s about being outside with your family and learning social skills. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have gone head-to-head in a football match, as the Duchess admits her own children are not too impressed by her ball skills.The couple, who have embarked on a two-day visit to Northern Ireland, indulged their competitive spirits as they joined children for a friendly match at Windsor Park football stadium, home of the Irish Football Association (IFA). The Duke warned the youngsters of his wife “look out, she goes for the ankles”, before shouting “tackle her!”As the couple arrived at the stadium, they spoke with waiting schoolchildren about their love of football.The Duchess told secondary school pupils that her five-year-old son, Prince George, is now learning to play football, practising at home and telling her: “Mummy, you’re so rubbish.”Telling another group she would be joining in the games, she joked: “I should have picked up some tips from George.”After being welcomed to the stadium, the Duke and Duchess were given a short history of the Irish Football Association before meeting goalkeeper Pat Jennings, whose famously large hands are immortalised in plastercast in its museum.”Now there’s a man who needs no introduction,” said the Duke, who is president of the FA. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge play football at Windsor Park, the home of Northern Irish footballCredit:REX/Getty Placing his own hands into the outline of Jennings’, he admired the “very long fingers” that had helped him become a goalkeeping legend. The Duchess of Cambridge playing football with schoolchildren read more

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Youth WCh 2013 Seven team already at knockout stage

2.HUN210345 Egypt37-30Belarus Norway40-16Venezuela Sweden38-29Romania 4.ROU111-43 3.BLR20104 Érd 2.DEN300396 2.QAT201-34 4.SRB102-12 Budaörs Érd PHOTO: handballhungary2013.com 1.EGY300406 1.GER300656 4.FRA102-12 Budaörs 3.ESP201224 3.SLO11123 Budaörs handballHungary handballU19 handballyouth handball championship 5.JPN003-220 6.KOR003-110 5.GAB003-580 Érd Croatia39-18Argentina 4.AUT111133 Spain31-25France 6.VEN003-730 2.BRA201214 1.SWE300286 Érd 6.CHI003-560 6.ANG003-420 5.ARG102-232 5.TUN102-122 Brazil39-18Angola Germany43-12Gabon Austria20-20Hungary Tunisia31-30South Korea Denmark38-17Chile Slovenia25-26Qatar Japan29-37Serbia After Round 3 at Preliminary part of the U19 World Championship in Hungary, first TOP 16 qualifiers are known. Some of them are Croatia, Denmark, Sweden, Egypt, Germany… Budaörs 3.NOR201194 1.CRO300236 ← Previous Story VIDEO: Wisla Plock wins tournament in Kwidzyn Next Story → HSV Handball sign Zarko Markovic read more

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French coffee shop bases prices on customers politeness

first_imgA COFFEE SHOP in the south of France has decided to scale its prices according to the politeness of its customers.If a customer simply asks for a coffee, they’ll be expected to fork out a whopping seven euro.  If they ask for, ‘a coffee, please’, it’ll set them back €4.25.  However, if they manage to greet and thank the staff, saying, ‘Hello, a coffee please,’ they’ll only have to cobble together €1.40.According to the owner of the Petite Syrah in Nice, customers can be just as rude as staff.  Speaking to english language publication The Local, Fabrice Pepino said: It started as a joke because at lunchtime people would come in very stressed and were sometimes rude to us when they ordered a coffee.  It’s our way of saying ‘keep calm and carry on.Apparently the price scheme hasn’t actually needed to be enforced thus far, but it sounds like a great way to keep people in check.H/T to EaterCouple call 911 because they didn’t get hash browns at McDonalds>YouTube sums up 2013’s defining moments in less than 6 minutes>last_img read more

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Irelands lost generation What happened without the 20somethings Part one

first_imgIRELAND HAS THE highest net migration in Europe.Nobody leaves any country, including Kosovo and Lithuania, more than leaves Ireland. Our net migration in 2012 was around 35,000, but the numbers of indigenous Irish leaving are higher.Without question, the hardest hit generation are those aged between 21 and 28. Over 30 per cent of Irish youths receive some form of income support.But what happens without them? What is the impact on Ireland?In part one of three, we look at the impact on two huge parts of Irish society: property and the pub.“It’s never been this bad”Publicans aren’t exactly keen to advertise how bad things are in their sector.One publican who spoke would only do so under condition of anonymity. He says that his suburban Dublin pub has never seen business as affected.“If you’re a pub like us, you’re having to do everything to compete. We’ve had three places close locally lately, but we’re not seeing a pickup in business.Places in town are still attracting a lot of people, because the people who are leaving are from across the country, but we had a gang of about 10 regulars all head to Australia together.“That’s impossible to come back from.”With a combination of drinking at home and a country with less disposable income across the board, the emigration problem is exacerbating a problem for the pub industry.“The thing is,” says the publican “The kind of people we’re losing would have been your best customers, because they drank a lot, being perfectly honest.But without them, you’re forced to try and bring in those that haven’t left.“So you have a load of pubs spending huge money on smoking areas, function rooms or entertainment that wouldn’t have had.“I know a lot of people will have no sympathy for us, but we are struggling.”“Who are you selling to?”Another struggling industry that won’t illicit sympathy are estate agents.Their industry has suffered a seismic shift in recent years and, with economic recovery on the horizon, they are looking for customers. Customers who aren’t there.“We have a few houses knocking around,” says a West Dublin estate agent, “But really, who are you selling to?“Credit remains a massive problem, but so does the age profile.“Say I have a one-bedroom apartment in Clonee. The kind of people who would have wanted that are a couple, aged 24-28 with no kids.“What emigration has done has left us with a lot of properties that were rentals, and fewer people to sell them to or rent them out to.“We’re all fighting for the same customers.”While house prices are increasing in Dublin the estate agent says reports from the rest of Ireland are “pretty awful”.  He adds that he knows that estate agents are particularly popular, but says that knock-on of emigration is affecting jobs.“These are the people that would have been spending money. Not just on rents or mortgages, everywhere.“With them gone, there’s less spending, which means less jobs.”Next week, we look at the effect on education and sports.Have you noticed an under reported effect of emigration? Email: paulhosford@thejournal.ieColumn: Our emigrated youth are still part of this countryRead: Venezuela’s youth are abandoning their homeland, Ireland is their destinationlast_img read more

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Google PAIRs People AI For Better Research

first_imgStay on target McDonald’s Plans to Serve AI Voice Technology at Drive ThruCIMON Returns to Earth After 14 Months on ISS Google this week announced a new initiative aimed at making artificial intelligence “more useful to all of us”—by designing more user-friendly systems.People + AI Research (PAIR) brings together Google researchers to study and redesign the ways folks interact with AI.The objective, according to Google Brain Team research scientists Martin Wattenberg and Fernanda Viégas, is to focus on the “human side” of the platform.PAIR’s research is divided into three areas: engineers and researchers (what educational materials, practical tools are needed?), domain experts (how can AI support doctors, technicians, designers, farmers, musicians?), and everyday users (can we democratize the technology behind AI?).“We’re open sourcing new tools, creating educational materials (such as guidelines for designing AI interfaces), and publishing research to answer these questions and spread the power of AI to as many people as possible,” Viégas and Wattenberg wrote in a blog post.Google’s plan to “democratize AI”—make it accessible to end-users and developers—really kicked off at May’s I/O conference, where CEO Sundar Pichai stressed the company’s shift to an AI-first approach.Machine learning algorithms already influence the ranking of search results and Gmail’s “smart reply” feature, among other mobile and desktop functions. And continues to extend its reach with Google Lens (vision-based computing capabilities in Assistant and Photos) and TensorFlow (open-source machine learning framework for developers).Those efforts expanded even further on Monday, with the open sourcing of two visualization applications—Facets Overview and Facets Dive—that give engineers “a clear view” of their AI training data, “a key ingredient in modern AI systems,” according to Google. The tech titan is not, of course, the first to explore human/AI interaction; Wattenberg and Viégas acknowledged those who have come before, adding that “their work inspires us” and is “an essential part of our mission.”As are the pair of visiting professors—Brendan Meade of Harvard University and Hal Abelson of MIT—who are focused on education and science in the age of AI.“We don’t have all the answers—that’s what makes this interesting research,” the blog said. “But we have some ideas about where to look.”Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img read more

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Special session appears likely for Legislature

first_imgOLYMPIA (AP) — With important work yet to be done, all signs point to lawmakers returning to Olympia after the end of the legislative session for a special session.Gov. Chris Gregoire said Friday legislative leaders acknowledged they don’t have time to finish all their work in the nine days left in 105-day session.“They can’t mechanically get there, so I accept that. I think it’s unfortunate, and I hope it doesn’t discourage them from working and working hard because they have a lot to get done,” she said. Gregoire said she’ll meet next week with leaders again and decide when to call them back to Olympia. The possibility of legislative overtime has loomed over Olympia all year. Lawmakers faced a daunting task of closing a deficit of more than $5 billion — the third session in a row where they’ve cut the state budget. Revenues continue to struggle as the state slowly recovers from the Great Recession.Options for Gregoire include calling lawmakers back immediately after the regular session adjourns, or waiting a little bit longer to hash out agreements.A special session also means more costs. The Senate estimates additional costs of $20,000 a day to cover staff, interns, and other expenses. The House’s costs aren’t yet known.last_img read more

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EY US sees 38 of new fathers take six weeks or more

first_imgMore than a third (38%) of US-based new fathers at professional services organisation EY are taking paternity leave for six weeks or more, following the introduction of enhanced parental leave benefits.In April 2016, the organisation announced that it would be extending its parental leave policy to 16 weeks at full pay for both male and female staff in the US. The policy applies to employees welcoming a child through birth, adoption, surrogacy, foster care and legal guardianship. Previously, EY US offered 12 weeks of leave for new birth mothers and up to six weeks for fathers and adoptive parents.Under the previous six-weeks’ paid leave policy, 19% of eligible fathers took advantage of the benefit.Over the past year, the average length of leave taken by new fathers at the firm to care for a newborn child has increased from three weeks of leave to six weeks of leave.The organisation has seen 82 male employees take the full 16 weeks of paid parental leave since the new policy launched in 2016.Carolyn Slaski (pictured), vice chair of talent at EY Americas, said: “By expanding our parental leave benefits to empower all of our new parents, we are giving both EY men and women the tools to thrive both professionally and personally. During a time when we continue to see a stigma associated with men taking leave, it is encouraging that there has been a steady increase in EY dads choosing to take advantage of the full 16 weeks we offer to enjoy the special bonding time with their child.“Not only is it important for new dads to have the opportunity to be at home with their new child, but our research has shown that dads taking parental leave also helps to create a sustainable pipeline of women talent at [organisations], as well. In under a year, we have seen a 20% increase in eligible dads at EY who have taken six or more weeks of paid paternity leave, and we hope that EY fathers will continue to feel encouraged to take advantage of this programme.”last_img read more

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Muslims fear antiIslam backlash in Barcelona

first_imgSpain`s King Felipe VI (L) and Spain`s Queen Letizia (2ndL) pay tribute to the victims of the Barcelona attack on Las Ramblas boulevard, in Barcelona on August 19, 2017, two days after a van ploughed into the crowd, killing 13 persons and injuring over 100. AFPPrayer time is approaching but Raja Miah, an imam at a tiny mosque in the heart of Barcelona does not expect a big turnout.Since the twin attacks in Barcelona and the nearby seaside resort of Cambrils claimed by the Islamic State group, the Muslim community in central Barcelona’s neighbourhood of Raval fears an anti-Islam backlash.“People are very scared,” said Miah, 23, as he sat in a small room at the mosque in Raval as a small group of children in an adjoining room studied the Koran.Raval-whose name derives from the Arabic word for neighbourhood-is located just west of Barcelona’s bustling Las Ramblas boulevard where a van ploughed into pedestrians on Thursday, killing 13 and injuring dozens of others. Just hours later, another person died in a similar attack in the holiday town of Cambrils, where police shot five suspects dead.“There is a lot of fear, people don’t go out. Very few people come to pray. Normally we are about 40 people, last night we weren’t even 15 and this morning 10,” said Miah, who moved to Barcelona nine years ago from Bangladesh.Spain’s Muslim community has until now been spared from the islamophobia that has swept parts of Europe.Far-right parties remain barely visible and just four percent of Spaniards consider immigration to be a problem, according to a survey by the government’s Centre for Sociological Research (CIS).But the string of attacks in Europe, claimed by the so-called Islamic State group, has sparked a rise in hate incidents.The number of recorded cases jumped from just 48 in 2014 to 534 in 2015, according to a campaign group, the Citizens’ Platform Against Islamophobia.And Muslims fear it will get worse following the twin attacks.‘You feel bad’ -The narrow and normally noisy streets of Raval were silent on Saturday morning.Immigrants account for roughly half of the densely-populated neighbourhood’s population, with a huge number of people from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Morocco.“(The) Spaniards treat us well, they help us, they make us feel at home,” said Raja.But just minutes after the attack in Barcelona, he said he could feel that something was changing. When he fled the Ramblas area in the wake of the attacks he was stopped by police.“It’s normal, they saw me with my beard and robe and they stopped me. But you feel bad,” he said.“We fear that the same will happen here as in France, Britain or other places” where far-right parties have grown strongly in recent years, said Islam Zahid, 22, who runs a small supermarket in back streets of Raval. Children could be heard playing football in the background.About 100 members of Barcelona’s Muslim community, many of them tearful, gathered on Las Ramblas on Saturday to demonstrate against the twin attacks in Spain.“They are not Muslims, they are terrorists” and “Islam is peace,” they shouted.‘Barbarians’ -Marzouk Rouj, a 39-year-old Moroccan construction worker who went to the demonstration with his daughter, said the bloodshed left him “shattered”.“I have lived more years here than in my (own) country. My children go to school here and I don’t want people to look at them negatively because of some barbarians,” said Rouj, who moved to Spain from Nador in northern Morocco when he was just 16.Several Muslims left flowers at an impromptu shrine on Las Ramblas.“In the end Muslims are the main victims, for the deaths as well as for the social pressure,” said Xantal Genovart, vice president of the Association of Catalan Muslim women.Catalonia is home to about a quarter of Spain’s 1.9 million Muslims-and it is also a centre of jihadism, according to experts.Even so, Mounir Benjelloun, president of the Spanish Federation of Islamic Religious Entities, remains optimistic.“I think that Spain will know how to handle this and will separate the culprits from the rest so a xenophobic message does not prosper,” he said.The initial signs are encouraging. A small group of anti-Islam protesters who turned up at Las Ramblas on Friday were forced to leave after passers-by began to shout “No racists” at them.last_img

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Magnetic cow findings cause row among Google Earth researchers

first_img More information: Cool roofs really can be cool Citation: Magnetic cow findings cause row among Google Earth researchers (2011, November 15) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-11-magnetic-cow-row-google-earth.html (PhysOrg.com) — Sometimes, scientists hard at work in their field, come across findings that they cannot explain, and instead of simply writing a paper describing what they’ve seen, they instead choose to write a paper describing what they think their observations have shown. Case in point, back in 2008, a group of guys with Biology and wildlife backgrounds were apparently sitting around looking at pictures taken by Google Earth, when they noticed that there seemed to be a pattern in the way some cows in a pasture aligned themselves. After looking at more pictures, a larger pattern began to emerge. Oddly enough, the cows seemed to be aligning themselves with the Earth’s magnetic field lines. The group, led by Hynek Burda wrote up a paper describing what they’d found and had it published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Later, the team did additional research and found that no such kinds of lining up occurred around power lines which they thought might disrupt the cow’s ability to sense magnetic fields. via Nature Explore furthercenter_img Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences When the paper came out, it was followed by a bit of media noise, some of which poked a little bit of fun at the whole idea. Others responded that cows lining up is nothing new, they do it to get the best angle on the sun to help keep warm, or to avoid a cold wind. But to do it based on the Earth’s magnetic field, seemed, well, a little out there.Then, because the whole thing was technically based on science, another group decided this year to see if they could replicate what the first group had found. Unfortunately, this second group failed to find any real good examples to back up the claims made by the first, and said so in their paper published in the Journal of Comparative Physiology A.The first group, clearly annoyed at the findings of the second group, asked to have a look at what they had been looking at in basing their findings, and lo and behold, found, at least to their eyes, all manner of errors, not the least of which was that the second group seemed to be looking at hay bales, barns and other inanimate objects in addition to the cows that were supposed to be the focus of the research. They also found that the second group had apparently been looking at individual cows, rather than at herds overall. This led them to conclude that the work done by the second group was flawed and thus their findings were not valid.The second team then responded by stating rather emphatically that they had not studied inanimate objects but did suggest that the two teams may have been looking at different pictures, which might account for some discrepancies in findings. They also said they won’t be conducting any further research on the topic.Luckily, others have also had a look at the work that both teams did and have done some looking of their own, and most apparently, at least at this point, are siding with the first team, saying that there does indeed seem to be some evidence that shows that cows, for whatever reason, do indeed tend to align themselves with the Earth’s magnetic field lines. Which means, of course, we can all smile inwardly and get on with our day, safe in the knowledge that the world’s scientists are hard at work trying to solve the great mysteries of our time. © 2011 PhysOrg.com This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

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