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first_imgIt is a trade practice that would not impress a union man. It is a truth whose profoundity would not impress Rahul Dravid.The sports media’s simple operating principle, the manager of the Minnesota Vikings team was once told, is: “When you lose we make fun of you. When you win,,It is a trade practice that would not impress a union man. It is a truth whose profoundity would not impress Rahul Dravid.The sports media’s simple operating principle, the manager of the Minnesota Vikings team was once told, is: “When you lose we make fun of you. When you win, we make fun of the other guy.”For the Indian cricket team, fun has pretty much fled the building and the jokes are coming back at them with all the sweet intent of a Makhaya Ntini opening spell. There’s the batting order jokes (“think of a number, yaar… arre, any number…”) the process jokes, the flexibility jokes. The only unfunny element here are the numbers-two ODI wins from 10 matches (seven of those against the resolutely flaky West Indians).BREACHED WALL: DravidWithin a week, the Champions Trophy, cricket’s biggest event outside the World Cup, will sweep into our living rooms and the world’s best bowlers and batsmen will be asking questions of India. The logical question to ask in turn is: Are the men in blue going to be, like… er… embarrassing? Unlikely because at home, India are a force multiplied.But the graph of this reforged team has taken its first dive, most inconveniently, when the world has come knocking. The first year of the Dravid-Greg Chappell combine was marked by heady success and high altitude vocabulary-the latter only makes for a barrelful of cheap shots today. It may not be the moment for a full-throated chrous of rhetoric and condemnation. But a raising of the eyebrows? Surely.Click here to EnlargeThe Indian team must question its assumptions of not so long ago or it will have them questioned by its adversaries. That its batting line-up can chase speeding bullets anywhere, anytime, that all problems could be solved by drafting in a slew of young players and shunting out fusty grey beards with bad attitudes, bad knees and long memories.Solutions work in their own time and space. Old ones are rarely the answer to new problems. Today, India’s new problems in the middle are plain to see-not enough runs from outside the old fortresses of Tendulkar and Dravid, the unravelling of performances from Irfan Pathan and M.S. Dhoni (two players key to plans) and the search for stability in the bowling attack.The reasons these issues have come to exist amongst the young men who play for India, how they have been handled and the dynamic that exists inside a team. On the outside though, the professional interpreters of maladies judge by the evidence of their eyes. For a team hardsold as being based on ‘youth’, India’s last six Man of the Match awards have been shared between Dravid, Yuvraj Singh (twice each) and Harbhajan Singh, the sixth going to S. Sreesanth, who is not in the Champions Trophy team. Former India bowler Javagal Srinath has pointed out that 10 bowlers had been tried in a year without a core of even three being identified. Former Test batsman Sanjay Manjrekar wrote after watching the younger Indian batsmen in the West Indies, “Is there a rush to become a dashing match-winner as against merely a humble servant of Indian cricket?” Former India keeper Saba Karim has noticed a trend where players are failing to deliver on what jargon would call their “main skill”- batting and bowling. He says, “Talent, fielding and eagerness to learn is fine, but as a batsman you have to be willing to stay at the wicket, deliver the match-winning score.”More the reason to find and cement in the ‘glue’ players. None of the younger bunch have quite Dravid’s accomplishment. Even the most experienced among them, Mohammed Kaif, it appears, is adrift. Karim is most disappointed about the failure of most of the batsmen to adjust to wickets that ask for a plan B involving shot selection. Given Chappell’s encyclopaedic and microscopic grasp of batting, Karim said he expected the Aussie’s deepest impact to show here.Many look back to the second ODI in Kingston earlier this year, when Yuvraj Singh was bowled by Dwayne Bravo with two runs to win, as the moment India’s ODI team lost its mojo. Dravid’s men have won only one of nine matches since, now unable to shake off poor early season batting form. There is no telling though whether that intangible called ‘form’ feeds into confidence or if the process actually works the other way round.A former member of the team says, “It’s not about form, it’s about getting results. If you’re not careful, you can turn ‘form’ into an excuse… and that feeling can go through a team. When you are struggling, it is more important to remember you have a job to do and then try to do it -ugly if you have to.”At the start of a season that will define this team, India has not narrowed the gap between planning and execution to Australian-style efficiency but has widened it. The Champions Trophy may bring India back to where they were early in 2006. But the clock is ticking and the rest of the world has no intention of standing still.advertisementadvertisementlast_img read more

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first_imgMicromax hasbrought in a brand new phablet in their Doodle series, as reported by techgadetsz.The Canvas Doodle 4 seemsto be a worthy successor to last year’s Canvas Doodle 3. The 6-inch screensize is the same as last year’s model but the resolution has been increased to 720p.The phablet also sports an 8 MP primary camera with an LEDflash and a front facing 2 MP camera. 8GB of internal storage and 1GB of RAMtakes care of the performance with an option to expand the memory via microSDcard. The phone is powered by a 1.3 GHz quad-core MediaTek’s MT6582M chipset. A3,000 mAh battery along with the latest Android Lollipop can keep the phonerunning smooth throughout the day. The hone supports dual sim functionality.The phone is available with a recommended price of Rs 9,999($156). The phone is also available on eBay at around Rs 9,200.last_img read more

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first_imgzoom This latest piece of technology to be included in ALE’s Innovation Series is designed to bridge the gap in the capacities of current solutions, and is able to be integrated with other heavylift equipment.The Mega Jack 800 is based on similar principles to those of the world renowned, record breaking Mega Jack. It will provide jacking solutions for a wide range of industry sectors including civil, mining, power generation and offshore.The Mega Jack 800 is made up of jacking towers, each with a capacity of 800t, and is totally scalable to accommodate a wide variety of individual projects.It is containerised, can be built completely at ground level and utilises a low assembly height for installation.Multiple towers can be combined with a starter beam to create 1600t and 2400t capacity per jacking point.The Mega Jack’s computer-based system controls the automated programming and operation of the cassette feed-in system. For minimal on-site disruption this feed-in system requires only one point of feed which can be on any side to adapt to restricted space.The jacking cassettes plus starter beam and end cassette can be bolted together to take up to a massive 25% uplift per corner.“This gives the unbraced system an enormous horizontal load capacity”, said Ronald Hoefmans, Group Technical Director of ALE.For projects that require a multi-application solution the Mega Jack 800 can integrate with other services, such as skidding systems, to provide a complete solution and additional services such as bridge launching.It is this high capacity relative to its size, together with its versatility, that marks this system out as both innovative and unique.Harrie Smetsers, Research and Development Manager at ALE said: “We conceived the idea of the Mega Jack 800 through careful analysis of the current market, and identifying areas for improvement in efficiency. We believe we have created a system which integrates successfully with current solutions by bridging the gap in capacity, and enhancing the capability we can offer”. June 4, 2014last_img read more

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first_imgGarlands Crossing Bridge on Highway 101 will be closed from 7 p.m. until 9 a.m., today, May 12 and Saturday, May 13. Traffic from both eastbound and westbound lanes will be directed to a detour on Highway 14. -30-last_img

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first_imgMONTREAL — Emile Clavel couldn’t believe his eyes as he drove to work along a busy highway in Quebec’s Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region Wednesday morning.As he approached a transport truck about 250 kilometres north of Quebec City, he noticed a man perched on the back.“He was sitting, cross-legged, holding on to a door handle,” Clavel said Friday. “I was shocked and I tried to get the truck driver’s attention, but there was just too much traffic on the highway, so eventually I called police.”Quebec provincial police got a call at 7:20 a.m. Wednesday reporting someone on the back of a tractor trailer, Sgt. Marie-Josee Ouellet said.When a patrol car caught up to the truck more than an hour later, the man had climbed down and was in the stopped car of another motorist.Truck driver Dave Tremblay, who unwittingly provided the man a lift, told radio station 98.5 this week the man was riding on about two feet of truck bed.He figures the unconventional hitchhiker hopped on at a rest stop and was on the Quebec City-bound truck for well over 100 kilometres before a motorist managed to alert Tremblay on Highway 175 in the Laurentides Wildlife Reserve.It’s unclear where the man wanted to go, but he was clearly determined. Tremblay said there was a snowstorm and the rider was poorly dressed for the elements.“He was freezing. He was like a little snowman,” Tremblay told the station. He wonders how long the man would have been able to hang on if he hadn’t stopped when he did.Police say a 38-year-old man from Alma, Que. was treated for hypothermia and could face a $1,000 fine and be hit with a dozen demerit points for holding on to a moving vehicle.Clavel has never seen anything like it in Quebec.“I thought it didn’t make any sense,” he said. “That’s why I tried to stop the truck. It’s not something you see every day.”Sidhartha Banerjee, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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first_imgOperation Smile, the world’s largest medical charity of its kind providing free cleft surgery and care, will hold its 12th annual Smile Event in New York City on Thursday, May 1 at Cipriani Wall Street.The evening honors Lisa and Mat Lori, along with Kathy Van Zeeland and her husband, Bruce Makowsky, with the Founders Circle Award. The two families are being recognized for their dedication and contribution to the work of healing smiles worldwide. Together the Lori and Makowsky families have raised nearly $1 million for Operation Smile.The Smile Event will also honor actor Sharif Atkins with the Universal Smile Award for his work as an official Smile Ambassador. The Corporate Humanitarian Award will be presented to Microsoft Corporation for their continued generosity and donations. NBC NEWS’ Natalie Morales will serve as Master of Ceremonies for the evening, and Michael Strahan will make a special appearance. The Smile Event will highlight the Operation Smile’s work in Latin America with a Latin American theme for the evening.“It is an honor and privilege for us to be accepting this award,” said Lisa Lori. “We are proud to share this with our dear friends, Kathy Van Zeeland and Bruce Makowsky, and to continue to support the incredible work of Operation Smile throughout the world.”The Loris, Mrs. Van Zeeland and Mr. Makowsky have helped Operation Smile share the joy of a simple smile through their many fundraisers and initiatives. Most notably, they launched an extraordinary project called, The Three Little Bears, named after the Lori’s three sons, Zachary, Luke and Griffin, who were all born with facial paralysis. The Three Little Bears initiative was developed, designed and co-created by childhood friends, Lisa Lori, a writer, and Kathy Van Zeeland, a handbag designer.
”Operation Smile is an outstanding organization and we couldn’t be more proud to be a part of their family.” said Kathy Van Zeeland.The Three Little Bears initiative allows for a commemorative and cuddly teddy bear to be given to comfort children worldwide before they go into surgery. The honorees, and the Lori’s eldest son, Zachary, traveled to Panama last year to witness, first hand, the work of Operation Smile. The experience solidified their commitment to change the lives of children globally. Mr. Lori is a Managing Director and Partner with New Mountain Capital. Mr. Makowsky is a real estate developer, designer and entrepreneur.Sharif Atkins will be the recipient of this year’s Universal Smile Award. Since 2011, Mr. Atkins has been a Smile Ambassador strongly supporting the organization’s global efforts. He has raised over $10,000 to heal smiles through Crowdrise and more than $5,000 through another fundraiser during National Smile Month in 2012, which helped provide life-changing surgery for 20 children. He also volunteered on a mission in Ecuador in 2013. Mr. Atkins is currently starring in USA Network’s series White Collar.Microsoft Corporation will receive the Corporate Humanitarian Award. Microsoft’s continued generosity has launched Operation Smile to become a truly 21st century organization. Leveraging resources and partnerships, Microsoft has facilitated donations of more than $1 million in technology, in addition to invaluable time and commitment from its team to further enhance Operation Smile’s mission.“Microsoft has become our partner in the true essence of the word. They got involved in the cause, looked at our needs and offered solutions that empower us to become a better organization,” said Ruben Ayala, Operation Smile Senior Vice President of Medical Affairs.Proceeds from the evening will support children and surgeries in Latin America and around the world.last_img read more

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first_imgBy Annette Francis and Jorge BarreraAPTN National NewsGATINEAU, QUE.–Gatineau, Que., police swept in and arrested five people Thursday evening and cleared out an occupation camp set up on a construction site where ancient artifacts were discovered by archeologists earlier this summer.A swarm of police moved in on the camp a little over three hours after a Quebec judge handed down an interim injunction against the occupation at the request of the city of Gatineau. Police said on Twitter five people were arrested during the raid.One of the protest leaders, Roger Fleury, who says he is chief of the off-reserve Fort Coulonge Algonquins, was among those arrested. As police moved in to clear out the camp, Fleury shouted, “What’s wrong with these white guys, destroying everything sacred.”Audrey Redman, a residential school survivor from Saskatchewan, was also arrested.Gatineau Mayor  Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin said he was “satisfied” with the outcome of the police operation.“We interacted extensively with the occupants of the site, it was time to act,” he said in a statement issued late Thursday evening.Earlier in the day, lawyers for the city of Gatineau asked a Quebec provincial judge to urgently grant the city an interim injunction against protesters.The judge granted the injunction, partly on the grounds that the city was already consulting and accommodating the official Algonquin First Nation which claims the land, Kitigan Zibi.Kitigan Zibi Chief Gilbert Whiteduck told APTN National News Thursday morning his community had no formal agreement with the city of Gatineau over what happens to the artifacts discovered on a construction site.“We do not have any formal agreement at this point as this would require further discussions and … council approval,” said Whiteduck in the statement.Pedneaud-Jobin told APTN National News Wednesday that Kitigan Zibi band council “officially agrees” with his city’s plan to hand over artifacts dated thousands of years-old to the Quebec government, expand the archeological dig and build a park in the area with an Indigenous theme. Pedneaud-Jobin said the band council passed a resolution stating their support on Sept. 5.Kitigan Zibi, an Algonquin community in Quebec, sits about 134 kilometres north of Ottawa claims the contested area as part of its traditional territory.Protestors set up two teepees on the work site which sits near the place where the Gatineau River flows into the Ottawa River. The area is surrounded by pieces of large concrete storm sewer pipes.Archeologist found arrowheads and other artifacts dated at about 3,500 years-old on the site which also included a fire pit dated to be about 6,000 years. The area is believed to have been used as a seasonal gathering place. Protestors set up camp there on Aug. 7.Gowlings, the law firm retained by Gatineau, delivered a letter to protestors Tuesday giving them 24 hours to vacate of face an injunction.Pedneaud-Jobin told APTN National News he feared the situation would end badly.“Unfortunately it seems this story is going to end up in a way that is not very satisfying for everybody,” he said. “We are still trying not to reach a conclusion that nobody wants. We have different legal options in front of us. If they stay there, we will have to. Winter is coming. The archeological digging has to be done before winter and if we want to protect the site, we have to act.”Fleury claims the arrowheads discovered at the site were used during sacred ceremonies which makes the site sacred. It’s unclear how Fleury came to this determination since it is difficult to pinpoint exactly who the people were who frequented the area as a seasonal gathering spot.The city is trying to reroute a nearby street and install a new storm sewer. City officials said the existing pipes have eroded and the street is in danger of caving in. The city is in the midst of a $43 million waterfront redevelopment project in the area. The National Capital Commission (NCC) is also contributing $10 million toward the redevelopment and transferring $6 million worth of lands to the city.afrancis@aptn.ca@aptnafrancisjbarrera@aptn.ca@JorgeBarreralast_img read more

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first_imgMONTREAL – As the Supreme Court prepares to hear a landmark case on provincial beer and liquor monopolies, a new poll indicates Canadians overwhelmingly want to tear down trade barriers to alcohol — and any other legal product — across the country.The right-leaning Montreal Economic Institute (MEI) commissioned a poll by Ipsos Public Affairs, which surveyed 1,103 Canadians in an online panel between Oct. 26 and Nov. 1Eighty-nine per cent of respondents said Canadians should be able to bring any legal product from one province to another — which is currently illegal when it comes to alcohol. Of the 89 per cent, 72 per cent said they “strongly agree,” while 17 per cent said they “somewhat agree.”Provinces such as New Brunswick, Quebec and Ontario maintain strict laws limiting the free trade of beer and spirits.A New Brunswick man learned this the hard way and his case will be heard in front of the country’s highest court Dec. 6-7.In 2012, the RCMP arrested Gerard Comeau on his return to New Brunswick after he had bought alcohol in Quebec.He was fined for violating New Brunswick law, which limits the amount of booze that can be brought into the province from elsewhere in Canada.Comeau contested the ticket, arguing Sec. 121 of the Constitution Act, 1867, mandates that all Canadian goods be admitted freely across the country.His lawyers argued the fathers of Confederation wanted a single market for all products made in Canada.The Ipsos poll suggested about 25 per cent of Canadians heard about the Comeau case, and 78 per cent of respondents said the New Brunswick man should win.Eighty-four per cent of respondents said Canadians should be permitted to order wine from any winery in the country, while 78 per cent said they should be allowed to bring any amount of wine or beer purchased in one province into another province.Fewer than 15 per cent of respondents said they strongly agreed or somewhat agreed alcohol monopolies should be maintained.Howard Anglin, executive director of the Canadian Constitution Foundation (CCF), said provinces continue to enforce “prohibition-era” laws on alcohol because of inertia and fear of change.The CCF is a charity that raised money to fund the legal team defending Comeau. Anglin said provincial governments can continue to receive the same revenues from alcohol by taxing beer and liquor sales as opposed to running liquor stores.Alberta privatized its liquor industry and Anglin said the province has “much more variety and selection,” he said.“Some stores specialize in whiskeys and others in French wines,” he added. “They tend to reflect the owners’ passion and interests.”A Quebec government report released in 2015 recommended its liquor monopoly be privatized. The province’s auditor general followed up with her own report in 2016 claiming the government-run corporation’s structure prevents it from getting the best prices for consumers.Quebec’s alcohol monopoly brings in more than $1 billion in revenues that help fund services, making privatization a politically difficult move.Comeau’s date with the Supreme Court will also likely have an influence on the plans to create provincial cannabis monopolies, according to legal experts.If the justices rule in Comeau’s favour, the decision will almost certainly trigger lawsuits across the country seeking to dismantle similar government-run corporations for marijuana when it becomes legalized next summer.last_img read more

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26 May 2008The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) today kicked off its 25th session today in the Yemeni capital Sana’a, with the ministerial level participants focusing on financing for development in the region. The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) today kicked off its 25th session today in the Yemeni capital Sana’a, with the ministerial level participants focusing on financing for development in the region.The Session, which is held every other year, is seen as the main governing of ESCWA, which decides on its policy. Also attending the four-day meeting are representatives of UN agencies, UN Member States which are not part of ESCWA, governmental and non-governmental organizations, donor agencies, regional experts, academia and media. This Session will be held in two segments: the first is technical, bringing together senior officials of each of ESCWA’s 13 Member States, while the second is the ministerial portion, to be attended by heads of delegations present at the event. ESCWA – comprising Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen – is one of the UN’s five regional commissions and seeks to support economic and social cooperation and promote development to achieve regional integration. read more

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Among them were 18 men, seven women and 14 children, the police media unit said today.Those arrested are residents of Jaffna, Batticaloa and Trincomalee. They are to be produced in court today. (Colombo Gazette) Another group of would-be illegal asylum seekers were arrested Matara last night as they were preparing to head to Australia by boat.The police said that 39 people were arrested from a house from where they were to later make their journey by boat.

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by Pan Pylas, The Associated Press Posted Jan 31, 2014 3:16 am MDT Members of the Mortgage Victims’ Platform (PAH) react after an eviction was stopped in Barcelona, Spain, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014. Spain’s National Statistics Agency says the unemployment rate for the fourth quarter of 2013 edged up slightly, leaving it stuck at the sky-high level of 26 percent and that the number of unemployed stood at a rounded 5.9 million people. Government officials say Spain’s sluggish economy is stabilized and on track for job growth but economists predict it will take years to bring the jobless rate down to a more tolerable level. The banner reads in Spanish: “Yes, we can.” (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez) In a development that has fueled talk of an interest rate cut, eurozone inflation falls again LONDON – The pressure on the European Central Bank to cut interest rates again ratcheted up on Friday after figures showed inflation unexpectedly falling further below its target.Consumer price inflation in the 18-country eurozone fell to 0.7 per cent in the year to January from 0.8 per cent the previous month, the Eurostat agency said.The decline was unexpected — the consensus for a rise to 0.9 per cent — and reinforced fears that the eurozone is about to suffer a Japanese-style bout of deflation that would further hobble the stagnant recovery. Once prices start to fall, economies can become moribund as consumers delay purchases in the hope of getting bargains later and businesses postpone investment and innovations.The ECB holds its monthly meeting Thursday and a growing number of economists think it may ease monetary policy soon in response to these deflation fears. The ECB targets inflation at just below 2 per cent. The U.S. Federal Reserve, by contrast, also monitors unemployment.CUTTING RATES TO STIMULATE?Some economists think the central bank’s Governing Council will reduce its main interest rate to 0.10 per cent from the current record low of 0.25 per cent. Cutting rates can help lift inflation by stimulating demand and by reducing the euro, which would make imports more expensive.“The Governing Council needs more bad news on inflation like a hole in the head,” said Richard Barwell, economist at Royal Bank of Scotland, one of a handful who predicted last November’s interest rate reduction.“On balance we think that a rate cut is the brave thing to do and the right thing to do and that is what we expect the Council to do,” he added.WHY IS THERE ANY DOUBT THE ECB WON’T CUT THEN?Other analysts reckon the ECB will hold off for a month at least, mainly because other economic indicators have been more upbeat of late.Though the eurozone economy grew by a quarterly rate of only 0.1 per cent in the third quarter of 2013, recent surveys on confidence among businesses and consumers have suggested that growth may be picking up even in those countries that have been bailed out, such as Portugal and Spain. Also, the drop in inflation was largely due to falling energy costs, which may, for example, free up money for cash-strapped households.DON’T UNEMPLOYMENT FIGURES SHOW THE WORST IS OVER?A separate release by Eurostat showed unemployment in the eurozone fell by 129,000 in December to 19.01 million. The decline was the biggest fall since April 2007 and largely due to an 81,000 drop in Spain, which many economists think is on the mend following wide-ranging labour market reforms.The overall unemployment rate in the eurozone, however, was unchanged at 12 per cent and not far off its all-time high of 12.1 per cent.Though many economists think that unemployment may have peaked, any further drops are expected to be modest and inconsistent. The turmoil that has engulfed emerging economies and shaken world financial markets shows how fragile the global recovery is.WOULD A RATE CUT HELP THE ENTIRE EUROZONE?Economic conditions vary greatly across the region, making it difficult to set interest rates at an appropriate level for different economies. While countries like Germany and Austria have unemployment rates around 5 per cent, Greece and Spain still need support as they have more than one in four people out of work.The situation among the young is even starker, with the youth unemployment rate in Greece up at 59.2 per cent in October, the last month for which figures were available. Spain, though, saw its youth unemployment rate fall to 54.3 per cent in December from 55.2 per cent, as the number of under 25 year olds out of work fell by 20,000.WHAT OTHER TOOLS ARE AVAILABLE?The ECB has insisted that it can only do so much. Governments have to continue getting their public finances in order and push ahead with reforms to their economies.But the central bank does have some tools besides rate cuts at its disposal. Its president, Mario Draghi, has said the ECB is considering all its options.The ECB could, among other things, make the deposit rate negative, a move that would essentially make banks pay to have their money parked at the central bank. That, the theory goes, may make them lend more, which would shore up economic activity and stimulate inflation.The ECB could also offer banks another round of long-term loans, though recent comments from Draghi suggest that’s not imminent. A U.S.-style monetary stimulus, in which the amount of money in the economy is increased, is considered a long-shot, largely because of Germany’s historic reluctance. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

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The UN humanitarian coordination office, OCHA, is reporting that as of Wednesday, according to the Indonesian National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB), 430 people are dead, 1,495 injured, and 159 are missing.An estimated 22,000 people are displaced due to shelter damage and the latest tsunami alert. Damages include some 924 houses, 73 hotels and villas, 60 shops, 434 boats and 65 vehicles. Indonesia’s Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency warned that a new tsunami could affect the area surrounding the Anak Krakatau volcano in the Sunda Strait. Authorities are alerting people to stay up to one kilometre away from the coastal area. The deadly tsunami is believed to have been triggered by an underwater landslide following a volcanic eruption on Saturday.Wednesday marks the anniversary of 2004’s deadly 26 December Indian Ocean quake and tsunami which killed more than 226,000 people in 13 countries, with Indonesia bearing the highest number of fatalities.”Most survivors have been huddling in temporary shelters away from the shore, but have started to emerge to search for loved ones and assess damage to their property,” says Arifin M. Hadi, Head of Disaster Management at the Indonesian Red Cross.More than 400 Red Cross staff and volunteers are reportedly delivering medical services and supplies to tsunami-ravaged villages. “Our teams are seeing many broken bones and broken homes, and people who are very shaken,” continued Mr. Hadi. “Indonesians have withstood a string of disasters this year and with them, so much loss and misery.”Meanwhile, Jan Gelfand, head of UN partner agency, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), support office in Jakarta, pointed out that previous disaster responses illustrated the value of providing rapid treatment for the injured, “not only to save lives, but also to prevent long-term health complications.”“The Indonesian Red Cross’s mobile medical teams are reaching remote and hard-to-reach areas to treat people who haven’t had help since Saturday,” he explained.On Tuesday, IFRC announced that it was releasing more than $333,583 from its Disaster Relief Emergency Fund to replenish relief items and enable the Indonesian Red Cross to ramp up medical care, psychosocial support, sanitation services and the distribution of clean water for an estimated 7,000 people in affected areas.Since the December 2004 tsunami, Indonesian Red Cross staff and volunteers have received extensive disaster preparedness and response training, with volunteers in the weekend’s hardest hit Banten province, having conducted tsunami awareness and response exercises with at-risk communities only two months ago.For its part, UNICEF Indonesia is providing targeted assistance through bed-nets and school sanitation kits, as well as technical assistance on nutrition and child protection in the aftermath of the disaster.UN agencies, the Government and other humanitarian partners are still working together to support ongoing humanitarian efforts for the earthquake and tsunami that struck Lombok and Central Sulawesi provinces in late September, focused on the city of Palu. read more

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Government today announced the winning bids under the third round of the Green Bus Fund for hybrid, electric and gas buses. The £31 million Green Bus Fund will see 439 new low carbon buses come to UK roads, the majority of which are expected to be manufactured in the UK.Local Transport Minister Norman Baker said, “This funding means a better deal for passengers and encourages more people to travel by bus. It updates and improves services and infrastructure, reduces congestion, gives quieter journeys and with the introduction of new carbon friendly buses, reduces fuel costs and CO2 emissions, creating a greener network”.The 439 new buses will be a combination of 128 single-deck and 311 double-deck buses that will come into service from spring 2013. Through significant investments made by manufacturers, this latest wave of fuel-efficient buses will save over 9,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year.Five bus manufacturers will benefit from orders for their eco-friendly hybrid, electric and gas buses. They comprise; Alexander Dennis Limited, MAN, Optare, Volvo and Wrightbus, all of which are based in, or partly in, the UK. 26 bus operators including Arriva, First and Stagecoach will receive more than £22 million, with more than £8 million split between five local authorities.By switching to low-carbon buses, the winners will also be eligible to claim additional government subsidy through the Bus Service Operators Grant to run these buses. Bus operators and local authorities will be given six pence per kilometre to support them with operational costs Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) read more

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Over the next few days, FiveThirtyEight will be examining each of the eight groups in the 2018 World Cup, which begins June 14 in Russia. Read about Group A and Group B.Group C is all about France. The issue isn’t so much whether the team will qualify for the knockout stage of the World Cup. Rather, it’s what France’s play over its matches with Peru, Denmark and Australia will say about its chances of winning the whole tournament.Paper tiger or legit contender?France ranks fifth in the world in FiveThirtyEight’s Soccer Power Index, behind Brazil, Germany and Spain and just a hair past Argentina. Les Bleus have stars distributed all across the field, footballers who play for the biggest club teams in the world at the absolute top of the game. Calling out each one by name would just be a list of their starting 11 players. And yet, despite all that, the French have still been somewhat disappointing.France’s major problem is that the team both plays slowly and crosses the ball a lot, meaning that the majority of its goal-scoring chances come from contested headers in a crowded penalty area. That’s a waste of all that talent. Crosses make up 23.5 percent of France’s successful passes into an opponent’s penalty area — the 15th highest share in the tournament. Its ratio of speedy direct attacks1Attacks of the penalty area when 50 percent of the ball movement in a possession is forward. to slow, methodical ones2When at least 10 passes are played before the ball enters the penalty area. is about 1-1. This ranks only 11th among the 32 teams in the World Cup, meaning France’s pace of attack is relatively average.Put all that together, and France is neither getting the ball ahead quickly for phenomenal attackers like Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe to work in space, nor is it patiently working the ball into the box and letting skilled passers like Paul Pogba and Corentin Tolisso find killer passes to free up those strikers. Rather, the side tends to play at a medium pace, feeding the ball out to the wings for attackers to play crosses into a set defense. That’s not a recipe for success. If Les Bleus fix that problem, they could win the tournament. If not, they’ll likely lose during the knockout stage to a truly great side.Underdog or also-ran?It’s hard to imagine the rest of this group making too much noise in the tournament. Assuming France wins the group, whoever else comes out will be playing the winner of Group D, likely Lionel Messi’s Argentina squad. That second team is expected to be either Denmark, ranked 14th in SPI, or Peru, ranked 19th. Likely to finish fourth is Australia, ranked 28th in the tournament; the Socceroos have only an 18 percent chance of making it through the group stage.A shock run to the quarterfinals wouldn’t be impossible for either Denmark, with Tottenham Hotspur star Christian Eriksen leading the way, or Peru, which just saw 34-year-old striker Paolo Guerrero reinstated after a drug ban controversy. Peru did manage to play Argentina to a draw twice in South American qualifying, but it would take something deeply unexpected for the Incas to overtake Messi & Co. in Russia. Denmark and Peru are both fun teams that have some attacking flair; Peru in particular played a high-scoring style in qualifying, but that’s precisely what makes it unlikely to stage a major upset. When big teams lose, it tends to be to smaller squads that play extremely defensively, and that’s just not these teams.Player to watchAt only 25 years old, Paul Pogba has already played in the finals of the UEFA European Championships and the Champions League. He won titles with Juventus, and after transferring to Manchester United for a whopping $116.4 million, he has become a fixture in the center of the midfield at Old Trafford. But no matter how much he accomplishes, there are still questions about exactly how big a superstar he is. His technical ability and range are a rare combination. Whether French manager Didier Deschamps unleashes him to get forward and contribute to the attack or keeps him chained to a more disciplined midfield role will likely influence perceptions of Pogba’s performance at this World Cup.Questions about just how great great players are can get tiresome. But this is Pogba’s moment on the international stage. By the time the next World Cup comes around, he’ll be 29 and starting the downslope of his career. He’s at the height of his ability right now. A big tournament, as part of an expansive French side that scores highlight reel goals by the handful, will cement his legacy. But if the team plays more conservatively and exits early without any signature Pogba moments, or if Pogba ends up with a more limited role, those legacy questions will continue to surround him — however unfair they may be.Check out our latest World Cup predictions. read more

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first_imgLiving near a main road increases the risk of dementia, the first major research into air pollution and disease has shown.A decade-long study of 6.6 million people, published in The Lancet, found that one in 10 dementia deaths in people living within 50 metres of a busy road was attributable to fumes and noise. There was a linear decline in deaths the further people lived away from heavy traffic.Air pollution is already known to contribute to the deaths of around 40,000 people in Britain each year by exacerbating respiratory and heart conditions, while previous research showed emissions can cause brain shrinkage.But the new study by Canadian public health scientists is the first to find a link between living close to heavy traffic and the onset of dementia, a discovery described as “plausible” and “impressive” by British experts. However some scientists were more skeptical, believing that it is impossible to rule out that other social factors are at play. For example people who live near congested roads are likely to be poorer and less well educated than those living in the leafy suburbs, and so prone to worse health.Prof John Hardy, professor of neuroscience, University College London, said: “The analyses are exceedingly complex with many co-variates included in the model and this always leads to concerns that the analytic complexity is hiding confounding factors in the analytic pipeline.  “There are several reasons why one might not want to live near a major road, but this study is not an additional one.”Dr David Reynolds, chief scientific officer at Alzheimer’s Research UK, added: “Studies like this are valuable in revealing new factors that could be implicated in Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, and opening new avenues for further research.”Conditions like dementia have multiple risk factors including age and genetics, and other social factors relating to where people live in cities could also be playing a part here. “Find out about the pollution in your street at Air View. 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. This study does ask serious questions about the environments where many people liveProf Tom Dening, University of Nottinghamcenter_img The government is already under pressure to cut pollution after missing EU emissions targets and being ordered by the High Court to come up with a new clean air strategy by the summer.  New guidelines by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) which are out for consultation have suggested that new homes should be built with living rooms at the back to prevent fume exposure.Experts and environmental campaigners said the Canadian study increased the impetus to improve city air.“Regardless of the route of causation, this study presents one more important reason why we must clean up the air in our cities,” said Prof Rob Howard, professor of old age psychiatry, at University College London.Prof Tom Dening, director of the Centre for Old Age and Dementia at the University of Nottingham, added: “It is certainly plausible that air pollution from motor exhaust fumes may contribute to brain pathology that over time may increase the risk of dementia, and this evidence will add to the unease of people who live in areas of high traffic concentration.“It is unlikely that Ontario has the worst air quality in the world, so the risks might be even greater in cities that are habitually wrapped in smog.“It is impressive that there seems to be a gradient of risk depending on the distance from the road and  that this is seen for dementia but not two other significant neurological conditions. This study does ask serious questions about the environments where many people live.”Prof Martin Rossor, NIHR national director for dementia research at University College London Hospitals, said: “The effects are small but with a disorder with a high population prevalence such effects can have important public health implications.” Dr Hong Chen, the lead author from Public Health Ontario, said: “Our study suggests that busy roads could be a source of environmental stressors that could give rise to the onset of dementia.“Increasing population growth and urbanisation has placed many people close to heavy traffic, and with widespread exposure to traffic and growing rates of dementia, even a modest effect from near-road exposure could pose a large public health burden.“More research to understand this link is needed, particularly into the effects of different aspects of traffic, such as air pollutants and noise.”Around 850,000 people suffer from dementia in Britain, and it is now the leading cause of death for both men and women. There has been concern that air pollution could be driving neurodegenerative conditions for many years. Last year British scientists discovered tiny magnetic particles produced by car engines and brakes in the brains of people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.In the new study, the team tracked all adults aged between 20 and 85 living in Ontario for more than a decade from 2001 to 2012.They used postcodes to determine how close people lived to a main road and analysed medical records to see if they went on to develop dementia, Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis.Over the study period, more than 243,000 people developed dementia, 31,500 people developed Parkinson’s disease and 9,250 people developed multiple sclerosis.While there was no association between living near a road and Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis, dementia risk reduced as people lived further from a main road,  with a 7 per cent higher risk in developing dementia among those living within 50 metres; a 4 per cent  higher risk at 50-100 metres and a 2 per cent higher risk at 101-200 metres. After 200 metres there was no increase.Researchers believe that noise of traffic may also play a role in the raised risk as well as other urban pollution, which is often present near busy roads.last_img read more

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People who enjoy one glass of wine a day are less likely to be admitted to hospital than teetotallers, a new study suggests.Researchers said the finding show “moderate” consumption of alcohol means a lower risk of hospitalisation and of suffering heart disease.The study involving Harvard University tracked more than 21,000 men and women living in Italy for six years.It found that teetotallers were 11 per cent more likely to end up being hospitalised, compared with those who drank a small amount of alcohol every day – equivalent to one 125 ml of wine – every day.Those who drank heavily were at most risk of ending up in hospital, the study, published in the journal Addiction, found.Overall, there were around 13,000 hospital admissions among participants, who had an average age of 56.Study first author Doctor Simona Costanzo, of the Mediterranean Neurological Institute, said: “We observed that a heavy consumption of alcohol is associated with a higher probability of hospitalisation, especially for cancer and alcohol-related diseases. “This confirms the harmful effect of excessive alcohol drinking on the health.”On the other hand, those who drink in moderation present a lower risk of hospitalisation for all causes and for cardiovascular diseases compared to lifetime abstainers and former drinkers.” Dr Ken Mukamal, Associate Professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in the US, added: “We are absolutely not saying that any teetotaler should start drinking to improve his or her health.” 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. read more

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first_imgMacLean Engineering was recently chosen to supply a fleet of battery powered mobile underground mining equipment to begin development and eventual production at Goldcorp’s Borden Project. The Borden Gold Project, near Chapleau, Ontario, is expected to be the world’s first 100% diesel-free hard rock mine to proceed to development, with portal and ramp construction expected to begin in early 2017.MacLean has been innovating for mobile equipment safety and productivity in the underground hard rock environment since 1973 and battery power, engineered for life underground, is the latest chapter in the company’s mining R&D focus. The MacLean EV Series (electric vehicle) battery propulsion system leverages high power, high efficiency, and long cycle life battery chemistry, sophisticated battery management and vehicle monitoring capabilities, as well as onboard charging that ensures compatibility with existing mine infrastructure.MacLean’s Fleet Electrification program was initiated in 2015 and by 2017 will be able to offer customers a battery tramming/battery operating option on all units across the company’s Ground Support product line (bolters, shotcrete sprayers, and transmixers), Ore Flow product line (water cannons, secondary reduction drills, and mobile rockbreakers), and Utility Vehicle product line (boom trucks, scissor lifts, ANFO/emulsion loaders, cassette carriers, personnel carriers, water sprayers, and fuel/lube trucks). Of note, the engineered integration of the various battery power and drive train components that make up the MacLean EV Series propulsion system was supported by a research and development collaboration with the Collingwood-based specialised engineering firm MEDATech.“Goldcorp is a longstanding customer and so a fitting inaugural home for our battery power fleet. What’s more, this is a world-class project that is setting the bar in the mining industry: improving the working conditions of miners, making the extraction of certain ore bodies economically viable, and driving technology investment by OEMs like MacLean,” noted President Kevin MacLean. “It’s a win/win for everyone involved, so on behalf of the team at MacLean Engineering I want to salute Goldcorp for their initiative, and thank them for their continued faith in the innovation, safety, and underground performance focus at the heart of our engineering and manufacturing efforts.”“I came up from working underground in Sudbury, Ontario in the early 1960s just as battery powered units on rail were being replaced by diesel engine, rubber tire mobile fleets, so the arc of my mining career over the past 50+ years has come full circle,” added Founder and Chairman Don MacLean. “The next generation of battery propulsion technology, provided it is engineered to perform in the hard rock mining environment, opens up a whole new range of possibilities for mining companies looking for diesel-free options to reduce ventilation and surface infrastructure costs, and protect workers’ health.”The MacLean booth at the recent MINExpo 2016 event marked the formal unveiling of the battery powered version of the next generation of the company’s signature ground support offering, the 975 Omnia Scaler-Bolter. In addition, the MacLean booth featured a stand-alone display of the EV propulsion system components at the heart of the company’s battery power value proposition.last_img read more

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first_imgAt CeBit this week, SteelSeries took the wraps off of the Siberia v2 Gaming Headset for the PS3, which is compatible with the PSN chat service, but also works with the XBox 360, Mac OS, and Windows. The all-black headset features completely closed earphones for immersive sound and passive noise reduction, a retractable microphone that extends out from the bottom of the left earcup, and a suspended headband that allows you to adjust the shape of the headset to fit your head. It also comes with in-line volume and mix controls so you can quickly mute your microphone, adjust the volume, boost the bass, or tweak your audio settings. The new Siberia v2 for PS3 compliments SteelSeries’ release of the Siberia v2 Headset for iPod, iPhone, and iPad – an all-white model with many of the same features, but features microphone support through a single 3.5mm jack instead of the separate cables used on the console and PC version. This version of the Siberia v2 works with any mobile device, not just iOS gadgets – and also features in-line volume and mute controls so you can listen to music on your mobile device or take calls with the retractable microphone. The console version of the Siberia v2 headset will be available in Q3 of 2011 for $119.99 retail price. The mobile version will hit store shelves around the same time, and retail for $99.99.AdChoices广告last_img read more

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