Environmental Childrens Book Launch

first_imgSchool children across the province will get the chance to read a children’s book written by their peers about protecting Nova Scotia’s environment. From Campfire to Forest Fire will be launched at Bras d’Or Elementary School in Cape Breton on Wednesday, June 7 at 1 p.m. as part of Environment Week celebrations. The book is the follow-up to the successful 2001-02 release Little Smelt, Little Smelt, Why are you sick? The book teaches children what can be done to help a forest regenerate after an accidental fire. Its authors are former Grade 5 students at George’s River Elementary and Bras d’Or Elementary. It was edited by Department of Environment and Labour employee, Barb Bryden. Three thousand books were published with funding from the Department of Environment and Labour and income raised from the sales of the first book. “By helping to make this series of books, students in Nova Scotia are learning the importance of environmental protection,” said Carolyn Bolivar-Getson, Minister of Environment and Labour. “In addition, they get to participate in a fun, interesting and unique educational opportunity.” The book’s illustrations are based on drawings by the young students. The colourful storybook will be used in classrooms throughout Nova Scotia. Proceeds from From Campfire to Forest Fire will help to fund various school programs and activities. Environment Week is celebrated from June 4 to 10 with events happening around the province.last_img read more

La température estivale peut entraîner une prolifération dalgues

first_imgOn demande aux Néo-Écossais d’être attentifs à la prolifération d’algues bleues qui peut se produire dans les rivières et les lacs de la province pendant l’été. Également appelée « écume d’étang », l’algue bleue se reconnaît par sa couleur bleu-vert. Elle donne à la surface de l’eau un aspect marécageux et herbeux, et elle peut aussi libérer une odeur distincte. Bien que de nombreuses formes d’algues bleues soient inoffensives, certaines produisent des toxines qui peuvent présenter un risque pour la santé des humains et des animaux. Il faut éviter de nager dans l’eau, de boire l’eau ou de manger des poissons provenant de l’eau où l’algue bleue est présente. L’eau contaminée par les algues bleues ne doit pas non plus être utilisée pour la cuisson. Les toxines ne sont pas éliminées en faisant bouillir l’eau. « Il est important de se rappeler que la prolifération d’algues bleues peut se produire naturellement dans les conditions idéales, et ce, dans tout lac ou toute rivière à l’échelle de la province, a dit le Dr Richard Gould, médecin-hygiéniste. Le risque pour la santé est plutôt faible, mais si vous présentez des symptômes qui durent pendant quelques jours, consultez un médecin. » Les symptômes liés à la consommation d’eau contenant des algues bleues incluent des douleurs abdominales, la diarrhée, les vomissements et la nausée. Le contact direct avec l’eau contaminée peut causer une irritation de la peau, du nez, de la gorge ou des yeux. Les Néo-Écossais qui constatent une prolifération d’algues peuvent le signaler au bureau du ministère de l’Environnement de leur région. Pour obtenir plus d’information, consultez le site Web du ministère de l’Environnement et le site Web du ministère de la Santé et du Mieux-être aux adresses suivantes : www.gov.ns.ca/nse/water/docs/BlueGreenAlgae.pdf et www.gov.ns.ca/hpp/environmental (en anglais seulement).last_img read more

7 coaching centres sealed for violating fire norms

first_imgGhaziabad: The Ghaziabad district administration on Tuesday sealed seven coaching institutes in the city for not having fire fighting equipment. The coaching centres will remain shut till their owners do not acquire ‘no objection certificates’ from the Fire Department, said District Magistrate Ritu Maheshwari. “They have been ordered to install fire fighting systems and to recruit trained manpower to operate them. Stringent action will be initiated against those flouting these instructions, she said. The sealed institutes are identified as Friends Coaching Centre, Aryabhatt Coaching Centre, Ameesh Academy, KD Campus, Shreshtha IAS, Balaji IAS and Mannat Academy.last_img

Rupee slips 28 paise to 7188 against USD in early trade

first_imgMumbai: The rupee opened on a cautious note and fell 28 paise to 71.88 against the US dollar in early trade on Tuesday amid rising demand for the US dollar vis-a-vis other currencies overseas. Forex traders said the drone attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities have enthused demand for safe heaven assets like the US dollar. The dollar index, which gauges the greenback’s strength against a basket of six currencies, rose by 0.01 per cent to 98.61. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscal The Indian rupee on Monday had plunged by 68 paise to 71.60 against the US dollar amid concerns over soaring crude prices following drone attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities. At the Interbank Foreign Exchange, the rupee opened at 71.83 then fell to 71.88 against the US dollar, showing a decline of 28 paise over its previous closing. The Indian rupee on Monday had closed at 71.60 against the US dollar. Forex traders said weak opening in domestic equities and unabated foreign fund outflows also weighed on the domestic currency. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boost Domestic bourses opened on a negative note on Tuesday with benchmark indices Sensex trading 137.87 points down at 36,985.44 and Nifty lower by 38.85 points at 10,964.65. Foreign institutional investors (FIIs), who were net buyers for the past few sessions, offloaded shares worth Rs 751.26 crore on Monday, according to provisional exchange data. “The recent attack on Saudi Arabia’s largest oil processing plant has sent oil prices shooting up. If production is not resumed soon, such a rise could hurt the global economy as consumer costs will also go up. This will definitely affect India, where the economy is already stressed,” said Pushkar Mukewar, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Drip Capital, a US & India based trade finance firm. Mukewar further said that the rupee is likely to remain volatile. Crude oil benchmark, Brent Futures, surged by almost 20 per cent to USD 71.95 per barrel (intra-day) on Monday after twin drone attacks on Saturday wiped out more than half of Saudi Arabia’s crude supply. However, Brent Futures on Tuesday saw some moderation and was trading at USD 68.35 per barrel, down 0.97 per cent over the previous close. The 10-year government bond yield was at 6.71 per cent in morning trade. Meanwhile on the global front, a Chinese vice finance minister will visit the United States on Wednesday to lay the groundwork for trade talks next month. The official Xinhua news agency said vice finance minister Liao Min will lead a delegation visiting the United States on Wednesday to “pave the way” for the higher level talks.last_img read more

Elton John AIDS Foundation Launches HIV Testing In Kings College Hospital

first_imgLast week, Elton John AIDS Foundation founder Elton John and Chairman David Furnish attended King’s College Hospital to launch a proactive HIV blood testing initiative that aims to reach 34,000 Londoners in its first 12 months of operation.The result of an on going partnership between the Elton John AIDS Foundation and King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, the programme aims to significantly decrease late diagnosis rates in Lambeth and Southwark, areas currently recognised as having the highest HIV prevalence rates in the UK.The newly implemented process will see routine HIV screening become part of protocol for all patients requiring a blood test whilst presenting at the Emergency Department of King’s College Hospital. Those who test positively will be referred to King’s dedicated HIV department for treatment. Those who do not wish to be tested will have the opportunity to opt out at the point of testing.During the visit, trustees from the Elton John AIDS Foundation were met by a selection of leading consultants from across King’s College Hospital, who explained the impact the programme will have on their service, before introducing trustees to a number of patients living with HIV, many of whom who were affected by late diagnosis. Services contributing to the programme include King’s College Hospital’s Emergency Care and Sexual Health.Dr Cyril Noel, Consultant in Emergency Medicine in the A&E department said:“We’re extremely grateful to the Elton John AIDS Foundation for the grant that has allowed us to implement universal HIV testing in our Emergency Department. Lambeth and Southwark have some of the highest levels of HIV in the UK. There’s no reason why people should get sick or die from HIV, and one of the most common reasons they do is because they don’t know they have the infection. Universal testing is a significant step in addressing this.”Speaking of the launch of the programme, Anne Aslett, Executive Director of the Elton John AIDS Foundation said: “HIV treatment services in the UK are amongst the highest quality in the world. Our challenge is that too many people are accessing them late, making it much harder to preserve health and prevent new infections. King’s College Hospital has the opportunity to make a powerful difference to the rate of late diagnosis in the UK and ultimately save money for the NHS. We were delighted to partner with them to get this service introduced.”Elton John said: “23 years ago it was my privilege to open the Caldecot HIV Treatment Centre at King’s College Hospital. At the time, there was so little that could be done to prevent the sickness and death caused by HIV/AIDS, or to ease suffering and prevent infection. It was heartbreaking. So it’s incredible to think that today King’s can introduce something which not only stops people becoming sick needlessly, it prevents new infections AND saves precious resources. I’m deeply proud that my Foundation has been able to support King’s in this endeavor and to see a British hospital leading the kind of innovation that will get us to an AIDS free future.”In addition to the clear health benefits of increased HIV testing and early diagnosis, early diagnosis of HIV creates short term savings for the NHS – HIV care costs are 50% higher for each year after diagnosis if the diagnosis is late. The National Institute for Healthcare and Excellence (NICE) have estimated that increased testing in the UK would prevent 3,500 cases of onward transmission within 5 years, saving the NHS £18 million per year in treatment costs alone. Due to the financial climate and scarcity of resources for such initiatives, King’s College Hospital has previously been unable to implement routine HIV screening to date. However, with start-up funds from the Foundation this demonstration project will prove the effectiveness of opt-out testing and will lay the foundations for the practice becoming a permanent fixture at the hospital.Source:Elton John AIDS Foundationlast_img read more

Moroccan Film Fadma to Open Montreals International Festival Vues dAfrique

Rabat – The film “Fadma”, directed by Ahmed El Maanouni was selected to open Montreal’s International Festival “Vues d’Afrique” on April 14, said Lamalif production.The film previously won the Achievement Award at the National Film Festival in Tangier.Fadma brings together a talented casting around the acclaimed actress Fadela Benmoussa, who shared the spotlight with the artist EKO in his first role on the screen. This film, produced by Abdelfattah Arrom, narrates the story of Fadma, a Moroccan woman who sacrificed her life in Marrakech to raise her two children: Ahmed (Mouhcine Malzi), who has made a stable life in France and Karim (EKO), an avant-garde artist.The film then moves to France, where Fadma meets her granddaughter Julie-Aicha (Ines Arrom), a teenager in search of her identity.“It is a challenge to want to reconnect with the real Moroccan popular cinema, which is entirely dedicated to the entertainment of the public, while maintaining the a good quality in the casting and the script,” said El Maanouni.“With the producer and co-writer Abdelfattah Arrom we wanted to create a family film that addresses a deeply rooted issue in the Moroccan culture with a humorous touch,” he added.“Vues d’Afrique” is internationally renowned “as the most prestigious of its kind in North America,” according to Quebec Original.The festival is a platform to share and discover the real and imaginary aspects of African and Caribbean countries. read more

Investing The Appeal of ETFs

By Gary Meeks, RICP®Key Features of an ETF:– An exchange-traded fund (ETF) is a basket of securities that trade on an exchange, just like a stock.– ETF share prices fluctuate all day as the ETF is bought and sold; this is different from mutual funds that only trade once per day after the market closes.– ETFs can contain all types of investments, including stocks, commodities or bonds; some offer U.S. only holdings, while others are international.– ETFs offer low expense ratios and fewer broker commissions than buying the stocks individually.The first ETFs were launched in the early 1990’s and held an index for their portfolio such as the S&P 500 stock index. The first ETF was created in Canada in 1990, the Toronto 35 tracking the TSE-35 index. Since then, the popularity of ETFs have exploded. Now, there are ETFs available that track almost any industry or sector, including but not limited to the following:TechnologyCommoditiesCurrenciesInverse ETFsEnergyHedge ETFsS&P 500 IndexBond IndexReal Estate SecuritiesIt is very likely that if there is an industry or stock sector you want to be invested in, there is an ETF available to get you that exposure, So, if an investor or a financial advisor wanted to add exposure to any of the above industries or indexes, they can do so by using ETFs. Because ETFs trade continuously when a stock exchange is open, portfolio changes can be made immediately and potentially at a lower cost than buying several different stocks.ETFs and TaxesAn ETF is more tax efficient than a mutual fund since most buying and selling occurs through an exchange and the ETF sponsor does not need to redeem shares each time an investor wishes to sell, or issue new shares each time an investor wishes to buy. Redeeming shares of a fund can trigger a tax liability, so listing the shares on an exchange can keep tax costs lower. In the case of a mutual fund, each time an investor sells their shares, they sell it back to the fund and incur a tax liability that must be paid by the shareholders of the fund. Active or Passive: ETFs can be either passively managed or actively managed. Tracking the S&P would be an example of passive management since the ETF creator just holds the stocks in the S&P 500 and does not make changes to the portfolio. An actively-managed ETF does have a manager who adjusts the portfolio holdings according to what he or she feels fits the fund’s objective and will provide the best performance for the ETF.  Normally, passive (Index ETFs) have much lower expenses than actively managed ETFs; however, lower cost does not guarantee better performance.ETFs are a good alternative to traditional open-ended mutual funds providing potentially lower cost, more trading flexibility and the ability to provide exposure to many types of securities, industries and market sectors.  Many investors and portfolio managers use both mutual funds and ETFs to build well diversified portfolios.Gary D. Meeks, RICP®, is a registered representative offering securities and advisory services through Cetera Advisor Networks LLC, member FINRA/SIPC, a broker dealer and Registered Investment Adviser.  Cetera is under separate ownership from any other named entity.  90 W 100 N STE 6, Price, UT 84501 (435) 637-8160.The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice.  It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. Investors can not invest directly in indexes. The performance of any index is not indicative of the performance of any investment and does not take into account the effects of inflation and the fees and expenses associated with investing. “The Standard & Poor’s 500 is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. Past performance does not guarantee future results.”  Exchange-traded funds are sold only by prospectus.  Please consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses carefully before investing. “The prospectus contains this and other information about the investment company, can be obtained from your financial professional at 435-637-8160.  Be sure to read the prospectus carefully before deciding whether to invest. Sources: https://www.investopedia.com/articles/exchangetradedfunds/12/brief-history-exchange-traded-funds.asp https://www.fidelity.com/learning-center/investment-products/etf/benefits-of-etfs https://www.investopedia.com/terms/e/etf.asp read more

Carolina Panthers Welcome Back Pro Bowlers Smith and Beason

The Carolina Panthers received some welcome news on Sunday when two of their Pro Bowl players returned to practice following lengthy layoffs from injuries.  Wide receiver Steve Smith and middle linebacker Jon Beason were back at work and both veterans are expected to be in the starting lineup when the Panthers open the regular season at Tampa Bay on Sept. 9.Smith had missed two weeks while recovering from a foot infection, while Beason had sat out for nearly a month after pulling a hamstring during training camp.Running back Jonathan Stewart remains out with the sprained ankle he suffered against the New York Jets on Aug. 26.Smith, the franchise leader in every major receiving category, has been to five Pro Bowls, including last season when he caught 79 passes for 1,394 yards and seven touchdowns.He said he wasn’t certain how he developed the infection, which caused swelling in his left foot and sidelined him for the team’s final two exhibition games. He had been resting at home and taking medicine for the infection, but wasn’t able to wear a shoe on his foot until Friday.Carolina coach Ron Rivera said Smith looked good lined up with the first-team offense.“It was good to have Steve back. Right off the bat he went back to his normal practice mode – 100 percent, all the time,” Rivera said. “So it was a lot of fun watching Steve back on the football field for sure.”Beason missed all four exhibition games for the second consecutive year after being sidelined out last year’s preseason while dealing with Achilles tendinitis, only to rupture the Achilles in the regular-season opener at Arizona.He underwent season-ending surgery the following week on his left Achilles. He participated in the first 12 days of training camp before tweaking his hamstring in the same leg.Beason , a three-time Pro Bowler, split reps on Sunday with Jason Phillips, who filled in for him during the exhibition schedule.“I feel great. I haven’t tested the hamstring at top-end speed, but I don’t feel it at all,” Beason said. “If I could put a number on it, I guess I’d say about 85 percent. But as we get closer here, there will be times at practice where I really get to open up and see how it feels.” read more

Mens Basketball Blowout win sellout crowd Chris Holtmann shows top recruits his

Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann calls out to the Buckeye defense in the first half of the game against Iowa on Feb. 10 in the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorOhio State head coach Chris Holtmann and his staff sat in The Board Room on the ground floor of the Schottenstein Center, giving their sales pitch after the game to recruits as to why they should buy into the program. Among those were top-ranked Ohio recruit and five-star power forward Alonzo Gaffney, three-star guard Joseph Girard — both from the 2019 class — and 2021 guard prospect Meechie Johnson, who all attended the game on visits and stuck around after to talk with the staff.For the prospects, it was a chance to take in the environment of a sold out arena with a ranked Ohio State team that is only on an upward trajectory. For Holtmann, it’s a chance to make sure the trajectory stays going up by stocking up on future talent.“I mean how can you not want to be a part of something like this,” Holtmann said. “[The recruits] did catch just a glimpse of what we hope to be and the exciting thing is we have opportunity in front of us with who we’re graduating and kind of the roster rebuild that we’re going to have to undertake here in the next couple years.”Taken at face value, the 82-64 win against Iowa does not seem to mean too much for No. 14 Ohio State. The Buckeyes were heavily favored, expected to beat down on the Hawkeyes, and they did just that. The win for the Buckeyes does have 2017-18 implications. After No. 4 Michigan State took down No. 3 Purdue, Ohio State was able to move past its tie with the Boilermakers — the Buckeyes already held the tiebreaker with the head-to-head win — and step out a whole game in front of the Big Ten pack with just four games left in its schedule.A winning team is naturally going to be easier to sell than a losing one, and Ohio State is the former. Sitting well ahead of nearly any preseason expectation with a 22-5 overall record and 13-1 conference record, recruits can easily buy into Holtmann’s pitch.This type of season does not just happen every year, however, and there is a chance Ohio State regresses in 2018-19. There will again be a lot of uncertainty with the roster, just as there was at the beginning of this season.Redshirt junior forward Keita Bates-Diop is likely headed to the NBA draft, while the eligibility of both senior forward Jae’Sean Tate and redshirt senior guard Kam Williams will expire. That leaves only freshman center Kaleb Wesson and junior guard C.J. Jackson as returning starters. Ohio State does bring in the 22nd-best recruiting class in the country and sixth-best in the conference, according to 247Sports Composite rankings for 2018. Among those recruits are four-star shooting guard Luther Muhammad and four-star small forward power forward JaeDon LeDee, who could each slide into open spots that Williams and Bates-Diop vacate. It will also have key freshman returnees like forward Kyle Young and guard Musa Jallow, both could be asked to step up and could take on starting roles for the team.This is not all to say that Ohio State should expect a losing season next year and that the Holtmann-era will have started off with an outlier. Holtmann and his staff have shown they can answer question marks emphatically and maximize the talent on their roster.But when a team is experiencing success, it behooves the coaching staff to do all it can to capitalize on the hype surrounding the program and the excitement shown when nearly 20,000 people pack into the Schottenstein Center for a game most expect to be an Ohio State blowout.When things are going right, players and coaches want to make sure they are getting all the appropriate and deserved attention from everyone who can ensure the success carries forward.“It’s just a perfect storm,” Wesson said. “Everybody’s here to see it.” read more

Former Army captain Rachel Webster to sue the Government over Ihat raid

first_imgA decorated war veteran has made an emotional demand for the government to shut down its “witch hunt” into historic allegations of abuse in Iraq.Rachel Webster, a former captain, announced she was suing the Ministry of Defence over her wrongful arrest by investigators in January 2014.Miss Webster was swooped on in a dawn raid at her home in London and driven 100 miles to Portsmouth for questioning.The MoD has paid damages for her rough treatment but Miss Webster is now mounting a further legal action over the right of the Iraq historic allegations team to have raided her home. Damages could run into hundreds of thousands of pounds.Miss Webster was unable to hold back the tears as her lawyer read from a prepared statement on the steps of the Royal Courts of Justice. Rachel Webster, a former Army captain Sgt Rachel Webster plays with Iraqi school children at the Khadega school in BasraCredit:EPA/RAED QUTENA In the statement Miss Webster branded Ihat an “aberration’ and called on Theresa May to shut it down.Her barrister David Taylor said on her behalf: “Rachel calls for an end to this self-inflicted military fiasco and that an inquiry be ordered to see what went so badly wrong.”The Prime Minister Theresa May said recently that the bravest of the brave would be protected. Rachel Webster served her country well for 24 years.”Rising to the rank of captain she received a Commanders’ Commendation in Kosovo for her work with rape victims with four tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan and honoured for her efforts in rebuilding schools in Basra, she is one of the bravest of the brave.”So she calls upon the Prime Minister Theresa May. An honourable woman. Who like Rachel has spent her whole life defending British values and protecting British lives: to shut down Ihat now and put an end to this bloated, discredited and damaging witch hunt.” She further branded Ihat an “unstoppable double jeopardy juggernaut running dangerously out of control”.She protested: “Ihat has been complicit in the needless investigation of thousands of military personnel, interrupting their lives and frazzling the entail health of those put under the spotlight.” Rachel Webster on the steps of the Royal Courts of JusticeCredit:Eddie Mulholland for The Telegraph Rachel Webster, a former Army captain Rachel Webster on the steps of the Royal Courts of Justice 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. Show more Sgt. Rachel Webster (C) plays with Iraqi school children at the Khadega school in Basralast_img read more

Black cars are now the nations favourite because drivers are too busy

first_imgMeanwhile white cars fell to into third place after spending four years in the top spot 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. Green, which was the most popular colour for new cars in 1996, has not featured in the top five since 2002. It was in seventh place in 2017, with only 1.1 per cent of new colours taking the classic hue. Completing the top ten are orange, with 0.8 per cent, bronze, with 0.5 per cent, and yellow, with 0. 4 per cent. Gold is the colour whose popularity was the fastest growing, with demand up 19.1 per cent, although it remains a niche choice – taking just 0.2 per cent of the total market.Jim Holder, editorial director of What Car? magazine, said: “Plainer, safer colours deliver better resale values because the cars will appeal to a broader group of buyers.”This year’s figures show few signs of that trend changing despite buyers being offered more choices of car colours than ever.”Still, gold’s position as the fastest-rising choice shows there are a few extroverts out there.”Regionally, buyers in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales bucked the overall national trend, with white remaining their firm favourite.White was also the number one colour in the North of England. Blue is now the only primary colour to feature in the top five, with red falling one place to sixth in favour of silver. Black has overtaken white as Britain’s favourite car colour as because drivers are too busy to wash their vehicles, experts say.More than half a million buyers chose black for their new car in 2017 while white fell to into third place after spending four years in the top spot.”There was a strong trend for white cars in the UK,” said Karim Mussilhy, a sales manager for the Syner Group, Europe’s largest automotive retailer.”You could really see it with sales on the ground – but this has faded away.”White cars are perceived as being harder to keep clean and people’s lives are busier than ever. That’s definitely a factor.”A total of 482,099 white cars were registered with the UK’s Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency in 2017, down 15 per cent from a peak of 564,393 in 2015.Monochrome colours have occupied the number one spot in the DVLA statistics for 18 years and almost 60 per cent of the 2.54 million new cars registered in 2017 ordered in black, grey or white.center_img Nationally, pink saw a decline with only 1,327 cars of that colour being registered in 2017, the lowest since 2011.However, while drivers may be choosing black cars because they believe they are easier to keep clean, Holder warned that the colour actually has a “fearsome reputation for showing up dirt.”He added: “Perhaps we’re getting an insight into the nation’s willingness to pick up a sponge or pay someone else to use one.”It could also be a reflection of the fact paint technology has improved.  Meanwhile white cars fell to into third place after spending four years in the top spotCredit:www.Alamy.com Drivers in the south of the country and in the West Midlands chose black and in the East Midlands grey was top of the table.last_img read more

Chinese Dubai turns into deserted island

first_imgIT WAS BILLED as China’s Dubai: a cluster of sail-shaped skyscrapers on a man made island surrounded by tropical sea, the epitome of an unprecedented property boom that transformed skylines across the country.But prices on Phoenix Island, off the palm-tree lined streets of the resort city of Sanya, have plummeted in recent months, exposing the hidden fragilities of China’s growing but sometimes unbalanced economy.A “seven-star” hotel is under construction on the wave-lapped oval, which the provincial tourism authority proclaims as a “fierce competitor” for the title of “eighth wonder of the modern world”.But the island stands quiet aside from a few orange-jacketed cleaning staff, with undisturbed seaside swimming pools reflecting rows of pristine white towers, and a row of Porsches one of the few signs of habitation.Chinese manufacturers once snapped up its luxury apartments, but with profits falling as a result of the global downturn many owners need to offload properties urgently and raise cash to repay business loans, estate agents said.Now apartments on Phoenix Island which reached the dizzying heights of 150,000 yuan per square metre (€18,000 per square metre) in 2010 are on offer for just 70,000 yuan, said Sun Zhe, a local estate agent.Futuristic development“I just got a call from a businessman desperate to sell,” Sun told AFP, brandishing his mobile phone as he whizzed over a bridge to the futuristic development on a electric golf cart.“Whether it’s toys or clothes, the export market is bad… property owners need capital quickly, and want to sell their apartments right away,” he said. “They are really feeling the effect of the financial crisis.”Official figures showed an almost eight percent increase in China’s total exports last year, but sales to Europe fell by almost four per cent with the continent mired in a debt crisis and recession.At the same time rising wages in China mean that producers of clothes, toys and other low-end goods are seeing their margins squeezed as other emerging economies compete to become the world’s centre for cheap manufacturing.For years Chinese business owners, faced with limited investment options and low returns from deposits in state-run banks, have used property as a store of value, pushing prices up even higher in the good times but creating the risk of a crash in the bad.Patrick Chanovec, a professor at Beijing’s Tsinghua university, said:China had a lending boom… and so if people are using property as a place to stash their cash, they had more cash to stash. At some point they want to get their money out, then you find out if there are really people who are willing to pay those high prices. Phoenix Island is part of Hainan, a Belgium-sized province in the South China Sea that saw the biggest property price increases in China after a 2008 government stimulus flooded the economy with credit.Eager buyers camped out in tents on city streets as prices shot up by more than 50 per cent in one year.Real estate is a pillar of the Chinese economyBut tightened policies on access to credit and multiple house purchases have since knocked values in favoured second home locations, even while prices in major cities they have rallied in recent months.Real estate is a pillar of the Chinese economy, accounting for almost 14 per cent of GDP last year and supporting the massive construction sector, making policy makers anxious to avoid a major collapse of the property bubble.At the same time ordinary Chinese who cannot afford to buy a home have been frustrated by high housing costs for years.With anger over graft also mounting state media have carried several reports in recent weeks about corrupt officials’ property holdings, including a policeman who used a fake identity card to buy at least 192 dwellings.Hainan’s tropical shores are said to be a hotspot for purchases by well-connected bureaucrats, but estate agents denied they were rushing to sell off apartments for fear of a crackdown.Beachside villas accessed by artificial riversOfficials only account for around 20 per cent of owners, they said – while doubting any new regulations would be properly enforced. “There are always different rules for people with connections,” said one agent, asking to remain anonymous.It is an example of the multiple competing interests the authorities have to balance, leaving them treading a difficult line, with sometimes unforeseen consequences.On the other side of Hainan, the Seaview Auspicious Gardens, boasts beachside villas accessed by artificial rivers and a private library containing 100,000 books, prices have fallen by a third from a high of 12,000 yuan per square metre in the last year, and a third of the flats remain unsold.Yang Qiong has a thankless task as one of its saleswomen.“Before the government restrictions we would sell out a development like this in just five months,” she lamented.- © AFP, 2013last_img read more

FBI may have created terrorists out of lawabiding individuals says rights report

first_imgUS TERRORISM PROSECUTIONS have at times proven an ‘illusion’ based more on religious and ethnic profiling than an individual’s intention or ability to commit terrorism offences, according to a new report from Human Rights Watch.The report, Illusion of Justice: Human Rights Abuses in US Terrorism Prosecutions, criticises the US Justice Department and FBI for abusive counterterrorism operations which alienated the very communities which could help prevent terrorism attacks.HRW and Columbia Law School’s Human Rights Institute examined 27 federal terrorism cases from the start of their investigation through to sentencing and confinement.It found that while many prosecutions did target people who were engaged in terrorism planning or financing, others targeted people who did not appear to have any involvement in terrorism support activities at the time of the investigation.Instead, some of these people were induced to participate in illegal activities by the counterterrorism investigation itself.HRW says that previous studies have found that almost half of federal terrorism convictions since 9/11 resulted from informant-based cases and almost a third were ‘sting’ operations involved an active plot-development role by the informant: The report notes that the cases researched “do not constitute a representative sample” sufficient to allow generalisations of all US federal prosecutions, but that they do “raise troubling questions about the fairness and effectiveness of many of the policies, practices and tactics” used by the FBI, Justice Department and Bureau of Prisons in terrorism cases.HRW also criticises detention practices in terrorism prosecutions and investigations, saying that detention conditions have included prolonged periods of solitary confinement and severe restrictions on pre-trial communication “possibly impeding defendants’ ability to assist in their own defense and contributing to their pleading guilty”.Read: UK tightens airport security after US warning, Dublin Airport says it’s business as usual >Read: The Pentagon thinks Iran has sent a ‘small number’ of operatives into Iraq > Indeed in some cases the Federal Bureau of Investigation may have created terrorists out of law-abiding individuals by conducting sting operations that facilitated or invented the target’s willingness to act.…Human Rights Watch and Columbia Law School’s Human Rights Institute found that at times, in aggressively pursuing terrorism threats before they even materialise, US law enforcement overstepped its role by effectively participating in developing terrorism plots – in at least two cases even offering the defendants money to enticethem to participate in the plot.One case cited in the report is that of the ‘Newburgh Four’, in which four Muslim converts were charged with planning to bomb synagogues in New York and attack military planes. The case has raised questions about the FBI’s role in encouraging – or even devising – terrorism plans.A judge quoted in the HRW report said that the US government “came up with the crime, provided the means, and removed all relevant obstacles” so that it had made a terrorist out of a man “whose buffoonery is positively Shakespearean in scope”.Speaking about the findings, report author Andrea Prasow said:Americans have been told that their government is keeping them safe by preventing and prosecuting terrorism inside the US. But take a closer look and you realise that many of these people would never have committed a crime if not for law enforcement encouraging, pressuring, and sometimes paying them to commit terrorist acts.last_img read more

SpaceX Dragon capsule successfully launches

first_imgIt has been threatening to happen since November last year, but early this morning SpaceX finally managed to launch the Dragon capsule strapped to a Falcon 9 rocket. The video above shows the first 5 minutes of the launch.The exact launch time was 03:44 EDT this morning and saw the Dragon capsule eject after a 10 minute climb strapped to the rocket, ready to start its 2-day journey to the International Space Station (ISS). Once there, it will initially maintain a distance of 2.5km in order to test on-board communications, guidance systems, and control of the capsule.If all goes to plan, Dragon will then move to within 10 meters of the ISS on Friday where it will be secured to the station with a robotic arm. The capsule’s precious 500kg cargo of food & water, as well as new equipment, will then be unloaded by the astronauts currently in residence aboard the station.NASA counts the launch as a demonstration mission forming part of the wider Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program. For its part, SpaceX is proving it has the expertise and capabilities to carry out such cargo missions.If the mission is a success it should lead to more missions for supply delivery as well as experiments. Eventually it could also see SpaceX handling manned missions while NASA has its remaining resources freed up for other projects, such as developing the Space Launch System, a cannon harpoon for collecting comet samples, and a Spidernaut robot.More at NASA, via BBC Newslast_img read more

Turn Your Toilet Into a Disco Ball with This GermFighting Night Light

first_imgStay on target This $500 SEO Tool Is Only $24 TodayThis Easy-to-Fly LED Drone Performs Acrobatic Moves Going to the bathroom at night is the worst. It’s dark, you have to tiptoe so you don’t wake your roommates, and you’re probably out of it or drunk. And even if you can see, who wants to stare at another boring white toilet? Fortunately, there’s a new device that solves all of these problems: the IllumiBowl Germ Defense Toilet Night Light.The IllumiBowl (featured on Shark Tank) lets you choose between eight different colors of LED lights that can be added to your toilet bowl. All you have to do is snap it onto the rim and it automatically turns on whenever someone walks into the bathroom. Plus, it uses special light technology to fight bacteria commonly found in toilets.The IllumiBowl Germ Defense Toilet Night Light normally costs $29.99, but you can get it now for just $22.99, or 23% off. IllumiBowl Germ Defense Toilet Night Light: 2-Pack – $22.99See Deal Like this deal? Check out Vault — you’ll get four premium tools, including NordVPN and Dashlane, to supercharge your online security. Enter code VAULTONE to try it out for just $1!last_img read more

Canoe steaming carries on Tlingit and Haida tradition

first_img Master carver Steve Brown oversaw the steaming, while Jerrod Galanin takes a look under the tarp. (Photo by Emily Russell, KCAW – Sitka)Master carver Steve Brown oversaw the steaming, while Jerrod Galanin takes a look under the tarp. (Photo by Emily Russell, KCAW – Sitka) Carvers rake back the embers to reveal the heated lava rocks, which they’ll shovel into the metal baskets. (Photo by Emily Russell, KCAW – Sitka)Carvers rake back the embers to reveal the heated lava rocks, which they’ll shovel into the metal baskets. (Photo by Emily Russell, KCAW – Sitka) Jerrod Galanin gets help lowering a basket of hot lava rocks into the canoe. (Photo by Emily Russell, KCAW – Sitka)Jerrod Galanin gets help lowering a basket of hot lava rocks into the canoe. (Photo by Emily Russell, KCAW – Sitka) To transform a hollowed-out log into a dugout canoe requires more than expert carving — it requires steam, and lots of it. Earlier this week the skies over Eagle Beach in Sitka were filled with smoke and steam, as a carving team worked to transform a cedar dugout into an elegant, seaworthy canoe.Listen Now Tommy Joseph feels the warm water after the batch of lava rocks are taken out. (Photo by Emily Russell – KCAW – Sitka)David Katzeek sings and drums alongside the nearly 30- foot long canoe and it’s five-man carving crew. The men stomp their feet to the beat.Katzeek is a Tlingit leader originally from Klukwan. He traveled down from Juneau for the canoe steaming. Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian people have carved canoes for generations. They fought wars and fished rivers from those canoes. Today, the vessel– it’s more of a symbol, but Katzeek said it’s still significant.“A canoe is not just a vessel that goes over water,” Katzeek explained. “It represents a people’s  journey in life– the journey that we started thousands upon thousands of years ago, and we’re still here on that journey. We are not gone. We are not lost.”The steaming on Sitka’s Eagle Beach attracted friends and family of the carvers along with Park Service employees. (Photo by Emily Russell, KCAW – Sitka)Sealaska Heritage Institute teamed up with Sitka National Historical Park to preserve the  tradition, bringing in master carver Steve Brown to train four apprentice carvers– T.J. Young, Jerrod and Nicholas Galanin, and Tommy Joseph.After Katzeek offers an invocation, Joseph walks down to a water pump on the beach.Fire hoses fill the canoe with about 10 inches of seawater. Two bonfires on either side heat up football-sized lava rocks.“Here in about an hour when these rocks are red hot we’ll start filling the baskets up and put them inside the canoe,” Joseph explains. “We have a big tarp to cover the whole thing.”The idea, Joseph said, is to let the heat and pressure from the steam widen the canoe, making it sturdier.“The boat, right now as it sits, it’s a beautiful boat, but it’s not seaworthy, it would be real tippy,” Joseph said. “We’re going to get about 14 to 16 inches wider by steaming the boat.”‘It softens the wood and makes it so that it will be a seaworthy boat,” Joseph adds. “It will be near impossible to flip over.”The process is long, but the fires are warm and the mood is light among the friends and family and the park service staff. They’ve all gathered to watch.center_img 1 of 3 Every hour or so hour, the men rake away embers from the fire and shovel three or four hot rocks into metal baskets. Those baskets are then slowly placed inside the canoe.Clouds of steam and smoke fill the air. A huge green tarp covers the canoe and the steam gets to work. Jerrod Galanin, one of the apprentice carvers, peeks inside.“I’m just listening to see if it’s boiling still, if it’s active, if we need to replace the rocks. Put your ear in there and listen,” Galanin urges.So, I do. It pops and fizzes like a freshly-poured glass of soda. When the fizzing dies down, it’s time to take the tarp off and put in a fresh batch of hot rocks.I’m standing next to Steve Brown. He’s the master carver Sealaska and the park brought up from Washington.“There have been canoes we’ve made in Ketchikan, Wrangell, Glacier Bay, Hoonah, Klukwan,” Brown explains. “Did I say Wrangell already?”The canoe explained by more than 16 inches after the steaming. (Photo by Emily Russell, KCAW – Sitka)Brown is not Alaska Native, but his knowledge and dedication to the craft have won him wide respect among Native people from the region. This knowledge can’t be passed on in books. Steaming a canoe is equal parts art and science.“It will be significantly bigger than it was,” Brown explains. “The ends will be higher, the bottom will be flat– right now the bottom arches up– and the sides will not only bend outward, but they’ll also be down lower too. So, it radically changes shape.”After an entire day of steaming, the canoe is 16 inches wider.Tlingit leader David Katzeek said the vessel isn’t the last thing that changes shape. He’s heard back from men after their first time on the water who say there’s something spiritual about being in a traditionally crafted canoe.“They’ll come up teary eyed, with smiles on their face and saying, ‘Something happened to me when I was out there on the water with all the others. My life has changed. My life will never be the same.’”After the canoe dries, the carving team with paint it red and black- traditional Tlingit and Haida colors. A dedication ceremony is planned for next spring.last_img read more

Meet Crash Override the Hacker Superweapon

first_imgStay on target This Malicious USB Cable Can Remotely Accept Hacker CommandsHackers Had More Than 1,000 DNA Test Kits Mailed to Random People Hackers now have digital weapons that can take out power grids. Take, for example, the collapse of Ukrainian capital Kiev’s infrastructure last year. That was an attack using aggressive and adaptable malware. But what’s worse? The code is written to be modular. Hackers can slot bits in and out as needed without much trouble. What does that mean? Well… the internet’s a lot less safe than it used to be.The malware was named “Crash Override,” a clear nod to one of the best cyberpunk films of all time. WIRED claims that the bug is “the most evolved specimen of grid-sabotaging malware ever observed in the world.” It’s extremely sophisticated, and researchers claim that when it was used to bring down Kiev that was just a show of force.ESET and Dragos — two security firms based in Slovakia and the US, respectively — have been dissecting Crash Override, and it isn’t pretty.“The malware is really easy to re-purpose and use against other targets. That is definitely alarming,” said ESET malware researcher Robert Lipovsky told Reuters. “This could cause wide-scale damage to infrastructure systems that are vital.”The real threat this poses comes from the fact that it can be modified with virtually no effort, plus, a good chunk of the process is entirely automatic. So an attack in Kiev could well be a dry run against London or even the whole of the US. It’s enough that utilities and the US Department of Homeland Security have started looking for answers and solutions — but something like this can be pretty tough to defend against. What’s worse? The attack comes straight from the United States’ own playbook.For those unfamiliar with the world of cyber security, the US has actually pulled some of the world’s most aggressive cyber attacks. One the most brutal was Stuxnet — a highly advanced worm that was designed to operate autonomously. Like something from a spy thriller, as soon as Stuxnet hit its targets, it spread rapidly. It’s target? Iranian industrial systems that manage the country’s nuclear fuel enrichment program.While the US never officially claimed responsibility, it’s widely assumed in the security community to have been a joint project between Washington and Israel to delay Iran’s ability to produce nuclear weapons.This time, the going assumption is that Russia’s behind it. While the former USSR might seem like the scapegoat de jure in the security world, that’s largely a matter of investment. Russian officials have invested heavily in developing their cyber warfare programs (pretty decent tactic if you ask me, it’d get you pretty far in a game of Civilization).“There is a global cyber war of Russia against [the] whole world,” Ukraine’s president, Petro Poroshenko, told Reuters. “This is a global danger, and the world should be together to fight this danger.”Given how much of our lives are critically dependent upon access to power, it’s small wonder why a country might develop this kind of weapon — it gives you an incredible amount of leverage. Even if a city can adapt pretty quickly (and many can), researchers say that Crash Override may be able to bring cities down for days. We’re talking traffic problems, loss of power to city water pumps and hospitals, tens of millions in spoiled food, not to mention the direct economic damage to so many businesses being unable to operate.That this software exists at all is a bit disturbing, but in an era of rising global tensions, it’s certain that whosever’s holding these keys, they have a powerful weapon indeed. Y’know… it’s a good thing Gandhi’s not still around. I have a feeling he’d make this all worse somehow (ba-dum-tss).last_img read more

Watch out for environmental changes warn city docs on World Asthma Day

first_imgKolkata: Environmental changes are majorly contributing in increase in the number of Asthma patients in the state, a sizeable number of which is children, the city doctors warned.During a programme organised at a city hotel on the occasion of World Asthma Day on May 1, doctors said that environmental issues are very important factors. The pollution in the city and high level of dust particles in the air are affecting the lungs of citizens, causing serious respiratory distress.While COPD cases are generally found in the patients above the age of 40, Asthma is very common in children as well. In another revelation, the doctors have found that people living in the slum areas are developing Asthma as they are always vulnerable to dust particles. Doctors also suggested it can be determined if a patient has been suffering from Asthma, through lung function test. According to the latest available data, Asthma is on the rise among people in the state.”Asthma causes frequent bronchial constrictions and inflammation. This can be treated using bronchodilators and inhalation of steroids, which help reduce inflammation,” said a city doctor, who participated in the programme.”Frequent constriction and inflammation is often caused due to environment and weather changes and even air pollutants. Patients can take inhaler. It is also advisable that the patients wash their mouth after using the inhaler,” a doctor said. According to a survey, around 20-30 million people in India are suffering from the disease. The prevalence of the disease can be checked through awareness programmes. People in the metro cities are more exposed to pollution, which often contributes to the disease. An awareness programme was conducted by the doctors on the occasion. Various NGOs and other organisations are also organising awareness programmes on Tuesday in this regard.last_img read more

Popular football playing nation expresses interest in Joyee

first_imgKOLKATA: For the first time ever, one of the most popular football playing countries has shown interest for the Joyee footballs made by women of rural Bengal.Some of the footballs, as samples, have been sent to the country for testing and the report in this connection will be given after about two months.It may be mentioned that it was a dream project of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to revive the decade old organisation Refugee Handicrafts that work under the state government’s MSME department by means of making footballs. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe dream has come true with the immense success of the Joyee footballs and now it has been sent for necessary ‘tests’ to a popular football playing country. According to an official, the ‘tests’ are going on before the final nod comes for the deal to procure the footballs. Around a month ago, Chinese Consulate in Kolkata had tested the footballs and procured 850 Challenger type Joyee footballs. Besides providing the footballs to the Chinese consulate, necessary steps were taken to make the footballs commercially successful in different other countries. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedThe official didn’t disclose the name of the popular football playing country where samples of Joyee footballs have been sent for certain reasons but confirmed that the country is so ‘particular and professional’ about football that it’s concerned authorities will be testing the footballs for two long months before giving the final nod. The authorities there will be giving the footballs to the footballers to play with them and it is one of the most crucial ways of testing the quality and all other aspects of the footballs. They will be sending a report in this connection after the tests. Sources said the authorities of the Refugee Handicrafts are, however, confident enough that they will like the footballs as those have been prepared following international standards.Both the officials of Refugee Handicraft and MSME department will have to wait for another one month for the final nod from the authorities of the football playing country.The footballs are prepared by the women hailing from different rural parts of the state. They are provided with necessary training, which is organised by the Refugee Handicraft. Recently, steps have also been taken to rope in more people to make the same. More importantly, experts were also engaged to ensure that international standards are maintained while making the footballs and it can be marketed not only across the country but also in different countries.last_img read more

Cunard gives sneak peek of Queen Victorias new look

first_img Share Posted by Cunard gives sneak peek of Queen Victoria’s new look Wednesday, April 26, 2017 << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Cunard, Luxury Travel VALENCIA, CA — Cunard’s US$40 million refit of luxury liner Queen Victoria includes a new Lido Sun Deck for sun seekers, a reimagined Winter Garden and a new look for the Britannia Club Staterooms and Britannia Club Restaurant, plus five new luxurious Penthouse Suites. The refit is scheduled for completion in June.“Queen Victoria’s refit will not only offer our guests an additional 43 Britannia Club staterooms and a dedicated restaurant, but it will also enhance the guest experience in already-beloved spaces like the Lido Sun Deck, Winter Garden and pre-existing staterooms onboard,” said Joshua Leibowitz, Senior Vice President, Cunard North America.Leibowitz said Cunard has responded to guest feedback to broaden its onboard offering by adding perks including new bar concepts and large flat-screen TVs in all staterooms.The ship will be taken out of service on May 5 to undergo the refit at the Fincantieri Shipyard in Palermo, Italy and is scheduled for completion on June 4.More news:  Consolidation in the cruise industry as PONANT set to acquire Paul Gauguin CruisesQueen Victoria will then return to Southampton before embarking on its maiden four night voyage, visiting Amsterdam, Zeebrugge (Bruges), before returning to Southampton.Leibowitz says more details on Queen Victoria’s refurbishment will follow over the coming months.Britania Club Restaurant Travelweek Group 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22Nextlast_img read more