New Board Chair Elected

first_imgNova Scotia Business Inc.’s (NSBI) private-sector led board of directors has elected Marie Mullally as its new chair. “I am pleased to accept my new role as chair of the board at Nova Scotia Business Inc.,” said Ms. Mullally. “Together, the board and staff of NSBI will continue our work to attract innovative companies in Nova Scotia’s strategic growth sectors, connect local companies to global supply chains and build export capacity in our province.” Ms. Mullally is president and chief executive officer of CUA, a provincial banking institution, and currently serves as chair of the Halifax International Airport Authority and as a director of FICANEX Inc. She was formerly the president and CEO of the Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation, executive director of Service Delivery and Operations with the former Department of Business and Consumer Services and provincial registrar of Motor Vehicles. “Marie has been a valuable member of Nova Scotia Business Inc.’s board since 2014 and will be skilled and effective in the role of chair,” said outgoing board chair Bert Frizzell. “I look forward to continuing on with the board, under Marie’s direction.”Mr. Frizzell has chaired the board since June 2016, and has been a director since 2011. He continues with the board as a director. “The experience provided by Bert Frizzell and now Marie Mullally supports our work for positive outcomes for Nova Scotians,” said Laurel Broten, President and CEO, NSBI. “Our shared objective is to strengthen and drive our Nova Scotia economy for this and future generations.” Nova Scotia Business Inc. board members are business leaders from a diverse range of industry sectors within Nova Scotia.last_img read more

Montrealarea Catholic diocese to let parishioners decide on church closures

first_imgMONTREAL — The packed holiday masses that took place as scheduled in the St-Antoine and St-Paule churches north of Montreal seemed extra special this year, given that a few months ago it looked like they might not happen at all.That’s because the churches were two of more than 30 that were on a list to be considered for closure as part of the Diocese of St-Jerome’s tentative plan to radically slash its 54 churches by more than half.But amid the uproar that followed in the early months of 2018, the diocese reversed course and is now trying a different experiment: letting the congregations decide their own futures.Bishop Raymond Poisson, who was brought in from the neighbouring Joliette diocese this summer to help manage the file, said the fact remains that there are too many church buildings and not enough worshippers.However, he admitted that the original committee’s plan to unilaterally close and sell off churches — with no input from their members — was a mistake.“These buildings are filled with emotions,” he said. “We can’t do just anything with them.”Poisson, who recently completed a tour of all the diocese’s parishes, said no churches will be closed without the community’s consent.Instead, the diocese is asking each parish to provide building inspections and repair estimates for each church, as well as a report on attendance and finances.These reports, he said, will be shared with the community, who will collectively decide whether to close and merge with another church or develop a plan to stay open.While it seems unlikely a congregation will vote to close its own church, Poisson believes that church communities will be willing to make tough choices if given the right information.But at the same time, he said, money won’t be the only factor.“A church isn’t (a business), it’s a family, and decisions aren’t made only based on money,” he said. “In a family, sometimes you make a decision that seems strange, but it’s out of love.”Poisson said the rumours of impending closures was devastating to congregations, which saw their attendance decline and financial offerings drop by up to 25 per cent.But he said it also had a positive effect, as congregations and local communities formed citizens’ groups and brainstormed to find solutions.Gauthier Elleme, the priest at St-Antoine and St-Paule’s churches, also believes the threat of closures served as a wake-up call.“The parishioners were shocked, because they saw the churches were closing, but at the same time they saw there was a problem,” says Elleme, who helps co-ordinate activities in four parishes.In response to the bishop’s challenge, Elleme said the churches are looking at ways to raise revenue, including renting out rooms and forming more partnerships with community organizations.Church buildings are expensive to maintain, and some congregations will be faced with raising tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars for major repairs that have been put off too long.But most importantly, Elleme and other priests are asking the faithful to step up and become increasingly involved in welcoming new members into a “living community” that goes beyond the priest.He acknowledged that reversing a decades-long attendance decline will be difficult, and it’s not always easy for elderly church-goers to change their ways.But nevertheless, he sees signs of hope.Elleme said that while the church is emerging from a “dark period” where many turned away, he’s seeing a growing core of young members who are willing to embrace faith.And the 36-year-old priest has plenty of ideas on how to appeal to them, from “redynamizing” traditional church music to sermons that emphasize love and joyful living rather than the prohibition of sin.And while he said congregations will never rebound to the numbers they reached in the past, when many attended out of a sense of duty or obligation, he believes they’ll live on in a smaller and maybe better way.“People (who attend) will have made a choice, rather than submitting to social pressures, and as a priest I prefer that than to see churches full of people who didn’t choose to come,” he said.Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

With malaria epidemic threatening 6 million Ethiopians UNICEF calls for funds

With more than 6 million Ethiopians, most of them children, threatened by a potential nationwide malaria epidemic, and polio continuing to spread, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has warned that it urgently needs nearly $22 million to ward off the danger of tens of thousands of additional deaths. “While polio is continuing to spread, a UNICEF-supported nationwide vaccination campaign planned for October and November is badly underfunded,” it reported in its latest update on the Horn of Africa country.“Emergency health and nutrition interventions are funded for 41 per cent. Vital water and sanitation programmes only received 20 per cent of their funding. UNICEF urgently needs $21.9 million to fight Ethiopia’s looming malaria epidemic, fund a nationwide polio immunization drive and reach 963,855 people in critical need of water,” it said. While full mortality figures for the last major epidemic from April to December 2003 are not yet available, it is estimated that 6.1 million malaria cases occurred and between 45,000 and 114,000 people died, according to a study published in the East African Medical Journal in April.Similar figures are expected if there is another full-blown malaria epidemic in 2005, UNICEF said. These figures are over and above the 100,000 Ethiopians who die of endemic malaria in an average non-epidemic year, 80,000 of them children under the age of five.UNICEF noted that a sharp rise in malaria cases and deaths from June to August, together with a widespread increase in malaria parasites and other worrying signs, are raising fears of a nationwide malaria epidemic. High rainfall and epidemiological trends are adding to concerns that an epidemic could occur during the ‘long’ transmission season from October to December. Supplies of the new anti-malaria drug Artemether-Lumefantrine (brand name Coartem), have already been consumed in large quantities to control malaria earlier in the year, it said. Although there are signs that the initial surge from June to August has subsided due to prevention and control by UNICEF, the UN World Health Organization (WHO) and other members of the Roll Back Malaria partnership, the current rise in parasites and other worrying factors are adding to concerns that Ethiopia is merely experiencing a lull before the onset of a full blown epidemic, UNICEF said. Such an epidemic would exhaust its stocks of Coartem and quinine. Ethiopia needs another two million doses of Coartem, costing $4 million, to ensure adequate stocks for this year and maintain overall emergency response capacity. An additional $125,000 is also requested for emergency quinine for the treatment of severe cases including infected infants and pregnant women. read more

US consumer confidence slides for 2nd month on gloomier outlook for economy

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Christopher S. Rugaber, The Associated Press Posted Sep 27, 2013 10:27 am MDT US consumer confidence slides for 2nd month on gloomier outlook for economy, income WASHINGTON – U.S. consumer confidence declined this month as Americans turned more pessimistic about the economy, their own finances, and government budget policies.The University of Michigan says its final reading of consumer sentiment dropped to 77.5 in September from 82.1 in August. It was the second straight decline after confidence reached a six-year high of 85.1 in July.A potential budget impasse in Washington, which if unresolved could shut down the federal government Tuesday, spurred twice as many negative comments about government policy as three months ago, the survey found.Americans are also less hopeful about their paychecks. Half of all households expect no pay increase in the year ahead. And a majority expects their income will trail inflation for the next five years. read more

Brock hosts Niagara Escarpment conference

Delegates at this week’s Leading Edge conference at Brock will explore environmental issues from inside the woods, not just from the conference rooms.Retired Physics professor John Black, author of Niagara Birds, will lead a bird walk through the woods surrounding Brock Friday morning as part of the Niagara Escarpment Commission (NEC) conference.Several Brock researchers have teamed up with the NEC for the two-day event, which starts this Thursday, to consider economic and tourism opportunities related to the escarpment.Employing the themes of sustainable tourism and economic development, the conference is a forum to explore the incredible resources of the Niagara Escarpment Biosphere Reserve. The conference, titled “Ontario’s Natural Edge,” is being hosted at the first university in Canada to be located within a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.Brock faculty served on the organizing committee and will showcase their research at the conference. Highlights include: Black, who in addition to the bird walk will present a Thursday morning session on Niagara birdsDon Cyr, Business professor, and Tony Shaw, Geography professor, will present on the changing Niagara weather and the use of weather contracts in tourism on ThursdayBrian Calvert, graduate student in Earth Sciences, will present his research on the Louth Conservation Area flora, fauna and geology on ThursdayFrancine McCarthy, Earth Sciences professor, will make back-to-back presentations Friday. The first is about the historical implications of climate change on the beach off Flowerpot Island, and the second is about the contents of core samples from the bottom of Crawford Lake.Brad May, a lecturer at Brock and part of the Brock Environmental Sustainability Research Unit, will present a session on local adaptation to climate change in Niagara on FridayOrganizing committee members include Tourism and Environment researchers Dave Brown (who will co-chair proceedings on-site), Danuta De Grosbois, John Middleton and Tony Ward. The event is co-chaired by Karen Carruthers of the NEC. read more

The Warriors Klay Thompson Only Needs 079 Seconds To Beat You

PLAYERTEAMTOTAL Eric GordonHouston Rockets183 The Warriors’ offense already has a cheat code of sorts because of how thin they spread defenses with their shooting, but they also get a ton of mileage out of the threat Thompson poses aside from his 22 points per game. Thompson’s star teammates find far more openings when playing alongside him because defenders know they can’t step too far away from the lethal shooter. That gives the two former MVPs on the roster true single coverage as opposed to double-teams. Curry and Durant each took advantage and shot nearly 50 and 57 percent from the field, respectively, when playing together alongside Thompson, per NBA Wowy. Watch here as the Clippers lose track of Durant while trying desperately to account for each member of the Warriors’ three leading scorers. The threat of Thompson’s jumper helps create an easy bucket underneath.Video Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Unsurprisingly, Curry and Durant’s field-goal percentage numbers fell to 46 percent and 50 percent, respectively, in their almost 400 minutes without Thompson.In turn, the other Warriors are engaging in near-perpetual motion to help spring Thompson free. Many of his jumpers stem from the Warriors’ unusual network of screens and picks — with the stars often setting improvisational back screens for role players and guards springing free big men. Still, Golden State works hardest to get Thompson open: He had a whopping 516 separate plays in which they brought him off a screen — a figure that led the NBA by a country mile. For context, Thompson got more shot attempts following a screen than 20 different teams in 2016-17, according to Synergy Sports.His role this past season was a far cry from what it was just four seasons ago, before Steve Kerr took over as coach, when the young Warriors utilized a much different style of offense. Back then, their attack was heavily rooted in stagnant 1-on-1 plays as opposed to the free-flowing system they currently run to perfection. In the course of one year, Golden State went from being dead-last in the NBA with 246.6 passes thrown per game in 2013-14 to seventh in the league with 315.9 passes per night in 2014-15 under Kerr.Under former coach Mark Jackson, Thompson got a steady diet of entry passes on the block and finished the 2013-14 season with an eye-popping 130 post-ups — the fifth-highest total among NBA guards that year, according to Synergy Sports. As jarring as that number sounds, consider this: Thompson has only posted up 137 times total in the three seasons since then.“I knew I wanted to install plenty of movement, and it just so happened that Klay turned himself into Reggie Miller and Rip Hamilton,” Kerr told me this week, citing two of the more elite shooters off screens in modern times. “To me, Klay’s the best guy in the league now at moving without the ball. It just comes natural to him, and it made him a natural fit with our offense.”One of Thompson’s best skills is his ability to score in bunches without possessing the ball all that much. These outbursts have become his trademark since his heroic 41-point, 11 3-pointer performance two seasons ago when the defending champion Warriors were on the cusp of postseason elimination in Oklahoma City. Among those averaging 20 points per game last season, Thompson tied with Brook Lopez for the league lead in lowest time of possession per game, at just 1.6 minutes, while the Warriors guard averaged the highest points-per-touch average. “This is a gunslinger that’s spitting out the ball before anyone can even get to him,” said Fraser, the Warriors assistant.Video Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Thompson told me that he’s made it a point since the age of 15 — when he attended a shooting camp and watched renowned shooting instructor Dave Hopla drill dozens of jumpers — to unload the ball faster.“[Hopla] said, ‘It doesn’t matter where your feet are as long as your shoulders are squared,’ ” Thompson said. “That’s really resonated with me ever since I was a kid. So now, every time I just try to get a good shot off and make sure my shoulders are square toward the rim, even if my feet are in an awkward place. If I’ve got a good base, and I can get some lift, that’s all I need.”Thompson’s uncanny ability to find the basket while barely able to see it — he tested this notion by taking, and making, triples in a Sports Science lab with the lights turned off — simply confirmed what many already knew about him: He can make the sorts of shots others wouldn’t even dream of taking.Asked about having a teammate of that stature, Durant smiled. “That’s the great part about it. I don’t have to play against that no more,” he said. “You can’t relax for a split second, or he’s gonna get a shot off.”Check out our latest NBA predictions. Thompson connected on 131 of 302 attempts within that release window, for a mark of 43.4%. For context, the leaguewide average percentage on all 3-pointers was 35.8%.Source: STATS SportVu C.J. MilesIndiana Pacers192 Trevor ArizaHouston Rockets152 OAKLAND, Calif. — Humans need oxygen, plants need sunlight, and NBA shooters need space to breathe. A cushion from a defender allows a player to do his job successfully: It gives him time to turn and face the basket, bend his knees to develop rhythm and square his feet.Then there’s Klay Thompson, who often does none of these things yet still hits threes at a better-than-40-percent clip and strikes fear in just about every NBA defense. “You ever had someone walk right up on you and talk a few inches away from your face?” asked Warriors assistant Bruce Fraser. “That’s Klay. It’s like he doesn’t mind not having space when he shoots.”Any number of things would correctly explain why the Warriors, who open their season tonight, are on the cusp of becoming a dynasty. Two-time MVP Stephen Curry is a game-breaking playmaker capable of bringing defenses to their knees in a way we’ve never seen. Pair his skill set with that of Kevin Durant, and you have a legitimate title contender. None of that even speaks to the defensive presence and edge Golden State often gets from Draymond Green.Yet Thompson’s quick-trigger attempts from deep might be the best barometer of success for the Warriors. Golden State won 95 percent of its games last season (going 43-2) when the swingman hit at least 40 percent of his shots from 3-point range, but the Warriors won just 69 percent (23-10) when Thompson connected on less than 40 percent.Guarding the 6-foot-7 Thompson is like a formal job interview: If you merely show up on time, rather than getting there a little early, it often means you’ve arrived too late. And God forbid you actually show up a little late — you might as well turn around and go home. Part of this is because Thompson is such a talented, pure shooter, but it’s also because he gets the ball out of his hands faster than any player in the NBA and can connect on his jumpers without having to dip his knees to generate a rhythm.Video Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Video Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.While Houston coach Mike D’Antoni has his Seven Seconds or Less strategy, Thompson has established his own version of hot potato this past season, in which he launched a total of 302 catch-and-shoot triples within 0.79 seconds of touching the ball, according to an analysis run by STATS SportVu at FiveThirtyEight’s request. The next-closest player, C.J. Miles, had just 192. What’s more, Thompson hits the quick-trigger triples at nearly the same clip, 43.4 percent,1131 of 302 as when he takes his time and composes himself. When told of these numbers, Thompson put it best: “Sheesh.” Tobias HarrisDetroit Pistons184 Stephen CurryGolden State Warriors180 Kristaps PorzingisNew York Knicks163 Channing FryeCleveland Cavaliers182 Nicolas BatumCharlotte Hornets160 Klay Thompson is the fastest sharpshooter, East or West3-pointers attempted within 0.79 seconds of catching the ball, 2016-17 Klay ThompsonGolden State Warriors302 Tony SnellMilwaukee Bucks157 read more

MobileMe user iCloud storage drops to 5GB on September 30

first_imgApple’s iCloud service matches much of its competition with 5GB of free storage, but that amount is a significant drop for their old MobileMe users. Before the company moved over to iCloud, MobileMe accounts had a whopping 20GB that could be split between email and iDisk. To make the transition easier, Apple let existing users keep their higher cap until June 30 of this year, and then extended that deadline for another three months. But the grace period is finally coming to a close on September 30, at which time those long-standing accounts will be knocked down to 5GB along with the rest.Users who will be over the limit after the change recently got an email from Apple with suggestions on how to prepare. No data will be deleted from accounts that have more than 5GB after September 30, but they will no longer be able to sync files, upload documents, or even receive new emails. To get iCloud working again, or prevent it from locking up in the first place, users will need to either remove enough data to get under the 5GB limit or pay for a higher tier of storage. Currently iCloud offers an additional 10GB for $20/year, 20GB for $40/year, and 50GB for $100/year — and that’s all on top of the free 5GB.Apple claims that 5GB is more than most people need, and that’s probably true. When Microsoft dropped the free storage limit on SkyDrive from 25GB to 7GB, they noted that less than 1% of their users were storing more than the new cap would allow. It’s worth noting however, that Microsoft let registered users who had uploaded files to SkyDrive opt out of the downgrade, and automatically opted out anyone who had more than 4GB stored.Via CNetlast_img read more

The stars of Modern Greek

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram On Monday morning, more than 49,000 students across Victoria awoke in anticipation of their VCE results. Of the 274 students that completed their studies in Modern Greek this year, 18 – four of whom are of Greek origin – excelled, having obtained a study score of 40 and above. Ranking in first place was 16-year-old Sophia Vamvakidou with a perfect score of 50.The Victorian School of Languages student says she was surprised by her impressive achievement, which places her in the top two per cent of VCE students to obtain a ranking above 45. “I received the results and all I could do was sit and stare. I honestly could not believe it!” Miss Vamvakidou told Neos Kosmos.Born in Thessaloniki, the top pupil migrated with her family to Belgium at the age of seven, before relocating to Melbourne earlier this year. She recalls always speaking Greek at home, but would often resort to speaking Greek with a mixture of English and French words. Paving the way for a bright future, she says her “dream is to be an actress”, but that her love of literature will likely lead her to study journalism.Saint Catherine’s Greek Orthodox College student Magdalini Maligani wasn’t far off, with a score of 47, closely followed by Konstantina Karava from the Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne and Victoria’s (GOCMV) Monday school with a score of 46. In equal fourth with a score of 45 were Anthea Digiaris of Nestor Greek College and Anna-Maria Salatas of Omiros College. Though enrolment numbers in Modern Greek remained low in 2015, principal of GOCMV language schools Manos Tzimpragos told Neos Kosmos this year’s higher than average study scores were particularly important. “Although this year the number of students who sat for the VCE exam was less than last year, next year’s community schools enrolments will make up 40 per cent of the total number of pupils studying Greek in Victoria,” said Mr Tzimpragos.Across the state regarding VCE as a whole, Mac.Robertson Girls’ High emerged as the best-performing. The selective-entry school with 508 students enrolled in at least one VCE subject emerged with a median study score of 41, and 38.2 per cent of its VCE students received a score over 40. Beth Rivkah Ladies College ranked second, followed by Bialik College, Melbourne High School and Mount Scopus Memorial College.Greek Orthodox Colleges across Victoria also celebrated another successful year, with the majority of VCE enrolments successfully completing their exams.At St John’s Greek Orthodox College, of the 20 students enrolled in units 3 and 4, 15 per cent ranked in the top nine per cent of the state with a study score of 40 and above, and a median score of 33, ranking the college at 66 out of 526 schools. Meanwhile, Alphington Grammar School, ranked 137, saw 8.4 per cent of its 81 VCE students attain a score above 40, the median being 28; while 6.4 per cent of the 68 Oakleigh Grammar VCE students ranked highly with a score above 40, and an average median score of 31, classing the school as 178th in the state.Victorian Education Minister James Merlino MP gave a congratulatory message to students in the Herald Sun VCE supplement, while also taking the opportunity to remind students that while education is important, marks are not the be-all and end-all.“Right now your study score and ATAR are probably very much on your mind, but remember that this is just one step in a long journey and VCE results do not have to define you,” Mr Merlino said, reminding students that university is not the only pathway to a successful future.Students with a study score in Modern Greek of 40 and above:Athanasia Panagopoulou – Oakleigh Grammar – 44 Alexander Vounisios – Parish of St Vasilios Brunswick Greek Language School – 44 Fotini Kazakeou – Omiros College – 43 Georgia Kazi – South Oakleigh Secondary College – 43 Georgios Mastrogiannopoulos – St John’s Greek Orthodox College – 43 James Tomazos – Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne and Victoria – 42 Theodoros Benehoutsos – VSL Distance Education – 41 Filitsa Kapeleri – VSL (Box Hill/Blackburn/Doncaster) – 41 Freideriki Laftsoglou – Alphington Grammar School – 41 Daphne Saropoulou – Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne and Victoria – 41 Natasha Kotsakis – Nestor Greek College – 40 Anastasia Moutsos – Omiros College – 40 Christina Tsopela – VSL Distance Education – 40last_img read more

US agrees to improve worker safety at polluted nuclear site

first_imgSEATTLE — The U.S. government will test and implement a new system to capture and destroy dangerous vapors released at the nation’s most polluted nuclear weapons production site as part of a settlement agreement reached Wednesday.Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson told reporters that the agreement represents a major win for hundreds of workers who have been getting sick for years while cleaning up the nation’s nuclear waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in eastern Washington.“Those workers deserve to be protected,” Ferguson said.He added that the U.S. Department of Energy did not take the issue seriously and resisted putting protections in place.“There’s no way to sugar coat this,” Ferguson said.The Energy Department will for the first time test a new technology that Ferguson called “game-changing” that would protect workers from the vapor exposures.Under the agreement, the agency will pay $925,000 in fees and costs to the state and Hanford Challenge, a watchdog group that has for decades been warning about worker safety. The agency will also install a new vapor monitoring and alarm system and maintain safety measures that are currently in place, including supplying air and respirators.The Department of Energy said in an emailed statement that the agreement “acknowledges the extensive actions” that the agency, and its contractor, Washington River Protection Solutions LLC, have taken to protect workers from potential exposure to chemical vapors.last_img read more

Unions say pipeline operator risks spill in Prince William Sound

first_imgCrowley Marine Services currently holds the contract to provide oil tanker escorts and spill response and prevention in Prince William Sound. Photo: Eric Keto/APRNTwo unions representing workers on tugboats and barges in Prince William Sound are calling out the operator of the trans-Alaska pipeline.They say the plan to bring in a Louisiana-based company to take over oil spill prevention and response in the Sound risks another spill, 27 years after the Exxon Valdez.Download AudioSpeaking at a press conference Tuesday morning, Alan Cote, president of the Inlandboatment’s Union (IBU), called the public campaign “unprecedented.”“I have never endeavored anything as big as this and as important as this in my career in the union,” he said.Together, the IBU and another union, the International Organization of Masters, Mates and Pilots, represent about 230 people in Prince William Sound. That’s everyone from cooks to captains on the tugboats that escort tankers in and out of the Sound, and on the barges available 24-7 in case of a spill.They work for Crowley Marine Services, which has held at least part of the contract since the response system was first put in place after the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989.Earlier this spring, Crowley announced it was no longer in the running to renew its contract, raising concerns about the future of the program.This week, the company that operates the trans-Alaska pipeline, Alyeska Pipeline Service Co., confirmed that it’s in final negotiations with a different company — Louisiana-based Edison Chouest Offshore — to take over.The unions have launched a campaign to stop that contract, airing ads in Anchorage and Juneau that warn darkly of Louisiana workers coming for Alaska jobs.And in part, it is a fight over jobs: Edison Chouest isn’t unionized. The current Crowley workforce is about half Alaska residents, and unions worry they’ll be replaced by Outsiders.But Cote argues the fight is bigger than that. He points out that it was an Edison Chouest tugboat that was pulling Shell’s arctic drill rig, the Kulluk, when it grounded off Kodiak in 2012. And he warns that Alyeska, and the oil majors that own it, are trying to cut costs at the expense of Prince William Sound.“I was there in 1989,” Cote said. “I saw what happened to Prince William Sound. It was devastating. I never want to see that again.”Carl Jones worked as an engineer on Crowley tugboats for about 15 years. He said there’s no good reason to replace a system that’s working with newcomers who are unfamiliar with the weather, tides, and geography of a notoriously difficult place to operate.“Everyone down there has years of training and experience,” he said. “To think that a company from outside could come in and replace 25 years of experience in one day, ten days or a hundred days — it can’t happen.”Edison Chouest did not reply to an interview request in time for this story.But Michelle Egan, a spokesperson for Alyeska, said the pipeline operator is confident the Louisiana company will meet its safety and environmental standards.“Any company that works with us has to meet the expectations of the response plan in Prince William Sound, which are very rigorous, and they have to be demonstrated repeatedly through drills and exercises,” Egan said. “So there are many opportunities for us to identify if there are gaps and then help bridge those gaps. But we expect them to be an outstanding contractor.”Egan said there’s no specific Alaska hire requirement in the contract. But Alyeska does require all contractors to employ 20 percent Alaska Native workers, and she expects Edison Chouest would hire locally, at least in part.Alyeska expects to finalize the contract this summer. Edison Chouest would take over in July 2018.last_img read more

Fairbanks community mourns fallen officer

first_imgFairbanks is mourning the loss of a police officer. Thirty four year old Sergeant Allen Brandt, who was shot earlier this month, died Friday of complications following surgery to remove shrapnel from one of his eyes. Community members gathered for a candlelight vigil Friday night to honor and remember the 11 year FPD veteran.Listen Now Hundreds gather in front of Fairbanks Police station for a candlelight vigil Friday night to honor Sargent Allen Brandt, who died Friday. (Photo by Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks)Hundreds of people held candles as acting police chief Brad Johnson, visibly shaken by the unexpected death of Sergeant Brandt, addressed the gathering.“I want you to know that all of us here feel your love,” Johnson said. “We love you too, and we’ll pass your love on to Allen’s family.”Sergeant Brandt, by all accounts, seemed to be on his way to recovering from multiple gun shot wounds, and his death Friday shocked the city. Mayor Jim Matherly recounted how earlier in the week Sergeant Brandt had walked into city hall and addressed the council members.”He spoke to us about being united, about what it was like to be a police officer,” Matherly said. “But this man was so selfless he actually said other cops have done more than he has done. He was the one who suffered this horrific event, yet he was thinking of his fellow officers.”Mayor Matherly closed by asking the public to keep Sargent Brandt’s wife and four children in their thoughts and prayers.According to the Fairbanks Police Department, Sergeant Brandt was shot when he responded to a report of gunfire on a downtown street after midnight, on October 16th. 29 year old Anthony Jenkins Alexie of Anchorage, has been charged with multiple felonies, including attempted murder — a charge that Fairbanks prosecutors said may be amended, now that Officer Brandt has died.Sergeant  Brandt is the second FPD officer to be killed in the line of duty in recent history. Officer Kevin Lamb was shot and killed in 1998.Services for Sergeant Brandt are still being planned.last_img read more

Lightning kills 20 in Jharkhand

first_imgRanchi: With monsoon hitting Jharkhand there has been some relief, but at least 20 people have also been reported dead due to lightning in different parts of the state over the last three days, police said. Nine people died on Thursday, seven on Wednesday and rest on Friday. According to the police three deaths were reported from Lathear, two from Palamau, four in Gumla and Lohardagga district. While there were similar deaths in Jamshedpur, Bokaro, Hazaribagh, Sahebganj also.Every year 50 to 60 people die due to lightning in the state.last_img

Laurus Labs IPO Shares list at 145 premium over issue price on

first_imgHyderabad-based pharmaceutical firm Laurus Labs on Monday made a strong debut with its shares listing at a premium of more than 14 percent to Rs 490 over its issue price of Rs 428 on the National Stock Exchange (NSE).The stock touched an intraday high of Rs 498 per share, up 16.35 percent over the issue price in early morning trade.The healthcare company’s Rs1,332 crore Initial Public Offering (IPO) had seen a sound response from both institutional and retail investors. The public offer, which opened for subscription on December 6-8, was oversubscribed by 4.54 times.While the portion set aside for qualified institutional buyers (QIBs) were oversubscribed 10.54 times, the quota for high networth individuals (HNIs) was oversubscribed by 3.58 times. The retail investors’ participation was also encouraging with the portion witnessing bids worth 1.61 times.According to the company, it would utilise the net proceeds from the IPO for pre-payment of loans, apart from using them for general corporate purposes.Laurus Labs manufactures active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) for antiretrovirals and Hepatitis C. It had posted a total revenue of Rs 1,791.4 crore during the last financial year, up 31.65 percent over the same period of previous fiscal. Its net profit stood at Rs 132.7 crore in 2015-16, 94 percent rise over the same period a year ago. The company’s operating margin had also improved to 21.2 percent in FY16 against 17.2 percent reported in the previous fiscal.The pharma firm has three manufacturing units in Visakhapatnam and two of them were approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA).last_img read more

University teacher suspended over sexual harassment allegation

first_imgCumilla University gate. File PhotoA teacher of Cumilla University has been suspended on allegations of harassing two female students sexually, reports UNB. Cumilla University (CU) authorities took the decision and suspended the teacher on Wednesday night, said Abu Taher, acting registrar of the university. Talking to media, Taher said that two female students submitted a written complaint against Management Studies department assistant professor and the provost of Kazi Nazrul Islam Hall GM Azmal Kawsar. On the basis of the written allegations, the university authorities suspended GM Kawsar temporarily for violating rules and regulations of the university. Kawsar would not take part in any academic and administrative activities until further notice, he said. Earlier on 9 April, the two female students of evening EMBA course submitted written complaints, accusing Azmal Kawsar of harassing them by sending obscene pictures and messages over Facebook.last_img read more

Russian Firm Spent 100K on Facebook Ads During 2016 Election

first_imgStay on target Facebook reportedly sold advertising space during the 2016 presidential election to a dodgy Russian company targeting US voters.The social network on Wednesday revealed that some 470 “inauthentic” accounts and Pages, “likely operated out of Russia,” spent approximately $100,000 on 3,000 ads between June 2015 and May 2017.Officials traced the sales to a Russian “troll farm” with a history of promoting pro-Kremlin propaganda, according to The Washington Post.Citing anonymous sources “familiar with the company’s findings,” the newspaper suggested a handful of the ads directly named then-nominees Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.Facebook Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos, however, claims “the vast majority of ads run by these accounts didn’t specifically reference the US presidential election, voting, or a particular candidate.”“Rather, the ads and accounts appeared to focus on amplifying divisive social and political messages across the ideological spectrum—touching on topics from LGBT matters to race issues to immigration to gun rights,” he wrote in a blog announcement.About a quarter of the ads were geographically targeted; of those, more ran in 2015 and 2016, according to Stamos.The accounts in question have been shut down, and the company has “shared our findings with US authorities investigating these issues.”It’s not so much a question of whether the Kremlin interfered in the election: The Office of the Director of National Intelligence in January stated that Russian President Vladimir Putin “ordered an influence campaign” to discredit Clinton and “undermine public faith in the US democratic process.”The real concern is whether Russia helped to spread misinformation and influence how Americans voted.Facebook came under fire in November for allowing what many considered false news to run rampant on the popular platform—a criticism CEO Mark Zuckerberg dismissed as being “a pretty crazy idea.”The firm has since cracked down on bogus content by introducing new reporting functions and launching coalitions; it recently took action against fake accounts in France and Germany, and no longer allow Pages that repeatedly share fraudulent stories. And it’s not finished yet.Facebook is exploring “several new improvements,” Stamos said, highlighting better detection tools and more efficient early intervention against inauthentic accounts.“We’re constantly updating our efforts in this area [and] will continue to invest in our people and technology to help provide a safe place for civic discourse and meaningful connections,” he added.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. ‘Storm Loch Ness’ Joke Facebook Event Aims to Spot Folklore ‘Monster’Nearly 300K Alien Fans Sign Up to ‘Raid Area 51’ for Joke Facebook Event last_img read more

Worldclass autism township set to come up near Kolkata

first_imgKolkata: In a one-of-its-kind initiative, a private firm, in association with the state government, is set to build a world-class autism township near Kolkata, where children and adults suffering from the developmental disorder can receive training, treatment and boarding facilities. The India Autism Center (IAC) – a non-profit organization under Section 8 of Companies Act, 2013 – is expected to come up over a 52-acre plot at Sirakol in South 24 Parganas in the next five years. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life A joint effort by Ratnabali Group and the state – the estimated cost for building the township has been pegged at Rs 500 crore, a company official said. The soft launch of the project has been scheduled for January, next year, the official said. Suresh Somani, the joint managing director of Ratnabali Investment Pvt Ltd, said the project, announced during the Bengal Global Business Summit (BGBS) earlier this year, will also have provisions for training teachers, who would be dealing with those suffering from the disorder. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra, during the BGBS meet in January, had highly appreciated the initiative and promised all support to it, he said. “It will be the first centre of its kind, not just in India, but globally, with housing facilities for 350 residents and daycare centre for over 200 children, adolescents and adults. The construction work for the township will begin next year,” Somani said. IAC will also have an administrative wing and a guest house, where parents of those receiving training at the institute can put up for a few days, he said. “There will be international tie-ups and the institute will be absolutely different from any of the centres that we have now. The township, which is expected to come up by 2023, will ensure holistic development of those suffering from autism,” he added.last_img read more

Govt may consider up to Rs 6Kcr greenshoe option in CPSE ETF

first_imgKolkata: The government is considering exercising greenshoe option worth Rs 4,000-6,000 crore in the Central Public Sector Enterprises – Exchange Traded Fund (CPSE ETF FF03) over the base issue size of Rs 8,000 crore. CPSE ETF, which works like a mutual fund scheme, is an instrument with which the government divests its stake in the CPSEs without hitting the secondary market directly with individual PSUs. “The base issue size in the fourth round of CPSE ETF issue is Rs 8,000 crore and this time a greenshoe option has been kept which may be between Rs 4,000 crore and Rs 6,000 crore. However, the government is yet to decide on this,” Reliance Nippon Life AMC Co-Chief Business Officer Saugata Chatterjee said. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life Reliance Nippon Life AMC is the manager of the fourth tranche of the CPSE ETF. The target amount is the highest compared to the three previous issues of the ETF. In the new fund offer (NFO) in 2014, the issue size was Rs 3,000 crore, the first Further Fund Offer (FFO1) size was Rs 6,000 crore in January 2017 which was followed by another FFO2 issue in March 2017 that raised just Rs 2,500 crore. However, there were no over-allotment option due to which the asset management company (AMC) had to refund the excess application. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed Discount offer of 4.5 per cent has been decided in this issue against 2.5 per cent in the previous issue of March 2017. Out Rs 80,000 crore target from divestment in 2018-19, the Centre has been able to achieve only Rs 15,247 crore, latest data showed. Chatterjee says he is hopeful of large scale participation in the issue that opens for anchor investors on November 27 and for retail investors on November 28 despite liquidity crunch triggered by the IL&FS default. He said in current issue, the composition has changed where NTPC, SJVN and NBCC made entry while, Concor, EIL Ltd and GAIL made exit. The total number of stocks now stands at 11 compared to 10 in the earlier three issues.last_img read more

Intl child trafficking racket Kingpin held from Gujarat

first_imgKolkata: Kolkata Police has arrested a person from Gujrat for allegedly kidnapping and selling several children in foreign countries. The accused Mayur Vyas was arrested on Saturday.According to the sources, a case was registered regarding child trafficking around a month ago. Kolkata Police came to about the racket through an e-mail from the American Consulate in Kolkata. Consulate informed that a few months ago several children were taken to the US with fake passports. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeWhile checking with the passports, the US police identified that the passports were fake. The identities of the children were not matching as per the information on the passport. Upon being informed, the anti-human trafficking unit of Kolkata Police initiated a probe. During November Kolkata Police tracked down four persons. They were arrested from India Exchange Place. The four persons identified as Azad Chowdhury, Shahaziya Chowdhury, Nasir Hossain and Sanjay Kumar Singh. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedAzad and Shahziya are husband and wife. Sources informed that both of them used to pose as the parents of the trafficked children. Hossain and Singh used to prepare fake documents to procure passports for the children. After everything was arranged, the couple used to take the children to the US and sell them against a sum of money. The four are being remanded to police custody till December 5. During police custody, they were interrogated thoroughly to know more about the racket. The four told police about others who are working in the racket. From them police came to about Vyas and started tracking him. The other state police were also informed. A few days ago, Kolkata Police came to know that Vyas was in Gujrat. Immediately, a team of Kolkata Police got in touch with Gujrat Police and asked for assistance. According to the sources, upon receiving the information, Gujrat Police detained Vyas and handed him over to Kolkata Police on Saturday. He was arrested and produced before a local court in Gujrat with an appeal for transit remand which was granted. On Sunday, Vyas was brought to Kolkata and produced before a court with a prayer for police custody. The sleuths suspect several more persons are connected with this racket.last_img read more

A pioneering attempt by thespians

first_imgA first of its kind National Micro Drama Festival, “Thespis” was organised by Vriksh Theatre at Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts recently. Artistes presented a series of 25 micro drama tales composed with the duration of 10 minutes each. The nano drama tales were based on different themes and titles and out of 40, 25 plays were shortlisted for the final day. The function was inaugurated by Prof Waman Kendre, Director, National School of Drama (NSD) and Veteran play write Prof Omcherry N N Pillai. A book containing gist of all 25 plays for the festival namely, ‘Short and Sharp Hues of Micro Drama’ was also released at the inaugural function. The book consists of synopsis and details of all the plays released on the occasion. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe event was warmly dedicated in the loving memory of veteran actor Om Puri, Kanhaiya Lal and Kevalam Narayanan Panicker. The event was also recorded by Book of India Records (BIR) as it was the very first time to register the micro-drama festival in their books. Many eminent people from the fraternity were also gracing the event.The festival honoured the commitment and objective of Vriksh – Art for Humanity, who showcased three plays by children of NGOs – Saksham (Mohmaya), Deepalaya (Lets Begin) and TK Soman’s group (Khud Mein Hai Vishwas). Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThe festival is named after Thespis of Icaria, who lived in the 6th century BC and was the first actor to perform alone. The plays are in 10 different languages including Kashmiri, Rajasthani, Urdu, Punjabi, Oriya, Tamil, Malayalam, Hindi and English. The festival was organised by Vriksh, under the leadership of Prof Abhilash Pillai, eminent theatre personality and faculty of the National School of Drama and Ajith G Maniyan, who recently directed a full-length drama on the life and time of VP Menon, who integrated the native states into the Indian Union. According to Ajith, “Despite being a fresh idea of a micro drama festival, we received good response from theatre groups and individuals. It is the first time in India and only the second time in the whole world that a micro-drama festival is happening. Despite it being a new concept, we received tremendous response as 42 scripts were submitted to us.”The themes of the drama were unique and were twisted with lingual trail. The list of dramas include ‘Black’, ‘Enni Nammal Mathram’, Floating leaves of Chinaar’, ‘Karnan’, ‘Kleptomania’, ‘Maaya Main Jaanu Tu Thagini’, ‘Mohmaaya’, ‘Oru Nimisham’, ‘Oru Whatsapp Vardhakya Puraanam’, ‘Saga’, ‘Selfie’, ‘Shikandi’, ‘Sunaina’, ‘The Coffee Shop’, ‘The Oldman at the bridge’, ‘Persistence of Memory’, ‘Silence Please’, ‘Aakhir Mera Qasoor Kyaa hai’, ‘Play X’, ‘Vaishnava Jana To’, ‘Kaddi Alvida na Karna’, ‘Pardho ke Pache’ and ‘Nana’. Directed by Anju Mattoo, ‘Floating leaves of Chinaar’, depicts the agony and suffering of kashmiri pundits in Delhi, who left their land with bare hands to protect their lives. ‘Nana’ is a play on battle with child sexual abuse. The awards distributed in seven categories: Best Drama – Mrigha Trishna; Best Director – Manoj Yadav; Best Actor – Anurag Kumar (Mrigha Krishna); Best Actress – Anju Mattoo (Floating leaves of chinaar); Best Technician – Latin Ghai (Mrigha Trishna); Best Script – Sunaina (Director Kuldeep Kunal); Best Drama Audience Poll – Sagha; Special Mention – Ajitha Narayan and Taran Deep Arora.last_img read more

Stalins Children – The Sad Fates of the Dictators Descendents

first_imgJoseph Stalin was one of the most feared dictators of the 20th century, causing the deaths of millions of his countrymen. However, misfortune did not spare his own family, and the lives of his three legitimate children are tragic examples of a truly dysfunctional family.Yakov Dzhugashvili was Stalin’s firstborn son, and has the dictator’s original last name as Stalin, meaning “man of steel” in Russian, was a name he later gave himself.According to Foreign Policy, Stalin adored his first wife, but she died of typhus when Yakov was just an infant, and Stalin never seemed to care for his oldest son very much.Joseph StalinWhen Yakov, heartbroken over an unsuccessful love affair, tried to commit suicide but only wounded himself, Stalin’s sole disdainful comment was, “He can’t even shoot straight.”Later, Yakov would marry a dancer named Yulia Meltzer, who was Jewish.This originally angered his resolutely anti-Semite father who thought the marriage might have been a deliberate attempt to incense him, though Stalin did warm to her eventually.Yakov DzhugashviliWhen World War II began, Yakov was commissioned as an artillery lieutenant and ordered by his father to “go and fight.”Less than a month after the war started, Yakov was thought to be captured by the Germans who used the detainment of Stalin’s eldest son to spread anti-Soviet propaganda; however, The Independent reports there is evidence suggesting that Yakov actually surrendered voluntarily to the Germans.As a result of Yakov’s imprisonment, his wife Yulia was mistreated, which was common for the families of POWs at that time in the Soviet Union.Passport of Yakov Dzhugashvili.Stalin is known to have said, “There are no prisoners of war, only traitors to their homeland,” and families were treated accordingly.Yulia’s children were taken away from her and spent two years working in a gulag. It is thought that her poor treatment may have been compounded by the fact that she might have encouraged Yakov to surrender to the Germans, but it is not certain.German propaganda 1941. “Do not shed your blood for Stalin! He has already fled to Samara! His own son has surrendered! If Stalin’s son has saved himself, then you are not obliged to sacrifice yourself either!”When the Soviet Union captured Hitler’s nephew, the Nazi leader wanted to exchange him for Yakov, but Stalin, again showing little regard for his son, refused to trade a lieutenant for a field marshal, which is a much higher rank.In 1943, at the age of 36, Yakov died in prison in Germany. Officially he was reported to have died attempting to escape, but it is thought that he committed suicide by voluntarily electrocuting himself on the prison fence. This may have been a reaction to one of his father’s atrocities known as the Katyn massacre.Katyn massacre monument. Photo by Goku122 CC BY-SA 3.0Vasily Dzhugashvili was the dictator’s second son, and though not as despised by his father, also suffered much misfortune.His mother committed suicide when he was 11 years old, and his father said of him that he was a “spoilt boy of average abilities, savage, not always honest.”Vasily Dzhugashvili (Stalin), 1942.Despite his grades, at 17 he was able to enroll in pilot school and used his father’s position to secure his advancement, even though he was both a drunk and a womanizer according to Foreign Policy.Taking up his father’s self-styled last name, Vasily Stalin rose to the rank of Major General, but he was never very popular as his promotions were not due to his ability or effort, and he persisted in being an alcoholic.When Stalin died, Nikita Khrushchev and Georgy Malenkov, the next leaders of the Soviet Union, considered Vasily dangerous simply because of his heritage.Vasily and his father, 1935.He spent the rest of his life in and out of prison for various offenses but was eventually released and exiled to Kazan due to his poor health. He died in 1962, a few days shy of his 41st birthday, due to the effects of a lifetime of alcoholism.Stalin’s youngest child and only daughter was Svetlana Alliluyeva. Stalin adored his daughter, calling her “little sparrow,” and she was a child celebrity in the Soviet Union, likened to Shirley Temple.Vasily and Svetlana with their father in 1935.She was only 6 when her mother, also Vasily’s mother, committed suicide, but she did not learn the truth until she was a teenager, having been told at the time that her mother died of appendicitis.She then took her mother’s last name, Alliluyeva, having originally been born Svetlana Stalina. According to the New York Times, Svetlana’s father tightly controlled her life. When Stalin learned that Svetlana’s first love was a Jewish filmmaker, he sent the suitor to Siberia for 10 years.Vasily Stalin, 1940.Although she wished to study literature at university, he forced Svetlana to study history and political thought.When she married another man, also Jewish, Stalin refused to ever meet him and even slapped her when she told him. The couple divorced in 1947.Svetlana Alliluyeva, daughter of Josef Stalin, 1970.Stalin died in 1953, Svetlana no longer had as many privileges as before, since the Soviet Union wanted to distance itself from Stalin’s atrocities.When she fell in love with an Indian communist she was not permitted to marry him by Soviet officials, but after he died in 1967, they eventually agreed to let her return his ashes to India.While on that trip she went to the U.S. embassy and defected from the Soviet Union.A young Svetlana Alliluyeva sitting on Lavrentiy Beria’s lap with Stalin (in background) and Nestor Lakoba.Svetlana left two failed marriages and two children, aged 22 and 17, behind when she defected. In interviews, she talked about being lonely, and eventually went on to marry again and have another daughter.At her marriage to William Wesley Peters, she changed her name to Lana Peters. After divorcing her third husband, Svetlana moved frequently, first within California and then to England.Svetlana Alliluyeva in 1967.Distraught that the Soviet Union would not let her older children visit her, in 1984, Svetlana moved back to her homeland, this time denouncing the United States. However in 1986 she left again, finding Soviet life not to her liking.By this time she was impoverished and continued to move frequently, rarely staying in one place for more than two years at a time.Lana Peters, also known as Svetlana Alliluyeva and Svetlana Stalina, died from colon cancer in the state of Wisconsin in 1991 at the age of 85. Although she lived longer than both of her brothers combined, she did not seem to have a happy existence. She was controlled for much of her life and then constantly uprooted herself and distanced herself from various members of her family.Read another story from us: Stalin Tried to use The Grapes of Wrath as Anti-Capitalist Propaganda – It Backfired BadlyStalin caused much misery in his home country; but, despite his near limitless power, he was not able to spare his children from leading tragic lives. Perhaps living in the shadow of a dictator is an inescapable fate, or at least it seems to have been for this family.last_img read more