Is Shah Rukh Khan hosting Akash Ambani’s engagement ceremony?

first_imgAkash Ambani the eldest son of India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, is all set to get formally engaged to Shloka Mehta on June 30 this year. The engagement will take place at the Ambani residence, Antilla.While we sure will see the whole of B-town coming together to bless this couple, a close source informed a daily that none other than Shah Rukh Khan will be the master of ceremony for Akash Ambani and Shloka Mehta’s engagement ceremony. Shah Rukh is also a close friend of the Ambanis. Photo: Instagram/Shah Rukh KhanWe of course cannot think of a better person to work the crowd than King Khan. He will not just be hosting the ceremony, but will also be seen performing for the lovely couple along with many of their friends from Bollywood. Akash had proposed to Shloka on March 24 earlier this year. Photo: InstagramAkash had proposed to Shloka, the daughter of Russell Mehta, who heads Rosy Blue Diamonds, on March 24 earlier this year. The proposal reportedly took place at a ceremony on a romantic evening in Goa in the presence of Mukesh Ambani and his mother, Kokilaben. Akash and Shloka. Photo: InstagramThe Ambani and Mehta family have reportedly known each other for a long time. Shloka is the youngest of the three children of Russell and Mona Mehta.ALSO READ | Have you read the beautiful poem Nita Ambani penned down for Akash Ambani and Shloka Mehta?ALSO WATCH | Watch Nita Ambani speak on sports and education at India Today Conclave 2018advertisementlast_img read more

Scorpio Bulkers Secures New USD 60 Mn Loan

first_imgzoomIllustration. Image Courtesy: Pixabay under CC0 Creative Commons license Monaco-based bulker owner Scorpio Bulkers has received a commitment for a loan facility of up to USD 60 million.The new loan, secured from ABN AMRO Bank N.V. and Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale, will be used to finance up to 60% of the fair market value of two Ultramax dry bulk vessels and two Kamsarmax dry bulk vessels.The ships in question are SBI Perseus, SBI Phoebe, SBI Electra and SBI Flamenco.Scorpio Bulkers said that the loan facility has a final maturity date of five years from drawdown date and bears interest at LIBOR plus a margin of 2.25% per annum.The loan, which is expected to close within August, would increase the company’s liquidity by around USD 21 million after repayment of the vessels’ existing debt.The company informed that the terms and conditions were similar to those set forth in its existing credit facilities.last_img read more

Mamata to launch slew of projects at Bantala Leather Complex today

first_imgKolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will inaugurate and lay the foundation stone of a series of projects at Bantala Leather Complex on Thursday. State Finance and Industry minister Amit Mitra would be present on the occasion as well.She will inaugurate a Leather Goods Park where 20 leather goods manufacturing units are already operational, with 50 more in the pipeline. Eight of these units are ready to start operation and are expected to bring investments to the tune of Rs 200 crore, generating employment opportunity for 10,000 people. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellers”There will be a total of 90 units which will have employment scope for 1 lakh people in the Leather Park itself and the export figure will be Rs 3,500 crore,” a senior Nabanna official said on Wednesday. Banerjee on Thursday will also allot plots to new tanneries and No Objection Certificates (NOC) would be handed over to existing units. It may be mentioned that at present 385 tanneries and 40 leather goods units are operational in Bantala Leather Complex. However, 220 tannery units and 50 leather goods units have been waiting for NOC from the West Bengal Pollution Control Board, with the lack of required infrastructure for effluent discharge. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari Puja”We have decided to install necessary infrastructure including four Combined Effluent Treatment Plants and Sewage Treatment Plants for catering to these units along with the new ones,” the official added. In the first phase, 70 acres of land is being allotted to 187 new tanneries while in the second phase, plots will be offered to 250 new leather goods units. Out of these 187 companies, 28 are big category, 97 are medium category and 62 are small category companies. Among these, 29 units are from Kanpur, two from Chennai and 156 from Kolkata. As per projection of the state government, the present turnover, which is around Rs 13,500 crore, will go up to Rs 27,000 crore in the next few years. More than 2 lakh people are directly and indirectly employed and once all new and old units become operational, 5 lakh people would be employed. Banerjee will also lay the foundation stone for a footwear park on Thursday, which will spread over an area of 60 acres. It is expected to have an investment of Rs 800 crore to generate export of Rs 5,000 crore. The employment potential is projected at 7,000. The state government is currently providing six buses for transportation of thousands of workers engaged in the tannery and leather sector.last_img read more

Newfoundland high schooler faces three separate sexual assault trials

first_imgSTEPHENVILLE, N.L. – A teenager is in court this week for the first of three trials on sexual assault allegations that shook a Newfoundland high school and spurred the province to update safety policies.Students at Stephenville High School in southwestern Newfoundland protested last February after a male student who allegedly attacked at least three girls in separate incidents off site was allowed back in the building to potentially cross paths with them.The young man’s identity is protected under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.In the matter set for a three-day trial in Stephenville starting Tuesday, he has pleaded not guilty to four counts.Records released by Judge Lynn Cole after The Canadian Press applied to provincial court say those charges include sexual assault, forcible confinement, and using “a stupefying or overpowering drug” to help commit sexual assault.The documents say the alleged attack happened last October at or near the town of Stephenville, a seaside community of about 8,000 people.A separate trial set for June 26 to 29 involves three counts including sexual assault, assault and an alleged attempt to choke his accuser “with his hands” last December in or near Stephenville.He has pleaded not guilty to all three charges.In a third matter that is scheduled for trial Aug. 2 in Stephenville, he pleaded not guilty to two counts of sexual assault, and two counts of sexual interference involving someone under the age of 16. The incidents allegedly happened between last Sept. 22 and Oct. 9.Neither the Crown prosecutor nor the youth’s defence lawyer would comment when contacted by The Canadian Press.The Newfoundland and Labrador English School District confirmed in February that the accused faced sexual assault allegations involving one female student “and possibly others.”But it cited limited circumstances under provincial law which allow a student to be removed from school.“A criminal charge, however serious, does not authorize removal,” it said at the time.The provincial government announced last month changes to its Schools Act “aimed at ensuring a safe learning environment.”Proposed updates to the legislation will empower education officials to refuse school attendance by a student that could be “detrimental to the physical or mental well-being of students or staff,” said a news release. In such cases, alternate instruction such as online courses can be offered.Janice Kennedy, executive director of the local Bay St. George Status of Women Council, said it’s a step in the right direction.“What really needs to come next is comprehensive change to the education curriculum so that we talk about consent and respect, and creating safe environments for women and girls in our province — and that needs to start at the age of five,” she said in an interview.“I think it’s important for people to realize that sexual assault happens to one in four women and girls in this province. It’s a huge issue that we need to address.”last_img read more

Claims of NDP Government not rebuilding Forest Industry ludicrous, says Parliamentary Secretary

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Yesterday, September 17, the Provincial Government announced that it would be investing $69 million to support forest workers impacted by mill closures and curtailments.Following the announcement, Parliamentary Secretary for Ministry of Forests, Ravi Kahlon, is on tour meeting with community leaders, workers, and contractors to provide more details on the provincial investment.Lately, the B.C. Liberals have been critical towards the NDP claiming that the Government has no interest in rebuilding the forest industry. Kahlon says the Liberal’s claim is ludicrous as they would have seen a report from 2015 that commissioned the closure of 13 mills.He says the Liberals could have informed workers of this plan in order for them to prepare, instead of burying it and dealing with the issue now.“I would say that’s ludicrous. In 2015, the B.C. Liberals, many of the ministers, would’ve seen the report that they had commissioned that said that there was going to be 13 mills closed. Imagine if that report had been made public at that time, instead of being buried, communities, workers, and families would’ve had time to prepare for this outcome. Instead, we’re dealing with it as it comes.”The B.C. Council of Forest Industries had also released their own plan to help out the forest industry, and Kahlon feels that there are a lot of good points made within their plan to fix the ailing industry.Kahlon says the Provincial Government will continue to talk with communities and workers to create a solution for the long term.last_img read more

The Moroccan Hero Who Avoided Carnage at Stade de France

Rabat –The death toll of the Paris terrorist attacks could have been heavier had it not been for the heroic actions of a stadium guard of Moroccan origin.The man used his judgement to prevent one of the suicide bombers from entering Paris Stade de France.The Moroccan man, identified, as Said Zouheir, told the Wall Street journal that 15 minutes into the friendly match between France and Germany on Friday night in the Paris stadium, one of the attackers attempted to enter the stadium while wearing a vest laden with explosives. But as the attacker was frisked after attempting to access the stadium through the player’s entrance, the security guard discovered that he was carrying explosives and prevented him from entering the premises. The attacker denoted his explosives as he backed away from the security guards.According to French police, the attacker aimed to detonate his explosives inside the stadium in order to cause a deadly stampede.Few minutes later two other attackers, who also aimed to enter the stadium blew themselves up outside the stadium where President François Hollande was attending the match.The attackers planned to carry out the same operation that they carried inside the Bataclan theater.The coordinated attacks that hit several locations across Paris on Friday have claimed the lives of 132 people, and left over 350 people injured. The highest number of casualties was recorded in the Bataclan where three terrorists stormed the theater during a music concert and took people hostage, killing them one by one. At least 86 people died inside the theater.Update French newspaper Le Monde and Libération said on Monday that the news of the security guard who allegedly prevented ISIS terrorists from entering the stadium was inaccurately reported by news outlet all over the world. According to the same sources, the security guard was not on the scene when the attackers tried to enter the stadium.The security guard just told the Wall Street Journal what his colleagues had told him about how one of the attackers was prevented from entering the stadium.Stade de France security guard named Zouheir blocked suicide bomber wearing explosive vest from entering the stadium— Ahmed Al Omran (@ahmed) November 14, 2015 read more

Chad Ban Kimoon proposes peacekeeping force with some 11000 personnel

23 February 2007With eastern Chad facing major turmoil sparked by clashes between Government and Sudan-based rebel forces, forays by Sudan-based militia and ethnic violence, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is proposing to send an 11,000-strong United Nations peacekeeping mission to protect civilians and deter cross-border attacks. “Eastern Chad is facing a multifaceted security and humanitarian crisis, which includes ongoing clashes between Government forces and Sudan-based Chadian rebels, cross-border attacks on civilians by Sudan-based militia, the presence of Sudanese rebels on Chadian territory, ethnic violence, internal displacement, inter-communal tensions and banditry,” Mr. Ban says in his latest report to the Security Council.“The result is an environment of uncertainty, vulnerability and victimization of the local communities and the 232,000 Sudanese refugees in the region, and, above all, of the 120,000 internally displaced persons in eastern Chad.”At the same time he proposes “a modest deployment “of UN military and police personnel in north-eastern Central African Republic (CAR), which is also suffering in part from a spill-over of the war in Sudan’s Darfur region but where the situation is less acute after a Government-rebel accord to negotiate an end to their conflict, although there is continued risk that violence may erupt again.Mr. Ban’s report stems from a technical assessment mission which visited both countries at the Council’s request and found that armed rebel movements seeking to overthrow the Government continue to destabilize eastern Chad.But in discussions with representatives of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees it was also made clear that militia groups based in the Sudan and characterized as Janjaweed, who cross into Chad to attack civilians, were seen as the foremost threat to their safety. Chadian civilians seemed to be the most frequent target of those attacks, which resulted in the partial destruction of an IDP site.Mr. Ban mentions two options, preferring the second. The first with a total force of some 6,000 would depend more heavily on aviation for flexibility. The second would comprise a military force of some 10,900, relying more on infantry troops being in place to meet operational requirements. Both would also include some 260 international UN police overseeing approximately 800 Chadian gendarmes and police seconded to the UN. The mission would have a multidimensional mandate ranging from ensuring the security of civilians, maintaining law and order in refugee camps and towns housing humanitarian field offices, and border deployment, to facilitating free movement of aid, improving relations between Chad, Sudan and CAR, and supporting dialogue between both governments and unarmed opposition groups.Its purview would also include an internal advisory capacity on justice and prisons, human rights investigations, reporting and training activities, and “gender mainstreaming strategies” paying particular attention to women and girls directly affected by conflict, documenting violence against women, and playing an advocacy role with local and national authorities to protect civilians and most vulnerable groups.In collaboration with UN agencies and civil society organizations, the mission would support national authorities in both countries such as the armed forces, the gendarmes and police to implement policies and programmes to advance gender equality. A gender action plan would focus on prevention and responses to the high rate of reported incidents of sexual and gender-based violence against refugees, IDPs and civilians.Mr. Ban does not underestimate “the distinct and serious risks” entailed by an open-ended UN deployment in the challenging environment, chiefly the possibility that armed groups may view a UN force as interfering with their military agenda and decide to attack.“It would be imperative therefore to obtain assurances from Chadian rebel groups that they would recognize the impartial character of a United Nations presence,” he writes. There is also the possibility that a United Nations force, while carrying out its protection functions in such a fluid environment, could find itself caught in the cross-fire between belligerents.”Therefore the force should be clearly focused on two principal objectives: protecting civilians at risk, particularly IDPs and refugees, and deterring cross-border attacks through its presence. It could also contribute to efforts to settle the crisis in Darfur, where fighting between the Sudanese Government, allied militias and rebels has displaced more than 2 million people, and help to developing a political climate conducive to reconciliation in eastern Chad.“I would like to reiterate that responsibility for achieving a lasting solution to the crisis in Darfur, eastern Chad and north-eastern Central African Republic rests, first and foremost, with the leaders of these countries,” Mr. Ban concludes. “I call on their Governments to move forward rapidly and to muster the political will to establish peace and stability in their countries and in the region.” read more

Sudan UN envoy holds more talks on withdrawal from unity government

16 October 2007The top United Nations official in Sudan today met with a senior minister to discuss the decision of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) to suspend its participation in the Government of National Unity. Tayé-Brook Zerihoun, the Secretary-General’s Acting Special Representative for Sudan, spoke with Sudan’s State Minister for Foreign Minister Ali Karti, who briefed him on the reaction of the National Congress Party to the SPLM withdrawal.Mr. Zerihoun recommended that the two parties settle pending issues through direct discussions and consultations, and was encouraged by their assurances that they will try to do so, according to a news bulletin released by the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS).On Friday, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon released a statement calling on the parties to take the necessary steps to deal with the outstanding issues concerning the implementation of the January 2005 comprehensive peace agreement that ended the long-running north-south civil war in Sudan.Since then Mr. Zerihoun has met with the SPLM’s Secretary-General Pagan Amum and with Salva Kiir and Riek Machar, the President and Vice-President of the Government of Southern Sudan. read more

Knowing the emissions impact of pipelines is important in overall decision Carr

OTTAWA — Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr says the federal government has no intention of scaling back its push to study all emissions impacts from new pipeline proposals.Carr is commenting a week after Trans Canada Corp., said it would suspend an application to build its $15.7 billion Energy East pipeline to re-evaluate its business case after the National Energy Board laid out a tougher review process that will include looking at indirect emissions related to the pipeline, from production to end use.The minister says the government made clear in January 2016 that greenhouse gas emissions would be reviewed as part of an interim overhaul of the environmental assessment process, pending a full review and restructuring.That review was completed earlier this year and a decision on the permanent process is expected this fall.Carr says the government is not bending on including emissions as a factor to be considered when deciding if a project is in the national interest.He says the interim principles helped inform the government’s decision to give the green light to projects like the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Expansion and it’s up to the company, not the government, to decide if the market forces are there to continue with any particular project. read more

A mind of comedy with depression

Comedians around the world are also mourning the loss of one of their own. And that includes a unique group of comics who have more in common with Williams than their sense of humour. ‘Stand Up for Mental Health’ teaches people with mental illness to use stand up comedy as a type of therapy.Robin Williams interview with Charlie Rose: “Therapy? Yeah. Literally. I mean to be able to talk about things that were, you know, whether things going on in my life, going on in the world, it was always kind of a great release.”In a 2009 interview with Charlie Rose, Robin Williams spoke about how standing on stage telling jokes was a relief from his sometimes crippling depression.To fans, Williams was a funny man. But in his private life, he battled substance abuse and mental illness: “I’m a reformed alcoholic.”Channelling that struggle into humour allowed him to expose his darkness to an audience without the same fear of judgement that existed off stage.“With all the great drugs out there, I would have to be an idiot to choose anti-depressants as my high”David Granirer founded ‘Stand Up for Mental Health’ to accomplish the same goal: “All of a sudden, they get a totally different perspective on their life, and I think that’s part of what’s really empowering. They realize, Wow, so this stuff I’ve been through is just great material.”The program now spans North America and teaches people with mental health issues to write stand up comedy about their depression and anxiety. Manny Demelo attended the course in Guelph and now performs with a standup group to reduce the stigma of mental illness: “One of the best things about it is being able to talk about these things. I normally wouldn’t tell people ‘Hey, I’m Bipolar’.”Like it did for Williams, comedy allows Demelo to bare vulnerabilities he otherwise wouldn’t: “You just go, get it out there, try to make them laugh and in turn, their laughter actually kind of helps you out.”As grateful as he is to have comedy in his life, he understands that sometimes, it isn’t enough: “The thing about depression is that even the things that make you the happiest don’t always work.”Learn more about ‘Stand Up for Mental Health‘. read more

Hong Kongers accuse Frances Lancome of kowtowing to Beijing

HONG KONG – French cosmetics company Lancome has sparked a backlash in Hong Kong after it cancelled a promotional concert featuring a singer known for pro-democracy views, with many accusing it of caving to political pressure from Beijing.Cantopop singer and outspoken celebrity activist Denise Ho was scheduled to perform on June 19. But after word of the event got out, China’s nationalist Global Times newspaper criticized Lancome over the weekend through its microblogging Weibo account.Lancome then said Sunday on its Hong Kong Facebook page that the event had been cancelled because of unspecified “safety reasons.” It also sought to distance itself from Ho in a separate post, saying that she’s not its spokeswoman.The statements earned Lancome thousands of angry Facebook comments, with many calling for a boycott of the company.Ho fired back with her own Facebook statement, saying that the company “unilaterally” cancelled a “pure artistic collaboration.”“When a global brand like Lancome has to kneel down to a bullying hegemony, we must face the problem seriously as the world’s values have been seriously twisted,” said Ho, who backed pro-democracy protesters who took to the streets in 2014 over Beijing’s decision to restrict elections in Hong Kong, a semiautonomous Chinese city.Ho is also a supporter of the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, and posted a picture on Facebook last month of their meeting on her birthday. Beijing accuses the Dalai Lama of seeking to separate Tibet from China. Tibetans and the Dalai Lama say they simply want a higher degree of autonomy under Chinese rule.The Global Times fueled the controversy Tuesday when it said in an op-ed piece that Lancome scrapped the event because it could not risk alienating mainland China, whose market dwarfs Hong Kong’s.“Apparently Lancome has given more consideration to the sentiment of the mainland public, because the mainland boasts a much larger market than Hong Kong,” the article said.There were also calls on Chinese social media to boycott Lancome products, underscoring the dilemma for the company in balancing profit and principle.Lancome’s parent company, French cosmetics giant L’Oreal, said in its most recent annual report that the brand “performed strongly” in China last year, but also noted that Hong Kong was a “difficult market.”Ho is not the first artist to pay a price for displeasing China’s communist leaders. Bon Jovi and Maroon 5 have also had concerts in China cancelled over images or tweets about the Dalai Lama. Earlier this year, Taiwanese teen pop star Chou Tzu-yu was forced to apologize by her management firm for waving Taiwan’s flag on South Korean TV because of worries about offending China. by Kelvin Chan, The Associated Press Posted Jun 7, 2016 3:39 am MDT Last Updated Jun 7, 2016 at 9:20 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email FILE – In this Dec. 11, 2014, file photo, Cantopop singer and outspoken celebrity activist Denise Ho, center, accompanied with other protesters attends a sit-in rally at the occupied area outside government headquarters in Hong Kong. French cosmetics company Lancome has sparked a backlash in Hong Kong after it canceled a promotional concert featuring the singer known for pro-democracy views, with many accusing it of caving to political pressure from Beijing. Lancome said Sunday, June 5, 2016 on its Hong Kong Facebook page that the event had been canceled because of unspecified “safety reasons.” It It also sought to distance itself from Ho in a separate post, saying that she’s not its spokesperson. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, File) Hong Kongers accuse France’s Lancome of kowtowing to Beijing read more

Mens Basketball No 17 Ohio State fights through slow start and slow

Ohio State redshirt junior forward Keita Bates-Diop (33) takes a three-pointer in the second half of the game against Penn State on Jan. 25 in the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorThe No. 17 Ohio State men’s basketball team could not get out of its own way against Illinois. Whether it was foul trouble or turnovers, the Buckeyes did all they could to keep the Fighting Illini in the game. Even with a 19-0 run to close out the first half, Ohio State could not pull away from Illinois and found itself trailing for 16:23 of the game. However, Ohio State (20-5, 11-1 Big Ten) made a late push to retake the lead and come away with the 75-67 win against Illinois (12-12, 2-9 Big Ten), narrowly avoiding what would have been its biggest upset loss of the season.“To respond like we did being down was really important for us and we knew it was going to be a game of some runs and a game of imperfection,” Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann said. “Having a resilient approach was really important and the guys did that. They deserve a lot of credit.”Trailing 63-60 with 4:31 remaining in the game, redshirt junior forward Keita Bates-Diop drilled a 3 to tie both the game and his career high in points at 32. With 3:39 left in the game, freshman center Kaleb Wesson made a layup to give Ohio State the 65-63 lead. Ohio State finished the game on a 15-4 run to create separation from Illinois in the end.The Buckeyes were carried once again by Bates-Diop, who set a new career high with 35 points. His 13 rebounds, which also led the game, gave him his 10th double-double of the season.With 8:50 left in the second half, Illinois redshirt senior guard Mark Alstork was fouled on a made layup to tie the game at 52. He made the and-1 to give the Illini the 53-52 lead. He stole the ball on the Buckeyes’ next possession and passed it to freshman guard Mark Smith, who took a foul and made his two free throws to put Illinois up three.Ohio State got off to an abysmal start against the Illini, falling into an early 28-13 hole. The Buckeyes quickly regained traction however, fighting back to a 34-30 lead with a 19-0 run over 9:50 to close out the first half. During that stretch, redshirt junior forward Keita Bates-Diop scored 11 points. Ohio State held Illinois scoreless during the final 10:11 of the half.Starting in place of the suspended redshirt senior guard Kam Williams, sophomore forward Andre Wesson started the scoring off for Ohio State with a resounding one-handed dunk for the first basket of the game.Just under four minutes into the game, however, Illinois went on a 17-2 run to pull ahead to a commanding 28-13 advantage. Ohio State battled back, continuing to show this season that even when it allows big runs, it has what it takes to come back from those deficits.“I’m not the most confident guy at that point,” Holtmann said. “When you’ve watched Illinois there has been runs that they do a great job making on teams and then the way they play, it can lead to runs on both ends. I just didn’t think we had enough life to us defensively, but give Illinois credit. But having said that, we do have a pretty poised, confident group.”The Buckeyes did what they needed to do to win. Though they never were able to create much separation from themselves and their opponents, they never gave up and pushed ahead to the eight-point lead late when it needed to ensure it avoided the same devastating loss to Penn State.Ohio State turned the ball over 15 times and was called for 18 fouls during the game, compared to 11 and 23, respectively, by Illinois. The Fighting Illini converted those Buckeye turnovers into 16 points, whereas Ohio State managed 10 points off the Illinois turnovers.Ohio State outrebounded Illinois 45-22 and held a 38-16 advantage in paint points. Ohio State also made 26-of-33 free throws in the win.Up NextOhio State hits the road for its biggest matchup of the year, traveling to West Lafayette, Indiana, to face No. 3 Purdue at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday in a clash between the top two teams in the Big Ten. read more

Cabinet approves tough new measures for creches

first_imgMINISTERS HAVE SIGNED off on proposed new laws to strengthen the regulation of pre-school childcare services.Under the new measures, all pre-schools and creches will have to be registered in order to operate.Inspectors will also be granted new enforcement powers, and will be able to threaten non co-operating facilities with the removal of registration.Speaking to Newstalk Breakfast, Children’s Minister Frances Fitzgerald said that childcare facilities would only by put out of business after several warnings were given.“If you lose your registration, you won’t be able to continue,” the Minister said.“Due process will be in place. If these standards are not in place, then play-schools and preschools will get time to correct them, but we will ensure now that inspectors have the power if improvements aren’t made that they can say ‘you’re going to lose your registration’”.The Minister said that 39 inspectors were currently employed in the system, and that she hoped to have another ten in place by the end of the year.The draft legislation also gives the Children’s Minister the power to set qualification levels for the early years sector the first time, and will also allow for the regulation of after-school services.Minister Fitzgerald will bring the proposals before the Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children next week.The regulation and inspection of pre-schools and creches came under the spotlight this year following an investigative programme by RTE revealing serious failings in some facilities.Read: Anger as Prime Time shows mistreatment of creche children >Also: Did you miss the Prime Time creche expose? Here’s what happened >last_img read more

Poll In the wake of the latest Maurice McCabe revelations do you

first_imgYesNoI’m not sureVote By Cianan Brennan Poll Results: Feb 11th 2017, 6:00 PM 38,332 Views No (12922) Share327 Tweet Email Poll: In the wake of the latest Maurice McCabe revelations, do you have confidence in the gardaí? The HSE has today “apologised unreservedly” to McCabe for the administrative error that led to an allegation against him making its way into a Tusla file. Maurice McCabe Image: Laura Hutton/ Maurice McCabe Yes (4268) Short URL I’m not sure (1695) Image: Laura Hutton/ 164 Comments Saturday 11 Feb 2017, 6:00 PM THIS MORNING, THE HSE apologised unreservedly to Garda Sergeant Maurice McCabe for the ‘administrative error’ that led to an allegation against McCabe making its way onto a file held by Tusla, the Child and Family Agency.It now seems that allegation remained on file at Tusla for nearly two years after the initial error was made in 2014.In what has become an increasingly murky saga the political fallout continues apace – this afternoon Fine Gael Health Minister Simon Harris argued that the pending Charleton Commission of Investigation into the alleged smear campaign by the gardaí against Sergeant McCabe should be allowed to run its course.Labour leader Brendan Howlin says that a full criminal investigation into the affair is required. And Sinn Féin’s Gerry Adams went the whole hog and called for a general election.At present the Charleton investigation is the only show in town. Given the pace at which this saga has evolved, that may well change.But has the whole affair shaken your confidence in An Garda Síochána?We’re asking: In the wake of the latest Maurice McCabe revelations, do you have confidence in the gardaí? Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Victorian redivision for Electorates

first_imgThe Electoral Boundaries Commission (EBC) is currently conducting a redivision, which will redraw the boundaries for electorates in both Houses of State Parliament. The redivision is considering the boundaries of Victoria’s electoral regions and districts established by past redivisions. The redivision is drawing electoral boundaries to ensure that each vote in Victorian State elections has an equal value and that each elector is represented equally in the Victorian Parliament.The redivision is based on enrolments as at 30 November 2012. The average number of electors per electoral district (Lower House electorate) is the quota for electoral districts, and the average number of electors per electoral region (Upper House electorate) is the quota for electoral regions. The electoral districts and regions established in the redivision must not vary in enrolment by more than 10% from the quota. The quotas are: Quota for electoral districts: 41,473. Quota for electoral regions: 456,207The proposed electoral boundaries have been released. The proposed boundaries are on display at municipal council service centres and libraries throughout the State, and are also available at Information Victoria.Suggestions and objections about the proposed boundaries will be accepted until 5:00 pm, Monday 29 July.For more information, please visit the EBC website. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Cyprus Dont forget 1974

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram It was 15 July 1974 when the then Greek military regime attempted to unite with Cyprus resulting in Archbishop Makarios being overthrown and fleeing to Britain.In response, on 20 July Turkey instigated an army invasion for fear of a Greece and Cyprus ‘enosis’ that could potentially jeopardise the Turkish Cypriot community.A ceasefire was reached on 23 July 1974, however, in those three days, the island of Aphrodite was partitioned, with Turkish troops occupying the northern part of Cyprus.Since then, a green line buffer zone signifies the division, stretching all the way from the tragic village of Morphou to Amohostos. Up to this date, it is mined and patrolled by United Nations (UN) peacekeepers.More than 160,000 Greek Cypriots fled to the south during the attacks.Greece’s military junta collapsed, and Greek Cypriot Glafcos Clerides was installed as acting president in Makarios’ absence.Less than a year later, in February 1975, Ankara announced the establishment of the Turkish Federated State of Cyprus, appointing Rauf Denktash as president.On 15 November 1983, Turkish Cypriots unilaterally declared their independence under the name of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, a motion that was rejected by the UN, Greece, and the Republic of Cyprus.The UN has been initiating peace talks between the two sides while Cyprus’ eligibility for EU membership is still pending, as there has been no progress regarding reunification talks.Archbishop Makarios.Archbishop Makarios.On the day of the tragic anniversary, the chair of Constitution of the Pan-Australian Coordinating Committee – Justice for Cyprus (PASEKA) Konstantinos Prokopiou said, “Let’s show everyone that we do not forget and that we demand justice for Cyprus.”Mr Prokopiou stressed that “this year is very important for the motherland, our pretense and our dynamic participation in every event organised by the coordinating committees, especially in the protest about the Turkish invasion and the illegal occupation of Cypriot and European soil; [it will] help and ease the talks for a fair solution to our national issue.“… for 44 years the death-stricken and relatives of the missing have been waiting for their loved ones in vain. The refugees still long for the day that they will be able to return to their homes, their belongings, reclaim their fortunes and their rich cultural heritage in safety, under UN law. Those trapped are suffering under the oppressor’s boot, but refuse to abandon their sacred ground.“We all hope for a fair and viable solution that will reunite the island and grant its citizens the right to return to their heritage homes where they will enjoy the benefits of the European Union, the Commonwealth, and the UN (…) We all hope that talks will resume now that the Turkish elections have concluded,” Mr Prokopiou said, highlighting his fears for Turkey’s recent provocative behaviour and threats toward the Aegean islands and Cyprus, in addition to the daily border violations it commits against Greece.“Coordinating committees for Cyprus are continuing their fight across all Australian states hoping that with the help and participation of the Greek Australian communities to the Cyprus commemoration events the message that we have not forgotten the injustice that has been committed against Cyprus and that we won’t allow foreign diplomacy and propaganda to succeed. We will also not accept Turkey violently stealing even one Greek isle.”Moreover, SEKA chair Kostas Sokratous suggested that “the UN should push Turkey harder” stressing that the Cyprus issue is entering yet another crucial period under a new reality.“The re-election of Erdogan has caused worry in the western world and Cyprus.“How high on the list of his priorities does Cyprus sit, and what will be his policy when he decides to reopen this chapter?,” he wonders.“For 44 years, Turkey has been trying to subject Cyprus to its military control and refuses to conform to the UN’s decisions continuing to violate human rights, claiming and threatening.”Mr Sokratous said that the Greek Cypriot diaspora is still hopeful of a resolution and they will continue their efforts until they see Cyprus unified.“We are calling [upon] Australian politicians to do everything in their power to see the Cypriot people’s demand for a peaceful and fair resolution of the Cypriot issue realised.”From the wreath-laying ceremony in Melbourne earlier this month.From the wreath-laying ceremony in Melbourne earlier this month.Ekaterini Xagorari, Ambassador of Greece to Australia, also sent out a heartfelt statement, with her main point being that it is imperative that Turkish troops withdraw from the occupied part of the island.Ms Xagorari made a point that the obsolete 1960 treaty should be abolished for reunification to move forward without being compromised.Among the Greek diaspora and Australian officials to comment on the anniversary was leader of the Victorian opposition Matthew Guy MP.“On this occasion we come together to commemorate and reflect on the tragic events of 1974, which resulted in the displacement of thousands of Greek Cypriots from their homes,” Mr Guy said.“Over the years, numerous attempts have been made to find a peaceful resolution, but to date none have been successful. Yet the pain and sorrow for so many displaced Greek Cypriots, both in Australia and around the world, still remains.”At the 2018 NSW Commemoration dinner.Students attend the wreath-laying ceremony after the march in NSW.At the 2018 NSW Commemoration dinner.Speaking to Neos Kosmos, the state leader of the Liberal Party continued to say that his party believes that a resolution to this issue is of utmost importance, and supports a just and long-lasting settlement in accordance with the relevant UN resolutions.“Victoria is grateful to our Greek Cypriot community, many of whom are victims of the tragic events of 1974, and who continue to shine the light of remembrance on these events in a harmonious and peaceful manner.“Victoria is proud to be home to thousands of Greek Cypriots who have contributed significantly to our social fabric, and the development of our state.“I wish all those participating in the commemorative events all the best for the future, and I hope that a clear and just solution to the Cyprus issue can be found soon,” Mr Guy concluded.Federal Member for Hindmarsh Labor MP Steve Georganas did not shy away from commenting either, following the 44th memorial and wreath-laying ceremony for the Turkish Invasion of Cyprus at Saint Anthony’s Greek Orthodox Church in South Australia on 15 July.“In 1974, as we all know, the island of Cyprus was occupied – and 37 per cent of that island still remains occupied. Since then, a so-called state has been declared, but it has been recognised by only one nation in the entire world, and it just happens, ironically, to be the nation that invaded in 1974,” Mr Georganas told Neos Kosmos. “There are still around 1,600 people missing. These people are mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons, and daughters. We have, in that 37 per cent of the island, homes where the owners have not been allowed to return. They are still not allowed to return, and 44 years is far too long to still be waiting for a solution.”Mr Georganas went on to outline issues that many Greek and Greek Cypriot members of his electorate of Hindmarsh have raised with him.“When you travel to Cyprus, as I have many times, both as an individual and as part of a parliamentary delegation, it is an absolute tragedy to see the situation that exists,” he emphasised.“I have travelled along the green line, the demilitarised zone, that divides the island, [and] spoken with the Australian UN peacekeepers who have made such a wonderful contribution to patrolling this zone since 1974.“It is really disappointing that the current federal Liberal Government has cut the Australian contribution to peacekeeping efforts, and that they failed to recognise the important contribution our peacekeepers were making.“This was one way Australia made a significant contribution, but we can play a bigger and better role. Most importantly, Australia can play a role in providing for the implementation of UN resolutions.“I hope that discussions continue, and that parties go back to the table so we can see that just solution which has been so desperately needed since 1974, since the island was divided, achieved. I hope and pray that one day the communities will live in harmony together,” he said.The Turkish occupied area of Cyprus as viewed from the Greek Cypriot controlled area, with the UN buffer zone between, in Nicosia in 2003. Photo: AAP via AP Photo/Philip MarkMeanwhile, Federal Member for Calwell Labor MP Maria Vamvakinou expressed the majority of the Australian Government members’ wishes, and said that they will support future efforts aspiring to reach a bilateral agreement for the unification of Cyprus.She said they want “A solution that will correspond to and service the will of the people of Cyprus, that will unify our Cyprus with the hope of a better and fairer tomorrow for all Cypriots, without green lines, road blocks, fences, occupation troops, buffer zones and lost homelands.“In the light of the 44th year since the division of the island, all of us who care and ache for tormented Cyprus and its people should contribute to change what has happened, and abolish the status-quo that keeps the island divided.”Ms Vamvakinou acknowledged past reunification talks, and asked Australian politicians to work collaboratively in support of a peaceful resolution, suggesting the appointment of a special Australian delegate to Cyprus that will assist reunification talks.* On Sunday 22 July from 12 noon there will be a demonstration starting in Lonsdale Street near the Greek shops, to Parliament House at 1.00 pm.Outside Parliament House, speakers will address the rally, demanding the withdrawal of Turkish occupation troops from Cyprus so that the island can be reunified. Representing the Cypriot Republic will be the president of the Democratic Rally party Averof Neofytou, and Cypriot Navy secretary of state Natasa Pilidou.*The scheduled annual rally outside the Turkish Consulate in Melbourne will be held on 14 August. As Mr Sokratous told Neos Kosmos, the date has been moved to “commemorate Turkey’s second invasion to Cyprus”.“It was on this day, 44 years ago that ‘Attila 2’ took place, seeing Amohostos, Karpasia, and Morphou occupied, and the residents become refugees. It was also on 14 August 1996 that 26-year-old Solomos Solomou was shot dead by the same Turkish soldiers that murdered his cousin Tasos Isaac in Derinia during an anti-occupation motorcycle protest. Solomou had crossed into the buffer zone and tried to take down the Turkish flag.”last_img read more

MethaneMunching Bacteria Could Poop Out Your Future Clothes

first_imgStay on target Like other greenhouse gasses, methane creates some big, big problems for our planet. Fortunately, methane can be captured and turned into fuel… and now even food.Obviously, not just anything can chow down on methane, but Mango Materials has engineered a special bacterium that has an appetite for the stuff. Better still, that bacterium digests the methane and converts it into a biopolymer.Mango Materials’ biopolymer threadThat biopolymer, says Mango Materials CEO Dr. Molly Morse, can then be spun into thread and woven into fabric. The resulting material is fully biodegradable and will even break down safely underwater. Animals can even ingest it with no ill effects — which is another major benefit given how harmful man-made materials like microplastics can be to wildlife.But wait… It gets even better. As the biopolymer breaks down, more methane is released. It can be captured again, fed to the bacteria again, and turned back into a biopolymer. It’s a pretty amazing way to close the circle.Methane is an ideal gas to target. It’s estimated that in the U.S. alone that livestock produce around 5.5 million metric tons of methane every year. Worldwide, rice farming is an even bigger offender. With companies like Mango Materials dreaming up clever ways to capture and utilize all that methane, we could see dramatic reductions in the amount that winds up in our atmosphere.For their pilot project, Mango Materials is processing methane captured at a wastewater treatment in Redwood City, California. As time goes on suppliers should be even easier to find. Mango Materials’ products could provide the push some producers need to start capturing methane.“If we increase the value of waste methane,”  Morse told Fast Company, “that could change the whole story of carbon in the atmosphere, because we’d be collecting it and sequestering it into products.”Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Microbiologist Makes Colorful ‘Game of Thrones’ Sigils Art With BacteriaOil-Eating Bacteria Found in World’s Deepest Ocean Trench last_img read more

Medical problem leads to threevehicle crash

first_imgAn apparent medical problem led to a three-vehicle, wrong-way crash Wednesday afternoon on Northeast 162nd Avenue near 18th Street in east Vancouver.The crash was reported as a rollover around 3:20 p.m. It appeared to responding police and medical personnel that the causing vehicle had veered into oncoming traffic on Northeast 162nd Avenue, Clark County sheriff’s Sgt. Pat Johns said.One driver, who investigators suspect had a medical crisis, was hospitalized in connection with that problem, Johns said. No one involved appeared to have been seriously injured in the crash, Johns said.last_img read more

Therapy dogs give comfort at homeless shelter on Christmas Eve

first_imgTyfani McGowan misses her dog Luna, an 8-year-old chocolate Labrador retriever, and hasn’t seen the dog since Thanksgiving. The 19-year-old stays at the Share Homestead homeless shelter with her mom while Luna is at her aunt’s place.“Being here, it’s so stressful on top of not having her here,” said McGowan, who’s had Luna since she was a puppy. “It’s horrible.”But on Christmas Eve, McGowan got plenty of wet kisses and nudges from another labrador retriever: Limon, a therapy dog that visited the shelter. It’s become a holiday tradition for the 5-year-old yellow Labrador to visit local homeless shelters, loving on people who may be particularly stressed.“It makes me think of my dog,” McGowan said. “It’s just like having my dog here.”The holidays are a particularly hard time to be homeless, said Rebecca Sigler, a case manager with Share. The main reason a lot of people are staying in shelters is because they don’t have a good family support system, so the holidays — big on family time — can trigger stress, she said.Limon is trained to relieve some of that stress.“There’s nothing like a dog wagging its tail at you,” said Kathy Loter, program coordinator for DoveLewis’ Portland Area Canine Therapy Teams. “This is always such a sensitive time for people.”last_img read more