Luna moth’s tails fool bat sonar

first_imgThe green wings of the luna moth, with their elegant, long tails, aren’t just about style. New research finds they also help save the insect from becoming a snack for a bat. The fluttering tails appear to create an acoustic signal that is attractive to echolocating bats, causing the predators to zero in on the wings rather than more vital body parts. Scientists pinned down the tails’ lifesaving role by taking 162 moths and plucking the tails off 75 of them. They used fishing line to tether two moths—one with tails, the other without—to the ceiling of a darkened room. Then, they let loose a big brown bat. The bats caught 81% of the tailless moths, but just 35% of those with fully intact wings, they report in a study published online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. High-speed cameras helped show why. In 55% of attacks on moths with tails, the bats went after the tails, often missing the body. It’s the first well-documented example of an organism using body shape to confuse predators that use echolocation, the researchers say—the equivalent of fish and insects that display giant eyespots for visual trickery.(Linked video credit: Barber Lab, Boise State University)Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

India’s Hero Cycles on The Cusp of Becoming World’s Largest Bicycle Manufacturer

first_imgHero Cycles now lays a legitimate claim to being the world’s largest bicycle maker by volume having matched, if not bettered, Giant’s output figures.Giant produced 6.6 million bicycles in 2014, but that figure has declined in recent years with UK managing director Ian Beasant confirming to CI.N that today’s annual output sits between 5 and 5.5 million bicycles made.Meanwhile, Hero Cycles has this week issued a statement that claims the Indian bicycle maker now produces 19,000 bicycles per day and around 5.2 million per year. The business has significantly ramped up its investments in recent years, producing everything from budget bicycles for its domestic market to the high-end electric bicycles rolling off production lines recently.Read it at Cycling Industry Related Itemslast_img read more

Shane Watson urges selectors to be patient with youngsters

first_imgFormer Australia all-rounder Shane Watson has urged selectors to be patient with the inexperienced youngsters in Steven Smith’s team as they battle to cement places in the wake of a string of retirements.Watson, former skipper Michael Clarke, wicketkeeper Brad Haddin, opener Chris Rogers and seamer Ryan Harris all retired from tests after the Ashes defeat in England and Smith will lead a raw side during a two-match series in Bangladesh next month.Australia selectors have been criticised for lacking patience in the past and deflating the confidence of rising, young talents by dropping them after a handful of matches if they fail to perform.Also read: Smith will succeed as captain, says Clarke Watson, who was dumped after the first Ashes test in Cardiff and never reinstated, said selectors needed to play the long game with the rebuilding side.”The best way to get the best out of players is to give them some time to be able to find their feet and feel comfortable in the group,” Watson told Sky Sports Radio.”They are the best players that they can pick from at this point in time.”They’ve got to go with what their judgments are to make sure they stick with these guys.”Selectors have picked Usman Khawaja in the 15-man squad to tour Bangladesh, a nine-test opening batsman who was recalled for the 2013 Ashes in England then dropped midway through the series after scoring a half-century in the first match.The 28-year-old enjoyed a productive tour of India recently with Australia A and has long been fancied as a test player but never quite managed to compile a career-defining score.advertisement”He’s someone that just needs a bit of time to get his feet again, feel comfortable in the groove and continue to develop his game,” Watson saidlast_img read more

BBL: After scores of 97 and 96, D’Arcy Short hammers record-breaking hundred

first_imgD’Arcy Short, who started 2018 with two scores in the 90s (97, 96) and a 42, finally blasted a hundred for Hobart Hurricanes in the Big Bash League.Incidentally, Short’s 69-ball 122 is the highest individual score in BBL history. Thanks to his maiden T20 hundred, the Hurricanes posted 179/4 off their 20 overs against Brisbane Heats.On January 1, Short was dismissed for 97 off 63 balls against Sydney Thunders. Three days later, he came close to scoring a hundred again but he fell four runs short this time. However, his fluent 58-ball 96 helped Hurricanes seal a seven-run victory over Adelaide Strikers.WATCHAgainst Sydney Sixes on January 8, Short was in his elements again, smashing 42 off 36 balls. Again, Hurricanes won by five runs.However, on Wednesday, Short was determined to get to three figures and he took on a Brisbane Heats attack which included among others – Yasir Shah and Ben Cutting.In a whirlwind knock, Short hammered eight boundaries and eight sixes to register the highest individual score in BBL.What a breathtaking knock from this man �??��?���??��?���??��?�� #TasmaniasTeam #BBL07 pic.twitter.com/cyhHnxQ3Jo- Hobart Hurricanes (@HurricanesBBL) January 10, 2018The record was earlier held by England’s Luke Wright who had smashed 117 off 60 balls for the Melbourne Stars back in 2012, incidentally against Hobart Hurricanes!ALSO WATCH:last_img read more

‘Mo Salah brings pride to all Arabs’ – Egypt joy as Liverpool reach final

first_img Twitter Jonathan Wilson Pinterest Read more Share via Email Share on Twitter “I want to see him score two goals,” says Hassen’s friend Abdullah Idris. “Let’s see him finish off Roma,” adds Hassen.“I really identify with him – he put in a lot of effort to get where he is,” says Ahmed Said, 21, who skipped work to race to the coffee house for the second half. Said says he stopped watching football after the 2012 Port Said stadium riot, which killed 74 football fans, but Salah’s presence convinced him to start watching again. “I’ll watch the World Cup because of him,” he says, sucking on a shisha pipe decorated with Manchester City’s crest. All eyes are focused on the TV screen in the Cairo coffee house. Photograph: Sabry Khaled/Guardian Twenty minutes into the game and the tiny alleyway that functions as the coffee house is packed – everyone is tense, awaiting a Salah goal. “For God’s sake, give it to Salah,” one man grumbles in frustration.The cafe erupts into cheers for Liverpool’s two early goals (Sadio Mané and Georginio Wijnaldum) but these barely come close to the claps and cheers when Salah takes possession of the ball, or is anywhere close to the goal.At the end of the first half the mood shifts: the patrons no longer want to see Salah score to help Liverpool, they need to see what he can do to reassure them their foray into the World Cup will be a success. Egypt qualified for the finals the first time since 1990 after Salah scored a penalty in the 95th minute against Congo in October. features Only one thing seems certain for Real Madrid v Liverpool – it will be chaos Egypt Topics Read more Share on Facebook Champions Leaguecenter_img Share on LinkedIn Salah: Champions League final is not me against Ronaldo Share on Pinterest When the match passes without a Salah goal, Said quickly finds a reason. “Salah’s performance wasn’t so great as he’s just under so much pressure. He has all those problems with his sponsor,” he says, referring to a week of tension between the 25-year-old, who has a personal sponsorship deal with one mobile phone company, and the Egyptian Football Association, who used the player’s image to promote a different, government-owned telephone company.Salah tweeted: “Unfortunately the way they dealt with us is very insulting … I was hoping the treatment would be more decent than this.” Egypt’s minister for sport stepped in and pledged to end the dispute.Liverpool will head to the Champions League final on 26 May against Real Madrid, a conflicting moment for many in the Middle East, where La Liga has long dominated screens. But not so for Hassen, who confesses that even though he is a long-time Real Madrid fan, he will cheer for Liverpool because of Salah. “The game’s finished for Real Madrid,” he says, smiling. In a coffee house down a Cairo sidestreet, the Roma v Liverpool game almost starts with a row among the customers. The previous game on the television featuring the local favourites Zamalek risked running into extra-time, past kick-off for the Champions League tie. A Zamalek goal in the 89th minute saved any blows: no one wants to miss Mohamed Salah.“He plays in a beautiful way – and he’s always developing,” says Mohammed Hassen, a 23-year-old originally from Sudan but raised in Egypt. “He brings pride to people as he’s a Muslim who’s made it in the top leagues. He brings pride to all Arabs. Mohamed Salah Liverpool Salah has rapidly reached demigod level in Egypt because of his performances at Liverpool. His status quickly rose beyond the boundaries of sport, cementing him as a symbol of Egyptian potential and hope even amid a gloomy period for the country, with a troubled economy and few outlets for free expression.It is unknown for 50 people to sit in near silence in Cairo but it seems the forward’s presence on screen can achieve that too. They sit quietly, brows furrowed, faces turned upwards towards the screen, the silence broken only by the match commentary and the sound of the ceiling fans hitting the striped canvas that functions as a makeshift roof. Extra chairs are brought in, cigarettes are lit, coffees and sodas are laid out, coals for shisha pipes are heated.Anyone listening hard to the commentary would also be forgiven for thinking Salah plays in every position, given the announcers are prone to describe his actions even when he is nowhere near the ball. At one point, the beIN commentator calls him “Egypt’s new Ramses” and adds that Liverpool should be renamed “Salah-pool”. Facebook Sign up for The Fiver and get our daily football email. Egypt football team Share on WhatsApp Reuse this content Share on Messengerlast_img read more

Douglas Costa hints at future Premier League move

first_imgJuventus forward Douglas Costa has hinted at a future move to the Premier League, with Manchester United currently being linked with an approach for the Brazilian.Questions have been asked of the 28-year-old’s future in Turin amid a lack of regular game time and another change in the dugout.Under Massimiliano Allegri in 2018-19, Costa was given just 10 Serie A starts as the Bianconeri swept to an eighth successive title triumph. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? A new man has now arrived at the helm, with Maurizio Sarri having inherited the coaching reins.Costa could come back into favour under a new boss, but continues to spark exit talk with the summer transfer window open.Old Trafford has been mooted as a potential landing spot and a switch to England does hold some appeal to a proven South American star.He told the Express when quizzed on whether he could see himself in the Premier League: “Maybe one day.“But I don’t think I will leave now.”Paulo Dybala Douglas Costa JuventusCosta is currently tied to a long-term contract with Juve and has no intention of breaking that agreement in 2019.He added: “I have three more years at Juventus.“Right now I do not have any option to get out of Juventus. We have a new coach and I look forward to working with him.”Sarri has suggested that he will find a role for Costa within his plans.The former Napoli and Chelsea boss is currently in the process of assessing those at his disposal, but believes there will be regular minutes for those considered to boast match-winning talent.Sarri told reporters at his official unveiling: “When you have a player with the qualities of Paulo [Dybala] or Cristiano [Ronaldo], they can play in any role.“What can change is only the interpretation of the role.“I’ll probably talk to two or three players before the start of the season to share ideas, compare and understand the way they think and their characteristics.“You have to start with the talented players who can make the difference like Cristiano, Paulo and Douglas, and build around them.”last_img read more

PO Unveils Name of Its New Cruise Vessel

first_imgzoomImage Courtesy: P&O P&O Cruises has revealed the name of its newest cruise ship joining the company’s fleet in May 2020.The newbuild will be named Iona and the name has been selected from over 30,000 entries to name the vessel.Exactly one month ago, the steel cutting ceremony for the ship was held at Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany.With a gross tonnage of 180,000 tons and a capacity of 5,200 passengers, the ship has been described as Britain’s biggest cruise ship.“Our new ship will be the largest ship ever operated by the brand and the largest ever to be dedicated exclusively to the UK cruise industry. It will also be the first ship in our market to be powered by LNG, the most environmentally friendly power source yet for large-scale cruise ships,” Paul Ludlow, P&O Cruises senior vice president, said at the steel cutting ceremony.last_img read more

Oppn raises concerns over amendments to UAPA Act

first_imgNew Delhi: Members of the opposition in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday raised concern over amendments to the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, saying the provisions were against the federal structure of the country.The proposed law allows the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to go to any state without taking permission from state police concerned for checking anti-terror activities. This is against the federal structure of the country, Mahua Moitra (TMC) said during a debate on the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill 2019. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’Opposing the Bill, she said when the NIA itself is under a cloud, there is also apprehension of the agency being misused for political vendetta. “Features of the Bill are anti-people and anti- Constitution…it is a very dangerous act,” she added. During the debate, Moitra said, “One runs a risk of being branded as anti-national if you oppose the government”. “Every time the opposition disagrees with national security, we are called anti-national by the propaganda machinery and troll army of the government,” she said amid uproar from treasury benches. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KS S Ahulwalia (BJP) raised point of order that members cannot make allegation against the government without substantiating it. Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Arjun Ram Meghwal said it is derogatory and the government has not called any one anti-national. However, after intervention from the chair she was allowed to speak. The provision to declare an individual as terrorist is without due process and against principle of natural justice, she said. Supriya Sule (NCP) said when amendments to the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) and National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID) were made, the then Chief Minister (Narendra Modi) of Gujarat had “opposed” the Bills. “It was the Centre’s duty to consult states…federal structure are being snatched,” she said quoting the then Chief Minister of Gujarat. She said there should not be misuse of the law. Innocent people should not be unnecessary harassed, she said, adding, the federal structure should be maintained. Danish Ali (BSP) raised apprehensions about the misuse of the proposed law and of innocent being harassed. Citing example of POTA and TADA, he said these laws were repealed by this House itself because of rampant misuse. V N Borlakunta (TRS) said the provision of the Bill is taking away rights of states and it is against the federal spirit of the Constitution. Pointing out that the proposed amendment gives absolute power to the central government, Md Jawed (Cong) said arresting an individual as a terrorist on the basis of suspicion alone is “dangerous”. Will government provide compensation to those who are victim of misuse of such a law, if applied, he asked. Participating in the debate, Vinayak Raut (Shiv Sena) said the bill would help in controlling terrorist activities in the country. He alleged that the previous government was not able to control this menace because they used laws for political purposes. “They were not successful in controlling terrorism,” he said. He demanded the government further strengthen the judicial system for timely implementation of rulings in terrorism-related cases to create fear in minds of terrorists “Within three years, it should be implemented,” Raut said. Pinaki Misra (BJD) said there should be a better coordination among different agencies and NIA. The coordination should be done through an institutionalised set up and not on case-to-case basis, he said. He also suggested that crimes including bio-terrorism and narco-terrorism should be covered under the purview of this law.last_img read more

Russia Plane crash caused by pilots error on speed data

first_imgMOSCOW – Investigators say the crash of a Russian passenger plane that killed all 71 people on board may have been caused by the pilots’ failure to activate heating for pressure measurement equipment, resulting in flawed speed data.The Interstate Aviation Committee said Tuesday, after studying the plane’s flight data recorder, that Sunday’s crash occurred after the pilots saw varying data on the plane’s two air speed indicators.The flawed indication came because the pilots failed to turn on the heating unit for the plane’s pressure measurement equipment prior to takeoff.The pilots put the An-148 on autopilot after taking off from Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport but took manual controls back when they saw clashing speed data.The plane plummeted into a snowy field six minutes after takeoff, killing all 65 passengers and six crew.last_img read more

Feds names five superclusters that will share 950M in government cash

first_imgOTTAWA – The federal government named the five winning bids Thursday of its high-tech “superclusters” sweepstakes that will divvy up $950 million of public funding in hope of stoking economic growth and job creation in return.Ottawa’s big bet on government-designated superclusters was designed to encourage academia, not-for-profit organizations and companies of all sizes to work together on strategies to boost high-growth sectors.The winners, announced by Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains, closed out a nine-month competition that represents the centrepiece of the Liberals’ so-called innovation agenda.“What is a supercluster? It is a made-in-Canada Silicon Valley that will create tens of thousands of jobs — that’s what a supercluster is,” Bains said Thursday as he unveiled the winners in Ottawa.“It’s about collaboration as well. Look at this room — we have academia, business, you have small business and large business, and we have government — working together, promoting collaboration, supporting our supply chains and also developing and nurturing skills and knowledge and making sure that we pass that knowledge from one generation to another.“Superclusters — it’s a job magnet.”The winning bids, chosen from nine finalists, were spread evenly across the country. Bains insisted their selection was the result of a rigorous process that involved third-party experts.The superclusters are:— The Ocean supercluster based in Atlantic Canada will use innovation to improve competitiveness in ocean-based industries, including fisheries, oil and gas and clean energy;— The Scale AI supercluster in Quebec will work on building intelligent supply chains through artificial intelligence and robotics;— The Advanced Manufacturing supercluster in Ontario will connect technology strengths to the manufacturing industry to prepare for the economy of tomorrow;— The Protein Industries supercluster in the Prairies will work on making the country a leading source of plant proteins;— The Digital Technology supercluster in British Columbia will use big data and digital technologies to unlock new potential in important sectors like health care, forestry, and manufacturing.The winners will receive between $150 million and $250 million each. The money will be distributed over five years to the superclusters, which are required to match the federal funding they receive, dollar for dollar.Bains said the chosen consortia exceeded that goal by raising a total of $1.5 billion, which brings the overall investment, when combined with the government’s $950-million commitment, close to $2.4 billion.He insisted the superclusters will generate at least 50,000 jobs and will include efforts to help upgrade the skills of workers.After his announcement, Bains was asked if the superclusters could help address concerns over competitiveness risks related to recent U.S. tax reforms and the uncertain future of the North American Free Trade Agreement.“This will unlock hundreds of millions of dollars off of balance sheets of companies to invest in research and development,” Bains said in an interview.“We think that improves our ability to compete, that improves our ability to attract investments and that really allows us, not only to develop great Canadian talent but also attract global talent as well.”The Liberals have faced criticism over the superclusters plan, including concerns over the government picking winners and losers.In a tweet that followed the announcement, Conservative MP Maxime Bernier called the superclusters “just another big government scheme!”“The superclusters are corporate welfare on steroids,” Bernier wrote.“A big-government scheme that will enrich well-connected and Liberal-friendly businesses at the expense of all Canadian taxpayers.”Bains has defended it by saying the superclusters will be led by industry.Linda Hasenfratz, CEO of automotive parts maker Linamar Corp. (TSX:LNR), is participating in the advanced manufacturing supercluster.“I think manufacturing is just such an important part of our economy,” Hasenfratz said Thursday.“It supports so many other areas of the economy, so it’s really critical that we have a thriving and growing manufacturing sector.”Follow @AndyBlatchford on Twitterlast_img read more

A French Woman Buried Alive in Morocco

Fez – A 25-year old French woman died after she was buried alive by her virtual boyfriend, according to Spanish news agency EFE.When she left her family on May 19 and decided to go to Morocco to meet her virtual boyfriend for the first time, Mina El Houari could not suspect that this first date would cause her death.The 25 year-old had been talking to her virtual lover for quite some time before she decided that it was time to travel to Fez, Morocco’s third largest city, to meet him. But unluckily for the would-be couple, something unexpected happened and led to a tragedy. On their first date, Mina, who was diabetic according to the Moroccan daily Al Akhbar, fainted.Taken by panic and thinking that she died, her virtual boyfriend decided to get rid of her body instead of calling the police. The only idea that apparently occurred to him is to bury her in the back garden of his house.Alerted by her absence, the direction of the 5-star hotel where she was staying in Fez called the police, who located the house where the tragedy happened.Once in the suspect’s house, the police found muddy trousers and a shovel. It did not take the police a long time before the suspect confessed his macabre crime.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed read more

Microsoft to Hire People with Autism

Fez – Microsoft is launching a program to hire autistic people in positions available at the registered office of the American company.The software company will launch an ad hoc pilot program as a social responsibility program with a strategic interest in integrating employees with autism into the job market.The announcement was revealed on the occasion of the World Day of Autism Awareness on April 3, on the company’s blog, by the Vice President Mary Ellen Smith who is herself a mother of an autistic child. Mary Ellen Smith said, “First, as a parent. I am the proud mom of Shawn, now 19, diagnosed with autism when he was four years old. Secondly, as a proud executive at Microsoft. A company that believes strongly in diversity.”“People with autism bring strengths that we need at Microsoft, each individual is different, some have amazing ability to retain information, think at a level of detail and depth or excel in math or code. It’s a talent pool that we want to continue to bring to Microsoft!” Mary Ellen added.According to The Huffington Post, ten full time jobs are vacant in Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, Washington. The pilot program will be in in collaboration with Specialisterne, a Danish company specializing in the professional integration of autistic people and whose employees work for companies in the computer field to successfully launch the program.In 2013, German software company SAP, has launched a similar pilot program in India and Ireland. SAP hired “an initial group of people on the autism spectrum, with plans to expand to other countries.” SAP aims to hire 650 people with autism by 2020.“Autism at Work” read more

UN food agency reopens office destroyed at height of Sri Lankan civil

18 June 2010The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today officially reopened an office in the key northern Sri Lankan town of Kilinochchi, two years after it was destroyed during heavy fighting in the country’s protracted civil war. The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today officially reopened an office in the key northern Sri Lankan town of Kilinochchi, two years after it was destroyed during heavy fighting in the country’s protracted civil war.“Much of the 7.5-acre office site had been destroyed following heavy aerial and ground bombardment,” WFP spokesperson Emilia Casella told journalists in Geneva, referring to the September 2008 closure because of clashes between Government forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).In May last year the Government declared victory over the LTTE after defeating their forces and recapturing rebel-held territory in the far north of the island nation.The new WFP offices, which consist of portable containers, will be expanded to include staff from the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), UN Development Programme (UNDP), UN Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS), Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).With four WFP staff now on the ground and more to arrive soon, the UN agency said it will be able to re-establish the monitoring of food dispatches to the targeted population in the area and support the ongoing resettlement and early-recovery process of the region.Even without an office, WFP has been providing food to the displaced population which includes some 62,000 people in camps and 228,000 others who had returned to their home districts.In addition, the agency provides 300,000 school lunches, and take-home rations to 27,000 pregnant and lactating women and small children. read more

TNA rift over CM deepens

The rift in the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) further deepened with the northern members of the Illangai Thamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) threatening to contest the Northern Provincial council polls independently if former Supreme Court Judge C.V.Vigneswaran is nominated as the Chief Ministerial candidate by the TNA for the polls.ITAK is a coalition member of the TNA and they want TNA General Secretary Mavai Senathirajah to be nominated for the post while TNA leader R. Sampanthan is backing Vigneswaran. According to reports, ITAK members in Jaffna, Vavuniya and also Trincomalee in the East have sent a letter to the TNA leader strongly opposing moves to nominate Vigneswaran. At least two rounds of discussions have been held among the alliance members on the issue but a consensus has not been reached.While most TNA members feel Mavai Senathirajah is the best candidate since he has been in the North most of his life, others feel Vigneswaran may be best with his legal background. (Colombo Gazette) If the TNA appoints Vigneswaran then ITAK members in Jaffna, Vavuniya, Kilionochchi and Mannar have said they will contest the Northern polls independently and not under the TNA ticket. read more

US homebuilder sentiment slips but overall outlook positive

US homebuilder sentiment slips, but overall outlook positive U.S. homebuilders are feeling slightly less optimistic about their sales prospects, even as their overall outlook remains favourable.The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index released Monday slipped to 68 this month. That’s down three points from 71 in March, when it jumped to the highest level since June 2005.Readings above 50 indicate more builders view sales conditions as good rather than poor. The index has been above 60 since September.The April reading fell short of analyst predictions. They expected the index to dip to 70, according to FactSet.Readings gauging builders’ view of sales now and over the next six months also edged lower, as did a measure of traffic by prospective buyers.Despite the decline in the latest builder sentiment survey, sales of new U.S. homes have been robust this year and are expected to continue climbing.Low mortgage rates and a solid job market have helped drive home sales steadily higher. Sales of new U.S. homes increased in February at the fastest pace since July, reaching a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 592,000. That sales pace was nearly 13 per cent higher than in the same month last year.A pickup in mortgage rates last fall helped spur sales early this year. In recent weeks, mortgage rates have been edging lower, making the cost of home loans less expensive.The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate has fallen the past four weeks, declining to 4.08 per cent last week. That’s up from an average of 3.65 per cent all last year, but still low by historical standards.This month’s builder index was based on 307 respondents.A measure of current sales conditions for single-family homes fell three points to 74, while a gauge of traffic by prospective buyers declined one point to 52. Builders’ view of sales over the next six months slid three points to 75. by Alex Veiga, The Associated Press Posted Apr 17, 2017 8:01 am MDT Last Updated Apr 17, 2017 at 10:00 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

Grand opening set for new cycling path near Brock

Travelling to Brock by bike or on foot just got a bit easier — and a lot safer.Work on the new Decew and Merrittville multi-use pathway has been completed, providing a safe route to get to the University from one of the most popular off-campus residential neighbourhoods.Last year, the Government of Ontario, City of Thorold, Niagara Region and Brock University announced a partnership to build a network of bike lanes and paths that would stretch from the Confederation Heights neighbourhood to the Brock campus. The announcement followed lobbying efforts by the Brock University Students’ Union for improved cycling infrastructure near campus.The first phase of the project began in 2016 with Decew Road reconstructed from Richmond Street to Merrittville Highway. Work continued this past April with a multi-use path and improved lighting installed on the highway between Decew Road and Sir Isaac Brock Way.An officially opening for the new pathway will be held Wednesday, July 19 at 3 p.m. outside of Niagara Region headquarters — on the southeast corner of Sir Isaac Brock Way and Merrittville Highway. The ceremony will be followed by a bike ride for cyclists of all ages. All are welcome to attend.Active transportation, such as walking or cycling, is a healthy way for the large population of Brock students and employees living in Thorold to commute to campus, said Elizabeth Yates, a liaison librarian at Brock, who is also a member of the Thorold Active Transportation Advisory Committee that advocated for the path project.“Before this pathway was built, walking or riding along Decew and Merrittville felt unsafe due to large volumes of traffic, with vehicles sometimes travelling over the speed limits,” she said. “Poor nighttime lighting was another concern.”As a cyclist and advocate for active transportation in the community, Yates was impressed to see so many partners come together to show their support for an initiative that “promotes healthy commuting and makes our area safer for everyone.” read more

400 child abuse cases reported for 2019

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Related20-30% of children sexually abused in Guyana – UNICEFJuly 30, 2019In “Crime”Sexual Offences Court launched in BerbiceMay 8, 2019In “latest news”Children’s Court to be established after passage of new Juvenile Offences Bill – Acting ChancellorFebruary 21, 2018In “latest news” Even though the year is only three months in, there have been roughly 400 reports of child abuse.This was revealed on Tuesday when the University of Guyana teamed with the Judiciary and UNICEF Guyana to launch a Forensic Psychology and Sexual Offences special training series.Country Representative of UNICEF Guyana, Sylvie Fouet said the statistics are alarming and noted that a link between law and science will go a long way in changing the way Guyana deals with child abuse cases particularly as it relates to sexual violence.The Forensic Psychology and Sexual Offences Special Training Series, which was launched on Tuesday, is an 8-module course being offered by UG.Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Dr. Emanuel Cummings, emphasised the importance that DNA plays in sexual offences cases as they look to improve the local criminal justice system.“Evidence can make or break the outcome of a sexual offence case,” he explained.Meanwhile, acting Chancellor of the Judiciary, Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards, recognised the impact insensitive treatment has on the victims especially within the criminal justice system.“Victims not only require support services but they also need to be treated with fairness and respect for their dignity and privacy,” she stated.A United Nations study states that Guyana has the second highest rate of sexual violence in Latin America and the Caribbean. read more

Greece at a glance

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram The most significant change in Greece in 2009 was the electoral defeat of the conservative government of New Democracy (ND) at the October 4 elections. The loss marked the end of an era for the conservative party. Outgoing Prime Minister, Costas Karamanlis was the longest serving president of ND, having led the party for 12 years. He was also the youngest politician to ever lead the conservatives in Greece. Karamanlis became Prime Minister in March 2004 on a wave of high expectations from the Greek electorate and with a clear mandate to face the problems of corruption in political life head on and to pursue structural changes in Greek economy, polity and society. Five years and two terms later, however, the mandate had all but evaporated, leaving ND with it’s worst poll showing since its founding in 1974. Rocked by the sharp decline in the Greek economy, the loss at the Euroelection elections and numerous scandals – namely the alleged bribery case of ND’s former Minister Aristotelis Pavlidis, the land swap deal with the Vatopedi monastery and the Siemens bribery scandal – Karamanlis looked shellshocked and ready to capitulate in his last few months of government. The main opposition party until then, the socialist PASOK, under the leadership of George Papandreou posted an easier victory than expected, thrashing ND and securing a substantial majority in Parliament. From the beginning of the year the then Opposition Leader called for early elections to be held to test the confidence of the Greek electorate in the Karamanlis Government, a call he maintained throughout the first half of the year.The loss in the early elections of October 2009 saw the 53-year-old Costas Karamanlis, nephew of the legendary conservative politician and founder of ND Konstantinos Karamanlis, step down from the party’s presidency. As ND cadres were licking their wounds, four contenders emerged in the leadership race. With Dora Bakoyannis being the early favourite the other three hopefuls – Dimitris Avramopoulos, Antonis Samaras and Panayiotis Psomiadis – appeared to be faced with an uphill battle. But the decision by Avramopoulos to withdraw from the race and endorse Samaras saw the expected landslide for Bakoyannis become a shocking defeat on November 29 by Antonis Samaras, who secured the leadership “ring” from the first round of the leadership vote. While PASOK was enjoying the political hole left by ND’s leadership void, the news for the Greek economy were going from bad to worse. Official figures for the public sector debt and deficit had to be significantly revised, drawing an angry response from leading figures and bureaucrats in the European Union accusing Greece of complete lack of credibility. Coupled with a barrage of negative press in the world media and the downgrading of its credit rating by Fitch and Standard & Poors, Greece was chastised as the economic pariah of the Eurozone. With political pressure from Brussels mounting for Greece to adopt stringent monetary remedies, the Greek PM George Papandreou chose a different economic path focusing on structural changes rather than immediate cutbacks on salaries and pensions. Pundits agree that the approach adopted by Papandreou is a huge gamble for both the country and the Prime Minister. Only time will tell whether he will be vindicated. However 2009 was not just a year of negative attention for Greece. The official inauguration of the new Acropolis Museum on June 20 enjoyed international acclaim and major coverage in the world press and provided a significant boost to Greece’s campaign for the return of the Parthenon marbles. On the downside the launch happened five years after the Museum was originally due to be launched as a result of a string of hiccups and delays in fine tuning the exhibition space in the Museum.Later that summer bushfires dominated Greek news, without reaching the catastrophic proportions of the 2007 fires. The same could be said for the one year anniversary two weeks ago of the fatal shooting of 15-year-old Alexandros Grigoropoulos by a police officer. Because his death had sparked angry riots across Greece in December 2008, Greek authorities braced themselves for a repeat of the violent clashes in 2009. However the worse fears of the authorities proved to be unfounded as Greek police forces proved to be well prepared and handled the weekend of protests swiftly and effectively.last_img read more

New tough tax regulations

first_imgTax authorities will be able to withhold salaries and pensions and confiscate the properties of taxpayers who do not pay their special property tax, the Finance Ministry has said. Deputy Finance Minister Pantelis Economou decreed that within 60 days of the issue of the bills, the Public Power Corporation and alternative electricity suppliers will have to send to the General Secretariat of Information Systems (GSIS) a detailed list of the taxpayers who have not paid their property tax, so that tax authorities can proceed to the compulsory collection measures. Taxpayers will only have 40 days from the issue of the electricity bill containing the special property tax to pay it, or have their power supply cut. Unless they ask to be reconnected within 20 days, suppliers will delete the customer’s request and send his or her name to the GSIS. They will only get their electricity supply back if they produce a receipt for the payment of their property tax to their power provider. Source: Kathimerini Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Nokia un terminal sous MeeGo avant 2011

first_imgNokia : un terminal sous MeeGo avant 2011Finlande – Même si Nokia concentre particulièrement sa communication autour de Symbian, le constructeur finlandais devrait commercialiser un terminal animé par l’OS MeeGo, à mi chemin entre tablette internet et notebook.Nokia ne veut pas en dire plus pour le moment, préférant s’attarder sur son OS Symbian 3 et les mobiles qui en sont équipés (Nokia N8, C6, C7 et E7). Mais la rumeur a vite faite le tour des professionnels et il se confirme qu’un appareil tournant sous MeeGo sera en rayon avant la fin de l’année. Ce terminal, “à mi-chemin entre le Notebook et la tablette” à en croire les Echos, serait doté d’un grand écran tactile avec un clavier coulissant. Une autre version affirme que l’affichage pourrait être de 7 à 9 pouces. L’appareil pourrait ressembler au Nokia E7, sans certitude. il faudra donc être patient pour en savoir plus concernant ce futur produit fonctionnant sous MeeGo. Le 15 septembre 2010 à 14:43 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more