‘Ayushman Bharat Mission incomplete without Odisha’

first_imgThe Centre on Monday urged the Odisha government to become a part of Ayushman Bharat, saying the flagship health insurance scheme launched last month would remain incomplete if it did not do so. The State is yet to join the Central health scheme.Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had rejected the Centre’s proposal to join the Ayushman Bharat National Health Protection Mission and launched its own health scheme called the ‘Biju Swastha Kalyan Yojana’ to cover about 3.5 crore people of nearly 70 lakh families.Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Ashwini Kumar Choubey, who was here for the inauguration of the Fakir Mohan Medical College and Hospital, said, “Unless Odisha became part of the Ayushman Bharat, the programme would remain incomplete. Therefore, I urged the Odisha government to accept it.”Mr. Choubey, however, said there is nothing wrong in the State’s own scheme, but Odisha should also become part of Ayushman Bharat to make it complete as well as provide better health assurance provision for the poor and needy people.“I congratulate the Chief Minister for the State’s own scheme. But the State should also take advantage of Ayushman Bharat,” the Union Minister said. The State had rejected the Ayushman scheme primarily because the Health Ministry put a condition to limit the number of beneficiaries to 61 lakh families.last_img read more

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Maharashtra on pro-farmer scheme clearing spree

first_imgTaking a cue from its counterparts in Gujarat and Assam, Maharashtra’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government on Wednesday took a number of pro-farmer decisions and cleared a long-pending demand to apply the Sixth Pay Commission to State employees who retired during 2006-09. This comes in the background of the Opposition Congress’ victory in three Hindi heartland States and their announcement of farm loan waiver. Drought measuresWhile the BJP-led Gujarat government waived off ₹650 crore on rural electricity bills and the Assam government approved a ₹600 crore farm loan waiver, Maharashtra’s Cooperation department on Wednesday issued directions to banks to restructure crop loans and stop loan recovery. This will be applicable to loans availed in Kharif 2018 season in 151 tehsils and 268 revenue mandals where drought has been declared. As per State estimate, the drought has affected 82.27 lakh farmers and 85.76 lakh hectare farm land. “Restructuring loans means that a farmer won’t land in the bank’s list of loan defaulters if he fails to repay it. It will convert small-term loans into mid-term loans, which will ensure that the farmer can pay it back in installments in the next five years,” said an officer from the Cooperation department. Farm loan waiverMaharashtra has paid ₹17,000 crore to around 44 lakh accounts under the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Shetkari Sanman Yojana, the farm loan waiver scheme launched last year. The State government has allocated ₹23,817 crore for the waiver of 50.85 lakh accounts. For pensionersA Cabinet sub-committee headed by Finance and Forests Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar cleared the decision to apply Sixth pay commission to all State government employees who were retired during 2006-09. The decision would cost the State ₹2,204 crore as arrears will have to be paid. Further, the decision will put the burden of ₹319 crore on the State exchequer annually. The decision will benefit 1.11 lakh pensioners and their families.“The decision was pending for many months now as the pensioners had even approached the Supreme Court,” said a senior government official. Group farmingOn Wednesday, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis inaugurated a group farming training programme by Maharashtra State Skill Development Society under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana 2.0. “It is an important day as we begin with the biggest-ever training program for farmers. We have faced many problems with climate change, high use of pesticides and loss of sustainability. It’s high time we get skilled, educated and coordinate various efforts of the State,” he said.last_img read more

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Letters

first_imgI may not be in the Guinness Book of World Records, but I was elected vice-president of the student government at Nehru Homeopathic Medical College (New Delhi) back in 1980, before Tyler Walker Williams of Jawaharlal Nehru University (“Marx Man,” Dec. 06), was even born. What happened after that is a long story. I especially enjoyed the interview with Peter Kaestner, head of consular affairs at the Indian Embassy in New Delhi, because it got me reminiscing about sleeping on the barsati in Lajpat Nagar where it was not the peacock, but the nightjar who serenaded us. I bicycled over the Defense Colony flyover many times, especially to shop in Nizamuddin for baans ka ghosht.Little India has high journalistic standards and I find it very informative. Please continue with the cross-cultural content. Though geared for Indian Americans, there is also an audience of American Indians!Gregory Kruszewski, DHMS (DLI) 1982, Via eMailI am surprised to learn that our Indian editors and publishers are so naive that they don’t know the many ways the West bribes (“Most Corrupt B2B,” Nov. 2006). The West only measures bribery in terms of money, but it bribes with drugs, sex, trips to the casino, free hotel/motel room at tourist places, free food at restaurants, etc. in a zillion ways. You most know this and should not be fooled by false and fabricated data from the West. Pity on you. Dinesh P., via eMailPeter Kaestner (“Visa Dawn,” Dec. 2006) is a simple, good American and not just an Indophile. There is in him, clarity, brevity, and sincerity. Best in him is his love of nature. He is the reverse of the Ugly American. I wish there were many like him.Mukul Mahant, Via eMailI’m probably the obscene minority of White Southern Christian Republican men who read your magazine. It is obvious that the magazine leans quite left, but I still enjoy reading it.I formerly worked on cruise lines and worked on board with people from over 70 countries. I have been able to visit 45 countries in my 32 years. I adore India and her people. I plan one day to return to Cochin’s orphanage near Vasco da Gama’s grave and perhaps adopt one of the wonderful children I met there. The abject poverty was devastating to me, however. I still constantly think of the warm people I met who had nothing to eat and it saddens me. Sadly, many Americans think India is somewhere over in the Middle East inhabited by people in swaddling cloth and living in mud huts. We tend to live and think within our borders in the United States and have minimal contact with Indians with the exception of call centers.I work for Indians in Sugarland, Texas, and have many close friends who are Indians. I think a great deal of children from Southeast Asia who come here at a young age or born here sometimes focus far too much on assimilation and perhaps some of them seem a bit embarrassed by their roots. One Indian in particular recently mentioned being embarrassed that India’s railroads have their own God. But let me respond to your commentary that the right wing feel “you should go back where you came from” if you choose to criticize the current administration. My family was one of the few who came across on the Mayflower. This does not give me any more authority to comment on America than any immigrant who has become a citizen of this great nation.But as an American, I do take offense sometimes to things I read in Little India and other publications. I want to live in my country with other citizens who are Americans first. Religion, heritage, politics, these should be secondary. Any citizen of this nation has the freedom to dissent. However those who are not citizens and live in America should appreciate the opportunity to be here and speak of America as any good guest should: with grace, appreciation, and humility.Kevin E. Lawrence, Missouri City, TexasYour editorial “Unwelcome in America” (March 2006) about American visa problems faced by Indian scientists is yet another example of negative reporting. If we do not go into depth of the truth, your views seems logical. But unfortunately the truth was either ignored or purposely put on the back burner. Whatever the case, we should not be judgemental unless the whole truth is analyzed.The American Consular staff does what the safety of America warrants. 9/11 was an eye opener. I am a scientist who worked in Africa, America and India. I was asked several questions and to provide the required verifications when I applied for a visa not only for America, but for other countries as well. There is nothing wrong in answering questions and providing verification. In fact this is for our own safety as well and we cannot afford to compromise on it.If I had been in place of the reported scientists, I would have cooperated with American Consular staff and helped them in asserting my legitimacy. It looks the scientists were under a phobia that they are the only scientists in the world.I happened to work in America from 2002 – 2005 and got my visa from American Embassy in Botswana (Africa). There were no hassles and consular staff was very friendly and helpful. Last September, I got my visa from India and again faced no problems. I was accorded rightful cooperation and help. The consular staff was friendly and understanding. I felt no humiliation at any point. May be it was because I did not consider myself as the biggest scientist in the world. In fact the Indians working in the American Embassy were not as cordial and friendly as the Americans.Amir Singh Kadyan, Warsaw, NCI have been in prison for 14 years and throughout the first 8 years of my incarceration, it was very hard and lonely, especially being the only Indian in any facility I have ever been in, most of which have close to 2,000 inmates. Whenever I did see an Indian person, it would bring a feeling of connection and oneness.Although I am from Trinidad, I strongly believe that, no matter where we are born or how many different languages we may speak, as Indians our hearts are rooted in India. I have always been very proud of my heritage and I love my culture and people unconditionally. Because we must love each other first before anyone else can love us. Being in here, gave me the time to identify and take a close look within myself. I’ve read a lot of Indian history and many times my heart felt the pain for the suffering that our ancestors went through as they fought for our liberation. Now whenever I look at an Indian person, I see not only a hreflection of myself, but the pain and suffering of our ancestors. I have been in this country since I was 5 years old, 30 years now, and one thing that I respect and admire most about my parents is that they made sure that we retained our culture. Although my parents were born in Trinidad, my grandparents came from India. I am proud to be an Indian. I also want to thank you all for keeping our generation, culture and heritage alive with your wonderful magazine.Gary Heeralal, Woodbourne, NY Your editorial “Killing Us Softly” and the article “The Killer Belly” (Nov. 2006) are highly informative, beautifully written in simple common understandable language to encourage people to take immediate steps to prevent the killer disease in time. It’s a must-read for a heart patient, would be heart patient and one likely to have high blood pressure or already having it. “Jeena Isika Naam Hai” by Mr. S. Hattangadi is a real treat for an old man like me who is very nostalgic about the good old golden masterpieces crafted and directed by one of the great directors, the departed Rishida and others of his caliber who belong to his time. The article brings forth a very personal touch, with intense feelings towards Rishida’s creations, looking into his personal life very gingerly so as not to hurt his feelings about his past life after marriage. It’s a very intelligent journalistic etiquette while interviewing a great director. Hattangadi’s article is a deeply intense and thought provoking tribute paid to Rishida.K. M. Kamboj, Forest Hills, NY  Related Itemslast_img read more

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‘Historic’ Left-Congress tea party in Kolkata

first_imgFor the first time ever, leaders of the entire Left Front, led by its chairperson Biman Bose, accepted the Congress’s invitation to visit an exhibition in the latter’s headquarters. They sipped tea, had snacks, addressed a joint press conference and said that the “journey has begun”.The president of Congress in West Bengal Somendra Nath Mitra had invited the Left Front to visit an exhibition on the life of Mahatma Gandhi at the party headquarters. The Front leaders, representing all the constituents and led by Mr. Bose, obliged.“After visiting the exhibition, he [Mr. Mitra] requested us to have tea and we decided to share a cuppa or two,” said Mr. Bose. Following the exhibition visit and tea, the Communists and their erstwhile rivals held a joint press conference where the leaders were asked if Congress leader would now visit the “other house”, or the CPM headquarters, located a few furlongs north, on Alimuddin Street.“Future will tell us about future. I can talk about today’s event. We had tea and Bengalis do not keep silent while having tea… so we spoke,” said Mr Bose. Mr. Mitra’s comment was, however, more optimistic. “Tobey eta thik, jatra holo shuru (you can say the journey has begun),” said the Congress leader.While it is unclear if the Congress and Left will again come together, as they often change their respective alignment policies, both have recently decided to put up consensus candidates in the forthcoming Assembly by-poll in three constituencies.Naren Chatterjee, State secretary of All India Forward Bloc, said that “the situation demands unity and joint combat.” The unity had collapsed during the Lok Sabha polls. The leaders, however, unanimously said that “people’s interest has to be addressed.”last_img read more

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Bahadoran lifts global to 2nd spot

first_img“I’m happy I finally scored [in the PFL], but what’s important is getting the win in front of our own fans,” said Bahadoran, who came on as a substitute in Global’s huge 1-0 win over Ceres Negros on Wednesday.The win pushed Global to second spot with 20 points, three points off FC Meralco Manila.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsA record 5,500 fans watched Bahadoran’s goals in the 49th and 67th minute. Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend View comments Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR LATEST STORIES Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LOOK: Jane De Leon meets fellow ‘Darna’ Marian Rivera Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ MOST READ Misagh Bahadoran finally found the back of the net in the Philippines Football League, scoring twice as Global Cebu registered another home win at the expense of Stallion Laguna, 3-0, on Sunday at Cebu City Sports Center.Hobbled by different injuries the past two months that saw him relegated to a substitute role, the Global skipper rediscovered his scoring touch, finding the target in the second half, before Shu Sasaki sealed the victory with an acrobatic strike late in the match.ADVERTISEMENT El Nido residents told to vacate beach homes Blu Girls rally past Mexicans, finish 7th Another vape smoker nabbed in Lucena China furious as Trump signs bills in support of Hong Konglast_img read more

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Shooting fraternity calls GST exemption fair and progressive

first_imgNew Delhi, Nov 12 (PTI) The Indian shooting fraternity today welcomed the governments decision to exempt imported sports equipment from the ambit of GST, with the National Rifle Association of India calling the move “fair” and progressive”.Yesterday, Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore said the governments decision to exempt imported sports goods of specific nature from the Integrated Goods and Services Tax (IGST) ambit will be a big boost for the countrys sportspersons of “outstanding eminence”.NRAI president Raninder Singh thanked all those who backed the move, including Rathore, the Finance Ministry and NRAI vice-president Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo, who ran a prolonged campaign to remove GST on sporting equipment.Thanks to the move, the shooters are now exempted from the payment of GST on their imports.The NRAI chief expressed his “sincere thanks to the Honourable Minister of Sports Col. RVS Rathore and Sh. Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo (MP) Senior Vice President of the NRAI, for having ensured that this goal was achieved”.The NRAI said it was a positive development that shall help and further nurture the shooting sport in India.”Finally, NRAI also takes this opportunity to thank the Ministry of Finance & the GST Council of India in arriving at this fair, just, & progressive decision,” the shooting federation said in a statement.Olympic bronze medallist Gagan Narang tweeted, “The move to cut down GST on import of equipment will immensely help sports people like us in procuring our guns and ammunition. Thank you @narendramodi @arunjaitley @Ra_THORe @Media_SAI.” PTI AH PDS PDSadvertisementlast_img read more

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A Year Later, Coutinho Unable to Show His Worth at Barcelona

first_imgMADRID (AP) — More than a year after arriving as one of Barcelona’s most expensive signings, Philippe Coutinho is still struggling to play up to expectations.The Brazil midfielder hasn’t been able to show the type of playmaking ability that made him a star at Liverpool and prompted the Spanish club to sign him in a transfer that could reach 160 million euros ($180 million).“He cost a lot of money, obviously, so the expectations are very high,” veteran Barcelona defender Gerard Pique said. “It’s just the way it is. You have to accept the criticism from the fans. But as teammates we will continue to give him all the support in the world. We need him to be at his best for the rest of the season, and I’m confident that he will be.”Coutinho’s struggles have been so evident that there’s even talk about him possibly returning to the Premier League in the near future.The 26-year-old Brazilian has scored only three goals since November, all coming in the Copa del Rey. His last league goal came in October in the team’s 5-1 rout of Real Madrid at the Camp Nou.He was jeered by many of the Barcelona fans at the Camp Nou on Saturday when he was substituted by Ivan Rakitic late in the team’s 3-1 win over Rayo Vallecano in the Spanish league.It was another poor performance by the player Barcelona hoped could help make up for the departure of Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain in 2017.Ousmane Dembele, another expensive signing by the Catalan club following Neymar’s transfer, has been taking more advantage of his opportunities and has become a regular starter in the attack along with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.Coutinho, meanwhile, remains mostly on the sidelines despite at times showing flashes of his world-class talent. Many expected the Brazil international to play a bigger part in midfield when Andres Iniesta left at the end of last season, but Coutinho remained relegated to a secondary role, making the lineup mostly in Copa del Rey matches.“He is going through a phase that we’ve all gone through before,” Barcelona right back Nelson Semedo said. “He is giving his best and we will keep helping him.”Coutinho wasn’t able to establish himself as a key piece for coach Ernesto Valverde even when Messi was out for several weeks because of a broken arm.“We are in a club where the demands are very high,” Valverde said. “But you don’t have to pay too much attention to it. Coutinho is always fighting. You can see how he has been working hard. The secret is to try to persevere.”By: Tales Azzoni, AP Sports WriterTweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

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Former Premier League referee reveals role in deliberate booking scam

first_img\R London, Jun 28 (AFP) A former referee in English football’s elite Premier League has admitted to going along with a request to deliberately book a player back in 2011. Mark Halsey, who retired at the end of the 2012/13 season, told CNN Sport on Thursday: “(The player) just said ‘listen, look, we’ve got a game Tuesday. “If I don’t get cautioned now and get one Tuesday, I’ll miss the big derby on the Saturday,” he added. “So he just asked me if I could show a yellow. And I did actually. “I said to him, ‘Alright, we’ve got 10 minutes to go, when I give a free-kick against you’ — and I knew I would because he’s that sort of player — ‘just leather the ball 50 yards away and I can caution you for dissent’. “If you’ve got big games coming up and you’re on four yellow cards, one more means you get suspended. I just said to him, ‘Don’t do nothing stupid.’ “He came up to me at the end of the game and said, ‘Thanks for that Mark.'” (AFP) ATKATKlast_img read more

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Ziva Dhoni wins hearts at Eden Gardens after Chennai Super Kings thrash KKR. Watch

first_imgZiva Dhoni had a gala time with Chennai Super Kings stars after their crushing win over Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens on Sunday. Ziva, MS Dhoni’s daughter, is popular on social media where her videos go viral in moments.On Sunday, Ziva was in high spirits. She showed Dwayne Bravo how to wear his CSK cap, handed over (again) Imran Tahir his trophy after his career-best IPL bowling figures and then sweetly kissed Suresh Raina on the cheek. Raina had earlier hit his 36th IPL fifty in a successful run chase for the Super Kings.Ziva Dhoni has already created a sensation on social media. A few weeks back, she was seen flaunting her language skills with MS Dhoni in a viral video. Last year, Ziva was seen in several adorable videos as Chennai Super Kings made a successful return to the Indian Premier League after serving out a two-year suspension.When you receive your award once again and get to learn how to wear the cap yellovingly! #WhistlePodu #Yellove #KKRvCSK @ImranTahirSA @DJBravo47 pic.twitter.com/nquXsFTiR8Chennai Super Kings (@ChennaiIPL) April 14, 2019May even more #yellove shower upon thee! #WhistlePodu #KKRvCSK pic.twitter.com/Pr4Xu4A1QkChennai Super Kings (@ChennaiIPL) April 14, 2019This has been another happy year for the Super Kings. They have won 7 out of 8 matches in the 2019 Indian Premier League and are comfortable table-toppers.One of the most loved IPL teams of all time, CSK were mired in a controversy after their thrilling win over Rajasthan Royals in Jaipur last week. MS Dhoni had stormed onto the pitch during a tense last over to argue with the umpires over a no-ball call.advertisementMS Dhoni was subsequently fined 50 per cent of his match fee but Virender Sehwag felt he had got away too lightly. Sehwag said Dhoni should have been banned for at least 1 or 2 matches and reckoned the match referee had lost a chance to set an example.However, CSK have moved on from the controversy. A closely knit group, the Super Kings seemed to have plenty of fun and shared some laughs after continuing their winning streak in their away matches.Chennai Super Kings will now travel to Hyderabad for their clash against the Sunrisers on April 17 before flying out to Bengaluru for a match against the Royal Challengers Bangalore on April 21.Also Read | Kedar Jadhav feeds MS Dhoni from his plate after CSK win 7th matchAlso Read | Learning a lot from MS Dhoni, happy to be part of CSK, says Imran TahirAlso See:last_img read more

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G E Shipping to Acquire LR2 Tanker

first_imgzoom India-based Great Eastern Shipping (G E Shipping) is continuing with the fleet expansion as it has signed a contract to buy a secondhand LR2 product carrier.G E Shipping has not disclosed the seller of the 105,000 dwt vessel.As informed, the 2009-built tanker is expected to join the company’s fleet in Q2/Q3 FY2018.In June, the company took delivery of Jag Pavitra, a secondhand medium range (MR) product tanker bought in April this year.Currently, G E Shipping’s fleet stands at 46 vessels, comprising 30 tankers and 16 dry bulk carriers with an average age of 9.76 years aggregating 3.80 mn dwt.last_img read more

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Nova Scotia Artwork Purchased for Art Bank Collection

first_imgAlmost two dozen Nova Scotia artists and craftspeople will be honoured today, April 11, as their work becomes part of the Nova Scotia Art Bank collection. In a presentation ceremony at the Mary E. Black Gallery, in Halifax, the province will pay tribute to the 22 artists whose work has been selected by an independent jury for purchase by the art bank. “The province encourages the development of artistic excellence and we are pleased to support the work of outstanding Nova Scotia artists and craftspeople through our Art Bank Purchase Program,” said Tourism, Culture and Heritage Deputy Minister Kelliann Dean. Established in 1975, the Nova Scotia Art Bank Purchase Program has supported the careers of local artists for more than 30 years. Today, the collection consists of almost 1,800 pieces of art, which are displayed in government offices throughout the province and in special gallery exhibitions across the country. “Thanks to the Art Bank Purchase Program, we can preserve and showcase the work of Nova Scotia artists for both present and future generations,” said Ms. Dean. The newly purchased work will be on display to the public at the Mary E. Black Gallery, 1061 Marginal Rd., Halifax, from April 12 to April 22. Applications for the 2007 Art Bank Purchase Program will be accepted until Nov. 15. For more information, go to the Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage website at www.gov.ns.ca/dtc/culture/culture_funding.asp .last_img read more

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Celebrating Communities Winners Announced

first_img The awards gala was the largest event at the 2009 Celebrating Communities Conference, which began in Truro on Wednesday and wraps up today. “We are pleased to be celebrating so much success here in the Truro-Colchester region,” said Jo Ann Fewer, executive director, Colchester Regional Development Agency (CoRDA). “The award winners, and every finalist, have such great stories of inspiration, determination and accomplishment — my congratulations is extended to all of them.” Hosted by the CoRDA and sponsored by Department of Economic and Rural Development and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, the conference was attended by more than 200 Nova Scotians. Complete profiles of award recipients and finalists are available at www.gov.ns.ca/econ/celebratingcommunities/ . Enthusiasm and community empowerment were celebrated today, Sept. 24, as the winners of the 2009 Celebrating Communities accepted their awards. The evening celebration, at the Best Western Trade and Convention Centre in Truro, highlighted the ability of Nova Scotians to grow together. Six winners from Cape Breton to Clare are celebrating their innovative collaboration and success after the three-day conference where delegates representing more than 200 community organizations, advocacy groups, post-secondary institutions, governments, and the private sector, gathered to discuss the best in community development. “Congratulations to all the award nominees and to the winners who certainly demonstrate the flavour of community excellence,” said Economic and Rural Development Minister Percy Paris. “I am very proud of your achievements and trust that they will inspire similar innovation and collaboration in communities across the province.” “This conference is a showcase for all the excellent community economic development work being done in this province,” said National Defence Minister Peter MacKay. “I congratulate all the award winners and finalists for their vision and dedication. The individuals who are being recognized this evening are contributing to the long-term economic prosperity of Nova Scotia and Canada, just as our government is doing with the Economic Action Plan.” The Celebrating Communities award winners are: Client Service Excellence, New Ross Family Resource Centre. The centre cares for the people in the New Ross area by providing a free nurse practitioner and many other programs. Working with limited funds, it brings services to a rural community that many people in cities take for granted. Excellence in Collaboration, Community of St. Andrews. From creating the first co-operative store in Nova Scotia to a recent seniors housing project, St. Andrews is an innovator that adopts and develops new models of collaboration. Excellence in Community Development, Caisse Populaire de Clare. The caisse is a great example of how local business can contribute to bettering communities through leadership, dedication and support. Its $50,000 community development fund provides benefits to communities throughout the municipality of Clare Outstanding Volunteer Achievement, Murray Hill. Mr. Hill is a well-rounded champion for development in Pictou County. He is the chair of many local community organizations. His interest and dedication to his community has improved its quality of life, cultural heritage and its economic well being. Excellence in Youth Leadership, Eastern Communities Youth Association, Youth Council. The Youth Council is a group of role models that donate hundreds of hours of volunteer time to the Eastern Communities Youth Association and the community. The youth council determines important programming and activities like establishing a work group to confront the issue of alcohol and substance abuse. Innovation In Community Development, Unama’ki Student Firewood. Junior high school teacher Gerard Livingston, and his partner/students took charge and turned challenges into opportunities. Their company didn’t just teach essential workplace skills but, most importantly, taught them success is possible.last_img read more

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Stronger Guidelines for Biosolids UseStorage

first_imgNova Scotia has taken another step toward protecting the environment and human health by introducing stricter guidelines for the land-application and storage of municipal biosolids. “Biosolids are organic, nutrient-rich materials that help plants and trees grow, and need to be properly managed,” said Environment Minister Sterling Belliveau. “The province has listened and we are addressing concerns about the way biosolids have been managed in the past, so that biosolids users, and all Nova Scotians benefit.” The stricter guidelines were developed from recommendations by an independent committee of citizens, facility managers, wastewater researchers, regulators, and representatives from all levels of government. The guidelines are based on the latest biosolids science and research. The Nova Scotia Biosolids Science and Advisory Committee gave its report, Biosolids Management in Nova Scotia: Issues and Recommendations, to the Department of Environment last year. The report contains many recommendations intended to improve the way biosolids are managed and used. The province is implementing all recommendations, many through the guideline revisions. “We are thankful for the independent committee’s work,” said Mr. Belliveau. Biosolids come from a treatment process that transforms sewage sludge into a low-pathogen, organic material that helps plants and trees thrive. The material is a benefit to foresters, farmers, and other biosolids users. Pathogens, or harmful bacteria, are decreased by physical and chemical treatment processes that raise the PH level, add heat, and remove water. It is not permitted to use untreated wastewater or sewage on agricultural land in Nova Scotia. The biosolids recycling process is an environmentally acceptable way to manage the sewage sludge that continues to be generated by municipal treatment facilities. The use of biosolids on land is common throughout Canada, the United States, and other countries. The renewed guidelines will help protect the environment by helping biosolids users with proper land application and storage of the material. Municipal treatment facilities that make biosolids must follow the guidelines and have approval from the Department of Environment. The guidelines only allow for the highest quality biosolids on agricultural lands. All facilities’ approvals will be reviewed to ensure the guidelines are being followed. The guideline revisions will also require treatment plants to do more intensive analysis to test for contaminants such as dioxins, furans, and fire retardants. This extra requirement is in response to requests from concerned Nova Scotians. Nova Scotia is working with other jurisdictions across the country to develop national standards and policies for the use of biosolids. For more information, visit www.gov.ns.ca/nse/wastewater/.last_img read more

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Kyrgyzstan Ban discusses crisis with leaders as UN mobilizes aid for civilians

15 June 2010Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon spoke with the head of Kyrgyzstan’s interim Government today regarding the crisis in the country’s south, as United Nations agencies launched operations to assist the thousands of civilians affected by the violence. Mr. Ban told Roza Otunbaeva that the UN is closely coordinating with governments and regional organizations to respond to the crisis, in which more than 100 people have reportedly been killed and at least 1,300 injured as a result of the clashes between ethnic Kyrgyz and Uzbeks that erupted last week.The Uzbek Government estimates that around 75,000 people from Kyrgyzstan have crossed over and are seeking refuge on its territory.The Secretary-General voiced deep concern about the violence, especially given the inter-ethnic character of the unrest, in a separate phone call with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. He also thanked Russia for its efforts to address the humanitarian situation.In light of the security situation in the south, UN political chief B. Lynn Pascoe yesterday stressed the need to create a humanitarian corridor in Kyrgyzstan for the UN and others to deliver assistance to people in need, a call echoed today by the UN’s top relief official.“What we need above all is an improved security situation on the ground around [the southern city of] Osh to prevent further loss of life and to allow access so that humanitarian needs can be properly assessed and tackled,” said Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes.“It is essential that the safety and security of humanitarian staff is assured so that we can reach all those in need,” he added. “It is also vital that the border with Uzbekistan remains open.Mr. Holmes, who is also UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, said food, medicine, shelter and protection are critical issues at this stage. Flash appeals are being prepared to cover the most urgent initial needs for displaced people, those both in Kyrgyzstan and in Uzbekistan.The World Food Programme (WFP) has launched an emergency operation to provide logistics and feed civilians caught in the crisis, while calling on all sides to allow the unimpeded delivery of humanitarian supplies.“This crisis is unfolding rapidly and WFP is mobilizing its global expertise to ensure that the vulnerable – particularly women and children – do not suffer,” said Executive Director Josette Sheeran. “We implore all sides to ensure humanitarian access to the vulnerable, trapped by the crisis.” The agency noted that transporting aid from the capital, Bishkek, is difficult, as roads are not safe and commercial trucking companies are reluctant to risk their vehicles. WFP currently has 3,000 metric tons of food pre-positioned in Kyrgyzstan – enough to feed 87,000 people for two months. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) offered its assistance to Uzbek authorities who are already dealing with needs of the displaced.The agency’s spokesperson Andrej Mahecic told reporters in Geneva that the first of six planned cargo flights, each carrying 40 tons of UNHCR relief supplies for refugees fleeing the violence, is scheduled to leave Dubai tomorrow morning.The first UNHCR-chartered flight will be loaded with 800 lightweight tents to meet rapidly growing shelter needs, Mr. Mahecic said. The subsequent five flights will be loaded with blankets, sleeping mats, kitchen sets and plastic sheeting for emergency shelters. “In total, we plan to deliver some 240 tons of humanitarian assistance from our central emergency stockpile in Dubai. Upon arrival in Uzbekistan the supplies will be loaded onto trucks and taken immediately to various sites hosting refugees in close coordination with the Government,” he said.Part of the UNHCR emergency team is travelling today in advance of these flights and includes field officers as well as experts on operations, site planning and logistics. The agency is preparing a separate airlift and the deployment of an emergency team to Kyrgyzstan.UNHCR said it was “alarmed” by the rapid escalation of violence since 10 June, which has led to the displacement of an estimated 200,000 people within the country, in addition to those who fled to Uzbekistan. “We fear that unless peace and order is restored swiftly more people could be displaced as they flee to the countryside or try to cross the border to Uzbekistan,” Mr. Mahecic stated, appealing for a halt to the violence and efforts to ensure the protection of civilians.Meanwhile, two of the Secretary-General’s Special Advisers have spoken out on the violence that has broken out along ethnic lines in Kyrgyzstan. Francis Deng, who deals with the prevention of genocide, encouraged the interim Government and international actors to do all in their power to stop the violence and ensure the protection of vulnerable minority communities.Edward Luck, Special Adviser on the responsibility to protect, warned that the pattern and scale of the violence, which has resulted in the mass displacement of Uzbeks from south Kyrgyzstan, “could amount to ethnic cleansing.”Both men called on the interim Government, neighbouring States and the larger international community to take all possible steps to reduce the risk of violence along ethnic lines in future.A group of UN human rights experts – Gay McDougall, Independent Expert on minority issues; Philip Alston, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions; and Githu Muigai, Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance – have also voiced their deep concern about the ethnic tensions. “Putting a stop to the current violence and preventing its further escalation or spreading to other areas must be the first priority of the provisional Government. The security of those from all ethnic groups, including all minorities in Kyrgyzstan, must be protected,” they stated in a news release. The experts noted that the present situation remains “extremely fragile and dangerous” and it must be confronted with swift and appropriate responses to calm the situation, restore order and prevent further outbreaks of violence. “This must be done in full conformity with human rights obligations,” they stressed. read more

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Denver starts work on allowing pot in public a first in US

by Kristen Wyatt, The Associated Press Posted Jan 18, 2017 1:47 am MDT Last Updated Jan 18, 2017 at 12:00 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Denver starts work on allowing pot in public, a first in US DENVER – Denver is starting work Wednesday on becoming the first city in the nation to allow marijuana clubs and public pot use in places such as coffee shops, yoga studios and art galleries.Voters narrowly approved the “social use” measure last November. But the ballot proposal didn’t spell out many rules for how the marijuana could be consumed, beyond saying that the drug can’t be smoked inside and that patrons must be over 21.A workgroup made up of Denver business owners, city pot regulators and marijuana opponents starts work on suggesting regulations in the afternoon.The state Liquor Control Board already has decreed that no businesses with a liquor license can allow marijuana use. That leaves it to restaurants that don’t serve alcohol and other event spaces.There’s no deadline for Denver to finalize rules. Supporters hope to see the city start accepting applications by this summer.Emmett Reistroffer, a cannabis-industry consultant who ran last year’s campaign to allow public marijuana use, said the eventual regulations will require neighbourhood approval for any pot clubs or coffee shops.Reistroffer organized a recent public meeting about the measure and invited interested businesses, saying a few dozen showed up to find out more.“There are plenty of places in Denver where you can find neighbours who want this kind of establishment,” Reistroffer said.The organizer of the opposition campaign also is attending Wednesday’s meeting. Rachel O’Bryan said she’s concerned that businesses won’t be able to safeguard against intoxicated patrons driving home.The measure does not allow participating businesses to sell pot, so they won’t have any control over what people are consuming. Patrons would have to bring their own marijuana, whether its edibles they use inside or joints they smoke in outdoor areas.“If you are neither serving nor counting the potency of the product, nor counting how much they consume, how are you protecting the public when they leave your property?” O’Bryan asked.A bill to allow pot clubs statewide is pending at the state Legislature. The pot-club bill has bipartisan support but uncertain prospects, especially as Colorado and other legal pot states await word on whether Donald Trump’s administration will tolerate pot businesses in states flouting federal drug law.___Kristen Wyatt can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/APkristenwyatt .___This story has been corrected to show that people can bring pot to smoke outdoors. FILE – In this Dec. 31, 2013, file photo, partygoers smoke marijuana during a Prohibition-era themed New Year’s Eve party at a bar in Denver, celebrating the start of retail pot sales. Denver is starting work on becoming the first city in the nation to allow marijuana clubs and public pot use in places like restaurants, yoga studios and art galleries. Voters narrowly approved the “social use” measure last November. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File) read more

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MC test ventilation fan in Kitwe serves Zambia DRC Copperbelt

first_imgAccess to a ventilation fan performance test column installed at Marthinusen & Coutts Zambia, a division of ACTOM (Pty) Ltd, it says offers a major advantage to mines on the Zambian and DRC Copperbelt. Significantly, this is the only fan test column in the region and was commissioned at the Kitwe based facility in the second quarter of 2018. The custom engineered test column will facilitate verification of ventilation fan performance following repair work prior to installation.According to Eugene Lottering, General Manager at Marthinusen & Coutts Zambia, the test column will ensure that ventilation fans are tested and validated to the requisite parameters prior to being installed. The test column has been designed to perform tests in accordance with the current BS ISO 5801:2007 standard and equipped with common test airways with a 1,016 mm diameter. Interchangeable conical inlet throats with diameters of 766 mm and 1,016 mm allow underground operating conditions to be simulated with ease.Lottering says that while subjecting the ventilation fan to operating conditions, it is possible to test various critical parameters including static pressure, air flow, shaft power and speed, vibration and kW rating as well as overall total efficiency. “The test facility allows for accurate reporting data to be produced which provides assurance for customers that the ventilation fan will meet the operating criteria,” he says.Marthinusen & Coutts Zambia has a selection of OEM reference fans should it be necessary to test these on the column for verification purposes. Recently, Marthinusen & Coutts Zambia conducted a comparative test for a customer on ventilation fan installations. Lottering says that interestingly the competitor installation only achieved 64% on a 45 kW fan and 50% on a 37 kW fan, while the Marthinusen & Coutts fans both achieved an 80% rating.Marthinusen & Coutts has also established a working alliance for the service and repair of main and auxiliary fans with TLT ACTOM. This collaboration brings together the expertise of a fan technology specialist and the experience of a leading electrical rotating service and repair operator.last_img read more

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Doctors to appeal against limits on drug prescriptions

first_imgAn appeal is to be launched against the government’s policy of limiting spending on medicines to 2 billion euros this year, the Panhellenic Medical Association said.Public expenditure on drugs has been slashed since the beginning of the crisis. in 2013 it reached 2.4 billion euros and is due to be reduced again this year. But doctors said they will argue before the Council of State that these reductions are endangering public health and preventing them from practising medicine properly.The move comes after a ministerial decision to place limits on the cost of medicines that each doctor can prescribe to patients via the EOPYY healthcare provider each month.The new rules were introduced after the doctors’ association appealed against a previous decision setting the limit on how many medicines they could prescribe at 80 percent of the previous year’s value.Source: ekathimerini Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

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No Wonder Woman Did Not Star in a Porno AI Creates Fake

first_img Don’t believe everything you see on the Internet: That video of Wonder Woman actress Gal Gadot having sex with her stepbrother is—you guessed it—fake.The former Miss Israel doesn’t even have a stepbrother.Rather, a machine-learning algorithm stuck Gadot’s head on a porn star’s body.The rather impressive, if not deeply unsettling, result is allegedly the work of one person—a Redditor by the name “deepfakes.”As reported by Motherboard, the video was created using “easily accessible materials and an open-source code” that anyone with an understanding of deep learning algorithms can operate.So, basically, we’re all screwed.Based on a GIF of the now-deleted Gadot video, I’m finding it hard to spot the flaws; Motherboard pointed out that “sometimes the face doesn’t track correctly,” and the clip summons an uncanny valley effect.Video Playerhttps://www.geek.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/gadot.mp400:0000:0000:08Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.But at first glance, you’d never know the difference. And I’m willing to bet most of the people watching these forged films are not looking too closely at the screen.As deepfakes wrote on Reddit: “Horny men are simple creatures.”Over the last two months, they have posted porn videos simulating Maisie Williams, Emma Watson, Scarlett Johansson, Aubrey Plaza, and Taylor Swift—none of which are as convincing as the one featuring Gadot.(You don’t need eagle eyes to see that Williams’ and Johansson’s faces appear to be “slipping off” the original actor’s mug.)The anonymous creator (trying to “avoid public scrutiny,” according to Motherboard) runs software built on open-source library Keras, with TensorFlow backend. It is similar to an algorithm created by NVIDIA, “but with lots of tweaks here and there,” deepfakes said.NVIDIA recently developed a way of producing photo-quality, AI-generated human profiles—by using famous faces. Like deepfakes’ erotica, this approach opens the door to fraudulent scandals and possible lawsuits.That hasn’t stopped the pseudonymous Redditor, who recently boasted that “I made some of the most advanced celebrity fake porns.”Trained on celebrity samples (pulled from Google image search, stock photos, and YouTube clips) and pornography, deepfakes’ neural network learns enough to semi-convincingly manipulate video—with some human intervention.“AI/ML [artificial intelligence/machine learning] will change everything in the near future. I think it’s important to educate people understand the issue,” they wrote in a recent Reddit post. “On the other hand, you don’t know how many comments and messages in my inbox: some pure happiness there.” McDonald’s Plans to Serve AI Voice Technology at Drive ThruCIMON Returns to Earth After 14 Months on ISS Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.center_img Stay on targetlast_img read more

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8Bitdo Launches a New Wireless Controller for the NES Classic Edition

first_imgEarlier this week we reported that ThinkGeek would be making the NES Classic Edition available today (in limited quantities). It should come as no surprise the highly sought-after miniature console is once again sold out (if reports are true). However, if you were lucky enough to grab one today or when it originally released, you’ll be happy to know 8Bitdo is releasing a controller specifically made for Nintendo’s retro system.Available today from Amazon, the N30 2.4G Wireless Controller for NES Classic Edition features a Home button, Turbo buttons, a rechargeable battery, and wireless 2.4G connectivity. Basically, it has all of the same functions found in 8Bitdo’s other controllers. This new controller is more or less based on the original NES controller. The big difference of course are the two Turbo buttons located above the B and A buttons. It looks a little odd when compared to the classic controller it is inspired by, but it looks great regardless.AdChoices广告This isn’t the first time 8Bitdo has made peripherals for the NES mini. One of the NES Classic Edition’s biggest flaws is its painfully small controller wire. 8Bitdo solved this problem by releasing the Retro Receiver. This Bluetooth-enabled device allowed users to play the diminutive console with any of 8Bitdo’s wireless controllers. The Retro Receiver also made it possible to easily access the console’s Home menu directly through the controller. Before that, users had to reset the system in order to return to the Home menu. The new controller makes things simpler by having a dedicated Home button.The N30 2.4G Wireless Controller for NES Classic Edition is available now from Amazon. Sadly, it will probably be easier to procure one of these controllers than an NES mini. We hear Amazon is also selling the tiny console today, so perhaps you can snag one of them alongside the new 8Bitdo controller. If not, you can always use the controller to play games on PC or mobile devices.last_img read more

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