Premonsoon rainfall deficit drops to 22 Met data shows

first_imgNew Delhi: Pre-monsoon rainfall from March to May, a phenomenon vital to agriculture in several parts of the country, has recorded a deficiency of 22 per cent, according to India Meteorological Department (IMD) data.The IMD recorded 75.9 millimetres of rainfall from March 1 to May 15 as against the normal rainfall of 96.8 millimetres, which comes to around minus 22 per cent. From March 1 to April 24, the IMD recorded a deficiency of 27 per cent. The deficiency this week seems to have fallen over the last fortnight due to rains over east and northeast India. Meanwhile, the southwest monsoon has advanced into South Andaman Sea and conditions are favourable for it to reach the North Andaman Sea and the Andaman Islands in the next 2-3 days, the IMD said. Of the four meteorological divisions of the IMD, the south peninsula, which comprises all the southern states, has recorded pre-monsoon deficiency of 46 per cent the highest in the country. This was followed by 36 per cent in the northwest subdivision that covers all the north Indian states it was 38 per cent from March 1 to April 24, but has dropped by 2 per cent due to rainfall across several parts. The deficiency in the east and northeast region that covers eastern states of Jharkhand, Bihar, West Bengal, Odisha and northeastern states was seven per cent. There was no deficiency in the central region which comprises states of Maharashtra, Goa, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. However, from March 1 to April 24 the pre-monsoon rainfall recorded in the central division was five per cent than normal. The region has also been witnessing intense heat waves and several dams in the Marathwada region of Maharashtra have reached zero storage level. Pre-monsoon rainfall is important for horticulture crops in some parts of the country. In states like Odisha, ploughing is done in the pre-monsoon season, while in parts of northeast India and the Western Ghats it is critical for plantation of crops. Laxman Singh Rathore, former director general of the IMD, said in parts of northeast India and the Western Ghats, pre-monsoon rainfall is critical for plantation crops. There will be “moisture stress” incase of a deficit, he said. Crops like sugarcane and cotton, planted in central India, survive on irrigation and also require supplement of pre-monsoon rains, Rathore added. “In the forested regions of Himalayas, pre-monsoon rainfall is necessary for plantations like apple. Due to moisture, pre-monsoon rainfall also helps in minimising the occurrence of forest fires,” he said.last_img read more

New Family Medicine Residents Begin Training

Nova Scotians will have access to more family doctors as new residents begin their training this month. The new North Nova Family Medicine Teaching Site in Truro is welcoming six residents. Two will work in Truro, two in New Glasgow and two in Amherst. “These new residency spaces are an important part of our plan to increase Nova Scotians’ access to family doctors,” said Health and Wellness Minister Randy Delorey. “Residency spaces are among our best recruiting tools – many residents who train here stay in Nova Scotia long term.” The existing Cape Breton site will also welcome two additional residents. Two more family medicine residents will gain more clinical experience in areas that will improve services in the community – women’s health and community hospitalist medicine. Residents will spend two years in a family practice where they will follow a group of patients, gaining skills and experience in areas like maternal care, mental health and senior care. “I’m thrilled to be completing my family medicine residency through Dalhousie at the new North Nova site,” said Dr. Jamie Grandy, one of the six incoming residents. “This type of program will provide an excellent learning experience, and my plan for the future is to be a family physician in the Truro area.” “Working in a rural setting, our residents will have the opportunity to learn a number of skills,” said Dr. Deanna Field, North Nova site director. “From minor procedures to home visits to covering emergency rooms, our learners will be given a wide range of clinical opportunities.” The new additional spaces were announced last July and are part of Dalhousie University’s Family Medicine Residency Training Program. “This is a significant accomplishment for Dalhousie Medical School and the province,” said medical school dean Dr. David Anderson. “Welcoming these six medical school graduates to North Nova is proof of our commitment to work closely with community partners, the Nova Scotia Health Authority and provincial government in a collaborative effort to address current and future challenges.” Residency training is a joint effort of the Department of Health and Wellness, Dalhousie Medical School and Nova Scotia Health Authority. “Physicians are more likely to practise where they train – that’s why expanding these rural programs has been a priority,” said Dr. Nicole Boutilier, incoming vice president of medicine, Nova Scotia Health Authority. “We appreciate the collaboration with our partners to make this a reality for northern communities. Our physicians and leaders are excited to welcome the residents, and provide education and experiences that will give them a solid foundation.” The new site and additional spaces brings the total number of Dalhousie Family Medicine teaching sites to five, training about 80 family medicine residents throughout the year. Government will invest $3.3 million annually in the new spaces. read more

New School Health Centre and LongTerm Care Home for New Waterford

New Waterford will soon be home to an innovative community hub that includes a new school, community health centre and long-term care home. Premier Stephen McNeil announced today, Aug. 2, that Breton Education Centre will be replaced and will share a site with new, modern health-care facilities. “A community hub model is an exciting and innovative opportunity for New Waterford because it brings community resources together in one place,” said Premier McNeil. “It will also provide more exposure to health-care career options for students and create better connections between seniors in long-term care and their community.” These facilities will be built on the current Breton Education Centre site and share facilities and maintenance services. The soccer field and tennis courts next to the school will be moved to where MacKinnon Field is now and MacKinnon Field will be moved to Colliery Lands Park. Breton Education Centre is a grades 6-12 school and is 48 years old. A consultation determined that replacement was the best option. The new school will have a theatre and gyms to provide a future home for the Coal Bowl. “As a school community, we are very excited about this announcement. This is not merely a new school building for Breton Education Centre, but it represents so much more for our students and the community of New Waterford,” said Danielle Aucoin, principal. “This new educational complex will offer individualized and innovative learning, new technology and the benefits that come with it, support community engagement and the availability of outside resources that will help support and engage students in lifelong learning.” The new community health centre will offer many of the same health services now provided at the New Waterford Consolidated Hospital. These include: expanding the Cape Breton Regional Hospital with a new emergency department, critical care department and cancer centre renovating and revitalizing the Glace Bay Hospital emergency department building a new, modern community health centre, long-term care home and laundry centre in North Sydney a new community-based paramedic program in CBRM where paramedics and telecare nurses provide care after a patient is released from hospital X-rays and ultrasounds blood collection cardiac services counselling, community support teams and wellness clinics space for after hours clinics, all existing family doctors to work as part of a collaborative team, continuing care staff to work on the same site and for physiotherapy, occupational therapy and nutrition to work in one location “It’s an opportunity to have multiple sectors work together collaboratively, share resources and improve health outcomes for people in New Waterford and surrounding communities,” said Dr. Kevin Orrell, senior medical director with the CBRM Health Care Redevelopment Project. “We can be an example for the rest of the province and country. This will take us in a direction for the future and guarantee that Cape Breton will continue to provide innovative, world-class health care into the future.” Also included in the project are 12 new short stay-beds for patients who need observation but not in an acute care setting. This could include patients with exacerbated COPD, post-surgery wound care requiring intravenous antibiotics, or those requiring blood transfusions. The new 60-bed long-term care home adds 36 new beds to the community. The community hub model will allow quicker access to health-care services for seniors in long-term care and gives residents the ability to participate in events at the school. Construction will begin in fall 2020. The new community health centre and long-term care home are part of the CBRM Health Care Redevelopment Project, which also includes: For more information about the project, visit read more

Swiggy now in 500 Indian cities targets 100 more this year

New Delhi: From Gujarat’s Himmatnagar to Assam’s Jorhat, food delivery platform Swiggy has expanded its services to 500 cities in India, matching rival Zomato’s reach in the country. Unveiling its plan on Monday, Swiggy, which has added 60,000 new restaurants in the past six months, said it would expand to 600 cities by December 2019. “With presence in 500 cities and 75 universities, Swiggy already has the widest reach in the country. We will further expand this to 600 cities and 200 universities by December 2019,” Swiggy’s Chief Operating Officer Vivek Sunder said in a statement. Also Read – New HP Pavilion x360 notebook with in-built Alexa in India “Swiggy’s vision is to elevate the quality of life of consumers by offering unparalleled convenience. As we work towards enabling this for a billion Indians, expanding to tier-3 and tier-4 cities is a critical step,” Sunder said. Swiggy has progressed from launching in one city every two months in early 2018 to launching in four cities a day in the month of September. With this expansion, over 350 million or one in four Indians can now access the food delivery platform in the country, Swiggy said. Also Read – Canadian pricing for Google Pixel 4, 4XL leaks Since April 2019, Swiggy has increased the number of restaurant partners by almost 1.8 times to 1.4 lakh restaurants currently. In tier-3 and tier-4 cities specifically, Swiggy has onboarded over 15,000 restaurants in the last six months. “Our growing fleet of over 2.1 lakh active delivery partners have more income opportunities due to the scale and offerings of Swiggy,” Sunder said. In addition to expanding to smaller towns, Swiggy also announced that it has expanded its service to over 75 universities including IIT Roorkee, NIT Kurukshetra, IIT Kharagpur, NIT Calicut, BITS Pilani and Lovely Professional University among others. read more

More good air days in Delhi due to Centres steps Javadekar

New Delhi: Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar on Monday listed several steps taken by the Centre which he said has substantially increased the number of ‘good air’ days in the Delhi-NCR region. The minister’s assertion comes at a time when Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has taken out huge advertisements to take credit for improvement in Delhi’s air quality. He said he would not like to comment on Delhi government taking credit. Also Read – Union min Hardeep Singh Puri, Delhi L-G lay foundation stones for various projects in DwarkaUpto September 30 this year, out of 273 days, as many as 165 have been good, satisfactory and moderate days against 104 in 2016 and number of poor, very poor and severe days was 108 against 159 in 2018. On the Aarey judgement, the minister said the Supreme Court has given its judgement on Monday and he will not discuss it. Javadekar said the policy on afforestation is to plant five trees for every tree cut. He said the policy has yielded results as India’s green cover has increased by 15,000 sq kms. Also Read – Delhi man killed in UP for resiting wife’s paramour Listing a number of steps taken by the Centre since 2015 to combat air pollution in Delhi-NCR, Javadekar said there has been 80 per cent reduction in particulate matter emissions and 30 per cent reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions in BS-IV heavy duty diesel vehicles compared with BS-III norms. Leapfrogging to BS-VI norms is likely to reduce 50 per cent particulate matter emissions and 88.5 per cent nitrogen oxide emissions as compared to BS-IV norms. Nearly Rs 60,000 crore was spent on switching over to BS-VI fuels. In addition, the completion of the Eastern and Western Peripheral Expressways at a cost of Rs 17,000 crore has led to 30,000-40,000 goods vehicles being diverted away from Delhi. The recent amendment in the Motor Vehicles Act and increase in fines from Rs 1,000 to Rs 10,000 for not having PUC certificates, Javadekar said has increased compliance. Due to this, average number of daily PUC certificates issued has increased from 10,000-12,000 to 40,000-50,000. Installation of vapour recovery systems in petrol pumps in NCR is also under implementation. The minister added that the environmentally-friendly Metro at a cost of more than Rs 70,000 crore is used by over 30 lakh people every day and because of this 4 lakh vehicles are avoided on the roads, thereby reducing pollution. On actions to control construction and demolition dust, the minister said that 5.94 lakh tons of waste is being processed as recycled aggregate and brick base and 5,477 tons of waste is processed into recycled concrete. For stubble burning, the Centre has provided Rs 1,151 crore to state governments of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi for providing subsidy on machinery required for management of crop residue. So far, 8,000 implements in Punjab and 9,087 in Haryana have been distributed. The Agriculture Ministry has computed that paddy residue burning events have reduced by 15 per cent and 41 per cent compared to 2017 and 2016, as per satellite data. For air quality management, 46 Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) teams are being deployed for field feedback from Monday. Around 145 directions have been issued to implementing agencies for strict enforcement against air polluting activities, he said. read more

Pak rejects Rajnath Singhs remarks over its FATF listing

Islamabad: Pakistan on Monday objected to the recent remarks by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh that the FATF can any time blacklist the neighbouring country, describing it as India’s attempts to “politicise” the international money laundering watchdog’s proceedings. Pakistan was placed on the grey list by the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in June last year and was given a plan of action to complete it by October 2019, or face the risk of being placed on the black list with Iran and North Korea. Also Read – Personal life needs to be respected: Cong on reports of Rahul’s visit abroad Singh during the Defence Accounts Department Day event last week said that the FATF can anytime blacklist Pakistan for terror financing. The Foreign Office (FO) in a statement said Singh’s remarks “reinforces Pakistan’s concerns, repeatedly highlighted to the FATF membership, about India’s attempts to politicise the FATF proceedings to further its narrow, partisan objectives,” It said India’s “incessant smear” against Pakistan and blatant partisanship also call into question its credentials to be co-chair of the Asia-Pacific Joint Group that reviews Pakistan’s progress to implement the FATF Action Plan. Also Read – Firms staying closed 10 days a month due to recession, govt doing nothing: Priyanka Gandhi “Our concerns in this regard have been previously brought to the attention of FATF members,” said the FO. Pakistan also asked the FATF to take note of India’s campaign to tarnish the country’s image. “We hope that the broader FATF membership would take cognizance of India’s continuing malicious campaign against Pakistan and reject any attempt aimed at politicising the FATF proceedings. It is important for the FATF to ensure that the process remains fair and unbiased,” according to the FO. According to a media report on Monday, Pakistan faces high risks of money laundering and terror financing and has complied with just one the 40 recommendations set by the Financial Action Task Force at the time of the country’s inclusion in its grey list. read more


Willem Dafoe, co-star of the critically lauded and Nova Scotia-shot movie The Lighthouse, and Halifax native Ellen Page are set to attend the FIN Atlantic International Film Festival.The Lighthouse director and writer Robert Eggers is also to attend the film’s Closing Night Gala Presentation on Sept. 19 at Cineplex Cinemas Park Lane. Twitter Advertisement Facebook Advertisement Willem Dafoe, left, and director Robert Eggers arrive for the North American premiere of the thriller The Lighthouse at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019. – Chris Helgren / Reuters Advertisement Login/Register With: Shot in the spring of 2018 on sets and locations around Yarmouth, including scenic Cape Forchu, Eggers’s psychological thriller about a pair of Maine lighthouse keepers reduced to savagery by their isolation screened at the Toronto International Film Festival on Saturday. It was warmly received at TIFF with positive reviews like Exclaim!’s description of “a gripping, smartly stylized descent into madness.”Accompanied at the TIFF premiere by both Dafoe and his co-star Robert Pattinson, Eggers spoke fondly of their experience of filming in Yarmouth, and said, “Our thoughts are with Nova Scotia right now,” while post-tropical storm Dorian left much of the province in darkness. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment read more


Advertisement Advertisement Advertisement Facebook Two years after Meghan, Duchess of Sussex quit legal drama “Suits” for life as a British royal, fans have been given an intimate glimpse of her relationships with her former co-stars.On Monday, Patrick J. Adams — who played the 38-year-old royal’s love interest, Mike Ross, from season 1 to season 7 — shared a series of unseen pictures of her on his Instagram account, ahead of the show’s finale.Kicking off his social media spree, Adams said it felt right to commemorate the end of an era. Login/Register With: “This week the last episode of Suits will air and the nearly 10-year journey we’ve all been on together will finally be over,” he captioned a snap of himself wearing a suit.“So, it seems right to post some photos the next couple of days from the early days. This photo was from the first fitting I ever had for Mike Ross.”One of the posts that followed showed the Duchess wearing her character’s signature office attire — high-waisted skirt and crisp shirt. Twitter LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment read more

Japanese Rock Star YOSHIKI Donates To Earth Alliance Amazon Forest Fund

Yoshiki — internationally renowned, composer, classically-trained pianist, rock drummer and leader of the rock group X JAPAN—has announced his support for Earth Alliance and its Amazon Forest Fund.YOSHIKI has donated $100,000.00 to Earth Alliance and its Amazon Forest Fund in support of local efforts on the ground that are working to support the indigenous and local communities that are protecting the land and biodiversity. After hearing about the increasing fires throughout the Amazon region, YOSHIKI discovered the newly launched Earth Alliance and reached out to make the donation through his 501c3 nonprofit organization Yoshiki Foundation America.YOSHIKI chose to donate to the Amazon Forest Fund and Earth Alliance, which is hosted by Global Wildlife Conservation, a U.S. 501c3 nonprofit organization. Earth Alliance is a new organization co-founded by Leonardo DiCaprio in order to help address the urgent threats to our planet’s life support systems.YOSHIKI’s donation to aid in the Amazon rainforest crisis continues the acclaimed musician’s international humanitarian work, which includes disaster relief for Hurricane Harvey victims in Texas and a 10 million-yen donation earlier this month in support of the victims and survivors of the Kyoto Animation Fire.All funds donated to the Amazon Forest Fund and Earth Alliance are distributed directly to local partners and the indigenous communities that are protecting the Amazon, the incredible diversity of wildlife that lives there, and the health of the planet overall. The following local organizations are protecting indigenous lands, providing relief to the communities impacted and will benefit from the Amazon Forest Fund:Instituto Associação Floresta Protegida (Kayapo)
Coordination of the Indigenous Organizations of the Brazilian Amazon (COIAB)
Instituto Kabu (Kayapo)
Instituto Raoni (Kayapo)
Instituto Socioambiental (ISA)For more information and to donate to the Amazon Forest Fund directly, click here.“The Amazon fires deserve the world’s attention,” said YOSHIKI. “I want to encourage people in every nation, including Japan, to take action.” read more

2019 ADCOLOR Conference To Feature Conversation With M Night Shyamalan

Today ADCOLOR, the premier organization dedicated to celebrating and promoting professionals of color and diversity in the creative industries, announced the lineup for the 2019 ADCOLOR Conference, including an intimate conversation with filmmaker and philanthropist, M. Night Shyamalan.Hosted by entrepreneur and producer Tai Beauchamp, ADCOLOR will host their largest conference to date. Featuring over 17 sessions on five stages, packed with opportunities and panels to hear from leading advertising, tech and business executives, and personalities, who are changing the way brands, media and entertainment represent and honor diversity in all aspects of their practices.“The theme ‘Take A Stand’ has infused every aspect of ADCOLOR 2019 with meaning, purpose and the intention to send everyone back into their companies and the world stronger and more confident to make the necessary changes to build a better and more equitable society,” said ADCOLOR Founder and President Tiffany R. Warren.The organization also announced the 2019 class of ADCOLOR FUTURES, a program that chooses 30 of the best and brightest professionals out of 488 applicants who are one to three years into their career to attend the annual conference and awards show which will take place September 6th through the 8th at the J.W. Marriott Los Angeles L.A. Live Hotel in Los Angeles, CA.It was announced earlier this year that actor, director, producer and activist, Eva Longoria will be recognized at the 13th Annual ADCOLOR awards ceremony, as the 2019 Beacon Award presented by ADWEEK, the leading resource for the brand marketing and advertising community. The inaugural Beacon Award honors talent who uses their celebrity as a catalyst to change the status quo in the quest for diversity and inclusion. In May, ADCOLOR and Adweek partnered on the first Champion awards and celebration recognizing the fearless leaders and rising stars in marketing and media who embody ADCOLOR’s call to “Rise Up. Reach Back.” The 2019 ADCOLOR Awards will highlight and honor the achievements of African-American, American Indian/Native American, Asian Pacific-American, Hispanic/Latino and LGBTQ professionals, as well as spotlighting diversity and inclusion champions in the creative industries.For the full ist of nominees, honorees and FUTURES for this year’s awards ceremony and for more information, please visit: read more

Javier Bardem Calls on World Leaders to Agree a Global Ocean Treaty

Earlier this week, Oscar-award-winning actor Javier Bardem was in Times Square to demand a “GLOBAL OCEAN TREATY NOW” as an electronic billboard displayed images of threatened marine life.He then addressed delegates at the United Nations to urge governments to agree a strong Global Ocean Treaty that could help to protect at least 30% of the world’s seas by 2030. This is the third out of four meetings at the UN to negotiate a treaty that could set the frame for a legally-binding ‘Paris Agreement of the oceans’.“Whatever happens during this conference will have a deep impact on the life of our oceans and on the future of humankind. Delegates must know that the world is watching as they negotiate towards a Global Oceans Treaty. We just can’t afford to get it wrong,” said Bardem.The event at the UN started with a trailer of the documentary ‘Sanctuary’ by the director Alvaro Longoria about his voyage to one of the most remote areas of the high seas in urgent need of protection: the Weddell Sea in Antarctica. Bardem, who produced the documentary and also took part in this expedition, shared his personal experience and called on world leaders to raise their ambitions in protecting our blue planet.Greenpeace also raised a huge ocean-inspired artwork near the UN on Monday morning. The 19 ft high sculpture of whales and turtles represents the many threats facing the oceans – from plastic pollution to oil drilling – while embedded video screens relayed messages from people all over the world asking for governments to make history by agreeing an ambitious Global Ocean Treaty.Speaking from the conference, Dr. Sandra Schoettner of Greenpeace’s Protect the Oceans campaign, said:“We need a radical change in the way we manage our oceans. Relying upon existing frameworks is not enough. And this is particularly the case for areas beyond national jurisdiction which are among the least protected areas on our blue planet. These negotiations are the best chance we have to change the status quo and adopt a treaty with teeth to deliver effective protection through a network of fully protected ocean sanctuaries. Such a network, according to science, needs to cover at least a third of the world’s oceans by 2030 if we’re to defend precious wildlife, help to tackle the climate crisis and provide food security for billions of people around the world.” read more

International donors stress importance of Iraqi leadership in reconstruction

“We will now go forward in the next six months with clear key priorities to make a difference for the people of Iraq in their every day lives,” Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Deputy Special Representative for Humanitarian, Reconstruction and Development Affairs in Iraq, Staffan de Mistura, said at the close of the fourth donor meeting of the International Reconstruction Trust Fund Facility for Iraq (IRFFI), held on the shores of the Dead Sea.International donors established IRFFI at the 2003 Madrid Conference to provide reconstruction assistance in a coordinated and effective manner. The IRFFI has two trust funds, separately administered by the World Bank and the UN in close coordination with the Iraqi authorities and donors.Chaired by Canada, the meeting brought together representatives of the IRFFI Donor Committee, comprising donors whose paid-in contributions to either or both of the trust funds amount to a minimum of $10 million per donor. There are 19 members. Over 400 delegates from 60 countries and organizations, including the UN Development Group (UNDG), the World Bank and the IMF, participated.”I feel that we have had a remarkably successful two days,” Ambassador Michael Bell, IRFFI Chair said. “In particular, the Donor Committee has signalled its strong support for Iraqi ownership of the process of reconstruction. We strive to better align the work of the Trust Funds to Iraqi priorities and we have welcomed Iraq’s stronger role in the IRFFI.” Denmark became the newest member of the IRFFI, with its additional pledge of $5.5 million. Also announced were pledges from Australia, ($20 million); Greece, ($2.4 million); the European Commission, with €150 million (euros); Italy, (€10 million); and Spain ($20 million). The United States and Sweden also reported increases in bilateral assistance and loans. To date, international donors have committed a total of $1 billion to the two trust funds.”The World Bank will intensify efforts to support Iraq in providing basic services and deliver results on the ground,” Joseph Saba, World Bank Country Director for Iraq, said. “We work to prevent poverty and encourage job creation through economic growth.”IRFFI’s Donor Committee meets on a semi-annual basis to provide strategic guidance, review progress, coordinate efforts, and ensure coherence with Iraqi priorities. read more

Ahead of possible truce UN refugee agency prepositions relief supplies to reach

The United Nations refugee agency today said it has pre-positioned thousands of emergency relief supplies in Aleppo, one of the most affected cities in the ongoing Syrian crisis, in anticipation of a possible truce during the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha at the end of the week. “UNHCR has pre-positioned 5,000 emergency relief family kits in Aleppo, with another 5,000 on the way,” the chief spokesperson of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Melissa Fleming, told a news briefing in Geneva. “If the truce happens, these materials could be delivered to 10,000 displaced families by implementing partners in places that we have previously been unable to reach around Aleppo and Idlib,” Ms. Fleming said, adding that the agency is also dispatching 1,000 recreational items that a local non-governmental organization, the Syria Trust for Development, will distribute this week to children living in communal shelters in Damascus and Aleppo. Last week, while in Tehran, the Joint Special Representative of the UN and the League of Arab States for the Syrian crisis, Lakhdar Brahimi, appealed to Iranian authorities to assist in achieving a ceasefire in Syria during Eid al-Adha, or the Feast of the Sacrifice, which commemorates the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his son Ishmael as an act of obedience to God. The Secretaries-General of the UN and the League of Arab States – Ban Ki-moon and Nabil El Araby – also called on all warring parties in Syria to heed Mr. Brahimi’s call for a ceasefire and urged international actors to support this appeal. More than 20,000 people, mostly civilians, have died in Syria since the uprising against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad began some 20 months ago. A further 2.5 million Syrians urgently need humanitarian aid, and over 340,000 have crossed the border to Syria’s neighbouring countries, according to UN estimates. Addressing another news briefing in Geneva, the UN World Food Programme’s (WFP) Regional Director for the Middle East, Central Asia and Eastern Europe, Daly Belgasmi, welcomed the possibility of the ceasefire as it would allow the food agency to preposition more food supplies, particularly areas made hard-to-reach because of the violence. So far, WFP has managed to reach 1.5 million Syrians with food assistance, although access is still a major issue due to insecurity. Throughout the region, it has reached some 120,000 people, with this figures projected to increase to 460,000 people by June 2013. Mr. Belgasmi said that refugees are being assisted through a cash voucher system, with families receiving $45 which enables them to buy quality food from local markets. In Turkey, with the assistance of the Turkish Red Crescent Society, WFP has managed to assist 13,000 Syrian refugees; in Lebanon, WFP aims to help at least 61,000 Syrian refugees, while in Jordan, the food agency reached 53,000 people in September. In her briefing to reporters, Ms. Fleming said UNHCR has already distributed non-food aid packages to some 50,000 Syrian families and plans to reach 50,000 more by the end of the year. Last week, the agency also began rolling out a cash assistance programme for the displaced in the Hassakeh governorate. So far, the refugee agency has provided cash assistance to some 5,230 families. Hassakeh is the second location to benefit from the programme, which was earlier piloted in the district of Al Nabek, where some 3,525 families received emergency funds. In neighbouring countries, UNHCR continues to assist Syrians living in refugee camps, as well as those staying with relatives and host families in cities as the number of those displaced keeps increasing. However, Ms. Fleming said that the recent unrest in Lebanon has temporarily disrupted UNHCR operations there, including the registration of refugees in the cities of Tripoli, Akar, Beirut and Saida. “We are assessing the security situation and hope to resume all operations as soon as conditions allow,” she said. Last Friday, a bomb explosion struck the Lebanese capital of Beirut, resulting in numerous deaths and injuries. Among the dead was General Wissam al-Hassan, a senior commander in the Lebanese Internal Security Forces. The bombing has been followed by civil unrest in the capital, heightening existing fears that the conflict in neighbouring Syria could spill over into Lebanon and exacerbate the delicate sectarian balance already existing in the country. Ms. Fleming said that many of the refugees in Lebanon are struggling to make ends meet on the open economy and complain of high prices. To ease the strain, the Government announced last week that it will waive a fee for Syrians wishing to renew residency permits. In addition, some 16,000 refugees have received food, blankets, mattresses, hygiene kits and baby kits from humanitarian agencies including UNHCR, the UN World Food Programme (WFP), UN Population Fund (UNFPA), and UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The refugee agency is also concerned over reports from governments in countries bordering Syria estimating that there are tens of thousands more Syrians who have not yet registered as refugees. Ms. Fleming noted how Egyptian officials recently reported that there may be as many as 150,000 Syrian nationals in the country, although very few have registered as refugees. “UNHCR continues to stress the urgent need for international support to refugee programmes in these countries – nations that should not be expected to carry the entire burden themselves,” the chief spokesperson said, while also warning that more funding is needed to assist all those in need. “Nearly four weeks after the launch of the $487.9 million revised Syria Regional Response Plan we remain only about a third funded, and we are racing against time to ensure that all of these hundreds of thousands of refugees are protected from the winter cold,” she added. read more

Brock community event looks at theatre criticism in the digital age

An upcoming series of community discussions at Brock University, coordinated by Brock dramatic arts professor Karen Fricker, will debate the question: is everyone a critic?An upcoming series of community discussions at Brock University later this month will debate the question: is everyone a critic?Media professionals, theatre experts, scholars and students will assemble in Sankey Chamber at Brock Feb. 21 and Feb. 22 to take part in the colloquium, The Changing Face of Theatre Criticism in the Digital Age, hosted by the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts.“The rise of blogging and Twitter, combined with the decline of print journalism, is raising important questions about what counts as legitimate, professional criticism,” says Karen Fricker, event co-ordinator and a professor of dramatic arts. “Our discussions will focus on the current critical scene in Niagara, as well as imagining possible futures for the arts in our community.”Panel members include two of Toronto’s most influential theatre critics: J. Kelly Nestruck of The Globe and Mail and Richard Ouzounian of the Toronto Star. Others include local figures like Jackie Maxwell, artistic director of the Shaw Festival, and Steve Solski, director of the St. Catharines Centre for the Performing Arts.The colloquium will also feature international critics: Jill Dolan, Princeton University professor and noted theatre blogger (; Maddy Costa, a London, England blogger and journalist; and Andy Horwitz, founder of New York arts blog culturebot.netDolan is visiting Brock as part of the Walker Cultural Leaders series. While here, she will deliver a public lecture, “Moving the Body Politic: How Feminism and Theatre Inspire Social Re-imaginings.” Her lecture, co-sponsored by the Department of Dramatic Arts and Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies at Brock, takes place Friday, Feb. 21, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon, also in Sankey Chamber.All of these events are free and open to the public.Funding for these events is provided by the Walker Cultural Leaders Series, the Brock Humanities Research Institute and the SSHRC Institutional Grant scheme, and the St. Catharines Performing Arts Centre.All events will be live-streamed.  [Click on “live video”]—SCHEDULE: The Changing Face of Theatre Criticism in the Digital AgeAll events take place in Sankey Chamber at Brock UniversityFriday, Feb. 21:* 2 – 2:30 p.m.: WelcomePresentation by Brock dramatic arts students from the third-year class, Studies in Praxis – Theatre Criticism* 2:30 – 4 p.m.: Panel discussion “Critics and the arts in Niagara” Jill Dolan (respondent)Monica Dufault, artistic director, Essential Collective TheatreDavid Fancy, associate professor of Dramatic Arts, Brock University, co-artistic director, neXt Company Theatre (chair)John Law, arts and entertainment writer, Sun MediaSara Palmieri, co-founder, In the Soil FestivalStephen Remus, minister of energy, minds, and resources, Niagara Arts CentreSteve Solski, director, St. Catharines Centre for the Performing ArtsCandice Turner-Smith, managing director, Niagara Symphony Orchestra* 4:15 – 5:45 p.m.: Panel discussion “Embedded criticism: a new way forward, or criticism-as-PR?” Maddy Costa, critic and bloggerKaren FrickerAndy Horwitz, founder, culturebot.orgJackie Maxwell, artistic director, Shaw FestivalJacob Gallagher-Ross, assistant professor of theatre, University of Buffalo (respondent)Lawrence Switzky, assistant professor of Drama, University of Toronto at Mississauga (chair)Saturday, Feb. 22:* 10 – 10:30 a.m.: WelcomePresentation by Brock dramatic arts students from the third-year class, Studies in Praxis – Theatre Criticism* 10:30 a.m. – 12 noon: Panel discussion “Bloggers, critics, and cultural legitimation” Jill DolanKaren Fricker (chair)Andy Horwitz (respondent)J. Kelly Nestruck, lead theatre critic, The Globe and MailRichard Ouzounian, lead theatre critic, Toronto StarHolger Syme, chair, Department of English and Drama, University of Toronto at Mississauga, and blogger ( Yazbeck, director of public relations, Shaw Festival* 12:15 – 1 p.m.: Colloquium wrap-up Maddy Costa; Jill Dolan; Karen Fricker (chair); Rosemary Drage Hale, director of the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Brock University; and Andy Horwitz read more

KL Rahul the hero as Kings XI Punjab remain unbeaten at

Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul added 114 for the second wicket (BCCI)Kings XI Punjab 151 for 4 (Rahul 71*, Agarwal 55, Sandeep 2-21) beat Sunrisers Hyderabad 150 for 4 (Warner 70*, Ashwin 1-30) by six wicketsKL Rahul’s third fifty in four matches helped Kings XI Punjab secure a last-over win with a ball to spare. This allowed the hosts to remain unbeaten at home in IPL 2019.A last-over finish seemed far-fetched when Rahul and Mayank Agarwal added 114 for the second wicket. Then Kings XI stumbled, with the chase hinging on Rahul as they needed six off three balls. Was the botched chase in Chennai on his mind? It may have been, but it didn’t show. He drilled a full delivery from Mohammad Nabi to the long-off boundary.Then with two needed off two, David Warner, who swooped in from long-on slipped under heavy dew to allow Rahul and Sam Curran to complete the second and clinch victory, much to the relief of the team management.How exactly did the Sunrisers Hyderabad make a fist of this? Courtesy Siddarth Kaul and Sandeep Sharma, who come from Punjab and play all their cricket here. The pair claimed the wickets of Agarwal, David Miller and Mandeep Singh to nearly pull off a stunner. This meant David Warner’s unbeaten 70 went in vain. (Cricinfo) Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedIPL: Gayle’s blazing ton, hands Sunrisers first lossApril 19, 2018In “Sports”IPL: Shakib, Rashid star as Sunrisers defend another low totalApril 26, 2018In “Sports”IPL: KL Rahul unbeaten, but Royals beat rest of Kings XIMay 8, 2018In “Sports” read more

Govt private sector discuss relief efforts for hurricanehit Bahamas

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedPSC donates $16M in items for hurricane-ravaged islands to CDCSeptember 28, 2017In “Business”Guyana preparing to help hurricane-hit BahamasSeptember 4, 2019In “Environment”Containers of relief supplies sent to hurricane affected countriesOctober 4, 2017In “latest news” The Private Sector Commission (PSC) has assured that “all stops will be pulled out” to send aid to the hurricane-ravaged The Bahamas.This assurance was given on Thursday during a meeting between members of the PSC and Minister of State, Dawn Hastings-Williams along with Director-General (DG) of the Civil Defence Commission (CDC), Lieutenant Colonel Kester Craig and other representatives of the CDC.During the hour-long engagement, CDC Senior Response Officer, Captain Salim October briefed members of the PSC on the devastating effects of Hurricane Dorian on the islands.The Commission heard that while the number of confirmed deaths is seven, it is expected to rise as assessments continue throughout the islands. They were also presented with a list of items which would be sent to the islands.According to the CDC Director General, water pumps, reverse osmosis plant, bladder tanks, generators and hygiene kits were the immediate needs identified by the country, but the most appropriate need at this time is financial support.The Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry (GBTI) has already donated $3M towards relief efforts. read more

VIDEO Strlek matchwinner in Kielce

Manuel Strlek Manuel Strlek netted winning goal for his Telekom Veszprem against PGE Vive Kielce 36:35 to secure the second place at the end of Preliminary Round group of the VELUX EHF Champions League.Ex-Kielce left wing had no mercy against the team in which jersey he won the most prestigious title in 2016. ← Previous Story Champions are out! Meshkov Brest to play at knock-out stage! Next Story → MIRACLE HAPPENED! Wisla Plock from -8 and two red cards to TOP 16!

Irish scientists aim to use seaweed to sustainably create bioplastics

first_imgA GROUP OF Irish scientists are helping to pave the way for the future of bioplastics, using the relatively untapped resource of… seaweed.Unlike normal plastics which can linger for many years and have various pretty nasty effects on the environment, bioplastics can be biodegradable and are not manufactured using fossil fuels.However, there’s a hitch – right now, the production of this material uses PolyLatic Acid from food stuffs like corn, wheat, sugar beets, and sugar cane.The European Union has a target for 2020 that 10% of all market plastics will be bioplastics, meaning that as the production of bioplastics grows, so will the space and resources required.In the long run, this could take up valuable space and resources required for food farming.However, the same acid can be obtained from seaweed, and in a way that will have minimal effects on the environment.Researchers from the Daithi O’Murchu Marine Research Station in Cork and Cartron Point Shellfish in Clare are working with other organisations across Europe on a project known as SEABIOPLAS.Fish farmingBy using the waste products of aquaculture, such as fish farming, they are aiming to cultivate seaweed is a sustainable way for use as bioplastics.“It also has several advantages over using the raw materials currently used in biomass-based plastics,” a statement explained, “including a reduction of CO2 emissions, higher productivity, no risk of potential deforestation, no freshwater consumption and no fertilisers or pesticides used.”If the cultivation of seaweed was ramped up, there’s another added benefit for the livestock industry.The production of the bioplastics will result in residues. Researchers believe that “these by-products have potential market value in the animal feed sector and can also be used as ingredients or supplements/additives”.Read: We should be using more seaweed to power things, MEPs say >More: Shops could STILL be codding customers with mislabelled fish >last_img read more

Heres What Happened Sunday

first_imgNEED TO CATCH up? brings you a round-up of today’s news.IRELAND Seamus Callanan of Tipperary celebrates scoring his second goal of the game as the Premier County saw off Cork to advance to the All Ireland Senior Hurling Final. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO Ibrahim Halawa began a hunger strike in an Egyptian prisonTwo hill walkers were rescued from a mountain in TipperaryPostmasters called for Motor Tax to be moved to post offices The refusal of an abortion to a woman was deemed “barbaric”A photographer died after falling into the sea in Donegal PARTING SHOTLost in the coverage of the violence in Ferguson, Missouri? has answered the 11 questions you should know. INTERNATIONAL Source: Andrew Matthews/AP Images#CLIFF RICHARD: South Yorkshire Police has lodged a complaint with the BBC over the reporting of the raid on the home of Cliff Richard. South Yorkshire Police claim the BBC broke editorial guidelines in handling how they showed the search.#FERGUSON: The riot-hit town of Ferguson will be under curfew again tonight it was confirmed. The move comes after last night’s curfew saw seven people arrested and tear gas used.#PEACE TALKS: Both sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict resumed peace talks in Cairo, with security and the blockade of Gaza high on the agenda.INNOVATIONThinking of shopping online? Let us get you started. Want to make sure your Facebook is more secure? Click here to find out how.Is this a cure for jet lag? Please say yes. [] Gardaí appealed to two women who may have seen a fatal hit and run in Swords on Friday Three quarters of Irish women said pornography is “morally unacceptable”A man was knocked unconscious in a road rage incidentA clerical abuse survivor said that Cardinal Sean Brady’s resignation came too latelast_img read more

Greek man allegedly confesses to the murder of Suzanne Eaton on Crete

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram An unidentified 27-year-old man has confessed to the murder of molecular biologist Suzanne Eaton, 59, of California. The German-based American scientist of the Max Planck Institute was in Crete for a conference when she went missing on 2 July and found dead in a bunker on 8 July.Over the weekend, Greek police questioned 10 possible suspects following DNA evidence that pointed to these individuals, all of them local. After several hours of interrogation, the suspect allegedly confessed to the murder. Reports point to a man from Kissamos, who had been travelling through the area when he intentionally hit Eaton with his car.READ MORE: Greek police question last people who saw American scientist Suzanne Eaton aliveThe coroner found other wounds that suggest a struggle before Eaton was killed and dumped in a bunker. The reports revealed that it was a slow death with multiple stab wounds, though suffocation was the cause of death. Eaton’s body will be flown to Frankfurt before heading to the United States for burial.last_img read more