Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, under observation at the VVIP ward of the state-run Goa Medical College (GMC) hospital since Sunday evening, has shown improvement in his health, said a senior official of the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) on Tuesday. He said Mr. Parrikar may be discharged on Wednesday morning. Mr. Parrikar was admitted to the Lilavati Hospital in Mumbai on February 15 and was being treated for “mild pancreatitis”, the CMO had said earlier.
Chandigarh, Mar 30 (PTI) In a move aimed at developing villages in the state with the support of universities, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today sanctioned Rs 10 crore for integrated development of the rural areas.Interacting with the Vice-Chancellors of the universities and deputy commissioners from across the state, during a review meeting of Integrated Village Development Programme here, he said the fund should be utilised judiciously to ensure infrastructural, and social and economic development of over 200 villages covered under the scheme.He said proposals regarding the key areas of investment under the scheme would be given and executed by the varsities.The CM said the state government aims to make universities a partner in Punjab?s rural growth through the programme.As per the scheme, universities adopt and nurture five villages with the support of the state government.Badal said the major thrust of the scheme is on improving services under core sectors like health, education, agriculture and allied farming, water supply and sanitation, sports and skill development, and employment.He asked the DCs to coordinate with the universities and undertake joint inspection of villages to prepare a master plan for development.He asked the DCs to submit detailed reports in this regard within a fortnight.He asked the Rural Development department to set up a separate cell for dealing exclusively with this programme.Badal exhorted the universities to play a proactive role in imparting skill development training to youths and women and asked them to make people aware of various social welfare initiatives taken by the government.advertisementBadal also asked them to make farmers aware of ways for making agriculture more remunerative by reducing their input costs.The Chief Minister was satisfied with the preliminary report of varsities on the work done by them under the scheme and said the beginning was very good and desired target would be achieved soon. PTI VJ TIR SK TIR read more
India’s Deepika Kumari defeated Germany’s Michelle Kroppen 7-3 to clinch the gold medal in the women’s recurve event at the World Cup (Stage III) after a gap of six years beating. With the win, she also qualify for the circuit final.Deepika, a four-time World Cup final silver medallist (2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015), automatically qualified for the Archery World Cup Final in Samsun, Turkey, which will be her seventh appearance at the season-ending event.”Finally! That’s what I said when I won this gold medal,” said Deepika, who’s last victory at a World Cup stage event came six years ago, in Antalya back in 2012.The Indian archer opened the match with 29 out of a possible 30 points to take a 2-0 lead, before splitting the points with Kroppen in the second.The German archer, making her individual debut in the finals arena, won the third set and tied the match at 3-3. Deepika then took the fourth and fifth sets with a 29 and a 27, over Michelle’s pair of 26s, to win the match, 7-3.Congratulations Deepika Kumari for winning the recurve womens gold in the Archery US World Cup . Fantastic achievement. pic.twitter.com/7qwWbQbSPuVVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) June 25, 2018″I was repeating to myself, just do it the best, this is your time; just enjoy your game and forget about winning or losing and have fun,” Deepika told the official website of World Archery federation.”Do I feel relieved to qualify? Yes and no. I’m not expecting anything, at the moment I’m just enjoying my game, I want to enjoy my game,” said Deepika, who has often failed to live up to expectations at the biggest stage like the Olympics.advertisementTan Ya-Ting of Chinese Taipei beat Gabriela Bayardo of the Netherlands in four sets, 7-1, to the recurve women’s bronze medal.In the medal standings, India finished fourth behind USA, Colombia and Chinese Taipei with a gold, silver and bronze each in the penultimate stage of the World Cup.Deepika however returned empty-handed in the recurve mixed pair section alongside Atanu Das, where they lost to Chinese Taipei pair of Tang Chih-Chun and Tan Ya-Ting 4-5 in the shoot-off.Locked 37-all after set four, the pair of Deepika and Atanu Das shot an identical 8s, while their opponents sealed the issue with a nine and eight.India’s Asian Games-bound archery squad will now head off to Berlin for the fourth World Cup from July 16-22 ahead of the Indonesia Asian Games in August-September.(With PTI inputs) read more
One of the distinct memories of Sridevi, which has stayed in the mind’s of generations, is when she danced in the song Hawa Hawai.But what stood out in the song was the late superstar’s ability to make a fashion statement while switching into unconventional outfits despite their outlandish appearance.Since then, in all her films, Sridevi has left a distinctive mark for herself.From sporting chiffon sarees on mountains of Switzerland to sporting short hair in Gumrah, she never failed when it came to experimenting with her style. A trait which many actors from her generation lacked. SrideviIn an exclusive interview with Brides Today editor Nupur Mehta Puri, for the October 2018 issue of the magazine, at Gstaad Palace in Switzerland, Manish Malhotra talked about this incredible trait of Bollywood’s first female superstar. Manish Malhotra opens up about SrideviManish told Nupur Mehta, Editor, Brides Today, “I think Sridevi was the first actor who was comfortable with styling and switching to both long and short hair in between shots. She was such a progressive person. It was in Gumrah where she sported the iconic short haircut throughout the film. Before that actors used to pair short hair with Western outfits and a choti with Indian outfits, you know.” read more
The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission will hold their monthly meeting in Sioux City Thursday morning.The IRGC meeting will take place in Anthem at the Hard Rock Casino starting at 8:30a.m.Mayor Bob Scott and Dakin Schultz, President of Missouri River Historical Development, the non-profit license holder of the casino, are expected to speak at the meeting to welcome the commission.The IRGC is expected to discuss the Hard Rock and the city’s proposal to build a new parking ramp connected to the casino.
YouTubeJim McElwain has addressed the Oregon opening.Florida head coach Jim McElwain was rumored to potentially have some interest in the Oregon job, but he denied that today.McElwain says he has no interest in the position and has a great job in Gainesville, Fla.From the AP:“It’s always interesting this time of year and how whatever comes out,” said McElwain, who got his first head coaching job with the Rams after serving as Alabama’s offensive coordinator from 2008 to 2011. “I haven’t heard from Oregon. I don’t know how it gets linked sometimes. I guess slow news day. I’ve got my hunch there might some recruiting things behind it.”After the rumors surfaced Tuesday, McElwain called recruits to reaffirm his commitment to the Gators.“A lot of time on the phone last night obviously,” McElwain said. “And yet, at this time of the year, I can remember even those years I was at Alabama, it was every year (coach) Nick (Saban) was going to go to the NFL or whatever it was, right?“You know, it’s part of what you deal with. And as you guys know, I probably don’t take that stuff too serious.”McElwain, 54, is 18-7 in his two seasons at Florida. The Gators are set to play Alabama in the SEC Championship Game on Saturday. read more
(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)Matthew Kenty, a Tennessee Tech defensive lineman, was one of 10 people arrested in a recent prostitution sting in Alabama. Kenty is a native of Birmingham, Ala.According to AL.com, Kenty, 18, is charged with one count of patronizing prostitution, a Class B felony. He is listed as a redshirt freshman on Tennessee Tech’s roster and graduated from Ramsay High School in Birmingham.The three-day sting operation took place in February and utilized female Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) agents posing as “Women Seeking Men” on backpage.com. The agents reportedly identified themselves as between the ages of 14 and 17 years old.A total of 10 men “from college students, to a mail carrier, to a landscaping company owner, traveled to the location to meet for the purpose of illicit sex from a female they believed to be a minor.”Here are more details courtesy of AL.com.The operation took place in Tennessee’s Putman County and was carried out by the TBI, Office of the 13th District Attorney General, Cookeville Police Department, Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, and Homeland Security Investigations, according to a press release. The initiative targeted individuals attempting to purchase illicit sex from minors.“With each similar operation we conduct, we want to send the same message; that we will not tolerate the sexual exploitation of any person in our community,” TBI Acting Director Jason Locke said in a prepared statement. “This is a demand-driven crime, involving men from all kinds of backgrounds. As a state, Tennessee has led the fight to see to it that no child or adult falls victim to these sexual predators.”Obviously, this isn’t a good situation for Kenty to be caught up in. One has to wonder if his career at Tennessee Tech is in jeopardy.You can read the full list of those arrested, as well as the TBI’s recap of the operation, here. read more
Editors’ Recommendations The Absolute Worst Movies to Watch with a Date How to Shave With a Straight Razor 16 Best Action Movies on Netflix Right Now 14 Scandinavian Clothing Brands You Need to Know The Best Men’s Work Pants for Getting Down to Business PowerKeep/FacebookPowerKeep/FacebookI recently spent a few days in Europe on what would prove to be a whirlwind of a business trip. It involved several long flights, two nights with a combined 10 hours of sleep, and a lot of reliance on my iPhone. As I spent almost every waking hour away from my hotel and moving around a massive convention center, I never got the chance to stop and charge said phone. Which was just as well, because my good old American charger wouldn’t have fit into the pin-style European outlets anyway.So how do you keep your all-important devices charged when on the move? Just get yourself a solar-powered backpack and let the sunshine provide all the voltage you need. I used the Energizer PowerKeep PRO to keep my phone and digital camera juiced up and ready for three days, no outlets required.Energizer PowerKeep PRO – $186 First, let me make a point about this option that some people will see as a selling point, but that others will see as a drawback: the solar panel that comes with this pack is removable, as is the battery it powers. While the backpack is optimized to accommodate the solar panel and battery (with Velcro and clips for the former, and a pocket and pass-through wire ports for the latter), none of the hardware that makes this a solar backpack is actually built into the thing. For me, that was a plus; the backpack looks a bit clunky with the solar panel attached, and the ability to take the battery out made the pack a bit lighter when no power was required. Some might prefer a pack with fully integrated hardware, as this reduces the chance of anything being lost and means less time spent configuring the bag.Beyond the solar power — which I should mention involves a 3.7V/1000mAh battery that charges in about a day and can recharge the average phone four times — this well-organized, ergonomic bag is capacious without being bulky. It has two large compartments, one with a laptop sleeve that can accommodate computers up to 17 inches and another with straps that can hold a folded shirt and/or a pair of slacks neatly. A third compartment has slots for pens, pads, snacks, or what have you, and a zippered mesh pocket can hold a tablet (or a book or toiletries). There’s also an expandable water bottle pouch and a small slotted pocket tucked behind the solar panel, as well as a spot for the battery. And finally, built into the generously-padded lumbar support pad, one more zippered pocket is the perfect secure spot for a wallet, passport, cash, or microfilm containing international secrets of untold import.The short of it all? I carried around a computer, camera, food and water, a change of clothes, notepads, and more, and my shoulders never got sore and my devices never went dead.But just in case the Energizer PowerKeep PRO doesn’t suit your needs, there are other solar power bags out there worth shining some light on, if you’ll permit such a wonderful pun.\See ItSolarSak Hiking Backpack – $90The SolarSak Hiking Backpack has the thick shoulder straps and wide, adjustable waist band you’d expect of any decent hiking pack. Even when loaded with gear, and the included two-liter water bladder filled, you can schlepp this pack for miles with minimal strain on your body. And thanks to a detachable 7-watt solar panel, you can keep a phone, tablet, or camera powered up even as you move miles away from civilization. At a 42-liter capacity, this pack is a fine size for weekend overnight trips or for all-day day hikes, but unless you’re an ultralight packer, it’s not fit for thru-hikers. I’d call it a fine choice for biking, though, especially as riding puts your back at the perfect angle for powering up.See ItSolarGoPack Briefcase – $119If you’re a busy business person who is always on the go and often out of power, then you need to consider the SolarGoPack Briefcase. This rather casual messenger bag has all the features you’d expect from a briefcase, including a padded laptop sleeve; pockets for business cards, pens, and papers; and a shoulder strap and carry handle. What sets it apart is a built-in solar panel that can generate 6.5 watts of electricity and that charges an included 1000 mAh lithium ion battery in just three or four hours with direct sunlight.See ItECEEN Solar Backpack – $70Like the Energizer PowerKeep PRO, this is a backpack designed to keep your small devices powered up while you are out and about. A few things set this backpack apart from the Energizer option, though. First, it costs less than half the price. Second, the solar panel is built right into the bag and can’t be detached. And third, this is a much smaller bag that has less overall storage space and fewer organizational areas within. This would not be my choice for a multi-day business trip, e.g., but it’s a fine bag for the daily commuting professional or student, so long as your laptop is 14 inches or smaller.See It read more
zoom Sweden’s Port of Gothenburg will undertake its first ever liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering operation on September 3, the port said. The first ship to bunker LNG is the newly-constructed 15,000 dwt chemical tanker M/T Ternsund, operated by the Swedish Donsö-based company Tärntank Ship Management AB, which is scheduled to bunker natural gas at the entrance to the port.Namely, the bunkering will take place at a protected location just off the island of Fotö, where M/T Ternsund will bunker LNG from the Belgian bunkering vessel Coral Energy.Port of Gothenburg said that some ten newly-built LNG-powered vessels could soon start calling at the port to bunker LNG on a regular basis.Additionally, to induce more operators to switch to LNG, the port has introduced a discount on the port charge and M/T Ternsund will be the first ship to qualify for the maximum discount of 30 per cent.“We have worked resolutely for a long time to create a situation where a ship could bunker liquefied natural gas in Gothenburg. We have now managed to achieve our ambition,” said Jill Söderwall, Vice President and head of commercial operations at the Energy Port in Gothenburg. read more
zoom Maersk Tankers, part of the energy division of Danish A.P. Moller – Maersk, has entered an equity agreement with CargoMetrics Technologies LLC (CargoMetrics), a Boston-based hedge fund specialising in quantitative trading models derived from shipping data.In line with the terms of the deal, Maersk Tankers will be provided with access and exclusive rights to CargoMetrics’ analytical models, algorithms and capabilities, the tanker owner said.CargoMetrics links satellite signals, historical shipping data and proprietary analytics for trading purposes in its systematic investment platform.“In the partnership, we will accelerate our use of digital solutions to enable our business strategy, which will deliver value to our customers and partners while we generate income and develop our position as the digital frontrunner in the product tanker industry,” says Soren C. Meyer, Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer, Maersk Tankers.“Data about the ninety-percent of global trade that moves by sea is a powerful trading edge,” says Scott Borgerson, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of CargoMetrics.“This is the quintessential partnership where we can drive returns in both of our businesses by collaborating with one of the leading players in shipping while applying our patented technology to their physical tanker operations. We are excited to team up with Maersk Tankers to further increase the use of big data in the product tanker industry.”The agreement took effect on 21 July, and Maersk Tankers and CargoMetrics are said to be entering now an analysis phase to further identify where best to apply the digital know-how and capabilities of both companies.Maersk Tankers owns and operates one of the largest product tanker fleets in the industry, featuring around 80 ships with an average age of 7 years.The tanker business is yet to separated from Maersk group together with three other energy companies from the conglomerate amid focus switch to transport and logistics sector, as decided last year.Maersk has already sold its oil business, Maersk Oil, to Total S.A for USD 7.45 billion in a combined share and debt transaction.“Maersk Oil is the first of the four energy companies of A.P. Moller – Maersk for which a future structural solution has now been identified. The solutions for Maersk Drilling, Maersk Supply Service, and Maersk Tankers remain to be defined before the end of 2018,” the company said announcing the deal earlier this week. read more
On September 10, 2016, the nation’s leading reproductive health, rights, and justice organizations will host free music and cultural events that shine a light on the majority of Americans who support abortion rights and show how access to abortion benefits women, their families and ultimately, the country.Sia Joins All Access ConcertAll Access, a series of high-energy concerts, is bringing top musical and comedic talent to Cleveland with four other events taking place simultaneously in Atlanta, Chicago, Miami, and Philadelphia. From dance parties to slam poetry contests, thousands more will participate in more than 30 smaller events across the country to show that abortion rights supporters are visible, active, and willing to speak up.Hosted by Comedy Central’s Jessica Williams, the anchor event in Cleveland will feature a show-stopping headlining performance by five time Grammy-nominated artist Sia and a performance by 8 – time Latin Grammy Award-winning musical artist Natalia Lafourcade. Leslie Jones, the star of Ghostbusters and Saturday Night Live, will be a featured comedian.“All Access is such an inclusive group that I’m proud to be a part of this. We all need to stand together and be a part of creating the future we hope to see. There is so much support out there for an inclusive, equitable society that it’s time we showed our collective power,” said Sia.Through the concerts, daytime events, and a robust digital experience, All Access gives participants a platform to share their personal stories and show the world that abortion access is a fundamental part of a woman’s ability to participate equally in the social, economic, and political fabric of society.“We have taken many positive steps towards equity and reproductive rights, but our work is far from done,” said Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America. “All Access is an event that unites abortion access supporters and shows this country what is possible when each of us can choose our own life path – including what our families look like.”All Access will highlight the roadblocks that have been thrown in the way of individuals seeking to access their fundamental right to a safe and legal abortion. Since the 2010 midterm election, states have quietly passed more than 334 individual restrictions to keep women from accessing abortion. Nearly 90% of U.S. counties have no abortion provider, leaving roughly a third of women of reproductive age without a single clinic or doctor that can perform an abortion.“Abortion access is an issue that affects all women, but particularly low-income women and women of color,” said Marcela Howell, Executive Director for In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda. “Regardless of race or the size of one’s paycheck, access to abortion is a universal right that is consistently under threat and its time that we speak out on this issue.”Tickets to All Access events are free of charge and are available now on AllAccess2016.com. Cleveland’s All Access concert will be held at the Wolstein Center at Cleveland State University in downtown Cleveland. Additional talent for the events in Cleveland, Miami, Chicago, Atlanta and Philadelphia will be announced later this summer.For more information, visit AllAccess2016.com. read more
BEIJING, China – China’s exports in February surged 44.5 per cent over a year earlier while its politically sensitive trade surplus widened amid mounting tension with Washington.Customs data on Thursday showed export growth accelerated from January’s 11.1 per cent rate while import growth cooled to 6.3 per cent from the previous month’s 36.9 per cent.The country’s global trade surplus widened to $33.7 billion from January’s $20.3 billion.Beijing faces mounting pressure from the government of President Donald Trump to narrow its trade surplus. Trump has approved higher tariffs on Chinese-made washing machines and some other goods and is considering other possible penalties.
Taking inspiration from the ethos of the romantic era whence nature became centre for the origin of all creative genius, a group show featuring artworks by artists like Arjun Das, Binay Sinha, Dayananda N, and others is on view at Triveni Kala Sangam.Inaugurated on March 23, in the presence of Adwaita Charan Gadanayak, Director General, National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi, the art show will go on until March 31, 6.00 pm to 8:30 pm. The late eighteenth century witnessed the emergence of an Also Read – An income drop can harm brainintellectual and artistic movement that transpired a response against the expanding capitalism and a scientific rationale gripping the western world. Spiritual alienation lurked upon humanity. The romantics voiced against such depraved idiosyncrasies through their works In this exhibition, artists have depicted and mimicked the splendors of nature and its overwhelming aspect. The participating artists in this exhibition aspire to forge a discourse upon the shifting relationship between humans and their natural habitation. Their points of engagement are distinct but the premise remains constant around which they weave their narratives. read more
James Anaya, the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, wrapped up a four-day visit this week to Suriname, where he met with indigenous and tribal groups, senior Government officials and UN staff.Mr. Anaya said in a statement issued in Paramaribo, the capital, that the dialogue should help lead to “practical steps necessary to move forward with securing indigenous and tribal land rights, in accordance with relevant international treaties to which Suriname is a part.”In 2007 the Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruled in favour of the Saramaka people in their case against Suriname, granting them collective rights to the lands in which they and their ancestors had lived, as well as other resource rights.Mr. Anaya who was making the first-ever visit to Suriname by an independent expert designated by the UN Human Rights Council – described the trip as “fruitful and constituted a unique and valuable opportunity for dialogue and consultation.” He pledged to work with the Government and the indigenous and tribal groups to help them with their dialogue on land and resource rights. 17 March 2011Suriname’s authorities need to engage in further dialogue with the country’s indigenous and tribal peoples to advance those groups’ land and resource rights, a United Nations human rights expert said today. read more
TORONTO — The Toronto stock market stumbled on Friday as gold prices dropped against a stronger U.S. dollar and improved jobs numbers from south of the border.The S&P/TSX composite index slid 31.75 points to close at 12,134.91.The loonie was down 0.42 of a cent to 94.63 cents US, as jobs data from Canada beat expectations but was widely underwhelming.Statistics Canada says the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 7.1% last month as employers pulled back after a wild month of hiring in May.The agency says the economy shed a mere 400 jobs in June, a statistically insignificant number, but better than the 12,500 jobs economists had expected would be lost in the hangover from the hiring binge seen in May, when 95,000 new jobs were added.On Wall Street, the U.S. jobs numbers were better received, raising hopes that the U.S. economy is headed towards a better second half of the year.The Dow Jones industrials moved 147.29 points higher to 15,135.84, the Nasdaq gained 35.71 points to 3,479.38 and the S&P 500 index ticked up 16.48 points to 1,631.89.The U.S. Labor Department said American employers added 195,000 jobs in June and hiring was more robust in the two previous months than earlier estimated, suggesting job growth is accelerating.“There’s still a lot of workers that have part-time work when they want to have full-time, but… putting yourself in the shoes of the employer, as long as they can hold off on doing the full-time employment I think they’re going to,” said Jennifer Radman, a portfolio manager with Caldwell Investment Management.“It’s seems that’s kind of the last thing to fall into place.”In commodities, the August crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange closed ahead $1.98 at US$103.22 a barrel, which brought the price up 7% for the week.August gold bullion dropped $39.20 to US$1,212.70 an ounce on the Nymex, and the TSX gold sector went with it. Barrick Gold (TSX:ABX) dropped 4.8%, or 74 cents, to $14.57.Copper prices were down 11 cents to US$3.065 cents a pound as the base metals sector fell 1.3%.The info tech sector was down 0.6% as BlackBerry (TSX:BB) shares lost seven cents to $10.08. Smartphone competitor Samsung Electronics Co. missed quarterly earnings expectations on Friday as its phone sales growth started to slow.Also, Loblaw Companies Ltd. (TSX:L) listed its new real estate investment trust Friday on the TSX. Choice Properties REIT (TSX:CHP.UN) holds 415 retail properties, one office complex and nine warehouse properties totalling 35.3 million square feet of gross leasable area.Choice Properties was trading at $10 — which was even with its public offering price — while Loblaw shares were down 73 cents at $46.75.In Asia, markets were catching up with the gains in Europe the day before. The rally was triggered by the European Central Bank president Mario Draghi’s statement that interest rates will remain low “for an extended period of time.”The ECB statement was echoed by the Bank of England and followed indications that the U.S. economy is growing — but probably not fast enough for the U.S. Federal Reserve to rush into tapering off its stimulus program. Markets had been spooked in recent weeks at the prospect of the stimulus ending.The Canadian Press read more
WorleyParsons has been awarded an engineering, procurement and construction management services contract (EPCM) by Newmont Mining Services Pty Ltd in Australia. Under the contract, WorleyParsons will provide the EPCM services including pre-commissioning, commissioning, start-up and performance testing services for Newmont’s underground gold mine operations located in the Tanami Desert in the Northern Territory of Australia.The EPCM contract is for four years and will establish deep shaft and related mining infrastructure to increase mining production at the mine. “We look forward to continuing our successful relationship with Newmont and supporting the further development of the Newmont Tanami operation”, said Andrew Wood, Chief Executive Officer of WorleyParsons.
DESIGNER DRUGS ARE multiplying at a worrying rate and increasingly sending users to hospital, a UN-affiliated report has said, calling for international efforts to stem the spread of these substances.“In recent years, there has been an unprecedented surge in the abuse of new psychoactive substances,” often called “legal highs” or “designer drugs,” the Vienna-based International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) said in its annual report.“In Europe alone almost one new substance is appearing every week. Previously, between 2000 and 2005 there were an average of five notifications of new substances per year,” added INCB head Raymond Yans.Experts estimate thousands of such drugs currently exist on the market, the report said.“As abuse of these substances has increased, so too has the number of users who have experienced grave health consequences or even suffered death due to exposure to them,” it went on, pointing to “marked increases in emergency room visits for adverse health reactions” and “significant increases in calls to poison treatment centres.”Aggravating the problem further was the fact that these drugs were not subject to international control regimes and were readily available on the Internet, requiring states and international institutions to find new ways to identify the drugs and stop their distribution, the UN-affiliated INCB said.Another increasing problem was the rise in prescription drug abuse, including painkillers, sedatives and others used to treat epilepsy, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and mental illnesses.This was especially the case in North America, Southeast Asia and South Asia, while prescription-drug abuse via injection was especially prevalent in South Asia, heightening the risks of HIV and hepatitis B and C.In Latin America, “more than six percent of secondary school students have already abused tranquillizers in some countries,” the INCB found.It also condemned the easy availability of drugs and poor prescription policies in North America.The United States, most particularly California, meanwhile came under scrutiny for its medical cannabis scheme, which according to the INCB “has contributed to an increase in cannabis abuse.”The report called on Washington to better police such programmes to remain in line with international conventions and ensure that the drugs do not become available for recreational use.The Board makes annual recommendations on narcotics policy to states but also international institutions, including the United Nations.- © AFP 2013. read more
In Britain, the application of the whip is a lot less rigid than it is in Ireland with the provision for single-line whips where attendance and voting is not binding on an MP.Recently over 100 Conservative MPs voted against the party leadership following a Commons debate on gay marriage. None of these MPs were expelled from the parliamentary party or ostracised by the leadership.Smooth running of governmentA one, two and three-line whip system actually exists in our own parliament but its application is non-existent among the political parties.Not that this is the problem according to DCU political scientist Eoin O’Malley who argues that any issues with the functioning of the Dáil are not solely because of the whip system:“The problem of the absence of separation of powers is because the government controls the Dáil agenda, controls election to chairs of committees, Ceann Comhairle and the the party leaders control the careers of TDs. Address these issues, and stop obsessing about the whip system.”The whip system, O’Malley argues, “enables a reasonably smooth running of government” and he believes the issue is not the whip system but rather individual TDs who seem to vote against a measure they say they would like.“This probably relates to re-election,” he said. “So it is obvious that voters don’t punish TDs who vote against their own conscience, indeed many seem to feel sorry for the TDs.“The parties obviously have some power over people’s careers and party labels are important for re-election, so TDs make calculated decisions about whether to incur the wrath of the party or not.But he also noted that some Labour TDs have made the calculation that their election chances are probably improved by being outside the parliamentary party.“The first interest of TDs is to the people they represent, not their political party,” argued NultyOne of those could be Dublin-West TD Nulty, expelled over his vote against the 2012 Budget, who said that the onus is on individual TDs to make the “rigid” and “not fit for purpose” whip system redundant:“The best way is for TDs to stand up and take responsibility, cast their vote on legislation on its merits and if people have courage the whip system will become redundant.”Nulty said the current government is not interested in reform. This argument is strongly refuted by Kehoe who pointed to the Dáil having sat more in the past year than at any time since the 1920s in addition to the introduction of Friday sittings, Topical Issues and other measures.“When you’re implementing changes you’re not going to do it all in two years in government, There are more pressing issues to see the Dáil working in a a more efficient way [than loosening the whip],” Kehoe said.‘Opening the floodgates’“Just be opening the floodgates to free votes doesn’t mean it’s going to strengthen legislation,” he added, insisting that ordinary backbenchers’ participation in bills has already been increased by the reforms he has introduced.This view is clearly at odds with that of his former parliamentary colleague Naughten:“Government TDs don’t put forward amendments to legislation because they could propose an amendment, argue for it, but end up voting against. This is just crazy. For the government to look at reform it would take an awful lot more work within the Whips’ office and the Whips’ office isn’t going to bring more work on itself.”Naughten said that TDs should be entitled to a free vote on abortion, a view shared by many on the Fine Gael backbenches who have talked about it being a “matter of conscience”. But Kehoe argues it’s difficult to distinguish what constitutes a matter of conscience and what doesn’t.“Cutting disability is a matter of conscience for me but we are in a space where we have to do it,” Kehoe said. “Cutbacks in specific areas are a matter of conscious, [so] where do you draw the line?”“Loosening the party whip for legislation doesn’t improve legislation in any way,” Kehoe said. Eoghan Murphy’s ideas for reform centre on removing the whip to allow TDs a free vote at committee stage of legislation, or during the Order of Business or on certain private members bills. There is no specific reference to the upcoming abortion vote in his document.But this is where debate about the whip system is likely to focus in the coming weeks and months. The government and the Taoiseach have been clear that there will be no free vote but that might not be the end of the matter according to O’Malley.He said: “The problem for the government on the impending abortion legislation is that it needs to get a majority, so it can’t lose half the parliamentary party to the other side.“So what might happen is that Fine Gael allows a free vote but waits until the day of the vote to announce this.”But Kehoe was crystal clear this week that there is no scope for reform of the whip system now or in the near future: “There will be no free vote on Protection of Maternal Life Bill and no free vote on any bills for the foreseeable future.”Note: Fianna Fáil did not respond to a request to contribute to this article.Pics: Photocall Ireland More: Free vote for TDs among radical proposals for Dáil reform THIS WEEK THE Fine Gael TD Eoghan Murphy outlined a series of radical reforms to how the Dáil conducts its business including a major overhaul of the current party whip system.Murphy is not the first and is unlikely to be the last TD to discuss the possibility of members being allowed a free vote on certain issues particularly when the government has a huge majority and with legislation on the thorny issue of abortion due to be debated and voted on in the coming weeks.“I don’t know if the whip system is fit for purpose to be honest,” one expelled TD, Labour’s Patrick Nulty, said this week. “It’s a very rigid system in Ireland and individual TDs have got to reflect on whether our democracy is working and whether we have system that is robust.”The whip system – which dates back to the 19th century – is not a creature of any Dáil procedures but is adopted by individual parties, most of whom observe the tradition that if a TD votes against the party position they are expelled from the parliamentary party.Some, like Sinn Féin, will discipline members by stripping them of certain committee memberships as in the case of Peadar Tóibín who is at odds with the party over its position on abortion.“If an elected member votes against the party policy there must be consequences,” a Sinn Féin spokesperson said. “If this were not the case, instead of a party we would have a collection of independents voting as they wish.”Party disciplineWith the threat of expulsion hanging over TDs it ensures strict party discipline and allows a government to get its agenda through without any damaging divisiveness. Some expelled TDs quietly return to the parliamentary party months later but others remain out in the cold.Denis Naughten said he has not been approached by Fine Gael about rejoining the parliamentary party: “If they want to come back and discuss it, my door is open.” Both government parties have lost TDs over the past two years with Fine Gael’s Denis Naughten expelled over voting against cuts at Roscommon Hospital and Labour losing a number of TDs, including Nulty, mainly over budgetary matters.With the government having such a large proportion of the Dáil’s overall membership the whip system is particularly scrutinised when it comes to the coalition partners but they are clear that there is no scope for reforming the whip system as it currently stands.Government backbenchers will vote with the government’s position or else be expelled from their parties.“Just loosening the whip system will not make it work better than what it is at the moment,” government chief whip Paul Kehoe told TheJournal.ie this week saying that no consideration is being given to the issue at present.Calls for reform of the whip system and free votes have come from all quarters, ambitious backbenchers like Murphy, a junior minister in Brian Hayes and those who have incurred the wrath of expulsion like Naughten:“The whip system in Ireland is probably completely different to anywhere else in the world,” Naughten said. “It’s far more rigid than any other democracy where they have a whip system in place. It does weaken democracy when you have such a rigid whip system.“It would make the Dáil far more effective as a tool in passing legislation if you hadn’t a strong whip system in that it would force ministers to listen and engage with all members of the house.” read more
The Eiffel Tower is to get a glass security wall in response to France’s terror threat The wall, which will cover two sides of the tower, is to be made from bulletproof glass. By AFP Short URL The Eiffel Tower is lit with the French colours for the launch the city’s 2024 Olympic campaign on 3 February Source: Francois MoriTHE EIFFEL TOWER, the symbol of Paris, will soon be protected by bulletproof glass walls 2.5 metres (eight feet) high, part of a plan to prevent attacks at the monument, the city said today.The walls costing some €20 million will be erected this autumn at the northern and southern ends of the monument area, city hall said in a statement.On the western and eastern sides, “inelegant temporary” barriers that were thrown up around the 324-metre tower during the Euro 2016 football tournament in France last year will be replaced by ornate fencing.“The terror threat remains high in Paris, and the most vulnerable sites, starting with the Eiffel Tower, must be the object of special security measures,” deputy mayor Jean-Francois Martins told a press conference.The glass walls will prevent individuals or vehicles storming the site visited by six million people each year, he added.Some councillors quoted by Le Parisien newspaper said they feared the walls would turn the iconic tower into a “fortress”.They could turn off tourists who simply want to have their pictures snapped under the tower, they said.Martins said that visitors will continue to have access to the foot of the tower – after undergoing security checks – free of charge.Removing the unsightly barriers currently in place would give both visitors and locals alike “a nicer view of the monument”, he said.Architects will help design the walls so that they blend in with the river, which borders the tower to the north, and with the Champ de Mars park to the south, he added.Olympic bidSecurity has been boosted around French tourist sites, transport hubs and places of worship after a string of jihadist attacks that claimed 238 lives around the country between January 2015 and July 2016.The continuing nature of the threat was brought home last week by an attack on troops patrolling outside the Louvre museum.The suspect, a 29-year-old Egyptian who shouted “Allahu Akbar” (‘God is greatest’), was shot in the stomach after slightly injuring a soldier with a machete.The assault came on the day France launched its formal bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics, lighting up the Eiffel Tower in the blue, white and red national colours.The tower, which was inaugurated for the 1889 Exposition Universelle, will undergo a major upgrade as part of the bid.© – AFP, 2017Read: Two Irishmen charged with gun offences in Amsterdam todayRead: Australian man miraculously escapes after holding his head barely above water… for five hours Share166 Tweet Email1 49 Comments Feb 9th 2017, 8:58 PM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article http://jrnl.ie/3232093 19,235 Views Thursday 9 Feb 2017, 8:58 PM read more
Climat : 2010, année la plus chaude des annales ?D’après les scientifiques du National Climatic Data Center, l’année 2010 pourrait être l’une des années les plus chaudes jamais recensées, tandis que le niveau des glaces dans l’Arctique est l’un des plus bas de ces dernières années.Au cours des huit premiers mois de l’année 2010, le record de température de la surface de la terre et de la mer combinée a atteint 14,7°C, soit 1,21°C de plus que la moyenne enregistrée au XXe siècle. Un record qui avait déjà été atteint en 1998.Alors que les températures de juin à août dans l’hémisphère nord sont les deuxièmes plus chaudes après 1998, la moyenne des températures a été dépassée dans la plupart des régions de la planète, en particulier dans l’est de l’Europe, l’est du Canada et certaines parties de l’Asie de l’Est. A l’inverse, Australie, Russie centrale et Amérique du Sud méridionale ont connu des températures plus froides, quand la Grande-Bretagne enregistrait son mois d’août le plus frais depuis 1993.Le National Climatic Data Center révèle par ailleurs que le niveau de la couverture glaciaire semble avoir atteint son niveau le plus bas de l’année le 10 septembre dernier. Depuis l’enregistrement des données satellites, initié en 1979, la couverture glaciaire a atteint en 2010 son troisième niveau le plus bas, passant sous la limite des 5 millions de km².Le 17 septembre 2010 à 16:05 • Emmanuel Perrin read more