Evangelist’s party guided by hand of God

first_imgVoters matter most in a democracy. But for Zoram Thar, God matters more. Zoram Thar is a semi-political group contesting 24 seats in the November 28 Mizoram Assembly election.The group’s president, Zaichhawna Hlawndo, prefers to call it a spiritual party that wants Jesus to control the 40-member House.An evangelist who preached across India, the U.S. and the United Kingdom, the 55-year-old Rev. Hlawndo is contesting from two seats — in Serchhip against Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla and in the Aizawl West-I constituency.But he desists from calling Zoram Thar an evangelical party, which it had intended to be in the 1990s.New group“Zoram Thar, meaning New Mizoram, was founded by Rev. V.L. Nithanga in 1994 but it lost its way in the political quagmire and became defunct. Ours is a new group guided by divinity to clean up the corrupt political system and establish God’s govern-ment,” he told The Hindu.The reverend said he had decided to settle down in the U.K. when a ‘divine call’ he received while in transit at the Dubai airport in 2012 made him decide to return to Mizoram.He formed Zoram Thar in February 2016 with a few church leaders, sold his U.K. house in 2017 and got down to finding candidates — apostles, rather — to carry out God’s instructions.Among the candidates are his evangelist daughters Lalhrilzeli, 28, and Lalruatfeli, 26. Both are contesting two seats each. Three others are his neighbours in the Chaltlang Lily Veng locality of Aizawl.Rev. Hlawndo has fielded three women apart from his two daughters, making Zoram Thar the party along with the Bharatiya Janata Party to have given ticket to most women — five. “God told us to contest this election, He will guide the people the way He knows best,” he said.last_img read more

U.K. Scientists Welcome New Policy on Animal Research

first_imgLONDON—The number of live animals used in the United Kingdom for scientific research will not be capped, the British government announced today. Instead, a policy document unveiled this morning says the government will only “encourage” researchers to use alternatives whenever possible. The number of animal experiments has been on the rise in recent years in the United Kingdom, as it has in many other countries.The policy document, presented at a press conference by David Willetts, the U.K. minister for universities and science, has reassured scientists. But animal rights lobbyists are critical. The British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) called it “a missed opportunity for the Government to make meaningful and lasting change for the millions of animals suffering in UK laboratories.”“Britain is a world leader in science and it has also got a great tradition of concern about the welfare of animals,” Willetts said at today’s briefing. “What we do in this document is bring these two great traditions together in our delivery plan.”Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties agreed to tackle the issue of animal studies in their 2010 deal to form a coalition government. Despite the stated ambition to reduce the number of animal experiments, their numbers have been steadily rising—a trend that started in the early 2000s.The most recent data available show that in 2012, researchers conducted more than 4.11 million experiments on animals—well over 11,000 procedures a day and a rise of 8% over 2011, according to Home Office figures. The rapid growth is caused primarily by the massive use of genetically modified animals.Most animals used in scientific research in the United Kingdom are bred specifically for this purpose, in line with the 1988 Protection of Animals Act. However, wild-caught primates are also used at times, if the scientists can provide exceptional and specific justification.The government says that the policy paper, Working to reduce the use of animals in scientific research, is designed to balance the desire for reducing the number of animal experiments with the need to protect U.K. science and innovation. It relies on the long-established international principle of “the 3Rs”: replace animal tests with other studies wherever possible, reduce the number of animals involved, and refine procedures to minimize suffering.But Willetts refused to discuss what kind of reduction the government is aiming for; the approach isn’t “about a numerical target,” he said, but about encouraging more ethical research methods. “The commitment is to ‘work to reduce the use of animals.’ Ultimately the final figure will depend on patterns of scientific advance,” he said.The government’s plan outlines the need for more transparency and openness. The public should be better informed about what is actually going on in animal research labs, says Dominic Wells, chair of the Animal Science Group, a special interest group within the U.K.-based Society of Biology. Scientists should be reporting what happens to the animals “rather than just giving the numbers.”Wendy Jarrett, chief executive of Understanding Animal Research in London, a group that tries to promote understanding about advances stemming from animal experiments, welcomes the openness initiative. More than 40 U.K. organizations involved in bioscience are now drawing up the Concordat on Openness on Animal Research, a document that will set out ways for biomedical researchers to explain what they are doing with animals and why, she said in a statement today. “We support all efforts to replace, reduce and refine the use of animals in research and we are delighted by today’s announcement that the Government will be giving the [National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research] even more funding,” she added.But BUAV CEO Michelle Thew calls the plan “a whitewash” that “shows that the Government has in reality given up on what it promised to do and that is to reduce the number of animal experiments.” The National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS) called for much stricter measures including a ban on monkey experiments. “Animal experiments have risen year on year […] whilst the Government has twiddled its thumbs,” NAVS Chief Executive Jan Creamer said in a statement. “Such crude and outdated animal research methods can be replaced with quicker, cheaper and scientifically superior methods—the cutting edge of modern science.”Willetts said the government hoped its policy would also set animal research standards elsewhere. Animal testing of cosmetics, for example, is not carried out in the United Kingdom, but still exists in some other countries. “We … try and persuade them that they don’t need to use animal testing in cosmetics,” Willetts said.last_img read more

Clint Dempsey, Gyasi Zardes lead United States over Ecuador 2-1, into Copa America semi-final

first_imgClint Dempsey scored for the third straight game on a first-half header and set up Gyasi Zardes for a tap-in goal midway through the second half, boosting the United States into the Copa America semifinals with a 2-1 win over Ecuador on Thursday night.Playing before a boisterous and almost completely partisan home crowd in the soccer-mad Pacific Northwest, the US won a knockout game against a nation outside its region for only the second time and will play Argentina or Venezuela on Tuesday in Houston.American midfielder Jermaine Jones and Ecuador winger Antonio Valencia were both ejected early in the second half. Jones will be suspended for the semifinal along with U.S. midfielder Alejandro Bedoya and Bobby Wood, who both got their second yellow cards of the tournament.Dempsey’s 52nd international goal, five behind Landon Donovan’s American record, put the U.S. ahead in the 22nd minute and Zardes guided Dempsey’s cross into the net in the 65th for a 2-0 lead.Michael Arroyo scored for Ecuador in the 74th minute and Enner Valencia missed a pair of great chances moment later on a pair of headers.last_img read more

Ravichandran Ashwin shatters records with 23rd five-wicket haul

first_imgRavichandran Ashwin’s dream run in 2016 continues as the off-spinner today bagged his 23rd five-wicket haul on the second day of the fourth Test between India and England at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium.The 30-year-old lanky Tamil Nadu tweaker got rid of Ben Stokes early on the day as India, who are leading the five-Test rubber 2-0, look to seal the series. He then made Jake Ball his sixth victim as India bowled England out for 400 after lunch. (Ashwin’s golden Test run in 2016 continues)Ashwin also equalled legends Dennis Lillee, Imran Khan and Kapil Dev’s record of 23 five-fors and is now the third best Indian in the list of bowlers with most five-wicket hauls in Tests, behind Anil Kumble (35) and Harbhajan Singh (25).Ashwin has been India’s most successful Test bowler at home in the last two years, ahead of Jadeja and leg-spinner Amit Mishra. (Newsmaker: Ravichandran Ashwin spins India back to the top)Ashwin now has 48 wickets in Tests in India in 2016 – the most by any Indian spinner in a calendar year at home. The previous record was 46 by Erapalli Prasanna in 1969. As compared to the seamers, Ashwin’s tally is second to only Kapil Dev’s 58 in 1979. Not just that, Ashwin is India’s seventh highest wicket-taker in Tests with 241 scalps, behind Bhagwat Chandrasekhar (242) and Bishan Singh Bedi (266).Ashwin, who is the world No.1 Test bowler and the No.1 all-rounder, has been in terrific form this year. In 11 matches, he has picked 65 wickets, including seven five-wicket hauls. (Is Ravichandran Ashwin India’s greatest match-winner already?) advertisementAshwin, who is the quickest Indian and second-fastest in the world to reach the 200-wicket mark in Tests, became the third Indian to take more than 50 wickets and score in excess of 500 runs in Tests in a calendar year.Only Vinoo Mankad in 1952 and Kapil Dev in 1979 and 1983 respectively have been able to achieve the feat in the past. Ashwin is only the seventh allrounder in the world to achieve the feat.He also completed the allround double of 1000 runs and 100 wickets in India, thus becoming only the fifth player to accomplish this feat.Ashwin has risen to the top of the ICC Test bowling rankings on the back of seven Man of the Series performances, four of them being back-to-back. The feat is the most by any Indian in the longest format of the game, surpassing the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Kapil Dev, Harbhajan Singh, Rahul Dravid, Mohammad Azharuddin and Sourav Ganguly.last_img read more

Nitish Rana credits Gautam Gambhir for batting success in IPL 2017

first_imgThe new batting sensation of IPL 2017 from Mumbai Indians, Nitish Rana, has attributed his success to Kolkata Knight Riders’ captain, Gautam Gambhir, after he was adviced by his Delhi Ranji Trophy teammate to change his batting stance.Previously, the 22 year-old used to have a low stance while taking guard in front of the wickets, but on Gambhir’s advice, moved to more upright posture, while opening up his front shoulder during season 10 of the IPL.  Rana discussed Gambhir’s advice with Mumbai Indians head coach Mahela Jayawardene and mentor Sachin Tendulkar and decided to alter his technique.”As my form dipped and I got out early in a couple of one-dayers, Gambhir spoke to me regarding my technique. After coming over here, I spoke to Sachin sir and Mahela sir regarding the same and both said that Gambhir was right and from the first day I started practicing that way,” Rana told the Hindustan Times.”I have a low stance and there was a problem with me being side-on. They asked me to be upright and open up my shoulder a bit more to help me get a better look at the ball.”Rana has scored 266 runs with a strike rate of 135.02, and is currently fourth in the running for the orange cap behind Hashim Amla, David Warner and Suresh Raina. He also has managed to score three fifties this season, a feat only Moises Henriques of Sunrisers Hyderabad has achieved this season.  “Frankly speaking, I feel if a person doesn’t fail in life he won’t be able to learn anything,” he said. “I knew something this big was on the cards. I failed a lot, people commented as well, but I ignored it and believed in myself, trusted my game and worked hard. Today, I’m getting the rewards for what I’ve put in.”advertisementA difficult domestic season pushed him harder to prove himslef in the IPL.”Well, I didn’t have a great Ranji season. So I just kept telling myself that I had a number of things in my control now and if I can keep myself mentally prepared, it wouldn’t be too long before I get a chance to prove myself in the IPL,” he added.”I was just focused. I had a terrible Ranji season and I could have been depressed. Especially if you compare the previous two seasons, the last season was nothing,” he said.Also Watch:last_img read more

Fair Trading Commission Promotes Competitive Markets

first_imgThe Fair Trading Commission (FTC) has been facilitating various initiatives geared at promoting competitive markets and improvement in consumer welfare.Speaking at a JIS ‘Think Tank’, today (August 24), Executive Director at the FTC, David Miller, said the entity has been collaborating with various Government entities, financial institutions and sectors to improve their operations and processes. “We have been collaborating with the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) in looking at ways to improve financial inclusion in our country, that is, bringing more persons into the ‘bankable sector’,” Mr. Miller said.The Executive Director added that another initiative involves a study being conducted by the Commission on competition in the commercial banking sector.“There are a number of commercial banks in the sector but there are credit unions and small loan entities offering similar services to consumers who are not necessarily able to obtain a loan from the bank. So, we have come together to recognise these situations and finding ways to allow persons to reap the benefits of the commercial banking framework that we have in our country,” Mr. Miller explained.He further highlighted that the FTC is in the process of creating a formal merger review framework, which is a method through which various issues are addressed before a merger takes place.Mr. Miller explained that this process will mean amendments to the legislation; informing the stakeholders in the key sectors; and conducting ongoing consultations with the existing regulators.“So, the FTC will look closely at the issues, conduct interviews with the parties and make best efforts to ensure that consumers are not affected when an acquisition or merger takes place,” he said.Another initiative that the Executive Director highlighted is its thrust with the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries to get the management systems of its various departments and agencies ISO certified.As the FTC celebrates its 25th anniversary in September, Mr. Miller reflected that the Commission has made significant contributions to key sectors, particularly telecommunication, construction and agriculture.“We have also conducted several activities over the years aimed at informing the general public about the dos and don’ts of the competition policy. We also target particular groups of persons such as academia, economists, and attorneys being trained at the universities and also judges, as they play an important role in delivering judgments of the Fair Competition Act. So, we have collaborated with the Chief Justices over the years to conduct focused training of judges to inform them of our area of law,” Mr. Miller outlined.To celebrate its 25 years of operation, the FTC will be hosting a series of events in September, including a symposium, church service and several lectures.A special 25th anniversary newspaper supplement will be published on Sunday, September 9 to provide a brief history of the Commission and highlight its role in the promotion of competitive markets and improvement in consumer welfare.The FTC is the administrative body responsible for implementing the Fair Competition Act (FCA).It makes available to businesses and consumers, general information with respect to their rights and obligations under the FCA; undertake studies and publicise reports and information regarding matters affecting the interests of consumers; and co-operate with and assist any association in developing and promoting the observance of standards of conduct for the purpose of ensuring compliance with the FCA.last_img read more

Manitoba Independent MLA Steven Fletcher wants to be Conservative MP again

first_imgWINNIPEG – A former federal Conservative MP who now sits as an Independent member of the Manitoba legislature says he’s making another run for federal politics.Steven Fletcher announced Monday on Facebook that he will seek the Conservative nomination in the federal consistency of Charleswood-St. James-Assiniboia-Headingley.Fletcher previously held the federal seat from 2004 until he was defeated in 2015, and served in the cabinet of former prime minister Stephen Harper.He then won a provincial seat as a member of the Progressive Conservatives when the party won power in 2016.But he was removed from caucus and was forced to sit as an Independent after he criticized the government over its decision to set up an entity separate from Manitoba Hydro to promote energy efficiency.Fletcher says in his Facebook post that he will continue his role as an MLA for Assiniboia in the upcoming legislature session.“I have many events, activities and active legislative agenda to bring forward and complete. These include a dozen pieces of legislation, working with the community on parks and recreation space, community forms, barbecues, presentations to community groups, school visits, etc.,” Fletcher wrote.“I appreciate everyone’s support, I really do.”Fletcher is a quadriplegic and became well-known during his time as a federal politician for his battle for the right to assisted suicide.After he was ejected from Manitoba’s government caucus, Fletcher filed a lawsuit over a provincial law that forbids legislature members from crossing the floor and joining another caucus.Under the law introduced by the former NDP government in 2006, Fletcher was required to sit as an Independent until the next election. That, or he could resign his seat and run in a byelection under another party banner.Fletcher’s lawyer told court in December the restriction violates Fletcher’s freedom of expression and association under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Sheldon Lanchbery reserved his decision until March.last_img read more

Sarah Jessica Parker To Celebrate Teen Winners Of The Scholastic Art And

first_imgOn Friday, May 31 at Carnegie Hall, actress and arts advocate Sarah Jessica Parker and fashion designer Zac Posen will share the spotlight with the talented teens who received national honors in the 90th annual Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.More than 800 teens from 47 states, along with their families and teachers, are expected to attend the celebration. There, 15 graduating seniors will receive Portfolio Gold Medals, the Awards’ highest honor, which includes a $10,000 scholarship. For the first time in the Awards’ 90-year history, the ceremony will be webcast live so people across the nation can share in the celebration.Presented by the nonprofit Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards is the country’s longest-running, most prestigious scholarship and recognition program for creative teenagers, and provides students across the country with opportunities for exhibition and publication of their work. The celebration of this year’s winning students and teachers kicks off May 31, when two giant Times Square screens at 1515 Broadway will promote the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards every two minutes throughout the day, and the Empire State Building will be lit in gold to honor the student winners. After the Carnegie Hall ceremony, the Alliance’s annual Gold Key Gala will take place at The Edison Hotel, and on June 1, the Awards’ National Student Exhibition will open at Parsons The New School for Design and Pratt Manhattan Gallery, showcasing select Award-winning student work.At the May 31 ceremony at Carnegie Hall, Ms. Parker will congratulate the students and offer words of encouragement. “It takes courage as well as talent to step out as a writer or an artist, and I’m delighted to have the opportunity to personally congratulate these outstanding teens,” Ms. Parker said. “Finding out that people other than your parents and your teachers truly believe in your work can validate the courage these teens have shown in presenting their work to the world, and help to carry them forward into their lives and their careers.”Mr. Posen will be presented with the 2013 Alumni Achievement Award. “As a young person, your work is often not understood or appreciated by those around you, since some people feel you are too young to be a ‘real’ artist,” said Mr. Posen. “To receive one of these Awards is an important moment in the life of a young artist or writer. It shows that someone believes in your work and sees something of promise in it.” Video congratulations will also be delivered by First Lady Michelle Obama and Girls star and creator Lena Dunham, an alumna of the Awards. Other notable artists and writers who received a Scholastic Award when they were in high school include Robert Redford, Andy Warhol, Joyce Carol Oates, Stephen King, John Lithgow, Robert Indiana, Ken Burns, John Baldessari, Truman Capote, John Updike, and Sylvia Plath.“When you look at the notable list of past winners, it is really clear that the Scholastic Awards have helped fuel America’s creative output since they were established 90 years ago,” said Virginia McEnerney, Executive Director of the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. “The founder of the Awards, M.R. Robinson, who also founded Scholastic Inc., dreamed of a day when teenagers who are creative would receive the same kind of accolades as teenagers who are athletic. The Awards strive to do that every year by recognizing talented teens, first in their local communities and then on a national stage.”The exhibits of winning students’ work will be open to the public through June 15; starting in the fall, a traveling exhibit of student work entitled ART. WRITE. NOW. will visit cities across the United States, ensuring that work by these outstanding teens is accessible throughout the country. The exhibitions and accompanying public programs are co-sponsored by the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center.2013 marks the 90th anniversary of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, which attracted more participants than ever before, with more than 230,000 submissions in 28 categories including dramatic script, journalism, humor, novel-writing and science-fiction, as well as painting, sculpture, photography, fashion design, film and animation, and video game design. Each student work was blindly adjudicated, first locally through the 116 affiliates of the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, and then nationally by panels of judges comprised of renowned artists, authors, educators, and industry professionals. This year’s list of jurors included Edwidge Danticat, Myla Goldberg, Kurt Andersen, Red Grooms, and Elizabeth Wurtzel, among others.Works were judged on originality, technical skill, and the emergence of personal vision or voice. More than 1,600 outstanding students in grades 7–12 from throughout the nation, as well as students in American schools abroad, were chosen to receive national medals. Select honors provide students with cash awards totaling $200,000, and graduating seniors who received national medals are now eligible for an additional $8.5 million in scholarships from more than 60 colleges, universities, and art institutes across the country. The teachers of national winners were also recognized with Awards. A complete list of the 2013 national winners is available here.The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, a nonprofit, identifies teenagers with exceptional creative talent and brings their remarkable work to a national audience through The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Founded in 1923, the Awards is the longest-running, most prestigious program of its kind, having fostered the creativity and talent of millions of students through recognition, exhibitions and publications. Over the past five years alone, students have submitted nearly 900,000 pieces of work and more than $25 million has been made available in scholarships and awards to top winning participants. The Alliance partners with 116 regional affiliates across the country to bring the program to local communities, and works with a network of more than 60 colleges and universities to increase the range of scholarship and award opportunities. With the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Alliance is a founding partner of the National Student Poets Program, the country’s highest honor for youth poets, which selects five students exclusively from current Scholastic Art & Writing Award poetry winners. More information about the Alliance and its programs can be found at www.artandwriting.org.Source:PR Newswirelast_img read more

Metro Vancouver home sales and prices down to more historical levels board

VANCOUVER — Both sales and prices for Metro Vancouver homes have dropped in what the head of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver says is a return to historical demand levels.Board president Phil Moore says homebuyers have been taking a wait-and-see approach for most of 2018 and the slower activity has prompted home prices to edge downward across all property types.The board reports just over 1,600 residential home were sold in the region in November, a 42.5 per cent drop from the same month last year and a 34.7 per cent decrease in the 10-year average.Condo flipping was never the culprit behind Vancouver and Toronto’s home price spikesVancouver home sales plunge to 18-year low, but prices barely budgeIt’s not just sky-high home prices that make Vancouver so unaffordable — it’s paltry wages, tooMoore says home prices have dipped four to seven per cent over the past six months depending on the property type, and the board will watch conditions in the first quarter of 2019 to see if buyer demand picks up ahead of the usually active spring market.The benchmark price for detached homes is just over $1.5 million, while the average price of a condo is $667,800, a 2.3 per cent price decrease from November 2017.The Greater Vancouver Real Estate board includes properties from Whistler and the Sunshine Coast in the north to Richmond, South Delta and Maple Ridge in the south. read more

East Timor UN hails smooth presidential vote as ballot counting begins

The post-polling process has so far been problem-free, the UN Transitional Administration’s (UNTAET) chief electoral officer said, after an estimated 86.3 per cent of East Timor’s 439,000 eligible people cast their votes Sunday. UNTAET chief Sergio Vieira de Mello called the vote “a truly historic moment” and congratulated the East Timorese for the high turnout.”At this point, the electoral process is continuing as scheduled without any problems,” Carlos Valenzuela, the head of UNTAET’s Independent Electoral Commission, told a press conference this afternoon in the capital, Dili. “Parties were to file any complaints regarding polling by noon today. We so far have no word of any party complaints having been filed by the deadline.”All 13 district counting centres opened this morning and began the first phase of the counting process, ensuring that the number of ballots issued at each polling station matched the number found in that station’s ballot box.Four ballot boxes out of 933 were found to have broken seals when they arrived at the counting centres, Mr. Valenzuela said. Each seal was believed to have inadvertently broken during transport, and foul play was not suspected.Many districts were expected to begin sorting and counting the ballots by the end of the day. Counting is scheduled to continue tomorrow, and some districts were expected to declare preliminary results ahead of the expected announcement of the final tally on Wednesday.An estimated 379,116 people turned out on Sunday to choose between Legislative Assembly Vice President Francisco Xavier do Amaral and independence leader Xanana Gusmão in yesterday’s election, the third and final vote run by the United Nations as it helps the former Portuguese colony in its transition to independence.The two candidates voted together at a polling centre in Dili. After casting their ballots, the two shook hands and waved to a crowd of local and international media.The president is the last fundamental piece of the East Timor government to put in place before UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan declares the territory independent during a ceremony in Dili on 20 May.”The East Timorese have shown their enthusiasm for the democratic process that has taken root here,” Mr. Vieira de Mello said after the close of polling. “That comes as no surprise to me. Like last year, the East Timorese have again proved to the world that maturity, security and tolerance is the ‘Timorese way’ of participating in elections.” read more

UNs top rights official condemns death squad activity in Côte dIvoire

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Sergio Vieira de Mello, reminded all concerned that grave human rights violations are punishable as international crimes and declared his readiness to advise UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to seize the Security Council of such crimes if needed. Backing the Council’s call last Wednesday, he urged the country’s authorities and rebel movements to take all necessary measures to put an end to the violence and punish those responsible. The Commissioner also underlined the essential role of an independent and impartial media in national reconciliation, as set out in the Programme of Government and National Reconciliation of the Linas-Marcoussis Agreement of last month, and in the recommendations of the recent UN human rights mission to Côte d’Ivoire. Meanwhile, Carolyn McAskie, the Secretary-General’s Humanitarian Envoy for the crisis in Côte d’Ivoire, has just completed visits to Ghana, Burkina Faso, Liberia, and Guinea, where she got a first-hand look at the effects of the crisis on neighbouring countries. “There is a lot that needs to be done by the international community to help. I think we should be generous at this time,” she said in Abidjan, urging donors to address the crisis. The United Nations has issued a Flash Appeal for $22 million to meet humanitarian needs, but only 11 per cent of funds requested have been received. In New York, the Secretary-General today appointed Albert Tevoedjre as his Special Envoy for Côte d’Ivoire. A national of Benin, Mr. Tevoedjre was a former Member of Parliament and Minister. He also served as Deputy Director General of the International Labour Organization. Mr. Tevoedjre will leave New York for the region this weekend and is expected to arrive in Côte d’Ivoire on Tuesday. read more

Grey matters most to UK car buyers as black loses number one

The top three colours maintained a strong grip on the chart – 59% of new cars registered in the UK in 2018 were grey, black or white. It’s been nine years since a primary colour last sat in the top three¹, but blue maintained its solid fourth position, while red knocked silver down a place to introduce more colour to the top five.Cream saw the biggest overall percentage drop, with just 559 drivers opting for the colour during 2018, down -34%. Meanwhile, although nearly 7,000 motorists tried to bring a bit of sunshine to UK roads, demand for yellow cars also fell by a third (-34%). White has been the biggest loser in recent years, with more than 132,000 fewer cars registered in white last year than in 2015 when it reached its peak.Scots bucked the national trend, putting white on top, but in Northern Ireland and Wales the grey mood was prevalent. Blue made a podium appearance in all three countries as buyers opted for a splash of colour. Meanwhile English drivers made the most of the 118 different colours available on the market, registering 116 of them in 2018, while just 53 different colours were registered in Northern Ireland.Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said,There are more opportunities than ever to personalise your new car to your exact taste, and UK motorists have approached the challenge with gusto in 2018.With around 80 new or upgraded models coming to market in 2019 equipped with the latest low and zero-emission powertrains, advanced safety tech and exciting comfort and convenience features, it’s great that buyers have so much to choose from.Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) Grey becomes UK’s favourite new car colour for first time since records began, with nearly half a million registered in 2018. 59% of new cars registered in black, grey or white – with a primary colour not making the top three for eight years.Once the nation’s long-standing favourite, silver falls out of top five with its lowest popularity rating since late 1990s.Grey overtook black as the UK’s favourite new car colour in 2018, according to the latest figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Registrations of both colours were down on 2017 numbers, but grey’s -1.1% drop to 495,127 was enough to see it topple black from the top spot as the colour fell -7.3% to 478,154. Just over one in five of 2018’s 2.4 million new car registrations were painted grey.In line with the new car market’s performance in 2018, demand for most colours in the top 10 was down year on year, apart from orange and beige, which saw significant increases of +37% and +28%. Orange jumped up to seventh place, while beige made its first appearance in the top 10 since 2014 as a number of new and upgraded models had the colour as an option. read more

Preconcentration and agglomeration to enhance nickel laterite heap leaching

first_imgAn Opportunity Analysis has indicated that A$190 billion worth of nickel in lower-grade Australian nickel laterite deposits could be recovered using effective new technologies. Heap leaching is a promising next-generation technology for treating nickel laterite deposits. It offers a potentially simpler and less costly processing alternative. However, significant technical challenges remain with heap leaching which are preventing its adoption, including issues such as excessive acid consumption (caused by parasitic side reactions), and maintaining high permeability within the heaps.A research initiative is looking to overcome these hurdles through the development of radically new and improved pretreatment and agglomeration methods. In this cluster, the universities of South Australia (through the Ian Wark Research Institute), Queensland, Melbourne and British Columbia will collaborate with CSIRO. The Ian Wark Research Institute is the lead party and Laureate Professor John Ralston, Director of the Institute, is the Cluster Leader.The majority of Australia’s nickel resources occur as nickel laterite deposits which tend to be lower-grade and are exceptionally complex and expensive to treat using conventional methods. This is evidenced by the difficulties experienced by all four nickel laterite operations that have started up in Western Australia in the past 15 years. Only one is still operating.last_img read more

These glowing tropical sea creatures have started to bloom north of their

first_img Share14 Tweet Email1 46-year-old kicker Adam Vinatieri appears to tease an imminent retirement after missing 2 extra points on Sunday 13,649 Views Jun 22nd 2017, 3:06 PM Typically found in the tropics, we’re seeing huge numbers of #pyrosomes in the eastern Pacific. Read more https://t.co/pZ8aQHhc2A #ONCabyss pic.twitter.com/18RnlIJWmW— Ocean Networks 🇨🇦 (@Ocean_Networks) June 14, 2017 One of many Pyrosoma atlanticum. Image: NWFC Source: New Scientist/YouTube“We have a lot of questions and not many answers,” Ric Brodeur of the Northwest Fisheries Science Center’s research station in Newport, Oregon explained in a post on the centre’s site.We’re trying to collect as much information as we can to try to understand what is happening, and why.Pyrosomes can grow to massive sizes, potentially to more than 60 feet long, though the ones currently flooding the seas off the coast of British Columbia and Alaska are more cucumber-sized.It’s the numbers that are troubling. Salmon and halibut fishermen haven’t been able to access their normal catch, with long lines catching pyrosomes instead of fish on basically every hook, according to reports by the CBC and National Geographic. One of many Pyrosoma atlanticum. http://jrnl.ie/3458232 These glowing tropical sea creatures have started to ‘bloom’ north of their habitat, way way north They’re appearing in the US and Canada’s pacific northwest. Thursday 22 Jun 2017, 3:06 PM Attack that wiped out half of Saudi Arabia’s oil production came from Iran, US official says center_img Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Trump says US is ‘locked and loaded’ in response to attack on Saudi oil supply MILLIONS OF STRANGE-LOOKING glowing sea creatures called pyrosomes have started to “bloom” off the coast of the Pacific Northwest of the US and Canada.The creatures are filling up fishing nets, clogging hooks and research gear and befuddling scientists who have no idea why populations of the tube-like organisms are exploding.“Call it the invasion of the pyrosomes,” writes Michael Milstein in a post on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Northwest Fisheries Science Center website.They started to show up in the spring and in the past month or two, swarms of the animals been spotted all over the region.Pyrosomes are odd creatures — they’re technically tunicates, colonies of individual organisms known as zooids that feed off of plankton and other small organisms.They have little bumps, are about as firm as a cucumber or pickle, and are gelatinous like jellyfish.They’re translucent and bioluminescent, which gives them a glow (the word pyrosome means “fire body”).And while they can occasionally be found further north, they typically inhabit tropical waters, which makes the appearance of these massive quantities strange and disturbing to fishermen who worry that they could devastate a fragile food network. By Business Insider Image: NWFC ‘He’s a businessman’: One of Hong Kong’s most prominent activists is urging Trump to back the pro-democracy movement and prevent a ‘nightmare’ for the world economy Source: Ocean Networks 🇨🇦/Twitter One five-minute trawl of a research net off the coast of Oregon dragged in about 60,000 of the creatures. Researchers from Ocean Networks Canada at the University of Victoria released a video showing just how thick the water was with these cucumber-like bodies.Some think that these populations might come from an anomalous huge “blob” of warm water that hovered in the Pacific from 2014 to 2016, though that warm mass has dissipated.“It’s really weird,” Jennifer Fisher, a faculty research assistant with Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center, told National Geographic.“I’ve never seen anything like it.”- By Business Insider/KevinLoriaRead: ‘It could have been a little nipper’ – Shark snatches dog from Sydney beach >Read: Welcome to Zealandia: Scientists reveal ‘Earth’s hidden continent’ > Short URL 15 Comments last_img read more

Schools to foot bill for learning aids

first_imgSchools may have to prepare for growing bills, following the discontinuation of funding to learning aids announced earlier this year by Education Minister Martin Dixon. Schools may have to make sacrifices to be able to afford ultranet coaches and literacy experts, who visit schools to help students in years 3 to 8 who have fallen behind in reading and writing. Meanwhile, ultranet coaches train teachers to use ultranet, an online portal which allows parents to track their children’s school progress and attendance. In a memo to principals sent out by the Education Department, the funding model suggested that “schools would contribute $15 per student enrolment for 2012”. Education Department regional director, Ron Lake, said discussions with schools in the Loddon Mallee region had been positive and covered the possibility of retaining ultranet coaches and literacy specialists in 2012 if schools contributed to half the cost. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Border Patrol temporarily halts criminal prosecution referrals

first_img Updated: 7:53 PM June 25, 2018 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Border Patrol agents have reportedly stopped criminal prosecution referrals for adults who cross the border illegally with children. According to the Associated Press, the head of US Customs and Border Protection ended the referrals on a temporary basis within hours of President Trump’s executive order last week.The zero tolerance policy reportedly remains in effect, but cases cannot be prosecuted because parents cannot be separated from their children. According to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, those who illegally cross the border will still be prosecuted. RELATED STORY: EXCLUSIVE: What happens to kids already separated from parents at borderImmigration Attorney Esther Valdes was in studio with the latest on the immigration crisis. Her full interview can be seen below. KUSI Newsroom, Sandra Maas, Allen Denton, Border Patrol temporarily halts criminal prosecution referrals KUSI Newsroom, Sandra Maas, Allen Denton center_img Categories: California News, Local San Diego News, National & International News, Politics Tags: Esther Valdes 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave Settings Posted: June 25, 2018 FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

2BHK houses will be completed Talasani

first_imgSecunderabad Cantonment: Minister for Fisheries and Animal Husbandry Talasani Srinivas Yadav said that the double-bedroom houses in West Marredpally would be completed soon, after inspecting the work along with Cantonment MLA G Sayanna here on Monday. Yadav made enquiries with local residents regarding the progress of the construction works. Addressing a gathering, the Minister said that justice would be done to all beneficiaries. He warned that the State government would not tolerate ‘gundaism’ against the beneficiaries. Also Read – Secunderabad: Major General N Srinivas Rao makes farewell visit to AOC Advertise With Us He said that the beneficiaries should not be harmed by anti-social elements. Yadav recalled that hut dwellings built by the Housing Board in the past at the site were in poor condition. Hence the government was building two-bedroom houses for the benefit of the poor after the work was taken over by the Revenue department. The credit for providing houses for the poor should go to Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, the minister and the MLA stated, while conveying their greetings to the poor for getting two-bedroom houses in West Marredpally. Also Read – Kolkata artists giving final touches to 24 ft clay Ganesh idol Advertise With Us The minister suggested to the beneficiaries to form a committee to solve the problems of the local residents. He said if four or five families sought to approach a court, it should be brought to the notice of Revenue Department so that the problem could be solved. The Minister said that 1,400 double-bedroom houses, the highest in the Cantonment constituency, were being built. The houses would be completed shortly and the pattas would handed over to the poor beneficiaries, he added.last_img read more

Sony patent proposes camera button to send vitalsigns info

first_img The patent application filed last November and made known earlier this week is from Sony Mobile Communications in Lund, Sweden. The patent application describes a mobile device camera sensor that records the stats of the photo taker, information including skin conductance, body temperature, blood pressure, respiratory rate, pulse rate, and blood oxygen level. That information would be recorded into memory and tagged to a specific photo, a new twist in metadata for digital photos. But who would use this and why? You won’t get many answers from the patent application, which descries the sensors but does not specify which application areas could result. Here’s at least a possible clue, though. “At Sony, we are targeting the medical business for mid- to long-term growth,” the Sony President and CEO, Kazuo Hirai, has said. As a major exporter of consumer electronics, they have not lost sight of the opportunity their technology presents for health products. “We can leverage our technology base in image-capturing sensors, lenses, 3-D technology, image processing, to mention just a few areas,” Hirai said in an interview in Tokyo last year.The technology in the patent application possibly, as a guess, may be used as part of a patient’s dealings with doctor’s offices and hospitals. The patient could possibly take a photo and attach vital signs without having to be hooked up to medical equipment. The patent application makes the following point. “Usually when measuring vital signs, sensors, connected by wires to bulky measuring equipment, have to be placed or used on the person’s body. However, in this case the measuring of vital signs has to be done in another way since using cumbersome sensors and measuring equipment is not a viable option.”According to the application, the “first aspect of the present invention relates to a method for tagging a recorded image in a mobile communication device, wherein said recorded image is recorded by a camera unit in said mobile communication device, the method comprising the steps monitoring, using at least one sensor in said mobile communication device, a user’s vital signs, recording sensor information relating to said user’s vital signs when said user operates said camera unit in said mobile communication device and is in contact with at least one of said at least one sensors in said mobile communication device, recording an image from said camera unit when said user operates said camera unit in said mobile communication device, determining a tag based on said recorded sensor information, assigning said tag to said recorded image and storing and organizing said recorded image in a memory in said mobile communication device based on said tag.” The sensor information, it added, may comprise information regarding any of the following user’s vital signs: body temperature, pulse rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate, blood oxygen level and skin conductance. The application mentioned a sensor integrated in a camera button in the mobile communication device, “wherein said sensor and camera button may be operated when said user operates said camera unit for recording an image.” The inventor named in the patent application is Gunnar Klinghult. LG Electronics HMD patent sets sights on video viewing This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. © 2013 Phys.org Sony has filed a patent application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for a way for smartphone users to tag the photos they take with their vital signs. The patent proposes a “camera button with integrated sensors,” where the user can tag photos with vital sign information such as blood pressure and body temperature. It’s all about integrated sensors.center_img More information: via Engadget Explore further Citation: Sony patent proposes camera button to send vital-signs info (2013, July 20) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-07-sony-patent-camera-button-vital-signs.htmllast_img read more

1 drowns while taking selfie

first_imgKolkata: In a tragic incident, a youth fell into a river while taking a selfie on his mobile phone.The incident took place in Asansol on Wednesday morning. Police said the victim, Vivek Chandra Bangshi, along with his family members, went to Ghagarburi temple to offer puja.When his family members were visiting in and around the temple, the victim went up to the river bank to capture a selfie in broad daylight. As he stood on a big stone on the bank of Nunia River to capture the selfie, he accidentally slipped and fell into the river water. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe victim was swept away by under currents immediately after he fell into the river. The family members of the victim rushed to the spot but failed to trace the victim. Police came to know after asking the family members that he did not how to know swim.Some of the locals conducted a search operation in the river but failed in their attempt. The youth was a resident of Andal area in Durgapur. After being informed, police reached the spot. Local divers were brought in. They carried out a search operation in the river as well but failed to recover the body of the victim until Wednesday evening. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedMany curious onlookers gathered in the area to see the rescue operation. According to the preliminary investigation, police said the victim might have accidentally fallen into the river. The investigating officers have recovered the mobile phone of the victim from the place of the incident and started a probe. They are examining the mobile phone.Police are also probing into the irregularities behind the incident. The preliminary investigation, however, suggests that he was trying to take a selfie with the river in the background.last_img read more