Personal political divisions erupt over ballistic missile defence

first_imgOTTAWA – Personal and political divisions over ballistic missile defence were on clear display Tuesday, as a group of parliamentarians gathered on Parliament Hill to discuss the threat posed by North Korea.Members of the House of Commons’ defence committee agreed during a rare summer meeting to a series of emergency briefings in the coming weeks on the government’s plan should North Korea attack.The meeting came as the U.S. Treasury Department upped the ante on North Korea by sanctioning several Chinese and Russian entities for supporting the rogue state’s nuclear and missile programs.There was no immediate word of Canada following with its own sanctions.Instead, much of the discussion in the hallways before and after the committee meeting centred on whether Canada should join the U.S. continental missile-defence shield, after famously opting out of the system in 2005.The Trudeau government has sidestepped questions about Canada’s intentions, saying only that ballistic missiles are one threat being discussed as Canada and the U.S. look to upgrade North America’s defences.But one Liberal MP said Tuesday that Canada should reconsider its decision not to join the U.S. missile shield, even as the Conservatives danced around the issue and the NDP reaffirmed its historic opposition.Liberal MP Mark Gerretsen said a lot has changed since then-prime minister Paul Martin decided Canada would not join ballistic missile defence in 2005.“Personally, I think that we do need to start to look at what Canada’s role will be in that,” he told reporters after the committee meeting.“We should be having an ongoing discussion about what our role should be in that. And I think 10 years plus after the fact is a timely opportunity to have that discussion again.”Gerretsen would not comment on the government’s official position, or whether his view was shared by many other members of his party.But fellow Liberal MP Stephen Fuhr, chairman of the defence committee, noted that Canada has limited resources when it comes to defence — a reference to the fact the U.S. has spent about $100 billion on its missile shield.Fuhr also played down the threat posed by North Korea, citing military officials and defence experts who told the committee last year that there was no direct threat to Canada from another country.“Even if we wind back the media in the last 30 days, I don’t think Canada was ever mentioned in the rhetoric that was flying back and forth between North Korea and the United States,” he said.Meanwhile, Conservative MPs refused to say Tuesday where their party sits now.The Liberals were in office when Canada declined to join the defence system in 2005, but Stephen Harper made no move to reverse course during the Tories’ 10 years in power.That was despite Conservatives having pressed for Canada to join while they were in opposition to Martin’s government.Conservative defence critic James Bezan suggested his party would take a position once the defence committee is briefed on North Korea, even as he referenced the fiery debate from 12 years ago.“You’ve got to remember the history behind that discussion, the wounds that were created because of the decision by Paul Martin back in 2005. And things didn’t change until this summer,” Bezan added.“So from this point forward, everyone is looking at how we can best work with the United States. How we can work through NORAD in dealing with this new threat.”The only party with a clear position appeared to be the New Democrats, with NDP foreign affairs critic Helene Laverdiere calling on the Liberals to reaffirm their opposition to ballistic missile defence.“It’s cheaper to develop new weapons than to develop that kind of defensive system,” she said.“And that kind of defensive system only leads countries like North Korea but also countries like China and Russia, who may feel concerned, to upgrade their systems and it leads to escalation.”Laverdiere called for Canada to take more of a leadership role in finding a diplomatic solution and to support efforts at the UN for full nuclear disarmament around the world.— Follow @leeberthiaume on Twitter.last_img read more

Ontario strengthening police oversight redefining core police duties

first_imgTORONTO – Sweeping changes to Ontario’s policing laws were introduced Thursday, including strengthening oversight, making it possible to suspend officers without pay and redefining police duties.The new rules, contained in a massive piece of legislation years in the making, would include the first update to the province’s Police Services Act in more than 25 years.“The issues faced by police services and their members today are far more complex than when the act was developed,” said Community Safety and Correctional Services Minister Marie-France Lalonde. “The last time the act was revised, there was no internet, the Blue Jays won the World Series and you needed a briefcase to carry your cellphone.”Many of the policing updates stem from Appeal Court Justice Michael Tulloch’s report on police oversight, released earlier this year, and include requiring the Special Investigations Unit or SIU, one of the province’s police oversight agencies, to report publicly on all of its investigations and release the names of officers charged.Attorney General Yasir Naqvi said he has “deep respect and appreciation” for the more than 26,000 police officers in Ontario who risk their lives to keep people safe, but it’s also important to establish checks and balances.“We have all heard the growing concerns that some communities, in particular black and Indigenous communities, feel unjustly harmed at the hands of police,” he said. “We have witnessed such tensions across North America and we have learned that Ontario is not immune.”An Inspector General would be established to oversee police services, with the power to investigate and audit them, and Ontario’s ombudsman would be able to investigate complaints against the police oversight bodies.The three police oversight agencies that already exist in Ontario — the SIU, the Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD) and the Ontario Civilian Police Commission (OCPC) — would get expanded mandates.The OIPRD will be renamed the Ontario Policing Complaints Agency and would investigate all public complaints against police officers. The OCPC would be renamed the Ontario Policing Discipline Tribunal, dedicated solely to adjudicating police disciplinary matters, so that isn’t done by the police services themselves.As well, the SIU would be able to investigate not just current, but also former police officers, volunteer members of police services, special constables, off-duty officers and members of First Nations police services.Police officers who don’t comply with such investigations could be fined up to $50,000 and/or be sent to jail for up to one year.The SIU said it “wholeheartedly welcomes” the new Policing Oversight Act, tabled as part of the larger bill.Selwyn Pieters, a lawyer who frequently takes on issues of anti-black racism, said the expanded mandates and more layers of oversight will serve the public well.“I think those are fundamental when you talk about fairness, when you talk about impartiality, when you talk about balancing the scales between civilians and police officers,” he said. “We know the SIU has been criticized in terms of how it interacts and how it deals with shootings, particularly involving black men.”Suspending police officers without pay was one of the most discussed issues during the five-year process to update policing legislation, Lalonde said.Ontario is currently the only province in which chiefs can’t revoke the pay of suspended officers, who collect millions of dollars each year. Right now, suspended officers have to be paid even when convicted of an offence, unless they are sentenced to prison.The new legislation proposes to allow suspensions without pay when an officer is in custody or when they are charged with a serious federal offence that wasn’t allegedly committed in the course of their duties.But if an officer wants to fight that, the matter would go to the disciplinary tribunal, which would make the final decision. If the officer is ultimately found not guilty of the charge they faced, they would be reimbursed for the lost pay, Lalonde said.Fred Kaustinen, the executive director of the Ontario Association of Police Services Boards, said the rules strike a reasonable balance, though he would have liked a bit more flexibility for chiefs when it comes to suspension without pay.“When you have egregious offences conducted by some of the 26,000 members, sworn police officers in the province, it erodes that public trust and also is hugely expensive if somebody’s still on full pay and benefits because police officer salaries are very high in this province,” he said.Local police boards would also be created for the Ontario Provincial Police, similar to the structure of municipal police services boards — which will be required to undergo more training, such as on diversity. The new act would also allow First Nations police forces to establish their own police services boards.An amended Coroners Act would require coroner’s inquests when police kill through use of force, another one of Tulloch’s key recommendations.The government’s stated approach is to share the burden of community safety with municipalities. They will be required to implement community safety plans, such as identifying a need for more addiction and mental health programs, aiming to prevent problems before police get involved.The new act will also for the first time clearly define police responsibilities as those that can only be performed by an officer. That will be worked out in regulations, but Lalonde said for example, sworn constables may not be the best people to monitor construction sites.The Police Association of Ontario warned Thursday that those changes would open the door to privatization and could risk public safety, but Lalonde disputed the suggestion.“When you call 911 and you need a police officer, a police officer will respond,” she said.Two new pieces of legislation would also allow police to track a cellphone and search a home in missing persons cases — something they can only do now when a crime is suspected — as well as making accreditation and oversight of forensic labs mandatory.last_img read more

Son says mother who was allegedly pushed onto tracks in Calgary is

first_imgCALGARY – A Calgary woman who is now paralyzed after police say she was pushed in front of an oncoming transit train is awake from life-saving surgery and feels thankful to be alive, her son says.Allan Hein says his mother, Rozalia (Rose) Meichl, doesn’t remember much of the incident Thursday afternoon on a platform near Stampede Park where she was allegedly shoved from behind onto the tracks, but knows she can’t feel her legs.Hein says she spoke to him on the phone Sunday and remains optimistic despite the horror she went through.“She said, ‘Well son, I know that I can’t move my legs, I just can’t feel them. But I’m still alive so I’m feeling great,’” Hein said in an interview.“‘I’m aware I’ll never walk again and I’m aware that I’ll be in a wheelchair for the rest of my life, but son, I’m still breathing and I’m still alive and I’ve got family that love me.’”The train was able to stop in time, but Meichl was seriously injured and taken to hospital in life-threatening condition.A suspect was taken into custody by a transit officer. Police believe the attack was random and unprovoked.Hein says his mother and a friend were planning to return home on the train that day after taking in some horse racing. She was being followed and harassed by someone who was clearly intoxicated or on drugs, he says, and his mother finally told them to leave her and her friend alone.They thought that was the end of it, and as a train approached, a recorded announcement warned people to stand behind the yellow line at the edge of the platform. His mother’s friend looked up the tracks to see if it was their train, and Hein says the friend looked back in time to see Meichl get “two-arm pushed” off the platform and onto the tracks.Hein was at the gym when his sister called, bawling, and told him their mother was at Foothills Hospital. Doctors told them that evening that she likely wouldn’t live.Meichl hasn’t had an easy life. She’s had mobility issues due to a spinal condition that developed in her 20s and prevented her from working, and she raised two kids as a single mother.Despite her difficulties, Hein says his mother found time to volunteer and fundraise for charities.“Mum always did the best with what she had,” Hein said.A GoFundMe page, set up by Hein’s ex-wife, is helping raise funds to assist Meichl with her rehabilitation and living arrangements after she leaves hospital, which Hein says doctors believe is at least four months away.Hein says the generosity has helped restore his faith in Calgarians.“I know that life isn’t fair, but my mum is a great human being and has done nothing but provide care and compassion for those that are in her life.”Stephanie Favel, who is 35, is charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault and breach of probation.—By Rob Drinkwater in EdmontonFind the GoFundMe like at https://www.gofundme.com/support-rose039s-road-to-recoverylast_img read more

AAPs boastful claims on education health nothing but propaganda Gupta

first_imgNew Delhi: The most important human development indicators health and education took a back seat under the AAP government’s four-year rule in Delhi despite “boastful” claims by the ruling dispensation, senior Delhi BJP leader Vijender Gupta alleged on Wednesday.Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, whose party is running a campaign for full statehood of Delhi, should tell the people why it “failed” to work in these areas despite winning the 2015 Assembly elections with a massive majority, Gupta said in a press conference. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murder”During more than four years of AAP rule, Delhi has suffered a lot in the most important human development sectors of education and health. The boastful claims made by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his ministers is false propaganda,” he charged. The AAP’s reaction to allegations of Gupta, Leader of Opposition in the Delhi Assembly, was not immediately available. Citing reply of the government on a question asked in Delhi Assembly, he claimed it is in possession of 82 vacant plots where schools could have been constructed easily but nothing was done. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchings”Where are the promised 500 new schools? Why not a single brick was laid on 82 vacant plots for schools? he questioned. The government claims to have built thousands of classrooms without any survey of potential students at a cost of Rs 20 lakh per classroom. It spent Rs 1,400 crore on constructing 8,000 classrooms, he said. “New classrooms are no substitute for new schools. The primary responsibility of the government under the Right to Education is to make education available in hitherto areas uncovered by the reach of education. Children in many areas are still denied education near their homes,” Gupta claimed. He claimed further that as per a recent affidavit filed in the Delhi High Court by the government, majority of students who failed in Classes IX, X, XI and XII, were denied re-admission.last_img read more

How the major US stock indexes fared Thursday

Stocks finished broadly lower on Wall Street Thursday after energy shares sank with the price of oil and some big technology and media names also tallied losses.Health care and banks, which got a boost from rising bond yields, were among the gainers. The sell-off handed the market its second straight loss.On Thursday:The S&P 500 index fell 6.21 points, or 0.2%, to 2,917.52.The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 122.35 points, or 0.5%, to 26,307.79.The Nasdaq composite slid 12.87 points, or 0.2%, to 8,036.77.The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks rose 6.27 points, or 0.4%, to 1,582.65.For the week:The S&P 500 is down 22.36 points, or 0.8%.The Dow is down 235.54 points, or 0.9%.The Nasdaq is down 109.63 points, or 1.4%.The Russell 2000 is down 9.17 points, or 0.6%.For the year:The S&P 500 is up 410.67 points, or 16.4%.The Dow is up 2,980.33 points, or 12.8%.The Nasdaq is up 1,401.50 points, or 21.1%.The Russell 2000 is up 234.09 points, or 17.4%.The Associated Press read more

UN officials mourn passing of Mohammad Zahir Shah Father of Afghanistan

23 July 2007United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and his senior envoy to Afghanistan today mourned the passing of His Majesty Mohammad Zahir Shah, considered the father of the nation, at the age of 92. In a statement released by his spokesperson, Mr. Ban paid tribute to the late monarch, who reigned over a “long period of peace and development.” Mr. Ban noted that the King had been responsible for adopting a Constitution in 1964 “that was a model of tolerance, as well as a synthesis of the best of Islamic and modern political thought.” In Kabul today, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Tom Koenigs, called the late monarch “truly a King of Peace.” Mohammad Zahir Shah “exerted a unifying influence, including during the difficult decades of conflict,” Mr. Koenigs said, paying particular tribute to the King’s participation in the Bonn Process which laid the groundwork for establishing democracy in the country after the fall of the Taliban. “The return of Mohammad Zahir Shah to Kabul in 2002 was a touchstone for Afghan hopes for peace and the revival of their institutions and traditions,” Mr. Koenigs said, calling the King’s role at the Emergency and Constitutional Loya Jirgas – which paved the way for a political transition – “a singular contribution to national reconciliation.” “Our prayers are with His Majesty’s family and with all those who were touched in so many ways by this great man,” Mr. Koenigs said. The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) is flying its flags at half-mast in an expression of solidarity with the Afghan people in their national mourning. read more

Norway seeks to renew political contact with Sri Lanka

During his visit, Brende is scheduled to meet with Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera and the new opposition leader, Tamil lawmaker Rajavarothiam Sampanthan. “The aim of the visit to Colombo is to re-establish political contact with Sri Lanka,” Brende said, adding: “The recent political developments in the country in the past year have made this possible.” Authoritarian president Mahinda Rajapakse, who was in power from 2005 to 2015, had questioned Norway’s neutrality and quashed the guerrilla in 2009 during a major military offensive that brought an end to 37 years of fighting.Rajapakse last year failed to win a third term and handed over power to Maithripala Sirisena, who has vowed to work toward reconciliation and investigate crimes committed by the army during the military campaign run by his predecessor. In the early 2000s, Norway mediated between the Sri Lankan government and the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), but a 2002 ceasefire didn’t last. Norway’s foreign minister will visit Sri Lanka this week in a bid to re-establish political contact, his office said Tuesday, almost 10 years after Oslo failed in a bid to mediate in the island’s civil war.Borge Brende’s visit, which begins Thursday, will be the first by a Norwegian minister to Sri Lanka since 2006, the foreign ministry said in a statement, according to the AFP news agency. read more

Chief of Staff of the Indian Army General Rawat to visit Sri

The Chief of Staff of the Indian Army, General Bipin Rawat, is to visit Sri Lanka, Army Commander Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake said.He told the Foreign Correspondents’ Association of Sri Lanka that General Bipin Rawat will be on a seven-day visit to Sri Lanka. He is expected in Sri Lanka over the weekend and will call on the armed forces chiefs, the President and the Prime Minister, and visit military establishments in Trincomalee and Diyatalawa. (Colombo Gazette)

Grand Marshals Announced for Huntington Heritage Days

By Julie JohansenHuntington City has chosen retired volunteer firefighters from its fire department to serve as 2019 Heritage Days Grand Marshals. The following firemen will be honored by riding in the parade on the restored engine from past days in Huntington: Tom Shannon, Jerry Oviatt, Merland Jensen, Bernell Halliday, Warren Oviatt, Brent Pierce, David Bird, Allen Jorgensen and Lon Arnold. Many of these men had served in the department for 30-40 years. This was one way for the city to show their appreciation and gratitude for so many years of service.Some of the firefighters shared an important memory from their years of service. Jensen, who served from 1980 to 2010, remembers a fun day at Canyon View Junior High where firefighters gave students rides down the hill on plastic with the fire hoses. Shannon, who gave 27 years of service, remembered helping with a fire at Thompson’s Lumber in Castle Dale, working with firemen from throughout the county. Pierce, 43 years of service, shared a scary recollection of fighting a haystack fire in Lawrence that jumped the road, saying that the firefighters had to outrun the flames. Warren Oviatt, who gave 42 years of service, spoke about a firefighter’s nightmare fighting a structure fire and finding a life-size doll facedown, fearing it was a small child. The fire department began in 1975 and has served the citizens of Huntington for all that time.The present firemen in Huntington are also in the process of establishing an honor roll plaque in the firehouse. Other names on the list include Vernon Leamaster, Walt Mortensen, Dale Christiansen, Garth Childs, Jim Gordon, Pete Alger, Jim Pierce, Allen Jorgensen, Vernon Jensen, Thomas Jensen, Boyd Snow, Vaughn Guymon and George Tucker. This list is on-going and more names will be added. read more

World Cup Crib Notes Day 5

The United States kicks off its 2014 World Cup campaign on Monday against Ghana, the team that eliminated the Stars and Stripes from the 2010 tournament in the round of 16. That’s the must-watch game in the U.S. But for most of the rest of the world, it’s Germany versus Portugal.See our World Cup interactive for the latest probabilities. — Allison McCannIN DEPTHSo what’s changed for Ghana and the U.S. since they last faced each other on this stage?America’s lineup has been transformed in the four years since 2010’s disappointment. Only four of the U.S. starting 11 from the loss to Ghana — goalkeeper Tim Howard, midfielders Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey, and striker Jozy Altidore — will be in coach Jürgen Klinsmann’s opening lineup Monday. (The most notable absence is Landon Donovan, though central defender Carlos Bocanegra was another useful veteran who saw his role with Team USA phased out in recent years.)Klinsmann made clear his preference for a fresh group during the selection process, and — Donovan’s ouster aside — that’s not a bad thing. New faces since 2010, including Fabian Johnson and Geoff Cameron, have acquitted themselves reasonably well for clubs in Europe, a factor Klinsmann values highly. Graham Zusi, Brad Davis and Matt Besler are playing effectively in MLS. The cupboard isn’t quite as bare as is widely believed, though the U.S. is still far from elite in the talent department.As for Ghana, it’s turned over six of its eleven starting slots from four years ago — although most of its best players from 2010 are back, including jack-of-all-trades Kwadwo Asamoah, midfielders Andre Ayew, Kevin-Prince Boateng and Michael Essien, and striker Asamoah Gyan. The Black Stars have also promoted the talented two-way midfielder Sulley Muntari into a regular starting role since their last World Cup meeting with the United States. (Needless to say, midfield is the strength of Ghana’s roster.)Most members of that group are plying their trade in top European leagues, so Ghana’s high-end talent is probably superior to that of the United States. But Ghana’s edge in talent hasn’t always translated in international play. It ranked just 38th in the pre-World Cup Elo Ratings, while the Americans ranked 13th.When ESPN’s Soccer Power Index (SPI) ranks teams, it attempts to combine these two elements — observed results and underlying talent — into a single rating for a given national team. And the current SPI rankings say the United States and Ghana are in a dead heat. The U.S. ranks 22nd in the world with a 77.53 SPI — meaning the Americans would compile 77.53 percent of the possible points if they played a round robin against every other national team in the world. Ghana ranks 25th, with an SPI of 77.37. That’s the smallest SPI margin between any two teams that will face each other in the group stage of this World Cup.As of Sunday, the sportsbook Bovada has Ghana as a slim favorite over the U.S., 35.8 percent to 34.5 percent (with a 29.7 percent chance of a draw). The FiveThirtyEight match projection system flips those odds around, giving the United States a very slight edge: 37.5 percent to 33 percent. Whatever happens, U.S.-Ghana should be one of the most evenly matched showdowns of the entire World Cup.YesterdayArgentina’s 2-1 win over Bosnia-Herzegovina on Sunday served notice to the casual soccer fan: One individual moment of brilliance can overshadow an average game.In the first 64 minutes of the match, Argentina’s Lionel Messi was the game’s most active participant in the attacking third, but the three chances he created didn’t translate into a single shot on goal. And he had turned the ball over a game-high three times.In the 65th minute, Messi reminded the Maracana how quickly he can change a game. He made a run from the midfield, past Bosnian midfielder Muhamed Besic, and played a quick 1-2 ball to teammate Gonzalo Higuain. Messi’s short-burst quickness created separation from Besic, and he hesitated slightly before the shot, driving another Bosnian player into Besic and out of position.Messi then banked a left-footed shot off the post for the eventual game-winning goal, Argentina’s first shot on goal of the match and only the second goal of Messi’s World Cup career. From his first touch in midfield to the ball crossing the goal line, the entire sequence took just over 9.5 seconds and erased the match’s first 64 minutes from spectators’ memory.That was all it took; the night belonged to Messi, whose production under Alejandro Sabella has been outstanding. Messi has 22 goals in 26 international games since Sabella became Argentina’s manager in September 2011, compared with 17 goals in 61 matches under all other managers. — John Parolin, senior stats analyst, ESPNOFF THE PITCHIf Ghana defeats the United States on Monday, Americans shouldn’t be too quick to feel ill-disposed toward the West African nation. The United States imports two bread-and-butter items from Ghana (though they are neither bread nor butter): oil and chocolate. In 2011, just more than 44 percent of Ghanaian exports to the United States was oil (crude and refined) and roughly 42 percent was chocolate (cocoa beans, chocolate, cocoa powder, cocoa paste and cocoa butter). That’s $374,624,626 in chocolate.Ghana also sent $7,016,768 in fake hair to the U.S. Thanks, Ghana!What does the U.S. send to Ghana? Cars — worth about $303 million in 2011. — Micah CohenFurther ReadingCtrl + ← The World Cup, the World Cup And the World CupHow Soccer Explains the Sports Page read more

Pregnant woman stabbed to death and baby left critically injured after being

“It was also established that she was approximately eight months pregnant. Despite the efforts of paramedics, the victim sadly died at the scene.”Her baby was delivered at the scene before being taken to hospital. The child (we are not confirming gender at this stage) remains there in a critical condition.” Detective Chief Inspector Mick Norman, who is leading the investigation, said: “This is a horrific incident in which a young mother has lost her life and her child is critically ill.”Our sympathies go out to her devastated family; they are being supported by specially trained officers following this awful event, and I would ask that they are left alone at this time as they come to terms with the enormity of what has happened.”London mayor Sadiq Khan tweeted: “Violence against women is endemic in society and devastating murders in the home, like this one, show the scale of the problem we face.”My prayers are with this innocent child, and with the mother it has so tragically lost.”Neighbours said that three woman, one of whom was pregnant, lived at the house and they had a small dog.One neighbour said she had got up at about 3.30am to do her prayers when she heard a dog barking at the house, which is two doors down.The neighbour, who did not wish to be named, said she was “shocked and surprised” to hear about the attack.A police cordon was in place around the two-storey semi-detached house on Saturday night, with three uniformed officers stationed outside. A pregnant woman was killed and her unborn child left critically injured in a knife attack in South London.The 26-year-old victim, who was about a month from her due date, was found with fatal stab wounds at a home in Thornton Heath at about 3.30am on Saturday.Paramedics delivered her baby at the scene and took it to hospital, where it remains in critical condition.Police arrested a 37-year-old man on suspicion of murder following the attack.A 37-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder and is in police custody, with the force stating officers “retain an open mind to any motive”.The Metropolitan Police said: “Police were called by London Ambulance Service (LAS) at 3.30am on Saturday June 29 to reports of a woman in cardiac arrest inside an address at Raymead Ave, Thornton Heath.”Officers attended along with the LAS and found the woman, aged 26, suffering from stab injuries. Lights could be seen inside the property, which is in a quiet one-way street off London Road near Croydon University Hospital.Anyone with information should contact police on the dedicated incident room number of 0208 721 4005, or ring 101 quoting CAD 1358/June 29. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

Gomes doesnt want to leave Barcelona

first_imgAndre Gomes was struggling at Barcelona after moving there from Valencia but he has finally found his old form during the last couple of weeks – and he insisted that he doesn’t want to leave the club at all.Manchester United have been said to be interested in the midfielder but the player himself denied that he wants to leave Catalonia and he claimed that he is just happy to be finally meeting the expectations.The Portugal international spoke about his future as he said, according to Goal:“Right now I do not think about that.”“I am enjoying myself and living the dream that all children want to live.”Fati and Suarez shine against Valencia at Camp Nou Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 15, 2019 With a mesmerizing first half from Ansu Fati and a brace from Luis Suarez in the second half, Barcelona demolished Valencia at Camp Nou.Valencia…“The first six months were pretty good but then things changed.”“Maybe it’s not the correct word but it turned into a bit of a hell because I started to feel more pressure. With pressure, I feel fine, but with pressure on myself, I don’t. The feeling that I have during games is bad.”“There is only one Busquets.”“I work as hard as I can so that the manager knows he can count on me.”last_img read more

Man accused of running carfentanil lab faces judge

first_imgMIAMI (WSVN) – A South Florida man accused of running a drug lab out of a Southwest Miami-Dade house appeared in bond court, Monday.Bond for Omega Demetrius DuPont was set at $14,500, three days after he and another man were taken into custody.FBI investigators arrested DuPont, 45, and 29-year-old Tyree Shawon Tyson after they found carfentanil, a synthetic drug more powerful than heroin, in their house. Authorities also found guns at the residence.Tyson is being held without bond.Investigators said the pair sold the illegal drug from the home on several occasions.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img

Labgrown meat Tastetesting chicken of the future

first_img Now playing: Watch this: So what does it actually taste like? The crunch from the breading and the smell from the fry was exactly what I expected from a good chicken nugget. But I was pleasantly surprised at how similar the cultured chicken itself tasted compared to the real deal, even if it didn’t look like your typical KFC or McDonald’s nugget. You can watch the video to find out more.Just’s next cultured meat product will be wagyu beef. Several other companies are also developing clean meat derived from animal cells, like Memphis Meats (chicken and duck) and SuperMeat (also chicken).If you’re hankering to try your own cultured chicken nugget, you’ll have to hold tight a little longer. The nugget needs to get USDA and FDA approval in the US, but Just says it’ll first be available in selected high-end restaurants in Asia later this year once it gets regulatory approval. The video on this page is an episode of Beta Test, the show that puts you in the front seat with me as I test out crazy tech products and experiences. Check back each month for a new show! You can also find the series on YouTube. Chicken nuggets usually get a pretty bad rap. Whether they’re filled with mystery meat or come with a mouthful of additives, they also involve slaughtering an animal. But the nugget I’m about to eat from San Francisco-based Just was grown in a lab, using cells taken from a living chicken. It’s cultured meat (and cruelty-free).Carnivores, breathe a sigh of relief.  Tags Unlike entirely plant-based products such as the Impossible Burger, the Just chicken nugget is actual meat.Cultured meat, also called lab-grown or clean meat, starts with the collection of cells, usually done through a biopsy so the animals aren’t harmed. Just says it has also been able to get cells from a chicken feather. The most viable cells are chosen and then given the right nutrients they need to grow in a bioreactor. In the case of this chicken nugget, those nutrients are plant-based.Not only does cultured meat avoid sacrificing animals, it could take fewer resources to produce than traditional livestock. Around 14.5 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions are from livestock, according to a report from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. But one study questions how environmentally friendly clean meat products could be if the process is energy-intensive.The chicken nugget once plated with Just’s plant-based mayo as a dipping sauce. CNET Just’s cultured chicken product takes around two weeks to grow in a bioreactor. The team of chefs plays a major part in creating the product once the scientists have developed the biology. “They are really the ones that can assemble everything and come up with the ideal ratios of cell types,” says Vitor Santo, director of cellular agriculture. Beta Test Share your voicecenter_img 7:58 Comments Sci-Tech Healthy eating 6 Trying a lab-grown chicken nuggetlast_img read more

India rice exports seen surging as Bangladesh boosts buying

first_img“For key markets like Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, India has freight advantage over Thailand. This will help even in 2018,” the Mumbai-based dealer said. riceIndia’s rice exports likely jumped 22 percent in 2017 to a record 12.3 million tonnes as neighbouring Bangladesh ramped up purchases after flooding hit its crops, industry officials told Reuters.The boost in shipments from the world’s top exporter of the grain is set to extend into 2018 as Bangladesh and Sri Lanka continue to buy aggressively amid depleting inventories in No.2 exporter Thailand, the officials said.“Bangladesh was actively buying throughout 2017. It offset the impact of slightly weaker demand from African countries,” said M. Adishankar, executive director at Sri Lalitha, a leading rice exporter located in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. Bangladesh’s purchases likely lifted India’s non-basmati rice exports by 38 percent in 2017 to 8.4 million tonnes and total exports to 12.3 million tonnes, the officials and exporters said. That would surpass 2014’s record of 11.5 million tonnes.They based the 2017 export figures on their estimates for December shipments plus previously issued government data for January to November. Government numbers for December are expected to be released around the start of next month.India exports non-basmati rice mainly to African and Asian countries and premium basmati rice to the Middle East, the United States and Britain.Traditionally the world’s fourth-biggest rice producer, Bangladesh emerged as a major importer of the grain in 2017 after floods damaged crops and pushed domestic prices to record highs.Bangladesh sourced more than 80 percent of its 2017 imports of 2.4 million tonnes from India, said Badrul Hasan, head of Bangladesh’s state grains buyer.The South Asian nation’s overseas rice purchases are likely to remain robust until supply rises after its summer crop, also known as Boro, in May, Hasan said.Boro contributes more than half Bangladesh’s typical annual rice output of around 35 million tonnes.Last year Bangladesh reduced import taxes on rice to boost private buying. It also bought rice from India in state-to-state deals to quickly raise supplies and try to rein in prices.But rice prices stayed high in Bangladesh despite the largest imports in nearly two decades, which will encourage farmers to expand the amount of land used to cultivate the staple crop, Hasan said.NON-BASMATIIndia’s rice exports in 2018 depend largely on non-basmati shipments as basmati exports are likely to remain more-or-less steady at around 4 million tonnes, said Vijay Setia, president of the All India Rice Exporters’ Association.“Non-basmati exports depend on stock positions in importing countries like Bangladesh and Sri Lanka,” Setia said.African nations stepped up buying from Thailand last year, but that could ease in 2018 as state stockpiles are depleted in the Southeast Asian country, potentially boosting appetite for Indian supply, said a Mumbai-based dealer with a global trading firm.last_img read more

NTT researchers develop breakthrough optical memory device

first_imgDevice structure and static response. Image: Nature Photonics (2012) doi:10.1038/nphoton.2012.2 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. © 2011 PhysOrg.com Explore further More information: Ultralow-power all-optical RAM based on nanocavities, Nature Photonics (2012) doi:10.1038/nphoton.2012.2AbstractOptical random-access memory (o-RAM) has been regarded as one of the most difficult challenges in terms of replacing its various functionalities in electronic circuitry with their photonic counterparts. Nevertheless, it constitutes a key device in optical routing and processing. Here, we demonstrate that photonic crystal nanocavities with an ultrasmall buried heterostructure design can solve most of the problems encountered in previous o-RAMs. By taking advantage of the strong confinement of photons and carriers and allowing heat to escape efficiently, we have realized all-optical RAMs with a power consumption of only 30 nW, which is more than 300 times lower than the previous record, and have achieved continuous operation. We have also demonstrated their feasibility in multibit integration. This paves the way for constructing a low-power large-scale o-RAM system that can handle high-bit-rate optical signals. Journal information: Nature Photonicscenter_img All computer memory is based on a material that is able to have 1s and Os written on to it and held in such a state long enough to be useful. Also necessary is an ability to erase or write over those 1s and Os so that the same memory material can be used over and over.The new memory device created by the NTT team relies on optical cavities that are created in a material that can be made to represent 1s and Os by either transmitting light, or by blocking it.To make the memory cell, the team buried a very tiny strip of indium gallium arsenide phosphide in a small piece of indium phosphide. The outer portion was then etched with holes small enough to control the flow of laser light of a certain frequency. They left a path running though the middle of the material un-etched to provide a means for light from a laser to move in and out of the cell.When laser light is shone on the material, it follows the path through the memory cell and the refraction index is changed causing a pulse of light to either pass through on not, representing either a 1 or O state. Another pulse changes it to another state and so on. To help the memory material maintain its state, a second laser provides a constant stream of background light.The memory cell was able to hold onto the state it created for a microsecond, which quadruples the old record and it also uses far less energy than conventional designs. A memory chip with four of the optical memory cells consumes just 30 millawatts of energy, whereas common use flash drives use five times that amount.But the real breakthrough here is the development of actual memory cells based on optics that are able to hold onto the data states they create long enough for them to be used by other parts of a hardware device. And while the memory cells are far too large to be of use right now, new designs based on this work might just lead to that elusive Holy Grail, an Internet backbone made entirely of optical components. Engineers at Yale develop new type of mechanical memory (PhysOrg.com) — To improve transmission speeds, the Internet has transitioned over the years from one using copper to fiber optic cabling. Unfortunately, this has caused a bottleneck to occur where the light signals meet with electronic circuitry. Researchers have been working for years on a way to make routers, and most particularly, their memory, all optic, to avoid having to convert the signals at all. Now, it appears one such group, NTT, a Japanese telecommunications company, has figured out a way to do it. They describe their work in a paper published in Nature Photonics. Citation: NTT researchers develop breakthrough optical memory device (2012, February 27) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-02-ntt-breakthrough-optical-memory-device.htmllast_img read more

For faster payment of cashless treatment healthcare units can now submit bills

first_imgKolkata: In a bid to process the payment of cashless treatment costs faster for all those empanelled under the health scheme, the state government has introduced online grant of permission and submission of bills and documents by the empanelled Health Care Organisations (HCOs) in the West Bengal Health Portal.The state Finance department has come out with a notification stating that seeking permission by HCOs, grant of permission by medical cell, preparation of day-wise bills and submission of final bills by HCOs has been made online. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeIt may be mentioned that the West Bengal Health for All Employees and Pensioners Scheme was introduced in August 2014.According to a senior official of the state Finance department, presently the permission is sought and responded between the empanelled HCOs and medical cell of the Finance department through dedicated emails.For reimbursement of cashless claims up to Rs 1 lakh, these HCOs are required to enter few basic details of the bills in the West Bengal Health Portal and then submit physical copies of the bills along with other relevant documents to the medical cell of the Finance department.The cell scrutinises the bills and supporting documents for the payment.If the claim is found satisfactory, payment up to Rs 1 lakh is released to HCO’s by Drawing and Disbursing Officer (DDO) of the Finance department’s medical cell.”Now with the entire process going online, we are hopeful of faster disbursement of medical claims,” an official said.last_img read more

Gay couple told by UK bar bouncers it was for mixed couples

first_imgJapan orders hotels to stop refusing gay couplesGay son of bouncer accused of homophobia defends his dadHusbands denied entry to beach party: ‘You’re not a couple’Read the full article on Gaystarnews:  :https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/gay-couple-told-uk-bar-bouncers-mixed-couples/ Paddy and Jake were turned away from a ‘mixed-couples only’ bar in Leeds Patrick Hannon and Jake Archer had gone to Jake’s Bar in the northern English city for a drink at 10pm on 24 March.They were left ‘speechless’ after they were not allowed in for being a same-sex couple.Venue bosses they are investigating and claims it ‘never discriminates’.Bouncers told gay couple bar is only for ‘mixed-couples’Archer said there was no queue outside the bar when his partner and him – both sober – tried to enter the venue.The couple said they were too shocked to argue with the doormen and went elsewhere.Tweeting at the bar, Archer said: ‘I have just been turned away from your bar for not being ‘in a mixed sex couple’.‘I was out with my boyfriend.‘Don’t you think this is discrimination? If I was with a girlfriend this would have been fine as you only allowing mixed male and female groups in?’ Hannon said on Trip Advisor: ‘Tried to visit Jakes bar tonight. I have been here before with no problem but tonight I went to the venue with my boyfriend.‘I was told they were only letting mixed couples in and so were turned away. The bouncer had no regard for the fact we were in a same sex couple.‘I would have understood if we were in a large group of males but it was just the two of us. This is totally not acceptable in my eyes.’The bar did not give Archer or Hannon a response.Bar has ‘strict equality and diversity policy’Manager Paul Lane told the BBC is has a ‘strict equality and diversity policy’.He said he has launched an investigation into what happened on the night with the ‘external door team’.He said: ‘We have many customers who identify with LGBTQIA+ communities who frequent the bar regularly.’Similar claims have been made about the bar in reviews on travel review website TripAdvisor.Thomas B said he was ‘outraged’ by a ‘homophobic bouncer’ in May last year.He wrote: ‘I was with my partner and we were refused entry for not being in a mixed couple.Got a news tip? Want to share your story? Email us . eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us)center_img A gay couple was refused entry into a bar in Leeds, UK when bouncers said it was ‘mixed-couples’ only. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… GAYSTARNEWS-last_img read more

Google expands its machine learning hardware portfolio with Cloud TPU Pods alpha

first_imgToday, Google cloud announced the alpha availability of ‘Cloud TPU Pods’  that are tightly-coupled supercomputers built with hundreds of Google’s custom Tensor Processing Unit (TPU) chips and dozens of host machines, linked via an ultrafast custom interconnect. Google states that these pods make it easier, faster, and more cost-effective to develop and deploy cutting-edge machine learning workloads on Google Cloud. Developers can iterate over the training data in minutes and train huge production models in hours or days instead of weeks. The Tensor Processing Unit (TPU), is an ASIC that powers several of Google’s major products, including Translate, Photos, Search, Assistant, and Gmail. It provides up to 11.5 petaflops of performance in a single pod. Features of Cloud TPU Pods #1 Proven Reference Models Customers can take advantage of  Google-qualified reference models that are optimized for performance, accuracy, and quality for many real-world use cases. These include object detection, language modeling, sentiment analysis, translation, image classification, and more. #2 Connect Cloud TPUs to Custom Machine Types Users can connect to Cloud TPUs from custom VM types. This will them optimally balance processor speeds, memory, and high-performance storage resources for their individual workloads. #3 Preemptible Cloud TPU Preemptible Cloud TPUs are 70% cheaper than on-demand instances. Long training runs with checkpointing or batch prediction on large datasets can now be done at an optimal rate using Cloud TPU’s. #4 Integrated with GCP Cloud TPUs and Google Cloud’s Data and Analytics services are fully integrated with other GCP offerings. This provides developers unified access across the entire service line. Developers can run machine learning workloads on Cloud TPUs and benefit from Google Cloud Platform’s storage, networking, and data analytics technologies. #5 Additional features Cloud TPUs perform really well at synchronous training. The Cloud TPU software stack transparently distributes ML models across multiple TPU devices in a Cloud TPU Pod to help customers achieve scalability. All Cloud TPUs are integrated with Google Cloud’s high-speed storage systems, ensuring that data input pipelines can keep up with the TPUs. Users do not have to manage parameter servers, deal with complicated custom networking configurations, or set up exotic storage systems to achieve unparalleled training performance in the cloud. Performance and Cost benchmarking of Cloud TPU Google compared the Cloud TPU Pods and Google Cloud VMs with NVIDIA Tesla V100 GPUs attached- using one of the MLPerf models called TensorFlow 1.12 implementations of ResNet-50 v1.5 (GPU version, TPU version). They trained ResNet-50 on the ImageNet image classification dataset. The results of the test show that Cloud TPU Pods deliver near-linear speedups for large-scale training task; the largest Cloud TPU Pod configuration tested (256 chips) delivers a 200X speedup over an individual V100 GPU. Check out their methodology page for further details on this test. Training ResNet-50 on a full Cloud TPU v2 Pod costs almost 40% less than training the same model to the same accuracy on an n1-standard-64 Google Cloud VM with eight V100 GPUs attached. The full Cloud TPU Pod completes the training task 27 times faster. Head over to Google Cloud’s official page to know more about Cloud TPU Pods. Alternatively, check out Cloud TPU’s documentation for more insights on the same. Read Next Intel Optane DC Persistent Memory available first on Google CloudGoogle Cloud Storage Security gets an upgrade with Bucket Lock, Cloud KMS keys and moreOracle’s Thomas Kurian to replace Diane Greene as Google Cloud CEO; is this Google’s big enterprise Cloud market move?last_img read more

The museum takes a hike

first_imgNo related posts. Museums are more than collections of old stuff. The Juan Santamaría Museum in Alajuela brought history to life by taking to the road – the same one travelled by the soldiers in the Campaign of 1856 to route William Walker and his army from Tico soil. Walker was a southerner from the United States who wanted the five Central American countries to become part of the Confederacy. Recently, 50 of us signed up for a five kilometercaminata that would follow the same route as the Costa Rican army in 1856.The Costa Rican army of that time was well equipped with uniforms and the new mini-rifles from England, as well as trained by military experts from Europe and South America. In addition, volunteers rallied in their traditional white with red or blue bandana armbands for identification, and caites or simple leather sandals.It was not an easy march. They traveled about 30 kilometers a day over rough land, rocky roads and mountains in the heat of March and April. Communication between the army and the capital was conducted by horse.The 50 of us hiking the same route had it easy. In sturdy shoes and T-shirts and armed with bottles of water, cell phones, sun block and power bars, we boarded comfy tour buses to Alto de Monte where we began our walk, all downhill. This was not the highway we traveled but a rural back road originally built by local farmers to carry their oxcarts filled with coffee to waiting ships in Puntarenas. The first kilometer wasn’t bad, but deteriorated into irregular piles of stones and ruts. Our guides from the museum, Priscilla, Ronald and Rodolfo, explained how the heavy rains during the season washed all the rocks to the valleys and the farmers had to carry them back up to repair the road. Oxcarts and mules got bogged down in dirt and creeks and the soldiers had to dig them out.The soldiers marched in platoons and received their rations on banana leaves. Our “army,” on the other hand, was spread out in groups along the route, sharing and sampling jacotes, mangos and nances that we found along the way. This was all forest when the army marched here in 1856, home to wild animals and a very scattered population. Our modern marchers met up with some cows, a motorcycle and a museum car, just in case. Museum staff had scouted out the route ahead of time to test it.The soldiers were victorious in the battles of Santa Rosa and of Rivas in Nicaragua. “It was our war of independence,” said historian Rodalfo González. Central America won independence in 1821 without a war, but fought in ‘56 to stay independent.As the soldiers stopped along the way for sesteos, we stopped at a plateau to look over the mountains beyond and the valleys below and take countless photos. “Are we finished?” someone asked. “No,” said Ronald. “We were at the half way point.”Down went the road and it got rougher, slowing us down. After the battle of Rivas the army was affected by cholera and the soldiers, sick and dying, returned over the same route, this time battling sickness and an uphill march. Many were buried at the side of the road. Our only casualty was someone who slipped and fell.Finally, the road leveled off and there were houses along the way. Barking dogs heralded our progress down to the last straggler.Our living history day did not end there, though. Out in a pasture, seated on rocks and tree roots we savored a soldier’s lunch; rice, beans, picadillo and egg tort served on a banana leaf. Then back to the buses for a nap on the way back to the museum.The Museo Historico Cultural Juan Santamaria offers many interactive events.  You can find them listed at museumhistorioculturaljuansantamaria on Facebook, or visit the museum in the heart of  Alajuela, in the old fort, from Tues.-Sun. after 10 a.m.                              Facebook Commentslast_img read more