Integrated water plan to make recycling a must

first_imgMaharashtra on Monday became the first State to have an Integrated State Water Plan (ISWP), with an aim to ensure equitable distribution by diverting water from overfed areas to drought-prone regions. The ISWP mandates all civic bodies in the State to set up a mechanism to recycle all waste water and to reuse at least 30% of it. Industries will also have to recycle 100% of the waste water generated by them. “Out of the total water use in the State, industrial use is around 3%, and with each civic body mandated to set up recycling plants, the industrial sector will be made self-sufficient,” Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan said. The government will extend financial aid to set up the plants.The minister said the ISWP will allow the government to transfer excess water from water-sufficient areas to those in need. The plan has also made drip irrigation mandatory for sugar cane cultivation, and 5 lakh hectare land will be brought under it within the next five years. “No new dams will be allowed to be built in the catchment areas of other dams as has been the practice,” Mr. Mahajan said. The plan also sets a target of creating new 7.5 lakh hectare irrigation potential within the next five years and completing 150 irrigation projects for which over 75% of the project cost has already been spent.“Acceptance of the ISWP means that it now has legal validity and departments will be held responsible for its implementation. The Chief Secretary will take quarterly review of the implementation process, while the State water council headed by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will take a review twice in a year. The report will be presented to the legislature annually,” Mr. Mahajan said.Maharashtra has six river basins: Godavari, Krishna, Narmada, Tapi, Mahanadi, and westward flowing rivers. A separate water plan for each river basin has already been prepared. The ISWP, which was created based on these individual plans, was accepted by the State government on Monday.last_img read more

Let’s not blame Maria Sharapova for not knowing Sachin

first_imgMaria Sharapova started winning Grand slams quite early in her career to showcase to the world, she was much more than only a second pretty face to come from Russian tennis. Having reached the top of women’s rankings, she has travelled a lot further than Anna Kournikova did.Darling of her fans from across the globe, including India, she is now running a few million fans short since her infamous remark of not knowing who Sachin Tendulkar is.Maria Sharapova. Photo: ReutersTendulkar and David Beckham were two amongst a group of famous sportsmen present in the Royal box at Wimbledon this year as guest invitees. Sharapova, in her post match conference, when asked about the Royal box guests, remarked she had not heard of Sachin, knew Beckham. She would have said it dismissively as one would if you don’t know the person. The backlash in India via social media has been from nasty, hostile to that of ridicule and mockery.Little would Sharapova have known that her remark would set #WhoIsSharapova trending on twitter. A tweet from a Sachin fanatic read, “If Sharapova doesn’t know Sachin, she’s an atheist. #SachinTheGod #WhoIsSharapova. Another fan called Sharapova a cheerleader. There is one who thinks she is more famous now with all the negative publicity. Others are abusive.Is all of this justified? Since Sharapova is already a villain to many in India, let’s play the devils advocate. Russian born, Sharapova comes from a nation where cricket isn’t played.  Nor is it in most parts of Europe and America. For the record, Russia is an affiliate ICC nation. But for all of International Cricket Council’s efforts to spread it amongst associate and affiliate nations (about 100 in all), beyond the 10 test playing countries, their presence in cricket is more academic than representative, lacking a playing structure with many governing bodies ridden with corruption. Even efforts to popularise the more modern and least skill dependant three hour T20 format of the game are in a very nascent stage.advertisementThat the game’s most famous and illustrious superstar, Sachin Tendulkar does not register with a fellow athlete of another sport, belittles neither the star player nor the intellect of the player who does not know him. If anything it speaks poorly of the administrators who have failed to globalise the game beyond the Commonwealth nations.Sharapova did know Beckham though and that’s not because he is Posh Spice’s husband. Beckham, for all his dead ball speciality was far from being the best footballer to come from England. But he played football which is a global sport in every sense of the term and became the game’s most marketable star.Cricket administrators owe Tendulkar some gratitude for popularizing the sport to some degree, beyond geographical borders with his stardom. India’s demigod has spent time with Roger Federer, Tiger Woods, Micheal Schumacher amongst a host of legendary sportsmen. Cricket is played neither in Switzerland, US or Germany. Some of these meetings may have been facilitated by sponsorship and promotional objectives. But he certainly has earned the right to be the sponsors’ select choice, coming from the weight of his cricketing CV.Phil Tufnell, Chris Broad and Andrew Strauss were the other invited cricket dignitaries at the Royal box at Wimbledon. They would all pale in comparison to Sachin Tendulkar.Even after retirement, Tendulkar’s appeal remains unmatched. And even though he may not necessarily rank as the game’s best in everyone’s books, he would always be a contender for the debate. As for the legion of his Indian fans, Sachin touched their lives with all the fun he provided to an aspirational India for more than two decades .Now as India moves on to becoming more ambitious, perhaps even cricket will and one hopes its most celebrated figure will no longer remain an obscure name to those who don’t follow the sport. Till such time let’s not demonise a Maria Sharapova. There will be more like her and they are not to blame.last_img read more

Prez recommends bill providing for farmers of arid areas

first_imgNew Delhi, Apr 23 (PTI) At a time when many states are reeling under severe drought, President Pranab Mukherjee has recommended consideration of a private members bill that provides for protective measures for farmers of arid, desert and drought-prone areas and a welfare fund with an initial corpus of Rs 10,000 crore.The Farmers of Arid and Desert Areas (Welfare and Other Special Provisions) Bill, 2014 was introduced by senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel in Rajya Sabha in December 2014.The bill, if enacted, will involve expenditure from the Consolidated Fund of India.”It is estimated a sum of Rs 20,000 crore may be involved as recurring expenditure per annum. A non-recurring expenditure of Rs 5000 crore may also be involved from the Consolidated Fund of India. A non-recurring expenditure of Rs 5000 crore may also be involved from the Consolidated Fund of India,” the Financial Memorandum of the Bill says.Under the rules, a Bill which, if converted into a law and brought into operation would involve expenditure from the Consolidated Fund of India, cannot be passed by Parliament unless the President has recommended to that House its consideration.In a letter to the Rajya Sabha Secretary General a few days back, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh has stated that the President, having been informed about the subject matter of the particular private members bill has recommended its consideration under article 117(3) of the Constitution by the Rajya Sabha.The Upper House has listed the bill for consideration, which seeks to provide for the establishment of welfare fund for farmers of arid and desert areas with initial corpus of Rs 10,000 crore to be provided by the central government. (MORE) PTI AMR DVadvertisementlast_img read more

Olympic Wrap: Why Sakshi Malik chose to take up sports, Rio medallist wins hearts

first_imgRio 2016 medallist Sakshi Malik took up sports because she wanted to fly in an airplaneIndia is celebrating Sakshi Malik, the 23-year-old wrestler, who gavethe country its first medal at the Rio Olympics. We take a look at thestory of a young woman, who created history in the world’s biggestsporting arena.Sakshi a reminder of what can happen if you don’t kill a girl child: SehwagWrestler Sakshi Malik ended India’s medal drought in Rio with a bronze medal in the 58kg freestyle wrestling on Thursday. Sakshi Malik to India Today: It  was a dream to run with the Indian flagSakshi Malik became only the fourth Indian woman to win an Olympic medal when she clinched Bronze in freestyle wrestling in a tense clash.I have stood up to the hopes of the country for first medal: Sakshi MalikWrestler Sakshi Malik defied all odds to become the first medallist for India at the Rio Olympics on Thursday.’It took a woman athlete to slap Shobhaa De’. Twitter cheers Sakshi Malik after Bronze medal Take a look at what people said on Twitter about India’s first Rio Olympic medallist Sakshi Malik.last_img read more

Alzarri Joseph on dream debut in IPL: I don’t celebrate wickets, I celebrate wins

first_imgAlzarri Joseph is a man of few words but he lets his performance do all the talking for him whenever he has the ball in his hands which is just what he did against Sunrisers Hyderabad as he finished with the best bowling figure in Indian Premier League history on Saturday night.Mumbai Indians had posted 136 for 7 on the board with Kieron Pollard top-scoring with 46 not out off 26 balls and then defended the below-par score by bowling out Sunrisers Hyderabad for 96 in just 17.4 overs.Alzarri Joseph picked up a six-wicket haul to script the 40-run victory for Mumbai Indians at the Rajiv Gandhi International stadium in Hyderabad. His figures of 6 for 12 in 3.4 overs is the best-ever by a bowler in the league’s 12-year history.Pakistan’s Sohail Tanvir (6 for 14) had held the record for 11 years but it was shattered by Joseph, who ran through the famed Sunrisers batting lineup to hand Mumbai its third win of the season.”It’s a dream start, I don’t think it can get any better than this. I just wanted to stick to my plans,” Joseph told Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma in a chat after the game on in conversation with 6-strikes Alzarri @ImRo45 tries hard to get silent assassin Alzarri Joseph to express his feelings after taking a sensational 6-for on debut for @mipaltan Interview by @28anand #SRHvMIFull interview – (@IPL) April 7, 2019Joseph picked up the wicket of David Warner with his first delivery in IPL in the fifth over and then went on to remove Vijay Shankar, Deepak Hooda, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Siddharth Kaul to win the game for Mumbai.advertisementWhen asked about his wicket celebration, or the lack of it, by Rohit he said, “I don’t really celebrate wickets, I celebrate wins. My aim isn’t just to get wickets but it’s to get wins for my team.”The debutant wreaks havoc here in Hyderabad as the @mipaltan win by 40 runs.Alzarri Joseph with the best ever bowling figures in #VIVOIPLScorecard – #SRHvsMI (@IPL) April 6, 2019Mumbai Indians will take on Kings XI Punjab in their next match on April 10. Joseph will come up against his West Indies teammate and KXIP opener Chris Gayle in that match.Rohit asked Joseph about his plans for the Universe Boss and how he plans to get him out. “Just bowl fast,” was Joseph’s answer.Joseph, who had been in fine form in the domestic four-day tournament back in the West Indies, was called up to the Mumbai Indians squad as a replacement for injured New Zealand player Adam Milne. Joseph had replaced Lasith Malinga in the playing XI on Saturday for their away game in Hyderabad, which had been Sunrisers’ fortress in the recent past.His performance on Saturday was hailed by Rohit at the post-match presentation.”Yes, very pleased. Winning the game is obviously a great result. I thought 136 wasn’t a great batting effort, but we bowled in the right areas, kept them guessing all the time and held our nerves.”We were in the game till the last ball which is what we spoke of. It was a sensational bowling effort from Alzarri, to bowl like this in first game. He’s come in on a lot of confidence from the CPL and he’s carrying it here,” Rohit Sharma said after the match.Also Read | Sensational from Alzarri Joseph: Rohit in awe of record-breaking Mumbai Indians pacerAlso Read | Can’t get better than this: Alzarri Joseph after record 6 for 12 on IPL debutAlso Read | SRH vs MI Highlights, IPL 2019: Joseph takes 6 as Mumbai beat Hyderabad by 40 runslast_img read more


first_imgWoodbury County has been recognized as the 75th Home Base Iowa Community in the state.Governor Kim Reynolds and Lt. Governor Adam Gregg made the designation official at an event held at the Woodbury County Courthouse Tuesday morning.Home Base Iowa is a public-private partnership designed to recruit veterans and help military personnel transition into private sector jobs in Iowa.David Gleiser, the county’s rural economic development director, says the county will use existing resources to help veterans in the local job market:Audio Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.OC…..hire them. :22Gleiser says Woodbury County will also offer other incentives in the Home Base program:Audio Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.OC…or a weekend. :25The Home Base Iowa Community designation demonstrates local government and local business support providing jobs for returning veterans.last_img read more

Eight women and two men killed in Toronto van attack coroner

first_imgTORONTO – After four days of painstaking “scientific” efforts to identify the victims of a horrific attack in Toronto, authorities released on Friday the names of eight women and two men who died when a van mounted a sidewalk, mowing down pedestrians in its path.The dead ranged in age from 22 to 94 and included a student from South Korea and a man from Jordan, authorities said, as they noted additional charges would be laid against the man arrested in Monday’s incident.Police have alleged 25-year-old Alek Minassian rented a van and drove to Toronto’s Yonge and Finch area, where he began cutting a swath of destruction along one of the city’s busiest roads as well as nearby sidestreets.Ontario’s chief coroner said his team members took time confirming the identities of the deceased because they wanted to ensure there was no confusion that would add to the pain being experienced by victims’ loved ones.“Everybody has suffered a terrible tragedy, a totally unexpected, unspeakable tragedy that is unimaginable to everybody,” Dr. Dirk Huyer said at a news conference.“We undertook scientific efforts to confirm and ensure all the proper identifications … We needed to do the additional work to ensure there was no confusion or any potential additional grief.”Police officially listed the victims as: 33-year-old Andrea Bradden of Woodbridge, Ont., and Toronto residents Beutis Renuka Amarasingha, 45, Geraldine Brady, 83, So He Chung, 22, Anne Marie D’Amico, 30, Mary Elizabeth (Betty) Forsyth, 94, Dorothy Sewell, 80, and Chul Min Kang, 45. Ji Hun Kim, 22, from South Korea, and Munir Abdo Habib Najjar, 85, who was from Jordan, were also among the dead.Insp. Bryan Bott said the number of people injured in the attack has also grown to 16 after police identified two people who came forward since the beginning of the investigation.Minassian, from Richmond Hill, Ont., is already charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder and 13 counts of attempted murder, and will face three additional attempted murder charges in the coming days, Bott said.At least 12 injured people remain in hospital, he added, but did not provide updates on their condition.Bott declined to say whether any specific population was targeted in the attack despite the fact that the majority of the people killed were women.A Facebook post from Minassian’s account references an American mass killer who cited his hatred of women as his motive. Bott did not confirm whether Minassian was the author of the post and said his online activities will form a part of the ongoing investigation.Bott said the RCMP is involved in the probe, which requires police to interview close to 300 total witnesses and sort through dozens of photos submitted by the public.“Certainly the evidence we have in this investigation does not meet the threshold for … terrorism, but we are sharing our information back and forth,” he said.The victims’ names and backstories had begun to trickle out via family members, friends and employers before coroners completed the official identifications.The details that emerged painted portraits of people from all walks of life, with victims celebrated for everything from their cooking skills to their love of animals and devotion to their young children.Kang, a chef at a downtown steakhouse, was praised by coworkers for his warmth and energy.A monk at the Buddhist temple where Amarasingha regularly took her seven-year-old son recalled how she baked cookies every week to bring to Sunday school students.Tennis Canada hailed D’Amico’s hours of volunteer service with the organization, saying her friendly nature eventually saw her working directly with the elite athletes who participate in its marquis Rogers Cup.Sewell’s grandson said the passionate local sports buff was the best grandmother anyone could have, while Forsyth’s neighbour lamented the now-lost tradition of walks in the park on which her friend would feed the nearby birds and squirrels.Seneca College and the University of Toronto both issued statements saying one of their students had died in the attack, but did not provide their names.Bradden, whose name was first released on Friday, worked as an account executive at the Toronto offices of Gartner, an international research and advisory company with offices near the crime scene. A spokesman for Gartner said the company would not issue a statement at the family’s request.According to local newspaper the Caledon Enterprise, however, a condolence blog post briefly shared to the company’s website prompted glowing tributes from her colleagues.“Andrea’s joyful energy brought smiles, happiness and laughter to everyone who was privileged to work with her and call her a friend,” area vice-president Alex Falkingham reportedly wrote in the post. “She had an uncanny ability to make any room she walked into a more positive place, with laughter filling the room.”Brady — a grandmother who was known as Gerry to her family and friends — sold Avon products for more than 45 years and was still going out to visit customers up until her death, her friend and fellow Avon salesperson Feanny Xu said.They met about 14 years ago at a conference and later started working as a team, Xu said, adding she believed Brady was visiting customers in the area when she was killed.“She was very honest and caring for others,” Xu said. “She is wonderful. It’s so sad.”Xu heard from Brady’s son-in-law on Tuesday that the family believed she had died in the van attack. But Xu said she was still devastated when it was confirmed on Friday.In the days since Monday’s violence, members of the public have flocked to the scene of the attack to leave flowers, candles and multilingual messages of support. A vigil for the victims was scheduled to take place on Sunday night.The city of Toronto has also established a fund-raising effort, dubbed Toronto Strong, that had raised more than $1.5 million by Friday afternoon.Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version carried an incorrect spelling for Munir Abdo Habib Najjar’s last name.last_img read more

Opposition parties say Liberal openness bill falls short of promises

first_imgOTTAWA – The Conservatives and NDP are coming out against the Trudeau government’s new access to information bill, saying it falls short of Liberal promises to increase transparency.Opposition MPs are assailing the Liberals for backpedalling on a campaign promise to fully apply the Access to Information Act to ministerial offices.They also say the bill — introduced in June and debated Friday in the House of Commons — fails to narrow the many exemptions in the law that allow federal agencies to keep files under wraps.The access act, which took effect in 1983, allows people who pay $5 to ask for everything from internal federal audits and meeting minutes to correspondence and studies.The law has never been substantially revised, and is often criticized as slow, ineffective and out of date.Government departments can black out requested records on grounds related to national security, legal privilege, policy advice, commercial secrets, federal-provincial relations and other areas. Records deemed to be federal cabinet secrets are completely off-limits for 20 years.“The exemptions still exist,” said Conservative MP Tom Kmiec. “They could have amended them, they could have diluted them, they could have removed some of them.”Information should be withheld under the law only when its release would truly hurt the government, said New Democrat MP Murray Rankin.“The exemptions have to be narrow, and they have to be about injury,” Rankin said. “You have to show that that would harm some government interest. They didn’t do that.”The legislation proposes extending the law — though only in a limited way — to the offices of the prime minister, cabinet members, senators, MPs and administrative institutions that support Parliament and the courts.These offices and institutions would not be required to answer access requests filed by individuals, which most agencies and departments must do. Rather, they would be legally bound to regularly release certain types of records, such as hospitality and travel expenses and contract information.The bill doesn’t measure up to promises the Liberals made during the election campaign, disappointing openness advocates, Kmiec said.Treasury Board President Scott Brison has touted the government bill as the first substantial revision of the 34-year-old act.He pointed out Friday the Harper government broke its 2006 election promises to overhaul the access law.Brison stressed the Liberal bill would give the federal information watchdog the power to order release of government records when a department improperly resists disclosure.Rankin said the order-making provisions are too weak and complex, adding he hopes the government is sincere about being open to amendments to the bill in committee.“We have to do it better; we can do it better.”— Follow @JimBronskill on Twitterlast_img read more

Morocco German Pedophile Receives Reduced Sentence After Agreeing to Marry One

Fez – The Court of Appeal of Tetouan in northern Morocco has reduced a one-year jail sentence for German journalist to six months based on his agreement to marry one of the girls he was convicted of molesting, according to Spanish news agency EFE.  The journalist, who was convicted of attempting to seduce two underage teenage girls, reached an agreement with the family of one of the girls to marry her.The German citizen was arrested last March when a group of people caught him red-handed inside his car with the two 16-year old girls near their high school. The journalist, who had been sentenced to one year in jail and has already served four months, claimed he was innocent of the charges and emphasized that he intended to marry one of the girls.The reduction in the sentence will likely stir a controversy in the country as it is reminiscent of the case of Amina Filali, a teenager who committed suicide in 2012 after she was forced by her family to marry her rapist.According to Morocco’s penal code, raping an underage child is punishable by 20 to 30 years of imprisonment. The law is rarely enforced, however, and as the case of the German journalist demonstrates, a rapist can still escape prison or receive a reduced sentence if he agrees to marry his victim.The Moroccan government has made promises to reform the country’s penal code and impose harsher sentences on sex offenders. But this sentence indicates that Morocco still has a way to go towards protecting its citizens from sexualpredators.As recently as July 18, the criminal court of Marrakech sentenced a pedophile, who had been convicted of raping a 10-year old child, to as little as 2 years in prison.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed read more

Morocco Netherlands Ink MoU In Energy Cooperation

Rabat – Morocco and The Netherlands signed, here Wednesday, a memorandum of understanding in energy cooperation.Signed by Moroccan Minister of Energy, Mines, Water and Environment Abdelkader Amara and Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders, the agreement provides for promoting a sustainable energy model and taking up the challenges of the sector.It also seeks to strengthen cooperation between government, research institutions and companies in the two countries, so as to step up the implementation of energy policies. The agreement, which includes natural gas, liquefied natural gas and renewable energy, provides for reforming the energy sector to better open up to markets, promoting a sustainable energy model.Both parties also undertake, under this agreement, to exchange technical and institutional experiences related to liquefied natural gas and its processing, legal and tax systems, and the development of joint projects. read more

Sudan and Somalia focus of talks between Ban Kimoon and Kenyan leader

Mr. Ban and Mr. Kibaki also discussed the partnership between the UN and Kenya, which is home to one of the Organization’s larger duty stations, during their morning meeting, UN spokesperson Michele Montas told reporters in New York.Mr. Ban then visited UN headquarters in Nairobi, speaking at a closed meeting of the Staff Management Consultative Committee, which brings together representatives of about 38,000 staff from across the world body’s many duty stations. The Secretary-General also addressed a “town hall” meeting with hundreds of UN staff.Mr. Ban heads now for the Netherlands, for the last leg of his current trip to Africa and Europe. Tomorrow he is scheduled to visit the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), which are based in The Hague. He will also meet Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, Queen Beatrix and other senior officials.When he returns to the United States, Mr. Ban is slated to travel to Washington for a meeting of the Middle East Quartet – the diplomatic grouping comprising the UN, the US, Russia and the European Union which is seeking a two-State solution to the Middle East conflict, with Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace. 31 January 2007The situation in Sudan, the problems involving Somali refugees and the challenges facing Africa’s Great Lakes region topped the agenda today during talks between Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki in Nairobi. read more

Japan economy gathers pace in first quarter as recovery takes hold but

TOKYO – Japan’s economy grew at a faster-than-expected 2.4 per cent annual pace in the January-March quarter, suggesting a recovery is gaining traction despite persisting weakness in corporate and household spending.About 2 percentage points of the first quarter’s growth reflected an increase in inventories stemming from the plunge in demand that followed a sales tax increase in April 2014. An increase of 7.5 per cent in housing investment also drove growth.Overall trends for the economy are positive, said Masamichi Adachi, an economist with JPMorgan in Tokyo. Lower costs for oil and gas imports thanks to the plunge in crude oil prices as one big plus, he said.“We see a huge income shift from the oil exporters to the importers like Japan,” he said. A windfall for corporate profits from the yen’s depreciation against other currencies is also helping.“People’s confidence is getting a little better,” he said.But there is still little sign of the kind of increase in consumer and business spending needed for a sustainable recovery, he said.The data reduce the likelihood the Bank of Japan will opt to expand its lavish monetary stimulus at a policy meeting later this week.The 0.6 per cent rise in GDP from the previous quarter was the second straight quarter of growth. Economists had mostly forecast growth for the first quarter at about 1.5 per cent.The news pushed share prices higher, lifting the Nikkei 225 index by 1.0 per cent to 20,231.18. The index recently breached the 20,000 level for the first time in 15 years, buoyed by strong corporate profits and from pension funds and other institutional investors rotating cash into shares from other asset classes.Economists are divided over whether the recovery is finally on track after years of tepid growth.The increase in private sector inventories in the last quarter suggests persistent weakness in domestic demand. Exports also were a net drag on growth.Public investment plunged 5.5 per cent, though real incomes rose 0.6 per cent, helping to underpin demand.More than two years after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe launched his recovery platform heavy on monetary stimulus, 2 per cent inflation remains elusive; wage increases have been scant and corporations have held back on investing at home, wary of slow growth in a shrinking domestic market as the population ages and shrinks.Abe and other leaders say sustained growth depends on companies passing on more of their rising profits to consumers in the form of bigger wage hikes.“The keys to growth are the extent of the benefits from low oil prices and wage increases at large companies flowing into the broader economy,” said Harumi Taguchi, principal economist at IHS Global Insight in Tokyo.“Additionally, the government needs to accelerate deregulation and structural reforms to support stronger private demand,” she said.Factors contributing to the recovery include a sharp rise in spending by foreign tourists, lured by the cheap yen. Housing investment also has revived as changes in regulations encourage demolition of older, unoccupied homes.Nearly 14 per cent of houses in Japan are vacant, abandoned by elderly occupants and left standing due to rules that charge six times the tax on vacant land as on land that is occupied. Recent reforms have enabled local authorities to inspect vacant houses and designate some as exempt from such tax advantages.“Since the Vacant Houses Act was enacted some owners are beginning to take action. Many companies, real estate and securities companies are getting involved,” said Hidetaka Yoneyama, a researcher at the Fujitsu Research Institute’s Economic Research Center.Though housing investment remains a relatively small part of the economy, in Tokyo’s suburbs, many such homes are being cleared and redeveloped. Unlike the U.S. and other major economies, Japan’s housing market is skewed toward construction of new homes, and much of the aging, postwar housing stock is decrepit and due to be replaced or demolished.___Follow Elaine Kurtenbach: by Elaine Kurtenbach, The Associated Press Posted May 19, 2015 6:35 pm MDT Last Updated May 20, 2015 at 5:40 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email In this April 28, 2015 photo, businessmen walk by high-rise building in Tokyo. Japan has reported its economy expanded at a faster-than-expected 2.4 percent annual rate in January-March, 2015, thanks largely to a rebound in housing construction. The government reported Wednesday, May 20, 2015, that preliminary estimates show the world’s third biggest economy expanded 0.6 percent from the previous quarter. It was the second straight quarter of growth following a recession in mid-2014 brought on by a sales tax hike that crippled private demand. (AP Photo/Shuji Kajiyama) Japan economy gathers pace in first quarter as recovery takes hold, but uncertainties remain read more

UN agencies boost effort to avoid catastrophic loss of young childrens lives

“Last year we helped avert a famine. Now we must increase our efforts to avoid a catastrophic loss of young children’s lives,” said Jonathan Veitch, the Representative of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in South Sudan.UNICEF and the World Food Programme (WFP) jointly announced the launch of an enhanced joint nutrition response plan covering all states in South Sudan, which will see both agencies and their partners assist over two million people – children, pregnant women and new mothers – for the treatment and prevention of acute malnutrition in the country until May 2016. The two agencies began the joint nutrition approach last year, helping to avert famine and save lives by reaching one million people using joint rapid response teams in the conflict-affected states and ramping up the response in non-conflict states, according to the announcement.“In the first year, we worked under extremely difficult conditions to bring much needed nutrition assistance to as many people and as many places in the country as we possibly could,” said Joyce Luma, the WFP Country Director in South Sudan. “Looking forward, we want to improve on the quality of nutrition services to continue to prevent and treat acute malnutrition.” The nutrition response plan will work to address the root causes of malnutrition, such as poverty, inadequate water and sanitation, and infant and young child feeding practices.“While a peace agreement signed in August provides hope for the new country, basic health and nutrition services remain out of reach for much of the population,” said the announcement. Since April, intense fighting has forced hundreds of thousands to flee into the bush or swamps for protection, where they are cut off from humanitarian assistance.“Basic services that were re-established over the past year have been destroyed, including hospitals, clean water, nutrition treatment sites – both out-patient and in-patient facilities,” the announcement added. Since fighting broke out in December 2013, more than two million people have been uprooted from their homes in South Sudan, more than half of them children. UNICEF said with another child becoming severely malnourished every two minutes in South Sudan, humanitarian agencies continue facing challenges to reach and provide sustained nutrition services to this affected population.The nutrition programme in South Sudan is funded by, among others, the European Commission, Japan, Norway, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. read more

Security Council renews UN mission in Western Sahara

Western Sahara is located on the north-west coast of Africa bordered by Morocco, Mauritania and Algeria. The colonial administration of Western Sahara by Spain ended in 1976. Fighting later broke out between Morocco and the Polisario Front. A ceasefire was signed in September 1991.The UN mission, known by its French acronym, MINURSO, was deployed that year to oversee a ceasefire and a UN settlement plan; however, disagreements between the Government of Morocco and the Polisario Front prevented the holding of the anticipated referendum on the territory’s future.A revised settlement plan proposed by the United Nations after seven years of diplomatic consultations was rejected by one of the parties in 2004.In renewing the mandate of MINURSO, by a vote of 12 in favour to none against, with China, Ethiopia and Russia abstaining, the Council called on parties to resume negotiations under the auspices of the Secretary‑General without preconditions and in good faith.Emphasizing the importance of a “renewed commitment” by the parties to advance the political process in preparation for a fifth round of negotiations, the Council called on parties to work in an atmosphere “propitious for dialogue.”In that context, the Council affirmed its full support for the Secretary‑General and Personal Envoy to relaunch negotiations with “a new dynamic and a new spirit” with the aim of reaching a mutually acceptable political solution that would provide for the self‑determination of the people of Western Sahara. read more

Jordan Spieths Grand Slam Chances

By capturing his second major of the 2015 season, U.S. Open winner Jordan Spieth has placed himself in some very elite company. It’s only the fourth time since 19581Roughly speaking, 1958 marks the beginning of the modern era of major championships; that’s when the PGA Championship adopted a stroke-play format. that the same player has won both of the year’s first two majors, and just the 13th time any player won back-to-back major titles.The conversation has quickly turned to Spieth’s Grand Slam chances. This has been the Year of Spieth on the PGA Tour, and a Slam would solidify his season as one of the best in golf history. And yet he’s not considered to be the best golfer on tour. Spieth is still the second-ranked player in the world behind Rory McIlroy, who is probably the better golfer on a per-round basis and has, in the past, won the two major tournaments remaining on the 2015 schedule.That’s why the betting markets consider McIlroy, and not Spieth, the favorite to win each of the season’s final two majors. After adjusting for the house edge built into betting odds, the sportsbook assigns2To the best of our knowledge, Bovada only lists the players upon whom they’ve gotten action, and will release odds for other players upon request. The inclusion of additional players could slightly alter the house-edge adjustment we made, but those players’ odds of winning are so low that the change would be minimal at best. McIlroy a 13 percent probability of winning the British Open and an 11 percent chance of winning the PGA Championship; the site gives Spieth a 9 percent shot at winning each tournament.Those numbers are similar to the ones you’d see if you looked at how past back-to-back major winners did in their next two major tournaments. Of those who won back-to-back majors, only Tiger Woods — who won his “Tiger Slam” by capturing the 2000 U.S. and British Opens and the PGA Championship, plus the 2001 Masters — went on to win any of the next two majors, giving the group an 8.3 percent success rate per major.Of course, sometimes you can play well enough to win but run into another great performance. That’s when a method such as Bill Barnwell’s Z-scores is useful, because it tells us how well a player scored relative to the rest of the field on the same day. We can then use that number to track how often a player’s performance would be good enough to win a typical major against typical competition, which helps even out comparisons between fields of varying quality. And according to this calculation, the average back-to-back major champ’s Z-scores over his next two majors were good enough to win a generic major3From 1958 on. 11.3 percent of the time.No matter how you cut it, the odds of Spieth finishing off the Grand Slam are still fairly low — about 1 percent, if the probabilities above are any kind of guide.Even if Spieth doesn’t win the Slam, however, his future looks exceptionally bright. Back in April, we developed a model (based on the historical performance, by age, of people who won majors) to track Woods’s progress in his pursuit of Jack Nicklaus’s all-time majors record. If we plug in Spieth’s expected major count at year’s end — roughly 2.2, using the odds from Bovada — he’s currently on pace to finish his career with just under 12 major titles, a total that would rank third all-time if it came to fruition. (And remember, that’s just a mean projection — the variance around it means there are plenty of scenarios in which he wins more than 12.)Either way, it’s been an incredible start to Spieth’s career, Grand Slam or not. read more

Verizon iPhone Could Appear by MidFeb Report

first_imgNothing too exciting here–just the latest in a long line of unconfirmed reports that a Verizon iPhone is “coming soon.” According to a new story by Business Week, the long-awaiting handset could be arriving “maybe by Valentine’s Day.”The phone, according to an unnamed source, will drop after ces in Las Vegas–which, remember, is next week. Oh course, we wouldn’t put it past Apple to flex its industry muscle during the country’s biggest consumer electronics show. After all, Google took plenty of wind out of ces’s sails last year, with the introduction of the Nexus (though that, of course, proved to be a lot of smoke and not a heck of a lot of fire).last_img read more

Une vague dintoxication aux champignons frappe le Sudouest

first_imgUne vague d’intoxication aux champignons frappe le Sud-ouestLes conditions météo des dernières semaines ont favorisé la pousse de champignons et de nombreuses personnes ont confondu un bolet non comestible avec du cèpe. Les urgences du Sud-Ouest de la France ont ainsi été confrontées à un nombre exceptionnel de patients présentant des diarrhées et d’importantes nausées.La cueillette des champignons débute habituellement en septembre avec la multiplication des pluies. Mais avec les fortes chaleurs du printemps dernier et le temps pluvieux de juillet, les cèpes, notamment, sont apparus en avance cette année dans les régions du Sud-ouest et dans l’Est en particulier. Ainsi, les vacanciers se sont lancés dans la cueillette de champignons sans forcément s’y connaître en la matière et ont en grande partie confondu des bolets non-comestibles avec des cèpes de Bordeaux. Or, si ce dernier est comestible et non le premier, les deux se ressemblent énormément, tant par l’aspect que par l’odeur. Ainsi, qu’il s’agisse des régions Rhône-Alpes et Auvergne, du Lot ou du Tarn-et-Garonne, les urgences hospitalières ont été submergées de patients souffrant de vives douleurs abdominales, de diarrhées et de vomissements. Bien que généralement sans gravité, les malades sont parfois hospitalisés quelques heures, précise TV5monde. Des précautions à prendre Pourtant, pour distinguer ce bolet non-comestible du cèpe de Bordeaux, couper un morceau de sa tête suffit. En effet, la chair de ces bolets a l’étonnante capacité de bleuir au froissement ou à la coupe. Si la chair bleuit presque instantanément, c’est donc que vous êtes en présence d’un bolet toxique. Pour autant, il ne faut pas négliger la chose car dans certaines récoltes, peut se glisser une amanite phalloïde, très répandue et mortelle. Par ailleurs, les cèpes ne doivent pas se consommer crus et il est recommandé de ne jamais cuisiner deux variétés de champignons différentes ensemble. À lire aussiCe time-lapse surprenant va vous faire changer d’avis sur la moisissureEn cas d’intoxication, il est préférable d’appeler le 15 ou le centre antipoison que de se précipiter aux urgences qui s’avèrent déjà encombrées de personnes intoxiquées “surtout qu’en faisant un peu attention, les gens n’en arriveraient pas là”, comme le souligne un praticien. On a ainsi recensé 21 personnes touchées dans le Lot, une trentaine dans le Tarn-et-Garonne, et plusieurs dizaines au centre antipoison de Lyon. Se méfier des “connaisseurs” Les victimes sont aussi bien des habitués de la région que des touristes soulignent les médecins même si ces derniers sont les plus touchés car ils essaient de profiter de cette aubaine sans rien y connaître. De plus, “n’importe qui se prétend” ramasseur et les vacanciers peuvent aussi avoir accordé une confiance mal placée à des vendeurs à peine plus connaisseurs qu’eux et peu scrupuleux.Le 8 août 2011 à 12:54 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

Newcomers run for spot on Vancouver Public Schools board

first_imgThe Vancouver school district’s school board will welcome a new face in January, as two candidates who emphasize supporting low-income and homeless students face off to replace a longtime incumbent.Wendy Smith, a social studies teacher at Heritage High School, and Heather Christiansen, director of global legal services for Wilsonville-based FLIR Systems, are running for Vancouver Public Schools school board position 3. Two-term school board representative Kathy Gillespie decided not to run for re-election this year. The Democrat is instead running against Republicans John Ley and Larry Hoff to replace departing Rep. Liz Pike, R-Camas, in the 18th Legislative District.Smith and Christiansen are political newcomers who, in a survey submitted to them by The Columbian, addressed the struggles low-income students face to perform at the same level as their higher-income peers among the most critical issues facing the district. Answers have been slightly edited for length and clarity.Smith praised Vancouver Public Schools’ Family and Community Resource centers, saying the system has helped “meet the basic needs of students and their families by providing food, clothing, and other resources.”She called for the district to make improvements to the way it supports immigrant and English-language-learning students, as well as special education students.“It is too easy for these students to slip through the cracks, and poverty and homelessness will exacerbate those challenges,” she said.Smith raised concerns about the “apparent lack of inclusion” in the district’s magnet programs, saying they do not reflect the diversity of the rest of the district. Last year, 76.8 percent of VSAA’s students were white and 18.4 percent received free or reduced-price meals — a marker of poverty — while district wide, 58.2 percent of students are white and 48.3 percent receive discounted meals.last_img read more

Luka Modric UEFA Player of the Year

first_imgThe Croatian midfielder has been selected as the best ahead of former teammate Cristiano Ronaldo, Mohamed Salah, Antoine Griezmann and Lionel MessiReal Madrid midfielder Luka Modric has been selected as the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year during the UEFA Champions League group stage draw.The Croatia national team footballer came in first place with 313 points, ahead of former Los Merengues teammate Cristiano Ronaldo with 223.Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah had only 134 points in the contests.“He is a player who has a very different talent, he improves anyone who is around him. It shows when he is not on the field – Madrid is a different team without Luka,” Ivan Rakitic from Croatia told the UEFA official website.“Even if we leave trophies aside, the way he plays and the way he dominates for Real Madrid is impressive,” Robert Prosinecki from Croatia added.Sergio Ramos, Real MadridZidane reveals Sergio Ramos injury concern for Real Madrid Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Zinedine Zidane has put Sergio Ramos’ availability for Real Madrid’s trip to Sevilla next weekend in doubt after withdrawing him against Levante.“It’s not easy to stop Modrić because he’s such a clever player – he can read the game so well and can play in many different areas,” former manager Jose Mourinho said.The Top TenLuka Modrić (Real Madrid & Croatia) – 313 pointsCristiano Ronaldo (Juventus/Real Madrid & Portugal) – 223 pointsMohamed Salah (Liverpool & Egypt) – 134 pointsAntoine Griezmann (Atlético & France) – 72 pointsLionel Messi (Barcelona & Argentina) – 55 pointsKylian Mbappé (Paris & France) – 43 pointsKevin De Bruyne (Manchester City & Belgium) – 28 pointsRaphaël Varane (Real Madrid & France) – 23 pointsEden Hazard (Chelsea & Belgium) – 15 pointsSergio Ramos (Real Madrid & Spain) – 12 points? UEFA Men’s Player of the Year 17/18 ?? Congratulations, Luka Modrić! ?#UEFAawards #UCLdraw— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) August 30, 2018last_img read more

Yarmolenko challenges critic to a fight

first_imgThe Ukranian footballer is being criticized by TV commentator Wladimir Kobelkov for his inconsistent start of the 2018-2019 English Premier League seasonTV commentator Wladimir Kobelkov from Channel 1+1 in Ukraine has been a harsh critic of Andriy Yarmolenko.Yarmolenko did not start the 2018-2019 English Premier League very well.And the West Ham United footballer is tired of the criticism and has challenged the TV pundit to a fight.serbiaReport: Euro 2020 qualifying Group B George Patchias – September 11, 2019 Euro 2020 qualifying Group B sees Portugal and Serbia play catch up with Ukraine.While Cristiano Ronaldo broke records and his Portugal side ran out…“In my youth, I fought a lot,” his voice was echoed by The 42.“There were wins and there were losses. It’s normal for a boy, for a man.”“I want to announce my next fight. I don’t want to listen to that Kobelkov any longer. I want to call him out for a fight and get my revenge on all those things he’s said on air,” he added.“I’m waiting for an answer.”last_img read more