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Odisha set to introspect post-disaster communication

first_imgCyclone Fani: Proposal to train self-help groups Puri remained cut-off for 48 hours after cyclone Fani made landfall in the district on May 3 and the State control room was not able to establish regular communication with the district headquarters, resulting in utter confusion in relief and rescue operations.Experts now blame it on breakdown of post-disaster communication while the State disaster managers are all set to introspect how it failed for the first time since Super Cyclone in 1999.Two teams of HAM radio operators from Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal came to the rescue of the State which takes a lot of pride for its pioneering efforts in disaster management. HAM radio was the chief mode of communication for the first several hours.Expert opinion“When disaster comes, communication becomes the first casualty. Communications are of two types – terrestrial and satellite-based. Telephone, FAX, HAM radio and VHF are part of terrestrial communication which requires infrastructure – tower for mobile phones, cable for land phones and antenna for VHF or HAM radios. For satellite communications, handheld phone is enough as it does not depend on terrestrial facilities such as power, tower and antenna,” said an expert.Also Read  For a brief period, the State control room was able to talk to Suresh Mohapatra, State Forest and Environment Secretary, who was stationed in Puri, over satellite phone. But the communication could not be carried on. A messenger had to be sent physically on May 5 to Puri to find out the status. Even the Odisha State Wide Area Network (OSWAN), which was set up to connect the State with 30 district headquarters and 284 block headquarters and 61 horizontal offices through data, video and voice communications also failed.The VHF communication being used by the police administration had very limited reach during the disaster.The expert emphasised that the disaster communication should have been multi-layered – if one fails, there should be an alternative channel to fall back upon.“The State did not have any problem with pre-disaster communications. But, when it came to post-disaster communication, it faltered especially after Fani struck the State,” he said.Asked about the failure of communication, State Relief Commissioner Bishnupada Sethi admitted “there was temporary failure in establishing communication with the Puri district administration.”“We have to think of having fail-safe communication after the disaster.”last_img read more

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Western U.S. states using up ground water at an alarming rate

first_imgFor the past 14 years, drought has afflicted the Colorado River Basin, and one of the most visible signs has been the white bathtub rings around the red rocks of Lake Mead and Lake Powell, the two biggest dammed lakes on the river. But there is also an invisible bathtub being emptied, belowground. A new study shows that ground water in the basin is being depleted six times faster than surface water. The groundwater losses, which take thousands of years to be recharged naturally, point to the unsustainability of exploding population centers and water-intensive agriculture in the basin, which includes most of Arizona and parts of Colorado, California, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, and Wyoming.The study is the first to identify groundwater depletion across the entire Colorado River Basin, and it brings attention to a neglected issue, says Leonard Konikow, a hydrogeologist emeritus at the U.S. Geological Survey in Reston, Virginia, who was not involved with the work. Because ground water feeds many of the streams and rivers in the area, Konikow predicts that more of them will run dry. He says water pumping costs will rise as farmers—who are the biggest users of ground water—have to drill deeper and deeper into aquifers. “It’s disconcerting,” Konikow says. “Boy, water managers gotta do something about this, because this can’t go on forever.”To document the groundwater depletion, James Famiglietti, a hydrologist at the University of California, Irvine, and his colleagues relied on a pair of NASA satellites called the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE). The instruments are sensitive to tiny variations in Earth’s gravity. They can be used to observe groundwater extraction, because when the mass of that water disappears, gravity in that area also drops.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)In the 9 years from December 2004 to November 2013, ground water was lost at a rate of 5.6 cubic kilometers a year, the team reports online today in Geophysical Research Letters. That’s compared with a decline of 0.9 cubic kilometers per year from Lake Powell and Lake Mead, which contain 85% of the surface water in the basin.Famiglietti says it makes sense that cities and farmers turn from surface water to ground water during drought. But he is surprised by the magnitude of the loss. The groundwater depletion rate is twice that in California’s Central Valley, another place famous for heavy groundwater use.Regulation and monitoring of groundwater extraction are rare. The basin’s surface water is apportioned precisely under the Colorado River Compact, a 1922 agreement among seven states. In contrast, groundwater extraction is often the local right of the landowner. “If you own the property, you can drill a well and pump as much as you want,” Famiglietti says. “That’s just the way it is.”A few states in the western United States are changing their approach. In 1980, Arizona passed the Groundwater Management Act, which created five tightly regulated basins and limits groundwater pumping. The law was progressive for its time, says Rita Maguire, a lawyer in Phoenix specializing in water law and the former director of the Arizona Department of Water Resources. In California, a state with little oversight of groundwater use, change is also afoot. Governor Jerry Brown has called for a crackdown on excessive withdrawals, and legislators have proposed bills that would give the state more authority to monitor and regulate groundwater withdrawal. But with so many livelihoods depending on unfettered access to ground water, change will come slowly, Maguire says. “It’s like turning the Queen Mary,” she says. “It’s a big deal and it takes a long time.”last_img read more

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Kalpana Dash, Odisha’s first woman mountaineer, dead

first_imgChief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday condoled the demise of Kalpana Dash, Odisha’s first woman mountaineer, saying it would inspire generations of young women in the State.Kalpana (50) died after scaling the Mount Everest on Thursday. She had complained breathlessness while descending from the Everest peak. She died near Balcony area.Kalpana had left for Everest on April 23. She along with Kanchimaya Tamang of Nepal and Liamu Mank of China had conquered the Mt. Everest. Her family members were informed about her death through Whatsapp message. The body of the mountaineer was still in the balcony area. Relatives of Kalpana would travel to Nepal to receive her body.The woman mountaineer from Odisha had first scaled Mt Everest in 2008. During her decade and half-old career, she had trekked many mountains conquering peaks in Europe, America and Australia, besides India.“I am saddened to learn about the demise of Kalpana Dash while descending from Mt. Everest. Her legacy in mountaineering will inspire generations of young women in the State,” said Mr Patnaik expressing condolences to the bereaved family.last_img read more

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Xiaomi Redmi 4: Full specs, top features, India price and everything you need to know

first_imgXiaomi launched the Redmi 3S successor, the Redmi 4, in India on Tuesday. The Redmi 4, much like its predecessor phone, comes with some likable specs at mainstream prices. With the launch of the Redmi 4, Xiaomi will be looking to phase out their star-performer, the Redmi 3S, in the days to come or until stocks last.Also Read: Xiaomi Redmi 4 with Snapdragon 435 processor, 4100mAh battery launched starting at Rs 6,999 The Redmi 4 also comes at a time when Xiaomi is slowly and steadily ramping up its sales strategy in the country. In a bid to give its offline ambitions a boost, Xiaomi opened its first Mi Home store in India recently. The Redmi 4, even before it goes on sale online, will be available for purchase from Xiaomi’s new Mi Home. We take a closer look.Specifications:Processor: The Redmi 4 is powered by a 1.4GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 processor clubbed with Adreno 505 GPU.RAM: The Redmi 4 will be available in three RAM options: 2GB, 3GB and 4GB.Internal storage: While the 2GB RAM variant will come with 16GB of internal memory, the 3GB RAM Redmi 4 variant will come with 32GB RAM. The top end Redmi 4 with 4GB RAM, will meanwhile, ship with 64GB of internal memory.Display: The Redmi 4 will come with a 5-inch 720p display.Camera: The Redmi 4 sports a 13-megapixel rear camera with PDAF and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera.Software and connectivity: The Redmi 4 runs Android Marshmallow-based MIUI 8 and supports 4G LTE (VoLTE-ready) connectivity option.Battery: The Redmi 4 is backed by a 4,100mAh battery.advertisementSpecial features:– Much like its predecessor phone Redmi 3S, the Redmi 4 also brings in some hard-to-get hardware specs at some rock-bottom prices. And just like the Redmi 3S, the Redmi 4 will also be made in India, according to Xiaomi.– The Redmi 4 boasts of a full metal body design and physical capacitive keys below the display. It’s basically a budget phone with high-end premium looks, much like its predecessor phone, the Redmi 3S. The Redmi 4 looks a lot like the Redmi Note 4, with smaller bezels. There’s 2.5D curved glass on the front, and the whole thing is joined together by a metal frame.– All versions of the Redmi 4 come with a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner claimed to unlock the phone in only 0.3 seconds.– The Redmi 4 is smoother and more thermal efficient than Lenovo’s Moto G5, according to Xiaomi.– On the software side, the Redmi 4 comes with Android 6.0 Marshmallow-based MIUI 8. The phone will be eligible for Android Nougat preview out-of-the-box, but, Xiaomi doesn’t have a timeline for a stable release yet.– The Redmi 4, like most Xiaomi phones, comes with an IR blaster that can be used in tandem with the Mi Home app to control smart home appliances.– The Redmi 4 will have some big shoes to fill because the Redmi 3S has been very successful for the company in question. Xiaomi VP and India MD Manu Kumar Jain, only recently, announced that the company has sold over 40 lakh units of the Redmi 3S phone in the country in 9 months. The Redmi 3S, which was launched in India in August last year, has in fact become the highest selling phone ever available in India via the online sales model, he added.India pricing and availability: The Redmi 4 will be available for buying at a starting price of Rs 6,999 for the 2GB RAM and 16GB memory version going all the way to Rs 10,999 for the top end 4GB RAM and 64GB memory version. The Redmi 4 will also be available in 3GB RAM and 32GB memory version for Rs 8,999. The Redmi 4 will be available for buying in the colours matte black and gold from May 23 on Mi.com/in and Amazon India.Also Read: Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 review: Raising the bar The Redmi 4, if someone’s looking to get their hands on it early, can reach out to Xiaomi’s recently launched Mi Home store in Bengaluru which will be open to public from May 20. They can buy the Redmi 4 from Xiaomi’s first Mi Home starting from May 2o itself, the company has announced.”They can also pre-book a device from Mi.com/in between 16 and 19 May by paying a small token advance of Rs 1,000 and pick it up from Mi Home on May 20.”last_img read more

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Watford end winless run as Andre Gray secures victory over Newcastle

first_imgNewcastle United Stoke relegated from Premier League after Van Aanholt strikes for Palace Premier League The battling hosts threw their support behind boss Gracia’s candidature to remain as manager next term, while Newcastle’s season-ending malaise continued.Former Malaga boss Gracia has already admitted he does not know whether he will still be Watford coach next seasonHe only arrived in January, to become Watford’s eighth manager in five years – but an 18-month contract carries precious little security.The 48-year-old received a stirring show of support from his squad on Saturday however, as the Hornets held on for victory in their final Premier League home game of the season.Pereyra’s fifth goal of the season rubber-stamped Watford’s high-octane opening, the Argentina midfielder blasting home to cap a neat build-up.The lively Will Hughes’ astute angled ball bisected the Newcastle defence, before Pereyra blasted home in style. The 27-year-old should have doubled his and his team’s tally mere moments later, only for Dubravka to rescue the visitors.Newcastle’s Slovakia goalkeeper spared Rafael Benítez’s blushes again when denying Gray who had raced clean through. The former Burnley striker quickly atoned for that failed effort however, when Pereyra’s fine hanging cross left him no option but to nod into the empty net.Watford should have turned around three goals to the good, only for the inspired Dubravka to deny Deeney both from the penalty spot and the rebound. Paul Dummett upended Gray in the box after an even foot race, only for Deeney to let the north east side off the hook.When Newcastle finally produced a move of substance, after the break, they found the net. The outstretched Pérez expertly redirected Javier Manquillo’s whipped cross for his sixth league goal of the campaign, immediately altering the game’s complexion.From armchair comfort to nail-gnawing nerves, suddenly Watford were back in a scrap. Anonymous until the hour, Dwight Gayle then spurned two fine Newcastle chances, first unable to turn in the box, then failing to glance a header on target. Pérez flicked a corner the wrong side of the post as Newcastle continued to press, before Mikel Merino failed to convert a fine late chance.Watford might have wilted in the bank holiday weekend heat, but still merited victory on a day when Newcastle paid dearly for being caught cold. Share on Pinterest Topics Roberto Pereyra and Andre Gray’s goals eased pressure on manager Javi Gracia as Watford ended a seven-match winless run by dispatching Newcastle 2-1.Fit-again captain Troy Deeney missed a penalty, with Magpies keeper Martin Dubravka making a fine double save, while Ayoze Pérez’s impressive finish came to nought for the visitors. Share on Twitter Share via Email Reuse this contentcenter_img match reports Watford Read more Share on LinkedIn Share on Messenger Share on Facebook The Observer Share on WhatsApplast_img read more

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Filipe Luis backs ‘sensational’ Neymar

first_imgFilipe Luis came out in defence of Brazil team-mate Neymar, calling the Paris Saint-Germain star a “sensational guy” despite all of the criticism he receives.Neymar remains among the world’s top players, but also among the most criticized, especially in the aftermath of this past summer’s World Cup.The forward was heavily condemned for his perceived excessive diving, with even Brazilian legend Pele stating that he cannot defend Neymar’s antics. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? However, Felipe Luis says there’s a much warmer side to Neymar, who he counts among his favourite team-mates.”Neymar and I have a similarity: we are very competitive. He does not like to lose, neither do I,” the Atletico Madrid fullback told Globo Esporte.”In training, because he is so light and dribbling so fast, people are sometimes afraid to get a little stronger with him. I am not!”We have several jokes. I am like this in my day to day, at all times, everywhere. And he also really likes to compete. “This similarity strengthened our friendship, especially in the World Cup, when the guy opened his heart because he knows that everyone is after the same goal, we trust 100 percent in our teammates and we try to get to know the guy on the side better. He’s a sensational guy.”Both Neymar and Luis were a part of Brazil’s World Cup squad this past summer, a team that finished with a quarter final defeat to Belgium.Luis also went on to compare the criticism Neymar received to that of Cristiano Ronaldo while adding that he is fond of both as players and people.”Those who know Neymar know that he has an extraordinary heart, and he helps a lot of people and thinks a lot about others,” he said.”An idol like him tends to be more selfish, but he’s often in the squad thinking of how to help the staff that is working. He strives to make everyone happy. He is always worried that his friends and family will be happy. He is a good-hearted person.”On the field, he often has a playful demeanor. Thousands of children love and copy, but millions of other people do not like it, they find it arrogant, and that image ends up being associated with personal life. “But I see your acts, the affection with the fans. Cristiano Ronaldo is also considered unfriendly by what he does on the pitch and is a sensational guy. “Neymar knows a lot better than I do what to do with his image. He has lived in fame since he was 15, 16 years old. Those who know him are very fond of him.”last_img read more

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Carnival Vista Handed Over to Carnival Cruise Line

first_imgzoom Miami-based Carnival Cruise Line took delivery of its newest and largest ship, the 133,500-ton Carnival Vista at a handover ceremony held at the Fincantieri’s Monfalcone shipyard in Italy on April 28.Capable of carrying 6,400 people, including the staff, the new cruise ship will reposition to Trieste, Italy, where it will depart on its maiden voyage on May 1, kicking off a summer schedule in Europe that runs through October 2016.Following a 13-day trans-Atlantic crossing, the 323 meters long Carnival Vista will operate a pair of 11-day cruises from New York in November 2016, and later that month it will launch a year-round Caribbean service from Miami.“Carnival Vista is a spectacular addition to our fleet and we can’t wait for our guests to experience all of the ship’s exciting new features,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.The Panama-flagged Carnival Vista is one of four new cruise ships to be delivered to Carnival Corporation & plc’s four global cruise brands during 2016.Two of these, ms Koningsdam and AIDAprima, already joined their owners Holland America Line and AIDA Cruises in March.The final vessel from the batch, the 40,350-gross ton Seabourn Encore, is scheduled for delivery to Seabourn in December 2016.last_img read more

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NYK MLC to Form Holding Company in December

first_imgzoomIllustration; Image Courtesy: Pixabay under CC 2.0 license Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) and Mitsubishi Logistics Corporation (MLC) intend to establish a joint holding company in December 2018 and merge port and transportation business companies in April 2019.Earlier this year, the duo unveiled plans to integrate management of the four NYK Group terminal operation companies in Japan through a new joint holding company and merge UNI-X Corporation (UNI-X) and Nippon Container Terminals (NCT).NYK Group companies for the management integration include UNI-X, NCT, Asahi Unyu Kaisha and Yusen Koun.To be located in Tokyo, the new holding company will be named MY Terminals Holdings Limited, owned 51% by NYK and 49% by MLC.What is more, the joint company of UNI-X and NCT will have a trade name UNI-X NCT Corporation. The company, owned by MY Terminals Holdings Limited, will also be based in Tokyo.NYK explained in August that the purpose of management integration is to consolidate quality improvement efforts and enhance long-term service stability for port and harbor transportation business.last_img read more

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Dance is my swadharma

first_imgNow well-settled into her craft, noted Kuchipudi dancer Shallu Jindal experimented with a whole range of performing arts before founding her ‘swadharma’ and returning to the classical dance. While she remembers with deep reverence her Kuchipudi gurus Raja and Radha Reddy, under whose tutelage she started learning dance in her 30s, Jindal can clearly recall her childhood Kathak lessons and what brought her to it. “My mother did her M.A. in classical music. My foray into the performing arts happened because my parents loved singing. When I turned 8, my mother was keen that I must pursue some kind of performing art. That’s why I started learning Kathak. Also Read – Pollution makes you more aggressive”I also learnt sitar, guitar, Hindustani classical music, and theatre. I did a variety of performing arts, but my ‘swadharma’ was dance. And, I stuck on to it,” she said in an interview in New Delhi. It was a stroke of luck that made the Delhi-based dancer meet her gurus during a ‘darshan’ at the Tirupati temple in Andhra Pradesh. Now 46, and actively involved in corporate and philanthropic ventures with her husband and former parliamentarian Naveen Jindal, dance is still her second skin. Also Read – Physical therapy better for low back pain”Classical dance teaches me every single day. It has taught me patience, commitment, discipline. Dance also makes you humble, because you depend on it for your identity,” she said. Despite having her plate full, she still dedicates time to dance practice every day. Apart from performing arts, a lesser known side of Jindal is her passion for visual arts. The art connoisseur, who has been collecting paintings for the past 15 years, said she always had an affinity towards visual arts. Over the years, works by major artists, like M F Husain, S H Raza, Akbar Padamsee, Tyeb Mehta, Anjolie Ela Menon, Rameshwar Broota, Bose Krishnamachari, Anish Kapoor, Bharati Kher and Anju Dodiya, have made their way into her collection, as also her living room. On her art interests, Jindal said although she liked both abstract and figurative art, her taste in art gravitated towards minimalism: “minimal lines, colours and forms”. About her art buying behaviour, she said, “I never buy instantly. There are so many people who go to exhibitions and say ‘I like it, pack it’. If I like something I like to sleep on it, at least for a week. Everyday if I don’t think about it, or I don’t dream about it, I know it’s not for me. I have to really want it.” Having authored several books, including a picture book for children, the Ludhiana-born dancer is gearing up to publish the chronicles of her travels in the Indian Railways. The book is expected next year.last_img read more

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Ekta explains use of wrong rocket in MOM poster

first_imgMumbai: The poster of producer Ekta Kapoor’s upcoming web series ‘M.O.M. – Mission Over Mars’ has been trolled by some netizens for using the wrong rocket. She says her team cannot use the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) rocket for representation due to legal boundaries. On her birthday recently, Ekta had unveiled the show’s poster and written that she had decided to make the project two-and-half years ago when she chanced upon the “amazing story about women in Indian science”. “This show is on the women who sent the mission to Mars – partly fictional keeping in mind the sacrosanct nature of ISRO,” she had written. Soon, some netizens pointed out the use of the wrong rocket in its poster. Ekta Kapoor posted on her Twitter handle recently: “Cannot use the ISRO rocket! Legal boundaries!” In a statement ALTBalaji’s spokesperson recently said, “Our upcoming show is a fictional adaptation of the real life heroes at ISRO who worked on Mangalyaan and set a major milestone putting India firmly on the global map. However, as a strategic call taken by multiple parties, we have gone down the fiction route for this show.” “Additionally, we are legally bound not to use actual names or images of either the people, objects or agencies involved. Keeping in mind our contractual obligations, publicity material of the show was designed,” the spokesperson further added. Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), the maiden interplanetary mission of ISRO, which was launched on November 5, 2013, entered the Martian orbit on September 24, 2014 in its first attempt.last_img read more

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Two Conservative riding associations return event proceeds to donors

first_imgOTTAWA — A pair of Conservative campaigns that were forced to refund the proceeds from two separate fundraising events earlier this year say Canada’s new political financing law should not be applied retroactively.Two Ontario riding associations returned proceeds from the January events — one attended by Conservative deputy leader Lisa Raitt in Mississauga—Streetsville, the other featuring foreign affairs critic Erin O’Toole in his Durham riding.Because of loose ends arising from their bids for the Conservative leadership in 2017, Raitt and O’Toole were still considered leadership candidates at the time of the fundraisers, under Elections Canada’s interpretation of Bill C-50, which took effect in December.That law, introduced last summer by Electoral Reform Minister Karina Gould, requires events that feature a prominent attendee — a leadership contestant, a party leader, an interim leader, or a cabinet minister — to be reported to Elections Canada, which the riding associations did not do.O’Toole, who was forced to return about $30,000 from what was his largest riding association event of the year, said he disagrees with Elections Canada’s interpretation, which he didn’t learn about until several weeks after his fundraiser.The forgone proceeds, combined with how long it took to find out Elections Canada was applying the law retroactively, was “quite frustrating” and “not great form,” O’Toole said in an email.There’s nothing in the bill to suggest it would apply to candidates from races that were completed before the bill came into force last year, he added.“From a legal perspective, all legislation is prospective — going forward in time only — unless there is express government intention to apply the new rules to past events,” O’Toole said.“There was no such intention when Minister Gould introduced the bill.”But O’Toole said he ultimately decided he did not want to engage in a dispute with Elections Canada and was as transparent as possible throughout the process. He said he proactively told Elections Canada about his event when he learned how they were applying the law.David Bishop, president of the Mississauga-Streetsville electoral district association, echoed O’Toole’s frustration.“No EDA would want to put themselves in a position that costs them time and money ahead of an election,” Bishop said, “but we have strived to be completely transparent and to work with Elections Canada as soon as we learned of their view.”Bishop did not disclose how much the event raised.A spokesperson for Elections Canada said the chief electoral officer, Stephane Perrault, “recognizes the challenge posed by the application of the C-50 rules once leadership contests are over.”Natasha Gauthier said Perrault was going to make a recommendation in a report after the election “to address this situation,” and it would be up to Parliament to change the rules around reporting.The event featuring O’Toole was held Jan. 17 at the Albany Club in Toronto, while the Mississauga-Streetsville event Raitt attended took place Jan. 21.The event attended by Raitt was attended by 18 people and required at least one person to pay $250 to attend, according to Elections Canada documents. O’Toole’s event was attended by 46 people, and required at least one person to pay $500 to attend. It’s not clear whether all attendees for the events paid the amount listed in the documents.Christian Paas-Lang, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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Akon Attracts 190000 Fans at Mawazine Festival

Rabat – 190,000 fans attended Akon’s concert in OLM Souissi on Wednesday in Rabat, Mawazine organizers said.Akon delivered his second performance – the last one was in Casablanca nine years ago. During the concert, Akon added an African flavor to his international show and thrilled the audience with his melodic voice and rhythmic dance influenced by Africa’s rich, cultural diversity.“Moroccan fans are the most authentic and the craziest,” he said. Many of the fans were from sub-Saharan Africa and the flag of Senegal was seen floating near the podium. Morocco’s famous producer Redone attended the press conference during which Akon revealed his intentions to collaborate with Redone in his upcoming album scheduled for release at the end of this year.Akon showed his love for Moroccan fans in a madcap scene when he rolled into a transparent ball between the masses to excite spectators. Among the songs performed at the concert were “Ghetto,” “Sorry, Blame It On Me,” “Lonely,” “Smack That,” and “Work Hard.”Akon celebrated his African roots singing “Oh Africa” and praised the beauty and richness of the continent in “Mama Africa,” before the concert concluded with the rhythms of “Freedom,” a song which tells the story of the life of immigrant families in the United States and his attachment to his country of origin.The Senegalese-American musician was born in 1973 in Missouri, United States. His real name is Badara Akon Thiam. He studied music in Dakar under the tutelage of his father, Mor Thiam, a prominent jazz musician. At age fifteen he wrote and recorded his first song in New Jersey. read more

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HCP National Economic Growth Fell to 12 Percent Investments Rose to

Rabat – The High Commission for Planning (HCP) has reported a sharp slowdown in national economic growth in 2016 to 1.2 percent versus 4.5 percent in 2015.This decline was attributed in particular to a marked decrease in rainfall, which has affected the growth of agricultural activity, while non-agricultural activities continue to show a moderate growth rate. The HCP noted a 12.8 percent decline in value added by the agricultural sector (excluding fishing), compared to a 11.9 percent increase in 2015 and a 2.2 percent growth in value added from other non-agricultural sectors instead of 1.8 percent one year earlier.“Economic growth has been driven by the final consumption of households and investment in the context of controlled inflation and a growing need for financing of the national economy,” noted the HCP in the closure of the accounts of 2016. This decline is also attributable to an increase of 8.5 percent in volume of net taxes on subsidies on products instead of 18.1 percent in the previous year. In this context, the growth rate of the gross domestic product, excluding agriculture, fell from 3.7 percent in 2015 to 3.1 percent in 2016, highlighted the HCP.At current prices, GDP grew by 2.8 percent in 2016 compared to 6.8 percent a year earlier, generating an increase in the general price level of 1.6 percent instead of 2.1 percent.However, Morocco’s investment effort has been made clear, showing a 9.3 percent growth rate in 2016. The sharp decline in national economic growth versus the increase of investments confirm the recent World Bank findings showing that in Morocco, investment is severely lacking in efficiency, since it does not translate into gains in terms of economic growth and job creation. The Bretton Woods institution has also shown that Morocco’s investment effort since the 2000s is enormous, averaging 31 percent of GDP, while its performance is still low.The HCP’s overview of the evolution of the national economy in 2016 also reveals another remarkable and persistent observation: the domestic economy is based on domestic demand. In 2016, it rose by 5.5 percent, compared with 1.9 percent in 2015, driven in particular by the “considerable increase” in investment and the improvement in consumer spending on households. These increased by 3.4 percent in 2016 compared to 2.2 percent in 2015, contributing 1.9 percentage points to GDP growth instead of 1.3 percentage points in the previous year. Similarly, public administrations final consumption fell to 2.1 percent compared to 2.4 percent in 2015, with a 0.4 percent contribution to growth. Gross fixed capital formation (investment) achieved significantly better results, with a 9.3 percent increase instead of a near-stable one year earlier, contributing with 2.6 points in 2016 economic growth compared with 0.1 point in 2015.In these conditions, the contribution of domestic demand to GDP growth was 5.9 points instead of 2.1 points in 2015. On the other hand, external trade made a negative contribution to GDP growth In the order of -4.7 points in 2016 instead of a positive contribution of +2.4 points a year earlier. This sharp upturn in investment is supported by the 27.5 percent surge in imports of capital equipment and the 11.7 percent jump in equipment loans to MAD 158.01 billion in 2016. read more

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Canada Bond yields and prime rates for Thursday Aug 24

Canada Bond yields for Thursday as of 4 p.m. (previous day in brackets):One-month: 0.67Three-month: 0.71Six-month: 0.93One-year: 1.155Two-year: 1.269Five-year: 1.55710-year: 1.88830-year: 2.307Interest rates:Prime rate: 2.95%Overnight lending rate: 0.75%

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Asian North African countries close to ending polio with help of UN

With several Asian and North African countries expected to be polio-free within months, regional health ministers today joined a United Nations-led eradication initiative to announce a two-pronged strategy to “mop up” new cases and to help put countries in West and Central Africa back on track to stamp out the virus.According to the World Health Organization (WHO), recent figures show Asia and North Africa together reporting only 21 cases of polio in 2004, compared to 94 this time last year. And with the all-time low levels of polio in Egypt, Afghanistan, India and Pakistan, four of the six remaining endemic countries are on track to meet the target for stopping the spread of the virus by the end of the year.Heath Ministers from those countries announced an accelerated strategy to “mop-up” each new virus. Under this ambitious initiative, each new poliovirus found will trigger two massive, tailored immunization campaigns in response, targeting between one and five million children, before the virus has the opportunity to spread.The picture is a bit more challenging for countries in West and Central Africa, due in part to an ongoing outbreak originating in northern Nigeria, where immunization campaigns have been suspended since August.A joint statement from the spearheading partners of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative warned that countries in the region, particularly Nigeria and Niger, will need different strategies to bring the regional eradication programme into line with the progress in Asia this year.WHO, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Rotary International and the United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said that the spread of virus from Kano, Nigeria, across the region and into Central Africa already cost $25 million for emergency campaigns in 2003. Ramping up agency responses in the area will cost even more.The new strategy for the African region includes the reintroduction of a mass, synchronized immunization campaign across 21 countries by early 2005, if not sooner. This strategy will be supplemented, where appropriate, with mop-up campaigns around any importations.The statement adds that an understanding was reached and signed between the Kano state government and federal authorities earlier this month on the required conditions for restarting the polio immunization activities there. As these conditions are now being met, preparations are being made to support full catch-up immunization campaigns in Kano, ahead of the nation-wide activities in September, October and November. read more

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Ohio State mens soccer falls to Akron Zips 31

Senior midfielder Yianni Sarris looks for a teammate during a game against Akron on Sept. 24 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. OSU lost, 3-1.Credit: Ben JacksonAlex Ivanov seemingly can’t catch a break. Following a 10-save losing effort on Sunday, Ohio State’s redshirt-senior goalkeeper faced 12 shots on goal in Ohio State’s 3-1 loss to Akron on Wednesday night.The Zips (4-2-1) peppered the Buckeyes (2-2-3) with an offensive onslaught that handed OSU its first home defeat of the season. Coming off a 1-0 loss to then-No. 10 Penn State, the Buckeyes’ attempt to regain momentum was stifled by Akron’s potent attack.“Akron’s always really good at keeping possession in the final third,” OSU junior midfielder Zach Mason said. “They’re just a dynamic team and they’re always tough to play against.”Scoring opened 12 minutes into the match when Akron redshirt-freshman forward Sam Gainford poked a nine-yard shot past Ivanov.The game’s first goal put OSU in a hole, senior midfielder Yianni Sarris said.“We just need to learn that we can’t have a goal scored against us in order to wake up,” Sarris said. “We need to get at teams from the beginning and just go at them.”The Buckeyes found an equalizer just over four minutes later when sophomore forward Danny Jensen saved a throw-in headed for the byline and curled a tight-angle shot past Akron junior goalkeeper Jake Fenlason.Unfortunately for the Buckeyes, they fell back asleep after leveling the game.The Zips took their second lead of the game in the 35th minute when freshman forward Stuart Holthusen fed a pass to junior forward Sean Sepe, who beat Ivanov with a choppy shot to the far corner of the net.“Giving up that second goal kind of deflated us,” Mason said.Akron entered halftime with a 2-1 lead, outshooting the Buckeyes, 10-6, before the break.Aside from a couple chances, the next 45 minutes didn’t bring much for OSU in terms of offensive success.“I think we just ran out of juice after a while,” Mason said. “That can happen when you’re down.”The Buckeyes managed one shot on goal in the second half while the Zips posted four and stretched their lead to 3-1 in the 76th minute.OSU junior defender Liam Doyle had a chance to make it 3-2 from the penalty spot in the 83rd minute, but Fenlason made the save to preserve his team’s two-goal advantage.Akron generated the majority of its chances through the center of the field, something OSU coach John Bluem said he was not surprised to see.“(Akron) is very disciplined in their attacking play,” Bluem said. “It’s hard to stop them from playing.”Despite the result, Bluem said he was pleased with the turnout for a game played in memory of Connor Senn, a former Buckeye who passed away after collapsing during a game against Akron in 2001.“It’s good that the tradition of this game has carried on for so long now,” Bluem said. “The students were wonderful in their support of the game tonight.”The game was preceded by a flyover and moment of silence in Senn’s honor.OSU looks ahead to a tough stretch of its schedule next. The Buckeyes are set to play three ranked teams in their next five games including matchups against No. 9 Louisville, No. 16 Michigan State and No. 17 Indiana.The Buckeyes are scheduled to play Dayton in Dayton, Ohio, on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. read more

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Mens Volleyball Ohio State head coach Pete Hanson announces retirement

Ohio State head men’s volleyball coach Pete Hanson will be inducted into the USA Volleyball Hall of Fame in Columbus on May 22. Credit: Courtesy of OSU AthleticsAfter 35 years as the head coach of the Ohio State men’s volleyball team, Pete Hanson announced his retirement on Thursday. In his storied coaching career, Hanson has led three Ohio State teams to an NCAA Championship — in 2011, 2016 and 2017 — has been named the National Coach of the Year three times and has recorded 712 career wins, the third-most in NCAA history. “I will certainly miss Ohio State and the volleyball program, but I will never forget it,” Hanson said in a release.Hanson has also been inducted into three Hall-of-Fame classes: the American Volleyball Coaches Association in 2015, the Ohio State Athletics in 2017 and the USA Volleyball in 2019. “Being in the Hall of Fame once obviously is a feat in and of itself. To do it three times is something just surreal and something crazy,” senior setter Sanil Thomas said. “I think what you wouldn’t expect is the same — I would imagine, the same amount of passion he brought day one he brings that passion day — a lot; it’s a lot of days. That’s why he deserves this more than anyone.”In Hanson’s tenure as head coach, the Buckeyes  won the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association regular season title 18 times, over half of the total seasons he had coached. In his 34 years, he has been awarded as the MIVA Coach of the Year 13 times. However, much of the impact Hanson has made is reflected in the players he coached. Hanson has coached 13 MIVA Player of the Year award winners, 17 players who ended up playing professionally and 17 players who competed for their national team. “The legacy of Ohio State volleyball was and has been built by all of those fine young men that wore the Scarlet and Gray,” Hanson said in a release. “I am forever indebted to them, as they helped to ensure that Ohio State volleyball remained one of the most respected programs in the country.” Hanson also made an impact off the court and into the classroom. More than 200 of his players have earned Academic All-Big Ten honors, and, in the past 10 years, 65 percent of his players have earned Ohio State scholar-athlete recognition. “His impact far exceeds the men’s volleyball program, and even Ohio State Athletics, making a positive difference to collegiate volleyball across the country,” Ohio State deputy director of athletics and men’s volleyball administrator Janine Oman said. “The development of young men has always been paramount to Pete, equipping them to lead successful lives.”But on the court, especially inside St. John Arena, Hanson made his lasting mark. In his tenure, Ohio State has recorded six undefeated seasons at home and one 42-match winning streak, the longest in Ohio State history for a head-to-head sport. “Pete Hanson’s Buckeye career embodied our mantra of ‘The People. The Tradition. The Excellence,’” Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said in a statement. “He’s found success on the court and molded young men off of it, preparing them for life after college. Pete leaves a lasting legacy at The Ohio State University.” read more

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Man causes outrage by faking stroke so he can call 999 for

first_imghttps://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/01/24/ridiculous-999-call-ever-woman-calls-emergency-services-broken/ Paramedics took a man who posed as a stroke victim to hospital only for him to leap up and thank them for the free lift, it has emerged.The North West Ambulance Service lashed out at the man for wasting valuable time and resources.Describing the incident on Twitter, they revealed that they responded to a call by the would-be patient who claimed to have lost “sensation” in his legs.Fearing he may have a critical circulation problem or have suffered a stroke he was rushed to the unnamed hospital by medics.But on arrival, he walked out beaming and admitted he was fine and just wanted a free lift to visit a friend on one of the wards.The public expressed horror at his actions, suggesting that he should be named and shamed and that the police should have been called. One Twitter user wrote: “That little stunt could ultimately have cost someone a life.”Shaun Gerrard, an emergency medical technician with NWAS, described the callout in a message that was shared by the official NWAS account.He wrote: “A patient rang for an ambulance last night as he had reduced sensation in his legs and mobility was poor. “We took him to hospital for him to then get up and walk off on arrival.”He admitted he faked the whole lot just to get a lift to hospital to see his friend!”The service has said this is what it has to deal with “day in day out” and that the police had not been involved as there was no law against wasting ambulance time.Call handlers for the service answer upwards of 50 calls during their 12-hour shifts, many of which relate to serious and life-threatening emergencies.Yesterday (Thurs), the NWAS urged members of the public to only call 999 if there’s a genuine emergency.The service recently revealed that one caller dialled 999 to request shopping and a shower.Last year, the NWAS marked the 80th anniversary of the 999 emergency number by releasing audio of some of the more bizarre calls taken.These include a man who tries to order an ambulance in advance, saying he “might need it later,” another man who said he “just wanted to go home” and a woman whose dog has been run over.Ged Blezard, director of operations at NWAS, said: “Our call centre staff work very hard and play a vital role in the care of our patients. “There are people alive today because of their actions.”last_img read more

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Aker Wirth supplying heavy duty slurry pumps for Saudi Maaden Bauxite Alumina

first_imgAker Wirth has received an order from Saudi Arabia to supply 11 piston-diaphragm pumps to Ma’aden Bauxite & Alumina Co for its refinery project. Eight pumps will be used as tube digester pumps in the Bayer process, and will pump the bauxite ore at a temperature of around 100°C. Three pumps will pump red mud to the disposal site, again at a temperature of around 100°C. Red mud is the waste product generated during digestion of bauxite. Each pump is driven by a 1,500-kW motor and has a total weight of some 105 t.Within the framework of its joint venture, WorleyParsons Fluor from Brisbane, Australia is responsible for the entire project engineering, along with the construction of the facility in Saudi Arabia.Aker Wirth says the reference “for this job is the Rio Tinto Yarwun alumina plant in Gladstone Yarwun/Australia, which is also using the Bayer process. At Yarwun 1, eight Aker Wirth pumps of identical type have been used for years with much success. Aker Wirth has delivered ten further pumps of this type to Yarwun 2, and these will shortly be put into operation.”last_img read more

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Beef ham eggs and 2014 Toyota Prius cars recalled this week

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