Ukraine’s science minister aims to mend Soviet-era rift

first_imgIn recent months, Serhiy Kvit, Ukraine’s education and science minister, has had the stressful task of overseeing the hurried relocation of 25 science-related institutions, including 11 universities, from separatist-controlled enclaves in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk regions, or Donbas. The crisis, which began after Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula last March, has overshadowed ambitious attempts that Kvit is helping orchestrate to reform Ukraine’s higher education and science. The latest move on this front is a draft science law promising sweeping changes, including a new competitive grants body similar to the U.S. National Science Foundation, that’s expected to be introduced into parliament in March or April.A literary critic and journalist by training and former president of the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Kvit, 49, has won high marks from reform-minded scientists since his appointment as minister in February 2014. On the sidelines of the AAAS meeting in San Jose, Kvit spoke with ScienceInsider about the strain of dealing with the crisis in Donbas and the challenges of reforming the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, which has been led since 1962 by 96-year-old metallurgist Boris Paton. This transcript was edited for brevity and clarity.Q: The relocation of institutions from Donbas has been piecemeal: Many scientists and professors chose to remain in the separatist areas. Why?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(*)A: We didn’t move whole universities, just motivated students and teachers. Some people thought that if they left their labs in Donbas, they would have no opportunity to continue to be researchers. For others, they did not want to leave their apartments or their relatives behind. Very few are on the side of the Russians and the terrorists.Q: Until a fragile cease-fire took hold on 15 February, the fighting had spread to other cities in the region, including Mariupol [a strategic coastal city between rebel-controlled areas of Donbas and Crimea]. Are more universities and research institutions threatened?A: Mariupol is a culturally important part of Ukraine—it is the center of the Greek community of Ukraine. I will go there in early March, to visit Mariupol State University. I’m interested in learning the mood of the people there. And next week I will go to Sievierodonetsk, the center of Donetsk region under Ukrainian control, to visit displaced university personnel. It’s important to show support to the students and professors there. Their struggle is our struggle.Q: The conflict in Donbas has been a huge strain on the government’s resources. Is it sapping your efforts to overhaul Ukrainian science?A: Our system is a Soviet model, with most research done in institutions of the academy of sciences and teaching done in the universities. We have to overcome this gap and create modern research institutions. Under the new law on science and research, academic institutions will be obliged to merge or establish mutual master’s and Ph.D. programs with universities. They must do it.Q: Since Ukraine’s independence [in 1991], scientists have been calling for reform of the academy of sciences. Paton has long resisted those calls. What makes you think you will succeed this time?A: Boris Paton is a brilliant man and still very sharp-minded. It’s quite unpredictable how he will react when the law is introduced in parliament. Two vice-presidents of the academy have cooperated in drafting the law. But all important academy decisions depend on Paton. There is no doubt that we must be forceful, and we must provide deep changes.Q: The Ukrainian government is nearly broke. How will you pay for the reforms?A:  Money is very important, of course. But we’re living in a time of continued revolution, which means that money will have to come later. Today is the best time for changing the rules.last_img read more

Sorcery suspicion: 1 dead in attack

first_imgA man was killed and his wife and nephew were injured when their relatives attacked them on the suspicion of the woman practising sorcery, at Marabai village under Kavisuryanagar police station in Odisha’s Ganjam district.Banamali Swain (40) died on Wednesday morning while he was being shifted to SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack from MKCG Medical College and Hospital in Berhampur. His wife, Namita Swain, and nephew, Manu Swain, are being treated at MKCG Medical College and Hospital.Ms. Swain alleged that sons of her husband’s elder brother were behind the attack. They had accused her of practising sorcery and the ailments in their family.No arrests had been made till Wednesday afternoon.last_img

ISL 2019-20: Mumbai City FC Defender Anwar Ali Diagnosed With Heart Problem

first_imgMumbai: Promising young defender Anwar Ali (Jr.), who has been diagnosed of a heart problem, is being sent to France for seeking further medical advice, his club officials said on Saturday.”He (Ali) is being looked after and both the club and the All India Football Federation are doing everything that can be done to help him,” a Mumbai City FC official told PTI. Ali played 34 matches in the I-League for All India Football Federation’s (AIFF) developmental team Indian Arrows in the last two seasons during his loan spell from Mumbai City.Anwar played all three of India’s group matches in the U-17 World Cup which was hosted by the country in 2017.It is reliably learnt that Ali is set to miss the first few ISL games for his side Mumbai City FC, who start their campaign with an away game at Kerala Blasters.However, contrary to the reports of his release by the club, it is understood that Ali is still very much part of the squad. Anwar Alifootballindian super leagueISL 2019-20 First Published: October 19, 2019, 5:15 PM IST Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox – subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what’s happening in the world around you – in real time.last_img read more

Russian athletes banned from Rio Olympics

first_imgWorld athletics’ governing body on Friday upheld its ban on Russia for systematic doping, leaving the country’s hopes of competing in the Rio Games dependent on Olympic chiefs giving it special dispensation at a meeting next week.Russia, an athletics superpower, had lobbied furiously to avert the prospect of a Summer Olympics taking place without its track and field athletes.President Vladimir Putin denied on Friday that Russian authorities had ever colluded in doping, and urged authorities not to use sport to push an anti-Russian agenda. His spokesman vowed legal steps to defend Russian athletes against a ban.Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said that innocent people were being punished and that he hoped the International Olympic Committee could “somehow correct this”, the Russian R-Sport news agency quoted him as saying.Russia was suspended from all track and field by the IAAF in November after an independent report from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) revealed widespread state-sponsored doping.A task force has been studying Russian measures to reform its anti-doping programme. But on Wednesday, a new WADA report revealed 52 new failed tests and stories of extraordinary attempts to avoid, obstruct or intimidate drug testers.”Some progress has been made, but not enough,” IAAF President Sebastian Coe told reporters.The vote by the IAAF should in theory be decisive, but the IOC, concerned about innocent athletes being punished, has not ruled out granting Russia, host of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, a special dispensation when it meets next Tuesday.DEFINING MOMENT?The IOC Olympic Summit in Lausanne, which will also discuss reports that Russia put in a place a complex system to beat anti-doping measures in Sochi, could be a defining moment in the fight against drug abuse in sport.advertisement”My gut feeling is that some of the folks in the IOC bubble have no sense of the collective outrage if it makes the wrong decision,” Dick Pound, a long-standing IOC member and co-author of the report that led to Russia’s ban, told Reuters.In an open letter to Coe, Mutko said Russia had met all the conditions asked of it, including overhauling its athletics association and introducing additional testing.”Clean athletes who have dedicated years of their lives to training and who never sought to gain unfair advantage through doping should not be punished for the past actions of other individuals,” Mutko wrote.His ministry said after the decision that the Olympics would be diminished by the absence of Russian athletes.At a forum in St Petersburg, Putin said that “there has not been and cannot be any support at state level for violations in sport, including the use of doping”, and that there should be no collective punishment for Russian athletes.Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov went further, saying that “everything possible needed to defend the rights of our athletes and the Olympic team is being done and will be done at a legal level”.”RIGHTS VIOLATION”Isinbayeva, one of Russia’s most successful sportswomen, called the IAAF decision a violation of human rights.”I will go to the human rights court,” she said. “I will prove to the IAAF and World Anti-Doping Agency that they made the wrong decision … Russia will not be silent.”International Olympic Committee vice-president John Coates said on Friday that Russia’s anti-doping agency and athletics body were “rotten to the core”.But Coates, president of the Court of Arbitration for Sport, also said there would be “appeal opportunities … for someone who can establish their individual integrity”.”My guess is they’d have to establish they were regularly tested outside of Russia by an anti-doping authority, and the samples were analysed outside of Russia on a regular basis,” he said.Russia says it is being unfairly victimised, while other countries that have fallen foul of the WADA code are free to compete.But British world marathon record holder Paula Radcliffe told Reuters on Thursday: “No one wants to see even one innocent athlete suffer in this, but such blatant disregard for the rules of our sport and the concept of fair play should receive a strong message that it will not be tolerated …”The message needs to get out loud and clear – We will not tolerate cheats in our sport and will take strong action to protect the rights of the clean athletes to compete on a fair and level playing field.”last_img read more

Canon 5D Mark IV is a fine camera but not for everyone

first_imgCanon on Friday launched the 5D Mark IV camera in India. This is a pricey camera, part of Canon’s full-frame range. It also replaces the venerable 5D Mark III, which was launched in 2012. For Canon this camera is a big deal. Just like the 5D Mark III, the Mark IV is supposed to be the mainstay of the company’s full-frame DSLR camera operations. It is supposed to be the all-rounder, created to please every photographer. On the face of it, this is a general purpose camera. But its hardware clearly indicates with the Mark IV, Canon clearly wants to target the wedding shooters as well as enthusiastic travellers who want a snapper capable of clicking lions and leopards on a Safari.If you need an advanced camera, the 5D Mark IV is the one to buy. That is what Canon will tell you. But is it true? More or less — and I will have more to say about it once I have spent some time with it — but their conditions attached. The Mark IV is not your regular camera and it is not for everyone. But before we talk about that, a quick recap of key specifications:– New 30.4-megapixel full-frame sensor with native ISO range of 100 – 32,000– 4K video at 30p or 24p– Dual-Pixel CMOS AF for smooth auto focus during video or Live View shooting– LCD monitor with touchscreen– Up to 7 FPS continuous shooting speed– DIGIC 6+ Image Processor– 61 AF points with 41 cross-pointsadvertisement– 150,000-pixel RGB + IR metering sensor– Wi-Fi, NFC and GPSAlso Read: Canon 5D Mark IV launched in India, targets pros and hobbyists with price of Rs 2,54,995 So, now that you know the specs, let me explain who should consider the 5D Mark IV and who should not.Consider the 5D Mark IV if…– You are already a Canon shooter and has a 5D series camera. The 5D Mark IV is not only much better than Mark II but also the Mark III. Although, if you have the Mark III, the gains you see may not be much.– You shoot images for a living. You are a pro and have money to buy good gear, the gear that will work in challenging conditions, for example in drizzle or when you are out shooting sand dunes. The weather sealing and the build quality of the 5D Mark IV will ensure that you get a camera that matches your pace.– You are into shooting videos. The 5D Mark IV, with its dual-pixel feature, which will ensure smooth focus performance during videos, is fairly great for the video enthusiasts who make movies, video bloggers or YouTubers. If you want a DSLR camera that also offers fairly good video performance, this is what you need to get.– You mostly click landscape, people and along with a bit of sports or wildlife shooting. The 5D Mark IV has a 30-megapixel sensor, which is plenty when it comes to landscape and people. At the same time, it has a speed of 7FPS — although the buffer seems limited — which will help you do occasional wildlife or sports photography, though it is not as fast as true wildlife or sports shooters like the 7D II and 1DX II.– You want great image quality. The full-frame sensor means you won’t find the image quality lacking in any way when you put the 5D Mark IV to use. In fact, if you can’t click great pictures with the 5D Mark IV, you won’t be able to click with them with anything else.– You don’t mind carrying a big and bulky camera. The 5D Mark IV is large and the lenses that work with it are large. It weighs nearly 800 grams and with a lens like 24-70 F4 attached to it, the total weight will be close to 1.5 kgs. That is lots of weight to carry in your backpack. So, do this about the weight and bulk before you get the 5D Mark IV.– You have deep pockets. The 5D Mark IV is pricey. For the body-only, it costs Rs 2,54,995. That is cool two and half lakhs.– You are not happy with your Nikon full-frame camera. Well, in this case, your only other option is Canon — No, Sony still doesn’t matter at this level — and the 5D Mark IV is definitely among the finest Canon cameras ever made. DON’T consider the 5D Mark IV if…– You are a Nikon full-frame camera shooter and are more or less satisfied with your camera. The 5D Mark IV is good but it’s not good enough to justify the cost of switching systems from Nikon to Canon.– You hate big and bulky cameras.advertisement– You just want a fun camera to click everyday images. Pro tip: Get the Sony RX IV for your needs. It is fantastic little camera for 99 per cent people out there.– You want the image quality of the full-frame sensor but without spending too much. In this case, consider the Nikon D750. Excellent little camera and it costs less than half the price of the Canon 5D Mark IV.– You want your first DSLR camera. Get an entry-level DSLR camera, figure out what you want to shoot — wildlife or landscape etc — and then decide where you want to go.– You are a beginner but want absolute best. Even in this case, don’t consider the 5D Mark IV. Even if you want a full-frame shooter as your first camera and have money to invest in this system, go for either Nikon D750 or Canon 6D.– You are into more advanced video shooting. Although the 5D Mark IV shoots 4K videos and everything else, the actual footage is somewhat crippling. It uses 1.7X magnification in 4K videos and the effect it produces is something the professional videographers may not like. At the same time it uses Motion JPG as a video format and not something with codec like H264 or H265, which would have been so much better.– You already have 5D Mark III. Possibly you don’t need the 5D Mark IV, unless you absolutely hate the low DR of 5D Mark III and the banding it may produce while post-processing of images. Although, in this case I suggest you wait for the information to come about the dynamic range of the 5D Mark IV image sensor.– You are mainly into sports or wildlife shooting. For wildlife shooting go for the Canon 7D II or Nikon D500. If you are pro, then you obviously know what you need. But just to repeat, your friends will be 1DX II or D5.– You believe that spending over 2 lakh rupees on a camera is silly. Well, I agree. For most people it is kind of silly. There are cheaper ways to get the images that will be as good as those clicked by the 5D Mark IV, if not more. Also Read: Best cheap DSLR camera: Nikon D3300. And time to get it is nowlast_img read more

Benching: A dangerous trend that’s ruining our generation emotionally

first_imgRelationships are messy, but benching makes it messier than it normally is.While being benched means not being allowed to participate otherwise, benching in relationships or dating means something different and there are many who go through it without realising.In a world where texting is considered ‘communicating’ and phone calls are replaced by face-to-face, live interactions, a phenomenon like benching had to come our way. Benching is often compared to ghosting but these are quite different from each other.Benching, a term that traces back to New York Magazine writer Jason Chen, is a practice where your date keeps you stuck in a limbo. So, how do you actually recognise that your date is a ‘bencher’?Here are 10 ways you can spot if you’re dating a bencher:He/she will always keep you looped with flirty texts after meeting you for the first time but will grow cold towards you. But, will never disappear.He/she will never say no to you, but will keep you hanging for a yes.He/she will give you just enough attention to keep you hooked and keep your hopes up.He/she will always keep you waiting for a response.He/she will emotionally manipulate you and will make you feel guilty for asking for his time.Making men/women wait boosts his ego.He/she pretends to listen to you.He/she acts sensitive, but, is insensitive in reality.The bencher is busy chasing others while you wait.He/she is always ready with excuses to explain why he isn’t available for you.  advertisementlast_img read more

12 days agoNewcastle eyeing Trabzonspor goalkeeper Ugurcan Cakir

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Newcastle eyeing Trabzonspor goalkeeper Ugurcan Cakirby Paul Vegas12 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveNewcastle United are eyeing Trabzonspor goalkeeper Ugurcan Cakir.It is thought Liverpool, Tottenham and Arsenal are all interested in the 23-year-old stopper.61 Saat says the Toon have sent scouts over to Turkey to watch him in action.He is worth an estimated £17million and has been an ever-present for the Turkish outfit this season.Cakir has not kept a clean sheet all season, from 13 appearances in all competitions.His side sit third in the Turkish Super Lig and are without a win in their Europa League group. last_img

Kirk Herbstreit’s Surprising Playoff Take On Alabama

first_imgKirk Herbstreit on the set of ESPN's College GameDayNEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 23: GameDay host Kirk Herbstreit is seen during ESPN’s College GameDay show at Times Square on September 23, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)As of right now, the College Football Playoff committee hasn’t had to deal with much chaos, but that could all change in an instant. Even with Alabama’s dominance throughout the season, Kirk Herbstreit thinks one loss from the defending champions could affect the entire playoff picture.The Crimson Tide will face Auburn and Georgia in consecutive weeks, and both opponents could possibly pull off the upset. With Clemson and Notre Dame currently owning undefeated records like Alabama, the committee would have a difficult choice to make.Well, at least Herbstreit won’t hold back the truth from Alabama in the event of an upset. If they lose to Georgia in the SEC Championship, he believes they’ll miss the playoff.During Tuesday evening’s episode of SportsCenter, ahead of the College Football Playoff rankings reveal show, Herbstreit discussed the impact of a hypothetical Alabama loss.His comments, via 247Sports:“I need an hour here to (discuss) the scenarios and all the games,” Herbstreit said on SportsCenterbefore Tuesday’s rankings. “Let’s say Clemson wins and Notre Dame wins out, it could come down to a debate between more than likely Michigan and Alabama. The committee would have o take into consideration where Alabama has been all year, to be candid.“I think there’s too many good teams right now hovering around that Top 4. I think it would very hard if Michigan, Clemson and Notre Dame were to win and Georgia were to beat Alabama, I wish I could make a case, but I think Alabama would be left out.”Of course, this nightmare scenario would be avoided if the Crimson Tide remain perfect on the season.Fortunately for Nick Saban and his crew, this hypothetical question probably won’t have to be answered. With the Iron Bowl occurring this Saturday, Alabama will have another opportunity to flex its muscles.[247Sports]last_img read more

USC Transfer QB Matt Fink Denies Transfer To Illinois

first_img Fink took to Twitter on Friday night to reveal he hasn’t announced his decision just yet.“To clarify, I am NOT committed to any schools at the moment. I am in the process of deciding and still looking for other opportunities,” Fink said.To clarify, I am NOT committed to any schools at the moment. I am in the process of deciding and still looking for other opportunities.— MRF (@FinkMattfink) May 10, 2019Fink was ranked the No. 13 dual-threat quarterback in the country coming out of high school in 2016. He threw for 46 yards and 1 touchdown in 2018.Fink is a graduate transfer and will be immediately eligible for his new team. He has two years of eligibility left.Illinois is in desperate need of a quarterback with playing experience. The only Illini quarterback with starting college experience, sophomore MJ Rivers II, entered the transfer portal last weekend.Stay tuned. A general view of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.LOS ANGELES – NOVEMBER 11: General view of action as the Oregon Ducks take on the USC Trojans on November 11, 2006 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California. The Trojans defeated the Ducks 35-10. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)Earlier this week, it seemed USC quarterback Matt Fink reportedly made a decision on his transfer destination. The Trojans’ QB was reportedly heading to the Big Ten.Fink, a former three-star dual-threat quarterback recruit, reportedly decided to transfer to Illinois. His own father reportedly confirmed the news.“Mike Fink said Lovie Smith made it clear to Matt he’ll be needed in a leadership role and will have every chance to win the starting job this fall,” Brady McCollough reported.Just a few days later, however, it seems his commitment has changed.last_img read more

Rural Nova Scotians Lead Country in Safe Driving Practices

first_imgDrivers in rural Nova Scotia are at the top of the class when it comes to buckling up for safety, and the limited use of cellphones. A September 2006 Transport Canada survey of seatbelt use in Canada’s rural communities found that 90.4 per cent of occupants of light-duty vehicles used seatbelts in Nova Scotia, second only to Price Edward Island, at 95.5 per cent. Not using seatbelts is a factor in one of every four road fatalities in Nova Scotia. While annual seatbelt-use surveys suggest that nine of 10 Canadians wear seatbelts on a regular basis, almost 40 per cent of occupants killed, and 20 per cent of those seriously injured, had not buckled up. The survey also found rural Nova Scotians were the least likely to use a cellphone while driving. Only 0.8 per cent of drivers were observed using cellphones. Transportation and Public Works Minister Angus MacIsaac said the survey shows that Nova Scotia’s road-safety programs are working. “Rural Nova Scotians are leading the way when it comes to taking proactive steps to be safe behind the wheel,” said Mr. MacIsaac. “The Department of Transportation and Public Works’ education programs, combined with effective law enforcement and the good judgment of rural drivers, is a winning combination for safer roads.” The minister says the low number of drivers using cellphones is encouraging. “Cellphone use contributes to driver distraction — one of the leading causes of motor vehicle collisions in Nova Scotia,” said Mr. MacIsaac. The Transport Canada survey is part of the National Occupant Restraint Program, an important element of Road Safety Vision 2010, a partnership approved by the federal, provincial and territorial ministers responsible for transportation and highway safety to make Canada’s roads the safest in the world. For the purposes of the survey, rural Canada was defined as towns with a population of fewer than 10,000 but more than 1,000 that are located outside a census metropolitan area.last_img read more

BJP leaders meet Sonia to seek cooperation in Parliament

first_imgNew Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders on Friday met UPA Chairperson and senior Congress leader Sonia Gandhi to seek her party’s cooperation in the upcoming session of Parliament, which will commence from June 17. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi, along with the Minister of State in his Ministry – Arjun Ram Meghwal, and Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar met Gandhi at her 10 Janpath residence in Delhi. Also Read – Dussehra with a ‘green’ twist After the meeting, which lasted for over 20 minutes, Tomar told the media: “We are meeting all the opposition leaders to request for their party’s cooperation and smooth functioning of the Parliament.” On June 5, Joshi, along with the two ministers of state in his ministry – Meghwal and V. Muraleedharan – met Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad, at his residence. According to Congress sources, the government has convened an all-party meeting in the Parliament on June 16, a day ahead of the start of the Lok Sabha session, where it will seek the cooperation of all political parties to ensure a smooth session. The first session of the newly-elected Lok Sabha will be convened from June 17 to July 26 and the new government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi will present its first Budget on July 5. The 40-day session will have 30 sittings.last_img read more

Nearly half of youth incarcerated are Indigenous Statistics Canada

first_imgWINNIPEG – Nearly half of all youth who end up in custody across Canada are Indigenous, a statistic that a Manitoba activist says shows unacceptable and systemic racism.Data released by Statistics Canada shows Aboriginal youth made up 46 per cent of admissions to correctional services in 2016-17 while making up only eight per cent of the youth population.“It’s not actually surprising to me to hear those numbers,” said Michael Redhead Champagne.“As a member of the Indigenous community, with First Nation, Metis and Inuit people around me, I see the overrepresentation of Indigenous people going into the justice system,” he said.Champagne founded Aboriginal Youth Opportunities in Winnipeg’s North End neighbourhood in 2010 to support Indigenous youth. Working with kids in the inner city area, he has seen how “Indigenous people often get the short end of the stick.”“I see Indigenous and non-Indigenous people literally doing the exact same crime and not experiencing the same amount of jail time, probation, etc.”Incarceration of youth generally across Canada has declined slightly each year since 2012. But the Statistics Canada data from 10 reporting provinces and territories also showed the proportion of Aboriginal youth in custody has steadily increased.It was 21 per cent in 2006-07, but 10 years later Aboriginal boys made up 47 per cent and Aboriginal girls accounted for 60 per cent of correctional admissions.In the provinces, the numbers of Indigenous youth in custody were highest in Saskatchewan (92 per cent for boys; 98 per cent for girls) and Manitoba (81 per cent for boys; 82 per cent for girls).Howard Sapers, an independent adviser to the government of Ontario on corrections reform, said the increasing numbers, particularly for girls, carries through to adulthood.“We are getting so dangerously close to half of all adult women in custody being Indigenous,” he said in a phone interview from his Ottawa office.Aboriginal men accounted for 28 per cent of admissions, while Aboriginal women accounted for 43 per cent. At the same time, they represented about five per cent of the Canadian adult population.“There is little way to escape the conclusion that there are some systemic biases built into the system that are contributing to this overrepresentation,” Sapers said.Policy decisions, such as mandatory minimum sentences, have had a disproportionate impact on Indigenous communities, he said.But there is also movement in the other direction, said Sapers, pointing to bail reform, restorative justice efforts and culturally appropriate initiatives.The justice system cannot stand alone in curbing the trend of incarcerating Indigenous youth, he suggested. Tackling poverty, unemployment or underemployment, poor housing, addictions and mental illness would make a large difference, he said.Change is needed immediately, Champagne agreed, because right now there is a cycle of institutionalizing Indigenous kids.It starts with children being taken into care where they are assigned a worker, curfews and strict rules, he said. When they become older, they graduate to the criminal justice system.“When I see this kind of stuff I get frustrated with all the rhetoric around reconciliation.”Champagne has worked with youth who have experienced adversity, violence, addictions, homelessness and who are often in conflict with the justice system, but he sees their unique gifts and how much they can contribute to the community.“We as a society have to get better at recognizing those good things when they are happening, celebrating them ,and telling those stories, so that our young people can see themselves reflected as successful, as helpers and as leaders, because that’s exactly what they are.“And that’s why they give me such hope.”last_img read more

Hundreds watch from shore as killer whale puts on jumping show in

first_imgCOMOX, B.C. – A lone killer whale that moved into a Comox, B.C., harbour more than a week ago is thrilling crowds on the local waterfront with a swimming and leaping spectacle as it patrols its new hunting territory.Comox Valley Harbour Authority spokesman Robert Clarke said Tuesday hundreds of people stood on the community promenade along the shoreline and watched the orca breach and swim around the harbour.“I’m looking out here right now and there’s probably 300 people on it looking over the side watching the whale swim around in the bay,” he said. “It’s a non-stop nature show.”Clarke, a former whale-watching guide, said killer whales do appear in the harbour but it is not a common event and they rarely stay for long.He said there have been reports of the whale swimming up the Courtenay River, part of which flows through the Vancouver Island community and the same animal has been seen at Union Bay, about 20 kilometres south.He said the harbour is busy with commercial, sport and recreational vessels, which prompted the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and Canadian Coast Guard officials to arrive in the area to enforce the 200-metre whale viewing limits for boats.“I wouldn’t say (the whale) is interfering with vessel traffic,” said Clarke. “I would say more the vessels are interfering with whatever it wants to do. We’re a commercial fishing harbour and we deal with a lot of recreational (boaters) throughout the summer and when they come in most of them are pretty darn excited to see the whale.”Josh McInnes, a whale researcher at the University of Victoria, said he has encountered the same whale, known as T73B, in waters off Alaska.McInnes, who is currently doing whale research in Monterey, Calif., said in a telephone interview that the full grown killer whale is what’s known as a transient, which is a mammal-eating orca.The resident killer whales found in the waters off Vancouver Island and Washington state are fish eaters.McInnes said the male in Comox Harbour is a known loner from Alaska with a reputation for scouting out its own hunting grounds.“All of the times I’ve bumped into him have been in southeast Alaska,” said McInnes, who last saw the whale in June 2017, hunting alone in waters near Endicott Arm, Alaska.He said transient killer whales spend much of their time in groups of about three to five but they also hunt alone. The transients hunt by stealth, sneaking up on their prey as opposed to the resident orcas who hunt in a pack, said McInnes.Despite the natural solitary tendencies of transient orcas, the Comox whale appears to be a unique animal, he said.“He’s a bit of a weird whale. He is really odd,” McInnes said. “He took these really long dives and the way he surfaced was a bit weird.”McInnes said he expects the whale to leave the Comox area any day now, continuing its travels along the Pacific coast from Alaska to California.— By Dirk Meissner in Victoria.Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said the whale had been spotted in the Comox River.last_img read more

AltaGas founder remains mum on sudden resignation of CEO David Harris

first_imgCALGARY – The chairman of AltaGas Ltd. says its leadership team is “stepping in and stepping up” in the wake of the sudden departure of president and CEO David Harris last week.AltaGas founder and chairman David Cornhill, who is filling in with director Phillip Knoll as interim co-CEOs of the Calgary-based company, said at the start of a conference call he will not take questions about why Harris has left the company.He repeated information in a statement last week that Harris and the board of directors mutually agreed on the resignation in the wake of a non-specific “complaint” that the board is investigating.He says the company has already started the process of finding and hiring a permanent CEO and cautioned that may take some time.Cornhill repeated the complaint is not related to AltaGas’ strategy, operations or financial reporting, but didn’t explain what it was related to or why the company is investigating if Harris’s resignation is final.Harris, who has been with Calgary-based AltaGas since 2010 and its top executive since April 2016, oversaw the company’s $6-billion deal to buy Washington, D.C.-based energy utility company WGL Holdings, Inc., which closed in July.Cornhill founded AltaGas in 1994 and was its CEO until Harris took over.Companies in this story: (TSX:ALA)last_img read more

Ecuador at UN calls on European Union to reform migration policies

29 September 2008Ecuador spoke out against the European Union’s policy on migration during the General Assembly’s annual high-level debate today, stressing the need to protect the right of people to move freely. “I believe none of the governments represented here is opposed to” free mobility, María Isabel Salvador Crespo, Ecuador’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Integration, said in her address on the final day of the event.Migration must be in line with international humanitarian law and respect migrants’ human rights, she emphasized.“There are no illegal human beings, only practices that violate the rights of persons,” Ms. Salvador said, quoting her country’s President Rafael Correa.As such, “we cannot tolerate the Return Directive issued by the European Union,” she said, referring to the policy seeking to harmonize procedures returning undocumented immigrants across the region.In June, 10 independent UN human rights experts also voiced their deep concern over the Directive, in particular the clause calling for “excessive” detention for up to 18 months pending removal.The proposal would also allow countries to detain unaccompanied children, victims of human trafficking, and other vulnerable groups. “Irregular immigrants are not criminals. As a rule they should not be subjected to detention at all,” the experts stressed. “Member States are obliged to explore the availability of alternatives to detention and detention must only be for the shortest possible period of time.” At UN Headquarters today, the Ecuadorian official said that “emigration and return must both be an expression of freedom.”Migration is a result of “excluding economic models where the market, the accumulation and selfishness make invisible the true needs of human beings,” she added.Her country plans to adopt a refugee policy based on the principles of humanism and solidarity to provide assistance to those under Ecuador’s protection, Ms. Salvador said.International cooperation is essential to help the nation fulfil its commitments regarding refugees. With 200,000 Colombian citizens in need of international protection in Ecuador, she said that “we must not forget that Ecuador is currently the country with the largest number of persons in need of international protection in all the Western Hemisphere.” read more

Annan to spend rest of month in Europe on official visits attending

Mr. Annan, presently in Athens to attend the European Conference and discuss the UN’s role in post-conflict Iraq with continental leaders, is scheduled to leave Greece on Monday for Vienna, where he will meet with Austrian President Thomas Klestil on Tuesday. On Wednesday, he will meet with Foreign Minister Benita Ferrero-Waldner and Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel, and also will visit the Austrian Parliament.On Thursday, he will address the Commission on Human Rights in Geneva and on Friday and Saturday he will attend the spring session in Paris of the Chief Executives Board, which brings together the heads of all UN departments, agencies and programmes. The session will focus on follow-up to the Millennium Summit, and the challenge of sustainable development.On 27 April, he will return to Switzerland for an official visit, including meetings in Bern on 29 April with President Pascal Couchepin and other senior officials. He is scheduled to return to New York the following day. read more

Oil prices rise to near US98 a barrel ahead of Fed statement

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Oil prices rose to near US$98 a barrel Wednesday ahead of the release of more U.S. economic indicators and the conclusion of a meeting of U.S. Federal Reserve policy-makers.By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark oil for March delivery was up 35 cents to US$97.92 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.The contract rose $1.13, or 1.2 per cent, to close at $97.57 on Tuesday after being pushed higher by a report about rising U.S. home prices. Energy prices can rise when investors feel good about the economy, since energy is needed to power manufacturing and other economic activity.“Crude oil prices continued their upside momentum and extended gains on Wednesday, as risk appetite increased following the recent robust economic data,” said a report from Sucden Financial Research in London.“It seems that market sentiment has recently improved amid optimism about increasing oil demand in the short-term, especially from the U.S. and China.”Traders are also awaiting the release of other U.S. economic indicators, including economic growth on Wednesday and weekly jobless claims Thursday. In addition, the Federal Reserve will conclude a two-day meeting later Wednesday with a statement that investors will study for clues about the outlook for the economy and interest rates.“There are increasing hopes that the Federal Reserve will re-affirm its commitment to monetary stimulus,” Sucden said.Recent rises in oil prices have been the result of an improving global economy, and positive manufacturing reports from the U.S. and China. But significant gains could be capped by demand constraints and ample supply, analysts said.“The fundamentals are also likely to deteriorate again later in the year,” said analysts at Capital Economics in a report. “Over the longer term, booming energy supply from both conventional and new sources will also add to the downward pressure on prices.”Oil prices were also boosted by the weaker U.S. dollar, which makes crude cheaper and a more enticing investment for traders using other currencies. On Wednesday, the euro was helped by rising consumer and business confidence in the 17 countries using the common currency and the currency climbed to US$1.3548 from US$1.3487 on Tuesday.Brent crude, used to price international varieties of oil, was up 51 cents at US$114.87 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.In other energy futures trading on Nymex, wholesale gasoline gained 0.8 of a cent to US$2.9843 a U.S. gallon (3.79 litres), heating oil added 1.78 cents to US$3.1164 a gallon and natural gas rose 1.3 cents to US$3.271 per 1,000 cubic feet.(TSX:ECA), (TSX:IMO), (TSX:SU), (TSX:HSE), (NYSE:BP), (NYSE:COP), (NYSE:XOM), (NYSE:CVX), (TSX:CNQ), (TSX:TLM), (TSX:COS.UN), (TSX:CVE) Oil prices rise to near US$98 a barrel ahead of Fed statement, US indicators by Pablo Gorondi, The Associated Press Posted Jan 30, 2013 7:59 am MDT read more

AP source JPMorgan would pay 13B under tentative deal over mortgagebacked securities

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email AP source: JPMorgan would pay $13B under tentative deal over mortgage-backed securities WASHINGTON – JPMorgan Chase & Co. has tentatively agreed to pay $13 billion to settle allegations surrounding the quality of mortgage-backed securities it sold in the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis, a person familiar with the negotiations between the bank and the federal government said Saturday.If the agreement is finalized it would be the government’s highest-profile enforcement action related to the financial meltdown that plunged the economy into the deepest recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s.The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal has not been finalized, said Attorney General Eric Holder, Associate Attorney General Tony West, J.P. Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon and the bank’s general counsel, Stephen Cutler, negotiated the tentative settlement in a Friday night phone call.The person said the tentative agreement does not resolve a criminal investigation of the bank’s conduct. It is being handled by federal prosecutors in Sacramento, Calif.On Friday night, Holder told the bank that a non-prosecution agreement was a non-starter — meaning that the Justice Department will continue to conduct the criminal investigation of the financial institution, said the person. As part of the deal, the Justice Department expects JPMorgan to co-operate with the continuing criminal probe of the bank’s issuance of mortgage-backed securities between 2005 and 2007, the person said.JPMorgan spokesman Brian Marchiony and Justice Department spokesman Brian Fallon declined to comment.Of the $13 billion, $9 billion is fines or penalties and $4 billion will go to consumer relief for struggling homeowners, the person said.When the housing bubble burst in 2007, bundles of mortgages sold as securities soured and the investors who bought them lost billions. In the aftermath, public outrage boiled over that no high-level Wall Street executives had been sent to jail. Some lawmakers and other critics demanded that the big bailed-out banks and senior executives be held accountable.In response, the government in January 2012 set up a task force of federal and state law enforcement officials to pursue wrongdoing with regard to mortgage securities.In September, JPMorgan agreed to pay $920 million and admit that it failed to oversee trading that led to a $6 billion loss last year in its London operation. That combined amount, in settlements with three U.S. and one British regulator, is one of the largest fines ever levied against a financial institution. In another case, the company agreed to pay a $100 million penalty and admitted that its traders acted “recklessly” with the London trades.In August, the Justice Department accused Bank of America Corp., the second-largest U.S. bank, of civil fraud in failing to disclose risks and misleading investors in its sale of $850 million in mortgage bonds in 2008. The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a related lawsuit. The government estimates that investors lost more than $100 million on the deal. Bank of America disputes the allegations.The latest action against the beleaguered JPMorgan brought the weight of the Obama administration against the bank, which has enjoyed a reputation for managing risk better than its Wall Street competitors. JPMorgan came through the financial crisis in better shape than most of its rivals and Dimon, its CEO, charmed lawmakers and commanded the attention of regulators in Washington.A number of big banks, including JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, previously have been accused of abuses in sales of securities linked to mortgages in the years leading up to the crisis. Together they have paid hundreds of millions in penalties to settle civil charges brought by the SEC, which accused them of deceiving investors about the quality of the bonds they sold.JPMorgan settled SEC charges in June 2011 by agreeing to pay $153.6 million and reached another such agreement for $296.9 million last November.The banks in all the SEC cases were allowed to neither admit nor deny wrongdoing — a practice that brought criticism of the agency from judges and investor advocates.But in a first for a major company, JPMorgan admitted in the agreement with the SEC over the $6 billion trading loss in its London operation that it failed in its oversight. The admission could leave the bank vulnerable to millions of dollars in lawsuits. JPMorgan also reached settlements over the trading loss with the Federal Reserve, the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority.The Justice Department is still pursuing a criminal investigation of the trading loss and a possible coverup at the bank. Two of the bank’s former traders in London are facing criminal charges. The SEC also is investigating individuals involved in the trading loss.Mounting legal costs from government proceedings pushed JPMorgan to a rare loss in the third quarter, the first under Dimon’s leadership. The bank reported Oct. 11 that it set aside $9.2 billion in the July-September quarter to cover a string of litigation stemming from the financial crisis and its “London Whale” trading debacle. JPMorgan said it has placed a total of $23 billion in reserve to cover potential legal costs.___Associated Press writer Marcy Gordon in Washington contributed to this report. by Pete Yost, The Associated Press Posted Oct 19, 2013 4:34 pm MDT read more

Private hospital surgeon jailed over death of patient has conviction quashed on

first_imgJames Hughes, a father-of-six from Northern Ireland, died at a hospital in Harrow A surgeon who served a jail sentence over the death of a patient at a private hospital has won an appeal against his conviction.David Sellu, now 69, was convicted of gross negligence manslaughter in November 2013 and handed a two-and-a-half-year prison term at the Old Bailey.On Tuesday, three Court of Appeal judges in London allowed his challenge against the conviction relating to the death of father-of-six James Hughes, from Northern Ireland. Mr Hughes, 66, died at the Clementine Churchill Hospital in Harrow, north-west London, after falling unexpectedly ill following knee surgery.The retired builder had a planned left knee replacement on February 5, 2010. The operation went well, but while recovering, he developed abdominal pain and was transferred to Mr Sellu’s care. James Hughes It was the standard of the doctor’s care of Mr Hughes over a period of approximately 25 hours that formed the basis of the case against him.Appeal judges previously heard that the “essence” of the prosecution case was that the doctor, a “respected consultant colorectal surgeon”, should have performed an operation to repair a perforated bowel “at a much earlier time”.But a QC argued on behalf of Sellu, of Hillingdon, who served 15 months before being released in February last year, that his conviction for gross negligence manslaughter was “unsafe” on a number of grounds.Mr Sellu was present in court to hear Sir Brian Leveson, who heard the case with Lord Justice Irwin and Mr Justice Globe, announce that the conviction should be quashed.Sir Brian gave the prosecution 24 hours to make an application if they wish to seek a re-trial. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

Woman accused of drunkenly ramming neighbours car not guilty as police found

first_imgWhen breathalysed she was found to have 60 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath – almost double the national drink drive limit of 35 microgrammes.Hammersmith Magistrates Court heard Lindblad-Hill was reversing her car when she scrapped it against a neighbour’s on December 6 last year.PC David Maclaughlin said: “An Uber driver was parking in Abingdon Road at 20.35 hours that evening when he heard a vehicle revving. He noticed the defendant parking her car across the road.”As she was parking her car, a Mercedes, he noticed a blue Jaguar, and there was a large scraping noise. The defendant then got out the car and appeared to walk away without taking the details of the other car. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. A drink-driving charge against Marie Lindblad-Hill was dropped Marie Lindblad-Hill leaving Hammersmith Magistrates CourtCredit:Central News/Gustavo Valiente A drink-driving charge against Marie Lindblad-Hill was droppedCredit:Central News/Gustavo Valiente A woman who was accused of drunkenly ramming her neighbour’s car has seen the charges dropped, as she was drinking whiskey when police arrived at her house to breathalyse her. Marie Lindblad-Hill, 46, who has appeared in the pages of society magazine Tatler, failed to stop when her black Mercedes Benz Elegance crashed into another Tesla saloon outside her £4.5 million home in Kensington, west London.She was drinking whiskey when police arrived at her house to investigate the collision, a court heard.She had been originally charged with a charge of drink driving and was due to stand trial today, but the charge was dropped by the CPS this morning. At the time police went to her address after the prang she was seen with a large whiskey in her hand before she was taken to a police station and breathalysed, giving a reading of 60 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath.She had denied drink driving at a previous hearing, claiming “post-driving consumption of alcohol” after the initial bump outside her house.This morning the prosecutor asked a senior Crown Prosecution Service lawyer to review the charge of drink driving, given the length of time between the incident and the first breathalyser test.Following a break the prosecutor came back into court and formerly offered no evidence on the charge.Lindblad-Hill was re-arraigned on the charge of failing to stop after a road accident to give her name and address to the other driver, to which she pleaded guilty.Lindblad-Hill, of Kensington, was fined £150, and ordered to pay a £30 victim surcharge as well as having three points added to her driving license. “The Uber driver had a conversation with her and pointed to the damage, which she said she didn’t do.”The Uber driver reported it to the police and officers arrived at 11.05pm at the defendant’s home and the husband answered the door.”She admitted to the police she had been driving at time.” Marie Lindblad-Hill leaving Hammersmith Magistrates Courtlast_img read more