Prasar Bharati chief slams Indian mag editor for blatant antiIndia presentation at

first_imgLondon: Prasar Bharati Chairman Dr A Surya Prakash has slammed the editor of an Indian magazine for his “blatant” anti-India presentation during a session on ‘Religion and the Media’ at the Global Conference for Media Freedom in London, saying many of his statements were “false” and “inaccurate”. The panellist Vinod K Jose, Executive Editor of ‘The Caravan’ magazine, used the platform on Thursday to claim that religious minorities were being persecuted in India. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity! To buttress his argument, he showed clips of media coverage of attacks on minorities. During his presentation, Jose claimed that “a hundred Christians were murdered in India” and “the RSS engineered the pogrom against the Sikhs in 1984”. After his presentation, when the discussion was thrown open to the floor, Prakash stood up and debunked the presentation made by Jose. He said many of the statements made by ‘The Caravan’ editor were “false” and cautioned the audience about the “inaccuracies” in the presentation. Also Read – Encounter under way in Pulwama, militant killed Prakash said India was not only the world’s largest democracy, but also the most vibrant. It was also the most diverse society in the world. India had 900 million electors, of whom 600 million had voted in the recent parliamentary election. He warned that if the audience left the hall believing Jose, democracy across the world would be in jeopardy. The Prasar Bharati Chairman said there were a few activists in the world who were uncomfortable with the electoral decision made by the voters of India in the recent parliamentary election and used such fora to peddle their theories. The conference was organised jointly by the governments of the UK and Canada. “I am pained by the decision of the organisers to have given a platform for such a blatantly anti-India presentation. I don’t think anyone is furthering the cause of democracy by running down the most vibrant democracy in the world,” he said. Prakash said some time ago there were race riots in some parts of the US, but that cannot be taken as an example to brand America as a non-democratic nation or a racist nation. Further, India’s diversity was not just confined to the social space, he said, adding, “over 20 political parties govern India at the federal level and in the states, so it is wholly incorrect to state that one party runs the country”. He also pointed out that it was a free and responsible media in India which reported on social tensions and attacks on minorities and, ironically, all this reportage was used by the presenter to debunk India’s free and alert media! The Chairman of the session and the Minister of State for the Commonwealth and the UN, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, immediately took note of Prakash’s observations and said he had the highest respect for India’s democracy and while ethnic and other conflicts could be debated, India’s standing in the democratic world should not be in question.last_img read more

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Naomi Judd To Attend K9 Battle Buddies Luncheon

first_imgPhilanthropist Lois Pope and American Humane Association, the country’s first national humane organization, are honored to welcome country music legend Naomi Judd to the special “K-9 Battle Buddies” luncheon on Tuesday, March 17 at the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach.The special event will pay tribute to brave military dogs and their heroic human handlers. Ms. Judd was awarded American Humane Association’s “Humane Legacy Award” at Mrs. Pope’s 2013 Lady in Red Gala for her lifetime dedication to making the world a better place for the infirm and our most vulnerable.She was first known to the world as half of country music’s mother-daughter duo, The Judds. Reaching unprecedented success throughout the 80’s and 90’s, The Judds sold 20 million records, scored fifteen number-one hits, and received over 60 industry awards, including six Grammys, seven consecutive CMA Vocal Group of the Year awards, and the ACM’s Top Vocal Duet award.Her rise to the top of the country music charts was sadly cut short when she was diagnosed with Hepatitis C, a chronic liver disease, having contracted the disease from an infected needle during her previous career as a registered nurse. Though The Judds retired from the music industry, Ms. Judd did not retreat from the public spotlight, instead becoming the first national spokesperson for the American Liver Foundation. Utilizing her fame and passion to help people, she spread awareness of this potentially fatal disease, helping save untold numbers of lives. In 2004, she published “Naomi’s Breakthrough Guide: 20 Choices to Transform Your Life,” which remained on the New York Times Bestseller list for more than eight weeks. In 2008 “Naomi’s Guide to Aging Gratefully: Facts, Myths, and Good News for Boomers” hit shelves and impressed critics, medical professionals, and fans. In 2012, she hosted a six-week SiriusXM radio series entitled, “Think Twice.”Ms. Judd’s charity work is far-reaching, and includes River Cities Harvest, the Saint Louis University Liver Center, M.A.D.D., Parents Television Council, Make-A-Difference Day, Women’s World Peace Initiative, the National Domestic Violence Hotline, and her own July 4th Judd’s Annual Food Drive to benefit families of Appalachia.Over the past few years she has worked extensively with American Humane Association. Last May she went to Capitol Hill to speak at the organization’s congressional briefing on its “Canines and Childhood Cancer” study, which is seeking to quantify the powerful, soothing touch of animal-assisted therapy for children with cancer and their families. Before her rise to the top of the country music charts, Ms. Judd was a nurse and saw first-hand the bond between children and therapy animals. She spoke to a packed room about why this study is so important. She has also served as a celebrity judge and presenter at the American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards, the annual celebration of the extraordinary things done by mankind’s best friend.“Naomi is the living embodiment of a humanitarian, and we are so honored that she is able to join us in Palm Beach on March 17 for the ‘K-9 Battle Buddies’ luncheon,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, American Humane Association’s president and CEO. “She has dedicated her life to making the world a better place for so many. Her appreciation for our military heroes knows no bounds, and we know that the heroic military dog teams at the luncheon will cherish their time with her.”“I’m honored to be able to call Naomi Judd my friend,” said Mrs. Pope. “She is a living legend, not just because of her considerable achievements in country music, but through her advocacy, philanthropy, and support of so many wonderful causes. Thank you, Naomi, for joining us at the Mar-a-Lago Club for this special luncheon.”Information about the March 17th “K-9 Battle Buddies” gala luncheon can be provided by Jill Nizan at jilln@americanhumane.org or by calling 1-800-227-4645. Jet Paws and Military Freedom sponsorship opportunities are also available.last_img read more

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Sahrawi Group Launches Sahrawi Initiative for Change to Deplore Living Conditions

Rabat – A group of Sahrawis in the Polisario-run Tindouf camps have launched a campaign to decry the unbearable living conditions imposed on camp inhabitants, according to Moroccan newspaper Al Ahdath Al Maghribia.The movement, Sahrawi Initiative for Change, is aimed at defying the “archaism” and the “mummification” of the Polisario’s leadership, who have been accused of total detachment from the reality of the camps.According to the newspaper, the movement pushes for a radical change in approach to find a solution to the crisis that the Sahrawi populations have suffered for more than four decades. The movement is planning to hold its assembly in the Tindouf camps, in conjunction with several activities, in hopes of drawing global attention to the social, political,  and economic situation in the camps.Al Ahdath added that the movement’s founders recently released a statement asking the camp population to support them massively and openly in order to defy the separatist group, which has been accused of the illegal appropriation and resale humanitarian aid on the black market.The newspaper added that this initiative comes at a time when the separatist group and its leader, Ibrahim Ghali, are trying to prevent the Sahrawi camp population to withhold its public condemnation of the camps.Earlier this month, Morocco’s Head of Affairs in Geneva Hassan Boukili condemned the living situation of of the Sahrawi population in the Tindouf Camps, accusing Algeria of shirking its international responsibility towards the population.Speaking at the 71st session of the Standing Committee of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Boukili emphasized that Morocco’s eastern neighbor is, “the only country to oppose the implementation of all the feasible  solutions for the populations in the Tindouf camps.”Boukili added that Algeria, “has chosen to suffer an alleged situation of Sahrawi refugees of its own creation.” He notes that the country is the only one to refuse to conduct a headcount of the populations in the Tindouf camps.Boukili has also urged the international community to address the causes behind the persistence of refugee-related crises, including the militarization of Tindouf camps and the exploitation of refugees to serve Algeria’s separatist agenda. read more

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More housing starts in Vancouver stable levels elsewhere in cities across BC

More housing starts in Vancouver, stable levels elsewhere in cities across B.C. VANCOUVER – Housing starts in the Vancouver region are trending at high levels while home construction in cities across the province remains stable.The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. says starts in the Lower Mainland reached about 21,650 units in November, up about 60 units from the previous month.CMHC spokesman Richard Sam says the building has been spurred along by relatively low levels of newly completed and unsold condos.Surrey and Vancouver account for just under half of all new home construction so far this year.Urban areas across the country have seen about 30,500 housing starts, including a bump in townhouse starts and a slight drop in apartment construction.Single-detached and semi-detached homes remained relatively unchanged. by The Canadian Press Posted Dec 8, 2015 10:51 am MDT Last Updated Dec 8, 2015 at 11:40 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

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Ontario energy minister says hydro negotiations with Quebec still underway

Ontario energy minister says hydro negotiations with Quebec still underway TORONTO – Ontario is negotiating a possible agreement to buy electricity from Quebec, but the government is disputing a published report that it is preparing to sign a deal for enough electricity to power a city the size of Ottawa.La Presse reported Tuesday that it obtained a copy of a draft, 20-year deal that says Ontario would buy eight terawatt hours per year from Quebec — about six per cent of Ontario’s consumption — whether the electricity is consumed or not.Ontario Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault’s office said the province is in discussions to build on an agreement signed last year for Ontario to import up to two terawatt hours of electricity a year from Quebec.But his office released a letter dated late last month to his Quebec counterpart, in which Thibeault said the offer extended in June was unacceptable because it would increase the average residential electricity bill by $30 a year.“I am hopeful that your continued support and efforts will help to further discussions between our jurisdictions that could lead to an agreement that is in the best interest of both Ontario and Quebec,” Thibeault wrote July 27 to Pierre Arcand.Ontario would prepare a “term sheet” for the next stage of discussions ahead of the two ministers meeting at the Energy and Mines Ministers Conference later this month in New Brunswick, Thibeault wrote.Any future agreements with Quebec will have to provide a reduction in Ontario electricity costs compared to other alternatives and demonstrate measurable reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, he wrote.Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown said Ontario doesn’t need eight terawatt hours of additional power and suggested it means the Liberal government is considering closing power facilities such as the Pickering nuclear plant early.A senior energy ministry official said that is not on the table. The government has said it intends to keep operating two units at Pickering until 2022, and the other four units until 2024.Even if the Quebec offer had been accepted, the energy official said, that power wouldn’t have replaced any of Ontario’s baseload power because it couldn’t have been counted on 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.The Society of Energy Professionals said Thibeault was right to reject the deal, but called on him to release the Long-Term Energy Plan — which was supposed to be out this spring — before continuing negotiations.The Ontario Energy Association said the reported deal would run counter to the government’s stated energy objectives.“Ontarians will not get the benefit of competition to ensure it is the best of all possible options for the province, and companies who have invested in Ontario and have employees here will not get the opportunity to provide alternatives,” president and CEO Vince Brescia said in a statement. “Competitive processes should be used for any new significant system capacity in Ontario.”The Association of Power Producers of Ontario said it is concerned the government is even considering deals that would “threaten to undercut a competitive marketplace and long-term planning.”“Ontario already has a surplus of energy, so it’s very difficult to see how this deal or any other sole-source deal with Quebec could benefit the province and its ratepayers,” association president and CEO David Butters said in a statement.The Ontario Waterpower Association also said such a deal with Quebec would “present a significant challenge to continued investment in waterpower in Ontario.” by Allison Jones, The Canadian Press Posted Aug 8, 2017 12:41 pm MDT Last Updated Aug 9, 2017 at 6:40 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

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Sandhurst cadets investigated by military police after waterboarding fellow recruit

A British Army officer cadet from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, pours water from his boot  in the Brecon Beacons, Wales, after a 36-hour, 50-mile march with kit.Credit:Matt Cardy/ Getty Images Europe Military police are investigating bullying at Sandhurst after two recruits allegedly subjected another trainee officer to waterboarding.The Sandhurst cadets are said to have held down an individual, covered his face with a cloth and poured water over it, creating the sensation of drowning, according to a report in The Sun. The alleged waterboarding incident occurred at the prestigious establishment on August 7. Deputy Commandant of the Royal Military Academy in Berkshire, Brigadier Bill Wright, said he was “aware of the allegations”.“I have ordered an investigation by the Royal Military Police (RMP),” he said.“The Army and I expect the highest standards of behaviour at Sandhurst; anyone found to have fallen short is dealt with robustly, including dismissal, if appropriate.”The Telegraph understands that the incident did not take place during training. The cadets involved are understood to be in the same all-male platoon and no instructors were involved. The swift involvement of the RMP suggests the army is treating it as a serious incident.  A British Army officer cadet from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, pours water from his boot  in the Brecon Beacons, Wales, after a 36-hour, 50-mile march with kit. All British Army officers are trained at the Royal Military Academy Sandhust on a year-long commissioning course. Both the Duke of Cambridge and Duke of Sussex are former graduates, with Prince Harry saying that although he felt he had been “treated like dirt”, he had enjoyed the experience.Prince Harry returned to the academy in 2016 to represent the Queen at the commissioning parade. As head of the army three years ago, the current Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir Nick Carter, introduced a new code of conduct to eradicate any forms of bullying and harassment. Speaking at the time he said: “I’m not arguing for political correctness, what I’m arguing for is to live by our values and standards and to accept everyone in an inclusive way”.”I think there is a risk we will lose sight of our ultimate goal, which is to close with and kill the Queen’s enemies, and we have to have that at the forefront of our mind, but equally we cannot accept unacceptable behaviour.” 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. Waterboarding was used as an interrogation process by the CIA, after the attacks on New York and Washington in 2001. It was banned as an interrogation technique in 2009 by then US President Barack Obama.The military still conducts resistance to interrogation training to prepare soldiers for the mental and physical rigours to be expected if they ever fell into enemy hands. Waterboarding has never been included in such training and its use is banned in the British armed forces. Other techniques, such as placing a hood over a captive’s face and the use of extreme stress positions, have also been outlawed in recent years.   read more

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Fury at plan to turn Grade II listed pub into childrens nursery

A former Mothercare director has sparked fury over her plans to turn a 500-year-old Grade II listed village pub into a children’s nursery.Fiona Murray-Young submitted proposals to change the use of the Swan Pub in Ley Hill, Buckinghamshire, causing concern among some residents who fear excessive noise and swarms of traffic in the village.Retired medical researcher and resident Sarah Peterson said: ‘‘Everybody is up in arms because the noise that would be generated from having children playing is quite substantial.”The other thing is, the pub doesn’t have a car park, it will be an absolute nightmare. ‘–– ADVERTISEMENT ––‘We’ve got a petition with over 300 signatures and are looking at trying to raise the funds between a group of people to buy it.’’The day nursery would provide care for 33 children aged from three months to five years who would attend for a full day; and a further 14 who would attend only morning or afternoon sessions. It would open between 7:30 am and 6:30pm.South Bucks District Council has received more than forty letters of objection over the plans to convert the property, believed to have been built during the 1600s.   “As a publican I too am concerned about the closing of pubs.  I’ve tried to sell it as a pub, but had absolutely no interest.  The reality is that we have to move on,’’ he said.A spokesperson for South Bucks District Council said:  ‘’The application is still open for neighbours comments and a decision expected in September.  Until then we can’t comment.’’ 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.  Clark Gable drank in the pub during WWIICredit:Science & Society Picture Library  During World War II the pub was a favourite haunt of Hollywood stars such as Oscar winners Clark Gable and James Stewart, and jazz musician Glenn Miller.  Clark Gable drank in the pub during WWII Construction work on the nursery would involve the demolition of parts of the historic pub’s interior, and the scale of the re-modelling has lead some to question the building’s suitability to play host to a group of infants.”The building is unsuitable to be converted to a nursery and there would be people coming in and out of a narrow village lane. The loss of a grade II listed building to the community, is not something to be agreed without significant consideration,’’ said Mary Buckman, Parish Councillor for Latimer and Ley.However, Ms Murray-Young, who currently works as a consultant, has responded to claims suggesting a nursery would disturb the tranquility of the quaint village.Speaking to the Sunday Telegraph she said: ‘‘ I know that noise is a comment that has been made but I don’t really see that because actually pubs are quite noisy and I would wonder why parking would be any different to a pub?”I think it’s important that a building, as beautiful as that, is saved in whatever way and it’s a good thing that somebody is willing to invest in it.’’While residents are keen to see the Swan remain a pub its landlord, Nigel Byatt, has stated that it has been up for sale for two years. read more

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Fatal stabbings hit 100 in Britain in 2019

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. The number of people stabbed to death in the UK in this year has reached 100, analysis from the BBC has shown. On Tuesday evening in Middlesbrough, John Lewis, 32, died after being fatally attacked with a knife in Crescent Road, becoming the 100th victim. This year’s deadly spate of stabbings started with 2019 just minutes old when 33-year-old mother Charlotte Huggins was killed in London. The youngest victim so far this year is 14-year-old Jaden Moodie, who was knocked off a moped and stabbed to death by a gang in Leyton, east London in January. Barbara Heywood, at 80 years of age, is the oldest victim so far. She was attacked at her Bolton home in March.The BBC’s analysis showed that 83 of the 100 stabbed were male and almost half the victims were under 30.Unsurprisingly, London was the biggest hotspot with 30 of the fatal stabbings happening in the capital. But Greater Manchester (10) and the West Midlands (eight) are also showing trends of deadly violence. While knife crime in England and Wales reached record highs for 2017-18, if the rate continues this year at a fatal stabbing every 1.45 days, it would fall short of the 285 figure recorded last year.  read more

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AIG proposes FTS scheme to handle crippling tax impacts on explorers and

first_imgThe Australian Institute of Geoscientists (AIG) has revealed deep concerns about the ramifications for exploration activity in Australia in regards to the Government’s proposed changes to Australian taxation law as it impacts the broader resources sector. The Institute argues that exploration already suffers from significant volatility, cyclical activity and short-term market pressures, with a profound effect on not only the sustainability of Australia’s mining industry but also employment and career development opportunities for geoscientists – and the appeal of geoscience as a career.The ALP went to the 2007 Federal election promising to introduce, in the current term, a flow through share (FTS) scheme but, through the Henry Review and machinations of the resource tax proposals since, has failed to do so – leaving ongoing and unresolved problems.AIG argues that the Australian Government’s resources tax decisions neglect the entire, upstream, discovery side of the exploration equation whilst obtaining greater returns from the ,downstream, extraction side. Most of Australia’s recent minerals boom in iron ore, alumina, nickel and base metals has been built on discoveries made decades ago, but these major deposits are now, largely, mature and in decline – a clear threat to long term mine production and hence national export earnings.AIG believes that only a sustainable level of resource exploration can deliver Australia more, long term, mines. In addition, they blame the Government for falling prone to unrealisable estimates and erroneously optimistic views of resource industry sustainability as government agencies have included resources with the lowest level of industry confidence.AIG’s recent report investigating “Market Failure in the Australian Mineral Exploration Industry: The Case for Fiscal Incentives”, finds that the heavy reliance of companies exploring in Australia on short term market capital has impeded their ability to undertake high risk but potentially high reward greenfields or grassroots exploration capable of yielding the new major discoveries.In AIG’s view Australia’s tax regime for mining companies continues to offer no incentives, concessions or support for investments in greenfields exploration by companies that do not already have producing mines generating cashflows against which exploration expenditure may be fully offset for taxation purposes.AIG disregards measures designed with multinational companies in mind – as companies that undertake little to no meaningful grassroots exploration within Australia are irrelevant to supporting and growing the Australian mining sectors. Instead they highlight the essential work by junior explorers, which now undertake the majority of metals exploration in Australia, as receiving no recognition under the current taxation system during the, often protracted, time it takes to discover a new deposit and turn it into a viable and sustainable mine.The Institute pointed out that the current state of flux in mining taxation affords the Federal Government the opportunity to correct this market failure – and to begin the resuscitation of the exploration sector. In light of this AIG has urged the government introduce a FTS scheme, similar to that in Canada, which provides an exploration tax credit designed to flow through to shareholders in junior exploration companies.AIG thinks that a FTS scheme would address the disparity whereby most junior explorers are ineligible for deductions for investment in exploration under the Income Tax Assessment Act simply because they do not generate any taxable income. A FTS would rectify this anomaly by allowing explorers that cannot use the deduction to enable tax credits to flow through to their shareholders, making these companies more attractive to investors and providing the exploration sector with greater and more sustained investment.AIG calculated costs of not introducing an immediate FTS scheme into Australia include the slow destruction of Australia’s exploration pipeline resulting in degradation of resources base and suboptimal development of existing resources due to erosion of geoscientific capability. The Institute believes that it could even degrade Australia’s ability to effectively address geoscientific challenges beyond the resources sector, in fields as diverse as groundwater resource management, reversing land degradation, environmental remediation and even climate change science.last_img read more

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Conversion kit turns your iPhone 5S into the GTA V iFruit phone

first_imgChances are if you’re a PS3 or Xbox 360 owner you’ve already picked up a copy of GTA V based on just how well the game is selling. And that means you’ve also been using the iFruit phone, the smartphone we first saw as part of a pre-release poster for the game being held by a bikini-wearing young lady.Well, it didn’t take long for someone to come up with the idea of recreating the iFruit phone in real life. And if you own an iPhone 5 or 5S, you can now “upgrade” it to be an iFruit handset.The idea and necessary conversion kit has been produced by UK company Mobile Fun. They have created a vinyl skin that fits over your existing Apple smartphone to give it that authentic GTA V iFruit look. Each skin is cut to sit perfectly over either the iPhone 5 or 5S, and adds no more than 1mm of thickness to the handset. It also forms an extra layer of protection against scuffs and scratches.Converting to an iFruit phone isn’t exactly expensive, either. $12.99 plus shipping will secure you a skin for either smartphone. Combine it with the iFruit iOS app Rockstar released to complement the launch of GTA V, and you’re as close as you are going to get to the in-game iFruit version.I’m guessing there’s going to be quite a healthy market for these skins. Apple has already sold over 9 million new iPhones since the 5S launched last week, and GTA V managed $800 million in sales over its first 3 days. The GTA V-playing consumer who also owns an iPhone 5S must number in the many tens of thousands already.last_img read more

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Behind the scenes Tom Koutsantonis

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram As he prepares to release the annual budget for South Australia, we sit down with the treasurer, the Hon. Tom Koutsantonis, to discuss matters which range widely, from his Greek heritage to his decision to get involved into politics, the Greek financial crisis and the current economic challenges facing South Australia. The treasurer, the first Greek Australian to hold this political position in South Australia, reflects. “I remember it was 1983. I was 12 years old and Bob Hawke had just been elected prime minister of Australia. The conversation around the family dinner table got me very excited. I followed politics from that time and before I knew it, I was volunteering at the office of Labor MP Jack Wright, deputy premier at the time, which was the turning point in my decision to make a serious commitment and get involved in politics.” The proud son of two humble Greek migrants feels very honoured to be treasurer of South Australia today. “It’s a remarkable honour to be treasurer and it says a lot about this country and the migration story of Australia. A country where you can achieve anything.” Influenced by Don Farrell, the current Speaker Michael Atkinson and Health Minister Jack Snelling, Mr Koutsantonis refers to former prime minister Paul Keating with great respect and admiration as the man who played a very big role in his political thinking.The treasurer has been active in supporting the Greek community, although he admits that keeping the Greek culture alive for the next generations is difficult.“I am very worried about losing my cultural identity and heritage as a Hellene. I want my children to grow up learning to speak both languages and with the culture of our Orthodox faith. Our heritage and culture is very rich and very diverse but, if we don’t make the commitment, then our kids will grow up and Greece will be a distant memory.”Mr Koutsantonis is also following the current economic situation in Europe and admits to being very worried about Greece. “The country has been through so much, and Europe and the rest of the world don’t understand what has happened to Greece in the past, and the idea that somehow Greeks are lazy or that they don’t deserve to be in Europe completely misunderstands the history of Greece. The austerity measures in Greece imposed by the IMF and the European Union are unfair and don’t take into account the sacrifices Hellenes have made in the past. “I can’t imagine Europe without Greece. Greece is the cradle of European civilisation and the idea that the rest of Europe will turn their backs on Greece, I find a little bit offensive. People are too quick to categorise Greeks as being tax avoiders, lazy or not hard working. That’s not true. Look at the entrepreneurs around the world who have Greek heritage and have built vast fortunes because they are smart and clever. People are too quick to push Greeks aside instead of standing next to them.”According to Mr Koutsantonis, an economy is more than just money. It is about serving the public and the people. “There are a lot of people working behind the scenes trying to make the Grexit happen, and while the EU will probably be able to survive without Greece, the financial crisis is a European problem; Greece is the heart of Europe and you can’t take the heart out of the body. Europe is on its knees, not just Greece. All of Europe. I am not sure why Spain and Italy get different treatment to Greece and I think that is right for the Greek government to be advocating very strongly for fair treatment.”Moving our conversation onto his portfolio, we proceed to discuss the forthcoming state budget, which is due to be released shortly, and the current economic challenges, starting with two of the state’s major resources. “We used to be the third largest producer of copper in the world at the turn of the 19th century. We are seeing the largest ever mass urbanisation in human history in India and China occurring right now. We have 80 per cent of Australia’s copper reserves, but our copper is deep and expensive to extract, but when you get there, the grade is very high. I think we are now at the right place in history to take advantage of this mass urbanisation and what we need to do is to really focus on how to extract that copper. So, if you are looking for a game-changer around the world, copper is a commodity that really is going to matter. As an example, iron ore at its very best is worth $124 a tonne. At its worst, copper is worth $6,000 a tonne. We have more copper than Western Australia has iron ore.”Controversially, the treasurer is now also considering uranium mining, which wasn’t the case two years ago. “I have been a big supporter of uranium mining my whole life. For me, it’s a renewable form of energy that can reduce carbon emissions and provide developing countries with a cheap form of power that can help them drive their economies. As those economies grow, they need more power. I am talking about India, China and South East Asia. I don’t believe that they have the resources to properly dispose of their waste or manage their uranium, but they also can’t afford to build a coal generator because coal is expensive and a big pollutant. So, uranium is a clean way of providing them with that energy source, but it has very nasty by-products. We have very stable geology here and I think it is a matter of social and economic responsibility that if we sell them our uranium, we should look at whether we should take it back. “We should also look at, through the Royal Commission, whether we should not just sell our uranium but enrich it here and add value for South Australians. When I made those remarks about not enriching uranium in Adelaide but supporting it, that was a different time and I didn’t think South Australians were ready. I think with what has happened to us now with the submarines, with the closure of Holden, South Australians are ready for a conversation about a big, broader uranium industry. That’s why the premier and I started this Royal Commission. We want a real investigation into whether we can do this safely, whether it is economically viable and if morally we should do it. My personal views are that the answer is yes to all three. I am not going to prejudge the outcome of the Royal Commission. Whatever they come up with, I think we need to do this in a systematic way because there are a lot of emotional responses to this from the public. The benefits will be beyond the life of the government. This is about establishing a new industry that we will not get the benefit of,” he concludes. At the same time, Tom Koutsantonis is very concerned about the 13,000 jobs being lost due to the forthcoming closure of the Holden car manufacturing plant. “There is not one measure that is going to fix this problem, it is going to be a whole series of measures in order to tackle it. There is going to be training, investment, tax, diversification and more trade, but there are going to be some people who aren’t going to find a job. We are already spending $60 million through the Automotive Transformation Program, but that’s just part of the picture. One of the biggest incentives we have at the moment is that the Australian dollar is dropping and interest rates are low, which could benefit with finding foreign direct investments.” Challenged on why they would invest in South Australia, Mr Koutsantonis believes that the state is a very safe place to invest, so the government needs to go out and encourage that investment. On the topic of defence, the uncertainty of the submarine project due to Commonwealth government policy and the possibility of outsourcing troubles the treasurer. “To put it in perspective, if the submarine contract goes to Japan, this country will be outsourcing the largest ever procurement that the Australian government has ever made since it began. It’s the largest contract ever signed as a country. To give that to a foreign country I think will be a tragedy due to the loss in taxes, jobs, expertise and manufacturing. Once it goes, it’s gone for good. We are the only people in the world to have a continent to ourselves. One sovereign government over one continent. It’s ours to defend. We can’t give that contract away to a foreign nation.” Questioned over the highest-ever state debt, the treasurer is adamant that as a proportion of our gross state product, this is not South Australia’s highest debt. “Our highest debt was around the State Bank time and our debts are very manageable currently, running at about 4 per cent of gross state product.” However, he concedes that we need to get out of deficit. “We are putting every effort into creating a path of surplus identifying confidence and rewarding in the business sector as the main motivational tool which is to be achieved through tax reform. A tax system that incentivises hard work and doesn’t punish activity.” On the reduction of concessions to pensioners, Mr Koutsantonis is categorical, whilst he suggests that party politics may be at play. “My campaign is working and people understand that the Commonwealth government had broken a promise not to cut pensions. I am not going to cut a cent to pensioners. They can’t mess with our pensioners, they built this country.”Projecting five years forward, the treasurer identifies the five industries that could be a game changer for the economy: international education, tourism, food, mining and defence. However, he states that currently his biggest challenge is unemployment. “I am very concerned about the unemployment rate. It’s too high. I can absolutely sort out the tax system to try to make sure we can give small businesses in this state every opportunity to hire people. We have to do more to restructure. I want to target more companies that do business in South Australia to move their headquarters here and bring diversity and opportunity. We have a tax system that doesn’t reward risk and a lot of businesses are making money but they are not expanding or hiring more people because they are worried about tomorrow.” It’s certainly been a very informative and frank afternoon spent with the proud Hellene at the financial helm of the state. The challenges are real, the resources exist and the time is now for the treasurer to steer South Australia through these economic challenges by gaining the confidence and the will of the people he serves.last_img read more

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APHIS Discussion of Streamlined Approvals Highlights Meeting of Biotech Working Group

first_imgMembers of the American Soybean Association’s (ASA) Biotech Working Group met in Washington, D.C. last week to discuss, among other items, a new effort on the part of the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to streamline the approval process of new biotech traits.Michael Gregoire, deputy administrator for APHIS’ Biotechnology Regulatory Services Program, spoke before the group comprising soybean farmer leaders and industry stakeholders on his agency’s initiative to increase efficiencies in the regulatory review process for new biotech traits.”The soybean industry and its farmers have much to gain from biotech innovations that increase yield, improve nutrition, resist disease, offer competition and alternatives in the marketplace, and help in managing weed resistance issues, and we’re lucky to have a seemingly continuous pipeline of these innovations awaiting approval,” said ASA President Steve Wellman, a soybean farmer from Syracuse, Neb. “To hear that APHIS is invested in making the approvals process more efficient is encouraging to both farmers and to biotech innovators.”Additional presentations at the Biotech Working Group Meeting included an update on the biotech approvals process within the Chinese marketplace by USDA Foreign Agricultural Service’s Mark Petry, as well as a review of the biotech landscape in the European Union. The meeting also included consultations with individual technology companies on their biotech pipelines, the status of regulatory clearances in foreign markets, and stewardship plans for new biotech traits.Formed by ASA in 2007, the Biotech Working Group comprises farmer-leaders and staff from ASA, the United Soybean Board, the U.S. Soybean Export Council, and the major technology companies that are developing new biotech soybean events.For more information on the ASA Biotech Working Group, please contact ASA Executive Director of Member & Industry Relations Bill Schuermann at bschuermann@soy.org.last_img read more

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Santas Posse keeps growing

first_imgSanta’s Posse still needs volunteer help. A gift-wrapping and food box assembly event is set for5 p.m. Thursday at Columbia Machine Warehouse, 3000 Columbia House Blvd. Enter off Grove Street and drive to the far northwest corner of the parking lot. (An incorrect address for the event appeared in Tuesday’s newspaper.) A light Burgerville meal will be provided.Volunteers are encouraged to extend the Christmas cheer by bringing a new, unwrapped gift.Tax-deductible donations are always welcome via website or by check. Visit santasposse.com or mail it to the Santa’s Posse Administrative Office, P.O. Box 410, Vancouver WA 98666.This year, 725families, including more than 2,200 children, will be helped by Santa’s Posse.Maggie Mayer found unpacking and sorting mass quantities of Christmas goodies in a Vancouver warehouse pretty fun on Tuesday morning.But beyond the fun, the 13-year-old paused to think, there was a better reason for pitching in with Santa’s Posse.“It kind of feels nice to do something for people who are less fortunate than me,” said Mayer, who lives in Salmon Creek and attends Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School. “If I was one of those people, I’d want somebody to be doing this for us.”Mayer was one member of a big crowd of kids from Our Lady of Lourdes and Seton Catholic Preparatory schools who enjoyed some controlled and virtuous chaos in the sprawling Columbia Machine warehouse in Vancouver’s industrial area. That warehouse is the base of operations for Santa’s Posse, a huge volunteer effort that’s driven by the Clark County Sheriff’s Office and a whole bevy of other partners. The point is to bring Christmas joy — meaning gifts, food baskets and personal care items — to families who can’t afford any.Organizer and sheriff’s Sgt. Kevin Allias took a break from helping out on Tuesday to say that the whole thing got started nearly two decades ago when patrol officers started noticing extreme need during their normal rounds.last_img read more

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4 new sex assault victims come forward against Davie masseur

first_imgDAVIE, FLA. (WSVN) – A Davie masseur arrested for the alleged sexual molestation of a minor now has additional victims speaking out against him, police said.According to Davie Police, four additional victims have come forward to allege that the 29-year-old masseur, Orlay Palacio, also inappropriately touched them. Police said they are looking for any more victims.This all began when, police said, the original 17-year-old female victim and her older cousin went to the Massage and Stretch Center, near Griffin Road and South University Drive, on May 3, to get massages. The girl said Palacio touched her inappropriately multiple times and also touched himself during the massage.“She was told to fully undress including her underwear, which she thought was a bit odd,” said Davie Police Sgt. Mark Leone, “so she decided at that point to leave her underwear on. Some time during the massage, the offender had removed her underwear and began to place his hands between her legs.”The girl told police she didn’t say anything because she felt alone and afraid.Police believe there may be even more victims.“It takes a lot of courage to come forward, especially in cases like this,” said Davie Police Capt. Dale Engle, “and I think we’ve been able to get him off the streets so far, but I think that their story is gonna lead to him being charged with multiple counts.” Related: Davie masseur arrested for inappropriate touching of minorPalacio currently faces a charge of lewd lascivious conduct on a minor.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

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Kurigram rival clash kills man

first_imgA man was killed and 15 others injured in a clash between two rival groups over land dispute in Hologram union Chaar of Sadar upazila in Kurigram on Wednesday, reports UNB.The deceased is Nurjamal Mandal, 55, son of Bhola Mandal hailing from Holokhana.Kurigram Sadar police station officer-in-charge SM Abdus Sobhan said when the land owner Enamul Haque, his family members and workers went to the land to cut down the ‘Kashban’, the opposition group led by Ekramul Haque attacked them with locally-made sharp weapons, killing Nurjamal on the spot.Later, supporters of Enamul Haque torched six houses of the opposite group, he added.On information, police rushed to the spot and detained three people in this connection, said the OC.last_img read more

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Viqarunnisa teacher receives bail

first_imgHasna Hena. File PhotoA Dhaka court on Sunday granted bail to Hasna Hena, a teacher of Viqarunnisa Noon School and College, in a case filed on charges of provoking a ninth-grader student to commit suicide, reports UNB.Judge Baki Billah of Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Court passed the order after Hasna Hena’s lawyer Jahangir Alam filed an appeal seeking her bail in the case.The court granted her bail until filing of a police report, said the lawyer.Earlier on 6 December, Hasna Hena was sent to jail after her arrest from city’s Uttara area on 5 December.Aritree Adhikari, a class-IX student, reportedly committed suicide at their Shantinagar residence in the city on 3 December after allegedly being rebuked by teachers for using mobile phone during examination.Victim’s father Dilip Adhikari filed a case against three teachers of the school.last_img read more

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Elephants For Eagles Puppies For Patriots Animals Predict Super Bowl LII

first_img Share Courtesy of Clearwater Marine AquariumNicholas the rescued dolphin at Clearwater Marine Aquarium chose the New England Patriots on Jan. 29, 2018 to win Super Bowl LII.When given the choice between a Patriots and Eagles football, Nicholas the rescued dolphin at Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Florida guided the Patriots football toward the “dolphin football judge.” This psychic dolphin is six for seven in sports predictions, including a correct selection last year for the reigning Super Bowl champions Patriots. The Eagles have reason to fear.Fernando, the sloth: EaglesHow long does it take a sloth to make a #SuperBowl pick? Not long at all, as Fernando showed us at @PhoenixZoo on #12Today! Enjoy his real time selection, set to a sultry slow jam. pic.twitter.com/lIxFqYAB8X— Paul Gerke (@PaulGerke) January 31, 2018Phoenix Zoo’s sloth, Fernando, made a decisive pick in favor of the Eagles by slowly climbing toward Philadelphia’s container. It’s always a delight watching sloths eat flowers, but this video set to a sultry soundtrack is a true gem.April, the giraffe: PatriotsThe Patriots are going to get its third Super Bowl title in four years, according to April, Animal Adventure Park’s celebrity giraffe. April gained worldwide fame in 2017 when the late stages of her pregnancy and eventual delivery were streamed live on YouTube.Le Le, the panda: EaglesThis morning, Le Le picked the @Eagles to win #SuperBowl on Sunday. Who will you be rooting for? 🐼❤️🏈 pic.twitter.com/EJVPxXl588— Memphis Zoo (@MemphisZoo) February 1, 2018Le Le, a giant panda at the Memphis Zoo, declared Philadelphia to be the Super Bowl LII champions by pulling down the Eagles banner first. At just 1-3 in Super Bowl predictions, though, Le Le is more cute than accurate. Jimmy Fallon’s puppies: PatriotsIn the 2018 installment of this fan-favorite segment, more of Jimmy Fallon’s 11-panel of puppies ate from the Patriots bowl than the Eagles bowl. The real MVP, though, is the puppy that refused to participate at 1:39.Ahren, the eagle: EaglesAhren the eagle, a resident of Myrtle Beach Safari in South Carolina, swooped down from a perch and looked briefly at the stuffed bear donning Patriots gear before picking her stuffed counterpart. Of course, this surprised no one. Even Ahren’s handler admitted: “She might be a bit biased.”Linda Wang is an intern on the National Desk.Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. All eyes will be on the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles this Sunday as the teams face off in Super Bowl LII. Who will win the coveted Vince Lombardi Trophy this year, the perennial favorite or the underdog? You can spend hours analyzing statistics, or you could trust the intuition of animals that don’t understand football. As a reference, the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook had the Patriots as 4-point favorites on Friday.This might not be the most scientific approach, but it’s undoubtedly the most adorable. Here are the results:Bubbles, the elephant: EaglesAt the Myrtle Beach Safari in South Carolina, Bubbles, a 9,000-pound African elephant, flipped over the Eagles helmet with her trunk and devoured the apple underneath.Fiona, the hippo: EaglesSee who Fiona picks to win! Does she go with the @Patriots, the favorite to win, or the @Eagles, one underdog rooting for another? Cincinnatians will get to see Fiona starring in a #SuperBowl commercial this Sunday when it airs during the big game! https://t.co/7wKxwD6x59 pic.twitter.com/R9RYMKzyq3— Cincinnati Zoo (@CincinnatiZoo) February 1, 2018Cincinnati Zoo’s celebrity hippopotamus, Fiona, ate her greens out of the Eagles box. Underdogs have to stick together, after all.Nicholas, the dolphin: Patriotslast_img read more

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Grooving to Korean pop

first_imgKorean Cultural Centre, announced the globally popular music phenomenon, K-POP 2015 Concert Tour in India. With the collaboration of JU Entertainment and all the festival organizers in three regions of India, Ahmedabad, Chennai and Guwahati, the upcoming edition of K-POP Concert Tour will be the first of its kind in the country. There will be  a fan signing meet and performance in the national capital on January 31 at the Korean Cultural Centre.K-POP is the popular music genre from South Korea, consisting of dance-pop, pop ballad, electronic, rock, hip-hop, R&B, etc. The K-POP musical movement started in Korea in 1990s and has swept the world through the ‘Korean Wave’. Today, K-POP has entrenched itself as a bona fide phenomenon in Asia and is rapidly extending its reach to new markets. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’One of Korea’s new and upcoming K-POP bands, N-Sonic had attended the K-POP Audition held in India last year as judges and their presence had created a buzz like none other. Announcing the concerts, Kim Kum-pyoung, Director, Korean Cultural Center, said, “On the cultural front, K-POP as a juggernaut of Korean soft-power is something we were very keen on introducing in India. What better place to unveil the first ever K-Pop concert than at cultural fests of the top schools of India.”When: January 31 Where: Korean Cultural Centre, Near Moolchand Metro Stationlast_img read more

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A New Freezedried Polio Vaccine Could Help Finally Eradicate the Disease

first_imgA health worker administrates polio-vaccine drops to a child during an anti-polio immunization campaign on March 09, 2017 in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. (Credit: Asianet-Pakistan/Shutterstock)Polio once paralyzed more than 350,000 people each year worldwide. Today, vaccines have dropped the number of reported cases to just 407 in 2013, according to the CDC.But the disease still lurks in developing countries because vaccine storage and transport requires refrigeration. Now, scientists find freeze-drying a polio vaccine keeps it stable for as long as four weeks even in hot temperatures. The stability could enable vaccine distribution that could lead to the end of the disease.“No matter how wonderful a drug or vaccine is, if it isn’t stable enough to be transported, it doesn’t do anyone much good,” Woo-Jin Shin, a virologist at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and co-author of the new research, said in a statement.Polio ParalysisPoliovirus causes the malady known as polio, a highly infectious disease that often starts out with flu-like symptoms but can lead to permanent paralysis. The condition becomes deadly when an infected individual’s breathing muscles become immobile.In the U.S. and other developed countries, vaccines eliminated the disease, yet the virus still has strongholds in Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan. Storing the vaccine depends on keeping it cold. But refrigeration is not reliable or available in many developing countries. Jae Jung, a microbiologist and Shin’s advisor, wanted to make a shelf-stable vaccine.Suitable StabilityJung and his research team first isolated an injectable polio vaccine. Then, like bakers playing with various amounts of sugar, milk and butter to make the perfect frosting, the researchers tried many ways to stabilize the vaccine. Among other things, they tested how much moisture to extract from the vaccine and the concentration of different stabilizers to add.The scientists discovered they needed to remove a lot of moisture from the vaccine. The moisture content of the winning formulation was only 0.77 percent, the team reports today in the journal mBio.The researchers then put their discovery to the test. They stored the freeze-dried vaccine for four weeks at 37 degrees C (that’s 98.6 degrees F). When the scientists vaccinated mice with the unrefrigerated vaccine, the rodents’ immune systems responded as though they had received the refrigerated vaccine. The new vaccine also protected the mice from infection with the poliovirus as well as a commercial vaccine.Health centers only have so much space to store vaccines, but if scientists can extend the medicine’s shelf life to perhaps three or even 12 months, then the vaccine supply chain could get rid of the need for cold storage and bring the world one step closer to polio eradication.last_img read more

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MCECs chief executive Leigh Harry wins prestigious MEA Award fo

first_imgSource = MCEC Leigh Harry, chief executive of the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition centre (MCEC) and a well-known figure in the business events industry, was last week awarded with the prestigious Meetings & Events Australia (MEA) ‘Outstanding Contribution Award’ for his ongoing commitment and dedication to the global meetings and events industry.As well as being the MCEC’s chief executive, Leigh holds a number of top industry positions. He is currently global president of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA); deputy chairman of the Melbourne Convention + Visitors Bureau (MCVB); president of the global Joint Meetings Industry Council (JMIC); member of the Business Events Council of Australia (BECA); and member of the Tourism Australia Business Events Industry Advisory Panel.Over the years Leigh has overseen the opening of Melbourne’s former World Congress Centre, the  Melbourne Exhibition Centre and  last year, the much-anticipated opening of the world’s first ‘6 Star Green Star’ environmentally rated Melbourne Convention Centre, as well as the integration of the two venues to successfully create the award-winning Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.Speaking after MEA’s 23rd National Awards presentation, Leigh said: ‘I am truly honoured to accept this award. MEA’s work promotes the highest industry standards possible across the nation and recognises the professional and dedicated commitment that we all, collectively, bring to the Australian Business Events industry.’last_img read more

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