Touch Football Community Recognised In Australia Day Honours

first_imgMembers of the Touch Football community have been recognised at Australia Day awards ceremonies across Australia, for their contribution and achievements in the sport. Australian Mixed Open co-captain, Kylie Hilder was named the Sportsperson of the Year at the Great Lakes Australia Day Awards ceremony for her efforts in helping Australia win the Mixed Open title at the 2012 Trans Tasman Series in Mudgee. To read the stories in the Great Lakes Advocate, please click on the link below:http://www.greatlakesadvocate.com.au/story/1262618/australia-day-awards-go-to/?cs=445 http://www.greatlakesadvocate.com.au/story/1267619/aussie-day-honour-for-hilder/?cs=445 Mudgee Touch Association secretary, Kathy Lang was also recognised, receiving the Mid-Western Regional Council’s Senior Sports Award. To read the full story in the Mudgee Guardian, please click on the link below:http://www.mudgeeguardian.com.au/story/1262725/volunteer-earns-top-award/?cs=12 The Yass Touch Association was also recognised, receiving the Australia Day Community Group award at the Yass Valley Australia Day Awards. To read the full story in the Yass Tribune, please click on the link below:http://www.yasstribune.com.au/story/1265212/yass-touch-wins-australia-day-award/?cs=12 If you know of any other members of the Touch Football community that received recognition at Australia Day awards, be sure to let us know by emailing media@austouch.com.au. Related LinksAustralia Day Awardslast_img read more

Youth Climate Change Conference Slated for October 10 and 11

first_img Six hundred delegates from nine countries are expected for the 2017 Youth Climate Change Conference, slated for October 10 and 11, at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston. Six hundred delegates from nine countries are expected for the 2017 Youth Climate Change Conference, slated for October 10 and 11, at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston.The event will bring together persons from Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Japan for two days of consultations and discussions aimed at heightening their awareness of climate change and identifying youth-led actions and solutions to the challenges associated with this phenomenon.Participants will be engaged in a series of climate advocacy training workshops, presentations, exhibitions and competitions to increase their awareness of the various challenges and proposed solutions.Cash prizes, vouchers, tablets, agricultural equipment and trophies will be awarded to the individual participants, educational/youth organisations and teachers scoring the most points in the competitions.Additionally, three delegates from the participating Caribbean countries will get the opportunity to attend the 2017 United Nations (UN) Framework Convention on Climate Change, Conference of Parties (COP 23), which is slated for Germany in November.The youth conference is being co-hosted by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Jamaica Rural Economy and Ecosystems Adapting to Climate Change II (Ja REEACH II) Project and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Japan Caribbean Climate Change Partnership (J-CCCP), in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information.The conference was launched at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Regional Headquarters, Mona, St. Andrew, on Tuesday, September 12.In a message read by Director of Communications and Marketing, National Youth Service, Julia Smiley Green, Education, Youth and Information State Minister, Hon. Floyd Green, said this year’s conference bears special significance in light of the severe weather events that impacted several small island states within recent weeks.“While there has been a growing awareness of how we are all being affected, recent events would have brought home the reality more forcefully, to our consciousness, of our growing vulnerability to climate change. The devastation of coastlines in northeastern Caribbean territories, Cuba and The Bahamas by Hurricane Irma is but the latest reminder of the danger we all face,” he said.In this regard, Mr. Green stressed the importance of youth involvement in and understanding of global climate-change issues and their impact on the region, in tackling these challenges.“Our young people will, more than ever, (need to) play a bigger role in how our world adapts to these challenges. Young people are quite adept at spreading new habits and technologies at their disposal (and) are well placed to contribute to the fight against climate change. For this, they must be fully aware of what global warming is and what needs to be done to prevent it,” he said.In her remarks, Acting USAID Mission Director in Jamaica, Rebecca Robinson, said succession planning in dealing with extreme weather events, with an emphasis on youth involvement, is critical to spearheading future action against climate change.“Jamaican youth are responding to the call. This is evidenced, not only in the high levels of participation in the previously held conferences in 2014 and 2015, but by a continued formation of youth interest groups focused on climate change and environment issues at the local, regional and international levels,” she said.Ja REEACH II project is a four-year initiative implemented by ACDI/VOCA, which works with government, private sector, civil society and community-based organisations to increase awareness and application of practical actions to make Jamaicans more aware of and resilient to the impact of climate change. Story Highlights The youth conference is being co-hosted by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Jamaica Rural Economy and Ecosystems Adapting to Climate Change II (Ja REEACH II) Project and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Japan Caribbean Climate Change Partnership (J-CCCP), in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information. Participants will be engaged in a series of climate advocacy training workshops, presentations, exhibitions and competitions to increase their awareness of the various challenges and proposed solutions.last_img read more

Sweep finds misleading advertising prevalent in affiliate marketing

first_imgTORONTO – Canada’s telecommunications regulator says that more than 200 websites have been flagged for follow up by a multinational group investigating problems with a common type of electronic marketing that frequently involves misleading advertising.The problem sites were found last summer through an investigation co-ordinated by the Unsolicited Communications Enforcement Network (UCENet), which includes Canada.The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission didn’t identify any of the problem websites, reveal locations or identify the types of problems detected by UCENet.An emailed statement Wednesday from the CRTC’s media representative said its investigators are working to determine how Canadians have been affected by potentially malicious activity from those websites, and whether there have been violations of Canada’s anti-spam law.The statement said the CRTC does not comment on ongoing investigations but results of the UCENet probe, which is referred to as a sweep, will be made public in the coming months.A UCENet report released early this month said that its 2017 investigation of 902 websites, including 221 flagged for follow up, found a lack of provisions for obtaining consumer consent.The multinational probe focused on affiliate marketing, in which merchants pay a commission to affiliated intermediaries that provide sales leads or sales.The UCENet report said that misleading advertising was prevalent in the affiliate marketing ecosystem.“Within minutes of beginning their research, sweepers were exposed to some form of misleading advertising,” the report said.“Some misleading advertising was directed at common internet users by affiliates in order to generate sales or traffic to a merchant’s website.”The sweep, which was conducted in June and July 2017, was co-ordinated by the U.K. Information Commissioner’s Office and the CRTC. It involved 10 agencies in six countries.It said a majority of the participating agencies found that most of the publicly available terms of services between the affiliates, the merchants and the affiliate platforms lacked appropriate guidelines for permissible unsolicited communications.“This meant that an affiliate could send unsolicited communication without it impacting the contractual relationship with the merchant or the affiliate platform,” the report said.last_img read more

Trudeau chats with Fort Hills workers blames Harper for lack of pipelines

first_imgPrime Minister Justin Trudeau paid a visit to the oilsands on Friday, just a day after getting heckled and booed in Vancouver and Victoria for his approval of the TransMountain pipeline expansion. The project that has the neighbouring provinces of Alberta and B.C., at odds will see the pipeline’s capacity nearly triple from 300,000 barrels per day to 890,000 barrels per day giving Alberta heavy oil access to much needed foreign markets.“Our government has been unequivocal, this pipeline is in the national interest and will get built. We had a regulatory process that went through, an examination, an engagement with partners, and it was determined that this Kinder Morgan Pipeline expansion is in the national interest and that’s why it’s going to get built,” said Trudeau.He also didn’t take long to slam the Harper-era Conservatives by saying that through ten-years in power while Harper may have “topped up” the oilsands, his government wasn’t able to get a pipeline to tidewater approved because no one trusted them to protect the environment.Trudeau used that as an opportunity to once again tout his plan that links the environment and the economy.“Canadians are united on that, everyone wants to see their grandkids with both a protected natural world around them and good jobs and successful communities,” said Trudeau. “That’s something, we can and will work on together regardless of the fact that there’s still a choice to be made between either the economy or the environment, the only way to do this responsibly is to do this together.”Trudeau’s visit to Suncor’s Fort Hills site brought him to the most recently completed mega-project in the region, as when it hits full-production (within a month) it will produce 194,000 barrels of oil per day through its open pit mining operation.The Prime Minister, who gets more than his fair share of heat in this region spent 30-minutes in a lunch room with dozens of Fort Hills workers, answering questions off the cuff especially about the carbon tax and pipelines. Photo: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (middle) climbs the stairs into the cockpit of a Komatsu 780E heavy haul at Suncor’s Fort Hills oilsands site on Friday, Apr. 4, 2018. Bradley Karp / REPORTER His tour of the facility was led by Suncor CEO Steve Williams, who in February told the Financial Post that due to regulatory changes by the Trudeau government, his company would likely cut back on investments in Canada. The two were all smiles as Williams and Suncor staffers guided Trudeau around a Komatsu 780E heavy hauler, the Prime Minister even took a seat at the helm.“We’ve talked about market access, we’ve talked about market pressures which are the sum of taxation, royalties, the confidence in the regulatory process and I’m greatly encouraged by the conversation we’ve had today and I think it sort of speaks for itself,” said Williams. “The prime Minister has taken the trouble to come here and spend some time with us and understand our challenges better so I think we’re going to get some help.”Williams went on to acknowledge how the environment for oilsands producers has changed in the last few years, from the price cut in 2014, taxation and regulatory overhauls along with the United-States going from their biggest customer to their biggest competitor, expediting the need for a pipeline to tidewater for foreign market access.While producers in the oilsands need that market access through pipeline, the province next door (British-Columbia) continues to throw up roadblocks. When Trudeau was asked head on what he’s doing about it, and how he’ll ensure the pipeline actually gets built, this was his response: “I’m continuing to engage regularly with British Columbia, there are a number of court cases going on that the Federal Government is monitoring closely, but as I said many times we have a regulatory process that was open, responsible, fair, heard from everyone, we made a decision around the fact that this pipeline is absolutely in the national interest, the federal government has the responsibility and ability to move forward on projects of the national interest, that’s exactly what we’re going to do, we’re going to get this pipeline built.”Trudeau’s visit to the region wrapped up with meetings with other oil executives as well as meeting with local First Nations and Metis leaders.last_img read more

If Canada wants national pharmacare taxes will have to go up former

first_imgOTTAWA – Former federal budget watchdog Kevin Page will deliver a blunt message to premiers this week about the costs of a future national pharmacare program: if Canadians want one, taxes will have to go up.Page, who now heads a University of Ottawa think tank, will walk through the numbers Friday when he gives a presentation to the provincial and territorial leaders on what lawmakers should know about creating a cross-country, publicly funded plan for prescription drugs.The federal Liberals have put together a group of advisers, led by former Ontario health minister Eric Hoskins, to consult Canadians and explore options for a national program. The council is due to report back next year, when the topic of pharmacare is sure to become a major issue during the federal election campaign.But the burning question remains: who’s going to pay for it?Last fall, an analysis by the parliamentary budget officer estimated national pharmacare would carry a hefty cost in the neighbourhood of $20 billion a year. That’s about one percentage point of Canada’s gross domestic product and twice Ottawa’s annual deficit projections in each of the next few years.Page said there’s a solid argument to be made for national pharmacare because it would help Canadians save significantly on their out-of-pocket drug expenses and create more consistency in terms of health costs across the country. The 2017 parliamentary budget office study estimated such a plan would save Canadians more than $4 billion every year on prescriptions.But Page said Ottawa’s books are already facing a difficult fiscal situation and warned the federal balance sheet would become unsustainable if it assumed the full cost of such a program.The provinces, as a group, are in even rougher fiscal shape, he added.His presentation, which is based on a study by his Institute of Fiscal Studies and Democracy to be released Monday, recommends spending cuts and tax increases as ways to afford it.Page, however, believes there’s no way to avoid tax hikes if Canada is serious about pharmacare. One option would be to boost the GST by two points, back to seven per cent, he added.“Raising taxes is never easy, politically, in this environment, but I think if we’re going to really do something like this, we’re going to have to do it,” he said in an interview.“I don’t see any other way of really moving this forward.”Page will address the premiers in St. Andrew’s, N.B., where they will gather this week for Council of the Federation meetings. Without tax increases, governments will see their shortfalls balloon well beyond existing levels, he said.“I think it would shock people,” Page said. “Deficits would literally double.”He supports the argument that, in certain cases, public servants have a responsibility to tell taxpayers that raising taxes is in their interests as a way to make life easier for politicians to take unpopular decisions.“I think the case for a national public pharmacare program is pretty strong, even from a fiscal perspective,” he said.“Just on the numbers, it’s pretty clear that these public systems… produce much lower costs. Canadians are paying a lot for drugs, a lot.”Health-care advocates have long urged Ottawa to work with provinces and territories to implement a universal public prescription drug program that covers all Canadians.Critics call the country’s current system an inefficient, expensive patchwork that has left 3.5 million Canadians unable to afford the medication they need.— Follow @AndyBlatchford on Twitterlast_img read more

Don’t take Royals lightly: SRH coach

first_imgJaipur: Sunrisers Hyderabad coach Tom Moody on Friday cautioned his team against taking Rajasthan Royals lightly in the absence of top players such as Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes in the opposition ranks. Hoping to inch closer to securing a playoff berth, Sunrisers Hyderabad will take on Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League here on Saturday. “I wouldn’t say that they are a weakened side because if I lose players it also presents opportunities to those who are hungry. You cannot underestimating your opponent. The fringe players only need a lucky break to shine,” Moody said at the pre-match press conference. Also Read – We will push hard for Kabaddi”s inclusion in 2024 Olympics: RijijuThe former Australian all-rounder added: “Therefore, regardless of who has come and who has gone in Rajasthan’s line- up, we know that they are a dangerous side, and particularly at home.” SRH are placed fourth in the standings with five wins and as many losses, giving them 10 points, while the hosts are stuttering at the seventh position after seven defeats in 11 outings. Moody said: “It is a very important game for both teams, given that the middle of the table is very crowded. It is an opportunity for us to break away from that middle. Also Read – Djokovic to debut against Shapovalov at Shanghai Masters”We have four games left and have to win majority of those, most of the teams in the middle are in that position. We know that Rajasthan are coming off a win but they are also coming from back-to-back games, had a travel day today and have lost a few players to World Cup commitments.” He said the departure of Jonny Bairstow for England has opened the door for people like Martin Guptill. “Warner and Barstow have been performing well. But when the door closes, another one opens. It’s an opportunity for someone else to step in that batting position. “We haven’t finalised the eleven, whether Guptill plays or not is undecided. “For the past four weeks, he has been practicing on all sorts of surfaces at nets which are more often not as good as surfaces which are presented out in the middle. “He is prepared for any surface. He has prepared and preparing for that opportunity.”last_img read more

Danilo urges his team to forget the derby

first_imgDanilo insisted that Manchester City have to overcome their first major crisis of the season and fully focus on the upcoming Champions League game against Liverpool as they still can advance to the semifinals.The Brazilian full-back admitted that this week has been a huge disappointment for the whole team as they were beaten by Liverpool 3-0 and then lost the derby despite leading 2-0 after the first half – but now, they have to forget all this.The former Real Madrid player spoke about his side’s morale as he said, according to Belfast Telegraph:“Well, without doubt, the atmosphere, the feeling, is of sadness, of disappointment.”norwich city, manchester city, premier leagueReport: City are stunned by Norwich George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Manchester City was stunned by Norwich City in todays Premier League clash.Much has been made in recent days of the potential impact of Aymeric…“We started the game really well, but we must return to the pitch as soon as possible because on Tuesday we have another big challenge to overcome a result.”“Without any doubt (the City fans were great). We need to thank them all.”“Not just for today but all the season, but especially the atmosphere they created today was amazing.”“They helped us until the last minute and I am sure they could help us a lot against Liverpool if they are able to create that atmosphere again and try to help us to overcome the result.”last_img read more

Rugby on the Beach Saturday at Rickys Flamingo Café

first_img Recommended for you What’s on TONIGHT in Providenciales Windvibes Watersports Tournament Returns for 9th Year Race for the Conch impresses Rowdy Gaines US Gold Medal Olympian Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 06 Nov 2015 – Beach Rugby is on this weekend at Ricky’s Flamingo Café from 11:30am. There will be matches featuring players from Provo, Grand Turk and South Caicos starting from noon. The day will include DJ music, raffle prizes, refreshments and that fantastic inflatable stadium. Beach Rugby is courtesy of the TCI Rugby Football Union, on tomorrow at Ricky’s Café. Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:beach rugby, Ricky’s Flamingo Cafelast_img

Murphy insists Phelan crucial to Solksjaer at United

first_imgFormer Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy believes Mike Phelan will be very crucial to Ole Gunnar Solksjaer, if the Norwegian is to achieve success at Manchester United.Phelan worked as an assistant manager to Sir Alex Ferguson at United but has been re-signed by the club following the temporary appointment of Solksjaer as manager of the Red Devils.“Solskjaer will benefit from having Mike Phelan back at the club to assist.” Murphy wrote in his Daily Mail Column.“He’s a likeable guy and a very good coach and you suspect Sir Alex Ferguson might have been asked for his advice. He didn’t want David Moyes to let Phelan go in the first place in 2013.”harry maguire, manchester UnitedMaguire says United need to build on today’s win George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Harry Maguire wants his United teammates to build on the victory over Leicester City.During the summer, Harry Maguire was referred to as the ultimate…“I do expect a bounce from United over the next few weeks. The players will relish the prospect of playing in a more attractive way. Some of the big names like Paul Pogba will have a new spring in their step having been benched by Mourinho. It’s called freedom.”“While someone like Zinedine Zidane would gain automatic respect because of his status, Solskjaer can still earn it quickly by communicating well on the training pitch.”“United did not anticipate being in this position, hence the call to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for six months. It is a bit left-field but not crazy. He knows the club and understands its expectations.”last_img read more

Lawmakers want to stop a future filled with smart devices and bad

first_img 1 Now playing: Watch this: Legislation should require basic security standards, like the California internet of things law does, and Geiger also recommended consumer awareness programs, in the same way that energy efficient products have an “Energy Star” sticker on them.”The idea of me telling my mother to go into her router to check for a default password and check and see if it encrypts your personal information, these things are not realistic,” Geiger said. “What I can tell her is, ‘look for a seal, look for a label.'”Michael Bergman, the CTA’s vice president of technology and standards, disagreed with the label approach, telling lawmakers that many people have “label fatigue” when they’re buying technology.The CTA is a trade organization that represents more than 2,000 tech companies, and hosts CES. Bergman said the group has been working on addressing internet of things security concerns, and said that private companies are moving as fast as possible to fix these issues. It’s not fast enough, said Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from Connecticut. “There is a tidal wave of anger and alarm building out there, with very good reason,” the senator said to Bergman. “The pace is simply too slow.”Under the current opt-in model, there are no legal penalties for weak security standards, lawmakers pointed out. Blumenthal said that this approach is “failing,” and that lawmakers need to establish standards for companies to follow. While a federal law on internet of things security has been proposed, it hasn’t made much progress. Without a law, security experts warned that the world would be filled with vulnerable devices without fixes. “Unsecured IoT devices will be like the new asbestos,” Geiger said. “We will build them into our environments, only to have to rip them back out years later, and wonder why our predecessors did not have the forethought to ensure basic security from the start.” Comment Politics Smart Home Security Share your voicecenter_img Tags Landlords are making apartments into smart homes, whether… “Internet of things” devices are set to spike in popularity. Lawmakers are worried that they’ll bring security issues, too. James Martin/CNET Before smart devices fill up millions of homes, a Senate hearing on Tuesday looked to figure out how to keep them safe from hackers.”Sound security practices must keep pace with the expansion of the internet of things in order to mitigate these threats,” Sen. Dan Sullivan said in his opening statement. Sullivan, a Republican from Alaska, is chairman of the commerce committee’s subcommittee on security. Lawmakers have attempted to tackle security problems with connected devices through several hearings and proposed laws that would set basic standards for these gadgets. By 2020, analysts expect connected devices to jump up to 20.4 billion units, and security experts warn that without a baseline level of security, this rapid growth will mean a larger risk of cyberattacks.Cyberattacks on smart devices can show results in real time, as hacked Nest Cams are used to blare hoax nuclear attack warnings, and smart TVs are hijacked to promote PewDiePie videos. In other cases, these hacked connected devices are used quietly, as part of massive botnets or cryptomining gadgets.   Connected devices don’t have any regulations requiring basic security measures, but that could be changing. In September, lawmakers in California passed the country’s first internet of things security law, which requires “reasonable” features like ending default passwords on devices. The hearing featured witnesses from the US Chamber of Commerce, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, cybersecurity company Rapid7, the Broadband Association and the Consumer Technology Association.”While IoT holds a promise of revolutionizing the way we live and we work, we should also be wary, because IoT also stands for the internet of threats,” said Sen. Ed Markey, a Democrat from Massachusetts. Harley Geiger, a director of public policy for Rapid7, called on lawmakers to pass a federal law on security standards for smart devices. “There is a tidal wave of anger and alarm building out there, with very good reason.” Sen. Richard Blumenthal 2:46last_img read more

PNB shares rally 133 since RBI okays foreign investment into staterun bank

first_imgPunjab National Bank (PNB) shares gained 2.5 per cent on Friday to close at Rs. 136 from the previous day’s gain of Rs. 132.80. Since, India’s central bank permitted more foreign investment into the state owned lender on July 8, the shares have risen by 13.3 per cent from a low of Rs. 120.At present, India’s second largest lender has promoters holding 62.08 percent and Institutional and Non-Institutional investors holding 31.36 per cent and 6.55 per cent respectively, reported Financial Express.The Bank’s share had rallied up over the past week with the news of its home finance subsidiary announcing its Rs. 2500 crore initial public offering (IPO) of equity shares. PNB holds 51 per cent in PNB Housing Finance Ltd. However, a report in Economic Times warned that despite coming off the hook from RBI’s seven year blockade on foreign investment and its subsidiary filing public listing on Indian bourses, PNB will still have more streamlining to be done within.PNB’s loss for the March 2016 quarter was Rs. 5,367 crore as against a net profit of Rs. 306 crore seen in same quarter last year. The bank’s quarterly loss was the largest ever posted by any public sector bank. In the same peirod, the bank’s overall income decreased by 1.33 per cent to Rs. 13,276 crore as compared to Rs. 13,455.65 crore.The state-run bank’s net NPAs increased 131 percent to Rs. 35,423 crore at the end of 2015-16 from Rs. 15,396 crore a year ago. As a percentage of total advances, net NPAs stood at 8.61 per cent, up from 4.06 percent as on March 31, 2016.last_img read more

Thai general found guilty in human trafficking trial

first_img.A Thai court found dozens of people guilty of human trafficking offences on Wednesday in a mass trial exploring links between corrupt officials, including a senior army general, and the grim but lucrative trade in Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants.Thailand’s junta launched a crackdown in May 2015 on a network funnelling desperate migrants through southern Thailand and onto Malaysia, holding some for ransom in jungle camps.It unspooled a crisis across Southeast Asia as gangmasters abandoned their human cargo in the camps where hundreds died from starvation and malaria, and at sea in overcrowded boats which were then “ping ponged” between Thai, Malaysian and Indonesian waters.Rights groups long accused officials of ignoring — and even orchestrating — the trade in humans through Thailand’s southern provinces.The area was the crucial link in a criminal trail that stretched from Myanmar to Malaysia.The crackdown revealed a lattice of military, police, local political and mafia figures acting as traffickers, agents and logistics men, all soaking up cash from some of Asia’s poorest and most vulnerable migrants.On Wednesday judges at Bangkok Criminal Court began delivering a stream of verdicts for the 102 defendants. One other accused died while on remand.The offences include human trafficking, ransom and murder. All deny the charges.Media were barred from the court itself, relying instead on an audio relay of the complex proceedings.- Soldiers and kingpins -Judges placed heavy reporting restrictions on much of the testimony, citing national security concerns. But the case has still lifted the lid on the power networks dominating southern Thailand.Army Lieutenant-General Manas Kongpan, a top figure in the security apparatus covering the south, is the highest-ranking official on trial.In 2013 he was promoted to head the Internal Security Command (ISOC) for the south. Current junta leader Prayut Chan-O-Cha was army chief at the time.Another well-connected alleged kingpin is Pajjuban Aungkachotephan, better known as Ko Tong or ‘Big Brother Tong’.Police accused him of using private Andaman Sea islands, close to tourist spots such as Koh Lipe, to shift boatloads of migrants to the mainland, where they were packed into lorries and taken to the fetid camps straddling the Malaysia border.An army captain, four ranking police officers, a nurse and several officials, including the mayor of Pedang Besar in Satun province, are also among the accused.By the lunch break a drip feed of 38 defendants had been convicted for a range of offences including human trafficking and slavery.Among them were guards at the jungle camps where migrants were held, including a Rohingya man who acted as an interpreter, and a string of local officials.Thailand’s role as a key trafficking route spilled into full view after officials found dozens of shallow graves in the hidden camps dotting the steep, forested hills of the Thai-Malaysian border in May 2015.They revealed the horrors endured by some of migrants, who were starved and held in bamboo pens by traffickers who demanded up to $1,000 for their release.- ‘Big business, big money’ -The verdict is being closely-watched inside and outside Thailand.The government is desperate to dispel the kingdom’s notorious reputation for human trafficking and close one of the darkest chapters in the country’s recent history.Junta chief Prayut angrily denied the case reflected systemic corruption within the security services.”Manas alone will not make the entire military collapse,” he told reporters.Critics say the case was prematurely concluded and describe a trial marred by witness intimidation, secret evidence hearings and restrictions on media reporting.”We expect there are many more perpetrators out there,” Amy Smith, from Fortify Rights, told AFP.”This is a big business with big money.”The senior policeman who initially headed the investigation, Major General Paween Pongsirin, fled Thailand under threats to his life.Days before he left he told AFP the case had been pulled before it could delve further into the complicity of officials.Stateless Rohingya Muslims have fled neighbouring Myanmar in their tens of thousands since sectarian violence flared in 2012.They were joined by Bangladeshi economic migrants on a rickety boats southwards across the Andaman Sea, seeking work and sanctuary in Malaysia and Indonesia.Thousands are believed to have died at sea, in a migrant flow that garnered few headlines until the trafficking crackdown in 2015.last_img read more

Van plows into Toronto crowd killing 10

first_imgThe front end damage of the van that the driver used to hit several pedestrians in Toronto, Ontario, on Monday where at least 10 people were killed and 16 others wounded when a driver rammed his rental van into a crowd of pedestrians in downtown. Photo: AFPAt least 10 people have died after a man plowed a white rental van into a crowd of pedestrians in Canada’s biggest city Toronto on Monday, in what police dubbed a “deliberate” attack.The incident took place in broad daylight around 16 kilometers (10 miles) from a conference center hosting a meeting of G7 ministers, but officials said they had no evidence of a link to the event.“The actions definitely looked deliberate,” Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders told journalists.Ralph Goodale, the minister of public security, added that “on the basis of all available information at the present time, there would appear to be no national security connection to this particular incident.”“Horrible day in Toronto,” he had posted earlier on Twitter. “Senseless violence takes heavy toll.”Police arrested a suspect at the scene—who police identified later as 25-year-old Alex Minassian from a northern Toronto suburb—of the attack, whose initial death toll of nine jumped to 10 after one person succumbed to injuries.Fifteen people remained in hospitals throughout the city, Saunders said, adding that local, provincial and federal investigators were probing the case.At the scene, at least three bodies could be seen under orange sheets and a long stretch of road was sealed off with police incident tape.The suspect and a police officer faced off, their guns drawn. The suspect eventually surrendered his weapon and was taken into custody.Vehicle attacks have been carried out to deadly effect by extremists in a number of capitals and major cities, including London, Paris, New York and Nice.Canada’s Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said the G7 meeting would continue as planned into Tuesday, with officials discussing ways to secure democratic societies from foreign interference.“The work of the ministers obviously goes on. This is a very sad day for the people of Toronto and the people of Canada,” she said.‘Really fast’Officers were called to the scene—on Yonge Street at the corner with Finch Avenue—around 1:30 pm (1730 GMT), police said.A white rental van with a dented front bumper was stopped on the sidewalk of a major intersection, surrounded by police vehicles.“He was going really fast,” witness Alex Shaker told CTV television.“All I could see was just people one by one getting knocked out, knocked out, one by one,” Shaker said. “There are so many people lying down on the streets.”Another witness, Jamie Eopni, told local Toronto television station CP24: “It was crashing into everything. It destroyed a bench. If anybody was on that street, they would have been hit on the sidewalk.”‘Deliberate’ but no terror linkThough the act seemed “deliberate,” officials did not identify a terror link.Canada has only rarely been the scene of terror attacks.In October, a man stabbed a police officer in the western city of Edmonton before slamming his van into a group of pedestrians, hurting four people.And in Quebec in October 2014, a Canadian man ran over two soldiers in a parking lot with his car, killing one of them. The driver was shot dead by police when he attacked them with a knife.In March 2016, a Canadian who claimed to have radical Islamist sympathies attacked two soldiers at a military recruitment center in Toronto.last_img read more

Chicken lovers ahoy

first_imgIt is not often that you walk up to a restaurant in Delhi and bump into a queue. Unless of course, it is age-old favourites like Karim’s (the Jama Masjid outlet) or Khan Chacha. And of course there is Big Chill which continues to be a hot favourite. Of course, the Pizza Huts and McDonald’s of the world do not count. But from the queue we saw when we went to Nando’s for a review (other restaurants in the mall were pretty full too, to be fair. But none of them really had a bunch of 15-20 people waiting outside), we could safely say that the international chain, which has opened its outlet in a south Delhi mall, can be added to the list. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The place has a chirpy feel and is spread over a fairly large area. African art adorns the walls. The service is prompt and the staff is helpful. Their signature is their Peri Peri chicken which they serve in enormous quantities (a quarter plate will be more than enough for three people). You can have the juicy, tender chicken on its own or pair it with side dishes like rice to make it a complete meal.  What I liked about the place is that it gives you an option to choose your spice level. So even if you are not too fond of spicy stuff, you can still enjoy a flavourful meal (because all their chicken is marinated, as the menu clearly mentions) without getting too worked up by the hot sauces. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixTo some extent the place will remind you of KFC, only here you can find more options. Though it is essentially a chicken place (their international outlets are almost all about chicken), vegetarian dishes have been incorporated in the menu perhaps keeping India in mind.       DETAILAt: Nando’s, 315 & 316, 2nd Floor, DLF Promenade Mall, Vasant KunjTimings: Noon to 11.30 pm Meal for two: Rs 1,000 approxlast_img read more

TMC leader shot dead in Purulia accused absconding

first_imgKolkata: A Trinamool Congress leader was shot dead by some unidentified miscreants in Purulia. Police are yet to arrest anybody in this connection.The incident has triggered tension in the Daspara area near Adra in Purulia after the victim, Hamid Ansari (55), a Trinamool Congress leader was shot dead. The victim suffered multiple bullet injuries. The victim was going to Adra from Raghunathpur riding his motorcycle at around 11 am on Friday when some miscreants stopped him on his way. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThey fired around 9 rounds of bullets at the victim. Some of the locals heard the gun shots and rushed to his rescue. After receiving bullets, the victim fell on the road. Locals rushed the victim to a local hospital where he was declared brought dead. The body was later sent for an autopsy. The miscreants fled the spot immediately after the incident. After being informed police reached the spot and started a probe. The motorcycle which the victim rode was found lying on the road side and seized by the police. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedCops have collected some samples from the spot and started a detailed probe in this regard. They are yet to ascertain if the victim was murdered following any personal rivalry or there was any political angle into the incident. The district Trinamool Congress leaders said the victim had been instrumental in strengthening the party’s organisation in the area and this could be a deliberate attempt to weaken the organisation. They have also demanded a high-level probe into the incident. Police are interrogating locals and the family members of the victim.last_img read more

Canines can adopt humans perspective to find food

first_imgDogs – known as the man’s best friend – are also capable of adopting human perspective to correctly interpret cues and find food that they cannot see themselves, research has revealed. The findings showed that by adopting the position of a human or seeing things from their owner’s point of view and following their gaze, dogs can identify whether a human has an eye on a food source and, therefore, know where the food has been hidden.”The ability to interpret our behaviour and anticipate our intentions, which has obviously developed through a combination of domestication and individual experience, seems to have supported the ability to adopt our perspective,” said led investigator Ludwig Huber from the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna. Within the first four or five years of life human beings develop the ability to understand and interpret mental states such as emotions, needs and intentions of their fellow-being and react accordingly, while it is usually denied in animals. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfIn the study, published in the journal Animal Cognition, researchers developed a new ‘Guesser looking away’ test, which gave clear evidence of dogs being able to adopt human perspective and take advantage of it.In the experiment, a person in the middle hides the food and the potential informants were kneeing left and right of this hider.”To get the food, the dogs have to understand who knows the hiding place (Knower) and who does not and can, therefore, only guess (Guesser). Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive”They must identify the informant they can rely on if they have to decide for one food container,” Huber noted. In nearly 70 per cent of the cases the dogs chose the container indicated by the Knower. Being able to adopt the perspective of a human does, however, not require the ability to understand intentions or wishes. “But the study showed that dogs can find out what humans or conspecifics can or cannot see. “By adopting the positions of humans and following their gazes geometrically, they find out what humans see and, therefore, know – and consequently whom they can trust or not,” Huber said.last_img read more

Separate directorate to come up for revenue intel enforcement

first_imgKolkata: The state Cabinet on Friday decided to come up with a separate directorate of revenue, intelligence and enforcement, which will be functioning under the aegis of the state Finance department.The proposed directorate will be headed by an IAS officer and will perform more or less similar functions as the Enforcement Directorate (ED). A source in the state government said that the proposed directorate will have a designated court under it and will deal with cases of evasion of tax or financial fraud. The directorate will be empowered to take action against those evading taxes or resorting to swindling of money. It may be mentioned that time and again, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has been vocal against the BJP government at the Centre, alleging that they have been controlling agencies like Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), ED and the Income Tax department. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseA few days ago on January 25, Banerjee had described the CBI as one of the “allies” of the BJP-led Central government and said that the “headless agency” has been converted into an organ of BJP. She claimed that the saffron party was harassing leaders of the Opposition through various Central agencies out of sheer political vendetta. In October last year, when two top officers of CBI were sent on leave amid an ongoing tussle in the Central investigating agency, Banerjee had alleged that CBI has become BJP’s policing agency and tweeted ‘CBI has become BBI (BJP Bureau of Investigation)’. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataIn a recent public rally at Birbhum, Banerjee had reminded BJP that the state also has control over investigating agencies like Criminal Investigation Department (CID) but it does not impose anything on its functioning, which is in sharp contrast with BJP hounding agencies like CBI against the Opposition. The Cabinet meeting that was held at the state Assembly on Friday, also approved a 3.75 acre land for a private company, to set up a lubricant unit. The land is under the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC). The Cabinet further approved granting a 10 acre land to the Council of Research for Yoga and Naturopathy under the AYUSH department of the Centre for setting up its unit. The land belongs to the TB hospital in Kalyani and has been lying vacant. It is being offered for free to the AYUSH ministry.last_img read more

Brisbane Convention Exhibition Centre BCEC – Named Worl

first_imgSource = Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre was today awarded the title of ‘Worldwide Convention Centre Team of the Year’ at a glittering awards ceremony in London by the leading international publication Conference & Incentive Travel (C&IT).The C&IT Excellence Awards are presented annually to celebrate excellence in the international meetings industry encompassing all areas of operational performance.Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, which is operated by leading international venue management group, AEG Ogden, was shortlisted for the awards alongside two of the world’s leading convention centres – ExCel London and SCEC Glasgow.BCEC’s award submission was based on the launch to the market of the Centre’s $140 million expansion – Australia’s newest convention centre.The Centre’s European based international representative Mary-Jane Wiedemann received the award on behalf of the BCEC team. Mary-Jane is an extension of the Centre’s very experienced International Sales Team. BCEC General Manager, Bob O’Keeffe said the highly sought after award was an honour and ultimate recognition of the Centre’s team for its experience, expertise, professionalism and high levels of personal service.“We have always placed the highest priority on delivering superior standards of professionalism and service excellence and our team takes tremendous pride in all they do. This international award endorses this strategy and the dedication and commitment of all members of our team,” he said.2012 has been a momentous year for the Centre with the opening of BCEC on Grey Street, the Centre’s $140 million boutique expansion and the announcement by the Australian Government of BCEC as the official venue for the G20 Leaders Summit in 2014.    This year the Centre was also named Best Meeting Venue for 500 delegates or more in the Meetings & Events Australia (MEA) National Awards. last_img read more

In recent years some cities including Memphis an

first_imgIn recent years, some cities, including Memphis and Phoenix, withered into health insurance wastelands, as insurers fled and premiums skyrocketed in the insurance marketplaces that were set up under the Affordable Care Act.But today, as in many parts of the U.S., these two cities are experiencing something unprecedented: Insurance premiums are sinking and choices are sprouting.In the newly competitive market in Memphis, for example, the cheapest midlevel “silver” plan for 2019 health coverage will cost $498 a month for a 40-year-old — a 17 percent decrease compared to last year.And four insurers are now selling ACA policies in Phoenix. That’s the same market that then-presidential candidate Donald Trump highlighted in 2016 because all but one insurer had left the region — he called it proof of “the madness of Obamacare.”Janice Johnson, a 63-year-old retiree in Arizona’s Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix, said her monthly premium for a high-deductible bronze plan will be $207 for 2019, instead of $270, because she is switching carriers.”When you’re on a fixed income, that makes a difference,” said Johnson, who receives a government subsidy to help cover her premium. “I’ll know more in a year from now if I’m going to stick with this company. But I’m going to give them a chance, and I’m pretty excited by that.”Looking across all 50 states, the premiums for the average “benchmark” silver plan, which the government uses to set subsidies, are dropping nearly 1 percent. And more than half of the counties in the 39 states that rely on the federal HealthCare.gov exchange are experiencing a 10 percent price decrease, on average, for their cheapest plan.In most places, the declines are not enough to erase the price hikes that have accrued since the creation of the health care exchanges in 2014.Instead, next year’s price cuts help to correct the huge increases that jittery insurers set for 2018 to protect themselves from anticipated Republican assaults on the markets. While Congress came up one vote shy of repealing the federal health law in the summer of 2017, Trump and Republicans in Congress did manage to strip away many of the structural underpinnings that induced people to buy plans and helped insurers pay for some of their low-income customers’ copayments and deductibles. Insurers responded with a 32 percent increase, on average, for 2018 plans.”Insurers overshot last year,” said Chris Sloan, a director at Avalere, a health care consulting company in Washington, D.C. “We are nowhere close to erasing that increase. This is still a really expensive market with poor benefits when it comes to deductibles and cost.”For 2019, the average premium for the benchmark silver plan will be 75 percent higher than it was in 2014, according to data from the Kaiser Family Foundation. (Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent program of the foundation.)When Republicans failed to kill the health law last year, they inadvertently may have made it stronger. Insurers banked hefty profits in 2018, and that attracted new companies to most ACA markets.All these factors were especially influential in Tennessee, where the average benchmark premium is dropping 26 percent, according to an analysis by the federal government. That’s a bigger drop than in any other state.Seventy-eight of 95 Tennessee counties had just one insurer for 2018. That monopoly allowed the insurer to set the prices of its plans without fear of competition, said David Anderson, a researcher at the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy in Durham, N.C. “They were massively overpriced,” Anderson said of all available policies.But for the coming year, 49 Tennessee counties will have more than one insurer, with a few — like Shelby County, where Memphis is located — having four companies competing. There, Cigna dropped the price of its lowest-cost silver plan by 15 percent. Even then, Cigna was underbid by Ambetter of Tennessee, a company owned by the managed-care insurer Centene Corp.”We’re finally at the point where the market is stabilized,” said Bobby Huffaker, the CEO of American Exchange, an insurance brokerage firm based in Tennessee. “From the beginning, every underwriter — [and] the people who were the architects — they knew it would take several years for the market to mature.”Still, the cheapest Memphis silver premium is nearly three times what it was in 2014, the first year of the marketplaces. A family of four, headed by 40-year-old parents, will be paying $19,119 for all of next year unless they qualify for a government subsidy.”The unsubsidized are leaving,” said Sabrina Corlette, a professor at Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute. “They are finding these premiums unaffordable.”The landscape in Phoenix is greatly improved from when Trump visited after the federal government announced a 116 percent premium increase for 2017; the number of insurers at that time had dropped from eight to one.Now, three new insurers are entering Maricopa County. Meanwhile, Ambetter, the only insurer that offered plans for 2018, reduced its lowest price for a silver plan for next year by 12 percent — and it offers the cheapest such plan in the market.Still, Ambetter’s plan is 114 percent above the least expensive silver plan offered there in the first year of the exchanges. And neither Ambetter nor any of the insurers coming into the market for 2019 offer as broad and flexible a choice of doctors and hospitals as consumers had back then, according to Michael Malasnik, a local broker.Since the start of the exchanges, Malasnik said, insurers have “raised their rates by multiples, and they’ve figured out you have to be a very narrow network.”Each plan in Phoenix for 2019 contains trade-offs, he said. Only Bright Health’s plan includes Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Ambetter’s plan includes the most popular hospital and doctor groups, Malasnik said. But those providers are not as conveniently located for people living in the southeastern corner of the county, and that makes other insurers’ plans more appealing for some customers.”Geography is the name of the game this year,” Malasnik said.Theresa Flood, a preschool teacher who lives outside Phoenix, said none of the provider networks of the plans she considered included her doctors, such as the specialist who treats her spine problems. She has had four surgeries, and a neurologist who monitors a cyst and benign tumor in her brain is also outside the network she ended up choosing.”I have to establish care with a whole new spine doctor and establish care with a whole new neurologist if I want to follow up on these things,” said Flood, who is 59. “You’re going from ‘established care’ to ‘who in the heck am I going to see?’ “The plan Flood ultimately chose would have been too expensive, except that she and her husband John, who is a minister, qualified for a $1,263-a-month subsidy that will drop the cost to $207 a month. That bronze plan from Ambetter carries a $6,550-per-person deductible; so Flood expects she’ll still have to pay out-of-pocket for her treatments and doctor visits unless she needs extensive medical attention.”It’s gone from being able to have a plan that you could sort of afford and got some benefit from, to putting up with what you can afford and hoping nothing happens that you actually have to use your insurance,” she said. “At this point, I’ll take what I can get.”Kaiser Health News, a nonprofit news service, is an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, and is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente. Copyright 2018 Kaiser Health News. To see more, visit Kaiser Health News.last_img read more