Foreign firms should not be allowed in Indias telecommunication sector SJM

first_imgNew Delhi: Raising national security concerns, an RSS-affiliate Sunday demanded that telecommunications be declared a critical and strategic infrastructure sector disallowing foreign firms, especially Chinese companies, to enter. The Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) said India’s telecommunications network should be fully indigenised and reserved for domestic companies on security grounds. “Telecommunications must be declared a critical and strategic infrastructure vital to India’s security. Once this is done, the bans on imports cannot be challenged at the WTO,” SJM national co-convener Ashwani Mahajan told PTI. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalHe also said China today controls a significant section of India’s telecom networks and information dominance is at the core of China’s military strategy. The SJM also called for adoption of a “Buy Indian Act” and “Telecom Security Act” by Parliament, much like the US, Australia and New Zealand have done. Mahajan said Indian companies are capable to build a 100 pc indigenous network, but they are not being encouraged by the government like in other foreign countries. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boost”India must recognise the full extent of the national and economic security threat posed by foreign and especially Chinese equipment in India’s ICT networks,” he said. The Manch held a detailed brainstorming session with a group of world class, high-tech indigenous cybersecurity SMEs and telecom companies, in which it emerged that Chinese companies, with massive support from their government, vastly outbid Indian companies and win tenders for critical infrastructure. Mahajan noted that if India adopts 5G, it should be totally indigenous and the Cloud component of 5G Core must be located in India. Funds for development of 6G network should be deployed within the country, as India has the capability for doing this, he said. He said the experts alleged that Indian bidders are forced to adhere to specifications that are not operationally required but are met only by MNCs and are thus discriminated against. “They get no support from the government while the industries of other countries get full government support,” he alleged. He said the experts opined that even in “Smart City” projects, only foreign companies are winning tenders, though such projects are supposed to help India’s development.last_img read more

African swine fever spreads to northern Russia UN reports

The devastating pig disease known as African swine fever (ASF) has now been found in northwest Russia, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reported today.The latest outbreak of ASF – which cannot be transmitted to humans – was found near the city of St. Petersburg on 20 October, jumping 2,000 kilometres from southern Russia. The spread has confirmed the worst fears of FAO experts who have been tracking the disease in Georgia and neighbouring nations for several years.“Although we have known that the virus has been circulating in the Caucasus – in Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan – for several years now, eventually spreading to southern Russia, it is its sudden appearance far away near the Baltic coast that is worrying,” said Juan Lubroth, the agency’s Chief Veterinary Officer.The danger now is that ASF could spread to other regions, including the European Union, Eastern Europe, countries in the Black Sea basin and even Central Asia and China, which has the world’s largest pig population.It can be transported over wider geographic areas through the movement of infected swine or contaminated pork products, FAO said.Although Muslim populations do not consume pork, Iran, Turkey and Central Asia could act as a transit point for ASF due to the large numbers of wild boar in these areas.“In light of this outbreak, FAO is advising countries to be vigilant and roll out their early detection and response plans,” Mr. Lubroth said.The virus is believed to have first entered into the Caucasus through the Black Sea port of Poti in Georgia, where garbage from a ship was taken to a local dump where pigs feed.In sub-Saharan Africa, ASF is spread through warthogs and other wild pig species, and can also be transmitted by a particular type of tick.The disease existed for decades in the Iberian Peninsula until it was eradicated in the late 1990s.There is no vaccine against ASF currently, and the FAO issued a call for laboratories in the United States, Europe and Russia to reinvigorate efforts to develop an effective immunization.The disease is eliminated by culling infected animals and strict movement control. 22 October 2009The devastating pig disease known as African swine fever (ASF) has now been found in northwest Russia, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reported today. read more

Maldives Vice President arrested over blast

Maldives police Saturday arrested the country’s embattled vice president after alleging him of “high treason” amid mounting speculation over his involvement in a blast on a speedboat carrying the country’s president last month, reported.Vice President Ahmed Adheeb Abdul Ghafoor on Friday said he would return to the Maldives on Saturday despite rumours that he had gone into exile. Police, meanwhile, confirmed separately that the vice president was arrested for the investigation into the blast.“Vice President Ahmed Adheeb has been arrested under a warrant for the investigation into the blast on the presidential speedboat,” the police’s tweet in local Dhivehi language read.Government officials were noticeably absent from the airport to receive the vice president. No official speedboat was also prepared for the vice president’s expected journey from the airport island of Hulhule to the capital Male. Media, meanwhile, was barred access to the area and were asked to stay back near the central bank building, which is also a part of the high security zone.President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom and First Lady Fathimath Ibrahim were travelling to Male from the airport on September 28 when the explosion took place. They had returned home that morning after concluding their visit to Saudi Arabia to perform the annual hajj pilgrimage.The president was unhurt, but the first lady suffered a spinal fracture while presidential secretary Fathimath Mohamed Solih and bodyguard Abdu Nasir received minor injuries including burns.The first lady still remains in hospital.In the wake of the bomb blast on the presidential speedboat, President Yameen fired his police chiefs Friday evening.Police Commissioner Hussain Waheed, who departed on Tuesday night to Singapore on medical leave, has been appointed as a state housing minister. His two deputies, Hassan Habib and Mohamed Sodiq have been transferred to the gender ministry and housing ministry respectively.Assistant police commissioner Ahmed Areef has been assigned temporary charge of the police.The replacements at the top levels of the police came after the president had last week abruptly visited police headquarters in Male and met with Hussain and other senior officers. Police did not reveal the details of the meeting while a police spokeperson had only said that it was “not an extraordinary meeting”. The Singapore Airlines flight carrying the vice president landed at the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA) at 11.45pm. His supporters had been asked to gather at the official jetty in capital Male to welcome him, but police had cordoned off the entire area, which is considered a part of the Green Zone. Home minister Umar Naseer, meanwhile, announced on twitter that the vice president had been arrested and taken to the police detention centre in Dhoonidhoo.“Charges: High Treason,” his second tweet read. An official car assigned to the vice president was initially seen outside the official jetty in Male. However, minutes after the plane had landed, the car along with the vice president’s security detail left the area. Police officers were seen accompanying the vice president as he exited the plane. Army and police, meanwhile, moved in to lockdown the capital city as the nation braced for turmoil after the arrival and subsequent arrest of Vice President Adheeb.At a midnight press briefing Friday, police announced its plan to lockdown parts of the capital Male that house prominent landmarks and government offices, including the President’s Office and the headquarters of both the police and the armed forces.By early morning Saturday, lorries loaded with policemen and soldiers were seen on nearly every street in Male. Unlike previous lockdowns, pedestrians were not even allowed to enter the high security zone, commonly called the Green Zone. read more

Total lunar eclipse will not be visible to Sri Lanka

The total lunar eclipse due on 21st January 2019 will be on a full moon day and so it will not be visible to Sri Lanka.It will be visible only in America, West Africa and some countries in Europe. The lunar eclipse on January 21st begins on 8.07 a.m and ends up at 1.18 p.m Sri Lanka standard time, said Professor Chandana Jayaratne, Director, Astronomy and Space Science Unit, Department of Physics, University of Colombo. (Colombo Gazette) The lunar eclipses are due on January 21st and July 16th and the solar eclipses on January 6th, July 2nd and December 26th, 2019. It is very rare that a solar eclipse is visible to a country and this December the public in Sri Lanka will have the chance to see a annular eclipse where the moon will cover the Sun leaving a outer ring of light.The best view of this annular solar eclipse will be from Jaffna to Trincomalee and the rest of the country would see it as a partial solar eclipse. Only two eclipses will be visible to Sri Lanka – the partial lunar eclipse on July 16 and the annular solar eclipse on December 26th. A total lunar eclipse will take place on January 21st but it will not be visible to Sri Lanka.This year there are five eclipses, two lunar eclipses and three solar eclipses. read more

SMMT integrates innovation and emobility functions

Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) SMMT has today announced that industry co-ordination of electric vehicle development, new technologies, innovation, e-mobility and low carbon motoring will now be handled by a dedicated team following the integration of several resources at the industry trade body.SMMT made the changes in recognition of the increasing importance of these areas to UK automotive, aligning itself with the Automotive Council’s strategic approach to supporting innovation and R&D.“The UK automotive industry is determined to take a leading role in developing the technologies to deliver sustainable motoring for the long-term,” said Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive. “To support SMMT’s work in building a market for ultra-low carbon vehicles and embedding important industrial capability in the UK supply chain, we have pulled together a number of staff and functions to establish a new innovation and e-mobility team. The team, lead by Sam Larner will bring energy, enthusiasm and experience to the challenges and exciting opportunities ahead.”The newly formed team will continue to facilitate and support the SMMT’s EV Group. This influential discussion-based and knowledge-sharing forum is instrumental in the early development of e-mobility in the UK.The cross departmental team will be led by Samantha Larner who brings her expertise on technology, knowledge transfer and innovation to the role. Samantha will join SMMT’s the Public Policy and Vehicle Legislation Department, taking over responsibilities from Catherine Hutt, SMMT’s outgoing Electric Vehicle Manager who is leaving to pursue further MBA studies.SMMT has already played a critical role in securing government support for the early low and ultra-low carbon vehicle market. Its work to date in fostering infrastructure development in the UK, influencing emerging standards and technical regulation, increasing investment in e-mobility and shaping the e-mobility supply chain has contributed to the UK’s global leadership in this field.For a detailed Q&A covering hundreds of questions about the electric vehicle industry download the SMMT Electric Car Guide.To see what the Automotive Council is doing to promote innovation ande-mobility visit the Automotive Council website. read more

Ohio State punter Cameron Johnston on watch list for Ray Guy Award

OSU junior punter Cameron Johnston (95) stands on the sideline during a game against Virginia Tech on Sept. 7 in Blacksburg, Virginia. OSU won, 42-24. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead | Lantern photographerCameron Johnston, a senior punter on the Ohio State football team, has been named to the preseason watch list for the Ray Guy Award, given annually to the nation’s top punter. Johnston, one of 28 collegiate punters on the watch list that was released Thursday, was a semifinalist for the award during the past two seasons. Since the award’s inception in 2000, the only Buckeye to take home the hardware was B.J. Sander in 2003. Johnston is one of the most decorated punters in program history, with three school records to his name. He set the single-season record in 2015 for most punts inside the 20-yard line, with 31. En route to that total, he set a new career mark, with 83. His average of 57.0 yards per attempt in a 2014 game against Illinois is also a school record. A native of Geelong, Australia, Johnston’s ability to pin opponents deep in their own territory has been invaluable to coach Urban Meyer’s teams over the past two seasons. With the loss of 14 starters total from last year’s roster, having Johnston back to lead the special-teams unit should be an asset.In all, five Buckeyes are on preseason lists, including redshirt senior Pat Elflein, who was named to the Rimington Trophy watch list on Wednesday. The award honors the nation’s top collegiate center. It’s the first time Elflein has been included on the trophy’s watch list, but that’s because this will be his first season as OSU’s center. He has started the past two seasons at guard, where he helped turn the Buckeyes’ front five into one of the most respected units in the country. The 6-foot-3, 300-pound Elflein, who has twice been a first-team all-conference guard, shocked many with his decision to return for a fifth season. But his decision to stick around will likely pay dividends for an OSU offense that lost seven starters from a season ago, including three on the offensive line. Redshirt junior quarterback J.T. Barrett is on the Maxwell Award watch list, handed out to the nation’s top player, regardless of position. Junior linebacker Raekwon McMillan and redshirt junior defensive end Tyquan Lewis are on the Bednarik Award watch list, given annually to the country’s top defender. OSU is set to open the 2016 season on Sept. 3 against Bowling Green. Kickoff is scheduled for noon at Ohio Stadium. read more

Déchets nucléaires lANDRA relance le débat en vidéo

first_imgDéchets nucléaires : l’ANDRA relance le débat en vidéoLa question du stockage des déchets radioactifs n’a jamais trouvé de réponse claire et définitive en France comme partout dans le monde. Il s’agit pourtant de l’avenir environnemental de l’humanité.Est considéré comme déchet radioactif “toute matière pour laquelle aucune utilisation n’est prévue, et qui contient des radionucléides en concentrations supérieures aux valeurs que les autorités compétentes considèrent comme admissibles dans des matériaux propres à une utilisation sans contrôle”, selon la définition de l’AIEA. En France, un déchet radioactif constitue une matière radioactive ne pouvant être réutilisée ou retraitée. Il existe trois sortes de déchets radioactifs : les déchets de haute activité et les déchets de moyenne activité et à vie longue, les déchets de faible et moyenne activité à vie courte, et enfin, les déchets de très faible activité. La période radioactive représente le temps nécessaire pour que la moitié des atomes se désintègrent naturellement.En septembre dernier, l’ANDRA (Agence nationale pour la gestion des déchets radioactifs) a lancé un grand concours sur le thème des déchets nucléaires. L’objectif était de réaliser une vidéo évoquant cette question d’une importance cruciale mais aujourd’hui trop peu évoquée tout en gardant une liberté de ton et d’intention. C’est le jeune cinéaste et étudiant à l’école nationale supérieure Louis Lumière Bérenger Thouin qui a remporté le concours grâce à son court métrage “Pierre et le tigre : une vidéo pour engager le dialogue sur les déchets radioactifs”.Stocker les déchets : oui mais comment ? À lire aussiLe pied d’éléphant, cette effrayante masse radioactive cachée dans les entrailles de TchernobylD’une durée de trois minutes, ce petit film adopte un ton léger mais fait prendre conscience du problème du stockage des déchets radioactifs : quelles solutions adopter pour stocker ces matériaux radioactifs qui soient assez sûres pour protéger les générations actuelles et futures de la menace qu’ils représentent ? Parmi les solutions envisagées figurent aujourd’hui, le stockage en couche géologique profonde, un mode de gestion destiné aux déchets radioactifs de haute et moyenne activité à vie longue. Il s’agit de conditionner ces déchets, de les placer dans une formation géologique stable en interposant des barrières naturelles et artificielles entre les déchets et l’environnement. Ce procédé repose sur l’hypothèse que la rétention des déchets peut atteindre une durée suffisante pour garantir leur décroissance radioactive. La question qui se pose désormais est de savoir si le nucléaire n’est pas devenu trop encombrant et trop peu sûr pour continuer de développer ses sites de stockage.Découvrez le court-métrage, lauréat du concours de l’ANDRA et retrouvez le reportage de Maxisciences au coeur du site de traitement de déchets d’AREVA Le 13 février 2012 à 18:31 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

Zillows AIPowered 3D Home Tours Available Now on iOS

first_imgStay on target We’re all busy people. Between work, kids, Game of Thrones, taxes, and self care, who has time to schedule tours of potential new homes?No one, that’s who.That’s about to change, though, with the launch of Zillow 3D Home.The real estate firm this week unveiled its AI-powered mobile platform, which lets iOS users capture and view 360-degree panoramic photos for free.“Previously, 3D tours were only found on high-end or expensive homes, due to the high cost and time-intensive capture process,” according to Josh Weisberg, senior director of product development for Zillow 3D and computer vision. “Now with 3D Home, adding an immersive experience to a home listing is fast, easy, and free, which benefits buyers and sellers at all price points.”It’s especially handy among Gen Z and Millennial buyers, many of whom find 3D tours or recorded video of a home important in their decision-making process.(As a reluctant Millennial, I will admit that seeing a prospective rental in full—from the comfort of my couch—automatically puts the seller in good standing.)The 3D Home app, currently available only for iOS, walks users through the 360-degree-image capture process, then uses artificial intelligence to stitch together “seamless” tours. It can also enhance photo exposure and select thumbnail images to be represent each room.If you’ve ever used Google Street View, you’ll have no problem maneuvering through Zillow’s 3D Home program. Simply click on a specific space to go directly there, or drag and tap your way through the dwelling.Finished tours are accessible via the My 3D Home dashboard to edit, share privately, or add directly to a listing.Zillow piloted the program early last year in select U.S. markets, and quickly saw strong demand for the technology across the country; during field testing, nearly half of the thousands of 3D tours were generated outside markets supported at the time.Download the Zillow Real Estate & Rentals iOS app now to start touring homes, without ever leaving your own.More on Parker’s AR App Lets You Virtually Try on GlassesYou Can Virtually Try on Sneakers With This Cool AppWarm Up With a Virtual Tour of Lava-Covered Exoplanet 55 Cancri e McDonald’s Plans to Serve AI Voice Technology at Drive ThruCIMON Returns to Earth After 14 Months on ISS last_img read more

Public meetings for week of April 8

first_imgMondayBattle Ground School District, 406 N.W. Fifth Ave., Battle Ground.• 5 p.m., special meeting to discuss bond measure.•6 p.m., board meeting: department reports, high school requirements, sewer extension to Glenwood-Laurin campus, executive session on sale of property (no action), withdrawal of stadium turf financing contract.Hockinson School District, Superintendent’s Office, 17912 N.E. 159th St., Brush Prairie.• 6 p.m., regular meeting: 2018-2019 budget projections.Vancouver City Council, Council Chambers, 415 W. Sixth St., Vancouver.• 4:30 p.m., workshops: agenda includes an update on the urban forestry commission and the culture, arts and heritage draft plan.• 6:30 p.m., consent agenda: agenda includes pavement management contracts and a citizen forum.Washougal City Council, City Hall, 1701 C St., Washougal.• 5 p.m. workshop: Clark County Commission on Aging 2017 annual report, MCI Metro franchise agreement ordinance, professional services agreement with Berger Abam for Columbia River Trail final design, tree removal and trimming/pruning agreement with Arborscape.• 7 p.m., regular meeting: executive session regarding agency enforcement matters.Woodland Public Schools, Room 2203, Woodland High School, 1500 Dike Access Road, Woodland.• 5:30 p.m., regular meeting: school facilities and safety planning.TuesdayClark County Council, Public Service Center, 1300 Franklin St., sixth floor, Vancouver.• 10 a.m., council hearing: proclamations, changing council meeting times, set public meeting time for spring supplemental budget, approval to use funds for site for parking lot improvements at Harmony Sports Complex.La Center Planning Commission, Council chambers, 214 E. Fourth St., Vancouver.• 7 p.m., public hearings: transportation element of Capital Facilities plan, amendments to La Center Municipal Code.La Center School District, library, La Center High School, 725 N.E. Highland Ave., La Center.• 3 p.m., regular meeting: annual linkage meeting with classified and certified staff.La Center School District, conference room, La Center High School, 725 N.E. Highland Ave., La Center.• 4 to 8 p.m., special meeting: bond sale presentation, architect interviews discussion and selection of architect for new middle school project.Ridgefield School District, Room 311, Ridgefield High School, 2630 S. Hillhurst Road, Ridgefield.• 5 p.m., regular meeting: approve 2018-2019 calendar and changes to boundary and start times and lease agreement, and approve interlocal agreement regarding maintenance, reimbursement agreement and shared-use agreement between district and city for Outdoor Sports Complex.Washougal School District, District Office, 4855 Evergreen Way, Washougal.• 5:30 p.m., regular meeting: executive responsibilities on facilities.WednesdayClark County Council, Public Service Center, 1300 Franklin St., sixth floor, Vancouver.• 9:30 a.m., work session: Clean Water Commission 2017 annual report.• 10:30 a.m., work session: 2018 update to the vacant buildable lands model.• 12:30 p.m., council time.La Center City Council, City Hall, 214 E. Fourth St., La Center.• 6:30 p.m., public hearing: amendments to the La Center Municipal Code on sign regulations.Vancouver Parking Advisory Committee, City Hall Balsam Conference Room, 415 W. Sixth St., Vancouver.• 7:30 a.m., workshop: agenda includes an update to parking projects and a work session on the 20-minute free parking option.Vancouver Salary Review Commission, City Hall, 415 W. Sixth St., Vancouver.• 10 a.m., public hearing: commission will finalize its recommendation to increase mayor and council salary.ThursdayRidgefield City Council, Ridgefield Community Center, 210 N. Main Ave., Ridgefield.• 6:30 p.m., regular meeting: 2018 budget amendment, approval of Waste Water Treatment Plant operator agreement, approval of amendment to collection system transfer and operation agreement, approval of bid award for Ridgefield Outdoor Recreation Complex, intent to annex Cosgrove.last_img read more

Will Sundarbans survive

first_imgAround 200 industrial projects, including coal-fired Rampal power plant being constructed near Sundarbans, threaten ecological balance of World`s largest mangrove forest. Illustration: Prothom AloAround 200 industrial projects, including the coal-fired Rampal power plant being constructed near the Sundarbans, are threatening the ecological balance of this natural world heritage site. The industries, even before they become operational in full swing, have started destroying not just many species of wild animals and trees but their food chains too.The number of animals and trees living near the projects is two-thirds less than where there is no factory, according to a study.The study conducted by a team of Khulna University researchers claims to have found industrial waste deposits on pneumatophores of sundari tree, (which belongs to tree species heritiera fomes), obstructing its oxygen inhaling system.Titled ‘Impact of Industry and Infrastructure on Sundarbans Ecology’, the study also says that around 70 per cent of sundari tree seeds that float to the places near the factories are dying, blocking the path of new sundari tree growth.The study has been carried out on the basis of 25 species of animals and trees in Mongla and Rampal areas adjacent to the world’s largest mangrove forest.Led by Khulna University’s professor of environmental science, Abdullah Harun Chowdhury, a team of researchers of the same department completed the two-year-long study in June 2017 and it has been finalised this week.”The factories close to the Sundarbans have started destroying the forest. The existence of Sundarbans will be at risk if nothing is done. To save the forest, the government should relocate the factories,” said professor Abdullah Harun Chowdhury.As many as six areas of the canals in the Sundarbans have been declared as ‘dolphin sanctuaries’.Of them, two areas which fall in the Pasur river are now surrounded by around 200 industrial factories. According to the study, about seven to eight dolphins can be seen every hour in the areas adjacent to the factories and 15 to 17 dolphins where there is no factory.Only 105 Bengal tigers remain in the Sundarbans forest, according to a survey of forest department in 2015.The study of Khulna University says that the paw marks of tigers have been found in three to four areas close to factories and where there is no factory it has been found in some 11 to 15 spots.Asked about this, state minister for power, energy and mineral resources Nasrul Hamid told Prothom Alo, ”The Department of Environment has been discouraged to give any factory the go-ahead surrounding the Sundarbans. But, the factories are getting clearance certificates. This is a different ministry and department. And so, we have nothing to do about this.”In 1999, the environment and forest ministry announced Environmentally Critical Area (ECA) surrounding ten kilometres of the Sundarbans.According to a gazette published in 2015, the activities, which may harm the nature, the environment and the soil of the area, were disallowed.  In 2010, the land acquisition and earth filling for the Rampal Power Plant near the Sundarbans started. Since 2011, a section of businessmen close to the government bought land and initiated to establish around 200 mills and factories in the area. Production has started in many factories.   Some influential persons including ruling Awami League joint general secretary Mahbubul Alam Hanif purchased land in the ECA area and filled it up. Most of them were given clearance certificates by the department of environment.Following a writ petition, the department of environment submitted a report to the High Court. The report says there are 190 factories in ten kilometres surrounding the Sundarbans. All of them are polluters. Some 24 factories are highly polluters.In June last year, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) at its world heritage committee meeting raised objections in establishing mills and factories around the Sundarbans.The organisation suggested the government conduct strategic environment assessment in the area. The UNESCO requested the government not to approve the establishment of any factory before that. “We have started the process to conduct SEA. We are not approving any new factory in the area as per the court order. We are not renewing the old ones,” director general of the environment department Sultan Ahmed told Prothom Alo. According to the assessment, there is a high intensity of small object floating on the water near the mills and factories, amounting to 678 microgram in per litre. Where there is no factory, only 15.8 microgram exists in per litre.  If small object increases, oxygen does not reach beneath the water. As a result, phytoplankton which absorbs energy from the Sun and nutrients from the water is destroyed. Phytoplankton is the primary food of zooplankton. Phytoplankton and zooplankton are the foods of fish. Fish is the food of big animal.  In this way, the food chain in the Sundarbans grows from phytoplankton and zooplankton to tiger. If phytoplankton and zooplankton decrease, the tigers are affected in course of time. In the assessment, phytoplankton of highest 30 species were found in the area near the factories. Where there is no factories, phytoplankton of 51 species were found.  In these two types of areas, zooplankton of 20 and 29 species were found respectively found.As the food chain of the marine environment has broken down, toad poles are seriously affected. The soil in the factory areas is also polluted. Highest 15.6 microgram oil has been found in the area where there are mills and factories.  On the contrary, where there is no mills and factories, highest 7.6 microgram oil was found.The air near the mills and factories is also polluted. Sulphur oxide, nitrogen oxide, small objects are higher than the normal range.A total of 25 species of aquatic animals and plants including birds, trees, wild boar of the Sundarbans are unavailable. As a whole, the biodiversity of the forest embodies all these species. If these species are in danger, it will have an adverse impact on the Sundarbans. Convener of National Committee to protect Sundarbans Sultana Kamal said, “The government said we have no scientific information that Rampal Power Plant and other factories will affect the Sundarbans. We have given 13 research papers, the government has not responded to these. In the assessment by Khulna University, the picture of damage of the Sundarbans has been found.”She said the destructive activities have to be stopped to save the Sundarbans.*This report, originally published in Prothom Alo print edition, has been rewritten in English by Rabiul Islam and Imam Hossain.last_img

Records Of Harvey Flood Prediction Not Released To Public

first_imgBrien Straw | Houston Public MediaHarvey flooding in KingwoodGovernment records show the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers predicted ahead of Hurricane Harvey’s arrival that reservoirs in Houston would fill to record levels, flooding adjacent neighborhoods, but never shared the concern with the public.A Corps forecast on Aug. 25, the same day Harvey made landfall, determined Barker and Addicks reservoirs would spill beyond their banks, engulfing homes and businesses.It wasn’t until the next day that officials in Fort Bend County issued the first flood advisory for areas adjacent to Barker.Authorities in Harris County, home to Houston, didn’t issue similar warnings until Aug. 27. But by then neighborhoods were already inundated.The Houston Chronicle obtained the Corps records through discovery in a lawsuit filed by homeowners seeking compensation.The Corps did not respond to the Chronicle’s request for comment. Sharelast_img read more

4th Kolkata Jewellery and Gem Fair sees shining response

first_imgKolkata: The fourth edition of the Kolkata Jewellery and Gem Fair (KJGF), the B2B international jewellery trade fair which concluded in the city on Monday, has received impressive response from the buyers and sellers.The three-day fair was held from April 7 to 9 at the AMMERF, New Town. It was organised by UBM India, along with the Calcutta Gems and Jewellery Association (CG&JWA) and the state government. The expo was inaugurated by Ahmad Hassan Imran, MP, Rajya Sabha, while the guest of honour was Vandana Yadav, Managing Director, WBIDC, along with Ashok Bengani, president, CG&JWA. Yogesh Mudras, Managing Director, UBM India, was also present at the opening function. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsAround 100 exhibitors from across the country participated in the expo, along with visiting delegates from countries like Nepal, Bangladesh, UAE and Singapore among others.As the largest fine jewellery event of Eastern India, the three-day expo was aimed at projecting Kolkata as one of the highest contributors to the jewellery industry, along with a successful projection of the city on the global map. The expo was suitably timed, just prior to the seasonal festivities such as ‘Poila Baisakh’, the Bengali New Year and the auspicious occasion of ‘Akshay Tritiya’, as well as the summer wedding season. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedThe premium trade fair highlighted a rich agglomeration of Kolkata’s exquisite handcrafted jewellery. These splendid and intricately designed jewellery included statement sets in diamonds, gold, silver and pearls, along with gemstones and related products. Apart from traditional bridal pieces like Chandbalis, Choor, Ratanchoor, Mantasha, Saptalahari, Hansulis, Nabaratna sets, Kundan, Polki and Meenakari sets, a significant amount of gemstones in Kolkata is also used for astrological purposes in the form of Graharatna jewellery.Speaking on account of the fourth edition of KJGF, 2018, Yogesh Mudras said: “Bengal’s handcrafted jewellery and its legacy is famous worldwide. Through our expo, we are making a consolidated effort to promote their cause, welfare and art.”last_img read more

Photographs that Narrate a tale

first_imgAlbert Einstein once said, “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better”. Irfan Nabi’s exquisite collection of photographs, showcasing the vivid hues of Ladakh and Kashmir seems to justify Einstein’s saying; as every moment captured amidst the alluring scenery of north, veils an engaging story. For Irfan, a photographer who is blessed with an unconventional perspective, art of photography is all about patience and ‘understanding of the right moment’. But what does that right moment seems like? Also Read – Add new books to your shelf”Well, it’s the decisive moment when you expect the nature to bring in something to complete the frame and make it worth capturing.” Referring to one of his paintings, he further adds, “for example the street in the photograph didn’t have anything except few scattered autumn leaves and a mundane ambiance. Just then this old man who pedals home comes in the picture, and it automatically builds a story.” According to the acclaimed photographer, images are all about stories and through his artwork he wants to share the sense of wonder and joy he felt during the shoot. Irfan believes these photographic moments should make the viewer feel to slow down and appreciate the beauty of nature. “You may click hundreds of photos at any time, but capturing ‘moment’ demands patience. A moment perceived by me should form a ‘connect’ with you as well. I witnessed it, you didn’t. But if you take a pause while looking at the photograph and possibly sense a feeling of happiness, distress or just curiosity, that means I have actually teleported you to the place where the moment was captured and that’s what my job is,” Irfan, whose work has been published in National Geographic’s global photo community platform, explains. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveA bouquet of images by Nabi, revealing the unexplored aspects of places like Nubra Valley, Gurez, Dal Lake and Gul Marg is on display at the Indian International Centre, New Delhi. The photo exhibition, which will last till January 29, also brings forth the moments captured during Naropa festival which is celebrated once in every 12 years. Coming back to Nabi’s photography, another thing that catches one’s attention is the candidness. None in the collection is a conscious portrait and is clicked when people are having a moment of their own. “I try to get intimate with the character, but not invade them. So I maintain the discretion. For me, It’s important to study, get familiar with people, learn about their lives, understand the patterns and then click,” added the photographer. While the photography was taken care by Irfan, It was Nilosree Biswas, author and documentary maker, who carried on the deep research work. “If you have to find out very fine elements of a region, it becomes tedious. For example, the Naropa festival takes place after 12 years, hence people may not remember what had happened at the previous festival. The historical text might have certain information but you cannot just rely on it. That’s where the real work begins. You have to go to people, to regions, and collect memories from them,” stated Nilosree.On that note, Irfan believes that even if you show him a drop-dead location, it won’t appeal him unless he forms a connection with the people dwelling there. People form the soul of a picture, he says. Two other factors about the photography, that would grab your eyeballs are the light settings as well as a unique perspective with which the moment is clicked. For instance, whenever there is a lady who is decorated, the perspective is always focused at the front (face). But Irfan has a different definition of beauty. “Everyone must have seen portraits of brides but I wanted to use hands to represent my perspective. I found it interesting that how culture could be represented through other symbols rather than just facial features.” Talking about light playing a primary role in his photography, Irfan added, “Actually it’s all about light. You get the best natural light at dusk and dawn since these are the transition hours when the light changes hues. Every-day things that might appear mundane or flatten in the day sun, seems more lively during the sunrise or sunset. The transition hours changes the nature of how we see things. Observing the vividness of a colour is amazing in itself.”last_img read more

Food resolutions for 2019

first_imgSo another year has passed by and another brand new one is upon us. Most people see the advent of the New Year as a harbinger of hope and better times while some others use the opportunity to reflect back on the year gone past and about all that it brought, or could have brought. One event that is as pertinent as the new year itself is the making of resolutions which most of us do to promise ourselves that we will do certain things this coming year, and also try and leave the bad habits. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfAccording to a business insider report, 80% of all New Year resolutions fail by February but despite the failure, most people still keep making resolutions. After all, hope is what makes the world go around. As a chef, I make resolutions too, while not commenting on how long those last (one lasted a few minutes), I still do make them and for the most part try to carry on with those as long as I could. While I am certainly no authority in telling people what to resolve for the New Year, I think I could still suggest some regarding the field that I happen to be in. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveMost people make New Year resolutions to ‘eat healthily’, ‘eat less’, while others make food resolutions that have them cook more at home. Let me try and give a few pointers on food resolutions, which you can consider in order to be healthier, wealthier and happier in 2019. Know your food: I have always found it rather unnerving how little we, in general talk about food. When a bunch of boys or girls meet, they talk about everything under the sun, latest movies, latest cars, fashion and what not. But not really about what we are putting inside our bodies, something that is sustaining us and giving us life. This next year, resolve to learn more about your food. Try and find out about the ingredients, source of those ingredients, preparation methods and effects of different kinds of food on the body and mind. I know it sounds too simplistic and childish, but my thought on this is that once you know more about your food, you would definitely respect it more, enjoy it more and be more aware of its effects on the body, good and bad. Love the leftovers: One general tendency among most of us is to not treat the leftover food with due respect. We don’t really prefer the leftovers over a fresh dish. This is wrong at so many levels. First, food is food. If it is not spoilt, it should be given the due respect it deserves. One of the New Year resolutions you can make is to not waste any food. Try and learn to make dishes with leftover ingredients and incorporate those into your meals, basically uncouple the leftover with the ingredients and think of leftovers more as food ingredients than undesirable leftovers. One great idea is also to make a weeknight as a ‘leftover night’ where you can create dishes only with leftovers. Think of all the creativity and satisfaction in doing this. Use new ingredients: One of the biggest problems of daily home-cooked food tends to be that it becomes boring after a while. Use of the same ingredients over and over makes this happen. The availability of all food ingredients, specially the fresh vegetables the entire year around makes it even worse. So, try and use new food ingredients. Some new kind of fish, non-regional vegetables, cheese that you have never heard the name of, try them. Chances are, you would be surprised by what they offer. Meet the farmers: Coming from a farmer family myself, I am rather surprised by how little urban dwellers know about the lives of farmers that bring them their food. One food resolution you must really strive for is to meet some farmers, visit their farms and try and find out their struggles and working methods. It is important that we become empathic to our farmer folks and support them so that they keep providing us with great food. If you get a chance, visit the local farmer’s markets and try and know more about the various offerings. Eat everything: Contrary to how it sounds, it is a good idea to not ban things from your diet, simply because it is unpractical and harsh on yourself. Until there is a health condition or other unavoidable considerations, try and incorporate all kinds of foods, in moderation. So don’t ditch your desserts, don’t demonise the pasta and do indulge in scrumptious biryani once in a while. To shut yourself completely out of any food that you love will not work in the long run. See what I said about 80% of resolutions failing within the first two months, one of the reasons is the unrealistic and unpractical demands on yourself, which of course will not work. The more you are going to tell yourself you can’t eat a certain food, the more you will want it. RECIPE In line with the above thoughts, I am giving one recipe that is quite easy to make, is chock o block with nutrients, reasonably sweet and a healthy snack to gorge on. I call it the ‘jogger’s cookies’. Jogger’s cookies Atta : 200 g Oat : 200 g Flax/Sesame seeds: 40 gms Baking Soda : 2 gm Salt: 2 gm Cinnamon Powder: 1 gm Honey: 100 g Olive Oil : 125 ml Egg : 1 Vanilla Walnuts : 100 g Raisins : 100 g Orange Zest : 1 tsp Lemon Zest : ½ tsp Method: Mix the olive oil, honey , egg and vanilla to form a homogenous mixture. The mix will look like thick vinaigrette. Separately mix together all dry ingredients . Walnuts should be lightly roasted and chopped. Mix the wet and dry mixes. Cool the resultant dough for around one hour. Portion into small balls, flatten a bit and bake it in a pre-heated oven for around 15-18 minutes till it gets a golden brown colour. Extra oat/walnuts can be sprinkled on top before baking. After baking, cool it and enjoy. You can store it in an air tight containers for months. I have been eating these for a long time now, as these are extremely filling, tasty and low on calories. When on diet, eat one of these cookies every hour.last_img read more

VIDEO DeAndre Jordan laid out Steph Curry with a brutal screen after

first_imgSteph Curry and the Warriors have the Clippers’ number. Last night, they won their ninth straight against Clip Show, in a 133 – 120 defensive struggle.Curry finished with 29 points and 11 assists, and took a second to pose and flex his biceps after a made basket in the 2nd quarter. Draymond even did a flex on the bench for good measure.If you’re gonna do that, keep your head on a swivel, Chef.On the Clippers next offensive possession, DeAndre Jordan located Curry on a screen and roll and absolutely laid him out. No whistle. Advertisement Don’t dance around DeAndre seems to be the moral of the story here.??? good RT @bballvines: Steph Curry flexed and then got laid out by DeAndre Jordan ??— D’Lo Brown (@ImJusSayingTho) February 3, 2017last_img read more

Close to a quarter of a million homes again without water

first_imgThe latest news is that water levels have been built up and water is being pumped out to consumers. It should be expected that some areas will have water quicker than others, depending on the geographical location of the area.DID YOU KNOW?Click on the words highlighted in red to read more on this and related topics.If you are reading this on your cellphone and there are telephone numbers provided in the text, you can call these simply by clicking on them.To receive news links via WhatsApp.For the latest news, visit our webpage or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Join us there! Close to 250,000 homes are again without water… Taps have been dry since after lunch today (November 19).Homeowners were caught off-guard, with no notifications sent out by uThukela District Municipality of water interruptions for the day. Residents in the affected areas are furious, having knocked off work and finding that their homes are without running water.Residents receiving water from the Ezakheni Water Treatment Plant have been affected.uThukela carried out emergency maintenance at the Ezakheni Bulk Water Works last weekend, resulting in residents of Ezakheni, Acaciavale and Aloe Park being without water from Friday through to Monday.According to uThukela PRO Jabulani Mkhonza, “Water pressure at the plant is very low, hence no water supply. Our engineers are building up water levels at the Ezakheni Plant in their attempts to restore the supply.” WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite last_img read more

Sunwing adds direct WaterlooCancun flight brings back MontrealHavana

first_imgTags: Cancun, Havana, Montreal, Sunwing, Waterloo << Previous PostNext Post >> Travelweek Group Posted by Wednesday, July 17, 2019 center_img Sunwing adds direct Waterloo-Cancun flight, brings back Montreal-Havana Share TORONTO — Starting this winter Sunwing will offer twice weekly direct flights from Montreal to Havana and brand new weekly direct service between Waterloo, ON and Cancun.From Dec. 13, 2019 until March 13, 2020, flights will operate on Mondays and Fridays, offering Montreal residents the opportunity to explore Cuba’s capital. Havana is celebrating its 500th anniversary this year.This is the first time Sunwing has offered the route since 2012. “We are excited to once again be offering Montreal residents the popular direct flight service to Havana,” says Sam Char, Executive Vice President for Sunwing Travel Group in Quebec.“As the world’s largest vacation provider to Cuba we’re thrilled to be offering even more vacation options in this varied destination that has a perennial appeal for our customers in Quebec.”Sunwing offers a range of accommodation options for Havana-bound travellers, from laidback resorts to hotels in the heart of the city.More news:  Sunwing offers ultimate package deal ahead of YXU flights to SNU, PUJVisitors can choose to stay at Bravo Club Arenal, a 20-minute drive from Old Havana. Vacationers can also choose to stay at Hotel Atlantico, with its relaxing and beautiful beach area and complimentary shuttle service to downtown Havana.Sunwing has also announced that it will double its destination offerings from the Region of Waterloo International Airport this winter with the addition of a new direct weekly flight service to Cancun.Sunwing is anticipated to be the only carrier offering this service, which will operate from Dec. 18, 2019 until April 8, 2020. In addition, Sunwing’s popular flight service to Punta Cana will operate weekly between Dec. 16, 2019 and April 13, 2020.Travellers can choose from a wide range of world-class resorts along the coast and explore all that Cancun has to offer on a Sunwing Experiences excursion.“We are delighted to be returning to the Waterloo Region and to be offering twice as many flight services this winter,” says President of Tour Operations for Sunwing, Andrew Dawson. “Cancun is one of our most popular vacation destinations and we’re sure it will be well received by our customers.”More news:  Kory Sterling is TL Network Canada’s new Sales Manager CanadaOne family-friendly option for Waterloo travellers heading to Cancun is the Grand Sunset Princess All Suites and Spa Resort in Riviera Maya, with something for guests of all ages. A popular family resort in Cancun is the newly-opened Riu Palace Costa Mujeres, with accommodation options for families of five or more and complimentary, unlimited access to Splash Water World water park on-site.Meanwhile clients seeking an adults-only getaway can choose from a range of popular resorts such as Hideaway at Royalton Riviera Cancun with its exclusive beachfront, restaurant and pool complex plus access to all the amenities of the wider resort.last_img read more

Travel Indochina nominated for Responsible Tourism Awards 2009

first_imgSource = Travel Indochina Travel Indochina has been nominated for the prestigious Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards.Winners of the Responsible Tourism Awards, organised by online travel directory in collaboration with the Daily Telegraph (UK), Geographical Magazine and BBC World News, will be announced at World Travel Market on 11 November 2009.Travel Indochina Managing Director, Paul Hole, says he is proud of the company’s nomination, particularly in the important category of ‘Best Tour Operator for Cultural Engagement’.“We are thrilled that our concerted responsible tourism effort is being recognised, reflective of the effort we have put into it,” says Paul. “We were nominated externally, meaning our message about sustainable and responsible tourism is getting through, and at the level we want it to – our customers, our suppliers and those in the industry.”The central tenet of the Awards is that all types of tourism – from niche to mainstream – should be operated in a way that respects and benefits destinations and local people. The Awards recognise commitment to cultural, economic and environmental contributions.“As with the awards, acting responsibly is a key tenet to which Travel Indochina has always operated. In the 16 years since our inception, we have continually aimed to create and operate itineraries which are both responsive to our clients’ interests and sensitive to local issues,’ says Paul. “Our Small Group Journeys have been designed with an underlying theme of carefully planned local interaction, in order to create an appreciation of local cultures and a significant contribution to local economies. “We’ve produced our own City Guides, which recommend patronage at shops and restaurants which support or train people from disadvantaged backgrounds.“In fact our support of local businesses, and our ability to avoid the ‘trappings of mass tourism’ such as hotel dining, large coach touring and scheduled shopping has had a tangible impact and helped support the establishment and success of several businesses, including:Tamarind Cooking School in Luang Prabang, Laos, (established in 2008);Lolita transport company in Siem Reap, Cambodia, (established in 2005) andBlue Cruiser Boat company in Saigon, (established in 2003).“Our economic support goes further. “We are intent on working as a 100% tax-compliant ground operator – which we believe makes us almost alone among tour operators in the Indochina area – because we believe the flow on effect of legitimate, tax paying businesses to the host country is significant, as well as the obvious fact that ethically, it’s the only right thing to do.“We also insist our suppliers act in the same responsible, ethical manner we do.”The Award focuses on the steps taken by nominees to encourage positive engagement with local communities. It also looks to identify work done to reduce negative social or cultural impacts in the destination. “Pre-trip, we provide our travellers with a comprehensive destination-specific Pre Departure Guide and a ‘Tread Lightly’ Guide to Responsible Travel which give clear guidance on how to travel in Asia in a culturally sensitive way,” says Paul.“Our guides also provide advice and insights on how to avoid cultural offence. “In some instances, we have country by country specifics we address as well. In Cambodia, for example, our offices are certified with the ChildSafe Network, a child protection network. Our welcome kits for our travellers in Cambodia include ‘ChildSafe Tips for Travellers’ designed to further the goals of child protection.“We are also certified with Heritage Watch, an organisation dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Cambodian culture, including archeology. Travel Indochina also satisfies the environmental criteria of the awards, with a significant track record of ensuring low environmental impact tourism. “Responsible tourism goes beyond cultural and economic values,” says Paul.“We also take our responsibility to ensure low environmental impact tourism seriously, including the operations of our wholesale and retail offices. We had our carbon emissions assessed in 2007, and have been able to achieve a 35% reduction in our emissions since. “We are always actively seeking other options to ensure we continue to remain sustainable. “For example, in October 2009, we will be purchasing $US2,000 worth of land via the Himaapaan Reforestation Project, northern Thailand (an innovative project which also involves participation from nearby villagers). Our 2009 journeys to northern Thailand have included educational visits to this site.“It’s all part of our ongoing commitment to being ‘responsible’, across all its guises.” last_img read more

QantasLink boosts services to regional NSW

first_imgAn extra five 50-seat Q300 Armidale-Sydney return services each week, giving 500 more seats on the route each week.NSW Minister for Tourism Jodi McKay describes the schedule upgrade as great news for regional tourism and says it will boost local economies. “This is a clear vote of confidence by QantasLink in the appeal of business and leisure tourism in regional New South Wales.” “There is so much to see and do in regional NSW and these expanded services will make it even easier to get out and about.”“This is great news for business travellers, and the improved access gives another reason to hold business conferences and meetings in regional NSW.”Since 2006, QantasLink has invested more than $600 million in 21 new Q400 aircraft. These aircraft have joined the carrier’s fleet of five Q200, 16 Q300 and 11 B717 aircraft, which now provide about 1800 flights a week to 53 metropolitan and regional destinations throughout Australia. An extra five Q400 Coffs Harbour-Sydney return weekly services, which adds 788 more seats on the route <a href=”” target=”_blank”><img src=”;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> An extra five 50-seat Q300 Port Macquarie-Sydney return services, adding 500 more seats on the route each week Source = e-Travel Blackboard: C.F QantasLink will expand its flying schedule in regional New South Wales from March 2010, following the delivery of its 19th 74-seat Bombardier Q400 aircraft. QantasLink Executive Manager, Narendra Kumar says the new schedule will offer an additional 142,000 more seats each year on several routes.”The Q400 is the flagship of our fleet,” he says. “The new schedule will create further travel opportunities for regional communities and benefit local business and tourism companies.”The new opportunities and benefits of the expanded flight schedule will include: The introduction of Q400 services to Wagga, with 20 out of 26 weekly return flights being upgraded from 50-seat Q300 to 74-seat Q400 aircraft, resulting in 460 additional seats on the route. 500 more seats with an extra five 50-seat Q300 Tamworth-Sydney return services each weeklast_img read more