Tribals to oppose unveiling of Sardar Patel statue

first_imgThousands of tribals in villages near the site of the Sardar Patel statue are bracing for a major showdown against the project. Local tribal organisations said 75,000 tribals, affected by the project, would oppose Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiling the statue at Kevadia in Narmada district. “No food will be cooked in 72 villages affected by the entire project, as we will be mourning on that day for the project is being carried out for our destruction,” said Dr. Praful Vasava, a tribal leader. Traditionally, food is not cooked in a tribal village when they are mourning for the dead.“Our rights as tribals are being violated by the government. We don’t have anything against the great son of Gujarat, Sardar Patel, and his honour should be maintained. We are not against this development even, but this government’s development idea is lopsided and against the tribals,” Dr. Vasava told IANS.The tribals are complaining that their lands were taken away for the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Project, near which is the statue site, as well as for the statue and all other tourism activities which have been planned in the area.According to Dr. Vasava, this “non-cooperation movement” is being supported by around 100 small and big tribal organisations across the state. “Right from Banaskantha in North Gujarat to the Dangs district in South Gujarat, nine tribal districts will be joining us in the agitation,” he said.Out of the 72 villages affected by the statue project, the most affected are 32, where 19 villages are such where rehabilitation has not been allegedly completed, six villages where the current Kevadia colony is situated and seven villages in Garudeshwar block, where only compensation has been paid but other commitments like land and jobs have not been fulfilled.“The government took away our land and only paid us the money for it, but other commitments like alternative land, providing jobs to the affected have not been carried out as per the rehabilitation package, according to the Narmada Tribunal Authority. Some of the affected have not even accepted that money, opposing the land acquisition,” said Rameshbhai from Garudeshwar.Of the people who had been allotted land, there are many who are not satisfied.“Gujarat government gave me one hectare land in Sagbara region in lieu of my fertile cultivable land which was submerged in the Sardar Sarovar. But the entire land is uncultivable and totally unproductive. What am I to do with such piece of land?” asked Parchi Bondu, an affected tribal.last_img read more

ScienceShot: Bird Flies 10,000 Kilometers Without Stopping

first_imgTalk about a long flight. The Alpine swift (Tachymarptis melba) can remain on the wing for more than 6 months, a new study suggests. These 20-centimeter-long, insect-eating birds breed in mountains ranging from southern Europe to the Himalayas. In 2011, researchers strapped tiny instrument packages on six swifts to track their activity during their winter migration to western Africa. Those instruments measured the intensity of light (which, by detecting sunrise and sunset, allowed researchers to infer each bird’s latitude and longitude) and used accelerometers to gauge the animals’ activity level during a 3.2-second window every 4 minutes, day or night. The team recovered three of the sensor-laden swifts in spring 2012, when the birds returned to Europe for the nesting season. Analyses revealed that the swifts never settled to roost while in Africa, not even to rest after their 2000-kilometer migration, the researchers report today in Nature Communications. At night, even though the birds’ body position didn’t change very much, their activity level suggested they were gliding, not resting on a perch—which strongly suggests that the birds were catching a bit of shuteye while aloft. During the course of their African jaunt, and as much as 200 days spent aloft, the birds likely flew a total of 10,000 kilometers, the researchers estimate. Stretched into a straight line, that distance is about one-fourth of the way around Earth’s equator.See more ScienceShots.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

Scouts get a cautious welcome in Uttar Pradesh madrasas

first_imgThe Uttar Pradesh government’s announcement on introducing NCC and Scout training in madrasas has evoked mixed response from religious leaders and other stakeholders. Earlier this week, Minister of Minority Welfare Baldev Singh Aulakh announced that the government is working towards making “smart madrasas” where “NCERT books will be introduced along with Scout and NCC training.” “This is a welcome step. We have already been imparting Scout training through Jamiat Youth Club,” said General Secretary, Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind Maulana Mehmood Madani.However, he added that there was no point in underlining that such activities will help inculcate patriotism among Muslims. “Right now, Muslims are feeling alienated and threatened. They are seeking security and justice from the government. The BJP government should first ensure that,” Maulana Madani said.The managements of some of these schools described the announcement by Mr Aulakh as a tool to make schools dance to the agenda of BJP government. “It is an attempt to distract the public from real issues. Such announcements are being made because the government is failing in maintaining law and order,” said a principal on condition of anonymity.last_img read more

Ind vs Eng: Steep task ahead for injury-hit India

first_imgEngland have a firm grip on the match as this 2000th Test at Lord’s heads into the final day. Score | PhotosBatting in their second essay India were 80/1 at stumps with Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman as the crease.India now need 378 to win with 9 wickets in hand. The target though massive has gained more weight considering Sachin Tendulkar is down with viral and Gautam Gambhir is injured. Besides, Zaheer Khan pulled his hamstring on the first day.Meanwhile, England have already made their intentions clear and the central figure in their scheme of things would be Stuart Borad.Calling his performance impressive in this match would be an understatement. He scalped four in the first innings and then put up a 162-run unbeaten partnership with centurion Matt Prior. And then came around to dismiss India opener Abhinav Mukund cheaply.Prior scored an unbeaten 103 while Broad finished with 74 not out as England declared the innings on 269/6 – a massive 458-run target for India.Earlier, Ishant Sharma scalped four to bring India back into the game, but Prior and Broad’s seventh wicket partnership undid his efforts.England started the day with an overnight score of 5/0 and a lead on 193 runs. On Saturday, Rahul Dravid scored an unbeaten 103 leading India to 286 that eventually helped the visitors save the follow-on.  Though England were cruising along with a 200 plus lead in their second essay, Praveen Kumar did his job of putting breaks to the hosts run rate by scalping opener Alastair Cook early. An edge off Cook’s bat was easily lapped up by India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni behind the wickets when the England score was 23.advertisementSoon the hosts lost their other opener Andrew Strauss when a quicker ball from offie Harbhajan Singh trapped him leg before on 32. England were 54/2 at the stage with a lead of 242 runs.Then it was the turn of the star of the Caribbean series, Ishant Sharma, to come to the fore and he did that is spectacular fashion. He got rid of Kevin Pietersen, who scored an unbeaten double ton in the first innings, and Ian Bell in the space of four balls to push England on the defensive with 55/4 on board. Within a matter of minutes India were back in the game.But Sharma wasn’t finished, in his next over, he struck to remove Jonathan Trott with a ball that moved in sharply to remove his off stump. And England were down to 62/5.At lunch, England were 72/5 with with Eoin Morgan and Matt Prior at the crease.If the first innings belonged to Praveen Kumar, the second belonged to Ishant Sharma, who then came around and sent Eoin Morgan packing on 19 to reduce England to 107/6.Post that wicket Matt Prior took the onus of increasing England’s lead and he didn’t have a choice either as he was the last recognised batsman standing from the England camp. Gradually, Prior and tail-ender Stuart Broad started building on to the lead.Harbhajan Singh, who has just claimed one wicket in the match, did get an opportunity to have Broad as his victim, but Dhoni failed to gather a tough one from Broad’s bat to the disappointment of Harbhajan.After Ishant’s fine spell that lifted Indian players spirits, there was a downer in store, as Gautam Gambhir, fielding at short leg, got hit on the elbow off Matt Prior and was taken off the field. Gambhir was later taken to the hospital for an X-ray. The good news is that he only suffered a bruise.At tea, England were 174/6 with Matt Prior and Stuart Broad in the middle.The duo continued with their partnership in the third session helping England to a good 269/6 declared in the second essay. A lead of 457 runs.In reply India were 80/1 at stumps with Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman as the crease on Day 4 of the 100th Test between the two nations.last_img read more

NBA: Veteran Nate Robinson to continue Basketball career in Lebanon

first_imgAdvertisementNate Robinson is heading to Lebanon to continue his professional basketball career after signing a one-year deal with Homenetmen Beirut of the Lebanese Basketball League, according to Yahoo Sports’ Shams Charania. Robinson, 34, is currently the co-captain of team Tri-State in the Big 3 League, where he is averaging 10.3 points and 2.0 assists through six games.Robinson, 34, was the No. 21 overall pick in the 2005 NBA draft and spent time with eight different teams throughout his 14-year NBA career. He has since bounced around in European leagues and in the G League.Robinson hasn’t ruled out an NBA return as he said in June during a wide-ranging interview with Bleacher Report, “I just need a chance.”The point guard last appeared in the NBA during the 2015-16 season when he played two games for the Pelicans.During his rookie season in NY, Robinson says he suffered emotional abuse at the hands of then head coach Larry Brown, who referred to him daily as “the little shit.” Robinson says he eventually stormed into Brown’s office crying and asking the coach to stop belittling him.Advertisementlast_img read more

ICC World Twenty20: Pakistan to travel to India tomorrow after government nod

first_imgThe Pakistan national cricket team will depart for the ICC World Twenty20 in India on Friday after a nod from the Pakistani government.The Pakistani team is expected to reach New Delhi airport at 2 PM tomorrow. The match, scheduled to be played on March 19, had to be shifted after serving and retired Indian Army personnel and political leaders in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh opposed it since Kangra district — where Dharamsala is situated — is home to a large number of martyrs’ families. (Also read: Uncertainty continues over Pakistan’s participation in ICC World Twenty20)Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh had also stated that the administration will not be able to provide adequate security for the event. Although the Indian government was willing to provide paramilitary forces to secure the match venue, the International Cricket Council (ICC) decided to shift the tie on Wednesday. (Also read: Pakistani fans in race against time for visas after change in World T20 venue) The national team was originally due to leave for India on Tuesday evening. But the PCB postponed the departure as they awaited the final report from the three-member security delegation which they had sent to review the security arrangements in Dharamsala. The PCB had demanded written assurances from a senior functionary of the Indian government on the security of the Pakistan team during the World T20. Vikas Swarup,spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had this to say at his weekly press briefing. “All necessary arrangements including those for security have been made in the past for all international sporting events organised in India.advertisement”Recently, as you are aware, the South Asian Federation Games saw good and enthusiastic participation of large contingents from all SAARC countries including Pakistan.”We are confident that the ICC World Twenty20 will also be a resounding success in all aspects.”Following Swarup’s statement, Pakistani media reported that the government had cleared the team’s departure for India. PCB chairman Shahryar Khan spoke with the Pakistan players on Thursday and told them to remain focused on the game.Chairman PCB Shaharyar Khan speaking to the Pakistan men’s team at National Cricket Academy Lahore PCB Official (@TheRealPCB) March 10, 2016Khan told the players that the current situation is similar to the conditions in 1999 when the team went on a tour of India and came back victorious. The match faces a security threat in Kolkata as well, with the Anti-Terrorist Front of India (ATFI) threatening to dig up the pitch at Eden Gardens on Wednesday. The ATFI has been opposing hosting of the Pakistan team until the terror masterminds behind the Mumbai, Pathankot and the recent Pampore attacks are handed over to India by Pakistan.last_img read more

Diego Costa sends Chelsea to top of Premier League

first_imgChelsea moved to the top of the English Premier League on Sunday after a first-half strike by Diego Costa earned the visitors a convincing 1-0 victory at Middlesbrough.Chelsea dominated the game and was rewarded for its unrelenting pressure when Costa scored four minutes before the break, reacting quickest to a loose ball after a goalmouth melee and firing home from close range. It was his 10th goal of the season.Middlesbrough showed more ambition in the second half but the next clear chance also fell to Chelsea, shortly after the hour mark, when defender David Luiz pushed forward and sent a high cross into the area. Costa headed the ball back invitingly for Pedro Rodrguez – but his first-time shot slammed against the crossbar.After six consecutive league wins without conceding a goal, Chelsea now has 28 points from 12 games in Antonio Conte’s first season in charge.Liverpool and Manchester City have 27 points each, with Arsenal in fourth with 25.last_img read more

Thought of retiring after Australia tour: Misbah-ul-Haq

first_imgFormer Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq on Saturday admitted that he was about to retire from the International cricket after the disastrous Australia tour, but the encouragement given by the team and the management postponed his plans.”Let me say that after the Australia tour, I was giving serious thought to retirement, but every player came to me and said that this is not how you have to leave cricket. They told me that I had to play the next series against the West Indies and that they would win and give me a proper send-off with victory as a present,” quoted Misbah, as saying.”To tell you the truth, the respect the team and its management gave to me is something I will cherish forever,” he added.In the three-match Test series, Pakistan had to face a humiliating defeat against Australia after which critiques began to question Misbah’s capability.When asked about who can carry the mantle of Pakistan team, the 42-year-old veteran said Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq and Sarfraz Ahmed, who have all played enough Test cricket, have the ability to fill the void after the retirement of the two celebrated batsmen – Misbah and Younis Khan.”Now that both of us have retired, I look upon these three fine batsmen to carry on the mission and the role that we performed,” he said.”They have all played enough Test cricket and in my view, they can fill the gap left by our departure to guide the youngsters, who will be replacing us in the future,” he added.advertisementMisbah retired from the International cricket after Pakistan’s first series win against West Indies in the Caribbean island.Misbah played 75 Test matches, scoring 5,222 runs and is currently seventh on the list of Pakistan’s all-time Test run-getters.The 42-year-old also inspired Pakistan to the top of the ICC Test team rankings for the first time in history in 2015, although their stint at the top was short-lived as India replaced them soon after.last_img read more

Bulls Cut Down Nets, 105-80

first_imgCHICAGO — The Chicago Bulls used a rare lull in the schedule to focus on their defense, and it paid off in the second half against Brooklyn.Derrick Rose scored 23 points, and the Bulls pulled away from the Nets for a 105-80 victory on Dec. 10. Chicago held Brooklyn to 29 points on 26.2 percent shooting (11 for 42) in the final two periods.“They came out with a lot of energy. They got us back on our heels,” Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. “I liked the way we responded in the second half.”Chicago had six players, including all five starters, score in double figures in its first game since a Dec. 6 112-102 loss to Golden State. Jimmy Butler had 18 points, Pau Gasol added 16 points and 16 rebounds, and Mike Dunleavy scored 14 points. Taj Gibson finished with 11 points and 10 boards.“The third quarter, we really got into it,” said Gibson, who also matched a career high with six blocked shots. “We tried to be a dominant team on rebounding, tried to just finish strong.”Deron Williams led Brooklyn with 17 points, but the Nets dropped their third straight. Kevin Garnett scored 13 points, and Alan Anderson had 12. “They turned up their defense and they put on a block party,” Brooklyn coach Lionel Hollins said.Garnett left in the fourth quarter because of a left foot injury. The team said X-rays were negative, and Garnett said he was all right.Chicago grabbed control with a 17-3 run in the third quarter. Rose made a 3-pointer, and Gibson had a big dunk before Gasol capped the surge with four straight points, including two foul shots that made it 70-58 with 3:32 to go.It just got worse for injury-riddled Brooklyn in the final period, with Chicago scoring 15 straight points to increase its advantage to 101-73 with 3:17 to go. Butler finished the run with a jumper.“It’s a work in progress,” Garnett said. “We’ve got to continue to work. It doesn’t help that guys are out of the lineup so we’ve all got to continue to come in here, continue to work, and try to get better.”The 25-point margin was the biggest win of the season for Chicago, which also beat Brooklyn 102-84 on Nov. 30. The Bulls had allowed at least 100 points in four of their previous six games, but Rose said the work in practice on Dec. 8-9 helped them turn it around.“We did a lot of defensive drills,” Rose said. “I think he (Thibodeau) was just trying to make us be aggressive while we were out there instead of just holding back and letting them walk wherever they want to go, run wherever they want to go.”(JAY COHEN, AP Sports Writer) TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Chris Eubank ‘petrified’ son will lose must-win fight against James DeGale

first_imgShare on Facebook Share on LinkedIn … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many new organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Share on Messenger Boxing Share on Twitter Share via Email news Share on Pinterestcenter_img Reuse this content Since you’re here… James DeGale Support The Guardian The trouble with boxing is that the real thing is invariably preceded by faux outrage and empty rhetoric, but it was nonetheless a minor jolt to hear Chris Eubank admit he was “petrified” about the outcome of his son’s career-defining fight against James DeGale on Saturday night.Senior (or “English”, to use his preferred handle) was the master of surprises in his fighting days and did not disappoint in his role as father and sometime adviser to Eubank Jr when he declared: “It’s definitely a 50-50 fight. I am petrified he may not win this.” He added: “I’m not convinced [Junior] will win, because James DeGale has pedigree in terms of being [an Olympic] gold medallist, twice a world champion. It’s real. I respect the man’s abilities. Junior has it – but who turns up on the night?“This is going to be strange to the audience but my son looks at the physical aspect of this person, the crowd – the physical game. And from a physical point of view, I don’t think there is anyone who can actually stand with him. But it isn’t just physical – it’s also spiritual. This is where Junior lacks that blessing. It’s the only thing that allowed me to win so many championship fights and allowed me to put up with the bigotry of the media, the keyboard warriors, the critics. I’ve endured it all because, spiritually, I am buoyant, alive. I’ve never come down to that level but I don’t know whether he has that.”The fighters, whose supposed mutual animus was diluted by rolling banter, meet at the O2 Arena in London for the vacant IBO super-middleweight title in a bout both say will either end or extend their careers.DeGale, who turned 33 three weeks ago, lost his IBF 12st belt to the lightly regarded American Caleb Truax in 2017 before winning the rematch and stopping the obscure Colombian underachiever Fidel Monterrosa Muñoz in three rounds in an eight-rounder last September.He waved away Eubank Sr’s praise and doubts to train his pre-fight ire at 29-year-old Junior, who has lost twice: to Billy Joe Saunders, who returns to the ring next month, when he challenges Shefat Isufi for the WBO’s vacant version of the same title, and George Groves, who has retired.DeGale, whose experience should give him an edge, described Eubank as a, “deluded moron”, and added: “It’s all dawned on him – he’s finished. I promise you, he will get a schooling.” Addressing his opponent directly, he said, “I am going to come out and give it to you properly. You can’t box, Chris.” He added: “This is the biggest fight of his career, retirement time. Whoever loses this is done.”Eubank, less voluble than his father, replied” “We are both on the edge and at a stage where we can’t lose.” Having persuaded his father to take a back seat in his career while retaining the corner smarts of Ronnie Davies, Eubank brings with him this time the experienced trainer Nate Vasquez, a former outstanding amateur who works in Floyd Mayweather’s Las Vegas gym and has been with Eubank constantly in a long preparation.The American was brutal with Eubank when they began, telling him: “Your defence is shit, your footwork’s horrible and you’ve got a lot to work on.”Eubank, who invited Vasquez to move in with him, said: “For the first time in my career we are focusing on strategy and game plan in a tailored boxing camp, preparing me for a slick southpaw. We have covered all bases, that is why I am so confident. If he runs we have a game plan, if he stands and plants his feet, we have a plan.” Share on WhatsApp Topicslast_img read more

Royal Navy Orders More from BAE Systems

first_imgzoom BAE Systems has been awarded a £348 million contract by the UK Ministry of Defence to construct three new Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) for the UK Royal Navy.The new 90 metre vessels will be built at BAE Systems’ facilities in Glasgow and will provide additional capability for the Royal Navy.The ships will be used to support counter-terrorism, counter-piracy and anti-smuggling operations in the waters around the UK and abroad.Mick Ord, Managing Director at BAE Systems Naval Ships, said,“This is a significant contract award which marks the beginning of a new and exciting chapter for the UK shipbuilding sector. We’re making major investments in our people, technology and facilities to create a world-class complex warship capability and the OPVs provide an opportunity to embed these new ways of working. This will ensure we remain competitive and are best placed to secure the Type 26 manufacturing contract, which together with the investments will sustain the long-term future of this highly skilled industry.”Production will start in October, with the first of class expected to be delivered to the Royal Navy in 2017.Announcing the contract, UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:” This multi-million-pound contract shows our commitment to investing in new ships for the Royal Navy and maintaining in the UK the expertise needed to build the warships of the future. It will benefit the dedicated workers of the Clyde, their families and the local economy in Glasgow.This sort of investment by the UK government is vital for the sustainment of shipbuilding in the city and the hundreds of specialist manufacturing and engineering roles that play an important role in providing war-fighting capability for the Royal Navy.”The ships will be larger and more efficient than the existing River Class OPVs, providing a step change in capability to the Royal Navy with more room for embarked personnel, the addition of a flight deck capable of landing Merlin helicopters and storage space.With a maximum speed of 24 knots and a range of 5,500 nautical miles, the ships will be globally deployable and capable of ocean patrol.Press Release, August 13, 2014last_img read more

Appointments Made to Utility and Review Board

first_imgAn experienced lawyer and a chartered accountant are the two new appointees to the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board. The appointment of Dawna Ring, and Murray Doehler to the Utility and Review Board was announced today, Sept. 9, by Kerry Morash, Minister of Environment and Labour. “Ms. Ring and Mr. Doehler are distinguished professionals whose qualifications, intellect and experience make them excellent additions to the Utility and Review Board,” said Mr. Morash. Ms. Ring is a member of the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society and a Queen’s counsel. She brings 24 years of extensive experience in various areas of law — including administrative and regulatory law, civil litigation — and has represented persons affected by Hepatitis C and AIDS at the Krever inquiry into tainted blood in Canada. Mr. Doehler is a practising chartered accountant and also a professional engineer. He has appeared before regulatory boards on a wide range of issues, and has consulted on telecommunications charges, water rates, taxation of pipelines and municipal taxation. The two recommended appointees applied for this position and have completed the independent selection process of review that is followed for full-time board appointments. This independent selection process follows the same protocol used for the appointment of provincial court judges. These are full-time positions for which the salary is $110,000 per year.last_img read more

Tiny increase in young appointees to federal posts after Liberal overhaul

first_imgOTTAWA — Newly released documents show Liberal changes to the federal appointments system has yielded a small increase in the number of younger people getting government posts.Documents from the Privy Council Office show that as of last year, fewer than five per cent of all appointments made under the Liberals’ system were of applicants between the ages of 25 and 34.That age group is just under 20 per cent of the population.A spokesman for the Privy Council Office says the government plans to “continue to increase youth representation” by working with organizational heads, boards and decision makers.The government’s recently released youth strategy aims to have one youth representative on the boards of 75 per cent of Crown corporations within the next five years.Months after taking power in late 2015, the Liberals changed how the government makes hundreds of appointments each year to positions such as the boards of Crown corporations and tribunals that make decisions on benefit payments and immigration claims.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

SecretaryGeneral to meet with African Union chief on peacekeeping in Darfur

Mr. Ban outlined to reporters the UN’s recent initiatives to try and bring peace to Darfur, including a letter he sent on 24 January to Sudanese President Omar Hassan Al Bashir stressing the importance of more support for the African Union mission, known as AMIS, and also the need for the rapid deployment of the hybrid UN-African Union force.“Now I have requested very strongly that President Bashir agree to my letter [on the heavy support package which will enable the early deployment] of a hybrid African Union and UN peacekeeping operations there,” the Secretary-General said in Austria, where he is on an official visit.“There are two tracks that are still going on, even though we have not yet finally agreed. One is the political process; a political dialogue process is going on at the highest level, including myself. And secondly, peacekeeping operation level is now being discussed. The United Nations will soon engage in detailed negotiations with African Union representatives and I’m also going to meet with the African Union Commissioner.”Mr. Ban’s comments come as the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) released its latest grim overview of the situation in Darfur, produced in collaboration with other UN agencies and partner non-governmental organizations (NGOs), showing the violence forced around 46,000 people to flee their homes last month.“New population displacements were registered weekly in January as attacks on villages, sexual violence and intimidation continued to force large numbers of people to move throughout Darfur. Generalized violence, attacks on humanitarian assets and bureaucratic impediments continued to affect humanitarian operations,” the overview states.New displacements of villagers towards internally displaced person (IDP) camps continued “relentlessly” through the month as a result of attacks by both the Government of Sudan and associated militia and a wing of the Sudan Liberation Army headed by Minni Minawi, according to OCHA.This was especially the case in north Darfur where there were reports of Sudanese Government “aerial bombings in many locations – and attacks and intimidation by Arab militias.” OCHA’s overview said that while there were some positive humanitarian developments in terms of access to areas that had been cut off for months, overall access for emergency supplies “continues to be compromised.” The latest January humanitarian access map shows Darfur-wide access is about 64 per cent. Backing up this grim assessment, the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) said today a 15-year old girl was raped on Tuesday in south Darfur, while Arab tribal fighting has erupted again in the same region. These are the latest in daily reports of violence coming out of the region, where at least 200,000 people have been killed and 2 million others displaced from their homes since 2003. In total, some 4 million civilians need assistance to survive. 22 February 2007Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today said he will soon meet with the head of the African Union to discuss the continuing suffering in Sudan’s devastated Darfur region, as the United Nations warned that almost 50,000 more people were forced to flee violence in the region last month alone. read more

Cypriot leaders hold UNsponsored talks on reunification meet again on Friday

28 February 2011Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders today held the first of two top-level meetings scheduled for this week, under United Nations sponsorship, as they intensified their efforts to reunify the Mediterranean island which has been split for almost 50 years. “The leaders had a good and long discussion today for around two and a half hours,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Adviser on Cyprus, Alexander Downer, told reporters following the meeting between Greek Cypriot leader Dimitris Christofias and his Turkish Cypriot counterpart, Dervis Eroglu. “It was a good opportunity for them to talk about a range of issues.”Mr. Downer added that the pair would meet again on Friday, when the talks would focus on governance and power-sharing. The leaders have met more than 90 times since the UN-sponsored talks began in 2008 with the aim of setting up a federal government with a single international personality in a bi-zonal, bi-communal country, with Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot constituent states of equal status.The leaders’ representatives have also met scores of times and will hold another meeting on Wednesday to discuss issues ahead of Friday’s top-level talks.In a report in December, Mr. Ban warned that that the talks could “founder fatally” if substantive agreement is not reached within the next few months. “A critical window of opportunity is rapidly closing,” he said, stressing that Greek Cypriot parliamentary elections scheduled for May and elections in Turkey in June militate against constructive talks in the second quarter of 2011.The Secretary-General met with both leaders in Geneva at the end of January, and the two agreed to intensify the reunification talks for an island that has been split since inter-communal violence erupted in 1964.One of the major issues that have to be resolved concerns property. The Greek Cypriots say those with property in the north should be able to seek reinstatement, while Turkish Cypriots say that if all property owners were allowed reinstatement, it would be impossible for Turkish Cypriots to secure bizonality. They want a ceiling on those who can have properties reinstated instead of compensation.The UN has maintained a peacekeeping force on the island – known by its acronym UNFICYP – since 1964, with a current strength of nearly 1,000 uniformed personnel and 150 international and national civilian staff. read more

Army probe says war on LTTE was justified

An investigation conducted by a board appointed by Army Commander Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya has concluded that the government had every right to defeat the LTTE militarily.The LTTE was defeated in May 2009 after the government launched military operations to regain land held by the rebels despite calls by the international community to suspend hostilities and go for negotiations. The report also says the army took preventive measures to ensure “zero civilian casualties” during the war and uphold human rights. (Colombo Gazette)FULL REPORT “A sovereign state has the right to take all legitimate measures to maintain or reestablish law, the national unity and territorial integrity of the state (Article 3 GP II). Against this backdrop His Excellency the President had an imperative legal duty arising out of International Law and Domestic Law to call out armed forces to liberate the people of the North and East from the clutches of the LTTE and to eradicate terrorism from the soil of Sri Lanka. For 30 years the entire Sri Lankan nation consisting of 20 million people had been subjugated by LTTE terrorism. Therefore employment of armed forces to eradicate LTTE terrorism is legally justifiable. Hence for the reasons articulated above there is no question that our humanitarian operation conformed to jus ad bellum principle,” the report said. The report of the Army Board of Officers on the Implementation of the Recommendations made by the Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) was handed over to Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapakasa by the army Commander today. read more

Sri Lanka drops plan to buy fighters from Pak after India objects

While questions were raised in Sri Lanka too about the reported $400-million deal, India’s forceful opposition, conveyed through a non-paper, was one of the likely reasons that made Sri Lanka drop the plan for now. Sri Lankan sources said India also put forth a technical argument that the Russian engines of the JF-17 were not the best, that even China does not use these aircraft. Earlier, some Sri Lankan reports had said India had offered its own Tejas to the SLAF instead.India is also concerned that the deal, if it goes through, will enable the PAC, and perhaps even the CAC, to set up a facility in Sri Lanka for maintenance and training, and increase and widen contacts between Pakistan and Chinese security forces and Sri Lanka.In 2014, the then Sri Lankan government had cleared a proposal for China to set up a maintenance-cum-servicing facility for its aircraft that are part of the Sri Lankan fleet in Trincomalee. The SLAF has in it fleet the Chengdu F-7 fighter aircraft, and the Y-12 and MA60 transporters. India had raised concerns then about the plan and the Sri Lankan government had said it would be manned only by SLAF personnel. With the change in government, that plan was shelved. (Colombo Gazette) The Pakistani media were reporting that the deal for JF-17s would be signed during Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s three-day visit to Colombo which ended Wednesday. Stiff opposition from India has forced Sri Lanka to drop plans, at least for now, to buy JF-17 Thunder fighter aircraft from Pakistan, The Indian Express Sunday edition reported.The Sunday Express has learnt that New Delhi shot off a diplomatic missive a few weeks ago to Colombo on why it should not buy the JF-17 Thunder, including a negative technical assessment of the aircraft. It was also pointed out that the country’s defence requirements did not need fighters. Despite its own financial crunch, Pakistan was also said to be ready to extend a line of credit to Sri Lanka for the aircraft.On Tuesday, Sharif and Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, who is also the Defence Minister, signed agreements under eight heads in Colombo, but the sale of aircraft was not one of them. The Indian government delivered the non-paper — diplomatic parlance for a white sheet of paper without a letterhead or signature — to Colombo at the highest levels about three weeks ago after reports that Pakistan was seriously engaging the Sri Lankan Air Force (SLAF) on the Chinese fighter aircraft to replace the SLAF’s ageing fleet of Israeli Kfirs and MiG-27s.Pakistan had been pushing for the sale of 10 to 12 JF-17s, each priced about $35 million. Talk of the deal gained ground after a visit to Pakistan by SLAF chief Gagan Bulathsinhala last November. He was invited to send a team to assess the aircraft at the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) in Kamra.Kamra is where the PAC and China’s Chengdu Aircraft Corporation (CAC) co-produce the aircraft. But defence experts believe that the aircraft are more or less only assembled at Kamra from readymade Chinese kits. Taking up the Pakistani invitation, a team of Sri Lankan Air Force officials visited Kamra to test the aircraft and run simulation tests. New Delhi has opposed SLAF plans to buy the J-17s on the ground that Sri Lanka does not need fighter aircraft. It is six years since the war against the LTTE ended. Since then, Sri Lanka’s defence spending has increased. For 2016, it is an estimated $3 billion. read more

Thousands of Afghans seeking refugee status in Pakistan register with UN agency

According to UNHCR spokesman Kris Janowski, during the past week, thousands have taken part in the first phase of the screening programme, which is expected to determine the refugee status of Afghans who have fled to Pakistan to escape the twin scourges of drought and conflict in their homeland.More than 5,000 families from two Afghan settlements near Peshawar have been registered in the first week of the exercise, Mr. Janowski said. At the same time, 531 families have opted to return home.Thirty joint UNHCR/Government of Pakistan teams have been collecting information from heads of families who present themselves according to their respective residential blocks. The number of Afghans participating in the exercise is expected to increase significantly this week when more pre-screeners join the operation, the agency spokesman said. The Afghans provide general information on their families and areas of origin.Those who express the wish to return to Afghanistan will be given an assistance package consisting of 6,000 rupees and 150 kilogrammes of wheat.Afghans who opt for the screening process, which is slated to begin in the next few weeks once all the initial family data has been collected, will be interviewed. Those found to be in need of protection will be granted a temporary stay in Pakistan and then shifted to a camp where UNHCR and its partners will provide them with assistance.”Afghans whose case is rejected will have the right to appeal, but once a final decision is made, they would have to return home,” Mr. Janowski said. read more

Apple fixes typo about impossibly thin iPad 4 impossibly quickly

first_imgAlthough Apple tries to make its mobile electronics sleeker and thinner with every new generation, they haven’t quite gotten to the point of being skinnier than a piece of pencil lead. So when Apple posted on its website that the iPad 4 was just 0.37 millimeters in thickness, it was just a matter of time before throngs of Internet users called the company out on its mistake.It is hard to even think of a product that slim; the average fingernail is nearly three times as thick. Obviously what should have been on the site is 0.37 inches, or around 9.4 millimeters. The mistake was discovered by a user on Reddit late last night, although the web page in question has been up for much longer than that.Not surprisingly, it was only a matter of hours after the mistake became viral before Apple updated the page. It’s ironic that Apple could make this change so quickly, but when ordered by a court to post an apology to Samsung, the company said it needed 14 days to update its website.Somehow the iPad seems really bulky now. Of course, electronic devices will never really be that slim — or will they? Perhaps some day Apple, or another company, will create a device so thin it actually feels like you’re holding a piece of paper. With flexible displays finally on their way to commercial products in the next year or so, it might not be so far-fetched.via Redditlast_img read more

Un cratère géant pourrait être à lorigine dune vaste extinction despèces

first_imgUn cratère géant pourrait être à l’origine d’une vaste extinction d’espècesSydney, Australie – L’un des plus gros impacts de météorite au monde a été découvert dans une zone reculée du pays. Le choc, survenu il y a environ 300 millions d’années, a été si puissant qu’il pourrait avoir déclenché une importante extinction d’espèces.Lorsqu’elle a frappé l’Australie à l’époque, la météorite a déformé une zone de près de 80 kilomètres de largeur. Ce sont des chercheurs en géothermique qui ont découvert le cratère géant, enterré sous une profonde couche de sédiments. A cet endroit, la terre porte toujours les cicatrices de l’impact.Le chercheur Tonguç Uysal, de l’université de Queensland à Brisbane, a remarqué que “les grains de quartz dans la roche avaient subi une déformation inhabituelle”. En général ces caractéristiques sont associées aux pressions extrêmes engendrées par un astéroïde qui est venu frapper le sol.Selon le paléoclimatologue Andrew Glikson, l’impact aurait eu des effets catastrophiques, comme “une boule de feu, des tremblements de terre importants, une émission de CO2, des tsunamis et une extinction des espèces”.À lire aussiUn nautile extrêmement rare observé pour la première fois en 30 ans en PapouasieRien n’aurait pu survivre à ce choc à plusieurs centaines de kilomètres à la ronde. Plus important encore, le climat de la Terre entière aurait changé. L’impact aurait rempli l’atmosphère de poussière et la lumière du Soleil se serait obscurcie pendant plusieurs années. Conséquence : la mort d’une grande partie des végétaux grâce auxquels beaucoup d’animaux pouvaient survivre. Même si la catastrophe a été moins importante que celle qui a rayé les dinosaures du globe, beaucoup d’espèces se sont éteintes.”Si un tel événement se produisait à l’heure actuelle, une majeure partie de la population mondiale disparaîtrait”, ajoute le scientifique.Jusqu’à présent, l’Australie compte 30 cratères d’impact identifiés. Le plus grand se trouve à Woodleigh, dans l’ouest du pays. Il date de 360 millions d’années et mesure entre 60 et 160 kilomètres de diamètre.Le 27 octobre 2010 à 17:27 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more