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first_imgFive alleged members of the outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist) were killed during an encounter with security forces in Dantewada district of south Chhattisgarh on Saturday.Two security personnel also suffered injuries during the exchange of fire. Some reports suggest that seven Maoists were killed, but the security forces could recover only five bodies.“One of the dead Maoists was identified as area secretary of the Maoists’ Malangir area committee,” Chhattisgarh’s Anti Naxal Operations unit said in a statement.The injured sub-inspectors, Dogendra Patro and Sangram Singh, are said to be out of danger.last_img


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first_imgNew Delhi, May 13 (PTI) With the main objective of eliminating poverty, NITI Aayog has been entrusted to prepare a 15-year vision document, which will replace Nehruvian five year planning system followed for over six decades.Besides focusing on sectors like infrastructure, commerce, education and health, the vision document will also cover internal security and defence, which were not part of the earlier five year plans.”The Prime Ministers Office has entrusted NITI Aayog (with the job) to come up with a 15-year vision document for a period up to 2030 which will be co-terminus with the Sustainable Development Goals. This will be a 15-year perspective plan,” a source said.”Besides focusing on overall development of the economy as a whole, the main objective of the vision will be poverty eradication,” the source said.NITI Aayog will also prepare a seven-year strategy from 2017-18 to 2023-24 to convert a long-vision document into implementable policy and action as part of the national developmental agenda.There will also be a mid-term review of the seven-year strategy in the year ending March 2020.”A three-year action Plan for 2017-18 to 2019-20 as part of the National Development Agenda will be aligned with the 14th Finance Commission award period,” the source said.The source further said the draft appraisal document of the 12th Plan (2012-17) is currently being finalised and the exercise for the vision document and seven-year strategy paper will be initiated shortly. PTI KKS CS MRlast_img read more


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first_imgArt is a representation of the society it thrives on. From theatre to music, every creative arena imbibes and portrays the cultural and social elements around it.While commercial cinema has constantly failed to serve as a platform to render our social issues meaningful, critically acclaimed cinema has worked its way up to prominence. On the other hand, one of the other most visually impactful creative platforms, television, is still muddled with primitive stereotypical ideas about dressing and fashion.Over the years, the television industry has incessantly bombarded viewers with small-town women protagonists showing up in metro cities with eyes full of dreams, and well, tonnes of kohl layering too.We’re no less appreciative of the empowering idea of small-town girls striving to make it big in life, but it’s the on-screen portrayal of these characters that screams STEREOTYPES, and defeats the purpose of having such characters entirely. The makers of these television shows live on the idea that women in small cities have regressive dress-sense, and clearly, they need a reality check.We’ve listed a few characters that have got all the small-towners losing their calm over how unrealistically they dress in the name of “small-town fashion”.1. Anika, IshqbaazPrime-time ruling show, Ishqbaaz has been the most-watched show for quite some time now, thanks to the never-ending cute-banter between Anika and Shivaay, the protagonists. While we absolutely adore Anika’s character for the carefree attitude she throws around, her ensembles have caught us off-guard on more occasions than one. While her dress-sense isn’t as atrocious as her counterparts, we can’t fathom her obsession with the haath-phool she wears almost all the time. No, women from small cities just don’t play jewellery stands, and wear whatever they get their “hands” on.advertisementPhoto: YouTube Also Read: 4 reasons Richa Chadha should stick to ethnic attires2. Gauri, IshqbaazAnother small-towner to grab eyeballs on the show, Ishqbaaz, Gauri plays Omkara’s muse. The young girl is full of life, and so are her attires–a little too much. It won’t be unfair to call Gauri “gaudy”, because of those outrageously coloured clothes she sports with such vigour, and the chunky jewellery she can’t seem to get rid of. The concoction of colours and the jewellery could give Jodha’s character a run for her money.Photo: YouTube 3. Chandni, Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam DoonAs fresh as this new face on television is, Chandni from Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon is always clad in stereotypical clothes, and that’s just plain sad. Adorning multi-coloured, chanya cholis with outrageous rainbow-coloured dupattas, she is the Ranveer Singh of Indian television–except, he is still realistically dressed. If your eyes survive the attack of the flashy colours, then her overloaded jewellery is bound to make you feel claustrophobic. Chunky earrings, neckpieces, and basically all things heavy are Chandni’s things.Photo: YouTube Photo: YouTube Also Read: Esha Gupta’s floral suit will give you early mid-week blues4. Pragya, Kumkum BhaagyaIf there’s one character that generates a tad bit hope in the future of small-town characters on television, it is Pragya from Kumkum Bhaagya. While Pragya is far from being garish, she is a little too subtly dressed to be a rockstar’s wife. This character sticks to the ’90s fashion of chudidaar suits with dupattas in the most sombre shades, and we don’t know what to say. As painful as it is to see this character with such potential in such grim clothes, it’s difficult to come to terms with the fact that she can’t get rid of her glasses, ever. So, the idea is, small-town girls are nerdy, and nerds HAVE to wear glasses, because how else will they look like nerds? Let’s assume that the idea of contact lenses hasn’t reached this small-towner wife of a rockstar putting up in a metro city, and make peace with it.Photo: YouTubelast_img read more


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first_imgChandigarh, Jun 21 (PTI) International Yoga Day was observed across Haryana and Punjab today, with Union minister Smriti Irani and Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar participating in programmes in Chandigarh and Jhajjar.In the joint capital of the two states, Chandigarh, Punjab Governor and the Union Territory’s administrator V P Singh Badnore was the chief guest at a Yoga event in Sector 17.Union Textile Minister Irani performed asanas along with around 4,000 enthusiasts at the event. Chandigarh MP Kirron Kher and Chandigarh unit BJP chief Sanjay Tandon were also present.In Haryana, Khattar and agriculture minister O P Dhankar rolled out their Yoga mats along with several other people, including children, at a state-level event in Jhajjar.To mark the day, a seminar on Yoga was also organised at the Nehru Government Postgraduate College at Bahadurgarh Road, officials said.In Punjab, a state-level event was held at a sports complex in Mohali.The day was picked by the United Nations to celebrate the ancient Indian practice and people across the country today marked the fourth International Day for Yoga. PTI CHS SUN VSD ANBANBlast_img read more


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first_imgIndia is not underestimating the threat Rashid Khan poses even after he was mauled by England in his previous outing, all-rounder Vijay Shankar said ahead of Saturday’s World Cup match against Afghanistan.Rashid returned 9-0-110-0, the worst bowling figures in World Cup history, against England after home captain Eoin Morgan clobbered him for seven sixes at Old Trafford.Every day is different, and every wicket is different. You cannot take things for granted, all-rounder Shankar told reporters at the Hampshire Bowl on Friday.Tomorrow might be a completely different scenario where we’ll have to target him, or we might have to play off. So it is just about adapting ourselves to different situations as quickly as we can.Most of the Indian batsmen are comfortable against the turning ball and will hope to dominate the spin-heavy Afghan attack led by leg-spinner Rashid.Shankar, who shares the Sunrisers Hyderabad dressing room with Rashid in the Indian Premier League, said he had tried to read the wily 20-year-old spinner at nets.”He’s definitely one of the best bowlers right now in limited overs, and he has done well,” Shankar said about the poster boy of Afghan cricket, who tops the list of T20 bowlers and is ranked third in the ODI list.”Having played with him for a couple of years, it’s very important for me to pick things from him like whenever I bat against him in the nets, I try and pick his variations. He’s a good bowler. Anyone can go for runs any day. It is about how we come back strong. So for me, it is about how I play against him tomorrow. That will be the key.”advertisementShankar was picked to bat at number four but Hardik Pandya’s better ball-striking ability earned him a promotion against Pakistan.Shankar denied feeling under pressure to match Pandya’s power-hitting.”The pressure will always be to deliver whatever the situation demands. So it’s not about how powerful,” he said.”I’ve also played down the order. I’ve also got runs playing at number six or seven. It’s not about taking that extra pressure. It’s about taking extra responsibility and delivering it at the right time for the team.”Shankar made a memorable World Cup debut against Pakistan, claiming the first of his two wickets with his maiden delivery and scoring 15 not out.”The best is yet to come,” said the Tamil Nadu player.”The last game gave me some confidence, and especially playing against Pakistan, making my debut against them,” he said.”I always look to get better in all three aspects of the game as I know I can keep getting better. I know I can bowl a lot better than what I am bowling even now, so I’m just working on my bowling.”Also Read | World Cup 2019: Afghanistan, battered by 5 defeats, take on clinical IndiaAlso Read | World Cup 2019: India won’t relax against Afghanistan, says Harbhajan SinghAlso Seelast_img read more


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first_imgIndia fast bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar heaped rich praise on Saturday’s debutant Navdeep Saini after the Haryana pacer rocked West Indies and led India to a relatively comfortable win in the 1st T20I of a 3-match series in Florida.Navdeep Saini could not have asked for a better India debut as the lanky pacer picked up 2 big wickets in his very first over. The 26-year-old, who has the ability to clock 150 kph at will, was hit for a six in the very second ball of his international career by Nicholas Pooran but Saini struck back by removing the big-hitting West Indies batsman.In the very next delivery, Saini castled big-hitting Shimron Hetmyer and jolted the West Indies top-order. Saini’s aggression was a captain’s delight as he gave send-offs to the West Indies batsmen in his very first international match.Entrusted to bowl the final over of the innings by captain Virat Kohli, Saini repaid the faith by removing top-scored Kieron Pollard with a slower delivery that trapped the big-hitting West Indies batsman in front. West Indies were restricted to 95 for 9 in 20 overs, thanks to Saini’s solid show on debut.Stressing that the experience of having played for India A, Indian Premier League and domestic cricket helped Saini before his debut, Bhuvneshwar Kumar sent out a warning notice to oppositions.”He [Saini] bowls really quick and the wicket was a bit slow but he’s a quick bowler, he bowls around 145-150kmh. So we’ll get to see him bowl really quick on good bowling wickets,” Bhuvneshwar Kumar told the press after India’s 4-wicket win on Saturday.advertisement”He bowled really well. The most important thing is that he has proven himself at various stages… domestic cricket… IPL and now for India. Just before coming here, he played for India A in West Indies. He did well. Yes, you get confidence when you do well at the international level. Before coming here, he was confident.”India lost wickets at regular intervals but the total was never threatening. Washington Sundar, who had picked up a wicket in the first over of the match, finished the proceedings for India with a huge six in the 18th over.Captain Virat Kohli expressed delight for Navdeep Saini, saying that the young fast bowler, who plays for Delhi in Ranji Trophy, is hungry to perform at the highest level.”Saini is from Delhi. He is a raw talent, has raw pace. He is one of them who can bowl 150 clicks and there are hardly any who bowl at that pace and he is fit. He is someone who can build a name for himself and he is hungry as well. Hopefully he builds on from here,” Kohli said.Having taken a 1-0 lead, India will be hoping to seal the series when they face West Indies in Florida in the 2nd T20I on Sunday.Also Read | Gautam Gambhir blasts Bishen Bedi, Chetan Chauhan after Navdeep Saini’s dream India debutAlso Read | Raw talent Navdeep Saini can definitely build a name for himself: Virat KohliAlso See:last_img read more


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first_img Lathan Ransom is down to Notre Dame, Texas and Ohio State and plans to make announcement on July 16.— Ari Wasserman (@AriWasserman) July 2, 2019Ransom is the No. 4 safety and No. 75 overall recruit in his class, per 247Sports.Ohio State is the favorite to receive Ransom’s commitment according to 247Sports’ crystal ball predictions, with 93-percent of the analysts picking the Buckeyes. He’d be another excellent addition to Ryan Day’s 2020 recruiting class.Both Ohio State and Texas have history developing safeties into legitimate NFL prospects. Perhaps, Ransom would be the next prospect to come from either program.Notre Dame is also a serious contender for Ransom due to its success on and off the field. Ransom spoke to 247Sports about why the Fighting Irish are high on his list, and he spoke highly about their tradition.We’ll find out where Ransom is attending college in two weeks. A closeup of a Nike football on the field during a game.NORMAN, OK – OCTOBER 1: A general view of the game football taken during the game between the Oklahoma Sooners and the Kansas State Wildcats on October 1, 2005 at Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma. The Sooners won 43-21. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)One of the top recruits from the 2020 recruiting class is nearing his commitment very soon. Four-star safety Lathan Ransom released his decision date which is set for later this month.Ransom is considering five elite programs in LSU, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, and Texas. However, three of those programs have separated from the group.The latest reports on Ransom hint that Ohio State, Notre Dame and Texas are among his top three choices. It doesn’t mean Oklahoma and LSU can’t make a late run to land his commitment, but it does put them at a disadvantage.As for Ransom’s decision date, the four-star recruit will announce his commitment on July 16.last_img read more


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first_imgzoomImage Courtesy: Cosco Shipping International COSCO Shipping International (Singapore) has decided to dissolve a defunct subsidiary, namely Sanbo Shipping Limited, by deregistration.The company informed that the Hong Kong-incorporated subsidiary has been dissolved subsequent to the scrapping of the vessel owned by Sanbo.The deregistration of Sanbo “is not expected to have any material impact” on the net tangible assets and earnings per share of the company for the financial year ending December 31, 2018, COSCO Shipping International said.The company added that none of the directors or controlling shareholders of the company has any interest, direct or indirect in the deregistration of Sanbo.In its profit guidance for the first quarter of 2018, released in late April, COSCO Shipping International said that it expects to deliver a profit for the period ended March 31.The first quarter results “will show a profit as compared to the net loss recorded in the corresponding period of the previous financial year,” which would be mainly attributable to contributions from Cogent Holdings Limited and PT Ocean Global Shipping.last_img read more


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first_imgBrittany HobsonAPTN NewsPeople in Manitoba are set to hit the polls next week for the 42nd provincial election.The NDP, Liberals and Green parties are attempting to dethrone the governing Progressive Conservatives.While many promises have been made from all four parties, what has seemingly been missing is what each party will do for Indigenous people in the province.Brian Pallister says his government has spent the last three years working to repair relationships with First Nations.During a press conference he cited the Tories work on the Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin Outlet Channels.“We’re moving on flood protection projects and give people a chance to grow in their own communities,” he said.“We’ve been working really hard on the duty to consult framework to make sure we’re involving communities and individuals [to] have the chance to be involved in dialogue from top to bottom when we make changes.”But Pallister’s consultation process was heavily criticized at a First Nation town hall meeting on the flood project last month.Pallister has also come under fire for axing several agreements with the Manitoba Metis Federation over Hydro projects.Pallister committed to advocating for Indigenous women and girls.“I spent a decade of my life standing up for Indigenous women’s rights in respect to matrimonial property,” he said referring to his work as an MP before becoming party leader.If re-elected, the Conservatives say they will address the 231 calls for justice from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls through it’s Gender-Based Violence Committee of Cabinet, which was launched in December.The NDP is headed by Wab Kinew.He says his party is committed to creating a cabinet committee to act on the Inquiry’s findings.“What I can tell you is it’s not going to be me overseeing the recommendations it’s going to be folks like Nahanni Fontaine, Bernadette Smith, Amanda Lathlin who have lived experience of what it’s like to be an Indigenous woman in Manitoba,” said Kinew at a party news conference.Kinew is set to make history is his party wins.He will be the first First Nations man to become premier of Manitoba.But his campaign hasn’t been without controversy.In 2017, a woman came forward with allegations of domestic assault against Kinew, which stemmed from 2003.Kinew has denied the allegations.Kinew has repeatedly turned down requests for an interview from APTN News to discuss the campaign and the allegations.The Tories have made this the focus of attack ads over the past month.Healthcare is the main plank in the NDP platform, especially for the north.“That involves more clinics, health centres and specialists being located in the north. We’ll work with northern communities including northern First Nations to bring those services closer to home,” said Kinew.Green Party leader James Beddome has also stated the importance of healthcare, especially when it comes to youth in remote northern communities.God’s Lake First Nation recently called a state of emergency after four young people died by suicide over the summer.Beddome said his party will take advantage of telehealth options but admits this isn’t always possible.“It’s even a challenge in some of those communities because even the internet is not reliable so we’d certainly have to look at that. But there is going to be a need to have more psychologists up there,” he said.The Liberals plan to open 24/7 safe spaces for women fleeing domestic violence.Party leader Dougald Lamont said if his party forms government they will create a Manitoba police service with an Indigenous-lead unit.He added addressing many of the MMIWG Inquiry’s recommendations starts with tackling poverty.“We’re proposing a basic minimum income for all Manitobans that would basically end Employment and Income Assistance,” said Lamont.“The goal is to get every Manitoban out of poverty within four years. First Nations are Manitobans as well so we would partner with the federal government to make sure that is working on reserve as well.”Voters hits the polls on Sept. 10.bhobson@aptn.ca@bhobs22last_img read more


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In July, indictments were filed in the first hearing at the Special High Court against the former top officials. Primary objections filed by former President’s Chief of Staff, Gamini Senarath and three others on the jurisdiction of the Special High Court to hear the case filed against them, was rejected today.The Special High Court said it has the jurisdiction to hear the case and postponed the case to November 14th. Senarath has been accused over the alleged misappropriation of Rs 500 million of state funds. Indictments were served against Senarath, former Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation Managing Director Piyadasa Kudabalage and former Samurdhi Commissioner Neil Bandara Hapuwinna. (Colombo Gazette)Report by Ashanthi Warunasuriya


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BILLINGS, Mont. — Attorneys general for North Dakota and Montana asked the Trump administration on Wednesday to overrule a Washington state law that imposed new restrictions on oil trains from the Northern Plains to guard against explosive derailments.In a legal petition to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Montana Attorney General Tim Fox and North Dakota’s Wayne Stenehjem said federal authority over railroads pre-empts the state law.Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, in May signed the measure that requires oil shipped by rail through the state to have more volatile gases removed to reduce the risk of explosive and potentially deadly derailments.The move followed a string of fiery and explosive oil train derailments over the past decade, including a 2013 accident in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, that killed 47 people. The explosions drew widespread public attention to the volatile nature of Bakken crude shipments.But opponents say the new restrictions would make Pacific Northwest refineries effectively off-limits to crude from the Bakken region, one of the nation’s most productive oil fields straddling the North Dakota-Montana border. That’s because the process of treating the oil to make it less volatile would be too expensive to justify, they said.“It’s pretty clear in this the state of Washington overstepped its bounds,” Fox said. “The effect would be terrible, both on the economies of North Dakota and Montana and also how it offends the rule of law.”Fox and Stenehjem also warned that allowing Washington’s law to stand could inadvertently undermine safety, by subjecting the railroad industry to a hodge-podge of state laws instead of a common federal standard.Shipping the region’s crude by rail has become common practice due to a limited number of pipelines, which are considered a safer way to ship oil.In the first quarter of 2019, almost 16 million barrels of crude (670 million gallons) moved through Washington state, almost all of it from North Dakota, according to a recent report from the Washington Department of Ecology.Inslee communications director Jaime Smith said the state will defend its law.“As Washington has experienced an enormous spike in the numbers of oil trains travelling through our state, this legislation is a reasonable approach to anticipated increased volumes of volatile crude oil,” Smith said.U.S. Department of Transportation representatives did not respond to telephone and email messages seeking comment. The agency has six months to issue a decision on the petition or explain why a decision is delayed, according to Fox spokesman John Barnes.Matthew Brown, The Associated Press read more


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Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) SMMT’s weekly round-up, including all the latest news from UK automotive and a message from SMMT’s Interim Chief Executive.CLICK HERE: SMMT Update 263 online.


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OSU players return to the field after halftime in the Orange Bowl against Clemson at Sun Life Stadium Jan. 3. OSU lost 40-35. Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorMIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — This wasn’t how it was supposed to end.As Clemson redshirt-senior quarterback Tajh Boyd took a knee to run out the clock in the 2014 Discover Orange Bowl — signaling his team’s 40-35 victory over the Ohio State Buckeyes (12-2, 8-1) — a harsh reality was setting in for OSU seniors.Despite winning 24 straight games under coach Urban Meyer, the 2013 senior class has no postseason victories to their name, unless they were redshirted during their Buckeye career and were thus a part of the team of 2010 Rose Bowl champions.Between a loss in the Orange Bowl this season, a bowl ban in 2012-13 season, falling short in the 2012 Gator Bowl and getting the 2011 Sugar Bowl win vacated, something will always be missing from a group that had championship expectations.“It’s always going to be hard. My college career did not end the way I thought it would or I wanted it to,” redshirt-senior left tackle Jack Mewhort said following the loss to the Tigers (11-2, 7-1).Regardless of the team’s postseason shortcomings in recent years, that’s not how Mewhort and company want to be remembered.“I think we’re very resilient. I think we’re hard workers, good people. Good football players, even better people,” Mewhort said. “I’d like to take that to be the legacy. Obviously we dropped a few tough ones here at the end. We would have liked to go out on top, but I think we set a standard for these younger guys.”From the depths of a 6-7 season in 2011 capped with the Gator Bowl loss to Florida, this year’s class of seniors will be remembered fondly by its head coach even though the group fell short in this season’s biggest games.“Senior class, we just said an emotional goodbye to them,” Meyer said after the Orange Bowl loss. “It’s not because they’re seniors, it’s because of what they’ve done. I tried to make that perfectly clear. Just because you stay some place for a couple years doesn’t mean you deserve that respect. It’s what you did, and how you did it.”The seniors on the offensive side of the ball turned in a record-setting season in their last year at OSU, setting school records for points (637), points per game (45.5), yards per game (512.0), passing touchdowns (38), first downs (361) and rushing yards (4,321).The Buckeyes had chances to win both postseason games late, but ultimately fell short. It is that unwillingness to give up that sets them apart, senior wide receiver Corey “Philly” Brown said after the loss to the Tigers.“(We have) great leadership, especially the senior class. It’s a tough football team. A team that will never give up,” Brown said.When Meyer’s reign began in 2012, a change in the culture came along with it, something Mewhort said was not an easy adjustment.“I know it looks like immediately the next season after going 6-7 we came back and go 12-0, but it was not immediate — at all,” Mewhort said. “It started at 5 a.m. in January of last year. Every day we came to work and we grinded hard.”Aside for Ryan Shazier — who declared for the NFL Draft Saturday — OSU will be leaning on juniors like quarterback Braxton Miller, tight end Jeff Heuerman, defensive lineman Michael Bennett and wide receivers Devin Smith and Evan Spencer in 2014 to follow in the footsteps of a class who Meyer thinks has a bright future.“It will be great. A student-athlete at Ohio State University, (will) get a great degree, and go on and build for the future,” Meyer said. “It’s going to sting for a while, probably a long while, because we just didn’t finish, and it was right there to finish.“This year’s senior class … When I looked around the room, every one of them could impact that play. And that’s the sign of a decent senior class.”No matter how it ended, Mewhort said being remembered for getting the program “back to where Ohio State should be” is the most important thing.“Talking about the last two games, obviously we would have liked to come out on top of those but I think our seniors did a good job of setting the template of how to come to work every day,” Mewhort said. “Do things the right way on and off the field. Hopefully we’ll be remembered for that.” read more


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first_imgLiam Kerr, the Tory transport spokesman, added: “This delay will come as a huge blow to the many commuters who travel across the Forth every single day. It is simply unacceptable.”Mike Rumbles, Scottish Liberal Democrat transport spokesman, said workers made clear to him in October that the project was not going to be delivered on time and that the government had not built in enough contingency time.He added: “Did the Economy Secretary seriously not suspect anything until Monday?It is now eight months behind the timetable heralded just last May. For a project that was supposed to showcase the competence of this Scottish Government, there has been an awful lot of rescheduling and there is still a lot of work to be done before the crossing is finished.” Another lengthy delay in the opening of the new Queensferry Crossing has been described as “unacceptable” after ministers blamed bad weather during one of the mildest winters on record.The £1.35 billion structure, which will replace the ageing Forth Road Bridge, had been due to open in December before a new date of May was announced last summer because of days lost to high winds.Keith Brown, the economy minister, was unable yesterday to give any guarantee of when exactly when it would now open, but said it would be between mid-July and the end of August.He also warned Holyrood’s rural economy and connectivity committee that it could be hit by further hold-ups due to the weather.Ministers blamed the second delay on problems dismantling the tower cranes used to build the 1.7 mile long structure, saying the operation could not be carried out safely in winds over 25mph. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Mr Brown argued that it was only a four to 10-week delay on a six-year construction programme as the contractual completion date for the crossing is in June. Queensferry Crossing Queensferry Crossingcenter_img The Queensferry Crossing nearing completionCredit:PA However, opposition parties questioned why the SNP had not built in more contingency time, given the vagaries of Scottish weather.According to statistics issued by the Met Office this month, this winter is set to be the fourth mildest on record for Scotland.It also said that while last winter was even milder, it was also much wetter and stormier, adding: “Conversely, the 2016/17 winter has been very settled and much drier in comparison thanks to extended periods of blocked high pressure conditions.”Committee members were told that although the winter had not been severe, wind speeds were a key issue. He added: ”The precise opening date will depend on the amount of weather downtime which occurs in the coming weeks, with the latest date being based on weather similar to that which we have seen in February and March if that continues to occur.”It is very important to stress that the costs associated with the over-run will be fully covered by the contractor and so will not result in any increase to the overall project cost to the taxpayer which stands at £1.35 billion as before.”He said there were now 1,500 people working on the bridge, with operations continuing around the clock.However, other remaining activities are also vulnerable to weather conditions, with wind affecting the removal of cranes and work on cable stays, and rain affecting the waterproofing of the bridge deck and the road surfacing.David Climie, project director at Transport Scotland, said: “It’s not that you would characterise it as an awful winter, or that the weather has been particularly severe, it’s the fact that we’ve had steady winds throughout a long period of time which has not created the weather windows we have needed.”The Scottish Conservatives said the SNP had repeatedly promised the bridge would open in December, and added that thousands of commuters had been inconvenienced by closures of the Forth Road Bridge over the past few months. Work continuing on the crossing on WednesdayCredit:PAlast_img read more


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Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. The social care system in England is at “crisis point”, with more people asking for care but fewer receiving it, according to a report.The study, from the influential King’s Fund think tank, found a 2 per cent rise in new requests for adult social care since 2015/16, to hit 1.84 million requests in 2017/18.The study found that fewer people are receiving care, with almost 13,000 fewer granted help over the same period.Local council spending on social care has dropped in real terms and is now £700 million below what it was in 2010/11.The study found it is not just older people who are requesting help, with a rise in the number of adults of working age seeking support as levels of disability rise.Since 2015/16, there has been a rise from 1.31 million to 1.32 million older people requesting help, while among working-age people requests have gone up from just over 500,000 to nearly 524,000.The data shows that more than 7,000 more working-age people are receiving long-term support compared with 2015/16, but there has been a fall of more than 20,000 older people receiving it.Simon Bottery, senior fellow at the King’s Fund and lead author of the report, said: “This report shows that increasing need among working-age adults, an increasing older population and high levels of existing unmet need are combining to put immense pressure on our care and support system, now and for the future.”Yet there is little evidence that the Government understands or is willing to act on these trends despite the impact on older and disabled people, their families and carers.”The social care green paper, which still has no release date over two years after it was announced, is an opportunity to set out the fundamental reform we desperately need.”But while the green paper is delayed, the Government must focus on what it can do to support people now.”Putting more money into the system in this autumn’s spending review would help people to get the help they need while longer-term reform takes effect.”The analysis found that 18 per cent of working-age people now report a disability, up from 15% in 2010/11.The proportion of disabled working-age adults reporting mental health conditions has increased significantly from 24 per cent to 36 per cent in the last five years.These trends are matched by a rise in the number of working-age adults claiming disability benefits.The report said the drop in the proportion of over-65s getting long-term social care from their local council could partly be due to a freeze since 2010/11 in the amount of assets people can hold and still be eligible for state-funded care.It warned that unmet need among older people remains high, with 22 per cent saying they need support but do not get it.The report also warned of a growing crisis in the social care workforce, with 8 per cent of jobs vacant at any given time and a high turnover of staff.The report found that costs of residential care for councils are rising, with the average cost of residential and nursing care for an older person at £615 per week, a real-terms increase of 6.6 per cent since 2015/16.However, the number of nursing and residential care beds available for people aged over 75 has fallen from 11.3 per 1,000 to 10.1 since 2012.The report comes as the Labour Party announced plans for an increase in the number of home care packages for those who need support with things like getting in and out of bed, bathing and preparing meals.It pledged more cash and said the plans could provide support to more than 160,000 older people who currently get no help, including 50,000 people with dementia.Shadow minister for mental health Barbara Keeley said: “This Tory Government has shamefully abandoned older people and young adults with care needs.”There is still no sign of their social care green paper which was promised over two years ago, and vulnerable older people have needlessly suffered as a result of the Government’s failure.”People with dementia are unfairly punished when it comes to paying for their care needs so Labour will correct this injustice in government.”We want care staff to be properly paid and trained, so that they can provide the kind of compassionate care that they want to give.” read more


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first_imgYes. Once.More than once.Never.I’ve never met a politician.Vote THEJOURNAL.IE’S BEEN OUT on the trail recently, and whatever about the reputations of politicians in general, we’ve found that some members of the public can be less than trustworthy too.In pursuit of a quiet life, it seems many voters are happy simply to promise their ‘number one’ to a candidate in order to get them away from their doorstep.Time to own up. Have you ever lied to a politician so you could go back to cooking your dinner/watching Homeland/staring enigmatically into the middle-distance? I’ve never met a politician. (715) Yes. Once. (329) Poll Results: Never. (1023) More than once. (1521)last_img


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first_img By AFP Share1 Tweet Email A US FEDERAL judge in California has agreed to release on bail the widow of the gunman who killed dozens of people at an Orlando nightclub last year.US magistrate Donna Ryu set bail at $500,000 for Noor Salman pending her trial on two charges related to the assault by her husband Omar Mateen on the Pulse gay nightclub in Florida that killed 49 people.Prosecutors had argued that Salman, who was arrested in January in connection with the massacre, should be kept behind bars because she posed a threat to society. They have until Friday to appeal the judge’s decision.In handing down her ruling, Ryu said there was no proof Salman had any connection to the Islamic State jihadist group or had exhibited extremist views.She also said there was no evidence Salman posed a risk of flight or a danger to the community.“I agree with the pretrial service recommendation and find that Ms Salman has rebutted the presumptions of both risk of flight and danger to the community and that she can and should be released pursuant to strict conditions that will reasonably mitigate those risks,” Ryu said.She ordered the 30-year-old, who had a four-year-old son with Mateen, to wear an electronic monitor while living with her maternal uncle in northern California, where she grew up.The ruling essentially puts Salman under house arrest, allowed to leave only for court appearances, to meet her legal team or for medical appointments for her and her son, Ryu said.Salman, whose case is being prosecuted in Florida, faces up to life in prison if convicted of the charge of assisting her husband in his bid to help a terrorist organisation.She also faces up to 20 years in prison on the second charge of lying to investigators.Police killed Mateen in a shootout. During the attack, he had called dispatchers to pledge allegiance to the Islamic State group.Comments have been closed for legal reasons. © – AFP 2017 Read: Dishwasher becomes partner at one of world’s best restaurants in reward for loyal service >Read: Trump’s attorney general had contact with Russia during campaign > Short URL Thursday 2 Mar 2017, 8:29 AM 7,612 Views Image: John Raoux No Comments center_img Supporters of the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting at a vigil. Supporters of the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting at a vigil. Image: John Raoux http://jrnl.ie/3266515 Orlando nightclub shooting: Widow of gunman to be released on bail Prosecutors had argued she should be kept behind bars because she posed a threat to society. Mar 2nd 2017, 8:29 AM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more


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first_img Share2803 Tweet Email Cloud turns to light as Captain Mark Duffy makes his final journey The funeral of the Coast Guard pilot, who died when his Rescue 116 helicopter crashed off the Mayo coast a fortnight ago, took place in Blackrock, Louth, yesterday. 39,795 Views “It’s just such a disaster,” said a Coast Guard volunteer, one of many doubling as stewards for the morning that was in it.He had two young kids. Everyone is so used to that feeling of comfort, you know the one, the heli flies overhead and you know it’s there, there for us all, doing its duty. But now it’s just not there any more is it.He shrugs sadly. His point is a good one. Watching the proud red-and-white livery of the Coast Guard flying overhead is an experience most Irish citizens can relate to. They keep us safe. Mark Duffy’s funeral is the second such dreadful occasion the Coast Guard has experienced in less than two weeks. Do we even realise how much we owe them?Throughout the service, prayers are repeatedly offered for the families of missing winchman Ciarán Smith and winch operator Paul Ormsby.For the loved ones of Captain Dara Fitzpatrick and Mark Duffy, there is at least some closure. They have been able to bring their people home.“We keep in our thoughts and prayers those who are missing,” said Parish Priest at Blackrock Pádraig Keenan. “We bring to mind their family members who are present with us and their colleagues in the Irish Coast Guard.” President Michael D Higgins gives Mark Duffy’s son, Fionn, a hug following the funeral service Source: Eamonn Farrell/Rollingnews.ie“His whole world”President Michael D Higgins and his aide-de-camp are present. It is the first time the president has been to Blackrock church since a similarly tragic event – the funeral of Garda Tony Golden, shot dead in the line of duty in October 2015.Immediately after the service, the president embraces Mark Duffy’s wife Hermione, widowed brutally after 26 years with her soulmate and 17 years of marriage, and her two children Fionn and Esmé.All three are distraught. “His family was his whole world, he was so proud of them,” said another of Mark’s friends, Coast Guard colleague Ed Shivnen, in his eulogy.“The outpouring of help to his family is a result of Mark’s hard work, and the friendships he made. I know he would have wanted us all here wearing our happiest smiles.”Hermione had asked Shivnen to read a specific poem, WB Yeats’ An Irish Airman Foresees His Death:I know that I shall meet my fate, somewhere among the clouds above…The years to come seemed waste of breath, a waste of breath the years behind,In balance with this life, this deathIt can hardly ever have been more apt.The prayers of the faithful asked that “Mark who was a gentle, sincere, kind and peace-loving man may now come to possess the happiness of the kingdom of heaven”; that “those who grieve for Mark’s loss may be comforted by the knowledge that the lord will take care of him.” The sun shines over Dundalk Bay at the end of the funeral service Source: TheJournal.ie“In the course of life a priest is often queried about the reality of immortality. To me the only answer always seemed to be that the human soul, the human personality is far too wonderful a thing to ever die,” Mark’s uncle, the Reverend Stephen Duffy, says in his homily.“I have never felt this so strongly as I did when confronted with Mark’s lifeless body after it was recovered from helicopter 116. I remember Robert Kennedy, speaking of his brother the late President John F Kennedy, after his assassination using the following words of Shakespeare:When he shall die, take him and cut him out in little stars and he will make the face of Heaven so fine that all the world will be in love with night and pay no worship to the garish sun.As Mark Duffy’s coffin left the church for the final time, down the hill the waves rolled in as the sea rushed the shore.And overhead, the sun shone.Read: ‘Paralysed with grief, we have lost one of God’s finest creatures’ – funeral of Captain Mark Duffy takes placeRead: ‘Captain, colleague, daughter, sister, mum, friend and hero’ – Captain Dara Fitzpatrick is laid to rest “Guess how much I love you. I love you to the moon and back” – wife Hermione pays heartbroken tribute to husband Cptn Mark Duffy #Rescue116— Cianan Brennan (@ciananbrennan) March 30, 2017 Captain Mark Duffy’s coffin is carried to the church in Blackrock Source: Eamonn Farrell/Rollingnews.ieBLACKROCK HAS A sense about it peculiar to a certain kind of Irish village. Secluded, quiet, peaceful, close to everything, situated as it is on the coast just south of Dundalk in north Louth, and yet on a plane all of its own.Not every Irish town is so naturally beautiful of course. Tucked in under the watchful eye of the Cooley Mountains on the shore of the Irish Sea, the view from the Church of St Oliver Plunkett is breathtaking.Captain Mark Duffy loved the Cooleys. “You can stick your Wicklow Mountains,” was his oft-repeated refrain, according to his friend, Garda Declan Whelan, who delivered a heartfelt eulogy at the Captain’s funeral yesterday morning.He would know. As one of the most senior pilots in the Irish Coast Guard, Mark no doubt had seen parts of every Irish mountain range that even God may have forgotten about.“‘A ham sandwich always tastes better at the top of a mountain at the end of a long hike’, that’s what Mark would say,” said Whelan. Mark DuffyIt was just one of many affectionate anecdotes shared about Duffy, a man seemingly universally beloved, by his friends. Taken at just 51, all could agree it was a shockingly young age for someone so full of life.Search and rescueAll morning dark clouds had gathered ahead of the funeral.For hours in advance the gold braid of Coast Guard pilots was in evidence along the coast road. They were joined in force by hundreds of others, and representatives of every search-and-rescue branch imaginable: the RNLI, Air Corps, Dublin Fire Brigade, Dundalk Fire Services, Her Majesty’s Coast Guard, various mountain rescues – they had all come to pay their respects; to stand in solidarity.They all, together with children from the local St Francis’ national and St Vincent’s secondary schools, formed a solemn guard of honour for the fallen pilot as he made his final journey home, led to the church by a mournful piper’s lament as the clouds finally burst. http://jrnl.ie/3315812 Mar 31st 2017, 6:01 AM center_img By Cianan Brennan 10 Comments Source: Cianan Brennan/Twitter Friday 31 Mar 2017, 6:01 AM Short URL Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more


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first_imgAu Texas, une nouvelle décharge de déchets radioactifs inquiète les écologistesLe Texas a ouvert les portes de la quatrième décharge de déchets radioactifs des Etats-Unis. Un site qui inquiète les écologistes, craignant une contamination de l’eau souterraine de l’aquifère Ogallala, l’un des plus grands du monde.Une décharge souterraine de déchets de radioactifs s’étendant sur plus de 520 hectares vient d’ouvrir ses portes dans une région reculée de l’ouest du Texas. Il s’agit du quatrième site stockant ce type de déchets aux Etats-Unis, et sa situation, au-dessus de l’immense aquifère Ogallala, l’un des plus grands du monde, suscite l’inquiétude des écologistes.Comme l’explique Chuck McDonald, un responsable du groupe qui gèrera cette décharge, Waste Control Specialists, le site accueillera des déchets d’un faible niveau de radioactivité. “Au départ, nous stockerons des déchets médicaux du Texas, venus de plusieurs endroits de l’Etat” indique-t-il à Reuters. Puis des déchets en plus grand nombre, provenant de plusieurs autres Etats y seront transportés par camion.Un projet auquel s’opposent les défenseurs de l’environnement, qui craignent une contamination des réserves d’eau souterraines, notamment dans la partie sud de l’aquifère d’Ogallala. “Cela pourrait affecter l’aquifère d’Ogallala, qui s’étend sur huit Etats allant du Texas jusqu’à la frontière canadienne” affirmeTom Smith, le directeur du groupe de défense des consommateurs Public Citizen au Texas.Une décharge loin d’être sûre ? À lire aussiDengue : symptômes, traitement, prévention, où en est-on ?Le propriétaire de la décharge assure que de l’argile sèche dans le sol préviendra la contamination des réserves d’eau souterraines. Mais un représentant démocrate du Texas dit avoir consulté des documents révélant que la décharge est loin d’être aussi sûre que ne le prétend Waste Control Specialists. Il affirme que des eaux s’infiltrent dans le périmètre du site. Des eaux qui selon lui, pourraient provenir de l’aquifère d’Ogallala.Les écologistes s’inquiètent en outre d’une éventuelle contamination engendrée par le vent, comme du risque de voir des camions déverser leurs chargements dans l’environnement en cas d’accident.Le 3 mai 2012 à 09:37 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more


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first_imgOn the road again, the Eleventh Doctor and companion Alice Obiefune unexpectedly land on The Devil’s Eye.The “galaxy-class pleasure hub for the discerning intergalactic traveler” is teeming with chaos and panic, as visitors flee a band of Ood.A formerly enslaved gestalt species of telepathic humanoids finally returned home, 15 odd Ood remain on The Devil’s Eye—servants to tourists.Dodging death by translator globe, the Doctor and Alice are, as the Time Lord points out, rudely and presumptively teleported to the maintenance bay by Jonni Haliburton (whose name may be a clue to her deceptive practices).Suddenly, everything makes sense: The Devil’s Eye station is floating just outside a black hole, cutting the Odd off from the song that calls them home. The song the Sapling—a destroyer of worlds in the mind of a child—warned them to “share.”But it’s no coincidence these Ood have become disenfranchised. Freedom fighter Jonni, the last “friend of the Ood” (“FOTO”) standing, has taken revenge on the alien race, infiltrating the resort and planting an algorithm in the Ood telepathic field monitors that puts them in “such mental anguish, such pain, that their natural reaction is to strike out at their masters,” the Doctor explained.Can the time travelers save the day, and their crystalline tree friend? Find out in “Time of the Ood,” from writer James Peaty and artist I.N.J. Culbard, on sale now from Titan Comics for $3.59 (print) and $3.99 (digital).via Titan ComicsAnd catch up with the Tragical History Tour in issues one through three: Last we saw them, the Doctor and Alice had narrowly escaped an attack from rogue Silent The Scream, and picked up a new proto-genocidal planetary terraformer lackey, Sapling, along the way.After discovering the flow of time had been shattered, the friends drive an iconic double-decker bus back to 1968, where the trouble started—and where it ended, thanks to Team TARDIS.last_img read more