first_imgA school steering team from the local community will meet soon toadvise government on $3.65 million in renovations planned forYarmouth Consolidated Memorial High School. The work will include a new classroom wing, cafeteria renovationsand a new roof. There will also be electrical, plumbing and manyother upgrades. Education Minister Jamie Muir said today, Feb. 2, he is pleasedto see the process get underway. “This is a significant investment in a fine school,” he said.”The close involvement of the community ensures that students andteachers will benefit from it for years to come.” Tri County Regional School Board chair Faye Haley said thesteering team will also consider adding a theatre to the school. “As a retired English and drama teacher, I find the idea ofhaving a theatre in the school a very pleasant one. I see it as agreat benefit to the students, staff and the community,” shesaid. Funding for a theatre would be raised by the community. Steering teams are created for every major school constructionproject to advise the Department of Education and the Departmentof Transportation and Public Works during the project. Appointedby the school board, the teams include community members and atleast one administrator, one principal and, in the case of highschools, a student. The Yarmouth Consolidated Memorial High School project is part ofan eight-year school construction program funded by theDepartment of Education worth more than $400 million. Planning and design work will begin in the 2005-06 school yearand construction is scheduled to finish in 2008-09.last_img read more

first_imgGail Gatchalian, chair of an independent board of inquiry in the matter of Warren Reed, Ben Marston, Paul Vienneau, Jeremy MacDonald and Kelly McKenna v. Province of Nova Scotia issued her decision late Thursday, Sept. 6. In her decision, she found the province, Department of Environment, discriminated against members of the public who use wheelchairs by not regulating and enforcing provisions of the Food and Safety Regulations relating to having accessible washrooms in restaurants with summer patios. Ms. Gatchalian ordered the province to interpret, administer and enforce the regulations as they appear. She also ordered that each complainant receive $1,000 in general damages. The full decision can be found at http://humanrights.novascotia.ca . -30-last_img

first_imgVANCOUVER – British Columbia’s election campaign is entering its final stretch after a TV debate Wednesday night that saw the three party leaders spar on the economy, housing and political leadership.Liberal Leader Christy Clark is trying to maintain her party’s 16-year grip on power and while her record was a target for her opponents, Clark was also on the offensive as she took shots at the NDP and Green party’s financial policies as a risk to an economy that has led growth across the country.But growth has also meant scorching house prices in the Vancouver area.Faced with the charge from NDP Leader John Horgan that the Liberals waited too long to help families trying to put a roof over their heads, Clark said she wanted to make sure the government didn’t wipe out the value people have built in their homes by acting rashly.“For people who already own a home, you have a lot of equity in that home, it is your investment and it’s something that you want to protect. So it was really important that our government make sure we did all of our homework,” said Clark, adding measures her government has taken like a 15 per cent tax on foreign buyers in Metro Vancouver has helped slow rising house prices.Green leader Andrew Weaver told Clark her government has a wrong-headed view of housing.“Houses and accommodations should be there for people to live in, not to be viewed as commodities to trade like gold or potash,” he said.Weaver and Horgan traded barbs during much of the debate, with the Green leader saying the New Democrats are not much of an alternative to Clark’s Liberals who have been in government since 2001.“Sixteen years and your whole narrative is to be better than the B.C. Liberals,” said Weaver. “Well, Mr. Horgan better than really bad is still just plain bad.”The leaders debated for the first time last week on radio, which was largely remembered for a testy exchange after Clark touched Horgan on the arm and told him to calm down, causing the NDP leader to ask his Liberal counterpart not to touch him again.The debate on Wednesday featured issue-dominated topics, but the moderator also singled out Horgan on his temperament, asking if he has an anger-management problem.Horgan said he gets angry when he sees government inaction on a range of issues from underfunding of schools to a lack of support for children in care, which has resulted in suicide.“I’m passionate. I got involved in public life because I wanted to make life better for people,” he said.Clark was also put on the spot when she was asked about a stipend she once collected from the Liberal party on top of her salary as premier and about the political donations that have led to a police investigation of B.C.’s political parties.The Liberal leader deflected the question on trust, partly by discussing her economic record.“I am someone … who has in my first term as premier experienced some controversy, but I have always done that with the best interests of people at heart, making sure that we are creating jobs for people.”The campaign has defined distinct choices for voters from the three parties.The Liberals have run a largely stay-the-course campaign so far, highlighting their stewardship of Canada’s top-performing economy. Clark is promising a personal income tax freeze, a small business tax cut and four more balanced budgets, building on a string of surpluses in the last five years.She said she is promising to create more jobs while the Greens and NDP oppose projects that create employment.“Both of these men have spent most of their political careers trying to fight against jobs in B.C.,” said Clark. “John Horgan is compromised and Dr. Weaver just isn’t that interested.”Horgan is running on the slogan “It’s time for a government that works for you,” a swipe at the Liberals over political donations from corporations and wealthy individuals. Clark has fired back on political donations, accusing the NDP of being under the influence of big unions after it emerged that some of the party’s senior campaign staff are being paid by the United Steelworkers.Horgan is promising a daycare program that would cost $10 a day, a significant increase in the minimum wage to $15 an hour, and the elimination of medical services premiums, something the Liberals have promised to halve, starting in January.Weaver is promising to double the tax on foreign home buyers and extend it across the province, while also providing free daycare for working parents who have children under the age of three.On the economy, Weaver accused Clark of misleading the public on the promise of a liquefied natural gas industry that she has trumpeted.Clark said she is still confident LNG will deliver jobs when the gas market recovers.“Both of these guys want to wave the white flag and put an end to those jobs and those hopes and dreams of all of those people who like to have a regular pay cheque,” she said.last_img read more

first_imgDALLAS – Airlines have figured out how to extract more money from passengers, and they will need it to cover rising costs for their own fuel, labour and other expenses.Not long ago, investors demanded that the airlines boost prices, even if it meant reducing flights to create a shortage of seats. Now they are obsessed with controlling expenses.They punished Southwest Airlines Co. on Thursday after the carrier warned about a surprisingly large increase in costs next year. Southwest reported a 16 per cent increase in third-quarter profit on higher revenue, beating expectations, but the shares dropped more than 8 per cent in afternoon trading.On the other hand, American Airlines Group Inc. reported that its profit plunged 48 per cent from a year ago because it failed to fully pass on $750 million in higher fuel prices to consumers. Yet American’s shares climbed 8 per cent after company executives laid out a plan to reduce spending, boost revenue, and grow earnings next year.All four of the largest U.S. airlines saw higher revenue in the third quarter than a year ago, and revenue per seat, a stand-in for average prices, is rising. Empty seats are hard to find. United Airlines President Scott Kirby called it “one of the best revenue environments we’ve ever seen.”Airlines are facing a strong headwind, however, from surging fuel prices. Spot prices are up about 35 per cent from this time last year, according to government figures.United said this month that it was recovering its entire fuel-cost increase from passengers, and Delta said it was covering about 85 per cent. American, however, said Thursday that it recovered just 40 per cent in the third quarter.“Our revenues are up, but not as much as those two airlines,” said American Chairman and CEO Doug Parker. Delta in particular is doing a better job of upselling customers on premium offerings, he said, while promising that American would get better at that too by improving its ticket-selling technology.Parker said American can find $1 billion in new revenue, much of it by selling upgraded “premium economy” seats on international flights and no-frills “basic economy” on more U.S. and international routes. To control costs, American will grow more slowly, cancel unprofitable flights like those between Chicago and China, save $1.2 billion by delaying delivery of 22 new Airbus jets over the next three years, and cut at least 100 management jobs.Some investors applauded the plan.“I was very pleased to hear that,” said Chris Terry, portfolio manager at Dallas-based Hodges Funds, which owns about 275,000 shares of American. “They are not just sitting back and waiting on things to happen.”American, based in Fort Worth, Texas, reported a third-quarter profit of $341 million, far behind Delta’s $1.3 billion, United’s $836 million, and Southwest’s $615 million. Revenue rose 5 per cent to $11.56 billion, a company record.American predicted that a key measure, revenue for each seat flown one mile, will rise by between 1.5 per cent and 3.5 per cent in the fourth quarter. Executives declined to say how much of that boost was coming from credit card deals and hauling cargo, two areas where American’s revenue is growing rapidly.Excluding non-recurring items, American earned $1.13 per share in the third quarter, matching the forecast of 16 analysts in a FactSet survey.It shares rose $2.51, or 8.3 per cent, to $32.85 in late-afternoon trading.Dallas-based Southwest’s profit of $615 million equaled $1.08 per share, 2 cents per share better than the FactSet forecast. Revenue rose 5.1 per cent to $5.58 billion.Southwest estimated that non-fuel costs per seat will rise 3 per cent next year — faster than this year.A Raymond James analyst called the looming increase in so-called unit costs “a negative surprise.” A Stifel analyst said it was “way above our expectations.”The prospect of higher costs is particular critical for Southwest, which has long used lower costs to undercut fares charged by its chief rivals. That cost advantage is narrowing, however, and Southwest often does not beat its bigger brethren on prices.Chairman and CEO Gary Kelly noted that Southwest has spent money to improve its frequent-flyer program and reservation system, which he said increased revenue, and to buy new planes. It also faces higher costs because it carries more passengers and more bags than ever, he said.Kelly said some cost increases are acceptable, and he promised to focus on controlling others.“Certainly we can’t be satisfied with that kind of unit-cost increase, and we’re not,” the CEO said on a call with analysts.Southwest shares fell $4.66, or 8.5 per cent, to $49.93 shortly before the closing bell.Meanwhile, Seattle-based Alaska Air Group Inc., parent of Alaska Airlines, reported profit of $217 million, down 16 per cent from a year ago on a 39 per cent increase in fuel and 15 per cent hike in labour costs.___David Koenig can be reached at http://twitter.com/airlinewriterlast_img read more

15 December 2011Delegates from United Nations Member States gathered in New York today to begin discussions on inputs, the structure and format of the outcome document to be finalized by world leaders at next year’s UN conference on sustainable development in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro. The two-day Second Intersessional Meeting on UN Conference of Sustainable Development (Rio+20) marks a scaling up of the process to focus attention on global decisions that will help countries and communities move towards a green economy, while accelerating efforts to eradicate poverty and promote sustainable development.“As we work on preparing the zero draft, we must remember that it is a negotiating draft and not a negotiated draft,” said Sha Zukang, the Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs and Secretary-General of the Rio+20 Conference, at the opening of the meeting.Priority issues emphasized in the submissions for the draft include sustainable energy for all, water and oceans, according to Mr. Sha.On energy, many of the submissions have endorsed the concrete goals for energy proposed under the Secretary-General’s initiative on sustainable energy for all, which are anchored on the three pillars of sustainable development – social, economic and environmental concerns.Concerning water, one of the goals proposed would go beyond achieving universal access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation by 2030, while others have suggested targets for improving water use efficiency in agriculture, power generation and industry.On oceans, proposals have come in for phasing out subsidies that encourage overfishing, tougher measures to deter illegal fishing, extending marine protected areas and cooperation in monitoring ocean acidification, Mr. Sha told the meeting.The President of the General Assembly, Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, in his address to the meeting called for renewed international action on sustainable social and economic development.“I encourage the international community to build a stronger sense of urgency and responsibility regarding the outcome of Rio+20,” he said in a speech delivered on his behalf by Tariq Al-Ansari, the deputy chef de cabinet in his office.“We must build consensus, enhance coordination and cooperation, and develop an efficient and effective governance framework that is action-orientated and actor-driven. The benefits of sustainable development must also be extended to people of all countries,” Mr. Al-Nasser added.He called for a “concise” and “non-repetitive” Rio+20 outcome document.The open-ended and transparent process for collecting inputs for consideration at the Conference was decided at a preparatory committee meeting held earlier this year. read more

The White House said the United States urges the Sri Lankan government to develop a comprehensive action plan for implementing steps on reconciliation and accountability, as called for in the resolution, and to work with UN experts and its partners in the international community to take meaningful action to achieve these important goals, which will be a critical part of Sri Lanka’s efforts to provide a bright, peaceful, and stable future for all of its people. He said in a statement the resolution, which received broad support from around the world, calls for a range of critical steps that would go a long away to advancing the rights and dignity of the Sri Lankan people. US President Barack Obama has hailed the vote on Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council yesterday.White House National Security Council Spokesman Tommy Vietor said the United States Government applauds the passage of the UN Human Rights Council’s resolution on “Promoting reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka.” “We stand ready to partner with Sri Lanka in this important effort,” the statement added.US Secretary of State John Kerry had yesterday said the US sponsored resolution adopted at the UN Human Rights Council reaffirmed that Sri Lanka must take meaningful action on reconciliation and accountability in order to move forward. He said the vote in the UN Human Rights Council encourages the Government of Sri Lanka to continue on the path toward lasting peace and prosperity following decades of civil war and instability.“This resolution, which builds on a similar 2012 resolution, reaffirmed that Sri Lanka must take meaningful action on reconciliation and accountability in order to move forward. The United States, together with international partners, calls upon the Government of Sri Lanka to fulfill its public commitments to its own people on these longstanding issues,” he said.The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) today adopted the US sponsored resolution on Sri Lanka with 25 in favor, 13 against it and 8 abstentions. (Colombo Gazette) read more

A wreath laid by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at a commemoration ceremony at the Brussels airport for the victims of the 22 March attacks that took place at the airport and at a metro station in the city. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas Moreover, States must affirm their responsibility to uphold the norms that safeguard humanity, and leave no one behind, as well as change people’s lives by moving from delivering aid to ending need and investing in humanity. “Now we must take those commitments forward, through intergovernmental and inter-agency processes, with regular progress reviews,” the Secretary-General said. “The United Nations counts on your ideas and your partnership to build a better future for all of humanity – for people, planet, peace and prosperity,” he concluded. Also today, Mr. Ban laid a wreath at Brussels Airport, in the presence of senior Belgian officials and first responders, to commemorate the terrorist bombings in Brussels.The attacks, which occurred on 22 March, resulted in the deaths of 32 people and many more injuries. “This was a heinous attack not only on Belgium, but on all of humanity. The attack, here at the airport and at the metro station, symbolizes this: the one place where all different nationalities congregate,” Mr. Ban said. The Secretary-General also met with the President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, and discussed the decision by the Government to close refugee camps, encouraging the Government to work with the Government of Somalia and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in the context of the Tripartite Agreement. In addition, Mr. Ban received the Grand Cordon of the Order of Leopold from King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium. He also attended an Asia Society Dialogue meeting and participated in an Advisory Board meeting of the Sustainable Energy for All initiative. Speaking at the European Development Days – an annual two-day forum organized by the European Commission bringing together the development community to share ideas and experiences – the Secretary-General emphasized that the focus of this year’s meeting on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was timely and influential, given that the meetings have fostered partnership and innovation for a better future for the past 10 years. “National borders do not defend against climate change, emerging diseases or economic shocks,” Mr. Ban said. “Our challenges are global, and it is only as a global family that we can overcome them.” For that reason, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are universal, addressing existing and emerging global challenges, and recognizing that such challenges are faced by developing and developed countries alike, the UN chief said. Acknowledging that developing countries need special attention, Mr. Ban underscored that all countries have inequality and youth unemployment, are vulnerable to economic instability, and need to promote gender equality. “The goals set out a path for the future of our planet, and all who inhabit it. Everyone, including and especially those who live in the most developed nations, has a role to play in ensuring that our planet can support the people of coming generations,” the Secretary-General said. “The 2030 Agenda represents a paradigm shift. It challenges us to rethink how we do development,” he added. In that vein, Mr. Ban stressed that “every effort” should be made to meet official development assistance (ODA) targets. Commending those countries that have met the 0.7 target, he urged all European Union (EU) Member States to do so. “The quality of ODA also needs to improve. And we need better links between development and humanitarian relief,” the Secretary-General said. In addition, he emphasized that the World Humanitarian Summit convened in Istanbul, Turkey, this past month, along with the Agenda for Humanity outlining five priorities that complement the goals of the 2030 Agenda, clearly outlined that leaders must assume their responsibility to prevent and end conflict. read more

The Ohio State men’s basketball team is going dancing despite a quarterfinal loss in the Big Ten Tournament.The Buckeyes (23-10, 11-7) were given the 10 seed in the West Region for the NCAA Tournament on Sunday night, drawing a matchup with seven-seed Virginia Commonwealth University set for Thursday in Portland, Ore.VCU holds a 26-9 record heading into the NCAA Tournament to go with a 12-6 mark in Atlantic 10 play. The Rams topped Dayton, 71-65, on Sunday to win their conference tournament championship.OSU dropped out of the conference tournament on Friday with a 76-67 loss to Michigan State in Chicago after topping Minnesota in the second round Thursday. But that loss didn’t deter the selection committee as the Buckeyes picked up their seventh straight NCAA bid.The Buckeyes lost in their first game of the 2014 tournament, against Dayton in Buffalo. They had made it to the Elite Eight in 2013 and the Final Four in 2012.Big Ten champion Wisconsin is the top seed in the West Region, while Arizona, Baylor and North Carolina round out the top four spots. If OSU tops VCU, it will take on the winner of the matchup between two-seed Arizona and 15-seed Texas Southern on Saturday. read more

first_imgThere were fears for a pair of missing British sisters, who had not been heard from since Hurricane Irma hit the island they were staying on.Delighted aunt Ruth Bolton today said on her fundraising page that Afiya Frank, 27, – who is seven months pregnant – and her sister Asha Frank, 29, were both all right after becoming lost in Barbuda.She previously called on Richard Branson to help find her family, adding “The silence is unbearable.”The courageous sisters had gone to help with the massive voluntary evacuation effort on the wrecked island as thousands were left homeless as almost every building was demolished.She said on her GoFundMe page: “Today we have been getting a little news from Barbuda. Asha is an ecological expert and former beauty queenCredit:Facebook The two last texted family at 10.30pm last night, and their parents who are in Britain are desperate for news.Her aunt Ms Bolton, who lives in Suffolk, told the Evening Standard she has been up all night waiting for news from her two nieces and brother-in-law.She said that her and her sister, Claire, were  “going out of their minds” with worry.“The three of them were all in the house together and they had boarded up the property,” Ms Bolton said.“Since then we have not heard anything. “[Claire] is going out of her mind. Having said that, she is resilient. She went through Hurricane Luis [in 1995] and after that we lost contact with Barbuda for a week – but that was before mobile phones. Now we are so used to having instant contact.”She has set up a GoFundMe page to help with efforts to find the sisters, which has so far raised over £3,000. “The Team Antigua Atlantic Rowers managed to get word back and some film footage of the island.”It has been frustrating waiting for news and the lack of information unbearable.”We now know that everyone is accounted for.”She added: “Asha and Afiya Frank have been seen helping with the voluntary evacuation.”Families are still trying to trace their loved ones and a boat and plane will travel back with more passengers tomorrow.”Afiya Frank, 27, is due to give birth in November and was supposed to travel home next week to prepare to have her child in a British hospital due to lacking medical facilities in Barbuda, where she was staying. Afiyah was due to return home next week Asha is an ecological expert and former beauty queen Afiyah was due to return home next weekCredit:Facebook She is missing along with her sister, Asha Frank, 29, who is an ecological expert who was on the island to help with marine conservation efforts.Ms Frank also works as a local councillor and was helping with emergency procedures before she lost contact with her family. She said: “Through the appeal we have been in touch with a boat that is attempting to reach Antigua and Barbuda this morning and they have offered to take a satellite phone with them if we can get it to them.“Trying to find where we can get hold of one nearby is hard – I think our next step is to see if we can get one in Miami and have it shipped over.” Ms Bolton said: “Afiya works the season at the Barbuda Belle resort, then was planning on coming here to have her baby and go back and work the season again next year. I doubt Barbuda Belle is even there anymore.”Barbuda’s prime minister Gaston Browne confirmed the island was left “almost uninhabitable” by the hurricane.”It is a total devastation – Barbuda now is literally a rubble,” he told local TV and radio station ABS.His government estimated destruction on Barbuda was “upwards of 90 per cent”.A two-year-old child was confirmed dead on the island overnight as a family tried to escape..  The family lived through Hurricane Luis, which struck the area in 1995, but Mrs Frank said this storm had surpassed it.She said: “People were talking about being sucked out of their houses because of the low pressure and twisters.”I think this hurricane surpassed all of them, and I think the trauma of being through something like that can affect you for several weeks after, so I really just want to speak to them.”Everyone is on Whatsapp and Twitter and Facebook all the time now. A silence of hours is almost unbearable for some people because we are used to that kind of instant communication so it’s just unacceptable to me that satellite phones weren’t available and taken over there so they can report back.” 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. Mrs Frank met her husband in Leicester, and they have lived on the Caribbean island for 30 years.Their two daughters were born in the UK and moved to Barbuda when they were young, while the couple’s son was born on the island but now works in England.last_img read more

first_imgTHE DEPARTMENT of the Environment has given an oil company a licence to drill a single exploratory oil well off Dalkey in Co Dublin.The licence, granted by junior environment minister Jan O’Sullivan, has been awarded to Providence Resources which is already drilling for oil off the coast of Co Cork.The foreshore licence will permit a single exploratory well and is subject to 22 conditions which include measures aimed at environment and ecological protection as well as human health and safety.Drilling can go ahead once Providence secures the necessary consents from the Department Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.O’Sullivan said any application to proceed with a full commercial exploration of the oil would require clearance from several bodies including two government departments, the EPA, an Bord Pleanála and the possibility of a public inquiry.Local TD Richard Boyd-Barrett condemned the licence and said it was now likely to be a matter of routine that a full extraction licence would be awarded, as there had not been any previous example of an extraction licence being refused once an original exploratory licence was granted.“It is before the granting of the foreshore licence that an environmental assessment impact should have been done,” he said.“In Norway, one of the world’s biggest oil producers, every application for an exploratory licence is accompanied by a public inquiry, why do we not follow this ‘best practice’?”Boyd-Barrett voiced concerns that any environmental disaster could have an immediate and dreadful impact on the coastline, and said the location of any oil or gas could see the full industrialisation of one of Ireland’s most beautiful coastlines.He also criticised the current tax regime under which Providence would be entitled to write off the costs of finding any oil against the tax payable on its sale, and the fact that explorers are under no obligation to sell some of their findings to the Irish state.The environmental protection group An Taisce also expressed concern, saying it believed the potential threats to Dublin Bay “have not been adequately assessed”.“Overall, the assessment of the potential impacts of this exploration and drilling licence were not adequately evaluated to ensure the protection of a number of species and habitats,” the group said, saying an environmental impact assessment should have been conducted before any licence was granted.Read: More oil off Cork coast, says ProvidenceIn depth: How much is the Barryroe oil find actually worth to us?last_img read more

first_imgI WAS AGHAST at the weight of books involved. When I took the delivery box of a five-kilo box, I was shocked when I realised that there was still more to come. At around that time, the excessive weight of school pupils’ bags surfaced in the letters page of the Irish Times. However, the topic sank without trace, prompting me to wonder whether TDs (or indeed journalists for that matter) have school age children.Perhaps their kids don’t travel with heavy bags by public transport, foot or bike. Perish the thought that members of the Oireachtas lack interest in the day-to-day concerns of us ordinary mortals.After the daily struggle of loading our daughter up like the proverbial packhorse, I did a little research into the school bag issue. A Working Party set up in 1997 by the Minister for Education and Science Micheál Martin TD had investigated the matter. I was wearily unsurprised that the subsequent report changed nothing. The backs of the nation’s children have continued to bend under hefty bags since then. Now if they had only taken a Ryanair zero tolerance approach, things might look a little different. I jest, but something meaningful does need to be done.The technology panacea The writers of the 1998 report naively declared that information technology will solve many of the factors leading to heavy school bags. The report speculates that all of this educational integration ‘may have some impact on the subject of this report in the medium to long term’ without saying exactly how long ‘medium’ and ‘long term’ are.The vagueness of the word ‘may’ is classic working party fudge and sounds more desperate than hopeful. Sixteen years after the report expounding its cheery theory about technology relieving the burden of paper carrying, kids still often lug more than the recommended ten percent of body weight. I have heard anecdotes about children literally keeling over under the weight of books. (This is only funny if your children are cartoon characters or they have body doubles for the school run.)A major initiative called ‘Schools IT 2000’ was set up to integrate information and communication technologies into education. Several years down the line, having literally weighed the evidence, I do not see that this initiative has reduced the school bag weight by so much as a nanogram. It’s about time someone did something about the excess baggage on board.Educational publishersThe writers of the report go on to address other possible solutions than IT, including collaboration between teachers and educational publishers. The sting in the tale seems to be that many people have known for years that schoolchildren are potentially suffering damage to their backs, but there is not enough will to find an effective solution. The Minister of Education, schools, publishers and parents could work out a way of lessening the burden.According to the findings of the 1998 report, there will be a brave new world where children’s school bags are as light as feathers as ‘computer workstations, with networking facilities and multi-user capacity will complement “chalk and talk” in interactive learning’. A technological revolution has not replaced those sets of heavy textbooks. Some schools have tried to go down the ipad route but that brings a different set of problems. Whether this involves less reliance on workbooks by teachers, overhauling textbook production or the school co-ordinating homework and timetables more efficiently, then surely after all this time something could be done.Hoping that technology will provide all the answers hasn’t got us very far and children are still storing up back problems for the future. Many parents will resort to buying two sets of schoolbooks to relieve the burden, which only lines the educational publishers’ pockets.Christine Mills works in Dublin as a bookseller and blogs about books at Tales From the Landing Bookshelves and also jointly runs a craft blog called Curiously, Creative. She contributes to the members blog at Writing.ie and writes about her cultural activities for Irish News Review. Book and cultural related tweets at @landing_talesCelebration? – fear of ‘birthday marathon’ creates dread in parentsBack to school costs fall in 2014 but are still ‘crippling too many families’last_img read more

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Following the death of a three-year-old and four others left ill following the consumption of raw milk, the State Government has vowed to crack down on dairy farmers as of January 1 2015. The announcement that came late last month requires by law that dairy farmers either treat their raw milk or add a bittering agent to it, making it unpalatable.Although raw milk is already not permitted to be sold for consumption across Victoria, Consumer Affairs Minister Jane Garrett believes the packaging and sale of raw milk as a cosmetic product is causing confusion. “Despite the labeling of raw milk as not fit for human consumption, some Victorians have been put at risk from drinking it,” Ms Garrett told the Herald Sun. With many Greek Australian dairy farmers amongst the producers of raw milk, their dairy’s are of those in Victoria that will be affected. To further convey the great significance of this crackdown, those breaching the new rules will be fined a sum of $17,700, with farmers risking the revocation of their dairy license. last_img read more

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, Turks and Caicos, June 23, 2016 — CIBC FirstCaribbean recently launched its new user-friendly mobile banking app for smartphones which is yet another innovation by the regional bank to provide customers with banking solutions that fit their lives.“The new Mobile App joins a series of innovations introduced to help the bank’s customers determine the banking experience they want – in essence control over how and when they bank is entirely in the hands of the client,” said Trevor Torzsas, Managing Director of Customer Relationship Management and Strategy.Mr. Torzas said the app “was something our customers have been asking for and the initial feedback since its launch has been excellent. We are giving our customers here in The Bahamas additional options when banking with us.”Mr. Torzsas said the new app “proves that CIBC FirstCaribbean is the bank that fits seamlessly into our clients’ lives. All the enhancements that we have put in place over the past two or three years are part of our promise to deliver innovative products and services that truly meet our clients’ individual needs.”“Banking that fits your life – that is what we are ultimately aiming to provide to all our customers and our products were the obvious place to start and our Mobile Banking App is just one of those innovations,” the bank executive noted.He added that the bank “already offers one of the best internet banking services in this region; and this combined with the new Mobile App and the improvements we are making to our ABM fleet means that our clients need never set foot in a banking hall, unless they’ve come to apply for a loan…and even that is now possible online!”Much like its internet banking, the new app, accessed via Android, Apple, Blackberry and Windows devices, affords users the convenience of checking their account balances, transferring funds, paying bills and locating branches and Instant Tellers™, all from their mobile device.He said the app was a “significant step in our being able to add value for our customers who can now do their banking from the palm of their hand. Today’s individual increasingly has a lifestyle that is fast-paced that affords them little time to spend in a queue in the banking hall. Our Mobile Banking App will forever change the way they interact with the bank. Combine this with our online application process and paperless statement delivery and you have a best in class digital banking service for the tech-savvy who are always on the go.”Mr. Torzsas noted that the bank which has almost 250 years of combined experience in the region will continue to invest in a strong line up of services such as its recently launched chip and pin technology for its merchant clients to ensure the highest standards of security.It will also be moving to the same secure chip and pin technology later this year for all its credit card clients in order to give an even greater degree of protection against any attempts at compromising accounts.He said the bank will also continue to invest in building a foundation to service its retail, wealth, business banking and large corporate clients by continuing to build close relationships with them as “we drive a client centric approach to everything we do”.In furtherance of this objective CIBC FirstCaribbean recently expanded its ABM network in TCI bringing the total number of ABMs up to 10, the bank upgraded its ABM network with a new machine at the entrance of the Grace Bay Branch, and new remote machines at IGA Smart, IGA Gourmet and the TCI Cruise Port in Grand Turk. The existing machine at Grace Bay was also replaced with a new one.In addition, a $1.4million remodeling of the Leeward Highway Branch is expected this summer, announced in April by CIBC FirstCaribbean’s Managing Director of Retail, Mark St. Hill. Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:last_img read more

first_imgSKAMANIA — The trail to the top of Beacon Rock has reopened following completion of repairs to a bridge damaged in a January rock slide.The mile-long trail to the top of the rock is a popular day hike. On Jan. 25, falling rock damaged the beams of one of the bridges affixed to a cliff face.Dan R. Dalton, Inc., of Usk, was hired to repair the steel beams. State parks staff repaired the wood decking and hand rails.Beacon Rock State Park is 35 miles east of Vancouver along state Highway 14 in Skamania County.last_img

first_imgFORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) – Police are looking to identify a robber who got away with cash from a Fort Lauderdale Jimmy John’s.Video inside the sandwich restaurant near Southeast Fifth Street and Seabreeze Boulevard captured the subject storming inside, last Tuesday.The subject held a gun and covered his face, as he forced an employee to empty the cash register.Fort Lauderdale Police want to identify the armed robber.If you have any information on this hold up, call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $3,000 reward.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img

first_imgWikimedia Commons09.00: And finally, exit poll results hint that BJP will open their account in the Thiruvananthapuram constituency. As per surveys, Kummanam Rajasekharan will overpower Shashi Tharoor of UDF and C Divakaran of LDF and will emerge as the first ever MP of BJP in Kerala.08.40: In Kollam too, UDF overpowered LDF in a wide margin, while in Attingal, LDF wins over UDF. Surprisingly, BJP gained 16 percent votes in Attingal, while LDF and UDF gained 42 and 39 percent votes respectively. 08.29: In Pathanamthitta, UDF is expected to win, while BJP’s K Surendran will come in the second spot. UDF is expected to triumph in the Mavelikkara constituency too. 08.15: As per exit poll surveys, LDF is expected to win in Alappuzha constituency. Despite the negative wave that spread during election times, AM Arif will overpower Shanimol Usman in the constituency. 07.32: Exit poll surveys reveal that UDF will win Chalakkudy, Ernakulam, Kottayam and Idukki constituencies. 07.30: Mathrubhumi news exit poll survey claims that UDF’s TN Prathapan will win the election in the Thrissur constituency. Celebrated candidate of BJP Suresh Gopi will improve BJP’s status in Thrissur by grabbing 23 percent votes. 07.19: Alathur is a constituency where LDF and UDF fought vigorously to win the contest. Mathrubhumi exit poll survey reveals that Remya Haridas of UDF will defeat PK Biju of CPI(M). It should be noted that Alathur was one of the sure shot seats of CPI(M), and Remya’s triumph in the constituency comes as a real surprise. As per the exit poll, Remya Haridas will rack up 48 percent votes, while PK Biju will get only 37 percent votes. 07.15: However, the exit poll conducted by News18-IPSOS reveals that LDF will win 11-13 seats in Kerala, while UDF will get 7-9 seats.07.09: Times Now survey reveals that UDF led by the Indian National Congress will grab 15 seats in Kerala, while LDF will manage to get only 4 seats. The exit poll conducted by the National channel claims that BJP will get one seat from Kerala. 07.05: As expected MB Rajesh of CPI(M) grabs the Palakkad seat with style. As per the Mathrubhumi survey, BJP’s Krishna Kumar will come in the second spot overpowering Indian National Congress. 06.59: UDF triumphs in both Malappuram and Ponnani, as per Mathrubhumi exit poll survey.06.52: In Kozhikode, LDF wins their first seat in Malabar, but in a margin of just one percent. Mathrubhumi News reveals that A Pradeep Kumar will win the election with 42 percent votes, while UDF’s MK Raghavan will get 41 percent.In the meantime, India Today-Axis survey reveals that UDF will win 15-16 seats in Kerala, while LDF will only get 3-4 seats. The exit poll also adds that NDA may open their first ever seat in Kerala in this election. 06.51: Stay tuned to know the winner in Kozhikode constituency. 06.44: Indian National Congress grabs its fourth seat from North Kerala. Mathrubhumi News exit poll reveals that Rahul Gandhi will win the Wayanad constituency with 51 percent vote share. Thushar Vellappally of NDA will miserably fail the elections as he will grab only 12 percent votes. 06.41: In Vadakara, CPI(M)’s PK Jayarajan will fail miserably to K Muraleedharan of Indian National Congress. Mathrubhumi News exit poll reveals that Jayarajan will get only 42 percent votes while Muraleedharan will successfully procure 47 percent. 06.38: K Sudhakaran of UDF is expected to win the Kannur constituency, as per Mathrubhumi News exit poll. The news channel reveals that Sudhakaran will claim 43 percent votes from the constituency, while PK Sreemathy of CPI(M) will lose the contest after grabbing 41 percent votes. 06.30: Mathrubhumi exit poll reveals that Rajmohan Unnithan of Indian National Congress will win the Kasargode constituency. As per Mathrubhumi exit poll, Rajmohan Unnithan will get 46 percent vote share in the elections, while the main opponent Satheesh Chandran of LDF will get only 33 percent votes.   The Lok Sabha election has reached its end as the final and seventh phase of the polls concluded on Sunday, May 19. The much-anticipated vote counting will be carried out on May 23 to determine the fate of Narendra Modi’s government.Media outlets like India Today-Axis, Times Now-CNX, NewsX-Neta, Republic Bharat-Jan Ki Baat, Republic-CVoter, ABP-CSDS and Today’s Chanakya are expected to reveal their exit poll results by 6.30 pm. Regional television channels in Kerala like Asianet News, Manorama News, and Mathrubhumi News will also broadcast their exit poll results this evening.When it comes to Kerala, the main battle is between UDF led by the Congress and LDF led by CPI(M). However, several political experts believe that BJP is expected to open their account in Kerala for the first time in history. BJP state leaders also claim that they will win in Thiruvananthapuram, Pathanamthitta and Thrissur constituencies.An election exit poll is basically a poll of voters taken immediately after they exit the polling stations. Even though this poll will reflect the trends to some extent, exit poll results have many times gone wrong in the past. However, there are also several instances where exit poll results hit the Bull’s eye. For example, in the 2014 exit poll, Today’s Chanakya had predicted 291 seats for BJP, and their results turned true when the results of the election were announced.last_img read more

first_imgGraphic on the `golden triangle` drug network. AFP”Golden Triangle” countries must address corruption and collaborate more closely to tackle record meth production and the gangs who traffick the drug across Southeast Asia and beyond, the UN said Monday.From Bangkok to Brisbane, authorities are raking in huge hauls of methamphetamine stimulant pills — better known as “yaba” — and the purer, more potent crystallised version known as “ice”.They hail from the “Golden Triangle”, a lawless wedge of land that intersects China, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar and is the world’s second-largest drug-producing region.Its drug labs — mainly in Myanmar’s conflict-ridden Shan State — are working overtime, aiding organised crime gangs in their quest for new markets as far away as Australia and Japan.Worth an estimated $40 billion a year, huge volumes of meth pass through the Golden Triangle, waved through by corrupt law enforcement and border controls.”Ensuring governance and the rule of law will be crucial to any long-term reduction in drug production and trafficking,” said Jeremy Douglas, regional representative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime for Southeast Asia and the Pacific.”To be candid, it also means addressing the corruption, conditions and vulnerabilities that allow organised crime to keep expanding operations.”He was speaking in the Myanmar capital Naypyidaw at a rare regional meeting of police and officials who are aiming to forge a new strategy to fight the drug scourge.In recent months several Myanmar soldiers have been arrested with massive caches of yaba, destined for Bangladesh.Myanmar authorities say they are ready to cooperate with their neighbours to stem the flow of drugs and precursor chemicals used by the cook houses in Shan State.”A top priority for us, is a regional precursor strategy that will slow the supply of chemicals… into the drug-producing areas of the Golden Triangle,” Myanmar’s Deputy Home Minister Major General Aung Soe said in a statement.A surge in supply has seen prices for a single yaba pill plummet to around $2 at its cheapest in Thailand and around $7 in Singapore, according to UNODC figures, raising fears over addiction rates.The UN agency also urged regional governments to address money laundering, share more intelligence on the drug gangs and offer community-based rehabilitation for addicts and petty dealers rather than jail.last_img

first_imgThe District of Columbia Department of Health is sponsoring free community events to educate the public about the Zika virus and supply them with kits to help, including repellent, mosquito dunks and condoms. For more information contact DOH Animal Services Program at 202-442-5833 or e-mail mosquito.info@dc.gov. The events are scheduled on May 14 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in all eight wards of the city. Zika education and prevention events will be held at:Ward 1    Banneker Recreation Center 2500 Georgia Ave NW  20001Ward 2    Jellef Recreation Center 3265 S St NW  20007Ward 3    Chevy Chase Community Center 5601 Connecticut Ave NW  20015Ward 4    Emery Recreation Center 5801 Georgia NW 20011Ward 5    Brentwood Recreation Center 2311 14th St NE  20018Ward 6    Kennedy Recreation Center 1401 7th St NW  20001Ward 7    Deanwood Recreation Center 1350 49th St NE  20019Ward 8    Bald Eagle Recreation Center 100 Joliet St SW  20032last_img read more

first_imgBy Lenore T. Adkins, Special to the AFROC. Payne Lucas, co-founder of Africare, a Washington, D.C.- based aid organization focused on Africa’s development and policy issues, died Sept. 15 at a Silver Spring, Md. hospital, The Washington Post reported. Lucas, 85, died of advanced dementia, according to the newspaper.Africare was originally based in the embassy of Niger and the organization would go on to become the largest African-American nonprofit specializing in aid to African countries, according to the Post.C. Payne Lucas, co-founder of Africare. (Courtesy Photo)At the time of Lucas’ retirement from the organization’s helm in 2002, Africare had directed more than $400 million to 27 countries for famine and drought relief, agriculture, HIV/AIDS prevention and other initiatives, the Post reported.Born Cleotha Payne Lucas on Sept. 14, 1933, in Spring Hope, N.C., as one of 14 children, Lucas grew up in poverty. He earned money as a child by shining shoes and picking cotton, the paper reported.He wrested himself out of that life by focusing on education and earning scholarships. Lucas received a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore in 1959 as well as a master’s degree in government in 1961 from American University, the Post reported. He put his education on hold for a time to serve in the U.S. Air Force, according to the Post.After graduation, Lucas interned for the Democratic National Committee before joining the nascent Peace Corps, the Post reported. He initially served as a field representative for Togo, an experience that deeply moved him because it was the first place he visited where Blacks were running the show, the Post reported.Lucas rose the ranks of the nascent Peace Corps, working in various positions including regional director for Africa and director of the office of returned volunteers, the Post reported. From there, he helped found Africare in 1971.Among the first issues Africare took on was easing the drought that destroyed the Sahel, the region south of the Sahara, according to the Post. Later, it wasn’t unusual to find him on television or testifying before Congress on any humanitarian crisis he felt the international community had forgotten, the Post reported.While Lucas brimmed with pride over donations Africare received from the U.S. government, corporations, the diplomatic and political communities  and other heavy hitters, he dreamed of attracting more African-American support, the paper reported.“Most African Americas are realizing that they don’t expect to be free in America until Africans are free,” Lucas said. “It’s one and the same cause. It’s self-respect.”Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m.  Sept. 26 at the National Presbyterian Church, 4101 Nebraska Ave. NW. An hour devoted to family and friends precedes the service at noon.Lucas’ survivors include his wife, Freddie, his daughter, Hillary and grandchildren Walter and Cody.last_img read more

first_imgSource = Mike Parker-Brown, PR, Nanuku Auberge Resort Fiji Nanuku Auberge Resort FijiNanuku named as one of South Pacific’s top 25 hotelsNanuku Auberge Resort Fiji has once again been recognised for its superior service receiving a much coveted TripAdviser ‘Travelers Choice’ award.Based on reviews and opinions received from literally millions of international travellers, this latest accolade recognises the Pacific Harbour-based resort as being among the top 25 hotels – both large and small – in the South Pacific for its luxury and service elements.The award builds on a TripAdvisor ‘Certificate of Excellence for Superior Service’, Nanuku received in 2016.The resort is again in the running to win a much sought-after ‘Best Dining Experience’ title at this year’s ‘Fiji Excellence in Tourism’ awards for the second time having won the prestigious award in 2016.Paying tribute to the Nanuku team for the efforts they go to in ensuring the resort continues to receive these accolades, a delighted Director of Sales & Marketing, Shashita Nand said after client recognition, industry acknowledgement was highly appreciated.“We are extremely honored to have received this accolade,” Ms Nand said.,“Being recognized as one of the top 25 hotels in the South Pacific is huge recognition when you take into account the number of luxury resorts and properties in the region these days.”For further information CLICK HERElast_img read more