Why is BJP-Shiv Sena alliance on the brink again?

first_imgWhy are the allies fighting?On September 21, Maratha strongman and former Chief Minister Narayan Rane quit the Congress. Amid speculation that he would be joining the BJP, its ally in power, the Shiv Sena sent out signals that it was keeping open the option of quitting the government. What are the key points of rift?Mr. Rane was expelled from the Sena in 2005 after he opposed the rise of Uddhav Thackeray within the party ranks. He is also a strong player in the Sindhudurg area of the Konkan belt, which is traditionally a Sena stronghold. Mr. Uddhav Thackeray, Sena president, and party members have been upset with the Devendra Fadnavis government over various issues as well, including farm loan waivers and pending development work. The BJP-Shiv Sena alliance is a marriage of convenience. They need each other for two primary political objectives — to keep the Congress out of power and to keep the flame of Hindutva politics burning in Maharashtra. Outside the State, the Sena wields hardly any influence.When was the alliance forged?Over the course of the relationship, which began nearly three decades ago in 1989, it was the Sena that mostly dominated the alliance. When the duo gained power in 1995, it was Sena’s Manohar Joshi who took over as the State Chief Minister. Later, in the five-year tenure, he resigned and Mr. Rane served as Chief Minister for about eight months. The situation was not any different in Mumbai’s municipal corporation (BMC), India’s richest. The Sena has dominated the corporation for over two decades, but the BJP has been gaining ground since 2007. That year, it won 28 seats, while in 2017, it won 82, just two behind the Sena. In the 2004 Assembly elections, the BJP won 54 seats to Sena’s 62, but the combine could not beat the Congress-NCP alliance. In October 2014, riding on the Narendra Modi wave, the BJP won 122 seats to the Sena’s 63. There was no question of who would be the senior partner.What happened in 2014?The 2014 Assembly elections were a turning point in their relationship. The BJP, until then seen as a ‘North Indian’ party, won a large chunk of the Marathi vote. In Mumbai, the BJP won the critical Gujarati vote, solely on its new image of being business-friendly, both in the State and local bodies elections.The Sena has not taken this new dynamic well. It has decided to become the principal Opposition party, given that it knows that the BJP cannot do without it. For a simple majority in Maharashtra, the BJP needs 145 seats, and it is 23 behind that magical number. It had (and still has) the option of going with Sharad Pawar’s NCP, but the latter’s record on corruption was perhaps the single-most important reason for the rout of the Congress-NCP in 2014. The BJP had led the crusade then, and if it ties up with a tainted party, it fears it will lose face with its constituents.What lies in store?Not surprisingly, Mr. Thackeray makes noises to keep the BJP wondering why it ever got into an alliance. He has taken an opposing stance on almost every major issue that has faced the BJP-led NDA government in the State — be it farmers’ issues, the Mumbai Metro Phase 3 controversy over environmental degradation, the Maratha agitation, and even the BJP’s choice for President, where the Sena held out for over 24 hours before agreeing to support Ram Nath Kovind’s candidature. On almost every point, the Sena has eventually given way to the BJP.Months before the 2017 municipal corporation and municipal council elections, the Sena threatened to go it alone. In several rallies across Maharashtra, Mr. Thackeray said he was confident his party would win majorities on its own in various cities and towns. Except in Mumbai (where the difference was just two seats) and some small pockets, the Sena lost to the BJP across the State. With the Assembly elections due in 2019, the allies will have to iron out differences.last_img read more

Unruly scenes witnessed in Haryana Assembly

first_imgUnruly scenes were witnessed in the Haryana Assembly on Tuesday during the ongoing monsoon session as Leader of the Opposition Abhay Singh Chautala and Congress MLA Karan Singh Dalal were seen brandishing shoes at each other during a heated argument. While speaking during the discussion on BPL (below poverty line) cards being made in Haryana, Mr. Dalal allegedly made a derogatory remark, to which members of the ruling party strongly objected. Agriculture Minister O.P. Dhankar said that Mr. Dalal by using such derogatory language had abused the entire population of Haryana, “which was not tolerable at any cost”. Amid the uproar, the House proceeding was adjourned briefly by officiating Speaker Santosh Yadav. As the House resumed with Speaker Kanwar Pal Gujjar in the chair, Mr. Chautala stood and suggested that the BJP MLAs move a motion against Mr. Dalal, which he said the Indian National Lok Dal would support. Mr. Dalal reacted sharply, which led to heated exchange of words and abuses between both the leaders. Both the leaders were seen taking off their shoes and charging at each other. Marshals were called in to keep the leaders at bay. The Speaker then adjourned the House for ten minutes. After the House resumed, Finance Minister Capt. Abhimanyu moved the resolution for suspension of Mr. Dalal. The Speaker suspended Mr. Dalal from the House for a period of one year, as the ruling BJP and the INLD both supported the motion for his suspension. The Congress members protested against the suspension Mr. Dalal, accusing the BJP of misusing its majority in the House. Mr. Dalal, a five-time MLA terming his suspension illegal, said he would approach the Punjab and Haryana High Court to challenge the decision. “I sought a ruling from the Speaker whether the word used by me was ‘parliamentary or unparliamentary’. But the Speaker failed to give a ruling on it. The suspension is illegal, I’ll challenge it in the court,” said Mr. Dalal. Separately in the Assembly, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal announced that the government would reduce power tariff on monthly consumption of up to 200 units from ₹4.50 per unit to ₹2.50 per unit.last_img read more

Naidu wants media to be constructive

first_imgBengaluru, Jul 10 (PTI) Stating that agenda of the country should be development, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu today expressed unhappiness over “sensationalism getting prominence” over it in the news and asked media to be “constructive”.”As a Minister for Information and Broadcasting Im going to interact with media, with media owners, editors in the coming days, because the agenda of the country should be development,” he said.Naidu said people want development, they want good governance and that should be the headline, “any other information will be deadline not the headline”.”Unfortunately in India obstruction is a news, destruction is a news and construction will not make news; sensationalism is news, things that have no sense are sensationalized and it becomes news,” he said.Naidu said he was not asking media not to criticise the government or the Prime Minister.”What I?m pleading with the media is please be constructive. Im not saying praise Modi, no you criticize Modi, but focus should be on development. Tell people Modi had said this, it has not happened or this much has happened and this much has not,” he added.Naidu who was relieved from Parliamentary Affairs Ministry and given I&B in addition to Urban Development Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation during recent cabinet rejig, was speaking at a felicitation meet organised on his election to Rajya Sabha for the fourth term.Quoting few development news stories published in news papers, he said such news will encourage development, while asking media to recognise the “merit”.advertisement”Mindset of the people has to change, we want the support of the media for this,” he added.Stating that focus should be on development and good governance, Naidu said “election are fought on politics, ideologies and issues, but as far as the development is concerned Center, state and local bodies must work together, all political parties should join each other.”Media, both electronic and print, they should be more focused on development, good governance; also good examples and best practices – that should be priority and that should be the focus in coming days,” he added.Pointing out that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on a “mission”; Naidu called him the “hope” of the nation and said he is trying to “reconstruct” the economy.While quoting initiatives taken by the government in textiles sector, he called Smriti Irani a “dynamic” minister who has been made in charge of the department. PTI KSU TIR RG TIRlast_img read more

Mulled Cider Cocktails From Easy Bistro & Bar’s Alex Jump

first_img The Lazy Man’s Guide on How to Make Hard Apple Cider The Best American Liqueur 7 Fall Cocktail Recipes to Enjoy With Cooler Weather Editors’ Recommendations Fall is officially here. I’ve been grilling squash, whipping up a lot of soup, and drinking a lot of apple cider. And on a cold, rainy New England day like today, there’s nothing I like more than a hot mug of spiked cider to warm me up in the evening. Today even happens to be National Hot Mulled Cider Day.Mulled cider is a little bit more than warmed up apple cider. I like to use local apple cider. It’s often unpasteurized and has a cloudy appearance, but tastes so much better than the mass produced stuff. The cider is gently warmed on the stove and seasoned with spices and lemon peel. You can use whichever spices you’d like, but some of the best flavors for cider are cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, ginger, and coriander. If you can, buy them whole and toast them in a dry pan to bring out their flavor before adding them to your cider. You can drink your mulled cider as is, or you can spike it with your preferred choice of brandy, rum, or bourbon.In honor of Hot Mulled Cider Day, I asked Alex Jump, mixologist of Easy Bistro & Bar, to share some of her favorite apple cider cocktails with us. While my preference may be to warm my hands around some piping hot cider, she realized that some of you might appreciate a cold option.The Right Combination1 oz Calvados1 oz Buffalo Trace0.5 oz Local Apple cider0.75 oz Cynar0.5 oz mulled apple syrup*0.75 oz lemon juice2 drops angostura bittersShake all ingredients with ice and fine strain into an old fashioned glass over fresh ice. Garnish with local apple slices and grated cinnamon.Mull it Over1 oz Calvados1 oz Buffalo Trace0.5 oz Cynar0.5 oz mulled apple spice syrup*0.25 oz lemon juice5 oz Hot Local Apple CiderCombine all ingredients in a hot mug and top with hot apple cider. Garnish with a clove-studed orange peel.*For the Mulled Apple Spice Syrup:1 tablespoon cloves2 cinnamon sticks1 tablespoon grated nutmeg2 star anise pods1 teaspoon allspice5 local gala apples1 cup superfine sugar1 cup waterIn a saucepan combine sugar and water and mix until sugar has mostly dissolved. Add in spices and place over heat. Before the syrup comes to a boil, add in 5 apples, cored and cut into cubes. Cook on low heat for another 5 minutes and then remove. Let cool completely and then strain. Will keep in the fridge for a month. 9 Best Spirits For Spiked Apple Cider Pisco Cocktails are the Refreshing Balm You Need for the Dog Days of Summerlast_img read more

Résumé de la situation par rapport au H1N1 du 1er au 7

first_img Le gouvernement provincial publie un rapport sur les maladies respiratoires, y compris le H1N1, tous les mercredis. Vous pouvez le consulter (en anglais seulement) à l’adresse www.gov.ns.ca/hpp/publications/NSRespiratoryWatch.pdf. Le pourcentage de visites aux services des urgences pour des symptômes grippaux a atteint 26 %, ce qui correspond à une augmentation de 15 % comparativement à la semaine du 25 au 31 octobre. Le pourcentage de cas de symptômes grippaux est passé de 10,3 % à 19,1 %, selon les rapports des médecins partout dans la province. La Nouvelle-Écosse continue de connaître une augmentation des cas de H1N1 partout dans la province. Depuis le début de la saison de la grippe 2009-2010, qui s’étend de septembre 2009 à septembre 2010, la province rapporte : 502 cas confirmés 73 hospitalisations pour le H1N1 un décès lié au H1N1 Pendant la semaine du 1er au 7 novembre, 37 personnes ont été hospitalisées. « L’activité grippale H1N1 continue d’être présente dans toutes les régies régionales de la santé, en plus d’épidémies de maladie pseudogrippale et d’une augmentation du taux d’absentéisme dans les écoles, a dit le Dr Robert Strang, médecin-hygiéniste en chef de la province. Le virus H1N1 est toujours le virus respiratoire prédominant cette semaine. » Voici d’autres faits saillants : last_img read more

2014 Positive Aging Directory Official Launch

first_imgOlder Nova Scotians and their families now have better access to information about programs and services for an active and engaged lifestyle through the 2014 Positive Aging Directory. The directory features information about active living, health care, transportation, housing, finances, literacy, legal matters and more. “Our seniors need to know about programs and information that can help them discover new opportunities for learning, socializing, volunteering or being active,” said Seniors Minister Leo Glavine. “This directory provides seniors with the information they need to stay active and independent in their homes and their communities.” Copies of the directory are free and available at pharmacies, public libraries and doctor’s offices across the province. The directory is also available online at http://novascotia.ca/seniors/positive_aging_directory.asp or by calling 1-800-670-0065.last_img read more

Retired Deputy Minister Leads Swim Team for United Way

first_imgDavid Darrow, retired senior deputy minister, will once again lead a team of swimmers across Halifax Harbour in support of the United Way today, Sept. 10. The swim is to raise funds for the Provincial Government Employees United Way Campaign. Mr. Darrow’s team includes: Dan McDougall, deputy minister, Municipal Affairs Joachim Stroink, MLA, Halifax Chebucto Kevin Doran, Communications Nova Scotia Sue Lapierre, Halifax United Way Troy Bond, Health and Wellness Jana Peachey, student Amy Christian, student “We have a great team this year, and we are all very excited to participate in what has become a wonderful annual event in support of a worthy cause,” said Mr. Darrow. “Our first-time swimmers this year are quite young, and will add a great dynamic to the event.” The swim will start at the Woodside Ferry Terminal in Dartmouth at 11:45 a.m. and will end at Bishop’s Landing in Halifax around 12:15 p.m. Those coming to cheer on the swimmers can enjoy a barbecue in support of the United Way. This year’s goal is to raise $3,000 for the United Way Community Fund, which helps communities in need. To learn more, or to donate visit http://unitedwayhalifax.ca . For those who can’t make it to the event, a live feed is available at www.novascotia.ca/unitedway . For more than 50 years, provincial government has contributed to the United Way of Canada. Every year, more than 1,600 provincial employees make donations. The government employee campaign begins Sept. 30. Contributions stay in the community and help fund 57 agencies and more than 100 programs.last_img read more

Google celebrates giant leap for mankind with Doodle video

first_imgNew Delhi: On July 20, 1969, American astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin became the first humans ever to land on the Moon aboard the Apollo 11 mission — an extraordinary feat celebrated by Google with a Doodle video on Friday. The Doodle video is in the voice of Command Module Pilot (CMP) Michael Collins who remained aboard the command module in lunar orbit while Armstrong and Aldrin became the first humans to set foot on the Moon. Also Read – Spotify rolls out Siri support, new Apple TV app As he took his first step, Armstrong famously said, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” The Apollo 11 mission occurred eight years after President John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) announced a national goal of landing a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s. Apollo 17, the final manned moon mission, took place in 1972. An estimated one million people gathered on the beaches of central Florida to witness first-hand the launch of Apollo 11, while more than 500 million people around the world watched the event live on television, NASA said in a statement. Also Read – New Instagram tool to help users spot phishing emails The two astronauts spent more than 21 hours on the lunar surface deploying scientific experiments and gathering samples before returning to the orbiting command module, piloted by Collins. In a series of special events, NASA is marking the 50th anniversary of the Apollo programme — the historic effort that sent the first US astronauts into orbit around the Moon in 1968, and landed a dozen astronauts on the lunar surface between 1969 and 1972. For the first time in half a century, NASA’s “Artemis” missions will allow scientists and engineers to examine the lunar surface from up close. “This will teach us how to move safely across lunar soil, known as regolith; how to build infrastructure on top of it; and how to keep humans safe in space. The techniques scientists will develop on the Moon will make it possible for humans to safely and sustainably explore farther destinations, such as Mars,” said NASA.last_img read more

Canada Post still struggling to clear backlogs as Christmas approaches

first_imgVANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Canada Post is struggling to catch up with volumes three times higher than the same time last year.Following the recent rounds of rotating strikes across the country, the Crown corporation is now backlogged with 700 trailers full of mail just three weeks before Christmas. The backlog means parcels may not be delivered in time for the holidays.Hope fading all holiday mail will be delivered on time. @canadapostcorp reports backlogs continue after #Ottawa legislated an end to rotating strikes by @cupw members. #CanadaPost’s Jon Hamilton says volumes 3X higher than they should be and 700 trailers not cleared. #cdnpoli— Marcella Bernardo (@Bernardo1130) December 6, 2018Jon Hamilton, communications for Canada Post, says there is only so much they can do to catch up.“There’s 700 trailers across the country: new records in all the wrong ways,” he says. “We’re still seeing a significant amount coming in and there’s more and more arriving every day, so we’re out doing our best in a safe and responsible manner. Our people are doing a good job.”Related stories:Canada Post says protests at facilities in some provinces violates court orderVancouver “porch pirate” caught on camera stealing envelopes from Killarney mailboxB.C. labour groups rally against Canada Post back-to-work legislationNot only are they behind, the backlog is still growing, he says.“Because there’s more coming in than we can get out for delivery, so we’re going to continue to be open and transparent with customers, so they can make good decisions, but we are just not where we need to be in a regular holiday season,” he says.Although the strikes have ended, some union supporters have been disrupting mail services at processing plants in Richmond and other major cities across the country. The mail processing facility in Richmond is behind, so is the major processing facility in Toronto , Ottawa and Hamilton.last_img read more

RCMP pressured Canada Revenue Agency to not license Mohawk tobacco firms court

first_img(Image: Robbie Dickson, president of Rainbow Tobacco. APTN)By Jorge Barrera APTN National NewsThe federal tax agency has faced pressure from the RCMP to stop licensing Kahnawake Mohawk cigarette manufacturers, court documents show.The documents also show that an RCMP investigator met with a Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) official weeks before the federal tax body decided to deny a 2012 federal tobacco license for Rainbow Tobacco, a cigarette maker based in Kahnawake, which sits near Montreal.A large part of Kahnawake’s internal economy depends on the tobacco trade and the community is home to over a hundred cigarette shacks and at least a dozen cigarette manufacturers.The court documents are part of an ongoing Federal Court case between Rainbow Tobacco and CRA over the decision to revoke the cigarette maker’s license.Rainbow Tobacco has held a federal tobacco license since 2004. The company wants a judicial review of the CRA decision and a court hearing on the matter could be heard as early as this summer.In a sworn affidavit, Rainbow Tobacco president Robbie Dickson accused the RCMP of pressuring the CRA into revoking his license.“I believe the RCMP had a personal vendetta against myself and Rainbow Tobacco and finally convinced CRA to shut us down,” said Dickson, in the Oct. 12, 2012 affidavit.While none of the documents filed in court show a direct link between RCMP pressure and the CRA’s decision, they do show the RCMP continually expressing concern over the agency’s decision to license Kahnawake cigarette manufacturers. The documents also reveal the federal police force’s interest in the Rainbow Tobacco file.The RCMP expressed concerns in at least two letters sent in response to criminal background check requests by the CRA on the owners of Rainbow Tobacco. The checks came back clean each time.Still, the RCMP included identical paragraphs in the letters, dated 2006 and 2008, informing the CRA that it was not in the “public interest” to license tobacco firms in Kahnawake.“Considering the special situation that prevails in the territory of Kahnawake, we believe that the issuance of a license to manufacture on the reservation allows manufacturing operations and distribution to escape the control of your inspectors as well as our investigators,” the RCMP letters say. “Therefore we consider it not to be in the public interest to give licenses to tobacco product manufacturers in the territory of Kahnawake.”The letters were signed by different investigators.The RCMP also took a particular interest in Rainbow Tobacco and was in contact with CRA officials in the weeks before the agency decided to not renew the tobacco firm’s license for 2012.In a CRA memo filed with the Federal Court, CRA official Denis Beausoleil describes a meeting with Denis De Launiere, an RCMP investigator on Oct. 18, 2011. On Dec. 15, 2011, Rainbow Tobacco received a letter from the CRA informing them that they would not get a license for 2012.Beausoleil also informed two separate RCMP divisions on Jan. 4, 2012, that Rainbow Tobacco did not get its federal license renewed.“Here is the RCMP, an agent of the federal government, writing various letters to the CRA, another federal branch of the government, telling it not to issue permits to anyone in Kahnawake,” said Dickson’s lawyer Lisa Hollinger. “I find it extremely discriminatory.”The RCMP could not be reached for comment.The CRA refused to renew Rainbow Tobacco’s license saying the company wasn’t complying with provincial legislation and because it had a “delinquent excise duty liability” of $2.2 million, according to the Dec. 15, 2011, letter from the CRA.Rainbow Tobacco has seen its shipments and equipment seized in Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia.The company maintains that CRA was always kept appraised of its plans to expand its cigarette distribution to First Nation reserves in western Canada and that the tax agency okayed the sale of its product in First Nations communities.In his affidavit, Dickson said a large seizure of his product from the Montana First Nation in Alberta by provincial authorities distorted his company’s excise duty liability.The Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission seized 14 million Rainbow Tobacco cigarettes from the Montana First Nation in January 2011. All the cigarettes bore “Canada Duty-Paid” stamps. The cigarettes were destined for reserves in Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan.Rainbow Tobacco cigarettes were also seized by provincial authorities in Saskatchewan and British Columbia the same year.Rainbow Tobacco is fighting the Alberta government in court.Dickson has said the issue comes down to the right of First Nations to trade amongst themselves without provincial interference. He plans to fight the issue all the way to the Supreme Court.Public Safety Minister Vic Toews recently announced plans for the RCMP to create a 50 officer force dedicated to combating the underground tobacco trade. Toews also said the government plans to introduce legislation to impose mandatory minimum sentences on repeat tobacco smugglers.First Nation people introduced tobacco to Europeans and many see the trade of the plant as an inherent right.jbarrera@aptn.ca@JorgeBarreralast_img read more

Alberta adds more money for petrochemical diversification projects

first_imgEDMONTON — The Alberta government is expanding a royalty credit program to support petrochemical upgrading.Premier Rachel Notley says the province is adding $600 million to promote upgrading projects that she says will create jobs and boost the economy.A total of $1.1 billion will now be available in future royalty credits through the petrochemicals diversification program.The program, developed in 2016, previously committed $500 million in royalty credits and helped to build Inter Pipeline’s $3.5-billion petrochemical complex east of Edmonton.Notley says the province has received 23 applications for proposed upgrading projects.She says a short list will be created and decisions will be made in the coming weeks.Notley announced Monday she has appointed three experts to work with the energy industry to find ways to close an oil price gap that is costing the Canadian economy $80 million every day.Oil from Alberta is selling about $45 a barrel less than West Texas Intermediate in the United States.Notley said Tuesday that until the price differential is closed and new pipelines are built to move a glut of oil, the province needs to do what it can to help the economy.“I’ll fight the pipeline battle until it is done. You can count on that,” she said Tuesday in a speech to the Rural Municipalities of Alberta. “But at the same time, I have determined that we must take greater control of our own economic destiny.”The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Exboss of SNC Lavalin Pierre Duhaime arrested by Quebec anticorruption unit

Ex-boss of SNC Lavalin, Pierre Duhaime, arrested by Quebec anti-corruption unit AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email MONTREAL – The former head of Canada’s biggest engineering firm, who once mused that Quebec was taking sufficient measures to fight corruption in the construction industry, was arrested Wednesday by the squad at the centre of those efforts.Pierre Duhaime, the former chief executive of SNC-Lavalin (TSX:SNC), was taken from his home by police in connection with alleged fraud involving one of Montreal’s huge new superhospitals.The arrest warrant alleges that Duhaime and Riadh Ben Aissa, another former top executive, also committed conspiracy to commit fraud and uttered false documents in connection with a contract pertaining to the multibillion-dollar McGill University Health Centre.The infractions are alleged to have taken place between April 30, 2009, and Aug. 31, 2011.Duhaime was released from custody late Wednesday and is expected to appear in court at a later date after being questioned by provincial anti-corruption squad investigators.He walked out from provincial police headquarters around 7:45 p.m., brushing past a number of journalists, covering his face with his coat and an arm as he approached an awaiting BMW. He sat in the back seat with his head down as the car pulled awayMeanwhile, squad chief Robert Lafreniere said “international proceedings” have been initiated against Ben Aissa, who is currently detained in Switzerland.Ben Aissa, SNC’s former head of construction, is accused of fraud, money laundering and corrupting a public official tied to his dealings in North Africa.Duhaime received a $5-million payout after he stepped down as SNC-Lavalin’s CEO last March.He was “relieved” of his duties after an independent review conducted by the company discovered he signed off on $56-million worth of payments to undisclosed agents, breaching the company’s code of ethics. His departure was classified as a retirement.In 2011, Duhaime said in an interview he didn’t see the need for a public inquiry into construction, although he said he found revelations in a report by Jacques Duchesneau, former head of the anti-collusion squad at the Transport Department, to be “troubling.”Concerned about the use of anonymous sources in the report, Duhaime said at the time the province was already getting results in its battle with corruption.The strike by the anti-corruption squad at the heart of corporate Canada came within days of SNC-Lavalin being recognized by the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants for excellence in financial reporting.An SNC-Lavalin spokeswoman said the company has been co-operating with police and will continue to help in the investigation.“We are categorical, no unethical acts or illegal acts should be tolerated,” she said in a statement. “We believe that anyone who has committed an offence . . . should be brought to justice.”However, the company said it wouldn’t comment on the allegations against Duhaime.One industry observer said Duhaime’s arrest didn’t come as a total surprise given the RCMP raids on SNC-Lavalin’s headquarters in April and the detention of Ben Aissa.“If you are an investor and you are trying to look at the scenarios of probabilities, this was in the scenarios, that’s for sure,” said the analyst, who didn’t want to be identified.He said it’s normal that the company’s shares would come under pressure following the arrest, but added that SNC-Lavalin has a new chief executive and remains fundamentally strong as a company.Denis Durand, a spokesman for Jarislowsky, Fraser Ltd., the largest shareholder in SNC-Lavalin at 14 per cent, acknowledged the dollar amounts being mentioned are of concern but noted the investigation seems limited to a small group.“The more that is revealed, the better it will be for the understanding of the situation,” Durand said.”But it doesn’t, we think, impair significantly the value of the company. The company is still a great company.”He pointed out that SNC-Lavalin still has a large backlog of orders and he doesn’t believe the scandal will be a roadblock to getting future contracts.“The new president is certainly very competent and new rules, new regulations, better controls are being put in place. We’re confident for the future.”Wednesday’s arrest is the latest blow to the 101-year-old SNC-Lavalin, which is considered a Canadian success story.In September, an Ontario judge certified a $1-billion class-action lawsuit against SNC-Lavalin on behalf of investors who saw the value of their investment in the company plummet following revelations of mysterious payments in North Africa.The lawsuit was brought on behalf of all investors who purchased SNC-Lavalin securities between Feb. 1, 2007, and Feb. 28, 2012, or who bought debentures through the company’s June 2009 prospectus offering.The lead plaintiff is Brent Gray, a resident of Surrey, B.C., who purchased 600 shares in January at $52.20 per share.In addition to current and former members of SNC’s board of directors, those named in the Ontario lawsuit include SNC-Lavalin International chairman Michael Novak. The claim said certain officials, including Duhaime and former controller Stephane Roy, assisted Ben Aissa in arranging “improper or unlawful payments” to secure contracts in Libya.Roy lost his job along with Ben Aissa and Duhaime.The engineering and construction giant has never identified the two projects that received a total of $56 million of payments but insisted that none of the funds were directed to Libya. A newspaper report said one of the projects in question is the Montreal hospital.SNC-Lavalin did acknowledge this week that it paid commercial agents Duvel Securities Inc. and Dinova International Inc. in connection with projects in Libya between 2001 and 2011 that are part of an investigation by Swiss authorities. A Swiss TV report said Ben Aissa has been formally charged in relation to at least $139 million in payments in North Africa.SNC-Lavalin removed $900 million worth of Libyan projects from its backlog in 2010 amid the civil war in the North African country.The RCMP has already executed search warrants at SNC-Lavalin’s headquarters at the request of Swiss police.In Quebec, the anti-corruption unit was created in the wake of other scandals surrounding collusion in the construction industry and its links to political parties and organized crime.Since its creation last year it has arrested numerous construction-industry players as well as people tied to municipal political parties.On the Toronto Stock Exchange, SNC-Lavalin’s shares dropped another 92 cents to $39.99 in Wednesday trading. The shares have fallen nearly 29 per cent in the past year.— with a file from Graham HughesNote to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version contained a misspelled name by Nelson Wyatt and Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press Posted Nov 28, 2012 11:57 pm MDT read more

Ebola nurse Pauline Cafferkey cleared of dishonesty but accused of misconduct for

first_img  Ms Cafferkey admitted taking paracetamol at some point after she realised she had an elevated temperature and when she went to the screening area for a second time the doctor who examined her found her temperature was normal and cleared her to fly to Scotland. Anu Thompson, for the NMC, said: “The mischief in this case is that Ms Cafferkey, realising she had an elevated temperature, allowed an incorrect temperature to be entered on her screening form and left the screening area without disclosing to anyone in authority what her true temperature was.”She woke up the following morning feeling very unwell and was diagnosed with one of the most severe viral loads of Ebola ever recorded. Ms Cafferkey spent almost a month in isolation at the Royal Free at the beginning of 2015. Pauline Cafferkey She was later discharged after apparently making a full recovery, and in March 2015 returned to work as a public health nurse at Blantyre Health Centre in South Lanarkshire.But she has since had two further admissions to hospital, one with a relapse of the Ebola virus and the other with chronic meningitis. Doctors discovered last October that Ebola was still in her system. In the months that followed, her health suffered as she had issues with her thyroid, her hair fell out and she had headaches and pains in her joints.The court heard she was receiving psychological support following the trauma of requiring a prolonged admission inside an isolation tent, having a life-threatening illness and the effect of “media intrusion” during a very difficult process.A report from a Glasgow-based doctor said that her prognosis was uncertain as the only patient to have developed a reactivation of the Ebola virus infection 10 months after the initial illness.She said last month that she hoped once the full fact were known the misconduct hearing would dismiss the claims. Pauline Cafferky after recovering at the Royal Free Hospital, London, in 2015 Pauline Cafferkey The Ebola nurse Pauline Cafferkey said she was delighted and relieved to have been cleared of allegations of misconduct when she returned to the UK with the virus.She was accused by the Nursing and Midwifery Council of allowing the wrong temperature to be recorded while she was in a “chaotic” Ebola screening unit at Heathrow in December 2014.She was already showing signs of fever when the incorrect temperature was recorded on a screening form and she was allowed to fly home to Scotland. The following day she became seriously ill with the virus. The NMC misconduct hearing in Edinburgh heard that she could have put the public at risk.But after a two-day hearing the regulatory body ruled that because she was already suffering from the early stages of Ebola her judgement was impaired at the time.It decided she could not be found guilty of misconduct when an inaccurate temperature was recorded at the Public Health England screening unit at Terminal 4.The 40-year-old nurse was accused of allowing the wrong temperature to be recorded, and leaving the unit without reporting her true temperature. Pauline Cafferkey enters an isolation tent before being flown back to hospital in London in February this yearCredit:Getty However, the hearing was also told that the PHE unit was not properly prepared to receive so many travellers from at-risk countries on December 28, 2014, and was “busy, disorganised and even chaotic”.Despite that fact, it was a complaint from PHE that triggered the disciplinary process against a nurse regarded by many as a hero for putting her own life at risk to help tackle the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone.Her lawyer said she was delighted with the outcome and although she still has health problems she was now free to continue working as a nurse in Lanarkshire.Joyce Cullen added that Ms Cafferkey, from Cambuslang, willingly put her life at risk to travel to West Africa as a volunteer.She added: “She and hundreds of other volunteers played a vital role in saving lives and helping to curb the epidemic in extremely challenging circumstances. “As the panel heard, when Pauline and her fellow volunteers arrived at Heathrow, they were faced with chaotic scenes.“Public Health England were unprepared for the volume of people returning from countries affected by Ebola. They were also serious failures of communication amongst the Public Health England staff.”Ms Cullen added that it was “perhaps ironic” that given the criticisms made of PHE’s processes, it was their complaint that led to the NMC investigation and the proceedings being initiated.She said: “No doubt lessons have been learned. Throughout her career, Pauline has been motivated by a genuine desire to help other people even if this meant putting her own life at risk.“She would never have knowingly put anyone in danger. Pauline was lucky to survive and since her return from Sierra Leone has continued to suffer from ill health.” The lawyer said the disciplinary process had been “upsetting and stressful” for Ms Cafferkey.Timothy Cole, chairman of the misconduct panel, said there was “compelling and clear medical evidence” about Ms Cafferkey’s state of mind and ability to reason when she returned to the UK.He added that she was in a “medically-impaired state” when her temperature was put down as 37.2C and she was allowed to continue to arrivals.In fact, it had been recorded twice by a doctor at 38.2C and 38.3C – above the 37.5C level which should have triggered alarm bells and led to a consultant being contacted.But, clearing the nurse of misconduct, Mr Cole said it was not disputed that at the time she was “experiencing the early effects of a significant viral load of Ebola” and her health was “going rapidly downhill”.He also said the events had “occurred in circumstances characterised as disorganised and chaotic”.Ms Cafferkey spent over a month in an isolation unit at the Royal Free Hospital in London in early 2015.She came close to death on two separate occasions as the virus lingered in her system and developed meningitis in September 2015.She has 18 years of experience as a nurse and has previously volunteered to work in Sudan and Bangladesh. She was honoured with a Pride of Britain award after her initial recovery and invited to Downing Street. The accusations against her have prompted widespread criticism on social media, with many members of the public saying she should be treated as a hero. 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.last_img read more

Antigovernment protests rage for second day in Istanbul

first_imgPROTESTERS AND RIOT police clashed for a second day in Istanbul today, a day after an environmental protest flared into a massive outcry against Turkey’s Islamist-rooted government.The unrest, which has spread to other cities, marks one of the biggest protests since Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan first came to power in 2002 and has exposed growing discontent with what critics say is his government’s increasingly conservative and authoritarian agenda.On Saturday. police fired tear gas at protesters gathering in Taksim Square, the epicentre of the demonstrations that have left dozens of people injured and have earned Turkey a rare rebuke from its ally Washington.Hours earlier, several hundred protesters waving Turkish flags advanced despite police firing water canon and crossed the Bosphorus Bridge to the European side of the city, according to local media.(AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)The unrest erupted into anti-government demonstrations after police on Friday moved into Taksim to break up a protest against the razing of a nearby park.Clashes raged during the night, as thousands of people marched through the city, some banging pots and pans as residents shouted support from the windows.Others held up cans of beer in defiance of a recent law, supported by the Islamist-rooted ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), which restricts the sale of alcohol and prohibits it during the nighttime hours.Critics of the law see it as a sign of creeping conservatism in predominantly Muslim but staunchly secular Turkey.“They want to turn this country into an Islamist state, they want to impose their vision all the while pretending to respect democracy,” said one woman protester in Istanbul, declining to give her name.People hold up banners that read ” Chemical Tayyip, Go!” and “Resist the Dictator” as thousands of people gather in support of demonstrators staging a sit-in to prevent the uprooting of trees at an Istanbul park, in Ankara. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)The unrest on Taksim Square, where a sit-in has been held for several weeks to protest against plans to raze a nearby park in order to build a shopping mall.Critics say that the park is the last patch of greenery in the commercial area.Its razing is part of a wider, controversial construction project that aims to turn the area around Taksim – a traditional gathering point for protests and a popular tourist destination – into a pedestrian zone.After several days of growing protests at the square last week, riot police moved in to break it up on Friday with tear gas and water canon.Protestors responded by hurling stones, chanting: “Government resign!”“The trees, it’s the drop that made the vase overflow,” said Ozkan, a philosophy student in Istanbul. “People are sick and tired of everything that this government is doing to them.”A man falls as riot police use tear gas and pressurized water to quash a peaceful demonstration by hundreds of people staging a sit-in protest to try and prevent the demolition of trees at an Istanbul park yesterday. (AP Photo)As tear gas blanketed the area, thousands of people poured out into the streets in support of the demonstrators in other Turkish cities, including in the capital Ankara, the western cities of Izmir and Mugla and Antalya in the south.Authorities said that a dozen people were being treated in hospitals for injuries received in the clashes, but Amnesty International said more than 100 protesters were reportedly injured.More than 60 people have been detained as a result of the unrest, according to regional authorities.In Washington, the State Department said it was concerned about the number of people injured as a result of the protests.“We believe that Turkey’s long-term stability, security and prosperity is best guaranteed by upholding the fundamental freedoms of expression, assembly and association, which is what it seems these individuals were doing,” US State Department spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki said.Thousands have voiced support for the protesters on social media in recent days, while Amnesty International urged Turkey to “halt brutal police repression” and investigate abuse claims.Erdogan’s populist government, in power for over a decade, is regularly accused of trying to make the predominantly Muslim but staunchly secular country more conservative.Tear gas, water cannons used on protesters trying to stop Turkish park being turned into shopping mallTurkey and US demand Assad stand downlast_img read more

Pollution Chevron poursuivi en justice par le Brésil

first_imgPollution : Chevron poursuivi en justice par le BrésilLe parquet de l’Etat de Rio a porté plainte contre la compagnie pétrolière Chevron et 17 cadres considérés comme responsables de la fuite d’hydrocarbures survenue en novembre 2011 au large de Rio. Accusée d’atteinte à l’environnement, la firme américaine entend se défendre fermement contre des allégations qu’elle juge “exagérées et non fondées”.Le parquet de l’Etat de Rio a déposé une plainte contre la compagnie pétrolière Chevron ainsi que l’entreprise Transocean ce mercredi 21 mars. Comme le rapporte l’AFP, le géant américain, le leader mondial du forage pétrolier en haute mer, et 17 de leurs cadres sont accusés d’atteinte à l’environnement et dommages infligés au patrimoine public après la fuite de brut qui a souillé l’océan Atlantique en novembre dernier au large des côtés brésiliennes.”Les poursuites se basent sur les conclusions de l’enquête policière de l’accident du 7 novembre 2011 qui s’est produit parce que les accusés n’ont pas respecté tous les protocoles de sécurité”, a expliqué le procureur général Eduardo Santos de Oliveira. Mais Chevron, qui juge ces accusations “exagérées et non fondées”, a affirmé sa volonté de se défendre, elle et ses employés, “vigoureusement”. Dans un communiqué, la firme assure “avoir collaboré de façon transparente et totale avec les autorités brésiliennes concernées”.Alors que suite à cette fuite survenue sur une installation du géant pétrolier,2.400 barils de brut se sont déversés dans l’Atlantique, à 370 kilomètres au nord-est des côtes de Rio, Chevron estime que cette pollution n’a eu aucun “impact sur la vie marine” et n’a pas représenté de “risquepourlasantédesêtreshumains”. Eduardo Santos de Oliveira affirme au contraire que la fuite “a affecté tout l’écosystème marin, ce qui pourrait mener à l’extinction de certaines espèces et a eu un impact sur l’activité économique de la région”.”Il n’y aura pas d’impunité”À lire aussiMaladie de Charcot : symptômes, causes, traitement, où en est on ?Les peines requises par le procureur vont entre 10 mois et 31 ans de prison pour cinq des 17 cadres poursuivis, dont fait partie le directeur de Chevron, George Raymond Buck. Ils sont accusés “d’entrave à l’action de la justice”, de “présentation d’un plan d’urgence erroné” et de “falsification des documents présentés aux autorités”.”Nous voulons donner un message au monde (…) Il n’y aura pas d’impunité. Si les compagnies (étrangères) ont la meilleure technologie, prennent toutes les précautions, elles seront les bienvenues ici, sinon non ! Nous devons donner un exemple avec Chevron”, a déclaré le secrétaire de Rio à l’environnement, Carlos Minc.Le 22 mars 2012 à 18:48 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

iPhone 11 launch is coming Heres what we expect

first_img Apple Now playing: Watch this: Sprint $999 Review • iPhone XS review, updated: A few luxury upgrades over the XR 0 null Aug 31 • iPhone 11, Apple Watch 5 and more: The final rumors $999 Aug 31 • Your phone screen is gross. Here’s how to clean it See It Viva Tung/CNET In this week’s Apple Core roundup, we recap the new features we’re expecting to see on Apple’s next batch of iPhones in September, and discuss how Apple is betting big on 5G with its billion-dollar acquisition of Intel’s modem business. We also break down the latest rumors about the next MacBook Pro, Apple Watch and Apple’s mixed-reality headset. Boost Mobile Mentioned Above Apple iPhone XS (64GB, space gray) See It reading • iPhone 11, 11R and 11 Max: What we expect from Apple in September Best Buy CNET may get a commission from retail offers. $999 $999 Preview • iPhone XS is the new $1,000 iPhone X Aug 31 • Verizon vs AT&T vs T-Mobile vs Sprint: Choose the best 5G carrier Share your voice Aug 31 • iPhone XR vs. iPhone 8 Plus: Which iPhone should you buy? • Three new iPhones coming in September It seems as if there’s a fresh batch of rumors about the next iPhones every week, and the fact that they’re all starting to sound repetitive means their debut is likely getting close.A report from 9to5 Mac this week paints a picture of all the changes (or lack thereof) we can expect in the iPhones. Citing people who’ve apparently already seen the new phones, the report backs up most of what we already heard about the iPhones, but adds a few more tidbits to the mix. The three new iPhones, for example, will look pretty similar to the 2018 models, and are rumored to have the same screen size as the previous iPhones: 5.8, 6.1 and 6.5 inches. They’ll also have the same resolution and same screen technology: OLED on the XS and XS Max sequels and an LCD screen on the followup to the XR. They’ll still have Face ID with the True Depth front camera and the notch will be the same size. The only difference pointed out by 9to5mac is that Apple might get rid of 3D Touch and the front-facing camera on the 2019 iPhones will have slow-motion video recording. There was no mention on whether or not they’ll have in-screen fingerprint scanners, as previous rumors suggested. On the back will be a new large square camera bump on all three versions of the 2019 iPhone. In addition to the traditional wide-angle and telephoto from previous years, the XS and XS Max sequels will have a new ultrawide angle sensor. The XR will likely only have a wide and ultrawide camera, and will continue to use software to create the portrait mode effect.The report says the new phones will also get a new feature called “Smart Frame,” too. This feature uses the new lens to capture additional content around your photo (for stills and videos). That information is stored for a limited time so you can go back and expand the margins of the frame if you left someone or something out of the shot. The report also backs up rumors about a larger battery, a new and more powerful A13 processor and two-way charging, similar to the Galaxy S10 phones. Other rumors not mentioned by 9to5’s new report suggests that  the iPhone 11R will be available in lilac and green, two new colors that would replace last year’s coral and blue options. The phones will also  sport a new circular mute switch on the side, similar to iPads and that they’ll keep the traditional Lightning port (not USB-C).Apple buys Intel’s modem business Apple could soon be making 5G chips for future iPhones in-house, especially since the 2020 iPhones are already rumored to be the first 5G iPhones with Qualcomm’s 5G chips.That’s because Apple announced it signed an agreement to purchase most of Intel’s smartphone modem business, valued at roughly $1 billion. This comes after a two-year legal battle over patent licensing that the company had with Qualcomm. The companies reached a multiyear chip supply agreement with that would allow Apple to use Qualcomm modems in their phones. Buying the business from Intel would mean they get more  patents and the personnel support of Intel’s modem team, which gives Apple a leg up to end its reliance on companies like Qualcomm for similar technology.  New MacBook Pro coming this yearApple’s recent updates to its MacBook lineup haven’t ruled out a possibility of getting yet another one before the end of the year. According to Chinese site The Economic Daily News, Apple is gearing up to launch a high-end 16-inch laptop with a 3,072×1,920-pixel LCD display (up from the 2,880×1,800 pixels in the current 15-inch MacBook Pro) as early as October.Other potential updates include a better processor and a new keyboard that would use a new scissor switch mechanism in place of Apple’s troubled butterfly switch keyboard, which has caused many mishaps for the company. But the upgrades won’t come cheap — the cost of the new MacBook pro would rise to $3,000, according to the report. The report also mentions an update to the 13-inch MacBook Pro and Retina screen MacBook Air.The Apple Watch may get a new screen in 2020The Apple Watch may get a different screen next year. Another report by The Economic Daily News says Apple will switch from a traditional OLED display to a microLED display on next year’s Apple Watch. Aside from being brighter, microLED technology makes the screen more energy efficient and potentially improve battery life. Improved battery life would mean Apple could finally add a native sleep tracking app to the Apple watch. Apple’s latest patent hints at new hardware Just when we thought Apple might be putting on the brakes for its AR/VR glasses project, we have new reason to believe it’s still a go.apple-gafas-ra-ar-glasses-concept-patent Martin Hajek/iDropNews Apple filed for a patent for a mixed-reality system, which includes a head-mounted display capable of showing augmented and virtual reality, and a controller. The headset would include multiple sensors to track the user’s facial expressions as well as the environment around them, while the controller would have at least one (if not two) built-in processors of its own. Apple has reportedly been working on launching AR or mixed-reality glasses with an 8K display by 2020, but a recent report in DigiTimes suggested that the company halted the project because the glasses themselves were nowhere near completion, and weren’t at the price point Apple needed to make them attractive to consumers. The patent proves Apple is still very much interested in the space, but it may take a bit longer for the actual product to become a reality.  Phones Apple iPhone XS See All See It Three new iPhone 11 models coming in September, rumor… 8:10 Tags See it Rumors Intel Applelast_img read more

One Option To Avoid High Housing Costs In Juneau Live On a

first_imgHouseboats in Aurora Harbor (Photo by Kayla Desroches/KTOO)Juneau has some of the highest housing prices in Alaska. According to the  state Department of Labor, the average single family home costs $349,000 dollars in the capital city. A typical rental unit is more than a thousand dollars a month.Download AudioOne way to combat the high cost of housing is to rent a slip on the docks for a houseboat or a live aboard.Carrie Warren and her three children live in Aurora Harbor. She’s originally from Washington state, but has lived in Alaska on and off for 20 years. In 2013, she moved to Juneau from Tenakee Springs. As soon as she came to town, she started looking for housing and found a houseboat that suited her needs.“I chose it because I could actually own it. There are not very many things in Juneau that you can purchase for 50,000 dollars or less.”Warren says the seller financed the boat for her, and she paid it off in about a year and a half.She says harbor fees add up to around $200 a month, plus a little extra for utilities. The city’sDocks and Harbors department provides power, water, outhouses and a sewage pump-out. Warren says cooking can be a challenge.“I have a Dickinson stove that doesn’t work,” she says. “It’s not hooked up. And even if it did, that’s mostly for heat. You can’t bake on it. I mean, you can heat water. I can make a mean pumpkin pie in my toaster oven. I don’t have a microwave. Electricity is hard because you can’t have too many things happening at once. You blow your breaker.”Warren is a single mother who home-schools her kids and the boat is about 200 square feet. She says sometimes it’s a challenge to make sure the family gets along in such a small area. Warren’s older son plays upright bass and her daughter French horn and they need to arrange individual practice times.“Our space and boundaries are different than most people’s, and rather than sit around and whine about it, you just suck it up,” Warren says.Katie Spielberger is Warren’s neighbor. She lives in a houseboat with her partner and a cat.“A couple of our neighbors have seen the cat and have come by with an extra can of cat food or half a container of kitty litter that they found in the free bin,” she says.Spielberger works for the state and has been in Juneau for about nine years. She compares living on a boat to the tiny house movement, in which architects design homes that are less than 400 square feet. She says living in a small area has made her more creative.“It’s kind of nice to have that challenge to simplify things and it feels very rewarding when you actually can live in such a small space and have everything you need,” Spielberger says.She hangs as much as she can on walls, takes advantage of all available space and rents a storage unit. Spielberger says living on a houseboat provides the best of Juneau at an affordable price.“It feels very much of this place,” she says. “You don’t feel like you’re living in a house that could be anywhere. The views surrounding a boat in any harbor in Southeast Alaska, I think are gorgeous and hard to beat except at some very nice land property.”In addition to houseboats, some people in Juneau have live-aboards.“There’s a live-aboard vessel which is just your normal boat that somebody might live on,” explains Harbormaster Dave Borg. “And then we do have some houseboats designated specifically just as a houseboat. They generally don’t have any mode of power.”Borg says there are nine houseboats in Aurora, three in Douglas Harbor, two in Harris Harbor, and nearly 140 live-aboards. Monthly moorage fees are $4.20 per foot.Warren says there are unique problems with houseboats, but they’re mostly in-line with other homeowner concerns.“When it’s real windy, it’s a little freaky. You know, I worry about things like my canvas blowing away, but you know, I think any homeowner when it’s stormy and yucky has those same kinds of worries. Anybody who’s living in a not super insulated home has those same kinds of worries,” says Warren.And she says it’s more affordable than other housing alternatives.last_img read more

Department of Environmental Conservation seeks herbicide for invasive Elodea plant

first_imgThe Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation is considering a state sought permit to apply an herbicide to 3 Fairbanks area water bodies infested with the invasive plant Elodea.  Floridone has proven successful at battling back the aquatic weed known to choke out fresh waters.Download AudioElodea hangs off a boat at Chena Lakes. (Photo by Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks)The interior waters targeted for floridone application are Chena Lakes and Slough in North Pole, and Tochaket Slough north of Nenana. Department of Environmental Conservation Pesticide Control program director Karin Hendrickson said the herbicide has been successfully employed against similar Elodea infestations in Anchorage, Kenai and Cordova area waters.”It’s an herbicide that basically works by preventing plants from photosynthesizing,” Hendrickson said.Hendrickson said the main risk is killing off non target native plants.”You wanna make sure that it’s applied carefully with the mind to that,” Hendrickson said. “It’s pretty widely studied in terms of any impact on other animals or humans or drinking water.”Hendrickson said a risk assessment will be conducted specific to the herbicide use permit requested by the Department of Natural Resources.”The ultimate goal is for state-wide eradication of Elodea,” Hendrickson said.DNR invasive plant coordinator Heather Stuart said it’s suspected that Elodea came to Alaska as an aquarium plant. Stuart said the Elodea spreads easily as small bits of the plant can re-root after being accidently transported on boats, float planes, fishing and other water sports gear.“If we don’t deal with it on a state-wide level, then there’s always that risk of having a water body that hasn’t been dealt with elodea in it, re-infesting an area that has already been treated,” Stuart said.Aditi Shenoy is with the Fairbanks Soil and Water Conservation District, which has been wrestling with the local elodea infestation for a decade.“A fragment of plants can start a new population,” Shenoy said. ”[We’ve] assessed a number of different alternatives for controlling elodea. Mechanical control using a suction dredge combined with raking.”The harvesting technique proved unsuccessful against Elodea and the focus shifted to herbicide.  Depending on the DEC risk assessment and permit, Shenoy said application of floridone could occur as early as this summer, noting there’s some urgency given the threat posed by Elodea.“It could ruin fish habitats, which is really important for salmon and grayling rearing and spawning,”” Shenoy said. Also, if it gets into float planes, it creates really hazardous conditions for float plane operation.”Shenoy said she’s applying for grants to help fund the project. The cost of floridone to treat Fairbanks area waters is estimated at close to a million dollars. Federal agencies like the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service help fund Alaska Elodea eradication projects.last_img read more

Names of troopers and K9 involved in weekend shooting revealed

first_imgAlaska State Troopers. (File photo by Monica Gokey, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage)Authorities have identified the troopers involved in a fatal shooting of a suspect Sunday outside of Wasilla.Listen nowChristopher Havens, a trooper since 2012, and Jason Somerville, a trooper since 2015, both discharged their firearms in the shooting that killed 36-year-old Justin Smith of Wasilla early Sunday morning.Smith allegedly took troopers on a high speed chase, which ended on the Parks Highway after Troopers deployed spike strips.Troopers say Smith then attempted to flee, and trooper K-9, Rico, was sent after the suspect.Smith allegedly fired on and killed Rico, a three-year-old Dutch shepherd.Both troopers fired their weapons, fatally wounding Smith.K-9 Rico had worked with trooper Havens since October 2016.State investigators have not released any more details on the fatal shooting.This story contained contributions from Josh Edge with Alaska Public Media.last_img read more

EESL fails to maintain city streetlights in Tirupati

first_imgTirupati: Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) has failed in maintaining the streetlights in temple city. In 2016, the Municipal Corporation of Tirupati (MCT) had entered into an agreement with the EESL to replace the conventional streetlights with LED lights.The civic body had paid Rs 7.37 crore to EESL three years ago. As per the agreement, a total of 11,000 streetlights were replaced with LED lights in the city. Besides, the EESL has to provide maintenance of LED lights for 7 years. Also Read – Three of a family commits suicide at Amalapuram in East Godavari Advertise With Us Earlier, the MCT’s electrical wing staff used to repair streetlights on receiving complaints. Now, the officials concerned say that the EESL is entrusted with the task of maintenance if residents complain about non-functioning of streetlights. Moreover, the EESL did not set up grievance cell to receive complaints from people and rectify them. At the time of replacing the 11,000 conventional streetlights with LEDs, the EESL had set up Centralised Control Monitoring System (CCMS). Three years ago, a total of 1,000 CCMS units were set up. Now, majority of CCMS are not functioning. Residents are not aware of functioning of EESL control room for lodging the complaints regarding streetlight repairs. Also Read – Saaho movie tickets pricey in Nellore Advertise With Us As per the agreement, EESL must appoint 15 staff for maintaining the 11,000 LED streetlights in the city. It is pathetic that EESL had appointed only 3 temporary employees for maintenance of streetlights. Residents are forced to walk in the dark in some of the streets during nights due to non-functioning of streetlights. Speaking to The Hans India, MCT’s Electrical Engineer B Chandrashekar said that he had instructed his staff to stop payment of monthly maintenance charges of Rs 17 lakh to the EESL.last_img read more

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