13 Oct

SaskPower makes agreement to buy more megawatts from Manitoba Hydro

first_imgREGINA – Saskatchewan’s Crown-owned electric utility has made an agreement to buy more hydroelectricty from Manitoba.A term sheet providing for a new long–term power sale has been signed between Manitoba Hydro and SaskPower which will see up to 215 megawatts flow from Manitoba to Saskatchewan beginning in 2022.SaskPower has two existing power purchase agreements with Manitoba Hydro that were made in 2015 and 2016, but the newest one announced Monday is the largest.SaskPower President and CEO Mike Marsh says in a news release that the clean, hydroelectric power represents a significant step forward when it comes to reaching the utility’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent by 2030.Marsh says it’s also reliable baseload electricity, which SaskPower will need as it adds more intermittent generation options like wind and solar.SaskPower says a final legal contract for the sale is expected to be concluded by mid-2019 and be in effect by 2022, and the purchase agreement would last up to 30 years.“Manitoba Hydro has been a valued neighbour and business partner over the years and this is a demonstration of that relationship,” Marsh said in the news release.The financial terms of the agreement are not being released.Both parties say the sale will partially rely on the capacity provided by a new transmission line planned for construction between Tantallon, Sask. and Birtle, Man. that was previously announced in 2015 and is expected to be in service by 2021.“Revenues from this sale will assist in keeping electricity rates affordable for our Manitoba customers, while helping SaskPower expand and diversify its renewable energy supply,” Manitoba Hydro president and CEO Kelvin Shepherd said in the utility’s own news release.In 2015, SaskPower signed a 25 megawatt agreement with Manitoba Hydro that lasts until 2022. A 20-year agreement for 100 megawatts was signed in 2016 and comes into effect in 2020.The deals are part of a memorandum of understanding signed in 2013 involving up to 500 megawatts.last_img read more

13 Oct

Councils wants more options for Bylaw enforcement due to parking and illegal

first_imgMayor Ackerman wants the report to look at any actions that can be taken on behalf of the City to motivate those with illegal suites and as the Mayor said, “know darn well they have that suite, to rectify that.”Mayor Lori Ackerman shared other actions are required by the City to motivate people with illegal suites. “I think on the principle of safety, this needs to be dealt with,” said Ackerman in terms of the congestion in neighbourhoods that have several vehicles that block sidewalks and roads, causing visibility and safety issues.Council agreed this report was necessary to know what it will take to equip Bylaw officers with the tools they require for their toolbox to end this problem. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – At Monday’s Council meeting Councillor Grimsrud on behalf of Councillor Bolin put forward a resolution to help improve enforcement and parking issues due to neighbourhoods that have illegal suites.Grimsrud asked that Council direct staff to provide a report on the current staffing hours of Bylaw enforcement employees and to look at when vehicles are allowed to park on the street.Mayor Ackerman said she heard the public’s concerns at the recent Trade Show as well as receiving an email regarding specifically 104 A Avenue.last_img read more

13 Oct

New study of emissions from oil and gas operations in the Montney

first_imgThe $9.8 project, will have field operations beginning in early 2020, shares GHGSat. Measurements will be conducted using GHGSat’s newest satellite platform, (GHGSat-C1, or “Iris”) in combination with an aircraft-mounted sensor that GHGSat has in development, shared the company.GHGSat is the first and only private company to own and operate high-resolution satellites designed to measure greenhouse gas emissions from industrial facilities around the world.To learn more about GHGSat; CLICK HERE CALGARY, AB – A $3.3M funding agreement for a study of emissions from oil and gas operations in the Montney region of BC is being funded from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) for GHGStat to provide monitoring services.According to GHGSat, their project’s primary objective is to demonstrate that a tiered monitoring system using GHGSat’s satellites and aircraft instruments can detect more leaks quicker and more cost-effective than the regulatory standard, based on optical gas imaging cameras.“GHGSat understands the need for globally standardized technology to quantify GHG emissions from industrialized facilities. Their innovative satellites can reduce monitoring costs in the oil sands by over 50%. More frequent and accurate reporting better informs the industry on where and how to reduce GHG emissions. SDTC is proud to invest in GHGSat as it develops a solution to help reduce GHG emissions from industrialized sites,” said Zoe Kolbuc, Vice-President, Partnerships, Sustainable Development Technology Canadalast_img read more

28 Sep

Aaron Craft leads Ohio State to 7669 upset against No 17 Iowa

Junior center Amir Williams (23) dunks the ball during a game against Iowa Feb. 4 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. OSU won, 76-69.Courtesty of The Daily Iowan/Alyssa HitchcockWhen a team is on the road in a hostile environment, college basketball coaches typically look to their seniors to lead the way.That was the case Tuesday night in Iowa City, Iowa, as Ohio State senior guard Aaron Craft did a little bit of everything to help lead his team to its second straight road win, defeating No. 17 Iowa, 76-69.Craft finished with a game-high 17 points, recorded six steals, dished out six assists and delivered a crucial driving layup with 1:21 remaining while getting fouled. His free throw put the Buckeyes (18-5, 5-5) up, 66-59, but Iowa would not go away.The Hawkeyes (17-6, 6-4) cut the lead to four after a free throw by senior forward Zach McCabe with 54 seconds left, but they never got that close again.The battery of junior guard Shannon Scott, junior forwards LaQuinton Ross and Sam Thompson and senior guard Lenzelle Smith Jr. combined to make 10 of 12 free throws after the lead was cut to four to help seal the win for the Buckeyes, who won their second straight game against a top 20 opponent — following up a 59-58 victory at then-No. 14 Wisconsin in Madison, Wis.The Buckeyes shot 25-49 from the field in the game, including 7-16 from beyond the arc. Their perimeter defense proved to be the difference, as Iowa shot just 3-20 from deep.After trailing, 33-31, at halftime, OSU took the lead for good after Smith Jr. buried a three from the wing with 18:39 remaining. Smith Jr. finished with 12 points, one of five OSU guys to score in double figures including Craft, Ross with 13, junior center Amir Williams with 12 and Scott with 11.Sophomore guard Mike Gesell led the Hawkeyes with 16 points, and junior center Gabriel Olaseni added 14 off the bench.After the two straight road wins, OSU is set to come home Saturday and take on Purdue (13-9, 3-6). The Buckeyes last beat the Boilermakers, 78-69, Dec. 31 in West Lafayette, Ind. Tipoff for Saturday is set for 6 p.m. read more

28 Sep

Wrestling Full results for all nine Ohio State wrestlers from the NCAA

OSU junior heavyweight Kyle Snyder lifts Wisconsin’s Connor Medbery before slamming him to the mat for a takedown in the heavyweight finals of the 2017 NCAA Division I Wrestling Tournament in St. Louis, Missouri. OSU placed second, behind Penn State. Credit: Courtesy of OSU AthleticsST. LOUIS — Ohio State finished second at the 2017 Division I NCAA Wrestling Championships and sent a total of nine wrestlers to the event. Five of those went on to be named All-Americans, four placed in the top three of their weight classes, and one won a national championship.125 poundsOSU’s redshirt freshman Jose Rodriguez went into the tournament unseeded and lost 13-4 in the first round of the championship bracket to American University’s No. 11 Josh Terao. Rodriguez was able to get a single victory over Ohio’s Christian Moody, but was later pinned by Nebraska’s No. 5 Tim Lambert.133 poundsRedshirt junior Nathan Tomasello entered the tournament with a perfect regular season record and a Big Ten championship. He beat Illinois’ No. 8 Zane Richards by a score of just 3-1 in the quarterfinals after getting major decision victories over his first two opponents.In the semifinals, it was a Big Ten championship rematch with Iowa’s No. 4 Cory Clark. Tomasello beat Clark at Big Tens 5-4 on a last-second escape, but Clark fought to a different outcome at the NCAA tournament with a 7-4 decision.In the consolation bracket, Tomasello took down Nebraska’s No. 7 Eric Montoya and Michigan’s No. 5 Stevan Micic in the finals to finish in third place for the second consecutive year.141 poundsOSU freshman Luke Pletcher entered the tournament as a No. 12 seed and defeated Michigan’s Sal Profaci 8-5 in the first round, but lost to All-American Anthony Ashnault from Rutgers.In the consolation bracket, Pletcher was able to pick up another win over Iowa’s Christopher Carton, but Penn State’s Jimmy Gulibon upset him in his second consolation match.149 poundsRedshirt sophomore Micah Jordan came into the tournament as a No. 4 seed and, as a recent Big Ten runner-up, looked dominant early.Jordan put together a technical fall over North Carolina’s Troy Heilmann, and then defeated Maryland’s No. 13 Alfred Bannister with a 10-2 major decision.In the quarterfinals, Jordan faced off against Iowa’s Brandon Sorensen. Jordan lost to Sorensen in their regular season matchup, but notched a win at the Big Ten championships.Jordan lost, this time 3-0. In the consolation bracket, Jordan beat Lehigh’s No. 10 Laike Gardner 9-6, getting a technical fall over South Dakota State’s Alex Kocer and a major decision over Northern Illinois’ Max Thomsen.In the consolation finals, Jordan faced Sorensen yet again, and was held scoreless for the second time, losing 4-0. 165 poundsOSU redshirt sophomore Cody Burcher entered the tournament as an at-large qualifier and unseeded, and seemed outmatched by the competition. Burcher was held scoreless by Arizona State’s No. 7 Anthony Valencia in the first round, losing 11-0.In the consolation bracket, Burcher fared a little better, but still lost his first matchup 2-1 to Ohio University’s Yoanse Mejias.174 poundsRedshirt junior Bo Jordan came into the tournament as a Big Ten champion for the first time, and carried a No. 3 seed along with only one loss on the season.Jordan earned a 10-1 major decision over Harvard’s Josef Johnson in the first round and a 10-4 decision over Iowa State’s No. 14 Lelund Weatherspoon in the second.In the quarterfinals, he continued marching along, beating Iowa’s No. 11 Alex Meyer with a 4-3 decision. In the semifinals, Jordan faced off against Cornell’s Brian Realbuto, who handed Jordan his only loss of the season.Jordan fought from behind for most of the match, but employed an acrobatic takedown in the last 20 seconds that also saw him pick up near-fall points to secure a 11-7 victory.In a Big Ten championship rematch, Jordan and Penn State’s Mark Hall faced off for the national title at 174. Jordan won the Big Ten bout, but Hall was able to win, 5-2.184 poundsHopes were high for No. 6 seed Myles Martin at the 2017 NCAA tournament, after winning a national championship as a true freshman in 2016, becoming the first Buckeye to ever do so.Looking impressive in his first matchup, he was two points away from a technical fall over Bucknell’s Garrett Hoffman.Martin’s run was spoiled by Illinois’ No. 11 Emery Parker in the second round, losing 14-9.In the consolation bracket, Martin took down Penn’s Joe Heyob with a tech-fall before a 12-3 major decision of Edinboro’s No. 14 Dakota Geer.Next, Martin faced a fellow All-American in Northern Illinois’ Drew Foster, and was able to come out victorious after surviving a sudden victory period.Martin’s charge was stopped short by Iowa’s No. 3 Sammy Brooks. At the NCAA tournament, Brooks defeated Martin with a 6-2 decision to send Martin to the fifth-place match.There, Martin impressed once again, getting some much-needed team points over Oklahoma State’s No. 4 Nolan Boyd and winning with a 10-6 decision.197 poundsRedshirt freshman No. 3 Kollin Moore, who recently won a Big Ten championship in his first year of competition, barrelled through the first two rounds of the tournament with a 16-6 major decision over North Carolina State’s Malik McDonald and a 16-4 major decision over Oregon State’s No. 14 Corey Griego.In the quarterfinals, Moore faced a tougher challenge in Oklahoma State’s No. 6 Preston Weigel, but picked up a 13-5 major decision.In the semifinals, a rematch with Minnesota’s No. 2 Brett Pfarr, the Gophers avenged his loss at the Big Tens with a 13-9 decision over Moore.In the consolation bracket, Moore pinned Virginia Tech’s No. 4 Jared Haught in the first period en route to a third-place finish as a freshman. He suffered only four losses on the season, all four against Pfarr and 197-pound champion J’Den Cox of Missouri. HeavyweightNo. 1 seed and junior Kyle Snyder entered the tournament with sky-high expectations. A world and Olympic champion, he had an undefeated season for the Buckeyes.After getting through the first two rounds with technical falls, Snyder sustained a rib injury against Colorado’s No. 16 Garrett Ryan.In the third match, Snyder looked dominant for the first two periods, but his injury began to show in the third, during which he failed to record a point and was ridden out by Minnesota’s No. 8 Michael Kroells, but still won 13-7.That would be the last time the injury seemed to bother Snyder.In the semifinals, Snyder rolled over Duke’s No. 4 Jacob Kasper 19-6 and advanced to face Wisconsin’s No. 2 Connor Medbery in the NCAA Finals.Yet another Big Ten championships rematch, and this one went in favor of the Buckeyes. Snyder tallied two takedowns en route to a 6-3 win over Medbery and his second consecutive national championship at 285 pounds. read more

18 Sep

Hamsik confirms China offer

first_imgNapoli captain Marek Hamsik has confirmed that he has received an offer from China and that he has told club president Aurelio De Laurentiis about itThe Slovakian midfielder is expected to leave the Stadio San Paolo for this summer’s transfer window after having previously admitted to being tempted by the prospect of a big-money move to China.The arrival of new head coach Carlo Ancelotti does not appear to have improved things for Hamsik, who could break the club record of the most games played at Napoli for next season.Speaking at a charity event in his native Slovakia, the 30-year-old confirmed that he has been in talks in regards to a move to the Chinese Super League.Cristiano Ronaldo, JuventusSerie A Betting: Match-day 3 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Considering there is a number of perfect starts so early in the Serie A season, as well as a few surprisingly not-so perfect ones….“I’m still a Napoli player, for now nothing has changed,” said Hamsik, via Football-Italia.“It’s true that I told the President [Aurelio De Laurentiis] that there’s this opportunity, but at the moment there’s nothing new.”However, Napoli are reportedly asking around €30m for their captain.A fee of this magnitude would mean that a Chinese club would have to pay €60m due to the 100% tax charge they receive for not using the money towards player development in their own country.last_img read more

18 Sep

Harewood swapped football pitch for tweaking supercars

first_imgFormer West Ham United player Marlon Harewood has revealed he is in the business of tinkering supercars.The ex-Aston Villa striker is pimping up the motors of England and Premier League stars now that he has hung up his boots. His customers include England players like Harry Kane, 25, John Stones, 24, Kyle Walker and Fabian Delph, both aged 28.Harewood, 39, said, according to Daily Star:“We have fitted PlayStations, printers and coffee machines into clients’ cars. We recently did a makeover on an Audi Q7 for a Man United player.”“We gave the car a respray and added a body kit before completely changing the interior, including the seats and dashboard. When you see what the car looks like before and after, it’s exciting. It gives you a buzz.”“There are plenty of other companies who provide similar services, but a lot of footballers struggle to find someone who they can trust.”declan rice, england, West ham UnitedReport: England’s Rice gets death threats George Patchias – September 9, 2019 England International Declan Rice has received death threats.Rice a one time Ireland International, switched allegiances only this year. The West Ham United man played for…“But because I’ve played the game, they know I’m not going to try and rip them off.”“There is so much competition between the young players these days. They all want to be seen driving something better than their team-mates.”“Social media plays a huge role. They see flash cars on Instagram and want the same thing.”“Some get bored very quickly and change it after 12 months. I believe Jack Butland has had his car wrapped in six colours over the years.”“I wanted to start a car business so players could avoid losing money. It’s a short career, and when you get to a certain age, you want that money you wasted on that car.”“Hopefully with our help, players will avoid paying over the odds.”last_img read more

18 Sep

Ajax boss An opportunity that we need to go for

first_imgErik ten Hag believes his Ajax side must go all-out for the opportunity they have at Benfica tonight in the Champions LeagueVictory for the Dutch giants will book them a spot in the knockout stages of the competition.Currently, Ajax lead Group E on goal difference from Bayern Munich and are four points ahead of tonight’s opponents Benfica.“This is the fourth game of the group phase, and it’s an important one. A lot is at stake,” Ajax coach Ten Hag told reporters on the club website.“We definitely have the possibility of getting closer to making it through the winter break in the Champions League. And it’s an opportunity that we need to go for.”Top 5 Atletico Madrid players to watch in next week’s UCL Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 14, 2019 With the Champions League about to start, we need to start talking about the Top 5 Atletico Madrid players to watch in the competition.Atletico…A late goal from Noussair Mazraoui handed Ajax a narrow 1-0 win over Benfica at the Amsterdam Arena last time out a fortnight ago.But former Manchester United defender Daley Blind doesn’t expect an easy time from Benfica in Lisbon tonight.“The next round is within our reach,” said Blind.“It’s not going to be easy, but it’s a huge opportunity. We are very aware of this. We’re going to have to do our best to grab those three points.”The Group E game between Benfica and Ajax will begin at 21:00 (CEST).last_img read more

18 Sep

Official Southampton sack coach Mark Hughes

first_imgSouthampton have announced the dismissal of Mark Hughes as manager after just eight months in the dugoutThe Manchester United legend was recruited by Southampton on March 14 and helped them avoid relegation from the Premier League last season.Afterwards, Hughes was awarded a three-year contract to continue coaching the club he once played for himself.But the Saints’ 2-2 draw with United in the Premier League on Saturday proved to be Hughes’ final game in charge with the club only 18th in the table.“Southampton Football Club can today confirm it has parted company with First Team Manager Mark Hughes,” read a statement on the club website.Jadon SanchoMerson believes Arsenal should sign Sancho Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho might be the perfect player to play for the Gunners, according to former England international Paul Merson.“The search for a new manager to take the club forward is already underway.”Hughes’ assistants, Mark Bowen and Eddie Niedzwiecki, have also departed the south coast.The Welshman has now been fired twice in the space of a year following his dismissal from Stoke City in January.Southampton, who have only won once in the Premier League this term, will next face Tottenham away on Wednesday at Wembley.last_img read more

18 Sep

For Guardiola Fernandinho is very important

first_imgThe Manchester City manager believes the Brazil midfielder is not certain to face Southampton on SundayBrazilian midfielder Fernandinho is injured.But he trained with Manchester City on Saturday and might be able to face Southampton tomorrow.“It is not necessary to lose three games from four to say how important Fernandinho is to us,” Guardiola said to The Standard.Premier LeaguePremier League Betting: Match-day 5 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Going into the Premier League’s match-day five with a gap already beginning to form at the top of the league. We will take a…“It is a specific position, we don’t have his qualities again. He is an incredible player.”“We tried but when players don’t want to come what can we do?” Guardiola spoke about trying to cover him.“I never in my career with Barcelona or Bayern Munich, I never complain about what they try to do, the clubs.”“They do their best because they want to win too. They try to provide me with the best team possible and they did it,” Guardiola added.last_img read more

14 Sep

Playboy Reports 31M First Quarter Loss

first_imgPlayboy Enterprises, parent company of Playboy magazine, this morning announced its first quarter 2008 revenues were $78.5 million, down 8 percent over the same period in 2007. The company reported a net loss for the quarter of $3.1 million, down from a $1.5 million profit in 2007. Revenues in the publishing division fell 14 percent to $20.1 million, down from $23.3 million during the same period last year. The company also said it expects second quarter ad pages to be down about 5 percent.According to first quarter Publishers Information Bureau numbers, Playboy’s ad dollars were down 13.4 percent to $16.3 million. Ad pages dropped 4 percent over the quarter. In February, the company said it expected first quarter ad revenues would be downby as much as 30 percent. Playboy Enterprises chairman and CEO Christie Hefner said the company’s publishing and domestic entertainment businesses “continue to face unprecedented change in the way consumers access and use media content. We believe we are making good progress in streamlining our operations and improving the future performance prospects of these businesses.”Hefner noted also the company’s plans to redesign Playboy.com to “accelerate growth of that business, expand our total audience and create a better portal to our other properties.”First quarter revenues in Playboy’s entertainment business were $2.7 million, down from $4.3 million during the same period in 2007. Revenues in its licensing business were $6.7 million, down from $10.5 million last year.last_img read more

14 Sep

9 Executives On What Would Happen If Their Brands Vanished

first_img We live in a world of hyper competition among traditional players, new digital players and advertisers communicating directly with our audiences. With social media and “TV Everywhere,” audiences are massively distracted and have more choice than ever. If your brand went away, why would anyone care? What makes you unique and unduplicated? Today’s media mechanisms have made it easy for anyone to communicate a message to the masses. From the reader’s perspective those messages may or may not have credibility and value, depending on the source. We find that our readers continually turn to our trusted brand (both in print and digital editions) to find valuable solutions, ideas, and inspiration. If we pulled the FDMC brand out of the wood products manufacturing industry, there would be an enormous hole to fill in the hearts and minds of our loyal readership. Tim Fixmer CEO CCI Media Here’s a disparate collection of frank and illuminating responses. Click through to see the commentary. What makes our brand essential in the market is the surgical functions performed by our content team. This is true of any good b2b brand in this day and age, though it is applies to consumer products I am a reader of as well. Great content teams clearly understand their purpose and they perform their functions well. Now, more so than ever before, readers in any given industry segment need the content team to understand the key issues facing the readership. Once those issues are clearly understood (and in many cases they can change rapidly due to changing technologies) it is the content team’s responsibility to venture forth, seeking answers to questions and solutions to problems that lie at the core of the issues. As the question implies, there is no shortage of information out there, to be sure. Some of it is right on the money, some slightly off, some simple marketing hype, and some just plain dead wrong opinion. Our job is to interpret the information we uncover, fact check for validation, prioritize it, and present it in a meaningful way so that the reader can quickly grasp concepts, methods, and technologies that impact their day to day operations, solve their problems and become more effective businesspeople.center_img Prev1 of 9NextUse your ← → (arrow) keys to browse We at Folio: have been asking periodic questions of c-suite executives in magazine media. We’ve been publishing the responses verbatim on our web page and in our magazine. Our latest installment is this question: Prev1 of 9NextUse your ← → (arrow) keys to browselast_img read more

3 Sep

At least 11 dead in Haiti earthquake

first_imgMap of Haiti. Photo: Google MapA 5.9-magnitude earthquake struck just off the northwest coast of Haiti late Saturday, killing at least 11 people and causing damage to buildings in the Caribbean nation, authorities said.The epicentre of the quake was located about 19 kilometres (12 miles) northwest of the city of Port-de-Paix, the US Geological Survey reported.Government spokesman Eddy Jackson Alexis told AFP that 11 people were so far reported dead, seven of them in Port-de-Paix, the capital of Haiti’s Nord-Ouest department.Four others were killed in the town of Gros-Morne, about 50 kilometres to the southeast.The quake, which was felt across the country, struck at 8:10 pm (0010 GMT Sunday) at a shallow depth of 11.7 kilometres.Haiti’s civil protection agency said two minor aftershocks were registered, adding that no tsunami warning was issued in connection with the quake activity.The tremor rattled the capital Port-de-Prince, sparking emotion among residents still reeling from the massive 2010 earthquake that left at least 200,000 people dead and 300,000 more wounded.”I urge the population to remain calm,” President Jovenel Moise said on Twitter, adding that local and regional authorities were assisting those in need and that some damage had been reported.Prime minister Jean-Henry Ceant is heading up an inter-ministerial disaster response task force, he said on Twitter.”The injured are being treated at area hospitals,” the civil protection agency said late Saturday, noting that some of the injuries were sustained when people panicked after the quake.The agency confirmed that some homes were destroyed or damaged, without offering specific figures.Images of damaged homes and partially destroyed buildings were circulating on social media, but AFP was not immediately able to confirm their authenticity.The Nord-Ouest department is the poorest part of impoverished Haiti, with many isolated areas due to the dire state of the roads.The devastating 7.0-magnitude quake in January 2010 left more than 1.5 million people homeless. Tens of thousands remain in makeshift camps.The damage caused was worth an estimated 120 per cent of GDP in Haiti, the poorest country in the western hemisphere.Longer-term reconstruction has been hampered by lingering political chaos in the nation of nearly 11 million people, and by a deadly cholera epidemic introduced by infected Nepalese UN peacekeepers sent in after the quake.last_img read more

3 Sep

Travel permit restrictions to prevent return of militants

first_img*This report, originally appeared in Prothom Alo print editon, has been rewritten here in English by Nusrat Nowrin. Militant illustrationIn order to prevent the return of Bangladeshi militants who joined wars in Syria and Iraq, the home ministry has issued directives to Bangladesh embassies abroad not to issue travel permits without the ministry’s approval.This decision was reportedly taken at a recent meeting between the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the top officials of home ministry.The home ministry’s immigration department under the security services division sent a letter to the foreign ministry on 16 May, stating that security threats had increased recently due to militant activities in the international arena. Granting travel permits without proper verification could pose as a threat to the country’s security, the letter said.Militants might conceal their identity and enter the country, the letter added, asking the foreign ministry to issue directives in this regard to Bangladesh’s diplomatic missions abroad.Home minister Asaduzzaman Khan said the airports have also been alerted about militants entering the country. The airports have been provided details of militants with Bangladeshi passports, he added.”The US has said certain militants who were Bangladeshi-origin US citizens, were also trying to enter Bangladesh. The agencies in Bangladesh do not have much information about the matter. As they did not have passports, they might try to get travel permits from the embassies and enter Bangladesh. That is why it has been decided to verify everyone’s identity before they enter the ocuntry. Anyone with a travel permit can return to the country as soon as the home ministry gives its approval,” the minister said.While asked whether this decision may hamper the return of immigrant Bangladeshi workers who had lost their passports for various reasons, Asaduzzaman said, “We will speedily send them approval by e-mail or fax.”According to sources in the law enforcement, many have gone to Syria and Iraq from Bangladesh, influenced by Islamic State (ISIS) ideology. The authorities do not have information on the exact numbers of these militants, whether they are dead or alive, or their whereabouts.The law enforcement sources referred to a foreign terrorist fighters’ list prepared by a certain western country, which said over 40 Bangladeshis went to Syria from Bangladesh in 2014-15. Many of them were killed and several landed in prisons in Syria and Iraq after being detained. Many Bangladeshi-origin citizens from other countries also went to Syria.Several other countries have already taken cautionary steps against militants of their respective countries from returning after the fall of ISIS in Syria.Officers of Dhaka Metropolitan Police CTTC (Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime) unit stressed the need to verify the identities of the people coming from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkey, and Lebanon as they may be militants returning from these countries.According to several sources, Mutaz Abdul Majid, a youth born and brought up in Saudi Arabia, came to Bangladesh from Turkey last February. He was taken into custody at the airport and later shown arrested.Mutaz had taken his passport from the Bangladesh embassy in Saudi Arabia and went to Turkey using the passport in 2016. Later, the Turkish police detained him and sent him to Bangladesh. However, the law enforcement here could not verify as yet whether Mutaz fought in Syria on any militant front.Militants have been blacklisted in many countries, and so will try to enter any country with a travel pass, CTTC chief Monirul Islam said.Fast travel passes are often sought to send back illegal workers. Militants may try to use such travels passes to return to the country and so the home ministry has issued the alert in this regard.last_img read more

31 Aug

France gets a framed taste of religious India

first_imgPoignant photos capturing the essence of Udaipur, its beautiful heritage buildings, natural beauty and particularly the expressions of religion by people of different faiths, are currently on display in Strasbourg, France.Clicked by French photographer Albert Huber, the photos are part of a month-long exhibition of pictures that showcases the sacred in the cities of Udaipur and Strasbourg.Titled ‘Seeking the Sacred’, the exhibition is the outcome of an exchange pact inked between the two cities. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’‘In the historical Udaipur, I am the happy photographer. I photographed the narrow streets and living and the baroque palaces in their bountiful natural beauty,’ says Huber.The photographer who was in Udaipur in April this year says, ‘I photographed the extraordinary royal palace, the  women in a temple, the Protestants celebrating Good Friday in church and Muslims offering prayers at a mosque.’ Juxtaposing Huber’s pictures are those by Anuradha Sarup who photographed the sacred rituals of people in Strasbourg. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix‘The city is one of France’s most vibrant and culturally rich cities. I captured on film the Pre-Easter ceremonies. I also shot the mosque there, which is the second largest mosque in France,’ says Sarup.The lenswoman who spent 10 days in the French city says it was a challenge for her to capture the ‘sacred’ through the historical cultural and religious identities of its people.‘Like Udaipur Strasbourg, an ancient European settlement has a living heritage. The city and its people have adapted beautifully to changing times,’ says Sarup. The photo exhibition is an activity under the Joint Co-operation Programme (JCP) signed between Indian Heritage Cities Network Foundation, UNESCO, the Udaipur Municipal Council, the city of Strasbourg and Maharana of Mewar Charitable Foundation (MMCF), Udaipur for three years from 2011.The pact aims to strengthen Udaipur’s knowledge base, develop a framework and undertake activities to preserve its heritage and develop international collaboration and partnerships for heritage-based projects in the Rajasthan city.‘The exhibition will open new avenues of understanding between people and provide access to various artists of different faiths. It will inspire creativity and stimulate international research digital knowledge exchange,’ says Mayank Gupta, Deputy Secretary, MMCF.The photo exhibition is part of a festival, which celebrated sacred music from over the world. The three-day ‘Sacred Days of Strasbourg’ inaugurated on May 23 with Hindu and Buddhist chants saw performances from 10 countries.After the exhibition closes on June 18 in Strasbourg it is scheduled to travel to Udaipur later this year and be showcased at the City Palace Museum there.Meanwhile, French photographer Huber says, ‘There is a lot I received in Udaipur and a lot more calls me back.’last_img read more

19 Aug

Princess upgrades group shore excursions with Local Connections

first_img Tuesday, January 10, 2017 Share Travelweek Group SANTA CLARITA — Princess Cruises has created a new department specially designed for group shore excursions that both travel agents and guests can access.The department centres around Princess Cruises’ ‘Local Connections’ program, tapping the knowledge of destination experts and locals for creative feedback and suggestions for shore excursions. Using ‘Local Connections’ the department can better cater to a group’s interest and personalize excursions for those passengers. Both the onboard team and the shore team will work together to ensure seamless organization and execution, says the cruise line.“Getting out to truly experience the magnificent destinations around the world as a group is one of the many ways Princess can introduce guests to the world’s most memorable destinations,” said Bruce Krumrine, Princess Cruises Vice President of Shore Excursions. “We offer competitive net pricing and a wide array of excursion options through the personal assistance of our destination experts. Through our Local Connections program, we continue to innovate our tour experiences ashore and our groups team will take full advantage of the suggestions and creativity of those partners that know the destination best.”More news:  Sunwing offers ultimate package deal ahead of YXU flights to SNU, PUJThe department works with both small (six to 15 passengers) and large (16 passengers or more) groups including family reunions, sports, church, special interest groups and more. Private cars, vans, transfers and boats are available and the department can accommodate a variety of budgets. Customized tours arranged through travel agents are commissionable.Sample tours include:A Michelin Restaurant Experience:  A Cooking Class at Kokkeriet – Located on a corner in Nyborder, Copenhagen, Kokkeriet is a gourmet restaurant that was awarded one Michelin star in 2006. A modern European cuisine, Kokkeriet uses fresh ingredients of the season with the menu changed monthly. With the chef, guests learn about the techniques used to create Michelin quality food; the raw materials used; their background and personal story; and enjoy the ‘home made’ meal with Michelin wines matching the menu.Phillip Island Penguin Tour by Helicopter – Touring in a ranger, guests explore Melbourne’s bayside coastline and the Mornington Peninsula en route to Phillip Island, with about 45 square miles to view the home of seals, koalas, mutton birds and the largest colony of little penguins in existence. Guests can see the packs, sometimes 300 strong ‘rafts’ of penguins, to protect them from predatory sharks and seals. After, passengers can enjoy a meal at a local restaurant with homegrown ingredients before returning to Melbourne and the ship on a private vehicle.More news:  War of words between Transat, Group Mach ramps upFor more details e-mail GroupShoreExcursions@princesscruises.com. Posted bycenter_img Tags: Princess Cruises, Wave Season << Previous PostNext Post >> Princess upgrades group shore excursions with ‘Local Connections’last_img read more

7 Aug

Spanish regional cable operator Euskaltel has laun

first_imgSpanish regional cable operator Euskaltel has launched the 4K Android set-top promised by CEO Francisco Arteche at the company’s first quarter results presentation in May.Euskaltel has signed up to make Google Play available to its customers, enabling them to take Google services from their set-tops. The company said it was hopeful that this would open up new opportunities for local app developers in the Basque Country region in which it operates.Companies that have signed up to make their apps available via Euskaltel’s TV service include news services Diario Vasco, El Correo, Grupo Noticias and EiTB and Basque Country bank Kutxabank, one of Euskaltel’s major shareholders.The box can be connected to peripheral devices via WiFi, Bluetooth and USB, and subscribers can use their mobile phones to control it. The device can be connected to a gaming controller, with selected games available via the Google Play store, and can also be voice-controlled.Francisco ArtecheOther features of the Euskaltel platform include restart service Replay, video-on-demand service Replayteka, with over 7,000 movies and series episodes available, seven-day catch-up and DVR.“TV consumption habits are constantly changing. TV users are demanding a new way of viewing television that combines the internet and TV. We want to universalize television, so that all our customers can have access to the new TV experience, just as we already did with fixed telephony when we begun operating 20 years ago, or with broadband and mobile telephony since then. Now it’s the turn of a new way of watching television at home, with content and features for everyone and with the maximum image quality,” said Arteche.Separately, Spain’s competition watchdog last week gave a green light for the acquisition of Zegona Communications-owned Asturias region operator Telecable by Euskaltel, paving the way for completion of the deal. The acquisition of Telecable will create a single cable and telecommunications operator covering the Basque Country, Asturias and Galicia, where Euskaltel already owns local player R.last_img read more

3 Aug

When Blessing Okoedion was 26 she headed to Spain

first_imgWhen Blessing Okoedion was 26, she headed to Spain for a job she had been offered at a computer store. In her home country of Nigeria, she had earned a degree in computer science and started her own business repairing computers.But the job offer was a ruse. Her work visa had been faked by human traffickers. There was no computer store job.After a brief stop in Spain, her captors sent her to Naples, Italy. They told her that she owed them 65,000 euros — more than $70,000 in today’s dollars. And they forced her into sex work on the streets of an Italian town.That was five years ago. Today, Okoedion is an activist working to combat human trafficking in Italy and Nigeria. She was one of 10 people honored for these efforts in June by the U.S. State Department at the 2018 Trafficking in Persons Report launch ceremony in Washington, D.C. The report is an annual assessment of foreign governments’ anti-trafficking efforts.She received the State Department award “in recognition of her extraordinary courage in using her lived experiences to … prevent human trafficking [and] her selfless efforts to assist survivors and lend a helping hand to those still subjected to the crime,” said Kari Johnstone, acting director of the State Department’s Office to Combat Trafficking in Persons, at the event.A few days after she had been forced to start working on the streets, Okoedion snuck away to a police station to report what had happened to her. The police brought her to Casa Ruth, a shelter in Caserta run by nuns who help trafficking victims, she says.Sister Rita Giaretta founded the shelter, called Casa Rut in Italian, and has been fighting against human trafficking for more than 20 years.”She’s actually the force behind me,” says Okoedion.Since 2014, Okoedion has been working with Casa Ruth. She goes on rescue missions to get trafficked girls and women from Nigeria and other countries off the streets. She helps connect women who are still on the streets with medical care. And she works to ensure trafficking victims who have escaped have the support they need, she says.Sex trafficking victims can be afraid to get medical care because they’re undocumented, she explains, so that’s often a starting point of the rescue missions.”From there, we start building confidence, then many of them start to open up, tell us everything, their fears, everything. Then we start counseling,” she says. “There are some who, when we approach them, immediately tell us, ‘I want to quit this job. I was not told about this, I just need somebody to help me.’ Then we rescue them immediately.”Once they’re free from their traffickers, a new set of challenges begins. High unemployment rates in Italy can make it tough for them to find jobs there, she says. She also accompanies trafficking victims who want to return to Nigeria through the Italy-based organization Slaves No More. The group focuses on helping Nigerian trafficking victims reintegrate into society.Okoedion travels to rural areas in Edo State, where she grew up, to tell women and girls about the tactics traffickers may use in attempts to lure them to faraway jobs that don’t exist. Benin City, its capital, is a human-trafficking hub, she says.Many women and girls who become victims of trafficking are from poor, rural areas and might not have had much education, she says. Traffickers can seem like a sort of savior.The Nigerian government is taking some steps to address trafficking. But “widespread and pervasive” corruption throughout the government and security forces makes it tough, according to the State Department’s new report.The report references international NGO and media reports of trafficking crimes by government officials, service providers and security forces at more than a dozen internally displaced persons camps. Reported crimes included forced sex in return for food.And authorities found trafficking victims from Nigeria in at least 40 countries, including Italy, during the past year. They had often been trafficked by Nigerians, the report says.Points of optimism in Nigeria: The governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, declared trafficking one of his top priorities, the report says. He created a task force to fight it, which has arrested at least 10 potential traffickers so far. And the government is spending more money to fight trafficking.Even at her lowest point, Okoedion says she didn’t see her first name — Blessing — as some kind of curse.”I never attached what happened to me to my name,” she says.Courtney Columbus is a multimedia journalist based in the Washington, D.C. area. She covers science, global health and consumer health. Her past work has appeared in the Arizona Republic and on Arizona PBS. Contact her @cmcolumbus11. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

31 Jul

Government plans for a huge expansion of personal

first_imgGovernment plans for a huge expansion of personal health budgets could help to deliver independent living for disabled people, according to a leading disabled peer.Baroness [Jane] Campbell (pictured), who has been receiving a personal health budget herself for more than a year, said the plans also had “huge potential” for “getting to grips” with the integration of health and social care support.But the government’s plans faced determined opposition from other disabled campaigners this week, with many concerned that they could be part of a planned creeping privatisation of the NHS.They were speaking after the government launched a consultation on the plans to expand the legal right for people to have choice and control over their healthcare through personal health budgets (PHBs).One mental health activist said the plans were about “offloading us to the private sector”, and said she feared that funds would only be made available “as a temporary sweetener” until privatisation of the NHS was complete, when they would be withdrawn.PHBs give individuals a pot of money to spend on their health and wellbeing needs, in agreement with a healthcare professional.Some areas of NHS care will not be covered by a PHB, including GP services, unplanned hospital admissions, drugs and operations.  Currently, only about 23,000 people receive a PHB, but reports suggest that ministers want to increase this to about 350,000.The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) says the plans would allow individuals “to control and tailor their own health and care, based on their own individual needs, in a manner that abides by the constitutional values of healthcare being free at the point of delivery, based on clinical need, not on ability to pay”.The consultation stresses that PHBs would remain optional.The government is suggesting expansion could focus on five groups who have an ongoing need for NHS services: those with continuing social care needs; those with ongoing mental health needs; people leaving the armed services; people who are autistic or have learning difficulties; and people who access NHS wheelchair services.At present, only those in receipt of NHS continuing healthcare – and children and young people receiving continuing care – have a legal right to a PHB.But the government also wants to give more people the right to combine their PHBs and social care personal budgets into a single integrated budget – so they will only need a single assessment of all their needs – and potentially add other funding streams, such as disabled facilities grants.It also proposes giving some service-users the right to receive their PHB through direct payments, which would enable them to take a cash payment to manage and pay for their own support.But many disabled activists fear the plans are only the next step in a move towards privatising the NHS.Professor Peter Beresford, co-chair of Shaping Our Lives, said: “Everyone who loves the NHS should fear the government’s determination to extend personal health budgets massively.”He said PHBs were “the antithesis of the NHS founding principles of universality and needs-led provision”, particularly as the government had based PHBs on the same “failing” model used with social care personal budgets.Under personal budgets, service-users are given an upfront allocation of funding, but that often bears no correlation to what is actually available for the service-user to spend on their support.Beresford believes the same will happen with PHBs.And he warned that “further encroachment of the NHS into social care is no way to bring about integration of health and social care.“The great bulk of spending through PHBs is on social care – PAs, home care, respite, leisure and social needs – with a smattering of spending on fringe or complementary health services that the mainstream NHS will not commission.“In effect, as a strategy to bring about integration, it will fail as it doesn’t grapple with the real problems of integrating clinical health and social care.”He said PHBs were also “morally highly questionable” because they will extend the “anomaly” with NHS Continuing Healthcare, where “some will get free social care via PHBs and the rest will have to pay for exactly the same service”.He said: “PHBs aren’t a gift horse; they are a Trojan horse for privatisation and the commodification of health.”Denise McKenna, co-founder of the Mental Health Resistance Network, said she also feared the plans were part of a long-term government strategy to privatise the NHS and move to an insurance-based system similar to the one that operates in the US.PHBs, she said, would allow the government to separate those service-users who would be “uninsurable” and unprofitable under an insurance-based system, including those with severe and enduring mental health conditions.She said: “I understand people with physical disabilities find PHBs excellent and it is really important to independent living that people are in control of their own lives.“My fear is not in the here and now. It is what is going to happen in the future, what their motives are and what it will lead to.“My fear is that it is a major step towards privatisation.”McKenna said her own experience was that it was “practically impossible” for people with mental health conditions to secure a social care personal budget.For those who were able to, she said, they were unable to benefit from the funding because the scheme was so badly run.Clenton Farquharson, chair of Think Local Act Personal – a national partnership committed to health and care personalisation and community-based support – and a consultant on equality and inclusion, welcomed the government’s plans.He said: “We know from our experience of personal budgets that when implemented well they enable choice, control and improve wellbeing.”He said he was not concerned by claims that the government’s plans were part of creeping privatisation of the NHS.He said: “Personal health budgets are motivated by an underlying principle to humanise a bureaucratic approach to supporting people with long term health and social care support.“They are also driven by a need to effectively integrate health and social care that will help minimise costly, confusing and unsustainable processes that, in my experience, has had a negative impact on my life.  “I am not aware of any evidence that suggests the further expansion of PHBs is changing existing practice whereby clinical commissioning groups commission a range of services from both the NHS, community sector and private providers.  “If done correctly, PHBs can benefit people by offering a choice of affordable, quality, person-centred care that can significantly improve citizens’ health and wellbeing.”Baroness Campbell, who has been working closely on the issue with James Sanderson, director of personalised care for NHS England, also dismissed concerns that expanding PHBs was “privatisation by the back door”.She said that expanding PHBs could “help deliver independent living more effectively, by extending disabled people’s choice and control over the support they require to stay well and less reliant on hospital care and other health interventions.“This is inevitably a more cost-effective approach to supporting well-being – a major principal of the Care Act.”The government plans to outline its next steps in this summer’s adult social care green paper.The PHB consultation closes on 8 June.last_img read more