FDA Moves to Reduce Antibiotics in Livestock

first_imgThere are many culprits in the growing problem of microbial resistance to antibiotics—which renders these valuable drugs ineffective—but public health advocates often point to agriculture. Farmers administer more than 70% of the antibiotics used in the United States to improve health and promote the growth of livestock and poultry. Yesterday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced changes in farm use of antibiotics designed to safeguard the drugs for medical use.The American Society for Microbiology applauded the move in an e-mail, calling it “a major step to address antibiotic resistance comprehensively.” But critics worry about what they see as a large loophole, and they say the steps don’t go far enough.Farm animals are often given a constant dose of antibiotics, added to their feed, in order to boost growth and prevent outbreaks of disease. Unfortunately, the practice raises the risk of microbes evolving resistance and eventually spreading to humans. In final guidance released on 11 December, FDA is asking companies that produce drugs for animals to voluntarily change their labels. No longer should they advertise improved growth and feed efficiency from antibacterial drugs that FDA considers medically important to humans.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)If the labels change, then the drugs would not be available over the counter. Instead, farmers or feed mills would require a prescription from a veterinarian, who could approve use for treating sick animals or preventing disease in those considered “at risk.” FDA wants to hear from companies within 3 months about their plans to change labels and will give them 3 years to put them in place. The agency preferred a voluntary approach because it says regulatory action would take longer, cost more, and be more disruptive to industry. Companies are supporting the plan.The Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future (CLF), which recently released a report critical of the use of antibiotics in agriculture, is skeptical that the voluntary action will be enough to protect public health. “[T]he guidelines will likely fail to change how these drugs are used in food animals,” according to a statement released today. “The FDA may care whether companies call it growth promotion or disease prevention, but the bacteria do not,” said Keeve Nachman, an environmental health scientist with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland, in the statement. “If antibiotics are used in the same ways, they will have the same effects.”Christine Hoang, assistant director for scientific affairs at the American Veterinary Medical Association, expects that the change will lead to less use of antibiotics overall. FDA guidance spells out when the drugs should be employed for medical use, she notes, such as providing antibiotics to piglets that are being shipped to a facility with a disease circulating. “All veterinarians know you can’t deviate from the label,” she tells ScienceInsider. “You could lose your license.” Nearly all states require a prescribing vet to be familiar with the keeping and care of animals by a client, even if they don’t require a visit for each prescription.CLF wants FDA to eliminate all uses of antibiotics for disease prevention. Hoang, however, says that such a ban could pose a “very serious problem for food safety.” If animals get sick, she says, disease can toughen their gastrointestinal tissue, which increases the chance of fecal contamination during slaughter, potentially adding to the spread of resistant microbes. Healthy animals are important for food safety, Hoang says.Representative Louise Slaughter (D-NY) a longtime proponent in Congress of stricter restrictions on antibiotics in agriculture, said in a statement that FDA is falling short. “The FDA’s voluntary guidance is an inadequate response to the overuse of antibiotics on the farm with no mechanism for enforcement and no metric for success,” she wrote. “Sadly, this guidance is the biggest step the FDA has taken in a generation to combat the overuse of antibiotics in corporate agriculture, and it falls woefully short of what is needed to address a public health crisis.”last_img read more

Indians Fourth Largest Immigrant Group In Australia

first_imgThe Indian population in Australia doubled in the last six years, displacing Italians as the fourth largest immigrant group in the country.Indians are the fastest growing ethnic group in Australia, rising from 110,563 in mid-2002 to 239,295 in mid-2008.The British are the largest immigrant group in Australia with 1.166 million residents, constituting 6 per cent of the population, followed by New Zealanders with 494,579.  Related Itemslast_img

Million Job Vacancies in India

first_imgThe Indian government is unable to fill almost one million jobs, including almost 700, 000 in the defense and police sectors and 300,000 in the health sector.“Most ministries and departments are understaffed and despite efforts at hiring the rate of filling vacancies is not adequate. People with specialised knowledge are few and there are many other lucrative offers from the private sector,” a finance ministry official told the media.  Related Itemslast_img

Singaporean Sikh refree subjected to racial abuse by netizens

first_imgBy Gurdip SinghSingapore, Aug 3 (PTI) A 33-year-old Singaporean Sikh refree was allegedly subjected to racial abuse on social media after a football match here, prompting an anti-discrimination organisation to launch an investigation.The probe was launched by UK-based organistion Kick It Out after Sukhbir Singh had made some controversial decisions while officiating last Saturdays International Champions Cup (ICC) match at the National Stadium in Singapore, where Inter Milan beat Chelsea by 2-1, The Strait Times reported.Some netizens took to Twitter to criticise Singhs decisions and commented on his ethnicity.The first was his awarding of a penalty to Inter after striker Stevan Jovetic was brought down by Chelsea full-back Cesar Azpilicueta, and the second was disallowing a late equaliser by Blues forward Michy Batshuayi.Fifa match agent Baljit Rihal tagged Kick It Out who said that it had “received reports from the public on the racist abuse on social media aimed towards Singaporean Sikh referee during Chelseas friendly against Inter Milan.Kick It Out is a third-party reporting organisation where “incidents of discrimination in English football can be reported and then passed to the relevant authorities”.”As these incidents have taken place on social media, they have been reported to the social media platform (Twitter in this case) to take action,” the organisation said.The Football Association of Singapore, as well as Singh, did not comment on this matter, the newspaper said.Last year, Kick It Out had launched a campaign to raise awareness about social media discrimination to coincide with the European Championships.advertisementThe organisations vision is that football will be a sport where people flourish in a supportive community, and where fairness is openly and transparently practised and enforced for the good of all participants.Singh was also last years S-League Referee of the Year. PTI GS KJ AKJ KJlast_img read more

Valverde content with Barca draw

first_imgBarcelona Valverde content with draw against ‘great rival’ Atletico Ben Spratt Last updated 2 years ago 06:00 10/15/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(5) ErnestoValverde - cropped Getty Images Barcelona Atlético Madrid v Barcelona Ernesto Valverde Luis Suárez Atlético Madrid Primera División While the Catalans enjoyed a host of chances, the manager was content with a point having come from behind Ernesto Valverde was happy to take a point away from Atletico Madrid after Barcelona trailed for much of their clash at Wanda Metropolitano on Saturday.Saul Niguez’s 21st-minute strike looked set to secure a valuable home win for Diego Simeone’s men, but Luis Suarez hit back eight minutes from time to earn a result Barca’s second-half performance deserved.Atletico 20/1 to win La Liga Article continues below Editors’ Picks Why Barcelona god Messi will never be worshipped in the same way in Argentina Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. While the visitors had further chances to take all three points, Valverde was content with a draw that keeps his side unbeaten in La Liga after eight matches this season.”I have a positive feeling from the game,” he said. “We must value a point against a great rival who had taken the lead — Atletico normally manage their lead very well.”In the first half, we found it difficult to make chances. After half-time, we were able to break up the game. We were more exposed, but we had more chances.”[After the equaliser] we had chances to win the match, too. It was a great game in general, with a great atmosphere.”@LuisSuarez9 pic.twitter.com/bb25bAIgxT— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) October 14, 2017On goalscorer Suarez, who netted for just the third time this season, he added: “Suarez did very well, even apart from goal.”The confidence of forwards can change very quickly — especially when they score. He worked very well in the area and hopefully he can go on a good run.”Suarez felt his side deserved more than a point, however, based on their performance after the break.”In the second half, we had many chances and deserved more than the draw,” he said. “I’m happy to score the goal, but it’s more important to help the team so they do not lose. I always try to help.”last_img read more

San Francisco Ferry Operator Examining Hydrogen Propulsion

first_imgzoom Sandia National Laboratories and San Francisco-based ferry operator Red and White Fleet have signed a cooperative research and development agreement to develop a high-speed, hydrogen-fuel-cell-powered passenger ferry and refueling station.Named SF-BREEZE (San Francisco Bay Renewable Energy Electric vessel with Zero Emissions), the project aims to design, build and operate a high-speed hydrogen fuel cell passenger ferry and hydrogen refueling station.The hydrogen refueling station is planned to be the largest in the world and serve fuel cell electric cars, buses and fleet vehicles in addition to the ferry and other maritime vehicles.The boat — design, operation, maintenance and fueling — is one part of the equation; the hydrogen refueling station is the other. The high-speed passenger ferry would use about 1,000 kilograms of hydrogen per day. To put this in perspective, an average hydrogen fuel cell car might use less than 5 kilograms of hydrogen per week.To support the ferry and other potential users, the refueling station would have a capacity of 1,500 kilograms a day — about twice the size of the largest hydrogen refueling station in the world. It would also be the first hydrogen refueling station to simultaneously serve land and marine uses.The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) has provided USD 500,000 to fund a feasibility study to examine the technical, regulatory and economic aspects of the project.”The Maritime Administration is committed to finding new and efficient technologies for use in the maritime industry that reduce pollution and protect our environment,” said Maritime Administrator Paul ‘Chip’ Jaenichen.”This industry continues moving forward on renewable energy and clean-fuel options, and this project encourages a shift toward lower impact maritime fuels that may further green the waterborne link in our national transportation system.”Sandia is leading the study in partnership with Red and White Fleet, the American Bureau of Shipping, the U.S. Coast Guard and naval architect Elliott Bay Design Group. Other contributors include the California Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Resources Board and the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development.”We are involving so many stakeholders up front because if the feasibility study shows a ‘go’ we want to make sure the next phase has a rock-solid foundation,” said mechanical engineer Joe Pratt, the Sandia project lead.”We hope that the feasibility study, regardless of the outcome, can be useful to others nationally and around the world who are looking at hydrogen fuel cell vessels as clean energy alternatives.”SF-BREEZE will enter new regulatory space, both for the high-speed ferry and refueling station. The feasibility study will examine those regulations and their impact on the project.last_img read more

Otto Marine Wins Tanker Deal, Seeks Delisting

first_imgzoom Singapore-based offshore marine company Otto Marine Limited has secured a shipbuilding contract for a 6,500 dwt product tanker from an Indonesian stated-owned enterprise.The deal, which is worth USD 14 million, was secured through the company’s wholly-owned subsidiary, PT Batamec.Scheduled for delivery in the second quarter of 2018, the tanker is expected to operate in the Indonesian waters.Otto Marine said that the deal is expected “to have positive contribution to the consolidated earnings per share or consolidated net tangible assets per share of the company and the group for the financial years ending 31 December 2017 and 31 December 2018, respectively.”In a separate announcement, the company said that it received a delisting proposal from British Virgin Islands-incorporated investment holding firm Ocean International Capital Limited (OIC) seeking the voluntary delisting of the company from the Singapore Exchange.Acting on behalf of OIC as its financial adviser, RHB Securities Singapore Pte Ltd. (RHB) will make an exit offer in cash to acquire all the issued ordinary shares held by Otto Marine’s shareholders, other than those owned, controlled or agreed to be acquired by the OIC.Furthermore, RHB would buy all new shares as may be issued prior to the close of the exit offer.The sole director of OIC, a special purpose vehicle incorporated for making the exit offer, is the Malaysian businessman Yaw Chee Siew, who is also a controlling shareholder of Otto Marine, holding 61.2 percent of the company’s total issued share capital.Earlier this week, Otto Marine decided to extended its trading halt to consider the offeror’s proposal, as it had requested and received approval from the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited for an extension of the trading halt by 2 market days.The move follows a prolonged period of headwinds in the offshore oil and gas industry, as Otto Marine saw a decrease in external revenue by 31.3 percent to USD 244.4 million in 2015, taking into account its three businesses – shipbuilding, chartering and subsea.last_img read more

US Withdraws from Biased UN Human Rights Council

By Dana LegerRabat – Nikki Haley, US ambassador to the UN, announced on Tuesday that the US withdrew from the United Nations’ top human rights body, the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC).“We take this step because our commitment does not allow us to remain a part of a hypocritical and self-serving organisation that makes a mockery of human rights,” she said alongside US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington, D.C. Pompeo accused the council of being “a protector of human rights abusers.”Both Haley and Pompeo said the decision had been made after a long year of efforts to shame the council into reform.Haley added that the decision “is not a retreat from human rights commitments,” and accused the council of being “a protector of human rights abusers and a cesspool of political bias.”“Look at the council membership, and you see an appalling disrespect for the most basic rights,” said Haley, naming Venezuela, China, Cuba, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.The decision to withdraw comes after the council accused Israel of using excessive force last month and voted to investigate Israeli killings of Palestinian protesters in the Gaza Strip. Since March 30, more than 120 Palestinian protesters have been killed and over 13,000 have been injured by Israeli forces.Reactions to the withdrawalZeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the UN high commissioner for human rights, called the announcement by US President Donald Trump’s administration “disappointing, if not really surprising,” adding, “Given the state of human rights in today’s world, the US should be stepping up, not stepping back.”“Disappointing, if not really surprising, news. Given the state of #HumanRights in today’s world, the US should be stepping up, not stepping back” — UN Human Rights Chief #Zeid following USA decision to withdraw from U.N. Human Rights Council.#StandUp4HumanRights— UN Human Rights (@UNHumanRights) June 19, 2018The European Union said that the move “risks undermining the role of the US as a champion and supporter of democracy on the world stage.”Al Jazeera’s Rosiland Jordan, reporting from Washington, D.C., said the US exit “did not come as a shock” as it was something that Haley had talked about soon after becoming the US ambassador to the UN in early 2017.Israel, a major ally of the US, praised Washington’s “courageous” move.“The primary reason why the US is pulling out of the council now is because of its efforts to reduce or eliminate of the unfair criticism, in the US’ view, of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians,” Jordan said.The UNHRC and its rocky relationship with the USThe UN created the Human Rights Council in 2006 to replace the UN Commission on Human Rights, which at the time faced widespread criticism for allowing countries with poor human rights records to become members.A group of 47 elected countries from regions across the globe serve for three-year terms on the Geneva-based council.The UNHRC meets three times a year and reviews the human rights records of all UN members in a strategic process, known as the Universal Periodic Review. The council claims this gives countries a chance to explain what they have done to improve human rights.The council has set up commissions of inquiry to report on human rights violations in countries including Syria, North Korea, Burundi, Myanmar, and South Sudan.The US has a long history of conflicting relationships with the UN Human Rights Council. The Bush Administration boycotted the council when it was created in 2006 for similar reasons as those cited by the Trump administration.At the time, the US ambassador to the UN was John Bolton, who is currently President Trump’s national security adviser and a strong critic of the UN.In 2009, the US re-joined the UNHRC under the Obama administration. read more

Incident draws attention to inflight harassment and airline response

MONTREAL — In the wake of an onboard incident where flight attendants and bystanders acted swiftly to deal with alleged sexual harassment, Canada’s two biggest airlines say its crews are trained to handle passengers who pose a threat — though one expert warns that airline policy and behaviour are two different matters.On Monday, Toronto Star journalist Joanna Chiu took to Twitter to recount an experience on a recent flight on which she overheard a man who appeared to be in his late 30s ask a teenage girl for a “dirty” photo.Chiu, the Star’s Vancouver bureau chief, said she and other travellers intervened, informing the flight crew who had the man move after some resistance.The post, which did not identify the airline, prompted hundreds of responses highlighting the harassment and aggression women often endure while travelling, and how bystanders and flight crew can play a critical role in helping victims.WestJet Airlines Ltd. said flight crews have a “duty to assess, refuse or move anyone who is exhibiting signs of not being fit to fly or is perceived to be posing a risk to the safety and well-being of our guests and crew.” Crews have the authority to remove a guest from the flight at the next touchdown and request authorities on the ground ahead of time.Air Canada declined to detail its training procedures “in order to protect the effectiveness of using them,” but said it has a range of protocols to handle safety concerns.Julie Roberts, who heads the airline division of 15,000 flight attendants at the Canadian Union of Public Employees, says a flight manual at Air Transat, where she works, lists four levels of interference, with response options that range from re-seating to separation techniques.On board is a restraining kit that includes handcuffs, an upper-body seat belt and even a “spitting mask,” she said.“If the behaviour doesn’t stop…I would get the pilot to make sure the RCMP is waiting,” said Roberts. Passengers between the ages of 12 and 16 who are travelling alone are seated in first class when possible, she said.With safety top of mind, though, subtler interactions, including inappropriate remarks or touching, may go unnoticed.“It could use some more attention…Harassment policies within most airlines are pretty outdated,” Roberts said, adding that passenger vigilance is key.Angela Marie Marie MacDougall, executive director of the Battered Women’s Support Services non-profit in Vancouver, said air travel can open the hatch to “men who want to assert their dominance.”“You’re in such close proximity in those airline seats and there’s this extraordinary amount of physical intimacy,” she said. “Like with a lot of sexual harassment, it’s usually a thing around opportunity.”MacDougall said Canadian reserve and politeness can wind up enabling harassment.“Canadians are by and large polite…and so to speak out about something is not a cultural norm,” she said. “What we’re asking people to do now is to break some of the taboos that we’ve had around speaking out.”MacDougall applauded vigilant flight attendants, but said harassment policies aren’t always put into practice.“I’m aware of experiences of unaccompanied minors that have been sexually assaulted by men — girls 10, 12 years old,” she said. “Policy does not mean something gets done.”MacDougall recommended several ways to help in a threatening situation. Bystanders can ask the woman if she’s OK, offer to switch seats or alert authorities. They can start by simply asking her the time so she knows she’s not alone, or looking disapprovingly at the harasser.“Women know, girls know that this kind of thing is endemic. It’s a well-worn path in Canada. Largely we suffer in silence,” MacDougall said.“It’s only been in recent years — because of social media, frankly — where we’ve able to amplify our experiences of sexual harassment.” Christopher Reynolds, The Canadian Press read more

Israeli easing of Gaza blockade painfully insufficient senior UN official says

22 April 2010The recent easing of some Israeli restrictions on the entry of goods into Gaza is welcome but infinitesimal when compared to the needs of the 1.5 million Palestinians living there, the top United Nations official in the Strip said today. “[It is] a drop in the bucket,” said John Ging, Director of Operations in Gaza for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), at a news conference in New York, repeating the categorization used by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on his visit to the Strip last month.“A drop in the bucket, of course, is not a half-full glass,” he said of Israel’s agreement to allow in some supplies of clothing, wood and aluminium, the latter needed for a prime UN objective – rebuilding UNRWA schools devastated by Israel’s military offensive against Gaza’s Hamas authorities 18 months ago. “The context is so great, the scale of the need is so large.”Mr. Ging noted that a conference in Sharm el-Sheikh last year put a price tag of $4.5 billion on the reconstruction and recovery of Gaza. “That’s $4.5 billion, at the moment, of despair and misery until such time that recovery and reconstruction gets under way,” he said.UNRWA cannot cater to the thousands of children with the right to education under UN resolutions as refugees. Gazans are “demanding of us to accommodate their children in our schools. They have not been allowed to build a school in Gaza for three years,” he added. Israel imposed its blockade for what it called security reasons after Hamas, which does not recognize Israel’s right to exist, ousted the Fatah movement in the Strip in 2007. Mr. Ging said the recent easing, including a monthly allowance of 25 truckloads of aluminium, is “very welcome, welcome not just for the physical impact that they [the goods] have, even though it is quite insignificant in the larger scale, [but] for the psychological impact that it has because it is the first positive step, and secondly for the practical proof that it provides that it can be done.“So if we can have 25 truckloads of aluminium a month, then why not 50, and if we can have 50, then why not 100 and so on?” he asked, noting that at the monthly rate of 25 it would take five and a half months to bring in all the aluminium needed for the schools.The arguments put forward to justify the blockade are now being undermined by these positive developments “because it is now demonstrated that there are ways of overcoming the security challenges and that’s what we want to build on now, capitalize on what is now the possible and expand it to the maximum extent,” he added. He gave the same overall grim picture of the impact of the blockade as in previous accounts. “It’s bewilderingly difficult for them on a daily basis. It’s a struggle to survive [with] the infrastructure and water and sanitation in a state of collapse and all that goes with that,” he said, stressing that there is no prospect for restoring a legitimate economy because there is no commercial trade into or out of Gaza.“That leads to the impoverishment of the people, and the physical suffering of so many continues on a daily basis, not just physical suffering, but psychological suffering because people are at their wits’ end to understand when all of this will come to an end.”He concluded with an impassioned plea to ease the Gazans’ plight. “It’s time to put the people before the politics. If we do prioritize the people, and if we do focus on the needs of the people, in many of our views, that will make the politics easier moving forward. Ignore the people, abandon the people, leave the people to despair and desperation, and that will make the politics more difficult going forward,” he added. read more

Leamington expected to hear good news on Heinz plant today mayor says

Update 9:30 a.m.: H.J. Heinz said Thursday it has signed a letter of intent to sell its Leamington plant to Highbury Canco, a Canadian firm. The plant was to be shut down. More details soon . . .—————LEAMINGTON, Ont. — Leamington, Ont., may be about to hear some good news after it was devastated last November by word of the planned closure of a major employer in the community.[np_storybar title=”Heinz in Leamington” link=”https://business.financialpost.com/2013/11/14/heinz-in-leamington-a-look-back-at-ketchup-giants-history-in-canadas-tomato-capital/”%5DA look back at ketchup giant’s history in Canada’s tomato capital in photos [/np_storybar]A statement is expected Thursday morning from food giant Heinz on negotiations that could save a southwestern Ontario tomato processing plant from complete closure. Leamington Mayor John Paterson told the CBC he has been in contact with a company official and that a decision is expected between 9 a.m. and 9:30 a.m.Heinz said it would close its plant in the southwestern Ontario community by late June, putting close to 800 full-time employees out of work.Various unconfirmed media reports suggest an announcement could be made this week about a partial reopening of the facility.Leamington Mayor John Paterson says Heinz now plans to shed some light on efforts being made to save the plant, adding that the company has told him “it will be a good day.”Paterson says a number of serious business proposals regarding the facility emerged after Heinz said it planned to shutter the plant.He says the municipality isn’t privy to talks between Heinz and the interested parties.Ontario’s minister of economic development, trade and employment said while he couldn’t comment on negotiations between Heinz and any potential investor or buyer, the province wanted to do all it could to support Leamington.News of the closure came after Heinz was sold last year to Warren Buffett’s Berskhire Hathaway for more than US$28 billion.In November, the world famous investor promised Leamington workers “very generous severance” packages.The initial Heinz decision also affected up to 500 seasonal workers hired each year during tomato-harvesting season. read more

Army rejects human rights allegations

He insisted that had there been any deliberate intention of violating human rights the Security Forces would never have dared to bring the civilians into the safe area. ‘It is worthy of mentioning how our troops, despite numerous risks to their own lives and security, gave prominence to those rescued people trekking and did their maximum to relieve them of the initial burdens and misery, by whole-heartedly ensuring their right to life. Ours is the one and only Army in the world which has carried out the biggest ever rescue operation in the most humane manner, although all of them were coming from enemy-held areas. No other Army could boast of a parallel of an operation of this magnitude or nature in our contemporary history. How could then one finger at us, denying that factor and labeling us as they wished based on misleading accounts,’ the Commander said. The Sri Lanka army insists it never abused human rights during the war against the LTTE which ended three year ago.Army Commander Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya said that during the final phase of the war the army acted magnanimously and rescued more than 300,000 trapped civilians from the LTTE after demarcating the ‘No Fire Zone’ in Puthumathalan. ‘World powers like former Minister Milliband hurriedly arrived in Sri Lanka at that critical phase of the humanitarian operations and placed indescribable pressure on the government, asking HE the President to stop all ongoing operations forthwith. With due respect, I must mention here, that HE the President never bowed down to those pressures, nor did the Secretary Defence who stood by us. Their main concern was the safety and care that could be provided to those rescued people and people still were seeking refuge with Army troops. The government never underestimated the intensity of the catastrophe, instead almost everything we, the ground troops needed and projected on behalf of the influx of escapees, was readily provided or airlifted at the earliest. It is pertinent to know the whereabouts of those human rights watchdogs at that point of time or where they had gone,’ he said. read more

President refuses to fully implement UNHRC proposals

The President had said this while attending an event in Meegahatenna, Kalutara today. President Maithripala Sirisena today refused to fully implement proposals submitted to Sri Lanka by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC).The President said that he will ensure any proposal which goes against the Constitution of the country is not implemented. He said that the UNHRC had made several statements which were factually incorrect. He said that the statement made on behalf of Sri Lanka at the UNHRC was drafted with his involvement and it was for that reason that the statement firmly opposed a hybrid court to investigate human rights abuses. The President said that while the Government will accept what is right it will reject what is wrong.He said that the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights had been misled by some groups with regards to the part on land occupied by the Army in the North. Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana read the statement at the UNHRC but the President says the original statement was different to what was eventually approved by him.Speaking further, the President said that the Missing Persons Office and the proposed Truth Seeking Commission are part of proposals from outside the country which are not looking to serve the country by the LTTE diaspora.Last week the UNHRC passed a Resolution on Sri Lanka titled “Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka” which gives Sri Lanka another two years to fully implement Resolution 30/1 of October 2015. The Resolution which was put before the UNHRC last week was cosponsored by Sri Lanka. The President said that he is not prepared to accept her proposal on the land issue mentioned in her report on Sri Lanka which was formally released at the UNHRC last week.He also said that he was not aware of the decision taken by the Government to cosponsor the Resolution on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC.“On February 25th the Sri Lankan Ambassador in Geneva (Ambassador A.L.A. Azeez) had signed the Resolution without informing me. I do not accept that,” he said. Resolution 30/1 of October 2015 notes the importance of participation in a Sri Lankan judicial mechanism, including the special counsel’s office, of Commonwealth and other foreign judges, defence lawyers and authorized prosecutors and investigators.However the Government says it will not agree to the inclusion of foreign judges. (Colombo Gazette) read more

International assistance force for Mali transformed into UN peacekeeping mission

Presentation of troops during the transfer-of-authority ceremony. Photo: MINUSMA/Blagoje Grujic Passing of command from General Abdulkadir Shehu of AFISMA to General Jean-Bosco Kazura of MINUSMA. Photo: MINUSMA/Blagoje Grujic Left to right: MINUSMA head Bert Koenders, UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Herve Ladsous and Malian Prime Minister Diango Cissoko meet in Bamako for the handover. Photo: MINUSMA/Blagoje Grujic Government, regional and international officials view the handover. Photo: MINUSMA/Blagoje Grujic The transfer of authority from the forces of the African-led International Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA) to the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) took place during a ceremony in Bamako, capital of the West African country, the entire north of which was occupied by radical Islamists for nearly a year.“The establishment of MINUSMA is the result of a unanimous decision of the United Nations Security Council and has reaffirmed the engagement of the international community to accompany the people of Mali in their quest for stability, peace and prosperity,” Bert Koenders, Special Representative of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and head of MINUSMA, said at this morning’s ceremony.The conflict, which began in early 2012 with a rebellion of ethnic Tuareg groups, displaced hundreds of thousands of people and prompted the Government to request assistance from France to halt the southward march of the extremists, as AFISMA gradually built strength.In April, the Security Council approved the 12,600-strong MINUSMA to take over from the African-led force, authorizing the blue helmets “to use all necessary means” to carry out security-related stabilization tasks, protect civilians, UN staff and cultural artefacts and create the conditions for provision of humanitarian aid. MINUSMA troops in Timbuktu receive their blue berets. Photo: MINUSMA/Blagoje Grujic A newly-inducted MINUSMA peacekeeper is welcomed by the Malien Republican Guard. Photo: MINUSMA/Blagoje Grujic ‹ › MINUSMA’s core task is to support the political process in Mali, in close coordination with the African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).“We continue to work in close collaboration with the African Union, ECOWAS and other international partners, including the French forces, to support the Malian people in that quest,” said Mr. Koenders, who was accompanied at the ceremony by Herve Ladsous, Under-Secretary-General for UN peacekeeping operations, as well as by Malian and African Union officials. Mr. Koenders, noting that MINUSMA would gradually built to its authorized military strength in the months to come, appealed to the UN Member States to provide adequate resources, including specialized units and “force multipliers” such as combat helicopters. “The challenges to be confronted by MINUSMA are multiple and numerous,” he said, pointing to not only “immense” security and logistics issues, but also to those in the political and socio-economic and spheres, making, he stressed, wide partnerships critical to success.With its launch today, MINUSMA becomes the third largest peacekeeping operation of the UN among the 16 currently deployed across the world, according to its authorized force levels. read more

AuruMar adopts Maptek Vulcan 3D modelling software for marine mining

first_imgAuruMar, a technical services company conducting marine exploration and mining projects, has purchased Maptek Vulcan 3D modelling software for their marine continental shelf exploration operations. AuruMar will apply Vulcan GeoModeller to the mineral resource development program for its 26 mining leases offshore of Nome, Alaska. “We wanted to be able to look at and model our geological data in 3D,’ said Urban Burger, AuruMar Geologist. “The Vulcan platform also offers us the opportunity in the future to do resource modelling, mine planning and reconciliation in the same environment.”Vulcan GeoModeller provides a complete set of tools for exploration and mining geologists with with functionality for both stratigraphic and non-stratigraphic deposits. “GeoModeller tools are beneficial to marine shelf mining because of the different deposits and environments that have to be considered in their daily planning and operations,” said Nick Venter, Maptek Africa Technical Sales Manager. “Vulcan is our first 3D modelling package,’ said Burger. ‘The reaction has been positive and I enjoy Maptek’s no nonsense services approach.”AuruMar is a technical services company based in Cape Town, South Africa. It was established in October 2009 as a joint venture between De Beers and Anglo Gold Ashanti to manage the technical and operational aspects of marine exploration and mining projects. The company primarily focuses on the exploration for gold on continental shelves, with several other exploration projects in its global portfolio. “AuruMar is a great company to add to the South African client list,’ said Venter. “It reflects Maptek’s diverse customer base and the comprehensive solutions we offer.”last_img read more

RCT bolsters ControlMaster automation solution with Multiple Machine Control

first_imgRCT has released the latest advancement to its ControlMaster® automation range in the form of Multiple Machine Control (MMC), which enables a single operator to control more than one mining machine at a time.This entirely new operating system, also known as Control, is transforming the mining process in terms of productivity, efficiency and safety with a single operator able to remotely control more machines from the same operator station in a central location at a mine site, RCT said.RCT’s Automation and Control Product Manager, Brendon Cullen, said: “It allows for an operator to send multiple machines to their destinations on ControlMaster Guidance Automation and concentrate on performing specific tasks with another machine.“For example, the operator can supervise digging, dumping and loading functions before sending the machine to its destination on auto tramming and taking control of the next machine.“The mining industry is striving to further streamline efficiencies and having one operator control multiple machines is allowing these efficiencies to be realised,” he said.MMC meets a need in the industry as it helps clients to safeguard operators by removing them from the cab of mobile machines and, in some instances, from the hazards at a mine site. It also improves productivity and, in turn, profitability, according to RCT.RCT said: “MMC can be implemented across surface and underground fleets and differs from other solutions available on the market today for a number of reasons including its usability and functionality.”Cullen said: “The system can integrate into any site’s current operations and can be installed on any mobile machine, regardless of make or model. Being agnostic is a big advantage, as mine sites utilise more than one brand of mobile machines in their fleet.”Another point of difference with MMC is there is no need for mine sites to upload mine maps before using the technology.“This further ensures fast deployment between work areas as well as the opportunity to expand the system if and when required,” Cullen said.While MMC operates on a digital network, RCT can provide technology—called RCT Bridge— that can interface with a mine site’s analogue communications network.Cullen said: “The MMC solution can be operated locally at the work area, at a central location such as the office buildings on a mine site, or relocated to a central operating station location off site to a city (near or far).“The system has the ability to change the way customers operate; some of the benefits associated with this change in mining practices include the possibility of introducing three eight-hour shifts from two 12-hour shifts.“This provides better work/life balance for operators and, in the face of the labour shortages the industry is facing, the job role can be opened up to more people who weren’t able to travel to site to work in the field due to family commitments or perhaps even a disability.”He concluded: “Moving operation centres from sites would also eliminate the need for lengthy and often costly inductions as well as the cost associated with transporting and housing operators on site.MMC has already been deployed at several sites around the world, RCT said.last_img read more

ATT Raises Early Upgrade Fee On iPhone

first_imgAT&T has doubled the iPhone’s early upgrade fee by $50.00. This is on top of the end of contract fee that was already written up in the original contracts. It is safe to assume that this new fee will be in place for those who leave the contract for another phone service provider as well. AT&T is also increasing the same amount for the Windows 7 phones. No word on if the increase will affect Android phone users. AT&T says the increase is a result of the rising cost of the smartphone market.Via TG Dailylast_img

Terence Quick lashes out against Greek Americans

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram The guest of honour at the Holy Epiphany celebrations in Florida’s Tarpon Springs was Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece Terence Quick, who is currently visiting the US and is in charge of affairs concerning Greeks abroad.At the end of the festivities, and while addressing the thousands of Greek Americans who had gathered in Tampa, he diverged from his original speech to address his fellow speakers and community leaders.“I will begin my speech with a confession,” the deputy minister said. When I was leaving my home 24 hours ago to come to Tampa, Tarpon Springs, I knew I’d come to a city with a strong Kalymnian heritage. I believed that the Greek diaspora here would have preserved the language of the homeland. You took me by surprise. You confused me. I am saddened.“There is only one key-note speaker left to go on stage after me for this Greek event. Even though minutes before we were all sitting at the table, chatting candidly in fluent Greek, not one of the previous speakers addressed the public in their native language, Greek. Everyone chose English, putting their mother tongue aside,” he added, asking for the audience to allow him to freely express his emotions.Drawing on the fading Greek connection of the fourth and fifth generation Greeks in America, he stressed the importance of the Greek language as part of the Hellenic identity. “This is why I choose to continue this address in Greek, the mother of all languages,” he said. “Promoting Greek language teaching in every diaspora community, in every continent, is at the top of my ministerial agenda. “I applaud the diaspora’s requests for the Hellenic state to support Greek language teaching. We have commissioned hundreds of teachers regardless of the crisis to come and teach Greek, but expats should do more than just ask for help. They too should contribute to the preservation of their cultural identity by speaking Greek, not just English.”last_img read more

Et lHoverboard devient réalité

first_imgEt l’Hoverboard devient réalitéTous les fans des aventures de Marty McFly apprécieront cette découverte: un skateboard permettant de léviter au dessus du sol.Ceux qui ont vu la trilogie Retour vers le futur se souviennent forcément de cette séquence marquante du deuxième opus où Marty McFly utilise un Hoverboard, un skate permettant de se déplacer au dessus du sol sans contact. Aujourd’hui, ce rêve de gosse devient réalité avec la présentation du MagSurf, un dispositif permettant de léviter à 2 centimètres du sol.À lire aussiL’hoverboard présenté par l’université de Paris DiderotConçu par l’Université Paris-Diderot (lien non disponible) à l’occasion de la Fête de la Science, ce MagSurf utilise un système de refroidissement à l’azote liquide. Lorsque l’appareil atteint la température de -195 degrés, il commence à s’élever et peut suivre un rail installé sur le sol. On est encore loin des courses poursuites effrénées du film culte, mais la performance reste impressionnante.L’Université a annoncé vouloir breveter ce système et qu’il serve comme divertissement dans les parcs d’attraction. Mais de là à imaginer que nous volerons sur des skates dans les prochaines années, il n’y a qu’un pas qu’il est facile de franchir.Découvrez la démonstration vidéo de cette incroyable invention filmée par le Nouvel Obs Le 13 octobre 2011 à 13:15 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

North and Middle Caicos Residents Demand more attention

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 14 Apr 2015 – Some islanders are feeling a sense of disconnect and exercised no restraint when it came to expressing themselves when Cabinet Ministers and their Member of Parliament turned up for public meetings last week. There was a strong demand for better representation from residents of North and Middle Caicos when the Premier, Minister for Home Affairs George Lightbourne and Member of Parliament for the two islands, Minister DonHue Gardiner met with them on Friday in an afternoon town hall meeting. PTV8 was there, with cameras rolling to capture the frustrations and concerns of residents who say they feel ‘forgotten.’Among the issues, that since December, the District Commissioner has resigned and no one has been hired to fill the post.Minister Gardiner shared that both islands will get its own DC and explained that interviews for the North Caicos District Commissioner will begin soon with the Middle Caicos DC job becoming available this month.It seemed to catch both Minister Gardiner and the Premier off guard that there is no vehicle on the islands for Immigration Officers, despite there reportedly having been a report to the Director. Additionally, North and Middle Immigration officials say there are actually planes landing on the island of North Caicos at the unmanned airport; the Minister said that is not supposed to be happening without proper authorization from the Airports Authority; and yet it is.It seemed to satisfy the residents that there is a budget allocation of $180,000 for Middle Caicos. Related Items:last_img read more