Friends mourn loss of NB fisherman who freed dozens of entangled whales

first_imgCAMPOBELLO ISLAND, N.B. – A lobster fisherman with a passion for freeing whales from deadly fishing line was killed soon after he cut the last piece of rope from a massive whale in the waters off eastern New Brunswick, friends and colleagues confirmed Tuesday.They say Joe Howlett had helped rescue about two dozen whales over the last 15 years.Mackie Green of the Campobello Whale Rescue Team said Howlett had boarded a federal Fisheries Department vessel off Shippagan on Monday to help a North Atlantic right whale that had become entangled in a heavy snarl of rope.Green was not on the boat, but said he was told the 59-year-old veteran fisherman was hit by the whale just after it was cut free and started swimming away.“They got the whale totally disentangled and then some kind of freak thing happened and the whale made a big flip,” said Green, who started the rescue team with Howlett in 2002 and had worked closely with him ever since.“Joe definitely would not want us to stop because of this. This is something he loved and there’s no better feeling than getting a whale untangled, and I know how good he was feeling after cutting that whale clear.”Federal Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc issued a statement Tuesday offering his sympathies to Howlett’s family and friends.“We have lost an irreplaceable member of the whale rescue community,” LeBlanc said, adding that such rescues can be dangerous.“Taking part in whale rescue operations requires immense bravery and a passion for the welfare of marine mammals … There are serious risks involved with any disentanglement attempt. Each situation is unique, and entangled whales can be unpredictable.”The minister confirmed Howlett was working with federal conservation officers and the Canadian Coast Guard. As well, he said Howlett was aboard a smaller “fast response” vessel when the rescue was taking place. But the federal statement offered no other details.Jerry Conway of the Canadian Whale Institute in Campobello, N.B., said Howlett had freed another North Atlantic right whale in roughly the same area less than a week earlier.According to the International Fund for Animal Welfare, nearly three-quarters of all known North Atlantic right whales have scars from past entanglements with commercial fishing gear.Another animal welfare group, Whale and Dolphin Conservation, says accidental entanglement is the biggest global threat to whales, dolphins and porpoises. And the International Whaling Commission reports an estimated 308,000 whales and dolphins die annually due to entanglements with marine debris.Conway said Howlett’s death is a great loss to the community of fishermen and scientists who work to help whales trapped in fishing gear or struck by ships.“He is a very knowledgeable fishermen, and who better to do disentanglements than a fisherman who knows the knots and the ropes and the gear?” he said. “He’s going to be sorely missed by the community and he was an integral part of a very unique group of fishermen here on the island who were involved in doing the disentanglements.”Conway, who had known Howlett since 2002, said he didn’t know the details of what happened but added that disentanglements never involve rescuers getting in the water. He said crews are usually on boats that are low in the water, and they use special gear to cut the ropes from the animal.Howlett was the skipper of the research vessel Sheila, which was used to study right whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, he said. In the past month, seven right whale carcasses have been found floating in the Gulf. Tests showed one died after getting caught in fishing gear. Injuries on the other two were consistent with ship strikes, researchers said.Howlett left the Sheila and took his rescue gear onto the Fisheries vessel after this latest whale was spotted in the Gulf.“He was very committed to this and he was very concerned about the state of the oceans,” Conway said.Green said Howlett was originally from Chester, N.S., but moved years ago to Campobello Island, where he started a family and got involved in the scallop and lobster fisheries.Friends say the death will be keenly felt on the small island of about 850 people, where Howlett was known for his humour, big laugh and generosity.“The whole island’s in mourning here,” said Green. “Joe was the life of the party. He was always upbeat, laughing, telling jokes, so the whole island’s at a desperate loss … He was a great fella and he really cared about the whales.”— By Alison Auld in Halifax and Kevin Bissett in Frederictonlast_img read more

Canadian woman charged with smuggling cocaine into Australia police

first_imgA Canadian woman has been charged with importing cocaine into Australia after local authorities say border officials found about 12 kilograms of the drug hidden in her luggage.The Australian Federal Police said the 42-year-old woman was travelling from Canada with her son and had landed in the Sydney International Airport on Sunday when she was targeted for an examination.The force said border officers who X-rayed the woman’s three large suitcases found “several anomalies.”“Officers discovered a white powdery substance concealed within the lining of the suitcases,” the force said in a statement. “Initial testing returned a presumptive positive result for cocaine, with a total weight of approximately 12 kilograms.”The AFP said the woman was arrested and charged with one count of importing a commercial quantity of border controlled drugs. It noted that the maximum penalty for the offence is life in prison.The force did not say where in Canada the woman was from.The woman was to appear before a Sydney court on Monday, police said.The AFP also said it was working with the Canadian consulate and New South Wales Family and Community Services to determine how to best take care of the woman’s son until he could return to Canada.  A spokesman for Global Affairs Canada said Canadian officials are in contact with local authorities and are providing consular services to the woman and her family. John Babcock said further information could not be provided due to privacy reasons.A report from the Australian Institute of Criminology, a national research centre on crime and criminal justice, said that in 2016-17, Canada ranked as the third highest embarkation point for cocaine detections, behind the United States and South Africa, but ahead of Mexico and the United Kingdom. It also said 50 kilograms of cocaine were detected via air cargo from Canada during that time period.Last year, three Quebecers pleaded guilty to attempting to smuggle 95 kilograms of cocaine into Australia in suitcases aboard a luxury cruise ship.Emerald Bensadoun, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

After Back Surgery Tiger Woods Still Does Not Know

On his website Monday, Tiger Woods wrote that his recovery from back surgery on March 31 is a “slow process” and that he is uncertain when he will compete in another PGA Tour event.“I made the decision to have surgery because physically I just couldn’t make a golf swing,” Woods wrote. “That pretty much sums it up.“I’m doing everything I can and listening to my doctors and working on a strength program, and then we just have to see how my back is. Some people heal up in three months, some people take longer. I just don’t know.“I haven’t used a sand wedge yet. I’ve just done putting and chip-and-runs using the same length of motion. I haven’t really rotated yet. As far as taking a full swing, I have conference calls with my doctors every couple of weeks to see how my progress is and just kind of chart it out from there. Basically, you just follow a program. It’s tedious because it’s little rehab stuff, but you still have to do it.“That’s where I think the experiences of having gone through the surgeries in the past have really helped because you have to lay the foundation down first before you can do the more arduous activities and then return to form. I’m walking and able to cycle now and started swimming last week.”Back pain at the Honda Classic in March forced Woods to withdraw during the final round. He rehabbed the back and tried to play the following week at the WGC-Cadillac Championship and shot a final-round 78 to finish 25th. Two  weeks later, he pulled out of the Arnold Palmer Invitational and then withdrew from the Masters.“I’ve missed major championships before, so this was not a new experience,” he wrote. “It helps when I’m physically unable to play the game. That’s when it’s easy for me, and I don’t have a problem watching. It’s when I’m playing and closer to getting back out there is when I start getting real antsy about watching events: ‘Can I play, can I not play?’ But when I’m physically unable to play, like in 2008 after my knee surgery, it makes things so much easier.“Once I begin swinging a club again, I’m not sure if I will have to make any changes to protect my back,” Woods said. “That’s up to [coach] Sean Foley and me on what we do. As far as limitations, it’s a building process, just like when I came back from my knee and Achilles injuries. You start from the green and work your way back: putting, chipping, pitching, wedging, mid-irons, long irons, woods and eventually playing. That’s all a process and takes time. We have to make sure my back heals fine and I have the strength and mobility going forward.”One the personal front, Woods said he had the same procedure as the Dallas Cowboys’ Tony Romo and has spoken to the quarterback. He also said he has been rehabbing with girlfriend Lindsey Vonn, the Olympic skier who is recovering from knee surgery. Woods added that he has spent quality time with his children, Samantha and Charlie. read more

Mancini believes Scudetto race is far from over

first_imgItaly manager Roberto Mancini has recently shared his verdict on the Serie A title race suggesting the race is far from overJuve would host third-placed Inter in the Derby d’Italia on Friday night, with the Bianconeri holding an 11 point advantage over Luciano Spalletti’s men.“It will definitely be a beautiful match,” Mancini predicted, speaking to Football Italia.“Juventus and Inter are two good teams with a lot of great players. In the fans’ imagination, it’ll be [Cristiano] Ronaldo and [Mauro] Icardi who make the difference, and it probably will be like that.Maurizio Sarri, JuventusMaurizio Sarri satisfied despite Juventus’ draw at Fiorentina Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Maurizio Sarri was satisfied with Juventus’ performance on Saturday afternoon after finishing a tough game at Fiorentina 0-0.“I think it’s open to any result, Juventus are always very good and Inter are growing.“Would a Juventus win end the title race? No, but it would be more difficult for Inter.“It seems to me though that Napoli is there, they had another excellent match yesterday and the league is still long.“There are too many matches and too many points to be won for it to be over.last_img read more

BUSINESS BRIEF Wilmingtons Heilind Electronics Awarded Channel Partner Of The Year Award

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Gas supply resumes after almost 2 days

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HC issues rule for compensating Barguna school collapse victims

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State takes steps to ensure support to farmers during unusual rainfall

first_imgKolkata: The state Agriculture department is taking all necessary steps to ensure that farmers do not face any inconvenience due to unusual rainfall in Birbhum, East Burdwan and a part of Murshidabad district.The Agriculture department came in touch with other concerned departments in this connection and a meeting is scheduled to be held on Wednesday in Birbhum. A meeting for East Burdwan district has already taken place and a similar meeting in Murshidabad district will also be held. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThough the drizzle due to depression since Monday has brought a little respite to the situation, the state government is eyeing a permanent solution and taking all necessary measures in this regard. According to a senior official of the state Agriculture department, it is always good if the soil remains moist during the harvest of paddy as it ensures a better yield. So steps were taken to extend support to the farmers as soon as unusual rainfall was noticed in different parts of Birbhum, East Burdwan and Murshidabad. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedOn Wednesday’s meeting at Suri in Birbhum, state Agriculture minister Asish Banerjee and Pradip Majumdar, the agriculture advisor to the Chief Minister, will be present in the discussion along with senior representatives from the Zilla Parishad, all the concerned MLAs, senior officials of the state Irrigation department, Power department. It is learnt that the state Irrigation department is leaving no stone unturned to supply water in such areas including Nanoor in Birbhum. The rice mill owners were also directed to supply water from the reservoirs in the mills in such areas and the owners have assured all assistance in this connection. The official said after identification of such areas, the first step is to create the necessary infrastructure so that farmers do not face any problem and decisions in this regard will be taken in the meeting. The meeting for Birbhum district is scheduled on Wednesday and a similar one will be held for Murshidabad as well. However, the schedule of the meeting in Murshidabad district is yet to be finalised. Banerjee said that the endeavour is to create the infrastructure that will also ensure sufficient supply of water not only for paddy cultivation but for other crops as well. It is learnt that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was also concerned over the situation and directed concerned officials to take measures in this connection.last_img read more

Dastangoi – from Gandhi to Mahatma

first_imgThe classic Urdu oral storytelling art form of ‘Dastangoi’ intertwined with the defiant poetry of the early 20th century brought alive the journey of Gandhi from ‘Mohandas to Mahatma’ in the national Capital.39-year-old Fouzia Dastango, credited as the first female Dastagoi artiste, presented ‘Dastan-e-Gandhi’ on the life and teachings of Mahatma Gandhi through the dying art form of ‘Dastangoi’ here recently.”The aim of Dastaan-e-Gandhi is to revive the abiding interest in the inspiring story of Mahatma Gandhi using newer ways to involve various stakeholders, including intelligentsia, academia and voluntary organizations to spread Bapu’s Message,” she said. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf”The young generation which is shaping today’s India and who will create the country’s future should be told about his life and his mission, and this is what we are doing,” she explained.’Dastaan-e-Gandhi’ performed by Fouzia and Fazal Rashid touched upon India’s struggle for freedom and Gandhi’s tryst with Satyagraha and his fight against injustice and racism. The event was organised by India International Center in collaboration with Sarvodaya International Trust. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveProfessor Danish Iqbal, who penned the script for the performance, said it was a “mounting challenge” to present the life of Mahatma in an hour format.”There are many facets to Mahatma’s life. It was very challenging to present his life in a ‘Dastangoi’ format. But we focussed on the underlying the message of his life rather than talking about his milestones,” he said. Iqbal, who teaches at Jamia Millia Islamia University here, said many efforts were being taken to revive the art form of ‘Dastangoi’ and that the youth are the torchbearers of such a revival. “‘Dastangoi’ is a simple, yet powerful art form. It is performed by a minimum of two artistes. It does not require the expensive paraphernalia of lights, set and costumes. The art form is now being revived, especially by the young who are creating groups, like in theatre, to take Dastangoi to the masses,” he said.Fouzia, who has been performing ‘Dastangoi’ since the past 8 years, said her cultural roots have found their way back into her work.”I owe my performances to the by-lanes of Old Delhi. It is here that I performed for the first time. Apart from that, the events around me also translate into my work,” she said.The artiste has presented ‘Dastangoi’ on a range of issues, including the languages of Delhi, women issues and those concerning children.Talking about the relevance of Gandhian philosophy in contemporary times, Indira Verma of Sarvodaya International Trust said, “You call it idealism or romanticism, but I have a hope or I must say I am sure, the day will come when Gandhiism will become a reality more than a philosophy which will make this world a better place.” Fouzia said her dream was to perform at the Jama Masjid, where people from all walks of life, can be her audience. She summed up in her classical way of “Chaley Chalo ke Voh Manzil abhi Nahin Aayi (move ahead as the destination is far away)”.last_img read more

What Is AI Anyway Know Your Stuff With This GoTo Guide

first_img Register Now » 7 min read Scenario: You’re a startup office. People in hoodies and graphic tees are throwing the term “AI” around like confetti. You nod and try to play along, managing to churn out a brief mention of Elon Musk and Tesla as you look up the definition of “artificial intelligence” on your phone. You try to translate it into plain English. No luck. Relatable?Never fear: Our trusty guide is here, no prior knowledge required. Let’s talk about what it is — in layman’s terms — and how it could affect your life.What AI isAI is the advancement of computer systems to perform tasks usually limited to humans. Translation: Some things you used to have to do yourself — or call someone about, or visit a physical location for help with — can now be done by a computer.The difference between AI and “machine learning”Chances are, if you’ve heard the term AI ballooning over the last few years, you’ve also heard “machine learning” as a buzzword. Here’s what it means: Advanced machines use large data sets to “learn” and create patterns — then, they use what they’ve learned to recognize more of the unknown.AI and machine learning have a similar relationship to rectangles and squares. Just as all squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares; machine learning is one application of AI, but AI is a broader concept that has other uses, too.What AI isn’tSome say AI doesn’t even truly exist yet — that it will only be possible when computers become more similar to sentient beings. People using that definition would say most companies claiming to use “AI” are incorrect. They’d also usually view “machine learning” not as a subset of AI, since it works largely based on pattern recognition and not a more advanced system.But the late John McCarthy, the American computer scientist recognized as having coined the term “artificial intelligence,” did consider pattern recognition to be a branch of AI. He said it had many branches, some of which haven’t even been discovered yet — and that some were much more advanced than others.All this to say: As McCarthy wrote, AI encompasses “the science and engineering of making intelligent machines, especially intelligent computer programs.”How AI affects your lifeThe idea of AI may sound futuristic and scary. That’s because it is futuristic, and it can be scary — at least in terms of the amount of personal data in play. But AI can also save people considerable time, money and error margins. And it’s likely already a much larger part of your life than you realize.Exhibit A: Worried you’re not saving enough money? Personal finance apps can now analyze your spending patterns, then sock away small amounts of money on your behalf that they deem you won’t notice.Exhibit B: Many hospitals around the country already incorporate AI in an advisor capacity for medical professionals. Since new breakthroughs and research are relatively constant, AI tools help doctors stay up to date on the latest findings, gauge the impact of certain symptoms and make decisions regarding diagnoses.Exhibit C: Whenever you use a traffic or GPS app to navigate your way to work or a friend’s house, AI has a hand in the route it suggests, using an extensive amount of data from smartphones about speed, routes and traffic incidents. And when you’re using a rideshare app, AI helps determine the price of your ride, which route the driver will take and which other passengers will be picked up when.Key playersTesla CEO Elon Musk, who incorporates AI into his company’s autonomous cars, fears for what the technology could mean for the future of humanity. “If you’re not concerned about AI safety, you should be,” he tweeted in August 2017. “Vastly more risk than North Korea.” He also encouraged the government to regulate the technology before it becomes too advanced. “Nobody likes being regulated, but everything (cars, planes, food, drugs, etc) that’s a danger to the public is regulated,” he wrote on Twitter. “AI should be too.”Mark Zuckerberg, on the other hand, seems to disagree wholeheartedly. The Facebook CEO hosted a 2017 Facebook live in which he called his views on AI “really optimistic” and mentioned that those who “drum up doomsday scenarios” about AI are “negative” and, in some ways, “really irresponsible.” People naturally pointed to Elon Musk, who later tweeted, “I’ve talked to Mark about this. His understanding of the subject is limited.”Key figures at Amazon lean more towards Zuckerberg’s view of the subject, saying the benefits of AI outweigh the risk. “We believe it is the wrong approach to impose a ban on promising new technologies because they might be used by bad actors for nefarious purposes in the future,” wrote Dr. Matt Wood, general manager of AI at AWS. “The world would be a very different place if we had restricted people from buying computers because it was possible to use that computer to do harm.” The company recently sold its Rekognition facial recognition software — which identifies and tracks faces in real time, including those of “people of interest” — to police departments and government agencies. Critics argued it could easily be misused and harm marginalized people.Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, recently released new guidelines surrounding the company’s future with AI. His views are more in line with regulation, even if it’s self-regulation, of the company’s use of AI. “We recognize that such powerful technology raises equally powerful questions about its use,” he wrote in a June blog post. “How AI is developed and used will have a significant impact on society for many years to come. … We feel a deep responsibility to get this right.” He clarified that where there’s a material risk of harm, the company will proceed only when it believes the benefits substantially outweigh the risk. The company also said it won’t collaborate on weapons or “other technologies whose principal purpose or implementation is to cause or directly facilitate injury to people.”Related: What’s Behind the Employee Revolts at Amazon, Microsoft and Google?Potential for biasAI has an intrinsic potential for bias in terms of the data used to train each algorithm to do what it’s supposed to. For example, Google Photos came under fire for tagging African American users as gorillas in 2015, and in 2017, the developers of FaceApp “beautified” faces by lightening skin tones. That’s why it’s vital for AI companies to look at the data they’re using and make sure it’s engineered to reduce bias.What’s nextAI is on the rise in industries across the board. In fact, 30 percent of businesses are predicted to incorporate it before 2019, and that’s up from just 13 percent last year, according to Spiceworks, an information technology company. Google, IBM, Amazon, Microsoft, Apple and many more companies are making AI a priority. July 9, 2018center_img Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Globallast_img read more