Census Children make up one quarter of 48 million Canadians living in

first_imgOTTAWA – Nikkie Edwards and her boyfriend make about $31,000 a year, a sum that leaves them below the poverty line as defined by Statistics Canada — and in the company of another 4.8 million people, according to the latest census numbers released Wednesday.Of those, 1.2 million Canadians are children under 18 — including their 10-month-old daughter, Isabelle.The agency defines the so-called low-income measure, or LIM, as household earnings of less than half the national median income — $22,133 for a single person, or $38,335 for a family of three — as part of its latest glimpse into life in poverty in Canada.But the measure is not a perfect way of determining the poverty threshold, in part because it can’t take into account the often complex financial circumstances many families are forced into: Edwards, for instance, lives rent-free with her boyfriend’s parents.But the newest census data, based on tax information from 2015, the most recent year available, forms a baseline for the federal Liberal government, which has vowed to slash child poverty, reduce inequality and find a way to help parents like Edwards obtain better child care.Internal government estimates pegged this year’s child poverty rate at between 11.7 and 13 per cent, based on the LIM. Data for this year to measure the impact of the Liberal’s $23-billion-a-year child benefit program won’t be available for at least three more years.“There have been positive steps, as well as positive signals of what is planned to address child poverty, but there is unfinished business,” said Anita Khanna, national co-ordinator of Campaign 2000, which pushes governments to eradicate child poverty in Canada.“There is a path we can follow that can bring us to the point of eradication.”It has been 28 years since the House of Commons vowed in 1989 to end child poverty by the year 2000.Statistics Canada reported that in 2015, 17 per cent of Canadian children under age 18 lived in low-income households, a figure that has stayed virtually unchanged for a decade even as median incomes have steadily gone up across the country.“The fact that low income is stable means that people at the bottom of the (income) distribution are more or less keeping up with that growth,” said Andrew Heisz, assistant director in Statistics Canada’s income statistics division.“They’re not growing faster, but they’re not also falling behind.”In seven of Canada’s biggest cities, one in every five children was living in a low-income household in 2015.Moreover, children in lone-parent households were three-and-a-half times more likely to live in poverty than their counterparts in two-parent families, even as the number of low-income, single-parents has declined since the late 1990s.Meanwhile, the percentage of seniors living in poverty rose between 2005 and 2015, when 14.5 per cent of Canadians over 65 were living below the low-income measure, an increase from the 12 per cent recorded in 2005.Children living in resource-rich Alberta, where commodity prices fuelled some of the largest gains in median incomes nationwide, were less likely to live in low-income conditions than anywhere else in Canada — only 12.8 per cent of kids there were living in poverty.In Quebec, second behind Alberta at 14.3 per cent, studies show a robust child care and child benefits program has boosted the employment of women over 20 and helped cut low-income rates, despite the fact the province has among the lowest median income in the country.The Liberal government’s new child benefit was designed to slash child poverty rates further, particularly in places like Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, which had the highest provincial child poverty rate at 22.2 per cent.In hard-hit Windsor, Ont., the child poverty rate topped out at 24 per cent, the highest of any Canadian municipality, as a result of a deep and persistent decline in the manufacturing sector.The situation has spurred Edwards, 23, to become politically active, joining the social activist group Acorn to lobby the federal government for better child care funding so struggling parents are better able to work and cover daycare costs.“I just believe that if I gave up and didn’t fight, nothing would be done,” she said. “If we keep walking away and turning the other cheek and ignoring it, things will never change.”last_img read more

Dirham Liberalization Carries Limited Devaluation Risks: BMI Research

Rabat – For BMI Research, Morocco’s new flexible exchange rate regime signals the government’s commitment to become an investment hub in the region, and to diversify trade away from Europe.In its latest economic analysis report, entitled “Exchange Rate Liberalization Reaffirms Long-Term Commitment to Reform,” BMI a Fitch Group firm that provides macroeconomic, industry and financial market analysis, says that Morocco’s new reform is “unlikely to prompt a sharp currency sell-off, limiting near-term risks to growth and inflation.” According to the research firm, Morocco’s decision to gradually move towards a more flexible exchange rate regime “will offer crucial economic tailwinds in the years ahead.” READ ALSO: Speculations About Dirham Devaluation ‘Overblown’On January 15, the Ministry of Finance officially widened the band in which the Moroccan dirham trades against a basket of currencies, 60 percent for the euro and 40 percent for the dollar, from ±0.3 percent to ±2.5 percent. Over a 10 to 15 years time frame, the ministry explained that it will move towards a free floating currency. For BMI, this move is “likely to help the country in its efforts to attract greater investment to the kingdom and diversify trade, while the risks of disorderly depreciation are well contained given the country’s robust financial buffers.”READ ALSO: Bank Al Maghrib Sets Dirham Prices Against US DollarThe firm maintains its view “that the risks of disorderly depreciation are limited.” This view was supported by Bank Al Maghrib’s recovery in foreign currency reserves, after the delay of the first phase of the reform initially scheduled for July 2017 resulted in a sharp rush on currency fueled by market speculation against the dirham. This time around, BMI believes “that investor uncertainty has been contained, with reserves having expanded by 20.6 percent since June 2017.”READ ALSO: Moroccan Market Worried as Dirham Liberalization ApproachesIn December 2017, foreign reserves held by Morocco’s central bank amounted to USD 25.8 billion, representing an estimated 6.9 months of import cover.“This should enable the central bank to comfortably defend the currency in the years ahead,” explains the firm. Overall, BMI believes that “the gradual reform of the exchange rate regime will have a minimal impact on growth and inflation.” Beyond the reserves held by Bank Al Maghrib, Morocco’s macroeconomic backdrop remains conducive to a gradual and smooth transition towards a more flexible exchange rate. “A strengthened fiscal position, low inflation levels, and an exchange rate broadly in line with fundamentals support our view that the modest widening in the trading band will have a limited impact on the Moroccan economy in the near term.” adds BMI.READ ALSO: How Will Bank Al Maghrib Feed Trading Rooms?Morocco’s move to liberalize its currency prompted public fears of a similar scenario to that of Egypt. In this sense, BMI came to echo Bank Al Maghrib reassurance, stating that “this contrasts with the Egyptian example, where the weak economic backdrop forced the government to sharply devalue its currency in November 2016 amid the Central Bank of Egypt’s inability to defend the peg.”For BMI, this gradual liberalization is in line with Morocco’s economic ambitions, which consist in transforming the economy into an investment and trading hub between Europe and Africa. In recent year, Morocco has eased capital controls, in a bid to become more attractive for foreign investors. “The liberalization of the dirham will enable further relaxation of these currency controls over the coming years, which will be a boost for investor sentiment,” comments BMI. At a time when Morocco is seeking to increase exposure to African markets, “this move will also prove positive for trade diversification.” read more

President Sirisena to visit South Korea for talks with Moon

On the invitation of President Moon Jae-in, the President of Sri Lanka Maithripala Sirisena will undertake a state visit to the Republic of Korea from 28 to 30 November 2017, in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and the Republic of Korea.On 29 November, President Moon is scheduled to meet President Sirisena for summit talks, and host the Sri Lankan President to a state dinner. The two Heads of State will discuss matters of mutual interest to deepen cooperation between Sri Lanka and the Republic of Korea. Agreements on Economic Cooperation, Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) and cultural cooperation, as well as MOUs on investment cooperation and the Employment Permit System (EPS) are to be signed between the two Governments during the visit. President Sirisena is also scheduled to attend a business luncheon co-hosted by the four major Korean Business Associations, and meet with the Sri Lankan community in the Republic of Korea. (Colombo Gazette) read more

Sierra Leone UN mission reports fast pace of disarmament effort

According to UNAMSIL, as the mission is known, a total of 359 ex-fighters handed in their weapons over the past two days in the eastern districts of Kailahun and Kenema, bringing to 42,132 the total number of combatants disarmed in the country since the programme began in May 2001.Of the total, 16,620 were from the rebel Revolutionary United Front (RUF) and 25,314 from the pro-government Civil Defence Force (CDF). The remaining 198 were former Sierra Leone Army and Armed Forces Revolutionary Council members.UNAMSIL said the total number exceeded its projections that some 30,000 combatants would disarm as a result of the exercise. More ex-fighters were expected to turn in their weapons by 5 January, the date by which the Mission intends to complete the disarmament process. read more

Afghanistan procedures for Loya Jirga announced in Kabul

Under the procedures, the UN will be responsible for providing security and order during elections to the Emergency Loya Jirga. Karl Fischer, the Chief of Staff of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), said that step was part of a process to achieve, within two or three years, “a situation where a peaceful Afghanistan is guaranteed, where the Afghans themselves take their destiny into their own hands.” Mr. Fischer made his remarks on Sunday during a press conference held by members of the Special Independent Commission for the Convening of the Emergency Loya Jirga, who presented newly adopted procedures on the process. According to those procedures, elections to the Emergency Loya Jirga will be held in two stages. Of the body’s 1,451 members, 1,051 will be elected, with the remaining 400 selected by other means in accordance with the Bonn Agreement, which paved the way for Afghanistan’s political transition. The Emergency Loya Jirga will meet in Kabul between 10 and 16 June. read more

Annan gives full backing to head of UN agency helping Palestinians

“The Secretary-General reiterates his full confidence in the integrity and impartiality” of Peter Hansen, Commissioner-General of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), according to a statement issued by Mr. Annan’s spokesman.”He commends UNRWA personnel for their dedication in providing vital assistance under very difficult circumstances to the Palestinian refugee communities in the occupied Palestinian territory and the region.”The remarks follow Mr. Annan’s review of the report by a UN investigation team that looked into allegations earlier this month that a rocket was loaded into an UNRWA ambulance.The team concluded that the charges were unjustified as the object was in fact a folding stretcher of the type carried as normal equipment in UNRWA ambulances.Following the team’s visit, the Israeli Government admitted that it wrongly identified the stretcher as a Kassam rocket and has publicly withdrawn the allegations.Spokesman Fred Eckhard said Mr. Annan acknowledged the cooperation of the Government of Israel with the UN team in dealing with the inquiry.The Secretary-General “expects that any issues of this nature will be addressed through normal diplomatic channels,” Mr. Eckhard added. “He welcomes the offer of the Israeli authorities to work towards strengthening their cooperation with the United Nations and UNRWA.” read more

Renovations underway on Librarys graduate study space

Ben Sylvester is looking forward to new Library space for graduate students.Brock’s graduate students will soon have a space to call their own in the James A. Gibson Library.Construction began during Reading Week to transform the west side of the Library’s sixth floor into a vibrant research and study space for graduate students. The new section, scheduled to open in the spring, is designed to meet the needs of graduate students. It will be an enclosed, dedicated space accessible only by card swipe.Consultations with graduate students were held last summer to better understand what the Library could offer to graduate students across the disciplines in terms of space and resources.“When planning the space, we sought feedback about the existing graduate spaces across campus and to help determine how we could best support graduate students,” said Margaret Grove, University Librarian. “Without exception, the students we met with confirmed that this would be an important initiative for current and future graduate students.”“This will be a wonderful new space for graduate students,” said Marilyn Rose, Dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies. “The design is based on close consultation with our students and will provide both quiet space for independent work and dedicated space for group and collaborative activities. I see it as a real magnet for the graduate community and one that will be much appreciated by our students.”Ben Sylvester, a graduate student in Applied Health Sciences and one of the students who participated in the Library’s focus groups, is pleased to see the new space being built.“It will provide much-needed space for students who are undertaking graduate-level work.”Features of the new space:22 large study carrelstwo computer workstations38 bookable lockers nearby for storagetwo lounge chairsbookable meeting/presentation/group space for up to 10 studentsFor more information about the construction project, visit the Library site or contact Deb Kalvee (dkalvee@brocku.ca), Associate University Librarian, Services and Facilities. read more

Stakeholders encouraged to enhance businesses via ICT

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedIT Centre of Excellence to be established – GovtFebruary 20, 2016In “latest news”‘Get involved’ – Minister Hughes encourages Guyanese to explore possibilities in oil and gas sectorFebruary 9, 2018In “latest news”Guyana to attend ICT symposium – event to address establishment of region’s ICT spaceMarch 17, 2017In “Internet” Minister of Public Telecommunications, Catherine Hughes yesterday encouraged stakeholders and entrepreneurs to stop depending on traditional productive sectors and establish new Information and Communications Technology businesses and get online. The Minister was at the time addressing participants at a Digital Wealth Summit held  at the Marriott Hotel in Georgetown.The summit was hosted by the Master Class Institute which is a business education and training organisation. Minister Hughes explained that Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is very important in today’s every changing world. The Minister said that it is impossible to persons to start digital business without internet connections, or ICT. Therefore, she added, it is the goal of her Ministry to ensure that the level of connectivity for every citizen is improved.Minister of Business, Dominic Gaskin (left); Minister of Public Telecommunications, Catherine Hughes; and Owner of Social Rank Media, Dr. Rosh Khan at the Digital Wealth Summit at Marriott Hotel, yesterday“Our vision is built on the ICT must significantly improve the availability, efficiency and delivery of government related products and services and this is expected to employment for the thousands of our youths who graduate from tertiary and secondary education every year,” Minister Hughes emphasised.According to a GINA report, Minister Hughes further explained that since last year her Ministry has installed internet ready computers and peripherals in some community centres and towns in the hinterland as well as internet access in computer rooms of over 100 secondary schools, the University of Guyana and Technical and Vocational Institutes,”The Minister added that since its establishment her Ministry was able to satisfy part of its mandate to create a knowledge base ICT proficient society. The Public Telecommunications Minister promised that every Guyanese will have access to the internet anywhere in Guyana.Expressing her gratitude for the summit, Minister Hughes encouraged the participants to reach out and establish new digital businesses, noting that already in the hinterland a few digital businesses have foreign support. The Minister also noted that there is tremendous space for collaboration between the public and private sector, “We should be able to grow together share resources and experiences. I know we will, I know we can.”Meanwhile, Minister of Business Dominic Gaskin indicated that he would like to see more young Guyanese integrating more into the global network, “that is using digital connectivity as a platform for doing business.” The Minister said the ability to communicate online is the new reality. He further explained, “For over two decades businesses have been transposing to make better use of technology and new businesses have emerged and operate online….Digital technology is driving the economy and is bringing prosperity to businesses, countries and the entire region.”Minister Gaskin noted that Guyanese must also ensure that their entrepreneurs are valued and treated as national assets, cultivated and motivated. He said that successful entrepreneurs can improve living standards through job creation and by making new products. Participants were also encouraged to look beyond the shores of Guyana not just for technologies but for markets for their products or services especially since Guyana needs more businesses bringing in foreign income. “I know it is easier to do the opposite…but our Mission as a nation must be to develop the local industries. Guyana is yet to make its mark as a regional power house but must be the number one source for agro and agro products, gold and gold products, wood and wood products,” Minister Gaskin explained. The Minister applauded the summit noting that it can be defined as the cultivation and motivation of a new breed of enterprise in Guyana.Advisor of the United States Embassy Amanda Codwell, in brief remarks encouraged the participants to have hope in their ideas, belief and persevere to make them realities.The Digital Wealth Summit was facilitated by the Master Class Institute. This facility is a business education and training organisation that aims to transform Guyana’s economic landscape.Owner of Social Rank Media, Dr. Rosh Khan, said this summit was hosted to help Guyana’s entrepreneurs, “participate in the ICT revolution.” “This summit is to help Guyanese add more income to their income and the technology is here it has always been here but now it is time to apply strategic knowledge,” Khan added. read more

EtatsUnis une violente tornade touche la ville de Joplin dans le Missouri

first_imgEtats-Unis : une violente tornade touche la ville de Joplin dans le MissouriUne violente tornade a frappé hier la petite ville de Joplin, dans l’État du Missouri, au centre des États-Unis. Selon un dernier bilan, le cataclysme aurait fait 24 morts et d’importants dommages matériels.La ville de Joplin (Missouri), située a quelques kilomètres des États du Kansas et de l’Oklahoma, a été violemment touchée hier par le passage d’une tornade. Ryan Nicholls, responsable de l’Office de gestion des crises du Comté de Springfield-Greene, à l’est de Joplin, rapporte dans le journal  Springfield News-Leader un bilan de 24 personnes tuées. Les dégâts matériels sont également considérables. John Miller, un photographe indépendant travaillant pour the News-Leader y décrit un paysage ravagé : “Les grands magasins Home Depot et Walmart de Joplin ont été rasés. Les stations d’essence, les bâtiments. Partout où je tourne les yeux, tout a été très endommagé ou complètement détruit”. Pour tenter de faire face à la catastrophe, le gouverneur du Missouri Jay Nixon a déclaré l’état d’urgence. Il explique dans un communiqué : “Ces tornades ont provoqué d’importants dégâts dans tout le Missouri, et constituent un risque certain pour ses habitants et leurs habitations”. Il ajoute : “On a tout mis en ouvre pour venir en aide aux familles dans le Missouri, rechercher les personnes portées disparues, et apporter une aide médicale d’urgence”.Une longue série de tornades meurtrièresDepuis le début du mois de mai, une série de tornades meurtrières frappent le sud-est des États-Unis. Selon les dernières estimations, les cataclysmes auraient fait plus d’un millier de sinistrés et 350 morts. Un lourd bilan qui élève la catastrophe au niveau des plus meurtrières de l’histoire des États-Unis. Selon Jay Nixon, la situation n’est pas encore stabilisée : “Je demande instamment aux habitants du Missouri de suivre attentivement les derniers bulletins météo et de se conformer aux instructions et mises en garde des services de secours alors que ces mortelles tornades poursuivent leur avancée dans l’État du Missouri”.À lire aussiCes effrayantes images démontrent l’impressionnant pouvoir de la natureSelon les experts, ces tornades résulteraient d’une rencontre dans le sud des États-Unis entre des courants froids descendant du pôle Nord et des courants chauds provenant du golfe du Mexique. Les Grandes Plaines situées entre les Rocheuses et les Appalaches offrent des conditions favorables à la formation de cataclysme. Pour cette raison, la région du sud composée de l’Oklahoma, du Kansas, de l’Arkansas, de l’Iowa et du Missouri a été baptisée Tornado Alley.Pour voir les dégâts filmés à Joplin, cliquez ci-dessous :https://www.maxisciences.com/tornade/une-violente-tornade-devaste-la-ville-de-joplin-au-etats-unis_art14760.html Le 23 mai 2011 à 10:02 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

DIPLOMATIC MUSICAL CHAIR GOES ON BETWEEN THE GAMBIA AND EU

first_imgForoyaa has reliably learnt that at the time of the expulsion of the Chargee d’ Affaires of the EU Delegation in the Gambia, Madame Agnes Guillaud, the EU was contemplating the upgrading of the diplomatic mission.How matters stand now is under investigation and Gambians should not be surprise if a new Chargee takes charge and the political dialogue starts afresh, as the Gambian budget becomes starved of grants.Gambians should be aware that the decisions taken by the government do have impact on the lives of the people. Today many Gambians have to go to Senegal or even farther afield to get visas.The external personality of the country depends on the level of liberty, dignity and prosperity of our people.last_img read more

General Session at Commodity Classic Promises to Inspire and Inform

first_imgWell-known speaker Christine Cashen will deliver a high-energy, hilarious program on handling conflict and reducing stress during Friday’s General Session at the 2019 Commodity Classic in Orlando.The General Session at Commodity Classic is one of the most highly-rated experiences during the three-day farmer-driven event—and the 2019 version promises to be as well. The 2019 Commodity Classic will be held Thursday, February 28 through Saturday, March 2 in Orlando, Fla.Keynote speaker for Friday’s General Session will be Christine Cashen, known worldwide for her ability to entertain and energize audiences.  Cashen will deliver a fast-paced, hilarious program on handling conflict and reducing stress—as well as tips on life, love, work and happiness.U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has also been invited to speak.The session will also include the nation’s commodity association leaders who will discuss the hottest issues facing the nation’s corn, soybean, wheat and sorghum producers.  Additionally, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers will provide an update on their industry.“The General Session is where the true spirit of Commodity Classic comes through,” said Wade Cowan, a Texas soybean farmer and co-chair of the 2019 Commodity Classic. “There is a strong sense of common purpose with a combination of inspiration, information and insight.  You’re sure to leave the General Session with a smile on your face and your spirits soaring!”Established in 1996, Commodity Classic is America’s largest farmer-led, farmer-focused agricultural and educational experience.  Commodity Classic is unlike any other agriculture event, featuring a robust schedule of educational sessions, a huge trade show featuring the latest technology, equipment and innovation, top-notch entertainment, inspiring speakers and the opportunity to network with thousands of farmers from across the nation.Registration and housing for the 2019 Commodity Classic are now open. To register, reserve hotel rooms and sign up for email updates, visit CommodityClassic.com.  Early bird discounts on registration end January 10, 2019.last_img read more

Retired Gen Norman Schwarzkopf dies

first_imgWASHINGTON — Truth is, retired Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf didn’t care much for his popular “Stormin’ Norman” nickname.The seemingly no-nonsense Desert Storm commander’s reputed temper with aides and subordinates supposedly earned him that rough-and-ready moniker. But others around the general, who died Thursday in Tampa, Fla., at age 78 from complications from pneumonia, knew him as a friendly, talkative and even jovial figure who preferred the somewhat milder sobriquet given by his troops: “The Bear.”That one perhaps suited him better later in his life, when he supported various national causes and children’s charities while eschewing the spotlight and resisting efforts to draft him to run for political office.He lived out a quiet retirement in Tampa, where he’d served his last military assignment and where an elementary school bearing his name is testament to his standing in the community.Schwarzkopf capped an illustrious military career by commanding the U.S.-led international coalition that drove Saddam Hussein’s forces out of Kuwait in 1991 — but he’d managed to keep a low profile in the public debate over the second Gulf War against Iraq, saying at one point that he doubted victory would be as easy as the White House and the Pentagon predicted.Schwarzkopf was named commander in chief of U.S. Central Command at Tampa’s MacDill Air Force Base in 1988, overseeing the headquarters for U.S. military and security concerns in nearly two dozen countries stretching across the Middle East to Afghanistan and the rest of central Asia, plus Pakistan.last_img read more

Lower Columbia commercial fishing policy to be reviewed

first_imgTUMWATER — Washington’s Fish and Wildlife Commission will get a first-year update on Saturday of its policy to restructure commercial fishing in the lower Columbia River.The citizen commission meets Friday and Saturday at the Comfort Inn Hotel and Conference Center, 1620 74th Ave. S.W.The Columbia River policy briefing, to be followed by a public comment period, is scheduled from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday. A briefing on lower Columbia sturgeon is scheduled at 11 a.m.The top item on the agenda will be a briefing and public hearing on Grays Harbor salmon management, scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Saturday.last_img read more

Increase in wildfires causing bad air days in US Northwest to get

first_img © 2018 Medical Xpress More information: Crystal D. McClure et al. US particulate matter air quality improves except in wildfire-prone areas, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2018). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1804353115AbstractUsing data from rural monitoring sites across the contiguous United States, we evaluated fine particulate matter (PM2.5) trends for 1988–2016. We calculate trends in the policy-relevant 98th quantile of PM2.5 using Quantile Regression. We use Kriging and Gaussian Geostatistical Simulations to interpolate trends between observed data points. Overall, we found positive trends in 98th quantile PM2.5 at sites within the Northwest United States (average 0.21 ± 0.12 µg·m−3·y−1; ±95% confidence interval). This was in contrast with sites throughout the rest of country, which showed a negative trend in 98th quantile PM2.5, likely due to reductions in anthropogenic emissions (average −0.66 ± 0.10 µg·m−3·y−1). The positive trend in 98th quantile PM2.5 is due to wildfire activity and was supported by positive trends in total carbon and no trend in sulfate across the Northwest. We also evaluated daily moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) aerosol optical depth (AOD) for 2002–2017 throughout the United States to compare with ground-based trends. For both Interagency Monitoring of Protected Visual Environments (IMPROVE) PM2.5 and MODIS AOD datasets, we found positive 98th quantile trends in the Northwest (1.77 ± 0.68% and 2.12 ± 0.81% per year, respectively) through 2016. The trend in Northwest AOD is even greater if data for the high-fire year of 2017 are included. These results indicate a decrease in PM2.5 over most of the country but a positive trend in the 98th quantile PM2.5 across the Northwest due to wildfires. Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Citation: Increase in wildfires causing bad air days in US Northwest to get worse over the past 28 years (2018, July 17) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-07-wildfires-bad-air-days-northwest.html Over the past quarter-century, wildfires (unplanned fires burning in forests or other areas) in many parts of the western United States have become larger and longer-lasting than they were in earlier years. Many environmental scientists have suggested this is due to global warming. Prior research has shown that such fires carry fine particulate matter into the air, and that many people can be harmed by breathing such particles. Those with lung conditions such as COPD or asthma, for example, can suffer problems when exposed to such particles, as can senior citizens and children. In this new effort, McClure and Jaffe looked into the possible impacts of bigger and longer-burning wildfires on people living in impacted areas.They obtained data from 100 rural air quality monitoring sites from across the country and sifted through the data, collecting information only on particles that were smaller than 2.5 micrometers. They entered the data into a mapping application that displayed levels of such particulates across the continental U.S. Next, they set filters to show changes in levels of the fine particulates over the years 1988 to 2016 for only the worst air quality days. Doing so showed that the northwest part of the country has experienced more bad days over the past 28 years, and those bad days have been worsening. In sharp contrast, they found that the rest of the United States experienced better air quality over the same time period. The researchers note that even people who are not normally at risk from wildfire particulates can be harmed if they are exposed to them on a regular basis. And sometimes, levels can be extreme, such as when a fire burns for a long time near a community. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.center_img Credit: CC0 Public Domain Smoke from wildfires can tip air quality to unhealthy levels Explore further A pair of researchers with the University of Washington has found that an increase in wildfire size and duration over the past 28 years has led to worsening bad air days in the U.S. Northwest. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Crystal McClure and Daniel Jaffe describe their study and what their results mean for people living in affected areas.last_img read more

Passenger Drones Will Begin Flying Over Dubai This Summer

first_img This story originally appeared on Engadget February 14, 2017 Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now The single-rider, human-sized quadcopter that whipped CES 2016 into a frenzy could be carrying passengers as early as this summer. As the head of Dubai’s Roads and Transportation Agency announced at the World Government summit yesterday, the Chinese EHang 184 passenger drone will begin “regular operations” around the futuristic city in July of 2017.In fact, as the Associated Press reports, the EHang 184 has already been zipping around Dubai’s Burj Al-Arab skyscraper, which happens to have a helipad floating a dizzying 689 feet off the ground. “This is not only a model,” Roads and Transportation chief Mattar al-Tayer said. “We have actually experimented with this vehicle flying in Dubai’s skies.”Since al-Tayer didn’t elaborate, it’s currently unclear whether any of those flights actually carried a real person, but it sounds like the Personal Flying Vehicle’s specs have gotten some slight performance upgrades since we last saw it on the floor in Las Vegas. The AP reports the PFV now has a half-hour flight time with about 31 miles of range, but passenger capacity is still limited to one 260-pound person and single small suitcase. Since the vehicle is autonomous, the passenger only needs to punch in their destination and strap in before take-off. From there, the 184 will communicate via 4G wireless network with a control room on the ground similar to the one EHang showed Engadget late last year.While the crown jewel of the United Arab Emirates will get to claim bragging rights as the first city to unleash flying passenger drones, officials in Nevada are also seeking the FAA’s approval on the EHang 184 — so we might see EHang back at CES with a real, flying product sooner than expected. Enroll Now for Free 2 min read This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience.last_img read more

Valve reveals new Index VR Kit with detail specs and costs upto

first_imgValve introduced the new VR headset kit, Valve Index, only one month ago. And said the preorders will begin from, May 1st, and will ship in June. Today, Valve is fully detailing the Index headset for the first time, and revealing exactly how much it will cost: $999. The price seems to be relatively high according to today’s VR headset standards. In comparison, Facebook announced the Oculus Quest and Oculus Rift S to be shipped on May 21st for $399. But Valve says it will let you buy parts piecemeal if you need, which is good deal if you do not wish to buy the whole kit. And if you’ve already got a Vive or Vive Pro and / or don’t need the latest Knuckles controllers, you won’t necessarily need to spend that whole $999 to get started. Get the best look yet of the Index headset at the Valve Index website. Like the HTC Vive, which was co-designed with Valve, the Index will still be a tethered experience with a 5-meter cable that plugs into a gaming PC. It also uses the company’s laser-firing Lighthouse base stations to figure out where the headset is at any given time. That’s how it lets you walk around a room worth of space in VR — up to a huge 10 x 10 meter room. Valve’s not using cameras for inside-out tracking; the company says the twin stereo RGB cameras here are designed for passthrough (letting you see the real world through the headset) and for the computer vision community. Instead, Valve says the Index’s focus is on delivering the highest fidelity VR experience possible, meaning improved lenses, screens, and audio. In this case it actually includes a pair of 1440 x 1600-resolution RGB LCDs, rather than the higher-res OLED screens much of which the competition is already using. But Valve says its screens run faster — 120Hz, with an experimental 144Hz mode — and are better at combating the “screen door effect” and blurry when you move your head, persistence issues that first-gen VR headsets struggled with. The Valve Index also has an IPD slider to adjust for the distance between your eyes and lenses that Valve says offer a 20-degree larger field of view than the HTC Vive “for typical users.” Most interesting in Valve are the built-in headphone images shown on the website which aren’t actually headphones — but they’re speakers. And they are designed to not touch your ears, instead firing their sound toward your head. It is similar to how Microsoft’s HoloLens visors produce audio, which means that while people around you could theoretically hear what you’re doing, there’ll be less fiddling with the mechanism to get that audio aligned with your ears. They have also provided a 3.5mm headphone jack if you want to plug in your own headphones. Another interesting part of the Valve Index is it can be purchased separately for $279. The Valve Index Controllers, formerly known as Knuckles, might be the most intuitive way to get your hands into VR yet. While a strap holds the controller to your hand, 87 sensors track the position of your hands and fingers and even how hard you’re pressing down. Theoretically, you could easily reach, grab, and throw virtual objects with such a setup, something that wasn’t really possible with the HTC Vive or Oculus Touch controllers. Here’s one gameplay example that Valve is showing off: Source – Valve website Another small improvement is the company’s Lighthouse base stations. Since they only use a single laser now, and no IR blinker, Valve says they play nicer with other IR devices, which mean you can turn on and off TV without needing to power off them first. According to the reports by Polygon which got an early hands-on with the Valve Index, they say the Knuckles feel great, the optics are sharp, and that it may be the most comfortable way to wear a VR headset over a pair of glasses yet. Polygon also further explained the $999 price point. They said, during Valve’s demonstration, a spokesperson said that Index is the sort of thing that is likely to appeal to a virtual reality enthusiast who (a) must have the latest thing and (b) enjoys sufficient disposable income to satisfy that desire. It’s an interesting contrast with Facebook’s strategy for Rift, which is pushing hard for the price tipping point when VR suddenly becomes a mass-market thing, like smartphones did a decade ago. Get to know about pricing details of Valve Index kit on its official page. Read Next Top 7 tools for virtual reality game developers Game developers say Virtual Reality is here to stay Facebook releases DeepFocus, an AI-powered rendering system to make virtual reality more reallast_img read more

Twin typhoons raise fears in disasterprone NKorea

first_img Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix The difference between men and women when it comes to pain Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Tembin’s strong winds and hard rain pounded South Korea on Thursday as residents of some cities waded through streets flooded with murky, knee-deep water. The storm moved off the peninsula’s east coast overnight. The national weather agency in Seoul predicted some cities in southern North Korea could see up to 80 mm (3.15 inches) of rain, but North Korea didn’t immediately release details on rainfall, deaths or damage from the latest storm.The earlier storm, Bolaven, left 20 people dead or missing in South Korea. It killed three people and left 3,300 people homeless in North Korea, the country’s official media reported.Downpours trigger landslides that barrel down the North’s deforested mountains. For years, rural people have felled trees to grow crops and for firewood, leaving the landscape barren and heavily eroded. Rivers overflow, submerging crops, inundating roads and engulfing hamlets.Since June, thousands have been left without clean water, electricity and access to food and other supplies. That leads to a risk of water-borne and respiratory diseases and malnutrition, aid workers say.Because the North annually struggles to produce enough food from its rocky, mountainous landscape to feed its 24 million people, a poorly timed natural disaster can easily tip the country into crisis, like the famine in the 1990s that followed a similar succession of devastating storms. Associated PressSEOUL, South Korea (AP) – Twin typhoons renewed fears of a humanitarian crisis in North Korea, where poor drainage, widespread deforestation and crumbling infrastructure can turn even a routine rainstorm into a catastrophic flood.Typhoon Bolaven struck the North on Tuesday and Wednesday, submerging houses and roads, ruining thousands of acres of crops and triggering landslides that buried train tracks _ scenes that are all too familiar in this disaster-prone nation. A second major storm, Typhoon Tembin, pounded the Korean Peninsula with more rains Thursday before dissipating. But severe weather remains an omnipresent threat, and poor infrastructure and massive deforestation are “a major factor in exacerbating these weather events,” he said. “There’s no doubt that the vulnerabilities in the countryside are considerable.”___Associated Press writer Foster Klug contributed to this report. Follow Lee, AP’s Korea bureau chief, at twitter.com/newsjean and Klug at twitter.com/APKlug.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) The storms came with North Korea still recovering from earlier floods that killed more than 170 people and destroyed thousands of homes. That in turn followed a springtime drought that was the worst in a century in some areas.The disaster relief group AmeriCares announced late Thursday that enough emergency antibiotics and medical supplies to treat 15,000 North Koreans would be airlifted to the country as early as this week in coordination with North Korean officials. Damage to 69 hospitals and clinics suffered during the earlier floods has left 700,000 North Koreans without access to health care at a time when scores are fighting off the threat of infection while living in temporary shelters, the group said in a statement.Other foreign aid groups said they were standing by in Pyongyang, but had not received new requests for help from the North Korean government. They had little information on the extent of damage and were relying on reports from state media. The country’s wariness toward the outside world, as well as a primitive rural road system, means aid may be slow arriving, if it is allowed to come at all.“These fresh storms, coming just a few weeks after the serious flooding _ they do raise concerns because we see parts of the countryside battered again that have already been left in a vulnerable state,” said Francis Markus, spokesman for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in East Asia. Quick workouts for men Sponsored Stories center_img Two weeks ago, AP journalists visited a flood-ravaged mining hamlet in South Phyongan province where gushing waters from an earlier storm swallowed a whole block of homes. The trip, a mere 40-mile (60-kilometer) drive northeast of Pyongyang, required a bumpy four-hour ride along rutted, muddy roads.Along the way, workers piled stones along the roadside as a bulwark against landslides, but they were no match for the water rushing down mountainsides.Villagers crouched in makeshift lean-tos and camped on the rubble where their houses once stood. They vowed to rebuild once the roads are restored and trucks can cart in cement. But there are concerns about how vulnerable their new homes would be if they rebuild at the foot of a mountain in the county of Songchon, which means “place where many waters come together.”North Korea has no clear long-term strategy to deal with disasters or climate change, the United Nations said in a report issued in June.This year, North Korea is at a particularly dangerous juncture, said the Red Cross’ Markus. Over the last two years, he said, “we’ve been seeing a gradual deterioration in the humanitarian situation.”The Red Cross works with villagers to prepare evacuation plans and other ways to protect themselves, their homes and their farmland in the event of a disaster, he said. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Top Stories Comments   Share   A North Korean land management official acknowledged in an interview with The Associated Press that widespread deforestation and a lack of basic infrastructure have made the country vulnerable to the typhoons and storms that batter the peninsula each year.“It’s important for the future of our children to make our country rich and beautiful,” Ri Song Il, director of external affairs for the Ministry of Land and Environmental Protection, said in June.He said a campaign is under way to replenish forests, build highways and construct proper irrigation at the order of North Korea’s new leader, Kim Jong Un. He held up a green pamphlet on land management that was the first official document Kim published after taking power from his father.But it may be too little, too late, for this year’s summer rains.In Pyongyang, North Korea’s showcase capital of grand monuments and broad boulevards, the rains have been little more than a nuisance for residents tromping about in rubber boots and umbrellas.Outside the capital, it’s a different story.In villages without the luxury of paved roads, summer downpours have sliced through roadways and washed away bridges, all but cutting off already isolated communities from supplies, food and help.last_img read more

Wary US looks to calm rising tensions in Asia

first_img Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Clinton has spent the last week in the Asia-Pacific urging peaceful resolutions to competing territorial claims between China and its smaller neighbors in the South China Sea. In Vladivostok, she will see the leaders of U.S. allies Japan and South Korea which are embroiled in their own dispute.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Comments   Share   Associated PressVLADIVOSTOK, Russia (AP) – Alarmed by a rise in nationalist sentiment around the Asia-Pacific, the Obama administration is looking for Russia to play a greater role in the region as it seeks to quell growing maritime tensions.U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is to meet on Saturday with Russian President Vladimir Putin at meeting of Pacific Rim leaders to gauge Moscow’s intentions as it looks increasingly east after decades of European orientation. U.S. officials say they would welcome more sustained Russian engagement in Asia. 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 Sponsored Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementcenter_img Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Top Stories Quick workouts for menlast_img read more

What an MLB source said about the Dbacks trade h

first_img What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke “Derek [Anderson] and Matt [Leinart] in camp kind of did their own thing,” Skelton told Sports 620 KTAR’s Burns and Gambo Wednesday. “They were established guys. They’d been around. They knew the ropes. They kind of had their own agendas. Max and I were kind of stuck doing our own thing and doing and trying to figure it out on our own.”The second year signal caller doesn’t hold it against Anderson and Leinart. In fact, he claims to understand their actions.“I can’t blame them for the way they acted and the way the treated us,” he said. “I guess when you’re set in your ways it’s kind of hard to change.”Skelton’s comments do create a sense of irony though, seeing as the Carolina Panthers now expect Anderson to be a mentor for No. 1 pick Cam Newton. Luckily, that’s not Arizona’s problem (in fact, it could benefit them as they host the Panthers in Week 1).As they say, past performances aren’t indicative of future results, and for Skelton and the Cardinals that’s a great thing. Especially when you realize the newly acquired Kevin Kolb will be giving them a fresh start. Top Stories “Kevin’s a great guy. I’ve got to know him over the last few days” Skelton said. “We’re going to be able to improve the quarterback play no matter who it is just through competition. Max [Hall] is doing a great job. So is Rich [Bartel]. Rich is a real knowledgeable guy, he’s helping everybody out. I think the chemistry in the quarterback room is ten times better than last year.”If Cardinals fans are lucky, the quarterback play will be ten time better than last year as well. D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ 0 Comments   Share   Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation The 2010 season for the Arizona Cardinals wasn’t exactly an easy one. Especially when it came to the quarterback position.The combination of Matt Leinart and Derek Anderson was supposed to lead the Cardinals back to the playoffs (and we all know how well that worked out). Apparently the duo was not only incapable of leading on the field, but off of it as well.John Skelton, who was thrown into the fire as the Cardinals starting quarterback thanks to Leinart and Anderson’s ineptness, says his two former teammates didn’t exactly help him out in training camp a year ago.last_img read more

The Dorchester the iconic London flagship of the

first_imgThe Dorchester, the iconic London flagship of the Dorchester Collection, has unveiled one of the city’s most desirable retreats — The Dorchester Spa. This exciting launch follows a comprehensive six-month, £3.2 million refurbishment and expansion program including a remarkable design by Fox Linton Associates, a new spa treatment menu celebrating the ritual of beauty, an exclusive Spatisserie and a special introductory spa package.The exquisite new Dorchester Spa is designed by award-winning interiors consultancy Fox Linton Associates of London. The firm drew inspiration from the glamour and elegance of the 1930s and enhanced it with a modern edge including rich textures and luxurious materials. A sense of calm informality prevails throughout the Spa, which welcomes guests to a light and comfortable seating area with a backdrop of white-gold mirrored screens containing a design of reeds. The focal point is a beautiful chandelier comprising 75,000 South Pacific white pearls. The concept and design incorporates the high levels of quality, expertise and style long associated with The Dorchester, creating a perfect backdrop for the ultimate in indulgent pampering and sumptuous relaxation.The new Dorchester Spa features nine tranquil treatment rooms including two double suites, a manicure and pedicure suite and a quiet room dedicated to deep relaxation. Separate changing rooms for men and women feature state-of-the-art aromatic steam rooms with mood lighting and sculpture. Hairdressing salon and gentlemen’s barber shop sit alongside the Spa with a separate entrance, as does a handsomely equipped fitness studio.Experience the new Dorchester Spa with a special introductory spa package available from June 1 — August 31, 2009. The package for two includes an overnight stay in a Deluxe Room, full English breakfast, and one aromatherapy massage per person.www.dorchestercollection.comlast_img read more