Air is so dirty in northern Thailand, leader flies to see it

BANGKOK — The air hanging over Thailand’s far north is so polluted, it’s drawn a visit from the prime minister to see in person what’s been called a severe health crisis.Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha flew Tuesday to the city of Chiang Mai to see firsthand the pollution that’s been unusually bad and prolonged this year.Northern Thailand has suffered severe seasonal haze for years, usually blamed on burning of forests in neighbouring Myanmar. Worsening the problem this year are wildfires caused by a drier-than-usual dry season as well as Thai farmers and hunters clearing land.Standard measurements of air quality have soared into the danger zone.Prayuth handed out firefighting supplies and told local military personnel and firefighters that he came there because he wanted to show his support.Kaweewit Kaewjinda And Tassanee Vejpongsa, The Associated Press read more

Canadas wholesale sales dip slightly in June first decline in several months

OTTAWA — Canada’s wholesale sales declined slightly in June, with the food and auto industries showing the biggest impact.Wholesale sales fell by 0.5 per cent to $61.4 billion, following a series of monthly increases.The food industry’s wholesale sales were down 1.1 per cent from May, falling to $10.78 billion.Motor vehicle wholesale sales were down 1.7 per cent at $9.13 billion in June.Statistics Canada says the value of wholesale sales fell in five of the seven subsectors it follows and in six provinces, with the biggest decline in Alberta and the biggest gain in Ontario.CIBC economist Andrew Grantham writes in a note to clients that June’s decline from May was modest and still up by 8.8 per cent compared with June of last year. read more

Government agencies review Port City progress

A detailed presentation was made by Gamini Hewage, Director Coast Resource Management from the Department of Coast Conservation and Coastal Resource Management on dredging activity, conditions of the permit, supply of quarry materials, stockpiling sites, solid, liquid and hazardous waste management, coastal engineering, beach profile monitoring, sea bed monitoring, social aspects of the project such as the income support and benefits program for fishermen and the reports that had been and are to be submitted according to the permit conditions. Government agencies connected to the Port City project met for the fourth review meeting and site visit, a press statement said today.The Department of Coast Conservation and Coastal Resource Management was the leading agency coordinating the review process. The Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development, Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development, Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment, District Secretaries from Colombo, Gampaha, Divisional secretaries from Colombo, Thimbirigasyaya, Wattala, Ja-Ela, Negombo, Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Department of Irrigation, Department of Archeology, Central Environmental Authority, Urban Development Authority, Road Development Authority, Sri Lanka Ports Authority, Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, Marine Environment Protection Authority, National Aquatic Resources and Development Agency (NARA),Geological Survey and Mines Bureau, Sri Lanka Land Reclamation and Development Cooperation, Board of Investment, Sri Lanka Navy, Municipal Councilsof Colombo, Negombo and Pradeshiya Saba of Wattala took part in the review. read more

DR of Congo UN mission deplores fresh violence in Ituri province

In a statement issued yesterday, The UN Organization Mission in the DRC (MONUC) said it “greatly deplored” renewed hostilities in Bunia – the principal city of Ituri District in the northeast of the country – where fighting on Saturday resulted in at least five deaths and many more wounded and displaced.MONUC said the renewed fighting constitutes an “unacceptable violation” of the local-level ceasefire signed on 18 March, threatening the “promising and undeniable gains” made by the Ituri Pacification Commission (IPC), which rival militia and tribal groups agreed to set up to manage the region until a new post-war national government takes over. According to the Mission, firefights involving both light and heavy weaponry erupted in several areas of Bunia on Saturday morning, targeting MONUC and other UN offices, and provoking panic among residents. The fighting took place between armed Lendu and Hema groups, which are vying for the control of the town in anticipation of the complete withdrawal of Ugandan forces.The Uruguayan peacekeeping contingent, which was in the Mission’s local headquarters, returned fire when fired upon. The Mission says that at least 50 civilians, mostly women and children, are being housed in a UN compound after seeking the protection of peacekeepers. In a separate incident, a UN facility used by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) was subsequently looted. No UN staff were injured during the weekend’s fighting. By early afternoon, the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF), which has been reducing its presence in Ituri, retook control of Bunia and redeployed military police patrols, as did MONUC, reinforced by forces of the Congolese National Police, who arrived on Sunday.The Mission urged all signatories to the March agreement to immediately respect their commitment to withdraw their armed forces from Bunia, and to return to their respective bases. “It is under such conditions that the IPC, with the support of MONUC, would be in a position to assure an effective return of peace and security to Bunia and Ituri,” the statement said. Meanwhile the Mission’s Peacekeeping Force commander, Gen. Mountaga Diallo, will travel to Bunia tomorrow as part of MONUC’s effort to address the problems at the highest level. read more

Leveraging ICTs critical to achieve Global Goals UN highlights in new report

In a new report, launched today, the senior officials also highlighted the critical link between information and communication technologies and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). “The 2030 Agenda […] recognizes the great potential of global connectivity to spur human progress,” noted UN Secretary-General António Guterres in his foreword to the publication, Fast-forward progress: Leveraging tech to achieve the global goals.“This report presents evidence of how UN agencies are adopting – and adapting – ICTs to maximize their impact and help communities and people in need,” he added, highlighting efforts underway to extend telecommunication networks and ICTs into remote areas; train and equip workers with new digital skills; and ensure that schools, hospitals, clinics and whole cities are smarter, more energy efficient and safer. The five key areas highlighted as the “take aways” in the publication include ensuring that no one is “left offline;” recognizing the catalysing factor of ICTs for innovation and change; putting people first; importance of prompt action to leverage ICTs; and creating new .innovative partnerships. The report, coordinated by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), was written as a collaborative effort between top officials from UN entities and international organizations, with each leader selecting one Goal and explaining why ICT is important for it, including drawing on their personal insights. “As UN leaders have identified […], ICTs must be leveraged to advance achievement of all 17 of the SDGs – and we at ITU look forward to partnering with other UN agencies to facilitate this,” said Houlin Zhao, the Secretary-General of ITU, said at the report’s launch, in Geneva. The report’s release coincides with the ongoing 2017 High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), the main UN platform dealing with sustainable and inclusive development. read more

SMMT goes on the road with Type Approval workshops

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) is going on the road next year to host a series of workshops that will help businesses get to grips with European Whole Vehicle Type Approval.Organised in collaboration with the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA) and the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA), these workshops are applicable to body builders and convertors of Category O types (trailers) and Category N (light, medium and heavy trucks).Taking place at locations across Great Britain in February 2013, the workshops will cover how to obtain approval quickly and easily, with guidance from experts and companies that have already achieved approval.“European Whole Vehicle Type Approval is a vital part of getting a motor vehicle or trailer on the road as it ensures that technical and safety standards are consistent across Europe,” said Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive. “Through these workshops, SMMT will help companies to get fully up-to-speed with the latest Type Approval Regulations, ensuring that they meet all legal requirements and can successfully sell their products.”SMMT Type Approval workshops – venues and dates in 2013:Wednesday 6 February: Huntingdon Race Course, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire – EVENT FULL (Submit details to reserve a place on the waiting list)Thursday 7 February: Haydock Park Race Course, Merseyside – EVENT FULL (Submit details to reserve a place on the waiting list)Tuesday 12 February: Bristol Rovers Football Club, Bristol – EVENT FULL (Submit details to reserve a place on the waiting list)Wednesday 27 February: Newcastle Race Course, Newcastle – PLACES STILL AVAILABLEThursday 28 February: Perth Race Course, Perth, Scotland – PLACES STILL AVAILABLEThe workshops are free to attend, but numbers are limited to 50 people per venue. Please note: Huntington, Haydock and Bristol events are now FULL.To book your ‘first-come, first-served’ place for Newcastle or Perth events, contact Claire Balch (cbalch@smmt.co.uk) advising which of the venues you wish to attend. For all other enquiries relating to the workshops, contact Tony Hopkins (thopkins@smmt.co.uk).Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) read more

Building awareness of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls

Too many of Canada’s missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls remain nameless and faceless.The Faceless Dolls Project seeks to raise awareness about the epidemic and ensure that each statistic has a story behind it.Two workshops for the Faceless Dolls Project will be held at Brock University this week on Monday, Sept. 19 and Thursday, Sept. 22, both at 3 p.m. in Sankey Chambers.The sessions are organized and facilitated by Brock’s Indigenous Solidarity Coalition, and the faceless dolls being created will become an exhibit on display at Brock as a reminder of the MMIW issue.“The Faceless Dolls Project is an opportunity to visually and physically create a representation of the known cases of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls in Canada,” says Indigenous Solidarity Coalition co-founder Celeste Smith. “The history and legacy of these faceless dolls are rich in traditional teachings and Indigenous advocacy.”Inspired by the teachings of the faceless corn husk dolls of the Oneida peoples, Cree Artist Gloria Larocque began making Aboriginal Angel Dolls in 2005 to bring awareness to the hidden epidemic of the murdered women of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.“The compassion I had about the issues surrounding the murdered women of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside turned into a project of love. I wanted to instill personality and humanity into what has now been recognized as an epidemic in Canada,” says Larocque.“One teaching of the Oneida corn husk doll is that of vanity. In the case of these women and girls, it is society’s vanity that contributed to making them invisible for so long,” explains Larocque.In 2012, the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC), as part of its commitment to encourage dialogue about MMIW, approached Larocque to collaborate on a national faceless dolls project.“NWAC wanted a project that could be taken across Canada to help ensure that each statistic told a story,” says Larocque. “I was asked to come up with a design that could be physically re-created to represent the known cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women across Canada, but that would also transform with beauty and individuality when designed by Canadians.”The dolls that were created became a traveling art exhibit in memory of the nearly 1,200 missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in Canada. As word of the project spread, requests to continue making the faceless dolls emerged from the families, community members, teachers and allies of MMIW.“To contribute to this legacy and create an educational ripple effect is a humbling experience,” says Indigenous Solidarity Coalition co-founder Jodielynn Harrison. “We invite the Brock and Niagara community to attend these workshops to learn more and make a contribution. By doing so, we are giving voice to those who have been silenced.”The Brock and Niagara community are also invited to the Sisters in Spirit event on Tuesday, Sept. 20 at 6 p.m. in the Sean O’Sullivan Theatre.Sisters in Spirit will include a documentary film screening with panel discussion, a book reading and signing from the newly released Forever Loved: Exposing the Hidden Crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women in Canada and performances by Strong Water Women.Special guests include: Nick Printup, Film Director; Jennifer Brant, Author; Jessica Riel-Johns, Author; Sherry Emmerson, Author; Alyssa M. General, Artist and Author; and Jackie LaBonte, Healing and Wellness Co-ordinator.Co-sponsors for this event include: Brock University’s Centre for Gender and Women’s Studies, Centre for Canadian Studies, Department of Education and Department of Sociology, the Fort Erie Native Friendship Centre, Southern Ontario Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative (SOADI), Positive Living Niagara, and CUPE 4207.There is free parking for all these events in Brock University’s D-lot.For more information about the Indigenous Solidarity Coalition at Brock University or these upcoming events visit: indigenoussolidaritybrock.wordpress.com or the Facebook pages of the Faceless Dolls Project workshop and the Sisters in Spirit event. read more

Liberia shows the way forward with new transparency law

first_img“A new transparency law signed by President of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, covering oil extraction, mining and other natural resource industries, sets an impressive benchmark for global efforts to fight the natural resource curse and should be emulated by other countries,” says Global Witness – an organisation that exposes the corrupt exploitation of natural resources and international trade systems. Liberia, which is rich in minerals and timber, is rebuilding its economy and society after a savage civil war, partly funded by the embezzlement of timber revenues by President Charles Taylor. The Liberia Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative Act (LEITI Act), passed on July 10, aims to ensure that the benefits due to the government and people of Liberia from the exploitation of natural resources are “verifiably paid or provided… duly accounted for and prudently used for the benefits of all Liberians,” according to Global Witness.“The law is testimony to the reformist spirit of the Government and to Liberian civil society groups who have worked so hard to turn the country’s natural resources from a curse to a blessing.” said Gavin Hayman, Campaigns Director of Global Witness, a long-time supporter of the EITI. The new law stems from the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), a global association of governments, the private sector and civil society groups, which works for the public disclosure of revenue payments to governments by oil, gas and mining companies. Such payments have often been kept secret in the past, making it impossible for citizens of countries rich in natural resources to ensure that the money is used for the public good.“With this new law, Liberia has gone far beyond the basic requirements of the EITI to produce a strong and comprehensive regulation which can be a model for other countries,” says Hayman.  “Now the Government needs to show that it can set high standards not only in its legislation, but also in its day to day oversight of the country’s natural resource industries. An early test will be its handling of four 25 year contracts to log Liberia’s forests, due to be awarded later this month.” The Act, which covers forests and rubber as well as oil and mining, will ensure that all payments to the state by natural resource companies will be fully disclosed on a company-by-company basis.  The Act will also promote the disclosure of the contracts and licences held by natural resource companies and ensure regular reviews to ensure that such contracts have been awarded in accordance with the law. This is particularly important given allegations of corruption surrounding a number of recent natural resource contracts and concerns about the track records of some of the companies in the running to win new logging deals. According to Global Witness, “the LEITI Act sets a new benchmark for transparency because of its wide scope and clarity about what needs to be disclosed: in most countries that implement the EITI, this process is voluntary, which makes it vulnerable if the government loses interest in the process or is replaced by another. There is a similar EITI law in Nigeria but it does not have such strong and clear provisions about the transparency of contracts or reviews of the way that contracts are awarded.”Global Witness exposes the corrupt exploitation of natural resources and international trade systems, to drive campaigns that end impunity, resource-linked conflict, and human rights and environmental abuses. Global Witness was co-nominated for the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize for its leading work on ‘conflict diamonds’ and awarded the Gleitsman Foundation prize for international activism in 2005. www.globalwitness.orglast_img read more

Mining hydraulics supplier Hyspec acquired by Manuli division

first_imgFluiconnecto by Manuli, a division of Manuli Rubber Industries (MRI), has acquired 51% of the shares of the Hyspec Mining Services Group, which has operations in seven sub-Saharan African countries and its headquarters in Australia. This new partnership is founded on a 16-year, single source supply relationship and according to the statement, “future proofs the service delivery model, bringing together the best products, people and global distribution networks.”Hyspec Mining Services Group of companies, with a projected $35 million of sales in 2012, is focussed on providing replacement hydraulics parts and service equipment to the mining and exploration industry across Africa. Hyspec has a large purchasing and logistics centre in Perth, Western Australia, with operational central warehouses in Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso, Tanzania and Zambia, where it operates through more than 50 wholly owned mine site based service points. The relationship provides Hyspec’s customers with direct access to Manuli’s highly skilled technicians and engineers, who operate from five global Innovation Centres, and are focussed on the “continuous development of new technologies and integrated mine-site solutions.”Fluiconnecto By Manuli, is a leading international service organisation, focused on high pressure fluid connectors, providing products and application knowledge, as well as maintenance services to all market segments, through a global network tailored to local conditions. Following this acquisition, Fluiconnecto by Manuli, already a market leader in maintenance services in South Africa and Botswana, will enhance its position as “a leading service provider to the mining industry throughout the African continent.” With Hyspec on board, the Fluiconnecto By Manuli Group will now operate a network of over 200 fully owned service points in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, South America and the Asia Pacific region.last_img read more

Prehistoric Indian Ocean minicontinent found

first_imgSCIENTISTS SAID TODAY they had found traces of a micro-continent hidden underneath the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius.The slab, dubbed Mauritia, was probably formed around 61-83 million years ago after Madagascar split from India, but eventually broke up and became smothered by thick lava deposits, they said.In a study published in the journal Nature Geoscience, scientists analysed beach sand on Mauritius that contained ancient zircons between 660 million and about two billion years old.Remarkable findThe minute chips of mineral were a remarkable find, as they were buried in sand formed only recently in geological terms – from nine-million-year-old volcanic rock.“The zircon points to the existence of fragments of an ancient micro-continent beneath the island (Mauritius), pieces of which were brought to the surface by recent volcanic activity,” said a Nature statement.The Indian Ocean floor may be littered with hidden land fragments that broke off as the once super-continent Pangea split up and formed the continents we know today, the paper suggests.Pangea began to rift about 200 million years ago, yielding Gondwana in the south and Laurasia in the north. Gondwana in turn split into Madagascar, Australia, Antarctica and India between 80 and 130 million years ago.The new study suggests that Mauritia became detached when Madagascar and India split up. The Seychelles, it adds, could be like Mauritia – another continental fragment that, however, is visible.- © AFP, 2013last_img read more

BAHAMAS Olympians at BAISS

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Bahamas, February 19, 2018 – Nassau – Olympians Pauline Davis Rolle and Shaunae Miller Uibo were at BAISS today at the National Stadium.  Also pictured at the track and field competition are Cabinet Ministers Jeffrey Lloyd and Michael Pintard.(BIS Photos/Derek Smith) Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:last_img

Deschamps Mbappes injury is not serious

first_imgFrance coach Didier Deschamps downplayed the seriousness of Kylian Mbappe’s shoulder injury from Tuesday’s 1-0 friendly win over UruguayThe teenage superstar was forced to withdraw on the 36th-minute in Paris after landing awkwardly on his right side from a collision with Martin Campana.Mbappe was seen clutching his painful shoulder as he entered the tunnels, but reappeared later on at the French bench.Now Deschamps revealed that injury doesn’t appear to be a serious one, although Mbappe will still take tests this morning to determine the full extent of the damage.“He had a shoulder pain after his fall and he has to take exams on Wednesday morning,” said Deschamps, according to Goal.“But there is no particular concern.Opinion: Neymar will earn respect back from the PSG fans Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 14, 2019 After completing his incredible return to Parc des Princes, we predict that Neymar will earn the respect back from PSG supporters.The situation between Neymar…“There was a shock, a pain, but I do not think there was any twisting or tear.”Olivier Giroud scored a 52nd-minute penalty to give France the win on Tuesday.Kylian Mbappé now forced off with a shoulder injury during tonight’s friendly between France & Uruguay. Liverpool’s lucky evening so far. (Image | YS) pic.twitter.com/L4iXobwKgH— Get French Football News (@GFFN) November 20, 2018last_img read more

Study to Assess Conflicts between Biloxi Keesler AFB

first_imgThe city of Biloxi, Miss., will sponsor a study of the impact of growth on Keesler Air Force Base that will be funded through a $214,000 grant from DOD’s Office of Economic Adjustment, Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) announced Thursday.The Mississippi Development Authority is providing $23,000 in matching funds for the joint land use study, which will identify ways to limit development that is incompatible with the mission of Keesler. The 24-month study will consider issues such as height, density, encroachment, noise abatement and other factors that could interfere with activities at the installation.The Gulf Regional Planning Commission will oversee the study; other participants include the city of D’Iberville and Harrison County. The commission plans to request proposals from qualified planners in November, reported the Sun Herald. Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more

Home minister shirks responsibility to DMP

first_imgAsaduzzaman KhanHome minister Asaduzzaman Khan on Tuesday said the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) would decide whether BNP will get permission for holding its planned rally at Suhrawardy Udyan in the city on 29 March, reports UNB. “If our [DMP] police commissioner thinks there’s no apprehension of anything bad on 29 March, he’ll grant permission for the rally. This is his duty,” he said while briefing reporters at the secretariat after a meeting with a BNP delegation.A three-member BNP team, led by its standing committee member Nazrul Islam Khan, met the minister to seek his assistance regarding permission for their rally.Read more: BNP hopes to get 29 March rally permissionThe minister said the BNP delegation urged him to consider the matter. “I’ll surely discuss it with the authorities concerned. I’ll ask them whether there’s any problem in granting the permission,” he said.Responding to a query, Asaduzzaman said BNP got permission to hold a rally last year. “But they haven’t got permission yet for the rally this year. There might be intelligence information that there’s security concern.”Mentioning that the DMP commissioner has some responsibilities to ensure so that BNP can hold its rally properly and safely, he said that’s why he asked for changing the rally venue.He said DMP may permit BNP to hold its rally if it changes the schedule and venue. “It’s our duty to ensure security of the people so that no untoward situation is created.”Over the BNP allegation that its female leaders are being harassed and arrested, the minister denied the allegation, saying no one is held arbitrarily. “Only those who face specific charges are being arrested.”He, however, said he will talk to the authorities concerned so that no female BNP leader is arrested without any specific charge.Asaduzzaman said BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia is enjoying all the facilities as per the jail code and the BNP leaders have no allegation in this regard.last_img read more

Myanmar cardinal urges Pope to avoid use of term Rohingya

first_imgMyanmar’s most senior Catholic prelate has urged Pope Francis to avoid using the term ‘Rohingya’ during a visit this month, when he is expected to raise the humanitarian crisis faced by the Muslim minority after a Myanmar army offensive in August.The pope is set to visit largely Buddhist Myanmar from Nov. 27 to Nov. 30, before going to Bangladesh, a predominantly Muslim neighbour where more than 600,000 Rohingya have fled to take shelter in refugee camps.In the first visit by a pope to Myanmar, Francis will meet Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel peace laureate who leads a civilian administration that is less than two years old, the generals it has to share power with, as well as leading Buddhist monks.Cardinal Charles Maung Bo told Reuters the pope would raise the need to provide assistance to the Muslim minority, saying, “These are people who are suffering and these are the people in need of help now.”Francis has used the term Rohingya when he has spoken about their suffering in the recent past. But Suu Kyi has asked foreign leaders not to use the term Rohingya, because in her view it is inflammatory.Bo, appointed by Pope Francis in 2015 as Myanmar’s first and only cardinal, said church leaders in the country had advised him to sidestep the divisive issue of the name.“We have asked him at least to refrain from using the word ‘Rohingya’ because this word is very much contested and not acceptable by the military, nor the government, nor the people in Myanmar,” Bo said in an interview in Yangon.It was unclear if the pope would heed the advice, Bo added, but if he did so, it would not be to politicise the issue or endorse the Rohingya right to Myanmar citizenship, “but he just wants to identify this particular group who call themselves ‘Rohingya’.”Many people in Myanmar regard the largely stateless Rohingya as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, and they are excluded from the 135 “national races” recognised by law.Regardless of Myanmar’s sensitivities, however, the United Nations and United States continue to call them Rohingya, upholding their right to self-identify.IMPORTANCE OF DIALOGUEFrancis will highlight the importance of resolving the refugee crisis through dialogue between Myanmar and Bangladesh and with the help of the international community, Bo added.Myanmar has said Rohingya who can prove they were resident would be allowed to return, but the two countries have still to agree how the repatriation should be carried out.“These are the people who do not enjoy the citizenship and are somewhat unwanted in both countries,” said Bo, referring to Myanmar and Bangladesh.“They are also human beings, they have a human face and they also need human dignity, so eliminating or killing any one of them, that’s not justified…,” Bo said, referring to the group as “our brothers and sisters”.Francis will celebrate a mass in Yangon that is expected to draw around 200,000 people, Bo said, adding that Buddhists, Muslims, and those of other faiths were welcome to attend.Myanmar has about 700,000 Roman Catholics, said Bo, from among a population of more than 51 million.The United Nations has denounced the violence in Myanmar’s northwest over the past 10 weeks as a textbook example of ethnic cleansing, a charge Suu Kyi’s administration has denied, while saying accusations of rights abuses should be investigated.Myanmar’s military says its counter-insurgency clearance operation was provoked by Rohingya militants’ attacks on about 30 security posts on Aug. 25.In the following days, the pope spoke about “the persecution of our Rohingya brothers and sisters” and asked Catholics to pray for them, adding that they should be given “their full rights”.last_img read more

Economic Index Shows 15th Slow Month With Some Bright Spots

first_imgThe Houston PMI, as reported by area supply chain leaders, rose from its February level of 44.5 to 45.9 in March. Readings below 50 generally indicate coming contraction.“It absolutely is further indication of contraction,” said Ross Harvison, the ISM Houston Business Survey committee chair. “It’s not surprising to me that we’re seeing people cancelling projects that are not already under construction. The office space that has been built is more than we’re going to need as we continue in this downturn that we’re seeing.”  A development firm that had plans for a 16-story office tower in Midtown on Louisiana has decided to cancel that project, and is now considering leasing the property or developing condos.Despite continued contraction of the Purchasing Managers Index, Harvison says there are some bright spots.“We continue to strength within the healthcare sector. The Houston area has a lot of very strong medical facilities and people are continuing to come to the Houston area for the higher-end healthcare, and that continues to show within our numbers.”  Oil and gas exploration continues to cause the greatest concern for the near-term growth of the Houston economy. Share X 00:00 /01:20 To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Listenlast_img read more

Baytown Steel Manufacturer Exemption Request Denied

first_img To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: 00:00 /11:35 Share When the Trump administration imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, Baytown steel manufacturer Borusan Mannesman requested a two year exemption so it could build a second factory in Baytown and stop importing green tube from its parent company in Turkey.To try to stand out among the thousands of other companies pursuing similar “Section 232 exclusions,” workers at the company wrote postcards to President Trump, Governor Abbott, and other politicians including Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn.In the audio above, Houston Matters’ host Craig Cohen talked with Joel Johnson, CEO of Baytown steel manufacturer Borusan Mannesman, about his reaction after receiving a reply from the White House denying the exemptions and what–if any–other options they will pursue.center_img X Florian MartinEmployees of Baytown steel pipe manufacturer Borusan Mannesmann write postcards to President Trump asking for exception to steel tariffs Listenlast_img read more

RIP Drogo Jason Momoa Shaves Beard to Inspire Change

first_img Jason Momoa Joins Cast of ‘Dune’ Sci-Fi RebootAmazon Baits Prime Customers With Advanced ‘Aquaman’ Screening Stay on target Drastic times call for drastic measures: Jason Momoa has shaved his trademark beard in the name of environmentalism.The actor, known as Game of Thrones‘ Khal Drogo and DC’s Aquaman, pruned his face in an effort to raise awareness for aluminum recycling.“Goodbye Drogo! Goodbye Arthur Curry! Goodbye Declan!” he boomed in a video, bidding adieu to some of his famously bearded characters (including Declan Harp of Frontier).Dressed like an escaped convict, Momoa wanders through the desert with an unnamed friend and an electric razor, slowly hacking away at his face as he explains the importance of eliminating plastic waste.“Goodbye Drogo, Aquaman, Declan, Baba!” (via Jason Momoa/YouTube)“I just want to do this to bring awareness that plastics are killing our planet. And I think I have a solution,” he said. “There’s only one thing that will really help our planet, save our planet—as long as we recycle—and that’s aluminum.”Nearly 75 percent of all aluminum ever produced is still in use today, according to the Aluminum Association.The material is 100 percent recyclable and retains its properties indefinitely. Which means today’s Coke can may be tomorrow’s Dr Pepper can, which may be the next day’s Sprite can, and so on.“You drink the can, and in about 60 days it’ll be back,” Momoa said, what remains of his 12-year-old beard blowing in the wind.Plastic, on the other hand, is more of a challenge to properly recycle.When different types of plastic polymers are melted together, they tend to phase-separate, like oil and water, creating structural weaknesses in reprocessed products.The two most widely manufactured plastics—polypropylene and polyethylene—behave this way, which limits their utility for recycling.So while you may feel good about tossing that empty water bottle into a blue bin, it would ultimately be more helpful if that bottle were actually a can.“Water in cans, NOT plastic” (via Jason Momoa/YouTube)Momoa is leading by example, showing off his own product: a line of still, alkaline, sparkling, and spring water in a pull-tab can.“It’s just water, but I feel good about it,” he said in the video.“Aquaman’s trying to do the best he can,” the clean-shaven actor said. “For my kids, for your kids, for the world.”More on Geek.com:Ralph Lauren’s New ‘Earth Polo’ Is Made With Recycled Plastic BottlesDead Whale Found With 80 Pounds of Plastic Bags In Its StomachSquid Protein Could Be an Eco-Friendly Alternative to Plasticslast_img read more

IRCTC to launch semiluxury trains on desert heritage trips

first_imgIndian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited is gearing up to launch two premier train services that will unveil the charm of the country’s sprawling deserts and eclectic heritage before its travellers. Both semi-luxury trains will depart from New Delhi with an array of deluxe facilities across its five days of round trip dotted with sightseeing facilities, an IRCTC release said here on Tuesday.”Desert Circuit” will cover Rajasthan’s famed cities of Jaisalmer and Jaipur, while “Heritage Circuit” will take the passengers to Varanasi, Khajuraho and Agra. Operated by IRCTC, the ‘mini ratna’ PSU of the Railways, the two trains will run eight trips individually till summer sets in upcountry by next April, it said. Desert Circuit will begin service from mid-December 2015 and wind up on April 21, while Heritage Circuit will commence on December 20. Its last trip will start on April 24. Also Read – Punjab & Sind Bank cuts MCLR by up to 20 basis points”Now that the tourist season is on, we expect good occupancy. The tariff for the journey is competitive as well as all-inclusive,” IRCTC Chairman and Managing Director Dr A K Manocha said. The package prices of Desert Circuit are: Rs 36,900, Rs 33,900, Rs 32,900 (first AC single, double and triple occupancy, respectively), Rs 28,025, Rs 25025, Rs 24,525 (second AC) and Rs 24,125, Rs 21,125, Rs 20,625 (third AC), the statement said. As for Heritage Circuit, the rates will be Rs 35,900, Rs 32,900, Rs 31,900 (first AC single, double and triple occupancy), Rs 26,200, Rs 23,200, Rs 22,700 (second AC) and Rs 21,790, Rs 18,790, Rs 18, 290 (third AC), it said. Also Read – ‘The great gold bull market has begun’The package, which includes intercity transfers, also features stay in three-star hotels, all meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner), sightseeing, local transfers by AC deluxe vehicles, entrances at the monuments, service of English/Hindi speaking guide, travel insurance, 24×7 security and CCTV surveillance on board the train, besides hygienic kitchen-car facility, medical facility, transport by AC vehicles and wi-fi internet service.The Jaisalmer stop of the Desert Circuit will cover the city Fort, sand dunes, Gadisagar lake and Palwaon Ki Haveli. At Jaipur, the sights shown will be City Palace, Jantar Mantar observatory, Chokhi Dhani, Amer Fort and Hawa Mahal, it said. The Heritage Circuit will, at Varanasi, take passengers to Sarnath, besides a boat ride on the Ganges and experiencing the dusk-time ‘aarti’ ceremony.last_img read more

Pioneer of Bengali science fiction Adrish Bardhan no more

first_imgKolkata: Adrish Bardhan, science fiction writer, translator and editor died at the age of 87 at the Nilratana Sarkar Medical College and Hospital on Monday night.He was suffering from age-related problems and admitted to the hospital where he breathed his last on Monday night. Bardhan was born in Kolkata and graduated in science from Calcutta University. He started his career as a purchase manager. He resigned from his job and started writing detective stories and science fictions. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataHis creation of detective Indranath Rudra and women detective Narayani and Professor Nut Boltu Chakra got huge popularity among the readers. Bardhan translated many English fictions and detective stories. In 1963, he edited Ascharya, the first science fiction magazine in India. Later, he was the Editor of Fantastic, another science fiction magazine. Because of his inimitable style of writing Bardhan became a popular science fiction writer. He drew the attention of Bengali readers particularly the youngsters who fell in love with his detective stories. He was one of the pioneers in the field of science fiction writing in vernacular in India. He will be remembered for many years because of his lucid language. He was associated with many science clubs. He was awarded Kishore Gyan Bigyan Puroskar and Sudhindranath Raha puroskar for his contribution in Bengali science fiction.last_img read more