Abilities Foundation reaches out to Persons with Disabilities

first_imgImproving employment opportunities by forging links with national agencies for further training and job enhancement, is the aim of the Abilities Foundation, as they continue to reach out to persons with disabilities. Administered by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MLSS) since 1992, the Foundation currently caters for 66 students, ranging from 17 to 65 years, with challenges, such as hearing and visual impairments, and physical and intellectual disabilities. Guidance Counsellor at the Foundation, Coral Mason, informs that the facility is committed to providing quality vocational education to persons with disabilities, enabling them to function as creative and productive citizens in the society. “The courses that we offer at the Foundation are garment construction, furniture making, general office administration, ornamental horticulture, landscaping, and data operation,” she tells JIS News. She points out that the programmes offered are a joint initiative between the Ministry and the HEART Trust/NTA, after which a National Vocational Qualification of Jamaica (NVQJ) certificate is issued at the end of each course. Miss Mason adds that the HEART Trust provides a small stipend of $250 for each student on a weekly basis. She explains that students are assessed before they are enrolled at the Foundation, to determine the appropriate course to be undertaken. “When the students come in, they are required to sit an entry test at the Grade Four level, which determines the level they are at. If they perform well on the examination, they are then tested at the Grade Nine level, which entails reasoning, Mathematics and English Language. Students at this level undertake the more theoretical courses, such as data operation, and office administration,” she notes.                                                                   Highlighting the Motto, ‘Opportunity… Not Charity’, Miss Mason says the aim is to equip students with the required skills, so that on completion of their course, they can find their place in society. “What we are doing is helping them to prepare for the future. But some of them are unable to do so because of financial constraints. So, we would really love if corporate Jamaica could partner with us to help them,” she appeals. Miss Mason tells JIS News that most of the students are from poor economic backgrounds, and just want the opportunity to acquire a skill, so that they can support themselves. “We would really love to get some subsidy to help needy students with travelling expenses, especially those travelling from Manchester, Clarendon, and St. Mary. We know that there are many others living in other parishes who would really love to come into the facility, but it is too expensive for them to travel so far,” she notes. She says the Foundation is grateful for the tremendous support from the Jamaica Council for Persons with Disabilities (JCPD) and the Kiwanis Club which, over the years, have rendered financial assistance to several students. “We have received a number of scholarships and subsidies from both the JCPD and the Kiwanis Club for some of our students, to aid with their school fees. They have also assisted us with wheelchairs and hearing aids, which help to facilitate the learning process for some students,” she tells JIS News. Miss Mason says outside of the courses offered, counselling support is provided to students, because most of them lack self-esteem for numerous reasons. “We have small counselling sessions weekly, where social workers and guidance counsellors interact and teach the students good work ethics. This session also facilitates the process of social and emotional re-adjustment, to ensure effective integration into the wider society,” she explains.            She points out that while funding remains a challenge, the Foundation is seeking to open a library, and offer additional courses, such as computer service technician, food preparation, music production, and customer service. She points out that applicants who wish to register at the Foundation are required to pay a fee of $20,000 annually, and have their National Insurance Scheme (NIS) card, Tax Registration Number (TRN), and birth certificate to complete the process. “If prospective students do not have the relevant documents, we help them to obtain such documents, and try to seek financial assistance for those in dire need,” she says. When students get enrolled, they are provided with a special identification card from the Jamaica Council for Persons with Disabilities, which is used to access benefits such as the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) bus pass service, and other welfare privileges. Miss Mason tells JIS News that much more needs to be done to ensure that persons with disabilities are included in the economic, civil and political processes of the country. She is appealing to organisations and individuals that can help, to call the Abilities Foundation at 969-5720 or 924-6619.last_img read more

Eurotankers Buys Second-Hand VLCC from MOL

first_imgzoom Greek shipping company Eurotankers has expanded its fleet of Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs) with a 2003-built tanker purchased from Japan’s shipping company Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd (MOL).According to data provided by VesselsValue, the second-hand vessel Kaminesan was bought for a price of USD 28.3 million, below the tanker’s market value of USD 30.3 million.Featuring a length of 332 meters and a width of 60 meters, the ship has a deadweight of 303,900 tons.The vessel, which was built by a Japanese shipyard, is currently moored in the Persian Gulf, according to the latest AIS data provided by Marine Traffic.Eurotankers has a fleet of eight Post-panamax, Suezmax, LR2, and Aframax tankers and three Handysize bulk carriers, with a total capacity of over 900,000 dwt.World Maritime News Stafflast_img read more

Boeing faces challenge to prove harm from CSeries says US think tank

first_imgMONTREAL – Boeing Co. appears to face an uphill climb to prove to U.S. trade authorities that has been harmed by Bombardier’s CSeries commercial jet given that the world’s largest aircraft maker is running full out and earning big profits, a trade expert with the Cato Institute said Thursday.The U.S. Department of Commerce recently announced nearly 300 per cent in preliminary tariffs and dumping duties on CSeries aircraft exported to the United States. The rate could be lowered in a final determination in December.The future of Boeing’s case largely rests with the U.S. International Trade Commission, which is scheduled to determine in February if the aerospace giant suffered harm.“If the evidence doesn’t show that Boeing was injured by this, then the whole case disappears,” said Simon Lester, a trade policy analyst for the Washington-based independent research organization the Cato Institute.Without that ruling, Boeing’s trade challenge could face years of legal appeals.Trade investigators typically examine a series of factors to determine harm, including actual and potential declines in sales, market share, profits, employment, wages and ability to raise capital, Lester said.“Boeing is doing pretty well right now on all of these and so it’s not a great time to prove injury,” he said in a conference call hosted by Desjardins Capital Markets.“Usually you get more of these cases in times of recession where companies can say: ‘look how badly we are doing’. But as Donald Trump keeps telling us, the economy is booming right now so maybe it’s a little harder for Boeing to prove its case.”Chicago-based Boeing (NYSE:BA) recently raised its earnings forecast for the year as it has a backlog of 5,700 commercial planes on order, valued at US$424 billion.Several industry analysts are puzzled about Boeing’s claim of harm since the CSeries hasn’t yet entered the U.S. market and Boeing doesn’t even make a competitive product in the 100- to 120-seat size.The motivation for Boeing’s complaint is unclear, Lester said. It could be trying to force Bombardier (TSX:BBD.B) to raise the price of the CSeries, forestall a larger version of the plane or create a precedent to prevent China from following down this path in a decade or two.Delta signed a deal for up to 125 CS100s in 2016. The firm order for 75 aircraft had a list price of US$5.6 billion or about US$75 million each, although large orders typically secure steep discounts. Deliveries were scheduled to begin in the spring.Bombardier has denied Boeing’s claim that Delta paid less than US$20 million for each CS100 that cost US$33 million to produce.The trade dispute has gained lots of attention with Canada threatening to cancel the planned purchase of 18 Boeing Super Hornets to temporarily augment Canada’s aging fleet of CF-18s.Canadian Environment Minister Catherine McKenna said the issue of Bombardier came up Thursday when she met with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar in Dublin.Ireland and Great Britain are concerned about the impact on the Northern Ireland economy and the fragile peace in the long-troubled region from potential Bombardier job losses and McKenna said Canada has support from Ireland in the battle.“They are very supportive of Bombardier,” she said. “They have been sending messages to the U.S. administration that they need to find a positive resolution at this because there are jobs at stake but beyond jobs there is the political situation in the north at stake.”Bombardier employs more than 4,000 people at its factory in Belfast, including almost 1,000 who make wings for the CSeries. McKenna said another 11,000 people are employed indirectly because of Bombardier, which also represents one-tenth of Northern Ireland’s manufacturing exports.last_img read more

Iran jails British Council staff 10 yrs for spying for England

first_imgTehran: An Iranian woman who worked for the British Council was sentenced to 10 years in prison for “spying”, the judiciary’s news website Mizan Online reported Monday, sparking concern in London. “An Iranian citizen in charge of the Iran desk at the… British Council was cooperating with English spying agencies,” Mizan reported, quoting judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili. He did not identify the suspect, but said she had been sentenced recently after she “made a straightforward confession”. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince Salman ‘snubbed’ Pak PM Imran, recalled his private jet from US: ReportEsmaili added that the suspect, who had been tasked with drawing up and managing cultural “infiltration” projects, had been arrested by Iranian intelligence and security agencies “more than a year ago”. The United Kingdom’s foreign ministry voiced concern over the sentence. “We are very concerned by reports that an Iranian British Council employee has been sentenced to jail on charges of espionage,” a spokesperson for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office told AFP. Also Read – Iraq military admits ‘excessive force’ used in deadly protests”British Embassy officials in Tehran are in touch with the Iranian government to seek further information.” The British Council is a cultural and educational organisation with branches around the world, but according to its website it is not “physically preset” in Iran. Iranian authorities shut down the British Council more than a decade ago for what Esmaili described as “illegal activities”. Esmaili said that during her confession, the suspect described how she had been recruited, telling investigators about the instructions she had been given by “the English security agency”. The spokesman said that she was “an Iranian student who wanted to live and work in the UK”, was hired by the British Council and “repeatedly travelled to Iran under aliases… and made connections with artistic and theatre groups”. A London-based British Council employee was arrested in Iran in 2018 during a trip to visit relatives. It was not immediately clear if she was the person sentenced on Monday. The sentencing comes amid tensions between Iran and Britain over the fate of British-Iranian mother Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe who was arrested by Iranian authorities in 2016 as she was leaving Tehran. Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who worked for the Thomson Reuters Foundation, was put on trial and is now serving a five-year jail sentence for allegedly trying to topple the Iranian government.last_img read more

Trump Releases Statement Defending Saudi Arabia on Khashoggi

Rabat – The president’s remarkable 633-word statement, issued Tuesday, defies reports by the CIA that emerged last week, which concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) was most likely culpable for the death of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi. Khashoggi was last seen walking into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2. Shortly after he entered, Khashoggi was killed and dismembered by a 15-man Saudi hit squad who flew in Turkey from Riyadh the same day he was to visit the consulate. In connection with the slaying, Saudi prosecutors have indicted 11 defendants and are seeking the death penalty for five of them. Trump’s statement begins with a single sentence proclaiming, “The world is a dangerous place!” He then opens with passages comparing Saudi Arabia and Iran’s relationships with the United States. Trump places the blame for Yemen’s catastrophic civil war squarely at Iran’s feet, stating, “Saudi Arabia would gladly withdraw from Yemen if the Iranians would agree to leave.” Read Also: President Trump Refuses to Listen to Audio of Khashoggi KillingReporters at the New York Times claim Trump dictated the blustering statement himself, a reflection of his “deeply held views” about Riyadh’s role in the administration’s foreign policy goals for the Middle East. He went on to praise the Saudis pledge to invest billions of dollars to counter “radical Islamic terrorism,” a phrase used frequently by Trump. Beyond a strategic alliance, Trump praised the Saudis promised investments in US weapons and the American economy at large. He specifically cited $110 billion of arms sales to manufacturers such as Raytheon and Boeing, a number which analysts contacted by the Times disputed. “Economists and military analysts said those numbers were so exaggerated as to be fanciful.”Since Trump has taken office, the Saudis have not concluded a single arms deal with the US.The president left open the possibility that MBS may have had direct knowledge of the plan to kill Khashoggi before it happened. “It could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event – maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!” Trump wrote. He added, “We may never know.” He then went on to state Riyadh’s importance to the US superseded the death of Khashoggi, who was a permanent US resident. “In any case, our relationship is with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. They have been a great ally in our very important fight against Iran. The United States intends to remain a steadfast partner of Saudi Arabia to ensure the interests of our country, Israel and all other partners in the region.”The statement blindsided lawmakers on both sides of the aisle in Washington D.C., and was condemned widely by human rights organizations. Even Trump’s close allies expressed disagreement. “The behavior of the crown prince — in multiple ways — has shown disrespect for the relationship and made him, in my view, beyond toxic,” said Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, a frequent golf partner of the president. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee sent a bipartisan letter to Trump demanding his administration determine conclusively MBS’s role in the death of Khashoggi. With outrage being expressed in equal measure by both Republicans and Democrats, there is a possibility that Congress may pass further sanctions on Saudi Arabia, with enough votes that the president may not be able to veto. Last week the administration announced financial and travel restrictions on those originally arrested by Saudi Arabia. read more

How to Train Your Dragon tops Oscar weekend with 555M

LOS ANGELES — “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” breathed some fire into a slumping box office with a franchise-best $55.5 million debut during the Oscar weekend.Writer-director Dean DeBlois’ third and supposedly final installment in the “How to Train Your Dragon” series notched the best opening of the year in U.S. and Canadian theatres.Going into the weekend, overall ticket sales for 2019 were down 18 per cent.Last week’s top film, “Alita: Battle Angel,” dropped steeply in its second weekend with $12 million.That’s a slide of 58 per cent, and further trouble for the big-budget sci-fi release from producer James Cameron.The professional wrestling dramedy “Fighting With My Family” was the only other new film in wide release.It grossed a modest $8 million despite cameos from producer Dwayne Johnson.Jake Coyle, The Associated Press read more

Latin America and the Caribbean is worlds most unequal region UN report

“This inequality is persistent, self-perpetuating in areas where social mobility is low and it poses an obstacle to progress in human development,” UNDP said in its first Development Report for Latin America and the Caribbean, entitled Acting On The Future: Breaking The Intergenerational Cycle Of Inequality.Ten of the 15 most unequal countries in the world are in the region, according to the report, which was released on Friday. The report also finds that it is possible to reduce inequality through the implementation of public policies that lift the region out of the inequality trap.The policies must have an impact on people, address the set of constraints that perpetuate poverty and inequality, and empower people to feel they are in charge of their development destinies, according to the report.“This report reaffirms the critical importance of the fight against poverty, while indicating that it is necessary to go further,” said UNDP Regional Director Heraldo Muñoz. “Inequality is inherently an impediment to progress in the area of human development, and efforts to reduce inequality must be explicitly mainstreamed in the public agenda,” he said.For UNDP “equality is instrumental in ensuring meaningful liberties; that is to say, in terms of helping all people to share in meaningful life options so that they can make autonomous choices,” he added.Women, indigenous populations and those of African descent are the groups hardest hit by inequality. Women in the region are paid less than men for the same work, they have a greater presence in the informal economy and they face a double workload, the UNDP report pointed out. Compared to those of European descent, twice as many members of indigenous and African descended populations, on average, live on $1 per day.“Inequality is a source of social vulnerability. For that reason, as the report shows, it’s critical to advance knowledge of the factors explaining inequality in human development in Latin America and the Caribbean and its persistence from one generation to the next,” said Rebeca Grynspan, UNDP’s Associate Administrator.“That would allow the proposal of a strong framework for development of targeted policies that drive a more equality-based development,” she added.According to the report, the most common public policies in the region have focused on specific aspects of combating poverty without considering the deep-seated nature of deprivation and its systemic relationship to inequality. It also shows that income and education levels are some of the factors responsible for continuing inequality in human development.There are also structural causes of political and social origin that reflect historical factors of social inequality, including lack of equal opportunity and lack of empowerment that result in marginalization, oppression, and domination.“The success of government action depends on the deployment of information like that offered in the report. Continuity of inequality across generations presents us with a critical factor in human development, one that demands our special attention,” said the President of Costa Rica, Laura Chinchilla, who presided over the launch of the report in San José with Ms. Grynspan and Mr. Muñoz.“This report highlights that inequality in itself is a concern. We must therefore make it an issue and a policy matter in the development agenda of the region and its countries. It is our obligation that the fruits of development contribute to the general well-being and not only to that of a few,” the President added. 26 July 2010Populations in Latin America and the Caribbean have the world’s highest levels of differences in wealth and income, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) says in a new report that calls for social policies which tackle the problem of inequality in the region. read more

Fighting poverty in Guatemala is key to success of peace process Annan

Drawing attention to the “lack of equity in employment opportunities, lack of gender equity, ethnic discrimination, lack of access to basic services,” the Secretary-General says resolving these matters is the basic prerequisite for guaranteeing peace and “eliminating the considerable potential for conflict that still characterizes Guatemalan society.” The Government, Mr. Annan writes, must demonstrate its political will to implement the commitments it made under the peace agreements, which will ensure the irreversibility of the process and help restore public confidence by allowing citizens to enjoy the benefits of peace. The authorities must also mobilize greater national resources for the implementations of the agreements – for example by increasing tax collections – and strengthen a number of forums that were created by the peace agreements and still have a central role to play. The reform of the judicial system and State intelligence agencies, as well as the transformation of the armed forces and the integration of indigenous professionals in the administration of justice, are other areas where more rapid progress is needed, according to the report. Turning to the role of the international community, the Secretary-General calls for an increase in technical cooperation with institutions set up as part of the peace process. “All those institutions must be strengthened, especially in the country’s interior where it is more urgent that the effects of peace should be felt and where they should be more tangible,” the report states. read more

Middle East senior UN official briefs Security Council on IsraeliPalestinian talks other

“We have now reached a decisive point. The test will be for both sides to go the distance and not disappoint their people,” Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, told the 15-member Council. “The Secretary-General [Ban Ki-moon] and the United Nations, including with the Quartet, will continue to bring all possible support to their efforts,” he stressed.Mr. Ban visited Israel and the Palestinian Authority on 15 and 16 August to show his support for the restart of direct negotiations. He has stressed his full support for direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, and voiced the hope that this year will be a decisive one for peace in the Middle East.Today’s second round of formal talks is taking place in the West Bank city of Jericho, Mr. Fernandez-Taranco said. He added that the diplomatic Quartet on the Middle East peace process intends to “meet soon” to discuss next steps and reiterated its 30 July statement welcoming the resumption of discussions and shared commitment to helping the parties achieve a negotiated two-State solution within the agreed timeframe.Mr. Fernandez-Taranco noted that Israeli authorities had implemented a number of measures aimed at easting access for Palestinians from the rest of the West Bank to East Jerusalem during Ramadan.“Though limited, such measures represent important steps forward at this crucial moment in the political process,” he said, noting that Mr. Ban was encouraged by indications from the Israeli authorities of additional planned measures to further ease restrictions on Palestinian movement and access, whether of people or goods. He added that Mr. Ban remained deeply troubled by Israel’s containing settlement activity in the West Bank, following a recent announcement that some 2,000 housing units have been approved.“The position of the United Nations on settlements being against international law remains firm,” said Mr. Fernandez-Taranco. “Settlement activity deepens mistrust, undermines efforts to advance peace and will ultimately render a two-state solution impossible.”He also stressed the importance of Gaza in the resumed peace process and reiterated the UN’s calls on the Hamas de facto authorities to not hamper efforts to achieve a two-state solution.Turning to Syria, Mr. Fernandez-Taranco stressed that Mr. Ban’s position remains unchanged, “There is no military solution to this conflict.”Technical preparations for an international conference on Syria led by Russia and the United States “are almost complete”, the senior UN official said. “We continue to do our best to endeavour that the Geneva Conference takes place as soon as possible.”He called on the international community to remain committed to this process and to contribute to its success, “in word and in action.”He added that in the absence of a political solution, humanitarian needs are growing “by the minute, and outpacing our efforts to respond.” Mr. Fernandez-Taranco also noted that Mr. Ban remains gravely concerned about reports of alleged use of chemical weapons in the country, even as a UN technical team is conducting its activity in Syria.The Assistant Secretary-General also noted that the situation in the Golan remains volatile with intense shelling and heavy clashes between Syrian armed forces and armed members of the opposition. The Syrian crisis continues to affect Lebanon’s stability, Mr. Fernandez-Taranco told the Council, especially in the border areas which have recently been struck by rocket fire. As for the ongoing volatile situation in Egypt, he said the latest incident in the Sinai Peninsula yesterday had brought alarming news of an ambush on two minibuses, which killed 25 Egyptian police officers. The Secretary-General condemned the ambush and the United Nations hopes that that the perpetrators will be swiftly identified and brought to justice. read more

HTC phablet with 1080p display headed to Verizon

first_imgWith the Galaxy Note 2 reportedly on its way very soon, HTC is working away to get its very first phablet (the 6435LVW) into the hands of consumers around the globe. That may be it captured above in a GLBenchmark report, which pegs the new device as running a Qualcomm MSM8960 SoC clocked at 1.5GHz and sporting a full 1080p display.Industry insiders have been whispering for some time about HTC turning out a five-inch tablet — something of a scaled-down Flyer. This time around, however, HTC will probably opt to include the stylus in the box rather than making folks pony up for an optional accessory. Samsung Galaxy Note owners get one right off the bat, after all.What else can be gleaned from the report? For now, the 6435LVW is running Android 4.0.4 and the fact that Verizon’s name is included seems to indicate LTE support, though the MSM8960 can handle HSPA+ as well. This particular chip should also pack an Adreno 320 GPU instead of the 225 seen in many S4 devices. The Adreno 225 was a bit of a stopgap measure while delays in producing the 320 were sorted out, and it offered a modest update over the last-gen Adreno 220. The Adreno 320 also indicates that this is either a dual-core Snapdragon S4 Pro or quad-core APQ8064.As for when the 6435LVW will hit the streets, that much remains a mystery. “Unnamed sources” have told DigiTimes that it’ll launch in either September or October, but those same sources have fed the site plenty of other information that didn’t pan out in the past. Until HTC or Verizon have something to say, don’t mark anything on your calendar just yet.More at Cnet and DigiTimeslast_img read more

Nat Geo photo competition gives us a glimpse of a strange alluring

first_imgNat Geo photo competition gives us a glimpse of a strange, alluring world Which one do you think will come out on top? Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Share33 Tweet Email5 Oct 22nd 2016, 7:30 PM Source: Angiolo Manetti” title=””>Source: Eugene Kitsios” title=””>Source: Pierre Destribats” title=””>Source: Vladislav Kamenski” title=””>Source: Masai Okeda” title=””>Source: Brett Lobwein” title=””>Source: Heidi Ouyang” title=””>Source: Octoyura Bamahry” title=””>Source: Russell Wiltshire” title=””>Source: Brett Monroe Garner” title=””>Source: kousuke kitajima” title=””>Source: Vadim Balakin” title=””>Source: Victor Lima” title=””>Source: Nick Dale nickdalephotography.com” title=””>Source: A. Zelinskiy” title=””> Previous 1 / 15Next Short URL Rooftops http://jrnl.ie/3040075 We’re looking for photos that showcase the awe-inspiring and diverse natural world around us. That could be a powerful wildlife shot, a stunning landscape, or a look at a complicated environmental issue – whatever nature means to you.If you don’t quite get what they mean, here’s a taster of week 7 and 8′s entries: 23,247 Views THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Nature Photographer of the Year contest is attracting the best photographers, the brightest images, and the most extraordinary scenes from around the world.The competition, which began in August and finishes on the 4 November, has four categories: landscape, environmental issues, action and animal portraits. Saturday 22 Oct 2016, 7:30 PM RooftopsA typical roof of an Icelandic house covered with turf. It has the mission to make the most comfortable house during the harshest climate.Source: Angiolo ManettiSandstormAs I was photographing this young grey seal, we both got caught up in a sandstorm.Source: Eugene KitsiosWinterlandAn other world on the top of this hill in Lapland. Snow ghosts are everywhere, we are only visitors. March 2016, Finland Feel free to visit my FB and website: https://www.facebook.com/PierreDestribatsPhoto www.pierredestribats.comSource: Pierre DestribatsDancing in the rainFox caught in action under the rain.Source: Vladislav KamenskiShira-Ito-no-takiPhoto and Caption by Masai Okeda/2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the YearSource: Masai OkedaCrocodile WaterlinePhoto and Caption by Brett Lobwein/2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the YearSource: Brett LobweinIjen VoclanoPhoto and Caption by Heidi Ouyang/2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the YearSource: Heidi OuyangStare into my eyesPhoto and Caption by Octoyura Bamahry/2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the YearSource: Octoyura BamahryAlien LightsPhoto and Caption by Russell Wiltshire/2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the YearSource: Russell WiltshireBubblesPhoto and Caption by Brett Monroe Garner/2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the YearSource: Brett Monroe GarnerMoonlight landscape.Photo and Caption by kousuke kitajima/2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the YearSource: kousuke kitajimaLife and DeathPhoto and Caption by Vadim Balakin/2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the YearSource: Vadim BalakinLaguna TuyajtoPhoto and Caption by Victor Lima/2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the YearSource: Victor LimaAdelie penguin jumping between ice floesPhoto and Caption by Nick Dale/2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the YearSource: Nick Dale nickdalephotography.comCalling the Spirits of OgoiPhoto and Caption by A. Zelinskiy/2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the YearSource: A. Zelinskiy By Gráinne Ní Aodha 13 Comments Previous The grand-prize winner will receive a 10-day trip for two to the Galápagos with National Geographic Expeditions and two 15-minute image portfolio reviews with National Geographic photo editors.The grand prize is a ten-day trip for two to the Galápagos with National Geographic Expeditions.Each category will also feature three winners:• First place: $2,500 (around €2,300)• Second place: $750 (around €690)• Third place: $500 (around €460)With just three weeks left before the competition reaches its end, if you have a few photos that you think could win, send them in here.Read: Can you pick a winner? These incredible animal portraits are competing for National Geographic fameRead: Can you top these? 15 absolutely brilliant early entries to the Nat Geo Nature photo contest Nextlast_img read more

ASA Meets with InterAgency GLI Officials to Discuss Approved Biotech Events Commercial

first_imgASA Washington staff attended a meeting between the USBCA International Working Group and Administration officials who participate in the Global Low Level Presence Initiative (GLI), a multinational government group charged with addressing the adventitious presence of biotech events in commercial shipments. The meeting included representatives of USDA (FAS and APHIS), FDA, EPA, USTR and the State Department.  Several agencies have raised concerns that an LLP which meets commercial needs would be inconsistent with their current policies, which recognize approved biotech events as substantially equivalent to conventional products based on scientific reviews.  ASA and other organizations emphasized that these two goals do not need to conflict, and that commercially-based thresholds are commonly used in international trade, including for the presence of foreign material, grade standards, etc.  The agencies acknowledged the need to address the disconnect between their policies and the need to facilitate trade to avoid market disruptions and a follow-up meeting is expected in January.  The next meeting of the GLI will be held in Guadalajara, Mexico in late March.last_img read more

OBITUARY Eileen Quirke Neville 91

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Eileen Quirke Neville, age 91, a long-time resident of Wilmington, formerly of Arlington, passed away at home on April 30, 2019.Eileen was born in Somerville, MA on July 6, 1927; she was the devoted wife to the late John J. Neville and the cherished daughter of the late Michael and Nellie Quirke. Eileen lived much of her early life amongst family in the home in Arlington where she was raised.She was a graduate of Arlington High School and went on to further her education by earning her bachelor’s degree in education from Salem State Teacher’s College followed by two master’s degrees from Boston University and Tufts University.Eileen was employed for over 30 years as a beloved teacher at the Fiske School in Lexington, MA. She was always willing to go the “extra mile” to help any child in need and took the time to mentor many.Eileen was known to be an avid dancer; she enjoyed going to many dances with her friends and it was at one of her favorite dance halls that she met her future husband John Neville. Eileen and John shared those special dances as a married couple for over 38 years before his passing in 2015. They also looked forward to traveling and seeing new places and spending their winters in Florida.Eileen was warmly welcomed into the “Neville Clan” and soon thereafter became a grandmother to the first of many grandchildren. Eileen loved spending time with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren; she just loved to watch them grow and flourish into wonderful people. She will be fondly remembered and forever missed.Eileen was the dear sister of Mary Remmert of Arlington and the late Paul Quirke, beloved step-mother of Jeanne Mieszczanski & husband Chris of Chelmsford, J. Christopher Neville & wife Carol of Wilmington, Mark Neville & wife Deb of Mashpee, Lauren Desforge & husband Peter of Westford, Brian Neville & wife Donna of Haverhill, Keith Neville & wife Tina of Pittsfield and Gary Neville & wife Lynn of Wilmington. Loving “Grandma” of 13 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. She also shared a deep relationship with her niece and goddaughter Maryellen Remmert-Loud and Maryellen’s son Michael Loud.Family and friends will gather at the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington, on Friday, May 3rd at 10:00 a.m. followed by a Mass of Christian Burial in St. Agnes Parish, 51 Medford St., Arlington at 11:30 a.m. Interment to follow in Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, Arlington. Visiting Hours will be held at the Funeral Home on Thursday, May 2nd from 6:00-8:00 p.m.In lieu of flowers, donations in Eileen’s memory may be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105.Eileen Quirke Neville(NOTE: The above obituary is from Nichols Funeral Home.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedOBITUARY: Paul L. D’Eon, 83In “Obituaries”OBITUARY: Susan A. (McNeil) Roy, 49In “Obituaries”OBITUARY: Eileen C. (Gregoire) Marsan, 77In “Obituaries”last_img read more

Troopers ID man found dead on Shuyak Island

first_imgAuthorities have released the identity of the man found shot to death near a lodge on a remote island northwest of Kodiak.Alaska State Troopers say the man was 56-year-old Steven McCaulley of Kodiak.The Kodiak Daily Mirror reports his body was found last week outside a bunkhouse at Port William Wilderness Lodge on Shuyak Island. Troopers located the body after being asked to make a welfare check.A suspect is being held in Anchorage on unrelated charges. Troopers say no charges have been filed, but their investigation continues.last_img read more

Modi magic steers BJP to historic win in Lok Sabha polls opposition

first_imgPrime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah wave at party workers during a party programme in New Delhi on May 23, 2019.IANSPrime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday led the BJP to a stunning and historic victory in the Lok Sabha battle, with the ruling party itself set to win 303 seats in marked improvement over its 2014 showing that left the opposition dazed and demoralized.The BJP-led NDA is poised to get 348 of the 542 Lok Sabha seats where polling took place in a seven-phase election. The development sent the Sensex breaching the 40,000-mark as India Inc celebrated.Late night Election Commission figures showed that the BJP had won 251 seats and was leading in 51. The Congress won 40 and was leading in 12, while Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress has won 15 and was leading in seven. Congress’ ally DMK has won 16 seats and was leading in seven.A large number of BJP’s alliance partners appeared to put up a good show with JD(U) having already won 16 seats and leading in one, all in Bihar. The Shiv Sena won 10 seats and was leading in 8, all in Maharashtra.Modi came to the BJP headquarters in the evening to celebrate the party’s victory with the workers and sought to brush aside the bitterness of the poll campaign, saying “who said what during the campaign is past for me”, and that “we have to look to the future.”Accepting the mandate with humility, Modi promised that he will not work with “ill intentions.””The people have filled the bag of this ascetic. I bow my head to 130 crore people of the country,” he said, adding he will take his critics along with humility as the Constitution is supreme.The Prime Minister also said that the importance of the booth-level party workers has been understood by all the parties.He said the mandate won by the BJP-led coalition was the biggest development in the democratic world and reflected the strength of democracy.The BJP routed the Congress, which could barely improve beyond its 2014 tally of 44 seats. Party chief Rahul Gandhi suffered a shock defeat in Amethi but won from Wayanad in Kerala. Nine of party’s former chief ministers lost or were on the verge of losing.Gandhi accepted responsibility for the party’s defeat and congratulated Modi and the BJP.”India wins yet again!” Modi said in his tweet soon after it became clear that BJP would get a majority on its own.Congratulations poured in for Modi, who was re-elected by over 4.75 lakh votes from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. BJP President Amit Shah also won with an equally thumping margin from Gandhinagar in Gujarat. Mumbai: A look alike of Prime Minister Narendra Modi celebrates BJP’s performance in the recently concluded 2019 Lok Sabha polls in Mumbai on May 23, 2019.IANSShah, who also addressed the function at BJP headquarters, described Modi as the world’s “most popular” leader and credited him for party’s spectacular victory in Lok Sabha polls.Hitting out at opposition, he said the 2019 mandate has buried the politics of casteism, dynasty and appeasement and is “a victory of nationalism”.”Modiji is the ‘mahanayak’ of the BJP’s grand victory. BJP’s victory is most historical after Independence,” Shah said amid chants of “Modi-Modi” and “Bharat Mata Ki Jai”.He said the BJP was fighting for 50 per cent votes and today the party has garnered over 50 per cent vote share in 17 states, including Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) swept state after state, including those ruled by the Congress. Its most spectacular results came in Uttar Pradesh where it was set to win 60 of the 80 seats, puncturing the SP-BSP alliance, while making major inroads in West Bengal by taking the victory lap in an unprecedented 18 of the 42 seats.In a repeat of 2014, the saffron party was set to bag all 26 seats in Modi’s home state Gujarat. It won all seven in Delhi, all five in Uttarakhand, all four in Himachal Pradesh and 25 in Rajasthan.The party won both seats in Tripura as well as Arunachal Pradesh and the single seats of Chandigarh, Daman and Diu, Manipur.In Madhya Pradesh, it improved its 2014 tally and is poised to win 28 out of 29 seats. It also improved its 2014 tally in Karnataka winning 25 out 28 seats and in Bihar where it won 39 out of 40 in Bihar in alliance with the JD-U and LJP.Congress had formed governments in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh after assembly polls last year and was stunned by the results. In Maharashtra, the BJP is poised to win 41 out of 48 in Maharashtra along with the Shiv Sena, 11 out of 14 in Jharkhand and 9 out of 14 in Assam.UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, who had planned a meeting of opposition parties here on Thursday in the hope of dislodging Modi, was the sole Congress winner for the Congress in Uttar Pradesh (Rae Bareli).The SP-BSP alliance, which was confident of tripping the BJP’s road to victory, suffered a blow in the country’s politically most critical state. The BSP was poised to win just 10 seats and the Samajwadi Party 6 as their caste formula got drowned by Modi’s election campaigning based mainly on aggressive nationalism.The BJP’s years of efforts in West Bengal finally bore fruits as its candidates were set to emerge victorious in 18 places, washing out the once formidable Left and leaving the Congress punctured. The BJP won only two seats in 2014.The Congress had something to cheer in Punjab, where it was set to win 8 of the 13 Lok Sabha seats, and Kerala, where it decimated the Left by winning 15 seats on its own while four seats went to its allies.The DMK-led alliance made a clean sweep of Tamil Nadu and was set to take 36 of the 38 seats, leaving only 2 to the ruling AIADMK. The Congress, a DMK ally, won 8 seats.Just Punjab, Kerala and Tamil Nadu accounted for 31 of the Congress party’s expected 52 Lok Sabha seats. In many states, the Congress failed to open its account or won just one seat.The ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) was poised to win 13 of the 21 Lok Sabha seats and also the Assembly elections. The YSR Congress Party stormed to power in Andhra Pradesh, dislodging the TDP, and was poised to bag 22 of the 25 Lok Sabha seats.The TRS performed relatively poorly in Telangana, with victory sighted in 9 of the 17 seats.While former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah of the National Conference was set to win in Srinagar, PDP leader and former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti conceded defeat in Anantnag, once her stronghold.Around 67 per cent of the nearly 900 million voters exercised their franchise in the seven-phase elections that began on April 11 and ended on May 19. The election in Vellore in Tamil Nadu was countermanded by the Election Commission.last_img read more

Coal India to buyback shares between October 3 and 18

first_imgCoal India Limited (CIL) will begin its share buyback programme from October 3 this year. The public sector undertaking will be buying up to 10,89,55,233 equity shares from the shareholders of the company, including promoters, at a price of Rs. 335 per share through the tender offer process.The buyback programme closes on October 18, 2016.CIL shares closed at Rs. 332 apiece on Tuesday on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).”The Buyback Offer size represents approximately 24.95 percent of the aggregate of the fully paid-up share capital and free reserves, as per the audited accounts of the company for the financial year ended March 31, 2016,” the company said in a regulatory filing on Tuesday.”It is within the statutory limits of 25 percent of the aggregate of the fully paid up share capital and free reserves as per the audited accounts of the company for the financial year ended March 31, 2016,” it added.CIL will be sending letters of offer to shareholders of the company as on the record date for the purpose, fixed as Sept. 9, 2016.The company has appointed SBI Capital Markets Ltd. to manage the buyback programme.For the first quarter ended June 30, 2016, CIL posted net profit of Rs. 3,065 crore on sales of Rs. 17,796 crore. While net profit dropped 15 percent, revenues fell 6 percent on an year-on-year (YoY) basis.During the quarter. coal production of the company grew 3.5 percent YoY to 125.67 million tonnes. The company’s off take also increased 2.98 percent to 133.24 million tonnes.last_img read more

More Texas Teachers Challenge New Educator Appraisal Plan

first_img Share AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Another group representing teachers has objected to the updated appraisal system planned by new Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath.Mike Morath’s Facebook page Texas Education Commissioner Mike MorathThe Association of Professional Educators on Monday announced a petition to challenge tying teacher evaluation scores to student performance on standardized tests.Morath took office in January. Association officials say his rules for the Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System, dubbed T-TESS, violate state law and the Texas Constitution.Critics of the planned changes say a teacher appraisal system must be based on observable, job-related behavior.The Texas State Teachers Association last week sued Morath, seeking to invalidate part of the new evaluations set to take effect July 1.Officials with the Texas Education Agency had no immediate comment Monday.Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

Close Family Ties Job Offers Considered Bona Fide As Trump Travel Ban

first_img Share Ted S. Warren/APThe Trump administration is expected to outline how it will implement its modified travel ban on people from six majority-Muslim nations.Updated June 29 at 10:26 a.m. ETThe Trump administration is expected Thursday to formally outline how it will implement its modified travel ban, following the Supreme Court’s decision on Monday lifting a stay on the executive order imposed by two lower courts.The Supreme Court ruled Monday that the modified ban cannot be applied to “foreign nationals who have a credible claim of bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.”A senior U.S. official tells NPR the order will allow travelers from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen to enter the U.S. if they have close family ties. Those ties are defined as a parent, including parent-in-law; spouse; child; adult son or daughter, including son-in-law or daughter-in-law; and sibling, including half and step siblings.However, the administration’s definition does not include grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, fiances and other extended family members.Under the administration’s interpretation of the high court’s ruling, people who have accepted job offers in the U.S. or an invitation to lecture at a U.S. university may also receive visas.The new guidelines are to take effect at 8 pm E.T. Thursday night.President Trump originally tried to impose the ban in order to allow the federal government to review its vetting procedures for people from those six majority-Muslim nations. (The order originally included people from Iraq as well, but that nation was dropped after the administration realized its inclusion would hurt cooperation from the Baghdad government in the fight against ISIS.)The modified order also bars refugees from entering the U.S. for 120 days.In at least a partial victory for the president, the Supreme Court lifted the stay, issued by federal courts in Maryland and Hawaii, that had prevented the order from taking effect, while the justices consider whether the ban is constitutional. During the course of litigation over the revised ban, the president directed his administration to begin implementation “72 hours after all applicable injunctions are lifted or stayed,” which would be Thursday.As NPR reported earlier this week, the initial version of the travel ban, issued Jan. 27, “caused chaos at airports across the country until it was blocked by a federal judge in Washington state” on Feb. 3, a ruling that was upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. That prompted the administration to craft a revised version in March that omitted references to religion and specifically exempted green card holders. But that order, too, was challenged by lawsuits. It was blocked by lower courts in Maryland and Hawaii, decisions also upheld by appeals courts, and never took effect.The State Department said Wednesday that once the order is implemented, it will process visa applications for nationals of affected countries “as directed by the Executive Order and in full compliance with the Supreme Court’s decision.”The administration has said the order will be implemented “in a professional, organized and timely way.”Various advocacy groups have also been seeking guidance as to what constitutes “a bona fide relationship” with a person or entity in the U.S.In a letter to the Department of Homeland Security Tuesday, the groups — including Muslim Advocates, the Southern Poverty Law Center and Americans United for Separation of Church and State — said, “The public is in urgent need of information about the manner which persons can establish a ‘bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States,’ the precise criteria for adjudicating waiver requests.”“We seek the requested material,” the letter also said, “in order to provide our organizations and affected communities with the information necessary to make this waiver process meaningful.”last_img read more

Turtles found during boat chase

first_imgMembers of the Costa Rican Coast Guard rescued three green sea turtles found bound by poachers and left on beaches Tuesday night during the course of conducting searches for suspected drug traffickers along the Caribbean coast, officials said.Two dead green sea turtles were also recovered.Rodolfo Murillo, head of Coast Guard operations, said the turtles were discovered tied and left on the beach. A boat captured last week suspected of smuggling marijuana near the port of Limón led to increased patrols in the area this week. At about 8 p.m. Tuesday night, members of a patrol spotted a suspicious boat near Limón, according a report by the Public Security Ministry. When the Coast Guard patrol moved to intercept the craft, occupants of the boat rammed the patrol boat, injuring two officers. One suspect, with the last name León, jumped overboard, injuring his hand and groin. A second suspect fled south in the direction of Westfalia.León and the two Coast Guard officers were treated for minor injuries.The search for the fleeing boat and its captain lasted through the night. At 3 a.m., patrols discovered two green sea turtles bound on Cieneguita Beach. A few hours later, three more turtles were found nearby.The Coast Guard will coordinate with the Environment Ministry to bury the dead turtles and release the living ones. Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more