Fridays are festive days at Pachokhara.For nearly half-a-century now, farmers, cattle-rearers and tradesmen have made the weekly trip to the cricket stadium-sized grounds of the Upadhyay family— prominent local land-owners — to trade cattle.A dirt road splits the ground into a section for buffaloes and another for cows, bulls, oxen and goats. There’s cash changing hands, frisky calves, hillocks of dung and no spot safe from a restive bovine’s quick but lethal flick of the hind leg.And yet, it’s a lean day in Pachokhara in Firozabad district of Uttar Pradesh, a good 230 km from the national capital.Slowdown in business“Usually, Fridays are so crowded that newcomers will not be able to make their way to the exit…but now business is down,” says Anup Upadhyay (34), one of the younger members of the family, who oversees the functioning of the market.There are multiple causes for the slow day. July to November are considered peak months for the cattle trade because farmers have spent money for sowing and other crop operations and are usually in need of cash till the harvest. Then there’s the weather, with the hot months generally considered insalubrious for the ferrying animals.This year there’s another obstacle in the form of the amendment to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (1961) that governs the treatment of animals. On May 23, the Environment Ministry decreed that buffaloes and cattle could not be sold for slaughter at animal markets. Moreover, bovines once sold at such markets, cannot be traded for at least six months and all sales and records will come under the purview of a dedicated District Monitoring Committee.To Mr. Upadhyay, these rules are the final blow to the cattle-trading business, which has been reeling under the assaults of cow vigilante groups. The danger of being waylaid and harassed — by both the police and vigilantes — for appropriate papers has already prevented several farmers from bringing their animals to the market.“There is a fear and lots of rumours… Buffaloes cannot be sold…Bulls can’t be sold. These fuel uncertainty and keep farmers and sellers away,” he said, listing the pressures on the business.Private marketsThe Upadhyays run one of 3,000 cattle markets across Uttar Pradesh. Unlike in Haryana and Punjab, these ‘Pashu Haats’ are privately managed. Land-owners provide a venue for buyers and sellers to come together and charge a commission on every animal sold. There’s also a space for registering the transactions and several rooms in the Upadhyay home, where disputes over prices and conditions of sale are negotiated and resolved.Over a 1,000 head of cattle are paraded every Friday and about 300 of them sold during market hours that begin as early as nine in the morning and go till four in the afternoon.Though the Pachokhara fair is reportedly the second largest in the State, the transactions overwhelmingly deal with the sale and purchase of milch and draught-animals. “No more than 1%-2% of the animals here are likely make their way to the slaughter houses,” said 65-year-old Brijesh Upadhyay, Anup’s uncle, who heads the cattle-market operations.So far the market has not been significantly impacted by the notification because cattle markets have three months (from May 23) to implement the new rules. And the managers are hoping that in the interim, certain aspects of the proposed notification would be withdrawn.“The cow is our sacred animal…we are Brahmins after all,” said Mr.Brijesh Upadhyay adding, “but the government should remove restrictions on all other animals…buffalo, bulls, oxen.”For the first time, managers of the 3,000-odd animal markets are planning to meet this week and formally protest the May 23 notification. The senior Mr Upadhyay also does not put a number to the potential economic losses but says that if restrictions were imposed, farmers would be forced to start selling their animals at half the market rates because they wouldn’t have access to the several, potential buyers that would be present at a cattle market.“You would have a few buyers approaching farmers at their farms and they would resort to distress sales,” he said. “There would be protests and agitation, like in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh [referring to ongoing farmers’ agitations].”Cattle are farmers’ assets that they turn to during an emergency. Khairpal, who has come to sell his buffalo at the market, said he would no longer be able to support his older animals and would have to turn them loose on the roads. “In the evenings, you can see herds of male animals clogging the roads…they graze on standing crop and are a liability,” he told The Hindu.Suraj, who helps transport animals from the fair, said “half” the buffaloes brought here were eventually for slaughter.Ashok Kumar, who manages a cattle fair in Dalshahpur, close to Agra, said the government had not provided a solution for managing unproductive animals. “Gaushalas mostly exist on name only…such moves are hitting at an established revenue stream of farmers,” he told The Hindu over the phone.
Human genome sequencing pioneer J. Craig Venter has jumped with both feet into biomedical sequencing with his latest venture, Human Longevity Inc., “a genomics and cell therapy-based diagnostic and therapeutic company” that should be up and running by summer. Its ultimate goal: promote healthy aging. Speaking at a telephone press conference today, the founder and CEO of the J. Craig Venter Institute headquartered in San Diego, California, announced that the new company has $70 million in startup funds to build the largest human genome sequencing center in the world. Its ability to read DNA will surpass even the sequencing powerhouse BGI in China, Venter says. The firm plans to acquire 20 of the new million-dollar sequencing machines from Illumina, which, when running at full capacity, should bring the cost of generating a human genome down to $1000. “Their new technology finally crosses the threshold that I’ve been waiting for in terms of quality, volume, and cost,” says Venter, who points out that deciphering his genome in 2007 took $100 million and 9 months. To date, beyond limited success tying certain tumor genetic profiles to prognosis and treatment, genome sequencing of individuals rarely provides a clear guide for doctors. But by pooling “everything we can measure” with clinical data, Venter hopes patterns will emerge that will be predictive of disease and of what treatments or preventive actions will be most beneficial. “Genomics is only a small part of the picture,” Venter stresses. 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The plan is to sequence the tumors of all patients coming to the cancer center at the University of California (UC), San Diego, as well as the DNA of seemingly healthy tissue samples—people will have to opt out of having their genomes done. Moreover, the firm will also catalog the diversity of the microbes living in each patient’s body and initially analyze their blood for some 2400 chemicals. In addition to examining about 7000 cancer patients, the company plans to study children, centenarians, other healthy adults, and people with various diseases, in part to find versions of genes that protect against those conditions.Human Longevity will combine these data with clinical information on each person. Under an agreement with UC San Diego, physicians and researchers there would have access to the resulting database, but otherwise the company plans to license access to this resource to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, as well as to other academic organizations.If marrying genomics with microbiomes and metabolomics wasn’t enough, Venter says the firm will also enter another hot field: stem cells. Human Longevity will assess genetic changes in stem cells as they differentiate and age, again with an eye toward discovering what is needed to slow aging and disease onset.Some worry that Venter is tackling too much at once. The company’s plan “is all over the place,” says George Church of Harvard University, a genomicist and entrepreneur who has founded several companies himself. Other commercial ventures tend to be more focused. There’s at least one firm, for example, that looks just at microbiomes; others are investigating stem cells; and monitoring genomes for cancer is now being done at cancer centers and at private companies. Just making one of those efforts work entails “vast resources (and luck) to stay competitive,” Church points out, “and to do so in a multi-front battle would be even more remarkable.” “The task of measuring and [building] omics data sets on this scale is considerable and effectively integrating them to describe the complexity is even greater,” agrees Jeremy Nicholson, a biological chemist at Imperial College London who heads the MRC-NIHR National Phenome Centre there, one of the world’s largest high-throughput metabolic phenotyping centers. “Biomedically, this could ultimately be a great scientific enterprise and adventure—but in reality is somewhat more analogous to scaling Mount Everest with a blindfold on!” Venter has a reputation for thinking big and mobilizing the resources to carry out his plans. But his forays into the private sector have had mixed results. As president and chief scientific officer at Celera Genomics in Rockville, Maryland, he led that company in sequencing the first human genome, yet abruptly had to leave the company when it changed its priorities. Another firm he started, the San Diego-based Synthetic Genomics Inc., made headlines in 2009 when ExxonMobil cut a potentially $600 million deal with Venter to bring algal biofuels to market. But 4 years later, the partnership was scaled back and revamped to focus on more basic research. With Human Longevity, he has help: Stem cell entrepreneur Robert Hariri and XPRIZE founder Peter Diamandis join him as co-founders of the firm. Only time will tell what the longevity of their new venture will be.
‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes The 28-year-old Walker was named to the All-Star team for the third time Thursday, but it was his first selection as a starter.He becomes another big story line for the All-Star weekend, along with Stephen Curry returning to the city where he grew up, and former North Carolina college basketball star and current Hornets owner Michael Jordan hosting the game in his own state.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine football chiefSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsWalker didn’t win the fan vote, finishing third among Eastern Conference guards behind Kyrie Irving and Dwayne Wade. It was the media and his fellow NBA players — both picked him second, ahead of Wade — that got him over the top and earned him the start.“The respect from my peers is what means a lot to me,” Walker said. “The guys I go up against each and every night. You know, to have their respect, I think that’s huge. And that’s what I care most about, to have the respect of my peers.” US Olympic swimmer Nathan Adrian has testicular cancer but still eyes Tokyo 2020 Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town Walker is set to become a free agent after this season, but has repeatedly said he wants to return to the Hornets, where he is the franchise’s all-time leading scorer.Walker is averaging a career-best 25 points this season along with 5.7 assists and 3.8 rebounds.His 3-point shooting has dipped to 35.8 percent — down from 38.4 percent last season — but he is still the man carrying the load for the Hornets night in and night out.“I feel very deserving,” said Walker, who is listed as a generous 6-foot-1. “I’ve been playing really well this season. Yeah, I feel like I deserve to be in the position I am today and I think that is why I am. I don’t think they would (give) a starters position in the All-Star Game to a guy who doesn’t deserve it.”Walker said he hadn’t even been thinking about being named an NBA All-Star starter the past few weeks.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Charlotte Hornets guard Kemba Walker (15) shoots between Memphis Grizzlies guard Mike Conley (11) and center Marc Gasol in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Hornets point guard Kemba Walker can’t imagine what the atmosphere will be like when he’s introduced as an NBA All-Star game starter next month on his home court.“I haven’t given it any thought, but I’m sure it will be an unbelievable moment being that the game is in Charlotte,” Walker said. “I’ve been here for eight years now, so it’s going to be crazy.”ADVERTISEMENT View comments Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations LATEST STORIES He said a few family members had pointed it out to him that he was third in the voting, but Walker said his focus has been on the season and helping Charlotte get to the postseason.The man who once walked off the court early this year after a game-winning shot shouting “This is my city!” is now the toast of the town in Charlotte.“It’s up there,” Walker said of the accomplishment. “I don’t know where to put it yet, but it’s pretty high on the accomplishments in my career. This one right here is definitely top of the line, man. It’s an unbelievable accomplishment.”He said his first NBA All-Star selection in 2017 was special, but this one might be more important.“I don’t know if a lot of players can actually say they played in the All-Star Game in their actual city, their team’s city,” Walker said. “It is definitely up there with my first for sure.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Lacson backs proposal to elect president and vice president in tandem MOST READ US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants
Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. And while Lyles will be trying for three gold medals at next year’s Tokyo Olympics — in the 100, 200 and 4×100 relay, a la Bolt — he’s focusing solely on the 200 at world championships, because, in his words, “I have a very strong chance of winning that 200. I also have a very strong chance of trying to break some meet records.” (Bolt’s world record was set at world championships in 2009).If he does, then the track world will certainly want to scoop up every little tidbit it can about its newest, fastest man.Among them:Lyles is an apparel designer (check out his socks collection) and a budding musician who produced a hip-hop album that focuses on the cycle teenagers go through in acting out. He considers himself a cross between Kendrick Lamar, Travis Scott, Kanye West and Jaden Smith.“I’m still trying to find my own flow,” Lyles said.ADVERTISEMENT This jewelry designer is also an architect Canadian vaping study details danger from ‘popcorn lung’ chemical Taylor Swift pulls out of Melbourne Cup gig Whether it was on the track, or on the dance floor, or spinning records at his own dance club in Kingston, few were able to make the switch between the athletic field and the nightclub as seamlessly as Bolt. In fact, sometimes they felt like one and the same.Though the comparisons are sure to come in all these venues, the 5-foot-11 Lyles believes there’s a benefit to never having lined up, mano a mano, against the 6-foot-5 Jamaican.“It helps my career being able to say that I wasn’t beaten by Bolt,” said Lyles, who along with his younger brother, Josephus, signed a long-term deal with Adidas in 2016, passing on a chance to run at the University of Florida. “If I (had been), then I would have that overwhelming gloom of, ‘Oh, but you got beat by Bolt that one time.’ And then you’d have that conversation of, ‘Oh, but I was only 19.’”They did meet once — in a doctor’s office in Germany before the 2017 world championships. Lyles, who was there to get his hamstring checked out, went over Bolt in the waiting area and introduced himself.“Of course he’s a cool guy,” Lyles said. “He’s got world records.” Matteo Guidicelli had saved up for Sarah G’s ring since 2014? “Noah’s a rock star,” said Justin Gatlin, the reigning 100-meter world champion. “He likes to put on a show.”In short, Lyles gets it: Lots of people run fast. But Bolt’s celebrations are what made the victories so memorable.“I could be the fastest and I could have the most medals, but are they going to remember that when I leave? Probably not,” Lyles said. “Because somebody else is going to come by and do the same thing. But everybody will remember Bolt’s personality.” Ethel Booba on SEA Games cauldron: ‘Sulit kung corrupt ang panggatong’ View comments MOST READ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next US transit worker saves man who fell on rail track PLAY LIST 01:44US transit worker saves man who fell on rail track00:50Trending Articles01:42Cops track down 4 persons of interest in ambush of DOLE employee02:11Makabayan bloc defends protesting workers, tells Año to ‘shut up’03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games01:38‘Bato’ to be ‘most effective’ CHR head? It’s for public to decide – Gascon02:07Aquino to Filipinos: Stand up vs abuses before you suffer De Lima’s ordeal01:28Ex-President Noynoy Aquino admits contracting pneumonia00:45Aquino agrees with Drilon on SEA games ‘kaldero’ spending issue “I saw more of his fun-loving side and liked that more than I liked actually watching him run,” Lyles said in a recent interview as he prepares for the world championships that begin next weekend in Doha, Qatar. “I was interested in what was his way of making people want to watch the sport. And that’s what I believe I took the most from.”The next two years will be daunting for track and field, as it tries to regain — or retain — its niche in the post-Bolt landscape. This week marks the beginning of the first world championships without Bolt since 2003. In less than a year, track will take its act to the Olympics, sans Bolt, for the first time since 2000.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGreatest ever?SPORTSBecoming his own manSPORTSFormer PBA import Anthony Grundy passes away at 40Lyles knows there will be comparisons. Two months ago, he ran 19.50 in the 200 meters, the distance Bolt considered his specialty and at which he holds a world record — 19.19 seconds — that many in the sport feel will be hardest to top.But Lyles, the charismatic sprinter — sound familiar? — who grew up in Florida before moving to Virginia, isn’t daunted by that. P11-B loan for SEA Games hosting not an issue — Cayetano Duterte calls himself, Go, Cayetano ‘the brightest stars’ in PH politics Becoming his own man Could those records someday belong to Lyles? And if they do, could he be the sort of personality who would make people want to watch?“He just wants to be the first Noah Lyles and that’s all he thinks about,” his coach, Lance Brauman, said. “He’s not caught up in the rigmarole about saving the sport — or being the next this or being the next that.“He’s got the personality, has a lot of talent and likes to train. He’s got a few good qualities right there.”He certainly stands out in a crowd — spraying his hair silver will tend to do that (he did that for U.S. championships and plans to again in Doha).He certainly can dance, too, breaking out a few moves after winning at nationals. Then, he posed for pictures with fans. He was in no hurry to leave the stage. LATEST STORIES FILE – In this May 18, 2019, file photo, Noah Lyles of the United States reacts after winning the men’s 100-meter race during the Diamond League Track and Field meet in Shanghai, China. The most promising signal that track and field remains in good hands even after Usain Bolt’s retirement comes from a 22-year-old American named Noah Lyles who appreciates the Jamaican superstar more for what he did after his races than during them. When Lyles spends time studying Bolt on video, he looks not at the lanky speedster’s form in between the lines, but at the dancing, rollicking post-race celebrations Bolt concocted to make his sport can’t-miss viewing whenever he was on the track. (AP Photo/File)The most promising signal that track and field remains in good hands even after Usain Bolt’s retirement comes from a 22-year-old American named Noah Lyles, who appreciates the Jamaican superstar more for what he did after his races than during them.When Lyles spends time studying Bolt on video, he’s not only looking at the lanky speedster’s form in between the lanes, but at the dancing, rollicking post-race celebrations Bolt concocted to make his sport can’t-miss viewing whenever he was on the track.ADVERTISEMENT DTI creates Marahuyo, a luxe Filipino fashion brand for global buyers
Reuse this content Facebook Aston Villa’s Grabban and Chester pile more misery on Sunderland Share on WhatsApp Sticking with his manager, who replaced John Sheridan almost three years ago, looks an increasingly prudent decision. Yet it is one of Adams’s boldest calls that seemingly kickstarted their superb turnaround. Ruben Lameiras, once a team‑mate of Harry Kane in Tottenham’s under-21 side, was deemed an unwanted commodity and found himself on trial at Oldham the Monday before Christmas. But, five days later, he made his second league start for Plymouth against Oldham, in a 4-1 win, and the Portuguese forward has not looked back. In defence, 20-year-old Bristol City loanee Zak Vyner has excelled since arriving to fill the void left by Ryan Edwards, who was diagnosed with testicular cancer in January. Twitter Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Read more Pinterest Share via Email “It’s on everyone’s mind,” Sawyer says. “The main thing is for him to get himself back to health. Eddy has been a great part of what we have done and he is a great character in the dressing room but unfortunately he’s not with us every day at the minute while he’s getting his treatment. We have a WhatsApp group, with all of the players in it, with messages going back and forward often with Eddy, especially around game time. But because of the nature of what he’s going through, I know the lads don’t want to pepper him.”After ultimately saving Plymouth in October 2011, Brent, a former property banker, admitted he had not been to a football match for 23 years and is grateful for the wise counsel of the serial promotion‑winner Neil Warnock, whose family home is over the border in Cornwall, following his takeover. Warnock’s words of wisdom, particularly those that stressed the importance of establishing sustainability on and off the pitch in tandem, Brent says, have stuck . “He was incredibly helpful and supportive, as a total rookie chairman, when Argyle was frankly a total mess at the time,” he says. “I needed as much help as I could get.”These days, Plymouth are suddenly dreaming bigger and of a return to the Championship for the first time since 2010. Brent states he starts every season with a “hope” and an “expectation”, the latter of which has been comfortably exceeded. “Argyle will be a stronger club next season regardless of whether we got promoted or not. It’s not just about the season, it’s about continuous improvement and being better each year.” Share on Pinterest Football League blog Football League Derek Adams has overseen a remarkable recovery this season after promotion from League Two. Photograph: Dave Rowntree/PPAUK/Rex/Shutterstock League One Twitter Championship round-up: Marko Grujic fires Cardiff closer to leaders Wolves Pinpointing what has been the catalyst behind an unimaginable turnaround, helmed by the manager, Derek Adams, is the million-dollar question but a few home truths after the defeat by Fleetwood Town in October, an eighth in nine league matches, helped. “It was a case of reminding ourselves of how hard we had worked to get out of League Two,” he says. “It felt like it just snowballed from there really.”A goalkeeping injury crisis also left them stumped, with Argyle having worked their way through seven goalkeepers since September, while four red cards in seven matches that same month ensured problems mounted. They had five points from their first 12 matches.James Brent, the chairman, insists the club hierarchy’s support for Adams did not oscillate; Plymouth did not wish to bloat figures that show more than a third of managers have lost their job since the start of the season, with 11 third-tier clubs among those to change personnel. “I guess we are probably not very typical of many football club boards,” the 52-year-old says.“I know supporters were asking, on a fairly regular basis, has he got one game left or two games left? It was never a debate for the board; it was how do we support our manager to get us back on to the right road? That is the approach we will continue to take, although it won’t always make you popular with supporters all of the time. But I think the board has a very clear responsibility to do the right thing, rather than the popular thing.” Facebook Read more James Brent, centre, with the fans during Argyle’s recent win at Oxford. Photograph: Dave Rowntree/PPAUK/Rex/Shutterstock features Last Sunday marked seven years since a financially crippled Plymouth Argyle entered administration, a time when 40 full‑time staff went nine months without being paid. They were dark days in deepest Devon but, zoom in on a run of one defeat in 15 league matches over the past three months and, like Gary Sawyer, the captain, you, too, will be scrabbling to find the right adjective to describe an equally extraordinary transformation.Plymouth were bottom with 17 points from 20 matches in League One on the morning of 9 December 2017, at which point the club were 5,000-1 for promotion. However, since a last-minute victory against Gillingham at Home Park that hoisted them off the foot of the table they have climbed into the play-off places.“It’s madness really, from where we’ve come from,” says Sawyer, who is in his second spell at the club after joining as a schoolboy at the age of 13. Topics Plymouth Argyle The most unpredictable and unprecedented of promotions would bring what Brent terms “quality problems”, namely putting the pressure on the mucky, ongoing redevelopment of the 1950s grandstand at the stadium they bought back from the city council for £1.7m two years ago, described as an “old lady” by the chairman. It is set to be ready for the start of the 2019-20 season, by which point, on this form at least, anything is possible.“I think, realistically, we can support the club to get into the Championship but we can’t support the club to get into the Premier League,” Brent says. “It’s just so expensive to try to make that journey. I think the deep south-west would really benefit from having a Premier League club. But it’s not something we can do and, at some point, it would be wonderful if somebody can take over the reins and take us to that position.”Talking points• Michael Jolley arrives at Grimsby Town via Cambridge University – where he achieved an MSc in economics – New York, where he worked as a HSBC trader, and AFC Eskilstuna, the Swedish second division club. His time at the latter was the League Two club’s new head coach first managerial post, this being his second. The club enthused about stepping away from the “classic managerial merry-go-round” appointment, just as MK Dons did with Dan Micciche, but with survival at stake, there is little room for error.• Peterborough United owner, Darragh MacAnthony, has sold 50% of his stake to the Canada-based businessmen Stewart Thompson and Dr Jason Neale, who have bought shares through their company, Kelgary Sports and Entertainment. MacAnthony, who will remain as the club chairman, described it as “banner news”, adding that this business will help accelerate the club’s buy-back of their London Road stadium.• Should Ryan Sessegnon be on the plane to Russia? Too early? Maybe. Fulham’s left winger does not turn 18 until May but has shown maturity beyond his years over the past couple of seasons and has been prolific for Slavisa Jokanovic’s side this term, scoring 14 goals. “I believe he can be part of the English national team for the World Cup,” Jokanovic said. Pinterest Share on Messenger Share on Facebook
Former England captains Geoffrey Boycott and Andrew Strauss receive knighthoodsAndrew Strauss and Geoffrey Boycott were the only sporting names in a list largely consisting of political figures, a nod to former UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s lifelong love of cricket.advertisement Next Associated Press LondonSeptember 10, 2019UPDATED: September 10, 2019 12:59 IST Andrew Strauss and Geoffrey Boycott both played over 100 Tests for England (Getty Images)HIGHLIGHTSAndrew Strauss led England to to two Ashes series wins and scored over 11,000 international runsBoycott’s 108 Tests from 1964-82 brought him 8,114 runs and 1082 runs from 36 ODIsBoycott, who led in 4 Tests, is the first man to score 8,000 Test runs for EnglandFormer England captains Andrew Strauss and Geoffrey Boycott have been given knighthoods in former Prime Minister Theresa May’s resignation honors list.The two opening batsmen were the only sporting names in a list largely consisting of political figures, a nod to May’s lifelong love of cricket and her admiration for Boycott in particular.Strauss played 100 Tests for England from 2004-12, scoring more than 7,000 runs at an average of 40.91, and captaining the team to two Ashes series wins. Less than three years after retiring, he became the most powerful official in the English game as managing director. He was the unseen administrative architect behind England’s first World Cup triumph in July.”I cannot think of a man more worthy of the honour,” former England coach Andy Flower said.”As a player he was tough and resilient, as a captain he balanced a firm hand and moral compass with a compassion and empathy that meant he was loved and respected in the dressing room by his players and the staff.”Boycott’s 108 Tests from 1964-82 brought him 8,114 runs at 47.72 – the first man to reach 8,000 in the longest format for England. He captained England in four Tests in 1978, deputizing for the injured Mike Brearley.At a news conference last November, May was asked in the form of a cricketing analogy about the number of ministerial resignations, or “wickets,” over her handling of Brexit.”One of my cricket heroes was always Geoffrey Boycott, and what do you know about Geoffrey Boycott?” she asked. “He stuck to it, and he got the runs in the end.”advertisementBoycott was forced to apologize in 2017 after joking that he would have to “black up” to be considered for a knighthood, pointing out the honor had been bestowed on West Indies cricketers including Sir Viv Richards, Sir Garfield Sobers, and Sir Curtly Ambrose.He was also given a three-month suspended prison sentence in 1998 after being convicted of assault against former girlfriend Margaret Moore. He was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2002 but made a full recovery and returned to TV commentating.”Our heartfelt congratulations go to Sir Geoffrey Boycott – honoured for his long career and passionate dedication to the sport.”In May 2015, Andrew was invited to join the ECB as director, England cricket, to shape the future strategy of the men’s international teams – in part to enable an environment that would see England as live contenders for the World Cup in 2019, an aim they so thrillingly delivered on just a few short months ago.”It was with the same class and courage that he and his family set up the Ruth Strauss Foundation to raise money and awareness just a few months after losing Ruth to a rare form of cancer.”Aside from his achievements on and off the pitch, Andrew is widely regarded as an exceptional person in our game and this wonderful accolade will be celebrated around the cricketing world,” ECB chief executive Tom Harrison said.For sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byrohan sen Tags :Follow Andrew StraussFollow Geoffrey BoycottFollow Sir Geoffrey BoycottFollow Sir Andrew Strauss
Some 39 stakeholders benefited from the first two-day session held from August 13-14 at the division’s Hope Gardens location in St. Andrew. The Mines and Geology Division is staging a series of workshops on conflict-sensitive mining and grievance-handling mechanisms for stakeholders in the mining sector.The objective is to equip persons with skills to address conflicts, which left unresolved, could affect productivity, operational efficiency, and impact the emotional health and well-being of workers.Some 39 stakeholders benefited from the first two-day session held from August 13-14 at the division’s Hope Gardens location in St. Andrew.Two other workshops will be held from August 16-17 in Montego Bay, St. James and from August 20-21 in Mandeville, Manchester.Chief Technical Director in the Ministry of Transport and Mining, Dr. Janine Dawkins, said the workshops address a key issue in the mining sector.“With the multiplicity of stakeholders representing diverse interests, conflict is a phenomenon within the mineral sector. So, as stakeholders, each of us must develop the necessary skills and competencies to manage, resolve and minimise the negative manifestations of these conflicts,” she pointed out.She argued that the benefits from the sessions will extend to the wider community.“Our records show that the development minerals industry account for the direct employment of at least 850 persons and the ripple effect of this employment is multiplied within the families and the communities. So, what is learnt is not only applicable to what is happening within the sector, it really extends into the communities and we must apply it to the places we live and how we conduct day-to-day activities,” Dr. Dawkins noted.She expressed the hope that the skills and techniques that have been shared will increase operational efficiency, and facilitate stronger integration among the operators and other persons in the industry, and the communities that are impacted.Meanwhile, Acting Chief Executive Officer, Jamaica Bauxite Institute (JBI), Dr. Oral Rainford, said the participants will be provided with insight into the necessity and value of conflict management, and the rewards to be achieved by all parties when effectively implemented.He said that the JBI is an “ardent supporter of conflict prevention and conflict management” and is pleased to be involved in the hosting of the workshops.The sessions are part of the African, Caribbean and Pacific- European Union (ACP-EU) Development Minerals Programme, which is a three-year, €13.1 million initiative that aims to build the profile and improve the management of the development minerals industries in ACP member states.It is being funded by the EU and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and implemented by the UNDP.The workshops will examine conflicts in the development minerals sector, including the judicial, non-judicial and traditional conflict management and grievance-handling mechanisms that are applicable, and suggest options for efficient handling of sector-related conflicts inspired by the local context.The first two-day session was attended by representatives of regulatory agencies and local authorities; private stakeholders such as small-scale mining enterprises and associations; and social stakeholders such as civil society and community groups. Story Highlights The Mines and Geology Division is staging a series of workshops on conflict-sensitive mining and grievance-handling mechanisms for stakeholders in the mining sector. The objective is to equip persons with skills to address conflicts, which left unresolved, could affect productivity, operational efficiency, and impact the emotional health and well-being of workers.
zoom It is unacceptable to hit European businesses with the new so-called congestion surcharges, the European Shippers’ Council (ESC) says in a statement.Seeing no reason to impose these congestion surcharges, the ESC urges ship owners to minimize surcharges and bring all costs into a single negotiable freight rate wherever possible.For some time now businesses have been faced with the introduction of congestion surcharges in several parts of the world, among them Oman, the Philippines, India, the United States, Hong Kong and the Netherlands.According to the operators this mechanism is necessary due to the new organization of the shipowners through Vesel Sharing Alliances (VSA), slot exchanges and other means of rationalization.According to the ESC, these new forms of organization have been introduced as a way to improve the service quality offered to customers, not to increase revenues by creating new surcharges.The ESC wants ship owners to limit the impact of these new organization models by solving problems rather than impose surcharges to shippers.Press Release
Peter Dostal has been appointed a Crown attorney in the special prosecutions section of the Public Prosecution Service. He will concentrate on prosecuting cybercrime offences. The appointment was announced today, Nov. 14, by Martin Herschorn, director of public prosecutions. “I am very pleased to have Mr. Dostal join our team,” said Mr. Herschorn. “His education and experience is ideal for prosecuting Internet-related offences.” A native of Halifax, Mr. Dostal graduated in 2003 from Dalhousie University with an Honours Bachelor of Computer Science. His honours thesis focused on network security in ad hoc networks. In 2007 Mr. Dostal graduated from Dalhousie Law School. He articled with Nova Scotia Legal Aid before being appointed a staff lawyer with Legal Aid in 2008 where he conducted a criminal law practice. While at Dalhousie, Mr. Dostal was a summer researcher for the Department of Computer Sciences and a research assistant for a law school professor. In 2006 he was a summer intern at the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic in Ottawa. Mr. Dostal was co-editor-in-chief of Dalhousie Journal of Legal Studies, a student representative on Dalhousie Law School Studies Committee and a member of Dalhousie Student Union Judicial Board.
New Delhi: Although the temperature fell by 7 degrees Celsius to 33 on Wednesday evening following a dust storm, there will be no rains and no relief on Thursday in Delhi from the intense heat. The maximum temperature is likely to touch 43 degrees on Thursday though there is no forecast of heatwave. On Wednesday, the maximum temperature fell from 41.6 degrees Celsius to 33 degrees in a short span in the evening following the dust storm and rains at isolated pockets in the city. Also Read – Kejriwal ‘denied political clearance’ to attend climate meet in Denmark But the temperature on Thursday morning rose to 34.2 degrees Celsius. On Thursday, the sky would be partly cloudy but there be no rains, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD). “We do not expect rains in Delhi in the next few days. There can be rains on June 17-18 due to pre-monsoon activities,” said an IMD official. According to private forecaster Skymet, the moisture-laden winds from the Arabian Sea to north India will help keep the mercury under control. IMD said the heatwave in the country will end within two days once the southwest monsoon that is held up near Karnataka due to cyclone Vayu moves north. On Monday, the mercury in Delhi crossed 48 degrees Celsius, setting a record for the hottest day in June.
New Delhi: A Rs 10,000 crore scheme to subsidise sale of electric and hybrid vehicles as part of efforts to curb pollution is welcome, but the government is missing out on low-hanging fruits like Auto LPG, that can have an immediate impact on urban air quality, Indian Auto LPG Coalition (IAC) said.The association urged that the government should provide a level playing field to other cleaner gaseous fuels like Auto LPG as well. Rather than subsidies, the government should provide simple policy-level interventions like lowering GST for Auto LPG, it said. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscal”We are certainly missing the larger picture here. Larger picture does not necessarily mean only looking 25 years hence. In today’s context, it should have meant allowing each clean fuel to play a role, particularly in the context of its feasibility and the necessity of providing our country with solutions that can be implemented effectively today. “With Indian cities continuing to be amongst the world’s most polluted, there is a dire need to provide solutions for today,” IAC director general Suyash Gupta said. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostIn a statement, IAC said the government has decided to put its thrust only on electric vehicles (EVs), ignoring other more readily available alternatives. “Almost 65 per cent of Indian power is still sourced from fossil fuels while EVs as a realistic alternative is almost two decades away. Do we not need solutions today? Can we wait for 20 more years for cleaner urban air? The answer, unfortunately, is a no,” he said. Under the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles (FAME)-II scheme, subsidies would be offered based on the battery capacity of the vehicle, ranging from buses and cars to three-wheelers and motorbikes costing less than Rs 15 lakh. Auto LPG association contends that it does not need any subsidy allocation from the government — just a level playing field through policy interventions such as lowering GST on Auto-LPG from 18 per cent to 5 per cent, reducing GST on conversion kits from 28 per cent to 5 per cent and a quick reform of the anomalous type approval norms governing the retro fitment industry, the statement said.
TORONTO — Rogers Communications is using one of Apple’s newest smartphones, the iPhone 8, as a bargaining chip as it seeks to get customers to sign up for select service plans over the busy holiday shopping period.In a limited-time offer announced Thursday, Rogers began advertising an iPhone 8 with 64 megabytes of memory for $0 if customers sign up for a two-year plan that costs at least $2,280 before taxes over the contract.That amounts to about $95 a month for a plan that includes 300 local voice minutes, one gigabyte of regular data and two bonus gigs. Additional features would push the monthly fee higher.Wireless competition heats up as Big Three telecoms chase rival with $60 deal‘There is no escaping it’: Are telecom companies to blame for our smartphone addiction?Wireless carriers can’t keep up after weekend price-cutting promotionWhile it’s normal for carriers to offer older phones for little or no money to entice customers, it’s less common for a newer phone like the iPhone 8 to be available for $0.“I think it’s a change in market dynamics,” IDC Canada mobile products researcher Manish Nargas said Thursday.He pointed to a revised federal code of conduct, which went into effect Dec. 1, that requires carriers to sell unlocked mobile phones — making it easier for consumers to switch to another network.“Now when you’ve got into a situation where everything’s unlocked and everybody’s on equal playing ground, you have to create new ways to resonate with the consumer,” Nargas said in an interview.“You might be paying $0 up front, which is great for the consumer, but it does tack on a sizable amount to your monthly bills.”Nargas noted that, last weekend, other carriers followed Rogers after it and its Fido brand began offering $60 per month big-data plans until Monday or Tuesday — an apparent answer to a Freedom plan announced a few weeks ago.As of Thursday afternoon, Telus and Bell hadn’t matched the Rogers iPhone 8 temporary price cut. They were promoting $0 offers for Samsung Galaxy S8 and S7 smartphones and some older Apple phones.Rogers hasn’t commented on its most recent pricing moves, but its executives have said the company competes with Freedom on price but has advantages in terms of network, distribution system and customer care.“Freedom still has a ways to go in terms of having a network that competes with us and with the other two large players,” Rogers chief financial officer Anthony Staffieri told an industry conference on Dec. 5.Shaw’s Freedom — which has its network primarily in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia — wasn’t able to carry the Apple 8s and newer iPhone X until this month.By contrast, Apple’s iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 plus have been available from Rogers and the other major Canadian carriers since September and they’ve been selling the iPhone X more than a month longer than Freedom, which has had to upgrade its network this year to carry the Apple products.Last weekend’s price war spawned significant negative social media feedback for Telus, Rogers and — to a lesser extent, Bell — when their customer service phone and chat lines weren’t able to keep up with demand.
Demonstrations against the 30-year rule of President Omar al-Bashir began in December, and thousands marched and rallied outside the headquarters of the Sudanese army in the capital on Saturday and Sunday, according to news reports.There were reports of dozens of other protests around the country, and eye witnesses told news outlets that some soldiers, had moved to protect peaceful demonstrators on Sunday night, when other units under the direct command of the president, had begun using tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the sit-in. Reports suggest that at least six protesters were killed on Saturday in the capital, when crowds began to march.They are calling for an end to the rule of President Bashir, amidst an economic crisis that has seen prices of fuel and basic goods such as bread, rise sharply, and a fall in the standard of living affecting many middle-class Sudanese. In a statement issued by his Spokesperson online, Mr. Guterres said he was following the demonstrations closely, and called on the Government to show “full respect for human rights, including the freedom of assembly, the freedom of expression, and the release of detained protestors.”He said Sudan’s leadership needed to “create a conducive environment for a solution to the current situation and to promote an inclusive dialogue.” He added that the UN stood ready to support “any efforts agreed by the Sudanese to peacefully resolve the current crisis.”
I passed a fellow Disney cast member in the hallway just after Thursday afternoon’s first set of World Cup matches concluded. He’d missed the U.S.-Germany game.“Did we win?” he asked.“Yes,” I said. “I mean, no, we lost. But we advanced.” He seemed to understand.After its loss to Germany, the U.S. finished tied for second in Group G, with one win, one loss and one draw. Portugal had the same record. But the U.S. had the better goal differential and will go on, reaching the knockout stage in consecutive World Cups for the first time in its history.Some further good news for the U.S. is that it has a palatable draw in its Round of 16 game. If the U.S. gets very lucky and Algeria and South Korea win their games Thursday, its opponent would be Algeria. However, there is only a 3.5 percent chance of both of those outcomes. In any other case, the U.S. will face Belgium.The U.S. will be an underdog against Belgium, but not as badly as it would be against some other opponents. If we put the remaining World Cup teams into several tiers based on their Soccer Power Index (SPI) ratings, it would look something like this:Tier 1A: Brazil (partly because of home-country advantage)Tier 1B: Germany, ArgentinaTier 2A: Colombia, Netherlands, France, ChileTier 2B: Belgium, UruguayTier 3A: Switzerland, U.S., Mexico, Costa Rica, Nigeria, RussiaTier 3B: Algeria, GreeceTier 4: South Korea (very unlikely to advance)Belgium is dangerous, but not as dangerous as tournament favorites Brazil, Germany and Argentina. Meanwhile, the Netherlands, France, Chile and Colombia also look more threatening than Belgium based on the things SPI looks at: pre-tournament resumes, form so far in the World Cup and, in the case of Chile and Colombia, games closer to home.Our match-prediction algorithm gives the U.S. about a 42 percent chance of winning a knockout-stage game against Belgium based on each team’s SPI rating as of Thursday morning. (The U.S. would be 59 percent favorites against Algeria.) Here’s how those probabilities look for a knockout match between the U.S. and all remaining teams in the World Cup:A note for soccer newbies: There are no draws in the knockout stage. If the score is tied at the end of regulation, the teams play 30 minutes of extra time. (The 30 minutes are guaranteed; there is no longer any “sudden death” or Golden Goal rule.) If the score is still tied, the game goes to a penalty shootout. (Some soccer statisticians consider games that go to penalties to be draws for record-keeping purposes — but the winner of the shootout advances all the same.)These probabilities reflect an improvement, which we’ll be unveiling Friday morning, to the SPI match-prediction program. Previously, it had been resolving all matches that would have been draws in regulation 50-50. In other words, it was assuming that the outcome of a game that went to extra time was purely random.We’ve done some further research, however, and this assumption turns out be somewhat too conservative. Based on the results from major tournaments since 2005, the better team does have a slight edge in extra time. It isn’t much of an advantage if the teams are at all competitive with one another: For example, if a U.S.-Belgium game went to extra time, Belgium would have a 54 percent chance of advancing either after extra time or on penalties, and the U.S. would have a 46 percent chance. But it’s worth worrying about when one team is clearly better. For instance, we estimate that Argentina would have a 65 percent chance of winning an extra-time game against the U.S.Speaking of Argentina, it represents the biggest barrier to the U.S. making a deep run in the World Cup. The Argentines are the Americans’ most likely opponent in the quarterfinals and the U.S. has only a 20 percent chance of beating them. The U.S. will want to root for Switzerland to upset Argentina in the Round of 16 — against the Swiss, the Americans would be almost even money.Overall, the U.S. has a 13 percent chance of winning two knockout-stage matches and advancing to the semifinals for the first time since the 1930 World Cup. Its probability of winning the World Cup is only 1.2 percent — although those odds are up from just 0.4 percent before the tournament began.
Nadhim Zahawi, the minister for children and families Ms Tanuku added that nursery mangers must firmly refuse requests from parents for male staff not to change nappies or take their children to the toilet.“There have been situations where parents have asked for male practitioners not to carry out personal care for their child and although a sensitive situation, it must be dealt with immediately,” she said.“By making your position clear it will demonstrate to all parents, colleagues and the worker himself, that he is a valued and trusted member of staff. There is also a separate legal issue of discrimination if a nursery were to ban male employees from carrying out personal care.” “Some children out there may not have a male in their home, there needs to be balance, they need to have that interaction,” he told the BBC. “It breaks down that whole, ‘you have to be macho to be a male,’ thing. It shows them men can be silly, can play, make jokes, can give you a hug if you’ve fallen down.” Nadhim Zahawi, the minister for children and families, said that the lack of male nursery teachers is a problem which Department for Education officials are trying to address. Speaking at the education select committee, he said: “I think there is an issue. We do need to do more.“One of the areas we are looking to do more is on apprenticeships – to get more people considering a career in early years especially males. It is something that is important. A lack of male role models is not a good thing.”Purnima Tanuku OBE, Chief Executive of National Day Nurseries Association, said that childcare is seen by many as a “woman’s job” and that recruiting male practitioners is a “long standing problem” for the sector. She added that “misplaced perceptions” about male nursery workers are “fuelled by negative stereotypes”. The majority of councils have no men working in their nurseries, as parents assume they pose a risk to young children. Of the 38 councils in England, Scotland and Wales which still have in-house nurseries, 26 do not hire a single male teacher. Jamel Campbell, of the London Early Years Foundation, said: “People are entrusting their precious babies to us, to care for them and to teach them. There is a lot of stigma based on negative stories – children being at harm… men not being nurturing, men not being able to work with children that small.”Of 400,000 early years educators – which includes preschools, nurseries and school reception classes – 98 per cent are female. The starting salary for nursery practitioners is around £18,000.Mr Campbell said that more men would be interested in becoming nursery teachers if they understood the benefits it can bring to young children. Of the 38 councils in England, Scotland and Wales which still have in-house nurseries, 26 do not hire a single male teacher Credit: Christopher Furlong Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Earlier this week, a report warned that a recruitment crisis in nursery schools could see half of highly-qualified staff retiring within 25 years. Analysis by the Education Policy Institute found that a large proportion of staff with degree-level qualifications are aged over 40. One in five are over 50 and are set to retire within 10 to 15 years, the report said, while younger staff are more likely to be volunteers. In reception classes almost 16 per cent of staff are unpaid volunteers, and the number of unpaid staff in independent nurseries rose by 60 per cent between 2008 and 2013.
On Thursday Mr Mosseri met Matt Hancock,… The head of Instagram has become the first tech boss to back a statutory duty of care to protect children from online harms, as he announced a ban on all graphic self harm images on his site. As he backed this newspaper’s campaign, he said it was time for the social media site, which is owned by Facebook, to take “responsibility” and act quickly against online harms. “I accept that we have room to improve and we have a responsibility to improve,” he said. In an exclusive interview with The Daily Telegraph, Adam Mosseri admitted the social media firm had spent 10 years focusing on the “good” that comes out of connecting people while neglecting the “risks”.
THE NEXT FEW years will see significant changes in Ireland’s education system due to Education Minister Ruairi Quinn’s reform of the Junior Certificate. As part of this, history will not be a compulsory subject. Not only is history being downgraded to an optional subject, schools will also be given the freedom to make history a short course. For those of us who love history and believe that it is essential to a balanced education, this is clearly a disturbing development.Learning from the pastAt present, we are in the midst of an economic recession. Unemployment and emigration are, for now, an uncomfortable reality. There are no easy, short term solutions to these problems. In order to emerge from our current difficulties we must make a long term investment in our youth. This investment should, in my view, involve encouraging students to study history.We need to produce a generation of independent thinkers who are disciplined, open-minded and good at analysing problems as well as suggesting solutions. These are exactly the traits that history sets out to instil in its students. They are traits that that can be applied to any type of employment. A generation with these characteristics is a generation that can lift Ireland from the mire it currently finds itself. It is a generation that will not repeat the mistakes that led to our current economic predicament.Overcoming bigotryHistory at secondary level enriches the minds of our youth by exploring the past, not only in Ireland but Europe and the wider world as well. Under the existing syllabus, history students are exposed to a variety of topics including Ancient Rome, the Reformation and the Rise of Hitler over three years of study. The current compulsory nature of Junior Certificate history ensures that students have no choice but to investigate this wide range of personalities and events. Indeed, by studying the rise of dictators such as Hitler, students are enlightened on the dangers of bigotry and discrimination. In an increasingly multicultural society, such enlightenment is essential.By allowing history to become optional or a short course we are denying some students a wealth of knowledge. In the case of a short course, students may only be exposed to one hundred hours of history over the three years. This limited time will lead to narrow content and failure to fully develop historical skills such as identifying bias.It’s a time of commemoration – downgrading history is a travestyIreland is now in the midst of a decade of centenaries. The period from 1912-1922 has left an indelible mark on our history. Events such as the signing of the Ulster Covenant, the 1913 Lockout, the 1916 Rising and the Irish War of Independence have seeped deep into the Irish psyche. At such a time of commemoration, the downgrading of history is a travesty.Our youth must be allowed to investigate these events in the history classroom where in-depth, non-biased and balanced discussion can be easily facilitated. In this setting, untruths, myths and exaggerations can be safely dispelled. If we allow our youth to acquire their history outside the classroom, untruths, myths and exaggerations will, I fear, be proffered.The government’s future vision for history has no support from those who are responsible for the teaching of history at secondary level. I have yet to meet a history teacher who supports Minister Quinn’s downgrading of history. Indeed, the History Teachers Association of Ireland (HTAI), of which I am a member, are strongly opposed to history becoming optional or a short course.In my own experience as an educator I have encountered many fellow history teachers. I have always been struck by their collective passion and enthusiasm. To downgrade history, is to strike a harsh blow to a group who wish only to make the maximum contribution possible to the balanced education of our students. The message from history teachers to Minister Quinn is clear: we do not support you.History is more popular than everThe downgrading of history at Junior Cert level will have a negative impact on history at Leaving Certificate level. Surely students who do not experience history during the first three years of secondary school are unlikely to choose history as a leaving cert subject. As a result, if the proposed reforms are implemented, it is highly likely that there will be a significant fall-off in the numbers studying senior history.What is more perplexing is that the downgrading of history comes at a time when history is more popular than ever. Indeed, in the context of TV shows such as ‘The Tudors’ and ‘Rome’, history has become mainstream, even ‘cool’. Students now enjoy history not just as a subject in school but also as a pastime. For many students it becomes a passion for life.The downgrading of history could not come at a worse time. The pursuit of economic recovery, knowledge of the wider world, ending bigotry, commemoration and popular culture demands that history remain a compulsory subject at Junior Cert level.Minister Quinn, we need history, now more than ever.QUIZ: Squeaky bum time! It’s a secondary school history test…>VIDEO: Just a dinosaur rapping Dúnmharú ar an Dart>
MINISTER FOR SOCIAL Protection Leo Varadkar has called for the six questions asked by garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe to be answered “in full, before any Tribunal is up and running”.His statement comes amid reports that both Varadkar and Minister Simon Coveney have told fellow Fine Gael TDs to prepare for an early election, and they have called an early parliamentary meeting to discuss these election preparations.Speaking in the Dáil this evening, Varadkar said that previous Tribunals have “taken many years and have not always led to the truth” so McCabe deserved answers to these questions now.He added that it was “time to bring an end to a culture where wrong is done but no one is held to account”.In a statement on Monday, the McCabe family said that they had six questions they wanted to be answered before any investigation took place.They include asking which gardaí were involved in the making or receiving of phone calls from the HSE in relation to a false claim of sexual abuse, and if any senior gardaí were notified about the matter, either formally or informally.Varadkar said that “nobody should attempt to use the shield of legal advice, process or pending inquiries to avoid answering these questions”.He added that the government owes Maurice McCabe a full and unequivocal apology for the treatment he endured at the hands of gardaí, state agencies and government departments.Varadkar said:The events of the past week have undermined belief in us as a party and confidence in the Government. But we can and will put things right.In no part of his speech did Varadkar mention the Taoiseach.Minister Simon Coveney also made a speech tonight in defence of the government. He said: “Instead of finalising the terms of reference, we’re sitting here debating this nonsensical motion.”His fellow Fine Gael minister, Paschal Donohoe, said “this government cares now only about achieving justice for the McCabes and is focussed solely on getting to the bottom of this”.He added that, now a way forward was agreed, “the truth will win out”.Donohoe’s speech was met with applause from the Fine Gael benches.Simon Harris got feisty with Sinn Féin in his speech, where he said: “To hear any Sinn Féin member refer to a Garda McCabe will send a shiver up the spine of anyone who remembers that shocking morning in Adare on the 7 June 1996″, referencing the shooting of Garda Jerry McCabe.A vote of confidence in the government is currently being debated this evening in the Dáil.Read: ‘Admin error’ that led to McCabe allegations was not reported as HSE data protection breachRead: LIVE: Taoiseach faces serious questions over yesterday’s ‘clarifications’ By Sean Murray Image: RollingNews.ie 11,598 Views http://jrnl.ie/3241830 Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article McCabe’s questions deserve to be answered before Tribunal is held says Varadkar Leo Varadkar and Simon Coveney have reportedly told Fine Gael TDs to prepare for an early election. Share Tweet Email2 Wednesday 15 Feb 2017, 10:40 PM Feb 15th 2017, 10:40 PM 55 Comments Short URL Image: RollingNews.ie
Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The joke has always been that Alaska is so wealthy, it pays its residents to live here. But those yearly checks have gotten smaller, and could undergo a massive change, as Alaska struggles to pay state troopers and fix roads amid years of low oil prices. “Right now, I’d rather have him just sit on his hands and don’t touch nothing until the next election is over,” Taylor said. With higher oil prices and improved production estimates from the prodigious North Slope, there is no need to discuss taxes now, said Senate President Pete Kelly, a Fairbanks Republican. The decision, first by Walker, then by lawmakers, to not follow the formula in law for dividend calculations the past two years has fueled anger and distrust among some Alaskans who fear a money grab, even as state leaders say they’re motivated by a desire to protect a dividend into the future. The permanent fund’s principal is protected in the state constitution; the checks aren’t. House leaders have flirted with the idea of changing that, though legislative legal adviser Doug Gardner said constitutionally guaranteeing a specific amount could improperly infringe upon legislative appropriation and gubernatorial veto powers. Any proposed constitutional change would need two-thirds backing in the House and Senate before going to voters. Under existing proposals, which vary in their draw rates, the split that could go to state government ranges from about two-thirds to three-fourths, with the rest to residents. The yearly checks initially would range from about $1,000 to $1,250. Major proposals for using the fund’s earnings involve changing how the checks are calculated, fueling a political debate expected to spill into this year’s gubernatorial and legislative races. The prospect isn’t sitting well with some. Don Fritz said he’s a longtime Alaska resident and in between jobs, though he said his wife says he’s retired. He said the dividend doesn’t belong in the constitution. At best, he said it should compete with other programs for funding. The checks are widely seen as an entitlement — discretionary money for many Alaskans but critical income for others, particularly lower-income residents living in high-cost rural communities where a gallon of milk can cost about $10. State Revenue Commissioner Sheldon Fisher noted even with a rosier price outlook, Alaska faces a deficit of about $2.3 billion. “To me, it’s one of many things that need to be prioritized,” such as public safety and education, he said. Life in Alaska is tough, said Taylor, whose home is intentionally small to reduce heating costs. He sees the slashed checks as taking money from children, including his 5-year-old son. The House majority, composed largely of Democrats, and the Republican-led Senate are divided over what more should be done before permanently altering the dividend. “I don’t believe them,” said Jeff Taylor, a single dad in the tiny town of Anderson, about 75 miles (120 kilometers) southwest of Fairbanks. Walker, who has unsuccessfully pushed tax proposals to help fill the deficit, stands by his actions. He and legislative leaders have favored turning the permanent fund into an endowment, where a portion of earnings would be drawn based on an average of the fund’s market value. While many Alaskans support protecting the annual checks, they have urged a more equal split between their share and the government’s. Taylor blames Walker, an independent who cut dividends in 2016 to $1,022. Lawmakers agreed to a similarly reduced amount last year. Alaska received more than 156,000 square miles (404,000 square kilometers) of land as a “dowry” at statehood, with mineral rights belonging to the people, Tillion said. The checks are their share, he said. The choices are limited: With oil revenue unable to sustain the state budget, savings accounts drawn low, Republicans seeing new or higher taxes as unnecessary, and Democrats against deeper budget cuts, what’s left are the earnings from the state’s nest-egg. “I’m not willing to give them anything,” said Clem Tillion, a former state lawmaker and longtime fund defender who with others unsuccessfully sued over Walker’s halving of dividend checks in 2016. Now, with their options for filling the deficit dwindling, lawmakers may have no choice but to use Alaska Permanent Fund earnings to help pay the state’s bills. Over the years, the size of residents’ annual checks has varied based on the market’s performance, averaging about $1,145. They reached an all-time high of $2,072 in 2015 — totaling more than an extra $10,000 for a family of five — before state leaders started contemplating some use of fund earnings for government costs and Gov. Bill Walker limited the payout. Fund earnings, by one estimate, could total around $16 billion by the end of this fiscal year, though lawmakers are eyeing only a fraction of that. The Legislature is scheduled to end its session in mid-April but has run long in recent years. After oil started flowing from Alaska’s North Slope in the late 1970s, so did the checks, which eventually were paid with earnings from an oil-wealth fund that’s grown to about $65 billion through investments. Times were so good, the state in 1980 repealed its personal income tax, a decision that has been politically impossible to undo as the state grapples with a multibillion-dollar budget deficit.