Premier Responds to Commission Report

first_img development of an online treaty education resource for all educators in Nova Scotia integration of aspects of treaty education, including Mi’kmaw language and culture, into the newly streamlined grades primary to three curriculum with more integration to come as the streamlining process continues distribution of 3OO education kits entitled 100 Years of Loss: The Residential School System in Canada to all high schools in the province signing of a memorandum of understanding on treaty education The final report of the National Truth and Reconciliation Commission was released today, Tuesday, Dec. 15, and Premier Stephen McNeil said Nova Scotia will answer its call to action. “The suffering caused as a result of the residential school system in Canada is felt across generations and throughout our country,” said Premier McNeil, who is also Minister of Aboriginal Affairs. “Acknowledging what took place is an essential first step in beginning to right these horrific wrongs. Nova Scotia is committed to continuing to work hand-in-hand with our aboriginal partners as well as our federal, provincial and territorial colleagues to answer the call to action from the commission.” The commission was established in 2009 to learn the truth about what happened in Canada’s residential schools, inform all Canadians and identify actions. The commission recommended that curriculum on residential schools, treaties, and aboriginal history be developed and made mandatory. There are opportunities for progress to be made in Nova Scotia. Work already started includes: The province will review the comprehensive report and continue to work with Mi’kmaq leaders to understand local priorities. To read the full report visit .center_img For Broadcast Use: Premier Stephen McNeil says Nova Scotia will answer the call to action of the final report of the National Truth and Reconciliation Commission that was released today (December 15th). The commission was established in 2009 to learn the truth about what happened in Canada’s residential schools, inform all Canadians and identify actions. Premier McNeil, who is also Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, says acknowledging what took place is an essential first step in righting horrific wrongs. The province will review the comprehensive report and work with local Mi’kmaq leaders to understand priorities. -30-last_img read more

As world slows India grows from 2 tn to 275 tn economy

first_imgNew Delhi: The size of Indian economy has grown to $2.75 trillion in 2018-19 from $1.99 trillion in 2015-16 even as global economy has faltered, according to the Economic Survey 2018-19. When the world economy and emerging markets and developing economies (EMDEs) are projected to slow 0.3 and 0.1 percentage points in 2019 respectively, growth of Indian economy is forecast to increase, said the Survey, tabled by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in Sep”Crucially, India forms part of 30 per cent of the global economy, whose growth is not projected to decline in 2019,” it said. According to data from the World Bank, India surpassed France and emerged as the world’s sixth-largest economy in 2017, and is likely to overtake the UK in the world’s largest economic rankings in 2019. The five economies ahead of India are the United States, China, Japan, Germany and the United Kingdom. According to the pre-Budget document, the contribution of the Indian economy to the gross domestic product (GDP) of EMDEs and the world economy has increased consistently over the years. Also Read – Ensure strict implementation on ban of import of e-cigarettes: revenue to Customs”In a span of less than a decade, India’s contribution to EMDEs GDP has increased by around 1.3 percentage points and to the world economy by around 0.7 percentage points,” the Survey said. India’s share in GDP of EMDEs stood at 8 per cent in 2018. Noting that among EMDEs, India and China are the major drivers of growth, the Survey said, “The global economy — in particular the global growth powerhouse, China — is rebalancing, leading to an increasing role for India.” Hence, India’s contribution has become much more valuable to the global economy, it added. According to the Survey, India continued to remain the fastest-growing major economy in the world in 2018-19, despite a slight moderation in its GDP growth from 7.2 per cent in 2017-18 to 6.8 per cent in 2018-19. On the other hand, the world output growth declined from 3.8 per cent in 2017 to 3.6 per cent in 2018, it said. The slowdown in the world economy and EMDEs in 2018 followed the escalation of US-China trade tensions, tighter credit policies in China, and financial tightening alongside the normalisation of monetary policy in the larger advanced economies, the Survey noted. It pointed out that the average growth rate of India was not only higher than China’s between 2014-15 and 2017-18, but was much higher than that of other top major economies as well.last_img read more

Injustices did occur Manitoba chief calls for abused women to be compensated

first_img(Kevin Hart, regional chief for the Assembly of First Nations. Credit: Canadian PressA Manitoba chief says Indigenous women in the north should be compensated for the sexual abuse they allegedly suffered at the hands of hydro workers decades ago.Kevin Hart, regional chief for the Assembly of First Nations, says there should also be a broader inquiry into resource development and the treatment of Indigenous women.Manitoba’s arms-length Clean Environment Commission held hearings earlier this year on the environmental and social effects of energy development between the 1950s and 1980s.The commission released its report this week and said it heard the arrival of a largely male construction workforce led to the sexual abuse of women around the Fox Lake Cree Nation.Sustainable Development Minister Rochelle Squires called the allegations disturbing and said she is referring the issue to the RCMP.Hart says he wasn’t surprised by what he read in the commission’s report.“This report just solidified what people have been saying, namely First Nations people in northern Manitoba, for a number of years. Injustices did occur, especially to our women,” he said Wednesday.“Those crimes have gone unpunished and this report backs up the claims of our women of what occurred to them during that time.”Hart said it’s not for him to say where compensation for the women should come from, but it should be determined by the courts.“I truly believe that the women, when they come forward, should be entitled to compensation for what has occurred to them, especially for the trauma and everything.”last_img read more

Trump threat hovers over NAFTA as Ottawa talks end with no major

first_imgOTTAWA – The third round of talks to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement wrapped Wednesday with the spectre of a U.S. withdrawal by President Donald Trump looming ever larger, thanks to slow progress on major issues.The languid pace of the talks is being widely blamed on the lack of concrete proposals being brought by the U.S. — fuelled by internal U.S. divisions — but there is also grumbling about a lacklustre showing by some Canadian negotiators.That is stoking broader fears that an impatient Trump could trigger NAFTA’s withdrawal clause if he doesn’t see a win for the U.S. by the end of the year.The lead ministers for Canada, Mexico and the United States congratulated themselves for modest progress in signing off on one chapter on small and medium-sized businesses. Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said they expect to complete the competition chapter prior to the next round of talks two weeks from now in Washington.No substantive progress was made on the investor state dispute settlement process; opening up Canada’s supply-managed dairy and poultry industry; or the U.S. demand for greater American content in automobiles manufactured in North America.Nonetheless, Freeland was doing her best Wednesday to sound a positive note, calling the progress “astonishing.”“Really significant, speedy progress has been made on a number of fronts,” she told a news conference.“On some of the hardest issues, proposals have not been tabled, so we haven’t gotten to those. That is standard practice in a trade agreement.”A rift also emerged Wednesday with unions saying Canada was facing opposition from the United States and Mexico on its proposal to raise labour standards, targeting what is seen as anti-union practices in more than two dozen U.S. states and improving the plight of Mexican workers.All three ministers acknowledged that difficult issues lay ahead for the fourth round. Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo took a shot at the U.S., which has not tabled written proposals on the most contentious issues.“As the negotiations move forward, it is important we have the will to table positions that encourage constructive discussions,” he said.Sources close to the talks, who were not authorized to speak publicly, said the U.S. is demanding an eight-fold increase in Mexico’s minimum wage, which is currently less than $1 per hour. The Mexican delegation flatly rejected that idea.Guajardo also appeared to bristle at the American and Canadian focus on labour standards, saying Mexico won’t accept any proposal that will “restrict any possibilities to create work or trade.”Freeland held firm on her push for enforceable, progressive labour standards, drawing a link between it and lost Canadian jobs.Freeland said the proposal was meant to address “the very legitimate concerns of Canadian workers that trade agreements can sometimes expose Canadian workers to competition with workers who function in an environment of lower labour standards.”U.S. Trade Representative Bob Lighthizer said “some very difficult and contentious issues” lie ahead, including the inevitable showdown on Canadian dairy practices, which Trump has loudly blamed for lost jobs on Midwestern farms. The U.S. would continue to push for “reciprocal market access for American farmers, ranchers and businesses.”Dan Ujczo, an Ohio-based international trade lawyer who represents companies in both U.S. and Canada, detected a decidedly pessimistic mood among the stakeholders and negotiators who attended a reception in Ottawa on Tuesday night.“The universal view is that this is going down in stunning glory,” Ujczo said in an interview.“In that room of 250 people, I didn’t hear one positive comment about what was happening in these negotiations.”In addition to failing to provide detail on its position on some of the most contentious issues, Ujczo said the U.S. has signalled it intends to take a hard line on matters like government procurement and dispute resolution.“Everything the U.S. is adding are those types of measures that will restrict trade,” he said, adding that stakeholders are already preparing for the demise of NAFTA, with some who made investment decisions based on the pact even getting ready to launch litigation against the U.S.The talks ended a day after the U.S. Department of Commerce proposed a hefty 219 per cent countervailing duty on jets manufactured by Montreal’s Bombardier, further straining the Canada-U.S. trading relationship.Freeland said she discussed the Boeing-Bombardier dispute in her meeting with Lighthizer, but she considers the matter to be separate from the NAFTA talks, in part due to the fact the action was not taken by Lighthizer’s department. She said she would be talking soon with U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.The Bombardier developments had a “sobering” impact on stakeholders, who are bracing for the ongoing talks to fall apart at some point, Ujczo said.“It fits the narrative that this is a U.S. that is very serious about restricting trade.”Freeland reiterated her oft-repeated message that the U.S. enjoys a trade surplus with Canada in variety of areas, citing the statistics on steel, manufacturing and auto parts. She also made no bones about the fact the Trump administration is “unconventional” and “protectionist.”“We have a highly productive relationship,” she noted. “We want to keep it that way.”A top Mexican business leader echoed the “do no harm” approach to the talks in an interview with The Canadian Press.Mexico is deeply worried about the possibility of Trump making a move to unilaterally withdraw from NAFTA, said Moises Kalach, a leading member of the private-sector group that advises the Mexican government on the negotiations.“We take it very seriously. He is the president of the United States,” Kalach said in an interview.Like Canada, Mexico has mounted its own full-court press on various levels of U.S. government and business. Kalach cited 200 stakeholder meetings in the U.S. and meetings with 22 state governors. Mexican business leaders also planned meetings with 20 Canadian businesses and associations this week.The overarching take away from all of that consulting, said Kalach, is this: most are on a different page than Trump and see NAFTA as essential.Most companies don’t agree with Trump’s threats to NAFTA’s Chapter 19 dispute resolution process, he said.“It seems like the only voice out there that does not agree with some of the things we’ve been doing is President Trump and his team. So yes, we’re worried about withdrawal.”last_img read more

War won with local knowledge – Shavendra

Silva was part of the army during the final stages of the war against the LTTE which was led by former army commander Sarath Fonseka. The Major General said that the army was now in a position to advice foreign troops including troops involved in peacekeeping operations overseas. Sri Lanka’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Major General Shavendra Silva says the war against the LTTE was won using local knowledge and techniques and not with foreign guidance.Speaking at an event in Kukuleganga today, Silva said that the army also did not stick to manuals when fighting the rebels but instead adopted new strategies which were successful. He also noted that Sri Lanka is still part of the UN system and can advice the UN when it wants. (Colombo Gazette)

Sir Desmonds mandate was not extended

He noted that the Paranagama Commission, in addition , had the advantage of having the advice of one of the most distinguished Generals from the British Army as to the events that unfolded at the end of the war in May 2009. “All the required legal advice having been given to the Paranagama Commission by Sir Geoffrey Nice  QC (UK) , Professor David M Crane ( USA) and a host of university professors specialising in the law of armed conflict , and myself, that Advisory Council is no longer in existence,” Sir Desmond de Silva said. Sir Desmond de Silva said that it is hard to see any other Commission that has had such a wealth of advice to assist it on in coming to its conclusions.Earlier some concerns had been raised over the credibility of the Advisory Council which was appointed by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and so the new Government was urged not to extend the mandate of the Council. (Colombo Gazette) The Government has not extended the mandate given to the Advisory Council headed by Sir Desmond de Silva which was appointed to give legal advice to the Presidential commission of inquiry on missing persons head by former judge Maxwell Paranagama.Sir Desmond de Silva said that the appointment of the Advisory Council of international lawyers was only until the 15th August and the term has not been extended. Report by Easwaran Rutnam read more

UN agricultural agency convenes African conference appeals for funds for Sudan

The Food and Agricultural Agency of the United Nations (FAO) convened a regional conference in Mali today on meeting the threats to agriculture in Africa, as its Rome headquarters appealed for $40 million to provide recovery, humanitarian and development assistance to post-conflict areas of Sudan.The 24th Regional Conference for Africa was examining such issues as seeds and biotechnology, agrarian reform, enhancing the competitiveness of agriculture and natural resources management in a globalized world and reducing the growing number of fires that endanger agricultural production.Since African farmers have been experiencing difficulty in getting high quality seeds, FAO has proposed a project develop the seed sector at the country and regional levels. In that context, the organization looked at the concerns about cultivating genetically modified organisms (GMOs).“It has been widely acknowledged that modern biotechnology, if appropriately developed, could offer new and broad potential for contributing to food security,” FAO said. “At the same time, the speed of genetic change made possible by genetic engineering may represent a new potential impact on the biosphere. These developments, while offering to extend progress in food security, have posed concerns, both real and perceived, about the safety of these technologies, especially in Africa, where legislation on biotechnology and GMOs is lacking and few countries have any regulatory framework concerning GMOs.” The meeting will also consider the threat of avian flu to farmers and their domestic bird production, as well as the response to a possible outbreak. The FAO Regional Conference meets every two years and is attended by ministers of agriculture and other senior officials from 53 African countries.In Sudan, about 87 per cent of the population is dependent on agriculture for food and income, according to FAO. The agency’s appeal is part of the 2006 Work Plan for Sudan, which outlines the activities to be carried out by the UN and its partners in the country this year, including aiding a population on the move at the end of a civil war that lasted more than two decades. “Supporting returnees seeking to resettle will be a top priority, and ensuring adequate materials and services to enable returnees to engage in agricultural, livestock- or fisheries-based livelihoods upon their return will be central to this process,” FAO’s Anne Bauer said.FAO’s proposed humanitarian assistance for Sudan this year includes distributing seeds, tools, fishing equipment and livestock medicines to hundreds of thousands of farming families, especially returnees and internally displaced persons (IDPs), as well as the overall coordination of agricultural relief assistance in the country. read more

On International Day UN urges end of obstetric fistula within a generation

“The persistence of fistula in some countries and regions is an indicator of very poor access to quality maternal health services, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his message on the Day, marked annually on 23 May. “To end it, we must strengthen health systems and address broader development and human rights issues affecting women and girls: poverty, gender inequality, early marriage, early childbearing, and lack of education,” Mr. Ban added. The Day aims to raise awareness about, generate new support for and speed up efforts to end an injury that harms women physically, socially and economically. The theme of this year’s Day is ‘End fistula within a generation.’ In his message, the Secretary-General stressed that during his recent visit to Mauritania, he had the opportunity to visit fistula patients at a hospital in Nouakchott, and was moved and impressed by their courage and resilience. “It pains me deeply that this preventable and treatable condition still exists in our world, mainly affecting the poorest and most marginalized women and girls, causing them even greater suffering and isolation,” the UN chief said. He noted that among the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Goal 1 on ending poverty, SDG 3 on healthy lives, SDG 5 on gender equality and SDG 10 on reducing inequality should make an enormous contribution to preventing and ending fistula. Noting that there are between 50,000 and 100,000 new cases of fistula every year, Mr. Ban emphasized that at present rates, most of those women and girls will die without ever receiving treatment – “a heart-breaking and unacceptable situation,” he said. “Fistula has virtually been eliminated in most high- and middle-income countries around the world, so we know that it can be eliminated in every country,” the Secretary-General said. “Today, on the International Day to End Obstetric Fistula, I call for an end to fistula within a generation. Let us use the momentum of the SDGs together with strong political leadership, accelerated investment and action, and passionate and committed champions, to achieve this historic and transformative goal,” he added. Highlighting the story of an 83-year-old woman from Malawi who had lived with obstetric fistula since she was 17 and finally had surgery this past November, Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) emphasized that the condition almost exclusively afflicts the poorest, most vulnerable and most marginalized women and girls. “It afflicts those who lack access to the timely, high-quality and life-saving maternal health care that they so desperately need and deserve, and that is their basic human right,” he said. UNFPA leads the global Campaign to End Fistula, which was launched in 2003. read more

Uranium industry and indigenous leaders establish dialogue group in Australia

first_imgAn initiative has been set up with uranium industry representatives and some of Australia’s foremost indigenous leaders to establish a dialogue group to explore areas of common interest. The representatives have formed the group to inform and shape the industry’s contribution to indigenous economic development.Co-convened by Warren Mundine, and the Executive Director of the Australian Uranium Association (AUA), Michael Angwin, the founding members of the dialogue group include prominent experts in native title and indigenous economic development matters as well as some of the uranium industry’s most senior executives. Reflecting the objective of establishing common ground between the uranium industry and indigenous Australia, Mundine will join the AUA’s Board of Directors.Angwin said: “This is about indigenous communities and the uranium mining and exploration industry talking about ways the industry can best contribute to indigenous economic development. The establishment of this group reflects the common interest we share in our industry’s contribution to improved economic, social and health outcomes for indigenous people. Companies working in the industry have a range of existing initiatives to engage with indigenous communities and to support their development. This group will help ensure that the industry’s contribution is coordinated to maximise its benefit to indigenous communities.”Mundine said: “Many indigenous people are still living in appalling poverty. Countries overseas want to use Australian uranium to generate clean electricity and as the industry expands to meet the growing demand, we’re keen to make sure there are lasting benefits for traditional owners. There is a common interest in working with the industry on ways we can achieve economic progress for Aborigines, while managing projects in ways that protect the environment. There is a lot of work to do and this relationship with the uranium industry is a good way to do it.”Mundine said there is a variety of views about uranium among indigenous people. “Too often in the past indigenous people have had little choice but to make decisions about uranium projects with incomplete or biased information. That has sometimes meant decisions have been based on unwarranted fears about uranium and its uses. From an indigenous point of view, there is little sense in excluding opportunities for economic development on the basis of poor information. We want this dialogue so that the decisions that indigenous Australians make are as well-informed as possible.”The dialogue group is expected to meet formally twice a year, with more frequent contact, as required, through the Executive of the AUA. The indigenous members of the group will manage the collection and presentation of wider input from indigenous viewpoints around Australia. The Indigenous Dialogue Group hopes it will evolve in ways that bring wider benefits and will attract additional indigenous members with valuable knowledge, expertise and experience.last_img read more

One person dies from a drug overdose every day in Ireland

first_imgAN AVERAGE OF one person dies from a drug overdose every day, according to new figures on drugs-related deaths in Ireland.The statistics from the Health Research Board also found that the number of people who have died from misuse of cocaine has more than halved in just four years.A total of 23 people died after using cocaine in 2011, compared to a peak of 66 deaths in 2007, as the Celtic Tiger came to a crashing halt.Altogether 607 people had drug-related deaths in Ireland in 2011, the most recent year for which figures are available. Of these, 60 per cent (365, or one per day) were due to overdoses. The remaining 242 deaths among drug users were caused by trauma, such as road traffic collisions, or medical causes such as liver disease.365 deaths by overdosingAlmost two thirds of people who died from overdoses were male, with a median age of 39.The Health Research Board said there has been a “considerable” increase in the number of deaths involving prescription medication.  It also said that alcohol, alone or in combination with other drugs, continues to be one of the main reasons for death by poisoning.Alcohol was involved in more than one third of poisoning deaths, more than any other drug, and was solely responsible for 17 per cent of the overdosing deaths.“It is disappointing to see an increase in poisoning deaths in 2011, as the three preceding years all recorded an overall decrease in these deaths,” said Dr Suzi Lyons, a senior researcher at the HRB.More than half of the overdose deaths involved at least one drug. After alcohol, the most commonly found drugs in polydrug use were diazepam, methadone and anti-depressant medication.“Our data shows that it is the use of these medications together that is frequently contributing to the death,” said Dr Lyons.Methadone was implicated in the deaths of 113 people, almost double the figure from the previous year, which the HRB said needed to be investigated. However deaths from heroin have continued to decline, falling from 72 in 2010 to 60 in 2011.242 non-poisoning deathsOf the deaths which were indirectly attributed to drug use, 122 were caused by trauma and 125 were due to medical reasons.Of the trauma deaths, hanging was the most common cause of death, accounting for more than half of the fatalities, followed by road traffic collisions.The most common medical causes of death were cardiac events and liver disease.Dr Lyons of the HRB said that mental health issues were likely to have been at the root of many of the deaths.“The decrease in non-poisoning deaths is overshadowed by the large proportion of hangings occurring in 2011,” said Dr Lyons.“This finding, in conjunction with the frequency that benzodiazepines and anti-depressant medication are implicated in poisoning deaths, would indicate that a proportion of both poisoning and non-poisoning cases may have had mental health problems, as well as problem drug issues”.“The evidence in this report supports the need for increased awareness of people with mental health issues attending addiction services”.Read: Two charged after teenage boy dies at London rave > Read: Parents ‘gobsmacked’ after autistic son pricked by syringe on train >last_img read more

Samsung Galaxy Tab drops to 499 at Verizon stores

first_imgIf you were considering picking up a Samsung Galaxy Tab, then be glad you didn’t buy one last year. According to Droid Life the price of the Tab has just dropped from $599 to $499. On top of the $100 off you will also receive a $60 credit to spend on movie rentals through the Blockbuster app or the Media Hub.The price drop has been confirmed at two stores, so it could be a permanent drop being introduced everywhere. However, in case it isn’t you should act now if you want one and check your local stores for confirmation.There’s good news for existing owners too. If you purchased your Tab in the last 14 days it’s possible to return to the store you got it from and get $100 back (if that store has the price drop signs up).Read more at Droid Lifelast_img

A Tale of Two Wonder Women

first_img This past weekend at San Diego Comic-Con Gal Gadot met a real life Wonder Woman. Gal was sitting behind a table with her Justice League co-stars including Ezra Miller and Ben Affleck when she met Ashley; a young girl cosplaying as Wonder Woman. She appeared to be crying tears of joy getting to meet her hero. Variety shared a video of the exchange. Gal Gadot held Ashley’s hand and told her that she had no reason to cry anymore because they are together now. Batman looked over and called the exchange sweet. The Flash chimed in to tell Ashley that she’s a true warrior. Ashley’s mom, author Christine Keller, went to Twitter to praise Gal Gadot and the whole experience. This was an incredibly magical moment that reinforces the importance of having a strong representation of women and diverse communities in movies. Ashley’s story is just one in countless others since Wonder Woman premiered..@GalGadot shared a moment with a young Wonder Woman cosplayer while signing autographs with the Justice League at San Diego @Comic_Con— Variety (@Variety) July 22, 2017Last month, Patty Jenkins shared a note she had received about the impact that Wonder Woman had on some Kindergarten students. One girl said she wanted to grow up speak hundreds of languages just like Wonder Woman. Another little girl asked her teacher if she’d be able to come to class in Wonder Woman armor just in case she needed to save the world. The note was filled with more stories just like it. Even some little boys were inspired. Gal Gadot should be proud of the work she’s doing and the role model she’s become for young girls. With Wonder Woman on the big screen, Supergirl on the small screen, and Marvel preparing for the Captain Marvel movie in 2019, there is sure to be more young girls getting inspired to be all they can be. Ashley is a Wonder Woman in her own right, but she’s one of many to come.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Batman Loses a Dad Again, Another Ben Affleck Update & More DC Movie NewsSecret Aquaman Role, Wonder Woman’s Throwback Photo, & More DC Movie News Stay on targetlast_img read more

Melting Glaciers Expose Dead Bodies on Mount Everest

first_img Watch: Dolphin Leaps Feet Away From Unsuspecting SurferNASA Says 2 Asteroids Will Safely Fly By Earth This Weekend Stay on target Glaciers on Mount Everest are rapidly melting and expedition officials are worried about the number of climbers’ bodies that are becoming exposed across the cold landscape.Since the first Mount Everest ascent attempt, almost 300 climbers have died on the peak and two-thirds of bodies are still believed to be buried in the ice and snow, BBC News reported. Climbers’ bodies are being removed on China’s side of Mount Everest, as the weather warms up and the spring climbing season begins. Officials and other climbers have spotted bodies near many Mount Everest areas, including Camp 1, Camp 4, and the Khumbu Glacier’s surface.Trekkers and porters gather at Everest Base Camp. (Photo Credit: By PRAKASH MATHEMA/ AFP/Getty Images)“Because of global warming, the ice sheet and glaciers are fast melting and the dead bodies that remained buried all these years are now becoming exposed,” Ang Tshering Sherpa, former president of Nepal Mountaineering Association, told BBC News. “We have brought down dead bodies of some mountaineers who died in recent years, but the old ones that remained buried are now coming out.”Expedition Operators Association of Nepal (EOAN) officials said they were bringing down ropes from Mount Everest’s higher camps and Lhotse mountains this climbing season, however, handling the dead bodies have been a challenging task. According to EOAN officials, Nepal’s law requires government agency involvement with retrieving dead bodies from Mount Everest. Plus, it costs from $40,000 to $80,000 to bring down dead bodies from Mount Everest, due to weather complications and safety risks.“This issue needs to be prioritized by both the government and the mountaineering industry,” Dambar Parajuli, president of EOAN, told BBC News. “If they can do it on the Tibet side of Everest, we can do it here as well.”The Khumbu Glacier is seen in the Everest region in Solukhumbu district some 140km northeast of the Nepali capital Kathmandu. (Photo Credit: PRAKASH MATHEMA/AFP/Getty Images)Global warming also remains a key issue for Mount Everest: In 2017, the EverDrill project research team drilled into Khumbu Glacier in Nepal and took note of temperatures deep below the glacier’s surface layer. The team, which published their findings in Scientific Reports, found that the minimum ice temperature was only -3.3 degrees Celsius (26.06 degrees Fahrenheit), indicating that some high-elevation glaciers in the Himalayas are sensitive to minor atmospheric warming.“Because of the movement of the Khumbu Glacier, we do get to see dead bodies from time to time,” Tshering Pandey Bhote, vice president of Nepal National Mountain Guides Association, told BBC. “But, most climbers are mentally prepared to come across such a sight.”More on’s Ice Melting Rate Has Increased by 240 PercentIce Climbing World Cup Heads to America for the First TimeChinese Electric Car Sets Altitude Record By Reaching Glacierlast_img read more

Lawmakers Budget action cant wait

first_imgThe three Clark County legislators who serve on the state’s Economic and Revenue Forecast Council agreed Thursday that action on the ballooning state deficit can’t wait until the Legislature convenes in January for its 2011 session.State economist Arun Raha predicted that the state will collect $1.2 billion less than expected through June 2013, widening the revenue gap both for the current fiscal year and for the next biennium.Local lawmakers differed, however, on exactly what should be done, and when.“I think we’re going to have to do a special session,” said state Rep. Ed Orcutt, R-Kalama. “I think it would be best done when the House convenes for assembly days on (December) 9th and 10th. The budget-writers need to be working on proposals between now and then.”During a special session, lawmakers could make adjustments to the controversial 6.3 percent across-the-board cuts already ordered by Gov. Chris Gregoire, said Orcutt, the ranking Republican on the House Finance Committee. “I would not call for a special session right now,” said state Sen. Craig Pridemore, D-Vancouver, a member of the budget-writing Senate Ways and Means Committee. “I would call all the budget-writers together in the House and Senate, all four caucuses and the governor’s office, and come up with a proposal that both parties can sign off on. As soon as we get agreement, we should call a special session.”last_img read more

Immigration agency cranks up its audits

first_imgSEATTLE — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement reached its highest number yet of companies audited for illegal immigrants on their payrolls this past fiscal year.Audits of employer I-9 forms increased from 250 in fiscal year 2007 to more than 3,000 in 2012. From fiscal years 2009 to 2012, the total amount of fines grew to nearly $13 million from $1 million. The number of company managers arrested has increased to 238, according to data provided by ICE.The investigations have been one of the pillars of President Barack Obama’s immigration policy.When Obama recently spoke about addressing immigration reform in his second term, he said any measure should contain penalties for companies that purposely hire illegal immigrants. It’s not a new stand, but one he will likely highlight in efforts to revamp the nation’s immigration system.“Our goal is compliance and deterrence,” said Brad Bench, special agent in charge at ICE’s Seattle office. “The majority of the companies we do audits on end up with no fines at all, but again it’s part of the deterrence method. If companies know we’re out there, looking across the board, they’re more likely to bring themselves into compliance.”Advocates say the audits have pushed workers further underground in mass layoffs, and have disrupted business practices.When the ICE audit letter arrived at Belco Forest Products, management wasn’t entirely surprised. Two nearby businesses in Shelton, a small timber town on a bay off Puget Sound, had already been investigated.last_img read more

West LNG Alternative Selected For Kenai Spur Highway Reroute

first_imgThe AGDC announced the selected route to the Nikiski community this evening. The next step for the advancement of the project is to move towards the design phase and present the selected route to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Jesse Carlstrom Communications Manager with the AGDC: “The AGDC selected the West LNG Alternative for the Kenai Spur Highway reroute, and this selection is based on the West Alternative that was presented to the Nikiski community during a February 12 community meeting. Based on community feedback during that meeting the AGDC made alterations to the alternative and came up with this alternative.” The West LNG Alternative begins along the existing Kenai Spur Highway near MP 19, close to the South Miller Loop Road intersection. The reroute then turns northeast onto undeveloped land continuing for approximately 1 mile before turning northwest on the west side of Cabin Lake. The reroute then turns west at North Miller Loop Road until it merges with the Kenai Spur Highway north of MP 22. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The Alaska Gasline Development Corporation announced the chosen route for the Kenai Spur Highway reroute, the West LNG Alternative.The AGDC will relocate 1.3 miles of the existing highway to secure site control for the proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant in Nikiski. According to AGDC, the relocation of the highway is necessary to facilitate construction of the LNG facility. The design includes a 60 mph speed standard, two 12-foot lanes with 8-foot shoulders, and widened shoulders for pedestrians.last_img read more

National Journal Goes MembersOnly The Atlantic Adds Washington Bureau

first_img “When we launched in 1969, we were a publication that produced news and information targeted towards policy makers and influentials,” MacDonald continues. “In 2011, we launched membership, and that was taking our really important news and analysis and adding time-saving tools and research that really helped make Washington professionals more effective.” As part of a reorganization of the company’s Washington, D.C. operations, National Journal will fully transition to a premium paid content model, reducing its full-time employee count by around 25 percent and offering its content and services exclusively to member organizations behind a paywall. The repositioning is a return, of sorts, to National Journal’s roots as a subscriber-based source of news, analysis, briefings and other customized material for D.C. insiders after recent attempts at broadening its mainstream audience. “We’re very keen to expand The Atlantic’s digital coverage more aggressively into Washington politics and policy, and that will be picking up some of what National Journal has historically been doing,” says president and COO Bob Cohn. The moves are part of a rationalization of missions between The National Journal and The Atlantic, with the latter picking up the former’s broader political coverage.  Stephen G. Smith will rejoin National Journal as editor-in-chief, where he previously worked from 1996 to 1998 before departing for U.S. News & World Report and The Washington Examiner, among others. Ben Pershing was promoted to managing editor. “Politics has become consistently one of our most popular sections on the site,” Cohn continues. “We know that our audience cares deeply about politics and policy and, in general, we want to be more of a global brand. You really can’t have global ambitions if you don’t have strong coverage of Washington.” The transition is less a cost-saving measure than it is a logical solution to a perceived overlap between the two brands, Cohn tells Folio:. The Atlantic will also take over events division National Journal Live, combining it with its existing Atlantic Live division. More policy-based events aimed at a Washington, D.C. market can be expected to join Atlantic Live’s portfolio of global conferences and summits. While The Atlantic has always dedicated some of its content to politics—the magazine’s original 1857 mission statement mentions striving to be “the exponent of the American idea”—the expansion of Washington-based coverage is at least partially a response to audience demand. In July, Atlantic Media announced that National Journal’s 46 year-old print magazine would cease publication by the end of the year. Additional changes at National Journal include the debut of Axis, a growing library of relevant data and graphics offered exclusively to members. Currently free-to-access editorial products National Journal Daily and Hotline will be redesigned and moved behind the membership paywall. “It’s about us putting 100 percent of our editorial focus on the type of analysis and news that our members need, people who are Washington policy makers and are already approaching the issue with a pretty strong understanding, as opposed to writing for the general public,” MacDonald says. “I think that’s really a better focus for The Atlantic.” “The idea is to hone National Journal’s focus on what our members and subscribers need to do their jobs more effectively,” says National Journal publisher Poppy MacDonald. “It’s been the result of opening up a dialogue with our members.” National Journal will continue to offer its members about eight to twelve events per month, including leadership summits, roundtables, webinars and “Membership@Lunch” meetings, says MacDonald. Despite the newly-created bureau signifying The Atlantic’s most ambitious editorial development project to date, expansion plans aren’t limited to Washington. Headed by politics editor Yoni Applebaum, the new bureau plans to dedicate reporters to various Washington beats such as the White House, Capitol Hill, government agencies and the lobbying scene. As bureau chief, Applebaum will report to editor J.J. Gould. Big changes are coming to Atlantic Media. “It’s really trying to rationalize a corporate structure,” Cohn says. “From a corporate perspective, it’s asking, ‘What’s the clearest mission for each of these publications?’ Being a small company, we want to differentiate them as much as we reasonably can—in coverage, audience and advertiser audience.” About 20 National Journal staff members will move to The Atlantic, which will expand its editorial staff and open a new bureau in Washington.  “We will be adding editorial resources within our existing sections and launching new ones next year,” adds Cohn. “We’re really excited to expand in Washington, but that’s part of our overall ambitions and not necessarily to dramatically change ourselves to be known as a Capitol Hill site.”last_img read more

RBS Plans to Sell Private Banking Unit to Sanctum Wealth Report

first_imgBritain’s state-owned bank Royal Bank of Scotland is reported to be in talks to sell its private banking unit in India to Sanctum Wealth Management.RBS has signed a non-binding agreement and continuing its discussions with the Sanctum Wealth, said a RBS spokesperson in an emailed statement to Business Standard.However, the financial details of the deal are yet to be disclosed.Currently, the bank is carrying out private banking business in the country through its four offices in Mumbai, New Delhi, Bengaluru and Chennai.Shiv Gupta, the current managing director for RBS’ private banking operations in India, will head the Sanctum, the spokesperson said.”This arrangement would ensure continuity for clients and establish a framework to take the business forward,” said the statement.Gupta could bring in a few private investors to Sanctum Wealth after the transaction is fully completed, a source close to the development, told Reuters.The latest move to sell its private banking business is a part of RBS’ decision to pull out of Indian market, as its looks to focus on consolidation in the home market.”This marks another step towards delivering the strategy to make RBS a stronger, simpler, more sustainable business, more aligned with the needs of our customers in the U.K. and Western Europe,” the statement said.RBS, the largest state-owned bank in Britain, had sold its retail and commercial banking business in India in 2013. Since then, the bank has been trimming its presence in the country and sold its bullion financing business to IndusInd Bank recently.The bank saw its net balance sheet exposure in India decline to £1.7 billion in the financial year 2014, from £2.0 billion in the previous year. The fall in exposure was due to a cutback in corporate lending.Nevertheless, RBS is expected to continue its back-office operations in India. The bank had moved 60 back-office positions from the UK to India earlier in 2015.A few years ago, many overseas wealth managers rushed to set up shop in India, on the hopes that the country’s strong economic growth would give a boost to their business.But fierce competition, high employee costs and weakening markets have weighed on the revenues of the private banks besides tighter regulations hampering their product offerings.In 2013, another foreign bank Morgan Stanley was forced to sell its India wealth management unit to Standard Chartered due to similar reasons.last_img read more

Crorepati glut Infosys grapples with high staff pay

first_imgInfosysMANJUNATH KIRAN/AFP/Getty ImagesWhile Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka’s salary for fiscal 2017 saw quite a huge dip and co-founder Narayana Murthy advised senior employees at IT firms to take pay cuts and train employees to limit job losses, the Indian IT giant seems to be paying quite a large annual package to its employees abroad.Infosys is reportedly offering an annual package of over Rs 1 crore to its employees abroad and the financial burden on the IT giant is now likely to amplify with its decision to hire about 10,000 more workers in the US. Besides, out of the 48,400 employees that the firm employs in developed markets about 1,800 already earn over Rs 1 crore per annum.To balance out things, Infosys initially plans to hire freshers in these developed markets as their annual packages are not as hefty. So how does the IT giant plan to fit the hefty packages in its budget this year?”Infosys’ hiring overseas in FY17 was similar to FY16, and the average salaries in both years have been consistent. Any potential impact arising out of our recently announced US recruitment strategy has already been factored into our margin guidance,” the company told the Economic Times.Meanwhile, it is not just Infosys that is likely to face a bigger financial burden when it comes to hiring employees. With the Donald Trump administration tightening the H-1B visa norms, more and more companies are looking to hire employees overseas, which in turn means higher cost. Employees of Infosys Technologies Limited walk in the campus of the company’s headquarters in Bangalore on April 13, 2017.MANJUNATH KIRAN/AFP/Getty ImagesSo who are these crorepatis?The head of digital at Infosys Scott Sorokin takes home Rs 7.3 crore annually, according to ET and Abdul Razack, global head of Infosys Platforms, earned Rs 5.26 crore. Other Infosys bigwigs include –Head of design and research Sanjay Rajagopalan – Rs 5.2 crore approxArchitecture and technology head Navin Budhiraja – Rs 5.3 crore approxGlobal head of corporate development Ritika Suri – Rs 5.1 crore approxPractice engagement manager Ramachandra Kulkarni – Rs 4.4 crore approxBusiness development manager Sam Garmon – Rs 4.4 crore approxIndustry head financial services Ajay Vij – Rs 3.4 crore approxBusiness Consulting Peter Damato – Rs 3.6 crore approxSpeaking about the need to pay their senior executives well, Infosys says: “We continue to focus on building capabilities in new services and software for which it is essential to hire talent with specific skill sets, which often come at a premium. To attract and retain top quality talent, it is essential for us to compensate our executives on par with global competitors.” Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka announces the third quarter (October-December) results of fiscal 2016-17 in Bengaluru, on Jan 13, 2017.IANSMeanwhile, in India, the IT giant paid salaries of over Rs 1 crore to about 50 employees in FY2017. CEO Vishal Sikka’s cash component this fiscal fell to Rs 16.01 crore from Rs 48.73 crore in 2015-16. COO Pravin Rao’s overall compensation rose to Rs. 11.80 crore in 2016-17 from Rs. 8.14 crore last fiscal, according to the annual report.last_img read more

Airtel posts colossal Q1 loss of Rs 2866 cr on onetime hit

first_imgRevenue from the India wireless business grew 4.1% year-on-year (Y-o-Y) to Rs 10,724 crore.TwitterTelecom major Airtel on Thursday posted a mammoth consolidated net loss of Rs 2,866 crore for the first quarter ending June caused mainly by a one-time hit of Rs 1,445 crore.Such a loss suffered by India’s third-largest mobile operator by subscriber base reduces the prospects of revival of a sector battered and bruised by heightened competition from Reliance Jio for subscriber and revenue market share.The company said in a statement that with the adoption of IndAS 116, effective April 1, 2019, the results and ratios for the quarter ending June are not comparable with previous periods.Revenue from the India wireless business grew 4.1 per cent year-on-year (Y-o-Y) to Rs 10,724 crore.All telecom companies are currently in loss resulting out of their tariff wars with Reliance Jio, which entered the mobile market with ultra-cheap data tariffs and free voice calls.The exceptional hit of Rs 1,445 crore during the first quarter was mainly due to the charge of Rs 142 crore towards accelerated depreciation of 3G network equipment and operating costs on network re-farming and up-gradation program, incremental provision aggregating Rs 1,586 crore of derivative liabilities pertaining to customary indemnities provided to a clutch of investors of Airtel Africa, and expenses relating to its listing, among others, Airtel said.There were some gains on re-assessment of levies based on ex-parte judgment and net tax benefits.The Sunil Mittal-led company, which was the number one mobile operator till the Vodafone Idea merger last year, and subsequently lost its second slot to Reliance Jio on customer numbers, saw its first-quarter India revenues at Rs 15,345 crore increase 5.5 per cent Y-o-Y on an underlying basis.Mobile revenues during the quarter in consideration witnessed a Y-o-Y growth of 3.7 per cent. The mobile average revenue per user (ARPU) increased to Rs 129, while mobile data traffic nearly doubled to 3,904 petabytes (PBs) as compared to 2,003 PBs in the corresponding quarter last year.Mobile 4G data customers during the June quarter increased by 63.3 per cent to 95.2 million, from 58.3 million in the corresponding quarter last year.Non-mobile businesses continue to perform well. Digital TV revenue witnessed a growth of 15.7 per cent Y-o-Y on an underlying basis. The company reported a decline of 25.5 per cent on a reported basis due to reporting changes in DTH pursuant to the new tariff order, leading to content cost becoming a pass-through expense.Airtel’s business has witnessed a growth of 7.2 per cent Y-o-Y, but these growth numbers failed to boost the bottom line, the company said.Consolidated EBITDA at Rs 8,493 crore increased 24.2 per cent Y-o-Y. The consolidated EBITDA margin increased by 6.4 per cent to 41 per cent in the first quarter as compared to 34.5 per cent in the corresponding quarter last year. Consolidated EBIT dropped by 4.5 per cent Y-o-Y to Rs 1,605 crore.Airtel undertook CAPEX of Rs 5,047 crore during the quarter in question, down from Rs 6,273 crore in the previous one.The telco has net debt of Rs 1.16 lakh crore as on June 2019.”The consolidated net loss after exceptional items for the quarter stands at Rs 2,866 crore”, Airtel said.The consolidated net debt for the Company has increased by Rs 3,655 crore to Rs 1.16 lakh crore as compared to Rs 1.12 lakh crore for the previous quarter, primarily on account of increase in lease liabilities in line with Ind As 116. On a comparable basis, consolidated net debt was Rs 93,095 crore,” it added.The sole profitable mobile operator in the June quarter was Reliance Jio which posted a profit of Rs 891 crore while Vodafone Idea posted a net loss of Rs 4,873.9 crore.The ARPU for Bharti Airtel has been improving as it sheds low-paying users from its network with minimum recharge plans of Rs 35.Airtel had posted a surprise profit of Rs 107.2 crore in the three months ended March 31 because of a one-time gain of Rs 2,022.1 crore and tight control on sales and marketing expenses. It had also posted a small profit in the same period a year ago.One major announcement of the first quarter was of Airtel re-farming spectrum from 3G networks to 4G across both the 900 as well as 2,100 bands and starting the process of shutting down 3G networks in India.”We have a re-farmed spectrum from 3G networks to 4G across both the 900 as well as 2,100 bands and begun the process of shutting down 3G networks in India. This has enabled us to deliver improved indoor coverage as well as enhance our capacities. Our underlying operational efficiency and customer-first mindset keep us on track to grow our market share”, Airtel MD and CEO (India and South Asia) Gopal Vittal said.He also said the fiscal’s first quarter has begun with healthy and equitable growth across all lines of businesses. Headline pricing remained stable, albeit at low levels.”We continue to remain focused on providing value to customers through our rewards platform, Airtel Thanks. This has led to the second consecutive quarter of ARPU increase,” he said.last_img read more