3 Dec

Why no questions raised on 182-m high Sardar Patel statue, Mayawati asks in SC

first_img She said the years of the Congress regime have seen statues of Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and P.V. Naraismha Rao sprout all across the country at the expense of the public exchequer.The affidavit said the 182-metre ‘Statue of Unity’ of Sardar Patel has spurred other state governments to kick off statue projects of their own at public expense. Most of them are meant to shrink the BJP-ruled Gujarat government’s ‘Statue of Unity’.She said the U.P government has already set aside ₹200 crore to acquire land for a “gigantic” 221-metre high Ram statue at the banks of river Sarayu in Ayodhya. The Maharashtra government Shivaji statute project is expected to come up on the Arabian Sea near the Mumbai coast. Likewise, Karnataka government has proposed a 350-feet tall Mother Cauvery statue, Andhra government wants to install a 32-metre tall statue worth ₹155 crore of former chief minister and actor N.T. Rama Rao in Amaravati city and Tamil Nadu government has an idea to construct a statute of Jayalalithaa at Marina Beach for ₹50.08 crore.Violation of Article 14 of the ConstitutionMayawati said the elephant statues do not represent the party symbol of her party. They are ornamental or architectural designs. “Elephants standing in welcome posture is not a new phenomenon,” she said. Elephants were subject matter of welcome arches in ancient times. They also feature as a welcome sign over the Speaker’s chair in the parliament. They are part of the State emblems for Kerala and Karnataka. In fact they feature in ₹10 currency note to the logo of Delhi University. They are seen in the Red Fort and the Ajanta and Ellora Caves to other historic places. “Elephants represent peace, strength and energy.. In Hinduism, elephants are considered sacredband symbolises the deity Lord Ganesha,” she said.The affidavit is in response to February 8 remarks made by the Supreme Court, indicating a “tentative view” that Mayawati would have to cough up and pay back to the public exchequer the money she spent on erecting statues of herself and party symbol ‘elephant’ in public parks across Lucknow and Noida.A Bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi posted the petition filed by Supreme Court advocate Ravi Kant in 2009 alleging that crores of public money was spent by then Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati on these acts of self-aggrandisement.Mr. Kant has alleged that about ₹2,000 crore was used from the state budget for 2008-09 and 2009-10 to ‘falsely glorify’ the then chief minister. The petitioner has said the State government should be directed to remove the statues of Mayawati and her party symbol ‘elephant’ from public land.“The said activity is being carried out as a State policy, which is arbitrary and violative of Article 14 of the Constitution. Sixty statues of elephant were installed at a cost of ₹52.20 crore at public places by utilising state funds,” the petition had alleged in 2009. Mayawati has to repay public money spent on erecting her statues, BSP symbols in parks: SC Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati on April 2 countered criticism in the Supreme Court against her statues and elephant sculptures dotting the Uttar Pradesh landscape, asking why no questions are raised either in the court or media about the 182-metre high statue of Sardar Vallabhai Patel in Gujarat, Yogi Adityanath’s proposed 221-m tall Lord Ram or the Chhatrapati Shivaji statue project pegged at a whopping Rs. 3643.78 crore.In an affidavit, Mayawati said her statues are a show of respect by the people for a “contemporary dalit woman leader”.The affidavit provides a personal note in which Mayawati conveys the deep impression which the poverty and backwardness of the backward communities left in her mind. How she decided to “sacrifice her life” for their betterment. “I decided to give up my life to espouse their cause… to dedicate my life for the downtrodden and for this I also took a decision to remain unmarried,” she told the Supreme Court.Politically motivated caseThe statues are a recognition of her noble deeds and welfare measures as Chief Minister, she said. The funds for the memorials, sthals and parks in which her statues find a place were passed by the State legislatures, which are the final authority in such matters of funding. How could she question the legislature which represents the will of the people? The case against her is politically motivated, Mayawati told the court.Mayawati said these memorials and parks dedicated to social reformers and leaders educate the public about them and are also a source of revenue from visitors.”Construction of statues and memorials is not a new phenomenon,” Mayawati pointed out.Also Readlast_img read more

26 Nov

Juergen Klopp Unfazed by Liverpool’s Defensive Lapses Despite One Clean Sheet So Far in Season

first_img Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox – subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what’s happening in the world around you – in real time. footballJuergen Kloppliverpool First Published: September 20, 2019, 5:18 PM IST London: Juergen Klopp says Liverpool have not changed their defensive approach despite their record of only one clean sheet in their eight games so far this season.The European champions are five points clear at the top of the Premier League after five straight wins but the backline has been breached in four of those matches. And two late goals conceded in Naples in midweek meant their Champions League campaign started in disappointing fashion.Klopp’s men started last season’s league campaign with three clean sheets and conceded just 22 Premier League goals all season, missing out on their first top-flight title since 1990 by a single point.But Klopp said at his pre-Chelsea press conference on Friday that the change was down to circumstances rather than system.”No, there is no difference,” he said at Liverpool’s training ground. “We didn’t focus more on offensive things and forget the defensive things.”The goals happened completely strangely. There would have been a second clean sheet against Southampton if we don’t concede that goal, there could have been different clean sheets in other games.”Of course it’s not exactly what we wanted but we don’t collect clean sheets. We want to win football games and we are still early in the season.”Klopp, whose side travel to Frank Lampard’s Chelsea on Sunday, was asked about the importance of Virgil van Dijk and whether he had concerns about any potential injuries ruling the Dutchman out for a period of time.”That’s the reason why we have four centre-halves,” he said.”It’s not easy for the ‘in the moment number four’, not playing and sometimes not involved in the squad, but in the moment if something happens, like it was last year, not only one thing happens, a couple of things happen and then you end up with one centre-half and a defensive midfielder, which we did against Bayern.””We all need luck to be really successful, injury-wise first and foremost,” he added.”I can imagine something like that is not easy but the other guys, I have said it a lot of times, from my point of view we have four world-class centre-halves. They can play together in each partnership and hopefully that will be enough for a season, to be honest.” last_img read more

26 Nov

Maha declares drought in 29,000 villages

first_imgMumbai, May 12 (PTI) The BJP-led Government in Maharashtra has declared “drought” in over 29,000 villages of the state, mostly in parched Marathwada and Vidarbha regions where the grim situation was earlier described as drought-like.The government through a corrigendum yesterday clarified that wherever reference is made to a drought-like situation in the state manual, it would be read as drought, in accordannce with an assurance it gave to the Bombay High Court recently.The opposition Congress and the NCP, however, said today the Fadnavis Government was not serious in addressing the situation and the belated move was only meant to avoid judicial action.Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on his part said the villages that have now been declared as affected by drought were already receiving benefits from the government and that the Drought Manual provided only for the word drought-like.”We had already declared a drought-like situation in these villages. All the benefits which are needed to be given were accorded. The High Court asked us why drought-like and not drought (is used in reference to the affected villages). We pointed out that the Manual was adopted more than 25 years back and it provides for the word drought-like. There is no word as drought in the manual,” Fadnavis told PTI.”We also pointed out that even if we call it drought by effecting changes in the manual, it will not attract anything new to be done. What we have done or doing will continue. Court asked us our willingness to change the manual and introduce the word drought. We said we are ready to do that. So we did that and conveyed it to the court,” he added.advertisementState Congress president and former chief minister Ashok Chavan said the government is not serious in tackling the drought and that the decision has been taken keeping in mind the monsoon season which is due shortly.”The government is simply not serious on tackling drought. They were scared that the courts might take action against them and thus chose to simply adhere to the court and make the necessary changes,” he said.”Also, the government knows that monsoon is soon to arrive and thus they would not have to do anything much even if they bring in the word drought. This is clever tactics played by the government,” Chavan said. (MORE) PTI MM DK NM GSNlast_img read more

16 Nov



16 Nov

Oklahoma State Agrees to Home and Home Series with Arizona State in Football

first_imgIf you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers! Arizona State and Oklahoma State have agreed to a home/home series in football, it was announced Tuesday. The first game will take place on September 10, 2022 at Boone Pickens Stadium and in 2023 will be played at Sun Devil Stadium on September 9.The first meeting of the two teams on the gridiron came in 1984, where the Cowboys rolled 45-3 in Tempe. However, ASU controls the all-time series, 2-1. The Sun Devils won the 1991 matchup in Stillwater 30-3, and won again in 1993 in Tempe 12-10 — all during the Pat Jones era.The best part is that by 2022, this intriguing out-of-conference matchup will probably be an in-conference Pac 20 game.The 2023 freshman class will begin the sixth grade this year. https://t.co/QKslrmiya2— Mark Cooper (@mark_cooperjr) June 21, 2016last_img read more

16 Nov

James Cracknell, 46, rows himself into the Boat Race record books

first_imgShare via Email The Observer … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many new organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Share on Facebook I wasn’t just fit and healthy because of my sport – it’s always been something I’ve done to make the most of my lifeJames Cracknell Since you’re here… The same year he also completed the Yukon Arctic Ultra – a 430-mile bike slog across northern Canada, in which he finished second. He has also run the London marathon four times, finishing in 2017 in an impressive 2:43:12.But his exploits have not been without personal risk. In 2010, Cracknell fractured his skull when he was knocked off his bike by a lorry in Arizona as he attempted to cycle, row, run and swim from Los Angeles to New York.He suffered bruising to the brain and memory loss, and has talked about how the accident altered his personality.However, Cracknell said the urge to push himself to his limits brought rewards. “I wasn’t just fit and healthy because of my sport – it’s always been something that I’ve done to make the most of my life and as you get older it’s more important to be able to enjoy your kids, your grandkids. If you invest in your health, you’ll enjoy your life later.” Support The Guardian Share on LinkedIn Share on Pinterest Share on WhatsApp Guardian Today: the headlines, the analysis, the debate – sent direct to you Cracknell, who is more than a quarter of a century older than some of his fellow crew – and eight years older than the previous record holder, Andy Probert, Cambridge’s cox in 1992 – said he understood the focus on his age. But he pointed out that he is not alone: an increasing number of sports stars are now stretching their careers.“I’m old in one sense, but 40 is the new 30 in the way we live our lives. Professional footballers, cyclists, marathon runners and tennis players are all getting older and in that respect 45 is more like 35. That’s how I look at it. Sport is hard, and hard on your body, but you have to after look after yourself to live life to the full.”Cracknell has won two Olympic gold medals – at Sydney in 2000 and Athens in 2004 – and six golds at world rowing championships between 1997 and 2002, but he counts this race up there with his previous challenges.“Getting selected for the race has meant as much to me as being selected for the Olympics. And in terms of the Olympics I raced in the first one we were expected to win and that was a real relief, but the second one was more special because we hadn’t raced together because of injury and we had to dig really deep to beat the world champions. I honestly don’t know where we rank against Oxford until we get there. If it’s a humdinger race, we’ll have to dig really, really deep and ask ourselves tough questions.”Cracknell’s preparation for the race comes at a time of personal anguish. It emerged last week that he had split from his wife of 17 years, the television presenter Beverley Turner, with whom he has three children.After the split was confirmed, Cracknell tweeted: “It has been a tough few days, but I’m focused on winning this Sunday.” His participation in Sunday’s Boat Race – he is doing a master’s in human evolution at Peterhouse – is the latest twist in a post-Olympics career that has seen him migrate from professional sportsman to adventurer.In 2006 Cracknell and TV presenter Ben Fogle rowed across the Atlantic in 49 days. Three years later the pair joined with Ed Coats to come second in the 481-mile Amundsen Omega 3 race to the South Pole.In April 2011, Cracknell became the then highest-placed Briton in the 25-year history of the Marathon des Sables ultra marathon, finishing 12th.center_img news Rowing Olympic Games Share on Twitter The Boat Race Reuse this content Olympic gold-winning rower James Cracknell is expected to make history on Sunday when, at 46, he becomes the oldest person to compete in the Boat Race, representing Cambridge against Oxford.And yet, despite his years of experience, Cracknell admits to feeling far from calm ahead of the race.“It’s so different from any event I’ve done,” he said. “I grew up in west London. I lived within half a mile of the finish for 10 years and yet the place is going to be unrecognisable, so I imagine I’ll feel really nervous.” Read more Share on Messenger Topics Read more Boat Race 2019: Cambridge cruise to double victory – as it happenedlast_img read more

23 Oct

Fire Erupts on board Cidade de Maricá FPSO

first_imgzoom A fire broke out today on board the Cidade de Maricá FPSO platform, operated by Brazilian offshore major Petrobras.The FPSO is deployed to Lula field Lula Alto area, within BM-S-11 block in the Santos Basin pre-salt area, which is under concession to a consortium comprised of Petrobras, BG E&P Brasil Ltda. and Petrogal Brasil S.A.The fire was contained by local firefighting equipment, Petrobras said.The production of the platform has been suspended and will be resumed as soon as security tests are performed, the company added.There were no injuries reported to the crew and no pollution to the environment.The competent authorities were informed of the occurrence, Petrobras added.World Maritime News Stafflast_img read more

22 Oct

Strategy to Better Support Those with Dementia Families Caregivers

first_imgThe province’s first dementia strategy aims to improve access to timely and accurate diagnoses, provide more public education and awareness, give more support to families and caregivers and enhance co-ordination in the health system. Health and Wellness Minister Leo Glavine launched Towards Understanding: A Dementia Strategy for Nova Scotia, today, June 23, in Halifax. “People with dementia experience a progressive decline in the ability to think, remember and carry out day-to-day activities and, over time, their ability to live independently,” said Mr. Glavine. “That’s heartbreaking, and hard to cope with. This strategy sets out a path to help those living with dementia, along with their caregivers and families, to live well.” Some of the actions planned for the next three years are: enhancing dementia support as part of the 811 service building a toolkit for primary health-care providers, focused on diagnosis, treatment, management and long-term care planning enhancing programs such as supportive care to allow caregivers of people younger than 65 who have been diagnosed with dementia to be considered for the program engaging with under-represented populations to identify needs and develop culturally specific programs and supports developing an education campaign to inform Nova Scotians about the signs of dementia and the supports available ensuring accessibility of education programs for families and caregivers and enhancing content to better meet their needs “The strategy will address the differences in the system that needs to be made to meaningfully respond to the needs of Nova Scotians,” said Lloyd Brown, executive directive of the Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia and co-chair of the advisory committee. “In the coming months, how that will happen will unfold through ongoing work with the Department of Health and Wellness, other government departments, the Nova Scotia Health Authority, not-for-profit and private partners. It is an exciting time. We now have the opportunity to make the difference we have all been working towards.” Heather Fifield, a family caregiver representative on the dementia strategy advisory committee said it took several years for her husband to be officially diagnosed with dementia. “Over those years, we watched him change from a confident, social man to an insecure and withdrawn man. It was devastating to our family,” said Ms. Fifield. “My hope is that this strategy will help put the right support in place to ease the burden on other families.” In September, government asked Nova Scotians living with dementia, their families and caregivers, and health-care providers, for input. More than 700 people participated through public consultations, online surveys, and outreach support groups. Another 60 people participated in six working groups. For more information on the strategy, visit novascotia.ca/DHW/Dementia .last_img read more

18 Oct

Bodies of two unidentified men found near railway track

first_imgMuzaffarnagar (UP): The bodies of two unidentified men were found from different spots near the railway track in Shamli district of Uttar Pradesh, police said on Tuesday. The body of a man, aged around 55 years, was spotted by the locals near the railway track on the Delhi-Saharanpur line in Bharsi village on Monday, they added. It is suspected that the man died after falling from a train, the police said, adding that the body was sent for a post-mortem. The body of another man, aged around 30 years, was found near the railway track between Mansurpur and Muzaffarnagar stations on Monday evening, the police said, adding that it was sent for a post-mortem.last_img read more

17 Oct

Dozens of dogs rescued from South Korean dog meat farm arrive in

first_imgAn animal welfare group that recently rescued more than 170 dogs from a dog meat farm in South Korea says next year’s Winter Olympics in PyeongChang represent an opportunity to pressure the country’s government to end the controversial industry.Humane Society International’s Canadian branch said 50 of the dogs rescued from the facility in Namyangju have arrived in Canada in the last five days and are bound for shelters and rescue groups in Ontario and Quebec.Another 120 or so dogs are headed to the United States and the United Kingdom, the organization said.Rebecca Aldworth, the group’s executive director, said they helped the meat farm’s owner transition to another line of work and saved the animals with the owner’s consent.She’s hoping international pressure will push the South Korean government to adopt a similar approach.“The Olympics will be held in South Korea and this creates a huge opportunity for the international community to apply pressure to the government of South Korea and to urge them to… transition dog meat farmers to a more humane activity and shut down the dog meat trade for good,” she said.“We see a growing culture in South Korea that’s creating more and more opposition to the dog meat trade domestically and there’s increasing sympathy within government for transition farmers out of the industry and ending the dog meat trade for good.”The Namyangju dog meat farm, which has now shut down, was one of roughly 17,000 such facilities in South Korea, where an estimated 2.5 million dogs are killed for meat each year, she said.“This horrific dog meat farm is one of the worst HSI has ever seen and I am thrilled we are shutting it down for good,” Aldworth said.“More than 170 dogs and puppies were intensively confined in cramped, filthy, barren wire cages positioned over months of accumulated waste. The dogs had no protection from the freezing temperatures,” she said.“These dogs have been spared a lifetime of misery and a brutal death at the hands of the dog meat trade.”Aldworth said she hoped many of the dogs would find permanent new homes before the holidays.“A lot of these dogs are very traumatized and very frightened but even in the four days we’ve been interacting with them in Canada, we’ve already seen them come out of their shells,” she said.“They’re wagging their tails when we approach, putting their paws up on their cages so it’s clear that these dogs are going to make amazing companion animals.”last_img read more

17 Oct

Comedian Seth Rogen to voice announcements on Vancouver public transit

first_imgVANCOUVER – Vancouver commuters will soon hear the voice of a familiar funnyman on public transit telling them to keep their bags and dirty shoes off the seats.Actor and comedian Seth Rogen volunteered to be the guest voice of Metro Vancouver’s transit authority, after the transit provider ditched actor Morgan Freeman’s voice amid controversy.In a YouTube video posted by TransLink, Rogen says he will take any chance to enrich the lives of Canadians.“When the opportunity came up to be a voice on public transportation I was thrilled. I am honestly always looking for ways to participate in Canadian culture and put the spotlight on Canada,” Rogen says.The Vancouver-born actor says he grew up taking public transportation and still does so whenever he’s in the city, especially on his regular trips to the Richmond night market from downtown.In May, TransLink halted public announcements voiced by Freeman following allegations of harassment and inappropriate behaviour against the Oscar winner.In a statement, TransLink says Rogen offered to work with the transit authority free of charge after the idea was pitched on social media by its customers and local media.TransLink says Rogen’s distinctive voice and laugh will be heard on transit platforms, SkyTrains and buses across the region in the coming weeks and into the fall.He will be tackling transit etiquette as well as “interesting tidbits” about the area and his relationship to Metro Vancouver, it says in the YouTube post.The video also gives viewers a taste of his messaging on keeping seats open for people:“Hey Vancouver, it’s Seth. Here’s a tip to make your transit ride even more awesome: I know your bag is probably very nice and you care deeply for it, but that doesn’t mean it needs its own seat,” he says.In addition to his acting roles, Rogen and fellow Canadian Evan Goldberg co-wrote the films “Superbad,” “Pineapple Express” and “This Is the End.”The childhood friends will share a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame, the organization announced Monday when it named its 2018 inductees.last_img read more

12 Oct

Companies rush to produce pot products, without the cannabis plant itself

TORONTO — Canadian companies are racing to get an edge in the new frontier of the cannabis industry — which does not involve the leafy green plant at all.An increasing number of licensed producers and biotechnology firms are moving towards synthetic production of THC and other cannabinoids in a lab, using ingredients such as sugar and yeast, eyeing the potential to produce these active compounds more cheaply than traditional cultivation and extraction.CannTrust Holdings Inc.’s chief executive Peter Aceto said the Vaughan, Ont.-based licensed producer has a short list of biosynthesis companies that it is in active conversations with, which could result in either a partnership or acquisition.“We do believe that cannabinoids will be created through biosynthesis, whether it’s yeast or sugar or other compounds, at scale at an extremely low cost… And do expect to be investing in that space in the not-too-distant future,” he said.Canada is on the verge of legalizing the next-generation of cannabis products such as edibles and topicals in the coming months, which will allow the industry to tap a broader range of consumers who aren’t interested in smoking dried flower.In turn, the demand for cannabinoids and isolates for use as an ingredient in consumer products is expected to grow “exponentially in the coming years,” said AltaCorp analyst David Kideckel.Synthetic cannabinoid production has the potential to disrupt the cannabis industry supply chain, he added in a recent note.“We believe that cannabis LP’s will begin to pay much closer attention to these companies’ technology and its application to their industry, as it offers the potential for significant advantages on an operational and cost basis, as well as product quality and purity.”Other Canadian cannabis companies have already made moves in this space. Moncton-based Organigram Inc. in September closed a $10-million investment deal with Hyasynth Biologicals, in a bid to boost its access to the Montreal-based company’s proprietary methods involving fermentation of yeast.Also last September, licensed producer Cronos Group Inc. announced a strategic partnership with Boston-based Ginkgo Bioworks Inc., also focusing on cannabinoid production via fermentation at commercial scale, in a deal worth roughly US$22-million.Cronos’ chief executive Michael Gorenstein said during a recent conference call that this partnership is key to its strategy of focusing on developing branded products and intellectual property, rather than the capital-intensive process of cultivation and production. He added that Cronos and Ginkgo will focus on synthetic production of THC, the compound which produces a high, and CBD, the non-impairing compound believed to have anti-inflammatory properties. The two companies through the partnership will also target six other rare cannabinoids, which are “economically impractical” to produce with high purity at scale through traditional cultivation and extraction,” he added.“We at Cronos believe that rare cannabinoids are key to product differentiation, but today are nearly impossible to produce commercially,” Gorenstein told analysts.Rather than using a solvent, carbon dioxide or another method to remove extracts from the cannabis or hemp plant, synthetic production of cannabinoids involves using a controlled chemical reaction to produce these coveted compounds. Synthetic production is already commonly used in the pharmaceutical industry, such as the use of yeast fermentation to biosynthesize insulin.One method of synthetic production is called biosynthesis, in which a biological organism such as bacteria, fungus or algae are used as agents to yield cannabinoids, AltaCorp said.It’s similar to brewing beer, where water, yeast and malted grain are combined and fermented to produce an alcoholic beverage. However, the yeast is instead genetically engineered to produce the necessary enzymes to yield cannabinoids instead.“We’ll remove the genes that tell it to produce ethanol, and then we’ll put in a new set of genes that will give it the machinery to produce THC,” said Kevin Chen, the chief executive and co-founder of Hyasynth.Biosynthesis has the potential to produce large quantities of cannabinoids, consistently, with a high level of purity and precision, according to AltaCorp. As well, at roughly less than $1,000 per kilogram, it is much cheaper than growing cannabis or hemp and extracting it, Kideckel wrote in a recent note.That’s a particularly attractive prospect as Canadian producers increasingly look at ways to reduce costs, such as outdoor growing in the warmer climes of B.C., as dried cannabis becomes a commodity.Lab-generated cannabinoids via synthesis will not replace plant-based extraction, but will be an added tool in companies’ arsenals, Kideckel added.Still, biosynthesis and other methods of synthetic cannabinoid production are still in the “early stages” and could take “years of research and development to perfect,” he added.In February, UC Berkeley synthetic biologists published a study in the journal Nature demonstrating how they used engineered brewer’s yeast to produce THC, CBD and other cannabinoids.Meanwhile, there has been a flurry of companies flooding into the biosynthesis space within the last six months, said Chen, who co-founded Hyasynth in 2014.“Everybody is jumping into this stuff now,” he said. “It went from us and two other companies to 20 companies.”Competitors include Vancouver-based InMed Pharmaceuticals and California-based Amyris Inc.The race is on, and Hyasynth is aiming to establish its own small-scale facility and be able to sell a product by the end of the year. The company is aiming to become an ingredient supplier, he added. However, Chen said there is “a lot to be nailed down, and it will be an ongoing process of improvement.”“We’re already pretty confident that we’ll get there.”Armina Ligaya, The Canadian Press read more

12 Oct

World’s top steelmaker to cut output further in Europe

LONDON — The world’s largest steel maker, ArcelorMittal, on Wednesday announced further cuts to production at several plants in Europe due to weak demand and high imports, reflecting troubles in the wider industry.The Luxembourg-based company said it would reduce steelmaking operations at plants in France and Germany and extend a planned stoppage in Spain. The cuts follow a May 6 announcement to idle and reduce production at plants in Poland and Spain respectively.ArcelorMittal said the production cuts were temporary and did not address in detail the question of job cuts.“Our employees remain our utmost priority and we are doing everything we can to ensure that the right social measures are in place to support them and their families during this difficult time,” the company said.The cuts are the latest grim news for steel producers. Last week, British Steel was ordered into liquidation. On May 10, German steelmaker Thyssenkrupp said it would cut 6,000 jobs on the expectation that its joint venture with India’s Tata Steel would be blocked by regulators.The Associated Press read more

6 Oct

Commodities price suffer fall but poised for rebound in 2013 Scotiabank report

TORONTO – Commodity prices are poised for a rebound in 2013 following the declines experienced in many of Canada’s resource sectors this year despite a summer rally, according to a new report from Scotiabank.In a commentary accompanying its Commodity Price Index for November, Scotiabank says prices will get a lift as buyers restock raw materials after liquidating inventories or deferring orders in 2012.“This is already the case in China, where a pickup in orders from steel producers, after a sharp inventory correction last summer, has boosted spot iron ore and coking coal prices,” writes Scotiabank commodity market specialist Patricia Mohr.“Lumber and OSB (oriented strand board) are our top investor picks — expected to post a multiple-year recovery through mid-decade,” Mohr added, citing a growing recovery in the U.S. housing market.Meanwhile, figures in the bank’s latest monthly index painted a less rosy picture for this year. After a late-summer rally, overall prices began slipping in October and fell 2.3 per cent month-over-month in November, Scotiabank said.Scotiabank says the commodity prices it tracks are down 8.4 per cent overall in the first 11 months of this year, compared with the comparable period of 2011.“We are experiencing another bout of concern over the outlook for global growth and the potential fallout from the U.S. fiscal cliff in early 2013, dampening oil and grain prices,” Mohr said.“That’s only partially offset by news that China’s economy is revving up again, lifting base metal prices, especially copper.”As a result, Mohr said prices are currently 16 per cent below the near-term peak in April 2011, just prior to the advent of concern over excessive eurozone sovereign debt and the negative impact on global growth.The oil and gas sub-index has led decline, with the index down 14.4 per cent in November from a year earlier as lower light and heavy crude oil prices in Alberta and considerably softer propane prices in Edmonton and Sarnia, Ont., overpowered a slight gain in Canadian natural gas export prices.While international oil prices remained strong in 2012, a price discount on Edmonton light crude oil emerged and there was a bigger discount on Western Canadian Select (WCS) heavy oil, largely the result of inadequate export pipeline capacity.“The cost to the Canadian economy of these wide oil price discounts is enormous,” said Mohr.She estimates the Canadian heavy crude discount cost about US$9 billion in 2012 compared with West Texas Intermediate,”plus another US$17.7 billion due to the WTI discount off world prices, as measured by Brent (crude).”The Metal and Mineral sub-index has also lost ground in 2012, down 13.1 per cent year over year despite the fact that most base metal prices held up well.However, double-digit declines in coking coal, iron ore and steel alloying metals alongside stagnant world steel production and a mid-summer inventory correction in China’s steel industry more than offset the relative strength in some base metals.On a more positive note, the Forest Products sub-index posted a substantial recovery in 2012, up 12.9 per cent through November.“After a challenging environment since 2008 linked to a prolonged and sharp downturn in U.S. housing, oriented strand board and lumber producers enjoyed a substantial recovery in earnings in 2012,” the bank said.Meanwhile, a modest recovery in U.S. housing starts is “hitting a wall of tighter supply, given substantial mill closures since 2006, the equivalent of 140 sawmills across the U.S. and Canada,” it added.Agriculture was another pocket of strength in 2012, up five per cent year over year. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Hugh McKenna, The Canadian Press Posted Dec 20, 2012 11:47 am MDT Commodities price suffer fall but poised for rebound in 2013: Scotiabank report read more

2 Oct

Central African Republic needs support to tackle spoilers other challenges – UN

Clashes also took place in the north-west and the Kaga Bandoro region between anti-Balaka and ex-Séléka factions, resulting in attacks on civilians and aid groups, causing operations to be suspended in September, he said. Activity of those factions had also been reported in the north-east of the country. MINUSCA continues to maintain a robust posture against such violence and was enforcing weapons-free zones. In contrast to the worrying flare-ups of armed activity, he said that national authorities continue implementing President Touadéra’s agenda, including engaging 11 out of 14 armed groups in a dialogue on reintegration. MINUSCA is meeting with armed groups to encourage their participation, he added. For the international support needed, Mr. Ladsous said, the importance of the Brussels donor conference on 17 November, for which the country’s five-year needs had been assessed and a framework for accountability created, “could not be over-emphasized.” Sustained international engagement had often been lacking in previous crises in the country, leading to relapse into violence. “While the primary responsibility rests with the Central Africans, we must ensure that this mistake is not repeated,” he stressed. Meanwhile, Abderrazzak Laassel of Morocco, the Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission’s Central African Republic configuration, also briefed the Council on the ninth meeting of the International Contact Group for the country, chaired by the African Union (AU) and the Republic of the Congo. At that meeting, interlocutors expressed the need for strong political and financial support for disarmament, demobilization, repatriation and reintegration, he said. Noting that MINUSCA has the challenging task of supporting reform of the security sector, he said that the European Union has initiated a military mission to train two battalions of the Central African Armed Forces, known as the FACA, in the effort to build a professional army. Based on the draft National Security Policy, the reform programme would need reinforcement of the police and gendarmerie, as well as a clarification of their respective mandates, with the aim of extending State authority in the entire territory. “National reconciliation remains a matter of concern,” he said, as a relevant strategy has not yet been adopted. Some local initiatives are encouraging, especially the activities of the religious platform. National reconciliation, however, could not be successful without addressing the issue of impunity, he said, noting that some key steps had been taken towards the establishment of the Special Criminal Court. He said support of the international community would be crucial in the coming months. Highlighting the need for success of the upcoming donor’s conference in Brussels, he said the national strategy for recovery and peace consolidation, as well as a framework for mutual accountability with the international community, would need to be shared in advance. Abdelrazak Laassel, Chair of the Central African Republic Configuration of the Peacebuilding Commission, addresses the Security Council meeting on the situation in that country. UN Photo/Cia Pak “While the needs are many, I am convinced that with our concerted and continued support, Central Africans can lay the foundations for peace,” Hervé Ladsous Under-Secretary-General for UN Peacekeeping Operations, said in his briefing on the work of the Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission (MINUSCA), alongside the Chair of the Central African Republic configuration of the UN Peacebuilding Commission. More than three years of war and sectarian violence have displaced thousands of people in the CAR amid continuing clashes between the mainly Muslim Séléka rebel coalition and anti-Balaka militia, which are mostly Christian. Mr. Ladsous introduced the Secretary-General’s report on developments in the CAR, which welcomed the inauguration of a democratically elected president, Faustin-Archange Touadéra, and pledged the Mission’s full support to the Government in such critical efforts as reintegration of armed groups, reform of the security sector, improvement of still grave humanitarian conditions, inclusive economic development, reconciliation and other necessary components of peace consolidation. Such efforts, the Secretary-General noted, would take “dedication and time.” Updating the Council on key developments since the issuance of the report, Mr. Ladsous said that the end of the rainy season — a traditionally volatile period — has been used by armed groups and other “spoilers” to advance their interests. Last week, dozens of people were killed in unrest following the shooting of a member of the Central African Armed Forces in a predominantly Muslim neighbourhood. MINUSCA, he said, acted decisively to prevent intercommunal violence from spreading, securing the perimeter of the neighbourhood, coordinating its response with the national authorities, responding to the needs of civilians, encouraging community dialogue and continuing to support efforts to address impunity. read more

30 Sep

The Cubs Start Is Even More Dominant Than It Seems

The Cubs are the best (through 24 games) YEARTEAMRUN DIFFERENTIALSCALED RUN DIFFERENTIALWON LEAGUEWON WS 2012St. Louis Cardinals+65+2.67 2003New York Yankees+85+3.42√ 2016Chicago Cubs+83+3.50—— 1962San Francisco Giants+74+2.89√ Source: Baseball PRospectus 1993Detroit Tigers+69+2.84 To put it in perspective, the distance between the Cubs’ run differential and that of the second-best team (the Washington Nationals) is the same as the difference between the Nationals and the 20th-ranked Oakland A’s. Not only is Chicago scoring the most runs in baseball, it’s also tied for allowing the fewest. And as if that wasn’t enough, the Cubs boast the best base running of any team as well.This Cubs squad wasn’t always an unstoppable force. According to our Elo ratings, which measure the quality of a team at any given point in time, the club Theo Epstein inherited bottomed out around the end of the 2012 season, when their 1439 rating left them ranked second-to-last in the majors — ahead of only the tanking Houston Astros. But in the 521 games since,3Including the playoffs. the Cubs have gained 120 points of Elo rating, a level of sustained increase exceedingly rare in MLB history. For every thousand similar stretches, we’d expect to see a 120-point Elo increase only about two or three times.4It’s difficult to determine the exact probability because there are so many possible 521-game stretches, but we can estimate it by looking at a sample of 1,000 such sets.In only three years, the Cubs have risen from one of the worst teams in baseball to achieve an unprecedented degree of dominance. But there’s no pennant for the best Elo rating, no trophy for the highest run differential. And it might take playing at this level all season to overcome the most stunning streak of postseason futility in professional sports and win a championship for the first time in 107 years.Check out our latest MLB predictions. 1984Detroit Tigers+71+3.08√√ The Chicago Cubs have started the 2016 season on a roll, amassing a 19-6 record — with one of the wins coming via a no-hitter — and outscoring opponents by an average of 3.6 runs per game. Tabbed in spring training as a potential 100-game winner by nearly every projection algorithm, the Cubs are somehow exceeding even those lofty expectations. Now the benchmark is quickly shifting to whether they can become one of the best teams in baseball history.By run differential, the Cubs’ start ties for fourth-best in MLB’s modern era (going back to 1900). But that fun fact doesn’t quite do their dominance justice, because MLB is also currently in an epoch of incredible parity, with the spread of talent between teams smaller than it’s ever been. If you adjust for how bunched-up team run differentials have become in recent years,1I did this by calculating the standard deviation in run differential at game 24 of each season, and smoothing the trend over time using local regression. the Cubs are off to the strongest 24-game start since at least 1950.2Which is as far back as Baseball Prospectus has data. 1974Los Angeles Dodgers+71+2.95√ 1955Brooklyn Dodgers+69+2.54√√ 2010Tampa Bay Rays+66+2.69 2002Boston Red Sox+65+2.61 read more

28 Sep

Ohio State mens soccer drops Big Ten opener against No 15 Indiana

The Ohio State men’s soccer team opened Big Ten play on the wrong foot, falling to the No. 15 Indiana Hoosiers, 2-0. Sunday’s loss drops the Buckeyes to 3-5-1 on the season while the visiting Hoosiers improved to 6-1-1. The Buckeyes opened play against the favored Hoosiers with a conservative mindset, hoping to contain the Indiana attack and make the most of their own chances, said OSU coach John Bluem after the game. “Today we chose to play a little bit more defensively,” Bluem said. “(Indiana is) a strong attacking team. We wanted to play safe and keep ourselves in the game.” The defensive-minded strategy worked until a costly mistake in the OSU goal in the 30th minute allowed Indiana to take the lead. Indiana freshman Andrew Oliver’s shot was deflected and rolled past Buckeye sophomore goalkeeper Alex Ivanov, who was not able to recover and make the save. Oliver again helped the Hoosiers find twine, drawing a penalty in the first minute of the second half. Ivanov guessed correctly on Indiana sophomore forward Eriq Zavaleta’s penalty, but the shot scorched past the sophomore goalkeeper’s outstretched arms. Indiana led, 2-0. Bluem did not agree with the penalty call, saying it was “a very bad decision by the referee that ended the game.” The Buckeyes abandoned their defensive mindset in their attempt to erase the two-goal deficit. OSU outshot the Hoosiers, 10-4, in the second half but were eventually held scoreless. The shutout is the second consecutive for OSU. “We did create some good moments,” Bluem said, “and sometimes that’s all you need. We just weren’t sharp enough to get it done.” Riding a two-game losing streak, Bluem said his team is “having a difficult time,” but is still in the mix to compete for a conference championship. “You’re not out of this conference race at all just because you lost your first game,” Bluem said. “We played today what many people are thinking is the best team in the conference. I think we held our own against them.” OSU will take a break from Big Ten action on Wednesday when they host Butler (2-1-4) at 7 p.m. at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. read more

24 Sep

Fortescue autonomous retrofits hit 32 at Christmas Creek

first_imgIn its latest results, Pilbara iron ore major Fortescue Metals Group reports that the conversion to autonomous haulage (AHS) at Christmas Creek is progressing well with 32 mainly Caterpillar 793F, 789D and Komatsu 930E trucks converted by Caterpillar to use Cat® Command for Hauling and now in operation. At Cloudbreak, the RCR Tomlinson 5 km relocatable conveyor has doubled throughput capacity through an additional semi mobile crushing station.Fortescue Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth Gaines, said “The Fortescue team have delivered a strong start to FY19 with shipments of 40.2 Mt for the quarter, an increase in realised price to US$45/dmt through our optimised product strategy and C1 costs of US$13.19/wmt. Shipments of our 60.1% iron grade product, West Pilbara Fines (WPF) are scheduled to commence from December this year, further enhancing our product mix.”“The Eliwana mine and rail development project is progressing and our innovation projects across the Chichesters, including the Christmas Creek autonomous haulage (AHS) fleet conversion and the Cloudbreak relocatable conveyor continue to contribute to our productivity and efficiency improvements.”last_img read more

21 Sep

Broken hearts linked to death

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram New research shows that a death of a loved one, a sporting event, natural disasters and terror attacks can all prompt sudden cardiac death. The research from the Heart Foundation – that took them ten years to conduct – also says that living alone and having few social contacts can be a risk factor for a heart attack too. Job stresses – that have long been associated with heart disease – have been shown to have little likelihood in causing a heart attack. “But many of the other stressors like poor rewards, job dissatisfaction and poor working hours, all those things which are traditionally thought to have some impact on heart health were not important,” Heart Foundation chief medical adviser Professor James Tatoulis told The Courier Mail. The research paper showed a 40 per cent increase in mortality from heart attacks in bereaved people in the first six months after the death. There was a 21 fold increase in the incidence of non-fatal heart attacks in the first 24 hours after bereavement and a fourfold increase in the first month after bereavement. However, Professor Tatoulis was quick to point out that many of those who had these heart attacks probably had underlying heart conditions in the first place. Acute emotional stress like bereavement has also been linked to a heart problem known as takotsubo cardiomyopathy – where the heart muscles contract into an hour glass shape causing chest pain and impaired heart function. Professor Tatoulis said this heart problem was more common in women aged 45-65 who were subjected to acute stress, but it usually resolved over 4-8 weeks. The Heart Foundation is calling on sporting bodies to ensure they are equipped with defibrillators during grand finals and other big sporting matches because of a higher risk of heart attacks. Natural and other disasters were also linked to a significant increase in cardiac events. Source: The Courier Maillast_img read more