Ousted candidate says Liberals knew about social media posts well before sacking

first_imgMONTREAL — A recently ousted Liberal candidate says the party knew about his controversial social media posts well before he was turfed as the nominee in a Montreal riding.Hassan Guillet told reporters today he met officials with the federal party on Aug. 8 to discuss the old posts. He says the Liberals were convinced he was neither racist not anti-Semitic.But they revoked his nomination in the Saint-Leonard-Saint-Michel riding last Friday after a Jewish advocacy group unearthed the series of old statements he made on social media that were critical of Israel and U.S. foreign policy.He says he and the Liberals had already discussed an action plan that involved outreach to the Jewish community. Guillet says that action plan was set to be set in motion the day he was sacked.Guillet says his posts were public, and the party knew or should have known about them when they vetted him in 2017.The former imam says he wants to run in October’s federal election as a Liberal, but doesn’t rule out running for another party or as an Independent if he’s not reinstated.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Humanitarian crisis worsens in north Yemen fighting UN reports

23 September 2009The humanitarian crisis in northern Yemen, where 150,000 people have been driven from their homes by fighting between Government and rebel forces, continues to worsen, with the lack of drinking water posing a particularly serious concern, the United Nations reported today. Given the very limited access to people affected by the conflict and the geographical spread of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in all four affected northern governorates, it has been very difficult to assess the full scope of displacement and provide sufficient relief, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said.“Food rations have been pre-positioned at strategic points throughout northern Yemen and are sufficient to provide 60,000 beneficiaries with a monthly ration,” it added in its latest update. “In the hot weather conditions, the current lack of potable water is particularly a serious concern.”The $23.7 million Flash Appeal that was launched three weeks ago has still not received any funding, although some pledges have been recorded. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is procuring emergency shelter items for 35,000 IDPs, including 7,000 tents, 5,000 plastic sheets, 250 plastic rolls, 21,000 mattresses, 36,000 blankets and 5,000 kitchen sets. Since 12 September, a window of access has allowed Islamic Relief Yemen, the main partner of the UN World Food Programme (WFP) in the region, to start the second cycle of food distributions in Hajjah governorate and by 16 September some 12,800 people had benefited from 188 metric tons of food.New families arrived in Hajjah from Sa’ada governorate on hearing that aid was being provided. These families have been added to the distribution lists.The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) will triple water distribution in the IDP camp in Sa’ada, but additional funding is needed to construct separate toilets and washing facilities for men and women and ensure adequate water and sanitation services.The UN World Health Organization (WHO) has received surgical supplies from the Italian Government for 400 major surgical operations, as well as medical supplies for 20,000 IDPs for three months and diarrhoeal disease treatment for 1,500 victims of severe to moderate dehydration. While some international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) were denied access to IDPs in Al-Jawf governorate, the Ministry of Health/WHO mobile teams managed to continue delivery of essential health care services to displaced persons in the area. read more

Amaya CEO investor group looking to take online poker company private

MONTREAL – Amaya’s chairman and CEO is looking to take the world’s largest online poker company private about 18 months after it acquired PokerStars for US$4.9 billion.David Baazov and a group of investors announced Monday their interest in paying $21 per share in cash, 40 per cent above Friday’s closing price.“The particular form and structure of the transaction have not been determined, and no discussions have commenced between Mr. Baazov and Amaya with respect to any particular transaction,” said a news release issued in Baazov’s name.It said there is no guarantee that a transaction will proceed or be concluded. A similar statement issued by the company’s board of directors said a committee of independent directors would review any formal offers by Baazov or others.The announcements prompted a surge in Amaya’s stock price, which peaked Monday at $19.75 on the Toronto Stock Exchange — the most since Dec. 24. In later trading, Amaya (TSX:AYA) stock fell back to close up $3.01 or 20 per cent at $18.Baazov owns about 18.6 per cent of the 132.78 million outstanding shares of Amaya and has options to purchase 550,000 more shares.Amaya as a whole would be worth $2.79 billion at the suggested purchase price, including the stock and options that Baazov already owns.The company’s stock hasn’t recovered since plunging from above $31 in early November after it lowered its financial expectations for 2015.Over the last 52 weeks, they have fallen from a peak of $37.52 about a year ago to a low of $13.73 last week.The company’s board has set up a special committee, headed by lead independent director Dave Gadhia, to review any formal proposal brought forward by Baazov and any other alternatives.Amaya, which owns PokerStars and various other online gaming businesses, didn’t provide a reason for Baazov’s proposal. Amaya and Baazov declined requests for comment.Maher Yaghi of Desjardins Capital Markets said the offer is below his fundamental valuation of $28.50 per share.“While some could see the offer as potentially being opportunistic, it is worth pointing out that the continued strength in the U.S. dollar is a potential headwind for the company’s European poker business,” he wrote in a report.The analyst also said Amaya’s high debt in an environment of increasing interest rates is another factor for shareholders to consider.Amaya transformed its business in the summer of 2014 when it bought Oldford Group, parent company of the Rational Group, which operates PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker. Its poker brands have 97 million registered players around the world.Trading activity surrounding the deal came under scrutiny by Quebec’s securities regulator in December 2014 but no allegations have been made by Autorite des marches financiers, which declines to comment.Amaya has said it has discovered no evidence of wrongdoing by its employees.Follow @rossmarowits on Twitter. Amaya CEO, investor group looking to take online poker company private by Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press Posted Feb 1, 2016 6:43 am MDT Last Updated Feb 1, 2016 at 3:41 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

Ban names eminent advocates to propel achievement of new Sustainable Development Goals

The eminent Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Advocates “will build on their unique standing and leadership to promote the SDGs as part of an ambitious and transformative global development agenda,” a UN spokesperson said. “They are to support the Secretary-General in his efforts to generate momentum and commitment to achieve the SDGs by 2030,” the spokesperson added in a note to correspondents, which also listed the panellists.The co-chairs are Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama and Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg. Members include Queen Mathilde of Belgium; Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden; Jack Ma, Founder and Executive Chairman of the Chinese Alibaba Group of Internet-based businesses; and Leo Messi, the world renowned Argentine-born footballer, who is already a UN Children’s Fund Goodwill Ambassador.The 2030 Agenda, adopted unanimously by 193 Heads of State and other top leaders at a summit at UN Headquarters in New York in September, calls on all countries to achieve 17 SDGs, addressing the needs of people in both developed and developing countries.They build on the earlier eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which specifically sought by 2015: to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; achieve universal primary education; promote gender equality and empower women; reduce child mortality; improve maternal health; combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases; ensure environmental sustainability; and develop a global partnership for development.But progress on these was uneven across regions and countries, leaving millions of people behind, especially the poorest and those disadvantaged due to sex, age, disability, ethnicity or geographic location. This is where the SDGs come in.They stress everything from zero poverty, zero hunger, good health, quality education, gender equality, clean water and sanitation, and affordable clean energy, to decent work and economic growth, innovation, reduced inequalities, sustainable cities, responsible consumption, climate action, unpolluted oceans and land, and partnerships to achieve the goals.“The SDG Advocates will promote the universal character of the SDGs, including their commitment to leave no one behind; to promote the engagement of new stakeholders in the implementation and financing of the SDGs; to encourage partnerships with governments, civil society and the private sector to share knowledge and resources; and to raise awareness for the integrated nature of the SDGs,” the spokesperson said. The other Advocates are: Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Co-Founder of the Qatar Foundation; screenwriter, producer and film director Richard Curtis; Dho Young-Shim, Chairperson of the UN World Tourism Organization’s Sustainable Tourism Foundation; Leymah Gbowee, Director of the Gbowee Peace; Graça Machel, President of the Foundation for Community Development; Alaa Murabit; Founder of The Voice of Libyan Women; Paul Polman, Chief Executive Officer of Unilever; Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute at Colombia University; Shakira Mebarak, Founder of the Pies Descalzos Foundation; actor Forest Whitaker, Founder of the Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative; and Noble Peace Prize laureate Muhammad Yunus, Founder of the Grameen Bank. read more

Football Dwayne Haskins breaks Big Ten singleseason passing touchdowns record

Ohio State redshirt sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins attempts a pass against Michigan on Nov. 24 at Ohio Stadium. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorOhio State redshirt sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins broke the Big Ten single-season passing touchdowns record Saturday against Michigan.Haskins threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to redshirt junior wide receiver K.J. Hill, his fourth of the game and 40th this season, to break former Purdue quarterback Drew Brees’ record set in 1998. Haskins and former Ohio State quarterbacks J.T. Barrett, Troy Smith and Bobby Hoying hold five of the Top 10 spots in conference history for most touchdown passes thrown in a single season.Haskins also broke former Purdue quarterback Curtis Painter’s single-season passing yards record against the Wolverines on a 10-yard pass to redshirt sophomore tight end Luke Farrell, needing 300 yards going into the game to break the record.This season, Haskins already has broken the single season Ohio State record for most touchdowns (36) and passing yards (3,330) in a single season.The redshirt sophomore quarterback also broke the record for most completions (49), most pass attempts (73) and most passing yards (470) in a single game in Ohio State’s 49-20 loss to Purdue on Oct. 20. Haskins also threw six touchdowns on Oct. 6 against Indiana, tying Barrett and Kenny Guiton for the most by an Ohio State quarterback in a single game.Haskins also entered the game 300 yards away from breaking the Big Ten record for most passing yards in a single season, a record former Purdue quarterback Curtis Painter set in 2006. read more

Row erupts after rich pensioner erects barricade to block off neighbours £2m

first_imgA rich pensioner is locked in a bizarre neighbours war with a cutting-edge architect and her partner, after erecting a huge wooden barricade that blocks off the windows and back door of their innovative £2 million house.Elspeth Pirie, 67, says she put up the hoarding behind her £3.6 million period property in an exclusive Kensington street to “protect her privacy” after “modernist” architect Luz Vargas and her artist partner William Milroy reconstructed their property and put in three new windows at the back.The elderly multi-milllionaire says she complained that her privacy was being invaded by the windows that overlooked her garden, and felt forced to put up the barricade when her protests were “ignored”.The outraged architect is now suing her, seeking damages and an injunction to compel Miss Pirie to take the barricade down, saying it prevents her and her partner from seeing out of their windows or using their back door. Luz Vargas outside Central London County CourtCredit: Richard Gittins / Champion News And he argued that, because the couple’s builders made use of her garden to carry out the works, Miss Pirie should be awarded “a reasonable figure based on half the enhancement in value.”The case came before Judge Edward Bailey at Central London County Court briefly, following days of negotiations between the neighbours, before adjourning.When it comes back, the judge will have to decide what rights of light and access the architect and her husband enjoy at the back of their house, whether a light obstruction notice obtained by Miss Pirie should be cancelled, and if they are due damages in respect of the hoarding.The court must also decide if Miss Pirie is due damages for “incursion on her garden when the works were carried out” or an injunction for removal of “protrusions” from the back wall of her neighbours’ house which she says overhang her garden.Outside court after the adjournment, Mr Bickford Smith said: “They still hate each other. They will be coming back to court.” The back garden in which wealthy pensioner Elspeth Pirie has erected a barricade to block off the windows and door of her architect neighbour  “Had she been told of the proposal, she would undoubtedly have objected in the strongest terms regarding the lack of privacy the new windows would involve and the application would most likely have been refused,” the barrister adds.”In order to protect her position, Miss Pirie erected a hoarding to obstruct the current windows and registered a light obstruction notice,” he added.The barrister says that Miss Pirie also complains that “the works were incredibly prolonged and disruptive” and caused “chaos.””The garden was greatly damaged,” he claims, adding: “The permanent results of the works have been disastrous.”Miss Pirie also says the “rough and poor quality” rendered finish on the back of her neighbours’ property “detracts from her house.”Mr Bickford Smith, urging the court to reject the couple’s bid for damages and an injunction, says Miss Pirie had every right to protect her privacy and garden.”The current hoarding is not actionable… the complaint that the hoarding is too close to the wall should be rejected. Efforts to suggest some risk of rot or damp are tenuous,” claims the barrister.He adds that, if given notice that approved works need to be carried out, “Miss Pirie is ready to move the hoarding” but that “she is entitled to ensure that the removal is for legitimate purposes.”Of her counterclaim, the barrister says: “In the present case the claimants must have been intending to enhance the value of their house… valuation evidence suggests the enhancement was in fact in excess of £100,000.” The new basement was designed so that light filters down through a glass floor at ground level, via the glazed door and three new windows at the back of the Miss Vargas’ house. The back garden in which wealthy pensioner Elspeth Pirie has erected a barricade to block off the windows and door of her architect neighbour Credit:Champion News In order to protect her position, Miss Pirie erected a hoarding to obstruct the current windows and registered a light obstruction noticeStephen Bickford Smith But the forward-thinking designer was left gobsmacked when Ms Pirie ordered the hoarding erected to block off the new windows and the door in 2014.The windows and door are now “at the heart of the dispute” between the creative couple and Miss Pirie, a property consultant.Howard Smith, for the couple, is arguing at Central London County Court that they enjoy a right to light through their new windows and also have a right of access over Miss Pirie’s garden though their back door.Ms Vargas and Mr Milroy’s property does not have a garden of its own – but backs onto the garden of Miss Pirie’s three-bedroom house – so that the couple’s builders needed to access their neighbour’s garden to carry out the works.Stephen Bickford Smith, for Miss Pirie, claims that that she didn’t object to the development being given the green light in 2010, or to builders coming onto her land, because she “felt she should act in a neighbourly way.”But she had not realised at the time that the windows were being put in overlooking her garden, the barrister adds in his written argument before the court. And the fact that planning permission for new windows was not required meant that Miss Pirie never had the opportunity to object to them, he claims. Luz Vargas outside Central London County Court The hoarding is starving them of light into their £100,000 new basement, the couple say, and also risks “rot and damp” developing in their home due to trapped moisture.Miss Pirie is fiercely defending her actions and counterclaiming for £50,000 she says she is owed because her neighbours’ builders carried out works to their house whilst standing in her garden.Her “falling out” with her neighbours dates back to 2010, when they obtained planning permission to reconstruct the back of their 200-year-old mews house in Holland Park and put in a new basement.Whilst both houses date from the Georgian era, the architect – whose aesthetic “values” are listed on her company website as “Modernists, timeless, innovative spatial experience” – had thoroughly up-to-date ideas for the redevelopment. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

Poll Do you support the ESB workers

first_img Yes (1479) UNIONS REPRESENTING ESB workers will meet today to discuss what form industrial action will take.The secretary of the group of unions Brendan Ogle has not ruled out strike action, as the workers protest a €1.6 billion hole in the company pension fund. The unions say that the company has breached a 2010 agreement to fix the deficit.Strike action, of course, would lead to power outages.We’re asking: Do you support the ESB workers? Poll Results: No (3476) I don’t know (2213) Yes – But not if it leads to power outages (2047) YesYes – But not if it leads to power outagesNoI don’t knowVoteRead: ESB unions meet to discuss strike optionslast_img read more

EtatsUnis des problèmes signalés sur dautres prothèses PIP dès 2000

first_imgEtats-Unis : des problèmes signalés sur d’autres prothèses PIP dès 2000D’après les autorités sanitaires américaines, de graves violations avaient déjà été signalées dans le processus de fabrication de prothèses mammaires remplies de solution saline de la firme française PIP dès 2000.La société française Poly Implant Prothèse (PIP) est aujourd’hui au coeur d’un sérieux scandale sanitaire qui a pris une dimension internationale. Mais si celui-ci concerne des prothèses mammaires remplies de silicone, il semblerait que ce ne soit pas le seul produit du fabricant qui ait fait l’objet de graves violations. En effet, dès 2000, les autorités sanitaires américaines (FDA) avaient mené une enquête sur d’autres prothèses remplies de solution saline. À lire aussiImplants mammaires : l’Afssaps suspend l’utilisation d’une marque Du 11 au 17 mai, la FDA avait ainsi dépêché un de ses enquêteurs dans l’usine de PIP, située à La Seyne Sur-Mer, dans le Sud de la France, pour inspecter le processus de production des prothèses du groupe, révèle l’AFP. Une enquête qui a mis en évidence que les implants mammaires étaient frelatés, indique une lettre de la FDA adressée à l’époque au fondateur de la société. Le document cite notamment onze violations dans les méthodes utilisées, les locaux et les installations qui ne sont pas conformes aux pratiques de production de référence. Parmi ces violations, la FDA évoque par exemple l’incapacité à établir et à maintenir des procédures de vérification de la conformité des prothèses aux objectifs de qualité.Mais ce n’est pas tout puisque l’inspecteur de la FDA reprochait aussi à PIP de ne pas avoir signalé à l’agence américaine, comme le veut pourtant la loi, l’existence d’une centaine de plaintes déposées en France à propos de ces prothèses de janvier 1997 à 2000 ainsi qu’au moins vingt en provenance d’autres pays durant la même période. “Les violations relevées durant l’inspection pourraient être symptomatiques de graves problèmes sous-jacents dans le processus de production de la firme et de son système assurant la qualité des produits”, avait estimé l’Agence américaine des médicaments.La France avertie de ces violations ?  Interrogée par l’AFP, une porte-parole de la FDA n’a pu dire si les autorités françaises avaient été averties de cette inspection et de ses conclusions. “Notre lettre de mise en garde a été rendue publique en 2000 et, étant donné le temps écoulé depuis, je n’ai pas pu avoir la confirmation que ces informations ont été transmises à la France”, a précisé Erica Jefferson ajoutant “mais généralement, quand la FDA mène des inspections dans des pays étrangers, les autorités de ces pays sont informées de notre présence sur leur territoire”.Le 28 décembre 2011 à 10:29 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

Vik Bajaj on Judge Gills decision to release serial rapist Alvin Quarles

first_img KUSI Newsroom 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) – KUSI Contributor and Legal Analyst Vik Bajaj joined us in studio to explain why Judge David Gill decided to release the “Bolder Than Most” serial rapist Alvin Quarles back into the community under a conditional release program.Details of Alvin Quarles’ release from Coalinga State Hospital will be worked out at another hearing to be held Aug. 30 before Judge David M. Gill.Judge Gill has been on the bench for decades and Bajaj reflected on his first trial with Judge Gill about 17-years ago. Bajaj said, “It was a horrific set of facts and crimes. In our motions, Judge David Gill gave us every opportunity to argue these precised nuances in the law. And many times, on the defense side, we were victorious. It sure did a lot to boost our ego but on the other hand, sometimes one would question the academic exercise in looking for a way to have a defendant fit into an otherwise very minuscule department.”The “Bolder Than Most” serial rapist Alvin QuarlesRELATED STORY: Judge Gill has decided to release the ‘Bolder Than Most’ serial rapist Alvin Quarles July 29, 2019 Categories: California News, Local San Diego News, National & International News Tags: Vik Bajaj KUSI Newsroom, center_img Vik Bajaj on Judge Gill’s decision to release serial rapist Alvin Quarles into the community Posted: July 29, 2019 FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

PHMG to launch mental health support app for 400 global employees

first_imgAudio branding organisation PHMG has announced that it will be launching a mental health support app and online platform for its 400 global employees tomorrow (Thursday 7 February 2019) to align with Time to Talk Day.The new app and platform, provided by Tootoot, aims to encourage conversations around mental health and wellbeing. It will allow employees to send confidential and anonymous messages about their work or home life to mentors within the organisation. Depending on the nature of the query, the mentors can either offer advice on the best course of action or signpost to external specialists who are able to provide relevant help.Jason Daye (pictured), operations director at PHMG, said: “Research by [mental health charity] Mind shows that 43% of employees find their situation gets better when they disclose their mental health problem, highlighting the importance of talking to others about our problems.“We want to ensure our staff members have a safe place to raise home or workplace issues, making it easier to take the critical first step towards getting the help they may need.”The new benefit will be communicated to employees via emails and through the staff intranet. It will be offered as part of PHMG’s current programme, PH Perks, which features wellbeing benefits such as life insurance, financial consultations and pension plans.Tootoot is being launched in conjunction with Time to Talk Day, an initiative supported by Mind. This aims to encourage individuals to engage in conversations about mental health. PHMG’s employees have also selected Mind as the chosen charity to benefit from its fundraising efforts in 2019.Daye added: “Our employees are particularly passionate about mental health and wanted to help both charities continue to give everyone with a mental health issue the support they deserve. It’s only right our staff should have access to help they may need too.”last_img read more

Dalit student commits suicide at Bengalurus National Law School decomposed body found

first_img[Representational image]Creative CommonsKanishk Bharti, a Dalit student of National Law School of India University in Bengaluru, reportedly committed suicide by hanging himself from the ceiling fan. His body was found on March 16. The police reckon that the body may have been hanging inside the room for three days.According to The Times of India, Kanish’s body was in a decomposed state and emanating foul smell.The incident came to light only after Kanishk’s parents called other students. According to the police sources, Kanishk’s parents were calling him since March 14 but he did not respond. Kanishk hails from Uttar Pradesh and was pursuing an undergraduate course.”When they approached room no. 3 on the third floor of the hostel, the students peeped through the window and saw Kanishk’s body hanging from the fan. They reported the incident to management who later on called the police,” an official said.Kanish’s father Veerendra Bharti has said that his son wasn’t keeping well and was being treated at a hospital. He was also under a lot of stress because he wasn’t faring well academically and had to repeat a year.Serious questions are being raised as to how nobody at the hostel came to know about the student’s death and why it took a phone call from his parents after several days to inquire about the student. The police said that they would question the management, hostel students and the faculty.Student suicides at premier institutes continue unabatedDespite efforts put by the country’s top colleges, especially IITs and IIMs, for addressing the problems on student stress and suicides, there has been apparently no relief. Last year, multiple student suicide incidents were reported from IIT- Guwahati, IIT-Kanpur and IIT- Madras.A task force set up by the IIT council to look into the issue noted that recurrent images portrayed by the media for glorifying the education put the students under a lot of stress. It also entailed that the students who are already facing a fierce academic environment should be given enough time for leisure activities as well as socialising.A probe by IIT Kanpur revealed that the problem of single room occupancy in the hostel rooms should be done away with. The IITs should also remove ceiling fans from hostel rooms and use pedestal fans. IIT Madras himalaya messWikimedialast_img read more

Production of Coke halted in Venezuela for lack of sugar

first_imgThe Venezuelan bottler of Coca-Cola has halted production of the sugar-sweetened beverage due to a lack of sugar, a Coca-Cola Co spokeswoman said on Monday.Venezuela is in the midst of a deep recession, and spontaneous demonstrations and looting have become more common amid worsening food shortages, frequent power cuts and the world’s highest inflation.Production of sugar-sweetened drinks has stopped, but output of diet drinks such as Coca-Cola light and other zero-sugar beverages continued, spokeswoman Kerry Tressler wrote by email.”Sugar suppliers in Venezuela have informed us that they will temporarily cease operations due to a lack of raw materials,” Tressler added.Coca-Cola Femsa SAB, Latin America’s biggest coke bottler and operator of four plants in Venezuela, added that it was hoping the nation’s sugar inventories would recover “in the short term.”The bottler, which gets some 7 percent of its income in Venezuela, is a joint venture between Coca-Cola and Mexico’s Femsa.Over the past several years, the combination of price controls, rising production costs, lack of foreign exchange, restrictive labour laws, and a lack of basic inputs such as fertiliser, have resulted in a drop in Venezuela’s sugar cane production with fewer planted hectares (acres) and lower yields.Many smaller farmers have turned to other crops that are not price controlled and thus provide greater income.The country is expected to produce 430,000 tonnes in 2016/17, down from 450,000 tonnes the previous year, and import 850,000 tonnes of raw and refined sugar, according to the USDA.last_img read more

Raatchasi movie review Here is what netizens say about Jyothikastarrer

first_imgJyothika in Raatchasi.PR HandoutAfter working under many filmmakers for about 11 years, Gowthamraj is finally turning an independent director with Raatchasi. Instead of opting for a masala entertainer, the director has chosen a meaningful subject that deals with our education system.Jyothika, who has been taking up author-backed roles in her second innings, is playing the lead role of a headmaster in Raatchasi. Poornima Bhagyaraj, Hareesh Peradi and Satya are among the actors in the supporting cast.The film has Sean Roldan’s music, Gokul Benoy’s cinematography and Philomin Raj’s editing.The trailer had clearly given a fair idea of what to expect from the film. Raatchasi revolves around a government school teacher, Geetha Rani played by Jyothika, a disciplinarian. She comes to a village as a head master of a government school. The school is a home for indiscipline. Her measures to change the mindset of the staff and students meet with new challenges. The entry of local MLA, who runs a private school, will only make the matter worse for her. How Geetha Rani overcomes and changes the destiny of the students form the crux of the story.Raatchasi has opened to fairly positive reviews from the critics and audience. The intent of the director to convey the message has been lauded, while Jyothika impresses the viewers with her performance.However, the film lacks engaging screenplay which remains the major drawback of the film. Checkout what the netizens say about the film below:subha j rao: #Raatchasi Lots to love. Might seem a bit melodramatic but IMO thats necessary to din the message home. Jo is assured, and there’s a lesson for all: a story can be narrated in 2 lines in a flashback and still make you ache for a couple. #Jyotika @prabhu_sr did well backing this.Rajasekar: #Raatchasi – ⭐⭐⭐ A mainstream social drama in which ‘shero’ #Jyotika shines. Director Gautham Raj has handled a topical message with gallery pleasing elements glorifying the image of the role model Headmistress Geetha Rani. #Raatchasi talks about the discrepancies in Government schools, lethargic teachers and the challenges faced my students. Though I feel that the message could’ve been conveyed subtly, why mass heroes should have all the fun?S Abishek: Every act had a spike and every dialogue had a purpose. #Raatchasi scores high because of how the subject got dealt. Noticeable pace and the no breather can be the point of concern. Good start for #SyGowthamrajsridevi sreedhar: #Raatchasi interval report: First half Very good. #Jyothika is awesome Gripping ..Commercial packaging worksRamesh Bala: #Raatchasi [3.25/5] : All aspects of Govt school problems – Both internal and external are addressed.. In an engaging and interesting way.. #Jyothika has given a matured performance.. She has rocked it.. Must watch for Govt school teachers and those who care 4 next gen!Haricharan Pudipeddi: #Raatchasi might not have hit the sweet spots but still is a relevant film on education with special focus on how government schools function and how they should ideally. #Jyotika as a fearless, straightforward teacher is impressive and leaves a strong impact.vb: #Raatchasi – perfect casting & technically so good! Jo@RSeanRoldan @prabhu_sr once again with a quality content.Editor PraveenKl: #Raatchasi is a fab film with good anecdotes on the edu system. Liked the writing, shots and the ending. Jyothika mam is powerfull and laudable. Second half has a superb connect. Best wishes to @prabhu_sr sir and team @DreamWarriorpic for another gem from their stable.last_img read more

Scientists analyze potential of using lasers to make rain

first_img Nevertheless, these cloud seeding techniques are controversial, both for their effectiveness at inducing rainfall and for their possible harmful side effects. In a recent review paper published in the IOP’s Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, a team of scientists from Switzerland and Germany has examined the latest results of laser-induced condensation and discussed the future of the field.One of the first successful demonstrations of laser-induced condensation (http://www.nature.com/ncomms/journal/v2/n8/full/ncomms1462.html) came just last year, when researchers – including the authors of the current review – used a powerful laser to produce tiny water particles in moderately humid air. The water particles were just a few micrometers in diameter, which is about 100 times too small to fall as rain droplets. However, the experiments demonstrated the ability to transform particles in a gas phase to a liquid phase through condensation, and larger droplets are expected to be feasible.“At this stage, our work clearly shows that lasers can induce the formation of tiny particles,” Jérôme Kasparian of the University of Geneva in Switzerland told Phys.org. “This is not, at least at this stage, efficient cloud seeding for making rain, but rather a newly opened direction for research in this direction.” (Phys.org) — Although pointing high-energy lasers at the sky to cause pouring rain is currently a high-tech dream, the motivation behind controlling the weather has existed since the days of our ancient ancestors. Throughout human history, many civilizations developed magical or religious methods in an attempt to increase or decrease precipitation. In light of this history, current techniques that shoot laser beams or launch chemicals into the sky for the same purpose seem to be just the latest manifestation of this goal. Lasers could be used to make rain (w/ Video) Laser-induced condensation in a cloud chamber, illuminated by a green auxiliary laser. The cloud’s deformation reveals the air turbulence due to energy deposited by laser filaments. Image credit: J. Kasparian, et al. ©2012 IOP Publishing Ltd As the researchers explain in this review, laser-induced condensation owes its feasibility in part to the rapid improvement in laser power in recent years. Over the past decade, commercially available laser power has increased by two orders of magnitude, reaching the petawatt level today. Scientists expect laser powers on the exawatt scale in the foreseeable future. In last year’s demonstration, the researchers performed experiments using a 100-TW Draco laser and 5-TW mobile laser called Teramobile, which is the size of a 20-foot freight container. In addition to more powerful lasers, improving the results will also require a better understanding of the underlying mechanism of laser-induced condensation. The technique involves photodissociation, in which photons break down atmospheric compounds in the atmosphere. This process produces ozone and nitrogen oxides, which lead to the formation of nitric acid particles that bind water molecules together to create water droplets. Understanding the details of how this process stimulates particle growth, as well as how atmospheric conditions affect the process, are the most challenging questions in this field, according to the scientists.“Making rain would require first to have tiny water particles grow into droplets with a size sufficient to fall as raindrops,” Kasparian said. “This depends on the atmospheric conditions, in particular the relative humidity, that these particles will encounter. For example, if the air mass in which the particles have been produced lifts along a mountain hill, it will cool down and condensation will be favored.“Making rain would also require the production of an adequate number density of particles. If there are too few particles, we would only get a few drops at most. On the other hand, if there are too many particles, they will compete with each other to grab the water molecules available in the atmosphere. Ultimately, none of them will grow sufficiently to make raindrops, which may even reduce precipitation.“Finally, the technique would also need to activate a large volume of the atmosphere, i.e., to sweep the laser sufficiently fast.”Despite these challenges, the scientists also noted that using lasers to induce rain has its advantages, particularly its minimal side effects compared to other techniques. For example, cloud seeding methods that involve injecting silver iodide particles into clouds run the risk of having unintended consequences for the surrounding atmosphere, a problem that lasers avoid. Laser-assisted methods also offer better control than chemical methods, since the lasers can be turned on and off and precisely positioned. This control also makes it easier to determine how effective the technique is, since critics often question whether rain might have occurred even without intervention.In the future, the researchers recommend investigating the ability of lasers to seed clouds on a larger scale. Such a task will require further experimental data as well as theoretical modeling.“Our aim now is to tackle the questions that remain open, especially to determine the optimal laser conditions to maximize the condensation process, and to assess for the possibility to obtain macroscopic quantities of condensed water,” Kasparian said. “This also requires an understanding of the physical mechanisms at the root of laser-induced condensation, with the ultimate goal of being able to model the process quantitatively.“Besides the technical feasibility, as discussed above, further experiments will allow us to assess whether laser rainmaking could be cost-effective. This can easily be expressed in terms of the cost per unit rainwater volume obtained. This will depend very much on the ultimate laser power required to get a significant amount of water, which we need to further investigate.” Copyright 2012 Phys.org All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. A high-powered laser pulse 10-cm in diameter generates multiple filaments, which is necessary for laser-induced condensation. Laser filaments can be generated at kilometer-range distances. Image credit: J. Kasparian, et al. ©2012 IOP Publishing Ltd Journal information: Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics Explore further Citation: Scientists analyze potential of using lasers to make rain (2012, July 16) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-07-scientists-potential-lasers.html More information: J. Kasparian, et al. “Laser-assisted water condensation in the atmosphere: a step towards modulating precipitation?” J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys. 45 (2012) 293001 (13pp). DOI:10.1088/0022-3727/45/29/293001 http://iopscience.iop.org/0022-3727/45/29/293001 This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

A nonprobabilistic quantum theory produces unpredictable results

first_img(Phys.org)—Quantum measurements are often inherently unpredictable, yet the usual way in which quantum theory accounts for unpredictability has long been viewed as somewhat unsatisfactory. In a new study, University of Oxford physicist Chiara Marletto has developed an alternative way to account for the unpredictability observed in quantum measurements by using the recently proposed theory of superinformation—a theory that is inherently non-probabilistic. The new perspective may lead to new possibilities in the search for a successor to quantum theory. Citation: A non-probabilistic quantum theory produces unpredictable results (2016, September 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-09-non-probabilistic-quantum-theory-unpredictable-results.html Physicists retrieve ‘lost’ information from quantum measurements “The decision-theoretic approach shows that a rational agent that knows unitary quantum theory only (but does not assume the Born rule) would have the same expectations, in the experimental situations where the Born rule applies, as if he had assumed the Born rule,” Marletto explained. “This is a remarkable result, but has been contested on the grounds that it relies on axioms of rationality that seem subjective and not physically motivated.” Deterministic quantum theoryIn the new paper, Marletto builds on the decision-theoretic approach to show that a completely deterministic quantum theory can essentially function as if it were probabilistic, so that measurements would be expected to produce unpredictable results, like those in the double-slit experiment and many others.”There are two things: one, my work shows that unpredictability can arise under deterministic theories, and that it is a direct consequence of the impossibility of cloning certain sets of states,” Marletto told Phys.org. “That unpredictability can arise under deterministic theories may seem a little surprising at first. But the point is that ‘unpredictability’ just means that it is impossible to build a predictor—a machine that would reliably predict the outcome of a single measurement of given observable on a system prepared in a given state. This impossibility is just like that of the no-cloning theorem, and does not require any probabilistic structure. Probabilities, instead, come into play only when considering patterns occurring in repeated experiments.”Two, this work updates and generalizes the decision-theory approach to the Born rule in quantum theory, which was proposed to reconcile deterministic unitary quantum theory without the Born rule with the appearance of stochasticity in quantum experiments. In particular, it shows that most of the assumptions of that approach are not, as previously thought, subjective decision-theoretic axioms, but follow from physical properties of superinformation theories. It also establishes under what conditions superinformation theories support that argument, thereby defining a class of theoretical possibilities in which the successor of quantum theory might be sought.”Overall, the new results show that, to explain quantum experiments that have perplexed physicists for decades—experiments in which repeated, identical measurements produce different outcomes, where individual outcomes are unpredictable and appear to be random–it is not necessary to appeal to the Born rule or any other probabilistic assumptions. Possibilities and impossibilitiesAs Marletto explains in her paper, her work builds on recent research in which she and Deutsch, also at Oxford, reformulated quantum theory as a type of superinformation theory under a new framework that they call the constructor theory of information. When Deutsch and Marletto originally proposed the constructor theory of information a couple of years ago, they were searching for a way to link classical and quantum information under the same general framework. In the end, what they developed was a set of principles that can be thought of as part of the foundations from which all the laws of physics emerge—essentially, a new fundamental theory of physics.The basic principle of constructor theory is that every law of physics must be expressible as a statement about which physical transformations (or tasks) are possible and which are impossible, and why. An example of a possible information processing task under quantum theory is switching any state to any other state, and vice versa. An example of an impossible task is cloning, which is creating an identical copy of an unknown state. Constructor theory does not specify any particular laws of physics, but instead its principles are intended to supplement and underlie all laws of physics, both the known and currently unknown laws. This is similar to the way in which fundamental principles, such as conservation of energy and mass, must be obeyed by all laws of physics. Specific laws can be formulated to predict what will actually happen (not just what is possible) in specific circumstances. For example, some laws predict the trajectory of a projectile, others predict the flow of water, or the path of electricity, etc., always with the constraint of complying to constructor theory’s principles. These restraints also provide a potential way to test the theory.”The main way to test constructor theory is to test the theories conforming to its principles—for instance, the interoperability principle for information,” Marletto said. “So, the same as one would do to test the principle of conservation of energy. In regard to the class of superinformation theories, they might be used to design new experiments about quantum theory, by providing a space of new theoretical possibilities where a rival of quantum theory may be sought. The promising feature is that, unlike most existing proposals for frameworks to generalize quantum theory, superinformation theories are deterministic and local.”In the future, Marletto plans to work on further developing the constructor theory framework, along with the superinformation theories it supports.”Superinformation theories allow one to unify classical and quantum information under the same framework,” she said. “There are exciting prospects about understanding what other superinformation theories there are in addition to quantum theory; coming up with measures of entanglement or quantum coherence in this generalized scenario would have the advantage of being more general than current quantum-information-theoretic ones. Another line of research that appears very interesting is to merge the theory of superinformation with the newly proposed constructor theory of thermodynamics, which will have bearings on the current quantum thermodynamics enterprise. There is also a project that Deutsch and I would like to pursue, that is to understand how superinformation theories can support the notion of ‘relative state,’ which is crucial in unitary quantum theory.” Explore further Accounting for unpredictabilityThe unpredictability observed in quantum experiments is one of the unique features of the quantum world that sets it apart from classical physics. One prominent example of quantum unpredictability is the double-slit experiment: When sending a stream of particles (such as photons or electrons) through two small slits in a plate, the individual particles are detected at different locations on a screen behind the plate. Although it’s possible to predict the probability of a particle impacting at a certain location, it’s not possible to predict specifically where any individual particle will end up.Traditionally, this apparent probabilistic behavior that is observed in experiments has been accounted for in quantum theory by using the Born rule. In 1926, the German physicist Max Born developed this rule to determine the probability of finding a quantum object at a certain location—or more generally, the probability that any measurement on a quantum system will produce a particular observed outcome, depending on the quantum state of the object. The Born rule is a unique part of quantum theory in that it is the only stochastic, or randomly determined, element in quantum theory. The Born rule has basically been added by fiat on top of a theory that is otherwise deterministic. Ever since the rule was first proposed, physicists have questioned the probabilistic nature of quantum theory with the Born rule, and have wondered whether it would still be possible to account for observations, including unpredictability, without this rule. In general, quantum theory without the Born rule would be completely non-probabilistic. The main problem with the proposal for such a theory, called “unitary quantum theory,” is that it does not appear, at first sight, to agree with the observations of unpredictability in quantum measurements. One attempt to reconcile this conflict is the so-called “decision-theoretic approach,” which was recently proposed by David Deutsch and established by David Wallace, and which forms the basis for the arguments in the new study. © 2016 Phys.org Journal information: Proceedings of the Royal Society A More information: Chiara Marletto. “Constructor theory of probability.” Proceedings of The Royal Society A. DOI: 10.1098/rspa.2015.0883. Also at arXiv:1507.03287 [quant-ph] This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. A scheme in superinformation theory. The new study shows that this deterministic theory exhibits unpredictability as a consequence of the impossibility of cloning certain states. Credit: C. Marletto. ©2016 Proceedings of The Royal Society Alast_img read more

Celeb TMC candidate Nusrat Jahan takes on trolls

first_imgKolkata: Trinamool Congress (TMC) celebrity candidate Nusrat Jahan hit back at social media trolls for targeting her, describing these as “uncultured”. Jahan has been named as the TMC candidate from the Basirhat Lok Sabha seat in North 24-Parganas district along with fellow film actor Mimi Chakraborty, who has been fielded by the party from the Jadavpur constituency. However, the announcement of their names on Tuesday was followed by a barrage of distasteful comments on social media, along with memes of their pictures and videos. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata Bose”I think this is the change that we are trying to bring about. Trolling is a new way of demeaning women. We want women to be given more respect,” said Jahan. “I don’t know who these people are and why they indulge in such online abuse. I think they are simply uncultured. If they knew how to respect their mothers and sisters, they would’ve respected us as well,” she said. Asked about the challenges in her political foray, the 28-year-old said: “During the film promotions, it is our job to reach out to the people. As a political leader, I will have to ensure their welfare as well.”last_img read more

State begins regulation talks with Airbnb Cancun Riviera Maya

first_imgCancun, Q.R. — The secretary of tourism says that talks with vacation rental platforms has begun in an attempt to regulate them.Secretary of Tourism Marisol Vanegas says that they have begun talks with Airbnb and made proposals to ensure the operations are legal and safe.Marisol Vanegas“We have sat down with the representatives of the company and we have made proposals to regulate the operation from the tourist point of view,” she says, adding that the Secretary of Finance and Planning (Sefiplan) as well as the municipality and civil protection will be involved.“These are issues that interest everyone so that the accommodation option is legal and in accordance with what the destination requires. What we have asked is for them to consider two fundamental aspects of which one is to define a municipal polygon where there can be safe transport services that give certainty to tourists late at night.“Given that there is no limit in the polygon defined by Airbnb for Cancun, we have options in many places that we think may be a problem for security or mobility.“The second issue,” she explained, “is the number of days that they can operate per year before being considered a commercial activity,” which she says, will be 120 days.Vanegas Pérez said that the University of the Caribbean did an exhaustive study at the request of Sedetur. The results of that study have already been discussed with Airbnb which has led to the condition of them only operating for a specified number of days per year before being considered commercial.“After day 120, the vacation rentals would no longer be considered a complement to your finances, but would be considered part of a business which as such, should have an operating license, Civil Protection certificate and everything else necessary just like any of the other accommodation option,” she explained.She noted that the 120 days of operation are not consecutive. “It is a number of days a year that is not consecutive,” adding that “it is a proposal that we are evaluating with Airbnb itself since it works in other cities.” On day 121, she said properties that are not in compliance would be blocked on the platform.Marisol Vanegas also said that Airbnb is not the only vacation rental platform, adding that, “there is not only that platform, but other new brands that are entering the region and that all this confirms that we need to issue a system of regulation of non-hotel accommodation options.”Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Everything you must know about social media copyright in SA

first_img• Rule of thumb: The fair practice/fair dealing rule: In the age of social media, the term “copyright” has been thrown around by Internet users threatening to sue the reproducers of their work. Many have done so in caps lock, blissfully unaware of the fact that it is, in some cases, permissible. Where the reproducer is the media, it has even more leeway. Helene Eloff, journalist at the Lowvelder consulted various sources* for clarity on these issues.Ever wondered whether The Starry Night is covered by copyright?• When does copyright cover a work?A work is protected by copyright when it exists in material form and was published in South Africa (or any country that forms part of the Berne Convention) for the first time. The Berne Convention bound a vast number of countries over decades and assists in regulating copyright in member countries.• Who is the holder of copyright?Copyright vests in a work’s author. It comes into existence when the work is created and does not have to be registered. If a literary or artistic work is made by the employee of a newspaper, magazine or other news provider, the employer will hold the copyright. The same applies to situations where a person is ordered and paid to take a photo or produce a video. The party who ordered the production will hold the copyright.A contract may determine who holds copyright.• Does copyright last indefinitely?No. Where the work is a literary, artistic or musical one, it expires 50 years after the author thereof has died.Where the work is a film, photograph or computer programme, it will last for the longest of these two periods: Fifty years after the product was made available to the public or 50 years after the work was first published. Copyright may be transferred wholly or in part. WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite If you need to reproduce another’s work, do so in a limited way (the extent of the reproduction must be limited with the consideration of its purpose.) The reproducer must go to all reasonable lengths to obtain the owner or creator’s permission to reproduce his or her work. If this cannot be obtained, the reproducer must nonetheless cite the source of the work (Facebook, for example).Do to others as you would want them to do to you. (Image: landlordology.com as on Google Images)• What is the position when photos, placed online, are distributed?The Copyright Act states what the reproduction of artistic work will not amount to a violation of copyrights if the artistic work is in public view on a permanent basis. Statues in town squares serve as an example, as do famous paintings permanently on display in museums. No South African court has ruled on whether social media platforms qualify as places of public display for the purposes of the act.Also read: The ultimate social media checklistCaution and self-regulation is key. (Image: chelseacrockett.com as on Google Images)Our courts have ruled that social media users should heed to the privacy settings of other users. If a user has limited the audience of his post to “friends,” he does not intend for it to be viewed by the public. Reproducing it to a broader audience would be in violation of his privacy preference. On the other hand, courts have also mentioned that any post placed on a public forum, should not be made if the user’s intention is not to make it publicly visible. Experts have said that self-regulation, with the emphasis on caution, seems to be key when it comes to the online world.• What is the difference between copyright and trademarks?Whereas copyright vests in a work without the work or the rights relating thereto having been registered, a trademark is registered in terms of the Trade Mark Act.It deals with the mark associated with a brand of goods or services, that distinguishes it from other goods or services that might have the same nature.• Can I have both copyright and trademark rights in the same work?Yes. If I draw a picture and I choose to register that picture as a trademark that will distinguish my services from that of another, I may do so. The copyrights relating to the picture have automatically vested in me, while the trademark will have to be registered to the same picture.• How does someone infringe upon trademark rights?– By “stealing” a trademark and placing it on their goods or services, which are materially similar to the goods or services that the trademark in question has been registered to.– By diluting a trademark through reference. An example would be printing a well-known trademark with adapted text. If a court finds that diluting of the trademark has taken unfair advantage of the original trademark, tarnished its reputation or has otherwise prejudiced the trademark, the court may rule that the trademark was unfairly diluted by the wrongdoer’s reference.* Sources: Copyright Act, A Practical Guide to Media Law. By Dario Milo and Pamela Stein, Trademark Act.Images: Flickr (Licence: Commercial use) • When may a work, covered by copyright, be reproduced?– When the author’s consent has been obtained and subject to the reasonable conditions thereof.– If the work is artistic, photos, broadcasts or from published editions and used for private study or research.– For criticism or review. However, the reproducer must mention the source and author of the material he is commenting on. (Limited to the use of artistic works, photos, broadcasts, published editions, cinematograph films, sound recordings and computer programmes.)– When a journalist uses it to report on current events. The source of the work and the name of its author, if available, must be cited. (Limited to the use of artistic works, photos, broadcasts, published editions, films, sound recordings and computer programmes.)– Where quote from another’s written text is used, it must be limited in as far as the use thereof is necessary for its purpose.last_img read more

Fire at isolated Greek monastic community spreads

first_img New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Sponsored Stories Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Comments   Share   Men’s health affects baby’s health too A 45-year-old Greek man was arrested and charged with accidentally starting a fire in the Tripoli area.Forest fires are common during Greece’s typically long, hot summers. In 2007, more than 60 people died in a series of huge blazes in the Peloponnese and central Greece.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy THESSALONIKI, Greece (AP) – A large forest fire that broke out at a remote monastic community in Greece where women have not been allowed for a thousand years spread Thursday to a nearby resort area, forcing the evacuation of a seaside vacation village and sending up a thick pall of smoke over the area.It was not clear how the fire started Wednesday on the Mount Athos peninsula, a World Heritage site and self-ruled community of Orthodox monks that bans women _ and even female animals _ from entering. Officials said no damage was caused to the northern Greek peninsula’s 20 medieval monasteries, which visitors can only access by sea. Top Stories Firefighters managed to prevent the flames from sweeping through Ouranoupolis, a resort village north of the rugged, densely-wooded northern Greek peninsula, on Thursday, although the fire damaged outlying building and elderly people and others were taken to a nearby beach as a precaution. The fire brigade said in a statement that 130 firefighters, assisted by dozens of volunteers and soldiers, water trucks, five water-dropping aircraft and two helicopters were trying to contain the blaze.The fire brigade said the conflagration started in a remote area in the vicinity of the Serbian Hilandar Monastery, the peninsula’s northernmost monastery and one that was badly damaged by fire in 2004. It was unclear how it started, and no immediate estimate was available on the extent of the burned area.Greece is in the grips of a heat wave, and wildfires have been burning around the country.Elsewhere, firefighters were trying to extinguish two big fires in the areas of Tripoli and Corinth, in the southern Peloponnese area, which broke out Tuesday and destroyed thousands of acres of forest and shrubbery. Officials said no inhabited areas were under threat, and the blazes seemed to be on the wane Thursday. Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your homelast_img read more

Papua New Guinea introduces new tourist visa for Australians

first_imgPapua New Guinea introduces new tourist visa for AustraliansAustralian passport holders can now secure a 30 day, free tourist visa on arrival in Papua New Guinea.The change in visa requirements was delivered this week by the National Executive Council and is the first time this option has been available to Australian visitors.Chief Executive Office of Papua New Guinea Tourism Promotion Authority (PNGTPA), Jerry Agus, said he is delighted at the news and sees this decision as an important step forward for the PNG tourism industry.“We whole-heartedly welcome this news and believe that by simplifying the process and allowing visas to be granted upon arrival at no cost, will entice more Australians to visit one of their closest neighbours,” Mr Agus said.“Over the last few years we’ve seen such fantastic growth in cruising and now with an easier visa process we hope to see increased numbers for those arriving by plane too.“We now want to work with all the partners to ensure a streamlined process through the airport immigration system.“It’s an exciting time for PNG with the tourism bodies and partners strongly focusing on developing tourism infrastructure in areas including Milne Bay and Rabaul/Kokopo, whilst it’s early days we are very motivated to grow this industry and welcome more tourists.”PNG, which is only around three hours’ flight from Brisbane, comprises more than 600 islands with popular activities for tourists including fishing, diving, trekking, surfing and cruising. Papua New GuineaSource = Papua New Guinea Tourismlast_img read more