Government Forges Closer Collaboration With Engineers

first_img Engineers are central to the planning, design, construction and maintenance of infrastructure networks. Engineers can provide the government with advice on the research, information and funding needs. Formal linkages between engineers, scientists and other key stakeholders would promote the sharing of up-to-date information. The Government is seeking closer collaboration with the island’s engineers as it seeks to develop sound implementation strategies for climate change adaptation and mitigation.Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Robert Pickersgill,said engineers have a key role to play in assisting the country to adapt to climate change and the Government would welcome the technical expertise that they provide in this area.“Engineers can provide the government with advice on the research, information and funding needs that (it) requires to safeguard our infrastructure and communities that are vulnerable to the effects of climate change,” the Minister said.He was addressing the opening of the Jamaica Institution of Engineer (JIE) three-day conference at the Knutsford Court hotel in Kingston on September 24.The Minister noted that engineers are central to the planning, design, construction and maintenance of infrastructure networks which support economic activity and protect human health and welfare, and with climate change, major changes to the layout and use of these networks will therefore be required.“This will ensure sufficient resilience to cope with foreseeable climate change impacts including an evaluation of the physical vulnerability of civil infrastructure such as road networks, water and sewerage systems and the energy grid,” he said.The Minister further noted that the creation of formal linkages between engineers, scientists and other key stakeholders which would promote the sharing of up-to-date information on best adaptive practices and regional climate datasets, could also provide input to government for setting research, legislative and expenditure priorities to support its climate change efforts.“Regular and meaningful consultation between the engineering profession and the government on climate change policy is also required and I firmly believe that opportunities must be provided for professional engineers to acquire and upgrade their skills regarding new techniques and practices required to adapt to climate change,” he said.Minister Pickersgill further challenged engineers to seize the opportunities climate change presents to develop new, innovative infrastructure systems and services.“Adaptation to climate change provides opportunities in the new green economy. New opportunities in engineering design and manufacturing will come from the development of low carbon renewable energy technologies including hydro, wind and solar; as will the building of resilience into existing infrastructure and designing new systems that are robust and efficient,” he said.Themed: ‘Engineers Embracing Change’, the event was held as part of activities to mark Engineers’ Week which is being observed from September 22 to 29. Topics being discussed during the conference include the national building code; energy utilisation technology; climate change adaptation; construction and innovative design; manufacturing and industrial engineering; and risk management and disaster reduction. Story Highlightslast_img read more

Penashues election spending under fire

first_imgAPTN National NewsQuestions continue to swirl around Ottawa about Labrador MP Peter Penashue’s spending habits during the last federal election.Opposition parties are accusing Penashue of over spending by $20,000. The Liberals have called for an investigation.NDP MP Charlie Angus joined APTN National News.last_img

Istanbul vote to be rerun after Erdogan party loses

first_imgTurkish President Tayyip Erdogan speaks at North Atlantic Council Mediterranean Dialogue Meeting in Ankara, Turkey on 6 May. Photo: ReutersTurkey’s top election body ordered a re-run of Istanbul’s mayoral election on Monday after the party of president Recep Tayyip Erdogan complained about its shock defeat in the vote, the state news agency reported.The winner of the election, Ekrem Imamoglu of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), said it was a “treacherous decision” and vowed to fight on.”They are trying to take back the election we won. Maybe you are upset but never lose your hope,” he told thousands of supporters on the outskirts of Istanbul following the ruling.Imamoglu narrowly defeated the candidate of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the 31 March local elections to take control of Turkey’s biggest city.It was a rare electoral defeat for Erdogan, himself a former mayor of the city, which has been in the hands of the AKP and its predecessors for 25 years.But the AKP has refused to accept defeat, saying there were “irregularities and corruption” in the vote.Imamoglu won by just 13,000 votes but was confirmed after two weeks of recounts in April.The soft-spoken former district mayor had vowed to heal political divisions and reach across party lines.But Istanbul, with 16 million residents, is Turkey’s economic engine and controls a major chunk of public spending.Erdogan once said winning Istanbul was like winning the entire country.The loss of the mayorship in Istanbul, along with a more resounding defeat in the capital Ankara, reflected widespread concern over the deteriorating economy.Downright dictatorshipThe CHP, which had previously called Erdogan a “bad loser”, said it was holding an emergency meeting after the election body’s announcement.The party’s deputy chair, Onursal Adiguzel, who represents Istanbul in the national assembly, said the ruling was “neither democratic nor legitimate”.”Going to the polls against the AKP is allowed, but winning is forbidden… This is downright dictatorship,” he tweeted.Imamoglu said he would travel to Ankara on Tuesday to meet with party leaders.”I dont even know what to say. The lawlessness is so obvious,” a female supporter told AFP ahead of his speech in Istanbul.”If there is no rule of law… they will trigger a civil war.”The defeated mayoral candidate, former prime minister Binali Yildirim, said he hoped the re-run would “be beneficial for our city”.Erdogan presented the local elections as a matter of national survival, campaigning heavily even though he was not running himself.For his supporters, Erdogan remains the strong leader that Turkey needs as it faces internal and international security threats — while also speaking for religiously conservative Turks who have felt sidelined.His critics say he has undermined the rule of law with a sweeping crackdown on dissent and sewn division by portraying his opponents as enemies of the state.The AKP still won the most seats nationwide in the local elections, but it has been damaged by Turkey’s first recession in a decade, as well as record-high inflation and a currency that has lost more than 12 per cent of its value against the dollar this year alone.The party did not request a re-run of the election for the Istanbul local assembly, in which it won a majority of seats.last_img read more

US withdraw from missile treaty seeks new deal with Russia China

first_imgUS president Ronald Reagan (R) and Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev sign the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty in the White House on 8 December 1987. Reuters File PhotoThe United States formally withdrew from a landmark 1987 nuclear missile pact with Russia on Friday after determining that Moscow was violating the treaty, an accusation the Kremlin has denied.Washington signaled it would pull out of the arms control treaty six months ago unless Moscow stuck to the accord. Russia called the move a ploy to exit a pact that the United States wanted to leave anyway in order to develop new missiles.President Donald Trump told reporters he would like to seal a new arms deal with Russia reducing all nuclear forces, and possibly with China as well.”If we could get a pact where they reduce and we reduce nuclear, that would be a good thing for the world. I do believe that will happen,” Trump said.The Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) was negotiated by then-US president Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. It banned land-based missiles with a range of between 310 and 3,400 miles (500-5,500 km), reducing the ability of both countries to launch a nuclear strike on short notice.The dispute is aggravating the worst US-Russia friction since the Cold War ended in 1991. Some experts believe the treaty’s collapse could undermine other arms control agreements and speed an erosion of the global system designed to block the spread of nuclear arms.”The United States will not remain party to a treaty that is deliberately violated by Russia,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement.”Russia’s non-compliance under the treaty jeopardises US supreme interests as Russia’s development and fielding of a treaty-violating missile system represents a direct threat to the United States and our allies and partners,” Pompeo said.Senior Trump administration officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Russia had deployed “multiple battalions” of a cruise missile throughout Russia in violation of the pact, including in western Russia, “with the ability to strike critical European targets.”Russia denies the allegation, saying the missile’s range puts it outside the treaty. It rejected a US demand to destroy the new missile, the Novator 9M729, known as the SSC-8 by the NATO Western military alliance.NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg gives a news conference on the day the United States is set to pull out of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Force Treaty (INF), in Brussels, Belgium, on 2 August 2019. Photo: ReutersMoscow has told Washington the US decision to quit the pact undermines global security and removes a key pillar of international arms control.China’s new ambassador to the United Nations, Zhang Jun, said China regrets that the United States is withdrawing from the treaty and expressed doubt about joining the United States and Russia in a nuclear deal.”The United States is saying China should be a party in this disarmament agreement, but I think everybody knows that China is not at the same level with the United States and the Russian Federation,” he said. ‘Serious Mistake’ Russia said on Friday it had asked the United States for a moratorium on the deployment of land-based short and intermediate-range nuclear missiles.”A serious mistake has been made in Washington,” Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.”We have already introduced a unilateral moratorium and won’t deploy land-based short or medium-range missiles, if we get them, in regions where such US missiles are not deployed,” it said.President Vladimir Putin has said Russia does not want an arms race and he has promised he would not deploy Russian missiles unless the United States does so first.A component of SSC-8/9M729 cruise missile system is on display during a news briefing, organised by Russian defence and foreign ministries, at Patriot Expocentre near Moscow, Russia on 23 January 2019. Reuters File PhotoHowever, should Washington take such a step, he has said he would be forced to deploy Russian hypersonic nuclear missiles on ships or submarines near US territorial waters.NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg dismissed Russia’s moratorium request on Friday, saying it was “not a credible offer” as he said Moscow had already deployed illegal missiles.”There are no new US missiles, no new NATO missiles in Europe, but there are more and more new Russian missiles,” he said.’We Don’t Want A New Arms Race’NATO said it had agreed a defensive package of measures to deter Russia. That response would be measured and would only involve conventional weapons, it said.NATO’s Stoltenberg said there would be “no rash moves” by the alliance which he said “would not mirror what Russia does.””We don’t want a new arms race,” Stoltenberg said.In this file photo taken on 8 December 1987 shows US President Ronald Reagan (L) with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev during welcoming ceremonies at the White House on the first day of their disarmament summit, after a three-day summit in Washington, both superpowers leaders put their names to the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty in a first attempt to reverse the nuclear arms race. Photo: AFPNATO members Britain and Poland blamed Moscow for the treaty’s demise.”Their contempt for the rules-based international system threatens European security,” British foreign secretary Dominic Raab said on Twitter.European officials had voiced concern that if the treaty collapses, Europe could again become an arena for a nuclear-armed, intermediate-range missile buildup by the United States and Russia.US officials said the United States was months away from the first flight tests of an American intermediate-range missile that would serve as a counter to the Russians. Any deployment would be years away, they said.”We are just at the stage of looking at how we might further the development of conventional options,” one official said.last_img read more

Medical College students fast enters 6th day

first_imgKolkata: The indefinite fast of six students of the state-run Calcutta Medical College and Hospital entered sixth day today. The fast was undertaken to press for their demand for accommodation in a new hostel which is allotted only for first year students, the agitating students said. Principal Uchhal Bhadra, in a fresh appeal, today urged the students to withdraw the fast. “With the admission process to the first year going on, I urge the students not to continue the fast. We will sympathetically consider their problem. We are ready for dialogues any moment. We had previously held talks on July 13. Our doors are open all the time,” he said. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killed The fasting students belonged to the second, third and fourth year of the state-run medical college and hospital. They demanded that senior students should be housed in the newly-built hostel complex which has plenty of spaces and they should not forced to put up at the “run-down, old hostel building for seniors.” Bhadra told reporters today that the old hostel building will be renovated very soon and those senior students, who are facing accommodation problem, can be put up there. Also Read – Naihati: 10 councillors return to TMC from BJP The principal earlier said as per guidelines of the Medical Council of India (MCI), freshers and seniors cannot be accommodated in the same hostel building to prevent incidents of ragging. He said the college authorities were ready to address the problem faced by the agitating students but accommodation at the new hostel building was not possible. The students, however, said, “Our demand is non-negotiable.” Two of the fasting students have fallen ill during the past four days. Apan Samanta and Soumyadip Roy were taken to emergency on July 13 and were currently under treatment, Ayan Dey, a third year student said. In place of the two hospitalised students, two others have joined the fast, Soumyadip Dutta, another third year student said. On July 5, the senior students had gheraoed the principal. However, the gherao was withdrawn after the police were called in.last_img read more

Amazon Sues Alleged Sellers of Bogus 5Star Product Reviews

first_imgApril 10, 2015 Beware peddlers of lies. Amazon is officially cracking down on phony product reviews. The ecommerce juggernaut not only forbids them on its site, it contends that they’re illegal, too.Case in point: The company filed a lawsuit on Wednesday in Seattle’s King County Superior Court against four websites it alleges publish fraudulent reviews that distort its product ratings.The move, which looks to be a first for Amazon, telegraphs the company’s intensifying intolerance for fake positive reviews louder and clearer than ever before. The suit alleges that fabricated 4- and 5-star product appraisals dilute Amazon’s brand and negatively impact sellers on its site who don’t subvert the system by paying for fraudulent reviews.Related: Yelp: We Won’t Stand for Businesses That Pay for Fake Reviews“While small in number, these reviews threaten to undermine the trust that customers, and the vast majority of sellers and manufacturers, place in Amazon, thereby tarnishing Amazon’s brand,” the suit states. “Amazon strictly prohibits any attempt to manipulate customer reviews and actively polices its website to remove false, misleading, and inauthentic reviews. Despite substantial efforts to stamp out the practice, an unhealthy ecosystem is developing outside of Amazon to supply inauthentic reviews.”The high-profile suit, clearly intended as a warning to fraudsters, was filed against California resident Jay Gentile, who allegedly runs buyazonreviews.com, and unidentified “John Does 1-20,” the alleged proprietors behind “buyamazonreviews.com,” “bayreviews.net” and “buyreviewsnow.com.”Amazon has accused the defendants of a laundry list of alleged crimes, including violations of the Washington Consumer Protection Act and the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, as well as of false advertising and trademark infringement (i.e. – displaying Amazon’s logo and using domain names that are “confusingly similar” to Amazon’s).Related: Yelp Sues Sites That Claim They Can Sell Business Owners 5-Star ReviewsMark Collins, who The Seattle Times reports owns buyamazonreviews.com (which the suit says is run by Gentile, though Collins claims to have never heard of him), says the service he provides is not illegal. Collins claims buyamazonreviews.com merely assists third-party Amazon sellers in amassing reviews. “We are not selling fake reviews,” he told the Times. “However we do provide Unbiased and Honest review on all the products. And this is not illegal at all.”Amazon, which hasn’t yet issued a public statement addressing the lawsuit, did not immediately responded to a request for comment.Related: Amazon Dash Makes Shopping as Easy as Pushing a ButtonFake glowing reviews, intended to boost consumer confidence and in turn hopefully heighten sales, have long been a problem for Amazon and other popular websites, like Yelp and TripAdvisor. Interestingly, the inaugural Amazon customer review was of the “The Butter Battle Book” by Dr. Seuss. That was all of 20 years ago. Now, as Amazon jockeys to legally “butter-side-up” alleged sellers of inauthentic reviews “to small smithereens,” the 1984 rhyming war battle yarn seems an apropos first recipient of an Amazon customer assessment.If Amazon wins this war in court, it will receive triple damages and attorney fees and, more importantly, the alleged fraudsters will be forced to quit hawking Amazon reviews and to suspend use of the company’s name and logo.Related: How to Get Your Business on Amazon’s New Home Services Platform Enroll Now for Free 3 min readcenter_img Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience.last_img read more

Section of A500 will see speed limit REDUCED and the work will

first_imgCentral Motorway Police Group (CMPG) have been snaring motorists on the A500. (Image: Central Motorway Police Group (CMPG)) Hackney carriage driver Abdul Rauf, of Shelton, also backed the speed limit change. The 54-year-old said: “I think reducing the speed limit will improve safety. In the long term it will be better when the work is done if it cuts down on congestion.” Want to tell us about something going on where you live? Let us know – Tweet us @SOTLive or message us on our Facebook page . And if you have pictures to share, tag us on Instagram at StokeonTrentLive . Get the biggest Daily stories by emailSubscribeSee our privacy noticeThank you for subscribingSee our privacy noticeCould not subscribe, try again laterInvalid EmailThe speed limit on a section of the A500 is set to be reduced to 50mph. The new limit will be introduced as part of work to widen the D-road between Wolstanton and Porthill. Highways England says introducing a 50mph limit on the stretch – which is currently subject to the national speed limit – will improve safety and traffic flow. Project manager Humzah Mir said: “We’re widening the A500 from two to three lanes between Porthill (A5271) and Wolstanton (A527), helping to reduce congestion and improve journey times. “Safety is our top priority and as part of the plans we’re proposing to lower the speed limit from 70mph to 50mph, making this stretch consistent with the majority of the A500 in this urban area. Read MoreTop stories on StokeonTrentLive “This speed limit combined with the extra lane will allow traffic to flow better, which will improve safety, and journey time reliability.” In the current 50mph area around the A50 junction,  police have been staging regular speed operations with hundreds falling foul and ignoring the limit. Punter found hiding in bushes Driver named following fatal collisioncenter_img The A500 attracts traffic at all hours Highways England’s £17.5 million scheme for increasing the capacity of the D-road, which will add an extra lane to both the northbound and southbound carriageways, is due to begin soon after the start date was brought forward from spring 2020. The work, scheduled to take around 18 months to complete, will take place at the same time as the £40 million Etruria link road project, which will connect Wolstanton junction to Festival Park. Barry Proctor, owner of Talke-based haulage company Barry Proctor Services, drives along the A500 most days. He said: “The road hasn’t got the best reputation for safety and there have been a lot of deaths over the years. I wouldn’t complain about the speed limit being reduced if it improves safety. Read More£2 million smart road network aimed at tackling congestion to be trialled in North Staffordshire   “The widening work really does need doing. When I go from Talke to Westport in a morning the road is fine very early on, but when I come back at around 7.30am, it’s chocka. It’s horrendous and it’s like that every morning, so anything that will improve the traffic flow is good.” Currently the stretch leading up to the Basford roundabout from Junction 15 of the M6  is 50 mph with a national speed limit from Wolstanton towards Cheshire.  In the current 50mph area around the A50 junction, police have been staging regular speed operations with hundreds falling foul and ignoring the limit. Dad slams ‘disgusting’ hospital window Police search for missing womanlast_img read more