Who is Himanta Biswa Sarma?

first_imgWhen the Congress sidelined the ambitious Himanta Biswa Sarma in 2015, the Bharatiya Janata Party, desperate to make Assam its base for expansion in the northeast, sniffed an opportunity. The BJP made him draw up the blueprint for ousting the Congress in the 2016 Assembly elections, besides forging an alliance with the Bodoland People’s Front, which had parted ways with the Congress in 2014, and the Asom Gana Parishad. The alliance won 86 seats — and the Assam election.How did he get a bigger role?Mr. Sarma, 49, got the Finance portfolio in the new government, and the BJP gave him a bigger role. He was made convener of the North East Development Alliance (NEDA), whose primary task was to bring disparate regional parties on board to fight the common enemy: the Congress. Mr. Sarma got going, first engineering the BJP’s takeover in Arunachal Pradesh from the Congress and helping to turn the tables on the Congress, the single largest party, in Manipur, cobbling up a BJP-led alliance government last year. His role in Tripura, where the BJP had a machinery in place, was limited but his ability to strike deals was vital in the installation of an alliance government in Meghalaya and dealing with a temporary crisis when the rival regional parties — the Naga People’s Front and the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party — fought to tie up with the BJP in Nagaland.How did he rise to power?In the 1990s, the former Assam Chief Minister, Hiteswar Saikia, considered the craftiest leader the Congress has produced in the northeast, had followed his instincts to invest in a young law graduate prone to inviting trouble. The impulsive youngster, Himanta, had cut his teeth in the All Assam Students’ Union that spearheaded the anti-foreigners’ agitation from 1979 to 1985. He became the “errand boy” of the agitation’s leader, Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, who went on to be the face of regionalism in Assam, and his associate Bhrigu Kumar Phukan. While Saikia died weeks before completing his term in 1996, the Congress earned dividends from his investment when Mr. Sarma wrested the Jalukbari Assembly seat from Mr. Phukan, one of his political mentors, in 2001. The Congress under Tarun Gogoi tweaked its policy of overlooking firsttimers to make Mr. Sarma a junior Minister in 2002. Why did he fall out with Gogoi?Mr. Sarma worked his way up to become one of Mr. Gogoi’s most trusted lieutenants. He established himself as a multi-tasker: nurturing his constituency and performing better than his colleagues in the Gogoi Ministry and taking care of niggles within the party. His acumen as a strategist came to the fore in the 2006 Assembly elections. He managed the Congress’s 2011 campaign too, helping the party win an unprecedented 78 seats. But Mr. Gogoi’s bid to project his son Gaurav, a parliamentarian now, upset Mr. Sarma, and he drifted away from the Congress. He had a camp of supporters and challenged Mr. Gogoi’s leadership. Some of his supporters switched over to Mr. Gogoi, who enjoyed the high command’s support. A sulking Mr. Sarma became a recluse before resurfacing in August 2015 as arguably the BJP’s biggest catch in Assam. A few weeks later, 10 Congress MLAs followed him to the BJP. Mr. Gogoi called it “good riddance,” but many Congress leaders sensed this could spell trouble for the party. However, Mr. Sarma had come to the BJP with a handicap — allegations of involvement in the Saradha chit fund scam and the Louis Berger bribery case — just as a couple of TADA cases, dismissed long ago, had preceded his joining the Congress.What lies ahead?The former Assam BJP president, Siddhartha Bhattacharyya, who had pushed for inducting Mr. Sarma into the party, wondered why the Congress was “letting go of an asset despite everything.” Though Mr. Sarma has proved himself, the real test would be to make the BJP a force to reckon with in the Christian-majority Mizoram, considered difficult to crack, where elections are due this year-end.last_img read more

As AIDS epidemic abates, UNAIDS makes new push to end it

first_imgAlthough no vaccine against HIV exists, advances in prevention and treatment have led to a growing conviction among researchers, public health officials, and politicians that the HIV/AIDS epidemic can be brought to a halt with existing tools. Fast-Track: ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030, a report released yesterday by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), spells out how this ambitious aim could be achieved. “HIV infections may not disappear in the foreseeable future, but the AIDS epidemic can be ended as a global health threat,” the report asserts.Fast-Track updates UNAIDS estimates about the epidemic today. Some 35 million people were living with HIV at the end of 2013, 2.1 million new infections occurred during that year, and AIDS-related deaths totaled 1.5 million. These were slight drops from 2012 and are mainly the result of a big jump in the number of people in low- and middle-income countries receiving antiretroviral treatment, which went from 9.7 million in 2012 to 13.6 million by June 2014. (Treatment both saves lives and makes infected people less likely to transmit the virus.) “It’s amazing the acceleration that happened,” UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé told ScienceInsider. “In 3 years we’re doing what we used to do in 20 years.”But the report notes that if treatment and prevention efforts remain at 2013 levels, the epidemic will continue to grow and an estimated 41.5 million people will be living with HIV in 2030. Fast-Track sets the “visionary goal” of cutting that number to 29.3 million, which would avert some 28 million infections.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Sidibé says a window of opportunity exists today that will not last. “We have 5 years to leverage and break the trajectory,” Sidibé says. UNAIDS says the key is to increase three things to 90% levels: people who know their HIV status, receive treatment, and adhere to the medication so that the amount of virus in their blood drops below detectable levels.Fast-Track explicitly recognizes that these ambitious targets will be difficult to hit, especially given funding limitations, but contends they have an inherent value. “As previous experience in the AIDS response has demonstrated, time-bound targets drive progress, promote accountability and unite diverse stakeholders in pushing towards common goals,” the report says.In a first, Fast-Track notes that 89% of all new HIV infections occur in 30 countries. It also breaks down by income status of these locales how much money will be required by 2020 to meet the 90-90-90 goals. Low-income countries will need $9.7 billion, lower-middle-income $8.7 billion, and upper-middle-income $17.2 billion. This is roughly double the amount invested today, but UNAIDS estimates that expenses will drop after a peak in 2020. “To end the AIDS epidemic by 2030, the global community will need again to defy expectations,” the report states.Low-income countries will have to dip more into their own coffers: Fast-Track notes that only six governments in Africa have lived up to a commitment made in 2001 to devote 15% of their budgets to health. “We have failed in those countries to show that health is an investment,” Sidibé says. “It’s seen as a cost expenditure by the ministers of finance.” He says countries like China, India, and Brazil also can do more to help sub-Saharan Africa. “Emerging countries should start going beyond just the responsibility of taking care of themselves,” he says. “They need to start building the bridge with the most left-behind countries.”Only four high-income countries are contributing enough compared with their gross domestic products, the report contends. “There is an enormous gap in per capita contributions among donor countries—providing a significant opportunity for many donors to increase their contributions,” it concludes.last_img read more

H.E. Hujjat-ul-Islam Seyed Mohammad Khatami at India Today Conclave 2007

first_imgMohammad KhatamiH.E. HUJJAT-UL-ISLAM SEYED MOHAMMAD KHATAMIFORMER PRESIDENT OF IRAN In the historical view of Iranians, India is the land of the “life tree,” the “elixir of immortality” and the “tree of wisdom”. The tree thus described by Rumi: “Anyone who eats or takes its fruit/ He would never age or,Mohammad KhatamiH.E. HUJJAT-UL-ISLAM SEYED MOHAMMAD KHATAMIFORMER PRESIDENT OF IRAN In the historical view of Iranians, India is the land of the “life tree,” the “elixir of immortality” and the “tree of wisdom”. The tree thus described by Rumi: “Anyone who eats or takes its fruit/ He would never age or die.” I want to base my discussions on that epistemological and historical outlook to reach a defined strategy. It has been correctly asserted that of all ancient Asian civilisations, Indian and Iranian thoughts are closest to each other. Apart from the old kinship that exists between the two civilisations, both share a philosophical and prudent understanding of the world. Besides, the two also share a common spiritual experience-which will ultimately translate into freedom and salvation in the form of Ishraq (enlightenment) and mystical experience. An experience wherein freedom and salvation go hand in hand with love for oneness and the will to get over paradoxes.The power of synthesis, which is a prominent characteristic of the Iranian thought, is distinctively featured in India, embracing everything from myths to philosophical opinions, from experiments to religious convictions, from democracy to development. Dialogue about this cultural heritage and the power to combine paradoxes or contraries is not solely a concern for intellectuals and philosophers, but provokes thought on the driving force that can instigate survival, self-respect and the blossoming of a civilisation in the age of communication and historical swiftness-for which India is a flag-bearer in the wake of its all-out and sustainable development.advertisementBased on this discussion, the obvious question is whether there are common grounds for an Asian thought that can be spoken about-common grounds that are based on cultural heritage and have a thing to say and a plan to act upon in today’s integrated world. As a matter of fact, Asia, which is the cradle of dynamic human civilisations and cultures, and a platform of great religions, can be a place that engenders a generative global thought. Asian cultures, given their deeply shared outlook on living, human beings and society, can make a contribution to generating global forces of civilisation if communication between them continues to grow.Further communication between original and genuine cultures that are based on thought, realism, moderation and aesthetics, will culminate in the enhancement and promotion of a just peace in a broad-based democracy and an all-out development in the whole world. Today the world is in dire need of interaction despite differences, friendship despite competition, and unity despite pluralism. This is why we should reach a new perspective in terms of relations, cooperation, regional and international partnerships-an atmosphere in which the global community can stride on a new path, far away from tension, interference and the domination of the world by the ones wielding power and wealth.THE DIALOGUE MUST BE AIMED AT NEGATING EXTREMISM AND VIOLENCE APART FROM TACKLING DISCRIMINATION IN THE WORLD.Unfortunately, colonialism and historical backwardness have prevented the ancient Asian civilisations from getting to know one another as much as they need to. The image we have of one another is less direct, and through mediators. The image, made by others, through which we look at each other, is not perfect and transparent, if not distorted. The input and the channels through which global communications take place will by no means mirror the full image of any of us. We should seek to discover new strategies and methods that are direct, and work without mediators. Under such circumstances, dialogue between thinkers and intellectuals engaged in any area ranging from culture and knowledge to politics, economics and sociology, can help build new structures and trends that will give rise to development of Asian communication and integration of our civilisations, which will eventually facilitate our contribution to building a better world for ourselves and for the rest of the people in the world.I have spoken quite frequently about the dialogue of civilisations and cultures not only as a notion but as a strategy and a work-plan. If the world is supposed to maximise the helpfulness of its wonderful and creative power in an age referred to as the age of communication, while minimising all its destructive power, there is no method other than dialogue that can make this practical in all cultural and civilisational levels.Let me emphasise a certain feature of the dialogue of civilisations, which has a long and precious track record in India and Iran-an aspect that can be used as a work-plan for following up on the dialogue of civilisations in the world today. In this type of dialogue, the West is not posed against the East, or for that matter Asia against others. Instead, this dialogue is a strategy that can boost the capacity of Asia and the West versus violence, despotism, inequality and poverty. I think of a dialogue in the horizon of global civilisation, which will help keep Asia, the West and the whole world away from the horrendous conditions under which a ‘monologue’ system would be predominant.advertisementThe world today is broader than Asia, Europe, the East, the West, the North and the South. Like in the past, we should have a loving heart and a spiritual thought in order to achieve a synthesis for freedom of humans in the East and the West. Once, when colonialism was in its ascendancy, Rudyard Kipling, a British poet of Indian origin, wrote that the East is East and the West is West, and that the two would never catch up. The piece reflects the arrogance and self-importance of a civilisation, which, despite its great and astounding achievements, sought to dominate the world. Colonialism was engendered by this fantasy and illusion, and held political and economic motivations proportionate to this morale.Today is a different day, however. Today, that western self-importance, which was the source of ignoring and humiliating others, is a plan hardly respected by the world’s intelligentsia. Nevertheless, its remnants are still witnessed in the precarious vision and methods advised by some powerful western politicians-an issue that has not only put the East in trouble, but also endangered the long-term interests of the West.History, after Kipling, has kept in mind Gandhi, who would define the conquered East and the arrogant West in a different paradigm. Gandhi’s grandeur lies in the fact that he even deprived himself of the gaiety of victory over his adversaries so the old wound could heal. He would reckon his victory, which was nothing but the victory of truth and non-violence, with a spectacular gentleness so that his energy, which had driven him out of his homeland, would not feel humiliated.THE EAST NEEDS WEST’S REALISM AND CREATIVE REASON. THE DIALOGUE SHOULD BE A STRATEGY AND A WORKING PLAN.In his view, the East and the West were not the East and the West as defined by colonialists. Perhaps he had a belief in this piece by the German poet Goethe, who said, “East and West both belong to God”. I am certain that Goethe had perceived this from God’s long discourse in the holy Quran that “Allah ul-Mashriq, al Maghrib” (God is there both in the East and the West). Now that horror and terror fills the East and the West of the turbulent world, it is high time we thought of a new approach to save humanity. Dialogue in a framework of the paradigm I just mentioned can make a great contribution to this.We should use the experience human beings have amassed, to realise that the materialistic brain of the West is, more than ever, in need of Eastern wisdom, which is oriented towards elevation and perfection. Equally, the Eastern soul needs the West’s realism and creative reason. The devastating slits in the human body-both in the West and East- should be healed. We should contemplate the experience of human beings so that a part of their fate is composed in the West and the other part in the East.advertisementLet us assert that the optimal human being is a combination of the Eastern soul and Western realism and this would only be accomplished if the West and the East pursue dialogue with a purpose and understand each other. This is a great notion that must be followed even in a small scale wherever possible.We need a developed, progressive and humanistic world for all the people, not for just a certain proportion of the world’s population. Meanwhile, we should do our best to prevent our perfection-oriented and truth-seeking soul from being plagued by the tight and routine curls of materialism. It is only then that we can be released from the troubles caused by poverty, ignorance, despotism and incapacity against nature. Under such circumstances, the expansive soul of man, who is the cream of the crop of all creatures, will not be taken captive by the materialistic demands of his body.It is high time that the West and the East looked into each other as complimentary entities, rather than ones that oppose each other and tend to make the world a scene for a disastrous confrontation. They should learn from each other and see humans in the broad spectrum of perfection within their souls, and make globalisation translate into the humanisation of the world.It is from this perspective that I lay emphasis on a dialogue of civilisations and cultures in the context of a conversation that is aimed at isolating and negating extremism and violence, and tackling insecurity and discrimination in all corners of the world. This will then help thinkers and intellectuals to join civil, national, regional and international organisations to pool ideas and think of ways to change the status quo of the world. They should help make a transition from a paradigm, the consequences of which, in the contemporary age, have been world wars, regional wars, cold war, occupation, repression and terrorism- into a paradigm of peace, security and democracy, both at the national and international levels. You and we have looked at the world compassionately. Then what could be better than us building the human world on the basis of compassion and tolerance enamelled with justice? Your thinkers and artistes, and ours, who have envisioned and led these mysterious perspectives, can open the horizons in the media or organisations in which they are involved. DiscussionQ. Today Iran is facing international isolation over its nuclear ambition and is on the path of confrontation with the world again. If you were the president today, how would you guide your country? Khatami: Iran has huge oil and gas reserves, but these are going to be exhausted very soon. The other issue is that fossil fuels are harmful to the environment, and there is a need for finding a good replacement for these fuels. So nuclear energy is important, as it is the most accessible kind of energy. Iran has the legitimate right to think about future sources of energy and have nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. We are very much concerned about the proliferation of nuclear arms. It is a major concern for every one. I had proposed in the UN that the Middle East should be a nuclear-free zone. And we have stated that we do not see any place for nuclear weapons in Iran. Iran is a member to NPT and it’s our right to have nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. We would be able to resolve the dispute through negotiations so that Iran’s legitimate right is accepted. We would also give objective guarantees that Iran would never go towards nuclear weapon technology.Q. Would you guarantee that Iran would neither develop nuclear weapons nor help others to do so? Khatami: I would give you the guarantee that Iran would never help any country to be a threat to any other country and I would guarantee that Iran would never seek access to nuclear weapons.Q. What is the state of women’s empowerment in your country, especially in terms of politics and business? Khatami: We have made great progress in human rights and in many areas, men share their rights with women. In my time as president, the number of girls admitted to the universities was 60 per cent, as compared to boys, who constituted only 40 per cent. Women do occupy positions in government and in business. But there are some limitations and restrictions based on the Iranian Constitution, which do not allow women to stand for presidency. In future we will remove these obstacles. I believe that from the Islamic and human point of view there is no obstacle to having a woman as a president.Q. Iran is an Islamic republic based on an absolute faith which does not brook dissent. Pluralism requires that we respect and accept people’s right to dissent. How do you reconcile these in terms of living in a pluralistic and globalised world? Khatami: Islam respects all religions. Establishing an Islamic republic does not deny people belonging to other faiths the rights they deserve. In our Constitution, we have recognised the rights of other religions with freedom of thought, activity, speech and access to some posts. Pluralism depends on the culture of the society. In some countries there may be an improper understanding of religion that says we have the right to exist and other don’t. In the Islamic republic of Iran it is not like that at all.last_img read more

BSP MP arrested along with wife, son in dowry death case

first_imgGhaziabad, Apr 7 (PTI)BSP MP Narendra Kashyap along with his wife and son was arrested here today under anti-dowry laws in connection with the death of his daughter-in-law.Kashyap, who is a member of Rajya Sabha, and his wife Devendri were arrested by Kavi Nagar police from Yashoda Hospitals ICCU ward where they were admitted on April 6 after they complained of chest pain.Their son Sagar, who is the husband of victim Himanshi, was also arrested as the police have found “prima facie” complicity of the trio in the dowry death case, police officials said.SHO Kavinagar Ashok Shishodia said that a team of government doctors was constituted to examine the MP and his wife to determine if they actually require medical attention.Chief Medical Superintendent of Yashoda Hospital Sangeeta Garg said that after examination by the team, police arrested Kashyap and his wife.Himanshi, the 29 year-old daughter-in-law of Kashyap, was found dead inside bathroom of their sector-23 Sanjay Nagar residencewith gunshot injury on her head at around 11 AM on Wednesday. An FIR under sections 498A (husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty), 304B (death of a woman caused by burns or bodily injuries) of IPC and section 3 and 4 of Dowry Prohibition Act was lodged against the three as well as the MPs daughters Shobha and Sarita and Sagars younger brother Siddharth yesterday.Officials said that the other three will be arrested soon.District Magistrate Vimal Sharma said that “a detailed report is being sent to Rajya Sabha Chairman informing him about the incident and the arrest of parliamentarian”.advertisement”The victims husband, father-in-law and mother-in-law have been arrested as prima facie it has emerged that they were involved in dowry harassment. We had detained them this morning and only after a proper medical check-up they were arrested.”The post-mortem report will be examined by a DSP rank officer. But prima facie it has emerged that the victim was being harassed for dowry,” SSP Gaziabad Dharmendra Singh said.Himanshi, the daughter of former BSP minister Hiralal Kashyap, was married to Sagar three years ago and the couple have a one-year-old son.Hariom Kashyap, Himanshis uncle, in his complaint alleged that Narendra Kashyaps family members used to torture the girl for not bringing enough dowry.They always insisted that she bring a ?Fortuner? SUV from her parents, he claimed. PTI CORR MG RTlast_img read more

Lionel Messi pays wages of Argentina team security staff

first_imgLionel Messi paid the wages of Argentine team’s security staff out of his own pocket after hearing they had not received their salary for six months, according to media reports. (Latest Sports stories)The Argentine Football Association is mired in an going financial crisis amid allegations of corruption and mismanagement, Xinhua news agency reported.Journalist Juan Pablo Varsky told Metro 95 radio that Messi was told of his countrymen’s plight before Argentina’s World Cup qualifier against Brazil in Belo Horizonte last week.”Messi was in his room… when a knock at the door came,” Varsky said.”Two or three people appeared, all from the security team who look after the Argentine squad. They said, ‘Leo, we have to talk with you. For five or six months they have not paid us. The situation is complicated, you are the captain of the team, you know us, we are asking for your help’.””When Messi finds out that someone told this he will be furious, but it does not matter,” said Varsky.”There are a lot of actions he does not want people to know about but I thought it pertinent to tell this because there is no reason not to, save for his anger.”last_img read more

Sourav Ganguly not worried about Ajinkya Rahane’s form ahead of South Africa tour

first_imgFormer India skipper Sourav Ganguly said he was not worried with Ajinkya Rahane’s poor form with the bat ahead of India’s gruelling tour of South Africa starting January 5.Rahane had one of the worst Test series of his career when Sri Lanka toured India for a three-match series.Rahane managed to score only 17 runs from five innings in a series where other Indian batsmen scored heavily.However, Ganguly is not worried at all as the Mumbai batsman’s overseas record speaks volumes about his calibre.”No, I don’t think Ajinkya Rahane’s form is a concern as he is a quality player. Virat Kohli, Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara and Murali Vijay have all been to South Africa. The best thing is that they are going back to South Africa as better players,” Ganguly told PTI during an interaction on the sidelines of Ranji Trophy semi-final between Bengal and Delhi.The former captain is impressed with current bowling attack but wants to wait till he watches them in action.”We will find out if this is the best bowling attack or not. They have got pace for sure. Umesh has pace, Bhuvneshwar is in good form, so let’s wait,” he said.While conditions will determine the playing XI in Cape Town on January 5, Ganguly is not averse to trying out Hardik Pandya at No. 6, something a lot of experts are skeptical considering his technique in bouncy conditions is not well documented.”You will not realise till you give Hardik a chance. Depends on how you want to go about it,” said one of India’s shrewdest captain.advertisement”Rohit Sharma did well in the two chances that he got. If it’s a flat track, maybe we should have that extra fast bowler in the XI but if it’s a green top, we should definitely have an extra batsman,” he opined. Ganguly, who is the president of the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB), picked Shikhar Dhawan as his choice as opening partner of Murali Vijay.”Shikhar Dhawan has been in such great form and Murali Vijay has also played well against Sri Lanka,” he said.While India have talent to do well, winning a series will be easier said than done.”India are a good team but it won’t be easy that much I can tell you. If the batsmen put up runs on the board, this attack can get wickets,” he concluded.(With PTI inputs)last_img read more

‘India will take revenge of Champions Trophy defeat by winning Asia Cup’

first_imgIndia defeated Pakistan by 8 wickets and 21 overs to spare in a 2018 Asia Cup match at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) acting president CK Khanna after the match on Wednesday expressed optimism that Team India will take revenge of their defeat in the Champions Trophy final in England last year, by winning the ongoing tournament.Khanna also praised stand-in skipper Rohit Sharma and his team for clinching an impressive eight-wicket win over arch-rivals Pakistan.”They have won by a huge margin. The way they have played today, I am sure they will win the Asia Cup and take the revenge of the Champions Trophy. This was a match-winning captaincy. We are happy with this big win.”READ – In heart-warming gesture, Chahal ties Pakistan batsman’s shoelaces”Bhuvneshwar bowled really well, Bumrah got able to support. The openers, especially Shikhar Dhawan continued his good form. All of them played well as a team,” Khanna added, lauding the performance of bowlers and batsmen.Indian bowlers put up a sensational performance to bundle out Pakistan for 162 runs in 43.1 overs after the latter opted to bat first. Besides Babar Azam (47) and Shoaib Malik (43), none of the other Pakistani batsmen was able to contribute much to their side’s innings.In reply, India did not break much sweat and clinched the victory with 126 balls to spare. Rohit and Shikhar Dhawan gave a solid start to the Indian side as they notched up 52 and 46 runs respectively, besides also accumulating a collective 86 runs for the first wicket.advertisementSubsequently, Ambati Raydu (31) and Dinesh Karthik (31) remained unbeaten at the crease to drive the team towards the victory with 126 balls to spare.READ – Manish Pandey’s sensational catch wows cricket fansFollowing the victory, fans across the country also celebrated by bursting crackers and distributing sweets.A fan said, “We are very happy with this win. Our batsmen and bowlers clicked together. We are hopeful that our boys will continue their good performance and win the Asia Cup.”READ – Sarfraz Ahmed admits Pakistan stumped by Kedar JadhavAnother fan echoed similar sentiments and said, “Our bowlers restricted Pakistan to a very less total. We were confident that India will win this match. India-Pakistan matches are very good. Everyone likes to see such games. Hope this team plays well in the semifinals and Asia Cup will definitely come to India.”India, who have finished at the top spot in Group A, will now lock horns with Bangladesh in the Super Four stage of the Asia Cup at the Dubai International Stadium on September 21.(With inputs from ANI)last_img read more

Rohan Bopanna to partner Divij Sharan next season

first_imgThe 2020 Tokyo Olympics may seem far away but tennis doubles specialists Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan have decided to pair up from the forthcoming season on the ATP Tour.”First stop ATP Pune, then Sydney and the Australian Open,” an excited Bopanna told Mail Today on Thursday.This is a pair which came up trumps at the Asian Games in Palembang and won gold. And that, despite Bopanna taking a call on playing the Asiad just four days before as he was coming back from rehab.”I have always believed there is nothing like playing doubles with someone from your own country. When I played with Mahesh Bhupathi in the 2012 London Olympics, it was an incredible feeling,” said Bopanna.Both Bopanna and Delhiite Divij Sharan are temperamentally similar. Both have fairly big games in doubles and do have chemistry.”Training together more often, practising together and possibly sharing coaching resources, we are looking to go the whole hog in the new season. Yes, Tokyo 2020 is on our mind and we will work towards qualifying for it,” said Bopanna.This was a breakthrough year for Divij, who finished the year-end at a ranking of 36 in ATP doubles and the No.1 Indian. He has been a late bloomer. After Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi, this is the first time an Indian pair will look to perform well on the ATP Tour.”As far as we are concerned, Divij and I are committed to each other. We will wait and see how it goes and hopefully, we will be considered for Davis Cup selection as well. We are available,” said Bopanna and added the final call was with the selectors. The new selection committee is headed by Rohit Rajpal.advertisementBoth Bopanna and Divij work for Indian Oil and are hoping they will get financial support from the company as well. “The funding which we got from the government before the Asian Games was helpful. I am hoping we will be back in the TOPS scheme as we need all the resources to be pooled in together and do our best,” says Bopanna.There have been few changes in the ATP Masters events from 2019 and the Indian duo are sure of getting entries on big events based on current ranking.”I have played with so many different partners in my career. The advantage with playing from someone of your own country should improve the chemistry. It’s not easy to be away from home for long. Travel, jetlag, feeling alone at times, I guess we can hope to be positive playing with each other,” said Bopanna on his new partnership.Quite often in the past, when Leander and Mahesh made it big, what was special was they started off together on the ATP Tour and then hit it big. The year 1999 was breakthrough for them.It may look late for Bopanna and Divij to be joining hands but their cumulative doubles experience can become a fine blend over a period of time. In the past, doubles pairings have been contentious in Indian tennis at the Olympics. Hopefully, this combination will clear the air in a big way as the top two ranked players from India are planning the correct way.last_img read more

Three Matchups To Watch In the OSU-TCU Game

first_imgLet’s get right to work.1. The President vs. TCU Cornerback Ranthony TexadaJames Washington is a walking highlight reel that’s only gotten better since a slow day in Lawrence. And here’s the thing: teams know who he is. He’s preseason All Big 12, the only returning 1,000-yard receiver, and he had incredible games against a lot of these teams in recent years. Over the last three games, he’s averaging 130.7 yards per game, so he’s hitting a stride and now it’s time to see what one of the best defensive coaches in the league are going to throw at him.The unlucky winner of the “who has to guard No. 28 game” is likely to be junior Frog Ranthony Texada. Texada had himself a bit of a game a couple of weeks ago when he housed a stop/curl route thrown by Seth Russell, showing off his ball skills. Texada didn’t play last year in Stillwater because of injury and will be eager to prove himself against one of the nation’s best.Also, we got our hands on some footage from the practice facility in Fort Worth earlier this week where Coach Gary Patterson has mentioned that the first person to move has to guard No. 28 on Saturday.Only one way to celebrate a road win in Waco: #MannequinChallenge pic.twitter.com/elsxEbQhmz— TCU Football (@TCUFootball) November 6, 20162. Mason Rudolph vs. Horned Frog Quarterback Kenny HillYou can win a lot of games in the Big 12 if you’re ahead in the “arm(s)” race, and boy are the Cowboys enjoying that advantage this season. It’s fair to say Mason is 1-1 vs. the pair of elite throwers he’s faced (beat Mahomes, lost to Russell) and while Kenny Hill isn’t elite, he’s a ballplayer. You may remember him from opening night in 2014 when he broke Johnny Football’s single game record at Texas A&M, but the fall was hard and now he’s surfaced and earned the job in Fort Worth. After getting benched in the home loss to Tech, Kenny Hill had his best game of the season against the Bears. To give Hill a fair shake, we have to do some serious stepping back for some semblance of objectivity to see what we have here (because let’s be real, No. 2 has been lighting up defenses like a Christmas tree at the Rockefeller Center). Here are some stats to compare the two: screen-shot-2016-11-18-at-3-53-38-pmHill isn’t a chump, he’s having a good season but I think you gleam more from who is around him in the standings. Passing efficiency (a number that adjusts for completion percentage, yards per attempt and touchdowns/interceptions) stats have Mason top ten in the country ahead of Mahomes and Mike Leach’s quarterback Luke Falk at Washington State, while Hill is just a hair short of beating out Jake Lanning, Iowa State’s predominantly running quarterback. Hill had a career day on the ground last week, but Mason is tied with Alabama freshman phenom Jalen Hurts and Houston’s Greg Ward, Jr. in “points responsible for” while Hill is chasing Arkansas’ Austin Allen (who runs a plodding Big 10 attack). Again, Hill can throw the rock and has an embarrassment of riches in playmakers with running back Kyle Hicks and dynamo KaVontae Turpin, but Rudolph has been “unstoppable” and the Pokes will have an edge this weekend because of it. Color me excited about this matchup.Plus, I’m not totally sure how to feel about comparing Mason to a guy who fans were saying this about three weeks ago.3. TCU Defensive End Josh Carraway vs. Cowboy Left Tackle Victor SalakoIt was an absolute revelation when Victor Salako transferred to Stillwater in the spring of 2014 when his program called it quits at UAB, especially in the wake of the devastating loss of NFL-hopeful Devin Davis in 2013.  And while last year was an adjustment, OSU’s gentle giant Victor Salako stands at 6’6” and 335 pounds and looks to be a handful for one of the conference’s best pass rushers in senior Frog Josh Carraway.We’ve missed big time chances to see what Salako can do with other productive rushers lining up at the left end spot (K-State’s Jordan Willis and KU’s Dorance Armstrong, Jr.), but not this week. While I think Mason’s improved footwork has only helped out the line, how well Salako protects the No. 2’s blindside will only help the #Rudolph2Washington connection.If 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!last_img read more

Winter Storms and Travel Insurance: Squaremouth Explains Winter Coverage

first_imgST. PETERSBURG, Fla. February 20, 2019 — Over 200 million Americans are expected to be impacted by widespread snow, sleet and freezing rain as Winter Storm Petra moves east across the country this week. Travel insurance comparison site, Squaremouth, explains coverage options for travelers affected by this massive winter storm. Travelers who purchased a travel insurance policy before Winter Storm Petra was named on February 18, 2019 may be covered to cancel their travel plans What Is CoveredFlight Delays and Cancellations: Travelers can be covered to cancel their trip and be reimbursed 100% of their non-refundable trip costs if their flight is delayed, canceled, or if their airport is closed. Missed Connections: If a traveler is stuck in a layover city and misses a connecting flight or cruise, travel insurance can cover the associated costs to catch them up to reach their destination. Meals and Hotels: Delayed travelers can also be reimbursed up to a certain daily amount for meals, hotel stays, and local transportation to and from the hotel and airport during their delay What Isn’t Covered Poor Driving Conditions: Missing a flight due to traffic resulting from inclement weather and poor road conditions is not covered by travel insurance. However, some policies may have coverage if a road closure or accident prevents travelers from reaching the airport. Long Lines at the Airport: Winter weather can often cause ticketing counter delays at affected airports, but canceling a trip or missing a flight due to long lines is not covered by travel insurance. Squaremouth’s Winter Storm Travel Insurance Information Center answers FAQs about travel insurance coverage for winter weather. This database is regularly updated as new information becomes available.  About SquaremouthSquaremouth compares travel insurance policies from every major travel insurance provider in the United States. Using Squaremouth’s comparison engine and third-party customer reviews, travelers can research and compare travel insurance policies side-by-side. More information can be found at www.squaremouth.comlast_img read more

Motivational messages help diabetic patients

first_imgResearchers have found that a low-cost text messaging programme improves blood sugar control in patients with diabetes and coronary heart disease. “The effect in this study was not only statistically significant but also has the potential to be clinically relevant by reducing risk of diabetic complications and death,” said study researchers. It may provide a means to better address the burgeoning healthcare demand-capacity imbalance. For the study, the researchers enrolled 502 patients from 34 clinics in China and the patients were randomly assigned to the text messaging intervention or a control group for six months. The intervention group received six messages per week, at random times of the day, from an automated system set up by the researchers. Also Read – An income drop can harm brainThe messages were designed to provide information and motivation and help patients set goals and manage stress. The control group received two thank you text messages per month. At six months, blood glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) was significantly lower in the intervention group compared to the control group (6.7 per cent versus 7.2 per cent). On an average, HbA1c fell by 0.2 per cent in the intervention group and rose by 0.1 per cent in the control group – a difference of 0.3 per cent between groups. The change in fasting blood glucose was larger in the intervention, compared to control, group (-0.5 versus 0.1 mmol/L, respectively).last_img read more

Four killed 3 injured in fire at ONGC plant operations unaffected

first_imgMumbai: Four people were killed and three seriously injured when a fire broke out at an oil and gas processing plant of ONGC at Navi Mumbai township, a top official and the police said. Those killed include three personnel of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), which is responsible for the security of the Uran plant of Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC). The fourth was an employee of ONGC. Officials said the three injured are also CISF personnel. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details Oil production was not impacted by the fire but ONGC diverted natural gas produced from fields in the Arabian Sea to a similar processing facility at Hazira in Gujarat. “A fire was reported at around 7.15 am this morning at stormwater drainage unit of the Uran plant possibly due to a gas leak. By 9.30 am the fire was brought under control. Unfortunately, we lost four precious lives in the accident,” Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said in New Delhi. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday He asserted that there was no crisis and things were under control. The Uran facility of ONGC receives and processes about 12.5 million tonnes per annum of crude oil and about 11.5 million standard cubic meters per day of natural gas and associated condensate from fields in the Arabian Sea. The facility extracts value-added products such as LPG, C2/C3, and naphtha before supplying crude oil to refineries and natural gas to downstream consumers. Uran plant handles nearly 48 per cent of ONGC’s total crude oil production and accounts for nearly 12 per cent of its gas sales. It produces nearly 42 per cent of ONGC’s total output of value-added products. Officials said almost half of the total revenue of the Uran plant comes from the sale of LPG. Following the blaze, thick smoke engulfed the area, the police said, adding that they appealed to people staying in villages in the plant’s vicinity not to panic, and assured things were under control. The victims died during a blast while they were trying to check gas leakage at the site, a senior CISF official said. The mishap took place around 6.47 am in the ONGC’s processing plant at Uran town, located around 50 km from here, a police official said. Four people were killed and three others injured in the mishap,” a senior police official said. The deceased included three CISF fire personnel Eranna Nayakka, Satish Prasad Kushwaha, and M K Paswan, who were trying to stop the gas leakage, and resident production superintendent C N Rao of the ONGC, CISF’s Deputy Inspector General (west zone) Nilima Singh said. The injured persons were admitted to a nearby hospital for treatment, she said. At least 22 fire brigade tenders, including those of the ONGC, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), Reliance Group, Navi Mumbai civic body and the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation at Taloja, were rushed to the spot. The ONGC on its Twitter handle said: “Fire broke out in stormwater drainage in Uran Plant early morning successfully doused within two hours by fire fighting team. #ONGCs robust crisis mitigation preparedness helped put off this major fire in a very short time.” Earlier, in another tweet, it said, “A fire broke out in stormwater drainage early morning today in Uran oil & gas processing plant. ONGC fire services & crisis management team immediately pressed into action. Fire is being contained. No impact on Oil processing. Gas diverted to Hazira Plant. The situation is being assessed.” The exact cause of the fire was yet to ascertained. According to Singh, a CISF fire station was informed in the morning about gas leakage near the LPG plant of ONGC. The CISF personnel and others then rushed to the site and detected leakage. “They managed to close the valve and were observing if there was any other leakage, but there was a blast and all the three CISF personnel along with ONGC DGM died,” she said, adding that the blast took place in the crude handling plant of the ONGC. The CISF fire team continued with fire fighting and managed to control the blaze. Three other CISF fire personnel also suffered burn injuries and were hospitalised, she said. “Because of the alertness and dedication of the CISF personnel, major damage to the entire plant and township was averted. The CISF personnel sacrificed their lives in the line of duty,” Singh said. Meanwhile, the police said there was nothing to worry and asked people staying near the plant to stay calm. “The situation is under control and we appeal to the villagers staying nearby not to panic,” a senior police official said. The state-owned ONGC is the largest crude oil and natural gas company in the country.last_img read more

Thieves make off with popular tourist attraction from Peggys Cove

first_imgPEGGY’S COVE, N.S. — One of the most-photographed Nova Scotians is missing.Shorty, a wide-eyed, five-foot-two wooden fisherman, was stolen from outside a tourist spot in Peggy’s Cove, N.S., earlier this week.Owner Peter Richardson, who announced the loss on Facebook, said Shorty arrived in August and proved to be very popular.Richardson owns several businesses in the tourist area, including Peggy’s Cove Lobsters. He bought Shorty for $1,000 to draw customers to his lobster-roll food truck.He says the folksy statue was photographed thousands of times.“I’d say one in five people stopped to take a picture with Shorty,” said Richardson, who also owns Peggy’s Cove Boat Tours.“If they were a couple, one would put their arm around him to take a photo.”He suspects it was stolen as a prank.“I hope one of the fraternities got him in one of their dorms. I went to university once and we did stuff like that,” he said.“We just hope that he’s having fun, that he’s OK, and that he’s coming back. We miss him dearly.”Richardson has offered a $200 reward.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Hang Out With The Vamps As They Film Their New Music Video

first_imgThis summer global superstars The Vamps are offering the chance for one lucky fan to make their dreams come true, with an invitation to meet the band and share their spotlight as part of a prize draw to support Stand Up To Cancer.PRIZE DRAW OFFERS FANS ONCE IN A LIFETIME CHANCE TO HANG OUT WITH THE VAMPSThe winner will be invited to join The Vamps as they take a break from their world tour and hang out with the teen heartthrobs on the set of their new music video, witnessing the making of their next big hit. The prize also includes flights to and from the location of the set from anywhere in the world, and accommodation.This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet Brad, James, Connor and Tristan will help raise money for Stand Up To Cancer, a joint national fundraising campaign from Cancer Research UK and Channel 4, designed to accelerate new cancer treatments to patients and save more lives.To be in with a chance of winning, visit prizeo.com/the-vamps. Each donation of $25 buys five entries in the draw and helps support vital cancer research. Fans can also scoop a limited number of exclusive rewards by donating to the cause, including drum skins signed by The Vamps ($300), a signed guitar ($650), and a personal phone call from the boys ($750).Brad Simpson, lead singer and guitarist in The Vamps, said: “Stand Up To Cancer’s an amazing campaign that will make a difference to so many people by raising vital funds that will help get treatments to patients faster. We wanted to give a really special prize to help raise as much money as possible and we hope our fans will enter the draw and join us as we Stand Up To Cancer!”A video from The Vamps explaining why they’re Standing Up To Cancer this year, including details of the prize, can be found here. To purchase merchandise modelled by the band shop online at standuptocancer.org.uk. Selected items will also be available from Cancer Research UK shops across the country from September.Claire Rowney, director of Stand Up To Cancer, said: “Having support from The Vamps will give a huge boost to our fundraising and it’s a great way to engage their devoted fans with Stand Up To Cancer’s work to beat cancer sooner.“We’ve made amazing progress against cancer in the past few decades but one in two of us in the UK will develop cancer in our lifetime so we can’t afford to stand still. Cancer is a complex disease – there are more than 200 types and thousands of subtypes, that’s why funding more research is vital.”Launched in 2012, Stand Up To Cancer’s fundraising total has so far reached over £23.8m to fund clinical trials across the UK.last_img read more

Dhoni not to play last 2 ODIs, likely to have played last game on Indian soil

first_imgRanchi: India’s seniormost player Mahendra Singh Dhoni will be “rested” for the final two ODIs of the ongoing series against Australia and Friday’s match here could well be his last international outing on home soil. “We will have some changes in the last two games. Mahi will not be playing in the last two games. He will be taking rest ,” India’s assistant coach Sanjay Bangar told mediapersons after the match. With India not having any home matches till October, the match here could well be the last time that Dhoni has played in India Blues on home soil. Also Read – Dhoni, Paes spotted playing football togetherThe World Cup is widely believed to be Dhoni’s swansong in India colours. However, the Jharkhand State Cricket Association believes that they would get one limited overs match during the next home season where Dhoni could bid a proper farewell. Knowing Dhoni’s allergy to publicity, the chances of that happening is pretty dim at the moment. Rishabh Pant will keep wickets during the last two ODIs in Mohali and New Delhi.last_img read more

Spains goalkeeper Casillas to score poverty reduction goals as UN Goodwill Ambassador

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) today appointed Spanish football goalkeeper Iker Casillas as a Goodwill Ambassador for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), with a focus on promoting poverty reduction, education and health, and issues affecting young people in developing countries.“While my job on the pitch is to prevent goals, my job at UNDP will be to help score them,” Mr. Casillas said at his appointment in Geneva, Switzerland. “Bringing attention to the poor conditions people are enduring around the world is essential to motivate action on the world’s pledges to improve their lives.”The MDGs are a set of eight globally agreed targets that seek to halve world poverty by 2015 by combating hunger, disease, illiteracy, environment degradation and discrimination against women. Mr. Casillas has a history of helping those in need – including the organizing of events such as football charity matches and raising awareness of the needs of children living in poverty in Peru. “UNDP works with people and their governments around the world to end poverty with solutions that will last,” Mr. Casillas said. “Only with that kind of team approach can we win the battle against poverty, and I am proud to add my personal commitment to this work.”Mr. Casillas plays for the Spanish club Real Madrid and serves as captain for both the Spanish national team and Real Madrid. As captain of the national side, he led a young Spanish team to its first European Championship in 44 years. In 2010, he led Spain to their first ever FIFA World Cup in South Africa, where he also won the Golden Glove Award for the tournament’s best goalkeeper.“We are thrilled to have Iker Casillas working with us to help countries reach the MDGs and defeat poverty,” said the UNDP Associate Administrator, Rebeca Grynspan, after presenting Mr. Casillas with his credentials in Geneva.“Iker is not only a role model for young people across the globe, but also a very committed partner in the need to raise awareness and create real opportunities to improve the lives of  the most vulnerable,” she added.Mr. Casillas joins eight other UNDP Goodwill Ambassadors – footballers Ronaldo de Lima, Zinedine Zidane, Didier Drogba and the world’s number one female football player, Marta Vieira da Silva; tennis player Maria Sharapova; Spanish performer Antonio Banderas; Japanese actress Misako Konno; and Haakon, Crown Prince of Norway. The Ambassadors articulate the UNDP development philosophy and help motivate people to improve their own lives and those of their fellow citizens. Soon after receiving his credentials, Mr. Casillas’ first task as Goodwill Ambassador was to launch – along with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace, Wilfried Lemke – a brand new comic book entitled “Score the Goals: Teaming Up to Achieve the Millennium Development Goals” in which he features, along with nine other football players.“I am very honoured to be part of this comic book,” he said, at the launch. “It is a fantastic fun way to raise awareness and to educate children around the world about the Millennium Development Goals, and about important life values such as tolerance, respect and team spirit. As it says in the comic book: Together we can make it happen!” The 32-page educational comic book features ten football Goodwill Ambassadors – Emmanuel Adebayor, Roberto Baggio, Michael Ballack, Iker Casillas, Didier Drogba, Luis Figo, Raúl, Ronaldo, Patrick Vieira, and Zinédine Zidane – who become shipwrecked on an island on their way to playing an “all-star” charity football game in support of the UN. Whilst on the island, the team has to tackle the eight MDGs along their journey towards being rescued. 24 January 2011The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) today appointed Spanish football goalkeeper Iker Casillas as a Goodwill Ambassador for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), with a focus on promoting poverty reduction, education and health, and issues affecting young people in developing countries. read more

100day countdown to launch of cleanestever Euro6 vehicles

Toughest ever standards for new car emissions come into force in September 2015.70% of UK’s 10 best-selling models registered in April 2015 boasted Euro-6 tech.Car manufacturers demonstrate latest tech at key industry event today.This weekend begins the 100-day countdown to the official launch of the strictest-ever European vehicle emissions regulation, Euro-6. From 1 September 2015, all new car models sold in the EU must meet this low emissions standard, making them the cleanest vehicles in history.With three months still to go before the new standard becomes mandatory, the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that UK vehicle manufacturers are ahead of the game, with around half of new car buyers opting for a Euro-6 car last month.In a show of commitment to the latest standards, car manufacturers are demonstrating their latest Euro-6 cars today at SMMT Test Day – a key industry event.Consumers are doing their bit for air quality, too, by opting to buy these low emission vehicles in increasing numbers. In April, almost one out of every two new cars registered (45.9%) boasted next-generation Euro-6 technology, compared with fewer than one in five (18.7%) in September 2014. Meanwhile, a staggering 70.4% of the UK’s top 10 best-sellers registered last month met the standard.Next-generation Euro-6 technology vehicles not only boast the lowest CO2 emissions on record, but they emit virtually zero particulate matter, while nitrogen oxides emissions are more than half those of previous generation motors built in the past five years.Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “With 100 days still to go until the new Euro-6 standard becomes mandatory, new car buyers are shifting to these next-generation vehicles. This is the result of huge investment from manufacturers in clean technology – and the quicker we get these Euro-6 cars onto the roads, the quicker we’ll see improvements in air quality.”Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) read more

New dust collector design helps reduce power consumption

first_imgA new insertable dust collector that features improved filtering and a smaller footprint should help bulk material handlers minimise airborne dust at belt conveyor loading points. The Martin Insertable Dust Collector is an automatic, self-cleaning filter designed to remove dust from the air in conveyor loading and transfer points, silo vents, bucket elevators and screens. The collector design employs filter elements that are approximately one-eighth the size of filter envelopes in the previous system. The smaller filter elements allow a significant reduction in the dust collector’s footprint, so it can be installed in locations where tight quarters complicate the installation of other systems.The mesh-like material filters better and lasts longer — while consuming less energy — than conventional filter bags. The new filters also allow a reduction in fan size to move air through the elements, helping to reduce the overall power consumption of the collection system.Martin Insertable Collectors feature a pulse cleaning system, which uses a short burst of air sent back through the filter to dislodge accumulated material. Filter changes are a no-tool procedure from the clean side of the dust collector.“These new insertable dust collectors can eliminate many of the problems seen with central ‘baghouse’ collection systems, including long runs of ducting, large enclosures, maintenance difficulties and high power consumption,” said Martin Product Engineer Dan Marshall. “They help solve airborne dust problems by keeping fine particles in the load or returning them to the material stream.”The new line of insertable collectors was developed to handle the heavy dust concentrations and air volumes arising from material transfer points. They are designed to remove 99.9% by weight of all dry particulates 0.5 micron and larger (based on a time-weighted average of a properly-installed, operated and maintained unit).The automated “reverse jet” cleaning sequence facilitates continuous operation, keeping filters working effectively with a minimum of compressed air. The small integrated fan runs only when the conveyor is operational, further improving energy efficiency.“These systems eliminate the need for installing or maintaining ductwork, and there’s no haulage or cleanup costs for waste disposal, since fugitive material is returned to the process,” Marshall added. “Probably its most popular feature with operators is the clean-side access for inspection and filter changeouts,” he said. “It’s a quick and easy process, saving further on time and maintenance costs.”last_img read more

Free pooperscoopers offered to tackle dog poo in Limerick

first_imgA PET SHOP is to offer the people of Limerick 100 free long-handled pooper-scoopers as part of an effort to fight dog mess in the city and county.The Stop Limerick Dog Litter campaign is a new initiative launched by Limerick City & County Councils.It has already received the backing of the Maxi Zoo pet store on the Ballysimon Road who have donated 100 long-handled pooper-scoopers valued at €3,000 to help local Tidy Towns volunteers clean up areas.According to Mayor of Limerick Kathleen Leddin, the issue needs to be tackled across Limerick.“The Council’s Environment Section is trying to get the message across that allowing dogs to foul in a public area and then not picking it up is simply unacceptable. I would like to thank Maxi Zoo for coming on board to support Tidy Towns groups and helping to remove dog litter from our streets and green areas.”Cathaoirleach of Limerick County Council, Cllr. John Sheehan added: ‘TidyTowns groups carry out regular community cleanups and I want to commend them for this. These long-handled pooper scoopers will assist them to deal with dog litter that careless dog owners have chosen not to pick up.”Dog litter causes a significant threat to human health through Toxocariasis, an infection caused by roundworm which lives in the intestines of dogs. This disease can occur when someone accidentally ingests small particles of contaminated soil. Symptoms include abdominal pain, cough, and headache and in extreme cases can result in permanent vision loss.Read: Welsh Police apologise after naming dog poo talks “Operation Irish”VIDEO: Don’t let your dog poo on streets, say wheelchair userslast_img read more

Surgical Robot is Invincible at Operation Board Game

first_imgThis video proves robotic surgery is totally safe. Students at Johns Hopkins University decided to see how the $2 million-dollar da Vinci Surgical System would do at the game where steady fingers is of the utmost importance.And, in case you had any doubt, it can win the game handily. The robot can pick up plastic Adam’s Apples like nobody’s business, without ever touching the metal edges.Surgery is one of the most prominent areas for emerging robotic technologies, and they have been proven to reduce error and increase the success of surgeries.Via Youtubelast_img read more