Gujarat govt to conduct ‘yagna’ for good monsoons

first_imgAs water levels in reservoirs across Gujarat are dipping rapidly, the State government has decided not to take any chances with vagaries of monsoon. It is going to organise “Parjanya Yagna”, which, it believes, will ensure good rains. These rituals will be performed at 41 places in 33 districts and eight major cities on May 31. The ‘yagna’ will mark the culmination of the government’s water conservation drive ‘Sujalam Sufalam Jal Abhiyan,’ said Water Supply Minister Parbat Patel.“The government has decided to perform Parjanya Yagna so that we get good rains this time. Ministers will also take part in this endeavour, aimed at filling up the water bodies de-silted during the Jal Abhiyan,” said Mr. Patel. Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said a yagna is an invite to the rain god. “As we have deepened several water bodies during this drive, we will now invite the rain god through this Yagna to fill them up,” Mr. Rupani told reporters at Dwarka. The Jal Abhiyan was launched on May 1, during which silt was removed from around 13,000 lakes and ponds and 32 rivers.Opposition Congress said the BJP government was seeking refuge in religious rituals to cover up its mismanagement.“Gujarat is reeling under acute water shortage because of the BJP government’s mismanagement. Like the Jal Abhiyan, this Yagna too is aimed at diverting people’s attention from the failures of this government to conserve water,” state Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi said.last_img read more

Hospital Foundation announces two new team members

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Fort St. John Hospital Foundation announced last week that two new members have joined their team.Foundation executive director Niki Hedges said that Jessica Cotton has been brought on to serve as the Foundation’s new Special Events and Administration Coordinator, while Megan Brooks will be working in Donor Relations.Cotton previously spent the past two years on the provincial executive board for Kin Canada and a member and past president of our local Kin Club, to raise funds and equity for associations including Kin Canada, Cystic Fibrosis Canada, STARS Air Ambulance, the Hal Rogers Endowment Fund, among others. She also ran some of the local Kin Club’s events, including RocKin the Peace 2018 and the 2019 Kin Convention.Most of Brooks’ family lives in Fort St. John and have been entrepreneurs and landowners since the community was founded. Her great-grandfather opened the very first general store in Fort St. John originally located in his log cabin, when his business expanded he decided to open up shop where Whole Wheat & Honey is today. Brooks has a background of small business as a Graphic Designer and headed, designed and implemented several promotional and marketing campaigns and had also worked as a care aide for adults with developmental disabilities.The Foundation also announced several big upcoming events in October and November.Shoppers Drug Mart “Women in Health” Fundraiser for the Fort St. John Hospital Foundation, October 6th – November 2ndThe Annual West Jet Raffle, Friday, October 12thBe an Angel Gala at the Pomeroy Hotel and Conference Centre, Saturday, November 3rdThe 15th Annual Moose FM “Light a Moose Radiothon” November 28th – 30thThe Foundation will also be hosting its Annual General Meeting on September 19th. In order to be eligible to vote at the AGM, a $10 fee must be paid at least 30 days in advance, with the deadline set for August 17th.last_img read more

Bail set at 1 mn for US actress accused in bribery scandal

first_imgLos Angeles: US actress Lori Loughlin appeared in federal court in downtown Los Angeles in connection with a massive college admissions scam involving other celebrities and top industry CEOs. Bail for the “Full House” star was set at USD 1 million, the same amount as for her husband, designer Mossimo Giannulli, who has also been charged in the case. The couple, who are to appear in federal court in Boston on March 29, allegedly paid USD 500,000 in bribes to ensure their two daughters were recruited to the University of Southern California rowing team even though the pair did not participate in crew. Also Read – Imran Khan arrives in China, to meet Prez Xi JinpingLoughlin, 54, surrendered to FBI agents early Wednesday after returning from Vancouver, where she was filming. Judge Steve Kim told the star in setting her bail that she would still be allowed to travel for work as long as the court was made aware of her plans. The couple were among 50 people indicted on Tuesday in a scam to help children of the American elite gain entry into top US colleges. “Desperate Housewives” star Felicity Huffman, who has also been implicated in the scandal, was arrested by FBI agents at her home on Tuesday and later released on bail. Also Read – US blacklists 28 Chinese entities over abuses in XinjiangThe 56-year-old actress and her husband William H Macy, the star of Showtime’s hit series “Shameless,” allegedly paid USD 15,000 for their eldest daughter to perform well on a college entrance exam. Macy was mentioned in the case but has not been charged. The ringleader behind the scam, William “Rick” Singer, who authorities say was paid about USD 25 million dollars to bribe coaches and university administrators, has pleaded guilty and is cooperating with authorities. Some of the universities targeted in the elaborate cheating scam include Yale, Stanford, UCLA and Georgetown. None of the schools or the students has been charged in the case. According to prosecutors, the accused parents paid a firm run by Singer as much as USD 6 million to cheat on college entrance exams for their children or to bribe coaches to help non-athletic students get scholarships. Others ensnared in the scandal include Gordon Caplan, co-chairman of New York law firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher, who allegedly paid USD 75,000 to have his daughter’s test grades fixed. Also charged is William McGlashan, an executive at the investment group TPG Capital who specialized in technology investments. He allegedly paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to ensure his son got into the University of Southern California as a student athlete. The scandal has lit up social media, with many poking fun and expressing anger at the wealthy parents indicted notably Loughlin and Huffman as well as their children. “CAPTION THIS: ‘It’s ok honey. We’ll get you in a college close to your mom’s prison so you can visit,” one Twitter user said in response to a picture Huffman had posted on Sunday of her daughter sitting on Macy’s lap and hugging him. Ben Dreyfuss, the son of veteran actor Richard Dreyfuss, quipped: “I got into college the old fashioned way: by letting my father’s celebrity speak for itself.” Another Twitter user said: “So what I’ve learned from #CollegeCheatingScandal is that rich kids are so stupid that they can’t get into colleges without cheating.” Olivia Jade Giannulli, one of Loughlin’s daughters, disabled comments on her Instagram posts on Wednesday after some of her 1.3 million followers lashed out against her. “Please do a video for how you prepared for the SATs,” read one comment. Another berated the young woman, who posted a video blog last year in which she said she didn’t care about school, for stealing a college spot from “another deserving student (who probably actually rows!!)…”last_img read more

Southwest Monsoon likely to be below normal this year Skymet

first_imgNew Delhi: Monsoon rains may be “below normal” this year, Skymet, a private weather forecasting agency, said on Wednesday attributing it to the El Nino phenomenon.The monsoon is likely to be 93 per cent of the long period average (LPA), it said. Anything between 90-95 per cent of LPA falls under the “below normal” category. LPA is the average of rainfall between 1951 and 2000, which is 89 cm. If the forecast comes true, then this will be the second consecutive year of a below normal rainfall. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’East India, along with a major portion of central India, is likely to be at a higher risk of being rain deficient, especially during the first half of the season. Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Coastal Andhra Pradesh are most likely to see normal rains throughout the season, the forecast said. Agriculture, the major contributor to the Indian GDP, still heavily relies on seasonal rains. Skymet CEO Jatin Singh said June may see rainfall of 77 per cent of LPA, while July is expected to witness rainfall of 91 per cent of LPA. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KAccording to the forecast, June and July are likely to witness “below normal” rainfall. August and September are likely to witness rainfall of 102 per cent and 99 per cent of LPA, Singh said. “There is a 55 per cent chance of a below normal rainfall, zero chances of an excess and above normal rainfall and 30 per cent chance of a normal rainfall,” the forecast said. Skymet blamed the El-Nino behind a possible below normal rainfall. The El-Nino phenomenon is linked to the warming of Pacific waters. El-Nino has an impact on the monsoon, Air Vice Marshal (retired) G P Sharma, Skymet President (Meteorology and Climate Change), said. “The Pacific Ocean has become strongly warmer than average. The model projections call for 80 per cent chance of El Nino during March-May, dropping to 60 per cent for June to August. “This means, it is going to be a devolving El Nino year, though retaining threshold values all through the season. Thus, Monsoon 2019 is likely to be below normal,” Sharma said. He added that the three-monthly Nino index shows that by MJJ (May-June-July), there is a 66 per cent chance of El Nino, 32 per cent chance of neutral and two per cent of La Nina. La Nina is linked to cooling of Pacific waters and is generally believed to be good for the monsoon. The saviour factor, the Skymet said, could be IOD (Indian Ocean Dipole) which is likely to be in the neutral or positive phase during the monsoon. Thus, it may be able to absorb some of the El Nino blues and possibly would support rainfall during the second half of monsoon, Sharma said.last_img read more

Cyclone Fani Odisha likely to start evacuation on May 2

first_imgBhubaneswar: The Odisha government is likely to begin the evacuation of people affected by cyclone Fani from May 2 as the severe cyclonic storm is heading to make a landfall on the state’s coast, an official said here on Tuesday. The state government has also asked the concerned district collectors in the coastal regions to remain prepared to meet any eventuality. “The cyclone is currently headed northwest and after May 1, according to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), it will recurve and move towards Odisha. By late evening on May 3, the cyclone is expected to make landfall near Puri. However, the IMD informed that this too is expected to change,” said Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Bishnupada Sethi. Also Read – 2019 most peaceful festive season for J&K: Jitendra Singh “If the cyclone makes landfall in Odisha on the evening of May 3, we will start evacuating the affected people on May 2.” As many as 879 cyclone shelters were already set up. Besides, 20 Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) units, 335 fire services and 12 NDRF units were on standby. Fani could become an ‘extremely severe cyclone’ by Wednesday, said the IMD. It predicted that after May 2, south-coastal Odisha and adjacent districts will receive heavy to very rainfall. Thereafter, on May 3 and 4, coastal and interior Odisha is also likely to receive extremely heavy downpours, while wind speed may touch 170 km per hour.last_img read more

Morsi tried for jailbreak as top Egypt police officer murdered

first_imgCAIRO – Ousted president Mohamed Morsi was defiant as he went on trial Tuesday for a prison break during the 2011 uprising, as a top police official was murdered in another sign of Egypt’s instability.The trial, and other violence in which a police guard was gunned down outside a Cairo church, came a day after the military backed army chief Field Marshall Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who led Morsi’s ouster in July, to run for office in his place.Morsi, dressed in a white prison uniform, gesticulated angrily from the glass cage in which he and 21 co-defendants were held. “Who are you,” he demanded to know, adding, “Do you know who I am?”“I am the president of the republic. Who are you? Let me hear your voice; I don’t hear you,” he shouted defiantly.In response, a judge said “I am the president of the Cairo Criminal Court.”Among those in the dock was the supreme guide of Morsi’s now-banned Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Badie.In all, 131 people are on trial, including dozens of members of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist Palestinian movement Hamas and Lebanon’s Shiite militant group Hezbollah.Most of them are being tried in absentia.Reading the charges, a prosecutor said the “Muslim Brotherhood defendants coordinated with Hamas and Hezbollah to spread chaos and trigger the downfall of the state.”“Eight hundred foreign militants and jihadists infiltrated through illegal tunnels and seized a 60 kilometre (37 mile) border stretch. They attacked security and government buildings and killed many police officers.”He said “three prisons were attacked and more than 50 policemen and prisoners were killed, while more than 20,000 criminals escaped”.The trial was later adjourned until February 22.In the latest bloodletting, police General Mohamed Saeed was leaving his Cairo home when gunmen on a motorbike opened fire at him, hitting him in the head and the chest before fleeing, security officials said.Saeed, who was the head of interior minister Mohamed Ibrahim’s “technical department,” died in hospital.Hours later gunmen opened fire from a car at policemen guarding a church in the capital, killing one and wounding two. One was arrested, while two others fled on foot.Since July, Egypt’s Christian community has faced several attacks, with pro-Morsi Islamists accusing them of backing his ouster.Interior minister Ibrahim himself was targeted by a car bomb in September, but he escaped unhurt.Al-Qaeda inspired group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, or Partisans of Jerusalem, claimed that attack and has also said it was responsible for some of the deadliest bombings in Egypt since Morsi was deposed.It said it carried out four bombings against police that killed six people Friday, a day before the third anniversary of the popular uprising that toppled long-time dictator Hosni Mubarak.Precarious security situationTuesday’s shootings reiterate the precarious security situation prevailing across Egypt since then, which has worsened since July.At least 1,400 people, mostly Morsi supporters, have been killed in a relentless crackdown on Islamists, according to Amnesty International, while scores of policemen and soldiers have also fallen to militant attacks across Egypt.Since Thursday, at least 13 policemen have been killed across the country, while four soldiers were killed in Sinai, according to an AFP tally.Morsi is already on trial for inciting the killings of opposition activists during his presidency and faces two other trials that have yet to begin.Tuesday’s trial date was symbolic as it marked the third anniversary of the prison break from Wadi Natrum jail, which took place as the uprising against Mubarak approached a fever pitch.Morsi and several Muslim Brotherhood leaders had been arrested by Mubarak’s security forces two days earlier to stop them from participating in protests called for January 28, 2011.That so-called Friday of Rage was a turning point in Mubarak’s downfall, as thousands of people attacked and torched police installations, prompting the hated interior ministry’s forces to withdraw from the streets.Morsi, Egypt’s first civilian and freely elected president, was ousted following massive protests against his one-year rule.The wildly popular man behind that, army chief Sisi is now expected to put himself forward as a candidate in the presidential election to be held by mid-April.To his supporters, Sisi is the best option for ending three years of instability that has helped to wreck the economy.On Saturday, thousands poured into Cairo’s Tahrir Square to back a Sisi candidacy, after he said he required “public demand” to stand in the election.last_img read more

KPop Group Twice Release What Is Love EP Music Video

first_img Twitter News Facebook The all-female K-pop group has released their fifth EP with a colorful music video to matchRenée FabianGRAMMYs Apr 9, 2018 – 4:27 pm K-pop group Twice — comprising nine members Nayeon, Jeongyeon, Momo, Sana, Jihyo, Mina, Dahyun, Chaeyoung, and Tzuyu — are back April 9 with their fifth EP, What Is Love?The popular all-female group’s record includes five new tracks: the title song, “Sweet Talker,” “Ho!,” “Dejavu,” and “Say Yes.” Fans who purchase a physical copy of the EP will also receive the bonus track “Stuck.”To celebrate the EP’s release, Twice also dropped a music video of the title track, which takes its inspiration from films such as Ghost, The Princess Diaries, La La Land, and Pulp Fiction to match the song’s opening lyrics: “Every day in a movie, in a book, or in a drama, I feel love I learn about love/My heart keeps beating as if it’s my own story.” The video already has nearly 9 million views on YouTube.The song itself features an electro-pop vibe that Billboard says “sprinkles digital quirks, sparkling chimes and staccato’d percussion over the bubblegum melody, as the nonet sing about their desire to discover the elusive feeling that they’ve learned about through fictional depictions of what love is.” Twice are one of the top K-pop groups to come out of South Korea since their formation thanks to JYP Entertainment through the reality TV show “Sixteen.” They released their debut EP, The Story Begins, in 2015, which sealed their spot among K-pop’s elite. Since then they’ve had hits such as 2016’s “Cheer Up” and “TT” and 2017’s “Likey.”Now’s your chance to see how their latest release compares, and maybe answer a few questions about love in the meantime.Catching Up On Music News Powered By The Recording Academy Just Got Easier. Have A Google Home Device? “Talk To GRAMMYs”Read morecenter_img K-Pop Group Twice Release ‘What Is Love?’ EP, Music Video Email Watch: Twice’s “What Is Love?” From New EP k-pop-group-twice-release-what-love-ep-music-videolast_img read more

EU regulators charge BMW Daimler VW with colluding against emissions tech

first_img More From Roadshow Share your voice 2016 Chevy Colorado diesel: A 7,700-pound hauler, 30-plus mpg runabout Post a comment 0 2019 Porsche 911 Speedster first drive: Superb sensations 2020 Porsche 911 Carrera S: The complete package Car Industry Diesel Cars BMW Volkswagen Mercedes-Benz Tags In 2017, the European Union’s antitrust regulators headed to the offices of BMW, Daimler and members of the Volkswagen Group to investigate allegations that the automakers colluded against improving their vehicles’ emissions. The European Commission on Friday announced that it sent a Statement of Objections to BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen for allegedly colluding to restrict competition and artificially delay the development of emission-reducing car technology. “Companies can cooperate in many ways to improve the quality of their products. However, EU competition rules do not allow them to collude on exactly the opposite: not to improve their products, not to compete on quality,” said Margrethe Vestager, member of the European Commission in charge of competition policy, in a statement. “We are concerned that this is what happened in this case and that Daimler, VW and BMW may have broken EU competition rules. As a result, European consumers may have been denied the opportunity to buy cars with the best available technology.”Enlarge ImageThis isn’t just about diesels, but they’re in here, too. SOPA Images/Getty Images According to the Commission’s press release, the group is concerned that collusion occurred with regards to two different emissions-reductions systems. On the diesel side, the group alleges that the automakers “coordinated their AdBlue dosing strategies, AdBlue tank size and refill ranges between 2006 and 2014 with the common understanding that they thereby limited AdBlue-consumption and exhaust gas cleaning effectiveness.” Gas-powered cars didn’t escape the conversation, either. While selective catalytic reduction (urea/AdBlue injection) doesn’t exist for gas engines, there are particulate filters that can help reduce tailpipe emissions. In this case, the Commission believes that “BMW, Daimler and VW coordinated to avoid, or at least to delay, the introduction of [‘Otto’ particulate filters] in their new (direct injection) petrol passenger car models between 2009 and 2014, and to remove uncertainty about their future market conduct.”In an emailed statement, a Daimler spokesperson said that the automaker is cooperating with the European Commission and would not comment further on this ongoing case. Volkswagen said it will continue to cooperate with the Commission, as well. BMW did not immediately return Roadshow’s requests for comment.The Commission noted in its release that, while this doesn’t rise to the level of price fixing, it’s still a potential violation of EU competition guidelines. That said, this Statement of Objections isn’t a binding determination of any kind — automakers will still get to present their cases to the Commission — but if fines are levied, they could amount to 10 percent of the automakers’ global revenue, totaling billions of dollars.last_img read more

Trump blasts Facebooks Libra cryptocurrency says US has only one real currency

first_img Now playing: Watch this: …and International. We have only one real currency in the USA, and it is stronger than ever, both dependable and reliable. It is by far the most dominant currency anywhere in the World, and it will always stay that way. It is called the United States Dollar!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 12, 2019 Facebook cryptocurrency revealed, Google puts $1B toward… Facebook Tech Industry Tags 1:21center_img Comments US President Donald Trump tweeted about Facebook’s Libra, as well as other cryptocurrencies, on Thursday night. Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images In June, Facebook announced its next attempt at expanding outside social media platforms: the Libra cryptocurrency. It’ll be like Bitcoin, except its value will be pegged to a basket of assets, like government securities, to make it more stable. The world is unsure of how successful or disruptive Libra will be, and on Thursday the cryptocurrency got perhaps its biggest detractor yet: the president of the United States.”I am not a fan of Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies, which are not money, and whose value is highly volatile and based on thin air,” Donald Trump tweeted on Thursday night, before moving on to Libra in a subsequent tweet.”Similarly, Facebook Libra’s ‘virtual currency’ will have little standing or dependability. If Facebook and other companies want to become a bank, they must seek a new Banking Charter and become subject to all Banking Regulations, just like other Banks, both National [and international].” 10 Trump ended the tweet thread by boasting of the US dollar’s dependability and reliability. The message from the president is clear: If you want to invest in a currency, ditch the crypto and look to the US dollar.Trump isn’t the only high-profile figure to question Libra this week. The head of the US Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, reportedly told House lawmakers on Wednesday that the US’ central bank has “serious concerns” about Libra. Both the Federal Reserve System and a separate panel called the Financial Stability Oversight Council are meeting to discuss Libra alongside global policy makers, Powell also reportedly said.Libra won’t be run by just Facebook. Rather, Facebook and its partners have created an organization, the Libra Association, to manage the technical aspects of the project and work with regulators. David Marcus, who heads both Facebook’s Messenger department and the Libra project, says Facebook will be just one of many voices in the Libra Association, and won’t have special influence.”Facebook won’t have any special responsibility over the Libra Network,” he wrote in a FAQ page.Libra also has some built-in safeguards, which have been used in the real world, to make sure the value of the cryptocurrency stays stable. Facebook will build a wallet, called Calibra, though it will be a wholly owned subsidiary that Facebook says won’t share financial data with the social network.Libra is expected to launch in the first half of next year.Meanwhile, Trump’s news-making outburst over cryptocurrencies reinforces a federal court’s ruling this week that the leader of the US can’t block users on the social network, because it’s a public forum. The unanimous decision by the US Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit affirms the ruling made by the US District Court for the Southern District of New York in 2018 after Trump was sued for blocking users the previous year. Share your voicelast_img read more

Nearly onekm of Padma bridge visible

first_imgPart of the Padma bridge. Photo-Prothom AloAround 900 metres of the much-hyped Padma bridge is visible now following the installation of another span named F-6 on the pillars no 36 and 37 on Wednesday, reports UNB.The 150-metre span, weighing 3,140 tonnes, was installed at Jajira point around 10:00am.This is the sixth span of the Padma Bridge.Earlier, the span was taken to the Jajira point on Tuesday afternoon by the 3,600 ton capacity floating crane ‘Tian -E’ from the Mawa Kumarbhog Construction Ward, five kilometre away from the Jajira point.The works of Padma Multipurpose Bridge became visible with the installation of 150-metre first span on the pillars no 37 and 38 on 30 October 2017. Later, the 2nd, 3rd and 4th and 5th spans were installed on the pillars no 38-39, 39-40, and 40-41 respectively in 2018.Engineers concerned of the Padma Bridge authority, said the span was kept at near the jetty for several days as it could not be floated due to poor navigability.The construction work on the country’s largest bridge started in December in 2015.The 6.15-km bridge will have a total of 41 spans, each 150 meters long.According to the engineers concerned, a total of 41 spans will be installed on 42 concrete pillars.Besides, 17 spans were ready to fix while the work for constructing 18 more in underway.last_img read more