New Delhi: Africa arm of Bharti Airtel, which operates across 14 countries, on Wednesday said it has crossed the 100-million customers mark. Airtel Africa claims to be the second-largest mobile operator in Africa in terms of number of active subscribers. “Airtel Africa has crossed the 100-million subscriber mark. The positive momentum we have seen in customer acquisition further underpins our medium-term aspirations for revenue and profit growth,” Raghunath Mandava, chief executive officer of Airtel Africa, said in a statement. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscal The growth in the Africa market mitigates the impact of challenge that the company is facing in India. From peak customer base of around 381 million in June 2017, subscriber base of Bharti Airtel has now dipped to 324 million in two years. During the same period, it gained around 20 million new customers in Africa operations. “Airtel Africa’s footprint is characterised by low but increasing mobile connectivity, with a unique user penetration at 43 per cent, highlighting the potential for growth across its footprint,” the statement said. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boost The company said a combination of an under-penetrated telecom market, a young addressable population and rising smartphone affordability, along with low data penetration and an underbanked population, will drive the growth opportunities for the data and mobile money segments moving forward in Africa. “Airtel Africa’s footprint is characterised by low but increasing mobile connectivity, with a unique user penetration at 43 per cent, highlighting the potential for growth across its footprint,” the statement said.
OTTAWA — A new report says seniors and those approaching retirement are making up a growing proportion of those filing for insolvency in Ontario and have bigger debts compared with younger people.According to a review of 6,000 insolvency filings in 2013 and 2014, the share of debtors aged 50 and over increased to 30 per cent compared with 27 per cent in the previous two-year period.The report by bankruptcy trustee firm Hoyes, Michalos & Associates Inc. found seniors and pre-retirement debtors have accumulated the highest unsecured debt load among all age groups.On average, debtors 50 and older filing for insolvency had $68,677 in unsecured debt, while those over 60 had total unsecured debt of $69,031.That compared with an overall average of $56,545 in unsecured debt for those filing for insolvency.Almost one in five Ontario residents are technically insolvent, poll finds‘We’re not prepared’: Health care shockers threaten your retirement
by The Canadian Press Posted Oct 1, 2013 12:31 pm MDT Enbridge plans new diluent pipeline in northern Alberta with $1B price tag CALGARY – Enbridge Inc. (TSX:ENB) is planning to build a new pipeline to bring diluent — used to thin-out oilsands bitumen so it can flow through pipelines — to industry players in northern Alberta.The company envisions a 200,000-barrel-per-day conduit with a price tag of $1 billion, said Vern Yu, senior vice-president of business and market development. Depending on how keen the industry is on the pipeline, it could be expanded to 300,000 barrels per day.Traditionally, oilsands producers have used pipelines dedicated to each of their projects to bring in diluent, Yu told Enbridge’s investor day in Toronto.Enbridge is now looking at an industry-wide approach with its Norlite project.“What we’ve found is that being able to offer an industry solution, we are able to offer lower tolls to our customers,” Yu said.“So we’re pretty much at the final stages of getting commercial support with a few anchor shippers to make a project go forward…We hope to finalize these commercial discussions in the next few months and be able to formally announce the project.”Enbridge is the dominant Alberta crude shipper, transporting more than one million barrels a day from the Fort McMurray, Alta., area to market hubs in Edmonton and Hardisty, Alta. along its Athabasca and Waupisoo pipelines.Projects are in the works to nearly double that capacity, and Yu said he expects Enbridge will have enough commercial support to build another pipeline to Edmonton and another one to Hardisty by latter part of this decade. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email
by Peter Henderson, The Canadian Press Posted Jul 16, 2015 2:50 pm MDT Last Updated Jul 16, 2015 at 4:10 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email TORONTO – Professional sports teams in Canada are facing the prospect of being priced out of the competition as the Canadian dollar flirts with values not seen in more than half a decade.Canada’s NHL, NBA and Major League Baseball franchises pay their players in American dollars but collect most of their revenue in Canadian currency, so the loonie’s drop on Thursday to 77.10 cents U.S. puts a strain on their bottom line.Economist Glen Hodgson wrote a book on the business of professional sports, and he says the exchange rate is one of the biggest concerns for professional sports teams in Canada.“It’s going to cost them more and more,” he said.In the mid-1990s, when the Canadian dollar was worth less than 75 cents U.S., the country lost multiple franchises as the Quebec Nordiques, Montreal Expos and Winnipeg Jets all moved south.The reasons behind each move varied, Hodgson said, but the exchange rate was a factor and expedited each franchise’s exit.“Even if the Nordiques were selling out, they had to make $1.40 for every U.S. dollar of salary,” he said. “That added a huge cost burden to those franchises to the point where it just wasn’t sustainable.”Although the relationship between payroll and performance isn’t perfect, Hodgson said, teams have to pay their best players and attract high-value free agents if they want to remain competitive and retain the interest of fans.Professional teams in big cities with broad support such as the Toronto Raptors or the Montreal Canadiens will be able to weather the storm, Hodgson said, but those in smaller markets such as the Ottawa Senators or the resurrected Winnipeg Jets could have a harder time.“The danger is if you don’t draw, you can’t pay, you can’t attract the good players,” he said. “It can become a negative feedback loop.”Richard Peddie, the former president of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, said the gap in exchange rates can add up to millions in losses for a team. Coaches and general managers are often paid in U.S. dollars too, he added.Still, Peddie said the poor exchange rate for the Canadian dollar won’t prevent teams from pursuing players or coaches if they really feel the additions are necessary.“The owners are not going to like what it does to the bottom line, but they want to win,” he said.Winnipeg Jets spokesman Scott Brown says that while the dollar’s slide hurts the team’s business, it’s not as important as it’s made out to be.“While it’s not great on the overall business as you could imagine, it’s not as bad as people might think,” he said.The team hedges itself against the risk from falling exchange rates, Brown said, although he did not elaborate. He said such measures are routine.“It’s something that we’ve done in the past and we’ve done this time,” he said. “It’s protected us in this situation.”Hodgson said while the exchange rate may be of greater concern to teams now than it was two years ago, they can survive.“Most franchises can find a way through this,” he said. “They just have to be clever.” As the loonie falls, professional sports teams in Canada feel the squeeze
At the end of the regular season, No. 14 Ohio State women’s volleyball team didn’t just earn an at-large bid to the 2012 NCAA Division 1 Women’s Volleyball Tournament, but three Buckeyes were also recognized for their spectacular play on the court as well. Leading their team to a 22-10 overall record, with a 13-7 record in the Big Ten, senior outside hitters Mari Hole and Emily Danks, along with junior outside hitter Kaitlyn Leary earned All-Big Ten honors as the league announced on Tuesday. Hole was one of the eight players that were voted unanimous All-Big Ten selections, while her teammates were awarded All-Big Ten honorable mention. For the second time in her career with OSU, Norway product Hole snagged All-Big Ten honor by being one of the best hitters in the country. She led her team with a 4.36 kills per set average in her conference that is the second best among all Big Ten student-athletes. Danks aced her way to her second All-Big Ten honorable mention honor by being one of the best in serving up aces. Against Big Ten opponents, Danks totaled 29 aces and led her team with 62 blocks. In a breakout season for the Parma, Ohio, product, Leary captured her first Big Ten honor as she finished second on her team with a 3.20 kills average against teams within her conference. She ended up with 243 kills for the year. The Buckeyes will continue their season into the 2012 NCAA Tournament, as they will face Notre Dame on Friday at Lexington, Ky. Tip-off for the game will start at 5 p.m. ET.
Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Shrunken human heads, complete with skin and hair, were made by the Shuar and Achuar people of Ecuador and Peru up until the 1960s.The practice of preparing the heads, known as tsantsas, originally had a religious significance for a number of tribes in the Amazon rainforest.Shrinking an enemy’s head was thought to harness the spirit of the enemy and prevent the soul from avenging his death. However demand for the heads increased as they became popular with European collectors, losing some of their spiritual significance and leading to many fakes being produced.In 1999, the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington DC repatriated the shrunken heads in its collection to Ecuador.The tsantsas are the most famous objects in the Pitt Rivers Museum’s collection, with the first question asked by visitors often being where they can find the shrunken heads.Mrs Van Broekhoven said: “There will be a period of consultation with the Shuar but for now the display will stay as it is.”She told The Art Newspaper: “If we conclude it is inappropriate to show the tsantsas, they might be taken off display. So far, we have no indication that this is the case. But all options are on the table. “In other museums Shuar representatives have indicated they were not happy about the way the heads were being represented in the museum.“Their concerns are whether there is a proper understanding of the way this elaborate leather making of human skin into a ceremonial object was done, and that it no longer is done today.”Ms Van Broekhoven said one solution might be to improve the display material explaining the significance of the heads and the part they played in the cultural and spiritual life of the Shuar and Achuar people.She added: “We are looking at research of audiences’ cross cultural understanding: when people are standing in front of this display case do they understand the significance of the shrunken heads? The display may not be communicating properly the importance of the shrunken heads.“Some of the words people use when standing in front of the display are quite shocking, such as ‘bizarre’, ‘gruesome’, barbaric, ‘freak show’, words they would not use to describe the ornate Shuar canoe hanging from the ceiling above the shrunken heads.“It may be a case of adding a message or a display in the case to help people understand more about what they are looking at.” A collection of shrunken heads which has for decades enthralled adults and children alike may be removed from an Oxford museum following complaints by an indigenous South American people.The Pitt Rivers Museum is in discussion with representatives of the Shuar people of the Amazon rainforest over the future of the shrunken heads, regarded by the tribe as having deep religious significance.Curators at the museum, where the seven human heads have been displayed since the 1940s, said talks were prompted after visitors complained the heads as a “freak show”.Officials hope to reach an agreement with the Shuar that would allow them to continue to show the heads by emphasising their cultural significance.But two scalps previously displayed in the same glass case, labelled Treatment of Dead Enemies, have already been removed and placed in storage following complaints by Native American communities who felt the display misrepresented their traditions.Laura Van Broekhoven, director of the Pitt Rivers Museum, said: “We know the collection of heads is cherished by many, but there are also many people who feel uncomfortable with it.“There are questions about whether human remains should be on display.“We are undertaking a project with Shuar representatives and the San Francisco University in Quito to see how they feel about the way their culture is being represented in the shrunken heads display.
Indice de masse corporelle : calculez-le gratuitement en thalasso les 21 et 22 mai prochainFrance – Les 21 et 22 mai prochain, les personnes intéressées pourront profiter d’un bilan gratuit de leur indice de masse corporelle (IMC) proposé par la Chaîne thermale du soleil.Quinze stations de la Chaîne thermale du soleil proposeront un bilan IMC gratuit lors de journées portes ouvertes les 21 et 22 mai prochain, à l’occasion de la journée européenne de l’obésité. Seront également au programme : des cours de fitness en plein air et en musique, des randonnées, des pique-niques ou des apéritifs diététiques.Des conférences auront également lieu afin de sensibiliser la population au problème de l’obésité, et lui faire part des bienfaits du thermalisme sur la santé. Les intéressés peuvent se rendre sur le site www.chainethermale.fr afin de connaître la liste des stations thermales participant à cette journée portes ouvertes.Le 29 avril 2010 à 13:02 • Emmanuel Perrin
The Texas Military Preparedness Commission last week awarded $14.1 million to four Texas communities for projects intended to bolster the standing of local installations in a future round of base closure, covering needs such as security enhancements and a new air traffic control tower.The awards stand out as state lawmakers had not allocated any funding over the past six years for its Defense Economic Adjustment Assistance Grant program. Last week’s awards will be followed on March 31 by a new batch of grants totaling almost $16 million, the amount leftover from the Legislature’s $30 million appropriation for the fiscal 2016-2017 biennium.“[This initiative] sends a strong signal to our local military and to the Department of Defense that says Texas is serious about its military installations and increasing the military value of its installations, and this is one action that delineates that,” said Bob Murdock, director of San Antonio’s Office of Military Affairs.San Antonio received the largest award, $5 million for a project that will connect the area’s military installations to an alternative water source.Val Verde County and the city of Del Rio will receive $4.3 million to construct a security control center at Laughlin Air Force Base’s main entrance that will correct numerous security and logistical challenges.“This grant is crucial in order for Laughlin to uphold the highest level of security and protection for the over 4,000 military personnel on the base,” Rep. Will Hurd (R) said in a press release. “This award not only strengthens Laughlin and the community, it ensures that future generations of student pilots and base personnel are provided the security they need to continue training those who serve in the best Air Force anywhere on the globe,” Hurd said.Wichita Falls’ $1.75 million award also will go toward improving security at an installation’s main gate; in this case, by improving the appearance of the streetscape outside the main entrance to Sheppard AFB. Under a project with a total cost of $3.5 million, the city will acquire and demolish abandoned properties near the gate, and also build transit and welcome centers.City manager Darron Leiker credited Wichita Falls’ award to its pledge to provide at least a 50 percent local match to the state grant.The city of Houston was awarded $3.1 million to construct a new air traffic control tower at Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base, a project intended to bolster the installation’s ability to operate missions that protect the region from aerial attack.“With all the refineries and chemical plants around the Port of Houston, we’ve got major national security assets in the Houston area that really need to be protected,” John Martinec, chairman of the Ellington Field Task Force, told the Texas Tribune in August. Dan Cohen AUTHOR
UNB File PhotoRevellers of Pahela Baishakh in the evening could not enjoy programmes in the city’s different parts due to suddenly inclement weather.A nor’wester coupled with a hailstorm swept the capital that experienced 30mm of rainfall in two hours till 6pm, UNB reports quoting the Dhaka Met office.The rain disrupted outdoor celebrations of Pahela Baishakh in most parts of the city, according to witnesses.The rain was accompanied by hailstorm in a number of areas.The celebrators who came out to enjoy had to leave the venues of programmes and many of them remained stranded at different parts of the city.In Dhaka University areas, they took shelter in in TSC, DU Central Library, Ducsu cafeteria, Arts Building and Social Science Building.Many events, including concerts, were also cancelled due to rain.Rain was also recorded in Srimangal of Moulvibazar and Mymensingh, according to the met office.It also forecast rain or thunder showers with temporary gusty or squally wind with lightning at a few places over Mymensingh and Sylhet divisions and at one or two places over Rajshahi, Rangpur, Dhaka, Khulna, Barisal and Chattogram divisions with hails at isolated places over the country in the 24 hours till 6pm on Sunday.
Syrian security forces, forensics and locals gather at the scene of a twin bombing targeting Shiite pilgrims in Damascus’ Old City in one of the bloodiest attacks in the Syrian capital. Photo: AFPTwin bombs targeting Shiite pilgrims killed 59 people in Damascus on Saturday, most of them Iraqis, a monitoring group said of one of the bloodiest attacks in the Syrian capital.There have been periodic bombings in Damascus, but the stronghold of the regime of President Bashar al-Assad has been largely spared the destruction faced by other major cities in six years of civil war.A roadside bomb detonated as a bus passed by and a suicide bomber blew himself up in the Bab al-Saghir area, which houses several Shiite mausoleums that draw pilgrims from around the world, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.The explosions killed 47 pilgrims, most of them Iraqi Shiites, and 12 Syrian pro-government fighters, Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said.“There are also dozens of people wounded, some of them in a serious condition,” he told AFP.Syrian state television said 40 people were killed and 120 wounded after “terrorists detonated two bombs”.It broadcast footage of several white buses with their windows shattered, some charred and peppered with shrapnel.Shoes, glasses and wheelchairs lay scattered on ground covered in blood.Syrian Interior Minister Mohammad Shaar said the attack targeted “pilgrims of various Arab nationalities”.“The sole aim was to kill,” he said.The Iraqi foreign ministry said around 40 of its nationals were among the dead and 120 among the wounded.A witness told AFP that the second bomb exploded as passers-by gathered at the scene of the first attack, and state television said a booby-trapped motorcycle was defused nearby.There was no immediate claim of responsibility.Frequent targetShiite shrines are a frequent target of attack for Sunni extremists of Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group (IS), not only in Syria but also in neighbouring Iraq.The foreign ministry in Damascus condemned “the cowardly terrorist attack which comes in response to victories of the Syrian Arab Army” against jihadists.The Sayyida Zeinab mausoleum to the south of Damascus, Syria’s most visited Shiite pilgrimage site, has been hit by several deadly bombings during the war.Twin suicide bombings in the high-security Kafr Sousa district of the capital in January killed 10 people, eight of them soldiers.That attack was claimed by former Al-Qaeda affiliate Fateh al-Sham Front, which said that it had targeted Russian military advisers working with the Syrian army.It was widely seen as an attempt to disrupt UN-brokered peace talks that took place the following month and which to Fateh al-Sham’s anger were supported by its former Islamist rebel ally Ahrar al-Sham.UN envoy Staffan de Mistura has called a new round of talks for March 23.Fateh al-Sham has been repeatedly bombed in its northwestern stronghold this year, not only by the Syrian army and its Russian ally but also by a US-led coalition battling IS in both Syria and Iraq.The rift over the UN-brokered talks between the rebels and the government has also seen deadly clashes between jihadists and their former Islamist rebel allies.The two groups had together seized virtually all of the northwestern province of Idlib but are now vying for territorial control.Mass graveIn Baghdad, the foreign ministry blamed the Damascus attack on “takfiri groups”, referring to Sunni extremists.The bombings could provide the impetus for increased Iraqi strikes against IS in Syria, which Baghdad has already carried out near the border.Iraqi forces launched an operation to retake Mosul—the last IS-held city in Iraq—in October.They recaptured its eastern side and now have their sights set on its more densely populated west.Iraqi paramilitary forces said Saturday they had discovered a mass grave at Badush prison near Mosul containing the remains of hundreds of people executed by IS.The jihadists reportedly killed up to 600 people after seizing Badush in 2014.In northern Syria, Raqa, the de facto IS capital, is under threat from advancing Turkish-backed Syrian rebels, a US-backed alliance of Kurdish and Arab forces as well as Syrian government troops supported by Russia.Three hundred families of foreign IS fighters have fled the city in 24 hours on boats across the Euphrates River to the south, the Observatory said Saturday.Assad said in an interview broadcast Saturday that recapturing Raqa was a “priority” for his forces.While bomb attacks are rare in Damascus, the capital has been the target of shelling by rebels who hold areas on the outskirts.The deadliest bombing around Damascus targeted the Sayyida Zeinab shrine in February 2016, costing 134 lives, in an attack claimed by IS.
Share Reynaldo Leal for The Texas TribuneJavier Alejandro Vindel-Rodriguez on the Brownsville Express International Bridge, where U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents deterred asylum seekers like his family from crossing the border.In the weeks since President Donald Trump’s now-rescinded family separation policy created chaos and confusion across the country, the messages from his administration and prominent Republican members of Congress have been clear: Seek asylum legally at official ports of entry, and you won’t lose your kids. There may be armed Customs and Border Protection agents standing at the halfway points of bridges — but simply wait a few days, declare to them that you are seeking asylum, and you’ll get a fair shake.A recent Department of Homeland Security news release says it’s a “myth” that the agency “separates families who entered at the ports of entry and who are seeking asylum – even though they have not broken the law.” The release also says the agency “is [not] turning away asylum seekers at ports of entry.”But there’s ample evidence to suggest otherwise. Court records and individual cases discovered by The Texas Tribune indicate that a number of asylum-seekers who came to international bridges in Texas and California were separated from their children anyway — or were not able to cross the bridge at all after encountering armed Customs and Border Protection agents on the bridge. And experts argue there’s no basis to the government’s claim that there aren’t enough resources to process asylum-seekers.On top of that, experts say a quirk of U.S. immigration law might actually put people who try to seek asylum at the official ports of entry at a disadvantage to those who cross the border in other ways — such as wading across the Rio Grande. That’s because unlike people who cross the border illegally, asylum-seekers who come to ports of entry are not eligible to be bonded out of immigration detention by a judge; instead, officials with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have total discretion over whether they can be released.“There’s no magic to the port of entry,” said Camilo Perez-Bustillo, who works at El Paso-based advocacy group the Hope Border Institute. “This idea that that’s the legal way to go … It’s fundamentally misleading.”This week Jennifer Harbury, an immigration lawyer based in the Rio Grande Valley, told the Tribune that she saw Mexican immigration officials standing at the foot of the bridge between Reynosa, Mexico, and McAllen and stopping people before they could begin to cross.“There’s two big guys in full dress standing right in front of the turnstile,” Harbury said. “They’ll walk up to you and … they just say, papers, please?”It’s not clear whether this is a widespread practice. Harbury said the immigration officials she saw wanted migrants to prove they had entered Mexico legally. If they couldn’t, she said, “they risk getting grabbed by the Mexican immigration people and deported.”Family separation said to go “beyond its lawful reach”At a recent roundtable in Weslaco, Texas’ Republican U.S. Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz both expressed keen interest in what was happening at America’s international bridges. Cornyn specifically asked federal officials to confirm that asylum-seekers who came to the bridges were not doing anything illegal. The following day, he tweeted: “Asylum seekers that cross at ports of entry are not prosecuted” for entering the U.S. illegally — which should mean that they would not have been separated from their children.But the Hope Border Institute has documented cases of family separation at ports of entry that go back as far as December 2016 — just after Trump’s election. At that time, a woman named Eva, who said she faced death threats despite being in a witness protection program in Honduras, had asked for asylum with her husband and son at an El Paso port of entry. According to a reportreleased by the Institute in January, she “was immediately detained and separated from her family” and remained in detention more than a year later.Last September, Maria Vandelice de Bastos and her 16-year-old disabled grandson traveled from Brazil, were separated after arriving at the Santa Teresa Port of Entry in New Mexico and have not seen each other since, the Tribune reported recently. In May, a Guatemalan woman identified as M.G.U. showed up at a California port of entry with her three sons — ages 2, 6 and 13 — and even though she convinced officials that she had a credible fear of returning to Guatemala, her kids were taken away about two weeks later, according to a lawsuit filed by the advocacy group Texas RioGrande Legal Aid in June.And last November, according to a lawsuit filed by the ACLU, a Congolese woman called Ms. L. and her then-6-year-old daughter were separated at a California port of entry after seeking asylum from religious persecution.U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw criticized the practice in a recent ruling on that lawsuit. “The parent has committed no crime,” she pointed out, adding, “Ms. L. is an example of this family separation practice expanding beyond its lawful reach, and she is not alone.” She went on to order the government to reunite separated families in the coming weeks.It’s not clear why these separations are happening, since none of the parents appear to have been prosecuted for entering the U.S. illegally. In the case of Ms. L., immigration officials initially claimed that they weren’t sure that she was actually the girl’s mother, the lawsuit documents say — which is another reason the Department of Homeland Security says it might decide to separate families who seek asylum at ports of entry.But Sabraw rejected the government’s argument: “Absent a finding the parent is unfit or presents a danger to the child, it is unclear why separation of Ms. L. [and her daughter] … would be necessary.”An ICE official said on Thursday that the agency does not release information on juveniles and referred a Tribune reporter to Customs and Border Protection. A CBP spokesman pointed the reporter to the news release the agency put out in June.Cornyn’s office did not respond to requests for comment. A Cruz staffer referred reporters to the comments he made at the Weslaco roundtable, in which he encouraged families to seek asylum the “right way” by going to ports of entry.A disadvantage in immigration detentionAs the Trump administration seeks to detain more and more people while their asylum cases are pending — even if they’ve never been charged with a criminal offense in the U.S. — asylum-seekers at ports of entry may actually be worse off than those who cross a different way.If people end up in immigration detention after they cross the border illegally between ports of entry — typically by crossing the Rio Grande or walking through desert — then ICE can set a bond for them (that’s the price they must pay for their release). Those detainees can challenge the bond before an immigration judge, and the judge can agree to release them with a lower bond or with no bond at all — although reports indicate it’s become harder for people to get released from immigration detention on bond.But for those who are detained after seeking asylum at a port of entry, bond is generally not an option, and an immigration judge can’t release them. Once they’re in immigration detention, they are only eligible for what’s called “parole” — temporary release from immigration detention — and that decision is up to ICE.Perez-Bustillo, of the Hope Border Institute, said that puts asylum-seekers who tried to cross the border the “right” way at a disadvantage. “When it comes to discretion of ICE … you’re totally helpless,” he said.A 2009 directive by the Obama administration gave immigration officials wide latitude to release people from detention on parole. But in 2017, the Trump administration told officials to use parole “sparingly”; a lawsuit filed by the ACLU over the issue claims that parole rates have since plummeted from 90 percent to close to zero.This week, a federal judge in Washington ordered the government to review parole decisions for a number of immigrant detainees who have been in detention for months or years. The government must release those detainees if they’re moving forward with their asylum cases and if they’re not a flight risk or a danger to the community, the ruling stated. But the decision only applies to five U.S. immigration offices across the country. El Paso is one of them, but Harlingen, located in the Rio Grande Valley, is not.Meanwhile, the longer people remain in immigration detention, the harder it is for them to truly pursue an asylum case. Making phone calls can be expensive, and detainees usually don’t have internet, so finding a lawyer is nearly impossible. And even if they manage to find one, they’re still at a major disadvantage.Ruby Powers, an immigration attorney based in Houston who recently interviewed about a dozen people at the Port Isabel detention center, said she prefers to meet with asylum-seeking clients multiple times. But that’s often not a luxury she can afford for clients in detention because visiting them is so time-consuming. She said she waited two hours in the Port Isabel facility just to get access to a room for the interviews she did recently.Experts cast doubt on “come back later” strategyTrump administration officials continue encouraging asylum-seekers to go to ports of entry and insist that no one is being turned away. “We are telling these people, look, we are full today … come back later,” explained David Higgerson, a field director for CBP, during last month’s roundtable discussion in Weslaco.He added that the agency has limited capacity and resources. A CBP agent might have to make a calculation such as, “I can probably handle a family of six. I cannot handle a family of 10,” he said.But Harbury said she’s represented multiple clients who were turned away at the port of entry outright. Not long after Trump was inaugurated in early 2017, Harbury said a woman from Guatemala was told to turn back at a Texas port of entry and later reported that she was kidnapped near the foot of the bridge on the Mexican side.The cartel members who kidnapped her demanded ransom, and the woman’s family took weeks to scrape together the money, Harbury said. When the cartel released her and she turned up at a Reynosa shelter, the staff called Harbury, who said she met the woman there and physically walked her across the bridge into the U.S.Lindsay M. Harris, co-director of the Immigration and Human Rights clinic at the University of the District of Columbia’s law school, said she doesn’t buy the argument that CBP doesn’t have the capacity to process all the asylum-seekers who show up at ports of entry.“If you just look at the manpower that CBP has … it’s just not a credible articulation of what’s going on,” she said. She also pointed out that the number of asylum-seekers has not suddenly skyrocketed since Trump’s election.In the federal fiscal year before Trump was elected, which ended in September 2016, the government received around 94,000 “credible fear claims” — a key step toward making an asylum request — and 24,500 of those were presented at ports of entry. The following year that number dropped to about 78,600, with 24,400 of them presented at ports of entry.On Monday, Selma Yznaga, an associate professor at the University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley, said she spent four hours on the Mexican side of the bridge between Matamoros and Brownsville. She said 13 asylum-seekers — three Cubans, four Hondurans and six people from African countries — were blocked from crossing the halfway point of the bridge by CBP officials.“They’re quite desperate,” she said. “It helps just to be there, to talk to them, to try to lift their spirits.”Two lawyers accompanied her, along with a humanitarian group from Matamoros, she said. The lawyers took down the asylum-seekers’ contact information so they could follow up once they were able to cross into the U.S.Yznaga said she has taken several such trips in the last two months.“The rules keep changing,” she said. At first, she felt she needed to explain to parents that they might be separated from their children. Now that Trump has signed an executive order that is supposed to have ended the practice, she now tells asylum-seekers: “Okay, today if you want to walk across, you won’t be separated from your children, but you’ll all be detained together. You may be deported after 20 days.”While Yznaga stood on the bridge that Monday afternoon, CBP agents let two unaccompanied teenagers cross. Early the next morning, she said, she was told everyone else had been allowed through.Disclosure: The University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune’s journalism. Find a complete list of them here.
New Delhi: India can save a whopping Rs 1.8 trillion annually from reduced fuel costs, travel time savings as well as health benefits from reduced air pollution levels and increased physical activity if cycles replace use of two and four wheelers for short distance trips, a new study has concluded. This figure accounts for 1.6% of India’s GDP for 2015-16. The study ‘Economic Benefits of Cycling in India: An Economic, Environmental and Social Assessment has been conducted by TERI (The Energy & Resource Institute) backed by All India Cycle Manufacturers’ Association. The study for the first time tries to find empirical evidence of the economic benefits that can accrue if Indians start using bicycles for short distance trips instead of motorized vehicles. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf The study estimates that 50% substitution of two wheeler and four-wheeler trips by bicycle under the average distance of 8 km will lead to a personal fuel savings of Rs 27 billion. Also, 50% substitution of two wheeler and four-wheeler trips under the average distance of 5 km will result in annual health benefits equivalent to Rs 1435 billion on account of increased physical activity. Similarly, 50% substitution of two-wheeler and four-wheeler trips under the average distance of 8 km can result in savings worth Rs 241 billion due to reduced air pollution. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive For marginal unskilled workers who walk to work every day, a 50% substitution of walking trips above the average distance of 3.5 km can result in travel time savings worth Rs 112 billion. Also, substituting half of short-distance motorized trips by cycling can save India more than 0.35 million tonnes in fuel annually while resulting in CO2 emission reduction of around 1 million tonnes. “Rs 1.8 trillion in direct benefit savings is a huge figure — greater than India’s entire public expenditure on healthcare. This is the first time in India that an elaborate study has tried to derive empirical evidence of the economic benefits of increasing usage of cycling. Despite its many benefits, India is witnessing a very slow growth in bicycle ownership. Specifically in cities short-distance trips which can be undertaken by bicycles are now being made by cars and two-wheelers instead. We need dedicated measures to promote widespread use of bicycles including micro-financing options, reducing GST rates on cycles to 5% from the current 12% as well as construction of adequate and safe cycling infrastructure,” says Mr. Pankaj M Munjal, president of All India Cycle Manufacturers’ Association and Chairman & MD of Hero Cycles. Bicycles in India are increasingly being used by only captive users, who do not have access to any other form of mobility. In the period between 2001 and 2011, the share of bicycle-owning households has only increased by 1% in India. The corresponding share in rural areas has increased by 3.4%, whereas in urban areas it has declined by 4.1%. Rising income levels, absence of safe cycling infrastructure, and increased affordability of motorized vehicles (especially two-wheelers) are major factors that have led to a decline in the share of bicycles. “Cycling provides inherent, incredible, and indefinite benefits in the form of zero dependence on energy sources, zero pollution, and improved health. Additionally, bicycles can provide critical support to urban and rural poor for seeking livelihood, education, and so on. While all this is common knowledge, our study has tried to quantify these benefits. Apart from better and safe cycling infrastructure, we also need to dispel the notion that bicycle is a poor man’s mode of transport. Measures to reduce the use of private vehicles such as congestion and parking pricing and awareness campaigns will also help turn people away from motorized transport,” Source TERI report. It is observed that more than 50% of the people in India use non-motorized forms of transport, such as walking and cycling, to travel to work followed by two-wheelers (18%) and buses (16%). In urban and rural India, on-foot trips account for the highest share of work trips with the share being 12% higher in rural areas. In rural areas, for meeting the daily travel requirements, workers are most dependent on cycling after walking. However, in urban areas, after walking workers are most dependent on two-wheelers. Increasing motorization in urban areas has given rise to many negative externalities such as dependence on fossil fuels, GHG emissions, congestion, pollution and the associated health impacts. In many developed countries such studies have been conducted for judicious appraisal and informed decision-making and have even resulted in the creation of national cycling plans/strategies/laws and separate funds. This study in the Indian context is a step forward in that direction.
Walmart, the world’s largest retailer following the latest tech trend is going all in on robots. It plans to deploy thousands of robots for lower level jobs in its 5000 of 11, 348 stores in US. In a statement released on its blog on Tuesday, the retail giant said that it was unleashing a number of technological innovations, including autonomous floor cleaners, shelf-scanners, conveyor belts, and “pickup towers” on stores across the United States. Elizabeth Walker from Walmart Corporate Affairs says, “Every hero needs a sidekick, and some of the best have been automated. Smart assistants have huge potential to make busy stores run more smoothly, so Walmart has been pioneering new technologies to minimize the time an associate spends on the more mundane and repetitive tasks like cleaning floors or checking inventory on a shelf. This gives associates more of an opportunity to do what they’re uniquely qualified for: serve customers face-to-face on the sales floor.” Further Walmart announced that it would be adding 1,500 new floor cleaners, 300 more shelf-scanners, 1,200 conveyor belts, and 900 new pickup towers. It has been tested in dozens of markets and hundreds of stores to prove the effectiveness of the robots. Also, the idea of replacing people with machines for certain job roles will reduce costs for Walmart. Perhaps if you are not hiring people, they can’t quit, demand a living wage, take sick days off etc resulting in better margins and efficiencies. According to Walmart CEO Doug McMillon, “Automating certain tasks gives associates more time to do work they find fulfilling and to interact with customers. Continuing this logic, the retailer points to robots as a source of greater efficiency, increased sales and reduced employee turnover.” “Our associates immediately understood the opportunity for the new technology to free them up from focusing on tasks that are repeatable, predictable and manual,” John Crecelius, senior vice president of central operations for Walmart US, said in an interview with BBC Insider. “It allows them time to focus more on selling merchandise and serving customers, which they tell us have always been the most exciting parts of working in retail.” With the war for talent raging on in the world of retail and the demand for minimum wage hikes a frequent occurrence, Walmart’s expanding robot army is a signal that the company is committed to keeping labor costs down. Does that mean at the cost of cutting jobs or employee restructuring? Walmart has not specified what number of jobs it will cut as a result of this move. But when automation takes place and at the largest retailer in the US is Walmart, significant job losses can be expected to hit. Early last year, Bloomberg reported that Walmart is removing around 3500 store co-managers, a salaried role that acts as a lieutenant underneath each store manager. The U.S. in particular has an inordinately high proportion of employees performing routine functions that could be easily automated. As such, retail automation is bound to hit them the hardest. With costs on the rise, and Amazon as a constant looming threat that has resulted in the closing of thousands of mom-and-pop stores across the US, it was inevitable that Walmart would turn to automation as a way to stay competitive in the market. As the largest retail employer in the US, transitions to an automated retailing model, it will leave a good proposition of the 7,04,000 strong US retail workforce either unemployed, underemployed or unready to transition into other jobs. How much Walmart assists its redundant workforce to transition to another livelihood will be litmus test to its widely held image of a caring employer in contrast to Amazon’s ruthless image. Read Next How Rolls Royce is applying AI and robotics for smart engine maintenance AI powered Robotics : Autonomous machines in the making Four interesting Amazon patents in 2018 that use machine learning, AR, and robotics
Related posts:Nearly 14,000 sickened banana workers to receive payment for pesticide exposure What is killing the young men of Cañas? Nicaraguan coffee farmers seek creative solutions to drought, climate change The hidden environmental factors behind the spread of Zika and other devastating diseases See also:What is killing the young men of Cañas?Scientists are now a little closer to uncovering the cause of a chronic kidney disease (CKD) epidemic that has killed more than 20,000 people in Central America in the last two decades. For years, the cause of the disease — which primarily afflicts young male agricultural workers — has stumped doctors. But a new study from the Boston University School of Public Health found that sugarcane fieldwork could play a role.“Our results provide evidence that one or more factors for this CKD epidemic are occupational,” said Rebecca Laws, a doctoral student at Boston University and one of the study’s authors. “We found that sugarcane workers saw a decline in kidney function during the harvest season and that it varied by job category.”Laws and her team studied 248 sugarcane workers in western Nicaragua, the epidemic’s hot spot, during the sugarcane-harvesting season. They measured the workers’ kidney functions before and after the harvest season and compared results from workers in seven different jobs. Their results were released in the International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health on Jan. 28. The study showed that fieldworkers, particularly those in who worked as cane cutters, seed cutters or irrigators had lower kidney function at the end of harvest season than other workers. The study points to heat exhaustion and dehydration from fieldwork as possible causes for the epidemic.Unlike CKD in the United States and other developed countries, the disease is not linked to hypertension or diabetes and tends to affect otherwise healthy men. Concentrated in rural parts of Nicaragua, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Guatemala, the disease often is understudied and receives little attention.“There are just not enough resources in the region right now to treat the disease,” Laws said. “Unfortunately, right now, usually the disease is fatal.”In Costa Rica, the northwestern province of Guanacaste has the highest rates of CKD. The small agricultural town of Cañas, in the province’s center-east, has CKD rates 18-20 times higher than the rest of the country. Most of the men in the area work for the local sugarcane plantation, Ingenio Taboga. Representatives from the company declined to comment for this story.Though farmworkers have been silently suffering from CKD since the 1970s, the disease’s staggering rates did not become apparent until the early 2000s. As scientists struggled to pin down a cause for the disease, local theories about the epidemic’s origin have run wild. Most in the Cañas area point to pesticides or arsenic as probable causes of CKD. Drinking water in parts of Guanacaste has tested with 13 times more arsenic than what the World Health Organization deems as safe, and sugarcane is heavily treated with chemicals. But both theories to date have little scientific support.Though arsenic is a known carcinogen, it has never been linked with kidney disease, and if the toxin’s presence in the water supply was the only cause, both men and women likely would be affected. The Boston University study also has put a dent in the pesticide theory, as men who worked applying agrochemicals saw the least decline in kidney function over the harvest season. Still, public health researchers say the disease is likely the convergence of multiple factors, and pesticides and arsenic have not been ruled out entirely.Laws is now working on two more studies in Nicaragua that could help uncover more about the CKD epidemic. One, a longitudinal study, will compare sugarcane workers with farmhands in other types of agriculture. The other study will look at renal damage in children and adolescents to help identify possible genetic factors in the disease. But while more research and time are required to nail down the full cause of the disease, men all over Central America are dying.“Additional research will take time, so it is really important to take action to address the epidemic now,” Laws said. “Even if fieldwork ends up being less of a factor than we think, these men will benefit from improved working conditions now.” Facebook Comments
Scottsdale, Ariz. – InterContinental Hotels & Resorts and Crown Realty & Development announced today the opening of the first U.S. resort—InterContinental Montelucia Resort & Spa—in Paradise Valley, a residential enclave of Scottsdale, Ariz.The much-anticipated luxury resort is situated at the coveted location off Tatum and Lincoln boulevards, providing guests convenient access to optimum shopping districts, dining, hiking and recreation and entertainment venues in Phoenix and Scottsdale. The 34-acre resort includes 253 luxurious guest rooms and 40 suites including 2 presidential suites, 34 luxurious detached, single-family Villas, six unique restaurants and venues, a private wedding chapel, a 31,000-square foot destination spa and salon, five pools, and more than 27,000 square feet of meeting and event space.InterContinental Montelucia Resort & Spa reflects its European influences from the décor to dining experiences. The resort’s suites, such as the Andalusian and Camelback suites, offer 3,000 square feet of indoor living space, in addition to a private event lawn and pool. All guest rooms provide the latest in modern technology, including flat-screen televisions, high-speed Internet access, fully stocked mini bar, custom feather beds, large working areas, and large tiled bathrooms with oversized sunken bathtubs and large walk-in showers with dual showerheads.“The importance of this beautiful property to the legacy of InterContinental Hotels cannot be measured,” said Tom Murray, Chief Operating Officer, Americas, for InterContinental Hotels Group. “We are welcoming a truly fantastic property to a line-up of legendary hotels around the world.”www.icmontelucia.com.
Two brothers, both National Guards non-commissioned officers, aged 44 and 40, were referred on Friday for trial to the Criminal Court for their alleged involvement in a ring hired to place explosive devices to destroy property in Limassol.The trial is set to begin on December 18.The 44-year-old was remanded in custody for eight days last week in connection with six such attacks, along with his 40-year-old brother, also a soldier, who was detained for three days on evidence that he was involved in one of the cases.On Friday, when their remands expired, the two were referred for trial to the Criminal Court; the 44-year-old for two cases concerning an explosion on the car of an army major on June 2014, and on the car of a 57-year-old woman last month, and the 40-year-old for the first case.The younger brother had allegedly threatened the major that he would have his brother bomb him over differences the two men had. The major reportedly told police he didn’t report this threat back in 2014 because he was afraid the 40-year-old would retaliate.After police re-opened the case following the other bombings, the major told police what had happened in 2014.The 40-year-old was released after posting a €50,000 bail and handing over his travel documents, while his brother will remain under custody in the central prisons until his trial.You May LikeLuxury Crossover SUV I Search AdsThese SUVs Are The Cream Of The Crop. Search For 2019 Luxury Crossover SUV DealsLuxury Crossover SUV I Search AdsUndoDr. Marty ProPower Plus Supplement3 Dangerous Foods People Feed Their Dogs (Without Realizing It)Dr. Marty ProPower Plus SupplementUndoYahoo SearchThese SUVs Are The Cream Of The Crop. Research Best Compact SUV CarYahoo SearchUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoOur View: Argaka mukhtar should not act as if he owns the beachUndoby Taboolaby Taboola
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start a fund to support these people. So, "You gotta be patient. “All the same, Mr Wilson Inalegu, including Kashmir, "But remember what I said about ‘sound principles of international relations’. "It was not an easy decision but it was the right decision," Credit: Triangle NewsHayleys due date is 25 January,Prior to this Rajapaksa has also served as the sixth President of Sri Lanka till January 2015 Rajapaksa has also served as Prime Minister in2004 until he won presidential elections The change in power came after Sirisena’s broader political front United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) announced that it has decided to quit the current unity government with prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s United National Party (UNP) Mahinda Amaraweera agriculture minister and the general secretary of the UPFA told reporters that the UPFA decision has been conveyed to Parliament The unity government was formed in 2015 when Sirisena was elected President with Wickremesinghe’s support ending a nearly decade-long rule by Rajapaksa Sirisena who was Rajapaksa’s minister of health broke away from him to contest the presidential elections Political analysts said Sirisena’s move to install Rajapaksa as the prime minister could lead to a constitutional crisis as the 19th amendment to the Constitution would not allow the sacking of Wickremesinghe as the premier without a majority Rajapaksa and Sirisena combine has only 95 seats and is short of a simple majority Wickremesinghe’s UNP has 106 seats on its own with just seven short of the majority There was no immediate comment from Wickremesinghe or the UNP President Sirisena’s party withdrew from the ruling coalition after simmering tensions between him and Wickremesinghe The unity government was thrown into a crisis after Rajapaksa’s new party pulled off a stunning victory in local elections in February seen as a referendum on the ruling alliance Last week it was reported that Sirisena accused his senior coalition partner the UNP of not taking seriously an alleged conspiracy to assassinate him and Gotabhaya Rajapaksa the former top defence ministry bureaucrat and brother of ex-president Mahinda Rajapaksa?
One of the cool things thats happening right now in comics is that the all-ages movement is getting a lot of steam.