Assam club promotes flags that grow into plants

first_imgA club in southern Assam’s Hailakandi town is promoting biodegradable flags that grow into plants.These handmade cotton flags are embedded with seeds of marigold.“After use, a flag should be planted with respect and some soil and water poured on it. The flag will germinate into a plant in two-three days’ time,” said Shankar Choudhury of Inner Wheel Club.The club’s president Kabita Das said the initiative was undertaken to discourage the use of plastic flags on Independence Day as well as Republic Day. “Such flags are discarded to snowball into an ecological problem. We are promoting the seed-embedded cotton flags toward making the country plastic pollution-free,” she said.last_img

Stan Wawrinka to defend Chennai Open

first_imgTwo-time Grand Slam winner Stan Wawrinka will be back in the city to defend his men’s singles title at the 2016 Chennai Open, India’s premier tennis tournament, to be held at the SDAT Stadium from January 4 to 10.The 2016 edition, also the 20th time the event will be hosted by Chennai, will be the Swiss star’s eighth visit to the Tamil Nadu capital and he will look to defend his title and claim a hat-trick of championship wins.Also read: Stan Wawrinka fourth player to seal ATP Tour Finals spot “Chennai Open is a great way to start the season and I look forward to my eighth year at the tournament. The last two years have been extra special since I have gone on to win a Grand Slam each year after a winning start here,” said the 30-year-old.”So Chennai has become like my good luck charm now! Being a landmark year for the tournament, I hope to reclaim my title and make this year even more special. I congratulate the organisers for bringing out this exciting contest year after year and look forward to many more landmark editions of the Chennai Open.”Wawrinka won the title here in 2011, 2014 and 2015. He also won the doubles crown with Frenchman Benoit Paire in 2013, meaning he has not returned home without a title since 2011.last_img read more

Andy Murray Excited to See What Next Couple of Years Can Bring After Returning from Career-ending Injury

first_img andy murrayatpcareer.injury First Published: November 13, 2019, 12:01 PM IST London: Former world number one Andy Murray is excited to see what he can achieve over the next couple of years after returning to the tour following hip resurfacing surgery but he will not be setting any lofty targets.The 32-year-old Briton looked on the verge of ending his career at the start of the year but after undergoing surgery in January, he has returned in impressive fashion. After initially playing doubles at Queen’s Club, where he won the title alongside Feliciano Lopez, and Wimbledon, Murray has exceeded expectations on the singles court and won the title in Antwerp last month, beating Stan Wawrinka in the final.Murray, ranked 125th, will end his season at the Davis Cup Finals next week before turning his thoughts to next year’s Australian Open having thought this year’s appearance in Melbourne was probably his last.”I’m very lucky I get that chance again in January if I stay fit in the next couple of months and it’ll be fun to see what I can do,” Murray told British media on Tuesday.”It has been an up and down few years but I feel like I’m coming through the other side of it and excited to see what I can do over the next couple of years.”It’s difficult to say exactly where I am. I’m not where I was when I was 25 but I don’t expect to be and don’t need to be (in order) to be competitive at the highest level. That’s why I’m excited.”Murray’s European Open title in Antwerp, his first since March 2017, has given him the belief that he could beat the likes of Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic – a notion that would have appeared impossible a few months ago.”I know if I played against the top players tomorrow there would be a very small chance of me winning that match,” he said. “But I do feel I could win.”That’s one of the performance goals I want – when I go out on court against all of the players I want to feel like I have a chance of winning.”Murray, whose wife Kim gave birth to their third child a few weeks ago, says the main priority is to continue playing pain free and enjoying the battle.”I’m not going to set a target of top 10 or trying to make the semis of a Grand Slam because I’ve done all of that before and I don’t need that,” he said.”So if I’m 30 in the world or 70 in the world but I’m still enjoying it and still enjoying the preparations and training and I feel competitive then that would be success for me.” Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox – subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what’s happening in the world around you – in real time.last_img read more

Jitu Rai finishes sixth at Shooting World Cup

first_imgAce Indian shooter Jitu Rai finished sixth in the men’s 50m pistol event on the fifth day of the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup being held at the Olympic Shooting Centre in Rio de Janeiro.Jitu, who is the world number one in the event, qualified for the finals in fourth position, shooting a score of 563.He began the finals on the backfoot, registering two shots of eight points each to start with. He seemed to regain composure with three consecutive shots of 10 after that, but a 7.9 in his ninth shot and 8.7 in his 10th put paid to all hopes of a medal.Jitu was eventually eliminated after the 12th shot to claim sixth place. Earlier, Jitu’s teammate Prakash Nanjappa had finished 19th in qualification with a score of 556. Oleh Omelchuk of Ukraine won the gold in the event.In the other event of the day, the men’s Double Trap, Indian youngster Ankur Mittal led the qualifications till the third round with 30 shots each, only to see his hopes of making the finals fade away after shooting scores of 23 and 24 in the last two rounds.He eventually finished 21st with a total score of 131. The finals cut was made at 136. India’s Mohammed Asab finished 26th with a score of 125 while Sangram Dahiya shot 124 to end 27th.Australia’s James Willett won the gold in the men’s Double Trap event while Russia’s Vasily Mosin took the silver and USA’s Walton Eller ended up with the bronze medal.last_img read more

Serena Wins 3d Straight US Open

first_imgNEW YORK — A couple of months before Serena Williams capped her dominant run to a third consecutive U.S. Open championship and 18th major singles title Sept. 7, she sat down with coach Patrick Mouratoglou to decipher why the season had been such a struggle by her standards.At the time, Williams was coming off a third-round loss at Wimbledon, which followed a second-round loss at the French Open, which followed a fourth-round loss at the Australian Open — and, when Grand Slam success defines a legacy, that simply wouldn’t do. The quest to match Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova at 18 was weighing on her.“It was definitely on my shoulders,” Williams could acknowledge after that burden was gone. “It was definitely like, ‘Oh, get there. Get there. Get there.’”She knew, of course, there was one more big event left in 2014, and a finite amount of time to turn things around before heading to Flushing Meadows.In some ways starting from scratch, Williams regrouped and stopped her mini-slump, never dropping more than three games in any set, including a 6-3, 6-3 victory over close friend Caroline Wozniacki in the Sept. 7 final.“When Serena is on her game,” said the 10th-seeded Wozniacki, who admitted she was nervous in her second Grand Slam title match, “there’s not much we can do.”Williams matched Evert’s total of six U.S. Opens and became the first woman to win three in a row since Evert’s four-title run from 1975-78.Add in Williams’ five titles apiece at Wimbledon and the Australian Open, plus two at the French Open, and only three players have more Slams: Margaret Court with 24, Steffi Graf with 22, and Helen Wills Moody with 19.Ranked and seeded No. 1, Williams let Wozniacki keep things competitive for about five games but wound up compiling a hard-to-believe 29-4 edge in winners. Until a cross-court backhand in the final game, the only winners registered by Wozniacki came on aces.When it was over, Williams dropped to her back behind the baseline, covering her hands with her face. Her first major trophy also came in New York, in 1999, when she was 17.This time, Williams earned $4 million, a record in tennis — $3 million for the title, plus a $1 million bonus for having had the best results during the North American summer hard-court circuit.A few weeks shy of her 33rd birthday, making the American the oldest major champion since Navratilova was 33 at Wimbledon in 1990, Williams powered this way and that in her black-and-pink hightops. Wozniacki is the one training for the New York City Marathon, but she was tuckered out by the end.Wozniacki may as well have been an extra in this Williams highlight reel. Points were directed by Williams, via serves that reached 120 mph (194 kph), forceful returns that backed Wozniacki into a corner when not producing outright winners, unreachable groundstrokes or the occasional volley.“From a different planet,” said Wozniacki’s father, Piotr, who also coaches her. “Come on, there’s no chance.”Yes, this was all about Williams. At times, it felt as if Wozniacki were there because, well, someone needed to be on the opposite side of the net.They’ve been pals for years, and they hung out together in Miami — heading to the beach, watching an NBA playoff game — after both lost early at the French Open in May.Wozniacki says Williams helped her get over the end of her engagement to golf star Rory McIlroy. Williams said she planned to invite Wozniacki along for the championship celebration.“We’re both going to do anything possible to win the match,” said Wozniacki, a 24-year-old from Denmark who reached No. 1 in the rankings in 2010, a year after losing to Kim Clijsters in the U.S. Open final. “After the match, we’re friends again.”Mouratoglou noted the obvious: It didn’t matter one bit to Williams who she was facing.“Yeah, they’re friends,” the coach said, “but on the other side, believe me, Serena has zero friends.”The last time she was at a major, Williams followed her early Wimbledon singles exit with an odd episode in doubles, appearing disoriented and quitting after three games because of what she called a “bug.”“After Wimbledon, I was just so disappointed,” Williams said. “I also realized I just needed to relax a little more. I put a lot of pressure on myself. I don’t have to put pressure on myself.”When she met with Mouratoglou after Wimbledon to discuss how to proceed, he recalled, “She coached me. She told me, ‘Look, you are a guy who likes challenges. I am so low. You should be motivated by that.’”Since that chat in Paris, Williams has won 19 of 20 matches and three titles. Only one number mattered to her the night of Sept. 7 though: 18.(HOWARD FENDRICH, AP Tennis Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Security Worries for Rio Olympics

first_imgTweetPinShare0 Shares RIO DE JANEIRO— A government watchdog says “flaws” in Brazil’s border security are a “big concern” heading toward the Rio de Janeiro Olympics next year.FILE – In this Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015 file photo, International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach speaks at the World Olympians Forum in Moscow, Russia. IOC President Thomas Bach expressed confidence Sunday Nov. 15, 2015, in the ability of Brazilian authorities to protect next year’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in the wake of the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool, File)Augusto Nardes, speaking at a news conference organized by Brazil’s Justice Ministry on Wednesday, says Brazil’s police and military need better ways to control the country’s 17,000 kilometer-long (10,500-mile) border, which touches 10 countries and runs through remote areas of the Amazon jungle.Nardes says “we are aware that we have seven months to correct (the problem)” with security concerns rising following the deadly attacks almost two weeks ago in Paris.Public Security secretary Regina Miki dismissed those concerns, and says the Olympics “will be held in total security.”MAURICIO SAVARESE, Associated Presslast_img read more

iPhone XS Plus expected to cost around $1000 to take on Samsung Galaxy Note 9

first_imgApple is expected to launch three iPhones even this year. Rumours suggest the upcoming iPhones 2018 are expected to be the iPhone XS, the iPhone XS Plus and the iPhone 9. The iPhone XS will come with 5.8-inch OLED display, the iPhone XS Plus will sport a 6.5-inch OLED display and lastly, the iPhone 9 will be the cheapest of the lot and will come with a 6.1-inch LCD display. The iPhone 9 – as analysts claim – will be priced between $700 – $750. New reports now reveal the pricing details of the premium iPhone models — the iPhone XS and the iPhone XS Plus.According to TrendForce, the iPhone XS Plus will be the most expensive iPhone of the three. The handset is expected to come with a price tag similar to that of the newly announced Galaxy Note 9. The 6.5-inch OLED display iPhone is said to come with a price tag of $1000. The Galaxy Note 9 base model also starts at $1,000, while the top-end model of the handset with 512GB goes up to $1,250. Apple usually keeps the price of the global and India variant of all iPhones similar. Meaning, in India too, the iPhone XS Plus is expected to cost around $1000, which roughly translates to Rs 70,400. Considering the pricing, Apple will look to compete with Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9 with its top-end iPhone XS Plus.The iPhone XS with 5.8-inch OLED display – which will succeed last year’s iPhone X. According to previous rumours, iPhone XS is actually the iPhone X (2018) version. The smartphone will boast of almost the same specs as the iPhone X but will be priced lower. To recollect, the iPhone X was launched with a price tag of $ 1000 last year. The iPhone XS will be cheaper in comparison. The handset is expected to be priced between $900 – $950 – which roughly translates to Rs 64,000 – Rs 66,900.advertisementLastly, the iPhone 9 is going to much cheaper than the iPhone XS and the iPhone XS Plus. According to Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst who’s often accurate at his assumptions, the 6.1-inch LCD display iPhone or the iPhone 9 will cost between $700 – $750, which roughly translates to Rs 49,000 – Rs 53,000.Reports suggest that the launch of the iPhone 9 may be delayed by a month because of some issues in the production process. The iPhone 9 mass production is expected to start in mid-September, while the OLED display iPhones are already in production since late July.last_img read more

Muhammad Alis Celebrity Fight Night XX Raises 8 Million

first_imgOn Saturday, April 12, 2014 stars and athletes from around the country converged on the J.W. Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix, Arizona for Muhammad Ali’s 20th Anniversary of Celebrity Fight Night.GRAMMY Award winning superstar of country music Reba McEntire returned for her ninth year as emcee and announced that Celebrity Fight Night would become international celebrating its next event in Italy.The Phoenix Boys Choir kicked off the night with a rendition of the National Anthem. International superstar Michael Buble, entertainment icon Robert De Niro, and philanthropist John Paul DeJoria, were honored with the 2014 Muhammad Ali Celebrity Fight Night Awards. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Billy Crystal were on hand to present to this year’s honorees.Following the awards guests were treated to a host of performances under the direction of the multiple GRAMMY Award-winning songwriter and producer David Foster, who returned for his 15th consecutive year as the evening’s Musical Director. Performances opened with The Band Perry who sang “If I Die Young,” and “Better Dig Too,” followed by Kenny Rogers who sang “The Gambler,” and “We’ve Got Tonight” for the crowd. Ronnie Dunn sang “Red Dirt Road” and “Boot Scoot Boogie.” McEntire took the stage again to perform duets with Kenny Rogers singing “Islands” and Ronnie Dunn singing “Cowgirls Don’t Cry.” Additional performances included, Caroline Kole, Jonathan Antoine, and a compilation of David Foster’s best hits.Michael Bublé brought the crowd to their feet, closing out the evening with an incredible performance including “Feeling Good,” “Haven’t Met You Yet,” and “Save the Last Dance.” Bublé surprised the crowd with a humorous performance of Christmas songs from his best-selling holiday album.The black tie event also featured cocktails, a silent auction, an elegant dinner and an exciting live auction including one-of-a-kind luxury items. The live auction featured a space flight experience onboard the XCOR Lynx, rocketing up to 200,000 feet in five minutes to suborbital space. The two highest selling live auction items of the night were a private dinner at the home of Reba McEntire and a special evening featuring dinner with Robert De Niro, Billy Crystal and Joe Torre at De Niro’s Locanda Verde in New York—each dinner was sold twice for $500,000. Celebrity Fight Night XX raised a total of $8 million benefiting the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, as well as several other worthy charities. Each year dozens of celebrity guests attend the event that has raised $95 million in 20 years.Additional celebrity guests included Yank Barry, Bob Bondurant, Calais Campbell, Michael Carbajal, John Corbett, Yolanda Foster, Jim Higgins, Steve Keim, Nancy Lieberman, Nick Lowery, Harvey Mackay, Sam Moore, Lute Olson, Melissa Peterman, Chris Rich, Ralph Sampson, Richard Sherman, Mayor Greg Stanton, Terrell Suggs and many more.last_img read more

ONSSA to Compensate Farmers for Cattle Losses from Foot Mouth Disease

Rabar – In the midst of an outbreak of foot and mouth disease on Moroccan farms, the National Office of Food Safety (ONSSA) has decided to grant financial compensation for farmers who lost their cattle to the disease, starting this month.The amount of financial compensation may vary depending on the age and breed of the affected animals in relation to their market value.ONSSA announced on Friday that it was conducting a vaccination campaign among susceptible animals across Morocco. So far, the disease has broken out in the provinces of Fquih Ben Saleh, Khouribga, Sidi Bennour, Tangier, and Kelaat Sraghna. Read Also: Morocco Launches Foot, Mouth Disease Vaccine Campaign After OutbreakONSSA’s veterinary services launched their January 2019 plan against the disease, vaccinating more than 500,000 cattle, 17 percent of the cattle in Morocco, ONSSA said in a statement on Friday.FMD is an infectious and fatal viral disease that only impacts cloven-hooved animals, such as cows, goats, sheep, and pigs. Contrary to rumors, it does not affect the health of humans, as the head of ONSSA’s veterinary services, Farid El Amraoui, clarified yesterday. read more

Pakistan Sri Lanka ink eight accords of cooperation

An Agreement on cooperation in the field of health was signed between the Pakistan government and Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine. The Pakistan Science Foundation and National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka inked a MoU on scientific and technological cooperation. The MoU on sharing statistical and census data was signed between the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics and the Department of Census and Statistics of Sri Lanka.The MoU between the Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage and Sri Lanka’s Ministry of International Affairs, Wayamba Development and Cultural Affairs was signed on cooperation in the field of culture. The Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) and the Export Development Board (EDB) of Sri Lanka signed a MoU on cooperation in trade.The MoU for cooperation between the Pakistan Institute of Fashion and Design and the Gem and Jewellery Research and Training Institute of Sri Lanka was also inked.Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastagir Khan, Special Assistant on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi and Secretary Commerce Muhammad Shehzad Arbab inked the relevant documents. The MoU on cooperation in the exchange of intelligence related to money laundering and terrorism financing was signed between the Financial Intelligence Unit of Sri Lanka and Financial Monitoring Unit of Pakistan. The Ministry of Science and Technology, Pakistan signed an MoU with Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Science, Technology and Research in the field of scientific innovation and cooperation. Pakistan and Sri Lanka on Tuesday signed eight bilateral instruments in diverse fields including cooperation in trade, financial intelligence, science and technology and healthcare, the Daily Times in Pakistan reported.Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Srisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe witnessed the signing of documents at a ceremony held here at the President’s Secretariat. read more

Premier announces 1B for Hamilton LRT

Additional Video: Extended Morning Live coverage of Wynne’s announcement: (Updated)An historic day today in Hamilton as the province announces $1 billion to fully fund light rail transit.Premier Kathleen Wynne came to McMaster University this morning where she made the announcement. The money will be used to fund 100 percent of the capital costs of building an LRT line. The rail line will run from McMaster University, east on Main and West on King, to the Queenston traffic circle.Wynne says construction on the new LRT will begin in 2019, and it will connect directly to the new West Harbour GO train station that will open this summer. She adds the province will continue talks with the city about extending the LRT line another three kilometres east to Eastgate Square.“Decades ago, government investments in ports, canals and railroads helped bring steeldtown into an era of industrial prosperity. Today we need infrastructure that drives Hamilton’s prosperity in the 21-st century economy, we need Hamilton to remain an important driver of our regional and provincial economy, and a place where people can continue to find more opportunity, and more security in life.”“Transit connects the people of Hamilton to each other and to people of the GTHA, So it’s my great pleasure to announce today the Ontario government will be providing up to $1 billion to fund the building of new light rail transit.”The president and CEO of Metrolinx, Bruce McCuaig says the company will work with the city to finalize plans and construction.“The most important thing we are going to be doing immediately is sitting down with the city of Hamilton to talk about things like negotiating a master agreement since we are going to be building this on city streets and we will have to work very very closely with the city and all the communities that abut those streets.”“We’ll need to finalize the planning design for the corridor, where the station locations are, the kind of service that we’ll see, and ultimately we are looking at procuring this going to the marketplace to get bidders to bid on the project in 2017 and to start construction in 2019. ”The province also announced plans to improve GO service and extend the GO Lakeshore West train service to a new stop at Centennial Parkway, which is expected to be completed by 2019.The funding is part of the Liberal government’s planned $30 billion, 10 year plan to invest in public transit and otherinfrastructure projects, with just over half the money dedicated to the Toronto-to-Hamilton corridor.Opinion’s always been divided over LRT, and today’s funding announcement will no doubt create more controversy. It depends on who you talk to and where they live.Most people downtown are excited about it. They think it will make their trip to and from work quicker. “I just came from the east end, and I was on the B-Line bus and it still took me 20 minutes on the bus. That’s supposed to be the fast bus, and it wasn’t that fast so, run through the whole city? That would be good.”“I am not sure what to make of it. Do we need LRT in the city? I am not sure. The bus system works pretty good as is.”“Absolutely not. Put a couple more buses on the rouets or whatever else, but born and raised in this city and we don’t need nothing like that.”But if you come to places like Waterdown, many don’t think it is a good idea. They think it will increase their taxes.“The LRT is a very big project for Hamilton and I am not quite sure that we are ready for it, as it’s only from downtown to possibly Eastgate.”This project will take years to build and that means years of construction delays and years of torn up roads and that could affect local businesses along Main and King Sts, but Hamilton mayor Fred Eisenberger says the city would do everything to make sure they are impacted as little as possible.“I don’t think it has been disrupted in every part of the corridor for 10 years. Whenever we do road reconstruction it has to happen, we know it has to happen. That’s a long-term benefit, so it’s short-term pain for long-term gain.”“We will do everything possible to ensure that we are less disruptive as possible.”Ward 1 councillor Aidan Johnson calls it great news. “This is going to be an economic boom for the whole of Hamilton. The west will particularly benefit. We will connect McMaster to the downtown of the city.” read more

CanadaBrazil network to promote natural resource management

first_imgThe University of Guelph and Kinross Gold are creating a new education and research network between Canada and Brazil to develop environmental initiatives focused on the use and remediation of land and water. Kinross is providing approximately $1 million in funding and in-kind logistical support over a three-year period to help establish the Kinross Canada-Brazil Network for Advanced Education and Research in Natural Resource Management.Co-ordinated by the University of Guelph, the network will involve university, government and private-sector partners in Canada and Brazil and provide opportunities for international collaboration and multidisciplinary research activities. The network’s major focus will be working with resource extraction industries on resource management initiatives, with the goal of minimising environmental impacts, using natural resources more effectively and developing comprehensive strategies for rehabilitating disturbed lands.The network will explore novel methods to improve soil quality, such as processing mine wastes to use as fertiliser or soil conditioner. Researchers will also investigate ways to adapt vegetation to grow on disturbed lands in order to improve soil and water quality and potentially provide biofuel feedstock.“Both Brazil and Canada are nations whose culture, economy and political development are influenced significantly by their natural resources,” said Kinross president and CEO Tye Burt. “It makes sense that on issues of sustainable land and water use, Canadian and Brazilian institutions collaborate in a meaningful way. We hope this network will prove a new partnership model for expanded co-operation between the private sector and outstanding educational and research institutions like the University of Guelph, as well as government and other partners. Our vision is to create a platform for exponential growth that will keep expanding to involve more partners and projects, building our collective knowledge base on how to manage resources responsibly.”Richard Heck, a University of Guelph land resource science professor who helped create and will oversee the network, said students will be provided with valuable teaching and learning experiences. “Students want the opportunity to solve real-world problems – to actually help make a difference with the environment and with people’s health and well-being.”Alastair Summerlee, the University of Guelph’s president and vice-chancellor, added that the network is a natural fit for the University, which is recognisd globally for its environmental research and education programs and its stewardship. “Kinross is an industry leader in sustainable resource management and is committed to corporate social responsibility,” Summerlee said. “And our university has a reputation for its innovative approaches to protecting water, air and land. Working together, we can develop projects that can serve as models of sustainable development and be replicated by other corporations and in other regions.”last_img read more

Melbourne mourns the loss of Christella Demetriou

first_imgMelbourne’s Greek music community is mourning the loss of one of its champions, Christella Demetriou, 52, who passed after a long struggle with cancer.A talented composer, musician and visual artist, Christella Demetriou was born in Cyprus; her family arrived in Australia as refugees in 1976.This experience influenced Christella’s political leanings, leading her to become an engaged citizen and a social justice activist of Trotskyist affiliations. She was part of the Democritus’ Workers League Youth, but was never associated with any political party, opting instead to engage in musical activism, channeling her ideas through music.Growing up in Melbourne, she developped a passion for the arts, and music in particular, becoming one of the prominent figures of the rebetiko scene – and the only female bouzouki player in a male-dominated community, playing in venues such as Tsakpina Café, Rhapsody Café, the Boite World Music and so on.From 1996 to 2012 she had been living in Athens, where she got the chance to further explore Greek music and associate herself with the local scene.As a composer, she would find inspiration in Greek poetry, both ancient and Greek; last year, she released Echoes, an album of songs she wrote putting music to the poetry of Sappho and Alcaeus, translated in modern Greek by Sotiris Kakisis. The album featured acclaimed singers Alkinoos Ioannidis and Lizetta Kalimeri, along with jazz pianist Dimitri Kalantzis and Melbourne-based bassist Nick Tsiavos.Christella Demetriou’s funeral is on Tuesday 20 November, at 11am, at the St Dimitrios church in Prahran (380 High Street). Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Class teaches about influences of food ads

first_imgBrush Prairie – Washington State University Clark County Extension is offering a free class to teach families how to be aware of the influences of food advertising.The FoodMania Media Literacy class is for children ages 9 to 14 and their parents. Each class will include an interactive lesson for adults and youth, dinner and a $25 grocery store gift card. In addition to education about food advertising, participants will learn how to make healthy eating choices.Classes will take place 5:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays from Oct. 5 through Nov. 9 at CASEE, 11104 N.E. 149th St., Brush Prairie. The deadline to sign up for classes is Sept. 30.Those who are interested in the topic, but unable to make the classes, may be eligible to participate in a survey for $30 in gift cards.To sign up, contact Erin Middlewood at 360-397-6060, ext. 5721, or read more

June Presidents Message

first_imgHello Soy Family,As I write this I’m sitting in an airport in Brazil, headed home after a trip with USSEC to the International Oilseed Producers Dialogue. It has been an eye-opening trip to see firsthand Brazil’s soybean fields and meet with local growers. It is clear from this trip that Brazil could find ways to increase production if demand from China increases as a result of the U.S. Administration’s Section 301 tariffs, which are set to take effect in July.With that, I can once again say that trade took center stage this month.On the morning of June 15 President Trump officially announced that the U.S. will implement 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese products, effective July 6. That same afternoon, China responded in-kind, placing a 25 percent tariff on $50 billion of U.S. imports, effective July 6. These retaliatory tariffs include a 25 percent tariff on U.S. soybeans. On Monday, June 18, President Trump ordered U.S. trade officials to craft a list of $200 billion worth of Chinese goods that would be hit with an additional 10 percent tariff.ASA, along with board members, states, growers and the entire soy family has worked tirelessly to convey to the Administration and Members of Congress that these tariffs will unduly harm soy growers, and rural America.I hope you joined ASA’s social media days, utilizing the hashtags #TradeNotTariffs and #RethinkTheTariffs, and have taken action through the Soy Action Center. If not, there is still time as we will be utilizing a new hashtag, #FacesOfTariffs on July 3 to show the real impact these tariffs will have across the countryside.This is an issue that frankly isn’t going away easily, and we count on your continued engagement and advocacy.June also saw action on the farm bill. After failing to pass their version of the farm bill in May, the House’s farm bill passed on June 21 with a vote of 213-211. The Senate passed their version on June 28 with a vote of 86-11.ASA continues to encourage bipartisan work in both chambers to see a farm bill completed before it is set to expire at the end of September. A farm bill provides certainty and stability, which is especially needed during this down farm economy and increased volatility in export markets due to heightened trade tensions.Also of note this month was EPA’s announcement of the 2019-2020 RFS levels, calling for 2.43 billion gallons of biomass-based diesel for 2020, which is a 330 million gallon increase over the 2019 levels. For total Advanced Biofuels, an overall category to which biodiesel also qualifies, EPA proposed 4.88 billion gallons for 2019, a 590 million gallon increase over 2018 levels.It has been a busy month, and I look forward to seeing everyone at the board meeting in Washington, DC July 9-12. Your continued engagement is noted, appreciated and most importantly, it is needed. I look forward to continuing to work on behalf of soy growers alongside all of you.See you in Washington. Best, John HeisdorfferPresident, American Soybean Associationlast_img read more

Lawsuit over institutionalizing foster youth in psychiatric hospitals continues

first_imgWhen foster youth are admitted to a psychiatric hospital in Alaska against their will, they can stay there for up to 30 days without judicial review. Two tribes are arguing that’s too long. The Office of Children’s Services says a judge shouldn’t have to sign off at all on keeping kids at North Star Hospital. The court battle has lasted over two years, and a judge will hear more oral arguments later this month.Listen nowDuring his 18 years in foster care, Nathon Pressley bounced from foster homes to treatment centers, including multiple months-long stays at North Star Behavioral Health Hospital. He said he’s tried to block out most of his memories at North Star, but some things have stuck with him.“The moment you get aggressive in any way, whether it’s physical, verbal, emotional in any way, they can just put their hands on you and say you are a threat to yourself or others,” he said. “Then you stay in a place called the quiet room, which is a secluded, locked door with padded ground, ceiling, and sides and two cameras is what it was before. And Plexiglas windows and you’re just sitting in there.”Pressley, now 19, said he was told he was admitted to North Star because caseworkers and foster parents labeled him “defiant.”“You refuse to take your meds for five minutes, ‘Oh you’re being defiant,’” he explained. “You don’t go to school on one day or you skip school–defiant. You don’t go to bed on time–defiant. You see what I mean?”At different points he tried to follow all of the rules and just walk away when someone upset him, he said, but staff members saw that as disrespectful and he would be in trouble again. Pressley felt harassed.“It gets to the point where either you decide all hope is lost, and you just go and do something to yourself. Or you just say, ‘F-U, I’m going to do my own thing,’ and stand up for yourself. It’s kind of just two choices, and I chose the second one.”Official statistics from the Office of Children’s Services show about 100 foster youth are sent to North Star each year. Until last year, youth could be involuntarily admitted to the institution and stay there indefinitely – without a judicial review.The Native Villages of Hooper Bay and Kongiganak are suing Christy Lawton as the head of the Office of Children’s Services and North Star to stop that practice. The case began more than two years ago. The tribes say that committing foster youth to North Star without oversight violates their rights.“The tribes were sick and tired – to put it bluntly – that their teenagers were being put in a mental institution and being separated from their tribes and their culture when they didn’t have a mental illness, they just needed foster homes,” said Alaska Legal Services’ James Davis, who is arguing the case on behalf of the tribes.OCS Director Christy Lawton denied that kids are placed at North Star because of a lack of foster homes. In a written statement she said, “Placement at a hospital cannot occur unless a medical professional decides that placement at the hospital is medically necessary. In all cases, OCS, as a matter of statutory and policy mandates, has to look toward the least restrictive environment for the placement of a child when the child cannot live in their own home.”North Star did not reply to requests for comments.Amanda Metivier, the executive director of Facing Foster Care – Alaska, said Pressley’s story is fairly common. Many of the 300 youth she works with have been sent to North Star, she said, and she also attributes it in part to a lack of foster homes.“It’s pretty typical, especially for teens in foster care because if you’re in the system, you’re sort of under a microscope already,” she said. Even normal milestones like school dances are under scrutiny. “Everyone’s watching you. Anything you do that’s not convenient for them can be seen as trouble.”Metivier said putting children into North Star without a judge’s oversight violates the foster child’s rights.“I think that when we’re institutionalizing young people, there should definitely be major checks and balances in place first to make sure that’s absolutely somewhere they need to be. That they need behavioral health treatment, and it’s not just normal adolescent behavior.”Davis, the tribes’ lawyer, argues institutionalizing young people when they don’t need it is damaging – and unconstitutional. His plaintiffs also argue the state is violating its own statutes, which require a judicial review within 72 hours for a person who is involuntarily committed to a mental health evaluation or treatment facility.The Department of Law is arguing the statutes about involuntary commitment do not apply to North Star because it is not a statutorily-designated treatment or evaluation facility. It’s a psychiatric hospital.Department spokesperson Cori Mills wrote in an email, “Children who are admitted to North Star Hospital are evaluated and treated as those terms are understood by medical professionals.”In September 2015, Superior Court Judge Erin Marston issued an order in which he wrote, “Given the illustrative cases presented by Plaintiffs, it appears that based on history, foster children may be placed into psychiatric care for issues unrelated to mental health or without sufficient cause and have no guarantee that their placement will be timely reviewed by a neutral factfinder.”The order requires there to be a court hearing within 30 days of a youth being admitted to North Star.Davis said that’s still too long. “How long should a youth be locked up in a hospital before a judge looks at what’s going on and decides if it’s right or wrong? 30 days or 3 days, which is how the rules apply to all other Alaskans.”On September 27, the case will continue. Marston will hear oral arguments to decide if 30 days is the right amount of time and if that’s determined by statutes or by the state Constitution.last_img read more

Essar Oil to pump in Rs 1625 crore to expand refining capacity

first_imgEssar HouseReutersEssar oil’s UK subsidiary, which owns and operates Ellesmere Port-based Stanlow Refinery, on Wednesday said the company is going to invest Rs 1,625 crore ($ 250million) to expand the refining capacity and aiming 400 petrol pumps in Britain in next five years.The oil marketing firm aims to increase its refining capacity from 9.09 million tonnes per annum to 9.7 million tonnes by March 2018, the Economic Times reported.”The investment in revamping of certain units of the refinery would help cut down on crude oil processing cost, improve product slate and lead to marginal increase in capacity,” chief executive S Thangapandian told ET.In revenue terms, the company’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) P Sampath said revamping would add Rs 65 ($1) to refining margin, translating into Rs 480 crore($70-75 million) in revenue.”The project will deliver enhanced yields of high-value products, reduce crude costs and drive revenue growth,” Thangapandian said.The firm’s net profit for the quarter dropped 17 percent to Rs 351 crore ($54 million), primarily due to the one-time tax adjustment. For the full year, the company reported a net profit of Rs 1,092 crore ($168 million) against revenue of Rs 31,980 crore ($4.92 billion).The firm is owned and controlled by Indian conglomerate Ruia-family of Mumbai. In the last week of August, Essar Group sold 98 percent of its stake in Essar Oil to a consortium led by Russian oil major Rosneft in a deal amounting to around Rs 82,697 crore ($12.9 billion).As part of the deal, oil major Rosneft will get a 49.13 percent stake in Essar Oil, while the Trafigura-UCP consortium will hold another 49.13 percent stake in the company. The remaining 1.74 percent will be held by retail shareholders.Essar has invested over Rs 5,200 crore ($800 million) since acquiring Stanlow in July 2011. The company currently has 39 petrol pumps in the UK currently and has permission to set up another 14. “Our long term target is to have 400 outlets in five years,” Sampath said. Prashant Ruia, Director, Essar Capital speaks during a news conference at the company’s headquarters in Mumbai, India August 21, 2017. REUTERS/Danish SiddiquiReuters”The major investment we have confirmed in Stanlow will materially increase throughput and further grow revenues, building on the tremendous progress we have made in turning around the business over the past six years,” said Prashant Ruia, non-executive chairman of Essar Oil UK.The firm has recently entered the direct aviation fuel supply market by selling the fuel produced at Stanlow to major airlines such as Emirates, Etihad, and Oman Air, ET reported.last_img read more

Skeleton of woman dogs found in Kolkata flat

first_imgIn a case that could give a thriller a run for its money, the city police investigating the death of a septuagenarian in a fire in his home on Thursday stumbled on a man living with the skeletons of his elder sister and two dogs for the past six months.The police investigating a fire on the second floor of 3, Robinson Street in the heart of the city found the charred body of 77-year-old Arabindo De, owner of the house, from a bathroom on Wednesday night. Also Read – Need to understand why law graduate’s natural choice is not legal profession: CJI”Following last night’s incident, we had posted two constables outside De’s flat. Seeing them, De’s son Partho (45) reacted abnormally,”  said Pallab Kanti Ghosh, special additional commissioner of police (crime).The police had initially thought his behaviour was due to the grief of losing his father. But when they questioned Partho, he narrated a bizarre story of his father storing his sister’s skeleton and those of two pet dogs inside the house, Ghosh said. Also Read – Health remains key challenge in India’s development: KovindThe police conducted a search and found three skeletons allegedly belonging to his elder sister Debjani (50) and two dogs from one room and a suicide note purportedly written by the father from another room.The note dated June 8 this year said none was responsible for his death. Ghosh said that during interrogation Partho told the police that Debjani was depressed after the death of two dogs last year and had stopped eating. She died six months ago.”We found ample dry food near the skeletons, which Partho said he was feeding his sister and the dogs,” the ACP said.”We believe Partho could not accept his sister’s death and did not cremate her body. We have sent him to a mental hospital. We are taking medical help to ascertain whether he is mentally stable or not,” Ghosh said. No case has been registered in this connection.last_img read more

More copy masters in Sarod

first_imgThere are more “copy masters” and fewer trendsetters among those playing the sarod these days, laments maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, saying the focus for performers today is the “shining, glittering” world of television and social media. “Since they have access to content and recordings especially on YouTube, it’s easy for them to imitate any sarod player. So, now we have lots of copy masters in the country. The trendsetters are very, very rare,” the 72-year-old music guru said. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf”Globally, there are about 500 sarod players. Unfortunately, instead of learning and understanding the depth of Indian classical music, every sarod player has a very strong opinion,” he further explained being very sad about the present state. “The focus is only to perform because of the glittering, shining world of television and social media where you can post anything and say anything,” the sarod virtuoso maintained. Khan is sixth in the lineage of a family devoted to Indian classical music’s Senia Bangash Gharana. The 2001 Padma Vibushan recipient first performed when he was just six years old. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveKhan, who was trained by his father, Gwalior court musician Hafiz Ali Khan, said he couldn’t think of doing anything other than playing the sarod as its sound had a global appeal. “It was my duty, my pleasure, my passion to carry on the family tradition,” he said, referring to the work of the generations before him and his ambition to take it forward. “I wanted to make the canvas much larger, much bigger, and be more expressive on the Sarod,” the widely-heard musician added. He also pointed to the differences between his learning days and the present day. “I didn’t have access to tape-recorders because there was no money to buy them. There was no television; One could only hear music through All India Radio. “There used to be a very important programme on Saturday night which I heard, called the National Programme of Music,” he recalled. On teaching his own sons, Amaan Ali Bangash and Ayaan Ali Bangash — themselves established names in the field of sarod — the Ustad said that it was a big responsibility.”Teaching my own sons was not my decision. They showed interest and positive signs, and then I shared everything with them,” he said. “I tried to introduce music to Amaan, my elder son, from his very early days. I tried interesting methods to teach so that he doesn’t find it difficult.” Ayaan, his younger son, soon followed in his footsteps, and as per the music maestro, both of them are on the “right track” in life. After rendering the National Anthem on sarod, they recently turned to the bhajan “Vaishnav Jan To”, which Mahatma Gandhi held close to his heart. They rendered it an an HCL concert, part of a monthly series, here last week. His association with Gandhi goes back to his 125th birth anniversary, when he played an improvised ‘Baapu Cause’ ‘raga’ at a Unesco commemoration in Paris.IANSlast_img read more

State government to help slum dwellers fulfill dream of living in flats

first_imgKolkata: State Municipal Affairs minister Firhad Hakim said on Tuesday that slum dwellers residing in vacant government plots can now have their own dwellings in that place.”We have instructed the Block Land Revenue Officer (BLRO) that in places where slums have come up, government land that has been lying unutilised will be leased out and dwellings can come up under the government sponsored ‘Nijo Bhumi Nijo Griho’ scheme. Houses can also be constructed under the ‘Banglar Bari’ scheme,” Hakim said, while tabling the West Bengal Thika Tenancy (Acquisition and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2019, in the state Assembly. He stated that the decision has already received the approval of the state Cabinet. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataIt may be mentioned that over the years, most of the thika properties have either become dilapidated for various reasons or have gone under litigation, leaving no scope for development and reconstruction for improving the living conditions of the people, their safety and security. “The Bill empowers the tenant to build his own house by taking bank loans, or through the government’s ‘Banglar Bari’ Scheme,” Hakim said. He added that the dream of slum dwellers to live in flats can be fulfilled and in this context, the Bill can be regarded as historic. He asserted that sanction would also be given for G+4 buildings. He further stressed upon taking necessary measures to avoid “promoter raj” during enactment of the Act. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in state”The tenants’ right of the thika land will be upheld through this Act. We don’t want housing scams like the Dharavi Policy in Mumbai or similar scams in Gujarat,” he said. Hakim said that the Kolkata Municipal Corporation has conducted a survey with the thika controller and enlisted the amount of land under thika tenancy. According to sources, the move would benefit the inhabitants and tenants of the slum areas of Burrabazar, Ahritola, Jadavpur, Chetla and Topsia, wherein they would be able to build residential buildings on their own.last_img read more