first_imgDrivers in Nova Scotia, and those who repair their vehicles, will be better protected thanks to new regulations that require motor vehicle body repairers to obtain a certificate of qualification. The Department of Labour and Workforce Development was asked by the collision repair industry to implement compulsory certification in the trade. The move will improve workplace and public safety by helping ensure Nova Scotia’s motor vehicle body repairers are aware of current safety practices and are trained to a high industry standard. “Motor vehicle body repairers work on the vehicles that travel on the roads of this province every day,” said Labour and Workforce Development Minister Marilyn More. “We want to be sure proper and current technical and safety practices are being followed when repairing these vehicles, to better protect the repairers and the public.” Motor vehicle body repairers fix, restore, replace and refinish structural and non-structural parts on vehicles. They also repair some mechanical and electrical components, and restraint systems on vehicles damaged only in collisions. The change in status to a compulsory certified trade means only people with a certificate of qualification, a valid temporary permit or registered apprentices, will legally be permitted to work in the trade. To build the number of journeypersons in the trade, and in preparation for compulsory certification, the department began waiving fees in October 2007 and provided examination preparation courses for those who qualify to write the exam. Since that time, 101 motor vehicle body repairers have written the exam, with an 88 per cent pass rate. The fees will continue to be waived until Aug. 4, 2011. Enforcement will not begin until then, so those in the profession have time to write the exam. Practical exams are being developed for those who may have difficulty with a written exam. “In addition to increased safety, certification could lead to better employment opportunities and increased wages,” said Ms. More. “With a large number of tradespeople expected to retire over the next several years, this move will better equip industry and the province to meet the labour force needs of the future.” “Implementing compulsory certification in this trade is all about increasing safety for the motoring public in this province,” said Lindsay Gates, executive director, Collision Repair Association of Nova Scotia. “We are in full support of the move to specify this trade as a compulsory certified trade.” For more information about compulsory certification, visit .last_img read more

first_img “These inspections give us the opportunity to connect face-to-face with employers and workers to make sure they know their responsibilities when it comes to safety,” said Labour and Advanced Education Minister Kelly Regan. The department routinely conducts workplace inspections as part of its efforts to improve workplace safety. Officers have already reached the total number of targeted inspections conducted last year, more than 630 at over 500 workplaces, issuing 763 orders and 1,108 warnings. Occupational Health and Safety officers are making safety a top priority for landscaping workers this summer. Officers conducted unannounced inspections of more than 35 landscaping job sites across the province last week sharing information, raising awareness and checking compliance with workplace safety rules. Highlights of the blitz include: 37 inspections 88 orders issued for infractions including not using required personal protective equipment and lack of first-aid training 51 warnings for concerns like not having the proper first aid kit on sitelast_img read more

first_imgKolkata: With ISRO saying that Chandrayaan-2 lander ‘Vikram’ is unbroken but lying tilted on the surface of the Moon after a hard landing very close to the scheduled touchdown site, space researchers and scientists in the city say there is still hope. Space reseacher Debi Prasad Duari told reporters here it is good news that ‘Vikram’ has been located and everyone is keenly waiting for detailed information. Putting the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter on its path was a remarkable feat, he said. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaImages sent by the orbiter’s on-board camera showed that the lander is very close to the scheduled touchdown site. “So far we have heard it was not a case of soft landing. We do not know what is the condition inside the lander, but we know that ISRO scientists are making every bid to establish contact with it. “If different components of the lander can work as expected, if ISRO confirms that it remains unbroken and intact, that is a success in the true sense,” Duari, who is also director of M P Birla Planetarium, here said. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwaySpace scientist Sandip Chakraborty said bringing out of the rover ‘Pragyan’ from the lander and making it functional is crucial for the moon mission. “We should not give up hope (about the lander), let’s wait for more news,” he said. ‘Vikram’, which encases rover ‘Pragyan’ went out of contact during its final descent when it was just 2.1 km above the lunar surface in the early hours of September 7. Chandrayaan-2 comprises an orbiter, lander (Vikram) and rover (Pragyan).last_img read more

first_imgOn Thursday, October 27, Annie Lennox received The Lovie Person of the Year Award in recognition of her relentless use of social media to leverage her platform and outreach to create a better world for others.Gwendoline Christie, Presenter for Annie Lennox for Lovie Person of the YearThe Lovie Awards sighted Annie as an example that the Internet can be utilised as a highly effective tool to amplify messaging in terms of global advocacy and activism including her work supporting organisations such as Oxfam, Amnesty International, Comic Relief, Greenpeace, 46664, UNAIDS and The British Red Cross, among countless others, as well as promoting gender empowerment through the organisation she founded, The, for which Gwendoline Christie supports as an Ambassador.Annie was unable to attend, but the award was presented and accepted on Lennox’s behalf by Game of Thrones actress, Gwendoline Christie, who read a speech prepared by Annie.“The Internet is one of the most powerful visionary inventions ever created – and I think one of the ways it truly works best is when we use it to connect, inform and inspire engagement towards positive social and political transformation,” she said in her speech. “As a performer, communicator, advocate for women and girls and Global Feminist, I am awed by the extraordinary potential of technology ­ which has given me the opportunity to evolve from the semi Luddite I once was, to the absolute Lovie I have now become!”last_img read more

Speaking after two days of consultations with AU Commission Chairman Alpha Oumar Konaré and other AU and UN officials in New York, Mr. Ban reiterated his welcome of the Sudanese Government’s announcement confirming its support of the UN’s entire “heavy support package” to the existing AU peace force.But he stressed that the package must be implemented as soon as possible and called for the finalization of plans for the proposed hybrid UN-AU peacekeeping force in Darfur, where more than 200,000 people have been killed since 2003.“We have also agreed to intensify our political process,” Mr. Ban told reporters today in a press encounter with Mr. Konaré, adding that all rebel leaders in Darfur would be included in the process.“There will be a two-track approach: the political process and we are also trying to work on a development package for the Sudanese and Darfur people.”Mr. Ban and Mr. Konaré said they had instructed their respective envoys for Darfur, Jan Eliasson and Salim Ahmed Salim, to devise a road map towards substantive negotiations and an eventual comprehensive solution to the conflict.Rebel groups have been fighting Government forces and allied Janjaweed militias across Darfur, a vast and impoverished region in western Sudan, for four years. Aside from the massive death toll, more than 2 million people have been displaced from their homes and double that number depend on UN agencies or non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for aid.The conflict is threatening to spill into neighbouring Chad, where thousands of refugees from Darfur have fled, and the Central African Republic (CAR), and Mr. Ban and Mr. Konaré voiced concern at the increasing tensions between Sudan and Chad and urged the two countries to normalize relations and stop all cross-border activities.The UN and AU chiefs also called for the Sudanese Government and others to meet all their commitments under recent communiqués concerning humanitarian access and security.Under the heavy support package, the UN will supply troops, police officers, civilian staff, helicopter gunships and other resources to the AU mission in Darfur, known as AMIS. The following phase of the plan will see the introduction of a hybrid force of more than 17,000 troops and 3,000 police officers, compared with AMIS’ current level of 7,000 troops.They also expressed concern about funding for AMIS and urged international donors to help to provide a viable and sustained way of supporting the operation.Meanwhile, the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) reported that a fire broke out yesterday in the marketplace of a camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in North Darfur state, destroying about 100 shops.No casualties were reported at the fire, which took place at Abu Shouk camp, and the Mission said local police believed the blaze was started accidentally.AMIS is also investigating the weekend deaths of four children who were reportedly killed by unexploded ordnance in West Darfur. 17 April 2007The situation in Darfur has reached a crossroads, with dire humanitarian and security conditions, continued attacks against civilians and African Union (AU) peacekeepers, inter-tribal fighting and aerial bombardments, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned today as he called for an immediate end to hostilities and a comprehensive solution – including political reconciliation and economic development – to the conflict. read more

“After a year marked by the devastating earthquake of 12 January 2010, and the ongoing cholera epidemic, it is of paramount importance that the current political crisis is brought to a swift conclusion so that the Government and people of Haiti can focus on the challenges of reconstruction and recovery,” Under-Secretary-General Alain Le Roy told the Security Council.Thousands of protesters last month rampaged through the streets of Port-au-Prince, the capital, accusing the ruling government coalition of rigging the results, after tallies of the 28 November first round released by the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) put former first lady Mirlande Manigat and outgoing President Rene Préval’s party candidate Jude Celestin in first and second place, qualifying for the run-off.Popular musician Michel Martelly was less than one percentage point behind in third place, but excluded from the run-off between the two top-vote winners. Mr. Préval invited an Organization of American States (OAS) mission to assess the results, and its report, delivered 10 days ago, recommends putting Mr. Martelly in second place, thus eliminating Mr. Celestin, according to media accounts. These accounts say that Mr. Préval “has reservations” over the mission’s findings. “Having officially received the report of the OAS technical mission, the CEP must now honour its commitment to fully take into account the report’s recommendations with a view to ensuring that the results of the elections truly reflect the will of the Haitian people,” Mr. Le Roy said.“Should the CEP decide otherwise, Haiti may well be faced with a constitutional crisis, with the possibility of considerable unrest and insecurity. At this critical juncture, it is vital that the CEP be allowed to carry out its work without political interference,” he added, urging Member States to continue working with all parties “to ensure that CEP is able to steer the electoral process towards an outcome that is both credible and legitimate.”He told reporters afterwards that the 15-member body all agreed that the OAS mission’s recommendations should be followed. “Everyone expressed the need that the will of the people be respected,” he said.In his briefing Mr. Le Roy noted that for the time being, the overall security situation remains calm despite sporadic instances of violence, and he mentioned the return from exile earlier this week of former president Jean-Claude Duvalier, which media accounts have cited as a possible destabilizing factor.Earlier this week the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said there were major issues concerning human rights abuses that took place in Haiti during the 15 years that Mr. Duvalier was in power from 1971 to 1986.“In the critical days and weeks ahead, it is vital that the international community stand united in impressing upon all relevant actors in Haiti the need to set aside their narrow partisan interests and work towards a better future for their country,” he said.“Haiti is at a crossroads. The choices made in coming days will determine whether the country continues to move forward along the path to stability and long-term development. The recommendations of the OAS technical mission provide the elements of a path out the current crisis and merit our full support,” he added, pledging full UN support “to ensure that dialogue, and respect for the country’s laws and institutions ultimately prevail.”A peacekeeping mission, known by its French acronym MINUSTAH, currently with nearly 12,000 military and police personnel, has been on the ground in Haiti since mid-2004 after then president Jean-Bertrand Aristide went into exile amid violent unrest.Giving the Council an update on the humanitarian situation in the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos warned of the “urgent need for massive mobilization activities to promote prevention and early treatment” in the cholera epidemic, which has already infected almost 200,000 people and killed over 3,700 since October.She noted that Haiti has “ideal conditions” for cholera’s spread, with poor and non-existent water, sanitation, and healthcare infrastructure, population density especially in the urban slums, and lack of knowledge of how to prevent infections through hygienic steps.But the overall fatality rate has dropped from a peak of 9 per cent to around 2 per cent, indicating that while the infection is still spreading, treatment facilities and intensive public information campaigns on how to protect from the disease are working. She warned, however, that these efforts require stability in the country, adding: “If aid supplies and aid workers cannot move around freely, or if sick people cannot reach help in time, the fatality rate will quickly rise again.”On the earthquake, which killed 220,000 people and made 1.5 million others homeless, Ms. Amos said much had been achieved in the past year but 800,000 people are still in camps.“The relief effort has helped millions of people, but it has not – and will not – provide the long-term solutions which are desperately needed. Accelerating recovery efforts must be the absolute priority for 2011,” she cautioned. “It is important to still be realistic about how long it is going to take to get everybody to where they want and need to be. We cannot expect that Haiti, the poorest and least developed country in the Western Hemisphere before the earthquake, will be rebuilt in one year or even two. Humanitarian agencies are prepared to stand beside the poorest and most vulnerable Haitian people for as long as it takes to recover.” 20 January 2011Haiti’s electoral council must take full account of an international mission’s findings, reportedly eliminating the Government candidate from the presidential run-off, or face the prospect of considerable unrest, the United Nations peacekeeping chief warned today. read more

Tokyo’s newly appointed chief prosecutor has defended his office’s handling of the case against former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn, saying everything is being carried out properly under Japanese law.Tetsuya Sogi told reporters at the Tokyo Prosecutors Office on Tuesday that trial preparations are progressing, and defended a court-ordered ban on contact between Ghosn and his wife, Carole.Asked about criticisms of Japan’s criminal justice system as “hostage justice,” referring to prolonged detentions of suspects possibly leading to false confessions, Sogi said he didn’t really understand what that meant.Ghosn, charged with underreporting his income and breach of trust, says he is innocent.Ghosn’s wife is not a suspect, but prosecutors say prohibiting contact is needed to prevent evidence tampering.A trial date has not been set.The Associated Press read more

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by The Associated Press Posted Apr 12, 2013 12:06 pm MDT NEW YORK, N.Y. – Energy and mining company stocks are sliding in midday trading as prices for crude oil and other commodities fall sharply.The broader market also fell, but not as much.The Dow Jones industrial average was down 46 points at 14,818 at midday Friday, a loss of 0.3 per cent. In the first four days of the week the Dow had risen 300 points, or 2 per cent.The Standard & Poor’s 500 fell nine points, or 0.6 per cent, to 1,583. The Nasdaq fell 19 points, also 0.6 per cent, to 3,280.Halliburton and other energy companies fell sharply as the price of crude oil dropped $2 to $91 a barrel.Miners including Barrick Gold and Newmont Mining fell as gold plunged below $1,500 an ounce, the lowest since July 2011. Slumping prices for oil, other commodities drag down stocks of energy and materials companies read more

Drilling association says industry is “on life support” The summer of 2016 is not going to be a happy one for those still looking for work in the energy patch.Even though prices have firmed up a little in recent weeks, there is no indication as to when activity in terms of exploration might pick up. The president of the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors says his industry is “on life support” and he’s concerned about the immediate and long term future.“We’ve seen some stabilization in commodity prices, which is good, I think we’re moving in the right direction. But we’re definitely not out of the woods at this point,” says Mark Scholz.Scholz thinks it could be another year before drilling activity picks up, and when it does, service companies are going to have a tough time rebuilding their workforce.“(It’s) going to exacerbate the situation on the upside, which is we’re going to have a very difficult time trying to find people to get back onto the rigs and back to work,” he says.Scholz says rig utilization numbers are hovering around historic lows, many workers who in the past rode out down cycles are now considering getting out of the industry all together. by Posted Jun 25, 2016 11:43 am MDT Last Updated Jun 25, 2016 at 11:45 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

When asked about Major League Baseball’s interest in restricting defensive shifts, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle recalled that when he was growing up in Merritt Island, Florida, they were often short on players for neighborhood games. Hurdle said they would arbitrarily cut the field in half to solve the problem. “Sometimes we’d shut down the pull field. … We just would do it to change the game and realized we learned how to hit the ball the other way,” said Hurdle. “What the shifts are telling hitters is, ‘Here’s what you do. Where is your counterpunch? Where is your answer?’”Many coaches, commentators and baseball observers have asked the same question, bemoaning batters’ seeming inability to adjust to opponents’ shifts — the tactic of moving defensive players out of their usual position to overload one side of the infield, a strategy that has proliferated across the sport in the past decade. The shifts have also become one of the most conspicuous on-field byproducts of baseball’s data age as more and more teams decide how to align their defenses using actual batted-ball data. In December, The Athletic’s Jayson Stark reported that MLB commissioner Rob Manfred had “strong” backing from baseball’s competition committee to limit defensive shifts. Texas Rangers slugger Joey Gallo’s Christmas wish was to see shifts banned.But in all the hand-wringing over the shift, one detail has been overlooked: Batters have adjusted, and they’ve done it without league intervention or legislation. What’s more, there’s reason to believe shifts are actually encouraging increasingly efficient offensive behavior.Shifts have grown at a staggering rate. In 2011, defenses deployed the shift — counting both the traditional (three infielders to one side of second base) and non-traditional varieties — during 3,065 major league plate appearances that ended with a ball being put into play,1Shifts can only be tracked on when the ball is put into play, so shifts deployed on strikeouts, walks and home runs aren’t included in any of the data used for this article, nor are any shifts that were deployed during an at-bat but taken off before the batter put the ball into play. according to Baseball Info Solutions data housed at FanGraphs. That’s only 2.6 percent of all at-bats where balls were put in play. The number of plate appearances where hitters faced the shift has increased every year since, save for 2017. Last season, batters faced the shift in a record 40,730 total plate appearances ending on balls in play — that’s about 34 percent of such plate appearances.The era of the shift has coincided with a league-wide decline in batting average, though that is more a product of the record strikeout rates in recent years as fewer and fewer balls are put in play, as batting averages on balls that are put into play has remained steady despite all the shifting, as you can see on the chart below. Not all hitters try to adapt — Bryce Harper, for example, has a career 1.4 ground-ball-to-fly-ball ratio both when facing a shift and when not facing a shift. But those who do, Joey Votto, tend to go high. Votto’s career ratio when not facing a shift is 1.57 ground balls to fly balls, but that drops to 1.44 against the shift.“I’ve tried to avoid the right side of the infield shift,” Votto said in 2017. “I’m not excited about hitting balls to that side because I could hammer a one-hopper to the second baseman or shortstop, or whoever they have stationed over there. … Personally, I embrace the fly-ball thing just because of that reason.”The average launch angle of a batted ball has increased in every year of the Statcast era,2 Since 2015, when Statcast tracking technology was installed in all major league ballparks. rising gradually from 10.1 degrees in 2015 to 11.7 in 2018. But with the shift on, batters are even more likely to hit the ball in the air. The average launch angle against the shift last season was 14.7 degrees, a notable jump up from 13.1 in 2015.In addition to MLB-wide trends, I looked at the behavior of the regularly shifted-upon batters in 2018 to see how their approaches changed.3Batters who put at least 40 balls in play against shifts in each of the last two seasons. This group combined for a 42.5 percent ground-ball rate when facing shifts and a 44.1 percent rate when not facing shifts.“Is that [banning the shift] going to produce more batting average? Maybe,” said Houston Astros manager A.J. Hinch at the winter meetings. “More runs? Debatable. A more energized and entertaining game? I doubt it.”Left-handed hitters are an interesting study since they now put more balls in play with the shift on (26,076 last season vs. shift) than off (23,214 against no form of shift).Last season, left-handed batters hit for a higher average (.300), greater slugging percentage (.388) and lower ground-ball rate (44.0 percent) when the shift was on compared to when there was no shift (.295 average, .380 slugging mark, 45.7 groundball rate). And because Baseball Info Solutions can only track shift data when a ball is put into play, those stats do not include home runs, since they are not in play.In some ways, the shift has backfired. Batters have an incentive to hit more balls in the air, and balls hit in the air are more valuable. When batters faced a shift last season, 5.2 percent of balls they put in play went for a home run. When they didn’t face a shift, 4.1 percent of balls went for home runs, according to Statcast data.While more batters try to go over shifts, they are not always going to the air in the most optimized manner. Every hitter who has faced a shift has probably been advised to try to go the other way. And as a result, the percentage of batters pulling line drives and fly balls against the shift has fallen off notably since 2010, from a 31.5 percent pull rate in 2010 to 26.2 percent in 2018. But by going the other way, batters might actually be hurting themselves. They are purposely avoiding the most valuable batted ball in baseball: a pulled ball in the air.Consider that in 2018, 32.7 percent of fly balls to a batter’s pull side went for home runs, compared to 8.1 percent of fly balls to center field and 3.8 percent to the opposite field. Batters across the league had a .429 average and 1.514 slugging percentage on fly balls hit to the pull side and a .135 average and .324 slugging mark on balls hit to the opposite field. That’s not much more valuable than a ground ball. Last season, MLB batters hit .236 and had a .258 slugging percentage on ground balls.Many have made the case for batters facing the shift to simply bunt more often. After all, batters have hit at least .357 when bunting against a shift every season since 2010. Would bunting be more effective than, say, trying to go over the shift? Not for most batters.According to weighted runs created plus (wRC+) — a metric that adjusts for ballpark and scoring environments, with 100 representing league average — batters produced a 53 wRC+ mark on bunts against all shift types last season compared to a 127 wRC+ mark when putting the ball in the air against shifts.Batters seem to be unwilling to sacrifice potential power in pursuit of infield bunt singles. The percentage of at-bats against the shift where the batter bunted has fallen four straight years, from 2.92 percent (2015) to 2.12 percent (2016), 1.88 percent (2017) and 1.73 percent (2018).One other issue: Teams are pitching less effectively to the shift.As more and more batters use an uppercut swing to better combat sinking fastballs, which are designed to produce ground balls, the percentage of sinkers thrown has decreased. Sinkers represented 22.4 percent of all pitches thrown in 2010. Last year? 16.9 percent.The shift will always be effective against pull-side ground balls and low line drives. Batters who hit those batted ball types often, especially left-handed hitters, can see their batting average drop. But more and more batters might be learning to combat the shift. When factoring in all batted ball types — not just grounders and low liners — the MLB batting average on balls in play has remained stagnant. In 2010 — a relatively shift-free season — league-wide batting average on balls in play for all defensive configurations was .297. Last season? .296. The figure has held relatively steady even while scoring and slugging have increased, despite the growing use of shifts. Maybe shifts aren’t such a problem after all.“The beauty of the game is all the strategies that we can employ,” Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell said at the winter meetings. So “attacking strategies to win baseball games, man, I just don’t see that as improving the game.” While shift usage has grown dramatically, there’s evidence that batters have adjusted by going over the shift, which reduced the overall effectiveness of the shift across baseball.In 2011, batters hit ground balls 53.2 percent of the time when they put a ball in play against the shift. Last season that number was 43.9 percent, which is the lowest such rate since at least 2010, the first year for which data is available on FanGraphs. When batters are not facing shifts, ground-ball rates have remained steady. Batters had a 45.9 percent ground-ball rate in 2011 when not facing a shift and a 45.9 percent ground-ball mark last season. You can see the divergence in strategies in the following chart. The drop in ground-ball rates against the shift suggests that more players are trying to bypass the infielders altogether by knocking one over their heads. read more

first_imgUpdated at 11.15pmNEED TO CATCH up? brings you a round-up of today’s news…Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern — amongst the mourners today at the funeral of Edward Haughey [Brian Lawless/PA Wire] Ukrainian sailors leave the Konstantin Olshansky navy ship in the bay of Donuzlav, Crimea [Pavel Golovkin/AP/PA Images]WORLD#PLANE: Malaysia’s Prime Minister said he could confirm Flight MH370 went down in the Indian Ocean, west of Perth.#CRIMEA: Ukraine ordered its outnumbered troops out of the Crimea region (above).#WASHINGTON: 108 people are still missing after a mudslide near Seattle.INNOVATIONTurks are still finding ways to Tweet, despite a controversial ban [BBC]And eight-year-old Kelly McCabe won the Doodle 4 Google contestPARTING SHOTOver half a million euro sounds a little pricey for a camera, right?Especially a camera from 1971…The Hasselblad 500 sold at auction over the weekend had a unique selling point however. It had been to the moon and back. [Yahoo News][Image: Galerie Westlicht]First posted at 9.05pm Gerry Adams again insisted he played no part in Jean McConville’s murder Edward Haughey was laid to restA woman died in a crash on the N6A massive radio conference took placeThere was “disgust” over a dog abuser’s court sentenceThe IMO claimed whistleblowers were being gaggedDublin councillors voted ‘yay‘ for a mayor plebisciteAnd Cork councillors voted to honour Michael D HigginsAnd there was an appeal for 1,000 shaggy sheep… It emerged the man who raped two children in Athlone is appealing his sentenceThe Taoiseach refused to answer questions on the Callinan controversySentencing was delayed in the case of a mother who killed her sonA student who suffered a head injury playing rugby was awarded €2.75m [RTE]€50,000 of khat was seized in Corklast_img read more

first_imgSEVERAL EX-SOLDIERS, THEIR families, and widows of deceased members will hold a protest tomorrow outside Leinster House as part of a battle against eviction from the Curragh Camp.These residents live in housing that was provided by the Department of Defence to serving members of the Defence Forces.A policy change almost two decades ago stated that they must leave these properties when they were no longer serving members of the military.However, this was never implemented, with residents, referred to as “overholders” continuing to live at the camp and pay rent.“These people are now elderly, retired, living on military pensions, they don’t have anywhere else to go,” local independent councillor Joanne Pender told, “they can’t afford private rental accommodation.There was a duty of care from the Department of Defence, [residents] thought they were going to provide housing for the soldiers but now they’ve left it 17 years. Pender said one resident has been living at the camp for 55 years.“When you’ve been living there for a long period you’re almost institutionalised, having spent your whole live in the bubble that is the Curragh Camp. You never have to leave for anything.“They’re expecting elderly people to pick that all up and go somewhere else,” she said.The Department of Defence is expected to address the issue tomorrow morning, when Junior Minister Paul Kehoe will answer a number of questions in the Dáil on the issue.The former Minister for Defence Alan Shatter explained in the Dáil last month that that “the properties are in a very poor state and that the estimated cost of the repairs necessary to make them suitable as accommodation is simply prohibitive”.While the outcome of the assessment is still under consideration, it is clear that any renovation would be very costly, would only deliver eight to nine viable units and would be very limited in terms of future military needs.Previously in May, when Socialist TD Clare Daly called on the minister to end these evictions, Shatter said that  ”in accordance with normal procedures, [the Department is] seeking vacant possession of married quarters which are being overheld and will continue to do so until the overholding issue is resolved.”“I cannot support the illegal occupation of military property by those who have no entitlement,” he said.Read: Taoiseach to meet the troops serving in Lebanon >last_img read more

first_img Image: Shutterstock/sharshonm Share Tweet Email4 Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article ‘Catastrophic failure’: Scientists have worked out why your shoelaces keep coming undone The mechanics of how laces unfurl have never been thoroughly examined. Until now. 21,510 Views By AFP Short URL A MYSTERY AS old as laced shoes was unravelled by experiments that reveal how shoestrings come undone when we are on the move.“The failure of the knot happens in a matter of seconds, often without warning, and is catastrophic,” scientists reported in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society A.The researchers meant “catastrophic” in a technical sense of complete, or total collapse – once the loosening begins, there’s no stopping it.But while the cost of a straggling shoelace is rarely higher than a scraped knee or the time it takes to bend down and retie a bow, sometimes the consequences can be devastating.Lace-related accidents dot local media around the world: the van driver who killed a motorcyclist when his shoestring – wound tight around the accelerator – prevented him from lifting his foot off the gas; the boy whose leg got pulled into the gears of an escalator; the cyclist who went head-over-handlebars into traffic.Millions of shoelaces surely come unfurled every day, and yet the mechanics of that process had never been thoroughly examined.To tackle the enigma, a trio of mechanical engineers at the University of California at Berkeley filmed a knot – on the shoe of a researcher running on a treadmill – coming undone in extreme slow motion.The images suggested a two-pronged attack on the knot’s integrity.A double whammy “When running, your foot strikes the ground at seven times the force of gravity,” stretching and relaxing the knot, said co-author Christine Gregg, a graduate student.And then – as the knot relaxes – the legs swings into motion, applying additional force.“A double whammy of stomping and whipping forces acts like an invisible hand, loosening the knot and then tugging on the free ends of your laces until the whole thing unravels,” the researchers explained in a statement.center_img Apr 15th 2017, 9:30 PM Image: Shutterstock/sharshonm Source: The Royal Society Follow-up tests with a mechanical foot-and-leg showed that some laces were better than others, but none were impervious to failure.Of the two most commonly used knots to tie shoes, one is “weak” and the other “strong,” the study found.The strong version is based on a square knot, which is more symmetrical, while the so-called “false” knot twists when tightened rather than lying flat.Both fail in the same way, but one takes longer than the other.“We were able to show that the weak knot will always fail and the strong knot will fail at a certain time scale,” said professor Oliver O’Reilly, whose lab conducted the experiments.“But we still do not understand why there’s a fundamental mechanical difference,” he added, leaving another knotty mystery to be solved.© – AFP, 2017Read: Sean Spicer just said even Hitler ‘didn’t sink to using chemical weapons’Read: United Airlines boss apologises again after calling passenger ‘disruptive and belligerent’ 27 Comments Saturday 15 Apr 2017, 9:30 PMlast_img read more

first_img7:46 a.m.: TriMet says its crews have managed to get the derailed train back onto the tracks and is working to move it out of the way so service can resume.The agency has some shuttle buses but encourages riders to consider taking the regular bus service.“We are also making progress with restoring service, but continue to warn riders to be prepared for possible major delays,” according to TriMet spokeswoman Roberta Altstadt.MAX trains are running in the following sections with about 20 minutes between trains:• Orange Line between SE Park Ave and Union Station• Blue Line between Hillsboro and Goose Hollow• Blue Line between Gateway Transit Center and Gresham• Red Line between Gateway Transit Center and Portland International Airport• Green Line between Gateway Transit Center and Clackamas Town Center.Trains are not running between Goose Hollow and Rose Quarter Transit Center.6:08 a.m.: MAX trains are running between the Rose Quarter Transit Center and Gresham.A TriMet MAX train moving from the Blue Line to the Yellow Line derailed early Friday near the Rose Quarter, wreaking havoc on the morning commute.The train was moving slowly through a little-used portion of the track to reach the Yellow Line at Interstate/Rose Quarter, transit officials said. Ice had built up on the track, causing the train to derail.The section of track where the train derailed is typically used during late night and early morning hours.The train remains upright; no one was injured.MAX service is disrupted through downtown Portland, between Goose Hollow and Gateway Transit Center, and on the entire Orange/Yellow alignment.The latest on MAX service:• Blue Line between Hillsboro and Goose Hollow• Blue Line between Gateway Transit Center and Gresham• Red Line between Gateway Transit Center and Portland International Airport• Green Line between Gateway Transit Center and Clackamas Town Center.last_img read more

first_img Updated: 5:29 PM 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsAmong the specifics, a restriction of two such rentals for an individual owner city-wide, with the exception of Mission Beach, which, because of its nature, tourism, will have no such limits. The primary residence can be rented out for up to six months a year while a secondary can be year-round, but the stays require a three-night minimum in the beach communities and downtown.What’s more, the estimated 3,600 such residences in the city would have to be registered, which includes an annual fee of $949. What makes this plan different than the ones that have failed before, according to Elyse Lowe, the city’s Director of Land Use and Economic Development , is that it’s not in the land development code; the license would be issued by the Treasurer”s Office, in the code involving public safety, morals and welfare.A recurring theme both during the presentation and reporters’ questions afterward is that code compliance will be robust, including 16 new code compliance enforcement people.KUSI’s Ed Lenderman was reporting live all morning on Good Morning San Diego. His last live hit before going to the Mayor’s press conference can be seen below. Ed Lenderman, June 14, 2018 Mayor Faulconer announces short-term rental regulations for San Diego Ed Lenderman center_img Categories: Good Morning San Diego, Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) — Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced Thursday what he said was a framework for the city’s first-ever regulation of short-term rentals after the Council repeatedly failed to come up with a consensus on an issue that has divided the city and neighborhoods for years.The Mayor says the plan is fair and balanced and as importantly, establishes a framework for clear rules of the road. While Mr. Faulconer uses the word framework, his spokesperson says the specific ordinance language that will be put forth in the coming days is designed to get a majority Council vote on short-term rentals on July 16th. 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave Settings Posted: June 14, 2018last_img read more

first_imgIn her last six months in office, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said she would keep both the Pentagon and Congress focused on the need to boost the service’s end strength to as many as 325,000 airmen.The Air Force’s active-duty end strength is slated to increase from its current level of 311,000 to 317,000 by October, but to relieve an overworked force and to expand capabilities in cyber and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions, additional personnel will be needed, James said.“I am absolutely certain that we need somewhere on the order of 321,000 to 325,000 active-duty airmen,” James told Air Force Times last week. “It would be fantastic to have more than that. If we could have that many, though, I think it would go an enormous way to helping with some of the strain that we are feeling.”Additional personnel would help address the severe shortage in maintainers, an occupation that is about 4,000 airmen short. An increase in end strength also would boost the number of pilots and other personnel needed to fly unmanned aerial systems, as well as cyber and nuclear missile airmen.In May, then-Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh said the Air Force needs between 40,000 and 60,000 additional airmen to fulfill all of the missions it is being asked to carry out. “Every problem we have in growing, in modernizing, increasing mission capability, is manpower related,” Welsh said.James said reaching an active-duty end strength of 325,000 is an achievable goal, according to the story. “It is a blend of what I consider to be realism, as well as what I think will go a long way to helping our Air Force regain some readiness health,” she said. Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more

first_imgProbably a bad idea to ignore this sign. Barry King A tongue-in-cheek Facebook event to “storm Area 51” and “see them aliens” has now attracted almost 1 million attendees, launching a cavalcade of memes and hilarity not seen since the Yanny and Laurel incident of 2018. However, a spokeswoman for the US Air Force discouraged the would-be raiders from coming into the area in a statement to the Washington Post. Area 51, which is a remote and highly classified installation that forms part of Nellis Air Force Complex in Nevada, has long captured the attention of conspiracy theorists because of the intense secrecy surrounding its purpose. Speculation runs rampant that alien technology may be hidden within the base — which is why, in the year 2019, we now have a meme-fueled Facebook event to finally get inside.”If we Naruto run, we can move faster than their bullets,” reads the event description, referring to Naruto Uzumaki, the spiky-haired ninja from Japanese manga series Naruto. As the science editor at CNET, it’s important for me to add a disclaimer here: The Naruto run does not allow you to run faster than bullets — and even if it did, the US Air Force is ready to respond to any potential human invasion. Now playing: Watch this: Speaking to the Washington Post Friday, US Air Force spokeswoman Laura McAndrews said the Air Force is aware of the event before issuing an ominous warning to anyone who may try to mimic a Japanese anime ninja as they storm the facility.”The US Air Force always stands ready to protect America and its assets,” she said.The Air Force didn’tt immediately respond to a request for comment.The Facebook event is scheduled to take place on Sept. 20. Though the raid is just a wonderful use of Facebook’s event planning platform to produce a meme we can all get behind, I feel it is important to stress this is not a legitimate attempt to overpower the might of the US military at an active Air Force Complex where the armed forces are stationed.Keep the memes comin’ though. 5:27 Facebook Share your voice Sci-Tech Online 41 weird objects seen on Mars, explained 15 Secrets of Area 51: The alien controversy Tags 43 Photos Commentslast_img read more

first_imgBiman logoThe civil aviation and tourism ministry wants to turn the Biman Bangladesh Airlines into a corporation again.The ministry is working to implement a set of recommendations made by a committee formed on 2 February this year to transform the company into a corporation.The committee, led by additional secretary Abul Hasnat Mohammad Ziaul Haque, has also advised the authorities to bring the airlines back to the direct supervision of the ministry.The Biman was made a company in 2007 during the caretaker government regime, following continuous losses and irregularities.The authorities transformed it into a company to keep the organisation free from any influence of the ministry, handing over all policy-making authorities to its board of directors.Following the transformation, Biman made profits for two consecutive years.However, it plunged into losses again in 2009, despite adding Boeing-777 to its fleet.Civil aviation and tourism minister Rashed Khan Menon said, “We have received a set of recommendations from the committee. Transforming the company into a corporation again is an important decision. That’s why we are preparing a summary before seeking the prime minister’s decision.”Biman chairman Enamul Bari said, “I do not know whether the government wants to make Biman a corporation or not. It is a business of the government. How the government will do this business, it depends on them. Whatever the government decides, I have to accept it as the chairman of the company.”The committee on 5 October submitted the report making 13 long-term and 20 of short-term recommendations.*The article originally published in Prothom Alo Bangla edition is rewritten in English by Toriqul Islam.last_img read more

first_imgFormer Egyptian prime minister Ahmed Shafiq addressing a press conference in Cairo. AFP file photoUAE officials on Saturday deported former Egyptian premier and presidential hopeful Ahmed Shafiq from the Gulf country he had been living in since 2012 to Egypt after he announced his candidacy in upcoming elections, two of his aides told AFP.Shafiq landed in Cairo airport on Saturday evening and quickly left to an unknown destination, an airport official said. His relatives told AFP almost six hours after his arrival that they did not know his whereabouts.The move comes days after Shafiq, in exile in the UAE since 2012, announced his candidacy in next year’s election and then said he was being prevented from leaving the country, angering his Emirati hosts.The UAE state news agency WAM had reported that Shafiq left the country for Egypt, while his family stayed behind, but did not mention that he had been deported.Shafiq, a former army general appointed as prime minister by Hosni Mubarak, had narrowly lost an election to Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2012, a year after Mubarak’s overthrow.He was placed on trial after the polls on corruption charges and acquitted, and one of Shafiq’s lawyers said last year that he was free to return to Egypt.One aide said she witnessed officials arriving at his Abu Dhabi house and was told that Shafiq, seen as a main challenger to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, would be deported to Egypt on a private plane.“They took him from the house and put him on a private plane. They said he would go back to Cairo, because they can deport him only to his home country,” she said.Another aide confirmed to AFP that he would be deported to Cairo, and his lawyer Dina Adly wrote on Facebook that Shafiq had been “arrested” to be sent home.After his arrival, relatives said they had lost touch with him. “We don’t know where he is, he hasn’t called anyone, even his lawyer,” said one.An aide had previously said Shafiq would leave the UAE over the weekend for France and other European countries before returning to Egypt.After he announced his candidacy on Wednesday, pro-government media and some officials assailed Shafiq, who is seen as the only challenger to Sisi with even a remote chance of winning a large number of votes.Sisi certain to runAnother tentative candidate, leftist Khaled Ali, is facing legal troubles that may prevent him from registering, while a hitherto unknown army colonel has also announced his candidacy.Sisi, a former army chief who toppled Morsi in 2013 following mass protests against the Islamist, won an election in 2014.He is certain to run in next year’s election, although he has not formally announced his candidacy yet.The authorities under Sisi had launched a bloody crackdown on Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood group that extended to secular and non-Islamist dissidents as well.Sisi has undertaken tough economic reforms that saw the Egyptian pound lose more than half its value while inflation sky rocketed, supported by an IMF $12 billion loan.Yet he remains popular with many Egyptians who, wearied by years of tumult that decimated tourism and foreign investment, say the country needs a firm leader.Egypt is also battling a deadly Islamic State group insurgency that the army has struggled to put out.Last month, suspected Islamic State group gunmen massacred more than 300 worshippers in a Sinai peninsula mosque, provoking outrage in Egypt but also questions on why the Sufi-associated mosque had been unguarded after receiving threats from the IS extremists.last_img read more