New Delhi: Universities are autonomous bodies and there is no compulsion on them to teach any particular subject, the University Grants Commission (UGC) on Wednesday said.The UGC’s comments comes in the wake of a row triggered by allegations from Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU), which on Monday said the varsity was trying to impose Hindi by making it a compulsory subject at the undergraduate BA and B Tech courses. Amid JNUSU allegations, the varsity had Tuesday asserted that it is “unfortunate” that such “misinformation” has been circulated and had said the discussion on the matter has been deferred. Also Read – Cong may promise farm loan waiver in HaryanaThe JNU had said such “irresponsible” statements are “undesirable and condemnable” and clarified that the varsity has not taken any such decision. “Universities are autonomous bodies and any decision to teach any particular subject is up to them. There is no compulsion,” said UGC Secretary Rajnish Jain. “The idea behind the letter sent to universities in October 2018 was to seek suggestions about teaching of Hindi in universities and not to mandate it,” Jain said. Also Read – Modi formed OBC commission which earlier govts didn’t do: ShahJNUSU had earlier said one of the agenda items of the the 151st meeting of the academic council held last Friday pertained to “making Hindi a compulsory subject at undergraduate level for BA and BTech courses”. Referring to this, the JNU on Tuesday had clarified that the agenda item was related to discussion on a 2018 letter from UGC seeking views on Hindi as possible course in undergraduate programmes. The CPI(M) had on Tuesday alleged that “the efforts of the UGC to “push” Hindi as a compulsory subject in undergraduate courses will stir up a hornets’ nest among other linguistic groups and affect the unity of the country”. Earlier this month, amid a controversy over the recommendation of an HRD Ministry panel to teach Hindi in non-Hindi speaking states, a revised draft education policy was issued by the Ministry that did not have a mention of the language being compulsory. The DMK and other parties in Tamil Nadu had strongly opposed the three-language formula in the draft National Education Policy and alleged that it was tantamount to thrusting the Hindi language.
Back in January, UP Cannabis, one of the country’s budding (sorry) legal marijuana producers, nailed down an agreement with The Feldman Agency, a major talent booking organization whose roster includes everyone from Alessia Cara and the Barenaked Ladies to Our Lady Peace and Michael Bublé.In addition to getting gigs for its clients, Feldman also specializes in brand integration projects. So, could Feldman help UP get deeper into the music space? Absolutely.As with alcohol, music and marijuana have always gone together. If Molson can sponsor a tour and Budweiser can have a venue named after it, why couldn’t another legal, government-regulated recreational ingestible product do the same? Jean Richer, senior vice president of sales and marketing, wants UP to head in this direction. After all, this was part of his job when he worked as a market manager for AB InBev, the massive Belgian-Brazilian beer consortium. Advertisement Advertisement Advertisement Facebook Login/Register With: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitter
CHARLOTTETOWN – The 24-year-old Chinese man sits down at a living room table in Charlottetown, and begins to fill a page of legal-sized paper with diagrams and notes.He is explaining life as an employee at two businesses set up under P.E.I.’s controversial business immigration system.First, there was the trading company that required he pay high-priced rent of $1,500 for a small apartment belonging to the firm’s owner, largely using up his $2,000 salary, he says, drawing arrows back and forth on the page.He shows each bank transaction for the payments on his smart phone.Then, there was the more recent job at a service firm, where the owner asked him to return about $500 monthly of his salary, he added, drawing a circle around the “two hours a day,” to emphasize what he’d be returning in cash.“When I refused, they just fired me,” he said during an interview. “I felt angry about that. They promised me that I would be hired until December … I need the job experience to apply (for Canadian permanent residency).”Each job became a disillusioning blow for a young immigrant who couldn’t rely on anyone back in China to send him cash. Without money, he ate modestly and took a graveyard shift job at a hotel to survive, he says. Recently, he says he found a job with a company that isn’t asking him for money.He is one of two international students interviewed by The Canadian Press who say the alleged abuses occurred at two different startup firms created by immigrants who came to the Island through the provincial nominee program since it was redesigned five years ago.Both Chinese students spoke on the condition of anonymity, saying they feared losing their current jobs and ostracization in P.E.I.’s close-knit Asian community for speaking about a program that’s brought hundreds to the Island’s small but growing immigrant communities.A third foreign student at the University of Prince Edward Island says he too gives a portion of his pay back to his employer, but does it willingly.“If I don’t give the money back to them, they will hire some local better workers, better than me, then I don’t get to stay in P.E.I. anymore. I really like this place, therefore I am willing to do this with my employer,” he wrote in an email.All three foreign students say the practice is not isolated, and they have friends who have felt pressure to do the same thing — or have agreed to the practice.“Lots of my classmates did this before and some are doing it now. But all for the same reason. We want our permanent residency card, to stay in Canada, have a better life and future. We can make those money back later,” wrote the third student.The Canadian Press is not naming the companies involved so as not to identify the employees.The provincial nominee businesses are set up after the would-be immigrants commit to a minimum investment of $150,000 and annual spending of at least $75,000.If companies operate for an agreed period of time, usually a year, the province may refund the $150,000 business escrow deposit.The province has said the program has gradually helped attract a fresh wave of much-needed people to the Island and is resulting in some success stories, even if last year over half of all the 269 applicants forfeited their deposit and never opened a business.However, critics have argued the system — referred to on the Island as “PNP” businesses — has a poor track record in retaining immigrants, and is encouraging business immigrants to use the Island as a side-door entry point to larger Canadian centres. Meanwhile, the province has collected $18 million last year in forfeitures — roughly equivalent to half of this year’s increase in infrastructure spending.The two students interviewed say one dark side to the program is that some entrepreneurs may look for various methods of reducing or retaining their required expenses — such as telling young people in need of work to hand back some of their wages.For the second student, a young woman in her 20s who asked to be driven to a restaurant so she’s not spotted speaking to a reporter, the practice of being asked for about $300 of her pay to be returned in cash was identical to the first student.She said she had initially found work in the fast food sector after graduating from UPEI, but the money was better at a PNP company.She said she agreed to give the owners back about $300 monthly, about an eighth of her wages, in cash, and that she felt sullied by the practice.“I don’t like this but it’s hard for me to find another job at that time,” she said.At Robbie’s Store on University Avenue in Charlottetown, Dexter Liu, an international student from China who recently graduated from UPEI, sits at the counter of a shop created under the provincial nominee program.The shop sells an array of toy tops, along with an assortment of hardware items ranging from hammers to tape. Its wares are extremely similar to goods sold at a store next door owned by another provincial nominee.Liu said he made five sales that day, about typical for most of his shifts.“More and more Chinese people come here, and improve the economy of P.E.I. But some of provincial nominee program (candidates), to be honest, stay here for one year and then they move to another place,” he said.Asked about whether students must agree to give back their wages, he said that’s not the case and that his boss gives him his full wages and pays for gas expenses for out-of-town trips.“I don’t think it’s happening a lot. In my job, my boss gave me all of the money,” he said during an interview.Heath MacDonald, the minister of Economic Development in Prince Edward Island, said in an interview that his department wants to hear directly from any students experiencing the alleged abuses.“We do have checks and balances in place,” he said in an interview at his office.A follow-up email from his office said: “We take these concerns very seriously and we have a number of safeguards in place. We will explore additional measures in the full knowledge that there is always room for review and improvement.”“Anyone with a concern or a complaint is encouraged to contact the Office of Immigration or the employment standards division. All complaints will be investigated and the identity of the individual will be protected until such time as their testimony may be required.”The department says it provides newcomers with information about Canadian laws, “so that they have a sense of what is right and what is wrong, and so they know what to do if they think they are being treated improperly.”Employment standards officers make presentations to the P.E.I. Association for Newcomers to Canada, and information brochures and posters in several languages are made available.“We will be launching a ‘tips’ website with information on who to contact and what sort of information is required if a newcomer believes they are being treated improperly. That’s in addition to what we already provide,” said the email.Paul Yin, the president of the Canadian Chinese Association of Prince Edward Island, said further actions need to be taken to ensure that students don’t have to give their pay back to PNP owners.“I think this is serious,” said Yin, who came to the Island through the program and operated a flower shop.“It’s the first time he heard of that situation. It’s no good. It’s bad,” he added, speaking through a translator.“The Chinese P.E.I. Association can release this information … to our community that this is against the law and nobody should do that again.”Abbey MacPherson, director of the Office of Immigration, said she has 10 employees who can play a role in enforcement and there are both announced and unannounced checks on the companies.But for the young man who spoke to The Canadian Press, coming forward isn’t an option until he has managed to obtain enough work to gain his permanent residency, and he feels safer from retributions.In the meantime, “the oversight systems needs to be stricter,” he said.Follow (at)mtuttoncporg on Twitter.
Rabat – Morocco’s consumer prices grew 0.2 percent in the first nine months of 2014, compared to 2.2 pc during the same period last year, the Economy and Finance Ministry said.This performance is particularly the result of a 1.5 percent decline of food prices compared to a 3 percent increase during the same period in 2013, the ministry noted in a note.The prices of non-food products increased by 1.6 percent in Jan-Sep 2014, the same level as a year earlier, added the same source. According to the forecasts of the Economy and Finance Ministry, Morocco’ economy will grow by 3.5 percent this year compared to 4.4 percent in 2013 and 2.7 percent in 2012.
The ICT4Youth a programme, created by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and Deputy Ministry of Youth Affairs, trained some 300 young Afghans in 2010, nearly 40 per cent of them girls. In the first quarter of 2011, about 400 students have signed up. Students are trained by a qualified teacher for one hour every day in basic computer software and Internet skills in classes that are timed so as not to conflict with regular school, and flexible enough to allow participants to continue with their activities at home. “The classroom environment of ICT4Youth programme is safe and comfortable, so my family does not object to my attending these classes,” Humaira, a female high school student, said. Another female student, Zarmina, regularly brings her nephew to classes so that she can watch him while continuing the training. Some young women take the skills they learn back to their jobs. “I train a group of colleagues in the Ministry of Interior,” said Samira, a woman in her early 20s. This is her first opportunity to attend a course specifically to develop her ICT and English skills. The programme is part of UNDP’s National Institution Building Project to develop comprehensive and sustainable capacities in government of Afghanistan. 28 March 2011Hundreds of young Afghans, many of them girls, are getting free computer and English training under a United Nations-backed programme that is free and prepares them for future employment by assisting them with resume writing and preparing for job interviews.
Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s brother Chandra Rajapaksa passed away today.Chandra Rajapaksa is a younger brother of the former President. (Colombo Gazette)
“This is nothing short of extraordinary when difficult living, transportation and communication facilities are exacerbated by an equally demanding security situation,” it said of the schedule of meetings during the run-up to the 15 August deadline to complete the draft.Tallying the participation so far at more than 220,000 people, the report said: “The United Nations salutes the bravery of Iraqis who have often risked their lives in order to contribute to the constitutional process.”As the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG), Ashraf Qazi, released the report he added: “We applaud the efforts of local civil society organizations and the Constitutional Drafting Committee (CDC) to make the constitutional process more transparent.”The highlights included radio and television debates. A conference of 1,500 imams and a forum of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) which had distributed questionnaires on federalism, Shari’a law and women’s rights. In these venues members of the CDC and the Transitional National Assembly listened to people’s views, the report said.”Women’s groups have been particularly active, with literally dozens of conferences demonstrating that, although they have a great variety of views, Iraqi women have a common aspiration to increase their level of participation in politics,” it said.In the last several weeks, addressing “important gaps in the activity,” the CDC also met with some 20,000 participants in the north-eastern Anbar, Ninevah and Saleh al-Din governorates, where there had been “a hunger for information,” it said.
Today, there are more than 8,000 refugees, mainly from Bosnia and Croatia, together with nearly 18,000 people from Kosovo who were classified as IDPs while Montenegro was still in a union with Serbia.“Many need continuing assistance and protection, especially those displaced from neighbouring Kosovo,” UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) spokesman Ron Redmond told a news briefing in Geneva today. “These IDPs are mainly ethnic Serbian or members of the Roma community and are unable to return to their homes.” The deputy director of the UNHCR’s Europe Bureau, Udo Janz, discussed the issue with senior officials during a visit last week shortly after the province voted for independence, and pledged to help the new Government find durable solutions for these groups and to design and establish a national asylum system.In the mid-1990s, Montenegro hosted nearly 30,000 refugees from Bosnia and Croatia. In 1999, during the Kosovo crisis, a further 28,000 IDPs fled to Montenegro, which has a population of just 650,000 people.The governments of Croatia, Bosnia, and Serbia and Montenegro agreed in January last year to try and solve their refugee problems by the end of 2006, either through voluntary repatriation or local integration in the countries of asylum.“We hope this deadline will be met,” Mr. Redmond said. “At the same time, we believe continuing talks under UN auspices on the final status of Kosovo should also seek a solution for the tens of thousands of IDPs from that province,” he added, referring to the Albanian-majority Serbian province, which the UN has run ever since Western forces drove out Yugoslav troops in 1999 amid grave human rights abuses in ethnic fighting.
According to his office, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) deplored the “appalling” terrorist attacks which resulted in numerous casualties, including several local politicians and journalists. “The use of such indiscriminate tactics against the Somali people demonstrates a shocking disregard for the most basic principles of humanity. Those responsible need to be brought to justice swiftly,” SRSG Kay said. “The United Nations and AMISOM are supporting the local authorities to evacuate the wounded requiring further medical treatment in Mogadishu. We remain committed to supporting the Somali people as they work to realise their hope for a peaceful and stable future,” he added. SRSG Kay extended his sincere condolences to the families and friends of all those who have suffered as a result of the attacks.Also this weekend, the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) noted Saturday’s parliamentary vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister of the Federal Government. In a statement, UNSOM paid tribute to the Prime Minister work for peacebuilding in Somalia and urged the swift establishment of a new inclusive Government. “Somalia now needs unity of political purpose between its institutions and leaders and a significant period of stability,” SRSG Kay said. “The Federal Government and Parliament have important and urgent work to do to help Somalia achieve political, security and development progress in the remaining twenty-one months of their mandate,” he added. The Federal Parliament could now focus on the passage of key legislation to enable the political transformation of Somalia, in particular laws establishing the National Independent Electoral Commission and the Boundaries and Federation Commission.“The United Nations remains committed to working with the Federal Government and Somalia’s people and political leaders to achieve the objectives set out in the Provisional Constitution, the New Deal Compact for Somalia and Vision 2016,” Mr. Kay said. The SRSG also recognized that completing the formation of Federal member states is a major challenge for the coming weeks. “It is important that women, youth and underrepresented groups are enabled to play a full role in these and other political processes,” he added.
A MAN SHOT himself dead in front of the altar of Paris’s Notre Dame Cathedral, forcing the evacuation of the French capital’s famed tourist spot, police told AFP.The man, in his 70s, died by suicide some time after 2pm, investigators said.It was not immediately clear how many people were inside the building at the time of the incident but it was evacuated immediately.It was the second dramatic suicide in less than a week in Paris. Last Thursday, a 50-year-old man shot himself in a primary school near the Eiffel Tower, in front of a number of children.Oscar Pistorius’ brother acquitted of killing woman in road crash
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP warned in an interview published yesterday that the United States is prepared to act unilaterally to deal with North Korea’s nuclear program if China proves unwilling to help.“Well, if China is not going to solve North Korea, we will. That is all I am telling you,” he said in an interview with the Financial Times of London.Trump’s comments come ahead of his meeting Thursday and Friday with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the US president’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.Tensions have risen sharply as North Korea has stepped up ballistic missile tests and amid boasts by leader Kim Jong-un that his country was in the final stages of developing an intercontinental ballistic missile.US-based analysts have warned that North Korea appears to be preparing a new nuclear test. It has staged five nuclear tests so far, with two taking place last year.“China has great influence over North Korea. And China will either decide to help us with North Korea, or they won’t,” Trump told the Financial Times. “If they do, that will be very good for China, and if they don’t, it won’t be good for anyone.”In a separate interview, US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said the United States is looking to China to take action against North Korea.“The only country that can stop North Korea is China and they know that,” Haley told ABC’s “This Week” in an interview broadcast on yesterday. “We’re going to continue to put pressure on China to have action.”The Mar-a-Lago meeting will be the two leaders’ first face-to-face encounter.On Thursday, Trump predicted a “very difficult” summit with Xi, noting the disputes over trade policy between the world’s two most powerful nations and leading economies.But Haley emphasised that at the Florida meeting “the most important conversation will be how we’re going to be dealing with the nonproliferation of North Korea.”Beijing, increasingly frustrated with Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile activities, has announced a suspension of all coal imports from the North until the end of the year.Haley deemed that measure – which was in keeping with UN sanctions against North Korea over its nuclear program and missile program – insufficient, saying that coal is “going in other ways.”“At some point, we need to see definitive actions by China condemning North Korea and not just calling them out for it,” she said.Since taking office, Trump has left open the possibility of military action against North Korea.Following that country’s early March missile tests, which came provocatively close to Japan, the US leader emphasised his administration’s commitment to “deter and defend against North Korea’s ballistic missiles using the full range of United States military capabilities.”Former US defense secretary Ash Carter, who served under Barack Obama, said the US has “always had all options on the table.”Also speaking on ABC, he recalled that the United States drew up a “preemptive strike plan” in 1994 to knock out North Korea’s Yongbyon reactor, during a confrontation over its nuclear program.“We have those options,” he said. “We shouldn’t take them off the table.”But he said a US strike on North Korea would likely trigger a North Korean attempt to invade South Korea.“This is a war that would have an intensity of violence associated with it that we haven’t seen since the last Korean War,” he said.“Seoul is right there on the borders of the DMZ, so even though the outcome is certain, it is a very destructive war. And so one needs to proceed very carefully here.”He said Washington should continue to pressure China to lean on North Korea, but he was not optimistic that would lead to anything.Beijing fears a potential North Korean collapse, which would result in “a unified Korea allied with the United States on their border,” Carter said.© – AFP, 2017Read: Judge rejects Trump’s defence against claim he incited violence at rallyRead: White House reveals Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner have up to €700m in assets http://jrnl.ie/3320848 21,246 Views Apr 3rd 2017, 6:54 AM Monday 3 Apr 2017, 6:54 AM By AFP Donald Trump: ‘If China is not going to solve North Korea, we will’ Trump spoke on the matter ahead of a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday. Share198 Tweet Email 72 Comments Short URL Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Greece is set to ask for a brief extension to its current bailout and is discussing the possibility of the International Monetary Fund maintaining a prominent role in whatever program will follow, Kathimerini understands.Following inconclusive two-day talks with the troika in Paris, government officials indicated Thursday that it is unlikely the current review will be completed in time for the December 8 Eurogroup. This means there would not be enough time to negotiate the terms of a precautionary credit line with the eurozone before the start of the new year.“The aim is for the last tranche to be disbursed by December 31. If for technical reasons some procedures cannot be completed there could be an extension, but not a new bailout,” said Deputy Prime Minister Evangelos Venizelos after meeting Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Thursday morning.An extension to the bailout would mean that Athens does not risk losing the 1.8 billion euros yet to be disbursed by the eurozone. It would also allow Greek banks to continue receiving cheap loans from the European Central Bank.Apart from the extension, though, sources said that the government is also willing to concede ground on the issue of the IMF’s involvement. Until now, the coalition has indicated that it wants to exit the IMF part of its bailout, which runs until spring 2016, at the end of the year. However, some eurozone members are keen for the Fund to remain on board.Athens now believes that if it gives in on this point and agrees to some other measures, such as moving some products and services from the lowest value-added tax rate of 6.5 percent into higher brackets, it would help clinch an agreement with the troika.Speaking in Parliament on Thursday, Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis identified the IMF as the toughest negotiator within the troika. “They do not care who is in power and if we will have [snap] elections in March,” he said.While SYRIZA was critical of the government’s failure to conclude negotiations in Paris, it spent most of Thursday trying to deflect criticism of contact between two of its MPs, Yiannis Milios and Giorgos Stathakis, and investors in London. The two lawmakers met with several market representatives in Athens and leaked internal e-mails indicated that the presentations the SYRIZA MPs gave left their audiences unimpressed.Stathakis indicated that the leaks bore “no relation to reality.”“SYRIZA’s positions now have an international audience, which understands that a comprehensive solution is needed to make debt sustainable so the Greek economy can recover,” he added.Source: Kathimerini
SIDA et prévention : le millionième bébé indemne est né en AfriqueSans qu’on puisse encore parler de victoire, la lutte contre le sida progresse de plus en plus : en Afrique, le millionième bébé indemne du sida né d’une mère séropositive vient de voir le jour. Cette naissance symbolique sera célébrée aujourd’hui à Washington par le Plan d’urgence américain pour la lutte contre le sida (Pepfar).Ce 19 juin, à Washington, à l’occasion du dixième anniversaire du Pepfar, aura lieu la célébration de la millionième naissance d’un bébé africain né séronégatif alors que sa mère est infectée par le virus du sida. Même s’il ne s’agit pas d’une victoire contre le virus, cette naissance montre que des progrès ont été réalisés depuis dix ans dans le domaine de la prévention de la transmission du virus de la mère à l’enfant. Cette naissance prouve qu’une stratégie simple permet d’éviter la transmission du virus de la mère à l’enfant. Elle repose principalement sur l’administration de médicaments antirétroviraux à la femme enceinte séropositive, puis lorsqu’elle allaite, ainsi qu’au nourrisson pendant ses premières semaines de vie. “Ces nouveaux médicaments permettent de diminuer de 30% à 2% le risque de transmission du virus de la mère au bébé”, indique Eric Goosby, coordinateur du Pepfar cité par Reuters. Ces dix dernières années, les dépistages se sont multipliés en Afrique subsaharienne et la prévention menée par le Pepfar, l’Onusida et l’UNICEF semble progressivement porter ses fruits. Aujourd’hui, à travers 36 pays, 90% des femmes séropositives qui sont enceintes bénéficient d’un traitement administré ce qui contribue à faire chuter le nombre d’enfants infectés. Cela est particulièrement vrai en Afrique du Sud, au Botswana, ou encore en Namibie. Une prévention encore trop rare dans certaines régions rurales À lire aussiMaladie de Charcot : symptômes, causes, traitement, où en est on ?Actuellement, 13 pays, du Botswana au Zimbabwe, sont proches du “point de bascule”, c’est-à-dire que le nombre de personnes contractant le VIH dans une année passe en dessous du nombre de personnes en traitement. Pour autant, certains pays comme l’Angola, le Congo-Brazzaville ou le Tchad ne parviennent pas à sortit de l’ornière. Dans les régions rurales les plus, pauvres et reculées, moins d’une femme enceinte sur quatre a eu accès à cette prévention entraînant la naissance de 300.000 enfants infectés en 2011 (quand ce nombre est proche de zéro dans les pays riches). Aussi, le Pepfar poursuit son objectif d’”éliminer virtuellement le VIH pédiatrique d’ici 2015 et de maintenir les mères en vie”, rappelle M. Goosby qui espère pouvoir réduire le nombre de bébés nés avec le virus à environ 30.000 par an. Le 19 juin 2013 à 18:03 • Maxime Lambert
The Rossoneri general director has backed coach Gennaro Gattuso and hopes his team can do well in the Italian Lega Serie AFor AC Milan general director Leonardo, his team doesn’t have to be obsessed to win the UEFA Champions League and has to focus on the Italian Lega Serie A.“For a club like Milan, of course, the objective must be to get back into the most important European competition,” Leonardo was quoted by Football Italia.Serie A Betting: Match-day 3 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Considering there is a number of perfect starts so early in the Serie A season, as well as a few surprisingly not-so perfect ones….“We believe that we have the ideal structure in place to achieve this target, but we mustn’t make the mistake of turning it into an obsession.”“At the moment, we are three points off fourth place with a game in hand, so perfectly in line with our ambitions,” he added.“The rumors on Rino came from outside the club, and as far as we are concerned, they are to be considered unfounded. This is why we didn’t need to release a statement denying it because Rino knows he has the full faith of the club and squad.”
The top 10 most-read stories on www.employeebenefits.co.uk between 7 March and 24 April 2017 were:NHS staff to receive 1% pay riseThe NHS Pay Review Body recommended that NHS staff across England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland receive a 1% pay rise, effective from 1 April 2017.2. Tax-free childcare to be rolled out from April 2017In the Spring Budget 2017, Chancellor Philip Hammond confirmed that the government’s tax-free childcare scheme would be rolled out from April 2017. The policy provides parents with children under the age of 12 up to £2,000 a year per child to help cover childcare costs.3. Asda offers pay increase under new contractAsda offered around 135,000 store-based UK employees a pay increase as part of a new contract. As well as minimum pay of £8.50 an hour from October 2017, the contract also includes a flexible-working agreement, unpaid breaks, and changes to night shift hours and pay.4. Virgin Money reports a 36% mean gender pay gapVirgin Money had a mean gender pay gap of 36% and a median gender pay gap of 39% at April 2016, according to the financial organisation’s 2016 annual report. This was attributed to the lack of women in senior leadership roles.5. Firefighters to appeal Employment Tribunal’s decision on pensions age discriminationThe Fire Brigades Union has registered to appeal an Employment Tribunal decision, which ruled that the government’s actions to justify changes to the Firefighters’ Pension Scheme (FPS) was not age discriminatory.6. Government confirms reduction in money purchase annual allowanceChancellor Philip Hammond confirmed in the Spring Budget 2017 that the money purchase annual allowance (MPAA) would reduce to £4,000 from £10,000. However, on 25 April 2017, it was revealed that the MPAA reduction would not be included in the Finance Bill as planned.7. Missing comma enables dairy delivery drivers to claim overtime payOakhurst Dairy delivery drivers were able to claim for overtime pay after the United States Court of Appeals For the First Circuit ruled that a missing comma in Maine’s overtime law document made one of the overtime exemptions ambiguous.8. How the Spring Budget 2017 will affect employee benefitsKey announcements from the Spring Budget 2017 included a call for evidence on the exemptions and valuation methodology for the income tax and employer national insurance contribution (NIC) treatment of benefits in kind, as well as amendments to the tax registration process for master trust pension schemes.9. The tax and legislation changes impacting reward from April 2017Gender pay gap reporting requirements and increases to the national minimum wage and the national living wage are among the changes that came into effect in April 2017.10. Tesco to back pay staff after salary sacrifice-linked living wage errorTesco provided back pay to 140,000 former and current employees after it was discovered that pay had fallen below the national living wage after salary sacrifice deductions. Employees received reimbursement payments of up to £40 each.
Naikhangchhari Rohingya campTwo members of Bangladesh Coast Guard suffered injuries in an attack by Rohingya men at Noyapara Rohingya camp in Teknaf upazila of Cox’s Bazar on Wednesday evening, reports UNB.The injured are Md Faruk, 30, and Md Joynal, 28.Tipped off that yaba tablets were being sold, a team of plainclothes Coast Guard went to the room of Sadek at block-H of the camp to arrest the drug traders, said Lt commander Faizul Islam, commanding officer of Coast Guard’s Teknaf station.Noticing their presence, the Rohingya men swooped on the Coast Guard men and stabbed them, leaving two of them injured.The injured were first taken to the Upazila Health Complex and later shifted to Cox’s Bazar Sadar Hospital.A deep injury mark was found in the chest of one of the injured while one ear of the other was almost severed, said duty doctor Shovan Das at the hospital.
Photo by Davis Land | Houston Public MediaMayor Sylvester Turner announced Monday that more than 500 homeless people have obtained housing through programs that are part of an initiative he unveiled in March.Mayor Sylvester Turner announced Monday that more than 500 homeless people have obtained housing through programs that are part of an initiative he unveiled in March.During a press conference held at City Hall, Turner specified that 548 “chronically homeless individuals” have been housed between March and August of 2017.The Mayor noted nonetheless that, according to the estimates he has received, there are still about 1,100 homeless individuals that don’t go to shelters in Houston.Turner also addressed the homelessness that could impact Houston because of the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and demanded help from the federal government and the state government.“We haven’t yet seen the effect of Harvey, but if help doesn’t come from the state [of Texas] and from the feds in a much greater level than what is currently coming you are going to see it,” the mayor emphasized as he explained that many Houstonians are living in very poor conditions because of the damage sustained by their homes and they might resort to being homeless in the coming weeks and months.“The number one concern from Hurricane Harvey now is housing,” stressed Turner, while detailing he has sent a letter to state officials asking them to “advance funding” of up to $200 million while the City waits for funds coming from the federal government. Share
(Phys.org) —A pair of researchers, one with the University of Alaska, the other with Independent, Auke Bay are suggesting in a paper they’ve had printed in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, that global warming is partially responsible for large increases in pink salmon populations in North America and Asia. Alan Springer and Gus van Vliet claim that rising ocean temperatures are at least partly to blame for increased pink salmon populations due to an increase in the amount of available food. Explore further Citation: Global warming may be causing surge in numbers of pink salmon (2014, April 1) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-04-global-surge-pink-salmon.html Scientists have blamed global warming for smaller numbers of many fish species—a recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, for example, claimed that rising ocean temperatures (due to global warming) is causing a reduction in numbers of tuna and cod populations in the Atlantic Ocean. Now it appears that global warming may actually cause some fish populations to increase.Springer and Vliet suggest that pink salmon swimming in warmer water during their formative years are exposed to more food (zooplankton, small fish and squid, etc.) which allows them to eat more, and then later, to produce more offspring. It leads to more fish in the sea, they say, which in turn might have a negative impact on other sea life that feed on the same prey. They focused their study on sea life in the Aleutian Islands and the Bering Sea, looking to find out if burgeoning fish populations are causing a decrease in bird populations. In sampling both populations, they noted that second year salmon were more numerous and that bird populations sank as salmon surged, due to less egg laying and lowered survival rate of chicks—signs of nutritional stress.Whatever the cause, what is undeniable is that pink salmon are thriving and are beginning to take over ecosystems previously dominated by other types of salmon or even other types of animals altogether. Complicating the situation is the fact that many of the salmon swimming freely in the ocean came to be there after being released by fish hatcheries in an effort to boost harvests.Pink salmon populations have been rising since the 1970’s, roughly the same time frame as global warming—so much so that some have begun suggesting that it’s a problem easily solved by allowing fishermen to catch more. While that may help solve the problem of too many fish, it doesn’t really answer the question of whether global warming is truly to blame, and if it is, what other changes it may be causing in poorly understood ocean ecosystems. Oncorhynchus gorbuscha. Credit: Timothy Knepp/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Researchers uncover some good news for BC’s troubled salmon populations More information: Climate change, pink salmon, and the nexus between bottom-up and top-down forcing in the subarctic Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea, PNAS, Alan M. Springer, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1319089111AbstractClimate change in the last century was associated with spectacular growth of many wild Pacific salmon stocks in the North Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea, apparently through bottom-up forcing linking meteorology to ocean physics, water temperature, and plankton production. One species in particular, pink salmon, became so numerous by the 1990s that they began to dominate other species of salmon for prey resources and to exert top-down control in the open ocean ecosystem. Information from long-term monitoring of seabirds in the Aleutian Islands and Bering Sea reveals that the sphere of influence of pink salmon is much larger than previously known. Seabirds, pink salmon, other species of salmon, and by extension other higher-order predators, are tightly linked ecologically and must be included in international management and conservation policies for sustaining all species that compete for common, finite resource pools. These data further emphasize that the unique 2-y cycle in abundance of pink salmon drives interannual shifts between two alternate states of a complex marine ecosystem. © 2014 Phys.org This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
Close Scientists in the United States, Europe, and South America are reporting how a new cloud-computing web platform allows scientists to track data and analyses on the brain, potentially reducing delays in discovery.The project, called brainlife.io, is led by Franco Pestilli, associate professor in the Indiana University Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences and a member of the IU Network Science Institute, in collaboration with colleagues across the university. At IU, it is speeding research on disorders such as dementia, sports concussion, and eye disease.A new paper on the project was published May 30 in the journal Scientific Data. Wow facts 4Share this videoCopyPausePlay00:00% Buffered0PreviousPausePlayNextLive00:00 / 00:00UnmuteMuteExit fullscreenFullscreenCopy video urlPlay / PauseMute / UnmuteReport a problemLanguageBackMox PlayerDefaultEnglishEspañolУкраїнськаРусскийadvertisement”Scientists are increasingly embracing modern technology to reduce human errors in scientific research practice,” said Pestilli, who established brainlife.io in 2017 with support from the National Science Foundation and Microsoft.”This article describes a unique mechanism by which scientists across the world can share data and analyses, which allows them to reproduce research results and extend them to new frontiers of human understanding,” he added. “The benefit of such a platform is faster research on brain disease.”The system manages all aspects of research where people are more likely than machines to make mistakes, such as keeping track of data and code for analyses, storing information, and producing visualizations.At IU, brainlife.io is being used to advance research on multiple health care research studies. Examples include:- Research on sports concussion and chronic traumatic encephalopathy led by Nicholas Port at the IU School of Optometry in Bloomington.- Research on Alzheimer’s disease led by Andrew Saykin at the IU School of Medicine in Indianapolis.- Research on macular degeneration in collaboration with researchers in Japan and Europe, which was recently published in the journal Brain Structure and Function. The new paper provides a “case study” on how to generate a full research study, including data collection, analysis and visualization, on the brainlife.io platform. It also describes how the system preserves data and analyses in a single digital record to create reusable research assets for other scientists to use in their work.”I like to refer to the new technology as a process of ‘data upcycling,'” Pestilli said. “The new records that scientists create and share on brainlife.io can be easily reused by others to go beyond the goals of the original study.”For example, a study on traumatic brain injury could potentially combine data from a study on Alzheimer’s disease to understand underlying biological mechanisms in both conditions.Importantly, Pestilli added, brainlife.io is designed to store and process data derived from diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging — a form of imaging that uses water molecules in the brain to create a highly detailed roadmap of the nerve tracks in the brain — as well as tractography, a 3D modeling technique to visually represent these nerves and understand the network of connections that make up the brain.”The use these imaging techniques has revolutionized knowledge about networks inside the brain and the impact of the brain’s white matter on human behavior and disease,” Pestilli said. It also generates enormous amounts of data that require serious computer resources to store and analyze.Some of this computing power comes from Microsoft, which chose brainlife.io as one of the first eight projects to benefit from the company’s initiative to award $3 million in compute credits to projects under the NSF’s Big Data Spokes and Planning projects, of which IU is a part. The project is also supported under the NSF’s BRAIN Initiative, a federal project to generate new physical and conceptual tools to understand the brain.IU contributors to brainlife.io include Soichi Hayashi, a software engineer at the IU Pervasive Technology Institute; graduate students Brad Caron, Lindsey Kitchell, Brent McPherson, and Dan Bullock; and undergraduate students Yiming Qian and Andrew Patterson. Bullock and McPherson were supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health and NSF.Additional authors on the article include researchers at Indiana University, the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Northwestern University, the University of Trento in Italy, and CONICET in Argentina.What They’re Saying”This research shares new methods and platforms that help neuroscientists collaborate across disciplinary boundaries, share data, reproduce results and strengthen neuroscience,” said Kurt Thoroughman, a program officer at the NSF. “Findings like these demonstrate NSF’s commitment to the BRAIN Initiative and efforts to improve our understanding of the neural basis of human cognition. These findings have implications across the brain sciences, including understanding normal brain functions and improving outcomes for the over 1 million Americans with diseases of the brain.””This work is groundbreaking because it combines brain data with trackable, referenceable processing assets and powerful command line and visualization tools,” said Vani Mandava, director of data science at Microsoft Research. “Supporting innovative solutions to technical challenges that support new insights and treatments on the brain — like this interface that promotes open data and reproducible science — is part of our data science research mission at Microsoft.” ⓒ 2018 TECHTIMES.com All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
December 13, 2013The annual Arcosanti Christmas party took place on Wednesday evening, December 10. 2014.Staff, volunteers, workshop participants and friends and family got together for a pot-luck dinner in the Arcosanti cafe.[photos by Colleen Connery, text by Sue Kirsch]The Christmas tree is filled with good wishes for everyone.1978 Alumna Ann Whitehill visited during the Christmas celebration and is getting a hug from Jeff Stein.