RIO DE JANEIRO — Olympic sailor Erik Heil floated a novel idea to protect himself from the sewage-infested waters he and other athletes will compete in during next year’s games: He’d wear plastic overalls and peel them off when he was safely past the contaminated waters nearest shore.Heil, 26, was treated at a Berlin hospital for MRSA, a flesh-eating bacteria, shortly after sailing in an Olympic test event in Rio in August. But his strategy to avoid a repeat infection won’t limit his risk.A new round of testing by The Associated Press shows the city’s Olympic waterways are as rife with pathogens far offshore as they are nearer land, where raw sewage flows into them from fetid rivers and storm drains. That means there is no dilution factor in the bay or lagoon where events will take place and no less risk to the health of athletes like sailors competing farther from the shore.“Those virus levels are widespread. It’s not just along the shoreline but it’s elsewhere in the water, therefore it’s going to increase the exposure of the people who come into contact with those waters,” said Kristina Mena, an expert in waterborne viruses and an associate professor of public health at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. “We’re talking about an extreme environment, where the pollution is so high that exposure is imminent and the chance of infection very likely.”In July, the AP reported that its first round of tests showed disease-causing viruses directly linked to human sewage at levels up to 1.7 million times what would be considered highly alarming in the U.S. or Europe. Experts said athletes were competing in the viral equivalent of raw sewage and exposure to dangerous health risks almost certain.The results sent shockwaves through the global athletic community, with sports officials pledging to do their own viral testing to ensure the waters were safe for competition in next year’s games. Those promises took on further urgency in August, after pre-Olympic rowing and sailing events in Rio led to illnesses among athletes nearly double the acceptable limit in the U.S. for swimmers in recreational waters.Nevertheless, Olympic and World Health Organization officials have flip-flopped on promises to carry out viral testing in the wake of the AP’s July report.Now, the AP’s most recent tests since August show not only no improvement in water quality — but that the water is even more widely contaminated than previously known. The number of viruses found over a kilometer from the shore in Guanabara Bay, where sailors compete at high speeds and get utterly drenched, are equal to those found along shorelines closer to sewage sources.“The levels of viruses are so high in these Brazilian waters that if we saw those levels here in the United States on beaches, officials would likely close those beaches,” Mena said.Brazilian, Olympic and WHO officials now say Brazil needs only to carry out testing for bacterial “markers” of pollution to determine water quality. That’s the standard used by nations around the globe, mostly because it’s been historically easier and cheaper.The WHO on Wednesday said it had no comment on the AP’s latest findings.The Rio 2016 Olympic organizing committee said in an emailed statement that “the health and safety of athletes is always a top priority and there is no doubt that water within the field of play meets the relevant standards.”“Rio 2016 follows the expert advice of the World Health Organization, whose guidelines for Safe Recreational Water Environments recommend classifying water through a regular program of microbial water quality testing.”However, in recent years technological advances have made it simpler and less expensive to monitor viral levels, too.That’s why many in the scientific communities in the U.S. and Europe are pushing for legislation that would require viral testing of water. They argue that repeated studies dating back decades have shown little to no correlation between the levels of bacteria pathogens in water, which quickly break down in salty and sunny conditions like those in tropical Brazil, and the presence of viruses, which have been shown to last for months, and in some cases years.That disparity has surfaced in AP’s testing in Rio, where the water often falls within safe levels of fecal bacteria, but the same water sample shows levels of viruses akin to raw sewage. Many of the testing points show spikes in bacterial contamination, too — especially in the Olympic lagoon and in the marina where sailors launch crafts.Rio’s waterways, like those of many developing nations, are extremely contaminated because most of the city’s sewage is not treated, let alone collected. Massive amounts of it flow straight into Guanabara Bay. The Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon and the famous Copacabana Beach also are heavily contaminated.Rio won the right to host the Olympics based on a lengthy bid document that promised to clean up the city’s scenic waterways by improving sewage sanitation, a pledge that was intended to be one of the event’s biggest legacies.Brazilian officials now acknowledge that won’t happen.The AP’s first published results were based on samples taken along the shores of the lagoon where rowing and canoeing events will be held. Other samples were drawn from the marina where sailors enter the water and in the Copacabana Beach surf, where marathon and triathlon swimming will take place. Ipanema Beach, popular with tourists and where many of the expected 350,000 foreign visitors will take a dip during the games, was also tested.Since then, the AP expanded its testing to include offshore sampling sites inside Olympic sailing courses in Guanabara Bay and in the middle of the lagoon where rowing and canoeing lanes were located during recent test events.The tests found the lagoon and bay to be consistently virus-laden throughout, but it also captured a spike in the bacterial fecal coliforms in the lagoon — to over 16 times the amount permitted under Brazilian law.Mena, the waterborne virus expert, said it makes sense for athletes to think that deeper into the bay and lagoon would be safer, but the testing doesn’t bear that out.“One would expect to see more fluctuations with the levels of any pathogen in the water, but it’s not there,” she said.As a result, none of the venues are fit for swimmers or boaters, she said. Athletes who ingest three teaspoons of water have a 99 percent chance of being infected by viruses.That assessment was echoed by Brazilian virologist Fernando Spilki, coordinator of the environmental quality program at Feevale University in southern Brazil, who is conducting monthly tests for the AP.“Samples from the sailing courses and inside the lagoon prove that the viruses are present even away from the shore, away from the sources of pollution, and that they maintain extremely high viral loads,” he said.Athletes in Rio test events have tried many tricks and treatments to avoid falling ill, including bleaching rowing oars, hosing off their bodies the second they finish competing, and preemptively taking antibiotics — which have no effect on viruses.Despite those efforts, athletes at a competition in August still fell ill. The World Rowing Federation reported that 6.7 percent of 567 rowers got sick at a junior championships event in Rio.The International Sailing Federation said just over 7 percent of sailors competing at a mid-August Olympic warm-up event in Guanabara Bay fell ill — but the federation has not conducted a full count of how many athletes got sick in the two weeks following the competition, the rough incubation period for many of the pathogens in the water.Mena and other experts say it’s difficult to put those figures into international context as each geographic location has unique threats. But in the U.S., for instance, the Environmental Protection Agency’s maximum illness rate for swimming is 3.6 percent — and many experts say that is too high.The German sailor, Heil, was one of those who got sick at the Rio test event.“I’ve never had infections on my legs. Never!” he wrote on the German sailing team’s blog in late August as he underwent painful treatment to scrape the infections off his hips and legs. “The origin must be the Marina da Gloria. In the future, we will try to travel to Rio right before the start of any event, so that any diseases that show up only occur when we are already back home.”In the year preceding the Olympics, AP is examining monthly water samples for three types of human adenovirus as well as enterovirus, rotavirus and bacterial fecal coliforms. The viruses are found in human intestinal and respiratory tracts. They cause digestive illnesses including vomiting, explosive diarrhea and respiratory problems — all of which would knock athletes out of competition. Serious heart and brain disease are also possible, though rare. One type of analysis tests for adenovirus types 2 and 5, markers for the sewage contamination.Water quality experts say a virus count hitting 1,000 per liter in the U.S. or Europe would cause extreme alarm, leading in many cases to beach closures.Viral levels were all 30,000 times higher than what is highly alarming in the U.S. or Europe at each of the AP’s new offshore sampling sites: at a point 600 meters (yards) offshore and within the Sugarloaf sailing race course; at 1,300 meters (yards) offshore within the Naval School sailing circuit; and at a spot inside the Olympic lagoon where rowing lanes are located, about 200 meters (yards) from shore.In September tests at the Naval School race course and offshore lagoon points, the water was positive for enterovirus, a major cause of respiratory illness, gastrointestinal ailments and, less often, serious heart and brain inflammation.Subsequent cell culture testing showed the viruses in the lagoon water to be “active and infectious,” but the samples taken from the sailing courses in the bay were not. Mena, the risk assessment expert, said several factors inhibit viruses from growing in a laboratory, but the sheer number of pathogens in Rio’s waters means the risk to human health is unacceptable.Rio de Janeiro state authorities promised to complete sewerage infrastructure near the Marina da Gloria by the end of this year and are making progress. Authorities say Olympic venues will then be safe.But the high levels of sewage-linked pathogens found in the offshore sailing courses “show that these viruses don’t just come from the marina — there are many, many points where sewage enters the bay,” Spilki, the Brazilian expert, said. “These pathogens we’re looking for, especially the viruses, are able to migrate in the currents in a big way.”Those pollution points are mostly the dozens of rivers that crisscross metropolitan Rio and dump hundreds of millions of liters of raw sewage into the bay each day. By the government’s own estimate, just half of the city’s wastewater flowing into the bay is treated.Since the AP report in July exposed the serious risk to athletes, Olympic and World Health Organization officials have flip-flopped over whether they would carry out their own viral testing.The WHO, which acts in an advisory role to the IOC, took four different positions on whether or not viral testing should be carried out between July and mid-October. In an Oct. 24 email, the WHO told the AP that it didn’t feel Olympic officials needed to conduct “routine” viral testing, but added that it was not “unconcerned with viral pathogens in water” and that water quality and monitoring would be discussed in Brazil once again in late November.Mel Stewart, an American who won two swimming gold medals and a bronze at the 1992 Barcelona Games, said if his daughter were a contender in an open-water swimming competition in Rio, he would tell her not to compete.“A gold medal is not worth jeopardizing your health,” Stewart said. “Right now there are too many questions. I don’t see safety. It doesn’t appear at this point that the athletes are being thought of first.”BRAD BROOKS, Associated PressTweetPinShare0 Shares
Continue Reading Previous Tektronix: mixed domain analysis hits the big screen with new firmware releaseNext Untangling wireless charging Infineon Technologies presents the world’s first Trusted Platform Module (TPM) specifically for industrial applications at this year’s Hannover Messe. The OPTIGA TPM SLM 9670 protects the integrity and identity of industrial PCs, servers, industrial controllers or edge gateways. It controls access to sensitive data in key positions in a connected, automated factory as well as at the interface to the cloud.The TPM acts as a vault for sensitive data in connected devices and lowers the risk of data and production losses due to cyber attacks. Users’ benefit is not limited to security only as TPMs also help to shorten time to market and reduce costs for industrial applications. Through the use of Infineon’s audited and certified TPMs, manufacturers of industrial devices can achieve higher security levels of the IEC 62443 standard and accelerate their certification processes. Furthermore, they can cut costs for maintenance of the devices through secured remote software updates.The OPTIGA TPM SLM 9670 fully meets the TPM 2.0 standard of the Trusted Computing Group and is certified by an independent test lab in accordance with Common Criteria. With a service life of 20 years and the ability to update the firmware on the chip, the TPM is able to cope with long-term security risks that may be encountered in an industrial environment. The chip boasts an extended temperature range of -40 to 105° C and meets the stringent requirements of industry in terms of robustness and quality as it is qualified according to the industrial JEDEC JESD47 standard.Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInMoreRedditTumblrPinterestWhatsAppSkypePocketTelegram Tags: Chips & Components
Former Australia captain Greg Chappell is one among the many greats who has entered the Virat Kohli fan club thanks to the Indian superstar’s record-breaking run in international cricket over the past few years.Kohli, the No. 1 batsman in Test cricket, has been at the top of his game for quite some time now having scored runs all around the world in all formats.England was the only country which Kohli hadn’t conquered after going through his worst phase in Test cricket on India’s tour in 2014.Virat Kohli retains top Test ranking after 104 runs in Southampton TestFour years down the line Kohli has not only buried the demons of the past, but has also emerged as the highest run-getter in the ongoing five-match series against England.Kohli has been the only batsman from the visiting team who has scored runs consistently in the four matches and now has a total of 544 runs at an average of 68 with two hundreds and three half-centuries.Virat Kohli first Indian to score 4000 runs as Test captainIt takes a player with special abilities to please a man like Chappell and Kohli has managed to do just that with his prolific run in England.”I don’t know that there are many with more will to succeed than Virat. He has a real desire. Something’s driving him that is beyond what most people are capable of. I think we still haven’t seen the best of him. I think maybe not better to come, but more of the good to come. What he has done in England on this tour has been quite exceptional, ” Chappell told CricketNext in an exclusive interview.advertisementVirat Kohli 2nd fastest Indian behind Sunil Gavaskar to reach 6000 Test runs”He has probably exceeded what anyone would have expected. I think after (Sachin) Tendulkar, most people felt that’s the pinnacle but sport has a funny way of always throwing somebody up who can exceed what the champions of the past have done. Kohli as well as having great physical talent has the mental capacity and the emotional capacity to deal with what it takes to be successful in that really harsh environment,” the former India coach went on to add.England’s lower order made all the difference: Virat Kohli on series lossAfter breaking records all over the world, Kohli went to England and carried on in the same vein as he became the first Indian captain and the sixth visiting skipper overall to aggregate over 500 runs in a Test series in the country.Sunil Gavaskar raises questions on Virat Kohli’s captaincy in Test cricketKohli also added another feather to his cap during the final innings of the Southampton Test as he completed 4000 runs in Test cricket as captain.He is the fastest to reach the landmark and the first Asian captain to do so after completing 4000 runs in his 65th innings and in his 39th Test against England. He is averaging over 66 with 16 hundreds, nine fifties with a highest score of 243 against Joe Root’s team, which he got last year in New Delhi.India vs England: ‘Kohli sublime as batsman but not so hot as captain’During the first innings of the Southampton Test, Kohli also went past 6000 runs in Test cricket to become the second fastest Indian to reach the landmark behind Sunil Gavaskar.It is therefore a real shame that Kohli has been waging a lone battle for India with the bat in this series. While the fast bowlers have done exceedingly well in England, it has been the top-order batsmen who have failed to back them up.The likes of KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane have found it difficult to deal with the seaming conditions in England which is why the visitors are now trailing 1-3 in the five-match series with the final Test to be played at The Oval in London from September 7.
Share on Facebook Australia sport Cricket Reuse this content Australia beat England by two wickets: Women’s Ashes, first ODI – as it happened Support The Guardian Women’s Ashes Share via Email … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many new organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. England women’s cricket team Share on Messenger Since you’re here… Alyssa Healy helps Australia take first blood in Women’s Ashes Share on Twitter Australia women’s cricket team Women’s cricket Share on LinkedIn features With the venue, the attendance, the umpiring and the opening exchanges all going through a phase of yawning and stretching and limbering up, it was no surprise that we ended up with a hesitant, stuttering match. The Australians took an age to bowl out their demolished opponent, then chased a modest target using every bit of their deep batting order. “Hopefully the quality improves over the series,” was the frank assessment from captain Meg Lanning. “A win’s a win, I guess, but we’re looking forward to improving.”We’ve seen these sides enough to know the quality they’re capable of. Even this time, there was the way Natalie Sciver and Sophie Ecclestone rallied England with the bat, and the customary boldness of Alyssa Healy’s strokes to provide Australia a vital fast start. There was Ecclestone giving England a chance with the ball, and another preternatural Sarah Taylor stumping for the key wicket of Ellyse Perry.Finishing with Australia eight wickets down was a reminder that a lot can shift over the course of a day’s cricket, and a lot more over the course of a series. But we’ve seen the shifts that women’s cricket can cause when given the right support, and this time around the indications are that it hasn’t. It’s a big ask to expect the players on the field to make up for that, but they’ll have to try. For a long time, it felt like nothing much was happening. After the hustle and drama and crowds of the World Cup venues, here we were at a pleasant but nondescript county ground, on a quiet cloudy afternoon in Leicester. A suburban feel with a smattering of spectators. It didn’t feel like the start of the Women’s Ashes.Perhaps this atmosphere seeped into England’s top order, who started out playing like none of it was happening. Half asleep, a quarter switched on. Because they were barely there, pretty soon they weren’t there at all. Four wickets in five overs all but sealed the result. It was all kinds of anticlimax. When the Women’s World Cup sold out Lord’s two years ago for England’s triumph in the final, it proved there was an audience and a future. But this year, with England’s marquee bilateral series played across 50-over, Test, and Twenty20 formats, not a single match will be held in London. Much was made in 2017 of how many people in the audience had never been to a cricket match before. By scheduling this series in Canterbury, Taunton and beyond, the England Cricket Board has ensured that most of them can’t come again.And that’s before we come to the calendar, where overlapping this series with the business end of the men’s World Cup – easily the biggest event in the sport – meant that the former would be buried. The standalone women’s Test starts three days after the World Cup final and may have a degree of clear air, but the likelihood is that in such a saturated month the entire series will be largely lost.Of course time is scarce in this crammed summer where the World Cup and the men’s Ashes run with only a fortnight’s window in between. But that does raise the question of why this World Cup and the five men’s Ashes Tests are happening in the same season at all.Four years ago the England and Australia boards made elaborate arrangements supposedly to avoid exactly this scenario. Saying it was impossible to hold both a World Cup and an Ashes in the Australian summer of 2014-15, they pushed that Ashes series forward a year. Then not wanting to miss out on any money, they plonked an extra series in England in the July of 2015.That meant three series in two years, including one tour that started six weeks after another ended. It was fun, but clearly the rationale was flimsy. Because four years after that logjam, in the English summer of 2019, playing the World Cup and the Ashes back-to-back is fine and dandy.In the low-intensity environment that has resulted, the Australian women’s team were as surprised as anyone at how easily they were given early control. If a succession of gifts from England’s batting weren’t enough, the umpires added their own with Fran Wilson given out leg-before wicket on the sweep despite having punched Jess Jonassen’s delivery away with her glove.The error was obvious in real time and more glaring with each replay, but the Decision Review System isn’t available in these matches. Television broadcasters were using all their toys, including ball-tracking and audio waveform technology. But it’s up to the home boards to make these available to the umpires and cover related costs, and the ECB has once again decided to keep that coin in the jar. Read more Share on Pinterest Share on WhatsApp Read more Topics
news Read more Share on LinkedIn Spurs have not given up on agreeing a new contract with Vertonghen but Inter are preparing a three-year deal for the 32-year-old and the Premier League club are unlikely to offer the defender such a long deal.Inter are looking at different options at centre-back with the manager, Antonio Conte, keen to improve the defence. The club lie second in Serie A after nine games, a point behind leaders Juventus.Vertonghen is not the only Tottenham player whose contract is running out in the summer with Toby Alderweireld and Christian Eriksen in a similar situation. Mauricio Pochettino’s side have endured a difficult start to the season and are 11th in the Premier League after Sunday’s 2-1 defeat against Liverpool. Granit Xhaka a lightning rod for Arsenal’s drift under Unai Emery Tottenham Hotspur Topics Share on Messenger Share on Pinterest Share on Twitter Share on WhatsApp Reuse this content Tottenham have told Internazionale they will not contemplate selling Jan Vertonghen in January but the Serie A club will not give up their pursuit of the Belgium international and hope he will join on a free in the summer.The centre-back, who has been at Spurs since 2012, is out of contract at the end of the season and is considering his options. Inter were keen to sign him last summer but could not afford him then and, having been told that a transfer in January is out of the question, will try to convince the Belgian to join in time for the 2020-21 season. Internazionale Share on Facebook Share via Email
Of the 118 Community Access Points (CAPs) established in various communities islandwide through the Universal Service Fund (USF), Kingston and St. Andrew account for 53, to serve the most populated urban centre in the island. Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the USF, Hugh Cross, told JIS News that another 21 CAPs are being constructed in the Corporate Area, and 32 applications being processed. Speaking at a JIS ‘Think Tank’ on March 6, Mr. Cross said that similar facilities are being constructed in the rural areas, to ensure that persons have access to the internet. According to the CEO, CAPs are beginning to have a significant impact on the communities and the demand for them is growing. Mr. Cross pointed out that students can now do their homework/research in their respective community or at a point closest to home, and community members now have access to modern technology, without having to spend vast sums of money. “We currently have under evaluation applications for 138 additional CAP facilities. We want to ensure that more Jamaicans have access to the internet. At the moment we have 34 libraries, 112 schools and 57 post offices connected,” he said. Among the projected 138 CAPs, Mr. Cross noted that there will be a few model cyber centres, which will be set up in the major towns. As at February 5, 2013, some $9.7 billion has been collected by the USF by way of a levy of US$0.03 per minute on inbound international voice calls terminated to fixed lines and US$0.02 per minute on calls terminated to mobile lines in Jamaica.
Passing the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) for Immaculate Conception High School was not an easy task for Head Girl of Iris Gelly Primary School in Kingston, Ashamarc Miller.Not only did Ashamarc have to spend months studying for the examination and conditioning her brain to like the subject of Language Arts, but she also had to travel each weekday from the inner-city community of Grants Pen in North East St. Andrew to another inner-city community along Avondale Avenue in South St. Andrew for school.However, after getting her results with scores of 11/12 in Communication Task, 100 per cent in Science, 100 per cent in Social Studies, 99 per cent in Mathematics and 96 per cent in Language Arts from sitting the final GSAT examination in March, Ashamarc tells JIS News that her achievement was worth the struggle.“I am very excited because it [Immaculate Conception High School] is the school that I wanted to pass for,” 12 year-old Ashamarc says.She tells JIS News that the school is not only among the top-performing secondary-level institutions in the Corporate Area but it is close to her home.“I am looking forward to getting good grades [at Immaculate Conception] and to achieve all that I want, such as becoming a prefect, head girl and first in every subject in every class,” she says.When asked what the journey to prepare for GSAT was like, she notes that it was not an easy one. However, her parents, Mark and Alethia Miller; her teacher; her principal and her friends stood with her through it all.“I would go home early and I would study with my mother or my father, and when I’m at school, I would study with my best friends. My teacher would give us GSAT past paper questions to practise on,” she adds.Mrs. Miller tells JIS News that she is extremely pleased with her daughter’s performance. “I feel very good, very proud of her. I saw to it that she studied, sent her to the Internet café, made sure she got enough rest and went to extra lessons, went to the school GSAT camps and encouraged her,” she says.Principal of Iris Gelly Primary, Mrs. Veronica Gaynor, was equally excited about Ashamarc’s achievement. She also applauded her parents and siblings for assisting Ashamarc with passing for Immaculate Conception High School.“Ashamarc has been an achiever from grade one, so it’s not surprising that she attained what she did. Her older sister or her mother takes her to school every day on the bus and they pick her up back and take her home. They travel far. They don’t drive. They take the bus,” Mrs. Gaynor tells JIS News.Ashamarc’s major goal is to become a surgeon. “I want to become a surgeon, because it’s all about science and science is my favourite subject,” she says. However, after getting her results with scores of 11/12 in Communication Task, 100 per cent in Science, 100 per cent in Social Studies, 99 per cent in Mathematics and 96 per cent in Language Arts from sitting the final GSAT examination in March, Ashamarc tells JIS News that her achievement was worth the struggle. Not only did Ashamarc have to spend months studying for the examination and conditioning her brain to like the subject of Language Arts, but she also had to travel each weekday from the inner-city community of Grants Pen in North East St. Andrew to another inner-city community along Avondale Avenue in South St. Andrew for school. Passing the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) for Immaculate Conception High School was not an easy task for Head Girl of Iris Gelly Primary School in Kingston, Ashamarc Miller. Story Highlights
zoom APL won the Best Trans-Pacific Shipping Line accolade, for the third time in four years, at the 28th Asian Freight & Supply Chain Awards (AFSCAs) held on 17th June.APL received the award for its leading performance in schedule integrity, customer service support and its comprehensive port calls in the Trans-Pacific trade.“The container shipping business has become a much more competitive and demanding business than before,” said APL President Kenneth Glenn. “With APL coming up tops in the Trans-Pacific trade despite the challenging conditions there, this award is all the more satisfying to us. We thank our customers for the strong vote of confidence and we are inspired to develop more cost-effective and reliable solutions to meet their transportation needs.”Organised by Cargonews Asia, one of the leading logistics and cargo supply chain publications, the AFSCAs are among the most prestigious and longest-running awards in the Asian transportation and logistics sector.Press Release, June 20, 2014
-30- Local Area Office: 902-755-7152 Fax: 902-755-7184 TRANSPORTATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE RENEWAL, Traffic Advisory, Pictou County PICTOU COUNTY: Pine Tree Road Pine Tree Road, Thorburn, will be closed to all traffic until Friday, Aug. 15, for bridge construction and road realignment. Work takes place from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Signs are in place marking the detour routes. Motorists should use extra caution in the area.
The province is taking steps to keep families and communities safer by keeping students in school, funding local crime prevention initiatives and continuing support for police. Minister of Justice Ross Landry outlined today, March 28, the province’s crime prevention plans for 2012-13 at the Fourth Annual Crime Prevention Symposium. “We all want our communities to be safe places to live and raise families,” said Mr. Landry. “Today I shared some of the steps we’ll take to tackle crime prevention in the coming year. We will maintain programs that work, like our Lighthouses Program, introduce new initiatives and support our community and police partners in their important work on the frontlines.” One of the new initiatives is a partnership with Dalhousie University and Halifax Regional Police to launch the first restorative program for university students in the country. The program will be an alternative for students in conflict with the law, and for student conduct issues on campus or in the community. Students will have a chance to accept responsibility for their actions and the impact on others and the community. “This is a very exciting opportunity for Dalhousie,” said Dalhousie president Tom Traves. “I’m proud we’re taking a leadership role in such an innovative program, one that will improve student life, contribute to the academic and social success of our students, improve university/community relations and develop leadership and conflict resolution skills of students, faculty and staff.” A restorative approach will also be developed for the public school system, through the Kids and Learning First Plan. The departments of Justice and Education will build the tools and resources school administrators and teachers will need. Several high schools have piloted this approach since 2008 and are reporting fewer suspensions and lost teaching days because of classroom disruptions. Other plans to make communities safer will focus on working with, and supporting, community partners. In 2011, Lighthouses Program community partners helped 1,200 at-risk youth connect with their communities through a range of programs such as teen centres, art projects and boat building. This year, the province will consider engaging other partners and developing a stable four-year funding model for the program. Partnerships will be formed in housing, health, education, employment, recreation and social services to help ensure successful reintegration of offenders into communities. Programs will include a pilot parenting program and exploring options for safe, affordable housing. Support will also continue for police, corrections, courts and the justice system to hold offenders accountable for their actions. “I have long said that police alone cannot effectively address crime,” said Halifax Regional Police Chief Frank Beazley. “We appreciate the continued support from the province and look forward to working with all the partners in the public safety equation to find new, innovative ways to address the root causes of crime while we continue to target those people we know are putting our citizens at risk.” The province will continue to invest $47-million annually in direct policing, which includes the Additional Officer Program that puts 176 additional resources in communities across the province, as well as centralized services such as major crime investigators and emergency response units. For more information, visit www.gov.ns.ca/just.
PICTOU/COLCHESTER COUNTIES: Route 289 Sections of Route 289, from Pictou/Colchester county line west for almost six kilometres, are reduced to one lane for patching and paving. Drivers must reduce speed and be prepared to stop in the construction zone. The work is from sunrise to sunset and is expected to be finished by Wednesday, Sept. 30. A flag person is on site. RICHMOND COUNTY: Grandique Ferry Road Grandique Ferry Road, from Route 320 for 3.6 kilometres to the end of pavement, is reduced to one lane for paving and patching until Saturday, Oct. 31. Traffic control people and a pilot vehicle are on site. The work takes place from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. HANTS COUNTY: New Cheverie Road New Cheverie Road is reduced to one lane for repaving until Monday, July 31. Work takes place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. PICTOU COUNTY: River John Road Sections of River John Road, from Meadowville Station Road to Scotch Hill Road, are reduced to one lane for patching and paving until Monday, Aug. 31. Traffic control people will be on site. Work takes place from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. ANTIGONISH COUNTY: Highway 104 Sections of Highway 104, from Pomquet River Road for about two kilometres to Exit 36A, are reduced to one lane for repaving until Friday, July 17. Traffic control people are on site. Work takes place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. HALIFAX REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY: Highway 102, Night Work Sections of the Halifax-bound lanes of Highway 102, between Exit 5 at Fall River and Exit 4-C at Glendale Avenue and Duke Street, are reduced to one lane during night hours. On weekdays, lane reductions begin at 7 p.m. and end at 6 a.m. On weekends, the lane reductions are from 7 p.m. until 7 a.m. Delays are possible during construction. Travel with caution and use an alternate route if possible. Work will be completed this fall. LUNENBURG COUNTY: Varner Bridge Work has begun on a new bridge beside the existing Varner Bridge on Route 208 near New Germany. The existing bridge is open, but there may be occasional, brief closures during construction. Drivers should use extra caution in the area. The new two-lane bridge will be completed this year. PICTOU COUNTY: Glenfallach Road Sections of Glenfallach Road, from Woodburn Road to Frasers Mountain Branch Road, for almost one kilometre, will be reduced to one lane for gravelling and seal coating until Monday, Aug. 31. Traffic control people will be on site. Work takes place from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. KINGS COUNTY: Whitman Bridge Whitman Bridge, on Whitman Road between Maple Avenue and Ward Road in Aylesford, is closed for repairs until further notice. The detour route is Maple Avenue to Victoria Road to Ward Road. CUMBERLAND COUNTY: Malagash Road Malagash Road, from Smith Road to Purdys Loop Road, is reduced to one lane for chip sealing until Monday, Aug. 31. Work takes place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. COLCHESTER COUNTY: Barnhill Bridge Barnhill Bridge, about three kilometres north of Trunk 2 on Belmont Road, will be closed for repairs from Monday, June 15, until Wednesday, July 24. Detour signs are in place. COLCHESTER/CUMBERLAND: Highway 104 Traffic on sections of the eastbound lanes of Highway 104, from west of Exit 8 at Westchester to the Mines Bass River Road underpass, are reduced to one lane for guardrail repairs and repaving until Monday, Aug. 31. Traffic control people are on site. Work takes place from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. HANTS/COLCHESTER COUNTIES: Whittenburg Road Sections of Whittenburg Road in Lower Stewiacke, from Route 224 north for about four kilometres to the Colchester County line, are reduced to one lane for patching and paving. Drivers must reduce speed and be prepared to stop in the construction zone. The work is from sunrise to sunset and is expected to be finished by Wednesday, Sept. 30. DIGBY COUNTY: Melanson Mills BridgeMelanson Mills Bridge on Marc Comeau Road is closed until further notice to replace the deck. A detour route is in place. DIGBY COUNTY: Bonnie Road The Bonnie Road Overpass over Highway 101 near Meteghan, Digby Co., is closed to all traffic until further notice. A detour route is marked. PICTOU COUNTY: Highway 104 Sections of the eastbound lanes of Highway 104, from Exit 20 at Alma for 4.4 kilometres, are reduced to one lane for bridge repairs and paving until Friday, July 31. Speed through the work zone is reduced from 110 km/h to 80 km/h. Motorists are reminded that speeding fines are doubled in construction zones. Work will take place from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. HANTS COUNTY: Walton Woods Road Walton Woods Road is reduced to one lane for repaving until Monday, July 31. Work takes place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. HANTS/COLCHESTER COUNTIES: Meadow Road Meadow Road, from Cooks Brook Road to Route 224, is reduced to one lane for patching and paving. Drivers must reduce speed and be prepared to stop in the construction zone. The work is from sunrise to sunset and is expected to be finished by Wednesday, Sept. 30. CUMBERLAND COUNTY: Eddy Road Eddy Road to Fort Lawrence, near Amherst, is closed until further notice because of a collapsed culvert. INVERNESS COUNTY: Trunk 19 Trunk 19, from about five kilometres north of the Port Hastings Rotary at Creignish, north for 6.5 kilometres, is reduced to one lane for patching and paving until Friday, July 31. Traffic control people and a pilot vehicle are on site. Work takes place from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. HANTS COUNTY: Clayton McKay Road The Clayton McKay Road, near Smiley’s Provincial Park, is closed until Sunday, June 28, to replace the bridge. Detour signs will be posted. Access to the park will not be affected. HALIFAX REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY: Highway 118, Fall River The Highway 118 overpass over Perrin Drive in Fall River is reduced to one lane in each direction during repairs until Monday, June 15. Two lanes are open during peak hours. For inbound lanes, it is 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. Monday to Friday, and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday, for outbound lanes. INVERNESS COUNTY: West Lake Ainslie Road The Hayes River Bridge on West Lake Ainslie Road has a 15-tonne weight restriction. PICTOU COUNTY: Springville Bridge Springville Bridge on Springville Road is closed until further notice. Detour on East River West Side Road and Route 348. The bridge is expected to reopen before the end of June. QUEENS COUNTY: Highway 103 Sections of Highway 103, from Exit 20 in Summerville west to Port Joli, will be reduced to one lane for road repairs from Monday, June 15, until Saturday, Oct. 31. Work takes place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. PICTOU COUNTY: Frasers Mountain Branch Road Sections of Frasers Mountain Branch Road, from the intersection of Frasers Mountain Road to Glenfallach Road for about three kilometres, are reduced to one lane for gravelling and seal coating until Monday, Aug. 31. Traffic control people will be on site. Work takes place from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. PICTOU COUNTY: Scotch Hill Road Sections of Scotch Hill Road, from Route 376 north to River John Road, are reduced to one lane for patching and paving until Monday, Aug. 31. Traffic control people will be on site. Work takes place from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. COLCHESTER/HANTS COUNTIES: Highway 102, Lane Reduction The two northbound lanes of the Highway 102 bridge over the Shubenacadie River will be closed until Tuesday, June 16. All traffic will be detoured onto the southbound bridge with one lane in each direction. Traffic delays are possible. Allow extra time, travel with caution, and reduce speed through the work zone. COLCHESTER COUNTY: Trunk 4, near Londonderry Sections of Trunk 4, near Londonderry, between Baseline Road and Highway 104, are reduced to one lane for guardrail repair and paving until Monday, Aug. 31. Work takes place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. LUNENBURG COUNTY: Old Town Bridge, Bridgewater The Old Town Bridge on Trunk 3 over the LaHave River is closed to all vehicular and pedestrian traffic for repairs. Bridge is scheduled to open on Friday, June 19, at 6 p.m. Traffic is being detoured via the Veterans Memorial Bridge. NEW WORK CONTINUING WORK INVERNESS COUNTY: Crowdis Bridge Crowdis Bridge is closed until further notice for repairs. A detour is available via Crowdis Cross, West Big Intervale, and Hatchery roads. LUNENBURG COUNTY: Route 332 Route 332, from Trunk 3 towards Riverport for about eight kilometres, has alternating one-lane closures for paving until Wednesday, Sept. 30. Traffic will have be and go through the construction zone. Work takes place from sunrise to sunset. VICTORIA COUNTY: Gillis Bridge Gillis Bridge, on North Branch Road, just past Uisge Bàn (USH-KA BAN) Falls Provincial Park, is closed until further notice. Access to the park is not affected. -30-
Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Facebook Advertisement Q: In the first episode of the new season, the animated Brent character is referred to by the following terms: Tubby, Flabby, and Mary Blobbins. Do you have a self-image problem that we need to worry about?Brent Butt: “No, I’m all good. Why would suggesting I’m heavy automatically be a bad thing? Why do you take it to that place? Maybe I’m bragging.”Q: Fair enough. But the person who called you all those names was none other than Michael J. Fox. Who knew he could be so aggressive?Brent Butt: “That was really the impetus of the whole thing, when we were first talking about it in the writing room. We had this notion that Brent was having these recurring dreams that somebody was trying to kill him, and we thought it would be funny to have somebody really nice and beloved, so Michael J. Fox came to mind.”Q: It must be fun for your guest stars to play against type in an animated world.Brent Butt: “Yeah, and it’s also just easier to get somebody to agree to be in it. I can come to where they are with my recording equipment, or we can just set up a studio near where they live. We’re not trying to convince people to get on a plane and come to Saskatchewan for a couple of days. Logistically, it’s just easier to get people to go, ‘Yeah, that’s going to take 40 minutes, sure.’ ”Q: Do you write any of your core characters differently for the animated version than you did for the live-action version?Brent Butt: “No, I don’t think so. If you could watch it happening, the actors are acting. It’s not like they’re just sitting there with a cup of coffee in their hands, reading. They get in character. They occupy the situation. The only difference being, you don’t have to do the actual walking if it’s a walk-and-talk. But they’re into it. They’re pros, man.”Q: You must be pleased by how much the settings in the animated version look amazingly like the live-action version.Brent Butt: “That was important in the project right from the get-go, with the design of the show. It’s tough when you’re taking a known, beloved project and trying to convert it, as opposed to creating something from scratch. The thing I like is, we’ve had a lot of people say that about five minutes in, they forgot that it was an animated show, and they just felt like they were watching an episode of CORNER GAS.”Q: For fans who liked Season 1 of CORNER GAS ANIMATED, what message do you want to give them about Season 2?Brent Butt: “We spent a lot of Season 1 just building the machine and learning how to do this. In Season 2, we had that infrastructure in place, so we were able to really focus on the creative end. We invested a little bit in the animation, so things are a little smoother that way. Overall, it’s just a step up. Everything in Season 2 just feels tighter, smoother, funnier.”By Bill Harris ~ Bell Media There’s no mistaking the smell of gas on Canada Day, but this year it won’t be merely barbecues and outboard motors.Monday, July 1 is the day CORNER GAS ANIMATED returns for Season 2, with back-to-back new episodes, starting at 8 p.m. ET on The Comedy Network. The Season 2 debut is preceded by a Season 1 marathon on Comedy, which begins at 8 a.m. ET.Brent Butt holds a gas nozzle on the set of the CTV comedy series Corner Gas in Roleau, Sask, in this undated handout photo. (CP PICTURE ARCHIVE/HO – CTV)Here’s what creator Brent Butt had to say about the new 11-episode campaign, which brings back the beloved main cast – voiced by Butt, Fred Ewanuick, Eric Peterson, Nancy Robertson, Gabrielle Miller, Lorne Cardinal, Tara Spencer-Nairn, and Corrine Koslo – alongside guest stars such as Michael J. Fox, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Chris Hadfield, Russell Peters, Jann Arden, and EPIC MEALTIME’s Harley Morenstein. Login/Register With: Twitter
WASHINGTON — The operator of a video-sharing app popular with teenagers is agreeing to pay $5.7 million to settle federal allegations it illegally collected personal information from children.The Federal Trade Commission says the Wednesday penalty against lip-syncing app Musical.ly, now known as TikTok, is the largest ever obtained in a children’s privacy case.The FTC says the app violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, which requires kid-oriented websites to get parents’ consent before collecting personal information from children under 13.TikTok says it’s starting a separate, more restrictive app for younger U.S. users.FTC Chairman Joe Simons says Musical.ly knew many younger children were using the app and collecting names, email addresses and other personal information without parental consent.Musical.ly merged last year into China-based TikTok.The Associated Press
4 September 2008The United Nations food agency expects to be able to send emergency assistance today to Haitians stranded in the flooded northern city of Gonaïves, which was battered by Tropical Storm Hanna on Monday night. After days of waiting for the vicious rainstorm to subside, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) can now sail a boat out of the capital, Port-au-Prince, carrying food and personnel to the previously inaccessible port town.Haiti, already the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, has been devastated by three deadly storms, Fay, Gustav and Hanna, in less than a month, and two others, Ike and Josephine, are fast approaching. Hurricane Gustav left at least 76 dead and thousands displaced, destroying homes, livestock and crops primarily in the south and west of the impoverished Caribbean country and forcing some 7,000 people into shelters. WFP, the world’s biggest aid organization, was distributing food to Gustav victims and evaluating the humanitarian impact of the hurricane when Hanna struck Gonaïves in the north and the number of casualties is feared to be high.“Right when humanitarian assistance was reaching affected communities in the south, tropical storm Hanna arrived and again blocked roads and created lots of problems,” said WFP Representative in Haiti, Myrta Kaulard, in an interview with UN Radio.The UN peacekeeping mission in Haiti, known as MINUSTAH, and other UN agencies were eventually able to reach Gonaïves using speed boats to deliver some humanitarian aid, but a ship loaded with WFP and UNICEF supplies has been sitting idle for two days because of the weather.“All roads able to access Gonaïves are cut, either by bridges that have collapsed, by trees that have fallen down, or by waters that have washed way parts of the streets,” said Ms. Kaulard.MINUSTAH also hope that their helicopters are able to transport UN personnel today to start distributing aid and providing humanitarian assistance to the marooned population in Gonaïves. Some residents have been stranded on the rooftops of their homes.“We are bringing in 50 metric tons of water, 19 metric tons of biscuits. We are bringing water purification tablets. We are bringing trucks, cars and boats to help with the evacuation of the people and the transport of this food and water to the population,” added Ms. Kaulard.The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reported that preliminary information indicates that damage caused by Hanna is more extensive than that of Hurricane Jeanne in 2004, which decimated the city and left around 2,500 dead or missing.“The hurricane season is far from over, several storms have already hit the country, each of them aggravating the damage left by the previous one,” said UNICEF Representative in Haiti, Annamaria Laurini.UNICEF said in a press release yesterday that it is stepping up its assistance to an initial 15,000 Haitians affected by the three successive storms, but as the emergency teams begin to reach currently inaccessible areas, this number is bound to increase.
The warning came in a statement issued yesterday by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Ruud Lubbers, jointly with the new head of the European Union’s Balkan Stability Pact, Erhard Busek. The statement links the fate of the region to the provision of a “meaningful future” for those displaced by the various conflicts that have torn the region. According to the statement, about 2 million displaced people have already returned to their homes, and more have returned to areas controlled by their former opponents in 2001 than in any year since the signing of the Dayton accord in 1995 – the majority going back to Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia. Members of minority communities have even been returning to difficult areas such as Srebrenica and Foca – an indication, the officials believe, that many of the legal, administrative and security obstacles are disappearing. The statement cautions, however, that continued financial and political support is essential to help the 1 million people yet to return, and calls on the international community to make good on the financial commitments it has made to region. The officials note that humanitarian and development funds for this region are in increasingly short supply, just at the time when they are most needed. “Young people will not return to areas where there are no houses, no employment and no opportunity to raise families,” the statement says.
In announcing this development, the world body pledged to coordinate emergency relief efforts, working with non-governmental organizations and liaising with local authorities in Basra to evaluate critical needs and provide targeted assistance to the area’s most vulnerable people.The UN, which has re-established its presence in Baghdad and Erbil, also announced plans to send humanitarian staff to Mosul and Hilla as soon as conditions permit.Today, 25 staff from the Office of the Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Programme (WFP) arrived in Basra from Kuwait to set up offices and living accommodation in the city. Staff from other UN agencies, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP), are slated to join the team tomorrow to expand humanitarian activities in Basra, which needs assistance to restore health, sanitation, water, food and education services, as well as help in clearing unexploded ammunition. With the new deployments, the UN now has about 100 international staff located in Iraq on a permanent basis.
BISMARCK, N.D. – Police and activists protesting the Dakota Access oil pipeline are in a tense standoff over the activists’ occupation of private land owned by the pipeline developer. Here’s a guide to the latest developments and key background about the protest:___THE ORIGINSDallas-based Energy Transfer Partners got federal permits for the $3.8 billion pipeline in July, about two years after it was announced. The project is projected to move a half-million barrels of crude oil daily from western North Dakota through South Dakota and Iowa to an existing pipeline in Patoka, Illinois, where shippers can access Midwest and Gulf Coast markets.Supporters say the pipeline will have safeguards against leaks, and is a safer way to move oil than truck and trains, especially after a handful of fiery — and sometimes deadly — derailments of trains carrying North Dakota crude.But the Standing Rock Sioux, other tribes and environmental groups say that the pipeline could threaten water supplies for millions, since it will cross the Missouri River, as well as harm sacred sites and artifacts. Protesters, sometimes numbering in the thousands, have gathered since April at the confluence of the Cannonball and Missouri rivers in southern North Dakota.___IN THE COURTROOMThe Standing Rock Sioux, whose reservation straddles the North Dakota-South Dakota border, are suing federal regulators for approving the oil pipeline. They have challenged the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ decision to grant permits at more than 200 water crossings and argue that the pipeline would be placed less than a mile upstream of the reservation, potentially affecting drinking water for more than 8,000 tribal members and millions downstream.The tribe hasn’t fared well in court so far. A federal judge in September denied their request to block construction of the entire pipeline. Three federal agencies stepped in and ordered a temporary halt to construction on corps land around and underneath Lake Oahe — one of six reservoirs on the Missouri River.The corps is reviewing its permitting of the project and has given no timetable for a decision. Meanwhile, the tribe’s appeal is still pending in federal court.Energy Transfer Partners has said construction is nearly complete elsewhere.___THE PROTESTSThe tribe’s fight grew into an international cause in recent months for many Native Americans and indigenous people from around the world, with some travelling thousands of miles to join the protest.“Divergent” actress Shailene Woodley also protested and was arrested, while “Democracy Now!” host Amy Goodman had charges of rioting and trespassing charges dropped stemming from her coverage of a protest.More than 260 people have been arrested since the larger demonstrations began in August.As of Wednesday, nearly all of the $6 million in emergency funding earmarked for law enforcement costs related to the protest had been used up. The state’s Emergency Commission approved the money in late September, and the Department of Emergency Services plans to ask for more.___LATEST DEVELOPMENTSNearly half of those arrests came over the weekend, when protesters twice blocked a state highway and law enforcement said that a drone was flown dangerously close to a police helicopter.On Sunday, a group of protesters moved onto a private property that had recently been acquired by Energy Transfer Partners, putting them squarely in the pipeline’s path for the first time.Morton County sheriff’s officials called it trespassing. They said they didn’t have the resources to immediately remove the demonstrators. Six states have answered the department’s call for reinforcements, and Energy Transfer Partners called on the protesters to leave. On Wednesday, officers of three law enforcement agencies formally asked the protesters to go, but they said no. Police said they don’t want to forcibly remove the demonstrators but will do so if necessary.Actor Mark Ruffalo was delivering a pair of Navajo-made solar trailers Wednesday to help power the encampments established to protest the pipeline. The Rev. Jesse Jackson also visited the protests on Wednesday. Three people on horseback watch from a hillside as a helicopter sweeps by on Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016, near the New Camp on Pipeline Easement in southern Morton County, ND.The prospect of a police raid on an encampment protesting the Dakota Access pipeline faded as night fell Wednesday, with law enforcement making no immediate move after protesters rejected their request to withdraw from private land. Activists fear the nearly 1,200-mile pipeline could harm cultural sites and drinking water for the Standing Rock Sioux tribe. (Tom Stromme/The Bismarck Tribune via AP) AP News Guide: New phase for Dakota Access Pipeline protests by James MacPherson, The Associated Press Posted Oct 26, 2016 5:26 pm MDT Last Updated Oct 26, 2016 at 6:04 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email
The Council’s call on the Malian parties to fully respect a months-old ceasefire and to swiftly engage in relevant agreed confidence-building measures come as UN spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric announced earlier today that the head of UN Peacekeeping Operations, Hervé Ladsous, is currently in the Algerian capital for the for the talks. “He will encourage the parties to negotiate in a spirit of compromise so they can reach a comprehensive peace agreement. As you know, such agreement is in the cornerstone of peace, stability and security in Mali,” continued Mr. Dujarric, adding that the Peacekeeping chief will also encourage all parties to respect the cease-fire on the ground, and urge armed groups to collaborate with the UN Mission there, otherwise known as MINUSMA, in the prevention of terrorist attacks in line with their commitments already agreed to on 16 September.In their press statement issued in New York, the members of the Council welcomed the expected resumption of the negotiations and commended Algeria’s facilitation role, at the request of the Malian authorities, in the organization of formal peace talks and in convening the Government of Mali and the signatory and adherent armed groups of the Ouagadougou Agreement. The Council called on the Malian parties to fully comply with their commitments in the roadmap signed on 24 July 2014, and to engage in good faith and in the spirit of compromise in the comprehensive peace talks in Algiers when they resume.In addition, the Council “encouraged further engagement with all communities of the North of Mali, including through civil society organizations, in order to reach a comprehensive and inclusive peace agreement to bring a durable political resolution to the crisis and long-term peace and stability throughout the country, respecting the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of the Malian State.”Despite initial security improvements in 2013, the situation in Northern Mali has deteriorated since the beginning of this year. An increase in incidents involving improvised explosive devices, mostly targeting Malian and international security forces, has impeded the return to normalcy and resumption of economic and development activities.The first phase of the inter-Malian negotiation process, which was held from 16 to 24 July in Algiers, aimed at achieving a comprehensive peace agreement which would end the crisis. It concluded with the adoption of a roadmap by all parties.Announcement of the resumption of the talks comes in the wake of a series of deadly attacks against the UN Mission in the country, including a bomb attack and an ambush that killed nine Nigerien MINUSMA peacekeepers in Mali’s Gao region, bringing the total number of fatalities suffered by the mission to 31 peacekeepers killed and 91 wounded since it first deployed on 1 July 2013. For their part, the Council members in their statement today expressed their serious concern about the deteriorating security situation in the North of Mali and reiterated their strong condemnation of all deadly attacks against MINUSMA. They urged the armed groups operating in northern Mali to demonstrate their commitment to cooperate with the UN to immediately stop and condemn attacks against peacekeepers, in line with the declaration they signed on 16 September 2014 in Algiers.“Recognizing the lessons of the previous efforts by the Malian parties, which did not achieve a durable peace in Mali,” the Security Council affirmed the importance for the Malian parties to devise mechanisms for the full, faithful and immediate implementation of a future comprehensive and inclusive peace agreement, which should be signed during the resumed talks. The Council also urged UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to accelerate efforts to enable MINUSMA to reach its full operational capacity as soon as possible.
Senior Counsel and former Speaker of the National Assembly Ralph Ramkarran, in his weekly column, expounded that the charges against former Finance Minister Ashni Singh and former National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) Executive Director Winston Brassington may be unconstitutional on the basis that they are not “public officers” in accordance with the Constitution.Former Speaker of the National Assembly, Ralph Ramkarran, SCSingh and Brassington have been jointly charged by the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) on three charges, using a UK common law application: “Misconduct in Public Office: Contrary to the Common Law.”According to Ramkarran, “Questions have arisen as to who is a public officer. In England, which does not have a written constitution, or apparently any applicable statutory definition, case law developed. In R v Whittaker (1914), the court defined a “public office holder” as “an officer who discharges any duty in the discharge of which the public are interested, more clearly if he is paid out of a fund provided by the public.” More recently, in R v Dytham (1979), Chief Justice Lord Widgery referred to a public officer as one “who has an obligation to perform a duty”.Ramkarran referred to the Guyana Constitution by stating that in Guyana, however, the Constitution defines a “public officer” as “the holder of a public office”. A “public office” is defined as “an office of emolument in the public service.” And the public service excludes “the Office of the President, [and] Minister.….” and it also excludes “the office of a member of any board, committee or other similar body (whether incorporate or not) established by any law in force in Guyana.”Various lawyers have also recently outlined that using the definitions of “public officer”, “public office,” and “public service” as defined in Article 232 of the Guyana’s Constitution would exclude both Singh and Brassington, from the charges of “Misconduct in Public Office: Contrary to the Common Law.”Further buttressing their arguments, legal scholars point to a 2006 Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) case (“Griffith vs [Guyana Revenue Authority] GRA, AG”), where the Court found that while the GRA was a “public authority”, its employees were not and cannot be “public officers and employees” based on the [Guyana] Constitution.Left: former former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) Winston Brassington and former Finance Minister Dr Ashni SinghRamkarran, in his column said, “While the offence can be traced back to the 13th century, a definition, given by Chief Justice Lord Mansfield in the 1783 case of R v Rembridge emphasised its importance: “…. first that a man accepting an office of trust concerning the public, especially if attended with profit, is answerable criminally to the King for misbehaviour in his office; …. Secondly, where there is a breach of trust, fraud or imposition in a matter concerning the public, though as between individuals it would be actionable, yet as between the King and the subject it is indictable. That such should be the rule is essential to the existence of the country.”Over the centuries, the crime was characterised by vagueness. Fast forwarding to the 21st century, in 2003 in the case of Attorney General’s Reference (No. 3 of 2003), each defendant was charged with “misconducting himself whilst serving as a police officer by wilfully failing to take reasonable and proper care of [A], an arrested person in police custody”.“Seeking no doubt to modernise the definition of the offence, the Attorney General sought the opinion of the court on the following questions: *What are the ingredients of the common law offence of misconduct in public office? *In particular, is it necessary in proceedings for an offence of misconduct in public office for the prosecution to prove bad faith, and if so, what does ‘bad faith’ mean? The court responded that the offence is committed when: (1) a public officer, acting as such, (2) wilfully neglects to perform his duty and/or wilfully misconducts himself, (3) to such a degree as to amount to an abuse of the public’s trust in the office holder, (4) without reasonable excuse or justification. It was made clear that it is an offence defined more by conduct than by results. This definition of “public trust” remained at large,” Ramkarran noted.He continued: “In 2008, Christopher Galley, a civil servant in the Home Office, was arrested for misconduct in public office for allegedly passing confidential and restricted documents to Damien Green. Green was arrested on suspicion of conspiring to commit, and being an accessory to, the alleged offence by Galley.“The [Director of Public Prosecutions] DPP decided not to prosecute because, whilst there was damage to the Home Office’s arrangements for handling such documents, there needed to be additional damage, such as harm to national security, and in the absence of such evidence, there were no realistic prospects of conviction. The DPP’s decision highlighted the departure in practical terms, from the notion that the conduct, not the results, define the offence. The DPP’s decision emphasised that in prosecutorial decision-making, the results of the impugned acts are a critical element in determining whether a conviction is likely. And if it is not, the State’s resources should not be wastefully expended in vainly pursuing a conviction. Although “public trust” was not an explicit issue, an understanding of it, in the sense of harming the public, was taking shape in legal circles.”Moreover, he reminded that “in the more recent case of R v W (2010), the Court of Appeal of England broadened and expanded the definition of the offence, exacerbating the existing confusion. Included were: frauds and deceits (in office); wilful excesses of official authority (malfeasance); the international infliction of bodily harm, imprisonment or other injury upon a person (oppression). Notwithstanding this decision, the House of Lords in R v Rimmington, R v Goldstein (2005) has suggested that the charge of misconduct in public office should be imposed only where there is no statutory offence, but where the behaviour should nevertheless be considered as criminal”.Opposition Leader and former President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo had said that all three charges against Singh and Brassington are ‘frivolous’ and all three matters were approved by the Cabinet.In concluding on the charges, a legal scholar has posited that this is “an open and shut case”. Neither Singh nor Brassington are “public officers” and as such. the law under which they are charged (based on both the Constitution and legal precedents all the way to the CCJ) cannot be applied to them.Even without this point, the legal luminary posited that, both Brassington and Singh can strongly argue that any action related to the charges is excused or justified, having obtained Board and Cabinet approvals for each of the transactions – strong evidence of oversight, supervision, and authority to act.On the other elements of the offence, it was outlined that the DPP would have difficulty showing that the actions, that are almost a decade old, “amount to an abuse of the public trust”, or “reflect one who wilfully neglects to perform his duty.” Lack of a valuation, particularly when compared with a public tender and lacking any basis in law, can hardly be criminal, particularly when there is Cabinet authority and approval, for each transaction.The DPP is yet to respond to a written request by one of the defence lawyers, Anil Nandlall, to review the charges against Singh and Brassington. Yet, similar charges instituted by the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) against five sitting Ministers, on the other hand, have been thrown out by the DPP. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedHigh Court grants stay halting Magistrates’ Court from hearing charges against Singh, BrassingtonMay 21, 2018In “Court”UPDATE: High Court to rule soon on stay of ‘misconduct’ charges against Singh, BrassingtonMay 17, 2018In “Court”Singh, Brassington appear in court, granted bailMay 8, 2018In “Court”
By Paul Fennessy Friday 24 Mar 2017, 10:41 PM Mar 24th 2017, 10:41 PM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article 53,464 Views http://the42.ie/3306156 84 Comments Share20 Tweet Email3 Coleman set for long spell on the sidelines with suspected leg break There were no replays of the incident that prompted Taylor’s sending off, and O’Neill was reluctant to condemn the player. Short URL SEAMUS COLEMAN IS set to be out of action for a long spell, after falling victim to a horror challenge by Wales’ Neil Taylor in tonight’s game at the Aviva Stadium.Speaking after the match, Ireland boss Martin O’Neill said: “Seamus has gone to hospital. I think it’s been confirmed by our doctor that he’s broken his leg.”There were no replays of the incident that prompted Taylor’s sending off, and O’Neill was reluctant to condemn the player having not seen it back.The Irish boss added that it was “a big loss” to both Ireland and Everton, with the player likely to be out for the rest of this season and some time thereafter.O’Neill similarly was reluctant to criticise Gareth Bale for his challenge on John O’Shea, which many felt warranted a red card, rather than the booking that was given.“I’ve seen John’s injury. He’s got some stud marks on his ankle,” O’Neill added.Wales boss Chris Coleman was similarly not too harsh on Taylor, having not seen the incident back, adding that the player went to the Irish dressing room afterwards to apologise: “Neil Taylor’s not that type of player. He’s had a serious injury himself… He’s devastated.”He also expressed unhappiness with some of the Irish team’s behaviour, explaining: ”Your boys are not coming off the pitch with halos on their head.”Coleman did not cite any specific challenge, though Glenn Whelan leading with his elbow in a 50:50 challenge with Stoke teammate Joe Allen on the brink of half-time clearly angered Wales’ players.Former Germany international Dietmar Hamann was among those tonight to condemn both Bale and Taylor, tweeting: “Game is dead if we let players get away with these challenges. Have a look where O’Shea gets caught, half way up his leg, ball was on deck.”More to followPlayer ratings: How the Boys in Green fared against Wales>Ireland’s World Cup qualifier overshadowed by serious injury to captain Seamus Coleman>