Happiness in the air — a green lung space from a big heart

first_imgProsperity is a pre-condition to charity. But between the two lies the connector and facilitator called generosity, an essential. A small entrepreneur in Bhawanipatna, district headquarters town of Odisha’s Kalahandi, has converted his 12-acre farm into a park where the general public enjoy unhindered access.50-year-old Pramod Khamari, a businessman running a small hotel chain in this western Odisha town, started off dirt poor and became rich. And, it’s his way of paying back to society. He named ‘Bhagirathi Park’ after his father.On the outskirts of Bhawanipatna, with its meticulous landscape planning and features, Bhagirathi Park is on par with any in bigger urban centres.On any given holiday, the park is teeming with visitors not only from Kalahandi, but also from neighbouring districts such as Balangir, Nuapada and Rayagada. It’s also an integral part of the itinerary of tourists from Chhattisgarh coming to this region.Why a park of all things? “I believe parks reflect the quality of life of a community. But, Bhawanipatna, where I have grown up and succeeded in life, did not have a proper green lung to breathe. I realised that my 12-acre mango orchard could contribute to creating happiness and fill the major vacuum. I decided to make it a park which should be a gathering place for people irrespective of their age and social status,” said Mr. Khamari.It was not an easy task to translate the fancy idea into reality. One, funding was difficult. Since the park was close to his heart, Mr. Khamari decided to pay for it from his other ventures. Even harder was to organise everything and make it run efficiently. He found a motivated friend in Rabindra Patnaik, a science teacher in the local government high school.After visiting a few parks in Odisha and elsewhere, both carefully prepared the park’s landscape without disturbing the orchard. Children’s corner, water fountain, variety of flowering plants, replica of different wildlife and statues of gods and goddesses were placed as per a detailed plan.Bhagirathi Park is distinct from others in its use of waste materials and typical traditional tribal huts depicting tribal life and their customs. “Used bottles to prepare figurines, discarded commodes for planting saplings and other waste materials have been utilised to send out a message on environment. Of late, it has turned into a laboratory for local school and college students,” said Mr. Patnaik, who upkeeps the park without any remuneration.To avoid non-serious visitors, the management charges ₹20 entry fee per person per day.last_img read more

Standhardinger: Playing in the PBA is an option

first_imgChristian Standhardinger. Photo by Randolph B. Leongson/ INQUIRER.netTAIPEI – The coming PBA Draft could be a lot deeper than anyone had anticipated.Christian Standhardinger, a 6-foot-7 center who only had the PBA in his consciousness less than a month ago, is considering having a career in the Philippines and would definitely be a deserving top overall pick.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ LATEST STORIES Young Taiwanese grabs spotlight after incident with Wright “I’m really looking to what the future brings,” the 28-year-old, whose mother is from Angono, Rizal, said of a PBA career. “I became a free agent (in the German league) this season and right now, my options are open.“Definitely, the PBA is an option,” he said.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsKiefer Ravena has more or less declared his availability for the Draft after two more international stints, and with Bobby Ray Parks also likely to join the proceedings, three teams can certainly change their fortunes for the next season.Standhardinger looms to be a very promising prospect because of his size and work ethic. FEU Auditorium’s 70th year celebrated with FEU Theater Guild’s ‘The Dreamweavers’ Church, environmentalists ask DENR to revoke ECC of Quezon province coal plant Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. He had 17 points and 15 rebounds against Chinese Taipei A on Sunday night and showed what he can do even against players bigger than he is.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Trump strips away truth with hunky topless photo tweet Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games El Nido residents told to vacate beach homes National Coffee Research Development and Extension Center brews the 2nd National Coffee Education Congress View commentslast_img read more

Hammer toe

first_imgHammer toe is a condition where a toe bends downward like a claw. You can be born with hammer toe or develop it from wearing short, narrow shoes. Symptoms of hammer toe include foot pain, calluses on the sole of the foot, or corns on the top of the toe. Treatment of mild cases and cases in children can include foot manipulation and splinting of the toe. More severe cases may need surgery to straighten the toe joint. Review Date:8/11/2012Reviewed By:David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc. C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery.last_img read more

Oscar Pistorius jailed for six years for murdering Reeva Steenkamp

first_imgSouth African Paralympic gold medallist Oscar Pistorius was sent to prison for six years on Wednesday for the 2013 murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, the latest twist in a trial that has gripped the world. (Pistorius threatened with gangrape in prison, claims family)The state and large sections of the South African public had called for him to receive no less than the prescribed minimum 15-year sentence for murder, saying Pistorius had shown no remorse for the killing.’NO ROLE FOR PUBLIC OPINION’Judge Thokozile Masipa disagreed, accepting the defence’s arguments for a lesser punishment.”Public opinion may be loud and persistent but it can play no role in the decision of this court,” Masipa said. “I am of the view that a long term in prison will not serve justice.”It was not clear whether the state would appeal the verdict.Dressed in a dark suit, the 29-year-old stared straight ahead as Masipa read out the sentence.Pistorius was found guilty of murdering Steenkamp by an appeals court last December. He had initially received a five-year sentence for a manslaughter conviction in 2014 handed down by Masipa, a ruling derided by women’s groups as too lenient.’FALLEN HERO’In her ruling on Wednesday, Masipa said that although the Steenkamp family had suffered great loss, Pistorius’ life and career was also in ruins.”The life of the accused shall also never be the same. He is a fallen hero and can never be at peace,” she said.The athlete had the lower part of his legs amputated when he was a baby and his lawyers argued that his disability and mental stress should be considered as mitigating circumstances to reduce his sentence.advertisementPistorius was freed from prison last October after almost a year behind bars to serve out the remainder of his five-year term under house arrest at his uncle’s house in a wealthy suburb of the capital.Some rights groups have said Pistorius, a wealthy white man and international celebrity, has received preferential treatment compared to others without his status or wealth.He argued that he fired four shots into the door of a toilet cubicle at his luxury Pretoria home in the mistaken belief that an intruder was hiding behind it.Members of the Women’s League of the ruling African National Congress (ANCWL), who have attended the trial in support of the murdered Steenkamp, said the sentence handed down by Masipa was not sufficient.”First five years, now six years? She is an embarrassment to the justice system,” ANCWL spokeswoman Jacqueline Mofokeng said of Masipa. “It is an insult to women in this country.”Outside the court, a group of people held up placards backing the athlete. One read: “Give Oscar his freedom back please”.Steenkamp’s father Barry, who said during sentencing hearings that Pistorius must pay for his crime, declined to comment on the prospects for an appeal.”We’ll leave that to the state,” he told reporters.The judge said that she had considered both aggravating and mitigating factors while delivering the sentence, and concluded that the latter outweighed the former.Mitigating factors:- Pistorius was vulnerable on his stumps without his protheses.- He believed the person in the bathroom was an intruder.- He “immediately took steps to try to save the deceased’s life”.- The judge believed he was genuinely remorseful. Aggravating factors:- Pistorius used a lethal weapon, with high-grade ammunition.-He fired four times, “knowing full well” there was someone in the bathroom.- He did not take the precaution of firing a warning shot.last_img read more

Domestic success helps Prithvi Shaw turn multi-millionaire

first_imgMumbai’s young batting sensation Prithvi Shaw has taken the Indian domestic cricket by storm in this year’s Ranji Trophy season. He has smashed three centuries and a couple of fifties and is seen as the next big thing in Indian cricket.The 18-year-old batsman’s sensational run has caught the eye of the tyre giants MRF, who will now sponsor his bats.India Today has learnt that Shaw has signed a three-year deal with MRF making the cricketer a multi-millionaire at such a young age.”It’s an impressive deal for a 18-year-old at a time when even some India regulars are having to live with per-series and strictly performance based short-term bat contracts,” said an industry source.Bat sponsors don’t throw moolah without factoring in their return on investment, and punting on Prithvi is seen as an investment for the future.The deal is a first of its kind where a trusted bat sponsorship company is investing big bucks on a young talent on the strength of a successful Ranji season and not an attractive IPL showing or an impressive India U-19 World Cup; commercially more attractive events.The bat sponsorship giants, MRF have previously sponsored heavyweights like Steve Waugh, Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara. The current India captain Virat Kohli sports the MRF logo on his bat for a reported 10 crore per year deal. They recently also signed up South African batting great AB de Villiers in a three-year deal, which is said to be in the region of 3.5 crore per year.advertisementBat sponsors like Nike have strategically invested in upcoming talent in the past but the valuations there are negligible. The last young turk to bag a mega deal was Mumbai based Sarfaraz Khan but that was after his IPL heroics for the Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore.Shaw will be making the first use of his MRF willow, leading India in the U-19 World Cup next month in New Zealand. The right-handed diminutive stroke player scored 537 runs in six Ranji Trophy matches this year, in virtually his first full season after debuting in the semi-finals last year.Shaw also has the distinction of having scored 100s on Duleep and Ranji Trophy debuts with five hundreds coming in the nine first-class games he has played so far. This in addition to a half-century against the visiting New Zealanders this year for Board Presidents XI.Shaw could also be in high demand in the upcoming IPL auction next year if he has a good World Cup playing white ball cricket.To those worried if the financial windfall, early in life, could distract the young man, thankfully he has the best possible councilor in India U-19 coach Rahul Dravid to help digest the riches. Shaw has Dravid to thank, whose call it was to allow him to play the complete domestic season instead of drafting him in India U-19 tournaments.last_img read more

Adnan Sami in talks to play Kishore Kumar in biopic

first_imgMumbai: ‘Kishore Kumar Biopic’ has been the talk of the town since a long time. And according to the latest reports, it is being said that singer Adnan Sami has been approached to play the titular role of the legendary singer, Kishore Kumar. The source stated that Adnan will be a perfect fit for the role as he is a singer, composer and also a good actor. Also, Sami will lend his voice to recreate some of Kishore’s classics. According to reports, Sami was approached for the part after his versions of some of Kishore’s classic songs were recreated on a show. The videos went viral, and the makers thought of taking Adnan Sami for the role of Kishore Kumar. Earlier, Anurag Basu had announced to make Kishore Kumar’s biopic. But things did not materialised and now we hear someone else is making it.last_img read more

India to help train 1000 civil servants of Maldives

first_imgNew Delhi: The National Centre for Good Governance (NCGG), India’s leading civil services training institution, has entered into an agreement with the Maldives Civil Services Commission for capacity building of 1,000 civilservants from the Maldives over the next five years, an official statement issued on Sunday said. The agreement was signed during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Male, the capital of the Maldives, on Saturday. The agreement envisages that the NCGG will be the nodal institution for designing customised training modules and its implementation, taking into account the requirements of the Maldives Civil Services Commission. Also Read – Pak activated 20 terror camps & 20 launch pads along LoCThe subject matters of the training programme will include public administration, e-governance and service delivery, public policy and governance, information technology, best practices in fisheries in coastal areas, agro-based practices, self-help group initiatives, urban development and planning and ethics in administration, the statement said. The Maldives will nominate suitable civil servants in the senior or executive or middle management levels as per the agreed timelines. Also Read – Two squadrons which participated in Balakot airstrike awarded citationsFurther, the NCGG will assist the Civil Services Training Institute, a subsidiary of the Maldives Civil Services Commission, to develop training programmes and materials and assist in organising exchange of experts as needed by the Civil Services Commission, it said. The Ministry of External Affairs will bear all expenses pertaining to the training programme, the statement issued by Personnel Ministry said. K V Eapen, Director General, NCGG and Secretary to the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances, said the NCGG trained 28 civil servants from the Maldives in April and this successful engagement encouraged the two countries to take the collaboration forward. Eapen said in 2019, the NCGG has successfully conducted training programmes for the civil servants of Bangladesh, Myanmar, the Gambia and the Maldives.last_img read more

Fire Fighters matching donations made to help family fighting cancer

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Fort St. John Professional Fire Fighters will match donations up to $5,000 for 4-year-old Natalie who was diagnosed with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma.In a post on Facebook, the group said they would match up to $5,000 with a goal of raising $10,000 to help Natalie’s family with the cost of travelling to Vancouver during her treatment.  A GoFundMe campaign was also created for the family but is only halfway to the $20,000 goal.Donations made to the Professional Fire Fighters Charitable Society can receive a tax receipt.  To make a donation, contact Adam at 250-264-2857 or call the Fire Department at 250-785-4333. Several groups and residents created fundraisers for Natalie in December to also help the family.  The Professional Fire Fighters Charitable Society also made a sizeable donation at that time.The Fire Fighters also shared the following update from Natalie’s mother.“Natalie has recently started round 4 chemo, and is tolerating things quite well. Most days her energy level and appetite are back full force. She is well on her way to finishing the first part of the treatment plan which consists of 2 more rounds of chemo and a major surgery to remove her main tumour between her liver and kidney. After that point, we are moving into the second phase which is bone marrow transplants, and radiation. As a family we are doing ok with things, she misses her sisters and misses mom when I am back in FSJ with the other two girls. They haven’t seen her yet but hopefully, we can get them down there soon to visit unfortunately the cost of extra medications and living down there is proving to be a bit challenging without the weight of flights added as well. All in all, she is an incredibly strong-willed child and is starting to come back to her normal self which we are all grateful for no less! “last_img read more

NCLAT annuls creditors voting on NBCCs bid for Jaypee Infra

first_imgNew Delhi: The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) Friday annulled voting by homebuyers and lenders on NBCC’s bid to acquire debt-laden Jaypee Infratech, and allowed renegotiation on the offer by May 30. Hearing a plea by IDBI Bank, seeking a stay or annulment of the voting process, a three-member NCLAT bench headed by Chairman Justice S J Mukhopadhaya also allowed nine homebuyers’ associations representing around 5,000 buyers to file intervention application. Also Read – Commercial vehicle sales to remain subdued in current fiscal: IcraThe appellate tribunal also allowed the Committee of Creditors (CoC) to renegotiate on NBCC’s bid by May 30. Fresh voting process will start from May 31, the bench said. On Thursday, voting started to approve or reject NBCC’s bid to acquire Jaypee group’s realty firm. As many as 13 banks and over 23,000 homebuyers of Jaypee Infratech have voting rights in the CoC. The voting process was to end on Sunday and the result was to be announced on May 20. In its order on Friday, the bench said,”in the meantime, the voting already taken is annulled.” Also Read – Ashok Leyland stock tanks over 5 pc as co plans to suspend production for up to 15 daysIDBI Bank, the biggest lender to the debt-laden realty firm, had opposed NBCC’s bid saying it was conditional. It said NBCC’s offer for the company was conditional upon grant of approval to transfer Yamuna Expressway’s business. The bench further said,”the CoC, if required, may renegotiate with NBCC by May 30, 2019 and will start fresh voting since May 31, 2019 and onwards.” The appellate tribunal left it to the CoC to approve the resolution plan of NBCC “if it is in accordance with law.” However, the bench said,”in case the CoC is not inclined to accept the plan they will not pass any order of rejection without prior permission of this Appellate Tribunal as the matter relating to their voting share and other financial creditors is pending consideration.” While allowing intervention application of homebuyers, the bench said their representative can take legal assistance considering the fact that the allottees have no expertise in the legal field. “Such legal professional is allowed to attend meeting of CoC to assist the representative but will not cast any vote nor express any opinion in the meeting,” the order added. Jaypee Infratech went into insolvency process in 2017 after the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) admitted an application by IDBI Bank-led consortium seeking resolution of the realty firm. In the first round of insolvency proceedings, a Rs 7,350-crore bid of Lakshdeep, part of Suraksha Group, was rejected by lenders. Later on in October 2018, interim resolution professional (IRP) Anuj Jain started a second round of bidding process to revive Jaypee Infratech on the direction of NCLT. Earlier this month, creditors, including banks and homebuyers, rejected a bid of Mumbai-based Suraksha Realty through a voting process, following which the CoC decided to consider NBCC’s offer. In its revised offer, NBCC proposed infusion of Rs 200 crore equity capital, transfer of 950 acres of land worth Rs 5,000 crore as well as Yamuna Expressway to banks and completion of flats construction by July 2023 in order to settle an outstanding claim of Rs 23,723 crore of financial creditors. Earlier this week, the CoC decided to put on vote the revised offer of NBCC, with homebuyers favouring the voting process while bankers dissenting. Lenders had written to NBCC seeking clarifications on certain relief and concessions put forward by the public sector firm in its resolution plan. However, NBCC decided not to dilute the conditions of exemption from income tax liability as well as from taking consent of development authorities for transfer of businesses. Clarifications from the NBCC were sought in the wake of the IRP flagging to the lenders that NBCC’s bid was conditional and non-binding. Jain, the IRP, had written to the CoC that NBCC’s revised bid was conditional as the plan would not be binding unless key relief measures such as extinguishing of income tax liability and exemption from seeking consent of YEIDA (Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority) for any business transfer, were taken.last_img read more

Mustapha Ramid Wont Be Minister of Justice

Rabat – Mustapha Ramid, the out-going Minister of Justice and one the most prominent figures in Justice and Development Party (PJD), won’t be assuming the same portfolio in Saad Eddine Othmani’s upcoming government.As it was reported in Moroccan press it was Driss Lachgar, the leader of Socialist Union for Popular Forces (USFP), who first broke the news during a meeting of his party last Saturday.It is also said that Lachgar was pleased at hearing the news. Apparently there was a veto against appointing Ramid as a Minister of Justice for a second mandate. Instead, it was suggested he becomes a State Minister in charge of human rights. According to these reports, the Justice portfolio will be assumed by a member of the Rally of National Independents Party (RNI).Casting aside Mustapha Ramid is likely to cause more stir in the PJD, whose members seem to be divided on the choices its leadership has taken since Othmani’s designation as new head of government, replacing the party leader Abdelilah Benkirane.Ramid is seen as one of PJD’s hawks. Not appointing him as a Minister of Justice deals another strong blow to the party who bowed to the pressures during the negotiations to form a coalition by accepting to include USFP in the next government, something Benkirane kept refusing during the last few months.Losing the Ministry of Justice also means PJD will be left without strategic ministries, unlike its ally RNI. The latter is reportedly going to keep the same departments in the previous government such as the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Agriculture. read more

How major US stock indexes fared Friday

Stocks closed higher on Wall Street Friday as the market ended the first quarter with its biggest quarterly gain in a decade.The blockbuster gains for the benchmark S&P 500 index marked a stunning turnaround for stocks after a steep sell-off in the last three months of 2018. Ride-hailing company Lyft made its much-anticipated stock market debut, jumping 8.7 per cent above its offering price.On Friday:The S&P 500 index gained 18.96 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 2,834.40.The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 211.22 points, or 0.8 per cent, to 25,928.68.The Nasdaq composite added 60.16 points, or 0.8 per cent, to 7,729.32.The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks picked up 4.63 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 1,539.74.For the week:The S&P 500 gained 33.69 points, or 1.2 per cent.The Dow rose 426.36 points, or 1.7 per cent.The Nasdaq added 86.65 points, or 1.1 per cent.The Russell 2000 picked up 33.82 points, or 2.3 per cent.For the year:The S&P 500 is up 327.55 points, or 13.1 per cent.The Dow is up 2,601.22 points, or 11.2 per cent.The Nasdaq is up 1,094.04 points, or 16.5 per cent.The Russell 2000 is up 191.18 points, or 14.2 per cent.The Associated Press read more

Pacific island nations spotlight perils of climate change during addresses to UN

Developing countries must be allowed to make voluntary commitments to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions under any new global agreement to deal with the effects of climate change, the Deputy Prime Minister of Tuvalu told the General Assembly today.Tavau Teii, who is also his country’s Natural Resources and Environment Minister, said the international summit being held in Bali, Indonesia, in December, “will be very important” in determining how and whether the world can respond successfully to the impact of global warming.Any agreement emerging from the Bali summit should reconfirm the importance of the Kyoto Protocol concerning greenhouse gas emissions and encourage States Parties to make new and substantial emissions reductions, he said at the annual high-level debate of the General Assembly.Mr. Teii said newly industrialized countries and States with economies in transition should be encouraged to take on pledges to reduce their emissions.A new negotiation process under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) should also be agreed, he said, to set up a legal agreement allowing developing countries to make voluntary commitments to reduce their emissions.“Under this arrangement we envisage that developing countries will be able to take voluntary commitments to reduce emissions from the energy, transport and forest sectors. These commitments would be linked to appropriate incentive mechanisms.”Mr. Teii also said it was important that any reductions in emissions from deforestation should not come at the expense of the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities.Vanuatu’s Foreign Minister George Andre Wells said a rapid reduction in gas emissions must take place within the next 10 to 15 years.“It is a reality that, if it is not addressed urgently, will have irreversible effects on the agriculture and tourism sectors which constitute the core pillars of development of many of our island economies.”Mr. Wells said the effect of climate change – such as rising sea levels – on agriculture production, water quality and infrastructure development was of critical importance to his nation.“For many small island States and least developed countries (LDCs) meeting the challenges of climate change will only add additional stress to their financial, human and institutional capacities.”Mongolia’s Foreign Minister Enkhbold Nyamaa told the high-level debate that climate change was already having an impact on nations large and small, coastal and landlocked – like his own.Desertification has become rampant in Mongolia, he said, with pastures supporting the semi-nomadic lifestyle of many locals dwindling and becoming more fragile.Extreme weather conditions have also become more common in recent years, particularly droughts and the phenomenon known as “dzud,” a cold winter with heavy snowfalls.Any agreements that succeeds or supplants the Kyoto Protocol “should be flexible and diverse, taking into consideration circumstances in each country,” Mr. Nyamaa stressed.“It must include all the major emitters and achieve compatibility between environmental protection and economic growth by utilizing advances in technologies to the greatest extent possible.” 1 October 2007Developing countries must be allowed to make voluntary commitments to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions under any new global agreement to deal with the effects of climate change, the Deputy Prime Minister of Tuvalu told the General Assembly today. read more

Firsttime homebuyers to take back seat for next two years ReMax

A Re/Max survey says 70% of home sales in the next 24 months will be to repeat buyers with some previous experience as owners.The real-estate marketing organization says second-time or multi-time purchasers will be more fiscally conservative and don’t plan to over-extend themselves.And it says slightly more than 80% of potential buyers surveyed believed that housing values in their area will rise or remain the same.Re/Max says 42% of those surveyed said they expected to spend between US$250,000 and US$500,000.The findings are in line with other research that found first-time buyers had been discouraged by stricter mortgage rules since last summer and affordability issues.But the survey found first-time buyers aren’t sitting totally on the sidelines and will make up a third of the market.The survey also says almost one in five buyers will be single.“Purchasing patterns have evolved, with a more conservative, fiscally responsible purchaser moving to the forefront,” Gurinder Sandhu, executive vice-president and regional director of Re/Max Ontario-Atlantic Canada.Re/Max says second-time and multi-time buyers became a more important part of the market in the latter half of 2012.“While affordability took a hit in 2012, homeowners with considerable equity remain confident and well-positioned. They will be the driving force fuelling the bulk of home sales in the months ahead,” Sandhu said in a news release.While some buyers intend to downsize or make lateral moves, many of those trading up have amassed considered equity, he said.Not surprisingly, of those putting down 30% or more, 45% were aged 55 and over, the survey said.Sandhu noted that first-time buyers are experiencing a period of adjustment.The survey indicted that singles would be the most cautious buyers with 47% of purchasers intending to spend under $250,000.Regardless of income, gender, age, or location, most Canadian respondents shared considerable confidence in Canada’s housing marketOf the buyers planning to spend $500,000 to $1-million, almost half resided in Ontario, while the remaining 50% were almost evenly divided between British Columbia and Alberta.“Regardless of income, gender, age, or location, most Canadian respondents shared considerable confidence in Canada’s housing market,” Sandhu said.“This stands as perhaps the greatest indicator that home buying intentions will remain healthy and stable. Combine this with an economic engine that is expected to gain momentum, and the outlook is most certainly positive.”The national survey, hosted on the Angus Reid Forum in December, was conducted among 1,109 prospective purchasers who intend to buy within the next 24 months.Re/Max is a leading real estate organization with more than 19,000 sales associates throughout its 750 independently-owned and operated offices in Canada. read more

Chinese man arrested while attempting to bribe Mahaweli officer

A Chinese man has been arrested for attempting to bribe a Mahaweli officer.The Chinese man had reportedly offered Rs. 20,000 to the Divisional Manager of the Mahaweli Divisional Office in Angunakolapelessa as a bribe to get clearance for some work . According to reports, the Mahaweli officer had filed a Police complaint over the incident and the Chinese man was arrested. (Colombo Gazette)

US stock indexes move lower as investors play defence

NEW YORK — U.S. stocks moved broadly lower in early trading Thursday as investors pulled back to a defensive stance as an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump moves along and U.S. economic growth slows.Technology stocks were among the biggest losers in the early going. Cisco Systems fell 1.6% and IBM shed 1.2%. The sector has been volatile all week amid investor concerns about the U.S.-China trade war and upcoming negotiations in October.Facebook fell 1.7% and dragged communications stocks lower. The company could find itself the target of another antitrust investigation, this time by the Justice Department, according to Bloomberg.Energy companies also broadly fell as crude oil prices decline, while banks slipped along with falling bond yields.Consumer product makers and utilities were among the few sectors making broad gains in a sign that investors were shifting money into lower-risk holdings. Bond prices rose and pulled down the yield on the 10-year Treasury to 1.68% from 1.73% late Wednesday.The U.S. congressional inquiry into President Trump is throwing more volatility into an already sensitive market, particularly on trade issues. U.S. and Chinese representatives are expected to meet next month to negotiate a way out of the economically damaging feud.Chinese importers have set deals to buy American soybeans and pork as the governments make conciliatory gestures ahead of trade talks and Trump has suggested a trade deal could happen soon. But, investors remain cautious.Meanwhile, the Commerce Department reported that the U.S. economy grew at a modest 2% in the second quarter, a sharply lower pace than the 3%-plus growth rates seen over the past year.Outside of trade and politics, investors are getting ready for the close of the third quarter and more corporate earnings reports.KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index fell 0.2% as of 10 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 5 points to 26,967. The Nasdaq fell 0.4%.OVERSEAS: Stocks in Europe and Asia moved broadly higher on a relatively quiet day for international economic news. Japan and the U.S. signed a deal covering agricultural, industrial and digital trade, but it kept auto tariffs unchanged.British Prime Minister Boris Johnson continued sparring with Parliament over the U.K.’s upcoming departure from the European Union. The nation is set to leave the trading bloc Oct. 31 and has yet to make a deal with European nations on trade and other issues.BUSTED RUDDER: Carnival slumped 7.7% after the cruise line operator cut its 2019 profit forecast because of a spike in fuel costs. Crude oil prices have risen more than 23% this year on mix of high supplies and tensions between the U.S. and Iran.FEEDING INVESTORS: Conagra Brands rose 1.6% after the food maker reported a surprisingly good first quarter profit. The company cited a solid sales increase in frozen foods and a benefit from last year’s purchase of Pinnacle Foods.Damian J. Troise, The Associated Press read more

UN delegations view film of misery hope and survival in Buchenwald

The film was shown at UN Headquarters as part of a week of programmes leading up to 27 January, which has been designated by the General Assembly as an annual International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust.Under theme Remembrance and Beyond, the events are meant to be not only reminders of past crimes and their victims, but also to spark an awareness among the international community and society at large, in order to help prevent future acts of genocide.“I’m pleased to see a range of delegates here, since we must work together to save others from such unbridled human depravity and violence,” Raymond Sommereyns, the Director of the UN Outreach Division, said as he introduced the film “Fateless.”The film is based on the novel by Nobel Literature Laureate Imre Kertesz which follows a 14-year Jewish boy from Budapest to Buchenwald and back again.Focusing on the profound misery of one person living under extreme rights abuse, rather than the savagery of the tormentors or the vast scope of the killing, the film squarely places the Holocaust in the realm of human activity.“It wasn’t hell,” the traumatized boy, his face still covered with sores and his shaven hair just growing out, says after his return to Budapest, where people keep making figurative, religious or mythic comparisons.“Hell doesn’t exist,” he intones, meaning that Buchenwald and other man-made horrors are not figurative or cosmological ideas but, instead, hard realities that humans can create or prevent.“Fateless” will be screened again tonight for UN staff and delegates.Remembrance and Beyond will continue tomorrow with a presentation on tolerance to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) by Judea Pearl, President of the Daniel Pearl Foundation, and Ambassador Dan Gillerman of Israel, along with a candlelight vigil in the Headquarters lobby. read more

Chicago alderman approve increasing citys minimum wage to 13 by 2019

Chicago alderman approve increasing city’s minimum wage to $13 by 2019 by The Associated Press Posted Dec 2, 2014 11:28 am MDT CHICAGO – The Chicago City Council has overwhelmingly supported a measure to increase the city’s minimum wage to $13 by 2019.Council members gave their final approval Tuesday, a day after a council committee advanced the plan to raise the current $8.25-per-hour wage. Five aldermen voted against the measure, saying businesses will be tempted to leave the city and there could be job losses.Supporters say the minimum wage hasn’t kept up with other increasing costs and people can’t survive on it.Mayor Rahm Emanuel called Tuesday’s special meeting amid fears the Illinois Legislature could pass a measure preventing cities from setting their wage at a level higher than the state’s minimum wage. State legislators could vote this week on a plan to increase the state’s rate to $11 by 2017. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

UN officials hail significant move by US to curb power plant emissions

In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called the initiative “a significant step toward reducing global greenhouse gas emissions that are disrupting the climate, exacerbating extreme weather patterns, and threatening human health, sustainable economic growth and development.”Mr. Ban, who is convening a climate summit later this year in New York, called on all countries to accelerate their efforts to reduce emissions and strengthen adaptation and resilience.“He calls on world leaders to take advantage of the unique opportunity provided by the climate summit he will host in September by bringing bold announcements and actions they will undertake nationally, as well as in multilateral and multi-stakeholder settings to address climate change,” the statement added.The Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Christiana Figueres, also welcomed the new initiative, which comes ahead of the next round of UN climate talks that will begin on Wednesday in Bonn, Germany, where ministers will discuss key political issues which can be resolved ahead of a successful, new and universal climate agreement expected to be reached in Paris next year.“The decision by President Obama to launch plans to more tightly regulate emissions from power plants will send a good signal to nations everywhere that one of the world’s biggest emitters is taking the future of the planet and its people seriously,” Ms. Figueres said in a statement. It is also a good signal for upcoming climate summit in September and towards securing a new, and more importantly meaningful, climate agreement in Paris in 2015, she added. “I fully expect action by the United States to spur others in taking concrete action – action that can set the stage and put in place the pathways that can bend the global emissions curve down in order to keep worldwide temperature rise under 2 degrees Celsius this century.” read more

Ohio State womens soccer back from 02 start to season

A slow start might have been disastrous for the Ohio State women’s soccer team. But senior forward Tiffany Cameron said the team’s early morning wake-up calls helped the Buckeyes recover from losses in each of their first two games. “We started off the season pretty slow, and then we got punished for that and we had to wake up at 6 a.m. for practice, it was crazy,” Cameron said. “Coach wanted to show us the will to win and what it takes to win and we just snapped out of it.” OSU has won the last seven of eight games and coach Lori Walker is pleased with the team’s growth and thinks they are improving a little more every day. “Our goal is to get a little bit better every single day and so I would say we have made a lot of progress,” Walker said. “The challenges we are presented with game to game are different because the opponents present different challenges, and we’ve finally gotten to a place where we are reading problems as they are thrown to us on the field and doing a much better job of solving them.” Similarly, junior midfielder Danica Wu said she thinks they are doing a great job connecting as a team. “We are getting better every game and we are connecting much better,” Wu said. “We give it our all and learn from our games and hopefully we keep doing that.” Cameron said the team’s biggest strength has been its will to win. “We have came out to every game ready to play and work our hardest,” Cameron said. “We are at a really good place right now.” Cameron, a Mississauga, Ontario, product, has scored nine of the team’s 14 goals this season. The hot start puts her at 28 goals and 68 points in her career, which stand seventh and tied for 6th, respectively, in OSU history. “I set a goal for myself to score at least 20 goals this season,” Cameron said. “I want to break the record and I can’t do that without our team and coming out hard everyday and practice.” As the Buckeyes prepare for their 8 p.m. game Thursday against Penn State, Cameron said the strategy against the Nittany Lions is to keep the team connected. “This practice we worked on being on the same page and finding open space because they play with three back,” Cameron said. “We need to have a lot of wide space to expose them.” Walker said the game will be a back-and-forth battle. “You need to contain your opponents’ top personalities and certainly Penn State has many and we need to make sure we have our attack as well,” Walker said. “The piece about Penn State is that they are scoring a lot of goals but they are also vulnerable and giving up some goals.” Cameron, a senior, said she’s especially ready for this year’s contest. “It’s my senior year, we always come out to battle and they are the best in our conference besides us,” Cameron said. “We always give them a run for their money.” The Buckeyes’ matchup against the Nittany Lions at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium will be televised live on Big Ten Network. read more