Tories say Harpers letter doesnt change their approach to NAFTA

first_imgOTTAWA – Conservative foreign affairs critic Erin O’Toole was sitting in the departure lounge at Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C., last week when his eyes landed on a story he wasn’t expecting.“‘Napping on NAFTA’: Harper blasts Trudeau government handling of negotiations,’” read the headline on a Canadian Press story about a memo written by former Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper.“What?” O’Toole recalled thinking. “Oh, dear.”Harper had shared gloomy thoughts on the deal a few weeks earlier during an event in Washington, but the memo, which castigated the Liberals directly, was a rarity for an ex-political leader who has largely stayed away from any direct remarks on the current government since the 2015 federal election.That the memo suddenly found its way into the public domain — he’d been writing them for months and none have ever surfaced — left political observers scratching their heads. Who would leak it? And why?Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wouldn’t directly address the letter or its potential implications when asked about it on Monday.“I hold the office of prime minister in high regard, and because of that I hold former prime ministers in high regard, and will not make any comments on what he had to say.”O’Toole was sitting at the airport having just wound up a trip to D.C. with the House of Commons foreign affairs committee to advocate for Canada’s interests at the NAFTA talks, part of an ongoing collaborative approach the Conservatives are trying to take to the negotiations.Harper’s letter took a swing at Canada’s negotiating strategy, suggesting the Liberals were letting the Americans run all over them and putting the future of NAFTA in real danger.Some Tories say quietly they suspect an attempt to harm the Conservative Opposition and undermine leader Andrew Scheer’s efforts to make a break from the Harper era.The Liberals say Harper has jeopardized the talks by playing politics with the united front Canada is trying to put forward.“I think he’s got a grudge to hold and he’s more interested in putting stuff out there that is going to do damage to our negotiating positions,” Liberal MP Bob Nault, the chair of the committee, told CBC’s “As It Happens.”Scheer said he didn’t understand why the Liberals were making such a fuss.“For the Liberals to keep drawing attention to something they claim is so damaging is bizarre,” he said Tuesday.The letter was written for clients of Harper’s consulting business. Some Conservatives allowed that he ought to have known there was a risk it would become public, but say Harper’s team never gave Scheer’s office a heads up, suggesting it was never meant for broader dissemination.Not to mention a well-known fact about the former PM: he loathes leaks — so much so, in fact, that he once panicked when a staffer, Geoff Norquay, was forced to leave a meeting to deal with one, former Harper aide Bruce Carson recounted in his own newsletter this week.“It took a while to settle Harper down and get him to understand these were leaks in Norquay’s roof at home caused by ice dams that are symptomatic of the late winter in Ottawa,” Carson wrote.Rachel Curran, Harper’s former policy director, said his consulting firm will take more care with his memos going forward. This one, she said, was a warning to the business community and was never meant to have political implications.“His advice was framed as, ‘Americans are going to insist on a better deal and are prepared to live with the political and economic risk of NAFTA collapse, get yourself ready,’” Curran said.O’Toole said the positions Harper takes aren’t so different from those the Opposition Conservatives have been trying to advance in Parliament, though Harper’s tone may have been different.“Certainly, when a former prime minister weighs in, someone that was well known for trade, it caused a bit more of a splash or ripples than when MP Erin O’Toole or someone like that weighs in,” he said.He said he doesn’t feel the current strategy needs a reboot, adding that the Tories remain committed to working with the Liberal government to advance the talks.“I’ve shared some of the concerns he’s raised, but we’re here — the current group of parliamentarians are here — to work with the government where we can.”International Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said Team Canada continues to play together on the NAFTA talks.“You have to take it with a grain of salt,” he said of the letter. “This is a comment from someone who is not at the table.”last_img read more

RYAN REYNOLDS SETH ROGEN DWAYNE JOHNSON AMONG MOST BANKABLE STARS OF 2018

first_imgAdvertisement Login/Register With: Advertisement Canadians Ryan Reynolds and Seth Rogen are among 2018’s most bankable stars.24/7 Wall Street has put together a list of Hollywood’s biggest box-office attractions based on their average box office gross and number of appearances as lead performer.The list, boasting 25 high-profile celebrities, includes only 11 who made films in 2018. Actors and actresses from multiple genres — including drama, action, and comedy — made the list. Ryan Reynolds (Broadimage/REX/Shutterstock) Advertisementcenter_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook Twitter “24/7 Wall St. analyzed the average box office per film of 2,383 actors with data from the Internet Movie Database (IMDB). Only films in which the actor has a lead acting credit were considered, and only films with at least 10,000 user ratings on IMDb were included,” the piece from USA Today explains. “Actors with fewer than five unique lead credits – excluding sequels – were not considered. Actors were also excluded from consideration if 25 per cent or more of their lead acting credits were in sequels to their own movies.”“As a result, actors who star in major franchises but may not claim primary responsibility for each film’s success – such as Daisy Ridley who has starred in the last two Star Wars films – were excluded,” the article added. “If an actor met the qualifications, however, their films that are sequels or included in a franchise were included in the average gross. Finally, actors who had not starred in at least two movies that had grossed at least $100 million since 2010 or one movie grossing at least $100 million since 2013 were excluded.”Will Smith topped the list with an average box office gross of $132.9 million. Oscar winners Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks rounded out the top three with $121.4 million and $113.5 million respectively.See the top 25 below.Will Smith (average box office gross: $132.9 million)Leonardo DiCaprio (average box office gross: $121.4 million)Tom Hanks (average box office gross: $112.5 million)Daniel Craig (average box office gross: $109.5 million)Hugh Jackman (average box office gross: $109.3 million)Bradley Cooper (average box office gross: $108.3 million)Tom Cruise (average box office gross: $108.1 million)Steve Carell (average box office gross: $107.4 million)Adam Sandler (average box office gross: $94.9 million)Sandra Bullock (average box office gross: $94.5 million)Christian Bale (average box office gross: $90.9 million)Ben Stiller (average box office gross: $90.2 million)Owen Wilson (average box office gross: $88.6 million)Melissa McCarthy (average box office gross: $87.9 million)Dwayne Johnson (average box office gross: $87.2 million)Angelina Jolie (average box office gross: $87.0 million)Seth Rogen (average box office gross: $86.7 million)Anna Kendrick (average box office gross: $86.6 million)Shailene Woodley (average box office gross: $83.9 million)Will Ferrell (average box office gross: $82.1 million)Johnny Depp (average box office gross: $81.4 million)Jack Black (average box office gross: $78.4 million)Andrew Garfield (average box office gross: $77.3 million)Ben Affleck (average box office gross: $76.9 million)Ryan Reynolds (average box office gross: $73.4 million).By SHAKIEL MAHJOURI | ET CANADAlast_img read more

Proposed Manitoba law would keep Indigenous kids in care in their communities

first_imgThe Canadian Press WINNIPEG – The Manitoba government has introduced legislation it says will help children in care keep their Indigenous customs and family connections.“It allows Indigenous communities to have greater say in terms of the care of the children,” said Families Minister Scott Fielding.The bill amends the Child and Family Services Act to include the customary care model, which allows children to stay within their community under the guidance of extended family and community leaders.The agency in charge of child and family services in the area will work with parents or guardians to create a customary care agreement, where parental rights aren’t lost. The child’s Indigenous community is also notified and, in certain cases, will play a role in placing the child and customizing their care plan.“Each individual community is very much different, so it will take into consideration Aboriginal culture, tradition and heritage into the decision-making process,” Fielding explained.The caregiver and care home will have to meet current safety standards, he added.The model was promised by the former NDP government and was announced by the Progressive Conservatives in October as part of a larger overhaul of the child-welfare system.There are about 11,000 children in care in Manitoba and about 90 per cent are Indigenous. Fielding said the new legislation is a historic step towards supporting children while maintaining a cultural connection.Southern Chiefs’ Organization Grand Chief Jerry Daniels said supporting families, rather than apprehending children, is an important investment into the future.“Children who have a foundation of their culture do a lot better,” he said.Children involved in customary care will also be counted and tracked in a distinct way since the province is not apprehending or seeking a court order. However, they will be included in provincial data.Opposition NDP Leader Wab Kinew said he’s concerned about how the children will be counted because he said it’s important to know how many there are, in order to make sure they get the necessary resources and supports.Child welfare in Manitoba has been under scrutiny since the death of five-year-old Phoenix Sinclair in 2005. A public inquiry into the death showed social workers lost track of the young girl and missed signs she was in trouble before she was beaten by her mother and mother’s boyfriend.The province has also said it will release a review of how the child-welfare system handled Tina Fontaine’s case. Fontaine, 15, ran away from a Winnipeg hotel where she was being housed in August 2014 and her body was found wrapped in a duvet, weighed down by rocks, in the Red River nine days later.last_img read more

Egyptian Woman says Islam worse than Nazism poses danger to America

Taroudant – A letter written last year by an Egyptian woman under the pen name Magda Borham attacked Islam as a “totalitarian political ideology worse than Nazism,” was republished by Christian websites to warn the West of “the danger of Islam.”Amid the rise of Islamophobic acts and feelings in Europe and America, the letter claimed that Muslims pose “the clearest and most present danger to America’s existence,” while trying to show to the world that “they are victims.”In the open letter addressed to the United States and other Western countries, the Egyptian woman said that America faces an Islamic invasion through “immigration.” Having lived in Egypt for more than 30 years, the woman accused Islam of turning her home country into ruins, and called on Americans to understand that Islam is not a religion, but “a supremacist, racist political and social ideology wrapped in a thin peel of religious rituals.”“Like so many others, I have been burned by this transformation. This transformation has seen me witness and experience Islam turn my home country to ruins, and its followers are now threatening to bring the same fate to your own country,” she said.The Egyptian woman branded Islam as “racist ideology” that “seeks domination and supremacy over all other systems and religions,” adding, “Islam is worse than Nazism and fascism systems combined without any doubt.”She warned US leaders to be cautious and very careful accepting Muslim migrants.“Your country is like your house; you expect visitors who come to your house to respect you and respect your rules, not the opposite.”“If the visitor doesn’t like your rules, all he has to do is to leave. Nobody obliged him to visit you, and nobody will prevent him from leaving. As he came to your house by his own choice, he can leave your house freely or by force, if required,” she added. read more

Ban Kimoon and business leaders reaffirm commitment to fight AIDS

“Whether in the workplace or in the wider community, through advocacy and branding, prevention, care and treatment programmes for employees, or financial, scientific and technical commitment, the role of the private sector is indispensable,” Mr. Ban said, stressing the vital relationship between business and the UN.He welcomed the efforts of the Global Business Coalition (GBC) – an alliance of 220 companies globally leading the corporate world’s work to eliminate HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.“The private sector has taken vital steps toward acknowledging that fighting these epidemics is an important business issue,” said Richard Holbrooke, President of the GBC. “Increased resources from all sectors and effective collaboration are essential to win this war.”The meeting’s participants discussed collective efforts uniting corporations, governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and communities affected by the epidemics to pool resources to make large strides and facilitate economies of scale.Business leaders also illustrated how their respective companies have protected and educated their own staff, as well as prevented and treated the diseases.“The business community has tremendous expertise and strategic resources to offer in the response to HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, and is collaborating with others in impactful and unique ways,” said the GBC’s Chairman Sir Mark Moody-Stuart. “GBC is committed to working with our member companies and our partners in the public sector to maximize our joint impact.” 13 June 2007United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and business leaders reaffirmed the need for public-private partnerships to fight HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria at a meeting in New York today. read more

UN nuclear watchdogs board agrees to €25 million budget hike for 2010

The Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will receive over €318 million in its regular budget next year, with the biggest funding boost going to work in nuclear security and safety, technical cooperation, nuclear power and nuclear applications.The IAEA Board of Governors also agreed to a capital investment fund to support major infrastructural spending, during its meeting at the agency’s headquarters yesterday. “The risk of terrorists obtaining nuclear or radioactive materials and using them in a potentially devastating attack will grow if the highly inadequate staffing and funding of our nuclear security activities are not dealt with,” the outgoing IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei told the Board at its 15 June meeting.In addition, a commission of experts has found that the IAEA needs €80 million upfront to deal with its dilapidated infrastructure, Mr. ElBaradei pointed out at the June gathering of the Board of Governors, which comprises of 35 member States.Along with a 2.7 per cent real growth increase and a 2.7 per cent price adjustment, the budget also contains a number of cost-cutting measures, according to a news release issued by the IAEA. The approved draft resolution of the budget for 2010 is slated to be taken up for adoption at the IAEA General Conference in September. 4 August 2009The United Nations nuclear watchdog’s board has approved an almost €25 million increase in the agency’s 2010 budget enabling the watchdog to continue its work. read more

Middle East parties must prevent crises in Palestinian territories UN official

Recognizing serious differences between Israel and the Palestinian Authority as they transition to new governments, a United Nations political official today called on both sides to keep the plight of residents of Gaza and the West Bank from deteriorating, as he briefed the Security Council on developments in the Middle East.“Despite the gulf between the parties, they and the international community share a common interest and duty to prevent a security or humanitarian crisis in the occupied Palestinian territory,” said Tuliameni Kalomoh, Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs.While acknowledging Israel’s security concerns, he observed that “the extended closure of Gaza has caused real hardship.”Mr. Kalomoh said that the programme of the new Palestinian Government did show some signs of evolution from “Hamas’ deeply disturbing record and covenant.”However, he said the Government should reassess its position on the Quartet’s principles and President Abbas’ platform of peace, “if the aspirations of the Palestinian people for peace and statehood are to enjoy the strong international support they deserve.”On the Israeli elections earlier this week, he said that it remained to be seen whether “Israel will adhere to its stated policy that the entire Palestinian Authority, including the Presidency, has become a terrorist entity.” That policy had recently been cited to justify a freeze on Palestinian tax revenues.Mr. Kalomoh also described the “convergence plan” of Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, whose new Kadima party won the greatest share of legislative seats, in which Israel would unilaterally set permanent borders by 2010 if it could not negotiate with Palestinians, withdrawing from much of the West Bank but annexing major settlement blocks.He said that if such unilateral actions diminish the prospect of a viable Palestinian State, it will become even more difficult to persuade Palestinians that there is anything to be gained from moving toward compromise.He added that, as the formation of a new Israeli government is awaited, the recently expressed interest of both Acting Prime Minister Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in negotiations should be seriously explored.Meanwhile, he reported that both Israelis and Palestinians suffered from violence in the past month. Several Palestinian youths died as a result of Israeli security operations while a number of Israelis were killed and injured in shootings. Rockets continued to be launched from Gaza into Israel, including, for the first time, a Katyusha; Israel continued to fire artillery at rocket launching sites.Mr. Kalomoh also touched on the issue of Lebanon, calling the start of the national dialogue there a positive, and historic, development in the Middle East. “Let us hope that their efforts will bear fruit, thus sending a message throughout the region that peaceful dialogue is, indeed, the only way forward,” he said. read more

Survey US manufacturing activity expands for second straight month in October

Survey: US manufacturing activity expands for second straight month in October by News Staff Posted Nov 1, 2012 11:29 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email WASHINGTON – U.S. manufacturing expanded for the second straight month in October, boosted by growth in new orders and production.The Institute for Supply Management said Thursday that its index of factory activity rose last month to 51.7, up from September’s reading of 51.5. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.The ISM is a trade group of purchasing managers. Previous surveys showed manufacturing contracted from June through August.The figure is slightly below the average for the year of 52.2. Other reports have suggested that manufacturing is slowing, hampered by less business investment and fewer exports. But the ISM survey points to continued, if gradual, expansion, driven by increased consumer spending.The report is the final look at U.S. manufacturing conditions before Tuesday’s presidential election. The race has been heavily focused on the economy.Stocks jumped after the release of the October report, along with another report that showed consumer confidence surged last month to the highest level in nearly five years. The Dow Jones industrial average, which had already risen about 70 points after the opening bell, was up 139 points in morning trading.The survey was completed before Hurricane Sandy disrupted business activity along the East Coast and cut power to millions of homes, an ISM spokesman said.The details of the report showed that better consumer spending is helping some industries, while weaker business investment is slowing others.The industries that reported rising new orders are oriented to consumers. Those industries include furniture, food and beverages, paper products and computer and electronics.The industries reporting falling orders generally depend more on spending by U.S. and overseas businesses. Those industries included machinery, electrical equipment, steel and other metals, and chemical products.Businesses have grown more cautious for several reasons. Many are nervous about the economic outlook overseas. Europe’s financial crisis has pushed much of the region into recession. That has cut into U.S. exports and corporate profits. Growth has also slowed in China, Brazil and other large developing countries.Companies also fear large tax increases and big government spending cuts that will kick in next year if Congress fails to reach a budget deal to avert them.Slowing business investment is weighing on economic growth. Company spending on equipment and software was flat this summer, the first quarter it failed to increase since the recession ended more than three years ago.The economy grew at a 2 per cent annual rate in the July-September quarter, up from 1.3 per cent in the April-June quarter. Growth increased because of more consumer and government spending, although the rate is still too weak to rapidly spur job creation. read more

Samsung sends fire proof boxes for Galaxy Note 7 returns

Samsung Electronics said Wednesday it is sending fire-resistant packages to its customers in the U.S. as a precaution against possible fires or explosions from Galaxy Note 7s they return to retailers.Samsung is offering prepaid shipping boxes as an option for U.S. consumers who purchased the phones on its website, Samsung.com. It said consumers who purchased their Note 7 phones from mobile carriers should visit the carriers’ websites for recall instructions.On Tuesday, Samsung said it was discontinuing the Note 7 phones just two months after their launch, after two recalls and many reports of fires. Samsung must now deal with receiving back more than 1.5 million Galaxy Note 7 phones, both the original ones and those issued as replacements. Most were sold in the U.S. and South Korea.A video on YouTube dated Tuesday shows a man it says is at the XDA Developers office in the U.S., unpacking a kit containing a static shield bag, thermally insulated boxes, gloves and instructions for ground shipping only.“We have just received this crazy Galaxy Note 7 return kit,” the person said in the video.According to the XDA Developers forum, Samsung’s packing instructions say the Note 7 should be put in the static shield bag and then in a box labeled “OEM Replacement” to be put inside an “Inner Box” and a “Recovery Box.” Shipping companies reportedly had complained they did not want to handle Note 7 returns because of fire concerns.Samsung said the packaging kits conform with U.S. requirements for shipping lithium-ion batteries or devices containing them that are subject to a recall.Related stories:Samsung halts sales of Galaxy Note 7; Canadian says he will keep using his phoneSamsung halts all sales of Galaxy Note 7 after new troubles surfaceSamsung changes Note 7 output schedule after fire reports AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Canadian customers can start returning their devices on Thursday, Samsung Canada said.Samsung Electronics Canada Inc. said in a statement that people with “either an original Galaxy Note7 or replacement Galaxy Note7 device should power down and stop using the device.”Beginning Thursday, “at their point of purchase, Samsung Note7 owners can bring their device in for an exchange to a Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 edge device. Alternatively, consumers are entitled to a full device hardware and Note7 specific accessories refund.For customers who purchased their Samsung Note7 on Samsung.com, a device refund will be offered upon return receipt of the recalled devices. Samsung Canada will be in touch with our online customers to provide them with details regarding the return process.” Samsung sends fire proof boxes for Galaxy Note 7 returns by Youkyung Lee, The Associated Press Posted Oct 12, 2016 5:21 am MDT read more

Drink driver escapes jail for fourth time after blaming abortion and dyslexia

A drink driver escaped jail despite four convictions in three years after she blamed her behaviour on an abortion and a dyslexia diagnosis.Naomi Kaneko, 31, was found slumped at the wheel of her BMW 320 with her mobile phone in her hand and a bottle of wine in the footwell after police were called to reports of an “intoxicated female” one evening in March. A breath test reading showed 120mg, when the legal limit is 35mg.Officers said Kaneko, who was just 380 yards from her apartment in Hale, near Altrincham, Greater Manchester was ‘very very incoherent’ as they asked her to get out of the car.She also had slurred speech and was unsteady on her feet with tests showing she was more than three times the alcohol limit.Manchester Magistrates Court heard that the therapist, who is studying an Msc in psychology at Salford University, claimed she had been drinking after attending an abortion clinic to end an unexpected pregnancy at the request of her boyfriend. She also said she was suffering stress after being diagnosed with dyslexia.The court heard she was convicted of drink driving three times in 2015 but was spared imprisonment on each occasion. The judge told Ms Kaneko if she breached her sentence she would "be brought back to court and your feet will not touch the floor" The judge told Ms Kaneko if she breached her sentence she would “be brought back to court and your feet will not touch the floor”Credit:Ricky Champagne/Cavendish Press A probation report said: “She said at the time of the offence she was experiencing a lot of extreme trauma following the termination of her pregnancy and she was dealing with that at the time of the offence. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. “For that reason I will suspend your sentence. But let me make it abundantly clear, if you breach your sentence by the commissioning of another offence, you will be brought back to court and your feet will not touch the floor.”Kaneko was also ordered to complete 150 hours unpaid work and pay £200 costs. She was banned from driving for five years. “She felt she should have looked for assistance instead of turning to alcohol. Her partner did not wish for her to keep the baby, and she felt she should have taken more time to decide.”She was also diagnosed with dyslexia and this has added to stresses. She understands the consequences of what could have happened.”The court also heard that Kaneko has a nine-year-old with her ex-husband, where there was said to be some domestic abuse.”She does have previous convictions for drink driving but she suffers with anxiety and has since been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Syndrome,” the report continued.”She has been referred to counselling, and due to long waiting list on the NHS, she pays privately for it.”She volunteers once a week in the detoxification ward of a hospital in Prestwich. She also works as a support worker where she helps others with their own issues.”Passing sentence District Judge James Hatton told Kaneko: “Unfortunately for you, your record of previous convictions is disgraceful. There were three separate offences of drink driving in 2015 and these are offences were custody would be appropriate.”But I have seen many letters to suggest you’re getting help for your personal circumstances. Those alone would not be sufficient to persuade me against a custodial sentence but my main concerns are about your daughter and what will happen to her should you be sent to prison. read more

Britain goes coalfree for 100 hours setting new record for energy use

Britain was powered by sources other than coal for over 100 hours at the weekend, the longest time since the start of the industrial revolution, new figures have revealed.The National Grid says the country is increasingly less dependant on coal as renewable energy sources are more reliable and the public is installing solar panels at home in ever greater numbers. Reliance on renewable energy sources is now “a more regular occurrence”.Coal now accounts for under 10 per cent of Britain’s power output and the government plans to phase out the country’s last coal-fired power plants by 2025 in a bid to cut carbon emissions.Of the 31.45 gigawatts (GW) powering the UK on May 5, none was accounted for by the use of coal-fired power stations (1 GW is enough to power 100 million LED lightbulbs).Renewable energy sources have contributed an increasing proportion of Britain’s power generation in recent years. In 2018 wind generation exceeded 15GW for the first time.Sean Kemp, a spokesman for the National Grid, said: “We broke the record this weekend for the longest period of time without coal. The continuous period of time without any coal generation on the system was just over 100 hours. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. “It’s becoming a more regular occurrence now.“More people have installed solar, more coal is coming off and there’s more wind in the system”.Since the start of the year Britain has only used 2.9 terawatt hours (Twh) compared with 8.6 Twh by this point in 2018 – a drop of almost two thirds. At the current rate the UK looks set to far surpass the 1,800 hours of coal-free power generated over the whole of 2018.The world’s first public coal-fired generating plant opened at Holborn Viaduct in London in 1882 and it wasn’t until the 1970s that other sources – mainly natural gas from the North Sea – started to be used in any significant degree.By the 1990s the ‘Dash for gas’ saw demand for gas increase to around 30 per cent, mostly at the expense of coal. Renewable energy sources accounted for 25 per cent of power supply by 2015.The National Grid said that despite the recent cold snap after the unseasonably warm Easter, there has been no obvious surge in demand, indicating the public have not been putting the heating back on.Extinction Rebellion (ER), an environmental protest group that brought large parts of the UK to a standstill last month, says the use of fossil fuels is causing irreparable harm to the life on earth After a recent meeting with Michael Gove, Minister for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, ER spokesman Felix Ottaway O’Mahony said: “I’m frustrated that he avoided our demands and just spoke about what they’re already doing.“Until our demands are met the rebellion has to continue”.A government spokesman said: “Decarbonising our energy system is a crucial part of our commitment to ending our contribution to global warming.“This year we’ve already reached the major milestone of 1,000 hours without using coal to power our homes and industry.“We’re closing in on phasing out coal entirely from our power system by 2025 as our renewables sector goes from strength to strength on our path to becoming the first major economy to legislate for net zero emissions.” read more

Booyco Electronics meets evolving customer needs

first_imgUnderstanding evolving customer needs as well as the legislative compliance for differing sectors has positioned Booyco Electronics to offer application specific safety related solutions to customers across a range of industries.Graeme Jardine, General Manager Field Services at Booyco Electronics, says that the company’s safety products portfolio has grown significantly since the company was first established 12 years ago. This market offering is underpinned by a solid field service support system ensuring customers of a rapid response across South Africa.Significantly, the company’s market offering, founded on leveraging best practice engineering and manufacturing, has produced a line-up of technologically proficient solutions. Jardine say that in addition to locally manufactured products, the company sources quality equipment where the economic justification for local manufacturing does not exist.Unpacking the core products, Jardine explains that the company pioneered proximity detection systems in the South Africa underground mining industry, and this offering was extended to surface operations. Interestingly, this is across several industry sectors now.Booyco Electronics’ fully integrated Proximity Detection System (PDS) represents the latest generation of this technology. The Booyco PDS, which provides a safety intervention capability with a data hub, has been well accepted in the mining sector with other industries rapidly incorporating the company’s technology into their safety programmes.Jardine says data is transferred between users via Booyco Electronics’ Human Machine Interface (BCI unit), with system communication with line managers, engineers using easy to understand icons. The company’s BEAMS software is used as a reporting tool to ensure that PDS events can be analysed and used as a change-in-behaviour tool.Many operations include the Booyco Biometric Control System as an integral part of their operating environment. This further enhances safe operating parameters as the system, which uses personalised ID cards, regulates access to restricted areas and validates licenced machine operators.“Importantly, BEAMS software can be configured for specific operational and application requirements allowing optimum flexibility underpinned by absolute reliability and accurate access to information,” Jardine says.Other Booyco safety products such as the Sentient handheld gas detection device and ESI Smart Sensor can be connected via the network to a downloading server, where specialised BEAMS software enables various reports to be generated. This includes detailed information on detection of gases, peak values, TWA values, pre-shift tested values, calibration reports and “no movement” reports.The IP68 rated Sentient handheld unit was developed to improve safety in underground mining or any confined spaces in surface operations. It is the first multi-gas instrument in South Africa to measure relative humidity as a standard offering.Gas monitoring at fixed locations is easily accomplished with the ESI Smart Sensor. This unit features a localised display of sensor information and significantly a single controller can measure 15 different gases. It can also accommodate other sensors with analogue outputs such as air velocity sensors or smoke detectors.“A natural addition to Booyco Electronics’ product line-up was the range of fire suppression technologies that were added earlier this year,” Jardine says. These products are a good fit and enable the company to provide the latest suppression systems as part of a total solution from a single service provider thereby creating a better value proposition.Booyco Electronics was appointed as the preferred distributor for Advanced Automation Systems (AAS); the company which exclusively markets the DAFO brand of vehicle fire protection and FirePro aerosol-based extinguishing systems in South Africa.“It is all very well to offer such fit-for-purpose technology, but our real differentiator is the level of technical assistance available both through our head office technical team as well as the competent individuals across our branch network,” Jardine says. The branches are strategically situated allowing proximity to customer operations in the major mining centres of the country. The current network includes seven facilities which is due to be expanded later in the year.Field service teams ensure optimum uptime of all Booyco Electronics technology installations, branches maintain a parts stockholding commensurate with equipment populations in each region.last_img read more

Pentagon wants to give soldiers Terminator vision

first_imgWe’re all geeks here, so I’m sure more than a few of you out there have read Max Brooks’ World War Z, a surprisingly tense novel ostensibly presenting itself as a series of UN-sponsored interviews in the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse that almost ends with the extinction of the human race. During one chapter detailing the famous Battle for Yonkers, a soldier describes how the reality augmenting helmets they were provisioned with led to pandemonium in the battle field, as soldiers became overwhelmed by the sensory overload of a thousand networked visual and audio feeds at once… especially once soldiers started going down and forgot to turn off their mics as they were devoured alive by the undead horde.I couldn’t help but think of this admittedly fictional battle when hearing about the Pentagon‘s new push to introduce new augmented reality helmets to soldiers in the field that they promise will give grunts so-called “Terminator vision.”The technology is called the Soldier Centric Imaging via Computational Cameras Effort, or SCENICC. If rolled out to troops, it will allow them to see in 360 degrees around them, as well as provide “high-resolution computer-enhanced imagery as well as task-specific non-image data products such as mission data overlays, threat warnings/alerts, targeting assistance, etc.”Mostly, it sounds like a real-life HUD for troops, which is hardly a bad thing. In fact, this will probably save a bunch of lives. Even so, with the Battle for Yonkers fresh in my mind, I have to wonder how well SCENICC will hold up under a zombie attack.Read more at Danger Roomlast_img read more

Troika accepts replacement of civil servants to be sacked

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram The troika has reportedly accepted the hiring of 1,000 new civil servants to replace the departure of as many public sector employees who have broken the code of conduct, during talks with the Greek prime minister at his office in Athens on Sunday.The thorny issue of civil servants is a prior action required for the disbursement of the March and April bailout tranches, and the representatives of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund appear to have given their consent to the Greek plan for the replacement of those to be sacked, according to Skai radio.The hirings will be conducted through the established system of ASEP.Talks will continue on the implementation of this and on other issues.On the subject of the merger between National Bank and Eurobank, the troika appears to be seeking guarantees from the Greek government that the recapitalization of the new group to emerge from the tie-up will not require any additional funds to those set aside for the two banks.After the conclusion of talks with the troika the PM also had a lengthy consultation with Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras.“There is progress in various issues, but there are also some problems,” said Stournaras, who in the evening will have another meeting with the troika representatives.Samaras further had telephone conversations with coalition partners Evangelos Venizelos of PASOK and Fotis Kouvelis of the Democratic Left on the outcome of the meeting.The government has asked for the disbursement of the March installment of the bailout loans amounting to 2.8 billion euros and then the release of the April tranche of 6 billion to deal with the state’s urgent needs, but the troika appears to prefer both installments to be disbursed probably in May.last_img read more

Man killed by Vancouver police Feb. 28 was armed with replica pistols

first_imgBuy this PhotoA photo of Michael Eugene Pierce is seen on display at a candlelight vigil in his memory Friday evening in downtown Vancouver. Pierce was shot and killed Thursday afternoon by Vancouver police. Amanda Cowan/The Columbian Investigators looking into the Feb. 28 fatal officer-involved shooting of a 29-year-old homeless man determined the guns he brandished at Vancouver police were realistic-looking black and chrome replica pistols.Two officers shot and killed Michael Eugene Pierce west of downtown Vancouver after he reportedly pointed the two replica firearms at himself, passers-by and police.Officers responded around 4:45 p.m. to West 12th and Jefferson streets for a report of an armed person. Shortly after, officers yelled shots had been fired and a man was down, with a firearm by his feet, according to emergency radio traffic monitored at The Columbian.Officers Christopher Douville and Andrew Dunbar fired their weapons, and neither was injured, according to Vancouver police. They have been placed on critical incident leave, which is standard department protocol in an officer-involved shooting.At a candlelight vigil last week, friends said Pierce was known to carry brightly colored pellet guns that he treated as toys.last_img read more

Governor calls special session after legislature fails to pass budget

first_imgGov. Bill Walker has called the legislature into a special session to address the budget and other bills lawmakers failed to pass during the 121-day session that ended Wednesday.It didn’t take long. The governor, at midnight, called a special session starting Monday at 11am in Juneau. #akleg pic.twitter.com/PUbWwVlfZT— Austin Baird (@AustinBaird) May 19, 2016A minute past midnight, Walker called for legislators to return to Juneau on Monday. He asked them to consider the capital and operating budgets. The special session will also focus on legislation to draw money from Permanent Fund earnings to pay for the annual budget, as well as a bill to overhaul the state’s oil and gas taxes.Walker also called for legislators to consider bills to introduce an income tax and to raise taxes on motor fuel, alcohol, mining, tobacco, marijuana, and commercial fishing.Some legislation that isn’t related to the budget will be on the agenda. It includes a bill that would make changes to some adoption procedures. Other measures are aimed at foster care, the state’s individual insurance market, and benefits for law enforcement officers and firefighters who die in the line of duty.The majority caucuses of both houses tried to extend the session by 10 days. But the House minority caucus opposed an extension. State workers would receive layoff notices on June 1 if the legislature hasn’t passed a budget by then.last_img read more

Spruce pollen blooms look ominous but are nothing to sneeze at

first_imgSpringtime in Alaska is a beautiful sight. With each passing day the sun shines longer, wildflowers bloom in vibrant colors and wild animals stretch their legs after a cold winter. Dr. Jeffrey Demain, founder of the Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Center of Alaska says that spruce pollen can be an irritant in the same way that road dust is, but deciduous trees, grasses, weeds and molds are the culprits for outdoor allergies. In Anchorage, there are high levels of birch pollen at the moment. Demain says that’s normal for the time of year. As menacing as they may look, the large plumes of yellow may not be a source of seasonal allergy symptoms. Spruce tree pollen blooms at Battery Point in Haines. (Photo by Claire Stremple, KHNS) “I kind of definitely had a moment of, ‘Is this some sort of chemical warfare thing?’” Randles said. For those who suffer from seasonal allergies, spring means red eyes, mucus and fits of sneezing. This year, the Lynn Canal has seen a remarkable tree pollen bloom. Demain says that unfortunately there is little pollen data for Southeast Alaska because it lacks pollen count stations. The equipment for the devices is expensive, and collecting the data is a labor-intensive process that requires special training. It has been a few years since Randles has seen pollen blooms of this size. The first time was a shock for her. “So you want to first identify the pollens you are looking at and then you literally count them,” Demain said. “There’s a mathematical formula that you use to determine how many pollen grains there are per cubic meter. So for every count that we do, I would say that’s about six hours of total preparation.” Most of that pollen comes from spruce trees. Spruce pollen grains are larger than pollen grains from other types of trees such as birch. The larger pollen gets trapped by the hairs and mucous membrane in the nose before it can penetrate deeper into the respiratory tract and cause an allergic reaction. On a beautiful spring day, the birds are chirping along the Chilkat River. The water is slowly meandering through the valley as it makes its way to the ocean. As the wind picks up, an ominous yellow cloud lifts from the trees. Just looking at these tree pollen blooms is enough to make one sneeze. “We’re as much as a month earlier than we were a decade or two ago. That’s related to the warming of our temperatures,” Demain said. “Our temperatures are warming 2-4 times what is seen in the global average when you’re looking at the subarctic region.” What sticks out to him is that the pollen cycles are beginning earlier and earlier each year. Judging by the yellow dust covering the roads, floating in the water and swirling in the half-light, odds are the pollen count is high. “Red eyes, runny eyes, swelling eyes, when it’s really bad my eyes start to swell up and then the sneeze tickle—it’s like a hedgehog is in your nose. It’s amazing,” said Amanda Randles, a Haines resident who suffers from springtime allergies. One way to plan ahead for allergies is to check recent pollen counts. Demain uses a special machine to measure pollen at his clinic in Anchorage.last_img read more

Researchers conduct first direct measurement of gravitys curvature

first_img , arXiv Journal information: Physical Review Letters Over many years, scientists have developed more sophisticated ways to measure gravity, one of the latest is to use atom interferometry—it enables distance measurement with very high precision and works by exploiting the quantum-mechanical wavelike nature of atoms. Up till now researchers have been able to measure the changes in gravity as altitude increases, for heights as little as a few feet, creating a gradient. In this new research the team has found a way to measure the change in gravity that is produced by a large mass. This change in the gradient is known as gravity’s curvature.To directly measure the change in a gradient, the team used measurements made at three different heights. Measuring gravity at two locations close to one another can give the gradient as the measured difference of the two divided by the distance between them. Measuring gravity at three locations allows for calculating the rate of change, or curvature—an idea for an experiment to carry out this measurement was first proposed back in 2002. The experiment conducted by the team in Italy is based on that proposal.To allow for measuring gravity at three locations all at the same time, the team created three plumes of ultracold atoms at three different heights inside of a one meter pipe. The top half of the piper was surrounded by tungsten alloy weights to cause an increase in variation of the gravitational field. The atoms were irradiated with pulses from a laser to cause them to separate the plumes into two parts, one that absorbed photons and a second that was left in a ground state. The additional momentum caused the atoms in the first group to fall a different distance over a measured time period, which led to a difference in quantum wave cycles that elapsed between the two. The team then added two more wave pulses to cause the two groups to recombine, which allowed them to interfere. Measuring the interference allowed for calculating the variations in gravitational acceleration and curvature, which turned out to be 1.4×10 −5 s −2 m −1, as predicted.The team believes their method should prove useful for geologic and mapping work as well as improving the measurement of G. Explore further Citation: Researchers conduct first direct measurement of gravity’s curvature (2015, January 12) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-01-gravity-curvature.html More information: Measurement of the Gravity-Field Curvature by Atom Interferometry, Phys. Rev. Lett. 114, 013001 – Published 5 January 2015. dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.114.013001 . On Arxiv: arxiv.org/abs/1501.01500ABSTRACTWe present the first direct measurement of the gravity-field curvature based on three conjugated atom interferometers. Three atomic clouds launched in the vertical direction are simultaneously interrogated by the same atom interferometry sequence and used to probe the gravity field at three equally spaced positions. The vertical component of the gravity-field curvature generated by nearby source masses is measured from the difference between adjacent gravity gradient values. Curvature measurements are of interest in geodesy studies and for the validation of gravitational models of the surrounding environment. The possibility of using such a scheme for a new determination of the Newtonian constant of gravity is also discussed. (a) Scheme of the experiment. (b) Gravitational acceleration along the symmetry axis (az) produced by the source masses and the Earth’s gravity gradient. Credit: Phys. Rev. Lett. 114, 013001 This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. © 2015 Phys.org Researchers propose method for measuring gravitational impact on antimatter (Phys.org)—A team of researchers working in Italy has successfully conducted an experiment to directly measure gravity’s curvature for the first time. In their paper published in the journal Physical Review Letters, the team describes their work and note that what they have accomplished could lead to an improvement in G, the Newtonian constant of gravity.last_img read more