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Square Kilometer Array scales back ambitions for first phase

first_imgThe consortium that will build the world’s biggest radio telescope, the Square Kilometer Array (SKA), today announced the final scope of the first phase of the project, which is due to begin construction in 2018 and be completed by 2023. Although it has had to be scaled back to stay within the available funding, the project will still be able to achieve all of its key scientific goals.“You have to make compromises when you are cutting your cloth to the funding you’ve got,” says SKA Director Philip Diamond. “There is a scaling down, but it is still a highly transformational instrument,” says astrophysicist Philip Best of the University of Edinburgh’s Institute for Astronomy in the United Kingdom.SKA, funded by 11 countries from around the globe, will be built partly in southern Africa and partly in Australia. The plan is to first build a pilot instrument, which, as well as advancing astronomy itself, will also prove that the principle behind the giant telescope actually works before the construction of phase 2 between 2023 and 2030. The final instrument will have dishes and antennas stretching across most of Africa as well as Australia and will have a total collecting area of a square kilometer.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)A baseline design for SKA was drawn up during the planning stage, and teams in South Africa and Australia are in the process of building two prototype arrays to test some of the technology: the 36-dish Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP) and the 64-dish MeerKAT array in South Africa.In July 2013, the SKA board set a cost cap for phase 1, also called SKA1, of €650 million. Since then there has been a worldwide effort by working groups and advisory boards to see what was possible within that budget. “We pulled it all together last October so that we could understand the costs to deliver the science goals,” Diamond says.The final plan for SKA1, announced today, has two components. The first is a midfrequency array with about 200 dish antennas in South Africa that will incorporate MeerKAT—down from roughly 250 in the original baseline plan. The second part is a low-frequency array in Australia that will be made up of about 130,000 so-called dipole antennas (similar to a rooftop TV aerial). The original plan called for 250,000 antennas.The original plan also included a third element, a specialized midfrequency survey telescope in Australia based around ASKAP but with 60 additional dishes. The dishes would be fitted with novel detectors called phased array feeds that can view a wide swath of the sky at once for rapid surveying. That will now have to wait for phase 2 of the project. Best, who served on a science advisory panel to SKA during the reconfiguring process, says that the midfrequency array in South Africa will still be able to do surveys of the radio sky, only more slowly because of its narrower field of view.Best says it was a “pretty unanimous decision” among the science advisers to follow this path. “Given the cost cap, it was more important to make two groundbreaking instruments,” he says. “It hasn’t lost any capabilities that the original baseline had,” he adds, but some goals may require more observing time and so “a little more give and take” may be required.SKA1 has two key science goals. The first is to detect the metronomic signals from many pulsars—rapidly spinning neutron stars that send out very regular radio pulses—so that tiny variations in the timing of their pulses can reveal the passage of gravitational waves. The second is to map out a very faint signal from neutral hydrogen gas through the history of the universe right back to the time when the first stars and galaxies were forming. “A massive range of other science is possible,” Diamond says.SKA is just starting to set the research goals for the second phase, Diamond says, and those will inform decisions about the size of the final instrument, which will likely have about 2000 dishes in Africa and up to a million dipoles in Australia. Most of the receiving hardware is, however, not a radical departure from what exists today. It is the data handling, computing, and software that remains unproven. “This is the biggest challenge we face,” Diamond says.Scaling back SKA1 is a bit of a disappointment, Best acknowledges. “But it doesn’t change things. The intention for the full SKA is the same, there is just less in the first phase,” he says.last_img read more

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Serena Williams withdraws, No. 1 Naomi Osaka loses, Roger Federer wins at Miami

first_imgWintry storm delivers US travel woes before Thanksgiving Google Philippines names new country director Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES Bloomberg: US would benefit from more, not fewer, immigrants Colombia protesters vow new strike after talks hit snag While attendance in the stadium continued to be spotty, outer courts were jammed, and the day session drew a tournament record 32,831 spectators.Seeded losers on the men’s side included No. 10 Karen Khachanov, No. 21 Diego Schwartzman, No. 26 Guido Pella, No. 30 Stan Wawrinka and No. 31 Steve Johnson. In a game of inches, the 5-foot-6 Schwartzman lost to 6-foot-11 Reilly Opelka 6-4, 3-6, 6-4.Williams was next scheduled to play No. 18-seeded Qiang Wang, who advanced to the fourth round.Also reaching the women’s round of 16 was the 33-year-old Hsieh, who turned pro in 2001 but has achieved the two biggest victories of her career in the past nine months. Her only other win over a No. 1 player came against Simona Halep at Wimbledon last year.With two-handed groundstrokes from both sides, Hsieh was the steadier player from the baseline against Osaka. When Hsieh closed out match point with a forehand volley winner, she began to cry as the crowd applauded her performance.Osaka smiled when reminded it was the first time in 64 matches she lost after winning the first set.“I know — it’s depressing,” she said. “I was thinking about it right after I lost.”Osaka, 21, has won the past two Grand Slam tournaments. Williams, 37, still hasn’t won a tournament since the 2017 Australian Open, before she took a break of more than a year to become a mom. She has played only eight matches this year.Williams’ stay at the Miami Open was also brief last year, when she lost in the first round to Osaka. Friday’s match was Williams’ first since she retired from Indian Wells two weeks ago because of a viral illness. Osaka’s departure matched the earliest ever in the tournament by a top-seeded woman and jeopardized her No. 1 ranking, depending on results next week.“I feel like I’ve dealt with the stress of people asking me do I have pressure because I have the No. 1 next to my name,” Osaka said. “I thought I was doing fine with that, but I guess I’m not.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsRoger Federer briefly seemed headed for the exit but instead advanced to the third round by rallying past qualifier Radu Albot 4-6, 7-5, 6-3.“Radu put me through the ringer,” Federer said. Williams’ withdrawal was unexpected because she showed no signs of injury a day earlier while winning her opening match against Rebecca Peterson, 6-3, 1-6, 6-1. Williams didn’t mention any health issues during a news conference after the match, and the WTA had no information regarding when she was hurt.Williams’ victory Friday was her first at Hard Rock Stadium, the Miami Dolphins’ home and the Miami Open’s new center court. The tournament moved this year from Key Biscayne, where Williams won eight titles.“I am disappointed to withdraw,” she said in a statement. “It was an amazing experience to play at Hard Rock Stadium this year, and I would like to thank the Miami Open for putting on an amazing event. I hope to be back next year to play at this one-of-a-kind tournament in front of the incredible fans here in Miami.”Federer, a three-time champion, lost serve only once — in the first game — but was on the ropes until he swept the final three games, to the relief of an enthusiastic stadium crowd.“It was a great atmosphere,” Federer said. “It was electric. I think that’s why I played so well at the end.”ADVERTISEMENT View comments Trump tells impeachment jokes at annual turkey pardon event Tremont Waters’ drive beats Maryland, sends LSU to Sweet 16 Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH 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 Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss MOST READ Naomi Osaka, of Japan, kneels on the court during her match against Hsieh Su-Wei, of Taiwan, during the Miami Open tennis tournament, Saturday, March 23, 2019, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — The new site for the Miami Open suddenly is missing a lot of star power.Serena Williams withdrew Saturday, blaming a previously undisclosed left knee injury. Less than two hours later, top-ranked Naomi Osaka lost in the third round to tour veteran Hsieh Su-Wei of Taiwan, 4-6, 7-6 (4), 6-3.ADVERTISEMENT Private companies step in to help SEA Games hostinglast_img read more

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Despite early exit, Philippines shows it can compete against world’s best 3×3 teams

first_imgColumbian forward CJ Perez is top PBA rookie for March Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue After a sizzling first day showing that saw Pasig Chooks and Balanga Chooks stunning top-ranked teams, they were stopped on their tracks by eventual champion Riga Ghetto, 15-21, and Liman, 21-19, respectively in the knockout playoff round late Friday.But Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 commissioner Eric Altamirano was none the less satisfied with what he saw from the Filipino bets.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logistics“We made a statement that we belong here in the World Tour,” said Altamirano. “ “Seeing the level of play here and knowing that we can keep up with the world’s best, it will definitely make our players hungrier to get back in the next legs of the World Tour.Pasig and Balanga went 2-0 in the group stages. The Chooks to Go Pilipinas 3×3 champions took down no. 1 team Liman while Balanga shocked Riga, 19-17, to kick of their campaign. LATEST STORIES The Pasig quartet of Taylor Statham, Joshua Munzon, Angelo Tsagarakis, and Nikola Pavlovic claimed the fifth place to bring home $5,000 while Balanga’s Travis Franklin, Alvin Pasaol, Karl Dehesa, and Santi Santillan came in next in the 12-team meet.Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 league owner Ronald Mascariñas vowed to continue support to help raise the level of 3×3 basketball in the country.“Now that we are back in the game, we will join every 3×3 tournament FIBA wants us to join,” he declared. “This is just the start for us. We will continue to raise the level of our league, hoping that one day we can be seen by the world as one of the elite 3×3 basketball countries.”Pasig Chooks is schedule to play in Kunshan Challenger, a qualifier to the Chengdu Masters, from May 18 to 19.ADVERTISEMENT Philippine Arena Interchange inaugurated MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine teams may have failed to make a deep run in the 2019 Fiba 3×3 World Tour Masters, but they proved that they could keep up with the world’s best in the sport.ADVERTISEMENT DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew SEA Games hosting troubles anger Dutertecenter_img MOST READ Palace: Duterte to attend Asean Summit in Bangkok but with ‘spacing’ PLAY LIST 01:09Palace: Duterte to attend Asean Summit in Bangkok but with ‘spacing’01:44Undas tradition: 2 mom’s crusade against trash at cemeteries00:50Trending Articles02:42PH 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 Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power grid Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View commentslast_img read more

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Chennaiyin FC, Gokulam Kerala FC Play Out Draw in Pre-season Match

first_imgChennai: Two-time Indian Super League champion Chennaiyin FC and I-League outfit Gokulam Kerala FC played out a 1-1 draw in a pre-season friendly here on Tuesday.New signing Rafael Crivellaro gave CFC an early lead from the spot as Andre Ettienne leveled the scoreline for the visitors later in the first half. This was CFC’s first outing after their pre-season camp in Ahmedabad and Bhubaneswar.Vishal Kaith started in goal with Edwin Vanspaul and Jerry Lalrinzuala as full-backs.Eli Sabia and Lucian Goian were the central defenders as another new import in Masih Saighani started ahead of them in midfield.CFC began brightly and earned an early penalty after some good interplay between Romanian Dragos Firtulescu and Edwin on the right.The Romanian spotted Rafael’s run into the box, only for the latter to be fouled before he took a shot.Rafael stepped up himself and powered the ball past Gokulam keeper Ubaid CK.Gokulam looked to hit back immediately and had two chances which fell to striker Henry Kisekka.The Ugandan, however, shot wide on both occasions.The visitors did draw level past the half hour mark, when another of their foreign players slotted home at the far post in the form of Andre Ettienne.Both teams were unchanged at the break. However, the coaches did ring in the changes shortly afer in the searing afternoon Chennai heat.Karanjit Singh replaced Vishal at the goal as youngsters Hendry Antonay, Remi and Deepak Tangri also came in along with Maltese forward Andre Schembri among others.Score: Chennaiyin FC 1 [Rafael Crivellaro (P)] drew with Gokulam Kerala FC 1 (Andre Ettienne). Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox – subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what’s happening in the world around you – in real time. chennaiyin fcfootballGokulam Kerala FCindian football First Published: October 8, 2019, 11:32 PM ISTlast_img read more

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Greece’s Petrounias Wins Rings Gold at Rio Olympics

first_imgRIO DE JANEIRO— Eleftherios Petrounias of Greece has won the Olympic gold medal in men’s still rings on August 15, the AP reported.The reigning world champion put together a precise routine, finishing with a stuck dismount to post a score of 16.000. Arthur Zanetti of Brazil captured silver, delighting the home crowd inside Rio Olympic Arena. The crowd repeatedly shushed itself during Zanetti’s set then exploded when his score of 15.766 flashed.Denis Abliazin of Russia earned bronze.TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img

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FORMER HUMAN RESOURCES DIRECTOR SUES WOODBURY COUNTY

first_imgTHE FORMER HUMAN RESOURCES DIRECTOR OF WOODBURY COUNTY HAS FILED A LAWSUIT AGAINST THE COUNTY AND SUPERVISOR MATTHEW UNG.ED GILLILAND SAYS THE COUNTY VIOLATED THE IOWA CIVIL RIGHTS ACT FOR AGE DISCRIMINATION WHEN THEY DISMISSED HIM ON JANUARY 2ND OF THIS YEAR.GILLILAND ALSO CLAIMS IN THE LAWSUIT THAT THE COUNTY RETALIATED AGAINST HIM WHEN HE OBJECTED TO AND OPPOSED THE COUNTY’S ACTION AGAINST SIMILAR OLDER EMPLOYEES.GILLILAND, NOW 64, WAS HIRED AS HUMAN RESOURCES DIRECTOR IN APRIL OF 2014, AND STATES IN THE LAWSUIT THAT MATTHEW UNG AND JEREMY TAYLOR BEGAN WHAT HE CALLS A CRUSADE TO RID THE COUNTY OF ITS OLDER MANAGERS AND EMPLOYEES AFTER THEY WERE ELECTED TO THE BOARD IN NOVEMBER 2014.HE NAMES FORMER JUVENILE DETENTION DIRECTOR MARK OLSEN AND FORMER PLANNING AND ZONING HEAD JOHN PYLELO AS EXAMPLES OF OLDER DEPARTMENT HEADS REMOVED AND REPLACED.GILLILAND SAYS HE WAS ORDERED IN SEPTEMBER OF 2017 TO OFFER THE COUNTY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR’S POSITION TO A SPECIFIC CANDIDATE AT A DINNER ALSO ATTENDED BY TWO CHAMBER OF COMMERCE MEMBERS .THE CANDIDATE DECLINED THE OFFER AND THE LAWSUIT CLAIMS THE COUNTY THEN TOOK ACTION AGAINST GILLILAND FOR BREACHING CONFIDENTIALITY TO THE CHAMBER MEMBERS.UNG WAS BOARD CHAIRMAN AT THAT TIME.GILLILAND, WHO NOW LIVES IN STORY COUNTY, IS ASKING FOR UNSPECIFIED MONETARY DAMAGES IN THE LAWSUIT.THE COUNTY HAS NOT ISSUED A RESPONSE TO THE LAWSUIT.last_img read more

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10 months agoAtletico Madrid coach Simeone: Transfer news always a concern

first_imgAtletico Madrid coach Simeone: Transfer news always a concernby Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveAtletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone admits player issues are always a concern at this time.Simeone was asked transfer window questions yesterday, but only wanted to discuss the game at Sevilla.”These are things that happen every year.”Some end their contracts, others want to sign them because they are very good, others want more minutes.”We are focused on what matters most – Sevilla.”They are a strong team who are even stronger at home and they always play positively and generate a lot of enthusiasm.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your saylast_img

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College Program Announces It Is Leaving NCAA After 2018-19

first_imgA closeup of a Nike Vapor Elite football sitting on a football field.(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)Thomas More has been a consistently strong NCAA Division III program, making a number of playoff appearances during its time at that level. Still, he school has announced that it will leaving the NCAA after next school year.The Saints are moving over to the NAIA. Thomas More competed there for much of its history, before joining the NCAA after the 1990 season.The small Catholic Kentucky college will compete in the Mid-South Conference. That league features a number of other Kentucky schools, as well as some in Georgia, Ohio, and Tennessee.From Thomas More’s release:Thomas More College Director of Athletics, Terry Connor, announced today (Tuesday, July 24, 2018) that Thomas More will move to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and the Mid-South Conference effective July 1, 2019. Thomas More was a member of the NAIA from 1947 to 1990 when it left for the National College Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III, which it will leave at the conclusion of the 2018-19 academic year.“In our conversations with representatives of the NAIA, their dedication to placing student development first was evident,” stated Acting Thomas More President Dr. Kathleen Jagger. “Their character focus is consistent with our institutional mission. We are delighted to have this opportunity to join a competitive conference, with common academic standards and geographic proximity that will minimize the travel time for our student-athletes.”Thomas More offers 11 men’s and 11 women’s varsity sports.At the NAIA level, it will also be able to offer junior varsity teams. As the released states, this will also cut down on travel.Still, given the success that many Saints teams have had a Division III, it is a bit surprising to those of us who aren’t super tapped in to the lower level of college sports. The football program was a relatively regular participant in the Division III playoffs, and had posted a number of undefeated regular seasons during its time in Division III.[Thomas More]last_img read more

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Unnao rape accused Kuldeep Singh Sengar expelled from BJP

first_imgNew Delhi: The BJP on Thursday expelled its jailed Uttar Pradesh lawmaker Kuldeep Sengar, who is accused of raping a minor girl from Unnao. The party has expelled Sengar, BJP sources said. The action came days after the girl was critically injured and two of her aunts died in an accident in Uttar Pradesh. The family alleged that the accident was an attempt to kill her.last_img

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Cong condemns Farooqs detention under PSA

first_imgNew Delhi: The Congress on Monday condemned the detention of former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah under the Public Safety Act, saying injustice has been done and it’s the country’s “misfortune” that leaders who fought for its unity are behind bars.The party said it stands in solidarity with Abdullah and if there is “no militancy today” in the state, it was because of the Congress, the National Conference and the PDP, and not the BJP. The Congress’ reaction came after officials sources on Monday said Abdullah has now been detained under the stringent PSA, which enables authorities to detain any individual for two years without trial. The 81-year-old National Conference leader has been under preventive detention since August 5 when the Centre announced abrogation of special status given to the state under Article 370 and its bifurcation into Union territories Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. The stringent law was slapped on him early Monday. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’Congress Rajya Sabha MP and Leader of the Opposition in the House Ghulam Nabi Azad said, “I strongly condemn it. It is most unfortunate that a (former) chief minister of one of the oldest political parties in Kashmir (has been detained). “Each chief minister and each political party, be it the Congress, the National Conference or the Peoples Democratic Party, in Jammu and Kashmir have tried their level best to fight militancy. If there is no militancy today, it is because of these political parties and not the BJP,” he told reporters. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KIf the leaders who fought against militancy and for the unity and integrity of the country are put behind bars under the PSA, it is a “misfortune” of the country, Azad said. At an AICC briefing, party leader Rajiv Shukla said termed Abdullah a nationalist and said injustice has been meted out towards him. “I feel that injustice has been meted out to Farooq Abdullah. Farooq has always been a nationalist and you can see all his past speeches….”last_img read more

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First supervised injection site to open in Surrey but some say they

first_imgSURREY, B.C. – Drug users will start injecting their own heroin or other illicit substances at a new supervised injection site opening this week in Surrey, B.C., in efforts to curb a crisis in overdose deaths.SafePoint will be British Columbia’s first site outside of Vancouver that allows people to shoot up drugs under medical supervision while they are linked up with other health and social services.A similar service will be incorporated later this month into an existing clinic in Surrey, which has had the second-highest number of overdose fatalities in the province after Vancouver.The BC Coroners Service has reported that of the 931 overdose deaths in the province last year, 108 occurred in Surrey. There were 51 overdose fatalities in the first four months of this year in the city.SafePoint is set to open on Thursday and comes 14 years after the groundbreaking start of Insite in Vancouver in the midst of an HIV epidemic.Just like at Insite, intravenous drug users will be given clean needles at individual booths where they can inject drugs while being monitored by staff ready to administer the overdose-reversing drug naloxone if necessary.Anyone who uses illicit substances in a supervised injection site approved by Health Canada is exempt from the country’s drug laws.Dr. Victoria Lee, Fraser Health’s chief medical health officer, called the department’s approval of SafePoint bittersweet, saying the health authority submitted an application requesting that users also be allowed to snort drugs or take them orally.“We know that people are dying not only from injecting drugs but orally consuming and inter-nasally consuming as well, and we wanted to provide them with supervised consumption services as well,” Lee said Tuesday outside the new facility.She said that’s essential because of a public health emergency declared by the province in April 2016 over an unprecedented number of overdose deaths that continues to rise.Some drug users living in about 70 tents across the street from SafePoint said they would not inject at the clinic because there is a community RCMP policing station next door.Lee said several surveys of community organizations and substance users suggested people would inject at the facility despite the presence of police nearby.“We will monitor what the uptake looks like. If we see that if the uptake is not what we expected we will look with our partners, community organizations as well as RCMP and local municipal stakeholders to improve access,” she said.Fraser Health said in a statement that there are more than 500 visits each week to a nearby overdose prevention site, though some people in the tent city said they would continue going there instead of SafePoint.One drug user, who did not wish to be named, said there’s a more urgent need for housing in Surrey, which, unlike Vancouver, does not have single-room occupancy hotels for people who live on the street or go to shelters.Lee acknowledged the lack of housing as a problem.“There are new builds underway,” she said, adding the Lookout Emergency Aid Society, which has been contracted to operate SafePoint, also manages shelters in the city.Former drug user Karen Scott told a news conference at SafePoint that she was addicted to crystal methamphetamine and unwittingly took some laced with fentanyl before entering a treatment program involving the drug suboxone.Scott urged drug users to take advantage of SafePoint, noting the same treatment, along with methadone, will be offered adjacent to the new clinic.Besides Insite, a smaller supervised injection site run by the Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation also exists in downtown Vancouver.Health Canada said Tuesday that it has approved 12 applications for supervised injection sites elsewhere: four in Montreal, including one mobile unit, and three in Toronto, although they have not yet opened.The department said 12 applications are under consideration, including three from other cities in B.C., four from Edmonton, one from Calgary and three from Ottawa.— Follow @CamilleBains1 on Twitter.last_img read more

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Police looking into two more incidents at private allboys school

first_imgToronto police say they have learned of two more incidents at a private all-boys’ school at the centre of an investigation into allegations of assault and sexual assault.Police spokeswoman Meaghan Gray says one of the incidents is being investigated as an assault with a weapon, while the second is considered a threat.The latest incidents bring to six the number of cases being investigated by police at St. Michael’s College School, a Roman Catholic school that teaches grades 7 to 12.Police and the school have said two of those incidents involved an alleged sexual assault.Police laid charges against six students on Monday in connection with one of the alleged sexual assaults that was captured on video.Five of the teens turned themselves in to police Monday morning, while another one was arrested while on his way to school.More to come.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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Dems say Trump agrees on 2 trillion infrastructure goal

WASHINGTON — In a rare moment of bipartisanship in polarized Washington, President Donald Trump and Democratic congressional leaders agreed Tuesday to work toward a $2 trillion infrastructure plan to rebuild roads, bridges, provide clean water and extend broadband coverage — but they put off the thorny matter of how to pay for it.Both sides seemed determined to show a willingness to work with the other, even as tensions between the White House and congressional Democrats have only intensified with the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s redacted report into Russia meddling in the 2016 elections. Democrats have multiple investigations of the Trump administration underway and Trump’s White House is strongly resisting them.But Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said there was “good will in the meeting” — a marked departure from the last White House encounter between Trump, Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, which ended with Trump walking out in a huff. At Tuesday’s more muted meeting, by contrast, Trump at one point offered to share his Tic Tacs with Pelosi and she accepted, a Democratic aide recounted.“We did come to one agreement: that the agreement would be big and bold,” Pelosi said.Schumer added that: “In previous meetings, the president has said, ‘If these investigations continue, I can’t work with you.’” But this time, Schumer said, “He didn’t bring it up.”Schumer said the two sides agreed that infrastructure investments create jobs and make the United States more competitive economically with the rest of the world. Most importantly, Schumer said, “we agreed on a number.”“Originally, we had started a little lower. Even the president was eager to push it up to $2 trillion, and that is a very good thing,” Schumer said.White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, for her part, described the meeting as “excellent and productive.”Pelosi and congressional Democrats had asked for the meeting with Trump to discuss launching an ambitious building program that’s a top priority for the party and has been a rare area of potential bipartisan accord with Republicans. Trump, too, has long promised a big infrastructure plan.When Democratic lawmakers emerged, they said Trump agreed that infrastructure investments should go beyond roads and bridges and water systems to also include broadband.Democrats also put the onus on Trump to come up with a plan for how to pay for the package, and said they would meet again in three weeks, when the president will present his ideas. They noted that a bill is unlikely to pass the Senate “if we don’t have him on board.”Trump, at one point, said he liked the number $2 trillion because it sounded better than $1.9 billion, according to a Democrat who spoke about the meeting on condition of anonymity because the aide was not authorized to discuss details of the private session publicly.The meeting tenor was decidedly more low-key than the last Trump session with the Democratic leaders. During one exchange, when Pelosi tried to get the president’s attention as he and Schumer were having a side conversation, the speaker prodded, “If I may have your attention … Mr. President … Chuck … Kids …” That was according to the Democrat who described the meeting on condition of anonymity.The nation’s top business groups and labour unions support increasing the federal gasoline tax, currently 18.3 cents a gallon. It was last raised in 1993.Schumer said the president didn’t rule out tax increases to pay for infrastructure. Sanders’ statement did not address the tax issue. Instead, it described the U.S., without elaborating, as “foolishly prioritizing the interests of other countries over our own.”“We have to invest in this country’s future and bring our infrastructure to a level better than it has ever been before,” Sanders added.The meeting included a dozen congressional Democrats and numerous administration officials.Before the meeting, senior aides seemed intent on setting low expectations. Asked whether Trump supports raising the gas tax, White House adviser Kellyanne Conway said “this president is the guy who lowers taxes.”And Mick Mulvaney, the president’s acting chief of staff, said he hoped the conversations with Democrats would go well, “but if they don’t it would not surprise me.”More than one “infrastructure week” already has come and gone over the past two years with nothing to show for it. Still, advocates for an infrastructure package boost see a narrow window for action.“I think a deal can be had if everybody is willing to put their battle axes away for a period,” said former Republican Rep. Bill Shuster of Pennsylvania, who served as chairman of the House’s transportation committee for six years.Mulvaney indicated that won’t be easy.“To have an impeachment hearing on Monday, say, and then to think you’re going to talk infrastructure on Tuesday, that’s not how the world works, let alone Washington, D.C.,” Mulvaney said at a conference he was attending in California.Democrats insisted that they will proceed with their “oversight responsibilities” at the same they’re pushing for an infrastructure deal. “The two are not mutually exclusive, and we were glad he didn’t make it that way,” Schumer said.A compromise could offer political benefits to both sides. Trump’s re-election prospects are tied to a strong economy that would get another boost from new road and bridge projects. House Democrats have passed an array of bills that have gone nowhere in the GOP-controlled Senate.Committees in both chambers of Congress have started to lay the groundwork for an infrastructure bill through hearings, with Democratic lawmakers hoping to have legislation ready for consideration by June or July.___AP Writers Darlene Superville and Matthew Daly contributed to this report.Kevin Freking And Lisa Mascaro, The Associated Press read more

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Simulated nuclear accident to be staged in Mexico to test response systems

8 July 2008The United Nations nuclear watchdog agency is to stage a simulated accident at a nuclear power plant in Mexico tomorrow to test emergency response systems. Some 74 member States of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), as well as 10 international organizations will be participating in the 48-hour drill which starts tomorrow at Mexico’s Laguna Verde nuclear power plant. The IAEA says the exercise will provide an opportunity to identify shortcomings in the national and international emergency systems to a potential radiological emergency, and that the agency’s Incident and Emergency Centre will work around the clock during the drill. At the same time, the IAEA stresses that since it will be a “virtual” accident it will pose no risk to the public or the environment.Tomorrow’s exercise is the third in a series, after earlier drills were conducted in Gravelines, France, in 2001 and at Cernavoda, Romania, in 2005. The drills test communication, response times and the operation of information exchange mechanisms worldwide.Under long-established emergency conventions, the IAEA receives notifications of incidents then alerts its member States and other organizations and coordinates the response to requests for assistance.The UN World Health Organization (WHO) will also be taking part in the exercise to test its capacities in public health risk detection, assessment and response, and its effectiveness in coordinating with other international agencies. read more

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Pillay condemns Rizanas execution

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay today condemned the execution of Sri Lankan housemaid Rizana Nafeek in Saudi Arabia.Rizana Nafeek, who arrived in Saudi Arabia from Sri Lanka to work as a housemaid in 2005, was charged with the murder of her employers’ baby a week after her arrival. Despite a birth certificate that allegedly showed she was a minor at the time of the baby’s death and repeated expressions of concern from the international community, she was convicted of murder, sentenced to death and beheaded. “We are deeply troubled by reports of irregularities in her detention and trial, including that no lawyer was present to assist her in key stages of her interrogation and trial, that language interpretation was poor, and Ms Nafeek’s contention that she was physically assaulted and forced to sign a confession under duress,” Rupert Colville, the spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said. On 1 November 2010, the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Christof Heyns, sent an urgent appeal in connection with Ms. Nafeek’s case. In June 2007, his predecessor Philip Alston had already raised concerns about the imposition of the death penalty for an alleged crime committed when Ms Nafeek was still below eighteen years of age.*“We note with great concern the sharp increase in the use of capital punishment in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia since 2011. The High Commissioner strongly supports the global movement away from the death penalty. She was pleased that a clear majority of Member States (111) recently voted for General Assembly resolution 67/176, which calls for a moratorium on the death penalty. We call on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to join the growing world’s movement away from the death penalty,” Colville said. read more

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No army interference in polls Audio

Deshapriya said that based on the current conditions in the north he is confident the election for the Northern Prince will be free and fair. (Colombo Gazette)Audio Playerhttp://colombogazette.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Mahinda-Desapriya-in-Vavuniya-voice-clip.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. “In general by saying the army is intimidating voters in a particular area cannot be taken as a complaint. There needs to be a specific incident reported. But we have not got specific or detailed complaints,” he said. He also said that the army can get involved in election related work to assist the police only if he makes a formal request to the police chief. But so far he has not made such a request. Deshapriya also noted that illegal posters and cut-outs were not seen widely in the north as compared to the other two provinces.He also said that transport and special election centres will be setup for displaced voters on election day. Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya says there have not been any complaints of the army interfering in election work ahead of the provincial council elections in the north.Deshapriya, who was on a visit to the north, said that even voters have not made any specific compliant of army harassment or threats. read more

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West African stability still endangered by global traffickers warns new UN report

The report, a threat assessment issued by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and entitled Transnational Organized Crime in West Africa, cautions that the profit from cocaine trafficking alone may still be larger than the national security budgets of several West African countries, causing difficulties for local law enforcement.In addition, it notes that West African criminal groups have become increasingly independent and enterprising in their ability to bring drugs into the region.“Transnational organized crime is clearly a serious threat to West Africa,” Pierre Lapaque, the UNODC Regional Representative for West and Central Africa, said in a press statement marking the report’s release. “State institutions and the rule of law are weak in most of these countries and unless these organized crimes are tackled, instability is likely to persist and increase.”According to UNODC estimates, at least 50 tons of cocaine from the Andean countries transit through West Africa every year, heading north to Europe where they are worth almost $2 billion in street value. Most cocaine entering Africa from South America makes landfall around Guinea-Bissau in the north and Ghana in the south and are shipped to Europe via drug mules on commercial flights.The new report points out, however, that cocaine is not the only illicit drug affecting the region. In particular, it cites the “worrying” emergence of methamphetamine production in Nigeria, where two methamphetamine labs were detected in the 2011-2012 biennium, and a growth in trans-regional trafficking with some 3,000 methamphetamine couriers alleged to have transported an estimated $360 million worth of drugs from West Africa to East Africa in 2010. The report says that this is an indication that West African criminal groups are becoming increasingly influential in the transnational drug market. Last July, Yury Fedotov, the UNODC Executive Director, confirmed to the UN Security Council that with the increased trafficking, production and consumption of drugs, as well as piracy and insecurity, West Africa represented one of the key challenges for his agency as it had steadily transformed from being simply a transit route into a final destination of illegal substances as well.“The complex challenges West Africa faces represent a severe test for the individual countries and for the region as a whole,” Mr. Fedotov said. “UNODC will continue to work with its partners to build the commitment and develop the necessary solutions in this extremely fluid and fast-moving environment.”Other criminal markets are also discussed in the report, including the smuggling of migrants from West Africa to Europe, the trafficking of fraudulent pharmaceuticals from Asia to West Africa, and maritime piracy in the region.The report warns that while the trends and profits for these diverse markets tend to vary, their potential for sowing corruption, political instability, hampering development and promoting conflict remains “too large for the region to deal with on its own.”“West African States need to do more in terms of data collection and sharing, regional coordination in law enforcement and enhanced drug treatment and rehabilitation services, to mention some recommendations,” admits the UNODC report, while noting that the countries in the region are unable to fight the crime epidemic alone.“They will need support from the international community to make substantial progress in reducing the negative impact of transnational organized crime on the region’s development.” read more

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Being A WNBA Center Is Harder Than Ever So Sylvia Fowles Adapted

It’s a tough season to be a center in the WNBA.Foul calls are down significantly, dropping by 1.4 fouls per game from 2018. But the “big” bigs — the best fives the league has to offer — have been hit especially hard. Through 32 games, the number of free-throw attempts by Liz Cambage of the Las Vegas Aces, Brittney Griner of the Phoenix Mercury and Sylvia Fowles of the Minnesota Lynx is down 37 percent.The results have been evident. Griner, tired of taking so much uncalled contact, was involved in an altercation last month that resulted in a three-game suspension. Cambage described it, in an interview earlier this summer, this way: “I don’t really see myself playing into my 30s because I don’t want to go to war.” Cambage is still having an elite season, but her overall production is down from last year — her field-goal percentage has fallen from 58.9 to 49.3 percent while her true shooting percentage has dropped from 64.3 to 55.2 percent.But Fowles, through a combination of inter- and intraseason adaptations, has kept her production remarkably consistent. Her career field-goal percentage is 59.3 percent. This season, her field-goal percentage is … 59.1 percent.Another year, same Syl. At age 33, Fowles is this generation’s greatest center, trailing only Lauren Jackson among centers in career Win Shares, but she doesn’t get enough appreciation, to hear her coach and teammates tell it.“Syl reminds me of myself, like no one recognizes her greatness,” said Fowles’s current Lynx and former LSU teammate Seimone Augustus. “But she continues to just get better, year after year. I mean, at the end of the day, when it’s all said and done and she retires, I think people are going to look back and go, ‘Wow.’”By the catch-all stat Win Shares, Fowles has quietly amassed more value than anyone else in the WNBA over the past three seasons. Elena Delle Donne, Griner and Cambage may get more headlines, but only Fowles has more than 20 win shares since the start of the 2017 season. No one else has cracked 19.But while the statistics — at least the topline numbers — would indicate that Fowles is simply the same great center she’s been since her rookie season in Chicago back in 2008, a closer look at how she’s been scoring her points in 2019 reveals the change she made to enhance her game.Fowles is 19-for-34 on shots 15 to 19 feet away from the basket, a 55.9 percent clip that ranks her among this season’s elite midrange shooters. For reference, Fowles was 2-for-6 from that distance in 2018.That didn’t happen by accident. Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve told Fowles in their exit meeting at the end of 2018 that she wanted her to diversify her game, and Fowles worked with Lynx assistant Walt Hopkins all offseason. The daily routine was punishing: Fowles would shoot at the rim, in the paint, from the free-throw and three-point lines, and couldn’t advance to the next spot until she made five in a row, all swishes.Her success this season from all over the court has actually helped Fowles focus on her original strength — that endless array of post moves — and not settle for the jumpers she’s now sinking routinely.“I have to make sure it doesn’t take away what I do best,” Fowles said. “I have to make sure I don’t get too relaxed and shoot jumpers. When I’m open, I shoot. But when I’m not, it’s making sure I do what I used to do, and that’s going to the rim.”But even Fowles acknowledged a frustration with how much harder it has been to earn foul-line trips through contact. Fowles has gotten more than four free-throw attempts in a game just six times all season. In 2018, she shot more than four free throw attempts in 17 of 34 games.I asked Sue Blauch, the WNBA’s head of referee performance and development, about the reduction in both free-throw attempts originating out of the paint and player frustration with it. She acknowledged the decrease in offensive efficiency in the league this season and said “everyone should dig deep and explore” what might be the cause. “We certainly looked at our play-calling data and have addressed any contribution that officiating may have had,” she said.Refs across the WNBA did seem to take note of recent league office guidance. Before July’s All-Star break, the average number of fouls per game was 33.2. Since then, fouls are up to 37.3 per game — an increase of 12.3 percent. That shift toward more fouls in the paint required another adjustment for Fowles, who was sent to the bench early in several games with foul trouble herself.“Now everything’s a foul fest, the last couple of games it’s a foul fest, we have to adjust to that,” Reeve said after a Minnesota win in New York on Aug. 13. “All of a sudden there’s an about-face about how it’s being officiated. And so I told Syl, I said, ‘No complaints now. You know, you gotta get yourself to the foul line.’ Some of it is being patient and not racing through the move, give a defender a chance to foul you, type of thing. So I think she’s got to be a little more poised in the post.”It isn’t easy. Fowles said she huddled with Cambage and Griner during All-Star weekend in Las Vegas about how to handle all the physical abuse. She laughed when asked if she meditates.“Oh, yes,” Fowles said. “I meditate. I talk to therapists. It gets frustrating.” But she doesn’t want to talk about it with her teammates and coaches, to “put out that negative energy.” Instead, she just continues to be Sylvia Fowles.In the three games after that Aug. 13 win, she shot 63.6 percent. She took only one shot from the 15-to-19-foot range. And in her past four games, she’s shot 59.5 percent, going 4-of-7 when 15 to 19 feet from the basket.The rules change, the teams change, the players change. But Sylvia Fowles keeps on doing what she does. read more