Progress being made on establishing a nursing school in Northeast BC

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Officials with the Peace River Regional District and the provincial government say that progress is being made on getting a nursing school established in Fort St. John.The news comes on the tail of last Wednesday’s announcement that the provincial government had approved the concept plan for major upgrades to the Dawson Creek Hospital. During that announcement, Health Minister Adrian Dix acknowledged the hospital’s staff who “a great place, regardless of what the facilities are like.”“We owe it to them to ensure that they practice the passion of their lives – caring for people – in the best possible facilities,” said Dix. While the newly-renovated hospital might provide a less stressful facility for healthcare workers, B.C. Auditor General Carol Bellringer said earlier this year that new facilities alone won’t solve issues with recruitment and retention of healthcare workers in Northeast B.C.In February, Bellringer released a report which said that Northern Health was not doing enough to recruit and retain registered nurses, especially in the northeast part of the province. As part of her recommendations, Bellringer said that establishing a nursing school in Northeast B.C. would help to better recruit and retain nurses in this part of the province.Weeks before Bellringer released the report, Fort St. John mayor Lori Ackerman said that talks on getting a nursing school established in Fort St. John were progressing, saying she expected to hear back from the provincial government in the Spring.Peace River Regional District Chair Brad Sperling, who was also at last week’s announcement, said that the latest news from the provincial government came at the North Central Local Government Association annual general meeting in Fort Nelson in May.“The program was virtually together and ready to go,” said Sperling. “That was in the beginning of May and they were hoping to have that down there in June. They did ask me if I would be prepared to head down there on a moment’s notice and the Board did approve that. Right now we’re just waiting to hear, but hopefully it’s on its way to the Minister.”last_img read more

Pew Survey Republicans Okay Blunt Talk About Islam Democrats Favor Caution

Rabat – A new survey released on February 3 revealed a sharp difference between Democrats and Republicans on the matter of how the next president of the United States should speak about Islam and Islamic extremism.The Pew Research Center survey found that Americans are divided along partisan lines with regard to whether the next president should “speak bluntly about extremism even if it means being critical of Islam” or “be careful not to criticize Islam as a whole when speaking about Islamic extremists.”As President Obama visited a mosque in Baltimore on Wednesday for the first time as president on Wednesday to show support for American Muslims, a new poll finds that 70 percent of Democrats and independents who lean Democratic say the next president should “speak carefully about Islamic extremism so as not to criticize Islam as a whole.” However, four-in-ten Americans want the next president to “speak bluntly about Islamic extremists even if the statements are critical of Islam as a whole.”The survey revealed that “blunt talk is preferred by two-thirds of Republicans and those who lean toward the Republican Party (65%), while seven-in-ten Democrats and independents who lean Democratic express the opposite view, saying the next president should speak carefully about Islamic extremism so as not to criticize Islam as a whole.”The study also shows that 49 percent of Americans think that at least some of the US Muslim population is anti-American.“Roughly half of the public believes that at least ‘some’ US Muslims are anti-American, including 11 percent who say ‘most’ or ‘almost all’ US Muslims are anti-American and 14 percent who think ‘about half’ the US Muslim population is anti-American,” the survey found.Edited By Kelsey Fish read more

Moroccos BCIJ Seizes Colombian Cocaine Networks DrugTrafficking Boat

Rabat – Morocco’s BCIJ has seized a boat loaded with cocaine in El Jadida, near Casablanca.Following the arrest of seven individuals linked to a Colombian criminal network that specializes in smuggling cocaine between Morocco, the US, Latin America, and Europe, Morocco’s Central Bureau of Judicial Intelligence (BCIJ) has found the same network trying to store cocaine in the southern Dakhla and Boujdour region and make it their base for trafficking.The BCIJ discovered that the cocaine trafficking ring was attempting to airlift cocaine using small planes between Morocco’s southern region of Dakhla, Latin America, and Europe. The preliminary investigation revealed one of the suspects received aviation training. Read Also: Morocco’s BCIJ Raids Farm Suspected of Storing, Trafficking CocaineThe organized crime group tried to establish friendships with royal gendarmes and navy officials to cover up their crimes, reported the daily Assabah.BCIJ seized materials used to power the aircraft used for cocaine trafficking, including over three tons of kerosene fuel, three large fuel pumps, two engines, and five generators. BCIJ also seized 46 barrels containing 2,700 liters of gasoline.Last Saturday, December 15, BCIJ located a farm in Boujdour, a city in the Laayoune-Sakia El Hamra region, used by the network for cocaine trafficking and storage. Saturday’s operation followed the arrest of seven individuals working with the network in El Jadida. The police seized one ton of cocaine in their possession earlier this month.1111The criminal network smuggled cocaine by sea on a merchant vessel from Latin America to Morocco, then transported the cocaine to El Jadida, near Casablanca, using a fishing vessel. read more

UN agency delivers more aid to quake survivors in Turkey

Two flights at the weekend delivered 1,000 tents and 20,000 blankets, Andrej Mahecic, spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Refugee (UNHCR), told reporters in Geneva.A third flight landed in the city of Erzurum earlier today with more tents and blankets, and the final flight is due to land within the next 24 hours with additional relief items from the agency’s stockpile in Dubai, according to Mr. Mahecic.The aid is likely to be distributed in and around the badly damaged town of Ercis, which is located close to the epicentre of the 7.2-magnitude earthquake that hit the area on 23 October. More than 600 people were killed and 4,000 were injured in the earthquake, according to official figures.In total, UNHCR plans to donate 4,000 tents, 50,000 blankets and 10,000 sleeping mats for the neediest families. The agency is focusing on the well-being of some 2,000 refugees and asylum-seekers known to have been living in the area. Most are Iranian or Afghan nationals.They are in need of food, water and shelter as autumn and winter in that part of Turkey are harsh, with night temperatures dropping to below freezing.Relief assistance in the stricken city of Van is increasing with three aid distribution points now operational, according to the UNHCR, which, along with its partners, has been providing updated information to refugees and asylum-seekers.On Friday, UNHCR sent additional teams to support staff who were present during the quake and who volunteered to remain there.The Turkish Government and local authorities in Van are working on a plan to relocate some people away from the disaster zone. Relocations of registered asylum-seekers and refugees are being organized on a voluntary basis, and UNHCR teams in Van are offering counselling and advice to the people concerned. 1 November 2011The United Nations refugee agency reported today it has airlifted more than 100 tons of relief materials into Turkey to assist survivors of last week’s devastating earthquake in the country’s southeast. read more

One of my heroes Coach teacher Kelly Bowers remembered fondly

Michelle Berg / Saskatoon StarPhoenix Bowers retired in 2007 but remained a constant presence around Bedford Road, most notably serving as one of the key pieces behind the scenes at BRIT — which remains one of Canada’s most prestigious high school hoops tournaments.He was inducted into the Saskatoon Sports Hall of Fame and long served on the organization’s board. He was once named Kinsmen sportsman of the year.He was often heard on the radio airwaves for Hilltops and University of Saskatchewan Huskies games. Bowers spent untold hours helping the Saskatoon Minor Football League and Kinsmen Football League.Well into the 2010s, Bowers refereed high school as well as men’s and women’s basketball games in the city league. Bowers and Don ‘Butch’ Steponchev even refereed together in the third-place final at the 50th annual BRIT; the two had been around the tournament for every year of its existence.Brian Towriss, the legendary former U of S football coach, said Bowers will be missed.“Kelly’s infectious enthusiasm, work ethic and endless energy left a huge positive impact on the football community and the lives of so many young men and women in Saskatoon,” Towriss wrote. “May his voice and memory echo at (Gordie Howe) Bowl for all time.”In a post to BRIT’s official Facebook page, Bowers was remembered as someone who “touched the lives of many young people with his passion and dedication to sport and encouraging students to get involved.“We mourn the loss of a great man. His endless energy and positive attitude will be missed. There’s a massive hole that no one else can fill, and the hallways of Bedford Road will be a little bit quieter.” Gord Waldner / Saskatoon StarPhoenix Bowers — a teacher, coach and volunteer, husband to Sandy and father to Kasie and Aerin — died on Tuesday. Word quickly spread through the community to those who coached with him or were coached by him, who taught with him or learned from him, or who simply recognized him for his larger-than-life personality.Story continues belowThis advertisement has not loaded yet,but your article continues below.The Saskatoon Hilltops called Bowers’ death “heartbreaking.”The community “is lost with a massive hole,” Saskatoon Minor Football wrote in a Facebook post.“One of my heroes and one of the most influential people in my life and the reason I got into sports announcing,” wrote Bedford Road graduate Jordie Hughton. “He will be sorely missed by many in this community.”Bowers, the oldest of eight children, began his teaching career at Churchill Elementary School in 1973. A proud graduate of Bedford Road, he returned there as a teacher in 1974, coaching senior football, senior wrestling, basketball and track. He later taught at Mount Royal, and served as athletics consultant with the Saskatoon Secondary Schools Athletic Directorate (SSSAD), before returning to Bedford in the late-1990s. Of his nearly 34 years as an educator, he was a coach for 24 of them.During that second stint at Bedford, he provided a season for the ages when the Redmen ended a three-decade drought and won a city and provincial championship.“We had that dream season of 1998 for high school football and it was very exciting around the school,” Bowers said in 2007, the year he retired as a teacher. “The whole deal was unbelievable.”Ralph Schoenfeld, the long-time coach and educator in Saskatoon who credited Bowers as an early mentor at Bedford Road, talked in 2007 about the legacy Bowers was leaving.“He’s a piece of work, but I mean that in a very good way,” Schoenfeld said.“Boundless energy and total commitment, that’s the way I’d characterize Kelly. Nothing was beyond his capacity to coach and nothing was beyond his willingness to accept a challenge.” Whether he was delivering the punchline or on the receiving end of the joke, roaming the sidelines as a coach or behind the scenes as a volunteer, as long as he could bring a smile to someone’s face Kelly Bowers was happy to play whatever role was required.There was the time he took part in a skit at Mount Royal Collegiate. He was “arrested” and charged with whispering in the library. He couldn’t have done it, “court” heard, because Bowers — famous for his booming, gravelly voice — never whispered a day in his life.There was the media day in advance of the 50th annual Bedford Road Invitational Tournament in 2018, when Bowers showed up in the warm-up pants worn by the Redmen basketball team in the 1960s.Who could forget his triumphant return as a teacher to Bedford, when he helped guide the Redmen in 1998 to their first provincial football championship in 30 years? Certainly no one around the school that year. Bedford Road Invitational Tournament referees Don Steponchev and Kelly Bowers at the BRIT press conference at Bedford Road Collegiate in Saskatoon on January 9, 2018. Long-time coach and teacher Kelly Bowers, in a 2007 photo read more

No 16 Seeds Are Due

2003Kentucky2149IUPUI155998.119.9 1991UNLV2187Montana159298.443.1 2012Syracuse2054UNC-Asheville161994.97.5 1987Indiana2007Fairfield147398.066.0 1992Kansas2106Howard141098.937.8 2009Pittsburgh2021East Tennessee St.153696.210.4 2008Memphis2023Texas Arlington144298.111.4 2010Duke2059Arkansas Pine Bluff142298.79.5 2002Duke2193Winthrop141199.522.5 CHANCE THAT NO. 1 SEED WINS … 1996Purdue2050Western Carolina153996.829.5 2013Indiana1986James Madison157494.56.2 2002Kansas2066Holy Cross156197.321.9 1997Kentucky2181Montana157897.727.9 1988Temple2058Lehigh152197.258.2 1988Purdue2015Fairleigh Dickinson150297.562.6 2007Florida2046Jackson St.136598.712.4 1994Purdue2036Central Florida137399.034.2 1988Arizona2003Cornell149497.756.9 1993Kentucky2066Rider142798.835.1 1988Oklahoma2043Chattanooga152995.759.9 1989Illinois2094McNeese St.150998.553.6 2001Duke2149Monmouth154498.623.7 1985Georgetown2135Lehigh125699.7%99.7% 2015Kentucky2158Hampton150399.05.4 2000Stanford2092South Carolina St.141798.424.1 More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed 1985St. John’s1948Southern163687.783.7 1999Auburn1988Winthrop143897.425.7 1991Ohio St.1997Towson153096.540.4 2011Kansas2117Boston U.157098.18.1 1992Ohio St.2038Miss. Valley St.147598.138.3 2015Duke2028Robert Morris155496.45.2 1985Michigan2024Fairleigh Dickinson146198.082.0 1989Arizona2117Robert Morris136099.556.6 2011Pittsburgh2008UNC-Asheville159494.58.3 1987North Carolina2133Pennsylvania149298.869.3 1994Missouri2003Navy141498.333.6 1986Duke2116Miss. Valley St.160797.577.7 1992Duke2209Campbell134599.738.2 2006Connecticut2109Albany153197.916.2 1992UCLA1959Robert Morris148597.036.6 2008North Carolina2141Mount St. Mary’s156398.311.6 2003Texas1919UNC-Asheville127298.419.6 1998Duke2135Radford146298.826.5 2013Gonzaga2032Southern143598.46.7 1995UCLA2059Florida Intl.131399.531.2 1991Arkansas2034Georgia St.144896.639.0 1999Duke2295Florida A&M124899.925.3 2000Michigan St.2125Valparaiso147098.824.7 2011Duke2117Hampton147598.78.2 1998North Carolina2155Navy146498.926.8 2014Arizona2012Weber St.155795.75.6 1990Michigan St.2052Murray St.160794.543.8 1997Minnesota2023Texas St.142398.327.4 2012Michigan St.2029Long Island U.157995.76.9 2006Duke2084Southern143199.116.5 2010Kentucky2029East Tennessee St.152696.59.8 2002Maryland2110Siena154298.321.5 2005North Carolina2095Oakland151098.417.0 1999Connecticut2140Texas San Antonio146898.625.3 1989Georgetown2055Princeton153196.751.9 2015Villanova2086Lafayette149998.05.4 1996Massachusetts2127Central Florida136599.629.4 2009Louisville2059Morehead St.153497.010.1 2014Wichita St.2041Cal Poly153997.45.9 1995Kentucky2115Mount St. Mary’s144399.031.4 2003Arizona2069Vermont148198.520.3 1986Kansas2059North Carolina A&T151797.179.6 2005Washington1964Montana150495.217.4 2001Illinois2030Northwestern St.147598.023.0 YEARNO. 1 SEEDELONO. 16 SEEDELOTHIS GAMECUM. GAMES 1997North Carolina2099Fairfield143399.128.8 2007Kansas2063Niagara161395.212.6 2002Cincinnati2055Boston U.149497.821.1 1994Arkansas2001North Carolina A&T136498.932.7 1990UNLV1989Ark.-Little Rock160794.048.0 2007North Carolina2097Eastern Kentucky149498.413.5 1995Kansas2049Colgate147997.732.0 2004Saint Joseph’s1941Liberty144896.518.9 2004Duke2037Alabama St.133999.318.8 1991North Carolina2108Northeastern155797.241.9 2010Syracuse1986Vermont161992.68.8 2004Stanford2041Texas San Antonio145098.418.5 2007Ohio St.2084Central Conn. St.155097.713.2 2011Ohio St.2115Texas San Antonio152398.78.0 2009Connecticut2024Chattanooga150397.411.1 2001Stanford2113UNC-Greensboro145999.123.4 1993Indiana2130Wright St.155797.935.5 1998Arizona2159Nicholls St.152198.827.1 It’s the sort of statistic that seems ripped from pages of the Washington Generals media guide. Since the men’s NCAA Tournament went to a 64-team format in 1985, No. 16 seeds are winless: an imperfect 0-124 record.No. 16 seeds can be pretty bad basketball teams, of course. Often, they’re teams from small conferences that won automatic bids by winning their conference tournament in a series of upsets after having barely cleared .500 during the regular season. (Small-conference teams that win both the regular season and their conference tournaments will usually wind up with No. 13, 14 or 15 seeds instead.) Furthermore, No. 16s have the misfortune of being matched up against No. 1 seeds, which are theoretically the four best teams in the country.But being bad is one thing; going 0 for 124 is another. My hunch is that No. 16 seeds have been unlucky not to have pulled off at least one upset.Consider that in the 1998 women’s NCAA Tournament, No. 16 seed Harvard (those plucky upstarts) beat No. 1 seed Stanford. And in the men’s tournament, several No. 16 seeds have come close to winning. Two of them, Princeton and East Tennessee State, lost by a single point in 1989 to Georgetown and Oklahoma, respectively. The next year, No. 16 seed Murray State took Michigan State to overtime before losing by four.Meanwhile, plenty of No. 15 seeds have won. Well, not plenty, but seven of them have upset No. 2 seeds. And No. 14 seeds have beaten No. 3 seeds 20 times. These results suggest that 16-versus-1 upsets ought to be possible, especially because there isn’t always a whole lot of daylight separating teams from one seed to the next. As its choices this year made clear, the selection committee is not infallible. Sometimes a team gets seeded as a 16 when it should probably have been a 14 or 15. Sometimes a No. 1 seed should have been a No. 2 seed. If a No. 15 seed can beat a No. 2 seed, then surely a 15-seed that’s mis-seeded as 16 can beat a 2-seed that’s mis-seeded as a No. 1.But we can be more precise about this. In building our NCAA Tournament forecasts this year, we developed an Elo ratings system for college basketball. Although our forecasts for this year blend Elo with several other computer ratings, we can run Elo-based projections for past tournament games going back as far as we like.Here, then, is how Elo would have forecast every past 1-versus-16 matchup on the day it was played. Once we figure out the No. 1 seed’s odds of winning each game, we can simply multiply the probabilities to figure out their cumulative odds of winning all 124. It’s a long table, so scroll down to the bottom for the punch line. 1993Michigan2095Coastal Carolina146398.534.6 2006Memphis1931Oral Roberts162987.114.1 1985Oklahoma1963North Carolina A&T154495.795.4 1994North Carolina2082Liberty145098.433.1 2000Arizona1982Jackson St.139699.024.5 1986St. John’s2006Montana St.154094.470.1 2008Kansas2102Portland St.169895.511.8 2013Kansas2024Western Kentucky149997.76.5 2008UCLA2074Miss. Valley St.135099.512.3 2009North Carolina2103Radford152098.010.8 2001Michigan St.2105Alabama St.145098.522.6 1987Georgetown2015Bucknell148197.364.2 1990Oklahoma2101Towson150498.651.1 2010Kansas2161Lehigh151499.09.7 1997Kansas2194Jackson St.145199.228.6 2004Kentucky2085Florida A&M142199.018.3 This data suggests that No. 16 seeds have in fact been pretty unlucky. On average, Elo would have given the No. 1 seed a 97.6 percent chance of winning each individual game; the range runs from 99.9 percent (Duke against Florida A&M in 1999) to 87.1 percent (Memphis against Oral Roberts in 2006). But given 124 chances to pull a rabbit out of their hats, No. 16 seeds “should” have come away with about three victories, according to Elo. Furthermore, the probability of them having gone winless is only about 5 percent. I wouldn’t call the No. 16s phenomenally unlucky — we’re talking about odds of about 20-to-1 against, not 20,000-to-1 against — but this confirms my intuition that they haven’t caught very many breaks.The good news for No. 16 seeds is that their situation has been improving very slightly. Since the tournament introduced its play-in game in 2001, the average No. 16 to play a No. 1 had an Elo rating of 1504; before that, their average rating was 1470. The play-in games are helpful to the cause of the No. 16 seeds in two ways. First, the truly execrable No. 16s, like Florida A&M in 1999 (which came into the tournament with a 12-18 record in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference), will be routed into the play-in game and will usually lose it instead of wasting one of the 16-seeds’ four opportunities. Second, the play-in winners will have a game of NCAA Tournament experience under their belts. That helps both in real life and for a team’s Elo rating, since Elo weights recent games (and especially recent tournament games) more heavily.So cheer up, Holy Cross, Hampton, Florida Gulf Coast University and Austin Peay State. Yes, you’re probably going to lose by 30 points. But sooner or later, one of you is going to make history.Check out FiveThirtyEight’s 2016 March Madness Predictions. 1996Connecticut2134Colgate146698.829.1 Every No. 1 vs. No. 16 men’s NCAA Tournament matchup, ever 1998Kansas2144Prairie View131799.626.4 1990Connecticut2015Boston U.153396.446.3 By Nate Silver 2012North Carolina2059Vermont162996.07.2 1986Kentucky2029Davidson152495.674.2 2013Louisville2124North Carolina A&T145199.06.8 1995Wake Forest2077North Carolina A&T136199.131.7 1989Oklahoma2028East Tennessee St.151796.254.4 2005Illinois2132Fairleigh Dickinson147599.017.2 2014Florida2086Albany155498.06.0 2012Kentucky2105Western Kentucky147698.57.9 2003Oklahoma1975South Carolina St.147397.820.6 2014Virginia2028Coastal Carolina145197.85.5 1999Michigan St.2112Mount St. Mary’s142898.925.0 2006Villanova2035Monmouth150597.413.7 1993North Carolina2147East Carolina148098.936.2 2015Wisconsin2129Coastal Carolina148498.95.1 1996Kentucky2127San Jose St.157797.830.5 1987UNLV2064Idaho St.150697.367.4 2005Duke2058Delaware St.146998.316.7 Our sports podcast Hot Takedown previews March Madness. 2000Duke2161Lamar137299.624.0 Embed Code read more

Ohio State fencers takes its talent overseas for Junior World Championships

Sophomore Eleanor Harvey (left) competes at the 2015 NCAA National Championships in Columbus.Credit: Courtesy of OSU athleticsCollegiate athletes are rarely given the opportunity to travel to a foreign country to compete.But four members of the Ohio State’s co-ed fencing team are set to get that chance. Freshman epee Marc-Antoine Blais Belanger, freshman sabre Hector Florencia, freshman foil Maximilian Chastanet and sophomore foil Eleanor Harvey are scheduled to travel to Uzbekistan and compete from Wednesday through April 9 in the Junior World Championships.OSU’s fencing coach of 15 years, Vladimir Nazlymov, said while the game has changed through the years, the objective stays the same.“Fencing today has undergone a lot of change over time and has become more aggressive,” Nazlymov said. “Our goal is to recruit guys who can earn medals in the world championships. We always fight for first.”Harvey, a native of Hamilton, Ontario, has fenced for 10 years and is set to take part in her sixth junior world championships. Harvey said she has some added pressure this time around after a high finish in 2014.“Last year, I came in second at the Junior World Championships, so this year I feel pretty compelled to do well,” Harvey said. “My goal is definitely to medal. I’ve done one Junior World Cup this year and I came in second, so that showed me I have the ability to compete.”Harvey said the most challenging aspect of fencing is the planning and preparation involved.“There has to be so many things that are working for you in one day in order for you to fence well,” she said. “You have to feel really good physically, you have to be mentally focused and sharp and not distracted and you have to be thinking about the right things. It’s definitely challenging considering how many things have to be working for you to have a good day.”Harvey added that collegiate fencing in the United States is much different than fencing in her home country of Canada.“There are a lot more people to fence here,” she said. “University fencing in Canada is very similar to recreational fencing. If I would’ve stayed in Canada, I couldn’t have fenced at the collegiate level that I would have liked to, as I am here at Ohio State.”The World Championships are set to be held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, for the first time. The competition is expected to feature more than 1,000 athletes from countries around the world, according to the International Fencing Federation. read more

7 amazing things you got for free as a kid

first_imgIT MAY NOT always be true that the best things in life are free, but when you’re a kid there are few thrills that can match a good freebie.Whether it arrived via your cereal box or was just an add on to your favourite toy, any opportunity to get your hands on an extra belonging was exciting.Here are some free things that probably filled you with happiness as a child.Crowns at Burger KingWho didn’t want to be royalty when they were a kid?  Who still occasionally wants to be royalty at 3am on your way home from a night out?These guys didn’t arrive in Ireland until 1981, but when they did, boy were we all over it.Flickr/Creative Tools/Creative CommonsToys with CerealToday’s kids don’t know what they’re missing, for when we were young breakfast meant the potential for a free toy.In some houses you were allowed to scrunch your hand down into the box to find it, in others you just had to wait til it popped out.  One way or the other, it was brilliant.For example, Kelloggs World Cup Glory USA ’94 Player Cards:Or these 1996 Rice Krispies pencil toppers:You often had to send off for the Weetabix stuff which took the shine off, and they were also usually books, but they were still free:Via AmazonFree crisps and sweets at the Blood BankFew things were worse than being dragged along to various boring locations with your parents, but when the destination was the blood bank you were in for a quality feed. www.shutterstock.comHappy Meal toysWho knows if we’d even like McDonalds if it weren’t for the toys?www.etsy.comwww.etsy.comBarbie cassettesBarbie was a good girl but she occasionally had a rock and roll edge, and when she did you usually got a bonus cassette with your of sugar with your injectionInjection time was a scary one in primary school, but if it was a polio vaccination they’d sweeten the deal with a lump of sugar.  JACKPOT**Unless of course you went home and your mother told you that eating lumps of sugar would give you worms, as happened to one of the team.Balloons at various eventsAny boring event could be brightened up with the offering of a helium balloon.  Unless of course, the trauma of previous lost ballons/fear that you will lose said balloon tainted the whole scenario for you.www.shutterstock.comWhat other free treats got your adrenaline pumping as a youngster?11 amazing things you used to get in cereal boxes>Breaking Bad… as a family drama series in 1995>last_img read more

Harry Potter May Be Causing Indian Owl Shortage

first_imgThere’s an owl problem in Indian–a problem named HarryPotter. Indian Environmental Minister Jairam Ramesh is drawing attention to hiscountry’s decreasing number of wild owls, and he’s placed the blame squarely onthe shoulders of the little British wizard.According to Ramesh, children in Indiaare taking wild owls as pets, to be a bit more like their hero. “FollowingHarry Potter, there seems to be a strange fascination even among the urbanmiddle classes for presenting their children with owls.”  Wildlife group Traffic is asking for Indiato impose tougher laws, in order to protect the birds. The organizationpresented a reported titled “Imperilled Custodians of the Night,” whichsuggested that the owls may, in fact, also be sacrificed by non-Harry Potterfans.last_img

New Diablo III players suffering 72 hour gameplay restrictions

first_imgIf you’re thinking of picking up a copy of Diablo III today in order to spend your entire weekend burning through the game (which can be done in 12 hours and 29 minutes), it might be wise to purchase a boxed copy.Gamers picking up a digital version of the game have been hit with some rather severe restrictions for anything up to 3 days. The issue, according to Blizzard, is one of payment clearance.In an attempt to limit credit card fraud, Blizzard imposes a number of gameplay restrictions until your payment had been verified. In a lot of cases that only takes a few hours, but it can take up to 3 days.The limits effectively make you play under the same restrictions as the Starter Edition. It means you can’t progress past Act I, and your character won’t be able to go beyond a level 13 cap. You also can’t access either auction house, can’t trade or drop items, and can’t chat in public game channels.The over-the-top restrictions were switched on when the 1.03 patch was launched, and Blizzard has admitted it needs to sort out the Level 13 cap and Act I limitations. The other restrictions will remain in place for the first 72 hours or until the payment clears, whichever happens first.There’s no ETA on when Blizzard will sort this problem out, so if you want a restriction-free Diablo III experience just buy the digital version 3 days ahead of when you intend to have a serious play session. That way, your payment will definitely be verified.Unfortunately for Blizzard it’s just another negative surrounding the release of Diablo III. Players are still having trouble accessing the game in some regions, there’s slowdown if your Internet connection isn’t great, and there’s a backlash from gamers concerning the online DRM, which has lead to Blizzard issuing refunds in South Korea.Read more at Kotakulast_img read more

A Joycean time capsule This former Dublin chemists shop has barely changed

first_imgA Joycean time capsule: This former Dublin chemist’s shop has barely changed in more than 100 years The pharmacy opened in 1847 and was in business right up until 2009. 28,614 Views Short URL Sunday 10 Mar 2019, 7:30 PM 7 Comments Share143 Tweet Email2 Source: Mar 10th 2019, 7:31 PM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article SMELL ALMOST CURE you like the dentist’s doorbell. Doctor Whack. He ought to physic himself a bit. Electuary or emulsion. The first fellow that picked an herb to cure himself had a bit of pluck. Simples. Want to be careful. Enough stuff here to chloroform you. Test: turns blue litmus paper red. Chloroform. Overdose of laudanum. Sleeping draughts. Lovephiltres. Paragoric poppysyrup bad for cough. Clogs the pores or the phlegm. Poisons the only cures. Remedy where you least expect it. Clever of nature.THESE ARE SOME of the ruminations of Leopold Bloom, as outlined in Ulysses, when he visits Sweny’s pharmacy at Lincoln Place in Dublin on 16 June 1904.The business described in James Joyce’s iconic novel is still in existence today, but serves a very different purpose.The pharmacy opened in 1847 and was in business right up until 2009 – but remains largely unchanged since Victorian times. Volunteers, horrified at the thought of losing such a unique gem, swooped in to preserve it.Now, it is home to a registered charity, holding daily Joyce readings and funding themselves through sales of second-hand books, curios, and the famous lemon soap with Mr Bloom buys in Ulysses. It has recently faced a rent hike, with the volunteers now appealing for help in meeting the shortfall.Watch the video above for our full report. Subscribe for more videos By Nicky Ryanlast_img read more

Les abeilles peuvent apprendre à résoudre des problèmes complexes

first_imgLes abeilles peuvent apprendre à résoudre des problèmes complexesUne étude menée par deux chercheurs canadiens met en évidence les capacités des abeilles à apprendre la solution de problèmes de plus en plus complexes et à la communiquer à ses semblables à travers de mystérieux mécanismes.A travers un système de récompense, il est possible d’enseigner aux abeilles certaines stratégies. Celles-ci sont par ailleurs capables d’apprendre simplement en observant les plus expérimentées ou simplement en communiquant avec elles à travers des mécanismes jusqu’à présent inconnus. Ce comportement cognitif et social a été mis en évidence par Hamida Mirwan et Peter Kevan, deux chercheurs de l’université de Guelph, au Canada.Pour en arriver à de telles conclusions, les scientifiques ont mis au point dans un premier temps des parcours d’obstacles, spécialement conçus pour ces insectes. Le principe de ces dispositifs est de soumettre les sujets de l’expérience à une situation complexe conduisant à une récompense : des fleurs artificielles remplies de nectar sucré. Chaque trajet possède une logique et un niveau de complexité qui lui est propre. Certains nécessitent par exemple le déplacement d’objets vers le haut ou vers le bas pour arriver droit au but. Les abeilles participant à l’expérimentation, ont été lancées sur chacun des parcours selon un ordre de difficulté croissante. Les résultats de ces manipulations, publiés dans la revue Animal Cognition, indiquent que pour obtenir la récompense, les sujets sont capables d’affronter des situations toujours plus complexes en se soumettant à un véritable processus d’apprentissage. Au bout du compte, les chercheurs sont parvenus à former de véritables “expertes” en la matière.  Apprendre en observantLa deuxième partie du protocole a donc consisté à tester les capacités d’abeilles complètement novices à des parcours d’obstacles au niveau de difficulté élevé. Les sujets inexpérimentés ont été soumis de but en blanc à une situation complexe. Après quoi, ils ont été placés dans un filet près du parcours de manière à pouvoir observer une des expertes relever brillamment le défi.Les observations relevées au cours de cette expérience ont fait l’objet d’une autre publication parue dans la revue Psyche. Les résultats indiquent que les abeilles inexpérimentées mettent, sans préparation, près d’une demie heure à résoudre un problème d’une grande complexité. Cependant, si on leur donne la possibilité d’observer une experte à l’action, elles sont capables par la suite de reproduire rapidement la solution, en moins de 70 secondes. Ce comportement témoigne de l’existence chez ces insectes d’un processus appelé apprentissage social.Apprendre aux autres”L’apprentissage social chez les animaux implique généralement qu’un individu regarde l’autre et l’imite. Toutefois, d’autres types de communications peuvent être également impliqués dans ce processus” a indiqué dans un communiqué Hamida Mirwan. Les chercheurs ont en effet essayé de voir ce qu’il se passait lorsque quelques abeilles expertes étaient placées dans une ruche d’abeilles inexpérimentées.À lire aussiMaladie de Charcot : symptômes, causes, traitement, où en est on ? Les observations indiquent que la plupart d’entre elles sont capable de surmonter l’obstacle et d’atteindre la récompense en moins de trois minutes et demies et ce, même sans avoir observé une experte. Les insectes sociaux peuvent en effet transmettre des informations par le toucher, les vibrations ou encore les odeurs. Toutefois, à l’heure actuelle, les méthodes de communication utilisées par les abeilles restent encore un mystère.”Nous ne pouvons pas expliquer entièrement comment les abeilles inexpérimentée ont été en mesure de maîtriser rapidement le problème afin d’atteindre le nectar, mais il est clair qu’il y a eu une certaine communication dans la ruche” explique Peter Kevan.  Il conclut : “L’apprentissage social des abeilles est encore plus complexe de ce à quoi nous nous attendions”.Le 22 mars 2014 à 18:04 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

Malcom officially unveiled at Barcelona This is a dream Ive had

first_imgBarcelona have officially unveiled Malcom as their newest signing with the Brazilian eager to get started at his “dream” club and he is relishing the prospect of playing alongside Lionel MessiThe winger was officially presented to the media at Nike Football’s headquarters in Portland after joining up with his new teammates at their training camp in America ahead of their preseason tour.Malcom’s moves to the La Liga giants did not come without controversy with the 21-year-old having been set to have joined AS Roma earlier this week after a transfer fee of €36m had agreed on between the Serie A club and Bordeaux.But the move fell through in shocking fashion after Barcelona lodged a superior bid that saw Malcom delightedly take the opportunity to go to the Camp Nou instead.In his first official press conference as a Barcelona player, Malcom was joined by president Josep Maria Bartomeu and sporting director Eric Abidal in the Cog Hill room of the Tiger Woods Center.“I know it’s a challenge to play for FC Barcelona, but this is a dream I’ve had since I was little,” said Malcom on the club website.In a team that features the likes of Messi and Luis Suarez, the highly-rated youngster is aware that opportunities may be hard to come by in his preferred position as a forward.But, even so, the chance to play and train alongside Messi is something that he is very much going to relish.“I’m a forward, and I’m multi-faceted, good in one-on-one situations, I’m very fast, and I can help out defensively,” he said.“Messi is the best player in the world. He’s a legend. And I hope to learn a lot from him.”Malcom joins many other Brazilian greats like Ronaldinho and Rivaldo that became legends during their time at Barcelona.“When I was little, my idol was Ronaldinho. Neymar too. I hope to follow in the footsteps of all the great Brazilian players who triumphed at Barça.”David Villa, SpainQuiz: How much do you know about David Villa? Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 Time to test your knowledge about Spanish legendary forward David Villa.? Nike HQ ??? #EnjoyMalcom— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) July 26, 2018Barcelona president Bartomeu revealed that they had held a long-term interest in Malcom.“We’ve been following Malcom since 2014, and our people who scouted him said he was very good,” said Bartomeu.“We’re sure he’s going to have a great season.”Abidal, who himself used to play for Barcelona as a full-back, believes that Malcom’s versatility will prove to be most welcome at the club.“He made the leap to Europe and adapted very well to different coaches and tactics,” said Abidal.“He’s left-footed and can play on both wings. In Brazil he played on the left wing and in Europe he’s played on the right wing. He can also play as an attacking midfielder.”“He’s a goalscorer and can also provide assists.”Malcom has signed a five-year deal at Barcelona that will last until the end of the 2022/23 season.last_img read more

TCI Police Force has a new Assistant Superintendant Officer shot in leg

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, TCI, July 6, 2016 – The Turks and Caicos has recruited a 30 year police investigator to guide and teach investigative skills on the royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police.  He is now the Assistant Superintendant and his name is Stephen Snow of the UK.A media release from the force explains that Snow has,  “significant experience in the investigation of serious and organized crime which includes major drugs importations, kidnapping, rape and armed robbery.  He has reportedly been overseer of some 70 homicides and suspicious death cases in the United Kingdom.  Snow has earned as many as 16 commendations for outstanding detective work and has received the Prestigious Police Award for 30 years service to the CID.”Also from the Police our female officer Kedkrizia Missick shot by two bandits who got away with a woman’s purse outside of Petro Plus gas station on Monday, is doing fine and her commanding officer, Superintendant Darron Williams hails her bravery and wishes her speedy recovery.  “This goes to show the dangers police officers face each day, I am happy that her injuries were not serious.”Officer Missick was struck by a random bullet which pierced the police vehicle and caught her in her right leg, just about the knee.last_img read more

Joint Statement by Premier Robinson and Minister Hon Ralph Higgs on Interruption

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#TurksandCaicos, February 5, 2018 – North Caicos –BackgroundPremier Robinson and Hon Ralph Higgs on Thursday past toured Government Offices on North Caicos.  Over the past few weeks, residents of North Caicos have reached out to Premier Robinson and Hon Ralph Higgs, the elected representative for the Twin Islands following the closure of several Government Offices over a period of a few days.The Representatives were informed that the Library, the Clinic and the Immigration Department in Bottle Creek were all closed. On receiving these complaints, both representatives confirmed them to be true with the relevant Department and Ministries.  Minister Higgs traveled to the Island on receiving the news and was not satisfied that enough had been done and urgently enough to restore services that continued disrupted or hampered.  As Minister with responsibility for District Administration and as the elected representative for the Twin Islands, both Premier Robinson and Hon Higgs thought it best to update the members of the community of Bottle Creek on their efforts following a joint visit on Thursday, February 1, 2018.The Joint text is set out below:We are aware that the Environmental Health Department had conducted inspections and had closed the Offices because of the presence of mold.  The unfortunate thing is that the Spaces remained closed in the case of the Library for at least a week before it was cleaned  which no doubt heightened the spread and growth of the mold.  We were able to see during our Tour that all Offices are now cleaned and re – opened (in the case of the Clinic and the Immigration Department) and being prepared to re – open (in the case of the Library).  It is regrettable that the Government – owned Buildings took longer and we are grateful for the quick cleaning carried out by the landlord for the space rented to the Immigration Department.The Bottle Creek Clinic had been temporarily operating from the Library and while efforts were being made to partition for greater privacy, we were informed by the Doctor through our Ministerial colleague that the Building was not suitable.  There was a review of several options (2 premises were considered) on the Island for use and with the new Bottle Creek Clinic proceeding as planned, it was determined that it would not be prudent to spend large sums in retrofitting cost for rented accommodations.  It was also determined that it was inappropriate for the Clinic to continue to operate from its current facility.  Again ROM,  Group of Companies (of which Hon Higgs is a partner) offered its accommodation free of cost and a Paper was submitted to Cabinet for approval.  Since then Cabinet has approved the use of the Building formerly occupied by Digicel.  This Building has been given free of charge for three months while the Ministry of Infrastructure prepare to repair the Clinic that was damaged following the Storm.  District Administration, under the Premier’s Office is assisting with the cost for the Clinic’s relocation and preparation of the new temporary site to be occupied this week.We regret the chain of events and the inconvenience to the residents of the Bottle Creek community and we commit to assisting where can.  Inquiries were made of the Deputy Governor, Mrs Anya Wlliams who did explain to us to the protocol to be followed once an inspection had been carried out and a determination of the kind made as in this instance.  Whilst we recognize the structure in place seeks to remove as it were, political interference in the Public Service, we are of the view that Ministers should be built into certain Protocols and should on an occasion such as this, be officially advised of interruption of government services especially under their Ministries.  Since this experience the Minister of Health has asked to be informed. This we believe will allow all ministerial colleagues to assist where they can.Hon Sharlene L Cartwright RobinsonPremier & Minister of FinanceThe Turks and Caicos Islands Related Items:last_img read more

Full text Cyrus Mistrys letter to Tata Sons Board

first_imgOusted Tata Sons chairman Cyrus Mistry has hit back at the Tatas after he was abruptly sacked from his position on Monday.Mistry wrote a letter to the directors of Tata sons blaming his mentor Ratan Tata for all the wrong foreign strategies taken up by the firm and also for the company’s resultant debt accumulation. A copy of of the letter has gone viral on social media.In the letter, Mistry said that he was “shocked beyond words” as he was not aware of the sacking and was removed from his position without any explanation. He also said that he did not get an opportunity to defend himself before the board.Mistry, in his letter, questioned a lot of deals undertaken by the firm and also added that they should not have continued with the production of the Nano as it was bringing losses to the firm. He said that the project was being continued for purely emotional reasons.The letter has dealt a huge blow to the image of the company.Here’s the full text of the letter:From Cyrus P. Mistry Date: 25 October 2016 at 22.05: 41To: Directors of Tata SonsLtd.I was shocked beyond words at the happenings at the board meeting of October 24, 2016. Apart from the invalidity and illegality of the business that was conducted, I have to say that the Board of Directors has not covered itself with glory.To “replace” your Chairman without so much as a word of explanation and without affording him an opportunity of defending himself in a summary manner must be unique in the annals of corporate history. The suddenness of the action, and the lack of explanation has led to all manner of speculation and has done my reputation and the reputation of the Tata Group immeasurable harm.At the outset, I have to say that I have great respect for the Tata Groupand the thousands of employees who are working hard despite the challenges. I am writing this letter to the Board to emphasise the total lack of corporate governance and to point out the failure on the part of the directors to discharge the fiduciary duty owed to stakeholders of Tata Sonsand of the group companies. All of this does not augur well for the future of the Group. All that is said here is well known to many among you, but I would like to put in one place my journey as Chairman of Tata Sons. It is important to emphasise the enormity of what has transpired in the Group and what corrective action is to be taken. Each of you is already in receipt of and familiar with the Strategy 2025 document that I presented to you, and in which I had articulated our growth strategy for the future.In 2011, after some exploration by a search committee, I was approached by both Ratan Tataand Lord Bhattacharya individually to be a candidate for the position. I politely declined. I had myself built a business which I would continue to run. However, as the search process progressed and the committee was unable to find a suitable candidate, I was asked to reconsider. After consulting my family and in the broader interests of the Tata Group, I took courage to overcome my initial reluctance and agreed to consider the position.Prior to my appointment, I was assured that I would be given a free hand. The previous Chairman was to step back and be available for advice and guidance as and when needed. After my appointment, the Articles of Association were modified, changing the rules of engagement between the Trusts, the Board of Tata Sons, the Chairman, and the operating companies. Inappropriate interpretation indeed followed, and as elaborated below, it severely constrained the ability of the group to engineer the necessary turnaround.I am not sure if the individual board members and the trustees truly appreciated the extent of the problems I had inherited. I cannot blame them, for I myself, as a non-executive director, did not have a clear grasp of the gravity of the issues involved. Without meaning to air a laundry list, let me outline some of the major challenges faced at the time of my entry.As is public knowledge, the foreign acquisition strategy, with the exceptions of JLR and Tetley, had left a large debt overhang. The European steel business faced potential impairments in excess of USD 10 billion, only some of which has been taken as of date. Many foreign properties of IHCLand holdings in Orient Hotels have been sold at a loss. The onerous terms of the lease for Pierre in New York are such that it would make it a challenge to exit. Tata Chemicals still needs tough decisions about its UK and Kenya operations.IHCL, beyond flawed international strategy, had acquired the Searock property at a highly inflated price and housed in an off balance sheet structure. In the process of unravelling this legacy, IHCLhas had to write down nearly its entire networth over the past three years. This impairs its ability to pay dividends.Tata Capitalhad a book that required significant clean up on account of bad loans to the infrastructure sector. The loan to Siva was under the strong advice of Executive Trustee Venkatraman, which has turned into a non-performing asset. All of this resulted in Tata Capital having to recognise abnormal size of NPAs.Of all the companiesin the portfolio, the telecom business has been continuously haemorrhaging. If we were to exit this business via fire sale or shut down, the cost would be USD 4-5 billion. This is in addition to any payout to DoCoMoof at least a billion plus dollars. The original structure of the DoCoMo transaction raises several questions about its appropriateness from a commercial or prudential perspective within the then prevailing Indian legal framework. In light of all of this, our strategy over the past three years has been to increase the EBITDA from Rs. 400 crores to Rs. 2,500 crores, in the hope of being a potential player in consolidation of the industry.Tata Poweraggressively bid for the Mundraproject based on low-priced Indonesian coal. As regulations changed, the losses in 2013-14 alone amounted to Rs. 1,500 crores. Given that Mundra constitutes Rs. 18,000 crores of capital employed (40% of’ the overall company’s capital employed), this substantially depresses the return on capital for Tata Poweras well as carries the risk of considerable future impairment.An even more challenging situation arose in Tata Motors, both on the commercial and passenger vehicles. Before 2013, in order to shore up sales and market share, Tata MotorsFinance extended credit with lax risk assessment. As a result, the NPAs mounted to being in excess of Rs. 4,000 crores. Historically, the company had employed aggressive accounting to capitalize substantial proportion of the product development expenses, creating a future liability. Beyond this, the Nano product development concept called for a car below Rs. 1 lakh, but the costs were always above this. This product has consistently lost money, peaking at Rs. 1,000 crores. As there is no line of sight to profitability for the Nano, any turnaround strategy for the company requires to shut it down. Emotional reasons alone have kept us away from this crucial decision. Another challenge in shutting down Nanois that it would stop the supply of the Nano gliders to an entity that makes electric cars and in which Mr. Tata has a stake.On the performance of the portfolio, as you are aware from my presentations to you in the recent past, if we look at the aggregate data between 2011 and 2015 and limit the analysis largely to the legacy hotspots (IHCL, Tata MotorsPV, Tata Steel Europe, Tata PowerMundra. and Teleservices), it will show that the capital employed in those companieshas risen from Rs. 132,000 crores to Rs. 196,000 crores (due to operational losses, interest and capex). This figure is close to the networth of the group which is at Rs. 174,000 crores. A realistic assessment of the fair value these businesses could potentially result in a write down over time of about Rs.118,000 crores.In the face of the above challenges, I had to take many tough decisions with sensitive care to the group’s reputation as well as containing panic amidst internal and external stakeholders. Despite bad press, impairments were taken to clean the books but substantial exposure remains. Dividends were reduced (e.g. Tata Motors, IHCL) to conserve cash for needed investments in the the teeth of shareholder fury.Apart from hotels, the group made several exits in the fèrtilizer business, UK steel operations, and of course in smaller companies such as the logistic company, DIESL. I had to ease out hangers-on who are prone to flaunt their proximity to power. On the more positive side, Kalinganagar, the largest domestic capital investment of the group was completed overcoming significant obstacles that had left the project in doubt previously.Early in my tenure, our foray into the aviation sector began when Mr Tata ushered me into his office and handed me a report on Air Asia by Bain & Co. He had concluded negotiations to partner with Air Asia and wanted the proposal tabled at the forthcoming Tata Sonsboard meeting. My pushback was hard but futile. However, I was able to extract a promise of no debt to be raised at the level of the JV as well as limiting Tata Sons investment to 30% of the USD 30 million equity. A few months later, I was surprised to be confronted with a similar situation requiring me to execute a fait accompli JV with Singapore Airlines. Without the benefit of time and experience to fully evaluate the proposal, I had to accept that Tata Sons would take a 51% stake in a USD 100 million joint venture. The passion for the airlines sector has led Mr Tata to continue his involvement with the strategy of the two airlines. It is on his advice that the Tata Sonsboard has increased the capital infusion in the sector at multiple levels of the initial commitment.Board members and trustees are also aware that in the case of Air Asia, ethical concerns have been raised with respect to certain transactions as well as the overall prevailing culture within the organization. A recent forensic investigation revealed fraudulent transactions of Rs. 22 crores involving non-existent parties in India and Singapore. Executive Trustee, Mr. Venkatraman, who is on the board of Air Asiaand also a shareholder in the company, considered these transactions as non-material and did not encourage further study. It was only at the insistence of the independent directors, one of whom immediately submitted his resignation, that the board decided to belatedly file a first information report.Despite all of the above, during my term, the operating cash flows of the group have grown at 31% compounded per annum. The Tata Group valuation from 2013 to 2016 increased by 14.9% per annum in rupee terms as against the BSE Sensexannual increase of 10.4% over the same period. The Tata Sonsnetworth has increased from approximately Rs. 26,000 crores to Rs. 42,000 crores, after considering the impairments. This has significantly strengthened our balance sheet, enhancing our ability to absorb further shocks from restructuring in the companiesTo come back to the amendments in the Articles of Association, as feared, the inappropriate implementation created a flux in the decision-making process. I have often presented to the trustees, before and after Tata Sonsboard meetings. This created alternative power centres without any accountability or formal responsibility. Invalidating the very governance role of nominated directors, who I would assume would use their own independent judgment and discharge their fiduciary duties, were reduced to mere postmen.As an example, once, the trust directors (Nitin Nohriaand Vijay Singh) had to leave a Tata Sons board meeting in progress for almost an hour, keeping the rest of the Board waiting, in order to obtain instructions from Mr. Tata. Such a work pattern has also created the added risk of contravening insider trading regulations and exposed the Trust, apart from exposing the trustees to potential tax liabilities. These circumstances forced me to circulate a note on corporate governance in order to clarify the distinct roles of Tata Trusts, Tata SonsBoard, and the Boards of the operating companies.I cannot believe that I was removed on grounds of non-performance. As you are aware, the Nomination and Remuneration Committee comprising Vijay Singh, Farida Khambata and Ronnen Sen, independent directors (two of whom have voted for my removal now), had only recently lauded and commended my performance.In keeping with Tata Groupvalues, to engage employees and have a favourable impact on the communities we operate in, we launched a volunteering programme, challenging group employees to volunteer a million hours in 2015 and the result was volunteering of 1.2 million hours, making it one of the top ten global volunteering programmes.I hope you do realize the predicament that I found myself in. Being pushed into the position of a “lame duck” Chairman, my desire was to create an institutional framework for effective future governance of the group. I believe I had to be true to myself and the best interests of the organization. While I would be lying if I said I am not disappointed, I have a sense of pride and dignity intact in the efforts I have taken to professionalise and institutionalise, regardless of the outcome of effort, I now witness.Since the developments at the Board Meeting were purported to have been initiated at the instance of the Trusts, I am copying the Trustees.Sincerely, Cyrus (Cyrus P Mistry) C.C. Trustees of Tata Trustslast_img read more

Spain set for crisis talks

first_imgA man walks with the Catalan flag in Barcelona on Tuesday. AFPSpain’s government prepared to hold crisis talks on Wednesday after Catalan leaders signed a suspended declaration of independence and called for dialogue with Madrid.Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy will chair an emergency cabinet meeting in response to Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont’s announcement on Tuesday that he had accepted “the mandate of the people for Catalonia to become an independent republic” following a banned referendum earlier this month.But Puigdemont in his declaration to parliament called for Catalonia’s independence to be suspended to allow for negotiations with Madrid.Rajoy has vowed to use everything in his power to prevent independence and has refused to rule out imposing direct rule over the semi-autonomous region — an unprecedented move many fear could lead to unrest.At stake is the future of a region of 7.5 million people, one of Spain’s economic powerhouses, whose drive to break away has raised concern for stability in the European Union.Crowds of thousands gathered outside the parliament building in Barcelona on Tuesday evening, waving Catalan flags and banners screaming “democracy” in the hope of witnessing a historic night in a region that remains deeply divided over independence.But Spain’s political establishment rounded on Puigdemont following the declaration, and support among separatists in Catalonia was mixed.Deputy prime minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria told reporters shortly after the signing that Puigdemont was “a person who doesn’t know where he is, where he’s going or with whom he wants to go”.Barcelona resident Maria Rosa Bertran said she was against a delayed secession.”I find it even worse because it is suffering a longer agony. Indecision and uncertainty is the worst thing that can happen to us,” she told AFP.- Unknown consequences -Political leaders in Catalonia, Spain and Europe have come out against secession, concerned over the country’s biggest upheaval in decades.Following his declaration to parliament, Puigdemont and his allies signed an independence declaration outside the chamber, but its legal validity was unclear.Spain and Catalonia now enter into the unknown, as Madrid has repeatedly said independence is not up for discussion.Marc Cazes, a student in Barcelona, said: “I did not expect independence to be declared today because of all the processes that the government of Spain has begun, both with police actions and with threats.”Catalonia pressed ahead with an independence referendum on October 1 that the central government said breached Spain’s constitution.Around 90 percent of those who cast ballots voted for independence but the poll was poorly monitored and many Catalans opposed to secession boycotted what Madrid branded an illegal plebiscite.The crisis has caused deep uncertainty for businesses in one of the wealthiest regions in the eurozone’s fourth-largest economy.Spain’s stock market shed nearly 1.0 percent ahead of Tuesday’s parliamentary session and a string of companies have already moved their legal headquarters — but not their employees — from Catalonia to other parts of the country.The stand-off has also put significant strain on the euro but the single currency was up after Puigdemont’s announcement and held onto gains in Asian trade on Wednesday, buying $1.1815.However, it was still down two cents from its recent highs seen last month, with uncertainty continuing to dog the unit.Stephen Innes, head of Asia-Pacific trading at OANDA, said that while the euro rose it “gained little traction as this is little more than kicking the can down the road. It’s unlikely we’ve heard the last of this debate despite cooler heads prevailing”.Demands for independence in Catalonia, which has its own language and cultural traditions, date back centuries.But a 2010 move by Spain’s Constitutional Court to water down a statute that gave Catalonia additional powers, combined with a deep economic meltdown in Spain, sparked a surge in support for independence.last_img read more

Wont quit

first_imgStudent government representatives from Monarch Academy Baltimore rally outside Baltimore City Hall on Jan. 3. The school board recently voted to close Monarch Academy, Gilmor Elementary, Northwood Appold Community Academy and Roots and Branches when this academic year ends.(Photo by Alexis Rice)last_img

Batmans 10 Greatest Mysteries

first_img This week sees the release of Detective Comics issue #1000, a staggering milestone as DC’s flagship title — and the one they’re named after — reaches the quadruple digits. The issue is a jumbo-sized, 96-page celebration of Batman and his adventures, featuring contributions by Jim Lee, Neal Adams, Kevin Smith, Paul Dini, and a host of other artists and writers.For our money, the Batman stories we like best are the ones where he really leans into his “World’s Greatest Detective” moniker, using brains instead of brawn to figure out puzzling cases. As we get ready for Detective‘s thousandth issue, let’s revisit some of the best Batman mystery storylines.Blood Secrets1989’s Detective Comics Annual has a fascinating story of Bruce Wayne before he donned the cowl, back when he was still learning the skills that would serve him in his never-ending battle against crime. In “Blood Secrets,” a young Bruce meets an elderly detective named Harvey Harris and the duo set out to investigate a string of small-town murders that are eventually tied back to a white supremacist group and a hushed-up interracial child. It’s a taut and clever done-in-one story that puts Wayne’s deductive mind center stage despite having few appearances of his alter ego.The Long HalloweenThe team of Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale have an impeccable track record — when they take over a book, you know something special is about to happen. So for 1996’s The Long Halloween, it shouldn’t surprise you that they produced one of Batman’s most enduring modern tales. When a Falcone crime family enforcer is killed on Halloween, it kicks off a year-long saga set early in the Dark Knight’s career. The mysterious killer known as Holiday is picking off the Mob one by one, a month at a time, and Batman struggles to figure out his true identity while contending with both familiar villains and new faces.Night CriesWritten by long-time Bat-editor Archie Goodwin, “Night Cries” is a solid slice of street-level Batman that deserves to be more widely read. When Jim Gordon and Batman work a series of murders, they begin to see a dark correlation between the victims and a group of abused children. Things get even more complicated when the city starts thinking that Batman himself is laying down vigilante justice on the abusers. This is a topic that it’s very easy to get wrong, but Goodwin and artist Scott Hampton nail every note, creating a hidden gem of Bat-history.City Of CrimeWritten by David Lapham, “City Of Crime” — which has been collected into a stand-alone trade paperback — is a great tour through some of Bruce Wayne’s most effective methods of investigation. When a young girl is kidnapped, Batman works his way into a massive conspiracy that runs through Gotham’s halls of power. One of the most compelling aspects of the storyline is when Bruce Wayne goes undercover as a manual laborer in a working-class neighborhood hit hard by crime, showing how Bruce Wayne is a master of both disguise and eliciting information out of the people around him.ShamanRunning through the first five issues of Legends Of The Dark Knight, “Shaman” is a fascinating tale that takes Batman out of his comfort zone in multiple ways as he tries to get to the bottom of a group of cultists of the god Chubala coming to his city for a murder spree. The truth lies in his pre-Batman past, when he took a trip to Alaska to study under one of the world’s best trackers. Dense, involved and dramatic, this is a great example of Batman bringing all of his mental and physical tools to bear against a complex puzzle with some fascinating ethical dimensions.Broken CityThe problem with fighting crime in Gotham is that there are so many nefarious forces maneuvering for control that it’s very easy to get crossed up. As Batman investigates the murder of a woman by Killer Croc, he stumbles upon another tragedy: a child left orphaned by an alleyway shooting much like the one that took the lives of his own parents. Because he’s Batman, he gets obsessed with both, and the denouement of these two plot lines ends up not being what anybody would expect. It’s a fun, fast-paced story that has Batman taxing the limits of his skills.Perpetual MourningFrom the pages of quirky multi-creator series Batman: Black & White, “Perpetual Mourning” by Ted McKeever sees the Dark Knight in the deepest minutiae of the job, conducting an autopsy on a woman killed by a mugger. As he examines her body, cataloging her wounds, he recreates the last moments of her life and discovers the disparate pieces of evidence that he needs to find her identity and hunt down her killer. It’s a short story, but it does one of the best jobs we’ve seen at bringing Batman’s internal process to the surface.Made Of WoodSome of our favorite Batman stories are the ones where characters from the wider DC Universe find their way to Gotham and have to deal with how things are there. Written by Ed Brubaker, the three-part “Made Of Wood” storyline from Detective Comics guest-stars Alan Scott, the Golden Age Green Lantern. Before Bruce Wayne, Scott was Gotham’s protector, but one case that always stymied him was a serial killer who was never caught. Now, 40 years later, Alan comes back to town when a new killer has adopted the old one’s motif for mysterious ends.The Black MirrorThe span of time when Dick Grayson took up the cowl while Bruce Wayne was lost in time (don’t ask) delivered some of Batman’s strongest storytelling in years, and this is a great example. As Dick works to establish himself in Gotham, he comes up against a twisted reflection of himself — James Gordon Jr, the Commissioner’s son who has become a remorseless sociopath. He engineers a massive plan for revenge that has Dick straining every investigative bone in his body, but foresight and reasoning lead him to the solution and James’s eventual capture.GothicA decade or more before DC gave Grant Morrison the reins on the main Bat-franchise, they let him pen a story in Legends of the Dark Knight that would lay the groundwork for lots of his more esoteric theories about Gotham City’s history. “Gothic” introduces a murderer named Mr. Whisper who is targeting the city’s mob bosses. With no other recourse, they turn to Batman for help and the Darknight Detective learns that the culprit is a figure from his own past, as well as the past of the city. It’s a taut and compelling melding of the street-level and the supernatural that still holds up today.Get Detective Comics #1000 (available March 27, 2019) on ComixologyMore on Pick: Comixology Is Still Netflix for Comics‘White’ Graphic Novel Brings Back ‘Black’ Superhero WorldThe History of Ultraviolence in Comic Books Stay on target ‘Marvels’ Expands Marvel’s Podcast UniverseDamon Lindelof Starts Beef With Alan Moore Ahead of HBO’s ‘Watch… last_img read more