Health Canada released an updated guideline for trihalomethanes (THMs) in chlorinated drinking water today, May 19. THMs are chemical compounds that may occur when organic material in water is mixed with chlorine. The health risk of THMs remains extremely low although some studies link them to health concerns if there is very long term exposure. THMs are not an issue for Nova Scotians who use private wells as they are a byproduct of the chlorination process. Chlorine is used in many municipal water systems. Municipalities in Nova Scotia with THM levels that currently exceed the updated federal guideline are: Louisbourg, Liverpool, Tatamagouche, Mahone Bay, Baddeck, Hayden Lake, Shelburne, Sydney River and Antigonish. The updated federal guideline reaffirms the existing acceptable level of total THMs at 100 micrograms per litre. But, for the first time, it sets a new guideline for bromodichloromethane (BDCMs) — a component of THMs – at 16 micrograms per litre. The guideline also notes that THMs can be absorbed by inhalation and skin contact during showering and bathing, in addition to being ingested. Studies in the U.S. and Canada have suggested that high THM levels in drinking water may be linked to stillbirths or miscarriages. Those studies however have not proved a definite connection. Other studies indicate that high exposure to THMs over a lifetime may increase chances of developing bladder cancer. As a precaution, public health officials in Nova Scotia are recommending that Nova Scotians minimize their exposure in Nova Scotia communities where THM levels are higher than the new federal guideline. “While the science linking THMs with stillbirths and miscarriages is not conclusive, our advice is that pregnant women and indeed anyone in affected communities should restrict their time in the bath or shower to as short a duration as reasonably possible,” said Dr. Ann Roberts, medical officer of health for Nova Scotia. “People in the affected communities can also reduce THM levels in their drinking water by installing activated carbon filters certified to remove THMs or use bottled water from a certified supplier.” The Department of Environment and Labour has worked with the municipalities to reduce the number of communities with unacceptable THM levels from 23, to the nine listed above. That work is continuing. “As part of Nova Scotia’s Drinking Water Strategy, we are helping municipalities ensure their drinking water meets current public health standards, including meeting the THM guideline,” said David Briggins, manager of Environment and Labour’s water and wastewater branch. “Municipalities are eager to make sure their drinking water quality is superior and we appreciate their ongoing efforts.” THMs are formed when chlorine reacts with organic materials such as dead leaves that naturally occur in surface water. Chlorine is used to treat drinking water to kill bacteria that can cause serious illnesses. Information about THMs in drinking water can be found on the Environment and Labour website at www.gov.ns.ca/enla/water/thm.asp .
Des activités auront lieu à l’échelle de la province cette semaine pour célébrer les jeunes Néo-Écossais qui améliorent leur vie et qui font une différence dans leur communauté. Le lieutenant-gouverneur J.J. Grant et la ministre de l’Éducation Ramona Jennex se sont joints aux membres du conseil provincial du Prix du duc d’Édimbourg aujourd’hui 22 octobre dans le cadre d’une cérémonie de lever du drapeau à Province House pour lancer la Semaine du Prix du duc d’Édimbourg. La semaine, qui en est à sa 40e édition, est célébrée jusqu’au vendredi 26 octobre. « Il est important pour nous de reconnaître les jeunes qui font preuve d’altruisme et qui assurent des communautés fortes et dynamiques, » a dit le lieutenant-gouverneur Grant. « Ils montrent l’exemple en acquérant les compétences qui leur permettront non seulement d’améliorer leur vie, mais aussi de faire de cette province un endroit encore meilleur où vivre. » Pendant la semaine, les jeunes, les familles, les bénévoles et autres participeront à des activités diverses sous différents thèmes qui souligneront l’excellent travail effectué par les jeunes dans leurs communautés. « Nos jeunes sont impatients d’atteindre leur plein potentiel et d’être de devenir de bons citoyens, a dit Mme Jennex. Ils veulent contribuer au service communautaire, apprendre d’importantes leçons de vie et être en meilleure forme physique. Ce programme est l’une des façons pour eux d’atteindre ces objectifs. » Plus de 2 300 jeunes Néo-Écossais âgés de 14 à 25 ans participent aux programmes du Prix du duc d’Édimbourg chaque année afin de promouvoir le développement des communautés et du pays, tout en acquérant les compétences élémentaires qui mènent à la croissance et au succès personnels. Pour obtenir plus d’information, consultez le www.dukeofed.org/accueil.
Project Angel Food’s 2nd annual food-lovers event, “DELISH: party with culinary experiences,” saw co-host Annabeth Gish from FX’s “The Bridge” and Project Angel Food board member John McIlwee come out for an exciting array of dishes and fun this weekend.DELISH goes beyond the typical food tasting by inviting guests to experience what makes food so captivating and entertaining. Offered an eclectic mix of over 35 food & beverage stations serving a variety of tasty tidbits & delicious drinks, guests picked up various “extras” and “how-to’s” that can turn a plain, simple dish into one that is forever memorable. Culinary experts & ace mixologists helped guide guests as they mixed and matched their picks of the many food & beverage options available.Delish helps support Project Angel FoodProject Angel Food debuted its new DELISH children’s section: “Sweets, Candies and Crafts” featuring lollipop trees, healthy snacks, cupcake, apron & chef hat decorating, and a candy “bar” and lounge. As part of the “Sweets, Candies and Crafts” launch, Project Angel Food partnered with Hasbro to give away Easy-Bake Ovens to the first 25 ticketed children (12 and under) through the door.Along with Annabeth Gish, the guest list included Lisa Rinna (“Days of Our Lives”), fashion designer Sue Wong, Marguerite Moreau (“Grey’s Anatomy,” Samsung’s “D-TEC”), Christopher Redman (USA’s “Graceland,” “Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters”), Aubrey Anderson-Emmons (“Modern Family”), Chloe Noelle (“True Blood”), Hal Sparks (Disney XD’s “Lab Rats”), Carolyn Hennesy (“True Blood”), Drew Droege (“The Chloe Shorts,” “Eating Out: Drama Camp”), Tom Lenk (“Much Ado About Nothing,” “Witches of East End”), Sam Pancake (NBC’s “Growing Up Fisher,” “Space Station 76”), Mikey Roe (Travel’s “Foodilicious,” “Feed The Beast”), recording artist Emii, Desiree Hall (“Best Night Ever”), Mark Cirillo (“The Men Next Door,” “The Last Straight Man”), Cesar D’ La Torre (“West Hollywood Motel”), Cas Anvar (“Diana,” “Source Code”), Nelson Ascencio (“Hunger Games: Catching Fire”), Tehmina Sunny (FOX’s “The Following”), Emmanuelle Weisbach (“C’est Magique!,” “Emma and I”), Ashley Palmer (“A Strange Brand of Happy”), recording artist Ricky Rebel, Mason Vale Cotton (“Mad Men”), Maxwell Perry Cotton (“Elysium”), recording artist Mika Newton.Project Angel Food’s mission is to nourish the body and spirit of men, women and children affected by HIV/AIDS, cancer, and other life-threatening illnesses. Volunteers and staff cook and deliver free and nutritious meals prepared with love throughout Los Angeles County, acting out of a sense of urgency because hunger and illness do not wait.
Kolkata: A Bangladeshi national has been arrested at the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International (NSCBI) Airport, Kolkata, with a huge amount of foreign currency on Saturday morning. Suspicion grew within the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel during the baggage checking as the currency was visible at the time of scanning.According to CISF authority, at around 11 am, when baggage checking for a Dhaka-bound flight was in progress, an on-duty CISF officer noticed a suspicious image on the scanner screen. To investigate the matter, the CISF personnel decided to check the baggage physically. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaThe passenger, identified as Alam Shah, was also detained for inquiry. After opening the baggage, no suspicious items could be located. But the CISF personnel was not convinced as the bag seemed unusually heavy in respect of the items that were packed inside. The items inside the baggage were then taken out and was passed through the scanner again. It was found that a false compartment had been created at the bottom of the bag. Immediately, the portion was cut open and the huge amount of US dollars were found. During counting, it was revealed that Shah was carrying US $70,000 approximately worth Rs 47.42 lakh. Shah was later handed over to the Customs officials for further action.
NEW YORK — Stocks that moved substantially or traded heavily on Thursday:Qualcomm Inc., down $1.96 to $71.20.The chipmaker gave investors a disappointing profit forecast as it faces the fallout from the U.S.-China trade war and weak demand.Prudential Financial Inc., down $10.22 to $91.09.The financial services company reported weak second quarter profit and its individual life insurance unit swung to a loss.Yum Brands Inc., up $4.42 to $116.94.The Taco Bell and Pizza Hut owner beat Wall Street’s second quarter profit and revenue forecasts.General Motors Co., down 19 cents to $40.15.The auto maker blew past Wall Street’s second quarter profit forecasts on strong sales of pickups and SUVs.Abiomed Inc., down $73.69 to $204.87.The maker of heart devices slashed its revenue forecast for the year as it expects a slow second quarter.Kellogg Co., up $5.41 to $63.63.The maker of Frosted Flakes and Pop Tarts beat Wall Street’s second quarter profit forecasts.Fitbit Inc., down 89 cents to $3.31.The wearable device maker cut its revenue outlook for the year as it faces weaker sales for some of its smartwatches.Western Digital Corp., up $1.62 to $55.51.The maker of hard drives reported solid fiscal fourth quarter profit and said it expects the market for flash drives to improve.The Associated Press
This perturbed owl was photographed seconds after being rescued from a lacrosse net at Brock.Campus Security and the local humane society pulled a rescue effort this week when an owl got stuck in a piece of sports equipment.Two commissionaires were patrolling the Zone 2 parking lot around 1 p.m. Monday afternoon when they found a Great Horned Owl tangled in a lacrosse net, said Donna Moody, director of Campus Security.The Lincoln County Humane Society was called to help untangle the owl, who Campus Security staff have been referring to as Oliver.“We get regular calls about the wildlife we share our campus with,” Moody said. “We’ve had calls about coyotes, rats, cats and raccoons, but we’ve never had one about a Great Horned Owl.“It was nice that we were able to save him and send him home to his family.”The Great Horned Owl is one of Canada’s largest birds of prey, with female wingspans averaging about 1.2 metres.The owl is likely a Niagara native. One study showed that more than 90 per cent of nestlings moved less than 80 km from where they were born, says an entry at Hinterland Who’s Who, a site run by Environment Canada and the Canadian Wildlife Federation.
TWO TERRORISM SUSPECTS were given letters in error that told them the British authorities were not seeking to arrest them.That is the finding of the Hallett Review into so called “on the run” (OTR) letters.Justice Dame Heather Hallett was appointed by the Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers with the agreement of the Lord Chief Justice in March to conduct the review after the collapse of the prosecution of Downey.A court in London granted an abuse of process application in the case against John Downey in February and the Crown Prosecution Service said it would not appeal the decision. The judge ruled that an official assurance – even though it was given in error – meant that the 62-year-old could not face trial.Downey had been sent a letter of assurance – in error – which he relied on to travel to the UK.The trial judge described the issuing of the letter as a “catastrophic error” and concluded that it would be an abuse of process to continue the trial.The Hallett Review looked at the operation of the scheme between 2000 and 2014, when the Northern Ireland Secretary announced the end of the scheme.The review also found that:The scheme evolved as part of the peace process in Northern Ireland. It was “unprecedented and flawed”, but was not unlawful and did not give terrorist suspects an ‘amnesty’Only OTRs against those there was insufficient evidence to justify arrest or prosecution should have been assured that they could return to the UKProsecutors and successive Attorneys General continued to take independent decisions on whether the evidence against an OTR justified prosecution, throughout the lifetime of the schemeThe flaws in the scheme were “mostly systemic”There was a lack of structure and strategy to the scheme as well as inadequate liaison between the Departments and organisations responsible. Under the scheme properly administered John Downey should not have been sent a letter of assurance by the Northern Ireland OfficeThe error that led to the sending of a letter of assurance to John Downey was the result of a mistake by the Police. The ruling in John Downey’s case was made on its own facts and would not necessarily prevent the prosecution of others who have received letters of assuranceThe review uncovered two more occasions where it appears a letter of assurance was sent as a result of errorsThe British Government did not publicise the scheme, but nor did it deliberately obscure itOf the 228 names put forward by Sinn Fein, the Irish Government and the Northern Ireland Prison Service, 156 people received letters of assurance that confirmed they were not wanted, another 31 were told they were ‘not wanted’ some other way, 23 were told they were wanted and 18 have not been told their status.The Royal Prerogative of Mercy was not used to pardon any of the OTRs but it was used to remit the sentences of 13 convicted OTRsTerese Villiers, the Northern Secretary, told the House of Commons that review was a learning experience.“The Northern Ireland administration will not shirk its responsibility in learning from the mistakes that were made.”She said that no more not wanted notifications were issued in recent years.SDLP MP Alasdair McDonnell called the Downey case a “sad, sad saga”. He said that the past “hung over us like an Alpine glacier” and called on Villiers to help Northern Ireland “honourably deal with the past”.Read: Homecoming dance for Hyde Park bomb accused cancelled over “media circus”
A state land-use board on Thursday issued its long-awaited decision about appeals to Clark County’s Comprehensive Growth Management Plan. Though it will take some time to analyze the complex ruling in depth, a rural-landowners group saw its challenges against the plan dismissed while environmental groups declared victory.The county’s comprehensive plan is a document required by the Growth Management Act and is meant to guide growth in the county for the next 20 years. After it was passed by the county council last summer, it quickly drew challenges from two different angles.Local environmental group Friends of Clark County was joined by Seattle-based Futurewise in its appeal, alleging that the county plan contained 12 violations of state law, including improperly expanding urban growth areas, removing agricultural land, failing to properly fund a transportation plan and contributing to sprawl by shrinking minimum lot sizes for agricultural and forest land. The two groups also challenged a move by the county to establish an industrial land-use bank on the Lagler Dairy property along Northeast 117th Avenue in Brush Prairie.Clark County Citizens United, a landowners group, appealed the plan from a different angle. The group alleged that the county essentially discriminated against rural landowners. Their appeal claimed that the county violated public participation processes that excluded rural and resource landowners, low-balled its population projection and put unlawful limits on the acres of rural land available for development.On Thursday, the Growth Management Hearings Board, a quasi-judicial panel that adjudicates charges that local jurisdictions aren’t complying with the Growth Management Act, issued its long-awaited order on Clark County’s comprehensive plan.
By Kebba Jeffang A detachment of fully armed security forces, comprising personnel of the Police Intervention Unit (PIU) and state guards, on Saturday, 16th April, 2016 rounded up some executive members of the United Democratic Party (UDP), including its party leader Lawyer Ousainou Darboe, and party militants while they were marching on Kairaba Avenue to demand for Ebrima Solo Sandeng and others who were arrested.Solo Sandeng, who was picked up with others by the security forces on Thursday, 14 April, 2016 at Westfield, is alleged to have died while being held by them.Before the commencement of the procession at Lawyer Darboe’s residence on Kairaba Avenue before midday, the UDP leader told the journalists who were present that they are peacefully going to the PIU headquarters at Kanifing to demand for an explanation on the fate of their party members who were arrested and said to be held by them. He said they have advised all those taking part in the procession not to insult anyone, cause harm to people or destroy vehicles and property on the way.Mr. Darboe said The Gambia is presently in a state of crisis, and the same applies to democracy and the rule of law. He said this event of 14th April had led to the arrest of several young people who were protesting for electoral reform at Westfield.“My executive was never informed about what was planned and I understand that the other party leaders were not informed because we were likely to say no to it and they decided to go ahead and do what they wanted to do. Of course peaceful demonstrations are constitutionally guaranteed. They are rights that are guaranteed by the Constitution and rights that are guaranteed are exercisable without permission from anybody, otherwise they become privileges. UDP as a party was not involved and was not concerned about what took place,” said the UDP leader.Mr. Darboe said they later learnt that some of their party members were involved in the protest and as such they will not abandon them simply because it was organised without their consent. He said the APRC regime does not respect the rights of individuals.“I’ve got impeccable information that these arrested people were taken to Mile 2 prisons; initially at the Police Intervention Unit headquarters in Kanifing and then taken to Mile 2 central prisons where they were picked out in numbers of five and taken to the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) where they were subjected to the most brutal torture,” said Darboe.He added that Solo Sandeng was in a state of comma but was not given any medical attention.“By 10 pm at night, I got information that he died as a result of the torture. One would have expected that a postmortem would be carried out to determine the cause of the death…,” he said. “And as I talk to you now, I have information which we are watching that Fatoumatta Jawara is in a state of comma, in a very critical condition and she is between life and death, so is Nogoi Njie, the first vice president of the female wing, also in a similar situation,” said an emotionally charged Darboe.The UDP leader said his party has the right to go about its political activities without hindrance. He said Solo Sandeng is the Steve Biko of the Gambia today. He said the UDP met on Friday and have decided that they will go out on Saturday and demand for Sandeng, either dead or alive. He said they will also demand for the release of other people who were arrested. He said in the process, they have asked all the deputies in the various positions in the executive to stay away as he (Darboe) and the others are prepared to join Sandeng that day.“We are going to ask for Solo’s body either alive of dead and the rest of them to be released,” said Mr. Darboe.When they started the procession, the UDP party officials who were in front of marchers included Lawyer Darboe, Modou Sanneh, former Minority Leader, Kemeseng Jammeh, former Minority Leader, Lamin Dibba, former National Assembly Member and Femi Peters among others. They were followed by some of the family members of Solo Sandeng, including his daughter, Fatoumatta Sandeng, among others. The marchers were chanting “Release Solo Sandeng and the rest of the Westfield protestors either dead or alive” and displaying placards and banners with similar inscriptions.As the procession got near the Elton filling station or FIB building on the same road, a truck load of fully armed PIU personnel and soldiers maneuvered its way through the crowd from behind to be at the front where it stopped to barricade the marchers. Some security personnel were in front of the marchers and trying to stop them as they forged ahead.However, reinforcements also started coming to the scene at the main Latrikunda-Kairaba Avenue junction with the arrival of more trucks and pick up vehicles carrying security personnel armed with riot gears such as helmets, shields, tear gas canisters, etc. All of a sudden, the situation descended into chaos as the marchers and security engaged in a scuffle which led to beatings with batons, rifle butts and the firing of tear gas by the security and stone throwing by marchers. The security started using force in arresting some of the marchers who were being physically assaulted and thrown into waiting trucks and pick up vehicles while chasing of others who ran into the adjoining side streets. In the process, many old and young men and women were arrested or captured, including by standers, pedestrians and those found selling or at their work places nearby, who were all whisked away.The UDP executive members who were arrested and taken away included Lawyer Darboe, Momodou Sanneh, Lamin Dibba, Kemeseng Jammeh, Femi Peters, Fakebba Colley, Lamin Jatta, Junkunda Suso, Lamin Ceesay, Tapha Makalo, Fanta Darboe, Amadou Sawo and Kebba Khan.
Guillem Balague recently shared his thoughts that if Barcelona were indeed to buy Antoine Griezmann, they would need to sell about eight players just so they could afford to acquire the Frenchman.The Catalan side have been the most frequently linked club with Griezmann throughout the whole season, not just the past weeks, and it seems the rumours could quickly turn into reality,However, Balague thinks there is only one setback ahead of this.“The problem with Barcelona, and considering the way that they are not renewing the contract of Sergio Busquets as quickly as the player would like, is the wage bill is too high,” he revealed, according to the Express.Quiz: How much do you know about David Villa? Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 Time to test your knowledge about Spanish legendary forward David Villa.“The wage list is so big that they need to reduce it.”“If they sell about eight players they could manage it. Then they could make the move for Antoine Griezmann,” Balague went on to add.“They also need to sign a midfielder and a left-back and those will be the two positions they target.”
Eden Hazard confirmed that he doesn’t want to play for PSG if he returned to France, hinting at a possible exit from Chelsea during the summer.In the past few weeks, there have been several rumors that link Eden Hazard to a possible exit from Chelsea either this winter or this summer.The Belgian winger has been contacted several times by many different clubs, but he has always kept the same narrative that confirms his only destination would be Real Madrid if he leaves Chelsea.Blues manager Maurizio Sarri has been making constant efforts to keep Eden Hazard in the squad by saying that he hopes a new deal can be made, but the player is still making a decision about his future because the Blues are not looking especially dominant this season in the Premier League.In the last match they played against Tottenham Hotspur, Hazard’s side lost 3-1 and moved a few points behind clubs like Manchester City or Liverpool.Eden Hazard is obviously depending on what Chelsea can do this season, because not ending the tournament in the top four could be detrimental for the club’s intentions to retain the player.The constant flirting with the idea of leaving Chelsea doesn’t help either, Eden just did it again while talking to Canal + this Sunday about the possibility of playing in Ligue 1 once again.Opinion: Neymar will earn respect back from the PSG fans Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 14, 2019 After completing his incredible return to Parc des Princes, we predict that Neymar will earn the respect back from PSG supporters.The situation between Neymar…“There has been contact in the past with PSG but I haven’t been tempted,” said Hazard to Canal Football Club on Canal +.“If I have to go back to France one day, it would be to Lille. But today, there is no chance that I’ll come back in the French league.”“I have one year left in June. If I don’t extend, it (a move) is possible. “I can’t see myself leaving in January. I wouldn’t do that to the club, to the fans.”“Next summer it’s a possibility, but it’s also possible that I spend the rest of my career at Chelsea.”#CFC🗨️ @hazardeden10 sur le Real Madrid : “Pour l’instant, je me concentre sur Chelsea (…) Impossible que je parte au mois de Janvier” pic.twitter.com/5U5JLtITFU— Canal Football Club (@CanalFootClub) November 25, 2018
(WSVN) – A group of skiers got a bit more than they bargained for when they were charged at by a moose at a ski resort in Colorado.It happened at the Breckenridge Ski Resort, a popular spot outside of Denver.One of the skiers posted a video of the incident on social media showing a large moose near a crowd of people on the slopes.At first, the animal keeps its distance, but in a matter of minutes, the situation escalates.The group took off down the mountain. Fortunately, nobody was hurt.The skier who posted the video, Lo Drogsvold (Instagram: @snolo), said their group did not taunt the moose and hopes to warn others how dangerous moose can be.Resort officials say the animals are typically peaceful, but Drogsvold said they can turn “fast, aggressive, and VERY dangerous” when they feel threatened.Drogsvold also notes that if you come across a moose, it’s important to keep your distance and respect the wildlife.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Representational ImagetwitterJio, the digital services brand conceived with a mission to connect everyone and everything, has won three top awards at the prestigious Golden Globe Tigers Award. Jio and two of its pioneering initiatives have been recognised for bringing unique and meaningful benefits of digital life to Indians.Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. (‘Jio’) was conferred the Market Leadership Award for connecting over 300 million Indians on the world’s largest mobile data network. Jio is a world-class all-IP data strong future proof network with the latest 4G LTE technology. It is the world’s largest mobile data network and is India’s largest wireless broadband service provider. Reliance Jio has been at the forefront of technology and innovation bringing transformational changes to the Indian digital services space and propelling India into global leadership in the digital economy.The Best Campaign – Advertising in Mobile Gaming Environment Award went to Jio Cricket Play Along (JCPA) which brought people together to celebrate the most loved sport in the country by turning spectators into participants, getting India closer to Cricket, their favourite teams and players. Users can engage with Jio Cricket Play Along on their mobile screens while matches are broadcast live on television. The concept is based on the fundamental principle of interactivity to ensure that viewers could not only watch their favourite cricket contest but could also be a part of the same by predicting the outcome of the live match in real-time. The game is available to both Jio and Non-Jio subscribers.JioPhone, India ka Smartphone, known for accelerating India’s digital transformation was recognized for the Best Mobile Strategy. JioPhone was launched with the objective of empowering every Indian with the power of digital services, especially those, who could not afford a smartphone.JioPhone, with its unique proposition, has enabled millions of feature phone users in India to migrate to Jio Digital Life and enjoy the benefits of data. Standing true to its promise, JioPhone has offered disproportionate value to users through an enriched digital life ecosystem.Jio bagged the honours in these three categories ahead of several other entries from leading global brands this year. The Golden Globe Tigers Awards 2019 were presented to the winners at a special evening organised at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.The Golden Globe Tigers Awards aims to recognise “TIGERS” in marketing, branding CSR & social innovation, education & academic across leadership levels among individuals and organizations. The Golden Globe Tigers awards are multifunctional, multidiscipline across segments and industry focused.
Rubana Huq. Prothom Alo File PhotoBangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) president Rubana Huq on Tuesday urged labour leaders to refrain from complaining about internal problems to foreigners, reports UNB.”Foreign buyers don’t increase the rate even though our production cost has increased immensely. If you complain to buyers than they get a chance to bargain and reduce prices,” she told a roundtable on national budget at National Press Club.Rubana said the owners should be united. “But sadly, we aren’t and that’s a barrier to the industry’s development.”The BGMEA president also said that the organisation will take all initiatives if the workers inform it of their demands first.“The welfare of the workers means the industry’s wellbeing. Don’t create any violence. I’m with you,” she said.Centre for Policy Dialogue research director Khondaker Golam Moazzem demanded increasing budget allocation for workers.“It won’t require a huge amount. Community based development is needed in the industry,” he said.Moazzem also said that it is time to raise voice together for increasing prices of products.Mahbubur Rahman Ismail, president of Bangladesh Textile Garments Workers Federation, put forth several proposals including starting ration system for workers.“We’ve submitted our demands to the finance ministry. We’ll submit these to prime minister Sheikh Hasina as soon as possible,” he said.ZM Kamrul Anam, president of Bangladesh Textile and Garments Workers League, urged the government to increase budget allocation for garment workers.
00:00 /00:59 Listen Habitat for HumanityWhat are the long-term consequences of Harvey likely to be for Greater Houston? That’s a question the University of Houston’s Hobby School of Public Affairs hopes to answer. The school is embarking on a five-year survey to track post-Harvey recovery.Researchers from Hobby and from Rice University will interview as many as 2,000 people throughout Harris, Montgomery, Fort Bend, and Brazoria Counties. They’ll ask questions such as how interviewees prepared for Harvey and what affect the storm had on their homes and work. In coming years, they’ll reach out to the same people to gauge support for flood mitigation and other policy proposals.“The usefulness for policy is you get to find out exactly how they dealt with various challenges, whether financial or physical, and how they communicated with each other during this ordeal,” says Jim Granato, the Hobby School’s executive director.Granato says the results could be particularly useful in developing strategies for emergency response and financial restitution for future storms and floods. There is the risk that another major storm could hit the region in the next five years. Granato says if that happens, the team will probably need to split their sample up into those people affected by the later event and those who aren’t. X To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Share
Public housing maintenance workers with AFSCME Local 647 demonstrate outside the offices of the Housing Authority of Baltimore City on Feb. 18. (Photo by Roberto Alejandro)(Updated 02/27/15) A union representing maintenance workers in Baltimore’s public housing facilities is calling for higher pay, improved working conditions, and a way to keep their members in their jobs as the city moves to develop more public housing stock through a program which shifts ownership of affordable housing, historically the domain of the city, into private hands. The Housing Authority of Baltimore City (HABC) says they have done as much as they can to minimize the impact of this new housing model on workers, and counter that they have already agreed to higher pay in a new contract that the union has yet to sign.In an AFRO interview published last November, Baltimore Housing (of which HABC is a part) Commissioner Paul Graziano said the city’s public housing stock has over $800 million worth of capital improvement needs, while only receiving something in the area of $4 million annually from the federal government (HABC is a federal agency) to address it. Because HABC cannot afford to maintain its public housing stock at this level of funding, it has sought to make use of a program known as the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD), which seeks to create public-private partnerships in order to develop more affordable housing in Baltimore.However, because RAD moves public housing properties into private hands, maintenance workers currently employed by HABC are left vulnerable according to Anthony Coates, president of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 647, the union representing HABC’s maintenance workers.Public housing maintenance workers with AFSCME Local 647, led by their president Anthony Coates (foreground with grey hat), filled the waiting area outside HABC’s offices downtown. (Photo by Roberto Alejandro)“Ever since the housing authority has implemented RAD . . . it led to the removal of 22-plus properties,” said Coates. “We’ve been threatened with layoffs of more than 200 people.”Coates says that bargaining and grievance procedures have effectively ceased, as his union looks not only to preserve the jobs of the maintenance workers – which he says are around 95 percent African American and some of whom themselves live in public housing – but to increase their wages, currently so low that it makes retaining employees difficult.At a demonstration outside of HABC’s offices downtown on Feb. 18, workers complained of dangerous working conditions, particularly with respect to what they say was toxic, industrial grade paint for certain commercial purposes, that painters were made to use on the interior of housing units.“They used the paint in 105 units, so just imagine how many tenants, children, and elders are being poisoned because of that paint,” said Lucky Crosby Sr., a senior executive board member and the safety officer for Local 647.Diane Cooper, another worker, said employees are regularly exposed to bed bugs, cockroaches, and other pests, and that at current salary levels, employees cannot afford to pay exterminators if they find that some of those pests have made their way into their own homes – something she claims has happened to at least four of her colleagues.“When you own your home, that’s an expensive thing to pay out of pocket, but yet nobody’s going to come to my house . . . and pay for that extermination,” said Cooper, who noted that the union is looking for pay in line with what housing authorities operating in other cities in the region, such as in Philadelphia, are paying.“At least with equal pay you’ve got a start as to, okay I’m in these hazardous conditions but yet you’re paying me responsibly and well enough that I can actually afford such things (like exterminators).”Officials at HABC dispute some of the claims being made by union members, however. According to Cheron Porter, director of communications for Baltimore Housing, the housing authority has indeed negotiated a new contract with Local 647, and is simply awaiting the union’s signature.Porter also said the cost of living in Baltimore and Philadelphia are not the same, but that the new contract stipulates that workers will receive an annual 2.5 percent increase in salary for three years, representing a 7.5 percent increase over current salary levels at the end of that term.Further, while no public housing properties have yet to be transferred to private ownership under the RAD program, and though developers have expressed interest in keeping current maintenance workers employed on the properties, housing has nonetheless sought to minimize the impact RAD might have on their workers.“We’ve done job fairs where we’ve gotten employers . . . that were looking for the skill sets of our employees that we had – specifically those impacted by the RAD stuff, we’ve had job fairs for them. We’ve also done resume workshops, interview skills, because we understand that we have a number of employees that it’s probably been some time for them. So there are a number of things that have been done over the past year,” said Porter.Coates said that the union has indeed been offered a new contract by HABC, but that they did not receive it for review until Feb. 24, and that the union was given only half a day to make a decision about whether to sign it. “I need a full day for us to go over this contract,” said Coates, adding that so far, “We don’t like what we see.”According to Tania Baker, deputy director of communications for Baltimore Housing, representatives from HABC met with members of Local 647 last Monday to discuss the claim that potentially toxic industrial paint was used on the interior of housing units, and determined that the paint used was a non-toxic, interior/exterior paint.Coates disputes the claim by Housing, and says the union has documents, consisting of e-mails and a receipt, that prove that industrial-grade paint was used. The AFRO is awaiting the documents in order to verify this claim and will update this story if and when we receive them. Regarding the most recent contract offer by HABC to Local 647, Coates says he has reached out to HABC to ask for further negotiations, and that he has given HABC until Monday to respond to the firstname.lastname@example.org
When D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and District officials broke ground in June on Plaza West, a Ward 6 development that holds 50 units of affordable housing for grandparents who are raising their grandchildren – or grandfamilies – District resident Mozette Clark breathed a sigh of relief. Charged with caring for three of her 12 school-aged grandchildren, Clark found it nearly impossible to find an affordable apartment that met the needs of her family.Plaza West, a Ward 6 development that holds 50 units of affordable housing for grandparents who are raising their grandchildren. (Courtesy Image)While the $84 million development project, located at 4th and K Streets NW, addresses the housing needs of an often overlooked segment of the city’s population, Clark said the need for grandfamily support – mental, social, and academic – has reached a crisis stage. “I applaud Mayor Bowser for her efforts to secure housing, there are so many things that young kids today face that I’ve never experienced in all my 70 years,” Clark told the AFRO. “Many of the resources my husband and I utilized for our own children 40 years ago, no longer exist. Those that do, require technology and an understanding of digital processes.”Clark points to applications, forms, and even physician appointments made through websites and apps, which she said makes her feel uninformed, despite having earned a master’s degree and owning her own accounting business. In a technology-driven society, Clark relies as much on her grandchildren for clarity as they do on her for care. “You don’t want to appear ignorant, and so you sit in silence and suffer through things until you can figure them out. I guess that’s being prideful,” said Clark, who now shares a house and childcare responsibilities with her daughter, Anne.Clark is not alone. Made up predominantly of Blacks, the national trend of grandfamilies, about 2.7 million in 2015, developed as a consequence of mass Black incarceration – Clark cares for her incarcerated son’s children – and a growing drug addiction crisis.Social service agencies readily embrace a model of care for children of incarcerated or absentee parents that keeps them with family members. However, senior citizens tend to be the least financially and technologically capable.Historically, according to public historian Maya Myles, Blacks have often maintained nontraditional housing that allowed extended family members to care for children in communal households. The collective rearing reinforced family structures by ensuring the care of its most vulnerable members, Myles told the AFRO.“Often the strongest and brightest members of the family spent time away from the household in the military, earning college degrees, or working jobs, such as the railroad,” she said, whose work at Florida State University focuses on the Black migration. “Their children were taken care of by grandparents, adult siblings, and other relatives, with an understanding that as those caregivers aged, the responsibility for their care, would be repaid by those same children. In the face of drug addiction, incarceration, or abandonment, many of the caregivers are at a disadvantage of continuing to take care of the adult child, as well as the grandchildren.”In the District, the financial security of grandfamilies is further complicated by rising real estate costs, senior housing that prohibits overnight stays by non-seniors, and caring for kids on fixed incomes. The resulting need for affordable and subsidized housing for grandfamilies grows alongside its prevalence.Ephraim Jolly took custody of his granddaughter’s 3-month old son when she left the child for him to babysit one weekend and never returned for him. Though she returns occasionally to the city, Jolly said he was fortunate to be in his own Ward 8 home rather than in a senior citizen community. “Many of my friends have their grandbabies and have to hide them in the senior citizen dwellings because this is ‘specialized’ housing. Black men of a certain age were raised to never let a child go hungry,” Jolly told the AFRO. “We share what little we have so that all can have enough, and we pray that we live long enough for the parents to straighten up and fly right and come get them back.”
PlayStation 4 Becomes Fastest Console to Sell 100 MillionOrigin PC Ends Console Wars With PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch Combo Case Stay on target There are a lot of great games coming out this holiday season. One of the biggest is sure to be Star Wars: Battlefront II. Since it’s such an important release, Battlefront II is getting the special edition bundle treatment on both PS4 Pro and PS4. Today, Sony Interactive Entertainment announced a number of bundles for North America and Europe. While most of these bundles are standard fare, one has a very unique design.The North American limited edition Star Wars: Battlefront II PlayStation 4 Pro Bundle contains a customized Jet Black 1TB PS4 Pro console, a matching DualShock 4 controller, and a physical game copy. This system is emblazoned with the emblems for the Resistance and Galactic Empire. It also has the emblem of Inferno Squad, who you command in the game. The DualShock 4 controller has the emblems of the Galactic Empire and Resistance on both sides, as well as different Star Wars logos on the touchpad. Instead of a Jet Black finish, the European limited edition has grey coloring. The Limited Edition gives players access to Star Wars: Battlefront II three days earlier than the standard edition.Speaking of the standard edition, this bundle comes with a 1TB standard PS4, a standard controller, and a physical version of the game. The North American edition of the standard bundle is rather basic, but the European edition is rather nice. Like the European limited edition bundle, this bundle also has a grey console (minus the emblems). As with its North American counterpart, the European standard edition bundle comes with a DualShock 4 controller and a physical game copy.Expect the Star Wars: Battlefront II PS4 Pro bundle to drop on November 14 for $449.99. The Star Wars: Battlefront II PS4 bundle is set to release on November 17 for $299.99. You can pre-order both right now from Amazon.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.
People who commute – walking or cycling – through natural environments are more likely to develop better mental health than those who commute less, according to a new study. Natural environments included all public and private outdoor spaces that contain ‘green’ and/or ‘blue’ natural elements such as street trees, forests, city parks and natural parks/reserves and all types of water bodies. “Mental health and physical inactivity are two of the main public health problems associated with the life in urban environments. Urban design could be a powerful tool to confront these challenges and create healthier cities. One way of doing so would be investing in natural commuting routes for cycling and walking,” said Mark Nieuwenhuijsen from the University of Barcelona.For the study, published in the journal, Environment International, the research team examined nearly 3,600 participants who answered a questionnaire about their commuting habits and their mental health. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe findings showed that respondents commuting through natural environments on a daily basis had on average a 2.74 point higher mental health score compared to those who commuted through natural environments less frequently. “From previous experimental studies we knew that physical activity in natural environments can reduce stress, improve mood and mental restoration when compared to the equivalent activity in urban environments,” said first author Wilma Zijlema from the varsity.
Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) conducted a destination presentation in New Delhi at The Park hotel recently. The event showcased the country’s many tourism offerings, as the Board targets a 25% growth in arrivals from India. Post the New Delhi event, NTB conducted the presentations in Ahmedabad at Courtyard by Marriott; in Mumbai at The St. Regis; and then moved on to Bengaluru at the Shangri-La hotel.The Nepalese delegation interacted with the travel trade from each of the cities. The Indian market continues to be one of the most important contributors of international visitors into Nepal and last year, the Board recorded 200,438 visitors from India.Commenting on the tourism connect between the two nations, SanJeet, Director, Buzz Travel Marketing India said, “Indian outbound to Nepal has been growing rapidly, owing to the fact that the destination caters to the demands of all age groups. This growth will surge in the coming years.” He also added that there has been a steady increase in FITs and small groups travelling to Nepal from India.Visit Nepal Year 2020The Government of Nepal is working rigorously to ensure a successful tourism period till 2020 and the Tourism Board has set a target of two million tourist arrivals by the end of next year. Currently, the country sees nearly one million visitors annually, which is expected to double as the Board continues promoting the ‘Visit Nepal Year 2020’ campaign aggressively.By 2020, the government plans to operate two new international airports – Pokhara and Lumbini – and introduce the Airbus 330-200 to provide airline services to the growing number of tourists. The government also plans to run Tribhuvan International Airport for an additional three hours from the regular 18, to ensure continued availability of service to both incoming and outgoing tourists.The private hotel sector, too, has planned to add 4,000 rooms in the four and five-star categories in Kathmandu, Chitwan and Pokhara. A number of international hotel chains, including Hilton and Marriott, are expected to operate properties in Nepal in the coming years.