Moroccan Security Officer Fatally Hit by Car Driven by Drunk Son

12 Oct 2019

By Zainab CalcuttawalaRabat – A Moroccan security officer was killed by a car driven by the son of a justice official, who was driving while under the influence of alcohol.A first sergeant of the Royal Gendarmerie lost his life Saturday morning after Hassan Al-Hajooji, the son of a Moroccan court official, fatally struck the officer with a car at a roundabout linking Sidi Harazem to Taounate around 20 kilometers away from Fez at 4:30 a.m. local time,. Al-Hajooji was intoxicated at the time of the incident. A source who inspected the scene told Akhbar Al-Yaoum that the 32-year-old son of an official at the public prosecutor’s office of the court of appeals in Fez dragged the late first sergeant behind his father’s Mercedes C220 for a long distance. The officer was inspecting a medium-sized truck when he was struck by the car, which bore the emblem of the Attorney General’s office.According to the same source, the car hit the officer and the truck that he was inspecting at a dangerously high speed, as indicated by the nature of the injuries found on the officer’s body during the post-mortem examination.According to eyewitnesses cited by the same source, the driver sped past the roundabout after striking the truck and the officer, but then returned to the scene of the incident only to exit his vehicle and beat the truck driver with his hands before fleeing the area again.The Royal Gendarmerie arrested the alleged perpetrator in his father’s house just a few hours after the hit-and-run. The car that the accused drove bore the emblem of the Attorney General’s office, which greatly facilitated the investigation.According to the newspaper, Sunday morning the body of the first sergeant—a 34-year-old father of two—was transferred to Casablanca, where an official autopsy took place before the body was returned to the family. The autopsy report showed severe wounds and bruises corresponding with the speed of the vehicle that struck him.The case is expected to be referred to the lower courts, which issue sentences for up to five years in prison, on Monday in the event that investigators classify the incident as a traffic violation. The accused could face charges of manslaughter, public intoxication and driving under the influence of alcohol.The truck driver and the victim’s colleague have both told investigators that the driver entered the roundabout from the wrong direction and took the road in which the victim was conducting a routine inspection of the truck. read more

By Zainab CalcuttawalaRabat – A Moroccan security officer was killed by a car driven by the son of a justice official, who was driving while under the influence of alcohol.A first sergeant of the Royal Gendarmerie lost his life Saturday morning after Hassan Al-Hajooji, the son of a Moroccan court official, fatally struck the officer with a car at a roundabout linking Sidi Harazem to Taounate around 20 kilometers away from Fez at 4:30 a.m. local time,. Al-Hajooji was intoxicated at the time of the incident. A source who inspected the scene told Akhbar Al-Yaoum that the 32-year-old son of an official at the public prosecutor’s office of the court of appeals in Fez dragged the late first sergeant behind his father’s Mercedes C220 for a long distance. The officer was inspecting a medium-sized truck when he was struck by the car, which bore the emblem of the Attorney General’s office.According to the same source, the car hit the officer and the truck that he was inspecting at a dangerously high speed, as indicated by the nature of the injuries found on the officer’s body during the post-mortem examination.According to eyewitnesses cited by the same source, the driver sped past the roundabout after striking the truck and the officer, but then returned to the scene of the incident only to exit his vehicle and beat the truck driver with his hands before fleeing the area again.The Royal Gendarmerie arrested the alleged perpetrator in his father’s house just a few hours after the hit-and-run. The car that the accused drove bore the emblem of the Attorney General’s office, which greatly facilitated the investigation.According to the newspaper, Sunday morning the body of the first sergeant—a 34-year-old father of two—was transferred to Casablanca, where an official autopsy took place before the body was returned to the family. The autopsy report showed severe wounds and bruises corresponding with the speed of the vehicle that struck him.The case is expected to be referred to the lower courts, which issue sentences for up to five years in prison, on Monday in the event that investigators classify the incident as a traffic violation. The accused could face charges of manslaughter, public intoxication and driving under the influence of alcohol.The truck driver and the victim’s colleague have both told investigators that the driver entered the roundabout from the wrong direction and took the road in which the victim was conducting a routine inspection of the truck. read more

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Energy financials lead TSX lower even as traders reassured about pace of

08 Oct 2019

TORONTO — The Toronto stock market closed lower Wednesday despite indications that the U.S. Federal Reserve is in no hurry to hike interest rates.The S&P/TSX composite index declined 71.86 points to 15,212.75 as energy stocks retreated after a sharp run-up in oil prices came to halt while financials declined ahead of earnings news from Canada’s big banks next week.The minutes from the Fed’s latest interest rate meeting showed officials were concerned about dropping the word “patient” to describe how long they were willing to wait to hike rates, fearing that could cause an overreaction in financial markets.Some Fed officials noted that wage growth has remained weak even as the unemployment rate has declined. Others noted that inflation remains below the Fed’s two per cent target.Analysts have said that a string of strong economic reports has made it difficult for the Fed not to raise rates from near zero, where they have been since the financial collapse of 2008, as early as June.The Canadian dollar lost 0.28 of a U.S. cent to 80.53 cents.Disappointing industrial production data and a drop in U.S. wholesale prices by a record amount in January helped keep New York mainly in the red.The Dow Jones industrials fell 17.73 points to 18,029.85, the Nasdaq gained 7.09 points to 4,906.36 and the S&P 500 index was off 0.66 of a point at 2,099.68.Meanwhile, traders awaited an official proposal from Greece to extend a bailout program that would keep the country solvent and within the euro currency bloc. The Greek plan would involve extending the 240-billion-euro loan agreement that has kept the country afloat since 2010 — but likely without the same commitments to austerity measures that secured other bailout funds. Eurozone finance officials will meet Thursday to discuss the request.Greece’s creditors in the 19-country eurozone had given Greece until the end of the week to request an extension of the bailout agreement. After that, emergency liquid assistance (ELA) from the European Central Bank will likely dry up.The TSX energy sector was down 2.35% as the March crude contract fell $1.39 to US$52.14 a barrel after three days of gains.Cenovus Energy Inc. (TSX:CVE) lost $1.17 to C$22.12 as it said that it’s raising $1.5 billion through the sale of 67.5 million common shares priced at $22.25 each in a move aimed at shoring up its balance sheet in the face of plummeting oil prices.Financials were down one per cent.April gold faded $8.40 to US$1,200.20 an ounce, but the gold sector was up 2.6%.The metals and mining sector rose 1.65% while March copper gained three cents to US$2.61 a pound. read more

TORONTO — The Toronto stock market closed lower Wednesday despite indications that the U.S. Federal Reserve is in no hurry to hike interest rates.The S&P/TSX composite index declined 71.86 points to 15,212.75 as energy stocks retreated after a sharp run-up in oil prices came to halt while financials declined ahead of earnings news from Canada’s big banks next week.The minutes from the Fed’s latest interest rate meeting showed officials were concerned about dropping the word “patient” to describe how long they were willing to wait to hike rates, fearing that could cause an overreaction in financial markets.Some Fed officials noted that wage growth has remained weak even as the unemployment rate has declined. Others noted that inflation remains below the Fed’s two per cent target.Analysts have said that a string of strong economic reports has made it difficult for the Fed not to raise rates from near zero, where they have been since the financial collapse of 2008, as early as June.The Canadian dollar lost 0.28 of a U.S. cent to 80.53 cents.Disappointing industrial production data and a drop in U.S. wholesale prices by a record amount in January helped keep New York mainly in the red.The Dow Jones industrials fell 17.73 points to 18,029.85, the Nasdaq gained 7.09 points to 4,906.36 and the S&P 500 index was off 0.66 of a point at 2,099.68.Meanwhile, traders awaited an official proposal from Greece to extend a bailout program that would keep the country solvent and within the euro currency bloc. The Greek plan would involve extending the 240-billion-euro loan agreement that has kept the country afloat since 2010 — but likely without the same commitments to austerity measures that secured other bailout funds. Eurozone finance officials will meet Thursday to discuss the request.Greece’s creditors in the 19-country eurozone had given Greece until the end of the week to request an extension of the bailout agreement. After that, emergency liquid assistance (ELA) from the European Central Bank will likely dry up.The TSX energy sector was down 2.35% as the March crude contract fell $1.39 to US$52.14 a barrel after three days of gains.Cenovus Energy Inc. (TSX:CVE) lost $1.17 to C$22.12 as it said that it’s raising $1.5 billion through the sale of 67.5 million common shares priced at $22.25 each in a move aimed at shoring up its balance sheet in the face of plummeting oil prices.Financials were down one per cent.April gold faded $8.40 to US$1,200.20 an ounce, but the gold sector was up 2.6%.The metals and mining sector rose 1.65% while March copper gained three cents to US$2.61 a pound. read more

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Anger over No Fire Zone raid

08 Oct 2019

Human rights activists have condemned the Malaysian Home Ministry for raiding the private screening of a documentary depicting war crimes in Sri Lanka and arresting three activists without following due process, FZ.com reported.They say the raid was uncalled for and accuse the authorities of intimidation. The three who were arrested were Anna Har (a member of its board of directors), Arul Prakkash (Executive Director) and Lena Hendry (Programme Officer). They were released on police bail at 2.30am today. She suggested the organisers, Pusat Komas and the civil rights committee (CRC) of KLSCAH file a formal complaint to the Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) to highlight this incident.Three members of Pusat Komas were detained in last night’s raid by a joint team from the Film Censorship Board, Immigration Department and the police during the screening ofNo Fire Zone: The Killing Fieldat the Kuala Lumpur-Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH).The documentary by Callum Macrae tells the story of the last 138 days of the Sri Lankan civil war in 2009 and uses video evidence to show what took place in the “no fire zone” that resulted in the deaths of an estimated 40,000 to 70,000 civilians. And the intimidation against the audience is to stop people from attending this human rights education, she said at a press conference today.Also present were representatives from Pusat Komas, Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ), Suaram, Parti Sosialis Malaysia, Malaysian for Beng Hock, and Jaringan Rakyat Tertindas (Jerit), among others. “We believe the manner in which our arrests were made is also against police procedures that require the police to inform a person if he/she is being arrested. We were very shocked and amazed at the officials for carrying out this action without proper basis, proper warrants or notice being issued,” Har said.Pusat Komas said it had screened many human rights documentaries over the past 11 years without problem.Macrae, the director of the documentary, was shocked to hear about the raid and arrests. He said his intention in coming to Malaysia was to bring to the attention of the government to the awful crimes that Sri Lankan government allegedly stands accused.“The reaction from MPs to the film when they saw it in parliament I think demonstrated how powerful and important this evidence is,” Macrae said in a statement. A group of 10 MPs had viewed the documentary yesterday morning.The organisers also express unhappiness with the conduct of the officers who conducted the raid last night.The officers requested the audience to show their identity cards and wanted to jot down their particulars but following negotiation with the organisers, the agreed to forgo taking down the MyKad details.The organisers also had to hand over a copy of the documentary to the officers. However, at the press conference today, they claimed that they were not told they were being arrested when they agreed to accompany the the enforcement officer from the Film Censorship Board to the Dang Wangi police station.They were only informed that they were arrested midway through the process of giving their statements and during questioning by the investigating officers. They were questioned for three hours.The trio are being investigated under Section 6 of Film Censorship Act for screening the documentary without obtaining approval from the board. The section says no one should screen any film or related publicity materials which is not approved by the board. Irene, who is also a member of civil rights defender group, Frontline Defender, said that the documentary is a form of human rights education and it is important to see how people responded to such atrocity. Tenaganita executive director Irene Fernandez said that last night’s incident was purely a show of power and control by those who did not want to allow people to know how a state had become violent. And “control and violence” seemed to be the road taken by Malaysian government. read more

Human rights activists have condemned the Malaysian Home Ministry for raiding the private screening of a documentary depicting war crimes in Sri Lanka and arresting three activists without following due process, FZ.com reported.They say the raid was uncalled for and accuse the authorities of intimidation. The three who were arrested were Anna Har (a member of its board of directors), Arul Prakkash (Executive Director) and Lena Hendry (Programme Officer). They were released on police bail at 2.30am today. She suggested the organisers, Pusat Komas and the civil rights committee (CRC) of KLSCAH file a formal complaint to the Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) to highlight this incident.Three members of Pusat Komas were detained in last night’s raid by a joint team from the Film Censorship Board, Immigration Department and the police during the screening ofNo Fire Zone: The Killing Fieldat the Kuala Lumpur-Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH).The documentary by Callum Macrae tells the story of the last 138 days of the Sri Lankan civil war in 2009 and uses video evidence to show what took place in the “no fire zone” that resulted in the deaths of an estimated 40,000 to 70,000 civilians. And the intimidation against the audience is to stop people from attending this human rights education, she said at a press conference today.Also present were representatives from Pusat Komas, Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ), Suaram, Parti Sosialis Malaysia, Malaysian for Beng Hock, and Jaringan Rakyat Tertindas (Jerit), among others. “We believe the manner in which our arrests were made is also against police procedures that require the police to inform a person if he/she is being arrested. We were very shocked and amazed at the officials for carrying out this action without proper basis, proper warrants or notice being issued,” Har said.Pusat Komas said it had screened many human rights documentaries over the past 11 years without problem.Macrae, the director of the documentary, was shocked to hear about the raid and arrests. He said his intention in coming to Malaysia was to bring to the attention of the government to the awful crimes that Sri Lankan government allegedly stands accused.“The reaction from MPs to the film when they saw it in parliament I think demonstrated how powerful and important this evidence is,” Macrae said in a statement. A group of 10 MPs had viewed the documentary yesterday morning.The organisers also express unhappiness with the conduct of the officers who conducted the raid last night.The officers requested the audience to show their identity cards and wanted to jot down their particulars but following negotiation with the organisers, the agreed to forgo taking down the MyKad details.The organisers also had to hand over a copy of the documentary to the officers. However, at the press conference today, they claimed that they were not told they were being arrested when they agreed to accompany the the enforcement officer from the Film Censorship Board to the Dang Wangi police station.They were only informed that they were arrested midway through the process of giving their statements and during questioning by the investigating officers. They were questioned for three hours.The trio are being investigated under Section 6 of Film Censorship Act for screening the documentary without obtaining approval from the board. The section says no one should screen any film or related publicity materials which is not approved by the board. Irene, who is also a member of civil rights defender group, Frontline Defender, said that the documentary is a form of human rights education and it is important to see how people responded to such atrocity. Tenaganita executive director Irene Fernandez said that last night’s incident was purely a show of power and control by those who did not want to allow people to know how a state had become violent. And “control and violence” seemed to be the road taken by Malaysian government. read more

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No More UC MQ

07 Oct 2019

See All in Analyst Insight » Log in or register to post comments Changes in Vendor Lineups for CCaas and UCaaSGartner will continue to publish Magic Quadrants for UCaaS and CCaaS, but these reports are changing to limit them to providers which own and control their “full-stack” solutions. This change should address two problems that has complicated these reports: too many providers and unusual comparisons. UC MQ, No MoreThe 2018 report will be the final edition of what was a long series of Gartner Magic Quadrants for UC. It’s not that the UC market is dead, but it is mature. Magic Quadrant reports attempted to highlight key differences between vendor solutions, but these differences for on-premises UC are declining. I won’t go as far as saying premises-based UC is a commodity, but purchasing criteria tend to be related to factors other than a vendor’s vision and its ability to execute. UC purchases today are more likely to be driven by prior investments, partner relationships, and bundled offerings such as workstream collaboration, contact center, and office productivity applications. Making Sense of Mitel & Avaya Merger Speculation Dave Michels August 21, 2019 Perhaps this purported deal is best thought of as a merger, not an acquisition. The Magic Quadrant is one of the few analyst research reports that attempts to compare and plot vendors against each other. A similar kind of report, the Forrester UC Wave, is expected to continue publishing every other year. Dave Michels is a Contributing Editor and analyst at TalkingPointz.Tags:News & ViewsGartnerUCCCMagic QuadrantAnalyst InsightCCaaSIndustry NewsUCaaSUnified Communications & Collaboration Articles You Might Like The UCaaS market is both more mainstream and less mature than its on-prem counterpart. Significant differences exist among UCaaS and CCaaS providers in terms of vision and their ability to execute, so it makes sense for Gartner to continue on with Magic Quadrant reports for these markets. Earlier this month, Gartner issued a research note titled “Cloud-Based Unified Communications and Contact Center Momentum Is Refocusing Our Magic Quadrant Research for 2019.” The document explains two big changes to Gartner’s UC and contact center market coverage: About Market GuidesGartner uses its Market Guide reports for emerging and mature markets. They have some of the same information as Magic Quadrant reports, but without the relative positioning and comparisons. The logic of the Market Guide is that in emerging markets, user requirements are changing, and in mature markets the offerings are interchangeable. In both cases, comparative positioning is difficult and less important. Unfortunately, a “full-stack solution” is ambiguous. Can a provider enhance a different vendor’s solution with its own intellectual property? For example, RingCentral has made two recent acquisitions to bolster its CcaaS offering, which is powered by inContact. Verizon’s OneTalk combines Cisco BroadWorks and Verizon’s wireless network. June Redux – Perspectives From 4 Events Jon Arnold July 09, 2019 Lasting impressions on cybersecurity, telephony, smart cities, mobile UCaaS, 5G, and more following a month of travel These changes are a bold move, but one that goes in the right direction. Gartner backs its decisions with data validating market trends and demand. It certainly confirms Microsoft’s decision to make Teams more strategic than Skype for Business Server and Cisco’s decision to acquire BroadSoft. The Magic Quadrants for premises-based unified communications and on-prem contact center infrastructure will be retired and replaced with Market Guides.The UCaaS and CCaaS Magic Quadrants and Critical Capabilities will be refocused to only evaluate full-stack SaaS solution providers, where the application stack is developed, updated, managed, and controlled by the software vendor. Magic Quadrants are most effective with about eight to 10 providers. This creates a clearer visual that highlights major differences between the vendors. The 2018 Magic Quadrant for UCaaS report included 18 providers. Gartner has made attempts to reduce the number of included providers by tweaking eligibility requirements, particularly with regard to global coverage of services. This created an unusual collection of providers that are not commonly compared, and also excluded several major providers such as Vonage and Comcast. A full-stack requirement will reduce the number of providers included in the reports. marketreport_774.png Making Sense of IT Market Moves Tom Nolle November 28, 2018 Cloud, data center, SD-WAN – watch these spaces. The irony of the change is that the Magic Quadrants will exclude many of the pioneering providers that shaped the UCaaS sector. Also, the changes are expected to exclude most carriers, which in some countries are the only UCaaS provider. The other issue is that the cloud UC and CC reports have grown to include both software makers and resellers. Not long ago, many of the major software makers did not directly sell their own hosted services. Instead, they sold through partners that hosted or resold services. Recently, that has changed. Today, most of the major platform makers, including Microsoft and Cisco, make their solutions available as direct, branded solutions. The reports effectively pit the same solutions against different providers. read more

See All in Analyst Insight » Log in or register to post comments Changes in Vendor Lineups for CCaas and UCaaSGartner will continue to publish Magic Quadrants for UCaaS and CCaaS, but these reports are changing to limit them to providers which own and control their “full-stack” solutions. This change should address two problems that has complicated these reports: too many providers and unusual comparisons. UC MQ, No MoreThe 2018 report will be the final edition of what was a long series of Gartner Magic Quadrants for UC. It’s not that the UC market is dead, but it is mature. Magic Quadrant reports attempted to highlight key differences between vendor solutions, but these differences for on-premises UC are declining. I won’t go as far as saying premises-based UC is a commodity, but purchasing criteria tend to be related to factors other than a vendor’s vision and its ability to execute. UC purchases today are more likely to be driven by prior investments, partner relationships, and bundled offerings such as workstream collaboration, contact center, and office productivity applications. Making Sense of Mitel & Avaya Merger Speculation Dave Michels August 21, 2019 Perhaps this purported deal is best thought of as a merger, not an acquisition. The Magic Quadrant is one of the few analyst research reports that attempts to compare and plot vendors against each other. A similar kind of report, the Forrester UC Wave, is expected to continue publishing every other year. Dave Michels is a Contributing Editor and analyst at TalkingPointz.Tags:News & ViewsGartnerUCCCMagic QuadrantAnalyst InsightCCaaSIndustry NewsUCaaSUnified Communications & Collaboration Articles You Might Like The UCaaS market is both more mainstream and less mature than its on-prem counterpart. Significant differences exist among UCaaS and CCaaS providers in terms of vision and their ability to execute, so it makes sense for Gartner to continue on with Magic Quadrant reports for these markets. Earlier this month, Gartner issued a research note titled “Cloud-Based Unified Communications and Contact Center Momentum Is Refocusing Our Magic Quadrant Research for 2019.” The document explains two big changes to Gartner’s UC and contact center market coverage: About Market GuidesGartner uses its Market Guide reports for emerging and mature markets. They have some of the same information as Magic Quadrant reports, but without the relative positioning and comparisons. The logic of the Market Guide is that in emerging markets, user requirements are changing, and in mature markets the offerings are interchangeable. In both cases, comparative positioning is difficult and less important. Unfortunately, a “full-stack solution” is ambiguous. Can a provider enhance a different vendor’s solution with its own intellectual property? For example, RingCentral has made two recent acquisitions to bolster its CcaaS offering, which is powered by inContact. Verizon’s OneTalk combines Cisco BroadWorks and Verizon’s wireless network. June Redux – Perspectives From 4 Events Jon Arnold July 09, 2019 Lasting impressions on cybersecurity, telephony, smart cities, mobile UCaaS, 5G, and more following a month of travel These changes are a bold move, but one that goes in the right direction. Gartner backs its decisions with data validating market trends and demand. It certainly confirms Microsoft’s decision to make Teams more strategic than Skype for Business Server and Cisco’s decision to acquire BroadSoft. The Magic Quadrants for premises-based unified communications and on-prem contact center infrastructure will be retired and replaced with Market Guides.The UCaaS and CCaaS Magic Quadrants and Critical Capabilities will be refocused to only evaluate full-stack SaaS solution providers, where the application stack is developed, updated, managed, and controlled by the software vendor. Magic Quadrants are most effective with about eight to 10 providers. This creates a clearer visual that highlights major differences between the vendors. The 2018 Magic Quadrant for UCaaS report included 18 providers. Gartner has made attempts to reduce the number of included providers by tweaking eligibility requirements, particularly with regard to global coverage of services. This created an unusual collection of providers that are not commonly compared, and also excluded several major providers such as Vonage and Comcast. A full-stack requirement will reduce the number of providers included in the reports. marketreport_774.png Making Sense of IT Market Moves Tom Nolle November 28, 2018 Cloud, data center, SD-WAN – watch these spaces. The irony of the change is that the Magic Quadrants will exclude many of the pioneering providers that shaped the UCaaS sector. Also, the changes are expected to exclude most carriers, which in some countries are the only UCaaS provider. The other issue is that the cloud UC and CC reports have grown to include both software makers and resellers. Not long ago, many of the major software makers did not directly sell their own hosted services. Instead, they sold through partners that hosted or resold services. Recently, that has changed. Today, most of the major platform makers, including Microsoft and Cisco, make their solutions available as direct, branded solutions. The reports effectively pit the same solutions against different providers. read more

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National policies on trade and agriculture key to tackling food security –

02 Oct 2019

“The challenge… is how to ensure that the expansion of agricultural trade works for, and not against, the elimination of hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition,” indicated the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) flagship report on the State of Agricultural Commodity Markets.The report aims at countering the current polarized views on agricultural trade, in which some insist that free trade makes food accessible and available, while others, noting the recent volatility in food prices, insist on the need for a more cautious approach to trade, including a variety of safeguards for developing countries.The different interpretation of trade and food security, and different implementations of trade rules are the main causes for the ideological clashes, according to the report. Moreover, appropriate policies rely heavily on the development of national markets. Therefore, “domestic support policies should not be rejected out of hand,” said the report.However, “it is very context specific (as) it depends on the characters as the country, the level of development…the competitiveness of the agriculture sector, the functionality of the markets [and] the degree of urbanization,” Jamie Morrison, FAO senior economist, said in a video message, while underscoring that actions also depend “importantly (on) the way that governments intervene in markets.”International rules should further support national trade policies, especially in the four dimensions of food security – availability, access, utilization and stability – said the report, commenting that such implementation will be an “enabler” of sustainable development and hunger eradication.The report also noted the new trend in the global trade arena, with food tripling in trade values for the last decade. This change is the result of geo-economics shifting, the emergence of new and subtler dynamics such as global value chains and vertical integration within agricultural production, as well as the “supermarket revolution” of retail chains in many developing countries. “We need to balance the imperatives for countries to [pursue] their own national objectives, with the concept of doing no harm to trading partners,” said Mr. Morrison. read more

“The challenge… is how to ensure that the expansion of agricultural trade works for, and not against, the elimination of hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition,” indicated the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) flagship report on the State of Agricultural Commodity Markets.The report aims at countering the current polarized views on agricultural trade, in which some insist that free trade makes food accessible and available, while others, noting the recent volatility in food prices, insist on the need for a more cautious approach to trade, including a variety of safeguards for developing countries.The different interpretation of trade and food security, and different implementations of trade rules are the main causes for the ideological clashes, according to the report. Moreover, appropriate policies rely heavily on the development of national markets. Therefore, “domestic support policies should not be rejected out of hand,” said the report.However, “it is very context specific (as) it depends on the characters as the country, the level of development…the competitiveness of the agriculture sector, the functionality of the markets [and] the degree of urbanization,” Jamie Morrison, FAO senior economist, said in a video message, while underscoring that actions also depend “importantly (on) the way that governments intervene in markets.”International rules should further support national trade policies, especially in the four dimensions of food security – availability, access, utilization and stability – said the report, commenting that such implementation will be an “enabler” of sustainable development and hunger eradication.The report also noted the new trend in the global trade arena, with food tripling in trade values for the last decade. This change is the result of geo-economics shifting, the emergence of new and subtler dynamics such as global value chains and vertical integration within agricultural production, as well as the “supermarket revolution” of retail chains in many developing countries. “We need to balance the imperatives for countries to [pursue] their own national objectives, with the concept of doing no harm to trading partners,” said Mr. Morrison. read more

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More than two hours screentime a day could damage childrens brain development

25 Sep 2019

The study found that US children spend an average of 3.6 hours a day engaged in recreational screen time. The research controlled for household income, parental and child education, ethnicity, pubertal development, body mass index and whether the child had had a traumatic brain injury.In the study, families were given questionnaires to see how many children aged 8 to 11 get nine to 11 hours sleep, less than two hours recreational screen time, and at least an hour’s exercise daily.The study found 29 per cent of children achieved none of the three recommendations, while 41 per cent met just one, 25 per cent met two and just five per cent met all three.Just over half of the children met the sleep recommendation, while  round one third met the screen time recommendation, and 18 per cent met the physical activity recommendation.While achieving all three was associated with the best performance in the tests, when individual factors were examined levels of physical activity made little difference, with the strongest association linked to screen time.Protect yourself and your family. Find out more about our Duty of Care campaign to regulate social media  Each minute spent on screens necessarily displaces a minute from sleep or cognitively challenging activitiesDr Eduardo Esteban Bustamante, University of Illinois Children who spend more than two hours a day looking at a screen have worse memory, language skills and attention span, a landmark study has found.The research, which involved children aged between eight and 11 found that those with higher amounts of recreational screen time on smart phones and playing video games had far worse cognitive skills across a range of functions. The research, published by the Lancet Child and Adolescent Health, tracked the daily habits of 4,500 children who were then asked to carry out detailed cognition tests.The study found that more than two hours a day of recreational screen time was associated with worse working memory, processing speed, attention levels, language skills and executive function.The study of US children, led by the University of Ottawa, questioned thousands of parents and children on their daily habits – including time spent sleeping, using smartphones and other devices, and levels of physical activity. Overall cognition skills were best among the one in 20 children who got between nine to 11 hours sleep, less than two hours recreational screen time, and at least an hour’s exercise daily. These children did around five per cent better in the tests than the average child.  Significantly, the study isolated screen time as the likely key factor. Children who were glued to their screens for less than two hours a day saw performance around four per cent better than the average among their group, regardless of other habits.  The findings are likely to be considered by Dame Sally Davies, the country’s chief medical officer, who is undertaking a review of the impact of technology on children’s health, and whether to set guidance on healthy screen time. Until now, experts have argued about a lack of clear evidence about the impact of screen time.It comes as the Telegraph’s campaign calling for a statutory duty of care on all social media and online gaming companies, opening them up to legal action when standards are breached.  Dr Walsh said more research was needed to examine the potential impact of different online activities.In the meantime he urged parents and health officials to consider two hours recreational time online as the maximum daily limit.“We found that more than two hours of recreational screen time in children was associated with poorer cognitive development. More research into the links between screen time and cognition is now needed, including studying the effect of different types of screen time, whether content is educational or entertainment, and whether it requires focus or involves multitasking.“Based on our findings, paediatricians, parents, educators, and policymakers should promote limiting recreational screen time and prioritising healthy sleep routines throughout childhood and adolescence,” he said.Writing in a linked Comment, Dr Eduardo Esteban Bustamante, from the University of Illinois, USA, said the findings suggest that too much screen time could mean children’s brains had too little time to recover from the strain of each day. “Each minute spent on screens necessarily displaces a minute from sleep or cognitively challenging activities. In the case of evening screen use, this displacement may also be compounded by impairment of sleep quality,” he said. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Lead researcher Dr Jeremy Walsh told the Telegraph: “These are landmark findings. We’ve set a clear two hour benchmark here and it shows clear cognitive benefit is associated with keeping within that limit. “I think parents should now be looking closely at screen time and this suggests it should be limited to two hours a day.”The findings are from an observational study- meaning it was not possible to prove that extra time on devices caused the weaker cognitive skills.  But experts believe several factors- the impact of blue light on the brain, the online activity itself and the fact time spent on gadgets eats into time which might otherwise be spent exercising, sleeping or taking part in more social or mentally challenging tasks, could explain the links. read more

The study found that US children spend an average of 3.6 hours a day engaged in recreational screen time. The research controlled for household income, parental and child education, ethnicity, pubertal development, body mass index and whether the child had had a traumatic brain injury.In the study, families were given questionnaires to see how many children aged 8 to 11 get nine to 11 hours sleep, less than two hours recreational screen time, and at least an hour’s exercise daily.The study found 29 per cent of children achieved none of the three recommendations, while 41 per cent met just one, 25 per cent met two and just five per cent met all three.Just over half of the children met the sleep recommendation, while  round one third met the screen time recommendation, and 18 per cent met the physical activity recommendation.While achieving all three was associated with the best performance in the tests, when individual factors were examined levels of physical activity made little difference, with the strongest association linked to screen time.Protect yourself and your family. Find out more about our Duty of Care campaign to regulate social media  Each minute spent on screens necessarily displaces a minute from sleep or cognitively challenging activitiesDr Eduardo Esteban Bustamante, University of Illinois Children who spend more than two hours a day looking at a screen have worse memory, language skills and attention span, a landmark study has found.The research, which involved children aged between eight and 11 found that those with higher amounts of recreational screen time on smart phones and playing video games had far worse cognitive skills across a range of functions. The research, published by the Lancet Child and Adolescent Health, tracked the daily habits of 4,500 children who were then asked to carry out detailed cognition tests.The study found that more than two hours a day of recreational screen time was associated with worse working memory, processing speed, attention levels, language skills and executive function.The study of US children, led by the University of Ottawa, questioned thousands of parents and children on their daily habits – including time spent sleeping, using smartphones and other devices, and levels of physical activity. Overall cognition skills were best among the one in 20 children who got between nine to 11 hours sleep, less than two hours recreational screen time, and at least an hour’s exercise daily. These children did around five per cent better in the tests than the average child.  Significantly, the study isolated screen time as the likely key factor. Children who were glued to their screens for less than two hours a day saw performance around four per cent better than the average among their group, regardless of other habits.  The findings are likely to be considered by Dame Sally Davies, the country’s chief medical officer, who is undertaking a review of the impact of technology on children’s health, and whether to set guidance on healthy screen time. Until now, experts have argued about a lack of clear evidence about the impact of screen time.It comes as the Telegraph’s campaign calling for a statutory duty of care on all social media and online gaming companies, opening them up to legal action when standards are breached.  Dr Walsh said more research was needed to examine the potential impact of different online activities.In the meantime he urged parents and health officials to consider two hours recreational time online as the maximum daily limit.“We found that more than two hours of recreational screen time in children was associated with poorer cognitive development. More research into the links between screen time and cognition is now needed, including studying the effect of different types of screen time, whether content is educational or entertainment, and whether it requires focus or involves multitasking.“Based on our findings, paediatricians, parents, educators, and policymakers should promote limiting recreational screen time and prioritising healthy sleep routines throughout childhood and adolescence,” he said.Writing in a linked Comment, Dr Eduardo Esteban Bustamante, from the University of Illinois, USA, said the findings suggest that too much screen time could mean children’s brains had too little time to recover from the strain of each day. “Each minute spent on screens necessarily displaces a minute from sleep or cognitively challenging activities. In the case of evening screen use, this displacement may also be compounded by impairment of sleep quality,” he said. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Lead researcher Dr Jeremy Walsh told the Telegraph: “These are landmark findings. We’ve set a clear two hour benchmark here and it shows clear cognitive benefit is associated with keeping within that limit. “I think parents should now be looking closely at screen time and this suggests it should be limited to two hours a day.”The findings are from an observational study- meaning it was not possible to prove that extra time on devices caused the weaker cognitive skills.  But experts believe several factors- the impact of blue light on the brain, the online activity itself and the fact time spent on gadgets eats into time which might otherwise be spent exercising, sleeping or taking part in more social or mentally challenging tasks, could explain the links. read more

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Conflict minerals coverage of iTSCi tracking program in DR Congo may be

24 Sep 2019

first_imgITRI and the Tantalum-Niobium International Study Center (TIC) have commenced of a feasibility study to determine the practicality of extending the iTSCi Pilot Program to Katanga province, Democratic Republic of the Congo. The current pilot scheme, aimed at tracking ‘onflict minerals’ and providing verifiable provenance information from individual mine sites in eastern DRC, began in June in South Kivu province and is expected to commence in North Kivu shortly. The feasibility study will be conducted by PACT, an international development organisation with head offices in Washington DC, and is being financed by contributions from various TIC member companies.ITRI has been working since early 2009 on a phased approach towards improved due diligence, governance, and traceability of cassiterite from the DRC. The first phase of the iTSCi scheme has been operating since July 2009 and ensures all official export and evaluation documentation is available with mineral shipments for export.last_img read more

first_imgITRI and the Tantalum-Niobium International Study Center (TIC) have commenced of a feasibility study to determine the practicality of extending the iTSCi Pilot Program to Katanga province, Democratic Republic of the Congo. The current pilot scheme, aimed at tracking ‘onflict minerals’ and providing verifiable provenance information from individual mine sites in eastern DRC, began in June in South Kivu province and is expected to commence in North Kivu shortly. The feasibility study will be conducted by PACT, an international development organisation with head offices in Washington DC, and is being financed by contributions from various TIC member companies.ITRI has been working since early 2009 on a phased approach towards improved due diligence, governance, and traceability of cassiterite from the DRC. The first phase of the iTSCi scheme has been operating since July 2009 and ensures all official export and evaluation documentation is available with mineral shipments for export.last_img read more

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False sex abuse allegations against McCabe circulated due to clerical error

21 Sep 2019

first_img Friday 10 Feb 2017, 7:39 AM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article False sex abuse allegations against McCabe circulated due to ‘clerical error’ Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald said revelations that such an error was made were “quite frankly disgusting and vile”. http://jrnl.ie/3232271 IN THE LATEST twist in the whistleblower saga, it was revealed yesterday that the country’s child and family agency Tusla sent gardaí a file that contained false allegations of sexual abuse against Sergeant Maurice McCabe.It has emerged that the allegation of sexual abuse on a young woman was reported to Tusla by a counsellor in 2013. The counsellor nine months later contacted the agency to say she made “an administrative error” – she had accidentally pasted the line into her report.By this stage the complaint had already been passed onto gardaí.The revelation was first reported by the Irish Examiner yesterday and then outlined last night in RTÉ’s Prime Time.In 2015, McCabe received a letter from a child protection worker to tell him he was being investigated for sexual abuse. In June last year, he was told in another letter by this same worker that there was a mistake and no allegation had been made.Fianna Fáil TD Dara Calleary said people across Ireland today will be “struggling to understand how on earth the appalling breach of trust and process outlined” could have happened.“Sergeant Maurice McCabe was failed by the state in the most fundamental and damaging way. It is incredible to see to how such a devastating administrative error with such serious and personal ramifications could be allowed go through the childcare and justice system for so long. It is crucial that this horrendous episode be fully investigated and included in the terms of reference to the Charleton Inquiry.”Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald said last night the revelations that such an error was made were “quite frankly disgusting and vile”.“The Minister for Justice and Equality Frances Fitzgerald must also explain how she could possibly have been unaware of this contact between An Garda Síochana and another state agency, as she claimed in the Dáil in response to a question from me today. How could that possibly have been the case?”In a statement Tusla said it does not comment on individual cases.“This is to protect the privacy and wellbeing of the children and families with whom we work.”When a child protection concern is received by Tusla it is screened and assessed in line with ‘Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children’.Read: Howlin says whistleblower Maurice McCabe ‘expressed gratitude’ for his intervention yesterday>Read: Former garda commissioner’s phone to be examined – but SIM may have been destroyed three years ago> 132 Comments Feb 10th 2017, 7:39 AM 25,000 Views Share144 Tweet Email Image: Laura Hutton Image: Laura Hutton Short URL By Michelle Hennessylast_img read more

first_img Friday 10 Feb 2017, 7:39 AM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article False sex abuse allegations against McCabe circulated due to ‘clerical error’ Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald said revelations that such an error was made were “quite frankly disgusting and vile”. http://jrnl.ie/3232271 IN THE LATEST twist in the whistleblower saga, it was revealed yesterday that the country’s child and family agency Tusla sent gardaí a file that contained false allegations of sexual abuse against Sergeant Maurice McCabe.It has emerged that the allegation of sexual abuse on a young woman was reported to Tusla by a counsellor in 2013. The counsellor nine months later contacted the agency to say she made “an administrative error” – she had accidentally pasted the line into her report.By this stage the complaint had already been passed onto gardaí.The revelation was first reported by the Irish Examiner yesterday and then outlined last night in RTÉ’s Prime Time.In 2015, McCabe received a letter from a child protection worker to tell him he was being investigated for sexual abuse. In June last year, he was told in another letter by this same worker that there was a mistake and no allegation had been made.Fianna Fáil TD Dara Calleary said people across Ireland today will be “struggling to understand how on earth the appalling breach of trust and process outlined” could have happened.“Sergeant Maurice McCabe was failed by the state in the most fundamental and damaging way. It is incredible to see to how such a devastating administrative error with such serious and personal ramifications could be allowed go through the childcare and justice system for so long. It is crucial that this horrendous episode be fully investigated and included in the terms of reference to the Charleton Inquiry.”Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald said last night the revelations that such an error was made were “quite frankly disgusting and vile”.“The Minister for Justice and Equality Frances Fitzgerald must also explain how she could possibly have been unaware of this contact between An Garda Síochana and another state agency, as she claimed in the Dáil in response to a question from me today. How could that possibly have been the case?”In a statement Tusla said it does not comment on individual cases.“This is to protect the privacy and wellbeing of the children and families with whom we work.”When a child protection concern is received by Tusla it is screened and assessed in line with ‘Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children’.Read: Howlin says whistleblower Maurice McCabe ‘expressed gratitude’ for his intervention yesterday>Read: Former garda commissioner’s phone to be examined – but SIM may have been destroyed three years ago> 132 Comments Feb 10th 2017, 7:39 AM 25,000 Views Share144 Tweet Email Image: Laura Hutton Image: Laura Hutton Short URL By Michelle Hennessylast_img read more

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Antipodean Palette poetry reading

21 Sep 2019

first_imgA poetry reading was held last Saturday at Steps Gallery, Lygon Street, as part of the Greek Australian Cultural League’s 2012 Antipodean Palette Art Exhibition. Organised by Dimitris Troaditis, the event included poets such as Iakovos Garivaldis, Pixie Tranga, George Athanasiou and Dina Gerolymou but also heard from the students of Oakleigh Grammar. The aim of the reading was to combine the artistic expression of words with the artwork on display. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img

first_imgA poetry reading was held last Saturday at Steps Gallery, Lygon Street, as part of the Greek Australian Cultural League’s 2012 Antipodean Palette Art Exhibition. Organised by Dimitris Troaditis, the event included poets such as Iakovos Garivaldis, Pixie Tranga, George Athanasiou and Dina Gerolymou but also heard from the students of Oakleigh Grammar. The aim of the reading was to combine the artistic expression of words with the artwork on display. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img

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iPhone 5 livré en septembre

20 Sep 2019

first_imgiPhone 5 : livré en septembre ?Alors que les smartphones Android s’apprêtent à dépasser l’iPhone en matière de parts de marché (voir notre article), Apple pourrait inverser la tendance dès la rentrée grâce au très attendu iPhone 5.Si l’on n’attendait pas l’iPhone 5 avant l’automne prochain, le nouveau bébé de la firme à la pomme pourrait faire plus tôt que prévu son apparition sur le marché. Le nouvel iPhone pourrait être disponible dès le mois de septembre prochain, et plus précisément le 7 septembre annonce l’International Business Times. Une sortie précédée par une conférence de presse donnée la veille, comme le veut la tradition d’Apple, indique le site.À lire aussiNomophobie : traitement, symptômes, qu’est-ce que c’est ?L’iPhone 5 sera équipé du dernier OS mobile de la firme de Cupertino, iOS 5. L’International Business Times affirme que le système d’exploitation, pour l’heure encore en version bêta 1, sera disponible dès le mois de juillet. Une information très surprenante alors qu’Apple a annoncé cette sortie pour l’automne.Le site croit en outre savoir que la production du nouvel iPhone sera lancée à la fin du mois de juillet, ou au plus tard au début du mois d’août. Généralement, Apple réserve le mois de septembre à la sortie de ses nouveaux iPod. Si la firme préfère entamer l’année scolaire avec l’iPhone 5, son nouveau lecteur MP3 attendra probablement la fin de l’année avant d’être dévoilé.Le 21 juin 2011 à 15:04 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

first_imgiPhone 5 : livré en septembre ?Alors que les smartphones Android s’apprêtent à dépasser l’iPhone en matière de parts de marché (voir notre article), Apple pourrait inverser la tendance dès la rentrée grâce au très attendu iPhone 5.Si l’on n’attendait pas l’iPhone 5 avant l’automne prochain, le nouveau bébé de la firme à la pomme pourrait faire plus tôt que prévu son apparition sur le marché. Le nouvel iPhone pourrait être disponible dès le mois de septembre prochain, et plus précisément le 7 septembre annonce l’International Business Times. Une sortie précédée par une conférence de presse donnée la veille, comme le veut la tradition d’Apple, indique le site.À lire aussiNomophobie : traitement, symptômes, qu’est-ce que c’est ?L’iPhone 5 sera équipé du dernier OS mobile de la firme de Cupertino, iOS 5. L’International Business Times affirme que le système d’exploitation, pour l’heure encore en version bêta 1, sera disponible dès le mois de juillet. Une information très surprenante alors qu’Apple a annoncé cette sortie pour l’automne.Le site croit en outre savoir que la production du nouvel iPhone sera lancée à la fin du mois de juillet, ou au plus tard au début du mois d’août. Généralement, Apple réserve le mois de septembre à la sortie de ses nouveaux iPod. Si la firme préfère entamer l’année scolaire avec l’iPhone 5, son nouveau lecteur MP3 attendra probablement la fin de l’année avant d’être dévoilé.Le 21 juin 2011 à 15:04 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

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Motorist crashes truck into Midway District Walgreens bandits flee with ATM

17 Sep 2019

first_imgMotorist crashes truck into Midway District Walgreens, bandits flee with ATM July 9, 2019 Posted: July 9, 2019 SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – A motorist slammed a pickup truck into a Midway District pharmacy Tuesday morning, then a group of bandits in a separate vehicle got out and loaded an ATM into the back of the truck before fleeing, police said.Dispatchers received reports around 3:40 a.m. of a crash at the Walgreens near the intersection of Rosecrans Street and Midway Drive, San Diego police Officer Dino Delimitros said.A motorist driving a silver pickup truck crashed through the front door of the store, then at least four men in a van following behind the truck got out and loaded an ATM — which had been knocked over in the crash — into the back of the truck before the two vehicles fled, Delimitros said.Officers searched the area and found an unoccupied pickup truck, with an ATM in the back, in the 2100 block of Hancock Street, about a mile away, Delimitros said.It was not immediately clear if the bandits were able to get any cash out of the ATM, the officer said.No suspect descriptions were immediately available. KUSI Newsroom, KUSI Newsroom Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

first_imgMotorist crashes truck into Midway District Walgreens, bandits flee with ATM July 9, 2019 Posted: July 9, 2019 SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – A motorist slammed a pickup truck into a Midway District pharmacy Tuesday morning, then a group of bandits in a separate vehicle got out and loaded an ATM into the back of the truck before fleeing, police said.Dispatchers received reports around 3:40 a.m. of a crash at the Walgreens near the intersection of Rosecrans Street and Midway Drive, San Diego police Officer Dino Delimitros said.A motorist driving a silver pickup truck crashed through the front door of the store, then at least four men in a van following behind the truck got out and loaded an ATM — which had been knocked over in the crash — into the back of the truck before the two vehicles fled, Delimitros said.Officers searched the area and found an unoccupied pickup truck, with an ATM in the back, in the 2100 block of Hancock Street, about a mile away, Delimitros said.It was not immediately clear if the bandits were able to get any cash out of the ATM, the officer said.No suspect descriptions were immediately available. KUSI Newsroom, KUSI Newsroom Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

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Officials suspicious person at Blanche Ely High was student never posed a

15 Sep 2019

first_imgPOMPANO BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) – A lockdown at Blanche Ely High School in Pompano Beach has been lifted after deputies discovered that a potentially armed suspicious person on campus turned out to be a student who posed no threat.Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies first responded to the school just before 1:30 p.m., Thursday.According to BSO, an unidentified male walked into a classroom and asked for someone. The teacher thought he looked suspicious, so authorities were called.The person was believed to have been armed. However, BSO noted, a gun was never seen.In the midst of confusion, students cooperated and did as they were told.“It was scary, but I was in a safe place,” said one student.School officials and deputies later said the situation was a big misunderstanding, and the suspicious subject was simply an unarmed student who never posed a threat. During their investigation, a massive deputy presence swarmed the school. Members of the BSO SWAT team even responded and swept the school’s parking lot.Despite the scare, parents said they understood the response by deputies, especially with the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School still fresh on so many minds.“They checked the school three, four times,” said one parent. “They’re going to check it again. Right now, no shots are being fired, but they’re trying to make sure.”Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

first_imgPOMPANO BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) – A lockdown at Blanche Ely High School in Pompano Beach has been lifted after deputies discovered that a potentially armed suspicious person on campus turned out to be a student who posed no threat.Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies first responded to the school just before 1:30 p.m., Thursday.According to BSO, an unidentified male walked into a classroom and asked for someone. The teacher thought he looked suspicious, so authorities were called.The person was believed to have been armed. However, BSO noted, a gun was never seen.In the midst of confusion, students cooperated and did as they were told.“It was scary, but I was in a safe place,” said one student.School officials and deputies later said the situation was a big misunderstanding, and the suspicious subject was simply an unarmed student who never posed a threat. During their investigation, a massive deputy presence swarmed the school. Members of the BSO SWAT team even responded and swept the school’s parking lot.Despite the scare, parents said they understood the response by deputies, especially with the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School still fresh on so many minds.“They checked the school three, four times,” said one parent. “They’re going to check it again. Right now, no shots are being fired, but they’re trying to make sure.”Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

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Man charged with murders of pregnant wife and her father

15 Sep 2019

first_imgFORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) – Police have charged a Broward man with the murders of his pregnant wife and her father.Family members of the deceased, Martine Bernard and her father Roosevelt Bernard, are mourning their loss, Thursday.“My mom, she’s a strong woman, but she needs support,” said family member Roosevelt Bernard Jr.“She lost a friend, a best friend, a lover, a husband and the father of her kids,” said family member Woodolph Bernard.Cassandritz Blanc was back in court Thursday, charged with the murder of 68-year-old Roosevelt Bernard, who went missing last weekend and was found dead near his Hollywood home.Blanc had already appeared before a judge Tuesday where was charged with first-degree murder and abusing a dead body in the death of his wife, who was six months pregnant.Related: Police: Man killed pregnant wife because she ‘disrespected him’Twenty-year-old Martine Bernard’s body was found early Tuesday morning in an alley dumpster behind the home she shared with Blanc. An arrest report stated that Blanc had told investigators he shot his wife in the head because she disrespected him. In the same report, Blanc stated that he shot her father from behind.“He shot behind the back,” Bernard Jr. said, “and he said he couldn’t do it because he couldn’t look my father in the eye. He knew what type of person my father was to him.”In both cases, detectives believe Blanc moved the victim’s bodies to different locations.Martine Bernard’s body was left in a dumpster after he had kept her body in the apartment for over a week.Her father’s body was stuffed in a trash can and left in an empty lot, where a neighbor’s surveillance camera captured part of the crime and helped police solve the case.The video showed that Blanc returned to the scene and set the 68-year-old’s body on fire.“We’re in shock,” Bernard Jr. said, “We’re still trying to fathom how could this happen to us, and why we didn’t see it coming.” Roosevelt Bernard Jr. said their family can’t understand how this happened.“We can’t believe it,” he said. “We couldn’t believe it the first time and now you’re telling me it happened again, it’s like, how?”Blanc was considered part of the family, they said. “He was a good person, in which we thought at first. Our house was opened up to him,” Bernard Jr. said. “He came in, he talked to my parents like, ‘Hey, Mami. Hey, Papi, what’s good? How you doing?’ and everything.”Blanc is being held without bond.The Bernard family is now preparing to bury two loved ones and the unborn baby. If you’d like to help with these unexpected funeral expenses, click here.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

first_imgFORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) – Police have charged a Broward man with the murders of his pregnant wife and her father.Family members of the deceased, Martine Bernard and her father Roosevelt Bernard, are mourning their loss, Thursday.“My mom, she’s a strong woman, but she needs support,” said family member Roosevelt Bernard Jr.“She lost a friend, a best friend, a lover, a husband and the father of her kids,” said family member Woodolph Bernard.Cassandritz Blanc was back in court Thursday, charged with the murder of 68-year-old Roosevelt Bernard, who went missing last weekend and was found dead near his Hollywood home.Blanc had already appeared before a judge Tuesday where was charged with first-degree murder and abusing a dead body in the death of his wife, who was six months pregnant.Related: Police: Man killed pregnant wife because she ‘disrespected him’Twenty-year-old Martine Bernard’s body was found early Tuesday morning in an alley dumpster behind the home she shared with Blanc. An arrest report stated that Blanc had told investigators he shot his wife in the head because she disrespected him. In the same report, Blanc stated that he shot her father from behind.“He shot behind the back,” Bernard Jr. said, “and he said he couldn’t do it because he couldn’t look my father in the eye. He knew what type of person my father was to him.”In both cases, detectives believe Blanc moved the victim’s bodies to different locations.Martine Bernard’s body was left in a dumpster after he had kept her body in the apartment for over a week.Her father’s body was stuffed in a trash can and left in an empty lot, where a neighbor’s surveillance camera captured part of the crime and helped police solve the case.The video showed that Blanc returned to the scene and set the 68-year-old’s body on fire.“We’re in shock,” Bernard Jr. said, “We’re still trying to fathom how could this happen to us, and why we didn’t see it coming.” Roosevelt Bernard Jr. said their family can’t understand how this happened.“We can’t believe it,” he said. “We couldn’t believe it the first time and now you’re telling me it happened again, it’s like, how?”Blanc was considered part of the family, they said. “He was a good person, in which we thought at first. Our house was opened up to him,” Bernard Jr. said. “He came in, he talked to my parents like, ‘Hey, Mami. Hey, Papi, what’s good? How you doing?’ and everything.”Blanc is being held without bond.The Bernard family is now preparing to bury two loved ones and the unborn baby. If you’d like to help with these unexpected funeral expenses, click here.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

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Coral SpringsParkland Fire take on scaffolding rescue training

15 Sep 2019

first_imgCORAL SPRINGS, FLA. (WSVN) – The Coral Springs-Parkland Fire Department showed off their moves during safety training.Firefighters took on a 16-hour course on scaffolding rescue training that covered many technical aspects, Tuesday.Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Capt. Jeremy Rifflard explained why this kind of training is important.“This is the swing stage suspended scaffold rescue program. This is an advanced rope rescue training that the South Florida firefighters are taking,” said Rifflard. “They’re going to learn about how to operate swing stage scaffolding, how to overcome the mechanics when there’s a failure, electrical or mechanical. You got to bring those down to the ground on operation.”The subjects covered included rescuer roles and responsibilities, rope and equipment safety and proper rescue techniques.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

first_imgCORAL SPRINGS, FLA. (WSVN) – The Coral Springs-Parkland Fire Department showed off their moves during safety training.Firefighters took on a 16-hour course on scaffolding rescue training that covered many technical aspects, Tuesday.Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Capt. Jeremy Rifflard explained why this kind of training is important.“This is the swing stage suspended scaffold rescue program. This is an advanced rope rescue training that the South Florida firefighters are taking,” said Rifflard. “They’re going to learn about how to operate swing stage scaffolding, how to overcome the mechanics when there’s a failure, electrical or mechanical. You got to bring those down to the ground on operation.”The subjects covered included rescuer roles and responsibilities, rope and equipment safety and proper rescue techniques.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

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OBITUARY Michael H Mike MacMillan 63

11 Sep 2019

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Michael H. MacMillan, “Mike”, age 63, of Wilmington, passed away unexpectedly on October 19, 2018.Michael was the beloved husband of Robin L. (Dionne) MacMillan, devoted father of Colin MacMillan of Billerica and Korey Brand of Vermont, step-father of Patrick Merchant & wife Valerie of Lynn. Loving “Papa” of Connor, Leighla and Everett. Cherished son of the late Elva (Farnham) Donnelly and Malcolm and Patricia (Gibbs) MacMillan, dear brother of Karen Tanguay & husband John of Billerica, Rick Tanner & wife Julie of Shapleigh, ME, Christine Piche & husband Bruce of Sandown, NH, Joelle Donnelly of Lowell, Joe Donnelly & wife Jamie of Chelmsford, the late Nadine Bannister and Laura Tanner. Michael is also survived by his “special aunty” Carol Callan, several brothers and sisters-in-law as well as many nieces and nephews.Michael proudly served in the United States Air Force from 1973 to 1982.Family and friends will gather for a Funeral Service at the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington on Wednesday, October 24th at 10:30 a.m. Interment with Military Honors will follow in Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington. Visiting Hours will be held at the Funeral Home on Tuesday, October 23rd from 4:00-8:00 p.m.In lieu of flowers, donations in Michael’s memory may be made to Home Base for Veterans, MGH Development Office, 125 Nashua Street, Ste. 540, Boston, MA 02114.(NOTE: The above obituary is from Nichols Funeral Home.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedOBITUARY: Morris “Moe” Anderson, 68In “Obituaries”OBITUARY: Peter C. Carlson, 76In “Obituaries”OBITUARY: William J. “Bill” Wolfe, 75In “Obituaries”last_img read more

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Michael H. MacMillan, “Mike”, age 63, of Wilmington, passed away unexpectedly on October 19, 2018.Michael was the beloved husband of Robin L. (Dionne) MacMillan, devoted father of Colin MacMillan of Billerica and Korey Brand of Vermont, step-father of Patrick Merchant & wife Valerie of Lynn. Loving “Papa” of Connor, Leighla and Everett. Cherished son of the late Elva (Farnham) Donnelly and Malcolm and Patricia (Gibbs) MacMillan, dear brother of Karen Tanguay & husband John of Billerica, Rick Tanner & wife Julie of Shapleigh, ME, Christine Piche & husband Bruce of Sandown, NH, Joelle Donnelly of Lowell, Joe Donnelly & wife Jamie of Chelmsford, the late Nadine Bannister and Laura Tanner. Michael is also survived by his “special aunty” Carol Callan, several brothers and sisters-in-law as well as many nieces and nephews.Michael proudly served in the United States Air Force from 1973 to 1982.Family and friends will gather for a Funeral Service at the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington on Wednesday, October 24th at 10:30 a.m. Interment with Military Honors will follow in Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington. Visiting Hours will be held at the Funeral Home on Tuesday, October 23rd from 4:00-8:00 p.m.In lieu of flowers, donations in Michael’s memory may be made to Home Base for Veterans, MGH Development Office, 125 Nashua Street, Ste. 540, Boston, MA 02114.(NOTE: The above obituary is from Nichols Funeral Home.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedOBITUARY: Morris “Moe” Anderson, 68In “Obituaries”OBITUARY: Peter C. Carlson, 76In “Obituaries”OBITUARY: William J. “Bill” Wolfe, 75In “Obituaries”last_img read more

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WATCH Bengaluru man used ambulance to ferry passengers drivers license suspended

05 Sep 2019

first_imgThe News Minute reports that the ambulance was hired by a real estate company in the city to help with the commute of the employees of the company. Close Ambulance used to ferry passengers in Bengaluru An ambulance driver in Bengaluru was fined by the police for using his vehicle as a taxi to ferry business professionals to work. The incident came to light when a commuter gave way to the ambulance and noticed that the back was packed with people in formal wear. He then took photos of the vehicle and posted it on social media, grabbing the attention of the law enforcement authorities in the city. Facebook/Rana PatelThe incident took place in Agrahara Layout in Yelahanka. According to TNM, the Bengaluru Traffic Police commented on Rana’s post saying, “We are already creating awareness & also booking more… cases regularly against such violators and will strictly enforce it in the future. [We] have informed the sector traffic officer to check and take necessary action (sic).”The vehicle registration number helped the traffic police trace the ambulance back to the owner and the driver. The driver was charged Rs 600 and his driving license was suspended. IBTimes VideoRelated VideosMore videos Play VideoPauseMute0:04/0:21Loaded: 0%0:05Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE-0:17?Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window. COPY LINKAD Loading … Unfortunately, this is not the first time an ambulance was misused in Bengaluru. In March 2017, an ambulance driver was booked for using the siren while transporting the corpse of a person. This is seen as illegal.”This is not very unusual. The police have started doing drives against ambulance drivers due to rising incidents. We get complaints of them being misused. We have seen them used to ferry school children early in the morning,” MA Saleem, an IPS officer told TNM.”During drives, it has also been found that sometimes ambulance drivers are drunk. But otherwise, we cannot take criminal action against them. We cancel their licenses as per the Motor Vehicle Act,” he explained.last_img read more

first_imgThe News Minute reports that the ambulance was hired by a real estate company in the city to help with the commute of the employees of the company. Close Ambulance used to ferry passengers in Bengaluru An ambulance driver in Bengaluru was fined by the police for using his vehicle as a taxi to ferry business professionals to work. The incident came to light when a commuter gave way to the ambulance and noticed that the back was packed with people in formal wear. He then took photos of the vehicle and posted it on social media, grabbing the attention of the law enforcement authorities in the city. Facebook/Rana PatelThe incident took place in Agrahara Layout in Yelahanka. According to TNM, the Bengaluru Traffic Police commented on Rana’s post saying, “We are already creating awareness & also booking more… cases regularly against such violators and will strictly enforce it in the future. [We] have informed the sector traffic officer to check and take necessary action (sic).”The vehicle registration number helped the traffic police trace the ambulance back to the owner and the driver. The driver was charged Rs 600 and his driving license was suspended. IBTimes VideoRelated VideosMore videos Play VideoPauseMute0:04/0:21Loaded: 0%0:05Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE-0:17?Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window. COPY LINKAD Loading … Unfortunately, this is not the first time an ambulance was misused in Bengaluru. In March 2017, an ambulance driver was booked for using the siren while transporting the corpse of a person. This is seen as illegal.”This is not very unusual. The police have started doing drives against ambulance drivers due to rising incidents. We get complaints of them being misused. We have seen them used to ferry school children early in the morning,” MA Saleem, an IPS officer told TNM.”During drives, it has also been found that sometimes ambulance drivers are drunk. But otherwise, we cannot take criminal action against them. We cancel their licenses as per the Motor Vehicle Act,” he explained.last_img read more

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GMR Group in talks to sell energy assets in Chhattisgarh

05 Sep 2019

first_imgFour months after selling its transmission projects to Adani Group, Bengaluru-based GMR Group is reportedly in talks to sell “significant” stake in its energy assets in Chhattisgarh. Potential buyers in discussions are Singapore’s Sembcorp Industries and US-based Lone Star Funds and the enterprise value could be worth Rs 12,500 crore, reports Dealstreetasia.com, citing sources familiar with the development. If the talks fructify, it will be the Group’s seventh divestment in the past 27 months.GMR Chhattisgarh Energy Limited operates a 1,370 MW coal-based power plant located in Raikheda, Tilda block, in Raipur, and is operational since June last year. The company is a fully-owned subsidiary of GMR Energy Ltd and has a debt of Rs 8,290 crore on its books.”While SembCorp has been in talks with GMR for a while now, the discussion with Lone Star Funds is a new development and is exploratory in nature,” Dealstreetasia quoted one of the sources, a senior GMR Group executive. The website added the stake sale would be at an enterprise value of Rs 12,500 crore, quoting the sources.In July,  GMR Energy Limited (GEL), a subsidiary of GMR Infrastructure Limited (GIL), entered into definitive agreements with Adani Transmission Limited (ATL) to sell GEL’s stake in transmission projects — Maru Transmission Services Limited (MTSL) and Aravali Transmission Services Limited (ATSL) — to ATL for a total consideration of Rs 220 crore. Two months prior to the deal, GMR Group sold 30 percent stake in select assets of GEL to Malaysia’s Tenaga Nasional Berhad for $300 million. “Tenaga’s experience would further facilitate GEL in improving the performance of its operational assets and develop it’s under development pipeline of hydro & renewable energy assets,” it said in a statement while announcing the stake sale.GMR Group operates three airports in New Delhi and Hyderabad in India and Mactan (Mactan Cebu International Airport) in the Philippines.Over the past two years, the Group  has sold stakes in six projects for $5,832 million and reduced debt worth $1.1 billion. At Group level, its net debt stood at Rs 40,120 crore as of March 31, 2016.GMR Infrastructure shares were trading at Rs 12.75 apiece at around 3.18 pm on Wednesday on the Bombay Stock Exchange.last_img read more

first_imgFour months after selling its transmission projects to Adani Group, Bengaluru-based GMR Group is reportedly in talks to sell “significant” stake in its energy assets in Chhattisgarh. Potential buyers in discussions are Singapore’s Sembcorp Industries and US-based Lone Star Funds and the enterprise value could be worth Rs 12,500 crore, reports Dealstreetasia.com, citing sources familiar with the development. If the talks fructify, it will be the Group’s seventh divestment in the past 27 months.GMR Chhattisgarh Energy Limited operates a 1,370 MW coal-based power plant located in Raikheda, Tilda block, in Raipur, and is operational since June last year. The company is a fully-owned subsidiary of GMR Energy Ltd and has a debt of Rs 8,290 crore on its books.”While SembCorp has been in talks with GMR for a while now, the discussion with Lone Star Funds is a new development and is exploratory in nature,” Dealstreetasia quoted one of the sources, a senior GMR Group executive. The website added the stake sale would be at an enterprise value of Rs 12,500 crore, quoting the sources.In July,  GMR Energy Limited (GEL), a subsidiary of GMR Infrastructure Limited (GIL), entered into definitive agreements with Adani Transmission Limited (ATL) to sell GEL’s stake in transmission projects — Maru Transmission Services Limited (MTSL) and Aravali Transmission Services Limited (ATSL) — to ATL for a total consideration of Rs 220 crore. Two months prior to the deal, GMR Group sold 30 percent stake in select assets of GEL to Malaysia’s Tenaga Nasional Berhad for $300 million. “Tenaga’s experience would further facilitate GEL in improving the performance of its operational assets and develop it’s under development pipeline of hydro & renewable energy assets,” it said in a statement while announcing the stake sale.GMR Group operates three airports in New Delhi and Hyderabad in India and Mactan (Mactan Cebu International Airport) in the Philippines.Over the past two years, the Group  has sold stakes in six projects for $5,832 million and reduced debt worth $1.1 billion. At Group level, its net debt stood at Rs 40,120 crore as of March 31, 2016.GMR Infrastructure shares were trading at Rs 12.75 apiece at around 3.18 pm on Wednesday on the Bombay Stock Exchange.last_img read more

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Is SBI not telling you something about its bad loans

05 Sep 2019

first_imgA security personnel stands guard in front of the gate of the State Bank of India (SBI) regional office in Kolkata May 23, 2014. SBI, the nation’s top lender, reported its fifth consecutive quarter of declining profit as slower loan growth and a rise in bad loans take a toll on Indian lenders. REUTERS/Rupak de ChowdhuriWhile most Indian banks are battling a high amount of bad loans, the problem with State Bank of India is rather much complex.The country’s biggest lender by assets on Friday said an audit by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) showed bad loans was about Rs 23,239 crore ($3.6 billion) higher than what the state-run lender reported for the end of March 2017.The rise in bad loans was because of a RBI review, which revealed a divergence in reporting of gross NPAs based on fiscal 2017 results.It’s difficult to understand as to how SBI failed to notice such a huge divergence prior to the central bank review. The admissions is particularly worrying because the lender is often seen as a proxy for the nation’s economy.The bad loans stress was not just restricted to the SBI as the biggest private lender HDFC Bank had a Rs 20.5 billion divergence.Fitch Ratings estimates Indian banks will need $65 billion of additional capital by March 2019 to meet Basel III global banking rules. Moody’s expects the top 11 state lenders alone will need nearly $15 billion, according to a Reuters report.SBI on Friday reported a net loss of Rs2,416 crore for the fiscal third quarter after making a loan loss provision of Rs17,760 crore, as compared with Rs9,662 crore a year ago.Provision coverage ratio improved to 65.92 percent at the end of December, from 58.96 percent a year ago.last_img read more

first_imgA security personnel stands guard in front of the gate of the State Bank of India (SBI) regional office in Kolkata May 23, 2014. SBI, the nation’s top lender, reported its fifth consecutive quarter of declining profit as slower loan growth and a rise in bad loans take a toll on Indian lenders. REUTERS/Rupak de ChowdhuriWhile most Indian banks are battling a high amount of bad loans, the problem with State Bank of India is rather much complex.The country’s biggest lender by assets on Friday said an audit by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) showed bad loans was about Rs 23,239 crore ($3.6 billion) higher than what the state-run lender reported for the end of March 2017.The rise in bad loans was because of a RBI review, which revealed a divergence in reporting of gross NPAs based on fiscal 2017 results.It’s difficult to understand as to how SBI failed to notice such a huge divergence prior to the central bank review. The admissions is particularly worrying because the lender is often seen as a proxy for the nation’s economy.The bad loans stress was not just restricted to the SBI as the biggest private lender HDFC Bank had a Rs 20.5 billion divergence.Fitch Ratings estimates Indian banks will need $65 billion of additional capital by March 2019 to meet Basel III global banking rules. Moody’s expects the top 11 state lenders alone will need nearly $15 billion, according to a Reuters report.SBI on Friday reported a net loss of Rs2,416 crore for the fiscal third quarter after making a loan loss provision of Rs17,760 crore, as compared with Rs9,662 crore a year ago.Provision coverage ratio improved to 65.92 percent at the end of December, from 58.96 percent a year ago.last_img read more

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Biman aircraft makes emergency landing

03 Sep 2019

first_imgBiman carrierA Biman Bangladesh Airlines aircraft made an emergency landing at Shah Amanat International Airport in the port city on Tuesday following a technical glitch.The Kolkata-bound flight of the national flag carrier took off from the airport at 12:30pm.It came back and landed at the airport around 12:50pm as soon as it received ‘technical glitch signal’, said wing commander Sarwar-e-Zahan, manager of Shah Amanat International Airport.However, the 191 Dash-8 Biman flight will fly for Kolkata in the evening, he added.Earlier on 29 March, a Saidpur-bound flight of the national flag carrier made an ’emergency landing’ at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport following a technical glitch.last_img

first_imgBiman carrierA Biman Bangladesh Airlines aircraft made an emergency landing at Shah Amanat International Airport in the port city on Tuesday following a technical glitch.The Kolkata-bound flight of the national flag carrier took off from the airport at 12:30pm.It came back and landed at the airport around 12:50pm as soon as it received ‘technical glitch signal’, said wing commander Sarwar-e-Zahan, manager of Shah Amanat International Airport.However, the 191 Dash-8 Biman flight will fly for Kolkata in the evening, he added.Earlier on 29 March, a Saidpur-bound flight of the national flag carrier made an ’emergency landing’ at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport following a technical glitch.last_img

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Houston School District Earns B Grade From State But Not Enough Improvement

02 Sep 2019

first_img Share – / 2The Houston Independent School District moved closer to a state takeover of its elected board, following the release of school ratings Thursday. One long struggling high school failed to pass for the seventh time in a row, even as other low-performing campuses improved and the district as a whole earned a high ‘B’ from the state.The release of school ratings from the Texas Education Agency routinely carries high stakes — but especially so this year in Houston.A state law known as House Bill 1842 triggers a state takeover or school closures if a campus fails state standards for five years or more. The threat has loomed over Houston, the state’s largest school district, for two years. This past school year, HISD had four schools on the must-improve list: Highland Heights Elementary, Henry Middle School and Kashmere and Wheatley high schools.One of them, Kashmere High, earned a C this year. It marks the first passing grade for the historically black school in a decade and breaks its record as the longest-running school on the state’s failing list. A celebration of the passing grade — under the moniker #KashmereOut2019 — drew a packed crowd of state lawmakers, school board members, community members, teachers and students to Kashmere’s campus Thursday.“It’s been a long time coming, but a change has come to HISD. And a change has come to Kashmere High School,” declared HISD’s Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan. “It is not how you start the race — it’s how you finish the race.”Yet the increasing likelihood of a state takeover dampened the mood for others in HISD.That’s because three other long-struggling schools in Houston fared worse: Highland Heights Elementary earned a D, Henry Middle a D, and Wheatley High made an F for the 2018-19 school year, its seventh failing grade in a row. A D grade still puts a school at risk of sanctions if it doesn’t continue to improve.Overall, Houston ISD earned a B grade for its 280 schools.More context on how @HoustonISD performed -> Of 271 #HISD schools rated:21%got an A29%got a B32%got a C11%got a D8%got an F— Laura Isensee (@lauraisensee) August 15, 2019Many at Kashmere’s celebration applauded the principal, Reginald Bush, for his leadership and drive. He previously led Kashmere Gardens Elementary’s turnaround.“This is not a testing facility. This is not where we prepare kids to go and meet some low expectations that the state may have. But this is a facility where we prepare young people for life,” Bush said.Full house @KashmereHigh to celebrate the school’s first passing grade in a decade. Stay tuned for comments from @HISDSupe and @SylvesterTurner pic.twitter.com/U9Fii5oRPj— Laura Isensee (@lauraisensee) August 15, 2019Lathan blamed Wheatley’s failing score on a technicality, comparing state rules to technical baseball rules. But she told reporters that she doesn’t plan to appeal the rating, saying they stand by Wheatley and pledging to pass next year.“At this point, we don’t see we have any extenuating circumstances where we would need to appeal. However, we will still go back and look at it,” Lathan said.The likelihood of a state takeoverThe new grades give Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath another factor to consider as he weighs the possibility of removing the HISD nine-member board of trustees and installing an outside board of managers instead.Morath visited Greater Houston as part of a statewide tour to promote the state’s new A-F grades for all schools. However, after praising the Aldine Independent School District for its progress, Morath hustled out of an elementary school library with Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and refused to answer any questions from reporters.Chris Paul/Houston Public MediaTexas Education Commissioner Mike Morath visited Stephens Elementary School and praised the Aldine Independent School District for its progress.Other key Republican lawmakers at the event said that they believe a state takeover is “inevitable.”“I said in October 2018 that I thought a board of governors was inevitable due to what I was seeing with the behavior of the board. And, unfortunately, that has just continued to stay bad to worse,” said Sen. Paul Bettencourt, who chairs the education committe in the Texas Senate.“The fact that now that there is another ‘Improvement Required’ school that has failed tells me this is the time; I believe it’s going to happen in the fall.”Already, state investigators have recommended the Commissioner take over the district after they finished their preliminary special investigation into multiple allegations against the Houston board. Investigators found that board members allegedly met privately and broke the Texas Open Meetings Act; exceeded their governance authority; and violated rules on vendor contracts. They recommended installing outside managers, appointing a conservator and downgrading Houston’s accreditation.State Rep. Dan Huberty, R-Humble, said that any state takeover wouldn’t happen immediately because there is a process to follow. The next step for investigators is to weigh HISD’s response to its scathing report.However, Huberty criticized HISD board members for not taking advantage of extra money and options available to them, such as partnering with outside charter groups or nonprofits.“That’s what’s frustrating for us — We have the tools, resources and we’ll give them the money. All you got to do is tell us how you’re going to get there. And they’re not even willing to do that. So for me,  we’ve given them every opportunity to be successful and they continue to choose not to,” said Huberty, who chairs the public education committee in the Texas House.Still, some community members maintain a takeover isn’t a sure thing. Ruth Kravetz, with the advocacy group Community Voices for Public Education, said that HISD residents have the right to vote out board members if they don’t like the job they’re doing — instead of losing local control to outside managers.“I do not believe it’s a foregone conclusion and I would quote [Texas Education Agency’s special advisor to the commissioner] AJ Crabill in his public meetings and private comments: an appointed board while possible is not inevitable. And there is a lot of due process left to go through,” she said. “People said it was inevitable last year. And yet here we are in this.”A new grading systemThis year marks the first time the Texas Education Agency is issuing A to F letter grades to all public and charter schools. Last year, it phased in the new report cards for districts.It’s fueled a years-long debate over the best way to grade Texas schools. Proponents of the new system say the A-F report cards give parents more information about how their children’s school or district is doing, compared to the state’s previous pass/fail system.Critics, including many Texas school superintendents and educators, believe that the letter grade is oversimplified and shames lower-performing schools without taking into account other factors, like poverty, that can affect children’s learning.Still, Morath pointed to a school in Aldine, Stephens Elementary, which shot up from a would-be D rating last year to an A, as proof that it works. He called the reports cards the “fairest” rating system yet in Texas.Parents and teachers can check out their school or district’s grade at www.txschools.org.last_img read more

first_img Share – / 2The Houston Independent School District moved closer to a state takeover of its elected board, following the release of school ratings Thursday. One long struggling high school failed to pass for the seventh time in a row, even as other low-performing campuses improved and the district as a whole earned a high ‘B’ from the state.The release of school ratings from the Texas Education Agency routinely carries high stakes — but especially so this year in Houston.A state law known as House Bill 1842 triggers a state takeover or school closures if a campus fails state standards for five years or more. The threat has loomed over Houston, the state’s largest school district, for two years. This past school year, HISD had four schools on the must-improve list: Highland Heights Elementary, Henry Middle School and Kashmere and Wheatley high schools.One of them, Kashmere High, earned a C this year. It marks the first passing grade for the historically black school in a decade and breaks its record as the longest-running school on the state’s failing list. A celebration of the passing grade — under the moniker #KashmereOut2019 — drew a packed crowd of state lawmakers, school board members, community members, teachers and students to Kashmere’s campus Thursday.“It’s been a long time coming, but a change has come to HISD. And a change has come to Kashmere High School,” declared HISD’s Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan. “It is not how you start the race — it’s how you finish the race.”Yet the increasing likelihood of a state takeover dampened the mood for others in HISD.That’s because three other long-struggling schools in Houston fared worse: Highland Heights Elementary earned a D, Henry Middle a D, and Wheatley High made an F for the 2018-19 school year, its seventh failing grade in a row. A D grade still puts a school at risk of sanctions if it doesn’t continue to improve.Overall, Houston ISD earned a B grade for its 280 schools.More context on how @HoustonISD performed -> Of 271 #HISD schools rated:21%got an A29%got a B32%got a C11%got a D8%got an F— Laura Isensee (@lauraisensee) August 15, 2019Many at Kashmere’s celebration applauded the principal, Reginald Bush, for his leadership and drive. He previously led Kashmere Gardens Elementary’s turnaround.“This is not a testing facility. This is not where we prepare kids to go and meet some low expectations that the state may have. But this is a facility where we prepare young people for life,” Bush said.Full house @KashmereHigh to celebrate the school’s first passing grade in a decade. Stay tuned for comments from @HISDSupe and @SylvesterTurner pic.twitter.com/U9Fii5oRPj— Laura Isensee (@lauraisensee) August 15, 2019Lathan blamed Wheatley’s failing score on a technicality, comparing state rules to technical baseball rules. But she told reporters that she doesn’t plan to appeal the rating, saying they stand by Wheatley and pledging to pass next year.“At this point, we don’t see we have any extenuating circumstances where we would need to appeal. However, we will still go back and look at it,” Lathan said.The likelihood of a state takeoverThe new grades give Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath another factor to consider as he weighs the possibility of removing the HISD nine-member board of trustees and installing an outside board of managers instead.Morath visited Greater Houston as part of a statewide tour to promote the state’s new A-F grades for all schools. However, after praising the Aldine Independent School District for its progress, Morath hustled out of an elementary school library with Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and refused to answer any questions from reporters.Chris Paul/Houston Public MediaTexas Education Commissioner Mike Morath visited Stephens Elementary School and praised the Aldine Independent School District for its progress.Other key Republican lawmakers at the event said that they believe a state takeover is “inevitable.”“I said in October 2018 that I thought a board of governors was inevitable due to what I was seeing with the behavior of the board. And, unfortunately, that has just continued to stay bad to worse,” said Sen. Paul Bettencourt, who chairs the education committe in the Texas Senate.“The fact that now that there is another ‘Improvement Required’ school that has failed tells me this is the time; I believe it’s going to happen in the fall.”Already, state investigators have recommended the Commissioner take over the district after they finished their preliminary special investigation into multiple allegations against the Houston board. Investigators found that board members allegedly met privately and broke the Texas Open Meetings Act; exceeded their governance authority; and violated rules on vendor contracts. They recommended installing outside managers, appointing a conservator and downgrading Houston’s accreditation.State Rep. Dan Huberty, R-Humble, said that any state takeover wouldn’t happen immediately because there is a process to follow. The next step for investigators is to weigh HISD’s response to its scathing report.However, Huberty criticized HISD board members for not taking advantage of extra money and options available to them, such as partnering with outside charter groups or nonprofits.“That’s what’s frustrating for us — We have the tools, resources and we’ll give them the money. All you got to do is tell us how you’re going to get there. And they’re not even willing to do that. So for me,  we’ve given them every opportunity to be successful and they continue to choose not to,” said Huberty, who chairs the public education committee in the Texas House.Still, some community members maintain a takeover isn’t a sure thing. Ruth Kravetz, with the advocacy group Community Voices for Public Education, said that HISD residents have the right to vote out board members if they don’t like the job they’re doing — instead of losing local control to outside managers.“I do not believe it’s a foregone conclusion and I would quote [Texas Education Agency’s special advisor to the commissioner] AJ Crabill in his public meetings and private comments: an appointed board while possible is not inevitable. And there is a lot of due process left to go through,” she said. “People said it was inevitable last year. And yet here we are in this.”A new grading systemThis year marks the first time the Texas Education Agency is issuing A to F letter grades to all public and charter schools. Last year, it phased in the new report cards for districts.It’s fueled a years-long debate over the best way to grade Texas schools. Proponents of the new system say the A-F report cards give parents more information about how their children’s school or district is doing, compared to the state’s previous pass/fail system.Critics, including many Texas school superintendents and educators, believe that the letter grade is oversimplified and shames lower-performing schools without taking into account other factors, like poverty, that can affect children’s learning.Still, Morath pointed to a school in Aldine, Stephens Elementary, which shot up from a would-be D rating last year to an A, as proof that it works. He called the reports cards the “fairest” rating system yet in Texas.Parents and teachers can check out their school or district’s grade at www.txschools.org.last_img read more

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