Odisha CM urges PM to halt Polavaram project construction

December 3, 2019 0 Comments

first_imgOdisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to cancel an order given the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change for Polavaram project in July this year and stop construction of the project until all the pending issues are resolved.‘Injury to Odisha interest’“If the project is allowed to be completed before the resolution of all the pending issues, it will cause permanent injury to the interest of the State of Odisha and its people,” Mr. Patnaik wrote in a two-page letter sent to Mr. Modi on Wednesday.“I am constrained to write this letter to draw your personal attention and intervention on the magnitude of the consequences that the people of Odisha will have to face viz. the submergence of tribal villages resulting in mass displacement of tribals, the flooding of fertile agricultural lands and submergence of large forest area, all of which can be avoided if only an opportunity is given for a final resolution of the disputes pending before the Supreme Court,” Mr. Patnaik said in his letter.The Chief Minister has suggested that the Polavaram project in Andhra Pradesh can be reformulated as per Godavari Water Dispute Tribunal, without causing large-scale submergence in the States of Odisha, Telangana and Chhattisgarh.Mentioning that public hearing in Odisha has not been carried out till date, Mr. Patnaik said that a detailed study of design, flood and the studies related to backwater extent during floods will allow to make an assessment about the exact submergence in Odisha.In his letter, Mr. Patnaik also mentioned that he has written three letters to the Prime Minister on the issue in the past — September 16, 2015, November 28, 2017, and July 12, 2018.last_img read more

Patkura Assembly poll on July 20

December 1, 2019 0 Comments

first_imgElection to the Patkura Assembly seat in Odisha, which was postponed twice, will be held on July 20, the Election Commission of India announced on Thursday.The counting of votes will be held on July 24. The model code of conduct has come into force with immediate effect in Kendrapara district since Patkura comes under it.The election to the Patkura Assembly seat was first scheduled to be held in the fourth phase of the recently concluded general election on April 29. It was, however, adjourned due to the death of the Biju Janata Dal nominee Bed Prakash Agarwalla on April 20.Subsequently, the ECI called upon the BJD on April 24 to nominate another candidate and fixed May 19 as the next date of polling. The BJD fielded Agarwalla’s wife Sabitri Agarwalla as its nominee.But after Cyclone Fani hit the State on May 3, the Chief Electoral Officer, Odisha, proposed to postpone the poll schedule, and the ECI extended the completion of the election in Patkura by 60 days.The ECI said on Thursday that EVMs and VVPATs will be used in all the polling stations in Patkura. Adequate numbers of EVMs and VVPTs have been made available and all steps have been taken to ensure that the poll is conducted smoothly.last_img read more

FIFA WC: Stars who missed Brazil are having fun else where

November 27, 2019 0 Comments

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PH Blu Girls suffer shock loss to China in Olympic qualifiers

November 22, 2019 0 Comments

first_imgThe Blu Girls, who opened the Tokyo Olympic qualifiers with a 10-1 win over Korea on Tuesday, can solidify their bid for the Super Round if they beat New Zealand on Thursday.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next P11-B loan for SEA Games hosting not an issue — Cayetano Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. UAAP women’s basketball: UST nips UE, FEU escapes UP Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:11Makabayan bloc defends protesting workers, tells Año to ‘shut up’03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games01:38‘Bato’ to be ‘most effective’ CHR head? It’s for public to decide – Gascon02:07Aquino to Filipinos: Stand up vs abuses before you suffer De Lima’s ordeal01:28Ex-President Noynoy Aquino admits contracting pneumonia00:45Aquino agrees with Drilon on SEA games ‘kaldero’ spending issue Ethel Booba on SEA Games cauldron: ‘Sulit kung corrupt ang panggatong’ Canadian vaping study details danger from ‘popcorn lung’ chemical Duterte calls himself, Go, Cayetano ‘the brightest stars’ in PH politics This jewelry designer is also an architect DTI creates Marahuyo, a luxe Filipino fashion brand for global buyers LATEST STORIES WBSC PHOTOThe Philippine women’s softball team’s quest for an Olympic spot hit a roadblock after losing to China, 8-3, in the WBSC Softball/Asia Oceania Qualifier at Shanghai Chongming Sports Training Center.The Philippines were off to the races early, taking a 3-run lead in the first inning of the Group B match, but Lu Ying hit a Grand Slam in the top of the sixth to put China ahead, 7-3, and deflate the Philippines’ spirits.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ View comments Matteo Guidicelli had saved up for Sarah G’s ring since 2014? Philippine coach Venerando Dizer  fizzled out in the end after fatigue to pitcher Ezra Jalandoni crept in and the pressure of the game became too much for the Blu Girls.“The game was definitely for our taking, but in the end we have to blame ourselves for this defeat. It was close yet so far,” said Dizer. “We have an uphill task but we intend to make the Super rounds and see what happens.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGreatest ever?SPORTSBecoming his own manSPORTSFormer PBA import Anthony Grundy passes away at 40The Philippines are tied with New Zealand in the second place of Group A at 1-1 while China is at the helm at 2-0.China did a repeat performance of its 8-3 win over New Zealand in its previous game when it also trailed by three runs in the second inning. Becoming his own manlast_img read more

Rajasthan: Gehlot keeps home, finance portfolios, gives Pilot public works, rural development

November 16, 2019 0 Comments

first_imgRajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh allocated portfolios to the council of ministers late on Wednesday night with the advice of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot who has kept nine departments including the key finance and home with him.Gehlot also has excise, planning, department of personnel, general administration department, information technology among others.Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot was allocated the portfolios of Public works, Rural development, Panchayti Raj, Science and Technology and statistics, according to the orders issued by cabinet secretariat here.Apart from the chief minister and deputy chief minister, 13 cabinet and 10 ministers of state were allocated portfolios.The cabinet expansion took place on Monday when 13 cabinet and 10 ministers of state took oath.The move came after Gehlot and Pilot held meetings with Congress president Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi on Wednesday. The all-important distribution of portfolios had been pending over reported disagreement between Gehlot and his deputy on the allocation of key portfolios such as home and finance.BD Kalla has been given energy, public health engineering, ground water, art, culture and archeology departments, while Shanti Dhariwal received urban development and housing, law and parliamentary affairs minister.Parsadi Lal was named industry minister whereas Master Bhanwar Lal Meghwal is the social justice and empowerment minister.Agriculture, animal husbandry and fisheries departments are with Lal Chand Kataria while medical and health, information and public relations departments are with Raghu Sharma. Pramod Bhaya is mines minister.Vishvendra Singh got tourism and devsthan department.Harish Chaudhary was allocated revenue and Ramesh Chand Meena given food and civil supply. Anjana Udailal was made cooperative minister and was also given Indira Gandhi canal project department, Pratap Singh given transport and soldier welfare departments while Shale Mohammad given the portfolio of minority affairs and waqf.advertisementPortfolios among the ministers of state were also allocated with Govind Singh Dotasara being made MoS education (independent charge), and was also given tourism and devsthan.Mamta Bhupesh was given women and child development department (independent charge) along with minority affairs and waqf.Arjun Singh Bamnia was given tribal area development department (independent charge) as well as industry and pubic enterprises departments.Bhanwar Singh Bhati was allocated higher education (independent charge) and revenue while Sukhram Bishnoi got forest (independent charge), environment (independent charge), food and civil supply and consumer affairs.Ashok Chandna got youth affairs and sports (independent charge), skill development (independent charge), transport and soldier welfare, Tikaram Jully got labour (independent charge), industries and boilers inspection (independent charge), cooperatives and Indira Gandhi canal project department.Bhajan Lal Jatav has civil defence (independent charge), agriculture, animal husbandry and fisheries, Rajendra Singh Yadav was allocated state motor garage (independent charge), language department, social justice and empowerment, calamity management and relief departments while Subhash Garg (RLD) was allocated technical education (independent charge), Sanskrit education (independent charge), medical and health, information and public relations department.ALSO READ | 17 of 23 members in Gehlot’s Cabinet first-time ministersALSO READ | Ashok Gehlot’s ministers take oath, lady luck smiles on 22 Congress MLAs, 1 from RLDALSO WATCH | Rahul’s blockbuster reply on farm loan waiverslast_img read more

Watch: Shikhar Dhawan plays flute, mesmerises fans with music

October 25, 2019 0 Comments

first_img India Today Web Desk New DelhiSeptember 3, 2019UPDATED: September 3, 2019 14:06 IST Fans were appreciative of Shikhar Dhawan’s effort with the flute (Photo credit: shikhardofficial Instagram)HIGHLIGHTSShikhar Dhawan posted a video of him playing the fluteDhawan said he has been learning flute for the last 4 yearsDhawan will be next seen in action in India’s T20I series vs South Africa at homeShikhar Dhawan took his fans by surprise on Tuesday when he posted a video of himself playing flute while facing a scenic sea shore.Shikhar Dhawan, in an Instagram video that has gone viral, can be seen passionately playing the flute. The India opener has certainly showcased he is not just good at smashing the leather ball across the cricket fields but also at playing the woodwind instrument.”A fresh start.. Trees, the wind, the ocean & some music = bliss,” Shikhar Dhawan wrote as caption for the video.A section of fans were genuinely surprised to see the thigh-patting India cricketer flaunt his mastery over flute.Fans were appreciative of Shikhar Dhawan’s effort with the flute.Notably, Shikhar Dhawan has been learning to play the flute over the last 4 years. The India opener took to social media in 2018 and revealed he has been learning his “favourite instrument” under Guru Venugopal.Hi guys. Wanted to share something that’s very dear to my heart n is different side to me. For last 3 yrs I’ve been learning the flute (my fav instrument). I’ve had the privilege of taking lessons with my Guru Venugopal Ji. I still have a long way to go but I’m glad I’ve started. pic.twitter.com/eh6HTDobxIShikhar Dhawan (@SDhawan25) June 5, 2018″Hi guys. Wanted to share something that’s very dear to my heart n is different side to me. For last 3 yrs I’ve been learning the flute (my fav instrument). I’ve had the privilege of taking lessons with my Guru Venugopal Ji. I still have a long way to go but I’m glad I’ve started (sic),” Dhawan had said last year.advertisementShikhar Dhawan missed the Test series action in West Indies as the India opener is no longer in contention for selection in the longest format of the game.Dhawan’s form with the bat in the limited-overs series against West Indies was far from impressive as 65 runs in 5 innings.Dhawan was in fine form in World Cup 2019 as his hundred helped India script a big win over Australia in the league phase. However, the Delhi batsman was ruled out for the remainder of the tournament with a thumb injury.Dhawan will be next seen in action in the T20I series against South Africa, starting September 15 at home.Also Read | Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami make India pace unit peerless in Test cricketAlso Read | India vs West Indies: Can feel for batsmen who face Jasprit Bumrah, says Virat KohliAlso See:For sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byAkshay Ramesh Tags :Follow Shikhar DhawanFollow India cricket teamFollow India VS West IndiesFollow World Cup 2019Follow India vs South Africa Next Watch: Shikhar Dhawan plays flute, mesmerises fans with musicIndia opener Shikhar Dhawan has been learning to play the flute for the last 4 years. On Tuesday, he took to social media to post a video of himself trying his hand at the woodwind instrument. advertisementlast_img read more

Badshah creates world record with new song

October 20, 2019 0 Comments

first_imgMumbai: Indian rap star Badshah has broken a world record with with his new number, ‘Paagal’, dethroning the popular South Korean band BTS, by crossing 75 million-plus views in 24 hours. Within minutes of its release, the song – an all-out rhythmic pop banger – became a viral sensation. “I am ecstatic and I am overwhelmed with the amount of love we have received in the last 24 hours,” Badshah said. “‘Paagal’ was made with the focused intent of taking music from India across borders and making our presence felt. My fans just went all out to help me achieve my dream. We’re going big with this one,” he added about the song, which released on Sony Music India’s YouTube channel. BTS’ ‘Boy with luv’ featuring Halsey was the most viewed YouTube video in 24 hours before this. It had achieved 74,600,000 views from April 12 to 13 this year. Badshah has become the first Indian artiste to reach 75 million views in just 24 hours.last_img read more

BC jury should consider if confession details came from police media judge

October 17, 2019 0 Comments

first_imgVANCOUVER — A British Columbia judge has told jurors they will have to decide whether a man who confessed to killing a 12-year-old girl could have obtained details about the crime from police or media reports.B.C. Supreme Court Justice Austin Cullen is instructing a jury that is expected to start deliberations later today in the trial of Garry Handlen, who confessed to the 1978 murder during a police undercover operation.Monica Jack was last seen in Merritt while riding her bike and her remains were discovered in the area 17 years later.Handlen became the subject of a so-called Mr. Big sting in early 2014 and provided an alleged confession recorded on a hidden camera and shown to the jury during the first-degree murder trial.Defence lawyer Patrick Angly has argued Handlen was provided information about the crime by the RCMP in 1978 when he was interviewed and also by a supposed crime boss asking leading questions.Angly has said the crime boss was referring to a newspaper article about the crime while trying to extract a confession in 2014, and Handlen could have read some information he parroted back and may also have known details about Jack’s murder from a television documentary.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Videos offer glimpse into police interrogation of intellectually challenged woman in Connie

October 14, 2019 0 Comments

first_imgIt’s in the third interrogation video, which appears to have occurred at a separate location, when Scott said the murder was committed by Ginger and Oakes.“Who was there then?” said Graham.“Ginger,” said Scott.“Ginger and who?” said Graham.“Connie,” said Scott.Graham then presses Scott on why she would take the fall for something she didn’t do.“Because I don’t want to put anybody, I’d rather do it, because I have been taught you don’t rat, so if I got to take the time,” said Scott.“But you were ratting on Connie anyways when you were implicating yourself,” said Graham.“Because we already know Connie did it, nobody knows that Ginger did it, so,” said Scott.Ginger was the street name of a convicted drug dealer with red hair who drove a red car. An eye-witness testified in court she saw a red car in Armstrong’s driveway and two Caucasian women the weekend he was killed. The eye-witness also testified she saw a woman with red hair and wearing a ball cap put something into the trunk of the car.The Crown prosecutor who handled both Scott and Oakes’ cases, Andrea Dolan, also had details of the red car in her files, but never submitted them as evidence. Her files indicated the red car was a Grand Am and was originally owned by a woman from Saskatchewan. APTN tracked down the woman who said she sold her car for cash and drugs to a drug dealer named Ginger, but forgot to cancel her registration.A few months after Armstrong’s murder, Ginger was arrested and charged for trafficking cocaine. During surveillance leading up to her arrest, Medicine Hat police investigators noted she used two different vehicles, including a red Grand Am.Medicine Hat police never found the red car in relation to their investigation into Armstrong’s murder.Police also failed to identify the source of a size 11E bloody boot print found on the bathroom floor of Armstrong’s trailer.jbarrera@aptn.ca@JorgeBarrera The three segments total about 3:44 minutes from the day-long interview sessions that began at 10:25 a.m. and lasted—with breaks that included a trip to Armstrong’s trailer, the trailer home Scott believed she shared with Oakes during the weekend of the murder and a re-enactment of the crime—until 7:32 p.m.The video segments show Scott was interviewed in two separate locations that day. According to the affidavits, Scott was interrogated at the police station and at the remand centre, which is next to Medicine Hat police headquarters. It’s difficult to determine from the videos the exact location of the interrogations.It is also difficult to determine the exact timeline of the interrogations because the videos were released without any identification markers except that they were recorded on Jan. 10, 2012. The trial transcript also shed little light on the timeline.The day began with Scott’s arrest at her home on Jan. 10, 2012, at about 10: 14 a.m. on the charge of obstruction. Scott had previously been questioned on Dec. 6 and Dec. 7, 2011, but released because investigators initially believed she wasn’t involved with the murder.According to Graham’s affidavit, Scott confessed shortly after the interrogation began and said Oakes killed Armstrong with a knife.Scott kept talking about her involvement in the murder and agreed to drive to Armstrong’s residence with the police. This would be the second time Scott was taken by the police to Armstrong’s trailer. She was taken there the previous month, on Dec. 6, but she chose the wrong house and the investigators had to point out Armstrong’s trailer, according to the transcript of Oakes’ trial.When Scott returned to the police station for further questioning, she began to change her story and vehemently denied she was involved in the murder.At one point, Scott admitted that she lied “my whole life pretty much.”“Why do you like attention, especially this kind of attention?” said Graham.“I don’t know. Psychiatrists, I really don’t know,” said Scott.“That doesn’t make any sense to me, unless you were involved,” said Graham.“I wasn’t, and I’ll go take a polygraph test right now. I was not there. I was not involved. I will take a polygraph test any day of the week for you. I will take 50 of them,” said Scott.Scott then told Graham about how “things get mixed up in my own head.” Scott then stated that she woke up at about noon the day of the murder, visited with Oakes for about an hour and then took a cab to go shopping in the nearby town of Redcliff.“Then what?” said Graham.“Then I went home because I wasn’t feeling very well,” said Scott.During this interview session, Graham brings up someone named “Ginger.”“I’m telling you right now, I wasn’t there. I was not there,” said Scott.“Did you talk to Ginger after this?” said Graham.“No. Me and Ginger don’t really get along too well,” said Scott. Read about the Connie Oakes case hereJorge Barrera APTN National NewsIn the drabness of the interview room Wendy Scott, wrapped in a blanket, told the police interrogator it was difficult to keep things straight in her head and that sometimes it took her up to three days to piece together a puzzle.The scene is captured in one of three segments of Scott’s interrogation video finally released to APTN National News Wednesday by a Calgary judge. The videos were played during the November 2013 murder trial of Connie Oakes, a Cree woman from Nekaneet First Nation, who was found guilty by a jury of second degree murder in the 2011 killing of Medicine Hat, Alt., resident Casey Armstrong.Oakes maintains she is innocent and is appealing her conviction. Her appeal date is set for Jan. 12.With no murder weapon, DNA or fingerprint evidence, the murder case against Oakes rested completely on the testimony of Scott, who was assessed as having limited cognitive abilities with an IQ of 50.The recently released videos are from the Jan. 10, 2012, interrogation of Scott by Medicine Hat police investigators. The investigators were preparing to charge Scott with the murder of Armstrong who was found dead in the bathtub of his trailer on May 22, 2011, with a puncture wound through his neck so severe it nearly decapitated him.Wendy Scott in a Facebook photo posted in 2008.Scott, who is now 30, admitted to the murder during the morning police interrogation session that day and then drove with investigators to Armstrong’s trailer, then to the home she said she was living in at the time and finally to the dumpster were she said some of the evidence from the murder was apparently dumped.The videos depict fragments from the afternoon interrogation of Scott when she suddenly changed her story, denied involvement in the murder and blamed a third-party named “Ginger” for the killing.Scott was being interviewed by Sgt. Jason Graham when the tale turned.As Graham pressed her to explain why she would make up the claim of killing a man, Scott explained she suffered from extreme confusion and had a difficult time piecing events together in her mind.“Every time I get things mixed up in my own head and that’s why, that’s why I have been in special needs because I get things mixed up in my own head. I can think one weekend I was doing this and one weekend I was doing it and getting them all mixed up,” said Scott, a slight quivering underlying her voice, according to one of three video segments released to APTN by Alberta Justice E. A. Hughes. “Sometimes, half the time, it takes me hours to figure out a puzzle…Some days it might take me three days to figure out a puzzle.”Scott eventually pleaded guilty to second degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 10 years. Scott’s guilty plea and testimony formed the foundation for the police and Crown’s case against Oakes.That foundation took a hit in October when the Court of Appeal of Alberta quashed Scott’s conviction, struck her guilty plea and ordered a new trial. The decision followed a concession by the Crown handling the appeal that the evidence did not support Scott’s guilty plea for second degree murder.Connie Oakes from an undated photo. Courtesy of the Oakes family.Scott filed affidavits as part of her successful appeal indicating she had been assessed by a psychiatrist of having limited cognitive abilities and an IQ of 50.Oakes’ appeal is now based partly on the October ruling and an affidavit from Scott stating she doesn’t believe the Cree woman was at Armstrong’s trailer at the time of the murder.Scott also stated in an affidavit that she was stoned during interrogation sessions, was coerced by police and coached toward certain evidence, including the type of car used in the murder. Scott also swears that she was interrogated by police several months longer than was ever disclosed by the Crown before the cases hit the trial phase.Scott also accused three other people—two men and a woman—of the crime.The Medicine Hat police investigators involved in the case have denied the allegations in affidavits filed as part of the Crown’s case in the Oakes appeal.None of the three video segments released to APTN suggest any coaching or coercion by interrogators, but they are only fragments from Scott’s questioning. The videos, which were submitted as evidence during Oakes trial by her defence lawyer Daryl Royer, do offer a glimpse of Scott’s limited intellectual capacities and contain one of the moments when she accused a third-party of the murder.Hughes initially prevented APTN from obtaining the video segments for publishing, forcing the network to contest the decision in court. Scott’s Legal Aid Alberta-funded counsel also opposed the media publication of the video segments which were finally released following a hearing in Calgary Wednesday.APTN is still seeking to obtain the full video interrogations of Scott, including the re-enactment of the murder which convinced Medicine Hat police and later the local Crown that Scott was involved in the murder.The video segments, taken together with the affidavits filed by the Medicine Hat police officers, including Graham, also fill in some of the details from the final moments of the investigation that led to Scott being initially charged with murder and the solidifying of the case against Oakes.last_img read more

NTPCs Lanka project runs into political hurdle

October 8, 2019 0 Comments

The plant will use around 2.5 million tonnes of coal a year, which may be sourced from Australia and Indonesia and will boost power supply in Sri Lanka, which suffers from an acute power shortage. The $500 million power project to be set up as an equal joint venture between NTPC and Sri Lanka’s Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) is an integral part of India’s attempt to engage Sri Lanka politically and economically at a time when China is becoming increasingly influential in that country. The plant was to be set up on a build, operate, own and transfer basis and with a debt-to-equity ratio of 70:30. It is NTPC’s first overseas project. “Everything is ready… (But) there is a perceptible sense that they don’t have the urge to set up this project,” said a top NTPC executive, one of the two mentioned earlier, requesting anonymity. “Sri Lanka has to look beyond Tamil Nadu as India is bigger than that.”Anti-Sri Lanka sentiment has been running high in Tamil Nadu, a long-time critic of the government in the neighbouring country over the island nation’s treatment of its Tamil minority. This has been exacerbated by the capture of Tamil Nadu fishermen by the Sri Lankan navy for allegedly having strayed across the maritime boundary. State-run power utility NTPC Ltd’s plan to build a 500 megawatts (MW) plant in Sri Lanka appears to have been been indefinitely delayed, in part because of protests by Tamil Nadu against the Sri Lankan government, according to two company executives.Another NTPC executive and the Sri Lankan embassy in India, however, blamed technical issues, without elaborating. The original plan was to start generating power from the plant in 2011. Palitha Ganegoda, Sri Lanka’s former deputy high commissioner to India, had earlier admitted that there was a “little bit of tussle” over the project.While questions emailed to the spokesperson in India’s ministry of external affairs on Tuesday remained unanswered, Mahishini Colonne, Sri Lanka’s deputy high commissioner to India, said, “The delays are not because of what is happening in Tamil Nadu. There are some technical issues that are to be resolved.”A third NTPC executive also denied that the protest by Tamil Nadu was the reason behind the delay. “There are some technical issues that need to be resolved and a Sri Lankan team is visiting India shortly for the same… We plan to sign everything soon,” the executive said, also declining to be identified. Also, Tamil Nadu chief minister J. Jayalalithaa wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asking him to send back several Sri Lankan military personnel who were undergoing training in military facilities in the state.NTPC and CEB signed the joint venture agreement last year. While a detailed feasibility report (DFR), which will form the basis for setting up the project, was submitted to CEB early this year, it is yet to get CEB’s approval.NTPC signed an agreement with CEB and the Sri Lankan government in December 2006 and the project was initially expected to be commissioned and start generating power in 2011.“The DFR was prepared and sent to CEB a long time back, around February-March period this year. Since then, many discussions have taken place. The company has been incorporated. The only thing left now after they approve the DFR is to make investment decisions and call for tenders. (But) it seems Tamil Nadu’s protests have a role to play in this delay,” said another senior NTPC executive, who also requested anonymity. India voted against Sri Lanka at a human rights meet in Geneva earlier this year because of pressure from the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, an ally of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government. But the Indian government is also wary of antagonizing the Sri Lankan government, given the increasing involvement of India’s strategic rival China in the Indian Ocean island.State-owned ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) has been making efforts to secure hydrocarbon blocks on a nomination basis in Sri Lanka with the active support of the Indian government.At the moment, state-owned firms such as OVL are locked in a fierce competition for energy assets with rivals, including China National Petroleum Corp., Sinopec Corp. and CNOOC Ltd.“It is a strategically very important project for India that is getting stuck in the politics of Tamil Nadu. Given the fact that the Chinese are very active there, it should be expedited,” said Anish De, chief executive at Mercados Asia, an energy consulting firm.Stressing India’s need for energy security, PricewaterhouseCoopers said in a report released on Wednesday, “India’s spending on oil imports as a percentage of its aggregate GDP (gross domestic product) has increased over the years. The average spending on oil imports as a percentage of the country’s GDP is higher for India as compared to other countries.” (Live Mint) read more

Maduluwawe Sobitha taken to Singapore

October 8, 2019 0 Comments

The Chairman of the National Movement for a Just Society, the Venerable Maduluwawe Sobitha Thero was taken to Singapore last night for urgent medical treatment.Maduluwawe Sobitha Thero has been in poor health over the past couple of weeks and was receiving treatment in hospital. (Colombo Gazette)

Jaguar Land Rover creates 600 new jobs

October 2, 2019 0 Comments

Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) For more www.jaguarlandrovercareers.com SMMT welcomes the news that Jaguar Land Rover is to launch a major recruitment drive to attract up to 600 new employees to its UK base. The focus will be to recruit engineers to work on new technology and product development programmes after £700m investment in sustainable technologies. There will also be vacancies in purchasing, finance and human resources. read more

Football Ohio States JT Barrett and JK Dobbins honored by Big Ten

October 2, 2019 0 Comments

Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett prepares for a play in the first half of Ohio State’s game against Indiana on Aug. 31. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorAfter playing just his first game as a true freshman, Ohio State running back J.K. Dobbins was honored as the Big Ten Freshman of the Week and quarterback J.T. Barrett was selected as the conference’s co-Offensive Player of the Week. The Dobbins- and Barrett-led Buckeyes offense helped defeated Indiana 49-21 Thursday evening in the season opener.Dobbins rushed 29 times for 181 yards, the most by any Ohio State freshman in his debut. The La Grange, Texas, running back was just the sixth Buckeye true freshman to start the season opener in program history. He had more rushing attempts and picked up more yards on the ground in the game than Mike Weber, last season’s starting running back, had in any game during the 2016 season. Though Barrett struggled in the first half, he finished with completing 20-of-35 passes for 304 yards and throwing three touchdowns. The redshirt senior also picked up 61 yards on the ground, rushing for a single touchdown. During Ohio State’s first drive, Barrett set the record for most total offensive yards. He holds the record with 9,211 yards.Penn State running back Saquon Barkley was also honored as Big Ten co-Offensive Player of the Week for his performance in the Nittany Lions’ win against Akron. Barkley rushed for 172 yards and two touchdowns and added three catches for 54 yards. read more

Womens Hockey No 6 Ohio State drops regularseason finale vs Bemidji State

September 28, 2019 0 Comments

Ohio State redshirt junior goalie Kassidy Sauve (32) protects the net in the first period of the game against Minnesota on Jan. 19. Ohio State won 3-2. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorSenior weekend for the No. 6 Ohio State women’s hockey ended with a loss. The Buckeyes fell 2-1 in their last regular-season game Saturday against Bemidji State.The two goals for the Beavers were scored by senior defender Alexis Joyce, who lit the lamp in the second period, and sophomore forward Jacqueline Kaasa, who beat Ohio State redshirt junior goaltender Kassidy Sauve in the third. Both goals went under review after speculation of the puck not passing Sauve.During the referee’s deliberation of the shots, Ohio State head coach Nadine Muzerall used that time to get her players’ focus back to the game.“During that time you just take a break, to say ‘Hey, goal or no goal you have to buckle down, defensively,’” Muzerall said. “It’s a time to collect them and let them know that they still have time, and we have to continue to press and not panic.”The only goal scored by Ohio State was scored two minutes into the second period by junior forward Maddy Field.“I told the girls, ‘It’s very obvious we’re upset, we lost on senior night,’” Muzerall said. “We have to pause and refocus but you have to reflect. If you are not reflecting and learning, then you’re going to have the same problems next weekend.”Sauve was injured with three minutes left in the second period, and had medical personnel check on her. However, she played through the pain and ended the night with 25 saves added to her all-time program record for saves with 2,478.Although the game didn’t end in Ohio State’s favor, Muzerall said the seniors honored before the game deserve credit for the program’s dramatic turnaround to a championship contender.“They’re brilliant,” Muzerall said. “They’re brilliant young women that are going to help shape the future. They’re smart and motivated. They’re very mature young women and very ambitious. Great hockey players and better people. I’ve learned a lot through the five of them, and I hope they continue to come back next year and support us.”The Buckeyes will lace up their skates next weekend and take the ice for their first round of the WCHA tournament. They will face off against Minnesota State in a three-game series. The first game is set for 6:07 p.m. Friday at the OSU Ice Rink.“We look at it in phases,” Muzerall said. “This was the first phase; the regular season is now over. Now we are stepping into phase two, its conference [tournament] play. The thing is, it resets for everybody. It doesn’t matter who won what before. That just helped you get your placement and let you know who you’re playing. [Minnesota State is] going to come hungry for us … I think we’ll be ready.” read more

NMA honours US mine safety and technology leaders

September 24, 2019 0 Comments

first_imgTwenty American mining operations – six coal mines and 14 mineral/metal mines – won “Sentinels of Safety Awards” awards in recognition of their outstanding mine safety achievements during 2014. An American mine also won the annual Mine Safety and Health Technology Innovations Award from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).The Sentinels awards, sponsored annually by the National Mining Association (NMA), recognise coal and mineral mining operations in ten categories for recording the most hours in a calendar year without a single lost-time injury. A minimum of 4,000 hours are required for award consideration. The award categories reflect the safety accomplishments of both small and large mines.“These awards are a timely reminder of the importance of safety in the mining industry and of the further progress we are making to ensure every miner returns home safely after each and every shift,” said NMA President and CEO Hal Quinn.“The companies we honour today are the true sentinels of safety, not only the safest mines in this country but among the safest mines in the world,” Quinn said. “The industry is inspired by the example they have set.”Initiated in 1925 by then Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover, a former mining engineer, the Sentinels of Safety Award program has helped foster a strong safety commitment on the part of US mines.In addition, R.J. Matetic, director of the Pittsburgh Mining Research Division, Office of Mine Safety and Health Research, NIOSH, awarded the 2015 Mine Safety and Health Technology Innovation Award for extraordinary efforts, above and beyond mandatory requirements, to apply technology in ways that will improve mine worker safety or health. This year’s award recognised NMA member Murray Energy Corporation of Columbus, Ohio, for developing a fire suppression technology using a stored energy compressed air foam system that can be deployed in coal mines.Sentinels of Safety Award winners in 2014 include – the Skyline mine in Utah is the one pictured:Underground CoalSkyline MineBowie Resource Partners, LLC577,486 Injury-Free HoursCarbon Hill MineProspect Mining and Development Company, Inc.89,576 Injury-Free HoursSurface CoalJewett MineTexas Westmoreland Coal Co.836,853 Injury-Free HoursNo. 1 StripBeechwood Coal, LLC31,400 Injury-Free HoursCoal Processing FacilityBull Mountain Mine #1Signal Peak Energy, LLC292,390 Injury-Free HoursRed Bud Dock No. 1Appalachian Mining & Reclamation LLC27,029 Injury-Free HoursUnderground MetalLee Smith MineSmall Mine Development LLC174,710 Injury-Free HoursTroy Mine Inc.Hecla Mining Company100,758 Injury-Free HoursUnderground NonmetalMaysville MineCarmeuse Lime and Stone Co.212,385 Injury-Free HoursRich Hill Underground MineHanson Aggregates47,160 Injury-Free HoursOpen PitSheppardArcilla Mining & Land Company, LLC180,913 Injury-Free HoursBPM Lovell MineBentonite Performance Minerals LLC16,938 Injury-Free HoursQuarrySte. Genevieve FacilityTower Rock Stone Co.202,659 Injury-Free HoursPortable #1West Hawaii Concrete12,080 Injury-Free HoursDredgeBriggs PlantFordyce Holdings Inc.203,452 Injury-Free HoursCountry SideCountry Side Sand & Gravel, Inc.10,394 Injury-Free HoursBank or PitVista SandLonestar Prospects LTD184,867 Injury-Free HoursPortable Plant #1Associated Constructors, LLC9,367 Injury-Free HoursMetal/Nonmetal MillCopperton ConcentratorKennecott Utah Copper LLC649,385 Injury-Free HoursNokomis QuarryHanson Material Service21,549 Injury-Free Hourslast_img read more

All new Kindle Fires have Special Offers ads as standard

September 21, 2019 0 Comments

first_imgWhen Amazon announced the new line-up of Kindle Fire tablets yesterday there was one feature that really stood out: the price. Shipping a 7-inch tablet with 32GB storage, a dual-core processor, and a HD display is pretty impressive for $249, and you can pick up the basic Kindle Fire for just $159.How has Amazon hit such low prices? Jeff Bezos suggested during his speech yesterday that there is no profit margin in the Kindle Fire hardware, Amazon will make their money off content sales instead. But there is another feature helping to keep the price down: advertising.Remember when Amazon introduced a cheaper Kindle e-reader Best Price at Amazon by adding advertising to it? It was called Kindle with Special Offers. Well, with the new Kindle Fires that advertising is a standard feature and you have no option to bypass it by paying more for an ad-free model.In the (very long) press release detailing the new Kindle Fires, Amazon includes a paragraph on Special Offers. They will appear every so often on your lock screen, tempting you to buy something. But the thing is, it’s unlikely you’ll mind seeing them because the offers are pretty good.The examples given include receiving $5 credits for other Amazon services such as the MP3 Store or Instant Video. Another will give you a $10 Amazon Gift Card for using a Discover card, and some brands will want to get their screensaver on your Kindle Fire, too.The only reason you probably won’t appreciate Special Offers is because it gets you spending more money, but then you are getting more content in return so it looks like a win for everyone except your bank balance.More at Amazonlast_img read more

Écologie et sécurité routière seront présentes au Mondial de lauto 2010

September 20, 2019 0 Comments

first_imgÉcologie et sécurité routière seront présentes au Mondial de l’auto 2010Paris, France – Le ministère de l’Écologie et la Sécurité Routière feront entendre leur voix au Mondial de l’automobile à Paris, du 2 au 17 octobre. Leurs stands informeront le public sur les transports collectifs, l’éco-conduite ou la sécurité au volant.Une baisse des émissions de CO2, mais aussi du nombre d’accidents. Tels sont les objectifs affichés de l’ouverture de deux stands bien particuliers, au prochain salon de l’auto. L’un sera tenu par la Sécurité Routière, l’autre par le ministère de l’Écologie. Dans le premier, une attention toute particulière sera prêtée aux conducteurs de deux-roues qui, avec 2% du trafic seulement, sont impliqués dans 28% des accidents mortels. Côté écologie, les visiteurs seront sensibilisés à la réduction des gaz à effet de serre, notamment par la promotion de l’éco-conduite, du covoiturage et des moyens de déplacement alternatifs, comme le vélo et les transports en commun. Dans le cadre du Grenelle de l’environnement, l’État a engagé 810 millions d’euros en 2009 pour créer en province 369 km de lignes de tramway et de bus à haut niveau de service (BHNS). En 2010, l’accent est mis sur les projets de métro compatibles avec une démarche “EcoCités”.Le 14 septembre 2010 à 17:28 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

Vicente García Wins Best New Artist Latin GRAMMY 18th Latin GRAMMYs

September 12, 2019 0 Comments

first_img Vicente García Wins Best New Artist Latin GRAMMY Vicente GarcíaPhoto: John Parra/Getty Images Rubén Blades Wins Best Salsa Album Latin GRAMMY ResidentePhoto: Bryan Steffy/WireImage.com Latin Greats Receive Their Special Awards Email Flor De Toloache | Best Ranchero/Mariachi Album Photo: Bryan Steffy/Getty Images Luis Fonsi and Bomba Estéreo’s Li SaumetPhoto: Kevin Winter/Getty Images More 18th Latin GRAMMY Awards Cnco & More: Latest Latin GRAMMY Performers Vicente García Wins Best New Artist Latin GRAMMY Vicente García Best New Artist | Acceptance Speech Luis Fonsi: “Despacito” Wins Record Of The Year Luis FonsiPhoto: Davide Becker/WireImage.com Photo: Bryan Steffy/Getty Images JuanesPhoto: Lester Cohen/Getty Images Eduardo Cabra Wins Latin Producer Of The Year 2017 Latin GRAMMYs: What Happened And Who Won Big? Mon Laferte Wins Best Alternative Song Rubén Blades Wins Album Of The Year Latin GRAMMY Alejandro SanzPhoto: JB Lacroix/WireImage.com Ruben BladesPhoto: Maury Philips/Getty Images Vicente García Wins Best Singer-Songwriter Album What’s Your Favorite Latin GRAMMY Performance? Luis Fonsi and Bomba Estéreo’s Li SaumetPhoto: Kevin Winter/Getty Images Luis FonsiPhoto: Davide Becker/WireImage.com Vicente GarcíaPhoto: John Parra/Getty Images Watch Eduardo Cabra Accept Producer Of The Year Residente Wins Best Urban Music Album Latin GRAMMY Erika EnderPhoto: Bryan Steffy/Getty Images Vicente GarcíaPhoto: Kevin Winter/Getty Images Rubén Blades Wins Album Of The Year Latin GRAMMY MalumaPhoto: Kevin Winter/Getty Images MalumaPhoto: Kevin Winter/Getty Images Vicente García Wins Best New Artist Latin GRAMMY Natalia Lafourcade Best Folk Album | Acceptance Juanes Wins Best Pop/Rock Album Latin GRAMMY 2017 Latin Special Awards Honors Living Legends Natalia LafourcadePhoto: Michael Tran/FilmMagic Rubén BladesPhoto: David Becker/Getty Images Luis Fonsi and Bomba Estéreo’s Li SaumetPhoto: Kevin Winter/Getty Images Natalia Lafourcade, winner of Best Folk Album for Musas (Un Homenaje Al Folclore Latinoamericano En Manos De Los Macorinos, Vol. 1) and Best Long Form Music Video for Musas, El Documental — Natalia LafourcadePhoto: David Becker/Getty Images Residente Wins Best Urban Music Album Latin GRAMMY Ruben BladesPhoto: Maury Philips/Getty Images “Despacito” Wins Song Of The Year Vicente García | Best Singer-Songwriter Album Alejandro Sanz’s Indelible Contributions To Music Rubén Blades Wins Album Of The Year Latin GRAMMY Latin Academy Honors Women In Entertainment Photo: Juan Naharro Gimenez/Getty Images “Despacito” Wins Song Of The Year Twitter See Stars On The 18th Latin GRAMMYs Red Carpet CncoPhoto: Aaron Davidson/Getty Images Luis Fonsi, “Despacito” Wins Song Of The Year See Stars On The 18th Latin GRAMMYs Red Carpet Juanes Wins Best Pop/Rock Album Latin GRAMMY Watch Mon Laferte Win First Career Latin GRAMMY MalumaPhoto: Kevin Winter/Getty Images “Despacito” Wins Song Of The Year Alejandro Sanz: Person Of The Year Highlights Vicente GarcíaPhoto: Kevin Winter/Getty Images Latin Academy Honors Women In Entertainment Vicente García Best New Artist | Acceptance Speech Rubén Blades Wins Best Salsa Album Latin GRAMMY Photo: Juan Naharro Gimenez/Getty Images Eduardo Cabra Wins Latin Producer Of The Year “Despacito” Wins Latin Record Of The Year Vicente García Best New Artist | Acceptance Speech Photo: Rich Polk/Getty Images See The Full List Of 2017 Latin GRAMMY Winners Watch Eduardo Cabra Accept Producer Of The Year What’s Your Favorite Latin GRAMMY Performance? Rubén Blades On Best Salsa Album Win Read more Alejandro Sanz’s Indelible Contributions To Music NETWORK ERRORCannot Contact ServerRELOAD YOUR SCREEN OR TRY SELECTING A DIFFERENT VIDEO Nov 16, 2017 – 9:53 pm Vicente García Best New Artist | Acceptance Speech Vicente García Wins Best Singer-Songwriter Album Justin Bieber Wins First Career Latin GRAMMY Vicente García Wins Best New Artist Latin GRAMMY | 18th Latin GRAMMYs 2017 Latin GRAMMYs: What Happened And Who Won Big? Luis Fonsi, “Despacito” Wins Song Of The Year What’s Your Favorite Latin GRAMMY Performance? Photo: Bryan Steffy/Getty Images Rubén Blades On Best Salsa Album Win Luis FonsiPhoto: Davide Becker/WireImage.com Dominican singer/songwriter takes home the prestigious award at The Biggest Night in Latin MusicRenée FabianGRAMMYs Nov 16, 2017 – 6:32 pm Dominican native Vicente García has just earned his third career Latin GRAMMY win of the night at the 18th Latin GRAMMY Awards. Rubén BladesPhoto: David Becker/Getty Images Photo: Juan Naharro Gimenez/Getty Images ResidentePhoto: Kevin Winter/WireImage.com Vicente García | Best Singer-Songwriter Album Luis Fonsi, “Despacito” Wins Song Of The Year JuanesPhoto: Lester Cohen/Getty Images ResidentePhoto: Bryan Steffy/WireImage.com Vicente García | Best Singer-Songwriter Album See Stars On The 18th Latin GRAMMYs Red Carpet Erika EnderPhoto: Bryan Steffy/Getty Images “Despacito” Wins Latin Record Of The Year News Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images Latin Greats Receive Their Special Awards Rubén Blades On Best Salsa Album Win Los Del RíoPhoto: David Becker/WireImage.com Alejandro Sanz’s Indelible Contributions To Music Photo: Rich Polk/Getty Images CncoPhoto: Aaron Davidson/Getty Images “I feel happy and honored. I feel that with this award, I should celebrate, but I also have a responsibility to make music with dignity — make music that represents our countries, Latin America and above all my Dominican Republic where I’m from. Thank you.” — Vicente GarcíaAfter leaving his role as the lead singer of the Dominican alternative rock band Calor Urbano, he worked with artists such as Juan Luis Guerra, Alejandro Sanz, Juanes, and Maná as he launched his solo career. Now he’s reaping the rewards of his efforts.García took home his third Latin GRAMMY of the night for Best New Artist, a coveted General Field win. In addition, the singer/songwriter took home the Latin GRAMMY for Best Singer-Songwriter Album for A La Mar and Best Tropical Song for “Bachata En Kingston.” He is also nominated for Album Of The Year.The other nominees for Best New Artist were Paula Arenas, Cnco, Martina La Peligrosa, Mau Y Ricky, Rawayana, Sofía Reyes, Rosalía, Danay Suarez, and Sebastián Yatra. Natalia Lafourcade Wins Folk Album Latin GRAMMY Alejandro SanzPhoto: JB Lacroix/WireImage.com Residente Wins Best Urban Music Album Latin GRAMMY Natalia Lafourcade, winner of Best Folk Album for Musas (Un Homenaje Al Folclore Latinoamericano En Manos De Los Macorinos, Vol. 1) and Best Long Form Music Video for Musas, El Documental — Natalia LafourcadePhoto: David Becker/Getty Images Natalia Lafourcade Wins Folk Album Latin GRAMMY Natalia Lafourcade Best Folk Album | Acceptance ResidentePhoto: Kevin Winter/WireImage.com Facebook Rubén BladesPhoto: David Becker/Getty Images Alejandro Sanz: Person Of The Year Highlights “Despacito” Wins Latin Record Of The Year Ruben BladesPhoto: Maury Philips/Getty Images Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images Los Del RíoPhoto: David Becker/WireImage.com Luis FonsiPhoto: Rodrigo Varela/Getty Images Flor De Toloache | Best Ranchero/Mariachi Album Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images Residente Wins Best Urban Music Album Latin GRAMMY See The Full List Of 2017 Latin GRAMMY Winners See The Full List Of 2017 Latin GRAMMY Winners Natalia LafourcadePhoto: Michael Tran/FilmMagic Justin Bieber Wins First Career Latin GRAMMY Residente Wins Best Urban Music Album Latin GRAMMY Residente Wins Best Urban Music Album Latin GRAMMY Watch Mon Laferte Win First Career Latin GRAMMY Justin Bieber Wins First Career Latin GRAMMY ResidentePhoto: Bryan Steffy/WireImage.com Alejandro Sanz: Person Of The Year Highlights Latin Academy Honors Women In Entertainment JuanesPhoto: Lester Cohen/Getty Images Mon Laferte Wins Best Alternative Song Natalia Lafourcade Best Folk Album | Acceptance Photo: John Shearer/WireImage.com Alejandro SanzPhoto: JB Lacroix/WireImage.com Rubén Blades Album Of The Year | Acceptance Speech Photo: Rich Polk/Getty Images Natalia Lafourcade Wins Folk Album Latin GRAMMY Vicente GarcíaPhoto: Kevin Winter/Getty Images 2017 Latin Special Awards Honors Living Legends Luis Fonsi: “Despacito” Wins Record Of The Year ResidentePhoto: Kevin Winter/WireImage.com Alejandro Sanz: Person Of The Year Highlights 2017 Latin GRAMMYs: What Happened And Who Won Big? Natalia LafourcadePhoto: Michael Tran/FilmMagic Erika EnderPhoto: Bryan Steffy/Getty Images Luis Fonsi: “Despacito” Wins Record Of The Year Alejandro Sanz: Person Of The Year Highlights Rubén Blades Wins Best Salsa Album Latin GRAMMY Mon Laferte Wins Best Alternative Song Vicente García Wins Best Singer-Songwriter Album Cnco & More: Latest Latin GRAMMY Performers Residente Wins Best Urban Song Cnco & More: Latest Latin GRAMMY Performers Residente Wins Best Urban Song Luis FonsiPhoto: Rodrigo Varela/Getty Images Rubén Blades Album Of The Year | Acceptance Speech Vicente GarcíaPhoto: John Parra/Getty Images Residente Wins Best Urban Song Watch Mon Laferte Win First Career Latin GRAMMY Rubén Blades Album Of The Year | Acceptance Speech Natalia Lafourcade, winner of Best Folk Album for Musas (Un Homenaje Al Folclore Latinoamericano En Manos De Los Macorinos, Vol. 1) and Best Long Form Music Video for Musas, El Documental — Natalia LafourcadePhoto: David Becker/Getty Images Alejandro Sanz: Person Of The Year Highlights Luis FonsiPhoto: Rodrigo Varela/Getty Images Watch Eduardo Cabra Accept Producer Of The Year CncoPhoto: Aaron Davidson/Getty Images Flor De Toloache | Best Ranchero/Mariachi Album Prev Next 2017 Latin Special Awards Honors Living Legends Juanes Wins Best Pop/Rock Album Latin GRAMMY Vicente García Wins Best New Artist Latin GRAMMY vicente-garc%C3%ADa-wins-best-new-artist-latin-grammy-18th-latin-grammys Latin Greats Receive Their Special Awards Photo: John Shearer/WireImage.com Los Del RíoPhoto: David Becker/WireImage.com Eduardo Cabra Wins Latin Producer Of The Year Photo: John Shearer/WireImage.comlast_img read more

Porn block UK to require age checks for adult content as of

September 10, 2019 0 Comments

first_imgAvert your eyes, children. Getty Images Porn sites serving UK users will soon be required to confirm the age of visitors before letting them access content, the British government said Wednesday.As of July 15, commercial providers of pornography will have to ensure that only those over the age of 18 are able to access adult content, to protect minors. It’ll be up to individual sites and services to choose how they carry out verification. Options include face-to-face verification in stores, which would let people buy a so-called “porn pass,” or the use of a service like Mindgeek’s AgeID system, which lets people upload scans of their passports or driving licenses to be verified by a third party.Age checks were originally supposed to come into effect this spring as part of the Digital Economy Act 2017, but they were delayed while the government worked out the details of the new rules. The British Board of Film Classification will be in charge of ensuring that porn sites comply with the law. Those that fail to do so could be blocked.”Adult content is currently far too easy for children to access online,” Margot James, UK minister for digital, said in a statement. “The introduction of mandatory age-verification is a world-first, and we’ve taken the time to balance privacy concerns with the need to protect children from inappropriate content.”Opponents of the new rules pointed out that they won’t cover smaller sites or social networks, and can be circumvented by the use of VPNs. Others fear the systems used to verify age will be open to exploitation, and could result in people’s privacy being violated and their browsing histories being circulated beyond their control.”Having some age verification that is good and other systems that are bad is unfair and a scammer’s paradise — of the government’s own making,” Jim Killock, executive director of Open Rights Group, said in a statement. “Data leaks could be disastrous. And they will be the government’s own fault. The government needs to shape up and legislate for privacy before their own policy results in people being outed, careers destroyed or suicides being provoked.”A spokesperson for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children said that the charity regularly heard from young people whose views about sex, body image and healthy relationships had been negatively affected by exposure to online pornography.”We want to make sure that when these new rules are implemented they are as effective as possible and protect children from coming across sexually explicit content,” the spokesperson said. “To accomplish this, it is crucial the rules keep pace with the different ways that children are exposed to porn online.” Tags Internet Services Comments Share your voice 2 Pornographylast_img read more

Texas Lawmakers Judges Push For Major Bail Reform

September 2, 2019 0 Comments

first_imgFORT WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM PHOTOA major effort to overhaul the bail system in Texas was rolled out Thursday, and the reforms have some powerful backers. The target is a system that releases people held in jail before trial based in part on their ability to pay their bail or a fee to bond out. It’s a system that leaves many of the state’s poorest residents to wait in jail until their court date arrives, which advocates say wastes taxpayer dollars and unnecessarily upends lives.   LISTEN: The KERA Radio storyAccording to the Texas Judicial Council, counties spend more than $900 million every year to lock people up before their court date. Three quarters of people in Texas jails are being held pre-trial, which means they haven’t been convicted of a crime. That’s way up from 25 years ago, when jails were filled mostly with people who’d already been convicted of a crime and sentenced to be there.Houston Sen. John Whitmire said many of those awaiting trial in jail could be safely released but are stuck behind bars because they can’t cobble together enough money to bond out. It’s a broken system, he said, that also lets potentially dangerous people go because they have the cash.“Today, if you’re a violent offender and you can afford a very expensive bond, you pay it and you go back to your, in my judgment, oftentimes criminal practice,” Whitmire said.Whitmire, a Democrat who chairs the Senate’s criminal justice committee, joined up with Rep. Andy Murr, a Republican from Kerrville, to introduce the sweeping bail reform package. The legislation is based on recommendations proposed by the Texas Judicial Council.It would require judges to use data to better assess the risk of a defendant not showing up for trial or committing a crime in the meantime.  It would also make judges consider releasing low-risk, non-violent defendants without an upfront fee.Murr, a former judge who sits on the state’s judicial council, said that the reforms will give judges more tools without tying their hands.Powerful AlliesTop Texas judges have thrown their weight behind the effort.Judge Sharon Keller, presiding judge of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, and Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan Hecht both spoke at the announcement.“Recent research has found a correlation between lengthy pre-trial detention, and an increased likelihood of recidivism,” Keller said, adding that people of color are more likely to detained pretrial than white defendants.Hecht said the courts shouldn’t punish people who before they’ve been convicted and aren’t likely to cause trouble, just because they’re poor.“These are people who would go back home, try to hold onto their jobs, try to hold onto their families, come back for their court appearance, try to hopefully get their lives straightened out,” Hecht said. “But they wouldn’t be a burden on society and on the taxpayers.”Hecht said that states across the country are enacting bail reforms, ending decades of what describes as a system operating largely due to inertia.“You get into a pattern, it’s pretty much working, and you don’t go back and see if it could be done better, and lo and behold, one day you wake someday and you think ‘why are we doing it this way?” Hecht said.The proposal has been lauded by reform advocates. In an email newsletter, University of Houston law professor Sandra Guerra Thompson said the current system likely played a role in the deaths of some of the 1,111 people who died in county jails between 2005 and 2015.The reforms, had they been enacted, “would surely have saved Sandra Bland’s life and might also have saved the life of Vincent Dewayne Young, who committed suicide in the Harris County jail the day before Valentine’s day last month.” Guerr Thompson wrote. Bland hanged herself in jail after she was unable to raise $515 to bond out of jail when she was arrested in 2015.Crunching The NumbersThe chief justice also pointed to a new study commissioned by the Texas Judicial Council that compared data from Tarrant and Travis counties, released Thursday.  Tarrant County primarily uses a traditional cash bail system: a judge said a defendant has to pay a set amount of money to get out, based on how severe their crime was, and if they seem like a flight or public safety risk. Travis County requires the use of a data-based questionnaire to assess risk. Travis lets many low-risk defendants out on a personal bond, which has no upfront fee but carries a financial penalty if the defendant doesn’t show up for court.Dottie Carmichael from Texas A&M led the study, and said Tarrant’s system, requiring bail money, underperforms.  “In the financial-based release system, 12 percent more potentially dangerous people were being let out of detention. These are not just average offenders. These are disproportionately violent,” Carmichael said.Carmichael also finds a money-bail system holds low-risk defendants in jail more often, and for longer periods of time. All of that costs taxpayers more.An Industry Under ThreatThe reform package won’t do away with cash bail entirely, but the bail bond industry in Texas worries it’ll put them out of business, and is gearing up for a major fight. In a fundraising letter sent to bond brokers, the trade association Professional Bondsmen of Texas presented the legislation as an existential threat.“Everyone will be negatively affected or put out of business this session,” without the ability to mount an effective lobbying effort in Austin, the letter said, asking for everyone to donate to the cause. It was written in bright red, underlined, all capital letters.Industry officials often argue that bail agents help ensure defendants make it to their court date, and that the financial stake is a necessary spur to keep some defendants in line.Critics say the industry profits off of people too poor to pay their own bail, who must sacrifice a fee to a bond broker even if they are found not-guilty. For-profit bail bond companies are banned in most of the world.A request for comment from the Professional Bondsmen of Texas was not returned.The letter also points to the threat to the industry imposed by a class action lawsuit in Houston arguing that the use of money bail for petty crimes unconstitutionally keeps people incarcerated because they can’t make bail. Harris County’s sheriff, county executive and district attorney have all come out in favor of the litigants suing the county.Copyright 2017 KERA-FM. To see more, visit KERA-FM. Sharelast_img read more