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Giving up alcohol boosts mental wellbeing

first_imgWomen who quit alcohol may have an improved health-related quality of life, especially their mental well-being, according to a study unveiled on Monday. “More evidence suggests caution in recommending moderate drinking as part of a healthy diet,” said Michael Ni from the University of Hong Kong (HKU). The study, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, included 10,386 people from the FAMILY Cohort in Hong Kong who were nondrinkers or moderate drinkers between 2009 and 2013. Also Read – An income drop can harm brainModerate drinkers meant 14 drinks or less per week for men and seven drinks or less per week for women. The researchers compared their findings with data from a representative survey of 31,079 people conducted by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism in the US. The mean age of participants in the FAMILY Cohort was 49 years and 56 per cent were women. About 64 per cent of men were nondrinkers (abstainers and former drinkers) and almost 88 per cent of women were nondrinkers. Also Read – Shallu Jindal honoured with Mahatma AwardMen and women who were lifetime abstainers had the highest level of mental well-being at the start of the study (baseline). For women who were moderate drinkers and quit drinking, quitting was linked to a favourable change in mental well-being in both Chinese and American study populations. These results were apparent after adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics, body mass index, smoking status, and other factors. “Global alcohol consumption is expected to continue to increase unless effective strategies are employed,” said Ni. “Our findings suggest caution in recommendations that moderate drinking could improve health-related quality of life.”last_img read more

Money laundering report a wakeup call for Canada but some provinces skeptical

first_imgVANCOUVER — The authors of a report that found $47 billion was laundered across Canada last year debated whether to include a graph that indicated Alberta, Ontario and the Prairies were hotspots for dirty money, says the lead writer.Maureen Maloney said her expert panel used the best mathematical model available to reach the estimates, but it’s more reliable at a national level than a provincial one, so they questioned whether to publish the figures.“But we thought, ‘No, we need to do this, because people need to know it’s not just a B.C. problem,’ ” said Maloney, the province’s former deputy attorney general and a public policy professor at Simon Fraser University.“It’s a big B.C. problem, but it’s everybody’s problem. And to the extent that B.C. starts fixing our problem or at least makes our province less enticing to money launderers, they’re going to go elsewhere. They’re not going to disappear.”The report, one of two recently released by the B.C. government, aimed to sound a nationwide alarm about money laundering. But some provinces have reacted with skepticism, as Alberta questioned the numbers and Ontario said it will monitor the issue.Maloney said there is no reliable data on money laundering in Canada, so the panel used what’s known as the gravity model, which estimates the flow of dirty money between countries based on characteristics including GDP per capita and crime rates. The panel divided Canada into six regions and treated each region as a country.The panel estimated that Alberta led the country for money laundering in 2015 with $10.2 billion, followed by Ontario with $8.2 billion and the Prairies — Saskatchewan and Manitoba combined — with $6.5 billion.To the surprise of many, B.C. came in fourth with $6.2 billion, scuttling its reputation as the money laundering capital of Canada.The authors noted that the relatively high estimates in Alberta and the Prairies might arise from the importance the model places on crime rates and GDP levels, which were high prior to the oil downturn.“If money laundering in Alberta and the Prairies have been overestimated … that implies that money laundering in B.C., Ontario and Quebec have likely been underestimated,” the report said.Still, the panel concluded that money laundering is corroding “the very fabric of society” across Canada, and laid out a vision for it to become a national priority. Multiple recommendations call for the B.C. government to persuade its provincial and federal partners to take action.Other provinces have yet to confront the issue with the zeal of B.C., which announced this week it will hold a public inquiry.Alberta Justice Minister Doug Schweitzer said the province takes criminal activity seriously, but the figure presented in the report is the product of modelling that may not be completely reliable.“We use intelligence from front-line law enforcement agencies, not data we can’t verify. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to protect law-abiding Albertans,” he said in a statement.Money laundering is nearly impossible to quantify because, by nature, it’s hidden, but the report’s estimate for Alberta seems high, said Greg Draper, a national lead of valuations, forensics and litigation support with law firm MNP LLP and a former RCMP investigator based in Calgary.“I would expect that Vancouver has a bigger issue than Alberta, which is not to say that Alberta does not face its own money laundering risks,” he said, adding illicit money is being washed through the province’s casinos, housing and cash businesses.Ontario’s real estate association was so alarmed by Maloney’s report that it contacted its provincial government to call for a beneficial ownership registry. B.C. has already announced plans for such a registry, which collects the names of people buying property using corporations, trusts and numbered companies.“Today, drug lords, gun runners and other criminals can hide behind the veil of Canada’s privacy laws,” said Tim Hudak, chief executive officer of the Ontario Real Estate Association and a former provincial Progressive Conservative leader.Ontario Finance Minister Vic Fedeli wasn’t available for an interview and in a statement his department didn’t indicate it was planning to take any urgent action.“What I can tell you is that we are discussing this issue with our federal and provincial partners — most recently at the last meeting of Canada’s finance ministers. This is something we will continue to monitor,” said spokesman Peter Spadoni.Both Saskatchewan and Manitoba said they are taking measures to combat money laundering and pointed to their civil-forfeiture programs, which enable provinces to seize assets believed to be the proceeds of crime without laying criminal charges.Saskatchewan added that it will pursue legislative amendments to ensure that corporations hold accurate and up to date information on beneficial owners. But it noted it was difficult to draw conclusions about the province from the Maloney report.“The report itself states there are limitations on the methodology, so it isn’t clear what proportion of the Prairie figure in the report applies to Saskatchewan,” it said.Jason Childs, an economics professor at the University of Regina, said he would expect money laundering to be worse in B.C. due to its sky-high real estate market, but Saskatchewan’s gaming industry is extremely vulnerable.“We have a lot of comparatively small casinos that are going to be operating with different levels of oversight,” he said. “And then you’ve got, also, a lot of cash business going on in Saskatchewan still.”As for the federal government, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau described the reports as “alarming” and said his government has strengthened audits on real-estate transactions and is working with provinces to do more.Maloney said better data is needed, but if anything, the panel’s estimates might actually be lower than the reality.“Our numbers are not definitive. Nobody’s numbers can be definitive. But we think at the moment, given the data that is available to us, this is probably the best guesstimate there is,” she said.“But I would say if we were erring on any side, it would be on a cautious, conservative side.”— Follow @ellekane on Twitter.Laura Kane, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

GE slashes dividend takes 22 billion charge in 3Q

first_imgGeneral Electric slashed its quarterly dividend and announced it will restructure its power business, as the industrial conglomerate struggles with sagging profits and a spate of bad news.The company announced a $22 billion charge in its power division and swung to a third-quarter loss that was bigger than most industry analysts had expected.The company on Tuesday cut its dividend to a penny, from 12 cents per share, a move that could hurt individual investors who rely on income from dividends.But cutting the dividend will allow the company to keep about $3.9 billion in cash each year, the company said.“It has become clear to us that we need to simplify the business structure,” said GE CEO Larry Culp in a conference call with investors.“GE has considerable strengths. The talent here is real. The technology is special. And the global reach of the GE brand and our global relationships are truly impressive. But GE needs to change. Our team knows this,” said Culp, who last month replaced John Flannery as CEO after only a year on the job.The Securities and Exchange Commission and Department of Justice are both investigating GE’s $22 billion write-down, said GE Chief Financial Officer Jamie Miller, adding to ongoing investigations into previous problems at GE. The SEC was already looking into how GE took a $15 billion hit after a subsidiary, North American Life & Health, miscalculated the cost for the care of people who lived longer than projected. And the company said in February that the Justice Department may take action in connection to an investigation into GE’s subprime mortgage loans business.Miller said the $22 billion charge was largely the result of GE’s acquisition of Alstom. GE bought the French company’s power and grid business in 2015 just before the gas turbine market peaked.“This team’s been through a lot the last several years,” Culp said. “The company perhaps doesn’t enjoy the reputation in certain corners that we once did. But people here are committed to embracing that reality and changing it.”The company said it is splitting its power business into two separate divisions: a gas-focused division that combines its gas product and services groups and a second unit that will include steam, grid solutions, nuclear and power conversion.“This is a good opportunity for us to frankly manage this franchise better than we have,” Culp said.The planned split could indicate that GE is considering spinning off all but the gas-related parts of its power business, said Josh Aguilar, equity analyst at Morningstar.“It still has a future,” Aguilar said of GE’s core gas turbine business. “It helps with the intermittency with renewables.”On the dividend cut, the only surprise was that GE kept it at all, Aguilar said, but “unfortunately sometimes you have to go through some short term pain for some short term gain.”GE had been paying a dividend of 12 cents since December 2017, when it was cut from 24 cents, according to FactSet. Before that, former CEO Jeffrey Immelt cut the dividend from 31 cents to 10 cents in 2009, which was the first time the company had reduced its dividend in decades.For the period ended Sept. 30, GE lost $22.8 million, or $2.63 per share. A year earlier the Boston company earned $1.3 million, or 16 cents per share.Excluding the $22 billion charge tied to its power business and other items, earnings were 14 cents per share, which was 7 cents short of expectations, according to a survey by Zacks Investment Research.Revenue declined to $29.57 billion from $30.66 billion, which was also short of expectations.GE will likely miss its full-year earnings targets due to problems with the power division, Miller said.In morning trading, GE shares added a dime to $11.26._____Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on GE at https://www.zacks.com/ap/GElast_img read more

Heat to increase to Extreme Caution level tomorrow

The temperature felt on the human body is expected to increase up to “Extreme Caution” level in most parts of the North-western province and Mannar, Gampaha and Colombo tomorrow (Tuesday), the Department of Meteorology warned.Under “Extreme Caution” conditions some people may suffer from heat cramps and heat exhaustion which could also lead to heat stroke, The public have been advised to stay hydrated and take breaks in the shade as often as possible at job sites, check up on the elderly and the sick while indoors, never leave children unattended in vehicles, limit strenuous outdoor activities, find shade and stay hydrated while outdoors and wear lightweight and white or light colored clothing. (Colombo Gazette)

Annan hails signing of Asian highway pact challenges Asia and Pacific region

“From Tokyo to Tehran, from Singapore to Samarkand, and from points beyond to those in between, the network now spans 32 countries and encompasses more than 140,000 kilometres,” UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said in a message to ministers at the signing ceremony in Shanghai delivered by Kim Hak-su, Executive Director of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).When finished, the Highway would ease border crossing for people, vehicles and goods and give the much-needed benefits to landlocked countries envisioned by a UN conference last August in Alamaty, Kazakhstan, Mr. Annan said.The Bangkok-based ESCAP has been negotiating routes and road specifications for the network since 1992. The 32 countries approved the text of an agreement for upgrading sub-standard stretches and building new links in last November. At that time, UN officials estimated that 10 to 15 countries would have completed the regulatory processes needed for the signing at the Commission’s annual meeting.In a separate message to ESCAP’s 60th ministerial session, also read by Mr. Kim, Mr. Annan noted that more people have been escaping poverty in the region than in any other part of the world. He challenged the region now to grapple with the problems of lessening the gap between rich and poor, improving environmental stewardship and reducing the spread of HIV/AIDS.Noting that more than a billion people in the region were living on less than a dollar a day, he urged the ministers to use the world’s highest financial reserves and rate of savings per capita to promote further development and reduce economic disparity.The strain of becoming a global economic powerhouse was being shown in the clearing of forests, loss of biodiversity, desertification, air pollution and persistent haze, along with an increase in manmade disasters, Mr. Annan said.”These indicators show that the production and consumption of natural resources fuelling the region’s development are unsustainable. The region must give greater priority to environmental stewardship,” he said.Meanwhile, more than 8 million people in the region now live with HIV/AIDS and the number has been rising, he said.Left unchecked, the disease would soak up resources that were badly needed for social and economic development. “We know, from experience elsewhere, that the spread can be turned back when – but only when – there is a coordinated response, from all sectors of society and every branch of Government,” Mr. Annan said.Addressing these issues would allow regional governments to “bring into the circle of development and peace the many millions of people in Asia and the Pacific who have gone too long without, to the detriment of us all,” he said. read more

Car production falls in March

Car production falls in March Production figures released today by the Office for National Statistics show that: Car production in March 2001 fell by 28.7 per cent Car production in YTD 2001 fell by 21.8 per cent For more details and Commercial Vehicle Production figures see the attached press release. DownloadClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)

Trimble partners with PressurePro on TPMS

first_imgTrimble and privately-held Advantage PressurePro have signed an exclusive OEM and distribution agreement for integrated tyre pressure monitoring solutions (TPMS). Under the agreement, Advantage PressurePro will provide Trimble with an OEM-differentiated product based on its PressurePro TPMS platform. Trimble will leverage the information from the PressurePro TPMS in its VisionLink integrated fleet, asset and site productivity management solution for construction contractors.PressurePro’s TPMS Sensors provide operators and fleet managers with real time tyre pressure reports and information, as well as alerts to low and high pressure and temperature events. The statement said: “Importing this data into VisionLink from Trimble provides equipment and fleet managers with the real-time knowledge needed to extend tyre life, increase fuel efficiency, decrease downtime, improve operator and driver safety and better plan vehicle and heavy equipment maintenance. Possessing the ability to read over vehicle and trailer networks and capitalising on integrated solutions contractors gain remote monitoring abilities that help equipment and fleet managers revolutionise their tyre maintenance programs.”“PressurePro is proud to partner with Trimble to integrate our market leading Tire Pressure Monitoring technologies into Trimble’s portfolio of heavy civil construction solutions,” stated Phillip Zaroor, President and CEO of PressurePro. “The addition of PressurePro TPMS sensors to VisionLink, our fleet, asset and site productivity management solutions allows us to offer contractors the ability to better manage their fleets and realise greater efficiencies and savings than before”, stated Roz Buick, Vice President, Trimble Heavy Civil Construction division. PressurePro TPMS sensors integrated with VisionLink from Trimble will be available from Trimble’s global network of SITECH technology dealers.last_img read more

Man robs restaurant with a scissors but is followed by staff member

first_imgA MAN WHO allegedly robbed at a restaurant armed with a scissors is due in court in Dublin this morning after he was tracked by a member of staff.The incident happened at about 10.30am yesterday morning when the man entered a restaurant on Werburgh Street by himself and threatened staff with what is described as a scissors.He left the premises with a sum of money but was followed for a distance by a member of staff. Gardaí from nearby Kevin Street responding to the robbery then arrested the culprit in a nearly housing complex following a search of the area.The man who is in his 30s is scheduled to appear in court at 10.30 am in connection with the robbery.Nobody was injured during the course of the incident.Read: “Gas ignition” being used so that ATMs can be stolen >Read: Petrol station in Dublin robbed by men armed with a gun and a hammer >last_img read more

Exclusive Suicide attempt reflects taxi industry stress

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram A Melburnian taxi licence holder attempted to take his own life in recent weeks, according to Victorian Taxi and Hire Car Families’ (VTHF) spokesperson Sandy Spanos. The driver’s actions were allegedly caused by his state of distress over the level of compensation being offered by the Victorian government in its recently-announced reforms to the taxi industry.Ms Spanos told Neos Kosmos that in respect to the family’s feelings, VTHF would not be commenting further on the matter, but that the individual’s death was prevented only by last-minute intervention by family members, who rushed him to hospital.Locked in a battle to persuade the Andrews government to increase its proposed compensation to licence holders as part of new regulatory reforms, many of the state’s licence holders have incurred large debts in relation to their licences. With $100,000 on offer for an owner-operator’s first licence, and $50,000 for a second licence (figures way below their market value just months ago), the hardest hit will be those who were relying on them as a nest egg to fund their retirement or to pay off existing loans. The 62-year-old individual who attempted suicide holds multiple licences and is believed to be of Cypriot heritage.“We’re organising counselling sessions for people who are in need and who are vulnerable,” said Ms Spanos. “Some elderly licence owners owe their banks hundreds of thousands of dollars, and the terrible strain this situation is having on people is showing.”While a $75 million ‘fairness fund’ is to be established to “provide support to industry participants experiencing immediate financial hardship” as a result of the government’s changes to be implemented from 2018, little detail has emerged yet as to its criteria or how it will operate.last_img read more

Why do we fly kites on Clean Monday

first_imgClean Monday – named after the cleansing of the soul and new beginnings – falls on March 11 this year.The day takes its name from the cleansing of the soul and the new beginning that the day symbolises, as it is placed 40 days before the resurrection of Christ. This is also the starting point for the fasting period of the Orthodox religion.However, another symbolic tradition takes place on this day that finds its roots deep in ancient times and is still practised in Greece today – kite flying!According to historians, the first person documented to attempt such a thing was Archytas, a mathematician who lived in the fourth century BC. Archytas was a citizen of South Italy and a good friend of Plato and one of the final faithful followers of Pythagoras and his methods.He created the kite in order to use it within his aerodynamic experiments.Kite flying has a deeper meaning for those of the Christian faith, as it symbolises the elevation of the soul towards the heavens. The first kites that were spotted in Greece in the post-modern era came from the eastern areas and more specifically the Eptanisa, Chios, Samos, until they eventually made their way to the city of Patra and became common all around the country.Other civilisations also took part in kite-flying festivals. In China, kites were made out of silk and bamboo in the shape of a dragon, a creature of worship within the nation.In Northern India there is a celebration every spring with kites parading in the sky to welcome the new season, with parades that find their roots in Hindu mythology. Additionally, it is said that the well-known explorer Marco Polo brought the kite to Europe during his journeys in the Middle Ages, remarking that it was known for its “dangerous flights.”Nowadays of course the creation of a kite is quite simple, as it demands a little bit of wood, paper, some string and a large amount of imagination.And if you do decide to follow the spirit of the day and try to fly one of your own, just be wary of any electricity poles! Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Modou Lo Lac 2 to Fight in October

first_imgBy Sulayman BahThe anxious wait for the Modou Lo and Lac 2 fight is finally over with announcement of a new date.The pair were due to battle July 16 but the tragic stampede at Demba Diop leading to the death of eight people, triggered cancellation of the combat.The unfortunate incident had chances of the fight ever happening in shrouds of doubt.The indefinite suspension of the duel also threw the Ama Balde-Papa Sow fight –initially billed for July 23rd – in serious limbo, as end of the wrestling season beckoned.To add to the lingering problem, fight promoters of both combats stood on cusp of incurring millions CFA loses in investments made in the duels.As anxiety welled up, the Senegalese Wrestling Federation Tuesday night summoned a meeting with the country’s Sports minister and the promoters including the various representatives of the aforesaid wrestlers to resolve the impasse.The meeting, held behind closed doors, came to a consensus to extend the wrestling season to November to save the situation.The agreements made included that the much talked about Lac 2-Modou Lo combat be held 29th October while Ama Balde’s clash with Papa Sow is planned for 19th November.last_img read more

AP government decision on Village Secretariat Grama Volunteers

first_imgAmaravati: AP Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy is getting ready to make Village Secretariat’s available in the state from 2nd October. As part of this, the government has given clarity on the issues like how many volunteers to hire, how to select them, and who should be in the Village Secretaries. The government has decided to appoint 12 staff in each Village Secretariat. The state Chief Secretary LV Subrahmanyam said that 9,480 Village Secretariats will be set up across the state. Also Read – Telugu Day fete held at DPS Advertise With Us As per the 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments, CS LV Subrahmanyam has directed the officials to set up Village Secretariats in AP on 2 October to strengthen the village administrative system. On Thursday, CS has conducted the review meeting with the officials of concern 12 departments where he confirmed the number of Village Secretariats that are going to come up under present Gram Panchayats in the state. Also Read – Second batch of banking course begins Advertise With Us According to this, a total of 9480 Village Secretariats will be established in the present 13,550 Gram Panchayats across the state. In which, 6168 Village Secretariats are comprising with a single Gram Panchayat and 3132 Village Secretariats with multiple Panchayats. CS LV Subrahmanyam has clarified to the officials over the role of Village Secretariats in implementing the Navaratnalu scheme, which was promised in the YSRCP manifesto. Advertise With Us It’s known that the government has already decided to appoint the Grama Volunteers for every 50 houses in the village and they will be paid a salary of Rs 5,000 per month. These Volunteers will be selected by the District Selection Committee (DCS). Already the Grama Volunteers recruitment notification has received a tremendous response. The government has decided to appoint 12 staff members available in each Village Secretariat. These include Village Secretary, Village Revenue Officer, Multi purpose agricultural extension officer, Gopala Mitra, Electrical Line Men-Power Assistant, Rural Engineer (Engineering Technical Person), Welfare Assistant, Sanitation Assistant, ANM-Asha Worker, Women police assistant, Digital Assistant, Employment Guarantee field Assistant. The respective line departments will supervise them. The government will issue a notification for setting up of the Village Secretaries on the 15th July. From 20 July to 10 September, DSC or Local Committees will complete the appointment of staff in Village Secretariats. The training for the selected staff will start from 15 to 23 September. By 20 September the furniture and other facilities will be arranged at the Village Secretariats. The allocation of Secretaries to selected candidates will be completed by September 25. After which, the Village Secretariat will start function from 2 October.last_img read more

Rohingya man killed in elephant attack

first_imgRohingya Muslim refugees wait for food aid at Thankhali refugee camp in Ukhia of Bangladesh on 12 January 2018. AFPA Rohingya man was killed in an elephant attack in Majurchhara area of Kutupalong Rohingya camp in Ukhia upazila of Cox’s Bazar early Friday.The deceased is Yakub Ali, 45, son of a certain Mahmud Ali, reports UNB.Quoting family members, Ukhia police station officer-in-charge Abul Khayer said a wild elephant entered the camp around 3:00am and killed Yakub with its trunk.Earlier, 12 Rohingyas, including women and children, were killed in several elephant attacks in the Rohingya camp.last_img

How Might Harris Countys Opioid Lawsuit Fare In Court

first_img To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: X Harris County is suing drug manufacturers, doctors, and a pharmacist over the opioid epidemic.But how might the county’s case might stand up in court?Houston Matters host Craig Cohen talks it over with Richard Ausness, a professor at the University of Kentucky College of Law.MORE: Harris County Sues Pharmaceutical Companies For ‘Opioid Epidemic’ Listen 00:00 /10:56 Sharelast_img

Capcom PSN outage has cost us millions

first_imgPSN continues to be offline and Sony has already missed its first deadline of getting some of the service running again by May 7. The only real date we have to work by now is the end of May, as on May 1st Kaz Hirai stated they hoped to have things back up and running within a month.Gamers continue to be frustrated by the downtime, but now a key developer has had enough too. Capcom‘s Corporate Officer and Senior Vice President, Christian Svensson, has vented his frustration over the ordeal on the Capcom-Unity Forums.In a thread entitled “Capcom – How do you feel about the Sony hackers?” Svensson responded to a direct question within that thread asking how he felt. His response pointed to a lot of frustration with the hackers as a gamer unable to purchase things in the digital store or playing games. He also mentions his personal information being taken.Surprisingly, he goes into a bit of detail about how this is affecting Capcom financially and the sheer extent of the revenue lost. This isn’t an outage costing Capcom a few thousand dollars over the past three weeks, according to Svensson it is considerably more. He states the outage is, “costing us hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars in revenue.”Svensson links those funds to new games being developed suggesting without it we won’t see as many games in the future.Capcom is only one of several large developers who must be feeling the same pain. No doubt all of them are in communication with Sony venting their frustration and urging the company to get PSN back online. We really wish they’d hurry up and get things back to normal.via GamesIndustry.bizlast_img read more

Music video launch boosts TMCs social media campaign

first_imgKolkata: Trinamool Congress on Thursday gave a big push to its social media campaign before the ensuing Lok Sabha elections, with its new music video titled Ma Mati Manush. The video was launched by party supremo Mamata Banerjee on her Facebook page.”I am very happy to share the new music video Maa, Mati, Manush for the forthcoming #LokSabhaElections2019,” Banerjee wrote in the Facebook post, sharing the 2 minute 38 second video on all her social networking pages. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThe video presents the picture of a peaceful and harmonious Bengal and at the same time, takes a dig at the Narendra Modi government by claiming that it has not been able to fulfill its promises. The title of the video Ma Mati Manush (literally translating to Mother, Motherland and People), is a Bengali political slogan coined by Banerjee herself. It depicts the development that Bengal has witnessed under the leadership of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. More than 8.5 lakh people are getting rice at the rate of Rs 2 kg under the Swastha Sathi scheme. The several people-friendly schemes of the state government like Kanyashree, Rupashree, and Sabuj Sathi have also been highlighted through the video. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateIt also lambasts BJP for creating an atmosphere of anarchy and riot in the country, through their efforts of trying to create division among people on religious grounds. It further reiterates that Bengal is a place where people of all caste, creed and religions live amicably. The video is a visual treat with beautiful imageries of rural Bengal, a man rowing a boat with a smile on his face, a group of Bengali women praying by the riverside, schoolgirls riding on bicycles and dancers performing wearing Chhau masks. A cheerful tune plays in the background. The song sung by Rupam Islam and Somlata Acharya has already gone viral on social media, through several shares with comments and likes pouring in abundance. It may be mentioned that TMC has already launched a web series called Pradhan Mantri Hisab Dao on social media recently, which compares various welfare schemes of the Narendra Modi government with those launched by Trinamool Congress in the state. It points out the failures of the Modi government in these schemes and demands an explanation from the Prime Minister regarding the same.last_img read more

Peaceful bypolls in Darjeeling Islampur

first_imgDarjeeling: Assembly by-polls were peacefully conducted in Darjeeling and Islampur in North Bengal on Sunday. “There were no incidents of violence. However, there were some complaints, which have been addressed. The voting till 5pm stood at 62 per cent,” said Koushik Sinha, SDO, Darjeeling.”An FIR was lodged at the Darjeeling Sadar Police Station but no one has been arrested,” said Amarnath K, Superintendent of Police, Darjeeling. A scuffle took place in Badamtam tea estate. There were allegations from the GJM (Binoy Tamang faction) that outsiders had entered booth number 112, Badamtam Higher Secondary School. After the scuffle ensued, additional security forces arrived. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataIn Darjeeling, BJP candidate Niraj Zimba entered the Turnbull school polling station with his armed guard to cast his vote. The Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) personnel asked his bodyguard to leave. On his way back after casting his vote Zimba and his supporters had a heated exchange of words with GJM (Binoy supporters) on Gandhi road. GJM supporters alleged that Zimba and his men manhandled GJM workers. Zimba however denied the allegation. Binoy Tamang, the GJM president and an Independent candidate backed by the TMC and GJM (Binoy faction) while talking to mediapersons appealed to maintain peace in the Hills. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateThere are 321 polling stations in the Darjeeling Assembly constituency. Altogether 45 polling stations have been declared as critical. There are 2,34,758 voters, including 1,15,665 males and 119093 females. There are 3,950 service voters. Along with state forces, 16 companies of CAPF were deployed in Darjeeling for the polls. Except for a stray incident at Madaripur, Islampur the by-polls passed of peacefully. One person was arrested in Islampur. Polling stood at 71 per cent. The number of voters in Islampur Assembly constituency is 2,03,891. The number of male voters stood at 1,07,255 and female voters 96,634. There are 219 polling stations in Islampur. With Congress MLA Kanailal Agarwal resigning from the Assembly and contesting the Lok Sabha elections as a TMC candidate, the seat had fallen vacant.last_img read more

Appeal to set up varsity on Ambedkars name

first_imgKolkata: State Backward Class Welfare department will present a proposal to the Education department and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for setting up a university in the name of BR Ambedkar.”We have been felicitating meritorious students every year with awards named after B.R. Ambedkar. I personally believe that there should be a university in the state named after the Father of the Indian Constitution,” said Rajib Banerjee, BCW minister at a programme organized on the occasion of World Tribal Day. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThe minister handed over awards to successful SC/ST students, who have excelled in their board examinations and have made it to engineering and medical colleges. He said his department is committed to ensure that no student in the state is deprived of pursuing higher education due to financial constraints. “Our department is ready to provide support by all possible means to ensure that no student from the SC/ STor tribal community is compelled to stop education due to financial problem. I would request all of you to approach our department in case of any such problem,” Banerjee said. The minister said Mamata Banerjee government’s emphasis on the development of the SC/ ST and tribals in the state is evident from Rs 966 crore budget that has been allocated for the department in the current financial year. The erstwhile Left Front government’s budget was only Rs 180 crore. “Today is International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, celebrated in #Bangla as #AdivasiDibas. Our government has created the Tribal Development Department to bring about comprehensive development of various tribal communities in #Bangla,” tweeted Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.last_img read more

Myths About the Wild West that Westerns got Absolutely Wrong

first_imgThere is hardly a movie genre that captivated so many for so long the way ‘Western’ did; bringing back to life some of the lost traditions of the frontier along with its ruggedness and outlaws. Americans especially loved the old west, for its gunfights, cowboys, stagecoach robberies, and clashes with Indians. The flurry of western movie production perpetuated the American romance with the Wild West and doing so went off course with fewer facts and more fictional conjuring. Regardless of the vision of the Wild West one may have, the old west was nothing like what it has been portrayed on a cinema screen for the better part of last century. Following are some of the facts about the life on the frontier that is in sheer contrast with what we envisioned all these years.Smelly CowboysAmerican cowboy, 1887.This may come to many as a shock that Native Americans were absolutely flabbergasted to see the hygiene of the new western emigrants; they were disgusted. Days were long, very long if you put in the equation the scorching heat. Unlike the Natives, emigrants wore long and thick clothing which obviously made things worse for them while traveling in high temperatures.Despite the apparent hardships the people at the time had no infatuation with regular bathing or cleaning, most men and women went months without taking a bath, and they seemed fine with it. The natives were absolutely repulsed at this, as this was a strange behavior for them. Native Americans had become accustomed to the elements and learned to live with the hardships, and most of them washed regularly; far more frequently than the emigrants. Now try to find that in western movies.Water was sold like GoldWhile Natives were laughing their heads off on the smelly cowboys, the incoming people faced the struggle of life and death. Unfamiliar with the terrain the people moving to the old west feared death by thirst and starvation.This created a whole new business industry; many ‘entrepreneurs’ took gallons of waters from the other side to sell it to the travelers and locals for high prices. The cost of a mere cup of water started from one dollar, five dollars and in some places went as high as one hundred dollars. To put this in perspective, at the time a pound of meat cost approximately one cent or even less in some places. Drinking water without a doubt was as expensive in the old west as gold.Traffic JamsMany of us will associate the term traffic jam with modern lifestyle; in fact, the good old west had its fair share of traffic jams on its trails. That vision, that western movies gave us of a single wagon slowly treading on a rugged terrain is just that; a vision.In reality, the people moving towards frontier traveled in groups of hundreds of wagons on dirt roads. This inevitably created massive clouds of dust to even turn the day into night (or a nightmare) for those poor folks lurking at the back. There was no chance of overtaking as the trails were mostly narrow and could only have enough space of one and at most two medium sized wagons. Most of the travelers packed a pair of goggles to avoid being devastated by the thick dust clouds and looked like a freshly unearthed mummy by the time they reached their destination.Camels in the WestReconstruction of C. hesternus – By Sergiodlarosa – CC BY-SA 3.0Another fact which was totally ignored by the western filmmakers was the presence of camels in 19th century Wild West. The affair started in the early 1800’s when American authorities seriously took notice of the notion that camels could easily adapt the harsh western conditions and could bring some prosperity in terms of carrying and food as well. In 1843 US camel corps was formed after authorities imported some sixty-six healthy camels from Egypt and Morocco.The move largely proved to be a success and the imported giants quickly acclimated themselves to western conditions and bred well. However, during and after the American Civil War a large number of camels were either killed or ran into the wilderness. Some of the camels were captured by the circus for shows and carrying stuff. The last time anyone saw a camel in the west was in Texas in 1941.No Cowboy Hats The single most recognizable symbol of the old west constructed and perpetuated by the movies is the cowboy hat. In reality, the Cowboys at the time did not wear such headgear, purely because it was not practical and did not go with their overall rough and rugged attire. Travelling in heat, fighting with nature, starving for days and searching for every drop of water; the emigrants had no view of their ‘wardrobe’ especially when they were literally fighting for their lives.The Peaceful WestAnother injustice that movies did to those who lived in the west all through the 19th century was the fact that they were all portrayed as either gunslingers, land grabbers or mere sheep who worshipped the powerful. In reality, the situation in the old west was not that bad, actually less violent than the other parts of America. The rate of homicide was significantly low; there were no choreographed gun-bouts, no mass hangings; to put it in one term ‘west was never the way you may remember from the western movies’.Friendly NativesNative Americans were nothing like the barbarians and killers that western movies portray them as; they were rather clean, thinking, spiritual and mostly peaceful people, much like any community of humans. They were surely more civilized from the new settlers, more hygiene conscious for sure.Related story from us: Quick on the draw: Famous gunmen of the Old WestNative Americans did not attack the caravans of emigrants and killed them senseless; rather most of the Natives offered helped and did trade with the incoming settlers. The circle formation of wagons in the nights that Western got ‘right’ (perhaps the only thing they got right about the west) was not a defensive measure against attacking Native tribes; it was rather a move to stop the animals from wandering off and leaving people helpless in the wilderness.last_img read more

The Democratization of Software Development

first_img Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Register Now » 5 min read December 14, 2016 Software development — once the domain of hard-core techies who worked in a world apart from the day-to-day operations of the business world — has become democratized. Newer business models now bring tech, development and business together, and line-of-business managers now have a hand in developing programs that were once relegated to a windowless back room staffed with the mysterious high priests of code, working late into the night and guzzling energy drinks.Those days are gone, thanks to a new generation of software-as-a-service development platforms that simplify app creation, along with new cloud and as-a-service innovations that have brought IT out into the daylight in a new “dot-cloud boom” era of easy access and development for the masses.Related: How To Build a SaaS Startup That Wins and LastsCary Landis, founder and CEO of SaaSMaker, has been on the forefront of the cloud movement from the very beginning when he assisted with defining the NIST reference architecture for cloud computing and implementing SaaS at NASA as early as 2008. “As-a-service platforms are part of the natural evolution of technology,” said Landis. “We’ve gone from needing highly specialized programmers to create a thousand cardboard punchcards fed into a hopper just to execute a single task, to an environment of ready-made, do-it-yourself components and drag-and-drop development that puts routine programmatic execution in the hands of line managers. The result is faster execution, greater innovation, and more efficiency than we ever dreamed was possible.”Ushering in a new wave of entrepreneurship.Technology-driven innovation has come in waves. From the dotcom boom of the 1990s, to the more recent onslaught of mobile and smartphone apps, each successive iteration of innovation has become more accessible. The ease with which these apps are developed, and the convenient platforms for selling them, has led to more than 2.2 million apps currently available on Google Play, 2 million in the Apple store, 669,000 in the Windows store, 600,000 in the Amazon app store, and 234,500 on BlackBerry world, with BlackBerry apps expected to skyrocket after the company’s recent shift away from its iconic hardware platform to being a software company.Related: 7 Rising SaaS Startups Delivering Stellar Content“The cost of launch often ran in the tens of millions of dollars in the early part of the dotcom boom,” said Landis. “All software was custom-made and time-consuming. There were no small projects. As the cost of launch moves towards zero, a new era of dotcloud boom has already begun. We’re seeing a new type of startup today in the post-dotcom world, which we call dotclouds. These new agile startups use cloud-based infrastructure, so they don’t need a data center. They use SaaS development platforms, so they don’t need huge programming staff. And they take advantage of things like existing app stores, so marketing and selling is as simple as posting the app in the online store with a creative description.”I wanna start a software company!There will always be great ideas. The difference today is that those ideas are a lot simpler to execute, and more small-scale app companies will be launched not by technologists, but by business users and innovators. Landis launched SaaSMaker in recognition of the continuing evolution of tech innovation and entrepreneurship. “The evolution of cloud computing has brought us to a point today where entrepreneurs can create anything from a prototype to a full-scale free system, on a single ‘idea to revenue’ platform that allows for prototyping, development, hosting, and marketing.”The new dotcloud era will be marked by developers looking for dramatically reduced time-to-market, taking advantage of cloud infrastructure and services to avoid the costs inherent to on-premise operations, and drag-and-drop development that bridges the gap that has traditionally existed between business and IT. Unlike traditional development tools, Landis defines a SaaS development platform-as-a-service (PaaS) as more of an entire ecosystem rather than a single utility. “It’s not a hammer; it’s the whole toolbox,” he says. These types of platforms will be especially important in the next wave of entrepreneurship.Related: 5 Ways to Reduce Your SaaS ChurnWith development traditionally representing the majority of IT costs, new product launches have often been prohibitively costly to new entrepreneurs, often running into the millions of dollars. Independent software vendors stand to gain a lot with the PaaS model. According to a Frost and Sullivan report sponsored by Cisco, “As the cloud matures, providers who have invested in cloud infrastructure will look to evolve today’s Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offerings into new sources of revenue and competitive differentiators. They will leverage their current cloud infrastructure, services, systems and expertise to take on the next great opportunity in cloud services — Platform as a Service.”last_img read more