17 towns along Ganga declared opendefecation free in Bihar

first_imgNew Delhi: The Bihar government told the National Green Tribunal on Wednesday that 17 towns along the Ganga river in the state have been declared open-defecation free (ODF). Five towns are currently in the process of being declared ODF, it said. In an affidavit filed before NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, the state government said that 17 towns have been declared ODF. They are: Barh, Hajipur, Sonepur, Mokama, Bakhtiyarpur, Teghra, Maner, Barhiya, Manihari, Buxar, Naugachia, Danapur, Dighwara, Jamalpur, Munger, Begusarai and Bhagalpur It said the work was in process in Patna, Chhapra, Sultanganj, Khagariya and Kahalgaon. With regard to liquid waste management, the state government informed the tribunal that a total 26 sewerage infrastructure projects sanctioned at a cost of Rs 5,089.82 crore which are at different stages of implementation in various towns — Patna (11 projects), Begusarai, Munger, Hajipur, Mokama, Sultanganj, Naugachia, Barh, Bhagalpur, Sonepur, Chhapra, Khagaria, Bakhtiyarpur, Maner, Danapur and Phulwarishariff.last_img read more

The disappearing salmon of the Miramichi River New search for answers launched

first_imgFREDERICTON – New Brunswick’s famous Miramichi River was once the largest salmon-producing river in North America, drawing the famous and the powerful keen to fly fish there.But the number of salmon are dropping at an alarming rate — they are now a fraction of what they were in the 90s — and scientists are not entirely sure why.“If I had one answer, I think that would make a lot of people happy,” said Tommi Linnansaari, the new Atlantic Salmon Research chair at the University of New Brunswick.UNB announced Friday it is undertaking four research projects to get accurate salmon population numbers — and to understand how those numbers are affected by climate change.“The things that will be learned there are applicable globally. This is one of the great strengths of what we’re doing,” said Fred Whoriskey, chairman of the Canadian Rivers Institute management board.Whoriskey said the salmon numbers are at the lowest levels he has ever seen in the Miramichi.According to figures from the Department of Fisheries and Ocean, the river’s salmon population has declined by 26 per cent over the last 12 years.“And that’s down substantially from years earlier,” said Linnansaari. “We are talking about perhaps 10,000 to 20,000 fish in a river that would have sustained 100,000 or more salmon in the 1990s.”He said while the numbers fluctuate from year to year, it’s alarming when you see years like 2014 when the salmon in the Miramichi only met 22 per cent of what they were hoping to see to maintain conservation of the salmon.Currently, Atlantic salmon fishing in the Miramichi is restricted to fly fishing only and all large salmon caught must be released alive to protect the spawning population. There is also a First Nations food fishery for salmon.Whoriskey said the decline can be blamed on everything from warming water temperatures to predator fish like striped bass. He said it’s hoped the research in New Brunswick can help Atlantic salmon populations in Europe, in Newfoundland, Quebec and elsewhere.He said globally the numbers are even more disturbing — noting the size of salmon runs across North America last year were down 30 to 50 per cent from the year before.“Global warming is the gorilla in the room. Temperatures are changing faster than the species has had to evolve and adapt to in past history. We are riding this one and it is a wild ride indeed,” he said.Just this week, the Atlantic Salmon Federation announced that for the first time since it began monitoring New Brunswick’s Magaguadavic River in 1992, no wild salmon had returned from the sea. Despite a stocking program going back to 2002, the Fisheries Department said the population had been dropping steadily since estimating it at 900 wild salmon in 1983.Linnansaari said while salmon is still a common fish in the Miramichi, the time to act is now.“When you get populations in very significant decline you start talking about losing the genetic variability. Recovery becomes harder the further down you go,” he said.UNB has received $1.3 million in funding for the chair and four research projects.One project will try to boost the number of juveniles by introducing adults that have been reared in captivity then released back into the river system to spawn, and doing this on a scale that’s not been done before.Another project will use sonar to collect population numbers.Whoriskey said they don’t know if their efforts will help, but the future would be grim if they did nothing.“The worst case scenario: we would lose the salmon of the Miramichi River. You would still see some distribution in more northern areas where it is cooler and there is less human impact, but the immediate concern is, what can we do for New Brunswick to try to maintain this iconic species?” he said.“Miramichi is absolutely ground zero for New Brunswick’s population of Atlantic salmon. The industry and the socio-economics of salmon are critically important to the province.”last_img read more

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singhs relationship status no longer a secret

first_imgOTTAWA – NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s personal life is no longer under wraps.A series of Instagram photos posted over the weekend show Singh and fashion designer Gurkiran Kaur Sidhu attending what appears to be a pre-engagement party.The pair are dressed in traditional Punjabi garments and one post congratulated the couple on their “rokha” —a traditional Punjabi ceremony held ahead of a wedding and usually attended by close family.James Smith, a spokesperson for Singh, says the leader is neither engaged nor married; he says the families of the couple met at the gathering.Sidhu, 27, identified herself online as the co-founder of Jangirro, a clothing line based in the Greater Toronto Area.Until now, the 38-year-old Singh has been guarded about his personal life, declining to confirm or deny that he’s even in a relationship.As of Monday afternoon, Sidhu’s Twitter and Instagram accounts had been deactivated.last_img read more

BC company can sell prescription eyewear online in Ontario court rules

first_imgTORONTO — Ontario regulators have no right to block a company legally operating elsewhere in Canada from selling prescription eyewear to online customers in the province, an Appeal Court ruled on Thursday.The decision means Ontario consumers can continue to order corrective glasses and contact lenses from British Columbia-based online retailer Essilor, which sells Coastal and Clearly products.“The mere delivery in Ontario of an order for prescription eyewear that has been processed in compliance with the British Columbia regulatory regime, without more, does not establish a sufficient connection between Essilor’s online sales and the controlled acts proscribed by (Ontario’s laws),” the Appeal Court ruled.“Where the supplier of the prescription eyewear operates in another province and complies with that province’s health-professions regulatory regime when filling an online order placed by an Ontario customer, the final act of delivering that product to the Ontario purchaser does not amount to the performance of a ‘controlled act’ by the supplier.”The case arose in December 2016 when regulators in Ontario — the colleges of Optometrists and Opticians — alleged Essilor was acting illegally by accepting orders for prescription eyewear through its websites and shipping the products to patients in Ontario. It wanted the courts to end the practice.In essence, the colleges argued only licensed professionals in Ontario could dispense prescription eyewear in the province. The colleges offered no evidence anyone was actually harmed by Essilor’s practices.In January 2018, Superior Court Justice Thomas Lederer sided with the colleges. He ruled the company was dispensing corrective eyewear in Ontario and concluded the province’s rules should apply. Lederer ordered Essilor to stop the sales.Essilor Group Canada, whose head office is in Quebec but runs its online operation out of B.C., appealed, also winning permission to continue its sales pending the outcome of the case. It argued that fulfilling Ontario orders did not amount to the controlled act of dispensing prescription eyewear.The subsidiary of France-based international eyewear giant, Essilor International, also argued Lederer wrongly decided that Ontario’s regulations applied to its online sales.According to court filings, the Canadian prescription eyewear market is estimated to be worth more than $4.5 billion a year. The Appeal Court noted that eyewear is part of a trend toward online retail sales.“The explosion in the volume and variety of online consumer transactions over the past decade has included the emergence of an online market for the purchase and sale of prescription eye glasses and contact lenses,” the court said. “In some jurisdictions, friction has emerged between the online vendors of such products and the professional health-care bodies that historically have regulated the sale.”In siding with Essilor, the appellate court found the company was acting lawfully in its home province, which has a similar regulatory framework to Ontario. Nor was it “dispensing” eyewear in Canada’s most populous province by fulfilling orders in B.C. and shipping them across the country.Leaning on Quebec case law, the court also noted that providing prescription eyewear is a transaction with both health care and commercial aspects.Barring the online sales would amount to using Ontario’s Regulated Health Professions Act to give the province’s optometrists and opticians a monopoly over the commercial importation of prescription eyewear.That could only happen if the legislature passed a law to clearly allow such a monopoly — something current regulations do not do, the court said.Colin Perkel, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

FAA to look at Boeings fixes for 737 Max jets next week

NEW YORK — Boeing is confirming the flight-control software fixes that it plans to make for its grounded 737 Max 8, the plane involved in two fatal accidents within five months.The company is tweaking the system designed to prevent an aerodynamic stall if sensors detect that the plane’s nose is pointed too high. After the update, the system will rely on data from more than one sensor before it automatically pushes the plane’s nose lower, and won’t repeatedly push the nose down.Boeing says it will pay to train airline pilots.The Federal Aviation Administration expects Boeing’s update next week. The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday that regulators tentatively approved Boeing’s changes, subject to flight tests, citing government documents and people familiar with the details. FAA declined to comment.The Associated Press read more

Moroccan Boycott Still Impacting Danone Sales Grow Only 08 in Q1

Rabat – The boycott Moroccans launched in April 2018 against Central Danone is still affecting the company’s sales in Morocco and its global performance.The French company said that its sales rose 0.8 percent in the first quarter of 2019 to €6.14 billion, marking a slowdown from its 2.4% growth in the fourth quarter of last year.Danone said its low growth was due to “setbacks” in Morocco and China, with less demand for infant formula products in China. The company is hoping for a better performance to finish 2019 strong.Read Also: Boycott, Hirak, Imlil, and More: The Events that Shaped Morocco in 2018“The start of the year is relatively modest, as expected, but this puts the spotlight on very ambitious targets. The second half will be crucial,” said Roche-Brune Asset Management fund manager Gregoire Laverne.In February, the company reported lower growth in 2018 due to the campaign. Danone’s “like-for-like” sales growth was up 2.9% from 2017, but the company calculated it would have been up 3.6% if it were not for the Moroccan boycott.In response to the boycott, Central Danone promised Moroccans solutions to reduce its product prices.The boycott targeted two other companies, mineral water company Sidi Ali and Afriquia Gas oil company. Boycotters claimed the companies were hiking prices and their product prices exceeded boycotters’ purchasing power.Central Danone launched a consulting campaign with consumers in cities across Morocco, including Casablanca, Marrakech, and Rabat.The boycott also led to the visit of Danone’s general director, Emmanuel Faber, who came to Morocco in 2018 to personally speak with citizens and ask them what measures Danone had to take to end the boycott.Senior Moroccan officials urged citizens to end the boycott on Central Danone because it employs many small farmers, who were affected by the boycott.The Moroccan government also said that the boycott would discourage foreign investors. read more

IMF urges Canada to stay course despite calls for easing mortgage stress

The International Monetary Fund says household debt in Canada is still too high to pursue policy changes to encourage more activity in housing markets.The organization’s report comes on the heels of Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer’s pledge last week to rework the Liberal’s mortgage stress test to make home-buying more affordable for Canadians.The IMF, however, says it would be “ill-advised” to stimulate activity in the sector, suggesting Canada aim instead for a gradual slowdown in overheated real estate markets to reduce risk to the economy.The report by the organization’s staff following an official visit to Canada calls for policy priorities that focus on ensuring a sound financial system, enhanced cooperation between federal and provincial governments and structural reforms that target productivity growth.The tightened mortgage rules, brought in by Finance Minister Bill Morneau, mandated would-be borrowers undergo a stress test to determine whether they could still make payments if faced with higher interest rates or less income.In a report last month that calls for a rethinking of the mortgage stress test, CIBC economist Benjamin Tal estimated the measure accounted for more than half of a $25-billion or eight per cent drop in new mortgages started last year.“The government is under pressure to ease macroprudential policy or introduce new initiatives that buttress housing activity,” said the IMF in its report.“This would be ill-advised, as household debt remains high and a gradual slowdown in the housing market is desirable to reduce vulnerabilities.” The Canadian Press read more

Gas price to rise five cents at midnight

Drivers are being encouraged to fill up their tanks before midnight tonight as gas prices are expected to soar.Petroleum Analyst Dan McTeague says it would “be wise to gas up today” because we will likely see a five cent increase at the pumps overnight.“I don’t see gas prices going down,” said McTeague adding that we could see an additional two cent increase over the weekend.McTeague says we could see stubbornly high prices throughout the month of December.

Security Council mission to Afghanistan holds lengthy talks in capital

On the eve of its visit tomorrow to the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif, the delegation heard briefings and discussed ways to improve security in Afghanistan and expand the central government’s authority across the country.A UN spokesperson travelling with the 15-member delegation, led by German Ambassador Gunter Pleuger, said they also assessed continuing economic and financial reforms, and discussed how to tackle the drugs economy and Afghanistan’s relations with Iran and Pakistan.According to the spokesperson, the group met with Afghan Government ministers, the Pakistani and Iranian Ambassadors, and the United States’ most senior military official in Afghanistan. The delegation also received briefings about the training of the Afghan police and army.

Orange Bowl Matchup

No. 1 Alabama (13-0, Southeastern Conference champions) vs. No. 4 Oklahoma (12-1, Big 12 champions), Dec. 29 (ESPN)LOCATION: Miami Gardens, Fla.TOP PLAYERSOklahoma: QB Kyler Murray has thrown for 4,053 yards and 40 touchdowns this season.Alabama: QB Tua Tagovailoa has 37 touchdown passes and is No. 2 nationally in pass efficiency this season — behind only Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray.NOTABLEOklahoma: The Sooners are in the playoff for the third time, and looking for their first win. They lost the Orange Bowl in 2015 and the Rose Bowl in 2018, both of those being semifinal games.Alabama: The Crimson Tide are the only team who have appeared in all five editions of the playoff, and are seeking a fourth consecutive berth in the CFP championship game.LAST TIMEOklahoma 45, Alabama 31. (Sugar Bowl, Jan. 2, 2014)BOWL HISTORYOklahoma: 20th appearance in the Orange Bowl, 52nd bowl game overall.Alabama: 9th appearance in the Orange Bowl, 69th bowl game overall.___More AP college football: https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25The Associated Press read more

Reaction Leinster limp on towards double dream

first_imgIT WASN’T PRETTY, but Leinster added another game to their season. Another shot at the Pro12 title.Edging past the Glasgow Warriors secures the eastern province a third consecutive final place. Ulster may well be the designated home side for the 25 May final, but Leinster may well arrive more motivated than ever.The 17-15 win took an almighty defensive effort in the final 10 minutes as Gregor Townsend’s men drove to force an upset.This game was never likely to be anything but tight, but the early withdrawal of Brian O’Driscoll along with a sparse crowd made this a subdued semi-final for long portions.Leinster’s players and staff have only ever placed the utmost importance on the Pro12. Yet at the RDS tonight, supporters voted with their feet in favour of Europe. Only 13,235 turned out to witness the beginning of the end for Joe Schmidt, Jonathan Sexton (Brian O’Driscoll?) and Isa Nacewa.The majority of those were silenced when Niko Matawalu, the touchpaper of so much Warrior invention, caught the blue pillars napping to snipe underneath the posts to give the visitors a 7-3 lead after 15 minutes.After Stuart Hogg, showing his kicking credentials ahead of the Lions tour, extended the lead man of the match Jamie Heaslip narrowed it again off the back of a clinical blue maul.The Ireland captain has hit form at an opportune time of the season – against Biarritz a fortnight ago he was the rampant, running number eight of old. Against Glasgow today, he was back to his more characteristic heavy-lifting role,  no less pivotal to his side’s fortune. “We showed moments of what we can do,” Heaslip told TG4 postmatch. “It wasn’t for the full 80 and we were very lucky against a side like that – they put two tries to one on us, which was disappointing.”With both kickers having a mixed day off the tee, Jonathan Sexton managed to kick the blues into an 11-10 half time lead and that’s how it stayed as the game moved into arm-wrestle mode for 20 minutes.Sexton extended the gap to seven with two more penalties, but then Leinster had to turn on their heels to withstand waves of Glasgow attack.DramaMark Bennett crashed over right of the posts on 75 minutes to revive the dramatic finish. However Hogg was presented a difficult kick on the right flank and the erratic Dublin wind kept the gap a two-points.Back-to-back finals to look forward to then for Leinster rugby, but with Schmidt reporting O’Driscoll’s injury as a back spasm and casting doubt over a calf injury sustained by Gordon D’Arcy, It seems the province’s bloodied troops will calling for ice for medical reasons rather than celebration tonight.Here are 4 worrying images for fans of the Lions or LeinsterDethroned: Champion ‘Quins humbled by Tigerslast_img read more

LAmérique du Nord la Russie et le Japon contre un Kyoto bis

first_imgL’Amérique du Nord, la Russie et le Japon contre un “Kyoto bis”Les Etats-Unis, le Canada, la Russie et le Japon sont contre un accord contraignant pour réduire leurs émissions de gaz à effet de serre, lors de la prochaine conférence sur le climat qui se tiendra à Durban en Afrique du sud au mois de décembre. C’est à l’occasion du G8, qui se tient depuis hier à Deauville, que des diplomates européens ont fait part de la nouvelle à la presse : les Etats-Unis, la Russie, le Japon et le Canada refuseront tout accord contraignant visant à réduire les émissions de gaz à effet de serre (GES) à la conférence de Durban sur le climat, en décembre. Un Kyoto-bis, en somme. L’information a été confirmée hier soir par le président américain Barack Obama, en personne, présent au dîner du G8, rapporte l’AFP.À lire aussiQui est Greta Thunberg, proposée pour un prix Nobel à seulement 16 ans ?Signé en 1997, le protocole de Kyoto arrivera à expiration en 2012. Il est à ce jour le seul instrument légal qui contraint les pays industrialisés à réduire leurs émissions de GES à l’origine du changement climatique. Kyoto n’a jamais été ratifié par les Etats-Unis, pourtant le premier pollueur au monde. Quant au Canada, à la Russie et Japon, ceux-ci avaient ratifié le protocole de Kyoto mais refusent de se joindre à un Kyoto-bis si les Etats-Unis et les pays émergents comme la Chine ne le font pas, explique  l’AFP.Encore une fois, la conférence à venir sur le climat risque de laisser de côté la question de la nature de l’engagement de chaque pays en vue de lutter contre le réchauffement climatique en réduisant les émissions de GES. Cela avait été le cas à Copenhague en 2009. Les engagements pris aujourd’hui par les Etats sont très en deçà de ce que préconisent les scientifiques pour limiter la hausse de la température de la planète à deux degrés, objectif réaffirmé par le communiqué final du G8.Le 27 mai 2011 à 17:14 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

San Diego County votes to support emergency migrant shelters

first_imgSan Diego County votes to support emergency migrant shelters 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) – County leaders have decided to take proactive steps to help the non-profit groups that are sheltering migrant families.These are families that have been cleared to stay in the United States legally, as they await a final decision on their application for asylum.Typically, a family may be released by Immigration and Customs Enforcement or by the Border Patrol into downtown San Diego without any food, shelter, or money for transportation. That’s where a network of non-profit and faith based groups has filled the gap, by offering temporary shelter, food and funds to help the family travel to a sponsor waiting in another part of the country.The families stay about one to three days. Since early November, a coalition of humanitarian groups called the San Diego Rapid Response Network has operated a 97 bed shelters in the South Bay.The SDRRN said 4,500 people have passed through the temporary shelter in the last nine weeks.To address the needs of these families, the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved several measures to support these emergency shelters. They include a recommendation to have the County’s Chief Adminstrative Officer consider armories or other State properties as temporary shelter sites.The supervisors also asked the Chief Administrative Officer to identify County properties that might be used as shelter facilities. The current shelter which is operated by the SDRRN must close by February 7.During discussions by the Board, Supervisor Dianne Jacob said the county has never had to deal with the circumstances it now faces due to the increase and backlog of people seeking asylum. “It’s a new issue because of the failure of the federal government and particularly the Trump Administration for not doing their job,” Jacob said.The measures approved by the Board of Supervisors would not result in any additional public spending.The supervisors also want the State and Federal governments to help cover the County’s current costs of providing health screenings for the migrant families.At this time, the much greater cost of running the temporary emergency shelter, 24 hours a day and seven days a week has been borne by the non-profits, largely through private donations. Sasha Foo, January 8, 2019 Updated: 7:42 PMcenter_img Sasha Foo Posted: January 8, 2019 Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

The Atlantic Launches TheAtlanticCitiescom

first_imgIn 2010, The Atlantic says digital revenue grew 70 percent, helping to contribute to the brand’s first profit in years. The Atlantic announces its expanded digital presence with TheAtlanticCities.com, headed by newly appointed senior editor Richard Florida, to be launched in September. As an economist, professor and senior editor, Florida will establish TheAtlanticCities.com, covering various cities and the role they play in areas including economic growth, prosperity and personal happiness.“Cities are the key driver to economic recovery, growth and prosperity,” says Florida, a seasoned contributor on the issues of cities around the world. Editorial director of Atlantic Digital Bob Cohn says the new sites will highlight how cities and neighborhoods change the way people live. TheAtlanticCities.com will cover job listings, the economy, culture, design, arts, architecture, as well as topics related to sustainability and urban issues. With the tagline “Place Matters,” the site will feature leading voices from the urban planning and community realm as guest columnists in addition to its regular columns on city and state rankings. last_img read more

BMW M8 promises adjustable brake feel rearwheeldrive mode

first_img More From Roadshow 2020 Kia Telluride review: Kia’s new SUV has big style and bigger value Tags 2020 BMW M340i review: A dash of M makes everything better More about 2019 BMW M850i Convertible Share your voice Review • 2019 BMW M850i Convertible review: A grand tourer you’ll just want to drive Preview • 2019 BMW 8 Series Convertible first drive: Open-top hustler Comment 22 Photos Sneak a peek at the upcoming BMW M8 BMW 2020 Hyundai Palisade review: Posh enough to make Genesis jealous Performance Cars Luxury cars Convertibles Coupes BMW 1 Some teasers are little more than a few interesting pictures of an upcoming car. But since the M8 is all but a given at this point, BMW went one step beyond the usual teaser campaign by offering up some interesting news about the M8’s in-car tech.BMW on Thursday previewed some new driving-focused tech for the upcoming M8 Coupe and M8 Convertible. The teasers themselves are pretty mild — we’re mostly familiar with the 8 Series’ shape at this point, and the M8 takes the usual route of other M cars, adding some more aggressive bumpers and fenders, which in these teasers are still camouflaged. The tech is far more interesting to talk about. There’s a new Setup button on the center console that allows users to cycle through various vehicle settings — that much isn’t necessarily new, as it’s a popular bit of kit on a number of sports cars. It covers all the same parameters you might expect, including throttle touchiness, steering weight and suspension stiffness. And like the M5 before it, the M8’s all-wheel-drive system is capable of sending all the power to just the rear wheels, essentially granting RWD status for a stretch of time.Enlarge ImageIt’ll be interesting to see just how bonkers the M8 Competition will be. BMW What’s particularly unique is that the brakes can be adjusted: A new electric braking module replaces the brake booster and allows the car to customize the brake pedal feel, offering a Comfort mode with a more gradual brake application and a Sport mode that lets you clamp down on the rotors as quickly as your right foot can manage. Best of all, it works with both the standard brakes and the optional carbon-ceramic stoppers.The M Mode button on the center console brings the driver-assist systems into the mix. Regular M8 models will have Road and Sport modes, allowing certain ADAS to be softened or eliminated while changing the amount of information displayed to the driver through the gauge cluster and head-up display. The upcoming M8 Competition one-ups that system with a Track mode, which disables all interventions and turns off both the audio system and the main infotainment screen.The M8 will be BMW’s flagship performance vehicle, so it makes sense that it will serve as the debut platform for additional driver tech. We’re excited to get behind the wheel and try out these new customization methods. It’s still unclear when BMW plans to debut the M8, but given how little camouflage is on the car in its teaser images, it shouldn’t be too long before that happens.last_img read more

Boeing wanted to delay fix on 737 Max safety alert say lawmakers

first_img Boeing CEO: 737 Max soon to be one of the safest planes Boeing planned to delay a fix for a critical cockpit warning light on its now-grounded Max 737 airliner, leaders of a congressional committee said Friday, but then accelerated the timeline late last year after the first of two deadly crashes that killed 346 people.In a letter to Boeing, the Federal Aviation Administration and a Boeing subcontractor, Reps. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) and Rick Larsen (D-Wash.) said they’d obtained information suggesting that even though the plane maker knew the safety alert wasn’t working when it began 737 Max deliveries in 2017, it decided to wait until 2020 to implement a fix. The warning light tells flight crews when an angle-of-attack sensor is giving false readings. The faulty sensor was linked to both the Lion Air crash in Indonesia in October and the Ethiopian Airlines crash in March.  Aviation Boeing As part of an ongoing investigation of the crashes by the House transportation committee, which DeFazio chairs, the lawmakers are asking Boeing to disclose when the company knew the light was defective and when it informed airlines. “An important part of the Committee’s investigation is finding out what Boeing knew, when the company knew it and who it informed,” Larsen, chair of the House subcommittee on aviation, said in a statement. “I have questions about the decision to not deem the AOA Disagree alert as safety critical and I am concerned it took Boeing so long to report this defective feature to the FAA and its customers.” 1 Boeing admitted in April that the alert was not operating on all Max 737 aircraft, but a few days later said that the absence of such an alert didn’t adversely affect airplane safety or operation. In response to the DeFazio and Larsen letter, a Boeing spokesman on Friday reiterated that finding in a statement to CNET.”Based on the safety review, the update was scheduled for the MAX 10 rollout in 2020,” the statement said. “We fell short in the implementation of the AoA Disagree alert and are taking steps to address these issues so they do not occur again.”When the Max returns to service, the safety alert will be included as a standard feature on all aircraft delivered. Prior to the Lion Air crash, though, it was sold as part of an optional package of equipment, a package that Lion Air didn’t purchase for its planes.The 737 Max has now been grounded for almost three months, dragging down Boeing’s earnings and reputation as it heads into the Paris Air Show later this month. Though the company says a software update to the Max’s Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System is complete, there’s still no timeline for the airliner to carry passengers again. Boeing CEO defends 737 Max flight control system Pilots confronted Boeing about 737 Max before second crash Boeing details fixes to get 737 Max flying again Tagscenter_img 2:09 Tech Industry Comment Share your voice More on the 737 Max Now playing: Watch this:last_img read more

Few schools telephone lines to reopen in Kashmir

first_imgProtesters burn an effigy of Indian prime minister Narendra Modi during a protest in Lahore on 16 August 2019. Photo: AFPAuthorities began restoring some telephone lines in Indian Kashmir on Friday night, the top state official said, as heavy security prevented some protests in the region’s main city of Srinagar from getting out of control.Telephone and internet links were cut and public assembly banned in Kashmir just before New Delhi removed the decades-old autonomy the Muslim majority territory enjoyed under the Indian constitution. The measures were aimed at preventing protests.”You will find a lot of Srinagar functioning tomorrow morning,” Jammu and Kashmir chief secretary BVR Subrahmanyam told reporters.”Over the weekend, you’ll have most of these lines functional,” he said, responding to a question about landlines.He did not say when internet and mobile phone services would be restored, adding that militant groups could use the latter to organise “terror actions”.India has battled a 30-year revolt in Jammu and Kashmir in which at least 50,000 people have been killed. Critics say the decision to revoke the region’s autonomy will cause further alienation and fuel the armed resistance.The move has raised tensions on the heavily militarised border of Kashmir between India and Pakistan, which both claim all of the divided region. Islamabad said three of its soldiers were killed in cross-border firing.Pakistan summoned India’s deputy high commissioner in Islamabad to condemn what it said were “unprovoked ceasefire violations.” India has accused Pakistan of violating the ceasefire.Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan discussed the crisis on Friday by telephone with US president Donald Trump, Pakistani and US officials said. Trump reaffirmed the US position that nuclear-armed Pakistan and India should reduce tensions through “bilateral dialogue,” said White House spokesman Hogan Gidley.While Pakistan has sought to internationalise the issue, India says the territorial dispute must be resolved bilaterally and calls the situation on its side of the border an internal affair.Even so, the UN Security Council met behind closed doors at the request of China and Pakistan to discuss the issue for the first time in decades.A Kashmiri woman walks past a bus used as a road block by Indian security personnel during restrictions after the scrapping of the special constitutional status for Kashmir by the government, in Srinagar, on 11 August 2019. Reuters File PhotoSecurity forces were deployed outside mosques across Srinagar on Friday, while police vans fitted with speakers asked people not to venture out, according to two Reuters witnesses.In some parts of the city, posters appeared calling for protests and asking preachers in mosques to talk about the current situation in Kashmir valley.”People must try to occupy the streets defying curfew,” one poster read.The lockdown of the Kashmir valley, home to nearly 7 million people, has drawn widespread criticism but the government does seem to have succeeded in isolating any protests.Subrahmanyam said that the immediate reports from Friday prayers were that they had gone off quite peacefully in the state. He also stressed that in the 12 days since the announcement there has not been a single loss of life.There were some fresh protests in Soura, a tightly-packed northern Srinagar neighbourhood, after prayers on Friday.But unlike a demonstration that pulled in many people from surrounding areas a week ago and grew to involve 10,000 people, according to local police, these protests were much smaller with only hundreds participating. They were also confined to Soura’s narrow lanes and didn’t spill out onto major roads.Men carried posters that called for reinstating Article 370, the constitutional provision that India revoked. A group of women marching separately chanted: “We nurtured this Kashmir with our blood, this Kashmir is ours.”Separately, hundreds of people came out to protest in the Mehjoor Nagar area of southern Srinagar following Friday prayers at a mosque. They shouted anti-India and pro-freedom slogans. Paramilitary troops intercepted them at Mehjoor Nagar bridge, leading to violent clashes and stone-throwing by some of the protesters, according to a Reuters eyewitness.A Kashmiri woman walks past a bus used as a road block by Indian security personnel during restrictions after the scrapping of the special constitutional status for Kashmir by the government, in Srinagar, on 11 August 2019. Reuters File PhotoSubrahmanyam said 12 of 22 districts in Jammu and Kashmir were functioning normally, with night time restrictions in five of the 12.In the Kashmir valley, Subrahmanyam said schools would open after the weekend, and restrictions on movement would be lifted after a review of each area.”It is expected that over the next few days, as the restrictions get eased, life in Jammu and Kashmir will become completely normal,” he said.Detained Hundreds of political leaders and activists remain in detention, some of them in prisons outside Jammu and Kashmir.At least 52 politicians, most of them belonging to the National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party regional parties, are being held at a hotel on the banks of Srinagar’s Dal lake.A senior government official said authorities had booked 58 rooms in the hotel. “These leaders are locked inside the hotel rooms but are allowed to meet at dinner and lunch only in a dining hall,” the official said, who declined to be identified.Prime minister Narendra Modi’s government has said the revocation of Kashmir’s special status was necessary to ensure its full integration into India and speed up development.last_img read more

Fitzgerald Faces Challenging Confirmation Process

first_imgBy Stephen Janis, Special to the AFROThe process of confirming a new police chief in Baltimore used to be routine; a perfunctory hearing followed by a vote that inevitably put the legislative stamp of approval on the current mayor’s pick, but not anymore.Several record-breaking years of violent crime, a department struggling under a federal consent decree and a revolving door in the commissioner’s office appears to have irrevocably changed the rules of engagement.The Baltimore City Council’s new stance may be embodied in a recently released report by Council President Bernard “Jack” Young. The report documented in painstaking detail interactions between a council delegation and residents of Ft. Worth, Tex., technically still the employer of Mayor Catherine Pugh’s pick, Joel Fitzgerald.Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh introduces Ft. Worth Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald to Baltimore. Fitzgerald is Pugh’s pick to be Baltimore’s next police commissioner and the City Council will hold hearings this week as part of his confirmation process. (Photo credit: Sean Yoes)The 214-page document recounts conversations with Ft. Worth councilmembers, the police union, and activist groups that provided an unvarnished array of opinions on Fitzgerald’s qualifications.   It is a process of vetting that Councilman Brandon Scott said was well worth the roughly $5,000 spent to send him and several colleagues to Texas.“You can’t replace the ability to physically be in the room to not only hear people’s voices, but to see their eyes and emotions and body language when they are talking about something serious,” Scott told the AFRO.Central to that report is the controversial arrest of Jacqueline Craig, an African-American woman who was put in handcuffs after she called police to report a neighbor who manhandled her seven-year old son.The officer’s body camera shows him escalating the conflict when he appears to upbraid Craig for allowing her son to litter on a neighbor’s lawn.   Eventually, Ft. Worth officer William Martin handcuffs Craig and her two teen daughters and charged them with resisting arrest.A video of the incident went viral and charges against the Craig family were dismissed. However, Fitzgerald ignored calls from the community to fire Martin, instead suspending him for ten days.It’s a move that left Scott with reservations about Fitzgerald.“What I need to see is someone who is a proven crime fighter, who has the ability and the wherewithal to be on the same level of importance with reform and restructuring,” Scott said.“And as of yet, I haven’t seen that.”The mayor announced her pick of Fitzgerald in late November.Fitzgerald served as police chief for the city of Ft. Worth, Texas, the 12th largest city in the country since 2015.  There he managed a department of roughly 2000 officers with a budget of $300 million.Baltimore, by comparison is the 30h largest city in country but has a police force with roughly 2500 officers and a budget of $500 million.Meanwhile, Ft. Worth had 70 homicides in 2017, roughly one-fifth of Baltimore’s record 2017 total of 343.The recent reluctance of city officials to fully release Fitzgerald’s background check to council members has prompted some to pushed back. Including Councilman Zeke Cohen who expressed frustration about the lack of complete disclosure.“Baltimore is a tough town and anyone who wants to lead the police department needs to understand that our city is at a moment where people are demanding transparency and engagement,” Councilman Zeke Cohen said in a statement posted on his campaign website.As for the report, the feedback from residents offered a variety of perspectives on Fitzgerald’s tenure in Ft. Worth.“The chief wants to leave because he’s made a mess of things here. He’s angered the majority of the African American community because he has not dealt with African American issues,” Pastor B.R. Daniels, Jr told the delegation.“The injustice on the part of police officers for African Americans, he has not handled it in a proper way.”But, Fitzgerald’s current boss, Ft. Worth Mayor Betsy Price said he steered the department through a difficult transition to community based, more racially sensitive policing.‘I think he’s done an excellent job. I hate to see him go. He stepped in at a time that was really difficult.”The council will hold a hearing January 5 for public comment during which residents can speak directly to legislators.  On January 7, Fitzgerald will face questioning from the council.last_img read more

Ecommerce Basics 10 Questions to Ask When Creating an Online Store

first_imgJune 17, 2013 If your company sells goods in a brick-and-mortar store but not online, you could be missing out on an incredible revenue-generating opportunity. U.S. online retail sales grew 12.6 percent to $176.2 billion in 2010, and they’re expected to reach $278.9 billion by 2015, according to Cambridge, Mass.-based technology and market research company Forrester Research.Is your business ready to reap some of those online sales? Launching an online store can be challenging for small businesses, which are often short on time, budget and staff. But ecommerce vendors can help you make designing and maintaining an online store relatively simple and affordable.Here are 10 important questions to ask when creating your company’s first online store:1. How do I start building my online store? If you can’t afford to hire someone to build a custom online store, don’t worry. There are plenty of ecommerce vendors that can help you create one quickly. “They can take the hassle and headache of hard coding, hosting and doing maintenance on a server of your own out of the online store equation,” says Julian Barkat, director of ecommerce and online marketing at Eggs to Apples, a Philadelphia digital marketing agency.Such companies as Bigcommerce, Shopify, Goodsie, Jumpseller and Volusion let you design the overall look, feel and functionality of your online store. They also let you do things such as upload your product catalog, set up customer shopping carts, securely accept payments and handle order fulfillment. These services securely host your online store on their own servers. You can link to your online store from your company’s main website.Ecommerce services such as these usually require some basic initial set-up work on your part. For instance, with Shopify, you choose a storefront layout from a set of templates and customize your fonts, overall color scheme and product image sizes. Shopify users can also upload their own custom brand logos and backgrounds.Prices for such services range from about $10 to $700 a month, depending largely on the number of products you sell and the amount and types of services provided.2. How can I best customize the overall look of my online store? In most cases, if your company already has a website, your ecommerce site should reflect your existing online look, including your logos and color schemes. If you don’t have a business website, choose background and accent colors for your ecommerce site that complement your logo.Most design templates from ecommerce vendors come with preset theme settings that don’t require HTML or CSS knowledge to customize. So, it should be relatively easy to upload your logo and product images and add banners, slideshows and more.3. What type of payment system should I use? Barkat recommends PayPal when you’re starting out. That’s mainly because the third-party processor is so widely known as a secure system for accepting online payments.While there aren’t any sign-up or fixed monthly charges for PayPal’s basic service, Barkat cautions that PayPal’s seller fees “can really add up quick.” PayPal sellers pay a 2.9 percent transaction fee on the total sale amount, plus a 30-cent fee per transaction.Authorize.net is another popular payment processing solution that Barkat recommends. The processor charges a $99 set-up fee, plus a $20 monthly fee and 10 cents per transaction.Still, many shoppers prefer to pay for online purchases with their own credit cards rather than use PayPal or other third-party payment processors. You can obtain a merchant account with each individual credit card company. Many charge fees per transaction ranging from 20 to 50 cents, plus a percentage of the total purchase amount. Some also charge monthly, quarterly and annual fees.4. How will I handle customer service? To respond to customers’ concerns efficiently, you may want to choose an ecommerce vendor that gives you access to a reliable customer relationship management (CRM) tool. Most of the major ecommerce vendors offer CRM options, sometimes for an added fee ranging between about $25 and $75 per month.CRM tools document, streamline and structure the many ways merchants interact with customers in one central place, including customer contact information, recent purchases, complaints and pending orders.Heather Peterson, founder of Girl Charlee Inc., a Signal Hill, Calif.-based online retailer and wholesaler of vintage and rare knit fabrics, suggests getting a toll-free phone number specifically dedicated to customer service. Another option is to set up a live chat in your online store, she says, but only if you can operate it 24/7, which online shoppers have come to expect.5. How should I determine shipping costs? It’s often easier and more accurate to leave exact shipping-cost calculations — both to you and your customer — to the carrier you use. The major carriers will calculate shipping costs for you for free, and most major ecommerce vendors allow you to integrate those costs into your store’s checkout section.On the other hand, you may want to consider offering free shipping, at least for orders over a certain amount. If your direct competitors provide free shipping, Peterson suggests that you consider it, too, if you can afford it.6. How do I create the best product images and descriptions? “Online shoppers don’t get to see, touch, feel or smell your product,” says Barkat, so the next best thing is a crisp, clear product image. While he says you shouldn’t entirely cut corners on photography, you don’t have to hire a professional to get high-quality images. But you should use “a 16-megapixel DSLR camera, decent lighting and a light box,” he advises. A photo lightbox is a tent-like container with several light bulbs aimed at its interior that photography professionals often use to create well-illuminated images of objects.Peterson says written product descriptions should be short, yet rich with enough interesting details to pique customer interest. “Try to use compelling adjectives and phrases that evoke an emotion when someone reads your description,” she says, “without getting too carried away or taking up too much space.” In addition to noting the price, you may want to include product uses, dimensions and other defining characteristics.7. Should I allow customer reviews and social sharing? Giving customers the ability to comment on your products and leave ratings can help boost their confidence in your store, Peterson says. Positive reviews and social media shares could lead to more sales, but there’s also the risk of negative comments. Several major ecommerce services offer customer review options that allow you to respond to — or remove — undesirable comments.While Peterson hasn’t yet enabled customer comments within her online store, she has made it possible for customers to “like” her products on Facebook, “pin” images of them to their Pinterest pages and email images and brief descriptions of them directly from the product listings.8. How will I start to attract shoppers? After your store is up and running, spread the word both online and off. Placing links to your store’s web address on your company’s main website and in your email newsletter campaigns would be a good start. Peterson also recommends creating Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube accounts representing your online store. Updating your company’s social media sites a few times a day can drive traffic to your store by drawing attention to daily deals and other promotions.It’s also advisable to choose an ecommerce vendor that automatically uses search engine optimization (SEO) for your store’s content. SEO tactics can give your store a higher ranking in search results on Google, Bing and Yahoo.9. How should I handle returns? Every store has to deal with returned items. Double-check that your ecommerce vendor provides built-in tools that let you quickly and easily replace merchandise or refund purchase prices, restock your inventory and send emails to customers about the status of their return.10. How can I track the success of my store? Try to select an ecommerce vendor that offers free self-service analytics, often driven by Google Analytics, and other reporting tools to help you track your store’s performance over time. These can tell you how many people are visiting your store and how often, where they live and how they found you. They can also show you which websites drive the most traffic to your store and which products customers look at and purchase most and least often. Register Now » Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box.center_img 8 min read Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Globallast_img read more

Recap Two lanes shut due to accident on M6 in Staffordshire

first_imgUPDATE: This has now cleared There are delays on the M6 motorway due to an accident in Staffordshire this evening Two lanes closed and slow traffic due to accident on the Northbound carriageway from J12 A5 (Gailey) to J13 A449 (Stafford South). Lanes one and two (of four) are closed, according to traffic data company Inrix. Traffic England confirms the two lanes are shut. The accident is believed to have taken place shortly before 8pm this evening (Friday November 9 2018). We have no further information on the accident itself at this stage. We’ll bring you live updates as we get them on the feed below. Read MoreArmed police called to street after being called about man with gun Want to tell us about something going on where you live? Let us know – Tweet us @SOTLive or message us on our Facebook page . And if you have pictures to share, tag us on Instagram at StokeonTrentLive .21:30One lane closed on M6 NorthboundOne lane closed and slow traffic due to broken down vehicle on M6 Northbound from J17 A534 Old Mill Road (Sandbach / Crewe) to J18 A54 Middlewich Road (Middlewich / Holmes Chapel).Lane one (of three) is closed for recovery work.20:24All lanes reopenAll lanes have now reopened.last_img read more