Only 39 of land needed for bullet train project acquired

first_imgNew Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project is missing on its deadline of land acquisition as till date only 39 per cent of the 1,380 hectares of land required has been acquired.A senior National High Speed Rail Corporation Ltd. (NHSRCL) official requesting anonymity told IANS: “Till date, we have acquired about 39 per cent of the land.”He said the NHSRCL has acquired 537 of the 1,387 hectares land required in Maharashtra and Gujarat. Also Read – IAF receives its first Rafale fighter jet from FranceIn Gujarat, the NHSRCL has acquired 471 of 940 hectares of land, while in Maharashtra, it has acquired 66 of 431 hectares. “Of the nine hectares land required in Dadra and Nagar Haveli, the agency has been unable to acquire even a single piece of land,” he said. The government had set a deadline for December 2018 to clear the land acquisition roadblock.Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe on September 14, 2017 laid the foundation stone of the ambitious Rs 1.08 lakh crore ($17 billion) 508-km long Ahmedabad-Mumbai high-speed rail project. Also Read – Cosmology trio win Nobel Physics PrizeJapan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Union Railway Ministry have inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the 508-km corridor, with Japan to partially fund the project.The official said the railways has floated the tenders for the construction of tunnelling works, including testing and commissioning for double line high speed railway using tunnel boring machine (TBM) and New Austrian Tunnelling Method (NATM) between Mumbai underground station at Bandra-Kurla Complex and Shilphata in Maharashtra. According to the official, a 21-km-long tunnel will be dug between Boisar and BKC in Mumbai, 7 km of which will be under the sea.The NHSRCL official said that the design and construction of civil and building works including testing and commissioning of 237 km length of mainline for Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail corridor between Zaroli village at Maharashtra-Gujarat border and Vadodara in Gujarat, which is 47 per cent of total length of the project, elevated except one mountain tunnel of about 280 metre, 24 river crossings and 30 road and canal crossings have been floated.He said the tenders to construct the stations in Gujarat’s Vapi, Bilimora, Surat and Bharuch have also been floated.The official said that the work on utility diversions on various locations is progressing well while the work at Sabarmati hub in Ahmedabad has started.The bullet trains are expected to run at 350 km per hour covering the 508 km stretch in about two hours. In comparison, trains currently plying on the route take over seven hours to travel the distance, whereas flights take about an hour.last_img read more

Police arrest 13yearold after alleged threats against Montreal high school

first_imgDOLLARD-DES-ORMEAUX, Que. – Police say a 13-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with alleged online threats against a western Montreal high school.Montreal police spokesman Benoit Boisselle says the accused is a student at the school and police are recommending he be charged with uttering threats.He is expected in youth court at a later date.Boisselle says police searched the teen’s home today but didn’t find any weapons or explosives.He says the investigation is ongoing but there is no longer any direct threat to Ecole secondaire des Sources, a French-language high school in Dollard-des-Ormeaux.Administrators made the decision to close the school today, citing exceptional circumstances.Parents were informed by email Wednesday that the school, which has a student body of 1,530, would not open Thursday because of a police investigation.Police were at the school Wednesday and would only say the threat involved alleged bodily harm.It was the second west-end Montreal school to close this week.On Tuesday, Beaconsfield High School shut for the day because of an online threat.It was later determined the threat on social media was meant for another U.S. institution that shared the school’s initials.last_img read more

Will carry forward Parrikars legacy of good governance Pramod Sawant

first_imgPanaji: Newly-appointed Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant Tuesday met family members of his deceased predecessor Manohar Parrikar before assuming charge of office, hours after he took oath of the post at around 2 AM. Sawant visited the family members of Parrikar at their private residence at Dona Paula near here around 12 noon, before heading to the CM’s Office at state Secretariat, Porvorim. Speaking to reporters, the new chief minister said his priority would be to reach out to every person, and carry forward the “glorious legacy” of good governance left behind by Parrikar. Sawant, a BJP MLA, was sworn in as new Chief Minister just before 2 am Tuesday, hours after cremation of Parrikar, as the BJP moved swiftly to snuff out Congress’ attempts to wrest power in Goa. Sawant, a protege of Parrikar, was Speaker of the Legislative Assembly when he was picked to be the successor of Parrikar. “Manohar Parrikar is a father-like figure for me. He was my inspiration…every thing. I am here only because of him…I became MLA, then Speaker, and nowCM only because of Parrikar,” Sawant told reporters after meeting kin of the late chief minister. When asked to list his priorities, Sawant said, “As a chief minister, my aim would be to reach out to every person and complete his works”. Sawant also appealed that he not be greeted with bouquets for being the new CM, as the state is in morning. “I have taken charge with great humility and gratitude towards my idol and mentor Manohar bhai (Parrikar). I seek your blessings and support to carry forward the glorious legacy of commitment towards good governance,” he said. In the wake of the fluid political situation in Goa and Congress’ repeated attempts to wrest power, the BJP leadership ensured that the new chief minister was in place quickly. Sawant was sworn in by governor Mridula Sinha at Raj Bhavan at 1.50 am. Sinha also administered the oath of office to 11 other ministers, including those from BJP’s allies MGP and the GFP. Parrikar died at his private residence Sunday evening due to pancreatic cancer. He was cremated with full state and military honours Monday evening.last_img read more

UN urges massive campaign in Haiti to boost cholera prevention measures

30 December 2010United Nations humanitarian officials are calling for “massive mobilization activities” in Haiti to promote prevention and early treatment in the cholera epidemic which has already killed more than 2,760 people and infected over 130,000 others, nearly 71,000 of whom were hospitalized. Major gaps and constraints in fighting the epidemic since it broke out in October include access to clean water and latrines in health facilities and cholera treatment centres, access to health care, and coordination, according to the latest update by the UN Office for the Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).“There is an urgent need for massive mobilization activities to promote prevention and early treatment,” it said of a disease that is spread by contaminated water and food. “In addition, controlling the epidemic will depend on the level of access to safe water and basic sanitation and implementation of hygiene measures.”The UN World Health Organization (WHO) through its regional arm, the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO), continues to provide support for hygiene promotion and social mobilization activities with the development, printing and distribution of 97,000 posters and 150,000 laminated pages containing guidance on prevention and treatment in Creole, the local language. A course on cholera management has also been developed for community and religious leaders and will be delivered by the Government, with over 500 health professionals already trained by PAHO/WHO in case management.Fatality rates have decreased in most departments, or administrative regions, since 1 December to an overall 2.1 per cent nationwide, except in the south-east where it went from 12.9 per cent to 13.8 per cent between 11 and 18 December.In the South Department, the management of dead bodies remains a huge challenge, particularly in Les Cayes where at least 64 corpses remained several weeks at the hospital because the population was opposed to burying them in a mass grave.Earlier this month Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for more funds to fight the epidemic, noting that a $164 million appeal launched in November was only 21 per cent funded. He also announced the creation of an independent scientific panel to investigate the source of the outbreak amid widespread media reports that Nepalese peacekeepers from the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) were the likely source, with infected water spreading from their base into a nearby tributary of the Artibonite River. read more

Revamped OxyContin was supposed to reduce abuse but has it

WASHINGTON — Nearly a decade ago, the maker of OxyContin responded to a growing wave of opioid abuse by making the painkiller harder to snort and inject. But has that reformulation translated into fewer drug overdoses and deaths?It’s a question that experts like Dr. Raeford Brown of the University of Kentucky are eager to answer. For years, Brown led a government advisory panel that evaluates opioids for the Food and Drug Administration.There’s just one problem: Neither the company that the makes OxyContin nor the FDA have allowed the experts to see data on gathered to answer the question.Brown and others say the lack of data makes it nearly impossible to tell whether OxyContin and similar painkillers are actually helping fight the opioid crisis.The Stamford, Connecticut-based company says it’s still working on the studies.Matthew Perrone, The Associated Press read more

Dontre Wilson and Corey Smith trying to find a legacy

OSU then-junior H-back Dontre Wilson (2) runs with the ball during a game against Indiana in Bloomington, Indiana. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead / Photo EditorOne was playing at another school and another was pledged to a different program. The two football players have gone through their test and trials, but one thing is in common for senior wide receiver Corey Smith and senior H-back Dontre Wilson — this is their last go-round in Columbus.Once a highly touted recruit from DeSoto, Texas, Wilson initially had plans to play his college football in Eugene, Oregon, under then-head coach Chip Kelly. Once Kelly left for greener pastures in the NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles, Wilson changed his post-high school plans.He committed to Ohio State coach Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes on Feb. 4, 2013, where he would see playing time as a freshman. Meyer raved about Wilson’s speed, often using him in jet sweeps where he would run across the line of scrimmage from one side of the field, receive the handoff, then run to the opposite sideline hoping to find open space to turn on the jets.Listed at 5-foot-10, 181 pounds by 247Sports entering into his freshman season, Wilson clearly wasn’t built for the physical play of the Big Ten. Now listed at 195 pounds, Wilson says he has evolved into a complete player, instead of one that can just run by you.“Everything that I’m doing right now, I feel like I haven’t done over the past couple years,” Wilson said. “But this year I feel like I’m going to bring everything to the table and put it all out on the field.”Wilson was fourth on the team in all-purpose yards with 983 in 2013, which put him behind only three players now in the NFL: Carlos Hyde, Corey “Philly” Brown and Braxton Miller.In his sophomore campaign, he saw improvement in his game from the year before, but that train came to a halt against Michigan State when he broke his foot, ending his regular season, excluding three plays in the national championship game. Wilson would miss extensive time in 2015 as well, still dealing with the foot injury from the year before.Now it’s 2016, his senior year. Since his arrival on campus, Wilson has carried a hype with him that he has yet to reach. Meyer believes that potential is still there.“The hardest part of our profession is when players get hurt,” Meyer said. “One of the great things about our profession is when they get to join the team again.”But Wilson isn’t the only Buckeye returning from an injury-plagued 2015 season. Senior Corey Smith was granted another year of eligibility after suffering a season-ending leg injury against Indiana on Oct. 3. It’s his final year in the Scarlet and Gray.“I don’t take nothing for granted anymore,” Smith said. “It’s really just a blessing to be out there with my brothers and being coached by some of the best coaches in the world.”Smith committed to OSU on Jan. 29, 2013, after a season playing under coach Buddy Stephens at East Mississippi Community College. After redshirting his first year in Columbus, Smith played in all 14 games for OSU, catching 20 passes for 255 yards, including a 47-yard reception in the national title game against Oregon. In total, he has registered 25 receptions and 317 yards as a Buckeye.To think there were a lack of expectations for Smith coming from JUCO ball would be ludicrous. Smith — originally from Akron Buchtel High School in northeast Ohio— had 51 receptions, 733 yards and nine touchdowns at EMCC and was ranked as the ninth-best overall junior college recruit. Smith was the first junior college commit to OSU since Larry Grant in 2006.Wilson and Smith have taken different paths to get to 2016, but neither of them feel like they have left a substantial mark on the program yet. With a younger receiving core, the two seniors will be asked to take the leap forward that was expected of them since their initiation into the program.“The legacy I want to leave is that kid that came from nothing and grinded to the top,” Smith said.Smith will see a healthy amount of time at receiver with Wilson getting touches at H-back, punt and kick return and running back.“A healthy me is a great me,” Wilson said. “I’m going to stay humble about it but you guys really haven’t seen what I can really do. This year I’m going to show it. I feel like if I can do everything that I’m ready to do this year, it’ll be great for my legacy. The sky’s the limit.” read more

Clifftop residents refuse to leave their homes as Council warn they could

A garden shed and an oil tank plummeted into the sea after days of high winds and waves eroded the sandstone.Homeowner Stephen Chadwick said when the cliff fell it was like an “earthquake”.”I bought it for sea views, beautiful sea views, and now the sea’s taking it away,” he told the BBC.”I woke up this morning, had a cup of coffee at half past seven and I felt … it was like an earthquake, and the cliff just went.” Building control surveyors on Hemsby beach in front of houses The Environment Agency declared an amber flood warning for that part of the Norfolk coast and the Met Office forecast rain and issued a yellow weather warning.The council added that “residents chose not to relocate to the rest centre, which had been set up in case it was needed.”In March some residents to the east of The Marrams were forced to flee their homes after part of the cliff gave way during the so-called ‘mini Beast from the East’. Tidal surges in 2013 saw three homes in the area fall into the sea Credit:DARREN STAPLES/Reuters The Council has condemned the properties as dangerous and said demolition work will take place as soon as it is safe and practically possible to do so on the east side.Deputy council leader Carl Smith said: “Following the storm in March, when the initial properties were lost, it was a sad inevitability that the loss of more cliff material would take place at some time and leave further properties in a dangerous condition.”Unfortunately, in these unusual circumstances, demolition is the only option to ensure public safety, which is the top priority.”Tidal surges in 2013 saw three homes in the area fall into the sea and a further seven homes badly damaged.Despite a bid for £2.3m for government funded flood defences, residents failed to secure funding. But in 2015 residents raised enough money for partial sea defences of honeycombed concrete blocks to be installed in the dunes. Tidal surges in 2013 saw three homes in the area fall into the sea  Residents living at the top of a cliff have refused to evacuate to a rescue centre after it was feared their homes could collapse into the sea.Great Yarmouth Borough Council has handed out “precautionary” advice for residents living in 30 chalets to the west of The Marrams in Hemsby to evacuate after the dunes eroded some 16ft (5m) in the past 12 to 24 hours.Residents were told they could move to a rest centre until the high tide had passed.”This is a purely precautionary measure, taken in light of the risk posed through further loss of cliff material,” a council spokesman said.”Officials will continue to monitor the road and incoming tide throughout the evening,” he added.Police officers and lifeboat crew visited the properties on behalf of the borough council to advise residents to move their vehicles to the Marrams car park. In March a number of properties were lost after bad weatherCredit:Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

JKTech recogised for smart minerals technology

first_imgJKTech has been awarded recognition for its minerals technology development at the JK Centre in Brisbane through the Premier of Queensland’s Smart Awards. Last year, JKTech won the Smart Award for mining and mineral processing with its Flotation Optimization Methodology. The criteria used to judge the candidates were: the degree and use of innovation by the company; how innovation was being used to drive business growth; growth in turnover, profits, employees and the capacity to sustain growth in the future; the use of smart business management processes and systems throughout the business.JKTech’s Mineral Liberation Analysis (MLA) system was chosen as one of the three finalists out of 17 entrants. The award was finally won by Brisbane Display & Shopfitting and attracted entrants ranging from yacht builders to salt chlorinator manufacturers. Several companies from the mining industry supply sector were also nominated, including Intellection, Metso Minerals, Monduran, Transcale and the third finalist, Hardchrome. This will provide further support for the ongoing development of the MLA and other mineral related technologies. Queensland Government has announced that the JK Centre has been awarded funding under the Innovation Building Fund to support the construction of a new Mineral Characterization Research Facility at the University of Queensland’s experimental mine at Indooroopilly in Brisbane.last_img read more

FireFall creator Red 5 drops from E3 to protest SOPA

first_imgRed 5, the PC game developer behind the upcoming free-to-play shooter/MMO mashup FireFall, has dropped out of E3 2012 in protest of SOPA. CEO Mark Kern, also a Boston University Law School graduate, is redirecting the company’s E3 funds to launch The League For Gamers, an advocacy group representing end users, gamers and First Amendment advocates. The Entertainment Software Association (ESA), a trade body for the games industry, owns the E3 show and supports SOPA. Kern gave an extensive interview to Ars Technica in which he explained that the ESA has taken only the side of large publishers on the SOPA issue, leaving out developers, indies, and users. The CEO, in speaking to other developers, gets the feel that studios think that their hands are tied. They feel powerless against “the money … behind this legislation,” and as such Red 5 is the first to take serious action. Other large game companies including Nintendo of America, Microsoft, EA and Epic Games have individually stated opposition to SOPA but none have withdrawn from the ESA or E3 over the legislation.For Red 5, the withdrawal was a huge commitment as the company bases its marketing on trade shows instead of web advertising. The game was the darling of PAX 2010, and the absence from E3 will significantly impact the game’s publicity if it launches in 2012. “Literally within hours” of signing the E3 contract, Kern said, he backed out and doesn’t expect a refund. On the other hand, the studio expects eSports – and specifically streaming sites like – to be the game’s promotional backbone post-launch. SOPA presents an existential threat to that strategy, as a copyright claim from any holder could shut down the entire site, not just an offending channel. This differs from DMCA, the copyright legislation on the books since 2000, since that law only requires that offending content be taken down. All it takes, says Kern, is for one company to say “That’s not fair use” and away goes an entire streaming site regardless of what other developers have sanctioned.Moreover, if streaming sites were shut down, that impacts a greater financial ecosystem. Game casters would also be “shut down financially.” While SOPA has already withdrawn DNS blocking, Kern pointed out that other mechanisms still in the bill are equally effective, including search engine blacklisting, advertising blacklisting, and forced stopped payments from processors ranging from Visa and MasterCard to PayPal.Kern slammed the ESA – where his former colleague at Blizzard is now the general counsel – for believing that SOPA won’t be abused. The ESA believes, he says, that its members can be “good caretakers for First Amendment rights.” He added that ESA members themselves are split on the legislation, and therefore ESA’s support only represents the large publishers. The organization has thrown out its hard-earned favor from indie developers and individual voters, whose support was galvanized for the 2011 Supreme Court ruling that games are protected speech.Kern is continuing his advocacy among developers and teased that we may soon see something from “at least one other company.” via Ars Technicalast_img read more

Interest groups seen as threat to ferry sector

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Coastal shipping vessels may be forced to abandon their Aegean Sea routes in the coming months due to the dire financial situation ferry companies have found themselves in, the alleged indifference of the state and the attitudes of certain “small, well-organised groups,” warned the head of the coastal shippers’ union upon quitting his post on Thursday. In his letter of resignation, the head of the Association of Greek Passenger Shipping Companies (SEEN), Apostolos Ventouris, said the sector’s representatives had done all they could to maintain the smooth connection of mainland Greece with the country’s islands. However, Ventouris said in the letter read at Thursday’s SEEN board meeting, “We have run into the stiff opposition of the competent authorities toward proceeding to any real and radical changes or reforms.” “Yet is it really the official and orderly state that opposes changes, or certain small, well-organised groups that wish to retain their privileges? My view is that this is certainly due to the few, to some minority groups who wish to hold on to their privileges at any cost, be it social or economic,” thundered Ventouris. “There is no time to lose, our next meeting with the merchant marine minister will be crucial for the future of coastal shipping,” SEEN’s first vice president, Antonis Agapitos, told Kathimerini.last_img read more

Amiridis campaign to save lives

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Through hard work and determination Sophia Amiridis has successfully changed the speed limit on Dunne Street – reducing it from 60km/h to 50km/h. Following the death of a close friend in a road accident, Sophia stepped up her involvement in public affairs, starting the Kingsbury Project in an attempt to improve road safety in the area. Sophia’s commitment has seen her involved in a number of projects including the re-surfacing of roads, the re-lining of streets and changing parking requirements, allowing for an easier flow of traffic. The philanthropist’s contribution does not stop there, with plans for a new children’s health care initiative, helping children from underprivileged backgrounds; along with a project starting mid-June to improve the local community park. Sophia’s latest venture is a fundraising art exhibition, which will be held in October later this year. The exhibition will display some of Sophia’s personal art work, with all funds raised going to the Butterfly Foundation, an organisation promoting awareness and helping sufferers of anorexia. The Old Firestation Exhibition will run from 1-13 October 2013 at 378 High Street, Preston, Victoria. The opening launch will take place 4 October 2013. Donations are greatly appreciated.last_img read more

House price drop second to worst in the world

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Greece has the unenviable distinction of having the second to worst performing residential property market in the world this year, according to data up to the end of September.A Global Property Guide survey shows that the annual price decline in Greece came to 6.03 percent, second only to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (-10.4 percent). Compared to the second quarter of the year, Greece’s price slide amounted to 2 percent in Q3.Among European Union member-states, Cyprus was a distant second behind Greece, with a 2.2 percent annual decline in home prices, while Spain was in third after seeing a small drop of 0.45 percent.As Bank of Greece data also show, pressure on the market prices of residential properties continues, albeit to a lesser degree that previously. However, an Alpha Bank analysis revealed that after seven consecutive quarters of slowdown in the annual price reduction rate, the trend reversed in the second and third quarters of this year, when the decline accelerated again to 5 percent and 6.1 percent respectively, against a drop of 3.9 percent in Q1 on an annual basis.Apartments in particular saw a milder decline this year, suffering a 5 percent drop in prices in the first nine months against an 8.1 percent slump in the same period of 2014 and a 7.5 percent decline in the whole of 2014. Apartment prices have dropped 40.9 percent from 2008 up to end-September 2015.The central bank forecasts that the slide is unlikely to reverse in the coming quarters, as the factors that have led to it have not been eliminated.[Source: Kathimerini]last_img read more

UK and Ireland WWE Network subscribers get free month

first_img Pinterest Now Playing Up Next Facebook Bret Hart issues a statement following his attack at the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony on Saturday WhatsApp WWE issued an email to new subscribers for the WWE Network in the UK and Ireland today stating that they will be also be getting the month of February for free.“As a thank you for your patience and being one of the first to sign up for WWE Network, we are extending this special offer to you. You will now get February for free and will not be charged for WWE Network until March 1. No action is required on your part.”Source: Prowrestling.netRecommended videosPowered by AnyClipRoku Aims To Beat Netflix In European Streaming MarketVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPauseUnmuteDuration 0:32/Current Time 0:04Loaded: 100.00%0:04Remaining Time -0:28 FullscreenUp NextThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Replay the list Roku Aims To Beat Netflix In European Streaming Market Now Playing Up Next Twitter Netflix to introduce weekly episode schedule Now Playing Up Nextcenter_img Google+ WWE kicks off their semiannual week and a half long European Tour today The Tech Behind the First FDA-Approved Birth Control App Apple TV+ To Be Offered For $4.99 Per Month Now Playing Up Next Adam Martin RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Disney CEO Bob Iger Leaves Apple’s Board Of Directors Now Playing Up Next WWE issues statement on Bret Hart being attacked by fan during Hall of Fame ceremonylast_img read more

Gas Tax Repeal faces opposition from public safety coalitions and transportation agencies

first_imgGas Tax Repeal faces opposition from public safety coalitions and transportation agencies Categories: Local San Diego News, Politics FacebookTwitter Elizabeth Alvarez 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 SettingsMIRAMAR (KUSI) – Union workers representing the construction industry and public safety spoke out Monday at the Hanson Asphalt Plant against Prop 6.“It’s going entirely backwards” said Jose Mejia, Director of the California State Council of Laborers. It’s a measure on the November ballot to repeal California’s current gas tax increase.The increase was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown in November as a way to generate  5 billion of dollars annually — money that supposed to go toward road and transportation projects.Carl Demaio who spearheaded the initiative to repeal the gas tax  argues the money generated goes to the general fund and that there is no guarantee in the money goes to road repairs. Carl DeMaio, Chairman of the Yes on 6 – Gas Tax Repeal campaign provided KUSI with the following statement:“Don’t be fooled by a PR stunt by politicians of a few projects being approved in the middle of the Yes On 6 – Gas Tax Repeal campaign. Only a fraction of the existing gas tax goes to any road projects currently with the rest stolen and wasted by politicians. We could fix all of our roads if we simply allocated 100 percent of gas tax revenues to roads, but the politicians will never do that because this has never been about fixing roads, but rather getting more of your money.”Mejia claims that is false information saying, “The voters in June passed Proposition 69 which completely secures it by making an amendment to the California Constitution that those monies have to be used for the intended purpose.”Construction workers and civil engineers like the ones who work at Hansen are worried they’ll be out of a job if the gas tax is repealed.“They will get laid off. They would terminate their employment. They would have to try and find a way and see if a contractor accommodate them in another area.” Said Mejia.The Coalition voting No on 6 says here’s what is at risk in San Diego county:-314 projects to fill potholes and repave crumbling roads.-14 traffic congestion relief projects-And More than 100 projects to improve the safety of local roads and bridges. Posted: September 17, 2018center_img Elizabeth Alvarez, Updated: 2:54 PM September 17, 2018last_img read more

Haiku Harlem on Twittersphere

first_imgTwitter is flooded with intertextual one and multi-liners meandering through its massive heart. Some call it ‘micropoetry’. Others prefer Twitter haiku. But 17 syllable or not, it’s spontaneous outpouring of powerful emotion into the belly of this cyber beast. Writers like Nigerian-American Teju Cole, English Joyce Carol Oates, poets like Jacqueline Saphra, among others have taken to Twitter to not only experiment with this new ‘box’ – for that’s what they call any kind of formulaic structure, celebrating it as much as lamenting its potentials of literary innovation – but also connect with their ardent readers. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Oates tweets, ‘The novel is the novelist’s effort at assuaging a profound loneliness. Again.’ Cole, on the other hand, juxtaposes a game of football (FIFA final match between Germany and Argentina to be precise) and turns it into an opportunity to philosophise with scintillating imagery. ‘Germanyconnecting like centipedes but …nein.’ Twitter behaves like a mammoth, many-headed hydra with billions of eyes, each eye creating its own Oracle of Delphi. In Britain, poets and rappers come together on Twitter and organise competitions lasting a day or more. Benjamin Zepaniah, a new wave poet creating ripples of digital dissension, tweets thus: ‘Intelligence may not mean intelligent/ The news may not be new/ From where we are/ To be awake/ May not mean/ To be conscious.’ Evidently, the culture of salon repartee and coffeehouse duels has shifted to this cyberutopia.       Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixWhat about us Indians? When not posting lines of his own, writer and academic Amitava Kumar often quotes authors with the intention of making a polemical point.    ‘’Because I come from the West Indies / certain people in England seem to think / I is an expert on palm trees’ from poem by John Agard’, he recently tweeted. Twitter is a readymade field of play, custommade for imagist-style, pithy and startling observations on things here and now, on the eternal and ephemeral, leveling big names with the almost anonymous. Writes @sapiotextual: ‘A plan as spontaneous as procrastination.’ Or: ‘’You be the dream, I the silent shattering.’ Here’s a gem from @parekhit: ‘When the truth sets you free, it usually cages someone else.’ Here’s @shakti_shetty: ‘A doubt called tomorrow.’ Or: ‘The roads less travelled miss us.’  Twitter poets are here to stay. They pass by like movie credits, often unnoticed, but make your timeline a little more worthy of your attention. Between The Covers is a weekly column on reading up and rating downlast_img read more

Full Address President Jacob Zuma responds to Nkandla ruling

first_imgRead the full address below:Fellow South Africans,I address you during an important year when our country celebrates 20 years since President Nelson Mandela signed the Constitution of the Republic into law in Sharpeville, which took place on the 10th of December 1996.Our Constitution commits us, individually and collectively, to build a nation based on the democratic values of human dignity, equality and freedom, through constitutionalism and the rule of law.We have well-established institutions that support democracy and which protect the rights of our citizens.These include the Chapter 9 institutions, the Office of the Public Protector, the South African Human Rights Commission, the Office of the Auditor-General, the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities and the Commission for Gender Equality.Our Constitution also establishes a democratic parliament. I respect the role of parliament to hold the Executive to account as true representatives of our people, representing, as it does different voices, views and constituencies.Guided by the Constitution, we have an independent judiciary which is a trusted final arbiter in disputes in society.Yesterday, the Constitutional Court of the Republic, playing this crucial role, issued a judgement on the matter of security upgrades at my private residence in Nkandla.I welcome the judgement of the Constitutional Court unreservedly.The judgement has underscored the values that underpin our hard- won freedom and democracy, such as the rule of law and the accountability of public office bearers, while also respecting the rights of public office bearers facing scrutiny.The judgement has further strengthened our constitutional democracy and should make South Africans proud of their country’s Constitution and its strong and effective institutions.This is a ground-breaking judgement with regards to the powers of the Public Protector.I wish to thank the Court for providing clarity which will have a positive impact on other Chapter 9 institutions as well with regards to their work.The Constitutional Court has ruled that the remedial actions of the Public Protector are binding, and that anyone wishing to challenge the remedial action can only do so through a review by a court of law.The Court has also ruled that the remedial actions with regards to six features of the Nkandla project must be carried out.This entails the National Treasury establishing a reasonable proportion of the reasonable costs of each item to be paid by the President.I respect the judgement and will abide by it.I have consistently stated that I would pay an amount towards the Nkandla non-security upgrades once this had been determined by the correct authority. The Court has ruled on the matter and has devised a mechanism for such determination by the National Treasury.As alluded to by the court, we participated in the resolution of this matter voluntarily, through the proposal we made before the matter was heard by the court.We also consulted with other parties to the dispute as directed by the court. In the proposal I stated my willingness to pay and to abide by other measures.I would like to emphasise that it was never my intention not to comply with the remedial action taken against me by the Public Protector or to disrespect her office.It is for this reason that on receiving the report, I submitted it and my initial response to it to the National Assembly within 14 days as required by the Public Protector. WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite The Court has welcomed this compliance and stated in the judgment that I also followed up with another response five months later.I then allowed another arm of the state, the National Assembly, to go through its own processes in dealing with the report.I welcome the finding of the court that it was legally permissible for me to inquire into the correctness of the aspects of the report that I may disagree with.I also welcome the clarity provided by the Constitutional Court that I should have then taken the matter on review by a court of law in the event of any queries or disagreement.This interpretation will be followed by the Executive in the future in light of this judgement. It puts an end to any other interpretations of this matter.I also respect the finding that failure to comply with the remedial action taken against me by the Public Protector is inconsistent with the Constitution of the Republic.I wish to emphasise that I never knowingly or deliberately set out to violate the Constitution, which is the supreme law of the Republic.The finding by the court that my failure to comply with the remedial action taken against me by the Public Protector is inconsistent with the Constitution and therefore invalid, flows from the fact that I initially followed a different approach.While correct in law at the time, the approach was subsequently demonstrated to be contrary to the Constitution as stated by the Constitutional Court yesterday.I had earlier adopted a different approach based on the judgment of the Western Cape High Court.This ruling was subsequently overturned on appeal, and I immediately set out to abide by the ruling of the Supreme Court on this matter.I wish to confirm in line with the findings of both the court and the Public Protector, that I did not act dishonestly or with any personal knowledge of the irregularities by the Department of Public Works with regards to the Nkandla project.The intention was not in pursuit of corrupt ends or to use state resources to unduly benefit me and my family. Hence I have agreed to pay for the identified items once a determination is made.The judgement has been very helpful.There are lessons to be learned for all of us in government which augur well for governance in the future.The Nkandla project brought sharply into focus, the problems within the government supply chain mechanisms.The gross inflation of prices in the Nkandla project is totally unacceptable and should never have been allowed, hence government is improving procurement measures to prevent any future recurrence.The Office of the Chief Procurement Officer has been established at the National Treasury for this purpose of ensuring that strict supply chain procedures are followed by government departments.Government also took a conscious decision to clean up the Department of Public Works to ensure that the flouting of supply chain procedures is eradicated and prevented.I issued a proclamation in December 2013 authorising the Special Investigating Unit to investigate the irregularities in the procurement of goods and services by government officials, their close family members or friends and contractors in Nkandla.Subsequent to this, the Department of Public Works has instituted civil claims against the implicated officials and contractors.Criminal referrals have also been submitted to the National Prosecuting Authority, while referrals have also been sent to relevant government departments for disciplinary action.The Presidency is also reviewing the policy on the security benefits of members of the National Executive, to ensure that there is clarity with regards to what members are entitled to.Fellow South Africans,I wish to reiterate that any action that has been found not to be in keeping with the Constitution happened because of a different approach and different legal advice.It all happened in good faith and there was no deliberate effort or intention to subvert the Constitution on my part.The judgement has helped me and my colleagues to reflect deeply on the entire matter. With hindsight, there are many matters that could have been handled differently, and which should never have been allowed to drag on this long, which we deeply regret.The matter has caused a lot of frustration and confusion, for which I apologise, on my behalf and on behalf of government.I urge all parties to respect the judgement and abide by it.Let us use the judgement to build and further strengthen our democracy.I thank you.Issued by The Presidencycenter_img President Jacob Zuma addressed the nation on television on 1 April and agreed to pay back the money spent on the upgrades on his Nkandla residential home.This is after the Constitutional Court’s ruling that Zuma were in breach of their constitutional obligations after they failed to comply with the public prosecutor Thuli Madonsela’s 2014 report.Zuma said: “I respected the judgment and will abide by it,” Zuma said.“I have consistently stated that I would pay an amount towards the Nkandla non security upgrades once this had been determined by the correct authority.”Watch the address below:last_img read more

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competition is being held simultaneously in the country "We are really looking forward to it This is another step towards taking Indian boxing to its rightful place which is right there at the top with other powerful countries Having a tournament on home turf is always a confidence booster" Indian boxing’s High Performance Director Santiago Nieva told PTI "The fact that the performance here will contribute to Commonwealth Games selection is also a major motivating factor for the boxers" he said Among the men barring a couple of notable absentees — world championships bronze medal-winning duo of Gaurav Bidhuri (56kg) and Vikas Krishan (75kg) — Indians will be out in full force in four teams of India A B C and D Both Vikas and Gaurav are out nursing injuries but with the likes of world and Asian medallist Shiva Thapa (60kg) former Commonwealth Games gold-medallist Manoj Kumar (69kg) Asian silver-medallist Sumit Sangwan (91kg) and Commonwealth Games silver-medallist Mandeep Jangra (69kg) among others Among the new faces the ones to watch out will be world youth champion Sachin Siwach (49kg) and world championships bronze-medallist Naman Tanwar (91kg) The women’s line-up has five teams with Team E headlined by the celebrated Mary Kom (48kg) and also including Commonwealth Games bronze-medallist Pinki Jangra (51kg) The other Indian women’s teams feature the likes of world championships silver-medallist Sonia Lather (57kg Team A) former world and Asian champion L Sarita Devi (60kg Team A) recently-crowned world youth champion Shashi Chopra (57kg Team B) former junior world champion Nikhat Zareen (51kg Team D) and former world silver-medallist Sarjubala Devi (51kg Team A) Among the international teams Kenya (22) Thailand (19) Indonesia (19) Afghanistan (17) Mongolia (17) Nepal (17) and Zambia (18) have the biggest contingents apart from India Every gold-medallist will pocket USD 2500 while the silver and bronze medallists in each event will be bagging USD 1000 and USD 500 respectively 2013 He believes that humanity is a 100 years away from living in space reports the TelegraphHow does bad breath save caterpillars from spiders (Listen to the full Science podcast and more podcastsWikiLeaks has come under intense scrutiny from U" he said 2011 17 Shepard said Bell has already bounced back "It was a joke because our first daughters name is Lincoln That paranoia needs to stop Responding to the judgment Jayalalithaa with Sasikala millennials tend to not own cars and don’t seem to want to own cars88bn provisions for some ongoing critical infrastructure projects in the FCT but not all" "I married a feminist Dr President Hamid Karzi has been derided as the "major of Kabul Break it on down and bring it on back” are the lyrics to this simple but compelling song as they said the firm had done some 15 years earlier who has served as a Gender Advisor to the United Nations it’s about human rights and we want every girl to feel safe in Madhya PradeshN "It’s the wrong message for our group” Drizzy’s verses on the track pay homage to Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly track The producer and benevolent Snapchat sage released a brand new track with Drake 118; or send e-mail to cbieri@gfherald “After one year called Ms will focus on the creation of Ms magazine in 1971 and the feminist movement of the 1960s and 70s the Wrap reports Steinem herself will consult on the project and Kathy Najimy will co-star Bruce Cohen George Clooney and Grant Heslov will executive-produce alongside Najimy and Tomei Tomei who won an Oscar for her role in My Cousin Vinny previously worked with Clooney and his producing partner Heslov on the 2011 drama The Ides of March She recently inked a development deal with HBO [The Wrap] Write to Nolan Feeney at nolanfeeney@timecomLong before he became a senator Al Franken was a liberal hero for the way he stuck it to Republicans And so it was perhaps inevitable that even as he resigned from the Senate in disgrace this week he couldn’t resist a parting shot “I of all people” Franken said on the Senate floor “am aware that there is some irony in the fact that I am leaving while a man who has bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault sits in the Oval Office and a man who has repeatedly preyed on young girls campaigns for the Senate with the full support of his party” It was a line of reasoning worthy of President Trump: Why am I being persecuted while my political enemy goes unpunished How is that fair Franken didn’t apologize in fact he cast doubt on his accusers and the only regret he expressed was for “having to walk away from this job” But after a political career premised on exposing the depravity of Republicans Franken himself stood exposed For years he had built his brand on always being in the right Even as he relinquished his Senate seat he couldn’t let go of his sense of moral superiority Franken’s sudden fall came as they so often do when he seemed to be at his political peak After winning reelection easily in 2014 he entered his second term on a head of steam This year he published a best-selling memoir “Al Franken: Giant of the Senate” and was even getting buzz as a potential presidential candidate It was a heady rise for the former comedian a founding writer for “Saturday Night Live” who rose to fame with his portrayals of such indelible characters as the self-affirming Stuart Smalley After 15 seasons of SNL he quit when he didn’t get the “Weekend Update” anchor job and started focusing on political humor His first book “Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations” was a No 1 bestseller and vaulted him to a new kind of stardom When he toured the country to promote it he was mobbed by grateful liberals “Thank you it’s about time somebody took these guys on” they gushed as he recounts in the new book Franken quickly became a hit on the Democratic fundraising circuit He wrote more books “Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right” got him sued by Bill O’Reilly and launched a show on the liberal talk-radio network Air America His reassuring refrain to the left-wing base delivered with intelligence and humor was always the same: Our guys are right and theirs are wrong The media’s insistence on fairness Franken insisted was itself unfair because one side was good and the other was evil And lying In 2006 Franken began preparing to try his own hand at being a candidate largely because he believed the sitting senator Republican Norm Coleman was a jerk His celebrity would not be an asset in the campaign Focus groups of Minnesota voters recoiled from Franken’s off-color past (one woman reading that Franken had once called Republicans “shameless dicks” initially assumed it was a typo for “ducks”) But they were pleasantly surprised to hear he had written books and gone to Harvard “the first recorded instance of it being a good idea to tell people you went to Harvard” Franken notes So the campaign emphasized this local-boy-made-good narrative and downplayed or really mercilessly squelched his humor Revealingly in retrospect the campaign’s biggest controversy was Franken’s history of jokes about sex In 2000 he had written a satirical article for Playboy entitled “Porn-O-Rama” about a fictitious place called the “Minnesota Institute of Titology” And in the mid-’90s brainstorming lines for a sketch in which Norm McDonald played Andy Rooney Franken suggested Rooney might find a bottle of sedatives and say “I give the pills to Lesley Stahl Then when Lesley’s passed out I take her to the closet and rape her” The line was intentionally beyond the pale meant to help the other writers along but it was immortalized in a magazine article about the writing process In the line the writers ended up using instead Rooney said he’d spiked Mike Wallace’s drink and taken nude pictures of him The controversy over these jokes rankled Franken who didn’t think the attacks were fair in the context of the comedy world “To say I was sorry for writing a joke was to sell out my career” he wrote But to save his candidacy he sucked it up and apologized On Election Night Barack Obama won Minnesota by 10 points while Franken and his Republican opponent were separated by only a few hundred votes The ensuing recount lasted eight agonizing months Franken assumed office in July 2009 in time to give Democrats the 60th vote they needed to pass Obamacare a supermajority that would vanish just six months later with the loss in Massachusetts that prefigured the Tea Party wave to come As for Franken mindful of his near miss he took care to establish himself as a serious senator He refused to engage at all with the national media and never made jokes in public any eruption he knew would trigger a rash of “Senator Yuk-Yuk” stories He channeled his energy instead into ruthlessly aggressive questioning in committee hearings “Maybe I wasn’t allowed to be funny anymore” he writes in “Giant of the Senate” “But I could still let my id out once in a while by eviscerating some right-wing jerk” In the Trump era Franken’s eviscerations of Cabinet appointees frequently went viral bolstering his legend Franken’s hard work paid off with his 10-point reelection win in a tough year for Democrats Secure in having finally won over Minnesota he finally started letting it all hang out In “Giant of the Senate” he writes with remarkable frankness his history of drug use the inside story of his campaigns and the indignities of serving in the Senate: to alleviate the boredom of constantly calling donors Franken composed a musical in his head He also expresses astonishment at past pols felled by sex scandals such as Eliot Spitzer and Gary Hart “How could these guys risk everything that they’d worked for like that” Franken writes “How could they live with themselves after letting so many people down” Franken is popular with his Senate Democratic colleagues and when the first allegations of sexual misconduct against him surfaced three weeks ago they generally deferred to him But after the eighth accusation came to light they began to turn against him Franken did not go easily The Democratic leader Chuck Schumer reportedly privately urged Franken to step down for the better part of a day; it was only when that didn’t work that he joined the public chorus of more than half Franken’s fellow Democrats Franken’s resignation speech on Dec 7 was laced with bitterness and denial the defiant valedictory of a man who still believes he is always right His previous statements of remorse he insisted should not be construed as “admitting to doing things that in fact I havent done” He added “Some of the allegations against me are simply not true Others I remember very differently” A prominent Minnesota Democrat who believed Franken should have stepped down earlier said the senator appeared even now to be looking toward his political future “I got the sense he’s going to find a way to come back” the Democrat said “He’s going to be out raising money for Democrats again in a couple of years” The fall of Franken and another prominent Democrat Michigan Rep John Conyers would seem to show that sexual misconduct knows no political party that structural sexism human sin and the temptations of power affect all manner of men But Franken who staked his career on a one-sided monopoly on the truth couldn’t see it that way Even in disgrace he could only see the fault of his opponents Write to Molly Ball at mollyball@timecomOscar-winning actress Marisa Tomei will play the renowned feminist writer and activist Gloria Steinem in an upcoming HBO miniseries some said it was a good experience to have seen a cloudy weather as though it was about to rain He added that preliminary works were ongoing on the site of the second Niger Bridge he has few realistic avenues left to get back his job before the firing was known publicly GodalmingBridgemary School ManchesterSaint Pauls Catholic High School ” she added who is 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