Chasing the monsoon

first_imgMonsoon 2019 completed a quarter of its four-month season with a deficit of 33 per cent. But the most critical month of this season is July, accounting for the highest rainfall — a third of the total — in the season. A deficit in July rainfall has historically been associated with an overall deficit monsoon and severe droughts. India Meteorological Department (IMD) already indicated a below-normal July rainfall. It is usual for a monsoon break in either mid-July or sometimes in August. Also Read – A special kind of bondA deficit July monsoon, however, has been a cause of worry in both agricultural and meteorological terms. First, in India’s cropping cycle — especially for paddy — this month’s rainfall is crucial. In July, farmers transplant paddy crops that need regular showers. This year, there is another worry for farmers: sensing the late onset and tardy progress in monsoon, states advised farmers to delay sowing. Paddy was sown on about 27 lakh hectares by June 28 — 8.45 lakh Ha short of last year. Almost all crops have reported a drop in area under sowing. Also Read – Insider threat managementThis means farmers would begin sowing almost a month after what is normal. In July they would have to take up transplanting as well. Their dependence on July-rain will be much more desperate. If in case of erratic rainfall or extreme events, crops will be damaged before they mature. Deficits in monsoon in July have caused six of India’s worst droughts between 1877 and 2005, according to an analysis of IMD rainfall data by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune. IITM scientists studied overall monsoon outcomes for rainfall above or below normal for June, July as well as both, using data since 1871, in 2013. If there was a deficit in July, chances of overall deficiency soared to more than 90 per cent, they found. Let’s look at two of the country’s worst droughts. 1987 – July rainfall deficit was 26 per cent; overall monsoon was 18 per cent below normal. 1972 –July deficit at about 30 per cent; overall monsoon ended 25 per cent below average. The study also found that with deficit rainfall in June, chances of a deficit in overall monsoon was at around 77 per cent. By June 28, 2019, the monsoon was at a 36 per cent deficit. IMD’s map of monsoon progress and actual rainfall, issued June 27, was scary — only five hydromet subdivisions of a total 36 reported normal or above rainfall. Private forecaster Skymet Weather Services predicted a 33 per cent deficit by June 30 as rains picked up across India. By June 27, 2019, the actual rainfall was 86.3 mm, compared with a normal 135.6 mm. If it remained below 100 mm even after June 30, this would have been only the fourth such June in the last 118 years; and third since 1901 — 1905 (88.7 mm), 1926 (97.6 mm) and 2009 (85.7 mm). Those were also among India’s worst drought years. Whenever the deficit in June rainfall exceeded 30 per cent in the past 146 years, it either led to a below-normal monsoon or drought, except in 1923, 1924 and 1926, according to IMD. The June deficit comes at a time when more than 44 per cent of India’s areas were under various degrees of drought conditions (abnormally dry to exceptionally dry) as of June 10, 2019 — that is nearly 11 percentage point more than a year ago, according to the Drought Early Warning System (DEWS). If the deficit continues in July, most districts experiencing a drought in June would stare a multi-year drought — drought conditions over 24 months. Multi-year droughts have increased in frequency in recent decades, according to an analysis of droughts that hit India between 1901 and 2010 by the Earth System Science Organisation of the Ministry of Earth Sciences showed. Twelve multi-year droughts were recorded during 1951-2010 while there were only three such droughts during 1901-1950. The analysis also showed an increase in drought frequency during 1977-2010. This increase was more pronounced over central and peninsular India. The recent spells of droughts were also reported in these areas. There was also an increase in areas hit by moderate droughts. (The author is Managing Editor, Down To Earth. The views expressed are strictly personal)last_img read more

Nova Scotia mayor enters Tory leadership race after publicly coming out as

first_imgNORTH SYDNEY, N.S. – A prominent Nova Scotia mayor who came out as gay this week after someone allegedly threatened to out him has declared his intention to lead the provincial Tories.Cape Breton Mayor Cecil Clarke says the packed hall of supporters at a Saturday event kicking off his campaign to lead the Progressive Conservatives reassured him that he handled the matter the right way.After sharing details about his private life in a radio interview Thursday, Clarke said he felt great pride as he formally announced he was entering the race at the North Sydney Firefighters Club on Saturday afternoon.“I think it really puts out that for the wider public to know exactly who I am, and what I stand for, and what I represent as a person … I wasn’t going to do that under any basis of hate or attack,” Clarke said in a phone interview Saturday.“The outpouring of support from all of Nova Scotia told me that I dealt with it the right way, and I believe Nova Scotians have responded in the right way.”The 49-year-old politician first publicly spoke about his sexual orientation in an interview with the CBC on Thursday, saying he didn’t want anyone thinking they could shame him or hold something over him.Clarke told The Canadian Press that he is exploring legal options in responding to the alleged threat, which he described as originating from outside provincial politics or the media and being “specific” to the individual or individuals involved.His two declared opponents in the leadership race, members of the legislature Tim Houston and John Lohr, have both tweeted condemnations of personal attacks in the campaign.“It is something that is serious, and I’m not out there to do anything other than make sure that my rights as a person are respected, and the rights of anybody else,” Clarke said. “After this week, I want to make sure that no other person that I could possibly help should have to … feel ashamed, or be shamed or be a victim of someone else’s attack.”At Saturday’s campaign event, Clarke, who formerly served in the provincial legislature for a decade, cast himself as an experienced politician who could foster the kind of “grassroots” engagement it would take to win the leadership race and eventually oust the province’s Liberal government.He told the crowd that Nova Scotia already has the resources to lead prosperity, but it needs a new approach in order to revive its health-care system, improve infrastructure and work with teachers to educate the next generation.“Nova Scotians are looking for a government and a team who are ready to lead,” he told supporters. “Everything I’ve done in my life has prepared me for this moment. But it’s not my moment — let me be very clear — it’s Nova Scotia’s moment.”Jamie Baillie announced late last year that he planned to step down as PC leader and leave politics, but his departure came sooner than expected last month when he resigned following an allegation of inappropriate behaviour.Having served as a cabinet minister in the Progressive Conservative governments of former premiers John Hamm and Rodney MacDonald, Clarke said in an interview that he was “shocked” by the revelations about Baillie.He said the provincial legislature and individual parties should review their practices regarding allegations of sexual misconduct, and said he would push for a victim-centred approach in handling such claims.Details of the Tory’s leadership convention are expected to be announced later this month during the party’s annual general meeting.last_img read more

TJMaxx Partners With Debra Messing to Encourage Women to Embrace Their Individuality

first_imgT.J.Maxx is creating a community that encourages women to embrace their individuality – together.Despite the fact that every woman has something that makes her special, new research shows that over half of women filter their individuality just to succeed in society. But there’s good news: 75% of women say that when they see others being true to who they are, they’re inspired to do the same. In other words, individuality isn’t a solo sport: when a woman is true to herself, it isn’t just good for her – it’s also good for the women around her.In its second year, The Maxx You Project will host a series of workshops and an online community to connect women with one another and surround them with a ‘shecosystem’ to inspire and co-create solutions — and allow women to tap into the momentum of others to accelerate their own journeys.The program kicks off with actress and advocate Debra Messing, who attributes her ability to embrace her own individuality, personally and professionally, to the women she’s met along the way. “I’m really lucky to have so many women in my life who live as their true, authentic selves,” said Messing. “From pursuing my career to starting a family, I’ve looked to those inspiring women as part of my own community. They didn’t get to where they are alone, and neither have I. I want to pass it on.”This year, The Maxx You Project was inspired by insightful research the brand commissioned in partnership with Dr. Serena Chen, Professor of Psychology at UC Berkeley, who studies how identities are formed. The research didn’t only reveal how much women are holding back who they truly are, but highlighted that individuality is contagious.“Research shows that many women celebrate individuality in others – but not in themselves,” said Dr. Chen. “When women are true to themselves, they report stronger, more satisfying relationships. They were happier (96%), more successful (87%) and less stressed (89%) when they embraced who they are as individuals.”The Maxx You Project Workshops:The Maxx You Project Workshops will be one-day workshops designed to inspire and support women as they learn how to embrace their individuality. Each participant will be invited to come to the workshop, which includes intimate talks from keynote speakers, networking opportunities and more.Saturday, July 28: Los AngelesHosted by Maxx You Project veteran Laila Ali, World-class Athlete, TV Host, Best-selling Author, Wife & MomSubmissions close: Sunday, July 8Saturday, August 25: AtlantaHosted by Mattie James, Blogger & InfluencerSubmissions close: Sunday, August 5Thursday, September 20: New York CitySpecial celebrity host to be announced later this summerSubmissions close: Sunday, August 26The Maxx You Project Group on Facebook:As part of its mission to expand its commitment to women’s individuality through the power of community, T.J.Maxx is launching The Maxx You Project Group on Facebook, making it easy to connect, collaborate and embrace your individuality. The group will offer women a digital space that will inspire her with online resources, connections and the support she needs to embrace her individuality.“T.J.Maxx believes in the power of individuality. No two T.J.Maxx stores are the same, just like no two women are the same, which is why we offer a selection of merchandise as unique as she is,” said Jillian Rugani, Manager of Marketing, T.J.Maxx. “We’re proud to continue our mission to help women, at every age and every life stage, embrace their individuality with The Maxx You Project.”To apply to attend one of our workshops in Los Angeles, Atlanta or New York, and learn more about The Maxx You Project, go to Find your community with The Maxx You Project Group on Facebook.last_img read more

Canadas Melanie Papalia on her role alongside Chris Pine and Ben Foster

first_imgWhen you’re an actor, it’s amazing how quickly your life can change.Take Melanie Papalia. The Vancouver born and bred talent has a small but poignant part opposite Chris Pine in this month’s modern-day Western Hell or High Water — and it came virtually out of the blue.“It was a Sunday night and I was lying in my apartment watching “Chopped”, I was watching like a “Chopped” marathon, and I got a call from my manager seeing if, last minute, I would go to this audition Monday morning,” she recalls over the phone from Vancouver where she’s visiting family and getting ready for a role in the upcoming TV show “Travelers”. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Advertisement Facebook At 9 p.m. she turned off the T.V. and started prepping for the part of Emily, a Texas hooker who meets Pine’s character Toby, a bank robber, and his brother Tanner (Ben Foster) in a rundown Texas casino.She got the part.“You go and do one audition and a couple weeks later you’re literally sandwiched between Chris Pine and Ben Foster,” she says. “I just think that life is pretty crazy like that, you know?”While her character wasn’t particularly fleshed out on the page, Papalia says that once on set they worked hard to make her as relatable as possible. “She’s a lonely girl and I think that she really recognizes that in Chris Pine’s character, Toby,” she says. “She recognized a loneliness in Toby and he recognized a loneliness in her, which is why they could have these scenes and this moment. Login/Register With: Advertisement Twitterlast_img read more

Nepal UN calls for no pardons or impunity in cases of human

13 September 2011Hailing the Nepalese Government’s commitment to establish long awaited transitional justice mechanisms to address the abuses of its decade-long civil war, the United Nations today warned against granting pardons or case withdrawals that would violate international human rights law. “As Nepal moves forward in its peace process and strengthens its democratic institutions to build a strong and stable future, calls for amnesties or for case withdrawals involving serious crimes would be steps in the wrong direction,” UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Robert Piper said in a statement, urging political parties to pass the requisite bills in Nepal.“These would deny victims justice at a time when the rule of law should be the foundation of the transitional justice process and of the new constitutional order that is being built.”Some 13,000 people were killed and countless disappearances and cases of torture and other abuses were reported in the civil war between the then-royalist Government and Maoist rebels which ended in 2007.The Government of Prime Minister Babu Ram Bhattarai of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal – Maoist (UCPN-M) party, which was formed last month, has pledged to speed up adoption of bills related to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Commission of Inquiry on Disappearances, and set up the two bodies in what UN officials called “a historic step forward” for human rights in Nepal.“It is vital that the laws establishing the transitional justice mechanisms are drafted to allow the commissions to effectively respond to the rights of the victims to truth, justice and reparations,” the head of the UN human rights office in Nepal, Jyoti Sanghera, said in the joint statement with Mr. Piper, stressing that local and international rights organizations have condemned any political agreements to endorse impunity.“The laws must emphasize the impermissibility of any measures that could provide amnesty for the perpetrators of serious human rights violations and war crimes, including rape, enforced disappearances, torture and summary executions.” read more

Australian homes of Sri Lankan linked to IS raided

Counter-terrorism police in Australia have raided two homes in Melbourne reportedly linked to a Sri Lankan born Australian man who appeared in a propaganda video for the Islamic State (IS) last year.Forty one-year-old, Sri Lankan-born Mohomed Unais Mohomen Ameen appeared in the video urging Australians and other foreign sympathisers to offer their services to the organisation’s health service in Syria. The Australian Federal Police (AFP) has not yet confirmed the identity of the occupants. However the ABC reports that the two raided homes are believed to be those of Ameen’s two ex-wives. Ameen reportedly fled to Syria in 2014 and claims in the propaganda video that he is now working for the IS as a physiotherapist, treating up to 500 patients per week.“We have staff from many other countries, physiotherapy doctors from Russia, physiotherapy doctors from Sham, physiotherapy doctors from Australia, from Sri Lanka, Tunisia, and that a few countries to be named,” he said in the video. “I would like to take this opportunity, call my brothers and sisters who have the medical background, medical knowledge, who [are] qualified or semi-qualified.“We need the brothers and sisters to come and help us from all around the world.”The AFP has refused to provide further details about the operation, saying that the investigation was ongoing, but confirmed that there was “no immediate danger” to the community. (Colombo Gazette) According to the ABC, the searches were carried out after warrants were issued for two addresses in the outer-northern Melbourne suburbs of Meadow Heights and Craigieburn. read more

Newly displaced fleeing attacks in northeast Nigeria top 2000

The UN humanitarian coordination office, OCHA, reported on Thursday that escalating attacks by non-State armed groups in northeast Nigeria are triggering these new displacements, especially across Borno.According to news reports, the National Emergency Management Agency NEMA officially registered over 2,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in just 24 hours.OCHA says that humanitarian organizations are supporting the Government-led response in providing life-saving assistance, including food, shelter and healthcare.Moreover, hundreds fleeing conflict have also arrived in Borno State’s overloaded Monguno reception centre where humanitarian organizations are providing shelters, relief kits, and water and sanitation.At present, more than seven million people in northeast Nigeria require humanitarian assistance and protection, including 1.8 million IDPs.The 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan for Nigeria sought funding of $1.05 billion to assist 6.2 million people, and was 66 per cent funded. read more

Whats Behind a Hot Goalies Bad Game Besides a Jinx

Ahead of Wednesday night’s Chicago Blackhawks-Los Angeles Kings game, I wrote about the “hottest” goalies of the Stanley Cup playoffs to date. No. 1 on the list? Chicago’s Corey Crawford, who promptly had the worst game of his playoff career, allowing five goals on 30 shots in the Kings’ runaway victory.It probably seems self-serving not to merely chalk this up to a bad prediction (granted, I did note that “today’s hot goalie isn’t guaranteed to be a success tomorrow”) or even a jinx of some kind. But it might be more instructive if taken as an example of a few interesting philosophical concepts in sports.First, there’s the impact of randomness on performance. Goaltending statistics are incredibly noisy in the small sample of a game. It takes 3,000 shots faced for save percentage to be half-skill and half-luck; Crawford faced 1/100th of that amount in Game 2. Even the best prediction isn’t going to be very accurate in a given game when it goes up against that kind of volatility.Also, because of the outsize role of random chance, a goaltender’s numbers are a good illustration for the gulf between predictive and “retrodictive” metrics, which can also be framed as a tug-of-war between ability and value. A statistic that places its emphasis on value will reward past performance, regardless of whether that performance was driven by luck or skill. So when a mediocre goalie steals a game against a good team, he gets full credit for that performance in a retrodictive metric such as our “hotness” statistic — even if he’s unlikely to repeat it. But a predictive stat will not give extra credit for a fluky performance, beyond using the evidence from that performance to (slightly) update its expectations.Finally, some superstitious FiveThirtyEight readers may think I “stat-cursed” Crawford by anointing him the hottest goaltender of the 2014 postseason. There’s a long tradition of athletes and teams sustaining declines after being singled out for achievements. But in these kinds of cases, regression to the mean is the more likely culprit. To appear on the cover of the “Madden NFL” video game or Sports Illustrated, a player had to play at an incredibly high level, and was usually aided by luck (which includes staying healthy). When that luck dissipates, it seems there’s a curse attached to the accolade.This is more true for the hottest goalie list, because I set up that metric to find players who were playing above a level that could be explained by their previous performance baselines and even the shooting skill of the opposing team. Whatever’s left over is, by definition, going to be fueled largely by luck, and therefore primed for regression.In fairness to Blackhawks fans, regression rarely comes as abruptly (or as far in the opposite direction) as it did for Crawford on Wednesday night. Predictors who forecasted Crawford to allow five goals (if there were any) would have been engaging in the gambler’s fallacy, thinking he was “due” for bad luck to offset his previous fortune. In reality, luck is random. And the interplay between luck and skill is what makes sports interesting, especially in the high-stakes setting of the NHL’s conference finals. read more

Addictive video games may change childrens brains in the same way as

One nine-year-old was reportedly admitted to rehab after becoming so addicted to the game Fortnite One nine-year-old was reportedly admitted to rehab after becoming so addicted to the game Fortnite The nine-year old girl now in rehab would secretly play the survival shooter game during the night Fortnite and other addictive video games can have a similar effect on children’s brains as drug abuse or alcoholism, MRI scans reveal.They show the “reward” system in the brains of young heavy users of social media and video games display the same changes in function and structure as those of alcoholics or drug addicts.A series of studies by California State University found the impulsive part of the brain, known as the amygdala-striatal system, was not only more sensitive but also smaller in excessive users so that it processed the stimuli of social media or games faster.The findings come as Britain’s children are gripped by the Fortnite video game, with one nine-year-old reportedly admitted to rehab after becoming so addicted she wet herself rather than leave the screen and primary schools urging parents to ban their children from playing them.On Monday, the Daily Telegraph launched the Duty of Care campaign calling on ministers to make social media and online gaming companies subject to a statutory duty to protect children from harms such as addiction, bullying and grooming when using their services.  One leading internet addiction expert who has treated children playing the game said Fortnite’s addictive quality was such that it made Beatlemania look like a passing whim and had captivated the young in the same way as the nation was swept up by the “Princess Diana effect”.According to the studies led by Professor Ofir Turel, of California State University, the impact on the young’s brains is marked: “Say someone sees a video game or cellphone, this reward system in the brain lights up. It’s a very strong activation compared to other people.“It is associated with structural change in that this brain area is smaller in people who are excessive users. The smaller system can process associations much faster. But like a car, you need to put more gas into it to generate more power.”There was, however, an up-side in that the studies showed the part of brain responsible for “self-control” over their impulses was not affected in the same way for excessive social media users as other addictions such as drink or drugs. Another added that her son, aged nine, had become addicted and she had imposed a ban on the game after his ‘behaviour deteriorated massively’. She wrote: “It was awful to see how angry he was becoming … I seriously wish I’d never let him on it.”The nine-year old girl now in rehab would secretly play the survival shooter game during the night and didn’t even get up to use the toilet because she couldn’t prise herself away from the screen. More worrying, however, was the risk that excessive usage could be changing children’s brain reward systems in the long term, making them more susceptible to other addictions later in life.“The question is if you sensitise their reward system at a young age with video games and social media, does it increase their risk to become addicted to drugs or drink later in life?” said Professor Turel.His initial research suggests there is an association between heavy video game users aged 13 to 15 and an increased likelihood of misusing at least one of 15 substances from cocaine to amphetamines.A third study by his research team found the internet addiction also disrupted the connections between the left and right sides of young people’s brains. “When the tracks that connect these parts of the brain are not efficient, people are more prone to develop addictions,” said Professor Turel.“There’s a much bigger risk factor for [addicted] children because their brains are flexible. Some parts of the brain develop until they are 17, others are not fully developed until they are 25. “The development of the reward or impulse system is much faster compared to the development of the self-control system. It means that if you take someone who is 13 years old,they will have a mature reward system but self-control system is not as well developed. The girl, who is now in intensive therapy to combat her addiction, would play for up to 10 hours a day. Worn out from all-night sessions, she dozed off at school.She even lashed out at her father when he tried to confiscate her Xbox gaming console. The girl’s mother said: “We had no idea, when we let her play the game, of the ­addictive nature or the impact it could have on her mental health.”The World Health Organisation declared in January that internet gaming addiction will be classified as a mental disorder. Last weekend The Daily Telegraph revealed a 15-year-old boy was set to be diagnosed with the condition in the first case of its kind in Britain. He has spent eight weeks in hospital due to his addiction and has not been to school for a year after losing confidence to go outside. Ministers are considering new measures to rein in the worst excesses of online tech companies amid  fears a generation of young people is being harmed by unregulated use of social media and online gaming platforms. Protect yourself and your family. Find out more about our Duty of Care campaign to regulate social media Concerned parents have taken to forums such as Mumsnet to voice their fears. One mother wrote of her primary school age son: “Yesterday he saw a poster with a man and child in a swimming pool … and commented that it would be a perfect shot to blow their heads off.” The nine-year old girl now in rehab would secretly play the survival shooter game during the nightCredit:Getty “It means most people can control their social media behaviour but they just don’t have the motivation to do so,” said Professor Turel. This was less evident for heavy video gamers, where self-control appeared to be impeded. “So they are much more pre-disposed for impulsive and risky behaviours. With children there is room for regulation. They need our protection. Their brains are not as efficient as ours.”The addictive quality of Fortnite, which has been downloaded 40m times since last July, has been picked up by Dr Richard Graham, who set up the UK’s first internet addiction clinic at the private Nightingale hospital in London.He said all the young patients he was treating did play the game alongside other internet activities, with one playing it through the night.He said: “In six months, it has made Beatlemania look like a passing whim. You are dealing with something akin to the massive Diana effect that swept up everyone.The multi-player format, where, in the Battle Royale version up to 100 players fight each other until one is left standing, engendered a “crowd mentality.”“You have a mass crowd effect where you have engagement that sweeps you along,” said Dr Graham. “The fear of missing out is also part of what drives it. It’s something you can’t almost not be a part of.” 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

VELUX EHF CL Strong Kielce for a new Chamberys disaster – No

6Chambery Savoie4004106:1250 Velux EHF CL 1Vive Targi Kielce4400132:978 2Metalurg Skopje4400121:958 In three last matches of the VELUX EHF CL ROUND 4, Vive Targi Kielce and HSV Handball took easy points, while Ademar Leon and SG Flensburg finished 29:29. Polish champion demolished French Chambery 36:26, while HSV was clear better from RK Partizan 30:24. 3RK Gorenje Velenje4202113:1054 4Bjerringbro-Silkeborg410397:1152 5St. Petersburg HC410393:1252 Chambery Savoie: Dumoulin, Grahovac – Detrez 7, Basić 5, Bicanić 3, G. Gille 3, Marroux 3, Bertrand Gille 3, Panić 2, Laurent 1, N’Guessan, Benjamin Gille.Vive Targi Kielce: Szmal – Cupić 8, Strlek 6, Rosiński 5, Jurecki 4, Stojković 4, Zorman 3, Musa 2, Buntić 1, Jachlewski 1, Lijewski 1, Olafsson 1, Grabarczyk, Tkaczyk. ← Previous Story Women’s EHF CL (Round 2): Oltchim and Gyori with away victories! Next Story → Women’s EHF CL (Round 2): Fantastic Budućnost – Podravka winner of Balkan derby read more

63 per cent of first time buyers will buy in the next

first_imgWe are seeing more transactions now and that is a positive sign as the market starts to recover. However, we don’t want to see a situation where people feel rushed into buying a property. Eighty eight per cent of respondents believe the mortgage interest relief measure should be extended and we would support that call and urge the Government to support hard pressed consumers and extend it for another year.The survey also asked first time buyers how the property tax would impact their decision on whether to buy or not with 42 per cent saying they would wait for a while to see what it entails while 38 per cent said it would make no difference. Almost 20 per cent said they didn’t know.Read: Galway topples Kerry as favourite Irish holiday destination > ALMOST TWO THIRDS of first time buyers want to join the property market and buy a home in the next 12 months, an increase of 13 per cent since last February.According to a new survey by property website, almost 43 per cent of those planning to buy in the next year said they intended to do so in the next three months.The survey shows 75 per cent of first time buyers have a deposit and want to buy a property, but just under 60 per cent of respondents believe financial institutions are not lending at present, so access to finance continues to be a major issue, as does uncertainty over the forthcoming property tax.Almost 60 per cent stated the importance of mortgage interest relief measures, which are available to buyers until the end of the year. First time buyers says it would encourage them to buy now rather than later to avail of measures.Angela Keegan, Managing Director of described the findings as encouraging and underlined the positive impact ofmortgage interest relief measures:last_img read more

Retrial ordered in case of man who had murder conviction quashed over

first_img Feb 20th 2018, 1:22 PM Retrial ordered in case of man who had murder conviction quashed over jury’s visit to rubbish chute David O’Loughlin had been sentenced to life in prison. 16,707 Views Image: Google Maps No Comments Short URL Share1 Tweet Email center_img Dublin’s Central Criminal Court Image: Google Maps Dublin’s Central Criminal Court By Órla Ryan Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article A RETRIAL IS set to take place after a man’s murder conviction was quashed over a jury’s visit to the scene of the crime.A Central Criminal Court jury sitting in Cork unanimously found David O’Loughlin guilty of murdering a man he assaulted and forced into the refuse chute of an apartment building, where the victim got snagged and died.He was accordingly given the mandatory life sentence by Mr Justice Paul Carney on 31 March 2015. However, O’Loughlin’s conviction was quashed earlier this month.O’Loughlin (30), of Garden City Apartments, North Main Street, Cork, had pleaded not guilty to the murder of Liam Manley (59) at his apartment complex in the city on 12 May 2013.Permission to visit chute The Court of Appeal heard that, after considerable time deliberating, the foreman of the jury asked for permission to visit the chute before making a final decision. It is not common for a jury to visit a location but it’s not unheard of. It is not known to have happened during jury deliberations before, which is what happened in this case.Quashing the verdict on 9 February, Mr Justice Alan Mahon said the decision to permit the jury’s visit to the chute in the absence of an application from either the defence or the prosecution was technically unlawful and in conflict with section 22 of the Juries Act.In a statement released today, Michael Halleron of Madden & Finucane Solicitors, who is representing O’Loughlin, said:“During the original trial the judge consented to an inspection of the scene in the absence of the defence team. We can confirm that the Court today directed that the case will be remitted back to the Central Criminal Court for retrial.”With reporting by Ruaidhrí Giblin Comments are closed due to ongoing legal proceedingsRead: Man’s murder conviction quashed over jury’s visit to rubbish chute in which victim died Tuesday 20 Feb 2018, 1:22 PMlast_img read more

Army Ranger Wing prepares for deployment to UN mission in hostile environment

first_img Monday 26 Aug 2019, 7:22 AM Image: ARW Aug 26th 2019, 7:22 AM MINISTER OF STATE with responsibilty for Defence Paul Kehoe has addressed Ireland’s Army Ranger Wing ahead of its UN mission to Mali next week. The mission has been described as the most dangerous UN peacekeeping mission in the world, and comes amid heightened tensions and attacks on ethnic minorities in the country.The ranger wing will join the UN mission MINUSMA – Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali – which was was established in April 2013 after an upsurge in violence in the West African country. The Dáil approved the deployment of troops to the country after nearly 100 people were killed in an overnight attack in a village in central Mali in June. Army Ranger Wing personnel will be deployed in the coming days to the West African country, the first time the unit has been called into action since being deployed to Chad in 2008.The deployment will comprise 14 personnel in total with a mix of four and six-month deployments over a 24-month period.  Minister of State for Defence Paul Kehoe has said that the decision to send the Army Ranger Wing to Mali was “taken after careful planning and consideration and demonstrates our commitment to UN peace and security”. Speaking to troops head of their deployment on 7 September, Kehoe said: “I know that the team deploying to MINUSMA is a highly trained specialist force well equipped to operate in hostile environments such as Mali”. Kehoe added that the Ranger Wing will contribute to the “security and stability” of the region, which he said “is a source of much criminality including people trafficking and smuggling.“Such criminal activities threatens security in the entire region and beyond, including the European Union”. Kehoe added that performing “duties overseas can require considerable sacrifice and the Government is very mindful of this.“Your role in MINUSMA will no doubt be a very challenging one,” he said. “However I am confident that it is very much within your competency and capability.”Proponents of sending Irish troops have stressed the importance of Ireland’s participation in such missions, but critics say it would endanger Irish troops and compromise the State’s neutrality. Short URL 40 Comments 23,977 Views Army Ranger Wing prepares for deployment to UN mission in ‘hostile environment’ of Mali The mission has been described as the most dangerous UN peacekeeping mission in the world.center_img Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Minister for Defence addressing the Army Ranger Wing. Minister for Defence addressing the Army Ranger Wing. Image: ARW Share114 Tweet Email3 By Cónal Thomaslast_img read more

High heat to continue in San Diego County deserts

first_img Posted: June 12, 2019 SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Scorching temperatures are expected again Wednesday in the San Diego County deserts.The heat wave could cause the mercury to climb as high as 115 in the local deserts, while temperatures across the inland valleys will top out around 91, according to the National Weather Service.The agency issued an excessive heat warning, which will remain in effect until 8 p.m. Wednesday in the deserts.Coupled with low humidity levels, the sizzling conditions, which began to develop over the weekend, will create elevated wildfire risks in the region and pose potential health hazards due to environmental exposure, authorities advised.Campo logged an afternoon high of 102 on Tuesday, which surpassed the prior June 11 record of 100 degrees, set in 1979. Borrego Springs reached a high of 115 degrees on Tuesday, eclipsing the prior record for the date of 112 degrees — set in 1985.El Cajon, meanwhile, tied its existing milestone maximum temperature for the date — 91, last recorded in 1995.The weather will be more comfortable in and around coastal communities Wednesday, though those locales may be subject to dense nighttime and early morning fog that could make travel hazardous, the NWS reported.High temperatures in the deserts will drop to the mid-100s on Thursday and are expected to remain there through early next week. Temperatures in the rest of the county are also expected to cool significantly on Thursday then remain around the same through Tuesday. High heat to continue in San Diego County deserts KUSI Newsroom KUSI Newsroom, June 12, 2019 Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

Pope kisses feet of South Sudans leaders to encourage peace

first_img By: Giada Zampano Giada Zampano Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis knelt and kissed the feet of South Sudan’s rival leaders Thursday, in an unprecedented act of humbleness to encourage them to strengthen the African country’s faltering peace process.At the close a two-day retreat in the Vatican for the African leaders, the pope asked South Sudan’s president and opposition leader to proceed with the peace agreement despite growing difficulties. Then he got down on his knees and kissed the leaders’ feet one by one.The pope usually holds a ritual washing of the feet with prisoners on Holy Thursday, but has never performed such a show of deference to political leaders.“I express my heartfelt hope that hostilities will finally cease, that the armistice will be respected, that political and ethnic divisions will be surmounted, and that there will be a lasting peace for the common good of all those citizens who dream of beginning to build the nation,” the pope said of South Sudan in his closing statement.The spiritual retreat brought together President Salva Kiir and opposition head Riek Machar. Also present were Kiir’s three vice presidents. The pope kissed the feet of all of them.South Sudanese Vice President Rebecca Nyandeng Garang said Francis’ actions moved her profoundly.Pope Francis kneels to kiss the feet of South Sudan’s Deputy President Taban Deng Gai, at the Vatican, Thursday, April 11, 2019. (Vatican Media via AP)“I had never seen anything like that. Tears were flowing from my eyes,” she said.South Sudan, gained independence from Sudan in 2011 and in 2013, the country plunged into a bloody civil war, which left at least 400,000 people dead.The two-day Vatican meeting was held a month before the end of the shaky peace deal’s pre-transition period. On May 12th, opposition leader Machar is expected to return to South Sudan and once again serve as Kiir’s deputy.However, the agreement, which was signed in September in Khartoum, the capital of neighboring Sudan, has been met with delays, missed deadlines and continued fighting with key aspects still not implemented.A military coup in Sudan on Thursday fueled worries in South Sudan that the toppling of longtime President Omar al-Bashir could derail the already fragile peace deal.“Sudan has helped us with the peace deal. We hope that the new system will also focus on the agreement, ensuring that it will be implemented,” said opposition leader Machar, who attended an evening prayer vigil for peace, held at Rome’s church of Santa Maria in Trastevere.___AP writer Sam Mednick in Juba, South Sudan contributed. Share This! Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,About the authorView All Posts By: Giada Zampano As Amazon burns, Vatican prepares for summit on region’s faith and sustainabilit … August 30, 2019 Giada Zampano,Load Comments,Conservative rabbinical group selects new leader Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Instagram apostasy stirs controversy over Christian ‘influencers’ August 30, 2019 Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email News • Photos of the Week Photos of the Week August 30, 2019 News Catholicism By: Giada Zampano Share This! Share This! Share This! Lion of Judah church straddles Boston’s two worlds Share This! Tagshomepage featured Pope Francis South Sudan Vatican,You may also likelast_img read more

Texas Executes Joseph Garcia One Of The Texas Seven Prison Escapees

first_imgGarcia was the fourth “Texas Seven” member executed. Michael Rodriguez, George Rivas and Donald Newbury were executed between 2008 and 2015. Patrick Murphy and Randy Halprin are awaiting execution dates.In repeatedly rejected appeals filed to both state and federal courts since his sentencing, Garcia’s lawyers argued that the Dallas County prosecutor, Toby Shook, portrayed Garcia as a “callous and cold-hearted killer” based off “false” testimony from his original Bexar County District Court trial, when Garcia was sentenced in November 1996 for the fatal stabbing of Miguel Luna in San Antonio.But Shook said his job was to prove that Garcia posed a future danger to the public, and the 1996 sentencing lent easy evidence to the 2003 murder trial.“I don’t think that anything could be more relevant than an offense of murder,” Shook said in an interview with The Texas Tribune this week. “I think we accurately depicted Joseph Garcia as a very violent individual.”J. Stephen Cooper, one of Garcia’s attorneys, wrote in a Nov. 14 plea to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals that Garcia’s original counsel in the Bexar County murder trial — local attorney Robert Norvell Graham, Jr. — didn’t mention that Garcia’s tumultuous upbringing was marked by sexual abuse, destitute poverty, his mother’s heroin addiction, a sister’s death, his father’s abandonment and stints in group homes.The court denied the appeal on Friday, but in a 17-page dissent, Judge Elsa Alcala revitalized the ongoing argument over the constitutionality of the law of parties and Garcia’s death sentence from the “Texas Seven” shootout.“Even though [Garcia] was a major participant in the offense and he had reckless indifference to human life, he did not have the intent to kill Hawkins or act in a premeditated or deliberate manner in causing Hawkins’s death, given the evidence that he was armed with a firearm and declined to shoot at Hawkins,” Alcala wrote in the opinion.Garcia’s attorneys filed several appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court to review the lower court’s decision and to grant a stay of execution.Garcia’s lawyers also filed a stay of execution with the Supreme Court against the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, arguing that the board has too many members with a law enforcement background and is disproportionately male, therefore violating the clemency process because the board does not fulfill a requirement to be “representative of the general public.”Garcia’s attorneys also raised legal concerns over prisoners in recent executions reportedly experiencing a burning sensation after they were administered the lethal injection following a Buzzfeed News report last week that identified the state’s lethal drug supplier as the Houston-based Greenpark Compounding Pharmacy. Greenpark has allegedly supplied compounded pentobarbital to the state for the last three and a half years and the pharmacy’s license was on probation as recently as November due to dangerous practices that include administering the wrong medication to a child who had to be hospitalized.Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton argued it was speculative to say the execution would subject Garcia to “cruel and unusual punishment.” The state said such an argument “boils down to speculation—that the pentobarbital to be used was compounded incorrectly and will possibly lead to unconstitutional pain” and that “Garcia does not prove that this temporary discomfort is constitutionally intolerable.”“The courts need to take a serious look at the constitutional issues concerning Texas’s lethal-injection drugs and unfair clemency process,” Garcia’s additional lawyer, Mridula Raman, said in an emailed statement to the Tribune.The Supreme Court denied Garcia’s multiple pleas for a stay of execution, handing down its decision shortly before the execution. Garcia delivered his final words before he was pronounced dead at 6:43 p.m.“Yes Sir. Dear Heavenly Father please forgive them for they know not what they do,” he said.Garcia was the 12th Texas inmate executed this year — with another scheduled for next week — and the nation’s 22nd inmate executed in 2018.This article was originally published on the Texas Tribune. The Texas Tribune is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.  Share Courtesy of TDCJJoseph Garcia was sentenced to death of the Dec. 24, 2000 murder of Irving Police officer Aubrey Hawkins.Joseph Garcia was four years into a 50-year sentence for a 1996 Bexar County murder when he joined six other inmates who escaped prison, went on the run and killed Irving Police officer Aubrey Hawkins in a Christmas Eve robbery.Texas executed the 47-year-old Garcia on Tuesday, almost 18 years after he and the other inmates known as the “Texas Seven” construed a detailed plan to break out of the Connally Unit in Karnes County. On the afternoon of Dec. 13, 2000, the seven men overpowered prison workers, took their uniforms, stole 14 handguns, a shotgun, an AR-15 rifle and more than 100 rounds of ammunition before fleeing north in a prison truck.The escaped prisoners managed to avoid law enforcement until Christmas Eve, when a botched robbery at a sporting goods store in Irving resulted in a shootout between the escaped convicts and Hawkins.During the robbery, a witness called 911 and Hawkins arrived at the scene shortly thereafter. According to court records, Hawkins was killed within minutes of arriving on the scene. Five of the escaped inmates simultaneously opened fire against the officer, who was shot nearly a dozen times.Garcia’s attorneys long claimed that their client was not one of the five who fired at 29-year-old Hawkins, and that he was not in the vicinity during the shootout.“It wasn’t supposed to happen,” Garcia said in a recent Houston Chronicle interview. “I wish I could take everything back.”The “Texas Seven” quickly fled the scene and drove to Colorado, where they hid out in an RV park until January. By then, their story had made national headlines and group member Larry Harper had killed himself.The remaining men were brought to trial in Dallas, and because of Texas’ law of parties — which holds all individuals responsible for a crime, regardless of their role — the six were convicted of capital murder. Garcia was sentenced to death in February 2003.last_img read more

Genetic study suggests humans may be evolving in a way that prevents

first_img Citation: Genetic study suggests humans may be evolving in a way that prevents alcoholism (2018, February 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Largest genetic study of mosquitoes reveals spread of insecticide resistance across Africa Humans are, of course, still evolving, which suggests studies looking into the ways we are evolving might be important. In this new effort, Johnson and Voight analyzed genetic data from the over 2,500 people whose DNA ended was used in the 1000 Genomes Project. More specifically, they looked for emerging variants in different population groups that might shed some light on the evolutionary changes that we are currently undergoing. They report that they were able to identify five genetic “hot spots”—resistance to malaria in African populations, an amino acid change in Europeans, two sections of DNA left over from interbreeding with Neanderthals, and finally, an ADH variant.The ADH gene is responsible for inducing production of alcohol dehydrogenase, an enzyme that breaks down alcohol into acetaldehyde, which is then converted to acetate by another process. The researchers note that the variants seem to protect against alcoholism, though how that might happen is still unclear. They theorize that it might break down alcohol faster, causing drinkers to feel sick almost right away—a side-effect that would almost certainly deter drinkers from further consumption. They further theorize that it is possible that over the past 1000 years or so, people, particularly those in their reproductive years, who drank a lot wound up killing themselves off before reproducing—a trend still in evidence today as young people who drink and drive frequently wind up dead before they have a chance to make babies.The researchers report that there was an anomaly in the data, however—ADH variants were not nearly as prevalent in European and American populations as they were in others. They suggest this might have been due to overlooking the markers in the data. © 2018 A depiction of the double helical structure of DNA. Its four coding units (A, T, C, G) are color-coded in pink, orange, purple and yellow. Credit: NHGRI Explore furthercenter_img More information: Kelsey Elizabeth Johnson et al. Patterns of shared signatures of recent positive selection across human populations, Nature Ecology & Evolution (2018). DOI: 10.1038/s41559-018-0478-6AbstractSignatures of recent positive selection often overlap across human populations, but the question of how often these overlaps represent a single ancestral event remains unresolved. If a single selective event spread across many populations, the same sweeping haplotype should appear in each population and the selective pressure could be common across populations and environments. Identifying such shared selective events could identify genomic loci and human traits important in recent history across the globe. In addition, genomic annotations that recently became available could help attach these signatures to a potential gene and molecular phenotype selected across populations. Here, we present a catalogue of selective sweeps in humans, and identify those that overlap and share a sweeping haplotype. We connect these sweep overlaps with potential biological mechanisms at several loci, including potential new sites of adaptive introgression, the glycophorin locus associated with malarial resistance and the alcohol dehydrogenase cluster associated with alcohol dependency. Journal information: Nature Ecology & Evolution A pair of researchers with the University of Pennsylvania has found evidence suggesting humans may be evolving in a way that will prevent alcoholism in the future. In their paper published in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution, Kelsey Elizabeth Johnson and Benjamin Voight describe their study which involved analyzing data from the 1000 Genomes Project looking for emerging gene variants and what they found. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

VIDEO 3yearold Zhurhi James already does a perfect impression of dad LeBron

first_imgZhuri James is only three-years old, but she’s already seen enough Cavs games to pick up on her dad LeBron’s habit of giving it to the refs.Her mom posted a video on social media of Zhuri doing her best impression of Dad questioning  the officials, and it’s dead on, right down to the exasperated facial expressions. I guess this goes down as the Princess roasting the King.Zhuri, filha mais nova do King, já sabe imitar o pai MUITO BEM ?— King James Brasil (@Le_BR_on) December 16, 2017last_img

Jacó Happenings

first_imgChildren’s Day at Teatro Jacó: In celebration of Children’s Day on Sept. 1, Teatro Jacó will present “Adios querido Cuco” at 5 p.m. This heartwarming family story of loss, acceptance and starting over is told by birds when the beloved family dog Cuco dies of old age. We follow the young character as she passes through the seven stages of grief and finds renewed joy in starting over with a new puppy.Bring your kids early at 2:30 p.m. for an acting workshop and learn how to make fun creations that are used on the stage. The cost is 5,000 ($10), which includes the pre-show workshop with the actors, refreshment, cultural act and the play.Teatro Jacó’s mission is to bring culture and the arts to the communities of Garabito, through theatrical, dance and musical productions, in-school workshops combining professional artists with our local talent. For more information, email or call 2630-9812.-Christina Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

Fun promo from the Gold Coast to NZ

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Aiming to maintain its position as a Kiwi-favourite, Australia’s Gold Coast has launched a $1 million campaign, promoting the region to New Zealand travellers.Launching this month to run over March, April, May and June 2012, the ‘Famous for Fun’ campaign is set to be the Coast’s largest push in New Zealand over the past three years and will feature print, digital and retail advertising spots.Delivering the ‘fun’ message as well as travel deals to the Kiwi market, Gold Coast Tourism chief executive Martin Winter described New Zealand travellers as “enthusiastic” as well as vital to the city.“Over the past 18 months there has been more than $3 billion in tourism related development on the Gold Coast, that means there are all kinds of new hotels, resorts, attractions, and adventures to experience along with the already unrivalled variety of famous Gold Coast fun,” Mr Winter said. “This is also the first chance we have had to really expand on the Gold Coast famous for fun message in New Zealand with television commercials, digital advertising, and extended print space to show that fun means different things to different people, and that is what makes the Gold Coast so universally popular as a holiday destination.“So we are going to make sure as many of our New Zealand friends know that the Gold Coast has plenty of new stories to tell, a fresh way to tell them, and some very strong package deals to make them a reality.”last_img read more