Defections put TMC in pole position

first_imgA day after being selected by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee as the chairperson of the newly constituted Tribal Development Committee (TDC), former CPI(M) leader Ritabrata Banerjee tweeted: “Humbled to be a part in Didi’s [Ms. Banerjee] endeavour of transforming the State.”Mr. Ritabrata, once a fiery student leader and CPI(M) MP, was expelled from the party last September. Observers read his appointment as an induction into the Trinamool Congress.He, however, refused to be drawn into political speculation. “I am an Independent MP and continue to work in that capacity,” he told The Hindu.Challenge to BJPHe did, however, echo nearly all defectors on the future of politics in Bengal, when he said, “I have said for a long time that Mamata Banerjee is the only person to challenge the BJP at the State and at the national level; strengthening her is important.”Former CPI(M) MP from Murshidabad Moinul Hassan, who quit the party on Saturday, went a step further to suggest that an alliance of Trinamool Congress, CPI(M) and Congress was “vital.”“Many are asking me whether the TMC and CPI(M) can be part of the same alliance. If Akhilesh Yadav and Mayavati can come together, it can be emulated in Bengal,” said Mr. Hassan.At least five Congress MLAs and few CPI(M) leaders are expected to join the Trinamool Congress on July 21. Sabina Yeasmin, MLA from Malda, whose name featured in the list of the MLAs, has spent a decade with the Congress.“The way BJP is growing in Bengal, it is now imperative to join the TMC,” she said. She added that party president Rahul Gandhi had asked her “to wait before taking a final decision” at his meeting with restive MLAs on Friday.last_img read more

Another NPF leader wants to pull the plug

first_imgAfter senior Naga People’s Front leader and former Nagaland Chief Minister T.R. Zeliang’s announcement on Saturday about the Front’s decision to withdraw support to the BJP-led government in Manipur, another senior party leader said on Sunday that “they were forced to take the decision”.NPF Manipur State unit president Awangbou Newmai added that “bigger parties were looking down upon smaller parties.” After May 23He said that though the decision has been taken, it will be implemented after the entire electioneering process is complete on May 23.A senior BJP leader said on Sunday that if the NPF withdraws support, it will not have any effect on the coalition government.The senior BJP leader said that the party has 29 MLAs and has the support of one legislator each of the Lok Janshakti Party, AITC and an Independent in the 60-member Manipur Assembly. The NPF has four MLAs. The Congress had 29 MLAs after the 2017 Assembly polls, but eight of its legislators defected to the BJP last year, taking its tally from 21 to 29.Mr. Newmai claimed that the NPF was “forced” to take the decision as the “BJP has not honoured some of the agreements that were agreed upon when the coalition government was formed in 2017”. “We have been patient for some two years,” he said. The BJP has denied the allegations made by the NPF leader. The allegations are totally baseless and unfounded, said a senior party leader. A meeting of senior NPF leaders was held in Kohima on Saturday evening to take a decision. The meeting was held at the NPF’s central office, which was attended by party chief Shurhozelie Liezietsu, Opposition leader in Nagaland Assembly T.R. Zeliang, NPF core committee members and the party MLAs in Manipur.last_img read more

Juventus considering Kean loan in January

first_imgJuventus are considering loaning out highly rated youngster Moise Kean in January, Goal understands.Kean, a product of the Bianconeri’s youth system, is being tipped to embark on a successful career in the future.The 18-year-old made his debut for the Italy senior side against the United States on Tuesday, coming off the bench for his country. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! However, Kean has struggled to earn regular minutes for Juventus so far this season, making just one substitute appearance against Young Boys in the Champions League.And Juve are planning to discuss sending Kean out on loan in the winter market with his representative Mino Raiola, Goal has learned.Kean Italy USAThe Serie A kings believe it is essential that Kean starts to get more first-team football under his belt if he is to fulfil his lofty potential.He became the first player born in the 2000s to score in one of Europe’s major leagues after netting in Juventus’ 2-1 victory over Bologna in May 2017.Ligue 1 side OGC Nice and La Liga outfit Leganes have shown interest in Kean’s services in the past and could move for him if he is made available by Juve.Kean is no stranger to a spell out on loan with the Vercelli-born prodigy having spent the 2017/18 campaign with Hellas Verona, scoring four goals in 20 appearances.Juve are also planning to discuss a contract extension for Kean with his current deal due to expire in 2020.last_img read more

Monsoon likely to reach Delhi on July 3, says IMD

first_imgThe monsoon is likely to make an onset in Delhi on July 3, after a delay of four days, officials said on Friday.Normally, the wind system reaches the city around June 29, they added.”A low pressure area is likely to develop in the Bay of Bengal on June 30 which will cause easterly winds to move towards north India and help the monsoon advance,” senior scientist at India Meteorological Department, Kuldeep Srivastava said.”Monsoon is likely to make an onset in the national capital on 3 July. Initially, the city will witness only light rain activity,” he said.On Friday, hot and dry conditions prevailed in the national capital, with the mercury crossing the 43-degree Celsius mark in some parts of the city.The Safdarjung Observatory, which provides official figures for the city, recorded a maximum of 41.5 degrees Celsius and a minimum of 27.2 degrees Celsius.Humidity levels oscillated between 26 and 69 per cent.The weather stations at Palam, Ayanagar and Sports Complex recorded the mercury at 43.8, 42.9 and 43.4 degrees Celsius respectively.The weatherman has predicted a partly cloudy sky, thundery development and strong surface winds on Saturday. The maximum and minimum temperatures will hover around 41 and 28 degrees Celsius.Also Read | Monsoon takes toll on incomplete residential projects in Delhi-NCRAlso Read | Waiting for rain? Here is where monsoon clouds are hidingAlso Watch | Heavy rains in Mumbai, traffic hit, roads waterloggedlast_img read more

Liverpool must show improvement at so-called big six, says Jürgen Klopp

first_imgTottenham Hotspur Share on Twitter Pinterest “For sure it is important, it is a fact,” said Klopp on the significance of beating their main rivals. “It is not that you go to Tottenham and have an average day and still get something. You get nothing for an average day at Tottenham. We need to be on our top level. Two seasons ago we had a fantastic record [in big-six matches] and last year we didn’t have such a good record, especially away from home.“Can we mix it up? I don’t know what that would exactly mean – imagine we had a fantastic away record against the top five or six but not at home – but we need to be ready.“It is Tottenham, a top team in Europe and not only in England. It is a tough place to go and tough job to do, that is all we can think about. It will be very interesting not just about how can we pass but how can we play? Mauricio Pochettino demands Spurs find killer instinct as Liverpool await | David Hytner Share on Messenger Jürgen Klopp says Liverpool must improve their away record against other members of the so-called big six and be prepared for “a proper fight” with Tottenham at Wembley.Four of Liverpool’s five league defeats last season were away at leading rivals – Manchester City, Spurs, Manchester United and Chelsea – with October’s 4-1 loss to Mauricio Pochettino’s team a low point in terms of performance. The Liverpool manager believes Wembley witnessed a rare example of defensive disorganisation among his players, one that sparked significant improvement in the months that followed, and says there will be no repeat from his league leaders on Saturday. Improving results at Spurs, City and others will, he admits, be an important factor in sustaining a challenge at the top. Dejan Lovren was hauled off at Wembley last season as Liverpool lost 4-1 to Spurs. Photograph: Andy Hall/The Observer Share via Email “It’s not that Tottenham had 10 chances in the game, or even seven or eight, it was the four they scored and maybe one or two more as far as I remember it. Afterwards we talked about doing the right things and how the little things can kill a game or can turn it in your direction. The message was we had to be much better in these details, then we could win at Tottenham.”Klopp has admitted Dominic Solanke is in a difficult situation at Liverpool but at the right club to fulfil his potential. The striker, who turned 21 on Friday, has not featured in the Premier League this season and his lack of playing time was highlighted as a concern by Gareth Southgate and Aidy Boothroyd, manager of England and England under-21s respectively, during the international break.“It’s not a perfect situation, that is clear,” the Liverpool manager said. “He is a young striker and a young striker generally needs longer in a big club, that’s how it is. If you’re a young striker at another club and you don’t perform and you don’t score then it can be career-threatening because no one in this world is patient enough. But it is all fine for Dom. He didn’t play as often as he wished, I can imagine that, but he is still developing and still improving.” Share on LinkedIn Read more Share on Facebook Facebook news Topics Read more Share on Pinterest Twitter Share on WhatsApp “It must be a proper fight for both teams. The Tottenham manager knows that as well. Last year we made it too easy for them because we lost the ball and they only had to play one pass behind our lines. We should be much better organised this time, we were much better organised than that in the other games [afterwards], so we should use that and we can get something.”Klopp insists defeat at Spurs did not prompt a fundamental change in Liverpool’s defensive approach last season, but did impress on his players the importance of minor details in a game. He explained: “Before Dejan [Lovren] missed the header we had a situation where somebody could play a pass which should not be possible. It showed how different a game can be because of two situations where we are not concentrated. A few days before we won 7-0 at Maribor and it’s a big relief. This relief you take into the next game and it is Tottenham – completely different job. In this moment we were not ready for that. We showed that. Jürgen Klopp Liverpool Reuse this content Tottenham v Liverpool: match previewlast_img read more

Four-Star RB Announces Decommitment From South Carolina

first_imgGeneral view of Williams-Brice Stadium.COLUMBIA, SC – NOVEMBER 14: A general view of the Florida Gators versus South Carolina Gamecocks during their game at Williams-Brice Stadium on November 14, 2015 in Columbia, South Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)A top running back recruit announced he’s decided to back off of his commitment to South Carolina. It’s a tough break for the Gamecocks, but the team still has a solid start on the 2020 recruiting class.Four-star running back Mecose Todd took to Twitter to announce his decision to re-open his recruitment heading into the fall deadline.“…I would like to re-evaluate my recruiting process and decommit from the University of South Carolina. This has been a hard decision, but I fell that this is the best decision for me to make at this time so please respect my decision and now my recruitment is fully re-open,” Todd said on Twitter.Here’s the full announcement from the four-star tailback.#respectmydecision— 〽️ecose T⭕️dd (@MecoseTodd) November 16, 2018Todd is the No. 26 running back recruit in the 2020 class and the No. 31 player from the state of Georgia. The four-star running back also holds offers from Alabama, Florida, and USC among others.last_img read more

Prajnesh Gunneswaran must not fall in trap of playing safe: Zeeshan Ali

first_img Press Trust of India New DelhiMarch 20, 2019UPDATED: March 20, 2019 18:35 IST Prajnesh Gunneswaran recently recorded the biggest win of his career at the Indian Wells. (@ATP_Tour Photo)HIGHLIGHTSPrajnesh Gunneswaran is currently at his career-best 84th spot in ATP rankingsIndia’s Davis Cup coach Zeeshan Ali said Prajnesh must keep playing in bigger tournamentsPrajnesh was ranked 243 in the world at the start of 2018With age not on his side, Prajnesh Gunneswaran must avoid the trap of playing safe on the Challenger circuit to defend points and should go full throttle in search of wins at the biggest tournaments, India’s Davis Cup coach Zeeshan Ali suggested Wednesday.Playing the best tennis of his life, Prajnesh recently broke into the top-100 and also competed in his maiden ATP Masters series event at the Indian Wells, second only to Grand Slams.The 29-year-old recorded the biggest victory of his career by toppling world No.18 Nikoloz Basilashvili in the second round after coming through Qualifiers.This week, he is trying to make the Miami Masters main draw and is one win away from sealing his spot.”Prajnesh, at this stage of his career, does not have the luxury of time and has to keep making bold and tough choices to get himself in a position where getting main draw entries in the big events are guaranteed,” Zeeshan told PTI in an interaction.”The only way to make large jumps in the rankings is to play and do well in the bigger events. A lot of players sometimes make the mistake of playing safe and protecting their ranking and points by playing smaller tournaments,” he added.After a very successful 2018, Prajnesh will defend a lot of points as the season progresses and therefore winning matches at big tournaments will help him, according to the captain.He was ranked 243 at the start of 2018 and is now at a career-best 84th — all in a space of 15 months.advertisementPrajnesh and Yuki Bhambri broke into the scene at the same time but the Chennai player lost five crucial years of playing due to stress fractures in his knees.But after being motivated by his father S G Prabhakaran, Prajnesh tried and made a memorable comeback. He has managed to remain injury-free so far.It all began with a win over Yibing Wu in the must-win fifth rubber in Davis Cup tie against China. He has only got better and has beaten top-30 players such as Denis Shapovalov and Benoit Paire.This year, in the first six tournaments of the season, Prajnesh has earned 154 points.”Playing the qualifying round in Miami was a much better decision than playing a Challenger event where even if he won the event, Prajnesh would have only moved up a few spots on the ATP rankings.”How he does this year will also impact his entry into the Olympics next year. Doing well in the next few weeks will also give him some cushioning for the rest of the year when points start to drop off from last year,” Zeeshan said.Also Read | Indian Wells 2019: One of my best matches, says Prajnesh after stunning BasilashviliFor sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Tags :Follow Prajnesh GunneswaranFollow TennisFollow Davis CupFollow Zeeshan Ali Prajnesh Gunneswaran must not fall in trap of playing safe: Zeeshan AliIndia’s Davis Cup coach Zeeshan Ali said Prajnesh Gunneswaran must not try to play safe and protect rankings but instead, he should “keep making bold and tough choices”.advertisement Nextlast_img read more

Ontario man arrested in US for disturbing flight crew

first_imgALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A Canadian man is facing charges in the U.S. for allegedly interfering with crew members and attendants while on a flight from Ohio to Los Angeles.The FBI say in a statement that 49-year-old Ian Stewart Smallwood of Ontario was taken into custody after the plane was diverted to Albuquerque.It was not immediately clear if Smallwood had an attorney.The charge stems from Dec. 21 when, according to a criminal complaint made public this week, Smallwood was accused of being verbally belligerent during the flight.He allegedly intimidated one of the flight attendants while she was preparing service in the galley at the front of the plane.Other passengers were also seen out of their seats, asking Smallwood to move out of the way and sit down.The Associated Presslast_img read more

Melting of mountain glaciers accelerating according to new UNbacked report

Mountain glaciers around the world melted from 2000 to 2005 at 1.6 times the average loss rate of the 1990s and three times that of the 1980s, with much of the accelerated change attributable to human-induced climate change, according to tentative figures in a new United Nations-backed report released today. “This is the most authoritative, comprehensive and up-to-date information on glaciers world-wide and as such underlines the rapid changes occurring on the planet as a result of climate change,” UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Achim Steiner said, noting their importance as sources for many rivers upon which people depend for drinking water, agriculture and industrial purposes. “The findings confirm the science of human-induced climate change, confirmation that will be further underlined when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change unveil their next report on 2 February. These findings should strengthen the resolve of governments to act now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and put in place the medium to longer term strategies necessary to avert dangerous climate change,” he added. According to the figures, the 2000-2005 period saw an average thickness loss for a set of reference glaciers of 0.6 metre water equivalent, confirming the trend in accelerated ice loss during the past two and a half decades and bringing the average reduction since 1980 of the 30 reference glaciers of nine mountain ranges to about 9.6-metres water equivalent. On average, one metre water equivalent corresponds to 1.1 metre ice thickness. The results come from glacier mass balance measurements collected by scientists all over the world and published by the World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS) in Zurich, Switzerland. The WGMS collects standardized glacier data which are considered to be among the best natural indicators of climate change. Scientific measurements relate to the so-called ‘net mass balance’ of glaciers, which can be seen as their overall ice thickness change. The long-term monitoring of glacier mass balance produces one of the most essential variables required for the regular assessment reports on global climate monitoring. As such, the glacier mass balance data are an important contribution to UNEP’s Global Environment Outlook (GEO) report. The preliminary data on glacier change for the year 2005 from 80 glaciers was reported to the WGMS from the majority of the glaciated mountain ranges of the world. Of these, 30 glaciers have continuous mass balance measurement series since 1980. Comprehensive data for the year 2006 are not yet available, but as it was one of the warmest years in many years in many parts of the world, it is expected that the downward trend will continue. “Today, the glacier surface is much smaller than in the 1980s, this means that the climatic forcing has continued since then,” Michael Zemp, a glaciologist and research associate at the WGMS said. “The recent increase in rates of ice loss over reducing glacier surface areas leaves no doubt about the accelerated change in climatic conditions.” 29 January 2007Mountain glaciers around the world melted from 2000 to 2005 at 1.6 times the average loss rate of the 1990s and three times that of the 1980s, with much of the accelerated change attributable to human-induced climate change, according to tentative figures in a new United Nations-backed report released today. read more

Discrimination against widows must end urges senior UN official on International Day

“On this International Widows’ Day, UN Women calls for action to end discrimination against widows so they can live in dignity and enjoy equal rights, opportunities and full participation in society,” the UN entity’s acting head and deputy executive director Lakshmi Puri said in her message for the Day. “Absent in statistics, unnoticed by researchers, neglected by national and local authorities and mostly overlooked by civil society organizations – the situation of widows is, in effect, invisible,” the UN General Assembly said in 2011 when it declared the first International Widow’s Day to be marked annually on 23 June. Women whose husbands died are at a greater risk of slipping into poverty, their economic resources often exacerbated by little or no access to credit or private property, and by illiteracy or lack of education. Millions of the world’s widows endure extreme poverty, ostracism, violence, homelessness, ill health and discrimination in law and custom. Yet widows contribute to society as mothers, caregivers and heads of households, added Ms. Puri, and their rights should be upheld by national laws and policies. These should be guided by the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women which the UN General Assembly adopted in 1979, and is often described as a bill of rights for women, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Through its “Empowerment of Widows and their Coalitions” programme, UN Women supports 1,500 widows in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Photo: UN Women/Gaganjit Singh Through its “Empowerment of Widows and their Coalitions” programme, UN Women supports 1,500 widows in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Photo: UN Women/Gaganjit Singh Through its “Empowerment of Widows and their Coalitions” programme, UN Women supports 1,500 widows in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Photo: UN Women/Gaganjit Singh Through its “Empowerment of Widows and their Coalitions” programme, UN Women supports 1,500 widows in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Photo: UN Women/Gaganjit Singh Through its “Empowerment of Widows and their Coalitions” programme, UN Women supports 1,500 widows in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Photo: UN Women/Gaganjit Singh Through its “Empowerment of Widows and their Coalitions” programme, UN Women supports 1,500 widows in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Photo: UN Women/Gaganjit Singh ‹ › There are more widows this year than ever before, Ms. Puri said. She attributed the rise to armed conflicts, the HIV/AIDS pandemic and the age difference between partners, with many girls being married off to much older men. “Young widows, who were child brides, face great risk with little protection,” the UN official said. If current child marriage rates continue, more than 140 million girls will become child brides between 2011 and 2020, according to UN Population Fund (UNFPA) figures. The annual session 2013 of the Executive Board of UN-Women is due to start next week at the UN headquarters in New York. read more

Darfur UN humanitarian office reports mass displacement amid ongoing hostilities

In the El Fasher, Shangil Tobaya, Tawila, and Um Baru areas of North Darfur, the UN humanitarian office said it had “newly verified” the displacement of more than 18,000 people in the latest report from the beleaguered region. The news, in fact, comes amid a worsening security climate and dire humanitarian crisis across Darfur with rising hostilities between Government forces and armed movements, deadly inter-communal conflicts and a precipitous rise in criminality and banditry.According to UN estimates, the number of people displaced by conflict has increased to more than 430,000 since the beginning of 2014, with close to 300,000 remaining displaced in addition to the more than two million long-term internally displaced persons, or IDPs. At the daily briefing earlier this afternoon, UN spokesperson Farhan Haq said OCHA had reported that in Um Baru over 2,200 of those displaced were sheltering beside the UN-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) base. Moreover, a steady flow of displaced persons continues to arrive at the base seeking shelter and protection. At the same time, he said, some 200 people have also reached the UNAMID site in Sortony as they reportedly feared attacks on villages in the area. OCHA noted that access to Sortony continued to pose a challenge for humanitarians but that efforts were underway to deliver aid. Meanwhile, in Jebel Marra aid agencies were unable to reach those displaced due to ongoing hostilities and access constraints. read more

Augmented reality projectors bring Leias cry for help one step closer to

first_imgAnyone who grew up with Star Wars lore has likely dreamed of the day when we can communicate with each other via 3D holograms projected in mid-air. While that may not be the exact aim of the “augmented projectors” that Microsoft is developing, they incorporate some real-life technology that could bring the fantasy one step closer to our everyday lives.The prototype projector is the work of Microsoft’s research lab in Cambridge, England. One of its creators, Steve Clayton, thought of the idea when he was shopping for furniture, and wondered if he would one day be able to project bookshelves into his living room to see how they’d look.Though they are still in a relatively primitive prototype phase, these projectors reveal some exciting potential for ten years (or so) down the road. Utilizing Kinect technology, they can sense the environment in which they are placed, isolating foreground objects (like people) from the inanimate background. One then holds the mobile projector in his hand, which projects a beam of light. This beam serves as a window into the 3D virtual version of the environment, and allows all sorts of back-and-forth interactions between the real and virtual world.These interactions include some basic tools like: scanning individual physical objects into the virtual world (and then placing a projection of them elsewhere), manipulating objects with shadows (which will undoubtedly lead to some brilliant shadow puppet theatre), drawing in mid-air, and pinching to scroll a projected image. You can even project pre-recorded objects – or people – into the real environment.Potential usesWhile this list may not immediately inspire you to think of practical uses (other than some slightly-less boring presentations), imagine when this device can be manufactured in a much smaller form factor, with higher resolution. We may one day carry discreet, jewelry-sized mobile projectors that present almost realistic-looking images.In addition to Clayton’s vision of virtual furniture shopping, this could lead to all kinds of interactions. Imagine playing a virtual game of one-on-one (without a physical basketball or hoop), being able to hold a virtual 3D model of a product while shopping online, or taking a virtual walkthrough of a house that’s on the other side of the world. And yes, this could eventually open the door to Star Wars-like 3D hologram chat too.While that kind of consumer version might be at least a decade (or two) away, it’s fun to be reminded that our current technology will one day look just as archaic as an Atari 2600 or Commodore 64 does today. That should be reassuring to rebel princesses in distress, if nobody else.Be sure to check out the tech in action below:More at Microsoft Research Blog, via Geekwirelast_img read more

Siri open my garage door using a Raspberry Pi

first_imgApple’s Siri virtual assistant is kind of cool, and the Raspberry Pi micro Linux PC is really cool. If only there was a way to make Siri cooler by combining it with the Raspberry Pi. It just so happens that this is entirely possible. A Raspberry Pi enthusiast has posted a project to the maker’s forums showing how to use an iPhone to open your garage door.This mod makes use of SiriProxy running on the Raspberry Pi to enable a custom commands in the Siri app. The Pi box is running as root for the purposes of this project with wiringPi used to connect the Pi’s GPIO pins to the garage door relay. Getting SiriProxy running on the device is not a one-click process, but it’s not terribly daunting. Keep in mind this will only work on your local WiFi network unless you muck around with VPN connections.Once your Raspberry Pi is listening for SiriProxy commands, your iPhone should be able to feed instructions right into the Pi. Next up is adding the necessary actions to the SiriProxy server. This requires editing the ruby script in the program found here: /root/SiriProxy/plugins/siriproxy-example/lib/siriproxy-example.rb.The code snippets are available on the Raspberry Pi site if you just want to copy and paste, but you can choose your own call-response settings too. When the SiriProxy server running on the Pi hears the right command, it uses the GPIO pins to activate the garage door relay (or whatever you have it plugged into). Neat, right?There are probably easier ways to get your garage door open, but I defy you to find a cooler one.via Raspberry Pilast_img read more

China Wants to Only Make Electric Cars

first_img The climate is changing for the worse, and it’s pretty obvious that it’s scientifically our fault. So it’s up to all of us to try and reverse the environmental damage. But that takes more than one mom reusing the same burlap grocery bag instead of a plastic one. It’s going to take concerted wide-scale regulatory efforts on a national and global scale, efforts like China’s recent attempt to ban fossil fuel cars.A report on Bloomberg details how China’s Vice Minister of industry and Information Technology Xin Guobin and government regulators want to shift the country’s automobile production entirely to electric cars, that buses will then drive over. They’re working on a deadline, and the shift might take years if not decades.But as China’s car market, the world’s largest, expands past the 28 million vehicles sold last year, replacing the massive amount of climate-changing carbon emissions those cars would produce with electric cars could be a huge win against global warming (if there’s still a fight we can win by that point.) To achieve this, China will need to get local manufacturers onboard through tactics like subsidies. Meanwhile, China’s biggest electric automaker BYD, the folks behind the car pictured above, is already reaping the economic benefits of these planned environmental benefits.Beyond global warming, China has experienced air pollution that would make L.A. smog blush. There are recent pictures of Shanghai so smoky they look like something out of Blade Runner, only instead of admiring the beauty the inhabitants had to wear face masks to save their lungs. But whereas the United States shamefully backs away from its duty to the planet, for all of its serious (cough human rights cough) issues, it’s nice to see China step up in this environmental arena as the growing global superpower it is.Other countries and manufacturers, from France and the U.K. to Volvo and Aston Martin, are planning similar phase outs for their fossil fuel vehicles over the next decade. But if we really want to outrace global warming, sooner or later America will need to step on the gas, figuratively speaking. But I forgot, climate change is just a hoax the Chinese themselves came up with. Never mind.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Amazon Employees Join Sept. 20 Global Climate WalkoutResearchers Transform CO2 Into Liquid Fuel Stay on targetlast_img read more

SR 14 traffic shifting to temporary roundabout

first_imgTraffic on state Highway 14 will shift to a temporary roundabout at 32nd Street as construction continues on two roundabouts in Washougal.Using a temporary roundabout will minimize delays and move traffic more efficiently than a temporary traffic signal. It also will allow the permanent roundabout to be built without closing Highway 14.From 7 p.m. Sunday until 7 a.m. Monday, drivers can expect to alternate through a single lane, with flaggers, at the intersection of Highway 14 and 32nd Street. Beginning at 7 a.m. Monday, all traffic will use the temporary roundabout for about five weeks.This work is weather dependent and could be delayed.The temporary roundabout will be built on the south side of Highway 14 and will be much smaller than the permanent roundabout. It will include curbing, striping and pavement markers to guide drivers.Large permitted truck loads on Highway 14 can drive through the roundabout, but there will be some turn restrictions.Drivers from 32nd Street southbound turning right onto Highway 14 westbound will need to yield to highway traffic.Interested in tracking the construction progress? Check out this online construction camera: read more

Paulo Dybala thrilled with confidence boosting goal

first_imgJuventus forward Paulo Dybala is pleased to get off the mark as the club made their best start to a season in 88 yearsThe Serie A leaders claimed a seventh successive win on Wednesday night with Dybala registering his first goal of the season with an acrobatic effort from a rebound before Blaise Matuidi sealed a 2-0 win over Bologna.Speaking afterwards, Dybala spoke of his delight to finally get his name on the scoresheet this season following a Man of the Match display.“It’s a goal that gives me confidence,” he told the club website.“I work hard to give my best for the team. Prior to tonight, I had not been playing badly, but was unable to find the net, so it’s great to get off the mark.”After making some big recruits in the summer, Juventus are the only side in the Serie A to win all six of their opening games.“Big players have arrived at the club and we’ll find out if Juventus are now the strongest team. There’s a buzz around the place, also because of Cristiano [Ronaldo], so long may that continue,” said Dybala.Mario Mandzukic, JuventusJuventus confirm Mario Mandzukic could leave this month Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Sporting director Fabio Paratici confirmed reports that Mario Mandzukic could leave Juventus for a move to an unnamed Qatari team.“That said, it’s important to underline that we do not play only for Ronaldo. Yes, we help him to score, but the end goal is to win football matches.”Juventus will next face title rivals Napoli on Saturday at Turin.Dybala added: “Against Napoli, we will be going for three more points. Ultimately, these are easy games to prepare for, because they are worth so much.”Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri stated his belief that Dybala will form a strong partnership with Cristiano Ronaldo after the win.I’m back 🔙! Felice per il gol ma soprattutto per la vittoria ⚪️⚫️ #serieA #juventus #soccer #futbol #dybalanation— Paulo Dybala (@PauDybala_JR) September 26, 2018last_img read more

Southwest MiamiDade home fire displaces family

first_imgSOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) – Firefighters responded to a fire that destroyed a Southwest Miami-Dade house.Miami-Dade Fire Rescue crews responded to the scene near Southwest 49th Street and 103rd Avenue, Tuesday.They managed to put out the fire, but the damage was already done. The family now has to find another place to live.Officials have not released what may have caused the fire.No one was hurt.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

2014 Iditarod Trail Awards Banquet Takes Place In Nome

first_imgThe 2014 Iditarod Trail Awards Banquet was held last night at the Nome Recreation Center. Hobo Jim entertained the crowd as they ate prime rib and cake. And emcee of the evening – John Handeland – presented the awards earned by those who raced, and survived Iditarod 42.Download Audiolast_img

Report Texas Coal Power Plants Leaching Toxic Pollutants Into Groundwater

first_img Share Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / The Texas TribuneThe Fayette Power Project Plant, a coal-fired power plant near La Grange, in Fayette County, is one of 16 Texas coal plants targeted in a new report that claims plant waste pits are leaching pollution into groundwater.As the Trump administration considers weakening Obama-era safeguards for the disposal of toxic coal waste, a new report shows that groundwater near all of Texas’ 16 monitored coal-fired power plants is contaminated with pollutants — including known carcinogens — linked to so-called coal ash.The report by the Washington D.C.-based Environmental Integrity Project, released Thursday, analyzed on-site groundwater monitoring data that power companies are now required to report to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under an Obama-era regulation known as the “Coal Ash Rule.”The report found that the groundwater around coal-fired plants across the state contain levels of pollutants like arsenic, boron, cobalt or lithium that would make it unsafe for human consumption. It also found that almost none of the impoundments where plants dispose of spent coal are lined properly to prevent leakage — one of the requirements of the 2015 Coal Ash Rule.“We found contamination everywhere we looked, poisoning groundwater aquifers and recreational fishing spots across the state,” said EIP attorney Abel Russ, an author of the report. “This confirms that dumping large volumes of toxic waste in poorly-lined pits is a terrible idea.”EIP is a non-profit research and advocacy group founded by a former head of civil enforcement at the EPA and employs former EPA staffers.Its report calls on the EPA or the Texas Commission Environmental Quality to impose even stricter regulations for coal waste disposal.Coal ash is produced when plants burn coal to produce electricity. One of the largest sources of industrial waste in the United States, it contains contaminants like mercury, cadmium and arsenic, according to the EPA.“Without proper management, these contaminants can pollute waterways, ground water, drinking water, and the air,” according to its website, which also touts economic benefits of reuse.In some cases, EIP’s report notes, contaminant levels at Texas coal plants far exceed federal health benchmarks.For example, at a plant south of San Antonio owned by the San Miguel Electric Co-Op, a plant northwest of Houston owned and operated by the Texas Municipal Power Agency, known as Gibbons Creek, and Southwestern Electric Power Company’s J. Robert Welsh Power Plant east of Dallas, the level of cobalt found in the groundwater reached more than 600 micrograms per liter — more than 100 times higher than safe levels, according to the report. And multiple wells at the San Miguel plant have boron concentrations of more than 30 milligrams per liter, exceeding EPA’s health advisory by tenfold.The report noted that all three coal ash units of the Gibbons Creek plant are on, or close to, the Gibbons Creek Reservoir, which provides cooling water for the plant but also is a recreational fishing area.Houston-based NRG Energy disputed the report’s suggestion that toxins have leaked from waste pits at the company’s W.A. Parish plant south of Sugar Land.“NRG’s Texas power plants comply with all federal and state regulations,” the company said in a statement Thursday afternoon. “We have a very active monitoring program that continues to demonstrate that none of our sites require any further action beyond continued monitoring and comply with state and federal regulations.”The company also disputed the report’s claim that it has violated rules for reporting toxins. Other companies named in the report didn’t immediately responded to request for comment.The report found that the groundwater under another plant co-owned by the Lower Colorado River Authority and Austin Energy — the well-known Fayette Power Project Plant, which sits off Highway 71 between Austin and Houston — contains “unsafe levels of arsenic, cobalt, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, selenium, and sulfate.”The report acknowledges that some of the contaminants may be naturally occurring and that it’s “unclear whether and to what extent these pollutants are coming from coal ash.” But it says that the company-reported monitoring data, which compares water samples gathered from wells upstream of the plants — water that shouldn’t be contaminated, but, the report notes, possibly could be — to water from wells downstream of the site indicate that sulfate levels are significantly higher downstream of the Fayette landfill “and is therefore probably not naturally occurring.”Bill Lauderback, LCRA executive vice president for Public Affairs, said in a statement that the report is incorrect.“The Fayette Power Project complies with all applicable state and federal environmental requirements, including regular monitoring and testing of groundwater,” he said. “Repeated testing has not indicated that groundwater at FPP poses a public health risk, and EPA rules do not require LCRA to take further action at this time.”Despite data that indicates widespread groundwater contamination, Russ, the EIP attorney, said it’s too soon to know which plants have started shuttering their coal ash pits or cleaning them up because the process laid out in the federal coal ash rule is not complete. That process requires companies to conduct additional testing if elevated levels of a pollutant are found before the EPA would take enforcement action.“There’s a compliance schedule rolling out,” he said. At this point, it’s generally known which plants are conducting further testing, he said, but “we don’t yet know which ones have found ‘statistically significant levels’ above groundwater protection standards.“That’s just one of the many flaws in the federal rule,” he said, adding that EIP assumes that “most of these disposal units will eventually trigger corrective action.”EPA did not immediately respond to a request for comment; a banner at the top of the agency’s website on Thursday noted that online information was not being updated because of the ongoing government shutdown.U.S. coal plants produced 130 million tons of coal ash in 2014, according to the EPA, and continue to produce around 100 million tons per year, according to the report. In Texas, about 13 million tons a year is produced — enough to create a mile-high pile on a football field.Despite its risks and potential health impacts, the only real effort to regulate coal ash came with the 2015 Obama rule.The report notes that a 2008 coal ash spill in Tennessee that destroyed more than two dozen homes and killed or sickened “scores of cleanup workers,” brought attention to the issue. EIP and other environmental groups sued the EPA after that disaster in hopes of spurring regulatory action.Propping up the beleaguered coal industry was one of President Trump’s most reiterated campaign promises, and the Trump administration is now looking at unwinding the coal ash rule after industry groups petitioned the EPA last May. After EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt resigned in July, the president appointed former coal industry lobbyist Andrew Wheeler to head the agency. His confirmation hearing was held this week.The report noted that the TCEQ had devised its own plan to comply with federal regulations, but said “it would not adequately protect human health.”TCEQ spokeswoman Andrea Morrow declined to comment on the report specifically, noting that EIP did not alert the agency to the report before its release. She said in a written statement that “if a release occurs, then the remedial actions are conducted in accordance with” state law, specifically what’s known as the Texas Risk Reduction Program.“A rule to create a program for the management of coal ash in Texas is in development,” she said. “The TCEQ continues the process of revising the draft rule due to changes to the federal coal ash rule.”Additional reporting by Houston Public Media’s Travis Bubenik. This article was originally published in The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues. last_img read more

Bengal celebrates Poila Baisakh with fervour

first_imgKolkata: Poila Baisakh, the first day of Bengali New Year, was celebrated with much fervor by the people across the state with youngsters taking out colourful rallies to soak into the spirit of New Year festivities.Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee extended greetings through a video message on the social media and wished happiness and prosperity to the people. She also offered prayers at the Kalighat temple on Sunday night. Many people visited religious places such as Dakshineswar temple, Kalighat temple and Tarapith for an auspicious new beginning. With the day also marking the start of a new financial year, shopkeepers and businessmen observed the haal khata ceremony — closing their old account books and opening new ones. Businessmen thronged temples with their halkhata (account books) in the morning. Temples such as Dakshineswar, Kalighat and Tarapith witnessed a huge footfall on Monday. Adequate security arrangements were in place to handle the crowd. There was deployment of police personnel and civic volunteers in and around the temples to manage the extra rush. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataA visitor, who came to Dakshineswar temple from Narayanpur, said he had to stand in the queue for more than an hour before offering puja. Another devotee Shibu Saha said he had been visiting the temple on the Bengali New Year for the past 20 years. “It feels great to welcome the New Year with a prayer to the Lord,” Saha said. North Bengal also celebrated the arrival of the New Year with gusto. Youths took out colourful rallies in Siliguri. State tourism minister Goutam Deb took part in a rally and local women clad in colourful dresses joined the event. There was great enthusiasm among the people. A cultural programme was organised at the Baghajatin Park in Siliguri. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateThe day was about dressing up in new clothes, exchanging pleasantries and greetings. Revellers, cutting across religious barriers, celebrated the day with family and friends. During this time of the year family members fly back to Bengal from across the world to be with their near and dear ones. All sorts of sweets starting from traditional sandesh (cottage cheese sweet), rosogolla (sugary spongy sweet) to sugar-free and fusion sweets kept flying off the shelves of confectioners. Traders welcomed customers with sweets and new Bengali calendars as people went on a shopping spree.last_img read more