Indian farmers march seeking better prices for produce

first_imgNEW DELHI — Thousands of farmers are marching to India’s Parliament demanding higher prices for their produce and a government waiver on their farm loans to alleviate hardships.Waving red, yellow and green flags and banners representing farmers’ organizations, the protesters also demanded diesel and fertilizers at lower prices and blamed the Hindu nationalist government for hardships caused by years of declining earnings in the agriculture sector.Rain-dependent agriculture employs more than half of India’s 1.3 billion people, but shrinking earnings mean it now accounts for only 15 per cent of India’s economy.Failed harvests force poor farmers to borrow money at high interest rates to buy seeds, fertilizers and food for their cattle. They often mortgage their land and, as debts mount, some are driven to suicide.The Associated Presslast_img read more

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Morocco ranks 97 on the global democracy index report

first_imgTaroudant- A recent report released earlier in December ranked Morocco 97th on the global democracy index. Global Democracy Ranking, an organization based in Vienna, released its 2013 report on the quality of democracy in 115 countries. The report, which was made public earlier in December, ranked Morocco 97th behind a number of Arab and African countries. Morocco is preceded by Kuwait (83), Lebanon (79) and Tunisia (72), which ranks first in the Arab world on the Global Democracy Ranking for 2013, gaining 33 places from the previous years. The kingdom came ahead of Egypt (103), Libya (108) and Yemen (115), which is the last Arab country on the ranking.One may question the credibility of such a report that ranked Morocco, which underwent remarkable political reforms in recent years, at the bottom of the ranking in comparison to countries that are still facing political unrest and social upheaval and where the rights of minorities are hardly protected, such as Liberia, (74), Timor Leste (76), Sri Lanka (82) or Sierra Leone (87).  Unsurprisingly, the most democratic countries, according to the report, are found in Scandinavia, with Sweden, Finland, Switzerland, and Denmark occupying the first four spots on the list, and Norway rounding out the top five.Headquartered in Vienna, Austria, Global Democracy Ranking is an association that produces an annual global ranking of democracies worldwide. Its report takes into account a number of indexes, namely politics (50%), gender (10%), economy (10%), knowledge (10%), health (10%) and environment. © Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

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Heavy rains force closure of roads in southern Morocco

Tata – Heavy rainfall hit Saturday and Sunday the town of Tata (southern Morocco) causing the closure of several roadways in the region including a national road and other provincial roads and rural tracks.A section of the national road No 12 (RN12) linking Tata to Zagora and Foum El Hisn and several provincial roads are closed due to heavy rains, the provincial director of Public Works, Transport and Logistics Mohamed Mohamed Lahfir told MAP.Rainwater flooded many provincial and rural roads leading to Tata, causing the isolation of several douars, added Lahfir, noting that no casualties or serious damages were reported. read more

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Rif Protest Lawyer We Are Still Fighting for Freedom of Detained

By Safaa KasraouiRabat – Isaak Charia, a member of the detained Rif activists’ defense team, has denied claims that leading activist Nasser Zafzafi would be released on probation after not being named among King Mohammed VI’s royal pardons this weekend. On July 29, the eve of the 18th anniversary of Throne Day, the King ordered the release of 1,178 prisoners. Those pardoned included 56 members of the Hirak protest movement in the Rif, most notably Salima “Silya” Ziani and Rabii El Ablak. Following the pardon, media reports claimed that Zafzafi and other detainees not included in the list of pardoned might be released on probation to alleviate ongoing tensions in the Rif region.On Monday, Moroccan daily newspaper Akhbar Al Yaoum reported that the detainees’ defense committee had filed a request to award the prisoners a provisional release. This request was reported unsuccessful, leading the committee to file an appeal against the refusal.The newspaper continued that Abdelsadek El Bouchtaoui, a member of the defense committee, said that they were expecting a positive response to the appeal in the upcoming hearing session scheduled for this week.When asked about the validity of news, Charia told Morocco World News that the committee had “no expectation about the provisional release of the remaining detainees,” and that the “battle of the defense is still continuing to defend the remaining detainees.”“Those are just claims, we do not have any speculations on what will come and we do not have an idea about the judge’s reaction regarding the probation request.”Akhbar Al Yaoum added that Abdelmajid Azryah, another defense committee member, stated the legal team had received a report showing that the number of prisoners benefiting from the royal pardon was between 30 and 38, as opposed to the widely reported number of 56.The lawyer added that only ten detainees who were jailed in Al Hoceima’s local prison were released. The source continued that El Bouchtaoui described the royal pardon action as “a positive step, but not enough, because we are seeking the release of all the Rif detainees.”The Hirak movement started after the death of Mouhcine Fikri, a local fish vendor, who was killed by a garbage truck on October 28. Since then, the Rif region has witnessed massive demonstrations resulting in clashes between security forces and protesters. Approximately 178 protesters have been arrested during the eight-month protest period. read more

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Middle East Road Map is distressed but far from dead says Annan

Speaking at a joint press conference in Berlin with Germany’s Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, Mr. Annan said he was encouraged that “today, in almost all the newspapers in the region, they are talking about the peace alternative.”The Road Map – a peace process co-sponsored by the diplomatic Quartet of the European Union, the Russian Federation, the UN and the United States – calls for parallel and reciprocal steps leading to Israel and Palestine living side-by-side in peace and security by 2005.The Secretary-General said: “It’s a difficult situation. The Road Map is in a bit of a distress. Some think it’s dead, but it’s not dead at all. ‘Distress’ doesn’t mean death. But we hope we can get it back on track.”He added that people in the region know there is an alternative to killing and recent peace initiatives from civil society had created a new dynamic.During the press conference, Mr. Annan said that he talked about the situation in Cyprus, which is currently divided, with Mr. Schröder.”As I have indicated to the parties, my good offices are available the moment they show the will – the political will – to move forward and seek a settlement.”Mr. Annan was also asked for his views about the decision taken yesterday to exclude Germany, France and Russia from reconstruction contracts in Iraq, and he stressed the need for the actions being taken on Iraq to be unifying rather than divisive. “And in that respect,” he said, “I would not characterize the decision taken yesterday as unifying.”The Secretary-General and the Chancellor discussed Afghanistan, Iraq, next year’s renewable energy conference in Bonn and reform of the UN during their meeting. The two leaders also talked about how to intensify cooperation between the UN and Germany.Today Mr. Annan is scheduled to hold meetings with Germany’s Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, its Defence Minister Peter Struck and the leader of the biggest opposition party in Germany, the Christian Democratic Union.Yesterday, before he left the World Summit for the Information Society (WSIS) in Geneva for Germany, the Secretary-General met Greece’s Foreign Minister George Papandreou.Later today Mr. Annan and his wife Nane are due to meet German President Johannes Rau before attending a dinner hosted by Mr. Schröder with chief executives of many Global Compact companies.Tonight Mrs. Annan will address a group of women from political and women’s organizations in an event hosted by the German UN Association. read more

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Two thirds of projected UN peacekeeping force in Haiti already in place

In its latest update on the force, the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) said 4,489 soldiers out of the 6,700 mandated by the Security Council resolution were already on hand, while the civilian police strength totaled 1,228 out of the projected total of 1,622.Latest arrivals over the past three weeks include 750 Sri Lankan soldiers and 250 Pakistani police as well as 205 Peruvian troops, 163 Moroccan officers and 70 Guatemalans.

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Costa Rica UN refugee agency expresses concern over new refugee law

“We urge the Costa Rican Government to enact a new law that will effectively deal with the immigration issues the country faces while at the same time respecting the nation’s commitment to human rights,” said Jennifer Pagonis, spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), at a briefing in Geneva. UNHCR, she said, recognized and appreciated Costa Rica’s long tradition of receiving asylum-seekers and refugees, most importantly during the Central American conflicts of the 1980s, and their current reception of significant numbers of Colombian refugees. The agency also realized there was a need to modernise Costa Rica’s legislation to reflect the new realities of migration, including trafficking in persons and the smuggling of migrants as well as the real changes in refugee movements. “However, we believe that some of the provisions of the proposed legislation are restrictive and contrary to the spirit of the 1951 Convention on Refugees. This could lead to an exacerbation of the already unfriendly climate towards asylum-seekers and refugees in the country,” she said. She explained that the proposed law does not contain any definition of a refugee as stated in the 1951 Convention, to which Costa Rica is a signatory member and there is no reference to the key principle of non-refoulement, or forced return, although this principle is found in the Costa Rican Constitution. The proposed law, she said, also creates unjustified reasons for removing refugee status contrary to the 1951 Convention – for example, any sanction leading to the withdrawal of refugee status would automatically apply to other family members without consideration for their individual protection needs. Finally, she said that the proposed law does not guarantee refugees the right to work, although the right to work is respected in practice by Costa Rican authorities. UNHCR has advised the Government over the past several years on the elaboration of a new law. “We will continue to do so in the hope that any new legislation on asylum and immigration will protect the right of people whose lives are in danger to seek safety in other countries as stipulated under international refugee law,” she said. read more

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NFL Teams Increasingly Hang on to Their Star Draftees

Where will the players drafted by the NFL over the past few days do the bulk of their professional work? If trends in the past two decades continue, the answer is with the team that drafted them.For the piece I wrote last week on comparing consecutive years of the NFL draft, I downloaded year-by-year draft data from Pro-Football-Reference. The site includes, for each player in each year, his weighted career Approximate Value, a modified form of the site’s Approximate Value metric. It also includes the amount of the player’s weighted career value accrued for the team that drafted him.For each draft from 1970 to 2013, I summed the career value accrued for drafting teams by the first 222 players selected — 222, because that’s the lowest number of draft picks during the period, in 1994. Then I divided that by the overall career value of the year’s drafted players.From the AFL-NFL merger in 1970 to 1981, drafting teams’ share of value kept climbing, to a high of 88 percent in 1981. Then the share started to fall, precipitously as the effects of free agency in 1993 started to kick in in players’ later years. Teams’ share of their drafted players’ career value was just 56 percent for those picked in the first offseason of free agency.At the dawn of free agency, some analysts feared this trend would continue unabated. “Say goodbye to dynasties and continuity,” Alan Greenberg wrote in the Hartford Courant 20 years ago this month. “Now everyone’s a raider. If the salary cap won’t let you pay ’em, you’ll lose ’em. If they’re no good, dump ’em and steal somebody else’s guys. What uniforms should players wear on their trading cards? How about blank?”And some have perceived that the trend has continued unabated. “Fans are increasingly rooting for the decals on their team’s helmets and against the decals on the other teams’ helmets,” Elliot Harrison wrote on NFL.com last year. “The truest loyalty in the player-fan relationship is of the fantasy football variety. You can thank free agency for that.”But the reality has been different. Right after that nadir in 1993, teams’ share of their drafted players’ career value rose sharply, to 64 percent the next year and 69 percent in 1995. It remained in the high 60s nearly every year afterward. The results are similar when looking at all of a draft’s picks, not just its first 222.The downside to this approach is it can’t be updated all the way to the present. Drafted players are more likely to play for their drafting team in their first seasons in the league, before becoming eligible for free agency. So while teams’ share climbed to 86 percent in 2009 and 98 percent last year, those percentages are sure to fall.To approximate the trend in recent years, I isolated the analysis only to players who were no longer active last season. And among that group, teams kept getting a higher share of their drafted players’ value — above 70 percent every year until 2005, when retired players’ share of drafts’ value starts getting so low that the results aren’t meaningful. Here’s one piece of anecdotal evidence: Many of the most valuable players drafted since then remain with their drafting team, such as Aaron Rodgers, Frank Gore, Jahri Evans, Haloti Ngata, Patrick Willis and Adrian Peterson.What this all means is up for further analysis and debate. Maybe teams have gotten better at identifying their drafted talent before rookie contracts are up. Maybe they’ve come to value continuity in their rosters, for on-field benefits and for fan support. Perhaps players value continuity for the same reasons. Maybe the 2011 collective-bargaining agreement has changed things for some of the more-recent draft classes.Whatever the explanation, it’s clear that free agency has had a far bigger impact on players’ freedom to change teams than it has on the uniforms shown on trading cards. read more

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Zimbabwe to start conglomerate diamond mining

first_imgAccording to The Zimbabwe Daily, Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) will this week receive $30 million worth of mining equipment from BELAZ in Belarus, paving way for the start of conglomerate diamond mining at Chiadzwa.The report said that speaking after officially launching the $50 million funding for small-scale miners at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair Exhibition Centre on Thursday, Mines and Mining Development Minister Walter Chidhakwa said he was satisfied with the progress at ZCDC and components of its strategic plans aimed at improving production at its Marange and Chiadzwa fields in Manicaland Province. “You are aware that we are expecting equipment to come in from Belarus and that earth moving equipment is going to be in the country first week of May,” said Minister Chidhakwa.The equipment was acquired under a local facility arranged by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) and is earmarked for upgrading and re-designing mining operations. It is part of several loans Zimbabwe is getting from Belarus to support productive sectors. Minister Chidhakwa said ZCDC has also managed to raise $80 million following the presentation of its strategic plan to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development Patrick Chinamasa and the RBZ Governor Dr John Mangudya, which would go towards acquiring more equipment and exploration activities.“They (ZCDC) made presentations to the Minister of Finance (and Economic Development Chinamasa) and RBZ Governor Dr Mangudya). I am happy to report that because of that interaction ZCDC was able to put together a resource of $80 million.”Conglomerate diamonds are found in rock consisting of individual stones (larger than sand) that have been cemented together and require highly mechanised machinery to extract. “We are hoping to support that earthmoving equipment with processing equipment for conglomerates and exploration equipment. We need to have solid exploration equipment. The first aspect in any mining activity is exploration. You need to know what you have. You need to have a resource statement. That resource statement will tell you the size of the mine that you are going to build, the kind of equipment that you require and the amount of resource that you are going to spend. So, most of the $80 million is going to be devoted to exploration while some of it will be devoted to mining equipment,” said Minister Chidhakwa.last_img read more

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Laszlo Nagy about Spain When the time comes I will take decision

Laszlo Nagy ← Previous Story Trouble for Slovenia – Jure Natek will miss EHF EURO 2012 Next Story → Last 48 hours to vote for the World’s Player 2011: Heidi Loke is the new leader! The World’s best Player in 2011 by 6500 visitors of Handball-Planet.com, Hungarian, Laszlo Nagy made a comment about his possible future in the National Team of Spain:– When the time comes, I will make decision, which I have to make. Now, don’t want to talk about this, but I have set a deadline for doing so – said left handed player of F.C Barcelona.Nagy has over ten years in Spain and therefore would be eligible for citizenship. Furthermore, the player has confirmed that European play next to Hungary, but has refused further about it.Laszlo, who played last time for Hungary in 2009, explained that is he in “one of the best” moments of his career.– Whenever I go I want to show the best Laszlo, but things do not always go as you want. I feel good both physically and mentally and this makes it also has more confidence in my pitches than in other seasons,” added Nagy. read more

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Football les maillots de lEuro 2012 contiendraient des composés toxiques

first_imgFootball : les maillots de l’Euro 2012 contiendraient des composés toxiquesLe Bureau européen des associations de consommateurs (BEUC) révèle que les maillots de football officiels des équipes qui participent à l’Euro 2012 contiennent des substances toxiques dangereuses. “Carton rouge pour les maillots de l’Euro 2012”, lance le Bureau européen des associations de consommateurs (BEUC) dans un communiqué. En effet, “les fans de football paient jusqu’à 90 euros pour le maillot de leur équipe” mais ne sont pas au courant des substances toxiques et dangereuses pour la santé que ceux-ci contiennent. “Après avoir testé 9 maillots officiels de l’Euro 2012, tous se sont avérés contenir des niveaux inquiétants de produits chimiques”, précise le BEUC.À lire aussiMaladie de Charcot : symptômes, causes, traitement, où en est on ?L’organisation de consommateurs belge Test Achat, membre du BEUC, se veut toutefois moins alarmistes que l’agence européenne. “Il faut de la nuance, car les dossiers avec des substances toxiques sont hyper sensibles”, explique à l’AFP Jean-Philippe Ducart, porte-parole de Test Achat. “Il n’y a pas lieu de dramatiser, car il n’y a pas de scandale, rien n’est illégal, même si une attention renforcée est nécessaire pour les populations vulnérables comme les enfants”, indique-t-il. Mais le BEUC appuie son accusation de révélations plus précises encore. “Le plomb, un métal lourd, se trouve dans 6 des 9 maillots testés : l’Espagne, l’Allemagne, l’Ukraine, la Russie, la France et Italie”, indique le communiqué. “Dans les maillots de l’Espagne et de l’Allemagne, le plomb dépasse le niveau légal pour les produits destinés aux enfants”, lit-on encore. Les maillots du Portugal et des Pays-Bas contiennent quant à eux du nickel, tandis que ceux de la Pologne “devraient être interdits dans les boutiques, car ils contiennent un composé d’organo-étain [utilisé pour éviter les odeurs de sueur] dans des doses plus élevées que la limite légale”, ajoute le BEUC. Or, ces derniers peuvent se révéler toxiques pour le système nerveux, indique l’organisation. “Il est inexplicable que les métaux lourds soient utilisés dans des produits de consommation de masse. Il s’agit clairement d’un acte criminel par les fabricants d’utiliser des substances nocives autant pour les personnes que pour l’environnement”, a dénoncé Monique Goyens, directrice générale du BEUC.Le 6 juin 2012 à 20:33 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

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Emery Poor finishing cost Arsenal against Spurs

first_imgArsenal manager Unai Emery was left to rue his side’s poor finishing after losing 2-0 to North London rivals Tottenham in the quarter-finals of the Carabao CupAfter going 22 matches unbeaten, Arsenal fell to their second defeat in the space of four days following goals from Son Heung-min and Dele Alli that secured Spurs victory at the Emirates Stadium.Although the Gunners had chances in the second half to score but only for Alexandre Lacazette to hit the post, while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s cross ended up on the top of the crossbar.“I think we worked like we wanted to, like we’d prepared for this match,” said Emery on Arsenal.com.“We created chances in the first half to score, but today the efficiency was not good for us.“We didn’t concede a lot of chances, but they have good players with quality who scored. We worked for 90 minutes and in our moments we didn’t take our chances.“They scored theirs. Only the first half, I think we were good on the pitch but then sometimes we needed a bit more of the ball to keep possession longer.Premier LeaguePremier League Betting: Match-day 5 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Going into the Premier League’s match-day five with a gap already beginning to form at the top of the league. We will take a…“But that’s not easy against them because they press really well. Our planned game, we worked on that. It was poor finishing.”Henrikh Mkhitaryan blew a golden opportunity when he found himself in the Spurs area after trading passes with Aaron Ramsey but could only produce a weak shot against goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga.“We had Micki with the one on one [chance early on] and they scored with their first one-on-one,” added Emery.“I am happy with our performance, but not happy with our result. But also I think we are doing our process.“They are ahead of us in this process. We need to continue creating our identity, our strong ideas to be more consistent in the games.”Arsenal will next take on Burnley at the Emirates on Saturday in a Premier League match.last_img read more

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Chula Vista police officer facing criminal charges on suspicion of threatening girlfriend

first_img Posted: March 15, 2018 KUSI Newsroom, March 15, 2018 SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — A Chula Vista police officer is facing possible criminal charges following his arrest on suspicion of threatening his girlfriend during an off-duty dispute.San Diego police took 27-year-old Leopoldo Armando Chousal into custody Wednesday evening while responding to a reported domestic-violence incident at a home in the 6400 block of Potomac Street in Paradise Hills, SDPD Lt. Kevin Mayer said.“During the investigation, it was alleged the suspect … made criminal threats to harm his girlfriend,” Mayer said.The lieutenant did not disclose the nature of the alleged menacing statements.Chousal was booked on suspicion of making criminal threats. He was released from custody Thursday morning, a jail clerk said.The Chula Vista Police Department’s leadership “takes these allegations seriously and was disappointed to learn of this incident,” department spokesman Lt. Eric Thunberg said.“We are cooperating with SDPD’s criminal investigation, and we are conducting an internal investigation concurrently,” he said. Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter KUSI Newsroom Chula Vista police officer facing criminal charges on suspicion of threatening girlfriend during off-duty disputelast_img read more

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Celia Cruz Film Biography With Director Kenny Ortega Optioned

first_imgNews Twitter Celia Cruz Film Biography With Director Kenny Ortega Optioned Facebook The fascinating story of the Queen of Salsa may get its much-deserved film debut Renée FabianGRAMMYs May 23, 2018 – 4:19 pm Celia Cruz may soon get her due on the small screen: film company Endemol Shine North America just optioned her 2005 autobiography for a potential television series with producer/director Kenny Ortega ready to take the lead.The option — or contract between a filmmaker and the owner of the source material, in this case a book — will center around Celia: My Life, written Ana Cristina Reymundo from interviews with the Latin icon prior to her death in 2003.Dubbed the Queen of Salsa, the Cuba native has left an indelible legacy on not just Latin music, but the greater music industry. Cruz earned three career GRAMMY Awards, four Latin GRAMMYs and in 2016 she was recognized with the Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award. A film about her life and career would be a welcome chance to celebrate this legacy.The production company behind the option is also working on other Latin music star projects, including To Selena With Love and a drama titled ” Nicky Jam: El Ganador.””There is no bigger name in Latin music than Celia Cruz,” said Endemol Shine North America CEO Cris Abrego. “We are thrilled to be adapting her amazing life story, one filled with triumph and tragedy, for a dramatic television series with a producer of Kenny Ortega’s pedigree attached.”Catching Up On Music News Powered By The Recording Academy Just Got Easier. Have A Google Home Device? “Talk To GRAMMYs”Read more Email Celia Cruz Biopic In The Works? celia-cruz-film-biography-director-kenny-ortega-optionedlast_img read more

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Gulf of Mexico dead zone could explode to the size of Massachusetts

first_img 9 Photos Ocean XPrize prototypes set to unveil deep-sea mysteries Scientists discover nightmare fish in the deep, dark ocean can see in color Adorable dumbo octopus wows marine scientists Tags Share your voice Watery wonders NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this look at the sediment-laden Gulf of Mexico after flooding in spring 2011. NASA/MODIS Rapid Response Team/Goddard Space Flight Center It’s an annual event nobody looks forward to. The Gulf of Mexico hosts a human-caused “dead zone” every summer that kills off marine life, and 2019 could be a doozy.The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released its forecast for the year’s hypoxic zone on Monday. Scientists estimate it could cover 7,829 square miles (20,277 square kilometers), roughly the size of the state of Massachusetts or the country of Slovenia.A hypoxic zone is an area where oxygen concentration is so low it chokes out marine life. The Gulf of Mexico’s dead zone is primarily human-caused, a result of nutrient pollution, including nitrogen and phosphorus from urban environments and farms, traveling through the Mississippi River watershed and into the gulf. noaadeadzoneThis map shows how pollution from cities and farms flows down into the Gulf of Mexico. NOAA The nutrients feed an explosion of algae, which then die, sink and decompose. This creates the dead zone. A rush of spring rain feeding into the Mississippi is what’s expected to push 2019’s zone to a near-record size. NOAA calculated the record-setting 2017 dead zone reached an area of 8,776 square miles, while the five-year average is 5,770 square miles. NOAA drew a direct line between the dead zone and the price of shrimp in 2017. NOAA’s forecast assumes normal weather conditions, but large storms could impact the ultimate area of the dead zone. NOAA will help launch a monitoring survey in August to confirm the size and see if it matches the forecast. Researchers at Louisiana State University also issued a dead-zone forecast today, with a higher estimate of 8,717 square miles by late July. The scientists warn of impacts to resources living there, including fish, shrimp and crabs.The Environmental Protection Agency’s Hypoxia Task Force set a target goal of reducing the five-year average size of the dead zone down to 1,900 square miles, but that figure is far from today’s reality.   “Low oxygen conditions started to appear 50 years ago when agricultural practices intensified in the Midwest,” LSU reported. “No reductions in the nitrate loading from the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico have occurred in the last few decades.” That’s grim news for the gulf.  0 Post a comment Sci-Techlast_img read more

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Police Seek Houston Teacher Impregnated By Student 13

first_imgCourt documents show she was introduced to his family as the boy’s girlfriend, that his parents didn’t object and that she told a school district investigator they were “very supportive and excited” when she disclosed her pregnancy. According to the probable cause document, she aborted the pregnancy after a child welfare investigator questioned her in February about the relationship, which she denied at the time.WhisperToMe | WikimediaStovall Middle SchoolSchool officials say she was removed from the school and placed on leave in April. Share Police are looking for a Houston-area teacher accused of having a sexual relationship with a 13-year-old boy who impregnated her.An arrest warrant has been issued for 24-year-old Alexandria Vera, who was an English teacher in the Aldine School District. The boy was an 8th-grade student she met last summer.last_img read more

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Astronaut Breaks US Space Record Gets Call From Trump

first_img 00:00 /00:28 Whitson already was the world’s most experienced spacewoman and female spacewalker and, at 57, the oldest woman in space. By the time she returns to Earth in September, she’ll have logged 666 days in orbit over three flights.The world record — 879 days — is held by Russian Gennady Padalka. Whitson broke the NASA cumulative record set last year by astronaut Jeffrey Williams; Scott Kelly holds the U.S. record for consecutive days in space — 340.Whitson is also the first woman to command the space station twice and the only woman to have led NASA’s astronaut corps. Behind her was a banner that read: “Congrats Peggy!! New U.S. High-Time Space Ninja.” The sign arrived Saturday on the commercial cargo ship, the S.S. John Glenn — barely in time for Monday’s celebration.NASA astronaut Jack Fischer, who arrived at the space station last week and took part in Monday’s call, said the space station is “by far the best example of international cooperation.” Whitson told the president that spaceflight takes a lot of time and money, so getting to Mars will require collaboration from other countries to succeed. NASA is building the hardware right now to test a new rocket that will carry astronauts farther from Earth than ever before, she said.“Well, we want to try and do it during my first term or, at worst, during my second term, so we’ll have to speed that up a little bit, OK?” Trump replied.“We’ll do our best,” Whitson replied.The debut of the mega rocket is still more than a year away — at least. The date will depend on whether astronauts are on board for the test flight, which could hoist the new Orion capsule to the vicinity of the moon. X Both Whitson and Fischer raised a hand when Trump asked which one of them was ready to go to Mars.Joining Trump in the Oval Office was astronaut Kate Rubins, who last summer became the first person in space to perform entire DNA decoding, or sequencing. She said she used a device the size of a cellphone for the job, and noted that such sequencing can detect microbes aboard spacecraft and monitor astronaut health.“That’s fantastic,” Trump said. “I’ve been dealing with politicians so much, I’m so much more impressed with these people, you have no idea.” Share To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Listen To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Xcenter_img X 00:00 /00:49 Listen Listen Astronaut Peggy Whitson broke the U.S. record Monday for most time in space and talked up Mars during a congratulatory call from President Donald Trump.The International Space Station’s commander surpassed the record of 534 days, two hours and 48 minutes for most accumulated time in space by an American.“This is a very special day in the glorious history of American spaceflight,” Trump said. His daughter and close adviser, Ivanka Trump, also offered congratulations to Whitson from the Oval Office.Whitson said it’s “a huge honor” to break such a record. “It’s an exciting time” as NASA prepares for human expeditions to Mars in the 2030s, included in new legislation signed by Trump last month. She called the space station “a key bridge” between living on Earth and traveling into deep space, and she singled out the station’s recycling system that transforms astronauts’ urine into drinking water.“It’s really not as bad as it sounds,” she assured the president.“Well, that’s good, I’m glad to hear that,” he replied. “Better you than me.” 00:00 /00:27 To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code:last_img read more

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WB CID probing suicides blames on Momo Challenge

first_imgKolkata: The West Bengal CID today said it is probing the cases of alleged suicide blamed on online game ‘Momo Challenge’ and most of the messages received by people inviting them to play it were “fake”. There is no reason to panic or to connect the recently reported suicide cases in West Bengal to ‘Momo Challenge’, state CID DIG (Operations) Nishat Pervez told newsmen here. All the numbers from where the messages were sent to the people in the state to play the Momo Challenge were based abroad and an investigation has been initiated into it, he said. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life “Almost all of the messages received by the people so far asking them to play the Momo Challenge are fake because there is no link leading to the game. There must be a link which will take the person receiving the message to the game. Fake messages can be created and that is what has happened,” Pervez said. Nobody in the state has so far reported anything about receiving links leading them to play the Momo Challenge, he said. “We have not received any single report of anybody getting a message that has taken him to a page on the Internet to play the game. And there was no complaint from family members of those who have committed suicide saying that they have died playing the game,” the CID DIG said. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed Investigation is at a very early stage, he said adding catching those creating fake messages will take time. The Momo Challenge has reportedly claimed two lives so far. Eighteen-year-old Manish Sarki of Kurseong had hanged himself on August 20 and 26-year-old Aditi Goyal, also from the same area, committed suicide the next day reportedly after playing the Momo game on Whatsapp. “We do not have any proof that they committed suicide after playing the Momo Challenge,” Pervez said. On August 21 Jalpaiguri resident Kabita Rai had received an invitation over her mobile phone inviting her to play the Momo Challenge following which she had lodged a police complaint. A college student from the district was detained in connection with her complaint. A woman IT professional in the city had received a similar invitation last week and had approached to the Kolkata Police cyber cell. The CID DIG said that parents should keep a tab on their wards and counsel them in case they spot any change in their behaviour. The state administration has taken steps to combat the alleged threat. It has asked educational institutes to keep a tab on the behaviour of students and have alerted police stations in the districts to deal with it, officials said. The ‘Momo Challenge’ apparently introduced by social networking site after last year’s killer ‘Blue Whale Challenge’, has made headway in several countries. The Game features a grotesque image of a girl with her face distorted and eyes bulging.last_img read more

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Youth lynched to death in Hooghly

first_imgKolkata: A youth was lynched to death over property related disputes. The incident took place in Dhaniakhali area of Hooghly on Sunday morning.The deceased has been identified as Kartik Haldar (21). According to the police, the victim had a quarrel with his neigbhour over property related matter.The family members of the victim alleged that the accused, identified as Kartik Roy, along with few others, dragged Haldar out of his house and took him to a nearby area. The accused youths hit the victim on his head with a bamboo stick. The victim fell on the ground after receiving injuries on head. The accused fled the spot immediately after the incident. Some locals found the victim lying unconscious state. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThey rushed the victim to Dhaniakhali Gramin Hospital where the doctors pronounced him brought dead. After being informed, police reached the spot and started a probe. The body has been sent for an autopsy. The incident triggered tension in the area.The family members of the victim told police that a property dispute was going on between the two families for a long time. The accused also threatened the victim of dire consequences on a number of occasions but the family members never thought this could led to his death. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThe victim’s family members lodged a complaint at a local police station and a probe has been initiated. The accused youths have been absconding.According to the police, the victim had several injury marks on his body. Raids are being conducted to nab the culprits.Police are investigating if the property related dispute between the two families actually led to the murder or is there any other angle intothe incident.last_img read more

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When Netherlands followed the Mahatma

first_imgOver 800 people of different ages, nationalities and walks of life participated in a ‘Gandhi March’ held in The Hague, Netherlands on October 1, as part of a ‘Follow the Mahatma’ campaign organised to mark the International Day of Non-Violence. The day’s proceedings began with the Netherlands Marathi Mandal entertaining participants with traditional dhol and dances inside the compound of the iconic Peace Palace, home to the International Court of Justice and the Permanent Court of Arbitration. Deputy Mayors of The Hague, Rabin Baldewsingh and Karsten Klein, as well as Ambassador of India to the Netherlands, Venu Rajamony, made brief speeches flagging off the march. A spark taken from the eternal ‘World Peace flame’ that burns outside the Peace Palace, (created using a flame from the Mahatma Gandhi memorial at Raj Ghat in Delhi) was handed over to the Deputy Mayors and Ambassador Venu Rajamony, who led the march along with Ambassadors of many countries, Chan Santokhi, MP and leader of Opposition from Suriname and leaders of the Indian community.The colourful march guided by motorcycle outriders in front and with mounted police on horses at the back, wound through the streets of the city for about an hour before concluding at the historic Grote Kerk or Big Church of The Hague. The marchers wore t-shirts, specially designed for the occasion with the ‘Follow the Mahatma’ campaign logo of Gandhiji, walking with a stick in one hand and a cycle in the other. They also carried posters and shouted slogans advocating non-violence and peace as well as the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi. Other dignitaries who took part in the activities included the Ambassadors of South Africa, United Kingdom, Austria, Spain, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, Political leader of Indian origin and celebrity fitness advocate and inspirational speaker. On reaching the Grote Kerk, the marchers paid respects to a bicycle personally used by Mahatma Gandhi and sent to the Netherlands by the Gandhi Memorial Trust of India as a special gesture, in view of the popularity of cycling in the Netherlands. An excerpt of Philp Glass’s masterpiece opera titled ‘Satyagraha’ inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy of non-violent resistance was performed by artists from the Korzo theatre and Kwekers in de Kunst. The excerpt which portrayed the conversation between Arjuna and Krishna in the Mahabharata, was performed in a new adaptation with modern Indian dance. A new book in Dutch titled “Gandhi –An illustrated biography” by Indian author Pramod Kapoor was released during the event. The celebrations ended with a performance of Mahatma Gandhi’s favourite songs ‘Lead, kindly light’,and ‘Abide with me’ as well as the famous civil rights song ‘We shall overcome’ by a group from the American Protestant Church of The Hague.The ‘Follow the Mahatma’ campaign continued on October 2, 2017 with volunteers fanning out to 22 schools of Netherlands and conducting classes on Mahatma Gandhi and the Importance of non-violence. Events are also being organised by the Indian community around the statues of Mahatma Gandhi in The Hague, Utrecht and Amsterdam while Indian students are taking the lead to organise a Cleanliness drive in Maastricht University and a discussion in Technical University, Delft.last_img read more

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