The security forces gunned down eight alleged members of the outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist) in Bijapur district of south Chhattisgarh on Friday. The rebels were killed near Ipenta village on the border of Chhattisgarh and Telangana.The operation was led by the Greyhounds, Telangana police’s elite anti-Maoist unit, with the support of Chhattisgarh police and the Central Reserve Police Force.D.M. Awasthi, the Special Director General, Anti-Naxal Operations (ANO) unit of Chhattisgarh police said there were six women among the dead Maoists.“The bodies have been brought to Bijapur. This success was achieved due to a collaboration of various security agencies. The Greyhounds and Telangana SIB (State Intelligence Bureau) played a special role in this operation. Without their help, this operation would not have been successful. This was the first encounter in this area of Chhattisgarh. The forces had never ventured in this area before,” Mr.Awasthi said. The security forces recovered one Self Loading Rifle, six rocket launchers, three HE-36 hand-grenades, revolvers, other weapons and ammunition from the site.
Security forces on Friday surrounded a group of hiding militants in Pulwama’s Tral, triggering an encounter. A police official said an exchange of fire is on between the security forces and militants in Darganaie Gund village of Tral in south Kashmir’s Pulwama. Security forces are responding to an intermittent firing, said an official.The operation was launched after a specific input about the presence of militants in the area was received. The Army’s 42 Rashtriya Rifles (RR), CRPF’s 180 Battalion and the police are carrying out the operation. Preliminary reports suggested two or three militants of the Jaish-e-Muhammad may be hiding in the area. However, there is no official confirmation on the number of militants hiding or their affiliation. Authorities suspended Internet service in parts of Pulwama. The area has been sealed.
London’s Chinatown is hosting an unusual Olympic fan- A farmer who says he has cycled on a rickshaw all the way from China for the games. Chen Guanming, 57, says he undertook the two-year trip to support the athletes and “spread the Olympic spirit.” He is also seeking a last-minute ticket to attend Friday’s opening ceremony.He said Thursday his extraordinary journey began in April 2010 in his village in eastern China’s Jiangsu province. Over the next two years, he said he covered 16 countries including Vietnam, Thailand, Pakistan, Turkey and Italy. He arrived in Britain by a ferry from France on July 6, he said.His rickshaw, loaded with his possessions, is plastered with pictures of him posing in front of international landmarks like the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
Manchester: Seventeen-year-old striker Mason Greenwood scored his first senior Manchester United goal and saved his side’s blushes in a 1-0 win over Kazakhstan’s Astana in their Europa League Group L opener at Old Trafford on Thursday.The prodigy slotted home through the keeper’s legs at the near post in the 73rd minute to make history in only his second start as the first player born in the 2000s to score a senior goal for the club. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s youthful line-up had earlier struggled to dominate their weakest opponents in the group despite having plenty of possession.United made nine changes to the side that started against Leicester City in the Premier League last weekend, with Nemanja Matic taking the captain’s role in the absence of Ashley Young and goalkeeper David De Gea.They came close to scoring after three minutes when Fred’s powerful long-distance strike from smacked off the top of the crossbar.Marcus Rashford missed another great chance 10 minutes later with a close-range shot straight at the goalkeeper.”We made it hard for ourselves,” said Solskjaer, relieved at least to be leading Group L after Partizan Belgrade and AZ Alkmaar drew 2-2 in Serbia.”It’s pleasing, though, that we got three points, got off to a decent start.”In and around the box he (Greenwood) is one of the best finishers we’ve got and I’m happy he got his goal. I’m sure he’ll go home tonight and be happy with that one.”While he partnered 21-year-old regular Rashford up front, teenagers Angel Gomes and Tahith Chong made their full debuts before being replaced by Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard respectively.Lingard hit the post in the 80th minute and Diogo Dalot missed a sitter in front of 50,000 fans as United raised the tempo after going ahead but still looked short of creativity.”It was a hard game. First half we tried to open the game and to score a fast goal but they had a solid defence,” Matic told BT Sport.”It’s good for the (young players) to have the opportunity to play these games. They have to use that, to work hard to get more chances.” AstanaEuropa LeaguemanchesterManchester United First Published: September 20, 2019, 7:36 AM IST Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox – subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what’s happening in the world around you – in real time.
Australia will not be taking their collective foot off the gas in Friday’s third one-day international against New Zealand in Melbourne, despite it being a dead rubber, according to all-rounder Mitchell Marsh.Marsh clubbed an impressive 76 not out from 40 balls in the second game in Canberra on Tuesday as Steve Smith’s side scored 378 for five. They then dismissed New Zealand for 262 in 47.2 overs to take a 2-0 lead in the three-match series.”We’re representing our country in the series and we want to win 3-0,” said Marsh, who was part of the side swept 5-0 in South Africa and knows the dent in confidence that can bring. (Also read: Michael Clarke calls on Australia’s young guns to keep making most of opportunity)Despite his own return to form in Canberra, Marsh felt that would not be enough to earn a recall for the Test series against Pakistan.”I’m not in a rush to get back in the Test side,” said the 25-year-old, who was dropped from the side after scoring 0 and 26 in the first test match against South Africa in Perth last month. “But I know that I’ve got to score runs to get back, so that’s all I want to do.”The innings at Manuka Oval showcased how dangerous he could be as he belted seven sixes, including three in the final over from Matt Henry, and he felt an aggressive approach may help him in future.”When you’re not scoring runs, you tend to try play with things in the nets to try and make something work,” he said. (Also read: Ton-up Warner sees Australia past New Zealand to clinch series)advertisement”I think in red ball cricket, over the last couple of years, I probably haven’t played my natural game.”For me, I’m a hitter of the cricket ball. Probably over the next few months, I’m just going to bat like that and really back myself.”I might get out a few ugly ways at times but I feel like it’s going to give me the best chance to score runs and score big runs.”Despite his pessimism about earning a recall for the series against Pakistan, which starts with a day-night Test at the Gabba in Brisbane on December 15, he still held out hopes of being named for the tour of India next February.”I’ve obviously got the (Twenty20) Big Bash but throughout that period, you’ve got a lot of time to work on your game so I’ll certainly be doing that,” he said.”Hopefully in the second half of the year when I get a chance in the (Sheffield) Shield, I can perform.”
Chelsea winger Hudson-Odoi delighted with early season formby Ansser Sadiq17 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi admits that he was fearing for his career after suffering an Achilles injury last term.The 18-year-old was missing for the back end of last season after the horrific injury.However, he has found his way back to fitness and is already shining for the first team under Frank Lampard with three assists and a goal in four matches.He told Sky Sports News: “It’s an amazing feeling.”I was out for three to four months and it was crazy to even get the injury in the first place. It’s something I had to deal with mentally because I’d never experienced an injury like that before.”I’m really delighted with the way I’ve come back. I didn’t expect to get this many assists and to contribute with a goal as well. Hopefully I’ll keep improving and adding goals to my game.” About the authorAnsser SadiqShare the loveHave your say
Nova Scotia is helping firefighters, ground search and rescue crews, medical first responders and the RCMP in rural areas better communicate during an emergency. Internal Services Minister Labi Kousoulis today, April 13, announced the government is investing $1.6 million to add four new radio towers to the network used by public safety agencies and volunteers. “Improving radio coverage is an investment in the health and safety of Nova Scotians,” said Mr. Kousoulis. “First responders need to be able to communicate with each other during an emergency and these investments will help them do so.” The locations of the new sites are: Mr. Kousoulis said the sites were assessed and selected as priority areas for the network. The range for coverage is about 35 kilometres from the tower site. “Trunked mobile radio allows us to work safely and effectively with other emergency services,” said Don Hughes, chief of the Noel Volunteer Fire Department in Hants County. “It’s always good news when the geographical coverage of this critical system is expanded. It’s a good investment.” The province maintains TMR2, the mobile radio system used by public safety agencies and volunteers in the Maritimes. It serves about 20,000 users including police, fire, ambulance, ground search and rescue, municipal emergency management offices, the RCMP and three levels of government. The network currently has 90 fixed sites across the province. Government recently upgraded to a state-of-the-art, all-digital system and provided more than $10 million in radio equipment and training to public safety agencies. River John, Pictou Co. Port Mouton, Queens Co. Springhill, Cumberland Co. Gore, Hants Co.
Rabat – Acclaimed French TV program Secrets of History [Secrets d’Histoire] is putting the spotlight on the founder of modern Morocco in an episode entitled ‘Moulay Ismail: Sun King of a Thousand and One Nights’ to be broadcasted July 20 on France 2.The show’s presenter Stéphane Bern promises to take his audience in an “enchanting journey” to discover Morocco in the 18th century, “returning to the footsteps of the famous Sultan, Moulay Ismail,” announced France 2 in a communiqué.For the first time, Secrets of History will examine the “Sun King of Morocco,” recounting “the story of a sultan, whose brilliant reign is often compared to that of Louis XIV.” “Journeying through the imperial cities and the emblematic cities of Morocco, including Fes, Meknes, Marrakesh, and Rabat, Secrets of History opens the doors of the palaces where the sultan lived and where his might flourished,” added the same source.Known for his political decisiveness on the international political stage, “this sovereign stood up to the greatest European monarchies while preserving the interests of his country.”The episode is also set to shed light on how the story of Moulay Ismail has inspired literature and cinema, giving birth to the famous story of “Angelica and the Sultan.”However, the channel noted that the sultan was also known for his brutal rule. “Cruel and greedy, Sultan Ismail is said to have executed over 20,000 people with his own hands during his 55-year reign,” says the statement, adding that he had an army of 14,000 black slaves. He also enslaved Christians and forced them to serve his Kingdom.
Rabat – Morocco’s General Directorate of National Security (DGSN) has introduced support units for women and girls who are victims of gender-based violence.The units, which will be within DGSN administrations, seek to provide psychological support and guidance for the victims of violence.DGSN announced the measure on Thursday, September 26, at the Royal Police Institute in Kenitra, a city north of Rabat. The Moroccan security body emphasized that the measure is part of the implementation of Law 103-13 against gender discrimination.The initiative, according to Maghreb Arab Press (MAP), seeks to “leverage the success of the reception units created in 2007 at the level of judicial police services to receive women victims of violence.”DGSN introduced its new support units during a Canadian-sponsored “study day” on the intersectoral coordination of care for women and victims of violence.“The study was marked by the presentation on the new provisions of law 103-13 as well as on the setting up of cells for the support of women and girls victims of violence,” MAP reported.Morocco enacted Law 103-13 in September 2018 to criminalize sexual harassment, assault in public spaces, and cybercrime.Feminists and activists have long argued that the law contains loopholes.Read Also: After 10 Years of Fighting, Morocco’s Soulalyat Women Find JusticeThe US State Department’s annual report on Morocco’s Human Rights Practices for 2018, published in March, said that the law does not “specifically define domestic violence against women and minors, but the general prohibitions of the criminal code address such violence.”With increasing reports of rape and violent incidents against women, the Moroccan government has urged women to come forward and report such crimes.In July, the Moroccan minister for family, solidarity, equality, and social development, Bassima Hakkawi, unveiled a government-sponsored study that found 93.4% of sexual violence victims have not reported their plight to authorities.The data for the study came from January to March of 2019.As many as 54.4% of women had experienced gendered violence at the time of the survey.The survey stipulated that women aged 25-29 are more often the subjects of violence.The same survey showed that 12.4% of Moroccan women faced sexual assaults in public spaces in the past twelve months.
3 May 2007The highest murder and assault rates in the world are undermining economic growth in the Caribbean region, according to a report published today by the World Bank and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) which blames the illicit drug trade and calls for international measures to address the problem. The highest murder and assault rates in the world are undermining economic growth in the Caribbean region, according to a report published today by the World Bank and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) which blames the illicit drug trade and calls for international measures to address the problem.According to the report “Crime, Violence, and Development: Trends, Costs, and Policy Options in the Caribbean,” increased crime severely hinders financing, causes a decline in worker productivity and makes governments, business and individuals spend precious resources on security measures. “The report clearly shows that crime and violence are development issues,” according to Caroline Anstey, World Bank Director for the Caribbean, who called for assistance from the Organization for Economic and Cooperative Development (OECD), which promotes democratic governance and the market economy.“Donors and OECD countries need to work together with Caribbean countries to reduce the current levels in the region,” she said.The primary cause of skyrocketing crime in the region is illicit drug traffic, particularly in cocaine, and the proliferation of guns that accompanies that trade. Since Caribbean countries are transit points and not producers of cocaine, the report states, interdiction needs to be complemented by other strategies outside the region. Policies should also focus on limiting the availability of firearms and on providing meaningful work alternatives to youth, according to the report.“Although there is no one ideal approach for crime and violence prevention, interventions such as slum-upgrading projects, youth development initiatives and criminal justice system reform can contribute to reducing crime and violence,” Francis Maertens, Director of UNODC’s Division for Policy Analysis and Public Affairs said.
VANCOUVER — A hydroelectric venture in central Labrador should serve as a cautionary tale for British Columbia and its own ambitions to build a multibillion-dollar dam in the province’s northeast, the former head of Newfoundland and Labrador’s public utilities regulator says.David Vardy, a former economics professor and retired civil servant in that province, published a letter Tuesday addressed to the B.C. Utilities Commission containing more than a dozen recommendations based on lessons learned from Muskrat Falls.The utilities regulator was tasked earlier this month by B.C.’s new NDP government to review the economic viability of Site C, an $8.8-billion energy project under construction on the Peace River.“B.C. has the luxury of being able to stop this now without going any further,” Vardy said in an interview. “In terms of the take-away from Muskrat Falls: It’s not too late to stop it.”Vardy’s letter outlined the similarities between the two provinces’ megaprojects: Both are backed by powerful Crown corporations, both were exempt from the usual regulatory oversight process, at least initially, and both have experienced ballooning costs over time.The price tag for Muskrat Falls has more than doubled from original estimates, swelling to $12.7 billion in the province of only about 525,000 people. Vardy said the project’s cost of about $24,000 per person would double the province’s per capita net debt and pose a major threat to its solvency.Vardy encouraged British Columbia’s Utilities Commission to ensure Site C is built according to current energy needs and is made as adaptable as possible, warning that the rapid pace of technological advances could make the project obsolete before long.He also emphasized the importance of independent public oversight and a rigorous public review process, lauding the analysis being conducted by the utilities commission.The review began Aug. 9, with interim findings due six weeks later and a final report expected by Nov. 1.The commission’s review process in B.C. was once standard before the previous Liberal government’s clean-energy laws permitted some projects, including Site C, to circumvent the regulatory process.An email from B.C.’s Energy Ministry said the government would consider the results of the report, as well as environmental and First Nations considerations, before making a timely decision on the future of Site C.Energy Minister Michelle Mungall declined further comment “out of respect for the independence of the review process.”BC Hydro could not immediately be reached for comment.The Independent Contractors and Businesses Association told the utilities commission in a statement released Tuesday that BC Hydro must complete Site C.“The Site C dam has been the subject of a robust, nearly three year, independent review and its business case is solid,” president Chris Gardner said. “We cannot produce this kind of high quality, reasonably priced, clean energy anywhere.”There are about 2,400 people working on Site C.Gardner described Site C as an “all-important backbone” that would allow B.C. to transition to other renewable energy sources, adding that ratepayers cannot be expected to spend billions of dollars and get nothing in return.But Vardy dismissed the logic of chasing money already spent, which he called sunk costs.“The key consideration must be future costs,” he said.“We may find it very difficult to walk away from an investment … but what really counts is how much money you’re going to have to spend before you get something that’s worth anything.”— Follow @gwomand on Twitter
A minor tremor was recorded in the Trincomalee area today.The Geological Survey and Mines Bureau said the tremor was felt near the Trincomalee bay. The tremor measured between 3.5 and 3.8 on the Richter Scale.There were no reports of any damage caused by the tremor. (Colombo Gazette)
Stocks closed broadly higher on Wall Street Wednesday as investors welcomed China’s move to exempt some U.S. products from a recent round of tariffs.Technology, health care and communication services stocks powered much of the gains for the S&P 500, which has been essentially flat for much of the week. Investors also continued to favour smaller-company stocks.On Wednesday:The S&P 500 rose 21.54 points, or 0.7%, to 3,000.93.The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 227.61 points, or 0.8%, to 27,137.04.The Nasdaq picked up 85.52 points, or 1.1%, to 8,169.68.The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks climbed 32.72 points, or 2.1%, to 1,575.71.For the week:The S&P 500 is up 22.22 points, or 0.7%.The Dow is up 339.58 points, or 1.3%.The Nasdaq is up 66.60 points, or 0.8%.The Russell 2000 is up 70.54 points, or 4.7%.For the year:The S&P 500 is up 494.08 points, or 19.7%.The Dow is up 3,809.58 points, or 16.3%.The Nasdaq is up 1,534.40 points, or 23.1%.The Russell 2000 is up 227.15 points, or 16.8%.The Associated Press
Governments on Wednesday endorsed the Montevideo Roadmap 2018-2030 on NCDs as a Sustainable Development Priority at the opening of the three-day global conference in the Uruguayan capital after which the strategy is named, hosted by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the country’s Presidency. “It is shocking to see the growing toll diseases like cancer and diabetes are taking on the people who can least afford healthcare,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. The pledge follows world leaders’ agreement to reduce by one-third “premature” NCDs deaths by 2030, as part of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Today, these diseases kill 40 million annually, more than any other cause of death, of which 15 million occur prematurely among people aged 30-70 years, and seven million in low- and low-middle income countries. “Governments must act on pledges to prevent these diseases in the first place, and to ensure that people can obtain services to treat them,” he added. “Failure do to this imposes massive costs on individuals and communities. It totally contradicts global commitments to sustainable development.” The Montevideo Roadmap highlights the need for coordinated and coherent action from all sectors and the whole of society, as many of the main drivers of ill health lie beyond the control of health ministries, systems and professionals. Non-State actors, including civil society and industry, have important roles to play. In addition to improved disease detection and treatment, the Roadmap also points out that the bulk of NCD deaths could have been prevented by action, such as against tobacco, unhealthy diets and harmful use of alcohol. Among challenges identified in the Roadmap are uneven and insufficient progress to reduce premature deaths from NCDs; influence of the private sector on governments to prioritize trade over public health goals; and lack of high-level political leadership to ensure that health promotion and NCD prevention and control are part of all areas of government policy. Mr. Tedros Adhanom, who last week announced the launch of a new WHO high-level commission on NCDs, added: “This conference is a critical opportunity to accelerate efforts to get ahead of noncommunicable diseases. We must be prepared to have some tough conversations, and to take brave action.” “One vital step is for all countries to follow trailblazers, like Uruguay, that have ratified the protocol to eliminate the illicit trade in tobacco products,” he added. “Ensuring that this protocol can come into force next year is key to advancing the impact of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.” The Montevideo Roadmap will guide global preparations for the UN General Assembly’s third High-level Meeting on NCDs next year to assess progress in meeting the target of reducing premature NCD deaths by 25 per cent by 2025 and then by one-third by 2030.
Five years ago, five Ohio State men’s volleyball players strolled through campus for the first time as students. Now, five years later, four of those players are starters on the team and have greatly affected program. For the fourth straight season, the team has advanced to the NCAA Championship semifinals. The Buckeyes (24-6, 11-1) defeated Loyola-Chicago, 3-1 (22-25, 25-20, 25-16, 25-17), Saturday to win the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association tournament. OSU has won the tournament two consecutive years, each time with a win against the Ramblers in the finals. Redshirt senior John Klanac and junior Shawn Sangrey led OSU offensively with 18 and 17.5 points, respectively. Both had 16 kills, and redshirt senior Steven Kehoe added a match-high 47 assists. Coach Pete Hanson said the difference in the match was when Sangrey and Klanac stepped up after trailing, 1-0, in the match. OSU’s four fifth-year starters are the key to its success, and they remain confident as they approach their fourth-straight appearance as NCAA semifinalists. “Our experience is huge,” redshirt senior Kevin Heine said. “There’s no team out there with as much experience playing.” “We’re a more cohesive unit than we’ve ever been,” Klanac said. Sangrey, Klanac, Kehoe and redshirt senior Jason Tobkin were named to the All-Tournament team for OSU, along with Mike Bunting and Joseph Smalzer of Loyola-Chicago. Kehoe was also named the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament. “We knew this would be the best team we’ve had, at least in my career,” Heine said Tuesday. “We just feel so comfortable together on the court.” Klanac was part of two pivotal plays in Saturday’s final set, and the crowd erupted on both plays. He made the score 5-4 with a kill that was only possible because Kehoe ran out of bounds on the Loyola side of the court to keep the rally going. Klanac also had the kill on a long-fought point to make the score 22-16. “We’re in a pretty good mental state of mind,” Hanson said. “We can deal with some adversity, and we can just keep playing.” With the win, the Buckeyes are set to face Penn State at 9 p.m. Thursday. The winner will play Saturday for the NCAA Championship against the winner of the matchup featuring Southern California and California-Santa Barbara. All the games will be played at Recreation Hall at Penn State. The Buckeyes are NCAA semifinalists once again, and this time they look to come back to Columbus with a national title.
Around 1.3 million people applied for help funding care in 2015/16 – the latest year figures have been published for – but fewer than half of these were awarded it.The “tipping point” refers to the point at which the proportion of over-65s in the British population will overtake the proportion of those aged under-15 for the first time.It is expected to take place in 2020, putting significant pressure on those caught in the middle.The change has been triggered by an ageing population, caused by improvements to healthcare and lifestyles which have led to longer life expectancies. But despite living longer lives, the number of people with multiple chronic health problems has soared by 1 million in a decade to 2.9 million, partly due to soaring obesity rates, as well as people living for longer.Between 2009/10 and 2016/17, spending by local authorities on adult social services fell by 13.5 per cent per adult in real terms, putting pressure on families to provide care for loved-ones instead.The report found two thirds of carers spend between 10 and 20 hours a week looking after elderly relatives – but this is not enough to enable them to qualify for Carers’ Allowance, which is only available to people caring for someone for at least 35 hours a week. 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. Baby boomers are having to fund the cost of care for their parentsCredit:Rafael Ben-Ari Caring demands have led to 16 per cent of carers having to reduce their hours at work, 14 per cent saying they can no longer work as often as they like and 10 per cent frequently having to leave work unexpectedly.Looking after others also takes an emotional toll, with two in five carers saying they no longer have any time for themselves and a quarter worried they do not have sufficient time for other family members or friends.Commenting on the report, Caroline Abrahams, charity director of Age UK, said: “We are so lucky that millions of people in this country are prepared to care for someone they love, but we also need to be realistic about the impact this can have on them – physically, emotionally and financially. “Caring is hard work and over time it can wear the most resilient person down. It’s also important to remember that many carers are themselves in their eighties or beyond and have their own health needs to contend with, which they may well be neglecting in favour of those of the person they are supporting.”She called on the Government to improve social care provision, including allowing carers flexible hours at work and more financial support. Across all carers surveyed, one in six said the cost burden of care had left them struggling for money and a third said they expected to have to raid their savings within the next five years. Babyboomers are having to pay up to £10,000 a year out of their own pockets to fund the care of their elderly relatives.The “squeezed middle” in their 50s, 60s and 70s – who are often helping out children and grandchildren as well as elderly parents – are having to dip into their pensions and savings to fund care and essentials. More than four in ten people caring for an elderly family member spend up to £1,000 of their own money on them each year, while three in ten pay between £1,000 and £10,000, a report found.The money goes on essential items like food and toiletries which disabled or elderly people are unable to fetch themselves, as well as on care support which has not been paid for by social services or from the assets of the person needing care.–– ADVERTISEMENT ––A quarter of 1,000 British carers surveyed for the Tipping Point report, commissioned by health insurer Benenden, said their caring responsibilities meant they had been forced to dip into their savings or pension, while one in 16 said the costs meant they will have to retire later than planned.The burden of caring is not just affecting low income families: 60 per cent of carers surveyed for the report were in the top three socioeconomic groups in the UK, while three in ten earned at least £40,000 a year.
IN JUST UNDER a year, Scots will answer the question “Should Scotland be an independent country?” in a landmark referendum to be held on September 18th 2014. With the date looming, many questions remain after much debate and discussion; can Scotland really be a successful independent state? What would Scottish independence mean for Northern Ireland? What will be the outcome of the referendum?Us vs ThemThe existence of a referendum means that the ‘Us and Them’ mentality is more than well-established, with the build-up of referendum coverage in the UK continuously highlighting the distinct differences between Scotland and England.Hypothetically, even if Scots vote overwhelming to remain in the UK it still brings attention to the so-called ‘gap’ that exists in Scottish and English culture. This gap is also felt among those south of the Scottish border and extends to just shy of the midlands – as Liverpudlians, Mancunians and those on the Tyne feel a sense of disconnect from their apparently ‘well-to-do’ counterparts in the south of England. This difference can be traced back to Thatcher’s days of privatisation and the miners’ strike.It could be argued that Northerners have more in common with their Scottish counterparts than their neighbours down below. This is worrying for Cameron and his Tory counterparts.Yes to independence: Scottish Nationalist PartyOne of the biggest challenges for the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) is not just to have Alex Salmond as the primary face of the ‘yes’ campaign and ensure that the SNP aren’t the complete driving force behind Yes Scotland. They have tried to dilute the Yes to independence campaign so that non-SNP voters aren’t put off by a heavily-backed SNP campaign.In fact, the chief executive of Yes Scotland is a former journalist, Blair Jenkins and is joined by Celia Fitzgerald from Labour for Independence, Brian Nugent of Free Scotland and Scotland’s SNP minister for education, Mike Russell.Despite this widespread united opinion, difficulty has been caused because of the significant policy differences of the large umbrella groups. Labour for Independence wants Labour to revert to pre-Blair days meanwhile, the Greens and the Scottish Socialist Party object to the SNP’s preference for lower corporation tax.Dilution of nationalismIn order to attract a wider vote, the SNP has stated that sterling would continue to be used after independence. Royalist fears would also be unfounded as Queen Elizabeth would remain head of state. This is a clearly-adopted strategy to appeal to potential voters that enjoy their traditional ties with England.Further to this, Scotland would remain in the EU and Nato – although, interestingly, the UK’s fleet of submarine-carried nuclear weapons, held at Faslane naval base on the Clyde, would have to go.Opposition to independenceThe Yes campaign faces its most stringent opposition from Better Together, an anti-independence group whose leading figure is the former Labour Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling. Darling was involved in the campaign’s launch in June 2012 and has subsequently delivered an impactful speech on the subject in the annual John P Mackintosh lecture in November 2012.Darling has been criticised by some Scottish Labour MPs and supporters who believe that working with Conservatives on the Better Together campaign may damage Labour’s prospects in Scotland.Devolution Plus?As reported in the Irish Times recently, Sir Ken Bloomfield*, speaking at the Merriman Summer School this year, said he expected the push for Scottish independence to fail. However, he interestingly added that such a poll result could lead to a so-called ‘devolution-plus’ arrangement with the rest of the UK (also termed as ‘Calman plus’ and advocated by senior Scottish Liberal Democrats and supported by The Scotsman).This means that if the Scottish people reject independence, it doesn’t mean they will suddenly lose their identity.Whatever the outcome on 18th September 2014, Northern Ireland will be looking closely at the result with republicans ready for the question to be raised on Irish independence and unionists conscious of deepening already loosening ties with the British mainland. *Sir Kenneth Bloomfield served as a member of the Northern Ireland Civil Service from 1952 to 1991 in a range of posts, ending as Head of the Service from 1984 to 1991. Since retirement he has published four books, two of which include ‘Stormont in Crisis’ and ‘A Tragedy of Errors analyse the course of events in Northern Ireland since partition’.Natalie Tennyson is a Senior Account Executive at Pembroke Communications. She is from Armagh and studied politics at the University of Manchester having specialised in British politics. Natalie works with clients from the education, health, legal, agri and financial sectors in the Corporate team at Pembroke. She tweets at @n_tenn.Read: Independent Scotland would ‘cut corporation tax, keep sterling, stay in EU and scrap the BBC’Read: Scottish Government to reveal ‘landmark’ independence plan
Orb has been making some waves lately trying to undercut rivals like Sonos in the competitive streaming media market, mostly with affordable yet impressively featured gadgets like the Orb TV and Orb MP-1.We loved those two gadgets, but strangely, we’re even more excited about Orb’s latest product, even though it’s not really a gadget at all. Instead, it’s a $19.99 disc that you pop in to your Blu-Ray player which will turn any network-connected player into an Orb station which can be controlled with the company’s free apps or the Orb Caster software for the PC or Mac.AdChoices广告Once you’ve popped in the disc, you can access streaming content from the likes of Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Comedy Central, Amazon Video On Demand and more… at either 720p or 1080p resolution, which officially makes this $20 disc better than the $99 Orb TV, which can’t do 1080p.The Orb BR should be on sale by the end of February.
Pollution marine : un capitaine condamné à verser 1 million d’eurosFrance – Le capitaine russe du Matterhorn a été condamné mardi par le tribunal correctionnel de Brest à verser une amende d’1 million d’euros, pour pollution par rejet volontaire d’hydrocarbures. Toutefois, le capitaine ne devra régler que 10% de l’amende : c’est l’armateur grec Eastwind Transport qui payer les 90% restants. Le site ouest-france.fr précise toutefois qu’il serait étonnant que cette amende soit un jour réglée. À lire aussiLa Méditerranée est officiellement la mer la plus polluée par le plastiqueLe procès a eu lieu le 6 janvier 2010, en l’absence du capitaine. Celui-ci était accusé d’avoir délibérément pollué les eaux d’Ouessant (Bretagne), à cause d’un rejet d’hydrocarbures survenu en mai 2009. Un avion des douanes avait repéré une nappe de 22 km de long derrière le cargo réfrigéré.L’amende peut paraître élevée : elle est toutefois conforme aux codes de l’environnement qui exposent les contrevenants à des amendes pouvant atteindre 15 millions d’euros pour ce genre de délit. De plus, le capitaine et l’armateur doivent payer 28.600 euros aux différentes associations qui se sont portées parties civiles.Le 3 mars 2010 à 10:11 • Emmanuel Perrin
La plus vieille chaussure du monde a 5.500 ans, découvrez-la en imagesArménie – Elle passionne les archéologues mais décevra certainement les férus de mode. La plus vieille chaussure du monde, du haut de ses 5.500 ans, est un mocassin en cuir remarquablement conservé. Découverte dans une grotte d’Arménie, l’ancêtre de toutes les chaussures a été taillée dans une pièce de cuir unique, et modelée pour ne pas meurtrir le pied de son porteur. Première interrogation soulevée par cette trouvaille : faisait-elle partie de la garde-robe d’un homme ou d’une femme ? Les chercheurs ne le savent pas encore, comme l’avouait à l’AFP Ron Pinhasi, archéologue au College Cork (Irlande) et principal auteur de ces recherches : “On ne sait pas (…) si ce mocassin appartenait à un homme ou à une femme. Bien que cette chaussure soit de taille 37, selon le système de mesure européen (…), elle aurait pu aussi être portée par un des hommes de cette époque, qui étaient plus petits qu’aujourd’hui”.À lire aussiLe pharaon Toutânkhamon n’était sans doute pas celui que l’on croit Deuxième zone d’ombre : la paille qui garnit l’intérieur de ce soulier ancestral était-elle destinée à tenir chaud aux pieds de son propriétaire, ou a-t-elle été placée là pour conserver à la chaussure sa forme originale ? Là-encore, mystère. C’est dans une grotte de la province arménienne de Vayotz Dzor, près de l’Iran et de la Turquie, que la chaussure a été retrouvée. Les scientifiques pensent que les températures fraîches constantes et la sécheresse de l’air à l’intérieur de cette caverne ont permis de préserver l’intégrité du mocassin. Autre atout des lieux : une couche de fumier conséquente, répartie sur le sol, a préservé la chaussure et les autres objets découverts sur place “sous vide” en séchant. Des conditions tellement idéales qu’elles ont initialement induit les archéologues en erreur : “Nous pensions tout d’abord que le mocassin et les autres objets contenus dans la caverne dataient seulement de 600 à 700 ans car ils étaient en très bon bon état”, ajoute Ron Pinhasi, et il aura fallu une datation au carbone 14 pour réaliser le grand âge de cet antique soulier. Découvrez-la en images : https://www.maxisciences.com/arch%e9ologie/les-images-de-la-plus-vieille-chaussure-du-monde_art7761.htmlLe 10 juin 2010 à 12:34 • Emmanuel Perrin