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State govt to hike daily allowance of MLAs ministers

first_imgKolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Friday said that her government has decided to increase the allowances of ministers and MLAs in the state.Ministers will now be getting a daily allowance of Rs 3,000, up from Rs 2,000 per day, while MLAs will get Rs 2,000 a day, up from Rs 1,000. The announcement by the Chief Minister came in the wake of recommendations from different members of the state Assembly. “There have been different types of recommendations from the honourable members and the government has decided to increase the allowances of the ministers and MLAs. Finance minister Amit Mitra is not well. But we can afford this at the moment,” Banerjee announced at the state Assembly, adding that her government will have to cough up an additional expenditure of Rs 15 crore for this purpose. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellersThe allowances are given to MLAs and ministers’ for their presence in the Assembly, either during the session or for any other meeting. “In most of the cases, the members have to attend the Assembly on a regular basis to attend their respective committee meetings,” a senior member of the Assembly said. According to the enhancement, the MLAs will get an approximate allowance of Rs 60,000 instead of Rs 30,000 and the allowance of the ministers, including the Chief Minister, will be Rs 90,000 instead of Rs 60,000 per month. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaHowever the Opposition protested the announcement, citing disparity of allowances between the MLAs and ministers. “There should not be any difference of daily allowance between the MLAs and ministers, because all are members of this house,” Left Front leader Sujan Chakraborty said. It may be mentioned here that this is the third time the Mamata Banerjee government has decided to increase the emoluments of the MLAs and ministers. Prior to this, when the state Assembly passed the West Bengal Salaries and Allowances (Amendment) Bill, 2017, the salary of the Chief Minister was increased to Rs 27,001 from Rs 8,500. The ministers’ salary was increased to Rs 22,000 from a meagre Rs 7,500, while the salary of the ministers of state was raised to Rs 21,900 from Rs 7,300. Similarly, the salary of the MLAs was hiked to Rs 17,500 from Rs 5,000. The salary of the Leader of Opposition was also increased to Rs 22,000 from Rs 10,500. In 2011, when Mamata Banerjee came to power, the allowance of members of Assembly was increased as well.last_img read more

The 36th Just For Laughs Festival – July 14 to 28 2018

first_img Login/Register With: Advertisement Advertisement Twitter LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Mado Lamotte will be back for a 5th edition of her eclectic show Mado’s got talent! with drag-queens, singers, circus artists and comedians! “Mado’s madness returns to the Place des Festivals! We are preparing a memorable show – and hilarious! – Just For Laughs 2018, get ready!” – Mado Lamotte.Night owls will be welcome at the Melting Pot, located on Esplanade de la Place des Arts, to party all night in the heart of the downtown along with international artists and DJs.Finally, the gourmet open-air village BOUFFONS!MTL is back at the corner of Ste-catherine West street & Bleury street. This is the summer happening for foodies with tens of food trucks, tasting workshops, bars and more!The full programming of outdoor activities will be announced in June 2018.center_img MONTREAL – Festival Juste pour rire is proud to present the first highlights of its 2018 outdoor programming: a diverse and innovative program for all tastes and all generations! The Festival is happy to announce that the mythical Beach Boys will perform on its free outdoor stage next summer! The festival-goers are invited to come celebrate the summer heat and dance with the sound of worldwide hits that have become true classics, such as I Get Around, Wouldn’t It Be Nice and Surfin’ USA. Let the Californian sunshine take over Place des Festivals … mark your calendars!The hit teen event Juste pour ados! created and led by Pascal Morrissette, will be back with 100+ artists for a show and meet‑ups with teen idols of the year. “I’m happy to be back at Juste pour rire with even more craziness, stars, and selfies! I promise you a new show that our young girls and guys will adore!” – Pascal Morrissette. Facebook Advertisementlast_img read more

UN meeting on Middle East peace urges support for new Palestinian Government

26 March 2007The international community has an obligation to support the new Palestinian National Unity Government without preconditions and to lift the aid restrictions imposed on it, according to participants in a United Nations meeting on Israeli-Palestinian peace. The international community has an obligation to support the new Palestinian National Unity Government without preconditions and to lift the aid restrictions imposed on it, according to participants in a United Nations meeting on Israeli-Palestinian peace.The UN International Meeting in Support of Israeli-Palestinian Peace, held at the Rome headquarters of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on 22-23 March, welcomed the formation of the Government and voiced the hope that the development would allow the international community to restore much-needed economic and humanitarian aid and help to move the peace process forward.The participants emphasized that the decades-old conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians was increasingly becoming a key symbol of a perceived rift between the Western and Islamic societies.They stressed that the lack of progress in Middle East peacemaking and, most notably, in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict had exacerbated feelings of frustration and mutual mistrust that were fuelling extremism on a local, regional and world scale. They also felt that it was based on distorted interpretations of religious motives, aimed at transforming a political problem into a cultural and religious divide, and at disrupting the dialogue and interchanges across cultures and civilizations.The Meeting, convened by the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, held three plenary sessions focusing on the significance of peace in the Middle East for the advancement of the dialogue between cultures and civilizations; the role of parliaments in promoting dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians; and the urgency of restoring momentum to the peace process and forging a vision of a final settlement.Committee Chairman Paul Badji of Senegal said in his closing statement that as long as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict had not been settled in a comprehensive, just and lasting manner, there would be no peace. Moreover peace would be impossible without an end to the occupation.In a message opening the meeting Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who is currently in the Middle East pushing efforts to promote a peace deal, said a parallel commitment by both Israel and the Palestinians was essential for advancing on key issues. read more

Financial market highlights on Friday SPTSX 1505599 down 2017 points

Highlights at the close Friday at world financial market trading.Stocks:S&P/TSX Composite Index — 15,055.99, down 20.17 pointsDow — 21,813.67, up 30.27 pointsS&P 500– 2,443.05, up 4.08 pointsNasdaq — 6,265.64, down 5.69 pointsCurrencies:Cdn — 80.05 cents US, up 0.24 of a centPound — C$1.6072, up 0.25 of a centEuro — C$1.4821, up 0.32 of a centEuro — US$1.1864, up 0.60 of a centOil futures:US$47.87, up 44 cents(October contract)Gold futures:US$1,297.90 per oz., up $5.90(December contract)Canadian Fine Silver Handy and Harman:Daily quote unavailable from source; office closed on FridaysThursday: $22.183 per oz., $713.18 per kg.) read more

BC government reviews homeowner grants amid rising property assessments

B.C. government reviews homeowner grants amid rising property assessments by Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press Posted Jan 4, 2017 7:01 am MDT Last Updated Jan 4, 2017 at 7:40 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email A real estate sold sign is shown outside a house in Vancouver, Tuesday, Jan.3, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward VICTORIA – Homeowners across parts of southern British Columbia have received big increases in the assessed value of their homes, prompting the government to review who qualifies for a grant that helps reduce property taxes.Property assessments from 2016 were posted online Tuesday by BC Assessment, which announced last month that homeowners can expect values for single family homes in much of B.C.’s Lower Mainland and the Victoria area on Vancouver Island to jump between 30 and 50 per cent from last year.The grant program offers $570 to homeowners of properties with an assessed value of less than $1.2 million. The Finance Ministry said the grant covers 91 per cent or more than one million homes in the province.“We are actively looking at the threshold level and considering the effect of rising assessments on the homeowner grant,” the ministry said in a statement.The province increased the threshold by $100,000 to $1.2 million last year because of soaring real estate prices.The B.C. government said no other jurisdiction in Canada offers the same type of assistance as its homeowner grant, but Ontario, Nova Scotia, Manitoba and New Brunswick offer income tested tax credits.BC Assessment is the agency that collects, monitors and analyses property data. The assessments are based on the estimate of a property’s market value as of July 1 and its physical condition as of Oct. 31.Jason Grant, a spokesman for the agency, said assessment increases are spread almost uniformly across much of the Lower Mainland from Squamish to Chilliwack, and in the Victoria area.The data shows the assessment on a single-family home on Vancouver’s west side increased 41 per cent to $2.74 million from $1.94 million in July 2015. A similar home on Vancouver’s east side increased 41 per cent to $1.33 million from $947,300 in 2015.“There are large increases being reported for most of the Lower Mainland, but it’s very important to remember these large increases do not automatically translate into a corresponding increase in property taxes,” said Grant.“Don’t be too panicked when you see the big number.”Prof. Tsur Somerville of the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business said he felt a jolt of sticker shock when he looked at his own property assessment.“I know how much house prices went up and then I looked at my assessment this morning, and damn, that’s a big number,” he said.Somerville said he doesn’t have much sympathy for homeowners concerned about losing their grant because the increased value of their property puts them above the threshold.“If you are a renter or a poor person, to have someone who has just gained $400,000 in wealth complaining about spending another $600 a year, that doesn’t really carry a lot of water,” he said.B.C.’s advocate for seniors has said many elderly people on fixed incomes are struggling to stay in their homes because they can’t afford property taxes. read more

Week in Brussels – week ending Friday 22 May 2015

DOWNLOAD1.     Cameron begins talks with European leaders on EU reform2.     ACEA – EU new car registrations up 6.9%3.     ACEA calls on Commission to make complete proposal on measuring RDE4.     Commission adopts Better Regulation Agenda5.     ENVI – exchange of views on Energy Union Strategy6.     Week aheadClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)

Jordan Spieths Collapse Also Required A Great Comeback

1987U.S.Tom Watson5.48Scott Simpson0.045.44 Spieth isn’t the first golfer to experience an unceremonious meltdown on Sunday at a major championship; YouTube is littered with the bones of players snatching ignominy from the jaws of victory. That doesn’t make it any less jarring to see a player as good as Spieth, leading by 5 midway through the Masters’ final round, fresh off of one of the greatest seasons at the majors in modern history last year, fall apart in such spectacular fashion. And that he was beaten by Danny Willett, who had just one career top-10 finish at a major before this week, made Spieth’s defeat all the more stunning.In measuring Spieth’s performance in majors last year, I used “major shares,” a statistic that estimates how many majors a player would have been expected to win given his scoring relative to the field average in past majors. Fractional “shares” of wins accumulate over time for good players; the number is nailed right around zero for the also-rans. Going into the Masters, Spieth had 1.48 career major shares,1A few notes, since I tweaked the methodology a bit since last season: Instead of using z-scores, I’m now basing major shares on a player’s strokes above the field average in a tournament. (Research by Daniel Myers shows that converting those to z-scores needlessly adds statistical noise to a player’s rating.) I also listed two versions of major shares last season — one that adjusts for other performances in the field, one that does not — and I’ve averaged those together here. the 10th-most of any active player; Willett, on the other hand, had 0.01 major shares. That difference, 1.47 major shares, was the 17th-biggest disparity in résumés between a major’s third-round leader and the player who eventually overtook him since 1958.2Out of the 139 instances in that span where the leader after three rounds didn’t go on to win the major. In other words, there have been less likely candidates to come from behind, but not many. STROKES GAINED AGAINST FIELD 1997Tiger Woods+3.7+5.8+7.2+4.2+11.5+21.0 1977BritishJack Nicklaus12.50Tom Watson0.8511.65 2010Phil Mickelson+3.9+1.5+5.6+4.9+10.5+16.0 1985Bernhard Langer+1.2-1.3+6.0+4.8+10.8+10.6 STROKES GAINED AGAINST FIELD 1978PGATom Watson1.78John Mahaffey0.531.25 YEARPLAYERR1R2R3R4WEEKENDTOTAL 1978Gary Player+1.2-0.4+3.1+8.2+11.3+12.1 YEARPLAYERR1R2R3R4WEEKENDTOTAL Considering Spieth’s immense potential, the difference between the two golfers would likely have been even higher if Willett had pulled this upset later in Spieth’s career. Spieth is no Tiger Woods, but before Sunday, he’d developed a reputation for steadiness, particularly in majors. After he birdied the ninth hole on Sunday to go up 5 strokes, a third major — and second Green Jacket — in the span of 12 months seemed imminent. (Ken Pomeroy — who maintains a golf win probability feed on Twitter in addition to his indispensable college basketball stats site — gave Spieth a 92 percent chance of winning at that point.) Then, a pair of bogeys to give a few strokes back. Then, quadruple-bogey.But epic collapses such as Spieth’s are often accompanied by incredible comebacks. And for all the water-cooler chatter about Spieth’s disastrous final trip through Augusta’s back nine, Willett also had to play tremendous golf over the weekend, particularly on Sunday. In the final 36 holes of the tournament, Willett outplayed the field average by 9.4 strokes, the ninth-best weekend enjoyed by any Masters winner since 1958. And 5.7 of those strokes were gained against the field in Round 4 alone, representing the eighth-best final round performance by a winner since ’58. 2016Danny Willett+2.3-0.3+3.7+5.7+9.4+11.5 1995U.S.Greg Norman3.23Corey Pavin0.242.99 1989MastersBen Crenshaw2.09Nick Faldo0.851.24 2009PGATiger Woods10.85Y.E. Yang0.0010.85 2011Charl Schwartzel+2.0-0.5+4.1+5.7+9.8+11.3 2013U.S.Phil Mickelson4.58Justin Rose0.244.34 1994Jose Maria Olazabal-0.8+5.0+5.4+4.9+10.3+14.5 2008BritishGreg Norman3.45P. Harrington0.343.12 1995Ben Crenshaw+0.7+3.5+2.3+5.3+7.7+11.9 1986Jack Nicklaus-0.6+1.3+2.0+7.0+9.0+9.7 1965Jack Nicklaus+4.1+2.9+9.1+4.6+13.7+20.7 YEARMAJORPLAYERMAJOR SHARESPLAYERMAJOR SHARESDIFF 2016MastersJordan Spieth1.48Danny Willett0.011.47 LEADER THROUGH 3 RDSEVENTUAL WINNER SourceS: ESPN, Yahoo 1990MastersRaymond Floyd2.66Nick Faldo1.051.61 Best weekend performances at Augusta, 1958-2016 2016Danny Willett+2.3-0.3+3.7+5.7+9.4+11.5 1959Art Wall+0.8-1.6+1.8+7.4+9.2+8.4 1990Nick Faldo+1.1+0.9+6.6+4.2+10.8+12.8 1971MastersJack Nicklaus7.29Charles Coody0.097.20 1967Gay Brewer+0.6+5.1+1.7+7.2+8.9+14.6 1996Nick Faldo+2.1+4.8+0.8+6.7+7.5+14.3 1993PGAGreg Norman2.92Paul Azinger0.482.43 1973Tommy Aaron+6.0-0.5+0.2+6.1+6.3+11.8 Biggest major upsets since 1958 Few sports offer as much potential for dramatic, heartbreaking collapse as golf. Jordan Spieth learned as much on Sunday: 2009BritishTom Watson5.98Stewart Cink0.375.61 1984BritishTom Watson5.33Seve Ballesteros2.053.28 1989Nick Faldo+5.3+1.3-2.9+6.7+3.8+10.3 1985MastersRaymond Floyd2.22Bernhard Langer0.251.97 1987MastersBen Crenshaw1.84Larry Mize0.021.81 1983U.S.Tom Watson4.44Larry Nelson0.703.73 1986PGAGreg Norman1.60Bob Tway0.021.58 1978Gary Player+1.2-0.4+3.1+8.2+11.3+12.1 2005Tiger Woods-1.2+6.2+7.2+2.2+9.4+14.4 2006U.S.Phil Mickelson3.45Geoff Ogilvy0.033.43 2011Charl Schwartzel+2.0-0.5+4.1+5.7+9.8+11.3 2012U.S.Jim Furyk1.25Webb Simpson0.001.25 Best Sundays at Augusta, 1958-2016 The quality (or lack thereof) with which Spieth hit the ball at the 12th hole was shocking, but Willett’s weekend charge was also pretty historic. It took a combination of the two to generate a Green Jacket ceremony this awkward: read more

Positive rampup update at the Yanfolila gold mine Mali

first_imgHummingbird Resources notes that completion of plant construction and ore commissioning in 2017, was achieved within both the planned 18-month schedule and the $88.5 million budgeted capital cost.  Since first gold was poured on December 19, the performance of the plant has steadily improved month by month.  In the first 14 days of March, the plant operated at an average of 95% of design throughput and has consistently achieved a gold recovery rate of approximately 96%, which is in excess of design specification.Total gold recovered to March 14 was 16,804 oz, of which 11,958 oz has been poured and 4,846 oz are currently within circuit inventory.During the initial ore commissioning phase, the plant was processing ore from the lower-grade stockpiles in order to ensure plant performance and gold recovery were satisfactory before increasing the head grade.  Over the past two months, the amount of high grade ore fed into the mill blend has been steadily increased and the plant is now running close to name-plate capacity with recoveries remaining consistently above design; higher-grade ore continues to be increasingly introduced to the plant. Month 1 Commencing 9 December 2017 Month 2Commencing 8 January 2018Month 3Commencing8 February 2018 Gold Recovery ** (%)95.995.896.5 Tonnes Milled (dry)55,69972,34686,592 Mill Feed Grade (g/t)2.022.343.35center_img Plant Availability * (%)788387 Throughput (dry tonnes/hour)102117139 *Plant availability is due to be 91% when in steady state operations**Recovery calculations based on gold lost to tailingsDan Betts, CEO of Hummingbird, commented: “We are delighted that the plant has performed so well and that the work carried out by our highly experienced team and contractors has so far been rewarded in ramp-up operations with 96% recoveries, over 3g/t head grade and a steady increase in plant throughput towards design.  This is an impressive achievement in such a short space of time.”last_img read more

Woman 62 arrested in attempted murder investigation

first_imgA 62-YEAR-OLD woman has been arrested in connection with the attempted murder of two PSNI officers in Belfast earlier this week.The suspect has been taken to Antrim Serious Crime Suite where she is being questioned by detectives.A 27-year-old woman and a 25-year-old man remain in custody.The two officers involved in the attack escaped injury but were said to be “badly shaken” by the events. They had to dive for cover when two pipe bombs were thrown at them as they answered a 999 call in the early hours of Tuesday morning.Chief Inspector Andrew Freeburn, North Belfast Area Commander described it as a “blatant attempt to murder our police officers”.Update: Man and 15-year-old boy drowned in Down quarryUS court reduces number of Boston College tapes to be handed to PSNISuspect in attempted murder of PSNI officers arrested in Englandlast_img read more

Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini specs revealed

first_imgIf you had any doubts that Samsung was going to ride the Galaxy branding while popularity was at its highest, the specs on the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini will set you straight.Samsung has long been a fan of releasing as many phones as possible to cover all possible markets. Over the last year, the Galaxy branding has taken many shapes, and recent announcements like the Galaxy Mega make it clear that this year will be more of the same. A repeat performance of the Galaxy Mini was reported not too long ago, but with very little information to accompany it. An accidental website leak on behalf of Samsung shows that not only is the Galaxy S4 Mini on the way, but the company plans to make these new handsets look as much like a younger brother to the new flagship as possible.The Galaxy S4 Mini and the Galaxy S4 Mini DUOS are on their way to budget markets that prefer less expensive smartphones. As such, these phones will resemble the Galaxy S4, but offer a substantial cut in specs. The Mini DUOS will focus on markets where dual-SIM technology is a feature high in demand, while the S4 Mini will just be a slightly lesser Galaxy S4. The Mini will sport a quad core processor with a 4.3-inch qHD display and an 8-megapixel camera, while the DUOS will offer a less powerful dual core processor. Both phones are expected to run Android 4.2.2 with Samsung’s TouchWiz UI, and be available in the same Black Mist and White Frost colors.There’s no mention of pricing or availability for either of these phones, but if the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini from last year is any indicator the phone will be sold in major markets for free with a new contract if it is sold in those markets at all. For the most part, these phones serve as an extension of the Galaxy brand, and Samsung selling these handsets running the latest OS offers them the ability to say they have more phones running current versions of Android then anyone else.last_img read more

Zappone has not considered resigning over McCabe and Tusla revelations

first_imgZappone ‘has not considered’ resigning over McCabe and Tusla revelations The minister has been in the firing line over a meeting with garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe. Short URL Feb 13th 2017, 5:06 PM Share189 Tweet Email The Children’s Minister had been in Seattle this weekend and has only just arrived back in Ireland.She had come under pressure in the last number of days to clarify what she knows about false allegations being made against whistleblower Maurice McCabe. Last week, it emerged that due to an administrative error, incorrect information was copied-and-pasted by a HSE counsellor into a document for Tusla, about McCabe.The incorrect information wrongly referred to a child sex abuse allegation. The details of the situation were revealed on Prime Time last week. Tusla apologised to McCabe for the error.However McCabe and his wife Lorraine told RTÉ News that they decided to have no further engagement with the HSE or Tusla after both offered him apologies.On Friday, Minister Zappone released a statement saying that she became aware of the circumstances when McCabe’s wife contacted the office of the Minister for Health Simon Harris on 18 January. Zappone later met with the couple on 25 January.Zappone said she informed the “relevant Government colleagues” of the false Tusla file.Phonecall with the TánaisteThe Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald told RTÉ’s Week in Politics that Zappone informed her and the Taoiseach Enda Kenny about the meeting, but never gave any detail of the nature of the meeting.“Katherine Zappone telephoned me on the day she was meeting Maurice McCabe, 25 January, I remember distinctly taking the call,” she said.I said ‘thanks for calling Katherine’, and that was it. Obviously I wasn’t going to say yes or no, it wasn’t my business, that was the conversation I had with her.Asked directly was she aware that Tusla had kept a false allegation of sexual impropriety against McCabe on file for nearly two years after it had been debunked, she replied “no I wasn’t aware of that”.“As Minister Zappone has clarified, she would have said something (at Cabinet) if she felt it needed to be said,” she said.Asked why, as Minister for Justice, she had not followed up on Zappone’s meeting with McCabe, who has been at the centre of the whistleblower scandal for over three years, Fitzgerald said:“I was respecting the integrity of her meeting with him (McCabe). Maurice McCabe has been subject to an awful lot of hassle. I did not know the facts as they emerged.”- Additional reporting Christina FinnRead: Tusla to appear before Dáil committee next week as McCabe controversy rumbles on> By Aoife Barrycenter_img Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Monday 13 Feb 2017, 5:06 PM 139 Comments Children’s Minister Katherine Zappone speaking to the media after returning from America today. Source: Rollingnews.ieUpdated 7.23pmCHILDREN’S MINISTER KATHERINE Zappone has said today that she told Taoiseach Enda Kenny of a Tusla link to the Maurice McCabe case before the Cabinet meeting last week.I said that I had met with the McCabes, that we had discussed allegations, that allegations were part of Tusla and that was the nature of the conversation… That was before the Cabinet meeting.A government spokesperson said that the Taoiseach was not aware of the details, or of the “very serious and disturbing issues” that arose at this meeting.Speaking at her first public appearance since the scandal broke, Zappone said she spoke to the Taoiseach before the Cabinet meeting – but that she kept the highly sensitive allegations made about the whistleblower to herself to protect McCabe and his wife.Asked if she had considered her resignation in recent days, Zappone said:No, I have not, I have a job to do, I am the only independent member at the Cabinet table, I think I bring a unique perspective and I want to continue to do that.This statement by Zappone is in contrast to what Taoiseach Enda Kenny told RTÉ Radio’s This Week yesterday.The Taoiseach said that as “Minister Zappone, who is doing a very good job, was meeting Maurice McCabe in a private capacity I simply said ‘do make sure you have a very thorough account of it’”.So when we had our cabinet meeting on Tuesday I wouldn’t have had any details.When asked again if he had known what was the context of the McCabe – Zappone meeting, the Taoiseach replied once more: “No, as she was meeting him in a private capacity”.Zappone clarified she told the Taoiseach that she had met with the McCabes and had discussed there were allegations related to Tusla, and “that was the nature of the conversation, that was the extent of the detail”.In a statement, a government spokesperson said: “Minister Zappone, as Minister with responsibility for Tusla, engaged with Maurice McCabe about very sensitive and personal matters. She quite rightly respected his right to privacy and confidentiality in relation to these matters.As the Taoiseach has said previously, he was not aware of the details, or of the very serious and disturbing issues that arose at the meeting.“As Minister Zappone confirmed today, she did not divulge any of the details of these very serious issues to the Taoiseach or to anyone else in Government. This was absolutely the correct course of action.”‘Restore public confidence in Tusla’She also said she has asked HIQA to carry out a statutory investigation of the situation so “we can begin to restore public confidence” in Tusla.The Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald and Zappone have spoken since her return to Ireland, added the Minister. Source:“Devastating”Minister Zappone also said today that the McCabes asked for the Tusla files related to McCabe to be eradicated.She said the couple told her about what is contained in the file which was discussed in the Prime Time show.“It was shocking, and it was devastating for them,” said Zappone. She said that impact “translated into the most vile, graphic and false allegations” against McCabe.She said it shows in her view an “unacceptable breakdown of procedures and the impact that had”. Minister Katherine Zappone speaking to the media this afternoon. Source: Rollingnews.ieIn addition, the minister said that the public requires reassurance that “the mistakes acknowledged in this case cannot arise again in Tusla’s Child Protection and Welfare Services”.On her meeting with the McCabes, Zappone said:“I met Lorraine and Maurice McCabe on 25 January. And the heavy burden of the hurt and devastation that they felt was so apparent to me particularly in their faces, their body postures and the words that they used. They spoke very truthfully of the devastating impact that this has had on their family the various wrongdoings they have communicated to me.They told me that the most recent development of the information they had received through the Freedom of Information request with regard to Tusla was worse than anything else that had happened to them. And I was also deeply conscious of the fact that it was the State that almost destroyed their family and that as I sat there listening to them, I was an agent now of the State.She said she was determined that as a government minister she would “not cause [the McCabes] any additional hurt”.“And they have now and will always have my support.” 22,653 Views last_img read more

Greek church offers up property to help Athens raise funds for debt

first_imgThe head of Greece’s Orthodox Church said on Saturday it was willing to put property it owns up for development to help raise money to repay the country’s debt.The Orthodox Church is a powerful institution in Greece and owns more land than anyone except the state, including prime real estate in Athens.“Come, let’s develop (the property) for Greece,” Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens told Greek TV in an interview during the Greek Orthodox Easter holiday. “If needed by the state to cooperate, we’re here.”Asked if the Church would consider selling off property, he said: “No, I would say let’s work together and (the state can) use the revenues to repay all its debts … but the plots of land will remain Greek, in Greek hands.”He did not say what kinds of business developments he had in mind.It is unclear how much property the Church owns as its structure is decentralised and Greece has no central land registry.Greece has teetered on the verge of bankruptcy since its debt crisis broke out in 2009 and has depended on rescue loans totalling 240 billion euros from the European Union and International Monetary Fund to stay afloat.It has not received any loans since last August and risks running out of cash within weeks while Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s new leftist government seeks to strike a deal with creditors on reforms.While an integral part of Greek society, critics say the Church owns too many assets, pays too little in taxes and has failed to contribute its fair share as ordinary Greeks’ bills have soared during the economic crisis.The Church has called such accusations “a myth”.Source: Reuters Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Les scientifiques dévoilent quatre nouveaux spécimens de crabes violets

first_imgLes scientifiques dévoilent quatre nouveaux spécimens de crabes violetsUn mois après la découverte de quatre nouvelles espèces de crabes violets dans l’île de Palawan, l’équipe de biologistes dévoile les images des curieux spécimens d’eau douce. Avec leurs carapaces mauves et leurs pinces orangées, les crabes du genre Insulamon ne passent pas inaperçus. Il aura pourtant fallu attendre mars dernier pour qu’une publication parue dans Raffles Bulletin of Zoology révèle l’existence, sur l’île philippine de Palawan, de quatre nouvelles espèces : Insulamon palawanense, I. magnum, I. johannchristiani et I. porculum. Le mérite d’une telle découverte est à attribuer à une équipe de biologistes de l’Institut de recherche Senckenberg de Dresde (Allemagne) et de l’Université de La Salle de Manille (Philippines).Selon Hendrik Freitag, chercheur à l’Institut Senckenberg de Dresde et auteur de l’étude, les teintes vives des petits crustacés d’eau douce ne semblent pas avoir d’autres fonctions que celle de la reconnaissance au sein du groupe. Il explique au National Geographic : “La coloration violette bien particulière pourrait être le fruit du hasard évolutif et ne semble avoir ni fonction spécifique ni raison d’être”. Par ailleurs les scientifiques ont noté la présence de certains crabes rougeâtres ayant la fonction de mâles dominants au sein de leur colonie. “La couleur de leur carapace semble être un moyen de signaler leur pouvoir” indique Hendrik Freitag. Une forme et taille adaptée à la vie d’eau douceLes descriptions parues dans la publication indiquent que les crabes mesurent entre 2,5 et 3,5 centimètres de large. Leur petite taille et la forme arrondie de leur carapace leur procurent la physionomie idéale pour creuser leurs terriers dans la boue. “La forme de leurs corps est une adaptation parfaite pour les habitats fluviaux” précise le chercheur. Bornés aux eaux douces, les crustacés ne peuvent franchir la mer et s’hasarder au delà des quelques îles des Philippines qu’ils ont colonisées. À lire aussiMaladie de Charcot : symptômes, causes, traitement, où en est on ?Si tôt découvert et déjà en voie d’extinction, les crabes du genre Insulamon préoccupent les chercheurs, en particulier à cause des projets d’exploitation minières qui menacent de polluer les plans d’eau de la région. Interrogé par Sci-news, Hendrik Freitag conclut : “Même des modifications mineures de l’environnement peuvent conduire à des extinctions. Il est d’autant plus important de faire des recherches dans cette région, et de montrer que la biodiversité de ces îles est unique et mérite d’être protégée”.Découvrez les images des crabes violets du genre Insulamon sur MaxisciencesLe 21 avril 2012 à 13:29 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

Storm battered Grand Bahama on Alert Tropical Storm Emily to be major

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppBahamas, July 31, 2017 – Grand Bahama – Grand Bahama residents are today begged to rush storm preparations or to evacuate residences which may not be able to stand up in the rains and winds of the remnants of Emily.   Tropical Storm Emily formed this morning over West Florida and already there is a state of emergency in effect for areas like Tampa Bay.Grand Bahama Minister, Kwasi Thompson a short while ago led a press conference in Freeport to issue warning to the storm weary island.  “It is not anticipated that there will be a direct hit of the storm on Grand Bahama but there will be some bad weather…. it will be a very heavy rain event.”Minister Thompson said the Office of the PM in Grand Bahama with NEMA and other agencies are monitoring the storm.   Many homes are still in disrepair following the pounding by Hurricane Matthew last October.Meteorologist, Kirk James said it is the size of the storm system with the rain and flooding which makes officials most concerned.  The heavy rainfall will greatly diminish visibility, waterspout activity remains heightened, boaters and mariners are cautioned and thunderstorm activity is expected.At this hour, Tropical Storm Emily is 35mls  WSW of Tampa, Fl with 45mph winds.  TS Emily is expected to be downgraded tonight and the real concern is the rain event Emily is expected to be.Up to an 1 1/2 inches of rain is forecast for Grand Bahama and storm shelters information will come later today.  Transportation is being considered for those who may not be able to get to shelters.Tammi Mitchell, Deputy Co-chair of the Disaster Consultative Committee and NEMA supplies officer in Freeport recommended that residents remain tuned in to local media; these she said will have Grand Bahama specific info for residents.  Mitchell’s input included shelter mobilisation information.Pakesia Edgecombe, MP for West End and Bimini advised residents to be their brothers’ keepers… to check on those within communities who are most vulnerable.Even now construction is happening at the Fishing Hole Road for a bridge to end flood concerns and aide continues for residents with property damage from Matthew.   August is the start of the more vigorous part of storm season; the Atlantic Hurricane season lasts until Nov 30.#MagneticMediaNews#stormbatteredGrandBahama Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:#magneticmedianews, #stormbatteredGrandBahamalast_img read more

Is Reed Targeting its Top Editors

first_imgThe news that Reed Business Information, as part of a wave of cost-cutting, laid off Publishers Weekly editor Sara Nelson—a powerful voice within book publishing circles—sent ripples through the book industry.Now, a source with knowledge of the Reed workforce reduction and salary freeze says that other top editors at RBI are being targeted as well. In particular, the source says, John Dodge, editor of Design News, and P.J. Bednarski, executive editor of Broadcasting & Cable, were laid off, too.A spokesperson for RBI declined to comment. The source said the staffs of Multichannel News and Broadcasting & Cable were hit so hard that speculation within the company is that Reed will produce both titles with the same editorial crew. Among those laid off were Ted Hearn, longtime Washington, D.C., bureau chief, and its art director, Nimesh Shah.It was telling, the source said, that Broadcasting & Cable editor Ben Grossman led a conference call announcing the cutbacks at Multichannel News.“The only people on the West Coast that are left are on Broadcasting & Cable,” the source said. “And when you let Sara Nelson go and John Dodge go, that’s bad. It says you’re not devoted to the brands. It’s been a pretty ugly couple of days.”On Monday, RBI announced an overall workforce of 7 percent in association with the company-wide reorganization its announced last week. The publisher also instituted a hiring and salary freeze for 2009.“[The layoffs and salary freeze] are in response to the impact tough economic conditions,” a spokesperson wrote in an e-mail to FOLIO:. “If the financial outlook materially improves in subsequent quarters, the company will revisit its decision.”last_img read more

FDI in Health Insurance Set to be Hiked to Health Insurance

first_imgBharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) finance ministry is considering increasing the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the insurance sector from 26 percent to 49 percent, to attract more international investors and consolidate markets.The new government is likely to propose voting rights to the investors who want to raise the FDI beyond 26 percent.It is known that buying health insurance helps save tax. Under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act 1961, one can get a maximum tax benefit of ₹15,000, while for senior citizens it goes up to ₹20, 000. Hence, for a family with senior citizen, the claim amount goes up to ₹35,000.According to a CNBC TV18 report, along with FDI in the insurance sector, the pension sector is the secondary beneficiary. Moreover, health insurance sector will be the priority of the finance ministry, followed by tax exemption.”By increasing the FDI level to 49 percent, we can straight away expect an inflow of around USD 1-1.5 billion and that will help boost our foreign exchange reserves. Secondly, you will have USD 1.5 billion capital released from the investors who have made Rs 25,000-crore investment in life insurance industry,” the report quoted Hari Narayan, former chairman of Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA).Narayan stated that the insurance sector would immediately receive ₹5,000-6,000 crore of foreign investment, if the capital is increased to 49 percent.An Economic Times report says that according to the IRDA, health insurance had a 22 percent share in a non-life market in 2012-13, which declined by around eight basis points from a year ago.The penetration of non-life insurance has remained constant over the last decade. IRDA has mentioned a list of 28 non-insurance companies on its website.”While allowing up to 49 per cent FDI, we will ask companies to compulsorily offer health insurance. They are willing to do that. Second, we are contemplating higher tax exemption on health insurance. More products and players should be in the market. Third, there should be some regulation of charges levied by private hospitals,” a ministry official informed Business Standard.However, NDA government did not let UPA pass the insurance bill in Rajya Sabha, asserting that the party will deteriorate the growing economy of the nation.According to the research by Dun and Bradstreet, the gross direct premium collection for the non-life insurance segment has grown at a compound annual growth rate of 18percent in FY01 to FY13.It’s worth noting that the health insurance segment constituted 22 percent gross direct premium in the fiscal year 2013.Currently, over 50 percent of Indians lack proper healthcare treatment due to the unaffordable costs. Health insurance is one of the factors which can drive awareness to improve the health quality in India.last_img read more