Gorgeous stars, glamour, emotion, passion, sex, melodrama, music, dance, pop-patriotism riding on parampara and timeless values, spinning its own version of realism to attract, entice and seduce a star-struck constituency of non resident Indians (NRIs) and second generation overseas Indians – gullible, impressionable, disconnected totally from the real Indian experience and completely blown by its mesmerizing blend of masti and magic!Is this simplistic, cutesy representation of India manufactured to suit B-towns’ vested interest, vulgarizing the intrinsic, rich and multi-layered character of a nation by presenting it in a comic-strip, cardboard-cut-out, easy-to-love-and-digest package? Is the Yash Chopra (Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge) Karan Johar (K3G, KANK) and Vipul Shah (Singh is Kinng) brand of punjabiyat an accurate snapshot of Incredible India? Or are we getting too touchy and overreacting to a medium that is meant to dramatize and hype life in an entertaining fashion and ignoring a hard fact that is there for all to see… Bollywood’s triumphant global march. Aloo ChhatThe world is taking cognizance of the power and reach of Bollywood, as countries vie to have Bollywood shoot films there, offering tempting packages, facilities, amenities and even lip-smacking subsidies. Fiji (the latest Bollywood struck country) is allegedly willing to give producers a thumping 35% payback on the costs of shooting. King Khan signing on as South Korea’s cultural ambassador to promote its tourism by luring Indian filmmakers to shoot there reaffirms Bollywood’s red hot footprints on the international map.Celebrated Theatre Director Feroz Khan (Tumhari Amrita, Gandhi v/s Gandhi, Salesman Ramlal, Salgirah) is singularly unimpressed: “Bollywood’s approach today is direct and single-minded: Reduce everything to a level of mediocrity that instantly allows mass-consumption! B-town is a planet focused on offering an alternate reality promising bharpoor entertainment without fullstops.” The worst part, says Khan, is that Bollywood is aggressively elevating mediocrity to excellence.He is equally critical of the “sexy re-mix” of the Indian experience by Bollywood that guarantees the “feel-good” factor, because NRI audiences “are not looking for reality. As for responsibility and commitment, the B-town guys have only one mantra – the Box Office. Period.” Delhi 6Script writer Javed Akhtar (Zanjeer, Sholay, Don) begs to differ. “Anyone who believes that the NRI is gullible, impressionable, ignorant or plain dumb vis-à-vis cultural and social influences, is mistaken. Two things need to be understood immediately. One, there is a huge community of solid professionals – doctors, lawyers, engineers, bankers, architects, IT and finance experts, businessmen – who invade this NRI space with distinction and pride. Are they all culturally regressive and under-privileged?”In any event, Akhtar says if NRI kids “choose” to patronize Bollywood films, then they do so of their choice. “No one is forcing them to go ra-ra over the SRK (Shah Rukh Khan) road shows or Singh is Kinng. Also, if the non-Bollywood fare was really so fabulous, surely they would find their own audience.”Kunal Basu, the celebrated author of The Japanese Wife and Oxford-based professor of management studies rejects the market driven defense as naïve and a disservice to NRIs. “The Indian diaspora continues to be Bollywood’s largest customer-base in the West. In addition, Bollywood has also entered the popular, mainstream consciousness in North America and Europe as the most significant Indian cultural import of the last decade. Whenever there is a big Bollywood event in the UK, for instance, supernovas like SRK and Big B (Amitabh Bachchan) arrive, are feted and dutifully interviewed by all the major TV channels. Shilpa Shetty – post the (in)-famous Big Brother show – has become the face of Bollywood in Britain. Imagine! Everyone (never remotely interested or knowledgeable about Bollywood) seems to have heard of her. Umpteen books continue to be written on and about Bollywood and launched with glitzy fanfare. BBC Channel 4 regularly shows B-town movies on certain days of the week. All this aggressive, sharp and big bucks marketing, over time, has positioned Bollywood, in the absence of any other significant cultural import from India, as the Big one!” Kal Ho Na HoBasu points out that in the 1970s overseas Indian cultural influences were driven by people like Ravi Shanker, representing a culture of a distinctly higher order. That space has been dumbed down by Bollywood. This dangerous spin, Basu says, has resulted in two negative consequences. Second and third generation NRIs weaned on Bollywood’s version of India, is shocked, disgusted and disillusioned once they arrive here. The abject poverty, corruption, pollution, dirt, dust and chaos that colors every major metro city turns them off India, may be for life. In addition, Bollywood’s vice-grip and money and marketing muscle blocks the market for any other Indian cultural import.Kolkata-based, art-house film director Rituparno Ghosh, acknowledges the validity of some of the criticisms, but he also counters with some hard-hitting questions for Bollywood-bashers. “If the non-Bollywood films have found no audience, exposure or support among the NRI community, whose fault is it? What has this fraternity – me, included – done to win audiences or any kind of ground swell in the NRI space? Surely, even within the NRI domain, there are enough bright, young, educated, intelligent, curious, open-minded and culturally-driven kids who are interested to know and sample India’s other cinema. How have we addressed their needs? Why blame them? They have had little or no connect with any other cinema and therefore, naturally, perceive the Bollywood product as the Indian reality.”Ghosh says that to the NRI sensibility, an Adoor Unnithan, Girish Kasaravalli or Buddhadeb Dasgupta film will never be as exciting, fun, glamorous or entertaining as a Bollywood blockbuster. “Let’s face it. Our kind of filmmakers, quite honestly, make niche films for a niche audience. Why on earth should they suddenly want their products to be hugely popular abroad, even with the NRI community?” Dev D“In a globalized world, you enjoy all the advantages of globalization, but the moment things don’t work your way, you moan and groan ” Finally, he says, “If the other guys feel so strongly about championing their product, they should go out and do something. Symposiums, seminars and panel discussions are not the answers. Focused and aggressive action is.”Aparna Sen (who gave us classics like 36 Chowringhee Lane, Mr and Mrs Iyer, 15 Park Avenue) has a more nuanced perspective on the controversy. “Two things need to be immediately contexted while discussing this theme. One, the undeniable connect that most NRIs have with Bollywood. It’s a hugely emotional thing and has to do with nostalgia and roots completely impervious to background, culture, education, social status, reason or intellect. The other point is slightly different and deals with Bollywood’s aggressive insistence on presenting a pseudo, Indian identity through an upper-class, North-Indian, male-female prototype. This is a construct imposed on the Indian identity, an artificial kind of ‘oneness’ foisted on India through films and loads of the Saas-Bahu kind of serials. For example, Sangeet is strictly a North-Indian custom; so is karva-chauth. Thanks to these two they are tremendously in vogue, among the younger generation everywhere, even in Kolkata. Homogenization can often be dangerous because by gaining a little you seem to lose the beauty of your own roots. Is it, then worth it? Remember the beauty of India lies in the multilayered charm not in a forced and contrived, filmy, pan-India image.” Singh Is KinngRespected Kolkata-based film and theatre critic Samik Bandopadhyaya, who has tracked Bollywood for years, is scathing in his criticism: “It’s a little frightening, actually. Why? Because there seems to be an entire academic community – co-opted by Bollywood – engaged in the single-minded business of valorizing and championing this cinema… presenting it as authentic representation of the political reality and social forces at play. It is an agenda aggressively fronted by some so-called scholars – Nasreen Kabeer being the foremost of them – who travel the university and campus circuit across USA. Canada, Australia, UK to spread and power the message. It is done in a quiet and insidious manner. All this lends the movement the required credence and respectability with this academic-scholastic color in the form of Studies in Indian Cinema, a source of great significance. This, in turn, hugely impacts the thinking of even the non-diasporic community because of its pseudo-serious nature and brilliant packaging.” Related Items
While preparations for celebrating the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev are apace, the ruling Congress is at loggerheads with the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in Punjab over the holding of a key event at Sultanpur Lodhi.In the run-up to the Assembly byelections on October 21, both parties are slugging it out to woo the Panthic (Sikh) voters against the backdrop of the celebrations. The byelections are to be held for four Assembly constituencies in the State.The Congress and the SAD have been trading charges with each other over the politicised preparations. While the SAD has accused the Congress-led State government of “trying to create a new history” by holding a separate programme from that being organised by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) at Sultanpur Lodhi, the Congress has alleged that “the Badal family” was trying to create hurdles and attempting to exploit the occasion for petty political gains.As the tussle over the event continues, SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal said, “Religious institutions have their own sphere and the SGPC, a democratically elected religious body, has been conducting all religious functions. The Congress should not try to create a new history.” The Punjab government is celebrating Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary over a week from November 5-12.Punjab Rural Development and Panchayats Minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa on Sunday alleged, “The ‘Badal’ family was creating hurdles in the joint celebrations of [Guru Nanak Dev’s] 550th anniversary as the design was to lord over the celebrations,” he said, adding that Mr. Sukhbir Badal was now purposely spreading the misinformation.
Many stars swear by acupuncture to assist in conceiving children and maintaining good health during pregnancy. After battling infertility for years, Celine Dion combined acupuncture with in-vitro fertilization (IVF) to successfully conceive twins.Dion passed this advice on to Mariah Carey, who attributes acupuncture in helping her conceive her twins in 2010 without having to resort to IVF. Actress Natalie Portman reportedly received acupuncture treatments throughout her pregnancy to reduce stress and promote physical well-being. It is said that “Titanic’ actress Kate Winslet relied on acupuncture to alleviate pain while she was giving birth.Back home in India, acupuncture is gaining respect and popularity for treating a wide variety of diseases with great successMechanism of Acupuncture in treating InfertilityAccording to Dr. Sunita Kapur, Senior Consultant, Dept. of Medical Acupuncture at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi, acupuncture can stimulate the body’s hormonal system to do what it is supposed to – secrete the right hormones at the right time in a woman’s cycle.In 2002, a headline appeared in many newspapers and on internet which said- “Acupuncture could help women undergoing fertility treatment conceive.” It was published by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, based on studies by German researchers. The researchers stimulated acupuncture points that were meant to “relax the uterus according to the principles of traditional Chinese medicine. Meridians were selected in an effort to create better blood perfusion and more energy in the uterus. Ear points were used to stabilize the endocrine system, and points designed to promote patients’ general relaxation and well-being also were chosen. advertisementThe women in the treated group received one acupuncture session before embryo transfer and one afterwards. Ultrasound testing six weeks after embryo transfer revealed that almost twice as many women from the acupuncture group than from the untreated group became pregnant. The two groups and their embryos were quite similar in all respects.Another study by Cornell University, published in the December 2002 issue of Fertility and Sterility, reported, ” The peripheral impact of acupuncture in improving uterine artery blood flow and hence endometrial thickness…provides encouraging data regarding its potential positive effect on implantation of embryo.” Men also can benefit from the pituitary stimulating effects of acupuncture. Acupuncture treatments can improve the concentration, volume, motility and quality of sperms.Dr. Sunita Kapur, herself a western medical doctor, now only practices Acupuncture and treats various types of disorders leading to male & female infertility in New Delhi, India. Polycystic ovarian syndrome, luteal phase defects, advanced maternal age, immunological reactions, endometriosis, fibroids, premature ovarian failures can be taken care of by acupuncture. The success rate of conception with or without assisted reproductive techniques, becomes high after acupuncture treatment.Acupuncture has suddenly caught the attention of fitness freaks and sportspersons, who have greatly benefited from this therapyAcupuncture Efficacy and SupportAcupuncture has been used in China for thousands of years, as an integral part of medical treatment. Over the years acupuncture has become a respected treatment option in the West, although Eastern explanations of acupuncture differ from the explanations provided by Western scientists. Traditional Chinese medicine says that each body flows with energy called Qi. Poor health results when the Qi becomes blocked and is unable to flow properly. Acupuncture is a way to balance the Qi and keep it flowing by inserting thin needles into specific points of the body. Western scientists describe acupuncture as the stimulation of specific points in order to elicit a biochemical result.Millions of people have claimed that acupuncture has healed them of numerous ailments, but up till recently it was thought of as an alternative form of medicine that was inferior to Western medicine. This view has changed as more scientific studies have been conducted to learn more about exactly how acupuncture works on the body. A study published in the Journal of NeuroImage described how researchers used brain imaging to show that acupuncture causes an increased binding availability of opioid receptors in the brain, similar to how pain killers work in humans. The results of other respected scientific studies have led to the U.S. National Institute of Health (NIH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare acupuncture as a safe and effective treatment option for a wide range of ailments.Acupuncture for WellnessFor a number of celebrities, acupuncture is a regular part of their health and wellness routine. Jim Carey has been quoted as saying that regular acupuncture treatments have “led to a marked change in my physical vitality and my general state of well-being.” Other stars using acupuncture as a way to maintain health and energy levels include Lucy Lui, Sandra Bullock, and Matt Damon.advertisementSports AcupunctureThe popularity of acupuncture is not confined to Hollywood. Many superstar athletes receive acupuncture treatments as a means to recover faster from injuries. The New York Yankees and the San Francisco Giants both have acupuncturists on staff to treat players. Dwayne Wade, star NBA player, relies on acupuncture treatments to soothe knee pain. Pro athletes, who need their bodies to be in optimal condition, swear by acupuncture treatments. In fact, there are now acupuncturists on site at both the Winter and Summer Olympics.Dr. Raman Kapur is a renowned Medical Acupuncturist, widely recognized for developing the practice of scientific Acupuncture in India and curing many patients suffering from intractable diseases. He is the recipient of the first “PADMA SHRI” in Medical Acupuncture awarded by the Hon’ble President of India Smt. Pratibha Patil, on 5th May, 2008.
PSG Revealed: How Dani Alves tried to mend PSG’s Neymar/Cavani divide over dinner Goal Last updated 2 years ago 21:53 21/9/2017 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images PSG Neymar PSG v Olympique Lyonnais Olympique Lyonnais Ligue 1 The right-back intervened on the pitch as the players argued on Sunday, and has subsequently attempted to clear the air off the field as well. Paris Saint-Germain head coach Unai Emery has revealed that Dani Alves organised a team dinner in order to smooth over the row between Neymar and Edinson Cavani. The Brazilian and Uruguayan had multiple disagreements during PSG’s 2-0 victory over Lyon on Sunday.PSG 10/11 to beat Bayern Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘I’m getting better’ – Can Man Utd flop Fred save his Old Trafford career? Why Barcelona god Messi will never be worshipped in the same way in Argentina Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Neymar and Cavani argued over who should take a penalty, with Cavani eventually stepping up for the spot-kick only to have it saved.The pair also appeared to disagree on who should take free-kicks from dangerous positions, with Dani Alves intervening on behalf of Neymar during the contest.Cavani wants to take a PSG free kick, but Dani Alves has the ball and he wants his BFF Neymar to take it pic.twitter.com/JZQzg6Teu4— Goal UK (@GoalUK) September 17, 2017And Emery has revealed that Alves attempted to smooth things over off the field after the match, saying the Brazilian organised a dinner to clear the air. “I think it’s a great idea,” Emery told a press conference of the team meal. “I’m very happy that [Dani Alves] did that. “It’s very important for the players to have lunch or diner all together because they can talk to each other outside the training session. I love this state of mind.”Emery also revealed that he had instituted a hierarchy of spot-kick takers, with the intention of avoiding a repeat incident. “There are two players able to take penalty kicks: Cavani and Neymar,” Emery said. “There will be, from now, the first shooter and the second one. I will let them know who is going to be the first one, and the second one.”Despite PSG starting the season with eight wins from eight matches in all competitions, there have been reports of a massive rift between players in the dressing room.
The Best CBD Oil and Skincare Creams for Managing Pain Editors’ Recommendations How to Care for Your Houseplants in the Winter 5 Classic Whiskey Cocktails You Should Know How to Make Depending on your age, you just might remember the good old days when you used to view slides on your living room wall. Benjamin Redford came up with a clever little contraption that has updated that old slide projector for the digital era: The Projecteo, a tiny projector made especially for Instagram. Redford had the intelligent idea of putting a cutting wheels from 35mm slide film. Simply make them online and when you get it, pop it into the Projecteo.Redford kicked off his idea by using a 3D printer to make early prototypes of The Projecteo. “Sure, it was rough and stuck together with tape but it had enough charm to make us fall in love with the idea,” said Redford on the Projecteo’s Kickstarter page. “We wanted to see how far we could take it.”After, he optimized the focal length of the lenses and added a focusing mechanism and searched for the most powerful LEDs on the market. Once that was all set, Redford worked with Meso, a Scottish product development consultancy to make the production prototype.Redford is currently at work on making the app where users can create wheels for viewing fun. Instagram wheels are added on to a single frame of Kodak film and then cut into tiny wheels using their custom-made circle cutter. Now if all goes smoothly, you’ll be able to order the first Projecteos come December or January. Now we can have Instaenvy on the big screen. Come back from vacation? Show off your cool Instagram pics on Projecteo! Attend a cool party? Flaunt those snaps on Projecteo too! No matter what the theme or the occasion, you’ll be able to use Projecteo for tons and tons of entertaining slideshow nights. we can’t wait until we get ours.The Projecteo, $34.98 at getprojecteo.com. How to Remove Scratches from Glasses in One Easy Fix How to Properly Polish Your Own Shoes
Story Highlights Two of the buses, which are Toyota Coasters, will remain in Kingston, while the third, a Toyota Hiace, will be used in Montego Bay. Three buses valued at approximately $28 million have been procured by the Government to improve the comfort and well-being of employees of the Transport Authority. Transport and Mining Minister, Hon. Robert Montague, has informed that more buses are on the way, “so that every region will get two small buses”. Three buses valued at approximately $28 million have been procured by the Government to improve the comfort and well-being of employees of the Transport Authority.They were acquired based on a decision taken years ago by the Transport Authority and unions representing the employees.Two of the buses, which are Toyota Coasters, will remain in Kingston, while the third, a Toyota Hiace, will be used in Montego Bay.Transport and Mining Minister, Hon. Robert Montague, has informed that more buses are on the way, “so that every region will get two small buses”.Mr. Montague was speaking at a ceremony to hand over the buses to the staff of the Transport Authority at its offices on Maxfield Avenue in Kingston on June 19.“I have also given clear instructions to the Board to make sure that the drivers you get to carry my workers are the best in the business… . We are the Transport Authority, and our drivers must set an example for other drivers on the road,” he said.He encouraged the staff to treat the buses as if they belong to them, and ensure that they are properly maintained.Meanwhile, Mr. Montague has renewed his invitation for stakeholder input on the 15-point plan to overhaul the transport sector, which he unveiled in his 2018/19 Sectoral Debate presentation in the House of Representatives.A six-month window of opportunity will be opened to enable persons to make additional suggestions to his proposals, in an effort to instil order and stability in the public transport system.Among the proposals are that all taxis be fitted with a stipulated vehicle locator that must always be on; that all drivers must be in possession of an up-to-date badge; and that if operators accumulate 10 points against their badge, it be immediately suspended.Other proposals are that all drivers must submit proof of participation in customer service driver education annually, which will be administered in partnership with associations; and that illegal taxis be seized if no attempt is made to regularise their status.For his part, Managing Director of the Transport Authority, Cecil Morgan, expressed gratitude to the Minister for “all the support given” to the entity charged with responsibility for the licensing of all public and commercial vehicles and regulating and monitoring public transportation in Jamaica.He assured the Minister that the entity will do everything that is “in keeping with the vision” he has put forward as well as the “vision that we have also crafted for ourselves”.
zoomIllustration; Source: Wikimedia – under public domain; Image by: Towel401 South Korean shipbuilder Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) has received an order for the construction of one special-purpose ship for an undisclosed European shipowner.As informed, the order is worth KRW 134.8 billion (around USD 1.2 billion).Signed on June 28, the agreement is subject to board approval, SHI said in a statement.The newbuild is expected to be delivered by the end of March 2022.At the beginning of June 2019, SHI secured another order for two LNG carriers, worth about USD 380 million.With the newest order, Samsung Heavy said it reached 41 percent of its annual order target of USD 7.8 billion. This represents a 28 percent increase from the USD 2.5 million ordered in the same period last year.World Maritime News Staff
Kolkata: Commuters in the city may face hassle in reaching their destinations, with app cabs staying off roads on Monday and Tuesday. The 48-hour strike has been called jointly by the West Bengal Online Cab Operators’ Guild (WBOCOG), as a protest against their alleged exploitation by cab aggregators and harassment by police.State Transport minister Suvendu Adhikari, however, assured on Sunday that the state government will have adequate arrangement of state buses to ensure that commuters face no difficulty in reaching their destinations. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellers”The strike has been called by a particular union and all app cabs will not stay off roads. I have requested the police to ensure that app cab drivers who want to render services can do so without any difficulty. The police will take steps if anybody tries to forcibly stop services,” Adhikari said. The minister said that around 100 additional buses (both AC and non-AC) will be pressed into service on Monday and Tuesday. There are a total of 20,000 app cabs belonging to two leading app cab aggregators and around 15,000 take to the roads daily. There are more than 5,000 cabs that are affiliated to WBOCOG. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari Puja”The aggregating companies, despite repeated deputations, letters and agitations, have not provided any solution to the issues of the member drivers. We have repeatedly requested to increase our drivers’ share of income and to revive the IDs of drivers that have been blocked without any proper justification,” said Indranil Banerjee of WBOCOG. WBOCOG wrote a letter to the two leading aggregators recently, urging them to respond to their demands within seven days. However, they had received no response. An organisation of luxury taxis affiliated to AITUC have also announced strike on Tuesday, demanding that their repeated pleas to the state government for increase of fares have fallen on deaf ears. “There are around 9,500 luxury taxis rendering services at various government organisations across the state. A number of cases and penalties imposed by police has also been a concern and the drivers are finding it difficult to support their families,” a member of the organisation said.
By Kimlee WongAPTN National NewsCardston, ABThree Kainai women from the Blood reserve in southern Alberta appeared in Cardston provincial court on Dec. 21 after being arrested by Blood Tribe police and charged with “intimidation” for blocking the highway.Lois Frank, Elle-Maija Apiniskim Tailfeathers and Jill Crop Eared Wolf are members of a group called the Kainai Earth Watch.The charges came as a result of a Sept. 9 non-violent protest against hydraulic fracking on their lands. The women stood in front of Murphy Oil company trucks, refusing to let the trucks leave an oil well site on the reserve.Hydraulic fracking is a process used to remove natural gas from the earth. First an oil well is dug, then millions of litres of water, sand and chemicals are injected deep into the earth at high pressure. The injection creates cracks in the earth from which the natural gas can be more easily collected.Critics of fracking say it wastes millions of litres of fresh water, has contaminated entire aquifers, uses chemicals linked to severe adverse health effects such as cancer, and creates large amounts of toxic wastewater that is released back into fresh water sources or stored in sewage ponds.There are also concerns that there is increased earthquake activity in areas where fracking is happening.Canada has no national water strategy. Fracking is currently not regulated in Canada.Environmental regulations on reserve are less comprehensive than Canadian standards. Former Auditor General Sheila Fraser in her 2011 update, warned that it will take a lot of time for First Nation standards to be improved to meet the standards other Canadians take for granted.“First Nation reserves may still be years away from having drinking water protection comparable to what exists off-reserve in Canada,” Fraser wrote.In 2010, the Blood Tribe chief and council signed a five-year lease agreement with two oil and gas companies, Murphy Oil and Bowood Energy, giving them drilling rights to roughly half of the community’s land base.The women who were arrested say the community never had a say in the agreement.Jim Gladstone is one of two Blood Tribe councillors who do not support the five-year lease agreement. He didn’t sign it. He says while he is not against oil exploration, he wants it regulated.Gladstone also said that the agreement fails to put in place any monitoring or studies into what effects fracking will have on his community.Lois Frank, one of the Blood women charged, told APTN National News she remains confident in the legal position she has taken. She believes the government of Canada has a legal obligation to protect “Indians and Indian lands” and would like to see a government representative in court doing that.Ingrid Hess is a lawyer for two of the women charged. Elle-Maija Apiniskim Tailfeathers and Jill Crop Eared Wolf are students and don’t believe the oil companies’ licences are valid under Aboriginal law. They say lack of community consultation and disclosure of the details of the contracts means their right to consultation wasn’t fulfilled.“In order to enforce their rights to have their lands protected and have their concerns heard, my clients feel they not only have a right but a duty to do what they are doing,” Hess said.Hess has requested copies of the contracts which the oil companies say gives them a right to operate on Blood territory but so far she has not seen those documents.Frank is upset that NDP Aboriginal Affairs Critic Linda Duncan’s questions in the House of Commons about fracking on reserves on Dec. 11 were answered by the Environment minister who referred it to the province of Alberta. She wants the federal minister of Aboriginal Affairs to weigh in on the issue.A grandmother of seven and a former University of Lethbridge lecturer, Frank said she believes fracking is already damaging the land and she is worried about her community’s well-being. She said the two earthquakes listed by Natural Resources Canada on Dec. 5 were in the area of the oil and gas well where she and the other women were arrested. She also believes that the Dec. 8 closing of the community school due to strong gas smells and sickness in the children are also related to the fracking.“I’m not the one who should be in court, it should be the oil companies,” said Frank.As evidence that her concerns are justified, she points to the growing list of communities who are declaring moratoriums on fracking until more studies have been done and an U.S. Environmental Protection Agency study that found water contamination from fracking to be a cause of serious concern.First Nations leaders have long complained that when accidents do happen on or near their lands, it’s their communities, not the companies, that are stuck with the tab and the adverse health effects.Frank said she understands the difficult position chiefs are in as they try to provide for their communities in a system of chronic under-funding, but feels that the strength of their people and community can only come by protecting the integrity of the lands and waters.The three women have some high profile supporters. Maude Barlow of the Council of Canadians has visited the community and given the women her organization’s full support, including a contribution to their legal defense. Climate change advocate Bill McKibben and film director Josh Fox have also made statements in support of the women.Calls to Chief Charles Weasel Head of the Blood Tribe and Murphy Oil seeking comment were not returned.
Rabat – The new code for criminal procedure, which will be submitted soon to the Parliament’s approval, provides for raising the minimum age for the detention of juveniles from 12 to 15 years-old, Justice and Liberties Minister Mustapha Ramid said on Tuesday.Speaking during a Lower House question session, the Minister said that his Department has elaborated a guide on the criteria governing the judicial support for women and children.The criteria include the principle of the appropriateness of the measures taken with the juvenile’s personality and conditions, said the Minister, adding that detention will only be resorted to in exceptional circumstances.
TORONTO — Namaste Technologies Inc.’s interim chief executive is urging its shareholders to “ignore the rumours” as its ex-CEO commenced legal action against the cannabis company to prohibit his termination unless a “proper process” is followed. According to court documents obtained by the Canadian Press, Sean Dollinger applied for a permanent, mandatory injunction requiring Namaste and two of its board members to retract a news release that announced his termination.Lawyers for Dollinger also called for an injunction prohibiting Namaste’s board, or a committee or subset of the board, from removing him as a director or terminating him as CEO unless a “proper process in compliance with relevant statutes” is adopted and followed.Shares of the Toronto-based firm on the TSX Venture Exchange plunged on Monday after Namaste announced Dollinger’s firing, its plans to commence legal action against him and the launch of a strategic review process to examine its options.Today, the interim CEO of Namaste, which operates an e-commerce platform and a portal that connects patients to doctors, wrote a letter to shareholders urging them to focus on communications received from the company and to disregard “rumour and speculation.”Meni Norim also told shareholders in the letter that Namaste has a strong management team in place and the business is “solid.” The Canadian Press
TORONTO — Stephen Jarislowsky, a former director of SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. and one of Canada’s most outspoken investment managers, is demanding a shareholder vote on the company’s decision to sell the bulk of its stake in Ontario’s 407 toll highway operator for $3.25 billion.Jarislowsky says such a big move, announced on April 5, runs counter to responsible management, as the engineering and construction firm’s 407 assets comprise about four-fifths of the company’s market valuation of $5.86 billion.He says the investment compares to a government bond and promises higher profits as Toronto-area road traffic increases.The deal will see the OMERS pension plan buy a 10.01 per cent stake in 407 International Inc., reducing SNC-Lavalin’s interest to 6.76 per cent.SNC-Lavalin plans to use the proceeds from the 407 deal to bolster its balance sheet and help pay down a $1.5-billion loan from the Caisse, Quebec’s pension fund manager. The scandal-plagued company previously paid off $500 million of the 2017 loan, and aims to pay another $600 million upon closing.Jarislowsky’s comments, posted in a personal note on the website of the Canadian Foundation for Advancement of Investor Rights, also take aim at former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould for refusing to overturn prosecutors’ decision to prosecute the company on fraud and corruption charges.Companies in this story: (TSX:SNC)The Canadian Press
There were more than 270,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) staying in closed camps in May after a final push by Government forces ended the decades-long civil war with separatist Tamil rebels.In a message praising the release of over half of the IDPs from the camps since the end of military operations against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Mr. Ban encouraged Sri Lankan authorities to prioritize the return home of the remaining people. He also urged the Government to continue working with the United Nations and its humanitarian partners to improve assistance programmes which support the return of IDPs and to ensure the best possible services are provided to those who go home. 21 November 2009Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed the Government decision to allow greater freedom of movement to Sri Lankans sheltering in makeshift camps in the north of the country.
The ‘new normal’ looks like modest expectations in collective bargaining in 2013 by LuAnn LaSalle, The Canadian Press Posted Dec 14, 2012 2:50 pm MDT Modest expectations at the bargaining table are expected to match a modest economy in what’s being called the “new normal,” says the Conference Board of Canada.Canada faces relatively slow economic growth over the next three to five years, the Conference Board’s Karla Thorpe said Friday.The climate for bargaining has fundamentally changed and that means unions need to approach negotiations more modestly with reduced expectations on wage increases and even on some benefits or pension improvements, Thorpe said.“So the new normal is really an acknowledgment that the economy is in a period of slow growth that’s going to continue over the medium term,” said Thorpe, director, leadership and human resources at the board.As a result, the board expects average base wage increases for unionized workers next year will rise just 1.8 per cent in the public sector and 2.1 per cent in the private sector.Dave Coles, president of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union, said the board’s wage increases for 2013 are “bang on” and in line with the cost of living.But Coles doesn’t accept the term the “new normal.”“We’re in a world austerity program that we’re opposed to,” he said. “Canadian workers are getting choked.”Thorpe said given the economic climate, she expects a lot of restraint particularly in the public sector, which will put “downward pressure” on wages for public servants, regardless of which political party is in power.The board said in its Industrial Relations Outlook 2013 report that Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador are growing faster than other parts of Canada.There were a number of strikes and lockouts in 2012 and that was fuelled by differing views on the state of the economic recovery, Thorpe said from Ottawa.The federal government threatened to prevent strikes by Air Canada workers and imposed arbitrated settlements that mostly ended up favouring the airline. The government also intervened with Canada Post.U.S. heavy equipment giant Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) closed the Electro-Motive plant earlier this year in London, Ont. It relocated to Indiana after workers refused to accept a 55 per cent cut in wages and benefits.Thorpe also said Canada actually has been in what she calls the “new normal” since 2009.“There has been a lot of denial that we’re in this period of slow growth,” she said.“So it has taken a few years for, I think, employers and labour to acknowledge and recognize that we’re not going to be back to that pre-recession level for still a number of years to come.”Wages will be a bit higher in the private sector, Thorpe said, because there’s some economic growth in industries such as oil and gas.Coles said the economic climate will put downward pressure on union wages, particularly in the public sector.But he said other sectors of the economy, such as oil and gas and telecom, are doing quite well. Coles noted that bargaining begins shortly with energy workers.“I think we’re also heading into a period of significant unrest because of the austerity measures that are being forced by some where they’re not necessary and by government interference in collective bargaining.”Coles said he doesn’t want the federal Conservative government to meddle in collective bargaining rights in 2013.“It’s none of their business. It should not be worrying about how unions operate. If they keep messing with it, they’re heading for a problem.”The roughly 114,000-member Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada will merge with the Canadian Auto Workers in 2013, partly as a way to strengthen union clout in Canada.The new union will initially have more than 300,000 members across roughly 20 sectors of the economy. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email
Noah West celebrates with Gavin Lyon following scoring a run during the two’s days in Little League for the Westerville Warhawks. Credit: Courtesy of Carrie WestComing from a small town and being counted on to play a varsity sport is not an easy task to ask of anyone. It can be a very challenging transition.But freshmen baseball players Noah West and Gavin Lyon have something that can help make that transition much easier — a friendship dating back to the days of Little League.And, as West noted, having his best friend by his side to begin his collegiate baseball career at Ohio State proved to be very advantageous for the pair.“Coming into here, I was pretty nervous; it was really nerve-wracking,” West said. “A whole new set of players who we were playing with, and we don’t know them that well. But coming here with Gavin is basically a comfort zone. He’s always had my back, and if something’s going on, I can always come talk to him. It was always just a lot easier coming here with him.”They first started playing with each other when they were on a travel team called the Westerville Warhawks. Their fathers had been good friends and both helped coach the team. From there, they would continue to grow up and play at every level together from Little League to the varsity at their school, Westerville Central High School.For their former high-school baseball coach, Jeff Keifer, it has been a remarkable thing to watch the two of them grow up together and now both play at the highest level of amateur baseball.“They went on spring trips together. They played on the same travel teams growing up and then eventually playing on practice teams and ultimately junior varsity and varsity for three years,” Keifer said. “And that in and of itself must be incredibly special — just to be able to do that. But the uniqueness of them both being able to go on and play at the next level at a place with the storied history of Ohio State, it was just great for both of them.”Both have made it to the level of college baseball, but each took different paths.West, the youngest of three brothers, has grown up in a baseball family and has always had the sport in the forefront of his mind. Coach Keifer, who coached both West’s older brothers in high school, had figured for a long time Noah was going to be able to move on to the next level.“He just had that special athleticism that makes the difference between just a really good high-school player and a college athlete,” Keifer said.OSU baseball coach Greg Beals thought West had the skills to live up to the high expectations that come with playing shortstop at OSU.“I thought Noah showed me that between his hands, his athleticism and especially his arm strength that he could stay at shortstop at the college level,” Beals said.Noah West (left) and Gavin Lyon (right) pose for a photo on a visit at an Ohio State football game. Credit: Courtesy of Carrie WestLyon was a multi-sport athlete in high school, serving as both a starting pitcher for the baseball team and as starting quarterback for the football team. There was a time when baseball was not necessarily the runaway first sport for Lyon.“I was kind of new to baseball,” Lyon admits. “I’ve always loved both, but baseball especially through high school became the one, that I knew was going to be the one that I wanted to pursue further.”But as he continued on his high school career, Lyon became more enamored with the game of baseball and his coach said that it had probably surpassed football as his favorite sport by the time he was a senior.Though he now only plays the one sport, Lyon still possesses that athleticism that made him such an exciting player to watch. Coach Beals believes it is really special when you see someone who can excel in two sports the way Lyon did at Westerville Central.“It speaks to his athleticism,” Beals said. “To be able to quarterback at a big high school like that and then also be the No. 1 pitcher on his high school team speaks a lot about his athleticism.”When it finally came time to commit to a school, West was the first to submit a pledge to coach Beals and the OSU program. And at that point, it quickly became an easier decision for Lyon to decide to join the OSU baseball team. The prospect of playing baseball together for four more years with his best friend seemed too good an offer to pass up.“Noah visited first and he committed, so I committed a little later, but there was always that thing where Noah was pushing me to commit,” Lyon said. “We had always been thinking about it, like how cool would that be, and it really was like a dream come true when it all came into place.”For West, it was just a dream, one that somehow became fact rather than fiction.“I just never thought it would be possible to play baseball with my best friend all the way through high school,” he said.
A SUMPTUOUS NEW French restaurant in Sydney has said it would remove two urinals designed to resemble a woman’s lipsticked mouth, apologising for any offence they have caused.The Ananas Bar and Brasserie said the bright red-lipped urinals shaped like an open mouth were “a commonly used European design piece from female Dutch artist Meike van Schijndel“.“We sincerely apologise if they have caused offence. They are being removed today,” a spokeswoman said in a statement.The stylish restaurant opened three weeks ago, with the Sydney Morning Herald’s food reviewer describing the urinals as “no real surprise here at Ananas, merely adding to the extraordinary collision of statements and intent”.But feminist, former political adviser and writer Anne Summers said the design was offensive. “Misogyny is very widespread, and this is just an example of misogyny,” said Summers.“The concept is pretty challenging and confronting. They’re asking men to put their dicks in these mouths as urinals.”Australia is the grip of a fierce political debate about sexism after Prime Minister Julia Gillard, the nation’s first woman leader, accused opposition leader Tony Abbott of being a misogynist.The unmarried Gillard said Tuesday she had been personally offended by many of Abbott’s remarks over the years — from urging her to “make an honest woman of herself”, to his cat-calling at her in parliament.“If he wants to know what misogyny looks like in modern Australia, he doesn’t need a motion in the House of Representatives, he needs a mirror,” she said in stinging comments.- © AFP, 2012VIDEO: Australian PM lashes out at ‘sexist’ Abbott>
The growing popularity of smartphones and tablets have meant we all need to get used to typing on a touchscreen keyboard. While such keyboards have improved, they can still leave a lot to be desired, and the smaller the display the harder it can be to always tap the right key.The most well-known alternative to the typical touchscreen keyboard at the moment is Swype, but you really need to try it out to see if it works for you. There is another solution though, which has just been implemented and offers you access to all characters of the alphabet using just a single hand.The folks over at Teague Labs have implemented the Doug Engelbart Chorded Keyboard as a multi-touch interface. Engelbert is a legend in computing circles, having invented the computer mouse, hypertext, networked computers, and worked on GUI technology before anyone knew what a GUI was. Engelbart also implemented a keyboard that only required one hand. It has a steep learning curve compared to a standard keyboard because it relies on finger press combinations to type a character. For example, to type “a” you press down with your first and second fingers. In total, there are 32 combinations you can achieve, but you have to remember the association between combination and character.It’s easy to see why this didn’t catch on for general keyboard use, but it could turn out to be a bit of a revelation on a touchscreen. The big advantage it has is the fact you don’t need to be accurate with your taps on the screen. Because it relies on finger combinations, you can tap just about anywhere and your multitouch display will know which character to output. You don’t even need to be looking at the screen while you type.The good news is, it doesn’t cost anything to try the one-handed keyboard out. Teague Labs open-sourced the code and set up a page for you to try it out. Visiting that page on your touchscreen device should activate the keyboard and you can start some five-digit typing.Although at first it’s going to be tough and mistakes will be made, just imagine if you got good at typing with these combinations. Your typing speed would increase significantly and potentially past what you were capable of with two hands.More at Teague Labs
There is an abundance of different adhesives available to use if you need to secure, stick, or repair an object. But until now such adhesives have been for the most part single use. You apply a blob of adhesive, it sticks things together, and they remain stuck together until you force them apart again.Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) has come up with a new adhesive, though, that it is possible to reuse many times over simply by shining a light on it.This new organic material has an adhesive strength at about the same level as double-sided tape. A 1cm square of it is capable of supporting a 5kg weight, which equates to a strength of 50N/cm2.The new adhesive is orange when in liquid, non-stick form. To make it harden you can simply expose it to natural light, but it will take quite a while to fully harden. For quick hardening you can instead shine a green light on it, with the time it takes dependent on how thick the layer of adhesive is.AIST says a 10 micron thick layer will take 2 minutes to harden using an 80mW light source. It’s important to note there’s no heating or cooling involved in the process, the reaction is simply down to the type of light used.Once hard, the adhesive turns yellow. To reverse the process and return it to a non-stick liquid form requires UV light with a wavelength between 365-385nm. The same 10 micron thick layer will become a liquid again within 3 minutes.AIST intends to keep developing the adhesive to increase its strength. They also want to change its color to something better than yellow/orange. Something a dark color that goes transparent when hard would be ideal in my view.As for uses, it all depends on how strong they can made the adhesive. It certainly has applications in manufacturing where objects need to be temporarily stuck in place, but it could also replace a range of adhesive products we use around the home with the selling point being a permanent bond can be reversed in a matter of minutes.
Alerte météo orange : La vigilance pour des vents violents dans les Bouches-du-Rhône et les Pyrénées Orientales est toujours maintenueHier 2 février, Météo France annonçait une vigilance pour des vents violents dans les départements des Pyrénées Orientales et des Bouches-du-Rhône. Dimanche 3 février, cette vigilance est toujours maintenue, avec des rafales qui pourront atteindre au cours de la journée des vitesses de 100 à 120 km/h.Dimanche 3 février, lors de son dernier bulletin à 9H00, Météo France maintenait son alerte orange concernant les départements des Bouches-du-Rhône et des Pyrénées Orientales. En effet, ce matin encore des rafales de vents pouvant atteindre 100 à 120 km/h soufflent dans cette région. Vers le littoral, Météo France note que les vents pourront même atteindre parfois les 130 km/h au cours de la journée.Les départements limitrophes comme le Vaucluse ou l’Aude feront aussi l’objet d’une vigilance accrue où il est demandé de limiter les déplacements. En fin d’après-midi, Météo France note tout de même une légère amélioration du temps avec des rafales qui atteindront cependant encore 90 à 110 km/h. Le soir le mistral se calmera, mais la tramontane soufflera encore jusqu’à 70 à 90 km/h.Le 3 février 2013 à 10:36 • Guichaoua Virginie