Taxi operators resume service in Shillong

first_imgTaxi service associations and travel agencies based in Guwahati — the communication hub for tourism in neighbouring Meghalaya — on Wednesday resumed their services to Shillong.Resumption of transport services followed relaxation of curfew in Shillong for five hours from 7 a.m. in the 14 troubled localities and a two-hour reduction of night curfew across the city, now from 6 p.m. to 5 a.m.“The curfew in the areas under Lumdiengjri police station (14 localities) will be relaxed for seven hours from 7 a.m. on Thursday. We hope it is safe enough for the night curfew to be lifted soon,” East Khasi Hills Deputy Commissioner P.S. Dkhar said.“Some cab operators are still apprehensive, but quite a few began operating today. Five days of idleness is quite a loss, particularly as this is the peak tourist season to Shillong and other places such as Cherrapunjee and Mawsynram,” said Nitul Das, a member of a tourist taxi association in Guwahati.The Federation of Shillong Hotels said the breakdown of law and order has been a setback for the tourism industry of the State. “The turn of events has plunged the industry into darkness. It has harmed the image of Shillong, which had earned the reputation of one of the best tourist destinations in the Northeast,” Arnold M. Lanong, secretary of the federation, said.The federation said the current situation has directly affected vendors, tea and food stalls, tourist spots, taxis, tourist cabs, homestays, guest houses and hotels. “There has been no hotel and guest-house booking since June 1, and it might take some time before visitors regain confidence about coming to Shillong,” a tour operator said.Former State Home Minister R.G. Lyngdoh said Meghalaya can ill-afford a break in tourism inflow as its economy has already been crippled by a coal mining ban four years ago.Meanwhile, the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council has decided to study land documents of the residents of Punjabi Lane.last_img read more

Soaring MERS Cases Cause Pandemic Jitters, but Causes Are Unclear

first_imgA sharp increase in infections with a deadly new virus in the Middle East is alarming public health officials around the world. The rising numbers have raised fresh fears that the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) virus has adapted and is becoming more easily transmissible between humans, which could result in global spread. But preliminary research has not shown any evidence of genetic changes, and the government of Saudi Arabia, where most of the new cases occur, says the sudden upswing is mostly the result of more widespread testing.The MERS virus is related to the SARS virus, which spread around the world in 2003 and killed almost 800 people. Since MERS was discovered in 2012, there has been a steady trickle of cases, the vast majority of them in Saudi Arabia. By late March, the World Health Organization (WHO) had counted 199 cases worldwide, including 84 deaths.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)But in the past few weeks, the numbers have shot up. Saudi Arabia is announcing new cases almost every day, most of them in Jeddah, a city in the western part of the country. Yesterday alone, the kingdom reported 24 new cases; another 12 were reported today. (WHO is waiting for official reporting of the cases, but the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control now says the total is 333 cases, including 107 deaths.) Amid increasing worries in the public and intensifying media coverage, Saudi Arabia’s minister of health was replaced on Monday. WHO issued a press release yesterday saying it was “concerned about the rising number of cases.” “WHO urges all Member States to remain vigilant and enhance surveillance to detect any early sign that the virus has changed and has attained the possibilities of causing sustained person-to-person transmission,” the statement read.”It is really important to understand now what is going on in Jeddah,” says Marion Koopmans of Erasmus MC in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. One possible explanation, she says, is that the lab doing the tests has a contamination problem, leading to false positives.Saudi Deputy Minister of Health Ziad Memish, an infectious disease specialist, says the explanation is quite simple. Until recently, in accordance with WHO recommendations, only patients with pneumonia who needed intensive care were tested for the MERS virus, he says. But as anxiety about MERS increased, patients with milder symptoms like fever or a cough started demanding to be tested, he says, and doctors in Jeddah have complied. “In the last 2 years we tested 20,000 people,” Memish says. “Just in the last weeks, we tested 5000 people.” As a result, more mild cases are being picked up, he says, but that does not mean MERS is about to go global.Nonetheless, studies are under way to test whether the virus has undergone genetic changes. On Friday, virologist Christian Drosten of the University of Bonn in Germany, who is collaborating with Memish, received 31 fresh samples from patients in Jeddah. The scientists isolated MERS virus RNA from all but one of the samples they received, suggesting that contamination isn’t the problem.Drosten has sequenced part of the gene for the so-called spike protein, which sits on the viral surface, from all 30 viruses. They appear to be identical to each other and to several older MERS viruses that have been sequenced. “There seems to be nothing special about this virus, at least in this region of the genome,” he says. The researchers are now sequencing the whole genome for some of the viruses and they may still find significant changes, although Drosten doubts that they will.The variety found between the 30 genomes may also give clues about what is going on. If the viral genomes from different patients are more or less identical, that suggests a new, more successful strain is breaking out; if the genomes are more diverse, the increase is more likely to be an artifact due to more testing. The fragment sequenced so far does not give a clear answer, because a number of different MERS strains are identical in that part of the genome. “But hopefully we will know in a few days,” Drosten says.Meanwhile, Drosten says a seasonal effect may also explain part of the current rise in cases. In breeding facilities across the Middle East, camels, an important reservoir for MERS, have given birth the past 2 months; scientists believe their young may become infected very early on, causing virus levels to explode and increasing the risk for humans to become exposed.Memish agrees that there seems to be some seasonality in how MERS strikes humans: The first known human cases were from a cluster in Jordan in April 2012, he says, last year in April an outbreak struck four hospitals in the Al Hasa area in Saudi Arabia, and now there is a cluster of cases in Jeddah. “It certainly seems that April and May are bad months for MERS.”last_img read more

French Open: Kidambi Srikanth becomes first Indian to win four Super Series titles in a calendar year

first_imgKidambi Srikanth became the first Indian and only fourth male shuttler in history to lift four Super Series titles in a calendar year as he beat Japan’s Kenta Nishimoto in the men’s singles final at French Open on Sunday.In just 34 minutes, Srikanth defeated Nishimoto 21-14, 21-13 to lift the French Open Super Series titles.This is Srikanth’s fourth Super Series title this year after he won the Denmark Open Super Series Premier last Sunday and the Indonesia Super Series Premier and Australian Open Super Series in June earlier this year.Srikanth Kidambi is the 4th player in history to win 4 Superseries titles in a year. He beats Nishimoto 21-14, 21-13 in #FrenchSS FINAL- PBL India (@PBLIndiaLive) October 29, 2017Only Lin Dan, Lee Chong Wei and Chen Long have won men’s singles titles at four Super Series events in a calendar year.Twice this year, Srikanth has won back-to-back Super Series titles — Denmark and French this month and Indonesia and Australia consecutively in June. Only Lee Chong Wei has done that before.???in ???? ???in ????º???in ???????in ????Srikanth Kidambi wins successive Superseries titles for the 2nd time in 2017 by clinching the #FrenchSS title! pic.twitter.com/aVzneRb4wq- PBL India (@PBLIndiaLive) October 29, 2017The 24-year-old surpassed Saina Nehwal’s record of three Super Series in a year (2010) and with the achievement, he is all set to reach his career-high of world No. 2 in BWF Rankings.With that win, @srikidambi is set to become the new World #2! An year ago, he was struggling with injuries. He is now one of the fittest!advertisement- PBL India (@PBLIndiaLive) October 29, 2017Srikanth won the first point of the match with Nishimoto putting the shuttle wide.Thereafter, the Japanese displayed some excellent intent coupled with good resistance and cross court strokes to take a 9-5.It was the difference in points that seemed to have triggered something in Srikanth and he took over the mantle from there to show the kind of strokes he has been playing since two weeks.Srikanth took six consecutive points to lead 11-9 at the break.Srikanth didn’t let the momentum drop from there. He played his classic smashes and coupled with Nishimoto’s inability to handle the pressure, Srikanth raced to a 15-10 lead.Srikanth varied the pace of his strokes and kept it simple to force errors from Nishimoto — the Japanese unable to control the shuttle started sending it long.Within 16 minutes, Srikanth took the first game 21-14.16 minutes is all it took Srikanth Kidambi to wrap up the opening game. Once he got into the groove, there was no stopping him! #FrenchSS- PBL India (@PBLIndiaLive) October 29, 2017The second game began similarly with the Indian racing off to a 4-0 lead.A similar pattern followed with Nishimoto gifting points to Srikanth. Despite a mini fightback, Srikanth lead 11-5 at the breather.Srikanth began playing around with the Japanese thereafter moving him all over the court. With stunning control over the shuttle and brilliantly accurate smashing, Srikanth opened up an 18-12 lead.Nishimoto managed just one more point after which Srikanth won three points in a row to clinch the title.last_img read more

Russian bobsledder Alexey Voevoda banned from Olympics for doping violation

first_imgThe International Olympic Committee has banned Russia’s Alexei Voevoda for life from Olympics for taking part in the 2014 Sochi Winter Games doping program.Voevoda had won two gold medals in the two-man and four-man bobsled events at Sochi.Those titles were stripped last month when an IOC disciplinary commission disqualified Alexander Zubkov, who was also a part of the Russian bobsled team. Zubkov was also found guilty of anti-doping violations and disqualified. He has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).The decision comes two weeks after the IOC banned Russia from next year’s Pyeongchang Winter Olympics for what it called “unprecedented systematic manipulation” of the anti-doping system.The IOC, however, left the door open for Russian athletes with a clean history of non-doping to be invited to compete in Pyeongchang as neutrals.The 43-year-old Zubkov, who has denied wrongdoing, is one of more than 20 Russian athletes who have since appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).The IOC decision increased the number of Russian athletes banned for life from the Olympics over alleged doping violations at the Sochi Games to more than 30.Russia has denied allegations of state-sponsored doping, saying it is the victim of a politicised dirty tricks campaign designed to besmirch its reputation and curb its sporting success.(With inputs from Agencies)last_img read more

SOUTH WEST QUEENSLAND “SHOW AND GO” NEWSLETTER

first_imgThe South West Queensland (SWQ) Touch Office has released the first volume of its  Newsletter, “Show and Go”.                                          Queensland Game Development Officer Terry Mc Sweeney and newly appointed SWQ Administrator Lauren Potter will keep affiliated members up to date on all the news and views from the SWQ region with their fortnightly offering leading up to the Queensland State Championships from 5-7 October 2007.The Queensland Regional  State Championships, being contested for the first time since 2003, will be hosted by flagship South West Queensland affiliate Toowoomba.Please click onto the attached PDF of the first edition of “Show and Go” Related Filesnewsletter__swq_-pdflast_img read more

2020 Four-Star WR Koy Moore Announces Decommitment

first_imgA general view of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.LOS ANGELES, CA – OCTOBER 24: Clouds over the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum turn pink in color as the sun sets during the Oregon State Beavers and USC Trojans college football game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on October 24, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)One of the top wide receivers in the country for the 2020 class has opened up his recruitment process.Koy Moore, a four-star wide receiver out of Louisiana, took to Twitter to announce his decommitment.The four-star prospect has backed off his commitment to USC.“My relationship with USC became strained with the coaching changes,” he wrote. “I enjoyed my time as a #FightOn commitment, I love USC but the recruitment is not up to my expectations. I would like to re-open my recruitment.”Here’s his full announcement:No Interviews. pic.twitter.com/aRz3b8GUik— Koy Moore ?? الحمدلله (@asap_koy) February 4, 2019Moore is a 6-foot-1, 170-pound wide receiver out of Metairie, Louisiana. He’s ranked the No. 36 wide receiver and No. 195 overall prospect in the 2020 class by 247Sports’ Composite Rankings.The four-star wide receiver has scholarship offers from several major programs, with Arkansas, Auburn, Florida and Georgia being mentioned as possible options moving forward.Moore has plenty of time to make a commitment. Stay tuned for updates.last_img read more

Establishment of Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre vital – OAS Official

first_img Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Nestor Mendez, says establishment of the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre, in the Caribbean, is not only vital but also “very timely.”He was addressing the official launch of the Centre, at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, in Rose Hall, St. James, on January 30.Mr. Mendez  said the centre, being opened just  a short 14 months since the adoption of the Montego Bay Declaration, following the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) conference on sustainable growth in November 2017, is nothing short of remarkable.“It is not just a remarkable achievement but also a testament to the hard work and determination of the Government of Jamaica,” Mr. Mendez told the audience.“I must commend the leadership shown by the Government of Jamaica and indeed Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett, in the establishment of the centre, which was a mandate of the Declaration of Montego Bay in 2017,” he  added.The Declaration was officially presented by Mr. Bartlett,  and Executive Director of the UNWTO, Carlos Vogeler.Among the key elements of the Declaration is a call for support of the establishment of a Global Tourism Resilience Centre in the Caribbean, including a Sustainable Tourism Observatory, to assist destinations’ preparedness, management and recovery from crises that impact tourism and threaten economies and livelihoods.Mr. Mendez said that while travel and tourism contributes to more than 10 per cent of world output and nearly 10 per cent of employment worldwide, the sector nevertheless remains vulnerable to threats, challenges, and disruptions of various sorts, especially in relation to climate change and natural disasters.These disruptions, he said, almost always have the potential to stymie growth and prosperity in the region.“It is of particular significance that the Centre is being established here in the Caribbean, as the Caribbean tourism sector is often the victim of the Atlantic hurricanes, which invariably leads to temporary and permanent closure of hotels and ancillary businesses,” Mr. Mendez said.He said the OAS has long recognised, with grave concern, that the Latin American and Caribbean region represents one of the most vulnerable regions in the world, due to the adverse impact of climate change.“For the OAS, the issue of resilience remains a critical one. The organization has played an integral role in supporting efforts to enhance resilience in the tourism sector in the Caribbean for many years,” Mr. Mendez noted.In the aftermath of the destructive 2017 hurricane season in the Caribbean, which saw destruction caused by hurricanes Maria in Dominica and Puerto Rico and Irma in the island of Barbuda, the OAS, at its headquarters in Washington, D.C., hosted a meeting with Caribbean leaders and international business mogul, Sir Richard Branson, as well as several international institutions and private sector officials.“This meeting sought to put together a broad-based multi-sector coalition to mobilise private sector funding of climate change resilience initiatives in the region, as the foundation for urgent action,” Mr. Mendez explained.“The OAS remains committed to supporting resilience efforts in the region, including this initiative to establish the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre,” he added. Story Highlights Among the key elements of the Declaration is a call for support of the establishment of a Global Tourism Resilience Centre in the Caribbean, including a Sustainable Tourism Observatory, to assist destinations’ preparedness, management and recovery from crises that impact tourism and threaten economies and livelihoods. Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Nestor Mendez, says establishment of the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre, in the Caribbean, is not only vital but also “very timely.” “The OAS remains committed to supporting resilience efforts in the region, including this initiative to establish the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre,” he added.last_img read more

Parent Place for Mount Salem by End of March

first_img The community of Mount Salem, in St. James, will have a Parent Place by the end of March, while several parenting seminars are on for Western Jamaica starting February 16.According to Chief Executive Officer of the National Parenting Support Commission (NPSC), Kaysia Kerr, the agency is procuring equipment for the facility, which will facilitate the development of parenting skills for persons in the area and be an outlet for them to get crucial support.“(It) will offer psychosocial support, literacy intervention, skills building, and ongoing parent education,” Miss Kerr told JIS News.She said ineffective parenting has been identified as some of the reasons for much of the antisocial challenges in many communities, and the seminars will seek to provide meaningful responses with relevant professionals.The events form part of the NPSC annual support for parents whose children will be sitting the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT).“We are going to have a cadre of persons – psychologists and others – who will interpret data, so that we can respond on spot to what we are seeing,” Miss Kerr informed.The first seminar will take place on Friday (February 16) at the Holiday Inn Hotel in Montego Bay starting at 11:30 a.m., followed by the second on Saturday (February 17) at the Hopewell Primary and Junior High School in Hanover at 3:00 p.m., and the third at the Mount Salem Primary and Junior High School in St. James on Sunday, February 18, beginning at 3:00 p.m.“The interventions are very important because, as parents, we can always improve our skill sets,” Miss Kerr said. She said ineffective parenting has been identified as some of the reasons for much of the antisocial challenges in many communities, and the seminars will seek to provide meaningful responses with relevant professionals. Story Highlights According to Chief Executive Officer of the National Parenting Support Commission (NPSC), Kaysia Kerr, the agency is procuring equipment for the facility, which will facilitate the development of parenting skills for persons in the area and be an outlet for them to get crucial support. The community of Mount Salem, in St. James, will have a Parent Place by the end of March, while several parenting seminars are on for Western Jamaica starting February 16.last_img read more

NSWMA Head Urges Responsible Waste Disposal

first_img Managing Director of the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA), Audley Gordon, is calling on Jamaicans to be more responsible in the disposal of solid waste.     Mr. Gordon said the intention is to force persons to dispose of solid waste responsibly by making illegal dumping extremely difficult and ensuring that they are “brought to book, so that they pay dearly”.   Story Highlights   “Do not dispose of it irresponsibly by throwing it on the next open lot that you see. That’s not helpful to the environment. It is unsightly, it can pose security risks, health risks and, ultimately, cost the taxpayers, so we would not want to see a repeat of situations such as this,” he pointed out. Managing Director of the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA), Audley Gordon, is calling on Jamaicans to be more responsible in the disposal of solid waste.He said there has been an increase in the instances of illegal dumping across the island.“All over Jamaica, we have seen a nasty practice that has developed where people just dump wherever there is an open lot. We’ve seen this in Kingston in particular,” he said.“Fortunately for us, we have been able to intercept some in operation, and we have charged people,” he indicated.Mr. Gordon was speaking to JIS News at a clearing exercise at an illegal dump site on Arnold Road in Kingston on Thursday (September 20).He informed that the agency has not ascertained who is responsible for the illicit activity.“We do know, however, that 60 to 70 per cent of what is here is construction debris – broken tiles, leftover marl and boards – which means that someone or some group of persons would have done some construction, and instead of organising to dispose of the refuse in a responsible manner, they chose to just dump it in this open lot,” he lamented.He said that the owners of the property have been identified, and “we will be talking to them about how they can secure the property, so that we don’t have illegal dumping taking place there in the future”.Mr. Gordon told JIS News that the exercise to clear illegal dumps is very costly, and the agency “does not have the resources to attend to every illegal dump site that pops up somewhere”.“We have to come with heavy-duty equipment, trucks, plus man-hours. It distracts us from the other duties that we have, which are many, so apart from the costs, it is time-consuming,” he noted.He made an appeal to persons who have construction material or large items of solid waste, to make proper arrangements to dispose of the refuse in an appropriate manner.“Do not dispose of it irresponsibly by throwing it on the next open lot that you see. That’s not helpful to the environment. It is unsightly, it can pose security risks, health risks and, ultimately, cost the taxpayers, so we would not want to see a repeat of situations such as this,” he pointed out.Mr. Gordon informed that within a few weeks, the agency will announce a major initiative that will see the NSWMA on frequent patrols to not only identify illegal sites but to catch people in the act of illegal dumping and charge them accordingly.He said that when that initiative is rolled out, persons who practise such illicit activity “will find that it is no longer beneficial to do so, because they will be charged far more than the tipping fee for the dump”.It currently costs $1,000 to offload solid waste at the Riverton City disposal site in St. Andrew.Mr. Gordon said the intention is to force persons to dispose of solid waste responsibly by making illegal dumping extremely difficult and ensuring that they are “brought to book, so that they pay dearly”.last_img read more

SERHA Gets Mobile HIV Testing Unit

first_img USAID Country Representative, Jason Fraser, said estimates and case-based surveillance indicate that there are about 34,000 Jamaicans living with HIV. However, approximately 22 per cent of those persons do not know their status. The unit was donated by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under the United States Presidents’ Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) programme, and brings to five, the total number of mobile testing units within the Ministry of Health. Story Highlights “Last year, we tested 963,969 persons and this year, we hope to double it and, hopefully, this bus will help us to do so,” he added. A mobile testing unit, valued at over $12 million, which has been handed over to the South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA), will enable health personnel to go into communities to conduct human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) tests.The unit was donated by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under the United States Presidents’ Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) programme, and brings to five, the total number of mobile testing units within the Ministry of Health.The bus is equipped with countertops, a sink and a screened seating area to accommodate consultation sessions. It is retrofitted with an inverter unit to power a refrigerator.At a handover ceremony held at the Bustamante Hospital for Children on Thursday (December 13), Health Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, expressed gratitude for the donation.He said the mobile units have enhanced the capacity of health personnel to move across the country and into communities, effectively taking the testing mechanism to the people, instead of having persons go into the health facilities.“The introduction of the buses has led to a significant increase in the uptake of HIV testing. The first retrofitted buses were introduced in 2010 and since that time, we have seen up to 18,000 tests being conducted on the mobile units annually. We anticipate that with the addition of this unit we will see even more persons taking the opportunity to get tested and, by extension, any appropriate treatment or public education beyond that,” he said.Dr. Tufton noted that encouraging more Jamaicans to know their status through testing is a critical tool in the management and treatment of HIV.“This is a critical part of controlling the epidemic, because it is through knowledge of your status that you will know exactly how to prevent being infected, and also, if infected, how to control the virus and enhance quality of life,” he pointed out.USAID Country Representative, Jason Fraser, said estimates and case-based surveillance indicate that there are about 34,000 Jamaicans living with HIV. However, approximately 22 per cent of those persons do not know their status.The majority of these cases are found in St. James, Kingston and St. Andrew and St. Catherine. Mr. Fraser said the total represents 576 females and 621 males, with the highest number being between the ages of 20 and 59.“Of the 1,197 persons diagnosed with HIV in 2017, 61 per cent of all cases were in SERHA’s four parishes of St. Catherine, Kingston, St. Andrew and St. Thomas,” he said.Meanwhile, Regional Technical Director for SERHA, Dr. Dutris Bourne, said that SERHA is the largest health region in Jamaica and “having this bus will allow our prevention team to continue the wonderful work they are doing”.“Last year, we tested 963,969 persons and this year, we hope to double it and, hopefully, this bus will help us to do so,” he added.The initiative is part of the Ministry’s National Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Sexually Transmitted Infection/Tuberculosis (HIV/STI/TB) programme.last_img read more

Thousands of Students Walk to School

first_imgThousands of Nova Scotia students from more than 100 schools walked or biked to school today, Oct. 5, to mark International Walk to School Day. “I thank the principals, teachers and parents who supported their children and students in walking to school today,” said Health Promotion Minister Rodney MacDonald, who walked with students at Portland Estates Elementary school in Dartmouth. “Events like this one teach all of us how important it is to take care of our health and stay active, for ourselves and for our community.” Portland Estates Elementary is Nova Scotia’s poster school this year, recognizing the work students and employees of the school have done to create safe and fun opportunities to be active. This includes the “walking school bus”, where students line up in pairs with a parent at the front and walk to school, stopping on the way to pick up other students. International Walk to School Day, celebrated every October, teaches children how walking, cycling or other active modes of transportation help improve health, reduce air pollution and climate change, and how to minimize unsafe traffic around schools. “We all have to take part in the effort to become more active on a daily basis,” said Mr. MacDonald. “By providing safe and fun opportunities for youth to be active, we are increasing the likelihood that they will lead active and healthy lifestyles as adults.” International Walk to School Day is an initiative of Active and Safe Routes to School, a program encouraging the use of active modes of transportation to and from school. In Nova Scotia, the program is co-ordinated by the Ecology Action Centre in partnership with Nova Scotia Health Promotion.last_img read more

Government Raises Bar with New Diversity Inclusion Strategy

first_imgGovernment is strengthening its commitment to diversity and inclusion in the public service with its first diversity strategy. The strategy, released today, Oct. 2, sets the direction for the next four years. “We want to ensure our workforce reflects our province’s diverse population and that we deliver programs and services in a way that meet the needs of all Nova Scotians,” said Labi Kousoulis, Minister responsible for the Public Service Commission. “This new strategy will raise the bar.” Nova Scotia’s public service includes immigrants, Aboriginal people, persons with disabilities, African Nova Scotians, racially visible people, women in non-traditional roles, LGBTI community members, and other under-represented groups. “Having a diverse and inclusive public service helps us achieve the objectives of the OneNS report and position the province for success in the global economy,” said Premier Stephen McNeil. “Diversity at every level of the public service brings a range of perspectives and fuels innovation and progress.” The new strategy has four goals and more than 30 strategic actions that will help establish the province as a leader in diversity and inclusion. Key actions include: “We are working to build a stronger public service for all Nova Scotians,” said Public Service Commissioner Laura Lee Langley. “Diverse and inclusive workplaces are key to our success, contributing to increased employee engagement and productivity, and helping attract and retain skilled, diverse and dynamic workers.” The strategy will be implemented with government partners, including the diversity roundtable, diversity committees, and a range of employee networks. The new diversity and inclusion strategy is available at novascotia.ca/diversity developing a diversity recruitment strategy and ensuring the public service is representative of the public it serves providing enhanced and mandatory training on diversity and inclusion for all public servants developing a reciprocal mentorship program that pairs members of under-represented groups with senior leaderslast_img read more

WATCH Trudeaus crosscountry town hall tour takes him to Winnipeg

first_imgPrime Minister Justin Trudeau will holding a town hall at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg.It’s the latest in a series of cross-country question-and-answer sessions the Prime Minister has been holding with Canadians.You can watch it live here at 6 p.m. Mountain.Trudeau said the town halls are an opportunity for citizens to engage with him directly “about what’s on their minds, to give people an opportunity to participate in a fundamental democratic process about holding their leaders to account.”One of the topics expected to be on people’s minds tonight is allegations of sexual misconduct which resulted in the resignations of sports minister Kent Hehr and Conservative leaders in Nova Scotia and Ontario.Trudeau said they are doing the best they can “on a case-by-case basis” when it comes to dealing with harassment and abuse within party ranks.“I don’t have a rule book that’s been handed down to me from Wilfrid Laurier as leader of the Liberal party on how to handle these situations,” Trudeau said on Tuesday. “Every case will be different, but we need to make sure that we’re doing right in every given situation.”last_img read more

Asian market plunge after Trump threatens more China tariffs

TOKYO — Shares tumbled in Asia early Monday after President Donald Trump threatened in a tweet to impose more tariffs on China.The Shanghai Composite index sank 4.8% and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong plunged 3.5%. Markets were closed in Japan. The future contract for the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.9% to 25,996.00, while that for the S&P 500 also shed 1.9%, to 2,892.00.Trump’s comments came a Chinese delegation was due to resume talks in Washington on Wednesday aimed at resolving a tariffs battle that has rattled world markets.Apparently catching Beijing by surprise, Trump said he would raise import taxes on $200 billion in Chinese products to 25% from 10%.The Wall Street Journal, citing unidentified sources, said China’s government was considering cancelling this week’s talks.The Associated Press read more

DR Congo UN mission says Katanga conditions still suitable for refugee returns

19 March 2008Conditions in the North Katanga region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) are still conducive to the return of some 20,000 refugees now in Tanzania and Zambia despite recent agitation against the United Nations Mission there, known as MONUC, the mission said today. MONUC became alarmed after fliers were distributed in the town of Moba, warning of violent anti-UN rallies, under the pretext that the mission favours the return of Banyamulenge, who are not natives of the region, to the area. The demonstrations, planned for 15 March, did not take place and an interdisciplinary team ascertained that conditions were calm after holding meetings with Congolese and international security and humanitarian officers.The team also concluded that all necessary steps have been taken to protect civilians and UN infrastructure and personnel in the area, where the Organization’s facilities were attacked in August 2007 because of similar rumours about the Banyamulenge.They reported that, to dispel the rumours, the Beninese detachment of MONUC invited local authorities, journalists, and members of the civil society to visit its camp to see for themselves that no members of that ethnic group were hidden there. It also reported that the new administrator of the territory, Mulobe Kalala, attested to the population’s positive attitude and indicated that joint patrols of MONUC, the Congolese army and the national police have been carried out since last week. Mr. Kalala also minimized the impact of the fliers on the inhabitants, indicating that only a few troublemakers, who have no support from the wider population, were involved in the incident.According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), repatriation of refugees from Tanzania and Zambia to North Katanga is set to resume on 2 May.In other news from the DRC, the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) said that a Reuters report today on Congolese police actions in the Province of Bas Congo is a recap of recent actions, not a report of anything new, though the situation remains tense.In addition, many clashes have been reported in the provinces of Ituri and North and South Kivu in the east of the vast country, which is beset by recalcitrant militias as it recovers from a devastating civil war. read more

Sri Lanka detains 12 Indian fishermen impounds 3 boats

The Sri Lankan Navy arrested 12 Indian fishermen and confiscated three mechanised fishing boats on the alleged charges of fishing in the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Island Nation on Sunday, UNI India reported.Fisheries officials said the incarcerated fishermen hailed from Rameswaram. They were arrested while fishing near the controversial Katchatheevu Island.The fishermen were later remanded to judicial custody till February 8 by Talaimannar court.

Senate chairman Online advertisers ignoring Do Not Track request legislation needed

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Anne Flaherty, The Associated Press Posted Apr 24, 2013 2:26 am MDT WASHINGTON – Warning consumers that industry has failed to protect their privacy online, a top Senate Democrat said Wednesday that he will press legislation this year that would create a universal “Do Not Track” option for consumers and penalize companies that fail to honour it.“The American people are smart,” said Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee. “They are going to figure this out. And as they figure this out, they better like what they see if the Internet is going to prosper.”Rockefeller’s proposal could face an uphill battle in a divided Senate already consumed with immigration and the budget. But his comments put renewed pressure on an industry struggling desperately to escape regulation.The online privacy debate has mostly stumped Congress and prompted a tempered reaction from the Obama administration, mindful of consumers’ concerns but reluctant to crush a growing industry in a difficult economy. Last year, the White House unveiled a “Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights” calling on industry to give consumers more control over their personal information and suggesting Congress pass legislation to enforce it.But while everyone agrees that people should be given a choice to opt out of data collection and online tracking, advertising businesses and privacy groups remain at odds over how to implement it. Much of the debate focuses on whether consumers should have to click an opt-out button, or if their browser should automatically do it for them.Rockefeller said Wednesday that voluntary efforts by industry have fallen short because some online advertisers ignore consumer requests not to be tracked. His bill would subject businesses to penalties by the Federal Trade Commission if they do.“I do not believe that companies with business models based on the collection and monetization of personal information will voluntarily stop those practices if it negatively impacts their profit margins,” Rockefeller said.Industry is pushing back. The Digital Advertising Alliance points to its Web-based icon program that links consumers to an opt-out site of participating advertisers. They say some 20 million people have visited their site and only 1 million of those consumers chose to opt out of all ad tracking. Testifying at the hearing, Mastria said he thinks the industry has “delivered basically in principle” what Rockefeller proposes through legislation.“Consumers are very pragmatic people,” Lou Mastria, managing director of the Digital Advertising Alliance, said in an interview this week. “They want free content. They understand there’s a value exchange. And they’re OK with it.”The Do Not Track proposal is part of a broader debate about online privacy that includes what sensitive data might be collected from a person’s mobile device. Because a smartphone can divulge a person’s location, the FTC warned in a recent report that detailed profiles of a person’s movements can be collected over time and in surprising ways, revealing a person’s habits and patterns and making them vulnerable to stalking or identity theft.Some researchers also say they suspect retailers are engaging in “price discrimination” — the practice of setting a price based on personal data, such as the average home price in their area or a person’s proximity to a competitor.Another concern is that companies might determine a person’s eligibility for certain products and services based on information collected online, potentially violating credit reporting and fair lending laws.“I think there should be obligations for companies to tell you what information they have about you” and give you the opportunity to correct it, said Justin Brookman of the Center for Democracy and Technology.Adam Thierer, a senior research fellow at George Mason University’s Mercatus Center, told the Senate panel that he thinks many of the privacy concerns cited with data collection are worst-case scenarios that probably won’t happen. In the end, he said, data collection is merely “creepy” and might not warrant legislation.“I think a lot of my neighbours are creepy, but I don’t think they’re harmful,” Thierer said. Senate chairman: Online advertisers ignoring ‘Do Not Track’ request, legislation needed read more

Prince of Monaco calls for reinforcing UNs emergency relief office

Citing a host of crises, from conflicts to natural disasters, Prince Albert II of Monaco today called for increased resources for the United Nations office that coordinates international relief for humanitarian emergencies. “The evolution of elements which engender humanitarian emergency situations in effect demands that we examine the means for intervention which our Organisation has at its disposal,” he told the General Assembly on the first day of its annual General Debate. “Conflicts, natural catastrophes, climate change, environmental degradation: we must acknowledge that the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), to which I express my profound gratitude, must have the necessary means and resources to carry out the mandate with which we have entrusted it.”OCHA was set up in 1998, replacing the Department of Humanitarian Affairs (DHA), with an expanded mandate to mobilize effective humanitarian action in partnership with national and international actors to alleviate human suffering in disasters and emergencies, advocate the rights of people in need, promote preparedness and prevention and facilitate sustainable solutions.In a wide-ranging speech that touched on many of the crises and challenges facing the world, Prince Albert cited the post-2015 development agenda which is the theme of the this year’s General Assembly, the world body’s 68th. He joined many leaders in discussing that and other issues of national and international concern during today’s session of the Debate, which warps up on 1 October. The year 2015 is the deadline for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that set specific goals on poverty alleviation, education, gender equality, child and maternal health, environmental stability, HIV/AIDS reduction, and a global partnership for development, and Assembly President John Ashe has said the current sessions must lay the groundwork for global sustainable development in the years following the end of the current development cycle.“It is in a sombre international context that we are going to define the post-2015 development agenda, which will set the foundation stone of our Organization’s work and will be a crucial element for basing its political legitimacy for the decades to come,” the prince said. He also called for limiting human activities that adversely affect the climate and the environment, condemned the use of chemical; weapons and the suffering of civilians in the Syrian civil warm and deplored recent militant attacks in Kenya, Iraq and Pakistan.“The stakes are high,” Prince Albert concluded. “Those of us who wish to reaffirm the central place of our Organization in international governance must endow it with the means to ensure this leadership role by being ambitious and resolute in our mission.” read more

Threemillionth engine built at BMW engine plant

BMW Group is celebrating today as the three-millionth engine has been produced at its UK engine plant at Hams Hall, near Birmingham. The power unit – a 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine – will be despatched to the MINI plant at Oxford, destined for a car to be built for the emerging Indian market.The announcement follows a record year of manufacturing in 2011, as well as the news in November that facilities are to be upgraded at the Hams Hall plant to enable production of a new generation of low-emission petrol and diesel engines.“This is a fantastic milestone for Plant Hams Hall,” said Plant Director, Nick Spencer. “Our 800-strong workforce is proud to be playing an important role within BMW Group’s global production network, building engines in the UK for cars sold in many countries around world and contributing to the success of the iconic MINI brand.”MINI made its debut in the premium small car segment in India earlier this year marking MINI’s 100th export market, where three exclusive outlets are being established.Business Minister, Mark Prisk said, “BMW’s three-millionth engine in a MINI that’s now exported to 100 countries is emblematic of the current success of the UK auto sector. Last year UK automotive exports were up 15% at an all time high of £29.5 billion in cash terms and engine production increased nearly 5% to 2.5 million units.”High-tech, fuel-efficient four-cylinder petrol engines have been built at Plant Hams Hall for over a decade. The UK-built engines are supplied, in sequence, to production plants in Germany, Austria and Oxford and currently power the BMW X1, BMW 1 Series and the recently launched new BMW 3 Series, as well as all MINI petrol models.The UK is the only place in the world where all three of the BMW Group brands – BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce – are represented by manufacturing operations. For more information about UK automotive manufacturing, download Motor Industry Facts 2012.Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) read more