Key Questions on Nationality Testing

first_imgBelow are some questions raised by the scientific criticism (original story) of the U.K. Border Agency’s Human Provenance program.Q: How long has the Border Agency been working on this program?A: The Agency hasn’t provided a history of the program’s development but it may date back several years. In 2007 statement from the Home Office, the group that oversees the Border Agency, an official noted: “With others, we are looking at the scientific and technical identification of nationality. This will be an important tool in a series of measures to improve the redocumentation and return of immigration offenders.” In a comment posted to a critical media account of that statement, an “Anonymous Coward” indicated that scientists had been recruited for the task. “I can confirm this – several researchers in statistical/population genetics, including me, were asked … a few months ago to advise on the feasibility of using DNA for determining nationality. We all refused to have anything to do with it on ethical and practical grounds.”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(*)Q: What DNA markers are being tested?A: That’s not clear. The Border Agency stakeholder letter notes mitochondrial and Y chromosome DNA testing, and the “Nationality-swapping” document also notes testing of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), which are subtle genetic variations across all chromosomes. But neither document specifies how many DNA markers are being examined—the more studied, the better, typically, but scientists say even large numbers of markers cannot definitively pinpoint nationality as that’s a political, not genetic, description.Q: What isotopes are being tested?A: Again, that is not clear. The documents obtained by ScienceInsider don’t identify them, though the use of hair and nail samples suggests that the Border Agency will test for “lighter” isotopes—those of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, and sulphur—that incorporate into soft tissues, rather than the heavier, metallic isotopes of strontium and lead that fix into bones and teeth. “As far as I know, there are no good studies of heavy isotopes in soft tissues,” says Tamsin O’Connell of the University of Cambridge, who conducts isotopic analyses of soft tissues. Which isotopes are examined is key because light isotopes typically reflect diet and climatic conditions; the heavier isotopes pinpoint geography better, although not to the extent of identifying nationality, say scientists.Q: Hasn’t DNA testing been used before by immigration officials?A: Well-accepted DNA fingerprinting techniques have been used to evaluate direct familial relationships, determining whether a person seeking asylum in a country has a relative there, for example, or confirming that all the members of an asylum-seeking family are related. Last year, DNA testing revealed widespread fraud among Africans petitioning to join family members in the United States, causing the U.S. State department to suspend the effort to promote those reunions. Such DNA identification, however, is considered far more reliable than deriving a person’s ancestry or ethnicity. Even then, France recently backed away from traditional DNA testing of immigrant families.Q: What does Andrew Rennison think?A: He’s the Forensic Science Regulator for the U.K. Home Office. Scientists say it is Rennison’s job to make sure any forensic techniques used by the Home Office have been properly vetted. The Home Office has not yet made Rennison or any scientists associated with the Human Provenance project available to comment. Q: What scientific justification is there for the Human Provenance Program?A: The Border Agency documents reviewed by ScienceInsider cite no scientific literature but refer to the use of isotopic evidence to pinpoint the origin of a 2001 murder victim, whose dismembered torso was found in the Thames reviver, to a small area within West Africa. That evidence, however, has not been presented before a judge or described in a peer-reviewed scientific publication. As for the DNA testing, the Border Agency released a statement saying the project was working with “leading scientists in this field who have studied differences in the genetic backgrounds of various population groups” but it has not yet named those scientists or publicly cited their work.Q: Who is conducting the isotope and DNA analyses?A: That’s not been made public. The National Environment Research Council Isotope Geosciences Laboratory was commissioned to obtain heavy isotope measurements for the 2001 murder victim, but its head says the lab is not involved in this project. She and others suspect that commercial labs are conducting the tests, and they wonder about the reliability of those analyses and whether the scientific uncertainty involved in such tests are being conveyed properly to Border Agency officials.last_img read more

AP source: 3 UCLA players stay in China; team returns to US

first_imgThe Fatted Calf and Ayutthaya: New restos worth the drive to Tagaytay Freshmen LiAngelo Ball, Jalen Hill and Cody Riley were to remain in Hangzhou, China, while the rest of the team was due back Saturday night. Ball is the brother of Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball.UCLA didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment by the AP.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingNo. 21 UCLA won its season-opening game 63-60 over Georgia Tech in Shanghai earlier Saturday.The trio was questioned by police about allegedly stealing from a Louis Vuitton store next to the team’s hotel in Hangzhou last week, where the Bruins visited before leaving for Shanghai. Citing a source with firsthand knowledge of the investigation, ESPN reports the players could be Hangzhou for “a week or two” while the situation is resolved. The source told ESPN there is surveillance footage of the players shoplifting from three stores inside a high-end retail center.Bruins coach Steve Alford declined to discuss the matter after the team’s victory. UCLA Chancellor Gene Block, athletic director Dan Guerrero and Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott have been traveling with the team, but only Scott has issued any statements.“It has provided a real distraction and unwanted publicity, which distracts from what overall has been a tremendous experience and a tremendous week for the UCLA and Georgia Tech students,” Scott said before the game. “We’ve had a chance to apologize for the unwelcome attention it has brought. There’s nothing new. We’re monitoring the situation and staying in close contact with the students, and we hope the situation resolves itself soon.”The conference said Friday that California and Yale will meet in next year’s Pac-12 China game to open the 2018-19 season.ADVERTISEMENT Malditas save PH from shutout LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Hope Solo says Blatter grabbed her; he calls it ‘ridiculous’ MRT 7 on track for partial opening in 2021 Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claimscenter_img After 30 years, Johnlu Koa still doing ‘hard-to-make’ quality breads Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games FILE – UCLA NCAA college basketball players, Liangelo Ball, left, and Cody Riley are shown in these file photos. The UCLA basketball team is heading back to Los Angeles without three players arrested on shoplifting charges in China, according to a report. Citing sources, ESPN reports freshmen LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill were to remain in Hangzhou, China. UCLA won its season-opening game 63-60 over Georgia Tech in Shanghai. APLOS ANGELES — The UCLA basketball team is heading back to Los Angeles without three players arrested on shoplifting charges in China, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on Saturday (Sunday Manila time).The person spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Jordan delivers on promise: 2 Cobra choppers now in PH Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim View commentslast_img read more

Eyeing Olympics glory, Indian Hockey teams arrive in Rio

first_imgRio De Janeiro, Jul 29 (PTI) Determined to put up a top-notch performance at the 2016 Olympic Games, the Indian men and womens hockey teams arrived here today. While the mens team traveled from Madrid after playing two friendly matches against the Spanish national squad, the Indian womens team arrived from Philadelphia where they won two matches against Canada and one match against USA national teams. This will be the first womens hockey team from India in 36 years to play at the Olympics. The excitement and anxiousness was palpable among the women led by promising young Captain Sushila Chanu. The Hockey India womens team features in Pool B and will play against Argentina, Australia, Great Britain, USA and Japan. “After a series of losses in England and Australia in the lead up to the Olympic Games, the wins in the USA has helped us in gaining the confidence we needed ahead of the Rio Olympics,” said Chanu. “This is our first Olympic Games and we are aware that our performance here will help the future generation of women to take up the sport and excel. We are looking forward to putting up a good show and our aim is to make the quarterfinals first,” a confident Chanu added further. Meanwhile, the mens team, riding high on their recent exploits in the FIH Champions Trophy in London where the PR Sreejesh-led squad won a historic Silver medal, is vying to get the better of some of the top teams in their pool. On arrival, India captain Sreejesh said, “Our first priority is to beat some of the top teams in our pool including Germany, Argentina and Netherlands. Though we have beaten each of these teams in the past or have come close to beating Germany in the Champions Trophy recently, the Olympic Games is a different ball game and we need to put up something extraordinary and special to excel against them.” Sreejesh further said that every match will be crucial and their first goal is to make the quarterfinals. “Obviously we are here to win a medal. But to do that, we need to take it match-by-match. We will not take any match lightly, be it Ireland (the first team we play), Canada or the defending Olympic Champions Germany. We will play each match like it is our last,” said the goalkeeper. The Indian mens team will play Netherlands, Argentina, Germany, Ireland and Canada in their pool B matches and will need to be in the top four in the pool to make it to the quarterfinals. MORE PTI ATK ATKadvertisementlast_img read more

Kyle Eastmond try helps Leicester pin Sale to the bottom of Premiership

first_imgFew will remember this contest with affection but winning ugly, at this precise moment, is perfectly fine with Leicester. Had they lost at home to the league’s basement dwellers Sale and recorded a fourth defeat in five games a proper East Midlands crisis would have had to be declared. As it is, the Tigers now lie seventh in the table, no cause for celebration but enough to call off the hounds for the time being.To describe this as a revival, though, would be strictly relative. Leicester were outscored by three tries to one and, had the Sharks shown even a fraction more composure in their opponents’ 22, the outcome would have been very different. Without George Ford’s all-round influence, Kyle Eastmond’s 13th-minute try and the unceasing efforts of, among others, Guy Thompson and Graham Kitchener, the Tigers might have endured another sorry Sunday. Support The Guardian Read more Since you’re here… Share on Twitter Share on Messenger Read more Share on WhatsApp Premiership … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Sale also missed all three of their conversions plus an eminently kickable first-half penalty, in stark contrast to Ford who slotted everything for a personal tally of 14 points. On three occasions, furthermore, when the visitors looked about to grab a potentially game-defining try, they came away with nothing. Will Cliff knocked on wastefully at the base of a scrum, Sam James failed to find touch with a mishit penalty kick to the corner – two of Sale’s five-pointers came from lineout drives – and, under the posts with three minutes left, Josh Beaumont was unluckily penalised for not releasing under pressure from Thompson. As Leicester’s interim head coach, Geordan Murphy, acknowledged: “The points and win are important but I thought our performance was below par.”In such a dog-eat-dog league he is well aware the Tigers will have to sharpen up considerably, with very little separating the clubs between fourth and 12th in the table. The Sharks may be rock bottom now but there is every prospect of them being significantly harder to beat in the near future when key players such as Chris Ashton, James O’Connor and Faf De Klerk become available again.They are particularly looking forward to welcoming back their buzzing scrum-half De Klerk who, it has emerged, will not be involved at all with South Africa during the November Tests. In return for releasing him for his country’s Rugby Championship fixtures, Sale have negotiated first call on him next month with the Springboks also set to face England without their other Premiership-based players Willie le Roux, Nizaam Carr and Francois Louw. Topics Sale captain Jono Ross: it’s far too early to talk about relegationcenter_img Sale Rugby union Share on LinkedIn match reports As Steve Diamond was quick to stress, the South Africa game at Twickenham technically falls outside the international window, which means Premiership Rugby are not obliged to release players despite the fact there are not any Premiership fixtures scheduled that weekend. “After Newcastle this Friday Faf comes back to us pretty much full time,” Diamond confirmed. “We didn’t see the benefit of bringing him back during the break weeks, so he’ll come back to us after the Rugby Championship.”A half-decent goal-kicker would certainly have assisted the Sharks here, with the late withdrawal of the fly-half AJ MacGinty also reducing their ability to play a territorial game. They did start reasonably well with a sixth-minute try from Marland Yarde but in terms of skill and execution on both sides the game at no stage threatened to rival the rich golfing drama unfolding across the Channel.Even after Ford had kicked his fourth penalty to put Leicester 19-10 ahead with three minutes left the hosts contrived to make life unnecessarily difficult for themselves, conceding a third try to a close-range drive finished off by the replacement Curtis Langdon with a restart still to come. Had Rohan Janse van Rensburg touched down Ford’s long drop-out it would have led to a scrum back on halfway with Sale still in the hunt. It somehow summed up the day that the ball was instead allowed to roll dead, prompting the referee, Craig Maxwell-Keyes, to blow the final whistle. Share on Pinterest Leicester Share via Email Northampton secure victory in breathless encounter at Bristol Share on Facebook Reuse this contentlast_img read more

Here’s How to Score a Last-Minute Holiday Travel Deals

first_img The Best Labor Day Deals on Outdoor Gear from REI, Backcountry, and More Save Your Eyes from the Scourge of the Screens with the Best Blue-Light-Blocking Glasses for Men Editors’ Recommendations Budget holiday travel is almost an oxymoron. If you haven’t already planned your end-of-year vacation yet, you may think you’re out of luck — but, that’s not necessarily true. With the boom in ultra-low-cost carriers like Spirit and WOW air, the big-name airlines are working harder than ever to stay competitive. That means there are still last-minute holiday travel deals to be had — if you know how to work the system.Be FlexibleHoliday season or not, flexibility is always the key to finding the best travel deals. Consider flying when other travelers aren’t. This means a few days after the Christmas holiday or New Year’s Day. Flying midweek (say, Tuesday to Tuesday) is a good starting point, as most travelers prefer to build the weekend into their vacations. Also, the first and last flights of the day are often cheaper because, again, no one likes twilight or red-eye flights.Head North (or Anywhere Cold)If you’re open-minded about where exactly you should go for your Christmas vacation, consider heading north. More specifically: anywhere with a colder climate. Every able-bodied, holiday-going American and Canadian is flying south to sun, sand, and surf, and every destination in Mexico and the Caribbean is priced accordingly. If you’re willing to pack a few extra layers and brave the cold, non-ski destinations like Montreal and Paris can prove to be a solid budget options for a last-minute vacation.Hack Your Fares“Hacker fares” bundle two one-way tickets into a single round-trip itinerary. Often, each ticket is on a different airline (e.g., you’ll fly out on Delta, but return home on JetBlue) as this can be an invaluable tool for the savvy budget traveler. Kayak takes most of the guesswork out of the process by listing hacker fares within its default flight search.Subscribe to Email AlertsMany airlines offer the best deals to subscribers of their email alerts. Spirit, for example, sends out great airfare deals almost every week. Sites like Scott’s Cheap Flights, on the other hand, scour the web daily for last-minute and mistake fares that can prove absurdly cheap. A recent deal touted roundtrip flights from San Francisco to Bali for $364 (including tax), when the usual rate is north of $1,000.Book YesterdayYou may have already missed out on the absolute best holiday air travel deals. However, the prices are only going up through the end of the year. On average, airfare increases between $4-7 per day after Thanksgiving, according to airfare-analysis app Hopper. So, if you’re ready, pull the trigger now. The Best Latex Pillows for Neck and Back Pain How to Pack a Dopp Kit (aka Toiletry Bag) for When You Won’t be Sleeping at Home Rum 101: An Introduction to the Different Types of Rum and How They’re Made last_img read more

Cornwall Regional Expands Accident and Emergency Operations at Mount Salem

first_img The Accident and Emergency (A&E) unit of the Cornwall Regional Hospital, which operates from the Mount Salem Clinic, has been expanded.“We would have almost, if not doubled the capacity at that facility,” Health Minister, Dr. the Hon Christopher Tufton told JIS NEWS.“So it will be a lot easier, more efficient to administer accident and emergency cases,” he said, noting that the expanded space will officially open in another week.Meanwhile, Dr. Tufton informed that an additional 80 beds will be added to the main Cornwall Regional building within four weeks bringing the total room count to 300.He said that ground has been broken for an additional facility for diagnostics. He noted that a number of diagnostic services were previously outsourced “because we couldn’t use the main building.”Dr. Tufton emphasised that enhanced service provision is the main priority of the Health Ministry as it relates to the operations of the Cornwall Regional Hospital.He commended the members of staff, whom he noted “continue to give yeoman service, working very diligently.”The Health Minister also hailed the collaboration with Falmouth Hospital in Trelawny “where we have added about 50-plus rooms doing elective surgeries.”The Government is spending over $3 billion to undertake renovations and repairs at Cornwall Regional.The scope of work includes upgrading of the ventilation system, roof repairs and redesign of some floors. The Accident and Emergency (A&E) unit of the Cornwall Regional Hospital, which operates from the Mount Salem Clinic, has been expanded. Story Highlights Dr. Tufton emphasised that enhanced service provision is the main priority of the Health Ministry as it relates to the operations of the Cornwall Regional Hospital. The scope of work includes upgrading of the ventilation system, roof repairs and redesign of some floors.last_img read more

RPF officials letter asks staff to prepare for law order problem in

first_imgSrinagar: A letter by a Railway Protection Force official in Budgam asking employees to stock rations and take other steps due to “forecast of deteriorating situation” in Kashmir valley “for a long period” created a flutter, following which the Railways on Saturday clarified that the communication had no basis and he had no authority to issue it.A copy of the letter by Sudesh Nugyal, Assistant Security Commissioner (ASC), RPF, Budgam, was shared widely on social media including by former chief minister Omar Abdullah who questioned the motive behind such a missive. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’According to the letter, “As per inputs received from different security agencies and SSP/GRP/SINA (senior superintendent of police Government Railway Police, Srinagar) regarding forecast of deteriorating situation in Kashmir valley and issue of law and order for a long period, a precautionary security meeting was held on July 27.” Nugyal asked employees to take precautionary measures including stocking up ration for at least four months and shifting their families out of the Valley. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K”At least four-month dry ration should be purchased in advance to meet any crisis situation. Store drinking water for at least seven days consumption. Staff should keep their pitthu bag ready with sufficient amount of eatables, drinking water, chocolates, money etc for emergency purpose,” the letter said. However, a clarification was issued by a railways board spokesperson saying the letter was sent without any authority by the next in line to the senior divisional security commissioner, who had proceeded on one-year study leave on July 26,. “The next in line issued this letter based on his own perception which has no basis and is not authorised to issue any such letter. “It is also clarified that the letter does not have any approval from authorising authority. IG (NR) RPF is being sent to Kashmir to assess the situation and take corrective action,” the spokesperson said. The letter said the vehicles should be fully filled with fuel and kept hidden in a safe place as they may be attacked with the intention of damage. “Unnecessary movement of vehicle should be restricted with immediate effect,” the official said in the letter. The staff were directed to not have any negotiations with mob and “mob should not be allowed to come near railway installations if it happens as insurgents may be in mob”. The leave of staff should be restricted due to the emergency situation, the letter read. “Nobody should keep their family or relative in Kashmir valley who may have come for Amarnath yatra. They should be sent back to their native place for safety reasons by July 28. Administration will not hold any responsibility for eventuality,” the letter said. The official also said all GOs were requested to hold such meetings with their senior subordinate staff for safety reasons during the crisis situation as a precautionary measure. Reacting to the letter, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah tweeted, “It’s easy to blame valley residents for fear-mongering but what are we to make of such official orders which forecast a deterioration in the law and order environment and even predict disturbances lasting for an extended period of time? Why is the government silent?”last_img read more

Sajjan asks Trudeau to meet Indian politician behind Sikh separatist controversy

first_imgAGRA, India – The Canadian government is now seeking a meeting with the Indian politician who publicly accused members of Trudeau’s cabinet of being connected to the Sikh separatist movement.While Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his family spent much of their first full day in India touring the Taj Mahal and visiting an elephant rescue sanctuary, behind the scenes efforts were being made to extend an olive branch to Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.At the request of Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan — who was snubbed by Singh when Sajjan visited India last April — Canada’s high commissioner was dispatched to set up a meeting with Singh, Trudeau and Sajjan later this week.Trudeau is scheduled to be in Punjab Wednesday for a visit to the Golden Temple, the holiest site in Sikhism. Three days ago, Trudeau’s officials denied Indian media reports that Singh — the head of that province’s government — was to serve as Trudeau’s tour guide at the temple, and said no meeting was planned.Sunday afternoon however, those same officials said a meeting is now being sought. Indian media are also reporting Singh has asked the Indian external affairs ministry to help him secure a meeting with Trudeau.Singh has accused multiple Trudeau cabinet ministers of being Khalistani sympathizers and has been the most vocal with allegations that Canada’s Sikh communities are a hotbed of Sikh separatists giving oxygen to extremist elements of the cause.Khalistan is the name of the independent Sikh state sought by some members of the Sikh community.Trudeau’s appearances at events where it was believed Sikh separatist leaders were also present ruffled feathers in Delhi over the last two years, and the issue has been raised in private conversations between Trudeau and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.Trudeau is scheduled to meet with Modi in New Delhi on Friday.A motion in the Ontario legislature last year to label anti-Sikh riots at the Golden Temple in 1984 as a genocide, and recent decisions by more than a dozen Canadian gurdwaras to ban entry to Indian diplomats in their official government capacity, have added fuel to India’s concerns about a growing Khalistani effort coming out of Canada.Trudeau and his cabinet ministers, including Sajjan, have loudly denied there is any reason for concern. On Feb. 7, Sajjan called Singh’s accusations “offensive” and “ridiculous.”The Khalistan issue has threatened to cloud Trudeau’s trip but Canadians officials in India tried to downplay it Sunday, saying the relationship couldn’t be sidetracked by a single concern.They pointed to the 30 per cent growth in trade between Canada and India over the last few years, as well as growth in the number of Canadian companies doing business there. The number of Indian students studying in Canada has also tripled in the last three years to 124,000 in 2017.Trudeau is expected to make a statement during this trip reiterating Canada’s policy in favour of a united India, but stressing Canada will not crack down on Sikhs in Canada expressing peacefully their desire for an independent state.A difference of opinion on freedom of speech has been cited by some Indian policy experts as a reason for the dispute between Canada and India over the Khalistan movement, as Delhi would prefer Trudeau do more to quiet any calls among Indian Canadians.The right to freedom of expression was one of many rights issues raised with Trudeau at a meeting with non-governmental organizations Sunday evening. Some were so afraid of reprisals for speaking with him the Canadian government cancelled a planned photo op and refused to release the names of the individuals or even their organizations.Earlier in the day Trudeau, his wife Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau and their children, Xavier, Ella-Grace and Hadrien, flew to Agra to visit the Taj Mahal. Trudeau said he had first been there 35 years ago on a prime ministerial trip with his father, but Pierre Elliott Trudeau had to work and couldn’t join him.“For me to be able to be here on an official trip while bringing my kids with me to share this is really special,” he said. “It sort of shows for me how work-life balance has evolved a bit.”Sophie laughed a little at the latter statement, saying “we’re trying.”Later they drove north of Agra to the SOS Sanctuary and Elephant Conservation and Care Centre in Mathura, where they fed fruits and vegetables to a 23-year-old rescued elephant named Laxmi.— follow @mrabson on Twitter.last_img read more

Nestle buying vitamin supplement maker Atrium Innovations

first_imgNEW YORK, N.Y. – Nestle, the maker of Hot Pockets and Purina dog food, is expanding into vitamins and supplements by buying Atrium Innovations for $2.3 billion.Canada-based Atrium Innovations makes Garden of Life gummy vitamins, protein powder and protein bars. Atrium also makes fish oil capsules and other supplements under different brand names.Packaged food makers like Nestle are looking for ways to appeal to people who favour fresher foods or worry about the ingredients they eat. Nestle, for example, recently bought frozen vegetarian burrito maker Sweet Earth.The Swiss food and beverage giant is buying Atrium from a group of investors led by private-equity firm Permira Funds. It expects the deal to close in early 2018 and Atrium will become part of Nestle’s health science business, which makes Boost shakes.last_img read more

iEARN-Morocco Hosts Christopher Stevens Youth Network Workshop in Rabat

By Abderrahman Ismaili AlaouiRabat – The Moroccan Education and Resource Network (MEARN) hosted on September 08-09, a workshop for 11 English teachers from public and private schools at Center for Modern Languages in Rabat as part of the Christopher Stevens Youth Network (CSYN): Global Connections 2.0 Program, funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.The main objective of the workshop was to introduce the participants to iEARN, the Chris Stevens Youth Network, and to focus on building educators’ skills for online, global project-integrated Project Based Learning in teaching through iEARN projects. CSYN connects 19 classrooms in the Middle East, North Africa, and U.S. through online, global projects to give high school students an international experience, build relationships across countries, and provide a deeper understanding of global and local issues in their curriculum.Mr. Jamal Eddine Slimani began the workshop with a debriefing of iEARN-Morocco’s outstanding achievements and projects, and spoke about the project of CSYN online courses. Teachers worked on project planning activities together and explored the Collaboration Centre, iEARN’s online platform, to connect with other teachers around the world.In the second part of the workshop, Mr. Noureddine Laouni discussed the best practices for international communication. He introduced the participants to the project-based learning (PBL) and how to apply it in their teaching.Abderrahman Ismaili Alaoui is a teacher of English in Moulay Idriss Zerhoune, Morocco. He holds a Master’s in communication studies from the University of Cadi Ayyad in Marrakech, Morocco. He is a contributor to Morocco World News. read more

FAR Takes Disciplinary Action against Military Officials Involved in Illegal Activities

Rabat – The Inspector General of the Moroccan Armed Forces (FAR) has taken disciplinary action against military officials involved in illegal monetary activities, reported the Moroccan daily Al Massae on Monday.The disciplinary action came after FAR’s committee found several cases of embezzlement in army supply transactions occurring in a number of military units in southern Morocco, as well as suspected discrepancies in the ordering of food provisions by officials in the same area.FAR is expected to appoint new officials to replace those suspected, who may be transferred to other areas Al Massae added. These discrepancies in military provision transactions are a sensitive issue for the Moroccan military, and Bouchaib Arroub, the FAR Inspector General, has begun an inquiry in which action will be taken against any official who is found to not be abiding by the military’s regulations. read more

Board overseeing Iraq oil revenues briefs Security Council

Following the meeting, UN Controller Jean-Pierre Halbwachs, who chairs the International Monitoring and Advisory Board (IAMB), told reporters that he had relayed the Board’s concerns on key issues to the Council.He said one was a lack of “metering” to measure the crude being extracted at the source, and because of this, “there could be no guarantee that all the oil could be accounted for.”Mr. Halbwachs noted that the now-defunct Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) had worked to address the lack of meters, but predicted that the complicated problem would take over a year to resolve.The second issue concerned barter. As a result of that practice, “money does not go into the DFI,” Mr. Halbwachs said.The IAMB also had concerns about sole-sourced contracts, he said, noting that there had been a number of audits of the problem. “We are seeking to see these audits to see what is in there [but] we have not been able to do so,” he said.He noted that on the general problem of sole-sourced contracts, “if you don’t go to bids to get a contract, you are not sure that you actually got a very good price for it.” read more

Pen TypeA minimal pen maximum awesome

first_imgMany of the projects I see on Kickstarter seem interesting, but all to often they crumble under investigation. The thought of sponsoring a product makes one feel like it should be perfect, like just the thing you’ve always wanted. If something doesn’t measure up to that standard, then why go through with sponsorship and waiting for it to hit the target amount (if it ever does)? Occasionally something like the Glif comes along and it’s exactly what you had in mind. Then you get a chance to play a small role in something extremely cool.The Pen Type-A is my latest Kickstarter love, and one that is OK to get excited about because it has hit its funding goal. For the project two Brooklyn-based designers made a very cool pen, or rather a bomb-proof stainless steel body for the popular Pilot Hi-Tec-C pen cartridge. The Hi-Tec-C is known for its thin tip and light touch, but unless you get the fancy metal version you have to use the standard flimsy plastic body. The Pen Type-A, as seen above, moves to machined steel that fits into a stout, 2.6 ounce steel housing that acts as a cap. The square part won’t roll away, has a ruler etched onto the side, and delivers a wonderful “pop” when the precision-machined inner piece slides from it.AdChoices广告The pen will eventually sell for $99 but through Kickstarter backers can get it for $50. As of posting the project had raised more than $80,000, over 30 times the $2500 goal, which will make for an initial run of over 1600 pens. There are 24 days to go and word is still spreading, which has me a bit worried about how long it will take for these to be produced. Just like a rampant Groupon deal, it seems possible that unexpected success could become even more of  a problem than falling short of a set goal. The projects founders have three weeks to figure it out so hopefully they’ll have some way of expanding capacity past their original 50 pen goal (presumeably they would have marked the pens as “Sold Out” if they did’t).So if you want an cleanly designed, indestructible housing for a highly regarded, very affordable pen cartridge than this is your chance. You can be pretty sure you won’t see anyone else at the office with one of these.Learn more about the Pen Type-A or order one at Kickstarter.last_img read more

IndiGo FY15 Net Profit Rises Over 300 Ahead of IPO

first_imgBudget airline IndiGo has reported a 300% rise in its net profit for the financial year ending March 2015, ahead of the company’s listing on the stock exchanges later this year or early next year.India’s biggest airline by market share, Indigo earned a net profit of Rs 1,304 crore in 2014-15, up from Rs 317 crore in the previous financial year. The company’s revenues rose to Rs 14, 320 crore from Rs 11,447 crore, The Economic Times reported.Indigo said its capacity in available seat kilometers (ASKs) increased to 35.3 million in 2014-15, up from 29.9 million ASKs in 2013-14. The carrier had filed a pre-IPO prospectus with the market regulator, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), in June to raise $400 million (Rs 2,500 crore).Currently, IndiGo runs 648 flights daily and has a fleet of 97 A320 planes. In August, the airline said that it had signed a deal with aerospace company Airbus to buy 250 A320neo aircraft for over $25 billion.The carrier had a market share of 33.8% in the domestic passenger traffic in 2014-15.In July this year, Qatar Airways had said that it was in discussions with IndiGo to buy a stake in it while denying reports of any such talks with SpiceJet.Before that, in May, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker had evinced interest in acquiring 49% stake in IndiGo. Recently, the promoters of IndiGo altered the company’s shareholding structure to provide more scope for overseas capital in the company’s initial public offering (IPO). Under the new capital structure, the stake held by one of its promoters, Rakesh Gangwal, has become his personal holding. Gangwal holds 47.88% in Indigo’s parent company, InterGlobe Enterprises, through US-based Caelum Investment.last_img read more

Exminister M Shamsul Islam passes away

first_imgFormer information minister M Shamsul Islam. Photo: UNBFormer information minister M Shamsul Islam died at a city hospital on Thursday, reports UNB. He was 87.Shamsul Islam, also a former BNP standing committee member, breathed his last at United Hospital at 1:40pm, said his personal secretary Kamrul Hasan.He said the former minister had been receiving treatment at the hospital for various old-age complications since 17 April.He is survived by two sons and a host of relatives and admirers to mourn his death.The BNP leader’s first namaz-e-janaza was held at Gulshan Azad Mosque after Magrib prayers, and then his body was kept at United Hospital mortuary.Shamsul Islam’s second janaza will be held at 9:00am on Friday at the South Plaza of Parliament Complex, while the third one in front of BNP’s Naya Paltan central office at 10.00am.From Naya Paltan, his body will be taken to his village home in Munshiganj.He will be buried at his family graveyard at Tinsuri in Sadar upazila following his fourth janaza there after Jum’a prayers.Born on 1 January 1932, Islam joined BNP’s politics right after its formation. He was appointed Bangladesh high commissioner to Indonesia in 1979.He was elected MP thrice with BNP’s tickets in 1991, 1996 and 2001 from his home constituency.When BNP formed government in 1991, he was first made state minister for post and telecommunications and then food minister.Later, he performed as both the food and the information minister from 1993 to 1996.He was first made land minister during BNP’s rule in 2001 and later given the charge of the information ministry.last_img read more

ExAtlanta Educators Conviction Ignites Fury on Social Media

first_imgSupporters of former Atlanta public school educators who were sentenced in a cheating scandal while attending a vigil outside Fulton County Superior Court, Tuesday, April 14, 2015, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)A group of nine former Atlanta public school educators were convicted April 10 for participating in a massive cheating scandal to inflate student scores on standardized tests. According to the Associated Press, a state investigation found that as far back as 2005, educators from the school system fed answers to students and changed answers on tests that were submitted. The sentences ranged from one year to seven years in prison. After the news of the sentencing broke, Facebook users flooded the AFRO’s page to voice their disdain.Ron Brown – Unbelievable! [A] teacher can have sex with students and walk away on probation. The judicial system is very flawed. Rochelle Ates – Meanwhile in Mississippi, White girls are getting 5-7 years for the lynch mob slaying of a Black man…and nothing at all for the other victims they hunted down and beat on that they admitted to. Brittany Danielle – The system was NEVER and NEVER will be built with OUR interests at heart. The system was never built for us. Sad but true. Russell Sprinkle – Until we unite as a whole; Church, mosques, Greek organizations and community, then we can bring awareness to the unfair judicial process in America. That judge is an elected official. Hint! Get our peoples registered NOW! Sherry Tuston – White folks do this everyday all day and have been since the beginning of time how do you think their kids make it over—Surely it’s not because “all” their kids are smarter than our kids. When given the same opportunities our kids overshadow them 100% if not more. Stacy Harbin – But u can rape and get pregnant by a student and live happily ever after smdh… Michael Darden – Atlanta please use your vote!!!!! Linda Lane – Their sentence is as ridiculous as their crime. Where are the protestors now? Not all crimes against Blacks are violent. WHERE ARE THE PROTESTERS???last_img read more

Sleaze racket busted in Salt Lake 6 held

first_imgKolkata: Criminal Investigation Department (CID) busted a sleaze racket from a hotel in Salt Lake, Sector II and arrested six persons, including the hotel manager. Six girls including two minor have been rescued by the CID.Acting on a tip off, a team of officers from the CID raided the hotel on Thursday night and arrested the persons who were allegedly involved in the sleaze racket. According to the preliminary investigation, the CID officials suspect that the racket has been operating from the hotel for quite sometime. The CID had specific information that illegal activities were going on in the hotel. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe investigators also suspect that among the arrested persons, there are some child traffickers whose job was to deploy women, even minors in this flesh trade. According to the CID, among the six arrested persons, there is the manager of the hotel, three employees of the hotel, one female and one male trafficker. It was also confirmed by the CID sources that six women including two minors have been rescued from the hotel.The investigators suspect that they were lured by these traffickers with various false promises. Police are also investigating if the arrested persons were a part of any international trafficking racket. The officers are, however, not ruling out the possibility of their involvement in such a racket. A detailed probe has been initiated in this regard. The accused are being interrogated in this connection. A specific case has been started at Bidhannagar East police station. The arrested persons have been identified as Tanmoy Saha, a resident of Dr M N Saha Road in Dum Dum in North 24 Parganas, while Babu Sona Majhi, a resident of Ketugram in East Burdwan is found to be a trafficker. Raju Das and Tuhin Banerjee, both from Bankura district were found to be the employees of the hotel. Another hotel employee, Sandip Mishra, a resident of Naragoria under Raghunathpur in Purulia has also been arrested. Krishna Debnath from Surya Sen Colony area in Barasat is the manager of the hotel has been arrested as well.last_img read more

Bandhan Creation launches Shraddha a collection for elders

first_imgBandhan Creation, a one-stop destination store that upholds the country’s culture and heritage, recently launched the mint fresh Shraddha Collection for senior citizens at their outlet in South Kolkata. Shraddha will be a dedicated corner in each Bandhan Creation outlet which will showcase apparel, accessories and giftables especially crafted for the senior citizens of the country. The latest endeavour of Bandhan Creation’s ‘Shraddha’ is a tribute to the elders amongst us who give so much to the next generation and society at large. It is not a way of giving back but it is an inspiration to express our heartfelt gratitude and love for their presence and guidance. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfBandhan Creation is a market-driven initiative to put the spotlight on the undiscovered talent of rural artisans and find the right price for their products. This unique fashion and lifestyle chain offers an attractive collection of apparel, home furnishing and decor, candles, decorative artefacts and accessories made by traditional handloom artisans from rural India. “Introducing a special line for the elderly section of the society has always been my dream and this is my way of paying homage to our seniors. The sale of every product from this store supports the livelihood of the artisans in West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Telangana, Rajasthan and a few other states. The plan is to turn Bandhan Creation into a national chain, marking its presence in most Indian states,” said Nilima Ghosh, Managing Director, Bandhan Creation. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveBandhan Creation is a perfect meeting ground for indigenous creativity and modern lifestyle. The collection of home furnishing, table-top items made of wood and cane are a connoisseurs’ delight. Patachitra, dokra, kantha, applique, block prints, terracotta, ceramic and other items find a new expression at this outlet. The collection of garments covers men’s and women’s range such as kurta, kurti, tops, dupatta, stole, skirt, palazzo, jacket, shirt made from various fabrics including ajrak, bagru and dabu. The jewellery collection is made from fabric, stone, dokra and silver. Each and every product that one buys from Bandhan Creation backs its vision and endeavour towards supporting the livelihood of artisans across the country and thus helps revive and promote national heritage. The programme was graced by legendary artistes and writers of West Bengal.Four Bandhan Creation outlets are located at the city: at Gariahat, Salt Lake City, Eco Park, New Town and Jessore Road, Kolkata.last_img read more

Flight Centre expands in North America with new appointment

first_imgFlight Centre Travel Group (FCTG) has expanded its Global Corporate Product Team following the appointment of Laura Kern as its new Director of Global Product for Corporate Procurement in Northern America.Ms Kern’s appointment to this newly created position will consolidate the reach and performance of FCTG’s Global Corporate Product program, which builds and maintains preferred partnerships with hotel and car rental suppliers to increase land bookings with FCTG’s corporate brands worldwide.These include FCm Travel Solutions, Corporate Traveller, Stage and Screen Travel Services and Campus Travel.Ms Kern will be responsible for managing and strengthening FCTG’s partnerships with its North American supplier partners, and will strategically lead the development of corporate product offerings as well as their delivery and distribution, marketing, promotion, incentivisation and training via FCTG’s corporate sales, business development and account management teams.Ms Kern brings to the role experience and success in leading an award-winning team to achieve unprecedented growth in corporate land sales in Canada.She offers detailed knowledge of the business travel industry, having worked in a range of consultant and leadership roles since joining FCTG in 2000.Flight Centre Corporate Executive Director Global Product, Andrew Gallard, said Laura’s appointment would give FCTG’s corporate product team a vital on-the-ground presence in North America, and greater ability to build on its relationships with US, Canadian and Mexican based suppliers.Over recent years, the role has been performed by FCTG’s Australia-based corporate product team.“This new position will enable our team to have a dedicated and on-the-ground focus in this region, which is a key area in our global corporate land development strategy,” Mr Gallard said.“Laura’s appointment will maximise value in growing our global partner relationships with preferred suppliers and grow opportunities through analytics, planning and contract negotiations.”Source = Flight Centre Travel Grouplast_img read more