WASHINGTON, D.C.—When Winifred Frick sits down at her computer to look at radar maps, it’s not to track a local thunderstorm. It’s to follow bats. A bat ecologist at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Frick uses weather radars to monitor the movements of animals that used to vanish quickly from scientists’s view as they took to the night sky for daily or seasonal journeys. Her research is part of a new field of study, called aeroecology, that looks at the interactions between flying animals and their airspace. Given the numbers of birds and bats killed at wind turbines, there is a great urgency to better understand the movements of airborne animals.Frick has discovered that at least one bat species is quite particular about the weather. Brazilian free-tailed bats, common in the south-central United States and Mexico, emerge from their daytime slumber at different times of day depending on the temperature and humidity, as Frick and her colleagues will report here Saturday at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (which publishes ScienceNOW).Radars are a window into airspace. They send out radio waves that reflect off raindrops, airplanes, bats, and so forth. To predict storms, meteorologists must filter out reflections from organisms. So what Frick needs are the unfiltered raw data, which are less readily available. Until recently, researchers could typically look at information from just a few places for a few points in time.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(*)At the meeting, Frick and her colleagues described a new Web portal, called Surveillance Of Aeroecology using weather Radar, that makes using radar data much easier for biologists. To compile weather and flood information used by forecasters around the country, the National Severe Storm Laboratory in Norman, Oklahoma, stitches together data from 156 NEXRAD radars from across the United States and overlays the filtered information on a U.S. map. Researchers can look at the big picture or zoom in to a particular locale. The data are updated every 5 minutes, and all of the information is archived.Now the lab is making it easy for researchers to download and use not just data processed for meteorologists, but the unfiltered data as well. And in the next few years, those radars will be upgraded. The new equipment may allow biologists to tell birds, insects, and bats apart, something they can’t do right now.”It’s a tool that can be used by lots of people to ask a variety of different questions,” says Frick. “It will really open up the field.”With a few strikes on her keyboard, Frick was able to call up daily radar data that covered a bat cave in Texas. That data showed what time the bats emerged from the cave for their nightly insect hunts. It was very dry during 2009 and 2010 was very wet, allowing her to get a sense of how the climate affected emergence time. During the dry year, the bats tended to come out relatively early, and hotter days meant even earlier starts, she found. But during wet years, hot days resulted in late starts. “How local weather affects the bats depends on the seasonal climate,” she explains.The bats are balancing the need to wait until dark, when day-flying hawks stop hunting, and the need to catch the insects when they are most plentiful, right at dusk. Also, dehydration is a factor on hot days. In moist years, the bugs thrive, so there’s more to eat and insects stay active longer on hotter days. But in dry years, water stress and fewer insects make the bats come out earlier, says Frick.”We’ve been limited in the past in that we haven’t had very good methods for seeing up in the night skies and the air above us,” says Paul Cryan, a research biologist at the U.S. Geological Survey in Fort Collins, Colorado, who is not connected with the work. Now with the easier access to radar data, Cryan says that researchers such as Frick “are just starting to see patterns that are meaningful.”Follow our full coverage of AAAS 2011
By Kelly ServickAug. 2, 2018 , 1:10 PM The cuts are also part of a strategic move to concentrate the organization’s energy around preterm birth, Moley adds. “It’s vital that we invest all of our resources into research program that have the greatest potential to impact the biggest threat right now facing newborn babies, and that’s preterm birth.”Researchers are lamenting the loss of a key funding source for early-stage research. “These sort of basic research grants in developmental biology are hard to come by,” says developmental biologist Maria Jasin of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, who had a $250,000 award from March of Dimes to study a protein that influences DNA rearrangement during sperm and egg formation. “It’s really a shame that there will now be this hole.”Jasin and other grantees, blindsided by the cuts, are scrambling to find ways to keep their projects on track after learning in an email last week that they had lost the organization’s support.“The way they’ve approached this has been completely inhumane,” says molecular cell biologist Andrew Holland of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, who received an email last week from March of Dimes telling him that he would not be receiving the remaining $160,000 on a 3-year, $250,000 grant from the organization to study a genetic pathway that appears to contribute to microcephaly. “The lack of transparency has been nothing short of appalling,” he says of the notification process.The message to grantees, obtained by Science, said the organization has, since the start of this year, been “transforming and modernizing its operation to ensure the long-term viability and impact of the organization” and that its research grant program was “being reviewed and modernized to ensure it is aligned with the organization’s broader transformation.”“I understand that these foundations sometimes have money problems, and they can stop things,” says chromosome biologist Andreas Hochwagen of New York University in New York City, whose March of Dimes–funded project has probed chromosomal mishaps during the creation of sperm and egg cells. But he was startled to learn last week that the organization would only disperse 2018 funding owed through the end of June. “For the whole month of July … they didn’t tell me that I wasn’t being supported anymore,” he says. “That I find a little outrageous.”Moley acknowledged that cut has created “a little bit of a gap” for some researchers. “I understand this is difficult for them, and I know the March of Dimes has been very generous in the past,” she says. “I’m hoping that as … we are getting more donations from other donors and other sources, we can go back to funding a more broad focus.”This isn’t the first transformation for March of Dimes. It was founded by then-President Franklin Roosevelt in 1938 as the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis with the mission of fighting polio. But after polio vaccines became widely available, the organization shifted its focus to studying and preventing birth defects. March of Dimes, the 80-year-old nonprofit organization that has funded pioneering studies on premature birth, infant mortality, and birth defects, is abruptly scaling back its investment in research amid financial struggles—catching scientists by surprise.Last week, the group told 37 of 42 recipients of its individual investigator awards that it is cutting short their grants. On average, the grants total $300,000 over 3 years. It plans to maintain reduced funding for just five such awards; all are focused on understanding and preventing premature birth. The group, based in White Plains, New York, is also trimming grants to its prematurity research centers, which are housed at academic institutions around the United States. And it will not award any new research grants this year, but will still give out its 2-year, $150,000 awards for young scientists in 2019.The moves are part of an effort to slice about $3 million from the March of Dimes’s annual research budget of roughly $20 million, says Kelle Moley, the group’s chief scientific officer. The belt-tightening is the result of declining donations, particularly from the organization’s signature March for Babies. “The walks were our main funding source … and now there’s a million different kinds of walks,” she says. “They’re just not getting the donations that we used to get 10 or 20 years ago.” The group’s tax filings show that expenses exceeded revenue in each year from 2012 to 2016. It announced last year that it would be selling its national headquarters in White Plains.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(*) March of Dimes abruptly scales back research funding March of Dimes, which sponsors the nationwide March for Babies fundraiser, will reduce its funding for research on birth defects and infant mortality. Parker Knight/Flickr (CC BY-SA)
Cricket fraternity has given Kumar Sangakkara a grand farewell. The retiring legend has received a lot of praise after his final Test innings on Sunday.The latest to join the list is the Indian skipper Virat Kohli, who has penned a congratulatory message for Sangakkara.Also read: Tendulkar welcomes Sangakkara to the club of the retired “It’s been an absolute pleasure knowing you as a person first and no words can explain your great cricketing achievements. You have inspired so many people and shown them the way. Lucky to have played in the same era as you. Thanks for everything. God bless you and your family and wish you the best in life ahead,” the message read.Here’s a pic of #TeamIndia skipper @imVkohli’s message to @KumarSanga2 #ThankYouSanga pic.twitter.com/iMKOHKd99P BCCI (@BCCI) August 24, 2015The Indian team has shown appreciation by giving guard of honour to Sangakkara in his last two Test innings. The Sri Lankan veteran was dismissed in his final innings for 18.
FIFA head Gianni Infantino on Saturday appealed for football to take a “zero tolerance” approach to racism after the Ligue 1 match between Dijon and Amiens was interrupted following monkey chants directed at Prince Gouano. “FIFA urges all member associations leagues, clubs and disciplinary bodies to adopt the same procedure, as well as a zero-tolerance approach to incidents of racism in football, and to apply harsh sanctions for any such kind of behaviour,” Infantino said in a statement. The abuse levelled at Gouano in Friday’s goalless draw comes after rising Italy star Moise Kean was racially abused by Cagliari fans earlier in the month, while Inter Milan fans took aim at Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly in December. England players were also subjected to monkey chants during a Euro 2020 qualifier in Montenegro and there have been a series of episodes involving London clubs. “FIFA stands together with Prince Gouano, Kalidou Koulibaly, Raheem Sterling, Danny Rose, as well as any other player, coach, fan or participant in a football match who has suffered from racism, whether at the highest professional level or in a school playground,” Infantino added. The clash in Dijon was halted in the 78th minute as players from both sides stopped playing and headed towards the touchline after Gouano said he heard insults. “It’s over,” Gouano said.Related News Mid-day hosts first-of-its-kind girls football tournament | Ranis of Rink 2019 Kevin De Bruyne: Manchester City have to put in hard work to retain EPL crown “We’re not playing on. I’m taking off my team-mates.” Players, including Gouano, went to remonstrate with fans, while referee Karim Abed also asked the stadium announcer to “get the message across, if it happens again, we stop”. Following discussions between players, coaches and officials, play then resumed. “In Dijon, we saw that it was an isolated supporter who could be identified and arrested,” football sociologist Nicolas Hourcade, a professor at the Central School of Lyon, told AFP. “In other countries, there are collective demonstrations where a whole section of the ground, or a good part of one, can shout monkey chants or racist slogans.” After the game, the French football league (LFP) said it would investigate and also announced that Dijon had identified the culprit. The club said they intended to press charges. “These disgusting shouts are contrary to the values conveyed by sport, they insult our Republic, and I welcome the rapid reaction of the LFP: racism will never have a place in France,” responded Interior Minister Christophe Castaner. Anti-racism campaigners urge abandoning matches. “It’s very important to stop. It points out that there is something that is not in the spirit of football,” former France captain Lilian Thuram told Europe 1 radio. “When you watch the matches, particularly in Italy, the presidents and referees act as if they hadn’t heard.” The ugly scenes in Cagliari on April 2 when Kean, along with Blaise Matuidi and Brazilian Alex Sandro, were targeted by monkey noises and jeers throughout the match, came after Matuidi suffered similar abuse at the same ground last year. ‘Openly fascist’Instead of denouncing their fans, Cagliari’s leadership blamed Kean for celebrating his late winner by standing motionless and silent with arms spread in front of the hostile stand. “Italy is a case apart for two reasons,” Hourcade said. “The historical strength of the extreme right, and the presence of openly fascist fan organisations.” But in England too, there have been numerous recent incidents at all levels of football. On Thursday, half a dozen Chelsea fans posted a video on social media in which they sang that Liverpool’s Egyptian star, Mohamed Salah, was a “bomber”. Chelsea identified and barred three of the fans. Arsenal are attempting to identify a fan who was caught on video shouting racist abuse at Napoli’s Koulibaly in a Europa League game on Thursday. In December, Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling was the target of insults at Chelsea and a Tottenham fan threw a banana in the direction of Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. One of the major issues is “to identify the perpetrators of these acts to punish them,” said Hourcade. Spurs’ England defender Rose has blasted the game’s rulers for failing to rein in racism, calling their efforts “a farce”. Catch up on all the latest sports news and updates here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates ‘Starstruck’ David Beckham shares photo with Game of Thrones actress Emilia Clarke
India’s track and field athletes will begin their campaign in the Rio Olympics today with little hope to break the 116-year-old medal jinx. (FULL 2016 RIO OLYMPICS COVERAGE)With the history-chasing Jamaican sprinter, Usian Bolt, once again set to take centrestage in arguably the most popular Olympic discipline, the Indians are not expected to be a force to reckon with. (Rio 2016 organisers call Vijay Goel ‘rude’, threaten to cancel Sports Minister’s accreditation)NO MEDAL SINCE 1900 India may not have won any medal since Norman Pritchard’s 200m silver in the Paris 1900 but the 34-member athletics contingent is here to put up some promising shows by making at least the final, if not getting onto the podium.Making his fourth successive Olympics appearance, a feat no other Indian athlete has achieved, discus thrower Vikas Gowda will start India’s campaign in athletics when he takes the field at the Olympic Stadium in the morning session.The reigning Commonwealth Games champion had progressed into the final in London 2012 and had finished eighth and the 33-year-old US-based thrower, perhaps in his final Olympics, would look to sign off on a high. (Didn’t misbehave with anyone, Vijay Goel tells India Today after Rio controversy)There were some concerns about his shoulder injury as Gowda has been missing all season and it remains to be seen if he is able to better his personal best of 66.28, achieved four years ago.Having produced 17.30m, the third best in the world, at the Indian Grand Prix, Bengaluru exactly two months ago, triple jumper Renjith Maheshwary is expected to share the spotlight.advertisementThe Kerala-born jumper was a big flop in Beijing 2008 and London 2012 as he’s not able to sustain his effort at the international level and this year it would be a big test for him to make the final.LEAPS AND BOUNDS Having produced 8.19 in Kazakhstan and eclipsing the national record of 8.09 while qualifying for Rio, long jumper Ankit Sharma has improved by leaps and bounds.”The time has come to do better, I’ve worked on my strength and speed which is helping me during the take-off and landing,” he said.Having breached the eight-metre mark at the Kerala National Games last year, Ankit, who hails from Pinhat village in Agra, has made rapid progress and will be one of the Indian athletes to watch out for.Ankit started this year on a good note when he broke a 27-year event record held by Pakistan’s Md. Urfan, by registering a leap of 7.89m at the South Asian Games.Shifting to distance events, Russian coach Nikolai Snesarev’s three wards OP Jaisha, Sudha Singh and Lailta Babar would look to make it count.In steeplechase, Sudha (9:26.55s) and Lalita (9:27.09) are in 17th and 18th place respectively among the qualifiers, led by Ruth Chibet (8:59.97s), and the duo are expected to qualify for the finals.”I will talk after their event finishes. I don’t want to talk big at this point of time,” Snesarev told PTI.Jaisha and Kavita Raut will compete in marathon and the target would be to break into two hours and 30 minutes mark.The Indian 4×400 relay team also holds some promise, particularly the women’s quartet – Asian champions and national record holders who are capable of making the last eight.Coming to road events, India have six race walkers, including three in men’s 20km, who are all capable of springing a surprise.SPRINT QUEEN India will also have representation in women’s sprint for the first time since 1980 with Odisha’s Dutee Chand, who has fought a landmark gender determination case beore qualifying, being the focus.”I’ve fought all odds, the time has come to realise my dream and put up a good show,” Dutee said.PT Usha was the last Indian woman to participate in the 100m event in Moscow 1980 Olympics, and Dutee will go all out and the first challenge for her will be to make the semis.Usha’s protege Tintu Luka, who will feature in the 800m event, will look to finish well.India’s build-up to the Olympics had started on a unsavoury note when shot putter Inderjeet Singh was found to have tested positive for a banned substance.In London 2012, India had a few highs with national records from walkers KT Irfan (20km, 10th finish) and Basanta Bahadur Rana (50km, 36th finish), and final spots for throwers Vikas Gowda and Krishna Poonia.It will be interesting to see whether the contingent are able to improve on their London showing.Squad:Men: Muhammad Anas Yahiya (400m & 4x400m relay), Jinson Johnson (800m), Ankit Sharma (long jump), Renjith Maheswary (triple jump), Vikas Gowda (discus throw), Nitendra Singh Rawat (marathon), Gopi T (marathon), Kheta Ram (marathon), Manish Singh Rawat (20Km Race Walking), Gurpreet Singh (20Km Race Walking), Ganapathi K (20Km Race Walking), Sandeep Kumar (50Km Race Walking), Arokia Rajiv (4x400m relay), Kunhu Muhammed (4x400m relay), A Dharun (4x400m relay), Mohankumar R (4x400m relay), Lalith Mathur (4x400m relay).advertisementWomen: Dutee Chand (100m), Srabani Nanda (200m), Nirmala (400m & 4x400m relay), Tintu Luka (800m), Sudha Singh (3000m steeple chase), Lalita Babar (3000m steeple chase), Manpreet Kaur (shot put), Seema Punia (discus throw), OP Jaisha (marathon), Kavita Raut (marathon), Khushbir Kaur (20km Race Walking), Sapna (20km Race Walking), MR Poovamma (4x400m relay), Anilda Thomas (4x400m relay), Jisna Mathew (4x400m relay), Ashwini AC (4x400m relay), Debashree Majumdar (4x400m relay).(With PTI inputs)
Kathmandu: India will fancy their chances of sealing a semifinal spot when they take on a struggling Sri Lanka in the SAFF U-18 Championship here on Wednesday. India were held to a goalless draw by Bangladesh in their opening match of the tournament on Monday. They take on Sri Lanka in their last group league match and need just a draw to qualify for the semifinals. Bangladesh sit pretty with a 3-0 victory over Sri Lanka and a 0-0 draw against India. Head Coach Floyd Pinto, who is confident the side will put up an improved performance aginst Sri Lanka, emphasised on creating goal scoring chances. “I am sure the boys will improve against Sri Lanka. They are capable of playing much better football. We need to create chances and get the goals. The goals are crucial in our quest to qualify for the semis. We aim to score as many as possible, and proceed to the semis as group winners,” Pinto said. The good news is that goalkepeer Prabshukhan Singh Gill, who had to be stretchered early in the first-half against Bangladesh due to a nasty head injury, is stable. “All the reports are normal. But as it’s a head injury, we need to keep him under our observation for the next 48 hours. We look forward to him playing a part in the later stages of the Championship,” the coach said. Pinto, who saw Sri Lanka’s 0-3 defeat at the hands of Bangladesh, said that the island-nation would provide a good competition to India. “They created chances. They have some good dribblers, and nippy players. We cannot ever take them lightly. At the same time if we can keep better possession of the ball, and construct attacks the manner we have been planning to, we can nullify them.” Catch up on all the latest sports news and updates here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates
New Delhi, Mar 12 (PTI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Mary Kom Regional Boxing Foundation in Imphal on March 16 and present in the long-awaited event will be Olympic medallists — boxer Vijender Kumar and wrestler Sushil Kumar. Nestled at the foot of Langol hills in Manipurs Imphal West district, Mary Koms Boxing Academy, spread across 3.3 acres, is around 10 km from the center of state capital Imphal. It currently houses 45 young boxers, including 20 girls, at the three-storey building. The land was allotted by the Manipur government in 2013, and the academys construction was funded by National Sports Development Fund (NSDF). “The foundation is grateful to both central and state government for establishment of these sports facilities after many years of struggle since its inception in 2006,” it said in a press release.”The foundation expresses their gratitude to PMO for making (it) to the event and formally handover the buildings to the foundation for promotion of boxing sports.” A five-time world and Asian champion, Mary Kom is also the countrys only woman boxer with an Olympic medal (a bronze won in London 2012 Games). The 35-year-old was christened Magnificent Mary by the International Boxing Association (AIBA) a few years ago for her stellar career, which also includes an Asian Games gold medal. The most recent chapter of her extraordinary life journey was becoming a Rajya Sabha MP in 2016 and winning her fifth Asian Championships gold medal a year later. PTI AH AH
Assistant coach Ognjen Vukojevic was sacked by Croatia’s Football Federation (HNS) on Monday, two days ahead of the World Cup semi-finals against England.He was sacked over “glory to Ukraine” video posted after Croatia beat Russia in the quarter-finals.Vukojevic and Croatia defender Domagoj Vida published the video on social media after the match on Saturday in a move which was criticised by Russian politicians and led to a warning from FIFA’s disciplinary committee.Relations between Ukraine and World Cup hosts Russia remain fraught after the latter’s 2014 annexation of the Crimean peninsula and its backing for a pro-Russian uprising in the east of the country.2018 FIFA WORLD CUP: FULL COVERAGEHNS said it had revoked Vukojevic’s accreditation at the World Cup and relieved him of his duties as an observer for the Croatia squad.”HNS hereby apologises to the Russian public for the actions of a member of the Croatian delegation,” it said.HNS said Vukojevic and Vida apologised for their statements, saying they were not intended to be political messages but “unfortunately left room for such interpretations”.Dealing with Croatia’s midfield biggest test for SouthgateBoth Vukojevic and the 29-year-old Vida previously played for Ukrainian club Dynamo Kiev.Croatia face England in the World Cup semi-finals in Moscow on Wednesday.Questions on the subject were not allowed when Croatia players Mario Mandzukic and Andrej Kramaric spoke at a news conference in Moscow later on Monday.United Kingdom divided as England battle for spot in World Cup 2018 final”We have been quite clear on the matter, that is the position of the federation and we don’t need to ask the players,” a Croatia team spokesman said.advertisementFIFA later handed Vukojevic a fine of 15,000 Swiss francs ($15,000) and a warning for unsporting behaviour, adding that the assistant coach had apologised for his actions.(With Reuters inputs)
MIAMI GARDENS, FL – SEPTEMBER 5: A general view of Sun Life Stadium prior to the game between the Miami Hurricanes and the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats on September 5, 2015 in Miami Gardens, Florida. Sun Life Stadium ins in the middle of a two year renovation. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)Spring practice at Miami is underway, and preparation for the 2015 season has gotten off to a good start for Al-Quadin Muhammad. The Hurricanes’ sophomore defensive end, who was suspended for the 2014 season due to an altercation with a former student, spent some of his time away bulking up. His improved physique is showing on the field. Check out Muhammad absolutely destroying Miami freshman offensive lineman Jahair Jones during a pass rush drill: The new, bulked up AQM introduced himself to recent enrollee Jahair Jones today. @Qua_Nito pic.twitter.com/mtDxM931sm— Canes Warning (@CanesWarningFS) February 24, 2015Better luck next time, Jahair. The Hurricanes open their season Sept. 5 against Bethune-Cookman.
India Today Web Desk New DelhiAugust 3, 2019UPDATED: August 3, 2019 10:26 IST India vs West Indies Dream 11 Prediction, 1st T20I (Reuters Photo)India take on West Indies in the 1st of the 3-match T20I series at Central Broward Regional Park Stadium Turf Ground in Lauderhill, Florida on Saturday.India will be looking to begin preparations for next year’s T20 World Cup with a strong showing against the West Indies on the road. Virat Kohli will be leading a squad with a good mix of youth and experience.While MS Dhoni and Hardik Pandya are missing out, Shikhar Dhawan’s return to fitness is a big boost for Team India. The availability of young middle-order batsmen in Shreyas Iyer and Manish Pandey adds a lot of firepower to the Indian batting unit.On the other hand, India have gone in with a new-look bowling unit which will be led by Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Rahul Chahar, Ravindra Jadeja and Washington Sundar are the spinners while the addition of Navdeep Saini, Deepak Chahar and Khaleel Ahmed brings a lot of excitement around the pace battery.West Indies, on the other hand, will be missing Andre Russell due to an injury on Saturday.Dream XI Predictions – India vs West Indies, 1st T20IBatsmenRohit Sharma, given his form at the World Cup, should be your first name on the sheet. Shikhar Dhawan, who is certain to start for India, is a good option but Evin Lewis with his firepower can be a great addition as well.In-form Shreyas Iyer and Shimron Hetmyer can be good picks in the middle-order. India captain Virat Kohli will be keen on getting the big runs post the World Cup disappointment. Miss him at your own peril.advertisementWicketkeeperThere’s no MS Dhoni and that brings Rishabh Pant into the picture. West Indies’ Nicholas Pooran can be a value addition as well.All-roundersMumbai Indians pairing of Kieron Pollard and Krunal Pandya are great additions to any playing XI but the availability of Ravindra Jadeja and Sunil Narine makes it a tough choice.BowlersNavdeep Saini and Oshane Thomas are 2 exciting youngsters in the camps while Sheldon Cottrell can be a good pick as well. Leg-spinner Rahul Chahar must be your preferred spinner for the 1st T20I.Dream 11 team, WI vs IND 1st T20I: Rohit Sharma (captain), Evin Lewis, Virat Kohli, Shimron Hetmyer, Rishabh Pant (wicketkeeper), Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine (vice-captain), Rahul Chahar, Ravindra Jadeja, Navdeep Saini, Sheldon CottrellIndia squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (wk), Krunal Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Washington Sundar, Rahul Chahar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, Deepak Chahar, Navdeep SainiWest Indies squad: Carlos Brathwaite (C), Anthony Bramble, John Campbell, Sheldon Cottrell, Shimron Hetmyer, Evin Lewis, Sunil Narine, Keemo Paul, Khary Pierre, Kieron Pollard, Nicholas Pooran, Rovman Powell, Oshane Thomas.For sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byAkshay Ramesh Tags :Follow India tour of West Indies 2019Follow India vs West Indies 1st T20IFollow Dream XI Playing XI predictionFollow Rohit SharmaFollow Sunil NarineFollow Kieron Pollard Dream 11 prediction: India vs West Indies, 1st T20I playing 11, captain and vice-captainIndia vs West Indies Dream 11 Prediction, (IND vs WI) Players, Captain and Vice Captain: In what is expected to be a tightly-fought contest, India take on West Indies in the 1st of a 3-match T20I series in Florida on Saturday.advertisement Next
MONTREAL – Criminal charges against the doctor accused of committing what Quebec authorities described as the biggest corruption fraud in Canada’s history have officially been abandoned, two years after his death, the Crown announced Friday.Crown prosecutor Nathalie Kleber said she filed Arthur Porter’s death certificate in court after receiving confirmation of its authenticity from authorities in Panama.Porter died in Panamanian custody in 2015 after being detained in that country at Canada’s behest in 2013.He was 59.“This ends the judicial process against Dr. Porter,” Kleber told journalists at the Montreal courthouse.Kleber said it took so long to close the case against him because she only recently received confirmation of the death certificate from Panama.Quebec’s anti-corruption unit accused Porter of accepting a $22.5-million bribe in connection with engineering firm SNC-Lavalin winning a $1.3-billion contract to build the McGill University Health Centre superhospital.Porter was once highly regarded among Canada’s business and political elite and served as head of the MUHC as well as on the board of the independent agency that oversaw Canada’s spy services.Quebec’s anti-corruption unit said Porter’s alleged crimes amounted to the biggest act of fraud corruption in the country’s history.His wife, Pamela Porter, pleaded guilty in late 2014 to two counts of laundering the proceeds of crime and was sentenced to 33 months for her role in the alleged bribery scandal connected to the superhospital project.Kleber said the charges against Porter’s other co-accused will remain, with the case set to resume Sept. 27.
TORONTO – Paramedics say two people were injured after a plane departing from Toronto Pearson International Airport hit severe turbulence and was forced to turn back.Peel Region paramedics say crews responded to the scene just before 7 p.m. Thursday and two people were sent to hospital with minor injuries.Air Canada says two flight attendants were injured on the flight en route to San Jose, Costa Rica.The airline says passengers have since departed to San Jose on another aircraft.
Police said the male driver in the rolled over vehicle apparently started to attack the Good Samaritans, and even allegedly tried to steal their vehicles.“It’s mind boggling,” one motorist said. “You’re on a highway in a dangerous situation and then somebody attacks you? I’d be shocked — I don’t know how I’d go on with my day after that. That’s bizarre, to say the least.”WB 403 Express open again by Eglinton after bizarre incident that saw good samaritans attacked by driver of rolled over VW they had stopped to help. Male also tried to steal their vehicles. Several officers needed to tackle male. Police investigating if drugs/alcohol involved pic.twitter.com/eWSNlnEkF4— carl hanstke (@carl680) July 26, 2019The man is also said to have assaulted a male Uber driver and a female passenger who had fled from the Uber. They were taken to hospital with minor injuries.Then — the suspect was Tased by police. Police sources told 680 NEWS it took six officers to restrain the man, who was also taken to hospital with minor injuries.The man is expected to face several charges, police added. It’s unclear if he was impaired by drugs or alcohol. A man is under arrest after a bizarre series of events early Friday morning in Mississauga, Ontario.It started with a crash around 3:00 a.m. involving a single-vehicle along Highway 403. Ontario Provincial Police said a car lost control and rolled over on the westbound express lanes.Other drivers pulled over to help — but that’s when things apparently took a turn.Related video: Police Taser driver who allegedly attacks Good Samaritans after crash
APTN National NewsThe Assembly of First Nations electoral officer has yet to release any nomination documents yet but that isn’t stopping potential candidates from declaring that they’re running for the top job at the Assembly of First Nations.And Wednesday night the Chiefs of Ontario got together to talk about what qualities they want in the next national chief.APTN’s Delaney Windigo reports.
Rabat – Morocco’s national carrier Royal Air Maroc (RAM) has launched a mobile friendly version of its website to make it easily accessible from all mobile platforms.Launched on March 2, 2015, the website allows RAM customers to access its services on the go through smartphones or tablets.The customers have the choice to switch between nine languages. The mobile service also allows for payment by Moroccan or international credit card safely.The launch of this new service comes just months after the total renovation of RAM’s website company meet the expectations of its increasing customers.As part of its renovation to its fleet, the Royal Air Maroc launched its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner on February 22 at Mohmmed V international airport in Casablanca.
“Action formulated to address Arctic issues must begin from an understanding that many of the peoples of the Arctic have self-governing institutions,” according to recommendations issued by participants at the meeting organized by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).“These peoples and their institutions have immense creativity and seek to advance the self-determination, prosperity and aspirations of their communities and their regions,” they added. According to UNESCO, rapidly changing climate in the Arctic is putting pressure on hundreds of thousands of indigenous people in the circumpolar north.The agency noted that for decades they have been witnessing a dramatic shift during the Arctic Ocean’s open water season, as sea ice retreats further and further from coasts. Industrial development and shipping are expected to rise in its place.The four-day meeting hosted by Monaco in early March sought to address the concerns of the Arctic communities and identify strategies for the sustainable development of the region, bringing together experts in the social and natural sciences, ethics, education, and international affairs with representatives of indigenous peoples.The recommendations of the group include establishing “a working/advisory group to develop dialogue and strategy on the challenges of climate change for circumpolar indigenous peoples, including safeguarding intangible heritage and building synergies between indigenous and scientific knowledge.” Other objectives range from promoting employment opportunities through the conservation of traditional activities to improving the access of researchers to exclusive economic zones in the Arctic area. Participants at the meeting included representatives of the Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North (RAIPON), the Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC), the Saami Parliament, the Arctic Council, UNESCO and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). In addition, all Arctic States (Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the United States) were represented as well as other concerned States, some from Europe but some from as far south as New Zealand, South Africa, and Japan. The Director General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, opened the discussions, applauding the bold mandate of the meeting. “Adaptation and response have become an unavoidable necessity. The development of appropriate adaptation and response strategies has therefore emerged as a central preoccupation of all actors, including the UN system,” he said. 13 March 2009Indigenous Arctic peoples must be consulted on ways to preserve their ways of life and boost employment opportunities as the northern ice retreats due to climate change, a group of experts convened by the United Nations cultural agency has agreed.
OTTAWA — After 18 months on the job, Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz has yet to wield the primary tool at his disposal: the key interest rate.[np_storybar title=”Canada’s economy is in serious trouble without a radical shift, warns Ed Clark” link=”https://business.financialpost.com/2014/12/03/canadas-economy-is-in-serious-trouble-without-a-radical-shift-warns-ed-clark/”%5DCanada’s economy could be in serious trouble if we don’t radically re-evaluate our strengths and priorities, said former TD Bank Group chief executive Ed Clark.To return to the path to prosperity, Canada needs to stop wasting time worrying about how to get low-wage jobs back from the U.S. or abroad and start thinking about how to use our well-educated population, immigration policies and public health care to our advantage. Trying to win manufacturing jobs by providing subsidies to offset our lack of competitiveness is a loser’s game in the end, he said. Keep reading. [/np_storybar]When Poloz took the bank’s reins in June 2013, he inherited an overnight rate set nearly three years earlier by his predecessor Mark Carney. That rate has yet to budge from one per cent, idling for one of the longest stretches in Bank of Canada history.With Canada’s economy showing signs of recovery, could 2015 be the year Poloz starts hiking up the central bank’s trend-setting rate and, if so, when?“I don’t know how itchy his fingers are to start moving that dial,” said Bill Robson, the president of the C.D. Howe Institute think-tank.Robson, however, believes it will happen sometime in 2015 thanks to an increasingly positive economic outlook, including an improving U.S. economy and a pickup in Canadian exports.Once the bank’s overnight rate starts to creep up, Canadian businesses will see their borrowing rates rise as will consumers who take out car loans and mortgages.Peter J. Thompson/National Post Ian Lee, a professor at the Sprott School of Business at Ottawa’s Carleton University, predicts businesses will feel the sting of higher rates right away, but he expects the effect on households to be much more muted.Many consumers, he added, will avoid a sudden jolt because of fixed-rate loans and mortgages.On top of that, Lee said the rate would likely inch up a quarter-percentage point at a time, making the coming increases easier to manage than the towering Canadian levels of the early 1980s.Lee, a mortgage manager at the time, recalled how rates soared to 20 per cent in 1981.“When I hear people … getting all excited saying, ’Gee whiz, rates might go up to three or four or five per cent’ — I mean, I almost laugh,” Lee said.“And not because I’m saying it’s trivial, but what I mean is: the Canadian economy and the Canadian people experienced far more savage interest rates.”Lee said the rate hikes in the early 80s killed the real-estate market, but didn’t create a housing meltdown and the number of foreclosures barely increased.Crumbling of Canada’s 3 stock pillars fuels concern about the economyBank of Canada more worried about household debt than falling oil pricesOn the flip side, higher rates would help pension funds reap a bigger return on their investments, Lee added.It is signalling a stronger economyMcGill University economics professor Christopher Ragan said, fundamentally, rising rates are a good thing.“It is signalling a stronger economy,” he said.The Bank of Canada said last week the country had showed signs of a “broadening recovery” and the output gap appeared to be smaller than it had projected just six weeks earlier. The output gap represents the divide between where the economy stands at a given time and where it would be when performing at its full potential.However, the bank’s statement offset the positives by pointing to potential threats: weakening oil prices that drive down inflation and the significant risks of high household debt accumulated during years of low borrowing rates.The basic logic behind low rates is to encourage people to gather debt when the economy is weak, said Ragan, who has worked at the Bank of Canada.He added, however, that monetary policy is a “pretty blunt instrument” that can’t control those who borrow too much.Some people have too much debt, but not everybody“Some people have too much debt, but not everybody,” Ragan said.“Some firms probably have too much debt, but not all firms. And monetary policy just can’t address that issue.”A report released last week by Equifax Canada, a credit rating agency, crunched numbers on Canada’s growing mountain of consumer debt.It found the collective debt of Canadians was more than $1.5 trillion — up 7.4 per cent from a year ago. Excluding mortgages, Equifax said Canadians owed an average of $20,891.Figures like these raise questions about how much even a slight rate increase would affect Canadians who have gorged on cheap credit.Robson said while the scale of the debt load is “quite alarming,” he doesn’t anticipate any major rate increases in the near future. He expects the bank to nudge the rate to 1.25 per cent and then, perhaps, to 1.5 per cent six months later.“It’s interesting after all this time, how our thinking about interest rates has been shaped by this very, very long environment of low interest rates that even an overnight rate of 1.5 per cent could look like a big deal,” he said.The Bank of Canada hasn’t moved the key interest since September 2010, and by early January, the current pause will become the third longest in its 80-year history.A spokeswoman for the bank said the longest rates have ever been frozen was almost nine years — between March 1935 and February 1944 – at 2.5 per cent.The timing of the next rate change remains a source of debate among experts.Robson belongs to the camp that expects Canada’s strengthening economy to force Poloz to move the rate in the middle of 2015, while Lee predicts the rapidly shrinking output gap will spur an increase as early as this spring.The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development recently predicted the Bank of Canada would start pushing the rate up in late May due to advancing inflation, a key driver of interest rates.At the other end of the spectrum, economists like David Madani of Capital Economics expect Poloz to stand pat for a while, even after the U.S. Federal Reserve starts hiking its own key rate.He predicts the forces pushing Canadian inflation upwards to remain fairly subdued in 2015, which he says will keep the central bank in a “holding pattern” for the whole year.Robson said it would even be OK if Poloz raised rates and then edged them back down, if necessary. “Everybody knows that the central bank has trouble reading the economy just as everyone else does,” he said.
“I am deeply alarmed by the deterioration of the security situation in Bunia,” Mr. Annan said in a statement released in New York.Thousands of civilians have fled their homes while militia groups are fighting for control of the town and engaged in extensive looting. The Bunia headquarters of the UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo(MONUC) has been attacked by militias, despite the fact that it is sheltering thousands of innocent civilians. Militias have also fired into crowds of displaced persons seeking shelter near Bunia airport.Addressing the Security Council on Friday, the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations warned that although nearly 700 UN troops had been deployed to Bunia, without decisive action, the situation might nevertheless spin out of control, leading possibly to the massive killing of civilians. Recalling this, Mr. Annan said, “I am therefore asking the Security Council to consider effective measures to prevent the situation from deteriorating with further loss of civilian lives.”The Secretary-General also noted that he has called on the Government of Uganda to use its influence over militia forces in Ituri to maintain calm. “As Ugandan troops continue to withdraw from the Ituri region, they must do so in a phased and orderly manner, with due respect for the protection of civilians,” he stressed.Mr. Annan also commended the courage shown by MONUC personnel in Bunia, as well as by members of the UN agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) located there, who are trying to keep an elusive peace, despite overwhelming odds. Above all, he voiced concern over the plight of non-combatants. “My heart goes out to the innocent civilians who once again find themselves at the mercy of unruly militia,” he said. “The international community must make every effort to quickly address this dire situation.”
Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Progress: 0%Stream Type LIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedAudio TrackCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Frankly Video Player – v7.26.0CloseWBRC FOX6 News – Birmingham, ALAn Alabama teen set to graduate from high school went viral after photos of him heading to a bus stop in his cap and gown made the rounds. They’ve caught the eyes of Rickey Smiley, Tyrese and Mike Epps who hope to make his trips a little easier going forward.Corey Patrick, a graduate of Tarrant High School, walked to the bus to attend school every day and when it came time for him to earn his high school diploma, that was no different.“I had to do what was necessary for me to walk this year,” he told WBRC after an image taken by a public transit driver Monday made the rounds online Thursday, May 17. His mother told the station he had been waking up at 4:30 a.m. to catch the 5:41 MAX bus.“I’d just like to say thank you to everyone that’s supporting Corey and supporting me,” his mother, Felicia White, said.Despite the teen’s reported full-ride scholarship offer to college, Rickey Smiley and his celebrity pals are pitching in to get him a car when he goes to college. Smiley tapped Tyrese and Epps to help give Patrick transportation to and from work this summer.“I got Mike Epps to be a part of it … me, him Tyrese we gon make sure we get him a little car,” Smiley says on “The Rickey Smiley Morning Show” Thursday, May 23.Additionally, Smiley is also throwing a party for Patrick on June 23 to help the Alabama native and his family get on their feet.Plus “Insecure” actress Amanda Seales said the teen’s story, “moved me so much” and felt inspired by the community support.Aside from the celebs who have stepped up to offer words of support and a new ride, several GoFundMe campaigns have been established in Patrick’s honor.The one he launched himself, “Conquering Against All Odds,” has raised $4,500 in a single day and aims to collect a total of $10,000.“I thank you all for the support and just know that I appreciate you all,” he said adding, “it does indeed ‘Takes A Village.’”
THE REALITY OF trafficking for sex was brought home to us all this week, with a court hearing how women were trafficked through Dublin Airport to be forced to have sex with men in Northern Ireland.The victims who did not speak English were told if they did not comply there would be no return flight home to the Czech Republic. Pictures from their brothel show rolls of cash, all destined for the pockets of the crime lords.Their account gives us a glimpse of the human misery which lies at the heart of a crime which fills the pockets of Europe’s pimps and traffickers with €25 billion a year.The method of the criminals is simple, bring women and girls to Ireland under false promises of a new life, a good job or even marriage only to swipe their travel documents and cash in the arrivals hall of Dublin Airport and in some cases within hours subject them to sexual abuse.There is no escape, victims are lost in a foreign country where language barriers, fear and a loss of identity papers mean they cannot cry for help.EU experts discuss how to help victimsToday the Immigrant Council of Ireland joins experts from across the EU for discussions in Dublin to support victims and bring the organised gangs which have built a criminal network – stretching from Galway to Gdansk – to justice.As a country, our record in this area is not one to be proud of: Ireland is not meeting all the terms of international conventions to combating human trafficking.These failures represent a danger to men, women and children while at the same time allowing criminal thugs to take full advantage of out-dated laws and a lack of inter-agency cooperation.There are urgent points to be addressed.Despite the fact that 48 trafficking victims were discovered here over a 12-month period, our system of identifying victims is not good enough with people slipping through the net to never be found.Identification remains the preserve of the Gardaí leaving those found facing questions over visas, permits and residency status instead of being formally identified and protected as potential important witnesses.Those supports which are offered are inadequate. There is no proper, safe and secure accommodation. Women and children who have been sexually exploited and abused are held in mixed centres where they are not only open to further abuse and but also live in fear that the traffickers will find them again.The Balseskin Reception Centre in Dublin is used for most victims, its conditions and facilities have been condemned as inadequate by the Council of Europe.Targeting the demand for traffickingToday’s discussions will involve National Rapporteur’s on Trafficking from several European Countries, their role is to ensure that a joined up, co-ordinated approach to this crime. Ireland does not have such a post.Not having an Anti-Trafficking Tsar is a major failing. We need an expert to not only to ensure that we adopt best practice but also to be a voice for people who have been abused, exploited and subjected to violence.As a member of the Turn Off the Red Light Campaign we believe that targeting the demand for trafficking, in Ireland’s case the buyers of sex, would put many pimps out of business.We know this has worked in Sweden, Iceland and Norway. The French National Assembly is about to vote on similar laws, while debates have also begun in Germany, Finland and Northern Ireland. With so many countries preparing to act Ireland is running a serious risk of being a safe haven for traffickers.It is now six months since the Oireachtas Justice Committee unanimously recommended laws here, but no action has been taken by the Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter, TD.Too often the debate becomes cloudedToo often the debate around the issue of trafficking becomes clouded, calls for reform are met by questions about administration, legal issues, even the rights of abusers.It is easy for Taoiseach Enda Kenny and his Government to become bogged down in these administrative points, but the facts speak for themselves. Almost half of all trafficking victims in Ireland are children, most are sexually exploited, 19 children were found in Irish ‘commercial’ sex in 2012.Our failure to act is throwing people to the wolves, destined to life spent in pop-up brothels in our apartment complexes, hotels, above our bars and chip shops or even in houses rented for short periods on our estates.We cannot pretend trafficking does not exist.We owe it to the victims to let no obstacle stand in the way to a robust response to a multi-billion euro crime.Denise Charlton is Chief Executive of the Immigrant Council of Ireland, one of the founding organisations of the Turn Off the Red Light Campaign.We’re interested in your ideas and opinions – do you have a story you would like to see featured in Opinion & Insight? Email firstname.lastname@example.orgRead: Brothel-keepers guilty pleas welcomed by PSNIRead: Man convicted in relation to deaths of immigrants on their way to Ireland freed on technicality