Up in smoke Calgary judge dismisses charges against Vancouver pot activist

first_imgCALGARY – A Calgary judge has dismissed all charges against a well-known Vancouver marijuana activist who had been accused of trafficking and drug possession.Dana Larsen was arrested following a public appearance in Calgary in April 2016.He was charged after he handed out marijuana seeds to the audience as part of his Overgrow Canada tour.The tour was aimed at distributing one million pot seeds to be planted in public places.Police also seized marijuana, cannabis oil and resin from his vehicle.Larsen said after his arrest that he had no intention of pleading guilty.Following the April 2016 rally, officers escorted Larsen and another man to a police car while supporters chanted, “Shame! Shame!”Larsen said he visited 14 cities on his campaign and Calgary was the only place where police showed up.Following a court appearance, the activist said he would fight the charges all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada.“I feel that if they really do persist, the possible outcome is that we win and that cannabis seeds are declared no longer illegal at all,” he told reporters, while surrounded by about two dozen placard-carrying supporters.Larsen was in Calgary again this past April to promote his campaign. Two police officers attended the meeting, but left after a short time.Larsen served 10 years as editor of Cannabis Culture Magazine and was a founding member of the B.C. Marijuana Party and the Canadian Marijuana Party.He led an unsuccessful bid for a marijuana referendum in British Columbia and has run a medicinal cannabis dispensary for seven years.In 2011, he ran for the leadership of the provincial NDP in B.C. (CTV Calgary, The Canadian Press)last_img read more

I feel for families says Inuk woman who questioned liver transplant policy

first_imgTORONTO – An Inuk woman with acute liver failure spoke of her sadness that Canadians are dying due to rules that prevent some from receiving organ transplants, as she gave an emotional news conference Tuesday from her hospital bed.The visibly exhausted Delilah Saunders, 26, expressed concerns that while she appears to be recovering, others with alcohol-related liver disease often aren’t allowed to go on a waiting list for transplants that will keep them alive.“I’m really feeling for the families who have lost loved ones due to these policies, due to small technicalities and things that could have saved so many lives,” she said at the University Health Network hospital in Toronto, where she was transferred earlier this week from Ottawa.Saunders’ struggle has drawn support from Amnesty International and Aboriginal groups, as friends and family of the advocate for Indigenous women learned of a rule in Ontario that requires people with alcohol-related liver disease to have abstained from drinking for six months before being eligible for a transplant.Saunders’ family has said she was told she wouldn’t be eligible due to the Ontario rule, and they have argued it’s a policy that discriminates against Indigenous citizens, the poor and other marginalized groups, while being based on shaky science.Transplant doctors have cited evidence that some alcoholics return to drinking after a transplant of the organ, and the transplant may not succeed as a result. They say this poses ethical issues for clinics who have other recipients in need of the donated organ.As the issue unfolded and vigils were held, offers from Canadians to provide the young woman from Labrador with part of their liver through the living donor program flowed in, and the young woman said it had been “beautiful and encouraging.”With relatives nearby, Saunders spoke of living through auditory illusions, struggling to sleep and a roller-coaster ride of emotions as she struggled to regain her health.Now, she is urging all Canadians to get out and register to donate organs, so that the shortage of livers won’t drive policy-making.Data from 2015, which are the most recent available, show that 127 people in Ontario died on a waiting list for an organ. Meanwhile, so far this year, 377 people whose organs could have been used didn’t register and their families declined to consent.Her call for more organ donations was echoed by Ronnie Gavsie, the chief executive of the Trillium Gift of Life Network, Ontario’s organ donation agency.“The way we’re going to win here is if all of us, everyone of us who are 16 years of age or older, register consent at beadonor.ca. It takes less than two minutes,” Gavsie said in an interview with The Canadian Press on Monday.Gavsie also said the donor agency wants to accelerate a pilot project that waives a six-month sobriety requirement for drinkers seeking liver transplants.“Our goal is to start it as early as possible, which means accelerate the planning of the pilot and the resources required to support it,” she said.However, the executive said the pilot program still needs to hire people at the transplant centres and for the program.A spokesman for the Ontario Ministry of Health said the department expects to receive a business case for the pilot program from Trillium by February. “After receiving the business case, the ministry will be able to assess funding required to proceed,” wrote David Jensen in an email.Meanwhile, the debate over whether there is enough evidence to simply waive the abstinence requirement is continuing.Debra Selkirk, whose husband died of liver failure in 2010, led a two-year court battle over the abstinence policy that led to the introduction of the pilot project.She argues there is enough evidence to end the abstinence rule, citing an analysis completed at the University of Pittsburgh in 2008 of 54 studies over 22 years suggesting the relapse rate of a return to heavy alcohol use was 2.5 per cent.However, Dr. Nazia Selzner, transplant liver specialist in the multi-organ transplant program at the University Health Network, said in an interview there is a wide variation in the rate of relapsing to alcoholism after a transplant.She said studies vary between 10 per cent of patients relapsing up to “as high as 90 per cent,” with one of the issues being that many of the studies don’t have a clear enough definition of what constitutes a relapse into drinking.She also noted a long-term study published in 2010 in the American Journal of Transplantation that found 20 per cent of the 208 patients with alcohol-related liver disease studied over a number of years relapsed into heavy drinking.Saunders said she plans to remain in hospital for the time being, as she continues to recover.“I’m not completely out of the woods after this. The staff here have been amazing. Same as Ottawa General (hospital),” she said.“It’s unfortunate there are policies that could have found me in a different fate. My next step is to see a hepatologist and see what damage has been done for the long term.”— By Michael Tutton in Halifax. Follow (at)mtuttoncporg on Twitter.Note to readers: This is a corrected version of the story. An earlier version of the story incorrectly stated that the study found two in five patients relapsed into heavy drinking, rather than 20 per cent.last_img read more

Ontario First Nation in battle with feds over use of funds

first_imgAPTN National NewsThe Serpent River First Nation in Ontario has opened a new water treatment plant.It’s good news for the community of about 600.But as APTN’s Delaney Windigo reports the community was also looking for fire protection and then Aboriginal Affairs got involved.last_img

CBSE class X result declared; 13 students score 499/500

first_imgNew Delhi: Girls outperformed boys yet again in CBSE class 10 examination, in which the top rank was shared by 13 students with 499 out of 500 marks.The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on Monday announced the class 10 results and 91.10 per cent candidates cleared the examination, an improvement of 4.40 per cent since last year. The pass percentage of girls was 92.45 per cent against last year’s 88.67 per cent, while that of boys was 90.14 per cent against last year’s 85.32 per cent. Also Read – 2019 most peaceful festive season for J&K: Jitendra SinghGirls have done better than boys by 2.31 per cent. The pass percentage of transgender candidates was 94.74 per cent. The second rank was bagged by 25 students who scored 498 out of 500 marks, while the third rank was shared by 59 students who got 497 marks. “Proud of my young friends who have successfully cleared the CBSE Class X examinations. Wishing them the very best for their journey ahead. May these young minds continue making us proud,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated students and also appreciated the hard work and sacrifice put in even by their teachers and parents. Also Read – Personal life needs to be respected: Cong on reports of Rahul’s visit abroadTrivandrum zone outperformed others in pan India circuit with 99.85 pass percentage, with Chennai coming a close second at 99 per cent and Ajmaer third at 95.89. Delhi’s pass percentage stood at 80.97. While students from Kendriya Vidyalayas and Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas had higher than average pass percentages of 99.5 percent and 98.6 percent respectively, students from government and government-aided schools lagged far behind, with pass percentages of just 77 percent and 72 percent respectively. Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar congratulated the students and the CBSE for declaring the results in record time. The results have been announced within 38 days of the conclusion of the examination. Last year, it took CBSE 55 days after the end of the exam to declare the results. “CBSE will provide Class 10 digital academic documents (Marksheets, Migration Certificate and Pass Certificate) through its own academic repository ‘Parinam Manjusha’,” official said. A CBSE press release said that, a total of 40, 296 candidates appeared from 98 exam centres in outside India. Out of them, 20, 077 were male candidates and 20, 219 were female candidates while 197 were candidates with special needs. CBSE had conducted the class 10th examination from February 21 to March 29. A total of 18, 27, 472 candidates were registered for the exam release added. The highest number of candidates who registered for Class 10, Class 12 exams and overall were from Delhi. According to the statistics released by the board, 5,69,696 candidates had registered for CBSE Class 10 and Class 12 examinations from Delhi. This year maximum female candidates (2,72,271) appeared from Delhi and the maximum male candidates (3,38,613) appeared from Uttar Pradesh (UP). Twenty four students bagged the second rank in CBSE Class 10 results with 498 marks, while 58 students shared the third spot with 497 marks. Union Minister Smriti Irani tweeted that her daughter Zoish scored 82 per cent. Siddhant Pengoriya from Lotus Valley International School in Noida, is among the 13 toppers who all scored 499 out of 500 in the exam. The names of the other toppers, each of whom are from a different school, are Divyansh Wadhwa, Yogesh Kumar Gupta, Ankur Mishra, Vatsal Varshney, Manya, Aryan Jha, Taru Jha, Bhavana Sivadas, Ish Madan among others. With agency inputslast_img read more

ECOSOC panel discusses sustainable development in three conflicttorn countries

Noting that 65 per cent of countries emerging from war in Africa slipped back into conflict, UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Executive Director Carol Bellamy said transition must be about acting quickly and effectively to build and consolidate peace by laying the foundation for addressing the causes of the conflict.Ms. Bellamy, who moderated the panel, said the challenges of transitions were complex and meeting them required more than humanitarian relief and development efforts, but a coherent strategy for creating stability and peace.The main elements characterizing such transitional situations were the emergence of an administration, the restoration of civil authority, overall stabilization, increased security and access, as well as increased hope for the end of conflict, said Ameerah Haq, of the Bureau for Conflict Prevention and Recovery in the UN Development Programme (UNDP).Repatriation, reintegration, rehabilitation and reconstruction (4Rs) are the cornerstone to the sustainable peaceful co-existence and return of those displace by conflict, UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Ruud Lubbers stated.Echoing the need for approaches that promote long lasting peace, Ross Mountain of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), said in situations of transition, UN Country Teams must focus their priorities around goals such as normalizing the situation to enable full participation of the local population in the development process and identifying factors that could result in a conflict relapse.Focusing on the situation in Angola, Eric de Mul, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for the country, said the move from a situation of emergency to one of development made life much more difficult in many ways. Many more partners got involved and structural problems – which could not be tackled within the context of prior humanitarian programmes – emerged making it evident that coordination only worked when it represented added value to its participants.Jacques Forster, Vice-President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), said transition periods should be understood as intermediate periods, where conflict had ended or was in remission. ICRC policy regarding assistance programmes was guided by the importance of adopting a participatory approach, strengthening local capacities, improving systems and addressing the psychological suffering of victims, among other factors, he added.Panellists also noted the need to focus more attention on natural disasters.Concluding the panel presentation, ECOSOC Vice-President Valery Kuchinsky reaffirmed that the UN was indispensable in implementing a transition from relief to development. read more

Brock hosting outreach event in northern Indigenous community

On Wednesday, March 7, Brock University will work to strengthen its bond with Indigenous communities on Manitoulin Island by hosting an event at M’Chigeeng Community Complex that brings together more than 100 students to learn about post-secondary opportunities.The event, called Weh Weh Neh (translation from Ojibwe: ‘Doing Things Right’), will highlight Brock’s partnership with Weengushk Film Institute and examine potential future paths with Grade 8 and high school students.Sandra Wong, Brock’s Aboriginal Academic Support Program Co-ordinator, said the initiative aims to continue building the University’s relationship with students on Manitoulin and in the Sudbury region.Following a traditional Anishinaabe opening with elders from the community, the day will begin with students learning about services offered by Brock’s Aboriginal Student Services, as well as University programming and OSAP funding. The youth will also will hear from Indigenous Brock alumni, who will speak of their own experiences at the University and following graduation.“We want to show students there are people from their community who have attended Brock and been successful in their journey,” Wong said. “We want to introduce them to potential role models. We want them to take pride in the fact that someone from their community, Shirley Cheechoo, is our University Chancellor.”Cheechoo is the eighth chancellor in Brock’s 54-year history, and the first woman and Indigenous Canadian to hold the significant leadership role at the University.Wong said it’s critical that Indigenous students see themselves fitting into and growing within the education system.“It’s important that we plant the seed in their minds that they, too, have equal access to this institution,” she said. “We want to gain their trust so they’re comfortable self-identifying with us when they do come to the institution. This way we can provide those needed supports and services.” Colton Clause, Brock’s Aboriginal Events Co-ordinator, said outreach initiatives like this allow Brock to highlight services for Indigenous students, including supports available before they set foot on campus.“We want to help them with the transition, help while they’re here, help with employment, connecting with community partners and seeking out possible funding initiatives,” Clause said. “We want to make them aware of the cultural support we offer so they don’t feel like they’re leaving a community, but transitioning to a community here at Brock.” Having those measures in place can also help to ease homesickness and culture shock felt by students leaving their community for the first time, he said.Wednesday’s event will also highlight Brock’s partnership with Weengushk Film Institute, in the Manitoulin community of M’Chigeeng, and the student opportunities that are available as a result. Through a collaboration that began in September 2016, Brock offers a certificate in film production that is taught at Weengushk. Taught by industry professionals, the eight-month program provides hands-on training on such aspects as screenwriting, producing, directing, cinematography, editing, composing and marketing. Students work towards writing and directing their own short film. Founded in 2002 by Cheechoo — herself an award-winning film director — Weengushk is an artist-focused centre for capacity building in the media arts for both Indigenous youth and persons of diversity.Brock plans to host its Manitoulin Island outreach event annually, and continue its involvement in the northern community with a presence at other events throughout the year. Aboriginal Student Services Recruiter/Liaison Officer Arlene Bannister hopes to become a familiar face in the area, helping to make students aware of the opportunities available to them at Brock.“It’s important to develop these relationships within the community,” Wong said. “We want Aboriginal students to gain trust with this institution and for the community feel comfortable sending their children here.” read more

Football Ohio State vs Penn State – By the Numbers

Ohio State senior tight end Marcus Baugh (85) catches a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter that would put Ohio State over Penn State in the game on Oct. 28. Ohio State won 39-38. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorIn one of the most dramatic, come-from-behind wins in recent memory for Ohio State, there are a lot of statistics to unpack. The No. 6 Buckeyes won 39-38 against No. 2 Penn State, holding the Nittany Lion offense to just 283 total yards and racking up 529 yards against one of the best defenses in the nation. Here are some important statistics from the game.16 – consecutive completed passes by J.T. Barrett to finish the game. From the final minutes of the third quarter through the entire fourth quarter, Barrett completed 16 straight passes, setting an Ohio State record. Just when he needed to be, Barrett was at his finest and systematically picked apart the Penn State secondary, completing three touchdown passes during that span and completing Ohio State’s comeback.Ohio State redshirt senior quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) throws a pass in the fourth quarter in the game against Penn State on Oct. 28. Ohio State won 39-38. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorThe term “surgical precision” is often used to describe a quarterback fitting passes into tight windows. Such a term could be accurately linked to Barrett against Penn State, as the redshirt senior completed 33-of-39 total passes. His teammates said it could have been even more. “I don’t know his stats but we had four drops so those weren’t completely on him,” redshirt junior Terry McLaurin said. “We kind of left some plays on the field, but the way he played, that’s Heisman candidate right there.”41 – average starting field position by Penn State. Ohio State’s struggles with kickoffs has been well documented. It nearly cost them the game Saturday against Penn State. Right out of the gate, running back Saquon Barkley returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown. Later in the game, another Ohio State kickoff resulted in linebacker Koa Farmer taking the football to the Ohio State 23-yard line.Ohio State’s issues with flipping the field extended beyond the kickoff coverage, however. The Buckeyes had two turnovers, which put Penn State in Ohio State territory. The Nittany Lions also were the beneficiaries of a muffed punt that redshirt freshman punter Drue Chrisman dropped, then shanked before it rolled to the Penn State 38-yard line. Only two of those aforementioned issues did not see the Nittany Lions put up seven points. The special teams and overall sloppiness of Ohio State nearly cost the Buckeyes in the end. Given that a loss from this point forward ends the Buckeyes’ hopes of winning a championship, they cannot afford to have many more games littered with similar blunders.44 – rushing yards by Saquon Barkley. Ohio State has never fully stopped Barkley before. It allowed him to gain 99 yards on the ground last season. In 2015, he had 194 rushing yards. Saturday was a different story. Barkley had 21 carries and mustered only 44 yards in the midst of a season that has many clamoring for him to win the Heisman Trophy.Ohio State sophomore cornerback Kendall Sheffield (8) takes down Penn State’s Saquon Barkley in the third quarter in the game against Penn State on Oct. 28. Ohio State won 39-38. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorPerhaps even more remarkable than the 44-rushing-yards statistic would be the fact 36 of those came on one carry. Remove that one carry and his 2.1 average yards per carry dips to 0.4. His lack of success was not necessarily due to him being ineffective, but rather the result of an Ohio State defensive line that simply bullied Penn State’s offensive line all game long. Barkley was on the receiving end of nine of Ohio State’s 13 tackles for a loss. Heading into the game, the Buckeyes needed to slow down Barkley if it had any chance of winning. They not only slowed him down, but they effectively stopped him. And they won.13 – carries by J.K. Dobbins. Penn State handed the football off to a running back who proved largely ineffective. Ohio State seemingly refused to hand the football off to a running back who was one of its most productive weapons. In the second quarter, Dobbins did not touch the football. In the fourth quarter, Dobbins rushed it once. Yet he finished the game with 88 rushing yards (6.8 yards per carry), including four rushes for 10-plus yards.This has become somewhat of a trend for Ohio State this season. Despite head coach Urban Meyer often stating his willingness to run the freshman running back into the ground with how often he is used, the coach has appeared reluctant to turn to his budding star. Perhaps the Buckeyes wish to save their prized talent for games later this season. Maybe they’re resting him for the next two seasons when he is counted on as their top offensive weapon. But after his fifth game with an average of more than six yards per carry and fewer than 15 carries, Ohio State fans have to wonder if Dobbins is being maximized to his full potential.Ohio State redshirt junior reciever Johnnie Dixon (1) catches a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter in the game against Penn State on Oct. 28. Ohio State won 39-38. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo Editor9 – receptions by Ohio State players.This has been a statistic that has been featured plenty in this series of articles. However, it usually receives a qualifier that the primary reason for the high number of players to receive a catch was due to the blowout lead Ohio State had, and that many of the backups were in because the Buckeyes played against a weaker opponent.That wasn’t the case Saturday. Nine players made receptions in this game largely because that is just how Ohio State is going to play moving forward. The high number of players having an impact on the game might not be solely because Ohio State has played lesser opponents. Perhaps it is simply because it has a wide array of players capable of making plays.At the beginning of the year, many doubted the players and coaches who said all six wide receivers were good enough to start for Ohio State. Perhaps the players and coaches were right. Every week, someone new happens to step up and make plays for the Buckeyes. This week and last it was redshirt sophomore H-back K.J. Hill. Against Maryland, it was sophomore Binjimen Victor. Against Rutgers, it was redshirt junior Johnnie Dixon. Any game, against any opponent, any receiver might step up. Perhaps it’s time to stop doubting that and accept that the Buckeyes’ receiving corp might be championship-caliber. read more

Thousands of bridges at risk of freak collapse in the US

first_imgTHOUSANDS OF BRIDGES around the US may be one freak accident or mistake away from collapse, even if the spans are deemed structurally sound.The crossings are kept standing by engineering design, not supported with brute strength or redundant protections like their more modern counterparts. Bridge regulators call the more risky spans “fracture critical”, meaning that if a single, vital component of the bridge is compromised, it can crumple.Those vulnerable crossings carry millions of drivers every day. In Boston, a six-lane highway 1A near Logan airport includes a “fracture critical” bridge over Bennington Street. In northern Chicago, an I-90 pass that goes over Ashland Avenue is in the same category. An I-880 bridge over 5th Avenue in Oakland, Calif., is also on the list.Also in that category is the Interstate 5 bridge over the Skagit River north of Seattle, which collapsed into the water days ago after officials say an oversized truck load clipped the steel truss.Workers walk past the collapsed portion of the Interstate 5 bridge at the Skagit River in Mount Vernon, Washington on Friday. A truck carrying an oversize load struck the four-lane bridge on the major thoroughfare between Seattle and Canada, sending a section of the span and two vehicles into the Skagit River below on Thursday. All three occupants suffered only minor injuries. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)Public officials have focused in recent years on the desperate need for money to repair thousands of bridges deemed structurally deficient, which typically means a major portion of the bridge is in poor condition or worse. But the bridge that collapsed Thursday is not in that deficient category, highlighting another major problem with the nation’s infrastructure: Although it’s rare, some bridges deemed to be fine structurally can still be crippled if they are struck hard enough in the wrong spot.“It probably is a bit of a fluke in that sense,” said Charles Roeder, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Washington.While the I-5 truck’s cargo suffered only minimal damage, it left chaos in its wake, with two vehicles catapulting off the edge of the broken bridge into the river below. Three people involved escaped with non-life threatening injuries.The most famous failure of a fracture critical bridge was the collapse of the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis during rush hour on 1 August 2007, killing 13 people and injuring more than 100 others. The National Transportation Safety Board concluded that the cause of the collapse was an error by the bridge’s designers – a gusset plate, a key component of the bridge, was too thin. The plate was only half of the required one-inch thickness.Because the bridge’s key structures lacked redundancy, where if one piece fails, there is another piece to prevent the bridge from falling, when the gusset plate broke, much of the bridge collapsed.Mark Rosenker, who was chairman of the NTSB during the I-35W bridge investigation, said the board looked into whether other fracture critical bridges were collapsing. They found a few cases, but not many, he said.“Today, they’re still building fracture critical bridges with the belief that they’re not going break,” Rosenker said.Fracture critical bridges, like the I-5 span in Washington, are the result of Congress trying to cut corners to save money rather than a lack of engineering know-how, said Barry B. LePatner, a New York real estate attorney and author of “Too Big to Fall: America’s Failing Infrastructure and the Way Forward.”About 18,000 fracture critical bridges were built from the mid-1950s through the late 1970s in an effort to complete the nation’s interstate highway system, which was launched under President Dwight Eisenhower, LePatner said in an interview. The fracture critical bridge designs were cheaper than bridges designed with redundancy, he said.Thousands of those bridges remain in use, according to an AP analysis.“They have been left hanging with little maintenance for four decades now,” he said. “There is little political will and less political leadership to commit the tens of billions of dollars needed” to fix them.There has been little focus or urgency in specifically replacing the older “fracture critical” crossings, in part because there is a massive backlog of bridge repair work for thousands of bridges deemed to be structurally problematic. Washington state Rep. Judy Clibborn, a Democrat who leads the House transportation committee, has been trying to build support for a tax package to pay for major transportation projects in the state. But her plan wouldn’t have done anything to revamp the bridge that collapsed.A collapsed section of the Interstate 5 bridge over the Skagit River is seen in an aerial view. (AP Photo/The Seattle Times, Mike Siegel) National bridge records say the I-5 crossing over the Skagit River had a sufficiency rating of 57.4 out of 100 – a score designed to gauge the ability of the bridge to remain in service. To qualify for federal replacement funds, a bridge must have a rating of 50 or below. A bridge must have a sufficiency rating of 80 or below to qualify for federal rehabilitation funding.Hundreds of bridges in Washington state have worse ratings than the one that collapsed, and many around the country have single-digit ratings.Clibborn said the Skagit River crossing wasn’t even on the radar of lawmakers because state officials have to prioritise by focusing on bridges with serious structural problems that are at higher risk of imminent danger.Along with being at risk of a fatal impact, the I-5 bridge was deemed to be “functionally obsolete,” which essentially means it wasn’t built to today’s standards. Its shoulders were narrow, and it had low clearance.There are 66,749 structurally deficient bridges and 84,748 functionally obsolete bridges in the US, including Puerto Rico, according to the Federal Highway Administration. That’s about a quarter of the 607,000 total bridges nationally. States and cities have been whittling down that backlog, but slowly. In 2002, about 30 percent of bridges fell into one of those two categories.Spending by states and local government on bridge construction adjusted for inflation has more than doubled since 1998, from $12.3 billion to $28.5 billion last year, according to the American Road and Transportation Builders Association. That’s an all-time high.“The needs are so great that even with the growth we’ve had in the investment level, it’s barely moving the needle in terms of moving bridges off these lists,” said Alison Premo Black, the association’s chief economist.(Image: Rick Lund/AP/The Seattle Times)There is wide recognition at all levels of government that the failure to address aging infrastructure will likely undermine safety and hinder economic growth. But there is no consensus on how to pay for improvements. The federal Highway Trust Fund, which provides construction aid to states, is forecast to go broke next year. The fund gets its revenue primarily from federal gas and diesel taxes. But revenues aren’t keeping up because people are driving less and there are more fuel-efficient cars on the road.Neither Congress nor the White House has shown any willingness to raise federal gas taxes, which haven’t been increased since 1993. Many transportation thinkers believe a shift to taxes based on miles traveled by a vehicle is inevitable, but there are privacy concerns and other difficulties that would preclude widespread use of such a system for at least a decade.Transportation spending got a temporary boost with the economic stimulus funds approved by Congress after President Barack Obama was elected. Of the $27 billion designated for highway projects under the stimulus program, about $3 billion went to bridge projects, Black said.States are looking for other means to raise money for highway and bridge improvements, including more road tolls, dedicating a portion of sales taxes to transportation and raising state gas taxes. Clibborn, the Washington state lawmaker, has proposed a 10-cent gas hike to help pay for projects, though the effort has been held up by a dispute over how to rebuild the Columbia River bridge connecting Vancouver, Wash., and Portland, Ore.“We can’t possibly do it all in the next 10 years,” Clibborn said. “But we’re going to do the first bite of the apple.”Oversize load on truck causes Washington bridge collapseRead: ‘Extremely’ poor quality materials caused Bangladesh factory collapse>last_img read more

EtatsUnis la fluoration de leau fait toujours débat

first_imgEtats-Unis : la fluoration de l’eau fait toujours débatDébut avril, des scientifiques américains ont relancé le débat sur la fluoration de l’eau potable aux Etats-unis. Devenue trop importante, celle-ci présenterait plus de dangers que de bénéfices. Cela fait près de 50 ans que les Etats-Unis ajoutent du fluor dans leur eau potable pour favoriser la santé dentaire. Une mesure classée parmi les 10 plus grands succès de santé publique du XXe siècle, ex aequo avec la vaccination selon les Centres américains pour le contrôle et la prévention des maladies. Pourtant, de nombreux doutes se portent sur l’efficacité de cette fluoration et surtout sur les dangers qu’elle peut avoir. En effet, si l’ajout de fluor s’est accompagnée d’une réduction spectaculaire du nombre de caries chez les enfants, il semblerait que son bénéfice soit en réalité assez mineur. De plus, les apports moyens en fluor des Américains dépasseraient aujourd’hui la dose optimale, interrogeant sur les conséquences à haute dose de l’élément.À lire aussiNe faites pas pipi dans la piscine ! C’est la science qui le ditDepuis quelques années, les spécialistes ont constaté aux Etats-Unis et au Canada une importante augmentation des cas de fluorose, autrement dit l’apparition de tâches indélébiles sur les dents des enfants. Un phénomène dû à un apport excessif de fluor durant la période de formation dentaire qui agresse l’émail et le rend poreux. Pourtant, selon les spécialistes, l’augmentation serait tout sauf étonnante au vu des multiples sources de fluor. En plus d’être ajouté dans l’eau potable, l’élément est également présent dans les dentifrices, chewing-gums, comprimés, pastilles, sel ou encore jus de fruit réalisés à base d’eau. Ainsi exposés, les enfants comme les adultes recevraient donc bien plus que la dose optimale de 0,7 milligrammes par litre recommandée par l’Agence de protection de l’environnement (EPA) selon le site Agence science presse.Du côté des opposants à la fluoration, la situation est plus grave. Ceux-ci évoquent notamment plusieurs études réalisées en laboratoire sur des animaux et destinées à identifier les effets du fluor à haute dose. Celles-ci semblent indiquer qu’à long-terme et à dose excessive, l’élément pourrait fragiliser les os, provoquer certains cancers voire agir sur le cerveau. Mais les animaux ont été exposés à des doses qui dépassent largement celles communément retrouvées. Les scientifiques ont donc appelé à davantage d’études sur le sujet alors que plusieurs membres de l’EPA ont demandé un moratoire sur la fluoration de l’eau.En France, le risque est très faibleSi les pays d’Amérique du Nord pratiquent l’ajout de fluor depuis plusieurs années, il n’en va pas de même pour l’Europe. Aujourd’hui, très peu de pays européens fluorent l’eau potable mais le taux de caries n’est pas supérieur à celui enregistré aux Etats-Unis. En France, l’Agence de sécurité sanitaire des produits de santé (Afssaps) a même récemment revu à la baisse ses recommandations en matière de fluor chez le bébé et l’enfant.Le 26 avril 2011 à 13:04 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

Weekly Names Deputy Governor as Person of the Year

first_img Recommended for you TCI Premier blasts Opposition side for “slop” information, sets it straight in HOA #MagneticNewsMedia#DGPersonoftheyear Nearly 30 Haitians caught following illegal landing in Nassau, says Defence Force Related Items:#DGPersonoftheyear, #MagneticNewsMediacenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, TCI, January 13, 2017 –  Deputy Governor Anya Williams is the Turks and Caicos Weekly News Person of the year.   The article which features the Grand Turk native as scholar, an icon and a diplomat praises her for juggling a demanding job which gives her responsibility for some 1,700 civil servants and her personal life as a wife and mother of three with, and I quote, “dignity, distinction and integrity”.DG Anya Williams at the age of 36, holds the top position of any woman in the TCI and this year marks her 14th year in TCIG.   Part her of childhood was spent in Canada, her parents are Dennis and Deborah Swann and among her educational accolades is a Masters Degree from Florida International University in Accounting, and Associate’s Degree in Law, English and Accounting; the Deputy Governor completed her time at university in the top 10% with a 3.9GPA.Hon Anya Williams called the accolade by the TC Weekly News an honor and privilege. Bahamas Police Commissioner Greenslade gone to UK, appointed as High Commissionerlast_img read more

Gattuso AC Milan need to step up their game

first_imgAC Milan boss Gennaro Gattuso admits they will have to be back to their best ahead of Saturday’s game against FiorentinaThe Rossoneri haven’t won their last three games and were knocked out of the Europa League following a surprise 3-1 defeat to Olympiacos.Despite the struggles though, Milan remain in fourth-place in the Serie A and Gattuso hopes his players are ready to step up their efforts to consolidate a Champions League qualification spot.“The club wants to reach the Champions League, it will not be easy but we will do our best,” said Gattuso on the club website.“Now we are in fourth place though we have to do more, but I am calm. We have to make fewer mistakes.“We do not look for excuses, we have to keep working and improving. We lost some important points but our opponents also slowed down.Franck Ribery, FiorentinaFiorentina owner: “Ribery played better than Ronaldo!” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Fiorentina owner Rocco Commisso was left gushing over Franck Ribery’s performance against Juventus, which he rates above that of even Cristiano Ronaldo’s.“We have some strengths and weaknesses and we have to be careful. I enjoy training people with passion and flair in their eyes, who have the spirit of football within them, whether they are young or old”.Facing Milan at the San Siro are Fiorentina, who sit 10th in the standings and just five points behind.“Tomorrow we will play against a strong opponent, who can hurt us in attack. Fiorentina are a team with very good players technically, playing within 60-70 meters,” said Gattuso.“We will have to be good at imposing our game, not giving an inch on the pitch. I want to see a team that plays well and with vehemence: only in this way will we be able to win.“Bologna has taught us that making a sterile ball possession leads to nothing”The Milan-Fiorentina game will begin at 15:00 (CET).last_img read more

Telehealth consultations prove useful to patients

first_imgAfter months of spiking blood-sugar levels and draining energy, Olga Veter-Eluska is finally figuring out diabetes.She keeps a journal of everything she eats and her blood-sugar levels throughout the day. She’s realized fresh vegetable juice curbs her snack cravings and keeps her from “eating everything in sight.” Those efforts mean lower and more-stable blood-sugar levels.Veter-Eluska said her newfound understanding is thanks to her diabetes educator, Juleeanna Andreoni.The pair have met several times for one-on-one counseling sessions but they’ve never spoken in person. That’s because Veter-Eluska and Andreoni hold their educational sessions while sitting in medical facilities more than 20 miles apart — Veter-Eluska a few miles from her Vancouver home, Andreoni from her office at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center in Portland.Veter-Eluska, 69, is one of more than 80 Clark County residents who have used Providence’s new diabetes telehealth program.The program connects Clark County residents who use Providence’s Camas, Battle Ground and Vancouver clinics with certified diabetes educators at the Portland hospital. Rather than driving to Portland, patients go to the Providence clinic on Mill Plain Boulevard and use a computer in a private room for a one-on-one video chat with an educator.“There’s no reason why people should need to drive in to hospitals,” said Kathy Schwab, diabetes manager for Providence’s Oregon region. “This is the future of where health care is going.”The program is still in the pilot phase, but its early success means it will continue — and expand to other clinics in the region — once the pilot ends in August, Schwab said.last_img read more

DavisMonthan AFB to Partner with Local Universities

first_imgLeaders from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base and Tucson-area organizations held a signing ceremony Monday for new initiatives covering partnerships with local universities and municipalities.The collaborations will benefit the installation by stretching its dollars and allowing it to leverage the know-how of its host community, said Col. James Meger, commander of the 355th Fighter Wing.“This is really important, because it’s the integration of the partnership of the community and the military installation,” Meger said.Two of the initiatives are with the University of Arizona, reported Air Force Times. Under one, linguists at Davis-Monthan will mentor the university’s foreign language students during special events. The other, which also involves Pima Community College, will provide students with on-base internships.A third effort will establish an emergency response communication partnership. Officials also created a steering committee to consider new initiatives under the Air Force Community Partnership program.“It’s really about growing our relationships and protecting the base,” said Pima County Supervisor Sharon Bronson. “If D-M goes away, a good piece of our economy goes away,” she said.Installation and community officials initially proposed about 40 partnerships, but many were shelved due to security or financial factors, according to the story. Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more

Use these apps to make your home awesome

first_img Comment iOS 12 Amazon Nanoleaf Canvas decorates your smart home in living color Tags Mobile Software Mobile Apps Phones 1center_img Now playing: Watch this: 2:38 Accents on a fireplace can be a the perfect addition in any room. The Washington Post/Getty Images As soon as my husband and I got the keys to our first house, my mind was overflowing with ideas. I was already planning how to arrange what little furniture we had, color schemes and where to find the best accent pieces to make the rooms cozy. Once I’d got past my delusion that unpacking was going to be easy, I soon found that decorating the house was a lot more challenging than expected. Technology can give an assist these days, thankfully. If you’re overwhelmed with the task of making your house a better living space, these apps could help you channel your inner interior designer.AmazonYou can find almost anything on Amazon (download for iOS or Android). Simply search “home decor,” for example, to begin your interior design journey. Browse through furniture, kitchen and dining room items, bedding, wall art and more. The prices can be pretty reasonable, and if you’re willing to subscribe to Prime, you’ll get free shipping and your items delivered sooner. When you find something you like, you can either add it to your cart (and save for later) or add it to a public list that others can see and give you feedback. You can make multiple lists and easily switch between them in the app with a few taps.Interior Design 4 Tim Graham/Getty Images One of my favorite features in the Amazon app is the augmented reality (AR) feature that’s available on some furniture items. The app uses your phone’s camera to show you exactly what a bookshelf or rug would look like in your home. Other items have a View in 360 feature that allows you to rotate a piece of furniture in the app. Unfortunately, not every item can be viewed in 360 or AR.Home Depot or Lowe’sIf you’re renovating or remodeling a room, you might spend more time looking at appliances, power tools, ceiling fans, cabinets and flooring than checking out wall art. Home improvement superstores such as Home Depot (download for iOS or Android) and Lowe’s (download for iOS or Android) both have apps to help guide you.With the Lowe’s app, you can search and view products in AR or 360, like Amazon’s app. Home Depot’s app has voice and image search features to help you track down what you need quickly, even if you’re unfamiliar with it. Additionally, if you get stuck, you can live chat with a Home Depot product expert in the app.Both apps include store layouts so you know where your item is (and where you are!) by store, aisle and bay number. Anything you order from either store’s app can be picked up in-store or delivered to your house.Interior Design 2 Heritage Images / Getty Images Palette Cam and Color HarmonyOne piece of advice my mother gave me when I moved into my house was to not pick out furniture based on the color the walls were already painted. Paint is cheaper than furniture, she said. Finding the right color scheme for your room is, well, an art form. Fortunately, the Palette Cam (download for iOS) and Color Harmony (download for Android) apps help tell the difference between “eggshell” and “ivory.”Both apps let you make color palettes– from pictures, real life or your imagination– and translates the color into HEX or RGB so you can buy the perfect shade for any project.MichaelsDesigning can quickly get expensive. Thankfully, Michaels’ app (download for iOS or Android) can knock down your final total when checking out at the store or online. The Michaels app has weekly ads and coupons that you can use at checkout, a rewards program, exclusive offers, early sale alerts and more to help you stay on budget.You can also browse products (to see if they’re available and where they are in the store) and project ideas for crafters of any skill level. Interior Design 3 Rick Madonik/Getty Images PinterestPinterest (download for iOS or Android) is one of my favorite apps to get decorating ideas. The app also has tons of DIY crafts and decoration ideas. You can grab some inspiration from other people’s projects and photos or find a step-by-step tutorial.If you search “home decor,” you’ll find ways to organize your bathroom, arrange photos on the wall, make your entryway welcoming and more. Across the top of the screen, Pinterest gives you other suggestions to narrow down your searches. You can check out, “on a budget,” “apartment,” “rustic,” “DIY” and more. Wayfair Wayfair’s jingle gets stuck in my head all the time. It’s easy to fall down the store’s rabbit hole of bookshelves, rugs, pillows, tables and more in all styles. Shop by department or you can get inspired with curated collections of room ideas. You can explore everything available online or on Wayfair’s app (download for iOS or Android). There are sales every day that you can access in the toolbar at the bottom of the app’s home screen. Wayfair offers free shipping if you spend over $49 and, with an account, you can save any items you like. Before you buy anything, see what it’ll look like in your space by tapping View in Room 3D. The tool uses AR to project an item through your phone’s camera and tells you its dimensions. Interior Design 5 The Washington Post/Getty Images Room PlannerThe Room Planner app (download for iOS or Android) is a great way to visualize your dream home. Create the layout of your room or home down to exact dimensions in 2D and continue your designs in 3D.The app includes architectural objects like furniture and fixtures that you can drag and drop into your digital home. To truly visualize the space, Room Planner includes countertop colors, floor designs like wood or tile, and wall colors. Whether you’re starting a room from scratch or you’re deciding how to rearrange your furniture, Room Planner is handy.Bright Nest Once your home is finished, you want to make sure it stays in tip-top shape. Regular home maintenance can play second fiddle to our daily tasks and stresses. The Bright Nest app (download for iOS or Android) reminds you of anything that might need a routine fix.The app is packed with homeowner maintenance tips and tricks about sump pumps, testing smoke detectors, inspecting fireplaces and checking for mold. Read up on ways to clean your microwave with lemons or ways to decorate an unfinished basement.  Share your voicelast_img read more

NASA renews satellite services contract with UAF

first_imgNASA has renewed a nearly $50 million contract with the University of Alaska Fairbanks for satellite services. A release from UAF says the $48.6 million dollar, five-year award is for operation of the Geophysical Institute Alaska Satellite Facility Synthetic Aperture Radar Data Center.Listen nowSynthetic aperture radar penetrate through clouds, and applications include seeing the effect of hurricane winds on the ocean to predict storm landfall, helping vessels navigate sea ice and surveying earthquake damage to facilitate emergency response. The Alaska Satellite facility employs 55 people involved in the 24-7 downlink, storage and processing of satellite data.The renewed NASA service contract runs through September 2023.last_img read more

Jamaat leaders can contest polls with BNP ticket

first_imgElection CommissionTwenty five Jamaat-e-Islami leaders, whose candidature was legally challenged for they contest with the BNP’s polls symbol sheaf of paddy, can be there in the election race.The election commission (EC) issued a ruling in this regard on Sunday after the High Court referred the matter to the EC authorities.The EC’s decision cleared the way for not only Jamaat leaders but also the opposition alliance, which has already lost a number of candidates, to contest in most of the 300 constituencies.Declaring the Jamaat leaders’ candidature valid, the commission said it has no authority to revoke it since they are contesting the polls as BNP and independent candidates, reports UNB.”The High Court directed the election commission to dispose of the application filed for cancelling the candidature of 25 aspirants, but the commission has no legal jurisdiction to annul their candidature,” EC secretary Helal Uddin Ahmed said at a press briefing at Nirbachan Bhaban.Of the 25 candidates, Helal Uddin said 22 are contesting the election with Sheaf of Paddy while the rest are independent candidates.On 18 December, the High Court asked the EC to dispose of the application filed for cancelling the candidature of 25 Jamaat-e-Islami leaders by three working days.Four individuals filed a writ with the High Court challenging the eligibility of those candidates to remain in the polls race.About the BNP’s demand for giving it either a scope to field alternative candidates or reschedule the election in the seats where the candidates of the party and alliance partners have been declared disqualified by the court, the EC secretary said they have also no legal authority to take any such step.He said they will take action as per the court directives in this regard.last_img read more

Netflix Doubling Down on Interactive Content Like Bandersnatch

first_img Following the success of Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, Netflix is “doubling down” on interactive programming, according to Variety.Reporting from this week’s media and entertainment conference FICCI-Frames in Mumbai, the trade magazine cited Todd Yellin’s excitement.“It’s a huge hit here in India, it’s a huge hit around the world,” Yellin, vice president of product at Netflix, said in a keynote speech. “We realized, ‘Wow, interactive storytelling is something we want to bet more on.’“We’re doubling down on that,” he continued. “So expect over the next year or two to see more interactive storytelling.”Psychological thriller Bandersnatch, an interactive film in the sci-fi anthology Black Mirror, hit Netflix on Dec. 28.Written by series creator Charlie Brooker and directed by David Slade, the standalone movie encourages viewers to make decisions for the main character—young programmer Stefan Butler (Fionn Whitehead), who is adapting a fantasy choose-your-own-adventure novel into a video game in 1984.Fionn Whitehead is Stefan Butler in “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch” (via Netflix)Instead of flipping between pages, Netflix viewers click a button at the bottom of the screen to select their choice. For example, should Butler eat Sugar Puffs or Frosties for breakfast?Moving forward, though, the streaming service’s reciprocative line up won’t necessarily be dark science fiction.“It could be a wacky comedy,” Yellin suggested. “It could be a romance, where the audience gets to choose—should she go out with him or him?”Personally, I think rom-coms lend themselves very nicely to this style of viewing. Though a buddy comedy or action film would work just as well. Historical period dramas, on the other hand…Yellin also announced plans to expand Indian content production—particularly since original series Sacred Games became a global hit, attracting two out of three viewers from outside the country.The number of languages Netflix content will be available in is also increasing from 25 to 30, Variety revealed.Netflix did not immediately respond to Geek’s request for comment.More on Geek.com:Choose These Adventure Games After ‘Black Mirror: Bandersnatch’Amazon Alexa Now Lets You Choose Your Own AdventureNetflix Claps Back at Steven Spielberg’s Push to Ban It From Oscars What to Stream on Netflix This Weekend11 Other Old-School Nick Shows That Should Get Netflix Movies Stay on targetlast_img read more

A deeper dive into Fallout 4s Far Harbor DLC

first_imgFallout 4 has some big updates in the next few weeks. Its largest DLC pack to date, Far Harbor is on the horizon, as are mods for consoles, and the long-awaited revamp of Survival Mode is also traveling from PC to consoles. Bethesda released a trailer for Far Harbor today, as well as some specific dates and details regarding free updates.Far Harbor, is arriving on May 19th. It takes players to a new location, an island in New England that houses a colony of synths, along with the Children of Atom and some unfortunate townsfolk who get caught up in the conflict between them. Nick Valentine is featured heavily in the trailer, and he appears to be a significant part of the storyline.New enemies and equipment were unveiled in the trailer. Giant bugs called “Fog Crawlers” are shown, along with mysterious creatures that resemble deep sea Angler Fish that use glowing tendrils to lure in unwary prey. The skeletons and bodies of large marine creatures can be seen on the shorelines of various locations in the trailer, hinting that there even more dangerous creatures awaiting players beneath the waves of post-apocalyptic Maine.New “Higher level” weapons and armor were revealed. Among them is a suit of “Marine Armor” that resembles a deep sea diving suit, along with other nautical-themed items, like a giant fishing hook that can be used as a melee weapon. All of this supports fan theories that there will be extensive underwater sequences in this DLC, and that Far Harbor might add underwater combat to Fallout 4‘s mechanics.In addition to Far Harbor, Bethesda announced that the 1.5 update which includes an overhauled Survival Mode is coming to consoles this Friday, May 6th. Mods for consoles will come to Xbox One later this month and to PlayStation 4 in June. Far Harbor is included in the Season Pass, but it can be purchased separately for $24.99. Geek.com will have a full review at launch.last_img read more

SC Aadhaar verdict vindicates my stand Mamata

first_imgMilan: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday welcomed the Supreme Court judgement upholding its validity but restricting it to disbursement of social benefits, saying it vindicates her stand. “People should have some rights. If bank and mobile phones are linked to Aadhaar card then everything about the person will come into public domain. That this logic is correct and irrefutable has been proved today,” Banerjee told the media here. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life “We don’t compromise or raise questions on government security or internal security. But if my account number becomes public, I may be cheated. This has already happened in ATM transactions,” said Banerjee, who is visiting Italy in a bid to rope in investment for her state. Similarly, if the mobile phone number is linked to Aadhaar, “then the messages you send, or the calls you make, all information gets leaked”. Calling the verdict a victory of the people, she said she has neither linked her bank account nor her mobile number to Aadhaar and have also asked people not to do so. In a majority judgment, a five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra held that Aadhaar would be voluntary and not mandatory with an option to exit.last_img read more

Arijit singh lends his voice to Amazon Obhijaans first track

first_imgSVF, Eastern India’s largest movie production house released the first song for its upcoming mega-budget film, Amazon Obhijaan. Titled ‘Chol Naa Jai’, the song has been sung by popular playback singer Arijit Singh, composed by ace music director Indraadip Dasgupta, and lyrics have been penned by Prasen. ‘Chol Naa Jai’ (which literally means Let’s Go) is full of vigour, curiosity, grit and zeal, all packed into a harmonic soundscape that blends aptly with the landscape that Shankar sets his foot on. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe song is also available on iTunes, Hungama, Spotify, Idea Music Lounge and Wynk. Subscribers of Vodafone, Idea and Airtel can also set it as their caller tune.Set to release on December 22, Amazon Obhijaan is the sequel to the 2013 blockbuster Chander Pahar which, at the time, broke all records for being the most successful Bengali film ever made in Bengal. The story of Amazon Obhijaan written, scripted and directed by the doctor-turned-director Kamaleswar Mukherjee delves into the deep jungles of the Amazonia. The expedition led by the Bengali cinestar Dev playing the explorer Shankar Choudhury is touted as a visual treat to watch for families specially children who love adventure. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveVeteran Brazilian actor David James plays the role of Marco Florian and Indian based Russian actor Svetlana Gulakova plays Marco’s daughter Anna Florian who joins Shankar to the mysterious yet endearing journey to El Dorado.Recently the film set a world record by unveiling the biggest poster for a Bengali film ever pegged at 60,800 sq ft in size cover to cover. The film is also available in the graphic novel format for children to get a feel of the story. This film is the only Bengali movie ever made to be released simultaneously in six languages – Bengali, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Odiya and Assamese.last_img read more