BJP is a party of sycophants: Yashwant Sinha

first_imgStating that ‘Modi magic’ was on the wane, former Union Minister and ex-BJP leader Yashwant Sinha on Wednesday said the electorate had expressed their ire and frustration. Mr. Sinha, one of the bitter critics of the Narendra Modi regime, lauded Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s conduct and democratic style of functioning which enabled his party to come back in the Assembly polls.Commenting that Mr. Gandhi knew how to move with everyone, he said: “The BJP says it does not have an alternative for Mr. Modi, but the country will chose its alternative soon …The BJP will now have to think ten times before denigrating Rahul Gandhi as ‘pappu’,” Mr. Sinha said while delivering a lecture at the Pune Patrakar Sangh. He said soon after the results, he had received phone calls from several BJP leaders from Jharkhand, who were secretly happy at their own party’s defeat.Saying that everybody in the BJP was frightened of Mr. Modi, he added that nobody within the party had raised a voice against him [Mr. Modi] and party president Amit Shah despite the party’s spectacular defeat in the key states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.“For the last four-and-a-half years, Narendra Modi has been deified by sycophants in the party who think he can do no wrong…Modi thinks he can play God and can bypass the council of ministers. But this defeat will put a check on his arrogance,” Mr. Sinha said, stating that it appeared all administrative activities and policy decisions emanated from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).The veteran politician, who held the Finance and External Affairs portfolios under the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government (1998-2004), hit out at Mr. Modi’s ‘dictatorship’ and said the BJP’s losses had taken the wind out of its sails.Hitting out at Mr. Modi’s highly authoritarian manner of functioning, Mr. Sinha said that due procedures had been bypassed in the Rafale fighter aircraft deal with the Defence Ministry left in the dark.“The entire nation is being run only by two persons, Mr. Modi and Mr. Shah [BJP president]. The council of ministers is never taken into confidence while implementing any important policy decision,” he said.Observing that External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj was reduced to being a ‘Twitter Minister’, Mr. Sinha said: “When I was External Affairs Minister under Mr. Vajpayee, he always used to consult me and take me along during his foreign visits. But that portfolio today is sadly reduced to being a political sinecure as Mr. Modi does not bother to consult the External Affairs Minister.”Similarly, he observed that the Finance Ministry was all but ignored in the momentous decision on demonetisation.“Demonetisation has achieved nothing except wiping out the livelihood of crores of small traders and bringing about widespread unemployment,” he said.Mr. Sinha further commented that nobody in the BJP would get a get a shot at leading the party as long as Mr. Modi and Mr. Shah were in control. “There does not seem to be any likelihood of someone else like Nitin Gadkari leading the party as long as Mr. Modi and Mr. Shah are driving the BJP,” he said.last_img read more

‘Our alliance is one of ideas’

first_imgBahujan Samaj Party president Mayawati on Friday termed the BSP-Samajwadi Party-Rashtriya Lok Dal alliance a combine of ideas.“Unlike the Bharatiya Janata Party, this alliance is one of ideas and it will not sit silent till it uproots the Yogi Adityanath government along with the Narendra Modi government,” the BSP chief said, addressing rallies for the candidates of the alliance in Mirzapur and Chandauli.“The sad faces of the BJP leaders after the completion of six phases of polling indicate that they know it’s time for the Modi government to go. Their bad days will start from May 23. After that, preparations for Adityanath to return to his mutt will start,” she said.Seeing the party’s sorry state of affairs in the polls, the BJP and its supporters tried to create misunderstanding between the BSP and the SP but they failed, said Ms. Mayawati.“This alliance has been formed after due consideration and will last long,” she asserted.Ms. Mayawati exhorted the electorate to ensure BJP State unit president Mahendra Nath Pandey, in the fray for the Chandauli seat, loses his deposit. She said the amount of work the BSP and the SP have done for the sisters and daughters of the State had not been done by any other party.She said when in power her government had taken steps to connect Maoist-hit areas with development works.“Instead of killing Maoists, we extended employment and food. We gave employment to the poor people of Sonebhadra (a Maoist-hit area) and later the SP government did a lot of work in this direction,” she said.Praise for AkhileshStating that SP president Akhilesh Yadav had put in a lot of effort to ensure BSP candidates fared well in the polls, Ms. Mayawati said it was the BSP’s moral responsibility to ensure the victory of the SP candidate from Chandauli.Mr. Yadav, in his address, said the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ had wiped off the BJP in the six phases of polling because of which their leaders were having sleepless nights.“As May 23 is nearing, their (BJP) fear is rising,” he said.last_img read more

Human language may have evolved to help our ancestors make tools

first_imgIf there’s one thing that distinguishes humans from other animals, it’s our ability to use language. But when and why did this trait evolve? A new study concludes that the art of conversation may have arisen early in human evolution, because it made it easier for our ancestors to teach each other how to make stone tools—a skill that was crucial for the spectacular success of our lineage.Researchers have long debated when humans starting talking to each other. Estimates range wildly, from as late as 50,000 years ago to as early as the beginning of the human genus more than 2 million years ago. But words leave no traces in the archaeological record. So researchers have used proxy indicators for symbolic abilities, such as early art or sophisticated toolmaking skills. Yet these indirect approaches have failed to resolve arguments about language origins.Now, a team led by Thomas Morgan, a psychologist at the University of California, Berkeley, has attacked the problem in a very different way. Rather than considering toolmaking as a proxy for language ability, he and his colleagues explored the way that language may help modern humans learn to make such tools. The researchers recruited 184 students from the University of St. Andrews in the United Kingdom, where some members of the team were based, and organized them into five groups. The first person in each group was taught by archaeologists how to make artifacts called Oldowan tools, which include fairly simple stone flakes that were manufactured by early humans beginning about 2.5 million years ago. This technology, named after the famous Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania where archaeologists Louis and Mary Leakey discovered the implements in the 1930s, consists of hitting a stone “core” with a stone “hammer” in such a way that a flake sharp enough to butcher an animal is struck off. Producing a useful flake requires hitting the core at just the right place and angle.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(*)The students in each of the five groups learned to produce Oldowan flakes in different ways. Subjects in the first group were presented with a core, hammer, and some examples of finished flakes and told to just get on with it by themselves. In the next group, a second student learned how to make the tools by simply watching the first subject and trying to duplicate what he or she did with no interaction at all between them; in the third group, subjects actively showed each other what they were doing but without gesturing; in the fourth group, gesturing and pointing were allowed but no talking; and in the fifth group, the “teacher” was permitted to talk to the “learner” and say whatever was necessary.In each group, the learner became the teacher in the next round. In this fashion, the research team created five different “chains of transmission” of Oldowan toolmakers, which produced a total of more than 6000 flakes. The results of the experiment, reported online today in Nature Communications, were striking. As might be expected, subjects sitting alone and attempting to “reverse engineer” Oldowan flakes simply by looking at cores, hammers, and examples of the flakes had only limited success. But performance improved very little among students who just watched others make the tools. Only the groups in which gestural or verbal teaching was allowed performed significantly above the reverse engineering baseline on several indicators of toolmaking skill, such as the total number of  flakes produced that were long enough and sharp enough to be viable and the proportion of hits that resulted in a viable flake. For example, gestural teaching doubled and verbal teaching quadrupled the likelihood that a single strike would result in a viable flake, the team found.The researchers conclude that the successful spread of even the earliest known toolmaking technology, more than 2 million years ago, would have required the capacity for teaching, and probably also the beginnings of spoken language—what the researchers call protolanguage. (Many researchers think that gestural communication was the prelude to spoken language, which might explain its effectiveness in these experiments.) “The ability to rapidly share the skill to make Oldowan tools would have brought fitness benefits” to early humans, Morgan says, such as greater efficiency in butchering animals; and then Darwinian natural selection would have acted to gradually improve primitive language abilities, eventually leading from protolanguage to the full-blown, semantically complex languages we speak today.“This is an exciting paper,” says Thomas Suddendorf, a psychologist at the University of Queensland, St. Lucia, in Australia, because it “nicely demonstrates the transmission power of teaching and symbols … in a context that was critical in human evolution.” And Dietrich Stout, an archaeologist at Emory University in Atlanta, comments that “a major strength of the paper is that it adopts an experimental approach to questions that have otherwise largely been addressed through intuition or common sense.”Although Suddendorf finds the team’s interpretations “sensible” and “plausible,” he cautions that the experimental results cannot be considered direct proof for the theory behind them. For one thing, Suddendorf says, the subjects “already have language and have grown up with language,” and so it would be expected that they would learn more effectively when they could talk to each other, which may not have been true for our earliest ancestors.Ceri Shipton, an archaeologist at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, agrees. “This article perhaps overreaches in its interpretations,” he says, because the subjects have grown up with language but “they have not grown up with stone tools” as early humans did. Another weakness of the study, Stout adds, is that the subjects were given only 5 minutes to learn the toolmaking techniques, and then no more than 25 minutes to produce Oldowan flakes. Had they been given more time, Stout suggests, the additional practice might have erased “any detectable difference in the transmission conditions.”last_img read more

Nursing Success

first_imgIt is perhaps the most unusual immigration story out of India: thousands and thousands of females – married or single – migrating alone to America, braving a new country, loneliness and a challenging new job without the support of family or friends. Often the primary breadwinner of the family, they start out on a new continent, put down roots and then begin sending for family members. Mandeep Dewal: “For a woman and a mother, nursing is a very flexible job: you can work three different shifts and three days versus five daysWith their qualifications they secure green cards not only for their spouses and children, but over time for siblings and parents as well, opening the door of possibilities for the entire extended family, and sometimes end up making a six figure salary themselves.All with a nursing certificate, their open sesame to America.Indian nurses are the largest block of international nurses after Filipinos in the United States. A 2000 survey found that Indians constitute 10 percent of all foreign nurses in the United States, but that number declined to just 1.3% in a 2004 survey. But the nurse migration from India has picked up steam. In 2006, 4,395 Indian nurses sat for the NCLEX nursing exam, a number that has almost doubled in two years.In the past, the immigration process for Indian nurses was cumbersome, as they had to pass their licensing exam in the United States before they could seek jobs. But now the National Council of State Board of Nursing has established five centers in Bombay, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai and Delhi – more than any other country in the world. It is testimony to where the profession is headed for the new crop of nurses in the years ahead.The Indian nurses have come to the rescue of the American medical system weighted by an acute shortage of nurses and in the process they have built success and prosperity for their families as well. While nurses are now drawn from all parts of India, Malayalee nurses form by far the single largest contingent, making it the largest mass migration from Kerala to America.Aney Paul is one of these Malayalee nurses from Kerala. Nothing much ever happened in her hometown and dreams remained idle dreams there. Paul left India 25 years ago with a nursing degree and today she has a beautiful home in Westchester County in New York, her husband works with the city and their three children have succeeded beyond any dreams dreamt in her home town. Her daughter has a Ph.D. from Princeton University, another graduated from New York University and her son is pursuing pre-med at the State University of New York, Albany. Paul herself has a master’s in nursing and public health and is just taking the exam for nurse practitioner, which can lead to a paycheck of over $100,000. Ann Varghese:Nursing here and in India is totally different. I’m sure it’s changed there too now, but in those days there was a big difference in the relationships between the nurse and the patients and how you interact, and the educational process here you really educate the patient before you do anything for them, which we were very unaccustomed to in India.” A typical rags to riches American success story you say? Well, this one has the twist of woman power, of a wife and mother who takes destiny into her own hands and makes the family’s future.Laban Pattanaik, co-director of RN India Inc., a nurse recruiting agency based on the West coast, estimates that there will be a major upsurge in Indian nurses migrating to the United States next year, because of the enormous increase in the number of candidates taking exams in India.RN India was started in 2003 in California and is one of several agencies bringing Indian nurses into the country. The organization has sponsored 150 nurses and plans on bringing 300-350 next year, as there was an immigration backlog of about six months. Says Pattanaik, “It is growing tremendously and we now have offices in Cochin, Delhi, Mumbai, Ludhiana and Pune.”Most nurses come under the employment based third preference green card – EB3 visa – but because of the severe shortage of nurses, the US government has carved out a special category Schedule A, which exempts nurses and physical therapists from the labor certification process, enabling them to get their immigrant visa and green cards approved within 7 or 8 months, not just for themselves, but for their spouses and children as well.Nursing, once regarded as a lowly profession in India, has gained cache and “nurse brides” are much in demand on matrimonial sites, such as A nursing degree is now a ticket out of the country, a door through which an entire family can get a green card to America and a readymade lifestyle – no waiting required.With the aging of the population and an acute shortage of nurses in the United States, the demand is only destined to grow. The expected shortage of nurses in the next decade is estimated at between half million to a million, according to several studies. According to Pattanaik, in 2005 the quota was raised for India, China and the Philippines and Congress allocated a special category for nurses and physical therapists.He says, “There has been lot of active lobbying happening with the American Hospital Association, immigration attorneys and groups like ourselves. There is a huge lobbying effort to exempt nurses, physical therapists and other Schedule A workers from any numerical limitation, so there’s a high degree of confidence that this will happen over the course of the next six months.” The human resources director from Good Samaritan Hospital Los Angeles meets with candidates and RN India’s principal’s Lalit and Laban Pattanaik in KochiLittle wonder then that scores of nursing schools are mushrooming across India, and nursing has become a very lucrative career. Sara Gabriel, based in Chicago, is the president of the National Association of Indian Nurses in America (NAINA). She says that even males are trying to get into the nursing field and in Kerala, nursing is the next most popular profession after medicine.But why India and why Kerala?India of course has a large migrant community and its strength in numbers, job applicants and English speaking ability has made people its largest export. For several decades now, since the 1950s and 1960s nursing was a popular woman’s profession in Kerala, more than any other state. It is the most literate and largely English speaking state with a large population of Christians who have familiarity with service oriented professions.“Teaching and nursing for the women was the model followed in Kerala, because of the missionary activity and Christianity,” says Aney Paul, who heads the New York chapter of Indian Nurses Association and is a nurse in Nyack in Westchester: “These professions were deemed to be quite noble where the nurses are taking care of the community.” Ravindra Dhillon: I consider it a very good profession. You have job stability, you are serving people and you get satisfaction in your job that you did something good.” Yet this was not always the attitude with many families in Kerala. Ammal Bernard, who hails from the small village of Kottayam in Kerala and now lives in Miami, Fl., recalls that she was the first woman to go into nursing in her family and her village and was almost treated as if she was committing a crime!“I was practically driven out of my home. They threatened me that if I go into nursing they wouldn’t take me back. That time it was very, very hard for a girl to leave her home to take a job to go to the city or out of country.”Since childhood she had been an avid reader and a book she read on Florence Nightingale convinced her that she would like to do that kind of work. Finally her brother, who was in the air force and stationed in Jodhpur, supported her decision and arranged for her to join a nursing school there. After completing her training she became a nurse in India. Then a friend from her neighborhood who had migrated to the US helped her to apply for a position in New York.With a sponsorship and job offer in hand, she landed in 1971 at Montfiore Medical Center, a huge city hospital in the hurly-burly of the Bronx, a continent and light years away from sleepy Kottayam. At that time there were few Malayalees, she recalls. She was picked up at JFK by two nurses – a Malayalee and a Tamilian – and deposited in an apartment. The two then left for their night shift duties at the hospital, and Barnard spent her first night alone in a new, alien place. She says, “It was a scary feeling. Everything was new to me. But it was also exciting and I survived.”Bernard worked at Montfiore for over 11 years and fell into the rhythm of things. Nursing, the career her family and village had disapproved of, not only brought her to Americ,a but even found her a suitable husband – a Malayalee from Canada, in an arranged match through friends.The perception of nursing has totally transformed in India. Ammal Barnard: Everybody says it’s all because of me. I was focusing hundred percent on the family and I did it all for the family and I achieved that part very well. Even the people in my village are happy with what I did.” “Now I believe after medicine, in the health care field, nursing is the second best profession they are looking for, especially in Kerala,” says Sara Gabriel. “There are non-Christians also going in for nursing. Right now what I’m hearing is that in Kerala people from all walks of life, rich people, male nurses, they are all in queue and they cannot get into nursing school. It’s very difficult to get in, even though there are many more schools.”She adds, “There is a lot of job security in nursing and overseas nurses have helped the economy in Kerala in a big way by their remittances home. Besides Kerala, there are other states in the same path where lots of people are going for nursing.”Says Pattanaik: “We’ve had nurses whose mothers were nurses and their grandmothers were nurses and lots of those people have gone to the Gulf or to the UK and now that this US opportunity has opened, it is the ultimate destination for nurses. I think the Malayalees have been used to the migration pattern of going to another country to really leverage the skills set and experience that they have as nurses.”The financial rewards are substantial: In India annual salaries for nurses range from Rs. $1,500 to $3,000, but in the U.S. salaries average $57,000, varying on geography and hospital. Says Patanaik, “Typically what’s happening for many of our nurses is that $60,000 salary is basically equating to working 3 days a week; They have 12 hour shifts but most of them are so used to working longer hours than that that they are putting in one or two extra shifts a week and then typically the salaries are going up to $70,000-75,000, because they are paid overtime wages in many cases.” Sara Gabriel: a lot of nurses who came alone, leaving their families and children had to sacrifice their personal lives to make a living in the 70’s.As the numbers of Indian nurses has exploded in the country, many associations of Indian nurses have formed with the ones in New Jersey, Houston, Dallas and Miami functioning for over a decade now. This year all of them came together under one umbrella, the National Association of Indian Nurses of America (NAINA).Some of the nurses who joined 30 years ago have seen a sea change in their profession both in India and in America. In India many of them did not even learn typing and here everything in the hospital system is computerized from electronic monitoring of patients to ordering charts. So for many it was a new learning experience.The respect nurses receive in the US adds to its allure of Indians. Aney Paul recalls that in India nurses were treated like the handmaidens of the doctors, doing everything for them, from pulling a chair for them. She says, “Here the doctors are the captains of the ship and are responsible for the welfare of the patient, but they are team leaders and every other member in the team is equally important. Nurses are one of the most important key members in the hospital setting.“They have much higher respect in this society. If you are educated, qualified and capable, you are billed as a peer among the senior team members and when the young people see this they also want to go into nursing, just like they go into medical school or pharmacy school. It’s a big plus.”Today, Indian nurses are everywhere, from small towns to big cities, in nursing homes, private offices and big county hospitals. Ann Varghese, who works at a major city hospital in Dallas, came from the town of Patthanamthitta in Kerala. “Right out of school, I became a nurse. I’ve been a nurse for over 30-35 years and in those days it was not a popular profession. Actually my older sister went into nursing first and she kind of inspired me.” Preparing for the nursing exam in IndiaShe followed her sister and sister-in-law, both nurses, who were already in the US and worked in the Tolstoy Nursing Home in Rockland County, NY for four and a half years. Today she works at the Parkland Hospital System in Dallas – a large state and teaching hospital, which has over 1,700 nurses, several hundred of whom are Indian.Did she have to make any adjustments in her career? She says, “Yes, I did. Nursing here and in India is totally different. I’m sure it’s changed there too now, but in those days there was a big difference in the relationships between the nurse and the patients and how you interact, and the educational process here you really educate the patient before you do anything for them, which we were very unaccustomed to in India.”She recalls it was a bigger adjustment for her husband who had earlier worked in the Middle East. They moved to Dallas so he could get an appropriate job and took shifts so one parent could always be with the children. Would her life have been very different if the family had never immigrated? Varghese feels that nursing is a lucrative profession even in India, but the US offers so much more for the future of their children, since education and jobs are harder to find in India.Sara Gabriel, who came in 1973, started out on regular work visa with her husband. A graduate of Christian Medical College in Vellore,Tamil Nadu, she studied for her masters in nursing from Layola College, Chicago. Starting out as a staff nurse, she has worked in administration and education. She is currently a nurse administrator at John Stroger Hospital in Chicago, a big city hospital, and has worked at six different area hospitals.“I did not go through the struggles many nurses went through, because my husband was already here and working,” she says. “But a lot of nurses who came alone, leaving their families and children had to sacrifice their personal lives to make a living in the 70’s. They had to pass the exams here and also send money to support their families back home. There are a lot of stories like that.“In a lot of families the first daughter went to nursing school and came over here, and slowly brought the siblings here and settled down in good places and sent money back to their parents.”By contrast the nurses coming now through the recruiting agencies take their exams and English proficiency tests in India and come on a contract with a hospital. After working the required years, they are free to go wherever they like.Not surprisingly nursing is developing appeal in all parts of India.“There’s no question about it, that’s why we’ve opened up offices in Punjab because the people there have a lot of relatives in the UK and Canada or the US and they see that nursing is an opportunity to come to the West,” says Pattanaik. “It’s an excellent profession, but it’s also a green card opportunity so people are seeing this as a viable way to make a life for themselves and their families.”Ravindra Dhillon is a Punjabi who has been in nursing for many years and has practiced in hospitals not only in India and the US. but also in Iran and Libya. Dhillon, who currently is a nurse educator in the VA Hospital in St. Albans, Queens, in New York, says: “In India itself a lot of North Indian women are opting to go in for nursing. The trends are changing in India too and it’s not only the women from the South who are going in for nursing. I consider it a very good profession. You have job stability, you are serving people and you get satisfaction in your job that you did something good.” Her story is also about the difficulties and adjustments nurses have to make. In India she was director of nursing at Luthra Heart Institute, but in the US she had to start from the bottom rung as a licensed practical nurse gradually rising to registered nurse, and then obtaining advanced nurising degrees. The struggle was worth it. Today as a nurse educator with the federal government she makes a salary of $100,000 and has tremendous satisfaction in her challenging job.Now second generation Indian Americans are also seeing it as a very viable job. Mandeep Dewal, who came to the US at age 11 and is a niece of Dhillon, has embraced the career. She has a number of nurses in her family and went into nursing after high school. Her first job as an RN was at Northshore Hospital in Long Island, NY.“For a woman and a mother, nursing is a very flexible job: you can work three different shifts and three days versus five days,” says Dewal, who works in the Little Neck Nursing Home in Queens. “If you ask me, I’d recommend this to any woman who has kids at home. I’m home four days with my child, and I’m working three days, but it’s considered a full time job because I’m doing 12 hour shifts.” New Indian nurses at their orientation at the Good Samaritan Hospital, Los AngelesNursing even offers opportunities to work largely from home, such as hospice nursing for terminally ill patients, where the nurse monitors their needs largely with phone communications and some visits.The job does carry a lot of responsibility and is stressful. Says Deval, “The nursing homes are a little bit laid back, compared to the hospitals, but the responsibility is the same. It’s just a fast track and the slow track but you’re still responsible.”Varghese has worked in big hospitals and shares her insights of places which readers only get to see when they are sick or on ‘ER’ on television. She says, “It’s a wonderful experience. I’ve spent 25 years there and worked five or six years in every area. Every day is a learning process. Right now I’m working in the outpatient clinic and that’s a totally different experience than bedside nursing, which I did for 15 years. And I enjoyed that too a lot, because every time you help a person you feel you gave something and that’s a good feeling.”She cautions, “It’s not an easy job and nursing is not for everybody. You have to have that feeling within you, that compassion, the caring attitude has to be there in order for you to be a nurse and enjoy it. Yes there are financial rewards, but if that’s the only reason you’re going into it, then you are not going to enjoy nursing.”Says Varghese: “You’re dealing with all kinds of people, some are very appreciative, some can be very demanding and also there are those who don’t really know how to interact with people. You have to handle difficult situations.”So what makes it all worthwhile? She says, “I’ve had cancer patients that I used to give chemotherapy to and I remember a young cop who used to come for therapy. He seemed to be at the bottom of his life, but gradually after courses of chemotherapy he gradually was doing very well, becoming free of cancer – and walking out of there, hugging us all. Those kind of memories stick.”The Indian nurses are now seeking to organize to promote their welfare by helping them tap opportunities for internships, financial fellowships for studies and grants for research.Some of the stories of the nurses start in Indian villages, towns and cities and end in America with a most Bollywood-like happy ending. Take the case of Ammal Bernard, who is joint secretary of NAINA and a well-established nurse in Miami who has headed the association of nurses there for many years. She is a nurse at the Coral Reef Nursing and Rehab Center and has been a mentor to many nurses from India.She’s also the woman whose family in Kerala had almost disowned her when she first decided to become a nurse and set out for America.She ended up transforming the lives of all her family members and their unborn children. After she came to the US she got her three brothers and three sisters and even her father American citizenship. They all had success in America. Today she has 17 nephews and nieces, all of them doctors, nurses or engineers and one of them is a Ph.D in pharmacy.It all started with the seed of her becoming a nurse and setting out for America.So she made her family’s fortune? She smiles and says with satisfaction, “Yes I did. That is why all my family members come together in Miami whenever they get time – we are very attached and family people. Everybody says it’s all because of me. I was focusing hundred percent on the family and I did it all for the family and I achieved that part very well. Even the people in my village are happy with what I did.”Her story is multiplied many times over as thousands of Indian nurses migrate all over the world and create their own stories of service and success.   THE NUMBERS3 million licensed registered nurses in USA in March 2004.  $ 57,784  Average Earning 5.7% Men  88.4% White 4.6% Black  3.3% Asian 1.8% Hispanic 3.5% Foreign educated 50% Phillipines 20% Canada 8.4% United Kingdom 2.3% Nigeria 1.5% Ireland 1.3% India 1.2% HongKong 1.1% Jamaica 1% Israel 1% South KoreaNURSES DISTRIBUTION  56% Hospitals 15% Community and public health 12% Ambulatory care 6% Nursing HomesCANDIDATES TAKING REGISTERED NURSE EXAM (2006)  133,187 (82.4%) US Educated 43,830 (47.7%) Foreign EducatedFigures in parenthesis are pass ratesTOP FIVE COUNTRIES OF TEST TAKERS (2006)  151,71 Phillipines 4,395 India 2,145 South Korea 943 Canada 537 Cuba Related Itemslast_img read more

Garcia heats up late as EAC caps off season with a win

first_imgBrace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC NBA: LeBron thinks Kyrie won’t get booed as much in Cleveland return PERPETUAL 81 – Eze 21, Ylagan 17, Yuhico 13, Coronel 10, Dagangon 7, Lucente 4, Pido 4, Tamayo 3, Sadiwa 2.Quarters: 25-19, 37-39, 64-59, 83-81. Sidney Onwubere also got a fitting farewell as he nabbed 15 points, nine rebounds, four dimes, a steal, and a block in his final collegiate game.“I’m happy because everyone contributed and did their roles,” said the senior forward.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutEAC held a six-point lead, 78-72, courtesy of a Sean Neri undergoal stab with 3:34 remaining, but Perpetual fought back behind Prince Eze down the stretch.Altas got a chance to inch closer when Garcia fouled AJ Coronel on his three-point attempt with 1.6 ticks remaining. Coronel made his first two attempts to cut the deficit down to two, 83-81, and intentionally missed his third to allow Eze to grab the rebound. Unfortunately, the Nigerian big man botched his putback as the Generals escaped with the victory. Read Next BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight “At least, we could hold our heads up high,” said coach Ariel Sison whose side snapped its five-game losing streak to wind up with a 7-11 record.Eze fired 21 points and nine rebounds for Perpetual, which stumbled to its seventh straight loss to fall down to 4-13.GJ Ylagan got 17 markers, five boards, and four assists, while Jonathan Yuhico had 13 in the loss.The Scores:EAC 83 – Garcia 22, J. Mendoza 17, Onwubere 15, Bugarin 12, Bautista 6, Diego 6, Neri 3, Tampoc 2, Corilla 0, I. Mendoza 0.ADVERTISEMENT Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary LATEST STORIES Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong Citycenter_img Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netEmilio Aguinaldo College did just enough to hold off Perpetual, 83-81, and finish off its NCAA Season 93 men’s basketball tournament campaign with a victory Tuesday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.Jerome Garcia unfurled 12 of his 22 points in the payoff period, and added four rebounds, while Jethro Mendoza had 17 markers, three assists, two boards, and two steals.ADVERTISEMENT For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. MOST READ Chief Justice Peralta on upcoming UAAP game: UP has no match against UST PLAY LIST 01:00Chief Justice Peralta on upcoming UAAP game: UP has no match against UST01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH View commentslast_img read more

Wimbledon 2011: Federer-Nadal to continue their rivalry for years

first_imgNick Bollettieri is a much sought after man even today. Just a month short of 80, the supreme tennis guru is at Wimbledon in a different capacity – a columnist plus expert.Tennis guru Nick BollettieriBut that has not stopped the celebrated coach from giving interviews. On Wednesday, in an exclusive chat with MAIL TODAY, Bollettieri spoke on a wide range of tennis issues.Even as tennis lovers debate who is the best men’s player and who will win the ladies singles title, Bollettieri is sure the best of the Williams sisters is not yet over. “I have no hesitation Venus and Serena can go the full distance as this is Wimbledon and they love this place so much,” he said.As one who has shaped the careers of several stars from Boris Becker to Andre Agassi and Monica Seles to Maria Sharapova, the tennis guru had one quick point to make. “When Boris used to win at Wimbledon, he would tell me he doesn’t want to leave the place till the end of the fortnight. With so much of unpredictability in women’s tennis, one Williams can still pull it off,” says Bollettieri.So where does that leave Li Na, the Chinese sensation. Bollettieri’s eyes lit up. “Li Na is indeed exciting and her win at the French Open was big. She has almost no weakness in her game and all the strokes are there in her repertoire.She is a tremendous player and loves to hit the ball on the rise,” rattled off the coach.advertisementIn between the interview, Bollettieri also takes business calls, as he runs the busiest tennis academy (NBTA) in Florida.”I have been doing so many interviews today with the London TV channels and now I have an Indian mediaman waiting for me. I am a celebrity I guess!” he said on the phone before returning for the debate on what’s the depth in men’s tennis.Bollettieri’s eyes sparkle when you talk of Federer, Sampras and Nadal. He has been a great fan of Sampras’ serve and volley style. “I mean today you have four guys at the top who can win the men’s title. Between Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Murray, anyone can win. But you have to look at a guy like del Potro. He is big and tough,” says Bollettieri.Bollettieri says with conviction there is not going to be a change of guard in men’s tennis so soon.”Look at the way Federer has preserved himself. His serve and that backhand and his cool, everything is in place. He has a great coach in Paul Annacone who I have coached. With this kind of a technique Roger is going to be around for a long time,” says Bollettieri.So what’s that one factor which makes Federer even harder to beat. “I have no doubt in saying Federer has no off-court stuff and no night clubs to distract him. He has an excellent support and family and if he stays this way, he can win for another four years,” says Bollettieri.”The same goes for Nadal. He doesn’t hang out late, though his training methods are different. He is going to give it a 110 per cent in training come what may, and that’s even if he is returning after a break. I can tell you one thing, Nadal doesn’t burn the candle at two ends,” says the tennis guru.So who is the best? “Sampras’s serve and volley was really good.But if he was to stay back against Federer, then it would be tough to win. As for Federer, he has the serve and the fluid motions in his game. Add to that his backhand, you know it,” says Bollettieri.Still guessing?For more news on India, click here.For more news on Business, click here.For more news on Movies, click here.For more news on Sports, click here.last_img read more

IOC chief urges total review of world anti-doping system

first_imgInternational Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach addresses the 129th IOC session in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Monday.   –  Reuters Olympics chief Thomas Bach called for a complete overhaul of the global anti-doping system after revelations of state-backed cheating by Russia rocked preparations for the Rio Games.In a surprise broadside, Bach said the uncovering of widespread Russian doping had shown up deficiencies in the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). “Recent developments have shown that we need a full review of the WADA anti-doping system,” Bach told an International Olympic Committee (IOC) session, three days before the Rio Games open on Friday.“The IOC is calling for a more robust and efficient anti-doping system,” he added. “This requires clear responsibilities, more transparency, more independence and better worldwide harmonisation.”Bach’s condemnation of WADA escalates a feud between the Olympics and anti-doping bodies which broke out in the run up to Rio.WADA calls for Russia to be kicked out of the Rio Olympics after it published a report which found the sports ministry and secret services duped drug testers by switching samples at laboratories. But the IOC stopped short of a total Russian ban and instead delegated individual sports to take action against athletes from the country, drawing accusations it was passing the buck.‘Nuclear option’However, Bach blasted the prospect of an outright Russian ban in graphic terms. “Let us just for a moment consider the consequences of a ‘nuclear option’. “The result is death and devastation. This is not what the Olympic movement stands for.”He added, “We want to keep the cheaters away from the Olympic Games. There is no place to hide for cheats and dopers can never feel safe anywhere.”Several IOC members also criticised WADA during Tuesday’s talks, before the body voted 84-1 to implement last month’s executive board decision not to exclude Russia.WADA president Craig Reedie largely took the comments in his stride but he insisted the anti-doping body wasn’t in as bad a shape as some delegates had suggested. “I heard a view this morning that the system is broken,” Reedie told the IOC delegates. “I would like to say that all of it is not broken, part of it is broken and we should start identifying those parts that need attention.”Russia’s athletics team has already been barred in a separate doping scandal, and at least 117 of Russia’s original Olympic contingent of 387 have also been excluded over drugs concerns.Many have taken their cases to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, including 17 rowers and the Russian weightlifting federation, with the country’s eventual contingent still unclear.Russian Olympic Committee president Alexander Zhukov blasted “discrimination” against athletes who have been banned as a result of the WADA report, despite not failing drugs tests. “To those who crave collective disqualification for Russia, taking into account ruined fates and broke lives of innocent athletes, I fully agree with the position of president Bach that each individual must have at least the opportunity to prove their innocence,” he said.Argentina’s Gerardo Werthein also hit out at WADA’s “failure to investigate serious and credible allegations more swiftly” as IOC members rounded on the anti-doping body. “It saddens me to say this, but at times WADA has seemed to be more interested in publicity and self-promotion rather than doing its job as a regulator,” Werthein said.Reedie later said he was “personally offended” by Werthein’s comments and revealed that he confronted the Argentine during a break in the meeting. “He assured me he wasn’t speaking about me and he maybe overstated his case. We remain friends,” said the Scot. SHARE SHARE EMAIL Russia leads 2014 doping tally: WADA COMMENTS RELATED SHARE International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach addresses the 129th IOC session in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Monday.   –  Reuters COMMENT Published on × sport August 03, 2016last_img read more


first_img3rd Race: The Her Majesty Trophy 2400 Metres3rd Race: The Her Majesty Trophy 2400 Metres Phenomenal Memory (Dr Cyrus S. Poonawalla, Mr Adar C. Poonawalla & Mrs Natasha A. Poonawalla) 49.5 S Zervan first Rodeo 58 C S Jodha second Heather 59 P S Chouhan third Caesars Star 47.5 S A Amit fourth Not Run: Nil Favourities: Heather Won By: 3 1/4 L, 4 1/2 L, 3 1/4 L Time: 2 minute 32.79 seconds Tote: Rs 24 for win, Rs 11 and Rs 41 for places Forecast: Rs 93 Shp: Rs 67 Quinella: Rs 135 Tanala: 70 per cent: Rs 123 on 54 tickets 30 per cent: Rs 30 on 96 tickets (More) PTI COR RDS RSY AHlast_img

TFA and Deaf Sports Australia sign partnership

first_imgTouch Football Australia (TFA) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Deaf Sports Australia (DSA), highlighting the inclusive nature of Touch Football and its accessibility to all people.   TFA CEO, Colm Maguire and DSA General Manager, Garry West-Bail signed the Memorandum of Understanding on Monday at the TFA office. Hearing impairments currently affect one in five Australians with that number expected to increase in coming years. This commitment from TFA to those who may describe themselves as deaf, hard of hearing, hearing impaired or a cochlear implantee, is another example of how the sport wants to improve the experience for all persons as well as create an environment where persons with a hearing impairment feel comfortable.Maguire said that the organisation hopes to ‘make a real difference in the deaf community’. “What we’ve set about trying to achieve with this relationship in terms of inclusive nature is something that, from our perspective, we needed to identify and hone in on a community we could really help and embrace, rather than trying to be all encompassing. Around one in five Australians has a hearing impairment. That’s a wide community as is the Touch Football community, it is a very big sport, very inclusive and no impediment to participation and certainly we see the opportunity of further formalising in a Memorandum of Understanding the things that we’ve been doing on a day by day nature,” Maguire said. “From our perspective it’s now about the key strategies that we set about in our Participation Plan, how we grow this, how we embrace it, and certainly the Silent Sports Challenge from the 24th to the 30th August is one of those key opportunities to really highlight what our relationship can be into the future. West-Bail said that the Deaf Sports Australia community is ‘greatly appreciative’ for the partnership with Touch Football Australia. “The Deaf Sports Australia community, is greatly appreciative of what we see now we can do together in a partnership so hopefully it works well throughout Australia. The first program we’ll be working on is the Silent Sports Challenge in late August…playing the sport of Touch Football in Adelaide, Melbourne, ACT and the Gold Coast. So it’s really exciting, a positive benefit for us,” West-Bail said.The purpose of the Memorandum of Understanding is to increase the number of participants who are deaf or hard of hearing in Touch Football, through community based initiatives, the creation of specific material for hearing impaired persons and the identification of development pathways in Touch Football.The first community initiative for the two organisations, the Silent Sports Challenge, will be held during Hearing Awareness Week – Sunday, 24 August to Saturday, 30 August 2014. Four locations across Australia – Melbourne, Adelaide, Canberra and Gold Coast – will host Touch Football events during the week. Further information on the events will be available in the coming weeks at and  Related LinksTFA signs MOUlast_img read more

10 days agoEx-Liverpool keeper Adam Bogdan explains AIK trials

first_imgEx-Liverpool keeper Adam Bogdan explains AIK trialsby Paul Vegas10 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveFormer Liverpool goalkeeper Adam Bogdan is trialling with AIK.The Hungary international, 32, has been a free agent since leaving the Reds last summer.He told Sportbladet: “Of course, it’s very interesting. This is a huge club. I have done my research and really understand how big it is,.”A club that is top class and one of the biggest teams in Sweden. People all over Europe know about AIK and they have played a part in Europe in recent years. “So I’m going to train here for a week. Then we’ll see. What do I have and what does AIK have for me?” TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img

New Zealand focused on how to best combat Virat Kohli, says Kane Williamson

first_img Press Trust of India NapierJanuary 22, 2019UPDATED: January 22, 2019 16:48 IST India and New Zealand will play 5 ODIs and 3 T20Is (AP Photo)HIGHLIGHTSKane Williamson calls Virat Kohli a passionate and world-class cricketer”He’s a respectful guy and I’ve known him for a very long time,” WilliamsonThe five-match ODI series between India and New Zealand starts on WednesdayNew Zealand captain Kane Williamson has said they will primarily be focused on how to “best combat” Virat Kohli in the limited-overs series starting from Wednesday in Napier. India and New Zealand play 5 one day internationals and 3 Twenty20 internationals from January 23 to February 10.Virat Kohli on Tuesday became the first player to win the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) ODI Cricketer of the Year, the Test Cricketer of the Year and the 2018 Cricketer of the Year.Virat Kohli finished as the highest scorer in Test cricket in 2018 with 1322 runs in 13 matches at an average of 55.08 with five hundreds and as many half-centuries while also finishing on top of the ODI runs tally with 1202 runs in 14 ODIs at 133.55 with six centuries.”Someone like Virat is certainly a player I admire and enjoy watching and he’s pushing the boundaries of the game so that’s brilliant,” Williamson said on the eve of first ODI.He said Kohli was a passionate and world-class cricketer.”He’s a respectful guy and I’ve known him for a very long time but as a player, obviously, word class and our focus is more about that and his cricketing ability and how we can combat him as best as we can,” Williamson said.Williamson felt that the passion with which Kohli approaches his cricket has made him a crowd puller around the world.”He’s always a challenge to come up against and is someone who is most admired in terms of how he goes about his cricket and he’s formidable in his run scoring so he’s definitely a player of note to try to shut down.”advertisementWilliamson believed the pitch at McLean Park could aid batsmen.”…So it’s important the batting group puts together a plan that is good but, at the same time, the bowlers have a massive role in that in trying to nullify the strengths in both oppositions,” he said.Returning the compliment, the Indian run-machine also lauded the prolific Williamson, calling him one of the best in the world.”Williamson is easily one of the best players in the world. So easy on the eye, great to watch and I personally enjoy his batting and when he is on song he is easily one of the most attractive batsmen to watch.”He is always going to be a solid player for NZ purely because of what all he has done over the years in all three formats.”Kohli picked Williamson and Ross Taylor as batsmen his team would look to dismiss cheaply.”He more or less makes the team win when he is scoring runs, so that tells you about his awareness about the game and hence he is leading the side and guiding it in the right direction. So Kane will be a factor but at the same time Rosco (Taylor) and other guys as well.”You can’t take anyone for granted and their batting revolves around Kane and Ross in ODIs especially, the other guys bat around them and we are aware of that and working on our plans,” Kohli said.Also Read | Virat Kohli first player ever to win consecutive ICC Cricketer of the Year awardsAlso Read | Virat Kohli completes historic hat-trick: Full list of ICC award winnersAlso Read | Virat Kohli not New Zealand’s only concern: Ross Taylor wary of Rohit and DhawanAlso Read | MS Dhoni eyes Sachin Tendulkar’s record in New Zealand after hitting form in AustraliaFor sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to 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 byJepher Nickels Tags :Follow Kane WilliamsonFollow Virat Kohli New Zealand focused on how to best combat Virat Kohli, says Kane WilliamsonNew Zealand captain Kane Williamson said India skipper Virat Kohli will be their primary target during the limited-overs series between the two countries.advertisementlast_img read more

Molenbeek Catholics Invite Muslims to Have Ftour in a Church

By Asmaa BahadiRabat – Ramadan, the most sacred month of the year for Muslims, affects not only their daily routine but also their environment and the people around them. Among many cross-cultural initiative, one in Brussels went viral on social media.On Friday, June 17, the Church of St. John-Baptist of Molenbeek in Brussel has welcomed Muslims to a giant ftour (Iftar) assembly for the second year in a row. About 600 people of various faiths, invited by the priest Aurélien Saniko, gathered in the religious house. Last year, about 300 people attended an Iftar organized in the town square.The event was originally scheduled to take place at the town square this year as well, but it was moved to the church because of bad weather.#Molenbeek les chrétiens accueillent les musulmans pour rupture du jeûne géante à l’intérieure de l’église #Ramadan— Samuel Grzybowski (@samgrzybowski) June 17, 2016The tables were placed in the church for a meal for all attendees. The menu included typical traditional dishes such as Harira, which is widely consumed by Muslims in Ramadan. Moreover, mosques and other associations helped to provide certain foods such as soup or dates, and the guests also brought home-made dishes with them according to their own likings.Face à l’édification de leurs murs, nous construirons des ponts. Magnifique initiative. #Molenbeek #VivreEnsemble— CCIF (@ccif) June 20, 2016Several speeches were given before the meal at 22:00 by numerous invitees, including the church’s priest and the husband of Loubna Lafquiri, the young teacher of Moroccan origin who died at Brussels attacks. read more

TSX falls into red following three days of gains

TORONTO — The Toronto stock market was lower Thursday following three days of advances as economic growth data from China met expectations and traders looked to a two-day summit of European Union leaders.The S&P/TSX composite index was down 16.35 points to 12,444.9 after netting more than 250 points since Friday and the TSX Venture Exchange added 1.85 points to 1,305.85.The Canadian dollar was off 0.25 of a cent to 102.00 cents US after the commodity-sensitive currency charged ahead almost a full U.S. cent on Wednesday amid rising copper prices.New York markets were weak as traders took in disappointing employment data and earnings from investment bank Morgan Stanley and mobile phone maker Nokia.The Dow Jones industrials dipped 16.58 points to 13,540.42 as applications for U.S. unemployment benefits jumped 46,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 388,000, the highest in four months. The increase represents a rebound from the previous week’s sharp drop. Both swings were largely due to technical factors.The four-week average of applications, a less volatile measure, fell slightly to 365,500, a level consistent with modest hiring.The Nasdaq composite index was 9.85 points lower to 3,094.27 while the S&P 500 index was off 3.48 points to 1,457.43.Commodity prices failed to find lift from data showing that China’s economy grew 7.4 per cent from the year before in the three months ended in September, which was in line with economists’ expectations. That was slower than the second quarter’s 7.6 per cent growth but economists also pointed to quarter-on-quarter growth of 2.2 per cent, the biggest such gain in a year.While indicating that the world’s second-biggest economy is recovering, analysts said the showing also indicated that there is no need for the government to inject further stimulus.The gold sector lost 0.85 per cent as December gold bullion pulled back $9.70 to US$1,743.30 an ounce. Barrick Gold Corp. (TSX:ABX) faded 39 cents to C$38.74.December copper was two cents lower at US$3.73 a pound following a five-cent run-up Wednesday and the base metals sector lost 0.64 per cent. First Quantum Minerals (TSX:FM) declined 29 cents to $22.46.The November crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange declined $1.21 to US$90.91 a barrel. Canadian Natural Resources (TSX:CNQ) shed 25 cents to $30.83.Meanwhile, an EU summit starting later Thursday will see leaders debate tightening financial integration and creating a banking union as well as dealing with the financial needs of Greece and Spain.Ahead of the meeting, German Chancellor Angela Merkel endorsed a proposal for a top European Union official to be given the power to veto member governments’ budgets in a bid to keep European countries from overspending in the future.But with long-term proposals for overhauling the EU likely to play a leading role at this week’s summit, firm decisions are not expected on more immediate matters.The eurozone financial crisis has focused on Spain in recent months. There are growing expectations the country, suffering from the after-effects of a building boom that went bust, will soon make a request for international help to deal with its finances.Amid that expectation, Spain on Thursday raised C4.6 billion at a sharply lower cost. The Treasury sold C1.51 billion in 10-year bonds at an average interest rate of 5.46 per cent, down from 5.66 per cent in the last such auction Sept. 20.Spain says it will soon decide whether to look to tap a European Central Bank bond-buying program largely designed to keep a lid on its borrowing costs.On the earnings front, Morgan Stanley shares were down 22 cents to US$18.27 after the bank reported higher net income and revenue for the third quarter. Excluding an accounting charge, the bank earned $535 million for common shareholders in July to September, up from $39 million a year ago. Revenue rose 18 per cent to $7.5 billion after excluding the charge, which beat the $6.4 billion that analysts had been expecting.Nokia Corp. said Thursday that its third-quarter net loss widened to C969 million as revenue plunged 19 per cent and sales of its flagship Windows Phone fell under three million units. Investors had been expecting an even bigger drop in sales but nonetheless sent shares in the company down 5.44 per cent to US$2.78.In other corporate developments, Telus Corp. will have a single class of shares after shareholders voted strongly in favour of the plan on Wednesday, defeating a U.S. hedge fund’s attempt to get a premium for holders of the company’s voting shares. Telus voting shares (TSX:T) gained 21 cents to $63.10 while its non-voting shares (TSX:T.A) gained 57 cents to $62.85.Britain’s financial regulator has fined a subsidiary of Sun Life Financial Inc. (TSX:SLF) 600,000 pounds for what it called “failings” in the governance of its with-profits business. The Financial Services Authority ruling concerns the operation of Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada (U.K.) Ltd. The FSA says the design and operation of the company’s governance arrangements were unclear and inadequate, resulting in a high risk that the interests of policyholders would not be properly protected. Sun Life shares dipped one cent to $24.16.European bourses were mixed as London’s FTSE 100 index slipped 0.15 per cent and Frankfurt’s DAX gained 0.23 per cent while the Paris CAC 40 was down 0.52 per cent.Earlier in Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 index rose two per cent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.5 per cent.In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite Index gained 1.2 per cent to the highest close in more than a month. The Shenzhen Composite Index gained 1.7 per cent. read more

Environmental watchdog says Ontario gives large scale water users a free ride

Environmental watchdog says Ontario gives large scale water users a free ride by Keith Leslie, The Canadian Press Posted Nov 3, 2015 8:43 am MDT Last Updated Nov 3, 2015 at 3:00 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email TORONTO – Ontario’s environment watchdog wants to end the “free ride” for farmers, municipalities and industries that are given large water-taking permits.Acting environmental commissioner Ellen Schwartzel said she was frustrated that the government has made no progress on recovering its management costs for water, despite years of reports, recommendations and political promises.“We’re really eager to see this move forward,” Schwartzel said as she released her annual report. “Other provinces are likely ahead of us on this, so we really need to move on it.”The province recovers only 1.2 per cent of the $16.2 million it spends each year on water quantity management programs.“Not only do most industries get a total free ride, the few that do pay are charged only $3.71 for every million litres of water they take,” said Schwartzel. “That works out to less than $10 for enough water to fill an Olympic-size pool.”Industries that face the small charge include bottled water producers, beverage manufacturers, fruit and vegetable canning or pickling facilities, ready-mix concrete producers, pesticide, fertilizer and other agriculture chemical manufacturers or inorganic chemical manufacturers.However, Schwartzel said there were “outdated blanked exemptions” for agricultural, municipal and short-term water takings that should be eliminated.The Ministry of the Environment needs to be more open when it issues water-taking permits because only one-quarter of them get posted on its website for public comment, added Schwartzel.“Permits for municipal or agricultural uses, or ones that last for less than a year, are never shared with the public, and many of these are for high-risk uses,” she said.Environment Minister Glen Murray said he was preparing a plan to recover more of the water management costs, but warned the issue is not black-and-white.Large industrial users of water are often heavy polluters, and will face additional costs when the government introduces a cap-and-trade system next spring.“You don’t want to go forward precipitously and hit a company with the polluter-pay principle on carbon dioxide and carbon pollution at the same time you’re dealing with fees for water,” said Murray.The environment minister suggested bottled water companies could face a jump in fees because the government will look at whether or not water taken is returned or permanently removed from the water table.“Some of our larger industrial users that produce things treat that water and they return it back to the aquifer,” said Murray. “If you’re taking water and putting it in plastic bottles and selling it back at almost the price of gasoline, that water is not coming back.”The Ontario Federation of Agriculture said farmers use the latest technology to make sure they do not waste water, and pointed out that most of the rainwater they do use on crops is filtered and purified by the soil and returned to rivers, lakes and aquifers.“In most of the cases, Ontario agriculture is irrigated by God, so I’m not too interested in paying that bill,” said OFA president Don McCabe.The Association of Municipalities of Ontario warned any new provincial charge to towns and cities for water would be passed on to local taxpayers.“Whatever happens gets put back on the property tax bill or back into the user fee charge for water,” said AMO executive director Pat Vanini. “Municipal governments aren’t in this for profit.”Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner said the government allows companies to “rip off our water,” and called on the province to protect municipal and agricultural water users as it establishes the new fees.“Let’s start with charging the sand and gravel industry, let’s start with charging the water bottling companies, let’s start with charging golf courses a fair rate,” said Schreiner.The environmental commissioner’s annual report also takes the Liberals to task for slashing the budget to buy environmentally sensitive lands from $5.1 million to just $1,000.“One thousand dollars will not go very far in purchasing land in southern Ontario…which has among the highest number of species at risk anywhere in Canada,” warned Schwartzel.Follow @CPnewsboy on Twitter read more

Woman dies and three children among injured after fourcar crash

first_imgAN ELDERLY WOMAN has died and a number of people, including three children, have been injured following a road crash in Fermanagh last night. The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) have confirmed that a 69-year-old woman has died in hospital after the four-car crash on the Belfast Road in Fivemiletown yesterday evening. Several other people, including three children, were taken to hospital for treatment for their injuries which are not believed to be life threatening.The collision was reported to police shortly before 5.30pm. The PSNI have appealed to anyone who witnessed the collision or anyone who was travelling on the Belfast Road at the time to contact them at Enniskillen Police Station on 0845 600 8000.last_img

A petition to get My Lovely Horse into the Eurovision was thrown

first_img[Father Ted screengrab]Not for very long, mind.Briefly discussing it in public session with TDs and senators at the Oireachtas public petitions committee on Wednesday, chairman Pádraig Mac Lochlainn observed — tongue-in-cheek, do we need to add? — that perhaps the panel didn’t have the requisite “musical expertise” to deal with the issue.Labour senator Susan O’Keeffe chipped in to thank the petitioner for the ”entertainment value” of his entreaty, and McLochlainn (of Sinn Féin) replied that it was a “great song” before dismissing the issue. Source: Laura Hutton/Photocall IrelandPádraig Mac LochlainnThe whole exchange didn’t take longer than a few seconds, and it was one of a range of petitions considered by the committee this week — a point McLochlainn was keen to stress when we called him to talk about it.“Basically that’s a vexatious petition,” he says, before correcting himself…Frivilous, rather than vexatious. Vexatious would mean it contains an unfair allegation against somebody.So how much of the committee’s time is spent on ‘frivilous’ issues?There’s very little consideration that would go into a decision like that. Standing orders are pretty clear…All petitions submitted are examined by Oireachtas staff to ensure they comply with the standing orders, he says.The secretariat* would look at it and say ‘we believe this is not serious’. Source: Channel 4/YouTubeSo… that’s the petitions issue dealt with… If ‘My Lovely Horse’ had, by some freak of luck, managed to jump the ‘frivilous’ fence, no doubt it would also have failed to clear many of the other standing orders.But it’s a moot point anyway…Not willing to let the issue drop, put in a call to a Eurovision expert to get confirmation of some half-remembered facts.“Sure you haven’t a hope. Sure the song’s more than 18 years old or so to start with,” says Paul G Sheridan — Song Contest afficionado, former Eurosong selector and provider of fun facts for those Marty Whelan commentaries.The song has to be an original, and it cannot have been aired publicly before a given date set down each year by the European Broadcasting Union, Sheridan says.Even if that weren’t the case, novelty songs tend not to do well in the contest anyway, Sheridan says.“Remember the year we sent the Turkey?”*No pun intended (we imagine).Full metal racket: The Government’s in no mood for a scrap, and the McGraths are livid…Read: Two ministers, some sheep, and a city centre photo-op. What could go wrong? Gif: Portals of DiscoveryIf staff believe a petition is borderline, it’s brought to a working group of four committee members before being put to the whole panel “to speed up the process”.So what are those standing orders? The full list is available here — but it’s all pretty reasonable stuff: the petition can’t request the Dáil to act outside its power, it can’t relate to a matter before the courts, it can’t contain offensive language etc. etc.“You have to demonstrate that you have gone through a particular appeals process” before taking a petition, McLochlainn says.Once it’s considered by the committee, members have a range of options on how to proceed.“We would often correspond with the relevant Minister, bring in the Minister of the day to answer questions, the Secretary General of the relevant department…”Want more detail on the committee? Read McLochlainn’s op ed on the subject here > “There’s always going to be people — a tiny minority — who submit frivilous petitions or who are acting the maggot,” he says, adding that the broad majority are on serious topics.Once you don’t happen to be a TD or senator, any citizen can submit one for consideration, and there’s no set number of signatories required.center_img SO, A PETITION to have ‘My Lovely Horse’, Father Ted’s famed (fictional) Eurosong entry, was considered by TDs this week.last_img read more

Federal Budget 2016 Breaking down the politics

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram While they are the centre-piece of economic policy, annual budgets are primarily political statements by the governments that formulate them. This is particularly true of budgets that are formulated ahead of an election. In such circumstances, even the most ardent advocate of small government can see the need for promises of government programs and financial assistance to voters if political survival is on the line. The flip side of this, meanwhile, is that a government will always choose the first year of its election cycle to dispense harsh policy panaceas to perceived economic and social problems.When the Liberal-National coalition was elected to government under Tony Abbott’s leadership, the new administration’s first budget was a case study of this pattern in action. Buttressed by an economic audit undertaken by sympathetic economists, the Abbott government sought to reduce the federal government’s liability by proposing significant cuts on spending in government programs (especially in education and welfare) and by trying to impose more user-pays principles to higher education and health. Associated with these practical manifestations of its view that major budgetary ‘reform’ had to be undertaken in the aftermath of six years of Labor government, the Abbott government reached to the ideas of social conservatism to construct a narrative for its approach. Consequently, the then treasurer, Joe Hockey, tied his budget to conservative critiques of the way welfare had become so pervasive it had created an ‘entitlement’ mentality as far up as the upper reaches of the middle class. The new socially conservative government, he declared, would end the age of entitlement. One of the problems for both Hockey and Abbott was that the Australian Senate refused to agree to many of these contentious policies. The Abbott government’s first budget thus ended up being hamstrung in the upper house, all the while providing time and space for the Labor opposition to successfully brand it as ideological and unfair. The opinion polls showed that the Labor critique was resonating with voters who have shown in the past that they too are rarely enthused by government that appears to be both inequitable and ideological. So bad did things get for Mr Abbott and the ultra-conservatives who were running the government between 2013 and 2015, that that administration collapsed. Abbott was replaced by Malcolm Turnbull, Joe Hockey was replaced by Scott Morrison and a rump of ultra conservatives who were part of the Abbott government were moved on, to be replaced by much more moderate Liberals. The hectoring of the social conservatives over everything from welfare entitlement to same sex marriage was replaced by rhetoric about exciting, innovative and modern times ahead. As the Liberal leadership transition occurred, support for the Coalition as measured by the opinion polls surged, suggesting that the electorate was as relieved to see the back of Abbott as some of the Liberal party back-bench. Turnbull could have gone for an early election right there and then to capitalise on this altered dynamic, but he did not. Instead, the government began a series of debates about economic reform in which tax figured prominently. During this period Turnbull and Morrison gave the impression that the GST might increase, and that the federal government would get itself out of funding health and education by forcing state governments to impose income taxes. Opinion poll support for the government began to fall again. Sensing that the Turnbull government appeared to be struggling to define its policy objectives, the Bill Shorten-led Labor opposition sought to be pro-active and began flagging some initiatives of its own. It indicated that a Labor government would address tax policy to remove the practice of high income earners obtaining tax concessions by diverting some of their wealth into superannuation. It promised to address the negative gearing provisions in the tax act that provides tax concessions to those purchasing investment properties. It would find more money for education by raising tobacco taxes. It also said that it would return to the matter of climate change policy. As the months of the new Turnbull government dragged by, speculation arose that the prime minister would wait until November to call an election. This changed when a sudden burst of action to change the Australian electoral law to abolish the use of party tickets in Senate voting indicated that the next election was going to be held sooner rather than later. The expectation now was of a double dissolution election on 2 July. To accommodate this, the government had to alter the schedule for introducing its budget.These, then, were the political conditions in which Scott Morrison was to bring down his first budget as the new treasurer. The pressures on him were quite significant. Labor’s proactive campaign on superannuation and negative gearing had highlighted inequities in the tax system that, were they to be addressed, could result in significant increases in revenue. However, vested interests such as the superannuation industry and the property investment sector opposed these ideas and reminded the Liberal party that these interests were core constituents. Meanwhile, the close proximity of the election meant that some form of generosity had to be extended to swinging voters – or, at the very least, nothing should be done to raise their tax burden. Seeking to exert counter pressure here were economics experts and social progressive policy think tanks who all warned the government on the urgent need to find new ways to tax people lest the budget deficit continue to grow. And looming over this was the residue of the Abbott government’s 2014 budget, with its extensive cuts to expenditure and its darkly conservative view of the human condition.Whether by accident or design, the Morrison budget turned out to be a political master-stroke. Its over-arching achievement was to be seen as basically benign. Its other strength was its selective cherry-picking of some of Labor’s ideas. The superannuation changes were announced, and the way this appeared to impact on the very wealthy negated the claim from Labor that the tax cuts brought in by way of altering the income threshold at which the top tax rate kicks in was, in fact, a windfall for high-income earners. The government made it clear, however, that it would not touch negative gearing. In so doing, Morrison has outflanked Labor and is leading Mr Shorten into the trap of proposing a reform that may not be enthusiastically embraced by swinging voters at all. The trap for Labor is to be seen to be caught up in the politics of class envy. It is a trap Mr Shorten seems quite keen to fall into.Commentators also noted the lack of explicit commitments on education and health. These things had been dealt with under the auspices of COAG and has been somewhat off the agenda ever since. Meanwhile, economic analysis seemed to indicate that Labor had over-estimated the revenue from increasing the tobacco tax. In a spectacular sleight of hand, Morrison pinched Labor’s idea of increasing tobacco taxes while simultaneously upbraiding Labor’s profligacy with regards to its proposals for funding education. Here was a warning for Labor over how its attempt to be pro-active on policy will potentially cause it problems. Voters always see Labor as being poor on being able to manage the budget deficit, and this must be frustrating shadow treasurer Chris Bowen, who has spent every moment since the budget trying to draw attention to the lack of costings in the Morrison budget’s company tax cuts and the ballooning of the deficit that has occurred since the Coalition has come to power. Instead of discussing the failure of the Liberals to match fiscal reality to its rhetoric, the political commentariat has focused in on the alleged ‘funding black hole’ in Labor’s cigarettes-for-education proposal.There is another looming problem for Mr Shorten. His party’s decision to persist with climate change as an issue despite the huge political damage this matter has caused Labor since 2007 shows that Mr Shorten and many of his colleagues have not learned much from the drubbing they got in the 2013 election. Presumably Labor’s obsession with this issue reflects the concern it has about losing more inner city seats to the Greens. Mr Shorten’s commitment to pursuing greenhouse gas emission cuts but at the same time promising to not bring in a carbon tax sounds eerily like Julia Gillard’s campaign approach ahead of the 2013 election. Mr Morrison, meanwhile, said virtually nothing on climate change in his budget. The election will reveal which approach is closer to the sentiments of the swinging voters in the outer suburbs and in regional Australia.There was much gossip over the summer that relations between Mr Morrison and Prime Minister Turnbull had reached such a low point that events had to be staged to show that the two most important men in government were still actually talking to each other. The treasurer’s job was to formulate a budget that would not alienate swinging voters, would provide the government room to attack its Labor opponent, and maintain the much more optimistic narrative about the economic future being articulated by the new prime minister. The Morrison budget has done precisely these things. It is being perceived as benign mainly because the dreaded GST has not been raised. Its reform of superannuation tax concessions for the rich make it look fair, even though hardly anyone benefits from its so-called ‘tax cut’. It cherry picks Labor ideas but leaves the opposition looking like ideologues with its persistence over climate change and its class-division rhetoric over negative gearing. It has even managed to make its new version of work-for-the-dole policy sound a lot more pleasant and positive than the approach taken by Abbott and the ultra-conservatives.For all their alleged enmity, Scott Morrison has set his prime minister up with a budget that should allow the Coalition to win the next election. It’s now up to Turnbull to make something of the good groundwork the treasurer has done for his government.* Dr Nick Economou is a senior lecturer in the School of Social Sciences, Monash University.last_img read more

At least 19 men arrested in child sex sting in Whatcom County

first_imgAt least 19 men in Whatcom and Skagit counties were caught in a sting operation this month that targeted internet predators attempting to solicit sexual contact with minors, Washington State Patrol said.As of 5:30 p.m. Sunday, 19 men had been arrested in operation “Net Nanny,” which is put on by the Washington State Patrol’s Missing and Exploited Children Task Force. More arrests were expected to happen late Sunday night, the State Patrol said.This is the 10th sting the State Patrol has conducted. A similar operation in the Tri-Cities last summer resulted in 26 arrests.“The internet has become a hunting ground for sexual predators that are targeting our vulnerable children,” WSP Chief John R. Batiste said after a Net Nanny operation last month in Kitsap County. “This multiagency operation is taking dangerous individuals off the streets and making communities safer for families.”Most of the men were arrested on suspicion of attempted child rape and attempted communication with a minor for immoral purposes. Many of them had little to no criminal history.A Whatcom County Superior Court commissioner found probable cause Friday to charge the first seven men arrested; the rest are expected to appear in court Monday afternoon. Formal criminal charges for all the men must be filed by the middle of the week.last_img read more

BAHAMAS Commemorative Mango Tree Planted at Government House

first_img Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Bahamas, December 21, 2017 – Nassau – Governor General Her Excellency Dame Marguerite Pindling (centre), along with Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Hubert Minnis (centre left) and Minister of the Environment and Housing the Hon.  Romauld Ferreira (centre right), planted a Mango Tree in the Gardens of Government House to commemorate the planting of the 10,000th tree by the Ministry of the Environment, as part of a national Tree Planting Initiative, Wednesday, December 20, 2017.(BIS Photo/Derek Smith)last_img

Paycare introduces paid volunteering leave

first_imgPaycare has given its employees two additional days of paid leave so that they can undertake charity and volunteering work.The Wolverhampton-based health cash plan organisation launched the initiative in June to enable staff to support worthwhile causes of their choice.A number of employees, including senior management, have taken up the volunteering leave benefit since its launch. This includes helping nearby football club Bilston Town FC with tasks such as ground maintenance, painting, and preparing for new fencing.Kevin Rogers (pictured), chief executive officer at Paycare, has also donated his time to Devonshire Infant School, helping pupils prepare for secondary school.The employee volunteering scheme aligns with the organisation’s commitment to supporting the local community.Rogers said: “We believe that by providing staff with paid leave to donate their time to charities, initiatives and projects of their choice, they can feel empowered and valued, and others will benefit immensely. The new initiative aligns with our honest, caring and can-do ethos, and is just the latest scheme we’ve put in place centred around ensuring that people are at the heart of everything we do.“Feedback from the team has been so positive. This is our way of encouraging them to do good deeds that they previously may have struggled to have time to do while working, and it all ties into the [organisation’s] not-for-profit ethos. We look forward to seeing what they have planned in the near future, and who they will be helping; it’s exciting times!”last_img read more