Category: urhmicld

Can’t find that rare leopard anywhere? Ask a dung beetle

Can’t find that rare leopard anywhere? Ask a dung beetle

first_imgDung beetles may one day be a conservationist’s best friend. Researchers already consider a healthy and diverse population of these poop-eating insects (pictured) a reliable sign of a healthy mammal population. But entomologists have now demonstrated that the beetles can reliably tell just what species are there as well. Many animals hide very well in their environments and so are hard to inventory. It might seem logical to look for their droppings instead. But animal poop is so rich that it gets quickly carted away and buried and can be as hard to find as the animals themselves. However, the researchers rationalized that mammal poop should contain blood and other cells with DNA inside, and that some of this genetic material should survive intact when eaten. So they trapped airborne dung beetles in a Swaziland savanna by hanging up a transparent sheet and selected one individual from each of 10 species to dissect. Then they removed the insects’ pooped-filled guts and sequenced all the DNA they could find there. Finally, they matched those sequences to those in existing DNA databases to learn where the DNA came from. With just 10 beetles, they showed there were blue wildebeest, zebras, mice, cattle, goats, and even humans living nearby, they report this week on bioRxiv, a preprint archive. This was a proof-of-principle study, the authors say, but dung beetles are easy to find and catch by the hundreds. And because genome sequencing is relatively cheap now, it’s feasible to analyze DNA in large numbers of the beetles, and possibly to detect species—such as the critically endangered small leopard found on the Arabian Peninsula—without ever laying eyes on them.last_img read more

Sports Minister announces hike in `diet budget’ of all athletes to bring parity,Sports Minister announces hike in `diet budget’ of all athletes to bring parity

Sports Minister announces hike in `diet budget’ of all athletes to bring parity,Sports Minister announces hike in `diet budget’ of all athletes to bring parity

first_imgA file picture of Union Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports, Kiren Rijiju meeting the women’s hockey team in New Delhi.   –  PTI Published on COMMENTS SHARE June 29, 2019 A file picture of Union Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports, Kiren Rijiju meeting the women’s hockey team in New Delhi.   –  PTI SHARE SHARE EMAILcenter_img The move will impact 12,500 athletes and will cost additional ₹ 150 crore annually to ministry to fund the new diet budget. × COMMENT Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju on Saturday announced that the diet budget of the SAI trainees, senior and junior athletes will be increased to bring parity.Earlier, the diet budget for SAI trainees, junior athletes and senior athletes was ₹250, ₹480 and ₹690, respectively but the Rijiju has decided to make the amounts equal. Speaking about his decision, Rijiju said, “While having my meal at the athletes mess (at the National Institute of Sports) in Patiala, I noticed that senior and junior athletes and SAI trainees have different diets since the food budget for each section is different. “However, diet is key for the success of a sportsperson and no child can become a world champion with inadequate diet. The diet of an athlete should not depend on the level at which he or she is playing, but on the need of the athelete as per recommendation of coaches and nutritionists, budget cannot be the deciding factor while planning an athlete’s diet. “I have therefore decided that going forward, there will be no discrepancy in the food budget of athletes who are training at SAI centers,” added the Minister after having breakfast at the women’s hostel here at NIS Patiala. Rijiju visited their mess and the kitchen to take a first hand report of the quality of food and the way it is prepared for the athletes. He has also assured that the kitchens in all SAI centres will be modified and turned into state-of-the-art to ensure that nutritional value of food is not lost. The Minister also announced that besides food, supplements required by athletes, as per prescription, will also be made available without delay. The move will impact 12,500 athletes training in various SAI centres and the sports ministry will release an additional amount to ₹ 150 crore annually to fund the new diet budget. During his visit, Rijiju met athletes from various sporting disciplines like volleyball, boxing, athletics, weightlifting and spoke to them and their coaches at length. He enquired about the quality of food served, training regimes and requirement for added facilities and infrastructure. While speaking to the athletes, he sort their suggestions to improve facilities. Asking them to reach out to him with issues that need attention, Rijiju assured that their immediate requirements would be catered to within two or three months.“India is an emerging 5 trillion dollar economy, and necessary funds will be managed. We are committed to use funds wherever needed. All athletes will be given all requisite facilities to train well and bring medals for the country,”: he said. sportlast_img read more

K M Beenamol inaugurates Olympic poster show at NISH

K M Beenamol inaugurates Olympic poster show at NISH

first_imgThiruvananthapuram, July 29 (PTI) Sports should be given due importance along with academics in educational institutions as only a healthy body can have a healthy mind, celebrated athlete K M Beenamol said today. She said this while inaugurating the poster exhibition on Olympics at the National Institute of Speech and Hearing (NISH) here. The exhibition, titled Road to Rio 2016, was put together by the students of the institute under the guidance of their Physical Education Instructor, C K Vikrant. The show illustrates the history of the international sports competition from the very first games held in ancient Greece to the upcoming Olympics to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The exhibition also paid tribute to Indian Olympic stars, including P T Usha, Milka Singh and Mary Kom. Hailing from an agrarian family in Idukki and going on to be an Olympian, Beenamol said that nothing was impossible with hard work and courage. ?Always listen to your teachers, respect them and spread love,? she said. The athlete told NISH students that they were the special children of God. Dr K G Satheesh Kumar, Director, Centre for Assistive Technology and Innovation (CATI), NISH, noted that sports played a role in bringing people together people and in developing one?s personality. PTI UD VSlast_img read more

JP Associates net loss widens to Rs 1,095 cr

JP Associates net loss widens to Rs 1,095 cr

first_imgNew Delhi, Feb 10 (PTI) Jaiprakash Associates today reported widening of standalone net loss to Rs 1,095.02 crore for the third quarter ended December of 2016-17.The companys net loss in corresponding period of last fiscal was at Rs 827.26 crore.”Total income has decreased to Rs 1,648.87 crore during the quarter as against Rs 2,121.59 crore for same period year ago,” JP Associates said in a regulatory filing.The dismal performance of the company is mainly because of losses from cement, construction, sports events and real estate businesses.Its Board of Directors during the quarter under review approved scheme of arrangement between the company and UltraTech Cement for sale of part of its cement business, including that of its 100 per cent subsidiary Jaypee Cement Corporation.Besides, the company said the Board at the meeting held today authorised the Finance Committee to “consider and approve the realignment of remaining debt of the company subject to consents and approvals required including that from shareholders and lenders of the company.The company has been reeling under substantial financial stress and has defaulted on loans and other payments running over multi-crore rupees, besides overdue interest on loans.Sale of its cement business to Kumarmangalam owned Birla Group is touted as the biggest deals for the sector in the country and it is expected to fetch the JP group Rs 15,900 crore.Besides, the power business was sold off to JSW Energy in early 2016 for Rs 3,500 crore.JP Associates stock closed 4.48 per cent down at Rs 13.43 on BSE. PTI KPM SAadvertisementlast_img read more

After US Open ‘non-dedication’, Davis Cup team spirit fires Kyrgios up again

After US Open ‘non-dedication’, Davis Cup team spirit fires Kyrgios up again

first_imgTwo weeks after declaring he lacked any dedication to tennis, Nick Kyrgios has pledged to fire up for Australia’s bid to reach the Davis Cup final.Australia play Belgium in the semi-final in Brussels this weekend, looking to secure their first trip to the decider since their 2003 win over Spain.An injury-hampered Kyrgios bowed out of the opening round of the U.S. Open with an assortment of fines, a smashed racket and a tantrum, while burnishing his reputation as the tour’s most talented slacker.”I’m not dedicated to the game at all,” he told reporters at Flushing Meadows, describing an off-court regimen of milkshakes, ice creams and walk-up basketball games.”There are players out there that are more dedicated, that want to get better, that strive to get better every day, the one-percenters. I’m not that guy.”Following on from his admissions of video game marathons at a previous tournament, it was another confessional to elicit groans back home where exasperated fans still hope the 22-year-old can knuckle down.In Davis Cup, they can at least be confident of something approaching a full-blooded performance from Kyrgios, who loves the team aspect of the competition and played a leading role in Australia’s quarter-final victory over the United States in April.Kyrgios’s commitment to the tournament has grown in importance since Bernard Tomic, the country’s other half-hearted talent, has crashed out of the top 100 through a combination of missing tournaments and not training very hard.”Davis Cup has done wonders for me this year,” Kyrgios said.advertisement”It’s really made me find that love again for just being with the guys and having some fun, knowing that tennis isn’t all bad, knowing that you can have some fun with it.”Kyrgios will spearhead Australia’s charge against a strong Belgium team featuring world number 12 David Goffin.The last time Australia reached the final, Lleyton Hewitt, the current team captain, was in his prime and fittingly, he will oversee the country’s best chance of adding to its 28 titles in over a decade.Former world number one Hewitt, a revered Davis Cup servant in Australia, has been credited for bringing out the best in Kyrgios.”‘Rusty’ (Hewitt) has helped me a lot,” said Kyrgios.”I think he’s the best captain we’ve ever had. I know that everyone on our team would run through a brick wall for him.”To take home the trophy would be probably a dream come true for me.”last_img read more

GRASSLEY SAYS BOOKER MADE MISLEADING COMMENTS IN KAVANAUGH HEARING

GRASSLEY SAYS BOOKER MADE MISLEADING COMMENTS IN KAVANAUGH HEARING

first_imgSenator Chuck Grassley had some comments Monday after he was asked about Democratic New Jersey Senator Cory Booker’s White House ambitions.A G-O-P senator on Grassley’s Judiciary Committee openly accused Booker of using last week’s confirmation hearing for a U.S. Supreme Court nominee as a platform for a presidential campaign.Audio Playerhttp://kscj.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/CG.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.OC……..in committee. ;05Grassley chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee.Grassley says it was “appropriate” for Booker to quiz Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, but Grassley accuses Booker of misleading the public about an email Kavanaugh wrote.Audio Playerhttp://kscj.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/CG2.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.OC……..a lot of money.” (2x) :27Grassley met privately with members of the Southwest Iowa Planning Council) in Atlantic Monday morning, then had a brief session with local media.Booker is scheduled to speak at the Iowa Democratic Party’s annual fall fundraising banquet on October 6th, further stoking speculation he’s plotting a run for president in 2020.last_img read more

Southern Touch Seek General Manager

Southern Touch Seek General Manager

first_imgSouthern Touch, the controlling body for Touch Football in southern Tasmania, is currently seeking applications for the position of General Manager.Based at the Southern Touch office at Wentworth Park, Howrah, key responsibilities of the job include;·   Management of all senior and junior competitions including rostering, advertising, referees and results.·   Management of other Southern Touch staff.·   Servicing of existing and potential members.·   Co-ordination of Association requirements including financial management and record keeping, scheduling of Board meetings and dealing with stakeholders.·   Development of the sport of Touch Football and Southern Touch as an organisation.Position description and selection criteria is available at www.southerntouch.com.au or contact sthtouch@southcom.com.au.Applications close Friday 16th May 2008.last_img read more

The 2019 GMC Sierra AT4 Pickup Balances Urban Sophistication with Off-Road Prowess

The 2019 GMC Sierra AT4 Pickup Balances Urban Sophistication with Off-Road Prowess

first_img The Opus OP15′ Is a Tricked-Out, Off-Road-Ready Travel Trailer Editors’ Recommendations Pickup trucks have come a long way in the last decade. They’re still staples of construction sites, Coors commercials, and country music videos. However, even mid-range models offer all the comfort, styling, and amenities of today’s upmarket SUVs. New for 2019, the GMC Sierra AT4 4WD is a competent, full-size, off-road-ready pickup with all the swagger and sophistication of a premium sport utility vehicle like GMC’s Denali.AT4 is a new-for-2019 trim level for GMC’s Sierra line. At first glance, the Sierra AT4 feels like a next-generation pickup. Its lineage is clear, though distinct visual cues set it apart from its “ordinary” Sierra brethren. The exterior is athletic, rugged, and modern with a broad front fascia, black chrome grille, oversized GMC badging, and C-shaped LED headlamps that all exude confidence without trying too hard. The truck’s tall stance (thanks to an elevated suspension), 18-inch wheels (with optional 20s), mud terrain-rated Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac tires, oversized fog lamps, and vertical red tow hooks hint at the Sierra AT4’s off-road prowess.Once inside, owners will need to look over the shoulder at the truck bed to remind themselves that this is indeed a pickup and not an SUV. The interior features textured, dark-tinted aluminum detailing on the steering wheel and dash. The seats are accented in a Jet Black/Kalahari colorway with live-stitching and custom AT4 badging on the headrests. It’s a look that feels both luxurious and rugged.Once inside, owners will need to look over the shoulder at the truck bed to remind themselves that this is indeed a pickup and not an SUV.The trucks in GMC’s 2019 lineup boast a host of high-tech features, and the Sierra AT4 is no exception. The base level comes well-equipped, but you’ll need to open your wallet a bit more for the best toys. Available upgrades include a multi-color heads-up display which projects fore-and-aft tilt, left-and-right tilt, and front tire angle on the windshield via a 3-by-7-inch display. Cameras around the truck’s exterior work in tandem to provide the driver with Surround Vision, a unique, aerial view that appears on the main touchscreen as though a bird is flying 50 feet overheard peering down at the truck. It’s a great safety feature for maneuvering in tight spaces, especially with a trailer in tow. Likewise, GMC’s ProGrade Trailer System integrates with the company’s smartphone trailering app that includes a suite of features to make towing its potential 9,400-pound capacity easier and safer. Next Get Acquainted With the Military-Approved Skincare Brand Bravo Sierra Taxa Outdoors’ Rugged Mantis Travel Trailer Just Got Even Better 1 of 15 The Mission Workshop Khyte Sets a New Standard for Messenger Bags With the debut of the 2019 Sierra AT4, GMC is heavily touting their “industry-first MultiPro Tailgate” which, at first, feels like a cute, showroom-floor novelty. However, after a full week putting the truck through its paces, I wondered how no company had ever redesigned the lowly tailgate since the first pickups with tailgates rolled off the assembly line 100 years ago. The innovative two-piece design features independent outer and inner gates.GMC’s innovative new tailgate design offers six helpful positions.With six possible positions, it can be used to making loading and unloading gear easier, as an impromptu work desk, as a step to assist in climbing into the tall bed, and as a load-stop solution for oversized cargo. Later this year, GMC is releasing an available CarbonPro box that replaces the traditional steel panels inside the bed. The lightweight carbon fiber composite material is purpose-designed to resist scratches, dents, and corrosion. A 110v power outlet and optional GearOn rails make the truck a great vehicle for car camping and gear-hauling.On the road, the GMC Sierra AT4 is stable, quiet, and predictable — all of which is to be expected from a wide, nearly 5,400-pound full-size pickup. The 6.2L V8 in our flagship model Sierra put out 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. Mated to a slick 10-speed automatic transmission, the truck drives and shifts seamlessly on-road. Beyond the pavement, the Sierra AT4 feels even more stable, thanks to a wealth of off-road features. Four-wheel drive, a two-speed transfer case with low-range gearing, Rancho monotube shocks, a locking rear differential, hill descent control, and skid plates are all standard fare.To bottom line the 2019 GMC Sierra AT4, it’s best for the pickup owner who spends most of their time on the pavement. But, they also appreciate modest off-roading on the weekends. This isn’t a hardcore rock-crawler like Chevy’s ZR2 Bison or even a stock Jeep Wrangler. It is, however, plenty capable of taking you almost anywhere you need it, without forcing you to sacrifice essential high-tech conveniences.Of course, an upmarket pickup carries an appropriately upmarket price tag. The 2019 GMC Sierra AT4 4WD bases at USD $53,500. With the best — we would argue essential — features, that figure balloons quickly. Well-heeled buyers will likely splurge to upgrade to the 6.2-liter V8 ($2,495), the Performance Exhaust Kit ($1,595), and the $995 sunroof. For $3,280, the AT4 Premium Package secures additional tech features like an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment/nav system, a power rear window, and wireless smartphone charging, plus blind-spot monitoring, parking sensors, and side steps. With destination and handling, the all-in sticker price inches closer to $70,000. Sure, it might cost a year (or two)’s salary, but at least you’ll be ready to escape the zombie apocalypse in style. Previous Ride Out the Apocalypse With the 1,000-Horsepower Rezvani Tank X SUVlast_img read more

Ontario town wont open council meetings with Indigenous land acknowledgment

Ontario town wont open council meetings with Indigenous land acknowledgment

first_imgMichelle McQuigge, The Canadian Press An Ontario town has rejected a motion to open all its council meetings with an acknowledgment that the proceedings are taking place on lands held by Canada’s Indigenous people.A councillor in the town of Richmond Hill, Ont., first tabled the idea at a meeting in February, only to encounter pushback from councillors and see the motion deferred to a later date.This week, when the motion came up for debate once again, dozens of residents of the town north of Toronto voiced support for the idea of showing respect to Indigenous people by acknowledging that they were the first occupiers of the land on which the town now stands.But another councillor tabled an amendment to the land acknowledgment motion, essentially scrapping it and replacing it with a proposal to offer training on Indigenous issues to city staff.That amendment passed, leaving local supporters shouting angrily at council members.Coun. David West, who tabled the original land acknowledgment motion, said Wednesday that the vote represented a shameful moment for the town.“I’m remarkably disappointed,” West said in a telephone interview. “Sometimes governments are not the organizations that lead. Sometimes we lead the parade from behind, and this might be one of those cases. The people are leading us.”West said land acknowledgments are becoming increasingly common, sighting politicians at the federal provincial and municipal level who open formal proceedings with such measures.He said the effort to acknowledge Indigenous territory is a direct offshoot of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the broader effort to make Canada reckon with its historical treatment of Indigenous people.The motion he put forward on Feb. 11 addressed the reasons behind his proposal.The statement West hoped to see read before all future council meetings included an acknowledgment that participants were gathered on the “traditional territories of the Wendat, the Haudenosaunee, and the Anishinaabe peoples, whose presence here continues to this day.”“We acknowledge this land and people because the first step to reconciliation is recognizing the existence of Indigenous people,” the motion read. “A shared understanding of how our collective past brought us to where we are today will help us walk together into a better future.”But deputy mayor Joe DiPaola voiced opposition to the motion, saying it put too much emphasis on one demographic.“I think we’re treading down a course of political correctness that’s going to be difficult to rein in,” he said at the meeting. “There’s no acknowledgment of the Portuguese, the Italian community, the Chinese community, the Iranian community — all the groups that coexist here in harmony.”The motion was deferred to March 25, at which point DiPaola rose to table an amendment.He proposed that West’s motion be effectively replaced with a proposal to “provide education and training on the history of aboriginal peoples, including the history and legacy of residential schools,” to town employees.West praised DiPaola’s proposal, but objected to it standing as a substitute for a land acknowledgment.In the end DiPaola’s amendment passed, bringing cries of “you should be ashamed” from members of the public attending the meeting.One Indigenous community, the Anishinabek Nation of northeastern Ontario, said on Twitter that it was sending an “education package” to the town council.“We just thought we would help out the mayor and council to learn about our history,” the group said, declining to offer further comment on the Richmond Hill vote.The Nishnawbe Aski Nation, a collection of Indigenous communities in northwestern Ontario, previously spoke out about the importance of land acknowledgment. They did so when the Ontario Medical Association opted not to implement them during a 2018 vote.“The widely adopted practice recognizes our territories and the inherent and Treaty rights of Indigenous Peoples,” Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler wrote to the association at the time.The Association of Municipalities of Ontario declined to comment on the Richmond Hill vote, but its website contains a guide for any local governments wishing to adopt what it describes as a growing trend.“Traditional land acknowledgment statements are increasingly being used in Canada by governments, schools, post-secondary institutions, non-governmental organizations, and other civil institutions as a practice of reconciliation aimed at recognizing the traditional or treaty territories of Indigenous peoples,” the guide reads.last_img read more

Most actively traded companies on the TSX

Most actively traded companies on the TSX

first_imgSome of the most active companies traded Monday on the Toronto Stock Exchange:Toronto Stock Exchange (15,604.79, up 26.98 points)Aurora Cannabis Inc. (TSX:ACB). Healthcare. Up 32 cents, or 2.82 per cent, to $11.65 on 7.4 million shares.Bombardier Inc. (TSX:BBD.B). Aerospace, rail equipment. Down four cents, or 1.07 per cent, to $3.71 on 5.2 million shares. The Montreal-based company is awaiting the causes of two deadly aircraft crashes over the past couple of days involving its Q400 turbo and Challenger business jet. At least 49 people were killed Monday when a US Bangla Airlines passenger plane carrying 71 people from Bangladesh crashed and burst into flames as it landed Monday in Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital, officials and witnesses said.Canopy Growth Corp. (TSX:WEED). Healthcare. Up $1.54, or 4.98 per cent, to $32.49 on 4.9 million shares.Royal Bank of Canada (TSX:RY). Bank. Up five cents, or 0.05 per cent, to $101.81 on 4.7 million shares.Toronto-Dominion Bank (TSX:TD). Bank. Down 13 cents, or 0.17 per cent, to $75.70 on 4.4 million shares.UrtheCast Corp. (TSX:UR). Online media. Down 10.5 cents, or 19.09 per cent, to 44.5 cents on 4.3 million shares.Companies reporting major news:Rogers Communications Inc. (TSX:RCI.B). Telecommunications. Down 15 cents, or 0.26 per cent, to $58.38 on 270,245 shares. Apple Inc. is buying the Texture digital magazine service created by a group of publishers that includes Rogers Media. The California-based technology giant didn’t say how much it will pay to acquire Texture from Next Issue Media LLC, which has offices in Menlo Park, Calif., and New York. Texture was launched in 2010. The service provides unlimited digital access to more than 200 magazines for a monthly fee.last_img read more

Prestigious Man Booker fiction prize loses its main sponsor

Prestigious Man Booker fiction prize loses its main sponsor

LONDON — Britain’s leading literary award, the Man Booker Prize, faces uncertainty after its main financial backer announced it is ending its sponsorship after almost two decades.Investment manager Man Group PLC says it will stop funding the Man Booker and Man Booker International prizes after 2019. The firm says it has donated 25 million pounds ($33 million) to the Booker Prize Foundation since 2002.The prize foundation says its trustees “are in discussion with a new sponsor and are confident that the new funding will be in place for 2020.”Founded in 1969, the prize was originally open to English-language writers from Britain, Ireland and the Commonwealth. U.S. authors became eligible in 2014, a move that remains contentious.The international prize, founded in 2005, goes to works in translation.The Associated Press read more

Cabinet adds 53 to action plan

Cabinet adds 53 to action plan

Cabinet has approved more recommendations Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) to be included into the plan of action for implementation.Media Minister and Cabinet spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said that accordingly 53 LLRC recommendations will be implemented apart from those already being implemented by the committee. The 53 recommendations includes matters related to human rights, Internally Displaced Persons (IDP), issues surrounding North East Muslims, Legal matters and refugees. The report of the LLRC contains 285 short term, medium term and long term recommendations and they have been classified into four main groups including recommendations relating to National Policy, the final phase of the conflict, human rights and National security concerns as well as resettlement and development. A Task Force headed by the Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga was appoinmted last year to monitor the implementation of the recommendations of the LLRC.The Action Plan has named implementation of recommendations according to activity, key responsible agency, key performance indicator and a timeframe for each task. A committee headed by the Secretary to the President has drafted the Action Plan. (Colombo Gazette) read more

Japanese PM to send special envoy to Sri Lanka

Japanese PM to send special envoy to Sri Lanka

Wickremesinghe will discuss the revision of the travel advisory on Sri Lanka by the Japanese Government during the meeting, the Prime Minister’s Office said.He is also expected to discuss issues over the Central Expressway project and the joint deal with India and Sri Lanka on the East Container Terminal (ECT) of the Colombo Port. (Colombo Gazette) Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is to send a special envoy to Sri Lanka for talks on several key issues.The Japanese Prime Minister’s Special Advisor, Dr Hiroto Izumi, is expected to meet Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe between June 20 – 22.

Thailand UN human rights chief demands swift probe into killings

Thailand UN human rights chief demands swift probe into killings

Expressing her concern over the incident, Mrs. Arbour also urged authorities to allow 130 detainees to have access to their family members, lawyers and doctors while making sure that they were not subjected to any cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”It is important that investigation into these events, which have reportedly been requested by the authorities, not only be swift, independent and thorough, but that it be seen to be so, with results made public,” Mrs. Arbour said in a statement yesterday. “This is crucial in bringing to justice people that may be responsible for violations as well as in preventing a climate of impunity from taking hold.”The High Commissioner said she remained worried about reports from southern Thailand alleging the use of arbitrary arrests, the continued disappearance of human rights defenders and a mounting number of deaths. read more

HSBC Canada Q3 profit falls by 19 in response to multiple factors

HSBC Canada Q3 profit falls by 19 in response to multiple factors

HSBC Canada Q3 profit falls by 19% in response to multiple factors by The Associated Press Posted Nov 2, 2015 5:40 am MDT Last Updated Nov 2, 2015 at 6:40 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email TORONTO – HSBC Bank Canada reports it had a 19 per cent decline in third-quarter pre-tax profit, which fell by C$44 million to C$187 million.The company — a subsidiary of Europe’s biggest bank — says it was affected by lower margins, lower gains on investments, higher costs and higher loan impairment charges, compared with the third quarter of 2014.Overall charges for loan impairments and other credit profisions totalled $31 miillion, which was up $14 million or 82 per cent from a year earlier — mainly because of the bank’s exposure to the energy sector.HSBC Canada’ commercial banking arm had the biggest decline, with profit before income tax expense falling to $103 million — down $40 million or 28 per cent compared with a year earlier.HSBC Canada’s retail banking and wealth management also had a $13 million or 42 per cent decline at its retail banking and wealth managmenet arm, which recorded $18 million in profit before income tax.Its global bank and markets arm had an improved pre-tax profit of C$69 million, up $5 million or eight per cent.HSBC Canada’s net profit including a C$50 million income tax expense was C$137 million, down from C$170 million in the third quarter of 2014 when HSBC recorded a C$61 million income tax pexpense.Earnings per common share dropped to 26 cents from 32 cents.Meanwhile, its parent HSBC Holdings reports that pre-tax profit has jumped by a third in the latest quarter as it paid out less in fines, settlements and British customer compensation.The bank, Europe’s largest by market value, on Monday posted $6.1 billion in profit for the July-September period, up 32 per cent from a year earlier.Revenue slipped 4 per cent to $15.1 billion.In June, the bank announced a major reorganization, including slashing tens of thousands of jobs and selling businesses to concentrate on fast-growing Asian economies.It’s also considering moving headquarters out of London as part of the plan. The bank said in its report a decision would be made by year-end at the earliest.HSBC is listed on the Hong Kong and London stock exchanges. read more

In Burkina Faso Ban urges cooperation to help Sahel countries tackle climate

In Burkina Faso Ban urges cooperation to help Sahel countries tackle climate

“Extreme weather patterns have shown that climate change is fast approaching – much, much faster than one may expect,” Mr. Ban said ahead of his meeting with Prime Minister Luc-Adolphe Tiao.“The developed world – they have capacity, they have means, they have money to handle this – but you do not,” he stressed, adding that it is only natural that developed nations provide the necessary funding and technology to address this impact.Praising the Government of President Blaise Compaoré and Prime Minister Tiao, Mr. Ban appealed to the leaders to “to speak out and work together with the United Nations.”Noting that the country is among those “most impacted” by the changing weather patterns, Mr. Ban also urged a push for the African Union (AU) to champion this cause, “If you are not speaking up, then who will.” Turning to the two other priorities for the UN and the international community to work on together, Mr. Ban stressed achieving the anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGS) by their 2015 deadline and defining the sustainable development goals which will follow.The UN Member States have identified 26 such challenges starting with climate change, water scarcity, agricultural problems, energy shortages, gender empowerment, education, urbanization, transportation, and nutrition issues.“From 2016 to 2030, we have to have a blue print as our leaders will gather at the United Nations in 2015,” Mr. Ban said.The UN chief, who is on a multi-stop tour of the Sahel along with World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim and other senior development officials, also reiterated the organizations’ solidarity with the people of the region. “The region has suffered too much and for too long,” he said. “We are here to listen and especially to act. Our message is clear: peace and development must go hand in hand.”Mr. Ban and Mr. Kim head next to N’djamena, Chad. Their earlier stops were in Mali and Niger.The Sahel has suffered three major droughts in less than a decade. More than 11 million people are at risk of hunger and 5 million children under five are at risk of acute malnutrition. In addition, political instability and unconstitutional changes in Governments have had significant economic and social consequences in the region and terrorist acts, as well as organized crime, have threatened the region’s stability. read more

Security Council condemns actions of LRA in Central Africa demands end to

Security Council condemns actions of LRA in Central Africa demands end to

“The Security Council reiterates its strong condemnation of the appalling attacks, war crimes and crimes against humanity carried out by the LRA,” the Statement said, also citing the group’s “violations of international humanitarian law and abuses of human rights, including the LRA’s recruitment and use of children in armed conflict, killing and maiming, rape, sexual slavery and other sexual violence, and abductions.”Demanding an immediate end to all attacks by the LRA, the Council urged the group to release all those abducted, and to disarm and demobilize. It welcomed progress made with regard to ending LRA war crimes and crimes against humanity in Central Africa, and reiterated its resolve to maintain the current momentum until the threat posed by the LRA was permanently ended.Noting that much of this violence was taking place within the remit of the UN Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA), the Council encouraged the Office to continue supporting States with elections, including through the promotion of women’s political participation.UNOCA was also urged to, in its coordination role, as well as the UN’s missions and other presences in the region to enhance efforts in support of implementation of the UN Regional Strategy to Address the Threat and Impact of the Activities of the LRA. It encouraged the Secretary-General to optimize UNOCA’s efforts, including through provision of staff and support to counter-LRA efforts.The Council reiterated its strong support for the African Union Regional Cooperation Initiative Against the LRA and encouraged LRA affected and neighbouring States to cooperate with the African Union-Regional Task Force, which it commended for “significant progress.”It also underlined the need for all military action against the LRA to be conducted in compliance with international law, including international humanitarian law, human rights law and refugee law, as applicable, and to minimise the risk of harm to civilians.Council members also expressed deep concern at the terrorist attacks conducted by Boko Haram since 2008, which have caused large-scale and devastating loss of life and represent a threat to the stability and peace of West and Central Africa, and were concerned that Boko Haram’s activities continued to have an adverse humanitarian impact in the region. read more