It’s not often that the grapevine is taken so seriously. As the NDA government nears its first 100 days in power, the rumour mills have been churning and Prime Minister Narendra Modi occupies centre stage in most of the tales.While Modi wants to showcase efficiency of his governance, the corridors of power are abuzz with gossip, speculation and theories – the common factor in all of them being that ‘Big Brother’ is watching. Whatever be the story, the sentiment is that the powerful Prime Minister wants to be in full control without any exception.Many of the rumours seem to have their origins in Modi’s drive to get things done quickly and to push others to act. At an event in Delhi on Friday, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said a Gujarat minister had told him this about Modi: “Khud nahin sota hai, aur nahin sone deta hai (He doesn’t sleep and he doesn’t let others sleep).”From unexpected calls to ministers having a meal with a top industrialist, to keeping an eye on who ministers are speaking to on the phone, and keeping senior bureaucrats on a leash, the tales have provided much fodder for the rumour mills. In many instances, the tales have been causing sleepless nights to those who are being discussed.Registers in ministries are reportedly being checked by the PMO to see who the frequent visitors are, and some rumours say corridors in ministries might soon have CCTVs installed to keep a hawk eye on activities. “Some of the stories doing the rounds about the Prime Minister watching over people present him as a tough schoolmaster,” a senior bureaucrat said.advertisementRecently, the rumour mills went into overdrive with a story about Home Minister Rajnath Singh. There was talk that his son Pankaj was pulled up by Modi for purported misdemeanours. It was perhaps the first time that the PMO reacted to rumours about a minister. But with so many rumours doing the rounds involving several ministers, the PMO may have to issue more such clarifications.While Modi is said to have made calls to ministers for not being clad in appropriate attire while in public or to stop them for talking to corporate big wigs, even bureaucrats are said to be under his lens. In his early days in power, officers with a love for golf – considered a step in the direction of good networking within the bureaucracy – reportedly came under scrutiny.Many bureaucrats, including senior secretaries, are said to have stopped visiting elite golf clubs due to fear of unwanted calls since the PM does not share the penchant for the sport like some of his babus. It began with talk that the PMO was preparing a list of officers who are regulars on the greens, sending shivers down the spines of many who boasted of their golf skills.After the Rajnath Singh saga unfolded, there was more speculation about his status in the government and his stake to being the second-in-command. There was always a buzz that Singh’s wings have been clipped. And with recent developments wherein the PMO overruled his recommendations in issues like appointments to key posts, some are even saying there is some truth to the rumours. Now the rumour mills even have it that Singh might be completely sidelined and not even get a key role at his home turf in Uttar Pradesh.The latest rumour regarding Modi keeping a close watch on the government machinery is that the PMO is compiling a list of all phone numbers, starting from peons and moving up to secretaries. It is being said in jest that some officers are using the mobile phones of their staff and drivers. After all, none of them want an unexpected caller.Ban on phone callsA minister’s proximity to a big corporate house seems to have not gone down well with the PM. The buzz has it that the minister’s frequent phone calls to the corporate bigwig led to an intervention from the PMO. The minister was asked not to interact with the businessman since he was looking for a big government contract. The PM is also said to have expressed his displeasure to the minister for planning a trip abroad to attend his son’s graduation ceremony.Unfinished mealIt’s tough for ministers to fathom that their meal with a top industrialist would be under the watch of the Prime Minister. If the grapevine is to be believed, that’s what happened when two ministers in the NDA government were recently having a meal at the posh Imperial Hotel in the capital. A phone rang and it wasn’t a call that could be ignored since they were in the middle of an important meeting. The call was said to be from the Prime Minister, inquiring if the meal was over. Incidentally, the industrialist is supposedly close to Modi. The ministers rushed out of the hotel.advertisementDressing downThe Prime Minister is not just keeping an eye on who meets who. It’s also the attire of his ministers. A minister who has also been a BJP spokesperson got a call from Modi when he was on his way to the airport, reminding him about the need to dress properly. It is being said that the minister, who was on his way to the airport to catch a flight for a foreign trip, was dressed in jeans. The minister did a U-turn and returned home to change into kurta and pyjama. The message seems to be that jeans is not an appropriate attire for a minister.Women ministers at warAnother one from the rumour mills is that the Prime Minister is unhappy about the behaviour of two women members of his Cabinet. It’s been said that the two women ministers do not have the most cordial relationship and this is apparent even when they come face to face in public. One of them has found an easy way out – she did not attend a function where the two of them were to be present in order to avoid any public display of their animosity. The two are also said have had a bitter war of words on Twitter in the past, something that the PM completely disapproves of.Minister pulled up in Cabinet meetingA woman minister was reportedly pulled up by the Prime Minister himself during a recent cabinet meeting and reminded that she needs to be well prepared and to follow protocol while putting up her ministry’s proposals to the cabinet. The grapevine has it that the minister took a halfbaked draft bill to the meeting without properly consulting her officials. Modi is said to have advised her to follow procedures and be better prepared before putting up such important matters for the Cabinet’s consideration.
Darjeeling: The killing spree continues in NorthBengal on the suspicion of child lifters. On Sunday, a homeless person was beaten to death by a mob in the Alipurduar district. The incident occurred near Tasati Tea Estate in Alipurduar. Late in the evening on Sunday, a man was sighted approaching the football field in the tea estate. On suspicion of being a child lifter, the locals forcefully confined him and started beating him up. A police force was sent from Jateshwar police outpost. However, the force fell short in number in front of the mob. The mob subsequently attacked the police. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaA huge police contingent arrived later and resorted to baton charge, but could not quell the mob. The police also fired tear gas shells. Finally, they managed to rescue the victim and rushed him to Birpara Hospital, where he was declared brought dead. Superintendent of Police Nagendranath Tripathi said: “17 persons have been arrested in connection with the incident. The victim remains unidentified. He was a vagabond. The people arrested will be charged under Section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code. In Sunday’s incident sharp weapons were also used. We have started an investigation.” The SP further stated that awareness is also being spread regarding the issue. He appealed to the public that in case of any suspicion the administration or police should be informed. “We will verify the suspicion. Till now none of the victims rescued had anything to do with child lifting. They have been beaten up and in two cases killed, just on the basis of suspicion,” stated the SP.
As fans count down to the premiere of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Disney, Target and Star Wars: Force for Change are launching a new fashion-meets-fundraising initiative inspired by the themes of rebellion from the new movie.Ten influential names across film, music, fashion and sports have come together to support UNICEF Kid Power by creating a line of “Force 4 Fashion” T-shirts available exclusively in the U.S. at Target beginning November 27.Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will introduce fans to a group of rebels who choose to do extraordinary things, and in doing so, become part of something greater than themselves. Each of the T-shirt designs celebrates this theme using a powerful slogan to represent the importance of standing up for what you believe in.Five dollars from the sale of each shirt will be donated to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF in support of UNICEF Kid Power. Through this unique initiative, kids can complete physical activities and interactive challenges to earn points—which ultimately are used to provide life-saving packets of food for severely malnourished children around the world. The more kids move, the more points they earn, the more kids they help.“This campaign is about raising funds and awareness for UNICEF Kid Power’s mission to improve the lives of children everywhere,” said Paul Southern, senior vice president of licensing for Lucasfilm at Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media. “Everyone connected to this initiative has been a Force for Change in different ways, and we hope their stories will inspire others to get involved.”The Force 4 Fashion line was designed with support from Riz Ahmed, June Ambrose, Steve Aoki, Camilla Belle, Gareth Edwards, Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Olivia Munn, Kelly Slater, and Brittany Snow, who’ve all been active in supporting different causes through their careers. In addition to purchasing the special T-shirts, fans can join the rebellion by sharing their own inspiring stories and posting on social channels how they are a #ForceForChange on “Giving Tuesday,” November 29.“I love Star Wars and I’m passionate about giving back,” said Steve Aoki. “The opportunity to partner with Lucasfilm and Target to design a shirt that benefits UNICEF is something I’ve enjoyed being a part of and I hope my fans love it as much as I do.”“Investing in our children means a brighter future for all, and this holiday season, the U.S. Fund for UNICEF is thrilled Star Wars: Force for Change and this “Force 4 Fashion” initiative are supporting UNICEF Kid Power,” said Caryl M. Stern, President & CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. “UNICEF Kid Power helps us to stand and give every child hope. With every step, kids get active and save lives, moving the world closer towards ending global malnutrition.”Since the UNICEF Kid Power program launch in 2014, more than 190,000 UNICEF Kid Power Team Members have become active, earning more than 12.5 million Kid Power Points and unlocking more than 5.1 million packets of lifesaving therapeutic food for severely malnourished children. Star Wars: Force for Change announced its collaboration with UNICEF Kid Power in May 2015 and continues to be a presenting sponsor of the initiative program.To learn more about the “Force 4 Fashion” shirts, visit Target.com and to learn more about being a #ForceForChange, visit ForceForChange.com.
(Barbara Suggashie, left, and her husband Clarence Suggashie hold the picture of their deceased daughter Kanina Sue Turtle who died by suicide Oct. 29, 2016. APTN file photo)Kenneth JacksonAPTN NewsThe family of Kanina Sue Turtle is suing Tikinagan Child and Family Services for $5.9 million after the 15-year-old died by suicide inside a Sioux Lookout foster home the agency owned and operated in October 2016.The lawsuit alleges Kanina’s death was preventable and the result of Tikinagan’s “reckless disregard” for her wellbeing.“The Defendants conduct caused Kanina to experience severe mental suffering and injury and ultimately a wrongful death,” the claim alleges.The lawsuit was filed in a Bracebridge, Ont. courthouse Thursday by lawyer Cara Valiquette from Falls Law Group.The claim details much of what APTN News has already published since February.Kanina had been in and out the child welfare system for several years.She filmed her death inside the Tikinagan home that was still being used this past summer by the agency.An APTN investigation found Kanina was clearly suicidal, yet left alone for 45 minutes before a Tikinagan worker noticed she was gone.“(Tikinagan) failed to adequately monitor Kanina,” the claim alleges. “Its employees or agents had no or improper training, qualifications, education and experience to supervise and/or assist Indigenous children suffering from mental health issues, including Kanina.”APTN has viewed the video and previously reported a worker comes into the room and says what sounds like “Kanina, take my hand.”She then laid Kanina’s lifeless body on the floor, which isn’t visible in the video and leaves the room. She returned quickly talking on a cellphone with emergency personnel. She also appeared to try to resuscitate Kanina by pumping air into her lungs with a plastic device.But it was futile. Too much time had passed.“She’s gone,” the woman said as a baby can be heard crying from another room.Within minutes sirens are heard and paramedics arrive.“No pulse,” one of them is heard saying.Her parents, Barabara and Clarence Suggashie, told APTN they filed the lawsuit to get answers, as they have never been told why Kanina was left alone the day she died.“Every day we miss her, every day we go through sadness, especially because of the video she left behind,” said Clarence. “ She had dreams about her future, and positive goals. She thought about being a police officer.”He said Kanina just wanted to come home. The family didn’t know Kanina filmed her suicide until at least six months after her death. Police returned the iPod and the family guessed the password. The lawsuit alleges no one told them the video was on there.Several days before Kanina killed herself, she was in the hospital for self-harming according to a video she posted on her Facebook account.It’s a recording of a live video where Kanina filmed what appears to be a Tikinagan worker sitting in a chair in the hospital room as they wait to be seen by a doctor.The unidentified woman talks on a mobile phone explaining to someone she is at the hospital with Kanina and how her shift is ending soon.Turtle begins the video by showing her injuries and says very little, other than she is bored.The worker agrees it is boring and notices there is no television to watch.“So quit cutting yourself so you don’t have to come here,” the woman says on the video.Kanina then turns the camera to the woman who is looking down at her phone.“(Tikinagan) created a situation of trust and an illusion of safety which the Plaintiffs relied on, and given Kanina’s mental health issues, this trust prevented the Plaintiffs from being able to appreciate the risks of death which may be encountered when Indigenous children are residing in the care of Tikinagan,” the claim alleges.Kanina’s Facebook account gave many hints of her deteriorating mental state in the days leading up to her death.“(I don’t know) what to do anymore,” she wrote Oct. 24, 2016. “Just gunna give up on everything.”A video on her Facebook posted Oct. 27, 2016, that was recorded live, shows the bruised outline of a noose across her neck.“(Tikinagan) failed to have in place emergency medical procedures and protocols when it suspected, or ought to have suspected, that a child in its group home would attempt to inflect harm on herself,” the claim alleges.Then on Oct. 28, a day before her death, she attempted again and also filmed that.APTN has viewed that video.“I don’t know what to do anymore,” Kanina says. “I’m sorry for what … umm… I’m going to do.”The video is just over a minute when she stops recording. She didn’t say anything in the video of her death.“Kanina had been receiving limited counselling in the days leading up to her death, which did not adequately address her needs,” the claim alleges.Tikinagan didn’t immediately respond to APTN when provided an opportunity to address the lawsuit.None of the allegations have been proven in court.Kanina is buried on Poplar Hill First Nation near the Manitoba and Ontario email@example.com
Junior left fielder Ronnie Dawson (4) rounds the bases after hitting a home run during OSU’s 12-1 win over Hofstra on March 18 at Bill Davis Stadium.Credit: Giustino Bovenzi | Lantern reporterThe Ohio State baseball team followed its 12-1 victory over Hofstra on Friday with two more wins against the Pride on Saturday and Sunday by scores of 4-2 and 2-1, respectively.The Buckeyes’ three-game sweep improved their record to 11-6-1 and sets the stage for a televised showdown Tuesday with Xavier. Over the weekend, OSU’s offense pumped out 24 hits while its pitching staff allowed just four runs. Game 2With redshirt sophomore Adam Niemeyer, one of the Buckeyes’ strongest pitchers, on the hill, OSU seemed to be in line for another easy victory. However, the cold weather and Hofstra starting pitcher Chris Weiss kept OSU’s offense in check until the Buckeyes broke through with a three-run eighth inning. With OSU trailing 2-1, junior left fielder Ronnie Dawson provided the spark for the Scarlet and Gray, punching an RBI single through the right side of the infield to score junior catcher Jalen Washington. After an intentional walk to senior third baseman Nick Sergakis, senior first baseman Troy Kuhn singled through the left side to score Washington and Dawson, tallying the game’s final runs. Niemeyer (1-1) received a no-decision in his fourth outing of the year, scattering five hits during a career-high seven innings of work. Sophomore reliever Seth Kinker (2-1) picked up the win for OSU, while redshirt sophomore Yianni Pavlopoulos earned his fourth save of the year. Freshman John Rooney (1-2) received the loss for Hofstra. Game 3The final game of the homestand turned out to be a pitchers’ duel between two seniors: OSU’s John Havird and Hofstra’s Bowie Matteson. Hofstra drew first blood on sophomore center fielder Steven Foster’s RBI single to left center in the top of the sixth inning. In the bottom of the seventh, the Buckeyes finally solved Matteson, breaking through behind an RBI triple from freshman designated hitter Brady Cherry, which scored junior center fielder Troy Montgomery. With the game tied at 1-1, Dawson once again provided the heroics for OSU. On the first pitch he saw, the 6-foot-2 junior drove a hard-hit single to right field to plate Cherry. Havird (1-1) picked up the win for OSU, hurling a career-high seven innings and striking out three with no walks. Pavlopoulos picked up another save, his fifth..Over the weekend, Dawson batted .600 (6-for-10) with seven RBIs, one homer, two triples, one double and two walks. The Grove City, Ohio, native now leads the team with 21 RBIs. OSU’s next challenge is set to come Tuesday against the Xavier Musketeers (7-12) at 5:05 p.m. The game is OSU’s fourth of a seven-game homestand at Bill Davis Stadium.
WILMINGTON, MA — The WHS Lamplighters Drama Guild held their end-of-the-school-year banquet. As part of the celebration, next year’s plays were announced:Fall Play — Black Comedy — Friday, November 22 & Saturday, November 23One Act Play — Aces Over Eights: A New Western — Preview Night: Wednesday, February 26; METG Festival: Saturday, February 29Spring Musical — Mamma Mia — Friday, May 29 at 7pm; Saturday, May 30 at 2pm & 7pm; Sunday, May 31 at 2pmLike Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedWHS Lamplighters Drama Guild Presents ‘The Drowsy Chaperone’ On May 17-18In “Education”MARK YOUR CALENDARS: Next Year’s Wilmington High School Plays AnnouncedIn “Education”Next Year’s WHS Plays Announced; Watch Tribute Video To Barrows Auditorium + Mr. LIn “Education”
Gabriel C. Pérez/Texas StandardThe City of Austin will stop selling used police guns to the public through gun dealers.The decision comes in the wake of an investigation by Texas Standard and the Center for Investigative Reporting finding that 21 of the 50 largest law enforcement agencies in Texas sold over 10,000 weapons in the last decade. That includes firearms sold by the Austin Police Department, which offloaded over 1,100 handguns to Bailey’s House of Guns, a Houston-area gun store. Money from those sales went towards the department’s acquisition of new duty weapons.The sales raised a host of concerns by city officials, chief among them the probability that former Austin police weapons may slip into the hands of criminals. In a Austin City Council work session held on Tuesday, council member Alison Alter described her issues with the process. “The concern that drove this resolution was one that we did not want our police department to be contributing guns out into the community … guns that could then be turned to and be used on our police and on our community.”While former Austin police guns are released to licensed gun dealers who are required by federal law to run background checks on prospective buyers, the city resolution states the current background check system may not be wholly adequate. The council resolution cites holes in the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System, which came to light after Sutherland Springs shooter Devin Kelley was able purchase weapons despite a criminal record that should have blocked him from doing so. The resolution also refers to the inability to adequately track if former police guns are being used in crimes due to the Tiahrt Amendment, a congressional law blocking federal gun trace data.The city started moving on a resolution to stop sales after state Rep. Gina Hinojosa, D-Austin, lambasted city officials in front of thousands of demonstrators during a March For Our Lives event at the Texas State Capitol back in March, saying “it boggles the mind that here in our own city we allowed our APD to sell its used guns back into the private market.” Demanding the city stop the practice, she ended her speech saying, “Now that we know, never again!”Before a 2003 congressional law blocked public access to federal gun trace information, it was widely reported that sold police guns were being used in crimes. A 1999 investigation by the Denver Post found that former police weapons showed up in crimes across the nation on an average of three times a day. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives says that sold police guns continue to show up in traces of crime guns, but are unable to talk specifics due to the secretive nature of trace data. The Center for Investigative Reporting is currently suing the Department of Justice and the ATF for the release of more detailed information regarding how often police guns show are involved in crimes. The lawsuit is currently pending in federal court. Share
Listen 00:00 /01:06 X To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration ServicesA U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office.A new report shows immigrants from Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean would be most affected by rules being considered by the Trump administration to restrict family-based immigration. According to leaked drafts of the policy, the administration is looking to set income limits, so green cards would be harder to obtain for less-affluent legal immigrants, usually coming to the country through a family connection. Share Immigrants earning less than 250 percent above the federal poverty line ($62,000/year for a family of four) would have their income count against them when immigration officials are deciding whether or not to grant them a visa. New data from the Washington D.C.-based Migration Policy Institute (MPI) show the people most likely to meet income requirements come from Europe, Canada and Oceania (Australia), while immigrants from Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean are most likely not to meet the income threshold. “It might change the face of future immigrants coming to the state (Texas),” said Jeanne Batalova, an MPI senior analyst, “but also, it raises the question, what will happen to people who could be eligible, but cannot clear those new standards.”Because the considered rules could have large impacts on the race and ethnicities of future legal immigrants, some experts say it’s a way of bringing back the Immigration Act of 1924, which set quotas on how many people could immigrate from each country to maintain the racial and ethnic makeup of the United States at the time. Number and Share of Recently Arrived, Legally Present Noncitizens in Families with Annual Incomes below 250 Percent of the Federal Poverty Line (FPL) by Region of Birth, United States and Texas, 2014-16Note: Recently arrived legally present noncitizens are persons with green cards or legal nonimmigrant visas who came to the United States in the five years prior to the survey.Source: Migration Policy Institute (MPI) analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s pooled 2014-16 American Community Survey and 2008 Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) with MPI legal-status assignments.Recently Arrived, Legally Present Noncitizens: Total and in Families with Annual Incomes below 250 Percent of the Federal Poverty Line, United States and Texas, 2014-16Source: Migration Policy Institute (MPI) analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s pooled 2014-16 American Community Survey and 2008 Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) with MPI legal-status assignments.The policy stands to have a greater impact on Texas because of the size and countries of origin of the immigrant community in the state. “Proportionately speaking, Texas is likely to be affected more than other states in the United States,” said Batalova.The policy would also greatly expand (from 3 percent to 47 percent) the share of legal immigrants that would be deemed a “public charge” based on their use, or their dependent’s use, of public benefits.A public charge determination weighs heavily against a legally present non citizen when an immigration official is deciding to grant or deny them a green card or visa. The new public charge rules would apply to nearly half of all lawfully present immigrants, including some 1.3 million Texans.Proposed public charge rules would also have major chilling effects on immigrant use of benefits like Medicaid and food stamps. “It potentially creates an enormous chilling effect,” said Mark Greenberg, senior fellow at the Migration Policy Institute, “which could leave families with children fearful that receipt of publicly funded health care assistance is going to hurt their ability to get green cards or to get another family member admitted to the country.”
State Rep. Jeff Farrington, R-Utica, with officials from Jefferson ElementaryJefferson Elementary School Media Center has achieved exemplary status from the Library of Michigan and state Rep. Jeff Farrington today delivered congratulations to Media Specialist Stephanie Staub and Principal Jennifer Davis for the accomplishment.To achieve the highest status in the state’s Michigan School Libraries for 21st Century Schools (SL21) program, the school completed 38 measurement criteria in the areas of learning, environment and leadership.“The endorsement Jefferson Elementary has earned from the state library reflects the commitment to excellence its staff and administration have for giving our children one of the greatest gifts possible – a quality education,” said Farrington, R-Utica. “The successful learning environment they have created will go a long way in preparing our young people for the challenges of tomorrow.”SL21 is part of voluntary management school improvement standards program that assists and recognizes K-12 libraries by setting benchmarks in the areas of instruction, student achievement, technology, facility, staffing, budget, instructional materials, curriculum development, school improvement, community engagement, advocacy and additional applicable criteria.Jefferson Elementary is in the Warren Consolidated Schools district.##### Categories: Farrington News,News 25Jan Jefferson Elementary library earns top status
25Jan Rep. Glenn votes to provide tax relief to Michigan families, seniors Categories: Glenn News State Rep. Gary Glenn today voted to approve a package of bills aimed at providing substantial income tax relief for families and seniors.The bills continue and increase personal exemptions for Michigan taxpayers and their dependents on their income taxes, while providing additional relief for senior citizens.Glenn, R-Williams Township, voted for the three-bill package that will enable people to keep more of their hard-earned money.“This legislation delivers much-needed tax relief to the hardworking taxpayers in Bay and Midland counties,” Glenn said. “The technical fix related to the federal reforms saves $172 per person on state income taxes each year – that’s $688 for a family of four. Raising the personal exemption provides an additional $102 in relief for a family of four.”The legislation, House Bills 5420-5422, will:Ensure Michigan taxpayers can continue claiming personal exemptions on income taxes after federal tax reforms signed into law last month, and increase the state personal exemption from the current $4,000 to $4,300 for the 2018 tax year, with gradual increases reaching $4,800 for 2020;Certify taxpayers in Michigan cities with an income tax will continue to be able to claim exemptions; andHelp senior citizens in addition to the personal exemption increase by providing a $100 income tax credit for a single filer age 62 or older – or $200 for joint filers.House Bills 5420-5422 now go to the Senate for consideration.###
There are billions of barrels of oil and trillions of cubic feet of natural gas that could be trapped beneath the ocean floor. Its importance also means that the countries in the area are all vying for a piece of the action, sometimes even leading to armed confrontations: In May of 2011, Chinese patrol boats harassed a Vietnamese oil exploration ship, disrupting a seismic exploration program being done by PetroVietnam. In a time where big oil and gas deposits are becoming harder to come by, the oil and gas wealth of the South China Sea becomes even more attractive. Unlike North Korea, China is absolutely unafraid to project its economic and military might upon its neighbors. But the Southeast Asians are no pushovers either – they will take every advantage they can to push China out of their waters. So isn’t it a matter of time before someone takes this game of chicken too far and leads into a full-scale war? But more important, where does this lead for energy investments? Additional Links and Reads Taiwan Expects Rare Break in Dry Search for Natural Gas (Forbes) Germany is an unexpected ally to Taiwan, but it brings a lot of money and knowledge to the table. It appears that the energy situation in Germany is more ominous than expected, and it has been looking at countries without a lot of exploration. Production is very far in the future, but the two countries are expecting by then that supply will tighten and make extraction economic. Turkey Dismayed at Lack of US Partnership on Second Nuclear Plant (Hürriyet Daily News) Turkey has tried to alleviate some of its dependence on Russia in terms of nuclear energy. We do not know the exact terms, but the United States declining a partnership with Turkey means that the Putinization of Europe continues. Turkey’s energy minister was right in saying they could not be accused of being too dependent on Russia. South Africa Looks Nearly Set to Start Building New Nuclear Power Plants (Engineering News) Not to beat a dead horse, but here is another example of Putin’s dominance in the nuclear sector. Russia has a dedicated South Africa representative to ensure it will have a foothold in the African country. Unlike most of Russia’s other partners, South Africa is a more developed nation, which just shows you that many countries are willing to accept Putin as an energy savior. North Korea has been rattling its sabers once again, even producing some videos that threaten attacks on US forces using “powerful weapons of mass destruction” and show an invasion of Seoul where thousands of American citizens are taken hostage. American senators are already up in arms about how a “major war” is brewing on the Korean peninsula. But as usual, American lawmakers are completely missing the point. The real war will not be launched by the hungry, demoralized troops of North Korea, but rather the warships of China, Taiwan, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, and Indonesia. And unlike a North Korean invasion that could likely be thwarted in days, a war in the South China Sea would have far bigger implications. Let us explain. The South China Sea contains approximately 150 uninhabited islands off the southern coast of China. It is important for two main reasons: It is the second most-used sea lane in the world, as it is the shortest sea route between the Middle East and Asia. If there were conflicts in the South China Sea, it would cause half of the world’s fleet to detour around Indonesia.
Nina Martinez just became the world’s first living HIV-positive organ donor. In a medical breakthrough, surgeons at Johns Hopkins Hospital late last month successfully transplanted one of her kidneys to a recipient who is also HIV positive. “I feel wonderful,” Martinez, 35, said in an interview with NPR’s Michel Martin, 11 days into her recovery. The patient who received her kidney has chosen to remain anonymous, but is doing well, Martinez is told. “They’re doing wonderfully and they got an organ they desperately needed to get and that’s all I could ask for,” Martinez said.HIV advocates are celebrating the achievement as an important step towards lifting the stigma around a disease that affects some 1.1 million Americans. In 2017, an estimated 18 patients died each day while waiting for an organ transplant. Many of these deaths involved HIV positive patients who have traditionally had access to a much smaller pool of potential organ donors. The decision to donate Martinez contracted HIV through a blood transfusion when she was an infant in the early 1980s. “I do think that my lack of discomfort in talking about HIV does make people more comfortable with the idea, and I do attribute that to being diagnosed at such a young age,” she said. “I didn’t know HIV was supposed to be something that I was ashamed of.”She said she first looked into becoming a donor last year, when Johns Hopkins became the first hospital in the United States to announce plans to perform organ transplants for HIV patients from donors who are HIV positive. Previously, doctors had only transplanted organs to HIV-positive recipients from deceased HIV donors.”Like most living kidney donors, I did start this process for a friend that I knew who needed a kidney,” said Martinez.Then her friend died in November, when Martinez was in the middle of a rigorous evaluation process. “I knew that this was a lot of medical spending not to try and do something with,” she said. So Johns Hopkins found another recipient.Explaining why she felt compelled to share her story, Martinez pointed to when Johns Hopkins performed the first transplants from deceased HIV-positive donors to two anonymous patients in 2016. “It was important to me to be able to put a name and a face to that story to show that the need for HIV-positive organs is real and actually benefits everybody,” she said. “My taking somebody off the deceased donor waitlist who is HIV positive means that everyone moves up the waitlist whether they’re HIV positive or not.” Currently, more than 113,000 people in the U.S. — including those living with HIV — are waiting to receive an organ transplant, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS). A years-long drive Last month’s surgery marked the culmination of a years-long drive to expand access to organ donors for patients with HIV. In 2016, UNOS gave Johns Hopkins approval to carry out the first transplant from an HIV positive donor to an HIV positive patient, capping a two-year push by Martinez’s surgeon, Dorry Segev, to legalize such procedures. Before that, Segev, an associate professor of surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, helped draft the HIV Organ Policy Equity Act signed by President Obama in 2013. The measure reversed a 1988 law preventing doctors from procuring HIV-infected organs regardless of the recipient’s HIV status.Segev, speaking with NPR in 2016, said he was motivated to address the “antiquated law” when he saw that the need for organ transplants among HIV patients had swelled since the start of the AIDS crisis in the 1980s. Segev said he grew frustrated as he watched potentially life-saving organs going to waste. In one 2011 study, he and his colleagues projected that an estimated 500 to 600 would-be organ donors with HIV die each year. Had they been allowed to donate while they were alive, they could have been saving more than 1,000 lives annually. “We were throwing away organs that were infected with HIV that could be used to help people with HIV,” Segev said. Today, an HIV diagnosis is no longer the death sentence it once was. “People live their lives with it,” said Segev. “They just need to take antiretroviral medication.” But patients who use those antiretroviral treatments — along with other drugs used to treat the disease — are also at higher risks of kidney and liver failure and often end up on the organ waiting list. Keeping transplants safe Given the risk of kidney disease that’s associated with HIV, the medical community has until relatively recently considered it unsafe to leave a would-be donor with just one kidney. But newer medications are thought to be both more effective and safer, and to guard against potential complications, Martinez was made to go through months of rigorous testing to ensure success for her and her recipient. “They determined that my future risk of kidney disease was really, really, small,” Martinez said. Martinez hopes her visibility and openness about her disease encourages others to realize they can be a part of advanced new treatments that allow HIV-positive people to live a healthy life. “I hope that people who are not living with HIV who wouldn’t normally consider themselves to be potential living kidney donors would actually consider it in earnest, as well as people living with HIV who are on great treatment.”NPR’s Emma Talkoff produced this story for broadcast. Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Nov 5 2018City of Hope, a world-renowned independent cancer research and treatment center, and its affiliate, Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), have announced a letter of intent to develop a state-of-the-art cell therapy manufacturing facility in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area, a move that would improve the speed at which stem cell research and cancer treatment is delivered.The Phoenix facility would model City of Hope’s three Current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) facilities in Duarte, California, which have produced well over 1,300 cell and gene therapy products and oncology drugs for many cancer clinical trials across the nation. City of Hope is one of a small number of select cancer centers in the U.S. to provide both biological and chemical GMP manufacturing at a single institution. Its facilities have the ability to produce both gene therapy viruses and cells needed for CAR T therapies.”City of Hope is dedicated to innovation in biomedical science and has one of the most comprehensive CAR T cell programs in the world with 16 ongoing CAR T clinical trials,” said Robert W. Stone, president and chief executive officer of City of Hope as well as vice chairman of the TGen board of directors. “Cancer patients need effective treatments now. City of Hope and TGen are working to quickly move effective therapies from the laboratory to patients’ bedside. Additional cGMP facilities will help us expand our capabilities to serve people in Arizona and across the nation.”Demand for clinical cell therapies is expected to grow 42 percent annually over the next decade, according to “Cell Therapy Manufacturing Market.” Most cell therapy manufacturing facilities are at capacity or over capacity because demand is outpacing production rates.”This significant investment further enhances Arizona’s reputation as a hub for bioscience and health care innovation,” said Arizona Governor Doug Ducey. “Our state offers a strong concentration of talent ready to meet the needs of this facility. The work being conducted by City of Hope and TGen is critical in the fight against cancer, and Arizona is proud to play a role in it.”Related StoriesAlternate cell growth pathway could open door to new treatments for metastatic cancersStudy: Megakaryocytes play an important role in cell migrationSlug serves as ‘command central’ for determining breast stem cell healthThe planned facility would meet an urgent need of accelerating cures for patients in Arizona, Southern California and elsewhere. The facility would also provide additional opportunities to partner and collaborate with scientists in Arizona, an important objective for TGen, an affiliate of City of Hope.At this future facility, chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells, which have demonstrated durable cancer remission in blood cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma, would be among the cells that are produced. The new facility could also support the cell therapy production needs of pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies who need this kind of specialized GMP capability to move clinical trial programs forward.”The road to future cancer cures requires genomic-enabled medicine and the type of immune-system enhancements that would result from this cell therapy manufacturing facility, which will provide local access to new treatments for Arizona patients,” said Jeffrey Trent, Ph.D., TGen president and research director. “City of Hope’s clinical and manufacturing expertise in immunotherapy is at the forefront of this field, and combined with TGen’s genomic testing, offers patients new hope for their future.”The Arizona Commerce Authority will work in partnership with City of Hope and TGen to provide workforce development assistance through its Navigator and local One-Stop programs. Source:https://www.tgen.org/news/2018/november/01/city-of-hope-tgen-intend-cell-therapy-facility/
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jun 26 2019A common metric for monitoring kidney health may not accurately represent the kidney function of Indian patients. However, tweaks to an older assessment formula may better measure kidney health in this patient population, according to new research presented today at the 2019 American Physiological Society (APS)/American Society of Nephrology (ASN) Conference, Control of Renal Function in Health and Disease in Charlottesville, Va.Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is a measure of how well the kidneys remove waste from the blood. It is used in clinical settings as an indicator of chronic kidney disease. The gold standard to measure GFR requires use of radioisotopes. Because of that, doctors usually test patients’ blood for a waste product called creatinine and then enter those results into a formula with other factors such as age, sex and weight to determine an estimate of GFR. There are multiple formulae to estimate GFR, but the most common are based on data from Western populations.Related StoriesOne-fifth of U.S. surgeons still ‘overusing’ riskier method to create kidney dialysis access, study findsArtificial intelligence can help accurately predict acute kidney injury in burn patientsMetabolomics may be key to identifying diabetes-related kidney diseaseNoting that many developing populations have higher fat-to-muscle tissue ratios for a given body mass index, researchers sought to determine the more accurate method to estimate GFR in Indians. They used the gold standard radioisotope method to measure GFR in 24 healthy Indian volunteers, 11 men and 13 women. They then evaluated different estimation formulae based on the radioisotope results. This included variations of the formulae using measures of lean mass in place of body weight. They determined lean mass via dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) scan. DEXA scans measure tissue density and are also commonly used to measure bone density and test for osteoporosis.The researchers found the closest agreement to the radioisotope results came from the Cockcroft–Gault formula, with a substitution of lean mass in place of weight. The Cockcroft–Gault formula was developed in 1973 and is less used today than two newer formulae called the Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology Collaboration equation and the Modification of Diet in Renal Disease equation, neither of which provided results that were as accurate in this study as the modified Cockcroft–Gault formula.The researchers note that a larger study is necessary to fully validate this method, especially considering the added use of a full-body scan. However, “use of body composition parameters for estimating GFR may improve clinical practice in Indian patients,” they said.Anjali Kulkarni, MD, of BARC Hospital in Mumbai, India, will present the poster “Improvement in estimates of GFR by using lean mass as compared to body weight in Indians: pilot study” on Tuesday, June 25, 2019, in Pavilion III of the Boar’s Head Resort in Charlottesville, Va. Source:American Physiological Society
SHARE The Centre also said the petitioners have not disclosed any new evidence in the review petition The Centre told the Supreme Court on Sunday that there was no question of either registration of a first information report (FIR) or an investigation by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the Rafale fighter jets deal. The apex court had already concluded that there was no reason for intervention by it on the “sensitive issue”.The Centre said the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report “belied” the main arguments of petitioners regarding alleged “exorbitant price” of the jets. It had sought the dismissal of petitions seeking review of the December 14 last year verdict which gave a clean chit to the Government on the procurement of 36 fighter jets from French firm Dassault. In its 39-page written submissions filed in the top court, the Centre has said that petitioners and former union ministers Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie and activist advocate Prashant Bhushan have not made out any ground which would justify review of the “well reasoned” December 14 judgement last year.“Especially, once this court had come to the conclusion that on all the three aspects i.e, the decision making process, pricing and Indian offset partner, there is no reason for intervention by this court on the sensitive issue of purchase of 36 Rafale fighter aircrafts by the Indian Government, there is no question of either registration of FIR much less any investigation by the CBI,” the Government said. A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had on May 10 reserved its verdict on the pleas seeking review of the December 14 judgement in the Rafale case. The apex court, in its December 14 verdict, had said there was no occasion to doubt the decision-making process in the procurement of 36 Rafale jets and dismissed the petitions seeking an investigation into alleged irregularities in the Rs 58,000 crore deal. Besides Sinha, Shourie and Bhushan, review petitions have also been filed by AAP lawmaker Sanjay Singh and lawyer Vineet Dhandha. In its written submissions, the Centre has said in the garb of seeking review of the verdict and placing reliance on “some press reports and some incomplete internal file noting(s), copies of which were obtained unauthorisedly and illegally”, the petitioners cannot seek to re-open the whole matter since scope of review petition is extremely limited. “The review petition, it is therefore, submitted is an attempt to get a fishing and roving enquiry ordered, which this court has specifically declined to go into based on perceptions of individuals,” it said.The Centre also said the petitioners have not disclosed any new evidence in the review petition except that they have now based their case on some unauthorisedly accessed documents copied from the secret files of the Ministry of Defence. It said files and documents were made available to the CAG who took about two years to complete its study and finalise its report. “The report of the CAG does not support the main argument of petitioners which has been perpetually repeated before this court that the cost of each aircraft under 36 Rafale contract is Rs 1,000 crore higher than what it would have been under the MMRCA bid,” the Centre said.“The basic price of the aircraft has been informed to the Parliament as approximately Rs 670 crore at prevailing exchange rate of November, 2016; without associated equipments, weapons, India Specific Enhancements, maintenance support and services,” it said. It also said for the overall aircraft package, the CAG has held that the contract was concluded at a price which is 2.86 per cent lower than the audit aligned price.The Government reiterated that it has no role in the selection of Indian offset partner which is a commercial decision of Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM). It said monitoring of progress in the government to government process by Prime Minister Office (PMO) cannot be construed as interference or parallel negotiations. Regarding the petitioners’ claim that government had suppressed and concealed material facts from the apex court, the Centre said these allegations are devoid of merit.“It is submitted that the IGA for 36 Rafale procurement is between the two sovereign nations and the implementation of the project which is on schedule is being closely monitored by both the Governments. The adequate safeguards are built into IGA for ensuring smooth implementation of the project,” it said.“The training of Indian Air Force personnel is underway in France. Any attempt to bring this procurement under cloud may result into delay in implementation of the project and would affect the operational preparedness of Indian Air Force,” the Centre said. Sinha, Shourie and Bhushan had earlier alleged in the apex court that the Centre “wilfully and deliberately” misled the court in the Rafale fighter jet case and this amounted to “wholesale fraud”.On the scope of judicial review, they had said apex court has consistently held that where the allegation is of corruption, procedural violations and mala fide decision making, the court will be well within its right to exercise the jurisdiction. May 26, 2019 COMMENT Published on Rafale The Centre said for the overall aircraft package, the CAG has held that the contract was concluded at a price which is 2.86 per cent lower than the audit aligned price Supreme Court of India COMMENTS SHARE SHARE EMAIL
Sikkim remains cut-off for 2nd day as multiple landslides block NH-31The officials from General Reserve Engineering Force (GREF) said significant sections of the hills have collapsed and blocked the highway at five locations between Setijhora and Kalijhora in West Bengal.advertisement Press Trust of India GangtokJuly 12, 2019UPDATED: July 12, 2019 21:52 IST In Sikkim, landslides have occurred near Rangpo and 32 Number on the highway, officials said. (Representational image: PTI)Sikkim remained cut-off from the rest of the country for the second day on Friday as multiple landslides triggered by heavy and continuous rainfall have blocked the arterial NH-31A, officials said.The officials from General Reserve Engineering Force (GREF) said significant sections of the hills have collapsed and blocked the highway at five locations between Setijhora and Kalijhora in West Bengal.In Sikkim, landslides have occurred near Rangpo and 32 Number on the highway, they said, adding that the ongoing repair and restoration work is being hampered by heavy and continuous rains.The MeT Department has warned of heavy to very heavy rainfall with extremely heavy falls over sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim.Also Read | Indian Army rescues over 2,500 stranded tourists in SikkimAlso Read | Floods affect 4 lakh in Assam, 10 dead across northeast as rains lash region Also Watch | In Depth: Decoding the link between floods and droughtsFor the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup 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 byShifa Naseer Tags :Follow SikkimFollow Landslide Next
Next Press Trust of India Panaji (Goa)July 12, 2019UPDATED: July 12, 2019 22:16 IST (Image Credit: ANI)The four former chief ministers in the Congress will never allow the party to come to power in Goa, Panaji MLA Atanasio Monserratte, who joined the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party two days ago, said on Friday.Atanasio Monserratte and nine other MLAs crossed over to the saffron party Wednesday, reducing the Congress’ strength in 40-member Goa Assembly to five.Of the five remaining legislators, four are former chief ministers, namely, Ravi Naik, Luizinho Faleiro, Digambar Kamat and Pratapsingh Rane.”They want to become chief minister again and they will never allow Congress to form government,” Atanasio Monserratte told reporters.The fact that even Leader of Opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar left the party and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party indicated how bad the things were in the Congress, he also added.However, he himself was not in the position to comment on the Congress’ affairs as he had joined it recently, he said.”I was like a traveler in Congress for one month,” he said.Atanasio Monserratte won Panaji Assembly by-election on Congress ticket in May.ALSO READ | Goa CM Pramod Sawant seeks resignation of 3 ministers, independent MLA to induct new facesALSO WATCH | Please change your thinking: BJP MLA’s daughter’s emotional appeal to her fatherFor the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup 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 byKritika Kashyap Tags :Follow congressFollow Atanasio MonserratteFollow PanajiFollow Bharatiya Janata PartyFollow Goa Four ex-CMs will not allow Congress to form govt: BJP MLA Atanasio MonserratteAtanasio Monserratte and nine other MLAs crossed over to the saffron party, reducing the Congress’s strength in 40-member Goa Assembly to five.advertisement
Other Galleries 6 images Thu, 04 Jul, 2019 Devotees take part in annual Jagannath Rath Yatra| See pics 6 images Tue, 02 Jul, 2019 In Photos: Security personnel conduct route march after clashes in Delhi’s Hauz Qazi 7 images Mon, 01 Jul, 2019 Mayhem of Mumbai rains in photos 3 images Sat, 29 Jun, 2019 Madhya Pradesh politicians talk about need for youth in politicsOther Photogallery CategoriesIndiaMoviesLifestyleTelevisionAdd new comment Your name * E-mail * The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly. Comment *More information about text formatsPlain textNo HTML tags allowed.Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.Lines and paragraphs break automatically.Set As Featured: Set As Featured647x363: 483×271: 370×208: 170×96: 88×50: Section: PhotoIndiaGallery Image: Image: Credit/Source: REUTERSCaption: A special 50-wagon train, carrying water from Tamil Nadu’s Vellore district, reached Chennai on Friday.Thumb Image: Enable: EnableOrder: 1Image: Credit/Source: Jaison GCaption: Each wagon has capacity to carry 50,000 litres of waterSyndication: SyndicationThumb Image: Enable: EnableOrder: 2Image: Credit/Source: Jaison GCaption: Earlier, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami announced the state government’s plans to transport 10 million litres of water daily by rail from Jolarpettai to meet the needs of parched Chennai.Syndication: SyndicationThumb Image: Enable: EnableOrder: 3Image: Credit/Source: Jaison GCaption: K Palaniswami said that sum of Rs 65 crore had been allocated for this purpose.Syndication: SyndicationThumb Image: Enable: EnableOrder: 4Image: Credit/Source: Jaison GCaption: The train was flagged off from the Jolarpettai station on the morning of Friday.Syndication: SyndicationThumb Image: Enable: EnableOrder: 5Image: Credit/Source: Jaison GCaption: A trial run was conducted successfully on Wednesday from Mettu Sakrakuppam pumping zone to filling point at Jolarpettai railway station.Syndication: SyndicationThumb Image: Enable: EnableOrder: 6Image: Credit/Source: Jaison GCaption: Local bodies minister SP Velumani participated in the function when the wagon arrived at the station.Syndication: SyndicationThumb Image: Enable: EnableOrder: 7Tags: ChennaiDroughtTrainSource type: photogalleryShort description: The special water train that reached Chennai, Tamil Nadu on Friday was was flagged off from the Jolarpettai station on Friday morning.Preview_unique_id: preview_5d28a431b99681562944561_1567893_editCommentContent Publish date: Friday, July 12, 2019 – 20:30Story Extra Data: eyJzZWN0aW9uIjpbIjEyMDY1NzgiLCIxMjA4NTIxIl0sImNhdGVnb3J5IjpudWxsLCJzdWJfY2F0ZWdvcnkiOm51bGwsInN1Yl9zdWJfY2F0ZWdvcnkiOm51bGwsInN1Yl9zdWJfc3ViX2NhdGVnb3J5IjpudWxsLCJwcmltYXJ5X2NhdGVnb3J5IjoiMTIwNjU3OCJ9770x433: Short Headline: Special tanker train reaches drought-hit Chennai with water: IN PHOTOSApp headline: Special tanker train reaches drought-hit Chennai with water: IN PHOTOS1200x675: