Cyclone Titli: No casualty in Odisha till 2 p.m.

first_imgAlthough no casualty from Odisha has been reported due to ‘very severe cyclone Titli’ till 2 p.m. on Thursday, news about damages caused by the cyclone is trickling in from south Odisha districts like Ganjam, Gajapati and Rayagada.Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik reviewed the situation and administrative measures to face aftermath of Titli, at State secretariat in Bhubaneswar on Thursday. This meeting was attended by State chief secretary, development commissioner, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC), heads of various departments and director of the meteorology department.The CM reiterated that no one had died in Odisha due to this cyclonic storm. He expressed his satisfaction of ‘zero casualty’ during this cyclonic storm that had its landfall near Palasa in Andhra Pradesh between 4.30 a.m. and 5.30 a.m. on Thursday.Around three lakh people from low laying cyclone vulnerable areas of coastal districts have been sheltered at 1112 relief camps. Around two lakh of them were of Ganjam district. They were provided relief materials and other basic amenities.This cyclonic storm will pass over Odisha to reach Gangetic West Bengal. Mr Patnaik said that administrative officials must keep close watch on its impact. He ordered for provision of adequate relief materials to the affected and needy.The CM directed officials concerned to take up immediate measures for resumption of electricity, drinking water supply and connectivity of road in areas affected by the cyclone. Collectors were ordered to make an assessment and file a report on damages to crops and houses as early as possible.Some districts of Odisha have experienced rainfall over 100mm. Except for western districts all other parts of Odisha are expected to have rains due to the cyclonic storm.Thirteen NDRF teams were deployed in ten districts while ODRAF teams were deployed in nine districts. Fire services teams were in high alert throughout the State.Meanwhile, reports of damages have started to come up from Gajapati and Rayagada districts of south Odisha. Road and telecommunication has been disrupted in several parts of Gajapati district.Because of damages caused by the cyclone near Palasa, East Coast Railway has not yet resumed train services between Khurda Road in Odisha and Vizainagaram in Andhra Pradesh, which had been stalled from 10PM on Wednesday.Titli’ is moving north westward over coastal Odisha causing heavy to very heavy rainfall in parts different parts of the State. During its north westward movement it will weaken gradually and re-curve north eastward towards Gangetic West Bengal.last_img read more

How to Stop The Brain Drain

first_imgEver since 1960s, immigration of medical doctors to America and other western countries continues unabated. It is noteworthy that India supplies the largest number of medical graduates to the U.S. With 59,523 physicians of Indian origin working in the English speaking Western world (the U.S., UK, Australia and Canada combined), India is by far the single largest source of emigre physicians in the world. There are more than 40,838 doctors of Indian origin in America today. The actual number could be higher. It is very nice that Indian doctors are highly rated and respected in America and the western world. We all are proud of this fact.Read it at India West Related Itemslast_img read more

Scooting to a Billion

first_imgAnurang Jain’s net worth hit $1.1 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, after auto parts maker Endurance Technologies Ltd. soared 74 percent since its October initial public offering. His brother, Tarang, has a $1.1 billion fortune based on the valuation of closely held Varroc Group, which also makes components for motorcycles and cars.Both companies have long counted their uncle’s Bajaj Auto Ltd. as their biggest customer.“I will be the first one to shout at them if I find any problem,” Rahul Bajaj, 78, said in a May 11 phone interview. “Bajaj Auto has always insisted on better quality and lower cost. Indeed, both had worked on cost and quality, otherwise they would not have grown.”Bajaj, who recalls sitting in Gandhi’s lap and digging wells for the independence leader at his ashram, realized as a teenager that what propelled his family most wasn’t the spirit of non-violent political protest but a quest for success. “People say, while you are a child, you think of being a policeman or a pilot,” Bajaj said in an interview with Harvard Business School in 2014. “I never thought of anything else: business, business, business.”Since then, Bajaj transformed himself into the king of the Indian scooter industry and amassed a personal fortune valued at $4.2 billion, ranking him No. 433 on the Bloomberg index of the world’s 500 richest people.Samir Shrimankar, a spokesman for the Bajaj Group, confirmed Rahul’s net worth, while Anurang’s was verified by Sunil Lalai, an Endurance spokesman. Varroc representatives didn’t respond to requests for comment.Publicly traded Bajaj Auto, started by Rahul’s father and run by his son since 2005, is the group’s flagship business and India’s largest exporter of motorcycles and three-wheelers. The company is part of Bajaj Group, controlled by the billionaire and three cousins — Madhur, Niraj and Shekhar — through Bajaj Holdings & Investment.Varroc, based in the western city of Aurangabad, is India’s No. 1 motorcycle parts supplier and had revenue of $1.5 billion in fiscal 2017, according to its website. Publicly traded Endurance had revenue of 55.7 billion rupees ($831 million) in the year ended March 31, most derived from its aluminum casting business.The families trace their lineage to Jamnalal Bajaj, a freedom fighter Gandhi considered to be his fifth son. Jamnalal, who created Bajaj Group in 1926, persuaded Gandhi to establish an ashram in his home state of Maharashtra in 1932 and his family lived there until the Hindu leader’s assassination in 1948.Bajaj’s family moved to Mumbai around the time of India’s independence in 1947, after years spent in and out of British jails. Rahul’s father took control of the family business in 1942, creating the precursor to Bajaj Auto three years later and expanding the enterprise to include cement, electrical appliances and scooters.It was the scooter business that kicked the family fortune into high gear. Built up by Bajaj during the 1970s and ‘80s against the headwinds of a centrally controlled economy, the company became India’s top scooter brand while expanding to places like Colombia, Sri Lanka and Nigeria.The two-wheelers became a prized commodity, especially in northern India, where “you couldn’t get married in a middle-class family unless the girl’s family was ready to give a Bajaj scooter” as dowry, Rahul Bajaj told Harvard. Families would order one when a child was born or buy them on the black market.Naresh Chandra Jain, Rahul’s brother-in-law and father of the twin billionaires, had been running Kaycee Industries Ltd. to supply Bajaj Auto with electrical switches, leaving in 1985 to join his sons atAnurang Engineering, which produced aluminum die-castings used in Bajaj scooters and is now part of Endurance.Both Endurance and Varroc have worked to reduce their dependence on Bajaj by adding new customers and products through acquisitions. Varroc’s revenue almost doubled with the 2012 purchase of lighting business Visteon for $92 million, while Endurance now has seven factories in Europe and 18 in India.“What matters are results,” Rahul recalled telling his eldest son after he hatched a plan to improve margins by abandoning the scooter business. “The day I find in totality you are not good for the company, I will talk to you. The fact that you are a Bajaj will not save you.”— Bloomberg Related Itemslast_img read more

Federer Gets 1,000th Match Win

first_imgTweetPinShare0 Shares BRISBANE, Australia — Roger Federer turned the Brisbane International final into a grand occasion Jan. 11, beating the up-and-coming Milos Raonic in three see-sawing sets to register his 1,000th career match win.It’s a grand number for a 17-time Grand Slam champion, making him the only player after Jimmy Connors (1,253) and Ivan Lendl (1,071) to win 1,000 times on the men’s professional tour.“Clearly it’s a special day for me, winning a title plus getting to the magic number of 1,000,” Federer said after his 6-4, 6-7 (2), 6-4 win against third-seeded Raonic.“It feels very different to any other match I’ve ever won. All those (milestone) numbers didn’t mean anything to me, but for some reason 1,000 means a lot because it’s such a huge number. Just alone to count to 1,000 is going to take a while.”Federer clearly wanted to reach the milestone before the Australian Open, breaking Raonic’s serve in the third game and again in the opening game of the second set.He fired eight of his eventual 21 aces in the first set, taking on the big-serving Canadian’s strength. Just as it appeared Federer would coast to a comfortable victory, though, Raonic shook off his nerves to break back in the fourth game of the second set and swing the momentum.Federer had another half-chance to clinch it in two, getting an early mini-break in the tiebreaker, but Raonic went on a roll to win seven straight points and level the match.The 33-year-old Swiss star responded by serving an ace to open the third set, but he needed all his experience to save three break-point chances in that lengthy game.Tension continued to build as Raonic was forced to save two break points in each of the fourth and sixth games, and missed two chances on Federer’s serve in the fifth.Only one point went against serve in the next three games until Raonic was serving to stay in the match.He was leading 30-15 when Federer produced a pin-point topspin lob that forced an error, and then came a double-fault — Raonic’s first of the set and fourth of the match — to give Federer a championship point.Raonic netted a forehand on the next point, and Federer raised his arms to acknowledge the “Federer 1,000” placards and red-and-white Swiss flags being waved around Pat Rafter Arena.“Looking back it’s almost nicer winning this way through a tight match with nerves and humid conditions against a great player in a final,” Federer said. “It means so much more than just running away with it. I guess I was much more happy having to go three sets in the end.”Raonic said he did everything he could but didn’t quite have the answer to beat Federer for the second time in their eight head-to-heads. Still, he didn’t mind being part of the big occasion.“It’s great to see because you know how much he’s done for tennis. He turned pro I think it was like 10 years before me,” Raonic said. “It’s great to see everything he’s done for tennis. The fans he’s brought, the media attention he’s brought … he’s definitely the most popular tennis player of all time.”Ballboys held up 1,000 in big, white numerals near the net during the presentation ceremony, when Federer accepted mementos from Australian tennis greats Roy Emerson and Rod Laver: the Roy Emerson Trophy and, from Laver, a framed montage of images with the words “Congratulations Roger, 1,000 match wins.”“Special moment. I’m glad I got it,” Federer said. “To get to 1,000 match wins in front of you guys … it really means a lot to me. I’ll never forget this match.”In a career of so many milestones, Federer welcomed another and was glad to get it done before the season-opening major.He hasn’t added to his collection of Grand Slam titles since his 2012 Wimbledon triumph, but showed signs last year he’s no spent force by finishing No. 2 in the rankings, helping Switzerland to its first Davis Cup crown and finishing the season with five titles and a 73-12 record.Federer said he hasn’t got Connors’ record number of wins in his sights, yet, but he does have ambitions to win more major titles. That quest recommences Jan. 19 at Melbourne Park, where he hasn’t returned to the final since winning the last of his four Australian Open titles in 2010.“Yeah, I do believe that,” he said. “Clearly I do believe I have a shot in Melbourne, otherwise I would go home.”(JOHN PYE, AP Sports Writer)last_img read more

iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Max mockup shows upcoming Apple phones with triple rear camera module

first_imgLast year, in 2018, Apple launched three iPhones out of which one was for the consumers looking to buy an “affordable” iPhone. This year too — at least that’s what the rumours suggest — the Cupertino based tech firm is planning to bring three iPhones which are said to be the successor to the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR. Most likely the high-end or expensive iPhones this year will be called iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Max. The affordable iPhone this year will reportedly be called iPhone XR 2. Ahead of the launch of these new iPhones a lot has been revealed about the phones by the rumours and leaks and now new mockup reveals the complete design of the camera setup of the alleged iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Max. The camera module design of the iPhone XR is said to be different.The new leak coming from tipster Ben Geskin goes almost in line with the past renders of the iPhone 11 series. The mockup reveals that the iPhone 11 and the iPhone 11 Max will come with a triple rear camera setup. This should come as good news for iPhone fans who have been missing out on more cameras. Having said that if rumours turn out to be true this will be the first time when iPhones will sport three cameras on the back panel.As far as the design of the iPhone 11 series is concerned — in the mockup — the phones look a lot different compared to last year’s iPhones. The three cameras are placed in a rectangular fashion and they sit inside a square box — which was also revealed by the past rumours, leaks and renders. The three cameras are paired with an LED flash that also sits inside the square camera module. In the mockup the iPhone 11 series appears in gold colour. Next to the camera module there’s an Apple logo that sits and appears in silver paint.advertisementPast rumours suggest that the top-end iPhones this year aka the iPhone 11 or iPhone 11 Max will come with three cameras on the back panel while the iPhone XR successor will include dual rear cameras. Considering the rumours the camera setup of the iPhone XR successor or the iPhone XR 2 — the name of the phone is yet to be confirmed — will look similar to that of the iPhone XS series. Some other rumours suggest that the iPhone XR 2 similar to the iPhone XR will come in funky colours while the top end iPhone models will be available in basic, black, white and gold colours.Going by Apple’s track record the new iPhones may launch around September and October. Meanwhile, the Cupertino major is all set to kick off its developer’s event aka WWDC 2019 today where the company is said to announce iOS 13 — which is run the new iPhones. Apple is also expected to announce new MacBooks at WWDC event today.ALSO READ | Samsung Galaxy A80 may launch in India next week as company holds preview eventsALSO READ | BlackBerry Messenger is now officially over, but BBMe will live onALSO READ | Vodafone prepaid recharge plan of Rs 229 offers 2GB data daily for 28 dayslast_img read more

Major College Football Coach Undergoing “Medical Evaluation”

first_imgColorado State's football stadium.The 2018 college football season will begin in less than two weeks. However, Colorado State head coach Mike Bobo has some other concerns to deal with outside of football at this time.The program announced this afternoon that the 44-year-old Bobo is undergoing medical evaluation after experiencing numbness in his feet. He was admitted to the hospital over the weekend.It hasn’t been announced how long Bobo might be away from the team, but he said in an official statement that he feels “encouraged” with the news he’s gotten thus far.“I recently began to experience numbness in my feet. After our second scrimmage on Saturday night it was determined by doctors that I should be admitted to the hospital to undergo further testing. I feel very encouraged by the test results to this point and hope to have some answers soon. I also feel very encouraged about our 2018 CSU Football team. We have excellent coaches and excellent leadership in this program, and I have full confidence that they will continue to have tremendous preparation on and off the practice field for as long as I must be away. My family and I appreciate all of the great care and support we are receiving.”A former quarterback and assistant coach at Georgia, Bobo was hired as the head coach of Colorado State in 2015. He has led the team to three-straight 7-6 seasons, including trips to the Arizona, Famous Idaho Potato and New Mexico Bowls.“I want to express my care and concern for Mike Bobo and his family at this time,” Colorado State AD Joe Parker said. “Our first priority is to focus on Mike’s health and well-being, and to support that process in every way we can. I share Mike’s confidence that we have tremendous leadership in our football program, and that the coaching staff will continue to successfully guide the team through practices and meetings while he is away.”Colorado State will open its 2018 season early. The Rams will host Hawaii on Saturday, August 25.The game will be televised on CBS Sports Network. Kickoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. ET.We’d like to extend our best wishes to Bobo. Get well soon, Coach.last_img read more

Two New Pesticides Hit the Market

first_imgTwo new pesticides have been introduced to the market, giving farmers increased options in safeguarding their crops, while maximising yields.The products – Revus and Engeo – were officially launched by AgroGrace Jamaica in collaboration with Syngenta during a ceremony on Tuesday (January 15) at the AgroGrace premises on Spanish Town Road in Kingston.The pesticides are ideally suited for vegetables, fruits, ornamental plants and other crops and will assist in disease and insect control resulting in healthier products.Engeo is the most efficient solution to control foliar pest in vegetables while Revus is a superior fungicide for its rapid adherence, water-resistance and its action outside and inside of leaves help to prevent diseases in crops.Speaking at the launching ceremony, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Roger Clarke, said the introduction of these “tried and tested pesticides” is appropriate given the challenges faced by the agricultural sector.“With the myriad of invasive species and pests that the sector has had to contend with over time it is good that cutting-edge technology is now in place,” he said.The Minister said that most, if not all, crops have had to contend with pests in some way or the other.“Vegetables, condiments, fruits, tubers, sugar cane, coffee, all over, we have had all kind of problems with pests,” he noted.Mr. Clarke said it is critical that all pesticides adhere to international food safety standards to ensure that consumers are protected whenever they purchase produce.“Currently, farmers worldwide have to contend with food safety regulations, including the Food Safety and Modernisation Act, being implemented by the United States of America. We, at the Ministry, are sparing no efforts in making sure that we are fully onboard,” he stated.The Agriculture Minister implored farmers to adhere to the standards and the procedures as stipulated by the manufacturing entities when they are using the products.“Sometimes, farmers go out and they use the chemicals and they say it is not strong enough, they want to add some more. Then there are others who want to stretch it because it is too expensive, we cannot (do that). Whatever is stipulated for its use must be strictly adhered to or else you will not have the desired results,” he stated.Agro Grace is a division of Hardware and Lumber Limited, and the company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Andrea Coy, said the introduction of the product is indicative of a commitment to finding solutions to improve the productivity of the agricultural industry. “As a country, we must take steps to improve the output from the agricultural sector so that we can better feed ourselves. Agriculture can no longer be viewed as subsistence farming or a pastime but must be given more focus…to ensure sustainability and reliability of output,” she stated.AgroGrace, owned by GraceKennedy Limited, is Jamaica’s leading distributor and retailer of agricultural inputs. The company’s major products include pesticides, fertilisers, vegetable seeds, animal feeds, home garden items and farm equipment.Syngenta is a world-leading agri-business committed to sustainable agriculture through innovative research and technology.last_img read more

No Deal Auto workers strike against GM in contract dispute

first_imgDetroit: More than 49,000 members of the United Auto Workers walked off General Motors factory floors or set up picket lines early Monday as contract talks with the company deteriorated into a strike. Workers shut down 33 manufacturing plants in nine states across the U.S., as well as 22 parts distribution warehouses. It wasn’t clear how long the walkout would last, with the union saying GM has budged little in months of talks while GM said it made substantial offers including higher wages and factory investments. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscal It’s the first national strike by the union since a two-day walkout in 2007 that had little impact on the company. GM workers joined striking Aramark-employed janitors on the picket lines Sunday night at a sprawling factory on the border between Detroit and the small town of Hamtramck. Worker Patty Thomas said she wasn’t scheduled to picket, but came out to support her colleagues at the car plant, which GM wants to close. She’s heard talk that GM may keep the factory open and start building electric pickup trucks there, but she’s skeptical. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boost “What are they going to take away?” she asked. “That’s the big issue.” She said workers gave up cost-of-living pay raises to help GM get through bankruptcy, and workers want some of that back now that the company is making profits. Striking GM employees were joined on the picket lines by workers from Ford and Fiat Chrysler, who are working under contract extensions. Night shift workers at an aluminum castings factory in Bedford, Indiana, that makes transmission casings and other parts shut off their machines and headed for the exits, said Dave Green, a worker who transferred from the now-shuttered GM small-car factory in Lordstown, Ohio. Green, a former local union president, said he agrees with the strike over wages, plant closures and other issues. “If we don’t fight now, when are we going to fight?” he asked. “This is not about us. It’s about the future.” UAW Vice President Terry Dittes, the union’s top GM negotiator, said a strike is the union’s last resort but is needed because both sides are far apart in negotiating a new four-year contract. The union, he said Saturday, does not take a strike lightly. “We clearly understand the hardship that it may cause,” he said. “We are standing up for fair wages, we are standing up for affordable quality health care, we are standing up for our share of the profits.” GM, however, said it offered pay raises and 7 billion worth of U.S. factory investments resulting in 5,400 new positions, a minority of which would be filled by existing employees. GM would not give a precise number. The company also said it offered higher profit sharing, “nationally leading” health benefits and an 8,000 payment to each worker upon ratification. Because public statements from both sides conflict, it’s hard to tell how long the strike will last, said Kristin Dziczek, vice president of labor and industry at the Center for Automotive Research, an industry think tank. The length “depends on how far apart they really are and where the lines in the sand are drawn,” she said. Talks were scheduled to resume at 10 a.m. EDT on Monday. The union’s contract with GM expired Saturday night, but pacts with the company’s crosstown rivals, Ford and Fiat Chrysler, were extended indefinitely. The union has picked GM as its target company this year, and any deal it negotiates will be used as a template for the others. GM was picked because it’s the most profitable of the three, and because its plans to close four US factories have angered union members. On Sunday, about 200 plant-level leaders voted unanimously to strike against GM if no deal could be reached by Sunday night. Although talks were halted over the weekend, UAW spokesman Brian Rothenberg said there was still dialogue. Before the talks broke off, GM offered to build a new all-electric pickup truck at a factory in Detroit that is slated to close next year, according to a person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. The person wasn’t authorized to disclose details of the negotiations. The automaker also offered to open an electric vehicle battery plant in Lordstown, Ohio, where it has a huge factory that has already stopped making cars and will be closed. The new factory would be in addition to a proposal to make electric vehicles for a company called Workhorse, the person said.last_img read more

Exbank execs remain free on bail after fraud convictions

DOVER, Del. — A federal judge says four former executives for the only financial institution criminally charged in connection with the federal bank bailout program do not have to begin serving their prison sentences while appealing their fraud and conspiracy convictions.The judge on Wednesday granted requests by the former Wilmington Trust executives to remain free on bail during the appeal process, which could take a year or more.The four defendants were convicted last year of hiding Wilmington Trust’s massive amount of past-due commercial real estate loans before the bank was hastily sold in 2011Former Wilmington Trust president Robert Harra and chief financial officer David Gibson were sentenced to six years, while chief credit officer William North was sentenced to 4 1/2 years and controller Kevyn Rakowski got three years.Randall Chase, The Associated Press read more

SC concludes hearings no date fixed for judgement

Earlier, a stay order issued on the dissolution of Parliament was extended till Monday, December 10th. The order was extended by the Supreme Court when it continued hearings into the petitions filed against the dissolution of Parliament today. Yesterday the Supreme Court extended the stay order till tomorrow.However this evening the Supreme Court extended the stay order till the ruling is given. The Supreme Court (SC) today concluded hearings into the petition filed on the dissolution of Parliament but a date was not fixed to deliver the judgement.After four days of hearings the deliberations concluded tonight. A seven member bench is hearing the case. (Colombo Gazette) read more

Liberian rebel group disqualifying itself from future leadership role – Annan

“The Secretary-General is outraged at the continued high incidence of civilian casualties in and around Monrovia, as the result of indiscriminate shelling,” a UN spokesman said in a statement in New York.“He joins others in demanding that all concerned respect the ceasefire agreed to in Accra (Ghana),” the statement added. “It is imperative that the siege of Monrovia be lifted, so that desperately needed humanitarian relief can be brought in, peacekeepers can be quickly deployed and President Charles Taylor can depart.”Mr. Taylor has promised to step down once a West African peace force lands in the country.“The Secretary-General reminds those who continue to wage war in Liberia and to use means that cause so much suffering to the civilian population that they will be held individually accountable for any war crimes they commit,” the statement concluded. “By their reckless and criminal behaviour, they are disqualifying themselves from any leadership role in the future of their country.”Speaking to reporters, Mr. Annan specifically named the Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) group as having disqualified itself from a future leadership role. “I cannot see how they would expect the people to accept them, after the suffering they’ve put them through. So they should think about that,” he said.Mr. Annan, who on Friday expressed pleasure at an announcement by the United States that it would position “appropriate military capabilities” off the coast of Liberia in order to support the deployment of peacekeepers from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to that country, said today he was happy that US ships were headed there. “I expect the US troops will have an important role to play,” he added.Meanwhile, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), in an update assessment of conditions in Liberia, said over the weekend that people were getting hungrier and hungrier every day and that there was much less for sale on the markets.Video of Annan speaking to reporters read more

SecretaryGeneral condemns deadly attack on Shia Muslims in northwestern Pakistan

According to media reports, armed men ambushed three buses near the city of Gilgit on Thursday, forced passengers off the vehicles and then shot 22 Shia Muslims. Some reports note that Pakistani Taliban militants have claimed responsibility for the attack. “The Secretary-General expresses his outrage over such deliberate attacks on people due to their religious beliefs in Pakistan,” Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said. “He extends his heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims and to the Government and people of Pakistan.” read more

A warm welcome to students from their next Chancellor

Shirley Cheechoo, who will be installed next month as the University’s new Chancellor, has sent the following greeting to all Brock students as they prepare for the start of the Fall term:“I would like to welcome you to a great year here at Brock University – and some to a great beginning, filled with desires, hopes and dreams that we can all share.“Stop anyone in the halls and say ‘hello’. You are the stranger if you don’t. There are many who would like to walk with you and who may need a friend. If you are not new here, give a friendly welcome with an outstretched hand.“On behalf of the University I wish you all an enjoyable time together as you make this journey with us.” read more

Callinan has no axe to grind with penalty points whistleblowers

first_imgGARDA COMMISSIONER MARTIN Callinan was questioned today by the Oireachtas’ Committee of Public Accounts on the recent penalty points allegations.A report published yesterday into the practice of some gardaí quashing penalty points found that anonymous allegations made about inappropriate writing off of Fixed Charge notices ‘cannot be substantiated to any degree’.However, it identified three possible departures from administrative procedural guidelines in respect of terminations conducted by three terminating officers. They were among 113 terminating offices who were included in the investigation.“I have no axe to grind with these people,” Callinan said of the penalty points whistleblowers, adding they did what they thought was appropriate from their perspective.However, he said he did not agree with some of the cases in the report.SpendingThe Commissioner acknowledged the penalty points report from Assistant Commissioner John O’Mahoney and said that the recommendations made in the report will be examined.When questioned on the integrity of a non-independent report, Callinan spoke of O’Mahoney’s honesty and integrity, saying he has a good reputation.O’Mahony picked a team to look at “this very disturbing level of allegations that were made”, said Callinan, and he is “very satisfied that” O’Mahoney and his team would leave no stone unturned in their investigation.Commissioner Callinan said that powers of discretion arise in the enforcement of road traffic matters.Callinan said that “when you are dealing with a discretionary issue” that it is extremely hard to be absolutely prescriptive or descriptive in terms of legislating because people meet individual circumstances and have to deal with them as best they see fit using professional judgement.Callinan said that the most they can do “is provide guidance to our members that when considering a part set of circumstances” it is important they apply principles of fairness and impartiality.He said that in such cases they have to look at the corroboration of some of the things they are being told. He added he is a very strong proponent of discretion and that he thinks the citizens of this country have been very well served in the past having the power of discretion available to an Garda Síochána.ReportDeputy Shane Ross said that the commissioner had “rubbished” the report, and that some people would have serious reservations about the fact no independent internal investigation took place.Callinan denied “rubbishing” the report. Ross told him “you’re in a spat whether you like it or not” with the Garda Síochana Ombudsman Commission over this, and asked him what he is going to do about what was said in the report.Callinan said that the allegations sent to him by the department about the penalty points situation were anonymous and that it involved a person in a station being confronted by a sergeant after printing off documents from the Pulse system. It emerged that he and another person were providing information to a politician in relation to the penalty points system.Deputy Mary Lou McDonald questioned Commissioner Callinan on this, saying she didn’t accept his rationale about the way the matter was investigated. She said that there might be a dispute over the date when the information was reported.McDonald said that the two individuals concerned said they had raised the issue with the authorities in March 2012.Callinan said that when this matter was brought to his attention, he received two lists, which totalled 400 allegations. He said after duplicates were removed, it led to 189 separate allegations. He said when he was presented with the allegations he brought it to management.McDonald said the situation raises a lot of questions, “not least the efficiency or effectiveness of whistle blowing”, and asked how several months elapsed after a serious allegation was made. The Commissioner said that he took the allegations very seriously, which is why he passed them to the assistant commissioner.When asked about any recent complaints, Callinan said “they are small in number” and that his obligation is to receive them, investigate them and report back.He said that the allegations “are far too serious for me to ignore or push under the door somewhere” and suggested that it may be the case that some of these matters came before the confidential reporting system and he wasn’t aware.Read: Gardaí should be able to quash penalty points for ‘humanitarian reasons’>last_img read more

Japan develops a mobile phone with humanlike skin

first_imgJapan is certainly at the forefront of modern technology, but their latest innovation leaves a lot to be desired. Researcher Takashi Minato at the Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International (or ATR for short) has come up with a human-shaped mobile phone that has a skin-like outer layer that apparently allows you to feel closer to the person on the other end of the phone.The project is no joke either, as the research team have also had input from Osaka University, mobile telephone operator NTT DoCoMo and several other unnamed institutes.Currently the team has a prototype made which is slightly larger than the palm of your hand and its exterior feels creepily like that of human skin. A speaker unit is installed inside the head, and a light-emitting diode in its chest which will turn different colors depending on how the phone is being used. For example, it will turn blue when in use and red during standby.At the moment it is unknown from the picture above if the mobile is modeled on a male or female, but once research has been completed they want to put this into commercial production within five years and add additional features such as image and voice recognition.Personally, I’m not sure I would want to be touching a phone that resembles human skin and would be a little freaked out if the mouth on this thing started moving during a conversation. On a serious note, practical applications for this technology could include allowing blind users to gain a closer bond to the people they talk to, and it is sure to enhance long distance relationships.Read more at PHYSORGlast_img read more

Local events commemorate 911

first_imgWatch of video of the Camas-Washougal 9/11 memorial ceremony at the bottom of this story.Eleven years have passed since the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. It is a day that should never be forgotten, testified county residents, firefighters, police officers and elected officials.A handful of commemorative ceremonies took place across the county Tuesday.Camas“It’s a celebration of the selfless acts of courage of 403 firefighters and police officers on that fateful day,” Camas-Washougal Fire Department Chief Nick Swinhart said. “Those who tried till the last minute to save their fellow man even though they knew their own chance of survival was gone.”He spoke at a morning ceremony in Camas. After Swinhart spoke, a group of firefighters lowered the flag to half-mast, prayers were read, and the group went inside the library for a pancake breakfast prepared by firefighters.Mary Mabry is one of a few residents who attended the ceremony with firefighters, police, family members and a group of elementary schoolchildren.“I wish we had more private citizens here this morning,” she said. “I think it’s a very important day.”She said on Tuesday she planned on flying the flag given to her when her husband, Chuck, who was in the Air Force for four years, died. She flies that flag on important days.“We as citizens should give our full support to the people who gave their lives that day and never forget,” she said.VancouverThat day forever changed the lives of the families of the victims, said Chris Sutter, interim chief of the Vancouver Police Department.“Our country, our community and our lives will never be the same, either,” he said during a ceremony outside Vancouver City Hall.Vancouver Fire Chief Joe Molina recalled his experience on that day. Molina said he had just started a shift at a fire station in Waco, Texas, when he first heard about the attacks. He watched on TV as workers helped co-workers, police evacuated buildings and firefighters performed search and rescue and attempted to fight the flames.last_img read more

Bellevue chess game turns into police standoff

first_imgBELLEVUE — What began as a chess game with a neighbor turned into an eight-hour standoff with police who made a few moves with flash-bang grenades and tear gas before an armed man surrendered Thursday at a Bellevue apartment building.Police say the man threatened his chess opponent with a gun about 2 a.m. Thursday. The neighbor ran out and called police.The armed man remained inside, ignoring calls from a SWAT team to surrender, snubbing a visit from a robot with a camera and resisting officers lobbing flash bangs and tear gas canisters.The man finally surrendered after 10 a.m., waving a white flag out his window. He was arrested for investigation of assault.Some other residents in the building were evacuated and nearby streets were blocked during the standoff.last_img read more

Woman at Target allegedly purchased items with stolen credit cards

first_imgCORAL SPRINGS, FLA. (WSVN) – Police are looking for the person involved in a credit card crime in Coral Springs.A woman who was seen in surveillance video leaving a Target store allegedly used a credit card that did not belong to her, last week.According to investigators, the female suspect purchased items at the store near Creekside Drive and Wiles Road in Coral Springs, last Friday, shortly after the card’s owner claimed her wallet was stolen from a nearby Wal-Mart.If you have any information on this theft, call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $3,000 reward.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

Onsite pot consumption resolution voted down in Fairbanks Assembly

first_imgA resolution supporting on-site consumption of marijuana at licensed establishments was voted down by the Fairbanks Borough Assembly at a meeting Thursday night. A majority of assembly members thought the resolution was going too far, too fast.Listen nowThe resolution sponsored by Andrew Gray would have supported proposed state regulations that are out for public comment. Gray said he recognizes the resolution might be moot with the upcoming Fairbanks city and borough measures that would kill the local cannabis industry. Gray would support postponing the measure until after the October third election. But most of the assembly thought it important to address it now. Though assembly member Guy Sattely said the resolution will bring people out for the vote.“I’m quite sure that it will result in several hundred people, maybe more, voting on this subject at the election who may have not voted if they hadn’t been alerted to it by this discussion,” Sattely said.Other assembly members, like Matt Cooper felt the resolution and proposed state regulations needed more work. But assembly member Kathryn Dodge spoke for other when she said it was going too far too fast.“My sense is they are still kind of getting use to seeing marijuana retail stores on the corners. They’re still getting used to us having cultivation facilities. They’re still kinda getting used to what our zoning is.”In the vote, assembly members Gray, Lawrence and Tacke supported the measure, saying pot should be afforded the same status as alcohol. Joining assembly members Sattley and Dodge in voting against the resolution were Cooper and Roberts.last_img read more