first_imgRabat- A Member of Justice and Development Party (PJD) issued a new Fatwa legalizing sexual relations during Ramadan daylight hours.Abdelbari Zamzami is no longer the only Cheikh specializing in the “excitement” fatwas, but rather part of a new group of “jurists” who are leading figures in the political parties, participating in the governmental coalition in charge of the issuing of “sexual fatwas.”The latest politician to enroll was Ahmed Choukairi Dini, a member of the National Council for Justice and Development Party. Choukairi issued a new fatwa permitting engaging in sexual relations during Ramadan daytime. According to Akhbar Alyaoum, Ahmed Choukairi Dini permitted “having sexual intercourse for the traveling couples.”Choukairi quoted some hadiths, reports of the deeds and sayings of the prophet Mohamed, in which he argues “Sheikh Ibn Outhaïmin allowed the traveler to sleep with his wife, with or without preliminaries  during a day of fasting.”According to the same source, the odd fatwa says “while fasting in Ramadan, a husband is recommended to caress and kiss his wife in order to get her ready for sexual intercourse after iftar (break the fast) later at night.”According to Akhbar Alyaoum, this fatwa stirred controversy, in particular because a PJD government coalition leader issued it. “Many people expressed astonishment that Mr. Ahmed Choukairi, the PJD member and the former member of the executive committee was busy thinking of having intercourse in a legitimate way, rather than chasing corruption,” Akhbar Al Yaoum reported.Edited by Liz Yasliklast_img read more

20 April 2007The world’s countries remain so divided on the details of Security Council reform – from the question of expansion to the use of the veto to the categories of membership – that a transitional stage of reform may be necessary to break the deadlock, according to a new report canvassing the different positions of United Nations Member States on the issue. The report, presented yesterday to General Assembly President Sheikha Haya Rashed Al Khalifa, states that a “significant number of Member States tend to agree that their ideal solution may not be possible at this stage, and believe that it may be more reasonable to consider the best possible solution for now.”It calls on nations to “explore new and emerging ideas concerning a transitional approach” to Council reform, in which there would be an intermediate arrangement ending with a mandatory review at a pre-determined date to decide if that arrangement should continue.Member States would not have to give up their original position pending the mandatory review, the report says, proposing four possibilities for an intermediate category of Council seats.The report was carried out by five facilitators – the permanent representatives to the UN of Tunisia, Cyprus, Croatia, Chile and the Netherlands – who conducted three months of intensive consultations with other Member States.It found overwhelming support for Council reform, an issue first introduced in the agenda of the General Assembly in 1979, with the status quo unacceptable to most States.But the positions of the major interest groups or blocs of nations, “well-known to the membership for some time, are not likely to be fully realized at this stage,” and therefore countries should be flexible and willing to seek a viable compromise.The report examines several key issues: categories of membership; the question of the veto, currently held by the five permanent members; the question of regional representation; the size of an enlarged Council; and the relationship between the Council and the Assembly.Accepting the report, Sheikha Haya said she shared the facilitators’ view “that there is a path forward that Member States can build on, taking advantage of the current momentum” for reform.She called on Member States to pay particular attention to the report’s section entitled “Notions on the Way Forward,” which outlines options not just for actual reform but for also advancing the debate first.The report stresses that enlargement and working methods must be dealt with together, but adds that efforts to improve the Council’s working methods must continue regardless of what happens on the enlargement question. read more

“Quite apart from the ruinous effects on individual men, women and children in the countries concerned, these economic doldrums have had global consequences – driving home yet again the message that no nation can consider itself immune from, or insured against, the effects of events and trends taking place thousands of miles away,” the Secretary-General said in his remarks to the 133-nation coalition of developing countries.The Secretary-General underscored the achievements of major economic meetings of the past year – from the World Trade Organization meeting in Doha, Qatar, to the International Conference on Financing for Development held in Monterrey, Mexico, and the recent World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa – to address the challenges of development in an interdependent world.”The conferences of the past year, their antecedents over the past decade, and the Millennium Development Goals have mobilized all stakeholders and partners around a common vision of economic and social progress,” Mr. Annan said. “They have also created a common policy framework that now guides the entire United Nations system.”Progress towards implementing the goals of the Millennium Declaration, however, presented a mixed picture, the Secretary-General noted, calling achievements so far toward reducing child and maternal mortality “inadequate.”Mr. Annan told the ministers that he will submit to the Member States next week an agenda to further strengthen the UN, and called on countries to support those measures, many of which are directed towards the economic and social areas of greatest concern to the Group of 77.”We must focus our energies not on activities that are of marginal utility or programmes that are no longer serving their intended purposes, but on the major challenges of our era and the things that really matter to the peoples of the world,” he stressed. read more

MILAN – A judge from Guinness World Records has certified a 122-meter-long (400-foot-long) baguette baked at the Milan Expo 2015 World’s Fair as the longest in the world.Some 60 French and Italian bakers worked nearly seven hours Sunday to bake the French bread characterized by its soft middle and crusty exterior, methodically moving a specially designed portable oven along the length of the doughy preparation.The bakers worked at a rate of 20 metres (66 feet) an hour, their progress complicated by working outdoors and the biggest challenge to avoid any breakage.“It’s very difficult to do a big baguette because we are outside, you know, the temperature, it’s cold and we are outside so for the dough it’s not easy,” said Dominique Anract, one of the bakers and owner of the La Pompadour bakery in Paris. Putting a plastic cover over the dough helped.The Italian maker of Nutella, Ferrero, backed the enterprise to beat the 111-meter (364-foot) record held by a French supermarket chain. Once certified as a record-breaker, the baguette was cut and smeared with Nutella to share with the hundreds of Expo goers who celebrated the record.It was at least the fourth world record declared during the six-month Expo, which closes Oct. 31, including the longest pizza at 1.5954 kilometres, or nearly a mile long. Guinness judge declares the world’s longest baguette at 400 feet at Milan Expo A baker prepares a record long baguette at the Expo 2015 world’s fair, in Rho, near Milan, Italy, Sunday, Oct. 18, 2015. A judge from the Guinness World Record Judge has certified a 122-meter -long (400-foot-long) baguette baked at the Milan Expo 2015 World’s Fair as the longest in the world. The Italian maker of Nutella, Ferrero, backed the enterprise to beat the 111-meter record held by a French supermarket chain. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni) by The Associated Press Posted Oct 18, 2015 11:30 am MDT Last Updated Oct 18, 2015 at 5:00 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

“We must stay focused until the job is done,” said Ray Chambers, UN Special Envoy for Malaria. “The world has an ethical obligation to continue to protect the hundreds of millions of children who have slept safely under a bed net and who have had access to treatment.”Child deaths from malaria declined from one million in 2008 to under 500,000 thanks to a community of malaria supporters who delivered nearly 44 million long-lasting mosquito nets in the first-quarters of this year alone, Mr. Chambers said.“We have arrived at this historic moment thanks to the dedicated leaders of endemic countries; committed donor countries and organizations,” he added, including the UN-backed Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the World Bank, and national Governments. However, the disease killed an estimated 627,000 people in 2012, mostly children under the age of five in sub-Saharan Africa, according to figures cited by the UN. More than 200 million cases are believed to occur each year, most of them never tested or registered.In his remarks on the Day, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said: “While we applaud progress to date, we must confront the fact that malaria still kills more than half a million people every year. Too many cases still go untested, unregistered and untreated.”As such, the UN chief repeated his call for continued investment and sustained political commitment, and will to improve malaria prevention and control. “We need more funding to maintain progress and continue scaling up coverage of effective malaria interventions,” he said, also calling for more resources to develop and maintain effective surveillance programmes and to combat increasing mosquito resistance to insecticides and parasite resistance to antimalarial drugs.This year’s World Malaria Day is marked as the international community is accelerating progress towards the anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Part of the MDGs is the target of halving and reversing the incidence of malaria by 2015.“Malaria is preventable and curable,” said UN General Assembly President John Ashe who is one of the key officials spearheading the push towards reaching the MDGs and creating a new sustainable development agenda.“Our effort must be a global one,” he added. “We know what it takes to stop this disease, and now we must work to make that knowledge universal.”This year, the UN World Health Organization (WHO) is launching a manual to help countries to assess the technical, operational and financial feasibility of moving towards malaria elimination.WHO’s new guide, From malaria control to malaria elimination: a manual for elimination scenario planning , will provide these countries with a comprehensive framework to assess different scenarios and timelines for moving towards elimination, depending on programme coverage and funding availability.“Increased political commitment and the expansion of global malaria investments have saved some 3.3 million lives since 2000,” says Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General at WHO. ”Countries where malaria remains endemic now want to build on this success.”Since 2000, there has been a 42 per cent reduction in malaria mortality rates globally, and a 49 per cent decline in the WHO African Region. This progress has led some malaria-endemic countries, even those with historically high burdens of malaria, to start exploring the possibility of elimination.Although many countries have the political will to commit to elimination, technical, operational and financial obstacles remain, particularly in countries that have a high disease burden.The WHO manual will help countries assess what resources they need to reduce malaria transmission to very low levels, i.e. the point at which focused elimination programmes can start in earnest. It will also help them consider appropriate timelines and provide them with essential knowledge for long-term strategic planning for malaria programmes.“This long-term view on malaria is critical: it is vital to plan for the period after elimination,” says Dr John Reeder, Director of WHO’s Global Malaria Programme. “If interventions are eased or abandoned, malaria transmission can re-establish relatively quickly in areas that are prone to the disease, leading to a resurgence in infections and deaths.” read more

As the time of sharing and giving commences, the Salvation Army in collaboration with the Private Sector Commission (PSC) and Food for the Poor Guyana distributed some 1200 hampers to senior citizens.The activity was executed earlier today (Monday) when the Salvation Army hosted its 122nd annual Christmas distribution exercise at its divisional headquarters, Alexander Street, Georgetown.The facility was packed to capacity leaving the organizers with no other alternative but to bring in extra seating.The hampers included cooking oil, flour, chowmein, salt, rice and other itemsThe main supporters of the 1200 hampers included the Food for the Poor Guyana and the PSC.Chairman of the Private Sector Commission, Eddie Boyer, told the gathering that the organization’s charitable work will extend beyond the holiday season.  PSC Chairman Eddie BoyerThe Salvation Army’s Divisional Commander also spoke and explained that the distribution drive will continue in 2018 and beyond and as such they will be soliciting the assistance of corporate Guyana.For over 100 years, the Salvation Army has been raising funds using bell ringers outside various business places urging the public to donate. The monies collected are used in several areas especially counseling sessions for drug addicts and others. The gathering was entertained by renditions of Christmas Carols.  Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedSalvation Army to donate over 1200 food hampers to less fortunateDecember 17, 2017In “Local News”PSC re-elects Eddie Boyer as its ChairmanJune 9, 2017In “Business”Eddie Boyer elected new Chairman of Private Sector CommissionMay 22, 2016In “Business” read more

The LPG powered car on display at the recently convened Green ExpoCome next year technicians across Guyana will be involved in training geared towards equipping them with the knowledge of converting cars which use gasoline to use Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) or cooking gas.This was recently related to this publication by the Massy Gas Products, Health, Safety, Security and Environmental Manager, Robert Chin Hong during an interview.According to Chin “we are bringing in a technician to train local mechanics, both at Massy Industries and a couple other well-known mechanics throughout the country to be able to convert vehicles adequately”.This will be done as early as January he noted. The training sessions will be done subsequent to an official launch Massy intends to have in 2019.According to him, training in this area is absolutely necessary since mere “tutorials on YouTube will do no good”. The training he added will not only focus on the conversion of the vehicles but the subsequent servicing of the vehicles.It was pointed out that any type of vehicle that works with gasoline will be able to be converted to use LPG.The cost of the conversion Hong noted will be about US $1000, although the company is seeking to have the first set of interested persons pay just a fraction of the cost. He said, “We don’t want this thing to be (expensive) we want people to use it. We want people to start using a gas that produces just about half the amount of emissions that a regular gasoline car works with”.He outlined that very soon two gas stations will be established in Regions Four (Demerara-Mahaica) in Georgetown and on the East Bank of Demerara, and will spring out to other locations as time progresses and the demand increases for the new type of gas.A major advantage of the car is that it will be able to switch directly from gasoline usage to LPG, in case the user runs out of the Petroleum Gas.The Manager shared, “I have been driving this LPG car for over a year and it’s exceptionally safe because the vehicle has built-in safety features, the ability to switch from gas off electronically through a valve in the event that there’s a problem. LPG itself is a gas so if it is leaking it’s not going to accumulate. It’s going to drip out and evaporate into the air…LPG is a lot safer in that way the wind just blows it away in very small quantities it never accumulates enough to cause a fire”.While the technicians are preparing themselves for training, cars that are already programmed to run on LPG are expected in the country soon, Hong noted.According to him individuals and even organizations such as the Guyana Fire Service and the Guyana Police Force have already expressed interest in the vehicles.While stating some of the other benefits of using the LPG car, the manager informed that the conversion can be done within a day’s time.Among the notable benefits to the user is that it will reduce their expenses when it comes to fuel costs as LPG would be cheaper. “The price for fuel right now is at about $220 per gallon, we expect that the price per litre of LPG for vehicular uses will be around $170 and $180.”Additionally, cars powered by this type of gas will produce half the amount of harmful emissions when compared to those powered by gasoline. It also requires less servicing when compared to gasoline cars which oblige servicing about every three months.Massy first revealed the LPG powered car at the inaugural Green Expo hosted at the National Stadium, Providence, East Bank Demerara.The Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) recently moved to exempt excise tax from motor vehicles principally designed to accommodate Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG).GRA said, “In accordance with Table A-19 of the Excise Tax Regulations these vehicles must have an engine capacity not exceeding 2000 cc and not exceeding four years old. Additionally, Part III B (i) of the First Schedule of the Customs Act has been amended to exempt Customs Duties on machinery and equipment, determined by the Commissioner-General, to set up refilling stations for vehicles principally designed to accommodate Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG)”. (Davina Ramdass) Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedTechnical, vocational skills crucial to get jobs in oil industryJune 25, 2017In “Local News”Guyana urged to guard against economic pitfalls of oil industryMarch 18, 2016In “Business”Nations’ University to offer internationally recognised courses for the energy sectorOctober 27, 2017In “Business” read more

first_img The US is building a case against Iran in the attacks on Saudi Arabia, but Trump is in no rush to act A car plowed through the main hall of Trump Plaza in New Rochelle, New York SpaceX is trying to buy a hamlet inside its Texas rocket-launch site because it ‘did not anticipate’ there’d be any ‘significant disruption’ to residents who live there The Pixel watch that never was: An inside look at how Google’s smartwatch efforts beat Apple to the punch, but then broke down and never recovered (GOOG, GOOGL) THERE ARE HUNDREDS of perfectly acceptable ways to start an email:Dear ‘So and So’.Hello.Hi.Good Morning.Good Afternoon.And then there is one you should avoid at all costs.To whom it may concern. According to Diane Gottsman, etiquette expert and founder of the Protocol School of Texas, ’To whom it may concern’ is the worst way to start an email today.Though the greeting may seem innocuous at first, she explains that it comes off as impersonal and old fashioned — and reeks of a mass-produced spam letter.“Ultimately, it sends the wrong message,” Gottsman says.It also makes you look lazy and apathetic.More often than not, a quick phone call or Google search will unearth the name of the individual you should be emailing. If you haven’t done your homework, the recipient may be insulted, and your chances of receiving a positive response decline significantly, Gottsman says.And this is especially true for jobseekers.Even if you can’t find a name — or you’re unsure whom exactly will be opening the email (you may be sending an email to a generic address, such as — there’s always a better opener than, To whom it may concern.Gottsman suggests addressing your email to the position of the person, or the group of people you’re sending it to, such as, “Dear Recruitment Officer,” or, “Dear Marketing Department.”Doing this shows that you still put in some effort, even if you ultimately couldn’t find a name.Gottsman also recommends avoiding other generic greetings, such as, “Dear Sir,” or, “Hi Ma’am.”These give off the same impersonal vibe, making you seem disingenuous.Bottom line: A little research goes a long way. Opinion: Yes, I’m unemployed but that doesn’t make me lazy or incompetentMore: Does what you wear to a job interview matter?last_img read more

first_imgBack in October we heard rumors that the release of Blizzards epic expansion pack for World of Warcraft entitled Cataclysm would potentially hit stores on December 7, and this seems to have held true with news that the expansion pack is in stores right now, or available via digital download. However if you have pre-ordered the game you should be able to play it as soon as the servers go live!The MMORPG subscription-based game is on sale in stores throughout North America, Europe, Argentina, Chile, Russia, Southeast Asia, Australia, and New Zealand, and will be available December 9 in South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau. The expansion pack for Windows and Mac comes in at an SRP of $39.99. There is a special Collector’s Edition packed with bonus items for a SRP of $79.99. As mentioned above, you can get hold of a digital download version of the game which is available through their account management system, though there is no significant savings doing this ($39.99), you just get the game a little quicker depending on your broadband speed.Read more at World of Warcraftlast_img read more

first_imgRail closures from Oceanside to San Diego scheduled this weekend SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — Rail service along the Los Angeles-San Diego-San Luis Obispo rail corridor will again be suspended Saturday through 5 a.m. Monday from Oceanside to San Diego for track and signal improvements, according to the San Diego Association of Governments.The scheduled rail work in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Carlsbad and San Diego is the second of two weekend-long closures for track and signal improvements along the LOSSAN corridor. Rail service was also suspended from Oct. 13 to Oct. 15. Rail service for the four railroads affected by the closures — the North County Transit District, Metrolink, Amtrak and freight line BNSF — is expected to resume Monday for morning commute hours, albeit with possible delays.Track crews in Cardiff-by-the-Sea will replace rail ties as part of a double-tracking project to add a second rail track between Cardiff-by-the-Sea to the San Elijo Lagoon. Work crews connected the second line to the existing track last month. Workers will also update the rail signals at the Chesterfield Drive grade crossing.Crews in Carlsbad plan to prepare the NCTD Coaster Poinsettia Station for a new western alignment of the existing track as well as move existing rail signals at the station to more optimal locations. The $33.7 million Poinsettia Station Improvements Project “will lengthen and elevate passenger platforms, install a fence between the tracks within the station, relocate a section of the existing tracks, and replace the existing at-grade rail crossings with an undercrossing featuring stairways and ADA compliance ramps on both sides of the tracks,” according to SANDAG, which expects the project to be completed in 2020.Crews in San Diego will work on improvements to the San Diego River Bridge and structures along the Elvira to Morena Double Track Project. In addition, NCTD crews and San Diego’s Metropolitan Transit System will make improvements to track crossings at the Old Town Transit Center.The rail work is part of SANDAG’s Build NCC (North Coast Corridor) program, a 40-year, $700 million effort to repair and expand vehicle and rail transportation infrastructure throughout San Diego County. SANDAG officials and work crews expect to finish this weekend’s projects between 2019 and 2020. KUSI Newsroom, October 20, 2018 KUSI Newsroom Posted: October 20, 2018 Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

first_imgA Vancouver man was given a maximum sentence of 13 years and two months in prison for kidnapping and raping a 13-year-old girl last summer.At the end of his term, Samuel Chapman III will go before the Indeterminate Sentencing Review Board, which reviews certain sex crimes, and could be kept incarcerated for life. If he is released, he will be under lifetime community supervision, said Deputy Prosecutor Anna Klein.Chapman, 28, pleaded guilty Sept. 15 to second-degree rape of a child, first-degree kidnapping, first-degree burglary and felony harassment.Clark County Superior Court Judge John Wulle, who was asked to decide on a sentence between 120 months and 158 months, went for the higher punishment because of the seriousness of the incident: Chapman, who started a relationship with the young girl after meeting her in his neighborhood, had dragged her by the hair from an apartment in the 1600 block of Murton Road the night of July 31 and later forced her to perform a sex act on his friend.“The events that brought you here fit your street name, ‘So Low,’ ” Wulle said to Chapman.Defense attorney Chris Ramsay said he couldn’t dispute the facts of the case.“There’s nothing I can say to mitigate what happened in terms of the severity of the crime,” he said.Instead, Ramsay read a prepared statement by Chapman, which included some facts about his life to show he hadn’t always been a criminal: In his teen years, he served food to the homeless and held a variety of jobs to support his family, including operating an at-home barbershop. The judge wasn’t sympathetic, calling his actions incomprehensible.According to court documents, a relative of the girl’s who lives at the apartment told police that he grabbed the girl by the ponytail and slammed the girl’s face into the wall before dragging her into a minivan and driving off.last_img read more

first_imgThe Alaska Department of Fish and Game has issued an emergency order prohibiting sport fishers from targeting king salmon on the Qanirtuuq River.Download AudioIt’s the first time sport fishers have been restricted from catching kings there, but many locals are doubtful that guide companies will comply.“Division of Sport Fish closed the entire Kuskokwim drainage and the Kuskokwim bay drainage to sport fishing for king salmon effectively Thursday May 1, and that precludes any catch and release. If they accidentally catch a king salmon while their fishing for another species, that king salmon may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately,” Alaska Department of Fish and Game Sport Fish Division Area Biologist John Cythlook said.He said this restriction was the result of an emergency order issued around the end of April.  Like rivers all over Alaska, King escapement has been dwindling in recent years on the Qanirtuuq River.The emergency order states that only one un-baited, artificial lures may be used in the Kuskokwim-Goodnews area.There are four guide companies operating on the Qanirtuuq River. They provide guided fishing trips among other wilderness services. There is a history of friction between subsistence fishers there and the guiding operations.At a meeting held in Quinhagak on May 30, local fisher Willard Church said he’s doubtful that the guide companies stop targeting king salmon as they try to cater to their clients.“If I came up from New York for a float trip for the very first time with a group of twelve, I’d want my King. Especially if I could get it up there,” Church said.Of the four guiding outfits operating on the Qanirtuuq River three are currently advertising king salmon as a species anglers can expect to catch. Alaska West, which has the largest operation on the Qanirtuuq according to local residents, has this on their website regarding king salmon, “At Alaska West we have honed and refined our fly angling skills and collective knowledge to a point where we consistently hook and land these behemoth masses that more resemble chrome plated sea lions than fish.”Brian Burke, a sales representative for Alaska West declined to be interviewed but said that their website is up to date.Owner of another sport fishing guide company called Reel Action, Paul Jacob, said his company will be complying with the restrictions. He says he makes that clear to all his potential customers. But Jacob’s says sport fisher’s must purchase stamps from Fish and Game, and that revnue goes towards things like salmon research.  He says taking down the king salmon advertising on his website would be counter productive.“I don’t believe that there is a good reason to do that, because it throws fear into the general public about coming to Alaska, and the research that is done to figure out why these salmon are crashing. It’s not just the Kuskokwim it’s all across all of Alaska, and when you scare people away by having them not come up to Alaska you take away the funding that it takes to figure out why the salmon are not doing well in the ocean,” Jacob said.Meanwhile, Paul Hansen owns another guide operation called Alaska Rainbow Adventures. Hansen says he’ll be moving king salmon anglers to the Alagnak River near King Salmon where sport fishing for king salmon are allowed through king salmon stamps.While the guide companies around the area appear to comply to recent restrictions, in Quinhagak many aren’t convinced, like John T. Roberts.  Roberts lives in the village and once worked as a sport guide.Department of Fish and Game says wildlife troopers will be making unannounced visits to sport fishing sites to ensure these restrictions are not violated.For more information in the emergency order, click here.last_img read more

first_imgA federal fisheries agency has raised concerns about the accuracy of some studies being conducted for a massive proposed dam in Southcentral Alaska.Download AudioIn a letter to the project manager for the Susitna-Watana dam, the regional administrator of the National Marine Fisheries Service, James Balsiger, said new study requests can’t be developed given the current problems with the data.Among other things, he questioned the accuracy of the identification of fish species.Project spokeswoman Emily Ford said overall, the Alaska Energy Authority, which is pursuing the project, is confident in the information it is gathering.She said the comments raised by agencies and others will be discussed during an upcoming round of technical meetings, at which the authority also will discuss its plans for next year.last_img read more

first_img To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Courtesy METROThe electric bus will get a test run on the #63 Fondren route starting in December.Metro’s fleet has over 1,200 buses. Some run on clean diesel, others are hybrids, and there’s a few that run on compressed natural gas. What Metro doesn’t have is an all-electric bus, but that could soon change. Starting in December, Metro will try out a bus that operates solely on battery power. It’s manufactured by Proterra, a California-based company, that produces zero-emission vehicles. Metro CEO Tom Lambert says they want to test the bus in a real-time situation.“We know what the life of the battery is. It’s a quick charge at one of our park and ride facilities in Missouri City,” Lambert says. “We want to test that to see if there is an opportunity to look at that technology conversion in the future.”So where can you ride the electric bus? Lambert says they’ll test it on #63 Fondren route in southwest Houston so it’ll have easy access to the charging station at the transit center. “We want to get feedback from our customers, so we’ll be surveying our customers to get their sense,” Lambert adds. “But it’s also an opportunity to survey our operators, and it’s also an opportunity to survey our maintenance staff.”Lambert says they’ll test the bus for about three months before starting discussions on whether to add electric vehicles to Metro’s fleet. Listen 00:00 /01:11 X Sharelast_img read more

first_imgMarjorie Kamys Cotera for The Texas TribuneLt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Gov. Greg Abbott and House Speaker Dennis Bonnen at a meeting of the Texas Safety Commission at the Texas Capitol on Aug. 22, 2019.Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday convened the first meeting of the newly formed Texas Safety Commission, ramping up the state’s efforts to devise policy solutions in the wake of the deadly shooting targeting immigrants and Hispanics earlier this month in El Paso.For over four hours, the commission — which includes state leaders, lawmakers and law enforcement officials — met at the Capitol in what Abbott described as the “next step to make sure that we respond robustly and rapidly to the” El Paso attack.Speaking with reporters at the end of the meeting, Abbott rattled off a long list of items that were discussed — stronger threat assessment efforts, better collaboration between social media companies and law enforcement, strengthening the state’s domestic terrorism law. He also broached more politically sensitive issues related to guns, saying there was discussion surrounding red flag laws, background checks and assault weapons.Twenty-two people were killed and more than two dozen wounded in the El Paso shooting, which took place Aug. 3 at a Walmart. Authorities believe the gunman, who was arrested and charged with capital murder, published an anti-immigrant manifesto shortly before the massacre, railing against a “Hispanic invasion of Texas.”Thursday was the first of two meetings that are planned for the safety commission, with the second one scheduled for next Thursday in El Paso. Abbott has also assembled a Domestic Terrorism Task Force in the wake of the shooting, and its first meeting is slated for Aug. 30.Before the safety commission meeting, Gun Owners of America, a hardline gun rights group, held a news conference outside the Capitol warning the commission against pursuing any proposals that would infringe on the Second Amendment. One of the speakers was Stephen Willeford, the hero in the 2017 Sutherland Springs church shooting.“Gun owners are done,” Willeford said, clutching the AR-15 semi-automatic rifle he used to take down the church gunman. “We don’t want any more restriction. It does not stop the bad guys.”On the other end of the political spectrum, Democrats have been pressuring Abbott to do more than he has suggested so far to combat the forces that led to the El Paso massacre.“Texans deserve a lot more than just talk,” Manny Garcia, executive director of the Texas Democratic Party, said in a statement on the safety commission’s first meeting. “Texans expect actions and solutions to curb racism, white supremacy, and gun violence in our state and in our country. The eyes of the world are on us.”This post was originally published in The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.  Sharelast_img read more

first_imgOne of NASA’s main focuses right now is the development of the Space Launch System (SLS). It’s a super heavy-lift launch vehicle class of rocket, intended to take both cargo and crew into space. It has 20% more thrust than the Saturn V and can carry at least as much payload. It’s also going to get more powerful with upgrades once in service.But before that can happen, NASA needs to perfect the design and that means carrying our extensive testing. Yesterday, one of those tests happened with the latest SLS rocket design being test fired at Orbital ATK’s test facilities in Promontory, Utah.You can see the test in action from multiple angles in the video below:The aim of the test was to evaluate the 82 qualifications necessary for the SLS to be certified ready as a booster for flight. The rocket firing lasted for 2-minutes and saw the temperature inside reach 6,000 degrees Fahrenheit. For all intents and purposes it was a complete success, however, engineers now need to go and review all of the recorded test data and see if there are any anomalies.As the video and images show, the SLS looks incredible and reminds us just how much energy is required to lift people and cargo into space. It is required that the first configuration of the SLS be able to lift 70-metric-tons of weight, where as future upgrades should increase that to 130-metric-tons.As for missions, four are planned. The first is scheduled to happen by November 2018 and will see an unmanned Orion capsule launched for a trip around the Moon. Then at some point in between 2021 and 2023 a manned mission will see another Orion capsule launched and sent into a lunar orbit. Between 2022 and 2025 an unmanned Europa probe and lander will be sent to Jupiter, and finally in 2026 a manned Orion capsule containing 4 crew will be sent to an asteroid for capture and placement in a lunar orbit (if everything goes to plan).last_img read more

first_imgKolkata: A 31-year-old youth, Anirban Sarkar, who had attempted suicide by consuming poison along with his mother and younger brother, died in the hospital on Wednesday. The other two are fighting for their lives at the hospital and their condition is stated to be serious.The incident took place in Jadavpur. The deceased’s mother Sathi Sarkar (62) and younger brother Arijit are currently undergoing treatment at MR Bangur Hospital. According to the police, the victims, who are the residents of Ibrahim Road under Jadavpur police station, had attempted suicide probably after they failed to pay a huge bank loan that the deceased’s father had taken before his death. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsPolice said that Dipak Sarkar, Sathi’s husband, had also committed suicide after failing to repay the bank loan. After the death of the house owner, it was up to his family members to repay the loan amount. They had a family shop at Ranikuthi that was not running well, which also contributed to their frustration.According to local sources, the family members were under tremendous mental pressure as the bank employees had been frequently visiting their house. Three of the family members consumed poison on Monday night. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedThey were lying unconscious inside their room till Tuesday morning, when some local residents informed the matter to the local police station as the victims did not open the door despite repeated knocks. After being informed, police reached the spot and rescued the victims by breaking open the door. The local residents told the police that goons of the bank had been frequently visiting in connection with the loan that the family had borrowed. This might have led to their depression, police suspect. All the three victims were rushed to MR Bangur Hospital, where Anirban died on Wednesday morning, with the other two battling for their lives. Police have started a detailed probe into the incident. They collected samples from the room where the three had consumed poison. Police are investigating all possible angles into the incident. The investigators will also talk to the bank officials in this regard. The relatives of the victims are also being interrogated by the police.According to police, the family had a loan of around Rs 25 lakh, which they had invested for buying the shop at Ranikunthi.last_img read more

first_imgKolkata: Amidst slogans of “Atalji Zindabad”, the West Bengal BJP unit today took out the “Asthi Kalash Yatra” with the ashes of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Union minister Smriti Irani, who was here to join the rally and offer floral tributes, said she was overwhelmed at the turnout of people, mostly women, along the roads, to pay respects to the former prime minister. State BJP president Dilip Ghosh and other state leaders of the party took out the rally which covered various parts of central and south Kolkata as it headed towards Gangasagar, where the ashes will be immersed. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life The procession is likely to reach Gangasagar by this evening, a party leader said. The ‘asthi kalash’ was brought to Kolkata by the state BJP president yesterday evening. Gangasagar is an island off the coast of Bengal where the Ganga river meets the Bay of Bengal. A part of the content from the main ‘kalash’ (urn) has been distributed in four other urns. The main urn will be immersed at Gangasagar and the four others will be taken to north Bengal, Farakka, Bankura and Nabadwip, Jaiprakash Majumdar, vice-president of West Bengal BJP unit told PTI. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed “The people of these areas too want to pay their respects to Vajpayee-ji so it will be taken there and immersed in rivers there,” Majumdar told PTI. That the people came out in large numbers for the “Asthi Kalash Yatra” today only goes on to show how much Vajpayee-ji was loved and reverred, said Irani, who was part of the rally till Diamond Harbour. Expressing gratitude on behalf of BJP, Irani said “tributes were paid to the former PM just the way we pay our respects to the elders in our family.” She exhorted the people to spread the ideals of the BJP patriarch in West Bengal. The BJP central leadership has decided to take out ‘Asthi Kalash Yatras’ in all districts and immerse the ashes in rivers across the country. Processions will start from the state capitals and pass through all blocks, party leaders said.last_img read more

first_imgAt the closing ceremony of the 17th WTTC Global Summit in Bangkok, Roberto Palais, Executive Manager of Ministry of Tourism of Argentina announced Buenos Aires as the location of the 2018 Global Summit. The Summit will be jointly hosted by the Ministry of Tourism of Argentina, The Argentine Chamber of Tourism and the Buenos Aires City Tourist Board.David Scowsill, President & CEO of WTTC, said, “We are extremely excited to bring next year’s WTTC Global Summit back to South America for the first time since 2009, to Buenos Aires, Argentina, a great example of a thriving tourism destination. Hosting the Summit in Buenos Aires is a reflection of the commitment and efforts of the Argentinean government to growing business and leisure travel, and we are very much looking forward to April 2018.”Gustavo Santos, Minister of Tourism, Argentina, said, “We are thrilled to be hosting the 2018 WTTC Global Summit, which will allow us to showcase the breadth of opportunities our capital and our country holds for Travel & Tourism, as both a leisure and business destination.”“Travel & Tourism is an important area of focus for the Argentinean government. Holding the Summit in Buenos Aires, we will further showcase our commitment to growing the sector in a sustainable fashion and promote the exchange of cultures between the visitors and local communities,” said Gonzalo Robredo, Executive Director, Buenos Aires City Tourist Board.last_img read more

first_imgGo back to the enewsletterQantas today [Friday 8 March] revealed it would be changing its cabin baggage policy on domestic flights following feedback from frequent flyers who said they would like to have more choice in how they use the allowance.Effective 25 March 2019, customers will continue to be able to bring 14kg on board but will have the flexibility to have one of their pieces weigh up to 10kg. Previously, the domestic cabin allowance included two bags that could each weigh up to 7kg.Qantas offers the most generous amount of cabin baggage of any Australian airline. Most customers on short business trips and weekends away only travel with one carry-on bag plus a small personal item, so the move looks to accommodate its many passengers who wish not to check in bags.Focusing on the amount of baggage customers bring on board helps flights to depart on time and allows everyone to have their fair share of space in the overhead compartments. Heavy bags or overhead baggage compartments that are too full can cause a safety risk for customers and crew.Customers will continue to be responsible for lifting their carry-on baggage into the overhead compartment. The cabin baggage allowance on domestic QantasLink Dash 8 turboprop services will not change and remains at one piece weighing 7kg for those smaller aircraft.Go back to the enewsletterlast_img read more