Jumbo problem for Odisha forest officials

first_imgAn elephant separated from its herd has been wreaking havoc in Khamar forest range in Odisha’s Angul district for the past fortnight.It has killed three persons so far and is getting aggressive by the day as villagers keep chasing the animal whenever it comes near human habitations.Although a dedicated trackers’ team has been deployed to keep tabs on the jumbo, regular confrontations have been a cause for concern for the field-level staff of forest department. Angry villagers have threatened to kill the elephant if the problem is not solved immediately. A team of police personnel was deployed in the Khamar forest in the wake of the tension on Wednesday.“We have written to our higher-ups requesting to drive the elephant away to a far-off forest area,” said Sukesh Kumar Shatrushalya, the Khamar Forest Range Officer. “Widespread preparation of country liquor has made the matter worse. The elephant often raids the villages for the liquor,” he said.No isolated incidentThree human deaths in Khamar forest range is not an isolate incidents. In Odisha, between April 2010 and December 2017, as many as 547 people have been killed and 288 have been injured in confrontations with wild elephants. During the same period, 571 elephants have died.“In most cases, nearly 60% of the time, the confrontation is with the tuskers. There are particular tuskers who are aggressive and account for many kills. It is possible to prevent these confrontations if the tuskers are identified and continuously tracked, so that information about their movements can be passed on to local farmers if they are anywhere close to them,” said Biswajit Mohanty, secretary, Wildlife Society of Orissa, a non-government organisation.“It has been found that elephant herds are teased and harassed by young men, which irritates them. When they come across old people who cannot run, they chase and kill them in vengeance. Many people have also been killed when the elephants are being harassed,” said Mr. Mohanty. In Dhenkanal district, the forest department had removed the tusk of a male elephant which was responsible for injuries to more than three dozen people.last_img read more

Frame By Frame

first_imgThe Mumbai studio of Crest Animation is abuzz with activity. A 250-strong team is putting the final touches on the animated feature film Alpha and Omega, a love story about two kidnapped wolves trying to get back to their pack. In another few months, the Crest team will hand over the movie to their colleagues at the firm’s U.S. subsidiary for post-production work. When Alpha and Omega hits the screens in April 2010, it will be a turning point not only for Crest Animation, but for the entire Indian animation industry as well. The box-office fate of the first animated Hollywood film to be produced by an Indian company could well define how the world looks at Indian animators.The movie, with a budget of $25 million, is being co-produced by the U.S.-based distributor Lionsgate. It is the first production in a three-film contract between the two. While Crest and Lionsgate jointly own the intellectual property, Crest alone is generating the animation. Crest is credited with another first in Indian animation. It provided production services to Mike Young Productions’ Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks, the first U.S. television series where work was outsourced to India, in 2003. The show won an Emmy Award as well as a British Academy Television Craft Award for children’s programming, giving Crest instant credibility as a high-quality animation services provider. Crest’s client roster has since grown to include Nickelodeon, Classic Media and Mark Brown Studios as it has worked on more than 200 half-hours of television and home video titles. Crest’s CEO, A.K. Madhavan, is ready to forge partnerships with other distributors, too. “Following the release of Alpha and Omega, we want to co-produce and release one animated film every year,” he says.Madhavan is equally enthusiastic about the Indian animation industry. “Over the past few years, as an industry, we have learned to deliver good quality at low cost and on time,” he says. “We now need to move up the value chain. I believe that a huge opportunity exists for Indian animation players in the domestic as well as the global market.” The National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) shares the optimism. In November, at its animation and gaming conference in Hyderabad, Nasscom president Som Mittal said: “The world is looking toward India as an animation hub, and we believe that India is well placed to leverage this opportunity. The last few years have seen the industry evolve and mature to deliver high international-standard projects.”According to a report by Nasscom and Ernst & Young released at the conference, the Indian animation industry generates annual revenues of $400 million to $500 million, and is poised to cross $1 billion by 2012. The world has only recently started looking at animation from India, notes Ganesh Natarajan, former chairman of Nasscom and chief executive officer of IT outsourcing firm Zensar Technologies. “This is a very under-penetrated segment with huge potential.”Reasons for OptimismThe cost-arbitrage advantage is among the reasons for optimism, just as it has been in information technology services and business process outsourcing. Depending on the nature of the work, the cost of outsourcing animation services to India could be as little as one-tenth or even one-twentieth that of services not outsourced, industry players say. Among the other reasons for optimism: a large English-speaking talent pool with a wide base of technical skills, animation studios’ maturity, an increasing focus on intellectual property development, and strengthening domestic demand. Ashok Rajgopal, partner in Ernst & Young’s media and entertainment practice, adds a note of caution, however. The Indian animation industry is very fragmented, he says, and for the most part the skill sets are at the lower end of the value chain. “While there are certainly pockets of excellence with a few firms offering world-class capabilities for India to emerge as a global hub, we need to scale these capabilities across a wider section of the industry. Also, Indian players must start focusing on owning the IP. That is where the big money is.”At the Hyderabad-based DQ Entertainment (DQE), one of the leading Indian animation companies with around 4,000 employees, chairman and CEO Tapaas Chakravarti takes Rajgopal’s words to heart. Chakravarti focuses on iconic properties and co-production. “We do not want to run a huge risk by producing brand new properties,” he says. DQE recently signed with Germany’s ZDF Group, TF-1 of France and other global players to co-produce Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book as a 52-episode television series and a 60-minute TV film. (The Jungle Book was earlier produced as a feature film by Walt Disney Animation Studios in 1967.) “This is a major milestone for DQE’s homegrown IP initiative and represents a step forward for us in terms of international production, licensing and distribution,” Chakravarti notes.Other recent deals at DQE include co-production with Method Animation of France for Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince as a 3-D television series, and a co-production agreement with Moonscoop of France for Tara Duncan, a 2-D animated television series based on the book by Sophie Audouin-Mamikonian. Fans of the fantasy series have dubbed Tara “Harry Potter’s little French sister.” “This deal is a logical progression of our ongoing relationship with DQE,” Moonscoop’s CEO, Nicolas Atlan, said in a news release. “We have successfully collaborated on Casper and the Fantastic Four TV series.”Earlier this year, Tata Elxsi, the design services company of the Tata Group, was nominated for the Hollywood-based Visual Effects Society’s “Outstanding Animation” award for Roadside Romeo. Co-produced by Yash Raj Films of India and Walt Disney Pictures, Roadside Romeo is touted as India’s first purely entertainment, 3-D animated theatrical feature film. (Earlier Indian animated films have all been based on mythologies.) The animation was done by the Mumbai-based Visual Computing Labs, the animation and visual effects division of Tata Elxsi. Though Roadside Romeo didn’t win the award, the nomination itself has boosted Tata Elxsi’s credibility, especially considering the competition: Walt Disney Pictures’ Bolt, DreamWorks Animation’s Kung Fu Panda, Disney-Pixar’s Wall-E and Sony Pictures Classics’ Waltz with Bashir. Buoyed by this recognition, Tata Elxsi is looking to perform animation outsourcing for international theatrical releases, bidding against the likes of Crest and DQE.Global Cultural SensibilitiesLike Chakravarti of DQE, Pankaj Khandpur, creative director at Visual Computing Labs, is looking to create intellectual property. “Currently, we are playing the role of vendors to our global and Indian customers and are specialists in delivery. We believe that two years from now, as we gain more experience and expertise along with doing outsourced work, we will also be creating our own content. This could be for any or all of the formats like television series, direct-to-DVD or full-length films both for the domestic as well as the global market,” he says. Typically in the animation industry, clients outsource production, which primarily requires technical skills, to low-cost destinations such as India. Pre-production (including concepts, designs, pre-visualization) and post-production (music, sound mixing, final editing) are considered to require “global cultural sensibilities,” and are either handled in-house or outsourced to firms in Western markets. Khandpur is not fazed by the oft-mentioned challenge of India lacking the capabilities to create original content for the global market. “Working with international theatricals will help us gain the experience and expertise in honing global cultural sensibilities to produce content for any part of the world.”Madhavan of Crest shares that view. “It’s a learning curve, and over a period of time, understanding the global sensibilities will not be so complex,” he says. Crest has taken the acquisition route to add this capability. The company began as a television commercial production house in 1989 and was among the pioneers in using computer graphics for advertisements in India. It started looking at the global market for long-format animation in the late 1990s. In 2000, in line with its ambitions to service the global market, Crest acquired Rich Animation, a Los Angeles-based studio founded by Richard Rich in 1991. Prior to setting up his own studio, Rich had worked with Walt Disney Animation Studios for more than 15 years.“We still don’t create (a project’s) look and feel in India,” Madhavan says, “but what we do create here is a fantastic product out of the inputs that we get from the U.S.” He expects that team members from India working at Crest’s U.S. studio who are involved in pre-production work will, over time, gain invaluable expertise. Crest has a staff of 600 in India and 50 in the United States.At the Bangalore-based Paprikaas, CEO Nandish Domlur is confident that his 600-strong team is ready to handle parts of pre-production work such as character and set designs, props and storyboarding. Paprikaas, which Domlur set up in 2001, shot into prominence when French technology services firm Thomson took a majority stake through its Technicolor Content Services business in February 2007. Paprikaas got a further boost later that year when Technicolor allied with DreamWorks Animation, the major U.S. animator, to set up a dedicated studio for DreamWorks through Paprikaas in India. The studio has a team of 100 from India and 20 professionals who have relocated from DreamWorks USA. The alliance includes training and developing world-class talent at Paprikaas. “What DreamWorks brings to the table for us is very high-end training, high-end creative supervision, their processes and the knowledge of the industry,” Domlur says. Paprikaas’ recent projects include Nickelodeon’s Back at the Barnyard, Seasons One, Two and Three, and Penguins of Madagascar, Seasons One and Two. Paprikaas is also working on its first film for a U.S. company, scheduled to be delivered this year. (Domlur won’t discuss the details.)New Opportunities for Captives  Captives of global firms are also moving up the value chain. The Los Angeles-based production studio Rhythm & Hues set up a captive center in Mumbai in 2001. In the last 18 months, Rhythm & Hues India has added a second center in Hyderabad and nearly doubled its workforce in India, from 160 to 300. It is also putting together a small pre-visualization team in India. “Initially, we took a lot of baby steps with basic production work like compositing, wire removal, match moving and camera tracking,” says A.R. Seshaprasad, digital production manager for Rhythm & Hues India. “We invested time and resources in training and developing our team, and by 2004, 2005, started doing the complete range of production work from here. Currently we do around 30% of any project from the India facilities and over time we hope to do a bigger share from here.”Seshaprasad points out one key drawback for India in animation: lack of adequate training and education. “The education … here is primarily on the tools and not on the fundamentals of the art form of animation,” he says. “In the U.S. and other parts of the world, there is a long history of animation culture. India is very young in this art form and so the exposure is limited.” S. Sadagopan, a professor and director of the International Institute of Information Technology, Bangalore, notes that the education system needs to place more emphasis on the development of creative capabilities. “Though India has a thriving entertainment industry, arts as a profession has not got its due importance in the social structure. So while (Indians) have high skills when it comes to animation technology, we are found lacking in the fundamental creative aspects.” Sadagopan, however, is optimistic about the future. “One of the key drivers of the next-generation animation industry is the next-generation technology. If India invests adequately in world-class arts and animation education, we can leverage our strengths in technology to carve out a significant role for ourselves.”Industry players also expect that an increased focus on the domestic market will help develop skill sets. Until now, Indian players have not focused on creating original content for the domestic market. Most of the programs have been based on mythological stories, and the quality has been basic. Overseas TV shows and films have been the most popular among Indian audiences. Says Khandpur of Tata Elxsi’s Visual Computing Labs: “Revenues from merchandising, games and publishing play an important role in an animated property, but none of these are mature in India. It therefore becomes extremely difficult for an Indian animation company to develop a profitable animated property. Now, with big players like Yash Raj Films, Walt Disney and others taking an interest in the Indian market, we expect things will be different.”Meanwhile, contrary to popular perception, industry players don’t expect a major adverse impact from the economic slowdown. Says DQE’s Chakravarti, who also heads the animation and gaming forum of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry: “Given the current economic environment, we do expect players to be a lot more selective about identifying properties, but we also expect that the current downturn could make the large global production houses outsource more of their operations to destinations like India which offer a sound value proposition.”  Related Itemslast_img read more

With better conditioning, Gonzales out to ‘make country proud’ this time

first_imgHitman MMA’s Ramon Gonzales. Photo by Randolph B. Leongson/INQUIRER.netJAKARTA — Conditioning has always been the bane of Ramon Gonzales’ career.The 5-foot-5 Bicolano acknowledges where he lacked in his last two battles, both of which ended in defeats, where he could barely make it past the second round.ADVERTISEMENT BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  LATEST STORIES Raring to end skid, Doliguez vows ‘different’ fighter will show up vs Brazilian foe Read Next WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding Though only given three weeks to prepare for the Indonesia card, Gonzales (1-2) thinks that he’s better equipped to contend this time out and beat Liu (2-2) in his first fight in the flyweight division.“We only had three weeks to prepare for this, but I’m preparing for a fight long before. Though there’s a bit of shock, I think I already got the hang of being a professional fighter,” he said.Gonzales is also unfazed of the caliber of his opponent, noting that Liu may be a Mongolian wrestling champion but “we’re eating the same thing, so I think I have a chance against him.”Hoping to make some noise in the flyweight division, Gonzales only has one goal in his mind when he enters the cage on Saturday.“This time, I will make my country proud,” he said.ADVERTISEMENT “I was always out of air in those last two fights,” he shared.But Gonzales believes that he has already turned the corner, doubling down on his strength and conditioningwith Hitman MMA coaches Gerome Bote and Burn Soriano.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“Almost everyday, we train. Sometimes we do it two times a day. So we really prepared for that,” he said.Gonzales’ preparation will be put to the test as he is squares off against Liu De Li Ge Ri Hu of Mongolia at ONE: Total Victory at Jakarta Convention Center here. LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversarycenter_img E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad  View comments Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics03:46Lacson: PH lost about P161.5B tax revenue from big trading partners in 201701:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ bosslast_img read more

Fast bowler Tinu Yohannan to represent Kerala in Indian cricket team

first_imgThe Indian Cricket team has not had a representative from Kerala. It will now.Kerala’s dubious record was broken last week when pace bowler Tinu Yohannan, 22, made it to the squad in the first Test against England at Mohali.The 6’3” lad, trained at Chennai’s MRF Pace Foundation, has sports running,The Indian Cricket team has not had a representative from Kerala. It will now.Kerala’s dubious record was broken last week when pace bowler Tinu Yohannan, 22, made it to the squad in the first Test against England at Mohali.The 6’3” lad, trained at Chennai’s MRF Pace Foundation, has sports running in his veins. Son of the legendary T.C. Yohannan, the first Asian long jumper to cross 8 m, Tinu started early.But what drew him to cricket? “When I saw legends like my father forgotten by the public, I looked at cricket with passion.”Can Kerala forget its first cricket hero?last_img read more

Report: Hoffenheim 3 Lyon 3

first_imgJoelinton scored in stoppage time as Hoffenheim left it late to grab a dramatic 3-3 draw against Champions League rivals Lyon on Tuesday.Julian Nagelsmann’s side had looked to be on their way to a second Group F defeat after Memphis Depay had coolly slotted home after 67 minutes, but substitute Joelinton had other ideas, tapping into an empty net right at the death of a pulsating game.Bertrand Traore had put the French side ahead after 26 minutes before two goals from Andrej Kramaric had Hoffenheim on course for their first ever Champions League win. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! Tanguy Ndombele and Depay then struck for the visitors against the run of play, but Joelinton’s dramatic late intervention secured a deserved point for his side.Kevin Vogt’s moment of madness gifted the visitors a 26th-minute lead as he made a mess of returning Oliver Baumann’s short goal-kick, allowing Traore to nip in, nudge the ball away from the advancing Hoffenheim keeper and slot into an empty net.The home side responded well to that setback, though, and were level just six minutes later when Kramaric controlled Pavel Kaderabek’s header on his chest at the back post and fired past Anthony Lopes from close range.Hoffenheim picked up where they left off after the restart, Kramaric again taking down a cross on his chest and clipping a half volley past Lopes from 10 yards for his second of the contest in the 47th minute.Despite the Bundesliga team’s dominance, Lyon pulled level after 59 minutes when Ndombele latched onto Traore’s incisive through ball and unleashed a fizzing effort from an acute angle that Baumann could only deflect into the roof of his own net.Depay then thought he had secured all three points for his side eight minutes later, steering past Baumann with his left foot after latching onto a long ball.Hoffenheim’s hopes looked to have ended when Vogt inexplicably headed wide from six yards out late on, only for Joelinton to convert Nico Schulz’s low cross in the second additional minute.GOOOAAAAALLLLL!!!!!3-3 (90+2) #TSGOL pic.twitter.com/VRYFStsnZk— TSG Hoffenheim EN (@achtzehn99_en) October 23, 2018 What it means: Lyon lose ground on City Manchester City’s routine win over Shakhtar Donetsk means they now top Group F, with Lyon a point back in second. Hoffenheim have given themselves a fighting chance of making the knockout stages and know that a win in the reverse fixture in France next month will pull them level with Bruno Genesio’s side on five points.Depay delivers on the big stageNetherlands international Depay has divided opinion during his career, but a first Champions League goal in three years demonstrated his importance to Lyon. His composed finish looked to have delivered a precious away win for his side until they let slip their advantage in the closing stages.Vogt of no confidenceThe Hoffenheim captain’s decision to return Baumann’s pass ended disastrously. Traore took full advantage of the panic-stricken defender’s weak effort, scoring a gift-wrapped opener for the French side.Key Opta Facts:- Hoffenheim have become the fourth German side in Champions League history to fail to win their opening three matches (D1 L2), after Hamburg in 2000-01, FC Schalke in 2001-02 and Borussia Monchengladbach in 2015-16.- Lyon are unbeaten in their last six matches in the Champions League (W2, D4), their longest such run in the competition since February 2007.- Lyon have now won just one of their last seven Champions League matches against German opposition, drawing two and losing the other four.- Bertrand Traore is just the fourth player from Burkina Faso to score a Champions League goal, after Bakary Kone, Yssouf Kone and Ousmane Sanou.- Lyon have had seven different scorers in this season’s Champions League (Maxwel Cornet, Nabil Fekir, Tanguy Ndombele, Leo Dubois, Moussa Dembele and Memphis Depay). Excluding own goals, this is more than any other side in the competition so far.What’s next?Hoffenheim return to Bundesliga action on Saturday with the visit of Stuttgart, while Lyon travel to Angers in Ligue 1 on the same day. read morelast_img read more

Wagner & Oscar lead FUT Team of the Week

first_imgThe Copa America, Women’s World Cup and Under-21 European Championships may be dominating football fans’ attention this summer, but there is still plenty of club football going on.The Chinese, American and Scandinavian leagues are among those still running and EA Sports have picked the top performers to slot into the latest FIFA 19 Ultimate Team of the Week.Former Chelsea star Oscar and ex-Bayern Munich striker Sandro Wagner make the cut. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? The former played a key role in both legs against Jeonbuk Motors to help Shanghai SIPG through to the quarter-finals of the AFC Champions League, while Wagner netted twice to fire Tianjin Tedan to a 2-1 win over Luneng on Saturday.Meanwhile, MLS sides are also well represented as Portland Timbers midfielder Diego Valeri, Yordy Reyna of the Vancouver Whitecaps and Dallas forward Dominique Badji are all included.See the full squad below…STARTING XIFIFA TOTW 41GK – Tim Melia – Sporting Kansas CityCB – Simen Wangberg – TromsoCB – Yu Dabao – Beijing GuoanCB – Valentinos Sielis – GangwonCAM – Diego Valeri – Portland TimbersLM – Yordy Reyna – Vancouver WhitecapsLM – Dominique Badji – DallasCM – Fredrik Nordkvelle – OddST – Sandro Wagner – Tianjin TedanST – Alan Kardec – Chongqing LifanST – Oscar – Shanghai SIPGBENCHCB – Naoki Ishikawa – Hokkaido Consadole SapporoRM – Gilbert Koomson – BrannLM – Kunimitsu Sekiguchi – Vegalta SendaiLM – Wanderson – Pohang SteelersST – Ante Budimir – MallorcaST – Leke James – MoldeGK – Marcus Sandberg – Stabaeklast_img read more

Former SP MP found dead inside his UP home

first_imgBulandshahr: Former Samajwadi Party MP Kamlesh Balmiki was found dead under mysterious circumstances in Khurja in Bulandshahr, police said. Prima facie it appeared to be a case of poisoning but the details would be known only after the post mortem report comes in, Khurja circle officer Gopal Singh told reporters. According to the police, they had received a call late on Monday afternoon from the former MP’s nephew Lalit Balmiki, who informed that his uncle was lying dead inside his room. Also Read – Pak activated 20 terror camps & 20 launch pads along LoC “His cousins had come down to check on him after he did not revert their calls. They had to force themselves through the first two doors, bolted from inside, before they could enter the room where Balmiki was lying dead,” said Manish Mishra, Bulandshahr Superintendent of Police. The police official said that the house was bolted from inside. It was somehow opened by four members of the family. The iron gate of the room, where Balmiki’s body was found, was also locked from inside and the family members had to open that as well. Balmiki, 52, had won from the Bulandshahr parliamentary constituency in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections.last_img read more

All problems brought forth through Talk to Mayor addressed Hakim

first_imgKolkata: Mayor Firhad Hakim said on Wednesday that the ‘Talk to Mayor’ programme is yielding good results and 100 percent of the problems that have been brought to his notice by Kolkata citizens, have been solved.”Problems related to water, drainage, conservancy and allegations of illegal construction that have been informed by citizens in the three earlier editions of ‘Talk to Mayor’ have been solved and ‘action taken’ reports have been submitted to me,” Hakim said after the fourth session of the weekly event. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellersIn this programme, people can directly call up the Mayor and state their problems to him on the toll-free number 1800-345-1213, every Wednesday from 4 to 5 pm. Hakim reiterated that allegations of misbehaviour with the people will also be strongly dealt with and if somebody is found guilty of the same during probe, he/she can be given transfer order. Reacting to allegations of promoters acquiring vacant land illegally, Hakim said that the building plan of the concerned person will be cancelled in case of such irregularity. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaThe Mayor attended 42 calls on Wednesday and gave necessary instructions to the concerned officials to solve them. Issue of inadequate streetlights was reported from ward 127 in Behala, regarding which Hakim said that a tender has already been floated and the work will be completed before the Pujas. The problems that surfaced also involved social sectors like the Banglar Bari scheme from Baghajatin area, clogged drainage leading to waterlogging in ward 143, water supply line problem from Smith Lane in ward 53, irregularity regarding receipt of widow pension from ward 9, cutting of trees in Kumartuli area etc. Senior civic officials including the municipal commissioner Khalil Ahmed, special municipal commissioner Tapas Chowdhury, all director generals, chief engineers and senior officials of various departments were present during the session. The phone was connected to a loudspeaker to help the senior officials listen to the calls.last_img read more

Eva Mendes Shows Kindness To Bunnies With CrueltyFree Makeup Line

first_imgFor today’s leading ladies, glamour and compassion for animals go hand in hand — for proof, look at Eva Mendes, whose new makeup line, CIRCA, has just provided PETA with assurance that it does not conduct, commission, or pay for tests on animals anywhere in the world.This move has landed CIRCA in PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies guide to cruelty-free cosmetics, alongside Drew Barrymore’s FLOWER, Jessica Alba’s The Honest Company, Miranda Kerr’s KORA Organics, and Alicia Silverstone’s past lines for Juice Beauty and EcoTools. PETA has also sent Mendes a thank-you gift of delicious vegan chocolates.“Eva Mendes’ commitment to cruelty-free cosmetics prevents animals from being used in deadly poisoning tests and reminds us all to make kind choices for animals when we shop, too,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “Eva shows us that she is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside.”Every year, hundreds of thousands of animals around the world are force-fed chemicals or have substances dripped into their eyes or rubbed onto their raw, abraded skin in archaic, unreliable cosmetics tests, which are not required by law in the U.S. and have been banned in the European Union, Israel, and India.As documented by PETA, whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on,” while some companies test their products on animals, more than 1,700 compassionate companies — including CIRCA as well as Urban Decay, Paul Mitchell Systems, and The Body Shop — use only modern non-animal methods to test their products and ingredients.Source:PETAlast_img read more

Quebec inquiry hears that agencies trying to improve Indigenous relations

first_imgTom FennarioAPTN NewsThe director of youth protection services for one of three different regions in Quebec went before the province’s public inquiry Wednesday and testified that the agency is striving to improve relations with Indigenous peoples.Marlene Gallagher also talked about the challenges involved – including language.To explain, she used an example.“He said to me, ‘Ma’am, do you know how director of youth protection translates into Innu?’” explained Gallagher. “In Innu, it means someone who takes away children.”Other regional directors of youth protection services acknowledged that when it comes to Indigenous relations, there’s a lot of work to be done.“They’ve explained to us there’s a lack of confidence in us,” said Michelyne Gagne.The inquiry is examining the relationship between some of Quebec’s public services and Indigenous peoples.It was called after news broke about provincial police abusing Indigenous women in the Val d’Or area northwest of Montreal.Most of Wednesday at the inquiry was about the new measures to change the frayed relationship.They include mandatory sensitivity training for youth protection workers, incorporating cultural ceremonies and traditions when meeting with families, and a new law that will give more power to communities over youth protection.“Presently in Quebec, there are two communities that are applying to obtain the power to manage their (youth protection) services,” said Gallagher.The law also emphasizes keeping children in their communities.“The intention behind this process is to keep children close to significant people in their lives,” said Phillipe Gagne, another regional director. “Who have the capacity to preserve the cultural identity of an Indigenous child.”While the directors acknowledged there are problems, they also said better days are ahead.“We don’t come here today with the pretension that all our intervention workers work according to the traditions and cultures of First Nations,” said Michelyne Gagne. “Nor that their interventions are perfect, nor that the entire organization of services responds to the needs of the community – but rest assured that we have the will to make it happen.”The province’s youth protection law that will give communities more power is expected to be in place by June 2018.Contact Tom here: tfennario@aptn.calast_img read more

BC opens trade and investment office in Seattle as part of 800K

first_imgSEATTLE – The B.C. government says it has opened a Trade and Investment office in Seattle geared at expanding the province’s trade network in the U.S. and attracting investment into British Columbia.B.C.’s Deputy Jobs Minister Fazil Mihlar announced the opening at the Cascadia Innovation Corridor Conference in Seattle Tuesday evening, saying Troy DeFrank, former trade commissioner at the Consulate General of Canada in Seattle, was appointed as the office’s director.A ministry spokeswoman said the office is already open and the government has invested $800,000 into it and a similar office in Silicon Valley, scheduled to open this fall.The ministry said in a statement that the Seattle office will help connect B.C. companies with venture capitalists, skilled tech workers and strategic partners.Jobs Minister Bruce Ralston said in a statement that the office will “deepen the tech talent pool to mutually benefit companies on either side of the border.”The province already has trade and investment representatives around the world in Japan, South Korea, India, China, the Philippines, Indonesia, Europe and the U.S.last_img read more

Couillard says he is open to advancing Montreals subway contract to Bombardier

first_imgQUEBEC CITY, Que. – Premier Philippe Couillard suggested Friday he’s open to giving Bombardier a contract to replace Montreal’s subway cars in order to stave off potential job losses at the company’s plant north of Quebec City.During a trade mission in Washington, D.C., Couillard said his government was in talks to award a contract to Bombardier after the company failed to secure more work at its plant in La Pocatiere, Que.“Without going further, I would say today it’s a hypothesis that is very interesting,” Couillard said. “I called Montreal’s mayor to talk about it. Why? Because the plant in La Pocatiere is made for this.”Bombardier’s transport sector lost its bid for the $630-million project to supply Montreal’s electric light rail network.The contract went instead to its rival, French company Alstom, without any minimum guarantee for local Quebec content.Bombardier’s La Pocatiere plant is currently finishing an order for Montreal’s Azur subway cars and, without a new contract, half the factory’s 600 workers could be laid off in the fall.Montreal was planning to replace the remainder of its aging fleet for 2036, but in order to save the jobs, Couillard said he considering advancing the contract and awarding it early to Bombardier.Mario Guignard, president of the plant’s union, welcomed Couillard’s comments.“They are talking about us and it’s positive,” he said during an interview. “Often we hear of other factories with regards to delays or about the salaries of our bosses, but we rarely hear about the world-class plant right here in La Pocatiere.”Companies in this story: (TSX: BBD.B)last_img read more

Asian shares mixed as China reports economy slowed in 2Q

BANGKOK — Shares were mixed in Asia on Monday, with gains in Chinese markets on hopes for fresh stimulus measures after the government reported that the economy grew at the slowest pace in a decade in the last quarter.Analysts said the 6.2% annual rate of growth reported for April-June suggests the trade war between the U.S. and China is hammering industries.The Shanghai Composite index gained 0.4% to 2,942.19 while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index gained 0.2% to 28,536.36. Australia’s S&P ASX 200 fell 0.7% to 6,653.00 and in South Korea, the Kospi shed 0.2% to 2,082.48. India’s Sensex climbed 0.2% to 38,802.90. Japan’s markets were closed for a national holiday.The growth data for China was the weakest since the first quarter of 2009, in the aftermath of the global financial crisis.Tariff hikes by President Donald Trump have battered Chinese as well as U.S. exporters, and Chinese leaders have increased spending and loosened controls on bank lending to keep growth within this year’s range of 6% to 6.5%.Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed in late June to restart talks on their stand-off over the longstanding U.S. trade deficit and Chinese economic policies the U.S. side says are unfair and violate market Beijing’s market opening commitments.That truce is fragile, however, since the issues that caused talks to break down in May remain.Since China is the biggest export customer for many of its neighbours and huge market for global suppliers of food, mobile phones and other goods, weaker growth is unwelcome. However, expectations for more government stimulus to combat the slowdown could drive share prices higher.“We remain concerned about whether the credit expansion can boost real economic activities,” Raymond Yeung of ANZ said in a commentary. “We believe the People’s Bank of China will continue to adopt a targeted policy as opposed to quantitative easing to support growth.”The mixed day in Asia followed a rally Friday in New York that pushed major U.S. stock indexes to record highs, with the S&P 500 ending above 3,000 for the first time.The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.9% to 27,332.03. The S&P 500 rose 0.5% to 3,013.77 and the Nasdaq composite index advanced 0.6% to 8,244.14. All were record highs.Investors are betting the Federal Reserve will cut its benchmark interest rate later this month for the first time in more than a decade to help counter slowing growth.Bond yields have been moving higher for several days, suggesting investors are confident the U.S. economy will power ahead, at least for the next several months.The yield on the benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury note was 2.12% compared to the multi-year low of 1.95% the bond hit only 10 days ago.ENERGY: Benchmark crude oil fell 2 cents to $60.19 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It rose 1 cent to settle at $60.21 a barrel Friday in New York. Brent crude oil, the international standard, gained 7 cents to $66.79 a barrel.CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 107.98 Japanese yen from 107.91 yen on Friday. The euro strengthened to $1.1277 to $1.1272.Elaine Kurtenbach, The Associated Press read more

Skirting around the issue

first_imgFrench soccer player and Panathinaikos captain Djibril Cisse has caused a stir in Greece by wearing a skirt to an awards ceremony. This comes days before his team is set to take on Super League leader Olympiakos in the crucial derby game, known to the world over as the Derby of the Eternal Enemies. The Panathnaikos captain and striker was wearing the Jean-Paul Gaultier number when he attended the Status magazine Men of the Year Awards, where he picked up a prize. His appearance in the long black skirt created an immediate response by the media, particularly Greece’s sports newspapers ahead of the all-important derby match. The Panathinaikos supporting papers suggested that Cisse was putting his manhood on display, while the Olympiakos backed publications suggested he wear the skirt when he steps out as striker in the derby game.The derby match on Saturday, which kicks off at 7.30 pm, is seen as a potential decider because Olympiakos is seven points ahead of Panathinaikos. A win for Olympiakos could mean it’s curtains for Panathnaikos as they would have a ten point advantage, and with just seven games left, a hard task to beat them. But a win for Panathnaikos could mean a play for the title.The known rivalry between Panathinaikos and Olympiakos has been inflamed by Cisse’s act of defiance ahead of the game on Saturday. Unbeknownst to Cisse how deep-seeded this arch-rivalry was, he certainly discovered this during the derby game in 2010, when he scored two goals and his team beat Olympiakos 2-1. From then, Cisse has been on Olympiakos’s radar as the man to stop. But not one to shy away from a threat, Cisse faces it head on by an outfit choice that demands attention. French designer Jean Paul Gaultier, a regular visitor to Greece, isn’t shy of making outlandish fashion statements with his clothing, and has created various skirts for men, including a line inspired by the Greek “foustanela” as worn by Presidential Guard.The French-born striker is known for his flamboyance, his often changing hairstyles and colours and wearing extravagant clothes. His loyalty to Panathnaikos knows no bounds, and he has shown his mark of respect for the team that made his career by getting a tattoo of the club’s Green symbol – to add to his growing collection of body art. Source: www.sportsingreece.gr Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Nutrition moins de frites dans les cantines

first_imgNutrition : moins de frites dans les cantines De nouvelles règles nutritionnelles sont entrées en vigueur dimanche suite à leur publication dans le Journal officiel. Destinées à toutes les structures de restauration collective y compris dans les écoles, elles prévoient notamment de diminuer la présence des produits frits. C’est une décision qui va déplaire à tous les amateurs de frites. Dimanche, sont parues au Journal officiel de nouvelles règles nutritionnelles destinées aux cantines des écoles et à toutes les structures de restauration publique collective. Celles-ci comprennent une série de mesures destinées à veiller sur la structure des repas, à garantir une variété suffisante et à limiter la fréquence des plats trop gras ou trop sucrés.À lire aussiPourquoi le café donne-t-il envie de faire caca ?”Six millions d’enfants mangent à la cantine chaque jour mais un sur deux a encore faim en sortant”, a expliqué au Journal du Dimanche le ministre de l’Agriculture Bruno Le Maire. Il a également ajouté : “Les règles nutritionnelles ne sont ni appliquées, ni contrôlées. Nous les rendons obligatoires et nous allons surveiller les menus”.  Aussi, les nouvelles mesures s’attaquent à plusieurs produits et notamment les frites. Désormais, le nombre d’aliments frits ne pourra donc plus dépasser quatre sur 20 repas. En outre, le pain et l’eau seront mis à disposition sans restriction quand le sel et les sauces seront retirés du libre-service. “Il doit y avoir plus de produits laitiers, plus de fruits au dessert, le moins possible de friture et une alternance entre viande et poisson dans la semaine”, a ainsi commenté le ministre cité par 20 minutes.fr qui entend bien faire de la France “l’exemple mondial en matière de qualité de l’alimentation, à commencer par les enfants”.Le 3 octobre 2011 à 17:12 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

Retirements bring city a new face

first_imgHands have been shaken. Backs patted. Service recognized. Desk contents packed.By the time 2010 drew to a close, 929 years of experience walked out the doors of Vancouver City Hall.Spurred on by incentives of $1,000 per year of service as the city scrambled to cut payroll costs, 38 employees — with an average tenure of 24.4 years — retired last year. That’s well above the 13 retirements in 2009 and 16 in 2008, and it’s part of the evaporation of 184.55 full-time city jobs in 2010. Sixty-eight of those employees were laid off.The departures mark a changing of the city’s old guard, which some say started with the defeat of 14-year Mayor Royce Pollard in 2009, and continued last year with the retirements of Assistant City Manager Betsy Williams and Fire Chief Don Bivins. City Manager Pat McDonnell and several other managers who left for private-sector work.Those who remain will have their hands full making up for lost experience and manpower. But they’ll also have carte blanche to remake the city government with fresh ideas, city leaders said.“I don’t think we’ve ever experienced this magnitude of departure in the city’s history. We really don’t have anything to compare this to, ” said Human Resources Director Elizabeth Gotelli. “That’s never easy. But on other hand, it is opening up some opportunities …for growth for existing talented employees we have.”last_img read more

Brad Carson to Step Down as DODs Personnel Readiness Chief

first_imgBrad Carson, who has led Pentagon DOD’s Force of the Future initiative for the past year, will step down as acting undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness in April, the department announced Monday.Carson was appointed to the post by President Obama last April, and in July he was nominated by the president to succeed previous Undersecretary Jessica Wright. The position is responsible for overseeing military and civilian personnel policy and total force readiness, including quality of life.To advance the Force of the Future initiative, Carson led the development of a broad portfolio of proposals to modernize DOD’s civilian and military personnel systems. Separately, he instituted the largest reorganization of the Personnel and Readiness organization since its formation, including a 20 percent reduction in size and a renewed focus on total force readiness; oversaw revisions to the military equal opportunity policy; and managed the department’s Women in Service Review.“Carson led with a passion for improving the quality of life of service members and their families and advancing the secretary’s focus on improving long-term mission effectiveness, readiness, retention and recruiting across the department’s military and civilian workforces,” according to a statement from Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook.“Brad Carson has developed some of the most important and groundbreaking work in years to modernize our personnel policies,” said Defense Secretary Ash Carter. “At my direction, he charted a path forward for the department and our people that will leave a lasting legacy, and will improve the mission effectiveness, readiness and the quality of life for our civilian workforce, uniformed service members and families.” Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more

Latin Recording Academy Luis Fonsi Receive Hispanic Heritage Awards

first_imgNews Luis Fonsi Earns Hispanic Heritage Award latin-recording-academy-luis-fonsi-receive-hispanic-heritage-awards Latin Recording Academy, Luis Fonsi Receive Hispanic Heritage Awards Awards recognize the accomplishments of leading Latin influencers and organizations whileRenée FabianGRAMMYs Sep 14, 2017 – 9:13 am To kick off Hispanic Heritage Month (running Sept. 15 – Oct. 15), the Hispanic Heritage Foundation awarded their 30th annual Hispanic Heritage Awards. This year, our own Latin Recording Academy was honored with the Arts Award.Other honorees included Luis Fonsi of “Despactio” fame, who received the Trailblazer Award and “Mozart In The Jungle” actor Gael García Bernal, who was honored with the Vision Award. Awards were also given in the arenas of inspiration, leadership and science, technology, engineering, and math.The celebration on Sept. 14 at the Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C., featured performances by Latin GRAMMY winner Gaby Moreno, Fonsi, Concha Bukia, Locos Por Juana, and pianist Llewellyn Sanchez-Werner. Presenters spanned the gamut from YouTube personalities to actors, civil rights icons, and authors, among others.The Awards were created to recognize the accomplishments of leading Latin people and organizations across various disciplines while “celebrating cultural pride and the great promise to America.” Past Hispanic Heritage Awards honorees include Juan Luis Guerra, Rita Moreno, Plácido Domingo, Celia Cruz, Tito Puente, Los Tigres Del Norte, 2017 Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year Alejandro Sanz, and Gloria Estefan, among others.Catch the Hispanic Heritage Awards on Oct. 6 at 10 p.m. ET on PBS.Los Del Río To Ilan Chester: Latin Recording Academy Special AwardsRead more Email Facebook Twitter last_img read more