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Sai Praneeth Guarantees 1st Men’s Singles World Championships Medal Since 1983

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first_img badmintonbwf world championshipsJonatan ChristiePV Sindhu First Published: August 23, 2019, 6:52 PM IST Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox – subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what’s happening in the world around you – in real time. Sai Praneeth registered a massive upset against world No.4 Jonatan Christie of Indonesia in the quarter-finals of Badminton World Championships in Basel, Switzerland on Friday.Praneeth, ranked 19 in the world, beat Christie 24-22, 21-14 in 51 minutes to reach his first World Championships semi-finals. Earlier, PV Sindhu overcame former world No.1 Tai Tzu Ying 12-21, 23-21, 21-19 to reach her third consecutive semi-final at the tournament.With this win, Praneeth has guaranteed at least a bronze medal for India in the men’s singles discipline. Prakash Padukone was the last Indian to have won a medal (bronze) in men’s singles in 1983.It was Indonesia’s Christie who earned the first point of the match but after getting a 4-2 lead early on, Christie gave away the initiative and this is where Praneeth started to take charge of the proceedings.Praneeth went into a 9-5 lead before Christie fought back to level 10-10 but the Indian went into the break with a slender 11-10 advantage.After the break, Praneeth looked the more aggressive player and went for his strokes while Christie remained on the defensive side, tossing up most of the shuttles.Despite, Praneeth taking more initiative, the two kept alternating the points before Praneeth earned one game point.Christie saved the game point and then brought up a game point of his own before Praneeth sealed the first game in his third opportunity.The second game began with Christie making a number of uncharacteristic errors. In the first half of the second game, Praneeth did not have to do much as Christie kept committing errors and gifted the points to Praneeth. And just like that, the Indian went into the break with a massive 11-3 advantage.After the break, Christie tried to push hard and put pressure on Praneeth by winning points but the Indian hung in there and at 18-14, Praneeth launched a barrage of smashes to bring up two match points.As Christie sent the shuttle wide, Praneeth let out a roar and lay flat on the court with his hands covering his face in celebration.This was the third time Praneeth and Christie met in their career and it was a first win against the Indonesian for the Indian.Praneeth had lost to Kento Momota in the quarter-finals at last year’s World Championships and had lost in the pre-quarterfinals the year before that.Praneeth will next take on defending champion and world No.1 Kento Momota of Japan. last_img read more

PICS: MS Dhoni Celebrates Children’s Day with Students

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Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai: Five changes you will see in the show post leap

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first_imgThe impending leap of TV show Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai will not only usher in a fresh plot, but a new location as well. The story will now take the cast to Rishikesh. In the last few episodes, Naksh’s marriage gets stalled after an argument ensues between the bride and the groom. He will be seen in an altogether different avatar post leap. Here are the changes that you can expect on the show post the five-year leap.Also read: Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai: Akshara aka Hina Khan to sport a modern look post-leap Hina Khan’s character Akshara is all set to get a modern makeover post the leap. In fact, she is expected to look younger than her previous version after her makeover. The actress’ new wardrobe will have lots of modern outfits including tops and palazzos.Rohan Mehra, who plays Naksh will look like Aamir Khan’s character in 2008 film Ghajini after the leap. He will have to gain weight and look bigger for his new look, for which he has started doing weight training along with a proper diet, prescribed by his dietician.Ashnoor Kaur, who is currently seen playing the role of Akshara and Naitik’s daughter Naira, will be leaving the show. And actor Shivangi Joshi will replace her and play the role of a grown-up Naira post the leap.Apart from the fresh plot, the leap will take the show to a new location–Rishikesh.Along with Naira, the show will also see another entry. Nisha Aur Uske Cousins fame Mohsin Khan will be seen entering the show as Kartik, who will be paired opposite Naira. advertisementAlso read: Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai: Rohan Mehra aka Naksh’s post-leap look inspired by Aamir Khan’s Ghajini  The leap has been introduced to give a fresh impetus to the show, which was running out of twists and turns.last_img read more

Deepika Padukone, Vin Diesel clicked in Sabyasachis ensemble

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first_imgMumbai, Sep 12 (PTI) Deepika Padukone stunning in a Sabyasachi Mukherjee outfit is not new, but what comes as a huge surprise for the fans is that this time alongwith the actress, her Hollywood co-star Vin Diesel has also sported a creation of the Indian designer.Deepika is set to make her Hollywood debut with Diesels “xXx: Return of Xander Cage”.The duo have been clicked wearing Sabyasachis outfits. The said picture has been shared online by the designer on his Instagram account.The photo shows Deepika dressed in a black outift, while Diesel is seen in a red sherwani. Both are all smiles while posing together for the camera.”#VinDiesel @vindiesel in a #Sabyasachi #Sherwani #HandCraftedInIndia @deepikapadukone #DeepikaPadukone #xXxTheMovie #ReturnOfXanderCage #TheWorldOfSabyasachi,” the designer captioned the photo.It is not clear yet if the duo will sport the dresses in the movie or if these are for a standalone photoshoot.”xXx: Return of Xander Cage” is the third instalment of the hit action franchise “xXx”. It will arrive in theatres on January 20, 2017. PTI PSH PSHlast_img read more

For his people, Puducherry CM V Narayanasamy remains accessible on his cell number

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first_imgThere are not many chief ministers in the country who remain accessible to the common man over their personal cell phone. Puducherry Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy is an exception. In June this year, he received calls from six different individuals who weren’t trying to contact him with usual requests -,There are not many chief ministers in the country who remain accessible to the common man over their personal cell phone. Puducherry Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy is an exception. In June this year, he received calls from six different individuals who weren’t trying to contact him with usual requests – school or college admission, medical help or recommendations for jobs in the private sector. They were complaining about a young bureaucrat’s corrupt practices.Narayanasamy called the officer to his office and told him: “You are a young officer with a bright career ahead. Why are you tarnishing your reputation? Why don’t you do something so that I call you to my office to praise your work and recognise your initiatives in public?” The chief minister believes building a sense of commitment in the bureaucracy is more important than randomly punishing officers. At the same time, he has directed bureaucrats to handle public complaints with greater sensitivity. “People must have faith in the grievance redressal system,” he says.Narayanasamy’s development mechanism is based on introducing administrative reforms, streamlining the administration, giving responsibility to officers and fixing accountability. “Progress in any sector is possible only with time-bound service delivery. Once we fix this, development becomes an automated process,” says Narayanasamy, as he walks around the courtyard of the state secretariat, meeting people and noting down their problems.One way to bring transparency and speed up service delivery is the extensive use of information technology. His government has not only embraced the digital mode, it also sees IT as an investment opportunity. There is already a plan to set up an IT park in Puducherry. “As of today, all government transaction have been made digital,” says the chief minister.advertisementFor the sake of development, Narayanasamy is ready to rise above party politics. That’s the reason he takes pride in his performance in several welfare schemes launched or promoted by the BJP-ruled central government. “Puducherry is the best performing state in Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, Make in India, Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and National Rural Health Mission. Only in Swachh Bharat are we lagging behind because we don’t have enough sand in our state to build toilets,” he says. The Puducherry government has written to the Centre to allow it to install prefabricated toilets.While Puducherry boasts of the lowest maternal and infant mortality rates among Union territories, the chief minister believes a hands-on approach alone can make a difference in healthcare. So when there was a dengue outbreak, he and his ministerial colleagues travelled around, taking stock of the situation. “That’s why there was not a single dengue death in the state. Forty per cent of the patients in our hospitals were from Tamil Nadu,” says Narayanasamy.Not just healthcare, there is also a high tourist footfall in Puducherry from the neighbouring states. Tourism contributes nearly 25 per cent to the state’s GDP. While the state has set an annual target of 4 million tourists, officials say the four days of Durga Puja alone saw one million arrivals this year. “We were not ready for such a situation. Many people could not find accommodation and slept in vehicles. We don’t want this to happen again and are planning to create infrastructure on a war footing,” adds Narayanasamy.The state government has submitted a Rs 200 crore proposal to the Union government for spiritual and heritage tourism, including restoration of beaches. The Centre has already released Rs 98 crore. Work has started on refurbishing temples, mosques and churches and for the restoration and maintenance of French architecture. The government plans to introduce water sports on the beaches, build a Disneyland-type theme park and start a cruise service from Chennai to Puducherry.Narayanasamy believes the Smart City project will transform Puducherry into a global tourism destination by leveraging its heritage and cultural-spiritual character. The Puducherry government has set up a special purpose vehicle, ‘Puducherry Smart City Development Limited’, to implement the project at a cost ofRs 1,828 crore within three years. The Centre and Puducherry government will extend Rs 500 crore each while the French government will provide a loan of Rs 500 crore. The balance amount will be mobilised through open market borrowings.Another agreement has been signed between the Puducherry government and the French Development Agency to augment drinking water supply. While the agency would provide Rs 455 crore as loan, the balance of Rs 79 crore will be provided by the Puducherry government.To sustain tourism, law and order has been given top priority. ‘Tiger Brigade’, a patrol squad for the city and the state’s semi-urban areas, has been created. Police personnel in plain clothes man the markets and beaches. Thirty-seven notorious troublemakers and history-sheeters have been detained in 2017 as against 31 in 2016 and 43 in 2015. “We have confiscated their properties acquired through force and threat. These will either be returned to genuine owners or will be used for public purposes,” says the chief minister.advertisementWhat worries Narayanasamy, however, is the dearth of employment opportunities. “We have skilled manpower. We cannot fail them. My priority is to generate employment for them,” he says. This explains his focus on industrialisation. The shift of several non-polluting industries to the state has already been an encouraging indication for the state government, which has formulated a new industrial policy last year, giving incentives to multiple sectors.The state is already clocking a growth rate of 11 per cent, and according to Narayanasamy, the new industrial policy is poised to attract a larger number of domestic as well as foreign investors to the power-surplus state, driving the growth trajectory further northwards. The policy has identified 10 priority areas and 16 thrust areas in industry, which could ensure rapid, balanced, sustainable, eco-friendly industrial development in the state. The goal is to create an electronic manufacturing hub using technical resources. “We have 17 engineering colleges, so there is no dearth of manpower too,” says Narayanasamy.But before that dream turns true, the chief minister has one more hurdle to cross-loss-making public sector units. From its annual budget of Rs 8,000 crore, the government spends Rs 520 crore as grant to these units. “This is unproductive use of public money. I have formed a committee to suggest ways to revive these units within a short span of time,” he says. Time indeed is running out, as he gets ready to hop on to his car for a two-hour drive to Karaikal, where he has to inaugurate a CCTV installation at a public place.last_img read more

World Cup 2019: England keep hopes alive with win over India

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Michigan Is The Favorite To Land The No. 1 Recruit In The State Of Ohio

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first_imgHead coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes and Head coach Jim Harbaugh of the Michigan Wolverines talk on the field prior to their game.COLUMBUS, OH – NOVEMBER 26: (R-L) Head coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes and Head coach Jim Harbaugh of the Michigan Wolverines talk on the field prior to their game at Ohio Stadium on November 26, 2016 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)Zach Harrison is the No. 1 recruit in the state of Ohio. The five-star defensive end, an Olentangy Orange product, is the No. 4 overall recruit in the country and seen as one of the premier pass rushers at the high school level.The five-star prospect is expected to make his decision next week. With the decision looming, let’s take a look at where the experts predict Harrison will play his college football.According to 247Sports‘ Crystal Ball predictions, one program has been trending in the right direction for Harrison. It’s not Ohio State.Harrison is now projected to commit to Michigan. That’s right, The Team Up North is the favorite to land the No. 1 recruit from the state of Ohio.65-percent of 247Sports’ Crystal Ball predictions have Harrison signing with the Wolverines, while just 31-percent of the recruiting experts predict he’ll stay home and sign with Ohio State.Stay tuned for his commitment.last_img read more

Scotland to Review Ferry Services Tendering

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first_imgzoom Scottish government has made a decision to review the need to put lifeline ferry services out to tender in the future, according to Nautilus trade union.Announcing the move, the country’s transport minister Humza Yousaf said he wanted to examine the legal, policy and financial implications affecting the procurement of key Scottish ferry services to islands and remote communities.Following feedback from the European Commission, he said the review would assess whether Scottish ferries could be covered by the ‘Teckal exemption’ which enables some services to be operated by an in-house provider without the need for competitive tendering.Tendering for the Gourock-Dunoon services have been put on hold while the study takes place, and the minister said it will also address the implications for the planned tendering of the Northern Isles services, as well as assessing the requirement to ensure compliance with EU state aid rules.“We cannot pre-judge the outcome of the review. However, should it conclude that it would be possible to apply the Teckal exemption and meet state aid rules then we would be minded to provide ferry services through an in-house operator, taking account of the communities they serve,” Yousaf said.“We have always maintained that the tender process was unnecessary, costly and unsettling for our members and the communities they serve,” Mark Dickinson, Nautilus general secretary, added.last_img read more

January Jones Is Scared FOR Sharks

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first_imgAs millions of Americans tune into Discovery Channel’s Shark Week to view hours of programming featuring powerful great white sharks, they might be surprised by a public service announcement (PSA) launched this week by Oceana.The new TV spot features actress January Jones urging people to be scared FOR great white sharks – the future population of great whites off the U.S. West Coast is in jeopardy.Video: January Jones is scared FOR sharks“Healthy oceans need sharks,” commented January Jones, a long time Oceana supporter and shark advocate. “Too many are being caught in fishing nets. There may be only a few hundred adult great whites left off the West Coast. We should be scared FOR great whites.”Recent studies show that great white sharks found off the coasts of California and Guadalupe Island, Mexico, make up a genetically distinct population. Scientist’s estimate there may be only be a few hundred adult great whites left, putting this entire population at risk of extinction. Many young great whites, called pups, are unintentionally caught in fishing nets. In their first few years of life, these pups reside in important nursery areas off of Northern Mexico and Southern California. Here, they are caught in gillnets used by fishermen catching halibut, white seabass, and other commercial fish.While it is illegal to intentionally catch and sell white sharks in California, there are no limits on catching the sharks as bycatch, the accidental take of non-target species like white shark pups. The shark pups (like other animals) often do not survive being caught in these nets and never have a chance to reach adulthood or reproduce. As Oceana California Program Director Geoff Shester noted, “The danger is that since our population is genetically and reproductively isolated from all the other white shark populations in the world, if we lose our sharks we don’t get any back. We lose great white sharks forever in our ecosystem.”To help save great white sharks from gillnets and obtain more research to better understand these iconic sharks, Oceana is campaigning for this population to be listed as an endangered species under the California state Endangered Species Act. To help ensure that these iconic great whites get the protection they need go to www.oceana.org/scaredforsharks and sign the petition.January Jones’ latest PSA marks the third installment of her Scared FOR Sharks campaign. The actress, best known for her role on AMC’s critically acclaimed series “Mad Men”, filmed two previous PSAs for Oceana in the Bahamas and Belize where she swam with lemon sharks and whale sharks. Jones has been an ambassador for Oceana’s shark campaign since 2009.Oceana is a proud conservation partner of Discovery’s Shark Week for the 4th consecutive year. In a related effort to protect the oceans, TOMS Shoes and Discovery Channel teamed up to produce “The Shark Shoe”. Five dollars from each pair goes to support Oceana and a child in need will receive a new pair of shoes. Visit www.toms.com/shark-week.last_img read more

Ricky Gervais Helps BUAV Raise Awareness About Cruel Monkey Experiments

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first_imgWell known for his love of animals and his outspoken defence of their welfare, Ricky Gervais has recently spoken out in support of a new BUAV undercover investigation, which shows harrowing suffering of primates in an EU laboratory.The recent undercover investigation, carried out by the BUAV and the German animal group Soko Tierschutz, at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Germany (MPI), found primates subjected to immense suffering through the use of severe water deprivation, physical coercion and restraint. The institute is now at the centre of a controversy after the findings of the investigation featured on national German Television (10/09/14).Ricky Gervais has supported the BUAV on a great many of their previous campaigns and has spoken out passionately about the recent investigation, saying: ‘I was deeply saddened and shocked by the BUAV’s latest investigation, which shows the terrible suffering inflicted on these monkeys in an EU laboratory. I urge people to watch the compelling BUAV film and join me in calling for these experiments to end and a full independent inquiry carried out.’The world famous comedian also tweeted news about the monkeys who suffered in the experiments, prompting others, actor Russell Crowe, to get involved and also share the investigations to his 1.57M followers.Other high-profile stars who used their online presence to raise awareness over the monkey suffering included actors Ayden Callaghan, Carley Stenson, Sarah Jane Honeywell, Conservationist Ian Redmond, Author Jane Fallon, Journalist Wendy Turner Webster and Human Rights activist, Peter Thatchell.The primates were used in basic research into how their brains process information. This involved the animals subjected to major surgery to implant devices in their skulls. The water deprived animals were then imprisoned by their necks inside a restraint device in a small dark, sound-proofed chamber. The monkeys were completely immobilised by a post implanted in their skulls to fix their heads in place in front of a computer screen during testing. They had to carry out repetitive tests tasks over and over for up to 5 hours a day, 5 days a week, month after month, in order to receive a small fluid reward. Director of Special Projects Sarah Kite, BUAV stated: “Our investigation has exposed the reality for primates in a top EU laboratory. Their lives are one of immense suffering, brutally controlled and manipulated in cruel experiments. We are therefore very grateful to Ricky for using his voice and high-profile to help us raise awareness about these cruel experiments. This is an investigation that raises important ethical, scientific and legal issues which need to be addressed as a matter of urgency.”last_img read more

UN committee calls on Canada for inquiry into missing murdered Indigenous women

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first_imgThe Canadian PressGENEVA – A United Nations committee has joined the chorus of critics who say Canada should establish a national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women.The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women said Canada has violated the rights of Indigenous women by failing to thoroughly investigate why they are targeted for violence.The body is adding its voice to domestic calls for an inquiry, which the Harper government has repeatedly said isn’t necessary.A committee report released Friday said police and the justice system have failed to effectively protect Indigenous women.It says native women face grave and systematic violations of their rights.“Aboriginal women and girls are more likely to be victims of violence than men or non-Aboriginal women and they are more likely to die as a result,” the report said.“Yet, despite the seriousness of the situation, the Canadian state has not sufficiently implemented measures to ensure that cases of missing and murdered Aboriginal women are effectively investigated and prosecuted.”Canada’s formal response to the committee disagreed with the conclusion that there has been such a violation and rejected the call for an inquiry.Committee members Niklas Bruun and Barbara Bailey visited Canada in 2013 to conduct a confidential inquiry into allegations about the violence facing native women and girls.They said the roots of the problem run deep.“The violence inflicted on Aboriginal women is often rooted in the deep socio-economic inequalities and discrimination their communities face and which can be traced back to the period of colonization,” the two said.The committee is made up of 23 independent human rights experts and oversees implementation of the UN Convention for the Elimination of Discrimination against Women in countries which have ratified it.last_img read more

Report on British Muslims Reveals Universal Condemnation of Radicalism

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By Jonathan WalshRabat – A report published on Tuesday by the London-based Islamic group 5pillars shows that 95 percent of British Muslims and other Muslims living in the United Kingdom strongly agree that the so-called Islamic State is not truly Islamic.150 prominent Islamic figures from a broad range of British-Muslim communities were interviewed as part of the annual study. The aim of the study is to find out how Muslims in the UK view the important topics surrounding their religion. Interviewees were shown a variety of statements based on current issues, from Palestine to interpretations of the Quran. They could then choose to strongly agree, agree, disagree, or strongly disagree with the statement in question.Overall, the study showed a great deal of unity between communities, and that British Muslims almost universally agree on most issues. Throughout the 95 statements, on average 86 percent voted to strongly agree with statements.90 percent of those questioned strongly agreed that the killing of civilians is always unlawful, as “Islam teaches compassion and justice for all people regardless of religion, social status, race or any other context”. 95 percent strongly agreed that the so-called Islamic State is not a “legitimate Islamic State”.These results are in stark contrast to The Sun’s recent depiction of Muslims. In November of last year the paper was forced to apologize after misinterpreting the results of a study suggesting that 1 in 5 British Muslims sympathize with extremists.Many criticized The Sun for aiming to mislead, but others called for a proper study on Islamic values in the UK in light of the headline. Many hope that this new study will begin to redress that balance.Roshan Muhammed Salim, an editor at 5pillars, used his speech during the release of the study to call on those in power to acknowledge the findings, saying the study was an “easy reference point for media and politicians, [they] need to start engaging with mainstream views on Islam.”“We believe the Muslim community is badly treated by the media and politicians,” who use “catch-all terms to describe Muslims,” he added. read more

Trumps EPA shifts more environmental enforcement to states

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BOKOSHE, Okla. — Susan Holmes’ home, corner store and roadside beef jerky stand are right off Oklahoma Highway 31, putting them in the path of trucks hauling ash and waste from a power plant that burns the high-sulfur coal mined near this small town.For years, when Bokoshe residents were outside, the powdery ash blowing from the trucks and the ash dump on the edge of town would “kind of engulf you,” Holmes said. “They drove by, and you just couldn’t breathe.”Over three decades, the ash dump grew into a hill five stories high. Townspeople regard the Environmental Protection Agency as the only source of serious environmental enforcement. Whenever people took their worries about ash-contaminated air and water to state lawmakers and regulators, “none of them cared,” Holmes said.So the residents of this 500-person town have nothing but bitter warnings for similarly situated communities now that President Donald Trump’s EPA has approved Oklahoma to be the first state to take over permitting and enforcement on coal-ash sites.“They’re going to do absolutely nothing,” predicted Tim Tanksley, a rancher in Bokoshe, about 130 miles southeast of Tulsa in a Choctaw Nation coal patch that helped fuel the railroads.Around the country, the EPA under Trump is delegating a widening range of public health and environmental enforcement to states, saying local officials know best how to deal with local problems. Critics contend federal regulators are making a dangerous retreat on enforcement that puts people and the environment at greater risk.One administration initiative would give states more authority over emissions from coal-fired power plants. Another would remove federal protections for millions of miles of waterways and wetlands.Some states and counties say the EPA is also failing to act against threats from industrial polluters, including growing water contamination from a widely used class of nonstick industrial compounds. Michigan, New Jersey and some other states say they are tackling EPA-size challenges — like setting limits for the contaminants in drinking water — while appealing to the real EPA to act.In Houston’s oil and gas hub, local officials and residents say a lax EPA response to toxic spills during Hurricane Harvey left the public in the dark about health threats and handicapped efforts to hold companies responsible for cleaning up.Nationwide, EPA inspections, evaluations and enforcement actions have fallen sharply over the past two years, some to the lowest points in decades, or in history.The agency says environmental enforcers remain on the job despite the plunging enforcement numbers.“There has been no retreat from working with states, communities and regulated entities to ensure compliance with our environmental laws,” said George Hull, the agency’s enforcement spokesman.“Through our deregulatory actions, the Trump administration has proven that burdensome federal regulations are not necessary to drive environmental progress,” EPA Director Andrew Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist, told lawmakers earlier this year.Past EPA officials accuse the Trump administration of pulling back on enforcement of polluters and turning back the clock to a dirtier, more dangerous time.“The reason that the ultimate authority to enforce the law was put into federal hands was because the states weren’t any good at it,” William Ruckelshaus said.Now 86, Ruckelshaus served as the first administrator of the EPA in 1970, when President Richard Nixon created the agency amid a wave of public anger over contaminated air and water. The previous year, fire raged for hours on the pollutant-slicked surface of Ohio’s Cuyahoga River, sending black smoke billowing over downtown Cleveland.Then and now, some states lack the resources and legal authority to police big polluters. And crucially, Ruckelshaus said, some states just don’t want to. They see routine environmental enforcement as a threat to business and jobs.“The idea that you’re going to delegate it to the states … is completely fraudulent,” Ruckelshaus said in an interview.Congressional Democrats allege Trump is selective in his passion for state sovereignty and has blocked states that want tighter environmental enforcement. They point to the president’s call to revoke California’s authority under the Clean Air Act to set tougher mileage standards than those Trump wants, among other examples.Oklahoma acquired permitting and oversight authority over a half-dozen coal-ash dumps and ponds last year under then-EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, a former Oklahoma attorney general. Pruitt left the agency amid ethics probes last year and now lobbies for coal.Georgia has also applied to manage its coal-ash dumps and ponds. The EPA says it is talking with other interested states but declined to identify them.Risks from coal-ash sites jumped to national attention in 2008, when a dike broke at a Tennessee coal ash pond, releasing 1 billion gallons of toxic sludge.Coal ash — the gunk left after pollution equipment captures the worst of the toxic soot that once poured out of power plant smokestacks — contains heavy metals and carcinogens, including lead, mercury, arsenic and radium. The tiny particles can seep into the lungs and blood system.U.S. coal plants generate about 100 million tons of ash annually. An Associated Press analysis of data released by utilities last year showed widespread evidence of groundwater contamination around coal plants nationwide.In Oklahoma, groundwater testing at some of the ash sites shows contaminants at levels above what the government deems safe, according to Earthjustice and other environmental groups that are suing to reverse EPA’s transfer of permitting and oversight.Patrick Riley, the state Department of Environmental Quality official in charge of Oklahoma’s coal-ash program, said the half-dozen sites will be brought up to federal standards. That includes moving some, Riley said.The boom-and-bust cycles of the oil and gas fields govern Oklahoma’s economy. But state officials also try to support the state’s flagging coal industry, including giving what a state task force said are the highest subsidies in the U.S. to the few companies that mine and burn Oklahoma’s high-sulfur coal. The coal-fired power plant that produces the ash dumped at Bokoshe has been one of the main beneficiaries.The Bokoshe coal-ash dump was opened at an unlined former coal mine pit by a local outfit that was initially called Making Money Having Fun LLC, until complaints from townspeople made the ash dump notorious.Laws designed to encourage rehabilitation of old coal pits meant the Bokoshe site was classified as a reclamation project and not an ash dump. That’s even though the coal ash long ago filled the pit and now stands more than 50 feet high over several acres.Fearing what the ash was doing to their air and water, the ranchers, teachers and shopkeepers of Bokoshe appealed for years for government action.During Barack Obama’s first term as president, residents went to the state capital in Oklahoma City and to Washington, D.C. Holmes herself thrust a record of the town’s complaints into the hands of the EPA’s then-administrator. Television correspondent Diane Sawyer put the tiny eastern Oklahoma town on the network news. TV crews took photos of all the asthma inhalers stashed in the lockers of Bokoshe schoolkids.Almost a decade later, the only time excitement enters Tanksley’s voice is when the cattle rancher recalls the day the EPA acted. Tanksley stood next to an EPA staffer that day as the man gathered beakers of runoff from the site for testing.In 2010, the EPA cited the dump for toxic discharges in violation of the federal Clean Water Act. That led the state to stop the dump from accepting hazardous wastewater from oilfield operations. The dumping of ash continued, but state regulators required the operators to do more to contain the billowing ash.Townspeople say they have little hope left for more state or federal help for Bokoshe. They have none to offer communities in similar fights.“I did a lot,” Holmes said. “But it never did much good.”Ellen Knickmeyer, The Associated Press read more

China says US trade probe would violate international rules

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In this Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2017 photo, a worker watches as shipping containers are loaded onto a ship at a port in Qingdao in eastern China’s Shandong province. China’s government says it will respond to a possible trade probe ordered by President Donald Trump with “all appropriate measures” to protect Chinese interests. (Chinatopix via AP) by Joe McDonald, The Associated Press Posted Aug 14, 2017 8:57 pm MDT Last Updated Aug 15, 2017 at 6:41 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email China says US trade probe would violate international rules BEIJING, China – China criticized President Donald Trump’s order for a possible U.S. trade investigation of Beijing’s technology policies as a violation of global rules and said Tuesday it will “resolutely safeguard” Chinese interests.Trade groups for technology companies welcomed Trump’s order Monday but the Chinese Commerce Ministry said it violated the spirit of international trade and Washington’s World Trade Organization commitments. The ministry said Beijing will take “all appropriate measures” if Chinese companies are hurt but gave no details.Trump told U.S. trade officials to look into whether to launch a formal investigation into whether Beijing improperly requires foreign companies to hand over technology in exchange for market access.“If the U.S. side disregards the fact it does not respect multilateral trade rules and takes action to damage the economic and trade relations between the two sides, then the Chinese side will never sit back and will take all appropriate measures to resolutely safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of the Chinese side,” said a Commerce Ministry statement.Beijing requires automakers and other foreign companies in China to work through joint ventures, usually with state-owned partners. They often are required to give technology to partners that might become competitors.More than 20 per cent of 100 American companies that responded to a survey by the U.S.-China Business Council, an industry group, said they were asked to transfer technology within the past three years as a condition of market access, according to Jake Parker, the group’s vice-president for China operations.“We don’t believe market access should be contingent on transferring technology,” said Parker. “It goes counter to China’s WTO commitments.”Foreign business groups complain companies are being squeezed out of promising Chinese markets or pressured to hand over technology for electric cars and other emerging industries.Trump said in April he was setting aside trade disputes while Washington and Beijing worked together to persuade North Korea to give up nuclear weapons development. But American officials have resumed criticizing Chinese policy in recent weeks.“The White House is right to make clear all options are on the table,” said Robert D. Atkinson, president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, an industry group in Washington, in a statement.The Commerce Ministry complained Trump’s order was “strong unilateralism” that violated the spirit of multinational trade agreements.“We believe the U.S. side should strictly adhere to commitments and should not become the destroyer of multilateral rules,” said the statement.Ahead of Monday’s order, the Chinese foreign ministry appealed to Trump to avoid a “trade war.” A state newspaper, the China Daily, said an investigation could “intensify tensions,” especially over intellectual property.Parker noted then-President Barack Obama ordered a similar investigation of Chinese policy on green technology in 2010. That ended in a negotiated settlement.“It didn’t lead to any unilateral sanctions against the Chinese,” said Parker. “Nor did it undermine the overall U.S.-China trade relationship.”___Chinese Ministry of Commerce (in Chinese): www.mofcom.gov.cn read more

Human cost of Ukraine conflict is growing Security Council told

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DiCarlo’s briefing to the Council was delivered just days before Ukrainians vote in parliamentary elections on July 21. The Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs expressed her hope that the poll will be “peaceful and democratic”, and inclusive, reflecting the “broadest participation of women”.However, the current political transition takes place against the backdrop of ongoing conflict in the eastern Donbas region of the country, said Ms. DiCarlo, posing serious daily challenges for those who live in the area.Despite some progress by the Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine – which consists of representatives from Ukraine, Russia and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) – in improving the security and humanitarian situation, attempts to reach agreement on a ceasefire have persistently failed, said the peacebuilding chief.Civilians face indiscriminate shelling on a daily basis, and the threat of landmines. As of June 30, said Ms. DiCarlo, the UN human rights office (OHCHR) had recorded 91 conflict-related civilian casualties, including 13 deaths. Ukraine should ‘ensure protection of rights of minoritiesThe Security Council briefing coincided with new legislation coming into force in Ukraine, which regulates Ukrainian as the sole State language, which means that it must be used in the public sector, including many Government functions and services.The law, said Ms. DiCarlo, raises concerns, and she welcomed a statement from the President of Ukraine, announcing a thorough analysis of the legislation.The Under-Secretary-General noted that OHCHR has recommended that the Ukrainian Government should enact further legislation that protects the rights of national minorities in the country.Describing the regional and global environment as “increasingly fragile”, the Under-Secretary-General declared that the opportunity for a resolution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine is also “a chance to achieve greater peace and security in Europe”. read more

Households spend more on housing than food for first time ever

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first_imgHOUSEHOLDS ARE SPENDING more of their budgets on housing than on food, for the first time ever, according to figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).The Household Budget Survey (HBS) showed families are spending 6.2 per cent more on housing than in 2005. However the figures also revealed that households are spending just 16 per cent of their weekly budget on food, a decline of 1.9 per cent on five years earlier.This survey was the first HBS where the reported proportion of total household expenditure for housing exceeded spending on food.Average weekly expenditure in 2009-2010 for all households was €810.61, just 3 per cent higher than the figure recorded five years earlier.The report also showed spending on transport fell by just over 5 per cent from €122.74 per week in 2004-2005 to €116.31 five years later which the CSO said was due to a decrease in expenditure on car purchases.Alcoholic drink and tobacco expenditure decreased by 16.3 per cent with some 41 per cent of total expenditure on alcohol related to drinks consumed at home.Read: Household Budget Survey 2009-2010>Central Bank of Ireland issues warning on investment firm>last_img read more

Concern over female teens getting genital cosmetic surgery

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first_imgnon-medically indicated cosmetic surgical procedures which change the structure and appearance of the healthy external genitalia of women, or internally in the case of vaginal tightening.This includes the most common procedure, labiaplasty, as well as others including hymenoplasty (vaginal reconstruction) and vaginoplasty (vaginal rejuvenation).The RCOG’s paper explores the ethical aspects of FGCS, and looks at the reasons why women ask for these procedures.Labiaplasty is a procedure undergone for problems relating to the size of the labia minora and concerns with, for example, hygiene, difficulties during sexual intercourse, and discomfort when wearing tight clothes.But the main reason for requesting labiaplasty for some women can be concern about genital appearance, and in extreme cases this is an aspect of body dysmorphic disorder.Labiaplasty, like any surgical procedure, carries short-term risks of bleeding and infection. But the experts say that there are no data on the potential physical and psychological risks in the medium and long-term.They are calling for more data to inform women about the potential of long-term damage to sensitivity and sexual function.Influence of mass media and pornographyDame Suzi Leather, Chair of the RCOG’s Ethics Committee, said that they are concerned about the increase in labial reduction procedures, “fuelled in part by the mass media and inaccurate advertising”.She said that some women’s decisions are influenced by images from popular culture and the pornography industry. “We need to inform women that everyone is unique and that variation in appearance is normal in the vast majority of cases,” she said.Paul Wood, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, and chair of BritSPAG said that there is “no scientific evidence” to support the practice of labiaplasty, and that for adolescents the risk of harm is even more serious.He said that it is important that clinicians inform girls about labial anatomy, its development, and variation.“In addition girls should be aware of distortions in popular culture, the unknown risks and efficacy of procedures and ways to manage labial discomfort,” he said.When significant distress is detected, these girls should receive a psychological assessment.The paper includes a number recommendations, such as:Women should be provided with accurate information about the normal variations in female genitalia and offered counselling and other psychological treatments for problems such as body image distress Women must be informed about the risks of the procedure, the lack of reliable evidence concerning its positive effects As full genital development is not normally achieved before 18, FGCS should not normally be carried out on girls under 18 yearsThe BritSPAG position statement focuses on adolescents undergoing labiaplasty, as a result of growing concerns over this type of surgery being performed on girls aged under 18.It looks at reasons behind surgery, including “accessibility to unrealistic and narrow representations of vulval appearance in popular culture and intensive marketing of labiaplasty as an unproblematic lifestyle choice”.The paper’s recommendations for best practice include:Information about normal variations should be offeredSurgical reduction before the completion of pubertal development may lead to long term problems and this should be communicated to the girl and her guardian where appropriateIn case of significant psychological distress, the girl and family should be offered a referral to a paediatric clinical psychologistRead: New regulation for cosmetic surgery clinics on the way>center_img YOUNG TEENAGE GIRLS are having genital cosmetic surgery due to the influence of pornography and advertising, UK experts have said.According to Hospital Episode Statistics (HES), the number of labial reduction procedures has risen five-fold in the UK’s NHS over the past 10 years, with over 2000 operations performed in 2010.Today, two new papers published by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) and the British Society for Paediatric and Adolescent Gynaecology (BritSPAG) state that little research exists about the clinical effectiveness and risks in female genital cosmetic surgery (FGCS) and that it should not normally be carried out on girls under 18 years.The RCOG paper, produced by the College’s Ethics Committee, focuses on women of all ages undergoing FGCS.What is FGCS?FGCS is:last_img read more

Three teenage girls rescued from heavy fog on Sandymount beach

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first_imgTHREE TEENAGE GIRLS were rescued from Sandymount Beach this evening after getting into difficulty because of heavy fog.The young girls were walking on the strand at about 6pm but became disorientated when a heavy fog rolled in. They were cut off by the incoming tide and surrounded by water. There was very little visibility and temperatures were dropping, according to the RNLI.The girls called for help on a mobile phone after realising they were lost and surrounded by water on all sides.The Dun Laoghaire inshore lifeboat was launched at 6.22pm with the all-weather lifeboat launching a few minutes later. Both the Gardaí and the Dun Laoghaire Coast Guard Unit joined in the search from the shore.In a statement, the RNLI said its lifeboat crew was operating with only one hundred metres of visibility in front of them.Within about ten minutes of the boats launching, the girls heard the noise from the shore-based teams that were searching for them and were able to answer.Dun Laoghaire RNLI’s inshore lifeboat was alerted to their position by the Coast Guard from the shore and lifeboat crews transferred the three girls onto the inshore lifeboat.They were all extremely cold and were met at the lifeboat station by paramedics, to be assessed.Coxswain Mark McGibney said the teens were lucky and commended they for staying calm and making the call.“The teenagers were out for a walk when they were caught out by a rolling fog and a fast incoming tide.  They lost their bearings and were quickly surrounded by rising water.  Thankfully they stayed calm and called for help,” he said.“If they had walked in the wrong direction they could have quickly become out of their depth, instead they made the right decision and called for help. In this case thankfully it ended well.”The fog is back, folks… But temperatures are set to soar again tomorrowlast_img read more

Bale picks up another muscular injury with Real Madrid

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first_imgIn a new bad development for Gareth Bale’s physical condition, the Welsh forward picked up a brand new muscular injury during the Madrid Derby.There are three certainties in life, one is death, the other one is that you can’t avoid paying taxes, and the last one if that Gareth Bale will get a muscular injury for Real Madrid at least two or three times during the season. It had been too long since the Welshman had picked up a new injury given the awful track record that he has, this was one of the main reasons why Zinedine Zidane never really trusted him in big matches because we never knew when he would suffer a new muscular problem, only that he was going to get on for sure.It’s a real shame that Bale has this horrible stigma that he has to deal with throughout his whole career, but players with his speed characteristics usually can’t avoid this fate and need a specific method of preparation to get the least injuries they can during a whole year. Other great players in recent memory have suffered this as well, Real Madrid even had Arjen Robben in the past and they ultimately decided to sell him because it was just too much to handle.But Bale’s situation is a lot different compared to the Dutchman because he has always been fit for big occasions, Gareth Bale has delivered great performances in Champions League finals and during the final stages of the season in spite of his predisposition to get injured so often.🙌🔥⚽ #RMDERBI pic.twitter.com/2RlPnb6gyw— Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) September 29, 2018But the Welshman must know that by this point in his career, the Real Madrid board must be quite tired of always getting bad news from him and he can’t really afford to get injured that often now because Ronaldo is no longer in the club. The man who is supposed to be the top player in the squad is now him, so this new injury he just picked up during the Madrid Derby against Atletico must have hit him hard.This new setback is just another bad score on his long history with muscular problems, this time it was an adductor problem what kept Gareth Bale from coming back to the pitch after halftime and Spaniard Dani Ceballos took his place on the field right after. There is still no confirmation about how grave the problem is, all we know by now is that his participation in next week’s Champions League against CSKA Moscow and La Liga match against Deportivo Alaves are a certain miss for him.After those two matches, all football in Europe will go on hiatus due to the last international break of 2018 and this should be a great time for the player to recover in order to help his squad compete for all the trophies during the last three months of the year.🔁 | 0-0 | We made our first change at the break with @DaniCeballos46 coming on for @GarethBale11. #RMDerbi pic.twitter.com/9ebT2R1qPWDavid Villa, SpainQuiz: How much do you know about David Villa? Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 Time to test your knowledge about Spanish legendary forward David Villa.— Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) September 29, 2018But Bale’s problems go beyond just a new injury, as during the match there was a loud jeer from the fans who kept yelling Ronaldo’s name and sent the Welshman a clear message that he is far from being considered the club’s most important player right now. It’s unclear if Gareth will be able to withstand so much pressure that keeps mounting on him, it must suck for him to imagine how many goals he would have scored by now if he hadn’t fallen injured that many times in the past with Los Blancos.Also, Florentino Perez needed a day like this Saturday to realize that he urgently needs to sign a major star player who doesn’t get injured that often and can be as reliable as Cristiano Ronaldo was during the nine seasons he played for the club. While Gareth Bale was suffering a new injury for Real Madrid, Cris was far away in Italy destroying defenders in Serie A and reminding everyone how much Los Blancos are missing him right about now.Even if they won’t admit it, losing Cristiano Ronaldo is the biggest blow that a club like Real Madrid could’ve gotten for the start of this new season, especially knowing that players like Bale simply can’t live up to the challenge. Poor Gareth, how long can he take this pressure?Full focus on el derbi madrileño at the Bernabeu. Let’s bring it on! 👟💪#X18 #HalaMadrid #HereToCreate pic.twitter.com/OBtraOJFu9— Gareth Bale (@GarethBale11) September 28, 2018How many more muscular injuries do you think Gareth Bale will pick up during the season for Real Madrid? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.last_img read more

Woman falls 80feet off cliff above Blacks Beach

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