Local Area Office: 902-543-7376 Fax: 902-543-5596 LUNENBURG COUNTY: Highway 103 Highway 103 will have alternating lane closures for cold planing, repaving and shouldering from Tuesday, April 29 to Friday, June 27. Alternate route is available at Trunk 3 from Exit 6 to Exit 7 from Hubbards to East River. -30-
The province will offer a one-time new home construction rebate equivalent to 50 per cent of the provincial portion of the HST, Premier Darrell Dexter announced today, July 7. “Government is fulfilling a commitment to reduce the HST on new home construction to stimulate the economy while creating and maintaining jobs for skilled tradespeople,” said Premier Dexter. “Construction is a major driver of the provincial economy and this innovative program gives us an opportunity to create the jobs needed during this tough economic time.” Homeowners who have a municipal construction permit dated May 1 or later will be eligible for the rebate. The four per cent rebate will be limited to a maximum of $7,000. Fifteen hundred rebates will be available for construction or purchases completed by March 31. From January to April, Nova Scotia experienced a more than 30 per cent decrease in new home construction, excluding apartments, over the same period in 2008. “Premier Dexter understands that our industry and our skilled tradespeople are vital to economic growth in Nova Scotia,” said Paul Pettipas, chief executive officer, Nova Scotia Homebuilders Association. “This is a smart plan that will help builders and keep skilled tradespeople working in our province.” Program details are being developed in consultation with industry and will be available later this summer. Details will be shared with the public when they are finalized.
Comic Relief co-founder Lenny Henry has received a knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.The comedian and Comic Relief Trustee has dedicated it to the many people who have donated money to the charity over the last 30 years.“This is not just for me, this is for everyone who has done something for Comic Relief,” he said. “Every person who has helped us raise £1 billion and for everyone who works at Comic Relief, this is for you too,” he added.Lenny, aged 56, has been involved in every Red Nose Day night of TV since 1988 and was honoured with a CBE by the Queen in 1999.Speaking of his honour he said: “It is a wonderful thing. My family are absolutely chuffed and my friends have not stopped congratulating me.“I’d like to thank everyone for being so generous and so kind. It is an extraordinary thing and I am absolutely thrilled.” Lenny has played a key role at Comic Relief, most recently hosting Red Nose Day 2015 on BBC One in March and visiting various projects in the UK and Africa. He has been praised by Comic Relief’s Kevin Cahill.“You can’t think of Comic Relief without thinking of Lenny Henry. He has made extraordinary commitments to Red Nose Day since it began,” Kevin said.“He is one of the best known and loved personalities in public life and the knighthood could not have been awarded to a nicer human being,” he added.“Everyone at Comic Relief is incredibly proud that Lenny’s work as an entertainer and passionate worker for charity has being recognised and we congratulate him on his knighthood.”He said that Lenny has been tireless in his efforts to raise awareness and encourage the public to raise money to tackle the issue of extreme poverty.The Queen’s birthday honours recognise the achievements of extraordinary people and this years’ recipients also include singer Van Morrison and Welsh rugby legend Gareth Edwards.
Facebook Advertisement Advertisement The festival experienced significant growth in its first decade, touring extensively in the U.S. and Canada.In 1973, the Queen was on hand to open the Festival Theatre, which allowed the Shaw Festival to mount large-scale productions. The 2017 production of Shaw’s play “Saint Joan” will be dedicated to Rand’s memory.“The Shaw was established during the formative days of the non-profit theatre movement, but it did not come easily. There were early detractors and many obstacles,” executive director Tim Jennings said in a statement.“Mr. Rand and Mr. Doherty are especially honoured in our history for their tenacity and exceptional dedication. What they created over 55 years ago has grown into one of the largest theatres in the world and a symbol of bi-national excellence.” Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With: Tim Carroll, the Shaw Festival’s new artistic director, said Rand was “what all artists pray for — a truly dedicated friend, supporter and advisor: one who was in it for the long haul.”“We really can’t thank him enough. Our thoughts are very much with his family and friends at this time.” Calvin Rand, the co-founder and founding board chairman of Ontario’s Shaw Festival, has died at the age of 87.Rand, of Buffalo, N.Y., teamed with co-founder Brian Doherty in 1962 to create a summer festival devoted to showcasing the works of playwright George Bernard Shaw.The inaugural season featured four performances each of “Don Juan in Hell” and “Candida,” which were staged in the Assembly Room of the historic Court House in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont. Twitter
Jocelyn Iahtail says Senate must approve Bill C-262 before the end of June. Justin Brake/APTN.Justin BrakeAPTN NewsWhen Jocelyn Iahtail tried to deliver a copy of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to the Supreme Court of Canada Thursday, she couldn’t get through the front door.So she stood outside and delivered her message for Canada’s highest court to the lone RCMP officer blocking her entry to the building.“I’m here to gift you with the UNDRIP (United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples) on behalf of all of us, because you and I are here as treaty people,” she told the officer.Iahtail, a Cree woman from Attawapiskat who now lives in Ottawa, joined about two dozen others on Thursday for a bus tour around the capital city to deliver copies of the U.N. Declaration to federal government buildings and to call on the Senate of Canada to pass Bill C-262 before Parliament’s summer break.She said residential and day schools, the Sixties Scoop, millennium scoop, missing and murdered Indigenous women, men, girls and boys, and the ongoing child welfare crisis are all part of a more than 500-year-old “holistic genocide” by settlers against Indigenous peoples.And she believes Cree MP Romeo Saganash’s private members’ bill, C-262, An Act to ensure that the laws of Canada are in harmony with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, is an important part of ending the colonial violence and achieving justice for Indigenous people in Canada.Jocelyn Iahtail of Attawapiskat delivers a copy of #UNDRIP to the Supreme Court of Canada. She’s part of a group that visited federal buildings in Ottawa Thursday calling for @SenateCA‘s swift passage of @RomeoSaganash‘s #BillC262. @APTNNews pic.twitter.com/mckhXgt4Ml— Justin Brake (@JustinBrakeNews) March 21, 2019Saganash, the NDP’s critic for reconciliation, introduced C-262 in the House of Commons in April 2016.Three years later, the bill has passed three readings in the legislature and is now in the midst of its second reading in the senate.The bill has to go to senate committee before its third reading and before it can receive royal assent.Supporters of the legislation are nervous it may not pass before the end of June, when senate will break for the summer and parliament will be suspended for the fall federal election.At that point, any legislation that has been introduced but not passed would be scrapped and only given new life if it were reintroduced again in Parliament.On Thursday, for their final stop, Iahtail and her group visited the Senate building down the street from Parliament Hill.While delivering their message they met Quebec Senator Julie Miville-Dechêne, who told them she will be voting for C-262 once it has passed the committee stage.The former Radio-Canada journalist said the “reconciliation process is much, much larger than this bill, but [C-262 is] a step.“As senators we are there to renew the laws, to change them when we feel we have to,” she said, explaining senators know they have a deadline by which to ensure the UNDRIP bill is passed.Iahtail said Saganash’s bill will help end racial discrimination against Indigenous peoples in Canada.“That’s racial discrimination, when you don’t recognize our original lands, our original language, our original laws that are inherent in our language. Our original spirituality, our original governance, our original ways of knowing, thinking, living and being.”UNDRIP, among other things, says Indigenous peoples “have the right to self-determination,” and that “by virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.”The Declaration, adopted by the United Nations’ General Assembly in 2007, is regarded as an expression of the minimum human rights standards by which states must respect Indigenous peoples.Canada was one of only four countries to initially withhold its support for the declaration.Then, in 2010, the Stephen Harper-led Conservative government endorsed UNDRIP, but after calling it an “aspirational document” in their throne speech earlier that year.Quebec Senator Julie Miville-Dechêne told demonstrators Thursday outside the Senate Building she will vote in support of Bill C-262. Facebook photo.In December 2015 the Truth and Reconciliation Commission called on federal, provincial, territorial and municipal governments “to fully adopt and implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as the framework for reconciliation,” in its calls to action.In May 2016, Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett announced at the U.N. in New York Canada’s “unqualified support” for UNDRIP.Almost three years later, C-262 is on the cusp of changing how Indigenous rights are recognized and implemented in Canada, many say.Last week the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) published an open letter to all senators, saying the legislation “must not be stalled in the Senate.“With a looming federal election, there is a substantial and unacceptable risk that the bill may miss the legislative window,” the UBCIC executive wrote.“Canada has delayed the implementation and recognition of the international human rights standards of Indigenous peoples for far too long.“The UBCIC is calling on the Senate of Canada to immediately pass Bill C-262 and to begin the initial work of implementing the UN Declaration, the most comprehensive, universal international human rights instrument explicitly addressing the economic, social, cultural, political, spiritual and environmental rights of Indigenous Peoples.”email@example.com@justinbrakenews
Fez- A Brussels court sentenced Moroccan national Rachid El Bukhari to 27 years in prison on Friday for setting fire in a Shia mosque in Brussels, killing the imam.Rachid El Bukhari, 35, was convicted of arson and homicide, but he was acquitted of terrorism charges.‘’The accused is not a religious fanatic, and his act was not based on a particular ideology. The killings in Homs in Syria pushed him to commit the crime,” judges said.On March12, 2012, Bukhari entered a Shia mosque in Anderlecht armed with an axe and knives. He insulted the Shia, claiming they were responsible for the crackdown in Syria, and then poured gasoline and set fire to the building. The mosque’s imam, Abdellah Dahdouh, 47, a father of four children, was asphyxiated when he tried and failed to extinguish the fire and escape.Arrested at the scene, the accused was charged with a “terrorist act offence” and ‘’arson causing death’’.“Sunnis are abused, as they want to change the regime,” he explained during his trial, speaking about the conflict in Syria.“I did not think there would be loss of life. I just wanted to make Shias aware of the situation in Syria,” he further indicated.The mosque is considered the main place of worship for the Shia in Brussels.Edited by Timothy Filla
Prasad Kariyawasam assumed duties at the Foreign Ministry as the new Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.Kariyawasam joined the Sri Lanka Foreign Service in 1981. Prior to his appointment as Secretary, he served as the Ambassador for Sri Lanka to the United States of America from July 2014 to August 2017. He has held diplomatic assignments in Geneva, Riyadh, Washington, New York and New Delhi, and has served as Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations in New York and Geneva and High Commissioner to India. He has been previously concurrently accredited as Ambassador / High Commissioner to Chile, Colombia, Trinidad and Tobago, the Bahamas, Jamaica, the Holy See, Bhutan and Afghanistan. (Colombo Gazette)
NEW YORK — Best Buy Co. says it plans to expand its remote health monitoring services for seniors, including sensors that can be worn on their arms, to 5 million from 1 million in five years.The company’s deeper push into the $3.5 trillion U.S. health care market is essential to the company’s goal of reaching $50 billion in annual revenue by 2025.The Minneapolis-based chain says health care technology is a $50 billion market. It says that two out of three seniors live with two or more chronic conditions and many want to stay at home.Last year, Best Buy spent $800 million on its acquisition on GreatCall Inc., which sells mobile phones and emergency response systems for the elderly.It revealed its five-year growth plan at its investor meeting Wednesday.Anne D’Innocenzio, The Associated Press
US gov’t accuses Bank of America of civil fraud in sale of $850M of mortgage bonds in 2008 WASHINGTON – The U.S. government has accused Bank of America Corp. of civil fraud, saying the company failed to disclose risks and misled investors in its sale of $850 million of mortgage bonds during 2008.The Justice Department filed a civil suit Tuesday against the bank and several subsidiaries in federal court in Charlotte, N.C. The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a related suit against Bank of America there, too.Bank of America disputed the allegations.The suits accused the second-largest U.S. bank of misleading investors about the risks of the mortgages tied to the securities.And authorities said the bank of failed to tell investors that more than 70 per cent of the mortgages backing the investment were written by mortgage brokers outside the banks’ network. That made the mortgages more vulnerable to default, they said. The bank disclosed the percentage of such mortgage loans in the investment only to a select group of investors, the suits alleged.Bank of America’s CEO at the time described those mortgages as “toxic waste,” the SEC said.“Bank of America’s reckless and fraudulent … practices in the lead-up to the financial crisis caused significant losses to investors,” Anne Tompkins, the U.S. attorney for the Western District of North Carolina, said in a statement. “Now, Bank of America will have to face the consequences of its actions.”The action was brought by a financial fraud enforcement task force set up to pursue cases related to the 2008 financial crisis.Bank of America said it will refute the government’s allegations in court.“These were prime mortgages sold to sophisticated investors who had ample access to the underlying data and we will demonstrate that,” company spokesman Lawrence Grayson said in a statement. “The loans in this pool performed better than loans with similar characteristics (made and packaged into securities) at the same time by other financial institutions.“We are not responsible for the housing market collapse that caused mortgage loans to default at unprecedented rates and these securities to lose value as a result,” Grayson added. by Marcy Gordon, The Associated Press Posted Aug 6, 2013 4:28 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email
Grief counselling will be available on Tuesday for students dealing with the violent weekend killing of 19-year-old Brock student Yosif al-Hasnawi.The Brock community was left in shock and mourning upon learning that the first-year Medical Sciences student died in a shooting incident in downtown Hamilton, after trying to help someone who was being accosted on the street.Police report that Yosif and his younger brother emerged from a religious celebration just before 9 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 2 at a mosque in central Hamilton. Yosif saw a man, described as a senior citizen, being confronted by two other men. When Yosif told them to stop, police say one of the men shot him.Brock officials have announced that a group counselling session will be held for students on Tuesday (Dec. 5) from noon to 2 pm in Mackenzie Chown J 404.Any students wishing to receive one-on-one counselling should contact Mehroon Kassam, Clinic Manager of the Student Wellness and Accessibility Centre at firstname.lastname@example.orgOfficials have also arranged for Imam Hosam Helal to come to Brock to offer spiritual support to students. He is scheduled to be on campus Wednesday, Dec. 6 from 1 to 6 p.m. and on Thursday, Dec. 7 from noon to 5:30 p.m., at the Faith and Life Centre, located in offices R216 and R217 of DeCew Residence.People wanting more information about this or other spiritual support should contact Andre Basson at email@example.com.Yosif, who had dreams of going to medical school and becoming a doctor, was a top student who had won a scholarship to Brock and was studying in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences and the Faculty of Mathematics & Science. Instructors remembered him as reserved, committed student who was excited about attending Brock.University officials have contacted Yosif’s family to offer support.The following link contains the police report on the incident. https://hamiltonpolice.on.ca/community/news/2017/12/hamilton-police-homicide-unit-investigating-citys-9th-homicide-year
Zion’s place among Naismith Award winnersFor Zion Williamson and Naismith College Player of the Year winners since 1996, team Final Four status and win share statistics 2011Jimmer FredetteBrigham YoungGSr.8.5.256 The 2019 Naismith winner will be announced April 7Sources: Wikipedia, Sports-Reference.com College basketball’s biggest weekend will be missing college basketball’s biggest star. After Michigan State knocked off Duke 68-67 on Sunday to advance to the Final Four, the Blue Devils are out of the NCAA Tournament — and that means we won’t see forward Zion Williamson again until the NBA draft. (Presumably.) CBS had invested a lot in following Williamson’s every move during the tournament, and with good cause. By at least one metric, Williamson had the best season in recent college history. But that’s all in the past now. So how weird is it that Zion won’t be present for the tournament’s finale in Minneapolis? And what can we make of his brief, brilliant stay in the college game, possibly as one of the final megastars of the one-and-done era?Williamson has spent most of the season as the heavy betting favorite to win the men’s Naismith college player of the year award. His money-line odds were as high as -700 (that’s roughly 88 percent without removing the vig) before his midseason injury, and they currently sit around -300 (75 percent). Other players could potentially take the honor when it is announced April 7, but it would be a surprise if Williamson were not the winner.If Zion does pick up the award, he will become only the third freshman (joining Kevin Durant and Anthony Davis) and 12th underclassman to do so in the history of the honor. It’s an elite award to earn, having been won by the likes of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Walton and Michael Jordan, in addition to KD and AD. But it hasn’t exactly been out of the ordinary for the Final Four to move on without the nation’s best player. Through 2018, the Naismith award winner has seen his team make the Final Four just 48 percent of the time — meaning roughly half of college basketball’s very best stars since 19691The first year the award was given out. have watched the Final Four from home. Williamson wouldn’t be the first to fit that description, and he likely wouldn’t be the last.But even among players of the year, Williamson would be unusually good — particularly by the standards of some recent winners:2We went back to 1996 in the table below because that’s the earliest season for which Sports-Reference.com calculates its win shares player-value metric. 2004Jameer NelsonSaint Joseph’sGSr.6.6.243 1998Antawn JamisonNorth CarolinaFJr.✓8.3.271 2007Kevin DurantTexasFFr.8.8.280 2014Doug McDermottCreightonFSr.7.7.261 2019Zion WilliamsonDukeFFr.8.3.335 2001Shane BattierDukeFSr.✓10.1.298 2000Kenyon MartinCincinnatiFSr.9.0.398 2015Frank KaminskyWisconsinFSr.✓9.8.299 2008Tyler HansbroughNorth CarolinaFJr.✓8.7.272 2012Anthony DavisKentuckyCFr.✓9.9.310 2006J. J. RedickDukeGSr.7.8.233 2010Evan TurnerOhio StateGJr.6.8.247 2002Jason WilliamsDukeGJr.6.3.213 YearPlayerCollegePos.ClassFinal four?TotalPer 40 2003T. J. FordTexasGSo.✓4.3.155 2013Trey BurkeMichiganGSo.✓8.6.249 2016Buddy HieldOklahomaGSr.✓7.6.232 1997Tim DuncanWake ForestCSr.10.4.367 2018Jalen BrunsonVillanovaGJr.✓7.7.241 1996Marcus CambyMassachusettsCJr.✓8.1.320 2017Frank Mason IIIKansasGSr.7.5.230 2005Andrew BogutUtahCSo.10.9.358 1999Elton BrandDukeFSo.✓10.0.350 2009Blake GriffinOklahomaFSo.9.7.332 Win Shares From ABC News: On a per-40-minute basis, Williamson would have the most win shares of any Naismith winner since Andrew Bogut in 2005 (Bogut went No. 1 overall in the NBA draft that summer) and the fifth-most since 1996, period. And unlike some of the other names on the list above, Williamson wasn’t a one-man show dragging a bunch of weak teammates along. Duke ranked fourth in our pre-tournament Elo ratings — higher than the team of anyone ranked ahead of Zion in win shares per 40 minutes except Elton Brand (whose own Blue Devils ranked first going into the 1999 tourney).In that regard, maybe the best comparison for Williamson’s freshman season was that of Davis on the 2012 Kentucky Wildcats — a stellar, standout individual year on a highly ranked squad full of other elite NBA prospects. But while Davis got to the Final Four and ultimately won the NCAA championship, Williamson and Duke fell short, relegating him to a separate list of freshman phenoms — one including Durant and Michael Beasley, whose individual efficiency in 2008 was (amazingly) even greater than Zion’s this year — on teams that couldn’t get to the tournament’s third weekend.The end of Duke’s season won’t diminish the personal success Williamson had during his one NCAA season, nor will it affect his presumptive status as the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft. And few fans outside Durham will be crying for Duke, which had its chances to close out Michigan State late on Sunday but was unable to do so (in large part because Williamson took only one shot in the game’s final six-and-a-half minutes). Even so, the Final Four won’t be quite the same without Williamson’s dizzying array of highlight-reel drives, dunks and swats. Instead, the Season of Zion Williamson will come to an end with Zion Williamson nowhere in sight. Check out our latest March Madness predictions.
Humans across the globe may be actually speaking the same language after scientists found that the sounds used to make the words of common objects and ideas are strikingly similar.The discovery challenges the fundamental principles of linguistics, which state that languages grow up independently of each other, with no intrinsic meaning in the noises which form words.But research which looked into several thousand languages showed that for basic concepts, such as body parts, family relationships or aspects of the natural world, there are common sounds – as if concepts that are important to the human experience somehow trigger universal verbalisations. “These sound symbolic patterns show up again and again across the world, independent of the geographical dispersal of humans and independent of language lineage,” said Dr Morten Christiansen, professor of psychology and director of Cornell’s Cognitive Neuroscience Lab in the US where the study was carried out. “There does seem to be something about the human condition that leads to these patterns. We don’t know what it is, but we know it’s there.”The study found, that in most languages, the word for ‘nose’ is likely to include the sounds ‘neh’ or the ‘oo’ sound, as in ‘ooze.’ Dr Lynne Cahill, a lecturer in English Language and Linguistics at the University of Sussex said it was possible that some words were similar across languages because they are the first noises children make. So the ‘ma, ma, ma’ and ‘da, da, da’ sounds made be babies became mama and daddy.But she said it was too early to say there was a universal root for other words.“You could argue that the words chosen here are very old and therefore most likely to have a common ancestor language in the past, from which they all derived,” she said.“I think this is an interesting study which has looked at so many languages but I don’t think it quite justifies their claim that it debunks the idea that language is arbitrary and I think they looked at too few words to make any firm conclusions.”The research was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal. Similarly, the word for ‘leaf’ is likely to include the sounds ‘l,’ ‘p’ or ‘b’ while ‘sand’ will probably use the sound ‘s’. The words for ‘red’ and ‘round’ are likely to include the ‘r’ sound.”It doesn’t mean all words have these sounds, but the relationship is much stronger than we’d expect by chance,” added Dr Christiansen.Other words found to contain similar sounds across thousands of languages include ‘bite’, ‘dog’, ‘fish’, ‘skin’, ‘star’ and ‘water’. The associations were particularly strong for words that described body parts, like ‘knee’, ‘bone’ and ‘breasts.’The team also found certain words are likely to avoid certain sounds. This was especially true for pronouns. For example, words for ‘I’ are unlikely to include sounds involving u, p, b, t, s, r and l. ‘You’ is unlikely to include sounds involving u, o, p, t, d, q, s, r and l. The word for nose is similar across thousands of languages The team, which included of physicists, linguists and computer scientists from the US, Argentina, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland analysed 40-100 basic vocabulary words in around 3,700 languages – approximately 62 per cent of the world’s current languages.The researchers don’t know why humans tend to use the same sounds across languages to describe basic objects and ideas.But Dr Christian said the concepts were important in all languages, and children are likely to learn these words early in life.”Perhaps these signals help nudge kids into acquiring language,” he added: “Maybe it has something to do with the human mind or brain, our ways of interacting, or signals we use when we learn or process language. That’s a key question for future research.”One of the most basic concepts in linguistics is that the relationship between a sound of a word and its meaning is arbitrary. However recent studies have suggested that some words may share common sounds, for example, researchers have shown that words for small spiky objects in a variety of languages are likely to contain high-pitched sounds, while rounder shapes contain ‘ooo’ sounds, which is known as the ‘bouba/kiki’ effect. Spiky objects tend to have ‘kiki’ soundsCredit:Christmasstockimages Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
EVERY SECONDARY SCHOOL in the country will have access to high-speed broadband by the beginning of the next school year, Government ministers promised today.Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte and Education Minister Ruairí Quinn made the pledge to bring 100Mbp/s internet to each school as they announced that a further 270 schools in the south are to receive the high-speed connection.These schools represent the final state of an installation programme that the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources say cost about €11 million.Ongoing costs are to be shared by the two departments with the Department of Communications contributing €10 million each year since 2012 and for the next two years. The Department of Education is to fund the remaining €20 million a year until 2015.The Departments say that the broadband facilities will allow for greater collaboration within individual schools as well as with other schools and universities.“Since the rollout began, we have seen that the educational experience is enriched, engagement is better and that autonomous learning and enquiry is facilitated through the innovative use of technology,” says Minister Rabbittee.Read: All secondary schools to have high-speed broadband by 2014 >Read: Further 212 secondary schools to be connected to high-speed broadband >
“Nobody explained anything to me, it was just done to me one afternoon without warning. My grandmother held me down and my uncle performed the cutting. There were no painkillers or medical support – nothing.” – Ifrah AhmedIFRAH AHMED IS originally from Somali. She has lived in Ireland since 2006 having fled from her homeland to escape war. When she was only eight-years-old, she was subjected to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). FGM involves partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.30 million at risk from cutting in the next decadeIfrah is far from being alone. An estimated 140 million women and girls alive today have suffered FGM. About 2 million girls a year – or 5,500 a day – are put through this excruciating and dangerous procedure. Despite international and local legislation, the practice continues, with 30 million girls feared to be at risk from cutting in the next decade.In many countries where Plan Ireland works, such as Guinea and Mali, over 90 per cent of girls have undergone some form of FGM. In Ireland, it is estimated that over 3,000 living in this country have also undergone FGM and are forced to live with the health consequences.“I still feel pain today, especially when I have my period,” Ifrah explains.The procedure is traditionally carried out by a woman with no medical training and using basic tools such as knives, scissors or even pieces of glass and razor blades.The health risks of FGM are manifold. Many woman bleed to death or die of infections from being cut with dirty utensils. Those who survive the procedure face severe and lasting effects such as painful sexual intercourse, menstrual problems, infertility and HIV/Aids. FGM also increases the risk of childbirth complications and newborn deaths.Ifrah Ahmed. Photo: Jason McDonald Photography/Plan Ireland Plan Ireland works with governments and community leaders in developing countries to eliminate this harmful and dangerous practice. Today, 6 February, marks the International Day of Zero Tolerance to FGM. The day underlines a commitment of member states of the United Nations to ending FGM.Seen as requirement for achieving a “good marriage match”In most countries where the tradition is widely practised, FGM is seen as a requirement for achieving a ‘good marriage match’ because it is associated with purity and virginity. It is believed that it will reduce a women’s enjoyment of sex meaning they are less likely to be promiscuous. It is also mistakenly thought to improve hygiene and cleanliness. Religion can be used as a justification – although the practice is not prescribed by any religionThrough its “Because I am a Girl” campaign, Plan works with community and religious leaders to build awareness about the negative consequences of FGM. We help to publicise personal stories of girls and women who have suffered FGM, through radio shows, leaflets and music concerts.Plan also trains local health workers and traditional practitioners on the importance of girls’ rights and how to provide better medical and psychological support to survivors of FGM.No girl in my village has endured FGM in the last two yearsKadi, 43, who lives in the rural village Mali, is one such woman who Plan has trained.Before she was married, as a young girl, she underwent (FGM).“They destroyed my body through this abominable practice, I have been through hell,” she says. She underwent extremely difficult births of each of her three children. She suffered excessive abdominal bleeding followed by days of paralysis, almost losing her life.With help from Plan, Kadi now wages war on FGM. In her local area, where 98 per cent of all girls undergo mutilation; she has become a champion in the fight against FGM. Kadi and her comrades regularly organise discussion groups, show educational films and arrange couples counselling.Despite the strong conservative nature of the people in her district, Kadi is optimistic, “A victory in the fight against FGM is not too far away. In the last two years, no girl in this area has been subjected to FGM,” she says proudly.Kadi. Photo: Plan Ireland Plan Ireland’s “Because I am a Girl” campaign raises money and awareness for projects such as Kadi’s to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing girls in developing countries www.becauseiamagirl.ieDavid Dalton is Chief Executive of Plan Ireland. Plan Ireland is a child-centered community development organisation. It works in 50 developing countries across Africa, Asia and the Americas directly supporting more than 1.5 million children and their families.Ifrah Ahmed is a social and community worker. She is on the steering committee for Ireland’s National Action Plan to address FGM.Watch a video on how Plan is helping education against the dangers of FGM:Uploaded by: PlanIrelandRead: 38 arrested for carrying out genital mutilation on girls as young as threeRead: Ireland’s EU presidency ‘confused and inadequate’ on female genital mutilationRead: More than 3,000 women in Ireland subjected to genital mutilation, says TD
Women’s Mini Marathon: Pictured (LtoR) “Geraldine”, “Rohna” and “Courtney White” run in the Women’s Mini Marathon in Dublin today for the Gary Kelly Cancer Support, in Drogheda. (Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland)HERE ARE THE things we learned, loved and shared today as we round off the day in three easy steps.THINGS WE LEARNED:#CHILD SAFETY: Online sexual predators are using increasingly aggressive approaches against potential victims, including the use of blackmail and threats, according to a new report by Europol. The report also revealed that grooming behaviour towards boys and girls was different, with predators attempting to establish a sense of mutual respect and trust with male children but attempting to be dominate female children.#FLOODS: Six people have died and thousand have been evacuated in central Europe after heavy rains caused severe flooding, with water levels in Germany on the Danube, Inn and Ilz rivers having already surpassed records from previous heavy floods in 1954 and 2002.#RIP: Gardaí have today confirmed that a third person has now died following a serious collision near Athy, Kildare, on Friday. James O”Brien, 85, died of the injuries he sustained when the car he was driving collided with a motorcycle at Ballycullane; the passenger in his car, his wife Betty, was killed in the crash, as was John Doyle, the 27-year-old motorcyclist.#MARATHON: Tens of thousands of women (and men dressed as women) took to the streets of Dublin and Cork cities today as they took part in the Women’s Mini Marathon and Cork City Marathon. Check out the photos of the day here.#TURKEY: The Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has again dismissed street protests against his rule as actions organised by “extremists”, prompting the hackivist group Anonymous to take down several government websites last night in support of anti-government protesters. Meanwhile, the Turkish doctors’ association TBB confirmed a 20-year-old protester was killed in Istanbul after being hit by a taxi which drove into a group of demonstrators “despite all warnings”.An egret carries a twig to make its nest on a tree along the River Brahmaputra in Gauhati, India, Monday, June 3, 2013. The arrival of egrets usually indicates the beginning of the monsoon season in this region. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath)THINGS WE LOVED:If you like food – either to eat or to photograph – you’ll probably not like the new UK survey that reveals one in thee primary school kids thinks cheese is made from plants. But do you really know any better? Take this quiz to reveal all.That Buzzfeed have given a massive facepalm to controversy and actually published a “definitive ranking of crisps from worst to best”. Yeah, they went there. A ballsy move. Now close your eyes so you don’t see the carnage.THINGS WE SHARED:Are you flat footed? Well you might be better suited to life in the trees than down here with us pavement pounders: scientists have uncovered evidence that indicates some of us have kept our “climbing feet” while other lost them.The idea that great literature civilises its readers is widespread – but is it actually true?The best response ever to someone criticising your style:Uploaded by hartbeat
France : risque d’allergie aux graminées très élevéFrance – Sortez vos mouchoirs ! Le risque d’allergie aux pollens de graminées sera très élevé en France jusqu’au 18 juin. Les prévisions du dernier bulletin du Réseau national de surveillance aérobiologique ne sont pas réjouissantes pour les allergiques. En effet, le risque est “très élevé” sur presque tout le territoire français depuis le 11 et jusqu’au 18 juin, en ce qui concerne les graminées.Seuls les habitants du Nord, de la Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur et de la Corse seront tranquilles. En revanche, les Corses et les habitants de la zone méditerranéenne pourront être victimes des pollens de chêne qui seront très présents dans ces régions.Il est fortement conseillé aux personnes allergiques de prendre leur traitement afin d’éviter rhinites, conjonctivites et autres crises d’asthme. Le 14 juin 2010 à 11:29 • Emmanuel Perrin
Les ressources naturelles annuelles de la Terre bientôt épuiséesComme elle le fait chaque année, l’ONG Global Footprint Network (GFN) a dévoilé la date à laquelle l’humanité aura épuisé les ressources naturelles que la planète est capable de fournir en une année. Dès le 21 août, de la filtration de l’eau douce à la fourniture de matières premières, nous vivrons à crédit.L’Earth overshoot day, ou “jour du dépassement”, aura lieu samedi prochain a annoncé l’ONG. L’humanité aura ainsi mis moins de neuf mois à “épuiser le budget écologique de l’année”, déplore le président de GFN, Mathis Wackernagel. L’Earth Overshoot Day intervient particulièrement tôt cette année : en 2009, la limite avait été atteinte le 25 septembre.À lire aussiLes 15 plus belles photos de la Terre prises depuis l’espace par l’astronaute Thomas PesquetToutefois, cela n’est pas dû à un emballement de la consommation. “C’est juste que cette année, on a révisé toutes nos données et on s’est rendu compte que jusqu’ici, on avait surestimé la productivité des forêts et des pâturages. En clair, on avait exagéré la capacité de la Terre[à se régénérer]” explique M. Wackernagel.Pour établir ses estimations, l’ONG calcule tous les ans ce que la nature est capable de fournir aux Terriens. Elle compare ensuite ces données à la consommation humaine et à ses rejets, ses déchets comme ses émissions polluantes. Au cours des quarante dernière années, notre empreinte carbone a plus que doublé. “A la fin des années 1980, notre empreinte écologique était globalement équivalente à la taille de la Terre. Aujourd’hui, c’est 50% de plus” déplore GFN, soulignant que “le changement climatique, la perte de biodiversité, la déforestation, les pénuries d’eau et de nourriture sont autant de signes que nous ne pouvons plus continuer de consommer à crédit”.Le 19 août 2010 à 10:04 • Emmanuel Perrin
Given the range of health reasons an employee may take time off for, and the variable fitness requirements for different professions, there is no one-size-fits-all role that an employer should take in workplace rehabilitation. But broadly the employer’s role is to take appropriate steps to support the individual back to work and to ensure that the re-entry to work is sustainable. In general, good practice guidelines regarding rehabilitation focus on longer-term absences since, compared with shorter periods, these are more likely to result in difficulties returning to work.Employers have a duty of care towards all of their employees and this does not cease when an employee is absent. The employer should expect to be involved in negotiations that facilitate timely re-entry to work, and should also bear in mind that return to work may not necessitate full recovery of that individual. Keeping in touch during absence is recommended, but this should be done in a way that is acceptable to and sensitive to the circumstances of the absent individual. Where occupational health services are available, employers should be referred or signposted to these as early as possible.A very important feature of long-term absences is that they often result from long-term, chronic health conditions (or conditions at risk of becoming long-term). Many chronic conditions are treated as a disability under the Equality Act, which states that employers should take steps to remove, reduce or prevent the obstacles a disabled worker faces.Effective approaches to support a person who has been affected by a mental health condition will differ significantly from those required by a person with, for example, mobility issues. All employers would be advised to seek expert guidance on this aspect and proceed to make adjustments with the full involvement of the returning employee.Sally Wilson is senior research fellow at the Institute for Employment Studies
More than half (63%) of respondents who are young parents are not aware of their right to take unpaid parental leave, according to research by the Trades Union Congress (TUC).Its Better jobs for mums and dads report, which surveyed 1,050 young parents, also found that 51% of respondents who work in low-paid jobs have never been spoken to by their manager about workplace policies that enable staff to balance work and childcare.The research also found:47% of respondents struggle to manage work and childcare, and 42% feel penalised at work when they ask for flexibility, for example, receiving fewer hours, different shifts or potentially even losing their job.58% of respondents who work in low-paid sectors such as retail, hospitality and social care, do not know what parental rights at work they are entitled to, and 49% have not used one or more of their legal rights to time off.29% of respondents have taken annual leave in the past year in order to care for their child when they are sick, and 24% have asked to take time off with no pay at short notice to deal with a childcare issue within the last 12 months.48% of male respondents feel stigmatised at work because of the need for flexibility to help manage childcare responsibilities, and 57% of respondents who are fathers have never been spoken to by their employer about work-life balance policies that are in place.Frances O’Grady, general secretary at TUC, said: “Too many workplaces expect mums and dads to forget all about their kids as soon as they walk through the door. But it’s a nightmare to plan childcare when your boss changes your shifts at the drop of a hat, and you never work the same weekly hours twice.“Many parents fear losing shifts, taking unpaid leave or being viewed badly at work if they need time off to look after their kids. And it is shocking that some mums and dads are being stopped from taking their children to hospital when they are sick.“All [employees] should be given notice of their shifts at least one month in advance. Everyone at work should get the same parents’ rights from day one; and everyone should be given written information about these rights.”
Road accident illustration by Prothom AloA man and a woman were killed while 10 others injured in separate road crashes in Sadar and Baraigram upazilas of Natore on Wednesday, reports news agency UNB.Mozammel Haque, in-charge of Jhalmalia highway police camp, said a cattle trader was killed and 10 others injured when a cattle-laden human hauler plunged into a roadside ditch as its driver lost control over the steering at Ramaigacchi in the district town around 11:00am.The injured were taken to local hospital, he said.In another incident, Rahela Begum, 45, wife of a certain Sukhchand of Lalpur upazila, was killed when a bus hit her while she was crossing the road in Garmati of Baraigram upazila in the morning.