Congress Working Committee meet in Gujarat to firm up alliances

first_imgThe Congress Working Committee (CWC) is set to meet on February 26 in Ahmedabad and possible alliances across the States will be top on the agenda for the meeting. The meeting comes less than 100 days before the general elections, where the Congress is fighting an all-out battle. The Congress is working towards an alliance in Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, West Bengal and Jharkhand. “It is easier to declare alliances in Delhi and difficult to work it out at the ground level. For example, in West Bengal Raiganj is CPI (M) leader Mohd. Salim’s constituency and he will be contesting from there. It is also the constituency of our prime candidate Deepa Das Munshi,” a senior party leader said.  The alliance with Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and other parties in Maharashtra has been almost sealed barring a few details that need to be ironed out. The Congress president Rahul Gandhi had a meeting with NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Wednesday once again to clear the issues. In Bihar, where Congress is part of the ‘Mahagatbandhan’, the six constituents – RJD, Sharad Yadav’s Jan Loktantrik Party, Upendra Kushwaha’s Rashtriya Lok Samata Party, Jitan Ram Manjhi’s Hindustan Awam Party and the Left parties have not been able to reach an amicable seat arrangement. The Congress has been demanding that they should have equal share of seats with the RJD. The RJD however have overtly and covertly sending out messages that the Congress should be generous towards its regional parties. It will be the first CWC meeting after Priyanka Gandhi was formally inducted in the Congress’s highest decision-making body after she was appointed general secretary in-charge of Eastern Uttar Pradesh.According to sources, Gujarat has been chosen as the venue for the meeting to kickstart Congress’s campaign for Lok Sabha polls. This will be the second meeting of the CWC outside New Delhi. The last meeting was in Wardha, Maharashtra, at Sevagram Ashram to mark the 150 birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.last_img read more

FINAL RESULTS SCHOOL SPORT AUSTRALIA TOUCH

first_imgHere are the final results from the 2005 School Sport Australia Touch Football Championships held in Darwin… 15 Boys: Qld (10) def WA (0) NT (14) def Tas (2) ACT (3) def SA (1) NSW (10) def ACT (2) Vic (12) def SA (6) Play off 7th/8th: SA (9) def Tas (5) Plate final: NT (6) def Victoria (4) Play off 3rd/4th: ACT (6) def WA (3) Grand final: NSW (7) def Qld (5) 15 Girls: NT (12) def WA (1) ACT (6) def SA (1) NSW (9) def NT (0) Tas (3) def Victoria (2) Play off 7th/8th: SA (3) def Vic (2) Plate final: Tas (5) def ACT (3) Play off 3rd/4th: NT (5) def WA (3) Grand final: Qld (3) def NSW (2) 12 Boys: NSW (11) def ACT (0) Qld (12) def ACT (1) NT (2) def SA (1) NT (11) def Tas (0) SA (7) def Tas (0) NSW (2) drew Qld (2) 12 Girls: Qld (9) def NT (0) NSW (9) def NT (1) NSW (16) def Qld (5) ACT (10) def Tas (3) SA (2) def Tas (1)last_img read more

Talking Touch – April

first_imgTo view the stories, please click on the following linksPhysical Trans-Tasman matches to continue in MudgeeTony Trad is under no illusions his Australian men’s team faces a stern test against the kiwis at Mudgee in 10 days. The best two touch football teams in the world will square off at Glen Willow in three matches as part of the Trans-Tasman Test Series.http://www.mudgeeguardian.com.au/news/local/sport/other/physical-transtasman-matches-to-continue-in-mudgee/2521765.aspx Touch TrainingThe Australian touch-football squads held a training camp at Kingsway playing fields in St Marys at the weekendhttp://www.stmarysstar.com.au/news/local/sport/general/touch-training/2508863.aspx Debutant Has A Touch Of Class It will be touch and go for two locals when they represent Australia at Mudgee this weekend. Daniel Barton from Greystanes and Wentworthville resident Nicole McHugh will don the green and gold during the Trans Tasman touch football tournament against New Zealand. http://www.parramattasun.com.au/news/local/sport/general/debutant-has-touch-of-class/2534657.aspx Senior Role For Young Emilee She might still be in her teens but Emilee Cherry will take on a leadership role in the Australian women’s team at this week’s trans-Tasman touch tournament in country New South Wales. The 19-year-old national touch and rugby sevens representative has been named vice-captain of the Australian women’s team for the three-match series against New Zealand in Mudgee, which starts today and also features open men’s and open mixed teams. http://www.thechronicle.com.au/story/2012/04/26/senior-role-for-young-emilee-cherry-touch/ Best In The World In Mudgee Australia and New Zealand were side by side in the battlefields at Gallipoli on April 25, 1915. Fast forward 97 years and the two nations will go head-to-head on a different kind of battlefield – Mudgee’s Glen Willow. http://www.mudgeeguardian.com.au/news/local/sport/other/best-in-the-world-in-mudgee/2533076.aspx This Is Our Backyard Australian men’s touch player Dylan Hennessey says Australia can continue their dominance over New Zealand at this week’s Trans-Tasman series. The two best touch football nations in the world will play against each other over three days at Mudgee’s Glen Willow. http://www.mudgeeguardian.com.au/news/local/sport/other/this-is-our-backyard/2532913.aspx Kiwis Are In Mudgee To Win New Zealand men’s coach Peter McIntyre has fired an Anzac Day warning to the three Australian opens teams for this week’s Trans-Tasman Touch series in Mudgee – “We’re coming to win.” The kiwis arrived in Mudgee yesterday following a weekend training camp fine tuning their skills for the three-match Test series. http://www.mudgeeguardian.com.au/news/local/sport/other/kiwis-are-in-mudgee-to-win/2532909.aspx?storypage=0 Twins Will Have Kiwis Seeing Double Tomorrow night will be family night for the Etheridge household. Twin sisters Nikki and Gemma will play together for the first time in the Australian mixed opens side. http://www.mudgeeguardian.com.au/news/local/sport/other/twins-will-have-kiwis-seeing-double/2532904.aspx An Honour To Lead Team: Graham Representing your country is one thing, captaining them is completely different. New Zealand’s Mita Graham will lead the men’s side into battle for the first time of his touch football career when they play Australia tomorrow night (Thursday) at 8.40pm in Mudgee. http://www.mudgeeguardian.com.au/news/local/sport/other/an-honour-to-lead-team-graham/2533072.aspx Australia Name Teams For Mudgee Clash Expect to see quick, skillful and thrilling touch football when the two best teams in the world renew their rivalry at Mudgee in a fortnight’s time. Australia and New Zealand will go head-to-head in the Trans-Tasman Test Series to be played over three days at Glen Willow from April 26. http://www.mudgeeguardian.com.au/news/local/sport/other/australia-name-teams-for-mudgee-clash/2519921.aspx Lovett loves a challengeHe has been a success at the youth level but Michael Lovett will be stepping into unfamiliar territory at Mudgee next week.http://www.mudgeeguardian.com.au/news/local/sport/other/lovett-loves-a-challenge/2528079.aspx Get into sport, touch players tell studentsSt Matthew’s students were treated to a visit from the men in green and gold last Friday when two touch football players from the Australian Trans- Tasman Test Series team addressed the school assembly.http://www.mudgeeguardian.com.au/news/local/news/general/get-into-sport-touch-players-tell-students/2538257.aspxMudgee impresses Trans-Tasman visitorsAlthough New Zealand’s Touch Blacks returned home with no trophies after the Trans-Tasman Series held in Mudgee on the weekend, players left with favourable impressions of Mudgee – and promises to return.http://www.mudgeeguardian.com.au/news/local/news/general/mudgee-impresses-transtasman-visitors/2538240.aspx The next players in line to help Australian women’s teamTwo 17-year-olds will make their opens debut for Australia as the women’s touch football side goes through a transitional phase ahead of the 2015 World Cup.http://www.mudgeeguardian.com.au/news/local/sport/other/the-next-players-in-line-to-help-australian-womens-team/2524988.aspx Trio keen to run all over New Zealand, againSutherland Shire touch footballers Matt Tope, Steve Roberts and Stuart Brierty have been selected for the Australian touch team to play New Zealand in the Trans Tasman Series.http://www.theleader.com.au/news/local/sport/general/trio-keen-to-run-all-over-new-zealand-again/2535625.aspx Australian team member Kelly Woods from Ipswich ready to take on New Zealand in touch football clashRenewing her decade-long trans-Tasman rivalry against New Zealand in the Mudgee touch football clash this weekend, Kelly Woods said the path to lofty heights of representing Australia began on the grass at North Ipswich.http://www.couriermail.com.au/questnews/ipswich/australian-team-member-kelly-woods-from-ipswich-ready-to-take-on-new-zealand-in-touch-football-clash/story-fn8oe3ey-1226336924151 Young High regional royalty again!Young High School has once again been crowned regional winners at the NSW Touch Association Jerrabomberra Touch Carnival. Two teams from the school attended the day and all players exhibited exceptional skill and sportsmanship. Both teams made it into the finals which was a sensational effort for the school.http://www.youngwitness.com.au/news/local/sport/athletics/young-high-regional-royalty-again/2538860.aspx Touch Me If You Can Ben Moylan has been making more than a tap — he’s been making a big impact at the touch football caper. http://www.blacktownsun.com.au/news/local/sport/general/ben-moylan-touch-me-if-you-can/2531331.aspx Touch Trio In National Squads Three Toowoomba players have earned selection in Australian touch football teams for this month’s trans-Tasman series against New Zealand in New South Wales. World Cup winner Emilee Cherry has kept her place in the women’s open squad while Nikki and Gemma Etheridge have gained places in the mixed open squad. http://www.thechronicle.com.au/story/2012/04/11/toowoomba-touch-emilee-cherry-nikki-gemma-etheridg/ St Kilda Sports Star To Line Up For Australia A star turn by Leah Percy at last month’s National Touch Championships has been rewarded. Percy, a midfielder, was named the player of the series after leading Victoria to a third-place finish, the best Victoria has had. http://port-phillip-leader.whereilive.com.au/sport/story/st-kilda-sports-star-to-line-up-for-australia/ Mudgee, Dunedoo Students In Representative Teams Mudgee and Dunedoo high school students have been chosen in the Western Region’s Combined High Schools touch football teams to contest the NSWCHS later this term.http://www.mudgeeguardian.com.au/news/local/sport/other/mudgee-dunedoo-students-in-representative-team/2537828.aspx Australia Storm Home To Claim  Series In MudgeeAustralia made it a trifecta of wins in the third Test of the 2012 Trans-Tasman Touch Football Series at Mudgee, which resulted in the green and golds claiming all three open divisions.Australia were simply too good for New Zealand on the final day with the mixed winning 10-8, the women’s 7-3 and the men’s 11-3.http://www.mudgeeguardian.com.au/news/local/sport/other/australia-storm-home-to-claim-series-in-mudgee/2537824.aspxGong Reps Expecting Tight Tests With Kiwis Illawarra Mercury, 12/04/2012 Wollongong will have its strong touch football connections on show later this month when four representatives compete against New Zealand. Terry Deegan (men’s), Michael Chapman (mixed) and Jess McCall and Bianca Mounsey (women’s) will be part of Australia’s three-pronged series against the Kiwis in Mudgee. Chapman and Mounsey are among 16 debutants. “I’ve played a couple of times but it’s all been juniors – this is my first open squad,” Chapman said. “I’m pretty happy with being selected. It’s a big achievement and it’s obviously the next step in my touch career. “I’ve always been counting on being in the Australian side in the next few years but I didn’t think it would come so soon. “Hopefully this paves the way for the next few campaigns as well.” The three-Test series will be the first since the 2011 World Cup finals, when Australia narrowly won each division. Australia also took a clean sweep in the 2009 and 2010 Trans Tasman Series. McCall said Australia needed to adapt quickly to the influx of debutants. “In the women’s, there’s only seven of us left from the World Cup team last year due to injuries, pregnancies or retirements. There’s nine new players,” she said. “It’s a fresh start for us, and because the team only got picked recently and the competition’s less than 20 days away, getting to know how one another play is probably the biggest challenge. “New Zealand are always strong, no matter where or when we play them. “They’re always a tough opposition but hopefully we will get away with the win.” The series will be held at Mudgee’s Glen Willow Regional Sporting Complex from April 26 to April 28. Sisters To Pose Double Trouble The Toowoomba Chronicle, 20/04/2012 Nikki and Gemma Etheridge have come a long way since playing touch football as kids in the backyard. The 25-year-old twin sisters have reached the elite level of their sport, representing Australia in the 2012 Trans-Tasman Series. Nikki and Gemma will be part of the open mixed team for the three-game series against New Zealand starting in Mudgee on Thursday. The Etheridges have both represented Australia in the under-18s but this is the first time they’ve had the chance to play together at open level. “It’s very competitive in our household,” Gemma said. “If one of us makes the team and the other one doesn’t, it’s a bit disheartening. We were jumping around in the lounge room (when we heard we’d both made it).” For Gemma, it is an honour that has been a long time coming. She has been named in the Australian squad twice before, only to miss out with a horror run of injuries. “It’s exciting for me after being so close for so many times,” Gemma said. “I’ve been in the squad before but then I did my knee and had a knee reconstruction. “Then I got back in the squad and broke my leg. It’s a good ending to some hard years really.” Nikki, on the other hand, has been a regular member of the Australian squad since the Trans-Tasman Series began in 2009. The Aussies have had the wood on the Kiwis, winning both series and last year’s World Cup, and Nikki admitted the pressure was on to keep their winning streak alive. “It’s always a good grudge match,” she said. “I played in the last two Trans Tasmans (and) it’s a very physical game. They don’t mind putting the shoulders in.” Australia will field a new-look open mixed side with nine players, including Gemma, set to make their green and gold debuts. They will have just two training camps before the series starts and Nikki admitted that even her combination with her sister might take some time to gel. “It’s a short preparation. We haven’t really been together as a team yet,” Nikki said. “We play a lot of women’s rather than mixed so it’s a whole new concept we have to get used to as well. We’ll at least be able to play at the same time on the field.” Despite the pressures of representing their country, the twins said they planned to make the most of the experience. “It’s exciting to play for Australia,” Nikki said. “To stand and sing the national anthem and watch the haka – it’s not something that you get to see all the time.” Touch FootballCentral Western Daily, 21/04/2012TOUCH FOOTBALL: If the New Zealand mixed open touch football side does well at next week’s 2012 Trans Tasman Series, they can thank Tori Moore for their preparation.The Orange touch footballer will play with the NSW mixed open side when they take on their New Zealand counterparts in a trial match tomorrow.Moore has been given the chance to play the trial game after being selected in the NSW mixed open squad following the National Touch League in March.”It would be great if we beat them,” Moore said.The Trans Tasman Series is being played at Mudgee’s Glen Willow Sporting Complex from April 26 to 28.Australia and New Zealand will clash in the men’s, women’s and mixed open divisions over the three days.The Australian and New Zealand players will march in the ANZAC Day parade on Wednesday.Australian Touch Footy Rep Just one country player has made it into the Australian Mixed Touch Football team ahead of a three-test match series starting later this month. And, you guessed it, she comes from the Mid North Coast. http://au.prime7.yahoo.com/n1/news/a/-/national/13416486/australian-touch-footy-rep-video/ They Are Often The Most Disliked People… Dubbo Daily Liberal, 25/04/2012 They are often the most disliked people on a sporting field but referees are a necessity. And if you are good at the job, the art of whistleblowing can be quite rewarding. Just ask Mick Medlin, who will referee at his second Trans-Tasman touch football championships at Mudgee this weekend. In his younger days Medlin plied his trade as a player but now he is more comfortable with whistle in hand. Refereeing has taken him to all parts of the world and he admits he has reached a much higher level than he would have as a player. “I’ve done two World Cups in South Africa and New Zealand, this is my second Trans-Tasman series and I’ve reffed at 14-straight national championships,” he said. “I used to play but I got a couple of bad injuries and when you get the level 6 as a referee they encourage you not to play. But I love the game and without the refs it wouldn’t happen so I’m still playing my part and being involved.” The Trans-Tasman series consists of three games per day this Thursday, Friday and Saturday – one in each of the men’s, women’s and mixed divisions. Medlin will referee the mixed match on Thursday but hopes that by the end of the tournament he will have done well enough to officiate in a mens match. “There’s not many spots available at these events and they have a New Zealand ref coming over as well so that meant one less spot was available,” he said. “There will be a panel there that assesses the referees’ performances and hopefully by the end of it I am up to doing a mens match.” Medlin, spends his working hours as a station officer with the local fire brigade, only moved to Dubbo last year with his wife Corrine and their young family and he hopes having an official of his experience will help the local touch association. Arguably the fastest-growing sport in Dubbo, touch football is becoming increasingly popular and as a result more officials are always needed. “I’m hoping that I can help build the referee ranks here in Dubbo and get some of the locals up to the higher levels,” Medlin said. “Robbie McKechnie achieved his level four not long ago and hopefully we can get more people to that stage and even further.” Straight after Anzac Day the Trans-TasmanDubbo Daily Liberal, 25/04/2012STRAIGHT after Anzac Day the Trans-Tasman Touch Football Series will be played over three days at the Glen Willow Sporting Complex at Mudgee. Australia will play New Zealand in divisions for men, women and mixed open over Thursday, Friday and Saturday in a best of three series in each division. The rivalry between the two nations is as fierce as ever since the reintroduction of the Trans-Tasman Series in 2009. Australia is the current title holders in the Youth, Open and Masters divisions, having claimed these titles over the past two years. Australia is still on a high from its 2011 World Cup performance, which was played in Scotland, winning all three Open titles against the Kiwis and is hopeful of defending its Trans-Tasman title, while New Zealand is determined to reverse the result and cause an upset for the Australian teams in their own backyard. Players will also march in the Anzac Day parade in Mudgee today, prior to the event. It is symbolic that they will meet on the Anzac weekend, an occasion very special to both proud nations. Touch Football Australia chief executive officer Colm Maguire is looking forward to the series in Mudgee, saying that the facilities at the complex are first class. “I am sure that this multi-sport facility will appeal to many sports and I am sure Mudgee is going to see many large sporting events wanting to use Glen Willow. “We are thrilled to be one of the first sports to confirm our commitment to such a facility and believe this signals a strong return on investment for the vision of the Council,” Maguire said. “The time that they have put into bringing this facility into fruition has been outstanding, so just to be here and see what we’ll be playing on and what it will look like, undoubtedly it’s one of the best facilities in New South Wales, if not Australia.”Planning A Touch Up Sunshine Coast Daily 25/04/2012 TOUCH FOOTBALL: It would be hard to criticise veteran Australian representative Peta Rogerson for being cocky going into this week’s trans-Tasman series against New Zealand. In the history of matches between the two countries, the Kiwis have won only once. So if the script goes according to plan for Rogerson this week, the Aussies will again obliterate NZ and the 30-year-old will have done enough to show selectors that her legs are still fresh enough to see off younger challengers. Speaking in Sydney yesterday, the Nambour product said this Australian line-up did not want to be the one that lost a second match to the Kiwis. “Obviously, it (Australia’s winning streak) does add considerable pressure on to the team,” Rogerson said. “Our coach Peter Bell, who is based on the Sunshine Coast, has explained to us that we’re a new team and we’ve got to make our own history.” The series starts tomorrow and concludes on Saturday. If you see a story from your local media organisations about Touch Football and would like to see it on the Touch Football Australia website, please email media@austouch.com.au.last_img read more

10 months agoReal Madrid maintain watching brief for Sevilla midfielder Pablo Sarabia

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Real Madrid maintain watching brief for Sevilla midfielder Pablo Sarabiaby Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveReal Madrid are maintaining a watching brief on Sevilla midfielder Pablo Sarabia.The former Castilla star is under consideration at Real as a 2019 signing, says AS.With 18 months left on his current deal, Sevilla find themselves in the position of needing to sell this year if they wish to make money from Sarabia’s departure.The 26 year-old’s deal carries an affordable €18m buyout clause.At Real, they see Sarabia as a natural successor for veteran midfield schemer Luka Modric – or as a replacement for Isco.And thanks to his time at Real, there would be a smooth transition as he is good friends with Dani Carvajal and Nacho. last_img read more

Alberta Crown let Metis man plead guilty after RCMP said drugs werent

first_imgKenneth Jackson APTN NewsAn Alberta Crown prosecutor allowed a Metis man to plead guilty to simple drug possession in May after the RCMP told him the so-called drugs weren’t real, APTN News has learned.And it appears the RCMP sat on test results showing the drugs weren’t real for over a month.Clayton Boucher, 45, was arrested Jan. 22 after police raided a home where he was staying in Lac La Biche, Alta.After spending four months locked up in the Edmonton Remand Centre, he pleaded guilty at the end of May out of frustration with they system and needing to get out from behind bars. RCMP seized about 130 grams of suspected crack cocaine and sent two samples of powder to be tested Feb. 3 to Health Canada.The results came back negative for drugs Feb. 23 and 24.But Boucher remained in jail.Documents show a large gap between the date of results and when Alberta Crown Erwin Schulz learned of the results.Schulz wrote the RCMP Feb. 22 asking for the powder to be tested  “as soon as possible” apparently unaware that the RCMP had already sent the samples off to be tested. Boucher had also been maintaining it was baking soda and not cocaine since his arrest.There were two samples sent to Health Canada – and both were .4 grams according to the list of exhibits.In documents obtained by APTN News, Schulz claimed his assistant followed up with RCMP Mar. 13 and again April 3, but was told, “there is still no analysis of the drugs as of yet.”This happened again on April 20 but the RCMP, again, said there were no results.Finally, on May 3, the RCMP confirmed to Schulz the powder seized was not cocaine.It is unclear from the documents if the RCMP had those test results when the Crown had repeatedly requested them.APTN has requested this information from the RCMP but has not heard back.On May 4, Schulz contacted Boucher’s Legal Aid-appointed lawyer, Leighton Grey, telling him of the test results. They both agree to meet back in court May 30.But by this point, Boucher was struggling in jail and wanted out.Boucher told his lawyer May 15 he wanted to plead guilty to two counts of simple possession and claims his lawyer had never told him that the test results came back negative.“I only pleaded guilty ’cause my wife passed away and had a horrible time coping while incarcerated. That’s the only reason,” said Boucher in an interview with APTN Monday.APTN contacted Grey for comment, but have not heard back.(Clayton Boucher with his wife Phyllis Favel in an undated photo)Boucher’s common-law wife, Phyllis Favel, 34, died in a car collision April 30, a woman he calls the “love of his life.”Boucher did get to go to the funeral – in a bright orange jail-issued jumpsuit and shackles.“I stood out like a sore thumb,” he said. “It was horrible.”On May 30, Boucher pleaded guilty to two counts of simple possession – he was released the same day.“The Crown based the guilty pleas on the two entries on the exhibit list of 0.4 grams of cocaine wrapped in plastic which was viewed by both the Crown and defence to be spitballs (small packages of cocaine wrapped in plastic),” wrote Schulz in an email last month to the Law Society of Alberta that provided a timeline of events.Schulz said the description and weight were consistent with small amounts of cocaine.But according to documents, the tests came back negative.“I went to bed every night and woke up every morning knowing it wasn’t drugs. It killed me,” said Boucher.When he was released, Boucher went to the Lac La Biche RCMP detachment to get his belongings. He claimed later in a complaint against the RCMP that an officer there told him tests on the powder had come back negative.“The complainant was crushed by this,” his complaint states, “and it quickly dawned on him that the RCMP knew all along that the substance was not cocaine but allowed him to plead guilty regardless.”He told APTN this was the first time he learned not only that there had been a test but of the results.On July 10, Schulz received a call from the RCMP saying Boucher had filed a complaint.“The RCMP advised that the 0.4 grams were not spitballs rather samples taken from the large bags of cocaine which (did not come back as drugs),” Schulz wrote in his email to the Law Society.But the RCMP had already told Schulz the powder came back negative back on May 3 according to documents obtained by APTN.On July 11, the RCMP sent Schulz the lab results confirming, again, two samples sent to Health Canada came back negative.Boucher appealed the conviction – which was filed by Grey – not knowing that Grey had been told about the test results according to documents.On Sept. 26, the Court of Appeal of Alberta overturned Boucher’s conviction after receiving a letter from Jonathan Martin, senior counsel for the Public Prosecution Service of Canada.Martin confirmed in the letter the lab results came back negative for all the so-called drugs, meaning Boucher pleaded guilty to possessing baking soda that was found in a kitchen cupboard, according to the exhibit list.“A review of the file and communications from Mr. Schulz and the RCMP establishes that the substances in the counts under appeal did not analyze as controlled substances. The non-existence of this information at the time of the disposition would have been highly relevant to the decision to plead guilty,” wrote Martin.Boucher questions now how the results were non-existent when the RCMP had provided the results to the Crown.Boucher received more documents last week, including the Health Canada lab results, and it was then that he learned the results were completed by Feb. 24.“Last Thursday in Edmonton,” said Boucher of when he finally got the documents.He had traveled there from North Battleford, Sask., where he is currently living, to pick up the documents.“I had been asking for the certificates since my release and I finally got them with disgust,” he said.Boucher said he has a criminal record and at the time of his arrest had an outstanding probation warrant.“But I am not a drug dealer,” he said.He said he already filed a complaint against Schulz and Grey with the Law Society of Alberta, which had been declined on Oct. 4.The Law Society, like Schulz, argued – at least in part – that Boucher pleaded guilty to drug possession.Boucher said he has since sent the Law Society the Health Canada certificates and the file has now been forwarded to the conduct department.APTN asked the RCMP in Lac La Biche to comment Monday and again Tuesday when a spokesperson said the file had been sent to RCMP headquarters in Ottawa.Boucher also claims the RCMP told him that it is taking disciplinary action against several Mounties.APTN has still not received a response from the RCMP.An email to Schulz’s assistant asking why he allowed a man to plead guilty for a crime he didn’t commit hasn’t been answered.Meanwhile, Boucher said he believes if he had been out his wife would still be alive.“We went everywhere together,” he said. “Now I am serving a life sentence. Every day is a horrible day.”But there was one good thing to come from this, he said. After his release he moved to North Battleford with the help of his sister.He was awarded a certificate of bravery earlier this month for alerting a woman that her roof was on fire June 8.She had no idea of the fire when Boucher began pounding on her door.Contact Kenneth here: kjackson@aptn.calast_img read more

North American stock markets recovered some of Wednesdays deep losses

first_imgTORONTO – North American markets recovered some of the prior day’s deep losses, continuing the volatility of recent weeks.There was a pretty solid rebound Thursday overall, said Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategist for SIA Wealth Management.“Not only did we see stocks come back but we saw oil come back, which I thought also was encouraging since both of them had been hammered pretty badly in the last week,” he said in an interview.The December crude contract was up 51 cents at US$67.33 per barrel. That’s still the third-lowest level in two months.“I don’t think we’re out of the woods yet and I still think there’s going to be bumpy and choppy 13 more weeks but it’s definitely really encouraging to see investors step up and for markets to hang onto their gains.”The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 14.95 points at 14,924.08 after losing 376.04 points on Wednesday. It hit an intraday high of 15,009.91 on 296.8 million shares traded.The cannabis-heavy health care sector led, gaining 2.8 per cent, followed by the technology and energy sectors.“It was a good day for technology on this side of the border too, it’s just that it’s not as big in the Canadian market, but we’re definitely benefiting from the same forces that drove up tech stocks in the States,” said Cieszynski.Gold was one of four sectors that lost ground, along with materials, utilities and telecom.Financials and real estate were in the middle, gaining less than half a per cent on the day.Cieszynski said he expected financials could struggle with interest rates on the rise.“That impacts all the interest-sensitive sectors — financials, real estate, utilities — as all kind of stuck in the same boat at this point.”In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 401.12 points to 24,984.55 after Wednesday’s selloff pushed the market to a loss for the year. The S&P 500 index was up 49.47 points to 2,705.57, while the Nasdaq composite was up 209.93 points or almost three per cent to 7,318.34.Although markets are going through a period of high volatility, they will likely recover later in the year, added Cieszynski.He noted that corporate results have generally been positive even though some haven’t met expectations.“It’s not like the wheels are falling off, it’s just that markets got way too far ahead of themselves and needed to come back to earth and that’s what we’ve been seeing, but I do think that the underlying North American economy remains positive.”The upcoming U.S. midterm elections could cause further uncertainty and contribute to volatility dragging well into November, he added.The Canadian dollar traded at an average of 76.48 cents US compared with an average of 76.75 cents US on Wednesday.The December natural gas contract was up 2.9 of a cent at US$3.26 per mmBTU.The December gold contract was up US$1.30 at US$1,232.40 an ounce and the December copper contract was down 0.3 of a cent at US$2.75 a pound.last_img read more

Preliminary report on Fort St Johns first homeless count released

first_imgAccording to the preliminary report, there were 61 homeless persons tallied in April’s count. Of those, nearly two-thirds, or 66 percent of persons experiencing homelessness were sheltered in some way.Over three-quarters of homeless persons tallied in Fort St. John, or 77 percent, were men, while 71 percent were between the ages of 25 and 54.More than half of the city’s homeless population, 59 percent, identified as Indigenous.The Women’s Resource Society said that the full detailed results from the homeless count will be released later this fall.The full preliminary report can be read below. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Fort St. John Women’s Resource Society has released a preliminary report on the first-ever count of the city’s homeless population.The homeless count was conducted over a 24-hour period on April 17th and 18th and saw volunteers from the Women’s Resource Society conduct tallies in local shelters, RCMP holding cells, hospitals, and other known places where at-risk individuals stay overnight.The homeless count was conducted in coordination with the provincial government, which provided $500,000 in funding for the program, which counted the homeless populations of 12 B.C. communities including Fort St. John.last_img read more

Armed men steal valuables from Noida timber dealer

first_imgNoida: Armed robbers barged into the house of a timber dealer in sector 8 area of Noida and robbed valuables worth lakhs by keeping the family hostage. Police have registered a case while they are suspecting involvement of some known persons behind the robbery.Vijay Singh, a timber dealer, lives with his family in sector 8 area of Noida. Singh’s two sons have gone to attend a marriage in Delhi along with their wives while other members were present at home at the time of incident. At around 10:30 pm on Tuesday, two robbers knocked the door of their house and asked them to open the door as a fire has been reported outside. Also Read – Bangla Sahib Gurudwara bans use of all types of plastic itemsSoon after one of Singh’s daughter-in-law, who was present at the house, opened the door, the assailants barged into the house, stuffed a cloth into her mouth and tied her hands and legs. One of robbers opened the lock of almirah with a duplicate key while another kept a watch on movement of other family members present at home. Family members have alleged that the assailants fled away with valuables and cash worth Rs 10-15 lakhs. Meanwhile police have lodged a case into the matter while they are probing the case. “Prima Facie it appears that the robbers were known to the family as they were aware of other family member’s visit to marriage. We have also gathered some important clues into the case and are expecting to make a breakthrough soon” a senior police officer of sector 20 police station said.last_img read more

Commonwealth Day Public Holiday in TCI

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 06 Mar 2015 – Monday March 9th is a public holiday; Commonwealth Day will be marked with the theme: ‘A Young Commonwealth’. There are 53 Commonwealth Countries worldwide. Related Items:commonwealth, holiday Recommended for you Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppcenter_img Two represent TCI at Bermuda Parliamentary conference Holiday on Friday in Turks and Caicoslast_img

TheStreet Buys Relationship Capital Management Service for 21 Million

first_imgBut for TheStreet, it means a robust audience for its subscription products. BoardEx will be integrated into The Deal, TheStreet’s M&A information unit under the strategy that The Deal’s news and transaction data subscribers will have access to the BoardEx database of executives. “The move bolsters the fastest growing part of our subscription operation and creates an indispensable business development tool for users,” says TheStreet president, chairman and CEO Elisabeth DeMarse. “The acquisition of BoardEx advances the strategic objectives of TheStreet by increasing both institutional content and subscribers.” Financial media company TheStreet Inc. is paying $21 million in cash for Management Diagnostics Limited, a London-based company that produces a relationship capital management service called BoardEx. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter and may include an earn-out payable in 2018 based on 2017 revenue performance.BoardEx connects executives at investment banks, law firms and other organizations with a stable of analysts and a database of directors and corporate executives to measure their “relationship capital”—essentially quantifying the worth of a company’s relationships with customers, suppliers and other business leaders.last_img read more

Towns Current Bidding Contract Opportunities

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — The Town’s Purchasing Department currently has the following bidding and contract opportunities available:Request For Proposals/QualificationsNoneInvitations To BidButters Row Boiler Replacement — Deadline: Thursday, November 1, 11amRedevelopment of (15) Gravel Packed Wells at Brown’s Crossing Wellfield — Deadline: Wednesday, October 24, 2018, 10amAll interested parties must first complete the town’s Bid Registration Form.Visit the Town’s Purchasing Department website for additional information. Contact Wendy Martiniello at wmartiniello[at]wilmingtonma.gov with questions.Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedTown’s Current Bidding & Contract OpportunitiesIn “Government”Town’s Current Bidding & Contract OpportunitiesIn “Government”Town’s Current Bidding & Contract OpportunitiesIn “Government”last_img read more

Nokia goes retro at MWC with Nokia 210 unveils 1 Plus 32

first_imgThe Nokia 1 Plus is also “simple,” but in another distinct way. While it does have a 5.45-inch touchscreen, an 8-megapixel camera and a quad-core processor, it runs Android 9 Pie, Go Edition. Android Go is a lighter version of the OS and its essential apps, which lets entry-level phones like this run Android smoothly, on a lighter memory footprint.With two storage options, the 1 Plus costs 89 euros (for the 8GB model) or 99 euros (16GB). That’s about $100 and $110; £80 and £90; or AU$140 and AU$160, respectively. Nokia 210, 1 Plus, 3.2 and 4.2 debut at MWC May 13 • Galaxy S10E vs. iPhone XR: Every spec compared See All Now playing: Watch this: Jul 9 • Killer cameras and battery life might meet their match in the Note 10 Tags reading • Nokia goes retro at MWC with Nokia 210, unveils 1 Plus, 3.2 and 4.2 phones too Comment Phones The Nokia 210. Sarah Tew/CNET Nokia didn’t just bring the five-camera-toting Nokia 9 PureView to MWC. The storied phone brand also introduced a whole slew of more affordable new phones on Sunday. These are the Nokia 210, which struts a familiar old-school design, and the midrange Nokia 1 Plus, Nokia 3.2 and Nokia 4.2.With its physical number keys, brick body and limited software capabilities, the Nokia 210 isn’t exactly the latest and greatest in hardware. But its purposefully classic look may be a good fit for those looking for a simple, user-friendly feature phone. It’s also super cheap, priced at 30 euros — that converts to about $35, £25 or AU$50. If you’re worried about being too off the grid, the Nokia 210 does have a few modern fixings. You can browse the web and post to Facebook, for example, on the Opera Mini browser. Nokia also included its signature game of Snake, albeit an updated version that’s not quite as nostalgia-inducing as the chassis.   Mobile World Congress 2019 1 1:49 • 57 Photos Nokia phones arrive in every shape and type Google Nokia Jun 29 • Galaxy S10 5G, OnePlus 7 Pro LG V50 ThinQ 5G: Why you shouldn’t rush to buy a 5G phone Mobile World Congress 2019 Jun 1 • The Nubia Alpha looks like either a house arrest bracelet or Batman’s phone 03-nokia-1-plusThe Nokia 1 Plus. Sarah Tew/CNET Nokia 1 Plus specs5.45-inch IPS display with 18:9 aspect ratio8-megapixel rear camera with autofocus5-megapixel front camera with beautification mode for selfiesPolycarbonate body with 3D Nano textured patternRuns Android 9 Pie, Go EditionMicro-USB for charging and file transfer1.5GHz quad-core MT6739WW processor8GB or 16GB of storage1GB of RAM2,500-mAh batteryBlue and red color optionsFinally, there are the Nokia 3.2 and 4.2. Both phones feature a teardrop-shaped notch on the front and a dedicated Google Assistant button that quickly launches the voice assistant. The Nokia 3.2 also runs Android One, another software solution from Google that allows cheaper phones for emerging markets to run Android. One is a trimmed down, stock version of Android, void of any fancy interface additions phone makers may add. The Nokia 3.2 costs 129 euros or about £115 and AU$205, converted. In USD the phone costs $169 f Nokia 4.2 – $199 (3/32); $169 (2/16) Nokia 3.2 – $169 (3/32); $139 (2/16)06-nokia-4The dual cameras of the Nokia 4.2. Sarah Tew/CNET As the most expensive phone of the group, the Nokia 4.2 features two cameras on the back, a 13-megapixel standard camera and a 2-megapixel camera that senses depth. It also features a fingerprint sensor and secure NFC for authorizing digital payments on Google Pay. Though it’s the priciest of the bunch, it’s still relatively affordable as far as midrange phones go. It costs 169 euros — around $190, £150 or AU$270.Nokia 3.2 specs6.26-inch display with 19:9 aspect ratio13-megapixel rear camera5-megapixel front cameraAndroid 9 Pie OnePower button includes notification light that pulsates for new notificationsSnapdragon 429 processor2GB or 3GB of RAM4,000-mAh batteryNokia 4.2 specs5.71-inch HD display with 19:9 aspect ratio13-megapixel rear camera with secondary 2-megapixel depth camera8-megapixel front cameraAndroid 9 Pie One  Snapdragon 439 processor16GB of 32GB of storage2GB or 3GB of RAM3,000-mAh batteryBlack and pink color options Share your voicelast_img read more

2 students open fire in US school killing 1 wounding seven

first_imgAll the victims were aged 15 or older.TwitterAn 18-year-old student was killed and seven others were critically injured in a shooting incident on Tuesday (May 7) at a suburban Denver school near the capital of the US western state of Colorado.”It is with extreme sadness that we can confirm that one student at the STEM School was killed in today’s #stemshooting incident. The immediate family has been notified. Douglas County Coroner Jill Romann has not officially identified the student stating it’s an 18-year-old male,” the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office said on Twitter.Two male students were apprehended after the shooting at the STEM School in the Highlands Ranch area. Addressing a press conference, Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock said that the two shooters walked into the school and opened fire on students in at least two classrooms. “Two suspects entered the school just before 2 pm (local time) and got deep inside the school and engaged students in two separate locations,” according to Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock.The sheriff said a number of students were shot and wounded; all the victims were aged 15 or older.A handgun and the suspects’ vehicle have been recovered by the police. As of now, no information has been shared on any other weapons that may have been used.School shootings have since become a frequent occurrence in the US, where firearms killed nearly 40,000 people in 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Since Columbine, an estimated 226,000 children in 233 schools have been exposed to the sight or sound of gunfire, according to a Washington Post investigation.The worst shootings to date were those at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut in 2012 (20 young children and six adults were killed) and at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida last year (17 dead).The number of firearms in circulation has continued to grow (now at 393 million in a nation of 326 million people), and mass shootings have become a disturbingly regular part of American life.last_img read more

Home farm loan borrowers get 60 days extra to repay as RBI

first_imgThe Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has provided a much-needed relief to people who had taken home, agriculture and other loans and were facing cash crunch. In its latest update, the bank tweaked asset classification and income recognition norms for lenders, directly benefiting borrowers who had taken loans worth up to Rs 1 crore. The relaxation is applicable to dues payable between November 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016.”It has been represented to us that consequent upon withdrawal of the legal tender status of the existing Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes (SBN) small borrowers may need some more time to repay their loan dues. Taking these representations into consideration, it has been decided to provide an additional 60 days beyond what is applicable for the concerned regulated entity (RE) for recognition of a loan account as substandard in the following cases:Running working capital accounts (OD/CC)/crop loans, with any bank, the sanctioned limit whereof is Rs1 crore or less;Term loans, whether business or personal, secured or otherwise, the original sanctioned amount whereof is Rs 1 crore or less, on the books of any bank or any NBFC, including NBFC (MFI). This shall include housing loans and agriculture loans,” the RBI said in its Monday update.”The additional time given shall only apply to defer the classification of an existing standard asset as substandard and not for delaying the migration of an account across sub-categories of NPA,” the central bank added.For dues payable before November 1 and after December 31, 2016, the existing rules will prevail, the apex bank said.Shares of home loan companies such as LIC Housing Finance, GIC Housing Finance, Gruh Finance and Dewan Housing Finance, Indiabulls Housing Finance were trading almost flat on Tuesday in response to the announcement.Meanwhile, the exceptions given for depositing defunct Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes at select establishments end in two days (November 24, 2016). The government may review the situation and probably extend the deadline by another couple of days to ease the cash crunch being faced by people.last_img read more

Organic growth or aggressive approach Why Infosys needs to decide soon

first_imgA general view shows workers at a cafeteria inside a building at the Infosys campus in Electronic City, Bengaluru. REUTERS File PhotoFor long, the bellwether of Information Technology in India, Infosys, was percieved to have preferred organic growth, hence adopting a cautious approach to acquisitions. Indeed, its legendary co-founder NR Narayana Murthy, was mentioned as studying potential acquisitions until the time it was too late to decide whether the acquisition should go ahead.Given its avowed reluctance to inorganic growth, many investors and private equity firms held off in approaching Infosys with potential acquisitions since Infosys did not seem interested anyway, or at best, was expected to be tardy towards them.Things seemed to changed with the retirement of the founders and the consequent hiring of Vishal Sikka as the Chief Executive Officer. Sikka went all out to change the company’s perception with a series of high profile acquisitions that included the Israeli startup, Panaya, and Skava.The changes under Sikka buoyed the markets to such an extent that analysts were soon proclaiming a changed vision and a transformed approach to inorganic growth. Former Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka speaks during the announcement at the company headquarters in Bengaluru. [File photo]Within Infosys, however, there were murmurs of dissent, though the majority were of the opinion that it represented a New Infosys, unencumbered with the baggage of the past.As the events transpired, Sikka left the company with a cloud hanging over the Panaya deal and for a while, uncertainty crept in with the return of Nandan Nilekani at the helm. However, the reconstituted Board of Directors was quick to divest the firm of its Panaya acquisition and adopt a more cautious stance as far as new acquisitions were concerned.Now, with global IT majors such as Capgemini and Accenture gaining market share in the IT space with their aggressive approach to acquisitions, there has been a debate surrounding Indian firms like Infosys, with many of the opinion that the company should decide soon if they want to remain without acquisitions and base their business models on good old organic growth.In other words, it is time for Infosys, under its new CEO, Salil Parikh, to make its stance known on the future growth strategies in a fast changing global landscape where the outsourcing deals are dwindling which calls for a new strategy to sustain its growth momentum.last_img read more

68 held in Satkhira

first_img-Police, in special drives from Sunday night to this morning, arrested 68 people including those accused in several cases filed on charges of subversive acts from eight upazilas of the district, reports BSS.Sources with the district police said they were picked up from different areas of the district.During the drives, Satkhira sadar police arrested 25 persons including one drug trader with four bottles of Phensidyl, Kalaroa police arrested 11 persons, Tala police Thana police arrested four persons, Kaliganj police arrested five persons, Shyamnagar police arrested 14 persons, Assasuni police arrested three persons, Patkelghata Thana police arrested three persons including one drug trader with 100-gram of hemp and Debhata police arrested three persons.The arrested people are accused in several cases, including charges of subversive activities, filed with different police stations in the district.The arrested were sent to jail.last_img read more

Father planned Beauty murder to frame rapist Police

first_imgRapeFather of Beauty Akhter and two others were involved in the sensational murder of the 16-year-old girl, police said on Saturday, reports UNB.Victim’s father Sayed Ali, his relative Moyna Mia, and a hired professional killer murdered Beauty to implicate one Babul Mia in the crime, Bidhan Tripura, superintendent of police in Habiganj, said at a press conference in Habiganj.He said Beauty’s father Sayed gave confessional statements before Habiganj judicial magistrate Touhidul Islam under section 164 over the murder earlier in the day.Beauty’s father planned to kill her assuming her fade marital prospect after the incident of kidnap and rape, said Shamsur Rahman Bhuiyan, additional superintendent of police and also the head of a three-member probe committee formed over the murder.Moyna Mia took the opportunity to take revenge against Babul as his wife was defeated by Babul’s mother in recently held Union Parisad election, he said.The trio killed Beauty during the wee hours of 17 March and dumped the body in Brahmandora Haor, he added.Beauty of Brahmondora village in Shayestaganj upazila went missing on 16 March and police recovered her body from haor area the next day.According to the case statement, Babul Mia kidnapped Beauty, 16, of Brahmondora village in Shayestaganj upazila on 21 January and raped her for a month.Later on 4 March, the victim’s family members filed a murder case with Woman and Children Repression Prevention Tribunal.On 18 March, her father Sayed Ali filed the case against two people with names, including Babul, and several unknown people with Shayestaganj police station.As Babul started to threat Beauty’s family members for withdrawing the case she was sent to her grandfather’s house at Gunipur village in Lakhai upazila of Habiganj.Later, Babul was arrested in Beanibazar area of Sylhet on 31 March.Police also detained Babul’s mother and one Ismail of Brahmondora village for their alleged involvement in the incident.The incident created a widespread outcry among people when a photograph of the victim’s body lying on a field went viral on Facebook.last_img read more

Kashmir clampdown imposed to head off Eid protests

first_imgA Kashmiri woman cries during the Eid-al-Adha prayers at a mosque during restrictions after the scrapping of the special constitutional status for Kashmir by the Indian government, in Srinagar, 12 August, 2019. Photo: Reuters Indian troops clamped tight restrictions on mosques across Kashmir for Monday`s Eid al-Adha festival, fearing anti-government protests over the stripping of the Muslim-majority region`s autonomy, according to residents.The Himalayan region’s biggest mosque, the Jama Masjid, was ordered shut and people were only allowed to pray in smaller local mosques so that no big crowds could gather, witnesses said.Kashmir police chief Dilbagh Singh said late Monday “Eid celebrations were peaceful today”.”There was a stray protest in Srinagar but nothing major,” he told AFP.Regional inspector general of police Swayam Prakash Pani added that “there is only a couple of injuries which were reported, otherwise the entire valley, the situation is normal”.Kashmir has been in a security lockdown for eight days as the Hindu nationalist government in New Delhi seeks to snuff out opposition to its move to impose tighter central control over the region.Internet and phone communications have been cut and tens of thousands of troop reinforcements have flooded the main city of Srinagar and other towns and villages in the Kashmir Valley.Authorities had eased restrictions temporarily on Sunday to let residents buy food and supplies for Eid, one of the most important Muslim festivals of the year.But security was tightened again after sporadic protests involving hundreds of people during the day, residents said. Police vans toured the streets late Sunday telling people to stay indoors.”I can’t believe we are forced to be in our homes on this festival. This is the festival of joy and happiness,” resident Shanawaz Shah told AFP.A petition against the lockdown filed by a political activist will be heard in the Supreme Court on Tuesday.The clampdown continued as the nation’s richest man Mukesh Ambani said at Reliance’s annual general meeting in Mumbai Monday that his firm would heed Modi’s call for private investment in Kashmir, with announcements to be made in the coming days, Indian media reported.Prime Minister Narendra Modi insisted last week the decision to strip Kashmir of its autonomy was necessary for its economic development, and to stop “terrorism”.Too scared to eat Residents said the security crackdown had made them too fearful to celebrate.A sheep trader at a Srinagar market, who gave his name as Maqbool, said the number of people buying animals for traditional feasts was sharply lower and he had gone from “huge profits” last year to a “big loss” this time.Several thousand people took part in one rally after Friday prayers that was broken up with tear gas and shotgun pellets, residents said. But authorities denied there was any protest.Modi has said the changes would bring peace and prosperity to a region blighted by a decades-old insurgency against Indian rule that has left tens of thousands dead.He has won widespread backing in India for the move.But local Kashmir leaders say that stripping the region of its autonomy risks worsening the unrest.Many local political leaders have been detained and Indian media reports said some had been taken to detention centres outside the state.The move has also sparked fury in Pakistan, which also claims Kashmir.The neighbours have fought two wars over the Himalayan region which they split after their independence in 1947.In a series of tweets on Sunday, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan compared India’s tactics in Kashmir to those of the Nazis.Khan said the “ideology of Hindu Supremacy, like the Nazi Aryan Supremacy, will not stop” in Kashmir.Officials said Khan would visit the Pakistan-controlled part of Kashmir this week to show solidarity.Pakistan has already expelled the Indian ambassador, halted what little bilateral trade exists and suspended cross-border transport in protest at New Delhi’s move on Kashmir.last_img

In The Increasingly HighTech Oil Business Cyber Security Is Becoming Essential

first_imgListen Share Cisco SystemsWith increasing investments in efficiency-boosting technology, the oil and gas industry is focusing more on cyber security.For decades, drilling for oil and gas has involved a good deal of sweat, dirt and dangerous equipment.But now, it’s increasingly going high-tech.More and more companies are putting their data on the “cloud” and going digital in other ways. It’s good for the bottom line – but is it safe? That’s a question the industry is tackling as it considers the role of cyber security in the oilfield.To understand where the oil industry is headed, you have to understand how far it’s come.In 1942, a government educational film called “The Evolution of the Oil Industry” painted an almost romantic picture of how the earliest wildcatters looked for black gold: “enterprising oil men” who weren’t able to get their hands on steam drilling equipment built “ingenious but primitive” drilling machines. The documentary noted that drilling with these improvised devices was “painfully slow.”Now, it’s a little more advanced. “A lot of times we’ll go on a rig and they’ll have 10,000 sensors,” says Thanh Nguyen, Data Center Practice Manager at Accudata Systems, a Houston information technology company.“For those 10,000 sensors, it doesn’t make sense to run a wire for each one, so we’re connecting it wirelessly.”Oil and gas companies are increasingly investing in cloud technologies, mobile devices and the like. Buzzwords like “Big Data” and the “Internet of Things” are becoming key to how they make money.Nguyen’s job is to help companies manage all that. He talks about one project for an offshore drilling company, one he says he can’t identify by name.“They built an operations center off of I-10, they can see all of their rigs, all the flows going in and out of the environment on screens,” he says. “So they’re leveraging all this technology, giving them green, yellow, reds, really easy-to-see type of information in real time.”900lbs of CreativeAn example of oilfield tech: a “360 virtual reality spherical app” developed for Shell by Dallas company 900lbs of CreativeThat kind of technology makes it cheaper and easier to drill, which is a blessing in a downturn. But the more the industry looks like Silicon Valley, the more it becomes vulnerable to cyber attacks, or to a sloppy employee accidentally releasing some very valuable data.Companies are taking these risks more seriously, in part because the downturn has given them time to. At a recent cyber security conference in Houston, Apache Corporation’s Vice President of Information Technology Mark Maddox said a couple years ago, it just wasn’t top of mind.“We were too busy to be secure in some cases, we were too busy to be good in some cases, because it was about just growth and expansion and speed more than returns,” he said, noting that attitude has changed at Apache.He described a real shift from cyber security as an afterthought to an essential part of doing business. “Two years ago, 90% of the decisions were made for convenience or speed or efficiency over security,” he said. “Now,  I would say 90% of the decisions are made for security over that, and that’s a big change in the industry.”Companies aren’t just responding to possible threats.In a recent survey of oil and gas risk managers, the majority of those that responded said their companies had lost confidential information, or had their operations disrupted by a security breach within the last year. (That independent survey was funded by a company that sells cyber security services.)Charles McConnell, head of Rice University’s Energy and Environment Initiative, says going forward, companies can’t afford to treat cyber security like a luxury, and they can’t wait for a big attack or security lapse to take it seriously. “If it happens, when it happens, I think companies that have those kind of situations may not get the benefit in the marketplace of fixing it and then being okay,” he says. “But in fact, it might be their final problem, because they won’t last.”McConnell says the energy marketplace now demands tech security. He calls it a “fabric of the industry,” and companies that don’t plan accordingly will, as he puts it, “end up in the dust.” X 00:00 /03:24 To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code:last_img read more

Education Stands as Main Priority for DC Budget

first_imgDistrict of Columbia residents recently told Mayor Muriel Bowser to spend more money on improving the city’s educational system. “I do think education is a priority but the question isn’t how we allocate it but how we spend,” Anthony Lorenzo Green said. Green, a Ward 7 advisory neighborhood commissioner, was a leader at one of the 22 tables assembled for the Feb. 25 budget engagement session held at the District’s Department of Employment Services headquarters. Two-hundred and fifty residents participated.Muriel Bowser, Mayor of the District of Columbia, is scheduled to present her budget to the D.C. Council in April. (Courtesy Photo)“This is our third budget season and we are determined to present [a] third balanced budget to the D.C. Council,” said Bowser.On April 5, the mayor will present her budget to the council. The council will hold hearings on the budget and make changes and revisions and submit it back to the mayor for approval on May 31 after the legislative body supports it on a second and final vote.Bowser will likely sign the budget and then she will submit it to the U.S. Congress for approval of its federal funds.The fiscal year 2018 budget will go into effect on Oct. 1.The District’s budget is $13.4 billion with $1 billion in capital improvements. The District budget is unique in that it acts as a city, county, state and school budget, unlike most jurisdictions. The federal portion of the budget that includes Medicaid is $3.4 billion.Bowser is in the process of creating her budget while the city is undergoing a financial boom. On Feb. 1, the District’s chief financial officer, Jeffrey S. DeWitt, said in a statement that the city is in excellent financial health. “We now have $1.165 billion in liquidity, which covers 56 days of the city’s operations,” he said. DeWitt said that the city can fund all cash flow needs without short term borrowing.There were about 10 people per table including the moderator. Residents were asked to come up with budget priorities on a $100 budget.“We need to get education right in this city,” Deputy Mayor for Education Jennifer Niles said. “If we get education right, public safety and economic development will be right.”Niles is Bowser’s point person for the public and charter schools as well as the Community College of the District of Columbia and the University of the District of Columbia.Niles was followed by Hyesook Chung, deputy mayor of Human Services; Acting DOES Director Odie McDonald, speaking on behalf of the economic development cluster; Kevin Donahue, deputy mayor of public safety; and Polly Donaldson, deputy mayor of Housing and Community Development.Education was the top spending priority for each of the tables. The portion of the budgets for education ranged from 40 percent to 20 percent while government operations was downplayed or cut outright. “You don’t think government operations are important?” the mayor asked rhetorically with a sly grin on her face. “Don’t you think 9-1-1 is important?”After education, public safety and economic development came in second and third, among most of the tables. Some tables put housing as the third priority while many acknowledge that affordable housing was an important matter for the city to tackle. “There are a lot of people who want to stay here in Washington,” Green said. “They have problems paying rent though and they don’t have the money to stay here.”Bowser circulated to each table and greeted the participants and the members of her executive team did so also. While the majority of the residents at the session lived in eastern Washington, residents from other areas of the city came to the session, too. “I came here to Ward 7 to hear what they wanted to do,” Terry Goings, a resident of Ward 4, said. “I like Mayor Bowser’s approach where the people are engaged, as opposed to her sitting at a table and listening to people tell her what they want.”last_img read more