Category: wlwbmwds

Fire at Bandhwari landfill site points to untreated waste hazard

first_imgGurugram: Fire at Bandhwari landfill site highlights that not having waste management in place is resulting in dangers piling up at the 30-acre landfill site nestled in Aravallis.The fire was caused on Monday. The main causes of the fire were attributed to the extreme heat caused due to the summer that led the methane gas present in the garbage to catch fire. Despite the assurances that waste at the landfill site will be treated, it is expected that there are 25 lakh tonnes of garbage of Gurugram and Faridabad combined dumped at the site. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderThe extreme dangers get further added to it has come to fore that leachate (a poisonous liquid substance that emanates from the garbage) has again begun to percolate outside the landfill. Even though the problem was solved on temporary measures, the urgency of finding a long term solution has again been raised with problems resurfacing. After repeated complaints, there can finally be a solution to the challenge of the toxic underground water table at Bandhwari and the areas around it caused due to the leachate of the presence of the 30-acre-landfill site. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsTo tackle this issue, a leachate treatment plant was expected to be set up at an area. At present more than 1,000 tonnes of garbage from Gurugram and Faridabad is discarded daily at the area that is nestled in the green belt of Aravallis. Based on the proposal, the plant will treat more than 100 kiloliters of leachate daily. It will be set up the Chinese company Eco green that has also been entrusted with the responsibility of recycling the waste in the area into the creation of power and other useful forms. As the layout of the projects, works presently are being undertaken. Commissioned in 2008, Bandhwari landfill was created with an objective of segregation and recycling of waste generated from Gurgaon and Faridabad. Set up with an investment of Rs 300 crores the was to operationalise a power plant and plastic recycling at the site. After laying defunct for more than four-and-half years the recycling unit was again set up after a lot of protests. There is criticism that work at the plant has not been carried out the pace as was promised and the waste continues to be dumped as it was done earlier. To reduce the amount of waste being dumped at the site the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram is encouraging composting among various residential and commercial sites.last_img read more

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UP oppn alliances first rally Mayawati says BJP will lose due to

first_imgDeoband (Saharanpur, UP): BSP supremo Mayawati Sunday slammed both the BJP and the Congress at the first joint rally with SP and RLD here, leas than a week before voting for the first phase of voting. “BJP will lose this election because of policies inspired by hatred.. especially their “chowkidar” campaign… no matter how much the chhote, bade chowkidars try, the BJP will not win,” she said. Addressing the rally in the presence of Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav and RLD chief Ajit Singh, she said, “The Congress has failed despite ruling for so many years,” Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details The BSP chief said, “Our government, instead of giving minimum income support, will give employment to poor people. Indira Gandhi too made a 20-point programme to remove poverty, but was it effective?” She said, “We are silent workers, unlike other parties. Our party performs without making noise, we are silent workers. The Congress too has been making tall claims, haven’t they been given enough chances for decades? They were wiped out from several states. The Nyay scheme is not a stable solution for removing poverty.” Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday At the same time, she said the BJP government has been misusing probe agencies. “Even the people from backward communities are suffering… The divisive thought process of these parties are hurting these communities… At the Centre, or state level… reservation issue for these communities was ignored. These communities are not benefiting from the reservation. They are being exploited. Minorities are also suffering.” Mayawati said corruption has increased at every level. “The Congress was tainted by bofors. BJP government is tainted by Rafale… The BJP government has been misusing probe agencies – CBI, ED – against its rivals. You don’t need to give another chance to them. The parties that have already been given enough chances In the election season, political parties use opinion polls to misguide voters. Do not get swayed,” she appealed to the voters. She assured the electorate that if voted to power, farmers will no longer be in debt. “Sugarcane farmers are suffering in UP… their grievances are being ignored amid empty announcements. When our party was in power, we made sure dues of sugarcane farmers were paid,” the former chief minister said. Mayawati said the BJP’s poll promises have still not been fulfilled. “The ground realities can’t be ignored. BJP will keep endorsing its hawa-hawai (lofty) schemes till the poll results are announced. Thousands of crores have been wasted… That’s taxpayers money… could be used for the poor…If PM was serious about welfare of poor, they would not have been inaugurating schemes after poll dates were announced… they would have performed in five years of tenure. In the last budget… whatever announcements were made by centre are nothing but empty poll promises,” she said. “Now that BJP is panicking, you should know BJP on its way out… and grand alliance will arrive. After Independence, for a long time Congress and BJP were in power… even in the Congress-ruled states, wrongful practices came to notice… so they eventually lost voter base… =========== BJP misusing Pulwama issue, GST & note ban caused huge job loss; don’t allow these people to come back, Mayawati tells Deoband rally.last_img read more

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Social Media Users Stand with Victims of the Finsbury Park Attack

By Chaymaa Benallouch.Rabat – Social Media users are showing their support of and expressing their sympathy for victims for the Mosque Attack in London.After the London Bridge Attack and the Grenfell Tower Fire, London has witnessed another horrifying attack. This time the targets were Muslims as they were leaving the Mosque. The vehicular attack lead to the death of one person and the injury of 10. Social Media users used many hashtags such as, #WeStandTogether and #FinsburyPark, in which they expressed their condolences and sympathy for the attack that targeted worshipers during Tarawih at the Finsbury Park Mosque, saying that they do not allow hate and terrorism to differentiate them.Jewish voluntary nonprofit organization, Shomrim NE London, showed its support for the victims of the attacks, saying that they stand in solidarity with them.#WeStandTogether in solidarity with the victims of the horrific terrorist attack in #FinsburyPark. Thoughts & prayers with all those affected pic.twitter.com/04kxobdpYN— Shomrim N.E. London (@Shomrim) June 19, 2017Many Members of the Parliament also used the hashtag “#WeStandTogether” to show their support.Horrific to see another terror attack on our streets. Thoughts with those killed, injured and affected#FinsburyParkattack #WeStandTogether https://t.co/nT35qOCHUD— Jim McMahon MP (@JimfromOldham) June 19, 2017Horrendous attack on people because of their Muslim faith near #FinsburyParkMosque. Thoughts+prayers with the victims.#WeStandTogether— Ivan Lewis (@IvanLewis_MP) June 19, 2017Yesterday we joined the #GreatGetTogether for Jo. Today another terrorist attack shows why it matters more than ever that #WeStandTogether— Yvette Cooper (@YvetteCooperMP) June 19, 2017British Boxer, Amir Khan, also used the hashtag and expressed his sympathy toward the victims of this attack.I am really saddened to hear about the attack in #FinsburyPark -I pray for all the victims and their families #WeStandTogether— Amir Khan (@amirkingkhan) June 19, 2017English television presenter and model, Davina McCall, said “we need a multi faith solution. Where we all come together and stand united against hate.”We need a multi faith solution. Where we all come together and stand united against hate ?? pic.twitter.com/0Fztvb54MD— Davina McCall (@ThisisDavina) June 19, 2017Famous British novelist and author of Harry Potter, JK Rowling, tweeted about the incident in her account, supported the victims and criticized the media, more particularly The Mail, for not describing the attacker as a “terrorist” and using the words “white van driver.”The Mail has misspelled ‘terrorist’ as ‘white van driver.’ Now let’s discuss how he was radicalised. pic.twitter.com/HPw2czZiV9— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) June 19, 2017In another tweet, she praised the Imam of the mosque who called for people to stay calm and prevented them from harming the suspect of the attack.The extraordinary decency and courage of this act has brought me to tears this morning. I hope this imam gets the recognition he deserves. https://t.co/SR5u6RRHG9— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) June 19, 2017The attack took place near the Finsbury Park mosque in the center of London. A man drove a vehicle into a group of Muslims as they were leaving the mosque, leaving one person dead and several people injured. read more

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Top UN official visits Colombia next week to assess relief operations

20 February 2009The United Nations humanitarian chief is slated to visit Colombia early next week to see for himself the response of relief agencies working in the country, and meet with indigenous communities, Government officials and representatives of civil society groups. During his first mission to the South American country, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes will observe the progress made by the Government in providing assistance to internally displaced persons (IDPs) and vulnerable communities. Mr. Holmes is also expected to reiterate the world body’s commitment to support Colombia by increasing its presence, strengthening coordination with the Government and mobilizing resources for the humanitarian response.His three-day mission, which starts on Monday, includes a meeting with Afro and indigenous communities as well as people uprooted from their homes in and around Bebedó, Dipurdú, and Quibdó. He will also meet beneficiaries of the $3.1 million grant from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) disbursed in Colombia.The country has recently suffered the harshest, most destructive rainy season on record, which wreaked havoc on the Sucre, Bolivar and Chocó provinces, affecting one million people and destroying 44,000 hectares of crops.The Under-Secretary-General, currently in Sri Lanka, is scheduled for discussions with President Alvaro Uribe, as well as the Foreign Affairs Minister, Government and Justice Minister, the UN Country Team, national and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and members of the diplomatic community in Bogotá. He will also encourage donor countries to support funding requirements to address the country’s humanitarian needs. read more

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Ban deplores deadly car bomb attack in Afghan capital

15 August 2009Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has strongly condemned Saturday morning’s suicide car bombing in central Kabul that has reportedly killed at least seven people and injured dozens of others, days ahead of much anticipated presidential and provincial elections across Afghanistan. In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Mr. Ban said he was “deeply concerned at this indiscriminate violence” before the polls, which are scheduled to take place next Thursday.“The Secretary-General extends his condolences and sympathy to the families of the victims. He also sends his wishes for a speedy recovery to those injured by this despicable act.” The injured civilians include at least one United Nations staff member.The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) warned in a report issued earlier this week with the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) that insecurity was having a serious impact on election preparations, particularly for women, but that Afghans were still eager to vote despite these challenges. read more

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Ontario wont force local electricity distribution companies to merge Chiarelli

by Keith Leslie, The Canadian Press Posted Mar 18, 2013 8:00 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email TORONTO – The Ontario government will not force local electricity distribution utilities to merge, even though the process could save $1.2 billion over 10 years, said Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli.An expert panel set up by the Liberal government recommended the 80 local distribution companies, or LDCs, many of which are owned by municipal governments, be merged into eight-to-12 regional agencies within two years.In a speech to the Electricity Distributors Association meeting in Toronto Monday, Chiarelli said the panel’s analysis suggests there are substantial efficiencies to be found through consolidation of the distribution companies.“Let me be very clear that our government will not legislate forced consolidation,” Chiarelli said in the prepared text of his speech.“However, as minister, I am keenly aware of the need to find savings for ratepayers, (and) that’s why I’m asking you for your views about the panel’s findings and recommendations.”The expert panel, made up of three former cabinet ministers — one from each party — said consolidation would make it easier and less costly for regional utilities to borrow money for much-needed investments to upgrade their distribution systems.“Transforming and further modernizing the energy system of a province of this size requires a significant investment of resources over a long period of time,” said Chiarelli.“Our government is firmly committed to looking at every possible opportunity, large and small, to help manage electricity bills and keep increases to the lowest level possible.”It’s the expected savings and efficiencies from consolidation of the local utilities that has the Liberals really interested, said Chiarelli.“We want you to keep in mind that while we are interested in promoting consolidation on a voluntary basis in the sector, we must find ways to deliver the savings to ratepayers that the panel identified,” he said.“Our government sees this as an imperative and as a priority.”Every reduction of $100 million in overall expenditures translates into a savings of almost $7 a year for the typical Ontario family, added Chiarelli.“We must ensure we are operating in the most efficient way, ensuring not only reliability, but reliability at prices that are affordable for industrial consumers as well as families,” he said.The panel called for only two electrical distributors in northern Ontario, but said Toronto Hydro was large enough to be considered its own region and would remain unchanged.Hydro One, the provincially owned transmission company, bought up 88 local distribution companies in the 1990s, and would end up being the dominate player among the new regional distribution companies outside of Toronto.Currently Hydro One has over 1.2 million customers, while the smallest LDC, Hydro 2000 in Alfred, near Ottawa, has only 1,208 customers.The expert panel wants each regional distribution company to have about 400,000 customers, although Toronto Hydro has over 700,000 customers. Ontario won’t force local electricity distribution companies to merge: Chiarelli read more

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BlackBerry shakes up its executive ranks as operational changes sweep company

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email BlackBerry shakes up its executive ranks as operational changes sweep company by David Friend, The Canadian Press Posted Nov 25, 2013 7:35 am MDT The executive offices at BlackBerry Ltd. (TSX:BB) are undergoing major changes as the smartphone maker announced Monday that chief operating officer Kristian Tear and chief marketing officer Frank Boulben are leaving.Both joined the smartphone maker in mid-2012 in the buildup to the release of the new BlackBerry smartphones, which have seen sales fizzle.BlackBerry spokeswoman Rebecca Freiburger confirmed that both of the executive positions will not be filled.Also, chief financial officer Brian Bidulka will be replaced by James Yersh, who has been with the company since 2008, and board member Roger Martin has resigned.The changes come as BlackBerry reworks its operations in an effort to reduce costs and downsize amid deepened financial losses.The company has struggled to regain marketshare in the highly competitive smartphone industry where Apple’s iPhone and a variety of devices on the Android operating system have taken the spotlight, and consumer interest, away from the once dominant company.Both Tear and Boulben were tipped to be instrumental in the recovery of the BlackBerry name, with Tear being responsible for both operations and sales.Boulben was behind the campaign for the new BlackBerry phones, which included a pricey 30-second spot during the SuperBowl and a series of other television spots that some critics complained undersold the smartphone’s features.Since the launch of the phones earlier this year, BlackBerry has seen its financial results erode, and in the second quarter booked a US$965-million loss mostly on poor sales of its BlackBerry Z10 touchscreen.The company, based in Waterloo, Ont., is reducing its expenses to deal with the decline. It announced plans to lay off 40 per cent of its staff, or about 4,500 employees, and make changes in its executive ranks.BlackBerry tried to sell its operations to other technology companies and investment firms. When that effort didn’t generate a deal, it abandoned the plans earlier this month in favour of a US$1-billion financing deal led by Fairfax Financial (TSX:FFH) that gave the company a lifeline to turn around its operations.BlackBerry hired John Chen as interim CEO and executive chairman to oversee the changes, taking over from ousted CEO Thorsten Heins.“BlackBerry has a strong cash position and continues, by a significant margin, to be the top provider of trusted and secure mobile device management solutions to enterprise customers around the world,” Chen said in a release.“I will continue to align my senior management team and organizational structure, and refine the company’s strategy to ensure we deliver the best devices, mobile security and device management.”BlackBerry will report its third quarter financial results on Dec. 20 when it’s expected that Chen could flesh out further details on his plans to reshape the company.Shares of the company were ahead 10 cents to $6.61 near midday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.___For more BlackBerry coverage, follow David Friend on Twitter. read more

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After release of report UN climate change official reiterates now is crucial

The statement by the head of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) follows the release earlier today from the International Energy Agency (IEA) of a report which shows that unless more is done to tackle energy sector emissions, the international community will see a spike in temperature increase of between 3.6 and 5.3 degree Celsius.“The IEA report comes at a crucial moment for the UN Climate Change negotiations and for global efforts to address climate change at all levels,” UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Cristiana Figueres, said from Bonn, where UNFCCC is spearheading two-week discussions that started on 3 June, on scientific, technological and methodological matters related to climate change. According to the IEA’s “Redrawing the Energy-Climate Map,” global energy industry-related carbon dioxide emissions in 2012 rose 1.4 per cent in 2012 to a record 31.6 billion tons.China experienced the largest growth of carbon dioxide at 300 million ton, but the increase was one of the lowest in a decade, the IEA said. Meanwhile, the United States’ carbon output fell by 200 million tons amid a switch to gas from coal in power generation. The report outlines some recommendations, particularly Governments’ role in adaptation and the need for the industry to assess the risks and impacts of climate change in its investment decisions. “By seizing the opportunities described in the report, businesses and Governments at all levels can catalyze climate action and open the political space for a universal climate agreement,” Ms. Figueres said. “Once again we are reminded that the gap can be closed this decade, using proven technologies and known policies, and without harming economic growth in any region of the world,” she added.Meanwhile, the head of the UN environment agency has welcomed the decision by China and the United States – two of the planet’s biggest greenhouse gas emitters – to cooperate on phasing down production of a group of synthetic chemicals in order to combat climate change.Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) yesterday welcomed the announcement by the United States and Chinese Heads of State announced they would be targeting Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) – a group of replacement chemicals for products such as refrigerators and foams for which there are already a range of climate and ozone-friendly alternatives. read more

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14 famous business books summarised for your reading list

first_img Meet Ron Fisher, the SoftBank executive who awarded WeWork a $47 billion valuation months before it delayed its $10 billion IPO Click here to see a high-res version of the infographic >- Max NisenRead: Business advice from Bill Cullen: lose weight>Careers clinic: What NOT to do at an interview>Read: Elon Musk’s top three tips to Taoiseach Enda Kenny> WANT TO READ 14 famous business books in under a minute?To save you some time and money, we’ve made it possible.We boiled down some of the most popular and influential business books out there to their central lessons.For those looking to bone up on some business theory, here are the highlights. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wore brownface and a turban during an ‘Arabian Nights’ themed party in 2001 center_img Since right after World War II, the president’s national security adviser has an unparalleled ability to influence events worldwide A major whistleblower complaint at the US’s top spy agency involves a Trump phone call with a ‘promise’ to a foreign leader last_img read more

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Strike averted but ESB and unions differ on terms of the deal

first_imgA NEW ROW has broken out between the ESB and unions – just over 12 hours after a deal was agreed to avoid a strike by workers at the company.A deal was brokered at the Labour Relations Commission yesterday, which the ESB claimed in a statement that said no liabilities would be added to the company’s balance sheet.The statement added that dividends would continue to be paid to the government.However, the leader of the ESB group of unions Brendan Ogle has told RTÉ that he believed that the treatment of the company pension scheme as a defined benefit scheme would add at least €369 million to the company’s balance sheet.The ESB then released a second statement, saying that they were very happy with the wording of the LRC deal.It said that it would be preparing accounts for the first quarter of 2014 and would implement the LRC deal “in the normal way”.Read: It’s off: ESB strike averted as management and unions reach agreementRead: ESB workers announce ‘all-out’ strike as unions meet with mediatorslast_img read more

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Explainer What are the rules and regulations surrounding drones

first_imgOF ALL THE technological developments that have happened recently, few got as much attention as drones. While they have been around for a while, it’s only in the past year or two that they’ve really entered public conversation.But with so much interest in them, not many are aware of the rules and regulations surrounding their use. Chances are most people have questions about them, even if they’ve no intention of flying them.Whether you’re thinking of purchasing one or just curious about the subject, here’s what you need to know.So what exactly is a drone?The term drone is usually seen as a catch-all term and is the term most people use when talking about remote controlled aircrafts.  Drones normally refer to any aircraft that is computer controlled, bypassing the need for a person to pilot it remotely.The term that should be used is either Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) or Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS, which is the term we’re using from now on), which refers to any aircraft that can be operated remotely or are computer controlled.While there are both rotary and fixed-wing models, the aircrafts you would normally associate with the term drones – those that carry goods or record video and capture images – are normally either hexacopters (an aircraft with six propellers) or octocopters (an aircraft with eight propellers).The cost of an RPAS which can capture high quality imagery or videos and can stay in the air for a decent amount of time would begin at €1,200 and can rise as high as €15,000.Who currently uses them?While a drone can be purchased and flown by anyone, they are mainly used by businesses and companies. Thanks to their size, they can be transported easily and can take-off or land in seconds from confined spaces. More importantly, they’re a cost effective solution for those who benefit from aerial photography.So far, 17 companies have been granted permission to fly RPAS in the Republic of Ireland. Companies like SkyTech Ireland in Cork, which specialises in aerial imagery, use it to capture images of land and buildings while the Gardai and The Irish Defence Forces have also invested in them. Source: SkyTec Ireland/VimeoWhat are the rules surrounding RPAS worldwide?So far, the regulations surrounding RPAS are still in development, simply because the industry has exploded in recent times.Currently, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is in the process of introducing new rules and regulations covering the operation of RPAS. Also, the European Aviation Safety Authority (EASA) is in the process of getting involved in RPAS operations for all weight categories instead of those above 150kg, meaning there will be a number of development in the field over the coming months.In the case of Ireland, what are the rules?For now, the only specific legislation governing their use is the (Rockets and Small Aircraft) Order, 2000, which is currently under review.While the regulations and requirements behind RPAS are extensive – it’s highly recommended that you read the full overview from the IAA here if you’re seriously thinking of piloting one – in layman terms, they’re effectively treated the same way as manned aircrafts.That means it cannot present or create a greater hazard to anyone or anything, either in the air or on the ground, than that of a manned aircraft. They can only fly in segregated airspace and require written permission from the IAA.What do I need to do before I can pilot one?As well as written permission, you will have to partake in both a theory and practical test first. Similar to training for manned flights, topics like aerodynamics, aircraft technical systems, navigation, rules of the air and emergency procedures will be covered.Also, practical training in the operation and control of a RPAS in flight, which may also include simulated flight training, will also be required. Currently, SkyTech Ireland offers a training course for those thinking of piloting one in the future. Some unmanned aircrafts, like this quadcopter in Belfast, are used as surveying tools to help with planning and development. Source: Niall Carson/PA Wire/Press Association ImagesAnd what do I need to do before the flight?You need to give a minimum lead-in time of 90 days for your request to be processed. The reason for this is because segregated airspace must be made exclusive to the RPAS operator to ensure no accidents occur. If a drone’s weight is greater than 20kg, it must be registered unless an exemption is granted by the IAA.Currently, you must apply for each flight regardless of purpose, although the IAA does allow some flexibility with dates in case a flight is cancelled because of bad weather.An appropriate sense and avoid system must also be in place otherwise the drone won’t be allowed to fly. As well as ensuring the aircraft isn’t a greater hazard than it currently is, its separation and collision avoidance capabilities must be able to:Detect and avoid traffic, both air and ground. Detect and avoid all airbourne objects. Avoid hazardous weather. Detect and avoid terrain and other obstacles. Perform functions similar to that of a manned aircraft.If it’s granted, then the person flying the drone must be able to comply with instructions from the Air Traffic Control unit and make it clear what the aircraft is.Ok, I’ve done everything above and I’m ready for take-off. Now what?You must ensure that the drone is fit to fly since there are no national regulations in force addressing issues like registration, certification and continuing airworthiness of RPAS. It’s expected that when the ICAO and EASA have introduced the relevant regulations, Irish legislation will follow suit.When in flight, the RPAS must comply with the Visual Flight Rules, the regulations pilots operate under when the weather is normal, since they affect manned aircrafts.If your aircraft weighs less than 20kg, it’s deemed to be a model aircraft and different rules apply. For one, the aircraft cannot leave your line of sight and cannot travel further than 500 metres from where you’re operating it.That’s a lot to take in. Is there anything else you want to add?Just be responsible about it. If you do decide to invest in an RPAS, remember to take the necessary precautions first before you start flying one.Read: Blind adventurer to give TED talk on hope four years after becoming paralysed >Read: Your next smartphone could have security features built into the glass >last_img read more

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Gayatri Vidya Parishad College a centre of excellence

first_imgVisakhapatnam: Gayatri Vidya Parishad established Engineering and Degree College in 1996 by introducing B Tech in different branches, M Tech in 9 streams and MCA. It is recognised by twice for erstwhile engineering courses through National Board of Accreditation (NBA) and A grade through NAAC. More than 300 teaching staff are conducting classes in which 118 are doctorates. The correspondent of the college assured to provide good education with library, Labs and other facilities all under one roof.last_img read more

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PAN Aadhaar interchangeable for filing IT returns

first_imgNew Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday said PAN and Aadhaar have been made interchangeable, allowing those who do not have PAN to file income tax returns. Presenting the first budget of the Modi government in its second term, Sitharaman said Aadhaar card for NRIs with Indian passports will be issued after their arrival in India, without waiting for the mandatory 180 days. Sitharaman said with a view to incentivising investment in GIFT City, the government proposes several tax benefits.last_img read more

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Deluged by Hurricane Matthew Rural Town Waits for Florence

first_imgBy CLAIRE GALOFARO, AP National WriterLUMBERTON, N.C. (AP) — She takes a break from hauling rugs and family heirlooms into the attic to look out the front door and watch it rain and rain and rain some more.Nichole Worley studies the house across the street, abandoned and boarded up, and the creek just behind it that made it that way. It jumped its banks during Hurricane Matthew two years ago, which drowned her neighborhood, one of the poorest communities in one of the poorest counties in North Carolina.Nichole Worley looks out from her home in Lumberton, N.C., Friday, Sept. 14, 2018, as rains from Hurricane Florence threaten the neighborhood with flooding. “I don’t think we can stand another one,” she says. “I can’t do this again.” (AP Photo/David Goldman)Half of her neighbors never came back. Now she’s watching the rain pound down again, terrified the other half may flee and also not return.“I can’t go through this again,” she says, wondering what little Lumberton and its 21,000 souls did to deserve all of this and how much more one town can take.As Hurricane Florence roars across the Carolina coast, her town 70 miles from the sea is once again among those worrying state authorities most.Forecasters warn rain will pour on them for days and the Lumber River that cuts through the middle of the city will continue to rise and likely spill out again. The flood could be as bad as the one two years ago that inundated entire neighborhoods and major highways. People were rescued from rooftops. Worley’s house, and most of those around her, took in water up to the eaves.“I don’t think we can stand another one,” she says. “I can’t do this again.”Lumberton, once the backbone of America’s textile manufacturing economy, has long been battered by a drumbeat of bad news.First it was the withering of the blue-collar economy that plunged many rural communities like this one into poverty. The largest employer here, a Converse shoe plant that employed 3,000, shuttered. Other factories and mills closed, too. Unemployment rates shot up, and now 70 percent of the county’s children live in poverty.Then came Hurricane Matthew.“If you would have told me three years ago that there would be a biblical flood in Lumberton, I wouldn’t have believed you,” says Donnie Douglas, the editor of the local newspaper, the Robesonian. He took doughnuts to a staff meeting a few days ago, telling employees he only brings treats for a once-in-a-lifetime flood. Now he’s brought doughnuts twice in two years. “I guess we need to build an ark.”His newspaper on Friday reported the Lumber River was expected to rise to 24 feet by Sunday, far above its flood level and on par with what it reached during Matthew.“People are tired,” Douglas says. “I’m tired. Our community has gotten swatted around.”He points to hopeful signs that this storm might not be as devastating: The river is lower than when the rains came in 2016, so there’s optimism it could stay in its banks. Emergency shelters filled up fast, an indication that people might be taking this storm more seriously. National Guard and city employees stacked 5,000 sandbags under an interstate overpass Friday afternoon, near where floodwaters swept into the city in 2016; ordinary civilians braved the rain and wind and falling trees to help.But even if the city avoids another catastrophe, the threat of it and the days of waiting are causing residents to relive the nightmare, Douglas says. Lumberton is in the Bible Belt, where many believe that God will deliver them only as much as they can handle, and Douglas is certain a second calamity might test that faith for many.“The county collectively is traumatized by what happened,” he says. “And what might be happening again.”Alexis Haggins initially thought she’d stay put in the apartment she shares with two friends in a low-lying area devastated in 2016. The elementary school around the corner was deemed a total loss, shuttered and now sits abandoned. Many of the houses remain vacant and boarded up.But then she couldn’t stop reliving that terrible day when Matthew’s floods came. She was driving when all of a sudden the water was up to her windows and the car started drifting.Haggins jumped out and took off on foot. She was beaten by falling limbs and pelting rain. Power lines fell around her, and she was sure she would be electrocuted. The mud sucked off her shoes, so she walked for miles barefoot until her soles were so bruised she could barely stand for days.On Friday, she felt panic bubbling up. She imagined herself again up to her waist in water, fearing certain death. “If I would have to walk out of this house and into a flood, I would probably just drop to my knees and start crying,” she says. “I can’t do it again. I can’t. I would just give up.”So she and her two roommates, Da-Rosh Wimbush and Shewanna Lewis, started frantically packing for a last-minute evacuation to Charlotte. Lewis, a mother of two toddlers, also lost everything in Matthew. They all moved in together to try to rebuild their lives.In most disasters, the poor suffer disproportionately, and it is no different here. The neighborhoods struggling to rebuild after Matthew are the same neighborhoods most at risk to flood again. Haggins was barely getting by back then, crashing with friends. After the water receded, she tried to go collect the little she owned from her friends’ houses, but they’d all flooded and everything she had in the world was gone.“I had to start from the bottom again,” Haggins says. “And I was already on the bottom so I’m lower than the bottom.”“It was devastating,” Lewis agrees. “I can’t afford to lose anything else.”The women pack the few possessions that fit in the car, stacking everything else on top of bunk beds and countertops, and head for Charlotte — praying for the best.Nearby, Nichole Worley decides at what point she’d be willing to leave: not until the flood reaches the bolts on the wheels of her car in the driveway.She’s watching the rain, and it reminds her of the day two years ago when she finally fled. Her mother had congestive heart failure and was on dialysis; she was panting and choking. The power had been out for days. They realized they couldn’t wait any longer, so Worley and her husband put her mother in the car and tried to make it through the flood.She put her arm out the window and could feel the water around them. They somehow made it across a crumbling bridge to get to the hospital, and just in time. The doctors said her mother could have died in minutes.“God must have been on our side,” she says.They eventually returned to an unlivable house. Her husband borrowed against his 401(k) to rebuild and replace what they’d lost. Her mother died months later, and now her house is crammed with her mother’s things, which she can’t bear the thought of losing. So her nieces and nephews, waiting out Florence in her house, help her carry each piece one-by-one to the attic, just in case the water reaches the wheels and they have to go.Worley and her husband have talked for years about leaving Lumberton. They almost didn’t come back after Hurricane Matthew. So many of her neighbors stayed gone, their homes boarded up, that this neighborhood she’s known all her life felt suddenly foreign and unfamiliar.She worries if it floods again, it might just disappear.So she stood at the door, watching for the water to come.“The less I see,” she says, “the happier I am.”___Follow Claire Galofaro on Twitter at https://twitter.com/clairegalofarolast_img read more

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Transforming the Outlook on Cancer

first_img The MD Anderson Proton Therapy Center expansion is expected to be completed in 2023. Rendering courtesy of Stantec. Feature | Proton Therapy | November 06, 2017 | By Larisa Brass, MPH Transforming the Outlook on Cancer Why radiation oncologists should recommend proton therapy for patients diagnosed with left-sided breast cancer News | Patient Positioning Radiation Therapy | August 07, 2019 Qfix kVue One Proton Couch Top Validated by Mevion Medical Systems Qfix and Mevion Medical Systems announced that a special version of the kVue One Proton couch top is now both validated… read more PreviousNext Lungs Take a Hit, TooThe breasts sit adjacent to two of the body’s most vital organs. Conventional radiation affects the lungs as well. Research shows radiation-induced pneumonitis can result from even low doses of radiation to the lungs. Recent studies suggest a critical threshold could be just 5 Gy.In a recent pilot study of proton therapy patients, protons served up less than 0.5 Gy to the heart and just 0.6 Gy to the lungs. Nor did proton therapy cause pneumonitis or fatigue, also commonly experienced by those who receive conventional radiation. And proton therapy ranked just a grade 3 toxicity. As seen in the image to the left, proton therapy doesn’t get as near to the heart and other internal organs as X-ray therapy does.  What is Proton Therapy?Radiation therapy is the recommended and uniquely effective therapy for a majority of cancer indications. Generally, 60 percent of all cancer patients receive radiation therapy at some point during their treatment course. But the photons that destroy cancer cells cause collateral damage to healthy tissue as well. As a result, patients experience side effects such as skin burns, fatigue and the disruption of a variety of bodily processes depending on the location of the cancer. And, even more concerning, radiation therapy results in higher risk of long-term secondary chronic issues including heart and lung disease, and cancer.Proton therapy on the other hand presents a more advanced solution to the need for radiation therapy to attack cancer growth. Proton therapy allows curative doses of radiation to be delivered to the tumor site, but reduces damage to surrounding organs and tissues.Over the past 25 years, technology advancements and clinical trials have shown proton therapy to be an effective treatment for the majority of solid tumor cancers including prostate, breast, head and neck, brain and pediatric cancers. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved proton therapy in 1988.A piece of equipment called the ion source extracts protons from hydrogen gas. It then injects the protons into a cyclotron, which accelerates them to two-thirds the speed of light. The cyclotron ejects the protons into an energy selection system and degrader. The degrader adjusts the energy level and optimizes it for delivery to the patient. A fixed-beam or gantry system revolves around the patient, delivering the protons directly to the cancer site.More than 100,000 patients have chosen proton therapy for their cancer treatment. 3.    Zablotska LB, Neugut AI. “Lung carcinoma after radiation therapy in women treated with lumpectomy or mastectomy for primary breast carcinoma.” Cancer. 2003;97(6):1404-1411. Larisa Brass is a career journalist, freelance writer and 2014 graduate of Loma Linda University with a master’s in public health. She is currently employed by Provision Healthcare in Knoxville, Tenn. Following radiation, the bone marrow shows nearly complete loss of blood cells in mice (left). Mice treated with the PTP-sigma inhibitor displayed rapid recovery of blood cells (purple, right). Credit: UCLA Broad Stem Cell Research Center/Nature Communications Videos | Radiation Therapy | July 30, 2019 VIDEO: Use of Radiotherapy to Noninvasively Ablate Ventricular Tachycardia Pierre Qian, MBBS, read more News | Patient Positioning Radiation Therapy | August 15, 2019 Mevion and C-RAD Release Integration for Improved Proton Therapy Treatment Quality Mevion Medical Systems and C-RAD announced the integration between the C-RAD Catalyst PT and the Mevion S250i proton… read more Proton therapy doesn’t get as near to the heart and other internal organs as X-ray therapy does. (Image courtesy of Provision Cares Proton Therapy Center.) 5.    E Yorke et al. “Correlation of dosimetric factors and radiation pneumonitis for non-small-cell lung cancer patients in a recently completed dose escalation study.” International Journal Radiation Oncology Biology Physics. 2005; 63: 672-682.6.    MacDonald S. Specht M, Isako S, et al. “Prospective pilot study of proton radiation therapy for invasive carcinoma of the breast following mastectomy in patients with unfavorable anatomy – first reported clinical experience.” International Journal Radiation Oncology. 2012; 84 (Suppl 3):S113-S114. Abstract 281. FacebookTwitterLinkedInPrint分享 The secondary cancer risk for those being treated with IMRT can be up to 10 percent greater than being treated with proton therapy. (Image courtesy of Provision Cares Proton Therapy Center.)Thirty-three. Twenty-nine. Sixty-four. These are the ages of the breast cancer patients who have walked through the Provision Cares Proton Therapy Center in Knoxville, Tenn. With decades of life ahead of them, they face a cure that could be worse than their disease.A growing body of research shows a significant uptick in risk of post-treatment cardiac disease in women who have received conventional radiation for cancer. According to a seminal article in the New England Journal of Medicine, March 2013, women’s risk of a “major coronary event” increases by 7.4 percent for every gray (Gy) of radiation exposure to the heart. There exists no safe level of radiation, the study concluded.For women diagnosed with cancer in the left breast, radiation treatment results in a mean dose of 10 Gy to the heart. Cardiac issues can develop within five years of treatment and continue for the rest of a woman’s life.Another study published in JAMA Internal Medicine further quantifies the risk. Women with breast cancer who receive conventional radiation therapy stand a 0.5 percent to 3.5 percent higher chance of succumbing to a heart attack or other heart conditions. This study also explicitly stated that a higher risk exists for women with a tumor on the left side.There is an alternative, however.“Proton therapy completely transforms the outlook for women with breast cancer facing the long-term impacts of conventional radiation therapy,” said Allen Meek, M.D., radiation oncologist and medical director for Provision Medical Group. “With proton therapy the heart receives just 0.2 Gy of radiation exposure compared to 10 Gy with conventional photons. It’s a life-saving treatment in more ways than one.” General References1.    Darby et al., “Risk of Ischemic Heart Disease in Women after Radiotherapy for Breast Cancer,” New England Journal of Medicine 368 (2013) Related Contentcenter_img News | Radiation Oncology | July 31, 2019 Laura Dawson, M.D., FASTRO, Chosen as ASTRO President-elect The members of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) elected four new officers to ASTRO’s Board of… read more News | Brachytherapy Systems | August 14, 2019 Efficacy of Isoray’s Cesium Blu Showcased in Recent Studies August 14, 2019 — Isoray announced a trio of studies recently reported at scientific meetings and published in medica read more Catalyst PT image courtesy of C-RAD News | Radiation Therapy | August 15, 2019 First Patient Enrolled in World’s Largest Brain Cancer Clinical Trial Henry Ford Cancer Institute is first-in-the-world to enroll a glioblastoma patient in the GBM AGILE Trial (Adaptive… read more News | Radiation Therapy | August 16, 2019 Drug Accelerates Blood System’s Recovery After Radiation, Chemotherapy A drug developed by UCLA physician-scientists and chemists speeds up the regeneration of mouse and human blood stem… read more Secondary Cancer Also a ThreatHeart disease presents a unique health outcome as a result of conventional radiation therapy. The risk of secondary cancer also represents a well-documented and well-known risk following treatment.Several studies reveal the following regarding the risk of cancer with conventional radiation versus proton therapy:•    The risk of secondary cancer with proton therapy is 5-6 percent whereas 3-D conformal-ray therapy yields a 10 percent secondary risk of cancer. Proton therapy essentially cuts the risk of future malignancy in half.•    A number of studies expect the secondary cancer risk to be even higher with IMRT, even as much as 15 percent, or three times that of proton therapy. Here is how it breaks down. 4.    Early Breast Cancer Trialists’ Collaborative Group. “Favourable and unfavourable effects on long-term survival of radiotherapy for early breast cancer: an overview of the randomized trials.” Lancet. 2000;335:1757-1770. News | Proton Therapy | August 08, 2019 MD Anderson to Expand Proton Therapy Center The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center unveiled plans to expand its Proton Therapy Center during a… read more Pierre Qian explains radiotherapy to ablate VTVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 7:34Loaded: 2.19%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -7:34 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button. 2.    Kirova YM, Vilcoq JR, Asselain B, Sastre-Garau X, Fourquet A. “Radiation induced sarcomas after radiotherapy for breast carcinoma: a large-scale single-institution review.” Cancer. 2005;104(4):856-63. The secondary cancer risk for those being treated with IMRT can be up to 10 percent greater than being treated with proton therapy. (Image courtesy of Provision Cares Proton Therapy Center.) News | Proton Therapy | August 06, 2019 IBA Signs Contract to Install Proton Therapy Center in Kansas IBA (Ion Beam Applications S.A.) recently signed a contract and received the first payment for a Proteus One solution… read more A Patient’s StoryAn energetic woman, Kimberly Kraus, held a fast-paced job managing a restaurant. When she was diagnosed with breast cancer last year, the Provision Center for Proton Therapy helped keep her on her feet through treatment.A grandmother and two aunts had already suffered from breast cancer, so Krause started annual mammograms early. At age 39, her mammogram showed a possibility of breast cancer. After going in for a biopsy, her doctor called her with the news — she had early stage breast cancer. He recommended six weeks of radiation in addition to lumpectomy or mastectomy.Krause’s surgeon, George Webber, M.D., works at Knoxville Comprehensive Breast Center on the Provision campus. Each morning, a multidisciplinary task force, including pathologists, oncologists, surgeons, radiation therapists and more, meet to review patients’ files and recommend the best course of action for each individual.“We all meet in order to provide input into a patient’s case so they can get the best possible recommendations,” said Webber. Included on that task force is Meek.Because of the placement of Krause’s tumor, the group determined traditional radiation could affect her lungs, giving her a higher chance of developing cancer later in life.“This is not an immediate effect,” said Meek. “What can happen is potential long-term radiation damage to the left side of the chest. This includes a higher incidence of heart disease and a higher incidence of lung cancer. Proton therapy is certainly advantageous for younger women. Many chemotherapy drugs can potentially affect the heart, also.“The benefit in my view is that we get the same benefit for the breast, and we reduce by a considerable margin the damage to the heart and lung,” he added.Krause found herself surprised at how proton therapy enabled her to keep up with her busy life. “It was amazing. I had minimal side effects and was able to keep the same work schedule,” she said. News | Radiation Therapy | August 02, 2019 Varian Showcases Cancer Care Systems and Software at AAPM 2019 Varian showcased systems and software from its cancer care portfolio, including the Identify Guidance System, at the… read more last_img read more

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Mortgage Repurchases Say Farewell at Freddie Mac

first_img Share Freddie Mac Mortgage Repurchase 2016-05-09 Staff Writer in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, News Mortgage Repurchases Say Farewell at Freddie Maccenter_img Mortgage repurchases, a seemingly taboo subject in the housing market, are down significantly from their peak at Freddie Mac. What benefits does this phenomenon pose for the mortgage industry?Chris Mock, VP Single-Family Quality Control at Freddie Mac discussed in an article released Monday some of the implications of a dying loan repurchase system, ultimately determining that this trend is beneficial for all involved in the mortgage process.Mock says in the report that mortgage repurchases are a last option for Freddie Mac when a quality control review determines that a loan failed underwriting requirements at the time of sale. Instead, the GSE attempts to give the lender an opportunity to remediate the issue prior to repurchasing the loan.Based on data drawn from Freddie Mac’s recent Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) report, Mock found that completed repurchases at Freddie Mac have fallen 95 percent from a $4.2 billion in 2009 to $400 million in unpaid principal balance in 2015.”This downward repurchase trend is good for seller/servicers, Freddie Mac and taxpayers. It’s also good for borrowers,” Mock said. “When seller/servicers sell Freddie Mac loans with greater certainty, they are more likely to make loans that take advantage of the full extent of our credit box.”One possible cause for the dropoff in repurchase activity is the recent announcement from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA),Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac about the establishment of an independent dispute resolution (IDR) process for solving mortgage repurchase disputes.In 2012, FHFA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac made the representation and warranty framework​  a priority to complete in the conservatorship scorecards, the announcement noted. The 2016 scorecard for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Common Securitization Solutions provided direction to complete IDR as part of that framework. The IDR portion of the framework is designed to allow lenders to escalate unresolved loan level disputes to a neutral third-party arbitrator after the appeal and escalation processes have been exhausted, the announcements said.”The IDR process provides the Enterprises and lenders a mechanism for resolving a repurchase dispute and avoiding the possibility that a dispute might languish unresolved for an extended period of time as has often occurred in the past,” said Melvin L. Watt, FHFA Director. “IDR is the final part of the Representation and Warranty Framework which, taken as a whole, will increase clarity for lenders and will ultimately increase access to mortgages for creditworthy borrowers.” May 9, 2016 612 Views last_img read more

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