Nagaland’s ‘Gandhi’ Natwar Thakkar dies

first_imgNoted Gandhian Natwar Thakkar, the man who was thought be an Indian spy at the peak of an armed Naga movement for sovereignty seven decades ago, but came to be accepted as “Nagaland’s Gandhi”, died in a private hospital in Guwahati on Sunday. Mr. Thakkar, 86, who was honoured with the Padma Shri, fell ill on September 9 at his workplace in Chuchuyimlang town. He was shifted to Guwahati from a hospital in Dimapur in Nagaland. His wife, Lentina Ao, also a Gandhian and Padma Shri winner, and his son, Aotoshi, and two daughters, were by his side when he breathed his last at 7.10 a.m. “I am saddened to hear about the demise of Natwar Thakkar, founder of Nagaland Gandhi Ashram. He made significant contributions toward the betterment of society. May Almighty give strength to his family, friends and loved ones and may his soul rest in peace,” Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio said.The Naga Hoho, the apex body of all tribes in Nagaland, mourned Mr. Thakkar’s death. “His is a gap that will be difficult to fill in the State. He had been tirelessly working to bring peace and development to Nagaland,” its president, Chuba Ozukum, told The Hindu.Mr. Thakkar had been chosen as a member of a committee constituted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the year-long celebration of Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary across the country.He was 23 when he went to Nagaland from Maharashtra in 1955 when the movement for secession from India under the legendary Naga leader A.Z. Angami was gaining momentum. His Gandhian mission was viewed as a front for espionage by New Delhi and he was often told, at gunpoint, to leave the Naga domain.But Mr. Thakkar made Nagaland his home, married a woman from the Ao Naga community and worked to spread Gandhian philosophy.last_img read more

Canned in Cannes

first_imgOnce again, Bollywood, the world’s largest film industry, has taken a beating at the world’s oldest and most celebrated film festival.Founded in 1939, the Cannes Film Festival is an annual film spectacle held in May at the Palais de Festivals et des Congres, in the small resort town of Cannes, in south France. Over the years, it has developed a reputation as the world’s preeminent film festival and has come to be revered by both the magicians and the merchants of cinema for its moolah and mystique. A platform where the movie community congregate to celebrate the finest work available amidst a glorious backdrop of sea, sand, sun and endless carnivals.This year’s countdown includes headliner like Lee Daniels’ The Paperboy, Michael Haneke’s Amour, Water Salles’ On the Road, David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis and of course Andrew Dominik’s, Brad Pitt starrer Killing Them Softly. The high point could be the aged mastero Alain Renais’ latest movie, Vous N’avez Encore Rien Vu (You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet).The country that produces the largest number of films on earth (1,000 annually), will be conspicuous by its absence, however. Indian films and filmmakers, glorified and glamorized at home, don’t register even as an exotic blip on Cannes radar. Can you remember the last time an Indian film was felicitated at Cannes? In 1999, Murali Nair’s Marana Simhasanam, a short film critiquing class and political manipulation set in Kerala was screened at the Un Certain Regard (A Certain Glance) section of the festival, which encourages innovative and daring works, and walked with the prestigious Camera d-or award, given for best first film.This year Ashim Ahluwalia’s Miss Lovely was selected to represent India in the Un Certain Regard section. No film from India, however, was found worthy of the competitive section. Sure we are treated to the glitzy “side-shows,” such as Aishwarya Rai and Sonam Kapoor doing a red carpet ramp-walk as a L’oreal brand ambassadors and Arjun Rampal strutting his stuff for a liquor brand. Anurag Kashyap’s five-hour epic The Gangs of Wasseypur, was screened as part of Director’s Fortnight and Vasan Bala’s Peddlers, was showcased under Critic’s Week. Both the Director’s Fortnight and Critic’s Week are independent sections, held parallel with the Cannes Film Festival and run not by Cannes, but the French Director’s Guild and the French Union of Film Critics, distinctions that are glossed over by both the Bollywood publicity hype machines and the gushing Indian media.Don’t Indian films count for anything, anymore? Has the festival that once worshipped Satyajit Ray, Ritwik Ghatak and Adoor Gopalakrishnan, completely turned off by the stuff we produce? What’s the problem? What’s the solution?Okay, so what does India’s large contingent do once it touches down at Cannes? Booze, laze around, ogle topless babes and generally have a blast? Veteran journalist and scholar Rauf Ahmed laughs, admitting that there are certainly delegates that fit that stereotype, but there are serious movie junkies too. “One is the kind who genuinely want to see films to check out the best of world cinema. Guys like Sudhir Mishra, Ketan Mehta and their ilk. They know why they are going there and what will come out of this amazing 10-day experience. There is focus, clarity and sense of purpose all the way. The other lot come to sell their films because Cannes is a huge market place too with a robust, vigorous, vibrant and hyper-active market section. There is something for everybody and with the diaspora (the pre-sold red-hot target base) on an over-drive, the potential possibility of making a quick buck is always there.” In recent years, according to Ahmed, the marketing of Bollywood at Cannes has taken a big leap.The awkward fact remains that although Bollywood is the world’s largest movie factory, we don’t register even a hiccup in this gala, global, mega feast. Historically we have been conditioned and programmed to believe that it’s not the winning or losing, but participation that is the key. Ride the karma cloud, without anticipation of rewards. It gives our weak performance a philosophical coloring.There is also the hard reality. We simply don’t or can’t, make films that resonate with the world. Our stuff is not universal, but local, celebrated hugely at home and among the diaspora across the globe. Cannes, on the other hand, looks for unique, unusual and edgy works that are global in character, an individual voice that is riveting enough to be heard and loved across the globe, culture-specific films with an all-embracing soul, in which Iranians and Chinese specialize. We seem to have forgotten to make such films.Critics blame the Bollywoodification of India for its weak performance in international circuits. Says one critic: “Their gloss, glitz and glamor has such an over-powering influence on the Indian viewer, wherever on earth he may be, that it’s nearly impossible to let anything else get peeping space. In this scenario, when mass popularity and numbers decide everything, where does genuine pursuit of excellence stand a chance? Sadly, the Bollywood product is only popular with the Indian diaspora, but such are their growing numbers, that they are made to count. Cannes, while acknowledging the Bollywood phenomenon, has no time for its product because it does not conform to their idea of great cinema. It’s exotica, at best; endless, irrelevant, song n’ dance at worst! Isn’t it amazing that a few years ago at Cannes, they played Ray’s Pather Panchali — a film that is totally rural Bengal-specific and made over 50 years ago — to packed halls attracting rave reviews from viewers across generations ….”However, all is not lost. The attention that Cannes is now attracting and the growing Indian participation is a learning experience for Indian filmmakers and before long some will break though. Until then, Aishwarya Rai Bachhan haazir ho! Indian Movie Winners at Cannes1946: Neecha Nagar (1946, Chetan Anand). Grand Prix1954: Do Bigha Zameen (1953, Bimal Roy). Grand Prix1955: Boot Polish (1954, Prakash Arora). Special Distinctionto child artist Kumary Naaz1956: Pather Panchali (1955, Satyajit Ray). Palme d’Or1957: Gotoma the Buddha (1956, Rajbans Khanna). Unanimete1983: Kharij (1982, Mrinal Sen). Jury Prize1988: Salaam Bombay! (1988, Mira Nair). Camera d’Or1989: Piravi (1988, Shaji N. Karun). Un Certain Regard Prize1991: Sam & Me (1991, Deepa Mehta). Camera d’Or Mention1998: The Sheep Thief (1997, Asif Kapadia) – Cinefondation1999: Marana Simhasanam (1999, Murali Nair) – Camera d’Or  Related Itemslast_img read more

Amid doping scandal, skeleton federation suspends 4 Russians

first_imgQC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort The IBSF isn’t waiting.“I understand that it was a difference of culture and that the Russians don’t believe they did anything wrong,” U.S. women’s skeleton veteran Katie Uhlaender said after the IOC decision to strip the medals and issue the Olympic bans was announced Wednesday. “But this was the only way to fix it.”Uhlaender will be promoted to the bronze medal spot once Nikitina, as the IOC has ordered, surrenders what had been her bronze from Sochi and the IBSF updates the results. Tretiakov was the men’s gold-medalist; the revised order of finish for that event will now have Latvia’s Martins Dukurs getting gold, Matt Antoine of the U.S. bumped up to silver and Latvia’s Tomass Dukurs, Martins’ brother, will become the bronze medalist.Uhlaender, who was fourth, will soon officially be third behind gold medalist Lizzy Yarnold of Britain and silver medalist Noelle Pikus-Pace of the U.S.Sliders have lauded the IOC for doing the right thing, though noted that racers like Uhlaender and Tomass Dukurs — even once they have medals in hand — will never be able to replicate the moment on a podium that they should have had in Sochi.ADVERTISEMENT Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Elena Nikitina of Russia celebrates her bronze medal win during the women’s skeleton competition at the 2014 Winter Olympics, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. The International Olympic Committee has banned four more Russians for doping at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, all competing in the sliding sport of skeleton and includes men’s gold medalist Alexander Tretyakov and women’s bronze medalist Nikitina. AP FILE PHOTOThe two Russians who had their medals from the Sochi Games stripped because of doping have been barred from competing in World Cup races, at least temporarily.It’s the latest sanction against Aleksandr Tretiakov and Elena Nikitina, who had their medals — gold for Tretiakov, bronze for Nikitina — taken away Wednesday (Thursday Manila time) after it was determined they were part of Russia’s state-sponsored doping program at the 2014 Olympics. They have already been banned from future Olympics, and now may have no place to slide.ADVERTISEMENT Read Next LATEST STORIES Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Raisman embraces role as ‘Fierce’ advocate for abuse victims Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Kris Aquino ‘pretty chill about becoming irrelevant’ “Having the physical medal’s cool, but most of it in my opinion is the experience of everything that happens,” Antoine said. “That’s what you cherish the most.”Not having the top Russians on the World Cup circuit figures to have a major impact on the points standings.Nikitina was the World Cup women’s points leader after the first two races of the season, and was coming off a victory last weekend in Park City, Utah. Tretiakov was fourth so far in the men’s standings, including a bronze at the season-opening race in Lake Placid, New York. CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Russian envoy invites PH firms to explore for oil, gas in Russia PLAY LIST 02:03Russian envoy invites PH firms to explore for oil, gas in Russia01:37Russian envoy: Putin accepts Duterte’s invitation to visit PH02:46Makabayan bloc: Duterte suspension order on rice importation only a ‘media stunt’01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice The International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation handed down the suspensions Thursday (Friday Manila time), effective immediately. Tretiakov and Nikitina were both planning to compete in World Cup races at Whistler, British Columbia, this weekend.In all, four Russians have been suspended by the IBSF. Along with Tretiakov and Nikitina, Mariia Orlova and Olga Potylitsyna — who have been racing on the lesser-tier Intercontinental Cup Circuit this season — were also banned, just as they were by the IOC. All four are expected to appeal, and the IBSF said they will be entitled to a hearing if that happens.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“Sport is all about who’s the best on that day and if anything compromises that, like the situations in Sochi, it taints everything and kind of undermines the fundamental belief in the system and the competition itself,” said USA Bobsled and Skeleton CEO Darrin Steele, also is a vice president with the IBSF. “This is kind of righting the ship.”The IBSF’s decision is a strong one and is in stark contrast to one made by the International Ski Federation, which is allowing Russian cross-country skiers who were found guilty of doping at the Sochi Olympics to compete in World Cup events this weekend. The FIS wants to see detailed reasons why the IOC disciplinary panel reached its decisions about the Russian athletes. View comments MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasalast_img read more

IPL 2017: Jaydev Unadkat happy to repay faith with last-over hat-trick

first_imgFast bowler Jaydev Unadkat revelled in a five-wicket haul that included a hat-trick as Rising Pune Supergiant eked out a 12-run win over Sunrisers Hyderabad to jump to the second spot in IPL 2017 on Saturday.Defending a modest 148, the Pune outfit came up with a superb bowling performance with Unadkat (5/30) and Ben Stokes (3/30) doing the maximum damage, especially in the final overs to restrict Hyderabad to 136 for nine in 20 overs.Unadkat took a hat-trick in the final over of the match, when Hyderabad needed 13 runs, to shut the door on the hosts.He sent back Bipul Sharma, Rashid Khan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the second, third and fourth deliveries of the 20th over respectively. It was the third hat-trick of the season.Unadkat, who was picked by the Pune franchise for Rs 30 lakh at this year’s auction, has played a key role in the Steve Smith-led team winning seven of their last eight games.The left-arm seamer has grabbed 17 wickets and is Pune’s second-highest wicket-taker behind Imran Tahir (18). Interestingly, Unadkat has played four games less than Tahir this year.With Pune now preferring Unadkat over misfiring Ashoke Dinda, the 25-year-old Saurashtra pacer was happy to repay his team’s faith .”To have been already through it, having been there, done that, you have the confidence in yourself, your skills. To bowl those cutters is something that has been working for me. I have been hit for some runs in the last game and some other games as well. But, as we talked in the meeting as well, just sticking to those plans and just doing what I am good at, bowling to my strengths has been working well. Really happy we defended that low-scoring total and have gone up in the points table,” Unadkat told the other bowlers in the team, Unadkat, in an interview to Ben Stokes after the match, said it was special for him to defend 13 runs in the last over. He also credited his simple approach for the success he has got.”It’s crazy. To go for some 20-21 runs in the last match, and to then come out here and defend 13 runs is something special. Keeping it simple is what has been working well for all of us,” Unadkat said.”All of us have been helping each other; to take those wickets in the Powerplay, middle overs. At times I have taken those wickets, at times you (Stokes) have. Immy bhai (Imran Tahir) has been brilliant for us as well. I think taking those wickets throughout the innings is what has been helping me in the death overs as well,” he added.last_img read more


first_img8th Last Race: THE BOL PUBLICATION CUP DIV ? II 8th Last Race: THE BOL PUBLICATION CUP DIV ? II (abt 1200m) Alldero (Mr.Joydeep Datta Gupta, Mr.Shomenath Roy Chowdhury, Mr.Jeet Banerjee rep.Jagadisha Tradecom Pvt.Ltd. & Mr.Achuthan Siddharth) 52.5 Dasrath Singh first, Aragon 60.5 S. John second, Shape The Scape 57.5 Mohit Singh third and Glorious Run 56.5 Shezad Khan fourth All Ran Won by 1/2, 5-1/4, and S.Head Time: 1m 14.648secs Tote: Rs 34/-for win, Rs 19/-, Rs 14/-, and Rs 14/- for places Fc: Rs 91/- Shp: Rs 33/- Thp : 53 Tanala: Rs 198/- Favourtie: Aragon Winner Trained by: Bharath Singh. — Treble (i) Rs 5992/- Treble (ii) 758/- Treble (iii) Rs 88/- Consolation Rs 32/- 70% Jackpot Rs 378/- (398 tickets) — PTI Corr LNS LNS AHlast_img read more

MCA members file petition against BCCI’s decision to shift ODI out of Wankhede

first_imgTwo members of the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) have filed a petition in the Bombay High Court challenging Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) decision to shift a one day international between India and West Indies out of Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.The BCCI on Friday shifted the fourth ODI between India and West Indies from the Wankhede Stadium to the Cricket Club of India (CCI). The BCCI formally announced that the match will now be held at the Brabourne Stadium on October 29.”Under the instructions of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India appointed Committee of Administrators, the fourth One-day International match between India and Windies scheduled on 29th October at Wankhede Stadium has been shifted to Cricket Club of India, Mumbai,” the BCCI had said in a statement.The need for a shift in venue arose due to original host, the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) citing it’s inability to issue tenders to the vendors for the ODI.The city’s cricket body had already cited its inability in hosting the ODI at the Wankhede Stadium, primary because of financial constraints.Sanjay Naik and Ravi Savant filed the petition challenging the cricket board’s decision, saying it was illegal and arbitrary and passed without giving notice to the MCA.The petition is likely to be heard by a division bench headed by Justice B R Gavai on Wednesday.The petition claimed that CCI was not equipped to hold an international match as it usually hosts only practice games.The CCI last hosted an ODI in 2006 and a Test match in 2009 when India took on Sri Lanka.advertisement(With inputs from PTI)last_img read more


first_imgQueensland Touch will be hosting an Advanced Coaching and Refereeing Workshop for all interested affiliated members on 8-9 December 2006 at the Queensland Sport and Athletic Centre (QSAC) in Brisbane. An impressive array of presenters from across the Queensland Sporting spectrum have been assembled to discuss advanced coaching and refereeing topics across a range of disciplines.Headlining the guest presenters are Master sports psychologist Phil Jauncey, Former Australian Hockeyroos Captain and Elite Coach Debbie Bowman-Sullivan OAM, and Exercise Physiologist Chris Weier, who will address topics in their chosen fields of endeavour.National Touch Football Game Development Manager Colm Maguire, National Coaching Director Dennis Coffee, and Australian Touch Association Hall of Fame member and current Queensland Coaching Advisory Committee Member Peter Mc Niven will also present topics on High performance and contemporary Coaching methods and standards.The High Performance Refereeing section will be presented by esteemed refereeing identities Glenn Richardson, Ray Grieshaber, Jenny Madders, and Keith Steele. The day and a half workshop will commence at 6.00pm Friday 8 November until 9.00pm. The workshop will recommence at 8.30am Saturday and conclude at 3.30pm.The cost of the Workshop is $ 25.00 and includes lunch, morning tea and the opportunity to gain insights and share and exchange ideas with  some of Queensland’s most well credentialled coaches, officials,  and industry professionals.For more information see the flyers attached and to register contact Member Services Officer Gary Madders at Queensland Touch on 07) 34204646 or e-mail Filesa_high_performance_coaching_workshop-docadvanced__coaching_workshop_poster-doclast_img read more

Ashes 2019: Steve Smith dons spectacles again, Jack Leach loves them this time

first_imgAshes 2019: Steve Smith dons spectacles again, Jack Leach loves them this timeAshes 2019: Steve Smith, donning a pair of glasses was spotted posing with England spinner Jack Leach after the 5th and final Test in Oval on Sunday. Smith was earlier slammed for allegedly mocking Leach after Australia’s win in Manchester.advertisement India Today Web Desk LondonSeptember 16, 2019UPDATED: September 16, 2019 17:41 IST Ashes 2019: Steve Smith posed with Jack Leach after England’s win in Oval on Sunday (@englandcricket Photo)HIGHLIGHTSSteve Smith posed with a pair of glasses after the 5th TestSmith and Jack Leach struck a pose as England and Australia players partied in the dressing roomAustralia retained the Ashes Urn but England leveled the series after Oval winAshes 2019 offered cricket fans a lot to cherish over the last month-and-a-half. The on-field action was intense and extremely competitive but it was heartwarming to see England and Australia players share a drink after the conclusion of the 5th and final Test on Sunday.In photos going viral on social media, players from both the camps were seen enjoying downtime at the Oval dressing room on Sunday evening. The likes of Steve Smith, David Warner, Jonny Bairstow and Jack Leach were spotted spending quality time after the Oval Test.In a heartwarming photo shared by England and Wales Cricket Board, Steve Smith can be seen wearing a pair of glasses and posing with Jack Leach at the Oval dressing room after the 5th and final Test of Ashes 2019.”An all-time great – and Steve Smith. Congratulations on an incredible #Ashes series @stevesmith49. Leachy loves the glasses,” ECB’s cheeky photo caption read.An all-time great – and Steve SmithCongratulations on an incredible #Ashes series @stevesmith49. Leachy loves the glasses Cricket (@englandcricket) September 16, 2019Notably, Steve Smith was slammed and called classless by a section of England fans after he allegedly mocked Jack Leach by mimicking his looks and shadow batting left-handed at the end of the Manchester Test earlier this month.After their 185-run over England in the 4th Ashes Test, the Australian team returned to the pitch with beers where Smith reportedly donned a pair of glasses and also shadow batted left-handed in the “middle of a team huddle”.advertisementJack Leach mimicked his 1* when England won a classic.Steve Smith, a cheat, celebrated by openly mocking a fellow professional.Some people are just classier than others. Albrighton (@tmalbrghtn) September 8, 2019The incident came after Jack Leach’s heroics in the 3rd Test which England won after chasing a record-setting 359-run target. Leach rose to fame for scoring just 1 run in a match-winning 76-run stand for the final wicket with Headingley hero Ben Stokes in Leeds last month.Leach had partied after the sensation win by recreating the winning run during a team huddle after the pulsating 3rd Test. The bespectacled spinner kept cleaning his glasses during the match-winning stand and the routine became a huge hit on social media.However, a section of Australian media reported Steve Smith did not mock Jack Leach but only imitated his former Australia teammate Chris Rogers who also used to bat while wearing glasses.Despite conceding the Ashes Urn to Australia after losing the 4th Test, England leveled the series with the 135-run win over Australia in Oval on Sunday.Steve Smith walked away with the Man of the Series award after scoring 774 runs at a staggering average of 110 in Ashes 2019.Smith conceded that he is “physically and mentally cooked” after 4-and-half-months of high-quality cricket in England and that he is looking forward to some downtime.Also Read | Never write off champion players: Justin Langer backs David WarnerAlso Read | Jofra Archer thought he could rip my head off: Matthew Wade on facing the fired-up England pacerAlso See:For sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byAkshay Ramesh Tags :Follow Steve SmithFollow Jack LeachFollow Ashes 2019Follow England VS Australia Nextlast_img read more

Nautilus Calls for Radical Thinking on Lifeboats Concept

first_imgzoom Following an incident involving the Bahamas-flagged cruise ship Harmony of the Seas, the trade union Nautilus International has called for “radical new thinking” about the concept of lifeboats and to examine the potential of alternative evacuation systems.The move was made after a crew member died and four others were injured, two seriously, during an exercise onboard the cruise ship in the French port of Marseilles on September 13.“We are deeply shocked to see yet another lifeboat accident leading to loss of life and injuries, and express our sympathies to all affected by the incident,” Nautilus general secretary, Mark Dickinson, said.“The dangers associated with lifeboat drills are well known, and there is now extensive evidence to show the scale of fatalities arising from accidents. In the light of this, Nautilus has consistently advised members not to be in lifeboats when they are being raised or lowered, unless strops are in place,” he added.Furthermore, Dickinson said that this is not only an issue of maintenance and training, it is a question of procedures as well.Nautilus International raised the issue directly with companies and at the International Maritime Organisation, as they “believe there is a need for much more concerted action to address issues and design shortcomings.”last_img read more

Clashes erupt during antimilitancy operation in Anantnag

first_imgSrinagar: Clashes erupted between stone pelting youths and the security forces on Wednesday during an anti-militancy operation in Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag district. Police sources said security forces started a cordon and search operation in Arwani village of Bijbehara area after receiving information about the presence of militants there. “As the security forces started searches in the village, a mob of stone pelting youths engaged them in clashes to disrupt the operation. “Security forces used tear smoke to disperse the protesters,” police sources said. Meanwhile, as a precautionary measure authorities have suspended mobile Internet services in Anantnag district.last_img read more

Uttarakhand At least 17 dead in Uttarkashi cloudburst Doon hospital prepares emergency

first_imgUttarakhand: At least 17 people have died after a cloudburst hit Uttarkashi region of Uttarakhand on Sunday, officials confirmed. The Secretary (Incharge) of Disaster Management, S A Murugesan, today said to reporters, “17 people have died in the cloud burst in Mori Tehsil of Uttarkashi.” Earlier, it was reported that at least five people went missing and several houses were completely uprooted in the region. Finance Secretary Amit Negi, Inspector General (IG) Sanjay Gunjyal, and Uttarkashi District Magistrate (DM) Ashish Chauhan today reached Uttarkashi to take stock of the situation in Arakot following cloud-burst in the region. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c detailsMajor damage was reported in Arakot, Makudi and Tikochi villages of the state. All the three villages are connected to Himachal Pradesh and the road joining them has been washed away due to the cloudburst. A house was also washed away in Arakot and two people present in the house were swept away. According to Superintendent of Police (SP) Uttarkashi Pankaj Bhatt, the Disaster Management team has left to carry out rescue and evacuation process in the region. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from ThursdayTo hasten the relief process, the Emergency Wing at Doon Hospital in Dehradun has prepared to take-up patients being brought from Uttarkashi. Uttarkashi District Magistrate Ashish Chauhan has also declared a holiday in all government schools and Anganwadi centers of Uttarkashi for August 19, Monday, in view of forecast of heavy rainfall. In Makudi, the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) confirmed that a woman was buried under the debris of her house following a cloud burst. Meanwhile, the Tons River in Uttarkashi’s Mori Tehsil is overflowing due to incessant rain followed by a cloudburst. The state government has dispatched teams of Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and SDRF to carry out rescue and evacuation process. A portion of a footbridge over Sutlej river in Chaba area of Shimla also collapsed yesterday after the water level in the river increased due to heavy rainfall in the region. The bridge provided connectivity to Shakra, Baaladi, Bindla, and Jedvi villages. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast “heavy to very heavy rainfall” in the state in next 24 hours. “The ongoing widespread rainfall with isolated heavy to very heavy falls over Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh & Delhi is likely to continue for next 24 hours and reduce thereafter,” the MeT department said. (With inputs from DNA)last_img read more

Mom fears losing access to experimental drug that helped daughter after study

first_imgTORONTO – Arzu Ozkose is caught in a dilemma she says no mother should have to face.Her 10-year-old daughter, Alara, suffered debilitating seizures caused by Dravet syndrome, but has improved dramatically while taking a cannabis oil being tested as part of a clinical trial at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children. Yet once the study ends in a couple of months, Ozkose has been told she will have to pay for the drug, which costs about $1,800 a month — an amount the single mother said she can’t afford.“I don’t even want to think to drop this medication, which saved my daughter’s life,” said Ozkose, calling the cannabis oil a “miracle” because Alara went from having about 100 seizures a day to none after starting the drug. “Who can want that as a parent?”The drug maker has said it will offer a discount based on financial need for children who responded well to the medication, but Ozkose’s predicament highlights a much broader issue: do pharmaceutical companies have an ethical obligation to keep supplying experimental medications to patients who take part in clinical trials to test their products as part of the process of bringing them to market?The cannabis oil provided for the clinical trial by Tilray contains a high amount of cannabidiol, or CBD, which studies have shown can reduce seizures in some children with treatment-resistant epilepsy, and a far lower concentration of “high-producing” THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).The Sick Kids study is testing the preparation in 20 kids with Dravet, looking at its safety and what dose works best.While the small trial was not designed to examine effectiveness of the cannabis oil, Ozkose said that since starting it early last year, Alara no longer has the grand mals or dozens of smaller seizures daily that put her in constant danger of falling and injuring herself.“Mostly she couldn’t walk on the street,” said Ozkose, who came to Canada from Turkey with her daughter about two years ago. “I can’t describe it. It’s like you’re losing your child in all the moments. All the moments you have that fear in your life.”Though Alara contends with side-effects such as sleepiness and weight gain, she is now able to go to school and able to run around and swim.But Ozkose, a mining engineer in Turkey who now works as a yoga teacher and life coach in Toronto, said she doesn’t earn enough to pay for the cannabis oil once the trial ends in June. “Her seizures will start again and maybe she won’t be able to go to school again because she falls down and she may hit her head or die.”She’s thankful her daughter was enrolled in the trial, but said it’s unfair that Alara and her fellow patients may be cast adrift once it’s completed.“I feel that they use us and then they finish and they just throw us away.”However, Tilray’s director of clinical research said the B.C.-based company has made a commitment to ensure that patients who have responded will have access to the drug after the trial.“We are putting in place a compassionate pricing program for children with Dravet syndrome and we’ll offer discounts of up to 60 per cent, based on financial need,” said Catherine Jacobson.“And we as a company will ensure first of all that no child that was in the trial will not be able to continue getting the medication when the follow-up period ends,” she said. “So we can assure parents that these kids won’t just stop receiving their medicine.”Some families may get a larger discount, should they be in dire financial need, said Jacobson, who has a son with another form of severe epilepsy and knows well what parents go through trying to find medications that work to control their child’s seizures. About 30 per cent of patients with severe epilepsy are unable to get their seizures under control.“And I think companies in general bear an ethical responsibility to make sure that those families (who participate in clinical trials) still have access to study drugs,” said Jacobson, adding that Tilray is advocating with insurance companies to cover medical cannabis products “at least for this vulnerable patient population.”Jonathan Kimmelman, director of biomedical ethics at McGill University, agreed companies have some obligation to continue to provide care for patients who take part in studies to test experimental products.“Any time a patient participates in a trial, they’re volunteering their body to advance science,” he said from Montreal. “And if it’s a trial being run by a pharmaceutical company, they’re volunteering their bodies to advance the goals of the pharmaceutical company, whether that’s a big pharmaceutical company or a small one.“And they are entitled to some kinds of protection and respect, and they’re also entitled to some degree of reciprocity.”A spokesperson for Innovative Medicines Canada, which represents brand-name pharmaceutical producers, could not comment on the issue, saying “it is up to the purview of each company whether or not to provide medicines to trial participants at a discounted price or for free, and under what conditions, after a clinical trial.”Kimmelman said that under a policy on ethical conduct by Canada’s three major public research investment bodies — including the Canadian Institutes of Health Research — scientists who receive funding are directed to make “reasonable efforts” to continue access to a drug post-trial for patients who appeared to have benefited from the treatment.An international policy initiated by the World Health Organization also sets out ethical guidelines for researchers, saying that if discontinuing an intervention would deprive a patient of basic capabilities or reduce quality of life attained during a study, “then the obligation will be greater than if an intervention provides relief for a minor or transient condition.”That obligation may also be greater where there are no existing interventions with similar effectiveness, the document adds.Kimmelman said when a person volunteers for a research study, they should benefit in some way from the knowledge that’s been gained.“It’s true pharmaceutical companies are there to develop a product and make revenue, but that doesn’t in any way excuse them from upholding ethical standards when patients volunteer their bodies to participate in clinical trials,” he said.“You can’t just dump patients at the side of the road and say: ‘Hey, thanks for helping us answer our questions. See you later.’”— Follow @SherylUbelacker on Twitter.last_img read more

New Fatwa Prohibits Building Snowman in Saudi Arabia

Agadir – Following the recent snowfall in the north of Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Mohammad Saleh Al Munajid formally prohibits building snowman, describing it as idols worship.“Who said building a snowman is an innocent activity”? Said Mohammad Saleh Al-Munajid, one of the most influential sheikhs of Saudi Arabia,who has just issued a Fatwa prohibiting the hobby of snowman building.At, where the Sheikh, meets his followers online to answer their questions about Islam, he declared his new Fatwa after the recent snowfall in Saudi Arabia. “We should stop building idols of snow, even if it is for fun” Adding that idols of snow are “anti-Islamic.”In Islam, Allah has given people the freedom to build anything they want as long as it contains no soul, such as, boats, houses, etc … “A snowman does not make the exception” some said on social media.On Twitter, Saudis were quick to ridicule this fatwa creating the Hashtag “#fatwa to ban snowmen.”#????_??????_?????_????? ???? ?? ?? ????— Jory.Al.Assad (@jory8080) January 13, 2015This Is No Joke: New Fatwa Prohibits Building Snowmen in Saudi Arabia. #????_??????_?????_????? via @JustAmira— Fadi Ata (@AtaFadi) January 13, 2015 read more

National Bank boosts dividend as Q2 profit surges to 484 million

by Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press Posted May 31, 2017 5:06 am MDT Last Updated May 31, 2017 at 2:40 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email National Bank boosts dividend as Q2 profit surges to $484 million MONTREAL – National Bank of Canada (TSX:NA) is raising its quarterly dividend following a second-quarter profit that more than doubled to $484 million, beating analyst estimates.The country’s sixth-largest bank said Wednesday that its net income amounted to $1.28 per diluted share, up from 52 cents per share or $210 million in last year’s second quarter.Its dividend will increase by two cents per share or 3.6 per cent to 58 cents per share, starting with the Aug. 1 payment.“Our strong performance was driven by double-digit growth across all our businesses, effective cost control, growth of our balance sheet while maintaining credit quality and continued progress in our transformation,” CEO Louis Vachon said in a conference call.Revenue for the period ended April 30 was up 12 per cent to just under $1.6 billion.In addition to the dividend hike, the bank announced it may also buy back up to 1.8 per cent of its shares from the open market.Vachon told analysts that the Montreal-based bank will spend the coming year integrating its investment in Cambodia’s ABA Bank and won’t pursue any significant new investments in emerging markets.Last year’s second-quarter included a $183-million after-tax provision for credit losses for loans to the oil and gas sector that were partially reversed this year.The head of risk management, William Bonnell, said the bank is confident that its current provisions for loan losses are adequate despite continued volatility in energy prices. read more

Tall men at greater risk of death from prostate cancer Oxford study

first_imgMan prostate  Tall men are more likely than shouter counterparts to die from prostate cancer, new research from Oxford University has found.Every extra four inches (10cm) in a man’s height led to a 21 per cent increased risk of developing high-grade deadly tumours – and a 17 per cent greater chance of death from the disease, the study showed.Larger waistbands were also linked to higher rates of death from prostate cancer, and higher rates of the aggressive form of the disease.Researchers said there were several reasons why taller men might be at greater risk.Taller men have more cells overall, as well as larger prostate volumes. In addition, the hormones and foods which promote growth in childhood may increase the risk of prostate cancer, they said.Each year more than 46,000 men in the UK are diagnosed with prostate cancer and around 11,000 die from it.Lead researcher Dr Aurora Perez-Cornago, from Oxford University, said: “The finding of high risk in taller men may provide insights into the mechanisms underlying prostate cancer development, for example related to early nutrition and growth.”The study found that a healthy body weight reduced the chance of death from prostate cancer. Researchers said obesity might increase the risk because it changes hormone levels which may increase the risk of the disease.  Hollywood actor Ben Stiller recently spoke about his history of prostate cancer Credit:PA Ben Stiller  The link with height, reported in the journal BMC Medicine,  meant a higher chance of cancers that fell into the “tiger” category, as well as a higher risk of deaths from prostate cancer overall. Dr Perez-Cornago said: “These results emphasise the importance of studying risks for prostate cancer separately by stage and grade of tumour. They may also inform strategies for prevention, but we need to do further work to understand why the differences in risk exist.”Dr Matthew Hobbs, deputy director of research at Prostate Cancer UK said: “It is certainly interesting that, according to this research, certain physical characteristics appear to increase a man’s likelihood of developing aggressive prostate cancer, as it might provide pointers to help uncover certain genetic markers and early developmental processes which hold significance in terms of causing the disease to develop.”It also underlines once again the importance of living a healthy lifestyle to help defend against a host of diseases, including prostate cancer.”Susannah Brown, senior scientist at the World Cancer Research Fund, said: “This study supports our own research which also found an increased risk of prostate cancer in taller men. The link can be explained by thinking of height as a marker of the growth process that occurs earlier in life.”While we may not be able to change our height, men can take action to help reduce their risk of advanced prostate cancer by being a healthy weight.”In fact if every man in the UK maintained a healthy weight, about one in 10 cases could be prevented each year.”center_img Prostate cancer treatment can involve hormone therapyCredit:Alamy They also said it was possible that the disease was more deadly in obese men, because it was more difficult to detect, and thus likely to be found at a later stage.Each four  inch increase in waist circumference was associated with an 18 per cent increased risk of dying from prostate cancer, and a 13 per cent greater likelihood of having a high-grade disease.The scientists drew on findings from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (Epic), a large scale study with 141,896 male participants from eight countries including the UK.They analysed data on 7,024 prostate cancers, including 726 high grade and 1,388 advanced stage cancers, and 934 prostate cancer deaths.Prostate cancer tumours can be slow growing “pussycats” or aggressive and potentially deadly “tigers”. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

Rising success of IVF has caused a collapse in adoption says head

Improvements in IVF are leading to fewer children being adopted, the head of the organisation representing children in care in England says today. But in an interview with The Telegraph today, Anthony Douglas, the chief executive of the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass), says the growing success of IVF means fewer people will consider adopting children. Since the dawn of fertility treatment in 1978, success rates in the NHS have risen from 7 to 29 per cent for under-35s. Some private clinics claim rates of more than 50 per cent, meaning infertile couples stand a better chance than ever of having their own children. “IVF used to be around 7 per cent successful and… read more

HealyRae wants debate on expanding gun ownership in Ireland

first_imgUpdated 11.53am THE INDEPENDENT TD Michael Healy-Rae has called for a debate on the possibility of expanding gun ownership in Ireland particularly in rural areas to allow people to protect their homes and property.The Kerry South TD, who legally owns three different guns, has raised the possibility that people should be allowed to buy guns to protect themselves, something which is not currently legal in Ireland.Speaking to Today with Pat Kenny on RTÉ Radio this morning, Healy-Rae said that regulations already in place would mean it would not be a big problem to expand the terms under which guns can be acquired in Ireland.“People who possess gun licences, they treat their licence with respect, they treat their gun with respect, they don’t want anybody who should not be holding that gun to ever get near it,” he said.“So that wouldn’t really be, to me, a very big problem because of the regulations that are already in place.”The independent deputy accused the Minister for Justice Alan Shatter of having “failed and failed in an awful way” to protect people in rural communities, citing the recent closure of over a hundred garda stations which he claimed was actually costing the government more.The Department of Justice referred a query about Healy-Rae’s remarks to the Garda Commissioner who it said was the head of the licensing authority.An Garda Síochána said it was not in a position to comment on legislation or proposals made about legislation or remarks made by politicians.The Irish Examiner which carries quotes from Healy-Rae this morning, says that there are currently 220,000 firearms certificates on issue in Ireland, the vast majority are for shotguns used for sport and hunting rifles.Healy-Rae also defended a quote from him that appears in the latest edition of the Garda Review in which he states: “It’s no harm for these criminals to know that if they engage in this type of activity they may leave the home that they break into in a wooden box.”He told RTÉ this morning that he would “stand over that comment any day of the week”.He added: “If a person is of the mind that they think they can break into somebody’s house, terrorise them and get away with it completely, they must remember that sometimes it can go against them and they may leave the house in a wooden box.”Read: Healy-Rae wants Killarney’s “annoying and unusual” mystery noise investigatedRead: Healy-Rae vindicated as 2013 licence plates to avoid ‘unlucky 13′last_img read more

Latest Internet Watch Foundation report shows Europe now hosts 60 of child

first_img Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppUnited Kingdom, April 5, 2017 – London – Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) today releases its latest global data on the identification, hosting, distribution and removal of child sexual abuse images and videos.  The report reveals Europe now hosts the majority of child sexual abuse webpages (60%), with North America moving to second place (37%). In contrast, UK now hosts less than 0.1% of child sexual abuse imagery globally, and this is due to the zero tolerance approach the internet industry in the UK takes.Among the key findings of the report, IWF found a 258% increase in the abuse of new generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) being used to show child sexual abuse imagery compared to 2015. Furthermore, 94% of URLs were hosted on a free-to-use service where no payment was required to create an account or upload the content.Criminals are increasingly using masking techniques to hide child sexual abuse images and videos on the internet and leaving clues to paedophiles so they can find it – hidden behind legal content. In 2016, The IWF found 1,572 websites using this method to hide child sexual abuse imagery. This is an increase of 112% on the 743 disguised websites identified in 2015.Further key findings include:92% of all child sexual abuse URLs identified globally in 2016 were hosted in five countries: Netherlands (37%), USA (22%), Canada (15%), France (11%), and Russia (7%).Social networks are among the least abused site types. Image hosting sites (72%) and cyberlockers (11%) were the most abused services.57,335 URLs contained child sexual abuse imagery and these were hosted on 2,416 domains worldwide. This is a 21% increase from 1,991 in 2015. Five top level domains (.com .net .se .io .cc) accounted for 80 per cent of all webpages identified as containing child sexual abuse images and videos.Recognising that the internet has no borders, IWF opened additional reporting portals* in 16 countries, offering more people worldwide the chance to rid the internet of this content.  Susie Hargreaves OBE, IWF CEO, said: “The shift of child sexual abuse imagery hosting to Europe shows a reversal from previous years.  Criminals need to use good internet hosting services which offer speed, affordability, availability and access.  Services which cost nothing, and allow people to remain anonymous, are attractive.“The IWF offers a quick and effective system of self-regulation; we work with our Members to make the internet safer and we do this on the global stage.“Whilst it’s positive that the UK continues to remain hostile to child sexual abuse material, the global picture isn’t good. We’ve opened reporting portals across the globe with more planned. In other countries, internet companies are exploited and, worst of all, children who have been sexually abused are further exploited.  Internet companies and large businesses who are doing nothing, or too little, to address online child sexual abuse imagery need to step up and work with us.”Mary Durham, Inspector in charge of Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Unit in the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force said, “Since the introduction of the portal in the TCI we have not received any reports but it has shown that a number of persons have visited the site and are aware of the mechanisms that are in place for anonymous reporting of child sexual abuse images and videos. We have been educating the public about the use of the portal through presentations and via social media.“We will continue to work towards promoting the portal and the importance of it as we aim towards protecting and safeguarding our children.”Anyone can report suspected child sexual abuse images and videos anonymously at Release: RTCIPFlast_img read more

Indianas Steinbarger Testifies before Senate Agriculture Committee on 2012 Drought and Importance

first_imgAnngie Steinbarger, a soybean and corn farmer from Edinburgh, Ind., testified this morning on the importance of crop insurance and risk management for soybean farmers as part of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry’s first hearing on the farm bill in the 113th Congress. Testifying on behalf of the Indiana Soybean Alliance and the American Soybean Association (ASA), Steinbarger joined farmers representing the livestock and specialty crop industries in detailing the impacts of the historic drought of 2012 and expressing the importance of protecting crop insurance as Congress moves to pass a comprehensive farm bill later this year.”The number one barrier to increasing our yields is lack of water. Dry weather in the months of July and August always limits our yield potential. We find crop insurance an effective tool in managing risk when we experience these weather events,” said Steinbarger in her testimony. “We began using crop insurance is 1991 as a way to maintain our cash reserves and prevent the need to borrow operating money. … Our goal is not to make money off of crop insurance but to balance our yearly revenue so we will have operating money for the following crop year.”Steinbarger also noted her farm’s use of conservation tillage to reduce erosion and water use. “To manage our thin light soil types, we started our farming operation employing conservation tillage techniques such as CRP and NRCS cost share funding. To this day we still are advocates of no till farming as a way to preserve our soil and maintain soil moisture,” she added.Finally, Steinbarger joined her fellow witnesses in reinforcing the fact that crop insurance is not a profit center for farmers; rather, it is a way for farms to remain financially stable enough to plant again in the coming year. “We paid a substantial premium for crop insurance,” she said. “… and that decision is keeping us in business for the 2013 crop year.”For a transcript of Steinbarger’s testimony, please click here.ASA represents all U.S. soybean farmers on domestic and international issues of importance to the soybean industry. ASA’s advocacy efforts are made possible through voluntary farmer membership by farmers in 30 states where soybeans are grown.###For more information contact:Patrick Delaney, ASA Communications Director, 202-969-7040, pdelaney@soy.orgKatie Thomas, ISA Public Affairs Program Manager, 317-775-1299, kthomas@indianasoybean.comlast_img read more