Hour of Code – a walkthrough for teachers

first_imgIf you would like to receive further updates on events like the Hour of Code and other topics at the cutting edge of Ed tech then sign up to our Intel Education newsletter. Teachers can also sign up to our Teachers Engage platform where you’ll find discussion, resources and lesson plans related to digital citizenship and dozens of other topics – all for free.We’d also love to hear from you via our Twitter or Facebook pages. If you’re one of the 200,000 people who follow our Twitter feed, you may have seen that this week is Computer Science Education Week. As part of this, code.org runs its Hour of Code campaign designed to get people everywhere to participate in a coding session. Over 2,000 of these are taking place this week in the UK alone, and the website contains everything even the most code-phobic teachers need to get started. Edutopia has another great piece with a roundup of resources.If you’re still wary about taking the plunge, why not check out this ten-minute video from Deb Norton. As Deb says: “For many educators, committing to doing an hour of code with our students can take us a bit out of our comfort zone because we haven’t experienced coding before.” Never fear! She’ll walk you through what she does in her Wisconsin classroom using a website called CodeHS. Her other tutorials can be found here.last_img read more

Feature: Is Brazil prepared for a ‘decade of contacts’ with emerging tribes?

first_imgTimeline: “How Europeans brought sickness to the New World” RICARDO MORAES/REUTERS/CORBISThis sawmill, on a cleared patch of Amazon forest in Brazil, trades in wood taken illegally from an indigenous reserve.Vaz notes that most of FUNAI’s protection fronts now lack the specialized field teams needed to find isolated groups and map territories. At the 2014 public hearing, FUNAI officials reported that they needed 14 specialized field teams; at present the agency has two. Vaz is furious. “Why do we have protection bases being closed?” he asks. “Why are there protection fronts that are no longer able to implement the procedures for protection? There is something wrong.”He thinks the problem boils down to a highly coveted commodity in Brazil today: land. The data gathered by FUNAI’s specialist field teams lay the groundwork for legally demarcating land for the sole use of isolated indigenous groups. Once the land is protected, the Brazilian government can no longer auction it off to public and private development enterprises.Vaz digs out a chart published by the Brazilian nonprofit Povos Indígenas no Brasil, which itemizes indigenous land demarcation over the past 2 decades. Between 1995 and 2002, the government of Fernando Henrique Cardoso demarcated and ratified 118 applications for indigenous land. From 2003 to 2010, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s government ratified another 81 applications. But from 2011 to 2015, Dilma Rousseff’s government ratified just 11 applications, and only one since 2013; that application was signed on 29 May 2015. Several demarcation documents “are sitting on the desk of the minister of justice, and he is not signing them,” Vaz says.Vaz contends that the current government is demarcating very little land for indigenous groups and has largely abandoned its responsibilities to them, placing their lives in danger, primarily because it “sees the Indians as hampering the agricultural business, hampering the expansion of mining, and hampering the extraction of natural resources.” SURVIVAL INTERNATIONALA woman from the isolated Awá Guajá tribe tends to her sick sister after the two chose to make contact with Brazilian officials in January 2015.But some experts say that as the pace of economic activity in the Amazon accelerates, the protection system that was once the envy of South America is falling apart. Brazil has the world’s seventh largest economy, with a gross domestic product in 2013 of $2.24 trillion. To fuel this vast economic engine, public and private enterprises are pushing deeper into the Amazon, constructing dams, transmission lines, mines, pipelines, and highways. Meanwhile, drug smugglers cross isolated groups’ territories to transport Peruvian cocaine to Brazil, triggering attacks. “There’s no part of the Amazon that is not under some kind of pressure,” says anthropologist Barbara Arisi of the Federal University of Latin American Integration in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil.The rate of contact seems to be rising in both Brazil and Peru. Between 1987 and 2013, FUNAI made contact with five isolated groups. But in the past 18 months alone, three groups initiated contact: the Xinane, the Korubo, and the Awá Guajá. Physician Douglas Rodrigues of the Federal University of São Paulo, a public health specialist who works with indigenous tribes, worries that the recent flurry of contacts is just the beginning. “I fear that we are facing a ‘decade of contacts,’” he says. By many accounts, FUNAI—cash-strapped and under pressure from development interests—is not prepared.DURING THE DRY SEASON in the Amazon last summer, a handful of robust young men emerged from the forest along the Envira River, near the Peru border. They wore thin belts around their waists, had their hair styled in a bowl cut, and carried long bows. They were from an isolated tribe that FUNAI calls the Xinane people, and according to what the tribespeople later told government interpreters, they had survived a violent attack by nonindigenous men along the Envira River in eastern Peru, a border region favored by cocaine smugglers. FUNAI had had a base nearby on the Xinane River, but abandoned it in 2011 after heavily armed drug traffickers surrounded it. REUTERS/RICARDO MORAESA settled Kayapo man receives rare eye care from a traveling charity. Many indigenous villagers in the Amazon receive scant medical care, and their lack threatens isolated people, too.As the dry season progressed last summer, the Xinane moved eastward through the forest to a small indigenous settlement known as Simpatia, where at least 70 contacted Ashaninka people lived. For several days, the young hunters watched and waited in the dense vegetation around the village, calling to one another with bird cries and animal sounds. The Ashaninka feared an attack.Then on 13 June, Simpatia’s schoolteacher radioed FUNAI for help. Four young Xinane men had entered the village, noted a later medical report, and taken machetes, metal pots, and clothing, the latter a potential source of disease transmission. Frightened, the Ashaninka hid in their houses.The Xinane were not unknown to FUNAI. Since 2008, researchers had been studying the group and tracking their movements from FUNAI’s headquarters in a sleek glass office tower in Brasília. Last February, seated at a large conference table there, Leonardo Lenin thumbed through photos taken by FUNAI field teams, which had found vestiges of Xinane camps since at least 2005. Dark-haired and intense, with an urgent way of speaking, Lenin is responsible for the FUNAI division that gathers data on Brazil’s isolated groups and tries to protect them.To date, Lenin explains, FUNAI has confirmed the existence of 26 isolated groups in Brazil, with the greatest concentration located along the Peruvian border. The agency’s records suggest that up to 78 additional groups may be in hiding or on the run.Gathering enough evidence to confirm a suspected group can take years, Lenin says. FUNAI researchers scour historical accounts and examine anthro-pological records on the languages and material culture of nearby contacted groups. They also compile a picture of nearby development projects and any illegal activities, such as the drug trafficking that threatened the Xinane.In the field, FUNAI workers interview local people and may send a team into the forest. Skirting areas likely to be seasonally occupied, the teams hunt for abandoned camps, documenting huts and houses, as well as discarded tools and weapons, food remains, and raw materials. Team members are instructed to leave everything in situ, to win the trust of the isolated groups. “They will know that someone was there, but they will also know that it was a group that doesn’t want to harm them,” Lenin says.Back in the FUNAI offices, Lenin and his colleagues analyze the findings and begin mapping territories and estimating populations. “It is an archaeology of the living,” Lenin says, adding that even small finds can disclose vital information.He holds up a photograph of a child’s reed toy, found in a hideout used by the Kawahiva, an isolated group in the state of Mato Grosso who are on the run from loggers and farmers. “It was quite emotional to find this,” Lenin says. Tribespeople who are constantly evading hostile outsiders often seem to stop having children, a sure path to extinction. The small woven toy, however, indicates that Kawahiva mothers have not yet reached that point.To monitor isolated populations over time, FUNAI researchers conduct regular flyovers, taking aerial photos of houses and fields, estimating populations, and noting hair styles and patterns of body paint. But flyovers are expensive, so researchers increasingly gather information from remote sensing imagery.For example, in a paper published in Royal Society Open Science in November 2014, scientists led by anthropologist Robert Walker of the University of Missouri, Columbia, used satellite images to survey isolated groups in Brazil. The researchers searched for thatched-roof houses and gardens along the Brazil-Peru border where FUNAI had confirmed the existence of three isolated groups, including the Xinane, through fieldwork and overflights. They found at least five villages and calculated their areal extent.Using population estimates from FUNAI’s published data, they found that the isolated villages had far greater population densities than did the contacted villages—nine people per square hectare versus just 0.7 people in the contacted settlements. Isolated tribespeople may not clear spacious areas because they lack steel tools such as machetes and axes, Walker says—or because of pressure from hostile outsiders. “We need to track these populations over time,” Walker says. “They are really fragile groups on the cusp of extinction.”FUNAI’s official policies are directed toward preventing rather than managing contact, and neither the agency nor Brazil’s Ministry of Health has an official contingency plan for how to protect isolated people’s health should contact occur. But contact was exactly what the Xinane seemed to be seeking.BACK IN SIMPATIA last June, the Ashaninka were growing increasingly anxious as the Xinane calls resounded through the forest. Finally, on 26 June, a small FUNAI team arrived to take charge of the situation, including José Carlos Meirelles, a retired sertanista who advised the state of Acre on indigenous affairs. The Ashaninka knew Meirelles well. The gaunt 66-year-old had supervised FUNAI’s protection front in the region for more than 2 decades and had set up the Xinane base.In all likelihood, the young Xinane men knew Meirelles, too. Anthropologists working in recently settled communities have collected accounts showing that tribespeople carefully observed nonindigenous communities before they made contact, for example learning people’s names.FUNAI researchers had deduced that the Xinane spoke a language in the Panoan family, likely a language closely related to Yaminawa. So Meirelles’s team included two Yaminawa interpreters.Three days after Meirelles arrived, seven Xinane appeared on the opposite riverbank with machetes, arrows, and one rifle in hand. Eventually some waded across the river, and this time the nervous Ashaninka welcomed them with bananas, coconuts, and clothing. The young Xinane men said that they had come from a village deep in the forest, where as many as 60 people lived. They spent several hours in Simpatia that day, walking about and occasionally pilfering goods. It was their first official contact with the Brazilian government.The next day, however, the situation took a sudden turn for the worse. FUNAI team members noticed that some Xinane were coughing and looked ill. Alarmed, the field team informed FUNAI and Ministry of Health officials in Brasília.An untreated disease can kill up to 90% of an isolated population, and such illnesses demand a fast response, Lenin says. “We’re talking almost a process of extermination of a group,” he later told a public hearing in Brasília on public policies and land conflicts concerning indigenous groups. “How to court an isolated tribe” Editorial: “Protecting isolated tribes” “A visitor brings doom to an isolated tribe” “Will a road through the rainforest bring prosperity or disaster?” BRASÍLIA—In a spacious, art-filled apartment in Brasília, 75-year-old Sydney Possuelo takes a seat near a large portrait of his younger self. On the canvas, Possuelo stares with calm assurance from the stern of an Amazon riverboat, every bit the famous sertanista, or Amazon frontiersman, that he once was. But on this late February morning, that confidence is nowhere to be seen. Possuelo, now sporting a beard neatly trimmed for city life, seethes with anger over the dangers now threatening the Amazon’s isolated tribespeople. “These are the last few groups of humans who are really free,” he says. “But we will kill them.”For decades, Possuelo worked for Brazil’s National Indian Foundation (FUNAI), the federal agency responsible for the country’s indigenous peoples. In the 1970s and 1980s, he and other sertanistas made contact with isolated tribespeople so they could be moved off their land and into settlements. But Possuelo and others grew alarmed by the human toll. The newly contacted had no immunity to diseases carried by outsiders, and the flu virus, he recalls, “was like a suicide bomber,” stealing into a village unnoticed. Among some groups, 50% to 90% died (see sidebar). In 1987, Possuelo and fellow sertanistas met to try to stop this devastation.In Brasília, a futuristic city whose central urban footprint evokes the shape of an airplane, the frontiersmen agreed that contact was inherently damaging to isolated tribespeople. They drew up a new action plan for FUNAI, based solidly on the principle of no contact unless groups faced extinction. They recommended mapping and legally recognizing the territories of isolated groups, and keeping out loggers, miners, and settlers. If contact proved unavoidable, protecting tribespeople’s health should be top priority.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The recommendations became FUNAI policy, and a model for other countries where isolated populations are emerging, such as neighboring Peru (see companion story). In remote regions, FUNAI has designated a dozen “protection fronts”—official front lines in the battle to defend isolated groups, each dotted with one or more frontier bases to track tribes and sound the alarm when outsiders invade. In an interview in February, FUNAI’s interim president, Flávio Chiarelli, told Science that his agency is “doing great” at protecting the country’s isolated tribes. REUTERS/FUNAIBut while FUNAI and Ministry of Health officials tried to organize and fly in a medical team, the Xinane melted back into the forest, raising concerns that they would carry disease back to their home village. It was not until 6 July that the Ministry of Health flew in the first physician, Rodrigues. He managed to find and examine three tribesmen on 8 July. Each had a fever and an acute respiratory infection. Concerned about preventing secondary infections such as pneumonia, Rodrigues and a small team began treating the Xinane with fluids, antibiotics, and drugs to lower their fevers.The FUNAI and Ministry of Health workers then located all seven Xinane and convinced them to move upriver with Rodrigues and colleagues to the abandoned Xinane base. There, the young men would be less likely to catch additional diseases or to return to their home village while contagious.Eight days later, the Xinane had recovered fully. Through an interpreter, Rodrigues asked them to return to the base in a month with their families. On 26 July, 34 Xinane men, women, and children began trickling into the base to receive immunizations for influenza, chickenpox, and other infectious diseases. Today, Lenin reports, the Xinane are doing well and the Xinane base remains open. “They know that if there is any situation of health or territorial invasion, the team is there to help them,” he says.So far, contact has not meant death for the Xinane. But some observers think that last summer’s achievement was mostly a matter of luck. In an online report, physician Rodrigues notes that the virus contracted by the Xinane happened to be relatively mild, possibly a rhinovirus or adenovirus; a more serious virus such as influenza might have killed many. And some critics think FUNAI and the Ministry of Health moved much too slowly when disease broke out. The Xinane, Arisi says, “did not receive prompt and proper emergency treatment.”In light of these experiences, Rodrigues thinks that FUNAI and the Ministry of Health need contingency plans that can be activated immediately, with specially trained health teams and stockpiles of vaccines and medicines available on short notice, as well as helicopters to ferry them to inaccessible corners of the Amazon. He adds that the Brazilian government needs to provide better health care in remote indigenous villages such as Simpatia, to help the villagers as well as to reduce the likelihood of disease transmission to isolated groups.Lenin himself conceded last August in the public hearing in Brasília that more funds and planning are required to protect isolated groups. “Now, our concern is to have … teams ready to make this work in relation to health,” Lenin said. “Either we, in fact, do a competent, skilled intervention, or we will be talking about repeating the histories of contacts, where the mortality of indigenous groups was very high.”SITTING IN A shady tropical garden in one of Brasília’s middle-class neighborhoods, Antenor Vaz frowns as he considers the tale of the Xinane. A crisp, precise man in his 60s who once trained as a physicist, Vaz is the person who systematized FUNAI’s procedures for protecting isolated people after the agency moved to a no-contact policy in 1988. Since leaving the agency in 2013, Vaz has monitored and critiqued its activities, hunting down obscure FUNAI reports and presentations online and publishing his findings.FUNAI, he says, lacks the funds and human resources it needs. In 2014, the Brazilian government approved just 2.77 million reais ($1.15 million) for finding and protecting isolated groups, 20% of what FUNAI requested; this year, the government again provisionally approved 2.77 million reais, less than 15% of the amount FUNAI requested, according to documents presented at the 2014 public hearing.FUNAI officials stated in 2014 that they needed 30 staffed frontier posts, each outfitted with communications equipment and transportation. But according to a document presented at the hearing, they had just 15 posts operating in 2014, suggesting that their front lines are operating at half strength. REUTERS/UESLEI MARCELINOIndigenous leaders gathered at Brazil’s National Congress in Brasília in April, demanding more land for isolated tribes and settled communities.João Paulo Gomes, a representative for the Secretariat for Social Communication of the Presidency of Brazil, does not dispute Vaz’s numbers. “It is natural that the number of demarcations should decrease over time as the demand for them is met,” he wrote by e-mail. Most of the indigenous lands now awaiting ratification, he adds, “are concentrated in the center-south and northeast regions of Brazil,” where there is still major social conflict over the demarcation of indigenous lands.Gomes also dismisses charges that President Rousseff and her government favor economic development on the territories of isolated tribes. The Ministry of Justice is now using legal mediation measures to resolve disputes over land between indigenous communities and rural producers, he says. The government “is keenly interested in bringing the conflicts in indigenous lands to an end,” he says.In his sunlit apartment, Sydney Possuelo agrees with Vaz’s contention that the current government has reneged on its responsibilities to isolated peoples. The legendary protection system that Possuelo helped build is crumbling, as abandoned protection bases molder in the forest. The once efficient system of radio communication between FUNAI riverboats and bases is falling apart. The isolated people who once preserved traditional knowledge of Amazonian plants as well as a rich diversity of cultures and languages face new threats. And in their glass towers in Brasília, federal officials are veering dangerously close to repeating the mistakes of the past, Possuelo says.“FUNAI is dead,” he says. “But nobody told it, and nobody held a funeral.”Reporting for this story was supported in part by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.Related content:”Feature: From deep in Peru’s rainforests, isolated people emerge”last_img read more

5 Things you need to know about marketing to millennials

first_imgAdAge had a very useful article last week that summarized new millennial research from ComScore, based on nearly 1,000 TV tests and 35 digital advertising tests.The key finding? Millennials react to marketing differently.Here were the takeaways:1. Millennials don’t respond to TV ads as much as their elders. Younger people have always measured as less responsive to TV ads than older people, but the gap has grown with Millennials.2. With digital, you don’t see that difference. Millennials are about as responsive to digital ads as other generations. 3. Millennials respond to the same advertising approaches as prior generations. They care most about what makes a brand unique or better – and they react best to the product and brand shown clearly. In other stories, they’ve also been shown to put a premium on trust.4. Millennials are more engaged in all kinds of media than older folks. For example, millennials had engagement scores that were 22.2% higher than boomers with digital media.5. Millennials may respond less to TV ads, but at least they remember them longer. This finding was amusing to me – as someone with a fading memory, I think that’s just the gift of the young — total recall!So what does this mean to you? If you’re seeking to engage younger supporters, the digital avenue is the best. Make clear what makes your cause special. Be authentic. And don’t be so creative you forget the basics: clear, simple communication and a memorable messaging wins the day, whatever the generation.last_img read more

Why Matchy-Matchy Donor Communication Is Always in Style

first_imgCredit: Courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection When you’re running a campaign, make sure the landing page for your donate button reflects that. For instance, if you’re asking supporters to give to your year-end campaign in your November emails, put that message on your donation page. You want supporters to think, “Great, I can’t wait to donate to their year-end campaign!” And not: “Is this how I donate for year-end???”Using uniform appeals across all of your emails, websites, and social media will help your supporters recognize your nonprofit and encourage them to donate. If you need help creating a branded donation page or need a new page for your next campaign, contact Network for Good for help. 4. … Especially for your Donate button! If a supporter donates on your website, does she see the same call to action when she visits your Facebook page? If your messaging doesn’t match, your potential donor may be confused and second-guess giving to your nonprofit. Help your fans keep giving with these four tips to consistent donor communication!center_img Does your email say, “Download a free brochure on AIDS prevention,” but your landing page reads: “Learn more about AIDS”? In this case, visitors could wonder, “What about my brochure?” To get your fans to take action, choose one message or story and use it everywhere: your home page, landing page, emails, and social media. Make it extremely clear what you want and what your visitor can expect to avoid any confusion. 1. Keep your colors cohesive …When someone visits your virtual house—Twitter page, website, donation page, landing page, etc.—does he have one user-friendly experience, or does each “room” look like it has a different personality? Keep your colors and branding consistent across every single web site, social media outlet, and print document you share with others. If your email is purple but your landing page is yellow, your donor might feel lost and immediately leave your page.2. … Except for your Donate button!Is your donate button or call to action easy to find? If not, your button might be blending in. Your donate button shouldn’t clash, but it should be bright, bold, and easily noticeable. Try looking across the color wheel to find a good color; for example, if your page is mostly blue, use the opposite color (orange) for your button.3. Make your messaging match …last_img read more

WA Super League Series set to start

first_imgThe 2008/2009 Be Active Super League Series is set for a start this Sunday at WA’s newest Touch Football affiliate – the fast growing empire that is Brighton Touch.With the extension to the Mitchell Freeway also opening to coincide with the trip to Kingsbridge Park in Butler, 13 Open division teams from around the metropolitan area will launch their representative seasons.The past few weeks have been WA Touch Footballs version of “silly season”, with the rumour mill working overtime as everyone speculates over who will turn out for who in the coming season. We know that the Smith boys – Tynan and Nathan – return to their home at Fremantle after spending last season with Perth Brothers. Duncan Brown, Cam Adams and Trevor Twose also return to Tompkins Park after their success last season with Southern Men’s Open. Perhaps one of the biggest moves is that of Australian World Cup star Shelley Matcham, who after a long history with the Southern Women’s Open, joins defending State champions Northern in the Women’s Open.Then there are the newcomers. Hosts of the opening round, Brighton will be represented by both a Men’s and Women’s Open team in the competition, the star recruit being Barbarians and Australian squad member Angela Doyle, who leaves Northern Districts with a State Championships gold medal. United Galaxy will be represented by a Men’s Open team for the first time, with very few having previous representative playing history with any WA club.The import rule now in place also means we’re likely to see some other Touch Football champions in action around the metro area during the course of the Super League season, through the finals and into the State Championships.For further information, visit the website – www.superleagueseries.com.auThanks to Matt Bamford for providing the article content.last_img read more

No room for complacency yet: Mayank Agarwal after India finish Day 2 on top

first_img Asian News International VisakhapatnamOctober 3, 2019UPDATED: October 3, 2019 20:29 IST Agarwal, left, celebrates after scoring hundred runs during the second day (AP)HIGHLIGHTSMayank Agarwal is now the 23rd Indian batsman to hit a Test double hundredMayank forged a 317-run opening partnership with Rohit SharmaMayank said that India should not get complacent even though they were in a dominant position in the 1st TestAfter scoring his maiden double ton in the Test format, India opening batsman Mayank Agarwal on Thursday said that he is extremely happy to contribute to the team and added that being part of a winning outfit is a privilege.His remarks came after the close of play on day two of the first Test match between India and South Africa. India declared their innings at 502/7, owing to Agarwal’s knock of 215 runs and in response, South Africa ended the day at 39/3.”I am extremely happy that I was able to contribute to the team. Being part of a side that is winning matches and tournaments is a privilege and I am happy to be part of the squad. Having crossed the milestone of 100, eased my nerves and being out there for a long time in the middle gave me confidence,” Agarwal told reporters.”I was determined to put away the loose balls. You cannot think about what will happen if you don’t score runs, you just have to be clear in your thought process. As an opening batsman, you have to set the tone for your team,” he added.Agarwal also gave insights on how he used to prepare when he was not a part of the Indian squad.”You have to make little adjustments when you play in different conditions. For me, long-distance running has helped me. When I was training, I made sure that I bat five-to-six hours. Preparing for long hours has helped me in improving my game,” Agarwal said.advertisementIndia scalped three Proteas’ wickets easily as Ravichandran Ashwin took two wickets while Ravindra Jadeja got one.The 28-year-old Agarwal said that there is no room for complacency and India will not ease the pressure on South Africa.”Definitely we are very happy with the way we have played in the first two days. But there is no room for complacency since we have the upper hand, we will keep the pressure going and we will be relentless,” Agarwal said.Agarwal had a mammoth opening stand with Rohit Sharma as the duo put on 317 runs for the first wicket. He lauded Sharma for the composure he showed in his first innings as a Test opener.”It was good that we were able to manipulate the field. We just tried to find more ways of scoring the maximum runs. For him, to get such a big score is tremendous. We all really enjoyed the way he played and paced his innings. It was great playing alongside him. Getting a 300-run partnership feels great,” Agarwal said.South Africa will resume day three of the first Test at 39/3, still trailing India by 463 runs.Also Read | India vs South Africa: Ashwin, Jadeja rock South Africa after Mayank Agarwal 215Also Read | It’s a feeling I can’t describe: Mayank Agarwal on his double hundredFor sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. 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 byAjay Tiwari Tags :Follow Mayank AgarwalFollow Rohit SharmaFollow India vs South Africa No room for complacency yet: Mayank Agarwal after India finish Day 2 on topIndia opener Mayank Agarwal who scored a magnificent 215 to put his side on top in the ongoing 1st Test vs South Africa has credited long-distance running and hours of practice for his excellent returns with the bat.advertisement Nextlast_img read more

Delhi HC dismisses plea seeking rules for LGBT marriage

first_imgNew Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Monday dismissed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking directions to the government to frame family laws for LGBT relationships and form a committee to look into these issues. A division bench presided by Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice C. Harishankar turned down the plea filed by Tajinder Singh after noting centre’s response in the matter stating that drafting of law was the prerogative of the Legislature. Also Read – Bangla Sahib Gurudwara bans use of all types of plastic items “Can a writ court direct legislature to constitute a Committee?” the bench remarked, adding that drafting of law was the prerogative of the Legislature. The court further said that if the government “chooses to constitute” a LGBT Committee, they were permitted to do so. The Centre in its response had stated that it is taking all the necessary measures for upliftment of transgenders and also to bring them into mainstream. The petitioner pressed for bringing in appropriate changes to the Hindu Marriage Act and other personal laws to recognize the rights pertaining to marriage, adoption etc as well as constitution of a commission for LGBT. “The Constitution treats everyone equally without any discrimination. It is the duty of the State to ensure that no one should be discriminated,” the plea said, adding that members of the LGBT community are in minority and they too have equal fundamental rights.last_img read more

Unfair beer markup Judge orders Alberta to pay outofprovince breweries 2M

first_imgCALGARY – A judge has ruled the Alberta government’s markup on craft beer is unconstitutional and has awarded two breweries in Ontario and Saskatchewan more than $2 million.Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Gillian Marriott said in a written decision that the markup is discriminatory.It “is intended to operate simultaneously with the grant program to discriminate between craft brewers and craft beer on the basis of provincial origin, creating a trade barrier relating to a provincial boundary,” she said.Great Western Brewing Co. of Saskatoon is to receive the majority of the restitution — $1.9 million — while Toronto-based Steam Whistle Brewing is entitled to nearly $164,000.The Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission, sole wholesaler of alcohol in Alberta, imposed the markup in 2015 with a revamped version the following year.Lawyers for Great Western and Steam Whistle argued that Alberta’s markup is basically a tax. The government charges all small breweries $1.25 per litre sold, but returns much of that to Alberta producers as a grant.The province argued it has the right to support its small breweries.Last week, an appeal panel under the Agreement on Internal Trade upheld an earlier decision that provincial subsidies to assist smaller Alberta craft brewers are unfair and violate interprovincial free-trade rules.Finance Minister Joe Ceci said at the time the province would be changing the program in a way that continues to support Alberta brewers.He said Wednesday the government will be looking at the latest court ruling and deciding whether or not to appeal.“In the meantime, I want small brewers and liquor manufacturers in this province to know that we’ll continue to have their backs,” he said.He added brewers in Alberta have told him they face unfair barriers in other provinces — tasting panels, expensive applications and limited shelf space — and he’s looking at whether to challenge those practices as discriminatory.last_img read more

BC Transit installs CCTV cameras on buses to improve passenger safety

first_imgVICTORIA, B.C. – Over 600 B.C. Transit buses across the province now have closed-circuit television cameras in an effort to improve passenger safety.B.C. Transit says 373 medium-duty and heavy-duty buses have had cameras installed as part of a project supported by the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund. Over 230 new buses have been delivered, with the technology already installed. The remainder of the fleet will have cameras installed in new buses as they are replaced over the coming years.François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, says the installation of cameras will provide safety to all bus users. “Having CCTV cameras on board will help reassure passengers that taking public transportation is a safe option no matter where you live.”In B.C., the PTIF represents a partnership between Canada, the Province and local governments to support investments in municipal transit systems. The CCTV installation is part of a series of technology enhancements on B.C. Transit buses worth approximately $11 million.Other improvements will include Automated Passenger Counters, to provide a more accurate picture of ridership and allow planners to maximize resources; and NextRide real-time transit information, to help riders plan their trips efficiently.According to B.C. Transit, since the pilot program started in 2015, BC Transit has used CCTV footage to support investigations almost 3,500 times. This includes over 360 police investigations.Each bus has four to eight cameras recording events in the interior. As well, a high-definition camera in the driver’s compartment records events in front of the bus and two more cameras will watch the outside of the bus. Cameras are not monitored live, but video files are encrypted and stored on hard drives for up to seven days, required for investigation purposes.Information is collected in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.last_img read more

CM Sawant will boost Goas growth trajectory Modi

first_imgNew Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday gave his best wishes to Pramod Sawant, the newly appointed Chief Minister of Goa and expressed confidence that he will boost the state’s growth trajectory. “Best wishes to Pramod Sawant and his team as they begin their journey towards fulfilling the dreams of the people of Goa. “I am sure they will build on the work done in the last few years and boost Goa’s growth trajectory,” Modi tweeted Former Speaker of Goa Legislative Assembly BJP MLA Sawant was sworn in as the 11th Chief Minister of Goa on Tuesday, following the death of Manohar Parrikar late on Sunday.last_img read more

General Assembly President and Chilean leader hold talks in Santiago

Srgjan Kerim met with President Bachelet yesterday at the Presidential Palace of Cerro Cartillo, in Viña del Mar, where the two discussed some of the priority issues on the agenda of the General Assembly, including climate change, financing for development, South-South cooperation, human rights and the food crisis.The also discussed efforts towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – the eight anti-poverty targets world leaders pledged to achieve by 2015.President Bachelet praised Mr. Kerim’s activism during the current session of the Assembly and reiterated Chile’s commitment to multilateral institutions, and the UN in particular. They agreed on the need to reform the world body, including the Security Council, as well as the Bretton Woods institutions.The Chilean leader recalled her country’s participation in UN peacekeeping operations and its support to the stabilization process in Haiti. Just two weeks ago, members of the Chilean contingent of the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) were recognized for their service in a medal ceremony in Port au Prince.Mr. Kerim expressed his appreciation for Chile’s active role in the UN and its support for the reform initiatives. He also congratulated the signing of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), highlighting the increasing importance of regional organizations for the work of the UN.The Assembly President also held a meeting yesterday with the Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Alícia Bárcena, and met with the Resident Coordinator of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), Enrique Ganuza.Mr. Kerim continues his visit today with meetings with the Directors of the Ministry of External Relations of Chile, ECLAC officials and the UN Country Team. He also is expected to deliver a lecture at ECLAC on “the role of the United Nations in the globalized world: promoting a new culture of international relations.” After wrapping up his visit to Santiago, Mr. Kerim will depart for Buenos Aires. 30 July 2008Climate change, development and the food crisis were among the issues discussed by the President of the General Assembly and Chilean President Michelle Bachelet in Santiago, the first stop on a three-nation tour for the head of the 192-member body. read more

CoucheTard chairman still sees opportunity to extend founders voting control

Couche-Tard chairman still sees opportunity to extend founders’ voting control LAVAL, Que. – Alimentation Couche-Tard’s chairman Alain Bouchard says a solution can be found over the next five years to protect the convenience store chain from the threat of a hostile takeover.His comments come a year after opposition from large institutional investors forced Couche-Tard’s four founders to withdraw a shareholder vote on extending their voting advantage.Bouchard declined to detail available options, but said an agreement is possible that eliminates the need for a formal vote.He said he would never go around shareholders.“I’m too respectful of our shareholders, even the ones that didn’t support me,” he told reporters after the company’s annual meeting.The founders last year withdrew, at the last minute, a proposal allowing them to retain multiple voting share as long as one sits on the company’s board.Under current rules set to expire in five years, the advantage ends when the last of the four turns 65 or dies. Jacques D’Amours reaches that age in December 2021, while Bouchard, Richard Fortin and Real Plourde are all at least 65.The founders require support from two-thirds of shareholders to make any change.They faced opposition last year from proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services, which many large companies follow in casting their votes.Bouchard said there appears more support now to the proposal.Even without the change, he said a hostile takeover would be difficult because of Couche-Tard’s (TSX:ATD.B) $37 billion in market capitalization, the 23 per cent controlled by the founders and support of long-standing shareholders.“So it won’t be easy tomorrow, or even in five years, if the environment doesn’t change,” he said.However, Bouchard said he’s most worried the company’s share price could dramatically fall as it has done several times, including in 2008 when its share price lost 65 per cent of its value almost overnight during the financial crisis.Meanwhile, Bouchard told reporters that he’s not opposed to government efforts to increase minimum wages to $15 per hour, but said the result would be higher prices as the costs would be passed to consumers.Earlier, Couche-Tard told shareholders that it will look to further grow fuel volumes, including in emerging markets, to offset the expected threat in the next five or six years from electric cars and more fuel-efficient vehicles.Bouchard said the company has seen a similar situation with tobacco as fewer people smoke. However, the company has grown its cigarette sales.He also defended against shareholder Yvon Gagnon’s criticism of chief executive Brian Hannasch’s lack of ability to speak French.“I find this somewhat insulting,” Gagnon said, noting that Bouchard promised two years ago that the American-born CEO would learn French.Bouchard responded that Hannasch has been instead focused on growing the company, including through a series of acquisitions that will make it the largest convenience store chain in North America.Follow @RossMarowits on Twitter. by Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press Posted Sep 20, 2016 3:31 pm MDT Last Updated Sep 20, 2016 at 6:00 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

Workshop to address stress management

Everyone experiences stress — the body’s natural way of responding to challenges or barriers.Although stress is normal, too much can be detrimental to your health. Long-term stress can lead to ailments such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression and anxiety.Learning how to reduce and manage stress will be examined at an employee workshop later this month.Facilitated by Brock’s Employee Assistance Program provider, Morneau Shepell, the complimentary Stress Relaxation Techniques seminar will help faculty and staff better understand stress response, discuss the importance of managing stress for optimal health and will provide an opportunity to practise stress-reducing exercises.The workshop takes place Thursday, April 26 from noon to 1 p.m. in Welch Hall 204.This is the second time this year Brock’s Human Resources Office is offering the workshop. Nearly 30 employees participated in a January session.“Stress relaxation is a popular topic,” said Kathryn Walker, Manager, Health Management and Wellness. “We all deal with stress. The seminar will provide employees with practical tools and examples that will assist them in relaxing and coping with inevitable stress.”Brock employees are invited to register on the Focus on Learning website. read more

Airbnb hosts in Dublin made €52 million last year

first_imgAirbnb hosts in Dublin made €52 million last year A new report shows that the typical Airbnb host made €4,900. 57 Comments By Cormac Fitzgerald Thursday 26 Jan 2017, 3:08 PM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Share Tweet Email3 Image: Shutterstock/g0d4ather PEOPLE USING THE Airbnb service to host guests in their homes in Dublin collectively earned €52 million last year, according to a new report commissioned by the company.The report found that the average annual earnings of a typical host was €4,900 (with some earning more and others earning less).Airbnb is a homesharing website that allows people to rent out rooms or their homes to travellers on a short-term basis, with the cost decided by the renter.Since it was founded in 2008 in San Francisco, the company has grown enormously around the world.The number of hosts in Dublin has shot up in the past number of years – with a 100% rise in just a year.6,100 hosts let out part or all of their properties at some point for guests last year, compared to 2,960 hosts between October 2014 and September 2015.As well as this, income earned from letting has also almost tripled: from €17.3 million in 2014/2015, to €52 million last year.The vast majority of the lettings (5,200) were in the Dublin city area.The majority of Airbnb hosts are required by Revenue to pay tax on the money they earn. TheJournal.ie has sought clarification on whether the top line figure of €52 million is before or after tax is deducted.The report The report – entitled Homesharing: The Positive Impacts on Dublin – also found that guests staying in Airbnb dwellings spent an estimated €221 million in Dublin last year.In total, 403,500 guests stayed at properties in the capital hosted via the service.Exactly half of all lettings were for private rooms. Meanwhile, just under half (47%) of listings were for an entire home.In the case of an entire home listing the entire property is rented out by a guest and the host is not present in the building for the length of the stay.The report also found that the vast majority of hosts (88%) shared their primary home. However, the report does not contain information on how many hosts put up more than one property for listing.According to information on the data website Inside Airbnb compiled last August, almost half of hosts in Dublin have multiple listings on the website. These can be for separate rooms in the same building or for different buildings entirely.TheJournal.ie has sought information from Airbnb on how many hosts have multiple dwellings. Other notable figures from the report include:The average age of a host is 39Over half of hosts say they rent out a property to help make ends meetThe average length of stay per guest is 3.2 nightsCriticismThe home sharing service has come in for some criticism recently, and may be subject to stricter regulations in the future.In October, An Bord Pleanála upheld a Dublin City Council (DCC) ruling that an apartment owner in Temple Bar needed to apply for planning permission if they want to continue to rent the property out via Airbnb.This ruling was supported by Housing Minister Simon Coveney at the time. A working group is also being set up by Government to review if new regulations should be introduced.Sinn Féin TD Eoin Ó Broin last week raised the issue in the Dáil with Coveney, calling on new laws to be published to regulate the market.“Sinn Féin is not against the principle of Airbnb as it was originally designed however it is my view that renting out a room in your home is entirely different to renting out your entire property,” Ó Broin said.Ó Broin argued that people using properties as “full-time B&Bs” was negatively affecting the property market in Dublin.There are currently 1,494 listings for Dublin on rental property website Daft.ie.Commenting on today’s report, Aisling Hassell, site lead and global head of customer experience at Airbnb, said that the service allowed families to boost their income and helped the local economy.“Hosts provide great experiences for guests, spread visitors and benefits beyond tourist hotspots and give an economic boost to local families, businesses and communities,” she said.Read: Working group to review if AirBnb should face regulationsRead: This Dublin area is one of Airbnb’s ‘neighbourhoods to watch’ in 2017 Image: Shutterstock/g0d4ather http://jrnl.ie/3206383 15,412 Views Short URL Jan 26th 2017, 3:08 PM last_img read more

Des chercheurs dévoilent un portrait caché sous une œuvre de Rembrandt

first_imgDes chercheurs dévoilent un portrait caché sous une œuvre de RembrandtGrâce à de nouvelles technologies radiographiques, une équipe internationale de chercheurs est parvenue à dévoiler un portrait caché sous un tableau du peintre Rembrandt intitulé “Portrait d’un vieil homme en costume militaire”.Un portrait peut parfois en cacher un autre. C’est le cas de celui du “vieil homme en costume militaire”, peint par Rembrandt entre 1630 et 1631 et exposé au J. Paul Getty Museum de Los Angeles. De précédentes études avaient déjà mis en évidence la présence d’un autre personnage sous l’actuel tableau, toutefois, les sondages aux infrarouges et rayons X s’étaient révélés jusqu’à présent infructueux. La raison de cet échec tient en grande partie du fait que le peintre avait utilisé à l’époque des peintures de même composition chimique pour le premier portrait et celui qui l’a recouvert par la suite.Aujourd’hui, un nouveau système de technologies radiographiques sophistiquées, permet enfin de lever le voile sur le mystère dissimulé par ce chef-d’œuvre durant 380 ans. Une équipe internationale de chercheurs a récemment appliqué une méthode de fluorescence à rayons X pour examiner l’œuvre cachée. “Par rapport à d’autres techniques, l’analyse aux rayons X que nous avons testé est actuellement la meilleure méthode pour dévoiler ce qu’il y a sous une peinture originale” déclare dans un communiqué Matthias Alfeld, co-auteur de l’étude et chercheur l’Université d’Anvers, en Belgique. 
Les résultats, publiés dans le Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry (JAAS) de la British Royal Society of Chemistry, dévoilent ainsi pour la première fois une image claire et précise d’un homme peint la tête vers le bas si l’on prend la toile dans son sens original. Celui-ci est représenté jusqu’au haut de son buste uniquement couvert d’un habit gris. Un portrait que les historiens de l’art pourront désormais étudier à loisir pour déterminer son origine. À lire aussiMaladie de Charcot : symptômes, causes, traitement, où en est on ?Par ailleurs, le succès de l’étude devrait permettre aux chercheurs de mettre en place un protocole efficace et non invasif, adapté à l’étude des œuvres cachées sous les peintures de Rembrandt voire d’autres artistes.(Crédit photo : Andrea Sartorius / J. Paul Getty Trust) Le 28 janvier 2013 à 13:50 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

PM Minnis addressed Bahamas comprehensive update in preparation for hurricane

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:#HurricaneIrma, magneticmedia #Metoo-movement-type complaint, now investigation of high-ranking TCI Police Officer opened Recommended for you Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Bahamas, September 5, 2017 – Nassau – Government is right now speaking to the nation via the media in a press conference called at the Office of the Prime Minister from 6:30pm.  Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis will speak to the nation as we brace for catastrophic #HurricaneIrma.    Never before has the world seen a tropical system this powerful, at news production time, Irma was with 185mph winds – just unprecedented.The storm is so frightening that The Bahamas Government is working to evacuate residents of Mayaguana and Inagua, the evac is voluntary.   A report to #MagneticMedia from Inagua was that flamingoes, which number in the tens of thousands on the island had already disappeared from their usual habitat.    And as Grandma would say, if there is anything you can trust is how animals react in nature.As for the science, it shows that the Hurricane Irma could dump nearly two feet of rain on the southeast Bahamas.    The National Hurricane Center report says, Hurricane conditions are expected within the hurricane warning area in the Leeward Islands tonight, with tropical storm conditions beginning within the next few hours.Hurricane and tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area in Haiti, the Turks and Caicos Islands, and the southeastern Bahamas by early and not LATE on Thursday.    The hurricane lands earlier, because Irma has sped up.RAINFALL: in Irma is expected to produce the following rain accumulations Wednesday through Saturday: In the Southeast Bahamas and Turks and Caicos…8 to 12 inches.   These rains could cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.Swells generated by Irma will affect the northern Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the southeastern Bahamas, the Turks and Caicos Islands, and the northern coast of the Dominican Republic during the next several days.   These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions. T&T companies tap into Cuban market at Expo Caribe 2019 TCI: Man safe now, says he was trapped after lightning hit truck and it burst into flameslast_img read more

Employee Benefits Live 2018 gathers experts for MeToo debate

first_imgEmployee Benefits Live 2018, Europe’s largest dedicated rewards and benefits event, has confirmed three prominent industry leaders to run a panel discussion on international sexual harassment and assault campaign #MeToo.Gina Martin (pictured), writer and upskirting campaigner, Sarah Maskell, head of diversity and inclusion at the Royal Air Force, Andrew Armes, UK head of talent acquisition at Roche, and Elizabeth Prochaska, legal director at the Equality and Human Rights Commission, are all confirmed. They will speak as part of a panel discussion, titled ‘#MeToo: from a moment to a movement’, on Tuesday 2 October 2018.The panel discussion will highlight how the #MeToo campaign impacts employers and the workplace, as well as explaining what organisations can do to be proactive in this area.This session will form part of Employee Benefits Live’s extensive two-day conference programme, which will operate alongside a large exhibition to facilitate industry learning and networking with peers, providers and those at the forefront of the employee benefits and reward space.Employee Benefits Live 2018 will take place on Tuesday 2 and Wednesday 3 October 2018 at ExCeL London.For more information or to register for the show.last_img read more

Santa ditches sled crashes Christmas party by chopper

first_imgPOMPANO BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) – Children at a Christmas party in Pompano Beach were greeted, not by the sound of sleigh bells, but by the whirr of helicopter blades.Old St. Nick, as it turns out, ditched his sled and reindeer when he made a grand entrance from a Broward Sheriff’s Office helicopter at the St. Coleman’s Catholic Church’s annual soiree for disadvantaged youth, Saturday.Santa Claus’ early appearance was part of a day of fun set up to bring some holiday joy to South Florida families in need.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

Centre seeks funds from Delhi for efeeder buses

first_imgNew Delhi: Stressing the need for a robust last-mile connectivity, the Centre has urged the Delhi government to release funds to procure 427 electric buses by Delhi Metro Rail Corp (DMRC). Informed sources said that DMRC had submitted a proposal in January 2018 to the Delhi government for providing a grant under the Viability Gap Funding (VGF) for the procurement of the buses to boost its feeder service. The request has been pending since then. Also Read – National Herald case: Officer bearers of Congress were cheats, Subramanian Swamy tells court Advertise With Us The Secretary in the central Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Durga Shanker Mishra, has written to Delhi Chief Secretary Vijay Dev requesting him to intervene and expedite the approval of the DMRC proposal. VGF is a grant to support projects that are economically justified but not financially viable. It was launched in 2004 to support infrastructure projects that fall under Public Private Partnerships. Also Read – Dehydrated elephant being given treatment Advertise With Us “You are aware that provision of a good feeder service towards last mile connectivity improves modal shift from private transport to mass transit system like metro rail,” Mishra’s letter read. “In Delhi this is a challenge and needs to be addressed squarely so as to provide easy accessibility to commuters from homes to offices, hospitals, institutes, shopping centres. “This will not only reduce the congestion, vehicular pollution and accidents but also enhance the ridership of Delhi Metro,” Mishra added. Advertise With Us Mishra said the DMRC had said that it has submitted the proposal and flagged it several times, besides providing necessary clarification. The State Transport Authority in Delhi had agreed in principle to support the proposal, he said. Mishra added that the DMRC had invited tenders from various players in the anticipation that the purchase of these buses would be approved.last_img read more