About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Man Utd keeper David de Gea donates £175,000 to Spanish storm victimsby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United goalkeeper David de Gea has donated £175,000 to the victims of the devastating Spanish storm.The storm has claimed the lives of seven people.Spain’s Red Cross confirmed the cash donation by thanking the shot-stopper for his generosity yesterday/on Thursday.The organisation said in a social media message alongside a picture of the footballer: “€200,000 to support the people affected by the flooding in Alicante and Murcia.“David de Gea, thanks for your solidarity.”The provinces of Alicante and Murcia were the worst affected by last week’s storm, with torrential rain causing widespread flooding and leaving many areas cut off.
TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Roma ahead of Arsenal as Rugani fed-up at Juventusby Carlos Volcano8 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveDaniele Rugani is ready to leave Juventus in January.Sportmediaset says the defender has lost patience with his situation in Turin.Rugani hasn’t played a minute under coach Maurizio Sarri. If the situation should remain like this, he will make a transfer request in the New Year.Roma are favourites to sign the defender.Rugani came close to joining Arsenal in August before getting cold feet.
Administrative Assistant at the Clarendon Branch of the National Youth Service (NYS), Melissa Morris, was awarded first place in the NYS Essay Competition which was held under the theme ‘Youth on a Mission’. The competition was launched in November 2012 as part of Youth Month activities, and was geared towards unearthing the creative writing capabilities of Administrative Assistants in the NYS parish offices island wide. Speaking in an interview with JIS News on Friday, December 21, following an awards ceremony at the NYS headquarters, an elated Miss Morris, said her essay focused on the present and future plans for her life. “I had a rough time starting it, but once I started, I put my heart into it. I basically focused on where I have been and then I ventured out to where I want to be and what I want to do for my community and my fellow youths,” she said. Miss Morris, who is from Rocky Point, Clarendon, explained that she wanted to put to rest the notion that “nothing good” could come from her community. “This is just one step closer to my future and one step closer to what I want to accomplish. I want to become an entrepreneur and I want to help other persons. Persons look up to me in my community so this is something else for them to follow and come out and do even better than what I am doing now,” she added. Come 2013, Ms Morris aims to begin her studies at the University of Technology in the area of Business Administration. She is currently enrolled in the Business Administration Programme at the NYS, which she will complete in March 2013. Other awardees were Michaela Ashley, from Portland, who placed third, and Chad Johnson from Manchester, who placed second. For his part, Acting Executive Director at the NYS, Richard Depass, said the agency will continue to empower young people by instituting various initiatives through volunteerism and apprenticeship. “This is to aid the young individuals in Jamaica in becoming better citizens,” Mr. Depass said. He stated that it was the aim of the NYS to implement similar initiatives to the essay competition, as it seeks to build Jamaica. The National Youth Service aims to equip youths with the necessary life coping skills to foster their personal and career development as well as enhance their contribution to community and national development. The organisation has been targeting unattached youths (17-24 years), through personal development, volunteerism and apprenticeship.
Residents and visitors are advised to take precautions to protect themselves from the elevated temperatures, such as rescheduling outdoor activities to the cooler hours of the day; taking frequent breaks from the heat; spending time outdoors at home or in air-conditioned public buildings; and drinking plenty of water and other non-alcoholic and non-caffeinated beverages to stay hydrated. People or pets should not be left inside a closed vehicle for any length of time.Residents should also monitor for symptoms of heat stroke or heat exhaustion, such as high body temperature, lack of sweat, confusion, fainting, and unconsciousness. Particular vigilance is urged for vulnerable individuals, including children, seniors, individuals with pre-existing lung, heart, kidney, nervous system, mental health or diabetic conditions, outdoor workers, as well as those who are socially isolated.The risks of developing heat-related illnesses are greater for young children, pregnant women, older adults, people with chronic illnesses and people working or exercising outdoors.Environment Canada issues heat warnings when very high temperatures or humidity conditions are expected to pose an elevated risk of heat illnesses, such as heat stroke or heat exhaustion.For more information on heat-related illness, call HealthLinkBC at 811. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – A Heat Warning that was issued by Environment Canada for the B.C. Peace River and Fort Nelson regions remains in effect this morning.Meteorologists say that a ridge of high pressure that has moved over most of B.C. will be causing maximum daily temperatures to reach at least 29 degrees, with overnight low temperatures near 14 degrees. The ridge is forecast to persist until at least Wednesday.The heat warning has also been issued for nearly all of Northwest Alberta, including the regions surrounding Grande Prairie, Peace River, and High Level.
VICTORIA, 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.
New 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.
Kolkata: Tension sparked off at Kashipore area of Bhangar in South 24-Parganas after villagers spotted an abandoned vehicle with some blood stains inside it. Police said the vehicle was registered with an app-based cab service company in the city. The driver of the vehicle has been missing till Saturday evening. The locals on Saturday morning heard a mobile phone ringing several times inside the deserted car that remained parked near Krishnamati Bridge under Kashipore police station. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaAfter hearing the phone ringing, the villagers went up to the vehicle and opened the door that was kept unlocked. They found blood spots inside the car and immediately informed the matter to the local police station. After reaching the area, police started a probe. A bottle of liquor was also recovered from the vehicle. The driver of the vehicle has been identified as Bablu Singh who is absconding since Friday evening. The victim’s elder brother, Suraj Singh, told the police that they received a telephone call from the police saying that the vehicle has been found in South 24-Parganas. The victim’s mobile phone was found inside the car which was later seized by the police for the sake of investigation. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayAccording to the preliminary investigation, it is suspected that a youth whose identity is not yet clear, boarded the vehicle from Sovabazar area and went to New Town. The driver then drove the vehicle to Bhangar. The investigating officers are yet to confirm if the youth who boarded the car from Sovabazar had been inside the vehicle when it reached Bhangar. The investigating officers suspect that the driver might have been boozing inside the vehicle along with some others. Police are conducting a probe to know why the cab driver went to a desolate place on Friday night. Search for the driver is on.
Mumbai: The largest software exporter TCS Friday reported a 17.7 percent growth in March quarter net at Rs 8,162 crore, and guided towards continuing the momentum as the “laggard” segments have vanished, even though operating margins dipped a tad and continued to miss the target. The Tata group’s cash-cow delivered a net income of Rs 31,472 crore for fiscal 2019 under the Ind-AS accounting, up 21.9 percent over the previous year. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) said its annual revenue clipped past 9.6 percent in constant currency terms to $20.91 billion, which is the highest growth rate during the past 15 quarters. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalFor the first time,the two largest software exporters- TCS and Infosys–reported their earnings in the same day, in fact, within an hour of each other wherein the Bengaluru- headquartered rival reported a 10.5 percent rise in net income at Rs 4,078 crore and guided towards 7.5-9.5 percent growth in revenue for FY20. While overall revenue grew 18.5 percent to Rs 38,010 crore during the quarter, operating margins continued to get printed below its inspirational levels of 26-28 percent. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostOperating margins came in at 25.1 percent for the quarter, down 0.31 percent over the year-ago period, yet the management reiterated its aspiration of clocking 26-28 percent margins, stressing that the current numbers are a global best. Chief executive and managing director Rajesh Gopinathan said he will “call out” in case he feels the numbers are not achievable. Margins will be resilient and there are string levers to expand them, chief operating officer N Ganapathy Subramaniam said. Gopinathan said TCS has closed the quarter with a total contract value of $6.2 billion, and exuded confidence of being able to maintain the high number. “That’s sort of total contract value is one of the big things that gives us the confidence about the momentum that we see,” he said, adding unlike last year, where there were segments growing at a much slower pace of 2-3 percent, there are no “laggards” which is a booster for the company. The company is firing on all engines and will tread cautiously on the snow that it sees all around, Gopinathan said, when quizzed about the guidance. It can be noted that industry lobby Nasscom has discontinued its practice of giving a guidance for the industry because of the disruptions that it is undergoing. The new-age and upcoming digital business, one of the prime reasons of the uncertainty, is growing for the company, Gopinathan said, pointing out that it grew 50 percent and constituted nearly 31 percent of the overall revenue pie. From a sectoral perspective, its mainstay of banking, financial services and insurance grew at near double- digits during the quarter and Gopinathan said there is no sectoral weakness now. Revenue growth from North America, which contributes over half of the total income, surged to 9.9 percent during the quarter. Interestingly, despite the many macro worries over factors like Brexit, England was a standout geography with 21.3 percent growth. Subramaniam said rather than worrying about factors like Brexit, TCS looks at how to best align with a clients’ strategic requirements which helps overcome any difficulties. HR head Ajoy Mukherjee, who is retiring soon after spending 39 years with the company, said the company added 29,287 people taking the total strength to 4.24 lakh. He said employees will start getting their annual increments starting this evening and hinted that the country averages will range from 2-6 percent, and also announced a 100 percent variable pay.
New Delhi: The RIL-BP combine made its first bid for an oil and gas exploration block in more than a decade, vying for one of the 32 blocks up for auction in the OALP-II and III bid rounds, which saw mining major Vedanta put in as many as 30 bids and ONGC, for 20 areas. Bidding for 14 blocks on offer in the Open Acreage Licensing Policy (OALP) round-II and another 18 oil and gas blocks and 5 coal-bed methane (CBM) blocks on offer in OALP-III closed on Wednesday. Also Read – Commercial vehicle sales to remain subdued in current fiscal: IcraOfficial sources said Vedanta, which had walked away with 41 out of the 55 blocks offered in OALP-I last year, bid for 30 areas. Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) bid for 20 blocks while Oil India Ltd (OIL) bid for 15. Indian Oil Corp (IOC), GAIL (India) and SunPetro bid for two blocks each, they said. Reliance Industries-BP made an offer for one block off the east coast. The block they bid for possibly is the one which BP had demarcated during the expression of interest (EoI) stage. India had in July 2017 allowed companies to carve out blocks of their choice with a view to bringing about 2.8 million sq km of unexplored area in the country under exploration. Also Read – Ashok Leyland stock tanks over 5 pc as co plans to suspend production for up to 15 daysUnder this policy, called open acreage licensing policy or OALP, companies are allowed to put in an EoI for prospecting of oil and gas in any area that is presently not under any production or exploration licence. The EoIs can be put in at any time of the year but they are accumulated twice annually. The blocks or areas that receive EoIs at the end of a cycle are put up for auction with the originator or the firm that originally selected the area getting a 5-mark advantage. The two window of accumulating EoIs end on May 15 and November 15 every year. EoIs accumulated till May 15 are supposed to be put on auction by June 30 and those in the second window by December 31. Sources said EoIs accumulated till May 15, 2018 were offered in OALP-II and those that came in by November 15, 2018 in OALP-III. The two rounds ran concurrently. The government had in January offered 14 blocks in OALP-II bid round and a month later offered another 23 oil and gas blocks and CBM blocks in third round. Bids for the 14 blocks offered in OALP-II bid round, covering an area of 29,333 square kilometers, were to close on March 12 but the deadline was extended to April 10 and then again to May 15, according to the Directorate General of Hydrocarbon (DGH). April 10 was also the bid deadline for the 23 oil and gas and CBM blocks offered in the third round, which was launched on February 10. Its bid deadline too was extended to May 15. OALP-II bid round was delayed by six months and its launch came barely a month before the third round. Sources said OALP-II and OALP-III ran concurrently. Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had at the time of launch of OALP-II bid round on January 7 stated that an investment of about Rs 40,000 crore is expected in the prospecting of oil and gas in blocks offered. In the first round of OALP last year, as much as Rs 60,000 crore was committed in the exploration of oil and gas in 55 blocks or areas. In the third round, the government is expecting up to USD 700 million (about Rs 49,000 crore) of investment that it hopes will help raise domestic output and cut imports. The first OALP round was launched in 2017 and bids came in by May 2018. EoIs for second round closed on May 15, 2018, and the blocks were supposed to be put for auction by June but the round was delayed for unknown reasons. OALP-II was finally launched on January 7. In the meanwhile, EoIs in the third window also closed on November 15, 2018 with as many as 18 blocks and five CBM blocks, measuring 31,722 sq km, being sought for. OALP-III bid round was launched on February 10 with April 10 as the last date for bidding. Officials said the 14 blocks in OALP-II are estimated to hold in-place resource of 12,609 million tonne oil and oil equivalent gas. In OALP-1, mining mogul Anil Agarwal-led Vedanta walked away with 41 out of 55 blocks bid out. State-owned Oil India won nine blocks while ONGC managed to win just two. The 55 blocks have a total area of 59,282 sq km. This compares to about 1,02,000 sq km being under exploration prior to OALP. Blocks are awarded to the company which offers the highest share of oil and gas to the government as well as commits to do maximum exploration work by way of shooting 2D and 3D seismic survey and drilling exploration wells. Increased exploration will lead to more oil and gas production, helping the world’s third largest oil importer to cut import dependence.
Analysis by Erol AvdovicNEW YORK —UN and WB have stated an ambitious agenda to strengthen social safety nets for people in Sahel region, lower the cost of energy and increase support for irrigation and pastoralism, as well transform the state of agriculture starting with Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and NigerUnderdevelopment, political and social insecurity with humanitarian crises in the Sahel region will be under the spotlight this week again as the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and World Bank (WB) President Jim Yong Kim travel to the five core countries of West Africa: Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger.UN’s Ban and WB’s Kim teamed up again for a new trip to Africa’s to try to draw attention to the most impoverished region including strong social pressures that the climate change is causing there. – The new approach for most fragile place on EarthThe Sahel spans stretch for about 5,400 km from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to Red Sea in the east. The territorial belt varies from several hundred to a thousand kilometers in width, covering an area of 3,053,200 square kilometers. UN said the Sahel is one of the most impoverished and fragile places on the planet. Countless victims, whether due to hunger or people fighting each other over the decades out of poverty, food insecurity or over the other issues has become a common and recognizable image of West Africa.The proclaimed goal of this joint mission trip, as World Bank chief said at the joint press conference last week is “to address the root causes of poverty, conflict and helplessness.”Mr. Kim said this would be a “new approach” in which the World Bank will mobilize substantial public and private sources in support.“We’ll help strengthen social safety nets for people, lower the cost of energy and increase support for irrigation, as well as transform the state of agriculture in the region,” Mr. Kim said. Though, he did not talk how much money will be needed for that rather ambitious agenda.Beside its colonial past, Sahel has mainly Muslim population that also speaks French.– Grandiose drought and geopoliticsFor hundreds of years this region has experienced regular droughts and mega-droughts. From 1914, and then from 1951 to 2004, the Sahel experienced some of the most consistent and severe droughts in Africa – that caused a famine and large-scale suffering.But, UN is now convinced the cycle of crises in the Sahel can be broken. “The region can move from fragility to sustainability,” Ban Ki-moon said just days before undertaking this new African trip.Talking about Sahel region Romano Prodi UN Secretary General’s special envoy to the region said recently that Sahel is a “geographically enormous and the poorest of Africa” with different countries with most porous borders.He reminded that the borders are “out in the desert,” saying “It is time to make a plan of cooperation of all the five entirely Sahel countries.” Otherwise, Prodi warned those countries “will never have the economical scale (and) the connection or the strength to develop.”Prodi also pointed that the media focus should not be only on Mali and the war there, since the refugees of conflicts are everywhere: “The fear is everywhere and the movement of terrorists are everywhere, so we better understand that this is not just Mali, this effects the wider area,” Prodi said.Sahel is also known as a important geopolitical entity. While becoming independent states, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Chad, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Senegal in 1973 formed the Permanent Interstates Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS).CILSS countries alone are now home to more than 60 million people. But the population is growing very quickly in the Sahel. CILSS estimates there will be 100 million people in the region by 2020 and 200 million by 2050.– Climate changes issuesWhen it comes to climate changes and global warming issues scientists have differing opinions on whether the Sahel is going to get wetter or drier because of those weather phenomena, but either way doesn’t look very bright.West African Sahel and Central Africa may experience some of the highest temperature increases anywhere in the world over the next few decades – the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of over 2,000 climate scientists all over the world, concluded in 2008. This is the estimate that still holds.The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) also reported over 80 percent of the land in the Sahel is degraded. It is caused by overgrazing, continuous cropping, desertification, use and preservation of existing water resources and deforestation.Many studies cited by UNEP said – changing rainfall patterns and degraded land, may cause Chad and Niger to potentially lose their entire rain-fed agriculture by 2100, while in Mali cereal harvests might decline by 30 percent.Annual rainfall is often now coming in short, as happened throughout the Sahel in 2007, and particularly in Ghana, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and Chad — destroyed crops and seeds, and even washed away whole villages at the time.The majority of people in Sahel region are farmers, sharing similar customs and cultures even while their religions and languages vary. Crops such as millet, sorghum and cowpea, groundnut and cotton are the predominant agricultural produce of this region.– Lagging behind all the otherAccording to UN – today more than 11 million people are at risk of hunger and 5 million children under five are at risk of acute malnutrition. Political instability had significant impact with economic and social consequences. Terrorism and organized crime are also the major threats for Sahel region’s stability for a long period of time.“These challenges cannot be overcome by any government or organization alone,” Mr. Ban said before leaving New York.Of course, it remains to be seen whether the well-designed package of “different approach,” as it was announced by the President of the World Bank Dr. Kim – will find a proper reception with quite disparate African leaders.To have a vision of prosperity is not enough without the generous funds for it’s financing. This was a main conclusion at the last week panel at the UN Headquarters dedicated to help Africa out of extreme poverty by the year 2030.– UN has to act now“We are going together to listen and act,” UN chief said last week announcing his trip with the WB head. Earlier this year, Mr. Ban and Mr. Kim travelled together to Africa’s Great Lakes region in support of a new peace. UN said the new voyage to West Africa seeks to build on joint efforts and foster international support.Turkey can help get Africa out of that endemic poverty as well. Dr. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, CEO of New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), and former Prime Minister of Niger, told Anadolu Agency – “Turkey is becoming a key factor in African development, with many cooperation links being developed, not only on the bilateral level, but also at the continental level and regional level.”Traveling this time to Africa together with Mr. Ban and Mr. Kim also are the UN Secretary General’s special envoy to the region, Romano Prodi, the chairperson of the African Union Commission, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, President of the African Development Bank Donald Kaberuka, and Commissioner for Development of the European Union Andris Piebalgs.