NSborn prof and sovereigntist wants to run for Parti Quebecois

first_imgMONTREAL – A small fishing village in southwestern Nova Scotia seems like the last place you’d find a voice for Quebec independence.But the latest Parti Quebecois hopeful seeking to run under the sovereigntist party’s banner in next year’s provincial election is hoping that small town background will come in handy.Jennifer Drouin, a native of Shelburne, N.S., who has lived on-and-off in Quebec since 2001, is hoping to secure the nomination in the downtown Montreal riding of Sainte-Marie-Saint-Jacques.After several years teaching English literature in the U.S., she’s been a visiting scholar with McGill’s Institute of Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies, all the while doing a double major in law at the university.Drouin is not new to the party, having been a PQ member for nearly 20 years.The political novice said being a lesbian and playing an active role in the LGBTQ community made the riding, which comprises Montreal’s Gay Village, the right choice for her.Her smalltown upbringing and educator background put her at ease with people, noting her hometown doesn’t have a street light.“So it’s a very small community and I feel like I can talk to regular people in the community (in Montreal) because that’s the background I come from,” she said.Her interest in Quebec’s long-standing debate came about during the province’s 1995 sovereignty referendum — where she found herself cheering for the federalist side as a Canadian but slowly developed a soft spot for the sovereigntist cause as the night wore on.She recalled seeing the faces of Yes side supporters: “Seeing all the emotion on the faces of these people and seeing there’s something really big going on here, and it really mattered to them,” she said.Eventually, it mattered to her too. Drouin said she wants to bring together all Quebecers around the independence project, regardless of language or ethnicity. She called the decline of French worrisome.A rarity as an anglophone sovereigntist, Drouin said she wants to bring together all Quebecers around the independence project, regardless of language or ethnicity, while stemming the decline of French.“Whereas English isn’t going anywhere: we’re good, we’ve got all of English Canada, we’ve got the United States next door,” she said. “English is not under threat.”The riding was once considered a PQ stronghold, but has been held recently by incumbent is Manon Masse, a co-spokesperson for left-leaning Quebec solidaire.Drouin said her family is mostly OK with her political leanings and respect her commitment, even if they don’t share her opinion of Quebec independence.“Generally, they don’t necessarily agree with everything but we have an agreement to agree to disagree on some things,” Drouin said.“Or just not talk about it at the Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner table.”— with files from Michel Saba in Montreallast_img read more

Mail service halted in Ottawa as Commons looks to take up backtowork

first_imgOTTAWA — Striking Canada Post workers are shutting down the mail in Ottawa today as the House of Commons takes up legislation that would force them back to work.The capital, as well as smaller towns in Ontario and British Columbia, and Sherbrooke, Que., are all being targeted by rotating strikes by the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.Members of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers have held rotating walkouts for a month, causing massive backlogs of unsorted mail and packages at postal depots.On Thursday, Labour Minister Patty Hajdu tabled a bill to end mail disruptions across the country but debate on it was held back to give a special mediator time to settle the dispute.Hajdu said the Liberal government brought forward the legislation after exhausting every option, adding it has a responsibility to all Canadians and businesses that drive the economy.Canada Post says it could take weeks — even stretching into 2019 — to clear the backlog that has built up, especially at major sorting centres in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Kanesatake gearing up for Aug 20 election

first_imgAPTN National NewsKanesatake’s band election is coming up on Aug. 20 and 18 candidates are vying for a seat around the big table.The challenges faced by this small Mohawk community, just outside Montreal, have been great.They’ve had more than their share of conflicts in the 21 years since the infamous Oka crisis.The legacy of the crisis still hangs heavily here.APTN National News reporter Danielle Rochette has this story.last_img

Record Citrus Production in Morocco Led to Dumping of Surplus

Rabat – The 2018 fall-winter citrus harvest made records in some regions of Morocco, but some producers had to dispose of surplus fruits because they did not have cold storage capacity and marketing channels.Minister of Agriculture Aziz Akhannouch held a meeting on January 9 in Rabat with agricultural interprofessional organizations to discuss the citrus sector in Morocco.Read Also: USDA Report: Morocco Expects Record in Citrus Production in 2018-2019During the meeting, Akhannouch said that citrus production made records this season in some regions, especially in Berkane, in eastern Morocco, with a 25 percent increase and Beni Mellal, in central Morocco, with an 18 percent increase. However, weather conditions last year delayed the ripening of the citrus fruits and production accumulation, according to a ministry statement.Last month, many videos circulated social media showing trucks throwing out a large quantity of mandarins and oranges in a deserted area in what was believed to be Berkane or Agadir region. The ministry noted that quality variation in citrus production also affected the criteria for export.Akhannouch’s meeting was an opportunity to take stock of citrus marketing in Morocco and internationally. During the meeting, industry professionals discussed some of the constraints in citrus marketing.Citrus producers faced limitations in cold storage capacity, packaging stations, internal sales, and marketing channels. read more

UN envoy on sexual violence in conflict starts first official visit to

“I decided to make a trip to Somalia because I believe the country is embarking on an important and exciting journey after many years of conflict,” said the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Zainab Hawa Bangura. “The Government has been engaged in this discussion and has expressed openness to developing a framework of cooperation to address sexual violence,” Ms. Bangura added in the capital city of Mogadishu. This is her visit to Somalia in her current capacity. Ms. Bangura today met with UN officials, including from the UN Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS), as well as civil society partners and a range of stakeholders to listen and learn about the challenges faced in tackling sexual violence. A team of experts from her office will be deployed to Somalia in July, Ms. Bangura said, to work alongside the police and the military to assess their needs in the fields of training and prosecution. “I want to offer the support of my office in helping the Government achieve its stated goals of building an equitable society in which human rights are respected and communities are free from sexual and gender-based violence,” she said. Last month, Ms. Bangura and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon both welcomed the decision by a Somali appeals court to overturn the one-year conviction of a woman who claimed to be raped by security forces. The journalist charged in connection with the case was also subsequently released. Earlier today, the Special Representative spoke to the media, praising Somali journalists covering sexual violence in the country for their important role in raising awareness about the subject. “Without a free press to investigate and shine a light on these issues so that people know what a devastating problem this is worldwide, we can never hope to eradicate this scourge,” she said. Somalia, which has been affected by conflict for more than two decades, has recently made some significant political gains. It marked a political watershed last August when it swore in the first formal parliament and ended a nine-year transition period, followed by the appointments of a new President and a new Prime Minister. Last month, Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon launched the Independent Task Force to end the culture of impunity on human rights abuses in the country. read more

UN concerned over unfolding humanitarian emergency at Australias offshore processing centre

“We share the concerns of other UN agencies… about what is an unfolding humanitarian emergency,” said Rupert Colville, a spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) at a press briefing in Geneva, explaining that food, water and other basic services have been cut off since the Australian Government shuttered the Regional Processing Centre on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea on 31 October. Repeating its overall concerns about Australia’s offshore processing centres, which “are unsustainable, inhumane and contrary to its human rights obligations,” OHCHR urged Australia to transfer the 600 men to its mainland where their claims can be processed. “We have serious concerns about the welfare, safety and well-being of the roughly 600 men who remain in the accommodation compound, who are too frightened to leave,” the spokesperson said, noting that the men have said they fear violence at the hands of locals if they leave the compound, given violent incidents in the past.“All migrants, including refugees and asylum-seekers, are human beings. Like all of us, they have a right to a safe and secure environment, a right to an adequate standard of living and to participate in the decision-making process that is affecting their future,” Mr. Colville said. read more

Irish court told Nigerian woman was forced to have sex with up

first_img http://jrnl.ie/3193031 Short URL Wednesday 18 Jan 2017, 5:45 PM By Declan Brennan and Conor Gallagher A NIGERIAN WOMAN who was allegedly trafficked into the country and forced into prostitution was having sex with up to ten men a day for no payment, a trial has heard.The woman has told a jury she underwent a “voodoo process” in her home country before coming to Ireland, during which she swore she would not report the alleged trafficker, Joy Imasogie (40).The woman also alleged that while she was working as a prostitute, Imasogie’s husband, Kingsley, began “taking advantage” of her and having sex with her.Imasogie of Chapleswood Crescent, Hollystown, Dublin 15, has pleaded not guilty to organising for the woman to enter the country illegally, to compelling or coercing the woman to be a prostitute and to controlling or directing the activities of prostitution for gain on dates between March 2006 and April 2008.On her second day of evidence at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court the alleged victim said she lived in a flat in Phibsborough where she was visited by up to ten men a day. She said the visits usually came at night or at lunchtime.She told Kerida Naidoo SC, prosecuting, that Imasogie and another woman made the arrangements and that she would receive a phone call when a man was on the way. She said the prostitution service was advertised on a website run by a woman in England.Imasogie allegedly told her the price was €150 for half an hour and €250 for an hour. The complainant said the accused told her men might want anal sex as an “additional service” but she refused to do this.She said that she might receive €2,000 a day from the men. Of that Imasogie would allegedly take half for arranging the men to come and half to pay off a €50,000 “debt” she said the woman owed her for bringing her to Ireland.The alleged victim said she was left with no money at the end of the day and that she received no allowance. She said she had to demand money from the accused for personal items and that Imasogie would sometimes bring her food.The woman said Imasogie gave her a false passport to show to gardaí if they called at the door. One day gardaí called but didn’t believe the passport was genuine. The alleged victim said she went upstairs and jumped out the window to escape, breaking her leg in the process.She said she was in a cast for two months and during that time she was told by the accused to “answer the phones and direct people”.She returned to prostitution after the leg healed, she said. Sometimes the work involved travelling down the country for “overnight” visits. She said the accused or her husband Kingsley would drive her to there.She alleged that after she had been in Ireland for about a year, Kingsley started to take advantage of her and have sex with her.The woman said that after some time she thought she had worked off about €40,000 of the €50,000 debt. When she asked Imasogie about this, the accused replied that she had lost the book she used to keep track of this and that she believed the woman had paid off only €15,000 or €20,000.The alleged victim said in 2008 she left Imasogie and refused to return. She said she didn’t want to be a prostitute anymore and refused to have any further contact with the accused.The trial continues before Judge Patricia Ryan and a jury.Comments have been closed as the case is ongoing. Share4 Tweet Email1 36,748 Views Irish court told Nigerian woman was forced to have sex with up to 10 men a day The alleged victim was told she might receive €2,000 a day, but would have to pay a €50,000 ‘debt owed’ for bringing her to Ireland.center_img Image: Shutterstock/Digital Storm Image: Shutterstock/Digital Storm No Comments Read: Obama granted Manning a pardon but Snowden won’t be getting the sameRead: Man jailed for life for murder of Limerick rugby player loses Supreme Court appeal Jan 18th 2017, 5:45 PM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Geek Pick Doctor Who TARDIS BedinaBag

first_imgStay on target Geek Pick: Shure MV88+ Is An Excellent, On the Go Microphone KitGeek Pick: Amazon Smart Plug Puts Alexa in Your Walls Have you ever wanted to sleep with Doctor Who? Yes, I know his name is the Doctor, and this isn’t about that. I’m talking about sleeping ensconced in linens branded with the BBC’s longest-running and worldwide-beloved science fiction series’ branding. Because you might not be able to bed Peter Capaldi (unless you’re Elaine Collins, and if you are then congratulations on 17 years of marriage!), but you can at least get a TARDIS comforter.Here’s the product photo from ThinkGeek, which is lit much better than my apartment.ThinkGeek’s Doctor Who TARDIS Bed-In-A-Bag is everything you need to make your bed and sleep in it, covered in TARDISes and Doctor Who logos. It’s available in Twin, Full, Queen, and King sizes, and comes with a fitted sheet, a flat sheet, pillowcases and shames (the Twin set has one of each, while the other has two of each), and a comforter. And right now it’s on sale at ThinkGeek for $29.99 in any way, down from $69.99 (for Twin) to $99.99 (for King).The sheets are… well, by my standards low-key, but still extremely nerdy. They’re white with blue outlines of the TARDIS and gray Gallifreyan writing patterned over them. The pillowcases have the same pattern, so they match if you don’t use the shams. The TARDIS outlines are hard to miss, but if they were just covered in Gallifreyan ring-words the sheets would actually look like pretty stylish patterns not immediately related to Doctor Who.The comforter and shames, however, are hard to miss. The comforter is a dark blue cosmic pattern with the TARDIS on the front, big and glowing and askew as it flies through the time vortex. It would look rad on the side of a van. On a bed, well, it still looks rad, but not in a way that will necessarily give you particularly easy or conventional results in your social life. The shams have a similar pattern, but with smaller TARDISes (TARDII? TARDES?) on them.Incidentally, what’s the point of shams? I’m confused by the necessity of a pillowcase you put over a pillowcase. Duvet covers make sense, because it’s easier to wash them then the whole duvet, but shams seem to just make pillows slightly weirder to sleep on, with the fringe around them. Comment below if anyone can explain shams to me, or if you have favorite obscure Doctor Who novels that are no longer canon but had interesting ideas (Lungbarrow is great).The bedding is polyester, so the sheets are smooth and light, but aren’t as soft as cotton (or if you can afford it, bamboo). Not bad for $29.99, but I’d love to see a Doctor Who Hotel Linens Collection with some 600-count Egyptian cotton bearing an airbrushed Tom Baker face.If the dark blue TARDIS design is a bit too understated for you, ThinkGeek has an even wilder Doctor Who Floating TARDIS Bed In A Bag, with the TARDIS even more askew over a flaring star, and a Doctor Who Sublimation Bedding Set that has the same parts of the Bed In A Bag sets. But with a comforter that shows a stationary TARDIS surrounded with bisexual lighting. Love that vaporwave palette.center_img Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img read more

Save the Date Commodity Classic Heads to Anaheim Calif

first_imgIt doesn’t matter what you grow. It doesn’t matter how many acres you farm. Commodity Classic will help you become an even better farmer. Join us for the annual trade show in Anaheim, Calif. Feb. 27-March 1, 2018!Click here to learn more.The education,  networking,  trade  show and experience  at Commodity Classic will help  you  GROW BEYOND in many ways:Powerful educational sessions on key issues, new solutions and the latest innovationsA huge trade show with the newest technology, products and equipmentInspiring speakers and thought-provoking presentations from top ag leadersNetworking with like-minded farmers from across AmericaThe chance to enjoy a little well-deserved fun and relaxationBe in Anaheim for the 2018 Commodity Classic—America’s largest farmer-led, farmer-focused convention and trade show.Click here to visit the Commodity Classic website.last_img read more

Obama announces total troop withdrawal from Iraq

first_imgWASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama on Friday declared an end to the Iraq war, one of the longest and most divisive conflicts in U.S. history, announcing that all American troops would be withdrawn from the country by year’s end.Obama’s statement put an end to months of wrangling over whether the U.S. would maintain a force in Iraq beyond 2011. He never mentioned the tense and ultimately fruitless negotiations with Iraq over whether to keep several thousand U.S. forces in Iraq as a training force and a hedge against meddling from Iran or other outside forces.Instead, Obama spoke of a promise kept, a new day for a self-reliant Iraq and a focus on building up the economy at home.“I can report that, as promised, the rest of our troops in Iraq will come home by the end of the year,” Obama said. “After nearly nine years, America’s war in Iraq will be over.”Obama spoke after a private video conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, and he offered assurances that the two leaders agreed on the decision.last_img read more

BNP Paribas and Sky to speak at Employee Benefits Live

first_imgAsda, BNP Paribas (pictured), BP, Innocent Drinks, L’Oreal and Sky are among the organisations that will be speaking at Employee Benefits Live 2015.The 12-stream conference, which will run across both days of the event, will cover topics such as:Strategies for boosting staff engagement in a cost-effective manner.Wearable technology and the future of workplace health.Developing family-friendly policies to support working carersThe changes to childcare vouchers and assessing their impact on organisations and the workforce.Implementing successful workplace savings initiatives to enhance financial wellbeing.How to develop a global reward strategy.The event will take place on 21 and 22 September at Olympia National, London.More information about the event can be found at www.employeebenefitslive.co.uk.last_img read more

Penton Media Announces Hiring Salary Freeze CompanyWide Revenue Reforecasting

first_imgPenton Media has joined a growing number of magazine publishers who in recent weeks have made drastic moves in an attempt to reduce operating costs. According to an internal memo obtained by FOLIO:, Penton CEO John French [right] has called for salary and hiring freezes, and has launched a company-wide revenue reforecast for the remainder of 2008. “Over the last several weeks, I have been meeting with our senior managers to review their revenue projections for the remainder of the year,” French wrote in the memo. “Based on our forecasts, we project considerable revenue challenges for the balance of the year.” In the memo, French indicated that he has requested product managers to submit restated revenue and expense forecasts for the rest of the year. He expects to complete the process by the end of the month.French also called for a freeze on employee salaries and on hiring. The exceptions to the hiring hold are what French calls “key” hires, including those for Penton’s New Media and Buyers Guide groups, its helpdesk, and the potential hiring of a CFO. The salary freeze will continue until the company sees “indications of bottom-line improvement,” French wrote in the memo. “It’s not like we’re seeing everything across the board down in revenues—some areas are performing well,” a Penton spokesperson tells FOLIO:. “We’re facing the same challenges in revenues that many other companies are facing. We’re working hard to stay on top of things and to reduce costs.”Last week, the Nielsen Company confirmed that it had laid of a number of staffers–including at Nielsen Business Media—as part of a company-wide restructuring plan that would cut about 4,000 employees from its workforce. On Thursday, tech publisher Ziff Davis Enterprise also confirmed a restructuring that included several layoffs.“I realize measures like the ones mentioned above are not popular and that many employees will be disappointed,” French wrote in the memo. “However, you should know that I do not take these decisions lightly. My objective is to proactively take the steps necessary to address our growing expenses in an effort to curtail the need to make more drastic moves in the future.”last_img read more

Sugar Creates Genetic Trouble For Coastal Alaska Natives

first_imgThe idea that traditional diets are best for coastal Alaska Native people is being further confirmed by the discovery of a gene deficiency that doesn’t allow their systems to process sugar. Dr Matthew Hirschfeld is the director of maternal/child health services at the Alaska Native Medical Center. The intolerant gene causes a condition know as as C-Sid.Hirschfeld says it’s likely 1 to 5 percent of Alaska Natives have the gene mutation. He told APRN’s Lori Townsend the addition of sugar into so many processed foods is not good for anyone, but is especially bad for coastal Alaska Native people.Download Audiolast_img

Never wanted to be Vice President says Venkaiah Naidu

first_imgChennai: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday said he never wanted to take up the post, but take up “constructive work” following the footsteps of Bharatiya Jana Sangh leader and social activist, Nanaji Deshmukh. Naidu said he was in tears the day he was named for the Vice President’s post for the simple reason that he would not be able to visit the BJP office or talk to the party workers. Also Read – Enforcement Directorate summons Karnataka Congress leader D.K. Shivakumar Advertise With Us Despite coming from a humble background, Naidu said the party had given him everything, except Prime Ministership, for which he was “not suitable”. “My dear friends I must tell you the truth…I never wanted to become VP…,” he said at the launch of a book on his two-year term in office titled “Listening, Learning & Leading.” Naidu said he expressed his interest to Prime Minister Narendra Modi that in his second term (after 2019) he wanted to quit the government, follow Nanaji Deshmukh and go for constructive work (Rachanathmak Karyakram). Also Read – Fresh restrictions imposed in Kashmir Valley Advertise With Us “I was planning on that ground….I was enjoying that I will be doing that… But this did not happen,” Naidu said. Stating that he even suggested some names for the VP post, he said “After a party parliamentary board meeting, Amit (Shah) bhai said everyone in the party thought I will be the most suitable man. I never expected that. I was in tears, not because I was losing the ministership, which I anyway was going to leave.” Advertise With Us He said he was overcome by emotion then for a simple reason — that from the next day, he would not be able to go to the BJP office or meet party workers. Naidu said he was worried about the future of the movement (ABVP, RSS), which left him in tears. “I joined the movement at a young age and the party gave me everything, except Prime Ministership, for which I am not suitable. I know my capacities and calibre,” he said. Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who was also present at the event, said he had a “sweet complaint” that Naidu is extra strict with Treasury benches and every minister is afraid of him.last_img read more

Bengalimedium students given raw deal says Mamata

first_imgKolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressed her immense dissatisfaction over the way Bengali-medium students have been deprived of in the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET).Chairing a meeting at Nabanna on Tuesday, she said: “I am offended as our students have not got a better opportunity. I heard there were issues with the question paper. The English and Bengali question papers were different.”Criticising the Centre for the same, the Chief Minister also added: “They are not giving priority to the regions. Students from the states are getting deprived. The matter has to be taken up with the MCI and we plan to take it up with the Centre as well.” Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsIt may be mentioned here that the Chief Minister had written to Union Human Resource Development minister Prakash Javadekar drawing his attention to the question paper debacle that occurred mainly in the Bengali translation. Despite her intimation, no steps have been taken in this regard so far.As a result of the incident, students from the state who had opted for Bengali as the medium of language performed miserably in the NEET the result of which was published on Monday. A student has already moved Calcutta High Court seeking its intervention regarding the question paper. The Calcutta High Court sought clarification from the Centre and also the CBSE on how the Bengali translation of the question paper was full of so many errors and also asked the Centre to reserve a seat for the petitioner who filed a writ petition with the court. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedThe Chief Minister asked senior health officials to take up the NEET issue with the Centre so that the Bengali-medium students would not be deprived to study MBBS. While giving a detailed account of what the state government has done in the health sector, Banerjee said seats have been increased from 1,300 to 2,900 after the present government came to power. Mother and child hubs have also been set up. There is, however, an urgent need to increase the number of doctors. “There is a requirement of more doctors and sisters in the hospitals and we want that the number of doctors to increase. Many of the doctors go out creating a dearth in the state. There is a need of neuro-surgeons as well,” the Chief Minister maintained.”The dearth can only be addressed if the number of doctors is produced in the state. The issue was never looked into before. We have overcome the issue to a great extent and it will take some time to address the deficit. Doctors are the assets and they have to cater to huge number of patients in hospitals like SSKM Hospital, Calcutta Medical College and Hospital, NRS Medical College and Hospital, RG Kar Medical College and Hospital where more than 2 lakh patients turn up in Out Patient Department (OPD) each in a month, she said.last_img read more

SIMI member Abu Faizal gets life sentence for cops murder

first_imgA special trial court here on Saturday sentenced Abu Faizal, a member of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), to life imprisonment after finding him guilty of killing a police constable in 2009.Faizal had been convicted by the additional sessions judge B S Bhadoria on Friday. The court also awarded three years’ imprisonment to co-accused Mahtab after finding him guilty under the Arms Act for supplying a weapon to Faizal which was used in the crime, said Special public prosecutor Naresh Gupta. Also Read – Punjab on alert after release of excess water from Bhakra damFaizal has been found guilty for the murder of constable Sitaram Yadav in Khandwa district in 2009. Faizal, who attended the hearing from jail through video conference facility, lost his cool and shouted after the judge pronounced the verdict on Friday. On Saturday also he attended the hearing through video conference. Faizal and four others shot Yadav dead. Three of them are still absconding while one died, Gupta said.last_img read more

Two BJP councillors get anticipatory bail in abduction case

first_imgKolkata: The Calcutta High Court on Tuesday granted anticipatory bail to two BJP councillors of West Bengal’s Bongaon Municipality in connection with a case of alleged kidnapping of a woman colleague. The two councillors, who switched to the saffron brigade recently from the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC), have been named in a complaint filed in the abduction case. Apprehending arrest in the case, Himangshu Mondal and Kartik Mondal moved the high court seeking anticipatory bail. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata The accused civic body members claimed that they have been falsely implicated in a “fabricated” case due to their political affiliation. A division bench comprising Justices Joymalya Bagchi and M Mandal granted them anticipatory bail on personal bond of Rs 20,000 each. The court also directed the two councillors to meet the investigating officer every alternate day. Lawyers representing the Bharatiya Janata Party councillors claimed Himangshu and Kartik were not allowed to vote in the no-confidence motion against the chairman of Bongaon Municipality, which was in turmoil after 11 TMC councillors in the 22-member House moved to the saffron camp. The TMC had claimed that it won the trust vote, with 10 members voting in favour of the chairman Shankar Addhya, while 11 BJP councillors, including the two petitioners, alleged that they were denied a chance to enter the municipal body office during the scheduled voting process on July 16.last_img read more

Incredible Forest Crop Circles Appear in Japan

first_imgAn aerial photograph of a forest in Japan caused a stir on social media last month, as it appeared to show a pair of epic crop circles made out of trees. A crop circle is an area of flattened crops, typically a cereal crop, which produces a regular, circular pattern that can be viewed from above.Interest in crop circles is a perennial feature of internet controversy, and many people believe them to be signs of extraterrestrial life or attempts at alien communication.Original Google Earth photo. Copyright Google 2019.However, the appearance of these circles in a forest near Nichinan in Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan, left even the most avid conspiracy theorists lost for words. These enormous circles, visible from the sky, were not produced by the flattening of cereal crops. Rather, they were grown into the forest itself, and made completely out of trees.Although it’s tempting to attribute these strange patterns to alien activity, or enterprising hoaxers, the circles did not appear overnight. According to Business Insider, they are the result of a 45-year “experimental forestry” program run by scientists seeking to understand the way in which forests develop.The trees have grown in perfect symmetry.This Southern Miyazaki District forest is populated by local Obi-sugi cedar trees. In 1974, a team of scientists decided to plant 720 new cedar trees as part of an experiment designed to understand the effects of forest density on tree growth.The scientists wanted to observe what would happen if they planted trees in close proximity to one another, and how this would affect their growth and development. It was hoped that the results would inform new forestation projects.They are the result of a 45-year “experimental forestry” program run by scientists seeking to understand the way in which forests develop.According to Business Insider, the trees were planted in a sequence of circles, evenly spaced in 10 degree radial increments. The result was a pattern of concentric circles with varying diameter.The pattern was not chosen for aesthetic reasons, but rather to allow the scientists to easily identify which trees were part of the experiment. The team has been making regular observations over the course of the past 45 years.The study challenges the prevailing assumption that tree density does not significantly affect growth and development.The results of the investigation were particularly surprising. As the aerial images show, the trees have grown out in a concave pattern, suggesting that close planting does limit tree growth.The trees that were placed in the inner circles, with proportionally less space, were significantly smaller than those in the outer rings. The difference in height between the smallest trees at the center of the ring, and the largest at the outer level was more than five meters (16.5 feet).dense beech forest with tall trees. beautiful nature backgroundIt seems that those trees that grew with more space suffered less from competition from other trees, and therefore were able to grow taller and stronger.Those in the inner rings, however, had limited access to water, sunlight and soil nutrients. The team had expected that this would produce some differences in growth, but the extent of the difference was not anticipated.Furthermore, this study challenges the prevailing assumption that tree density does not significantly affect growth and development.The experiment was designed in order to calculate the optimum distance for tree planting, in order to create the biggest yield of timber in the smallest possible space. The experiment was originally supposed to run for 50 years, meaning that the trees were designated to be felled in 2023.However, scientists did not anticipate the beautiful patterns that would be created as a result of the planting scheme. The varying sizes of the trees in the ring create a three-dimensional effect and produce a particularly interesting pattern only when photographed from above.Indeed, until 2016, observation of the trees was carried out on foot, meaning that the team was unaware of the existence of the crop circles in the forest. However, the development of drone technology meant that in 2016 they were able to see the forest from above for the first time.Read another story from us: Drunken Trees – Two Surreal Forests that Abandon the Laws of GravityThis birds-eye view has encouraged the scientists to see the experiment in a whole new light, and these beautiful forest crop circles will now remain exactly where they stand.last_img read more

Phishing In All Its Forms Is a Menace to Small Businesses

first_img Small business owners are overwhelmingly on the receiving end of cyber attacks. More than three-quarters of the companies targeted by malicious hackers are small shops — those without a dedicated security team — according to the recently released Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR).The most common way they get taken advantage of is malicious emails, or “phishing emails,” as they’re commonly referred to. They are “the no. 1 cause of cybersecurity incidents bar none,” said Oren Falkowitz, a former NSA employee and now CEO of cyber defense start-up Area 1 Security.Related: Google Delaying Some Gmail Message to Quell PhishingDisguised as notes from loved ones or even an employer, crooks piece together what appear to be legitimate emails that, as Falkowitz notes “ask you to click on a file or a link or increasingly with fileless or linkless message to take some sort of action,” and then “enter [a] password, transfer money through a fraudulent wire or send W2s out.” These emails can be as painfully obvious as a note from an exotic prince or as deviously deceptive as the fake email alert that led to the hack of the DNC.  The vast majority of security incidents start with cybersecurity threat and a whopping 30 percent of these phishing emails get opened. (The average office worker receives more than a 100 emails a day.) Phishing emails lead to infections that corrupt some of our most sensitive business machines with ransomware — nasty malware that encrypts files — or captures our usernames and passwords.The risk is real and prevalent. Here are some useful and free ways to help keep your small business safe:If it looks phish-y, call the sender to verify.Whenever you receive an email containing a link or an attachment that just doesn’t make sense, check it out. In fact, anytime you receive something that appears important, call the sender to verify what they sent, and ask them to describe the links or attachments.Related: The Biggest Threats in Your InboxEstablish strong credentials. One of the most common-sense — and overlooked — suggestions in the DBIR is turning on two-factor authentication for administrative access to web apps that contain sensitive company or customer information. The process involves signing in with your passcode and then receiving a special code text directly to your phone or app.Last year, during a meeting at UC-Berkeley, Dropbox’s then-Chief Trust Officer Patrick Heim told the Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity that less than one percent of the services’ users take advantage of the extra protection. (Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University recently published a password meter that will help you make your passwords strong. You can find it here.)Ask yourself if your employees really need access to all of the computers that run your business? As small shop owners scale their businesses, they often give all their managers access to the shop’s computers. My advice — make sure that your managers are following the same rules you are. If you have a single work machine that holds all your invoicing and spreadsheets, you don’t want your manager potentially getting phish’d when she checks her Hotmail.It’s not just email.Emails aren’t the only place where you have to be vigilant. Digital con artists also send malicious attachments and links over text messages — so-called SMS phishing, or SMiShing. They attempt to do the same over social media. And, sometimes they even attempt to “socially engineer” victims over phone calls. That’s called Vishing.Visually validate websites.Many phishing messages take you to web forms or other sites that look legit, but, on closer inspection, are truly phish-y. Some criminals take over the neglected parts of websites and host malware or other phishing content. It’s called “parasite hosting.”Make sure if a link within an email is meant to take you to a Gmail login page, it takes you to https://accounts.google.com/, not some other random website.Related: Just Being Proactive Isn’t Enough: What Entrepreneurs Should Do During a CyberattackUpdate.Even though the recent WannaCrypt0r attacks — which ravaged networks worldwide — weren’t seemingly spread by email, they could have been upended by hitting an update button. Before the ransomware ever compromised the computer systems of the UK’s National Health Service or Spanish telecommunications company Telefónica, Microsoft issued a patch that would have stopped the virus cold.Indeed, in order to stay safe in Windows, I recommend small businesses that use simple software enable automatic updates. Most importantly, just remember, no matter how many hundreds or even thousands of emails that you receive, never trust embedded links or attached files.   June 27, 2017 Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Register Now » Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global 5 min readlast_img read more

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