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Lok Sabha election: Aligarh has never elected a Muslim MP

first_imgBefore digital locks became the norm for securing homes, Aligarh was famous for its locks, which made its way to the farthest corner of the country. Today, Aligarh is best known for its Aligarh Muslim University, which has also contributed to the impression among outsiders that it is a Muslim-dominated district of Uttar Pradesh.This impression has gained currency in the wake of controversies such as the Jinnah portrait row in Aligarh Muslim University, clash between the varsity students and the BJP over alleged shouting of anti-India slogans leading to slapping of sedition charges against 14 youths and a ‘tiranga yatra’ in recent times.Interestingly, the only Muslim majority district of Uttar Pradesh is Rampur.Aligarh, which voted on April 19 in the Lok Sabha election, is one of the 80 parliamentary constituencies in Uttar Pradesh. This seat has never elected a Muslim candidate to the Lok Sabha.Aligarh’s profileGoing by the electorate’s demography, Muslims are about one-fifth of the total 18.82 lakh voters in Aligarh. There are estimated 3.50 lakh Muslim voters followed by 2.50 lakh Jats and 1.60 lakh Brahmins.There are about 2 lakh Jatav voters, believed to be the supporters of the Bahujan Samaj Party of Mayawati, in Aligargh and 1.50 lakh Thakurs or Rajputs. Vaishya, Lodh, Yadav and Baghel are 1 lakh each in the Aligarh Lok Sabha constituency.How has Aligarh voted till date?The Congress won the first two Lok Sabha elections from Aligarh, which in 1962 voted for a candidate of the Republic Party of India. The Bharatiya Kranti Dal, which later merged with the Janata Party won Aligarh Lok Sabha seat in 1967 and 1971, when Indira Gandhi’s popularity was at its peak.advertisementThe Janata Party and its breakaway faction Janata Party (S) won the next two elections before the Congress won from Aligarh Lok Sabha constituency in 1984, when the election was held in the shadow of assassination of Indira Gandhi. The Congress could not win the Aligarh seat for next 20 years.The BJP has dominated the Aligarh constituency since 1991, winning this seat six times. The Congress has also won from here six times but its first four victories came in the first two Lok Sabha elections, when Aligarh sent two representatives one in open category and the other in reserved segment.The BJP won Aligarh seat five times in a row from 1991 to 2001 Lok Sabha bypoll. The Congress won back this seat in 2004 and lost it to the BSP in 2009. The BJP secured Aligarh Lok Sabha seat in 2014, when Satish Kumar Gautam defeated his BSP rival by about 2.87 lakh votes.Gautam is in the fray seeking a second term. He was up against BSP’s Ajeet Baliyan and former MP Bijendra Singh of the Congress.Before Aligarh went to polling boothsIn 2018, Satish Kumar Gautam triggered a massive row when he demanded that the Aligarh Muslim University should remove the portrait of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, an alumnus of the university and creator of Pakistan, from its campus.In January this year, the BJP and the Aligarh Muslim University were again on the warpath after the varsity denied a ‘tiranga rally’ organised by the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) on Republic Day.The BJYM is the youth wing of the ruling BJP. The BJYM had decided to take out the tiranga yatra inside the university campus after the AMU administration issued notice to two of its students for a similar rally, carrying the national tricolour, on the premises.Again in February, local BJP leader Mukesh Kumar Lodh lodged a complaint with the police that he and his supporters were shot at and assaulted at the gate of the AMU for sporting a sticker of the party. He alleged that the assaulters were students of the AMU and shouted anti-India and pro-Pakistan slogans.The police slapped sedition charges against 14 students of the AMU. Some of these students were suspended by the AMU administration.(With inputs from Siraj Qureshi in Agra)ALSO READ: Will higher voter turnout help or hurt BJP?ALSO WATCH: Modi will become PM once again, says Amit Shahlast_img read more

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This 2015 Oklahoma State Team Is Not What Everyone Thinks It Is

first_imgIn our podcast earlier this week, Carson Cunningham and I disagreed about what we’re going to see in Austin this weekend. Carson thinks OSU is going to open it up a little bit on offense. I don’t think that’s what they’re fundamentally built to do.This is a team, as it was pointed out to me by friend of the blog Ryan Frakes, that is not unlike that 2013 OSU team that was a Justin Gilbert pick from winning its second Big 12 title in three years. Consistent, if not plodding, on offense, elite on defense and adept at taking the ball away and providing extra possessions.This team, unlike Mike Gundy teams when Todd Monken and Dana Holgorsen took up residence in Stillwater, is not going to throttle you with breakneck speed on offense and a “go for the jugular” mentality from its QB. It is going to wear you out and, ultimately, crush your will.If you read between the lines (and I do love to do this), Mike Yurcich has been saying this all year.“He took what the defense gave him, didn’t force the ball downfield, his decision-making was good and that’s what we expect from him every week,” said Yurcich about Mason Rudolph about the UTSA game. “I think our offensive line did a great job. I thought we ran the ball very well. I thought the quarterback made good decisions.”Good decisions, good decisions, good decisions. Yurcich sounds less like a killer OC and more like a parent.This is the plan.Heck, you can just take one look at Rudolph’s stat line for the year (62/90 for 947 yards, 5 TDs and 1 INT) to know that OSU is intent on not putting its offense in dangerous situations. They’re a front-running offense. Not built to come from behind. Glenn Spencer’s defense is where the pressure is felt. That’s why Spencer loses sleep over an inability to create turnovers.“I’ve been laboring and sweating it out,” Spencer said on Saturday after OSU forced seven of them in the UTSA game. “I’ve been stressing for us to cause them and for us to get them was one of those exhale moments. Hopefully those things are contagious and hopefully that keeps some blood in the water and it’ll make them crave it more. So we’ll just keep attacking like we always have.”In 2013, OSU’s turnover margin per game was 1.15 which was good for No. 4 in the country that year. That’s an extra possession you’re gaining and your opponent is losing throughout the course of a game where you might normally only get 12-13. That’s huge. OSU only turned it over 18 times that entire season (top 35 in the country). Compare that to 2012 when it turned the ball over 22 times in the last of the high-flying offenses we’ve seen in the Gundy era.[1. 23 turnovers in 2011, 22 in 2010.]Now listen to Mason Rudolph.“I’m trying to eliminate the turnovers,” said Rudolph after throwing a pick against Central Arkansas earlier this season. “I’ve been trying to do that since the first two games. We were happy as a team to not turn the ball over and still put points on the board.”Look, let’s not act like this is a bad thing. It’s just a different philosophy. And it creates a lot of stress for your defense so you better be sure that side can handle it. Now, this doesn’t excuse the screens to the sidelines and everything else that can be infuriating about this offense, it just puts it in a different light.When I say there’s a misperception about this this OSU team and our expectations, this is what I mean. We are not Baylor (anymore). We might not even be OU. We are crazy deep on the defensive side and while the rest of the Big 12 is zigging (winning with points), we are zagging (winning with turnovers and defense) and you know what, that’s a really smart move.Because in a world that loves to fall in step with the leader (Baylor), it’s the person or team that’s willing to step a little outside of the box that can ultimately overthrow the current regime. You’re not going to out-Baylor Baylor or out-TCU TCU, but you might be able to nip them where they don’t see it coming.Everybody in the Big 12 is going to see how many points they can score this season. OSU is going to try and see how few they can allow.Game on.If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!last_img read more

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2009 NTL Survey Results

first_imgThanks to all that participated in the 2009 X-Blades National Touch League Survey.Please find enclosed a summary of results.We appreciate the feedback given, and it helps improve TFA events. NTL Survey Summarylast_img

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Canada to hold key 5G spectrum auction in 2020 says Innovation Minister

first_imgTORONTO – Canada’s government will auction key wireless spectrum for fifth-generation mobile networks in 2020, Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains said Wednesday.“We believe this puts us in a relatively strong position relative to our international peers,” Bains said prior to his speech at the Canadian Telecom Summit in Toronto.“We will still be ahead of Australia and Germany and will be (among) the top five countries when it comes to making spectrum available for 5G.”Industry players — particularly Telus — have called for the auction of 3,500 megahertz spectrum in 2019 to keep up with other countries as smartphone makers bring out devices capable of using 5G networks.Mobile 5G wireless technology is up to 100 times faster than the 4G system, promising better internet on smartphones well as potential applications for self-driving cars and other new technology.On Monday, the chief technology officer for Telus Corp. told the conference that Canadian consumers will be at a disadvantage if the government delays holding the auction of the 3,500 MHz spectrum that will help support 5G technology until 2020.“You will not be able, as a Canadian, to use the latest Samsung phone, or the latest LG, or the latest Huawei, or even the latest iPhone, till 2021,” Telus CTO Ibrahim Gedeon predicted in an interview after his Monday speech.But Bains said Wednesday that his ministry believes 2020 will be soon enough to hold the spectrum auction.He also noted that his department has already announced an auction of 600 MHz spectrum in 2019 — which Bains says has 5G potential — and that it will hold a 2021 auction of 5G-friendly millimetre-wave spectrum.The government’s timetable will ensure the 5G friendly spectrum will be available to meet consumer demand for the ultra-fast mobile networks that Canada’s major carriers are already putting in place, he said.“What we want to do is have a proper plan when it comes to the deployment of spectrum,” Bains told reporters after his speech.“That’s why we’ve presented a five-year outlook, to provide the predictability for businesses.”Businesses will be responsible for making strategic decisions about how they bring out 5G technology, and what adjustments they need to make, he said.“The guiding principle for us is more competition…we fundamentally believe that more competition will drive down prices.”Bains acknowledged that Canada has some of the world’s most expensive telecom prices, but said there’s evidence that wireless prices are generally lower in regions that have competition between multiple carriers.The timing and conditions of wireless spectrum auctions are among the government’s tools to stimulate competition, he said.Bains also announced that many of Canada’s internet service providers have agreed to provide eligible families with at least 100 gigabytes of landline data service for $10 per month, at a target speed of 10 megabits per second.A similar approach for low-cost basic wireless data plans is being pursued by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, an arms-length body within the department that Bains heads.“I can assure you that as a government we will … look at every tool in our tool box to drive home the message around affordability.”Conference co-organizer Mark Goldberg, an independent telecom consultant, said he was glad that Bains had used his influence as minister to get internet providers across the country to join the industry-funded Connecting Families program.Goldberg said he and co-organizer Michael Son had begun to call in 2008 for government and industry to bridge the “digital divide” between families that can afford internet service at home and those who can’t.He said Rogers Communications Inc. was the first industry player in 2013 to announce a program for people in Toronto community housing, which has grown, and Telus followed a few years later with a similar program in B.C. and Alberta.“Now we have (seven) service providers that cover virtually the entire country,” Goldberg said.He said the government isn’t providing funding for the low-cost internet service but it will help internet service providers select up to 220,000 eligible households that receive the Canadian Child Benefit for low-income families.The Connecting Families initiative currently includes BCE’s Bell, Cogeco, Rogers, SaskTel, Shaw, Telus, and Quebecor’s Videotron.According to Innovation, Science and Economic Development documents, Eastlink isn’t participating due to cost concerns. Internet resellers and satellite companies are also not participating, the department said.Companies in this story: (TSX:BCE, TSX:CCA, TSX:RCI.B, TSX:SJR.B, TSX:T, TSX:QBR.B)last_img read more

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SpiceJet becomes first Indian low-cost airline to join IATA

first_imgMumbai/ New Delhi: SpiceJet has joined global airlines’ grouping IATA as a member, becoming the first Indian low-cost carrier to get the membership. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) represents more than 290 airlines, including Air India, Jet Airways and Vistara. The membership would help SpiceJet, which has ambitious expansion plans, to have codeshares and agreements with other carriers, the domestic airline said in a statement Tuesday. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalSpiceJet has become the first Indian low-cost carrier to join the IATA as a member, it added. “We are delighted to welcome SpiceJet as part of the 290 airlines in the IATA family. SpiceJet is the first Indian low-cost carrier to be an IATA member, and our fifth member in India,” IATA Regional Vice-President for Asia Pacific Conrad Clifford said. According to the statement, the IATA membership is significant on account of SpiceJet’s plans for rapidly expanding its international footprint. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostThe membership allows the airline to “explore and grow its collaborations with international member airlines of IATA through interlining and code shares, enabling SpiceJet to seamlessly expand the network options for its passengers in future,” it added. “The membership will further enable us to inculcate global best practices and innovations… IATA also provides us a platform to closely work and collaborate with other airline members and expand our network through code shares and agreements with partner airlines,” SpiceJet Chairman and Managing Director Ajay Singh said. In December 2018, IATA Director-General and Chief Executive Officer Alexandre de Juniac told PTI that SpiceJet had requested to be a member of the grouping. Recently, SpiceJet received IATA’s Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) certificate.last_img read more

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Amgen 2Q Earnings Snapshot

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) _ Amgen Inc. (AMGN) on Tuesday reported second-quarter profit of $2.18 billion.The Thousand Oaks, California-based company said it had profit of $3.57 per share. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring costs, came to $3.97 per share.The results topped Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of 10 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $3.58 per share.The world’s largest biotech drugmaker posted revenue of $5.87 billion in the period, also beating Street forecasts. Seven analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $5.68 billion.Amgen expects full-year earnings in the range of $13.75 to $14.30 per share, with revenue in the range of $22.4 billion to $22.9 billion.Amgen shares have decreased 9.5% since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index has increased 20%. In the final minutes of trading on Tuesday, shares hit $176.15, a drop of roughly 8% in the last 12 months._____This story was generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on AMGN at https://www.zacks.com/ap/AMGNThe Associated Press read more

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Bombardier looking at potential for sales to Iran plane assembly in China

MONTREAL – Bombardier is looking at opportunities to sell trains and planes to Iran and assemble aircraft in China as the transportation giant tries to grow its presence in the world’s emerging markets.CEO Pierre Beaudoin said Thursday that Bombardier is evaluating the market potential in Iran if a permanent deal is reached to lift all sanctions, while removing any possibility for Tehran to develop a nuclear weapon.“Our role right now is to understand when sanctions could be lifted and how we could take advantage of a market we feel will be important for all of our products,” he said at a news conference after Bombardier’s annual meeting.Iran’s top aviation official has said the country is looking to buy 400 passengers planes in the next 10 years to upgrade its aging fleet if sanctions imposed by the West over its controversial nuclear program are lifted.Beaudoin added that Bombardier wants to ensure it’s not at a competitive disadvantage if sanctions are lifted.In China, Bombardier is in early negotiations about establishing final aircraft assembly to gain further access to sales in the world’s fastest growing economy.The move would be similar to efforts in Russia, that could be threatened if sanctions are imposed over the political crisis in Ukraine.Bombardier (TSX:BBD.B) is hoping to reach an agreement this year to establish a joint venture with Rostec, a Russian state corporation, that could lead to some 100 turboprops, valued at US$3.4 billion at list prices, being built for the Russian market.The final assembly line in Russia would complement Bombardier’s Toronto operations, where final assembly of the 70- to 80-seat turboprop currently takes place.Bombardier Aerospace president Guy Hachey said the same concept could apply in China.“We’re not far along in those discussions but you could have the same kind of approach where if you could reach a partnership with someone local you could serve that market from that point and the Q400 could be one of those candidates or other platforms,” he told reporters.Hachey said there is no need in the short-term to assemble CSeries outside Mirabel, north of Montreal.Earlier, Bombardier (TSX:BBD.B) said it’s on track to deliver promised results for the year, despite posting a 22 per cent drop in earnings in the first quarter and near doubling of its use of free cash.The Montreal-based transportation giant’s net aircraft orders surged to 91 from 28 a year ago, pushing the aerospace division’s backlog to a record US$38.5 billion. It delivered 56 planes during the quarter, three more than the same period a year ago.Bombardier continued to trail rival Gulfstream in terms of the value of business jets delivered in the quarter, an industry association said Thursday. The General Aviation Manufacturers Association said Bombardier delivered 43 aircraft valued at US$1.57 billion, compared with its U.S. competitor’s 39 planes valued at US$2.05 billion.Overall, Bombardier, which reports in U.S. dollars, earned $115 million or six cents per share for the period ended March 31, down from $148 million or eight cents a year earlier.Excluding one-time items, net income amounted to $151 million or eight cents per share, in line with analyst forecasts. It earned $156 million or eight cents per share in the 2013 quarter.Revenues for the train and plan manufacturer were ahead slightly at $4.4 billion, compared with $4.3 billion year-over-year.The company used $915 million of free cash in the quarter, up from $590 million a year ago.Its total liquidity slipped to $3.9 billion including $2.5 billion of cash, compared to $4.8 billion in short-term capital and $3.4 billion of cash as of Dec. 31.Beaudoin said he was satisfied with the results and added Bombardier has enough liquidity to meet its development plans.Meanwhile, Bombardier said it will closely watch the Supreme Court of Canada, which Thursday agreed to hear a case filed by a Pakistani-born Canadian citizen who was initially denied pilot training by Bombardier in Dallas and Quebec after being excluded by U.S. authorities.“I think it’s premature right now to make comments, but we’re satisfied that we’ve taken the high road in this particular case,” said Hachey.The world’s third-largest aircraft manufacturer said the delayed CSeries aircraft program continues to make “solid progress” with test flights reaching the maximum operating altitude of 12,497 metres (41,000 feet) and the maximum operating speed of Mach 0.82 or 871 km/h. The fourth flight test vehicle is expected to complete its first flight in the coming weeks.On the Toronto Stock Exchange, Bombardier’s shares closed Thursday at C$4.15, down 26 cents or 5.9 per cent.Follow @RossMarowits on Twitter. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Bombardier looking at potential for sales to Iran; plane assembly in China by Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press Posted May 1, 2014 5:39 am MDT read more

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New lab will boost UN efforts to keep harmful insects at bay

From left to right, FAO’s Ren Wang, Ambassadors Friedrich Däuble (Germany), Christine Stix-Hackl (Austria), IAEA’s Yukiya Amano, Ambassadors Darmansjah Djumala (Indonesia), and Tebogo Seokolo (South Africa), at the inauguration of new IAEA/FAO Insect Pest Control Laboratory in Seibersdorf, Austria. Photo: S. Gas/IAEA Earlier this year, the IAEA, in partnership with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), assisted the Dominican Republic in using SIT to eradicate an outbreak of the Mediterranean fruit fly – one of the most damaging agricultural pests in the world that attacks several types of fruits and vegetables. Thanks to this assistance, the country was able to eradicate the fly within two years, and to regain access to export markets worth $42 million a year. The modern Insect Pest Control Laboratory (IPCL), located in Seibersdorf, Austria, will boost the Agency’s ability to assist Member States in applying the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) to combat insect pests that spread disease and damage crops.“With new and modern facilities, the IPCL will in future be able to do even more to help Member States control insect pests that endanger our crops, our livestock and our health,” IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said during the inauguration ceremony.The environmentally-safe SIT, a form of insect birth control, uses radiation to sterilize male insects, which are reared in large numbers and released in a target area to mate with wild females. Since they do not produce any offspring, the pest population is reduced over time, according to the Agency.Along with additional space to train experts to support the transfer of SIT to countries, the new lab will facilitate research on the application of the technique for different insects, including mosquitos that transmit malaria, Zika and other diseases.“The IPCL offers a very tangible example of the enormous practical benefits of nuclear science and technology,” noted Mr. Amano. read more

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Government of Canada invests in biomanufacturing business development in Niagara

Rick Dykstra, MP for St. Catharines, announces an $843,500 investment in Brock’s Bioscience Incubator (BioLinc) on behalf of the Federal Government’s Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev)The federal government has made an investment in Brock that will help it to partner with regional supporters to kick-start bio-manufacturing businesses in Niagara.Rick Dykstra, Member of Parliament for St. Catharines, on behalf of Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), today announced an investment of up to $843,500 for Brock to create BioLinc, a new bioscience incubator.These federal contributions through FedDev Ontario’s Prosperity Initiative will help build closer ties between leading bioscience researchers and local entrepreneurs.“Our government is proud to partner with institutions such as Brock University to increase business opportunities for entrepreneurs in bio-manufacturing,” said Dykstra. “Today’s investment is contributing to the creation of a knowledge-based economy in Niagara and across southern Ontario that will create new high-value jobs and sustain long-term growth for our communities.”“This investment is great news for Brock as it will help to enhance the capacity of our new bioscience research complex to foster innovation,” said President Jack Lightstone. “These funds will also enable us to advance one of our key strategic priorities, which is to partner with local businesses and business development agencies in Niagara to provide incubation services for the bio-manufacturing sector of our region’s economy.”BioLinc will be housed in the soon-to-be-opened Cairns Family Health and Bioscience Research Complex. It will include office and lab space, as well as provide business development services for entrepreneurs, such as counselling, training and networking.The FedDev Ontario support will also provide seed funding for Innovates Niagara — an interactive web portal that will support entrepreneurs whose businesses are not physically located in the incubator. Innovates Niagara is in turn supported by a partnership that includes: Brock Universitythe City of St. CatharinesnGenthe Regional Innovation Centrethe Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce.“This partnership is the start of a collaborative approach designed to provide a suite of services for entrepreneurs and innovators that has been a missing part of Niagara’s economic toolbox,” said Mike Watt, chair of the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce. “The creation of a one-stop business development service of this kind will play a key role in bringing resources together to make it more efficient for businesses to grow in Niagara.”“It is only by bringing together like-minded people and the necessary resources that innovative ideas can become commercial realities,” said nGen CEO Jeff Chesebrough. “BioLinc will no doubt enhance our region’s efforts to foster new business development and the organic growth of existing small businesses in Niagara.”“The City of St. Catharines recognizes that this initiative will encourage private investment, create new jobs and support our efforts to move into a knowledge-based economy, which, in turn, will help attract young professionals to our community,” says St. Catharines Mayor Brian McMullan.BioLinc partners, from left: Jeff Chesebrough, CEO, nGen; Keith Cumming, Vice-Chair, Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce; Walter Sendzik, Interim CEO, Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce; Rudi Kroeker, Chair, Brock University Board of Trustees; Rick Dykstra, MP, St. Catharines; Jack Lightstone, President, Brock University; Gary Libben, Vice-President, Research; N’ora Kalb, program co-ordinator, nGen; Brian McMullan, Mayor, City of St. Catharines; Gary Burroughs, Chair, Niagara Regional Council FedDev Ontario’s Prosperity Initiative is designed to encourage businesses, not-for-profit organizations and post-secondary institutions in southern Ontario to undertake projects that will result in a more productive, diversified and competitive economy. Applications for funding are being accepted and assessed on an ongoing basis. Created in 2009, FedDev Ontario supports the southern Ontario economy by building on the region’s strengths and creating opportunities for jobs and economic growth. The agency has launched a number of initiatives to create a Southern Ontario Advantage and place the region in a strong position to compete in the global economy. read more

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Antigua announces nonstop campaign ahead of CCJ referendum

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedAntigua and Barbuda vote against CCJ, PM disappointedNovember 7, 2018In “Regional”Guyana has full confidence in decisions of CCJ – Foreign Affairs MinisterNovember 23, 2018In “latest news”Grenada prepares for another CCJ referendumApril 23, 2018In “Regional” ST JOHN’S, Antigua (CMC) – Attorney General Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin has announced the start of a “non-stop campaign” ahead of a referendum vote in November on whether or not Antigua and Barbuda should make the Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) its final court.The London-based Privy Council presently serves as the island’s final court and Benjamin said that the referendum on November 6 will allow for the population to indicate whether they intend to join the CCJ that was established in 2001.“We want to make sure Antiguans are brought up to date with the real purpose of the CCJ. So we are starting a campaign, a non-stop campaign from now until the day of the elections.“I just want to talk with my fellow Antiguans and Barbudans today. Search your soul, search your heart. Are you really independent? Are you really a Caribbean person? How can you say you are independent when you don’t control your Court of Appeal,” Benjamin asked.Benjamin urged nationals to ensure that they are registered to participate in the referendum, saying that the last date for registration is August 31.“So you could have your challenges, objections etc. But to get on the final list. The list will be published in October you’ve got to register by the 31st of August this year,” Benjamin said.The referendum will be held on November 6.While many of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries are signatories to the Original Jurisdiction of the CCJ, only Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Guyana have signed on to the Appellate Jurisdiction of the court that also serves as an international tribunal that interprets the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas that governs the regional integration movement. read more

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Big plans for Latrobe Valley lignite Australia

first_imgThere are viable emerging alternative uses for the massive brown coal deposits of Victoria’s LaTrobe Valley which could contribute to a reduction in Australia’s carbon emissions footprint, according to one of Australia’s lead clean coal energy proponents. The strong forward looking forecast was touted in Melbourne at the inaugural Paydirt 2008 Victoria Resources Conference by Monash Energy’s Project Director, Roger Bounds. Monash Energy is a collaboration of Shell and Anglo American and which jointly aims to develop a clean coal to liquid (CTL) project in the LaTrobe Valley, east of Melbourne, utilising the latest low emissions technologies.Bounds told delegates that the greener energy opportunities for the LaTrobe Valley should be matched with a parallel effort to transform the Gippsland Basin – home to the Valley’s coal deposits and nearby offshore oil and gas production – into a central hub in southern Australia for carbon sequestration. “Within the carbon climate debate, we have entered a transition period for these worldclass coal deposits where there is demand for cleaner diesels and other by-products able to be generated through new-age coal to liquids technologies,” Bounds said.“The LaTrobe’s future, considering Australia’s increasing reliance on fuel imports – and pressures on the use of coal for power generation – can slow this global fuel reliance by using coal to liquids technology to produce sulphur free diesels, aviation fuel, fertilisers and feedstock for other cleaner petroleum products. Monash’s intention is to evolve a clean coal project in the LaTrobe capable of producing 70,000 barrels a day of mainly ultra clean, zero sulphur synthetic diesel. “To achieve that volume will require, however, the mining and gasification of 30 Mt/y of coal – but that will require a carbon capture and storage capability (CCS) of 15 Mt/y.“That is equivalent to one year’s operation at the Loy Yang open-cut coal mine, or just over half the annual production capacity of the Geelong refinery. However, this CCS opportunity could be enhanced if there is a collective approach to using the Gippsland Basin as a central hub for sequestration – a carbon sink for greenhouses gases. There are enormous cost savings from co-operation that make CCS competitive.“So effectively we convert LaTrobe’s brown coal deposits into two new energy streams of clean fuel and gas storage.”Bounds called however for more rapid Federal and State Government assistance in facilitating investment in the CCS infrastructure required to realise this vision. He said that a carbon dioxide price alone would not be enough to provide the investment certainty required. “Only at that point does this emerging sector have the opportunity to address the challenges of coordinating clean coal energy investment, risk, and regulatory certainty,” he said.last_img read more

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The future for Australian coal – Queensland Resources Council

first_imgIn his keynote address to the 9th Coaltrans Australia conference, on August 12, Queensland Resources Council Chief Executive Michael Roche oOutlines the market outlook for Queensland coal; lays out the four policy markers for the federal election; challenges vexatious appeals and objections to coal projects; reaffirms the long-term growth trend for thermal coal; and calls out the ‘lies, deceit and fabrication’ underpinning a Great Barrier Reef-focused campaign against the Queensland coal industry.12 months ago we met here under this conference banner in somewhat different  circumstances. As I reported, Queensland’s coal mines were still in the process of drying out after flood damage and legacy water trapped in mines cost Queensland in the order of 40 Mt of lost production, or around A$7 billion in sales. Looking now at the immediate prospects for coal exporters, that was perhaps not such a bad year after all.As you know, Australia’s coal industry is staring down the barrel of the toughest operating environment in more than a decade. As many would know from their own bitter experience, last financial year’s challenges simply set the stage for more bad news. Global coal prices have continued to fall, albeit with some recent signs of stabilising.Despite the softening of the Australian dollar against the greenback, it appears our global customers have been to some extent factoring those benefits into price negotiations. Coupled to Australia’s high structural costs, the added burden of the world’s highest price on carbon and forecasts of an oversupplied global market well into 2014 – many of the coal companies that I represent are in flat-out survival mode.The cost structures were simply not sustainable. Hence, the concerted program of cost reductions throughout the coal sector. The flow-on from their enforced cost cutting is being felt across the industry’s supply chain in Queensland, and of course in resource communities.Industry suppliers are having to adapt to the new market conditions and look to engage producers with a focus on efficiency and productivity. In an all-out effort to spread high fixed costs over more tonnes, the industry as a whole is delivering higher production and exports. For the first six months of this year, exports were up 15% over the same period in 2012.July 2013 exports did not match those of the month of June, in part reflecting maintenance at one terminal. Noteworthy though was the record export tonnage achieved at the Abbot Point Coal Terminal.Certainly, the mines are not as hampered by old floodwater as they were, and new production is also coming on line at Bowen Basin coking coal operations like Kestrel and the new Daunia mine.However, I see nothing in my current round of interviews with QRC Board coal producers to dispute that we will inevitably see more rounds of cost cutting. The only factor preventing more mines or parts of mines being put on care and maintenance is the existence of substantial fixed costs in the form of take or pay commitments for rail and port capacity.Since May last year, we estimate close to 8,000 jobs have been lost to the Queensland coal industry.The only good news for Queensland has been that the broader impact of the coal industry’s tough times has been off-set to some extent by the diversity of the state’s resources sector.Quarterly data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that mining and resources sector full-time employment has remained steady over the past 12 months at around 73,000 people. Coal employment is down but industries such as gas have been on the rise.However, there is no ignoring the substantial flow on job losses in companies supplying a wide range of services to the coal sector. The lucky ones are those who had the ability and foresight to diversify into service provision to the state’s burgeoning gas sector.The federal election campaign began with a declaration by the Prime Minister that ‘the China mining boom is over’. Certainly the resources investment boom that kept Australia in the black for the past decade has peaked for now.What we have to do now is adjust for the production phase and get our Australian industry in the best possible shape to compete for the next phase of investment. Yes, the global market is oversupplied with coal, but all the official forecasts show that this oversupply will be overtaken in time by a strong growth in demand.With an eye to getting through this downturn and getting ready for the upturn, the QRC has laid down four markers for federal policy reform. We are looking for our political leaders to translate the talk of productivity reform and global competitiveness into tangible policies.So, what do QRC members see as the ‘big four’ reforms to give our industries a fighting chance?First, we’re looking for a globally competitive approach to emissions reductions. We’re a long way from it at present. The ALP proposes an accelerated move to the floating carbon price – that’s around A$6/t on current parameters, compare to the current A$24/t.From the ALP, we need to hear more though about the fair treatment of emissions intensive, trade-exposed industries and their preparedness to either include coal as an emission intensive, trade exposed (EITE) industry or bring Australia into line with the rest of the world by dropping the carbon price on fugitive methane emissions from coal mines.On the other side of the political spectrum, the Coalition plan involves no carbon price; a fund to purchase lowest cost abatement measures; the establishment of baselines for emissions and a White Paper policy process to commence shortly after the election. The clean slate approach of the Coalition appeals to many of my members, albeit there will be devil in the detail that will have to be worked through after the election if the Coalition forms government.I am not here to mark the exam papers of either party. That’s for other people to decide. Our only focus is on good policy. Our second marker is the gorilla in the room – taxation.All industries crave certainty and fiscal stability, but few others have been pulled through the wringer as many times as mining in recent years. I don’t think it’s too much to ask that there be no further tax increases, no more surprises, and no more fiddling with the fuel tax credit scheme. What we want is the next government’s commitment to open and consultative dialogue with industry and the states around a long-term, sustainable framework for resource taxation.We know that the Coalition is committed to repealing the Mineral Resource Rent Tax and releasing a comprehensive taxation White Paper. Prime Minister Rudd was silent on taxation in his important speech last month on a National Competitiveness Agenda. Perhaps we will hear more from him on this important topic during the election campaign.Number three on the list is an end to the current duplication and inefficiencies besetting project environmental approvals. The new water trigger under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act is the latest liquorice all-sort in the bag. It’s just another layer of bureaucracy adding to our global reputation as a prohibitively expensive and complicated place to do business. It is simply unnecessary legislation devised for nothing more than political benefit.Prime Minister Rudd recently acknowledged the need for action but without going into any detail over a way forward. At a minimum he should be committing to re-start the reform process abandoned by Julia Gillard in December last year. We welcome the Coalition’s commitment to implement a single entry point for project approvals, delegating more responsibility back to the states under its one-stop-shop policy.Marker Number 4 is exploration. Federal government recognition of the headwinds confronting the exploration industry is long overdue. The combination of market weakness and difficulties in accessing equity markets is tearing out the hearts of our junior resource companies. These are the explorers this country needs to prove up its next generation of resource developments.Surely, there’s never been a better time for the next federal government to revisit a much-promised but so far undelivered ‘flow-through shares’ or exploration tax credit scheme to allow unused deductions to filter back to exploration companies, to be spent on eligible exploration activities.In the past, both sides of politics have promised to deliver such a policy but in the end they both have allowed Federal Treasury to neuter its delivery. Even at the top end of town, the inability to lure much-needed capital from internationally focused boardrooms is causing sleepless nights.The more diversified the company, the less chance right now for coal divisions to mount successful business cases for new investment, particularly in a high-cost country like Australia.For those established and aspiring coal producers looking to bring on new, low-cost coal operations there is the added cost and frustration of a public appeals and objections process that is out of control.Australians should have the right to legitimately appeal and object to proposed resource projects that may have a direct impact on them. There is no debating that democratic right and no gain for any industry in seeking to have it overturned. However, the system should not be holding the door open for vexatious appeals and objections with the sole aim of stopping – or at least delaying – all new projects and proposed expansions of coal developments.In March 2012, the Australian Financial Review exposed this document called Stopping the Coal export Boom –Funding Proposal for the Australian Anti-Coal Movement. It was and still is a sophisticated pitch for large scale domestic and overseas funding to shut down the Australian coal industry through a range of strategies. This document was endorsed by a number of groups including Greenpeace, GetUp! and Lock the Gate but also co-signed by representatives of the taxpayer-funded Environmental Defenders’ Offices in New South Wales and Queensland.The reason for that becomes clear when you find that the anti-coal movement’s key strategy is, and I quote: ‘Our strategy is to ‘disrupt and delay’ key projects and infrastructure while gradually eroding public and political support for the industry and continually building the power of the movement to win more.’In Queensland, the resources sector’s public approval rating stands at more than 82% statewide.Governments elected by these people clearly have a responsibility to prevent environmental extremists from achieving their strategy through vexatious objections and appeals.We’re not talking about taking away the legitimate rights of people who are directly affected by coal or other resource developments to be involved in addressing real site-specific and project-specific questions. We are acutely aware that it is important to get the balance right in terms of the industry’s social licence to operate.The bottom line is that coal projects should not be disadvantaged compared with other types of development in Queensland by having greater unnecessary ‘greentape’ imposed on them in terms of objection and appeal procedures and timeframes.There is a real problem with the potential for abuse of process by certain organisations leading to a need to consider the question of ‘standing’ for objectors, similar to existing legal standing requirements in the Environmental Protection Act 1994 for other issues.To give you an example, one coal project proposed for the Galilee Basin has been held up at great expense in the Land Court for several months, courtesy of an objector whose residential address is Canberra, Australian Capital Territory. The extremists plotting to shut down our industry are very clever. They know that delays can kill projects. Windows of opportunity close faster than they open – but on that issue – let me add a more optimistic note.The window of opportunity to build a new coal mine in Queensland is open. There has never been a better time this century in terms of being able to contain costs for a greenfield project. The competition for skilled labour is much diminished and pencils have been sharpened across the supply chain. This is the time for a smart mid-tier coal company to win over the financiers and make [a] mark in Queensland.It’s not going to be easy, but let’s face it – it never has been. If it was easy, everyone would own a coal mine. And here’s some more encouraging news. We think Goldman Sachs might have been a little short-sighted in doing a Mark Twain on the thermal coal trade. Citing tax, production costs and environmental regulations as key inhibitors, the broking house said the prospect of weaker demand growth would see seaborne trade in thermal coal peak in 2020.The media naturally interpreted the forecast as a death sentence for major thermal projects in Queensland including plans for the opening up of the Galilee Basin by Indian companies GVK Resources and Adani. But strangely, the report then went on to say that thermal coal demand would continue in China and India.So, here are another couple of views. They are longer in scope, and therefore subject to greater variation but looking beyond 2020 is what they have done.Global consulting firm Wood MacKenzie is forecasting a Compound Annual Growth Rate for global thermal coal demand at 4.4%. It continues to be driven by China with the gap between demand and supply opening up from 2021. What a difference a year makes. By 2030, Wood MacKenzie estimates ‘unidentified supply’ at 1,070 Mt.According to the federal government’s Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics, world demand for thermal coal imports is projected to increase by around 46%, relative to 2010.They say despite serious efforts to reduce emissions, strong growth in global thermal coal imports over the outlook period is expected to be largely underpinned by the assumed continuation of robust economic growth in key emerging economies—particularly China and India.BREE goes on to say that the positive outlook for thermal coal import demand from both China and India is largely a reflection of domestic coal production being unable to match the projected rapid growth in domestic coal consumption.If that is not an argument for a renewed global focus on low-emissions power generation technologies – I struggle to see what is. On that brighter note, I should be thinking about leaving you at peace with the world.But there is another issue in Queensland taking up a lot of time at the QRC – and that is the largely untested accusation that expanding coal exports represents a direct and major threat to the health of the great Aussie icon, the Great Barrier Reef.Not surprisingly, the claim is being prosecuted by Greenpeace and the World Wide Fund for Nature in concert with the Australian Marine Conservation Society – both of which are receiving funding from the Thomas Foundation. David Thomas was the founder of Cellarmasters, which he later sold to Woolworths. According to its website, ‘Fight for the Reef’ is the first major marine project to benefit from a significant Thomas Foundation grant.It goes on to say that as well as bringing the two groups together, this is also the first time the Foundation has funded an advocacy program – a significant shift from the science-based grants programs that were the focus of the foundation’s terrestrial conservation activities over the previous decade.Yes, it is a significant shift from that foundation’s science-based grants program, because the ‘Fight for the Reef’ campaign has little connection with science. In fact what the foundation is funding is a campaign based on a litany of lies, deceit and fabrication. But I’m sure it is providing a warm glow of self-righteous satisfaction to someone.Every scientific report on Great Barrier Reef health has named Crown of Thorns starfish outbreaks, water quality and extreme weather events as the greatest dangers to its long-term health. Neither an increase in shipping traffic nor decades of port dredging has been recorded as contributing to coral cover loss or a historical decline in the environmental health of the reef.Dredging has become the new bogeyman for the anti-coal industry activists, as evidenced by their well-funded, deceitful television, print and social media campaign. They know that if they can block dredging, they can shut down existing ports and prevent port expansions, eventually leading to the shutdown of the coal mining industry.A focal point is the Abbot Point Coal Terminal where a dredging application is still awaiting federal government approval – now destined for after the election. The project involves three separate dredging campaigns, each lasting just a few weeks, to eventually relocate3 million m3 of sediment from the port. Each dredging campaign will only occur when there is a committed mine project which require the additional port capacity.The dredging project is from North Queensland Bulk Ports, who have managed 19 such dredging projects since 2002 without incident. This includes the 2006 relocation of around 9 million m3 of material in the Port of Hay Point. An independent review of that Hay Point program concluded there were no significant or long term environmental impacts from the dredging, only a temporary increase in water turbidity – cloudiness – during the dredging itself. There were no reported impacts on fishery values.Last week I visited the town of Bowen, near Abbot Point. Bowen is a community proud of its connection with the Reef. It is also a community that understands the real facts about dredging and port development. It is a community desperate to see this development proceed, a development that is supported by both the local LNP and Labor candidates for the upcoming Federal election.Despite a substantial increase in ship movements in the Reef area, the REEFVTS or Vessel Tracking Service operated 24/7 from Townsville has reduced groundings in its coverage area from one per year to just one in the decade since its introduction in 2004.The tracking system now extends to the southern boundary of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.There are two Great Barrier Reef campaigns determining the outlook for communities along 80% of the Queensland coastline. One is a genuine effort to make sure the values of the iconic World Heritage Area are preserved.The second is an ideologically-driven and opportunistic shot at shutting down Queensland’s coal industry – and if it works – why not the gas industry too? Why stop there? What about the export of sugar, of beef, of grain?What about the passenger ships travelling up and down the reef?Queensland’s leading export industries are minerals, energy, food, fibre and tourism – and 78% by volume moves through the well defined shipping channels of the Great Barrier Reef. Combined, these exports contribute around A$40 billion a year to the economy.Last month I had the pleasure of launching Working alongside the Great Barrier Reef – a campaign to set the record straight on the future of the Reef and the prosperity of more than one million Queenslanders who live and work adjacent to it.Along with the operators of the 11 commercial ports incorporated into the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area 32 years ago, the state’s export industries have co-existed with the reef under the scrutiny of state, federal and international environmental agencies. Reef-based industries know they will be judged harshly if they do not have the highest levels of environmental protection in their planning and operations. It is this reality that continues to drive positive changes to fishing, agriculture, tourism, port and shipping practices.We all have a vested interest in ensuring that the past 32 years of managed interaction between the Great Barrier Reef and adjoining industries and communities thrives.The people campaigning to see the Reef declared ‘in danger’ by UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee are environmental extremists – largely funded by international groups like Greenpeace. Scientifically informed and carefully managed outcomes will continue to serve the reef and Queensland communities well – not TV commercials full of unfounded fears, fronted by clueless if well-meaning celebrities.The future demands renewed commitments to continuous improvements in environmental stewardship and that’s what the coal industry is delivered in connection with the Abbot Point expansion – guided by the country’s first Cumulative Impact Assessment for a major port project.We don’t have to sacrifice one global value for another to appease extremists with the attention span of an election campaign. I urge you all to become familiar with the facts and tell your friends.last_img read more

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Poll Are you buying or updating an Apple device today

first_imgJust as we thought, Apple announced a new line of products today, including new MacBook Airs, Mac minis, and the long-awaited OS X Lion which will be pre-installed on both lines. The company also surprised us with a Thunderbolt Display.Each product has a lot to offer, but what we’re really curious about is which, if any, of the products will you be buying? Scroll down to vote in our poll below!AdChoices广告Mac OS X 10.7 Lion To start with, Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, an OS we’ve been waiting for since August of 2009, is finally available today via the Mac App Store. It has more than 250 new features including Multi-Touch gestures, and system-wide support for full-screen apps. It also features Mission Control, which is a new way to view everything running on your Mac, and LaunchPad, which is a new home screen for all your apps. Lion is available for $29.99, but can be run on up to five machines as long as they all use the same Apple ID.MacBook AirsThe MacBook Air will have many of the features we originally thought it would: backlit keyboard, high-speed Thunderbolt I/O technology, and Intel Core i5 and Core i7 dual-core processors. Apple says it’s twice as fast as the previous generation of MacBook Airs. The new Airs come in 11-inch and 13-inch models and feature Intel HD Grapics 3000 and up to 4GB of faster 1333 MHz memory. Of course, they’ll run the above mentioned Lion OS. The Airs start at $999.Mac miniThe Mac mini hasn’t seen a refresh since last June. It may look similar to the original model, but the new version gets rid of the Core 2 Duo chipset and replaces it with a Sandy Bridge CPU. There are also three Thunderbolt ports. The base model, starting at $599, features a 2.3 GHz Core i5 processor, 2GB of RAM, and a 500GB hard drive. Apple also released an update to its server models which boasts a 2.0 GHz Core i7 processor, 4GB of RAM and two 500GB hard drives instead of an optical drive. This will run you $999.Thunderbolt DisplayThe 27-inch Thunderbolt Display is an Apple first. Apple’s marketing it as the world’s first display with Thunderbolt I/O technology. It has three built-in USB 3.0 ports, a Thunderbolt port, a FireWire 800 port, and an Ethernet port. Apple says it’s the “ultimate docking station for your Mac notebook.” It has a 16:9 edge-to-edge glass design and uses IPS technology for a 178-degree viewing angle. Any Thunderbolt-enabled Mac notebook can dock with the display. Of course, the Mac mini can be used with it as well. Apple’s also boasting about the front of the Thunderbolt Display which features a FaceTime HD camera. It’s available for $999.99.[poll id=”11″]last_img read more

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Heres what happened when I asked every TD in Ireland if they

first_imgIf I had to pick just one (which is unfair) it would be “Irreplaceable.” Apart from the general good advice from Beyoncé that we should move “to the left, to the left,” it would behove us all as elected members of the Dáil that we should never for a second get to thinking we’re irreplaceable. Add us: dailyedge That said, I always felt “Bills, Bills, Bills” from Beyoncé’s days in Destiny’s Child was a good allegory for what has faced the Irish working class. Enda Kenny really is a good for nothin’ type of brother. Here’s what happened when I asked every TD in Ireland if they liked Beyoncé “Enda Kenny really is a good for nothing type of brother.” Short URL Share Tweet Email5 Finian McGrath Source: justice.ieThe Independent TD acknowledged that Beyoncé was “very talented,” but concluded that she just wasn’t for him. Different strokes, etc.No. I’m not a huge fan even though my daughters are. It must be an age thing. She’s very talented but I just don’t get her. I’m an old fashioned rock n roller.Tom NevilleThe Fine Gael TD told us that he’s more of a hip-hop aficionado, but respects Beyoncé nonetheless.Yes I think Beyonce is a great singing and performing talent. I listen more to hip hop so my favourite would be Bonnie and Clyde from Jay-Z, which features Beyonce.Carol Nolan Source: Sinn FéinThe Sinn Féin TD for Offaly was matter of fact in her response.I do like Beyonce and my favourite song is Halo.Jonathan O’Brien Source: Sinn FéinBut her party colleague Jonathan O’Brien went above and beyond. 248,154 Views By Amy O’Connor I am republican, but Beyoncé is the only queen I have time for. Of course I like Beyoncé. (1) Yes(2) Listencenter_img Mar 12th 2017, 1:00 PM https://dailyedge.ie/3274798 Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Catherine Martin Source: Green PartyAn assistant to the Green Party TD sent us the following comment:She does like Beyoncé and she has picked “Halo” as her favourite song. She was going to go with “If I Were I Boy”, but has been informed that Eamon Ryan already selected that.Great minds, eh?Helen McEntee Source: Fine GaelThe Fine Gael TD is such a Beyoncé fan that she saw her in Croke Park last summer.I do like Beyoncé, I was even at her concert last July. My fave song is “Irreplaceable”. LAST WEEK, I was sitting at my desk, minding my own business, when it occurred to me that I didn’t know what any of our politicians thought of Beyoncé.Do they like her? Do they know who she is? Do they engage with her music? Do they own ‘I CAME TO SLAY merchandise?Politicians were getting away with keeping their views on Beyoncé to themselves and it was up to me to get to the bottom of it.On Monday afternoon, I set about contacting all 158 TDs. In my e-mail, I explained that I was getting in touch with every TD to collate their views on Beyoncé. I posed three questions: Kate O’Connell Source: TwitterA spokesperson for the Fine Gael TD said “she loves Beyoncé and her favourite song is Run The World (Girls).”Good choice.Willie O’Dea Source: Fianna FáilWillie O’Dea likes Beyoncé and doesn’t care who knows it.Good Afternoon Amy. Yes I like beyonce and my favorite song is Halo.Sean Ó Fearghail Source: Fianna FáilKeep Crazy in Love. You can have Halo. The Ceann Comhairle told us that he’s more of a a fan of Beyoncé’s forays into country music.Yes I do.  My favourite song is Daddy Lessons from the Lemonade album.Fiona O’Loughlin Source: Fianna FáilThe Fianna Fáil TD for Kildare South responded to my query on International Women’s Day and picked a song for the day that was in it.To be honest,  Beyonce is only on the slightest periphery of my radar, and I don’t have strong feelings on her either way. I note that one of her songs is called Run the world (Girls) so on International Women’s Day, as a female TD, I would have to say that’s my favourite song of hers!Frank O’Rourke Source: Fianna FailThe Kildare North TD can see your halo.I like Beyonce, my favourite song is Halo………………!!!Jan O’Sullivan Source: Jan O’Sullivan/TwitterLabour’s Jan O’Sullivan listens to Beyoncé with her baby granddaughter. Beyoncé: bringing generations of women together since 1997.Yes, I like Beyoncé. My favourite is 7/11, I dance to the video with my 1 year old granddaughter and we have a great time.Maureen O’Sullivan Source: Maureen O’Sullivan/TwitterThe Dublin Central TD admitted to being unfamiliar with Beyoncé’s oeuvre. That’s okay, Maureen. We won’t hold it against youI don’t know any of Beyoncé’s songs!!!John Paul Phelan Source: Fine GaelThe Fine Gael TD told me that he didn’t like Beyoncé, but only because he doesn’t get the chance to listen to much music.The answer is no. I just don’t get to listen to music much. Sad life I lead!Thomas Pringle Source: Thomas PringleThomas Pringle was one of the few dissenting voices and seemed to ponder if there was a place in society for non-Beyoncé fans.Lol. The answer to the question is no I don’t like Beyoncé. Well I’m not sure if I do or not I’ve never listened to her stuff. Should we all like Beyoncé? It seems from your question that it would be surprising if we didn’t.I advised him to listen to Beyoncé before rushing to judgment. He did not respond.Maurice QuinlivanSinn Féin’s Maurice Quinlivan straight up trolled me and gave three Adele-themed answers.Well played, Maurice. Source: Amy O’Connor/DailyEdge.ieBrendan Ryan Source: Brendan Ryan/TwitterLabour’s Brendan Ryan is not as enamoured with Beyoncé as he once was.I’m not a big fan of Beyoncé anymore. I felt she was at her most musically creative when part of Destiny’s Child.Eamon Ryan Source: Green PartyThe Green Party leader confirmed that he was a fan of Beyoncé and said his favourite song was…If I Were A BoySean Sherlock Source: dfaLabour’s Sean Sherlock expressed his admiration for both Beyoncé’s work as a solo artist and as one third of Destiny’ Child.Yes I like Beyoncé. My favourite old school Beyoncé song is Survivor (with Destiny’s Child). Solo wise I would say Crazy in Love.Brendan Smith Source: Fianna FáilFianna Fáil’s Brendan Smith seemed appalled at the notion that someone wouldn’t like Beyoncé. We hear you, Brendan.OF COURSE, WHO DOESN’TAs for his favourite song…HALONiamh Smyth Source: Niamh Smyth/TwitterThe Cavan-Monaghan TD is a Single Ladies fan.Yes I like Beyoncé. Single Ladies is my favourite song.Peadar Tóibín Source: Sinn FéinThe Sinn Féin TD declined to commit one way or the other and replied, “Yes and no,” when asked if he liked Beyoncé.Like many of his colleagues, he went with Crazy in Love as his favourite song.Miscellaneous responsesFine Gael’s Leo Varadkar was unable to answer my questions due to his “busy diary”.Sinn Féin’s Gerry Adams could not comment due to “time constraints”.A spokesperson for Frances Fitzgerald advised me that they would bring the query to the attention of the Tánaiste and her officials, but I never heard back :(I received automatic acknowledgments from Mary Lou McDonald and Micheál Martin, but no response.Conclusion? Politicians may have their differences, but there is one uniting force: Beyoncé. Source: GiphyDailyEdge is on Snapchat! Tap the button below to add! Sunday 12 Mar 2017, 1:00 PM 119 Comments Do you like Beyoncé?If you answered YES, what is your favourite Beyoncé song?If you answered NO, why don’t you like Beyoncé?Within an hour or so, I had contacted all members of Dáil Éireann. I didn’t know what to expect or how many, if any, would reply to my query. This was as much an exercise in finding out what they thought of Beyoncé as it was in seeing who would actually take the time to respond.All in all, 37 TDs replied to my query.Here are the full, unedited responses.John Brassil Source: Fianna FáilBrassil, a Fianna Fáil TD from Kerry, seemed only delighted to be asked.Hi Amy what a pleasant questionnaire of course I like Beyoncé my favourite song is Halo.Declan Breathnach Source: Fianna FáilThe Fianna Fáil TD from Louth sees a lot of himself in Beyoncé’s music.Like most people I’m a huge fan of queen B, to paraphrase Kanye she’s “one of the best of all time”. After a long day in the Dáil, putting my feet up and treating myself to some old school Destiny’s Child is one of my favourite ways to unwind. ”Survivor” would have to be my favourite song of hers, what an anthem! It almost describes the life of a politician “I’m not gon stop, I’m gon work harder, I’m a survivor”Colm Brophy Source: Colm Brophy/TwitterThe Fine Gael TD for Dublin South West counts himself as a member of the Beyhive.The answer is yes I do like Beyoncé and my favourite song is Crazy in Love.Tommy Broughan Source: Tommy BroughanTommy Broughan, the Independent TD from Dublin Bay North, was diplomatic in his response and declined to single out a particular Beyoncé song as his favourite.Many thanks for your email. Yes I do like Beyoncé. I would find it difficult to pick my favourite song as I enjoy all her music. I very much enjoyed Beyoncé’s former group Destiny’s Child music as well.Pat Buckley Source: Sinn FeinSinn Féin’s Pat Buckley was critical of Beyoncé and her clothing line Ivy Park’s manufacturing practices.I’d like her a lot better if she paid the Sri Lanka women who sew her clothing line a decent wage while she enjoys a personal wealth of over a quarter of a billion dollars.Last year, it was found that the activewear line, which is co-owned by Beyoncé and Sir Philip Green, was being made in the MAS Holdings factory in Sri Lanka, a factory that isn’t exactly known for paying its workers high wages.Seán Canney Source: Seán CanneySean Canney, an Independent Alliance TD from Galway East, kept it short and sweet.1) Yes. (2) Single Ladies.Barry Cowen Source: Fianna FailBarry Cowen, a Fianna Fáil rep for Offaly, was the first TD to respond to my query. He described himself as being “indifferent” to the singer.Can’t say I dislike Beyoncé but am somewhat indifferent I suppose.  As regards favourite song by her, can only think of ‘if I were a boy’ so that may qualify as the one.Sean Crowe Source: Sinn FeinThe Sinn Féin TD isn’t too pushed on Beyoncé.Not particularly. I’m not too familiar with her songs.Paschal Donohoe Source: Paschal Donohoe/TwitterA spokesperson told me that the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform is apparently a “big Beyoncé fan”. No surprise given his love of Kanye.His favourite song?Crazy in LoveRegina Doherty Source: Regina Doherty/BlogspotThe government chief whip is responsible for getting TDs in formation, so no surprise that she’s a fan.Yes. Irreplaceable.Alan Farrell Source: Alan Farrell/TwitterThe Fine Gael TD prefaced his answers by saying, “This is a strange one.”I neither like her nor dislike her.He cited At Last as his favourite Beyoncé song. (As in, the Etta James song.)Michael Fitzmaurice Source: Michael FitzmauriceMichael Fitzmaurice, Independent TD for Roscommon-South Leitrim, wasn’t too familiar with Beyoncé and was therefore unable to comment.I don’t know much about Beyonce so unfortunately I cannot comment good, bad or indifferent.Charlie Flanagan Source: Fine GaelIn a twist I did not see coming, Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan not only likes Beyoncé, but actually saw her perform in Central Park. He also had not one, but three favourite Beyoncé songs.Amy, as it happens I’m a big Beyoncé fan. Fave songs Drunk in Love, Halo & If I were a boy. Saw her Central Park New York – memorable !!You think you know someone.Sean Fleming Source: Fianna FáilThere was no beating around the bush from Fianna Fáil TD Sean Fleming.Yes. Single ladies.Josepha Madigan Source: Josepha Madigan/TwitterOr from Fine Gael’s Josepha Madigan for that matter.last_img read more

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Were in crisis Wexford mayor fights to fix the countys mental health

first_img‘We’re in crisis’: Wexford mayor fights to fix the county’s mental health problems Mayor Frank Staples wrote to the Minister for Health outlining his concerns for his community. 11,289 Views Sunday 18 Jun 2017, 8:45 AM 9 Comments IN FEBRUARY OF this year, Mayor of Wexford Frank Staples wrote to the Minister for Health asking for a 24 hour, seven-days-a-week mental health unit for his county.“Wexford is in crisis,” he wrote to the Minister for Health Simon Harris.Frank says just before sending the letter, he received news that there had been another death by suicide in Wexford. Just before speaking to TheJournal.ie this week, he got word that another member of his community had taken their life.“My town cannot face any further tragedies, we cannot allow our brothers and sisters, our children, our communities to be felt in despair at their darkest times. We need action,” the letter said, which was released to TheJournal.ie under the Freedom of Information Act.Frank says he’s spoken to health minister Simon Harris about the current state of mental health services in Wexford – and although Frank acknowledges the state funding provided over the past five years into mental health services, he says there’s a huge gap.“The focus has completely centred around developing a Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm support service system with no provisions in place for after 5pm or the weekend.”“If I stopped people on the street and asked them where they would go if they were suicidal, most of them wouldn’t know,” Frank told TheJournal.ie, saying how dangerous that could be for vulnerable people.He says there are almost no supports for young people in Wexford, and parents and young people have discussed this with him in the past. Source: Shutterstock/Africa StudioAccording to the National Suicide Research Foundation, almost 13 people per 100,000 of the Wexford population took their own life in 2015, which is almost a third above the average of 9.7.The county’s only acute mental health care unit St Senan’s in Enniscorthy, was closed several years ago, and now patients are reverted to Waterford Regional Hospital’s Department of Psychiatry, which is understaffed and struggling to cope with demand.Instead of hoping for State action, Frank started a community-based campaign ‘Ask’ to get people to open up about how they’re feeling.The driving force behind the campaign has been Frank’s own battle with depression and his journey to overcome it by speaking up.Speaking frankly“I’ve been told I’m the first bipolar mayor in the country,” he says, though he wonders whether that’s accurate. The first openly-bipolar mayor maybe.And open discussion of mental health has been at the core during his tenure as mayor.After he was first appointed almost 12 months ago, he made it a promise to direct his focus on mental health issues in the county. He remembers conducting a radio interview soon after, and out of nowhere he was asked ‘have you ever contemplated suicide?’“Well it hit me like a hammer,” he said. But he opened up on-air then, and many times afterwards. Since then, he’s been a voice for an open discussion on mental health, receiving calls from locals about their own personal struggles.“Talking about my own mental health is like talking about the weather now,” he says, adding that he hopes his experience is proof that talking about your problems does help lift the load on people.‘Are you ok?’ One of the ASK campaign posters that was inspired by a similar campaign in Australia. Source: ASKFrank and his team’s ‘Ask’ campaign is aimed to work in two strands.First are the campaign posters, depicting a person taking off a mask, or their public face, and revealing how they’re truly feeling underneath. The first strand of this campaign encourages people in difficulty to take off their ‘masks’ and ask for help.The second strand is more about other’s awareness, and encourages people to be mindful of those around them that may be struggling with their mental wellbeing by asking – ‘Are you ok?’Local businesses and bus companies are displaying posters as part of the campaign and community support groups have been organising events to raise money. By Gráinne Ní Aodha Jun 18th 2017, 8:45 AM center_img Share1456 Tweet Email3 http://jrnl.ie/3448224 Bus companies are offering to help the ASK campaign’s message. Source: ASKAlthough this campaign is only in Wexford at the moment, Frank says that his team would be delighted if other councils wanted to roll out something similar in their local areas, and would be happy to help with that.Next week is Frank’s last week as Wexford’s mayor, but he says that his new-found free time will allow him to focus more time on the ASK campaign.But he says there’s still a need for a 24/7 Mental Health care unit – linked to Wexford General Hospital – to be established so that people have somewhere to turn to during their darker days, and says he remains committed to that.TheJournal.ie asked the Department of Health was asked whether there were plans to begin a 24/7 mental health unit in Wexford, and are still waiting for a reply.Read: Children’s lives ‘at risk’ over lack of nationwide out-of-hours mental health servicesRead: Kerry has one of Ireland’s highest rates of suicide – will the government’s ‘action plan’ help? 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Khroma le plus vieux bébé mammouth du monde se dévoile

first_imgKhroma : le plus vieux bébé mammouth du monde se dévoilePuy-en-Velay, France – Découvert par un chasseur en juillet 2009 sur les berges de la rivière Khroma, près de l’Océan Arctique, le plus ancien bébé mammouth du monde commence à révéler ses secrets. Vieux de 50.000 ans, Khroma était un jeune mâle âgé de seulement un ou deux mois, a révélé son autopsie.Star de l’exposition Mammouths et Compagnie, qui se tient au Puy-en-Velay jusqu’au 15 novembre prochain, Khroma était un très jeune bébé lorsqu’il a perdu la vie. “C’est un petit mâle, beaucoup plus jeune que ce qu’on pensait. Ses dents de lait étaient encore recouvertes de chair et n’avaient jamais servi, il avait vraisemblablement entre un et deux mois” ont découvert le paléontologue français Frédéric Lacombat et son équipe.À lire aussiMammouth : Yuka, le bébé trouvé en Sibérie débarque au JaponEntamée samedi soir, l’autopise du petit mammouth s’est achevée vers 5h30 dimanche à l’hôpital Emile Roux du Puy-en-Velay. Plusieurs grands spécialistes, et notamment Bernard Buigues, à l’origine de la venue de Khroma de Russie en France, l’Américain Dan Fisher et le Russe Alexei Tickanov, ont assisté à cet examen. “C’était une autopsie assez incroyable. Ses organes internes étaient parfaitement conservés, son estomac rempli de lait maternel, ses muscles encore rouges. C’est comme s’il était mort avant-hier”, raconte M. Lacombat.Outre son âge et son sexe, les spécialistes ont découvert que Khroma avait été victime d’une rupture de la colonne vertébrale et d’un déplacement du bassin. Des découvertes qui confirment l’hypothèse selon laquelle il serait mort suite à “un grand traumatisme”, probablement provoqué par une chute.Alors que le bébé mammouth est de retour dans son caisson de verre réfrigéré au musée Crozatier, de nouvelles analyses vont prochainement être réalisées. Les experts entendent retracer la courte vie de l’animal, mais aussi grâce à l’ADN de sa mère, la période prénatale.Le 30 août 2010 à 16:08 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

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Klopps reaction on facing Bayern in the last 16

first_imgJürgen Klopp knows Liverpool is relishing the prospect of facing old foes Bayern Munich in the Champions League but admits it would be a daunting task.The Reds were paired with the German champions during Monday’s last-16 draw, with Anfield to host the first leg on Tuesday, February 19 and the second leg scheduled for Wednesday, March 13 at the Allianz Arena.However, the former Dortmund boss who is acquainted with Bayern gave his reaction on the tie to Liverpoolfc.com immediately after the draw.“Difficult. Good draw. It was clear it would be difficult [and] they are obviously a top side. For me it’s nice, going to Germany. But it’s just the draw.We’ll face @FCBayern in the @ChampionsLeague last 16! #UCLdraw https://t.co/59c9MGPb8W— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 17, 2018Jadon Sancho, Borussia DortmundCrouch: Liverpool could beat Man United to Jadon Sancho Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Peter Crouch wouldn’t be surprised to see Jadon Sancho end up at Liverpool one day instead of his long-term pursuers Manchester United.“So we have now time to prepare the game, a lot of time obviously, and hopefully we have all our players available then. It will be a tough one, an interesting one, and I am looking forward to it.”On whether his history with Bayern makes any difference to the tie…“I don’t know. This is a different Bayern than what I played, we are already here for three years [and] since the Audi Cup [in the summer of 2017]. We all know the stadium, the atmosphere will be great. It’s a really nice trip for all our supporters, it’s a wonderful city, so that’s all good.“The flight is not too long and we obviously know more about German football than about any other league, that’s true, but that doesn’t make a big, massive difference. In the end, the boys have to decide it on the pitch. Let’s give it a try.”last_img read more

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Knowledge Centre for youth preparing for competitive exams

first_imgKothagudem: Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL) Directors S Chandra Sekhar and N Balaram inaugurated the Bright Stores Knowledge Centre on the premises of Women’s College in Kothagudem on Thursday.Speaking on the occasion, they informed that the company had purchased a variety of useful books pertaining to all competitive examinations at a cost of Rs 6 lakh and established the centre. They appealed to the youngsters in the coal town, who are appearing for the competitive examinations, to utilise the centre. They thanked company Chairman and Managing Director N Sridhar for sanctioning the amount for setting up the centre. General Manager M Raghavulu, Company Secretary G Srinivas Rao, Correspondent James, Women’s College Principal Jhansi and other staff attended the inauguration.last_img read more

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Democrats Valdez White Head Into Runoff For Governor But Beating Abbott Will

first_imgLupe Valdez in DallasLupe Valdez partied with candidates all up and down the ballot at an unpretentious billiards hall in Old East Dallas Tuesday night, celebrating victories as election results poured in.Valdez said she was humbled and thanked her supporters and her campaign staff — even thanked the people she’s been running against for the last three months.From a list of nine, the race has been whittled down to two, with Valdez in the lead.“It’s nice to be in the lead, but it’s better to win,” she said.Talking to the crowd, Valdez said her campaign is ensuring opportunities for everyone in Texas.“I’ve been blessed to live a life of service and hard work,” she said.The eighth child of migrant farm workers, Valdez says she was the beneficiary of strong public schools. She worked her way through college, joined the Army and spent a career in federal law enforcement before being elected Dallas County Sheriff in 2004. She was the first Latina, first woman and first lesbian to hold that position.“I want to fight to provide that same type of opportunity for the people of Texas no matter where they come from or where they’re going.”Dallas County Democratic Chairwoman Carol Donovan said Valdez has a strong Democratic record and appeals to the grassroots. Plus, she’s charismatic.“I have never met anyone that loves campaigning as much as Lupe Valdez,” Donovan said.But she’s got big hurdles to overcome, according to Cal Jillson at Southern Methodist University.“She came out of the gate very, very slowly.”Jillson said she fumbled the campaign rollout, flubbed important interviews and struggled with fundraising.The Democratic Party of Texas and the Texas Democrat base want Lupe Valdez to be their nominee, but she could talk them out of that.If, Jillson said, she can’t build the campaign operation she needs to win, then voters are likely to find Andrew White very appealing. Share – / 3As returns rolled in Tuesday night for Texas’s 2018 party primaries, dozens of campaigns came to an end, including — to no one’s surprise — those of the two Republicans challenging Gov. Greg Abbott.With more than 90 percent of the vote, the governor easily claimed his spot on the general election ballot.But what we don’t know yet is who will face off against Abbott in November. In the Democratic gubernatorial primary, former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez snagged nearly 43 percent of the vote, while Houston businessman Andrew White got 27 percent.Now, they start their sprint towards the May runoffs.center_img Andrew White in HoustonAndrew White told supporters in Houston Tuesday night that his moderate platform is what Texans need to address major problems in the state.“When I’m governor, we’ll change the direction our state is heading, completely. I’ll use a personal approach, not a political one.”Claire Curtin of Houston said she’s tired of the extreme positions both parties have taken lately, and she’ll vote for White in May.“It’s sort of Texas the way it used to be — a little more moderation. We’re free thinkers, and it’s not necessarily which side of the aisle you sit, but who’s going to do the best job.”Appealing to people like Curtin — and even moderate Republicans — is a big part of White’s strategy. That’s according to Mark Jones, head of the Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University. Though, Jones said, in the runoff, that could put White at a disadvantage with more progressive Democrats.“They want to see a 100 percent, hardcore, pro-choice candidate, not somebody who has a more nuanced position on abortion. They want to see someone who’s going to appeal to Latinos and fight for LGBTQ rights in a way that Lupe Valdez will.”This may be Andrew’s first foray into politics, but the White name is a familiar one in Texas. His father, the late Mark White, was governor from 1983 to 1987. Mark White also served as assistant attorney general and secretary of state.Joy Saxton says she’s known the candidate since he was a 9-year-old boy running around the governor’s mansion.“I don’t think he’s doing this because his dad did that. I think he really felt a calling to do it,” she said.While both candidates prepare to battle in the Democratic runoff, Jones thinks that’s where the real competition will end.“I think if you’re a Democrat, you could say that Lupe Valdez and Andrew White would be successful, if Greg Abbott’s margin of victory is in the low teens — maybe 13 percent, 14 percent.”A grim prognosis for Texas Democrats, but, there’s always next time.last_img read more

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Its all Greek to me

first_img26 July, witnessed a formal opening of the exhibition and the works are on display till 1 August. Sketbe (Association of Visual Artists of Northern Greece) was founded on in 1983, set up by a group of well known artists from Thessaloniki. One of the objects of the association is to collaborate with sister agencies in Greece and all over the world. There are more than 280 members of the association including: academics, members of International Art Associations, art school graduates and many distinguished artists from Thessaloniki and Northern Greece. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The participating artistes are – Yiannis Adamantidis, Sofia Amperidou, Ioanna Assani, Kiriaki Charalambidou, Konstantinos Balian, Konstantina Dellatola, Lorraine Dietrich, Elena Dimiropoulou, Fotini Hamidieli, Maria Kompatsiari, Periklis Kostopoulos,Voula Lazaridou, Ioulia Manousi, Yiannis Monogyios, Chryssoula Papadaki, George Politis, Stelios Stavrou and Frosso Vizovitou. George Politis prefers water media for their transparent and luminous results. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixCurrently  president of the Artists Society of Northern Greece (SKETBE), he is signature member of the American Watercolor Society (AWS), Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours (RI). His paintings won many awards. He had solo exhibitions in Greece, France, England. He has served as juror in two IWS exhibitions and the Biennial of Watercolour in Estaimpuis, Belgium. His work has been featured in art books and magazines worldwide (L’Aquarelliste, International Artist, The Artist, UK, L’Art de I’ Aquarelle and several other magazines). In his current art works time plays a very basic role; particularly the way it leaves its mark on varied objects and on nature itself fascinates me. He has this vivid vision to see in the old, rusty and ravaged both truth and excitement. He finds inspiration in ordinary and commonly overlooked items, responding to them with dramatically different feeling each time, whether emphasising the serenity, the loneliness, the atmosphere, the melancholy. Then there is an artist with a difference, a self taught painter Frosso Vizovitou, she works with mixed media and mainly in acrylics. In 1999 she takes classes in Praxis Fine Arts School in Thessaloniki. Her main theme was ‘The Acrobat’ by Zene and also the world of circus. Nowadays she is occupied with all major contemporary topics reflected in her work. She has done many solo and group shows and  has been an active member of SKETBE (Artists Society of Northern Greece) and ELINEPA (Greek – Indian Association).Ioannis Monogyios, who has also been a promising participant of Sketbe since 1994 had professionally worked in the fields of ceramics and visual-art constructions. Using the relevant advices of etcher Ruud Matthes and Valuable assistance of engraving teacher Dimitris Karlaftopoulos, he explored the art of printmaking. He studied for three years in the Helios engraving art workshops, in Thessaloniki. He is member of the board of the Artists Society of Northern Greece (SKETBE) and vice president of Greek Printmakers Association. He has participated in many group exhibitions in Greece and abroad and had four solo exhibitions.WHERE: Lalit Kala Akademi WHEN: On till 1 August, 11:00 am  to 7:00 pm (Monday- Saturday)last_img read more

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