OTTAWA – An official in Justin Trudeau’s office is being investigated over unspecified allegations, both the Prime Minister’s Office and the official confirmed late Wednesday.The Prime Minister’s Office has not identified the official or the nature of the allegations, but several media outlets have reported that the accusations involved “inappropriate behaviour.”The staffer, Claude-Eric Gagne, the PMO’s deputy director of operations, has issued a statement that he is on leave because of an “independent investigation regarding allegations” that have come to the PMO’s attention.“I am taking this situation seriously and I have offered my full and complete co-operation to the investigator who gave me the opportunity to expose my version of the facts to these allegations which I challenge the veracity,” Gagne said in an emailed statement.“I hope that the process will succeed as soon as possible.”Gagne says he won’t comment any further to avoid undermining the process he has agreed to participate in.Trudeau’s director of communications, Kate Purchase, says any allegation brought to the PMO is taken extremely seriously.“In this case, an investigation was immediately triggered with the assistance of an independent investigator and the individual in question went on leave, pending the outcome.”Purchase said the PMO would not comment further to protect the integrity of the process.
Lahore: Former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s condition had deteriorated in jail due to a kidney disease, a day after his family met him and expressed concern over his health, Pakistan media reported on Sunday. The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo’s daughter Maryam Nawaz tweeted about his worsening health on Saturday after she along with his personal physician Adnan Khan visited Sharif at the Kot Lakhpat jail here on receiving permission from the country’s interior ministry, according to The Express Tribune newspaper. Sharif, 69, is in jail since December last year, serving a 7-year imprisonment in the Al Azizia Steel Mills graft case. After meeting her father, Maryam tweeted that his kidney disease had reached the third stage and he felt pain in his arm. “The blood tests done yesterday reveal a further raise in his creatinine levels which means his kidney function has deteriorated. His kidney disease is already at stage 3. The pain in the flanks persists,” Maryam tweeted. She also said that a letter had been written to the additional chief secretary to request him for a medical specialist to be sent to jail to diagnose Nawaz’s disease and treat the problem in the presence of his personal physician, the newspaper reported. The duo met Sharif for two hours during which the leader informed them that his blood samples had been taken and he had been informed about the reports. He also told them about his kidney ailment. Meanwhile, PML-N workers, who gathered outside the prison, chanted party slogans on her arrival and started removing barricades placed outside the prison building. They later retreated on her request. The workers also stopped a passenger train by blocking a nearby track, mounted its engine and shouted slogans in favour of their leader. They cleared the tracks after police reached the scene. The National Accountability Bureau filed three corruption cases against Sharif on the orders of the Supreme Court following the publication of Panama Papers. Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law retired Captain Mohammad Safdar were granted bail in September last year in the Avenfield properties case that involved buying of four luxury flats in London through fraudulent means. He was acquitted in December last year in the Flagship Investments corruption case.
Geneva – Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has lost, on Monday, his appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against his six-year ban from football.Blatter and former UEFA president Michel Platini were punished in December 2015 over a £1.3million “disloyal payment” made to the Frenchman.The pair’s suspensions were reduced from eight to six years by a Fifa appeals committee. Platini took his case to CAS and Blatter followed suit. Platini in May had his suspension reduced by a further two years to four years, but Blatter’s full sanction remains in place.A CAS statement said: “The appeal of Joseph S. Blatter has been dismissed.“As a consequence, the decision rendered by the Fifa Appeal Committee on February 16, 2016 remains in force and Mr Blatter remains banned from taking part in any football-related activity at national and international level for six years as from October 8, 2015 and must pay a fine of 50,000 Swiss Francs,” it added.
4 September 2008The United Nations has confirmed that the remains of the 17 passengers on board an aid flight that went down in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on Monday have been located in the vicinity of the crash site. Seven UN staff were among those on the plane – operated by the United States-based company Air Serv – that crashed as it started its descent towards Bukavu, in the eastern Congolese province of South Kivu.Search and rescue teams located the site of the accident, some 16 kilometres northwest of Bukavu airport.“The process of positive identification of the remains will now be undertaken,” UN spokesperson Michele Montas told reporters in New York. The victims include one Canadian and four Congolese employees of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), as well as one French citizen and one UN volunteer from India, both of whom worked for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).Also on the plane were three members of the non-governmental organization (NGO) Handicap International Belgium and one employee of MSF-Holland. Four Congolese parliamentary administration members and two pilots were also on board. Alan Doss, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative in the DRC, has voiced his deep sadness at the tragedy which claimed the lives of those working to ease the suffering of the Congolese population and to support the rebuilding of the country.Immediately following the crash, Mr. Doss, who is also head of the UN peacekeeping mission in the DRC (known as MONUC), dispatched his deputy, Ross Mountain, to Bukavu to support aid operations and the humanitarian community. Mr. Mountain is the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the DRC as well as the UNDP Representative there.Also concerning eastern DRC, the UN Mission has once again stressed the need for Congolese armed groups in the Kivu provinces to abide by a peace deal they signed with the Government in January, after clashes broke out between the two sides last week in Rutshuru in North Kivu. “The gunfire has receded, but the situation remains critical and the truce fragile,” MONUC spokesperson Sylvie van den Wildenberg told a news conference yesterday. The Mission also strongly deplored the hostile demonstrations which took place on 2 September in Rutshuru against an international facilitation delegation which was on mission on the ground, she added.
The joint opposition says the Government does not have a mandate for a new Constitution.Joint opposition member, Professor G.L Peiris said that President Maithripala Sirisena never spoke of a new Constitution when he contested the 2015 Presidential election. He said the joint opposition opposes the interim report submitted to Parliament on a new Constitution.The former Foreign Minister also alleged that the Government was looking to draft a new Constitution to pacify the international community. (Colombo Gazette)
Four vehicles were stolen from a used car dealership in Caledonia on the weekend.The thieves forced their way into the dealership at some point between 4 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. on Sunday. Once inside they gained access to the keys and removed four vehicles from the lot.Stolen vehicles included a 2015 grey Cadillac sedan, 2014 black Chevrolet Cruze, 2012 green Dodge Ram pickup truck, and 2011 grey GMC Sierra pickup truck.The estimated value of the theft is $64,000.Around 4:30 p.m. on Sunday Haldimand OPP responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle at LaFortune Park on Onondaga Townline Road and Highway 54 where they located the abandoned Chevrolet Cruze and GMC Sierra pickup truck.At 7:30 p.m. police patrolling the area located the Cadillac.The OPP Forensic Identification Services unit is assisting with the investigation and expert examination of the scene and vehicles recovered.Anyone who may have noticed any suspicious persons or vehicles, or who may have any information regarding this incident should contact police at 1-888-310-1122.Two vehicles stolen from drivewayTwo vehicles were also stolen from a Caledonia residence on Sunday.At some point between 11:30 a.m. and 1:13 p.m. thieves removed two vehicles that were parked in a driveway on Arnold Marshall Boulevard.The vehicles are described as a black 2017 Mazda A6GT and a grey 2010 Toyota Camry.
“I do hope that after somewhat slowing down, and following the start of this year’s organized returns, we will see a substantial repatriation,” the High Commissioner said yesterday in Kabul after his four-day visit to Afghanistan, his sixth trip to the region since early 2001.”To give you an indication, we think it is possible this year to see some substantial numbers again, even up to 1 million from host countries, Iran and Pakistan.”The drop-off in numbers took place during the harsh winter months and also followed the murder of UNHCR aid worker Bettina Goislard in eastern Ghazni province last year. Some 100,000 Afghans have been repatriated from neighbouring countries so far this year.Mr. Lubbers suggested that the Afghan Government offer state-owned land to categories of refugees vital to the country’s reconstruction, such as teachers.While in Afghanistan, he met President Hamid Karzai and ministers of his government before proceeding to Pakistan for meetings on Monday with President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali.Meanwhile, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Afghan Ministry of Defence, in a joint project called the Afghanistan New Beginnings Programme (ANBP), have collected between 4,000 and 5,000 heavy weapons, most of which need cranes to move them to eight or nine designated cantonment sites, ANBP Acting Programme Director Peter Babbington told a separate news conference in Kabul.
“At a time when people are on the move and already 50 per cent of the world’s population lives in urban areas, the battle for sustainable development will be won or lost in the streets of our cities and towns,” UN Programme for Human Settlement (UN-HABITAT) Executive Director Anna Tibaijuka said yesterday. With 1 billion poor people already living in slums, she was encouraged that world leaders called for increased investment in the Slum Upgrading Facility, as well as in affordable housing and infrastructure, she added.UN Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator Kemal Dervis told the five-year-old Community of Democracies, with a membership of more than 100 countries, that the Summit had made important strides, though more needed to be done.In a speech, he welcomed the steps the Summit had taken to strengthen democratic institutions, including the establishment of the new UN Democracy Fund, to which 13 countries already have contributed $32 million to promote and consolidate new and restored democracies with financial and technical help.Referring to UN reform, which was part of the Summit’s agenda, Mr. Dervis said: “Let me also say that it is clear that a reformed UN will also need to embody greater participation, transparency and accountability – the very hallmarks of a democratic community.”The Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Michel Jarraud, reaffirmed the organization’s commitment to the UN Millennium Declaration, whose progress was being measured at the Summit.He said constructive synergies would allow all agencies of the UN system to become more efficient and cost-effective.WMO operates global and regional early warning systems for such natural hazards as tropical cyclones, drought, and airborne nuclear and chemical pollutants.
“We know that there is an intrinsic link between peace and food security, and between hunger and conflict,” Director-General José Graziano da Silva said, as he opened the two-day ministerial segment of FAO’s Regional Conference for the Near East and North Africa.“Peace is fundamental for food security and food security is fundamental for peace. We have seen how disputes for food and natural resources such as land and water have triggered conflict.”He noted that worsening food security in the region is largely driven by factors such as conflicts, the flow of refugees and migration, especially of young people looking for opportunities in other countries.“All of these are issues that are not withheld by national borders. They affect the region as a whole and have repercussions far beyond it as well,” said Mr. Graziano da Silva.He also noted that the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target to reduce by half the proportion of hungry people between 1990 and 2015 is still within reach at the global scale and in the Near East and North Africa.However, a “final push” in the last 672 days before the deadline is needed, he added. Algeria, Djibouti, Jordan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Morocco and Turkmenistan are among countries that have already met the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target. In addition, Egypt, Iran, Lebanon, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates already had undernourishment levels below 5 per cent in 1990, the baseline for the Goals. The Director-General called on countries to support the implementation of three regional initiatives for the Near East and North Africa that FAO has launched in response to priorities identified by Member States – the Regional Initiative on Water Scarcity, the Regional Initiative on Building Resilience to Enhance Food Security and Nutrition, and the Regional Initiative on Small-scale Agriculture and Inclusive Rural Development. Noting that 2014 is the International Year of Family Farming, he encouraged countries to increase support to family farmers in the region by ensuring access to adequate technologies, financial services, markets, and natural resources such as land and water. He also encouraged countries to participate in discussions on the Committee on World Food Security’s proposed Principles for Responsible Agricultural Investments, which will help to ensure investments contribute to the development of family farmers.
Updated 1.27pmTHE TÁNAISTE HAS condemned an incident in Belfast in which a man set himself on fire while attempting to leave what police suspect was a fire bomb in a shop.“I condemn absolutely the firebomb attack,” Eamon Gilmore said this morning on his way into the Cabinet meeting.He described it as “criminal activity” and said that it was “particularly damaging to the economy of Belfast in the run up to Christmas”.“It is putting people in very serious danger,” said Gilmore, adding that this type of activity “has got to stop”.He said the PSNI and Garda Siochána are cooperating in dealing with the situation.The Cornmarket in Belfast city centre was closed by police following an incident at around 6.40pm yesterday evening, after a suspected incendiary device was left at a shop.The device is believed to have ignited but was removed from the premises by staff and left outside, said the PSNI. It sealed off the area while the device was examined.Speaking about the incident today, Chief Superintendent Alan McCrum, District Commander for South and East Belfast, said:The suspect involved in this incident is believed to be aged in his mid 40s, approximately 6ft tall, of plump build and was wearing a dark coloured waterproof coat which was hip length with a drawstring at the bottom and dark jeans or tracksuit bottoms. He is believed to have entered the shop at around 6.30pm where staff became suspicious of him.McCrum said the suspect was approached by staff in the shop and appeared to moving something under his jacket.“Seconds later a large flame ignited inside the male’s jacket and this engulfed his head and shoulders and he attempted to put the flames out with his hands,” he said. “The male then ran from the shop in the direction of Ann Street and the device was kicked out of the door of the shop and ended up in Cornmarket.”Police believe that this man may require treatment for burn injuries to his neck or face and are appealing to any care provider who may already have been approached or who is approached today, by a male in his 40’s with burns to the neck or face, to contact detectives directly at Musgrave station on 0845 600 8000.McCrum commended the staff in the shop for their behaviour and said he would urge staff in city centre premises and the public to remain vigilant at this time. The suspected incendiary device has been taken away for further examination and police are currently trawling through CCTV footage as part of the investigation.Police are now advising city centre businesses to check their premises for any suspicious objects.Anyone who was in the area at the time and who may have noticed any suspicious activity is asked to contact detectives at Musgrave on 0845 600 8000.Alternatively, they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111.Originally posted 10amRead: Court for two men over attempted murder of police>
Capt. Evan Brainerd outside his new HQ in Afghanistan.Consumer Reports recently named AT&T the worst wireless carrier based on a survey of 58,000 readers. Now the company seems to be confirming the reason why it got that title after reports of how they are handling the case of a U.S. solder based in Afghanistan. The soldier, Pfc Jose Rivera, racked up a $16,000 wireless bill in just one month after a misunderstanding of the carrier’s international plan. Rivera believed that by paying an extra $4.95 a month he could call home to his wife. What he didn’t account for was the $5 a minute charge and the $0.50 a text he would have to pay as well.Since English is not Rivera’s first language his commanding officer, Capt. Evan Brainerd, decided to do what he could to help out with the situation. Brainerd, in addition to Rivera’s immediate officer, Sgt. Malcolm McCallum, both attempted to work with AT&T to get the bill lowered to $9,000 since they believed there was still some liability by Rivera because of the misunderstanding, but were frustrated by their experience in working with AT&T’s customer service. Brainerd is quoted as saying:We have initiated multiple formal complaints with AT&T, none of which have gotten any attention. One request to lower the bill to $9,000, still a huge sum for a young PFC in the Army, was denied without any response or explanation. Brainerd’s belief that AT&T has demonstrated an “unethical, unprofessional and inflexible” attitude is exacerbated by the fact that there was no warning system in place to make Rivera aware of his mounting wireless bill. Luckily, it seems that AT&T has received some holiday spirit in time for Christmas. CNet is reporting that the Rivera family will receive a credit for their entire bill. While it’s great that the wireless company has done the right thing, a dark cloud still hangs over the carrier based on the fact that it took some public attention to get the company to budge.Read more at CNet In a letter to AT&T Brainerd wrote:I have been disgusted by the way our soldiers have been treated, and largely ignored by AT&T’s customer service throughout our efforts to resolve this problem. I am certainly not claiming that our soldier, PFC Rivera, is blameless and should not pay to a certain extent for his phone usage. However, $16,000 (every penny that this soldier and his family can hope to save during the course of this 1 year deployment) is a gross injustice.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be a socially inept shut-in if you want to use your computer at all hours of the day. Now you can be just as socially inept on the beach, thanks to this new gadget from a company called Clover.The SunBook is the first netbook of its kind, using a Pixel Qi display instead of a traditional LCD. This prevents virtually all glare from direct sunlight. So not only can you use it outdoors, you can also leave your blinds open at home! Imagine that. Well, that is, unless you have a TV in your home. The SunBook won’t help you with TV glare. Nevertheless, it’s a cool new piece of tech.Unfortunately, as with all emerging technologies, this one has a cost premium. Even though it only has Windows 7 Starter Edition and an Intel Atom N450 1.66 GHz processor, it costs a cool $795. A comparable netbook without an LCD display would cost around $400. But being able to walk outside with your netbook is priceless. Just don’t whack anyone on the head while you’re strolling through the park.Via Netbook PlanetAdChoices广告
So it’s the end of a long week, your boss has been chewing you out about that big project, and all of your bills have hit at the same time. All you want is to spend the night at home with the comfort of a large deep dish pizza, but all you have is an empty bank account and a few Bitcoins to your name. Well, not to worry.Thanks to a new online startup, Pizzaforcoins, you can now swap your virtual currency for a carb-filled dinner in 30 minutes or less. The way it works is that customers place their order on pizzaforcoins.com, then site owners Matt Burkinshaw and Riley Alexander will collect your Bitcoins and place the delivery order on your behalf using real cash.Prices fluctuate on a constant basis due to the dynamic nature of Bitcoin conversion rates, but it does not appear that Burkinshaw and Alexander are trying to gouge anyone. For example, as of the time of writing this article, a large hand tossed pizza was available for 0.50 Bitcoins, or a little over $12.The strategy for Domino’s in recent years has been to establish itself as a modern, up-to-date company that stays on top of the latest technological trends, and in some cases, even becomes a technological innovator. Some examples include the fact that Domino’s has a strong presence in social media, with the company CEO appearing in viral videos and other marketing campaigns. In addition, Domino’s has mobile apps for seamless online ordering, and it is the only national pizza chain that allows customers to track their orders in real time (right down to the minute when a customer’s pizza left the store).So even though Domino’s is not actually involved in this project, it is fitting that it should be the first pizza joint to be available. The Pizzaforcoins website claims that Papa John’s and Pizza Hut will also be options soon.
State Sen. Joe Zarelli, R-Ridgefield, unveiled a list of $850 million in proposed state budget cuts Wednesday — and promised more to come — to help the state plug an immediate budget hole while protecting the state’s most vulnerable citizens.The list, prepared by the Senate Republican Caucus, was delivered to Gov. Chris Gregoire late Monday in response to a request for ideas that she issued to all four legislative caucuses on Nov. 18. The Senate GOP is the only caucus that has responded to the request so far.“We share common ground with the governor in many areas, but we also offer additional ideas that span state government — whether it’s redirecting revenue streams to the general fund, prioritizing services for citizens, more substantial welfare reforms, a completely separate list related to K-12 education, or eliminating numerous functions and programs in general government,” Zarelli said in a statement. The governor is asking the Legislature’s help in identifying quick-turnaround cost-saving measures to deal with an unexpected $385 million revenue shortfall in the budget through June 30, 2011, as well as more structural changes to deal with a projected $5.7 billion deficit in the 2011-13 budget cycle.“The ongoing savings represented by our list exceed what the governor has proposed once you subtract her $367 million worth of fund transfers and accounting gimmicks, as those don’t amount to savings going forward,” Zarelli said. “The Senate Republican list also reflects our commitment to protecting the most vulnerable in society, by choosing not to accept proposed cuts to prescription drugs for senior citizens, cuts to services for the mentally ill, or service-hour reductions to the developmentally disabled.”
Mahbubnagar: The oustees of Karivena reservoir from Chittagattu Thanda of Timmajipet mandal in Nagarkurnool district staged a protest and stopped the ongoing works by stopping the vehicles carrying necessary material for the construction of reservoir, on Wednesday.The villagers expressed their angst against the State government for taking up works in their lands without paying them the promised compensation. The Karivena Reservoir is being constructed as part of larger Palamuru Ranga Reddy Lift Irrigation project (PRRLI). Also Read – School students take out rallies seeking justice for Harshini in Mahbubnagar Advertise With Us The works of the reservoir were stopped a few months ago citing legal tangles and the works got delayed. Now again, the villagers have come in the way of works causing further delay. “The government had promised to pay compensation for our houses and the lands. Only a few persons in the village got paid, while many of us are yet to receive the compensation. While the government is yet to pay the dues, the contractor is taking up the works. We will not allow them to go ahead with the works unless we get the payment,” said the agitating villagers. Also Read – Lord Rama adorned with 10 types of flowers in Bhadrachalam Advertise With Us Under Karvena Reservoir, the villagers of Chittagattu Thanda have lost their farmlands and houses. The contractor has taken up the works while the government is yet to pay the compensation. This has angered the villagers, and they stopped the works and demanded the government and peoples’ representatives to first resolve their issues and then take up the works.
Since the discovery of the sun compass fragment, researchers have theorized that Viking sailors used them to plot their course—at least when the sun was shining. They didn’t have magnetic compasses, however, which suggest they must have had some other means for steering in the evening or the later hours. In this latest effort, the researchers describe a scenario where the Vikings might have used a type of crystal that they called a sunstone to help them use light from the sun below the horizon as a guide.The sun compass fragment, prior research has suggested, operated in similar fashion to a sundial, using the position of the sun to determine direction, instead of time. Some have suggested the Vikings also used a dome shaped object with slits in it, placed on top of the compass to help narrow the light during the time when the sun moved low towards the horizon. The researchers in Hungary are now suggesting that they also added calcite stone crystals for use after the sun went below the horizon. They’ve conducted tests which show that the crystals can be used to note where the sun is after it’s passed below the horizon, because they direct ultraviolet light into patterns inside the stone, which can be seen by the human eye. If such stones were used, the Vikings could have used them all night long in the northern latitudes as it never goes completely dark.The researchers back up their theory by noting that Viking literature is rife with references to sun stones, though none have ever been “officially” discovered. One crystal has been found amongst navigational tools on a sixteenth century sunken ship, but no one has been able to prove it was actually used as a navigational aid. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Journal information: Proceedings of the Royal Society A © 2014 Phys.org Citation: Researchers suggest Vikings used crystals with sun compass to steer at night (2014, March 26) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-03-vikings-crystals-sun-compass-night.html Explore further Credit: Soren Thirslund More information: How could the Viking Sun compass be used with sunstones before and after sunset? Twilight board as a new interpretation of the Uunartoq artefact fragment, Proceedings of the Royal Society A, Published 26 March 2014 DOI: 10.1098/rspa.2013.0787AbstractVikings routinely crossed the North Atlantic without a magnetic compass and left their mark on lands as far away as Greenland, Newfoundland and Baffin Island. Based on an eleventh-century dial fragment artefact, found at Uunartoq in Greenland, it is widely accepted that they sailed along chosen latitudes using primitive Sun compasses. Such instruments were tested on sea and proved to be efficient hand-held navigation tools, but the dimensions and incisions of the Uunartoq find are far from optimal in this role. On the basis of the sagas mentioning sunstones, incompatible hypotheses were formed for Viking solar navigation procedures and primitive skylight polarimetry with dichroic or birefringent crystals. We describe here a previously unconceived method of navigation based on the Uunartoq artefact functioning as a ‘twilight board’, which is a combination of a horizon board and a Sun compass optimized for use when the Sun is close to the horizon. We deduced an appropriate solar navigation procedure using a twilight board, a shadow-stick and birefringent crystals, which bring together earlier suggested methods in harmony and provide a true skylight compass function. This could have allowed Vikings to navigate around the clock, to use the artefact dial as a Sun compass during long parts of the day and to use skylight polarization patterns in the twilight period. In field tests, we found that true north could be appointed with such a medieval skylight compass with an error of about ±4° when the artificially occluded Sun had elevation angles between +10° and −8° relative to the horizon. Our interpretation allows us to assign exact dates to the gnomonic lines on the artefact and outlines the schedule of the merchant ships that sustained the Viking colony in Greenland a millennium ago. Researchers: We may have found a fabled sunstone (Update) (Phys.org) —A team of researchers working in Hungary has proposed that a sun compass artifact found in a convent in 1948 might have been used in conjunction with crystals to allow Vikings to guide their boats even at night. In their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical & Engineering Sciences, the team describes theories they’ve developed that might explain how Viking sailors were able to so accurately sail to places such as Greenland.
Kolkata: The mercury in the city on Thursday plunged to 11.5 degree Celsius making it the coldest day of the season so far.”The minimum temperature may touch 10 degree Celsius in the next few days. A cold wave condition may prevail in some districts as well. The winter chill has intensified due to the uninterrupted flow of northwesterly, bringing in the cold wave to the South Bengal districts,” said a senior official of the Regional Meteorological Centre. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe Regional Meteorological Centre at Alipore also predicted that the city and some South Bengal districts may witness light drizzle in the next 48 hours, complicating the situation further. It was also stated that the visibility would considerably reduce in several parts of the South Bengal districts, particularly during the morning hours due to mist. According to the Met office, the city on Thursday experienced the coldest day in the last four years and the temperature may further go down in the next couple of days. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedIt may hover around 10-11 degree Celsius by the end of this month, while in some districts it may further go down. On Wednesday, the city’s temperature remained at 12 degree Celsius. In some parts of North Bengal, the sky may remain cloudy for the next few days, particularly in the morning hours. As it has been predicted some districts in North Bengal may also receive light drizzle in the next two days. The weather condition is least likely to improve in the remaining days of the current month. The cold has been more intense in north Bengal with Darjeeling touching 2 degree Celsius on Thursday, while Jalpaiguri recorded 9.6 degree Celsius and Malda 12. The minimum temperature dipped to 7.7 degree Celsius in Sriniketan, 10 degree in Bankura and East Burdwan each. The mercury plummeted to around 10.6 degree Celsius in Nadia. The temperature is going down as the northwesterly that brings the cold wave got intensified. After low pressure trough over Bay-of-Bengal got cleared last week, the mercury started dipping, a weather official said.
Kolkata: A family of four persons was charred to death at Bandel in Hooghly on Thursday.According to local residents, on Thursday morning, Zabeda Biwi saw smoke billowing out of her son’s room at Chandanpur in Bandel. She started screaming for help. Hearing her scream, neighbours ran to help her. Seeing the smoke, local residents broke open the door and found Zabeda’s son Surat Ali’s (47), his wife Rejina Biwi (33) along with their two daughters Afreen Yasmin (12) and Asiyana Khatun (5) were lying on the floor with serious burn injuries. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThey were rescued immediately and rushed to Chinsurah Imambara Hospital where Surat and Khatun were declared brought dead. Rejina and Yasmin died after a few hours at the hospital. The Bandel police station was informed by hospital authorities. According to a source, Surat, who was a farmer by profession, had some mental illness and was under treatment. A local resident said Surat and Rejina had frequent arguments. It is suspected that one of them could have set the room on fire. But cops still don’t know about what exactly happened. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateThough no complaint has been lodged, the police have initiated a suo moto case in this regard. Zabeda said she smelled something pungent after the door was broken by the neighbours. In another incident, the charred body of a woman was found on the roadside at Galsi in East Burdwan on Friday morning. Local residents spotted the body and informed the Galsi police station. Later, police recovered the body and sent it for an autopsy. A source said parts of vehicle tyre was found at spot. It is suspected that the woman has been murdered somewhere else and her body was burnt to hide her identity. Local resident suspected that the woman might had been killed after being raped. The identity of the deceased woman could not be established till Friday night.
Fiji launches search for unhappiest people in SingaporeFiji Airways and Tourism Fiji are seeking nominations of the most stressed out and overworked Singaporeans in need of a break to send to Fiji – one of the world’s happiest nations.Singaporeans are stressed and jaded from the daily pressures of work, with more than half (55 per cent) more stressed today compared to five years ago.Touted as one of the happiest places in the world, Fiji is where happiness finds everyone.As part of an effort to bring happiness to Singapore, Fiji Airways and Tourism Fiji are holding a nationwide social media competition for people in Singapore to nominate someone they believe deserves a trip of a lifetime to Fiji.Mr Andre Viljoen, Fiji Airways Managing Director and CEO said, “Fijians live in the moment and try to find happiness in everything they do. Singapore is such a hardworking society and we want to help them take a break and share the happiness that is so natural and infectious here.”Nominations for the search can be made via Fiji Airways or Tourism Fiji’s Facebook pages, Facebook.com/FijiAirways or Facebook.com/Fiji.The nationwide search comes in the lead-up to a Fijian Virtual Rehab experience that will be launched in Singapore next month. A unique 4D sensory experience, Virtual Rehab will immerse Singaporeans in the exotic sights and sounds of Fiji, from 19 September to 23 September at Millennia Walk.Travellers keen to experience Fiji can book a special airfare offer from now to 31 December 2016 for travel before 31 March 2017. Fiji Airways VisitSource = Fiji Airways – Tourism Fiji
Alitalia has unveiled a series of customer service enhancements that would improve the travel experience for air passengers. Italy’s national airline also confirmed that its three-year business plan was on track for profitability by 2017.Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, the Chairman of Alitalia, and James Hogan, Vice Chairman of Alitalia and President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, announced the details of a range of new initiatives that will be introduced in a few weeks.Two new long haul destinations, the first chauffeur service for business travellers, the opening of new VIP lounges and the refurbishment of existing ones at airports, new cabin interiors and Internet and email connectivity on board, as well as a focus on improving customer service at Fiumicino airport, are the highlights that were announced.The airline recently briefed 2,000 staff at a special meeting in Rome.Chairman Luca Cordero di Montezemolo said, “Our performance is in line with the business plan. And, for the first time since 2009, the load factor for the quarter exceeded 80% and we are on track to meet our objective of reaching profitability by 2017.”“We are announcing today two new destinations in Latin America, new services for business customers, significant investment in ground services at Fiumicino airport and an aggressive program to improve the medium-haul fleet. These will be introduced shortly and will help to transform the travel experience for customers flying with Alitalia,” added Montezemolo.Vice Chairman James Hogan said, “Together we have come a long way. Alitalia is ascending but it still has challenges and to maintain momentum we need to accelerate cultural and operational change at every level within the company.”“Being part of Etihad Airways Partners will help Alitalia succeed in its drive to profitability and with market confidence growing, its customers will have much to look forward to and experience in the next six months and beyond,” added the Vice Chairman.