Trillions of Plastic Pieces May Be Trapped in Arctic Ice

first_imgHumans produced nearly 300 million tons of plastic in 2012, but where does it end up? A new study has found plastic debris in a surprising location: trapped in Arctic sea ice. As the ice melts, it could release a flood of floating plastic onto the world.Scientists already knew that microplastics—polymer beads, fibers, or fragments less than 5 millimeters long—can wind up in the ocean, near coastlines, or in swirling eddies such as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. But Rachel Obbard, a materials scientist at Dartmouth College, was shocked to find that currents had carried the stuff to the Arctic.In a study published online this month in Earth’s Future, Obbard and her colleagues argue that, as Arctic ice freezes, it traps floating microplastics—resulting in abundances of hundreds of particles per cubic meter. That’s three orders of magnitude larger than some counts of plastic particles in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. “It was such a surprise to me to find them in such a remote region,” she says. “These particles have come a long way.”Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The potential ecological hazards of microplastics are still unknown. But the ice trap could help solve a mystery: Industrial plastic production has increased markedly in the last half-century, reaching 288 million tonnes in 2012, according to Plastics Europe, an industry association. But ecologists have not been able to account for the final disposition of much of it. The paper shows that sea ice could be an important sink—albeit one that is melting, says Kara Lavender Law, an oceanographer at the Sea Education Association in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, who was not part of the study. “There could be freely floating plastics, in short order.” The authors estimate that, under current melting trends, more than 1 trillion pieces of plastic could be released in the next decade.Obbard and her colleagues based their counts on four ice cores gathered during Arctic expeditions in 2005 and 2010. The researchers melted parts of the cores, filtered the water, and put the sediments under a microscope, selecting particles that stood out because of their shape or bright color. The particles’ chemistry was then determined by an infrared spectrometer. Most prevalent among the particles was rayon (54%), technically not a synthetic polymer because it is derived from natural cellulose. The researchers also found polyester (21%), nylon (16%), polypropylene (3%), and 2% each of polystyrene, acrylic, and polyethylene. Co-author Richard Thompson, a marine biologist at the University of Plymouth in the United Kingdom, says it’s difficult to pinpoint the source of these materials. Rayon, for instance, can be found in clothing, cigarette filters, and diapers.Abundances are likely to grow as scientists learn to sift more finely. Law points out that microplastic estimates for the Great Pacific Garbage Patch are based on phytoplankton nets that catch only particles bigger than 333 microns. Obbard, who used a much smaller 0.22 micron filter, says she still probably missed many particles herself; searching by eye, she easily could have missed brownish or clear plastic particles that were masquerading as sand grains.What is the consequence of all this plastic floating around? At this point, it is hard to say. Plastic is chemically inert. But the plastic can absorb organic pollutants in high concentrations, says Mark Browne, an ecologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Browne has performed laboratory experiments with marine organisms showing not only how the microplastics can be retained in tissues, but also how pollutants might be released upon ingestion. “We’re starting to worry a bit more,” he says.last_img read more

France face Ronaldo in poignant Euro 2016 final,France face Ronaldo in poignant Euro 2016 final

first_img SHARE SHARE EMAIL Published on July 09, 2016 Football Soccer – Euro 2016 – Portugal Training – Centre National de Rugby, Marcoussis, France – 9/7/16 Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, Jose Fonte, Joao Moutinho, Pepe and Renato Sanches during trainingREUTERS/Regis DevignauLivepic Football Soccer – Euro 2016 – Portugal Training – Centre National de Rugby, Marcoussis, France – 9/7/16 Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, Jose Fonte, Joao Moutinho, Pepe and Renato Sanches during trainingREUTERS/Regis DevignauLivepic COMMENT SHARE football Cristiano Ronaldo’s battle-hardened Portugal stand between hosts France and a cathartic victory in tomorrow’s Euro 2016 final at Stade de France.The stadium was targeted by suicide bombers during France’s friendly against Germany last November in attacks across Paris that left 130 people dead.It cast a black shadow over the tournament, but following a joyous semi—final victory over Germany, France aim to prevail in a third major final on home soil after the 1984 European Championship and 1998 World Cup.“There is lots of fervour and lots of joy and happiness in France,” France coach Didier Deschamps said after the 2—0 win over Germany in Marseille.“It’s a really great story. We don’t claim to have the power to solve all the problems of the French people. But we have the power to generate emotions and make them forget their worries.”The November attacks, claimed by Islamic State, struck particularly close to France forward Antoine Griezmann.He was on the pitch at Stade de France and his elder sister, Maud, survived the assault on the Bataclan concert hall in central Paris that claimed 89 lives.Griezmann missed a penalty for Atletico Madrid in their Champions League final defeat by Real Madrid in May and made a poor start to the Euro in France’s 2—1 win over Romania.But after coming on to net a 90th—minute opener against Albania, he has emerged as the star of the tournament, scoring in knockout—phase wins over the Republic of Ireland, Iceland and Germany.With six goals — three more than any other player — the 25-year-old is in line for both the Golden Boot and the UEFA player of the tournament prize.Ronaldo, however, served a timely reminder of his ability to decide a game with a brilliant bullet header in Portugal’s 2—0 semi—final win over Wales. × COMMENTSlast_img read more

Chirag Paswan appointed LJPs poll in-charge for UP

first_imgVaranasi, Apr 3 (PTI) Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan today appointed party leader and son Chirag Paswan as the election in-charge for the 2017 Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls and pitched him as a youth icon against state Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi.The Union minister claimed that Gandhi and Yadav were no longer youth politicians and Chirag was an emerging face which the youth in the country could trust.Chirag, on the occasion, said the countrys youth preferred Prime Minister Narendra Modi over any other leader during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections because the PMs thinking was like of a “mature youth”.He said a leader is judged on the basis of his thinking and not by his age and termed Modi a “genuine youth” of the country who encouraged lakhs of people to rise on their feet by introducing schemes like Standup India, Startup India and Skill India among others.The MP said those leaders who claim to beyouth icons should first have in them the “mature thinking” which the youth ofthis country has already found in Modi.Taking a dig at Gandhi, he said he was unable to understand what the Congress leader thinks and does as when he was required to speak on the JNU incident in Parliament, he was silent whereas he raised a hue and cry over the issue at the university and outside.Chirag, who represents the Jamui Lok Sabha seat, said if his party would come into power in Uttar Pradesh with the support of its alliance partner then it would focus on education, sports and creatingjob opportunities for the states youth.advertisementHe also said he would demand for setting up a commission to look after the issues of youth which would function in a way similiar to womens commission.Brushing aside allegations of Hindustani Awam Morcha chief Jitan Ram Manjhi who had claimed that BJP was not giving importance to its alliance partners, Chirag said he did not find any truth in the former Bihar Chief Ministers statement and BJP was fully cooperating with all its partners. PTI CORR AAR SC AARlast_img read more


first_imgSanjeevanee Kutty, Special Secretary and Financial AdviserSanjeevanee Kutty, Special Secretary and Financial Adviser in Home Ministry, has been appointed as Secretary, Department of Border Management in place of Kumar. NHAI Chairman Raghav Chandra has been named Secretary, National Commission for Scheduled Tribes. Yudhvir Singh Malik, Special Secretary in Niti Aayog, will be new chairman of National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) in place of Chandra.Senior bureaucrat Rajiv Yadav will be Secretary, Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs in place of Prabhas Kumar Jha, who has been appointed as Secretary, Department of Official Language. Yadav, who is Secretary in Department of Sports, has been replaced by Injeti Srinivas, Director General of Sports Authority of India.Anoop Kumar Srivastava, who is Secretary, Department of Official Language, will be Secretary, Ministry of Tribal Affairs.Ameising Luikham, Secretary, Department of Public Enterprises (DPE), has been appointed as Officer on Special Duty in Minority Affairs Ministry. He will take over as Secretary of the same department on superannuation of present incumbent Rakesh Garg, the order said.Seema Bahuguna, Special Secretary and Financial Adviser in Department of Rural Development, will be new Secretary, DPE. Senior IAS officers Preeti Sudan and K P Krishnan have been appointed as Secretaries of Department of Food and Public Distribution, and Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship. Sudan is Special Secretary in Women and Child Development Ministry and Krishnan is Special Secretary, Department of Land Resources. N S Kang, Secretary and Director General in National AIDS Control Organisation, has been named as Secretary, Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities. Rajeev Kapoor, Director of Mussoorie-based Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA)–which provides training to bureaucrats, has been appointed Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. Senior IAS officer Upma Chaudhary, who is at present in her cadre state Himachal Pradesh, will be Director LBSNAA. UPSC Secretary Asha Ram Sihag has been appointed as Secretary, Coordination and Public Grievances in Cabinet Secretariat. His wife Bharati S Sihag has been named as OSD, Department of Fertilisers. She will take over as Secretary in the same department on superannuation of the present incumbent Vijay Shankar Pandey. Kewal Kumar Sharma has been named as Secretary, Department of Higher Education. He will first take over as Officer on Special Duty in the same department before taking over as Secretary on superannuation of Vinay Sheel Oberoi. Besides these 19 secretaries, the Appointments Committee of Cabinet has approved extension in tenure of R K Jain, Member of National Disaster Management Authority, for six months beyond November 30. PTI AKV ZMNadvertisementlast_img read more

France squandered the unity of its last World Cup win. This time must be different

first_imgOpinion Kylian Mbappé the top ticket in French collection of bottomless talent Share via Email Europe Race Speaking in the 2016 documentary Les Bleus, the 1998 goalkeeper for France, Bernard Lama, raised the point that the young men who had committed the recent attacks in France were French nationals of the 98 generation. The World Cup wasn’t enough to fix the underlying problems and, 20 years on, France has the same ingredients of terror attacks, the far right – and a diverse, winning, national football team.The fact is that, as wonderful as football is as a sport, the jubilation of a World Cup win can only be ephemeral, so long as politicians don’t build on the energy it creates. This national win could only be a catalyst for change if Macron decides to act on it.As it stands, the French president is incredibly unpopular with young people, despite trying to present himself as a youthful candidate for change. In recent months he has faced a standoff with students who organised mass sit-ins across the country to protest against his changes to university entry requirements, and youth unemployment in France is at 21.5%. It’s felt most acutely in Paris neighbourhoods such as Bondy and Saint-Denis, where Mbappé was raised. In the most deprived areas, youth unemployment is as high as 40%. France’s recent history with football has been tightly linked to the struggle over its identity. For decades, politicians have used the diversity of the national team either as a symbol of integration at work, or as a warning of Le Grand Remplacement (the big replacement) – that “ethnically French” citizens are being excluded by those whose roots lie in Africa.Following France’s win, the far-right writer Renaud Camus has retweeted videos criticising diversity in France. More than half the squad are of African origin, including key players Paul Pogba, Kylian Mbappé and N’Golo Kanté, so the team in some ways represents his greatest fears. Yet the scenes of celebration on the Champs-Élysées and beyond show how France has claimed these players. It feels like the breath of fresh air that France has so badly needed, after the trauma following the terror attacks of recent years, and an election in which the far-right Front National made the final presidential runoff. In this context, it would seem logical for Emmanuel Macron to try to use this sporting triumph to bolster his image as a successful, positive and inclusive world leader. Play Video Play Video Since you’re here… What do the World Cup semi-finalists all have in common? Immigration Read more Reuse this content World Cup Within hours of the victory, the cracks were beginning to show. Police clashed with revellers and suspended public transport to the suburbs, preventing many young people from joining in the celebration. If Macron really wants to claim this win, he has to invest in these communities to give them opportunities beyond football. The players have proven themselves, twice over, as French citizens, and given hope to the nation: it’s now Macron’s job to give hope to their communities.• Iman Amrani is an Algerian British journalist Share on LinkedIn Emmanuel Macron Share on Twitter But we’ve been here before and most can remember how this played out last time. In 1996, two years before France first won the World Cup, an Algerian Islamist group detonated a bomb on the Paris metro, killing four. The 1998 team were hailed as the answer to the country’s divisions and nicknamed “black, blanc, beur” (black, white or Arab), in reference to the players such as Zinedine Zidane and Lilian Thuram who were the children of Arab and African migrants.The players were used as a form of propaganda by the president, Jacques Chirac; paraded in front of the media and required to represent a country that was far more progressive and united than France really was. Four years later, Jean-Marie Le Pen shocked the country by making it through to the second round of the presidential elections. If France’s team was representing a united and multicultural country, how could this have happened? World Cup 2018 In these places, footballers are hailed as heroes not just when they win a World Cup, but just for signing at a lower league club – for breaking a cycle of poverty when the life chances for young people in these areas are so low. This success has nothing to do with government policies, and everything to do with the skill and determination of the individuals. France star player Ousmane Dembélé is an example of this. In a recent documentary, Dembélé speaks about his neighbourhood as being his strength. “It’s helped me to become a good person,” he says. “I won’t forget where I’m from because we have dealt with things that other people haven’t.” Read more Share on WhatsApp Macron dabbing and crowds roaring: France crowned World Cup champions – video Police and football fans clash in Paris after France’s World Cup victory – video comment 2:10 Share on Facebook 0:38 Share on Messenger Topics Share on Pinterest France Support The Guardian … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you.last_img read more

Everton appoint Silva as Allardyce successor

first_imgTransfers Everton appoint Silva as Allardyce successor Ryan Benson Last updated 1 year ago 22:32 5/31/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) MarcoSilva - cropped Getty Images Transfers Everton Watford Premier League The Toffees have confirmed their new manager for the 2018-19 season, with the former Watford boss set to take charge at Goodison Park Everton have announced the appointment of former Watford coach Marco Silva as their new manager, replacing Sam Allardyce.Silva had been heavily linked with Everton before Allardyce was hired in November, having enjoyed a fine start to the season at Watford.The Hornets signed Silva at the beginning of the campaign after he impressed at Hull City, despite their relegation at the end of the 2016-17 season. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sorry, Cristiano! Pjanic is Juventus’ most important player right now But they cited Everton’s initial approach as a major catalyst for Silva’s sacking in January, following a run of one win in 11 Premier League matches.When Watford refused to give Everton permission to speak to Silva, they turned to Allardyce and he ultimately steered them clear of trouble, finishing eighth in the Premier League.But supporters never took to the former England manager and Everton confirmed his exit on May 16, paving the way for Silva – who was always the big favourite – to make his return to Premier League football.And the Portuguese coach says he is aware of the fans’ expectations after Allardyce failed to truly convince them.”I’m really proud to be the new Everton manager,” he told the club’s official website. “I’m excited and I’m really happy to take this big challenge for us as a club and for me as a manager.”I want to express my thanks to Farhad [Moshiri, majority shareholder], to the chairman, to the board of directors and to Marcel [Brands, director of football] as well for the confidence in my work.”I know the huge history of Everton as a club and what the fans expect. I’m sure with everybody working together I will be ready for this challenge.”We have a lot of work to do in this next month and it is important to prepare everything in the right way. But there will be even more important work to do from the start of pre-season into the first Premier League match of next season.”I know what our fans expect – they expect results but not only results. I want our fans to be proud when they see our team on the pitch. I want them to feel that we are committed, that we are working hard and enjoying our football because that is important as well.”Everton is a really ambitious club and that is what I want. What we are seeing now are good changes at the club. The club is changing its approach, but one thing we cannot change and nobody wants to change is the huge history and ambition of the club.”last_img read more

DFDS Chooses Scrubbers for Ferries on Mediterranean Routes

first_imgzoomIllustration. Image Courtesy: Pixabay under CC0 Creative Commons license Danish shipping and logistics company DFDS has unveiled its plans to install scrubbers on 12 freight ferries deployed on freight routes in the Mediterranean between Turkey, Italy, Greece and France.Namely, the company will invest up to DKK 300 million (USD 46.5 million) in 2019 to ensure compliance with the new global rules scheduled to come into force in January 2020.The investment decision is based on the scrubber strategy that was applied in 2015 for the transition to the 0.1% sulphur content limit for DFDS’ ferry route network in northern Europe. This strategy has proven to be a success from both an environmental, operational and business perspective.“We are happy to already now start preparing for complying with the new limit on sulphur content in emissions in the Mediterranean. This will bring environmental benefits for all. By applying DFDS’ extensive experience of procuring, installing and operating scrubber systems we are achieving both operational and financial synergies,” Niels Smedegaard, CEO of DFDS, said.In line with DFDS’ CSR policy and to comply with IMO’s upcoming regulation, hybrid scrubbers were chosen as the optimal solution for the fleet in the Mediterranean.The 12 scrubbers will be supplied by ME Production, a Danish developer and manufacturer of customised emission reduction systems for marine applications.last_img read more

UN refugee agency appeals to Egypt to help secure release of abducted

7 December 2010The United Nations refugee agency today voiced its concern about a group of some 250 Eritreans who have been held hostage for about a month by traffickers in the Sinai, and called on the Egyptian Government to intervene to help secure their release. While the agency has very limited information about the group, media reports say that the traffickers are demanding payments of $8,000 per person for their release, that people are being held in containers and are subject to abuses, and that some may have been held for months.“We are, at this time, in contact with the Egyptian Government over this matter,” Adrian Edwards, spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), told a news conference in Geneva.“Egypt’s Ministry of Interior has assured us that around the clock efforts are underway to locate the hostages and release them,” he added.According to UNHCR, thousands of people attempt to cross the border from Egypt into Israel every year. Often they turn to bedouin traffickers, who have little regard for their safety. While many are migrants, some originate from refugee-producing countries, including Eritrea. “UNHCR’s eligibility guidelines consider that most Eritreans fleeing their country should be considered as refugees,” said Mr. Edwards.“UNHCR has been advocating with the Egyptian authorities for access to people who are detained in the course of making this journey, with a view to being able to determine those among them who are refugees and in need of international protection,” he said. read more

Liberals give notice for law to end Canada Post strike as sides

OTTAWA — The federal government has given notice that they’re prepared to legislate Canada Post employees back to work as the postal service and union spar over the scale of the backlog the rotating strikes have created.Labour Minister Patty Hajdu said that 48 hours notice is required before introducing back-to-work legislation, but insisted that having done so doesn’t mean the government will make the move to end rotating strikes by the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.“We have complete flexibility about when we’ll introduce that legislation,” Hajdu told reporters before the Liberal caucus meeting Wednesday morning.‘Canada Post is dying before our eyes’: Strike exposes how postal service has changed in online eraOttawa ready to order end to Canada Post strike if no deal within ‘next few days’Month-long backlog of undelivered mail piles up with no settlement to Canada Post strikes in sightThe potential of forcing postal employees back to work comes in the fifth week of rotating strikes by thousands of unionized workers as the union and postal service remain divided in contract negotiations.Canada Post said Tuesday that Canadians can expect delays of parcel and mail delivery into 2019 as a result of the strikes, especially in southwestern Ontario because of a backlog of hundreds of transport trailers sitting idle at its main Toronto sorting facility.The Canadian Union of Postal Workers has, however, challenged the claims of major backlogs, saying they have been highly exaggerated. The union said Wednesday that it counted about 70 trailers at the main Toronto facility, which could be cleared in a matter of days, along with a smattering of trailers elsewhere in Ontario and on the East Coast.“It would appear that they’re up to their same old game, which is to try to provoke back-to-work legislation,” said Mike Palecek, CUPW national president in an interview.“This is what Canada Post does again and again and again. They create a crisis, in this case a fictional one, and then wait for the government to bail them out. So we’re incredibly concerned that the government may be moving forward with legislation based on information that isn’t true.”Canada Post said it has made a dent in backlog that hit a record last week, but it is still well behind as it goes into the busiest three weeks of the year.“Normally at this time of year we would have about 100 trailers to work through across our facilities as we brace for the Black Friday rush,” said spokesman Jon Hamilton in an email.“With our operations impacted by the ongoing strikes, we are five times that, with additional trailers of mail and parcels being held by customers and by international posts waiting for us to clear space for them to send.”He said Canada Post has had to rent space off site to store trailers while they wait for processing, which the union may not be aware of.Disputes on the scale of the backlog come as the two sides sat down with special mediator Morton Mitchnick Wednesday, who was reappointed by the federal Liberals.Palecek said he was hopeful that Mitchnick could help with negotiations, but was concerned the federal Liberals had moved forward on back-to-work legislation at the same time.“Our negotiators will do their best to reach a negotiated settlement, but the government’s announcement pulls the rug out from under us,” he said.Hajdu said she’ll let Mitchnick take the time he needs to push forward the protracted negotiations.“We’ve given notice to the House, we are extremely serious, (but) I really don’t want to have to use back-to-work legislation,” said Hajdu. “But having said that, this is a really busy time of year, people are relying on Canada Post to deliver packages, small and medium-size businesses are relying on Canada Post to have a profitable season and our economy needs Canada Post to be able to function in a smooth way.”Hajdu said the parties have already had a very long time to work out a deal but she expects them to work hard over the next couple of days to reach an agreement.The Canadian Union of Postal Workers on Monday turned down an offer for a holiday cooling-off period and a possible $1,000 bonus for its 50,000 members, saying it would only mean postal employees continuing to work under the same conditions the union is trying to have changed.When asked if she worries about potential criticism from New Democrats for ending the strikes with a law, Hajdu said she has to do what’s right for the country. read more

Payless ShoeSource to close 248 Canadian stores saying it is illequipped for

TORONTO — Mounting debts and a challenging retail market are forcing Payless ShoeSource Canada Inc. to shutter all of its North American stores by May.The Kansas-based discount footwear retailer said Tuesday that it will soon file for creditor protection in Canada, making way for liquidation sales at the 248 locations it owns in the country.The move comes just after Payless filed for bankruptcy in the U.S. and after Ohio-based shoe brand DSW Inc. shut down its Town Shoes Ltd. brand and the 38 stores it had in the country, saying the “competitive landscape for mid-luxury, mall-based footwear has dramatically changed, comparable sales have deteriorated consistently and generated significant operating losses.”Payless, which was founded in 1956 and previously filed for bankruptcy in 2017, has faced a similar market, revealed its chief restructuring officer Stephen Marotta in a press release, where he said the brand had tried to rejig its operations to no avail. North America is ‘over-stored’ and Payless ShoeSource is the latest victim Crabtree and Evelyn closing stores, seeks bankruptcy protection amid ‘significant losses’ David’s Bridal files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy but will stay in business amid reorganization “The challenges facing retailers today are well documented, and unfortunately Payless emerged from its prior reorganization ill-equipped to survive in today’s retail environment,” said Marotta, who joined the company in January.“The prior proceedings left the company with too much remaining debt, too large a store footprint and a yet-to-be realized systems and corporate overhead structure consolidation.”Documents filed with the Ontario Superior Court on Tuesday show the company’s Canadian operations, which employ about 2,400 workers, had an oversupply of inventory as recently as this winter and was forced to sell merchandise at steep markdowns.The documents said the company failed to pay February’s rent for 220 stores it owns in Canada and reported an operating loss of more than US$12 million last year.Marotta said in the filings that the company has been unable to integrate its physical stores with a digital offering. Only 200 stores are equipped with such a service, he said, leaving Payless “unable to keep up with the shift in customer demand.”As a result, he said Payless will begin closing its 2,500 North American stores at the end of March, though some will be open until the end of May while the company conducts liquidation sales.Retail expert Brynn Winegard said Payless has long had issues because its business model was built around not always keeping inventory in every size for every shoe they sold but also because of the size of its real estate.“Payless has had to decrease its footprint significantly, but they were over indexed in terms of how large and how much real estate they intended to maintain,” she said.“Competitive pricing online is so much easier with lower overhead. The big discount and big box stores have margins that are razor thin finding it very hard to compete with online retailers.”Payless, she said, also faced challenges from manufacturers increasingly circumventing traditional retailers by selling directly to consumers, often at lower costs.Winegard suspects discount footwear sellers including Walmart Inc., manufacturers with large online presences and e-commerce brands like Amazon Inc. and Asian-based e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Limited. will benefit from Payless’s demise.Payless has 420 stores in Latin America, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam and Saipan, and 370 international franchisee stores across the Middle East, India, Indonesia, Indochina, Philippines and Africa. read more

Burundi SecretaryGeneral concerned about reports of coup attempt arrests

Citing reports of those arrests between 31 July and 3 August, as well as the imprisonment of former President Domitien Ndayizeye two days ago, Mr. Annan’s spokesman issued a statement yesterday in which the Secretary-General urged the Government of the small African country to “pursue due process and respect the rights of the detained individuals in addressing this delicate issue.” He also called on the people of Burundi, especially the political leaders and their parties, to “work together to preserve the hard won peace and consolidate the fragile democracy in the country.” He further called on the Government and the National Liberation Forces (FNL) to negotiate a comprehensive ceasefire agreement as soon as possible. The FNL, the last remaining major rebel hold-out from a four-year transition process, signed a preliminary agreement with the Government in June. Last month, citing “factors of instability,” the Security Council extended the mandate of the UN Operation in Burundi, known by its French acronym ONUB, through the end of the year. The mission was established in May 2004 as Burundi emerged from 12 years of civil war between the Hutu majority and the Tutsi minority. read more

Blind British man in worlds first operation to deliver modified DNA to

first_imgRetinitis pigmentosa affects 1 in 4000 people, with symptoms that typically appear between age 10 and 30. Night vision and peripheral vision go first, as the photoreceptors active in low light – the ‘rods’ – start to degenerate.Eventually the condition affects the ‘cones’ – the photoreceptors responsible for central, detailed, colour vision, causing complete sight loss.Doctors want to enroll at least 24 more patients in the trial to find out if the technique is safe and effective. Robert MacLaren, Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of OxfordCredit:University of Oxford “Changing the genetic code is always undertaken with great caution, but the new sequence we are using has proven to be highly effective in our laboratory studies.“The genetic code for all life on Earth is made up of four letters – G, T, A and C. In retinitis pigmentosa, however, half of the RPGR gene comprises only two letters – A and G.“This makes the gene very unstable and prone to mutations, making it a lead cause of blindness in patients with retinitis pigmentosa. RPGR is vital for the light sensitive cells at the back of the eye.” The combined NHS, University of Oxford and Nightstar gene therapy teamCredit:University of Oxford  The combined NHS, University of Oxford and Nightstar gene therapy team Thousands of people born with a faulty gene which makes them go blind have been offered new hope after a British man underwent the world’s first operation to deliver new DNA to his eyes and restore his sight.Around 15,000 people in Britain suffer from x-linked retinitis pigmentosa, a deteriorating condition which brings a slow and irreversible loss of vision, and which is the leading cause of blindness in young people.Loss of sight occurs because a gene responsible for maintaining the light sensitive cells at the back of the eye is missing half of its DNA code.But scientists can now replace the code using a groundbreaking technique which reprogrammes the gene in the lab, then delivers the healthy DNA into the eye, via a harmless virus. Scientists used a harmless virus to transport the modified DNA to the man's eyes  Scientists used a harmless virus to transport the modified DNA to the man’s eyes Credit:University of Oxford Last Thursday, a 29-year-old man became the first person in the world to undergo the procedure at Oxford Eye Hospital and is now recovering.Robert MacLaren, Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Oxford, who is leading the trial said: “He is doing well and now at home, but we will have to wait a few years to know if it has stopped his retina from degenerating. “The effect of disease on families with retinitis pigmentosa is devastating and we have spent many years working out how to develop this gene therapy. Robert MacLaren, Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Oxford Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

European telecoms recycle a false argument Google and Facebook are using our

first_imgOn December 21st, the Federal Communications Commission is finally slated to decide the issue of domestic net neutrality once and for all, but a similar war for net neutrality is just getting underway over in Europe, as mobile carriers begin complaining that the likes of Apple, Facebook and Google should be paying fees to telecoms for using up a larger-than-normal volume of their data pipes.The voices complaining about rising data use include many of Europe’s largest telecoms companies, including France Telecom, Telefonica and Vodafone. They are raising a familiar argument first brought to the table by AT&T CEO Ed Whiteacre back in 2005, who famously asked why companies like Google should “be allowed” to use “his” pipes “for free.”The Internet can’t be free in that sense, because we and the cable companies have made an investment and for a Google or Yahoo! or Vonage or anybody to expect to use these pipes [for] free is nuts! Of course, that investment is already being paid for by AT&T’s customers, so what Ed Whiteacre really wanted was to start double-dipping for the same data… which is what makes it so distressing that Europe’s telecoms are about to embrace the same false argument. The FCC’s decision on December 21st may set a precedent for net neutrality not just domestically, but internationally as well.Read more at Ars Technicalast_img read more

Hybrid Firefox with Metro mode coming to Windows 8 this year

first_imgA few weeks ago, Mozilla updated their wiki and announced a rough timeline for a Metro version of Firefox for Windows 8. More recently, Microsoft released developer documentation which clarified that other browsers would be able to utilize both the traditional win32 APIs and the newer winRT APIs as IE10 does.That’s good news for Mozilla, since it means that Microsoft is offering a level playing field for their competitors — “system-level parity,” as Asa Dotzler calls it. They had assumed this would be the case when Microsoft first began discussing how Internet Explorer 10 operates in Windows 8 last year.Now that they’ve seen a developer doc, they’re ready to forge ahead on a version of Firefox that fully embraces both the traditional and Metro faces of Windows 8. There is one small snag, however.In his post, Dotzler figures that the Foundation will be able to build a single Windows app that will run under both the Windows Desktop and in Metro mode and serve it up from their own servers as they always have. That’s probably not going to happen.Microsoft has previously stated that the only place you’ll be installing Metro apps from is the Windows Store. That would leave Mozilla with two options. The first would be to build two separate versions and offer Firefox for Metro from the Windows Store and the standard Windows version from other option would be to deliver the desktop Firefox with the Metro app when a user downloads it from the store, assuming Microsoft allows that to happen. Regular desktop app downloads won’t be offered from the Store, however — you’ll be offered an external link so that you can download them directly from developers.As of right now, it seems probable that you’ll have to download two versions of Firefox for Windows 8 if you want the dual-interface experience. There’s plenty of time for things to change before either Windows 8 or Firefox for Metro arrives later this year, though, so Dotzler’s vision of a single, hybrid Firefox may still be a possibility.More at Asa Dotzler’s Bloglast_img read more

Grenelle un bilan carbone allégé pour les entreprises

first_imgGrenelle : un bilan carbone allégé pour les entreprises Conformément au Grenelle de l’Environnement, les collectivités et les grandes entreprises françaises devront prochainement réaliser leur bilan carbone, en recensant leurs émissions de gaz à effet de serre. Mais le projet de décret d’application de cette mesure, en cours de validation au Conseil d’Etat, est bien loin du projet initial du Grenelle.Voté en juin 2010 par le Parlement, le texte relatif au bilan carbone des entreprises prévoyait que l’Etat, les communes de plus de 50.000 habitants, et les entreprises de plus de 500 employés réalisent un bilan de leurs émissions de gaz à effet de serre d’ici au 31 décembre 2012. Un inventaire qui devait être rendu public avant que les entreprises ne mettent en place des actions visant à réduire leurs émissions. À lire aussiLes Français émettent chacun 2,5 tonnes de CO² par anMais un peu moins d’un an plus tard, le décret d’application de ce texte, l’article 75 du Grenelle II, a été “vidé de son esprit”, déplore Eric Parent, fondateur de Climat Mundi cité par 20 minutes. Le texte n’évoque plus que “l’énergie consommée” par les entreprises, à savoir l’électricité et le chauffage. Mais “l’énergie utilisée pour fabriquer les produits vendus”, par exemple, n’est quant à elle pas concernée, explique Jean-Marc Jancovici, le co-fondateur de la société Carbone 4 spécialisée dans la réalisation de bilans carbone.Or pour le secteur du commerce par exemple, “80% de l’énergie fossile et des émissions de gaz à effet de serre concernent la fabrication des produits qui sont vendus. 10% viennent de la chaîne amont, c’est-à-dire la logistique, et 10% de la chaîne aval, les gens qui prennent leur voiture pour faire leurs courses”, souligne M. Jancovici. “Moins de 1% des émissions vient de l’électricité et de la chaudière”, explique-t-il.Pour Eric Parent, “c’est une vraie occasion manquée”. Ce décret traduit selon lui la victoire des entreprises dont le jeu “est plutôt de limiter les obligations qui pèsent sur leurs épaules”.Le 16 mai 2011 à 10:34 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

WWE Smackdown Live Ratings Viewers down on September 25 WWE wins the

first_img Adam Martin RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Facebook WhatsApp Pinterest Google+ WWE Smackdown Live Ratings are in for September 25, 2018.This week’s episode from Denver drew an average of 2.19 million viewers on Tuesday night according to a report by is down from last week’s show that averaged 2.28 million viewers. Despite the drop in ratings, WWE won the night on cable in the 18-49 demographics.Demographic Ratings for Smackdown LiveSmackdown, headlined by a contract signing segment with WWE Champion AJ Styles and Samoa Joe to hype the Super Show-Down event, averaged a 0.72 rating among adults 18-49. This is down from last week’s show that drew a 0.78 rating.center_img Wrestleview Weekly: Predictions for tonight’s Clash of Champions event in Charlotte WWE Hall of Famer Trish Stratus confirmed for WWE Smackdown premiere on FOX WWE Draft confirmed to be taking place as a two-night event starting on October 11 Twitterlast_img read more

Man sentenced to 8 years in prison for role in two immigrant

first_img Posted: July 18, 2018 KUSI Newsroom, SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — A Tijuana man has been sentenced in San Diego to more than eight years in federal prison for his role in a smuggling operation that led to two undocumented immigrants being struck and killed by a vehicle on Interstate 5.Jorge Luis Martinez-Hernandez, 33, pleaded guilty in April to two counts of bringing in certain aliens resulting in death and six counts of bringing in certain aliens for financial gain. He was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Marilyn L. Huff on Monday to 97 months in prison, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.Martinez-Hernandez last September guided eight people through a hole in the wall near the San Ysidro Port of Entry from Mexico into the U.S., according to federal prosecutors. He got behind the wheel of a waiting vehicle and proceeded to drive away with the immigrants, eventually traveling in the wrong direction on the 5 Freeway.As Border Patrol officers pursued the vehicle, Martinez-Hernandez stopped on the side of the freeway, got out of the vehicle and guided the migrants across the interstate and over the fence separating the northbound and southbound sides.Two people were struck and killed after crossing the fence.Martinez-Hernandez and the six remaining migrants were found hiding near the scene of the accident and taken into custody.He told investigators that the eight people paid between $7,000 and $13,000 to be smuggled into the U.S. He was set to receive $1,000 per person for his services, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.“Smugglers see customers as dollar signs and have no concern for their safety and well-being,” said U.S. Attorney Adam Braverman. “This office is committed to prosecuting smugglers who exploit immigrants for financial gain.” July 18, 2018 Man sentenced to 8 years in prison for role in two immigrant smuggling deaths Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter KUSI Newsroom last_img read more

Joe Driskill Selected New ADC President New Board Members Elected

first_imgA new ADC president and several members won election to serve new terms on the association’s board of directors at the 2019 Defense Communities National Summit last week in Washington, D.C.New ADC President Joe Driskill was elected to serve a two-year term. Driskill, military advocate for the state of Missouri, also served as the founding executive director of the Leonard Wood Institute and its Sustainable Ozarks Partnership.“I look forward to increasing ADC’s impact in areas that affect the quality of life our defense communities provide for our military families, including critical issues like spousal employment and military-related education issues,” Driskill said. “To do this, ADC will be undergoing a long-term planning process to define how the organization can best achieve its mission and ensure it continues to evolve to meet the military’s future needs.”New ADC Vice President Maurice “Mo” McDonald, executive vice president for aerospace and defense with the Dayton Development Coalition in Ohio, was also elected to a two-year term.Rocky Chávez, chairman of the Governor’s Military Council of California, and Keith Klaehn, chairman of the Defense Mission Task Force in Colorado Springs, Colo. were elected to their first three-year terms on the board.Susan Morris, principal at Booz Allen Hamilton, was re-elected as a board member and to serve as Treasurer for a second two-year term.Winning re-election to their second three year-terms are Kathleen Ferguson, senior advisor at The Roosevelt Group, and John Walker, a Deloitte consulting specialist leader, real estate service line.Harry Kleiser, president of SIA Solutions, was elected to serve the remainder of an open seat on the board.Photo by Will Noonan/ADC ADC AUTHORlast_img read more

Fish Game Revising Wildlife Habitat Management Plans

first_imgThe Alaska Department of Fish and Game is revising management plans for some of the most exceptional areas of wildlife habitat in the state. But critics say that even after an outcry about what’s been called a massive erosion in environmental protection by both the public and the Legislature, little to nothing has been fixed.The Habitat Division within ADF&G oversees the 32 so-called “special areas.”  They’re state lands like McNeil River Game Sanctuary and Izembek refuge supporting wildlife from brown bears to sandhill cranes.Randy Bates is the head of the Habitat Division, and is to release the first batch of eight revised management plans in the near future.“We don’t have a target date yet, but in the relatively near future– I would hope in the next month or two,” Bates explained. “At the end of the day what we want is a plan that protects and preserves the area–the natural habitat, the populations of fish and game–for the reasons these areas were designated.”Once those drafts are finished by ADF&G employees they’ll be made available for public review lasting about 45 days.“That’ll give the public an opportunity to review that informally, see the changes that we’re proposing, and we’ll have the opportunity for public meetings in Anchorage, Juneau, Fairbanks,” Bates added.The informal review process is a way for Bates and his staff to hear concerns or recommendations for specific plans, but in a way that is less constrained by protocol than under the Administrative Procedures Act.But Rick Sinnot, who retired from ADF&G after 28 years, said that during his time within Habitat the division would spend an entire year working on each plan, identifying every stakeholder–from birders to oil companies.“And all year long those people would be involved in the process,” he recalled. “You didn’t just say ‘Well we’re gonna do this plan,’ and then go into hiding for a year, and then come out with a plan and go ‘Well you’ve got 30 days to review it.’ And that’s what’s happening now.”Sinnot is also concerned that the “informal” commenting and review process is not legally binding, and so lacks a meaningful mechanism for public involvement in deciding who will use the special areas, and for what.“The conventional wisdom is that these things are going to be changed so much that they’re gonna be unrecognizable from the earlier plans,” Sinnot worried.  “The pressure is to make them as unrestrictive as possible, so that pretty much anyone who comes in with a permit to do pretty much anything will be given the permit and told to go out there and do whatever they want to do.”Sinnot’s concerns draw on what happened last year at Dude Creek: the Habitat Division released revised plans for the area covered in red ink, cut in half, with environmental regulations and scientific sections totally scrapped.At the time, Bates explained to APRN the cuts were the result of a miscommunication with his staff.But Bob Shavelson, director of Cook Inlet Keeper, a conservation group, believes the process fits with a trend coming out of Governor Sean Parnell’s administration.“Here we have our special areas–these are our critical habitat areas our refuges our sanctuaries–and the administration is making broad-brush changes behind closed doors without public participation,” he explained. “So there’s a real concern about the erosion of democracy here and the behind-the-scenes process that’s taking place.”Shavelson is circulating a petition that he says has picked up about 800 signatures. It asks the administration to reconsider the state’s criteria for managing the Special Areas. Shavelson also worries that even stakeholders with specific concerns about individual areas will have a hard time reviewing all the information set to be released in just 45 days.“When all these plans come out at one time it’s gonna be like drinking from a fire-house. There’s gonna be no way for local people to respond meaningfully.”When it comes to the upcoming management plans, there is no way to get a preview of how they will look, or what changes to expect. The biologists within ADF&G working directly on revisions are not cleared to speak with the public–or even employees in different divisions within the department. That’s according to a year-old memo sent by Bates to Habitat staff.Bates denies that this amounts to a gag order, the term offered by both Shavelson and Sinnot.Asked for a response, Bates gave a light laugh and replied, “Not much need to respond to that. I do look forward to the open public process that we intend to have on these planned revisions.”While ADF&G does not have a set date for releasing its revised management plans– and thus kicking off the 45 days of public review–Bates said the department will publicize the information as soon as possible on both the department website and the state’s public notice system.last_img read more