The Goa State Commission for Protection Child Rights (GSCPCR) on Thursday issued an advisory against an online game named Momo Challenge, cautioning parents and guardians of children across the State via the State Education Department.The advisory from GSCPCR comes in the wake of an advisory to the State Child Right Commissions across the country from the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) urging them to take up the matter in right earnest with various State authorities to generate awareness on child on-line safety.The NCPCR has, inter alia, stated that MoMo is a social media account on Whatsapp, Facebook and YouTube. Giving detailed information about the game and its potential for breach of safety of children on-line, NCPCR has requested concerned departments, Ministries in Government of India as well to take immediate preventive measures to stop its spread across the country. It further said that the Ministry of Electronics and Information & Technology has issued an advisory on the game.The advisory by GSCCR issued as part of child on-line safety, said that according to information given to it, children are becoming victims of the said game and are known to attempt suicide. The game is played by children on the mobile. As such, from the child safety point of view, the advisory has urged the State Directorate of Education to take appropriate steps to create awareness among school going children, their parents and guardians and also to take measures to prevent the spread of the said game.The Momo Challenge is the second such alleged dangerous game with potential for breach of safety for children online after the Blue Whale Challenge, which had sent panic waves across the country forcing police and other agencies to issue advisories and guidelines to parents and guardians to monitor the online activities of children.
The Maharashtra Common Entrance Test (CET) cell, through a notification issued early on Tuesday morning, stayed the admission procedure for post-graduate medical courses for seven days and said fresh guidelines would be issued following the Supreme Court order.Mentioning the possibility of changes in the admission schedule keeping in mind petitions before the SC and High Court, the notification said, “Due to the legal issues that have come in the way of the admissions and Maharashtra government’s plan to approach the SC for an extension, the admission procedure has been stayed for a period of 7 days, starting May 13.” This move has been criticised by post-graduate medical applicants from various reserved categories who lashed out at the State government for delaying the admission procedures.Advocate Sriram Pingale, who is representing the Maratha students in the Supreme Court, said he has advised the petitioners to file a review petition for the May 9 verdict that struck down the 16% reservation on PG seats this year. “We will most likely be filing the review petition tomorrow,” he said. While students of the Maratha community called it a confusing notice, students from the open category, Other Backward Classes (OBC), Nomadic Tribes (NT) and Scheduled Caste (SC) and Vimukti Jati (denotified tribes) (VJ) said the postponement was unnecessary.Dr. Samruddhi Shinde (23), a Maratha community applicant for Masters in Dental Surgery, said the CET cell notice was not only confusing but also against their demands. “It states that a request has been made before the SC for an extension. We are clear about our demands, but this decision has brought us no clarity over retainment of our seats and branches. We will not take our protest back till our demands are met,” she said.The applicants from the NT, OBC, SC and open category, on the other hand, questioned the move.“We want reservations to not exceed beyond 50%. The government must follow the SC order of May 9. We are of the opinion that reservations should simply be eliminated from the post-graduate admission process,” Dr. Shrikant Ghugre, an applicant from the NT (3) category, said.Dr. Angad Randive, an open category applicant, said the extension will further delay commencement of the academic year which usually starts by the first week of June. “Now, we have no idea when admissions will finish and when we will begin our courses. The notice says that the government will move SC seeking permission for the extension. We want to know why did they stay when they don’t have the permit?” he asked.State Minister for medical education and water resources, Girish Mahajan, told The Hindu, “Some students have already moved the SC for a review. We will be moving the SC tomorrow seeking permission for an extension of admission in Maharashtra. The students’ immediate problem was that they wanted an extension, as the last date for form filling was May 13. We, therefore, requested for the same.” Meanwhile, Bhalchandra Mungekar, former vice-chancellor of Mumbai University, who met the protesting Maratha students on Tuesday, said the one-week extension will not solve the problem and that procedural lapses and irregularities of the government were to be blamed for the mess. “Without making preparations and taking into account perspectives, the government took the decision due to political exigencies,” he said.
SPARTA, GREECE – The Spartan Trifecta World Championships were held in Greece November 1-3, featuring obstacle course racing inspired by the ancient Spartans, the event challenges participants to push beyond their limits.Participants had the opportunity, according to the event’s website, to “stand on the starting line and race before the statue of King Leonidas, past the tomb of Menelaus, through the waters of Eurotas, and find glory in the ancient homeland of the Spartans.”As noted on the Spartan website, “this isn’t a casual 5K or fun run. We want you to achieve more. Don’t worry though – there’s no Spartan left behind. Whether you’re ready to tackle your first Spartan Sprint, or you’re an elite athlete seeking to crush a 50K Ultra and a podium spot, we’re all in this together. Aroo!”According to the website, “It all started in the Green Mountains of Vermont when Spartan founder, Joe De Sena became increasingly aware that humans are missing a critical component in the modern world. As we took steps forward technologically, holistic health took a step backward. Life is getting ‘easier,’ but as a result, people are becoming overweight, depressed, lonely and less self-sufficient.“Inspired by the warrior society of ancient Sparta, he set out to create a community of Spartans who push and inspire each other. Our Spartan obstacle courses seek to manufacture adversity, which then trains your body and mind to overcome obstacles on the course and in your everyday lives. Spartans develop a resilient spirit, a capable body and mind, all supported and driven by an incredible community.”After the first obstacle course race in 2010, Spartan has grown to over 250 annual events in over 42 countries around the world.Races include the Stadion 5K with 20 obstacles, the Sprint 5K with 20 obstacles, the Super 10K with 25 obstacles, the Beast half-marathon with 30 obstacles, and the Ultra 50K with 60 obstacles.Participants who conquer the Spartan Sprint, Super, and Beast in one calendar year join the Spartan Elite who have completed their Trifecta.Beyond a sporting event, the Spartan is also a lifestyle in which participants are encouraged to follow Spartan ideals and a healthy diet as part of their training. The food philosophy is simple, according to the website, “Eat more real, whole foods. Less processed foods, and focus on what you need rather than what you want. Eat like the Spartans did back in 431 BC. If you can’t find it in nature, you shouldn’t be eating it.”As noted on the website, “over 8 million people have crossed a Spartan finish line and each year that number grows. Our mission is to transform 100 million lives and we are well on our way.“Spartan is on the road to becoming an Olympic sport, which we are particularly passionate about as the Spartan warriors, Spartan mindset, and Olympics were born out of Ancient Greece. In our biased opinion, we think obstacle course racing is the true test of athleticism as it requires full body strength, mental focus, endurance and grit.”More information is available online: spartan.com and about the event in Greece: spartanrace.gr.TweetPinShare0 Shares
Former India football team captain Baichung Bhutia has said it is important to follow the rules of the sport while commenting on the furore over International Cricket Council’s directive to remove the Amry Insignia on MS Dhoni’s gloves.MS Dhoni was spotted wearing a pair of wicketkeeping gloves with the Insignia of the Indian Para Special Forces during India’s ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 opener against South Africa on June 5.Baichung Bhutia appreciated MS Dhoni’s gesture and the fans’ outburst of support to the India wicketkeeper but insisted that nothing is above the laws of the sport.After the images of Dhoni’s wicketkeeping gloves went viral on social media, a section of Indian fans appreciated his gesture but the apex body of international cricket wasn’t impressed. In fact, the ICC asked the BCCI to make sure the Army Insignia is removed from MS Dhoni’s gloves.The ICC has acted against players displaying messages relating to political unrest in the past and its rules state that “equipment and clothing regulations do not permit the display of messages that relate to political, religious or racial activities or causes during an international match.””I think it’s a wonderful gesture from MS Dhoni but at the same time, it’s important to follow the rules and laws of the sport. If the laws and rules do not permit, then I think as a player he shouldn’t be wearing it,” Baichung Bhutia told India Today on Friday.”If you start somewhere and then a lot of controversies may follow. So I think I think, for every player, no matter how big the player is, the laws need to be followed.”advertisementFans took to social media to express their support after the ICC gave its verdict on MS Dhoni’s gesture. #DhoniKeepTheGlove was one of the top trending topics on social media.Important to respect the rules of the sport: BhutiaResponding to the fans’ support, Baichung Bhutia said: “I can understand people’s sentiments. We all are patriotic about the country. At the same time, it’s important to respect the rules of the game. I am sure MS Dhoni also knows the rules.”We can be patriotic and sentimental but at the end of the day, nothing is above the laws of the game.”The BCCI has reportedly asked the ICC to reconsider its decision on letting MS Dhoni play with the special pair of gloves but Baichung Bhutia believes that the Indian cricket board’s request sets a dangerous precedent.”It’s very, very dangerous. I feel the BCCI is really trying to take a lot of advantage. They have to respect other countries as well. The money in cricket is coming only from India, you control the market. That’s where BCCI is trying to take a lot of advantage. They should be fair as well. The rule is at the end of the day ultimate.”Also Read | World Cup 2019: Pakistan minister targets MS Dhoni over Army crest on glovesAlso See:
We’re coming up on Week 5 of the college football season. It is still early, but we are starting to see the College Football Playoff race take form.Right now, we have an idea of what teams are fighting it out for a playoff spot, and which ones are likely to wind up in a New Year’s Six game. We’ll get an even clearer picture over the next few weeks.Brett McMurphy of Stadium has revealed his latest projections for the playoff and NY6. As of now, it looks like he has Ohio State as the odd team out.Surely, Buckeye fans won’t be upset about that after McMurphy’s reporting on Urban Meyer. Orange Bowl (CFP Semifinal): Alabama (CFP No. 1) vs Oklahoma (CFP No. 4) Cotton Bowl (CFP Semifinal): Clemson (CFP No. 2) vs Georgia (CFP No. 3)Here’s what McMurphy has for the rest of the NY6. Rose Bowl: Ohio State vs. Washington Sugar Bowl: West Virginia vs. Auburn Peach Bowl: Penn State vs. Notre Dame Fiesta Bowl: Stanford vs. UCFYou can view all of McMurphy’s bowl projections here.With Ohio State playing Penn State and Notre Dame facing Stanford this weekend, there might be some changes to McMurphy’s projections come next week.
EAST LANSING, MI – SEPTEMBER 29: A Michigan State helmet sits on the sideline during a game against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Spartan Stadium on September 29, 2012 in East Lansing, Michigan. Ohio State won the game 17-16. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)Earlier today, Saturday’s Big Ten matchup between Michigan and Michigan State took a sour turn.The Spartans’ star wide receiver Felton Davis went down with a non-contact injury and was immediately carted off the field by Michigan State medical personnel. Davis lined up to run a route, took one step and went straight to the ground.He appeared to have suffered a lower leg injury as he grasped around his ankle. The FOX broadcast announced an update to Davis’ injury and it looks to be season-ending.FOX confirmed Davis suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon.FOX confirms a torn Achilles for Felton Davis.— Chris Vannini (@ChrisVannini) October 20, 2018It’s a huge loss for the Michigan State team. Davis leads the Spartans in receiving and it coming off of a game-winning touchdown reception against Penn State.The senior wide receiver likely had dreams of the NFL draft, though those will undoubtedly take a hit with the injury.Michigan leads Michigan State 14-7 as the teams head to the fourth quarter.
zoomImage Courtesy: PxHere under CC0 Creative Commons license Danish liner giant Maersk Line has confirmed its investment in scrubbers in its latest announcement on fuel adjustment surcharge ahead of the 2020 sulphur cap.The report on the investment was published by Reuters last week, crushing the company’s previous statements that did not favor the technology.Namely, to become compliant with the 0.5 percent sulphur content rule as of January 2020, shipowners will have to invest in compliant fuels, LNG or scrubber technology.Maersk Line’s representatives said earlier that the company was not “on the scrubber team” due to operational concerns, as the technology has not yet proven itself on large two-stroke diesel engines used across Maersk’s fleet.This in particular relates to open-loop scrubbers, which have been deemed by many industry players as a short-term solution due to the wash water-related issues and the looming ban on its release in certain geographical zones. Closed loop scrubbers, on the other hand, pose another type of challenge related to space constraints on board needed for the installation of the systems.It its latest announcement, Maersk said it will invest in “a limited number of scrubbers”, but information on the type of scrubber systems or ships to be fitted with the systems was rather sketchy.Scrubbers are gaining in popularity as numerous owners from various shipping sectors reveal investments in the technology, including most recently Hapag-Lloyd, DHT Holdings, Maran Tankers, Safe Bulkers, and Star Bulk.The cost of installing a scrubber system on a vessel currently stands at around USD 2 million, and many owners are looking to entice the charterers to pay for the installation costs. Ships eligible for installation are those larger in size, such as Capesizes, VLCCs or ULCVs, due space availability, economy and cost efficiency.When approached by World Maritime News for a comment, Maersk Line provided us with a statement from Niels Henrik Lindegaard, Head of Maersk Oil Trading, saying that scrubbers would be “a small part of – and just one of several elements in – our overall 2020 fuel sourcing strategy to ensure compliance in time.”As part of the plans, Maersk is also looking into LNG and compliant fuels, the latter being the more prominent option for the company’s fleet come January 2020.“As part of the preparations we have decided to invest in new scrubber technology on a limited number of vessels in our fleet of around 750 container vessels. While we will continue to explore how to best comply with the 2020 sulphur cap, we still believe the best solution remains with compliant fuels from refineries on land. It is important to underline that the vast majority of ships in the global fleet, as well as the Maersk Line fleet, will have to comply with the global sulphur cap through the use of compliant low-sulphur fuels in 2020 given the short time frame,” Lindergaard’s statement reads.The new compliant fuels are expected to push the container shipping industry’s fuel bill by USD 15 million, with Maersk Line alone having to pay USD 2 billion more for fuel on annual basis. Hence, diversification and pursuing of cost-efficient investments, including scrubbers, is a sound strategy given the fast-approaching deadline for the enforcement of the new rules.World Maritime News Staff
About 50 elementary and junior high teachers are back in school this week to learn how they can coach and support other teachers to help more students to succeed. The teacher mentor initiative for grades primary to nine is part of the province’s $3-million investment this year that will see more resources and support for students and teachers in literacy and math. “The math and literacy mentor initiative is a chance for Nova Scotia’s teachers to learn from one another,” said Education Minister Jamie Muir. “It’s an opportunity to learn what they can do to help more of their students get the solid foundation they need in math and literacy. I applaud all teachers who get involved in mentoring. They truly are striving to be the best they can be for their students.” Mentors are teachers who are trained to provide one-on-one or group support to other teachers. They help other teachers identify how they can improve their teaching practices to help more students understand the instruction. A mentor will assist teachers in a variety of ways, observing and coaching in the classrooms as well as consulting on the appropriate resources to use. In addition, mentors will collaborate with teachers on lesson planning, shared strategies and situational issues that arise. Stephen Jamieson, a Grade 3 teacher at Newcombville Elementary School in Bridgewater, is one of 16 lead teacher mentors in the province. He has been a literacy mentor for almost four years, providing one-on-one training and working with teachers in their classrooms. “I really enjoy being a mentor to other teachers and helping them improve their teaching practices,” said Mr. Jamieson. “Giving teachers access to one-on-one support is important and I’m pleased to see that the department is investing more resources in this initiative.” There are currently 50 teachers in the province who are mentoring on top of teaching full-time. More than $1 million will be provided to school boards to expand mentoring this year. With this investment, the Department of Education is moving toward full-time mentors supporting all elementary and junior high schools in the province. Over four years, the department plans to provide enough funding to support up to 60 full-time math mentors and 50 full-time literacy mentors. Math mentors for grades primary to nine started their work in 2003. Literacy mentoring is new this year. In May 2005, the Department released Learning for Life II: Brighter Futures Together. This new plan will see a $21.4-million investment in the public school system in 2005-06.
À compter du 1er octobre, la Nouvelle-Écosse lancera un projet pilote dans six localités afin d’améliorer l’accès entre les pistes pour véhicules hors route. Le projet pilote permettra aux conducteurs d’utiliser l’accotement des routes et, au besoin, la route elle-même, afin de circuler en toute sécurité dans certains secteurs pour aller d’une piste à une autre ou pour utiliser des services. « Ce projet pilote de trois ans améliorera l’accès entre les pistes de même que les possibilités connexes de tourisme hors-saison tout en nous offrant l’occasion d’étudier davantage la question, de dire Lloyd Hines, ministre des Transports et du Renouvellement de l’infrastructure. Des facteurs comme la liaison entre les pistes, le volume de la circulation et la vitesse sur les routes ont été pris en compte pour choisir les localités où se déroule le projet pilote. » Seuls les véhicules hors route immatriculés, assurés et munis d’une plaque d’immatriculation peuvent circuler sur l’accotement, ou sur la route, dans ses six localités tant que le conducteur a un permis de conduire valide. Les conducteurs munis d’un permis d’apprenti conducteur ne sont pas autorisés à participer. Un passager sur un véhicule qui circule dans la région du projet pilote ne peut pas avoir moins de neuf ans. Les six localités choisies pour le projet pilote sont : Porters Lake, Municipalité régionale d’Halifax; New Germany, comté de Lunenburg; Weymouth, comté de Digby; Walton, comté de Hants; Sherbrooke, comté de Guysborough, et Gabarus, Municipalité régionale du Cap-Breton. « Nous sommes heureux que le gouvernement ait rempli son engagement de faire avancer ce projet, précise Barry Barnet, directeur général de l’association des VTT de la Nouvelle-Écosse. Ce projet contribuera grandement à soutenir notre travail qui consiste à bâtir un réseau de pistes reliées les unes aux autres à l’échelle de la Nouvelle-Écosse et à diffuser le message de l’utilisation sûre et responsable des véhicules hors route. » Pour plus d’information sur les règles de la circulation dans les six localités du projet pilote, consultez l’adresse https://novascotia.ca/ohv-pilot/ . (en anglais seulement)
Karachi: Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) leader Ameer Sirajul Haq has asked the Pakistan government to scrap the 1972 Shimla Agreement with India, Pakistani media reported. “While our people are dying, you are acting as a mere spectator,” said Haq addressing a rally held here on Sunday to express solidarity with Kashmiris reeling under an unprecedented day-and-night curfew and communication blackout for several weeks. According to the reports, JI chief said it was their legal right to fight for freedom from India’s illegal occupation of their land. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USIn response to the Indian move to unilaterally withdraw the Article 370 and 35A of its constitution, he demanded the Pakistan government to revoke the Shimla Accord and take solid measures to eliminate fence from the 450-km-long Line of Control. The JI chief reiterated that his country would not be intimidated by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s belligerent attitude. He announced that he would thrash out a strategy for Kashmir’s freedom after consultation with the people.
Geneva – Morocco on Monday became the 1st African country to join the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a specialized agency of World Health Organization (WHO).Morocco’s admission will promote the development of active partnerships with other regional cancer research organizations, IARC said in a statement.Morocco has shown remarkable partnership be giving priority to the fight against cancer in public health, underlined IARC director, Christopher Wild. He also said that Morocco has honored its commitment to promote its collaboration with IARC and play its role as a key stakeholder in research on cancer and prevention internationally.Morocco’s admission as a participating country follows years of collaboration between IARC, Lalla Salma Foundation against Cancer and the Ministry of Health, which collaborate to improve research, prevention and fight against cancer.IARC is meant to promote international collaboration in cancer research. The Agency is inter-disciplinary, bringing together skills in epidemiology, laboratory sciences and biostatistics to identify the causes of cancer so that preventive measures may be adopted and the burden of disease and associated suffering reduced.
The Special Rapporteur also urged Sri Lanka to ensure that all persons, regardless of citizenship or migration status, enjoy the rights provided for in the Constitution of Sri Lanka without any discrimination, in accordance with international human rights law. The Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, François Crépeau, has urged Sri Lanka to decriminalize irregular departures from Sri Lanka, as irregular migration should only be seen as an administrative offence.In a report to the UN Human Rights Council which begins meeting in Geneva on Monday, François Crépeau has also proposed that the Government refrain from detaining returned Sri Lankans who have migrated irregularly. He has also urged the Government to enhance cooperation with civil society organizations working on migration-related issues, and include them in all relevant discussions.The report is based on a visit he undertook to Sri Lanka last year. Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants conducted an official visit to Sri Lanka from 19 to 26 May 2014, where he visited Colombo, Kurunegala, Kandy, Tangalle and Galle, and held consultations with government officials, the United Nations country team, the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka, diplomats, recruitment agents, trade union representatives, civil society organizations and migrants. The focus of the visit was labour migration from Sri Lanka and related recruitment practices, and their impact on the human rights of migrants. The Special Rapporteur welcomes the efforts undertaken by the Sri Lankan authorities to regulate labour migration and protect the rights of its citizens who migratee abroad, but notes the need to fully implement a human rights approach in that respect.The Special Rapporteur also looked into the situation of migrants in Sri Lanka. He notes the need to regulate and monitor the detention of migrants in Sri Lanka, and to revise constitutional provisions which discriminate against migrants. (Colombo Gazette) “Detain migrants in an irregular situation in Sri Lanka only as a measure of last resort, for as short a period as possible, and systematically apply alternatives to detention, particularly for families and children, who should never be detained; in that respect, consider the recommendations made by the Special Rapporteur in his report on the detention of migrants in an irregular situation and alternatives to detention (A/HRC/20/24),” he said.
VICTORIA — British Columbia is offering new conditions and rebates for liquefied natural gas projects in the province.Premier John Horgan made the announcement Thursday ahead of a final investment decision on LNG Canada’s $40-billion project, which would include a natural gas pipeline built from northeast B.C. to a new terminal in Kitimat.“Potential opportunity is extraordinary. Potential risks are significant,” Horgan said. “I believe LNG Canada is working diligently to address those risks and I believe it’s the responsibility of the government to make sure we’re working to develop those opportunities for all British Columbians.”Under the new fiscal agreement, LNG projects will see relief from provincial sales taxes, subject to repayment in the form of an equivalent operational payment.They will be subject to new greenhouse gas emission standards and general industrial electricity rates consistent with other industrial users in B.C.Horgan said the province will review LNG projects using four conditions. All LNG projects should guarantee a fair return for B.C.’s natural resources, guarantee jobs and training opportunities for British Columbians, respect and partner with First Nations, and meet the province’s climate commitments, he said.In January, Green party Leader Andrew Weaver threatened to bring down the minority NDP government if it continued to pursue what he described as the “LNG folly,” saying the province couldn’t meet its greenhouse gas emission targets if it pursues the LNG industry.In the past year, companies have pulled the plug on three LNG projects proposed in B.C., including the $36-billion Pacific Northwest LNG pipeline project.ll this massive LNG project needs is the thumbs up from its owners to snap Canada’s energy losing streak‘An unjustified infringement’: First Nation sues Ottawa, British Columbia over oil tanker banLNG Canada, which includes partners Shell, PetroChina, Korea Gas and Mitsubishi, said in 2016 that its final investment decision for the Kitimat facility would be delayed because of poor global markets.Those markets are turning around, says Shell’s 2018 LNG outlook. It found the market has defied expectations, growing by 29 million tonnes in 2017.“Based on current demand projections, Shell sees potential for a supply shortage developing in the mid-2020s, unless new LNG production project commitments are made soon.LNG development was a centrepiece of the B.C. Liberal party’s 2017 election campaign.— By Amy Smart in Vancouver.
Norfolk General Hospital is using the radio waves to raise money to help radiologists and patients.The hospital will be holding its Year of the Cat 2.0 Radiothon on both of Norfolk’s radio station on May 7.The money raised from the event will be put towards purchasing a new computed tomography scanner. The CT scanner is the most important piece of technology in the hospital to help with diagnosing a wide variety of conditions by helping to see inside the body painlessly.The CT scanner the hospital is currently using went into service in 2006. With around 8,000 scans every year, the 13-year-old machine is no longer up for the job. By the end of 2019 the manufacturer will no longer support the 2006 version of the machine.The new unit that the hospital plans on purchasing costs $1.5 million. It will produce a sharper, easier to read image, and will work faster to reduce radiation exposure.“We invite listeners to call in during the broadcast with their donation,” Jennifer White, director of the NGH Foundation, said in a press release. “Adding your voice will definitely make a difference in the delivery and maintaining of great healthcare close to home.”The day long broadcast will feature interviews with doctors, nurses, hospital staff, and patients who share their stories. More than $1 million has been raised through previous Radiothon broadcasts.Listeners can tune in to either Norfolk radio station (98.9 and 99.7) on May 7 to listen in and make a pledge.
TORONTO – Five things to watch this week in Canadian business:Earnings: In a true sign that spring has sprung, several companies across an array of sectors begin reporting first-quarter earnings this week, including Rogers Communications on Monday, and grocery chain Metro, Canadian Pacific and AltaGas on Wednesday.Manitoba votes: The province heads to the polls for Manitoba’s election on Tuesday. Greg Selinger, the province’s NDP premier, has been on the hot seat over his decision to raise the provincial sales tax, and Brian Pallister’s Tories are atop the polls.Partnerships: The Canadian Club of Ottawa hosts a panel discussion Tuesday on how partnerships between governments, industry and NGOs are becoming commonplace. Jaak Peters of Johnson & Johnson is among those scheduled to appear.Bank of Canada: Central bank governor Stephen Poloz and senior deputy governor Carolyn Wilkins are on Parliament Hill this week, appearing at a House of Commons finance committee on Tuesday and before the Senate’s banking, trade and commerce panel on Wednesday.StatCan: The federal agency releases wholesale trade figures for February on Wednesday and retail trade and inflation numbers for March on Friday. Inflation slowed in February, largely driven by a significant drop in the price of gas. Five things to watch for in the Canadian business world in the coming week by The Canadian Press Posted Apr 17, 2016 8:00 am MDT Last Updated Apr 17, 2016 at 8:40 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email
VANCOUVER – A new study shows British Columbia will require thousands of skilled workers over the next decade, just to maintain the needs of the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative.According to the study, nearly 110,000 jobs will open up in 52 transportation and construction occupations across the province by 2025, including management and regular positions in the construction, logistics, marine, rail and trucking sectors.Findings of the Asia-Pacific Gateway Skills Table study show retiring workers are the main reason for the vacancies, but continued expansion of the corridor also plays a role.The report warns Lower Mainland and northern B.C. employers to expect ongoing difficulties filling job openings, but the challenge will be especially pronounced between 2019 and 2023.The initiative is a non-profit, regional partnership between labour, business, education and training institutions, with a goal of ensuring the Asia-Pacific Gateway has the right workers at the right time.The federal government’s website says the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor was created as the best transportation network for trade between North America and Asia and is a growing and vital part of the national economy.“The Asia-Pacific Gateway continues to be an economic driver for (British Columbia) and part of our ability to capitalize on this opportunity is to have the labour in place to support it,” says Krista Bax, executive director.According to the study, just over half of the required new supply of workers in the next decade will be straight out of school and new to the workforce, while immigrants from other provinces or countries will make up 21 per cent. by The Canadian Press Posted Aug 3, 2016 11:03 am MDT Last Updated Aug 3, 2016 at 12:00 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Retirements will prompt search for skilled workers on Asia-Pacific Gateway
In the resolution, unanimously adopted, the Council also recalled its earlier decision to authorize the AU to reduce the Mission’s level of uniformed personnel to 20,626 by 30 October this year from 22,126 now; but to include a minimum of 1,040 AMISOM police personnel, including five specialist Formed Police Units.It also requested that the UN Secretary‑General continue to provide logistical support for AMISOM, its 70 civilian personnel; the 10,900-strong Somalia National Army jointly operating with AMISOM, and the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM).The Council resolution adopted at the end of August last year, requested the AU and the UN to conduct a joint assessment of AMISOM’s operations – but this assessment has been delayed, leading to Tuesday’s decision to extend the deployment of AMISOM for just over two months, in order to assess the merits of a longer extension.Briefing the Council, Michael Keating, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia, said that AMISOM continues to play an indispensable role, “at great human cost”, in protecting population centres, main supply routes and Somalia’s overall political progress. “Suffice to say that successful security transition will require not just deep reform of the Somalia security forces but also, as the AU Commission Chairperson and UN Secretary-General’s Envoys noted, transformation of AMISOM,” he said.Such transformation would entail more flexible joint operations and combat mentoring; greater emphasis on policing; adequate enablers and force multipliers, together with stronger accountability.More flexible operational support by the UN Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS) will also be needed, along with predictable financing.“The AU-UN joint review is likely to underscore that the foremost requirement for success is the need for unity of purpose among Somali actors, as well as between the Somalis, the AU, the troop-contributing countries, and principal security partners,” he said.
Macquarie Research Commodities, the research and analysis group, hosted its annual 2009 May China Commodities Conference in China from 18-22 May, with over 40 institutional investors attending the event. As in previous years, more than 20 corporates and industry consultants shared their views on the Chinese macro economy and commodities market outlook (short-/medium-/long-term). Overall, Macquarie believes China will continue to act as the key driver of the commodities market for the next 12 months in terms of demand. China-based analyst Bonnie Liu reported on the big news coming out of the event. Most speakers highlighted the quick recovery of the Chinese economy and commodities demand from the world recession year-to-date, with most of the discussion focusing on the impact of the government stimulus package on Chinese economic growth in 2009. Liu: “It is widely agreed that the government stimulus package is working well year-to-date and that China will spend whatever is required in order to achieve its 2009 growth target. However, to sustain medium-term GDP growth at the annual target of 8% for the next three to five years, China needs to do far more than just issue bank credit. “The recent collapses of world commodities prices have provided China with good opportunities to buy cheap commodities for stockpile purposes, to buy overseas resource companies to ensure future supply sources and to restructure its own domestic resources industry using cheap imported material to close down inefficient and dangerous producers.” The following sections detail the main points on various commodities made by the presenters at the week-long conference.Jim Lennon, Analyst for Macquarie, believes that China will remain the key driver of the world commodities market. Lennon: “Chinese demand for copper represented almost 40% of world demand in Q109, 37% for aluminium, 43% for nickel, 47% for crude steel and 75% for seaborne iron ore. On average, China’s share of world base metal demand represents about 45% of global market share in Q109; steel represented 47% of world demand over the same period.Why has China remained so strong while the rest of the world is in recession? Lennon believes the following four points are the key reasons behind the astonishing growth in Chinese demand of commodities in Q109:Reduced supply of secondary material along with slower business activities in the recession boosting demand for primary metals like nickel and copperConsumer restocking in China in anticipation of sustainable infrastructure demand growth along with government stimulus spendingChinese government buying cheap commodities for strategic reserve purpose and to support the metals and mining industry like copper, aluminium and zincBetter underlying real consumption from the government stimulus package and easier credit conditions.Liu: “Non-Chinese demand is still down at the moment, but we think it is probably nearing the worst due to the imminent end of the destocking cycle in developed countries. However, end-use demand looks to remain quite weak for the next three to six months. Chinese demand bounced back surprisingly strongly in Q109, though we think that is partly due to government/consumer restocking over the period in anticipation of solid demand growth from infrastructure projects supported by the central government and massive policy response from the central banks.”Macquarie on coal and power:Presentations on the coal industry highlighted the Chinese government’s concerted efforts to shut down small coal mines, especially in Shanxi province, with a bigger impact on coking coal supply rather than thermal coal. Of China’s coking coal, 40% comes from Shanxi and 60% comes from small underground mines, which are the focus of the safety-related mine closuresAccording to David Fang from the China Coal Transportation and Distribution Association, Shanxi province coal production in 2009 is expected to fall to 640 Mt from an estimated 657 Mt in 2008. And Shanxi province will have zero growth in coal supply for the next three years in order to phase out all the small and dangerous coal mines within the areaFang reported that Chinese small coal mines accounted for 36% of national output in 2008, with state-owned representing 52% and the remaining 12% occupied by local state-owned mines. However in Q109, the coal mines ownership changed significantly following the Government’s efforts to close down the small coal mines in Shanxi, Henan and Shaanxi provincesFang suggested that by Q109, key state-owned coal mines accounted for 63% of national production, whereas the market share for privately owned small coal mines fell to only 12%. Local state-owned coal mines also increased their production share to 25% of total Chinese production.Liu: “According to Shanxi government regulations, the minimum single mine pit annual production capacity needs to rise from 300,000 t/y to 900,000 t/y by 2011 and single coal producers’ annual capacity must exceed 3.0 Mt in order to stay in operation. The number of coal mines in China that need to be closed is 1,000 by 2011.”Although coking coal production fell dramatically in Shanxi province, thermal coal production from Inner Mongolia has been growing significantly year-to-date, mainly from state-owned companies like Shenhua. According to national statistics, Q109 Inner Mongolia coal production surged 28.4% YoY to 129.8 Mt, compared with 5.2% growth in total national production over the same period.Liu: “Railway transportation for coal delivery will be debottlenecked significantly in the next three to five years along with sizeable government expenditures on railway construction since 2007. New railway lines added from 2009-2011 is expected to be 5,000 km each year, compared with 1,000 km completed each year in the past. We understand that at least 30% of new railway capacity added between 2009-2012 will be used for coal transportations and distribution.”According to Macquarie’s discussion with the Railway Bureau, Chinese railway capacity for coal delivery will reach 1,800 Mt/y by 2010, compared with 1,500 Mt/y in 2008. According to the central government plan, by 2020 Chinese railway transportation facilities for coal delivery will reach 2,300 Mt/y.Coal stocks in China have been falling year-to-date but still remain at high levels by historical standards. CCTD commented that coal stocks at coal mines were 41 Mt at end-March, up 38% YoY but 24% lower than earlier this year. Coal stocks at the top five IPPs were 28 Mt by the end of March, up by 23% YoY but down 35% from the peak in early 2009, equal to 16 days of consumption. Coal inventory at major ports in China reached 13.6 Mt at the end of March, down by 10% YoY but 33% lower from early this year.As for coal consumption in 2009, CCTD believes that thermal coal demand will be up by only 1% YoY, with national power consumption up by 3-5% YoY, compared with 5% growth YoY in 2008 and 15% growth YoY in 2007, reflecting a major slowdown in power consumption from the industrial sector, which accounts for 76% of total Chinese power demand in 2008.Liu: “According to our discussions with the National Grid, from January to April 2009, industry usage of power was down by 8.3% YoY with light industry down by 6.8% YoY and heavy industry down by 8.6% YoY. Whereas for the first four months of 2009, agriculture industry usage of electricity was up by 4.6% YoY and residential sector power demand was up by 9% YoY. Additions to generation capacity will continue to focus on coal-fired stations. According to the Songlin Group, by 2008, thermal coal power stations account for 80% of power generation in China vs 75% of installed power capacity.”On copper, discussions about the market highlighted the strength of government stockpiling this year and the critical tightness of copper scrap in 2009. Ou Yang Wei from China Metals believes that 250,000 t of copper bought by the SRB is the key component of the copper price rally year-to-date. However, he also believes that SRB’s purchase of copper is price-sensitive and that $4,000/t seems to be the critical level for its purchases through the rest of 2009.China Metals commented that in Q109, Chinese production of refined copper was up by 7% YoY, with smelters’ utilisation rates rising to 80% in March 2009 compared with below 70% in 2008, due to higher copper prices. They believe refined copper production from big smelters in China has been maintained year-to-date. However, the output from small secondary producers has been hurt badly this year due to severe shortages of copper scrapAccording to China customs, in Q109, Chinese imports of copper scrap were down by 47% YoY, totalling 732,000 t only due to lower scrap generation because of weaker economic activity. Lower scrap supply in 2009 also restricted Chinese FAI in copper smelting. According to official statistics, in Q109, Chinese investment in copper smelting capacity was up by 22% YoY compared with 50% growth YoY over the same period in 2008. As a result, Chinese expansion in copper smelting capacity should slow dramatically from 2009 onwards.As for refined copper output in 2009, China Metals believes Chinese total output will hit 4.1 Mt, up by 8.5% YoY. By contrast, Li Lan from the Beijing General Research Institute of Mining and metallurgy believes the total output of copper cathodes in 2009 will be only 3.85 Mt, up by 2% YoY. This is in line with Macquarie’s forecast of 3.9 Mt output for the year as a whole due to a severe shortage of copper scrap input feed. It was widely agreed in the conference that Chinese refined copper imports will grow much stronger in 2009, due to the lack of secondary material supply for consumers’ direct usage, according to Macquarie.Lan estimates that Chinese refined copper imports in 2009 will be 1.82 Mt, compared with 1.45 Mt imports for 2008. However Macquarie believes Chinese total imports of refined copper could hit 2.5 Mt this year, including 300,000 t of copper purchased by the SRB with first delivery into China starting from the end of March. The difference for Chinese apparent copper consumption forecast for 2009 ranges from 6.5% to 15% growth YoY.According to Lan, Chinese copper demand in 2009 will be up by 6.5% YoY with zero growth coming from the construction sector, 12% growth from the power sector, 5% decline from whitegoods and durables and 15% growth YoY from the telecom sector. Transportation industry copper demand is also expected to be up by 5% YoY in 2009.According to Lan’s estimates, Chinese exports of copper in finished goods account for 22% of total Chinese copper usage in 2008; in 2009, copper demand from the exports sector is expected to fall by 10-20% YoY due to the collapse in demand from the western world this year. It is generally agreed that copper demand from the power sector in 2009 will remain strong due to the government stimulus plan on power project development. According to the National Grid, its Q109 investment in power T and D projects was Rmb47 billion, up by 35% YoY compared with its annual investment target of Rmb280 billion for the year as a whole.Generally speaking, the National Grid investment in power projects is usually higher in the second half of the year compared with the first half, translating into higher demand growth for copper in the next three to six months from this sector. The power sector accounts for the majority of copper demand in China. As a result, Macquarie believes in 2009, Chinese real copper demand will grow by 15% YoY to 5.9 Mt, compared with 5.15 Mt demand for 2008.Macquarie on Aluminium:“According to Chalco, Chinese aluminium production capacity was 18.6 Mt/y at end-2008, with reported output of only 13.18 Mt. By end-2009, Chinese aluminium production capacity is expected to reach 19.4 Mt. In Q109, Chinese aluminium smelters’ utilisation rate was only 60%, with 5.0 Mt/y of production capacity idled on the ground due to lower prices. Chalco believes most of the idled capacity can be restarted immediately if the price is high enough. [It has] also indicated that about 750,000 t/y of idled capacity has been restarted in China since early April“We do agree on [its] estimation of restarted idled capacity in China since early April. However there is an additional 1.0 Mt/y of new brown/green field projects that have come on-stream over the same period in Guangxi, Ningxia and Henan provinces. As a result, we believe the total aluminium smelting capacity added in China since early April is about 1.8 Mt/y.”Chalco believes that total aluminium production in 2009 will be 12.6 Mt, a 4.4% drop from 2008; whereas Macquarie believes the production of aluminium ingot for 2009 will be at least 13.0 Mt given the recent sizeable restarts of aluminium smelting capacity. Chalco highlighted the importance of SRB buying 590,000 t of refined aluminium from the domestic market in Q109. It believes this is the major driving force behind the price rally of aluminium year-to-date in the domestic market and the premium of the SHFE to the LME in aluminium prices during March and April 2009.Chalco commented that China will become a net importer of aluminium ingot in 2009, from a traditional net exporter, due to increased demand from the domestic market versus the rest of the world (still suffering from the recession). Macquarie does agree on its point of China becoming a net importer of aluminium in 2009; Macquarie’s estimation of Chinese net imports of aluminium is around 800,000 t for the full year – including alloy products.Steel/iron ore:Four speakers joined the conference to discuss the Chinese steel and iron ore market, including Vale, Mysteel, CBI and SteelhomeJian Liangqun from Mysteel believes that Chinese steel production in 2009 will be 520 Mt, versus production capacity of 680 Mt by the end of 2009. It is estimated that steelmakers in China had reduced output by 150 Mt/y between June and October 2008, following a sharp fall in exports and domestic demand. However, since November last year, roughly 100 Mt/y of that capacity has re-openedAccording to Vale’s estimates, small-scale steel mills in China making long products are running at 100% of their production use rate at the moment, compared with 70-80% of operation rates at flat product producersMysteel estimates that Chinese crude steel demand will be up by 14% YoY in 2009, with 45 Mt of extra demand coming from the government stimulus package. Its forecast is in line with Macquarie’s estimates of 13.2% growth in demand (including stocking) this year to 515 Mt (on a crude steel basis), reflecting the impact of the government fiscal stimulus (which will significantly boost infrastructure spending – construction, railways, oil/gas, coal/electricity) as well as the impact of the massive easing in bank lendingAccording to CBI, Chinese steel demand picked up substantially in March from February and continued to grow stronger in April and May due to government spending on infrastructure projects. Chinese steel inventory also started to fall from April. Jia from Mysteel estimates that total steel inventory in China is about 44 Mt at the moment, compared with 50 Mt of stocks level by historical standardIt was generally agreed that Chinese exports of steel will plummet in 2009, due to contracting demand from the rest of the world and higher steel prices in domestic market. Macquarie believes China will be roughly in balance between imports and exports of steel products this year compared with net exports of 20 Mt in 2008.In the case of iron ore, it is estimated that around 20-30% of domestic mining capacity (around 100 Mt/y) has shut over the past six to nine months due to iron ore prices dropping below production costs. According to Mysteel, Chinese usage of imported iron ore in total usage will rise to 62% in 2009 from 58% in 2008. According to Jia, Chinese imports of iron ore in 2009 will be 520 Mt compared with Macquarie’s forecast of 544 Mt this year and 444 Mt in 2008.According to Vale, steel mills in Hebei are now using 80- 90% of imported iron ore for its production, compared with only 30-40% in 2007 and 2008. Although more than 75 Mt of iron ore is stockpiled at Chinese ports, that is equivalent to just over one month of Chinese demand of imported material compared with historical norms of close to two months.Nickel/stainless steel:There were two positive presentations on the nickel market given by Vale and Eramet. According to Vale, it has sold out of nickel in the Chinese market for H109 and has seen some recovery from the European stainless steel market. It expects a substantial rise in the austenitic ratio in stainless steel production this year due to the 400 series’ exposure to the weak automotive sector and lower nickel pricesEramet believes the austenitic stainless steel ratio will rise to 73.6% in 2009 from 72% in 2008, with more than a 2% rise in 300 series products and a 0.5% drop in the 200 seriesLower stainless steel scrap input feed supports primary nickel demand in stainless steel production. According to Eramet’s estimates, the average world stainless steel scrap ratio will fall to 45.3% in 2009 from 47% in 2009, due to a reduced supply of secondary materialsBoth Vale and Eramet have confidence in the Chinese stainless steel sector. Eramet believes Chinese stainless steel production will rise by 2.2% in 2009 to 7.3 Mt from 7.1 Mt output in 2008, due to the rapid ramp-up of production from state-owned mills like Tisco and Baosteel, among others. Chinese major stainless steel mills production are running at record high utilisation rates in Q209Macquarie understands that Tisco and Baosteel are both running at above 90% production utilisation rates in Q2 this year compared with only 50% in the western countriesNickel pig iron was the hot topic in the conference with most of the speakers believing their production would restart if the nickel price goes above $6/lbEramet believes that Chinese production of nickel pig iron in 2009 will be 48,000 t, compared with 68,000 t output in 2008. However, it argues that if the nickel price continues its current rally, it should see much higher levels of nickel pig iron production than their forecast – with no bottleneck on production capacity in China (which could be close to 200,000 t/y)According to Eramet, the world nickel market will be in deficit of 6,300 t in 2009 as a whole. However, that deficit is too small to absorb the sizeable stockpile of nickel that accumulated in 2007 and 2008 (180,000 t+).And on zinc and lead:The only speech about the Chinese zinc and lead markets came from Penfold. It highlighted the quick recovery of Chinese zinc smelting and mine production since early April following higher zinc prices. It estimates that smelters are now running at 85-90% of capacity (production in April was at 4.1 M/y, up from 3 Mt/y in Jan-Feb). Roughly 600-700,000 t/y of small-scale zinc mines have reopenedHowever, demand is still weak in the domestic market and the ramp-up of production at zinc smelters has led to significant stockbuilding. According to official statistics, from January to April 2009, Chinese galvanised steel production was down by 8.6% YoY.According to Penfold, Chinese zinc demand in 2009 will be flat from 2008 due to lagging new construction, which accounted for almost 40% of Chinese zinc demand in 2008.
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