BJP strives to retain Sundargarh

first_imgUnion Tribal Affairs Minister and veteran BJP leader Jual Oram has locked horns with two party hoppers — Congress’ George Tirkey and BJD’s Sunita Biswal — to retain the Sundargarh Lok Sabha constituency, the only seat the BJP had won in Odisha in 2014.While Mr. Tirkey, a prominent tribal leader, joined the Congress recently, Ms. Biswal, daughter of former CM Hemananda Biswal, switched over to the BJD from the Congress just before the elections.Sundargarh comprises seven Assembly seats — Sundargarh, Talsara, Rajgangpur, Biramitrapur, Rourkela, Raghunathpali and Bonai. It is a tribal-dominated constituency where the BJP has won four times in seven Lok Sabha elections held since 1991. Mr. Oram, a four-time MP, had won three consecutive terms in the 1998, 1999 and 2004 elections. He had been appointed Union Tribal Affairs Minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government in 1999. In 2009, he lost to senior Congress leader Hemananda Biswal but won it back in a tightly contested election in 2014.Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress president Rahul Gandhi have already addressed two massive public meetings here. Not lagging behind, CM Naveen Patnaik addressed three public meetings and held two roadshows last week.Sundargarh being a tribal belt, the identity of the candidates will come into play during the elections.Mr. Oram considers himself in advantageous position due to the “popularity” of Mr. Modi among the youth. He is also banking on a number of central projects. Moreover, he had taken care to stay connected with the people of his constituency.Sunita Biswal is no novice in politics. She said the Chief Minister’s clean image and the BJD’s strong grassroots-level organisation would be advantageous for her. Moreover, the BJD’s emphasis on 33% reservation for women in selection of Lok Sabha candidates would also generate huge support for her, she said. Mr. Tirkey on the other hand has been a vocal advocate of implementation of Panchayats act. He has been fighting for the right of self-determination by tribals.last_img read more

DNA Testing Company Won’t Offer Health Information Anymore

first_imgThe company 23andMe will no longer provide health information to people who purchase its DNA testing kit, it announced last night.The change was “to comply with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s directive to discontinue new consumer access during our regulatory review process,” the statement said. While current customers will still have access to a 23andMe online database noting the health issues associated with their particular DNA, the company will not update that information, and customers who purchased its Personal Genome Service (PGS) on or after 22 November will receive only information about their ancestry and their raw genetic data without interpretation.The move comes after a 22 November letter by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned the Mountain View, California-based company to “immediately discontinue marketing the PGS until such time as it receives FDA marketing authorization for the device.” The regulatory agency expressed a variety of  concerns, including that patients might change dosage of medications or even abandon therapies because of 23andMe test results on drug responses.The FDA action has sparked a vigorous debate over the rights of people to learn their own genetic information and the authority of governments to regulate marketing claims related to health. 23andMe says on its website that its services are “for research, informational, and educational use only. We do not provide medical advice.” But the company has emphasized the medical uses of its test in recent marketing, says Cecile Janssens, an epidemiologist at Emory University in Atlanta who has studied the accuracy of risk predictions made by 23andMe and other companies. “It used to be more about what science knows about your DNA,” she says. “But in the past year they really went on a different track. It is more about health recommendations now.”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(*)Just days after the FDA letter, a lawsuit was also filed against 23andMe in a U.S. district court in California alleging that test results provided by the company were “meaningless.”last_img read more

From Dubai to the Derby: Appleby bids to back up year of global success

first_img Talking Horses: Will De Sousa deny Oisin Murphy ascent to jockeys’ title? Share on WhatsApp Twitter Two notable names will already be missing from the team who will start the new turf season in Britain when Godolphin moves back to Newmarket after Saturday’s Dubai World Cup meeting. Masar, the first Derby winner in Godolphin blue, is still recovering from an injury sustained a few weeks later and is unlikely to return until Royal Ascot in June at the earliest, while Quorto, a leading candidate during the winter for the 2,000 Guineas, was ruled out after a setback two weeks ago.But there is still sufficient strength in depth in his Moulton Paddocks stable for Appleby to be quoted as the 14-1 third-favourite by Paddy Power to win his first trainers’ championship, and the first for a Godolphin yard since Saeed bin Suroor’s last title in 2004. John Gosden, last year’s winner, heads the market at 8-15, with Aidan O’Brien on offer at 6-4.“It’s nice to hear that,” Appleby said here on Thursday, “but they’re pretty hard to get past as well. I don’t say we’d take ourselves out of the championship but because we campaign so internationally, I do dilute the team slightly in terms of having a proper crack at it. But that’s what Godolphin is, an international stable, and we’ve already got two horses that have shipped [from Dubai] to Sydney for races there [in April]. Facebook Reuse this content … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many new organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.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 need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Dubai World Cup Quorto was the second-favourite for the 2,000 Guineas at around 8-1 before sustaining his injury but Line of Duty, a Grade One winner in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf last season, is a useful deputy.“Line Of Duty has wintered well and he’s hopefully going to head straight for the Guineas,” Appleby said. “We also have another colt in Zakouski [the winner of a Kempton maiden last November on his only juvenile start], who’s heading towards the Craven meeting. He stayed back in the UK but he’s wintered well and we’re very pleased with what we’re seeing.“Those would be the two [2,000] Guineas contenders and there’s also a nice horse called Al Hilalee, who won his two starts as a two-year-old. He’s doing everything right and we’ll head back to the UK with him and start him off in the Newmarket Stakes. He could potentially make up into a Derby candidate. Last year is obviously a huge mantle to try and achieve again but the team have been in great form during the Carnival here and it’s like any sport, when you’ve got that momentum going, hopefully it will carry on into the turf season.”Greg Wood’s accommodation in Dubai is provided by the Emirates Racing Authority Horse racing Santa Anita may step back from whip ban, says leading jockey Mike Smith Share on LinkedIn Hide Pinterest Read more “We’re not going out to try to win it but from a sporting point of view, I just want to go into the season with the mindset of staying at the level where we are. I’m not saying we’re going to win the Derby or the Melbourne Cup again but as long as we’re competing at the high end, that’s the goal for the year.”Appleby was famously without a winner on World Cup night at Meydan before saddling a double on last year’s card to launch his season to remember. He has several fancied runners again this year, including Cross Counter, who will make his first start since Melbourne in Saturday’s Dubai Gold Cup, and Blue Point, last year’s King’s Stand Stakes winner at Royal Ascot, who is odds-on for the Al Quoz Sprint.Once the curtain comes down on the season in Dubai, though, attention will turn immediately to the first Classics in Britain, on Guineas weekend at Newmarket in early May. Share on Messenger Quick guide Racing tips for Friday 29 March Support The Guardian Show Topics Was this helpful? features Lingfield Park 2.00 Golden Guest 2.30 Qaaraat (nap) 3.05 Drakefell 3.35 El Ghazwani 4.10 Lord Lamington (nb) 4.40 Follow A DreamFontwell 2.10 King Muro 2.40 The Ogle Gogle Man 3.15 Le Ligerien 3.45 Glance Back 4.20 Steel Bob 4.50 Truckers Tangle 5.20 Kost A CoatWetherby 2.20 Denmead 2.50 Las Tunas 3.25 Falcon Sun 3.55 Flowery 4.30 Desert Island Dusk 5.05 All About You 5.35 MarineroNewcastle 5.55 Echo 6.30 Dreamofdiscovery 7.00 Astonished 7.30 Rey Loopy 8.00 Everkyllachy 8.30 GowanbusterTips by Greg Wood Charlie Appleby with Melbourne Cup winner Cross Counter. Photograph: Michael Dodge/Getty Images Thank you for your feedback. Since you’re here… Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via Email Godolphin Share on Pinterest Horse racing tips The 2018 season started very well for Charlie Appleby and kept getting better. Godolphin’s grand renaissance, so often promised in Dubai in March only to evaporate by the start of July, finally materialised and Appleby led the way, from a Derby winner in early June to Cross Counter’s historic first success for a British-trained runner in the Melbourne Cup. Now he must attempt to back it up. Read morelast_img read more

a month agoMan Utd legend Neville: Contract will help De Gea settle

first_imgAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Man Utd legend Neville: Contract will help De Gea settleby Freddie Taylora month agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United legend Gary Neville says a new contract could see David De Gea return to form.The Spaniard hasn’t been himself this season, but Neville says a new deal until 2023 could settle the 28-year-old.Neville told Sky Sports: “De Gea has had a difficult time in the Premier League and he’s had difficulties at home where he’s lost his place in the national team. I don’t think he’s fully recovered from the poor World Cup in 2018, and he’s made more mistakes in the last 15 months than ever before.”But I’ve got to believe that this is good news and hope that what’s happened in the last 12 to 15 months has been a result of the ongoing speculation. The hope is that now he’s signed, he can settle down and start performing.”United need a spine. They had eight academy players in the squad on Saturday, but their problem isn’t the academy. The problem is that they haven’t got a strong, dominant spine, but De Gea can be the start of that.” last_img read more

Cybersecurity Research Contract Goes to ABS

first_imgzoom Classification society American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) has been awarded a research contract by the Maritime Security Center (MSC), a US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Center of Excellence, for a two-year research program focused on defining the future of cybersecurity for the maritime industry.Study participants, which include DHS and the country’s Department of Defense, will focus on key areas that will help define future research and guidance, ABS said.“Cybersecurity incursions and threats to the Marine Transportation System (MTS) and port facilities throughout the country are increasing,” Hady Salloum, Director of MSC, said. “This research project will support the missions of the DHS Center of Excellence and the U.S. Coast Guard to address these concerns and vulnerabilities and will identify policies and risk management strategies to bolster the cybersecurity posture of the MTS enterprise,” he added.The research project’s objectives include defining risk-based performance standards better, developing a maritime-specific framework for cyber policy, identifying critical points of cybersecurity failure, developing design requirements for a maritime cyber test-bed and investigating quantitative analysis tools to determine the effectiveness of cyber detection and deterrent strategies.In February 2016, the classification society introduced the ABS CyberSafety program, “the industry’s first risk-based management program for asset owners and operators to apply best practice approaches to cybersecurity, automated systems safety, data integrity and software verification.”In addition, ABS launched the ABS CyberSafety Laboratory earlier this year to prove, analyze and test data integrity and cybersecurity concepts.last_img read more

Start em Young to Premier this Tuesday on Wild TV

first_img“I think it’s important and I don’t think we give it enough focus in that industry. I want to inspire others as well and give everyone the opportunity to get out there and learn those lessons. For anyone who doesn’t hunt but wants to, we can help out with that. They’re all good lessons to have.”Skage, being a life-long hunter, says the inspiration for the show was based on seeing how excited his son was when he first took him hunting.“When I seen how he was when I took him for the first time into the woods, just that excitement, I got excited and it revitalized me.”The show will premiere on Wild TV on April 16 at 8:00 p.m. EDT. FORT NELSON, B.C. – A locally produced TV series will be premiering this Tuesday on Wild TV.For the past year, Fort Nelson Resident, Mark Skage, has been producing episodes for a series called Start ’em Young.According to Skage, the show aims to inspire and teach youngsters the skills and knowledge of hunting.last_img read more

Avengers Endgame gets leaked online

first_imgLos Angeles: Despite the makers and actors’ efforts to save Marvel’s much-anticipated film Avengers: Endgame from piracy, the movie has been leaked on several websites. The film’s leaked copy came from a Chinese theatrical screening which happened a day ago, variety.com reported recently. According to the piracy news site TorrentFreak, users in China began sharing a 1.2-gigabyte file of Avengers: Endgame on peer-to-peer piracy networks sometime between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. China time on April 24. Also Read – I have personal ambitions now: PriyankaHowever, the TorrentFreak’s report stated that the quality of the video-cammed pirated copy is particularly bad. Later, the film reportedly circulated on other platforms such as ThePirateBay and India’s TamilRockers. Directed by Russo brothers, Avengers: Endgame is the culmination of over 20 Marvel movies. It stars actors like Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson. “Keep those spoilers to yourself,” Downey tweeted after the film’s copy got leaked online. The film will release in India on April 26.last_img read more

Ruby and Berlusconis Affair Moroccan Minister Unveils New Facts

first_imgCasablanca- On Monday, Mohamed Moubdie, the Moroccan Minister of Public Service and Administrative Modernization, shared controversial information with Moroccan newspaper Al Akhbar about the affair between Silvio Berlusconi and “Ruby.”Moubdie told Al Akhbar that “Ruby was not a minor when she had a sexual affair with the Italian politician.”In 2010, Berlusconi, former Prime Minister of Italy, was pronounced guilty of soliciting sex from a Moroccan nightclub dancer Karima El Mahroug, also known as Ruby Rubacuori, who was said to still be a minor at that time. According to Moubdie, he was the one who signed El Mahroug’s birth certificate in 1992, while he was still the president of the municipal council in Fqih Ben Saleh (200 kilometres from Casablanca). Hence, Ruby was not a minor when she had an affair with Berlusconi.According to Italian press, Berlusconi’s defense requested that investigations be carried out concerning Moubdie’s controversial statements.Souad Sbari, a former Italian lawmaker  called on the prosecutor to intervene in order to elucidate the case and retrieve the original documentation concerning Ruby’s date of birth. Sbai also demanded the Minister testify in the case.“It’s a story that should not be swept under the carpet, because Italians want to know the truth once and for all about this issue,” Sbai told the Italian media.Subsequently, the Attorney General of Milan opened investigations on 45 people suspected of perjury in their testimonials concerning Silvio Berlusconi’s affair.However, according to daily newspaper Akhbar Al Yaoum, Moubdie denied having shared any facts about Berlusconi’s affair with Al Akhbar. “I did not unveil any facts about the affair simply because I do not have any information about it,” the Minister said.But a recording of the interview conducted with the Minister by Moroccan journalist Bouchra Dou clearly confirms that the official stated that Ruby was not minor when she had an affair with Berlusconi.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributedlast_img read more

El Salvador UN expert calls on Government to protect victims of contemporary

“All measures should include children forced do hazardous work, children forced to conduct illicit activities for gangs and girls and women forced into sexual slavery by gang members,” said Urmila Bhoola, UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery at the end of her first official visit to the country. “These forms of slavery are both a cause and consequence of poverty, social exclusion, internal and external displacement of communities, as well as crime,” Ms. Bhoola said, stressing that “protecting the human rights of victims of slavery is of paramount importance as they are often the most vulnerable and discriminated against with women and children invariably being amongst the most severely affected.” The Special Rapporteur noted that a comprehensive legal framework exists in the country that penalizes slavery and slavery-like practices, and praised the positive progress made by stakeholders. “Such progress was most clearly noted in the reductions in the number of children engaged in the worst forms of child labour and their reintegration into schools,” she said. “However, prevention and protection of victims through robust and effective law enforcement remains a key challenge.” During her visit, the Special Rapporteur identified a number of issues of concern in the current context of escalating gang-related violence. She was deeply shocked to hear of the forced recruitment of children as young as 9 years old into such gangs, as well as coercion of girls, adolescents and women into participating in sexual activity with gang members, including as so-called “brides” of gang members forced to conduct conjugal visits with them in prison. “Such activities prima facie constitute contemporary forms of slavery and are prohibited in international human rights law,” Ms. Bhoola noted. “As such the Government is obligated to take measures to eliminate these practices, prosecute perpetrators and provide effective access to justice and redress to victims whose rights have been violated.” “Protection and prevention measures are necessary as an immediate solution to address the high incidence of these crimes and the violence that occurs when victims refuse to comply with demands made by the gangs,” she added. In this context, the Special Rapporteur noted that the Government has developed a comprehensive plan to address the high levels of criminal violence that occur as a result of gang-related activity, and commended the “El Salvador Seguro” plan that has the support of all key stakeholders. “I strongly urge the Government to play close attention to avoiding any criminalization of victims, particularly children and women, who have been subjected to slavery-like practices that force them into criminal behaviour,” she stated. The expert also expressed concern about other forms of contemporary forms of slavery and slavery-like practices in El Salvador, including continuing child labour in hazardous and dangerous work, forced labour conditions for workers in a number of sectors, including those producing garments in factories known as “maquilas,” home-based embroiderers, and those working in private security services, children being forced to beg or perform in the streets, and situations of domestic servitude. Ms. Bhoola visited San Salvador and labour sites and communities in Usulután, Puerto El Flor and Puerto Parada, where she met with a broad range of national and local government officials. She also met with the Human Rights Ombudsman, a range of coordination bodies, representatives from the legislature, the Supreme Court, UN agencies, NGOs working on issues relating to her mandate, trade unions, private-sector representatives, and individuals affected by slavery-like conditions of work. The independent expert will present a report containing her conclusions and recommendations to the UN Human Rights Council in September 2016. Independent experts or special rapporteurs are appointed by the Geneva-based Human Rights Council to examine and report back on a country situation or a specific human rights theme. The positions are honorary and the experts are not UN staff, nor are they paid for their work. read more

Varadkar People are unlikely to browse the internet on a cup while

first_imgMINISTER FOR TRANSPORT Leo Varadkar has revealed that despite recent legislation banning texting and using the internet while driving, he has no plans to banish the humble cup from the hands of drivers.The minister said that addressing that a driver can hold a (obviously non-alcoholic) beverage of some kind while driving is not on his legislatory agenda.However, under certain circumstances, this is still an offence.“A person who is observed driving dangerously as a result of their cup holding would be liable for prosecution under those provisions,” the Minister explained.He was responding to a parliamentary question from Sinn Féin TD Sandra McLellan, who specifically asked the minister why recent legislation doesn’t apply to “cups or anything else”.Minister Varadkar, having clearly studied the field in depth, was aware of the limitations of current cup technology: It is unlikely that someone would be making or receiving a call, texting or browsing the internet through their cup.He noted that people are free to hold cups while driving, but that it is “not a major issue for road safety”, unlike phones.“It is unlikely that a person is going to be holding a mobile phone if they do not intend to use it.”Concluding his response, the Minister also had some advise for Deputy McLellan:I do not intend to bring in a specific offence of cup holding but in the interests of safety, the Deputy is advised not to hold a cup while driving.Banned: Texting while driving now ‘completely prohibited’ >Read: Could Google Glass be the next deadly distraction? >last_img read more

U.S. surgeon general touts vaccines during Vancouver visit

first_imgU.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams visited Vancouver on Wednesday for a briefing on a measles outbreak that has clocked 70 confirmed cases, and cost the state more than $1.2 million to fight since January.There have been 71 cases in Washington, and four more in Oregon linked to Clark County’s outbreak. Two more Oregon cases aren’t linked to Clark County.Adams toured Clark County Public Health’s office in Vancouver, and met with Public Health employees and county councilors.Adams focused his message Wednesday on the need for the medical community to have respectful and accurate conversations with parents about vaccination.“There’s a social contract that exists in this community,” Adams said. “We all have to look out for one another, and unfortunately some people can’t get vaccinated, so it’s important that the ones who can, do — not just to protect themselves, but to protect everyone else. And if we don’t, then this whole social contract begins to fall apart, and our society, quite frankly, starts to fall apart.”Adams also visited Evergreen Pediatric Clinic on Northeast 87th Avenue in Vancouver, and met Vancouver mother Cerisse Wilson, 31, the mother of Everett Banse-Fay, 15 months, who was vaccinated earlier this year. Wilson’s mother is state Sen. Lynda Wilson, R-Vancouver, who opposes two bills in the Legislature that would tighten exemptions in the state.Cerisse Wilson said she was hesitant about vaccines initially after the birth of her son, but changed her mind through conversations with Everett’s pediatrician. Wilson said having a doctor tell her to “vaccinate or get out” wasn’t going to change her mind.last_img read more

New Climate Policies Neednt Disrupt DODs Reliance on Renewables Conger Says

first_imgPresident Trump’s steps so far to back away from existing policies intended to address climate change have not upended the military services’ push to increasingly rely on renewable energy sources to power their installations. But the department’s former installations and energy chief says even if the new administration revisits DOD’s policies on sustainability, it should be careful not to limit efforts that can be justified for reasons beyond their environmental benefits.There is a clear business case for the military to develop new generation capacity on base using solar, wind or other renewable resources as they are generally financed by developers or utilities and can cut an installation’s electricity bill, John Conger, who led the Pentagon’s installations office from 2012 to 2015, told Defense Communities 360. And by enhancing an installation’s energy resilience, if a microgrid is added, these projects yield an operational benefit of providing power during an interruption of the commercial grid.Even in the absence of new rules slowing DOD’s reliance on renewables, the White House’s stance toward environmental sustainability can affect decision-making throughout the department, said Conger, who now is a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. His wish is that the services continue to pursue energy projects that save money and improve military value and not second guess them because of their environmental benefits.Last week, Trump signed an executive order reversing a requirement for federal agencies to consider climate change in their actions and craft plans to mitigate its risks. As a result, DOD efforts to mitigate the risks of climate change could slow. But even if officials choose not to take actions based on 20- or 30-year projections of impacts from flooding, they already must deal with coastal installations affected by rising sea levels, Conger said.“If you have a base experiencing current flooding, you have a today problem,” he said.Taking into account the risk of flooding at coastal installations makes sense, Conger noted, simply as a way to reduce risk. If you are forced to build in a floodplain, make sure your backup power is not in the basement, for example.“When all is said and done, it strikes me that even if you just look at climate change today … you should simply take that into account as prudent planning, even if you don’t look ahead [to consider long-term impacts],” he said.When asked whether recent comments from Senate Armed Services Committee Chair John McCain (R-Ariz.) indicating he was open to the prospect of a new BRAC round is likely to translate into congressional approval, Conger said it still is too early to tell.“You will need administration support and you’ll need Hill support and we’ll see where they put all their priorities as the year moves on,” he said. “Nobody can predict.”If lawmakers move forward on additional base closures, Conger said they most likely will update the BRAC statute to address two key concerns about the 2005 round — its initial implementation cost was too high and unexpected expenses that drove up the round’s ultimate cost.In response to a question about the military’s growing backlog of facilities maintenance, he said the first step is to allocate adequate funds to ensure the services aren’t falling further behind in sustaining their infrastructure.“So I wouldn’t focus on the backlog, but as to whether the department has a strategy to get it right again,” Conger said. The challenge for DOD has been coping with the statutory budget caps. Unless the constraints on the department’s topline spending level are relaxed, it will be very difficult for the services to adequately fund facilities sustainment.He concluded the interview by highlighting the professionalism of employees at both the headquarters level and the installation level supporting the department’s bases. “I have a lot of confidence in the folks in the building today,” Conger said.And, whether or not a new BRAC round is authorized or climate change policies are altered, “they will do their best for our bases that they possibly can. They are working really hard.” Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more

5 statesmen shaped the postWorld War I era

first_img5 statesmen shaped the post-World War I eraThe Great War changed the world as empires collapsed, new nations were created and powerful political figures emerged, going on to set the agenda for a new order.Here are brief profiles of five of the leading figures of World War I and its aftermath.- US: Thomas Woodrow Wilson -Democratic president Thomas Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924) won re-election in 1916 on a campaign of keeping the United States out of the conflict in Europe, even though Washington was helping finance the Allied war effort.But this changed after German submarines sank US ships crossing the Atlantic and he sent the first troops over in April 1917.Wilson was a key player in the post-war negotiations in Paris in 1919 and the resulting Versailles Treaty was based on his “Fourteen Points” for peace.They included the creation of a body that became the League of Nations, the precursor to today’s United Nations, and provisions on sovereignty and open diplomacy.He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1920.- France: Georges Clemenceau -Nicknamed “The Tiger”, the hardline Republican Georges Clemenceau (1841-1929) was appointed French prime minister in 1917, when Allied victory seemed uncertain.With a fierce resolve for victory, he centralised and stimulated the war effort while gaining strong popular backing in part because of his regular visits to the front line.Also one of the architects of the Versailles Treaty, he was less open than his US and British allies to compromise with the Germans, insisting on punishing terms and vowing “Germany will pay”.- Britain: David Lloyd George -David Lloyd George (1863-1945) was a Liberal party pacifist who converted to rally behind the war, first as minister of munitions in 1915 and then as war minister and a galvanising prime minister in 1916.Dynamic and determined, he boosted public morale and brought new energy and organisation, creating the civil infrastructure to support the troops and unifying the Allied military command in 1917.Lloyd George represented Britain at the Paris Peace Conference and remained prime minister until 1922.- Russia: Vladimir Lenin -Marxist Bolshevik revolutionary Vladimir Ilich Ulyanov (1870-1924) lived mostly abroad during the war, which he opposed as “imperialist”.He returned home in February 1917, with the help of the Germans who hoped he would weaken their Russian enemy, and convinced fellow Bolsheviks to revolt in October.A supporter of an immediate peace with Germany, the founder of the Communist Party was the driving force in Russia for the Brest-Litovsk Treaty (1918) which ended the fighting at the cost of Moscow ceding massive areas of territory and more than 30 percent of its population.- Turkey: Mustafa Kemal Ataturk -A colonel and then general in the Ottoman army, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk (1881-1938) led the victory against the Allies in the Gallipoli campaign in 1915.He went on to head a nationalist movement that fiercely opposed the 1920 Treaty of Sevres between the Allies and the Ottoman empire and which led to the latter’s dismantling.As the Allies tried to carve up the empire, Ataturk commanded an army that re-conquered Armenia and Kurdistan and drove the Greeks out of Asia Minor. He became president in 1923 and is considered the father of modern Turkey.last_img read more

who know our family

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it could derail what was becoming one of the most encouraging stories in the emerging world.

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