Warning from chief adjudicator Residential school students say theyve been hurt by

first_imgAPTN National NewsIn June 13, Chief Adjudicator Daniel Ish issued a memo to the 200 lawyers who represent IAP clients.“The courts have made clear that any assignment of Settlement Agreement funds is contrary to the Financial Accountability Act and the Settlement Agreement,” he wrote. “Thus, assignments or directions to pay third parties are illegal and unenforceable. In no circumstances should legal counsel pay compensation funds to anyone other than the claimant, beyond approved legal fees.”Without naming names, the chief adjudicator confirmed that a number of the complaints made by the former students had been reported to him.“It has been brought to my attention that at least one firm has delivered cheques for compensation funds, payable to the claimant, to a third party for ‘delivery’ to the claimant. The claimant is then asked to endorse the cheque to the third party for services rendered in processing the IAP claim,” Ish wrote. “This must certainly be an unethical practice. All compensation funds should be paid directly to the claimant and if any amount is payable to a third party, it is a matter to be dealt with between the claimant and the third party without assistance being provided by claimant’s counsel to the third party.”He stated that lawyers could see their fees reduced if they did not provide adequate representation. Then he stated that he had received reports from adjudicators that clients were not receiving adequate representation.“Canada’s 15 per cent contribution toward legal fees is not a guaranteed minimum irrespective of the adequacy and quality of legal services provided to claimants,” Ish wrote.The chief adjudicator explained what had prompted him to write the memo.“In some situations, a 15 per cent fee is not fair and reasonable because it over-compensates for the services provided,” he told the IAP lawyers. “While it is hoped that these situations are not common, they certainly include cases where counsel has had no communication whatever prior to the day of the hearing, where counsel appear at a hearing with the wrong claimant (in one case on more than one occasion relating to the same file), delays in the prosecution of files attributable totally to counsel inaction and false or altered certifications on applications.”Oversight Committee minutes add more detail.The minutes of a meeting on June 21 noted the memo and summarized it for the committee.“As examples of conduct that might warrant such a reduction, he cited lawyers who repeatedly attended with the wrong client, claims where the application form bears no resemblance to the case, and application forms where the lawyers’ certification is signed by someone else, photocopied, or falsified. All of these are, regrettably, actual situations that have occurred.”Minutes of an earlier meeting show that the committee was getting impatient with some firms.“Six law firms are responsible for 70 per cent of the cases on hold. Meetings are being held with each. The Court Monitor may have to be engaged if the lack of response remains. Disclosure of the names of the firms, possibly on the website, was suggested.”last_img read more

Sheriff returns posts injunction notice at Attawapiskat diamond mine ice road blockade

first_img(Attawapiskat resident Rebecca Iahtail reacts after seeing injunction notice posted at ice road blockade. APTN/Photo)By Jorge Barrera APTN National News ATTAWAPISKAT–A sheriff posted an injunction notice at the site of a week-long blockade on a diamond mine ice road a little over four hours after he was turned away from the Attawapiskat airport.The sheriff appears to have flown to the airport at the De Beers Victor mine and from there drove the 90 kilometres to the blockade site, arriving sometime between 1 a.m. and 1:30 a.m. Sunday. The ice road from the mine does not cross through reserve land, though the area is Attawapiskat’s claimed traditional territory.Accompanied by two OPP officers, the sheriff read the injunction to a handful of Attawapiskat residents who were still at the site.He then stuck the notice, which was attached to a stick, in the snow outside a canvas tent pitched next to the blockade.Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence appeared at the site shortly after the notice was posted and said she was glad no one was arrested.Spence, along with Rebecca Iahtail, who has seen people rally around her decision to hold out on the blockade, then searched the community for the OPP officers.At one point, they met up with a Nishnawbe-Aski police SUV and searched several streets.Some people at the site expressed anger at the move and warned it could escalate the situation.It was unclear, however, how the move would impact a planned meeting with De Beers later Sunday which was expected to bring an end to the blockade.Just a few hours earlier, backed by a number of community members, Spence turned away the sheriff at the Attawapiskat airport. She handed a letter to the sheriff forbidding him from entering the community.De Beers obtained the injunction from an Ontario judge on Friday.After conferring with two OPP officers who awaited his arrival, the sheriff returned to his airplane and flew away.Attawapiskat residents arrived in about a dozen vehicles to greet the sheriff. They waved goodbye as the sheriff left.De Beers claims the blockade is threatening its operations for the rest of the year.The mine ships up about 11 million litres of fuel up the winter road every year, along with machinery and parts too heavy to fly into the mine’s airport.The mine also uses the winter road to truck-up hazardous substances like ammonia nitrate and truck out “hazardous waste material” that can’t be flown out of the mine.jbarrera@aptn.ca@JorgeBarreralast_img read more

Evan Adams was one of the stars of Smoke Signals now guess

first_imgAPTN National NewsA former Indigenous actor has been making waves in a new industry lately.Dr. Evan Adams is best known for his work in the film ‘Smoke Signals’ alongside Adam Beach.Now he’s the Chief Medical Officer for the First Nation Health Authority.APTN’s Jaydon Flett caught up with him to talk about the work he ahead of him.jflett@aptn.caFollow @jaydononolast_img

Auditor rings alarm bells over NBs debt months before provincial election

first_imgFREDERICTON – With a New Brunswick election just months away, the auditor general is sounding the alarm over the province’s fast-growing debt.Kim MacPherson said Tuesday she is deeply troubled by the fiscal decline — pointing to a $7-billion increase in net debt over the last 10 years.“As I have reported repeatedly, this net debt growth is not sustainable,” she said as she released Volume One of her 2018 report.The debt is expected to hit $14.4 billion by the end of March 2019; the government spent $700 million in interest last year just to service the debt.“If this interest cost was a department, its budget would be larger than the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure,” she said.“If this continues, eventually governments will not be able to provide the same level of programs and services such as health care, education, roads, schools and hospitals.”MacPherson said New Brunswick is on track for its 11th consecutive deficit, and there is no immediate plan to address it.Tom Bateman, a political scientist at St. Thomas University, said the province’s finances should be a key issue in the campaign for the Sept. 24 election. But he said most voters and politicians are only interested in short-term promises.“It’s short- and medium-term pain for longer-term gain and this is a problem for which the solution is over many years or decades, but the political election cycle is four years long,” Bateman said.Green Leader David Coon said it is time the province got its finances under control.“The government stopped on its progress in reducing the deficit and the books should have been balanced for next year, and that’s not happening. P.E.I. is balanced, Nova Scotia is balanced and we should be balanced,” Coon said.MacPherson said she isn’t getting political — and pointed out the fiscal issues have been there over successive governments.“Getting a handle on this problem will be like turning the Titanic … it will take time,” she said.The Dominion Bond Rating Service recently downgraded the province’s rating trend from stable to negative. In a news release, DBRS stated: “New Brunswick’s 2018 budget once again delays the return to balance in favour of new spending ahead of the 2018 provincial election.”Meanwhile Moody’s Investor Service stated: “The stalled progression on deficit reduction is credit negative for the province which has not posted a balanced budget since 2007-2008 and is not planning a balanced budget until 2021-2022, resulting in one of one of the longest period of continued deficits among Canadian provinces following the 2008-2009 financial crisis.”MacPherson said the rating agencies’ reaction should be a major concern to government.Included in her review of government spending, MacPherson found that in five of the last 10 years, governments overspent their budgets prior to obtaining approval from the legislative assembly.She called for the release of audited financial statements before the Sept. 24 provincial election.Treasury Board President Roger Melanson said in a statement the audited figures will be released before New Brunswickers go to the polls, but did not give an exact date.Melanson defends the Liberal government’s handling of the books, saying they are taking a balanced approach.“I think if you speak to New Brunswickers, they want to see investment where it’s strategic and going to grow the economy and give them an opportunity to have a job. That’s what we have been focused on,” he said.MacPherson is also asking for more money for her office, saying a lack of resources is eroding her independence. She wants her budget increased by $250,000 in each of the next four years.Progressive Conservative Leader Blaine Higgs said Tuesday, that if elected, he’d give her that money.“We need to have the ability to have the auditor general look under the hood, look at decisions being made and make them accountable in every way, shape and form. We can’t keep talking about this, we’ve got to find the solutions and have to expose the way money is being spent and tax dollars are being wasted,” Higgs said.MacPherson also used her report to point out what she calls an unacceptable lack of addiction and mental health services in adult correctional institutions.She said that without adequate treatment, inmates can pose a risk to themselves and the public.The government responded Tuesday, saying a provincial committee will be tasked to look into the auditor general’s concerns.last_img read more

BC to have only one store selling cannabis on first day of

first_imgVANCOUVER – On the morning of Oct. 17, British Columbians shouldn’t expect to wake up and see marijuana stores opening their doors.At least that’s the message from the province’s minister of public safety and solicitor general, Mike Farnworth.In a news release issued Sunday, Farnworth said the government’s first and only BC Cannabis Store will open in Kamloops and more retail locations are “anticipated” in the following months, with over 100 paid applications in various stages of entry.The government is also hoping to launch an online sales platform to ensure British Columbians can purchase non-medical cannabis regardless of where they live, he said.He says the province’s new Community Safety Unit will target illegal retail operations, and seize the product and records without a warrant. A fine will also be imposed based on the value of the product seized.Farnworth says penalties will also be imposed on those who sell cannabis to children or minors.Bootlegging or selling cannabis to minors, will continue to be a criminal offence punishable by up to 14 years in jail, in addition to provincial penalties of up to $50,000, jail time of up to six months or both, he said.Police are receiving specialized training and tools to tackle drug-impaired driving, he said.Graduated Licensing Program drivers won’t be allowed to have any marijuana in their system, and neither drivers nor passengers will be allowed to use cannabis in a vehicle.Farnworth said that this is just the beginning and the government will take stock of what happens on B.C.’s roads after legalization.“The legalization of non-medical cannabis is a historic shift in public policy,” he said. “It’s a considerable learning curve and, without a doubt, all levels of government will need to refine their policies and regulations in the years ahead.”last_img read more

Call centre abruptly closes in Cape Breton leaving hundreds without work

first_imgSYDNEY, N.S. — More than 600 people have lost their jobs after a call centre in Cape Breton abruptly closed, leaving employees without work weeks before Christmas.ServiCom officials gathered workers at the operation in Sydney on Thursday to announce that it was shuttering the facility.Cecil Clarke, mayor of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality, said in a statement Thursday evening that the sudden closure “came as a shock,” despite financial troubles on the part of ServiCom’s parent company. He says company representatives have indicated they are in the process of arranging the sale of the Sydney operation and “are hoping to have this situation resolved in next couple of days.”Clarke suggested it may be up and running again under new ownership.There were reports nearly 700 employees left the site Thursday with no pay, as police vehicles were parked outside.(CTV Atlantic, The Canadian Press)The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Asian shares slip as traders brace for Fed rate increase

first_imgSINGAPORE — Asian stocks fell on Tuesday, tracking losses on Wall Street as traders braced for an interest rate hike by Federal Reserve.KEEPING SCORE: Japan’s Nikkei 225 index was 1.8 per cent lower at 21,115.45 and the Kospi in South Korea dropped 0.5 per cent to 2,061.48. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slid 1.3 per cent to 25,749.59. The Shanghai Composite index dipped 1 per cent to 2,570.90. Australia’s S&P ASX 200 was down 1.2 per cent at 5,589.50. Shares were lower in Taiwan and Southeast Asia.WALL STREET: On Monday, broad selling knocked U.S. indexes to their lowest levels in over a year. Investors sold almost everything, from technology and retail stocks to steadier high-dividend companies. Less than 40 of the 500 stocks comprising the S&P 500 finished the day higher. The benchmark index gave up 2.1 per cent to 2,545.94, its lowest level since Oct. 9, 2017. The Dow Jones Industrial Average skidded 2.1 per cent to 23,592.98 and the Nasdaq composite was down 2.3 per cent at 6,753.73. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks lost 2.3 per cent to 1,378.14.FED MEETING: The Federal Open Market Committee begins a two-day meeting on Tuesday. It is expected to raise its short-term interest rate by a modest quarter-point, to a range of 2.25 per cent to 2.5 per cent a day later. The rate is used as a benchmark for many consumer and business loans. Investors fear more monetary tightening would weigh on U.S. growth, and eventually, the global economy, that is already expected to slow in 2019 because of trade tensions. President Donald Trump tweeted that it was “incredible” the Fed was considering another rate hike, with “a very strong dollar and virtually no inflation.” The central bank forecasts three more rate hikes in 2019.ANALYST’S TAKE: “Despite Donald Trump’s recent overture, the Fed looks set to hike rates again on Wednesday with market players anxious to see if the economy can handle more policy tightening given expectations for slowing growth,” ING economists Nicholas Mapa and Prakash Sakpal said in a commentary.ENERGY: Oil prices tumbled on worries about oversupply and softening growth in China, which could hit demand. Benchmark U.S. crude shed 89 cents to $48.99 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract dropped $1.32 to $49.88 in New York on Monday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gave up 95 cents to $58.66 a barrel. It lost 67 cents to settle at $59.61 a barrel in London.CURRENCIES: The dollar weakened to 112.60 yen from 112.83 yen in late trading Monday. The euro eased to $1.1342 from $1.1349.___AP Markets Writer Marley Jay contributed to this report. He can be reached at http://twitter.com/MarleyJayAPAnnabelle Liang, The Associated Presslast_img read more

River Forecast Centre says snowpacks still high across BC

first_imgVICTORIA, B.C. — Officials with the B.C. River Forecast Centre say that though the Peace Region is seeing lower than normal levels, snowpacks across the province – including those near Fort Nelson – are extremely high.David Campbell with the River Forecast Centre said that on average, the provincial snowpack levels averaged 169 percent of normal on May 1st, an increase of around 30 percent since April 1st. The snowpack level is currently at 84 percent in the Peace River watershed, though the snowpack in the Liard watershed is 144 percent of normal.Campbell said that much of the snow in the mid-elevation levels has been melting for the past 10 days, with the warm weather expected to increase melting at higher levels. He explained that the rain forecast to fall across much of the Southern Interior later this week luckily won’t be heading to the Peace Region, meaning the region won’t see as much potential flooding compared to areas in the Okanagan and the Cariboo. Campbell however did not rule out the potential for more intense runoff action in the Peace, saying that the flooding experienced in the South Peace two years ago largely occurred because of a combination of melting snowpacks and heavy rain.last_img read more

Four killed on Alberta Peace roads in less than 12 hours

first_imgPEACE RIVER, A.B. – Four people were killed and three seriously injured on roads in the Alberta Peace after four crashes occurred in the span of less than 12 hours – three of which happened less than two hours apart.At 3:43 on Tuesday afternoon, members of the Spirit River RCMP were dispatched to crash on Highway 2 at Township Road 763.A pickup truck travelling west on Township Road 763 collided with an unloaded semi-truck travelling south on Highway 2. Then on Wednesday morning, two more people were killed in a two-vehicle crash that occurred near Peace River.The crash happened just after 1:00 a.m. on Highway 2 near Range Road 252 and involved two SUV’s.The two occupants of one of the SUV’s, a man and a woman, were pronounced dead at the scene.RCMP Corporal Laurel Scott said that the identities of the two deceased have not yet been positively confirmed.Meanwhile, the two female passengers of the other SUV were airlifted to an Edmonton hospital with serious injuries.Highway 2 was closed for over six hours while the RCMP’s collision analyst investigated the scene, and the road reopened shortly before 7:30 this morning.Cpl. Scott added that at this point, it’s not known what caused the collision. At around 5:30, members of the High Prairie RCMP were called out to a single-vehicle rollover collision on Alberta Highway 750 in the community of Grouard, approximately 30 kilometres northeast of High Prairie.Police say that a northbound car crossed the highway’s centre line and went into the ditch on the opposite side of the road before it rolled onto its roof.The lone occupant, a 48-year-old man from McLennan, Alberta was pronounced dead at the scene.The RCMP say that their investigation is ongoing, and are asking anyone who witnessed the crash to contact High Prairie Detachment.center_img The 84-year-old driver of the pickup was airlifted by STARS to an Edmonton hospital in serious condition, while the driver of the semi was unscathed.An hour later, police responded to a two-vehicle collision on Highway 49 and Range Road 110.Police say that according to the preliminary investigation, a tractor-trailer unit travelling westbound on Highway 49 was attempting to pass a tractor, which was hauling hay.At the intersection of Range Road 110, the tractor initiated a left turn, and the two vehicles collided.The 74-year-old male driver of the tractor was declared dead at the scene, while the driver of the semi was uninjured.The Spirit River RCMP saw that both collisions remain under investigation.last_img read more

Extreme cold weather trend will rebound by Wednesday

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The North Peace Region has been experiencing extremely cold weather temperatures for the past four days and temperatures should re-bound to the minus twenties by midweek said Environment Canada.Talking with Bob Sekhon, Meteorologist with Environment Canada, he shares, “Last week we experienced the warm air and now we are seeing this artic ridge of high pressure building an arctic front that is coming through, most of B.C. is settling in an arctic airmass”The region has experienced a shift in air mass from a milder one and now the arctic air has taken over, as winter is considered January, February and March shared Sekhon. We are expected to experience an El Nino which means warmer than normal temps on average over the three month period. “This coincides with the warmer temperatures in January,” said Sekhon. “However events such as artic outbreaks and artic ridges of high pressure that settle in can still occur in this time so we can’t discount snowstorms and cold dense air however the three-month average we would expect it to be slightly above normal.”“Being El Nino you may see more of the temperature swings,” said SekhonTo read more about the projected milder winter CLICK HERElast_img read more

Preparations for High on Ice almost complete for Friday

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – With the High on Ice Winter Festival only three days away, preparations for this year’s Festival are almost complete.Marissa Jordan, Recreation Programmer for the City of Fort St. John, says set up is going great as crews have been working in Centennial Park for the past week, setting up for the Festival.“It’s great. We’ve had crews in there, they’ve started about five days ago. So our carvers carved the big (ice blocks), we call them the commission pieces; they carve them in advance so that they are ready for viewing.” The Pembina High on Ice Winter Festival Opening Ceremonies is taking place this Friday, February 15, at 4:00 p.m. in Centennial Park.The Festival runs from February 15 to the 18 in various locations across Fort St. John, with Centennial Park being the central meeting area. For more information and an event schedule, you can visit the City’s website. Jordan is reminding residents to stay out of Centennial Park as crews continue to set up for the Festival.“We’re just asking for the public to stay out of the space and let them work, and everything will be open to the public on Friday at 4:00 p.m. So the site is coming along, there’s just machinery, power tools, and extension cords and stuff sitting out, so we’re just saying it’s safer for the public to stay away and let these guys focus on what they’re doing. It’s all coming along very well, we haven’t had any hiccups, and they’re just out working away to have everything ready for Friday.”As for mitigating for cold temperatures, Jordan says they will be leaving the cancellation decision up to the individuals that run the events.“We have a lot of volunteer groups that assist. So we leave it into the hands of the individuals that run the events. If temperatures become dangerous, to the point where you’re standing outside for six hours, we don’t, obviously, want our volunteers being subject to that.”Jordan also says that if the temperatures were to get extremely cold,  the event will not be cancelled as there will be warming tents set up in Centennial Park.“A lot of our events in Centennial Park, for say, are in our tent. So we have heated tent space, and that’s where we host a lot of stuff so it doesn’t get cancelled and there is still a little bit of that outdoor element.”last_img read more

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley to speak to Senate committee on energy projects

first_imgThe bill proposes a new way of handling environmental assessments on large natural resource projects, including oil pipelines and mining operations.Notley has said she is concerned the changes would impinge on a provincial right to manage resources.She also has said the proposed rules and timelines could be so onerous they would discourage companies from pursuing mega-projects. EDMONTON, A.B. – Alberta Premier Rachel Notley is to make her case in person to a Senate committee studying proposed legislation that would change how major energy projects are approved.Notley is to appear before the energy, environment and natural resources committee on Thursday.She and her government have already spoken out against Bill C-69, which has passed in the House of Commons and is now before the Senate.last_img read more

Large power outage in Fort St John

first_imgFor updates visit bchydro.com/outages UPDATE as of 8:30 pm – Hydro says power will be restored by 9:30.FORT ST. JOHN, BC – There is a large power outage in Fort St John.Approximately 3,600 people are without power.  There is no estimate for when power will be restored.last_img

Ministers set to discuss timing of carbon tax legal challenges during meeting

first_imgOntario Attorney General Doug Downey says his government has until August to file a notice of appeal to the Supreme Court after that province’s appeal court upheld the federal carbon tax in a split decision.“It’s my understanding that (Saskatchewan) may be looking to have some of the cases consolidated so that … the Supreme Court’s hearing more than one at a time,” said Downey.He said there are pros and cons about presenting the cases together, but wouldn’t comment on his government’s preference or strategy.“From what I understand Saskatchewan is asking for an extension or for more time.” It argues a federally imposed carbon tax on consumers is unconstitutional but lost its case in a 3-2 split decision in its own appeal court.The provincial government appealed to the Supreme Court and says it has a tentative hearing date set for Dec. 5.Alberta Justice Minister Doug Schweitzer says his government is trying to play catch-up to Saskatchewan and Ontario when it comes to mounting its own legal challenge.He says it’s important for the ministers to compare notes about what they’re hearing from their legal teams and he wants the provinces to work together so that the matter is heard by the Supreme Court in a “co-ordinated and thoughtful way.”Schweitzer says he wants Alberta’s case heard by the Alberta Appeal Court before the country’s highest court rules on the issue, so the Supreme Court has the opportunity to consider the province’s evidence when it makes its decision.“We’re trying to work out (the) strategy to make sure each province can bring forward its strongest case to the Supreme Court,” he said. SASKATOON — Attorneys general from Alberta and Ontario say they will discuss the timeline of the different legal challenges launched against the federal carbon tax when they meet in Saskatoon today.The two justice ministers will be joined by their legal teams and their counterparts from New Brunswick and Saskatchewan.Saskatchewan is hosting the meeting to discuss the appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.center_img — by Stephanie Taylor of The Canadian PressThe Canadian Presslast_img read more

Xi Jinping’s BRI faces criticism during China’s political sessions

first_imgBeijing: Chinese President Xi Jinping’s much-touted Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has come under criticism at the annual political sessions of the country, a rare dissent in China’s one party political system, according to a media report Wednesday. The annual sessions of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and the National People’s Conference (NPC) began on March 3 and due to end on March 15. The CPPCC consisting of over 2,000 delegates is a national advisory body with nominated representatives from various walks of life. the NPC which also has over 2,000 legislators is often regarded as rubber stamp parliament for its routine endorsement of laws and policies formulated by the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC). Also Read – Imran Khan arrives in China, to meet Prez Xi JinpingWhile dissent and disagreements are a rarity in China, murmurs of criticism that too against Xi’s BRI, which reportedly carries over trillion USD investment budget, surfaced during the discussions at the two sessions, Hong Kong based South China Morning Post reported on Wednesday. While the two sessions are being held in the backdrop of increasing apprehensions over the adverse impact of the ongoing trade war with the US and continued slowdown of the China’s economy, a former Chinese diplomat Ye Dabo has questioned whether it was accurate for Premier Li Keqiang to say in his government work report that the BRI had made “important progress” last year. Li presented the work report to the NPC on March 5 for adoption. “I think this evaluation may be a bit excessive,” Ye said at the panel discussion which was open to foreign journalists.last_img read more

16 candidates in final poll fray for Darjeeling

first_imgDarjeeling: The final tally of candidates in the poll fray from the Darjeeling constituency now stands at 16. Owing to the number of candidates, two balloting units of the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) have to be placed in each polling booth of the constituency.21 persons had filed their nominations for the Darjeeling constituency seat. During scrutiny, the candidature of Maheswari Barman and Wajed Ali, both independent candidates, was rejected. While Barman did not deposit DCR cash, Ali’s papers were incomplete. Meanwhile, three candidates, namely Pawan Agarwal, R B Rai and Swaraj Thapa, have withdrawn their nominations. “We have 16 candidates in this constituency and hence two balloting units will be provided in each booth,” stated Joyoshi Das Gupta, District Election Officer and District Magistrate. There are 1,899 booths in the constituency. Election symbols for the candidates were also allotted on Friday. The day also saw CPRM candidate RB Rai and independent candidate Swaraj Thapa withdrawing their nominations. While talking to media persons, Thapa stated: “My nomination was a symbolic protest against the idea of repeatedly foisting outsiders for the Darjeeling Lok Sabha constituency.” He added that after he had filed his candidature, he had taken up the exercise to unite the Hill regional parties and decide on a consensus candidate from the candidates who were in the poll fray. “I had approached all regional parties along with the Congress and CPI(M). However, owing to time constraint, this could not materialise,” said Thapa. Nearly a month ago, the CPRM, while still in the exercise to unite the Hill regional parties and field a consensus candidate, had unilaterally announced the name of R B Rai. “Just to save a fractured mandate we withdrew our candidate. We are holding dialogues with national parties and regional parties. In the next few days we will announce our support to a party or coalition,” stated Govind Chettri, CPRM spokesperson.last_img read more

A-Sat test poses risk to ISS, its astronauts, says NASA chief

first_imgNEW DELHI: Indian space and missile experts have rubbished National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s claim that 400 pieces of orbital debris created due to recent India’s anti-satellite missile (A-Sat) test are posing dangers to astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Nasa head Jim Bridenstine, while addressing his employees in the US after India’s A-Sat missile test, said, “India destroyed a satellite at a relatively low altitude of 300 km, well below the ISS and most satellites in orbit. But 24 of the pieces “are going above the apogee of the ISS.” Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM'”That is a terrible, terrible thing to create an event that sends debris at an apogee that goes above the ISS. It’s unacceptable and Nasa needs to be very clear about what its impact to us is,” he said. Bridenstine said, “What we are tracking right now, objects big enough to track. We’re talking about 10 cm or bigger – about 60 pieces have been tracked.” He said, “The ISS is still safe. If we need to manoeuvre it, we will. The probability of that I think is low. But at the end of the day we have to be clear also that these activities are not sustainable or compatible with human spaceflight.” Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KBridenstine is the first top official from the Trump administration to come out in public against India’s ASAT test. Rubbishing such charge against India, former DRDO chief V K Saraswat said, “It is a mere speculative statement. This is a typical American way of dealing with the progress India made. As far as our A-Sat missile test is concerned, all these objects do not have enough velocity to survive in space for too long. With no energy or momentum, these debris generated at the 300 km altitude after the A-Sat test will ultimately fall and burn out in the earth’s atmosphere.” On existing space debris, Saraswat reportedly told Times of India, “Lakhs and lakhs of space debris are already roaming in space, what about the danger from them to ISS. Every year, 190 satellites of varying sizes are launched in the low-earth orbit and this number is going to grow. Each satellite launch creates a lot of debris. So talking about some space debris from India’s A-Sat test is meaningless.” The ISS is orbiting the Earth at an altitude between 330 and 435 km, well above the 300km altitude where India destroyed a DRDO payload Microsat-R weighing 740 kg with an interceptor missile under Mission Shakti project in order to gain the A-Sat missile technology. Former DRDO scientist Ravi Gupta said, “Such comments by the Nasa head are discriminatory and irresponsible. It’s more of a propaganda. India’s test was conducted at 300km altitude and the ISS is at much higher altitude. There is a remote possibility of debris moving upwards and even if some pieces are moving upwards, they will ultimately fall down as they will lose energy or momentum they gained during the missile-satellite collision. Second, the US is blaming us but it itself had conducted a lot of A-Sat tests in the past which generated thousands and thousands of big size space debris, which already pose danger to all space assets of every country, including ours. Likewise, a lot of space debris was created during the similar tests conducted by Russia and China. ” According to United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), only 1,400 of the 19,000 artificial objects currently being tracked in the earth’s orbit are functional satellites. The remaining objects are collectively known as “space debris”. According to an estimate by the European Space Agency, there are over 34,000 pieces of debris in orbit that are larger than 10cm in size, close to a million pieces between 1cm and 10cm, and 128 million pieces of debris less than a centimetre in size.last_img read more

Gambhir says possess only one voter ID; hits back at AAP

first_imgNew Delhi: Hitting back at the AAP, cricketer-turned-politician Gautam Gambhir Sunday asserted that he possessed only one voter identity card, adding that the ruling party in Delhi was making baseless allegations against him as it did not have any vision for the people. Gambhir is fighting against AAP’s Atishi from the East Delhi Lok Sabha constituency this general elections. “I have only one voter ID card from Rajender Nagar. I used to live with my maternal grandparents as a child at Ramjas Road (in Karolbagh), but I never voted from or applied for any voter identity card from there,” he told PTI. Also Read – AIIMS, Health Ministry launch mobile app for oral health info The BJP candidate was responding to Atishi’s claim that he had two voter identity cards from Rajender Nagar and Karolbagh constituencies. He alleged the AAP candidate was making allegations against him as she had nothing to talk about with voters during campaigning. “When you have no vision for the people or nothing else to talk about, you make allegations like these,” Gambhir said. Meanwhile, a Delhi court had on Friday decided to hear Atishi’s criminal complaint against Gambhir in this regard on May 1. Also Read – Odd-Even: CM seeks transport dept’s views on exemption to women, two wheelers, CNG vehicles The AAP candidate had filed the complaint against Gambhir for allegedly enrolling as a voter in more than one constituency in violation the Representation of the People Act(RPA). She had also raised objection over the nomination papers filed by the former cricketer which were rejected by the returning officer of the polls. Gambhir said he believed in “positive politics” and would campaign with a vision to make East Delhi one of the best Lok Sabha constituencies in Delhi, and avoid indulging in blame game with his opponents in the polls. Congress has fielded former Delhi minister Arvinder Singh Lovely from the seat.last_img read more

‘Depressed’ central force jawan shoots colleague

first_imgKolkata: A central force jawan from Assam Rifles was killed and two more were injured after one of their colleagues fired multiple rounds of bullet inside the temporary camp, which was set up for election duty at Bagnan in Howrah district.The fifth phase of Lok Sabha Elections is scheduled on May 6 (Monday) in seven parliamentary constituencies, including Uluberiya. Nine companies of central forces have been sent for poll duty. Among the nine companies, one company was set to camp at the Bangalpur Jyotirmayee Girl’s School in Bagnan. As per the schedule on Tuesday, jawans from 7th battalion of Assam State Armed Police arrived at the school. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaOn Thursday morning, Lakshmikanta Barman, a constable of the company snatched an Insas rifle from one of his colleagues and started firing inside the school. An Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI), identified as Bholanath Das, died on the spot and two more jawans identified as Anil Rajbanshi and Rintumani Bodhak suffered bullet injuries. Local residents and pedestrians got frightened seeing Barman firing inside the school. Other jawans tried to take away the rifle from Barman but failed do so as he had two more magazines with him. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayBarman allegedly fired 20 bullets, which is the capacity of one magazine. After the magazines were empty he allegedly loaded the rifle again and this time he went outside the school. Seeing a jawan with a rifle, local residents started running to safety. Meanwhile, Bagnan police station was informed. Soon police personnel arrived at the school and tried to stop Barman. Meanwhile, some jawans of Assam State Armed Police managed to catch him from behind and take away the rifle away from him. Immediately, he was detained and taken to the police station and later he was arrested. The injured jawans have admitted to hospitals in Uluberiya and Kolkata and at present they are undergoing treatment. According to sources, Barman had asked for leave to avoid the election duty which was not granted. Since then he was reportedly suffering from depression. Every company consists of 100 jawans, of which 80 jawnas are active personnel and the remaining 20 are kept as reserve. Barman was one of reserve personnel. He will be produced before the Uluberiya Court on Friday. To avoid any untoward incident, a police picket has been set up outside the school.last_img read more

About the ripples

first_imgHave you ever taken a walk through the rain on a warm spring day and seen that perfect puddle? You know, the one where the raindrops seem to touch down at just the right pace, causing a dance of vanishing circles? Even before I entered the field of fluid flow research nearly 15 years ago, I was fascinated by the waves that appear after a raindrop hits a puddle. As I became focused on the study of unstable waves in liquid sheets — geared toward mitigating undesirable waves in industrial coating and atomisation processes — my fascination with puddle waves turned into an obsession. What is going on? Where does the pattern come from? Why does the impact of rain in a puddle look different than when rain falls elsewhere, like in a lake or the ocean? It turns out that it all has to do with something called dispersion. Also Read – Hijacking Bapu’s legacyIn the context of water waves, dispersion is the ability of waves of different wavelengths to each move at their own individual speeds. Looking down on a puddle, we see a collection of such waves moving together as one ripple in the water. When a raindrop touches down, imagine it as a “ding” to the water surface. This ding can be idealised as a packet of waves of all different sizes. After the raindrop falls, the packet’s waves are ready to begin their new life in the puddle. Also Read – The future is here!However, whether we see those waves as ripples depends on the body of water that the raindrop lands on. The number and spacing of rings that you see depends on the height of the puddle. This has been verified in some very cool ripple tank experiments, where a drop of the same velocity falls into a container with water at different depths. Shallow puddles enable ripples because they are much thinner than they are wide. The balance between the surface force — between the water puddle and the air above it – and the gravitational force tips in favor of surface force. This is key, since the surface force depends on the curvature of the water surface, whereas the gravitational force does not. An initially still shallow puddle becomes curved at the surface after the raindrop hits. The surface force is different for long waves than for short ones, causing waves of different sizes to separate into ripples. For shallow puddles, the long waves move slowly away from the point of impact, while the short waves move fast, and the really short waves move really fast, becoming tightly packed at the perimeter. This creates the enchanting pattern that we see. Raindrops may react differently in other situations. Imagine that rain is hitting a lake or ocean — or those deep pothole puddles that require galoshes. Here, the raindrop hits the water, but the force due to gravity becomes more important. It moves waves of all sizes at the same speed which may overpower the rippling effect due to the surface force. The combination of teaching undergraduate partial differential equations while simultaneously continuing to research liquid sheets led to what I’ve been calling the “puddle equation.” When solved, the equation creates an animated simulation of what happens after a raindrop hits a puddle. It’s a simplified version of an equation in one of our group’s more recent research endeavors, but it’s also consistent with the classical description of ripples. I use this approximate description of puddle waves as one way to get students excited about math by relating it to the world around them. The study of surface-force-driven waves is important for applications such as coating processes involved in making batteries and solar cells. Such waves also appear as a result of the leg stroke of a water strider insect, but research has found that the water strider isn’t specifically looking to make those waves to enable travel. The beauty of puddle waves is no small thing by itself. By connecting nature with its primal language — mathematics — we gain access to its control panel, allowing us to observe every little detail, uncovering all the secrets.( Nate Barlow is Assistant Professor of Mathematical Science at Rochester Institute of Technology. This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Views expressed are strictly personal)last_img read more