ONGC seeks private partners to raise 64 small fields output

first_imgNew Delhi: State-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) Friday invited bids from private companies for handing over operations of 64 small and marginal oil and gas fields with a view to raising production. The 64 fields have been clustered into 17 contract areas that will be bid out to companies offering the highest oil and gas output on top of a pre-decided baseline production, the company said in a statement.These 64 fields hold a cumulative 300 million tonnes of oil and oil equivalent natural gas reserves, it said. The oil ministry has been unhappy with the near stagnant oil and gas production and believes giving out the discovered fields to private firms would help raise output as they can bring in technology and capital. It has been tasked by the Prime Minister to cut dependence on oil imports by 10 per cent by 2022 from the over 77 per cent dependence in 2014-15. But the dependence has only increased and is now over 83 per cent. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in SepThe bidding under the production enhancement contract (PEC) follows the government decision of last year to give state-owned ONGC and Oil India freedom to induct private and foreign partners in oilfields to raise output. Initially, the oil ministry’s upstream technical advisory body the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons in 2017 had identified 15 fields — 11 of ONGC and four of OIL — that could be sold to foreign and private companies. The move could not go through because of tough resistance from the state-owned firms. Also Read – Ensure strict implementation on ban of import of e-cigarettes: revenue to CustomsThen again in October last year, the ministry wanted ONGC to concentrate on large fields as they contribute to 95 per cent of its production and leave out the rest for private firms. The government has been unhappy with ONGC over its stagnant oil and gas production and inducting partners in small and marginal fields is a way of raising output that was agreed to in a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue last year. ONGC has now invited bids from private firms which could raise output beyond a pre-agreed baseline. Incremental production will be shared between the private company and ONGC in a pre-decided ratio. The company offering the highest share to ONGC would get the contract. “Salient features of the ONGC offering (include) complete marketing and pricing freedom to sell oil and gas on arm’s length basis through competitive basis,” the statement said. The contractor will be selected on a revenue sharing basis. “The revenue will be shared on incremental production over and above the baseline production under Business-As-Usual (BAU) scenario,” it said. Contract period will be for 15 years with an option to extend by five years. ONGC invited bids under the production enhancement contract (PEC) from the interested companies who can bring in technology for raising the output. The company will hold a pre-bid meeting on September 17 and bidding will close on December 20, 2019. ONGC had previously experimented with PEC contracts for two fields but has not been able to select a partner because of receiving conditional bids. The latest PEC tender is on more liberal terms. There will be a reduction of 10 per cent in the royalty rate for additional production of natural gas over and above BAU scenario. ONGC said exploration will be permitted during the contract period including the right to explore all kinds of hydrocarbon. “Contractors will not be required to reimburse any expenses already incurred by ONGC,” it said. “Incentives shall be available for achieving production higher than the committed incremental production.” Announcing Notice Inviting Offer (NIO) seeking partners for enhancement of oil and gas production, the company said it intends to maximise recovery from the 64 fields by infusion of new technology.last_img read more

Minister of Indigenous Affairs says work of inquiry will continue despite commissioners

first_imgAPTN National NewsIndigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett says the current Inquiry has the tools and the people in place to fulfill the mandate of the embattled National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.“First I would like to thank Ms. Poitras for her work,” said Bennett. “I am sure she will continue to be a defender of indigenous issues and continue to look into the tragedy of missing Indigenous women and girls. She has made great sacrifices and contributions and we thank her for that.”Bennett, fresh off a meeting with the Inquiry’s commissioners, faced the media shortly after news broke that Commissioner Marilyn Poitras issued her letter of resignation.In her letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Poitras said she could not work within the structure of the inquiry.“It is clear to me that I am unable to perform my duties as a Commissioner with the process designed in its current structure,” wrote Poitras. “I believe the Terms of Reference could be used to find solutions to do this work and I wish you the best in moving that agenda forward.”Read Marilyn Poitras resignation letter here: Marilyn PoitrasBennett met with the Inquiry July 10 to discuss the concerns appearing in public about the communications issues, and the commission’s plan to execute its mandate.“We had a very productive meeting and I can assure the families that the commissioners are continuing to work diligently and they are trying to find solutions to end violence against Indigenous women and girls,” said Bennett.Marilyn PoitrasSince being announced in the fall of 2016, the Inquiry has suffered through several resignations and firings.February 4, Michael Hutchinson, communications director is let goJune 2, Sue Montgomery, senior communications offiicer resigns.June 15, Tanya Kappo, manager of communications resigns.  June 15, Chantale Courcy, director of operations resigns.June 30, Michèle Moreau, inquiry executive director resigns. Her last day is July 21.But none as big as Poitras, a commissioner walking away from the Inquiry because of the way the process is designed.The first response came from the Assembly of First Nations.“We’re very concerned about this resignation because the work of the National Inquiry is too important and we want to see it succeed for the families,” said National Chief Perry Bellegarde in a statement. “The AFN has made many offers to help the Inquiry connect with all those affected by this tragedy because a ‘families first’ approach is essential to the Inquiry’s success. As part of that effort, we’ve invited the Commissioners to speak at our upcoming AFN Annual General Assembly to share information, and we anticipate a positive response.”The Native Women’s Association of Canada is calling on the commission to restructure.“This process has lost its focus on those who are impacted by the loss of loved ones and on honouring the lives of Indigenous women,” said NWAC Interim President Francyne D. Joe in a statement.  “The departure of a Commissioner, immediately following the resignation of the Executive Director, is a clear indication that there are unresolved structural issues occurring at the highest levels. It’s time to give families the barrier-free process they deserve.”But Bennett isn’t going to intervene in the work of the commissioners.“The commission is totally independent and it is their decision to make in terms of finding processes that will help them achieve their mandate.”“I was impressed by the work plan that they have, the research plan … they really do have the vision, the values, the tools and the plan to to get this work done. There is no question, that we all agree, communication has been an issue. And that they have got to do a better job at communicating their vision, their plan, values and the way that they’re going to get this work done.Successful commissions bring Canadians with them as they go – and this has not been done to date.”Bennett said she will not appoint a new commissioner unless she is directed to do so by the inquiry, and if Cabinet approves it.Poitras’ last day is July 15.last_img read more

Over 3 kg of cocaine seized at Casablanca international airport

Casablanca – Three West African nationals, including a woman, travelling from Sao Paulo to Kotono, were arrested Saturday by the police of the Casablanca international airport for possession of 3.35 kg of cocaine.The drugs were concealed in women handbags, chief of the judicial police of the airport, Abdelhadi Siba told MAP.The defendants, two from Benin and one Sierra Leonean, were transferred to a Hospital in Casablanca after authorities suspected they have swallowed cocaine capsules, chief of the airport brigade for fighting against international drug trafficking said. Since last Marsh, 280 kg of solid drugs were seized and 78 persons of different nationalities were arrested, he added. read more

Top UN envoy congratulates Iraq on capturing footballs Asian Cup

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Representative, Ashraf Qazi, said in a statement that “the determination and ability that Iraqis brought to the game was a reminder that Iraq possesses so much potential.” He also urged Iraqis “to come together to realize it in other aspects of the nation’s life.” Last week, the Special Representative condemned two bomb attacks reportedly claiming the lives of more than 50 football fans after the Iraqi team’s semi-final victory. In a related development, Mr. Qazi – recalling previous statements urging the abolition of the death penalty in Iraq – deplored the execution of a man convicted of participation in the August 2003 attack on United Nations Headquarters in Baghdad which killed Sergio Vieira de Mello and claimed the lives of 21 others. Awraz Abdul-Aziz Mahmoud Sa’id, also known as Abu Umar Al-Kurdi, was convicted to death by the Iraqi Central Criminal Court on 30 March 2006 after being convicted for several terror-related offences. His death sentence was upheld by the Court of Cassation last August and subsequently ratified by the Presidency Council. In a statement issued yesterday, Mr. Qazi “stressed the importance of fair trial principles that must be applied during criminal proceedings in the context of the fight against impunity, and in accordance with Human Rights Treaties to which Iraq is a signatory.” The UN rejects the death penalty, including in cases of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. The Special Representative also repeated his hope that the Iraqi Government will prevent further executions from taking place. 30 July 2007Congratulating Iraq’s football team on its victory in the Asian Cup, the senior United Nations envoy in Baghdad today urged the people of the war-torn country to realize this potential for victory in other aspects of their national life. read more

Gold stocks lead TSX lower amid glum eurozone growth

TORONTO — The Toronto stock market was lower Thursday amid data showing a weakening in Chinese manufacturing and tepid growth figures from the eurozone.The S&P/TSX composite index dropped 21.3 points to 15,540.65, weighed down in particular by gold stocks as bullion prices continued to retreat.The Canadian dollar was up 0.15 of a cent to 91.3 cents US.U.S. indexes advanced with the Dow Jones industrials ahead 21.72 points to 17,000.85, the Nasdaq rose 2.17 points to 4,528.65 and the S&P 500 index was ahead 2.04 points to 1,988.55.“There was a handful of purchasing managers index (PMI) readings for August released around the globe overnight, and the overall tone was not all that great,” said BMO Capital Markets senior economist Robert Kavcic.The preliminary version of HSBC’s manufacturing index for China fell to a three-month low of 50.3 from 51.7 in July, indicating that manufacturing businesses are barely growing.The HSBC report adds to other recent indicators that the recovery is still shaky. Earlier this month, data showed that China’s exports accelerated but imports sagged, which may reflect weakening domestic demand.Also, the purchasing managers index for the eurozone published by Markit Economics fell to 52.8 from 53.8 in July. The report followed other data earlier this month that showed the 18-country eurozone grew at only a slow pace in August, a sign it remains sluggish after a disappointing second quarter in which it did not expand at all.The news from Japan was more positive — there was a firm increase in Japan’s manufacturing PMI to 52.4 from 50.5 in the prior month, ahead of expectations and the best level since March.Meanwhile, the minutes from the latest Federal Reserve meeting released Wednesday indicated that the U.S. central bank is in no rush to hike rates. However, the minutes also showed greater dissension among Fed members on how fast the labour market is improving, a key element in determining when the Fed will raise rates from near zero where they’ve been since the financial crisis.The Fed has emphasized that economic data, not the calendar, will determine when it hikes rates, generally expected around the middle of 2015.Slack in the labour market has been a particular concern, a topic that Fed chairwoman Janet Yellen is expected to address in her speech to the central bank’s economic symposium at the end of the week.The gold sector led decliners, down 1.6% as worries the Fed could move sooner than expected to hike interest rates and a lessening of tensions in the Ukraine/Russia crisis continued to pummel bullion prices. The December gold contract in New York fell $18.90 to US$1,276.30 an ounce.The metals and mining segment fell 1.15% as the China data helped push September copper down one cent to US$3.16 a pound.The energy sector edged 0.12% lower while October crude in New York gained 18 cents to US$93.62 a barrel.The TSX found some lift from financials and consumer staples stocks. read more

Australia to deport Sri Lankan couple seeking permanent residency

Mr Ranasinghe Arachchige, who has spent almost all of his money fighting to keep his family in Australia, said it was starting to sink in that he would have to go back to Sri Lanka.“I was crying yesterday in front of (the case worker),” he said.“I can’t start my life like this back there.” Leader asked Minister Dutton’s office if the family would be deported if Ms Nissankage Harshani was still hospitalised on October 26, but they didn’t answer. Mr Ranasinghe Arachchige said he was desperate to remain in Australia “so my wife and I can continue to work and contribute to our community”.He said he had completed one year of paid work experience in order to qualify for the skilled residence visa, subclass 885, and held an ongoing position so he could return to work when he was no longer a full-time carer for his wife and 16-month-old son, Makeyl, who was born in Australia.“My migration agent presented me a new contract of $11,000 to appeal. I didn’t have this much money,” he said. Last week Greater Dandenong Leader told how the family had spent more than $25,000 in their fight for permanent residency and personally pleaded their case to the Immigration Minister when they paid $2000 to sit near the minister at a ‘Diwali With Peter Dutton’ dinner in Boronia last November. “The Department will continue to work with the family to resolve their immigration status,” a spokeswoman said.Monash Health would not say if a patient still under hospital care could be forced to leave. A man from Sri Lanka fighting for permanent residency in Australia has been told he and his wife will be deported within weeks, The Herald Sun reported.Sri Lankan immigrant Eranda Ranasinghe Arachchige, 39, said his wife Lakmala Nissankage Harshani was still being treated for a mental illness in hospital and had no discharge date but he had been told by his Immigration Department case worker they both have to leave Australia by October 26. He said he had worked hard to complete a diploma in hospitality in his job as manager at Braeside McDonalds and their lives were going smoothly until his wife fell ill. Immigration lawyer Cathrine Burnett-Wake from Harris Wake in Dandenong said visa costs could add up and “vulnerable people who are desperate for a migration outcome can be taken for a ride by unscrupulous migration agents”.The Department of Immigration has refused to say why the family’s application had been rejected.Father Brian Collins from St Anthony’s Parish, Noble Park, where the family attends mass, has organised a supporting letter from Archbishop of Melbourne Denis Hart to be sent to Mr Dutton.A letter from doctors at Monash Health to the Department of Immigration said Ms Nissankage Harshani would become fully well again with the proper medical treatment. They said ongoing visa uncertainty was adding to her stress. (Colombo Gazette) read more

Why bother Oilpatch prospects brighter but no one can be convinced to

CALGARY — Prospects are looking brighter in the Canadian oilpatch as commodity price increases drive higher profits and afford companies room to offer dividend hikes and share buybacks — but slumping stock prices show that the oil and gas sector remains in the penalty box with investors.It’s getting so bad that not even Canadian institutional investors can be convinced to buy Canadian energy company shares, says Grant Fagerheim, CEO of Calgary-based Whitecap Resources Inc.“We want to get Canada back, to be proud Canadians, to be proud producers of our own products and not be penalized for it,” said Fagerheim in an interview after returning from disappointing meetings with investors in New York last week.‘Netflix for oil and gas:’ Oilpatch gears up to do battle over drilling data worth $1 trillionLack of market access hampers Canada’s oil pitch to global investorsEnergy reforms push Trudeau government’s green agenda at expense of oilpatch“The question we are continually asked, whenever I’m on the road, is, ‘Why would we invest in Canada right now, when there isn’t a consistent policy on energy or the economy?’ … Even the Canadian institutional investors are skeptical about investing in Canada.”Investors have been turned off by the lack of export pipeline space for oil and gas, Canada’s failure to match U.S. reductions in corporate taxes, higher personal taxes north of the border and numerous ongoing reviews and changes to provincial and federal regulatory systems that create uncertainty, he said.The pipeline capacity issue has grown worse since the Energy East pipeline to Eastern Canada was cancelled last year after the National Energy Board said it would use a tougher review process that would include looking at indirect emissions related to the pipeline, from production to end-use of the oil.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau approved Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion to the West Coast in 2016, but rejected Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline to Kitimat, B.C. Since then, the NDP government in B.C. and protesters have been trying to disrupt Trans Mountain construction.Whitecap’s story is typical of a sector that just can’t seem to do anything right these days.In November, it announced it would buy a stake in the Weyburn, Sask., CO2 enhanced recovery light oil project from Cenovus Energy Inc. for $940 million and, based on the predicted increase in revenue, would raise its dividend by five per cent.Its shares, which closed at $9.11 that day, fell as low as $7.48 in early March and closed at $7.99 on Friday — although the majority of financial analysts currently rate it as a “strong buy.”So far this year, the S&P/TSX Capped Energy Index has fallen by almost 10 per cent, despite dividend increases and share buybacks by several of its 38 constituents, who represent the cream of the Canadian energy sector.The reward for dividend increases has been hit and miss. Shares in heavy oil giant Husky Energy Inc. and liquids-rich gas producer Tourmaline Oil Corp. have risen since they announced higher payouts to shareholders in early March.But shares in oilsands and refining company Suncor Energy Inc. have been little changed since it raised its dividend by 12.5 per cent on Feb. 7.The companies announcing share buybacks, which return cash to shareholders both directly by providing a buyer for their shares and indirectly by giving each remaining share a bigger equity stake in the company, have included Suncor, Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., Encana Corp., Birchcliff Energy Ltd. and Paramount Resources Ltd., among others.They say their shares are so inexpensive it’s cheaper to buy back their stock to improve performance per share than it is to grow the business by investing in finding and developing new sources of oil and gas.Analysts are left shrugging their shoulders.“It feels like a complete sense of apathy among investors — especially in Canada — and I have no doubt that a large portion of that is due to the pipeline issues,” said analyst Nick Lupick of AltaCorp Capital.“So some are taking the stance of, ‘Forget it, why bother? I’ll go elsewhere until they figure it out.”‘He said the cheap stock prices will likely result in more mergers and acquisitions in the next 12-18 months.A report by analysts at CIBC concluded that “Canadian energy looks cheap, both from a historical and relative perspective,” adding Canadian producers are trading at cash flow multiples far below American rivals despite having generally better debt positions.“I think it is a report card on Canada,” said Tim McMillan, CEO of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, which has launched a campaign calling for lower taxes and fewer regulatory hurdles to restore competitiveness with the United States and other global producers.“I certainly hear back anecdotally from a very wide range of companies that are out trying to raise capital and the Canadian brand today is one where investors don’t see certainty, where they see layered-on costs, where they don’t see a clear path to market access and they’re voting with their dollars.“That’s why we see Canadian investments continually being downgraded.” read more

Annan welcomes release of hostages in Iraq

A spokesman for Mr. Annan said in a statement the Secretary-General “once again calls for the immediate release of all the remaining hostages in Iraq.””He strongly condemns all hostage taking, which no cause can justify and appeals to all parties to adhere strictly to the fundamental precepts of human rights and respect for human life,” spokesman Fred Eckhard said.

Most actively traded companies on the TSX TSX Venture Exchange markets

by News Staff Posted Sep 11, 2012 5:29 pm MDT Most actively traded companies on the TSX, TSX Venture Exchange markets TORONTO – Some of the most active companies traded Tuesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the TSX Venture Exchange:Toronto Stock Exchange (12,220.45 up 5.02points):Westaim Corp. (TSX:WED). Investment firm. Unchanged at 77 cents on 10,829,714 shares. The Toronto-based company announced a cash distribution of 75 cents per common share as a result of the sale of Jevco Insurance Company to a subsidiary of Intact Financial Corp., which was finalized Sept. 5.Talisman Energy Ltd. (TSX:TLM). Oil and gas. Down 12 cents, or 0.85 per cent, at $13.97 on 6,148,121 shares. The oil and gas company announced Monday that industry veteran Hal Kvisle has come out of retirement to be Talisman’s new CEO. Talisman has been undergoing a transition over the past several months, directing capital away from dry natural gas in the face of low prices, selling non-core assets and working to improve project execution.Bombardier Inc. (TSX:BBD.B). Plane and train maker. Up three cents, or 0.85 per cent, at $3.57 on 4,861,604 shares. The company’s aerospace division said Monday it will put a ‘pause’ on discretionary spending to preserve cash. The world’s third largest aircraft maker will suspend new hirings, cancelling off-site meetings and cutting all funding for Christmas parties and will suspend most travel.Yamana Gold Inc. (TSX:YRI). Miner. Down 48 cents, or 2.80 per cent, at $16.64 on 4,501,900 shares. The gold sector was one of the decliners on the main index, down 0.19 point or 0.06 per cent, to 322.28 points.Mirabela Nickel Ltd. (TSX:MNB). Nickel explorer. Unchanged at 31.5 cents on 4,271,900 shares.Teck Resources Ltd. (TSX:TCK.B). Miner. Up $1.54, or 5.27 per cent, at $30.77 on 3,993,538 shares.TSX Venture Exchange (1,274.60 up 3.89 points):Online Energy Inc. (TSXV:ONL). Oil and gas exploration. Up half a cent, or 1.49 per cent, at 34 cents on 3,783,777 shares.Horn Petroleum Corp. (TSXV:HRN). Oil and gas exploration. Up 18.5 cents, or 55.22 per cent, at 52 cents on 3,185,025 shares.Companies reporting major news:Brookfield Asset Management (TSX:BAM.A). Asset manager. Down 16 cents, or 0.47 per cent, at $34.09 on 601,446 shares. U.S. mall owner General Growth Properties, Inc., whose major shareholder is Toronto-based Brookfield Asset Management, rejected an activist investor’s push to sell the company to a rival American mall owner. read more

We can consign rabies to the history books with new plan to

“Rabies is 100 per cent preventable through vaccination and timely immunization after exposure, but access to post-bite treatment is expensive and is not affordable in many Asian and African countries,” said Dr. Margaret Chan, the Director-General of the UN World Health Organization (WHO).“If we follow this more comprehensive approach, we can consign rabies to the history books,” Dr. Chan said in the WHO announcement.The framework launched today by WHO, the World Organization for Animal Health, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Global Alliance for the Control of Rabies, calls for three key actions – making human vaccines and antibodies affordable, ensuring people who get bitten receive prompt treatment, and mass dog vaccinations to tackle the viral disease at its source.The announcement comes as WHO is hosting in Geneva, Switzerland today and Friday, an international conference of experts, donors, and veterinary and public health officials who will adopt the plan of action that is expected to deliver prompt post-exposure prophylaxis for all in rabies endemic areas, as well as a framework for scaling up sustained, large-scale dog vaccination.“The first event of its kind, the conference will be instrumental in securing the required support to advance the goal of global elimination of rabies by 2030,” the target year of the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the United Nations this year.According to WHO, “tens of thousands of people die from rabies each year and, worldwide, 4 out of every 10 people bitten by suspected rabid dogs are children aged under the age of 15. One person dies every 10 minutes, with the greatest burden in Asia and Africa.”“The cost of human vaccines to protect from rabies is, however, beyond the reach of many of those who may need it,” the agency said. “Treatment for people who are bitten can cost $40–50, representing an average of 40 days of wages in some of the affected countries.”“Recognizing that human vaccination is currently not always affordable, the new framework emphasizes prevention through vaccinating dogs – whose bites cause 99 per cent of all human rabies cases,” it said. “A dog vaccine costs less than $1.”Recent WHO-led pilot projects in the Philippines, South Africa, and Tanzania have demonstrated that mass vaccination of dogs can drastically reduce and eventually eliminate human rabies deaths.But the new framework also calls for making more accessible human vaccines.Bringing down the cost of human rabies vaccines and treatments will require strong international collaboration to make quality-assured vaccines and rabies immunoglobulin available to health centres in regions where rabies is endemic, the agency said.Rabies is an infectious viral disease that is almost always fatal following the onset of clinical signs, according to WHO. read more

A sexy walk is as important to a womans attractiveness as her

Reflective markers were placed on their ankles, knees, hips, shoulders, elbows, wrists, in the middle of their forehead, on their clavicles and on their navel.The footage was then stripped of all features except the points of light and cut to 10-second clips which were graded by 14 women and 11 men from one (very unattractive) to seven (very attractive).A further 50 volunteers were asked to rate the same women in photographs or in film footage.The results of all three tests found that women with a body mass index of 19-23 were judged to be the most attractive, along with women with smaller waist to hip ratio, or an “hourglass shape”. When participants could not see the women but only the way their bodies moved, they tended to find the same women attractive. However, there was a strong correlation between attractiveness, and those whose walk had them taking small steps and wiggling their hips.Dr Morrison said: “The results suggested that movement is as important as static measurements in gauging attractiveness, which was surprising because everyday experience suggests you can see easily how attractive someone is from a photograph.”I’m not sure why a particular walking style is considered attractive but gait might be giving away important clues to a woman’s fitness and age – key components of reproductive health.” The attractive shape on the left, and the unattractive shape on the right For the study, published in the journal Visual Cognition, 37 women with a range of body types, and all wearing leggings and t-shirts, were filmed walking on a treadmill at a steady pace. A woman taking part in the experimentCredit:University of Portsmouth/Solent How a woman walks is as important as her body shape in making her attractive to others, a British study has claimed.The study by University of Portsmouth evolutionary psychologist Dr Ed Morrison is the first to compare women’s body movement to conventional measures of body shape attractiveness, including body mass index and a small waist compared with hips.Dr Morrison said: “A combination of small waist, rounded hips and bottom, and a slim figure have long been reported to be important in women’s attractiveness, but it turns out the way a woman moves is as important.”Most previous research into what makes a body attractive has relied on photographs, but in real life we usually see a potential mate moving. Motion is also crucial in courtship behaviours like dancing.”Research shows that we are more likely to find a woman attractive if she wiggles her hips and takes small steps.”Because body shape preferences vary across cultures and through history, the study aimed to find out if you take away the face, what sort of clues would people use to gauge attractiveness.”Motion capture allows us to isolate movement from body shape and compare the relative importance of the two.” He added that further research was needed to find out whether the role of movement varied between cultures and whether attractiveness in motion could be faked.He said: “It would be interesting to test if people can actively change their movement to attract or deter mates.”Using such knowledge is similar in evolutionary psychology terms to a woman wearing red lipstick or eyeliner, both of which directly mimic signals of fertility, youth or health.” A woman taking part in the experiment The attractive shape on the left, and the unattractive shape on the rightCredit:University of Portsmouth/Solent Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

Two million Britons are taking seven different prescription drugs

Ms Abrahams urged pensioners who were on multiple medications to talk to their GP, and not come off any drugs without a consultation. “It is really important that a clinician, typically your GP, has a good overview of all your medicines and considers from time to time with you whether they are still the best for your health, not only on their own but when taken together with the other medications you are on.“Most older people would agree that the fewer pills they have to pop, the better,” she said. The report warns that side effects such as confusion, dizziness and delirium can mean elderly people end up being rushed to hospital, or even suffering fatal consequences. A 2015 study in Spain found those taking six medicines or more a day were nearly three times as likely to die prematurely than those on no drugs at all.Health officials have embarked on a review of overprescribing, which is expected to report next year. Next month Public Health England will publish its findings from a separate investigation examining prescription drug addiction, amid concern about the rising number of people hooked on opiate painkillers, anti-anxiety drugs and antidepressants. “We recently launched a review into overprescribing in the NHS which experts, including Age UK, are contributing to and the findings will be published in due course.” NHS figures show one in eleven adults prescribed potentially addictive drugs in the past year – with a 50 per cent rise in prescribing levels over 15 years.Ministers said decisive action was needed to stop the problem reaching the scale now seen across the United States.Two thirds of those on “dependence forming medicines” are female, and typically in their 50s and 60s, national research shows.Dr Keith Ridge, England’s chief pharmaceutical officer said: “We know many patients are prescribed medicines they may no longer need or should be adjusted, which is why the NHS Long Term Plan is funding expert pharmacy teams across the country to give advice to people with long term illnesses – who are often taking multiple medicines for several conditions – and extra support to staff. The NHS is also already investing in thousands of new clinical pharmacists to work with GPs and care homes to carry out medication reviews with the most vulnerable patients.”A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said:  “We are committed to making sure patients get the safest and most appropriate treatment, while cutting down unnecessary prescriptions.“From October, patients leaving hospital will get more time with their pharmacists to discuss any changes to their medication. And as part of the NHS Long Term Plan, 900,000 more people will be referred to social prescribing schemes over the next five years. Two million pensioners are taking at least seven types of prescription drugs – putting them at risk of potentially lethal side-effects, a major report warns. Age UK said the rise of “polypharmacy” was putting lives at risk, with three quarters likely to suffer adverse reactions to at least one of their drugs. The research found that the number of emergency hospital admissions linked to such side-effects has risen by 53 per cent in seven years, with some cases proving fatal.Ministers have ordered a review of over prescribing, amid warnings that the drugs bill has risen from £13 billion to more than £18 billion in seven years. The charity warned that one in five people over retirement age – 1.97 million pensioners in total- are on at least seven types of drug. And one quarter of those over the age of 85 are on at least eight different treatments, the research shows.Experts said GPs were doling out too many drugs because they were too busy to properly consider complex health problems, and the risk of side-effects, and interactions between different drugs. Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, said: “We are incredibly fortunate to live at a time when there are so many effective drugs available to treat older people’s health conditions, but it’s a big potential problem if singly or in combination these drugs produce side effects that ultimately do an older person more harm than good.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. The charity said all older people taking long-term medicines should be subject to medicine reviews, to ensure they were not on too many drugs, with “zero tolerance of inappropriate polypharmacy”. read more

Govt looking to improve marijuana licencing approval process in Jamaica

The Jamaican Government is now seeking to speed up the approval process for licensing of stakeholders in the local cannabis injustry.This is according to the Industry Minister, Karl Samuda who has revealed that he is not happy with the progress of the industry as it is not progressing as anticipated.Samuda said “We are not satisfied with the pace at which approvals are made (nor) the manner in which we anticipated that this industry would take off”.He made the remarks while responding to questions from opposition legislator Peter Bunting, regarding the Estimates of Expenditure for cannabis product development.The queries were made during the recent meeting of the Standing Finance Committee of Parliament.According to the Minister, many stakeholders are of the view that the approval process is too “cumbersome” and “lends itself to unnecessary bureaucracy and delay, and I certainly anticipate that we will see some significant changes”.He noted that while two licences have been approved and the licensees have started production, “I think there is a lot more that can be done if some of the bureaucracy is removed”.“It is an industry that can take off and earn massive amounts of foreign exchange, and that is why we are going to pay particular attention to loosening up all the knots that have plagued us over the last year.” Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedCaribbean News Round-upOctober 13, 2015In “Regional”Jamaica Gov’t announces major changes to Marijuana lawsJune 13, 2014In “Crime”Custodial sentences for small amounts of marijuana to be abolished- PresidentSeptember 1, 2018In “Crime” read more

Coppinger on Zappone She wore a Repeal jumper on the march and

first_imgI think she has now being greeted with disbelief and absolute rage because she got elected on a pro-choice platform – no limits, fully pro-choice and got votes on that basis. Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Coppinger on Zappone: ‘She wore a Repeal jumper on the march and she won’t vote for a repeal bill’ Speaking to, Coppinger said the AAA-PBP are calling on John Halligan, Shane Ross and Finian McGrath to stand by their principles and support the bill. By Christina Finn Oct 22nd 2016, 10:15 PM 90 Comments In fairness the other three [John Halligan, Finian McGrath and Shane Ross] made a bit of a stand on the fatal foetal abnormalities bill, but she has just lost all credibility. She is very damaged by it, and I don’t know if she knows that. Short URL Now I understand they are looking for a free vote on it, and it is good that they have held the line against Fine Gael’s threats, but it is seems like the government are talking about some kind of mechanism that would put some sort of amendment to the bill that would delay it – we utterly reject that.It’s been reported that Standing Order 148 could be used to delay the debate. Coppinger said it is normally used when a bill is ill-conceived or without sufficient debate and rejects its use.She added that unlike Wallace’s fatal foetal abnormalities bill, where there were criticisms over alleged discrepancies, next week’s bill has been cleared legally.“They can’t use that excuse again, this has been cleared,” she said.The Dublin West TD added that the Citizens’ Assembly should not be used as some sort of “flag of convenience” to support the government.The full interview with AAA-PBP’s Ruth Coppinger will be published this Sunday at 7am.READ: Trouble brewing as Independent Alliance still want a free vote on Repeal the Eighth bill>READ: Labour bill aims to clamp down on rogue crisis pregnancy agencies operating in Ireland> Responding to the comments made by Coppinger, a spokesperson for the minister said:“Deputy Coppinger does not by any means speak for all who make up the Repeal the 8th campaign – I don’t know if she knows that.“Minister Zappone was greeted with warmth and a spirit of solidarity on the March for Choice – to suggest otherwise is simply wrong.“During the General Election, the formation of Government and during many interviews since the Minister has been clear in her view that a Citizen’s Assembly offers the best possible opportunity to repeal. The Assembly is now a reality with the 8th amendment the first item on its agenda.”Ross and co.The Independent Alliance met this week to discuss its position.It’s understood they have the same thoughts on the bill as they did on Mick Wallace’s legislation on fatal foetal abnormalities. Their position then was that there should be a free vote on the issue.If that is granted, it’s expected that Sports Minister Shane Ross, and junior ministers John Halligan and Finian McGrath, would support the AAA-PBP bill.Junior minister Sean Canney and Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran are expected to vote against the bill (as Fine Gael members will do).Previous divisionsWallace’s bill divided the minority government in July, with members seeking a free vote, much to the dissatisfaction of government.In the end, Ross, Halligan and McGrath voted against the government. Minister for Children Katherine Zappone, an Independent TD, voted with Fine Gael on the issue.The bill was defeated by 95 votes to 45.Coppinger is calling for members of the Independent Alliance to do the same this time around and said they would be compromised if they rolled back on it next week.‘Stand by their principles’She called on the three TDs “to make a principle stand because they voted, the three of them, for this bill, the same bill, 18 months ago in May 2015″.John Halligan spoke in favour of it, so why 18 months later would you disagree with it. Image: RUTH COPPINGER IS calling on members of the Independent Alliance and independent TD Katherine Zappone to ‘stick by their principles’ and stand up to Fine Gael on the Repeal the Eighth Bill due before the Dáil next week.Speaking to, Coppinger said the AAA-PBP are calling on Zappone, John Halligan, Shane Ross and Finian McGrath to support the bill, given their pro-choice beliefs.The Private Members Bill is due to be debated on Tuesday 25 October, with a vote taking place two days later.The bill calls for a referendum to be held to repeal the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution and allow for the Dáil to legislate for abortion services in Ireland.Tonight, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the bill “cuts across” the work of the Citizens’ Assembly.‘She was elected on a pro-choice platform’Coppinger had some particularly critical words for the Children’s Minister after she confirmed that she will vote against the bill next week. Children’s Minister Katherine Zappone and AAA-PBP TD Ruth Coppinger Source: Katherine Zappone/Twitter Stretching the length of the North Quays #repealthe8th— Katherine Zappone (@KZapponeTD) September 24, 2016 Saturday 22 Oct 2016, 10:15 PM Children’s Minister Katherine Zappone and AAA-PBP TD Ruth Coppinger Image: Share331 Tweet Email1 Before the election she said I won’t go into a government that won’t have a referendum on it. She went into the government without a referendum. Then she went on the march with the Repeal jumper on and now she won’t vote for a repeal bill. 24,368 Views last_img read more

Greece to press Karagiozi claims

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram A Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Thursday that Athens will press its claims on a shadow-puppet theater tradition that the United Nations cultural watchdog UNESCO has deemed to be part of Turkey’s cultural heritage.“Karagiozis is an inextricable part of our culture,” Grigoris Delavekouras told reporters. The spokesman invoked the UNESCO convention on “intangible cultural heritage,” noting that it “enables neighboring countries to access the same commodity.”Karagiozis – Greek for the Turkish “Karagoz,” meaning “black-eyed” – is the central character in a popular shadow-puppet theater series that originated in Turkey and was very popular in Greece up until the 1990s.In the Greek show, which features a cast of social stereotypes and is set loosely during the Turkish occupation of Greece, Karagiozis is a hunchbacked con man who makes a living bamboozling Turkish officials. Karagioizis is also a common byword for “clown” in the Greek vernacular.The Greek Theater of Shadows, one of the few forums for enthusiasts that continues to stage Karagiozis shows, yesterday issued a press release criticizing the government for its delayed reaction to the “Turkification” of Karagiozis, noting that UNESCO had placed Karagoz on its list of intangible cultural elements, associating it with Turkey, last September. “We wrote to the Culture Ministry last year, describing the matter as one of national importance and seeking its support… but, instead of sensitivity and interest, we faced total indifference,” the press release said. The theatre group called on the government to subsidize Karagiozis performances and promote the Greek shows, and their history, to foreign visitors.last_img read more

UPDATE One student shot at high school in Taft Calif

first_imgTAFT, Calif. (AP) — A 16-year-old student armed with a shotgun walked into class in a rural California high school on Thursday and shot one student, fired at another but missed, and then was talked into surrendering by a teacher and another staff member, officials said.The teen victim was in critical but stable condition, Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood told a press conference. The sheriff said the teacher suffered a minor pellet wound to the head but declined treatment.When the shots were fired, the teacher began trying to get the more than two dozen students out a back door and also engaged the shooter in conversation to distract him, Youngblood said. A campus supervisor responding to a call of shots fired also began talking to him.“They talked him into putting the shotgun down,” Youngblood said.The sheriff said that at one point the shooter told the teacher, “I don’t want to shoot you” and named the person he wanted to shoot.The shooter may have had up to 20 shotgun rounds in his pockets, he said.Officials said there’s usually an armed officer on campus but the person wasn’t there because he was snowed in. Taft police officers arrived within 60 seconds of first reports.last_img read more

Police find missing Davie man with autism

first_imgDAVIE, FLA. (WSVN) – Police have found a man with autism who went missing in Davie.The search was previously on for 40-year-old Richard Quarterman Jr.The man was last seen leaving on foot from the Sunrise Group Home, located along Stirling Road in Davie, late Monday morning.Police said Quarterman suffers from medical issues and has autism, but is verbal.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

Senate Approves Authorization Bill Early

first_imgThe Senate on Thursday passed a defense authorization bill for the first time in three years, an achievement that should pave the way for Congress to reach agreement on a compromise measure well before the new fiscal year.The Senate’s failure to pass the annual policy bill in each of the two previous years prevented the House and Senate from convening a formal conference committee to hash out a final version of the legislation. Instead, the chairmen and ranking members of the two Armed Services panels held informal talks to reach a compromise.“This is how the Senate should operate — regular order, on time, giving our military the certainty they need to plan and execute their missions,” said Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.), reported CQ.The chamber passed its fiscal 2016 authorization bill 71-25, overcoming Democratic opposition to the measure’s use of DOD’s war account to increase the Pentagon’s budget without busting the statutory spending caps. Passage also came with the looming threat of a presidential veto. The White House has objected to the addition of $38 billion to the overseas contingency operations (OCO) account as an end run around the spending caps, as well as the measure’s failure to grant the administration’s request to hold a BRAC round in 2017.Senior Armed Services Democrats, including ranking member Jack Reed (R.I), opposed the bill due to its reliance on the OCO account. McCain acknowledged that using the war account was not an ideal solution, but at the same time he stressed the need to bolster the defense budget.“I’m not sure we have a greater obligation than that to do everything possible to [protect] the lives of our men and women serving in uniform,” McCain said. “And to get hung up on the method of funding … which many will use as a rationale for opposing this bill, seems to me an upside-down set of priorities. Badly upside-down,” he said. Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more

Did You Know That Dr Martin Luther King Jr Won A GRAMMY

first_img Did You Know That Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Won A GRAMMY? In addition to being nominated three times, the civil rights leader posthumously won for Best Spoken Word Recording in 1971 for “Why I Oppose The War In Vietnam”Rachel BrodskyGRAMMYs Jan 21, 2019 – 8:42 am Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is as instantly recognizable in American history as a public figure can be. The civil rights leader, who singlehandedly challenged ingrained racial barriers in the United States through peaceful protest, earned a number of accolades in his too-short life, including the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 and, the following year, the American Liberties Medallion by the American Jewish Committee (among others). Among his many, many awards is even a GRAMMY: Dr. King postumously won for Best Spoken Word Recording at the 13th GRAMMY Awards in 1971 for “Why I Oppose The War In Vietnam.”Not only that, but Dr. King was nominated two other times: once at the 11th GRAMMY Awards in 1969 for Best Spoken Word Recording (I Have A Dream), and prior to that in 1964 at the 6th GRAMMY Awards, for Best Documentary, Spoken Word Or Drama Recording (Other Than Comedy) for “We Shall Overcome (The March On Washington…August 28, 1963).”In honor of Dr. King and his mission, which we observe on Martin Luther King Day, let’s revisit his GRAMMY-nominated (and winning!) works. At The 6th Annual GRAMMY Awards…​In the early ’60s, Dr. King earned his first GRAMMY nod for We Shall Overcome (The March On Washington…August 28, 1963), which was up for Best Documentary, Spoken Word Or Drama Recording (Other Than Comedy).The authorized radio broadcast captured more than 250,000 people marching on Washington, D.C. in peaceful protest against racial segregation and for equal rights legislation. It featured performances from folk heroes Joan Baez, Odetta, Bob Dylan, Peter, Paul & Mary and Marian Anderson. It also captured Dr. King’s now world-renowned “I Have A Dream” speech, where he famously called for racial and economic justice, as well as a general end to racism in the United States.At The 11th Annual GRAMMY Awards…One year after his assasination, the Recording Academy again recognized Dr. King with a Best Spoken Word Recording nomination. As opposed to the early ’60s radio broadcast recording mentioned above, this nomination recognized a newer recording distributed by 20th Century Fox Records called Have A Dream: The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 1929-1968, with the subtitle reading, “The original address from the March on Washington, August 28, 1963.” According to Discogs, King is the only advertised name on the album jacket, but co-organizer A. Phillip Randolph and fellow civil rights activists Dr. Benjamin E. Mays, John Lewis, Whitney M. Young, Jr. and Roy Wilkins are also featured on the recording.  Facebook News NETWORK ERRORCannot Contact ServerRELOAD YOUR SCREEN OR TRY SELECTING A DIFFERENT VIDEO Apr 23, 2018 – 5:54 pm Reflecting On The Message Of Dr. King With Music Email At The 13th Annual GRAMMY Awards…When Dr. King postumously won a GRAMMY in 1971, it was Best Spoken Word Recording for “Why I Oppose The War In Vietnam.” He gave the famous speech at the Riverside Church in New York City in the spring of 1967, one year before he was assassinated. “We as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values,” King said in his GRAMMY-winning sermon. “We must rapidly begin the shift from a thing oriented society to a person oriented society, when machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered. A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies…true compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar, it comes to see that an edifice that produces beggars needs restructuring.”As you can no doubt tell, revisiting King’s teachings on peace and race equality are a vital part of how society will continue to evolve, even decades later. Have a happy and healthy Martin Luther King Day, and find out who’ll take home GRAMMY gold this year when the 61st GRAMMY Awards air on Sunday, Feb. 10 on CBS.  Read more Twitter Did You Know That Martin Luther King Won A GRAMMY? did-you-know-dr-martin-luther-king-jr-won-grammylast_img read more

Alaskans say feds shirk ANILCAs no more pledge

first_imgGov. Bill Walker and other witnesses testify in U.S. Senate.This week marks the 35th anniversary of a federal law that reshaped Alaska, literally redrew the map. It’s called the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. ANILCA created new preserves and refuges across the state. It nearly doubled the size of the National Park system. It also set policy on subsistence, mining, drilling and access to Alaska’s public land.  It’s a complicated document that took years of negotiation. But at a congressional hearing today , Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Gov. Bill Walker said the feds aren’t living up to their end of the bargain.Download AudioMurkowski convened the hearing, as chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. ANILCA, she says, set aside lands for conservation but was supposed to leave the rest available for development. Murkowski cited part of Jimmy Carter’s description of the final bill.“’ One hundred percent of the offshore areas and 95 percent of the potentially productive mineral areas will be available for exploration and development,’” she read. “What a promise that was!”Instead, the senator says, federal agencies have wrongly closed off more and more federal lands to development. Gov. Walker, one of the hearing witnesses, agrees.“We haven’t gotten the benefit of the deal,” he said. “The deal was, it was a compromise and it was supposed to be balanced. And it hasn’t been. The ‘no more’ clause has not, has not been honored. We have not had the access that we should have had.”The  “no more” clause is a provision of ANILCA that says there are to be no more lands in Alaska withdrawn, unless Congress approves. It even bans certain studies of public lands in Alaska for more conservation. All but one of the invited witnesses agreed that federal agencies regularly violate this no-more promise. Some said the federal government is starving the trans-Alaska Pipeline of oil by, among other things, allowing rigs on only part of the National Petroleum Reserve. Walker says Alaska can’t afford to lose the pipeline.“It would shut down Alaska. It would turn Alaska into something that we have not seen since prior to statehood,” he said. “And what a shame that would be because of – not a lack of resource – lack of access to the resource.”State Sen. John Coghill, R-Fairbanks, brought up the BLM’s move to expand their “Areas of Critical Environmental Concern” in the Interior, which has alarmed gold miners in the Fortymile Mining District . Coghill says these ACEC designations aren’t allowed under ANILCA.“They’re contrary to the law. They’re being used by the agencies to treat areas of critical concern with the idea of looking at wilderness characteristics,” Coghill testified. “It’s another withdrawal. It violates the ‘no more’ clause so significantly that it’s blatant.”No one from the federal agencies was on the witness list. Murkowski said there wasn’t enough time for all who wanted to weigh in. But Valerie Brown, of the environmental law firm Trustees for Alaska, was on the panel. Brown says ANILCA has been a huge success, bringing the state tens of thousands of jobs in outdoor recreation and billions in consumer spending. Brown claims the other witnesses don’t understand what the “no more” clause really means.“It says that there can’t be any more studies for the single purpose of creating a new conservation system unit in Alaska,” she said. “So that means we can’t go to unrestricted federal lands and say, ‘We’d like a new national park here.’”But, Brown says, where the federal government has already “withdrawn” lands in parks and refuges and the like, the agencies still have to manage those lands and follow laws like the Federal Land Policy and Management Act. As for the “Areas of Critical Environmental Concern” – the ACECs Coghill spoke about — Brown argues the government’s plan to expand them IS legal.“Those are required by law, they’re not withdrawals,” she said. “They’re the agency looking at all of its land and saying, ‘OK, under FLPMA we have to decide where the most critical habitat is and we’re going to designate an ACEC here.’ It’s not a withdrawal. It’s the still the same land designation and land withdrawal it was before.”It was a busy day in Congress and Murkowski was the only senator present for most of the hearing.last_img read more