ExPeru president arrested in California drunkenness case

SAN FRANCISCO — Former Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo, wanted in his home country in connection with Latin America’s biggest graft scandal, was arrested in California on suspicion of public intoxication and spent the night in jail before he was released Monday morning, authorities said.Alejandro Toledo, 72, was arrested Sunday night at a restaurant near the San Francisco Bay Area city of Menlo Park, said San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Rosemerry Blankswade.Toledo, who was Peru’s president from 2001 to 2006 and has lived in California in recent years, was released without charges Monday morning, which Blankswade said is routine for most public drunkenness arrests.Toledo is wanted in Peru where authorities have offered a $30,000 reward for his capture. Peruvian prosecutors accuse him with of taking $20 million in bribes from Brazilian construction firm Odebrecht while he served as president. He has denied wrongdoing.Peru is seeking Toledo’s extradition from the U.S. In February 2017, then-President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski asked President Donald Trump to deport the ex-Peruvian president.Blankswade said the international police organization Interpol had issued a “warning” to law enforcement agencies around the world to notify it if and when Toledo was arrested. But Interpol officials told officials in the sheriff’s office they had no immediate plans to extradite Toledo and he was released, she said.“After reaching out to Peruvian officials and Interpol, we learned that the existence of charges in Peru alone does not authorize the subject’s arrest in the United States,” Blankswade said.She did not disclose details about what led to officers being sent to the restaurant where Toledo was arrested, and did not name the restaurant.Interpol officials did not immediately return phone messages left with the organization’s U.S. office in Washington D.C. seeking commentIn a statement, Peru’s foreign ministry said Toledo’s detention “has no relation with the extradition process underway, which is being handled with the utmost zeal and in co-ordination with various institutions.”Odebrecht in 2016 admitted in a plea agreement with the U.S. Justice Department to paying some $800 million in bribes to politicians throughout Latin America including $29 million.The scandal has hit a particularly rough note in Peru, where nearly every living president is suspected or under investigation for ties to Odebrecht.Former President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski resigned last year after opposition lawmakers revealed that his private consulting firm had previously undisclosed ties to the construction giant.Prosecutors are also investigating ex-President Alan Garcia after revelations that bribes were made during the construction of Lima’s subway under his tenure. Former President Ollanta Humala was also briefly jailed in connection with the case.All of Peru’s former presidents have denied wrongdoing.Toledo was a visiting scholar at Stanford University in 2017.__Associated Press writers Christine Armario in Bogota, Colombia and Franklin Briceno in Lima, Peru contributed to this report.Paul Elias, The Associated Press read more

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Senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj passes away

Senior BJP leader and Former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, 67, passed away at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on Tuesday night after suffering a heart attack in the evening.The senior BJP leader was brought to AIIMS at 10:15 PM and was straight away taken to the emergency ward. However, she adjusted to the role and gave the external affairs ministry a human face for the first time. She was the troubleshooter for any Indian stuck anywhere abroad. The Congress condoled her death and tweeted, “We are saddened to hear about the untimely demise of Smt Sushma Swaraj. Our condolences to her family and loved ones.”A star minister during Modi government’s first stint, Sushma Swaraj did not contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and chose to sit out of the government this year on account of her health. Sushma Swaraj’s husband and other family members, along with Dr Harshvardhan, Piyush Goyal, Pralhad Joshi and Nitin Gadkari, are present at AIIMS. She had a kidney transplant in 2016 and had opted out of contesting Lok Sabha polls earlier this year for health reasons. After PM Modi’s swearing-in ceremony last month, Sushma Swaraj wrote an emotional message on Twitter, thanking PM Narendra Modi for giving her the opportunity to hold the office for five years.In the tweet, Sushma Swaraj said, “Prime Minister, you gave me an opportunity to serve our countrymen and overseas Indians as the Foreign Minister for five years and personally, also, gave me respect throughout my tenure. I am very grateful to you. I pray that our government becomes very successful.”Sushma Swaraj was an important link between the government and the people. Many political observers viewed Swaraj as a challenger to PM Narendra Modi in the initial months of the government. She took a personal interest in resolving minor issues like issuance of visa to the needy and getting relief to Indians in distress. She built an Indian human capital abroad and the response was an outpouring of support for the Modi government from the non-resident Indian community. (Courtesy India Today) read more

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Credit counselling in high demand in Alberta as oilpatch downturn hits home

by Lauren Krugel, The Canadian Press Posted Mar 31, 2015 12:24 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Credit counselling in high demand in Alberta as oilpatch downturn hits home CALGARY – The Racette family is on a cash-only diet for the next four years.Dale Racette, a truck driver, and his wife, a school bus driver, are trying to dig themselves out of a $45,000 hole.It wasn’t any one thing. The day-to-day costs of raising two children just piled up over 14 years, Dale Racette said from Red Deer, Alta.Two months ago, the Racettes sought the help of a credit counsellor to work out a debt repayment plan. The first step was to shred their six credit cards.Racette says he’s optimistic his job at a distribution company is safe, but he’s lived through enough economic ups and downs in Alberta to know he can’t take anything for granted.“I think I’m pretty secure. I wouldn’t bet a whole lot of money I don’t have, mind you,” he said.According to Statistics Canada, Alberta lost 14,000 net jobs in February — 7,000 of those in the natural resources sector. Suncor Energy Inc. (TSX:SU), Cenovus Energy Inc. (TSX:CVE), Nexen ULC and ConocoPhillips Canada are among the big oil companies to have cut jobs as they grapple with low oil prices.The pain is being felt in the public sector, too. In announcing a grim budget with a record $5-billion deficit last week, the Alberta government said it would be shedding 2,016 jobs. Most of those cuts will be through attrition, but around 370 layoffs are expected.And there’s another layer of hardship that doesn’t grab headlines, said credit counsellor Nadia Graham.“We’re seeing people in the oil and gas industry who aren’t necessarily getting laid off, but they haven’t got their annual bonus, . . . (and) they aren’t getting the overtime they normally get.”“It’s putting a pinch on peoples’ finances,” Graham said. “The debt problems that we’re seeing are not debt problems that have been created in the last, say, four months or so, but they’re issues that have come to a head.”Jeff Schwartz, executive director of Consolidated Credit Counselling Services of Canada, said he saw a 38 per cent year-over-year increase in clientele from Alberta in February. Nationwide, there was also an increase — but in the order of 10 to 15 per cent.Schwartz said he’s not surprised by the numbers. A report by credit monitoring agency Equifax earlier this month said Calgarians had the highest non-mortgage debt loads in the country — an average of $28,263 in the last three months of 2014. Edmonton wasn’t far behind, with average debt at $26,305.“Albertans are in the deepest debt,” said Schwartz. “They’re used to earning big. When a boom cycle comes through, they do very well and that’s a good thing. But as part of that, they also live big.”There was a 58.7 per cent increase in consumer proposals in Alberta between December 2013 and December 2014, according to Ottawa’s latest insolvency statistics.Bruce Alger, a licensed trustee at personal insolvency firm Grant Thornton in Calgary, said more than half the work he’s doing these days is on consumer proposals — a legal process where debtors can pay some amounts owed to a creditor, without having to resort to bankruptcy.Alger said he’s already seen a bit of an uptick in clients asking him for help, but he’s expecting to see an “influx” come summer or fall.“As a lot, Albertans are typically young and optimistic and credit is readily available,” said Alger. “It’s been generally so good here for so long that if you survived 2008-2009 unscathed, you think ‘wow, I can handle just about anything.’”— Follow @LaurenKrugel on Twitter read more

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HMowned brand COS to launch in Canada with stores in Toronto and

H&M-owned brand COS to launch in Canada with stores in Toronto and Montreal AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by The Canadian Press Posted Apr 20, 2015 9:02 am MDT TORONTO – A contemporary clothing brand owned by the same group that operates H&M is coming to Canada.COS — short for Collection Of Style — has announced plans to open its first Canadian stores in the coming fall and winter.The first COS store will be a three-floor location at 85 Bloor St. in Toronto.Its Montreal store will be housed at 1310 Ste.-Catherine W.The clothing label, with products for men, women and children, launched in London in 2007 and has opened stores in 26 countries. read more

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Gota assures he will protect troops who fought the war

Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa today assured that he will protect the troops who fought the war.He claimed that there are attempts to take the troops before an international court and accuse them of committing human rights abuses. However, he said that under an SLPP Government he will not allow that to happen. He also said that he will not allow anyone to divide the country. He said that Sri Lanka is a sovereign nation and no foreign country can interfere.The former Defence Secretary also raised concerns on action being taken against military intelligence officers over various allegations. (Colombo Gazette) Rajapaksa was speaking to families of soldiers at an event today.Speaking further, he noted that some western countries had raised objections to the appointment of the new Army Commander. read more

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Each of you is a gift to the world awardwinning teacher Bourgeois

There are few things that Robyn Bourgeois loves more in this world than teaching. And it shows.Bourgeois, Assistant Professor in the Centre for Women and Gender Studies, was presented with the 2019 Faculty of Social Sciences Award for Excellence in Teaching during Tuesday morning’s Spring Convocation ceremony.Bourgeois, Assistant Professor in the Centre for Women and Gender Studies.While introducing Bourgeois, Social Sciences Dean Ingrid Makus called her an accomplished researcher, author, scholar and gifted teacher.“She has made an outstanding contribution to teaching and learning at Brock University through the development of unique courses that combine feminist pedagogy and Indigenous content,” said Makus.Bourgeois, whose Cree name means Laughing Otter Caring Woman, began her Convocation address by urging graduates to take time for gratitude every day as “an important way to honour the folks who have been part of your academic journey.”She acknowledged the hard work that graduates had done to get to this stage of their academic careers — years of studying, taking anxiety-inducing exams, navigating group assignments, deciphering professors’ demands — and reminded them that, for marginalized students, that hard work is amplified.“I see you, and I am so proud of you,” Bourgeois said, giving a shout-out to first-generation, immigrant and refugee students, those with disabilities or mental health issues, and students marginalized for their racial identity or sexual orientation.But, she said, “knowledge is useless unless it leads to direct action.” She challenged all new graduates to join her in moving from activism to ‘actionism.’In the face of unprecedented environmental threats, Bourgeois said today’s graduates will need to become the leaders. She urged them to take the knowledge and skills they learned at Brock to “go out into the world and take action.”Associate Professor Chris Fullerton from the Department of Geography and Tourism Studies delivered the afternoon Convocation address.Bourgeois shares the Faculty of Social Sciences Award for Excellence in Teaching with her co-recipient, Associate Professor Chris Fullerton from the Department of Geography and Tourism Studies, who delivered the afternoon Convocation address Tuesday.The award selection committee made the rare decision to recognize two nominees this year whose teaching excellence uniquely contributes to the transformative student experience offered by the Faculty, Makus explained.Makus called Fullerton an experienced teacher, mentor and supervisor whose novel courses provide flexibility and experiential opportunities that exemplify “Brock’s commitment to a kind of teaching that takes students out into the wider community.”Fullerton has taught courses at all levels, including a large first-year course, and mentored a number of graduate students. He is committed to helping his students “build the strongest skill sets possible as they move through their studies, especially by sharing with them my passion for Geography and Tourism and by providing them with ample opportunities to engage in experiential learning,” he said.New graduate Glen MacFarlane, who earned his BA in Geography this year, described Fullerton as “a dedicated mentor.”“In addition to his interactive and practical teaching style inside the classroom, he makes it easy for students to build working relationships with him outside the classroom. His work beyond the lecture hall is what drives student success and what makes Chris so special.”Both Bourgeois and Fullerton acknowledged the importance of the special teachers and students they’ve encountered throughout their lives for inspiring their own love of teaching.“I’m very flattered and excited to have won this award as it confirms for me that I’m on the right track as I continue to evolve professionally as a university teacher,” he said.Fullerton shared two pieces of advice with this year’s graduates: “Discover and follow your passion,” he said, and “Use your skills and knowledge to help make the world a better place.”REPLAY: Faculty of Social Sciences, 10 a.m. CeremonyREPLAY: Faculty of Social Sciences, 2:30 p.m. CeremonyBrock’s 105th Convocation continues in Ian Beddis Gymnasium each day this week. The remaining schedule includes:Faculty of Education, Wednesday, 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.Goodman School of Business, Thursday, 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.Faculty of Mathematics and Science, Friday, 10 a.m.Faculty of Humanities, Friday, 10 a.m.All of the Convocation ceremonies are free to attend and no tickets are required. Parking is free for guests throughout the week. Free Wi-Fi is also being provided to guests throughout Convocation week. The BrockEvents Wi-fi network can be accessed using the username: BROCKGRAD and password: welcome2brock! read more

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Brock student awarded prestigious exchange opportunity in US

Parker Deabreu’s passion for environmental economics is fuelling her pursuit of a career in the oil and energy sector.In Jan. 2020, the fourth-year Economics student will be attending the University of Maine on exchange to study their world-renowned environmental economics courses.Deabreu is the 2019-20 Killam Fellowship recipient, a new program Brock University announced last year through a partnership with Fullbright Canada. The program gives Brock students the opportunity to study at a handful of post-secondary institutions across the United States.Along with having access to programming and awards, Deabreu will also receive $5,000 USD to alleviate the financial stress of studying south of the border. “Killiam is a very prestigious program,” said Debreu. “It’s a big deal to be a part of this.”Deabreu is no stranger to studying abroad. Last fall, she went on exchange to the University of the West Indies (UWI) in Trinidad and Tobago, where she enrolled in environmental economics courses and immersed herself in local culture and regional hotspots.Admittedly, she was also excited to trade in Canada’s colder months for the tropical climate.“Exchange is a nice thing to have on your resumé, but it turned out to be so much more than what you think going into it,” said Deabreu.She was able to develop meaningful friendships with local and international UWI students and even convinced one to pursue a semester-long exchange at Brock.Deabreu says one of the most surprising things about embarking on an exchange was how affordable it can be.“If you budget properly, it’s affordable and costs the same amount you’d be spending in a regular school year here.”She’s hoping that her time at the University of Maine will provide her with experience and connections in the American energy sector, as well as a broader sense of the connection between Canada and the U.S.Brock students interested in applying for the Killam Fellowship program in 2020-21 are encouraged to submit an application online through Brock’s International Mobility office by Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019. Deabreu’s advice for students considering studying abroad is to be objective. “You need to see what you value the most in a school, a community and a culture,” said Deabreu.Interested students can also attend Brock’s International Mobility Fair Wednesday, Oct. 9. The event provides students with the opportunity to learn about the various global experiences available through Brock’s partner institutions. One lucky attendee will also have the chance to win a $500 Air Canada gift card to help with the costs of travel. For more details, please visit ExperienceBUFor any questions or assistance with applying, please contact Brock’s International Mobility Office at intlmobility@brocku.ca read more

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Conservative government would create national energy corridor Scheer says

In Edmonton on Saturday, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer announces his plan to build a national energy corridor if elected. (Nathan Denette/Canadian Press)3297 commentsAndrew Scheer says a Conservative government would build a single coast-to-coast energy corridor to transport Canada’s natural resources if elected.  The project would be used to move things like oil, gas, hydroelectricity and telecommunications. “Our natural resources can be a source for good,” Scheer said, at an announcement Saturday in Edmonton in front of a backdrop of oil and gas workers.  The party says the corridor would minimize environmental impacts, increase certainty for investors and create jobs. Scheer did not specify on Saturday what projects or infrastructure could be part of this corridor. Embed Code: Close Stop Play Facebook Stop Playback Status: ready Pause Pause Watch Identifier: mediaId 1610395203662 Embed Close Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer says he will ensure there is a regulatory framework that would allow for projects to be built along the corridor. 1:25 The Conservatives say they would appoint a task force of experts to provide recommendations on how to build the corridor. It would be expected to deliver recommendations within six months.  The panel would consider Indigenous consultations, the role of provincial laws, uses for the corridor, cost, benefits for regions and industries and a potential route.  After the party receives the suggestions, Scheer said they would start work with the provinces and Indigenous people to move forward on the project. New $4.5B pipeline to carry natural gas from northern Ontario to QuebecAlberta opponents of B.C. oil tanker ban denounce Senate vote keeping bill alive The path such a corridor would have to take through Quebec to reach the Atlantic Ocean could be a trigger point, as Premier François Legault has been clear that his province doesn’t want another pipeline.  Scheer acknowledged there will be criticism of this proposal, but said he believes it can be completed. The party’s news release said the Parliamentary Budget Officer has estimated the cost of this promise, but as of Saturday afternoon that report had not been published. The Conservative leader drew on examples of Louis St. Laurent’s vision for the Trans-Canada Highway and John Diefenbaker’s permanent road to the Arctic Circle. Scheer had previously compared the creation of such a pathway to building the railway in the days of Confederation. Conservative premiers supportive Scheer first outlined his vision for an energy corridor in May. “I want to talk about a national corridor that would move Canadian oil, gas, electricity, telecommunications and potentially anything else that runs along the ground,” he had said.  At the time, he didn’t specify the geography, cost or timeline. Scheer said he believed it was something the different provinces could agree on. Scheer outlines ‘vision for Canada’ that includes national corridor for energy, telecom New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs​​​​, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe — all Conservative — support Scheer’s proposal. The topic was also brought up in July during the premiers’ Council of the Federation meeting. At the announcement in Edmonton on Saturday, Scheer criticized the Liberals and Justin Trudeau for scaring away investments in Canada’s energy sector. The federal government bought the Trans Mountain pipeline last year for $4.5 billion after the proponent, Kinder Morgan, expressed dissatisfaction in the delays and uncertainty. There are still no shovels in the ground as the project has faced numerous court challenges.  Higgs pushes national energy corridor to get pipelines built with few holdupsPARTY PLATFORMSCompare the party platforms on these top election issuesBATTLEGROUND RIDINGSThe 60 ridings where the federal election will be won and lost Scheer promises coast-to-coast energy corridor 01:25 Video Streaming URL: Close Restore player Twitter Close Events Log: Show/Refresh Events Bitrate: Undetermined Turn captions on Turn captions off Assigned test group: None Link Email Asset: Undetermined Share this read more

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Womens Basketball Momentumdriven Ohio State attempts to stall struggling Illinois

Ohio State junior guard Jensen Caretti (33) takes a jump shot in the second half of the game against Indiana on Jan 10. Ohio State won 55-50. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorWith two straight losses and only one road win — an overtime win against Penn State — to its name, the odds were not in the Ohio State women’s basketball team’s favor as it headed up to Minneapolis to face off against Minnesota. Throughout most of the game, the odds seemed to be correct as Minnesota maintained a steady lead against the Buckeyes.But a 16-0 run in the fourth quarter was all Ohio State needed to get a victory against the Golden Gophers, 65-55 on Monday. The Buckeyes did this all without the help of freshman forward Dorka Juhasz, who missed the past two games with a sprained ankle injury she suffered against Michigan on Jan. 20. Instead, freshman forward Aaliyah Patty scored 20 points to lead the way for Ohio State in her second start of the season. Now, the Buckeyes will try and build off the road win as they head back to Columbus to take on Illinois.Projected StartersOhio State (8-10, 4-5 Big Ten)G – Carly Santoro – Redshirt senior, 11.2 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 1.3 apgG – Carmen Grande – Redshirt senior, 7.1 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 5.1 apgG – Janai Crooms – Freshman, 7.0 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 1.5 apgF – Aaliyah Patty – Freshman, 6.7 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 0.1 apgF – Makayla Waterman – Redshirt senior, 7.7 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 1.7 apgIllinois (9-11, 1-8 Big Ten)G – Brandi Beasley – Junior, 11.0 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 5.2 apgG – Cierra Rice – Redshirt junior, 8.0 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 1.6 apgG – Courtney Joens – Junior, 6.0 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 1.3 apgF – Alex Wittinger – Senior, 15.1 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 1.2 apgF – Ali Andrews – Junior, 6.9 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 1.0 apgMomentum is on Ohio State’s side heading into this game. Illinois is currently riding a six-game losing streak and is last in the Big Ten with a 1-8 record in conference play. However, Illinois is not a team to be taken lightly as veteran players like Beasley and Wittinger will pose a tough threat for the Buckeyes. Both players have scored more than 1,000 points in their career and will continue to add to their totals on Thursday.With each game, Ohio State has been getting more consistent on both sides of the court. After a dismal 2-5 record in December, the Buckeyes have turned things around in January with wins over two ranked opponents in Indiana and Michigan State and a 4-3 record. This has been helped by both veteran and new presences on the court. Santoro, Waterman and Grande have been consistent on all sides of the ball, racking up points, assists, rebounds and forcing turnovers to propel Ohio State forward. Crooms has scored 10 points in five of her past seven games and averaged a total of 13 points per game over that stretch. Ohio State will take on Illinois at the Schottenstein Center at 7 p.m. on Thursday. read more

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TBDPITL Ep 28 The Ohio State Spring Game preview

Colin Gay and Wyatt Crosher discuss Kaleb Wesson’s entry into the 2019 NBA Draft and why he is not ready to make that jump, as well as what to look for in Ohio State football’s upcoming Spring Game. From Garrett Wilson to Justin Fields to a possible new position on the defense, maybe this year it will be more than a glorified practice? (Probably not though.)

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AG report flags MoE over procurement of textbooks

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedSecurity Ministry pays overseas contractor millions for supplies not received- AG’s reportNovember 6, 2017In “latest news”Procurement Commission called on to investigate D’Urban ParkOctober 2, 2017In “latest news”Govt’s school feeding programme: $50M still unaccounted for- AG report findsOctober 22, 2018In “latest news” A report from the Auditor General has flagged the Education Ministry for not complying “in all material respects” with the relevant Acts, regulations and policies regarding the procurement of textbooks in 2016.A “Compliance Audit of the Procurement of Textbooks by the Ministry of Education for the year ended 31 December 2016” was conducted after the Auditor General’s 2015 Annual Report found, among other things that contracts were not signed and textbooks were not delivered.The report on the Compliance Audit of the Procurement of Textbooks by the Education Ministry, which was completed last year, was presented in the National Assembly on Friday last.The findings highlighted, “Internal controls were weak and not functioning in some instances. Moreover, pertinent records were not properly maintained. Whilst relevant records were also not located and submitted for audit scrutiny. In addition, the manner and environment in which textbooks were stored presented a health and safety hazard”.The report noted that in the year 2016, some $506 million was budgeted for the Education Ministry to procure textbooks for nursery, primary and secondary schools. But it now noted that $35.064 million was paid in excess of the Ministry’s approved allocation under Line Item 6224 for the nursery and primary levels.“This represented a misallocation of expenditure, which is a breach of the Fiscal Management and Accountability Act 2003… The Ministry entered into contracts exceeding its approval allocation by $36.534 million. This is also a breach of the Fiscal Management and Accountability Act 2003, which prohibits agencies from entering into contract that exceeds its approval allotment for any given period.”Furthermore, the report outlined that poor planning cost the Ministry $15.9 million. It said that 3609 “New 30 SEA Practice Test in Mathematics (Student Edition)” textbooks were bought in 2016 at a cost of $15.9 million and a total of 3559 were distributed. Subsequently, the Ministry purchased 12,550 “32 SEA Practice Test in Mathematics (Student Edition and Teacher Book)” for $61.2 million to replace the “New 30 SEA Practice Test in Mathematics (Student Edition)”.Additionally, it was also found that the Ministry received 15,000 “Timehri Readers/Animal Friends W/Book 1” textbooks at the cost of $128.30 each. However, the Ministry had contracted the same contractor to supply 30,000 of the said textbooks at the unit price of $64.15, amounting to a total of $1,924,500. As a result, the Ministry received 15,000 textbooks for the contracted price of 30,000 of the same books.“We could not determine whether the Ministry received textbooks valued $91.639 million, which is approximately 26 per cent of the total textbooks paid for in 2016… The correctness and accuracy of payments totalling $247.668 million, which is more than two-thirds [approximately 70 per cent] of the total payments for textbooks could not be verified… We could not determine whether contractors complied with the requirements of the contracts totalling $276.015 million.”According to the report, the absence of performance security bonds places the Ministry in a quandary to levy on defaulting contractors. It added too that adherence to contractual requirements could not be determined due to the absence of key documents.On the other hand, the Compliance Audit of the Procurement of Textbooks highlighted that textbooks had no identification as being the property of the Education Ministry as they had no official stamp. This is said to be a breach of the Book Policy as well as the fact that textbooks are being stored poorly at the Book Distribution Unit located in Evans Street, Charlestown.“A physical inspection of the Unit’s bond revealed the following unsatisfactory features: Some textbooks were stored on the floor; racks/shelves were dusty – this posed a health hazard – and the bottom flat of the bond is at the same level of the yard; hence, flooding could pose a threat.”It was also noted that the Book Distribution Unit is unable to determine whether the Unit was receiving the quantities of books as per contract.As a result of these findings, the Audit Office recommends that the Education Ministry comply with all relevant legislation, including Procurement Act 2003; Fiscal Management and Accountability Act 2003; Stores Regulations 2003, and Book Policy 2007.The Ministry was also urged to enforce all requirements of its contract. Recommendations were also made for the Ministry to document its meetings and secure same to aid audit scrutiny as well as secure all relevant documents/records for audit in a way that aids easy retrieval for audit scrutiny. read more

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BELAZ autonomous mining trucks operating in 5G cloud network test zone

first_imgBELAZ unmanned dump trucks, which are among the biggest in the world, have begun working at a test site in the town of Zhodino in Belarus using 5G. The test zone has been created by infrastructure operator beCloud, BELAZ and VIST Group (part of ZYFRA Group). A test autonomous beCloud network using fifth generation technologies, working in conjunction with the LTE-Advanced Pro network, has been deployed at the BELAZ plant. This is a prototype of the future 5G network.Sets of equipment that meet the technical specifications of the 5G standard have being installed on two heavy trucks — a pit dump truck and a loader. The standard technologies used (New Radio and LTE-Advanced Pro) have enabled VIST Group technicians to test unmanned vehicle control, as well as the operation of dump trucks in robot mode (the Intelligent Mine project).For autonomous vehicles, a system that scans and analyses the nuances of the geological situation should transmit information with a minimal delay time. The beCloud specialists have now managed to reduсe the response time of the equipment to 10-11 ms (milliseconds), which is less than the achieved in the 4G network but more than expected in future 5G networks. beCloud experts are continuing to fine-tune the equipment and optimise communication channels to achieve the best performance.“5G is not just an accelerated version of 4G, but a serious technological leap for decades to come. Strictly speaking, 5G is not only a new set of frequencies, but an integrated platform that exploits the capabilities of wireless networks much more efficiently,” said Mikhail Duka, Deputy General Director for Telecommunications at beCloud. “Three years ago, beCloud was the first company in the country to launch 4G LTE Advanced. Today, through this unique partnership with BELAZ Corporation, we are demonstrating the new reality that is steadily developing on the basis of 4G and will come to fruition thanks to 5G. Minimum signal delays, high bandwidth, energy efficiency, and a flexible 5G technology interface will shape our immediate future in the world of technology,” he added.Testing of fifth generation technology will assess its capabilities for effective application in the field of engineering and unmanned vehicles. The plan is to create a technological solution that operates successfully on an industrial scale.The BELAZ robotic dump trucks are the key element of the Intelligent Mine project, which is being implemented by the Russian company VIST Group at enterprises in the mining industry. The project involves unmanned robotic dump trucks, cargo transport and high-precision satellite navigation technologies. This is a set of digital technologies for the management of open-pit production processes based on robotic loading and transport systems, as well as industry solutions in the fields of the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and predictive analytics.The minimal presence of people at the mining site boosts the efficiency and safety of the operations, including in remote regions, and helps to compensate for the shortage of qualified personnel. The project also aims to reduce fuel and operating costs.“IT technologies are not standing still. Yesterday we operated on the basis of 4G standards, and today we have already tested the work of a robotic pit complex in the totally new 5G standard. Our dump trucks are equipped with hundreds of sensors that generate terabytes of information per year, enabling us to monitor the truck’s performance anywhere on the planet. In the future this will be impossible without 5G. Very soon, big data, analytics and machine learning technologies will enable us to offer customers completely new smart services for more efficient operation of mining dump trucks, forecasting and vehicle maintenance upon demand rather than on the basis of regulations,” said Alexander Botvinnik, Assistant General Director for Information Technologies at OJSC BELAZ.According to its joint agreements with BELAZ, beCloud will apply the most advanced 5G technologies currently available at the Zhodino testing ground. The next stage of testing of 5G technologies in the field of engineering and mineral extraction is the creation of an autonomous test network at a functioning open pit.last_img read more

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Sirius Minerals engineers in Germany for Shaft Boring Roadheader tests

first_imgThe Sirius Minerals engineering team has been in Germany for factory tests of its first 60 m tall Herrenknecht Shaft Boring roadheader. The 350 t excavator will now undergo cutting tests before transportation to the Woodsmith polyhalite mine where it will sink one of the main shafts.Sirius’s shaft sinking contractor DMC Mining Services Ltd (DMC), will use the innovative, proven Herrenknecht Shaft Boring Roadheader (SBR) to construct the main shafts. This machine was developed by Herrenknecht, the world renowned manufacturer of tunnel boring machines, as part of their involvement in mineral resources company Rio Tinto’s ‘Mine of the Future’ programme in 2013. It was subsequently chosen by BHP Billiton to excavate the shafts for their Janssen potash mine in Saskatchewan, Canada. “This experience has allowed Herrenknecht and DMC to fine tune and improve the machine, learnings which we will be able to leverage on our own shaft sinking programme.”The SBR is equipped with a roadheader boom and a rotating cutting drum – this allows the cutting of variable shaft diameters from eight to twelve metres. The boom is telescopic and allows for the excavation of the entire shaft crosssection with a depth of one metre in a single cycle. The SBR is suspended from ropes and is connected to winches on surface – as it descends, permanent shaft lining is inserted in sections from an upper working deck. A pneumatic conveying system lifts all excavated materials to sinking buckets that are hoisted to the surface.last_img read more

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Hans Lindberg to attack worlds title for the third time

Hans Lindberg will replaced  Johan Hansen in the squad before the final match at World Championship 2019 between Denmark and Norway.The 36-years old Danish right wing got injured in the early part of the tournament, but he recovered before the crucial match which will start at 17.30 hrs.This will be the third final for the Fuchse Berlin right wing after defeats in 2011 and 2013. Hans Lindberg ← Previous Story Zika Bogdanovic BLOG about final: Mikkel, Sander, you have 60 minutes to decide who is the best! Next Story → Karabatic’s buzzer beater for the new French bronze! read more

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How fashion designer Effie Kats rose back to the top smashing stereotypes

first_img View this post on Instagram A breath of fresh air for the fashion industry, you can hear it in Kats’ voice, she’s committed to breaking down walls.“I was at Fashion Week this year and I was just so thrilled to see women wearing hijabs on the runway – that just blew me away because we have come so far. And I want to live in a world where it doesn’t matter what your name is, it’s what you do that counts. If I’m pushing those barriers then that makes me so happy.”Since launching online, everybody wants a piece of Effie Kats, and it’s not hard to see why.Will she branch out into bricks and mortar? She’s cautious, and rightly so, citing a volatile market, but if the market takes a turn, she’s not ruling it out. For now her focus is online, and making made-to-wear available to all.So after her past experiences, would she ever bring an investor on again? The answer is, unsurprisingly, a sure no. For Effie, the message she keeps driving home, is that this is a very personal project.“The thing is, when you’re bringing external money in, it brings other voices and opinions and I’m very, very clear on my vision. I know how I like things done, I know how I want them presented, and I don’t want to have to compromise that. So if that means I have to go slower, and let it take shape organically, then that’s okay because my happiness comes first.” @steffanietzaneros in her custom gown for the Silver Ball styled by @mollyking___ 🖤 For all enquiries on this gown fill out the form on my website (link in bio)A post shared by E F F I E K A T S (@effiekats) on Mar 11, 2019 at 2:47am PDT READ: Tales of a Kastellorizian great grandmother’s exotic garments RECLAIMING POWER THROUGH VULNERABILITYLooking at Kats posing for photos on her Instagram, there’s no sign of insecurity, but she is open with her followers about the reality behind the scenes.With little budget for models when she started out, and a very personal project from the get-go, when her partner proposed that she be the face of the label, a conduit for her audience to connect with the designer, she was reluctant; a process she still finds daunting.“I’m not a model – far from it; I’m 5’2 and it’s not something that comes naturally to me. I freeze in front of the camera, I don’t know what to do. Eight-hundred frames later, we get there!” she laughs.Social media often gets a bad wrap, but Kats’ honesty is refreshing. In a way that honesty wasn’t a choice; the loss of Zachary, her failures and suffering made a public affair. But with that has come growth, albeit with a heavy price tag.“My number one thing was I don’t care if I’m miserable, as long as nobody knows that I’m a failure, nobody knows that I’m suffering, it’s okay. But pulling myself out of that and getting to a place where I’m so happy now, you look back and go wow, that was so, so toxic,” she says.“I think a lot of people are trying to live up to really unrealistic expectations. I want my Instagram to be a space where people can go and not feel intimidated. We have the same struggles … so if I can provide a space where people can get some understanding or hope, some inspiration that’s like the best.” View this post on Instagram View this post on Instagram I have collaborated with the fabulous @emmylou_loves to bring you this silk shirt & palazzo pant! It’s available exclusively on Emmy’s website – head to her link in bio to purchase ♥️A post shared by E F F I E K A T S (@effiekats) on Aug 26, 2018 at 1:25am PDTcenter_img Most, if not all women, whether a size 6 or size 16, know that dreaded feeling of going shopping for a special occasion only to return home empty handed, disappointed, their insecurities inflated.Fashion designer Effie Kats knows that feeling all too well, which was in part the inspiration behind her eponymous label, launched in 2018.The 28-year-old offers made-to-measure outfits, think power suits and stunning gowns, for women of all ages, shapes and sizes.With a sizeable social media following that is growing by the day, clients have the chance to meet with Kats face-to-face at her workroom in Melbourne’s north, where she works closely with her yiayia, who is one of the seamstresses on site. The process is seamless, offering clients one-on-one consultations to discuss design and fabric options, followed by a fitting process in the following weeks until the garment fits just right.A FAMILIAR FACE, BUT A WHOLE NEW TAKEFashion-lovers are sure to be familiar with Kats, after all this is not her first foray into fashion.At just 23, the Greek Australian launched Zachary the Label. With its popularity on the rise and Kats’ big dreams to go global, she brought an investor on board, and while there was growth, in hindsight she admits it all happened too quickly. Before she knew it she was being ostracised from the brand she created, administrators were being called in, and Kats lost everything she had worked for.“A business partnership, like a marriage, when it’s not right it can become quite toxic. And it was,” she explains.Feeling emotionally depleted, having lost all her confidence, Kats admits she was at a loss, taking five months out to do some serious soul searching.At the time, tailoring had started to boom with high end brands the likes of Gucci and Prada, but Kats, her finger on the pulse, realised there was a gap in the market; no-one was making tailoring accessible in Australia. Enter Effie Kats.“It’s interesting that the power suit for women is so symbolic … and coming out with something like that was almost my way of reclaiming my own personal power that I had lost for so long,” she says.The same sentiment surrounds naming the label after herself, though she admits she was initially reluctant.“I was asked to remove ‘By Effie Kats’ from the Zachary Instagram because I was told that it would ‘alienate’ maybe more of an Australian clientele … which I think was systematically trying to break me away from the brand; little psychological things that like that,” she recalls.“But when I was in tears about it, my partner said to me ‘You are the brand; Zachary is nothing, you are the brand … You need to call this your name’. At first I thought it was kind of crazy, because Effie is one of the Greekest names!” she laughs, “But I thought you know what? I’m gonna do it, and I’m going to reclaim my personal power and I’m going to prove that Effie Kats is a brand for everyone.” Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram View this post on Instagram Went for maaaajor oversized, masculine vibes for @kellyrowland 🎤 on last nights episode of @thevoiceau styled by @natalia.de.martinA post shared by E F F I E K A T S (@effiekats) on Jun 18, 2019 at 3:21am PDT READ: When it comes to fashion, no-one does summer like the Greeks doFASHION FOR ALL SHAPES + SIZESKats says that returning to fashion has been particularly special this time around.By doing it on her terms and at her own pace, without the pressure of retail budgets and targets, she has been able to focus on the creative side of things, meaning she can offer her clients more.But above all, designing clothes for women that fit them, and that they feel empowered in is what drives her.Where Zachary was very demographic specific, in hindsight she says it cut out a large portion of the female population – the opposite of what she is doing now.“I really like that I’ve gone from a brand that was sort of mass market to something different,” she says.“I make for all kinds of women; I’ve got 16-year-old girls, I’ve got 70-year-old women. I’ve got girls who are a size 4 who can’t find clothes because they’re too petite, and then I’ve got women who are a size 22. So I think it caters to everyone, and that’s what I love. It’s that it doesn’t discriminate.” #NGVgala ready in my latest creation 💚 HUGE thanks to my incredible patternmaker @adelemerlo for helping me bring my vision to life, @oliviasellmanhmua for my make up @misslaserandtan for my spray tan and the incredible @rachelvitullo for pushing me out of my hair comfort zone and giving me a stunning up do for the night! For all Dress enquiries fill out the form on my website (link in bio)A post shared by E F F I E K A T S (@effiekats) on Dec 1, 2018 at 9:27pm PSTlast_img read more

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GreekDutch relations show promise for Greeces economic growth

first_imgTalks between Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte this week showed promise for Greece’s continued growth.The meeting, which took place on Tuesday at The Hague lasted for two hours and touched upon investments and migration, amongst other things.Mr Rutte showed strong interest in investing in Greece, especially in renewables, as well as gas and liquefied natural gas.Meanwhile the Dutch leader also said he would like to boost his country’s exports to Greece, and provide technical know-how in sectors such as agriculture.“The Netherlands is already active in Greece and we will discuss how to support structural reforms in this sector. We want to help and we both have a common interest,” Mr Rutte said.With regards to migration, Mr Mitsotakis referred to the spike in arrivals to the Aegean islands last week, and said that Greece would like to see a fairer distribution of migrants among EU member-states.Mr Rutte acknowledged the leading role that Greece has played in tackling the matter, and agreed with the need for greater support from other EU states.During a joint press conference, Mr Rutte had a lot of praise for the Greek PM, saying he has “full confidence” in Mr Mitsotakis, and sees “incredible potential” in Greece.“We have a prime minister whose goal is to bring about more investment and growth,” said Mr Rutte. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

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