Crocodiles from two ponds near the Statue of Unity in Gujarat’s Narmada district are being relocated for the safety of tourists visiting the Sardar Patel memorial, officials said on Sunday while dismissing reports that the move is linked to the seaplane service. As many 20 cages have been set up along the banks of the two ponds, officially known as Dyke 3 and 4, to trap the crocodiles, an official informed. These dykes are artificial water bodies created to stabilise the water released from the Sardar Sarovar Dam before it reaches the entry point of the main Narmada canal, the official explained. Aradhana Sahu, Conservator of Forests, (Vadodara Wildlife Circle) said that 12 crocodiles have been caught so far, though she added there was no specific target for the number of these reptiles that need to be captured.“The area around the Statue of Unity near Kevadiya village is attracting huge number of tourists. Since there are crocodiles in these ponds, there exists a threat to the tourists. We have begun the process of relocating the reptiles elsewhere,” Ms. Sahu said.“We have not set any specific target of the number of crocodiles to be caught and relocated. Till now, we have shifted 12 crocodiles. They were caught from Dyke 3 and Dyke 4, which are close to the Tent City. As per a rough estimate, there will be around 300 crocodiles in that area,” she said. A field officer overseeing the operation said 20 cages, with meat and fish as bait, have been installed near the two ponds.“As soon as the crocodile comes out to eat the food kept in the cage, they get caught inside. We have kept all the captured crocodiles in our rescue centre. They will be released in the main reservoir of the Sardar Sarovar Dam in the near future,” said Idrish Topiya, Assistant Conservator of Forests. However, both Ms. Sahu and Mr. Topiya denied reports that the crocodiles were being removed from the dykes to make way for a proposed seaplane service to cater to SoU tourists.“I want to make it clear that we have not made any plan yet to shift all the crocodiles of that area. The seaplane service is not in the picture yet. We have not received any intimation about it. We are doing this just for the safety of tourists,” Ms. Sahu emphasised.“We are relocating these crocodiles just for the safety of tourists. There is no specific instruction to us about any seaplane service,” Mr. Topiya added. Earlier on January 23, state Civil Aviation minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama had announced that a seaplane service connecting Sabarmati Riverfront in Ahmedabad to the Statue of Unity would commence soon. When contacted, SJ Haider, Principal Secretary, Gujarat Civil Aviation department, said a location for a water aerodrome near the Sardar Patel memorial had not been decided yet. He, however, said the location of the water aerodrome will “most likely” be Dyke 3 or 4.“The location of the water aerodrome at the Statue of Unity will be decided in consultation with DGCA (aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation). It would most likely be Dyke 3 or Dyke4,” Mr. Haider said. Recently, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani had said over 10,000 tourists were visiting the memorial every day since the 182-metre statue, the world’s tallest such structure, was unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in October last year.
The Congress and Aam Aadmi Party(AAP) candidates filed their nominations for upcoming Panaji Assembly by-polls, on Friday.Meanwhile, sources in the Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP), said their recommendation of a candidate is before the Parliamentary board in New Delhi. Two names — Utpal Parrikar, elder son of late Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar and Siddarth Kuncolienkar, former MLA and a aide of the late Parrikar — have been forwarded.Former Education Minister Atanasio Monserrate from the Congress, who has been in several parties and accused of raping a minor, and AAP leader and city businessman Valmiki Naik filed their nominations on Friday.Mr. Monserrate, after filing his nomination papers with the District Returning Officer in the city said he would be focussing on a youth-centric programme in his campaign with stress on employment. “The youth are the future. My focus will be on how to generate employment for them,” he said.Mr. Naik, who had contested and lost the bypolls in 2015 said that his party would focus on working towards creating better civic amenities for the residents of Panaji.
American card payments major Mastercard has told Reserve Bank of India, India’s banking regulator, about a “certain” date from which it will start deleting data of Indian cardholders from global servers but warned that it would also mean a weakening of “safety and security” over a period of time.Porush Singh, India and Division President, South Asia, MasterCard, told Indian news agency PTI that the company is operating in over 200 countries, and nowhere else it has been asked to delete data from global servers.According to the Indian press agency, the RBI had issued a new regulation in April, which came into effect from Oct 16, requiring payments companies to store all information about transactions involving Indians completely on servers in India.Mastercard told PTI that all Indian transaction data is being stored at its technology center in Pune as of Oct. 6, as required by the RBI directive on data localization.Mastercard, which is one of the world’s largest card issuer, said it has given a proposal to the RBI to delete back data from a certain date but is wary of consequences of such a move, including disputes over transactions.“The proposal we have given (to RBI) is that we will delete it (data) from everywhere else, whether it is the card number, transaction details. The data will only be stored in India … we will start deleting that…,” the PTI quoted Singh as saying.He also told the PTI that the company has proposed to the RBI that Indian data would be stored locally and not elsewhere.The company has informed the Indian banking regulator about the impact of data deletion from its global server.“But we have also said that it does have an impact. No other country has asked us like that. No other country in the world has asked us the data to be deleted from the global server and the reason why it is a concern for us because that would be weakening of the safety, security over a period of time,” PTI quoted Singh as saying.When the news agency asked the company if it was complying with the RBI directives, Singh said from October Mastercard has started storing a copy of the data it is deleting or has deleted.“…the date of (data) deletion (from global servers) is something which is not yet decided as we are waiting for the RBI to confirm back to us,” he said and added “we have proposed a certain date on which we will start deleting the data on a running/regular basis.” Related Items
General secretary Kushal Das and I-League CEO Sunando Dhar will represent the All India Football Federation (AIFF) at the June 7 meeting of all stakeholders at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.AIFF president Praful Patel will skip the meet where all I-League and Indian Super League (ISL) clubs have been invited to discuss the next course of action as Football Sports Development Ltd (FSDL), the organisers of ISL, mulls a longer league adding at least three more franchises to the existing eight.”Me and Sunando will attend the meeting in Kuala Lumpur,” Das told IANS on Monday.The meeting, which will be chaired by the AFC General Secretary Dato’ Windsor John, will be attended by the appropriate AFC Directors.Senior representatives from FIFA, as well as senior representatives from the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India have also been invited.Windsor John was recently in New Delhi at the invitation of Patel to discuss the future roadmap for Indian football. It was there that the June 7 meeting was decided.Currently, the AIFF and FSDL are in a fix on including city giants East Bengal and Mohun Bagan in the newly planned longer league as both outfits have not submitted the bid documents, refusing to budge from their three-point demands.The two bigwigs have refused to pay franchise fee of Rs 15 crore and have also asked for money from the central revenue pool and said they would like to play their home games in Kolkata.advertisementIn a meeting recently with state body Indian Football Association (IFA), the clubs said the venue won’t be a problem as Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has said an amicable solution will be reached after talking to three clubs which includes ISL champions Atletico de Kolkata.The IFA is supposed to send a mail to the AIFF asking about the “roadmap”, which was promised to them by president Patel during the May 7 meeting in Mumbai.
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal on Monday refused to rule out their chances of reaching the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 playoffs despite losing a must-win match against Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium.Virat Kohli-led RCB are rooted to the bottom of IPL 2019 points table having won only one of their first eight games of the season. The Bengaluru-based team face need to win all their remaining matches (six) if they are to stand an outside chance of qualifying for the playoffs.Only four times in the 11-year history of IPL have teams qualified for the playoffs (or the semi-finals) with 14 points after the league stages. Rajasthan Royals were the latest team to do so when they made the playoffs of IPL 2018 after winning seven matches in the group stages.RCB have 2 points from 8 matches in IPL 2019 and will reach 14 only if they win all their matches from hereon. On Monday, RCB suffered a five-wicket defeat to Mumbai Indians despite AB de Villiers and Moeen Ali smashing quickfire half-centuries.RCB’s bowling attack was found wanting once again as Mumbai gunned down a 172-run target with an over to spare. Leg-spinner Chahal was the lone bright spot in RCB’s bowling performance as he finished with figures of 2 for 27.”If we win the next six games we can qualify. Last year a team had qualified with 14 points, so still, we are in the game. You never know what will happen next,” Chahal said in Mumbai. IPL 2019 points table (After MI vs RCB on April 15)Chahal also lauded Hardik Pandya’s performance in MI’s five-wicket in. The India all-rounder held his nerves under pressure and smashed 22 runs in the 19th over of the chase bowled by left-arm spinner Pawan Negi.advertisement”The pitch was offering turn and it wasn’t easy to score against the spinners. We bowled well till the 18th over barring a couple of bad overs in the Powerplay and still there were two overs and 24 runs (22) left. We had a chance on this track but Hardik did well,” Chahal added.Excited about my maiden World Cup appearance: ChahalMeanwhile, Chahal also said he is looking forward to representing India in his maiden World Cup appearance. The in-form leggie was named in India’s 15-man squad for the quadrennial event, starting May 30 in England and Wales.”It is my first World Cup, I’m very excited for that. Everyone wants to represent the country in the World Cup, so I’m excited,” Chahal said.Also Read | Scared to bowl against Hardik Pandya at the World Cup: Lasith MalingaAlso Read | RCB didn’t bowl well in the Powerplay: Hardik Pandya after MI winAlso See:
One hundred countries representing 4.5 billion people have signed the global treaty aimed at curbing tobacco use, which now claims nearly 5 million lives every year and causes an estimated annual net loss of $200 billion in treatment and lost productivity, the United Nations health agency reported today. The milestone was reached with this week’s signatures by Ecuador and the Republic of Congo of the UN World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), which requires countries to restrict tobacco advertising, sponsorship and promotion, set new labelling and clean indoor air controls and strengthen legislation to clamp down on tobacco smuggling. WHO Director-General Lee Jong-wook praised the signatories for protecting their populations from tobacco-related diseases. He called on all remaining nations to sign the Convention, the first international treaty negotiated under WHO auspices, and on all signatories who have not yet ratified it to do so. The FCTC will enter into force and become legally binding 90 days after the 40th ratification. So far nine countries have ratified it. Three months remain before the end of the signature period. After that, nations can directly adopt the treaty as law without having signed it in a process called “accession.” At the time of its unanimous adoption last May by WHO’s 192 members, the agency warned that the annual death toll of 4.9 million, if left unchecked, could double by 2020. The tobacco epidemic is still expanding, especially in developing countries where currently seven out of every 10 tobacco-related deaths occur, according to WHO. At current rates, the total number of tobacco users is expected to rise to 1.7 billion by 2025 from 1.3 billion now. The European Community (EC) has also signed the treaty as a regional economic integration organization, while its member states sign and ratify the treaty individually.
United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today condemned the brutal execution of a civilian hostage in Iraq recently, which was captured on videotape and broadcast worldwide Tuesday.”He was horrified by the gruesome murder of a civilian hostage…and was particularly disturbed by the use of this killing as a public spectacle,” the Secretary-General’s spokesman Fred Eckhard said in response to a question about hostage Nick Berg, who was beheaded by his hooded captors.”He extends his deepest condolences to the family of the victim and can only image how they must be feeling,” Mr. Eckhard added.The Secretary-General condemned all killings of innocent civilians in Iraq, “as he condemns all abuse of all prisoners and other violations of international humanitarian law,” the spokesman said.”Now more than ever he once again appeals to all parties to adhere strictly to the fundamental precepts of human rights and principles of international humanitarian law,” Mr. Eckhard said.
In addition to conferring with the President on 13 February, the Secretary-General will have a separate working lunch with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice before returning to New York.Asked whether Mr. Annan had asked for the meeting, spokesman Stephane Dujarric noted that the Secretary-General regularly meets with senior US officials. Mr. Annan, he said, felt this was a good time for a meeting, and the United States agreed.In a press release issued in Washington, the White House said there are “many important issues” on the UN agenda, citing UN reform, human rights, international peace and security and the provision of humanitarian and development assistance. “The President looks forward to his meeting with Secretary-General Annan to discuss these and other topics of mutual concern,” the statement said.
Financial close for the A$60 million loan facility provided by National Australia Bank and Commonwealth Bank of Australia has been achieved, with Gascoyne Resources Ltd satisfying all conditions required to access funding through the facility. First utilisation of the loan facility has occurred with the company drawing down A$20 million to fund development costs over the coming months.With this achievement, the development of the company’s 100% owned Dalgaranga project is fully funded, on schedule and on budget for first gold production late in Q2 of 2018.Commenting on the loan facility, Gascoyne’s Managing Director Mike Dunbar said: “Achieving Financial Close and first drawdown of the debt for the project is a milestone for the company with the development of the Dalgaranga gold project fully funded, the focus for the company over the coming months will be on completion of the construction and commissioning of Dalgaranga in order to achieve first gold production late in the second quarter of 2018, and the ramp up of exploration activities on the company’s extensive tenement holding, which is being funded from the recently completed capital raising.”The Dalgaranga feasibility study was completed and announced on November 25 2016. The project has an initial mine life of six years, producing an average of around 100,000 oz/y at an average life of mine all-in sustaining costs of approximately A$1,000/oz. In addition, as demonstrated by Gascoyne since completion of the study, there is very significant potential to extend mine life through near mine discoveries such as the recent Sly Fox discovery which is yet to be reflected in an updated Ore Reserves or mine plan.
UK NEWSPAPER AND magazine publishers sought a last-minute court injunction today to stop a mechanism backed by politicians to regulate the press from being approved later.The newspapers are seeking permission for a legal challenge over a decision to reject the industry’s own proposals for a so-called royal charter to oversee a new system of regulation.The 11th-hour attempt at the High Court in London is aimed at stopping ministers from seeking the Queen’s approval for a rival royal charter that is backed by politicians.It was drawn up by Britain’s three main political parties, but is fiercely opposed by most of the newspaper industry.Ministers are due to go to the Privy Council, the formal body of advisors to the queen, later today to seek her green light.But if the newspapers succeed in their application for an interim injunction, the process will be put on hold until the legal challenge has been heard. (Rebekah Brooks arrives at the Old Bailey in London today. Pic: Ki Price/PA Wire)Coincidentally, the High Court hearing falls on the day that the prosecution opens in the trial of key figures accused in the phone-hacking scandal that sparked calls for tougher regulation of Britain’s pugnacious press.The main defendants in the trial are Rebekah Brooks, a former editor of the defunct News of the World tabloid and a close confidante of its owner Rupert Murdoch, and Andy Coulson, who also edited the paper before becoming Prime Minister David Cameron’s media chief.Newspaper owners argue that the proposals backed by the government and anti-hacking campaigners are an attempt to introduce a degree of state control to an industry that is currently self-regulated.Roger Alton, executive editor of The Times, told BBC radio that the Independent Press Standards Organisation, the new regulator supported by the newspaper industry, would be a tough watchdog.“It is extremely tough, it’s a contract-based system. You sign a contract into the regulator and you are liable for extremely severe fines,” he said.He said the government-backed proposals were “extraordinarily depressing”.© – AFPRead: Former News Of The World editors go on trial for phone hacking >Read: David Cameron under pressure over press regulation >
One of the main selling points of the Ouya is its price compared to other gaming platforms. The Ouya itself is pretty cheap at $100, but the games are priced on a par with mobile platforms rather than other TV-bound games consoles.Ouya is using this fact to help market the machine, but their latest video advertisement entitled “Sixty bucks for a game?” looks to have gone a bit too far, and apparently Ouya’s official YouTube channel Ouyas pulled it soon after making it live. Of course, a few people grabbed the advert before it disappeared and posted it back up on YouTube.This is cartoon violence, but depending on where you are it may still class as NSFW material. If you’re not sure before watching, read below the video before hitting the play button for a brief description of what happens.As you can see, it isn’t subtle. The guy complains about being ripped off by a game called Medal of Duty that costs $60, then proceeds to vomit a lot. But that’s not enough to ease his pain, so he pulls out his own spinal cord and hits himself over the head until his brain is exposed and he’s just a pile of skin and guts on the floor floating in a pool of vomit. His final word? “Ouya.”The advert was meant to get across how many crappy games cost $60 and the fact Ouya lets you try all games for free before you decide to buy. It’s a nice way of offering games for a console, but I think the ad leaves viewers more focused on what the guy has done to himself rather than the console it is trying to get you to buy. Even so, it is memorable.
La lune Europe, candidate idéale pour trouver de la vie microbienne dans le système solaireEurope, la lune de Jupiter, est recouverte d’une croûte de glace qui cache un immense océan souterrain. Aussi, pour les scientifiques, cette lune pourrait très bien accueillir des formes de vie aquatiques et ils comptent bien savoir si c’est le cas.Dans notre système solaire, le meilleur candidat pour abriter d’autres formes de vie est une lune de Jupiter, Europe. Découverte en 1610 par Galilée, ce satellite naturel est recouvert par les glaces. Bien qu’extrêmement froide (la température la plus chaude y est de -150°C), les scientifiques pensent que sous la couche de glace se trouve un large océan d’eau liquide, avec pourquoi pas, une vie microbienne.La NASA a commandité une équipe de scientifiques afin de réfléchir à une mission robotisée pour atterrir à sa surface et effectuer des mesures. Aujourd’hui, ces spécialistes publient ainsi les résultats de leur recherche dans la revue Astrobiology.Un monde froid et désertAvec un diamètre de 3.121 km, Europe fait presque la même taille que la Lune. Totalement recouverte de glace, on estime qu’elle contient même plus d’eau que la Terre ! Sa chaleur interne et les puissantes marées provoquées par Jupiter agitent son océan enfoui, ce qui le réchauffe et pourrait favoriser la présence de vie. Son atmosphère, très ténue, est majoritairement composée de dioxygène, mais avec une pression extrêmement faible, 0.1 micropascals (soit 10 puissance -12 fois plus faible que sur Terre). Sa surface est étonnamment lisse, peu de cratères d’impacts y sont présents. On y observe toutefois de nombreuses fissures, semblables à celles portées par les banquises terrestres.Un fort potentiel pour la vieToutes ces conditions font d’Europe un candidat idéal pour abriter des formes de vie extraterrestre, estiment les chercheurs. Mais si certains rêvent déjà de citées enfouies et de créatures à la peau verte, un tel scénario est peu probable. Dans le meilleur des cas, les scientifiques y imaginent une vie microbienne qui se serait développée dans l’immense océan souterrain. Totalement isolé, celui-ci peut contenir les briques essentielles à la vie : eau, oxygène, carbone, souffre, azote. Une telle découverte serait bien entendue exceptionnelle, car si on peut trouver de la vie à l’intérieur même de notre système solaire, la probabilité d’en rencontrer ailleurs dans l’Univers n’en serait que plus grande.Les objectifs d’une hypothétique missionDans leur rapport pour une exploration robotisée de cette lune, les scientifiques mettent en avant 3 objectifs principaux : déterminer l’habitabilité de son océan en étudiant sa chimie, caractériser l’épaisseur, l’hétérogénéité et la dynamique des différentes couches de glace et d’eau, et l’étude géologique de sa surface pour comprendre sa formation et son évolution. Pour ce faire, le robot devra alors être capable de creuser la glace jusqu’à 10 cm de profondeur.À lire aussiBoisson, météorite et Facebook, les actus sciences que vous devez connaître ce 5 septembre Le rapport liste également une série d’instruments qui seraient à emporter sur la mission, entres autres : spectromètre, magnétomètre, caméras, appareils sismologiques et microscope. Toutefois, la NASA n’a pas encore dans ses projets futurs une telle mission. L’Union européenne prévoit elle l’envoi d’un satellite appelé JUICE (JUpiter ICy moons Explorer) qui étudierait les principales lunes de Jupiter : Callisto, Ganymède et Europe. Le lancement est prévu en 2022 pour une arrivée à l’horizon 2030.(Crédit photo : NASA/JPL-Caltech) Le 11 août 2013 à 17:14 • Emmanuel Perrin
We all know the big names and faces of the Olympics right now. Katie Ledecky, Simone Biles, Michael Phelps, and… Mario?Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, made an appearance at the Rio closing ceremony dressed as Nintendo’s famous mascot, seemingly emerging from an iconic green pipe. It’s traditional for a national leader from the next host country (in this case, Japan), to help close out the Olympic games and give people around the world a taste for what’s to come.Abe was welcomed with plenty of cheers, as well as a smattering of famous Japanese icons like Pac Man, Link from the Legend of Zelda series and more.Plenty of people lost it on social media hoping that it was a sign of a ridiculous video-game-and-anime-themed Olympiad in 2020.マリオの中身が安倍晋三だった pic.twitter.com/Piitbx5vI0— junya犬ラブユナイテッド (@junyaganba) August 22, 2016 Ima let you finish but Shinzo Abe had the best entrance of all time pic.twitter.com/uQsQt5SmLI— Olympic Bun (@Rxbun) August 22, 2016Given the importance of touchstones like Mario, Pokemon, and Zelda to both the Japanese economy and the nation’s image around the world, I’m betting that the 2020 Olympics will be a great time for geeks the world over. At the same time, it’s already offering up an opportunity for some amusing tweets:I can’t believe the Prime Minister of Japan leaked the design of the Nintendo NX at the Olympic Closing Ceremony pic.twitter.com/Ug7lyvfBo5— CEO Kaz Hirai (@KazHiraiCEO) August 22, 2016 THE JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER SHINZO ABE JUST SHOWED UP AT THE OLYMPICS DRESSED AS MARIO, POPPING UP THROUGH A PIPE. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.— Mark:Di-Stefano (@MarkDiStef) August 22, 2016
WASHINGTON — Senators nervously awaited the arrival of a new FBI report on sexual allegations that could make or break Brett Kavanaugh’s tottering Supreme Court nomination Wednesday as aggressive protesters and an unusually strong security response added to a feeling of high anxiety inside the U.S. Capitol.As lawmakers anticipated the report, three moderate GOP senators who could decide the conservative jurist’s fate rebuked President Donald Trump for mocking one accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, by mimicking her responses to questions at last week’s dramatic Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.Their reactions left Republicans concerned that Trump had complicated their effort to cement Kavanaugh’s support in a chamber where the GOP holds a razor-thin 51-49 majority. Depending on when the FBI report arrived, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was expected to trigger a process that could lead to a crucial initial vote Friday and a climactic confirmation roll call over the weekend.Inside the Capitol, mounting political strains over the approaching election-season showdown were mirrored by growing anxieties over senators’ security following frequent and at times aggressive demonstrations by anti-Kavanaugh protesters. Unusually large numbers of Capitol Hill Police officers restricted movements in corridors and formed wedges around senators walking through hallways. Some lawmakers also complained of being confronted outside their homes.On the Senate floor, McConnell, R-Ky., claimed the protesters were “part of the organized effort” to derail Kavanaugh’s nomination and said, “There is no chance in the world that they’re going to scare us out of doing our duty.”
Deputies with the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office are asking for help in their investigation of the theft of more than $75,000 worth of gold and silver coins and other items last week.The items were stolen Wednesday from a home about four miles southeast of Kelso, a Cowlitz sheriff’s office bulletin said. The homeowner did not want his name or address released.In addition to the coins, the homeowner reported the theft of a .22-caliber pistol, .22-caliber rifle, .30-06 Springfield rifle, 20-gauge shotgun, 12-gauge shotgun, and a blue Yamaha Raptor ATV.A large safe was also stolen — leading deputies to believe more than one person was involved in the crime.Anyone with information should call the sheriff’s office at 360-577-3092. To remain anonymous, call Cowlitz Crime Stoppers at 360-577-1206.
FOLIO:’s annual, much-anticipated Magazine Job Report is out, and it’s a great read (I should know—I co-wrote it!). It’s choc-full of interesting, if not surprising, anecdotes.Like this one:Craigslist is a deplorable resource, according to ZweigWhite’s [Dick] Ryan. “Resumes from Craigslist make my skin crawl. Some have worked out but many have been unmitigated disasters,” he says. For entry level positions, however, he admits it can be useful, as people under the age of 30 are relying on social sites such as Craigslist and even Facebook and MySpace. For the full PDF version—including charts—click here.Click here for the online version.
Dan Cohen AUTHOR Excess capacity throughout DOD likely stands at about 20 percent, Pete Potochney, acting assistant secretary of defense for energy, installations and environment, told the House Military Construction Appropriations Subcommittee on Thursday.That figure could change slightly, however, as a “DOD-wide parametric analysis” is still underway, according to the written testimony Potochney submitted to the panel.Two of the services recently conducted their own assessments, with the Army determining that 21 percent of its capacity is excess to its needs and the Air Force pegging its ratio at 30 percent.A new BRAC round will save about $2 billion annually, with savings paying for the estimated $7 billion in implementation costs by the end of the six-year phase-in period. A new round — which the Pentagon wants to conduct in 2019 — would be “efficiency-focused,” unlike the 2005 round of base closures.“We are in a tough budget situation,” Potochney told lawmakers, reported Air Force Times. “We need to make tough choices. And we need a BRAC.”Installation officials are finding ways to close some facilities to save on maintenance costs, he said, but a base closure round will be needed to secure significant savings.In his written testimony, Potochney urged lawmakers to preserve the basic principles of the BRAC process — “treating all bases equally, all or none review by both the president and Congress, an independent commission, the priority of military value, and a clear legal obligation to implement all of the recommendations in a time certain together with all the authorities needed to accomplish implementation (specifically MILCON).”Still, the department would be open to including changes in legislation authorizing a new base closure round to ensure it “remains focused on recommendations that save money quickly and limit pursuit of costly recommendations,” he stated.Written testimony and a webcast of the hearing on the installations, environment and energy budget request submitted by DOD and the military services are available on the committee website.
Stories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via email, podcast and RSS. Follow us on Facebook at alaskapublic.org and on Twitter @AKPublicNews Legislature confirms all of Gov. Dunleavy’s commissionersAndrew Kitchenman, KTOO – JuneauThe Legislature confirmed every commissioner appointed by Governor Mike Dunleavy in its annual joint session today. It continued to consider appointees to boards and commissions this afternoon.Cost to move Legislature could be up to $45M if state builds office, analysts findAndrew Kitchenman, KTOO – JuneauThe first-year cost is closer to $3 million if the state rents office space instead of building new facilities, analysts find.Murkowski calls for many ‘silver bullets’ to tackle climate changeKrysti Shallenberger, Alaska’s Energy Desk – BethelOn April 13, Sen. Lisa Murkowski made an unexpected visit to Bethel on her way to Eek. Murkowski had hoped to check out Eek’s new running water and a tiny home project, but she got weathered out.Glennallen man selected to lead Denali CommissionLiz Ruskin, Alaska Public Media – Washington D.C.The U.S. secretary of Commerce has appointed Jason Hoke of Glennallen to be the commission’s federal co-chair.North Pole High ‘bathroom incident’ raises concerns over bullying, policyRobyne, KUAC – FairbanksThe community was concerned about an incident two weeks ago at North Pole High School involving boys coming into a girls’ bathroom. The boys were protesting a transgender student who posted a photo of himself in the boys’ bathroom.Southeast captain admits to dumping 8 tons of waste overboardCasey Grove, Alaska Public Media – AnchorageAccording to the plea agreement filed in federal court Monday, Brannon Finney admits to violating the federal Clean Water Act. Finney, 32, has signed the plea agreement, which goes before a judge next month at her sentencing hearing.State dials back PFAS response standardDan Bross, KUAC – FairbanksThe state has rolled back a stricter PFAS drinking water contamination standard, and suspended development of new regulations for the chemicals.Homer Rep. Vance looks into Board of Fish vote on Cook Inlet meeting locationAaron Bolton, KBBI – HomerHomer House Rep. Sarah Vance announced Friday that she is launching an inquiry into the Alaska Board of Fisheries’ January vote to move its 2020 Upper Cook Inlet finfish meeting on the Kenai Peninsula back to Anchorage. Vance and other peninsula legislators asked the board to reconsider its decision and to provide public notice before it did so. The board has not responded.Juneau high schoolers headed to world robotics championshipZoe Grueskin, KTOO – JuneauA high school robotics team from Juneau is competing in a world championship this month. It’s the first time a team from Southeast Alaska has made it this far.American Ninja Warriors Nate DeHaan and Nick Hanson talk friendship and representing rural AlaskaGreg Kim, KYUK – BethelThe television show “American Ninja Warrior” enters its 11th season next month, and again will feature the “Eskimo Ninja”, Nick Hanson from Unalakleet. Hanson visited Bethel last week to hang out with his buddy, fellow American Ninja Warrior, Nate DeHaan. These two comprise two thirds of all the Ninja Warriors to ever come from Alaska.
Voters wait in queues at the Sohagpur Dakkhin Government Primary School in Ashuganj of Brahmanbaria-2 constituency on 9 January. Photo: Emdadul HaqueRe-balloting in three election centres in Brahmanbaria-2 constituency, where the voting was suspended during the 30 December general elections, began at 8:00am Wednesday, reports UNB.The voting will continue till 4:00pm without any break.In case of 100 per cent turnout of 10,574 voters in the three polling centres, BNP candidate Abdul Sattar Bhuiyan needs 208 votes while his nearest rival independent contender Moyeenuddin Moyeen requires 10,367 votes to win the elections.The three election centres are Jatrapur Govt Primary School, Bahadurpur Govt Primary School and Sohagpur Dakkhin Govt Primary School.The margin of votes between Abdus Sattar and Moyeenuddin is 10,159 which is less than the total 10,574 votes under the three election centres. So, the re-voting to the three polling centres is needed.Abdus Sattar with the ‘Sheaf of Paddy’ bagged 82,723 votes while Moyeen with ‘Kalar Chhara’ (stalk of bananas) pocketed 72,564 votes during the 30 December elections.Assistant returning officer of the election and Ashuganj upazila nirbahi officer (UNO) Mousumi Bain Hira said all preparations have already been completed to arrange the re-voting.
From the print editionThe “Control of Tobacco and its Harmful Effects on Health Bill,” signed into law by President Laura Chinchilla, has been in effect since March with the blessing of the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court (Sala IV), but in Escazú you can still get a smoke.It’s going to cost you, though: $2 for a one-day private membership at 9oN Escazú, an upscale new cigar and spirits bar on Avenida Escazú, southwest of San José. A month-long membership runs $25 and $250 lets you puff at will for a year.“This project started about a year ago in August,” said 9oN Escazú General Manager Michael Arnswald. “The smoking ban wasn’t really in our plans, but we were able to make adjustments.”Adjustments mean charging for memberships for entry into an exclusive, private smoking club with a selection of about 50 different cigars and a bar stocked with what Arnswald says is one of the best selections of single-malt scotch in Costa Rica.“We’re trying to bring our customers an elegant lounge feel, where they can have a drink and relax with a cigar,” Arnswald said.The anti-smoking law, which was upheld by the Sala IV against a March challenge to its constitutionality, prohibits smoking in places such as bars, restaurants, public buildings, casinos, bus stops and taxi stands. It also raised taxes on cigarettes by ₡20 ($0.04 cents) per cigarette and requires tobacco companies to print text and photo warnings about the dangers of smoking on at least 50 percent of cigarette boxes. Honduras, Guatemala and Panama have similar legislation, as do six South American countries (TT, March 23).Arnswald said that making 9oN Escazú a private club sidesteps legislation, and the club has taken other steps as well.“We have a high-powered air scrubbing system,” he said. “We don’t put any smoke out into the public sphere. Our smoke removal system is large enough for a 2,500 square-foot place, and here we have about 900 square feet.”Because the anti-smoking law prohibits smoking in any place where food is prepared, the club does not serve food.Additionally, the front of the club is clearly marked with warnings that minors and nonsmokers are prohibited from entering.Inside, the setting is geared to an upscale clientele. iPads with automated ordering systems are mounted on each table with full cigar and drink menus. Members can scroll through the club’s cigar selections and access descriptions and tasting notes, such as: “Black pepper and coffee bean flavors transition into rich leather and a sweet cappuccino finish.”The ambience is geared to attract not just foreign aficionados but the emerging Tico middle class with a taste for luxury products, said Arnswald. The market for cigars is developing in Costa Rica the way that wine markets grew here, Arnswald said.9oN Escazú isn’t the only business in town trying to cultivate a demand for fine cigars. La Casa del Habano opened its doors in the western San José neighborhood of Rohrmoser late last year.Luis Garcia, general manager at La Casa del Habano, said he feels confident shops like his and 9oN Escazú are in the right, but he admitted, things are a little uncertain at this point.“The problem,” he said, “is that all of this is very new. There are no regulations yet and there’s no application of the law yet, and so everyone is waiting to see what’s going to happen in the future.”One difference between the two businesses, Garcia said, is La Casa del Habano is set up more like a tobacco store while 9oN Escazú has the appearance of a bar. Garcia is the Costa Rica distributor for Habano cigars and counts 9oN Escazú as a customer. His store offers a credit program for regular customers who are allowed to enjoy cigars they’ve purchased in the store.“I don’t believe there’s any problem [with 9oN Escazú’s arrangement],” Garcia said. “No one’s freedom is being impinged upon and nobody feels uncomfortable there, because the whole world knows when they go into 9 North that it’s a place for smokers.”Health Vice Minister Sissy Castillo, however, said that according to the law, any workplace is a “prohibited site.”Article 4, Section B of the law defines a workplace as any “place that utilizes one or more workers or volunteers.” Article 5, Section B declares any workplace “as defined by Article 4 of this law” to be “spaces 100 percent free from the exposure to tobacco smoke.”“The problem isn’t so much for the smokers that are going to go in there,” Castillo said. “A place, even though it is a private site, becomes a workplace for the employees who are going to be there attending the clients at the bar. … From this perspective, they would be falling under non-compliance with the law.”Castillo said the reglamentos, or rules that guide the law’s application, are still being worked out at the Health Ministry, and she expects the norms to go to a public hearing next week.She doesn’t mince words about the intended effects of the law.“We are convinced that this is going to benefit the health of nonsmokers as much as smokers,” Castillo said. “The idea is to discourage the consumption of tobacco.”In the meantime, 9oN Escazú’s Arnswald said the bar is operating at about 50 to 60 percent capacity on a nightly basis, with 50/50 mix of Ticos and foreigners showing up for a puff and a tipple. He hopes to drive that up to 100 percent soon and to keep “educating customers on the nuances of smoking and how to enjoy a good cigar.”n Facebook Comments No related posts.