ScienceShot: Hungry Polar Bears Turn to Seabird Eggs

first_imgPolar bears are known for dining on whatever they want, from human garbage to reindeer to berries. But in the lower latitudes of the Canadian Arctic, they primarily prey on ringed seals (Pusa hispida), hunting them from sea ice platforms. Over the past 3 decades, however, the sea ice in this region has progressively broken up earlier than in the past due to climate change. The bears now face 2 months of ice-free habitat. Without seals to eat, the bears have increasingly turned to terrestrial prey, including the eggs of northern common eiders and thick-billed murres, scientists have discovered. Over three summers, from 2010 to 2012, researchers surveyed the birds’ nesting colonies on 230 islands and along more than 1000 kilometers of coastline in Hudson Strait and Northern Hudson Bay Narrows, looking for signs of predators. On 16 of the islands, they spotted 22 polar bears, and evidence of bears, such as feces containing eggshell, on an additional 63 islands, the researchers report online today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. They also watched bears eating eggs on numerous occasions (pictured). Overall, they found bears at 34% of the eider colonies, and estimated that the birds lost more eggs to them than to gulls and foxes, their usual nest predators. Murres, which nest on steep and narrow cliff ledges, are not as affected by the bears. The researchers do not yet know how the eiders will fare if the bears continue to feast on their eggs, although they think some colonies may go extinct if the intense predation continues. But their study—and others showing that polar bears are also dining on snow goose eggs and caribou—does support claims that polar bears in areas where the ice breaks up early don’t have enough time to hunt seals and acquire the fat reserves they need to make it through the ice-free season. The vanishing sea ice, the researchers conclude, is causing a cascade of unexpected ecological effects—not just on polar bears but also on seabirds.See more ScienceShots.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

Football: For Memphis Depay, Manchester is “still Red”

first_imgAdvertisement AdvertisementPhoto Credits: Getty ImagesIn a recent interview with SkySportsNews, Lyon striker Memphis Depay spoke his mind about his former club, Manchester United.The Dutch national was brought to Old Trafford from his childhood club of PSV by Louis van Gaal in 2015.After having a frustrating 19 months at United where he managed to score only seven goals and six assists in fifty-three appearances, Jose Mourinho’s arrival only made it worse for him as he was ensured less time on the field.The 24-year-old then signed with Ligue 1 club Lyon in January for 21.7 million pounds.Since moving to Lyon, who face Manchester City in the Champions League on Wednesday, Depay has been a first-team regular – scoring 28 times in 74 appearances.“Everybody knows the story of me and Manchester United was not successful and I’m just happy that I’m the player I am today,” said the Netherlands international, ahead of Wednesday’s trip to the Etihad.“I can look back and say I didn’t want it to go like that – nobody wanted that – things happened and I became a much better player. I can feel it in the games, I mean everybody can see it I think as well.“After one season, I couldn’t find myself in the team. I was still young, didn’t get a lot of opportunities, but I must say that the first season I didn’t put the quality on the table that I thought.”“I believe for sure that the city is still Red and tomorrow I’ll be trying to get a good result against the Blues.”To read the full story click here.Read Also: Anfield won’t just be the home of Liverpool FC after this…Football: Manchester City and Raheem Sterling are renewing their vowslast_img read more

New page on national job portal to facilitate entrepreneurs

first_imgNew Delhi, Mar 11 (PTI) The Labour Ministry today launched the Start Your Own Business page on the National Career Services Portal as part of efforts to make it more easy for individuals to start their own ventures. “Participation from the industry is essential to create a wide range of entrepreneurial opportunities for the unemployed youth of the country. This initiative aims to make it more convenient for an individual to start his own business,” Labour Secretary Shankar Aggawal said at the launch. “We welcome companies like Uber, who are revolutionising the way traditional employment works, by offering flexible and high earning opportunities on its platform. We look forward to make this a vibrant platform for entrepreneurs to share their success stories and motivate others in joining the entrepreneurial endeavours,” he said. The newly launched page provides information about entrepreneurship programmes, institutions and schemes run by government as well as links to private companies like Uber that are helping individual become an entrepreneur. Uber was introduced as one of the first entrepreneurship partners on the page since it has already presented over 250,000 entrepreneurial opportunities for aspiring cab drivers in India, Labour Ministry said in a release. Uber will also facilitate such partners in getting financial loans to purchase vehicles and start their business, it said. PTI KKS MRlast_img read more

ISSF hints at scrapping Olympic quota at World Cup, India hopeful of solution

first_imgThe International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) has given a clear hint that quota places will be scrapped from the World Cup which was inaugurated in the capital on Thursday. However, the world body’s Vice-President Raninder Singh, also the President of the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI), says that he is still hopeful of finding a solution to the “unique problem” which has arisen due to the non-participation of the three-member shooting contingent from Pakistan following the Pulwama terror attack.ISSF boss Vladimir Lisin expressed his disappointment, and also his inability, to avoid scrapping of quotas for Tokyo 2020 Olympics which were on offer during the World Cup in India. Singh though found some hope in one word which Lisin used during his inaugural speech while declaring the event open.”The ISSF President used ‘may’ while addressing this issue during his speech. He said that because the Pakistani contingent has not been granted visas, we may not be able to award Olympic quotas here in this World Cup. There is history in IOC and of their tolerance of such issues. We are still hoping that the IOC, IOA, the government and the ISSF will be able to work out a formula where athletes who have come here are not left disappointed,” Singh told India Today in an interview after the inauguration of the World Cup.The international body’s president, its secretary and Singh himself spent Thursday meeting officials of the government in their last-minute bid to avoid the complicated situation.”There are limitations for everyone. These circumstances are extraordinary. Everyone knows what we are facing, the mood of the nation is known well right now. There was no mal-intent on the behalf of the organising committee. We tried our best to get them (Pakistan shooters) the visas. 503 athletes from 61 countries have got visas but this situation is out of our control. Above all, there is an Olympic charter which everyone has to follow.advertisementThe quotas will be redistributed in the forthcoming World Cups if taken away from the Delhi World Cup.”Nothing in the world is worst for an athlete. Not being able to achieve what they came here for. In such a scenario, I will be the most disappointed person. But, having said that, one should also be pragmatically aware of the uniqueness of this situation. It is unprecedented and unwarranted. Our hearts and minds are with the families of martyred soldiers,” said Singh, who is the son of Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh.last_img read more

No winning ticket for Friday nights 55 million Lotto Max jackpot

first_imgTORONTO – No winning ticket was sold for Friday night’s huge $55 million Lotto Max jackpot.However, one of the four Maxmillions prizes of $1 million each was claimed by a ticket holder in Ontario.The jackpot for the next Lotto Max draw on Sept. 22 will now grow to a staggering $60 million, and there will be 14 Maxmillions up for grabs.last_img

TransCanada responds to NEB application challenging Coastal GasLink

first_imgHowever, last year the Federal Court of Appeal ruled against the NEB, saying that it must consider whether the pipeline fell under federal jurisdiction.In a letter on behalf of the company, TransCanada V.P. of Natural Gas Pipelines Law Catharine Davis said that the Board should decline to establish a process to examine the jurisdictional question raised in Sawyer’s application.“Six years after the public process began to decide whether the Project should be allowed to proceed (a process the applicant chose not to participate in), four years after Project approval, and four years after the applicant’s similar challenge to another approved LNG pipeline, the applicant again seeks to create uncertainty masked in a question of constitutional law,” the letter reads. “While aware of the issues raised in the Application for at least four years, the applicant has waited until the eve of the publicly known Final Investment Decision (FID) date for the LNG Canada Project to impact that project and associated developments (including the Project).”If the NEB approves Sawyer’s application, it would then hold a hearing.If Sawyer is successful in that hearing, that would mean a federal review of the pipeline would be required, which could potentially delay construction if LNG Canada goes ahead.The full submission by TransCanada can be read below. CALGARY, A.B. – TransCanada Corporation has submitted a letter in response to a jurisdictional challenge filed by a former Alberta resident against the company’s proposed Coastal GasLink pipeline.Michael Sawyer, who worked two decades in Alberta as an environmental consultant in the oil and gas sector argues that Coastal GasLink should have faced a federal environmental review instead of a provincial one.Previously, Sawyer launched a similar challenge against TransCanada’s proposed Prince Rupert Gas Transmission pipeline, but that was rejected by the National Energy Board.last_img read more

About 100 feared dead in latest Gulf of Aden smuggling tragedy –

10 October 2008Around 100 people are believed to have died off the coast of Yemen after being forced overboard by smugglers in the Gulf of Aden, the United Nations refugee agency reported today. Some 47 survivors of this latest tragedy told the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) that a smuggling boat carrying about 150 passengers departed the Somali port of Marera, near Bossaso, on Monday and spent three days crossing the Gulf of Aden.Then when the boat arrived about five kilometres off the coast of Yemen, all but 12 of the passengers were forced overboard. “The 12 were placed in a smaller boat, while the others had to try to swim to shore,” UNHCR spokesperson Ron Redmond told reporters in Geneva. “Survivors said they counted a total of 47 people reaching shore, and later saw Yemeni authorities burying five bodies.”The agency and its partners are searching for about 100 people still missing following the tragic incident, the latest in a recent upsurge of people smuggling across the Gulf of Aden from war-torn Somalia. Just over two weeks ago, at least 52 Somalis died when the boat smuggling them across the Gulf of Aden broke down and they were left adrift with no food or water for 18 days.According to UNHCR about 32,000 people have arrived in Yemen this year after making the dangerous voyage aboard smugglers’ boats. At least 230 people have died and an estimated 365 remain missing, including from the latest incident, the agency reported. read more

LeBron James Dunks Viciously Over Ben McLemore

Sacramento Kings rookie Ben McLemore learned a valuable lesson in Friday’s game against the Miami Heat, never stand in front of LeBron James when he is going to dunk the basketball.The play happened in the first quarter of the game and watch as LeBron rises high over McLemore for the incredible one-handed jam.“I just went over there to try to take the charge,” McLemore said. “He dunked the ball. Afterwards, I thought I should have just fouled him.”The Heat scored a season high 122 points. They shot 61.4 percent (51- of-83) from the floor, registered 70 points in the paint — also a season high — and netted 32 points on 20 Sacramento turnovers.Miami has won 18 straight contests against Western Conference teams. read more

Police to tackle groups of youths gathering on Londons streets amid very worrying

first_img 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 rising wave of violent crime meant the number of suspected murders in March was higher than that of New York.It emerged on Thursday that the Met has opened 55 murder investigations in London this year and there were six non-fatal stabbings from Thursday night into Friday morning in the capital.Sergeant Paul Perversi, of the Metropolitan Police’s Territorial Support Group, said: “With what’s happening in the last week, we are seeing more and more groups of youths going around and congregating at the hotspots. An officer on the front line of London’s knife-crime policing has vowed to stop groups of youths congregating in hotspots and creating trouble.It comes as Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said the spate of violence in the capital was “very worrying”, but that the force had not lost control of the capital’s streets.She also said she anticipated further arrests and charges in the five murder investigations launched in recent days.Her comments came after a 30-year-old man was arrested in Hackney over the murder of Tanesha Melbourne-Blake, 17, who was gunned down in Tottenham on Monday.The teenager was killed in a drive-by attack as she sat chatting with friends in a killing that shocked the capital. It came as the unit patrolled the streets of east London, responding to calls including a man armed with a knife in the street and an attempted robbery by a masked gang.On Friday afternoon a section 60 order, granting police stop and search powers across the Borough of Newham, was announced in response to an incident where a 13-year-old boy was stabbed in Gainsborough Avenue on Thursday.The order remained in place until 6am on Saturday.Speaking after a walk through Stoke Newington, in north London, on Friday, Ms Dick said: “Over the last three months and in particular in the last several days, we have had a unusual spike in horrible homicides, ghastly events, that have taken people’s lives and devastated other people’s lives.”This is not an unprecedented time, but it is a very worrying time.” Officers said they are keeping an open mind about the attack, and at this stage there has been no suggestion that the two killings are linked.On Friday two more youngsters were stabbed, with police being called to the Whitgift Shopping Centre in Croydon at 5.17pm.One male aged in his late teens or early 20s, and a 16-year-old boy were found suffering from stab injuries. She defended the Met’s record of bringing criminals to justice and said she believed the perpetrators of the recent killings would face the courts.Just 30 minutes after Tanesha was killed, 16-year-old Amaan Shakoor was shot in Walthamstow and died in hospital the following day. “We will stop them, we have been utilising that power – but we have been using it proportionally”Personally on our beat we are finding more weapons.”last_img read more

Crossdressing in Guyana improper – Appeal Court

…SASOD might move to CCJThe Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD) and the Guyana Trans United (GTU) could within the next few weeks take their cross-dressing case to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), SASOD’s Head, Joel Simpson said, if advice from their lawyers is prudent.The two Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) have made this disclosure after the Guyana Court of Appeal on Monday upheld a decision by now retired Chief Justice (ag) Ian Chang, who in September 2013, ruled that cross-dressing per se was not a crime, unless done for an “improper purpose”. The case was dismissed by the panel of acting Chief Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards; Chancellor of the Judiciary, Justice Carl Singh and High Court Judge Brassington Reynolds.The case, which was first filed in February 2010, following the widely reported arrests and convictions of seven persons for the summary offence of “being a man and wearing female attire in a public way or public place, for an improper purpose” (1893 Act). Four of the convicted persons filed this action, along with SASOD, which approached the Faculty of Law UWI Rights Advocacy Project (U-RAP). Thereafter, with the assistance of U-RAP and local counsel, a constitutional challenge to the cross-dressing law was filed.The McEwan case argues that the archaic cross-dressing law, found in Section 153 (1) (xlvii) of the Summary Jurisdiction (Offences) Act 1893, is inconsistent with the Constitution of Guyana. It also argues that the conduct of the Chief Magistrate, who told the individual appellants that they were confused about their sexuality and should follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, was also not consistent with the Guyana Constitution. The parties appealed this ruling, in part because of the inherent uncertainty in the terminology employed in the statute. With that uncertainty, State officials have virtually unlimited discretion in applying the law.The legal team for GTU and SASOD includes Miles Fitzpatrick SC; Nigel Hughes, Dr Arif Bulkan, and Gino Persaud.Speaking on behalf of the two bodies, SASOD Head Simpson told Guyana Times on Monday that the gay and lesbian community was very “disappointed” that the Court of Appeal had moved to dismiss the case.According to Simpson, following the ruling of Justice Chang and the ruling by the Court of Appeal, the community has been seeking clarity of what constituted “improper use”.“Now we wanted the Court Of Appeal to clarify and gave some reasons on what the term improper reasons mean. We thought that as a senior court, they would have been a little more appreciative of a more nuanced argument. We are disappointed that the court basically repeated everything that the Chief Justice said. We find the judgment to be a repetition,” he said. (Guyana Times) Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedBREAKING: CCJ rules Guyana’s cross-dressing law unconstitutionalNovember 13, 2018In “Court”CCJ to rule on cross dressing case tomorrowOctober 29, 2018In “Court”Cross-dressing suit set for Appeal hearing todayNovember 18, 2016In “Court” read more

TUI members will not cover the work of ASTI teachers during industrial

first_imgTHE TEACHERS UNION of Ireland has announced that its members will not cover the work of their ASTI colleagues during planned industrial action next month.In a statement today, the TUI said that none of its members will “undertake work which is normally done by ASTI members”.The two secondary school teachers unions differed in their votes on the Haddington Road Agreement with the TUI accepting the deal while the ASTI rejected it.Despite the discordance, the two unions say they have been in close contact “with a view to ensuring that their respective positions are acknowledged and respected”.There are more discussions planned between the two groups as the ASTI move towards a work-to-rule on 2 October.In the same note to members, the TUI advised that no element of the Haddington Road Agreement should be implemented until a circular letter is issued by the Department of Education.Some schools had started to create timetables in accordance with the deal, a move that was described as “premature” by the union.About 17,000 ASTI members will withdraw from duties outside of normal school hours from next Wednesday. The action will see them withdraw from school planning and policy meetings, staff and parent teacher meetings, and in-service training.Members are also being directed to withdraw their co-operation from work on the new Junior Cycle Framework and not to take on any duties arising from vacated middle-management roles “unless they are pensionably remunerated”.ASTI boss: Teachers’ action is “not about pay”‘It’s not changeable’: Tánaiste and Howlin say no renegotiation of Haddington Roadlast_img read more

Column A proper Halloween Festival in Ireland could have astounding economic benefits

first_imgLAST YEAR, BESTSELLING crime author Patricia Cornwell spoke at an event as part of the Dublin Bram Stoker Festival. Throughout her contribution she made reference to how lucky she felt to be here in Ireland, at Halloween.She referred to Ireland as the ‘place where Halloween began’ and of her feeling of being immersed in the historical significance of the ancient pagan festival by virtue of her presence here in Ireland at that particular time of year. She told the crowd that we needed to ‘claim ownership’ of this worldwide festival as Ireland was truly where it all began.It got me thinking and I decided to undertake some research into the cultural and economic implications for Ireland of making a far more concerted effort to embrace ‘our’ festival and make it synonymous with Ireland.It is evident that Ireland is missing out on a key cultural and tourism opportunity by not fostering and encouraging a much larger and more evolved international cultural festival centred around Irish history and mythology.Samhain, as most people understand, was one of the four great seasonal events celebrated by the Celtic and pre-Christian inhabitants of this island (along with Imbolc, Lughnasagh and Bealtaine).Historically, Samhain marked the beginning of dark winter months and the end to harvest time, and the evidence suggests that the festival was also a time to celebrate and remember the dead.There are frequent references to Samhain in Old Irish Literature – in the Macgnímartha Finn, Táin Bó Cúailnge, The Annals of the 4 Masters and The Tochmarc Eimire to list a few.Economic benefitsThe mix of ancient Celtic and mediaeval Christian traditions has merged to shape the holiday we recognise today as Halloween. To trace the international spread of the festival we know now as Halloween, we can look directly to the mass emigration from this island and Scotland to the four corners of the world.The festivities and customs we observe today at Halloweeen – trick or treating, costumes etc. – began to spread and were gradually adopted and celebrated by those of all faiths and none.From an economic point of view, the benefits that can be reaped from a Halloween festival could be astounding.The day is increasingly more visibly marked – houses are decorated, Halloween themed parties are held for young and old alike and we’re seeing the creation of many Halloween themed festivals.Spending on Halloween has ballooned in recent years and the National Retail association of America estimated that consumer spending on Halloween in the US has risen by 55 per cent since 2005 – to almost $8 billion.Similar figures are evident in the United Kingdom and even a casual observer would bear testimony to the enhanced level of external decorations on houses and Halloween themed events here in Ireland.The possibility of creating an International festival similar to St Patrick’s Day seems to stand out as having enormous potential by simply expanding upon the popularity of the festival whilst asserting and promoting the original Irish origins of Halloween, essentially making Ireland the spiritual home for Halloween enthusiasts from around the globe.Ideal frameworkThe framework for such a festival seems almost ideal. The 31 October date falls seven months after St. Patrick’s Day and seven weeks before Christmas. There is already a national holiday day associated, though not officially linked, with Halloween (the Bank Holiday Monday is the last Monday of October).Observance of the festival is already very high and some local authorities already officially mark the occasion and the Halloween holiday can be considered universal in that it can be enjoyed by both children and adults alike.Perhaps most appealing of all, it is now firmly a secular event, transcending religious and ethnic lines and thus making it appropriate as a celebration that can be shared by all.If we use the St. Patrick’s Day model as the central planning umbrella then we can develop that to apply to new and existing events around Halloween – by sourcing funding from Fáilte Ireland and a range of private sponsors.We could also use new funds generated to tackle some of the more anti-social elements that occur at Halloween. By legitimising unofficial celebrations we can bring an element of control and hopefully relieve the pressure on our emergency services on the night. We can also reduce the cost of cleanup to our local authorities.We have the organisational and administrative capacity to undertake and manage such an annual event given our success in running the St Patrick’s Day festival annually – an event that is shared in by millions around the world.Read Catherine Murphy’s document: The case for establishing a nationwide Halloween Festival in Ireland >Read: Meet the reverend who participated in the 1949 exorcism that inspired The ExorcistRead: There are some people who are really scared on Halloween – here’s whyColumn: Can we just give Halloween a miss this year?last_img read more

State cuts Value Motel fines due to financial woes

first_imgThe state Department of Labor & Industries is giving the Value Motel a break on its fines due to the business’ reported financial hardships — the owner says he made only $3,100 profit over a 30-month period.A hearings officer reduced the $7,500 in health and safety fines to $3,000 and put the motel on a monthly payment plan to pay off the penalties.The state imposed the fines after a health inspector and a safety inspector with the Division of Occupational Safety and Health conducted an inspection of the motel on June 1. The safety report included four “serious” violations totaling $1,500. The health report included eight serious violations totaling $6,000.The reduction came after Haresh “Harry” Patel, who leases and operates the motel, appealed the state’s fines last month. In his appeal letter to the state, Patel asked the state to reduce the fines since he took steps to immediately correct the violations and due to the economic hardship the fines would impose on the motel.“The travel and lodging industry was one of the hardest hit by the economic downtown as many were quick to cut non-necessaries such as travel and leisure,” Patel wrote. “Our hotel has seen a sharp decline in business which has made it hard for us to meet our operational obligations. … Also, the payment of a $6,000 penalty may detract from the funds available to improve our facilities for guests and employees.”last_img read more

What are the latest trends in the health cash plan market

first_imgHealth cash plans have provided cover for everyday health costs since the days of Queen Victoria. But, while the principle remains the same, plenty has changed to ensure they remain just as relevant today.Technology is playing a significant part in their evolution, enabling enhancements to benefits and customer service. On the benefits front, online health information and virtual GP services are becoming standard elements.Colin Perry, head of corporate marketing at Simplyhealth, says: “Our members can access a GP by phone or webcam at any time of [the] day or night. This can be very reassuring, especially when [they] might have to wait a couple of weeks to see a GP, and it also benefits employers by reducing absence.”Online claimsMany health cash plan providers have also launched apps, providing employees with health information and details of benefit allowances. Some of the apps also enable employees to submit claims. For example, Medicash received 55,000 claims through its app in 2016.Paul Gambon, sales director at Medicash, says: “It makes claiming so much easier. [Employees] can submit a claim while they’re still in the opticians or dentist and the money will be back in their account in a few days.”Making it this easy has some potential downsides, with providers seeing their reserves nibbled away due to an increase in the volume of claims. However, the simpler administration process can reduce overheads, says Gambon. “We want to pay more claims,” he says. “It adds value.”Broader benefits Alongside the addition of virtual GP services, providers are also expanding cover to address changes in employee needs. For example, Health Shield extended its Home Assistance benefit to employees’ parents, enabling them to access 14 hours of care in the home following a planned hospital stay of two or more nights.Jonathan Burton, chief executive at Health Shield, says: “More people are having to look after elderly parents. This can affect their productivity in the workplace, [so] we wanted to offer a benefit that offered some support.”Recent acquisition activity also suggests some cash plan providers are looking to broaden their remit. BHSF bought Nexus Healthcare last September and, at the beginning of 2017, Health Shield acquired occupational health specialist Prevent. Stuart Scullion, chairman of the Association of Medical Insurers and Intermediaries (AMII), says: “By moving into occupational health, providers want to provide more support to employers. There’s a need for differentiation in a competitive market.”Raising awareness Providers are also pushing up awareness of the product in the employee benefits market. This includes initiatives such as employee presentations, health and wellbeing days and sponsorship deals, such as Simplyhealth’s partnership with The Great Run Series and Westfield Health’s support of the British Transplant Games.According to LaingBuisson’s Health cover UK market report, which was published in January 2017, 896,000 people had an employer-paid cash plan at the end of 2015. This represents an increase of nearly 10% on the previous year.Tax hitBut while the number of people covered may be increasing, so too is something less attractive: insurance premium tax (IPT). Following a series of increases, this has risen from 6% in 2015 to 12% from June 2017.Cash plan providers have taken different approaches to dealing with this; while some have passed on the increases, others have absorbed them. However, this is putting excess pressure on them, says Scullion. “Absorbing the IPT increases cuts into providers’ running costs,” he says. “Margins are already tight and this will put pressure on pricing.”There are already signs of this stretch. Chris Cannon, business development manager at Jelf Group, has seen premium increases, especially where employees are claiming above the premium level. “I’ve seen one case where the premium increased by 100%,” he adds. “The employer wasn’t happy with this, especially as it is hard to budget for this level of increase, but the cash plan still offered good value even at the higher price.”While higher premiums are expected, the broad range of benefits and simple claims processes mean that cash plans should remain an attractive way of engaging employees with their health and wellbeing.Hywel Dda University Health Board helps staff fund everyday health needs through a health cash planHywel Dda University Health Board is responsible for providing healthcare services to around 384,000 people across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire. It also cares about the health and wellbeing of its 10,000 employees, having introduced a Health Shield-provided cash plan in 2013 to help staff fund their everyday health needs.Andrea Thomas, senior terms, conditions and benefits manager at Hywel Dda, says: “We wanted to provide our employees with a benefit that they could use to support their health and wellbeing at work and at home.”Alongside more traditional cash plan benefits such as optical, dental and physiotherapy, the plan includes a benefit that enables employees to access a range of alternative therapies, including sports massage, reflexology and hypnotherapy. “Employees really appreciate the variety of benefits on offer through the cash plan,” adds Thomas. “And they like the fact their claims are settled quickly, with the money back in their accounts in a matter of days.”The cash plan is available on a voluntary basis, with Health Shield supporting Hywel Dda’s benefit promotions. This includes running staff presentations and attending health and wellbeing days, bringing therapists in to provide employees with a taster session.The organisation is pleased with take-up of the benefit. “Last year, 200 new employees signed up for the cash plan,” says Thomas. “It does take time but as more and more people see what they can claim for, we expect word of mouth will help to drive take-up.” Need to know:Claims apps make it easier to use a health cash plan, pushing up claims volumes but delivering greater benefit to employees and employers.Virtual GP services are the latest benefit addition, responding to long waiting times to see a local doctor.Some cash plan providers have absorbed increases in insurance premium tax but many expect to see premiums increase in the next 12 months.last_img read more

Northbound Sawgrass Expressway temporarily shut down due to rollover crash

first_imgSUNRISE, FLA. (WSVN) – Sunrise Fire Rescue responded to the scene of a bad crash on the Sawgrass Expressway in Sunrise.The northbound lanes of the highway had to be temporarily shut down, just north of Oakland Park Boulevard, at around 2:15 p.m., Wednesday, for Air Rescue to transport a patient who had to be extricated from the SUV that rolled over and crashed into some trees.The condition of this patient remains unknown.The highway has since reopened.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

Big blow for Indians Saudi Arabia plans to ban foreigners from hospitality

first_imgRepresentative ImageReutersSaudi Arabia is planning to ban the recruitment of foreigners in hospitality jobs in the country, as per reports. In the latest development, the Labour Ministry has instructed employers to restrict hospitality jobs for Saudi nationals by the end of the year.The decision will apply to resorts, hotels rated three stars or higher, and hotel apartments rated four stars or higher, reported Bloomberg.Jobs to be reserved for Saudis include front desk jobs as well as management-level positions.  The job of a restaurant host and health club supervisor will also be restricted for Saudi citizens.  Foreigners can be employed as drivers, doormen and porters, said a ministry statement.The country has pushed for “Saudization” policies after unemployment rates increased to 13 percent last year. Foreigners dominate its private sector jobs, having taken up all but few blue-collar and service jobs.Earlier this year, the Saudi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Salman, announced investment worth $450 billion to reshape the Saudi economy and generate more than 1.5 million jobs in mining, industry, logistics and energy.While the move is seen as a push for encouraging job creation in a country that heavily relies on cheap labour, businesses have complained that the new policies have increased the cost of labour and lowered productivity.Indian labourMore than 41 lakh Indians reside in Saudi Arabia according to 2017 data, making them the largest expat group in the country.In 2017, a large number of Indians sent back their families to the native country due to the imposition of a monthly dependent fee for expats. The move was initiated by Saudi officials in order to generate revenue from expats working in the country. In Gulf countries, Indian workers are often employed on a contentious contractual basis. Over the years, increasing incidents of Indian workers being stranded due to the contractor’s refusal to let the labours leave the country have been reported. IBTimes VideoRelated VideosMore videos Play VideoPauseMute0:01/0:21Loaded: 0%0:02Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE-0:20?Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window. COPY LINKAD Loading … Close Since 2016, around 77,155 complaints on issues such as non-payment of salaries, denial of labour rights and other promised work benefits were registered by Indian workers in Gulf countries according to a Ministry of External Affairs data presented in Lok Sabha last week.The data revealed 36 percent of the total complaints came from Saudi Arabia, followed by Kuwait (19 percent), Oman (15 percent), Qatar (14 percent) and the UAE (13 percent). Saudi princes held at Ritz hotel in corruption crackdownlast_img read more

Bhutanese conjoined twins to undergo separation surgery

first_imgPhoto: ABC NewsFourteen-month-old Nima and Dawa Pelden, supported by their mum, flew from their remote Himalayan region home in Bhutan to Melbourne on Tuesday, report Australian media.The girls are looking forward a separation surgery as, reports say, doctors are confident they will get a new life.Their ‘life-saving surgery’ evokes the story of Nepalese twins, Ganga and Jamuma, who were separated in Singapore in 2001 that drew global attention.Nima and Dawa were born conjoined at the chest facing each other and scans carried out in Bhutan suggested they shared a liver, wrote ABCNet Australia.”Mum said the girls are getting a little frustrated with each other,” Children First Foundation chief executive Elizabeth Lodge was quoted by The Australian.”The girls are losing weight. They’ve been in hospital in recent weeks getting some extra nutrition so mum’s really keen for them to get here [in Melbourne].”A team of six surgeons and dozens of specialist nurses have been assembled for what is likely to be a lengthy operation on the twins, according to 9News.It said the Royal Children’s Hospital is offering the surgery to the Children First Foundation at a humanitarian rate but it will still cost more than $250,000. The foundation reportedly raised the fund.The aim of the surgery is to separate the girls in a single surgery, hospital head paediatric surgeon Joe Crameri told reporters on Tuesday. “We just want to facilitate a good outcome for these twins to go home and live a normal life.”Nine years ago surgeons at the hospital successfully separated Bangladeshi sisters Trishna and Krishna, who had been joined at the head, recalled The Australian.last_img read more

The Mueller Report Is Done But The Public Only Gets The Summary

first_img Listen Cliff Owen/APSpecial Counsel Robert Mueller walks past the White House after attending services at St. John’s Episcopal Church, in Washington, Sunday, March 24, 2019. Mueller closed his long and contentious Russia investigation with no new charges, ending the probe that has cast a dark shadow over Donald Trump’s presidency. 00:00 /29:10 X To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: This week on Party Politics, co-hosts Brandon Rottinghaus and Jay Aiyer discuss the results of the most anticipated investigation since Watergate.Special Counsel Robert Mueller has delivered his report on Russian interference in the 2016 election to Attorney General William Barr.Brandon and Jay discuss the report and analyze the politics of the summary presented by the Attorney General. Will the public ever see the report?NATIONAL TOPICS-2020 Democratic Presidential candidate roundup-Supreme Court hears case on gerrymandering-Green New Deal goes down in the Senate-Obamacare under attack – again-Jimmy Carter is officially the longest-living U.S. PresidentTEXAS TOPICS-Texas Legislature debates budget and school funding-Harris County sues petrochemical company over massive fire at Deer Park facility-Abortion bill rankles Texas Democrats-Texas Education Agency suspends HISD Superintendent searchYou can subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts. Tweet us using #PartyPoliticsPod or email partypoliticspod@houstonpublicmedia.org. Party Politics is produced by Don Geraci, the audio engineer is Todd Hulslander and our digital editor is Alvaro ‘Al’ Ortiz. This article is part of the Party Politics podcast Sharelast_img read more

TCL Wants to Use AI Object Recognition to Optimize Your TVs Color

first_imgTCL is giving the label “smart TV” a whole new meaning at CES: The Chinese consumer electronics company showed off a TV set that analyzes the visual content of a video, and then changes color tones accordingly.The demo on display on the show floor Tuesday was able to identify yellow sand and sand dunes in one video example, which led it to correctly identify the video as a desert scene. Another video was identified as an autumn scene based on the recognition of fallen leaves and yellow leaves.Each time, the TV changed the color tones accordingly, adding more warmth for the autumn scene, and making the sand dunes look more vibrant in the desert scene. A TCL spokesperson was quick to point out that this kind of use of artificial intelligence was just a technology demo, and not something the company is introducing with its 2019 line of TV sets. However, the technology is in many ways a successor to the company’s IPQ engine, which optimizes HDR reproduction dynamically by analyzing the visual qualities of each and every scene. CREDIT: Janko Roettgers / Variety TCL isn’t the first company to tout the use of artificial intelligence for its TV sets. But while previous implementations were often constrained to voice control and content recommendations, this demo clearly showed that there may be far more advanced applications coming down the pipeline.center_img Popular on Variety ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15last_img read more