Skip to content

Fees Adjusted To Preserve Services

first_imgMany provincial fees are going up in Nova Scotia to reflectchanges in operating and service delivery costs. Most changestake effect on Thursday, April 1; a few changes will come intoeffect on May 1. In all, there will be about 500 fee changes, adding more than $12million to provincial revenues. “We’re increasing fees because it’s costing us more to deliverservices,” said Minister of Finance Peter Christie. “Increasingfees reduces the pressure to reduce services.” Most increases will be limited to 6.5 per cent, reflectingchanges in the cost of delivering services since the lastadjustments in 2002. “A few fees are increasing more than 6.5 per cent to moreaccurately reflect the true cost of the service,” said Mr.Christie. Overall program expenses rose 7.4 per cent between 2001 and 2003.During those two years, health expenditures alone are up morethan 14 per cent. “After delivering balanced budgets in 2002 and 2003, and thenlowering taxes this year, Ottawa cut our transfer payments by$180 million,” said Mr. Christie. “It’s impossible to take thatbig a hit without adjusting our fees and services. “We had hoped to see more health-care money in the federalbudget, but it was not there,” added Mr. Christie. “Clearly,Ottawa has a different priority list than most Nova Scotians.” Some extraordinary pressures strained the province’s financesduring the past year. These include the spring floods, HurricaneJuan and the winter blizzards. Out-of-province calamities such asthe BSE crisis affected the province, too. Some increases will be delayed until May 1 because ofdepartmental notification policies. For example, renewal noticesfor vehicle registrations that expire on April 30 were alreadymailed. A list of all the announced fee changes is available on thewebsite at www.gov.ns.ca/finance/fees/ .last_img read more

Mahanadi in spate 11 Odisha districts on high alert

first_imgBhubaneswar: Odisha Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Bishnupada Sethi on Wednesday asked Collectors of 11 districts to prepare for the impending flood in Mahanadi river. Due to heavy rainfall in the lower catchments of the Mahanadi, about 11.5 lakh cusec of floodwater is likely to be discharged at Mundali in Cuttack between 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Thursday. Sethi asked Bolangir, Boudh, Subarnapur, Nayagarh, Khordha, Cuttack, Angul, Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara and Jajpur Collectors to take necessary steps. One gate of the Hirakud dam in Sambalpur on Wednesday was also opened following heavy rain on the upper catchment areas. “This is likely to cause a medium flood in river Mahanadi and its distributaries,” said the SRC. He informed that 12 ODRAF teams and three NDRF teams have been deployed in the likely affected districts for rescue and evacuation operations. Besides, fire service teams in respective districts will be deployed, he added. The Collectors have been instructed to immediately activate District Emergency Operation Centres and Control Rooms of different departments round the clock. Hirakud Dam authorities on Wednesday released first flood water from the reservoir in this rainy season. The flood water from the Hirakud Dam was released from one gate at 11 a.m. on Wednesday. “Keeping in view a medium level flood situation downstream, we wouldn’t release the amount of water earlier planned. Symbolically, one gate will be opened for some hours and it will be closed,” informed Water Resources Secretary P.K. Jena. “Keeping in view the situation downstream — aiming to keep it moderate. We will wait a few more days, calculate and take onward decision when to release the flood water,” said Jena.last_img read more

Just one suspect in death of twoyearold girl Quebec City police

first_imgQUEBEC – Quebec City police say their investigation into the slaying of a two-year-old girl points to just a single suspect.Police say in a statement their probe is progressing and investigators have spoken to witnesses in recent days.Rosalie Gagnon’s body was found in a garbage can last Wednesday and she was pronounced dead in hospital.The toddler’s 23-year-old mother was charged with mischief, violating probation and obstructing the work of a police officer in the infant’s death.Audrey Gagnon returns to court on Wednesday for a scheduled bail hearing.Following an autopsy, police confirmed the girl had been stabbed to death.The investigation was triggered after the discovery of an empty stroller near a park and the mother was tracked down and arrested a few hours later.A silent march is scheduled for Tuesday evening in the Quebec City neighbourhood where the incident took place.Over the weekend, Quebec’s minister for youth protection said she was seeking an inquiry into the girl’s death.Lucie Charlebois asked the province’s human rights and youth rights commission to examine the type of services the toddler’s family had received.last_img read more

Coalition for Quebecs Future captures LouisHebert riding in byelection

first_imgQUEBEC – Coalition for Quebec’s Future captured the riding of Louis-Hebert in a provincial byelection on Monday, wresting away what was once considered a safe Liberal seat and a Quebec City-area stronghold for the governing party since 2003.Former coroner’s office spokeswoman Genevieve Guilbault was assured victory in the riding for the third-place Coalition party, garnering just over 51 per cent of vote.Ex-political attache Ihssane El Ghernati finished second with almost 19 per cent and Parti Quebecois candidate Norman Beauregard took third place with just over 16 per cent.Voter turnout was registered at 52.4 per cent according to the Chief Electoral Officer of Quebec.Voters in the riding went to the polls to choose a new member of the legislature, left vacant after the departure of longtime Liberal Sam Hamad in April.The byelection was considered an important test for the governing Liberals in a riding they’d held for years with comfortable majorities, especially with the next provincial election around the corner in 2018.The campaign was chaotic from the outset, with both the Liberal and Coalition original candidates dropping out within hours of each other over allegations of psychological harassment dating back to their former jobs.The result leaves the governing Liberals with 68 of the 125 seats in the legislature, compared with 28 for the PQ, 21 for the Coalition, and three for Quebec solidaire. There are five Independent members.The runoff was a record 15th byelection in Quebec since the last provincial election in April 2014.last_img read more

Newfoundland harassment investigation misses scope of problem critics

first_imgST. JOHN’S, N.L. – Tensions were high in Newfoundland and Labrador’s legislature today as members moved to address reports on harassment by two ousted members of the Liberal caucus, with some arguing the investigation failed to address the scope of the problem.The province’s commissioner for legislative standards completed five reports on allegations of harassment against former Liberal cabinet ministers, Eddie Joyce and Dale Kirby, which surfaced in April.Commissioner Bruce Chaulk recommended the legislature reprimand the two men, but for the most part he found their behaviour did not violate the member’s code of conduct, and in some cases, was to be expected when working in politics.The incidents described include Kirby allegedly telling member of the legislature Pam Parsons: “You’re beautiful and I love you,” before he suggests she should stop being so vocal. As well, both Joyce and Kirby were accused of using profane language towards other members.One report referenced an interview with Cathy Bennett, who recently retired from politics, citing a culture of intimidation in cabinet.Bennett, a former finance minister, criticized the investigation for focusing on the actions of individuals rather than a system that allows harassment to fester.Tracey Perry, a member of the legislature who complained about Joyce, said something had to be done to prevent more women like Bennett from leaving elected office.“We’ve lost many, many, many good people,” Perry said. “Just a few months ago, we lost one of our brightest and it’s very unfortunate that that happened because of the environment and culture of politics … We tolerate behaviour that we would not tolerate in our own homes.”Liberla Premier Dwight Ball made a similar statement on Tuesday, highlighting the need for women to feel welcome in politics and declaring a “zero-tolerance policy” for bullying and harassment.The scandal has gripped the government since last spring, with critics taking aim at Ball for his lack of awareness around the ongoing conflicts within his cabinet.Now that the reports have been tabled, it’s now up to the other members of the legislature to decide what the recommended reprimand should look like.The process itself has come under scrutiny, with Ball acknowledging that it has been “flawed.”Cabinet minister Sherry Gambin-Walsh, one of the complainants against Joyce, has said she was not satisfied with the findings or the process, and would have preferred a fully independent investigation.Chaulk does not typically investigate interpersonal workplace complaints but said a lawyer from firm Rubin-Thomlinson with expertise in workplace investigations carried out interviews with him.Amanda Bittner, a Memorial University professor who studies gender and politics, said she found the reports “problematic and disturbing.”Bittner said some of Chaulk’s analysis, like referring to MHA’s comments as “not sexual in nature,” show a limited understanding of gender dynamics in the workplace.“Something doesn’t have to be sexual assault in order to be sexual harassment, and gender-based harassment without any sexual overtures is still a problem, and it clearly took place, based on the reports that were released. He’s missing the point.”A harassment-free workplace policy for government officials came into effect in June and work is ongoing to develop a legislature-specific policy.But Bittner said the way the issue has been handled so far suggests the government has a long way to go in dealing with the nuances of harassment complaints.“The stakes in parliamentary politics tend to make folks cover up bad behaviour rather than deal with it head on,” Bittner said.“All the harassment legislation and protocol in the world won’t fix the problem unless there is political will to actually do something about it.”Outside the legislature on Wednesday, Justice Minister Andrew Parsons said that debates on the reports will likely be pushed back until next week.last_img read more

Bomb threats made in Canada and across US appear to be hoax

first_imgAuthorities say bomb threats sent to dozens of businesses, schools, universities and other locations across Canada and the U.S. appear to be a hoax.Over 10 threats have been made across Toronto, according to police. Details of the threats have not been made available. King subway station in Toronto was also evacuated due to a bomb threat, but it was not immediately clear if it was similar to the other threats. It has since cleared. Police across the GTA have also received several reports of bomb threats. York regional police say they have responded to several unfounded email bomb threats demanding bitcoin sent to local businesses and individuals. Those who receive a threat are asked to contact police and not respond to the demand. Several local businesses across Peel have received unfounded bomb threats, according to police. The emails demanded bitcoin payment in exchange for locations of the bombs. Police in Halton say they have also responded to several email bomb threats demanding bitcoin similar to the ones across Canada Thursday. They have classified the threats as unfounded as well. Provincial police also released a statement saying they are investigating several bomb threats across Ontario that were sent via email to businesses and institutions and demanded a payment in bitcoins. Ottawa police say they responded to more than 10 bomb threats sent to local businesses and individuals in the Ottawa area where the sender also demanded a bitcoin payment. All the threats have been deemed unfounded at this point. Police are encouraging anyone who receives an email, not to respond and to call police. Winnipeg police say reports of bomb threats to businesses have been spread across the city and add while they are taking the threats seriously, none of them have been substantiated. Calgary police have determined the multiple bomb threats sent out are a hoax and believe there is no threat to public safety. They responded to 15 incidents, but believe there are many more who received threats. Five different companies in Montreal received threatening emails, but police say nothing suspicious was found at any of the locations. Agent Jean-Pierre Brabant, a police spokesman, said the emails were the same as those received elsewhere in North America. They warned in imperfect English that unless $20,000 in Bitcoin was paid, a bomb would go off.“Each call was taken very seriously,” Brabant said. “We sent police officers to the site, they searched the premises. We found nothing suspicious. There were no explosives.”It was not necessary to call in the bomb squad, he added.He said there was nothing connecting the companies, which were spread across the city.“It appears to be a hoax, but we are not taking any chances,” Brabant said.Manitoba and Alberta RCMP are working to determine the origin and validity of bomb threats made to multiple businesses in communities across the two provinces. Several received email bomb threats also demanding bitcoin payments. All police services say they are aware of similar events happening across the continent.Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale says the government is aware of the multiple bomb threats and encourages anyone to report anything suspicious to local law enforcement. Statement from the federal Public Safety Minister’s office on the bomb threats made in multiple cities across Canada #cdnpoli pic.twitter.com/TcshOEZHZx— Cormac Mac Sweeney (@cmaconthehill) December 13, 2018Law enforcement agencies across the U.S. also dismissed the threats, which they said were meant to cause disruption and compel recipients into sending money and are not considered credible.Some of the emails had the subject line: “Think Twice.” The sender claimed to have had an associate plant a small bomb in the recipient’s building and that the only way to stop him from setting it off was by making an online payment of $20,000 in Bitcoin.“We are currently monitoring multiple bomb threats that have been sent electronically to various locations throughout the city,” the New York City Police Department’s counterterrorism unit tweeted. “These threats are also being reported to other locations nationwide & are NOT considered credible at this time.”Other law enforcement agencies also dismissed the threats, which were written in a choppy style reminiscent of the Nigerian prince email scam.The Palm Beach County, Florida, sheriff’s office and the Boise, Idaho, police said they had no reason to believe that threats made to locations in those areas were credible.The FBI didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.Across the country, some schools closed early and others were evacuated or placed on lockdown because of the hoax. Authorities said a threat emailed to a school in Troy, Missouri, about 55 miles (88 kilometres) northeast of St. Louis, was sent from Russia.The bomb threats also prompted evacuations at city hall in Aurora, Illinois, the offices of the News & Observer in Raleigh, North Carolina, a suburban Atlanta courthouse and businesses in Detroit.“Organizations nationwide, both public and private, have reported receiving emailed bomb threats today,” Michigan State Police spokeswoman Shannon Banner said. “They are not targeted toward any one specific sector.”Penn State University notified students via a text alert about threats to a half-dozen buildings and an airport on its main campus in State College, Pennsylvania. In an update, the school said the threat appeared to be part of a “national hoax.”last_img read more

CANADIAN ACTOR JACOB TREMBLAY TAKES ON ANOTHER HEAVY ROLE WITH WONDER

first_img“They put something like slime (on me), but it wasn’t slime. It was silicone. Not liquid, but like smoothie,” he says, pausing for a moment to consider the description.“It was like a smoothie.” Jacob Tremblay is searching for the best way to describe what it’s like acting behind a face prosthetic.In his new film Wonder, the 11-year-old Vancouver actor plays Auggie, a boy born with a severe facial deformity. He’s up against major social hurdles as he embarks on his first year of public school under the judgmental eye of others.Tremblay plays the role disguised by an artificial face that was shaped from his own. Facebook Jacob Tremblay, right, stars in “Wonder” as a boy with a facial deformity entering his first year of public school; Julia Roberts portrays his mother. (DALE ROBINETTE/LIONSGATE / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS) Twitter LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Spending the day behind the prosthetic could get complicated on set, he explains while flashing a big smile.“It was really cool, but sometimes it would be itchy, which was annoying because I couldn’t get my itch,” he says.“Other times it would be OK because it actually felt really warm too. It was a nice warm cocoon around my face.”Wonder is based on the teen novel by R.J. Palacio, which retells Auggie’s story from the perspectives of a number of people in his life, including his sister and his friends. The film mostly ditches those angles and focuses on the boy’s viewpoint.Auggie lives with what the book calls mandibulofacial dysostosis, a rare condition that’s considered a variation of Treacher Collins syndrome. His facial bones are underdeveloped and his ears deformed.Tremblay prepared for his part by talking with patients at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children.“I made friends and I also asked them if they could send me any letters of any tips or experiences or stories they’ve had,” he says.Stepping into a role featuring a youngster with adult-sized problems has become something of a specialty for Tremblay.He captured hearts as an imprisoned child in the Oscar-nominated 2015 film Room and, in Burn Your Maps, he played a young boy who suffers a family tragedy and comes to believe he is actually a Mongolian goat herder.He has also gone on to star alongside Hollywood heavyweights such as Naomi Watts in The Book of Henry and Natalie Portman in the upcoming drama The Life and Death of John F. Donovan, directed by French-Canadian auteur Xavier Dolan.Wonder is comparably lighter fare that’s packed with many feel-good moments both inside the classroom and with his parents, played by Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson.Like the book, the script is filled with Star Wars references, so Tremblay’s fanboy excitement went full-throttle when he learned Chewbacca would appear in the film.“They had the actual actor in (the costume) too and that was super cool,” he says.“He’s also really tall and he was really sweaty under the thing. They took it off and he was, like, really hot.”Tremblay says he wouldn’t mind co-starring alongside Chewbacca as a young Jedi in one of Disney’s Star Wars films, in case studio executives are wondering. He’s already written a script based in the Star Wars universe, though he admits it was mostly for fun.“I want to be a director, producer and a writer. And an actor,” he says. “So like, all the things in acting, basically.”He’s also looking ahead to his 16th birthday, when he can finally get a driver’s licence.He recently started browsing the internet and came across a famous black car that he thinks would look great in his garage.“KITT,” Tremblay says. “You know, KITT from Knight Rider? David Hasselhoff?” he asks.“I was just looking up stuff from the ’80s.”by David Friend – The Canadian Press Advertisement Login/Register With: Advertisementlast_img read more

Sri Lankans at JFK airport affected by Trumps immigration ban

Others in the lawyers’ list released on social media include travelers from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan and Libya, five of the seven countries named in Trump’s ban. The remaining two are Yemen and Somalia. Those detained, according to No Ban JFK, a coalition of volunteer attorneys camped out at JFK, include a Malaysian and a Chinese national, as well as travelers from Turkey, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, France, Algeria, Jordan, Qatar, Senegal, Switzerland, Algeria, Egypt and Guinea. A group of Sri Lankans had reportedly been detained at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport in the chaotic aftermath of U.S. President Donald Trump’s controversial immigration ban.News has emerged that 71 individuals from 20 countries – most of which were not on the U.S. travel blacklist – were detained Tuesday at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, the Asian Correspondent website reported. “Students and professionals continue to be blocked from their homes, schools and workplaces,” she said in the statement released by No Ban JFK.She added that the attorneys at JFK have stayed put since Trump issued the executive order on Friday, offering legal assistance to those caught in the U.S. government’s immigration dragnet.“We are especially concerned with individuals being prevented from boarding flights at points of departure,” Mackler said. Camille Mackler, Director of Legal Initiatives at the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC), pointed out in a statement that the detentions prove the ban affects more than just the seven targeted countries.“And the turmoil inflicted by this sudden disruption is spilling over into the broader United States, as family members desperately seek to reunite with their loved ones. The team of pro-bono lawyers and volunteers at JFK are being coordinated by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and NYIC. (Colombo Gazette) read more

Special High Court to hear case on Gota from January 22

The Special High Court has decided to hear the case against former Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa on the misappropriation of funds for the D.A. Rajapaksa Museum from January 22.Rajapaksa appeared before the Special High Court today over the case where he was accused of misappropriating state funds amounting to Rs 49 million during the construction of the D.A. Rajapaksa Museum and Memorial in Medamulana. The Permanent High Court Trial at Bar later decided to hear the case from January 22. (Colombo Gazette) read more

Yellow Media showing signs of recovery as it transforms to digital company

Yellow Media showing signs of recovery as it transforms to digital company MONTREAL – The Canadian publisher of the Yellow Pages directories is showing signs of financial recovery as it adapts the century-old business to the digital age.Yellow Media (TSX:YLO) said Tuesday it had $24 million of net earnings in the third quarter, or four cents per share.The profit was a big turnaround from the same time last year when Yellow Media took a huge writedown on assets that resulted in a net loss of $2.8 billion.“Overall, we remain committed to creating an industry-leading media and marketing solutions company,” chief executive Marc Tellier told financial analysts on a conference call.“As reflected by our operation initiatives and results to date, Yellow Media continues to make progress on its business transformation.”But revenues fell 17 per cent year over year to $267.7 million from $323.4 million as a result of lower print revenues, discontinued directories and the sale of an online classified ad site in November 2011.Yellow Media, which is in the process of restructuring to reduce its debt, said its adjusted earnings were a better measure of its ongoing business because they exclude a number of one-time items.Adjusted earnings were $77.1 million or 15 cents per share in the latest quarter. That compared with $69.2 million or 14 cents per share in adjusted earnings last year.Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had estimated 10 cents in earnings per share and revenue of $264.47 million.The company — which printed its first directory in 1908 when it was still part of Bell Canada — has been transforming itself in recent years as consumers find information about local businesses online and on mobile devices.Online revenues for the quarter were $92 million compared with $87.3 million last year, representing growth of 5.3 per cent year over year, Yellow Media said.Tellier noted a recapitalization plan to pay down $1.8 billion in debt had been approved by Yellow Media’s debtholders, shareholders and convertible debenture holders. A final ruling on the plan by the Quebec Superior Court is pending.“We need to implement the proposed recapitalization, which will provide the company with the financial flexibility critical in supporting its business transformation,” he said.Last winter, Yellow Media announced a shakeup in its board of directors and brought in experts in restructuring and corporate finance to help deal with its heavy debt. The company also cancelled its shareholder dividend.Tellier reiterated that Yellow Media’s transition to a digital company from a print company will take time.But he noted a year-over-year increase in downloads of Yellow Media’s mobile application to 4.7 million from about three million.“Whether it be online or through their mobile devices, consumers are constantly searching for local information to make smarter, more informed shopping decisions within their neighbourhood or any neighbourhood they might find themselves in.”Yellow Media builds websites for small- and medium-sized businesses and provides such services as email marketing, search engine marketing and video production.Tellier said Yellow Media’s 360 Solutions, which includes online, mobile and print media advertising and website services, attracted more advertisers choosing three or more of its services. It showed year-over-year growth of 14 per cent in the quarter compared with 4.1 per cent growth in the year-earlier period.Yellow Media owns a number of publications including Yellow Pages print directories, YellowPages.ca, Canada411.ca and RedFlagDeals.com.Shares in Yellow Media were up half a cent at eight cents in late-day trading Tuesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange. by LuAnn LaSalle, The Canadian Press Posted Nov 6, 2012 6:07 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

Amazon Canada to hire additional 200 workers at Toronto office

TORONTO – Amazon Canada plans to hire 200 more workers at its headquarters in Toronto including for positions in software development, engineering, programming, marketing and sales and human resources.Tamir Bar-Haim, the country manager for the Amazon Media Group, said e-commerce, technology and the Internet are still in their infancy.“We feel there is still so much room to invent on behalf of the customer,” Bar-Haim said.“That’s how we feel about our business in Canada. There is still so much room left to grow.”Amazon employs 3,500 people across Canada at its offices and distribution centres including 600 full-time workers at its downtown Toronto headquarters.A spokesperson for Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, who was at the Amazon office for the announcement, said the province has not provided the company any subsidies, grants or tax breaks.Wynne told reporters following the media event that Ontario’s ability attract a company like Amazon shows that there is a large pool of highly-trained workers in the province.“There is no doubt that some of the uncertainty we’re feeling in the economy, some of the uncertainty we’re feeling globally, has to do at least in part, with technology,” she said.“But we have a choice at this point, we can either choose to be concerned and we can retrench and say we’re not going to take part in that and we’re going to have to follow those changes or we can take a leadership role. We are choosing to take a leadership role in Ontario because we have the talent, we have the capacity in our education system, we are ready to play that leadership role.”— With files from Jessica Smith CrossFollow @LindaNguyenTO on Twitter. by Linda Nguyen, The Canadian Press Posted Jun 20, 2017 7:37 am MDT Last Updated Jun 20, 2017 at 1:00 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Amazon Canada to hire additional 200 workers at Toronto office This Sept. 6, 2012 photo shows an Amazon logo. Technology giant Amazon Canada announced Tuesday that it will hire an additional 200 workers at its downtown Toronto office.THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Reed Saxon read more

Elderly Kuru Kururu man tied up robbed of valuables vehicle in

Police are hunting three men who reportedly broke into a Kuru Kururu, Linden/Soesdyke Highway home on Monday morning, tied up its owner and made good their escape with the man’s Toyota Auris motorcar- bearing licence number PVV1491- along with a quantity of cash and other valuables.Based on information received, the owner of the home, Frederick David, 61, was reportedly sleeping in his bedroom with his wife, when he recalled being awakened by three armed men who were standing by his bed at about 01:45hrs.David, a pensioner, told police that the bandits, who were each armed with a cutlass, shotgun and knife, respectively, ordered him to get on the floor, and they proceeded to bound his hands and feet, before gagging him.The bandits then placed the man in a lying position on the floor.INews was told that David’s wife was still asleep, at this time.The three perpetrators then began to ransack the home, gathering the couple’s valuables, including  one 40” TCL Flat Screen television, two gold rings, two Blu mobile phones, one Samsung Galaxy mobile phone, two Dell Laptops, and $25,000 in cash.They then fled the scene in David’s motorcar in an unknown direction.The police were later contacted and it was discovered that the bandits reportedly gained entry into the home through the back door of the house.Investigations are ongoing. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedResidents call for Police patrols over heightened crime in Kuru-KururuAugust 22, 2018In “Crime”Armed bandits rob Kuru Kururu business, assault ownerNovember 17, 2017In “Crime”Bandits invade kuru kururu home, assault family before escapingJune 30, 2018In “Crime” read more

UPDATE Lusignan man dies at hospital after being taken from Sparendaam

Dead: Kallicharran SawackA Lusignan, East Coast Demerara (ECD) man, who was arrested in an intoxicated state and taken to the Sparendaam Police Station lock-ups two Mondays ago facing allegations of damage to property, succumbed on Monday night at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) after he was rushed to the medical institution in an unconscious state.Dead is Kallicharran Sawack, who was arrested at his parents’ Lusignan home where he was said to be behaving disorderly on the day of his arrest.INews was told that the Police were called to the home, where they took Sawack into custody.However, the reportedly intoxicated man started to hurt himself by allegedly banging his head on the cell door and walls which prompted Officers to place him in a cell alone.The man however continued his actions of hurting himself which resulted in him receiving serious injuries.He was rushed to the hospital where he was admitted as a patient but died at around 19:45h on Monday.A post mortem examination is expected to be conducted on Wednesday.The Office of Professional Responsibility is said to be conducting a thorough investigation into the matter after the relatives of the dead man complained of the sudden deterioration of the man’s health a few days ago.Meanwhile, according to the now dead man’s mother her daughter took food for him in the station on Sunday and she was not allowed to see him.The mother said that her daughter was told to leave the food because it was too early and they would give him the food, however on Monday when he was expected to turn up for Court, they learnt that he was hospitalized.She said she was told he was critical and immediately rushed to the hospital where she saw her son bleeding from his eyes, among other places.While still in shock the woman said she learnt that her son was hitting his head while in the lockups.She explained that the man was placed in a separate cell after he and other inmates got into an argument.She is however contending that her son is not mad and would never have done such a thing. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedIncarcerated man died from blunt trauma about the body- autopsyJanuary 30, 2019In “Crime”‘Wherever the chips fall, we will pursue,’ says Top Cop on death of incarcerated manJanuary 30, 2019In “Crime”Lusignan man dies after being found on roadwayMay 27, 2017In “Crime” read more

Unique door number system in municipalities

first_imgHyderabad: Now, every house in Telangana will have a unique door number with QR code facility. On the lines of GHMC, which had introduced high tech door numbers in the Greater Hyderabad limits, all the municipalities in the state will also have the new system of giving unique door numbers. Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao told the Assembly on Friday that the new door numbers will have QR code and the new door number system would start in municipalities after the municipal elections. Also Read – Warrant issued against Renuka Chowdhury in cheating case Advertise With Us The unique door numbers will help the government to preserve the data of that particular property and also ascertain its value from time to time in the open market. The identification of the house with the new door number will also be useful for official purposes for both government and the owners and tenants of the residences. The Chief Minister further said that the government brought self-certification to make sure there is no delay in the building permissions. Also Read – Parts of Hyderabad witness heavy rainfall Advertise With Us However, he warned that the property owner would have to pay penalty for false self-certification. If the property owner gives false self-certification, he would attract a penalty 25 times the property value. If the property tax is Rs 10,000 and if the self-certification is false, he would have to pay Rs 2.5 lakh as penalty, said the Chief Minister. The flying squads would be checking the authenticity of the details given in applications. Advertise With Us KCR said that this was a citizen-friendly urban policy. The property owners with 75 sq yards can register their property with just one rupee and the property tax for them would be Rs 100 per year, which is not even Rs 10 per month, he said. The property owners with an area of less than 500 sq yards and 10 meters in height are not needed to go to the municipal office for building permission. It will be completely online application and if the permission is not granted within the prescribed time, then the permission is deemed to have been given. KCR further said that if there is any illegal construction, the property would be demolished without giving any notice. He also said that even in the case of the employees there will be no business of suspension, they would be removed. “Our intention is not to harass but to ensure the officials do not use their powers wrongly,” said KCR, adding that the government will show what the real administration is after August 15.last_img read more

Malaysia to build field hospital for Rohingyas

first_imgNoor Bejum, 32, a Rohingya refugee holds Rojaika, her 7 months old malnourished daughter as she sits at her shelter in Kutupalong refugees camp in Cox`s Bazar, Bangladesh, on 15 October 2017. Photo: ReutersMalaysia has committed to build a field hospital in Cox’s Bazar with the aim of providing better health services for the Rohingya refugees who have fled persecution in the troubled Rakhine state of Myanmar.New arrivals into the refugee camps dotting the south-eastern reaches of Bangladesh crossed 537,000 on 15 October, marking Day 50 of the current crisis. A full-blown humanitarian disaster constantly feels like it’s just one stroke of bad luck away.Bangladesh appreciated Malaysia’s bold position in support of persecuted Rohingyas, their initiative of providing humanitarian assistance to the Rohingyas and welcomed the proposal for setting up the field hospital in Cox’s Bazar to provide improved medical care services to around 300,000 Rohingyas.That would suggest the field hospital might be in consideration to be set up near the Kutupalong-Balukhali expansion site, a sprawling camp home to over 300,Malaysia’s deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi placed the proposal during his meeting with foreign minister AH Mahmood Ali at state guesthouse Padma on Sunday evening. Work to build the hospital will start soon.Secretary (bilateral and consular) Kamrul Ahsan and Malaysian High Commissioner in Dhaka Nur Ashikin Binti Mohd Taib received the deputy prime minister at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 10:30am, a senior foreign ministry official told UNB.Zahid Hamidi arrived here on Sunday morning on a two-day visit to discuss bilateral and Rohingya issues.This visit reflects Malaysia’s ‘concern and seriousness’ on the Rohingya issue in general, said an official.This is Zahid Hamidi’s first visit to Bangladesh since assuming office as the deputy prime minister in 2015.He is expected to meet prime minister Sheikh Hasina and relevant ministers to take stock of the existing bilateral relations and explore new areas of cooperation that are mutually beneficial to both countries, according to a statement UNB obtained from Malaysian foreign ministry on Friday.Apart from the bilateral meetings, Zahid Hamidi will also travel to Cox’s Bazar on Monday to witness the Rohingyas.Malaysia is optimistic that this visit will further strengthen the existing friendly ties between Malaysia and Bangladesh not only in the areas of bilateral cooperation but also on regional and international issues.He will leave for Kuala Lumpur from Cox’s Bazar on Monday through a special flight.last_img

Your brain on mesh Injectable flexible probe melds with neurons causes little

first_img Fig. S2. Time-dependent histology of chronically implanted mesh electronics (A–C) and flexible thin-film probes (D–F) in mice brains (horizontal sections). Tissue slices are labeled with Iba-1 (magenta) to highlight microglia; mesh electronics and flexible thin-film probes were imaged by DIC and are pseudocolored blue. (Scale bars in all images, 100 μm.) Credit: Zhou T, Hong G, Fu T-M, Yang X, Schuhmann TG, Robert D. Viveros, RD, Lieber CM (2017) Syringe-injectable mesh electronics integrate seamlessly with minimal chronic immune response in the brain. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 114(23):5894-5899. As mentioned earlier, the scientists’ 2015 paper initiated the concept of syringe injectable electronics, which Lieber notes opens up a new field with many opportunities awaiting further studies—an example being co-injection of electronics and cells where mesh electronics also functions as a tissue growth scaffold relevant to regenerative medicine. “In the paper being discussed herein we report systematic time-dependent chronic histology studies of the tissue-mesh interface after the mesh probes were implanted into rodent brains. Both horizontal (which contains cross-sections of implanted mesh probes) and sagittal (which contains nearly the entire implanted mesh probes) brain slices were used for immunohistochemistry and were stained with antibodies that can target neuron somata, axons, astrocytes and microglia. The results in this paper reveal the uniqueness of mesh probes in terms of minimal or absence of tissue response and neuron penetration when chronically implanted in the brain. , Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Explore further Fig. 2. Time-dependent histology of horizontal tissue slices containing implanted mesh electronics and flexible thin-film probes. Confocal fluorescence microscopy images of horizontal tissue slices containing mesh electronics/flexible thin-film probes at 2 wk (A and D), 4 wk (B and E), and 3 mo (C and F) postimplantation. In all of the panels the image labels were NeuN (I, green), NF (II, red), GFAP (III, cyan), and NeuN, NF, GFAP composite (IV). The mesh electronics and flexible thin-film cross-sections are pseudocolored blue. (Scale bars in all images, 100 μm.) Credit: Zhou T, Hong G, Fu T-M, Yang X, Schuhmann TG, Robert D. Viveros, RD, Lieber CM (2017) Syringe-injectable mesh electronics integrate seamlessly with minimal chronic immune response in the brain. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 114(23):5894-5899. The minimal, recoverable acute damage and the absence of an immune response support the possibility that mesh electronics may be permanently viable. “According to our past and ongoing studies thus far, mesh probes can maintain a stable recording/stimulation interface with the brain tissue for at least one to two years,” Lieber says. “However, this time period does not represent the achievable life expectancy since ongoing studies are currently under way to demonstrate even longer-term stability.” Due to the limitation of the rodent two- to three-year lifetime, the scientists expect to find more extensive stability in longer-living mammals such as rhesus macaques and in studies currently under way. “In the case with absent immune response as demonstrated in our recent paper, the life expectancy of mesh electronics should only be determined by biocompatibility and lifetime of the materials, including the metal electrodes (gold and platinum, which are both inert), and the passivating polymer that has been studied extensively in previous publications (such as Nemani et al 2) to show long-term stability in physiological conditions). Therefore, we remain confident that mesh electronics will likely have a life expectancy with stable neural interface and recording/stimulation functions for years, and envision the mesh ultimately as lifetime implant.”However, Lieber adds, should the mesh need to be removed, it can be directly extracted with minimum force and damage to the brain. “While this could cause a small amount of damage due to seamless integration with neural tissue, we believe the unprecedented stability and absence of chronic immune response of our neural tissue-like mesh electronics will lead to a paradigm change where the probe is a lifelong implantation that does not require removal.”Moving forward, Lieber says that they are conducting ongoing studies of new mesh designs having high large numbers of electrodes and multisite injections. “Moreover, our next steps include implantations of mesh electronics into tissues and organs other than the brain—for example, in the eye for in vivo recording of single retinal ganglion cells, in the spinal cord, in the muscle for studying signal propagation at the neuromuscular junction, and so on. We’re also beginning studies exploiting the unprecedented stability and absence of chronic immune response of the mesh electronics in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease models, and are working on implantation of mesh electronics in non-human primates subjects and human patients.”They also see a wide range of current and potential applications benefitting from the use of their mesh probe, including spinal cord and neuromuscular junction implants, brain–machine interfaces, cyborg animals, natural and pathological aging (such as Alzheimer’s disease) with insight on how spatial memory and learning evolve as a function of age and disease stage. Moreover, by adding stimulation electrodes, being able to enable fine level feedback that can ameliorate or overcome the cognitive declines associated with aging and other neurodegenerative diseases.As to other areas of research that might benefit from their study, Lieber says that in general, most areas of fundamental neuroscience research could benefit from mesh electronics’ unique capabilities of long-term stability and single neuron resolution. “In addition, almost any clinical/medical application that involves electrical recordings and/or stimulations will benefit from our studies. In addition to that mentioned above,” he concludes, “the mesh electronics should provide unique opportunities for brain-machine interfaces for tetraplegic patients, deep brain stimulations for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, and neural prosthetics in general.” Citation: Your brain on mesh: Injectable flexible probe melds with neurons, causes little or no chronic immune response (2017, July 5) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-07-brain-mesh-flexible-probe-melds.html Fig. 1. Schematics of mesh electronics. (A) Schematics of the mesh electronics structure in 2D. (I) Overall design of mesh electronics structure, where the blue lines highlight the overall mesh structure, the black filled circles at left indicate I/O pads, and the red filled circles indicate recording electrodes. (II) A single unit cell of mesh electronics, where the orange lines, which are shown without top polymer layer, highlight the metal interconnects and blue lines correspond to polymer passivation layer; w1, w2, and wm indicate the widths of the longitudinal polymer, transverse polymer, and metal lines, respectively. The schematic in the green dashed box highlights the cross-section view, which shows the polymer encapsulated metal structure, at the position indicated by the green dashed line. (B) Schematic of free-standing mesh electronics floating in aqueous solution and ready to be loaded into a glass needle. (C) Schematic of mesh electronics injected into mouse brain, with part of the mesh sagging between the brain and the needle. (D) Schematic of mesh electronics implanted in brain tissue with horizontal (yellow plane) and sagittal (green plane) sectioning directions highlighted in the inset. (E) Schematics of the interface between mesh electronics and the brain tissue (Left, cross-section view) and that between flexible thin-film and the brain tissue (Right, cross-section view). Mesh elements and the flexible thin-film are highlighted in blue, neurons are in purple, and glial scar is in yellow. Credit: Zhou T, Hong G, Fu T-M, Yang X, Schuhmann TG, Robert D. Viveros, RD, Lieber CM (2017) Syringe-injectable mesh electronics integrate seamlessly with minimal chronic immune response in the brain. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 114(23):5894-5899. The probe—which does not require a power supply—directly records neural voltage changes by being able to interface with all regions of the brain from the level of single neuron through circuits and networks, in which the mesh recording electrode is connected by passivated metal lines (that is, having a protective coating applied to its surface) to input/output pads located at the opposite end of the mesh structure. These I/O pads, in turn, are then connected to Flat Flexible Cables (FFC) and plugged in external system for recording. The researchers also conducted systematic post-implantation studies, finding minimal or absent neural immune responses, and moreover that brain tissue had penetrated and merged with the mesh probe. The scientists note that the mesh implant may never require removal—but if it does, doing so would be a straightforward if not issue-free procedure. They conclude that most areas of fundamental neuroscience research could benefit from mesh electronics providing long-term stability and single-neuron resolution—unique capabilities not found in conventional neuroprosthetics—and state in their paper that ultraflexible open mesh electronics probes could in the future enable a wide range of opportunities for in vivo chronic recording and modulation of brain activity.Chemical Biology Mark Hyman Jr. Professor of Chemistry Charles Lieber discussed the paper that he, Lead author Graduate Student Tao Zhou, Postdoctoral Fellow Guosong Hong, and their colleagues published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “The main challenge of designing and implanting an injectable ultraflexible open mesh probe is ensuring the design has four key features,” Lieber tells Phys.org. These factors are mesh openings larger than cell bodies to facilitate neuron penetration; mesh element features that are the same size or smaller than neurons; flexibility that in this study was many orders of magnitude greater than that of neurons; and mesh electronics that can be easily injected through very high-gauge needles to precisely control the mesh position. “By designing the mesh electronics such that all key properties are neuromorphically similar to neural tissue, we eliminate chronic immune response that is found with all other probes and medical implants, which are more like thorns in your tissue.” Fig. 4. Histology of a sagittal tissue slice containing nearly the full implanted mesh electronics probe. (A and B) Confocal fluorescence microscopy images of a sagittal tissue slice including the mesh electronics probe at 3 mo postimplantation. Each of the images are 3×3 composite images recorded directly in the Tile Scan mode, where each component image of the Tile Scan had a field of view of 425 μm × 425 μm. The tissue slice was stained with antibodies for NeuN (green), NF (red), and GFAP (cyan); the mesh is shown as pseudocolored blue. The images were recorded at an optical focal plane ca. 5 μm below the surfaces of side-A (A) and side-B (B). (C) Fluorescence intensity as a function of distance from the boundary of the mesh electronics in images of side-A (A) and side-B (B). The pink shaded regions indicate interior of mesh electronics on each side. The NF and GFAP fluorescence intensity was analyzed based on the entire images, and the NeuN fluorescence intensity was analyzed based on the regions shown in yellow dashed boxes in A and B. Error bars represent SEM. Credit: Zhou T, Hong G, Fu T-M, Yang X, Schuhmann TG, Robert D. Viveros, RD, Lieber CM (2017) Syringe-injectable mesh electronics integrate seamlessly with minimal chronic immune response in the brain. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 114(23):5894-5899. More information: Syringe-injectable mesh electronics integrate seamlessly with minimal chronic immune response in the brain, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2017) 114(23):5894-5899, doi:10.1073/pnas.1705509114Related1 Syringe-injectable electronics, Nature Nanotechnology (2015) 10:629-636, doi:10.1038/nnano.2015.1152 Stable long-term chronic brain mapping at the single-neuron level, Nature Methods (2016) 13:875-882, doi:10.1038/nmeth.39693 In vitro and in vivo evaluation of SU-8 biocompatibility, Materials Science and Engineering: C (2013) 33(7:4453-4459, doi.10.1016/j.msec.2013.07.001 A new window to understanding the brain The researchers used standard photolithography to fabricate the mesh electronics probes using a polyimide-based photoresist (polyimides are biocompatible) in a three-layer structure;1. the bottom mesh structure (typically ~400 nm thick) is defined per the specific design2. the metal interconnects, input/output pads, and brain electrodes are defined, these being ~100 nm thick3. the top layer of polyimide resist is defined such that all metal is encapsulated except for the I/O pads and electrodes, where the approach and subsequent polymer processing leads to a robust near-monolithic structure <1 um in thicknessLieber points out that the neuromorphic nature of the mesh electronics probes is related to the above three points, the bio/neural compatibility of the polyimide polymer used for the mesh, and the post-implantation open three-dimensional mesh structure. Together, he adds, these features make the injected mesh electronics quite similar to neural networks that comprise brain tissue, and therefore quite distinct from conventional probes. © 2017 Phys.org "The main challenges of demonstrating that the probes do not elicit inflammation or scarring—unlike the typical chronic tissue response—is to characterize the tissue-mesh interface at different times post-implantation," Lieber explains. To accomplish this, without removing implanted mesh probes the researchers sectioned mouse brains into both cross-sectional and longitudinal or sagittal (left/right) slices. "Investigations of both cross and longitudinal sections with the implanted mesh electronics probe provided detailed and global views, respectively, of probe/tissue interaction," he notes, stressing that in most cases conventional probes must be removed from tissue before sectioning, resulting in loss of some critical interface information."The horizontal and sagittal brain slices—which contain cross-sections of implanted mesh probes, and nearly the entire implanted mesh probe, respectively—were stained with antibodies that can target neuron somata, axons, astrocytes and microglia," Lieber continues, Moreover, he points out that these studies demonstrated that unlike conventional probes, neuron somata and axons around mesh probes were not harmed, and led to natural tissue levels at the mesh probe surface. "Similarly, the markers for immune response inflammation highlighting astrocytes and microglia showed that these species became background level after only a couple of weeks in the mesh electronics—but they proliferated and accumulated at the interfaces of conventional probes." The scientists also found that the ability of allowing the neurons and mesh to interpenetrate is universal for all meshes they injected and imaged at 6~12 weeks post injection, prompting them to initiate additional experiments to find out how the size of mesh electronics structural elements and other parameters might be tuned to enhance the capability of neuron interpenetration.It should be noted, Lieber tells Phys.org, that the researchers are being conservative when in their paper they write a minimal immune response pending more detailed marker analyses. "In fact, we believe there is no immune response from the mesh because our results show that any initial enhancement in astrocyte and microglia return to background with no measureable difference proximate or distal to the probe at 12 weeks—and, as shown in our 2016 Nature Methods paper1—up to at least one year. We thus believe that the response is due to acute damage that occurs when inserting the needle (or for that matter, any probe) into the brain—but given the lack of immune response from the mesh probe, this acute damage all heals over time, as opposed to worsening, as is the case with conventional probes." , Nature Methods (Phys.org)—Neuroprostheses, neural probes and other intraneural tissue implants have offered remarkable benefits to recipients in a number of areas in neuroscience research and biomedical applications, therapeutic examples being not only Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease, epilepsy, traumatic brain injury, and other neurological/neurologically-related conditions, as well as cognition, memory, and sensorimotor disorders. However, current neural implants have several drawbacks, including neural tissue inflammation or scarring due to device micromotion, as well as longevity and the potential need for removal, and high power requirements. Devising electrical probes that seamlessly integrate within neural tissue has therefore been a coveted goal. To that end, scientists at Harvard University have reported the successful implantation of a neuromorphic (that is, having a structure similar to brain tissue) ultraflexible open mesh electronics neural probe that is delivered to specific brain regions via syringe injection (a protocol they published in 2015 in Nature Nanotechnology)1. Journal information: Nature Nanotechnology This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more