Fishing the North Coast: Steelhead up next for coastal rivers

first_imgWith very little rain over the past two months, the end is near for the late, fall-run salmon season on our coastal rivers. The season, much like last year, has been somewhat of a disappointment to anglers. Only a couple smaller storms hit the coast and dropped enough rain to bring the Eel, Smith and Chetco up to levels where fish could pass somewhat safely. While the fishing window was very small or non-existent, that doesn’t necessarily mean the number of returning salmon was small. Even …last_img

Trafficking in Human Parts Nothing New

first_imgShocking videos of abortionists selling baby body parts is only the latest in a long line of Darwinian ethical barbarities.It always starts with good intentions. Biomedical researchers just want to help people. That’s how eugenics began; it’s embedded in the name, “good” genes. But by most people’s moral standards, it’s not right to do wrong to get a chance to do right. You wouldn’t murder a person to take his kidneys to heal a person dying of kidney disease, for instance. Does it really matter if the person is really young, or not even born yet?The videos from the Center for Medical Progress are shocking the nation right now, but if history is any guide, the furor will quiet down in short order. Nobody will be prosecuted for breaking the law, no fines will be paid, and taxpayer money will continue to flow uninterrupted to Planned Parenthood (see this Medical Xpress article for how it will likely play out politically). In fact, if anyone gets in trouble, it will likely be CMP for going under cover to expose the gory truth. Why is this? History is our guide. Does anyone remember “Silent Scream”? Does anyone remember the bags of aborted babies in trash cans, the horrors of Kermit Gosnell’s clinic, the wars over partial-birth abortion, or the undercover videos of Planned Parenthood workers conspiring with sex traffickers and advising young girls on how to practice sado-masochism?Planned Parenthood will likely survive this latest scandal. There’s big money involved, for one thing. And since Darwin rules the centers of power, the courts, media and academia will turn a blind eye to any outrage that smacks of “religious” ethics. The Medical Xpress piece shows the power of the secular science media to frame issues in terms of “women’s health,” concern about “the poor,” and “medical research”  while downplaying the gruesomeness of the videos and the amoral nonchalance of the perpetrators. A few Republican politicians will mollify outraged voters with impassioned do-nothing speeches, then will likely move on to other pressing issues, like getting re-elected. Meanwhile, the president’s director of Health and Human Services has not watched the videos and is not making any plans to launch an investigation.Update 8/03/15: Senate Democrats filibustered a bill to defund Planned Parenthood, and succeeded in defeating it (Life News). Only one Republican present voted against it.Embryonic Stem CellsWe’ve reported scientists affirming that ethically clean iPS cells (induced pluripotent stem cells derived from adult tissues) work just as well as embryonic stem cells (see 5/23/11, 9/11/11,  and a recent example on Science Daily). Nevertheless, research with human embryos continues—even though papers and articles reporting the work admit that there are ethical issues with their use.  Are not human embryos just a few weeks younger than the fetuses being cut up by Planned Parenthood for sale? Even if not implanted, an embryo has the same genome as the fetus (baby), and is programmed with the same developmental pathway.To be sure, some embryonic stem cell research is conducted using mouse embryos, like this example in Nature. But why research embryos for regenerative medicine at all, if the goal is not to eventually use the same findings and techniques on human embryos? Another article in Nature from the very same day discusses research using mouse and human embryos to grow organs in a Petri dish. Indeed, the title of Cassandra Willyard’s article gives away the trend: “The boom in mini stomachs, brains, breasts, kidneys and more.” She mentions human tissues 17 times, with the goal of clinical trials looming down the road.Gene EditingAs we shared on 6/05/15, the CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing technique has opened a Pandora’s Box of ethical issues. Recently, Jeff Bessen wrote at The Conversation that the “CRISPR/Cas gene-editing technique holds great promise, but research moratorium makes sense pending further study.” He is realistic, though, about scientists’ priorities when money and fame are involved:The gene editing technique also raises concerns. Could the new tools allow parents to order “designer babies”? Could premature use in patients lead to unforeseen and potentially dangerous consequences? This potential for abuse or misuse led prominent scientists to call for a halt on some types of new research until ethical issues can be discussed – a voluntary ban that was swiftly ignored in some quarters.And now, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Hollywood has reported another gene editing method: “Using Low-Dose Irradiation, Researchers Can Now Edit Human Genes: Effectiveness of Gene Editing in Human Stem Cells Improves Tenfold Using New Technique.” The purpose is honorable enough; fixing muscular dystrophy, Huntington’s disease and other serious genetic disorders. But if it works on a patient’s adult stem cells, what’s to stop a rogue nation or ambitious scientist from trying it on human embryos?Ethical ApathyPerhaps most concerning in recent bioethics news is the lack of concern. This was seen in two recent “science news” articles. In Medical Xpress #1, reporters announced nonchalantly that Canada has joined 60 other nations in approving RU-486, the controversial pill that induces abortion up to 7 weeks after pregnancy. This is the very pill that has alarmed some American businesses (e.g., pharmacies; see FRC) to the point of facing the loss of their licenses in order to maintain their sincerely held belief that life begins at conception. But here’s the nonchalant attitude of the reporter:“The approval of mifepristone [RU-486] is great news for women in Canada,” the group’s president Vicki Saporta said.  “It’s long overdue that Canadian women also have access to the gold standard for medical abortion care.“It should be emphasized that this is not about access to the pill. It’s about whether Canadian taxpayers should be coerced to pay for it. The reporter apparently was oblivious to the concerns of those who find this morally reprehensible, or else considered their concerns not worth even mentioning. The health of the baby is obviously lost in the fog of euphemism about “great news for women.” It’s certainly not great news for female unborn children.In Medical Xpress article #2, readers were treated to a history of “Human fetal tissue” that has been “long used for [a] variety of medical studies.” Malcolm Ritter seems to ask, What’s the fuss about cutting up baby body parts? Scientists have been doing it for decades. Ritter begins with a photo from 1954 of a Nobel prize scientist developing a polio vaccine with the help of fetal tissue. The end justifies the means, apparently; he doesn’t ask if that was the only way to produce the vaccine. The fetus (baby) sure had no say in the matter.Ritter drops some hints that Planned Parenthood might have stepped over the line (e.g., women are supposed to give their consent), but the word “ethics” never appears in the article. Ritter’s timing is directly aimed at justifying Planned Parenthood against the recent allegations of barbarism. “Controversy over a leading U.S. reproductive health group supplying fetal tissue for research has focused attention on a little-discussed aspect of science,” he says euphemistically (“science” not “barbarism”), before launching into his Q&A about fetal tissue research. His account sounds like Planned Parenthood talking points, making America’s leading abortion provider look white as snow.Just don’t get the baby parts in a “crunchy” way. More wine, doctor?This is Darwin’s House of Horrors, people. Creationists are not the ones advocating fetal tissue research, eugenical gene editing, and embryonic stem cells. It’s only coming from those who treat humans as material animals no more special than mice. And with Darwin-drunk lawyers, the media, academia and a leftist administration in power, don’t expect their critics to get any better treatment than a yawn.Suggested video: Listen to Brit Hume’s response to the CMP videos and what it says about our culture. (Visited 28 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

PE’s King’s Beach gets a facelift

first_imgPort Elizabeth’s biggest beachfront area is undergoing a long-overdue upgrade, at an estimated cost of R42-million. (Image: Excavation of water features has begun. (Image: Emily van Rijswijck) MEDIA CONTACTS • Chuma Myoli  Mandela Bay Development Agency  +27 21 464 1144 • Nicole Klukow  Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber  +27 41 373 1122RELATED ARTICLES • Impressive growth at SA’s Ngqura port • R200m factory opens in Port Elizabeth • Putting PE on national property map • Life’s a beach in South AfricaEmily van RijswijckThe King’s Beach area in Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality is being revamped, and residents and visitors will be able to enjoy new landscaped gardens and water features there from March 2012.The Mandela Bay Development Agency (MBDA) has kicked off with its latest project to upgrade the neglected and run-down area at a cost of R42-million (US$5.4-million). The MBDA is responsible for inner city regeneration on behalf of the municipality and will manage the entire project.“It is the city’s premier beach and therefore plays a major role in the tourism package offered by the city. The area has been identified for a much-needed facelift and refurbishment. It needs to be revitalised,” says MBDA chief operations officer Pierre Voges.The development, taking place in phases, will include the redevelopment of the skate park and improved parking facilities. The entire project is scheduled for completion by February 2013, provided there are no budget constraints.The upgrade has been welcomed by the business chamber in the city.“This kind of local government investment in infrastructure and basic services, like cleaning and security, is necessary to support tourism. The work of the MBDA has proven that this kind of investment acts as a catalyst for further private sector investment and confidence,” says CEO of the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber Kevin Hustler.Better security, lightingThe King’s Beach area stretches from the super tubes at Humewood to the McArthur Swimming Pool.The plan for King’s Beach is to retain much of its former character, but improve the security, lighting and landscaping in the area.“It is hoped that the end result will bring about the recreation of one of the jewels in the city’s tourism crown, attracting not only the spending power of outside visitors, but drawing the city’s own residents to enjoy and appreciate the area again,” says MBDA.Once completed, residents and visitors will be able to walk along a 5km route covering the entire beachfront area of Port Elizabeth, from Humewood in the northwest to the beach at Pipe and Flat Rocks in the south and beyond.Starting just after this stretch of beach is Cape Recife Nature Reserve, a coastal reserve which offers more hiking opportunities.Water featuresOne of the main components of the upgrade will be water features. The waterways will be fed by water from an old spring located in the basement of The Beaches apartment building and from storm water run-off.Voges notes that this will be the first time that water from the spring will be put to good use, instead of just being pumped into the sea as was done in the past. The water in the pools will be circulated and cleaned thorough filters and reed beds.In the early 1980s the then city engineers department commissioned a Beachfront Structure Plan to guide development of the beachfront areas from King’s Beach to Cape Recife.The plan identified seven nodes for development between the harbour and Cape Recife: King’s Beach, Humewood Beach, Shark Rock, Pollok Beach, the Beacon, Flat Rocks and Winterstrand.However, only Shark Rock, which includes Hobie Beach and a small portion of King’s Beach, were ever redeveloped according to this plan. After that, the city’s budget was re-prioritised and no more funding was allocated to development of the southern beachfront.Over the years the greater King’s Beach area has become run-down and unattractive, with visitors preferring to spend time at the more attractive Shark Rock Pier and Hobie Beach areas.There’s been little use of the magnificent stretch of unbroken beach area and surrounding property of King’s Beach.Taking it in phasesThe MBDA will handle the development in two phases, with phase two comprising of two stages due to budget limitations.Phase one, set to be completed by March 2012, will cost R10-million ($1.3-million) and will include the development of the water features and all associated infrastructure, pathways, grassing and fencing of the pool areas.Phase 2A, at a cost of R3-million ($384 394), will build on the existing work, adding more paving and greening.The most expensive development will be done during Phase 2B with the planned expansion to the skateboard facility and the redevelopment of the existing King’s Beach car park at a cost of R29-million ($3.7-million). The parking area will have to be re-levelled due to complications with storm water run-off.A later phase of the King’s Beach development will see Marine Drive downgraded from the current high-speed thoroughfare to a road where slower speeds will be encouraged.Traffic will be redirected toward Strandfontein Road to make way for more parking areas along the southbound carriageway.Phase two is expected to start in July 2012.“The construction of phase two will depend largely on the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality’s budget allocations in the next financial year,” says Voges.Completed projectsThe MBDA launched its latest project, the Donkin Reserve upgrade and Route 67, during Heritage weekend in September 2011. The development includes the extensive use of public art and was done in the form of a walk, taking the visitor from the Campanile at the bottom of Strand Street, to the Donkin Reserve located on Donkin hill in Central.Route 67 pays tribute to the public life of Nelson Mandela and the country’s road to democracy.Close by, the Athenaeum Building in Belmont Terrace has also been restored to its former glory and will now be used as an arts and crafts hub.The Athenaeum and Donkin Reserve upgrade forms part of the agency’s overall inner city regeneration efforts of which the Govan Mbeki Avenue and Parliament Street upgrades were the first. The idea behind these efforts is to draw residents, businesses and tourists back into the heart of the city.There has been renewed business interest in the inner city as a result of the municipality’s regeneration efforts, says Hustler. The Govan Mbeki Avenue upgrade has created a bustling shopping area, but he says there are still some areas of concern with run-down buildings and security.Businesses are also showing interest in the area, with upgrading that has started on the Donkin Terrace houses and plans for this to become a “creative quarter”.The renovation of the old Grand Hotel is in progress and the renovation of the Port Elizabeth St George’s Club building in Bird Street for offices and advocates’ chambers is now complete.Parliament Street, its surrounding streets and the Richmond Hill area are also attracting more business, as a range of new restaurants and coffee shops have opened there.last_img read more

Conserving a vanishing way of life on safari

first_imgNestled at the confluence of the Mitomeni and Biyamiti rivers in the south-western corner of the Kruger National Park, Jock Safari Lodge offers 6 000 hectares of exclusive traversing rights in an area of the park for Big Five game viewing. (Images: The PR Team)• Vaughanine JohnsonCommunication ManagerThe PR Team+27 21 419 2390/[email protected] Jane CookA space classically decorated, old editions of Sir James Percy FitzPatrick’s famous novel, Jock of the Bushveld, on display atop magnificent, antique wooden writing desks, Jock Safari Lodge (JSL) is a luxurious piece of beauty. It encapsulates a bygone era of adventure, and stands firm in the belief that the wild is pure and must remain untamed.At JSL sustainability is woven into the fabric of the community and caring for and nurturing of the earth informs how the staff and community teach, learn, and operate. It is one of the properties in the Shamwari Group portfolio. Committed to the environment, the luxury safari group is constantly engaged in far-reaching campaigns with the ideals of going green. Fresh crusades are continually under way. The group strives to minimise the impact of its lodges on the environment at every opportunity, and it has instituted many renewable and ecologically conscious methods of operating.See the beauty of Jock Safari Lodge:Bush BubbleNestled at the confluence of the Mitomeni and Biyamiti rivers in the south-western corner of the Kruger National Park, JSL offers 6 000 hectares of exclusive traversing rights in an area of the park for Big Five game viewing.General manager Louis Strauss oversees the lodge with passion for and a deep understanding of the African bushveld. He believes that environmental sustainability has become an essential ingredient to doing business responsibly and successfully. Strauss says the space was the first concession in the Kruger and nestled in the wild, you are immersed in a bush bubble. There are no new footprints; the captivating lodge has a mature history. The old wagon road travelled by FitzPatrick and Jock runs through the JSL concession and the Jock rangers regularly use this road to tell the guests about the dog.Environmentally consciousStrauss is a staunch supporter of green initiatives and sustainability programmes, such as reducing the use of physical resources including water and energy, encouraging recycling, increasing the use of renewable resources, encouraging the redesign of production processes and products to eliminate the production of toxic materials, and protecting and restoring natural habitats and environments valued for their biodiversity or beauty.With him at the helm, JSL regularly achieves impressively high results in the Kruger National Park environmental audit. In 2013, its result was 100%. The bi-annual audit measures the impact of the lodge, kitchen waste, and recycling tin and glass. “Furthering our eco-initiatives by making a concerted effort to educate and motivate staff on the need to reduce, recycle and reuse, we have reduced the amount of energy, water and waste on the reserve tremendously,” he explains.The lodge is completely off the grid and is totally self-sufficient; it relies on no municipality. Solar geysers and evaporative coolers have been installed to reduce electricity use. There is grey water recycling, which is reticulated into the dam for animals. Water consumption is monitored very closely and the lodge has implemented rain water collection for use in its extensive herb garden. Recycled waste water is used for washing vehicles.Cans, glass and plastic are recycled as a daily routine, and all kitchen food waste is processed through a wormery. JSL only buys wood from a local contractor sourced from re-usable alien trees for its camp fires. Solar power for heating has been installed at the main Jock Safari Lodge and Little Jock for geysers in all the suites and back of house.For intrepid bush ramblers and big game watchers, the lodge allows its guides to drive off-road on the concession; afterwards, they go back to rehabilitate the area. “Keeping it pure is our ideal; we bind to the philosophy of the park… Throughout the lodges, there is comprehensive staff training, greater conservation awareness, especially for the rhinos, and looking at every opportunity to adopt even more eco policies,” Strauss says.Each initiative is executed with care and the responsibility of nurturing resources is taken seriously to ensure the protection of the environment and wildlife. The lodge is completely off the grid and totally self-sufficient; it relies on no municipal services. Solar geysers and evaporative coolers have been installed to reduce electricity use. Empowering the communityJSL is also involved in empowerment initiatives in the surrounding local communities. Malelane is the closest village to the lodge, where unemployment at 70%. JSL uses as many members of the community as possible for its staffing, and 90% of employees is sourced locally, from the construction workers on the property to the taxi drivers ferrying the staff to and from work.The lodge has also funded a soap-making factory, Kumshulshla. A very productive, lucrative initiative that staff really get their teeth into is biscuit making. Various staff members were bought ovens and appliances and they have started a little bakery where biscuits, shaped like dog bones in keeping with the Jock theme, are made. These creamy, delicious biscuits are placed in the rooms and are best eaten dipped in honey. Florence, one of the bakers, earns about R5 000 to R6 000 a year and it was even suggested that they are sold in the curio shop.Handmade crafts from the surrounding communities are also stocked in the JSL curio shop.Man’s best friendThe theme of FitzPatrick’s famous novel is on display throughout the lodge. The décor is in keeping with this intrepid explorer and his incredibly loved dog. The story is of canine devotion and has moved many adventurous hearts that travelled through what is now known as the Kruger National Park in the late 1800s. At the safari lodge there are ox wagons from the original Jock of the Bushveld movie.Listen to Johnny Clegg sing ‘Great Heart’ for the Jock of the Bushveld movie:last_img read more

Get fit with GeoFit

first_imgNow that you know how to get GeoFit, what’s stopping you? FTF Sprints: If you’re not FTF you’re LTF. The pain of losing your FTF to someone else is over. FTF Sprints will pump your legs with cheetah-like speed and spot caches quicker than ever. What you need: 4-6 caches and log books, 1 pen, 1 stop watchHow to do it: Set up each cache 10 meters from one another. Start 20-30 meters away from the first cache. Run as fast as you can to the first cache, sign the log-book, then go back to the finish line. Take a rest and repeat until all caches have been signed.Ammo can curls: Time to get buff. Who knows when the next ammo can won’t open for you, or might be stuck in the mud. Curling ammo cans will not only help you in these situations, but it will also give you the strength of an ox. What you need: Ammo cans, weights/rocks, heave trackables, arm(s)How to do it: Hold the ammo cans by your waist and slowly bring your forearms up to chin level. You can break up you curls into sets of 10, 15, or 20. To increase the weight of the ammo can, fill it with trackables, SWAG, or rocks to increase the weight. When you find an ammo can make it a goal to curl it a few times before you claim your find.Low reach lunges: We’ve all been there. Caching all day long but there’s one more cache. You get to GZ you realize it’s a micro–and it is low to the ground. Never feel like a cache is too low again! After a few repetitions you’ll be a low reach champ, no cache will be too low for you. What you need: A magnetic micro, and a low reaching benchHow: Place the micro at a low point that will cause you to lunge forward on one knee to grab it. Repeat on both legs 10 times. Take a break, and then repeat.Micro Twists: You find a micro in the woods. You’re so proud. Then, it won’t open! Perhaps it’s rusted shut, or it was twisted on extra tight. Contrary to belief, the micro twist is a motion that requires strength from your entire body. What you need: A micro or nano cache, glue.How to do it: Twist and untwist the micro or nano with all of your might 20 times, then repeat. For extra resistance trying gluing your nano shut, or leave it outside for a nice rusty finish. Cache along a route-long run: You may need to have a fire extinguisher after you master this workout because you’ll be smokin’ fast. Be a front-runner and keep a leg up on your competition with the Cache along a route long run. Soon enough you’ll be running Marathon’s grabbing caches along the way. What you need: Running shoes, a watch, a map or GPS, a penHow to do it: Map your run on using the map function, or use the cache-along-a-route feature. Estimate the distance, and set yourself a time goal. Repeat your routes until you’re #GeoFitMulti-Cache circuit: Everyone knows the key to endurance caching is exercising the core of your body. With Multi-Cache circuit you’ll unknowingly walk into 20 stage Multi’s like an experienced pro. What you need: Just yourselfHow to do it: There are many core workouts you can substitute. Forward planks, push-ups, and crunches can get you started. Do 1 minute of each work out every time you find a stage of the Multi-Cache. Share with your Friends:More SharePrint RelatedHelicopter Geocaching – The Ultimate First To Find (FTF)July 13, 2011In “Community”Be a better hiderAugust 21, 2018In “News”Groundspeak Weekly Newsletter – April 4, 2012April 4, 2012In “Groundspeak’s Weekly Newsletter” Have you ever been beaten to an FTF?Couldn’t get the ammo can unstuck out of the mud?Couldn’t untwist a micro?Become bigger faster and stronger with Geocaching’s GeoFit program. Based on years of research and rigorous testing (probably), our GeoFit program will give you the strength you need for success out in the field.We target each of these areas with exercises to help train your body for these challenging geocaching situation and many more.Don’t Quit. Get GeoFit.last_img read more

Legendary wrestler and actor Dara Singh succumbs to illness

first_imgFriends recall him as the gentle giant. The world hails him as the original machoman – Rustam-e-Hind of wrestling and Bollywood’s first action hero, who gave the mythological Hanuman a He-Man twist.Deedar Singh Randhawa – Dara Singh to the world – became a phenomenon long before stars created by crafty marketing strategy came into vogue.His ability to balance the two unrelated spheres of wrestling and films is what makes Singh unique in our pop culture.He passed away on Thursday at his residence in Mumbai after a cardiac arrest. The 83-year-old was hospitalised last Saturday after he complained of chest pain and uneasiness. With little chance of recovery and keeping with his family’s wishes, Singh was shifted to his residence on Wednesday. The last rites were performed on Thursday afternoon.A file photo of Dara Singh with his wife at an event.Bollywood’s fondness for the big man with a bigger smile is evident from the galaxy of celebrities – Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra, Rishi Kapoor and Raza Murad – who came to mourn his death at the funeral.Bachchan, who played Dara Singh’s son in Manmohan Desai’s 1985 blockbuster Mard, aptly defined him as “an entire era of celebrated presence”.Singh’s debut film saw him essay a prop role in the 1952 Dilip Kumar-Madhubala drama, Sangdil. He was last seen on screen as Kareena Kapoor’s grandfather in the 2007 hit, Jab We Met.The intervening years saw him constantly redefine his charisma. He brought alive Hanuman twice – once in the sixties’ film, Ramayan, and then again in the eighties when Ramanand Sagar cast him in the role in his superhit serial on the epic. He also played Bhimsen in the 1965 screen adaptation of Mahabharat.advertisementAs a wrestler, his bouts were nothing short of spectacles. Along with Australian champion King Kong and Canadian ace Flash Gordon, Dara Singh created the first template of the entertainment sport that has today become a TRP topper in its various avatars such as WWF, WWE and TNA wrestling. A famous fight where Dara lifted King Kong above his head and flung him to the ropes is stuff that legends are made of in the wrestling world.Given his 6-foot, two-inch frame, wrestling glory was only expected. But Dara had a far bigger challenge to overcome when he entered Bollywood.Not many leading film-makers were willing to cast a wrestler stud as hero in an era when intense drama ruled. Dara chose to carve his niche in smallbudget Hindi and Punjabi action films of the fifties and the sixties, in the process turning the genre into a peculiar kitschy art form.With little script or cinematic finesse to offer, films such as Sikander-E-Azam, Jagga Daku, Toofan, Do Dushman, Daku Mangal Singh, Aandhi Aur Toofan, Jawaan Mard, Faulad, Tarzan Comes To Delhi, Tarzan And King Kong, Samson and Hercules found a fiercely loyal fan base riding solely on his brawn power.He went on to direct a few films too, notably Rustom with Tanuja and Sohrab Modi in 1982 and the 1978 film Bhakti Mein Shakti that also featured Bharat Bhushan.Singh was a true star, revered by die-hard fans as the larger-thanlife demigod he normally played on screen. So much so, many in his ancestral village of Dharmoochak near Amritsar reportedly refused to believe he was no more. For these fans, their Hanuman will remain immortal forever.He was born here in November 1928 to Balwant Kaur and Surat Singh Randhawa and it is here that he first learnt the ropes of wrestling.Soon after the villagers learnt about his death, the residents of the village, including some of his contemporaries, gathered outside his house to reminisce about their lost gem.Dara was affectionately called Balwanji (wrestler) in the area. No wonder then that the village has come to be known as Balwan da pind (wrestler’s village) – but not solely owing to his fame. Village lore is replete with tales of Singh’s philanthropy.– Inputs from Vikas Kahol in Chandigarh.last_img read more

a month agoChelsea manager Lampard: Abraham not guaranteed spot

first_imgChelsea manager Lampard: Abraham not guaranteed spotby Freddie Taylora month agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea manager Frank Lampard says he won’t stop pushing Tammy Abraham.The 21-year-old scored a hat-trick in Saturday’s 5-2 win over Wolves.It was Abraham now has seven goals from five Premier League appearances, but Lampard has warned he must keep scoring to keep his place.He said:”I felt that knowing his abilities and watching him in the Championship have two great seasons and in the Premier League, I felt it was more than time for him to have his opportunity,” Chelsea boss Lampard said of Abraham.”He needed to show it in pre-season and at the start of the season, hence he started at Manchester United.”I have competition up there. I definitely don’t want to down-talk Giroud and Batshuayi because we need them as well and Batshuayi looked sharp when he came on and Oli always gives something of a high level, so it was up to Tammy to show it.”I’ve got confidence in him and I’m prepared to give him chances, but even more now I’ll be tougher on him because he’s shown what he can do. So the moment he wants to come off that and think that goals will just drop at his feet will be a moment when maybe he will be rested, so it’s important he makes sure he stays on his game.”I’m happy because I see him every day with a feeling like he wants to play every day, to score goals every day and that’s something a bit special. You don’t see that in all young players and it’s a great gift in him.” About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Future NAFTA talks face uphill battle as Mexico Canada grapple with tariffs

WASHINGTON – Any chance of a quick deal on a renegotiated NAFTA has been scuppered by U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to end an exemption for Canada and Mexico from crippling tariffs on steel and aluminum exports, Canadian government insiders say.Indeed, one well-placed, senior official said the chances of striking any deal on NAFTA, ever, have “just fallen through the floor.”Trump, meanwhile, resurrected Friday an idea he’s floated before — negotiating separate bilateral trade pacts with Canada and Mexico if no deal can be reached on modernizing the trilateral North American Free Trade Agreement.But coming one day after Trump antagonized both countries by using national security concerns to justify imposing tariffs of 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminum on the U.S.’s NAFTA partners, Canadian officials said the renewed pitch for bilateral deals is a non-starter.“The government commitment remains NAFTA,” said one of several officials, all of whom spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of negotiations and efforts to manage deteriorating relations with the United States.While Mexican negotiators are scheduled to return to Washington next week to resume talks on the pivotal NAFTA issue of autos, Canadian officials say the round-the-clock phase of negotiations of the past few weeks is over. Talks will continue in a slower, less urgent fashion, with the next potential window for more intensive negotiations likely not coming until after the July 1 Mexican presidential election.Even then, one senior official predicted the chances of striking a deal are slim. That’s because the Trump administration has, in Canada’s view, made a “massive, massive strategic blunder” in thinking it will be able to drive a harder bargain with a new Mexican president.It’s compounded that miscalculation by lifting the steel and aluminum tariff exemption on Mexico, the official said, predicting the move will compel presidential contenders to take an even harder line against U.S. trade practices during the campaign and, thus, limit the eventual winner’s room to manoeuvre on NAFTA.That could mean no deal will ultimately prove possible, which could provoke Trump to follow through on his oft-repeated threat to tear up NAFTA. However, Canadian officials contend such a unilateral move is likely illegal under U.S. law and, in any event, they expect a backlash from Congress, American business leaders and — most importantly for Trump — Republican fundraisers, who would probably force the president to back down.Still, Trump reiterated Friday his preference for two separate trade deals with Canada and Mexico, rather than the continental pact.“To be honest with you, I wouldn’t mind seeing NAFTA where you’d go by a different name, where you’d make a separate deal with Canada and a separate deal with Mexico,” he said after a meeting with North Korean officials.“You’re talking about a very different two countries. I wouldn’t mind seeing a separate deal with Canada where you have one type of product … and a separate deal with Mexico.”NAFTA, Trump repeated, has been “a lousy deal for the United States from day one.“We lose a lot of money with Canada and we lose a fortune with Mexico. But it’s not going to happen like that anymore,” he said.However, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto are showing no sign of breaking up the united front they’ve demonstrated so far.“The leaders expressed their strong concerns and deep disappointment with the imposition of U.S. tariffs on Canadian and Mexican steel and aluminum exports,” Trudeau’s office said in a summary of a Thursday phone call with the Mexican leader.“They also discussed the North American Free Trade negotiations and agreed to continue working toward a mutually beneficial outcome.”In retaliation for the tariffs imposed on Canadian steel and aluminum, Trudeau announced Thursday that Canada will impose $16.6 billion worth of “countermeasures” that hit a range of U.S. products, from flat-rolled steel to playing cards. Mexico also plans tariffs on a variety of U.S. products, including flat steel.In the wake of the burgeoning trade war, some trade experts also question whether there might actually be a NAFTA negotiating table to return to given the reality of the political calendar. Mexico’s presidential election is one month away and the U.S. congressional midterms follow in the fall.Trump’s latest move amounts to “blackmail” in the NAFTA renegotiation, although it doesn’t kill chances of carving out a deal, said Perrin Beatty, president of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and a veteran of Canada’s free trade battles.Beatty said Canada should not walk away from the NAFTA table.“We should not ever agree to blackmail of the nature that was proposed here,” said Beatty, who was a federal cabinet minister at the time of the original Canada-U.S. free trade negotiation that produced NAFTA’s precursor.“We should remain at the table as long as there is a table to remain at, and look for a deal in which everyone wins.”Beatty said future negotiations have been altered by Trump’s “classic bully techniques” which are designed “to extort the conditions that Donald Trump wants to see in NAFTA.”Eric Miller, of the Washington-based Rideau Potomac Strategy Group, said it is possible to move forward with NAFTA on a separate track from the tariff dispute. That’s not unprecedented because when the original Canada-U.S. free trade talks were happening, the two countries were mired in the softwood lumber dispute.But this time it’s different, he said.The key is for Canada to move forward with NAFTA while keeping the “damage done” in steel and aluminum contained in its own separate lane. After parsing the statements of Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Miller said it is clear the two countries want to do that.“If the U.S. thinks this, in some way, will soften up Canada’s position or make it want to give concessions to resolve the NAFTA, they are misunderstanding the situation,” he said.“Canada knows this is the big ball game and they have said from the very beginning they’re not going to yield to pressure tactics.”A leading American trade lawyer said the window for serious NAFTA negotiations has simply closed for the year because it has been overtaken by the political calendar.“I believe the real challenge on NAFTA will be Mexico. I do not believe we can proceed in any significant way on NAFTA before the July 1 election,” said Dan Ujczo, of the firm Dickinson Wright PLLC.Others said there’s no way NAFTA’s negotiators can look each other in the eye after Thursday’s developments.“It’s hard to imagine how you negotiate with a knife to your throat,” said Jean Simard, president of the Aluminum Association of Canada.“I would break it off. That’s not good faith.” read more

Ontario launching public awareness campaign on cannabis legalization

first_imgTORONTO – Ontario is launching a public awareness campaign to highlight the dangers of using recreational cannabis and promote social responsibility ahead of the legalization of marijuana next week.Attorney General Caroline Mulroney said the ads will emphasize the province’s rules around the sale and consumption of pot, as well as measures to protect children and the community.“Our message will remain clear,” Mulroney said Tuesday during a speech at Toronto’s Empire Club. “We will plainly tell Ontarians how our children, communities and roads will be protected, and how we will work to combat criminals.”Mulroney said the advertisements will run next week in traditional media as well as on digital and social channels to reach a younger audience.“It should go without saying that these ads do not promote cannabis use or the cannabis market,” she said. “(The ads) will focus on social responsibility, including the serious health and addiction risks of short- and long-term cannabis use.”Last month the Progressive Conservatives announced they were moving to a private retail sale model, shifting away from the previous Liberal government’s plan to sell pot in publicly owned shops. Under the Liberal plan the province would have had 200 pot stores by 2020.The Tories estimate their plan will see between 500 to 1,000 shops licensed a short time after legalization with no cap placed on licences.Mulroney said the Liberal plan would have failed because there would not have been enough stores open after legalization.“If I could be frank, we concluded that such a system was incapable of seriously competing with the illegal market and in turn would leave our communities more vulnerable and susceptible to the underground market,” she said.The provincial government has said it would sell recreational cannabis online when it is legalized on Oct. 17, with private retail stores set to be in place by April next year.The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario will regulate the marketplace, and will have the power to grant — and potentially revoke — licences as well as enforce provincial rules on cannabis sales. On Tuesday, Mulroney emphasized the agency will focus on enforcement and emphasized the presence of the agency’s embedded provincial police unit during her remarks.“Nobody in Ontario has the right to a cannabis retail licence,” she said. “The AGCO’s due-diligence process will be strictly applied and thoroughly enforced, and the role of the public commentary in this process is real.”The Opposition New Democrats said the government’s ad campaign was coming far too late.“The government has known about the Oct. 17 date for quite a while,” said NDP legislator Peter Tabuns. “I think what we’re going to have now is a very rushed process.”last_img read more

Modest home price growth forecasted for 2019 ReMax and Royal LePage

first_imgTORONTO — Home prices across the country are expected to rise in 2019, but only at a moderate pace compared with recent years, according to two of Canada’s largest residential real estate brokerages.  In its annual report, Royal LePage says it’s anticipating the national median home price will increase by 1.2 per cent in 2019.Prices in Toronto and the surrounding areas are expected to rise 1.3 per cent to $854,552, while homes in Greater Vancouver are forecast to increase by just 0.6 per cent to $1.29 million, according to the annual outlook by the firm.Royal LePage says home prices in Montreal and the nearby region are expected to see the largest rise out of Canada’s biggest cities, with home prices anticipated to jump three per cent to $421,306 in 2019.In a separate report also released today, Re/Max says it expects average home sale prices to go up by 1.7 per cent in the new year.It also anticipates housing markets across the country will stabilize as Canadians feel a bigger impact from higher interest rates. The Canadian Presslast_img read more