A new group is adding its voice to the furor over the influence of drug money on medical research and practice, saying there should be more money to study the problem. In a letter today to National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins, 100 physicians, medical ethicists, and others call for funding: The recent disclosure of ghostwritten articles, physician payoffs, and the use of academic opinion leaders to increase markets for FDA-regulated products indicate that ethical lapses may permeate biomedical research. … In your role as the director of “the steward of medical and behavioral research for the Nation,” we ask that you acknowledge the research gap on the effect of conflicts of interest and commercial influence on medical decisionmaking … Between bench and bedside lies a path treacherous with ethical quandaries. NIH is the best place to launch and support a scientifically rigorous inquiry into the state of research ethics, industry-academic relationships, and the effect of these relationships on human health. There is currently no identifiable mechanism through which NIH would fund this research.The message—we want more money for our research—seems self-serving, and it’s not as though NIH doesn’t fund anything in this area already. (For example, NIH grants have supported surveys of academics about their industry funding.) But Georgetown University physician Adriane Fugh-Berman, who heads a group called Pharmed Out that spearheaded the letter, says NIH tends to reject grant applications on topics such as ghostwriting and industry funding for medical education. “I think that NIH has thought that it doesn’t comes under their domain, and the trouble is that it doesn’t come under anybody’s domain,” she says.The letter’s signatories show that diverse voices have come together to speak out on the issue. The list includes psychiatrists, current and former journal editors, ethicists (including Lisa Bero of the University of California, San Francisco, who studies the influence of drug money on research), patient and consumer advocates, medical students, and Susan Wood, an FDA official who quit over meddling in science by the Bush Administration. Pharmed Out is funded from a 2004 legal settlement involving Pfizer’s marketing of a drug. 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Stay tuned.
When it finally accepts students in 2012, the Okinawa Institute for Science and Technology (OIST) aims to provide a new model of a Japanese research university, scrapping the division into traditional academic departments, focusing on interdisciplinary research, conducting business in English, and drawing roughly half of its faculty members from overseas. Last week, officials announced they have appointed particle physicist Jonathan Dorfan, currently at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park, California, to be its first president. The nascent graduate university, which hopes to win accreditation next year and open in 2011, plans eventually to hire 50 faculty members and serve about 120 graduate students. In addition to the challenge of creating a new type of academic institution, Dorfan must also deal with criticism from politicians and academics that the university is a political boondoggle. Conceived in the early 2000s, OIST opened as a research institute in September 2005. A nine-person committee that oversees the institute screened 160 candidates before picking Dorfan for his stature as a scientist and his demonstrated ability to manage a large institution and oversee international collaborations. “He’s a good man, he offers administrative experience, and he is really enthusiastic about building this institution,” says committee member Kiyoshi Kurokawa, a former dean of the Tokai University School of Medicine in Hiratsuka, and a former science adviser to Japan’s cabinet. “He is already thinking of how to make [OIST] more visible to the global science community,” Kurokawa adds. Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*) For his part, Dorfan says he was attracted by the challenge of developing a top-flight interdisciplinary research institute from scratch on the relatively remote island. OIST officials first asked him if he’d like to be considered for the post about 9 months ago, he says. “To be honest, I had not heard of OIST at the time, and as I became more and more familiar with it, I became captivated by the boldness of the endeavor.” From 1999 to 2007, Dorfan served as director of SLAC, a physics laboratory with a staff of 1500 and an annual budget of $300 million. Prior to that, he oversaw the construction of the lab’s flagship particle collider, PEP-II, which attracted hundreds of researchers from around the world. OIST is hoping to break new ground for Japanese universities by emphasizing multidisciplinary research, filling 50% of research and faculty positions with non-Japanese and conducting all instruction in English. Famed molecular biologist and Nobel laureate Sydney Brenner is the institute’s first president, and he will continue in that post until OIST formally becomes a university. Under his leadership, “We have been arguably quite successful in building up the life sciences side of this (institution),” says OIST Vice President Robert Baughman. Dorfan is expected to extend that success to the physical sciences while also overseeing the development of a graduate curriculum, he says. Kurokawa acknowledges that a number of politicians in the ruling party and academics have complained about the money going into OIST. It currently has an operating budget of $124 million. Another $45 million is being spent on new buildings just this year. But Kurokawa says starting a new institute is a response to the “almost impossible” task of reforming the academic establishment. He thinks OIST will set an example for other universities to follow. “We have to convince Japanese policymakers and also academics that (spending on OIST) is worth it,” he says.
India has spent more than Rs 25,000 million since Independence on setting up a monolithic educational infrastructure which involves more than 180 million students in over 8,00,000 institutions. And yet, the country spends only 50 paise per day on a child’s education as compared to more than Rs 20 in,India has spent more than Rs 25,000 million since Independence on setting up a monolithic educational infrastructure which involves more than 180 million students in over 8,00,000 institutions. And yet, the country spends only 50 paise per day on a child’s education as compared to more than Rs 20 in the USSR, Rs 25 in Japan and Rs 5 in Malaysia and Thailand.Despite the enormous growth, 60 out of every 100 students (above 10 years) are still illiterate; 20 out of every 100 children belonging to the lowest social rung never see the inside of a classroom. Out of every 10 children who manage to get enrolled in schools, five drop out before class V, seven leave by class VIII, nine drop out after class XI, and only one reaches college level.In a majority of Indian schools, a class consists of more than 60 students as against the maximum strength of 35 recommended by various educational commissions. India spends less than three per cent of its annual budget on education, but less than 30 per cent of that figure is diverted to primary and secondary education.More than 65 per cent of the 6,00,000 primary and middle schools are located in rural areas, but 90 per cent of the budget for providing facilities like playing fields, sports, laboratories and libraries goes to the urban schools.More than 85 per cent secondary and middle schools have no canteens, 40 per cent do not have a pucca structure or adequate drinking water facilities. More than 70 per cent of the schools in rural areas are still conducted under trees with one school teacher.advertisementOf the total child population (0-14) of 250 million, comprising 42 per cent of the population, 81 per cent live in rural areas. Ninety-two million children exist below the poverty level.More than four lakh children below five years die every year because of malnutrition. Though the under-five age group constitutes only 17 per cent of the child population, mortality within this group exceeds 40 per cent of all deaths in the country. Fourteen per cent of all children born in India die before they reach their first birthday.Approximately 2.5- million children suffer from severe Vitamin A deficiency and are threatened by blindness because of it.According to the 1971 census, over 1.50 lakh children are beggars or vagrants.It is estimated that there are over three million children suffering from some kind of handicap or the other.About 30 million children (five per cent of the child population) take up some form of employment, giving India the largest child labour force in the world.
New Delhi, Oct 21 (PTI) The BCCI today said that the IPLs title sponsorship deal with smartphone manufacturers Vivo is for two years after the company fulfilled its obligation of presenting a bank guarantee. “The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) today announced its association with vivo, the premium global smartphone manufacturer, for title sponsorship of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Vivo fulfilled their obligation of presenting the bank guarantee to the BCCI and confirmed the title sponsorship rights,” the BCCI said in a statement. Vivo replaces beverage giant PepsiCo as title sponsor of the Twenty20 event, which faced a severe credibility crisis after the 2013 spot-fixing and betting scandal. “In the coming two IPL seasons (2016 and 2017), vivo and IPL will have extensive cooperation in terms of sports events, on-ground activations and marketing campaigns,” the BCCI said. IPL Chairman Rajeev Shukla hoped the new association will work well for the league. “We are delighted to have vivo joining us as the title sponsor for IPL for next two years. IPL will now be called vivo IPL. They are one of the most innovative smartphone brands in the world and I am sure they will bring fresh energy to IPL,” he said. BCCI Secretary Anurag Thakur said, “We welcome vivo to IPL. IPL is all about opportunities and the exhibition of talent. Vivo, as a brand, symbolises both. Just like the IPL, in a very short span they have created a niche and legacy in their market. I am sure this will be a long and enriching affiliation for both stakeholders.” PTI PM AT ATadvertisement
Regardless of all the talk surrounding South Africa’s weakness against spin bowling on dusty, turning tracks, one piece of stat that catches most eye is their overseas record. The Proteas have not lost a single series away from home in the last nine years, and deservedly hold the top spot in Test rankings. In the last six years, South Africa have won 16 and lost five out of their 32 Tests overseas. No other team comes close.Also this time in India, they have the upper hand after having won both the ODI and the T20I series comprehensively. On the one hand, South Africa have prepared themselves well to face tricky situations and have good recent form backing them. India, who have been thrashed in the limited over formats, have to prove their supremacy at home conditions against a formidable South African unit.Here are a few interesting piece of statistics that give us a larger picture than what has happened in this series so far:Head-to-headSouth Africa have been dominating India in Test matches winning 13 off 29 matches. (AP Photo)Of the 11 bilateral series played between the two countries since 1991, South Africa have won six and are clearly ahead of the Asian nation, who have managed to win only on two occasions. India’s series wins have come only in home conditions (in 1996 and 2004). However, under MS Dhoni, the Indian team managed a drawn Test series in 2009-10. Pacers Zaheer Khan and Santhakumaran Sreesanth used the conditions in Durban to their advantage and helped the visitors take 20 wickets in the match. Off the 29 matches the two teams have played against each other, South Africa have won 13, whereas India have won 9 Tests.advertisementHighest/Lowest totalsWith a score 643 runs, India hold the top spot in the list of high scores. Indian batsmen piled 643/3 at the Eden Gardens in 2010. The Kolkata crowd witnessed centuries from Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman and Dhoni which earned the team a huge first innings lead. The home team went on to win the match by an innings and 57 runs.South Africa’s best effort with the bat against India came in Centurion (2010) when the hosts scored 620 runs at a rampant pace of 4.76 runs an over. Middle-order batsmen Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers scored centuries, while Jacques Kallis took 270 balls to score a double century. India eventually lost the match by an innings and 25 runs.India’s lowest total against South Africa came when the visitors were chasing a total of 395 at Kingsmead in Durban in 1996-97. After being bundled out for 100 in the first innings, India fared even worse in the last innings of the match managing to score only 66 runs. Only Rahul Dravid, who scored 27 runs, crossed the single-figure mark in the Tendulkar-led side.The Wanderers crowd in Johannesburg saw their team being bundled out for 84 in the first innings of the first Test of the three-match series in 2006. Sreesanth’s fiery spells created trouble and five South Africa batsmen fell prey to the then young pacer. Anil Kumble and Zaheer Khan shared two wickets each and helped India bat for the second time in the match with a 165-run-lead.Most runsSachin Tendukar. (Reuters Photo)No surprises there. With 1741 runs at an average of 42.46, Tendulkar holds the top spot in the list of batsmen with most runs. Tailing him closely with 1734 runs, is the legendary allrounder Kallis. The South African legend though, has a better average (69.36) than Tendulkar. Both Tendulkar and Kallis have scored seven centuries and five half-centuries each in the bilateral matches. Sehwag and Dravid also find themselves among the top five.Highest individual scoresVirender Sehwag is the leader of the pack here. A triple-ton against the visiting South African team in Chennai in 2008 has put him on top. Sehwag took only 274 balls to reach his second triple hundred against a strong South African pace battery that had Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Makhaya Nitni. For the South Africans, the man with the highest score is their run-machine Hashim Amla. A patient, steady knock of 253 off 473 balls in Nagpur in 2010 has put him next to the Delhi batsman.Most wicketsAnil Kumble. (Reuters Photo)Indian legspinner Anil Kumble, with 84 scalps is the highest wicket-taker in India-South Africa clashes. The Karnataka spinner has featured in 21 matches, taking 84 wickets at an average of 31.79. Pacer Javagal Srinath has a better bowling average than the legspinner as he found ways to take 64 wickets in just 13 matches.However, South Africa paceman Dale Steyn, who will be featuring in the upcoming Test series, has a good opportunity to displace Srinath from the No. 2 position. Steyn has taken 63 wickets from 12 matches and is surely going to to add more to his tally over the next two months.advertisementMost dismissals (wicketkeepers)Mark Boucher. (Reuters Photo)South African wicketkeeper Mark Boucher is way ahead of the rest. With 60 dismissals from 14 matches, he leads Dhoni, who is at No. 3 with 32 dismissals. Dhoni has been successful with his glove work on 28 occasions in 12 matches. Boucher has an impressive dismissals per innings count of 2.22 while the recently retired Test skipper Dhoni has 1.33 per innings.Most five-wicket haulsDale Steyn has dismissed five or more Indian batsmen in an innings on five occasions, while Indian pacer Srinath and spinner Harbhajan Singh have taken five-wicket hauls four times when they clashed against South Africa.Most matches as captainHansie Cronje. (Reuters Photo)South African skipper Graeme Smith holds the record for most Tests against India (15) as captain. Hansie Cronje, Dhoni and Tendulkar are all at the second spot having lead their teams eight times each. Of all the skippers, Cronje has the best win percentage of 62.5 percent with five wins from eight matches. Skipper Virat Kohli, who will be leading India for the first time against the Proteas will be looking forward to the tough challenge and get a few wins under his belt.Highest partnershipTechnicians Hashim Amla and Jacques Kallis notched up 340 runs together to register the highest partnership in any India vs South Africa Test match. In the first Test of the 2009-10 season, Kallis and Amla were severe on the Indian bowling attack in Nagpur. Amla went on to score a double-ton and Kallis missed out on his opportunity falling short by 27 runs. The duo helped South Africa post a mammoth 558. The Indians were made to follow on and they lost the encounter by an innings and six runs.For India, it was Sehwag and Dravid who stitched up 268 runs for the third wicket against the Proteas in Chennai in the Test where Sehwag scored 319 all by himself.
AdvertisementThe race for the semi final stages of the FIFA Women’s World Cup is heating up and the matches are getting even more intense, ever since the mighty USA knocked out the hosts, France. Yesterday, in the FIFA Women’s World Cup, two matches were played. The first game was played between European giants, Italy and Netherlands. And the second match was played between Germany and Sweden.In the first European derby, Netherlands knocked out Italy by 2-0. The scoring was opened for Holland by a goal from V Miedeva in the 70th minute. Later, S van Der Gragt added a second goal in the 80th minute to secure a Dutch victory.In the second match of the night, Sweden caused a massive upset by knocking out Germany 2-1 in a come from behind victory.Germany scored the first goal of the match in the 16th minute, thanks to L Magull. However, S Jakkobsson leveled things up for Sweden in the 22nd minute. S Blackstenius then scored the winning goal for Sweden in the 48the minute. ALSO READ:ICC CWC 19 Preview: India vs. West Indies; Can Kohli’s men continue their unbeaten run? Advertisement
While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Mike Gundy on the run game“We have to find a way to run the football better. We had some concerns coming in the game with our match‐ups up front and we have to get better and improve in those areas. We only got the four or five‐yard carries, not the 10 or 12‐yard carries. We are going to have to get better at that, or its going to be a tough run through league play. ”Rennie Childs on Ben Grogan’s game winner“I was built up with a lot of joy. Just seeing him do what he does everyday. I had no doubts he was going to miss.[1. I think he meant “make”.] But he made it, and we won.”Charlie Strong on having 16 penalties“Well, you look a lot of those penalties, and I love to see some of them because, I mean, we had 16, I don’t know what they had. And I told the guys, it’s like we’re getting all their holding calls, and I said, ‘I know this: Their defensive line can’t block our guys.’ But we gotta be a better disciplined football team”Hassan Ridgeway on the penalties“Yes, I was very surprised. Some of the calls, like the holding call against Poona [Ford], I didn’t see a holding call. They held us all of the time, so how did we get a holding call like that? “ Mike Gundy on the game“Well that was worth the price of admission for the fans and I am sure TV enjoyed that game.”Mike Gundy on winning four straight at Texas“For some reason, our players enjoy playing here. I said that on Monday and that’s nothing personal against Texas. A lot of our guys are from here and whether you like it or not, some of their ultimate dreams are to play here.”Ben Grogan on winning it“Being down by three for so long during the game, I had already put it in my head that it was going to come down to a field goal to win it. In my head, that was my mindset, so I wasn’t worried about it as much.”AdChoices广告Mike Yurcich on the headset issue“Communication was a little hectic. It was like a scrimmage, back in high school days, those sorts of things. It was a little bit old school, but it was fun. It sure was good to get into the emotion of the game. Winston‐Salem [was the last time I had to do that]. The only difference was there were about ninety‐five thousand more people here today.”Glenn Spencer on the win“I love the way it ended. I love the sideline the whole second half. I love the demeanor and the look in their eye. For them to get rewarded for that kind of fight is pretty special.”
Joe Burrow and the LSU Tigers are back in the SEC spotlight this afternoon, as Ed Orgeron’s team is hosting No. 2 Georgia at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, La.The Tigers had a tough loss last weekend, falling in an upset to Florida, but the now 1-loss LSU team is looking to rebound with a huge home win over Georgia.LSU is off to a pretty nice start this afternoon. The Tigers are leading the Bulldogs, 10-0, early in the contest.Burrow has been fantastic, leading LSU on a huge touchdown drive. He’s adding an aspect to the Tigers’ offense that hasn’t been there before. Orgeron was impressed with what he saw from his quarterback this week at practice.“He didn’t skip a rep this week,” Orgeron said. “He was very sore on Monday but didn’t say a word. He took every rep. He’s healthy, and he’s ready to go. A little angry, probably. A little angry at himself. Knew he could play better. So could the whole team.”Burrow is doing well both on and off the field.The former Ohio State quarterback has posted some adorable photos of himself and his girlfriend on Instagram.“The first chapter was a pretty great one. Now it’s time to write the next one,” he wrote before heading to LSU.They’re a good-looking couple.Burrow has already thrown for 121 yards against the Bulldogs’ defense.It’s LSU 10, Georgia 0 so far. The game is being televised on CBS.
zoom Prosafe and ConocoPhillips Petroleum Company U.K. Limited have agreed an extension to the firm period for the provision of the Safe Scandinavia accommodation support vessel at the Jasmine Hook Up and Commissioning Project in the British sector of the North Sea.The duration of the firm extension period is 28 days commencing mid-October 2013.Total value of the firm extension period is approximately USD 8.4 million.Prosafe is the world’s leading owner and operator of semi-submersible accommodation vessels. Operating profit reached USD 222.4 million in 2012 and net profit was USD 177.5 million. The company operates globally, employs 570 people and is headquartered in Larnaca, Cyprus. Prosafe is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange with ticker code PRS.Prosafe, October 21, 2013
VANCOUVER – A woman who says her ex-husband harassed her online for years told a B.C. Supreme Court jury she resorted to insults and sarcasm as a defence against his attacks.Patrick Fox faces two charges, including criminal harassment, over online communications and publications aimed at his ex-wife Desiree Capuano.The court has heard the alleged harassment consisted of caustic emails spanning years and a website that shared Capuano’s personal information, including her address and personal photos. The website also referred to Capuano as a white supremacist, child abuser and drug addict, the trial heard.Under cross-examination on Wednesday, Capuano said one of the ways she addressed the harassment was by “giving it back” with insults or sarcasm in her replies to Fox’s emails.“At this point, I didn’t feel like it mattered what I did,” she told the jury. “But at least I wasn’t just taking it lying down. It felt like I was getting beat up every day by the emails.”Capuano has given most of her testimony behind a screen that separates her from Fox. On Tuesday, the screen was briefly removed while she identified Fox as the author of numerous emails sent to her.Fox is representing himself at the trial, but the court has appointed defence layer Tony Lagemaat to cross-examine Capuano in Fox’s place.Lagemaat read out a number of email exchanges in court, including some where Capuano calls Fox an “impotent child,” insults his intelligence and says Fox’s actions portray him as a “stalker ex-boyfriend.”Capuano responded that the harsh words were meant to show Fox that she was strong and she hoped that if she stood up for herself, he would back down.“I know how I felt when he insulted me,” she testified. “I know that I didn’t want to keep going … I thought that maybe if I presented the same thing, he might not want to face it.”Capuano admitted there were times when she allowed her emotions to get away from her, but said swapping insults back-and-forth was not an enjoyable pursuit.“None of this was a game. This was my life,” she said.Lagemaat challenged Capuano about why she continued to engage and even provoke her former partner.“Did you ever wonder what would happen if you just stopped?” he asked.“I tried that,” Capuano replied. “It didn’t work. He just kept escalating.”Lagemaat said her replies showed she was not afraid of Fox.Capuano strongly disagreed, saying she was defending herself, noting that Fox had copied their teenage son on a series of emails where he allegedly wrote that he would shoot Capuano if shooting someone was not morally wrong and illegal.“I’m not threatening his life,” Capuano said. “There might be insults, but there are no threats. This is defence.”Fox also faces one charge of possession of firearms in a place where he was not authorized to do so.— Follow @gkarstenssmith on Twitter
APTN NewsOTTAWA – Two First Nation leaders from British Columbia will be in Houston, Tex., Wednesday to meet with Kinder Morgan shareholders at the company’s annual general meeting.Chief Judy Wilson of the Neskonlith Indian Band, and Rueben George of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation Sacred Trust will make a presentation on the Indigenous opposition to the Trans Mountain project.“Kinder Morgan stockholders have not been properly advised that Indigenous Rights are recognized in the Canadian Constitution and have won again and again through the courts,” said Wilson in a release.On Tuesday, speaking at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute conference, Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr says he is absolutely certain Canada and Kinder Morgan will come to a financial agreement that will convince the pipeline builder to proceed with the Trans Mountain expansion before a May 31 deadline.“We’re working towards a pretty hard deadline and people are working diligently away at it,” said Carr.“I’m confident there will be a solution.”Carr said it was understandable that the threat of “endless court action” gave Kinder Morgan’s investors pause about proceeding with the project, which would triple the capacity of the existing Trans Mountain pipeline between Edmonton and Burnaby, B.C.Ottawa green-lighted the expansion in November 2016, but a month ago the company hit pause on all non-essential spending on the project, saying ongoing opposition in British Columbia and the threat of legal delays was making it rethink moving forward.The company gave Ottawa until the end of May to convince it there is confidence to proceed.But many First Nation communities in B.C. have been in a pitched battle with the company over the $7.4 billion Trans Mountain expansion project.Kinder Morgan says it has put all non-essential work on the Trans Mountain project on hold and has given the federal government until May 31 to work out opposition from Indigenous communities and the B.C. government which also opposes the project.Canada says it is working with the company to work out a financial deal to get the project built.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau interrupted a foreign trip to return to Ottawa and meet the premiers of B.C. and Alberta to try and solve the matter, after which he said he had dispatched Finance Minister Bill Morneau to come to a financial agreement with Kinder Morgan to help alleviate the risk to investors so that the project can move ahead.Carr said everyone knows the government and the company have just a few more weeks to find a way for Ottawa to help alleviate investor jitters.“We have to have more to announce in the next few weeks,” said Carr.There are three weeks until the deadline, but Conservative natural resources critic Shannon Stubbs says there are only 12 days left for the government to introduce its promised legislation reasserting federal authority to approve and build the pipeline.Carr said the legislation is still one of the “options being discussed” but would not say if the government will introduce legislation this month.“We’ll see,” he said. “There are things that are being considered now.”Stubbs said the fact the minister is being vague about legislation with so few days left until the deadline is a problem.“It’s exactly this kind of uncertainty that is driving record levels of energy investment from Canada,” she said.Carr acknowledged Tuesday there are current challenges for investment in Canada’s energy industry but he said the country will be just fine in the long-term.“We are attentive to the competitive issues always,” he said. “We’re alert to them. But I have a lot of confidence in our capacity to compete internationally in the energy sphere.”Carr also said as the world transitions to cleaner fuels, it will be decades before traditional oil is cast aside, requiring that Canada continue to develop and sell it in order to finance the path to a greener future. He said he would much rather ship oil by pipeline than by rail.The government has argued for months that Canada’s reliance on the U.S. as a destination for its oil is driving down the price and that getting more oil to coastal ports to be shipped overseas is critical.Indigenous communities and B.C. residents on the coast fear the environmental risk of an oil spill from increasing shipments of diluted bitumen, which is still being studied to figure out exactly how best to clean it up.Carr said the government has a “world-class response” plan and is balancing the needs of the environment and the economy.The Fraser Institute on Tuesday released a new report saying the lack of pipeline capacity, over-dependence on rail for transport, and reliance on the U.S. have cost Canada $15.8 billion in revenues this year. The calculation was based on the difference between Canadian and U.S. oil prices. email@example.com@aptnnews-with files from the Canadian Press
The Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of Indigenous People, Rodolfo Stavenhagen, yesterday wound up a 12-day fact-finding trip to South Africa at the invitation of the Government, during which he met cabinet ministers, deputy ministers, regional land claim commissioners, officials in charge of human rights and cultural expression, as well as representatives of Khoi-San indigenous groups.Ahead of submitting his formal report to the UN Commission on Human Rights next April, Mr. Stavenhagen said: “All indigenous peoples of South Africa were brutally oppressed by the colonial system and the apartheid regime up to 1994. The Khoi-San were dispossessed of their lands and territories and their communities and cultures were destroyed.””The tragic consequences of apartheid cannot be overcome in a few years, and the Special Rapporteur is fully conscious of the tremendous efforts that have been made by the democratic Government of South Africa to redress the many injustices inherited from the old regime,” he added.Mr. Stavenhagen said officials were aware of the urgent need to focus on the backlog of unsatisfied indigenous community needs and he was encouraged by the Government’s declared commitment to address such issues as land restitution, multilingual and multicultural education, the representation of traditional authorities in public life, and the delivery of health and other services.Meanwhile, however, the Khoi-San have been dissatisfied by the delays in providing services. “More coordination between the various government departments that deal with indigenous peoples is required,” he said.In addition to his meetings with the National Khoi-San Council, which raised the issue of “the statutory non-recognition of the Khoi and San peoples,” and representatives of the Griqua, Mr. Stavenhagen attended a university workshop on the rights of the San, Koranna, Nama, Griqua and Cape Khoi peoples.He also held talks with !Xu and Khwe groups, San communities which were re-settled in South Africa’s Northern Cape after returning from forced displacement into Angola and Namibia. Those discussions focused on challenges and successes in providing such services as housing, health and education. In this connection, he visited a San rock art site at Wildebeestkuil.
The first large contingent of Italian troops has joined the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) as part of international efforts to foster the Security Council-mandated withdrawal of Israeli forces from the country’s South. The 880 Italian troops arrived this weekend by helicopter in Tyre, by boat in Naqoura, and by fixed wing aircraft in Beirut, UNIFIL said. They are from the Navy San Marco Regiment and the Army Lagunari “Serenissima” Regiment. In addition, 159 tracked and wheeled vehicles disembarked in Naqoura, Tyr and Beirut.UNIFIL said on 10 September, an additional Italian company of 120 officers and soldiers is expected to arrive in South Lebanon. The Italian contingent is the largest single deployment of troops to the Force since the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1701 that mandated an increase of UNIFIL to up to 15,000. The total number of UNIFIL troops is currently estimated at approximately 3,100.In other developments, UNIFIL Force Commander Major-General Alain Pellegrini today met with the senior representatives of the Lebanese Army and the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) on the premises of the UNIFIL position at the border crossing at Ras Naqoura. They discussed coordinating the process of the IDF withdrawal and subsequent deployment, in conjunction with UNIFIL, of the Lebanese Army in specific areas in the South. “The meeting was productive and I think we are on the right track in securing the full withdrawal of IDF from Lebanon and finally ensuring that the Lebanese Army will take control of the whole border area in the South,” Major-General Pellegrini said.
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email UnitedHealth 2Q profit rises as enrolment improves, but executives caution on Medicare cuts by The Associated Press Posted Jul 18, 2013 6:23 am MDT MINNETONKA, Minn. – UnitedHealth Group Inc.’s second-quarter net income rose almost 8 per cent, buoyed by steady enrolment growth and slower-than-expected use of health care services.The nation’s largest health insurer’s earnings topped Wall Street estimates on Thursday, and it raised the low end of its full-year earnings forecast. The company’s stock jumped nearly 6 per cent.But company executives continued to warn that federal cuts to the Medicare Advantage program would put pressure on the company in 2014 and beyond.When private insurers first entered the Medicare program in the late 1990s, federal officials widely assumed companies would lower costs with their managed-care strategies. But the privately run Medicare Advantage programs ultimately grew more expensive than the traditional government-run program. The Obama health care overhaul aims to equalize funding levels for Medicare Advantage and the government program.UnitedHealth is the first major health insurer to report earnings every quarter. As the industry leader based on revenue, many see it as a bellwether for other insurers. Its shares rose $3.52, or 5.3 per cent, to $69.73.The Minnetonka, Minn., company earned $1.44 billion, or $1.40 per share, in the three months ended June 30. That’s up from $1.34 billion, or $1.27 per share, a year earlier.The company beat the average beat the average Wall Street estimate by 15 cents, with analysts polled by FactSet expecting $1.25.Despite that performance, the company only increased the low-end of its earnings guidance, predicting full-year earnings of $5.35 to $5.50 per share. That was up from $5.25 to $5.50.“While the second quarter results were solid, the modest guidance increase likely tempers upside to UnitedHealth,” Jefferies analyst David Windley said in a research note.Still, investors sent the company’s stock up $4.32, or 6.5 per cent, to close at $70.55 Thursday.UnitedHealth CEO Stephen Hemsley told analysts the company will work to maintain its presence in the Medicare Advantage market, even as the federal government curbs payments for the plans.“We are focused on operating that program to its maximum potential and serving as many seniors as we can … recognizing the funding pressure that is ongoing,” Hemsley told analysts.UnitedHealth is the nation’s largest provider of Medicare Advantage plans, which offer government-subsidized coverage for elderly and disabled people. The insurer has nearly 2.9 million people enrolled in the plans, and they brought in about 20 per cent of its revenue last year.Funding for Medicare Advantage plans will be cut as part of the health care overhaul, which aims to provide insurance coverage to millions of uninsured Americans.UnitedHealth said it would keep the plans profitable by trimming benefits, changing providers and exiting some parts of the U.S. market. UnitedHealth said Thursday it would eliminate plans affecting about 5 per cent of its members, or about 150,000 the company’s Medicare Advantage enrollees. Most of those patients would still have access to other types of UnitedHealth plans.“We are exiting certain markets, we’re exiting certain plans, we’re narrowing our networks across virtually all of the markets,” Hemsley said. “Those are not good things for American seniors who engage in these benefits.”The company’s overall enrolment increased by 3 million people, with a total enrolment of 45 million for the quarter.Revenue rose 12 per cent to $30.41 billion from $27.27 billion, but missed the $30.52 billion in revenue that Wall Street called for.The Optum segment, which provides services such as technology outsourcing and pharmacy benefits management, reported $8.8 billion in revenue, a 21 per cent increase. The company has touted that segment as an important source of future growth.UnitedHealth still anticipates full-year revenue of about $122 billion. Wall Street foresees earnings of $5.43 per share on $122.48 billion in revenue.
“Education for girls is one of the best strategies for protecting girls against child marriage,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his message for the Day. “When they are able to stay in school and avoid being married early, girls can build a foundation for a better life for themselves and their families.”“Let us do our part to let girls be girls, not brides,” he stated, urging governments, community and religious leaders, civil society, the private sector, and families – especially men and boys – to promote the rights of girls. The International Day of the Girl Child was designated as 11 October by a resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly in December 2011, to recognize girls’ rights and highlight the unique challenges girls face worldwide. The theme of this year’s observance is ‘Ending Child Marriage.’Approximately 70 million young women today were married before age 18, according to the UN, which notes that child marriage denies a girl her childhood, disrupts her education, limits her opportunities, increases her risk of being a victim of violence and abuse, and jeopardizes her health.Girls with low levels of schooling are more likely to be married early, and child marriage has been shown to almost always end a girl’s education, the world body adds. Conversely, girls with secondary schooling are up to six times less likely to marry as children, making education one of the most effective ways of combating child marriage.If current trends continue, the number of girl child marriages will increase dramatically over the next 10 years, according to Marrying too Young: End Child Marriage, a new report released today by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA). It also finds that, despite laws to prevent its practice, child marriage has remained mostly constant in developing countries in the past decade.The report calls on governments and leaders to end child marriage by: enacting and enforcing national laws that raise the age of marriage to 18, for both girls and boys; using data to identify and target geographic “hotspots,” which have high numbers of girls at risk of child marriage; expanding prevention programmes that empower girls at risk of child marriage and address the root causes underlying the practice; and mitigating the harmful impact of child marriage on girls.“A girl should have the right to choose whom she marries and when,” UNFPA’s Executive Director, Babatunde Osotimehin, said at the launch at UN Headquarters in New York, adding that the report is “a clarion call to decision-makers, to parents, to communities and to the world to end the unacceptable practice of child marriage now.”Numerous events are taking place around the globe on the theme of the Day, including a parliamentary debate in Malawi on child marriage and special debates on television and radio in South Sudan. In Uganda, SMS technology is being used by young people to discuss child marriageAmong the events taking place at UN Headquarters is a high-level panel, featuring Archbishop Desmond Tutu and representatives from UNFPA, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women). In addition, a photo exhibition entitled “Too Young to Wed” will open this evening.Speaking at the high-level panel discussion, Secretary-General Ban noted that the Day is also an occasion to highlight the “alarming” levels of discrimination, violence and abuse that girls still face worldwide, and recalled the recent “heinous” attack on three school girls in Pakistan. The main target of the attack, Malala Yousufzai, is a champion of girls’ education and girls’ rights.“The attack on her was abhorrent and cowardly. The terrorists showed what frightens them most: a girl with a book,” said the Secretary-General. “Nowhere in the world should it be an act of bravery for a young girl to go to school.”UNICEF says that experiences in a number of countries show how combining legal measures with support to communities, providing viable alternatives – especially schooling – and enabling communities to discuss and reach the explicit, collective decision to end child marriage, yields positive results, the agency noted in a news release.“Through global commitments, civil society movements, legislation and individual initiatives girls will flourish in a safe and productive environment,” said Anju Malhotra, of the Gender and Rights Section in UNICEF. “We must accelerate progress and dedicate resources for girls to claim their rights and realize their full potential.”Globally, around one in three young women aged 20-24 years were first married before they reached age 18, according to UNICEF. One third of them entered into marriage before they turned 15. Child marriage, the agency notes, often results in early and unwanted pregnancies, posing life-threatening risks for girls. In developing countries, 90 per cent of births to adolescents aged 15-19 are to married girls, and pregnancy-related complications are the leading cause of death for girls in this age group.Building on its ongoing work to promote adolescent sexual and reproductive health, UNFPA has announced that it will invest an additional $20 million over the next five years to reach the most marginalized adolescent girls in 12 countries with high rates of child marriage. The countries to be focused on include Guatemala, India, Niger and Zambia.A group of independent UN human rights experts issued a joint statement to mark the Day, in which they state that child marriage is a violation of all the rights of the child, and forces children, particularly girls, to assume responsibilities for which they are often physically and psychologically not prepared for.“Girls who are forced to marry are committed to being in slavery-like marriages for the rest of their lives. Girls who are victims of servile marriages experience domestic servitude, sexual slavery and suffer from violations to their right to health, education, non-discrimination and freedom from physical, psychological and sexual violence,” they said.The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Fatou Bensouda, used the occasion of the Day to call for an end to the suffering of girls in armed conflicts all over the world. “Girls are among the most vulnerable members of society: they should not be made to serve as sex slaves and soldiers. They should not be subjected to rape and sexual violence, nor made to witness brutal sexual attacks,” she said.“The women of the future, the young girls of the world, should not be deprived of their fundamental human right to play and learn and enjoy being children,” she added.Also to mark the Day, the UN International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and its partners have launched the Tech Needs Girls Prize to inspire more girls to embrace technology and spark creativity.
COVINGTON, Ky. (AP) – A Kentucky woman has been sentenced to 60 days in jail for soliciting $15,000 in donations while pretending to have cancer.WXIX-TV reports Jessica Krecskay also was sentenced Monday to five years’ probation and ordered to repay the donations. Krecskay was indicted in February on a theft by deception charge.- Advertisement – Jessica Lunsford says she worked with Krecskay at a weight loss business where Krecskay told co-workers she was dying from ovarian cancer. Lunsford said she and her colleagues volunteered to help Krecskay, even cleaning Krecskay’s home and hosting fundraisers.Lunsford said she became suspicious of Krecskay, who she says was being secretive about her symptoms. She says she watched surveillance video that shows Krecskay pretend to pass out when a co-worker walked into the room.Krecskay’s sentence starts Friday.
OSU senior guard Shannon Scott (3) drives toward the basket as Minnesota junior forward Joey King (24) defends during a 2nd round game of the Big Ten Tournament on March 12 in Chicago. OSU won, 79-73. Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editorCHICAGO — After a season highlighted by the performance of freshmen, a senior stole the show for Ohio State in its first game of the Big Ten Tournament.Guard Shannon Scott scored a career-high 21 points and tallied five rebounds and six assists as the sixth-seeded Buckeyes topped 11-seed Minnesota, 79-73, on Thursday night in Chicago. The Buckeyes’ standout freshman, guard D’Angelo Russell, struggled early but finished strong to lead all players with 23 points.Scott said his big night stemmed from a focus on effort going into the game.“(I) just wanted to play hard, really,” Scott said. “That’s the main thing we all try to focus on, is just playing as hard as we can.”The Georgia native added that the Buckeyes’ balanced scoring attack helped them get an edge on Minnesota.“It just keeps the defense honest,” Scott said after the game. “I mean they can’t just single him (Russell) out and focus on him the whole game.”The game was tied at halftime before OSU (23-9, 11-7) outscored the Golden Gophers (18-15, 6-12), 44-38, in the second half. The win sends the Buckeyes through to the tournament quarterfinals, where they’re scheduled to play the No. 3-seed, Michigan State, Friday night at the United Center.Scott said OSU aimed to peak in the postseason after the Buckeyes lost to No. 6 Wisconsin, 72-48, to close the regular season on Sunday.“Our biggest thing was after our senior night loss, just to play our best basketball now,” he said. “We went out at the (Schottenstein Center) not playing how we wanted to play. So we had to move on past it and get going again.”Coach Thad Matta said he agreed that picking up a win fresh off the disappointing loss to Wisconsin was a key for the Buckeyes, especially with the NCAA Tournament looming.“The only thing I asked them to do was attempt to play their best basketball and fight and claw,” Matta said after the game. “I didn’t think we played perfect tonight by any stretch, but we played well enough to win. In the back of my mind I was thinking, ‘We really need this win for a lot of different reasons.’”OSU’s victory makes Matta the winningest coach in program history. The victory was his 298th since joining the Buckeyes 11 years ago, moving him ahead of Fred Taylor.Scott said it was a “great feeling” to help his coach reach a career milestone.“He (Matta) has done a great job with this program,” Scott said. “Turning it around the way he did, he got to the Final Four many times, but he wants to keep winning.”OSU jumped out to an eight-point lead less than 11 minutes into the game, but that proved to be the biggest lead of the half. Minnesota went on a 10-2 run to tie it at 26 before the teams headed to the locker room with the score level at 35.Both teams shot worse than 50 percent from the field in the first half, while OSU shot just 1-of-12 from 3-point range, including an 0-for-5 clip from Russell.Even after a slow start, Matta said he expected his leading score to come out strong late in the game.“He (Russell) wants competition, he wants to play the best,” Matta said. “That makes him special. I knew he was struggling in the first half a little bit scoring the ball, but I had great confidence that he would get going, and sure enough he did.”Sophomore forward Marc Loving, who had been held scoreless in three of six games since returning from a three-game suspension on Feb. 14, scored seven points in the first half.Both teams came out firing in the second half, but a Russell layup followed by his first 3-pointer of the game put OSU ahead, 47-42, with about 16 minutes to play.After his late-game heroics helped seal his team a win, Russell said he wasn’t daunted by the thought of playing in his first collegiate postseason game.“I’ve played a lot of big games in my life,” he said. “It’s win or go home, anything can happen. Whoever our opponent is, we are just going to treat it like another game and trust the system.”Two free throws from Scott and two more from senior center Trey McDonald helped OSU gain a 13-point lead with less than 10 minutes on the clock. The big lead was short lived as a three-point play by Minnesota senior guard DeAndre Mathieu pulled the Golden Gophers within two less than five minutes later.But that proved to be as close as Minnesota could come, as the Buckeyes scored 14 of the game’s final 24 points.The Buckeyes’ matchup with Michigan State is scheduled to begin about 25 minutes after the conclusion of Maryland’s 6:30 p.m. matchup with Indiana.
Development of new diamond mines equivalent to the current annual output of Botswana is needed to balance the gap expected by 2010 in diamond supply and demand. This was one of the conclusions today of James Allan, Principal of Johannesburg-based corporate finance and advisory firm, James Allan and Associates, addressing the 2006 World Diamond Conference in Perth. He said current global mine production is estimated at $11.3 billion by 2010. Of that, Botswana at 25% and Canada and South Africa, each with around 15-16% of world output, would dominate production.“Demand growth for diamonds over the next five years will be equivalent in value to around $4-5 billion,” Allan said. “However, the diamond supply shortfall worth in value around $3.0 billion will start kicking in by 2008 and be fully evident by 2010. The immediate impact of this will be upward pressure on rough diamond prices – not during 2006 and 2007 but rising after that to balance the market shortfalls between 2008 and 2010. These rises will be in addition to the 35% rough diamond price rise evident since 2002.“So the net impact is a production/demand deficit that will be exacerbated by declining South African production, reductions in diamond exploration spends and short-sighted efforts by some producers to focus on near-term mine development pipelines.”Allan also warned that luxury goods continued to outstrip the performance of diamond sales as the advertising campaigns of both sectors remained poles apart in budget and top of mind recall. “Despite global advertising spends on diamonds annually of $750-800 million, this represents just over 1% of advertising expenditure on a diamond sales ratio basis,” he said. “As impressive as this appears, it lags well behind luxury good advertising spends which now account for an equivalent of between 12-15% of total sales.”Over half annual global diamond sales are to the United States retail sector, with more than half of that amount occurring between the short period of Thanksgiving in November and Christmas Day a month later.However, Ewen Tyler, Chairman of North Australian Diamonds says the lack of discovery of major new diamond fields in Australia and globally has been blamed on the loss of “excitement in the field” about finding the gems, as exploration crews wait weeks for laboratory analysis. He said it “was time” for another major diamond discovery somewhere in the world as there had not been one for 15 years. “The reason for the non acceleration of discovery is that the excitement of discovery has been lost to men and women in the field by the time something of interest transfers from geologists to the field camp to the laboratory,” Mr Tyler said. “We have lost the buzz of concentrating samples in the field and following up on a day to day basis to push for the result.“Ellendale (Western Australia) stepped up to the mark when 2 ct stones were seen on the surface; while Ashton persisted at Merlin (Northern Territory) when it retrieved sizable carats from bulk sampling. The sector needs to question whether its exploration search effort is relying too much on new technology rather than tried and tested diamond exploration ways of the past.”Tyler said he was not suggesting all that had been learned from laboratory work be set aside as they continued to be the eyes of the search, and geophysics was useful for determining those large areas showing prospective kimberlites. “Greater usage should be made, however, of bulk sampling. It is costlier but Australia’s diamond exploration sector needs to inject more brain power to get ‘bigger bang for its buck’. One solution is to consider greater number of field recovery plants that can generate early answers and help persuade young geologists to go back to the bush.”
Genrec Engineering has demonstrated its skills and capabilities in steel fabrication and engineering, successfully repairing a damaged dragline excavator boom in record time for one of South Africa’s leading coal mines.This project also marks another important milestone in the company’s drive to diversify into specialist and niche markets since it was acquired by the Southern Palace Group (SPG) in 2016, the company said.Genrec Engineering completed the project in around 10 weeks, helping reduce downtime at the mine in the Mpumalanga coalfields.Producing coal for domestic thermal energy production and for export to global markets, the dragline excavator is an essential component of the mine’s open-pit mining. It is used in combination with drilling and blasting and dozers to expose the seam before wheel loaders and dump trucks are deployed in extensive load and haul operations.Genrec Engineering’s involvement in this project commenced with a full-scale investigation into the damaged boom structure at the site in August 2017.Managing Director of CMTI Consulting, Dr Danie Burger, was part of the team that participated in the investigation with various insurance companies.Burger said a decision to award the boom repair contract to Genrec Engineering was based on the company’s long legacy in the South African and international steel engineering and fabrication industry.“There is no other steel fabricator and engineering company in South Africa with the necessary infrastructure, as well as capacities and technical competence to take on such a complex project. Had the boom been sent to the original equipment manufacturer’s premises in Australia for repairs, it would have taken up to four times longer to return the dragline excavator back to service with obvious negative ramifications on the mine’s production,” Burger said.Representatives of the mine’s management team visited Genrec Engineering’s factory in Wadeville, Gauteng, a week ahead of the commencement of the repairs.Mark Prince, Divisional Director of Genrec Engineering, said: “The depth of experience and expertise of our team have allowed us to constantly innovate, which is a strategic differentiator in this industry and a trait that we proudly demonstrated on this complex design and build project.“My team of professionals had to be able to think out of the box and on its feet to overcome a myriad of challenges to ensure the timely and quality completion of the project in an extremely short timeframe. The fact that we were able to complete this project in such a short timeframe speaks volumes of the capabilities housed here in Wadeville that have placed us firmly on our next growth path.”The boom comprises a 37-ton (34-t) mid-section, which is 30 m long and 13 m wide, and the 43-ton (39-t), 32 m long and 13 m wide front portion. Both have a transportation height of 3.5 m.It was completely remodelled by Genrec Engineering’s design team with assistance from CMTI Shared Services, in a process that took about a week-and-a-half to complete.The original drawings of the Bucyrus dragline excavator were more than 30 years old and updated versions were later received from Caterpillar.They were used to generate models to develop the manufacturing drawings and upgrades to the boom, in addition to the manufacturing sequence, work procedures and transport sections, according to Genrec.The project also involved careful and complex logistical planning, considering that Genrec Engineering had to locate and source up to 34 tons (31 t) of chord material from various Australian mines to supplement insufficient supplies of the required specification.“A comprehensive analysis was undertaken of all available material sources to ensure quality and, importantly, traceability in line with the stringent requirements of the OEM,” Genrec said.The chords were buttered up and machined to specification and all lacing laser cut to fit assembly.It took about three weeks of round-the-clock operations to complete the complex laser cutting by approved specialists located in Vanderbijlpark, with Genrec Engineering team members located permanently on site to advise, as well as monitor progress and quality.They were delivered to the plant in the correct assembly sequence and welding was then undertaken in a 2,200 m² bay converted for specialised manufacturing projects.Burger says: “The process commenced with pre-heating and the roots undertaken with tungsten-inert gas welding and CO2 used as a filler. Non-destructive testing was done using magnetic-particle, phased array ultrasonic, radiographic and ultrasonic testing. Personnel from NJM Heat Treatment & NDE Services, as well as NDT specialists, were stationed permanently on site to ensure that we were able to maintain sound productivity rates and adhere to exacting quality standards.”A total of 2.3 tons (2.1 t) of weld material and eight weld feeders were also sourced from Australia to supplement available resources for this project.One of the complexities of the welding operations was the varying diameters and positioning of the larger chords and smaller lacing, Genrec said.A total of 129 welders were tested by Genrec Engineering and 52 metal inert gas, or gas metal arc, and tungsten inert gas welders employed to work on this project, together with 18 boiler makers and assistants. Ranks were bolstered with five specialist boom welders, as well as an expert boom weld engineer and project coordinator from Australia.They also assisted in undertaking the four successful Procedure Qualification Records ahead of welding activities.Genrec also highlighted the rotators designed and developed especially for this project. These complement the large investment already made by the company and SPG in acquiring the capital equipment needed to diversify into niche and specialist markets.Among these are the computer-numerically controlled machines housed on the factory floor that have been fully integrated into the SolidWorks engineering programme to ensure high levels of precision and productivity, Genrec said.These, alone, represent about a R50 million ($3.6 million) investment that is also being supported by continued skills development and training as Genrec Engineering builds up its skills base to cater to the high demand for its specialist services.As part of the project, Genrec Engineering was also tasked with upgrading the dragline excavator’s boom-point box.A special furnace was designed and developed around this box and soaked at 600°C for six hours and then cooled down to 37°C for five days. The furnace was heated with gas at a rate of 37°C/h to 600°C.A canopy was also designed to allow sand blasting to continue apace in the workshop while welding progressed according to plan to maintain high productivity rates.The components were transported to the mine site by Mammoet using a 13-wheel Nicolas trailer and resting on 11-ton (10-t) cradles specially designed and manufactured by Genrec.It took three days to transport the two loads to site as part of the last phase of the project.“This is the largest abnormal load to have ever travelled on the Gauteng road network, and Genrec Engineering was also involved in the extensive road survey, in addition to obtaining all necessary road permits from the Gauteng Department: Roads & Transport,” Genrec said.The mid-section of the dragline excavator boom was dispatched to site at the end of November and the front end in early-December. It was successfully assembled by Caterpillar’s southern African dealer, Barloworld Equipment, on site in December over a period of four weeks.
← Previous Story IHF-s tender global media rights for WCh 2021 and 2023 Next Story → Thierry Anti and HBC Nantes together until 2020 It’s nothing new that German teams criticize schedule of the VELUX EHF Champions League. The new voice came from Flensburg, where secretary general of SG Flensburg Handewitt, Dierk Schmaschke, had to say something about eternal topic:We are everything, but not satisfied. In this moment we have three cases in which we have to play two matches in 48 hours period – said Schmaschke for Handball Woche Magazine.The first situation is coming next weekend at the start of European elite competition, when German runners-up will meet Danish Aalborg (Saturday, 17.30hrs), less than 48 hours after their DKB Bundesliga match against Erlangen (Thursday, 19 hrs).We want more flexible schedule for the German teams – stated SG Flensburg representative.DKB Bundesliga president Frank Bohmann, however, pointed out in the Mannheimer Morgen that the constellation of Thursday-Saturday- match-days ” was presented to all the teams even before contract signing with new TV partner – Sky. Dierk SchmaschkeSG Flensburg Handewitt