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first_imgXu Liangying, Chinese historian of science, dissident, and translator of Albert Einstein’s collected works, died of apparent organ failure on 28 January in Beijing. He was 92. Xu’s improbable journey from diehard Communist to rebel scientist began in 1942, after he earned a B.S. in physics from Zhejiang University. That year, the young idealist declined an assistant lectureship at Zhejiang University to pursue a passion for civic activism: He led student movements in Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang, and joined the Chinese Communist Party’s underground movement in 1946. After the Communists came to power in 1949, the newly founded Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) recruited Xu to work as a censor for its publication at its Beijing headquarters. Even though Xu wholeheartedly supported Mao Zedong and the Communist Party, Xu told an interviewer in 1999 that he couldn’t understand why the party turned on its critics after inviting them to speak up during the so-called anti-rightist movement of 1957 to 58. Answering Mao’s call of “letting a hundred flowers blossom and a hundred schools of thought contend,” Chinese intellectuals criticized and made suggestions to improve the party bureaucracy, only to have their “snake heads” cut off when Mao retaliated. Xu told the party that such action broke the faith of the people; he was branded a rightist, dismissed from his job, and banished to his ancestral village in Zhejiang to be reformed through labor. Xu worked as a peasant for more than 2 decades. In his spare time, he translated the collected works of Einstein into Chinese. 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In 1979, he joined the CAS Institute for the History of Natural Science in Beijing, where he solidified his reputation as China’s foremost Einstein scholar. Just as he appreciated the universality of Einstein’s laws of physics, Xu believed in universal human rights — and he began speaking out. During the government’s antibourgeois liberalization campaign of 1986, Xu was forced into retirement in Beijing because of his advocacy for personal freedoms. After the Chinese government’s bloody crackdown of student protestors in Tiananmen Square in 1989, Xu once again lost his party membership. In 2008, the American Physical Society awarded Xu the Andrei Sakharov Prize for what the citation notes as Xu’s “lifetime’s advocacy of truth, democracy and human rights—despite surveillance and house arrest, harassment and threats, even banishment—through his writings, and publicly speaking his mind.” He continued to write essays expounding on the need for democracy and human rights in China, and started a blog in 2011. Dubbed “Einstein’s Man in Beijing” by The New York Times in 2006, Xu and his compilation of Einstein’s works inspired a generation of Chinese youth who came of age in the 1980s. As Chen Xuelei, an astrophysicist at the National Astronomical Observatories of CAS in Beijing, penned in a blog tribute, “Xu’s three-volume of translation of Einstein’s works greatly influenced me. My love for physics began with reading the translations in high school and has since led me on a journey of physics research.”last_img read more

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first_imgTo understand India’s middle class as it is now, it helps to think of it as two waves that came 150 years apart. Related Itemslast_img

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first_imgReal Madrid star Vinicius Jr is reportedly dating popular model Maria Julia Mazali, who has a whopping 460,000 Instagram followers and over 82,000 YouTube subscribers. According to British tabloid, The Sun, the news of the two dating emerged after they both posted the same bathroom picture on their respective social media accounts. Vinicius JrRelated News Spain great Iker Casillas: Wrong to award Ballon d’Or to Cristiano Ronaldo Vinicius first posted a selfie in his bathroom where two blue towels were seen hanging. The same towels were later seen in Mazali’s post. Catch up on all the latest sports news and updates here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates Barca leave it late to sneak past Leganes Zinedine Zidane urges fans to back Gareth Balelast_img read more

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first_imgEarlier part of Chinese multinational telecommunications company ZTE Corporation, Nubia is rumoured to unveil a new smartphone with a “bezel-less” display in India soon.Nubia, which launched Z11 mini last month, claims that the new, near-edgeless device will be different from “Frameless Industrial Design” of other brands.Other than Nubia, only Xiaomi has unveiled bezel-less devices.As per industry sources, the device, which is speculated to be the brand’s flagship device, features “Frame interactive Technology 2.0” (FiT 2.0) with a Handheld Electronic Aperture.The smartphone adopts aircraft-grade aluminium alloy. As per the leaked images, the black and gold device has circular edges.Nubia’s new device is rumoured to sport a 16MP rear camera which uses a Sony IMX298 sensor which has three focus and four shutter modes.The smartphone will run on Android 6.0 Marshmallow-based Nubia UI 4.0 which will allow users to customise the phone with special black and gold theme and is expected to have 6GB RAM and 64GB internal storage.last_img read more

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first_imgTottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino has reached 100 Premier League wins with the club, and required fewer games than Arsenal legend Arsene Wenger to get there.The Argentine tactician hit the century mark on Saturday during a meeting with Burnley.Spurs left it late before getting over the line in that contest, with Christian Eriksen grabbing the only goal of the game in the 91st minute. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! That victory means that Tottenham remain hot on the heels of the title chasers, with just five points separating them from the summit.Pochettino will be determined to ensure that his side remain in the mix, having established themselves as top-four regulars over recent years.Silverware has remained elusive for Spurs, but it could be that the grandest prize in English football breaks that barren run.There is, however, much work to be done before dreams of the crown can be realised.Pochettino has a personal landmark to celebrate, though, after hitting 100 Premier League triumphs with Spurs in just 169 games.100 – Mauricio Pochettino has won his 100th Premier League game as Spurs manager in his 169th game – 10 games quicker than it took Arsene Wenger to reach the figure at Arsenal. Centurion. #TOTBUR— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 15, 2018Pochettino’s first win as Tottenham boss came on his Premier League bow with the club, as he opened the 2014-15 campaign with a 1-0 derby victory over West Ham.Spurs ended that season outside of the top four and behind arch-rivals Arsenal, but the tide has turned in north London since then.The ‘St Totteringham’s Day’ curse has been broken, while Pochettino has seen off old adversary Wenger – who ended his 22-year reign at Emirates Stadium over the summer.Great pride can be taken in having beaten the Frenchman to 100 victories in the Premier League, as the Gunners’ iconic former boss oversaw three title triumphs during his time in England.Tottenham are chasing down a first, and appear to have the perfect man at the helm.Pochettino has sparked talk of interest from the likes of Manchester United and Real Madrid, but has offered no indication that he is looking to move on.Instead, he is fully committed to a five-year contract penned back in May.He still has plenty of work to oversee and will be encouraged by what Spurs have delivered this season.His side have been all or nothing, but that is proving to be no bad thing.Tottenham are the only side in the Premier League yet to take in a draw this season, with their 17-game sequence at the start of a campaign just one game short of matching Bolton’s record of 18 from 2011-12. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.last_img read more

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first_imgThe average donor retention rate in the United States after the first gift is stuck around 45 percent.Careful and consistent attention paid to new and existing donors can directly impact the likelihood that they will continue donating—and even increase their giving. After all, once donors make their second gift, retention rates increase significantly. Meaningful communication, strong donor data management, and segmentation create an effective donor retention process that will set your nonprofit up for long-term fundraising success.You put so much work into getting your donors. Here’s how to keep them.Use the five steps in this guide to build an effective donor retention process and set your nonprofit up for long-term fundraising success.Calculate Your Donor Retention RateImprove Donor RelationsSegment Your DonorsPersonalize Donor CommunicationsFoster an Attitude of Gratitudelast_img read more

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first_imgIndia beat Australia by eight wickets in the ICC U-19 World Cup final at Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui to lift their fourth title.This is the most by any team in the U-19 World Cup — Australia are second with three titles.Before this, India won the title in 2000, 2008 and 2012 under Mohammad Kaif, Virat Kohli and Unmukt Chand respectively.India remained unbeaten throughout the tournament with dominant performances against every single team that came in front of them.The world was on its feet as Manjot Kalra smashed his maiden century on the very final day of the tournament and then Harvik Desai brought the victory in style with a boundary.Sachin Tendulkar led tributes to the Indian U-19 team and congratulated the young boys and Rahul Dravid for their victory in New Zealand.He told the youngsters that their “beautiful journey has just begun” and wished them good luck for the rest of their career.WITH GREAT TEAM WORK, BIG DREAMS WORK. Congratulations to our WORLD CHAMPIONS!! We are proud of you. A big congratulations to Rahul and Paras for their guidance. #ICCU19CWC #INDvAUS pic.twitter.com/w0heorY8g6— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) February 3, 2018Virender Sehwag also lauded the effort of Rahul Dravid and said “a legend like him deserves to lay his hands on the WC.”Every Indian is delighted, all credit to Rahul Dravid for committing himself to these young kids ,and a legend like him deserves to lay his hands on the WC. Only Fitting. #INDvAUSadvertisement— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) February 3, 2018These boys in such safe hands. Safest hands of Rahul Dravid. Great great contribution for the future of these youngsters and Indian Cricket. We have some great upcoming talent #INDvAUS— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) February 3, 2018Anil Kumble, VVS Laxman, Zaheer Khan all joined in to congratulate the young lads and Laxman called the win a “truly memorable win”Congratulations to the Indian team on dominating the #U19WorldCup and being the deserved champions. Everyone stood up and maintained the intensity throughout the tournament. Truly memorable win. Cherish and soak in this moment. #INDvAUS— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) February 3, 2018Every Indian is delighted, all credit to Rahul Dravid for committing himself to these young kids ,and a legend like him deserves to lay his hands on the WC. Only Fitting. #INDvAUS— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) February 3, 2018These boys in such safe hands. Safest hands of Rahul Dravid. Great great contribution for the future of these youngsters and Indian Cricket. We have some great upcoming talent #INDvAUS— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) February 3, 2018A big congratulations to the young guns of Indian cricket on winning the under19 Cricket World Cup !! #U19CWC pic.twitter.com/k3gmNWNTei— zaheer khan (@ImZaheer) February 3, 2018Absolutely thrilled by the stupendous achievement of our young cricketers. Congratulations to them on winning the Under-19 World Cup. This triumph makes every Indian extremely proud.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) February 3, 2018Chasing 217 to win, India were off to a flyer with Prithvi Shaw and Manjot Kalra doing what they have been doing throughout the tournament. However, India’s chase was halted by rain after just four overs. India reached 23/0 with the openers Shaw on 10 and Manjot batting on 9 when the umpires decided to call the covers in.But after the delay, the duo made sure there were no hiccups and showed great intent to bring their fourth fifty-run stand in the tournament. They continued the onslaught until Will Sutherland removed Shaw for 29 with India at 71/1 from 11.3 overs.In came the in-form Shubman Gill and forged a good partnership with the attacking Manjot and took India past the three-figure mark in the 16th over.The Delhi boy continued his attacking game and completed his fifty off 47 balls — his second half-century of the tournament.The duo brought their 50 partnership up off 47 balls in the 20th over and took India towards the target as Australia looked helpless and desperate for a wicket.But just when it was looking that India are running away with it, Param Uppal struck and removed the dangerous Gill for a 30-ball 31, leaving India at 131/2 from 21.2 overs.However, Manjot steadied the ship along with wicketkeeper batsman Harvik Desai and kept India on top of the game throughout with India reaching the 150-run mark in the 27th over.After a brief spell, where he kept quiet, Manjot again started to get on top of the bowlers — starting with a towering six of the bowling off Lloyd Pope in the 29th over.Desai supported Manjot perfectly as India built another 50-run stand before the southpaw finally completed his century in the 39th over of the bowling off Sutherland to take India closer to victory after India’s 200 came up in the 36th over with a boundary from Desai.advertisementDesai, who was dropped on 40 by Uppal, finally finished the game off with a boundary in the 39th over to give India the victory. This was also the first time Rahul Dravid lifted a World Cup.Kalra remained unbeaten on 101 while Desai finished with 47 not out.Earlier, India rode on a disciplined bowling effort to restrict Australia to a meagre 216.Jonathan Merlo top-scored for the Australians with a steady 102-ball 76, laced with six boundaries even as the Indian bowlers complemented each other well to bundle out the opposition in 47.2 overs.For the Boys-in-Blue, Ishan Porel, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Shiva Singh and Anukul Roy took two wickets each while Shivam Mavi grabbed one.Well done India under 19s! That the triumph came overseas makes it even more special. #ICCU19WorldCup— Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) February 3, 2018Champions! Congratulations to club ambassador Rahul Dravid and his India U19 cricket team who have just beaten Australia by 8 wickets to win the @ICC U19 @cricketworldcup in New Zealand! #U19CWCFinal #INDvAUS pic.twitter.com/TBWUzgV7z4— Bengaluru FC (@bengalurufc) February 3, 2018Well done India on winning your 4th U19 World Cup! Superbly coached by Rahul.. bad luck to our boys… good effort! #U19WCFinal— Dean Jones (@ProfDeano) February 3, 2018Congratulations India! Winners of the @ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2018! Well done to all the teams, all the sponsors, and all the fans for a great World Cup! Crickets future is in strong hands! #U19CWC #FutureStars— Corey Anderson (@coreyanderson78) February 3, 2018Big congrats to @BCCI India U19 team… way to classy at this #U19CWC Tremendous opportunity for this group… #FutureStars well done— Danny Morrison (@SteelyDan66) February 3, 2018last_img read more

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first_imgChandigarh, Jun 7 (PTI) BJP president Amit Shah arrived here today on a day-long visit during which he will meet SAD patriarch Parkash Singh Badal and two sports legends as part of his party’s “contact for support” campaign ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Shah will visit the residence of former Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal here, a Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader said. Few senior SAD leaders, including Sukhbir Singh Badal and Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, will be present during the meet, the leader said. Shah will visit the BJP office here and later in the day, he will meet 94-year-old hockey legend Balbir Singh Sr and legendary athlete Milkha Singh (85). He will meet them separately at their residences, a BJP spokesman said. The BJP president will also visit a Gurdwara in Sector 44, he said. On his arrival at the airport, Shah was welcomed by the BJP leaders and workers. Chandigarh BJP chief Sanjay Tandon and party senior leader Swaran Salaria were among those at the airport who received Shah, whose arrival was slightly delayed. The BJP has launched the ‘sampark for samarthan’ (contact for support) exercise to mark the fourth anniversary of the Modi government as it prepares for the 2019 polls. Around 4,000 BJP functionaries, including chief ministers and Union ministers, will contact one lakh people, who are recognised names in their fields, to inform them about the government’s achievements. In August last year, Shah was on a three-day visit to Haryana. He had held a series of meetings and reviewed works undertaken by the Manohar Lal Khattar government.advertisement The BJP chief had also visited Chandigarh in May last year. PTI SUN VSD ANBANBANBlast_img read more

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first_imgGolden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant was named the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player for the second consecutive year on Friday.Durant led the way for the Warriors in a 4-0 series win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, a performance that was highlighted by his playoff-career-high 43 points in Game Three.The Golden State Warriors became the NBA’s first back-to-back champion since 2013 Friday night, gradually pulling away from the Cleveland Cavaliers to complete a four-game sweep in the Finals with a 108-85 romp in Game 4 in Cleveland.Stephen Curry poured in 37 points, including 20 in the first half, during which the Warriors took a commanding lead, helping Golden State capture its third championship in the four-year Steve Kerr coaching era.All three championships have come against the Cavaliers, with the series clincher coming in Cleveland for the second time.The sweep was the second in Warriors history, duplicating their 1975 feat, and the first in the NBA since the Cavaliers were beaten in four straight by the San Antonio Spurs in 2007.Respect, @cavs. #ThisIsWhyWePlay #NBAFinals pic.twitter.com/1eWNcaCRk6Golden State Warriors (@warriors) June 9, 2018LeBron James, perhaps playing his final game for the Cavaliers, had his least productive outing of the series, recording 23 points, seven rebounds and eight assists in his eighth consecutive trip to the Finals.Kevin Durant supplemented Curry’s big scoring night with the first Finals triple-double of his career with 20 points, 12 rebounds and a postseason-career-high 10 assists.It was Durant’s 28th consecutive playoff game with 20 or more points.Klay Thompson & Kevin Durant embrace as 2018 NBA Champs! #PhantomCam #DubNation #ThisIsWhyWePlay pic.twitter.com/nkKEBDbo5badvertisementNBA (@NBA) June 9, 2018A majority of Curry’s 37 points came from outside the 3-point arc. He buried 7 of 15, and Golden State connected on 14 of 38, including 9 of 17 en route to a 61-52 halftime advantage.The Warriors buried the Cavaliers in the third quarter, holding them to 13 points on 4-for-17 shooting. James did not have a field goal in the period, going 0-for-2, as Cleveland saw its nine-point halftime deficit balloon to as many as 21.Klay Thompson had all 10 of his points in the period, during which Golden State outscored the Cavaliers 25-13.Kevin Durant (20 PTS, 12 REB, 10 AST) records his 1st career #NBAPlayoffs triple-double in Game 4 to help the @warriors become NBA Champions!KD is the 5th player in NBA history to produce a 20-point triple-double in a Finals-clinching victory.#DubNation #NBAFinals pic.twitter.com/njI0E4aMNxNBA (@NBA) June 9, 2018Draymond Green added nine points, nine assists and three blocks in the win, which gave Golden State six all-time championships, tying Chicago for the third-most in NBA history behind Boston (17) and the Los Angeles Lakers (16).Andre Iguodala, playing for just the second time in the Finals, contributed 11 points to the win.James left to a standing ovation after playing 41 of the game’s first 44 minutes. The three-time champion, including 2016 when the Cavaliers beat Golden State in seven games, can opt out of his Cleveland contract this offseason.Kevin Love had 13 points, while JR Smith and Rodney Hood chipped in with 10 apiece for Cleveland, which shot just 34.5 percent from the field and 8-for-27 from behind the 3-point line.last_img read more

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first_img “I tell my guys all the time they don’t make athletes like they used to anymore, and there’s not many of us left. Balance and range of motion is the biggest thing that you work on. The balance, that’s why I was able to walk a day after and I didn’t need a walker or a cane,” Saban added.As for his work with the Alabama Crimson Tide, Saban has not missed a beat.Alabama AD Greg Byrne noted that Saban “never missed a beat” after returning to his offices to prepare the team for 2019.Nick Saban really is a one of a kind.[WBRC ] Nick Saban running off the field.SANTA CLARA, CA – JANUARY 07: Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide walks off the field after the first half against the Clemson Tigers in the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T at Levi’s Stadium on January 7, 2019 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)67-year-old Nick Saban is as tough as they come in the locker room. But as he’s recently demonstrated, he’s equally tough after going under the knife.According to WBRC in Birmingham, Saban is already back on the golf course just two weeks after undergoing a hip replacement. On Wednesday he was seen at the Regions Tradition Pro Am working on basic golf moves, but can’t go through a full round per doctor’s orders.In an interview, Saban revealed that his recovery from the operation is going quicker than anticipated. His time-frame for recovery has improved from eight weeks to six weeks.Saban credited his quick recovery to his focus on “balance and range of motion.”last_img read more

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first_imgzoom South Korean shipbuilding conglomerate Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) has shelved its plans to acquire STX France for the time being, according to DSME’s CEO Jung Sung-leep.Speaking at a press conference on Thursday at the company’s headquarters Jung said that STX France is a solid company with a good outlook, especially in the context of DSME’s plans to enter cruise business. “However, we’ve decided that pursuing an M&A deal with STX France is not appropriate at the moment. So, we have stopped any discussions about the deal,” Jung is quoted as saying by the local newspapers Business Korea.The initial plan, proposed by state-run Korea Development Bank, was for DSME to acquire 66 percent stake in STX France.KDB, which is STX Group’s main creditor and DSME’s largest shareholder, proposed the bid in an attempt of restructuring STX France and STX Finland.Jung explained that an acquisition move would not be a right course of action as it might face opposition from labor unions in addition to the fact that the company disposes of limited liquidity reserves at the moment.However, he added that DSME would not back down from the plans to enter the cruise ship market.Industry data shows that DSME’s cash stood at 138.7 billion won in 2014, a considerable drop from 382.9 billion won recorded during the previous year.According to Jung, cited by the newspapers, with respect to DSME’s restructuring, the company may resort to large-scale layoffs aimed at helping restore market confidence.“Since our firm already made our workers more efficient through a debt workout program 15 years ago, we will not suddenly slash a lot of jobs as Hyundai Heavy Industries did,” Jung added.World Maritime News Staff; Image: STX Francelast_img read more

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first_imgKolkata: Jayanto Mohanto, a resident of Howrah’s Jagachha, has registered a complaint of medical negligence with the West Bengal Clinical Establishment Regulatory Commission against the Apollo Gleneagles Hospital.In his complaint, Mohanto brought the charges of glaring medical negligence against the hospital authorities. He alleged that the hospital had provided an ‘erroneous’ biopsy report of his father, on the basis of which the hospital doctors insisted on doing a second surgery on the patient. The complainant also claimed in his letter that the report submitted by the Apollo Gleneagles Hospital had been contradicted by the two top cancer hospitals in the city, including the Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute (CNCI). Also Read – City bids adieu to Goddess DurgaMohanto further alleged that when they drew the attention of the hospital management regarding the erroneous Histopathology report, the hospital authorities misbehaved with them and the complainant was allegedly thrown out of the discussion table. The complainant said he took his father Kanti Lal Mohanto to the hospital for consulting an urologist, with the patient having severe pain in the abdomen and continuous loss of blood through urine. On first visit, the doctor advised for CT scan of KUB (Kidney, Urinary Bladder). On the same day, the CT scan was performed on the patient at the hospital. Upon the findings of CT scan of KUB, the doctors suspected it to be a case of cancer and suggested immediate operation (T.U.R.B.T & Cystoscopy). Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellersThe patient was admitted and the operation was carried out on May 14. The samples of tumors and deep tissue of bladder were sent for biopsy in order to investigate the presence of cancer and the quantum of area already affected in the inner muscular part of the bladder. The patient subsequently got discharged from the hospital. The complainant also alleged that the doctor had given an estimation for operation and investigation at Rs 1.5 lakh, but at the time of discharge they had to pay Rs 2.13 lakh for complete operation and investigation of presence of cancer and the quantum of damage. On May 24, the patient’s family members received the Histopathology Report and the doctor confirmed that it was high grade Papillary Urothelial Carcinoma, pT2 with deep muscle of bladder affected by the tumor/cancer. The doctor, after going through the report, recommended immediate surgery for the second time called Radical Cystectomy, in which the amputation of the complete urinary bladder was mandatory. The approximate initial cost of the operation was stated to be around Rs 6 to 7 lakh, as confirmed by the doctor. The patient later contacted Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute (CNCI), which advised the patient to submit the slides declared by Apollo as high grade Papillary Urothelial Carcinoma. After review, CNCI confirmed that it is high grade Papillary Urothelial Carcinoma, but deep muscle invasion was not seen in the slides and blocks supplied by Apollo. Another private cancer hospital in the city seconded CNCI’s view. The complainant subsequently lodged a complaint with the Phoolbagan police station in this regard.last_img read more

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first_imgAPTN National News OTTAWA–The House of Commons committee studying the Harper government’s anti-terror bill has invited Stewart Phillip and Pam Palmater to appear as witnesses, according to a list obtained by APTN National News.Phillip, president of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs, and Palmater, a Mi’kmaq professor and lawyer, are on a list of about 70 potential witnesses who have been asked to appear before the Commons public safety committee.The committee is studying Bill C-51, the Harper government’s proposed anti-terror bill that would give more powers to agencies like the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), the RCMP and Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).The Assembly of First Nations drafted an analysis of the proposed bill which concluded the proposed law could lead to the labeling of Indigenous activists as “terrorists.” The AFN is not on the list of witnesses, though it was seeking standing at the committee.Other invited witnesses include Maher Arar, who suffered torture in Syria as a result of the actions of Canadian authorities, Eva Plunkett, former Inspector general for CSIS, Bob Rae, the former chair of spy-agency oversight body SIRC, US Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, New Zealand Attorney General Chris Finlayson and UK Home Office Secretary Theresa May.The committee is expected to begin hearings on the proposed bill next week. A procedural challenge, now in the hands of the House of Commons Speaker, could upend the current schedule, which would see witness testimony, including from Public Safety Minister Steve Blaney and Justice Minister Peter MacKay, run over nine meetings and ending on the evening of March 26.The NDP, however, have challenged a move by Conservative MPs on committee to overrule a ruling by the committee chair to stop an NDP filibuster. Filibusters are a tool used by legislators, usually when faced by a majority, to take control of the legislative process through continuous talking.Speaker Andrew Scheer is expected to deliver his ruling sometime next week. The ruling could upend the current schedule for hearings.news@aptn.ca@APTNNewslast_img read more

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A spokesman for the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) told reporters at a briefing yesterday in Kabul that “it is remarkable” that Afghanistan could bring together delegations from more than 60 States, most led by their foreign ministers, for the conference in Berlin.At the end of the two-day conference the international community pledged to give $8.2 billion to help Afghanistan with its reconstruction over the next three years, with $4.4 billion set aside for the first year.UNAMA spokesman Edward Carwardine said this is twice the amount pledged at the Tokyo conference in January 2002, and comes just over two years after the Bonn Agreement, which mapped out the framework for Afghanistan’s transition to stability and democracy following the fall of the Taliban regime.He pointed out that the international community, while offering its support, recognizes Afghanistan must tackle several serious problems, including the burgeoning drug industry and factionalism.”The window of opportunity is not closing but there is a lot of work that has to be undertaken by all of us, certainly by the Afghans,” he said.The Berlin Declaration, adopted after the conference, outlines Afghanistan’s priorities over the short term, including stepping up efforts to disarm, demobilize and reintegrate factional groups before the national presidential and parliamentary elections, now scheduled for September.It also stresses the importance of establishing the rule of law and a functioning judicial system, and calls for the reduction and eventual elimination of opium poppy cultivation. read more

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Faced with drastic under-funding of its efforts to feed more than 8 million people in urgent need of help in Southern Africa, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today hailed an American donation of more than $50 million, the second biggest contribution ever made to its operations in the region. “By stepping in early with such a sizeable donation, the United States is among the first donors to enable WFP to respond effectively to the needs of millions of people, especially vulnerable children, before their needs become critical,” WFP Executive Director James Morris said, noting that the agency still needs more than $200 million. “It can take up to four months to get food to the most vulnerable – and as we are seeing yet again in West Africa, the world cannot afford to wait until the last minute to pledge support,” he added, stressing that timely aid prevents hungry people from becoming starving people. The threat posed by the food shortages is so serious that UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan last week wrote to 27 Heads of State as well as the African Development Bank and the European Union (EU) to alert them to the fact that millions of people will go hungry in Southern Africa unless donations are immediately made. WFP said today that its operations in the region are “drastically under-funded” and even after the US contribution, it needs $212 million through to March to support people whose crops failed this year, children in school, people suffering the effects of HIV/AIDS, and nutrition programmes for pregnant and lactating mothers. The $51.8 million donation will allow WFP to feed the neediest people, including those affected by HIV/AIDS, before the lean season starts in December. Recent assessments show that at least as 10.7 million people may need help over the year ahead, particularly if governments are unable to maintain minimum maize prices for the poorest people. WFP is planning to aid more than 8 million people worst affected by the prolonged dry spell that destroyed much of this season’s harvest. The situation for many is compounded by the world’s highest HIV/AIDS adult rates, rapidly increasing numbers of orphans, chronic poverty, and weakened ability for governments to respond. At the height of the 2006 lean season, WFP needs to feed 245,000 people in Lesotho, 2 million in Malawi, 850,000 in Mozambique, 230,000 in Swaziland, 1.2 million in Zambia, and just over 4 million in Zimbabwe. But its ability to carry out these operations entirely depends upon voluntary international contributions. “We always raise the alarm in plenty of time, but it’s rare to receive enough food to cover critical food needs at the right time,” Mr. Morris said. “We are always behind the ball trying to reach people in need. Timely contributions like the one given by the United States go a long way to helping hungry people before they become starving people.” read more

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← Previous Story Rivera and Urdangarin together in Qatar! Next Story → WISLA TV: “Goodbye, Lars” handball transfersTSV Hannover BurgdorfVasko Sevaljevic Montenegrian NT player, Vasko Sevaljevic (24) will join German TSV Hannover Burgdorf, currently the 6th team in DKB Bundesliga. Sevaljevic is coming from Belarus champion HC Dinamo Minsk with whom left back has played at the VELUX EHF Champions League TOP 16 phase this season. He played previously in Spain for Amaya Sport (former Portland San Antonio), where he spent two seasons.Before Sevaljevic, Hannover has signed another very talented player from Balkan – Slovenian 204 cm left back Borut Mackovsek. read more

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first_imgIRELAND INC. GOT a big thumbs-up this week. Forbes magazine, currently for sale, described Ireland as the best place on the planet to do business.Gratified, enterprise minister Richard Bruton said the accolade was a “testament” to our capacity for “hard work and innovation”. Tough policies here were yielding “tangible results”.Bruton should go carefully. The Editor-in-Chief of Forbes is Steve Forbes, a man described in Time magazine as “wacky, saturated with money and ultimately embarrassing to all concerned”.  Time added that he was like a “mad scientist constructed by a dark robot”.Who is Forbes anyway?Forbes might best be described as part of the hard right in the US. He supports flat taxes, thinks the rich should be exempted from social security taxes, dislikes the UN and has his own programme on Fox TV which goes out Saturdays and is called ‘Forbes on Fox’.He’s a trustee of the Heritage Foundation, a right-of-centre think tank which along with Freedom House and the Property Rights Alliance provides much of the research which supports the findings of the Forbes survey which last week ranked Ireland as first out of 145 countries.If Bruton wants an alternative view of where we stand he should consult the unreported sections of Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore’s opening speech at last weekend’s Labour Party conference in Killarney.Lashing out at Sinn Fein whose demand soak the rich in taxes, Gilmore said that “Ireland has the most progressive tax system in the OECD with the top 5% of income earners paying 44% of all income tax, and the top 1% paying almost 20%”.Gilmore is rightHe’s right. In Ireland the top rate of income tax kicks in at the extraordinary low level of €32,800 a year gross. The net marginal rate of tax applying to vast numbers of workers, when you include USC at 7% and PRSI at 4%, is a whopping 52%. For some self-employed workers the top rate rises to 55%.Gilmore added: “Thanks to the campaigns we ran for tax justice, the limits we set on tax reliefs mean that high earners are now paying more than twice the tax they were paying before.”In the most significant passage of his speech, Gilmore said that “those who demand a wealth tax don’t appear to have noticed that we have in fact taxed wealth. We have tapped the main reservoirs of wealth – property, high pensions, financial assets. Now and for the first time we are imposing PRSI on unearned income”.What Gilmore means here is that Ireland is now applying social security taxes to dividends, rents and deposit interest as well as applying levies to pension savings regardless of  underlying pension fund performance.The bailout made us “attractive”Forbes takes a completely different view of what’s been happening in the emerald isle.The magazine claims that the ECB/IMF bailout has made Ireland a more attractive, not a less attractive, place to do business. In a quasi-Marxist part of its analysis, which appears to rely on what’s called the labour theory of value,  it claims that nominal wages dropped 17% in the four years to end-2011 keeping labour costs in check.What counts to the well-heeled readers of Forbes magazine of course is the dollar denominated cost of hourly wages in Ireland. If those costs expressed in nominal terms have dropped by roughly 4% a year since the austerity programme commenced in mid-2008 then the real post-inflation decline in Irish wages arising from our six-year wage free will be substantially higher, perhaps 6% per year. That would mean that the true cost of paying for Irish labour dropped by over a third in that time.Profits in Ireland are taxed at a nominal flat rate of 12.5% but substantial amounts of accumulated capital can be removed from the jurisdiction virtually free of tax in the form of dividends and royalties paid to firms based in more remote tax havens. And lowering the real cost of wages is perhaps the surest route to higher levels of profit accumulation.Marx’s reserve army of the unemployedIn another passage which would have warmed the hearts of economists like Marx and Ricardo, Forbes magazine says that the collapse of the labour market since 2007 means that there is a large ‘pool’ of surplus labour to be absorbed in Ireland.  Is this Marx’s reserve army of the unemployed?This sort of free market triumphalism by Forbes will surely not go unremarked by the likes of Jack O’Connor, the SIPTU boss who sat in the front row in Killarney last week, listening to Gilmore explain how – under the very noses of his Fine Gael masters – Labour had commandeered a large part of the wealth and income of Ireland’s elite.Whom should you believe? Gilmore or Forbes? One man’s meat is, after all, another man’s poison.The Forbes analysis might, under close inspection, prove to be somewhat shallow. It hails the 44% growth in values on the Irish stock exchange, for example, conveniently ignoring the low statistical base from which this number is derived.Is Forbes right?It praises what it sees as Ireland’s commitment to private property rights, to investor protection, to personal freedom and to fighting red tape. But is it right?It is absolutely true that deValera’s 1937 constitution Bunreacht na hEireann places an enormous emphasis on the right to private property. But it is equally true that in time of crisis that asserted right can simply disappear.The Stalinist-type bank reconstruction laws enacted since 2008 are a case in point, allowing the state to commandeer the assets of financial corporations and thereafter to revalue and re-assign them to other bodies at its whim. These banking laws further allow judges sitting in private and without the presence of the press to dispense ‘justice’ in this way even in cases where the rights of the owners of capital are to be diluted and ultimately eliminated.Special laws have always been in existence in Ireland. As long ago as the 1980s the contents of private bank accounts were seized by the State as part of the battle against perceived attempts to subvert the State.  This process stepped up a gear in the period since 1996 which saw the creation of the Criminal Assets Bureau which provides the basis for quite arbitrary seizure of assets.Power to seize and shutDoes Forbes know about these laws? Or about the very extensive powers possessed by Ireland’s tax authorities to seize and shut enterprises and to confiscate business records on an ex parte basis?These laws are, of course, exercised judiciously by the Irish authorities. Dublin governments will insist that laws designed to be applied to subversives or criminals won’t be applied to ordinary business. But it is unlikely that many red-blooded American capitalists would approve of the very existence of such laws.Forbes also goes big on questions such as red tape and corruption and again Ireland gets a good rating. There is no space here to treat of such matters. But the magazine’s researchers should ask themselves why, in a small country like ours and over many years, people who wanted to invest capital in building new property and who wanted to create very big enterprises in certain sectors were frequently forced by law to acquire a licence to do business from a largely unregulated army of public service pen-pushers and grubby local politicians.Read Damien Kiberd’s columns for TheJournal.ie here>last_img read more

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first_imgRead: Car owner charged extra for ‘foul language’ by clamping company> THE REGULATION OF Vehicle Immobilisation Bill is expected to be published in early 2014.Under the new provisions, the National Transport Authority, as the regulator will ensure the provision of adequate advisory signage in locations where clamping is in operation, set maximum clamp release periods and fees and establish an independent appeals process.ComplexIn reply to a parliamentary question by Timmy Dooley, the Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar said the progress of drafting the legislation “has not been as quick as was originally hoped” due to the “complexity” of it but said he expected the Bill to be published  early next year.Varadkar said they had committed to regulate the clamping of vehicles on privately owned land in their Programme for Government in late 2011. He said the Joint Committee on Environment, Transport, Culture and Gaeltacht carried out a number of hearings on the matter and in March the Government approved the drafting of the Bill.The new provisions will apply to clamping activities on the public road as well as on private property where the public has an explicit or implicit invitation to park, said the minister.Read: Minister to introduce clamping legislation based on report>last_img read more

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first_imgAFTER 21 HOURS of talks, European Union agriculture ministers agreed to ban fishing trawlers from discarding fish overboard.Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney, who chaired the meeting, said the practice was a “policy failure” of the Common Fisheries Policy that was “no long acceptable”.The deal reached overnight will see an ‘obligation to land’ clause phased in across European waters between next year and 2019.In 2014, all pelagic fish caught by trawlers will have to be landed. The same will apply to white fish from the Baltic Sea in 2015 and fish from western waters and the North Sea in 2016.In 2017, Mediterranean and Black Sea trawlers will be subject to the ban.The “fundamental change” marks “extraordinary progress” in CFP reform, Coveney told Morning Ireland.“This will end a practice that is more upsetting for fishermen than anyone else,” he added. “It is immoral and impractical.”There will be extra financial assistance required for the fishing industry as “new, more targeted” methods will be needed, continued Coveney, who pledged to work with Irish fisherman to support them in the changes.Hundreds of millions of euro worth of fish are discarded, dead, into the sea each year because fishermen have reached their quota or they are not allowed to fish the species caught.The fish that will now be landed “out-of-quota” will not be sold on for profit as that could incentivise over-fishing. Some of the fish that is landed will go into the dog-food market, while other countries will be allowed to contribute their fish free-of-charge to charities.“The discarding issue was always going to be contentious,” Coveney said in a subsequent statement this morning. “And resolving it difficult, not there there was any disagreement on the overall objective, but because there were divergent views on the associated managment tools needed to make a discard ban a reality in practice.“It has been a long day and night, but a fruitful one. We can look forward to the completion of reform of the CFP with confidence, in the knowledge that we have taken a major step to secure the long-term sustainability of the stocks in European waters.”EU agriculture ministers to hold first vote on fishing discardslast_img read more

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first_imgUpdated at 11.30pmGARDAÍ ARE INVESTIGATING the circumstances surrounding the discovery of a man’s body in Co Meath this evening.The body was discovered in the area of Ballymaccan between Slane and Collon at around 5pm.The State Pathologist was notified and the remains were removed to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda, where a postmortem examination will be carried out tomorrow morning.A garda spokesperson said the scene has been sealed off for a technical examination.No details have been officially released on the man’s identity.Gardaí are appealing to anyone who may have any information on the incident or who may be able to help their investigations to contact Navan Garda Station on 046 9079930, the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111, or any garda station.last_img read more

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