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Sho Sho Esquiro leaving fresh marks on fashion scene

first_imgAPTN National NewsIf you haven’t heard of the name Sho Sho Esquiro, you will soon.The fashion designer originally from Ross River, Yukon, is making her mark on the international fashion scene in a big way.APTN National News reporter Tina House has this story.last_img

Can a music festival in Thunder Bay wake the giant Some say

first_imgWillow FiddlerAPTN NewsThunder Bay is known for its legendary landmark, Nanabijoo or the Sleeping Giant.It provides a calmness to a city that can feel chaotic.But what would it take to wake the giant?A group of teachers from Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School tried to do just that as they pulled off a music festival with a loud message of reconciliation.It started out last year when they made stickers with the Wake the Giant logo – and asked businesses put it on their store window as a sign that Indigenous people are welcome and safe.More than 300 businesses have signed up to get a sticker so far, according to organizers.Sean Spenrath is one of those organizers.He said a music festival is a way to broaden their audience.“It really is getting the message out to people that you wouldn’t normally get the message out to. It’s a different crowd,” Spenrath said.“We’re obviously targeting a younger crowd because at the end of the day the crowd that we’re targeting are the next people that are going to have kids and we want them to raise those kids without those stereotypes attached or anything like that.”(Musicians July Talk and Nick Ferrio perform the song they recorded together called “Mourning.” Photo: Willow Fiddler/APTN) Among the impressive and diverse lineup that drew crowds of music fans was Ernest Monias, who’s earned the title King of the North from his fans, and Thunder Bay’s own award-winning Coleman Hell.“Obviously there’s just like a history of colonialism and racism and things like that all throughout Canada, it also happens in Thunder Bay,” Coleman Hell said in an interview.“I think that the more inclusive we can be and the more we can talk about this kind of stuff, it’s just a step in the right direction.”Norma Kejick is the school’s administrator.She said the campaign is a response to the recommendations from the inquest into the deaths of seven students to make the city more inclusive and safe.“We wanted something to identify to our students that this was a safe place,” Kejick said.“That if somebody was following them, if somebody was chasing them that they had a business they could go in and they would get help.”Kejick said she’s heard some criticism because the Wake the Giant campaign is being led by 3 non-Indigenous teachers but says the work of reconciliation can’t always be led by indigenous people.“The message here for all of us to come together. It’s about time that we have to stop saying who should be doing what it’s together,” she said.“We always say it takes a whole village to raise a child, well it does. It’s not just us that needs to do it, we need to do it together.”A highlight of the festival was a performance by music students from DFC and July Talk, a Juno award-winning Canadian band.Organizers say about 3,500 people attended including Bruce O’Keese from Eabameetoong who has a granddaughter living in the city.“It’s really good for the up north people to come and support an event like this because I just heard about it too last week, so I just decided to come and try to sneak off from work,” he said laughing.Logan Ollivier said the city was overdue for an event like this.“To not only show First Nations people they’re welcome here but for us to learn more about what their culture is about and to meet them and not see them as someone outside of the community but just brothers and sisters in the community.” read more

G20 enters final day with work to do on bridging divisions

first_imgBUENOS AIRES, Argentina — The Group of 20 summit enters its crucial second and final day Saturday with hours left for diplomats to bridge divisions on major issues including world trade, climate change and tackling migration.The day will also see a highly anticipated meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, whose nations have been embroiled in an escalating trade war with new U.S. tariffs on China goods set to take effect a month from now.The divisions among the world’s leading economies were evident from the moment Argentina’s president opened the summit Friday with a call for international co-operation to solve the planet’s problems.Trump sought to use the gathering to make his own trade deals. Meanwhile, two men under heavy criticism from the West lately — Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman — appeared to seek refuge in each other, bonding with a tough-guy hand grab as the leaders sat down around a huge round table for talks.Security concerns also weighed on the two-day talks in Buenos Aires. Argentina’s security minister said eight gasoline bombs were discovered in an area of the capital several miles from the summit venue where a protest in the afternoon drew thousands of demonstrators who held up banners with slogans like “Go away G-20” and “Go away Trump.”Diplomats from the G-20 countries were haggling hard over a final joint statement, with disagreement over what language to use on the Paris climate accord and the World Trade Organization.Two European officials involved in the discussions said the U.S. was stymieing progress on both.So an unorthodox solution emerged: Because of resistance from the Trump administration, an official in the French president’s office said the statement may have language that sets the U.S. apart. For example, a draft says 19 of the participants agree on the importance of upholding the Paris climate accord, but the U.S. doesn’t.The officials said the U.S. was also blocking any mention of migration in the final statement. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly about the closed-door discussions.Asked about the European concerns, a U.S. official said progress was being made on the joint statement and the White House was “optimistic” about the document as a whole.Laura Jaitman, the Argentine Treasury official shepherding the G-20’s financing talks, said leaders have made progress on finance and trade and was hopeful a joint statement would be possible.“There’s a very positive message of how trade has been an engine of growth for the next decades and how it will continue in the future providing benefits for all citizens,” Jaitman said.Argentine Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie said trade talks were moving forward and nations were continuing to work on climate change wording.“All issues being discussed at the summit have the same relevance,” he told reporters. “We are debating (trade and climate change) more closely because we want to reach the consensus of all the countries involved.”Faurie said the final communique does not require the signature of presidents.Argentine President Mauricio Macri kicked off the summit by acknowledging divisions within the G-20 while urging world leaders to have a “sense of urgency” and take actions “based on shared interests.”European Council President Donald Tusk urged G-20 leaders to discuss “trade wars, the tragic situation in Syria and Yemen, and Russian aggression in Ukraine.” He said the European Union is expected to extend sanctions on Moscow over its “totally unacceptable” seizure of Ukrainian ships and their crews near the Crimean Peninsula.Russia and Ukraine have traded blame over the weekend ship incident — which Trump cited in cancelling a much-awaited meeting with Putin at the G-20. Russia’s foreign minister regretted the move, but said “love can’t be forced.”Also looming large amid dozens of bilateral meetings in Buenos Aires was the gruesome slaying of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi Arabia’s Istanbul consulate and the participation at the summit of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is alleged to have ordered the killing.As soon as he arrived, bin Salman was confronted by French President Emmanuel Macron, who pressed him on the Khashoggi investigation and the Saudi-backed war in Yemen.Bin Salman told Macron not to worry, but Macron countered, “I am worried.”Saudi Arabia has denied that bin Salman played a role, but U.S. intelligence agencies concluded he ordered the killing.Leaders of the United States, Canada and Mexico, meanwhile, met Friday morning to sign a trade deal replacing the North American Free Trade Agreement that was struck following months of tough negotiations that analysts say left a bitter taste among the partners.Trump called the pact a “model agreement that changes the trade landscape forever.”It must still be ratified by lawmakers in all three countries, and passage in the U.S. could face a tough road in the House of Representatives after Democrats won a majority in November midterm elections.While Trump cancelled his meeting with Putin, the U.S. president was still scheduled to meet with China’s Xi, but analysts were not optimistic about prospects for a major breakthrough on their countries’ trade disputes a month before U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods are set to ramp up.___Associated Press writers Luis Andres Henao, Almudena Calatrava and Debora Rey in Buenos Aires and Vladimir Isachenkov in Moscow contributed to this report.Angela Charlton, Peter Orsi And Luis Andres Henao, The Associated Presslast_img read more

Manulife highly confident ahead of hedge fund case verdict CEO

TORONTO — The chief executive of Manulife Financial Corp. says the insurer is “highly confident” it will prevail in its legal battle with hedge fund Mosten Investment LP over insurance contracts.Roy Gori told a conference call discussing its latest quarterly results today that he’s not sure when a decision will be rendered in the case brought against Manulife’s life insurance subsidiary, but the company is “prepared to see this through.”The trial involving one of Manulife’s insurance contracts purchased by Mosten wrapped up last year.Mosten has argued that under the terms of the universal life insurance policy, it can deposit an unlimited amount of money and receive an annualized guaranteed return of at least four per cent with one-month liquidity.Prominent short-seller Muddy Waters has said if the court sides with Mosten, the hedge fund could sell an unlimited amount of partnership interests backed by Manulife and “financially cripple” the insurer.Manulife has argued that issuers of universal life policies never intended to have them function as deposit or securities contracts, and it disagrees with the short-seller’s conclusions. The Canadian Press Companies in this story: (TSX:MFC) read more

Materials sector helps lift Toronto stocks loonie up against US dollar

The Canadian Press TORONTO — The materials stocks helped lift Canada’s main stock index, helped by strength in the gold sector, as U.S. stock markets were mixed.The S&P/TSX composite index was up 17.95 points at 16,055.44.In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 41.75 points at 24,856.79. The S&P 500 index was up 1.82 points at 2,753.88, while the Nasdaq composite was down 39.30 points at 7,413.85.The Canadian dollar traded for 74.20 cents US compared with an average of 73.93 cents US on Friday.The July crude contract was up 37 cents at US$53.87 per barrel and the July natural gas contract was down 4.8 cents at US$2.41 per mmBTU.The August gold contract was up US$12.90 at US$1,324.00 an ounce and the July copper contract was up 1.35 cents at US$2.65 a pound. Companies in this story: (TSX:GSPTSE, TSX:CADUSD=X) read more

Ban pledges to work with Pope on justice peace equality

“As Secretary-General of the United Nations, I represent a secular institution, composed of 192 States, with six official languages but no official religion,” Mr. Ban told a symposium convened yesterday in New York to commemorate the occasion. “Yet His Holiness and I share many common values, above all a belief in the inherent dignity and equal rights of every human being,” he said.The two, he said, also share a commitment to the fight against poverty and inequality; to conflict prevention and the responsibility to protect; to efforts to stop the spread of nuclear weapons; and to human rights, justice and the rule of law. “This forms a broad basis for joint advocacy and cooperation,” Mr. Ban saidIn his half-hour speech to the Assembly on 18 April 2008, delivered in English and French, Pope Benedict stressed the UN’s central role in seeking a better world. He also highlighted the need to protect human rights, ensure development and security and reduce local and global inequalities.The Pope called the UN the embodiment of aspirations for a “greater degree of international ordering” in response to the needs of the human family. 17 April 2009Marking the anniversary of Pope Benedict’s address to the General Assembly, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon pledged to continue work with the head of the Catholic Church to build “a world of lasting justice and peace.” read more

Independent UN expert urges national action plan on human rights in Haiti

“There is a need to have a strategy, there is a need also for each of the ministers to understand that they have a piece of the puzzle of the rule of law,” Michel Forst, Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Haiti, told UN Radio yesterday.The interview was Mr. Forst’s first with the UN in New York since he returned from Haiti on 8 March, his 12th visit to the country. He will present his findings to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on 20 March.“The international community has done a lot to improve the situation,” Mr. Forst said, noting the rubble that has been removed from the streets and official buildings and homes that have been rebuilt.“But still a lot of people live in camps in very difficult situations with no access to water or sanitation. Access to food is very difficult. It is very difficult for families as well to bring children to school,” Mr. Forst recounted of his visit, which started on 2 March.The 2010 earthquake as well as Hurricanes Isaac and Sandy have put the country in a very difficult situation, Mr. Forst said, adding that there is a need for the key stakeholders – including the international community – to push forward. “It is a big challenge not only for the national authorities but also the international community to move ahead, to bring the stability that the country needs to make sure that people have decent access to the basic rights,” Mr. Forst said. Among those rights is the right to education. Mr. Forst urged an inspection of how schools are run, saying that children leave after years of schooling without knowing how to read or write because teachers are not properly trained. “A lot of effort has been put into the country but it will take years to make sure all children have access to education,” he said, adding that education must be tackled on a “human-rights based approach.” Independent experts are appointed by the Human Rights Council to examine and report back, in an unpaid capacity, on specific human rights themes. read more

Universities warned to curb spiralling grade inflation

Universities have been warned to curb their “spiralling” grade inflation, as the regulator’s analysis reveals a surge in first class degrees.The Office for Students (OfS) has threatened institutions with sanctions, including fines or even de-registration, if they fail to take action over the issue.A major analysis of degrees awarded by 148 universities shows that the percentage of first class degrees has increased from 16 to 27 per cent over the past six years.Meanwhile, the percentage of first and upper second class degrees awarded has increased from 67 to 78 per cent over the same period.–– ADVERTISEMENT ––The research, published on Wednesday by the OfS, shows that students who left school last year with CCD or below at A-level were almost three times more likely to graduate with first class honours than they were in 2010-11. Alistair Jarvis, chief executive of Universities UK, acknowledged grade inflation is an issue, adding that universities are “already taking steps” to tackle it. “It is essential that the public has full confidence in the value of a degree,” he added.Mr Hinds said: “Students across the country work hard for their results and they deserve a grading system that properly recognises this.“We want and expect to see results improve over time, but the scale of this increase in firsts and 2:1s  cannot be proportionate to improving standards. “I sincerely hope today’s figures act as a wake-up call to the sector – especially those universities which are now exposed as having significant unexplained increases. Institutions should be accountable for maintaining the value of the degrees they award.”CORRECTION:  An earlier version of this article incorrectly reported that the proportion of first class degrees awarded at Birmingham University rose by 28.5% over six years, while the proportion of first class and upper second degrees, taken together, rose by 36.6%. These were actually figures for University College Birmingham. According to analysis by the Office for Students, the true figures for Birmingham University are 12% and 7%  respectively. We apologise for this error, which has been amended.     Damian Hinds, Education Secretary, wants the regulator to "deal firmly" with institutions over grade inflation Universities are in fierce competition to attract students and offering a high proportion of top degrees is seen as one way to entice school leavers to an institution.University College Birmingham is the most extreme case, with the proportion of first class degrees rising by 28.5 per cent over six years, according to the OFS analysis. The proportion of first class and upper second degrees awarded by the institution has increased by 36.6 per cent over the same time frame. Nicola Dandridge, chief executive of the OfS, said the grade inflation since 2010 is “significant” and “unexplained”, adding that the sector must “quickly get to grips” with the issue.She said: “It is fundamentally important – for students, graduates and employers – that degrees hold their value over time. This spiralling grade inflation risks undermining public confidence in our higher education system.”She warned that if the university sector does not take action over the issue, “we will use our powers to drive change”.Universities must abide by a series of conditions of registration with the OfS, one of which states that degrees must hold their value over time. If an institution breaches this condition, it could be fined, have its registration suspended or revoked altogether. Damian Hinds, Education Secretary, wants the regulator to “deal firmly” with institutions over grade inflationCredit:AFP Damian Hinds, the Education Secretary, said the new figures should act as a “wake up call” for universities, as he called on the regulator to “deal firmly” with any institutions “found to be unreasonably inflating grades”.The lifting of student number controls in England in 2015 gave universities free rein to recruit as many undergraduates as they see fit – but the move has led to accusations that they now act like businesses, seeking to maximise their revenue by recruiting as many students as possible. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

Venezuelans cross into Colombia as crisis deepens

Verónica Mendoza, 24, is five months pregnant. She is tucking in to a meal of rice, beans, potatoes and mince with her mother, Mariluz.The two women travel two hours every day from Venezuela to sell fruit at a market in Colombia.They cannot find work back home. They come here for their only proper meal of the day.“Look at the weight I’ve lost,” says Mariluz, grabbing her once fleshy arms and showing the loose skin. “I used to be healthy and strong. But we have to walk such a long way and work so hard.”Mariluz’s case is not rare. Recent research [in Spanish] suggests that three-quarters of Venezuelans lost weight in the past year, an average of 9kg (20lb).Living on the streetsThe Colombian government recently introduced “border mobility cards” to allow Venezuelans to go back and forth across the border without the need for a passport.More than 700,000 people have applied for the scheme so far.But some like Carlos Alberto Ledesma, a professional jazz musician from Caracas, want to stay in Colombia for good.Carlos Alberto Ledesma says he cannot make a living as a musician in Venezuela any more (BBC)Mr Ledesma arrived in Cúcuta eight days ago. “I spent a year living on the streets,” he says.“I stopped working in Venezuela because the bars aren’t open, half of the musicians have gone.”Official figures put the number of Venezuelans who have left their homeland for Colombia because of the crisis at 300,000. But the actual number is thought to be much higher.The influx is putting strain on communities in Colombia, which have lived through more than five decades of armed conflict between left-wing guerrilla groups, the armed forces and right-wing paramilitaries.Luis Fernando Niño López is the secretary for victims, peace and post-conflict for the province of Norte de Santander, where Cúcuta is located.“At the moment, there’s a pretty big flow but not everybody stays,” he says of the Venezuelans arriving in the region.“But what’s going to happen when they can’t go back because [Venezuelan President Nicolás] Maduro closes the border or because armed groups that control the border won’t let people go back?”Sheltering VenezuelansAt a shelter run by the Scalabrini International Migration Network in the centre of Cúcuta, the growing scale of the problem is evident.Between January and June, 650 people came through its doors. In August alone, there were 850 people.Mr Franklin Díaz, who runs the shelter, says those who come to the shelter are in urgent need of attention and more should be done to help them.“The action of the authorities is fundamental, they are the ones who manage the resources.”Many of those crossing into Colombia from Venezuela originally fled the armed conflict in Colombia.Nereidis Ascanio is one of them. Her father was killed by paramilitaries so her family left for Venezuela when she was a child.Nereidis Ascanio’s family fled Colombia when she was a child but now she is back and looking for work (BBC) By Katy Watson BBC South America correspondent, CúcutaThousands of Venezuelans are searching for a new life in Colombia (BBC)(BBC) At 05:00 in the morning, a steady stream of Venezuelans heads into Colombia.Many have queued overnight, waiting patiently for the Simón Bolívar International bridge to open. Some 25,000 people cross the bridge into Colombia every day.It is a short walk between the two countries but with the political and economic crisis in Venezuela deepening, the two neighbours now seem worlds apart.Venezuela is suffering from acute shortages of medicines, hospitals struggle to treat patients and staple goods have become scarce and unaffordable to many.Mothers cradle their babies, bringing them to the hospital in the town of Cúcuta, on the Colombian side of the border, to get them vaccinated.Families push poorly relatives in wheelchairs. Others cross into Colombia with empty suitcases, filling them up with food and supplies they cannot get in Venezuela.Two women with a baby in a pushchair walk past the border guard, muttering: “What a humiliation.” They are clearly embarrassed they have to do this.Crossing the border for foodThe local church in Cúcuta is feeding between 600 and 2,000 people a day in an open-air courtyard filled with plastic tables and chairs.Hundreds of people come to eat here every day (BBC) A single mother, her two little boys have Venezuelan nationality.She recently returned to Colombia and now lives in a little shack made out of wooden beams and a corrugated iron roof on the outskirts of Cúcuta. The tarpaulin walls do not even cover the entire shack.Some Venezuelans have erected makeshift shacks on the outskirts of Cúcuta (BBC)Ms Ascanio is desperate. “I need to find food for my kids,” she says while she wipes away tears.“And I need to find a job that will allow me to look after my boys.”Getting stuck in CúcutaOther Colombians left for Venezuela when the oil industry started booming there in the 1980s.With oil prices now low and the economic crisis in Venezuela worsening, they too are returning in large numbers.Many arrive in Colombia with great expectations of a new life.But Venezuela’s triple-digit inflation means their savings in Venezuelan bolivares are worthless once converted into Colombian pesos, so many get stuck.In the middle of the town is a roundabout with a large sculpture which reads “I love Cúcuta”. Some people are curled up sleeping in the letters “c”.Jeferson José Gutierres is one of those sleeping rough along with his wife and their three children.Jeferson José Gutierres remains upbeat, he says life in Cúcuta is better than in Venezuela (BBC)He came here a month ago and cannot find work.But he says life in Cúcuta is still better than in Venezuela and he is not planning on going back while President Maduro is in power.“I’ll return when Maduro goes,” he says.“He’s a president who spends money while his people die of hunger.” Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedVenezuelan women push past border controls for foodJuly 6, 2016In “Regional”Venezuelans rush to the border as Colombia tightens controlsFebruary 10, 2018In “Regional”US offers $2.5m in aid to Venezuelans in ColombiaMarch 20, 2018In “latest news” read more


first_imgBy Sulayman BahGambia elite referee Papa Bakary Gassama Wednesday made up Confederation of African Football referee line up for the January Cup of Nations tournament, Foroyaa Sport can report.The African Cup of Nations tournament is scheduled to start January 17th to 8th February and Gassama is part of a bevy of referees endorsed for next year’s event to be hosted by mineral-rich Equatorial Guinea.The 36-year-old is among notable referee heavyweights in the line up along Algeria’s Mehdi Abid-Charef. No referee has been picked from the Democratic Republic of Congo by Hayatou’s committee after majority of the central African nation’s referees were found culpable of receiving bribes in the past.Gassama’s appointment is no surprise following his almost error-free performance in the group stage of this year’s World Cup in Brazil.]]>last_img read more

Royal Mail offers defined benefit and defined contribution pension deal

first_imgRoyal Mail has proposed a new pensions deal comprising defined benefit (DB) and defined contribution (DC) options for members following the planned closure of its current defined benefit (DB) pension scheme to future accrual in 2018.Under the proposals, affected employees would be offered a choice between a DB cash balance arrangement and a defined contribution (DC) scheme. The new DB and DC schemes would be set up as new sections of the existing pension plan, replacing the current DB arrangement that will close to future accrual from 31 March 2018.The DB cash balance scheme would provide its members with a lump sum at retirement. The DB scheme would involve members’ pension pots being credited with 19.6% of pensionable pay a year, including a 13.6% employer contribution and a 6% member contribution. Royal Mail would also contribute 2% for other member benefits, such as death in service and ill-health.The DC option would also see the organisation contribute 13.6% of pensionable pay.The new schemes would be effective from 1 April 2018.In addition to the new arrangements, Royal Mail also proposes improvements to its existing DC plan from 1 April 2018. This would include increasing the organisation’s standard contribution by 1% in each tier, up to a maximum of 10%. This would apply to all current and future members of the scheme.The updated pension proposals have been offered to the Communication Workers Union (CWU) and the Unite Communication Managers Association (CMA). Unite plans to hold a consultative ballot with its 6,000 Royal Mail manager members, which will close on Monday 7 August 2017.The new proposal forms part of the organisation’s 2018 Pension Review, and follows a previous proposal and confirmation in April 2017 that the existing DB scheme would close to future accrual. This was the result of a consultation process, running between 5 January 2017 and 10 March 2017, which gathered feedback from the 90,000 DB scheme members as well as relevant trade unions.The consultation proposed moving current DB members into a DC arrangement, either as a new section of the DB plan or by joining the Royal Mail DC pension scheme. As of 31 March 2018, the consultation also proposed that active members of the DB scheme would receive a one-off £750 payment, which could be contributed to their DC pension or taken as cash.Royal Mail closed its DB pension scheme to new members in April 2008, and its DC scheme currently has more than 40,000 members.A spokesperson at Royal Mail said: “We have had extensive talks with our unions, Unite/CMA and the CWU, on a sustainable and affordable solution for retirement benefits for plan members after 31 March 2018, when the plan in its current form will close to future accrual.“The [organisation] is now offering members a choice between a defined benefit scheme and a defined contribution scheme, set up as new sections of the Royal Mail Pension Plan.“The [organisation] expects that the overall cost of the proposal will be funded within its current £400 million annual pension contribution. Royal Mail believes that the risk to the [organisation] of the proposed defined benefit cash balance scheme would be materially lower than under the current plan and is a manageable risk for us.”Brian Scott, officer for the Royal Mail at Unite, added: “We are committed to holding a membership consultative ballot on the Royal Mail’s latest proposals, which will close on 7 August. We are not making any recommendation. We think it is important that Unite members have an opportunity to express an opinion on what is being put forward by the [organisation].“The latest position is an improvement from the original proposal and through our discussions we have achieved these improvements. One of the main developments is that we will keep the defined benefit pension scheme open and the lump sum approach being put forward will become a separate section of that scheme. This will reduce any adverse impact on members’ future retirement incomes.“We have had many discussions with the [organisation] over the last few months and these have been difficult. However, the Unite negotiating team consider that what is on offer is the best achievable in the circumstances.”BESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyTerry Pullinger, deputy general secretary, postal at the CWU, said: “The CWU rejects the latest proposal from Royal Mail. It does not meet our aspiration of a wage in retirement pension scheme, but rather still promotes the conventional wisdom of a cash-out arrangement at the point of retirement. While using elements of the CWU’s proposed wage in retirement scheme, it would still represent a significant shortfall in the pensions promise and it is not something that we are prepared to recommend to our members.”last_img read more

EXCLUSIVE YellowDog sees 20 takeup of employerpaid cycling scheme

first_imgEXCLUSIVE: Software organisation YellowDog has seen 20% of its 22 Bristol-based employees take-up its employer-paid cycling scheme since it was introduced in December 2017.The scheme, provided by free2cycle, was implemented in order to help employees have a more environmentally friendly commute, as well as to help attract, engage and retain staff.Through the scheme, employees are able to select and use an employer-paid bike for both commuting and personal travel. Employees have to commit to cycling a set number of miles a month in order for to avoid contributing towards the cost of the bike, which is paid for by the employer at 20p for every mile cycled per employee, subject to a cap.Employees are able to track their mileage via an online app.The scheme was originally communicated to employees using an organisation-wide month-end meeting, as well as through employee emails and internal networking tool Slack. The information was also placed on the staff intranet and circulated by word-of-mouth.YellowDog also offers its employees an additional holiday day for their birthday, fruit in the office, beers on a Friday, training workshops and facilities, a workplace pension and access to a university-backed training incubator.Gareth Williams (pictured), founder and chief executive officer at YellowDog, said: “It’s a great benefit to our team which gets them out and about more, benefiting them physically and mentally. We’re expecting it to provide an excellent return on investment in terms of increased productivity, and we can access it with no up-front fees, which for a growing business like us is perfect as we can’t commit to large down-payments. It’s also super-easy to administer, so I’d definitely recommend it to businesses as the benefits are plain to see.”last_img read more

5 missing bodies recovered in Shitalakkhya

first_imgShitalakkhya river. Photo: CollectedThe bodies of five young men were recovered early Sunday after a boat sank in the Shitalakkhya river following a collision with a cargo vessel in Rupganj upazila on Friday.A team of Fire Service recovered a body from the river in Rupsi Kazipara area around 12:30am while four others were found floating in the same area around 8:00am and the bodies were recovered, said Mamunur Rashid, deputy assistant director of Narayanganj Fire Service and Civil Defence, reports UNB.Identities of the deceased could not be known immediately.Divers of Fire Service have been conducting search since Friday night to rescue the missing people and they finally spotted a floating body of a youth near the accident spot and recovered it and then recovered four more bodies around 8:00am, said the fire service official.Moniruzzaman, officer-in-charge of Rupganj police station, said family members of the five youths, who went missing after boat capsize in the Shitalakkhya River on Friday night, have been informed to identify the bodies.The bodies will be handed over to family members without autopsy if they want, he added.A group of 14 youths hired the boat from Demra for a pleasure trip on Friday night. The boat sank in the mid-river in Rupsi Kazipara area after a sand-laden Bulkhead hit it from behind around 9:00pm, leaving the five youths disappeared in the river, said ward councilor of Tarab Municipality Hamidullah.However, nine others managed to swim ashore.last_img read more

Researchers find a way to synthesize small cyclodextrins

first_img Journal information: Science Cyclodextrins (CDs) are linked sugars that form in a way that leaves an open cavity, generally as a ring—chemists have found various ways to fill the cavities with other useful molecules, which often allows them to bind to small hydrophobic molecules. Once bound, they become trapped, making the CDs soluble. Each of the rings has its own name depending on the number of sugars, such as octamers or hexamers. Pharmaceutical and other chemical companies have exploited CDs to make a wide variety of consumer products and medicines. CDs in common use are typically made from six to eight sugars, but chemists would like to make new products that use smaller rings with just three or four sugars (CD3 and CD4). Unfortunately, there has not been a way to create such small cyclodextrins until now. In this new effort, the researchers in Japan found a way to solve the problems that other researchers encountered, revealing how to create new products based on small cyclodextrins.To create the small cyclodextrins, the researchers used linkers to create building blocks. The building blocks served to alter the sugar conformation—more specifically, the linkers pushed the monomers into having a balanced preference between multiple possible shapes. This behavior is called suppleness. The researchers forced suppleness by physically connecting each linker with two of the sugar alcohol groups, which resulted in the creation of another ring. That allowed the team to overcome the high strain between the bonds that held the sugars together—a problem that has prevented their creation in the past.Cyclodextrins are mainly used to make drugs, but other applications have included agriculture products and environmental engineering. Their popularity is mostly attributable to their safety—they are all non-toxic. Because of their history, it is likely that the new, smaller cyclodextrins will be used in similar applications. Structures of CDs and key elements enabled synthesis of 3 and 4. (A) Because of the strained glucopyranose-rings in 3 and 4, their existence was considered implausible. (B) Conception of the EDB bridge and the α-selective glycosylation attributed to the EDB bridge. The α-selective glycosylation using 5, which possesses the 3,6-O-o-xylylene bridge, lacked clarity and effectiveness. A desire to improve the reaction led to the 3,6-O-EDB-bridged 8. Glycosylation reaction with 8 proceeded efficiently with α-selectivity. (C) Suppled pyranose by formation of the 3,6-O-EDB bridge. Because the conformation of the EDB-bridged compounds is not constant, we hesitated to adopt the conventional notation of carbohydrates based on the chair form. For the synthesis of 8 to 12, see SM-9–14. For the determination of each conformation, see SM-8–14. Cp, cyclopentadienyl; EDB, 1,1′-(ethane-1,2-diyl)dibenzene-2,2′-bis(methylene); MS, molecular sieves. Credit: Science (2019). DOI: 10.1126/science.aaw3053 More information: Daiki Ikuta et al. Conformationally supple glucose monomers enable synthesis of the smallest cyclodextrins, Science (2019). DOI: 10.1126/science.aaw3053 Citation: Researchers find a way to synthesize small cyclodextrins (2019, April 12) retrieved 18 August 2019 from This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.center_img Separation a sweet success A team of researchers at Kwansei Gakuin University in Japan has found a way to synthesize small cyclodextrins (types of cyclic oligosaccharides) for the first time. In their paper published in the journal Science, the group outlines their strategy and describe how well it worked. © 2019 Science X Network Explore furtherlast_img read more

BJP distorting history to divide CM

first_imgCooch Behar/Darjeeling: “Bengal will never bow her head. Those who are jealous of this state need to learn from Bengal. We will not allow Bengal to become an Assam. Do not disturb the people with your divisive politics. We stand for inclusiveness.” The message was strong and clear from Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who addressed a public programme in Cooch Behar on Tuesday.Training guns at the BJP, Banerjee asked the people not to fall prey to their false assurances. “Which political party runs the government in Assam, Gujarat? The same political party has struck off names of 40 lakh genuine voters from the National Register of Citizens (NRC). There had been reports of suicides by people who found their names missing from the draft. I wonder what their counterpart (BJP Bengal unit) here will have to say about this,” retorted Banerjee. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe Chief Minister assured that there will be no rerun of Assam in Bengal. “Bengalis are being driven out from Assam while Biharis are being driven out from Gujarat. However, Bengal welcomes all with open arms. We do not differentiate between caste, creed, colour, language or religion. Bengal will stand by anyone fighting for their rights,” she stated. The country’s history and culture do not promote “sectarianism or bigotry”, she said and maintained: “Those trying to distort our secular history should know that the people of Bengal will neither encourage nor allow divisive politics.” Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedBanerjee further added: “Gandhiji, Nazrul Islam, Swami Vivekananda, Netaji did not adhere to divisions. Attempts are being made to change history. Attempts are being made to make people forget about Gandhi and Ambedkar. We cannot allow this.” Speaking on unity, Banerjee stated: “We might have linguistic barriers along with other differences including a variety of traditions and customs but we have the same heart; the same blood runs through our veins. We have to live as one and work as one.” The Chief Minister further maintained: “The Left Front left us a loan of Rs 50,000 crore which we are still paying. The BJP led Union government did not write it off. We could have undertaken so many development projects with this amount.” Banerjee added: “In Bengal, we have allocated nearly Rs 6,000 crore for various development schemes… Our schemes have been universally acclaimed. You (BJP) should learn from us.” She also stated that she lives up to her commitments. “We do not believe in laying foundation stones (Shilanyas) and forgetting about the projects like the earlier government. They were famous for that. You cannot do what we do. It is my challenge,” she added.last_img read more

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"We definitely can be rolling it out to the new customers who have the meters at that point. read more