Fort St John breaks another snowfall record

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Fort St. John set a new snowfall record for March 22, beating a record set in 1940.On Thursday, 18.9 cm of snow fell bring the total from the current snowstorm to 31 cm.  On average Fort St. John receives 26.6 cm of snow in March. This March has been a little different, we’ve received as of March 23, 58.3 cm.Lisa West with Environment Canada says there will be more snow this week. “There will be a little bit of warming up. The arctic air is going to retreat.  The long-range forecast as we get into next week, we are seeing highs into the positives.”According to West, it isn’t uncommon for the B.C. Peace to receive snow in March and typically its the same amount of snow as December and January.Fort Nelson could be next to receive the heavy snow.  The system that moved out the North Peace is moving towards Fort Nelson.  That area could see 10 to 15 cm before the storm ends on Saturday.last_img read more

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US urges increased caution for Americans visiting Hong Kong

HONG KONG — The U.S. government has stepped up its safety warning to travellers to Hong Kong because of increasingly violent protests in the Chinese city.The State Department’s Level 2 travel advisory issued Thursday urges “increased caution in Hong Kong due to civil unrest” and tells travellers to avoid demonstrations and to “exercise caution if unexpectedly in the vicinity of large gatherings or protests.”The protests were sparked by proposed extradition legislation that could have seen suspects sent to mainland China for trial. They have morphed into calls for broader democratic reforms in the former British colony and investigations into alleged police abuse of force.The territory’s crucial travel industry has suffered as tourists put off their visits. Australia, Ireland, Britain, and Japan have already issued Hong Kong travel warnings.The Associated Press read more

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Crisis or speed bump What UK vote means for economy sectors

FRANKFURT – Britain’s vote to leave the European Union adds a heavy dose of uncertainty to a world economy that is still struggling to reach full speed years after the global financial crisis.The most immediate pain will be felt in Britain. But economists say the ripples could be felt much farther afield.Companies will wonder whether to invest or locate in Britain during the yearslong negotiations to define new trade conditions with the EU, its biggest business partner. Across Europe, trade and immigration may lose ground to nationalism and protectionism.The EU itself, minus market-oriented Britain, may turn to more government intervention and regulation. Other countries may eventually seek to leave the bloc.“A new set of economic circumstances has been created, which the world will have to deal with,” said India’s Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. “Volatility is the new norm. And therefore, economies have to learn to live with crisis after crisis.”The global economy isn’t in crisis at the moment, but growth is muted and uneven among countries. The International Monetary Fund forecasts growth of 3.5 per cent for this year. The Chinese economy is slowing, the U.S. recovery has hit a slower patch, major emerging economies like Brazil are in recession, and Europe and Japan are stagnating.That’s not good enough to bring people out of poverty or get them jobs. Unemployment remains at a high 10.2 per cent in the 19 countries that use the euro. In the U.S., it’s a lower 4.7 per cent. But the labour participation rate hasn’t recovered since the recession of 2008-9, indicating that many workers have not benefited from the stronger U.S. recovery.Here’s a look at what the vote means for the world economy:___ECONOMIC GROWTHThe most direct economic pain will be felt by the U.K., while the direct consequences for the world economy are likely to be more moderate. Moody’s Analytics estimates that global economic output would be 0.25 per cent smaller after five years than it otherwise would have been, while the EU would be a full per cent smaller and the U.K. 4 per cent.Then there are indirect effects. Stock market plunges can make people feel poorer and less likely to spend. Uncertainty can make executives put off investments in new production.“Uncertainty certainly impedes investment decisions, and with few signs of any pickup in the global economy we’re probably going to see a slower rebound in capital spending,” said Sara Johnson, senior research director of global economics with IHS Global Insight.___CENTRAL BANKSThe market plunges after the vote are one reason for the world’s central banks to keep their rock-bottom interest rates in place.“Brexit could be a game changer for central bank thinking,” Megan Greene, chief economist at Manulife Asset Management, wrote in a research note.The Federal Reserve is less likely to raise short-term interest rates this year — and might even have to cut them. Greene predicted that the Bank of England could have to print money to finance government spending, tax cuts or both and that the Bank of Japan could follow. The European Central Bank might expand its current bond-buying stimulus program.___THE LONDON LILY PADMany big companies use the U.K. as a base for their European operations. London’s strength as a banking centre is in part based on easy access to financial markets in Europe. Regulatory approval to do business in the British capital means an all-access pass to the 27 other EU countries, a process called passporting.Global banks like JP Morgan Chase have already said that they would have to move jobs from London to the European mainland if Britain leaves the EU.___CONSUMERS, TRAVELERSThe pound and euro both dropped Friday, which should make British and eurozone exports cheaper overseas. American travellers heading to Britain and the rest of Europe are going to find less-expensive meals, hotels, souvenirs and museum admissions because the U.S. dollar will go further. Airfare for peak summer months probably won’t dip, but any taxes and fees levied in Europe will be cheaper. For instance, all coach passengers leaving the U.K. for the U.S. pay 73 pounds for the Air Passenger Duty. That tax is now cheaper.Among retailers, analysts expect luxury sellers — which have already seen weaker demand — to be hurt the most.London luxury shops could suffer if banks move out, taking big-spending employees with them, said Hana Ben-Shabat, a partner at A.T. Kearney. In the U.S., stores like Tiffany and Macy’s, which draw a lot of British tourists to their flagship New York stores, could be hurt.Restaurant companies with a significant presence in the U.K. and Europe could be hurt, said David Palmer, an RBC Capital Markets analyst. He said the U.S. groups with the most exposure are McDonald’s Corp., and to a lesser degree Yum Brands Inc. (Pizza Hut, KFC), Restaurant Brands International Inc. (Burger King), and Starbucks Corp.Overall, said Steve Barr at PwC, any prolonged declines in the stock market could make shoppers wary about spending.___TRADEThe impact on U.K.-EU trade would depend on how quick and amicable negotiations are on a new set of relations. Britain could wind up like Switzerland, which simply adopts EU requirements without having any say in how they are decided. Britain sends 44 per cent of its exports to the EU, less than any other member country but still significant.The price for continued market access, however, could be allowing free movement of workers. A desire to control immigration was a major force behind the “leave” campaign, so it’s unclear if such an agreement could ever be reached.“If the U.K. takes a tougher stance on immigration, for businesses this will be a disaster as the EU will retaliate,” said Christian Stadler, professor of strategic management at the Warwick Business School in Coventry, Britain. “Access to the EU will become difficult. For some companies, this means doing business in Europe won’t be attractive anymore.”“Others will have to deal with complicated bureaucracy,” he said. “In short: a nightmare.”___MARKETSStock markets plunged Friday, with Germany’s DAX falling almost 7 per cent, the Dow Jones industrial average 3.4 per cent and Britain’s FTSE 3.2 per cent. The pound hit a 31-year low.Outside the U.K., however, that turmoil may not last. Analysts at Oxford Economics think the global market reaction and fears of an EU breakup are exaggerated.Today’s drops “are hard to square with the likely long-term impact on the U.K. — at worst a few per cent of GDP in the long run in an economy that is only 3.5 per cent of world output.”___POLITICAL DOMINOESThe British vote would have a much broader impact if it becomes a political turning point away from trade and economic integration. In economic terms, free trade is considered a plus for growth. It should mean bigger markets, lower consumer prices and more competition. Yet those advantages can quickly be forgotten if people feel that the benefits are not fairly distributed, or that their jobs are left unprotected and move to other, lower-cost countries.Many think a British exit could embolden anti-EU, anti-immigration political movements such as the National Front in France. Its leader, Marine Le Pen, is already considered likely to make the final round of presidential elections next year. Geert Wilders, head of the anti-Islam, anti-EU Freedom Party in the Netherlands, called Friday for a referendum on the EU there, too.And it goes beyond Europe. Donald Trump, the likely Republican nominee for U.S. president, has described the free trade agreement among Canada, the U.S. and Mexico as “a disaster.” Likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton has said the U.S. should “renegotiate deals that are not working for Americans” and if necessary reject a proposed trade deal with Asian countries if it doesn’t show clear benefits for raising wages and jobs.“In the U.S., there is a clear parallel between the rise of Donald Trump … and what is going on in the U.K. and the rest of Europe,” said Rob Carnell, chief international economist at ING Commercial Banking. “The recovery has left large swathes of the population behind, and this is their protest.”“I think this vote has been a vote against open and integrated societies, quite frankly,” said Guntram Wolff, director of the Bruegel think-tank in Brussels. “And I think the sentiment in many other European countries … would be to say, we will not counter that, we are so fearful, that we will basically try to counter populism by following the same road and be more protectionist.”___AP writers Joe McDonald in Beijing, Paul Wiseman in Washington and Scott Mayerowitz, Anne D’Innocenzio and Candice Choi in New York contributed to this report. The curve of the German stock index DAX is displayed at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, Friday, June 24, 2016. The British vote to leave the European Union shook up financial markets around the globe, leading to sharp falls in stocks and the British pound. (Frank Rumpenhorst/dpa via AP) by David McHugh, The Associated Press Posted Jun 24, 2016 8:28 am MDT Last Updated Jun 24, 2016 at 3:20 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Crisis or speed bump? What UK vote means for economy sectors read more

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Poverty and fear do not require a passport to travel – UN

“Poverty and fear do not require a passport to travel,” said Oscar Arias Sánchez, former President of Costa Rica, drawing attention to how hunger and want for opportunity have caused the largest migration crisis the world has seen in decades. “There is the violence that strikes with weapons and that which slowly creeps up,” he said, as he outlined the many ways war affects farming communities and the environment. “Lack of resilience and food security in many countries is nothing if not pure violence.” Reminding the audience that the first poem ever written was one of war, Mr. Arias Sánchez stressed that the international community faces a choice today. “Nobody has yet written the last poem – we still have ink in our quill,” he said. “We have to decide whether we will depict a scene of a desert in which death has been crowned queen – or we can decide to write water, bread, air and tree sap – we have to decide if we will write a last war poem or a poem of our peace and food security,” he said. Along those lines, women’s rights activist Tawakkol Karman called the failure to eradicate hunger humankind’s greatest shame. She noted that while the process of globalization currently transforming the planet has allowed some individuals and corporations to amass vast fortunes, millions of people go hungry each day. “This equation needs to change,” she said. “What we need is a positive fair globalization where all people share the benefits.” Doing so will require moral commitment and honest political will, she noted. “When you see a problem like hunger, there is no point in crying about it – the question is, what are you going to do about it?” asked Irish peace activist Betty Williams. “Tears without action are wasted sentiment.” “If we can make this work, it’s a big step for humanity,” she added, referring to the new alliance. In a video message, former UN Secretary General and Nobel Laureate Kofi Annan underlined the ways that hunger and competition for agricultural resources can exacerbate social tension, as he called for a more holistic way of thinking about food security and peace. “Freeing the world from hunger and want is a fundamental contribution to lasting peace,” said José Graziano da Silva, Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), at the launch event of the FAO-Nobel Peace Laureates Alliance, adding that in conflict situations, “agriculture and food security give new life to affected homes and communities – they bring people together and drive recovery.” The group of Nobel laureates – including Oscar Arias Sánchez, Tawakkol Karman, Betty Williams and Muhammad Yunus – is respectively acclaimed for efforts to stop civil war, promote women’s rights, provide microcredit to the poor, and halt interreligious violence. The group will advise FAO on ways to strengthen the link between peace and food security in the agency’s ongoing work to promote sustainable development and resilience across the world. FAO highlighted that rural areas and their populations continue to be the most affected in conflicts, as attacks on farming communities undermine rural livelihoods and displace people from their homes. That means assisting farmers is critical to prevent widespread displacement and set the foundations for rebuilding, Mr. Graziano da Silva stressed. Muhammad Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank, placed support for rural entrepreneurship at the heart of solutions to hunger and instability as he highlighted the need to redesign existing institutions to avoid the failings of the past. “We know business as a way to make money. But there can be another kind of business – a business to solve problems,” he said, stressing the need for building self-reliance and the benefits of using business as an engine for solving social problems. “Rural people can be as good an entrepreneur as anybody else – we need financial institutions to support them,” Mr. Yunus said, adding that this is necessary so that youth see a future in rural areas and become drivers for employment and economic development, rather than migrating to cities as job seekers. Launch of Nobel Peace Laureates Alliance for Food Security and Peace, (Sheikh Zayed Centre), FAO Headquarters. Photo: FAO/Giuseppe Carotenuto read more

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Jaguar Land Rover signs MoU with Institution of Mechanical Engineers

Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) reaffirming its commitment to the development of excellence and engineering. The memorandum outlines the ways in which the two organisations will work together to ensure that JLR engineers remain global leaders in their field with the skills, knowledge and expertise to drive the business forward.This MoU builds on a long standing relationship with IMechE and reflects the need for the UK to maintain its engineering pedigree. To support this, JLR and the IMechE have outlined ‘principles of cooperation’ to aid the development of Professional Engineers. The IMechE will deliver tailored training and technical programmes furthering the skills and technical capabilities of JLR engineers. Concurrently, JLR will support its engineers within appropriate disciplines to undertake programmes of Continuous Professional Development (CPD).JLR’s business is built around two British car brands that design, engineer and manufacture in the UK and is led by advanced design, engineering and technology, investing £1.5 billion per annum on product creation over the next five years. To achieve these ambitious plans, JLR employs a world class team of over 4,000 engineers and designers.Jo Lopes, JLR Head of Technical Excellence said, “Jaguar Land Rover and the IMechE have built a close working relationship over many years in relation to the promotion and benefits of professional accreditation. The signing of an MoU will help us build on this strong partnership and expand areas of collaboration to support JLR’s continuing growth at the centre of the UK’s automotive industry.” read more

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The Saturday Night Show will host a debate on homophobia this Saturday

first_imgA spokesman from RTE indicated that details of who will feature on the panel will be announced closer to transmission.Also on the show this week are two members of Russian punk protest group Pussy Riot, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina.First published 6.18pmIntense fans are offering kidneys and wives for Garth Brooks tickets>The 6 that shared the Lotto jackpot? One of them has to share it again…> Updated 11pmTHE SATURDAY NIGHT Show is set to host a debate on homophobia this Saturday night.The show, presented by Brendan O’Connor, is at the centre of controversy after it apologised for remarks made about homophobia on the programme nearly three weeks ago.According to a statement from RTE, this week,The Saturday Night Show will host a debate on homophobia; what constitutes homophobia and who gets to define the word?last_img read more

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Polish man appears in court charged with 2013 murder of builder

first_imgA 20-YEAR-OLD Polish man has appeared in Letterkenny District Court charged in connection with the murder of a Polish builder last year.Bogdan Michalkiewicz was found in his apartment by his brother last May, having been stabbed to death.Krzysztof Grzegorski of Hazelbrook Park in the town made no reply when charged today.Judge Paul Kelly remanded him in custody to appear in person or by video link at next Tuesday’s sitting of Letterkenny District Court.last_img

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PETMAN robot learns our chemical weaknesses through environmental suit

first_imgAs time goes on, the robots we build are becoming more advanced, and if Terminator and The Matrix have anything to say about that, we’re traveling down a path where we’ll be responsible for our own destruction. Along with Boston Dynamics’ super creepy BigDog — which can now throw an entire cinder block with ease — the robotics company created PETMAN, which is a human-like robot with the purpose of testing protective clothing on humans.Rather than just throw a bulletproof vest on a mannequin, though, PETMAN walks like a human in order to best simulate how the protective gear will react. Now, Boston Dynamics fitted PETMAN with a protective environmental suit and gas mask in order to — we’re assuming — teach robots what levels of chemicals damage us the most so they can better hunt us in the coming robopocalypse.Obviously, you can’t (or shouldn’t, technically) test out the viability of a gas mask on a human being, and testing out harmful chemicals on animals that a prototype mask might not be able to block isn’t exactly humane. So, testing out the sturdiness of a gas mask on a robot is a safer way to go about trials.The suit being tested is more than something that’ll be able to withstand a splash of a hazardous chemical. The suit can maintain a mini-climate inside itself, which in turn helps the suit regulate temperature for the wearer. PETMAN employs a bevy of sensors, so while a chemical hazardous to humans probably won’t kill a robot if it gets through the suit or the gas mask, the robot can at least detect a level dangerous for a human and report back.The video also shows PETMAN performing a few complicated-for-a-robot maneuvers, such as a movement resembling flexing your muscles, or balancing in the air as if you’re sitting on an invisible chair. So, if robots don’t rise up and use their soon-to-be-extensive knowledge about what chemicals kill us best, they’ll at least be able to perform complicated mime maneuvers.last_img read more

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Wenger says he has not been approached by Real Madrid

first_imgAccording to the former Arsenal manager, the Spanish La Liga giants have not talked to him and he has yet to decide his futureIt seems like after being with Arsenal for 22 years, Arsene Wenger’s job now is to rebut rumors.The French manager has been reported as the future coach of Spanish La Liga giants Real Madrid.But he talked to beIN Sport today, according to Sky Sports, and he said he was not approached by the Spaniards.Sergio Ramos, Real MadridZidane reveals Sergio Ramos injury concern for Real Madrid Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Zinedine Zidane has put Sergio Ramos’ availability for Real Madrid’s trip to Sevilla next weekend in doubt after withdrawing him against Levante.“I haven’t made any decision on my future yet,” Wenger said.“Do I go straight away into management again or not? To be honest Real Madrid have not come back to me so I have not had to turn them down.”“I take every problem when I have to face it and try to find a solution. At the moment I do not have that problem. I will decide in January what I will do,” he added.last_img read more

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Thrifty Thursday Everything hearts for valentines day

first_img KUSI Newsroom, 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) – San Diego Goodwill visited Good Morning San Diego to show off several good Valentine’s Day gift ideas that are red and have hearts.For more information click here. Categories: Good Morning San Diego, Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter KUSI Newsroom Posted: February 7, 2019 February 7, 2019 Thrifty Thursday: Everything hearts for valentine’s daylast_img read more

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National living wage increases by 5 in April 2019

first_imgThe national living wage has increased by 5% as at 1 April 2019, equating to £8.21 an hour for employees aged 25 and over; this compares to £7.83 an hour for the 2018-2019 rate.This increase, which is the highest recorded rise since the wage rate was introduced in April 2016, will benefit approximately 1.8 million employees, adding around £690 to their annual take home pay for 2019. Full-time employees earning the national living wage are expected to receive £2,750 more a year compared to 2015, which was when the national living wage was first announced.Kelly Tolhurst, business minister, said: “We are committed to making sure that UK [employees] get a fair day’s pay, and the rise in the national living and minimum wage, benefiting millions of people, delivers on this commitment.“Since the national living wage was announced in 2015, it has helped protect the lowest paid, increasing faster than inflation and average earnings. Our minimum wage rates are among the highest in the world and, through our modern Industrial Strategy, we are determined to end low pay and [get employees] a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.”As at 1 April 2019, the national minimum wage has also increased, benefiting around 2.1 million employees, including nearly 800,000 staff employed in the retail and hospitality sector.This includes an increase from £7.38 an hour to £7.70 an hour for employees aged between 21 and 24, equating to an additional £580 a year for full-time employees, and a pay rise from £5.90 an hour to £6.15 an hour for those aged between 18 and 20, providing an extra £455 a year for full-time staff in this age group.Those under the age of 18 will see their pay increase from £4.20 to £4.35 an hour, while apprentice national minimum wage rates will also rise from £3.70 an hour to £3.90 an hour.Philip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer, said: “This government is dedicated to increasing the wages of the lowest paid, which is why we introduced the national living wage and have continued to increase the national minimum wage rates; all of which will rise again [this month] and benefit millions of [employees].“This government is committed to raising productivity performance across the income spectrum, so that the wages of the lowest paid can increase sustainably over time. While the proportion of low paid jobs is now at its lowest level for 20 years, we are going further by asking Professor Arin Dube, a world-leading expert in the field, to undertake a review of the international evidence of minimum wages on productivity and employment [as announced in 2019’s Spring Statement].”Later in 2019, the government will announce the independent Low Pay Commission’s (LPC) remit for after 2020.Bryan Sanderson, chair at the LPC, said: “We are pleased that millions of [employees] across the country will see an above-inflation pay rise as a result of [the] minimum wage increases, which follow the recommendations the LPC made in the autumn.“[1 April 2019] is particularly significant, as it also marks 20 years of the national minimum wage. Over the last 20 years, the national minimum wage and, more recently, the national living wage have achieved their goal of raising pay without significant negative effects on employment.”last_img read more

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AK Sludge scum and grit take toll on Sitkas aging wastewater facility

first_imgBoth the interior and exterior of Sitka’s wastewater treatment plant are in need of a revamp, after environmental factors caused deterioration (Photo by Katherine Rose)Although “Sludge, Scum & Grit” sound like the greatest grunge band you never heard of, they are actually three byproducts of wastewater treatment — and the corrosive gases they produce are anything but sweet music to the people who keep our sewers flowing.KCAW’s Katherine Rose visited Sitka’s wastewater treatment plant to sniff out why a $10 million dollar revitalization project is in the works for the facility that was built almost 40 years ago.In the Disney classic “Finding Nemo” a clownfish escapes the clutches of a dangerous child by flinging itself into a sink. Washed down the drain, his aquarium buddies wave goodbye, but they’re not worried. All drains lead to the ocean, after all, right?Well, in Sitka that’s true, but first they lead here to the wastewater treatment plant.Raw wastewater enters the treatment facility- the water is strained through a rack first, to catch any “non-flushables” (Photo by Katherine Rose)“So that’s your raw wastewater. And this is what I would call a low-flow time of day,” said Shilo Williams, environmental superintendent for the city. She’s giving me a tour of the wastewater treatment plant- a huge building on Japonski Island that houses some of the biggest infrastructure in Sitka. Williams and her team deal with the three key stages of waste — sludge, scum and grit. Oh, and all of the detritus they capture that Sitkans shouldn’t flush.“This rack that you see right there?” Williams pointed to a grate that a small river of raw wastewater is running through as it enters the plant. “That’s a bar screen. What we’re collecting there are all of those things that people shouldn’t flush.” Williams says things like flushable wipes and feminine hygiene products are common catches. “We have to actually manually rake that every single day.”After they strain all of the big junk out of the raw wastewater, they slow down the water, separating the heavy grit. Then the water is pumped to clarifiers — big pools where the “sludge” settles to the bottom and the “scum” is scraped off the top. The remaining water is pumped back into the ocean. Then the sludge goes to the “thickening” room.“This is one of the stinkier areas of the treatment plant,” Williams said as she lead me to a big circular tank where they remove more water from the sludge.After the thickening process is complete, they pump the dehydrated sludge to the “belt filter press.” Williams said they run the press once a week“What happens is literally squishing the sludge and getting all the water out,” Williams said. “One final squish right here and it’s going to fall into this hopper.”Environmental Superintendent Shilo Williams displays a handful of coins that are corroding, exposed to the hydrogen sulfide gas that permeates the facility (Photo by Katherine Rose)Then that dehydrated, flattened and rolled up sludge is doused with lime and dropped 20 feet into a big box that they roll out to the landfill once a week.Each piece of equipment involved in the process is huge, expensive and aging. But it’s the more invisible parts of the wastewater treatment plant that Williams says are in desperate need of an upgrade — the ventilation system and key electrical wiring that powers all of the systems. Here’s why: Waste produces a gas called hydrogen sulfide, and hydrogen sulfide is highly corrosive. Back in her office, Williams keeps a science experiment on her desk to show just how corrosive the environment is.“This is the money that was in my desk drawer here,” Williams said as she held out a handful of blackened pennies and half-dollars. “You can see a lot of it is unrecognizable, due to the corrosive environment.”She showed me a piece of copper pipe that she pulled out of the ground in last September. She says it was shiny several months ago, but it’s unrecognizable as copper today.Williams says the ventilation system has been funneling some gases from treatment plant back into their office space, making a lot of office equipment obsolete fast. Computers have to be encased in protective gear. Lab equipment has a shorter shelf life. And they have to use home printers instead of expensive, heavy duty office printers, because they break so often.“Some of them will last a few months,” Williams said. “Mine I think I’ve had for about eight months. It doesn’t always function.” Williams says she and staff often blame the “wastewater gremlins” when a piece of office equipment suddenly stops working.It doesn’t just impact the hardware. Williams says it affects humans too. Worst case scenario, hydrogen sulfide exposure can be deadly. She says the levels aren’t that bad, but they’re noticeable, often causing nausea, along with burning of the throat and eyes.But the project to revamp the wastewater treatment plant is costly. When speaking to the Sitka Assembly last month, it was clear that in order to fund the $10 million dollar project, the assembly would be required to move ahead with a plan to raise rates. But assembly member Aaron Bean wondered if they couldn’t figure out a way to patch things up at the plant without spending so much money.“We need to do what we have to do to make what we have work,” Bean said. “If we’re making the environment safe that should be an alternative. It shouldn’t be bulldoze it and replace it, is my point.”Public Works Director Michael Harmon said they’d already figured out how to make the project as cost efficient as possible.“This is by no means bulldozing the project and starting over, you’d be looking at probably 60 million to do that,” he said.Back at the plant, Williams says it isn’t about making the plant glamorous, just safe.“The wastewater plant isn’t ever going to smell pretty, because it is a wastewater plant,” Williams said. “But it will be much better, it won’t be as terrible as it is now.”Just like the filter in Nemo’s scuzzy aquarium, Williams hopes the renovations will help the wastewater team continue to keep Sitka’s scum and sludge and grit at bay.last_img read more

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Faridabad DCP shoots himself at residence with service revolver probe underway

first_imgRepresentational imageCreative Commons Zero – CC0The Deputy Commissioner of Police in Faridabad, Vikram Kapoor, allegedly committed suicide by shooting himself at his house with his revolver. The incident took place on Wednesday (August 14) morning.The 59-year-old lived with his wife in Police Lines in Faridabad’s Sector 30. His wife said that she was in another room when she heard gunshots from the bedroom. Faridabad police confirmed his death and issued a statement. Faridabad Police Public Relation Officer Sube Singh said, “With great sadness, it is to inform you that DCP of NIT Faridabad Vikram Kapoor has shot himself dead with his service revolver at his residence in Police Lines, Sector 30, Faridabad at 6:00 am. The cause of the suicide is being investigated.”Navdeep Singh Virk, the additional director general of police, said that the police officers have reached the scene and are currently conducting investigating. They are also trying to ascertain the reason behind the suicide, Hindustan Times reports. Kapoor was promoted to IPS from the Harayana police services by the state government in 2017. He was due to retire in 2020.last_img read more

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These Owl Cafés in Japan Are Cute But Not Great For Owls

first_img How AMC’s ‘The Terror’ Uses American History to Delive…33 Killed in Suspected Arson Attack on Kyoto Animation Studio in Japan Stay on target When you sit down to a delicious dinner with all your favorite foods and beverages, things probably seem perfect, right? But what could make it even better? Enjoying your food with some sweet, adorable-looking owls. That would make it immensely more interesting and cute at the same time.That’s exactly what you can do at Owl Village, one of several owl cafés found scattered throughout Japan. You can play with and pet the eight owls in the establishment and take photos of the owls, who are often tied to their perch with a rope so they can’t just fly away from all the patrons. Unfortunately, this makes for a pretty stressful environment for the birds, and that’s something to consider when it comes to how much of a good time they’re providing for visitors.Owl Village’s representative Aya Matsuda spoke to Mirror and noted that the café is aware of the issues with the animals and they want to make sure they don’t have to go through that kind of treatment. According to Chihiro Okada, an activist at Tokyo’s Animal Rights Center, tying the owls’ legs and interrupting their sleep cycles could be considered animal abuse.It’s unfortunate that the owls are being used as set pieces and playthings for kids, who really shouldn’t be allowed near animals like that when there’s little supervision. Taking photos and watching the owls do what they please in an enclosed space would be a better solution, and banning children from getting near the birds. Even though they’re adorable, we shouldn’t take their welfare for granted.Unfortunately, cool things like this do come at a price, so as awesome as it may be to hang out with owls while you eat a snack, you’ve got to make sure you’re mindful of these living creatures’ happiness too. So while these owl cafés sound cool, they’re really not that great of an idea at all in their current state.last_img read more

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Just Cause 3 first hour of gameplay and minimum PC spec revealed

first_imgThere’s just one week left until we get our hands on the highly-anticipated third game in the Just Cause series, and what a long wait it has been!The original Just Cause released way back in 2006 and received mixed reviews, but it was the second game launched in 2010 that grabbed everyone’s attention by combining an open world game and over the top gameplay to create a whole lot of fun. The critical reception the game received, combined with 1.4 million sales, insured there would be a third game. I don’t think anyone expected to wait 5 years for it, though.But now Just Cause 3 is finally here, and developer Avalanche Studios has revealed the minimum and recommended PC spec for playing the game, which we’ve included below.Minimum Spec:Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3Ghz or AMD Phenom II X6 1075T 3Ghz6GB RAMNvidia GeForce GTX 670 (2GB) or AMD Radeon HD 7870 (2GB)64-bit edition of Windows Vista SP2, Windows 7 SP1, or Win 8.145GB on hard driveRecommended Spec:Intel Core i7-3770 3.4GHz | AMD FX-8350 4.0GHz8GB RAMNvidia GeForce GTX 780 (3GB) | AMD R9 290 (4GB)64-bit edition of Vista SP2, Win 7 SP1, Win 8.145GB on hard driveOf course, you can always choose to play the game on PS4 or Xbox One instead.Regardless of what platform you choose to play the game on, you can get more excited or alternatively ruin the first hour of the experience a little by watching the video below. Avalanche and publisher Square Enix decided it was a good idea to release a video of the first hour of gameplay to get gamers sitting on the fence over a purchase interested.Maybe just flick through it and check out the visuals if you intend to buy this on launch day, otherwise you’re just spoiling your fun come December 1st, right? Although Avalanche argues that Just Cause 3 is so vast you could have a completely different first hour of gameplay every playthrough.last_img read more

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Android Security Alert Trojan GGTracker subscribes users to premium SMS services

first_img © 2010 PhysOrg.com (PhysOrg.com) — Lookout Security Firm as identified a new android Trojan named GGTracker that is downloaded to a user’s phone after visiting a malicious webpage that imitates the Android Market. The Trojan then proceeds to sign up the user to premium SMS services without their knowledge. 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. Lookout Security Firm has identified a new Android Trojan called GGTracker that installs premium SMS services to a user’s phone without their knowledge. The Trojan targets only U.S. Smartphone users when they click on a malicious in-app advertisement. The website lures users to click-through to download and install an application one of which is a fake battery optimizer called “t4t.pwower.management”, and another is a porn app called “com.space.sexypic”. After the application has been installed, GGTracker registers the user for premium subscription services. The Trojan carries out this task by contacting another server in the background where the malicious behavior intercepts crucial confirmation data to charge users without their consent or knowledge.Lookout advises that users can protect themselves from malicious webpage’s by taking a few precautions:• After clicking on an advertisement, make sure the page and URL matches the website the advertisement claims it’s sending you to.• Download apps only from trusted sources. Also look at the developer’s name, reviews, and star ratings. If you are suppose to be on the Android Market, check the URL to make sure you are on the Market and not redirected to another site.• Always monitor your phone for any unusual behavior like unusual SMS messages, strange charges on your phone bill or unusual network activity. Check all apps running in the background and investigate any that you think should not be running.• Don’t download any third party apps by making sure “unknown sources” is not check off in “application settings” in your android system.• Download a mobile security app for your phone that scans every app you download to ensure its safe. More information: via Lookout Blog Explore further Android Trojan dubbed ‘Geinimi’ found in legitimate applications Citation: Android Security Alert: Trojan GGTracker subscribes users to premium SMS services (2011, June 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-06-android-trojan-ggtracker-subscribes-users.htmllast_img read more

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Intel introduces first batch of Ivy Bridge processors

first_img More information: Press release (Phys.org) — Intel officially launched its 22-nanometer Ivy Bridge family of processors on Monday — well, sort of. A sea of news headlines using the words rollout and release can be measured with the fact that Intel has not yet issued the entire range of Ivy Bridge processors, but just the first wave. Intel roadmap leaked for SoC with Ivy Bridge graphics Intel watchers generally see Ivy Bridge as a notable development in silicon transistor design. Industry eyes, meantime, are also on the dual-core processors for ultrathin books and other designs that Intel will officially launch in months to come. While tablets like Apple’s iPad are attractive to many consumers, there is a contingent of business and professional knowledge workers who still prefer maintaining laptops and PCs for documentation and file-sharing. The trend looks more like full-performance lightweight laptops along with tablets rather than one form replacing the other. Analysts expect Intel’s Ivy Bridge to have an impact on a revived notebook market. Intel Capital created a $300 million fund to support the “ultrabook” concept. According to EE Times, Intel defined the ultrabook category including a range of systems specifications on startup time, thickness, security features and other requirements.The principal talking point outside Intel on Monday was on Ivy Bridge graphics. Its integrated graphics processing unit is expected to make editing videos faster and game play sharper. Observers see Ivy Bridge as proof that Intel gets the importance of seeing to it that graphics becomes a key area of improvement for its line of processors. What is officially off the assembly lines and available this month are its quad-core third-generation core processors destined for desktop and some other types of PCs. According to Intel’s wording, they are available now in “powerful, high-end desktop, laptop and sleek all-in-one (AIO) designs.” While the full range is not yet available, the Monday announcement by Intel about Ivy Bridge, which is the newest chip technology from Intel, is considered as important news. Intel’s Ivy Bridge processors are the first to use its 22 nanometer (nm) tri-gate technology. With Ivy Bridge, Intel moves closer to the holy grail of “more muscles, less power,” said a blogger on seattlepi.com. Intel said the third-generation core chips operate with 50 percent less energy than Sandy Bridge. “This is the world’s first 22 nanometer product and we’ll be delivering about 20 percent more processor performance using 20 percent less average power,” Kirk Skaugen, an Intel vice president, told the BBC. Ivy Bridge supports 4K resolution-and observers see the chips as a challenge to AMD’s lead in graphics performance.According to Intel, the time line for Sandy Bridge availability is as follows: Systems based on quad-core processor products will be available beginning this month from system makers and resellers. “Additional versions” for servers, Ultrabook devices and other designs will be available “later this year.” 3nd Gen Intel Core Processor Wafercenter_img © 2012 Phys.Org 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. Explore further Citation: Intel introduces first batch of Ivy Bridge processors (2012, April 24) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-04-intel-batch-ivy-bridge-processors.html 3rd Generation Intel Core i7 Processor for Desktoplast_img read more

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Researchers find intestinal bacteria create phages for use as weapons

first_img Gut microbes battle a common set of viruses shared by global populations 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. Phages, short for bacteriophages, are viruses created by bacteria that target and destroy other bacteria. They are of great interest to scientists because if they could be controlled, they could provide perhaps the ultimate anti-bacterial agent. Unfortunately, despite a lot of research since their discovery nearly century ago, very little is known about how they function, particularly, in the human gut. In this new research, the team discovered something that had never been seen before, a strain of bacteria that create a phage for the express purpose of killing off other bacteria that are competing for the same resources.The gut, as most know, is home to trillions of bacteria; some provide benefits to the host, such as helping to digest certain foods, while others are not so good, causing digestive problems. One in particular, the plentiful Enterococcus faecalis, appears to live without creating problems in the gut, but causes a lot of problems when it gets in the bloodstream, accounting for many hospital acquired infections. In looking at a particular strain of E. faecalis known as V583, the researchers found that when it was introduced alone into a germ-free mouse gut, it began churning out phages, which seemed counter-productive as it takes a lot of energy to do so.In looking closer, the team discovered that V583 did have a purpose, and that was to kill any other strains of E. faecalis that might show up, gobbling resources. Thus, the gut bacteria were creating phages to use as a weapon against closely related bacteria that might consume shared resources. The researchers call it a form of bacterial warfare, but also suggest that the discovery might offer some insight into how bacteria in general might be used to create phages in ways that can be controlled, allowing for the development of targeted anti-bacterial agents that kill offending bacteria without harming those that are beneficial. Explore further Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Enterococcus faecalis. Credit: United States Department of Agriculturecenter_img Citation: Researchers find intestinal bacteria create phages for use as weapons (2012, October 9) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-10-intestinal-bacteria-phages-weapons.html © 2012 Phys.org (Phys.org)—Researchers at the University of Texas have found that a certain type of bacteria that lives in the mammalian gut creates a virus to kill off competitors. In their paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the team says their discovery came about purely by accident. More information: A composite bacteriophage alters colonization by an intestinal commensal bacterium, PNAS, Published online before print October 8, 2012, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1206136109AbstractThe mammalian intestine is home to a dense community of bacteria and its associated bacteriophage (phage). Virtually nothing is known about how phages impact the establishment and maintenance of resident bacterial communities in the intestine. Here, we examine the phages harbored by Enterococcus faecalis, a commensal of the human intestine. We show that E. faecalis strain V583 produces a composite phage (ϕV1/7) derived from two distinct chromosomally encoded prophage elements. One prophage, prophage 1 (ϕV1), encodes the structural genes necessary for phage particle production. Another prophage, prophage 7 (ϕV7), is required for phage infection of susceptible host bacteria. Production of ϕV1/7 is controlled, in part, by nutrient availability, because ϕV1/7 particle numbers are elevated by free amino acids in culture and during growth in the mouse intestine. ϕV1/7 confers an advantage to E. faecalis V583 during competition with other E. faecalis strains in vitro and in vivo. Thus, we propose that E. faecalis V583 uses phage particles to establish and maintain dominance of its intestinal niche in the presence of closely related competing strains. Our findings indicate that bacteriophages can impact the dynamics of bacterial colonization in the mammalian intestinal ecosystem.last_img read more

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Researchers flip riboswitch to kill bacteria

first_img © 2015 Phys.org (Phys.org)—A team of researchers working for pharmaceutical company Merck has found an instance of a molecule that is able to flip a switch in a bacterium that prevents it from synthesizing a needed nutrient, and thus kills it. In their paper published in the journal Nature, the team describes the exhaustive study they undertook to find the molecule and the possibility of it one day being used to treat bacterial infections. Thomas Hermann, of the University of California offers a News & Views piece on the work done by the team in the same journal issue. Explore further Using phages to deliver CRISPR to resistant bacteria found to sensitize the microbes More information: Selective small-molecule inhibition of an RNA structural element, Nature (2015) DOI: 10.1038/nature15542AbstractRiboswitches are non-coding RNA structures located in messenger RNAs that bind endogenous ligands, such as a specific metabolite or ion, to regulate gene expression. As such, riboswitches serve as a novel, yet largely unexploited, class of emerging drug targets. Demonstrating this potential, however, has proven difficult and is restricted to structurally similar antimetabolites and semi-synthetic analogues of their cognate ligand, thus greatly restricting the chemical space and selectivity sought for such inhibitors. Here we report the discovery and characterization of ribocil, a highly selective chemical modulator of bacterial riboflavin riboswitches, which was identified in a phenotypic screen and acts as a structurally distinct synthetic mimic of the natural ligand, flavin mononucleotide, to repress riboswitch-mediated ribB gene expression and inhibit bacterial cell growth. Our findings indicate that non-coding RNA structural elements may be more broadly targeted by synthetic small molecules than previously expected. Citation: Researchers flip riboswitch to kill bacteria (2015, October 1) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-10-flip-riboswitch-bacteria.htmlcenter_img In order to find new antibiotic drugs, researchers screen many thousands of chemicals to find ones that will work, and, as the researchers with this new effort note, they are almost always proteins. But now, they have found a molecule that is not a protein, but is instead a drug that targets non-coding RNA (ncRNA).To find the molecule, the researchers used what they describe as a “very smart phenotypic screen” where a host of chemicals were tested to see which ones prevented bacteria subjected to an antibacterial agent from being killed due to the presence of riboflavin (vitamin B2)—bacteria such as e. coli are able to synthesize the vitamin if they can’t get it from their surroundings—they need it to survive. They found a single molecule that fit the bill, and called it ribocil. To better understand how it interacted with bacteria, they grew a colony of e. coli that became resistant to its effects and followed that by sequencing their genomes—and that led to the discovery that the bacteria had a non-coding part of their messenger RNA transcript that was involved, which as it turns out, was a riboswitch.A riboswitch is an element that serves as a regulator at the beginning stages of messenger RNA transcripts—they do their work by binding molecules together which leads to suppressing the expression of a transcript. Close scrutiny of ribocil revealed that it caused just such a riboswitch to be thrown, which resulted in the bacteria dying from a lack of riboflavin. Further testing revealed that ribocil could effectively kill most or all of the bacteria in an infected mouse.The team notes that while their results were promising, they still don’t know if a way can be found to keep ribocil from being ejected by healthy bacteria (they used samples that were weakened), though they will of course continue working to find out. Hermann suggests that the work shows that ncRNA regions in general may serve as targets for other drug efforts, a bright spot among the dismal news of late regarding the development of non-resistant antibacterial drugs. Journal information: Nature This is a computer graphic of an RNA molecule. Credit: Richard Feldmann/Wikipedia This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

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Fire department marks land beside Ganga for setting up new station

first_imgKolkata: The state Fire department has already indentified a stretch of land beside river Ganga for setting up a new fire station at Burrabazar. The station will have the infrastructure of a pipeline to procure water directly from the river and use it for firefighting in the area.It may be mentioned that availability of water source has been a major concern for firefighters in the central business district in Kolkata. The area that the civic body has identified adjacent to Ganga, is owned by Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT). Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life”Mayor Firhad Hakim held a meeting with KoPT chairman Vinit Kumar and other senior officials at KMC today (Friday) and urged him to allocate the land for the fire station,” a senior KMC official present in the meeting said. Sources in KoPT said that they will soon visit the site selected by KMC and take a decision in this regard. The KMC is also going for a complete overhaul of drainage infrastructure in the Port area. “They have decided to rope in a consultant for revamping the drainage infrastructure. We have told them that we will also be providing monetary assistance for the drainage project. The Kolkata Port will benefit significantly from better drainage facilities,” a senior KoPT official said. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedMayor Firhad Hakim told reporters that a number of pending issues related to both KMC and KoPT were discussed in the meeting. “There are problems in connection with a vat located beside the Port office. A joint inspection will be conducted and the issue will be sorted out in a week’s time,” the Mayor added. A committee was formed with the chief manager (assessment) on behalf of KMC and the head of accounts of KoPT, to solve the issues of pending tax between the two. “The committee will submit a report in two months, stating the pending tax on our part and vice-versa, so that the matter is sorted out quickly,” a senior KMC official said.last_img read more

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