Galaxy’s central black hole generates x-ray surprises

first_imgSEATTLE, WASHINGTON—When you’re waiting for a bus, it always seems as if nothing comes along for ages, then three arrive all at once. Something similar happened last year to x-ray astronomers waiting for cosmic fireworks when a cloud of gas and dust passed close to the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way. The fireworks never erupted but the researchers, using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, serendipitously caught three other rare events: two bright x-ray flares and emissions from a rare, highly magnetized star, they reported here on 5 January at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society.The gas cloud, known as G2, was calculated to come close to the central black hole—known as Sagittarius A*, or Sgr A*—in spring 2014. Astronomers were expecting a huge increase in emissions from the region at many different wavelengths as G2 ploughed through the disk of material orbiting the black hole, or perhaps was even swallowed by it. But for reasons that astronomers are still arguing vociferously over, nothing happened. “We really expected to see a bow shock [when G2 hit], but we really didn’t see it,” says astronomer Daryl Haggard of Amherst College in Massachusetts, who presented the team’s results yesterday.But Haggard and her team, who like many others had booked copious amounts of observing time to witness the event, didn’t come away empty-handed. First, somewhat to their annoyance, a magnetar—a type of neutron star with a very strong magnetic field–exploded into view very close to Sgr A* with a burst of x-rays. For a time it was brighter than Sgr A* and the researchers were concerned it might spoil their view of G2’s arrival. But in the end, Haggard says, it was an interesting event in itself: There are only about 30 known magnetars and this was the first anywhere near Sgr A*. If it remains bright, she says, they may be able to see it move around the black hole and use it “to probe this very busy neighborhood.”Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Then, in early 2014, a bright x-ray flare erupted from close to Sgr A*. Such flares can be common but this one was the brightest ever recorded. “It was really exciting,” Haggard says. It couldn’t have been caused by G2, she adds, because its short duration was characteristic of something much closer in to Sgr A* than G2.But what caused it? Using models of the area around Sgr A*, the researchers were able to suggest two possibilities: that it could have been caused by an asteroid that strayed too close to the black hole and was torn apart, its remains being heated to enormous temperature before slipping below Sgr A*’s event horizon; or it could be caused by field lines of the black hole’s powerful magnetic field snapping apart and reconnecting, a process—common on the sun—which releases strong bursts of energy. “It’s an unsolved mystery,” Haggard says.That flare was followed by another one in October 2014, this time half as bright and also unexplained. “Such rare and extreme events give us a unique chance to use a mere trickle of infalling matter to understand the physics of one of the most bizarre objects in our galaxy,” said Gabriele Ponti of the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Garching, Germany, a co-author on the study, in a statement.Astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts, says such observations are valuable because supermassive black holes are common throughout the universe. “Our theories about what happens at the center of a quasar are all about things falling into a supermassive black hole,” he says. “This is the first time we can see such things close up, although on a smaller scale. It’s a fair bet that this is happening at a larger scale elsewhere in the universe.”last_img read more

Cracks appear in Kolkata homes

first_imgPanic gripped the Bowbazar area residents on Sunday as cracks appeared on some of the old houses in the area. Bowbazar is one of most congested areas of central Kolkata where tunnel boring work for the East West Metro corridor is being undertaken.The Kolkata police evacuated hundreds of people from 18 houses in the area — particularly from Durga Pithuri Lane. Portions of a house also collapsed due to the cracks. About 254 residents of these buildings have been provided alternative accommodation. There is no report of any injury, a Fire Brigade officer said. The area has been cordoned off by the police. “Water seepage during the boring started at 6.45 p.m. yesterday. Usually, we grout the area with cement at the seepage points. But in this case whatever we were putting was being washed away,” a senior official of the Kolkata Metro Railway Corporation said.He added that the engineers had never faced such a situation while tunnelling anywhere in the country. “For safety reasons, we have shifted 254 people,” the official said. Kolkata Mayor Firhad Hakim said that if the problem persists, the Metro authorities will arrange temporary accommodation for the residents of these houses. ‘No prior warning’ Those who have been shifted were visibly enraged and said that no prior warning was issued by the Metro authorities. A number of houses in the Bowbazar area are quite old and are in a dilapidated condition. Construction of an underground tunnel between Esplanade and Sealdah stations is going on at present. The East West Metro Project which will connect Howrah Maidan with Rajarhat Salt Lake area is a mega infrastructure project with a cost of about ₹8,474.98 crore. Of the 16.6 km line, about 10.8 km will be underground and the remaining will be an elevated corridor. Boring of tunnels under the river Hooghly to connect Kolkata and Howrah has been successfully completed in March 2017.(With PTI inputs)last_img read more

A Late Take-Off

first_imgEarlier this month, Brazilian aircraft maker Embraer opened its first assembly plant in the US, the biggest market for planes. In contrast, India, which is celebrating the centenary of the first flight in the country, remains the only bric (Brazil, Russia, India, China) nation without its own commercial aircraft manufacturing capability. Considered sophisticated and demanding, aircraft making is a barometer for a country’s industrial prowess.Mahindra Airvan GV8 at the Aero India show in February.A high-powered National Civil Aircraft Development (NCAD) committee hopes to change that shortly. By June 2011, the committee will submit a feasibility report on making a 90-seater regional aircraft. Mumbai-based private firm Mahindra Aerospace and its partner, Bangalore-based National Aeronautics Laboratory (NAL), are expected to announce shortly the commercial launch of a five-seater aircraft they are jointly developing. An aircraft, Airvan GV8, sported the Mahindra brand name at Aero India in February. Mahindra had acquired its Australian manufacturers in 2009. “There is now a momentum in the aerospace sector as the Indian industry is mature enough to handle complex projects,” says V. Sumantran, NCAD member and executive vice chairman of Hinduja Automotive.There are two big reasons for the increased pace of action in the industry. First, the Indian aviation sector is booming. In the last two months, just one private company-Indigo-and the defence sector have been placing orders for aircraft worth $28 billion to foreign companies. The white paper by business consultants AT Kearney said the aerospace and defence budget of the country is expected to cross $100 billion over the next 10 years. Secondly, since 2005, an offset clause introduced by the government mandates foreign aircraft OEMS, such as Boeing and Airbus, outsource a minimum of 30 per cent of a $60 million-plus defence contract to India based companies. Mahindra is setting up a manufacturing unit in Karnataka to make components for the aviation and defence sector. The white paper says that the Tata group already has initial orders of $500 million from the offset clause. It is establishing manufacturing set up in Andhra Pradesh.advertisementEngineering giant Larsen and Toubro also wants to be a part of the nacd while others such as Chennai based MRF and Delhi-based Lumax have announced plans to manufacture aircraft components. Even by the most optimistic estimates, the NCAD’S commercial plane won’t fly before 2017 but a start has been made. “The program will only accelerate from here on,” says Sumantran.last_img read more

Greek-American Chris Chelios Leaving Red Wings to Return to Chicago

first_imgDETROIT (AP) — Chris Chelios is leaving the Detroit Red Wings to return to his hometown of Chicago.Chelios spent a decade with the Red Wings as a player from 1999-2009, and he’s also been an adviser for the team. His Hall of Fame career as a defenseman started in Montreal before he spent eight years with the Blackhawks.“For me, this is an opportunity to move back to Chicago to be closer to family, and in particular my mother,” Chelios said Thursday. “I began to seriously consider moving home last February after the passing of my father. Now that my children have all graduated, it seems like the ideal time for my wife, Tracee, and I to make the move.”Chelios was traded to Detroit in March 1999 and he remained with the Red Wings through the 2008-09 season before finishing his career with a brief stint with Atlanta in 2009-10.“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the Red Wings organization over the last 19 years,” Chelios said. “Admittedly, I was skeptical about the 1999 trade that brought me to Detroit. As a Chicago guy who was playing for the Blackhawks at the time, we despised those Detroit teams of the 1990s. After the trade, however, things changed quickly and I began to feel right at home.”Chelios and the Red Wings won Stanley Cups in 2002 and 2008.FILE – In this April 24, 1996, file photo, Chicago Blackhawks captain Chris Chelios congratulates teammate Joe Murphy after Murphy scored the game and series winning goal for the Blackhawks against the Calgary Flames in Calgary, Alberta. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Mike Ridewood, file)“What an unbelievable experience, playing on some of the greatest teams in league history, with some of the greatest players of all-time,” Chelios said. “I consider myself extremely lucky to have been a part of it all. The Cup-winning teams in 2002 and 2008 are the obvious highlights, but I’m grateful for every chance I had to put on a Red Wings sweater.”Chelios’ son Jake is a defenseman as well and is in the Red Wings’ organization.Chelios is of Greek heritage. His cousin, Nikos Tselios, also played professional hockey and is a former first round draft pick of the Carolina Hurricanes. Chelios was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on November 8, 2013.Chelios grew up in Chicago, Illinois, where his father, Constantine “Gus” Chelios, owned a chain of Greek restaurants. The family name was originally “Tselios”, but Gus chose to change the family’s spelling.FILE – In this June 4, 2008, file photo, Detroit Red Wings defenseman Chris Chelios (24) holds the Stanley Cup after the Red Wings defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup hockey finals in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)TweetPinShare66 Shareslast_img read more

Zimbabwe seeks return to dollar as new govt sworn in

first_imgHarare, Sep 10 (AFP) Zimbabwe’s newly sworn-in finance minister on Monday said he planned to reintroduce the Zimbabwe dollar and accelerate plans to repay the country’s debt, in a bid to revive the battered economy.The southern African nation abandoned its currency after it spiralled out of control between 2008 and 2009 during the rule of Robert Mugabe.The country adopted the US greenback and other foreign currencies including the South African rand. But a few years later, with the economy in tatters, US bank notes started to run short.In 2016, Mugabe’s government tried to tackle the chronic shortage of US banknotes by introducing a parallel token currency called “bond notes”, theoretically worth the same as a US dollar.But the bond notes are in reality worth far less than the US dollar.”Ultimately, I want to be very clear, I want to see the Zimbabwe dollar come back, the sovereign currency,” the new finance minister, Mthuli Ncube, told reporters shortly after he was sworn-in.Ncube, 55, a former Oxford university professor and a former vice president of the African Development Bank, has the tough task of reviving an economy wrecked under Mugabe, who was ousted last year.”But currency reform alone is not adequate, it needs a second leg. It works with fiscal policy.”President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was sworn in after his victory in a landmark July election, vowed to make fixing the economy his priority.Ncube also vowed to resolve Harare’s debt with international institutions.”We have plans that we want to make sure that the international financial institutions such as the African Development Bank and the World Bank are fully on board to work with us to resolve the arrears,” he said.advertisementOn Monday Mnangagwa swore in 20 cabinet ministers, 13 deputy ministers and nine provincial ministers.The cabinet includes a former Olympic swimmer, Kirsty Coventry, who is the new sports minister. (AFP) SCYSCYlast_img read more

Former Clemson CB Kyler McMichael Announces Transfer Destination

first_imgA closeup of a football pylon with Clemon's logo on it.CLEMSON, SC – AUGUST 31: A general view of a goal line marker during their game at Memorial Stadium on August 31, 2013 in Clemson, South Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)On Friday, Clemson cornerback Kyler McMichael went public that he’s entering the NCAA transfer portal. The former four-star recruit quickly made his decision, announcing where he’ll transfer to in less than 24 hours.Coming out of high school, McMichael was the No. 8 cornerback and No. 56 overall recruit according to 247Sports’ rankings. He held offers from several teams, including Auburn and Georgia.It turns out that McMichael will remain in the ACC next season.McMichael announced on social media that he’s transferring to North Carolina. Although he’ll have it sit out this upcoming season, the six-foot-one cornerback has three years of eligibility remaining.“Beyond blessed and grateful to be apart of such an amazing team last year at Clemson, however, today I begin my next chapter in life as I redirect my journey and travel to Chapel Hill, to the University of North Carolina and become a Tar Heel,” McMichael wrote on Twitter.Here is his full statement:Committed to the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill‼️🐏 @drebly_32 @CoachBateman @CoachMackBrown #Tarheelnation #RudeBoyz #bethe1— Kyler J. McMichael (@kylermc22) July 20, 2019It’s an unfortunate loss for the Tigers heading into this fall, but they’ll remain among the favorites to win the national title.McMichael saw roughly 100 snaps last season at Clemson. His decision to join North Carolina should allow him to see a much larger role in the future.last_img read more

Riverton Fire Under Control

first_imgExecutive Director of the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA), Audley Gordon, is assuring the public that the fire, which broke out this morning (March 27) at the Riverton landfill in St. Andrew has been contained.He said that the fire is suspected to have been caused by spontaneous combustion. “It is in a confined area, so the fire won’t escalate,” he told JIS News.The NSWMA was alerted to the fire after smoke was seen rising from a section of the landfill. The agency attended to the blaze with assistance from the Jamaica Fire Brigade (JFB).“There are three units from the fire department helping us and we have two pieces of equipment there fighting the fire. We expect it to be over in a few hours because it is not able to escalate,” Mr. Gordon said.last_img read more

Trump Adds Tariffs on USD 200 Bn of Chinese Imports

first_imgzoomImage Courtesy: The White House The Trump Administration is to proceed with placing additional tariffs on some USD 200 billion worth of imports from China, which will take effect on September 24.The latest round of tariffs will be set at a level of 10 percent until the end of the year. On January 1, the tariffs will rise to 25 percent, the US President said in a statement released on Monday.Trump warned that if China takes retaliatory action against US farmers or other industries, “we will immediately pursue phase three, which is tariffs on approximately USD 267 billion of additional imports.”The move follows the Section 301 process that the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has been leading for more than 12 months. After a thorough study, the USTR concluded that China “is engaged in numerous unfair policies and practices relating to United States technology and intellectual property – such as forcing United States companies to transfer technology to Chinese counterparts.”Trump further said that US has previously urged China to change these practices and give fair and reciprocal treatment to American companies. He added that, so far, China has been unwilling to change its practices.Following the publishing of the USD 200 billion list by the US, China responded by releasing four lists worth in total USD 60 billion, to be tariffed between 5% and 25%.“For the first time in this trade war, the latest round has seen China unable to respond equally to the USD 200 billion measures announced by the US. With China importing much less than it exports to the US, if the trade war continues to unfold, China will have to look away from tariffing imports to find its retaliatory measures,” Peter Sand, BIMCO’s chief shipping analyst, said.According to BIMCO, some 85.3% of Chinese seaborne imports from the US and 58.5% of US seaborne imports from China could become affected by the trade war. While containerized goods have already been targeted by the USD 50 billion round, the biggest impact on these will come with the implementation of tariffs on USD 200 billion worth of goods.So far, the tariffed goods total to 6.6 million tonnes of seaborne trade from China to the US in 2017. This is equivalent to 660,000 TEU. A further 22.4 million tonnes of seaborne containerized goods would be impacted by the US 200 billion list, affecting a total of 1.5% of the global seaborne container trade, BIMCO informed.last_img read more

Dozen get better than this King Rafa lords over Thiem

first_imgParis: Rafael Nadal swept to an historic 12th Roland Garros title and 18th Grand Slam crown on Sunday with a 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 victory over Austria’s Dominic Thiem. The 33-year-old Spaniard becomes the first player, man or woman, to win the same Slam 12 times after seeing off a brave challenge from a weary Thiem in a repeat of the 2018 final. Nadal is now just two behind Roger Federer’s all-time record of 20 majors and three ahead of Novak Djokovic who was knocked out by Thiem in the semi-finals. Also Read – Dussehra with a ‘green’ twistThe world number two also took his Paris record to an astonishing 93 wins and just two losses having previously won the title in 2005-2008, 2010-2014, 2017 and 2018. Sunday’s triumph confirmed the ‘Big Three’ stranglehold on the Grand Slams having shared the last 10 between them. It also gave Nadal an 82nd career title and 950th match win. In a 53-minute first set of brutal hitting and raw physicality, it was Thiem who broke first for a 3-2 lead. Also Read – India receives its first Rafale fighter jet from FranceBut the 25-year-old’s joy was short-lived as Nadal retrieved the break in the sixth game before racing away with the next three games to pocket the opener. Thiem, who had beaten his opponent four times on clay in his career, failed to claim a single point off Nadal’s first five service games of the second set. However, the dogged Austrian pushed and pushed, forced Nadal into three rushed groundstrokes and, from nowhere, broke to take the second set. It was the first set he had managed to take off Nadal at Roland Garros after three previous defeats. Nadal was riled by the insult. He swept the first 10 points of the third set, carving out a double break for 3-0 before sweeping to a third break for the set. Thiem, bidding to become just Austria’s second Grand Slam champion after Thomas Muster won in Paris in 1995, had played four successive days to reach Sunday’s final and the toll was slowly telling. He wasted break points in the first and third games of the fourth set and Nadal pounced to stretch to 3-0. That was soon 5-1 and the relentless barrage continued with Nadal taking the title on a second match point.last_img read more

Lightning kills 4 persons in Malda

first_imgMalda/Darjeeling: Four persons were killed in different incidents of lightning strike in Bengal’s Malda district on Wednesday, a senior police officer said.Superintendent of Police, Alok Rajoria said three persons were killed in the lightning strike during heavy rain in Gajole block and one in Manikchawk block of the district. Heavy rain accompanied by lightning hit Malda district on Wednesday. Meanwhile, incessant rainfall in Bhutan and North Bengal has thrown life out of gear. Also Read – City bids adieu to Goddess DurgaLarge stretches have been inundated in North Bengal with road communication disrupted. Water levels are dangerously on the rise in the rivers flowing down from Bhutan. A weather warning has been issued by the Indian Meteorological Department for North Bengal from June 26 to June 28. While there is a red warning (greater than 20 cm of rain forecasted) for June 26 and June 27, there is a orange warning (7cm to 20cm of rain forecasted) for June 28. “Due to strong moisture incursion from the Bay of Bengal and shifting of trough of low pressure along North Bengal enhanced rainfall activity is likely to continue over the district of North Bengal during June 26 to 28,” stated the bulletin. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellersWide-spread rainfall has been forecasted over the districts of Coochbehar, Alipurduar, Jalpaiguri, Darjeeling and Kalimpong. The National Centre for Hydrology and Meteorology, Bhutan, in a weather bulletin has warned of active monsoon to continue in the next 48 hours with heavy rains forecasted for the southern part of Bhutan. Bhutan has been witnessing incessant rainfall in the past few days resulting in flash floods and land slides. Many important roads have been closed down owing to this. The Phuentsholing to Thimpu road is also affected. “We are keeping tab and reviewing the situation on a daily basis. Heavy rainfall in Bhutan will definitely affect our district but we are ready. Our priority will be that we do not have any human casualty” stated Surendra Kumar Meena, District Magistrate, Alipurduar — the district sharing borders with Bhutan.last_img read more

Scientists spot endangered whale not seen in Canadian waters for decades

first_imgOTTAWA – For a handful of researchers surveying marine life off British Columbia’s coast — it was a whale of a tale.This summer, a group of biologists and Canadian Coast Guard members became the first people to report seeing endangered sei whales in Canadian waters in more than half a century.“This was very exciting because we didn’t expect it,” said Thomas Doniol-Valcroze, a research biologist with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.“People on my team had never seen them.”The sei whale, one of the fastest marine mammals in the world, is part of the same family as blue and fin whales.At one point, there were more than 60,000 sei whales in the North Pacific, but the population collapsed after whalers started targeting them. There hadn’t been a single reported sighting of a sei whale in Canadian waters since before whaling was banned in the 1960s.A 2006 Canadian report says there were two confirmed sightings of sei whales in Pacific waters off the west coast of the United States between 1991 and 2001 but none in Canada. They are listed as endangered in Canada’s Species at Risk Act.Doniol-Valcroze was on board the Coast Guard ship near the end of July. It used floating sonar devices to listen for whale calls under the water.“Sei whales are so rare nobody is actually completely sure what they sound like here in the Northeast Pacific,” he said.“We started hearing those sounds that sounded very similar to what sei whales were recorded doing elsewhere. We started hearing them more and more and that led us to finding them and seeing them for the first time many years.”The group saw five of the large creatures swimming amid a pod of fin whales and, using large binoculars, the teams determined they were sei whales.The researchers were part of a 10-week survey trying to count, or estimate, all marine mammals populations in Canada’s Pacific. The survey is the first of its kind in the Pacific ever conducted by the federal government, which has done similar surveys in the Atlantic and the Arctic.The Raincoast Conservation Foundation in B.C. conducted a Pacific marine mammal survey in 2003 and their numbers have been used for the last 15 years.However, in 2017 the United States began enacting a specific provision under its Marine Mammal Protection Act that puts the onus on countries exporting seafood to the U.S. to prove their fisheries are not harming marine mammals. The requirement meant Canada had to update its data if it wanted to continue exporting seafood to the U.S.The final results of the survey will not be published for a year, said Doniol-Valcroze, but he added it was quite successful. In addition to the sei whale sighting, the teams also found higher than anticipated numbers of harbour porpoises, he said.The teams did not see enough sei whales to be able to say how many exactly are in the Pacific Ocean off the Canadian coast.last_img read more

Hundreds of Sudanese refugees crossing into Chad each week UN says

The UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) spokesman, Ron Redmond, said in Geneva that new refugees in the town of Bahai, joining the 7,000 already registered there, told the team that they fled after Sudanese militia members attacked them on 2 April, looting and burning their homes.UNHCR and its partner, CARE, will distribute aid to refugees in the Kariari area, 35 kilometres north of Bahai, temporary home to 16,000 refugees who fled Sudan at the end of January and the beginning for February after aerial bombs hit their villages, and the militias then attacked them, he said.The water available for the two refugee camps was becoming scarce, he added.The Chadian hosts and those refugees they had taken in have resorted to eating seeds called mukhet, usually used as cattle feed. Not only were they at risk of malnutrition, but the International Rescue Committee told UNHCR that the refugees attending their mobile clinic in Kariari were suffering from diarrhoea, respiratory infections and conjunctivitis.Meanwhile, the UN fact-finding team dispatched from Geneva to look into Darfur’s human rights situation was in al-Fasher, the capital of Northern Darfur State, in western Sudan. The team was due back in Geneva next week, when they would submit their report to Acting High Commissioner for Human Rights Bertrand Ramcharan.World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director James Morris, leader of a UN humanitarian assessment mission for Darfur, arrived today in Sudan’s capital Khartoum, with his team. read more

Libya UN mobilized to support thousands uprooted by Tripoli clashes renews call

“I remind all parties to the conflict that the use of explosive weapons with indiscriminate effects, in densely populated areas is a violation of international humanitarian and human rights law,” she stated. In her statement released on Tuesday, human rights High Commissioner Bachelet also expressed serious concerns about the safety of around 3,350 migrants and refugees, still held in detention centres near the conflict areas. “Migrants should be released from detention centres as a matter of urgency, and should have access to the same humanitarian protection as all civilians, including access to collective shelters or other safe places,” she stressed. The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) echoed her call for a “temporary humanitarian truce to allow for the provision of emergency services and the safe and voluntary passage of civilians out of conflict-affected areas”. Fighting broke out in Tripoli at the beginning of April, when General Khalifa Haftar, commander of the self-styled Libyan National Army, began a military campaign to take Tripoli from fighters loyal to the UN-recognized Government. By the second week of the month, casualties were in the hundreds, and the number of displaced, in the thousands.  To date, the UN has recorded close to 350 people killed, including 22 civilians, and over 1,650 wounded, including 74 civilians. Ms. Bachelet noted that the actual number of civilians killed or injured “is likely to be higher”. “The hospitals are overwhelmed with injured people requiring surgery,” said Dr. Hussein Hassan, Health Emergencies Team leader for the World Health Organization in Libya. “WHO’s emergency medical teams are helping them save lives,” he explained, adding that the “EMTs work into the wee hours to handle complicated surgical cases.” “Some specialists, like the vascular surgeon, are travelling from one place to another to cover two hospitals,” he added. In just over a week, WHO’s three medical teams have performed 144 major surgeries and 104 minor surgeries in a little more than a week. As conflict intensifies, the UN is lacking funding to carry out critical interventions. Along with other humanitarian partners, it launched a common flash appeal for US$ 10.2 million to assist about 100,000 people specifically affected by the surge in violence around Tripoli. “The escalation of attacks in residential areas, including the use of artillery, rockets and airstrikes is deeply worrying. Thousands of children, women and men’s lives are at risk,” Ms. Bachelet said, calling on all parties to fully respect international human rights and humanitarian law. The recent escalation of violence in Libya’s capital, Tripoli, has uprooted the lives of thousands of innocent civilians. The @UNHumanRights chief, @mbachelet, calls for respect of international humanitarian law and a humanitarian truce:— UN News (@UN_News_Centre) April 30, 2019 read more

John Humphrys prompts diplomatic complaint after mentioning Mexican standoff on Today programme

first_imgVeteran broadcaster John Humphrys almost caused a diplomatic incident on the BBC Today show, angering the Mexican Embassy.A letter of protest arrived on his desk at BBC Radio 4 after those in the embassy misheard something he said on the programme.They thought he said he had used the phrase “Mexican standards” to describe shoddy building practices.However, he had actually said “Mexican stand-off”.Mr Humphrys jokingly compared himself to Donald Trump after the incident.In his column in Waitrose Weekend magazine yesterday, Humphrys, who also presents Mastermind on BBC Two, wrote: “President Trump has outraged Mexico with his wall plans and for one nasty moment recently I feared I might have done the same.”A letter arrived from the acting ambassador complaining about my references to Mexicans. Apparently I had used the expression ‘Mexican standards’ to describe shoddy building practices.”Serious stuff. Except I hadn’t. In a swift follow-up he acknowledged the phrase I had actually used, referring to a dispute between the builders and customers, was ‘Mexican stand-off’. “Crisis averted. Over to you Mr Trump.” 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.last_img read more

RCT identifies safety improvements at Glencores Hail Creek coal mine

first_imgRCT has installed an AusProTec™ LED numbering system to a fleet of seven surface mine water trucks at Glencore’s Hail Creek coal operation in the Bowen Basin of Queensland, AustraliaThe system will help improve positive identification of fleet numbering from the rear of the water trucks, according to RCT, and was implemented when key site personnel visited Glencore’s Clermont coal mine and saw RCT’s LED numbering system in operation first-hand.“This initiative is just another way Glencore is safeguarding operators,” RCT said.The AusProTec Heavy Duty LED has been specifically designed for the mining industry, according to RCT. With tough aluminium housing, rated to IP69 and 10G vibration testing, these LED lights are designed to withstand the harshest conditions.Glencore only began operating Hail Creek in August following the acquisition of Rio Tinto’s 82% interest in the mine.Coal is predominantly mined from two seams at Hail Creek: the Elphinstone Seam, with an average thickness of 6.4 m, and the Hynds Seam, averaging 8.3 m in thickness. Mining is undertaken by a dragline, truck and shovel method. In 2017, the mine produced around 9.4 Mt of hard coking and thermal coal (5.3 Mt HCC and 4.1 Mt TC).last_img read more

The danger is unquantifiable Prison officers say there are 28 gang factions

first_img By Michelle Hennessy Image: Sasko ‘The danger is unquantifiable’: Prison officers say there are 28 gang factions in Mountjoy alone The POA said prison officers are dealing with assaults on a daily basis. Share27 Tweet Email1 22,040 Views Not alone must we ensure the security around ongoing detention we must manage and control systems, which protect the gangs from each other and protect individuals from assaults by gang members, for various reasons.Mitchell said the majority of prisoners just want to serve their time but there is a minority, particularly those with links to major gangs, who view time in prison as “an extension of the gang culture with all the accompanying violence and control over other vulnerable people”.“This activity involves feuding, assaults, threats, drug and weapon smuggling and an ongoing determination to control crime and punishment on the outside”.POA President Tony Power also spoke about attempts by these gangs to smuggle drugs into the prisons. In one week alone in March this year he said over 50 packages of contraband were either delivered by drones or thrown into the exercise yards in Wheatfield Prison.“Without investment in nets for these yards the only workable interim solution is to stop prisoner exercise on reserve period,” he said.“The danger linked to these incidents is unquantifiable. Prison officers, as officers, will put their own health and safety at risk in an effort to retrieve this contraband. Up until 2014 our canine unit had the facility to use patrol dogs in such situations but some genius decided that staff in blue shirts would be more effective than these highly trained dogs.”Speaking at the conference, Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan said he acknowledged the work of prison staff is “challenging and demanding”.He said he shared their concerns about increasing numbers in Irish prisons.“While, it is still important to note that we have relatively low imprisonment rates by international standards, ensuring a safe working environment for you is a key priority for me and the director general.”The minister also addressed the issue of contraband being thrown or dropped into yards. He described drones as a “threat to prison security” and said a potential solution to address these contraband drops has been identified.He said it will shortly be trialled in one prison and if it is successful it will be rolled out across the system. PRISON OFFICERS HAVE expressed concern about the number of gangs in Irish prisons and about their regularly violent behaviour.Speaking at the Prison Officers Association annual delegate conference in Sligo today, deputy general secretary Jim Mitchell said prison officers are dealing with threats of violence, prisoner on prisoner assaults and personal assaults on a daily basis.“There are roughly 28 different gangs and factions operating within Mountjoy prison alone, some are well-known and high-profile. There are over 230 prisoners on protection within the prison, for their own safety – and this adds to the burden placed on prison staff. Image: Sasko LazarovRollingNews.iecenter_img May 2nd 2019, 5:39 PM Thursday 2 May 2019, 5:39 PM 39 Comments Short URL Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Hot temperatures in Destination TCI quiet storm weekend forecast

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Tropical Storm Don headed for the Caribbean Less Active storm season says Natl Hurricane Center in Miami Related Items:el nino, hot, National Hurricane Center System becomes Tropical Storm Danny Recommended for you Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 14 Aug 2015 – The coolest part of the country today was in the more northern Turks and Caicos Islands: Middle and North Caicos with real feel temperatures still sweltering around 97°. The forecast in Provo shows that there is no rain in sight until August 25, but don’t get too excited as that date is ten days from now and the weather will likely change. Now, at mid-August we are officially in the height of the Atlantic Hurricane Season, but the basin is showing an all clear for at least the next two days. It was explained by the National Hurricane Center that it will be a less active season, the below normal potential has increased thanks to an El Niño factor.last_img read more

Minister of Transport and Local Government Visits the IMO

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppUnited Kingdom, August 4, 2017 – London – The Honourable Frankie Campbell, M. P., Minister of Transport and Local Government of The Bahamas, paid a courtesy call on the H. E. Kitack Lim, Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), on Friday 14th July, 2017 at the IMO Headquarters in London, United Kingdom.The Minister was accompanied by H. E. Eldred E. Bethel, High Commissioner and Permanent Representative of The Bahamas to the IMO, Mr. Don Saunders, M. P., Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly, Commodore Davy Rolle, CEO and Managing Director of The Bahamas Maritime Authority and Mr. Bernis Pinder, Maritime Liaison, Bahamas High Commission, London.During the Courtesy Call the Secretary-General congratulated Minister Campbell on his appointment as Minister of Transport and Local Government.  The Minister provided the Secretary-General with an update on the work his Ministry is undertaking, the Maritime Cadets programme for High School students between grades 10-12, and the LJM Maritime Academy.The Bahamas is currently seeking re-election to the Council of the International Maritime Organization under category C. The Bahamas is the sixth largest contributor to the IMO budget.  The Bahamas remains the flag of choice for passenger ships.  The HARMONY OF THE SEAS, the world’s largest passenger ship, is registered with The Bahamas.The Minister was in London to participate in the 44th Anniversary of independence events hosted by the High Commissioner and to assist with the campaign for re-election to the IMO Council.Press Release: BISPHOTO CAPTIONSPhoto 1- H.E. Kitack Lim, Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the Honourable Frankie Campbell, M.P., Minister of Transport and Local Government of The Bahamas at a Courtesy Call at the IMO Headquarters on Friday 14 July, 2017, London, United Kingdom.Header photo – Mr. Donald L. Saunders, M.P., Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly, H.E. Kitack Lim, Secretary-General of the IMO, and the Honourable Frankie Campbell, M.P., Minister of Transport and Local Government of The Bahamas at a Courtesy Call at the IMO Headquarters on Friday 14 July, 2017, London, United Kingdom. Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApplast_img read more

Manchester United get a reality check

first_imgAccording to manager Ole Gunnar Solsjaer, today’s defeat against Paris Saint-Germain will be a reality check for them.Presnel Kimpembe and Kylian Mbappe scored to lift French Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain to a 2-0 win over English Premier League side Manchester United.And for Red Devils manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, this was a reality check for the until-then unbeaten team.United managed to win nine of their first 10 matches, drawing once.And now they have one defeat too.“You can’t lay down and say it’s over,” Solskjaer told the BBC.“We are going to have to go down there, believe in ourselves, play a good game and improve from today obviously.”“Today was a kind of a reality check on the level of the top teams,” he commented.“We had quality players come on, but they gave us something and let’s hope they are not too serious,” he said about Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial who were subbed out injured.Harry Maguire, Manchester UnitedLiverpool legend Nicol slams Harry Maguire’s Man United form Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Steve Nicol believes Harry Maguire has made some “horrendous mistakes” recently, and has failed to find his best form since joining Manchester United.“They are muscle injuries, we have to wait a couple of days.”“You can see that we’ve not played games at this level for a while, we will have to learn from this experience,” he continued.“It was one of those experiences that can go either way, it’s not going to be a season-defining one for us. It has to be one that we are going to learn from.”United will now play against Chelsea in the FA Cup Fifth Round on Monday while hosting first-place Liverpool on Sunday in English Premier League action.The second leg of their UEFA Champions League series against PSG will be on March 6th in Paris, France.Ole: “It’s not going to be a season-defining one for us. It has to be one that we’re going to learn from.” #MUFC #UCL— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 12, 2019last_img read more