Alleged PATH stabber Rohinie Bisesar declared unfit to stand trial

first_imgTORONTO – A woman charged in an apparently unprovoked fatal stabbing in Toronto’s financial district was declared unfit to stand trial Tuesday, with a judge ordering her to spend two months receiving treatment at a mental health facility.Rohinie Bisesar faces one count of first-degree murder in the death of Rosemarie Junor, a 28-year-old newlywed who was stabbed at a Shoppers Drug Mart in Toronto’s popular underground PATH network of shops in December 2015.Bisesar was originally slated to stand trial in January 2018, but the Crown requested she receive a fitness assessment.That hearing began before a jury on Monday, with Bisesar claiming she hears unseen people speaking to her who control her actions. She also claimed Junor is not really dead.Forensic psychiatrist Dr. Ian Swayze testified that Bisesar has a mental illness consistent with schizophrenia and experiences delusions, auditory hallucinations, disordered thoughts and paranoia.Because of her condition, Bisesar could not effectively conduct her own defence or instruct defence counsel, Swayze told the court.Fitness requires that a person be able to instruct their lawyer, understand why they’re in court and who the major players are, including the judge and prosecutor.The jury at the fitness hearing found Bisesar unfit to stand trial after a short deliberation on Tuesday.Justice John McMahon, who was presiding over the matter, then ordered Bisesar to spend 60 days in treatment at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, a standard measure for people deemed unfit for trial, known as a “treatment order.”Bisesar will likely be given anti-psychotic and anti-anxiety medications while at CAMH, the court heard.She is scheduled to return to court on Feb. 9. At that point, a new hearing will be scheduled to determine if Bisesar’s treatment has resulted in her being fit to stand trial, her defence lawyer Robert Karrass said.“If she has become fit, we are then able to proceed towards trial,” Karrass said. “If she is not fit then we would ask for an additional treatment order or ‘keep fit’ order to make sure she is getting her treatment.”Biseasar listened quietly to McMahon as he issued her treatment order. When given an opportunity to address the court, she said she wanted staff at CAMH to examine her face for “implants” which she said could be affecting her behaviour.Bisesar also asked to fire Karrass and represent herself — a request she made numerous times throughout the fitness hearing.McMahon responded that someone found unfit is not legally allowed to represent themselves.“These folks (on the jury) decided, rightly or wrongly, that you are not fit right now to proceed to trial,” McMahon said. “Once you’re fit we can have a bunch of discussions about whether you’d like to have a (self-represented) trial.”Bisesar will be transferred to CAMH as soon as space opens up there, likely within the next two weeks, McMahon said. Until then she will remain at a jail in Milton, Ont.last_img read more

No winning ticket for Saturday nights 9 million Lotto 649 jackpot

first_imgTORONTO – No winning ticket was sold for the $9 million jackpot in Saturday night’s Lotto 649 draw.However, the guaranteed $1 million dollar prize went to a ticket holder in Ontario.The jackpot for the next Lotto 649 draw on Dec. 20 will be approximately $12 million.last_img

Volunteers offer free eye care to seniors in Vancouvers Downtown Eastside

first_imgVANCOUVER – A gaggle of seniors waits patiently inside the doors of the Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood House, where the sound of Mandarin and Cantonese voices fills the air.They take turns sitting down at one of three tables, piled with optometric tools and gear. One at a time, eye specialists peer into their pupils and ask them to look through lens after lens, until they find just the right fit, often with the help of a translator.Bao Qin Song is one of 50 pre-selected seniors who were offered free basic eye care and prescription glasses, as part of the Eyeglasses Project, on Sunday.Qin Song says it’s been five years since she had her prescription checked. She can only read for five minutes before she loses focus with her current glasses.“I use the glasses but the glasses are no good,” Qin Song said.She said she didn’t know how to get a new prescription, so she was happy when a volunteer told her on Saturday that there would be free eye exams for Chinese, low-income seniors who live in the neighbourhood.“Today, the doctor checked my eyes. He changed the glasses. Oh! Good, good, good! Use that. I thought, this doctor is very good.”Project founder Howard Ma, a chartered financial analyst, says the idea came to him when he had to buy new glasses himself last year.“I remembered my last pair cost about $800 and I thought, wow, I don’t want to do that again. And then I started thinking, what do the poor and low-income do about their eyes,” Ma said.“I’ve worn glasses since I was five years old and I know I can’t function without glasses.”In October, the Canadian Association of Optometrists warned of a looming “vision crisis” in a submission to a House of Commons standing committee due to Canada’s aging population.Seniors 65 and older are projected to make up 20 per cent of the Canadian population by 2024, according to Statistics Canada.With that will come an increase in age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and cataracts, the association said.“Maintaining eye health, preventing avoidable vision loss, and managing age-related eye disease is a public health imperative and key to improving the overall quality of life and well-being of seniors,” it said.The Eyeglasses Project is a collaboration between Douglas College, the Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood House and the Richmond Chinatown Lions Club.Ma says he hopes the project raises awareness about the demand for basic needs and services in the community and inspires others to get involved.If the project proves successful he hopes to continue it with more volunteers.Another volunteer, Lily Hecht, waits to have her eyes checked.Hecht is a senior who recently moved to the Downtown Eastside from Ottawa, after her husband died, to be closer to family.She says she had cataract operations in both eyes in recent years and has been told she might have glaucoma, so she was happy for the opportunity to get an exam.“Sometimes I have to get a bit closer before I can see the signs. If I’m walking or driving, I don’t have good long-distance sight,” Hecht says.last_img read more

Arizona Mining shares up on takeover offer by Australian company South32

first_imgVANCOUVER – Shares of Arizona Mining Inc. soared in early trading after the company announced a deal to be acquired by Australian company South32 Ltd. that valued the company at about $2.1 billion.Under the deal, South32, which already holds a 17 per cent stake in the company, has agreed to pay $6.20 per share for the shares it does not already hold.Shares in Arizona Mining were up $2.00 or about 48 per cent at $6.13 in trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.The deal requires approval by a two-thirds majority vote by shareholders including South32 and a simple majority of shareholders excluding South32.The company says directors and officers of Arizona Mining, who own a 34 per cent stake in the company, entered into voting support agreements.Arizona Mining owns the Hermosa base-metals project in southern Arizona.Companies in this story: (TSX:AZ)last_img read more

Cooperators expands storm surge insurance offering in Atlantic Canada

first_imgThe Co-operators Group Ltd. has expanded its storm surge insurance coverage in Atlantic Canada after several high-profile weather events in the region.The insurer is making the coverage available for the first time to homeowners in New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island.The company said Monday that the comprehensive water insurance provides coverage for storm surges, overflowing lakes, rivers and creeks and sewer or septic backup.“Overland flooding has been identified as the most pervasive and costliest cause of damage to Canadian homes, yet most are inadequately protected against this growing risk,” said Co-operators CEO Rob Wesseling in a statement.The Co-operator’s coverage was recently released in Nova Scotia.Atlantic Canada was hit by major flooding this past April and May that saw water levels reach and sometimes exceed levels last seen in the 2008 flood.Insurer Aviva introduced its overland water protection flood insurance across Canada in 2015 in recognition of changing weather patterns.Many insurance companies started flood insurance programs after the Alberta flood of 2013 caused more than $4 billion in uninsured losses.About three-quarters of Canada’s major insurance companies now offer overland flood coverage, according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada.The Co-operators first offered overland flood insurance in Alberta in 2015 and expanded the coverage to Ontario in 2016.last_img read more

King Mohammed VIs Dialogue Offer to Algeria to Fall on Deaf

Washington D.C – Unlike in the past when the King devoted the bulk of his speech to defending Morocco’s position on the Sahara and denouncing Algeria’s efforts to thwart Morocco’s efforts to end the conflict, the Moroccan monarch sounded a friendly tone towards Algeria, opening Morocco’s arms and offering to engage in meaningful dialogue without preconditions and in good faith.The flavor of the speech elicited the praise of several countries, such as France, Spain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Mauritania, Jordan as well as the United Nations Secretary-General. They were all unanimous in supporting Morocco’s offer to engage in dialogue with Algeria.Algeria has still not issued any official statement on the Moroccan offer. Meanwhile, analysts are wondering whether the Moroccan offer is genuine and seeks to appease tensions between the two countries and pave the way towards a normalization of their relations or whether it is a ruse intended to embarrass the Algerian government. King Mohammed VI firmly believes in the MaghrebFor starters, though King Mohammed VI has placed the Maghreb on the back burner in his recent speeches, the King has always been a firm believer in the need to achieve the unity and integration of Maghreb countries, mainly Morocco and Algeria. In his Ph.D. thesis, which he defended when he was still crown prince in 1993, King Mohammed VI argued that building a unified Maghreb and ending the rivalry between Morocco and Algeria was the only way for Maghreb countries to receive fair treatment from the European Union.Since his ascendance to the throne, King Mohammed VI has repeatedly advocated for the reopening of the border between the two countries, expressed Morocco’s readiness to normalize its relations with Algeria, and called on Algerian officials to engage in dialogue. The border has been closed since 1994.In the summer of 2004, the Moroccan government lifted the visa requirement for Algerian travelers willing to visit Morocco. Ever since, Morocco has called on many occasions for the reopening of land borders between the two countries. However, its calls fell on deaf ears with Algerian officials not showing any willingness to make reciprocal overtures.What makes Morocco’s new invitation noteworthy is the appeasing tone of the King, as well as the context in which it was framed. The offer was made in the wake of the adoption of Resolution 2440, which extended the mandate of the UN mission to the Western Sahara, known as MINURSO, for six months. For the first time since 2002 and since the start of the UN-led political process in 2007, Algeria is mentioned in a Security Council resolution on the conflict on quasi-equal footing with Morocco.While Algeria it still not considered a party to the conflict, the new language of the resolution could open the door progressively for the Security Council to consider it as party to it. In addition, the resolution adds new language that puts more emphasis on the need for neighboring states, Algeria and Mauritania, to engage in the political process.Morocco shows willingness to turn the pageIn light of the new language of the resolution and in preparation for the roundtable, which will take place in Geneva December 5-6 under the auspices of the UN personal envoy for Western Sahara, Horst Kohler, Morocco wants to place on record for the whole world to see that it is willing to engage in genuine and honest dialogue to thaw tension between the two countries and prepare conditions for confidence-building between its officials, which could eventually pave the way towards normalizing ties between the two countries. By doing so, Morocco conveys to the Security Council its willingness to engage Algeria and work with it towards reaching an understanding on ways to overcome all the obstacles to solve the Western Sahara conflict. In the event Algeria rejects Morocco’s offer, the latter could argue that it has done its part to for constructive dialogue between the two countries, but the other party has refused.But it remains uncertain whether Algeria will reject or accept Morocco’s invitation to engage in honest and meaningful dialogue. There are two scenarios for how Algeria will react to Morocco’s offer: One is very optimistic and may prove to be wishful thinking, and the other is a more realistic prospect that will most likely come to pass. Under the first scenario, Algeria will follow the logic of history, geography, shared language, and religion and open its arms to Morocco. In recent years, many former Algerian officials have deplored the closure of the border between the two countries and called on their leaders to end this anachronism.In addition, there have been many grassroots initiatives organized on both sides of the borders calling on the two countries to normalize their ties. As recently as July 22, Moroccan newspaper Al Ahdath Al Maghribia reported that Moroccan and Algerian associations organized a march from the Moroccan city of Oujda and the Algerian city of Maghniya towards the border at Zouj Bghal.Algeria will reject Morocco’s offer for dialogueUnder the second scenario, which I believe is the most likely, Algeria will turn down Morocco’s offer and insist that opening dialogue or the border would be contingent on Morocco’s acceptance of conditions Algeria laid down in 2013.Reacting to Morocco’s call to Algeria to reopen the border at the time, the spokesperson of the Algerian government stressed that it would only happen with “the cessation of the smear campaign against Algeria; a sincere, efficient and productive cooperation against the aggression that we undergo daily in the field of drug infiltration; as well as the respect of the position of the Algerian Government with regard to the question of Western Sahara which we consider to be a question of decolonization which must find a settlement in accordance with international law within the United Nations.”There is also a possibility that Algeria will never react officially to Morocco’s offer. While Algerian officials have not officially reacted to King Mohammed VI’s demand, some former Algerian officials and an authorized source told Algerian media that the Moroccan offer is “suspicious.”Over the past five years, there has been no sign indicating that Algeria is ready to open a new chapter in bilateral relations. The same leadership is still governing the country, and the military and the intelligence services still maintain the upper hand on decision-making. In addition, Algeria has left no stone unturned to thwart every Moroccan effort to advance its position on the Western Sahara conflict. Algeria has continued its efforts to undermine Morocco and opposed its return to the African Union behind the scenes, though to no avail.Facts belie Algeria’s statementsWhile the Algerian government continues to claim that it has no vested interests in the Western Sahara conflict and is only a neighboring country, the facts on the ground and information in the public domain belies those claims. It is an open secret that Algeria is Polisario’s main lifeline, and without it, the separatist group would stand no chance to survive nor enjoy diplomatic support.It is self-evident that Algeria supports the Polisario at the financial, political, diplomatic, and military levels. A quick comparison between Mauritania, another neighboring country concerned with the conflict, and Algeria shows the difference between an actual neighboring country and a real party to the conflict. Despite some periods of tension with Morocco, there is no evidence that Mauritania has provided military, diplomatic, financial, or political support to the Polisario. Nor is there any evidence that Mauritania has ever lobbied foreign governments on behalf of Polisario.Conversely, Algeria not only hosts Polisario and supports it financially, militarily, and diplomatically, but it also lobbies foreign governments on behalf of the separatist group. Over the past 27 years, the Algerian government has relied mainly on the services of lobbying firm Foley Hoag to help it secure US support for the Polisario Front. Since it renewed its contract with Foley Hoag in 2007, the Algerian government has been spending $400,000 per year to ensure that Morocco does not end the conflict in its favor. Recently, Foley Hoag was among the signatories of a letter sent to the Security Council on September 28, which called for pressuring Morocco to enter into direct negotiations with Polisario and for preserving the right of the Sahrawis to choose their future.  Furthermore, the recent developments at the Security Council have provided more evidence that Algeria is a party to the Western Sahara conflict. As a result of the new dynamic created by Security Council Resolution 2440, Algeria moved to sign a new lobbying contract worth $360,000 per year with Keene Consulting. David Keene, the chairman of the firm, is the former president of the US National Rifle Association, and a close friend to US National Security Adviser John Bolton.It is very telling that the new contract was signed just three days after the Security Council adopted a new resolution in which Algeria is mentioned for the first time and in which it is called upon to participate in the political process without preconditions and in good faith. Keene was quoted by Al Monitor as saying that he “will work on issues related to the disputed Western Sahara as well as military and defense cooperation.”This will not be the first time Keene will work on behalf of the Algerian government. Keene had already lobbied the Bush administration and Congress on behalf of Algeria as part of the lobbying contract signed between the Algerian government and the Carmen Group in 2006-2007. In addition, in 2010 he authored an op-ed in the Hill in which he lashed out at Morocco and used the same talking points used by the Algerian government regarding the Western Sahara conflict. In June 2016, he authored an hagiographic op-ed about former Polisario leader Mohamed Abdelaziz in which he described him as “great leader” and a “Muslim democrat.” Based on these facts, I am intimately convinced that Algeria is determined to pursue the same aggressive and malignant foreign policy against Morocco and will, therefore, deem King Mohammed VI’s offer for dialogue a non-starter. As Algeria is ruled by the same political and military oligarchy, it would be illusory to think the opening of a new chapter in relations between the two countries is possible. In Algeria’s foreign policy doctrine, Morocco is not viewed as a partner, but as an adversary and an existential threat to its dream for hegemony over the region.Nevertheless, regardless of Algeria’s reaction to Morocco’s offer, King Mohammed VI will have succeeded in exposing its duplicity and blatant contradictions. The Moroccan monarch is undoubtedly aware that his offer will fall on deaf ears like his previous offers, but he made it, nonetheless, to embarrass Algeria and expose its contradictions.Algeria is now facing a tough dilemma. If it accepts Morocco’s offer without preconditions, it will leave the door open for future bilateral talks between the two countries about the Sahara. If it rejects the offer based on the claim that Morocco should respect its position on the conflict and that Algeria is not a party to it, it would be contradicted by the lobbying contracts it signed with Washington D.C.-based companies to lobby the Trump administration and Congress about the same conflict.The deafening silence of the Algerian government five days after King Mohammed’s offer is very telling about the confusion in which Algerian officials have found themselves after the Moroccan monarch took them by surprise.Samir Bennis is the co-founder of Morocco World News. You can follow him on Twitter @SamirBennis. read more

Srilankan flight delayed following late arrival of crew member

The airline was expected to depart at 0400 UTC today once Frankfurt airport reopened after the scheduled night time closure. A Srilankan Airlines flight which was heading to Colombo from Frankfurt, Germany took several hours to leave Frankfurt as a flight crew member got late to arrive at the airport to board the plane.Srilankan Airlines said that flight UL554 from Frankfurt to Colombo was unable to leave Frankfurt as scheduled last afternoon as the flight crew member was not on the plane at the time. Srilankan Airlines said all passengers affected by the delay have been provided with meals and accommodation. They will also be compensated as per EU regulations. (Colombo Gazette)

Security Council condemns targeting and use of children in armed conflict

The United Nations Security Council today strongly condemned the targeting and use of children in armed conflicts and called on all warring parties to immediately desist from such practices. In a statement read out in an open meeting by its current President, Ambassador Kishore Mahbubani of Singapore, the Council expressed its commitment to the protection of children affected by armed conflict as an essential component of its work to promote and maintain world peace and security. Meeting on the eve of a UN General Assembly session devoted to children’s issues, the Council underscored the importance of ensuring unhindered humanitarian access to children, and called on parties to conflict to make special arrangements to protect and assist the youngsters. The Council also reaffirmed its call for the inclusion of provisions to protect children, with particular attention to the special needs of girls, in peace negotiations and agreements. Speaking at the outset of the meeting, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Olara Otunnu, said that when adults waged war, it was children that paid the highest price. In conflict situations children were killed and maimed, made orphans and refugees, he said. “Every day that a child lives in fear, pain or danger of violence of war, is another day where we have not done enough,” added Graca Machel, former Independent Expert of the Secretary-General on the Impact on Armed Conflict on Children, and author of the recent book Impact of War on Children. For her part, the Executive Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Carol Bellamy, drew the Council’s attention to need to protect children in war zones from abuse, sexual violence and rape. Also participating in today’s session were three children from war-affected countries – East Timor, Liberia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Each appealed to the Council to use its influence to stop war and protect children from disastrous consequences of conflict.Video – Security Council meeting read more

Brock community raises nearly 26 million for bursaries

Brock’s endowment has increased nearly $2.6 million this year to help students with financial needs, thanks to generous donors and an Ontario government program that multiplied donated bursary money raised by the university this year.Between April 1, 2009 and March 31, 2010, donors gave Brock more than $757,000 for student financial awards, which was enough to qualify for a further $1.8 million match from the Ontario Trust for Student Support (OTSS).“It is truly amazing what we can do when we work together to achieve our goals,” said Doug Earle, executive director of The Campaign for a Bold New Brock. “The energy and determination shown by the Brock community has been an inspiration to behold.”“Talented students who may have not been able to afford a university education will now be eligible for a financial boost,” Earle said. “This nearly $2.6 million addition to our endowment will assist 75 more Ontario students in financial need to attend Brock each and every year.”The province’s OTSS program offers matching funds based on how much universities raise to be used for awards for Ontario students with financial need. Total gifts from Brock’s donors surpassed the Brock target set by the government, which ultimately qualified the university for extra provincial dollars on a $1-for-$2.42 basis.Compared to other Ontario universities, Brock was more than 250 per cent above its historic average — the highest percentage for universities targeted by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities for increasing endowments at universities that are per capita below the provincial average. And at 54 per cent above its goal, Brock had the second highest percentage of over-goal results for Ontario universities.In this current economy, many students are earning less and borrowing more. With more than 3,000 Brock students graduating this June, the Canadian University Survey Consortium suggests that more than half of them will graduate with debt, owing an average of $26,680 — an increase of 18 per cent from 2003. read more

EYEWITNESS Double standards…

…on “vulgarity”Over in Carnival Land, folks are all riled up about what constitutes “vulgarity” in their emblematic art form of Calypso. Now that’s more than a bit ironic, isn’t it? CalypsoORIGINATED in Trinidad when slaves wanted to tell-off their “massas” in the most ribald terms. They got away with it under the cover of the Carnival brought over by the French planters who’d fled the revolution in Haiti. Obviously it was heavily influenced by surviving African customs and cultures.It became praised as the “people’s newspaper” when social commentary became “the thing” and everyone became fair game for their bubbles and pretentions to be pricked and punctured. The tradition of Calypso provided a space for “Chutney” to develop in the Indian-Trinidadian community. Soca (SOul-CAlypso) was another derivation, which added some Chutney/Indian influences to the two acknowledged genres. The “Chutney-Soca Monarch” joined the “Calypso Monarch” as the crowning achievement in these “art forms”.But this year, up comes this Chutney singer Neermal “Massive” Gosein who releases a composition “Rowley Mudda Count” which was promptly banned from entering the extremely lucrative Chutney Monarch Competition, claiming the double entendre, “Mudda Count” (get it?) is disrespectful to Prime Minister Rowley’s mother. The PNM’s women’s wing denounced the composition as also being disrespectful to women in general and mothers in particular. More troubling was the Telecommunications Authority of TT (TATT) warning broadcasters about playing the ‘derogatory” song.“Massive” promptly cried “FOUL”!! and pointed out that for years Calypsonians had been allowed to get away with double entendre-laden calypsos directed at women in general and women politicians in particular without criticisms. They were protected by “freedom of speech” and allowed “artistic licence”. Massive specifically mentioned one calypso on Oma, the wife of then Prime Minister Basdeo Panday – “Oma AcCOUNT BIG”! or Crazy’s “Yer Mudda Come”.He also pointed out that Rowley himself was famous for misogynic statements: “he compared women to a golf course that needs grooming; referring to a 65-year-old woman by using the term “Jammetery”; telling a woman, she could bark at meh dog, because I goh ignore she cyat.” Massive finally concluded that it wasn’t just a matter of “different strokes for different folks” but a matter of different standards for different ethnic groups. Africans, he said, could make scatological comments about Indians – women and men – and that was “poetic” but when he as an Indian Chutney singer does no less – it’s “vulgar”!Over here in Guyana, your Eyewitness wonders if the same sociological imperatives are at work, when Simona “I is” Broomes can “boom out” against Jagdeo in Parliament without reproach; but the latter is “vulgar” when his MP’s raise placards there.…on inclusive democracyWhen the coalition was in the Opposition, one of their major talking points that gained traction in the general populace was on “constitutional change” that would make the political system become more “inclusive”. By and large, Guyanese of all stripes know that while the coalition may have “won” the elections in 2015, Guyana has LOST because the PNC-led coalition Government has broken their promise to include the Opposition in their governance structure. To a large extent, the present malaise gripping the country is a consequence of the PNC’s insistence of tightly monopolising the reins of power.The PNC has clearly reverted to form in this area. When Burnham was eased into office in1964, he not only chafed at the bits to get rid of the UF. He effectively banished the members of the UDP – which his faction of the PPP had coalesced with to form the PNC. Carter and Kendall were given foreign ambassadorships which took them out of the local play.Witness the fate of the AFC and WPA today.…on agri developmentHave you noticed which rural coastal villages are being drained and irrigated? Or that the big bucks for agri are now directed towards the interior savannahs?Burnham always said “last licks better than first licks”. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedRespondents not satisfied with quality of Mash Soca/Calypso musicFebruary 23, 2014In “Local News”Culture Ministry geared for Mashramani activitiesJanuary 17, 2015In “Business”MASH 2019: 39 events and activities planned for regions across GuyanaJanuary 14, 2019In “latest news” read more

Savings

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram The cut in interest rates last week was a good story for mortgage holders, but now what for savers? With the cash rate at 3.75 per cent, what do Australia’s retirees and near-retiring workers do? The 0.5 per cent rate cut is money saved for mortgage holders but it’s less income for those relying on cash deposits, term deposits and fixed income products. And in this country savers outnumber mortgage holders by almost three to one. Savers have some thinking to do, especially if we have a minor recession and the Reserve Bank cuts the cash rate again to kick start economic activity. The banks are in the process of adjusting down their mortgage rates, which will take effect over the next few weeks, pushing down their cash and term deposit rates, which will happen immediately. For those in retirement or close to it, shares and property carry liquidity and market risk that they’d rather not take on. For this large cohort of people, the choices come down to putting your money in a transaction account, a designated high interest savings account or a term deposit. Let’s start with the last one. As the banks cut their deposit rates, you’ll notice more movement in some types of term deposit than others. The average 12-month TD rate at banks will drop to around 5.25 per cent and the 30- and 60-day TD rates will on average drop to around 5 per cent or less. Right now the sweet spot is going to be the 90- and 180-day term deposits which will settle at around 5.3 to 5.5 per cent in the next two weeks. Banks have a need of intermediate funding right now, so they will bid for your money by making offers on 90- and 180-day term deposits as attractive as they can. However, it’s always worth looking around for alternative deposit opportunities, such as something like Yellow Brick Road’s Smarter Money trust, which is returning about 6.0 per cent after fees. Your goal should be to have a spread of investments to diversify your risk. If you’re not comfortable with shutting your money away for a set term, you’ll either be looking at keeping your money in a transaction account, where you normally get zero per cent, or an online savings account where the 12 month average return is around 4.5 per cent, perhaps over 5.0 per cent. I make two points about these options. Firstly, earning zero per cent in a transaction account is not smart because with inflation running at around 2.5 per cent, you’re going backwards. Secondly, when investigating ‘bonus interest’ offers at an online savings account, the institution may offer you between 5.5 per cent and 6.0 per cent, but the rate will apply for three or four months, at which point it drops to around 4.5 per cent. There are going to be some good deals out there in the next month. Your job is to be informed not only about the market, but also about your own needs. * Mark Bouris is the Executive Chairman of Yellow Brick Road, a financial services company offering home loans, financial planning, accounting & tax and insurance. Email Mark on mark.neos@ybr.com.auwith any queries you may have.last_img read more

Adopt an olive tree in Messolongi

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Messolongi does not only boast Greece’s largest natural fish farm and world-famous sea salt but some of the country’s top quality olive groves producing outstanding olive-based products.Lekythos, a family-owned and operated collective of local olive growers have been making Greeks proud by producing world-class olive oil and olive products and most importantly contributing to the crisis-stricken local economy. Lekythos’ expertise dates back at least four generations, cultivating olives with traditional, natural farming methods and without the use of fertilisers.Homer St’s Greek Australian Gina Lionatos is partnering with Lekythos to offer people an opportunity to become honorary Greek olive-farmers as well as some relief to independent Greek olive growers.“It was a friend from withing the industry put me in touch with them (Lekythos), a well known olive farming family in Messolongi generation upon generation,”she tells Neos Kosmos. “Their idea was wonderful and I instantly loved the concept of how someone who lives so far away from Greece could still be involved, have almost a tangible experience and a thing to their name in Greece, something they can really be a part of even from a distance.”As a passionate Greek Australian that’s something that appealed to her right away; giving back to the local community. “Depending on the level of adoption, you will be receiving produce from the grove which you are contributing to,” Lionatos explains.“While helping local farmers revive and create new olive yards in the area, contributing to a mini economy you get an open invitation into the warm hospitality of Lekythos in Messolongi, to visit your adopted tree.”With this collaboration, both Lekythos and Lionatos wish to see this project grow organically through word of mouth and recommendation and to become a bridge for Greek Australians and Philhellenes to stay connected to Greece.“A very limited number of spots are available for the 2017 program, because we wanted to make sure that everyone that signs up will have an amazing experience,” she says. “We aspire to add more trees in Messolongi and extend the project to more countries.” To find out more go to www.homerst.com.au/products/adopt-a-greek-olive-tree For International orders (outside of Australia), please email info@homerst.com.aulast_img read more

Cameras capture crooks robbing man on Miami Beach

first_imgMIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) – Surveillance cameras captured four men walking toward the beach before, police said, they approached a man lying in the sand and robbed him.The robbery happened near 14th Street and the beach, early Tuesday morning.One of the robbers said they had a gun, police said. The other men then frisked the victim and took off with his watch and more than $100 in cash.If you have any information on this robbery, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img

Open School Class X Inter results released by Adimulapu Suresh

first_imgVijayawada: Education minister Adimulapu Suresh announced the Class X and Intermediate Open School advance supplementary results here on Thursday. He informed that the advance supplementary exam was held at 60 examination centres across the state and 14,676 candidates attended for Class X examination and 9,382 candidates passed with a pass percentage of 63. 93. Also Read – DGP Gautam Sawang warns over objectional posts on social media Advertise With Us Intermediate examination was conducted at 47 examination centres and 14,077 candidates attended the examination. As many as 7,478 students passed with pass percentage of 53.12. The minister said that in Class X results, candidates from Guntur district secured first position with 80 per cent and Kadapa district secured last position with 30 per cent pass percentage. In Intermediate examination results, Prakasam district secured first position with 71.96 pass percentage and West Godavari secured last position with 33.49 pass percentagelast_img read more

US to resume refugee admissions from Muslim nations NKorea

first_imgUS Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen testifies to the Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington. Photo: AFPThe United States will resume admissions for refugees from 11 countries identified as presenting a high security risk, but with extra vetting for these mostly Middle Eastern and African nations, senior US officials said on Monday.The changes came after a 90-day review of refugee admissions from Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Mali, North Korea, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria and Yemen by the State Department, Department of Homeland Security and intelligence agencies.The new rules are the latest changes to the US refugee program made by the administration of president Donald Trump to address what it sees as national security issues.Some of the administration’s actions, including an executive order to temporarily ban all refugees, have sparked lengthy court battles. Refugee advocates have said they see the administration’s actions as intended to reduce the number of refugees, particularly those from Muslim countries.During the review period, which lasted from late October to last week, admissions of refugees from those countries dropped sharply, according to a Reuters analysis of State Department data.The changes announced on Monday include additional screening for certain people from the 11 countries, and a periodic review of a list of countries identified as presenting higher security risks.The new guidelines were announced at a press briefing by senior administration officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity. They offered no details about which people from the 11 countries will be subject to the extra screening, citing security concerns.The list of “high-risk” countries was last updated by the Obama administration in 2015, the senior administration officials said.US Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen would like officials to factor in risks to the United States other than terrorism, such as transnational organized crime, a senior administration official said.During the briefing, officials said refugees will not be barred from admission to the United States solely on the basis of nationality.“The big picture is that there is no longer a refugee pause on countries, including the 11 high-risk countries, with these measures taking effect,” one senior administration official said in a briefing with reporters. “We’ll be resuming admissions with the new security measures in place.”In an address at the Wilson Center on Monday morning, Nielsen spoke about the new security measures, saying they “seek to prevent the program from being exploited by terrorists, criminals and fraudsters.”“These changes will not only improve security but importantly they will help us better assess legitimate refugees fleeing persecution,” she said.Refugee advocates said they worry the new security measures will block refugees from the 11 countries from admission to the United States.“Adding yet more hurdles to an already overly bureaucratic process will burden those seeking safety for themselves and their families,” Amnesty International USA said in a statement.Since becoming US president, Trump has imposed numerous limits on the refugee program, including capping the number of refugees allowed into the country in the 2018 fiscal year at less than half the number set by former President Barack Obama for 2017. He also issued an executive order pausing the refugee program pending a thorough review, instituted stricter vetting requirements and quit negotiations on a voluntary pact to deal with global migration.For each of the last three years, refugees from the 11 countries made up more than 40 per cent of US admissions. But a Reuters review of State Department data shows that as the 90-day review went into effect, refugee admissions from the 11 countries plummeted.Since 25 October, the day the 90-day review went into effect, 46 refugees from the 11 countries have been allowed into the United States, according to State Department data.last_img read more

List of razakars to be displayed in every union Minister

first_imgLiberation war affairs minister AKM Mozammel Huq. File PhotoLiberation war affairs minister AKM Mozammel Huq on Friday said a list of razakars as well as freedom fighters will be published and displayed in every union parishad by December, reports UNB.He said this while speaking at a meeting on approving the design of Mujibnagar Parjatan Motel in Meherpur.The meeting was jointly organised by liberation war affairs ministry and the Meherpur district administration.Housing and public works deputy chief Asifur Rahman Bhuiyan showed the main design of the Mujibnagar Smrity (Memorial) Centre.Minister Huq said the construction will start before 17 April next year.He said the government also plans to name roads, bridges and culverts after freedom fighters.Farhad Hossain, state minister for the ministry of public administration, attended the meeting as the special guest.Meherpur deputy commissioner Ataul Gani, superintendent of police SM Morad Ali and liberation war affairs ministry secretary SM Arif-ur-Rahman were also present.last_img read more

Female termites found to clone themselves via asexual reproduction

first_img © 2014 Phys.org (Phys.org) —A pair of researches with Kyoto University has found how the queen of one species of termite, Reticulitermes speratus, ensures her genetic lineage continues by creating duplicate copies of herself. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Toshihisa Yashiro and Kenji Matsuura describe the study they carried out that showed how queens in such colonies reproduce themselves. 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. Birds do it, bees do it; termites don’t, necessarily Explore further A soldier termite (Macrotermitinae) in the Okavango Delta. Credit: Wikipediacenter_img Scientists have known since 2009 that R. speratus queens created fatherless offspring which became queens themselves, but until now, the mechanism by which that came about has been a mystery. In this new effort, the researchers took a new look at the structure of the eggs laid by the queen to discover the difference between future queens and ordinary termites. Close inspection revealed tiny channels through the outer lining of the eggs called micropyles. The channels serve as an entry point for sperm, which the queen deposits on the eggs (after obtaining it from a male). Interestingly, the research pair found that the number of micropyles for any given egg appeared to be random, from one to more than thirty—the average was nine. Even more interesting was that the team soon learned that sometimes there were no micropyles at all in some eggs, which would of course mean that no sperm could enter to fertilize its contents—and the egg still matured and wound up in the creation of offspring. That offspring, because it had no DNA from a male, grew into a new queen. Such a process means that the females are fully in control of both sexual and asexual reproduction.Further study revealed that the queen only produces eggs with no microplyes when she gets older (females live on average for 11 years) thus, they serve as a means of queen replacement in a colony. This form of asexual reproduction called parthenogenesis is not unheard of in the animal kingdom—several other types of insects, lizards and even sharks use it as a form of reproduction. But this was the first time it’s been seen in termites as a form of self-cloning. The authors note that because the offspring that are born as clones eventually reproduce themselves too, and so on and on, the original queen can be considered genetically immortal. More information: Termite queens close the sperm gates of eggs to switch from sexual to asexual reproductionб Toshihisa Yashiro, PNAS, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1412481111AbstractMales and females are in conflict over genetic transmission in the evolution of parthenogenesis, because it enhances female reproductive output but deprives the males’ genetic contribution. For males, any trait that coerces females into sexual reproduction should increase their fitness. However, in the termite Reticulitermes speratus, queens produce their replacements (neotenic queens) parthenogenetically while using normal sexual reproduction to produce other colony members. Here, we show that termite queens produce parthenogenetic offspring in the presence of kings by closing the micropyles (sperm gates; i.e., openings for sperm entry) of their eggs. Our field survey showed that termite eggs show large variation in numbers of micropyles, with some having none. Microsatellite analysis showed that embryos of micropyleless eggs develop parthenogenetically, whereas those of eggs with micropyles are fertilized and develop sexually. Surveys of eggs among queens of different age groups showed that queens begin to lay micropyleless eggs when they are older and thus, need to produce their replacements parthenogenetically. In addition, we found clear seasonality in new neotenic queen differentiation and micropyleless egg production. This micropyle-dependent parthenogenesis is the first identification, to our knowledge, of the mechanism through which females control egg fertilization over time in diploid animals, implying a novel route of the evolution of parthenogenesis in favor of female interests without interference from males. Citation: Female termites found to clone themselves via asexual reproduction (2014, November 26) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-11-female-termites-clone-asexual-reproduction.html Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Scienceslast_img read more

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first_img November 27, 2011 — Candelis announced that it has reached a definitive agreement with Microsoft whereby Candelis’ ASTRA cloud-hosted suite of services will provide for the secure transferring of patient digital medical images and studies to patients’ Microsoft HealthVault accounts upon their request.Microsoft HealthVault is a personal health application platform that lets consumers gather, store and share health information online. These services benefit patients in a number of ways:Patients can obtain control of, archive and easily access their medical images stored in HealthVault from any Internet connection.Patients will have full control over their data and can grant access to family members or caregivers as they desire. As an example, expectant couples can easily share ultrasound images of their baby with loved ones.Patients can avoid unnecessary duplicate imaging procedures and associated healthcare costs.The connection of Candelis’ ASTRA Services with the HealthVault platform also benefits healthcare providers in the following ways:Access to past imagery can provide caregivers with more information to help improve patient care.Costly CD/DVD publishing and distribution can be eliminated.“Medical images are a critical component of a patient’s health record,” said Khan Siddiqui, M.D., principal program manager, Microsoft Health Solutions Group. “We’re excited to work with Candelis to bring patients an easy solution for managing and sharing their personal medical images online. ASTRA’s cloud-hosted image management services provide an efficient and vendor-agnostic image transport mechanism.”“The combination of Candelis ASTRA and Microsoft HealthVault will help users of the two technologies lessen the need for duplicate medical imaging procedures and materially reduce healthcare costs. Patients will now be able to consolidate access, control their own medical images and provide images electronically to other providers on their care team,” said Judy Hanover, Research Director at IDC Health Insights.“We are pleased to work with Microsoft regarding the use of Candelis’ ASTRA cloud services to augment HealthVault’s patient-centric services via the seamless inclusion of medical images. Microsoft’s transformative vision empowers patients by enabling them to assemble — for the first time — a central repository consisting of all of their health records,” said Steven Higgins, CTO of Candelis.The connected Candelis ASTRA and Microsoft HealthVault solution is already in use at a number of imaging facilities in the United States. “Our patients benefit greatly from online access to their consolidated medical imaging records. It truly empowers them; they can provide their physicians with a more comprehensive view of their medical history, which in turn helps to facilitate better outcomes,” said Yvette Almeida, CEO of Medical Park Diagnostics, a multi-location imaging practice in Miami.For more information: www.candelis.com FacebookTwitterLinkedInPrint分享 The CT scanner might not come with protocols that are adequate for each hospital situation, so at Phoenix Children’s Hospital they designed their own protocols, said Dianna Bardo, M.D., director of body MR and co-director of the 3D Innovation Lab at Phoenix Children’s. 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