INTERNATIONAL

first_imgMecca:Crane collapsed inside the Grand Mosque in Mecca (B) Lesbos : Refugees and migrants arrive from Turkey to Lesbos island (A) Vatican City : Smoke billows from a steam locomotive before its departure (B) Singapore : Singapores PM Lee Hsien Loong celebrates a win in his constituency (B) Barcelona : People carry a giant ?estelada? flag during a demonstration (A) Toronto: 2015 Toronto International Film Festival (B) New York: Fashion Week (A) Sacramento: U.S. Airman Spencer Stone during parade held to honor the three Americans who stopped a gunman (A) Milan: Building Peace award ceremony (A) Hong Kong: Hong Kong Disneylands 10th anniversary celebration (A) Reno: Great Reno Balloon Race in Reno (A) SPORTS New York: U.S. Open tennis tournament (B+A) Paris: French league one soccer match (A) Leeds: England vs Australia, ODI cricket match, (B+A) PTI PHOTO VNA KSC PS PSlast_img read more

PV Sindhu Overcomes Tai Tzu Ying to Reach World Badminton Championships Semi-finals

first_img Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox – subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what’s happening in the world around you – in real time. badmintonbwf world championshipsPV Sindhutai tzu ying First Published: August 23, 2019, 6:00 PM IST PV Sindhu trumped former world No.1 Tai Tzu Ying in the quarter-final of World Badminton Championships in Basel, Switzerland on Friday to the semi-final of the tournament for the third straight year.The world number 5 Indian beat her Taiwanese opponent, who is ranked two in the world, 12-21, 23-21, 21-19 in an hour and 11 minutes to keep her hopes of a gold medal alive. The two-time silver medallist is looking to reach her third straight World Championships final and managed to solve the massive Tai Tzu puzzle.Tai Tzu started the game on the front foot, attacking Sindhu’s backhand, forcing mistakes from the Indian as she raced to take the first game quite easily.Sindhu lacked creativity and the surprise element in her game as the Taiwanese was able to judge her stroke quite easily, which her execute her own game plan to perfection.With Tai Tzu on the front foot, Sindhu never stood a chance in the first game as the world No.2 displayed great accuracy and bullied the Indian. However, the story altered a bit in the second game.Even though Tai Tzu started the second game on the front foot, Sindhu bounced back with a much better display of nerves, committing fewer faults and drawing Tai Tzu in longer rallies.Sindhu started targetting Tai Tzu’s deep forehand and showed more patience in her finishing.From going into the break with an 11-9 lead, Sindhu was in the lead at almost all junctures of the game and earned three game points before Tai Tzu saved them all to make it 21-21.At that stage, Sindhu execute a beautiful drop shot to earn her fourth game point and then played a flat stroke wide on Tai Tzu’s forehand to force the decider.Tai Tzu found her rhythm and accuracy in the third game once again while a few errors on Sindhu’s part gifted the lead to the Taiwanese. However, the Indian still stuck to her game plan of attempting to pin Tai Tzu to her back court to earn points.Tai Tzu, however, went to the break with an 11-9 lead. After the mid-game interval, both the players upped the pace and quality of their rallies as they launched attacks after attacks at each other.After trailing for long, Sindhu equalised at 14-14 with a body smash.At 15-15, Tai Tzu executed two exquisite strokes to take a 17-15 lead before Sindhu smashed her way to 17-17.Sindhu then took a 19-17 lead only for Tai Tzu to turn on her magic once more to equalise at 19-19.Sindhu then struck a brilliant smash on Tai Tzu’s forehand to earn the match point and then the Taiwanese sent the shuttle wide as Sindhu lay on the court in celebration.As the shuttle went wide, Pullela Gopichand and South Korean coach Kim Ji Hyun threw their hands up in the air to celebration, jubilation evident on their faces.With the win, the head-to-head record between Sindhu and Tai Tzu now stands at 10-5 in the favour of the Taiwanese.Hard fought three games awards @Pvsindhu1 a ticket for semifinals in Basel.WS – Quarterfinal12 23 21 Pusarla V. Sindhu🏅21 21 19 Tai Tzu Ying🕗 in 71 minutes#TOTALBWFWC2019 #Basel2019 pic.twitter.com/5AwzySVh2j— BWF (@bwfmedia) August 23, 2019 These players are arguably the best current women’s singles players never to have won badminton’s two biggest titles, although there are differences in their track records.While Sindhu lost in the final of the 2016 Rio Olympics and was runner-up at the 2017 and 2018 World Championships, Tai has never reached the semifinals of those two events.However, the Taiwanese clearly has been the more consistent player overall in the past three years and owns a 10-4 edge in her head-to-head battles against Sindhu.Sindhu defeated Tai in the round of 16 of the 2016 Olympics in straight games, while the Taiwanese turned the tables by defeating her Indian opponent in the Asian Games final last year.(With IANS inputs) last_img read more

Karnataka Examination Authority to cater to only 16 government colleges this year

first_imgKanataka Examination Authority seat allotment process of various professional courses began on Tuesday, June 14, 2016. However, when students checked the official website, they were taken aback at seeing no available seats for admission. KEA did not publish the seat matrix.(Read: SBI Clerks Prelim Results 2016: Expected to be out soon at sbi.co.in )Seat allotment by KEAThis time the KEA plans to cater to only 16 government colleges for admissionMajority of students are worried about seat allotment to be done by the KEA this timeThis is the first time that no seat matrix by KEA has been uploaded yetAllotment of seats for those from special category will be allotted to only those who mentioned the same in their applications formsSpecial categories include:NCCSports QuotaPhysically HandicappedCategorisation from the student’s end was expected to be done at the time of filling the application form of the Common Entrance Test (CET) online (2016)(Read: Periyar University UG, PG examination 2016: Results declared at periyaruniversity.ac.in )Lack of clarity from the government’s end:Due to confusion, many students aspiring for medical seats opted for engineering seats insteadThis happened mostly with respect to seats under the government quotaDespite clear instructions by the KEA, several students struggled to enter options in the practice session, as they were logging in with their secret code instead of the CET application numberStudents have been contacting helplines to resolve all problems regarding seat allotmentAll the government medical and dental colleges have been issued permission by the MCI and the union health ministry to admit students for 2016-17. advertisementClick here for more updates from India Today Education.last_img read more

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 Android tablet India launch set for today

first_imgSamsung is all set to launch its flagship Android-based tablet, aka the Galaxy Tab S3, in India on Tuesday. The company is hosting a press conference in Bengaluru where it will launch the Galaxy Tab S2 successor.The Galaxy Tab S3 was first unveiled at MWC2017 in Barcelona. It costs $599.99 in the US which is approximately Rs 39,000. It is successor to the Galaxy Tab S2 which was launched in India back in 2015 at Rs 39,400.The Galaxy Tab S3 sports a 9.7-inch AMOLED QXGA screen with a resolution of 1536×2048 pixels. The back of the device is built of glass with metal framing. There is also a fingerprint sensor placed within the home button at the front.  The tablet comes with a 6,000mAh battery with fast charging.The Galaxy Tab S3 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor clocked at 2.15 GHz coupled with Adreno 530 GPU and 4GB RAM. The tablet comes with 32GB internal storage which is expandable up to 256GB via microSD.The Galaxy Tab S3 supports Stylus Pen input. In fact, this is the first time that a Samsung tablet will ship with an S Pen in the box. The tablet also supports a keyboard cover accessory on the lines of Apple’s iPad Pro.On the photography front, the Tab S3 packs in a 5MP front camera and a 13 MP rear camera with flash. The Tab S3 also boasts of quad core speakers placed at the top and bottom of the device. These speakers have been tuned by AKG.advertisementDisclaimer: The reporter’s travel and stay for this event in Bengaluru have been arranged by Samsung.last_img read more

EKF: PCI Express card adapter allowing easy integration of special functions

first_img Continue Reading Previous Lanner: rugged industrial box PC with 4G/LTE configurationNext IBASE: 1U rackmount network computing appliance with Intel Xeon processor D-2100 EKF presents the EA4-COUNTRY, a CompactPCI Express (aka PXI Express) adapter for a low profile PCI Express Card. The EA4-COUNTRY is provided with a x8 connector and accommodates a PCIe card with maximum dimensions of up to 176 x 68.9mm.The EA4-COUNTRY complies with the PICMG EXP.0 specification and is also suitable for PXI Express. For these systems, the adapter allows easy integration of special functions which are available only with a standard PCI Express Card, such as FPGA or GPU.Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInMoreRedditTumblrPinterestWhatsAppSkypePocketTelegram Tags: Boards & Modules last_img read more

Here is your horoscope for July 17, 2018

first_imgARIESYou are a strong force to be reckoned with in any situation. You take on impossible tasks and change things around in a positive direction. You have the support you need to achieve success with dynamic ideas. You make moves in relationships to bring harmony. Lucky number 6. Colour orange. TAURUSYou are strong and impulsive like The Prince of Swords while taking personal and professional decisions. Relationships are healing and relaxing. You are just with family, staff and associates and can expect their support. Dont allow old fears to get you. Lucky number 17. Colour yellow. GEMINIRelax, take one step at a time and think positively. You are divided as you cope with two separate issues that demand your time and attention. You can manifest health problems due to stress and anxiety. A personal relationship is exciting. Celebrate life today! Lucky number 8. Colour white. CANCERYou no longer hide feelings but are ready and available to be healed while also helping others to feel healthy and whole. Children and family are supportive. Love and friendship bring back harmony in relationships. Be open to the healing touch of existence. Lucky number 9. Colour turquoise. LEOYou are likely to complete projects and tie up loose ends. Relationships seem to be flowering into commitments as special feelings are shared. Opportunities for expansion appear on the horizon. Your personality attracts some important and interesting people. Lucky number 4. Colour green. VIRGOYou express frank opinions at work and feelings in relationships. Beware of a person who takes advantage of you. Recovery from any sickness is ensured. Sudden and unexpected happenings cannot be ruled out. You share memorable moments with a soul mate. Lucky number 19. Colour yellow.advertisement LIBRAYou are ready to take on strenuous work in projects. You are not manipulated by others or lose clarity. You realize the deep emotional content in a relationship, which appears casual on the surface. Express your appreciation and gratitude. Trust intuition. Lucky number 9. Colour blue. SCORPIOYou have a tremendous sense of exhilaration when taking a quantum leap into unknown professional and personal situations. You are quick to respond and enthusiastic about new opportunities. You tend to be sensitive and easily hurt in relationships, be aware. Lucky number 5. Colour blue. SAGITTARIUSEnergy feels depleted as you deal with obstacles at work and difficulties in relationships. A valiant attempt to achieve success is rewarded finally. Take time off to rejuvenate your energy and health with fitness routines. Conserve resources and finances. Lucky number 7. Colour green. CAPRICORNYou can be unaware of your partner’s feelings, be caring despite your commitment to work and involvement in others affairs. You find it hard to make decisions as you analyze and think of pros and cons endlessly. Interest in media or sport is satisfying. Lucky number 5. Colour blue. AQUARIUSRather than getting frustrated by pushing situations and people towards change, allow space and time to transform them. This is not a good time to take chances or indulge in speculation. Health and finances must be watched. Yoga and meditation is elevating. Lucky number 5. Colour pink. PISCESBe flexible about plans and take things in your stride. Confrontations can only lead to further conflict. Your lightness and sense of humour take you smoothly through blocks and difficulties. Your personal relationships are rejuvenated with love and energy. Lucky number 5. Colour brown.last_img read more

Messi: Barcelona will be my only European club

first_imgTransfers Messi: Barcelona will be my only European club Chris Burton Last updated 1 year ago 16:11 5/28/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Lionel Messi Argentina 2017-18 Getty Images Transfers Barcelona Lionel Messi Newell’s Old Boys Primera División The mercurial Argentine has spent his entire senior career to date at Camp Nou but says he would one day like to join Newell’s Old Boys Lionel Messi has reiterated that Barcelona will be the only European side he plays for, although he is still hoping to head home to Newell’s Old Boys at some stage.The Argentine started out in the youth system of the club based in his native Rosario, and clearly still has fond memories of the club.He was, however, to head for Europe at the age of 13 and has not looked back after graduating out of the famed La Masia academy system to become a five-time Ballon d’Or winner and all-time great. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sorry, Cristiano! Pjanic is Juventus’ most important player right now Messi has spent his entire senior career with Barcelona, winning countless major honours and scoring 552 goals, and has vowed that he will never represent a continental rival, with Manchester City having previously attempted to sign the forward .The 30-year-old forward told El Trece on his future plans: “It becomes more and more clear that Barcelona will be my only team in Europe.”After that, I have always said that I want to play football in Argentina but I don’t know if it will happen. I have it in mind.”If Messi is to head home at some stage, then Newell’s will be his destination. He added: “I’d like to live it, be it for six months or a few matches, but I don’t know. One never knows.”My dream was to play for Newell’s as a kid, going to the matches with my dad, my brother, my friends.”After that, circumstances in life took me elsewhere but I still have that in mind.”Argentinean matters are the focus for Messi at present, as he readies himself for another shot at World Cup glory .He will be heading to Russia on the back of a domestic double at Barca, but he has conceded that he  would happily swap one of those titles for a so far elusive major honour with his country .last_img read more

7 days agoPaul Ince believes his Liverpool team should’ve won Premier League title

first_imgPaul Ince believes his Liverpool team should’ve won Premier League titleby Paul Vegas7 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveFormer Liverpool captain Paul Ince believes his team should’ve won the Premier League title.Ince reckons that he could have been a Premier League champion with the Reds if he’d had the current side’s defence alongside him.The former midfielder told the Liverpool Echo: “I felt that we had a very talented team. Jamie Redknapp in midfield, Patrick Berger and (Steve) McManaman, I think we had the most goals in the league in those roles, and then you’ve got Michael upfront, Robbie Fowler, (Karl-Heinz) Riedle, so we had some top, top players.“At the back we never got it right. I look at the Liverpool team now, if we had that back five, we would’ve won title after title after title because the rest of the team was pretty much in order.“That kind of rankles with me a bit, also the fact that I was there two years. I should’ve really had longer.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Education Ministry to Push for Greater Performance by Students

first_imgStory Highlights Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Floyd Green, says the Ministry will be pushing for even greater performance by students in external examinations, especially Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) subjects. Speaking at TIP Friendly Society’s 2018 Scholarship awards luncheon at the Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston on August 17, Mr. Green cited the increase in students’ performance in CSEC, which showed an overall increase of 3.8 per cent this year when compared to 2017, and emphasised that Jamaica’s youth can improve their annual performance in all external examinations. Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Floyd Green, says the Ministry will be pushing for even greater performance by students in external examinations, especially Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) subjects.Speaking at TIP Friendly Society’s 2018 Scholarship awards luncheon at the Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston on August 17, Mr. Green cited the increase in students’ performance in CSEC, which showed an overall increase of 3.8 per cent this year when compared to 2017, and emphasised that Jamaica’s youth can improve their annual performance in all external examinations.“We’re equally as happy, as you would have heard from the Minister of Education, Youth and Information. We’ve seen an improvement in our CSEC results. In fact, 22 out of the 34 subject areas saw improvement. In Mathematics, we saw improvement in the performance [and] improvement in English. That is something to celebrate,” Mr. Green said.The State Minister said that Jamaica’s teachers should also be commended for the increase, as they, along with parents and guardians, play a major role in imparting knowledge for the students to be prepared for the external examinations.“Our teachers work extraordinarily hard to ensure the success of our children. We have to remember the teachers in the journey. We have a lot of self-less teachers who go above and beyond to prepare students. Some of them take the pass results as serious as if the child was their own, and we must applaud our teachers,” Mr. Green said.At the luncheon, 37 young persons, whose parents are members of the TIP Friendly Society, were awarded with scholarships for their outstanding achievement in their studies.The youth included 28 students who sat the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT); six students in high schools, two students pursuing undergraduate degrees and one student pursuing a post graduate degree.One of the GSAT awardees, Joel Barnett, scored a perfect 100 in all the subjects he took. “We’re equally as happy, as you would have heard from the Minister of Education, Youth and Information. We’ve seen an improvement in our CSEC results. In fact, 22 out of the 34 subject areas saw improvement. In Mathematics, we saw improvement in the performance [and] improvement in English. That is something to celebrate,” Mr. Green said. last_img read more

Four Nurse Practitioners Announced for Nursing

first_img Some nursing home residents in four health districts will soon have access to a nurse practitioner on-site to help provide them with care better suited to meet their needs. Premier Darrell Dexter, today, Feb. 17, announced that as part of the Better Care Sooner plan, four new nurse practitioners will be hired to work in nursing homes in the Cape Breton, South Shore, South West and Cumberland health districts. “Better Care Sooner is about providing the right care in the right place to the people of Nova Scotia,” said Premier Dexter. “Nurse practitioners will contribute to more effective and efficient patient care for residents, help reduce wait times in emergency rooms, and most importantly give seniors the care they need in the right place.” Hiring more nurse practitioners is one of 33 actions outlined in Better Care Sooner. The new nurse practitioners will provide proactive alternatives to emergency and acute care for nursing home residents. They will be part of community-based, primary care teams working in collaboration with family doctors and other providers. Their role will include immunizations, chronic disease prevention and management, medication reviews, liaising with other health-care providers and enhancing the continuity of care. It is expected that the new positions will reduce unnecessary visits to emergency rooms from nursing home residents. “The Cumberland Health Authority has nurse practitioners in communities across the district and we know first-hand the very positive impact they have on the delivery of primary health care,” said Bruce Quigley, authority CEO. “The addition of the nurse practitioners to long term care will definitely provide positive benefits for the health and well-being of those living in nursing home facilities.” The district health authorities expected to have the nurse practitioners in place by the spring. The four positions and operating expenses will cost about $568,000 annually. “Hiring more nurse practitioners is part of the commitment we made to the people of this province and will lead to better health care for Nova Scotia families,” said Premier Dexter. The Better Care Sooner plan, announced last December, will improve the quality of emergency care, reduce overcrowding and wait times for patients in emergency rooms, and provide better health care for families. The plan is based on the recommendations of Dr. John Ross, the province’s emergency care advisor. PREMIER’S OFFICE–Four Nurse Practitioners Announced for NursingHomeslast_img read more

Pak Army chief Gen Bajwa gets threeyear extension

first_imgIslamabad: Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s term has been extended for another three years by Prime Minister Imran Khan in view of the “regional security environment”, an official announcement said on Monday. General Bajwa, 58, who was appointed as the chief of Army Staff by former jailed prime minister Nawaz Sharif in November 2016, was to retire in November. “General Qamar Javed Bajwa is appointed Chief of Army Staff for another term of three years from the date of completion of current tenure,” read the brief notification issued by the Prime Minister’s Office. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US “The decision has been taken in view of the regional security environment,” the Dawn reported, citing the decision made by Prime Minister Khan. Earlier, there were reports that Prime Minister Khan may give another term to Bajwa as both were working closely. Bajwa accompanied Khan on his maiden US visit during which he met US President Donald Trump at the White House. Khan had also nominated Bajwa as a member of the National Development Council, in an unprecedented move. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential polls In Pakistan, the appointment of the Army chief is the prerogative of the Prime Minister and his government. The practice of the senior most being made the chief is not followed. Bajwa’s extension comes amidst worsening ties between India and Pakistan following India’s decision to revoke Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370. Reacting to India’s decision, Pakistan expelled the Indian High Commissioner, after deciding to downgrade diplomatic ties with New Delhi. Pakistan also suspended its trade relations with India in retaliation against New Delhi’s decision. India has categorically told the international community that its move to scrap Article 370 of the Constitution revoking the special status to Jammu and Kashmir was an internal matter and has also advised Pakistan to accept the reality.last_img read more

RCMP release man who had been taken in what was called significant

first_imgGODS LAKE NARROWS, Man. – One day after arresting a man in the 2013 death of a girl who was brutally slain and left on a snowy trail in Gods Lake Narrows, Man., RCMP have released him without charges.The Mounties are pleading with anyone, particularly those in the community, to come forward with any information that might help in the case of 15-year-old Leah Anderson.The 23-year-old man had been arrested Wednesday in the remote community 550 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg.Anderson’s body was in such bad shape that it was initially thought she had been attacked by wolves or dogs, but eventually investigators concluded she had been viciously beaten.RCMP asked volunteers to submit DNA samples, conducted interviews and even did lie detector tests, and one by one the suspects were ruled out.On Wednesday, Mounties had called the arrest “significant” but did not release details on why the man was released.Earlier this month police said they had narrowed down the remaining suspects and determined that the killer was a male and known to Anderson.(CTV Winnipeg)last_img read more

Mortgage risks fading thanks to higher rates tougher rules Bank of Canada

first_imgOTTAWA — The Bank of Canada is releasing data today that provides a closer look at just how much stricter mortgage rules and higher interest rates have helped slow the growth of new highly indebted households.The central bank is on a clear rate-hiking path and the pace of future increases hinges significantly on the ability of households — particularly those with high levels of debt — to adapt to higher borrowing costs.The bank’s analysis says tougher mortgage qualification tests have reduced the share of new high-leverage, insured loans — those of more than 4.5 times a borrower’s annual income — to six per cent in the second quarter of 2018 from 20 per cent in late 2016.The report also says another rule change this year aimed at uninsured mortgages dropped the share of these new loans to 14 per cent in the second quarter of 2018, compared with 20 per cent a year earlier. Senior deputy governor Carolyn Wilkins says the new mortgage rules are improving the quality and reducing the quantity of new mortgages.Wilkins says household debt remains very high and has created a vulnerability in the financial system — but she argues the better quality of loans will put the economy on a more-solid footing to withstand future adverse economic developments.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

New plan with Ottawa will see Manitoba Metis a selfgoverning nation

first_imgBrittany HobsonAPTN NewsThe Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) is one step closer toward reaching a self-government agreement with the federal government.Minister of Crown Indigenous Relations Carolyn Bennett was in Winnipeg on Saturday to announce a three-part plan for moving forward to advance reconciliation with the Manitoba Metis community.The plan builds on the Framework Agreement for Advancing Reconciliation, which was established in 2016, and includes $154.3 million of funding from Ottawa.The announcement was made during the MMF’s annual general assembly in Winnipeg.MMF President David Chartrand became emotional as he described how this announcement signifies a new relationship with Canada.“This is going to change lives,” Chartrand told the crowd. “No longer can our unique history, rights and self-government be denied.”Some of the money will be put toward improving the social and economic well-being of the Manitoba Metis community.MMF Minister Judy Mayer said she hopes to see the money go toward housing for members in her community. She works in The Pas in northern Manitoba and said some of the smaller Metis settlements near there have inadequate housing.Funding will also go toward helping the Manitoba Metis community gain full jurisdiction over legal status and a future of self-determination.At the announcement Bennett said this is a big step toward reconciliation with the Metis people.“This demonstrates concrete progress between the MMF and Canada,” she said. “It is an example of progress we want to be making coast to coast to coast with all Indigenous people.”The self-government negotiations with the MMF are the first talks to get underway with a Metis collective in the southern provinces.last_img read more

Bankruptcy filing provides rare window into diocese finances

first_imgALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico’s largest Catholic diocese has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in recent months on lawyers to fight claims of clergy sex abuse and to prepare for a potentially lengthy battle in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.The Archdiocese of Santa Fe’s petition for reorganization provides a rare look into the finances of a religious organization that for decades has been wrestling with the financial and social consequences of a scandal that rocked churches across the country.Archbishop John Wester describes the filing as an equitable thing to do as church reserves dwindle. He says compensating the victims is a top priority.National watchdog groups and attorneys for victims of clergy sex abuse said Tuesday the archdiocese’s actions suggest otherwise.They point to the money spent by the archdiocese on lawyers over the last three months and the tens of millions of dollars in real estate that has been transferred to parishes in recent years, effectively reducing the amount of assets held by the archdiocese.About 20 dioceses and other religious orders around the U.S. have filed for bankruptcy protection as a result of clergy sex abuse claims, and victims’ advocates say there are trends. That includes the shifting of assets to other funds or parishes, a tactic that has been used elsewhere, including dioceses in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Tennessee and Southern California.In Pennsylvania, documents associated with an August grand jury report that detailed decades of abuse and coverup included letters between church officials and attorneys that talked about pushing assets around.In one of the most publicized cases, lawyers for abuse victims accused Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York of creating a trust fund to hide money from their clients when he was archbishop of Milwaukee. Dolan wrote to the Vatican in 2007 that transferring more than $50 million in assets would provide “improved protection of these funds from any legal claim and liability.”Dolan had dismissed allegations that he was trying to shield church assets, and an appeals court later ruled that the fund was not protected from creditors.There also were clashes over assets belonging to the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis as part of that bankruptcy case.Terence McKiernan, co-founder of BishopAccountability.org, an online resource of documentation about the scandals, pointed to efforts by church officials there to value a massive granite cathedral at just $1.“The Catholic Church is real estate wealthy beyond our wildest dreams,” he said. “And it’s a bit of a conundrum — how much is the diocese worth? How do you value ecclesiastic property?”In its bankruptcy petition, the Archdiocese of Santa Fe claims nearly $50 million in assets, including real estate valued at more than $31 million.The filing also states that more than $57 million in property is being held in trust for numerous parishes and property transfers worth another $34 million were done over the past two years. State records also show that individual parishes were incorporated as part of an effort that started in 2012 under Wester’s predecessor.Despite the archdiocese’s efforts to financially separate itself from its parishes, some lawyers say there’s still a connection as the bankruptcy filing shows the archdiocese would be on the hook for indemnifying parishes if they were sued or had to pay out damages of any kind.“So it really does seem to us to be a shell-game,” McKiernan said of the cases that have already played out. “No one thinks for a moment that the bishop is relinquishing control of these assets, he just hopes the bankruptcy judge won’t consider them assets.”The New Mexico bankruptcy case came as the state attorney general’s office served a pair of search warrants last week, seeking documents related to two former priests who had been credibly accused of sexually abusing children.The warrants describe in graphic detail the abuse endured by children years ago at the hands of the two priests.The tip of the iceberg is how attorney Paul Linnenburger described the warrants. He’s a lawyer with one of the New Mexico firms that has several cases pending against the archdiocese.The archdiocese has said $52 million in insurance money and its own funds have gone to settling 300 claims over the years.Linnenburger said the details of many of those cases have remained secret due to nondisclosure agreements and protective orders. He accused the church of hiding behind those orders and its religious mission to avoid liability for pending and future cases.“The writing is on the wall now,” he said, “and it’s going to come out and once it does, the people of New Mexico are finally going to see and understand just how much damage the church did to them over decades.”Susan Montoya Bryan, The Associated Presslast_img read more

UN food agency hails 10 million UK donation to Pakistan quake relief

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomed a $10 million contribution from the United Kingdom to help operate a helicopter fleet bringing assistance to the survivors of the massive earthquake that hit Pakistan last October. Michael Jones, WFP’s Emergency Coordinator in Pakistan, voiced gratitude for the donation, which he said came in addition to advice that the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) has provided. The money will help the UN airlift operation to continue until the end of March, while some of it will also secure the operation of four MI-8 helicopters until the beginning of May. The UN Humanitarian Air Cargo and Passenger Services running the helicopter operation in Pakistan has received less than half of the $100 million it is seeking to continue providing life-saving support.Officials are warning that if additional funding does not come in, the current operation may have to stop in the second half of March. Since the earthquake hit the mountainous region of Pakistan-administered Kashmir on 8 October, killing over 73,000 people and rendering millions homeless, air operations have been vital for reaching hundreds of thousands of people, WFP said. This is all the more true now that winter has set in. Thanks to the helicopters, WFP was able to pre-position food in high altitude areas which are no longer accessible due to the snowfall. That food will assist hundreds of thousands of people living in these areas for up to two months. read more

Syria meets deadline renders chemical weapons facilities inoperable – OPCWUN mission

Syria’s chemical weapons facilities are “inoperable,” the Joint Mission of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the United Nations overseeing the destruction of the country’s weapons programme confirmed today.“The Joint Mission is now satisfied that it has verified – and seen destroyed – all of Syria’s declared critical production and mixing/filling equipment,” according to a statement released by the joint OPCW-UN team.“No further inspection activities are currently planned,” it added.The Mission confirmed that Syria has met the deadline set by the agency to “complete as soon as possible and in any case not later than 1 November 2013, the destruction of chemical weapons production and mixing/filling equipment”.The Joint OPCW-UN Mission has inspected 21 of the 23 sites declared by Syria, and 39 of the 41 facilities located at those sites. The two remaining sites were not visited due to safety and security concerns, according to the statement. Damascus declared those sites “abandoned”, the agency said, and the chemical weapons programme items they contained were moved to other declared sites, which were inspected.Eight of the OPCW inspectors who had participated in the process today returned to The Hague, after nearly a month a Damascus.OPCW Director-General Ahmet Üzümcü thanked them for their “outstanding service” to the “most challenging mission ever undertaken by this Organisation.”The next milestone for the Joint Mission will be 15 November, by which time the Nobel Peace Prize-winning chemical weapons watchdog must approve the plan submitted by Damascus detailing the elimination of its chemical weapons stockpile. The UN Security Council has endorsed Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s plan to deploy up to 100 UN and OPCW experts in a multi-phase operation to carry out its resolution on eliminating Syria’s chemical weapons material and equipment, scheduled for completion by 30 June 2014.The Council passed its resolution after Syria agreed to join the Chemical Weapons Convention following a chemical weapons attack in August that killed hundreds of people in a Damascus suburb, in a conflict that has already killed over 100,000 people and driven some 6.5 million others from their homes since protesters first sought the ouster of President Bashar al-Assad’s Government in March 2011. read more

Brock receives Zika virus for testing researcher to meet with media Friday

A press conference will be held at Brock Friday morning as scientist Fiona Hunter, one of Canada’s key researchers on the Zika virus, will answer questions about the school’s involvement in Zika research.Containers of the Zika virus were received at Brock this week from the Public Health Agency of Canada so that Hunter, a renowned entomologist, can lead research on whether Canadian mosquitos are able to become infected and can transmit the Zika virus. Brock is the only university in Canada with a CL3 containment lab that includes an insectiary, which safely allows for this type of research to take place.Friday’s media conference will take place at 10 a.m. in the main atrium of the Cairns Family Health and Bioscience Research Complex. It will also be streamed live online at livestream.com/brockuniversity. read more

Thomas Gainsborough painting discovered hidden in vestry of Hereford Cathedral

“It’s an impressive picture,” he told the Sunday Telegraph…. But Hugh Belsey, a world authority on Gainsborough, will be publishing it for the first time in the catalogue raisonné – the definitive study – of Gainsborough’s portraits and copies of Old Master works, to be published by Yale University Press next month. The Cathedral had believed that it was by Gainsborough’s nephew and sole apprentice, Gainsborough Dupont. The hand of one of Britain’s foremost 18th-century masters has been identified in a lifesize portrait that has for years been relegated to a darkened, high wall within the verger’s vestry. Hereford Cathedral has discovered a painting by Thomas Gainsborough that it did not know it had. read more