Australia to ax support for long-term ecology sites

first_imgAn Australian agency plans to pull the plug on a long-term ecological monitoring program in the stunning Simpson Desert. SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA—The Simpson Desert of central Australia is as starkly beautiful as it is ecologically entrancing. Ranks of rusty red sand dunes run unbroken for hundreds of kilometers. During rare years with sustained downpours, moist swales are carpeted with spiky spinifex grasses that take on the appearance of fields of golden wheat. Desert ecosystems dominated by spinifex or Triodia grasses cover about 70% of Australia, but the only long-term experiment for studying them is set in a section of the desert in western Queensland—and that research site is now in jeopardy.Launched in 1990, the study has shown that heavy rains cause flushes of vegetation and seeds that lead to booms of insects, small marsupials, and rodents. Outback pools draw immense swarms of parakeets called budgerigars. That explosion of life attracts feral foxes and cats, which have had a role in the extinction of 27 species and subspecies of mammals in Australia since European colonization in 1788. The invasive species ravage the native ones, which may spend many years hunkered down in scrubby woodland refugia until fresh downpours start the cycle again.If you monitored the desert’s fauna for just a few years at a time you’d miss that dynamic, says Glenda Wardle, an ecologist at the University of Sydney here. “Long-term research in the Simpson Desert has provided fundamental insights into the ecology of outback Australia” and crucial information for protecting endangered species and other natural resources, says Wardle, co-leader of the Simpson Desert Mammal Monitoring project.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(*) Australia to ax support for long-term ecology sites Aaron Greenville center_img But such studies are now slated for the chopping block. A body funded by Australia’s federal government plans to stop funding all 12 sites in Australia’s Long Term Ecological Research Network (LTERN), including the 8000-square-kilometer Simpson Desert site, at the end of this year. In a letter in today’s issue of Science, Wardle and 68 co-authors decry the decision as “totally out of step with international trends and national imperatives.” She and leaders of the other projects are now scrambling to find other sources of funding before their coffers run dry.LTERN’s demise could have major consequences, supporters say. “In a country like Australia, which is facing huge challenges with climate change, with expanding populations, with major pressures on its water supplies and land area—we’re not going to be able to predict anything about the status of our environmental assets,” says David Lindenmayer, LTERN’s science director, lead signatory of the letter, and an ecologist at the Australian National University in Canberra. Barring an 11th hour reprieve, some sites will surely have to shut down, he predicts. “That’s a catastrophic loss because it means we have no real ability to take a health reading on the country.”LTERN covers more than 1100 long-term field plots in ecosystems including alpine grasslands, tall wet forests, temperate woodlands, heathlands, tropical savannas, rainforests, and deserts. Some sites are globally unique, including Victoria state’s forests of mountain ash trees (Eucalyptus regnans), the world’s tallest flowering plants. Each of the 12 networks of plots started as discrete university-run projects that in 2012 were gathered under the government’s Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN) in Brisbane. But budget cuts and new government guidelines on funding priorities have forced TERN to terminate the AUS$900,000 program, says TERN Director Beryl Morris. TERN will continue to fund a handful of long-term sites that are not part of LTERN, including the Warra tall gum forests of Tasmania.To illustrate LTERN’s value, scientists rattle off a number of major findings. In 2010, for example, studies centered on Kakadu National Park south of Darwin, Australia, revealed a population collapse of small marsupials and mammals. The cause, says network co-leader Jeremy Russell-Smith of Charles Darwin University in Casuarina, Australia, appears to have been more frequent fires, which created more open ground and allowed feral cats to decimate native species. “People assumed [that ecosystem] was pretty intact,” he says. “That view is totally incorrect, but you need long-term monitoring to show that.”LTERN’s closure would have international implications, says David Keith, an ecologist at the University of New South Wales here who manages studies at three sites. Of 80 ecological communities listed as threatened by the Australian government, only 24 are monitored, and LTERN studies account for the longest and most reliable data sets. “Their discontinuation will substantially weaken Australia’s … ability to report on progress to meet international targets agreed to under the Convention on Biological Diversity,” he says.Lindenmayer and others are making a last-ditch bid to find new pots of money to stabilize LTERN—and, if they’re lucky, expand the network to major ecosystem types currently lacking long-term monitoring. “I am hopeful,” says Keith, “that a phoenix will rise from the ashes.” By John PickrellAug. 11, 2017 , 5:10 PMlast_img read more

Guerrero sees doping appeal rejected

first_imgPeru and Internacional striker Paolo Guerrero has seen his latest appeal against a drugs ban rejected by the Swiss Federal Tribunal (BGER).The BGER confirmed the decision on Monday, meaning Guerrero’s ban will stand and he will not be available to play until April 2019.Guerrero was banned for one year by FIFA after he tested positive for benzoylecgonine , a metabolite of cocaine, after Peru’s World Cup qualifier against Argentina in October 2017. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! An appeal initially saw the suspension cut in half but the World Anti-Doping Agency successfully argued to the Court of Arbitration for Sport that the ban was insufficient and it was extended to 14 months.However, Guerrero was cleared to captain Peru at the 2018 World Cup after a temporary lifting of his ban was approved.Guerrero signed a three-year contract at Internacional in August after his deal with Flamengo expired , but he is yet to play for the club due to suspension.Internacional are level on points with Palmeiras at the top of the Campeonato Brasileiro after 27 matches.last_img read more

Guardiola often has problems with Africans, he was cruel to me: Yaya Toure

first_imgYaya Toure said Pep Guardiola was cruel to him and added the Manchester City manager “often has problems with Africans”.Toure moved on from City at the end of last season and was given a farewell appearance, his only start, by the manager after spending eight years in the blue half of Manchester.City have named one of their training pitches after Toure and also unveiled a mosaic of him at their training complex.”Maybe we Africans are not always treated by some in the same way as others,” said Toure in an interview with France Football.”He was cruel to me. I came to wonder if it was not because of my colour.”I am not the first to talk about these differences in treatment. In Barca, some have also asked the question.The 2018/18 Premier League champions have declined to comment or reply on Toure’s revelations.Toure played under Guadiola at Barcelona too for two years and was sold to City for 24m pounds back in 2010.”When we realise he often has problems with Africans wherever he goes, I ask myself questions.”I want to be the one who breaks the myth of Guardiola.”GUARDIOLA BANNED BY UEFAGuardiola was banned for two matches by UEFA on Monday after being found guilty of communicating with his staff despite being sent to the stands in his team’s Champions League quarter-final second-leg defeat by Liverpool.Guardiola’s suspension for one of the matches has been deferred for a probationary period of one season, UEFA’s Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body said in a statement.advertisementThe Spaniard was dismissed for protesting against a disallowed goal in City’s 2-1 defeat, but was found guilty of continuing to communicate with his technical staff.Champions League runners-up Liverpool were fined 29,000 euros for violations in three matches in the competition, including “acts of damage” by fans who attacked City’s bus during the first leg of the quarter-final at Anfield.UEFA fined Liverpool 20,000 euros for violations by fans in the first-leg tie, including setting off fireworks, throwing objects and crowd disturbances.UEFA has also ordered Zenit St Petersburg to play their next European home game behind closed doors after the Russian club were found to have committed a number of violations, including racist behaviour by their supporters.(With inputs from Reuters)last_img read more

Real Madrid team news vs Alaves

first_imgReal Madrid Real Madrid Team News: Injuries, suspensions and line-up vs Alaves Ben Hayward Last updated 1 year ago 15:25 2/24/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Cristiano Ronaldo Zinedine Zidane Real Madrid Getty Real Madrid Primera División Real Madrid v Deportivo Alavés Deportivo Alavés Everything you need to know ahead of Los Blancos’ league game at home to the Basque side this weekend… Cristiano Ronaldo is set to return for Real Madrid on Saturday as Zinedine Zidane’s side host a revitalised Alaves side at Santiago Bernabeu in La Liga.The Portuguese forward was rested on Wednesday as Madrid beat nearby Leganes 3-1 in their game in hand to move up to third place in the table after 24 rounds of matches.Lucas Vazquez, Casemiro and Sergio Ramos scored the goals as Los Blancos won away in midweek and Zidane’s side will now look to continue their improved league form against Alaves. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Here, Goal takes a look at everything you need to know ahead of Saturday’s match at the Bernabeu…REAL MADRID INJURIES Defender Jesus Vallejo is still sidelined with a muscle problem and midfielder Toni Kroos is also out after picking up a knee injury against PSG that could make him doubtful for the trip to Paris in the Champions League on March 6th.Marcelo also misses out after limping off in win at Betis last weekend, while Luka Modric is sidelined with a hamstring problem and both of those players will also be doubtful for the game at the Parc des Princes.REAL MADRID SUSPENSIONS Sergio Ramos is suspended after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season in La Liga against Leganes. The Real Madrid captain has now been booked more times (169) than any other player in the competition’s history.REAL MADRID POTENTIAL STARTING LINE-UPWith Marcelo out, Theo Hernandez will start at left-back for Real Madrid against Alaves, while Keylor Navas will return in goal after he was rested at Leganes on Wednesday. In central defence, Nacho will replace the suspended Ramos.In midfield, Isco is in line for another start and Mateo Kovacic is also set to feature from the outset in the absence of Kroos and Modric through injury.Marco Asensio missed training on Friday to have his wisdom tooth removed, but could still play a part on Saturday.In attack, Ronaldo returns and is expected to captain the team as Ramos misses out through suspension. Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale are also likely to start.Real Madrid possible AlavesALAVES TEAM NEWS Alaves have been on a remarkable run of form since Abelardo took over as coach, winning an impressive 22 points to move 10 clear of the relegation zone.That return, which includes three wins from three since a narrow 2-1 loss at Barcelona, means the Basque side have won more points than all but two teams – Barcelona and Atletico Madrid – during the former Spanish international’s time as coach.Striker Munir El Haddadi is suspended for Saturday’s game, while fellow forward Hector Hernandez and right-back Carlos Vigaray are both doubtful.Alaves celebrateTV COVERAGE & KICK-OFF TIME Real Madrid versus Alaves kicks off at 16:15 local time on Saturday and with games at that time unable to be shown live in the United Kingdom (UK), it will be broadcast later on in full on Sky Sports Mix and on Sky Sports Football (via the red button) from 17:30 GMT.In the United States (US), the match is live on beIN Sports and kicks off at 10:15 ET.BEST OPTA MATCH FACTS Real Madrid are unbeaten in their last 11 league games against Alaves (10 wins and a draw), winning the last eight in a row and scoring an average of 3.5 goals per game. Alaves have won their last three games in La Liga, but they have never managed four consecutive wins in the competition. The Basque side are one of the three La Liga teams Cristiano Ronaldo has faced at the Santiago Bernabeu and failed to score a single goal against, along with Leganes and Tenerife. Ibai Gomez has scored three goals against Real Madrid in La Liga, his favourite rival in the competition along with Girona and Villarreal.last_img read more

Video: UNC Survives Harvard With Fast-Break Dunk In Final Seconds

first_imgNorth Carolina outlasts Harvard.Exhale, North Carolina fans. Your Tar Heels will be playing in the third round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday, but Thursday’s contest against Harvard was that close to going the other way. UNC needed one last defensive stand to eke out the victory.The Tar Heels, trailing 65-63, were able to tie the game on a jump hook by Justin Jackson with 48 seconds to play. After the Crimson missed on an opportunity to take the lead, UNC ran the fast break and executed it to perfection, as Marcus Paige found Jackson for a dunk in transition. Harvard’s Wesley Saunders missed a 3-point attempt with just seconds left on the clock.UNC will get the winner of Arkansas vs. Wofford, to be played later tonight.last_img

An NFL Scout Is Reportedly Raving About This College Football Team

first_imgWisconsin's field during a game against Nebraska.MADISON, WI – NOVEMBER 15: A general view of play between the Nebraska Cornhuskers and the Wisconsin Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium on November 15, 2014 in Madison, Wisconsin. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)ESPN College GameDay analyst Lee Corso unveiled his national title pick during a season preview show on Saturday. It was a surprising choice.Corso is going with a Big Ten team to win the 2018 national championship – but he’s not picking Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan or Michigan State.He likes Wisconsin.Lee Corso just picked @BadgerFootball to win the national championship. #Badgers— Jay Sorgi (@jsorgi) August 25, 2018Wisconsin is projected to be one of the top 10 teams in the country, but few are picking the Badgers to actually bring home the title.An NFL scout is certainly high on them, though.NFL insider Daniel Jeremiah says that an NFL scout has been raving about what he’s seen from the Badgers. They have the best offensive line in the country.“Talked to a vet scout about his college visits so far— he said Wisconsin is LEGIT. Best OL in the country,” he tweeted.Talked to a vet scout about his college visits so far— he said Wisconsin is LEGIT. Best OL in the country.— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) August 26, 2018Wisconsin opens its season on Friday against Western Kentucky.last_img read more

Overturned Britannica Hav Being Towed to Le Havre

first_imgzoom The hull of the overturned cargo vessel Britannica Hav has been taken into tow and is currently on its way to the port of Le Havre, according to France’s Maritime Prefect.The vessel, which is being towed by tug Abeille Liberté, is expected to reach the port in the afternoon hours of March 22.The authorities decided to pass a tow line through the freighter’s bow thruster tunnel in order to bring the drifting ship under control. After the operation was successfully completed, the convoy proceeded towards Le Havre at a speed of about three knots.An exclusion zone of 500 meters was created around the convoy.Featuring a length of 82 meters, Britannica Hav capsized and turned over following a collision with the fishing vessel Deborah in the afternoon hours of March 20 in the English Channel.All seven of the Malta-flagged cargo ship’s crew members managed to leave the vessel before it sank. They were later safely evacuated by helicopter to land.The Malta-flagged Britannica Hav, owned by Norway’s Hav Shipping, suffered damage to its center port side, while four 15-by-20-foot hatches were separated from the vessel and were reported adrift.The authorities informed that the hatches are still drifting some 50 nautical miles northeast of Cherbourg. They are being monitored for movement and are expected to be towed to the port of Le Havre by a tug on March 22.At the time of the incident, the cargo vessel was loaded with some 1,955 tonnes of steel and had 48 tons of light diesel fuel on board. Maritime Prefect informed that an oil sheen was spotted at the site following the incident, however, there were no further reports of an oil spill.World Maritime News Stafflast_img read more

Plus de foyers communautaires pour les personnes handicapées en NouvelleÉcosse

first_imgLe gouvernement remplira son engagement visant à établir huit nouveaux foyers communautaires pour les personnes handicapées en Nouvelle-Écosse au cours des deux prochaines années. En juillet, les fournisseurs qui s’intéressent à l’établissement et à l’exploitation des nouveaux foyers communautaires pourront participer à des séances d’information dans les régions où cinq des foyers seront situés, soit dans la Municipalité régionale d’Halifax (deux foyers), et dans les comtés de Yarmouth, de Kings et de Lunenburg. En août, le ministère des Services communautaires publiera un appel d’offres pour l’établissement et l’exploitation des foyers. Le travail est aussi en cours pour l’établissement de nouveaux foyers dans les régions de New Glasgow, de l’Isle Madame et de Clare. « Nous savons que les plus petits foyers communautaires constituent souvent la meilleure option pour les personnes handicapées, affirme Kelly Regan, ministre des Services communautaires. La mise en place de foyers communautaires plutôt que d’établissements de grande taille permettra aux résidents et à leurs familles de participer davantage et d’être inclus dans leur communauté. » Chaque foyer pourra accueillir quatre personnes handicapées. Le processus de demande visera à trouver des services de qualité supérieure pour les participants au Programme de soutien aux personnes handicapées et leurs familles. Les emplacements et les critères pour la construction des foyers sont déterminés selon les besoins des participants. Les besoins spécifiques en matière de soutien pour chaque foyer varieront selon les besoins des participants. L’établissement d’un plus grand nombre de foyers communautaires pour les personnes handicapées a lieu dans le cadre de l’engagement du gouvernement visant à assurer une province accessible d’ici 2030. Le gouvernement a augmenté ses investissements pour les huit foyers en ajoutant une somme supplémentaire d’un million de dollars au budget de 2018-2109, portant l’investissement total à 5,2 millions de dollars sur deux ans. Il y a actuellement 223 petits foyers communautaires en Nouvelle-Écosse.last_img read more

7 die cleaning Gujarat sewer

first_imgVadodara: Seven persons, including four sanitation workers, died on Saturday after inhaling toxic fumes while cleaning sewer of a hotel in Vadodara district of Gujarat, officials said. The incident happened shortly after midnight at Darshan Hotel in Fartikui village of Dabhoi tehsil, around 30 km from Vadodara city, police said.Three employees of the hotel were also among those killed. “The sanitation workers had been roped in to clean the sewer. When one worker failed to come out of the manhole, others went inside to check, but all of them died of asphyxiation,” informed in-charge district collector Kiran Zaveri. “We rushed to the site soon after learning about the incident and teams of the fire brigade from Vadodara Municipal Corporation and Dabhoi civic body launched rescue work. They took out the bodies of the deceased after three hours of efforts,” he added.last_img read more

Pregnant womans death was accident or suicide husbands lawyers tell trial

first_imgTORONTO — Lawyers for a former pastor accused in the drowning of his pregnant wife say the woman died in a “tragic accident” or took her own life.Philip Grandine is accused of secretly sedating his wife with anti-anxiety medication or giving her the drug so that she would be less alert while he continued a clandestine affair.The Crown alleges he then allowed Anna Karissa Grandine to take a bath on her own while under the influence of the drug, knowing she would be drowsy and vulnerable.Philip Grandine has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter and his lawyers argue the allegations are nothing but speculation.In his closing arguments, defence lawyer Amit Thakore said there is no evidence Grandine had the drug lorazepam, much less that he gave it to his wife.Thakore says it was Anna Grandine, not her husband, who researched the drug better known as Ativan online and administered it to herself. He says it’s also possible she had an accident while taking a bath and died as a result.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Picture: Miss Morocco Contest in 1960’s

Taroudant – The appreciation of beauty is something characteristic of every human, but organizing beauty contests officially became part of Moroccan society in the 1960s.Zamane, a Facebook page of a website dedicated to Moroccan history, posted a photo allegedly of a beauty pageant in 1960.The photo in black and white features eight beautiful girls lined up for a group photo, probably after crowning the 1960 Miss Morocco. In the same photo, there is an old Moroccan man wearing traditional jellaba and a turban – probably one of the organizers – standing behind the contestants.The photo of 1960 Miss Morocco collected more than 1222 likes and 313 shares on Facebook.The comments vary between those who expressed nostalgic feelings towards “those golden days,” while other comments denounce the Beauty Contest, claiming it was one of “the negative legacies of the colonialists” that had “a bad impact on Moroccan society.”“Interesting contrast between the candidates with short dresses and the traditional dress of the man in the background,” reads one comment.“They are those fateful years in which the colonialists were gone, leaving behind them a deviant nation,” reads another comment.Most of the comments were statements of mockery about the contestants, particularly making fun of the man in the background.Morocco’s largest city, Casablanca, hosted Miss Bikini contests and other beach parties where men and women pose for photographs in bikinis and swimsuits.Last January, photos of Miss Casablanca in the 1980’s, which displayed the life style of some Moroccans living in Casablanca at the time, went viral on social media. read more

CRA program that helps poor file taxes sees boost in returns in

OTTAWA — A federal program designed to help low-income Canadians file their taxes has boosted the number of returns it’s handled in the year since the government increased its funding.The extra money allows volunteer-driven clinics run by more than 3,000 groups to operate year-round.Now, the agency is looking to improve the program to help more low-income Canadians qualify for supports administered through the tax system, including the Canada Child Benefit that went up in value on the weekend.Figures provided by the Canada Revenue Agency show a six-per-cent increase in the number of tax returns filed through the program this year compared to last year.In raw numbers, the CRA says more than 835,000 returns were filed by people who are homeless, Indigenous, newcomers, seniors or disabled. Have a gripe over how the CRA has treated you? Here’s your chance to speak up How CRA treats you depends on where you live and how friendly your tax man is, auditor reports Canadians are tuning out real tax agents because of CRA phone scammers The boost is double those seen in previous years, before the Liberals increased annual spending on the “community volunteer income-tax program” to $13 million in the 2018 budget.“There’s not another program” like it in the CRA, says program co-ordinator Julie Gagnon. “It’s a different program and we get to see the direct impact that we have on lifting people out of poverty.”In 2018, the CRA says it paid out $1.7 billion in refunds and benefits — an increase from the $1.5 billion in 2017 — to 703,400 people who filed 786,600 returns through the program. (Some people filed returns for more than one year.)The dollar value for this year isn’t available yet, but it’s not a given that the figure will go up.“We would hope or expect that some of them may not return in the following year,” Gagnon says. “The reasons could be varied by why they wouldn’t return. The next year, hopefully they’re in a better financial situation and they might be able to go pay somebody to do it where they weren’t able to do it themselves.”Long-term plans aim to help more than one million people through the program by 2023 — an increase of more than 40 per cent from the 741,400 people helped this year.To get there, the CRA expanded on a unique research project it ran in 2017. Agency researchers conducted in-depth interviews with people at volunteer tax clinics or in shelters to identify behaviour patterns that could help the government improve programs for and outreach to low-income and marginalized populations.The result was the increase in annual spending to $13 million, the second time the Liberals had expanded the program since 2015, allowing the 48-year-old program to operate year-round.Gagnon says the CRA used the extra funding to increase staffing across the country to provide more face-to-face training for organizations and volunteers.She says the agency was also able to provide tax-filing software earlier for groups to use and set up a dedicated line for volunteers to call with questions so they wouldn’t have to wait in a general queue.This year, 3,500 organizations took part in the program, along with 19,500 volunteers — both increases from 2018.Federal workers have also used the extra money to reach out to Indigenous communities, many of which are in remote locations, to get more people receiving benefits to which they’re entitled. Between April 2018 and March 2019, workers at the Canada Revenue Agency and Employment and Social Development Canada visited 669 Indigenous communities, and plan to visit and return to as many this year.Gagnon says the agency plans to rely on the results of a survey late last year of all organizations and volunteers to shape the future of the program. The results are expected to be made public in the coming weeks. read more

UN barbershop conference aims to dispel stereotypes promote gender equality

The Barbershop Conference aimed at reflecting the casual setting in which men get their hair cut, while delving deeper into gender stereotypes perpetuated by social norms, and helping dispel the fallacy that women and girls cannot be equals in the economic, social or political life. The event also highlighted that while historically women and girls have led the fight against gender inequality, discrimination and gender-based violence, the recent UN HeforShe initiative encourages men and boys to stand at forefront of the global discourse. “Today’s Conference is a creative way of moving the dialogue into uncharted territory,” said Sam Kutesa, President of the UN General Assembly, who was joined at the event by UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson, Executive-Director of UN Women Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, several UN Ambassadors, Ministers, civil society representatives, journalists, and activists, as well as entertainers.“Increasingly, the world has come to recognize that achieving gender equality will require the active participation of all segments of society and that men and boys have a critical role to play,” said Mr. Kutesa, noting that he was happy to add his voice to the Barbershop initiative and also make the empowerment of women and girls a key priority of his General Assembly session. Among other things, the initiative aims to supports non-discriminatory and non-sexist male attitudes between men, commit to discussing the role of men in realizing gender equality within the UN, and further engage men to end violence against women and girls. “This must be the biggest barbershop conversation ever,” Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson said, emphasizing that today’s discourse came at an opportune time to “jolt our thinking” as the world prepares to marks the 20th anniversary of the Beijing World Conference on Women, held in 1995. “The Secretary General and I are convinced that this has to be the century of women and girls,” he added. And while there is ample evidence that society gains and grows socially, economically, politically and even psychologically as a result of gender equality, women’s participation in politics and the labour force continues to remain “too low”. When women lack economic autonomy, their rights are undermined.“Until we have a better balance among lawmakers, it will be difficult to achieve that balance in real life,” Mr. Eliasson said, urging men to bring forth transformative change, end sexist behaviour and eradicate violence against women.The emancipation of women is the emancipation of mankind as a whole, he said. “We all benefit, we are all empowered. This is potentially a liberating moment for all of us so let’s seize it.”Delivering today’s welcoming remarks were Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iceland, and Ismanto Adna, Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs of Suriname – both co-conveners of the event. Introductions were made by UN Permanent Representatives of Romania and the State of Palestine. “All the male ministers in Iceland have signed up for HeforShe initiative,” said Mr. Sveinsson, Iceland’s Foreign Minister. On a personal note, he added: “As a father of five boys, I’m conscious of making them useful and productive in society…that means [showing that] being a real man does not mean being a wild man…it is about establishing healthy relationships with women and even other men.”“You may wonder why two such different countries have joined forces to combat violence and gender inequality. We say: why not? It is a testament to the fundamental issue at hand. We see the common cause and are prepared to work for it,” said Mr. Adna, the Minister of Suriname. Closing the first day of the conference, the head of UN Women, Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka, said today’s Barbershop is about breaking social norms that oppress women and restrict men and boys. And the HeforShe campaign is about both men and women getting outside of their comfort zone. “It is not enough to be a good boy and a good man in a bad system. Our challenge is to change the system because a bad system will always bring a good man down,” she said. “We’re in this for the long-haul.” Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka said, underscoring that the post 2015-framework must create a world that will be totally different by 2030.“We are asking you to stand up and speak out so that you can create more Barbershop conversations of this nature.” read more

Terrorists plotted Christmas bomb after meeting Islamic State commander on Facebook

first_imgKurdi at one point suggested his followers “inject poison in drinks or foods that are prohibited in Islam… Study different types of poison and their preparation methods… It will kill hundreds in a few moments”.DCI Paul Greenwood of the North East Counter Terrorism Unit told the BBC after the trial that while Mohammed had apparently chosen a bomb plot instead, his presence at the food factory in Burton-on-Trent had been a risk.He said: “He had a viable instructional video of how to manufacture the toxin ricin, he had that know-how. He certainly was a risk, I think had that food company known, had we known of his interest in ricin and his link to that food company we would have taken steps to protect the public and to prevent him from continuing that employment there.”Jurors were told the pair had “rapidly formed emotional attachment and a shared ideology” after meeting online.As well as arguments, jokes and everyday concerns, they also shared extremist views and videos.El-Hassan, a divorced mother of two, was fully aware of Mohammed’s intentions and advised him which chemicals to buy for a bomb, the court heard. Rowaida El-Hassan  Munir Hassan MohammedCredit: REUTERS A terrorist planned a Christmas bombing with his girlfriend after he pledged allegiance on Facebook to an Islamic State commander looking for volunteers to carry out lone wolf attacks, his trial heard.Munir Hassan Mohammed sent messages to the commander in Iraq or Syria and downloaded terrorist publications, as the couple plotted to make bombs and toxins together.The 36-year-old from Sudan also researched how to make ricin while he worked 12-hour shifts at a major food manufacturer, his trial was told.Mohammed and Rowaida El-Hassan are facing years in prison after being convicted of plotting “devastating” carnage over Christmas 2016 with an Islamic State-inspired bomb.Mohammed enlisted the help of El-Hassan, a 33-year-old pharmacist, and drew on her chemical knowledge after seeking her out on a dating website called SingleMuslim.com. In the days before his arrest, Mohammed was captured on shop CCTV buying “acetone free” nail polish from Asda, in the mistaken belief it was a chemical component of TATP, a homemade explosive also known as ‘Mother of Satan’.He also looked at pressure cookers, which the prosecution said could be used to contain the explosives.When police raided his home, they found hydrogen peroxide in a wardrobe and hydrochloric acid in the freezer.Mohammed, of Derby, and El-Hassan, of north-west London, had denied preparing terrorist acts between November 2015 and December 2016.After the verdicts, Judge Michael Topolski QC said Mohammed had been planning a “potentially devastating terrorist attack by creating an explosive device and deploying it somewhere in the UK targeting those you regarded as enemies of the Islamic State”.”Rowaida El-Hassan, you share the extremist mindset with Munir Mohammed and you were ideologically motivated to provide him with support, motivation and assistance.”You knew he was engaging and planning an attack. You knew he was planning an explosion to kill and maim innocent people in the cause of Islamic State.”The pair were remanded the pair in custody and will be sentenced on February 22. 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.center_img Rowaida El-HassanCredit:Counter Terrorism Policing North/PA At the time of his arrest in December 2016, Mohammed had components for homemade explosives, as well as manuals on how to make them, mobile phone detonators, and ricin.The Old Bailey had heard Mohammed made contact with a suspected Islamic State organiser called “Abubakr Kurdi”, who is believed to have been in Iraq or Syria.Kurdi was using Facebook to identify possible recruits for “lone wolf” attacks and Mohammed was recommended by a mutual contact. Mohammed pledged his allegiance and offered to participate in “a new job in the UK”.  Munir Hassan Mohammed Amber Rudd, Home Secretary, has criticised web giants for doing too little to stop terrorists using their sites.last_img read more

Greek con man scams mother and daughter out of 11million

first_imgA Greek Australian man who conned a girlfriend and her mother out of their $1.14 million life savings was described as “callous and predatory” at a court hearing on Monday. According to Herald Sun reports, Prosecutor Darrin Cain said George Bavelos had perpetuated a grandiose fraud that left his victims devastated, and had shown no remorse. Bavelos, 52, swindled Broadford schoolteacher Helen Biamis and her retired hairdresser mother, Triana Boubis, with an elaborate scam and promises he would invest their savings. Mr Cain told the County Court that Bavelos’ crimes were made worse by his claim, during his trial, that he had $1 million deposited in a European bank account and $1.5 million in a trading company. “The lie rubbed salt into their (the victims’) wounds by giving them false hope,” he said. “He was particularly callous and predatory towards the two victims.” Mr Cain said Bavelos spent his swindled funds on high living and luxury items, and Ms Biamis and Ms Boubis would probably never see a cent of their money. Bavelos’s trial heard he claimed to be a fabulously wealthy international investment banker with a jet-setting lifestyle and offices in European capitals. The cruel conman told Ms Biamis he owned the property Coonac in Toorak; but a gardener informed her it was owned by transport magnate Paul Little. Defence lawyer Paul Marin said his client was a father of one who lived with his parents in Campbellfield, had been unemployed for eight years, and had several convictions, dating back to 1990, for obtaining property and financial advantage by deception, theft, and forgery. One set of convictions was for swindling his then parents-in-law out of $50,000 and spending it on himself. At his trial, he could not explain why Centrelink documents showed he had been receiving the Newstart allowance for five years. In December, Bavelos was found guilty by a jury of nine counts of obtaining property by deception and one count of attempting to obtain property by deception. Mr Cain said Bavelos should be sentenced as a “continuing criminal enterprise offender”, and should go to jail for between six and seven years. Judge Michael McInerney will sentence Bavelos on Monday, February 28. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Greece a safe destination for investors Tsipras says

first_imgAs political dangers in the wider Eastern Mediterranean and Europe increase, the dynamic of the global economic circle weakens, a reality that once again became apparent during the second annual Capital Link investment conference in New York which took place on Monday.Government officials, entrepreneurs, investors and bankers participated in the event organised in cooperation with the New York Stock Exchange and the backing of international banks – which in the past has attracted the Wall Street elite.While most market players and investors still see Greece’s future as marginal and somewhat grim, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras praised the country’s economic achievements and its exit from the bailout.“Greece is again a promising and – above all – a safe investment destination and I urge you to trust its potential,” he said through a video message at the 20th Annual Invest in Greece Forum, also organised by Capital Link.“Greece has now regained its autonomy and -above all- the confidence in a future of prosperity, creativity and growth. We are moving forward and the supporting conditions are more favorable than ever before,” he added.New eurozone bond issues in 2019 – when the European Central bank will end its bond-buying programme – will be at a higher level than in 2014.As a result, Greece appears to essentially be barred from the markets as the 4.2-4.5 per cent interest rate on 10-year bonds is prohibitive- investment is also expected to decline by 10 per cent in the next year.In spite of Tsipras’ comments the point of view of foreign investors, Greece is still confronted with serious challenges despite the “bailout memorandum exit”.Meanwhile, due to higher interest rates in the US combined with higher bond yields confirm the existing difficulties in the international economy.The prime minister did not seem to be phased by the issues about to impact global economy and subsequently Greece and proceeded to highlight the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) agreement as proof that Greece “is a power that promotes consensus and stability, always seeking for new ways of cooperation and mutual growth.” Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Pochettino believes relationship with players now stronger

first_imgTottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has playfully replied reports that he could take up Real Madrid job.Pochettino played down the reports of continued offers after Julen Lopetegui’s sack.“It’s like our girlfriend or our wife, no?” Pochettino said via FourFourTwo.“Because we are so handsome and we are walking down the street in London and she is so proud of you because another woman looks at you.“Your wife is so happy to be with you and feels in love with you. No one looks at you, your wife says ‘maybe he is better’, understand the metaphor?Sergio Ramos, Real MadridZidane reveals Sergio Ramos injury concern for Real Madrid Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Zinedine Zidane has put Sergio Ramos’ availability for Real Madrid’s trip to Sevilla next weekend in doubt after withdrawing him against Levante.“They are confident of course but they are not attached to me only. It is about the club. If I believe that Dele Alli is going to sign or a different player is going to sign a new contract because of me, it is a bad feeling or I am so wrong in my head.”“Of course it is always nice to hear the players say one of the reasons is the manager, one of the reasons is the chairman, one of the reasons is the new stadium, so exciting,” Pochettino said.“One of the reasons I wanted rather to listen – I want to play for Tottenham to make history, to touch the glory with this club and with this badge.“‘Now I am so happy with my manager and I am going to give my best’ but there are going to be days we won’t be happy because we are human.”Having currently secured the fifth position, five points off Premier League-leading Manchester City, Spurs are o their to Wolverhampton this Saturday.last_img read more

Commuters irked over street vendors encroaching footpaths

first_imgKompally: An open field and a footpath have been encroached by the street vendors, much to the discomfiture of commuters and vehicles.The shopkeepers in every nook and corner of the city display most of their merchandise on the front portion of the shops occupying the footpath. Neither the police nor officials, take cognizance of such illegal practices. Also Read – Secunderabad: Major General N Srinivas Rao makes farewell visit to AOC Advertise With Us Speaking to The Hans India here on Monday, S Chandrasekhar, a commuter, said “The road stretch between Lal Bazar to Kompally road via the Military Dairy Farm road is having several road side stalls, causing jams and creating problems. The vendors sit without any license, which has become harmful to vendors and the vehicles.” C Priya, an commuter, said ” These senseless shopkeepers and vendors choke the movement of traffic, causing inconvenience to the common people. They do not know the rules and just place their pushcarts on the roads which disturbs them , pedestrians and vehicles. The concerned individuals should take action against the vendors or a lot space for them.”last_img read more