Giant pandas on loan from China set to move from Toronto to

first_imgTORONTO – The second half of a panda family’s Canadian sojourn gets underway on Friday when the animals leave Toronto for a new home out west.Two giant pandas on loan from China, plus the two babies they produced while living at the Toronto Zoo, will be relocating to Calgary where they will remain for as long as five years.Da Mao and Er Shun, plus offspring Jia Panpan and Jia Yueyue, will be the first pandas to visit the city since the 1988 Olympics and will take up residence in a multimillion-dollar facility at the Calgary Zoo built expressly for their arrival.The two panda parents were loaned to Canadian zoos for 10 years as part of a 2012 deal with China.They have lived at the Toronto Zoo since 2013, where the cubs were born and later famously photographed in the arms of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.The cubs will head back to China after a year and a half in Calgary to be part of a breeding program, while the adults will stay on in Canada to try and become second-time parents.Calgary Zoo spokeswoman Trish Exton-Parder says both the city and facility feel fortunate to play host to the four-legged diplomats.“It’s a huge privilege for us to have them and to care for them and to have them trust the expertise we have here, ” Exton-Parder said in a telephone interview. “They’re very much (China’s) treasures, and it’s quite an honour and a privilege for our community to enjoy them for the next five years.”Neither the Toronto nor Calgary zoo would offer any details about the pandas’ planned journey, which is set to get underway on Friday morning.Once they arrive in Calgary, however, Exton-Parder said the pandas would spend at least a month in quarantine.That changes on May 7 when the zoo unveils both the animals and Panda Passage, their $14.5-million home for the duration of their stay.Exton-Parder said the building that once housed Asian elephants has been renovated and redesigned with indoor and outdoor habitats for the panda family. Bamboo, the bears’ primary food source, will be flown in so the animals can consume their requisite 40 kilograms a day, she said.The zoo had previously estimated the price tag for the pandas’ stay would reach $30 million once the cost of expanded parking, renovated washrooms and other guest facilities were included in the tally.The zoo is hoping the pandas will attract an influx of visitors. Based on Toronto’s experience, the organization has good reason for its optimism.The Toronto Zoo reported a boost in visitors when the parental pandas arrived in 2013 and recorded another spike when the cubs were born in 2016.It said 170,000 more people visited the facility that year compared to 2015, adding that 37.7 per cent of guests it surveyed said they were coming specifically to explore the panda exhibit.Exton-Parder said it’s hoped that some of the expected visitors will start thinking about animal conservation efforts, particularly for creatures closer to home that might be viewed as “less charismatic” than the teddy-bear-like pandas.“We in Canada may sometimes forget about leopard frogs and Vancouver Island marmots and species that are disappearing,” she said. “That’s kind of a big job for (the pandas) too. With them being here and the conservation messages that they carry with them, it opens that door to inspire Canadians to pay a little more attention to their own backyard.”Once Da Mao and Er Shun’s first pair of progeny have departed back to their ancestral homeland, Exton-Parder said the zoo will focus on seeing if it’s possible to produce more panda cubs. Researchers will work with Er Shun’s limited reproductive window, she said, and explore whether the giant panda might be able to conceive and give birth again.last_img read more


first_imgAdvertisement Ethel Bruneau’s tap school is something of an institution, not just in Dorval, but in the wider Montreal dance community.Bruneau, who is now 82, casts a long shadow and has had a hand in teaching hundreds, if not thousands, of young people and adults during her career.This month she’s closing another chapter, as she bids farewell to the dance school she’s run in Dorval for the last 14 years. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook Bruneau says the rent on her studio is just too high, and student enrollment in dance classes isn’t what it used to be.“I don’t have the students that I had. Kids aren’t dancing like they used to. There used to be 200, 300 kids in here. Now I’m down to about five,” she said. Advertisementcenter_img Advertisement Login/Register With: Ethel Bruneau opened her first dance school in 1959 in Dorion, Que. Now she’s being forced to close her school in Dorval because she can no longer afford the rent. (CBC) Twitterlast_img read more

Moroccan Woman in Semifinals of Miss Italy Beauty Pageant

Rabat – Following in the footsteps of Iman Oubou who won the title of Miss New York, another model of Moroccan origin has been selected to take part in a beauty contest in Italy. 20-year-old Ahlam El Brinis, who was born in Padua, Italy to Moroccan parents, has recently been selected for the semi-final of the Miss Italy beauty pageant, which is scheduled to take place in the coastal town of Jesolo on September 20th.However, the young Moroccan model from Montebelluna in northerneast Italy has been threatened on social media for taking part in the Italian beauty pageant, The Local reported. El Brinis, who said was born Muslim but is a non-practicing Muslim, has been the target of threats on Facebook for her scantily clad photographs and for ‘dishonoring Islam.’“Miss Italy is a beauty contest, religion doesn’t enter into it and I don’t want everything focused on that,” El Brinis told Italian media.“Everyone is free to choose and follow their religion in their own way,” she said. “I am aware that there are more conservative people who might think that I am mistaken about what I do.Media headlines in Italy have also described her as “the miss who challenges Islam”.“Insults and threats don’t hurt me,” she added. “But honestly that doesn’t interest me because I have my family’s support and that is enough for me”.“I will follow my own path. “Whoever is attacking me has an old-fashioned attitude. They are writing about me on Facebook, they are offending me. What I am doing wrong by modeling?”© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission read more

Lanka rejects 98 recommendations at UPR

[xxxv] The Government of Sri Lanka maintains a working relationship with the ICRC [ii]  Enactment is the prerogative of Parliament. Draft Bill is before Cabinet The troika initially said that Sri Lanka had rejected 100 recommendations and accepted 120 but the draft report was later amended and the final figure saw Sri Lanka reject 98 recommendations and accept 111. 129.5            Accede to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, including accession to its Agreement on Privileges and Immunities (Slovakia);129.6            Ratify the Rome Statute of the ICC as well as OP-CAT and establish a National Torture Prevention Mechanism (Austria);129.7            Ratify the OP-CAT (Brazil);129.8            Ratify at the earliest the OP-CAT (Maldives);129.9            Accede to the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (Czech Republic);129.10          Ratify the Second Optional Protocol to ICCPR (Turkey);129.11          Continue its efforts to ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (Argentina);129.12          Ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (Belgium, Iraq)129.13          Accede to the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (France);129.14          Ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance; the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Statute of the International Criminal Court (Spain);129.15          Sign the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (Sweden);129.16          Fully incorporate the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women into its domestic system (Slovenia);[i]129.17          Accept Articles 76 and 77 of the ICRMW (Philippines);129.18          Consider ratifying ILO Convention 189 (Philippines);129.19          Consider the possibility of abolishing the death penalty from its legal framework (Argentina);129.20          Consider the definite abolishment of the death penalty in its internal legislation and accede (Ecuador);            129.20          Abolish definitely death penalty (Spain);            129.21          Seriously consider the possibility to abolish capital punishment (Italy);            129.22          Take immediate steps towards the abolition of the death penalty in law (New Zealand);            129.23          Decriminalize consenting homosexual relationships between persons over the age of consent by repealing Section 365A of the penal code (Canada);            129.24          Adopt the draft bill on witness and victim protection (Germany);[ii]            129.25          Adopt legislation on appointments that would ensure the independence of the Human Rights Commission (New Zealand)[iii];            129.26          Enact the legislation to ensure the Right to Information and bring it in line with international human rights standards (Norway);[iv]            129.27          Enact urgent legislative amendments to the Penal Code to ensure that the rights of women from all religious and ethnic communities are safeguarded (New Zealand)[v];            129.28          Fully implement the recommendations of the LLRC, in particular steps to ensure independent and effective investigations into all allegations of serious human rights violations , in the context of Sri Lanka’s civil war and its aftermath (Austria )[vi]*;            129.33          Rapidly implement the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (France);[vii]*            129.34          Continue implementing the recommendations of the LLRC report and the report of the Panel of Expert in accordance with the Human Rights Council Resolution 19/2 (Germany);            129.35          Accelerate the process of putting into practice its National Action Plan for the promotion and protection of human rights launched in 2011, and its Action Plan for the implementation of the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry and Reconciliation adopted in July 2012, and fully cooperate with the UN mechanisms in order to rapidly turn the page on the atrocities of the civil war (Tunisia);            129.36          Implement the constructive recommendations of the LLRC, including the removal of the military from civilian functions, creation of mechanisms to address cases of the missing and detained, issuance of death certificates, land reform; devolution of power; and disarming paramilitaries (USA);[viii]*            129.37          Ensure the concrete implementation of the report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission and the National Strategy as envisaged by the Plan of Action (Belgium);[ix]*             129.39          Initiate an inclusive dialogue which would guarantee minority representatives a fair joint-decision power on the basis of the four previous decisions (APRC Expert Majority Report, All Party Representative Committee Report, Proposals for Constitutional Reforms, and Mangala Report) (Switzerland 3)[x];            129.42          Closely cooperate with the international community in implementing the recommendations by the LLRC and the National Action Plan for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights in the context of promoting reconciliation and accountability (Republic of Korea);            129.43          Seek assistance of the international community, including relevant experiences, for the implementation of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission recommendations (Botswana);             129.44          Take advantage fully and effectively from the technical assistance provided by the international community in the field of training and capacity-building of national institutions on human rights (Qatar);            129.45          Guarantee access to the North and the East of the country to international and local humanitarian organizations specialized on family tracing and reunification programs (Uruguay);            129.46          Expedite implementation of reconciliation measures in the North. This would include removing oversight of humanitarian and NGO activities from the purview of Ministry of Defense to a civilian body, reducing the intrusiveness of military presence on civilian life in the North and setting a specific date for free and fair Northern Provincial Council elections (Canada );            129.47          Strengthen the capacities of its National Human Rights Commission, make it more independent and bring it in conformity with the Paris Principles (Tunisia)[xi]            129.48          Adopt a national policy to provide human rights defenders with protection and ensure investigation and punishment of threats or attacks against them (Czech Republic);[xii]            129.49          Fully cooperate with United Nations Human Rights mechanisms (Burkina Faso)[xiii];            129.50          Continue its constructive engagement and cooperation with the international human rights mechanism, including through technical cooperation (Indonesia);            129.51          Intensify its cooperation with the Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances to establish the fate of those who may have not been accounted for at the end of the armed conflict (Timor-Leste)[xiv];            129.52          Invite the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (France, Uruguay);[xv]            129.53          Continue its constructive engagement with the United Nations Special Procedures, including the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, by inviting the Working Group to visit the country (Brazil);[xvi]            129.54          Accept the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances request for visit (Chile);[xvii]             129.55          Ensure a climate in which all citizens are able to freely express their opinions and beliefs, without fear of reprisal or retribution and invite the Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression to visit (UK)[xviii];             129.56          Extend a standing invitation to the United Nations Special Rapporteurs and normalize its relations and cooperation with United Nations Human Rights mechanisms (Belgium );            129.57          Step up its cooperation with the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council by responding positively to the pending visit requests of the Special Procedures mandate holders and eventually consider extending a standing invitation to all the Special Procedures mandate holders of the Human Rights Council (Latvia);            129.58          Further strengthen cooperation with the UN human rights mechanisms, particularly Special Procedures and try to respond in a timely manner to the questionnaires sent by the Special Procedures (Kazakhstan );             129.59          Strengthen the measures to eliminate all discriminatory treatment based on sexual orientation or gender identity (Argentina );[xix]             129.60          Take further steps  to ensure more participation of Sri Lankan Muslims in the reconciliation process and national efforts of economic, social, and cultural integration (Egypt );[xx]            129.61          Take concrete measures in implementing the 30 percent quota for women in the nomination lists at national, provincial and local elections as pledged in the National Human Rights Action Plan (Norway )[xxi];            129.62          Continue to focus on establishing and strengthening institutions of governance with a view to contributing towards adequate protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, provisions of adequate remedies where violations occur, and zero tolerance for impunity (South Africa );[xxii]            129.63          Create a reliable investigation commission consisting of professional and independent investigators to identify, arrest and prosecute the perpetrators of the Muttur murders (France);[xxiii]            129.64          Create an independent mechanism to look into the issue of disappeared persons with its own unique database (France);            129.65          Publish the names and places of detention of all the imprisoned persons (France )[xxiv];            129.66          Take action to reduce and eliminate all cases of abuse, torture or mistreatment by police and security forces (Australia );[xxv]            129.67          Adopt further measures to prevent torture and ill-treatment in particular in prison and detention centers (Czech Republic);            129.68          Establish an effective independent monitoring mechanism to investigate complaints of torture (Poland );[xxvi]            129.69          Carry out independent investigations into possible cases of torture as well as reprisals related to cooperation with international human rights bodies (Poland );[xxvii]             129.70          Determine the whereabouts of children whose fate is unknown (Uruguay);            129.71          Take action to reduce and eliminate all cases of abductions and disappearances (Australia );[xxviii]             129.72          Establish immediately a publicly accessible central register for all persons missing or in custody (Germany );[xxix]            129.73          Establish a National Mechanism, as requested in the report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission, in order to shed light on the fate of all disappeared persons and detained persons and to cooperate with the ICRC and the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance (Switzerland)[xxx];            129.74          Maintain a public and accessible list of all detainees in the country, including those that were detained for incidents related with the armed conflict (Mexico)[xxxi];            129.75          Strengthen relevant legislations and administrative measures to ensure transparency and non-impunity in the judicial process on all alleged enforced disappearance cases including investigation , prosecution and reparation , which would help contribute towards its national reconciliation ( Thailand); [xxxii]             129.76          End impunity for human rights violations and fulfill legal obligations regarding accountability (USA);            129.77          Take all necessary steps to fully commit to end impunity for international crimes by acceding to the Rome Statute of the ICC and to fully align its national legislation with all obligations under the Rome Statute (Sweden );            129.78          Hold accountable all persons who are liable for the violation of human rights and humanitarian law (Estonia);            129.79          Investigate and prosecute those responsible for abductions and forced disappearances and increase awareness of the State security services about these offences (Belgium);            129.80          Make every effort to ensure that those responsible for crimes against children, and in particularly concerning the recruitment of child soldiers, are brought to justice as soon as possible (Sweden);[xxxiii]            129.81          Implement the recommendations of the UN Panel of Experts on accountability, bringing all those allegedly responsible for violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law to justice in compliance with international standards (Slovakia);            129.82          Improve detention conditions and respect for judicial guarantees for inmates, fighting against torture and inhuman and degrading treatment in detention centers in line with commitments taken during the May 2008 UPR session (Spain);            129.83          Strengthen judicial independence by ending government interference with the judicial process, protecting members of the judiciary from attacks and restoring a fair, independent and transparent mechanism (USA);             129.84          Take all necessary measures to ensure the independence and the integrity of the judiciary and oversight bodies (Poland );            129.85          Safeguard the independence of its judiciary (Slovakia);            129.86          Conduct impartial investigations and prosecutions against members of the security forces, regardless of rank, implicated in violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, including sexual violence (Denmark);            129.87          Grant due process rights to all detainees held in both military and police facilities, including those held in administrative detention; disclose all unofficial detention sites; and facilitate effective and independent monitoring of detainees (Denmark );[xxxiv]            129.88.         Allow the International Committee of the Red Cross unrestrictive access to detention centres (Costa Rica);[xxxv]            129.89          Undertake measures that would allow citizens to have access to public information, in particular on alleged violations of human rights (Mexico);[xxxvi]            129.90          Accelerate the improvement of the judicial, police, military and prison systems in line with international human rights standards and to investigate all allegations of extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary killings and enforced disappearances and follow-up according to justice requirements (Holy See);            129.91          Transfer NGO oversight to a civilian institution and protect freedom of expression (USA);            129.92          Adopt a National Policy on the protection of human rights defenders and journalists in order to prevent harassment and intimidation and to ensure effective investigation of such acts and prosecution of perpetrators (Austria );[xxxvii]            129.93          Refrain from restricting access to and banning from websites and withdraw the Order of 5 November 2011 with requires news sites to be registered (Netherlands);[xxxviii]            129.94          Desist from campaigns and threats against human rights defenders and ensure the investigation by an independent police commission into missing persons from this group, in line with the LLRC report recommendations on involuntary disappearances in a wider context (Netherlands );            129.95          Ensure that all human rights defenders, including individuals cooperating with UN HR mechanisms, are protected effectively from unjustified criminalization, harassment or intimidation and can perform freely their legitimate duties (Slovakia) [xxxix];            129.96          Take immediate steps to prevent attacks on the human rights defenders and media and take action to investigate such acts (Slovenia);            129.97          Increase efforts aiming to guarantee the right to freedom of religion and belief (Spain 5)[xl];              129.98          Continue to expand its social security coverage (South Africa);[xli]            129.99          Create a mechanism to ensure that all internally displaced persons, including 66,151 “Old IDPS” and further 37,123 living with host communities, receive a written statement detailing their entitlements and plans for return to their original homes (Canada);            129.100       Repeal Sections 9 (1) and 15 (A) (1) of the Prevention of Terrorism Act to ensure that detainees are held only in recognized places of detention, with regularized procedures and safeguards to protect detainees including access to legal representation and systematic notification to families of detainee whereabouts (Canada); Sri Lanka has rejected 98 recommendations submitted by countries at the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in Geneva, the troika tasked with serving as rapporteurs for Sri Lanka’s UPR said in its draft report.Benin, India and Spain submitted its draft report on Sri Lanka at the UPR today. Presenting the report on Sri Lanka, the Ambassador of Spain to the UN in Geneva said that 210 recommendations were made to Sri Lanka. The recommendations below did not enjoy the support of Sri Lanka: [xxv] The Government of Sri Lanka subscribes to a zero tolerance policy on Torture [i] Further consideration is required in view of the constitutional and legislative processes in the country. [xvi] Request for visit under consideration [xvii] Request for visit under consideration The Ambassador said that Sri Lanka had explained why the several recommendations were rejected. [xxxix] They enjoy equal protection of the law as mandated by the Constitution Meanwhile Cuba, China and Russia raised concerns over what they said were attempts to use the UPR process to create a rift in the council and target a particular country.After the draft report was adopted Sri Lanka’s special envoy for human rights, Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe, said that Sri Lanka will send a set of voluntary pledges to the UN Human Rights Secretariat within two weeks. [xxx] Under consideration [xxii] Action already undertaken. [xxxiv] Unofficial detention sites are non-existent in Sri Lanka [viii]  Sri Lanka has undertaken to implement the National Action Plan on the implementation of the LLRC recommendations [ix] Sri Lanka has undertaken to implement the National Action Plan on the implementation of the LLRC recommendations [x] Matter to be placed before the Parliamentary Select Committee for consideration. [xxxi] Database accessible to NOK is already available [xl] Article 10 of the Constitution ensures and affords protection of these rights which are entrenched. It is further guaranteed by Article 14 (1) (e) [xv] Request for visit under consideration [xxiv] Procedure is governed by the rules under the Prison’s Ordinance [iii] Action completed. These are special mechanisms created by the provisions of the Constitution and therefore enjoy functional and institutional independence. [vii] Sri Lanka has undertaken to implement the National Action Plan on the implementation of the LLRC recommendations [xiii] Action is in progress [xix] The matter is presently under consideration [xviii] Invitation under consideration [xxxiii] Sri Lanka has been de-listed from Annex II of the UN Security Council Resolution 1612 on Children and Armed Conflict [vi] Sri Lanka has undertaken to implement the National Action Plan on the implementation of the LLRC recommendations [xxiii] Two special teams have been established within the Police and Attorney General’s Department to examine the relevant material [xxvii] Government of Sri Lanka has a zero tolerance policy on Torture. Special mechanisms are currently in place to enhance the protectionary measures by the circulars issued by the Executive. [xii] The Government of Sri Lanka has a policy of protecting such persons as enshrined in the Fundamental Rights Chapter in the Constitution [xxxvii] The Government of Sri Lanka has a policy of protecting such persons as enshrined in the Fundamental Rights Chapter in the Constitution [xxix] Database accessible to NOK is already available [xxviii] Action underway [xx] The Muslim community is already engaged in relevant discussions, and will also be represented in the proceedings of the Parliamentary Select Committee. [xxxvi] Cabinet to decide the suitable timeframe 129.2            Accede to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and draft a law on cooperation between the State and the Court (Uruguay);129.3            Accede to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (Costa Rica, Ecuador);129.4            Ratify the Rome Statue of the International Criminal Court and fully align its legislation with all the obligations under the Rome Statute, including incorporating the Rome Statute definition of crimes and general principles, as well as adopting provisions enabling cooperation with the Court (Latvia); [xxxii]  Insufficient clarity of language [xxi] Matter is under consideration in the context of relevant judicial pronouncements [iv] Cabinet to decide the suitable time frame [xxxviii] The freedom of expression does not include the license to defame or vilify persons who have no effective redress and such media do not qualify for any special protection He also said that the government will keep the Secretariat updated on the progress of the post war developments in Sri Lanka. (Colombo Gazette) [xi] This is an ongoing process given the highest priority as it is a Constitutional mechanism 129.1            Examine the possibility of ratifying OP-CAT and the Rome Statute (Tunisia); [v] Articles 10, 12 of the Constitution ensure the protection of these rights. [xxvi] Government of Sri Lanka has a zero tolerance policy on Torture. Special mechanisms are currently in place to enhance the protectionary measures by the circulars issued by the Executive. [xli] Recommendation not clear read more

UN assures President cooperation and drought relief

The WFP said it can extend the food or cash for work programme to provide employment to rural people who were denied work because of the drought.WFP said the food/cash for work programme is already in operation in several districts. WFP said that such assurance of income to people would prevent them from indebtedness as there are instances of private money lenders providing the poor people with loans on exorbitant interest rates. WFP added that the people should be encouraged to take loans from government agencies that provide soft loans. The top UN officials thanked the President for establishing a Task Force to monitor and supervise the drought relief and assured that they would take every step to bring this impending calamity to the notice of the international community and seek their assistance. The United Nations and its affiliated bodies have said they will take serious note of the impending drought situation in Sri Lanka and assured President Maithripala Sirisena that they would extend their fullest cooperation to the Presidential Task Force to provide drought relief, the President’s office said.Top level UN officials, including the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Sri Lanka, Una McCauley, the World Food Programme’s (WFP) Representative and Country Director for Sri Lanka, Brenda Barton and Ms. Emelda Berejena, Chief Technical Advisor at FAO called on President Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat today to discuss issues pertaining to the drought and the relief organization. The UN representative said as the first step the UN could provide expertise in monitoring, evaluation and communication regarding the drought situation. UN officials said that one of the main problems of the drought would be the drinking water shortage and that would lead to health issues in the long run. They also discussed the issue of finding an adequate number of bowsers to supply water to drought affected areas.The President thanked the UN Heads for their concern over the drought situation and invited them to attend the Task Force meetings every week to further monitor the situation. (Colombo Gazette) read more

Aurecon acts as Owners Engineer on two recent AngloGold Ashanti gold mine

first_imgGlobal engineering and infrastructure advisory company Aurecon supported AngloGold Ashanti as Owner’s Engineer on two recently completed power plants. In 2017, AngloGold Ashanti commissioned the construction of a 40 MW power plant at Geita Gold Mine in the Mwanza region of north-western Tanzania. The following year, Aurecon was again appointed as Owner’s Engineer for the 30 MW power plant at Siguiri Gold Mine in the north-east of the Republic of Guinea.“High-efficiency Wärtsilä 32TS dual-fuel generators have been installed at both mines and the facilities are now fully operational. Our team and the client are well-pleased with the results,” says Pieter Jansen van Rensburg, Aurecon Principal Power Generation Engineer. The objective of both projects was to supply stable and reliable power to the mining operations. As the Owner’s Engineer in each case, Aurecon was involved from design through construction and the final commissioning.“The two power plants were designed to support the future operations of the gold mines. These captive power solutions, which are quite common in remote African locations, are used where utility grids are either unavailable or unreliable. Our role in the projects, whether as Owner’s Engineer or technical advisors, was in essence to reduce technical risks, confirm that the plants met the owner’s requirements and were constructed according to relevant engineering standards,” says Jansen van Rensburg.In addition to reviewing the Engineering, Procurement and Construction design, Aurecon performed risk studies and supplied oversight for factory testing, construction, commissioning and performance testing of both power plants. The company carried out electrical network integration studies to ensure safe and effective integration into the existing mine networks. For the Geita power plant, Aurecon also designed the overhead transmission line from the power plant to the process plant, and the fuel supply system from the fuel depot to the power plant.The challenges presented by these projects ranged from working in remote locations to the need to harness an extensive variety of technical expertise. Aurecon’s multidisciplinary team provided support and oversight in areas of project management, mechanical, electrical, control and instrumentation, geotechnical, civil and structural engineering, CAD, health, safety and environment, quality control, project controls and planning, document control, administration, contracting, risk assessment and construction.Sibu Mvana, Aurecon Unit Manager – Energy, comments: “One of our multitalented resident engineers was able to pick up Swahili during his time on site in Tanzania, and he learned French when he was in the Republic of Guinea. Our team’s can-do attitude assisted our client to deliver these projects successfully in other important ways: we were able to identify risks and suggest solutions around potential problems to make sure the client achieved the best possible outcome. The electricity from the mines supports local communities and it is rewarding to be a part of projects that will serve African communities for years to come.” Aurecon advises various clients throughout Africa in the field of power generation, including wind and solar power.last_img read more

Milutin Dragicevic back to Constanta

← Previous Story WCh 2013: Balkan Handball in Spain! Next Story → Alen Blazevic two years in Pick Szeged! constantadragicevicgermany handballRomania handballTHW Kiel After two unsuccessful years in THW Kiel, the Serbian pivot, Milutin Dragicevic (29), where he did not get real chance to show his qualities, is back to the Romanian HCM Constanta, a team where he left a very good impression from 2005 to 2007 when he played there. The great plays for Constanta in that period prompted the Danish Silkeborg to buy him and immediately make him player of the season in the Danish championship, and all of this was followed by a four-year deal with THW Kiel, which is now ended on mutual agreement after just two years… read more

Android Market gets movie rentals with pinning for offline viewing

first_imgDuring Google’s I/O conference keynote yesterday, along with Google’s announcements of Honeycomb 3.1, Google’s tablet OS, and Ice Cream Sandwich, an upcoming OS for both phones and tablets, Google also announced that the Android Market will now feature thousands of movies ready for customers to rent starting right now.The movies have a rental period of 30 days, but once you start watching one, you have only 24 hours to watch the movie. The rentals start at just $1.99 and go up to $4.99. The best part about Google offering movie rentals in the Android Market is that it introduces a new feature called “pinning.” This feature lets you download a movie in the background by simply clicking the pin icon on the movie. You can then watch the movie when you’re not connected to WiFi, which is good news for those of us who like to watch videos while we’re traveling on an airplane.Movies will be available on all Android 2.2 or higher devices in a couple of weeks, according to Google. Tablets will also get support with an upgrade to Android 3.1. Movies are available to rent on the web now, though.With yesterday’s announcement from YouTube that the video-streaming company is expanding its video rental service with 3,000 more titles, it seems that the rental market has a lot of competitors. Customers can now choose to rent movies from Netflix, iTunes, Amazon, YouTube, or Google. If there are any brick and mortar rental stores left in the world, they might not be around for much longer.last_img read more

Geek deals Black Friday edition

first_imgWelcome fellow Geeks to the Black Friday edition of Geek deals, where we are bringing you some of the hottest deals on the web during this uber-shopping weekend. Keep in mind that quantities and time will be limited with some of these deals, so if something catches your eye you better jump on it.If you don’t see something that you’re looking for, be sure to check out LogicBuy’s Black Friday deal center for the most up-to-date deals.Laptops17.3-inch Dell Inspiron 17R Special Edition 3rd Gen Core i7 Quad-core Laptop w/1080p LCD, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD + 32GB SSD, 2GB Graphics for $849.99 with free shipping (normally $1,099.99 – use coupon code ND$5L3354XFGCP).15.6-inch Dell Inspiron 15R Special Edition 3rd Gen Core i7 Quad-core Laptop w/1080p LCD, 8GB RAM, 750GB HDD for $849.99 with free shipping (normally $999.99 – use coupon code DGB4DGV2F3G4DV).Dell Inspiron 17R 3rd Gen Core i5 17.3″ Laptop w/ 1TB Hard Drive, 6GB RAM, more for $549.99 with free shipping (normally $888.99 – use coupon code 18Z?PZZ?J?WZTM).15.6-inch Toshiba Satellite C850D-BT3N11 AMD Dual-Core Laptop w/4GB RAM, WebCam for $279.99 with free shipping (normally $509.99 – use coupon code BFC850D).15.6-inch Lenovo IdeaPad U510 Core i7 Ivy Bridge Ultrabook w/1TB HDD + 32GB SSD, 8GB RAM, 1GB GeForce GT 625M for $879 with free shipping (normally $1,099.99 – use coupon code: BLACKFRIDAY).13.3-inch Dell XPS 13 Core i5 Ultrabook w/4GB RAM, 128GB SSD for $799.99 with free shipping (normally $949.99).DesktopsDell Vostro 270s Core i5 Ivy Bridge Desktop w/4GB RAM, 1TB Hard Drive & Wireless-N for $424 with free shipping (normally $849 – use coupon code: 051348KD$Z8QDB).Dell XPS 8500 3rd Gen Core i7 Quad-core Desktop w/12GB RAM, 2TB Hard Drive + 24″ Dell UltraSharp U2412M 192×0 x 1200 IPS LED-backlit LCD Monitor for $863.09 with free shipping (normally $1,318.99 – use coupon codes: WD2174T65B2G2C and VJ7$295NPV28MN).Alienware X51 3rd Gen Core i7 Quad-core mini Gaming PC w/16GB RAM, 2TB HDD, Blu-ray, GeForce GTX 660 for $1,249 with free shipping (normally $1,499 – use coupon code ZQKX676QF8LJ2V ).23.6-inch HP Spectre ONE 23-e010se Core i5 Ivy Bridge Slim All-in-one PC w/ Trackpad for $974.99 with free shipping (normally $1,299.99 – use 25% coupon code DT1261 ).TabletsToshiba Excite Tablet for just $249 with free shipping (normally $529 – use coupon code: BFBLA4).Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11 Convertible Ultrabook w/ NVIDIA Tegra 3 & Windows RT for $679.20 with free shipping (normally $849 – use coupon code: BLACKFRIDAY).Computer hardware30-inch Dell UltraSharp U3011 IPS-Panel LCD monitor w/2560×1600 for $1,049 with free shipping (normally $1,399).29-inch Dell UltraSharp U2913WM panoramic 2560 x 1080 LED-backlit LCD Monitor for $629 with free shipping (normally $699.99 – use coupon code: VJ7$295NPV28MN ).27-inch Dell S2740L 1080p LED-backlit LCD Monitor w/Ultra Wide Angle for $309.99 with free shipping (normally $369.99).Seagate Expansion 3TB USB 3.0 Desktop External Hard Drive (STBV3000100) for $126 with free shipping (normally $140 – Use coupon code VJ7$295NPV28MN).Logitech Bluetooth Illuminated Keyboard K810 for $84.99 with free shipping (normally $100 – use coupon code: P83Q8GXNJK9Q0R).Logitech Wireless Illuminated Keyboard K800 for $79.99 with free shipping (normally $94.99).TVs and home entertainment73-inch Mitsubishi WD73C12 1080p DLP Home Cinema TV for $849.99 with free shipping (normally $1,199.99 – use coupon code TLNN6MFH?GNXVH ).60-inch Sharp LC-60E69U 1080p 120Hz LCD HDTV for $798.99 with free shipping (normally $1,099.99 – use coupon code ?09?5SH5X7J81P).50-inch LG 50PA5500 1080p 600Hz Plasma HDTV for $549.99 with free shipping (normally $999.99).42-inch Sharp LC-42SV50U 1080p LCD HDTV for $299.99 with free shipping (normally $479.99 – use coupon code TQCF4?6SN5XZD0 ).Pinnacle 700-Watt MB10000 Audiophile 5.1 Speaker System for $369.99 with free shipping (normally $1,099.99 – use coupon code P2VFB55S4JHML3 )Samsung BD-E5400 Wi-Fi Blu-ray Disc Player for $67.99 with free shipping (normally $99.99)OfficeHerman Miller Aeron Chair for $534.65 with free shipping (normally $629.99).Herman Miller Envelop Desk for $816 with free shipping (normally $960).Herman Miller Embody Chair for $934 with free shipping (normally $1,099.99).CamerasSony Cyber-shot DSC-W650 16-MP Digital Camera (black) w/16GB Memory Card for $88 with free shipping (normally $158).Samsung WB150F Wifi 14-MP Digital Camera w/ 18x Optical Zoom for $129.99 with free shipping (normally $229.99).Samsung HMX-W300 Waterproof 5MP HD Pocket Camcorder for $140 plus free shipping (normally $160).Samsung NX1000 Mirrorless Wi-Fi 20MP Digital Camera w/20-50mm Lens for $450 plus free shipping (normally $700).AccessoriesJawbone Jambox Bluetooth Portable Speaker for $154 with free shipping (normally $179 – use coupon code: DigFallSave5).Bose AE2 Audio Headphones for $134.99 with free shipping (normally $150).GamingDance Central 3 (Xboc 360) for $14.99 with free shipping (normally $50).CaffeineNescafe Dolce Gusto Creativa Plus Coffee Maker (EDG716R) for $129.95 plus free shipping (normally $219.99).last_img read more

Business forum on property

first_imgHACCI and Delphi Bank are hosting a business forum on tax considerations for property developments. Held at the Intercontinental Hotel in Melbourne in the Rialto, 495 Collins Street at 6:30 pm on Thursday 10 October. The forum is open to all. Contact (03) 9602 2977 for more information. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img

Lantidiabétique Avandia bientôt retiré du marché

first_imgL’antidiabétique Avandia bientôt retiré du marché ?Europe – L’antidiabétique Avandia du laboratoire GlaxoSmithKline pourrait bientôt être retiré du marché, c’est en tout cas ce que préconise l’Agence européenne pour l’évaluation des médicaments ou EMEA.A cause des risques qu’il présente, l’Avandia pourrait bientôt être retiré du marché européen sur recommandation de l’Agence européenne pour l’évaluation des médicaments. Une décision que l’Agence américaine FDA ne suit pas, tout en imposant quelques conditions à sa distribution. Et Reuters d’expliquer que l’antidiabétique a été un temps le second traitement le plus vendu du laboratoire Glaxo, ce qui n’est plus le cas aujourd’hui si l’on en croit la baisse des ventes.Si l’on en croit l’EMEA, Avandia pourrait donc être suspendu en attendant une décision officielle de la Commission européenne d’ici 15 jours. L’une des raisons principales qui motive la suspension du médicament est sa propension à augmenter les risques d’insuffisance cardiaque, ce qui est également le cas pour l’Actos, le médicament concurrent. Ce risque important a d’ailleurs été confirmé par une étude publiée en 2007. Janet Woodock, la directrice du centre de recherche et d’évaluation des médicaments de la FDA aux États-Unis explique de son côté à Reuters : “Pour rester prudents, nous en restreignons l’accès. Nous ne retirons pas le médicament pour l’heure parce qu’il y a beaucoup d’incertitudes sur cet avertissement, s’il est valide ou non”.Le 24 septembre 2010 à 12:48 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

Apple devrait dominer le marché des tablettes jusquen 2015

first_imgApple devrait dominer le marché des tablettes jusqu’en 2015Une étude du cabinet Gartner révèle qu’Apple continuera à dominer le marché des tablettes tactiles au moins jusqu’en 2015. Apple peut dormir sur ses deux oreilles, au moins jusqu’en 2015. Selon les projections du cabinet Gartner, relayées par l’AFP, la marque à la pomme, grâce notamment à l’ensemble de programmes et d’applications compatibles avec l’iPad, aura une part de marché de 68,7% en 2011, contre 83,9% l’an dernier, puis 63,5% l’an prochain et 47,1% en 2015. A l’inverse, Google et son Android devrait monter de 14,2% à 19,9% de part de marché cette année, puis 24,4% en 2012 et 38,6% en 2015. Une certaine inversion de la tendance qui ne bousculera pas l’ordre établi, surtout que la concurrence ne s’y prend pas spécialement bien pour rivaliser avec Apple, explique une analyste de Gartner, Carolina Milanesi. “En voyant la réaction des consommateurs et des entreprises face à l’iPad, beaucoup de fabricants essaient de le concurrencer en fournissant d’abord du matériel, puis en développant un environnement pour la plateforme. Mais beaucoup font la même erreur qu’avec la première vague des iPhones, en donnant la priorité au matériel plutôt qu’aux applications, aux services et à l’ensemble de l’expérience des usagers”, analyse-t-elle. Pour cette spécialiste, “les tablettes dépendront beaucoup plus (des programmes) que les smartphones, et plus tôt les fabricants s’en rendront compte, meilleures seront leurs chances de concurrencer Apple”.   Le 12 avril 2011 à 19:02 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

Equality and Human Rights Commission publishes final gender pay gap enforcement action

first_imgThe Equality and Human Rights Commission has published its final report detailing the procedures for enforcement action relating to the gender pay gap reporting regulations.Its Closing the gap: enforcing the gender pay gap regulations report outlines the different stages of legal action that all non-compliant employers will face after the gender pay gap reporting deadline has expired. The deadline is set at 4 April for private sector organisations and charities and 30 March for public sector organisations.Initially, the Commission will look to resolve non-compliance by writing to employers who have failed to comply with the gender pay gap reporting regulations. This will include employers who have submitted data that has not been calculated in accordance with the regulations as well as employers who have failed to publish any data at all.The Commission will send enforcement letters on 9 April and employers will then have 28 days to comply before a formal investigation takes place and an unlawful act notice is issued. Employers who continue to fail to comply with the gender pay gap reporting regulations will ultimately receive an unlimited fine that is decided by the courts.For 2018-2019, the Commission aims to initiate enforcement action against all employers who have not reported their pay gap data.Rebecca Hilsenrath, chief executive officer at the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said: “Employers with 250 or more staff still have time to report their gender pay gap. The clock is ticking and with just 10 days to go, those who haven’t reported really are entering the last chance saloon. This is not optional; it is the law and we will be full enforcing against all [organisations] that do not report.“This legislation is in place to bring about better gender equality in the workplace and any employer not complying needs to ask themselves tough questions, re-think their priorities, be prepared for serious reputational damage, and be ready to face a very unhappy workforce.”Jemima Olchawski, head of policy and insight at the Fawcett Society, added: “The gender pay gap represents a productivity gap. It’s bad for women who lose out on potential earnings and career opportunities but also bad for businesses who are failing to properly recruit, promote and reward women. Pay gap reporting is an opportunity to look at the data, understand the cause and nature of the gap in an organisation and develop a plan to close it.”last_img read more

Rahul Gandhi working on roadmap for Wayanad development

first_imgKozhikode (Kerala):Congress President Rahul Gandhi has invited 25 leaders from the Congress and the IUML to help him prepare a roadmap for the overall development of his constituency Wayanad, a party leader said on Wednesday. Those called to meet him in Delhi on Friday include state Congress President Mullapally Ramachandran, Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala, district Congress presidents of Wayanad, Kozhikode and Malappuram as well as some Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) leaders. “Rahul Gandhi has indicated that he wants to bring systematic development in his constituency keeping in mind its environment,” Kozhikode district Congress President T. Sidiq said here. “His offices in the constituency would also be streamlined to see speedy redressal of issues that the people face,” said Sidiq.last_img read more

ACB staff participate in Vanam Manam programme

first_imgOngole: The Prakasam district Anti Corruption Bureau staff participated in the Vanam Manam programme and planted 100 saplings on Friday. ACB DSP KVVNV Prasad, inspector Raghava Rao and other personnel from the district office reached Zilla Parishad High School in Alluru village in Kothapatam mandal. They planted 100 saplings along with the students and teachers in the school in a fun-filled environment. The DSP explained the students about global warming, need of planting the trees and how it helps the environment and encouraged them to continue the good deed. The teaching and non-teaching staff of the school thanked the ACB team for their visit to the school and assured to take care of the plants.last_img read more

Sahara Group gets 3month breather from auction of its New York properties

first_imgSubrata Roy’s Sahara Group has got relief from a foreclosure auction of its two New York properties till June. Two brothers, who had given a $900-million loan refinance facility to the group and were keen on auctioning the properties next month to recover the money, have agreed to give three months to the Group, PTI reported, citing sources.Brothers David and Simon Reuben had extended the facility to enable refinance of a loan the group had taken from the Bank of China, which had held the three overseas properties of the embattled Group as collaterals. The three properties are Grosvenor House Hotel in London, and the two US hotels — the New York Plaza and Dream New York.The Sahara Group has about 75 percent stake in New York Plaza while the remaining 25 percent is with Prince Alwaleed bin-Talal of Saudi Arabia.The group’s chief, Subrata Roy, is in New Dehhi’s Tihar jail since March 2014 over a legal dispute with capital markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi). The dispute pertains to over Rs 24,000 crore collected by two Sahara Group companies — Sahara India Real Estate Corporation Ltd (SIRECL) and Sahara Housing Investment Corporation Ltd (SHICL) — from over 3 crore investors through Optional Fully Convertible Debentures (OFCD) in an “illegal and unauthorised manner.” The group was directed by court to refund the amount to the investors along with an interest of 15 percent per annum.The group had initially furnished demand drafts for about Rs 5,120 crore, but failed to fully comply with further orders to deposit Rs 17,400 crore by February 2013, prompting contempt proceedings against them in the Supreme Court.”The record shows that at various stages the contemnors (Roy and other Group directors) gave the proposals for compliance with the directions which were explored from time to time, but eventually all these proposals were found to be unsatisfactory, yielding no tangible results. [sic]”This was perceived as stubborn attitude of the contemnors with sole intent to drag on the matter endlessly without complying with the orders. This attitude of the contemnors forced this Court to issue non-bailable warrants against Mr. Subrata Roy Sahara for his production and directing personal presence of the other three Directors in the Court on the date fixed, [sic]” the Supreme Court had said in its judgment dated June 19, 2015.The Supreme Court bench comprising Justices T S Thakur, Anil R Dave and A K Sikri had also said in their June 2015 judgment the total amount had “swelled to Rs 36,608 crore.”last_img read more

Plastic Aishwarya Rai to Akshay Kumars extra inches 5 Scandalous statements made

first_imgInstagramTrust Karan Johar, his couch and his coffee shots on the show – Koffee with Karan to stir up quite a storm. From scandalous statements to accidental confessions, celebrities from all walks of life have managed to grab headlines after every episode of the show. Let’s take a look at 5 most scandalous statements made by celebs on the show.Plastic Aishwarya Rai: Emraan Hashmi and chachu Mahesh Bhatt’s rapid-fire on Koffee with Karan, can most certainly be called the most controversial one. While Emraan Hashmi didn’t leave a stone unturned in creating a storm with his answers, Mahesh Bhatt too, was strongly uninhibitedly opinionated. While Emraan Hashmi said called Aishwarya Rai plastic and also said that Shraddha Kapoor should eat something.Overrated Kajol: Mahesh Bhatt was also in no mood to mince his words and gave some straight forward, sharp answers. On being asked who is an overrated director and actor in the industry. Mahesh Bhatt named Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Kajol.Housewife Sonakshi Sinha: On being asked what could be an alternate career option for Sonakshi Sinha, the candid Kareena had said, “Housewife.”Akshay Kumar’s extra inches: Known for her wit and humour, Twinkle Khanna gave it back sharply to Karan Johar during the rapid fire round. When Karan asked Twinkle ‘what is that one thing that Akshay have but the Khans don’t? Khanna cheekily said, “Few extra inches”. While she meant in terms of height, for many the answer did veer towards a different direction. Ahem!Priyanka Chopra’s accent: Until they appeared on the show together, there was no denying the fact that both Priyanka Chopra and Kareena Kapoor have been fierce competitors. So, when Karan asked Kareena what is that one question she woild like to ask Priyanka, Kareena was quick to say, “Where does she get the accent from?” And in her response, Priyanka too nailed it by saying, “The same place her boyfriend gets it from.”Ouch! Weren’t these some of the most shocking and scandalous statements ever made on the show.last_img read more

Make child marriage socially unacceptable

first_imgMarrying a minor girl off has to be made socially unacceptable so that guardians abstain from such a crime, speakers at a roundtable said on Thursday.The roundtable titled ‘What needs to be done to eliminate child marriage’ was organised by Prothom Alo in association with UNICEF at the daily’s office in the city.Addressing the roundtable, Nasima Begum, secretary to the Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs, said there has been widespread misinterpretation of the Clause 19 of the Child Marriage Restraint Act.She lamented that people are vilifying the government for the special provision in the act. She maintained there are many terms to be met before a minor is married off under that provision, which would make it a rarity. Nasima said that provision will only be used in the highest interests of the girl.To this end, Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust honourary executive director Sarah Hossain said the law should clearly mention that the consent of the girl is a must in such a situation.If a girl is forced to get married as a minor she should be able to call it void when she becomes a major, Sarah also suggested, referring to such a provision in the Muslim Marriage Law.Neha Kapil, chief of Communication for Development at UNICEF, said a multisectoral response is a must to tackle child marriage.            The role of the parents is vital here and that is why they should be made aware that getting a child married is socially unacceptable.UNICEF gender and development specialist Roshni Basu stressed the need for more investment to ensure girls get proper education. She also said there should be more efforts to eliminate gender discrimination.Abul Hossain, project director of Multi-sectoral Programme on Violence against Women, said the media should do more to create awareness to this end.Tania Haque, a faculty of Dhaka University’s women and gender studies department, urged the government to allocate more funds for research to this end. She also suggested incorporating lessons on human behaviour, attitude and manners in the syllabus. Plan International Bangladesh deputy country director for programmes Soumya Guha said education has to be humane and practical to ensure the plans get properly implemented.BRAC gender and diversity programme head Habibur Rahman said the home and education ministries should work with the women and children’s affairs ministry in tandem to help eliminate child marriage.He also said there should be a clear definition of this ‘highest interest’ as mentioned in the special provision.Humaira Farhanaz, national programme officer (gender, adolescent and youth) of UNFPA, said steps should be taken to help girls increase life skills, which will make them more confident.Mentioning that there are many cases where guardians think girls are not safe at the schools or workplaces, she underscored the need for a campaign against sexual harassment.Young girls should also have access to reproductive health services to handle the situation better, she observed.last_img read more

Last Day To Register To Vote For 2018 Primary Elections Is February

first_imgJohn Harvey/ The Texas TribuneYou can look up if you’re already registered to vote at the Texas Secretary of State’s website. Early voting starts on Feb. 20.Texas will host the first statewide primaries of 2018 on March 6 and, with the Feb. 5 registration deadline fast approaching, Houstonians don’t have much time left to become eligible to vote. Ann Harris Bennett, Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector & Voter Registrar reminds citizens that Monday, February 5, 2018 is the last day to register to vote for the 2018 Primary Elections.Voter registration applications must be received by her office or postmarked by that date for the applicant to be eligible to vote.“Every election is important,” said Bennett. “Especially after Hurricane Harvey, I want to ensure everyone has a voice. So I urge everyone to double-check their registration and be sure to send any address or name change updates to our office right away.”Here’s how Houstonians who haven’t yet registered to vote can do so in time for the March 6 primary:Citizens can register to vote at any local library, post office, with a Volunteer Deputy Voter Registrar or any of the 16 Harris County Tax Office branch locations.You may also print, sign, and mail a form into the Voter Registrar. Mailed applications must be postmarked before or on the Feb. 5 deadline.If a registered voter has recently moved (within Harris County) or who have changed their name, they can update their voter registration information by visiting and clicking on the Name/Address Change button under the Voter Registration tab.Residents that have voter registration questions can email or call 713-274-8683.You can look up if you’re already registered to vote at the Texas Secretary of State’s website.Early voting starts on Feb. 20. Sharelast_img read more

Orr Elem Set to Receive New Building

first_imgOn May 25, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) was joined by D.C. Schools Chancellor Antwan Wilson, D.C. Council members David Grosso (I-At Large) and Trayon White (D-Ward 8), Ward 8 D.C. State Board of Education member Markus Batchelor, Deputy Mayor for Education Jennifer Niles, and Director of General Services Greer Johnson Gillis to break ground on the new Benjamin Orr Elementary School in Southeast Washington. “My administration is committed to accelerating school reforms that gives all children, in every ward the opportunity to reach their full potential,” the mayor said. “Today’s groundbreaking marks the beginning of a great new chapter for the entire Orr community, including its incredible students, teachers, and families.”The projected design of the new Benjamin Orr Elementary school in Southeast D.C. (Courtesy Photo)The existing Orr Elementary school is an open space school built in 1974. Batchelor told the AFRO the open space concept is outdated and he is excited about the school’s new look.Orr is located in Ward 8 on Minnesota Avenue, S.E. and borders Ward 7 in a predominantly Black and working-class Fairlawn neighborhood. The school has 412 students and is 98.1 percent Black with less than a handful of Latinos and no White students according to District public school, a public school rating service, reports that 100 percent of Orr’s students are eligible for free lunch.That is in contrast with Janney Elementary School in predominantly White Ward 3 which is 74 percent White and seven percent Black with only three percent of its student body eligible for free lunch, according to the web site decades, there have been news reports and complaints from Orr’s faculty and staff and community leaders that the school is uncomfortably hot in the spring and fall and extremely cold in the winter. There have also been complaints about rodents in the facility.Since the school modernization program began under D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty in 2007, Fairlawn activists and every Ward 8 D.C. council member since then has called for Orr’s building upgrade. It is not clear why the beginning of Orr’s modernization started a decade later, but Bowser told the AFRO not to blame her.“I can only speak for the past two years,” the mayor said.  “We have been working on this for the past two years and the great thing is that the students don’t have to move to a new site.”Grosso concurred on the point of students going to school at the same site. “You will have a new building right here on the property,” he said. “That’s not true around the city.”The new school will feature 26 individual but flexible classrooms for students in pre-K through 5th grade. In addition to these teaching spaces, the new building will include a parent resource center, a dedicated suite for special education, a new library with an adjacent laptop lab and maker space, a music room, an art room with kiln, and an outdoor learning space.Wilson visited Orr a few months ago and was impressed with the instruction but not the facility.“I said ‘this school needs a new building’,” he said. “Bringing a new, world-class facility to the Orr Elementary School community so that our Ward 8 students can get high-quality teaching and learning in a high-quality building is a great achievement for our city.”The existing school will remain operational while the new building is under construction. Once the new school building opens in the Fall of 2018, the old building will be demolished. The project is slated to cost $47 million.The building will also have green, environmental sensitive features such as photovoltaic panels, onsite storm water retention, permeable paving, energy efficient equipment, daylight harvesting, and HVAC energy recovery.Carolyn Jackson-King, principal at Orr, said the modernization is just one of the “great” things that are happening at her school. “Orr has one of the largest pre-K populations in D.C.,” the principal said. “We believe in building relationships and every adult in the building makes a point of mentoring a student or a few students. We have an Emerging Males of Color grant for boys and for the girls, we formed the Pearls of Southeast. We are working under a $250,000 blending learning program. We are winning at Orr.”last_img read more