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Pregnant woman chokes to death as fire breaks out in Gurugram housing society

first_imgA three-month pregnant woman died due to asphyxia after fire broke out in Tulip Orange Group housing society in Sector 69 here in the early hours of Monday.Assistant Divisional Fire Officer I.S. Kashyap told The Hindu that the woman, identified as Swati, was found unconscious on the top floor of the apartment outside the door to the terrace. She was declared brought dead at hospital.Mr. Kashyap said the woman tried to climb up to the terrace through the stairs when the fire broke out, but got stuck since the doors to the terrace were locked. She was suffocated due to smoke and died.“The door to the terrace cannot be locked. It is considered to be an escape route in the event of a fire and a source of fresh air. But we have found that in many societies and commercial establishments the doors to the terrace are locked. It is illegal,” said Mr. Kashyap.The fire broke out in an electrical meter on the ground floor around 2 a.m. and spread to the top of the nine floor building. “All electrical meters were installed in the shaft, but the smoke spread in the staircase area. Most of the residents were sleeping and did not notice the fire. But Swati came out in a bid to escape and died,” said Mr. Kashyap.The woman stayed on the fifth floor of the building. When the fire broke out, her husband and five-year-old son climbed down, while she went upstairs and was suffocated to death, said a local resident.last_img read more

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Markelle Fultz set for the stage of being No. 1 pick

first_imgJordan delivers on promise: 2 Cobra choppers now in PH Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. What ‘missteps’? LSU didn’t reach the NCAA Tournament in Simmons’ lone year in Baton Rouge before becoming the top pick by the Sixers last year, and Washington finished 9-22 this season with Fultz.Of course, that’s about where the connections between Fultz and Simmons end. They have different skillsets and personalities, but will likely be at the core of how Philadelphia tries to return to relevance.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutFultz is a natural talent on the court that moves with fluidity and ease, and his abilities and tendencies have been dissected heavily heading into Thursday’s draft. Off the court, he is exceedingly loyal to those that believe in him.He is also a fan of posting trick shots to social media. A lover of Chick-fil-A and his own homemade fried rice. His drive and humility comes from once being cut from the varsity of his high school team. MOST READ 1 dead in Cavite blast, fire LATEST STORIES WATCH: Firefighters rescue baby seal found in parking garage World’s 50 Best Restaurants launches new drinking and dining guide Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chickencenter_img Fultz was hyped as a possible No. 1 draft pick from the time he stepped on campus at Washington. Whether he was worthy of such a selection was debated endlessly because of the failures by the Huskies. They lost the final 13 games of the season, six of which Fultz was a spectator because of a knee injury. The head coach that first believed Fultz could be a star, Lorenzo Romar, was fired from his alma mater.“It was very tough. Nobody went in thinking we were going to lose that many games,” Fultz said recently after a workout with the Los Angeles Lakers. “But I think I built relationships and we learned more than you could ever learn losing that many games. How to fight through adversity, sticking together, sticking with each other through everything off the court, on the court. I think that was pretty big.”Despite the losing, there have been very few questions raised about Fultz’s capabilities as a pro. He’s been hounded with comparisons to fellow point guard Lonzo Ball — and the success Ball had with UCLA in his one college season. But it’s not just Ball that Fultz will forever be compared to. It’s De’Aaron Fox, Dennis Smith and the rest of the talented point guards in the class.“I respect all of them. They all got different types of games,” Fultz said. “I believe I fill in every box on both ends of the floor. I think that’s what the difference is.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken Amar’e Stoudemire considering NBA comeback Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ “When I’m on the court, I feel at peace really,” Fultz said in an interview last October with the Associated Press. “It feels like my home. I’m always thinking of something creative to do like trick shots or something like that. It’s just something about the basketball court that touches me, it makes me feel like nothing is wrong on the court.”Kelsey Plum, the former Huskies guard and NCAA all-time scoring leader in women’s basketball, became buds with Fultz during the one season they were both at Washington. She says Fultz has remained grounded despite the circus atmosphere.One of her most vivid memories: A Friday night that Fultz joined Plum for dinner after her game even though he already had eaten.“He came and sat with me while I ate at a restaurant. I don’t know any number one pick that would do that on a Friday night. God knows what you could be doing in college on a Friday night,” Plum said. “That’s just the type of guy he is. I’ve always respected that about him. He really has never changed who he is.“For someone that is such a superstar, he stood out to me because he was so humble and under the radar,” she continued. “That’s kind of an oxymoron, but I mean he is so not into himself.”ADVERTISEMENT In this file photo, Washington guard Markelle Fultz (20) is shown during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Arizona, in Tucson, Ariz. Fultz is the likely No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft. APIn the often unpredictable world of the NBA, there is some symmetry in Markelle Fultz and Ben Simmons likely becoming teammates as pros.Barring an unforeseen change, Fultz will be the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft on Thursday night, joining Simmons with the Philadelphia 76ers in an attempt to invigorate a once proud franchise. Two stars worthy of the top pick in consecutive years, neither of which was able to lead their college programs to team success in their one season on campus.ADVERTISEMENT Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games View commentslast_img read more

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Mariano confident PPL will start this month

first_imgPhilippine Football Federation president Mariano Araneta expressed confidence that the Philippine Premier League will finally push through late this month after the opening was moved due to several clubs’ inability to comply with the PFF’s club licensing regulations.Speaking to reporters prior to a thanksgiving dinner celebrating his reelection to the powerful Fifa council, Araneta said Mendiola FC and Philippine Air Force have already appealed their case to be granted a license in time for the league’s opening on April 27.ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next The PPL, formerly known as the Philippines Football League, was slated to kick off March 31, but organizers were compelled to move the opening to give Mendiola FC and Air Force more time to submit the necessary documents to gain a club license.Araneta said that the league has already made adjustments to its operations to save on costs, unlike the PFL which adopted a costly home-and-away format.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logistics PSC hikes national athletes’ allowances Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte MOST READ Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew LATEST STORIES View comments Philippine Arena Interchange inaugurated Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power grid PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Private companies step in to help SEA Games hostinglast_img read more

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Griffin Gets Double-Double as Pistons Beat Grizzlies 104-102

first_imgDETROIT (AP) — Blake Griffin had 24 points and 10 rebounds in his debut for Detroit, and the Pistons edged the Memphis Grizzlies 104-102 on Thursday night.Griffin was impressive throughout his first game for the Pistons since they traded for him earlier this week. His teammates looked uncertain at times, but Detroit was able to outlast a Memphis team that is without Tyreke Evans and Mike Conley.Anthony Tolliver’s 3-pointer with under two minutes remaining gave Detroit a 101-100 lead, and the score stayed that way until the final seconds. Marc Gasol attempted to drive on Griffin but missed his shot, and a wild scramble led to a jump ball between Tolliver and Dillon Brooks with 10.4 seconds left.The Pistons controlled that tip, with Reggie Bullock running the ball down in the corner. Tolliver gave Detroit a three-point lead with a pair of free throws, and then purposely fouled Wayne Selden with 2.6 seconds remaining. Selden made the first free throw and the second went in even though he was trying to miss and give his team a chance at an offensive rebound.A free throw by Bullock closed out the scoring.NUGGETS 127, THUNDER 124DENVER (AP) — Gary Harris made the winning 3-pointer at the buzzer and finished with 25 points to lift the Denver Nuggets to a victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder.Nikola Jokic added his third triple-double of the season with 29 points, 13 rebounds and 14 assists, including the inbounds pass to Harris with 1.4 seconds remaining. Harris grabbed the ball and put it up for the win before running off the court, his hand held high in celebration.Jamal Murray had 33 points to lead the Nuggets, who had lost their previous two games by a total of three points when they missed last-second shots.Paul George had a season-high 43 points to lead the Thunder. Westbrook had 21 assists, one shy of his career high, to go with 20 points and nine rebounds.ROCKETS 102, SPURS 91SAN ANTONIO (AP) — James Harden had 28 points and 11 assists, and the Rockets dominated the Spurs for the second time this season.Clint Capela added 14 points and 13 rebounds in Houston’s third straight win. The Rockets led by as many as 19 points in the first matchup between the Texas rivals since the Spurs’ 124-109 blowout loss on Dec. 15 in Houston.Danny Green had 22 points to lead San Antonio in scoring for the first time this season. LaMarcus Aldridge was held to 16 points on 8-for-15 shooting.The Spurs’ only lead came in the opening minutes. They trailed by double digits for much of the night.TIMBERWOLVES 108, BUCKS 89MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Jimmy Butler scored 28 points for Minnesota, and Karl-Anthony Towns had 24 points and 11 rebounds for his NBA-best 46th double-double.The Timberwolves were coming off consecutive losses at Atlanta and Toronto. They have lost six of their last seven road games and have returned home with back-to-back losses from their last three road trips.Each time, Minnesota has responded at home with a victory, winning by an average of 14.25 points. The Timberwolves’ 21-6 home record represents the second-most home wins in the NBA behind San Antonio’s 22.Khris Middleton scored 21 points for Milwaukee, which had won four in a row. Giannis Antetokounmpo had 17 points and 15 rebounds.WIZARDS 122, RAPTORS 119WASHINGTON (AP) — Bradley Beal scored 25 of his 27 points in the second half, leading Washington to the victory.The Wizards had eight players score in double figures in their third straight win without All-Star John Wall, who had surgery on his left knee on Wednesday. Otto Porter Jr. had 16 points and 11 rebounds in his first double-double since early December, and Markieff Morris scored 15 points — including five straight in a stretch that gave Washington the lead for good.Kyle Lowry scored 17 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter for Toronto, but missed two late free throws. DeMar DeRozan added 23 points for the Raptors, who lost for the first time in eight regular-season trips to Washington.TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

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Rubin Kazan get UEFA competition ban for breaking Financial Fair Play rule

first_imgRussian club Rubin Kazan have been handed a one-year ban from UEFA competition for breaking Financial Fair Play (FFP) rule.Europe’s soccer governing body said in a statement the ban would come into effect if Rubin Kazan qualified for European competition in the next two seasons.”The club is excluded from participating in the next UEFA club competition for which it would otherwise qualify in the next two (2) seasons,” UEFA said.UEFA introduced FFP rules to try to prevent rich club owners from buying success by pumping unlimited funds into clubs.Under the rules, clubs are barred from spending more than their generated revenue.Clubs who break the rules generally reach so-called settlement agreements with UEFA, where they accept restrictions on transfers and squad size for a given number of seasons.UEFA said the decision to ban Rubin Kazan was made “due to breach of the Settlement Agreement” but did not give any further details.The club said it could appeal against the ban.”This decision can be appealed at the Court of Arbitration for Sport,” the club said in a statement. “Rubin is currently assessing the possibility and expediency of such an appeal.”(With inputs from Reuters)last_img read more

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Savarese leaves Cosmos to coach Portland Timbers

first_imgMLS Savarese leaves Cosmos to coach Portland Timbers Mike Slane Last updated 1 year ago 03:34 12/14/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Giovanni Savarese New York Cosmos Andy Marlin MLS Portland Timbers The 46-year-old coach is set to be named the Major League Soccer side’s head coach after spending four seasons in New York The New York Cosmos announced Giovanni Savarese has left the NASL club to “pursue other coaching opportunities,” which will result in a move to the Portland Timbers.Sources confirmed to Goal that Savarese, who served as the Cosmos’ head coach and sporting director, will join the Timbers weeks after Caleb Porter left the MLS side. ESPN first reported the 46-year-old would be Portland’s next manager.“Gio broke into professional coaching with our club and quickly established himself as one of the finest leaders in U.S. Soccer,” Cosmos chairman Rocco B. Commisso said in a statement. 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 He added: “I thank Gio for his enormous contributions to the Cosmos, and wish him and his beautiful family nothing but the best as he moves forward into the next chapter of his coaching career.”Savarese recorded a 65-26-51 regular-season record for the Cosmos, who won the league championship three times during that period. New York lost in this year’s championship match against the San Francisco Deltas.Savarese will be coaching in MLS for the first time in his career, but he is no stranger to the league. During an 18-year professional playing career, the former forward spent five seasons in MLS with the NY/NJ MetroStars, New England Revolution and San Jose Earthquakes.Savarese will be joining a Timbers side that finished first in the Western Conference in 2017 but failed to get past the Houston Dynamo in their first playoff tie. The team traded star midfielder Darlington Nagbe to Atlanta United on Wednesday.last_img read more

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NTL 2019 Day 3 wrap-up

first_imgIn the Men’s Open, it’ll be a tough battle between the Sharks MOA vs the Bulls MOA, and the Hornets and Rebels, in the semis.In the Women’s Open, the semi-finals will be fought out between the Sharks WOA (still undefeated) and Rebels, and the Scorps and Bulls.The Mixed Open has been dominated by the Scorps, who are still undefeated – as they are in the Men’s 40s and Women’s 40s also. The Rebels are leading in the other Mixed Open pool.In the Senior Mixed, the Cobras sit at the top, though the champions title is still anyone’s, with three of the four semi-final contender teams having managed four wins in eight games.In the Men’s 45s, the Sharks are top of the ladder, as they head into the semis with the Scorpions, Hornets and Cobras.In the Women’s 45s, the Cobras are showing their bite, sitting well above the Scorps, Hornets and Eagles on points.In the Men’s 55s, unsurprisingly the favourites, the Sydney Scorpions, are leading the pack leading into Saturday morning’s semi-finals. The Scorps are topping more ladders than any other entity.In the Men’s 50s and Men’s 60s, the Cyclones are crushing it at the close of Day 3. Hopefully they’re the only type of cyclone to make an impact on finals day, as we all hope the good weather will hang around.When it comes to Alliance entities, the Raiders are coming out on top, particularly in the Mixed divisions, where they’re still a chance for wins – sitting third in one of the Mixed Open pools and fourth in Senior Mixed.For all results throughout the day head to the National Touch League Website. Click here to view now.last_img read more

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ESPN: The College Football Playoff Race Is Down To 8 Teams

first_imgAerial view of the half-time show at the 1984 Rose Bowl Game between UCLA and Illinois.Aerial view of the half-time show at the 1984 Rose Bowl Game between UCLA and Illinois, Pasadena, California, January 2, 1984. UCLA won the game, 45 – 9. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)The race for the 2018 College Football Playoff is heating up and, according to ESPN’s projections, only eight teams have a legitimate chance of making it.Texas, which had looked liked a potential contender, has now been eliminated, as the Longhorns fell to Oklahoma State on Saturday night.This leaves us with eight teams with a 10 percent chance or better of making the College Football Playoff.Those eight teams:AlabamaClemsonNotre DameLSUGeorgiaMichiganOhio StateOklahomaOf those eight teams, only three – Alabama, Clemson and Georgia – are seen as real national title threats, too.The picture will look much clearer next week, as Alabama is set to play at LSU. Stay tuned.last_img read more

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Banks Close USD 175 Mn Financing of 34 Polsteam Ships

first_imgzoomIllustration. Source: PxHere under CC0 Creative Commons license A bank syndicate led by Germany-based DVB Bank SE has completed a USD 175 million financing of a bulk carrier portfolio for Polsteam Group (Polska Żegluga Morska).The portfolio comprises a total of 34 vessels of the Polish shipping company.The syndicate consisted of DVB Bank, CIT Group, Société Générale, BNP Paribas, Siemens Bank, Crédit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank and Crédit Agricole Bank Polsk.No further details on the transaction have been revealed.Polsteam Group has a fleet of 56 bulk carriers with an average age of around 8 years.The group has one of the largest route networks in the world, offering services to around 60 countries. It performs around 500 trips per year, transporting 15 million tons of cargo.last_img read more

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BOOMING GUN CULTURE

first_imgWhether it is robbery, snatching, murder or any form of the heinous crime, criminals are not hesitating to use the firearms on the victims. Easy availability of firearms to criminals a cause of worry for city police. “The problem of illicit firearms and their use is becoming worse with every passing year. The reasons why people go in for illegal arms vary from person to person, though most who seek illegal arms are petty criminals or those seeking revenge,” reads Delhi Police annual report 2018. Also Read – Remembering Sudhir PhadkeRecently the street of the city witnessed several incidents which proved gun culture booming in the National Capital. CCTV footages captured various inexplicable and spine-tingling incidents where trigger-happy criminals strike fear in Delhi. Though police busted several gangs involved in the supply, manufacturing of illicit weapons but the investigation revealed that arms demand still there. Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) Madhur Verma said that all the teams of Delhi Police dedicatedly work to break the supply chain of illegal weapons. Apart from local police, Special Cell and Crime Branch are continuously working to curb the crime. “We have made big catches. Several criminals were arrested and weapons were seized,” said Madhur Verma. Also Read – YOUR HEALTHY FESTIVE PALATEFiring incidentsTwo unidentified assailants fired three shots at a reporting team from a news channel on the Barapullah flyover in New Delhi on Sunday, 9 June. The incident took place when the team – a reporter, cameraman and driver – were in the cab. Meanwhile, when they reached the Barapullah flyover two armed men on a motorbike approached their car. On seeing a pistol in the bike rider’s hand, the crew tried speeding, on which the biker fired at their car. The first bullet hit the gate, second hit the driver side window and the third one missed. Later the Crime Branch arrested two accused —Tayyab and Shahid in the robbery bid. Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime) Dr G Ramgopal Naik said after any violent incident reported in the city, they start their investigation. “We scan different records and modus operandi of criminals. Several teams are formed to nab accused,” said DCP Crime. In May, two criminals were shot dead in firing in the busy streets under Dwarka Mor metro station. The investigating agency said that one of the criminals was killed by the rival whereas the other gangster was shot dead by alert PCR personnel. The 12 seconds CCTV footage of the alleged incident shows that two men including one of them wearing helmet fired indiscriminately in a white Ritz car. “One of the assailants was shooting from the front of the car and another one at the driver’s gate,” CCTV shows. Further, one of the criminals take out his helmet and went inside the Swift car. The commuters, who were earlier seeing the horrific, started leaving the spot. Later in an encounter, a 20-year-old gangster and a policeman were injured in Bawana area on Friday. Police said that the injured accused was involved in the recent gang war reported from Dwarka Mor. Special Cell arrested one accused in the case. Later Dwarka district arrested a person believed to be a conspirator in the case. In June five persons were gunned down by assailants in different parts of the city in 24 hours. Police said that personal enmity was the reason behind the killings. Later after investigation, several arrests were made. In June a 35-year-old jeweller was shot dead in Outer Delhi’s Ranhola area. In April an eatery owner was shot by a customer with whom he had an argument on mobile charging in East Delhi’s Ashok Nagar. Last year a 38-year-old woman (teacher) was shot dead in Rohini when she was going to her government school in Haryana. The city police solved the case and arrested several persons including the deceased’s husband and his paramour. In an alleged celebratory firing in East Delhi’s Mandawali, a 19-year-old bride was shot in her own marriage function in January this year. At the starting of 2019, a 45-year-old woman architect was shot in the head, allegedly by a former MLA from Bihar, at a New Year’s party at a farmhouse in south Delhi. The woman later died and accused in the case were arrested. A 30-year-old man was shot dead by the owner of a dog in Delhi allegedly after he threw some stones at the animal in North East Delhi. Delhi Police Data In the year 2016, as many as 912 cases were reported in which firearms were used. In 2017 nearly 848 such cases registered with the law enforcement. Last year in 752 cases arms used. In the year 2016, nearly 902 firearms were recovered. In 2017 as many as 1,381 firearms and last year 1,905 firearms were recovered. The Delhi Police data of the current year (till June 15) revealed that as many as 1,074 cases under the Arms Act reported. Around 1,262 persons were arrested. “Nearly 1,119 firearms, 4,206 ammunition and 323 sharp-edged weapons recovered, ” added Delhi Police data. In a crime review meeting, the Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik had asked senior officers regarding stern action to curb street crime involving the use of firearms. As many as 33 unsolved heinous cases in the current year were the major highlights of the recent crime review meeting between Delhi Police Commissioner and 15 districts, units in June. Police sources said that the top cop reviewed the reasons behind the pendency of the cases and directed officers to solve them as soon as possible. Investigators said that the before committing any shoot out every detail of the crime is planned out well in advance. The associates of the criminals keep an eye on the movements of the rival members and provide live tracking information to their gang. “In open places, there are chances that the rival gang member can flee by speeding the vehicle but in busy places possibility of slowing down vehicle or traffic snarls are there which give gangsters time to commit the crime and flee the spot,” investigator said. In many cases, criminals are found not using mobile phones. They connect to each other with internet calls to hoodwink police. Another officer said,” they want to establish supremacy.” Arms Trafficking Investigators in Delhi Police told Millennium Post probe revealed that from Dhar, Khargone, Burhanpur, Sendhwa, Munger, arms being smuggled to different parts of the country. A police officer said that due to their constant pressure in Bihar gunrunners have changed their locations. “We have found that raw materials for arms are being manufactured in one state. Later the raw materials trafficked to another state for weapon assembling,” police said. The arms are then sent to different parts of the country (transit points) for further supply to gangsters or criminals. Another police officer added that the investigation revealed that Munger-made illegal weapons are more sophisticated.” The gun runners have expertise in making weapons. The quality of Munger made weapons are much superior,” officer added. Name & fame Investigators are in Delhi Police found that youths from rural parts in Delhi-NCR are getting attracted towards gangsters. “Try to impress girlfriends or to frighten people living in the locality are a few reasons why youngsters are keeping arms with them,” said an investigator.”During the investigation, we found that budding criminals belong o the poor background. Lack of strong emotional bonds with parents is also one of the reasons for them to move towards crime,” added the officer. “Some movies glorify gangsters, youths can be affected by the violence,” said an officer. Another trend which is seen in recent days that people are posting their pictures or videos with arms in social media. Another trend which is seen in recent days that people are posting their pictures or videos with arms in social media. In April, a 19-year-old man was shot dead, allegedly by his friend, inside the car the two, along with a friend. Police claimed that the shot was fired while filming a video for the application. In the first week of June, Dwarka district apprehended a juvenile after a video emerged on social media in which a boy was seen firing at the house. Later the juvenile shared the video through social media amongst his known to make an impression on them. In another case, the team of special staff (Dwarka) under Inspector Naveen arrested two persons who posted their dance videos brandishing pistols in hands-on social media. Both used to roam on roads and enter into social functions with arms and brandish these to impress upon the other boys. Weapons industry The manufacturing of illegal weapons is not a big thing. Recently special cell team under DCP Manishi Chandra arrested two persons involved in the illegal activity. “The accused disclosed that the trade in illicit firearms has been inherited by them as hereditary occupation and they have been involved in last 10 years,” police said adding that their family members manufacture illegal arms at a cottage industry and they are supplied to various parts of the country. The accused used iron scrap and other materials to prepare .32 bore semi-automatic pistols. To set up a cottage industry all that is required is furnace with a fan, some brass metal rods, iron plates, cycle frame/tods, spring made from iron wire/line taken out from tyres of heavy vehicles and a lathe machine and filers of different numbers to smoothen the assembled parts of the pistol. According to investigators the whole process cost around Rs 6000 to 7000. One finished pistol cost Rs 25,000. “The pistol rate is Rs 4000-5000 but the middlemen sold it at the high price,” added investigator. Recently the team of under DCP (Special Cell) Pramod Singh Kushwaha led by ACP Attar Singh arrested three criminals with 21 semi-automatic pistols from Ghazipur area in East Delhi. Investigators have also found that new faces are used arms traffickers for the transportation of weapons in the city. “The illegal business of arms trafficking runs on the formula of demand and supply,” added police officer. New modus operandi The investigators revealed that arms traffickers mainly use social media applications to connect with each other. According to police, the gun runners adopt the break journey technique. “The criminal never used direct transport from any state. They can board train and after few railway stations they may take the bus to reach the destination,” investigators said.last_img read more

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Toddler dies after being found in vehicle in Burlington Ont police say

first_imgBURLINGTON, Ont. – Police in Burlington, Ont., say a toddler is dead after being found in a vehicle without vital signs on Wednesday evening.Halton regional police Insp. Anthony Odoardi says officers got a call at about 5:30 p.m. from a “hysterical” man, indicating that a child was in a vehicle and was not breathing.Odoardi says the three-year-old boy was outside the car when emergency crews arrived and paramedics pronounced him dead.The cause of the boy’s death is unknown, Odoardi says, adding the body will be transported to Toronto for an autopsy Thursday.Odoardi says he did not want to speculate whether the heat was a factor in the boy’s death or how long he was inside the car.He says some members of the toddler’s family have been notified.“We are saddened by any situation in which a death occurs, let alone one in which a young child dies,” Odoardi told reporters Wednesday evening. “To the family, we offer our deepest condolences.”He said the vehicle is a grey Ford Escape, but said police don’t yet know who owns it.last_img read more

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Morocco Reiterates Commitment To Cooperation With UN High Commission For Human…

Geneva – Minister Delegate for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Mbarka Bouaida reiterated, on Tuesday in Geneva, Morocco’s commitment to maintain “full cooperation” with the UN High Commission on Human Rights and the Human Rights Council (HRC).Speaking at a meeting with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Raâd Al-Hussein, Bouaida said that Morocco is set to fully cooperate with UN human rights bodies in favor of advancing human rights in the Kingdom.During the meeting, held on the sidelines of the 28th session of the Human Rights Council, the two parties underscored their excellent cooperation ties. Earlier in the day, Bouaida held separate meetings with President of the Human Rights Council Joachim Ruecker, Foreign and Commonwealth Minister for Human Rights Baroness Anelay. read more

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Travel industry fears damage from a long government shutdown

America’s busiest airport, Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International, is a blur of activity on the best of days. But an extra layer of anxiety gripped the airport Friday, the eve of a three-day holiday weekend. The partial government shutdown — the longest ever — has thinned the ranks of federal workers who staff airport security lines. And some travellers had braced for the worst.“I have a 3 o’clock flight, and I arrived at 10:15 a.m.,” Beth Lambert said while waiting to check in at a Delta Air Lines counter as her 5-year-old, Michael, rode around on his wheeled bag like a scooter. “We’re going to be hanging out for a while.”The scene at most of the nation’s airports has so far been marked more by concerned passengers showing up early than by missed flights. Longer lines are evident at some airports. But delays resulting from a rise in federal security screeners calling in sick have been slight.Yet concern is quickly growing. President Donald Trump and Democrats in Congress remain far apart over Trump’s insistence on funding for a wall along the Mexican border as the price of reopening the government. With the two sides trading taunts and avoiding talks, travel industry analysts and economists have been calculating the potential damage should the shutdown drag into February or beyond.Airlines and hotels would suffer. So would parks and restaurants that cater to travellers. And, eventually, the broader U.S. economy, already absorbing a trade war with China and a global economic slowdown, would endure another blow.The travel and tourism industries generate about $1.6 trillion in U.S. economic activity — one-twelfth of the economy — and one in 20 jobs, according to the Commerce Department. Macroeconomic Advisers says it now expects the economy to expand at just a 1.4 per cent annual rate in the first three months of this year, down from its previous forecast of 1.6 per cent, because of reduced government spending during the shutdown.America’s air-travel system will face its sternest this weekend, which coincides with Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, a federal holiday. The Transportation Security Administration predicts it will screen over 8 million passengers between Friday and Monday, up 10.8 per cent from last year’s MLK weekend. And it will do so with fewer screeners. On Thursday, the TSA said 6.4 per cent of screeners missed work — nearly double the 3.8 per cent rate on the same day in 2018.A TSA spokesman said the agency was offering overtime to screeners for this weekend, though those workers wouldn’t be paid — for their regular pay or for overtime— until the shutdown eventually ends.On top of potentially longer airport security lines this weekend, a blast of winter weather could snarl travel this weekend in the Midwest and Northeast.Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International, home to Delta Air Lines, has likely been the hardest hit airport. Delta said this week that the shutdown will cost it $25 million in January because fewer federal employees and contractors will be flying. By contrast, United Airlines, which has a substantial presence around Washington, D.C., said it hasn’t felt much impact yet.But the airlines fear that if the shutdown doesn’t end soon, more TSA agents will call in sick or quit. A shortage of screeners would cause security lines to swell. Air traffic controllers, who are also working without pay, say they, too, are short-staffed. If the controller shortage became severe enough, the government could restrict the number of flights, though some analysts think that’s unlikely.“Luckily this is the low season — January is one of the weakest months of the year,” said Savanthi Syth, an airline analyst for Raymond James. “This spilling into February is a real concern. The risk is that the longer this drags out, it might cause some passengers to say, ‘I don’t want to deal with all the hassle, maybe I won’t take that trip.’”Consumers are, in fact, taking a dimmer view of the economy, in part because of the shutdown. A measure of consumer confidence fell this month by the most in more than six years, according to the University of Michigan, which conducts the survey. If Americans were to cut back on travel and other discretionary spending, it would weaken consumer spending, the U.S. company’s primary fuel.Laura Mandala, who runs a travel and tourism research firm, said the shutdown might discourage international travellers, too.“These uncertainties will result in fewer conferences being booked,” Mandala said, leading to “convention and hotel staff layoffs, reduced schedules, resulting in less income for workers to spend in the local economy.”Hotels are starting to feel the impact, particularly in the Washington, D.C., region but also in other cities with substantial federal workforces, such as San Diego, which has a large naval base.In the Washington area, including its nearby suburbs in Maryland and Virginia, hotel revenue plunged 26 per cent in the second week of January compared with the same period last year, according to STR, a travel research firm. That’s much steeper than the 8 per cent decline that occurred nationwide.Michael Bellisario, an analyst for investment bank R.W. Baird, suggested that other factors accounted for the most of the nationwide drop but said the shutdown almost certainly played a role.“In no way is the government shutdown a positive for hotel demand and travel,” Bellisario said.If the shutdown lingers and people see more reports of long TSA lines on television news, “they will say, ‘Oh wow, travelling is hard,’ and that impacts the hotel industry,” said Jan Freitag, a senior vice-president at STR.For now, though, the most visible impact has been at airports. One of the seven checkpoints at Houston’s main airport has been closed all week and will remain so indefinitely, a spokesman said. Miami closed one concourse during the afternoons and evenings last weekend. On the other hand, officials at airports in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami said they weren’t experiencing any problems.The problems would emerge if the shutdown persists, and the damage would extend to the private companies that operate airport shops and restaurants.Mike Boyd, an airport consultant in Colorado, noted that a pullback in travel would be felt most in airports that are heavily dependent on government employees such as Reagan National Airport outside Washington, Manhattan Regional Airport in Kansas, near the Army’s Fort Riley, and Watertown International Airport in upstate New York, near Fort Drum.Federal employees going without pay — there are about 800,000 of them, including 420,000 who are still working — are already suffering, of course.“We still have to make sure our kids eat, make sure to have a roof over their head,” said Shalique Caraballo, whose wife is a TSA worker in Atlanta. “We sweat in private and don’t let the kids see the struggle.”Some in the airline industry and even in Congress have suggested that longer TSA security lines could exert enough pressure on politicians to break the stalemate that is keeping the government shuttered.Others have all but lost hope.“I would love to think that politicians understand that travel and tourism is an incredibly important gear in the economy,” said Ninan Chacko, CEO of Travel Leaders Group, which owns and manages travel agencies, “but I don’t think that is really the rational discussion that is taking place in Washington.”___Koenig reported from Dallas and Rugaber from Washington. AP staffers Sarah Blake Morgan and Ron Harris in Atlanta and Cathy Bussewitz in New York contributed to this report.David Koenig And Christopher Rugaber, The Associated Press read more

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Afghanistan at UN calls for revitalizing relations with international community

28 September 2009Afghan Foreign Minister Rangin Dadfar Spanta today called for revitalizing the sense of partnership and cooperation between Afghanistan and the international community, and said that despite irregularities the recent elections were a success. “We must aim to build upon our many joint achievements as well as to address our mutual shortcomings and deficiencies,” he told the General Assembly on the fifth day of its 64th annual General Debate, citing the upcoming international conference on Afghanistan. “What the Afghan nation expects and deserves from a renewed partnership with the international community is the reassurance of long-term commitment and solidarity. They are rightly fearful of being abandoned once again to lawlessness, extremism, and external interference.“Abandoning the Afghan nation, which has endured years of suffering and pain, will undermine the spirit of collective cooperation and the ideals of the UN. It will also undermine, for many generations to come, the moral credibility of those who fail to honour their promises and commitments to Afghans. Furthermore, it will embolden extremists in the region and beyond,” he added.He expressed profound gratitude for all the international help so far, adding: “The generous support and sacrifices of the international community were vital to our proud achievements in Afghanistan.”On the August elections, he cited the struggle with terrorism, drugs, weak state institutions and corruption but said a new Afghanistan is emerging, one that is a growing democracy with rising state institutions, a budding civil society, a growing private sector and strong international solidarity.“It was the first time in the modern history of Afghanistan that Afghan institutions were tasked with organizing and holding a nationwide election,” Mr. Spanta added. “Taking into account the socio-historic realities of Afghanistan, we have passed this national test successfully…“As with any emerging democracy, undoubtedly, there were irregularities. But one should not assess a young terrorist-inflicted democracy with the criteria of stable, prosperous, and centuries-old democracies. This is not a call to condone fraud and irregularities. But in passing judgment, we should be conscious of the context, the process and the full picture, rather than of only one aspect or issue.”He said that in an increasingly interdependent world the UN must assume greater responsibility for finding collective solutions to poverty, underdevelopment, environmental degradation, extremism, fundamentalism, terrorism, cultural prejudice, the spread of weapons of mass destruction and the arms race.“Rather than just managing and reacting to problems, the UN must find ways to address the structural causes of the world’s problems and conflicts. To these ends, closer cooperation between the UN, the International Criminal Court, international financial organizations and global civil society is vital in moving towards more just and equitable relations between nations,” he declared.Afghanistan’s northern neighbour, Uzbekistan, told the Assembly that the Afghan war was the source of security threats in Central Asia. “It is not a secret any more that the Afghan problem, which began 30 years ago, has no military solution,” Foreign Minister Vladimir Norov told the Assembly.“It is impossible to improve and radically change the situation in the country without solving such urgent issues as reconstruction of Afghanistan’s economy, communications and social infrastructure destroyed by war, without involving in this process the Afghan people.”He also stressed the interdependence of the world, calling for close cooperation between the UN and such regional structures as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which groups China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.For its part, Germany – one of the biggest troop contributing nations and main bilateral donors to Afghanistan – said that “against the backdrop of the difficult security situation, the further build-up of Afghan security forces gains an even greater importance,” Thomas Matussek, Germany’s Ambassador to the UN, said.To this end, Germany will continue to send more police instructors to Afghanistan, he said.In the face of criticism, he pointed to “encouraging accomplishments,” especially economic growth and the rehabilitation of infrastructure.“The basic prerequisites for Afghanistan’s sustainable development are good governance, the resolute fight against corruption and an improvement in state services,” Mr. Matussek stressed. “These are essential if the population is to once again nurture hope for the future.” read more

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UN official calls for joint AsiaPacific cooperation in face of natural disasters

“An increase in extreme weather events and unprecedented natural calamities have set back Asia-Pacific economic recovery and development gains and require a joint regional response,” said Nagesh Kumar, Acting Deputy Executive Secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP). Representatives of 31 countries and 22 international organizations are attending the conference which will study a UN-supported report on natural disasters in the region. According to the report, the region has suffered 85 per cent of deaths and 38 per cent of global economic losses as a result of disasters from 1980 to 2009. Nearly 90 per cent of all people affected by disasters in 2010 were living in Asia. A common feature of the region is the high concentration of populations in seismically active areas. The 2009 earthquake and tsunami in Samoa, for example, derailed that Pacific island nation’s graduation to middle-income country status. “This session takes place at a time when the region is yet to fully recover from the external shocks from the global financial crisis, and disasters contribute to aggravation of the situation and undermine the region’s efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs),” Mr. Kumar said. The spate of disasters in many countries over the past year has affected the food security situation, further aggravating the rising food prices, he said. During the conference, a high-level panel of senior government delegates will share insights on emerging trends in disasters and their socio-economic, development and environmental aspects, ESCAP said. A special presentation on challenges and lessons learned in the aftermath of Japan’s devastating earthquake and tsunami in March will also be held. 29 June 2011Asia-Pacific countries must pull together to overcome natural calamities that have set back the region’s road to economic recovery, a United Nations official told the start of a three-day disaster risk reduction meeting in Bangkok today. read more

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Fishermen demand a say in decisions on offshore wind energy

WILDWOOD, N.J. — A congressional subcommittee has heard from fishermen asking for input on crucial decisions about offshore wind energy.They said Monday at a hearing at the Jersey Shore that they want to be consulted on where wind energy projects are located and whether water access is restricted.The hearing’s purpose was to gather input from the industry and its advocates to be considered in future regulation of wind energy.Peter Hughes, of Atlantic Cape Fisheries, says proposed projects off New Jersey sit atop prime fishing grounds.Capt. Ed Yates is a fisherman from Barnegat (BAR’-neh-get) Light, New Jersey.He says flounder, cod and other species have moved away from underground cables at a wind project off Denmark.Wayne Parry, The Associated Press read more

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Chinas path to green economy fraught with challenges finds joint UNGovernment report

China is facing significant environmental and social challenges that must be addressed if it is to achieve its sustainable development goals, according to a joint report released by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Government. “China’s Green Long March: A Study of Renewable Energy, Environmental Industry and Cement Sectors” notes that the country has a strong policy framework in place to support a national transition to a green economy. For example, incentives, such as feed-in-tariffs, subsidies and tax advantages, already exist and are helping stimulate green investment, as are strict regulations to help phase out inefficient plants, halt water pollution and improve waste management.The country is also a global leader in renewable energy technology investment, UNEP says in a news release. In 2012 alone, China’s renewable energy investment totalled $67.7 billion – the highest in the world and double the amount it invested in 2009.At the same time, the joint report released this week by UNEP and China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection points out that the country is the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, accounting for 27 per cent of the total emissions in 2012. Also, while its gross domestic product (GDP) accounts for 10 per cent of the global output, it consumes 60 per cent of the world’s cement, 49 per cent of the iron and steel, and 20 per cent of the energy.In addition, local pollution, particularly to air and water, is putting a strain on China’s economic growth. It is estimated that 90 per cent of the country’s urban water bodies are polluted, and outdoor pollution is estimated to contribute to 1.2 million premature deaths per year.As China continues its urbanization, the report finds that the country “should not only develop more energy efficient buildings, but also create greener supply chains that reduce waste generation, water and material consumption, and energy use,” states UNEP. Currently, buildings account for as much as one-third of global greenhouse gases, thus greening the building sector supply chain could be a key opportunity for the country, the agency says.Among other findings, the report says there is a major technology gap between Chinese firms and their international competitors. read more

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Ohio State has 10 players named AllBig Ten

Junior quarterback Braxton Miller (5) runs the ball during a game against Michigan Nov. 30 at Michigan Stadium. OSU won, 42-41.Credit: Kaily Cunningham / Multimedia editorJunior quarterback Braxton Miller and nine other members of the No. 2 Ohio State football team (12-0, 8-0) received recognition when the Big Ten announced its All-Conference teams and positional award winners Monday.Miller was named the conference’s Griese-Brees Quarterback of the Year and a first-team All-Big Ten selection.Miller, fresh off a five-touchdown performance in OSU’s 42-41 win against Michigan, went 138 for 210 passing for 1,759 yards and 21 touchdowns during the 2013 regular season. He also rushed for 891 yards on 132 carries and eight touchdowns, all despite getting injured early in OSU’s second game and missing the next two. His ranks second on the team in rushing yards, trailing only senior running back Carlos Hyde.Hyde won the conference’s Ameche-Dayne Running Back of the Year award, and was also named as a first-team All-Big Ten running back along with Nebraska’s Ameer Abdullah. Hyde ran for 1,290 yards and 14 touchdowns on the season, and became the first running back under coach Urban Meyer to rush for more than 1,000 yards in a season.Three offensive linemen were also All-Big Ten selections. Redshirt-senior center Corey Linsley, redshirt-senior left tackle Jack Mewhort and senior left guard Andrew Norwell were all first-team selections by the media. The coaches chose Linsley as a first-team selection and Mewhort and Norwell as second-team selections.Senior wide receiver Corey “Philly” Brown was a second-team All-Big Ten selection by the coaches.Junior linebacker Ryan Shazier was named first-team All-Big Ten by the coaches and media.Shazier led the Big Ten with 123 total tackles and 22 tackles for loss during the 2013 regular season. He recorded double digit tackles a total of six times, and tallied a season-high 19 during OSU’s 42-14 win against Indiana Nov. 23.Redshirt-junior cornerback Bradley Roby was a first-team All-Big Ten selection by both coaches and media.Sophomore defensive end Noah Spence was a first-team All-Big Ten selection on the defensive line by the media, and a second-team selection by coaches. Junior defensive lineman Michael Bennett was a second-team selection by both coaches and media.Redshirt-senior quarterback Kenny Guiton was OSU’s Big Ten Sportsmanship Award honoree. read more

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Copper growth for Quadra through Centenario acquisition

first_imgQuadra Mining and Centenario Copper have entered into a definitive agreement whereby Quadra is expected to acquire, by Plan of Arrangement, all of the issued and outstanding common shares of Centenario at an exchange ratio of 0.28 Quadra common shares for each whole Centenario common share. Centenario’s principal asset is the Franke SX/EW, heap leach project in northern Chile, containing an NI 43-101 compliant estimated mineral reserve of 41.7 Mt with an average grade of 0.75% total Cu. The Franke processing plant has a nominal design capacity of 70 Mlb/y of copper cathode over its estimated current 8.6 year mine life. The mineral reserves reflect today’s release by Centenario of an updated mine plan, mineral reserves and operating and capital costs for the Franke project. Centenario is currently preparing a new NI 43-101 compliant report which will include the updated information and other prescribed information which will be issued prior to the mailing of the Information Circular to Centenario shareholders. Quadra is aware of the input data, as provided under a confidentiality agreement, and has considered this in its offer to Centenario, but has not been involved in the new 43-101 as above.On November 13, 2008, Centenario reported that the Franke project faced a projected funding shortfall of $26 million, due to additional capital and working capital requirements. On November 20, 2008 Centenario reported that, with the consent of its lenders, it had repurchased a portion of its outstanding 2010 copper hedge contracts for net proceeds of $26 million, which were placed into an escrow account with its lenders. The release of the hedge proceeds were subject to i) the completion, to the satisfaction of the lenders, of due diligence activities underway by the lenders’ Technical Agent in relation to an updated Franke Development Plan and ii) the company’s ability to continue to meet the terms of the existing Franke Credit Facility, or such amendments as the lenders shall require.As of the date hereof, Centenario has not yet reached agreement with its lenders for the release of the hedge proceeds, or an equity funded Cost Overrun account and the remaining credit available under the facility. The combination with Quadra should allow Centenario to restructure or refinance its existing loan and resolve its funding shortfall.Based on the currently anticipated restructured debt amount, Quadra and Centenario estimate that an additional $25 million in funding will be required to bring the Franke project to positive cashflow, based on the current Centenario start-up schedule. In connection with the transaction and to provide Centenario with liquidity support , Quadra has agreed to loan Centenario up to $3.5 million and subscribe for 10.24 million treasury common shares of Centenario, at a subscription price of C$0.80 per share, for a total aggregate investment of some $10 million. The loan and share subscription are conditional upon, among other things, Centenario entering into a commitment letter with its existing or new lenders, by no later than March 31, 2009, with respect to the restructuring or refinancing of Centenario’s senior indebtedness on terms that are acceptable to Quadra, in its sole discretion and judgment, and the approval of the TSX. The proceeds from the loan and subscription will be used by Centenario for the Franke project, and form part of the estimated $25 million net funding need. Upon completion of the plan of arrangement, Quadra would commit the remaining portion of the $25 million funding required by the Franke project , based on the current Centenario start-up schedule.Quadra says the benefits of the combined company from the acquisition by Quadra of Centenario include:Accelerates production growth with an anticipated additional 70 Mlb of annual copper production – an increase of approximately 30% in Quadra’s anticipated annual copper production by 2010Quadra’s proven development team is uniquely positioned to complete the Franke project having successfully completed and brought into production the Carlota heap leach/SW-EW operation in 2008Proforma company maintains a comfortable cash balance, post capital and working capital injections in the Franke projectLowers average cost of Quadra’s production as the Franke project is expected to have an operating cash cost of less than $1.30/lb of copper produced, based on the updated information provided by CentenarioEstablishes copper production presence in northern Chile with potential for future synergies with Quadra’s nearby advanced Sierra Gorda projectCreates a diversified asset base across multiple producing mines and a strong portfolio of internal growth projects by adding the Franke project and related satellite properties to Quadra’s existing development projects at Sierra Gorda and MalmbergContinues strategy of building a portfolio of quality copper producing assets in low political risk jurisdictions and strongly positions the combined company for continued copper-focused base metals consolidationAccretive to Quadra’s cash flow and earning per share upon full production.Paul Blythe, President and CEO of Quadra said “The acquisition of Centenario Copper is a perfect fit to our strategic growth plan of becoming a mid-tier, copper focused metals producer and represents excellent value for our shareholders. With our technical expertise, development and funding capability, Quadra has all the required skills to complete the construction and undertake the ramp up to full production. The transaction further de-risks Quadra through the diversification of cash flow sources across multiple projects and by 2010, Quadra, is expected to produce approximately 275–300 Mlb/y of copper, all in low political risk jurisdictions, making it one of the larger mid tier copper producers.”Richard Colterjohn, President and CEO of Centenario Copper said, “The transaction provides Centenario shareholders continued exposure to the Franke project while leveraging Quadra’s technical expertise and financial strength. I am confident in their ability, as proven operators at Robinson and at their recently developed Carlota SX/EW mine, to ramp up the Franke Project to its 70 Mlb annual production capacity as quickly and effectively as possible. I believe that Centenario shareholders should benefit from Quadra management’s clearly articulated vision of becoming a leading consolidator and premier investment vehicle in the mid-tier copper space, which offers the significant potential for a positive re-rating of Quadra’s shares, both as a result of this transaction and longer term.”last_img read more

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Tonga declares state of emergency as it braces for arrival of powerful

first_imgTonga declares state of emergency as it braces for arrival of powerful storm The cyclone has already created havoc in neighbouring Samoa and is threatening to become a Category Five superstorm. Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article 2 Comments Image: Xinhua News Agency/PA Images http://jrnl.ie/3847163 Photo shows wood floating on the water in Samoa after a cyclone blew through. Image: Xinhua News Agency/PA Images 11,996 Views Photo shows wood floating on the water in Samoa after a cyclone blew through. center_img By AFP TONGA HAS DECLARED a state of emergency today and imposed a curfew in the capital Nuku’alofa as the Pacific island kingdom braced for a direct hit from Severe Tropical Cyclone Gita.The cyclone has already created havoc in neighbouring Samoa and is threatening to become a Category Five superstorm as it approaches Tonga.Acting Prime Minister Semisi Sika issued a nationwide alert, saying he was “satisfied that an emergency is happening or is about to happen”.The Fiji Meteorological Service predicts Gita will become a Category Five storm – the top of the scale – before reaching Tonga later tonight.It is already packing gusts of 275 km/h has it sits off the east coast of the country’s most populous island Tongatapu.Truckloads of troops were helping people batten down as the capital prepared for the cyclone and evacuation centres were opened across the kingdom.Police also announced an overnight curfew in central Nuku’alofa “to further protect people and property”.“We are urging people to seek refuge from this severe cyclone that could be the most powerful in the country’s history,” said police commissioner Stephen Caldwell.Tonga’s Fua’amotu Weather Forecasting Centre warned residents could expect “very destructive hurricane-force winds”.Gita slammed into Samoa overnight Friday, forcing the evacuation of some 200 people and causing widespread flooding, leaving many without power.Philip Duncan, chief forecaster at New Zealand’s Weather Watch service, said current modelling showed it was lining up to hit Tongatapu directly.“That’s a very serious situation, the capital is there, there’s over 75,000 people,” he said.It’s pretty rare to see the perfect circle, the centre of that storm, going right over the top of such a small island.‘Major damage’ fearedDuncan said the cyclone could cause major damage even if it remained offshore.“If it moves just a little bit north or south it may not make technical landfall but it’s severe weather, winds up to 230 km/h, waves over 10 metres at sea and a storm surge over a metre on top of that,” he said.The information ministry advised anyone considering moving to the shelters to leave early, saying travel would not be possible when the eye of the storm passes over.Otherwise people should stay at home and ride out the wild weather, it said.“Every family should have an emergency kit packed in their homes,” it warned.Everyone should be mindful of what might cause damage within their homes such as large trees that can potentially damage a house.Tonga Meteorological Service director Ofa Fa’anunu said the low-lying capital was particularly vulnerable to storm surges.“We are looking at major structural damage,” he warned.Cyclones are common in the Pacific at this time of year, with Category Five systems proving highly destructive when they make landfall.Cyclone Winston killed 44 people in Fiji in 2016, and Cyclone Pam claimed 11 lives and damaged 65,000 homes in Vanuatu in 2015.Another Category Five storm, Cyclone Ian, hit Tonga’s sparsely-populated Ha’apai islands in 2014, causing extensive damage and leaving thousands homeless.© – AFP, 2018Read: Terrorism not being considered as probe into one of Russia’s worst ever air disasters kicks offRead: All flights in and out of London City Airport cancelled after discovery of World War II bomb nearby Monday 12 Feb 2018, 7:55 AM Feb 12th 2018, 7:55 AM Short URL Share27 Tweet Email last_img read more

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