New study finds male dominance in Hollywood unchanged

first_imgNEW YORK, N.Y. – Women made up just 18 per cent of all the directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors and cinematographers who worked on the top 250 American films released last year, according to a new study.The 20th annual “Celluloid Ceiling” study on the behind-the-camera employment of women was released Monday by San Diego State University’s Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film. The results show virtually no change in the last 20 years for women in Hollywood. In 1998, the same calculation of behind-the-scenes jobs for women was 17 per cent.The study found that in last year’s top 250 films, 25 per cent of producers were women, 11 per cent of directors were women and just 4 per cent of cinematographers were women.“The film industry has utterly failed to address the continuing underemployment of women behind the scenes,” said Martha M. Lauzen, the study’s author. “This negligence has produced a toxic culture that supported the recent sexual harassment scandals and truncates so many women’s careers.”Last week, a study published by the University of Southern California Annenberg found that among the top 100 films at the box office, the percentage of female directors rose from 4.2 per cent in 2016 to 7.3 per cent in 2017. But that number was still less than the 8 per cent in 2008.As they have in the past, the studies give statistical evidence to the widespread alarm about gender equality in Hollywood. More than 300 women in entertainment recently formed the initiative Time’s Up to push for equal female representation among executives and to help sexual harassment victims defend themselves.last_img read more

Grande Prairie RCMP seek assistance in locating missing person

first_imgGRANDE PRAIRIE, A.B. – Grande Prairie RCMP are seeking the public’s assistance in locating 33-year-old Patrick Decque.According to the RCMP, Decque was last seen in Grande Prairie on May 22, 2019.Decque is described as: CaucasianBlack hairBrown eyes6’0” / 230 lbsLast seen wearing a grey suitThere is a concern for Decque’s well-being.If you have any information regarding Decque’s whereabouts, you are being asked to contact the Grande Prairie RCMP at 780-830-5701 or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.last_img read more

Modi govt allowed Nirav Modi Mallya to flee country Kejriwal

first_imgNew Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal alleged on Saturday that the Modi government allowed economic offenders Nirav Modi and Vijay Mallya to flee the country, and wondered whether this was the prime minister’s “patriotism”. “Why did Modi government make the two flee country. Is this the patriotism of Modi ji?” Kejriwal tweeted in Hindi.The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief was reacting to a tweet saying Mallya and Nirav Modi have met several times in the past to discuss evading extradition to India. Also Read – Bangla Sahib Gurudwara bans use of all types of plastic itemsThere was a fresh focus on the fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi after a British daily Saturday reported that the accused in the USD 2-billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam has been living in a swanky 8-million pound apartment in London’s West End and is now involved in a new diamond business. Sources in the Enforcement Directorate (ED) said on Saturday the United Kingdom’s home secretary has recently referred India’s request for extraditing Nirav Modi to a court for initiating legal proceedings.last_img read more

NGT forms panel to prepare national plan for polluted rivers

first_imgNew Delhi: The NGT has formed a Central Monitoring Committee to prepare and enforce a national plan to make over 350 river stretches across the country pollution free as it has caused serious threat to safety of water and environment. A bench headed by Nation Green Tribunal (NGT) Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said the committee would comprise a representative of NITI Aayog; secretaries of Ministry of Water Resources, Ministry of Urban Development and Ministry of Environment; the director general of National Mission for Clean Ganga and the Central Pollution Control Board chairman. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The Central Monitoring Committee will also co-ordinate with the River Rejuvenation Committees of the states and oversee the execution of the action plans, taking into account the timelines, budgetary mechanism and other factors. Chief secretaries of states will be the nodal agency at state level. “The chief secretaries of the states may undertake review of progress of RRCs by involving concerned secretaries of Department of Urban Development, Environment, Industries, Irrigation and Public Health, Health etc,” the bench said. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KThe tribunal also directed the Ministry of Environment to consider a policy for giving environmental awards to outstanding persons (natural and juristic) and institutions or states and introducing “dis-incentives” for non compliant states and asked it to frame such scheme before June 30. “First meeting of the Central Monitoring Committee may be held by June 30. The Central Monitoring Committee may consider identifying experts, best practices and models for use of treated water, including plan to supply untreated sewage for a price or otherwise so that the concerned needy party can treat and utilise such water as is reportedly being done at Surat in Gujarat, Nagpur in Maharashtra and Bhilwada in Rajasthan or any other place,” it said. Use of treated water for agriculture or other purpose may save potable surface and ground water, it said. The NGT directed the Central Monitoring Committee to give its report by July 31. “We direct the CPCB and state pollution control boards to launch nationwide programme on biodiversity monitoring and indexing of the rivers to assess the efficacy of river cleaning programme. Further, for safety of human health and maintaining sanctity of the rivers, regular hygienic surveys of the rivers should be carried out with reference to fecal coliform and fecal streptococci, as indicated in the primary water quality criteria for bathing waters,” the NGT said. The tribunal noted that due to use of polluted water in irrigation, there is threat to the health of human beings apart from the aquatic flora and fauna. “It is therefore necessary to have regular hygienic survey of the rivers particularly with reference to pathogenic organisms having impact on human health directly or indirectly. It is also important to note that biological health of the rivers is an important aspect. Much of the important biodiversity is lost on account of severe pollution in the rivers. “There has to be a regular study of the Indian rivers with regard to biological heath and its diversity. We understand that biomapping of rivers and setting biological goals/criteria is part of River Rejuvenation Programmes in some countries. There is threat to the environmental rule of law of the country,” it said. The tribunal’s direction came after taking note of a news item in ‘The Hindu’ under the heading “More river stretches are now critically polluted: CPCB”. According to the news item, 351 polluted river stretches have been noted by the CPCB and 117 such stretches are in the states of Assam, Gujarat, and Maharashtra. The CPCB has apprised the concerned states of the extent of pollution in the rivers.last_img read more

Low turnout indicates conventional voting trend

first_imgNew Delhi: With relatively less number of voters turning out for voting during the second phase of Lok Sabha polling, it seems electorates have given a thumbs-down to campaigning strategies of political parties.According to political experts, the low turnout indicated that voting pattern was conventional and there was no ‘extra’ enthusiasm among voters. “The low turnout reflects that cadre and regular voters have come out of the home to vote for candidates of their choice. It also shows that there was no such passion among voters that they have to vote to ensure the victory of candidates of their choice, which was there in 2014,” said political commentator Arvind Mohan. “The voting trend also suggests that the general election is all about local issues instead of national issues, which is against the voting pattern of previous Lok Sabha elections,” Mohan said, adding that there might be a possibility that ruling parties have not been able to disseminate their achievements at the remote level. “It seems are voters are making their choices on the basis of caste and local issues and not on national issues. It’s is so that some of the regional parties have slowed down their campaigning strategies,” the political commentator said, adding that the situation is worst in Bihar as the caste has taken a centrestage in the campaigning trail. The elections were held on 95 Lok Sabha seats across 11 states on Thursday. The original schedule was for 97 seats, but the election commission has cancelled polling in Vellore (Tamil Nadu) and Tripura East constituencies. The voter turnout of the second phase of polling for Lok Sabha elections 2019 stood at 61.12 per cent. The Voter turnout was highest in Assam with the state registering 73.32 per cent polling, while in 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the highest polling percentage for the second phase was recorded at 82.5 per cent in Nagaland. The poll percentage in Bihar was 58.14 per cent, 68.70 per cent in Chhattisgarh, 43.37 per cent in Jammu and Kashmir, 61.80 per cent in Karnataka, 55.37 per cent in Maharashtra, 74.69 per cent in Manipur, 57.41 per cent in Odisha, 72.40 per cent in Puducherry, 61.52 per cent in Tamil Nadu, 58.12 per cent in Uttar Pradesh, and 75.27 per cent in West Bengal.last_img read more

In a first UK voters oust criminal MP

first_imgLondon: Voters in eastern England will elect a new member of parliament next month after ejecting the incumbent in the first move of its kind, it was announced Thursday. Fiona Onasanya lost her seat after voters in the city of Peterborough signed a recall petition triggered by her conviction for lying over a speeding offence. The 35-year-old was expelled from the main opposition Labour party after she was jailed for three months in January for perverting the course of justice. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince Salman ‘snubbed’ Pak PM Imran, recalled his private jet from US: ReportShe had hoped to continue as an independent MP, but 28 per cent of eligible voters signed the petition, well over the 10 percent threshold required to oust her. MPs who receive sentences of less than a year in prison are not automatically excluded from parliament. Following the announcement of the results on Wednesday night, Labour moved a motion in the House of Commons on Thursday for a new election for June 6. It is fielding a new candidate, but is likely to face intense competition in a marginal seat complicated by shifting political allegiances over Brexit. Also Read – Iraq military admits ‘excessive force’ used in deadly protestsOnasanya took the seat from Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservatives in 2017 by a majority of just 607 votes, and the party will fight hard to win it back. But Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party is also hoping to capitalise on the strong anti-EU feeling in Peterborough to try to win its first seat in the House of Commons. Farage himself — a major campaigner in the 2016 referendum on leaving the EU — is reportedly not planning to stand. “We will give it our best shot,” he tweeted. Onasanya is the first MP to be removed by the recall process, which was introduced by former prime minister David Cameron in 2015. It applies to MPs convicted of an offence and sentenced to jail, suspended from the Commons for at least 10 sitting days, or found guilty of false expenses claims. Onasanya had claimed someone else was driving her car when it was caught speeding in July last year.last_img read more

Houdinis life a manual for freedom

first_imgAngelo Loukakis’, latest novel, Houdini’s Flight is about escape. Not specifically Houdini’s famous death defying skill for freeing himself from an assortment of straight jackets, chains and padlocks, but about the kind of escape most of us can only dream of. How many of us out there obsessively tinker and fret about how we can liberate ourselves from that soul destroying job or crippling marriage. “I often think about those old Greek men queuing in Fish n Chip shops, bent over, crippled by a life of hard and meaningless labour and what their dreams could have been, if they had any at all.” –Bust right out of there and finally be the person we have always wanted to be. Loukakis’ novel, is largely about this dream, initially triggering a personal memory of Somerset Maugham’s novel, Of Human Bondage, but more specifically the anthropologist, James Campbell’s famous quote, “Follow your bliss.” To ‘follow your bliss’ believes that if anyone were to actually follow their dreams, then luck would naturally follow them wherever they went. That is, your personal fantasies, no matter how wild or woolly, are in fact harmonious with the universe and not an aberration of an indulgent mind. Unfortunately most of us can’t do this, not even get to first base and this is often due to social and economic circumstances. Take a street kid in Mexico City, for instance; try telling him to ‘follow his bliss’ and not come away with your wallet mysteriously missing from your hip pocket. Or the first born of a long line of lawyers whose imagination has been repressed by generations – maybe he has a better chance of giving ‘bliss’ a red-hot go. But again that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t walk away with most of the contents of your wallet either. I asked Loukakis what it was that drew him to the subject of Houdini. “For one, Houdini is probably our most famous icons of escape. His very name has been appropriated by our everyday language to describe freeing yourself from a truly impossible situation. He was a super star; literally thousands of people of would gather in a public place to watch him possibly live or die.” An escape act cited in the novel is a chained Houdini throwing himself in the River Yarra in Melbourne while he was touring at the turn of the century. The novel fluctuates between Houdini’s exploits in Australia and the present day with Terry Voulas, a 40-year old bus driver who is dissatisfied with his lot and dreams of becoming a magician. The problem for Terry is his wife doesn’t think much of this new career path. She wants him to step up the social ladder and move in a more financially acceptable direction. Terry, of course, isn’t interested in joining his wife in ‘the bourgeois two-step’, simply because there’s no magic in it. Two things enter his life, a tragic death and old tramp keen to instruct him in the arts of magic, and it’s only then Terry’s personal bus trip kicks into fifth gear. Loukakis explains that his novel deals with the importance of mentorship or society’s lack of it. I asked him if this is a contributing factor to peoples’ inability to pursue an appropriate direction in life. “Very much so.” There’s also the classic Greek experience where the father and son are incapable of communicating each other’s needs. “I often think about those old Greek men queuing in fish’n’chip shops, bent over, crippled by a life of hard and meaningless labour and what their dreams could have been, if they had any at all.” Houdini is a useful metaphor for freedom but, as I added, very much of his time. “Of course,” answered Loukakis, “He’s a product of the 19th Century Industrialisation where the shackles of labour were solidly real.” These days the problems ‘of human bondage’ have been lessened to some degree and increased 10-fold in another. “Look, I’m not saying the past was better or worse, but certainly today the restrictions placed upon us are different.” In this post-industrial world they are more subtle perhaps, I suggested, the metaphorical padlocks more cleverly hidden? “Far more so, and therefore making the task of human freedom a much more challenging one.” And since the wheel of fortune turns indiscriminately, regardless of time, dreaming of freedom has always been for the hardy, the brave or the extremely lucky. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Burnley youth team sign 10 teenagers

first_imgDanny Cadamarteri’s youth team has recruited 10 teenagers who will start their two-year scholarships as part of the Burnley Under-18 squad.Cadamarteri has been looking to strengthen his youth team and bringing this 10 teenagers into the Turf Moor ranks is dream come true.Among the 10 new recruits, four of them already spent at least two years within the Clarets’ Academy set-up with a constant play for the Under-16s last season and the youth team.Mitchell George, Matthew O’Neill, Rhys Fenlon, Jon Conley have all progressed from within the Academy before joining up with the youth team.Part of them are: Harry Allen, Jaydon Major, Matty Rain, Kane Patterson, Udoka Chima and Edon Pruti and Joe Conn-Clarke.Academy Manager Jonathan Pepper said Lancashiretelegraph:Burnley FC v Manchester City - Premier LeagueMatch Preview: Burnley vs Liverpool Boro Tanchev – August 30, 2019 Premier League leaders Liverpool travel to Burnley for the Matchday 4 of the 2019-20 Premier League campaign.“We are really looking forward to the new intake of scholars coming in next season.“We have a large number of exciting attacking players to add to our existing group, as well as a whole new defensive line and goalkeeper to bolster the squad.“There will be a lot of competition for places for the U18s next season.”He added: “Nicky Law, in the recruitment department, has worked tremendously hard to bring in a number of players from outside to add to the players who have progressed through our own Academy.“The rise in the profile of the club, the elite training facilities and the growing reputation of the Academy has helped us recruit players from the top clubs in the country, as well as giving opportunities for players from lower levels the chance to develop.“I am looking forward to seeing the players integrate and develop as a group, and hopefully we will see individuals progressing onto the U23 Development Squad at some stage over the course of their scholarship”last_img read more

Real Betis still the most Sevillian thing in Seville – Club

first_imgReal Betis have included the name of their home city in their title as they are proud to wear their colours, adding that Betis are ‘the most Sevillian thing in Seville’.On Wednesday night, the club president Angel Haro made the boasted with his comments as the club released their new third shirt where they showed a print of the skyline of the city, from the renovated Torre Sevilla in the city.“We are the largest and most representative social institution of Andalusia,” Haro told reporters, as cited by El Desmarque via Football Espana.“We are proud to wear the colours of our regional flag, green and white, and we represent it whilst doing so.Gerard Pique, Neymar, BarcelonaLa Liga Betting: Match-day 4 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Despite it being very early into La Liga season, both Barcelona and Real Madrid have had unprecedented starts to their campaigns. With this in…“We are Real Betis Balompie Sevilla, yes, you heard right, Sevilla. This is how our administrative hallmark reads since the birth of our club.“That is why we are presenting this shirt with this spectacular view of the city, a shirt with the city’s landmarks shown.“We return to Europe with the name of Seville in our flag. We are the Betis of Seville and thus we like to be called in England Betis from Seville, in France Betis dans Sevilla, in Italy Betis de Siviglia.“It has always been like that and we are proud of it, Betis are the most Sevillian thing in Seville.”last_img read more

Solari insists he is satisfied with Isco

first_imgReal Madrid manager Santiago Solari has revealed he is pleased with Isco despite benching the player on Saturday.Solari insists he is satisfied with Isco despite only using the former Valencia man as a late substitute during Madrid’s 2-0 LaLiga win over Valencia at the Santiago Bernabeu.Isco was not in the matchday squad for Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League 2-0 win at Roma and also started from the bench when Valencia came to town on Saturday night.An early own goal Denmark’s Daniel Wass set Madrid up for the win before a Lucas Vazquez strike ensured the European champions picked up all three points after Isco was brought on to the pitch.Madrid also have goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois to be grateful for, after his key saves kept Los Che at bay and gave Solari a much-needed win after last week’s disappointing loss to Eibar.Just in: Isco adds to Real’s injury problems George Patchias – August 28, 2019 Real Madrid’s Isco has added to Zinedine Zidane’s problems after suffering a hamstring injury.According to Marca, the problem has developed in his right hamstring,…Isco is yet to start a game for Madrid since Solari replaced Julen Lopetegui, although he has been recovering from appendicitis surgery.Solari, who has regularly denied there’s an ongoing rift between him and Isco, again praised the Spain international despite preferring to name Marcos Llorente and Dani Ceballos in his XI.“He would be decisive when we had a transition,” Solari said, according to FourFourTwo.“[I am] satisfied with him and with everyone.”last_img read more

Napoli keen on signing Veretout Agent

first_imgJordan Veretout’s agent claims Napoli are keen on signing his client from Fiorentina in the summer transfer windowVeretout, 25, has been one of Viola’s star men this season with three goals and an assist, having scored eight in Serie A last season.There is plenty of interest in the French midfielder, but he won’t be moving on next month.“I won’t even talk about the transfer market when it comes to him,” Mario Giuffredi told Football Italia via Radio Kiss Kiss Napoli.Cristiano Ronaldo, JuventusSerie A Betting: Match-day 3 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Considering there is a number of perfect starts so early in the Serie A season, as well as a few surprisingly not-so perfect ones….“He’ll stay at Fiorentina, then in the summer, we’ll see. I think he’s destined for a career at the highest level, but January isn’t the right time for him to move.“He wants to finish the season in Florence, as does [Cristiano] Biraghi. Veretout is liked by Napoli and many other teams, but it’s pointless talking about the transfer market for these lads.”last_img read more

Goldson refuses to blame for fatigue for Hibs display

first_imgRangers defender Connor Goldson has refused to blame fatigue for the team’s lackluster display in the first-half against St. Johnstone.Goldson was asked if fatigue was the reason for the team starting games slowly, he replied, as quoted by the club’s official website:“There are a lot of boys in there who have played a lot of games. I think people on the outside will look at it and say you have only played 19 league games, and won’t see the full picture.”“We have had 35 games, which is almost like a season in five months. There are a lot of boys in there who wake up with sore legs every single day of the week, and I’m one of them!”“But at the end of the day, it is what we came here for and we know there is no time to moan or no time to be tired and if we want to be successful, we have to win games of football.”Rangers is still behind Celtic: John Hartson Manuel R. Medina – September 3, 2019 According to the former Celtic player, there’s still a massive gap between his ex-club and Rangers in the Scottish Premier League.The first-half show against Saints is still not satisfactory for the former Brighton defender, who continued:“Today we are happy we got three points and we responded, but it has been a few too many times this season probably where it has taken that at half-time to get back into games or we have started slowly and given the opposition a leg-up in the first-half, especially away from home.”“It is something we have to look at as a whole group and why we are starting slow. Yesterday, I thought we started not bad in the first 15 minutes and then we had a spell of 20 minutes where we were sloppy and giving the ball away.”“Obviously, at our level, I don’t think you can do that and then we gifted them a goal and it was an uphill battle.”last_img read more

LIME Relief Fund for Dominica

first_img McAlpine defends views on Dominica, says he is simply representing the views of his constituents Related Items:Dominica, lime, relief fund, tropical storm erika Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 07 Sept 2015 – Cable & Wireless Communications has established a regional relief fund via texting for the island of Dominica, following the devastation caused by the passage of Tropical Storm Erika. The deadly storm left its mark on Dominica resulting in more than $225 million dollars in damage to infrastructure, in particular roads and bridges. John Reid, President, C&W Consumer Group extended heartfelt sympathies, and reaffirmed support for the people of Dominica in the recovery effort. Across the Caribbean and the Bahamas, customers can now simply Text the word “HELP” to donate funds to the Dominica Relief Initiative: All proceeds generated from this C&W initiative will be donated to the Government of Dominica Disaster relief efforts. Post Maria: Dominica will rebuild with concrete Recommended for you 27 dead, a dozen missing in Dominica after hurricane Marialast_img read more

Bodies Recovered From Crash Site Near Girdwood

first_imgRCC responded to the scene in a Pave Hawk helicopter and was able to confirm the crash and that there were no survivors. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享UPDATE:The Alaska State Troopers Helo 2 and members of Alaska Mountain Rescue Group recovered four bodies from the plane crash wreckage, according to an online dispatch released on Thursday. The bodies were transported to the State Medical Examiner for positive identification. The names of the deceased have not been release while next of kin is being notified. On August 4, AST received a report of a plane crash outside Girdwood on Goat Mountain near Eagle Glacier at approximately 5,000 feet elevation.center_img Original Post:  According to the FAA’s website, four people died. The plane that went down was a Piper PA22. One crew member and three passengers died.last_img read more

VIDEO Watch Wilmington Recreation Departments Easter Parade

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — The Wilmington Recreation Department’s held its 48th Annual Easter Egg Hunt — which turned into an Easter Parade due to the weather — on Saturday, April 20, 2019 at Wilmington High School.Hundreds of children paraded from the high school’s entrance to the cafeteria, where dozens of volunteers were waiting with eggs filled with candy.Wilmington Community Television was on hand to cover parade. Watch the short video below:—Video Playerhttps://s3.us-west-2.amazonaws.com/wilmington.castus-vod/vod/video/1a7ab4fb-014f-46b5-9b56-279a64eb7a20/video.original.mp400:0000:0008:60Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.—Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedVIDEO: Watch ‘The Back Track Band’ Perform A Concert On The CommonIn “Videos”VIDEO: Watch ‘Jimmy & The Jesters’ Perform A Concert On The CommonIn “Videos”VIDEO: Highlights From Wilmington’s Tiny Tots/Kids Club ProgramIn “Videos”last_img read more

2 Young Wilmington Brothers To Hold Car Wash To Benefit MS Society

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Two Wilmington youngsters — Anthony and Jack LaVita — are holding their annual car wash fundraiser this Sunday, July 21, 2019 from 10am to 2pm at 17 Heather Drive in Wilmington. $10 per vehicle. All proceeds will be donated to the National MS Society. If you cannot make the car wash but would like to make a donation, click HERE.Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… Related5 Things To Do In Wilmington On Sunday, July 21, 2019In “5 Things To Do Today”THIS WEEKEND: Car Wash For WHS Field Hockey, Farmers Market, Free Concert & Voter Registration Drive ALL At Town Common On Sept. 8In “Community”Wilmington High Field Hockey Teams To Hold Car Wash On September 8In “Community”last_img read more

Kutubdia biodiversity in danger

first_imgHere was the embankment that had saved Kutubdia from different cyclonic stroms over the years. Photo: Jewel SheelBoth local and foreign investors are keen to set up industries in Kutubdia island while the government also has similar plans. However, environmentalists warn unplanned growth of industries may destroy the environment and biodiversity of the island.Coastal islands like Maheskhali, Kutubdia, Sonadia and St Martin’s are sanctuaries for amphibians and aquatic animals. There are four to five species of dolphins and two species of tortoise that are on the verge of extinction.Director general of the Department of Environment (DoE), AKM Rafique Ahammed, told Prothom Alo, “Those who want to set up industries in the island have to get an approval. If any of the industries poses a risk to the environment, it has to carry out Environment Impact Assessment (EIA).”According to Petrobangla, local company Beximco has sought 700 acres of land to the power, energy and mineral resources ministry. Beximco in its website said the island would be its centre of investment for the energy sector.Bangladesh Economic Zone Authority (BEZA) also wants to establish an economic zone in the island.Two Indian companies dealing with Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) have shown their interest to set up terminals in Kutubdia as well, as did another Indonesian company.Petrobangla officials said investors in the energy sector are also showing interest in Kutubdia.The government is constructing a sea port at Matharbari. Once it is done, large vessels carrying heavy machinery will be able to berth at the Matarbari seaport and it would be a suitable place to establish an LNG terminal. Kutubdia is four kilometers away from Matarbari. This will facilitate bringing in raw materials and LNG containers.Kutubdia upazila chairman Faridul Islam Chowdhury said there is no electricity in the area and most of the embankments are damaged. After the cyclonic storm in 1991, many people left Kutubdia. Some are still leaving, too.He said the prime minister had pledged that electricity will be available by 2020.Local people get employment opportunities if industries are set up, he further said, arguing that they will not leave.Shahera Begum lives in a hut near Kutubdia island. While talking to this correspondent on 27 December 2018, she had said her house would be protected due to the embankment despite the fury of the sea.After the cyclonic storm Fani had hit the island on 4 May, a fisherman of the island said a portion of the embankment was engulfed by the sea. However, Shahera’s cottage survived. But it is now at risk of erosion.A big portion of Kutubdia island was engulfed by the Bay of Bengal and the embankments were damaged by the storms one after another. The residents of the island are leaving their ancestral houses, crop fields and fish enclosures. Where they are settling anew, they are naming the place ‘Kutubdiapara’.According to the local administration, these people are settling at Cox’s Bazar Sadar, Maheskhali, Ramu, Chakaria, Dulahazara and Kekua, Khagrachhari, Bandarban, Rangamati Sadar and Chattogram Sadar and Anwara upazila.The lighthouse which had been giving light to sailors since 1848 it broke down during the cyclone of 1991. The administration did not take any steps to this end. People have now started living in the area named ‘Lighthousepara’.Life and riskOne has to go to Kutubdia from Magnama Ghat of Pekua Upazila of Cox’s Bazar by trawler. There is a small bazaar one kilometre away from the ghat. Fish and salt are sold in the market here. One can see the towers of windmills few kilometres later.There is no boundary around the power plants set up on nearly eight acres of land. The security system is not up to the standard while electricity supply is not more than one megawatt. A total of 350 families receive electricity for seven to eight hours a day. There is also a solar and a diesel-powered power station. Only 12 per cent of the islanders get electricity.There have been bumper production of both salt and rice this year. More than 700 tonnes of salt were produced in about 7,000 acres of land. The farmers are, however, worried for its low price. Again, the paddy invented for salty lands by the scientists had a good yield. But the rice prices are also low.Four researchers from two US universities published a research report on geographical changes in Kutubdia in 2017. The study says the size of the island was 77 square kilometres in 1972, but it shrunk to 68 square kilometres in 2013.Meanwhile, a study carried out by the Center for Environmental and Geographic Information Services (CEGIS), a government agency, says the total area of Kutubdia island was about 100 square kilometres in 1840. As many as 40 square kilometres of the lands were reduced due to erosion. Upazila administration data also give similar impression.Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, executive director of Coast Trust, an organisation working on coastal development, said due to erosion and lack of damns the island and the residents’ lives are at stake.”Scattered plans will not help to protect this island. We need an inclusive plan. The problem will increase if the residents are displaced,” he added.As per the upazila administration data, there was a 40-kilometre embankment around the island. Half of the damn collapsed in the 1991 cyclone. It was reduced to eight kilometres by the onslaught of the cyclone Sidr, Aila, Roanu, Mahasen and the latest Fani. As a result, a large part of the island goes under water in regular tide.Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Dipak Kumar Roy said he has requested the Water Development Board to repair the damn as soon as possible.The water level of the sea is very high at the moment. It should be kept in mind while repairing the embankments, he added.Secretary to the Ministry of Water Resources, Kabir Bin Anwar, said the ministry had decided to repair and rebuild the damns.Also, mangrove forests will be created to protect the coast as the Ministry of Forest and Environment and the directorate will remain responsible to protect the biodiversity of the island.According to Kutubdia upazila administration, every year there is erosion in different places of the island in normal tide. Two years ago the island’s population was about 300,000. It is less than half now.Another 5,000 people have been left vulnerable due to cyclone Fani, he added.Ishtiaq Uddin Ahmed, former country director for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), stressed the need for rehabilitating the residents of the island.”Local residents must be protected before any project is implemented there and erosion must be stopped, too,” he said.”Otherwise, being one of the vital source of salt and fishes, the island, its inhabitants and the proposed investment will be in danger,” he observed.”Coastal islands like Kutubdia protect the country from the initial strike of storm surge. Before upgrading it to an industrial area, it’s overall wellbeing has to be kept in mind,” Inshtiaq further said.*This report, originally published in Prothom Alo’s print edition, has been rewritten in English by Rabiul Islam and Farjana Liakat.last_img read more

Shantanu Packs A Punch With The Target

first_imgEach chapter brings out sensational revelations that if taken into consideration and scrutinised individually could be vital in understanding the larger conspiracy.For the first time since the NSEL crisis engulfed the FTIL group, an investigation uncovers sensational revelations in the chronological narrative of ‘The Target’. This is the first time that explosive exposure regarding a powerful politician and an influential bureaucrat have come to the fore in the NSEL saga. Many a times in the past, former Finance Minister P Chidambaram’s name has been dragged with controversies surrounding market manipulations. This book has authenticated the degree of his interest in the business of stock exchanges. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfShantanu has combined his investigation with flashbacks of Jignesh Shah’s stardom. He has produced documentary evidence that adds merit to his research which went on for nearly two years. Each chapter brings out an observation that if taken into consideration and scrutinised individually could be vital in understanding the larger conspiracy. Through a seamless flow, the book brings out the core – how Chidambaram’s most favourite bureaucrat, K P Krishnan, in the Finance Ministry took the rising competition against NSE due to FTIL’s phenomenal rise as a potential threat to their interest. NSEL crisis was a smokescreen to the ulterior motive which was to obliterate FTIL group and Jignesh Shah’s innovative spirit. The crux of the book is the strategic planning to execute the hatched plot against Jignesh Shah and his group.  Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThrowing in glimpses of the past, Shantanu describes Jignesh Shah as an unstoppable force who changed the dynamics of the financial markets. And, it became a catalyst for his downfall.From then on the book spirals into exposing the conspiracy by the political-bureaucratic-rival network that colluded so that Jignesh Shah who had effortlessly torn down NSE’s cartel and established a democratic market for all could be stripped off his innovative spirit. Planned strategic measures that fell into place one by one to entangle Jignesh Shah and his FTIL group in a web of conspiracy has been narrated explicitly.  One often wonders if not for this book, could anyone have imagined that the financial markets do run a parallel administration in the country.  Without any doubt, the protagonist of the book is Jignesh Shah. Shantanu draws parallels in Shah’s life from that of John Galt from Ayn Rand’s legendary novel ‘Atlas Shrugged’. John Galt dared to challenge the status quo of the existing system by standing up against those who tried to bring him down. In the end, like John Galt, Shah too revolutionised the system. Shah comes across a man who has been misconstrued because he defied popular perception by playing the odds and winning every time!last_img read more

Googles Projects Jacquard and Soli Make Fabric Thats Interactive

first_img This story originally appeared on Fortune Magazine Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global May 29, 2015 Register Now » Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. 3 min read Google is trying its hand at manufacturing high-tech fabrics and wearable electronics that you can actually wear with new Advanced Technology and Projects Group efforts called Project Jacquard and Project Soli. Google showed off the projects, which involve weaving electronics into fabrics and a gesture-based interface, at its Google I/O developer event being San Francisco Friday.The result of the combined projects is a fabric that acts as a touch screen of sorts. Different ways of stroking the fabric allow could someday allow a user to turn on lights, make a phone call or do any number of tasks programmed for that patch of fabric. Levi Strauss & Co. has signed a partnership with Google to try to exploit the technology. Project Jacquard is a combination of two technologies—weaving conductive threads into a piece of cloth and creating a package of electronics that work with the conductive threads to read the information they convey and turn it into something a computer can understand. For those who like to win on trivia nights, Jacquard is likely named after the first mechanical loom that was able to make complicated fabrics such as brocades.Google is not the first to create conductive threads. Startups such as OmSignal, Heapslyon and others currently sell shirts, running socks and even sports bras that contain such threads and use their electronic innards to track various metrics associated with physical activity. The Sensoria socks from Heapsylon are surprisingly comfortable.But with Project Soli, Google is adding a futuristic tweak. Soli uses radar to “see” tiny gestures that a person might make with their fingers and turns that into a signal a computer can understand. So a flick of the thumb over the fabric could become a screen swipe. Using radar or other forms of radio waves for gesture control isn’t actually all that new. Elliptic Labs, a Norwegian startup has been licensing its ultrasound technology to smart phone manufacturers so people could control their handsets with a flick of their wrist from across the room. Researchers at the University of Washington have used disruptions in Wi-Fi radio signals as a way to build a gesture-based interface for the home.So Google’s breakthrough with these two projects is to choose radar for Project Soli, and apply it to fabrics to turn anything from your jacket lapel to your sofa cushions into a responsive screen of sorts. This is good news for people who are tired of looking at screens, or are frustrated by trying to perform complex tasks on something the size of a smart watch. But it’s probably bad news for people who like to wipe their hands dry on their pants.last_img read more