Twitter RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Twitter Google+ Facebook Important message for people attending LUH’s INR clinic PSNI investigate hit and run involving jeep stolen in Castlefinn News, Sport and Obituaries on Monday May 24th Police in Strabane are investigating a hit and run involving a jeep stolen last week in the Castlefinn area.Its reported the jeep, a Burgundy coloured Suzuki collided with another motorist on the Barnhill Road in Strabane on Monday last.The jeep which was reported stolen in Castlefinn has since been recovered after being abandoned after the collision.Police say the occupants subsequently made off on foot.Anyone who witnessed the incident or may have dashcam footage or can assist police with enquiries is asked to come forward. Facebook Google+ By News Highland – July 8, 2019 WhatsApp WhatsApp Previous articleDMC postpone August Mini Stages RallyNext article“I did support Ramelton festival” – Mc Bride News Highland DL Debate – 24/05/21 Arranmore progress and potential flagged as population grows Homepage BannerNews Pinterest Loganair’s new Derry – Liverpool air service takes off from CODA Pinterest Nine til Noon Show – Listen back to Monday’s Programme
Bakery Services has revealed “disappointing” results, with its six-month statement to 30 September 2006 showing pre-tax losses of over £80,000.Bakery Services operates the in-store bakeries business Inbake at Co-op shops as well as Don Millers’ franchise and company-managed cafés.Turnover was up from £1.588m (2005) to £1.598m (2006). But pre-tax losses were up from £57,814 (2005) to £83,679 (2006).Bakery Services said Inbake’s in-store concession business performed satisfactorily and gross margin improved slightly from 37.5% to 37.7%.Following the closure of the units at Loughborough and Birmingham, Don Millers only has one managed unit in the Victoria Centre, Nottingham.”The overall results for the period are disappointing,” said Richard Worthington, non-executive chairman and financial director.”However, the loss for the period includes £54,882 relating to the managed unit at the Victoria Centre, Nottingham (closed for refitting during part of the period) and £33,154 relating to rentals and other costs for the closed unit at Temple Row, Birmingham.”Without these costs the group would have been close to breaking even.”
Atlanta, Ga. — The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) encourages businesses of all sizes, private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters to apply for a disaster loan before the July 5 deadline. Anyone in the declared counties in Indiana with damages caused by the severe storms and flooding from Feb. 14 through March 4, 2018 should apply for the disaster recovery loan program.The disaster declaration covers Carroll, Clark, Elkhart, Floyd, Harrison, Jefferson, Lake, Marshall and St. Joseph counties in Indiana, which are eligible for both Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the SBA. Small businesses and most private nonprofit organizations in the following adjacent counties are eligible to apply only for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans: Cass, Clinton, Crawford, Fulton, Howard, Jasper, Jennings, Kosciusko, La Porte, Lagrange, Newton, Noble, Porter, Pulaski, Ripley, Scott, Starke, Switzerland, Tippecanoe, Washington and White in Indiana; Cook, Kankakee and Will in Illinois; Carroll, Hardin, Jefferson, Meade, Oldham and Trimble in Kentucky; and Berrien, Cass and Saint Joseph in Michigan.Businesses and nonprofits can apply up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster damaged real estate, machinery, equipment, inventory, and other business assets. Loans for working capital, known as Economic Injury Disaster Loans, are available even if the business did not suffer any physical damage. Homeowners can apply up to $200,000 to repair or replace disaster damaged real estate. Homeowners and renters can apply up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged personal property including automobiles.Interest rates are as low as 3.58 percent for businesses, 2.5 percent for private nonprofit organizations, and 1.813 percent for homeowners and renters, with terms up to 30 years. The SBA customizes loan amounts and terms based on each applicant’s circumstances.Applicants may be eligible for a loan amount increase up to 20 percent of their physical damages, as verified by the SBA for mitigation purposes. Eligible mitigation improvements may include a safe room or storm shelter to help protect property and occupants from future damage caused by a similar disaster.Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via the SBA’s secure website here.To be considered for all forms of disaster assistance, applicants should register online at DisasterAssistance.gov or download the FEMA mobile app. If online or mobile access is unavailable, applicants should call the FEMA toll-free helpline at 800-621-3362. Those who use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services should call 800-621-3362.Additional details on the locations of Disaster Recovery Centers and the loan application process can be obtained by calling the SBA Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an e-mail to [email protected] .Completed applications should be returned to a recovery center or mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155. For more information about SBA recovery assistance, visit sba.gov. The filing deadline to submit applications for physical property damage is July 5, 2018. The deadline for economic injury applications is Feb. 5, 2019.
Whicker: Dustin May yet another example of the Dodgers’ eye for pitching The greatest energy has been generated by Fernando Valenzuela. The Dodgers legend is an even bigger star in Mexico than he is in Los Angeles and received a rousing ovation when ‘El Toro’ threw out the ceremonial first pitch before Friday’s game.TURNER PROGRESSInjured third baseman Justin Turner was on the field hitting off a tee during the Dodgers’ pre-game workouts Friday and Roberts said Turner is “feeling better and getting stronger” in his rehab from a fractured left wrist.Turner’s next step will be to start taking batting practice. That would be the last step before he could go out on a rehab assignment. Roberts optimistically anticipates that happening soon.“I would say to get him back with us within the next couple weeks is fair,” Roberts said.URIAS CHECKMexican native Julio Urias made the trip with the Dodgers and said he is getting close enough to see the end of his rehab from shoulder surgery. “I’m very happy with the process,” Urias said through an interpreter. “It’s been now nine, 10 months (since the surgery). … Things now have been progressing and I’m starting to get a little more clarity and that really excites me.Sign up for our Inside the Dodgers newsletter. Be the best Dodger fan you can be by getting daily intel on your favorite team. Subscribe here.“We’re at the point where the trainers are able to start planning out when I can actually get on a mound, also a touch-and-feel with the mound. I know that’s something that is in the near future and that makes me very happy.”Urias threw on flat ground from about 100 feet during Friday’s pre-game workout. Roberts said the expectation remains that Urias will be back with the Dodgers “at some point in the second half of the season.”HIGH HUMIDITYThe trip to Monterrey brings with it the Dodgers’ first taste of humid weather this season. That could be an issue for left-hander Rich Hill, who is scheduled to come off the DL and start on Sunday. Hill has had problems with blisters on his pitching hand over the past few years, a condition that could be exacerbated by humid conditions, and is currently recovering from an infection in the middle finger of his pitching hand.“That is a thought,” Roberts acknowledged. “With Rich and his finger blister, he hasn’t pitched in these conditions. Probably Cincinnati or St. Louis was probably the only thing similar. He played catch today and felt good. But it’s something on the forefront of our minds.”The Dodgers could have put off activating Hill until Tuesday when they open a homestand with a two-game series against the first-place Arizona Diamondbacks. But the Dodgers decided to push Clayton Kershaw’s start back so he would face the Diamondbacks. Kershaw will have six days’ rest before that start. He pitched six innings in Arizona on Tuesday, allowing two runs and leaving with a lead but getting no decision when the Dodgers eventually lost.ALSOThe Dodgers returned left-hander Edward Paredes to Triple-A Oklahoma City in order to recall right-hander Walker Buehler for the start Friday against the Padres. Utilityman Breyvic Valera was added as the 26th man for the weekend series. The Dodgers and Padres are allowed to carry an extra position player for the games in Mexico.UP NEXTDodgers (RHP Kenta Maeda, 2-2, 3.76 ERA) vs. Padres (RHP Bryan Mitchell, 0-3, 6.07 ERA) at Estadio de Baseball Monterrey, Saturday, 4:10 p.m., Fox Sports 1 (blacked out in L.A. market), SportsNet LA (where available)Related Articles Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error MONTERREY, NL, Mexico – This is definitely not el dia de la marmota.The Dodgers arrived in Monterrey for the three-game Mexico Series against the San Diego Padres and were greeted by rainy weather, excited crowds … and a break in the routine of a 162-game season.“I think it’s exciting,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “It’s different. But it’s important to Major League Baseball. I actually think us coming here to Monterrey – a new hotel, a new ballpark – the players are actually excited about doing something different.“Obviously they are creatures of habit. But the change in scenery has broken up the Groundhog Day a little bit. So when guys got to the ballpark today and were trying to find their way around the ballpark – the newness has kind of energized us, ironically.” Dodgers bench slumping Cody Bellinger for a day Dodgers’ hot-hitting Corey Seager leaves game with back injury Dodgers’ Justin Turner looking rejuvenated on defense Dodgers’ Dave Roberts says baseball’s unwritten rules ‘have changed, should change’
A selection of images from QPR’s 3-1 defeat against Manchester City. (Click on an image to begin slideshow)See also:Upbeat Hughes hails QPR’s midfield duoCity v QPR player ratingsCity’s class tells against new-look QPR Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook
How do Darwinists react when their 100% authority in the schools and the scientific institutions slips a little? Some recent stories provide glimpses into what the public can expect to see.Turkish outrage: It was as if a Watergate scandal were uncovered. “The main Turkish government agency responsible for funding science has provoked outrage by apparently censoring a magazine article on the life and work of Charles Darwin,” Nature reported last week.1 (see also NatureNews). Anti-evolution sentiment is strong in Turkey. It was unclear from reports why Omer Cebeci, vice-president of Turkey’s funding and research agency, decided to switch from a cover story honoring Darwin to one on global warming in the country’s widely-read popular science magazine published by the government agency, but Nature said some professors were calling for his ouster. The article quoted scientists calling the action “outrageous” and “a very bad thing.” Another calling for Cebeci’s resignation over the “affair” said, “The issue is not only about evolution but also about the proficiency of Turkey’s most important science organization.” Nature’s editorial last week announced “Turkey censors evolution.”2 It has been the biggest crisis in Turkish academia since last year’s lifting of the headscarf ban in universities. Last week a portrait of Charles Darwin was taken off the cover of the March issue of the government-backed science magazine Bilim ve Teknik (Science and Technology) just before it went to press. T?BITAK, Turkey’s national science funding agency, which publishes the magazine, then sacked its editor, ?ig brevedem Atakuman. Scientists, assuming censorship, are justifiably outraged and protests are ongoing.Suspicions were aired that the publishers were trying to avoid provoking the voters on a sensitive issue before local elections, but Cebeci denied it was censorship. “This row has brought into focus two issues that plague Turkish science,” the Editorial said. “One is political interference in the scientific civil service; the other is high levels of public support for creationism.” The editors called for a transparent investigation of the incident, and a statement denouncing creationism:The organization should also consider making an unambiguous statement of its position on evolution, intelligent design and creationism to reconfirm its credentials as a serious scientific body. In the past, T?BITAK has provided reliable information on Darwin’s theory in a country where creation is offered as an alternative to evolution in high-school biology teaching. The agency could do that again. After all, none of the world’s religions commands its believers to be creationists. Many Islamic scholars and thinkers have speculated on the origins of life. Turkey’s ruling party must learn from this latest affair. It must keep religion out of science policy, and be seen to be doing so.Later, on March 25, Nature News indicated that Cebeci was backpedaling on the affair, blaming the cover change on a subordinate who has been transferred. “T?BITAK has now issued a statement confirming its commitment to science and scientific literacy in the country, where many people do not believe in evolution.” Canadian outrage: In the same issue of Nature last week,3 Hannah Hoag reported that Canada’s minister of science and technology is “under fire” for making comments that provoked “fierce criticism.” What on earth did he say, to get a reaction described as fierce? It’s more what he did not say. He was asked whether he “believed in evolution,” and he took the 5th, so to speak: “I’m not going to answer that question. I am a Christian, and I don’t think anybody asking a question about my religion is appropriate”. A caption by his picture stated, “Gary Goodyear had a surprising take on evolution.” His later admission that he does accept evolution was too little, too late. He tried to cover the embarrassment by saying he thought the question was a distraction when he should be focused on the economy and creating jobs, but now a cloud of doubt about his qualifications has Nature worried. The worry was couched in circumlocution: “At this point no one seems interested in calling for Goodyear’s resignation,” suggesting it might be a good idea if someone did.Texas outrage: Pugnacious verbiage (fighting words, that is) characterized a press release from the American Institute of Physics (AIP) published by PhysOrg about the Texas Board of Education vote to authorize critiques of evolution in its science standards (see 03/27/2009). The title set the spin: “Science setback for Texas schools.” The mood of the Darwin army was glum in the opening lines: describing the vote, it said, “The results weren’t pretty.” Arousing defenders of evolution, the article said that the new standards open “loopholes and language that make it even easier for creationists to attack science textbooks.” Eugenie Scott and others at the NCSE got quotes – defenders of the Texas vote did not. “The final vote was a triumph of ideology and politics over science,” Ms Scott said. “The board majority chose to satisfy creationist constituents and ignore the expertise of highly qualified Texas scientists and scientists across the country.” Here’s how the AIP viewed the changes:For example, the revised biology standard (7B) reflects two discredited creationist ideas–that “sudden appearance” and “stasis” in the fossil record somehow disprove evolution. The new standard directs students to “analyze and evaluate the sufficiency of scientific explanations concerning any data of sudden appearance, stasis and the sequential nature of groups in the fossil records.” Other new standards include language such as “is thought to”, or “proposed transitional fossils” to make evolutionary concepts seem tentative when, in fact, such concepts are well-documented and accepted by the scientific community.Eugenie Scott and Josh Rosenau of the NCSE made their frustration clear. “There’s a reason creationists are claiming victory,” Scott said. The vote threatens to produce “watered-down science textbooks across the U.S.” because of Texas’s clout in the textbook market. The ending line accentuated the frustration: “NCSE’s Josh Rosenau summed up the frustration of scientists and educators alike: ‘This is a hell of a way to make education policy,’” even though the State Board of Education held numerous public hearings with ample input by experts on all sides. 1. Alison Abbott, “Turkish scientists claim Darwin censorship,” Nature Published online 10 March 2009, updated 18 March, doi:10.1038/news.2009.150.2. Editorial, “Turkey censors evolution,” Nature 458, 259 (19 March 2009) | doi:10.1038/458259a.3. Hannah Hoag, “Canadian science minister under fire,” NatureNews, Published online 25 March 2009, Nature 458, 393 (2009),doi:10.1038/458393a.This is not an April Fool entry. Maybe it should be. It’s hard to believe the Darwiniacs can be such spoiled brats, but they are, and they have clout. If democracy, public hearings and testimony by experts on both sides is a “hell of a way to make education policy,” what would heaven be for them? Dictatorship. The Science Mandarins would be able to tell everybody what to believe, and punish anyone who dares question their authority. Almost sounds like the world of 2009. The defenders of Darwin’s Sacred Image cannot endure one speck of tarnish on their idol. They become unglued at any hint of blasphemy. It doesn’t matter to them whether there might have been some legitimate reason for denying Charlie the cover of a Turkish science magazine: failing to give him center stage, for any reason, is tantamount to “censorship” – so heads must roll. Darwin’s visage must be shoved in the face of a country where a lot of people doubt his omnipotence. Failing to shout “Darwin is lord” with the right amount of enthusiasm is enough to call for the ouster of a science minister. And when a state finally allows its high school students to think critically and analyze evidence, the Darwiniacs are beside themselves with frustration and rage, flinging out loaded words and ridicule and assorted other propaganda tricks. They characterize the Texas vote as the death of science and the onset of the Dark Ages. The outrage of these people is no more plausible than the denunciations of a hypothetical totalitarian dictator screaming about the end of democracy when one member of the opposition party makes it to Parliament.(Visited 16 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Here are some headlines concerning early man and the ongoing struggle by humans to improve life.Throw the dog a bone: An extinct ape named Oreopithecus did not walk upright as earlier claimed, Science Daily admitted. Maybe they sat as they made little black cookies with white cream in the middle. “The study, published in a forthcoming issue of the Journal of Human Evolution, confirms that anatomical features related to habitual upright, two-legged walking remain exclusively associated with humans and their fossil ancestors.”Back in Liang Bua Cave: Whatever happened to The Hobbit? News about those little fossil people from Indonesia occasionally breaks above the din into the headlines. Latest claim: they looked like us but were not us. Science Daily reported, “3D-Comparative Analysis Confirms Status of Homo Floresiensis as Fossil Human Species.” A team from Stony Brook University claims that they were not victims of microcephaly. That keeps them in the genus Homo, but as a separate species – at least, until the next analysis contradicts it.Give peace a chance: Scientists are fighting over whether early humans were aggressive and warlike. Reviewing a paper in Science, Elizabeth Culotta, in her perspective article, announced, “Latest Skirmish Over Ancestral Violence Strikes Blow for Peace.” Early people were peacemakers. That’s the opinion of two Finns who published an article in Science about whether “lethal aggression” was dominant among mobile foraging bands. It has “implications for the origins of war,” they wrote. “But those on the other side of the debate” are fighting back, Culotta wrote; they “say that the paper lacks the numerical data to evaluate how common war and homicide actually are.” And how can there be a peace treaty if both sides can’t even define what war is? Darwin always wins, regardless. “If war is a common feature of the foraging way of life, then perhaps it was a driving force in human evolution,” Culotta said. Well, then, what “if” it wasn’t? Then, presumably, peace and cooperation were the driving forces in human evolution.Ancient mariners: Using traditional craft and no modern navigation aids, a Polynesian team completed a voyage from New Zealand to Easter Island and back, the BBC News reported. The feat revitalized natives to remember a skill that is rapidly being lost. For “over 3,000 years, John Pickford wrote, “the Polynesians had been using their great canoes, combined with near-miraculous navigation skills, to explore and settle a vast stretch of the Pacific.” Today’s islanders, want often to leave their paradise and get jobs on the mainland, it was a big morale booster. “They are a powerful reminder of a heroic age not so long ago when those mythic islands of the south seas were more connected and the ocean really was a highway rather than a barrier.”Crop rotation, good: Since the days the Jews were ordered to give their land a Sabbath rest, allowing native plants to grow back for a year, wise early farmers have learned that crop rotation increases productivity of the land. It’s a trick medieval farmers had to re-learn the hard way. Now, Science Daily claims to know why crop rotation works: it causes a shift in soil microbes. The microbes affixed to the roots of some plant species, like legumes, know how to fix nitrogen and fertilize the soil. Not only that, rotation has a “profound effect … on enriching soil with bacteria, fungi and protozoa,” researchers at the John Innes Centre found.Farm changer, world changer: Moving up to modern times, now, here’s a story to watch. Science Daily reported that a professor at the University of Nottingham has found a way to take nitrogen fertilizer from the air. No, he hasn’t invented a way to do it; he’s just borrowing the technology of nitrogen-fixing bacteria. Nitrogen is the most abundant molecule in the atmosphere, but its triple bonds make it hard to crack. Man’s methods of fixing nitrogen to produce fertilizer are costly and require heat. The press release could hardly contain the excitement:Professor Edward Cocking, Director of The University of Nottingham’s Centre for Crop Nitrogen Fixation, has developed a unique method of putting nitrogen-fixing bacteria into the cells of plant roots. His major breakthrough came when he found a specific strain of nitrogen-fixing bacteria in sugar-cane which he discovered could intracellularly colonise all major crop plants. This ground-breaking development potentially provides every cell in the plant with the ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen. The implications for agriculture are enormous as this new technology can provide much of the plant’s nitrogen needs.Turbocharging farms: Current Biology has another idea to increase farm productivity: genetically engineer crops to use C4 photosynthesis. 97% of plants use the C3 method, but a few species, particularly those in harsh environments like deserts, use C4. Now that humans have learned genetic engineering, could they use C4 to get more mileage out of crops? Elizabeth A. Kellogg thinks so:The number of humans on earth is increasing, generating concerns about food security and spurring efforts throughout the world to increase the productivity of crops. If a way could be found to increase the yield of crops by, say, 20%, it would have immense impact on global food supplies. Fortunately, evolution has already crafted such a mechanism, known as C4 photosynthesis. The C4 pathway is in effect a turbocharger for the more conventional C3 pathway. Just as a turbocharger improves performance of an engine by forcing more air into the manifold, C4 improves photosynthetic performance by forcing CO2 into the standard C3 photosynthetic apparatus. The added efficiency of this mechanism is obvious at a global level.In a sense, humans continue to use ingenuity (a.k.a., intelligent design) to improve their lot in life, using natural resources more and more efficiently. If modern humans have existed on this globe for at least 40,000 years (some evolutionists think Homo species were our equals two million years ago), would they not have invented seafaring and agriculture much earlier? (See 7/06/13, “Farming Came Too Late in the Evolutionary Timetable”.)Despite all the progress in agriculture, there are worries that humans are devolving, not evolving. Evidence was right here in the article: a retreat into pagan mysticism, as evident in Kellogg’s statement, “Fortunately, evolution has already crafted such a mechanism, known as C4 photosynthesis…in effect a turbocharger….” There’s not much hope for mankind with that kind of personification fallacy getting published in a major science journal. (Visited 13 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Brand South Africa over the weekend co-hosted the Human Library initiative alongside LEADSA in Sandton.The Human Library is a global movement that started in Copenhagen in 2000 with the aim to bring human books (people who have stories to share) with the intention to demystify and challenge stereotypes and prejudice through dialogue.Depot Manager of the Human Library, Ms Madi van Schalkwyk said in a video shared on the LEADSA, “The Human Library is a safe environment to have discussion that have been difficult to have and get people to really understand the type of people they share their community with and work towards social cohesion.”Topics dealt with are those considered taboo in society, thus bringing empathy and appreciation of what individuals go through in their daily lives.Play Your Part Ambassador Sophie Kanza participated in dialogues with some of the human books and shared her thoughts on the initiative. “I believe there should be Human Libraries popups everywhere, it is important that we take a moment to talk to each other.”Speaking on the collaboration, Brand South Africa’s General Manager: Stakeholder, Ms Mpumi Mabuza said, “Brand South Africa is delighted to have partnered with Lead SA on ‘The Human Library’ initiative. This is for the sole purpose of seeking to encourage tough, honest and inclusive conversations amongst citizens in order to contribute towards a unified society.Some of the human books included living with bipolar, Stockholm syndrome, young single mother, domestic abuse, lupus, embryo killing and these human books were individuals who came forth and volunteered their time and story in order to help guide towards a healing society that is not afraid to engage on what is deemed as taboo.“This was thought-provoking and totally different, it gets you uncomfortable at first but makes you shift your hypothetical opinion about individuals. People have unique stories to share about their life experiences and all they require is a listening ear without judgement,” said Pumeza Ceza, Brand South Africa’s Strategic Relationship Manager – Civil Society, and a participant at the Human Library.For more information on the Human Library click here
South Africans are being urged to open their doors to fieldworkers – more than 10 000 of them – going into communities to gather information from 1.3-million households for Statistics South Africa’s 2016 Community Survey, an essential tool in service delivery.From 7 March to 22 April the fieldworkers will gather data on the number of people in South Africa, where they live, their standard of living, and more.The survey was launched on Monday 29 February with a call to citizens to show their support: “Open up your doors and allow the team to come in. South Africa counts because you count.’The launch was held in Mamelodi East near Pretoria, at the Ikageng Community Hall, one of 330 venues around the country where the fieldworkers are being trained.The Community Survey is Stats SA’s second-largest information-gathering exercise after the national census. Last held in 2007, the survey’s main objective is to provide demographic and socioeconomic data at municipal level, to improve government planning.The basic information it gathers includes people’s level of education, the dwellings they live in, statistics on income and ownership of household goods, access to electricity and piped water, and types of toilets. Data is also collected on fertility, cause of death, migration, home ownership and much more.High-tech survey toolsThis year, digital technology will boost the efficiency and size of the survey. Instead of filling out households’ information on paper, fieldworkers will be able to capture it on electronic devices. This “computer-assisted paper interview’, or Capi, method will allow over a million dwellings to be surveyed, up from 300 000 in 2007. And it cuts the cost per dwelling from R2 000 to R200 – a tenfold decrease.Inbuilt controls in the electronic questionnaire will also improve the quality of the data collected. Geographic navigation capabilities will ensure that fieldworkers gather information from the right areas, as selected for the survey.The technology will also speed up the release of the survey results. Census 2011 results were only available a year after the raw data was collected. The 2016 Community Survey results will be released by the end of June – two months after all the households have been surveyed.The speedy delivery of the results will be especially useful for the upcoming municipal elections, to be held countrywide later this year. The survey will give voters objective data on what services have been delivered to what areas, as well as what yet remains to be done.“The citizenry will be able to make decisions based on this enormously helpful body of evidence,’ Stats SA Africa said in a statement. “But more importantly they will know what they as citizens have to do in order to change their lives.’Up-to-date information will also allow municipal officials to plan properly, helping to deepen democracy at the local level. Municipalities will be required to deliver to constituencies that can hold them to account because of the almost instantaneous availability of new data.“Statistics should be embraced as a fundamental part of our democracy, a conduit of trust among citizens, among nations,’ Stats SA said. “Statistics can help to improve the quality of democratic debate by providing reliable indicators, vital for decision-making.’For more information on the survey contact the call centre on 0800 110 248.Source: South African Government News Agency
The government has said it is pushing Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh to make progress on the Ken-Betwa river interlinking project, according to a response to a question in the Rajya Sabha last week.The project involves transferring surplus water from the Ken river in Madhya Pradesh to the Betwa river in Uttar Pradesh and irrigate 3.64 lakh hectares in the Bundelkhand region of both States. The ₹18,000-crore project has been mired in several hurdles. The most recent one is a disagreement between the States on the share of water.‘Consultative manner’“The government is pursuing the interlinking programme in a consultative manner. Vigorous efforts have been made by the Central government for generating consensus between the concerned States,” Minister of State, Jal Shakti, Rattan Lal Kataria, said in a written response to a query in the Rajya Sabha.A senior official in the Jal Shakti Ministry told The Hindu, on condition of anonymity, that the project was “still on” but posed environmental challenges. “Other than differences between the States, there are outstanding environmental obstructions too. It is not an easy road ahead.”The project involves building a 77-metre tall and a 2-km wide Dhaudhan dam and a 230-km canal. Originally, this phase envisaged irrigating 6,35,661 hectares annually (3,69,881 ha in M.P. and 2,65,780 ha in U.P.). In addition, the project was to provide 49 million cubic metres (MCM) for drinking water supply en route.‘No longer valid’While there’s a 2005 agreement between the two States on how water would be shared, Madhya Pradesh says these assumptions are no longer valid and the only way to meet the increased water requirements would be to include local management projects — the Kotha barrage, Lower Orr and Bina complex that were envisaged in the second phase of the project — in the first phase.“Some technical issues are involved in signing the MoU [between the States],” the Parliament reply notes.The project was also controversial as it threatened to partly submerge the Panna Tiger Reserve and affect the habitat of vultures and jackals. It had been cleared by the apex wildlife-regulator, The National Board for Wildlife, in 2016.