Mysterious Indo-European homeland may have been in the steppes of Ukraine and Russia

first_imgBut many archaeologists noted that genetic and archaeological studies did indeed suggest massive ancient migrations from the Middle East into Europe that could have brought PIE and sparked such language diversification. In 2003, evolutionary biologists Russell Gray and Quentin Atkinson of the University of Auckland in New Zealand used computational methods from evolutionary biology to track words as they changed over time, and concluded that the Anatolian hypothesis was right. But steppe supporters remained unconvinced, even after Gray’s team published a confirming analysis in Science in 2012.Fans of the steppe hypothesis are now hailing a genetics study that used ancient DNA from 69 Europeans who lived between 8000 and 3000 years ago to genetically track ancient population movements. The work, now posted on the bioRxiv preprint server, was done by a large team led by geneticists David Reich and Iosif Lazaridis of Harvard Medical School in Boston and Wolfgang Haak of the University of Adelaide in Australia. Among the team’s samples were nine ancient individuals—six males, two females, and a child of undetermined sex—from the Yamnaya culture north of the Black Sea in today’s Russia. Beginning about 6000 years ago, these steppe people herded cattle and other animals, buried their dead in earthen mounds called kurgans, and may have created some of the first wheeled vehicles. (Many linguists think PIE already had a word for “wheel.”) The team also retrieved ancient DNA from four skeletons from the later Corded Ware culture of central Europe, known for the distinctive pottery for which they are named (see photo above), as well as their dairy farming skills. Archaeologists had noted similarities among these cultures, especially in their emphasis on cattle herding.The team focused on sections of DNA that they suspected would provide markers for past population movements and identified nearly 400,000 DNA positions across the genome in each individual. They used new techniques to zero in on the key positions in the nuclear DNA, allowing them to analyze twice as many ancient nuclear DNA samples from Europe and Asia as previously reported in the entire literature.The comparison of the two cultures’ DNA showed that the four Corded Ware people could trace an astonishing three-quarters of their ancestry to the Yamnaya. That suggests a massive migration of Yamnaya people from their steppe homeland into central Europe about 4500 years ago, one that could have spread an early form of the Indo-European language, the team concludes. Thus the paper for the first time links two far-flung material cultures to specific genetic signatures and to each other—and suggests, the team says, that they spoke a form of Indo-European.The Corded Ware culture soon spread across north and central Europe, extending as far as today’s Scandinavia. So the “steppe ancestry,” as the authors of the preprint call it, is found in most present-day Europeans, who can trace their ancestry back to both the Corded Ware people and the earlier Yamnaya. The work thus adds to genetic findings from last fall showing that the genetic makeup of today’s Europeans is more complicated than anyone expected.The results are a “smoking gun” that an ancient migration into Europe from the steppe occurred, says Pontus Skoglund, an ancient DNA specialist who is now working in Reich’s lab but was not a co-author on the paper. (Although the paper is publicly available on a preprint server, it is not yet published, and the authors declined to discuss their work until it’s published.) The paper “levels the playing field between the steppe hypothesis and the Anatolian hypothesis by showing that the spread of farming was not the only large migration into Europe,” Skoglund says.The second new paper to address PIE’s origin, in press at Language and due to be published online during the last week of February, uses linguistic data to focus on when PIE arose. A team led by University of California, Berkeley, linguists Andrew Garrett and Will Chang employed the language database and evolutionary methods previously used by Gray to create a family tree of the Indo-European languages from their first origins in PIE. But in certain cases, Garrett and Chang’s group declared that one language was directly ancestral to another and put that into their tree as a certainty. For example, they assumed that Latin was directly ancestral to Romance languages such as Spanish, French, and Italian—something that many but not all linguists agree on—and that Vedic Sanskrit was directly ancestral to the Indo-Aryan languages spoken on the Indian subcontinent.These constraints transformed the results from what Gray’s team has published: Garrett, Chang, and their colleagues found that the origins of PIE were about 6000 years ago, consistent with the steppe hypothesis but not the Anatolian, because the farming migration out of the Middle East was 8000 years ago. Once the original PIE speakers began to sweep out of the steppes about 4500 years ago, their languages spread and diversified, Garrett’s team says.But many supporters of the Anatolian hypothesis remain staunchly unconvinced. Paul Heggarty, a linguist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, questions Garrett’s methods, arguing that, for example, linguists cannot be sure if the Latin attested to in written documents really was the direct ancestor of later Romance languages, rather than some dialect of Latin for which no record remains. Even small differences in the true ancestral language, Heggarty insists, could throw off the timing estimates.As for the Reich paper, many archaeologists and linguists praise the data on ancient migrations. But they challenge what they see as its speculative link to language. The movement out of the steppes, Renfrew says, “may be a secondary migration into central Europe 3000 to 4000 years later than the spread of farmers, which first brought Indo-European speech to Europe.” If so, the Yamnaya steppe people would not have spoken PIE but an already derived Indo-European tongue ancestral to today’s Balto-Slavic languages such as Russian and Polish, Heggarty says. He adds that the wording of the Reich paper is “misleading.”Indeed, in a lengthy discussion in the paper’s Supplementary Information section, Reich and colleagues do concede that “the ultimate question of the Proto-Indo-European homeland is unresolved by our data.” They suggest that more ancient DNA, especially from points east of the steppes, may finally tie our linguistic history with our genes. Adapted from R. Bouckaert et al., Science (2012) What do you call a male sibling? If you speak English, he is your “brother.” Greek? Call him “phrater.” Sanskrit, Latin, Old Irish? “Bhrater,” “frater,” or “brathir,” respectively. Ever since the mid-17th century, scholars have noted such similarities among the so-called Indo-European languages, which span the world and number more than 400 if dialects are included. Researchers agree that they can probably all be traced back to one ancestral language, called Proto-Indo-European (PIE). But for nearly 20 years, scholars have debated vehemently when and where PIE arose.Two long-awaited studies, one described online this week in a preprint and another scheduled for publication later this month, have now used different methods to support one leading hypothesis: that PIE was first spoken by pastoral herders who lived in the vast steppe lands north of the Black Sea beginning about 6000 years ago. One study points out that these steppe land herders have left their genetic mark on most Europeans living today.The studies’ conclusions emerge from state-of-the-art ancient DNA and linguistic analyses, but the debate over PIE’s origins is likely to continue. A rival hypothesis—that early farmers living in Anatolia (modern Turkey) about 8000 years ago were the original PIE speakers—is not ruled out by the new analyses, most agree. Although the steppe hypothesis has now received a major boost, “I would not say the Anatolian hypothesis has been killed,” says Carles Lalueza-Fox, a geneticist at Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona, Spain, who participated in neither of the new studies.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Up until the 1980s, variations of the steppe hypothesis held sway among most linguists and archaeologists tracking down Indo-European’s birthplace. Then in 1987, archaeologist Colin Renfrew of the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom proposed that PIE spread with farming from its origins in the Fertile Crescent of the Middle East, moving west into Europe and east further into Asia; over time the languages continued to spread and diversify into the many Indo-European languages we know today.Traditional linguists, meanwhile, painstakingly reconstructed PIE by extrapolating back from modern languages and ancient writings. (Listen to a short fable spoken in PIE here.) They disdained Renfrew’s idea of an Anatolian homeland, arguing for example that the languages were still too similar to have begun diverging 8000 years ago.center_img More than 400 Indo-European languages diverged from a common ancestral tongue; the earliest ones (top right), Anatolian and Tocharian, arose in today’s Turkey and China, respectively. last_img read more

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Hosni Mubarak’s trial adjourned till September 5, no live telecast

first_imgThe Egypt court ruled that the trial of Hosni Mubarak will no longer be telecast live.The historic trial of Egypt ‘s fallen president Hosni Mubarak was on Monday adjourned till September 5 after the ailing former strongman returned to court wheeled on a stretcher to answer charges of ordering the killing of over 800 anti-regime protesters, as his followers and opponents scuffled in the streets outside.In another dramatic day at the trial that has gripped the Arab world, the court ruled that the proceedings will no longer be telecast live.Judge Ahmed Refaat also decided to merge Mubarak’s trial will now be merged with that of ex-interior minister Habib al-Adli, a step welcomed by lawyers for the families of protesters killed in the uprising.Mubarak, 83, faces death penalty if found guilty of ordering the killing of around 800 pro-democracy protesters.He is also facing corruption charges along with his sons Alaa and Gamal, both of whom were also present in the case in prison uniform.As the toppled leader made his second appearance in court, scuffles broke out outside the court house between the former president’s supporters and antagonists.”Hosni Mubarak is not Saddam” and “He is Egyptian until death” read the placards as a number of his supporters gathered outside the court guarded by hundreds of riot policemen.Mubarak, wearing a navy blue sports sweater, appeared in a caged defendant’s box and answered “present” when trial judge Refaat called his name. He was earlier flown in to the court in a military helicopter from a Cairo hospital.He was also seen exchanging words with his sons during the proceedings.The proceedings were often unruly and chaotic as a large number of prosecution lawyers raised their points.The judge ordered the merger of the trials of Mubarak and al Adli, and announced that live TV coverage would end “in the interest of the public” while adjourning the case to September 5.The trial of Adli on charges of killing nearly 800 demonstrators during the uprising had resumed yesterday. He has already been sentenced to 12 years in prison for money-laundering.Defence lawyers have also demanded that Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, who was Mubarak’s defence minister for two decades, and now leads the military council, testify over the former president’s role in suppressing the uprising.Mubarak was ousted in a massive uprising against his 30 year long regime in February following which the military took up the role of a caretaker government to make way for democratic elections in the country.advertisementlast_img read more

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NorthEast eye second straight ISL home win against Goa

first_imgA buoyant NorthEast United FC will be eyeing nothing less than a win against FC Goa in their second successive Indian Super League (ISL) football home match in Guwahati on Tuesday.NorthEast began their campaign with a confidence-uplifting 1-0 win against Kerala Blasters in the tournament’s opening match at Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium on Sunday.Japanese midfielder Katsumi Yusa scoring the winning goal and the encouraging start would have surely put new coach Nelo Vingada in a positive frame of mind.But the Portuguese knows there is plenty of scope for improvement.”I know we have to play better to reach the semis which is my target and of my players, so we have to be more consistent. If we don’t grow as a team and play better, it won’t be enough,” he said in an ISL release.NorthEast is unlikely to change their winning combination.”For me this was the best eleven which I could use for the game because some players are injured and most of the players are not fully fit for 90 minutes. But I am satisfied with the foreign players and I am also very happy with the Indian boys,” said Vingada.NorthEast’s opponents FC Goa, last year’s runners-up, will once again be helmed by Brazilian legend Zico. They played attractive football last year but faltered in the final against Chennaiyin FC.Zico will seek solace from last year’s bitter pain with a promising start this time.Goa conducted their pre-season in Brazil and played four friendlies with Zico using different players to try out varied formations. It isn’t clear who will be named in their first team.advertisementGoa will be without several players who are nursing injuries. Defenders Gregory Arnolin, Denzil Franco, goalkeeper Subhashish Roy Chowdhury and striker Robin Singh are all on the teatment table, having picked up knocks during their pre-tournament training.Zico has retained the core of the squad, with emphasis on Brazilian and local talents.Focus will be on the new joiness like Trindade Goncalves, Rafael Dumas, Julio Cesar and Richarlyson and how they will be accommodated in the starting team by Zico.last_img read more

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I don’t find need to get involved in confrontation with Australians: Kohli

first_imgSydney, Dec 1 (PTI) India skipper Virat Kohli says he is now more assured of himself than the last tour here and and does not feel the need to get involved in any confrontation with the Australians in the upcoming Test series. Kohli will look to realise India’s dream of winning a Test series on Australian soil when he leads the team in a four-match contest, starting with the opening match at Adelaide on December 6. Known for his on-field aggressive temperament, the 30-year-old Kohli was involved in sledging war with the Australians in the previous tour but the India captain says he has learnt from his past experience and does not expect any such incident happening during the series. “I think from last time round, I’ve become more assured of myself, I don’t really find the need to prove anything to anyone,” Kohli told ‘Macquarie Sports Radio’. “In the early stage of my career I used to think of these things as important milestones which are really important in one’s career, but now the focus is purely and solely on making the team win at any cost. “So … I don’t find the need to get involved in anything with the opposition and I think those are changes that keep happening gradually as you go forward,” he said. Ever since Australian cricket plunged into crisis following the year-long ball-tampering bans on Steve Smith and David Warner, there has been a lot of discussion on the spirit of the game and bringing a change in the culture of the Aussies.advertisement Kohli, who has scored 6331 runs including 24 hundreds from 73 Tests at an average of 54.57, still expects an aggressive battle on the cards. “Not really, you might not see the same kind of stuff that happened in the last series. But I think in terms of their body language and intent that they have, I’m sure they’re still going to be aggressive in their minds,” said Kohli, who has scored over 10,000 runs at a whopping average of 59.83 in ODIs. “That’s the way Australia have always played, I don’t think there’s any other way they like to play their cricket. I don’t see any incidents happening on the field, I think it’s going to be competitive cricket,” the India captain said. “They’re definitely going to bring their A-game and expect us to bring ours, so we definitely expect stiff competition from Australia as always and we’re definitely not taking anything for granted.” PTI ATK PDSPDSlast_img read more

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Jeff Thomson feels Jasprit Bumrah can ‘burn opposition with pace’

first_imgIn his prime, his USP was raw pace that terrorised batsmen across the globe and no wonder Jeff Thomson is impressed with Jasprit Bumrah’s ability to “burn opposition with raw pace”.Bumrah has been rated as the world’s best bowler by Sachin Tendulkar and the legendary Dennis Lillee’s former new ball partner’s words only add to the Gujarat slinger’s exponentially growing reputation.”Bumrah is really good. He is someone, more that he has bowled, the better he has got. That’s how it should work,” Thomson, the world’s fastest bowler in the 1970s alongside Malcolm Marshall, told PTI during an interaction.”He has got raw pace to burn opposition as and when he wants to but he mixes it up. And he is awkward too to read. I haven’t seen batsmen reading him well. He is unorthodox and that’s what makes him different,” said Thomson.According to Thomson, Bumrah, along with Kagiso Rabada, will be the two bowlers to watch out for as they can put their hand up and respond to situations.Talking about pace bowling, Thomson is a touch worried about Mitchell Starc’s form but agreed that the left-arm quick would be a vital cog in Australia’s wheel.”I hope Mitchell Starc is on song during World Cup as of late he has been all over the shop like last summer,” Thomson said about Australia’s senior most pacer.However, given his quality and ability to run through opposition sides, Thomson is confident that he will find form.”Starc, if he can bowl well can be as good as anybody in the world. He is a precious man. He needs to bowl quick and at the same time be accurate. He gave too much away in the past,” he added.advertisementThomson, however, is not happy that Josh Hazlewood is not in the bowling unit even though it seems quite decent.”Pat Cummins is not a problem in my books. He has talent. We don’t have Hazlewood but he could have been there. Still I would say our bowling attack is pretty good,” he added.Thomson’s interaction was arranged by Powersportz, which launched its programming grid for the 2019 World Cup.Also Read | Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma: Unstoppable force since World Cup 2015Also Read | People will keep calling South Africa chokers until they win World Cup: Kepler WesselsAlso Seelast_img read more

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Alabama Former 5-Star Has Reportedly Flown Back Home

first_imgEyabi Anoma at Alabama football's spring game.TUSCALOOSA, AL – APRIL 13: Eyabi Anoma #9 of the Alabama Crimson Tide looks on during the team’s A-Day Spring Game at Bryant-Denny Stadium on April 13, 2019 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)Eyabi Anoma, a former five-star linebacker, was expected to take on a larger role in the Alabama defense this upcoming season. Instead, it is extremely unclear if he will be on the team at all this fall.Two days ago, it was reported that Anoma is no longer enrolled in class at Alabama. That raised significant questions about his status.Anoma had a promising spring, which drew the attention and public praise of head coach Nick Saban. The legendary head coach was happy with how he responded to coaching from position coach Sal Sunseri.Per new reports, Eyabi Anoma took a flight from Alabama back home on Friday, casting his future into further doubt.From Rivals: Fast forward to July 26, Anoma boarded a flight from Birmingham, Alabama to Washington D.C. and it’s unclear at the moment what Anoma’s next moves are. The writing seems to be on the wall: he’ll likely transfer from Alabama once and for all, but as of July 27 his name is not in the NCAA transfer portal and he has until August 28 to enroll in classes to be able to participate with the team.After recording nine tackles in 2018, Anoma briefly entered the transfer portal, before ultimately electing to return to Alabama after speaking with Saban.Anoma is a native of Baltimore, which raises an interesting possibility if he is to transfer. Former Alabama offensive coordinator Mike Locksley left to take over the Maryland Terrapins this off-season.Per the Rivals piece, if Anoma transfers, Maryland is the heavy favorite to land him.Anoma who was rated as a five-star by Rivals.com coming out of high school in the class of 2018 played football at St. Francis in Baltimore, Maryland and has always maintained a close relationship with former Alabama offensive coordinator Mike Locksley who just happens to be the new head coach at Maryland. Sources we’ve spoken to continue to be confident that Anoma eventually transfers to Maryland whether that be now or in the future.Anoma was the No. 4 overall player in the 2018 recruiting class. It would be a huge loss for Alabama, and a big win for Maryland or whichever program lands him, if he does wind up leaving the Crimson Tide for good.[Rivals]last_img read more

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Shiner Adds Two New Beers to the Lineup: Wicked Juicy IPA and Day Quencher Session Ale

first_img Smart Practices for Drinking With the Environment in Mind Deep Sleep: The World’s Most Incredible Underwater Hotel Rooms Editors’ Recommendations The Best Drinks to Pair With Your Favorite Food Shows America’s Oldest City Has a Super-Modern Dining and Drinking Scene 14 Best Outdoor Stores in the United States Almost since the days of its founding back in 1909, the Spoetzl Brewery, named for its brewmaster Kosmos Spoetzl, has been better known simply as Shiner. This comes thanks to the small town of Shiner, Texas, home to the brewery and to fewer than 2,150 residents. Far and way the best known Shiner brew is their flagship Shiner Bock, a 4.4% ABV roasted dark lager first brewed in 1913 and offered year-round since 1973.Though Shiner Bock is the best-known Spoetzl Brewery beer (and is in fact the only Shiner beer many people can identify), it is but one of a much larger line of brewed the establishment makes. These include seasonal beers like Shiner Holiday Cheer and Shiner Oktoberfest, as well as year-round brews like Shiner Bohemian Black Lager.In just the past year, the brewery has made a number of additions to their line of brews, including the seasonal Shiner Sea Salt & Lime Summer Lager. But more exciting than new seasonal was the announcement of two new year-round beers the brewery has just begun to offer nationwide. As of September, 2018, beer drinkers across American can now find Shiner Wicked Juicy IPA and Shiner Day Quencher Session Ale in cans and on tap.Shiner Wicked Juicy IPA is a drinkable 5.7% ABV ale with a moderate 60 IBU rating and a distinctly citrus fruit kick achieved thanks to generous dry hopping (hops added after the boil) and with a unique mouthfeel thanks to its unfiltered contents. Poured into a glass, this is a handsome brew with an alluring aroma and a flavor to match.Day Quencher Session Ale is a perfect lawnmower or porch beer thanks to its low 4.6% ABV and its light, quaffable taste. It is rated at a low 18 IBUs, yet retains a light hop aroma thanks to dry hopping and the body is mildly malty. While perhaps best suited to warmer weather, Day Quencher is a fine beer to have on hand for refreshment in any season or for those days or nights when you want to enjoy a third or fourth brew.(In the interest of editorial disclosure, yes, I drank several of both of these beers before writing this article. But don’t worry, I did so several days prior, so I’m perfectly capable of objectivity at this point.)last_img read more

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CSCL’s 1H Profit Takes a Major Blow

first_imgzoom China Shipping Container Lines Company Limited (CSCL) has recorded a steep decline in profit recording 97.5 % fall in earnings when compared to the last year’s results.Namely, the profit attributable to owners of the parent in the first half of 2015 amounted to RMB 10,643,000 (USD 1.6 million) a major fall from RMB 431.6 million (USD 67.4 million) recorded in the corresponding period of 2014.CSCL’s revenue was RMB 15.99 billion, a fall of RMB 1.4 billion or 8.1% as compared with the same period of 2014.The downturn in the container shipping market was attributed to the imbalance between shipping capacity supply and demand, which kept the boxship market sluggish in the first half of 2015.“Freight rates for Asia-Europe trade lanes hit record low levels under the impact of new shipping capacity put into market amid a weak economic growth momentum in the eurozone. On the other side, benefiting from steadily growing demand boosted by the stable recovery of the U.S. economy, coupled with the impact of the U.S. West Coast port strikes, freight rates for Trans-Pacific trade lanes stayed at stable levels,” CSCL said.Meanwhile, freight rates for Asia Pacific trade lanes underwent volatility under the gradual upgrade of shipping capacity.The group’s shipping capacity in the H1 2015 reached 908,579 TEU as at 30 June 2015, representing a net increase of 181,966 TEU as compared with that as at the end of 2014.In terms of fleet capacity, CSCL took delivery of all five 19,100 TEU new vessels in the said period and pressed ahead with the disposal of old vessels, sped up the surrender of outdated vessels and acquired special vessels to replenish its fleet, resulting in a total operating capacity of 909,000 TEU.In terms of future prospects for the second half of 2015, CSCL was not optimistic saying that “the international trade still won’t be cheerful.” “With the massive influx of new shipping capacity, shipping market will face even more uncertainties. The shipping industry is gradually developing towards scale expansion, intensive operation and supply chain integration. Thresholds of market entry and service standards will continues to rise along with the increasing scale of container liners, innovations in large vessel operations and in service concepts,” CSCL went on to say.last_img read more

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Voter Information Cards Are in the Mail

first_imgElections Nova Scotia has mailed more than 700,000 personalized voter information cards to people on the lists of electors. Registered electors should receive their voter information cards by Wednesday, May 27. “The voter information card tells registered voters where and when to vote,” said Chief Electoral Officer Christine McCulloch. “Take it with you to the poll and it can help speed the process.” Electors who do not receive their voter information card by May 27, or who receive a card with incorrect information, should contact the local Elections Nova Scotia returning office no later than 8 p.m., Wednesday, June 3, or call 1-800-565-1504 Monday to Saturday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., or on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Electors who receive a card for a deceased person or someone unknown at that address should also contact the local Elections Nova Scotia office.last_img read more

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Legislative Amendments Will Help Municipalities Support Residents Experiencing Water Shortages

first_imgGovernment is giving municipalities an important tool to help residents who are experiencing dry wells as a result of a historic water shortage. Amendments to the Municipal Government Act and the Halifax Regional Municipality Charter introduced today, Nov. 3, allow municipalities to create a program that would pay the costs of drilling or expanding wells upfront. These costs would then be applied to a property’s tax bill and repaid over a specific period of time. “The lack of rainfall over the past number of months has caused about 2,000 wells in southwest Nova Scotia to go dry. Drilling a new well can be expensive and residents need support to get water flowing again,” said Municipal Affairs Minister Zach Churchill. “This program will provide Nova Scotians with opportunities to improve their water situation without having to worry about paying right away. It will also give municipalities another mechanism to help property owners fund similar projects in the future.” This financing model is used throughout Canada and the United States to fund improvements on commercial or residential properties. It has also been used by some Nova Scotia municipalities to fund energy efficiency projects. Under these amendments, municipalities that wish to participate would create a by-law that lays out the details of the program. The program would be voluntary, may cover up to 100 per cent of the project’s costs, have financing terms of up to 20 years, and could be combined with other federal or provincial programs. If required, municipalities can secure funding from the Nova Scotia Municipal Finance Corporation. “The past few months have been difficult for many of our residents who are struggling with dry wells,” said Eddie Nickerson, warden of the Municipality of the District of Barrington. “While our community has come together to offer help for those without water, these amendments will allow us to put affordable, long-term fixes in place to avoid these situations in the future.” The Province of Nova Scotia has been working with municipalities and community partners to help residents through this unprecedented water shortage by providing ongoing water delivery and direction to alternate shower facilities.last_img read more

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Pink polling stations to be set up in Gurugram to boost women

first_imgGurugram: Deputy Commissioner Amit Khatri at a Press conference to discuss preparations for Lok Sabha elections said that pink polling station will be set up to boost the number of women voters. At 10,82,870 for the first time, Gurugram district will have more than a million citizens who will be eligible to cast their vote in the upcoming General as well as assembly elections. In the given set, there will be 5,12,506 women and 5,70,364 men voters. Also Read – Gurdwara Bangla Sahib bans single use plasticThe figure has seen a rise from 9,36,471 voters who had voted in 2014 elections. The rise in the number of voters can be gauged from the fact that in just one year 27,689 voters have been added. The sex ratio figures in terms of voting were however not satisfactory in 2014 with 899 females to 1,000 males recorded in 2014 General Elections. The Deputy Commissioner affirmed that this time steps were taken by the administration to ensure that the percentage of voters would be much higher than in the previous elections. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murder”Our basic priority this time is to ensure that there is a high turnout of women voters. Not only are we going to make sure that they will be provided with more security, we are also exploring other ways by which they can come in huge numbers and exercise their democratic right,” said Amit Khatri. Providing more information, Khatri mentioned that a total of 1,113 booths will be set up at 532 locations. Around 15,000 people, including security personnel, will be involved in ensuring voting proceeds smoothly. “Gurugram district has always voted proactively. In the last General elections, the voting percentage was over 70. We would want this healthy trend to continue. In the coming days, we will be providing facilities by enhancing the communication channels. If the voter wants any of the doubts cleared, he can call at the toll-free number 1950,” said the deputy commissioner who took the charge of Gurugram only in February. The significance of Gurugram can be gauged from the fact that it is the largest Lok Sabha seat in Haryana.last_img read more

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Man held at Delhi Metro station for posing as CRPF jawan

first_imgNew Delhi: A man hailing from Uttar Pradeshs’ Shamli district has been apprehended by the CISF at a Delhi Metro station here for allegedly masquerading as a CRPF jawan, a senior official said Sunday. Nadeem Khan, donning a khaki uniform of the CRPF, was intercepted at the Chandni Chowk station on Saturday as his activities were found to be suspicious. “Upon enquiry, the man did not give any satisfactory reply and was not having any force ID card or any proof of being a force member,” a Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) official said. Also Read – CM urges Delhiites to help accident victims The man claimed he was a trainee at the Central Reserve Police Force training force in Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir and that he on way to Shamli for his mother’s final rites, he said. A check with the CRPF centre in Srinagar and Shamli police found both his claims to be false. The man’s physical search led to the recovery of two Aadhaar cards with different dates of birth, father’s name and addresses and a mobile phone, he said. The man has been handed over to the Delhi Police to further probe the case and find out his motive, he said.last_img read more

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Nearly 2 million hurricaneaffected Cubans to receive UN food aid

28 October 2008Almost two million Cubans affected by hurricanes Gustav and Ike – two of the worst disasters to strike the small island nation in the past 50 years – will receive vital assistance from the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) over the next six months. Under the newly-approved emergency operation, WFP will provide $5.7 million in food rations, including rice, beans, vegetable oil, canned fish and CSB, a blended food compound of maize and soy fortified with vitamins and minerals. The agency’s efforts are in support of the Cuban Government as it responds to communities needing food assistance in areas that bore the brunt of hurricane damage in late August and early September.“WFP is playing an important role helping people who suffered great losses in the storms,” said Sonsoles Ruedas, WFP Representative in Cuba.In addition to the rations, WFP will supply temporary food storage warehouses and liquid gas stoves to people who lost cooking facilities in the storms.“As on previous occasions, we trust in the generosity of donors to carry out this operation which will allow us to provide assistance to affected populations,” Mr. Ruedas added.A series of hurricanes – Fay, Gustav, Hanna and Ike – killed hundreds of people and caused billions of dollars of damage to infrastructure across the Caribbean. In addition to Cuba, Haiti and the Turks and Caicos Islands were among the hardest hit. read more

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UN officials call for urgent action to protect hospitals from natural hazards

14 October 2009United Nations officials are using the International Day for Disaster Reduction to urge governments to take practical steps to make hospitals safe from natural hazards, a need underscored by the recent tragedies that struck Asia and the Pacific. “Health facilities must be better prepared to respond to local hazards. They must be designed, built and maintained so they can better protect health workers and patients alike when disaster hits,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a message to mark the Day, observed annually on 14 October. With weather-related disasters on the increase, it is critical to ensure that health facilities are prepared for emergencies and able to provide life-saving care in their wake, he said.Mr. Ban noted that in Indonesia, hospital collapses during the recent earthquake in Sumatra caused additional loss of life. Earlier this year, in the Italian city of L’Aquila, the collapse of a newly built hospital provided a grim reminder that health systems in richer nations are also at risk.The cost of making hospitals safe from disasters is relatively small, he said, noting that “the most expensive hospital is the one that fails.”This year’s observance marks the culmination of a two-year Safe Hospitals campaign – a joint initiative of the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank – aimed at ensuring people’s access to functioning health facilities during and after natural hazards.“Since the beginning of the campaign, much has been achieved to make hospitals safer but more investments are still needed to improve the functionality of hospital when disasters occur,” said Margareta Wahlström, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction. Hospitals and heath facilities are in the frontline when floods, hurricanes, cyclones, and earthquakes strike, according to a news release by the UNISDR. Many are adversely impacted because safety measures were not integrated in their design, construction and functionality.There are at least 90,000 hospitals and other health facilities in the world’s 49 least developed countries, many of which are vulnerable to disasters, including those related to the harmful effects of climate change.“No new hospital should be built unless it can withstand the impact of natural hazards,” Ms. Wahlström added. “Existing health facilities should also be assessed for their safety and action take to improve their safety and the level of their preparedness.”The Safe Hospitals campaign involves practical steps to make facilities safer, including the Hospital Safety Index, a checklist for assessing hospital preparedness. It has already been applied to many facilities in Latin America, as well as in Oman, Sudan and Tajikistan.“Preparedness and risk reduction is the way ahead in health and humanitarian action,” said Eric Laroche, WHO’s Assistant Director-General for Health Action in Crises. “By working together, countries and communities can deal with these risks, particularly by reducing vulnerabilities and building capacities to mitigate and respond to all emergencies they may face.”Also emphasizing the importance of making hospitals safer is WHO Goodwill Ambassador and international film star Jet Li, who has seen first-hand the impact of the 2004 tsunami in the Maldives, last year’s Sichuan earthquake and Typhoon Morakot, which struck Beijing and Taipei in August.“For the victims of these disasters, the struggle is great,” he said in a video message to mark the Day. “What is especially important is the safety of hospitals during these moments.“Earthquakes, storms and flooding are becoming more and more common,” he added. “I am appealing to all governments and cities to build hospitals so safe they are able to withstand earthquakes, tsunamis and other types of environmental stress. This way we are able to protect and save more lives.” read more

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Paris offers Sri Lanka support to recover after attacks

Paris has offered Sri Lanka support to recover after the deadly Easter Sunday attacks.Deputy Mayor of Paris Jean Francois Martins visited Sri Lanka from 5-6th June to meet senior government officials and key private sector leaders on Sri Lanka’s tourism revival strategy following the Easter Sunday terror attacks in the country, the French Embassy in Colombo said today. During the mission the Mayor met with the Prime Minister, Minister of Tourism, the Mayor of Colombo and the Cabinet Subcommittee on Tourism. Martins is the Deputy Mayor overseeing tourism for the city of Paris. He visited on the invitation of the Government of Sri Lanka, to share lessons learnt from Paris’ own experience managing communications and security expectations following a series of coordinated terror attacks in the city in 2015. In his conversations with the private sector, the Deputy Mayor highlighted the role played by French hoteliers and tour operators in engaging closely with travelers to support the Government’s assurance of safety in Paris.He noted that tourism in Paris was able to recover rapidly from the attack’s aftermath due to a coordinated, cohesive and united communication strategy implemented jointly with the private sector. “I express my sincere condolences to the families of all those who lost their lives on April 21st,” said Martins. “This senseless act of terror has impacted the lives of all Sri Lankans. We commend the Government of Sri Lanka’s rapid response which prevented any further incidents.” He also added, “Sri Lanka remains one of the most vibrant tourist destinations in the world because it is a beautiful country with resilient, hospitable people. The world already knows this. The focus should now be on effectively managing the evolving security concerns of the international community, and making it known widely that Sri Lanka remains an exciting and secure destination for travelers. After a catastrophic year post terror attacks in 2016, the French capital saw a surge in the number of visitors in the 2 years that followed. And last year, Paris hit a new tourist numbers record. That’s why I wanted to come with this optimistic message, the next few months will of course be complicated but with the right decisions, the country can recover.”Martins’ visit was organized by AgenceFrancaise de Developpement (AFD) supported by the World Bank. The two organizations are expected to co-finance “the proposed Sri Lanka Sustainable Tourism Development project to be implemented by the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL), focused on supporting the creation of conditions for increased private investment and sustained growth in the tourism sector. The project design is based on a framework approach to (i) institutional and regulatory strengthening, (ii) sustainable destination development, and (iii) skills development and market linkages. The project design will also include a comprehensive crisis management strategy and communication mechanism for the GoSL. read more

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UNICEF official condemns killing of Palestinian children

A senior official of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has condemned the fatal shooting, reportedly by Israeli military gunfire, of three Palestinian children while at play Saturday in the southern Gaza Strip.“This sad event hits me particularly hard because I been in the area just a few hours earlier, interacting with Palestinian children,” UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Toshiyuki Niwa said. “These kids were just being kids when their lives were cut short.”Mr. Niwa, who was in Rafah to launch a joint polio campaign between UNICEF and the Palestinian Ministry of Health and also to visit safe play zones for children shortly before the incident, underscored that areas that youngsters play and learn in must be treated as zones of peace.“Sometimes it seems that no matter what we do to provide children with safe and peaceful alternatives they end up victims in this terrible conflict,” he said.As of mid-March 2005, more than 800 children under the age of 18 have been killed, including 696 Palestinians and108 Israelis, since the current conflict erupted more than four years ago. read more

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Fired Toronto Pan Am Games CEO Ian Troop gets 534000 in severance

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email TORONTO – The decision to fire the head of the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games organizing committee last month will cost Ontario taxpayers more than half a million dollars.The committee said Friday that Ian Troop will get a cash payment of $478,200 plus $27,300 in retirement benefits, $10,000 in “outplacement payments,” $3,500 in legal fees and medical benefits of $15,800.“We have reached a severance agreement with Mr. Troop that satisfies both parties,” said TO2015 spokesman Courtney Pratt in a statement.Pan Am board chair David Peterson said the severance package would not add to the budget for the Games, which he put at $1.4 billion, even though officials admit it’s closer to $2.5 billion when the cost of building the athletes’ village is included.“The costs arising from this agreement will be absorbed into the Games’ overall budget,” Peterson said.Tourism and Sport Minister Michael Chan also said taxpayers would not face any additional costs from the decision to fire Troop and pay him out.“I understand the settlement follows the terms laid out in Mr. Troop’s employment contract,” Chan said. “These costs remain within TO2015’s $1.4-billion budget, and are therefore not an additional burden to taxpayers.”However, the Progressive Conservatives again demanded Chan’s head, saying he’s the minister responsible for the Pan Am Games and should “take a little responsibility” and resign.“It’s another added cost to the Pan Am Games for Liberals making poor decisions in the first place, and then having to pay taxpayers’ money to get out of it,” PC Pan Am critic Rod Jackson said in an interview.“I don’t think they have any room to absorb anything at this point.”The New Democrats criticized the Liberals for “handing out Olympic-sized payday” to Troop.“Instead of taking simple measures to get waste under control like capping CEO salaries and banning big bonuses, we see the same-old Liberals showing the same-old contempt for public money,” said NDP critic Paul Miller.Peterson, a former Liberal premier of Ontario, said in December that it was his decision to get rid of Troop as CEO of the Games and replace him with Saad Rafi, a former deputy minister of health.At the time, the Pan Am board gave no reason for Troop’s departure, but sources said there were key operational issues that were not being decided, creating a schism between the organizers and the Ontario government.There was also an outcry from the opposition parties when Troop, who was paid $477,000 a year, billed taxpayers 91 cents for parking, $1.89 for a cup of tea and $8,561.19 for a Mexican hotel and cocktail party.The Ontario government also came under criticism when it was disclosed there was a $7-million bonus package for TO2015 executives, including Troop, who was eligible for a $780,000 premium if the Games came in on budget.The Opposition was up in arms after the province announced the total budget for the Toronto 2015 Games, including transportation and security, would be at least $2.5 billion _ far above the $1.4 billion the province originally stated.The transportation budget alone will be up to $90 million to shuttle athletes and officials to the various venues around southern Ontario, which stretch from Niagara in the west to the Orillia area in the north, and as far east as Oshawa.Even though three levels of government are contributing funding for the Pan Am/Parapan Games in Toronto, Ontario is putting in the lion’s share and will be on the hook for any cost overruns. Fired Toronto Pan Am Games CEO Ian Troop gets $534,000 in severance by Keith Leslie, The Canadian Press Posted Jan 31, 2014 11:47 am MDT read more

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War crimes fugitive surrenders to UN peacekeepers in DR Congo UN advocate

The United Nations advocate for ending sexual violence in conflict has welcomed the surrender of fugitive rebel leader Ntabo Ntaberi Sheka to the UN peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), known as MONUSCO. Mr. Sheka, who the Security Council added to its UN sanctions list after a national warrant was issued for his arrest in 2011, is wanted for crimes related to mass rapes of at least 387 civilians in the eastern DRC during July and August 2010. He turned himself in yesterday to MONUSCO forces in Mutungo in the North Kivu, after years on the run. The surrender “signals that the persistent advocacy and engagement of the United Nations and international community, in support of the national authorities, can yield results,” said the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Pramila Patten. Despite the surrender, Under-Secretary-General Patten noted that the militia Mr. Sheka created and leads, the Nduma defense of Congo (NDC), continues to commit violations including rape, killing and forced recruitment. “Thousands of women and girls, men and boys in eastern Congo continue to be terrorized by those under Cheka’s command, with many still fearing the next attack,” Ms. Patten said. She called for him and his affiliates to stand trial swiftly and in accordance with due process standards, and that anyone supporting the NDC be sanctioned.The senior UN official also urged that “overdue” reparations be paid to victims. The fugitive turned himself in to MONUSCO “in full awareness of the fact that he is wanted by the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to stand trial for alleged crimes,” the UN Mission said in a statement. The mission said that it is committed to supporting the relevant judicial authorities in pursuing criminal prosecutions for all human rights violations, in accordance with the rule of law, and that it has a standing agreement with the DRC government to ensure that all persons in MONUSCO’s care who are handed over to the national authorities are treated in accordance with all relevant human rights standards. read more

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Ohio State aims to fix free throw struggles in NCAA Tournament

Senior guard Lenzelle Smith Jr. (32) takes a free throw during a game against Michigan March 15 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Michigan won, 72-69.Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorThe whistle blows, the official bounces the ball and every eye in the arena is focused on a single player. Standing at the free throw line with the game on the line, even the simplest things can go wrong.Players spend years perfecting the technique of the shot, just to be placed under the spotlight and wither.In the Ohio State men’s basketball team’s contest against Michigan Saturday in the Big Ten Tournament semifinal, the pressure finally caught up to the Buckeyes.“We knew it was going to bite us in the butt sooner or later, and unfortunately it happened today,” junior guard Shannon Scott said after the loss.On the season, OSU (25-9, 12-9) shot 68.9 percent from the free throw line, 210th out of 351 teams in Division I.But in Big Ten Tournament wins against Purdue and Nebraska, the Buckeyes’ struggles at the line weren’t enough to lose them the games.OSU went a combined 12-14 from the charity stripe in the final two minutes of play against the Boilermakers and Cornhuskers, despite shooting less than 65 percent in each of the games.Against the Wolverines though, the problems at the free throw line were exposed. Senior guard Aaron Craft missed two free throws with 2:27 remaining that would have put OSU in the lead, and junior forward LaQuinton Ross missed one of two with 44 seconds remaining.One more point could have led to a less desperate situation for OSU, which would have only needed two points to tie instead of having to rely on a 3-pointer that slipped out of Craft’s hands right before the buzzer.Senior guard Lenzelle Smith Jr. said free throws are starting to become worrisome for OSU, but that the team managed to stay in the game was impressive.“Free throws are obviously big and this is where you see how big they can become,” Smith Jr. said. “All-in-all, even with us missing free throws down the stretch, we still had a chance to win the game. We were one rebound away, they miss a free throw and get the ball back, that’s a dagger. In the end, that takes the momentum away from our team and it just turns everything in their favor. But we start making those free throws and we have a chance to ice the game and we wouldn’t even be in this situation.”Craft said he wasn’t happy with his own performance down the stretch.“I’m disappointed in myself, obviously,” Craft said. “Came down the stretch and didn’t make some free throws, missed a couple shots that our team needed us to make.”Less than a week before, against Michigan State in Columbus, OSU struggled at the line again late, only hitting two of its eight attempts at the line in the final two minutes. But like the first two rounds of the Big Ten Tournament, OSU managed to squeak by with a win despite shooting poorly at the line.Smith Jr. said the free throw shooting has turned into a consistent problem late in games, but if OSU can fix the problem, it will become a dangerous squad.“We’re not making free throws down the stretch,” Smith Jr. said. “Those are things that we can correct and once we get (those) corrected, I’d be afraid of us. We’re definitely going to be a better team because of it. We take that with the type of fight this team has, and the effort we’re going to dig ourselves out of holes, I think that’ll be something good for us.”The No. 6-seeded Buckeyes are scheduled to take on the Dayton Flyers (23-10, 10-6) Thursday in Buffalo, N.Y. in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Tipoff is set for 12:15 p.m. read more

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