January 12

Huskies set for Kings in Game 1 of semi-finals Saturday

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Fort St. John Huskies are set to do battle with their second-round opponent in the NWJHL post-season.The Huskies will face the Grande Prairie JDA Kings after the Kings doubled up the Fairview Flyers on Thursday night 6-3, winning their series 3-2. The Pups had a record of 4-2 versus the Kings in the regular season and will look to continue their winning ways in a best-of-seven semi-final. The Pups secured the #1 seed and home-ice advantage after finishing with the best record in the regular season.Meanwhile, the North Peace Navigators and Dawson Creek Jr. Canucks each swept their first round match-ups and are set to drop the puck on their second-round series this weekend. As the higher seed, the Navigators will have home ice in the event the series goes seven games.- Advertisement -Saturday’s clash between the Huskies and Kings gets underway at 8:00 p.m. at the North Peace Arena.The full semi-final schedule for the series will be released Friday afternoon on www.nwjhl.comlast_img read more

January 11

Crews responding to outbreak of new wildfires in Fort Nelson area

first_imgThirty new wildfires have sprung up across northern B.C. since Tuesday, the Prince George Fire Centre says.All of the fires were caused by lightning, spokeswoman Jillian Kelsh said in a release.There are currently no fire bans in the region, she said.- Advertisement -Most of the fires are contained in the Fort Nelson Fire Zone, with the largest fire burning at about 200 hectares near 8 Mile Creek and Toad River.Many of the fires in remote areas where access by ground is limited, said Kelsh. The fires are currently being assessed and prioritized for suppression, she said. No structures are at risk.Kelsh says conditions are dry throughout much of the area, and urges people to use caution when in the backcountry.Advertisementlast_img read more

December 29

L.A. County population up less than 0.5%

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champStill, state demographers do not expect the county to begin losing population anytime soon. Long-term projections call for population growth through at least 2050, when the county’s population is expected to top 13 million. “Natural increase – births over deaths – will continue to drive population growth within Los Angeles County,” said Mary Heim, chief of the state’s demographic research unit. “It’s a relatively young county, in terms of age. It has a lot of ethnic diversity and it has some of the groups that have higher fertility. So that portion of the components of population change continue to cause L.A. County to grow.” State demographic experts said Los Angeles has a higher birth rate than the state average, mostly because of the high number of Hispanic immigrants who have traditionally had higher fertility rates than any other ethnic group. The county also has a younger population – Los Angeles County’s median age is 36.6 years, while the state median is 39 years. SACRAMENTO – Los Angeles County’s population grew by less than one-half of 1 percent this year, reflecting a long-term slowing as more people are moving to less expensive areas of the country. The county’s population reached 10.3million as of July 1, according to the state Department of Finance. That was a one-year increase of 0.45 percent. By comparison, in 2000 the county’s population grew by 1.93 percent. The only thing keeping the county growing now has been a healthy birth rate, with 152,479 new babies delivered in the past year and 60,800 deaths. At the same time, 45,071 more people moved out of Los Angeles than moved in. harrison.sheppard@dailynews.com 916-446-6723160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

December 22

“What planet are they living on?”: Senator’s anger at lack of investment in healthcare

first_imgSenator Pádraig Mac Lochlainn has hit out at the under investment in healthcare outlined in Budget 2018.It was announced yesterday that health funding will increase by €685 million, up 5%, bringing the total funding to €15.3 billion.However, Senator Mac Lochlainn explains that the Health Service needs a further €691 million to simply “stand still”, and asks whether the Government is aware of the scale of the crisis in Donegal, particularly in relation to Letterkenny University Hospital. “There are currently 16,475 Donegal people on waiting lists for Letterkenny University Hospital. There are many more Donegal people on waiting lists for Sligo Regional Hospital and other hospitals across the State.“That’s as many as one in every eight persons in Donegal on a hospital waiting list.“On top of this has been the slashing of bed and nurse numbers in our community hospitals across Donegal. One in four beds and one in three nurses have been removed from this vital community health care system.“And then there are the shocking numbers of our citizens on trolleys year in and year out at Letterkenny Hospital”. He continued:“I have to ask the questions. Do the Government actually get the scale of the health crisis in Donegal and across this State?“What planet are they living on?“With the crisis in the health service and twinned with a housing crisis in the cities and larger urban araes and with the limited financial space available, how could they choose now to cut taxes rather than truly work to address these crises?“And how can Fianna Fáil stand over this?“Yesterday, the Minister of Finance announced €685 million for the Health Service in Budget 2018. From the Budget document we see that €646 million of this increase is Current expenditure. However, when we examine what the Health Service needs just to stand still, we see the true nature of this Budget. “The Health Service needs €129 million just to cater for demographics (i.e. population growth and ageing in 2018), and it also needs €165 million extra to cover the cost of pay agreements, and it needs €97 million of carryover ( i.e. to cover the full year costs of measures announced this time last year). Furthermore, the Health Service also needs a Budget increase of €300 million to cover the overspend (i.e. to properly fund it for what it actually delivers)”.“So in summary the Health Service actually needs an increase of €691million next year simply to stand still. Yet, this Government and its backers in Fianna Fáil have chosen to leave our health system short of the money that is needed to standstill and instead prioritise tax cuts.“In real terms they are cutting the Budget to health at a time of deep crisis.“Mark my words, our health system will be in worse shape this time next year as a consequence of this Budget”.“What planet are they living on?”: Senator’s anger at lack of investment in healthcare was last modified: October 11th, 2017 by Elaine McCalligShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:budget 2018luhPadraig Mac Lochlainnlast_img read more

December 22

Breaking: Two boys arrested in connection with murder of tragic Ana, 14

first_imgTwo boys have been arrested by Gardai investigating the murder of schoolgirl Ana Kriegel (14).The young girl’s body was found at a derelict farmhouse in Dublin on Thursday of last week, more than three days after she was reported missing.Her horrific murder has shocked the nation. It is believed bricks and sticks were used in the murder, while she is also understood to have been sexually assaulted.The two teenage boys were detained in the east of the country last night, and are currently being held at two Dublin Garda stations.A source said that investigating detectives had been awaiting the results of DNA analysis before arresting people for questioning in the case.“It is a very sensitive investigation, and gardai want to be sure that it is conducted in an absolutely methodical way,” the source said. A post mortem examination established that the teenager had died as a result of blunt force trauma to the head.Breaking: Two boys arrested in connection with murder of tragic Ana, 14 was last modified: May 25th, 2018 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Ana KriegelarrestBOYSmurderlast_img read more

December 21

Liverpool linked with Roberts, Blues tipped to pursue Schurrle swap deal

first_imgThe Express say Chelsea are looking to offload Andre Schurrle to Borussia Dortmund in an exchange deal involving Marco Reus.A number of other Premier League clubs are said to be interested in Reus, 25, including Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United.He is reported to have a clause in his contract enabling him to leave for £20m at the end of the season, but it is claimed that Chelsea are not only interested but want to sign him in January.Blues boss Jose Mourinho is expected to offer Schurrle in a straight swap, the Express say.Meanwhile, there continues to be speculation over the future of highly-rated Fulham youngster Patrick Roberts.The Daily Mirror say Liverpool are stepping up their interest in the teenager and are looking to beat Chelsea as well as Arsenal to his signing.Liverpool are said to have watched Roberts three times this season and be willing to loan him back to Fulham if they secure his transfer.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

December 21

Warriors anticipate they are primed to go on a long winning streak

first_imgSubscribe to the Mercury News and East Bay Times for $40 a year and receive a free Warriors championship coffee table book.MILWAUKEE – Less than a month ago, the Warriors’ championship fabric appeared to be ripping apart.They had two All-Stars spending more time in the trainer’s room than on the court. They had two All-Stars arguing with each other. They had losses pile up faster than at any point when Steve Kerr coached the team in the past four years.Since then, the Warriors kept that …last_img read more

December 3

Bengal a hub of soaring trade in wild Indian birds

first_imgPeople keep parakeets as pets without realising that they are violating the law,says a forest official.  | Photo Credit: ABRAR AHMED “On January 13, we arrested five persons, all residents of West Bengal. Thankfully, most of the birds were alive and we released them at a spot where they could thrive,” said Arup Mukherjee, Divisional Forest Officer, Kharagpur.Agni Mitra, Regional Deputy Director-Eastern Region, Wildlife Crime Control Bureau, says that residents of a village near the Bardhaman Station are in touch with bird-catchers in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.“Once these birds are brought to West Bengal, they are stored for a brief period with shop-keepers, whom they call mahajans. Another group of hawkers takes these birds on credit from the shopkeepers and sells them in village fairs,” Mr. Mitra explained.Mr. Mitra said that this seizure of 2,754 birds was not the only one of its kind in recent times. Other seizures of wild Indian birds have been reported not only from Kolkata but also from market fairs in districts such as Tarakeshwar in Hooghly, Uluberia in Howrah, and in Purba Medinipur.Clandestine tradeExperts observe that Kolkata, and West Bengal, have for the past several years been a hub for the trade in Indian wild birds despite laws prohibiting it. After a 1991 amendment to the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, except for the house crow (Corvus splendens), which is listed as vermin, no Indian bird can be hunted, trapped, caged or traded.But in markets like Ghalif Street, Moulali and Boral across the north and south of Kolkata, and in the numerous haats in villages and suburbs, trade in wild Indian birds continues to flourish under the garb of trade in wild exotic birds, which is legally allowed. Abrar Ahmed, ornithologist and former consultant to NGO Traffic International’s Bird Trade Project, said that his studies over the past two decades have shown that of the 1,300 Indian species of birds, about 450 are being traded in domestic and international markets.Some of the most traded species are the rose-ringed parakeet (Psittacula krameri), Plum-headed Parakeet (P. cyanocephala) and Alexandrine parakeet (P. eupatria), followed by these passerines — black-headed munia (Lonchura malacca), red munia (Amandava amandava), white-throated munia (Lonchura malabarica) and hill myna (Granula religiosa).Mr. Ahmed pointed out that over the course of his studies on the Indian bird trade since 1992, he recorded 23 species listed in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Birds, and 19 species listed as Near Threatened, being exploited for trade.While the focus is on protecting threatened species, many of the bird species that are being exploited do not fall in such categories, the bird expert said. He describes them ironically as “species of lesser gods”.Explaining how the bird trade racket is spread far and wide Mr. Ahmed referred to a recent seizure at Lucknow, where about 800 wild birds were seized in the first week of January and seven persons were arrested by the Uttar Pradesh Police. He also pointed to another seizure Nepal in October 23, 2017, where three Indian nationals and a Pakistani national were arrested with a large number of animals and birds. Kolkata is the end point for the trade.“In Kolkata, the birds are brought from the terai region and the Gangetic plains. The route goes from Lucknow to Patna and then to Kolkata, over short distances by train. Winter is a preferred time for the trade as the birds can undertake longer journeys without food and water, and can be stored in smaller spaces to avoid detection,” he said.Another route followed is stretches from Assam to Siliguri to Kolkata.Since West Bengal shares a porous 2,216 km border with Bangladesh, the birds are easily taken to the neighbouring country, and smuggled all over the world via traders in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal.‘Unending problem’A senior official of the West Bengal Forest Department, who has been involved in the seizure of thousands of birds and the arrest of over 100 persons for the crime, described it as an “unending problem” as long as there is demand for wild Indian birds in local markets. While the focus is on protecting threatened species, many of the bird species that are being exploited do not fall in such categories, the bird expert said. It was like a scene from Buddhadeb Dasgupta’s National Award-winning film Charachar (‘Shelter of the Wings’, 1994), where the protagonist Lakhinder, played by Rajat Kapur, a bahelia (bird-catcher) by profession, releases his catch in the forest. Forest officials of the Kharagpur Divisional Office, too, had never witnessed anything such as this before.In mid-January, hundreds of wild birds with bright plumage flew out of iron cages in a burst of colours into the freedom of the sky. There were so many of them that it took several minutes before the cages were empty. The release followed highest ever seizure of wild birds in West Bengal in the preceding week. The birds were set free in the forest of Nayagram in the Pashchim Medinipur district, where such a large population of birds could be sustained in wilderness.The seizure included 1,782 rose-ringed parakeets and plum-headed parakeets, 80 hill mynas and 892 munias. They were stuffed in cages and being transported to a local fair in two vehicles when they were intercepted by the forest officials.According to investigators, the birds were trapped along Uttar Pradesh’s border with Nepal. They were transported by short train journeys to ensure that the maximum number could be kept alive. Forest officials tracked them from the time they arrived in West Bengal’s Bardhaman Station, based on a tip-off.Last year, too, when a similar consignment arrived in West Bengal, the perpetrators managed to slip away. Wildlife officials were ready this time, and intercepted the cages en route to Dantan, a block bordering Odisha. Wild Indian birds are in demand in international markets also.  | Photo Credit: ABRAR AHMED  “People who buy these birds should realise that the common mithu (parrot) is a protected species in India,” the officer said, emphasising that many people try to keep birds as pets without even realising that they are protected by law.While there are provisions in the law to prosecute buyers of these birds, it has not been implemented and law-enforcers are of the opinion that prosecuting buyers would amount to taking the matter “a little too far”.The clandestine nature of trade in wild Indian birds makes it difficult to enumerate it. Mr. Ahmed estimates 20,000-50,000 wild Indian birds are sold annually at each of the trading points.The researcher says there are at least 5,000 families, including traditional trappers such as Mishrikars, Pathamies, Bahelias or Chirimars, who depend on bird-catching as a means of livelihood. Conservationists fear that any attempt to stop the trade in Indian wild birds will not bear fruit in long run without the rehabilitation of these communities.last_img read more

December 3

BJP using Goa casino to fund campaigns, claims NSUI

first_imgThe National Students Union of India (NSUI) has lodged a complaint with the Election Commission of India (ECI) alleging that the BJP-led coalition government in Goa permitted a new casino vessel to operate in the Mandovi river for funds for the upcoming general elections and three Assembly by-polls to be held on April 23. NSUI Goa president Ahraz Mulla said in his complaint that the permission granted to the offshore casino Big Daddy on March 13 was in violation of the model code of conduct which came into force on March 10. “We feel the casino is the ‘big daddy’ of the BJP, and will help them fund their election campaigns as the vessel was brought after the election model code of conduct was put in effect,” the complaint said. There are now seven offshore casinos anchored in Mandovi river, and nearly 10 onshore casinos functioning from five stars and above category resorts.last_img read more

December 1

Patients not getting aid from CM cell due to President’s rule: Dhananjay Munde

first_imgNCP leader Dhananjay Munde on Thursday said that the imposition of President’s rule in Maharashtra has led to temporary shutting down of the Chief Minister’s medical assistance cell, depriving thousands of patients of financial aid. Drawing Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari’s attention to the issue, Mr. Munde sought his intervention.He also wrote a letter to the governor in this connection. The President’s rule was imposed in Maharashtra on Tuesday as no party or alliance conveyed adequate numbers to stake claim to form government.“The Chief Minister’s medical assistance cell has been closed down as the President’s rule has been imposed in the state. Therefore, thousands of patients have been deprived of medical help. Requesting Honourable Governor @BSKoshyari to take note and give instruction to help patients,” Mr. Munde tweeted in Marathi. Meanwhile, a BJP leader and president of Thane-based ’Alert Citizens Forum of India’, Dayanand Nene, said the Governor should appoint an officer on special duty to handle emergency financial aid from the cell for the convenience of patients.last_img read more