Category: cztxi

Hadfield St man slapped with illegal gun charges

first_imgA 25-year-old labourer, who was taken into custody for questioning into connection with a fatal Rio Nightclub shooting, was on Wednesday charged for illegal possession of a firearm.Jermaine Marius, of Lot 70 Hadfield Street, Georgetown, was remanded to prison for illegal possession of two firearms when he appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts.He pleaded not guilty to the charges, which alleged that on September 30, 2016, he had in his possession a .32 Taurus Pistol as well as a .38 Special revolver, while not being a firearm licence holder. The case will continue on October 26, 2016.On September 26, Ryan Sergeant, of North Ruimveldt, died of gunshot wounds, following a shooting incident in front of the Nightclub in Queenstown, about 02:30h.A Police report had stated that CCTV footage was obtained from the Nightclub and investigators were informed of the possible suspects who were involved in an altercation, prior to rounds being discharged.Acting on information, the Police arrested Marius and he was found to be in possession of the guns.last_img read more

U.S., South Korea set to begin free trade talks

first_imgWASHINGTON – South Korean cars, cell phones and other consumer goods should drop in price if the United States and its Asian partner complete the biggest free trade deal since America tore down barriers with Mexico and Canada. The start of talks to link the U.S. with its seventh-largest trading partner were announced Thursday in a ceremony at the U.S. Capitol. The negotiations, which can begin after a 90-day consultation period with Congress, are expected to take at least a year, and it’s an open question whether they will succeed. There is strong resistance, especially among South Korean farmers, to giving up some protections, and there have been violent street protests. And approval by Congress could face stiff opposition from critics of the administration’s free trade policies. Americans would benefit by seeing cheaper prices for such products as South Korean cars, cell phones, televisions and other consumer goods, but critics are concerned that more U.S. jobs might go overseas. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card From an economic standpoint, the deal would dwarf any previous U.S. free trade pacts except the 1993 North American Free Trade Agreement that tore down barriers between the U.S., Canada and Mexico. U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman and his Korean counterpart, Hyun-Chong Kim, announced the negotiations during a ceremony in the Capitol attended by senators and House members who had urged the administration to pursue a deal with Korea. Portman said he recognized that completing the talks in a year is an ambitious goal, but they need to be wrapped up by the end of 2006 to be sure the deal could be voted on under fast-track procedures that are due to expire in mid-2007. Both Portman and Kim insisted that the completed deal would be comprehensive and that there is no understanding going into the talks that agriculture, which is particularly sensitive in South Korea, would be spared. “We will continue to work to convince our farmers that they will have to find some niche products” that can be exported, Kim said. President George W. Bush issued a statement saying a free trade pact with South Korea “will provide important economic, political and strategic benefits to both countries and build on America’s engagement in Asia.” Bush has aggressively pursued free trade deals, pushing the number of foreign countries with such agreements from four – Canada, Mexico, Israel and Jordan – when he took office to 16 currently. He has reached deals with Chile, Singapore, Australia, Morocco, Bahrain, Oman and the six nations covered by the Central American Free Trade Agreement – Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, which won congressional approval this summer after a hard-fought battle but has not yet gone into effect. South Korea has the 11th largest economy in the world and U.S. exports into that market totaled $25.1 billion through November of last year, up 4.6 percent from the same period in 2004. The biggest U.S. sales came in computer chips and industrial machinery. South Korea, meanwhile, shipped $40.1 billion in products to the United States through November, down 5.4 percent from the same period in 2004. The leading South Korean products sold in the United States are passenger cars and household goods, a category that includes cell phones, computer chips and televisions. America’s trade deficit with South Korea totaled $15 billion through November, a gap that analysts said could present problems getting a deal through Congress, especially at a time when America’s trade deficits with the world have soared to record levels. Rep. Sander Levin, D-Mich., complained that South Korea continues to protect its domestic auto industry with high barriers that keep out American autos and auto parts while South Korean producers such as Hyundai enjoy wide access to the U.S. market. In 2004, South Korean automakers sold 688,700 vehicles in the United States, or 4.1 percent of the U.S. market, while American automakers sold only 5,415 vehicles in South Korea, Levin said, citing government figures. Other U.S. sectors, including farmers, are likely to complain about the high barriers they now face trying to crack the South Korean market, since South Korea has some of the world’s highest agriculture barriers. “Korea is a very protected economy. It will be a fight in this country and in South Korea to get it ratified,” said Gary Hufbauer, senior economist at the Institute for International Economics, a Washington think tank. 160Want 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

Mediator ordered over fate of chimp

first_imgPOMONA – A judge ordered Tuesday that West Covina and Moe the chimp’s owners use a mediator to decide on the 40-year-old primate’s fate. Pomona Superior Court Judge Abraham Khan said the two sides must work together to uphold a settlement they reached in 2002 that the city would pay $225,000 for a home to house Moe in Baldwin Park. However, the 2002 agreement is outdated, Khan said, and the parties should consult real-estate experts to calculate how home values in Baldwin Park have changed since 2002. “They certainly can’t purchase a house for that much \,” Khan said. • Photo Gallery: Oct. ’04: Moe the chimp For More Infocenter_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinalsThe judge also urged St. James and LaDonna Davis to take down the “Free Moe” signs from in front of their Vincent Avenue home, as agreed. “I would like to do what’s best for all those involved,” LaDonna Davis said outside the court. “The city needs to step up.” St. James Davis, still recovering from a savage mauling by two chimps at the animal sanctuary where Moe lives, said he just wants to be able to see his “son.” He has not seen Moe since the March 2005 attack, in which Moe was not involved. “I would heal a lot better if we could be together again,” St. James Davis said, speaking through a surgical mask covering his facial injuries. “I miss him with all my heart.” Tuesday’s hearing came after a years-long battle between the Davises and West Covina. In 1999, police and animal control personnel removed Moe from the Davises’ home after he bit a woman, saying they were harboring a wild animal. The couple then sued the city for civil rights violations and settled the lawsuit in 2002 for $100,000 and a $225,000 home for Moe in Baldwin Park. The house was to be purchased by the city and leased to the Davises for $1 a year. “This \ is not an award of damages,” said West Covina City Attorney Arnold Alvarez-Glasman. “It was intended as a benefit for Moe for housing purposes.” However, officials in Baldwin Park did not want Moe in the city, and the sale of the property fell through. West Covina paid the Davises $100,000 in July 2005. “Where I’m confused is why nobody did anything in this case for so long,” Khan said. Alvarez-Glasman said it was agreed the Davises and their then-attorney, Heber Meeks, would look for a new home for Moe. But Meeks, a member of the military, was deployed to Iraq. Ernest Algorri, the Davises’ attorney, said the city turned its back on the couple and Moe, creating a chain of events that led to the attack on St. James Davis. “If Moe had been returned home … obviously the Davises would not have to go all the way to Kern County, where the attacks” happened, Algorri said. Alvarez-Glasman said the city had not turned its back on the Davises, but wants this case to come to a conclusion. “The city’s been very compassionate in trying to solve this very delicate problem,” he said. christina.esparza@sgvn.com (626)962-8811, Ext.2472160Want 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

DONEGAL CRICKET CLUB SHOWS WHY IT HAS A HEART!

first_imgSt Johnston Cricket club put their bats down to put their hearts to the test last weekend. The cricketers were the most recent Irish club randomly selected as winners to undergo vital and potentially life-saving heart screenings as part of ‘The Big Screen’ initiative by laya healthcare. Over the weekend, forty-five members attended the screening that was held at their clubhouse.The cardiac screening that each of the players received can help detect underlying conditions that may lead to or cause Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (SADS), heart attacks and other cardiac-related conditions.Founded in 1898, St Johnston Cricket Club has played competitive league cricket with the North West of Ireland Cricket Union since 1922.The club caters for a wide range of age groups and levels with an underage boy’s teams, a ladies team and adult men’s teams. At the moment the club is thriving with a strong youth element. Over the years they have had players from the club representing the North West region, Ulster and even Ireland. During the club’s golden era in the 1980s Paul Wallace played for the Irish men’s team and this year the club was extremely proud to have Ryan Macbeth represent them on the Irish under 15 team in their tournament in England.Players can really benefit from the reassurance of having cardiac screening, this reassurance is being offered by laya healthcare’s ‘Big Screen’ campaign, Ireland’s biggest-ever free mobile cardiac screening initiative, which is open to all sports and social clubs in Ireland.Gail Macbeth, St Johnston Cricket Club, said: “We were delighted when we heard we were one of the lucky winners of the laya healthcare ‘Big Screen’ initiative. We would encourage all clubs across the country to enter as preventing SADS is so important, and strikes the sporting world too often. Thanks laya healthcare for ensuring we have healthy hearts. ”Dónal Clancy, Managing Director of laya healthcare said “Approximately 100 young people under 35 years die in Ireland from Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (SADS) each year. That’s 100 people too many in our view. It can strike without warning and affect super-fit athletes as well as ordinary young people.At laya healthcare we are investing close to €1 million to help increase public awareness of SADS and make a difference by providing free screenings to our 475,000 members. Sports and social clubs across Ireland, no matter how big or small, can nominate themselves for screenings until the campaign ends in November. The good news is that most of the conditions that cause SADS can be treated so if we save even one life with our ‘Big Screen’ campaign, then it will all have been worth it.”Cardiac screening involves an ECG carried out by a medical doctor, along with a thorough clinical examination. The results of the test are reviewed and reported by a consultant Cardiologist. The laya healthcare ‘Big Screen’ campaign is open to all types of sports and social clubs, no matter how big or small, or what level of skill or fitness is involved. Whether you are a rugby club, swimming group, dance troop, hill walking society, karate club, GAA club or more, laya healthcare is calling on you today to get involved!To nominate your club for free heart screenings please visit www.facebook.com/LayaHealthcare, click ‘like’ to find out more and nominate your club. For more information visit www.layahealthcare.ie/bigscreencompDONEGAL CRICKET CLUB SHOWS WHY IT HAS A HEART! was last modified: October 9th, 2013 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:heart screeningST JOhnston Cricket Clublast_img read more

PATSY AND DAMIEN GALLAGHER GET BACK TO WINNING WAYS IN THE WEEKLY OPEN TURKEY SCRAMBLE IN OTWAY

first_imgOtway Golf ClubAnother two Gallaghers were in the winning team last Sunday in the weekly open turkey scramble in Otway.Patsy ‘The Putter’ Gallagher and Damian ‘Driver’ Gallagher just needed teammates Pat McNulty and Paddy Lynch to hit a few decent iron shots into the greens to return and unbeatable winning score of 12 under par on the day, four shots clear of the rest of the field. On a day when some stray drives were causing the odd scare on the wee course, the winners enjoyed their share of luck that any team needs on the road to victory.With six more Sundays before the Christmas Hampers, there’s still plenty of time to snare the bird, so get down this Sunday for a noon tee off, names in to the clubhouse before 11.45.Cards have also started again every Wednesday night in the clubhouse, starting at 7pm.PATSY AND DAMIEN GALLAGHER GET BACK TO WINNING WAYS IN THE WEEKLY OPEN TURKEY SCRAMBLE IN OTWAY was last modified: November 5th, 2014 by Mark ForkerShare 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:golfNoticesOtwaySportlast_img read more

Is driving electric the right way to go? – with Cool Planet Champion Nuala Carr

first_imgLetterkenny woman Nuala Carr is a Cool Planet Champion for Donegal. And with that role, she is sharing tips on how we all can take action to help the environment. This week we’re taking a look at making the climate-conscious switch to Electric Vehicles (EV). According to the Society of the Irish Motor Industry there are 10 electric cars on the road in Donegal. But should we all be heading in this direction? Nuala Carr shares the benefits of making the switch:Nuala CarrTransport accounts for one third of Ireland’s energy requirements, (the other two thirds are electricity generation and heat production), making transport one of the main sources of greenhouse gas emissions. Petrol and diesel cars also contribute to harmful air pollution, in the form of nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulphur oxides (SOx) and particulate matter, all of which contribute to premature deaths. In 2015, the number of premature deaths in Ireland due to air pollution was 1,100, that’s 3 premature deaths every day*.Some sceptics refer to the fact that electric vehicles are not ‘zero emissions’. This is true, EVs do have emissions. However, they have zero exhaust or tailpipe emissions, which removes the emissions from the air, saving pedestrians and cyclists from breathing in these dangerous emissions. Comparing emissions per kilometre, driving an EV emits over 50% less CO2 per kilometre than petrol or diesel cars, and this figure includes the emissions from the fossil-fuelled power stations generating the electricity to charge the EVs (EV CO2 60g/km compared to petrol engine CO2 130g/km, source www.seai.ie). When Ireland transforms the electricity generating system to 100% renewable energy technologies, and EVs are charged fully by renewable energy technologies, EV emissions will be negligible. ESB ecarsMaking the change to an electric vehicle has many benefits: EVs are better for the environment, they improve health and well-being, they are cheaper in terms of fuel costs and motor tax (electricity from public charging points is currently free and motor tax is currently €120 per annum) and with grants available from SEAI, savings of up to €10,000 can be made off the cost of a new EV. There are currently 1,100 public charging points in Ireland, locations of which can be found on the ecar charge point map (https://www.esb.ie/our-businesses/ecars/charge-point-map), the ‘ecar connect’ app can also be downloaded to apple and android devices. Plans to grow the public charging network are in the pipeline. Treat yourself! You are worth it and so is the environment! *(Source: https://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/air-quality-in-europe-2018, Table 10.1)Nuala Carr has many years of experience in industry as an environmental consultant, having trained as an ecologist in the University of Ulster, Coleraine. She has worked as a project manager for engineering companies, managing the environmental impact assessment and planning stages for infrastructure projects, such as onshore wind farm developments.Nuala is now carrying out research on the social acceptance of marine renewable energy through Queen’s University Belfast.Is driving electric the right way to go? – with Cool Planet Champion Nuala Carr was last modified: March 1st, 2019 by Staff WriterShare 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:climate consciousCool Planet championecarselectric vehiclesEnvironmentnuala carrlast_img read more

Red Planet News; Ring World Beckons

first_imgLet’s drop in on Mars for the latest findings.  The two Mars Exploration Rovers are still doing splendidly; Spirit has its goal mapped out, a tour of the Columbia Hills where rock outcrops beckon geologists.  It recently crossed the 1.5 mile mark and set a single-day distance record, covering more than a football field with its autonomous guidance controls.  Its turf, Gusev Crater, turned out to be drier than expected.  Over on the far side, Opportunity has been circling Endurance Crater wondering whether to drop in for a visit.  (Scientists want to be sure that it can get out again.)    The only surface-based evidence for past liquid water has come from Opportunity.  At several sites now, the rover detected layers and concretions that are consistent with salty water existing for a period of time.  From orbit, however, one of the most striking evidences for water flow has just become ambiguous.  The BBC News reports that the gullies streaming down some craters may have a dry explanation: rockfalls and slumping sand in the lower gravity could produce the stream-like channels, according to a paper in PNAS1.    With rovers and orbiters in good health, more surprises are sure to come.  Some of the coolest 3D pictures are now coming from Europe’s Mars Express.  JPL hopes to catch up next year with its Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which, with its huge camera, “will make a more comprehensive inspection of Mars than any previous mission.”  Instead of resolving areas the size of Bonneville Salt Flats, it will detect features as small as a Yellowstone hot spring.  It will also search deeper below the surface with its ground-penetrating radar.    Not to be forgotten, the 2001 Mars Odyssey celebrated 10,000 mapping orbits recently, and the venerable Mars Global Surveyor is still adding to its huge inventory of photographs.  All three orbiters are assisting the rover program by relaying images to earth and helping identify features of interest.    Politically, the future is bright for Mars exploration.  At a town hall meeting at JPL today, Senator Sam Brownback (R., Kansas) and Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R., California) invited feedback from the scientists and engineers about the President’s Moon, Mars and Beyond initiative for NASA.  Opinions were divided between the value of manned vs. robotic missions, but no one discounted the power of space exploration to inspire the next generation of adventurers.    Far beyond Mars, the giant Cassini spacecraft is racing to home plate at Saturn.  New images are coming in almost daily at the Cassini website and also at the imaging team site.  Next highlight will be a close flyby of the little satellite Phoebe on June 11, sure to keep the world wide-eyed at the nature of this “wrong-way” moon.  Just a fuzzy ball yet, Titan is looming in the distance, the target of the daring and ambitious Huygens Probe.  Built by ESA, it will attempt to parachute below the smoggy clouds and reveal the surface for the first time.    Educators will want to contact the Cassini outreach department to get a copy of Ring World, a beautiful DVD animation made especially for planetaria, and stunning on a wide-screen TV.  It gives viewers a theater-style visual overview of the entire Cassini/Huygens mission to Saturn and Titan.  Highlights from the film are downloadable in QuickTime format.1Shinbrot, Duong, Kwan, and Alvarez, “Dry granular flows can generate surface features resembling those seen in Martian gullies,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 10.1073/pnas.0308251101 (published online May 28).These are great days of planetary exploration.  We can feel somewhat like the townspeople of 1804 felt as Lewis and Clark left St. Louis to explore terra incognita and started sending back samples from upriver.  It will take years to sort out all the data and figure out what it means.  For now, it’s time to enjoy the ride of a lifetime.(Visited 7 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Researchers Lie to Subjects

first_imgIn order to test human responses, some psychologists intentionally lie to volunteers. Is the “science” of manipulation justifiable?Three psychologists decided to play Orwell’s 1984 with people. They took 54 people and did this to them, according to their paper in PLoS One:In short, the procedure of the experiment contained five steps: first the participants were shown a film of a kidnapping, and then they filled out a questionnaire about events in the film. After this their answers were manipulated using sleight-of-hand. A discussion about their manipulated answers followed in an attempt to create choice blindness. Finally, a second questionnaire was administered in order to test the effect of the potential choice blindness.“Choice blindness” they define as “the failure to detect a discrepancy between a choice and its outcome.” They also sought to measure what they call “the misinformation effect,” which they define as a response that “occurs when the recollection of an event changes because new, misleading information about the event is received.” But received from whom? In effect, the scientists created the discrepancy, and fed misinformation to their subjects, in order to get them to doubt their own eyes. Is this ethical?The psychologists could justify their lying on the grounds that they just want to understand what leads people to deceive themselves. Such knowledge might be useful in criminal justice. Is it any different than parlor games that people play, or magic tricks that stage performers use to misdirect and fool people? Is it any different from government spy programs?The difference is: this is serious science, published in peer reviewed journals. Scientists need to consider dual use of their “findings.” This paper could further research into the art of making people believe fake news. It harks back to the “psychopolitics” of the former Soviet Union, whose leaders sought to master the art of mass deception. Is it right to lie for a good cause? If so, how far can a scientist go? The researchers say, “The study was approved by the ethical committee of the Department of Psychology of Lund University and has been conducted according to the principles of the Declaration of Helsinki.” Fine and good, but who is watching the watchers?Interestingly, this paper begins with a passage from Orwell’s 1984, so the evil regime’s propaganda system was clearly on their minds.In the novel Nineteen Eighty-four, George Orwell describes the dystopian Oceania, where the past is constantly updated in order to correspond with the current stance of the Party. Winston Smith, a clerk in the Ministry of Truth, rewrites newspapers and other documents in accordance with the ever-changing statements made by Big Brother and the Party. He incinerates the old versions by throwing them down the memory hole. In this way the memories of the citizens are being imperceptibly manipulated. This sounds like an absurd procedure, but is it impossible to implement? Many would probably argue that they never could be tricked in such a way, but perhaps we overestimate our ability to detect when our memories do not correspond with the way things actually were, even when the manipulation occurs right in front of our eyes.Their statement “is it possible to implement?” is chilling. It would be one thing to talk about Orwell’s novel in a class and discuss how to avoid self-deception. It is an entirely different matter to practice 1984 on people. Even if you tell them afterwards what you did, you intentionally deceived them for a period of time without their knowledge. It wouldn’t work to warn them in advance, “We’re going to lie to you.” That might spoil the “findings.”Sorry ScienceAnother psychologist writes in The Conversation about “The science of saying sorry.” Richard Stephens, a “Senior Lecturer in Psychology, Keele University” and affiliate of the British Psychological Society, looks at which kinds of apologies are most effective. His motives seem noble; everyone needs to apologize from time to time, and they might as well do it right. But is this a matter of “science”? Can’t a preacher or rabbi handle this from common human experience and from principles of sacred writings? Can’t experts in moral philosophy bring us wisdom of sages from the ages? Do we need a psychologist to give the imprimatur of science on a matter of personal ethics?To err is human, that much we know. But if you are going to apologise, you’ve got to do it right. Thanks to social science research there is now sound, evidence-based advice on how best to deliver a successful apology – whether you’re famous or not.Noting his focus on delivery instead of content, we find Stephens giving tips for “what works” rather than what’s right. Science cannot speak to morals. Morals come prior to science. No science is credible unless it is delivered honestly by someone committed to telling the truth. But you don’t have to be honest or moral to follow Stephens’ guidelines. You don’t even need to be truly sorry. You can memorize techniques to get the desired reaction.Stephens makes it clear he is not interested in truth. He ends by giving guidelines for manipulating opinions in our ‘post-truth’ era.But in line with the “post-truth” moment in history, some further research suggests that apologists need not focus their efforts solely on things they have personally screwed up.A fascinating Harvard Business School study from 2014 showed that apologising for things that aren’t your fault can also be an excellent means of garnering trust.The ends justify the means. Say the magic words, in effect, to manipulate people. Follow his steps to garner trust, whether or not that trust is deserved.Stephens ends with a jab at Donald Trump: “after all, he is spending most of his time pressuring others into saying sorry.” Don’t wait for Stephens to say he is sorry for pretending to be a scientist.As willing agents of the Ministry of Truth, psychologists will soon realize they defeat their purpose by revealing their tricks in scientific journals. They will continue their ‘research’ on captives in the Ministry of Love, but send the results directly to Big Brother. They will be wiser than O’Brien, who spilled the beans to Winston. You don’t explain your lies to your victims. You just lie. “How many fingers am I holding up, Winston?“Thankfully, there is a Being who cannot be manipulated. Paul said that in the last days, evil men and imposters would grow from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived (II Timothy 3:13). More people will follow the father of lies, Satan, who was a liar from the beginning, as Jesus described him (John 8:44). But truth will never fully disappear down the Memory Hole, because the God of Truth lives and will prevail.The worst form of lying is self-deception. “Be not deceived; God is not mocked; for whatever one sows, that will he also reap” (Galatians 6:7).(Visited 62 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Stuck with harvest, farmers turn to traders

first_img“Just as a body must be cremated and cannot be brought back home, so must farm produce be sold,” says a brooding Jagdish Patidar, a farmer from Maheshwar on the banks of the Narmada. He has taken a day out to visit the Kisan Mukti Yatra passing through Barwani. “Once the farmer takes his crop to the market to sell, he must sell it and only then return home,” he says. Mr. Patidar list the reasons — farmers do not have the space to store their produce; returning [with unsold produce] from the market would entail additional transportation costs; and most importantly, they need the money. It is here that the vicious cycle of the farmers’ crisis begins as they are forced to sell their produce cheaply. This leads to a dip in farm incomes which sometimes sparks off agitations, he says. Pointing out that the government opens procurement centres — to purchase farm produce at the minimum support price — more than a month after the harvest, Mr. Patidar says the farmer cannot hold on to his produce for such a long time. He thus sells it to merchants at well below the MSP. Further, the way the MSP operations are carried out do not protect farm incomes. No guaranteeEven when the government finally starts purchase operations, the farmer has no guarantee that his produce will be sold as often it is rejected on grounds of quality. Once again, the farmer turns to the private merchants to sell at lower prices.The ongoing Yatra of farmers’ organisations — attended by activists like Medha Patkar, Yogendra Yadav and Raju Shetty — has two key demands: the raising of the MSP to 1.5-times the cost of production and universal loan waiver.“The MSP is meaningless without a procurement guarantee. The government need not purchase all the produce but if the price falls below the MSP, the government must step in as a buyer of the last resort,” says economist H.M. Desarda, former member of the Maharashtra State Planning Commission.In nearby Naraula village, Rajaram, an ageing farmer, list more drawbacks to the government procurement schemes. “When we sell to merchants, they pay us in cash within three-four days. The government centres, however, pay a month or more later and the money comes straight in our accounts,” he says.last_img read more

Why is PM silent on Kashmiri students being targeted in various parts of country: Omar Abdullah

first_imgNational Conference leader Omar Abdullah on Thursday asked why Prime Minister Narendra Modi was silent on Kashmiri students being targeted in various parts of the country. Addressing the media, the former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister also said talks with Pakistan could not be held in the backdrop of attacks such as the one in Pulwama last week.“Our PM has talked about a ‘muh tod jawab’ but such a reply is not possible in the current situation,” Mr. Abdullah said a week after 40 CRPF soldiers were killed in a terror attack in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on February 14.The Jaish-e-Mohammed has claimed responsibility for the attack. Mr. Abdullah also asked Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik to ensure the security of Kashmiri students who were forced to return home following alleged threats and attacks in various parts of the country in the wake of the Pulwama terror strike. Referring to the withdrawal of security to Kashmiri separatist leaders, he said it was a regressive step and he was not aware of anybody misusing security.“When we talk of dialogue (to resolve Kashmir issue), we are branded anti-national,” Mr. Abdullah said.last_img read more