She said all measures would be taken to safeguard the health of students and teachers and that during the first four days of next month “we would also be doing a lot of cleaning and re-arranging of furniture…to ensure that everything is in place. Education Minister Octavia Alfred said teachers are expected in classes one week before the students. “SO we are hoping that by next week Monday, hopefully the guidelines will be in circulation (and) one of the areas we are going to be focusing upon very heavily during the academic year is that of hygiene and the importance of effective hygiene practices…and for that matter we will engage hygiene wardens to ensure that students dowhat they have to do in terms of entry at the school gates..”. She said the pre-testing activities will guide the Ministry’s remedial programme and other programmes that would be necessary before “moving ahead”. CMC Dominica closed its schools inn March after the first case of the virus was confirmed. “So from September 1st staff will engage in final preparations to receive students. Teachers will be engaged in professional staff development, training and planning. This school year planning is even more essential than before since teachers and their department heads must review curriculum and prepare for pre-testing activities which will be very crucial this year,” Alfred said. Assistant Chief Education Officer, Dr. Jeffery Blaize said new guidelines have been developed with the assistance of Israel. “Subject to adequate consideration by the Ministry of Health, Wellness and Health Investment, and taking everything into account all schools will be reopened for teachers on September 1, 2020 and for all students on Monday September 7th. “We have developed guidelines and protocols for the school year…for the period of COVID and beyond. These were prepared by the…Ministry of Education and the layout and design had been done with the assistance of Israel. ROSEAU, Dominica – The Dominica government on Wednesday announced that all schools will reopen on September 7 as the island continues to implement measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) that has infected 18 people on the island. “Since we have no COVID-19 cases and since there is no community spread of COVID-19, all schools will reopen as normal. However the Ministry of Education has a plan in place that will be activated in the national status as it relates to COVID-19 changes,” Alfred added.
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With their long trunks, elephants have a remarkable sense of smell. Now, a South African is training a group of the pachyderms to smell out explosives and narcotics. The US army hopes to understand the biology and turn it into science. Elephants’ sniffing ability is being tested in South Africa in collaboration with the United States Army Research Office.(Image: Mediaclubsouthafrica.com) • Global travellers rate South Africa tops in Condé Nast awards • South Africa’s elephant Norms and Standards to be amended • South African art • Million-year-old artifacts found in South Africa • Work begins on South Africa’s R84bn smart city Melissa JavanYou’ve heard of sniffer dogs and rats trained to detect landmines; now get ready for elephants on patrol. A project supported by the United States Army Research Office is testing the smelling abilities of elephants in South Africa so that they can be used to track down explosives, landmines, humans and other animals.Sean Hensman, operator of Adventures with Elephants, told news agency Channels Television that the plan was to see how well an elephant could follow the scent of a human, rhino or lion into the bush. “An elephant’s nose is amazing,” he said. “Think about mammoths, which had to find food through the ice.”Underlining the mammoth on the hunt for food analogy, the news agency Vice News reported that elephants could pick up a scent from more than 91.4m away. Hensman, who trains the elephants at a game farm 180km northwest of Johannesburg, says the elephants will not be taken into battle. “If we suspect there are drugs or explosives [in an area], we will bring [the suspect items] to the elephants.”The US Army Research Office has been involved with the project for five years. It is studying the biological structures found in elephants’ trunks in the hopes of finding a way to build similar technology that can be used to help soldiers in combat.The project has a number of roots: elephants in Angola, which suffered during decades of civil war, have been observed avoiding heavily mined areas, suggesting they smelled the explosives and their trunks warned them to stay away.About his involvement, Hensman explains that his father was watching a herd of elephants in Zimbabwe in the 1990s when he discovered that a female member of the herd had tracked him. Inspired, his father trained 12 elephants for anti-poaching patrols in Zimbabwe.At the age of seven, Hensman was used to having elephants in his backyard. “Dad had an idea to release them on to his game farm so that we can learn about wild elephants. When they arrived they were [too] small to release so we had to look after them,” he recalls.“We found that they quickly associated with their keepers. Within two weeks they were following their keepers around and obeying basic commands.”In 2002, however, the family lost their three farms to President Robert Mugabe’s land seizures. They elected to move to South Africa, where Hensman continues the work with elephants.One of the challenges of preparing an elephant for the sniffing experiment is gaining its trust. Once both parties understand and trust each other, both parties get rewarded, says Hensman. “To scent, it doesn’t take long. The difficult part is training the elephant to indicate when they smell. The process of training an elephant takes about two months if done full time.”He has already trained three elephants for this sniffing experiment. The aim is to see if elephants can smell diseases such as foot and mouth or cancer. “In addition, one can find a reason not to destroy problem elephants but they could be trained to assist conservation or humanitarian efforts.”Watch as an elephant smells buckets and lifts its front foot when it comes across an explosive:
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue designated 16 Ohio counties as primary natural disaster areas. Producers who suffered losses due to five separate disaster events may be eligible for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) emergency loans.This natural disaster designation allows FSA to extend much-needed emergency credit to producers recovering from natural disasters. Emergency loans can be used to meet various recovery needs including the replacement of essential items such as equipment or livestock, reorganization of a farming operation or the refinance of certain debts. Excessive Precipitation, Flooding and Ponding – March 1 – June 6, 2019Producers in Fulton, Henry and Lucas counties who suffered losses caused by excessive precipitation, flooding and ponding that occurred between March 1 and June 6, 2019, are eligible to apply for emergency loans.Producers in the contiguous Ohio counties of Defiance, Hancock, Ottawa, Putnam, Williams and Wood, along with Hillsdale, Lenawee and Monroe counties in Michigan, are also eligible to apply for emergency loans.The deadline to apply for these emergency loans is March 9, 2020. Excessive Rain and Flooding – April 1 – July 7, 2019Producers in Williams County who suffered losses caused by excessive rain and flooding that occurred between April 1 and July 7, 2019, are eligible to apply for emergency loans.Producers in the contiguous Ohio counties of Defiance, Fulton and Henry, along with DeKalb and Steuben counties in Indiana, and Hillsdale County in Michigan, are also eligible to apply for emergency loans.The deadline to apply for these emergency loans is April 1, 2020. Excessive Rain and Flooding – April 8 – July 5, 2019Producers in Marion County who suffered losses caused by excessive rain and flooding that occurred between April 8 and July 5, 2019, are eligible to apply for emergency loans.Producers in the contiguous Ohio counties of Crawford, Delaware, Hardin, Morrow, Union, and Wyandot are also eligible to apply for emergency loans.The deadline to apply for these emergency loans is April 1, 2020. Excessive Rain and Flooding – April 1 – July 3, 2019Producers in Erie, Huron, Ottawa, Sandusky, and Van Wert counties who suffered losses caused by excessive rain and flooding that occurred between April 1 and July 3, 2019, are eligible to apply for emergency loans.Producers in the contiguous Ohio counties of Allen, Ashland, Auglaize, Crawford, Lorain, Lucas, Mercer, Paulding, Putnam, Richland, Seneca, and Wood, along with Adams and Allen counties in Indiana, are also eligible to apply for emergency loans.The deadline to apply for these emergency loans is April 2, 2020. Excessive Rain and Flooding – Sept. 1, 2018 – July 3, 2019Producers in Allen, Brown, Clermont, Crawford, Hancock, and Morrow counties who suffered losses caused by excessive rain and flooding that occurred between Sept. 1, 2018 and July 3, 2019, are eligible to apply for emergency loans.Producers in the contiguous Ohio counties of Adams, Auglaize, Clinton, Delaware, Hamilton, Hardin, Henry, Highland, Huron, Knox, Marion, Putnam, Richland, Seneca, Van Wert, Warren, Wood, and Wyandot, along with Bracken, Campbell, Mason and Pendleton counties in Kentucky, are also eligible to apply for emergency loans.The deadline to apply for these emergency loans is April 2, 2020.The Secretary previously announced the following 12 Ohio counties were designated primary natural disaster areas: Athens, Auglaize, Fairfield, Hocking, Licking, Ottawa, Paulding, Sandusky, Seneca, Washington, Wood, and Wyandot.FSA will review the loans based on the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability.FSA has a variety of additional programs to help farmers recover from the impacts of this disaster. FSA programs that do not require a disaster declaration include: Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program; Emergency Conservation Program; Livestock Forage Disaster Program; Livestock Indemnity Program; Operating and Farm Ownership Loans; and the Tree Assistance Program.Farmers may contact their local USDA service center for further information on eligibility requirements and application procedures for these and other programs. Additional information is also available online at farmers.gov/recover.
Rewind to almost 12 months ago, the setting was C.Ex Coffs International Stadium and it was finals day of the 2015 Touch World Cup. The rivalry between the Australian and New Zealand Mixed Open teams is one of the most competitive in the sport. Not a lot separates the two teams and the World Cup final didnâ€™t disappoint. The round game the day prior saw Australia take out the match by two touchdowns, 7-5, but as we all know, anything can happen in a World Cup final. New Zealand got out of the blocks firing, with Mackenzie Haugh scoring his sideâ€™s first touchdown in the opening set of the game. Australiaâ€™s Jayden Benbow scored before Elin Mortimerâ€™s first touchdown put Australia up by one touchdown.The incredible stepping of New Zealandâ€™s Phoenix Hunapo was on display soon after, tearing up the middle of the field for Jeremy Locke to score, and when Tiwi Davies scored the Kiwiâ€™s lead 3-2. Dylan Thompson levelled the game at 3-all for Australia before a second touchdown to Davies for the half saw the Kiwis lead 4-3 at half-time. New Zealand further extended their lead early in the second half, when Hunapo and Locke again combined for Lockeâ€™s second touchdown, giving New Zealand their biggest lead of the game, 5-3. Cue an Australian comeback.Dylan Thompson set up Cameron Nicholls to score for Australia to trail by one and when New Zealand were reduced to five players through a Period of Time, Australia pounced. Thompson was again in the thick of the action soon after, with Scott Bundy scoring to level the game at 5-all. From there it was one way traffic, with Thompson scoring his second touchdown of the game, before an acting half run from Nicholls saw Bundy score his second half double. Mortimer made it three Australian doubles when she scored in the corner in the dying seconds, to give Australia a three touchdown win, 8-5. Outgoing Australian captain, Kylie Hilder, could not hide her excitement. â€œWords canâ€™t explain. It was a tough match, we were always behind there but the game plan was to come out on top and we did. We finished so strong,â€ Hilder said.â€œWe had to get in the fight and stay in the fight. We knew we could come out at the other end. It was an awesome effort from our guys and it just shows you the character of the team.â€2015 World Cup Mixed Open Final AUSTRALIA 8 (Elin Mortimer 2, Scott Bundy 2, Dylan Thompson 2, Cameron Nicholls, Jayden Benbow touchdowns) defeated NEW ZEALAND 5 (Tiwi Davies 2, Jeremy Locke 2, Mackenzie Haugh touchdowns).Players of the final: Dylan Thompson (Australia) and Tina Ashworth (New Zealand).Stay tuned to the Touch Football Australia website and social media channels in the lead up to the 2016 Trans Tasman Series for all of the latest news and information: Website â€“ www.touchfootball.com.auFacebook â€“ www.facebook.com/touchfootballaustraliaTwitter â€“ www.twitter.com/touchfootyaus (#transtasman2016)Instagram â€“ www.instagram.com/touchfootballaustralia (#transtasman2016)YouTube â€“ www.youtube.com/touchfootballaus Related LinksLast time they met – Mixed
Man Utd midfielder Lingard happy working with ‘great Ole’ againby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard is delighted to be playing for manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer again.The pair worked together with United reserves.“Ole is great,“ said Lingard.“He is great at one-on-one [conversations] with players. He has great man-management. He will always speak to you and tell you what to do.”“When I am on the right wing he likes me to come inside and make things happen. He gives me licence and freedom to do that.”“Ole knew me from [when he coached] the Reserves and knows what kind of a player I am. When I was a young player he was always there on hand to give advice and help the youngsters out. He helped me out as I was coming through and I learned a lot from him.”“He’s very special to this club and for this club. He knows where Man United has to be and that is at the very top and putting in performances like we did [against Bournemouth].””We are enjoying playing football and winning games three, four or five-one. Obviously we would like a clean sheet. But we will work on that and try to improve on it.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Michigan State Eron Harris Eron Harris hasn’t yet suited up in a game for Michigan State’s basketball program, but we feel it’s safe to say the Spartans’ fan base is going to like him very much. The former West Virginia guard transferred into MSU’s program this offseason and will be eligible for the 2016-17 season after sitting out the upcoming season due to NCAA rules. Once he’s eligible, watch out. He’s not only a great scorer (averaged 17 points a game at WVU last season) but also a freak athlete, as he proved at MSU’s Breslin Center earlier today. Check out this video of Harris throwing down some ridiculous dunks, courtesy of MSU guard Denzel Valentine. Whoa. Michigan State’s fan base is definitely going to like him.
OTTAWA – With the future of the Immigration and Refugee Board under review, one thing is certain, the head of the United Nations refugee agency said Monday: it needs to remain independent.“You have a body in this country that is insulated, relatively well insulated, from political pressures,” Filippo Grandi said in an interview. “And I think that’s important, especially at this time of great politicization.”The board has for months been struggling with a rapidly growing caseload, pushing wait times for hearings from weeks to months.In June, Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen ordered a full review of the arms-length tribunal, and that was even before a surge of asylum seekers at the border placed additional pressure on the board’s decision-makers. In August, more than 2,300 claims were filed from border crossers, and a further 5,390 were filed in September.One idea under consideration is whether the Immigration department itself should take over the refugee determination process.Grandi said he echoes concerns from advocates who say that could risk politicizing the process.“The board has to remain independent, this for us is very, very important,” he said.Hussen indicated that eroding the board’s independence would not be the goal of the review, but the UN is taking a wait-and-see approach, Grandi added.“We’ll have to see what is the detail of this simplification.”Grandi is UN’s chief agent in charge of finding settlement spaces for a relative handful of the more than 60 million people currently displaced by conflict and strife worldwide.He arrived in Canada late last week hoping to be able to cheer the Liberal government for increasing its own intake in the face of dwindling spaces — the U.S. is cutting theirs by half.What Grandi knows now is that the numbers here will increase by just 4,700 between 2018 and 2020 for a total of 31,700 resettled refugees that year. This, after the landmark Syrian refugee program saw upwards of 25,000 Syrians resettled to Canada in a matter of months.Grandi shrugged diplomatically when asked if he was disappointed. He said he can count on his fingers the countries that support the UN like Canada does, and he’s grateful for the help. The current plan for refugee settlement is good and progressive, he said.“But I think Canada can do more.”So, he’s trying a different tack, urging Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to partner with the refugee agency to create a targeted settlement program for women at risk, not linked to any specific country.Grandi said he’d prefer such a program be run outside the normal refugee intake plan.Grandi and Trudeau met briefly Monday, and discussed “the need to protect and support refugees at a time when needs are especially high,” a spokesperson from the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.“They shared their concerns regarding the plight of refugees from Myanmar, and noted the particular vulnerability of women refugees. The prime minister and high commissioner welcomed Canada’s strong partnership with UNHCR. The prime minister also reaffirmed Canada’s continued commitment to welcoming refugees.”Conservative immigration critic Michelle Rempel said the Liberal government ought to take no instruction from the UN as to how many refugees Canada admits.Rempel has been a vocal critic of the UN refugee referral process, arguing it fails to adequately provide resettlement options to some of the most vulnerable.“The government must also request that the UN reform its refugee selection process to prevent discrimination against minority groups and to better support internally displaced persons and genocide survivors,” she said in a statement.Among the other issues Grandi raised was Canada’s ongoing approach to immigration detention.He said he was pleased to see Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale issue a first-of-its-kind directive Monday on the detention of minors, clearly instructing border officers to take the best interests of the child as their first priority.“We are campaigning first and foremost for no detention of children asylum seekers, but also no asylum seekers to be put in detention,” Grandi said. “This is a bit of longer term (plan), but I think children — I think the minister is very serious in reducing it.”— Follow @StephanieLevitz on Twitter
LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Fallout from sexual harassment and abuse allegations against Harvey Weinstein continued Wednesday as the disgraced producer was hit with a new lawsuit, lost an honorary degree and his former company forced to sell off a major film asset because of the scandal.Weinstein and his former company were hit Wednesday with a proposed class action lawsuit that targets what it called the producer’s “casting couch” harassment and abuses. The suit, filed in Los Angeles federal court by an unnamed aspiring actress who claims Weinstein harassed her in a building occupied by his former company, Miramax, also names The Weinstein Co. as a defendant and accuses its leadership of being complicit in Weinstein’s systematic harassment and abuse of women.Representatives for Weinstein and the company did not respond to messages Wednesday seeking comment.The company is reeling from the allegations against its co-founder, and on Wednesday announced it had sold the distribution rights to its biggest upcoming release, “Paddington 2.” Warner Bros. will now release the film, which is based on late author Michael Bond’s famous “Paddington Bear” stories.“Paddington” producer David Heyman earlier said he intended that the Weinstein Co. name to be “nowhere near” ”Paddington 2,” which was wholly financed by Studiocanal.Trustees from the State University of New York and the SUNY chancellor on Wednesday revoked the degree granted to Weinstein in 2001. He was an English major at the University at Buffalo from 1969-1973.In a statement, the University at Buffalo says Weinstein’s alleged conduct is “inconsistent” with the values and policies of the university and “contradicts the spirit of the honorary degree” and “undermines the accomplishments” that were cited to bolster the awarding of the degree.It is the latest honour lost by Weinstein, who has been expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and received lifetime bans from the television academy and producers guild.Dozens of women, including actresses Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Lupita Nyong’o and Ashley Judd, have accused Weinstein of sexual harassment, while actresses Asia Argento, Rose McGowan and others have accused the Oscar-winner of raping them.Weinstein’s representatives have denied all accusations of non-consensual sex, but no charges have been filed.Weinstein, 65, is being investigated by police in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, New York and London.The harassment and abuse allegations against Weinstein have led to numerous women coming forward with allegations of harassment and abuse against powerful men, including actor Kevin Spacey, numerous entertainment industry executives and politicians in the United States and abroad.Actor Terry Crews named a talent agency executive he said groped him, likening the experience on “Good Morning America” on Wednesday morning to being a prisoner of war. Crews said he felt emasculated by the incident, and he has filed a police report.The scandal in Hollywood has prompted Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey to establish a task force to handle any forthcoming criminal complaints. The advocacy group Women in Film also plans to make a help line and panel of pro-bono legal experts available beginning next month to provide counselling, referrals and legal advice to harassment victimsThe Workshop production company announced Wednesday it will begin work this month on an eight-part documentary series that will be called “Shame: The Story of Sexual Harassment in Hollywood.” The project aims to explore issues starting with the “casting couch mentality” that dates back to the days of silent films. It will stretch from the disgrace of “Fatty” Arbuckle nearly a century ago to modern-day offenders like Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein, shining a light on how actors, directors and producers have routinely used their power to engage in unsolicited, abusive behaviour.___AP Film Writer Jake Coyle and Entertainment Writer Mark Kennedy in New York and AP Entertainment Writers Sandy Cohen and Anthony McCartney in Los Angeles contributed to this report.
OTTAWA – A decades-old sore spot in the Canadian federation is days away from another flare-up as the country’s finance ministers prepare to discuss potential tweaks to the formula behind equalization payments.British Columbia Finance Minister Carole James said in an interview that the federal government is proposing a change to include non-residential property values as part of the complex calculation.The adjustment would likely make it more difficult for provinces with property values well above the national average — such as B.C. and Ontario — to qualify as recipients of equalization payments from Ottawa.Equalization is designed to help poorer provincial governments provide public services that are reasonably comparable to those in other provinces. The program is coming due for its twice-a-decade update before the 2019-20 fiscal year — and since it’s a federal program, Ottawa can make unilateral changes.Historically, equalization has been a source of conflict between governments within the federation.Under the current formula, the provinces that received shares of this year’s $18-billion equalization envelope — the so-called “have-not” provinces — included Quebec, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick Prince Edward Island and Ontario. Quebec easily took in the largest share in 2017-18 at $11 billion.The other provinces — B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador — did not receive anything through the constitutionally guaranteed equalization program.The B.C. government warns that going forward the inclusion of non-residential property values in the formula would make it more difficult for the province to qualify for payments in the event of an economic downturn.The issue is a top concern for James ahead of meetings Sunday and Monday in Ottawa with her federal, provincial and territorial counterparts.“We certainly don’t agree with that direction — we’ve seen no research that has shown that it makes sense to change the weighting in the equalization payments,” James told The Canadian Press.“I’ll certainly be standing up for our province … and telling the federal minister of finance that these aren’t acceptable changes.”James said the update would mean the formula would deem B.C. to have untapped capacity to generate additional property tax revenue. She argued it’s based on the assumption B.C. municipalities could raise tax rates on properties, which have seen their values soar in recent years.To determine whether a province qualifies for an equalization payment, and for how much, the formula measures each province’s ability to raise revenues, or their fiscal capacity.James wants Ottawa to make sure the short- and long-term impacts for all provinces have been explored before it moves forward.With the renewal of the equalization formula scheduled for 2019, this weekend’s meeting will likely be the first of many federal-provincial discussions on the matter.B.C. isn’t the only province with concerns about the proposal.“When it comes to the potential of generating more revenue from the high prices of real estate, which is what British Columbia is arguing, we don’t have the capacity to squeeze out more money from the system,” Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa said in an interview.Sousa said his province has lowered its revenue expectations for the real estate sector after the introduction of measures to cool red-hot markets, such as the Toronto region.“So, I agree with British Columbia that we can’t basically assess certain real estate valuations as a means to assess equalization payments,” he said.Ontario has been receiving equalization payments since 2009 as a have-not province. But after improvements to its economy in recent years, the province is expected to return to “have” status some time in the next couple of years.A senior Ontario government official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, said the proposed change could be the difference between whether it collects equalization or not.“Our concern is that if the last years taught us anything, it’s that property values are volatile in both British Columbia and in Ontario,” said the official, who would prefer a phased-in approach.“We would rather have it dealt with in a more tempered way, rather than just jumping right off the cliff on it.”Chloe Luciani-Girouard, a spokeswoman for federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau, wrote in an email Thursday that Ottawa will always listen to the concerns of provinces and territories — and will take them “very seriously.”The future of the equalization formula will also be a priority for Newfoundland and Labrador at the meetings.The province’s economy, hit hard in recent years by the commodity slump, still failed to qualify for equalization payments this year and Finance Minister Tom Osborne doesn’t expect it to next year, either.Osborne said in an interview that the current formula only addresses revenue and doesn’t account for the different costs of services between provinces.He says his province, with its small, dispersed population, faces the highest costs of services in Canada — and they’re growing at an “unsustainable” clip.Osborne plans to push his counterparts on the issue in hope of changing the formula so that it reflects both revenue and expenditures.“If anybody can explain to me how we’re a have-province, I’d like to hear it, because we’re certainly not a have-province,” he said.The formula is also based on a three-year moving average of economic growth, so a province’s have- or have-not status can lag economy-altering events.The country’s finance ministers will discuss a range of issues during the meetings — from cannabis taxation, to the three-year review of the Canada Pension Plan, to the state of the global economy. The ministers are also scheduled to meet Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz.Ahead of the meetings, Morneau will distribute updated figures outlining how much the neediest provinces can expect to receive from Ottawa in the next fiscal year, 2018-19.Follow @AndyBlatchford on Twitter